Gold was slammed down today, the deep state/central bank is trying to keep everyone away from precious metals. The corporate media has now admitted that there is a problem and that people are losing their job, the corporate media is now broadcasting the collapse of the economy. Restaurant traffic is down. 250% increase in the S&P and pensions have not changed since 2008. Housing starts drop, the real estate market is in trouble. Industrial production is still in decline and is flashing a recession. Is the Fed paying the banks not to lend, on the surface it seems that way. Gallup reports that Trump supporters don’t feel like he is keeping his promises. White House is considering dumping the petition section on the White House site. Trump is cracking down on H1-B Visas. A major offensive might be planned in May in Ukraine. Corporate media using propaganda to get the war started. Aircraft carriers not steaming towards NK. Trump administration says no red line for NK. Mattis ready to talk to Russia about Yemen and Syria, this is a change of plans. DHS head says the terror alert is worse than 911.
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Current News – 04.18.2017
Someone decided this morning was an opportune time to dump over 22,000 gold futures contracts (almost $3 billion notional) sparking a quick plunge in the precious metal…
- American retailers are closing thousands of stores and going bankrupt at a rate not seen since the recession, with thousands of workers losing their jobs in a “slow-rolling crisis” that is reportedly devastating the U.S. economy.
- “This is creating a slow-rolling crisis,” Business Insider cited Mark Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, as saying. “The people that work in retail stores will lose their jobs, then spend less money in retail stores because they are no longer employed. That creates a cascade of economic challenges.”
- Since October, about 89,000 workers in general merchandise stores have lost their jobs, which is more than the number of people employed in the entire U.S. coal industry,
- restaurant struggles continued in March as sales and traffic again declined year-over-year: same-store sales were down 1.1% while traffic dropped 3.4%. March results were disappointing for an industry desperately trying to reverse performance trends; with sales now negative in 11 out of the last 12 months, the longest stretch since the financial crisis.
- a recent study from Pensions & Investments points out, the top 100 corporate pensions were underfunded by over $250 billion at the end of 2016. Moreover, despite a 250% S&P rally from the 2009 lows, corporate pensions have only managed to improve their funded status from 79.1% in 2008 to 84.5% today.
- the bottom 10 corporate pension funds alone, as ranked by funded percentage, were underfunded by nearly $70 billion.
- This has sent the Citi Macro Surprise Index plunging to 5-month lows with its biggest drop since 2010.
- Citigroup Economic Surprise Index, a proprietary gauge by Citi designed to track how well economic data is doing in comparison with economic expectations.
- The question is – what happens to the stock market next?
- On October 3, 2008, Section 128 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 allowed the Federal Reserve banks to begin paying interest on excess reserve balances (“IOER”) as well as required reserves. The Federal Reserve banks began doing so three days later.
- As interest rates have risen, so has the free money to banks.
- Excess Reserves
Interest Paid on Excess Reserves
- At 1% interest, banks receive $22 billion in free money every year, nearly all of that goes to the largest banks.
- Banks Paid $22 Billion to Not Lend?
- banks have an incentive to not lend, simply to collect interest.
- There is no “demand” for excess reserves. Rather, the Fed has crammed excess reserves into the system and has decided to pay interest on them.
- excess reserves cannot spur lending.
- Whether or not banks lend has nothing to do with interest on excess loans. Rather, the decision to pay interest on excess reserves is simply $22 billion in free money to banks every year, at taxpayer expense.
- At best, paying interest on excess reserves was a purposeful backdoor bailout of insolvent banks.
- the IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook report, in which it now sees the global economy accelerating in broad-based expansion this year, even as it cites shifts to protectionism as a threat, and cuts its outlook to 2018 global tr
- U.S. 2017 growth est. unch at 2.3%; 2018 est. stays 2.5% as per the January forecast
Global trade is estimated to have grown by 2.2 percent in 2016 in volume terms, the slowest pace since 2009, and below the 2.4 growth rate of world GDP at market exchange rates.
- President Donald Trump has dropped 17 points since February on the question of whether Americans believe he keeps his promises, according to a new Gallup survey.
