American’s had to borrow big in July. Wholesale inventories jumped to the highest since the November slide. Atlanta Fed is now reporting a 3.0 GDP number, completely manipulated. War on cash in India completely backfires the economy is falling apart. Venezuela pushes the agenda of bypassing the dollar and using other currencies. Iran, South Korea sign banking cooperation to bypass the dollar. More countries are moving to other currencies to protect themselves from the collapsing dollar. Mueller moves to interview the inner circle of Trump. There was a huge data breach in Equifax. US pushing the UNSC to issue additional sanctions and an embargo on NK. New report shows that NK can withstand an embargo for a lengthy period of time. Syria pushes new operation to free Deir Ezor military airport. Syria and Russia make deal and take control of hundreds of point along the Syrian Jordanian border. Red Cross report that the Russian safe-zones are working and violence is declining as more and more people return back to the country.
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Current News – 09.09.2017
- Consumer borrowing surged in July after a lull in early summer, as Americans bought more cars and took out new loans for college.
- Total consumer credit increased by $18.5 billion in July to $3.75 trillion, growing at an annual rate of 6.9%, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The’s the fastest pace in five months and well above the annualized 3.8% increase in June.
- So-called nonrevolving credit, largely reflecting loans for education and new autos, rose at an annual rate of 6.9% in July. That’s more than double the 3.1% rate in the prior month.
- Wholesale Sales has fallen for 4 of the last 5 months with July sales dropping 0.1% MoM from June. While sales dropped, inventories surged 0.6% MoM, pushing the inventory-to-sales ratio to 1.30x – the highest since before the election (Nov 2016).
- And with sales down and inventories spiking in July, the ratio has pushed back higher – highest since Nov 2016…
- So while this may help Q3 GDP (inventories), the hangover is coming.
- The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2017 is 3.0 percent on September 8, up from 2.9 percent on September 6. The forecast of the contribution of inventory investment to third-quarter real GDP growth increased from 0.87 percentage points to 0.94 percentage points after this morning’s wholesale trade report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
- In his latest “flow report”, BofA’s Michael Hartnett looks at the “Disconnect Myth” between rising stocks and bonds and summarizes succinctly that there is “no disconnect between stocks & bonds.”
- Why? The best, and simplest, explanation for low yields & high stocks is simple: so far in 2017 there has been $1.96 trillion of central bank purchases of financial assets in 2017 alone, as central bank balance sheets have grown by $11.26 trillion since Lehman to $15.6 trillion.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a surprise attack on cash in late 2016. He gave Indians a few days to convert the two largest denomination bills then circulating to bank deposits, after which point any undeposited notes would become worthless. The move was intensely controversial. Transactions completed using cash represented the vast majority of economic activity in the country.
- In order to sell the program Modi employed a familiar strategy. He vilified the users of cash as tax cheats and criminals. He promised the measure would punish black marketeers, boost the Indian economy, and increase tax revenues. The latter may be true – forcing transactions onto the grid is good for nosy bureaucrats trying to impose taxes and controls.
- But it now appears Modi’s claims about the amount of criminal activity tied to cash and promises of economic growth were nonsense.
- The official argument was that cash is an indispensable tool for black marketeers. The reform would catch many of these “criminals” with piles of cash they would be unwilling to declare and deposit. That argument fell apart last week when the Indian central bank reported that 99% of the outlawed bills were converted to deposits. Turns out very few “criminals” were punished.
- Meanwhile the Indian economy is paying the price. Growth has slowed significantly and some estimate as many as 5 million jobs have been destroyed by the demonetization of cash. More and more Indians are angry.
- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week, Maduro will look to use the weakest of two official foreign exchange regimes (essentially the way Venezuela will manage its currency in relation to other currencies and the foreign exchange market), along with a basket of currencies.
“Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,”
“If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said.
- Meet the oil/yuan/gold triad
- And then, Putin delivers the clincher;
- Private lenders from Iran and South Korea have signed an agreement to cooperate over banking issue with each other – an agreement which most importantly envisages the expansion of non-dollar trade between the two countries.
- It specifically calls for the two sides to share information on banking affairs, provide banking assistance to importers and exporters, and conduct exchanges of financial training.
- Parvizian is heading a delegation of Iranian bankers
- While his list reportedly includes a handful of senior figures like former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer, names like Hope Hicks, Don McGahn, James Burnham and Josh Raffel aren’t as widely known to the public – and hardly qualify as “senior aides.”
- Still, the Post’s anonymous sources claimed that these individuals may have been privy to important decisions, like Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey and the White House’s initial reluctance to address warnings about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s integrity, and the reasoning behind them.