- Shortly after taking office, a Gallup poll showed 62 percent of Americans believed Trump kept his promises, but the same survey taken from April 5 to 9 showed only 45 percent felt the same way.
- The service started by Obama has been called a propaganda tool by critics.
After announcing Friday it will no longer voluntarily release visitor logs, the White House is considering eliminating the popular petitions site We the People.
A decision to end the service would be seen as a setback for accountability by many critics of President Donald Trump, but as the end of a soft-news gimmick by others.
The site, launched on the White House website in 2011, was deftly used by the Obama administration to generate positive press. Since January, it has served largely as a sounding board for Trump opponents.
Under President Barack Obama, the site was criticized by some as a propaganda tool, as petitions that challenged the administration went years without answer while goofy, softball or more politically convenient ones got a response.
- President Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday that aims to overhaul the H1-B visa program used by tech companies to bring high-skilled workers to the U.S., directing a government-wide review aimed at putting new teeth back into decades-old “Buy American” and “Hire American” directives.
large Indian consulting firms are by far the largest users of the H-1B visa program. That said, most of the jobs created by those companies tend to have lower salaries than those created by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Facebook.
Tech industry insiders expect Trump will direct DHS, which runs the H-1B visa lottery system, to start a rule-making to re-prioritize the visa allocation to give preference to higher-paying firms.
- There will be load of unhappy Labour politicians this afternoon… even though many of them hold “safe seats”, I suspect many will be updating their CVs and looking for new jobs.
- May’s intent is to clear the decks of dissent. t
- There are risks:
- May does risk losing her overall majority – its only 16 – especially if voters responds favourably to the Liberals who will try to turn it into a vote on Brexit.
- Source: zerohedge.com
- there is heavy concentrations of Ukrainian material near the front, and warns that Ukraine is likely to launch an offensive soon, with an eye to victory before or around May 9th, a day which has symbolic significance as it is not only the start of the Eurovision contest (hosted in Kiev this year) but also “Victory Day” in Russia and the former USSR, such that deciding the war on Kiev’s terms around this date would deliver a major psychological blow to the Russian government and to all pro-Russians in Ukraine.
- “the Pentagon has directed a total of three US aircraft carriers toward the Korean Peninsula…”
- On April 8, the USS Carl Vinson strike group left Singapore. It’s currently involved “in scheduled exercises with Australian forces in the Indian Ocean,” far from North Korea, according to Defense News.
- US Naval officials declined to comment on its movements. They “flatly deny reports that three US carrier strike groups were being directed to mass off the Korean peninsula in a few weeks.”
- South Korean media reports about the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz strike groups joining the Vinson are overblown.
- The Yokosuka, Japan-based Reagan aircraft carrier in undergoing maintenance there, scheduled for completion in May.
- The Bremerton, Washington-based Nimitz carrier strike group is currently off southern California’s coast, completing pre-deployment exercises. It’s scheduled to replace the Vinson strike group in Pacific waters later this spring.
- On April 8, US Pacific Command head Admiral Harry Harris ordered the Vinson strike group to Korean peninsula waters.
- Defense Secretary Mattis said it “operates freely up and down the Pacific, and (it’s) just on (its) way up there because that’s where we thought it was most prudent to have (it) at this time. There’s not a specific demand signal or specific reason why we’re sending (it) up there.”
- The Guardian reports that the US military is considering shooting down North Korean missile tests as a show of strength to NK according to two sources briefed on the plans.
- As the USS Carl Vinson heads towards the peninsula, along with two oither carriers, the Pentagon is looking for ways short of war to pressure North Korea into denuclearization,
- In the past, several US administrations have considered shooting down North Korean missile tests, only to turn away from the option when considering the consequences of escalation against an unpredictable and bellicose adversary.
- It seems odd that the US would telegraph this intent – given Trump’s campaign discussions of not doing exactly this.
- Trump didn’t call Erdogan to congratulate him on his fraudulent referendum. The call was scheduled in advance and the discussion focused on Syria
- The media is up in arms over Trump’s recent phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.