“Each of the six advisers was privy to important internal discussions that have drawn the interest of Mueller’s investigators, including his decision in May to fire FBI Director James B. Comey and the White House’s initial inaction following warnings that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had withheld information from the public about his private discussions in December with Russia’s ambassador to the United States,
- Your data was likely stolen. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself even after the hack, and Equifax doesn’t want you to do it.
- That stolen data “primarily includes”:
- Social Security numbers
- Birth dates
- “In some instances,” driver’s license numbers.
- In addition, the stolen data includes:
- Credit card numbers of around 209,000 US consumers
- Equifax said that it “has found no evidence of unauthorized activity” on its “core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.” That’s where the other consumer data – what you bought, how you paid for it, where you went to buy it, etc. – is apparently kept.
- The United States is determined to have a vote at the U.N. Security Council on Monday on imposing tough new sanctions against North Korea despite resistance from China and Russia, U.N. diplomats said.
- Washington has presented a draft U.N. resolution calling for an oil embargo on North Korea, an assets freeze on Kim Jong Un, a ban on textiles and an end to payments of North Korean guest workers.
- While a full scale oil embargo against North Korea is unlikely, the reality is that North Korea would be able to survive such a measure with comparative ease.
- But even if Donald Trump was somehow able to convince the world to engage in an oil embargo against North Korea, North Korea would appear to have enough domestic oil reserves to make up for the loss of imports.
- In addition to large reserves of domestic coal and the increased reliance on green energy in the form of hydroelectric power , North Korea’s domestic oil reserves are likely far greater than previous conservative estimates have indicated.
- North Korea, a state which has always striven towards economic self-sufficiency,
It is difficult to get an exact estimate of the amount of oil imported into North Korea each year, states the EIA. Some estimates report that North Korea imports more than half of its oil from China and some volumes from Russia. North Korea has the capacity to refine 64 thousand barrels a day, however as a result of the economic decline, has utilization rates below 20 percent. Despite this, North Korea is able to refine enough crude oil to meet some of their domestic demand.
- China has lodged a stern protest against South Korea over the deployment of four additional Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) launchers, according to the foreign ministry.
- Instead, it will “only severely undermine regional strategic balance and jeopardize the strategic security interests of China and other regional countries.
- “Moreover, it will exacerbate the tensions and confrontation on the Korean Peninsula and complicate the Korean Peninsula issue,” he said on Wednesday.
- The US has reportedly approved arms sales worth over $3.8 billion to Bahrain as the ruling Al Khalifah regime continues its heavy-handed crackdown on dissent in the small Persian Gulf island country.
- The package of the potential weapons deal, which includes F-16 fighter jets, upgrades, missiles and patrol boats, was approved by the US State Department, Reuters cited a US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying on Friday.
- Furthermore, the State Department approved the sale of a pair of 35-meter patrol boats, equipped with machine guns, and 221 anti-tank missiles. According to the potential deal, Washington also demands $1.8 billion from Bahrain in exchange for upgrading the country’s existing fleet of F-16 jets.
- The United Nations Envoy to Libya has revealed that 250 UN troops will arrive in the North African state in the coming weeks,
- “The task of the troops,” he explained, “is to protect the UN mission in Libya. This will enables us to start carrying out our activities by October.”
- Some Russian geopolitical analysts argue that United States President Donald Trump should launch an investigation into the alleged evacuation of ISIS commanders by the US military from Syria’s Deir Ezzor province, an event which is said to have taken place two days ago.
- Tiger Forces have launched a new offensive dubbed “Operation Assad Leap” in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.
- According to the source, the Syrian Arab Army has begun their push to lift the nine month long siege on the Deir Ezzor Military Airport,
- The level of violence has been reduced in Syria thanks to the establishment of de-escalation zones and the International Committee of the Red Cross plans to increase its humanitarian support to the Syrian population, ICRC Director of Operations Dominik Stillhart told Sputnik in an interview on Thursday.
- “In Syria the situation has indeed evolved this year, there is less violence, not least also thanks to these de-escalation zones that were gradually installed in the country. And what we’ve seen is maybe up to half a million people that have come back to their places of origin, people who have come back to their homes. And of course, we will now and we are already adapting our response to the way the needs are evolving on the ground. This includes strengthening of our assistance to infrastructure, especially in the field of water, sanitation and health,” Stillhart said.
- Russia, the United States and Jordan have reached an agreement which will allow the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to take over control of virtually all of militant-held southern Syria with the exception of a Coalition-occupied base near the Iraqi border.
- The agreement will see pro-government forces assume control over nine hundred (900) key points – which until now were held by US-backed mercenaries – throughout Syria’s great southern desert region.