Jobless claims spike amid Harvey hangover. The retail sector is getting hammered, Toys R Us is headed for bankruptcy. Millions of people are in homes they really can’t afford. The ECB and the other central banks are continuing with stimulus and low interest rates, if they stop the economy collapses. James Rickards reports that the central banks are trying to take control of the crypto market, this shows they are worried about an open and free market. Showdown in Spain, Catalonia pushes to have referendum and Spain is trying to block it. The King Of Saudi Arabia is not visiting Russia for the very first time. Countries are now turning towards Russia and China and are joining the Belt and Road. Jimmy Carter says that NK wants peace not war. North Korea supports economic ties with Russia and China. South Korea is ready to sign trade agreements with Russia and China. US forces evacuate IS leaders in Deir Ezor.
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Current News – 09.07.2017
- Initial jobless claims spiked 62k last week – thanks to a 51k surge in Texas – as the impact of Hurricane Harvey ripples (transitorily) through economic data.
- This 26% spike in claims is the largest since 2005(and biggest absolute rise since 2012).
- The 298k print is the highest since April 2015.
- , Toys R Us. In what is a classic sign, the company has hired mega law firm Kirkland & Ellis, whose bankruptcy-and-restructuring practice is considered a leader in the now booming bankruptcy-and-restructuring industry.
- Toys R Us, with 1,694 stores globally, has $5.2 billion in long-term debt, according to its latest quarterly report, and sports a negative equity of $1.3 billion. Quarterly sales declined 4.8% year-over-year, to $2.2 billion. This isn’t a one-quarter dip: sales are down 15% from the same quarter in 2012. And the net loss jumped 30% year-over-year to $164 million.
- The company needs to restructure its debts, particularly $400 million that is coming due in 2018, and a bankruptcy filing is one of the options, “sources familiar with the situation” told CNBC on Wednesday.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests that you spend no more than 30% of your annual budget on housing costs as it could put you and your family at greater risk of being unable to afford other necessities. That said, Americans are overachievers.
- Per the following chart from howmuch.net, the average American family spends roughly $57,000 per year and have thrown caution to the wind with housing costs eating up nearly 33% of annual budgets. In all, some 40 million houses (or about 1/3) are occupied by people who can’t afford them.
- Of course, this is hardly surprising in light of the following chart which reveals that the average working class family can’t afford to live in the majority of metropolitan cities around the country due to ballooning housing costs.
- data from Harvard found that over 18 million households are currently stuck spending more than 50% of their annual income on housing, which is up 35% compared to 2001 levels. Per Harvard Study:
- The ECB has kept not only its three key rates and pace of QE unchanged, but also its most recent statement, reiterating that it sees QE “at the current monthly pace of €60 billion, are intended to run until the end of December 2017, or beyond, if necessary”, sees rates at present level well past the end of QE –
- – Physical gold is “the true currency of the last resort” – Goldman Sachs
– “Gold is a good hedge against geopolitical risks when the event leads to a debasement of the dollar”
– Trump and Washington risk bigger driver of gold than risks such as North Korea
– Recent events such as N. Korea only explain fraction of 2017 gold price rally
– Do not buy gold futures or ETFs rather “physical gold in a vault” [is] the “true hedge”
- What’s increasing the demand for gold? Is it Kim Jon-Un’s calls for nuclear war? Trump’s tough tweets on government and trade and unleashing “fire and fury” on North Korea? The threat of World War III? Possibly not, according to Jeff Currie of Goldman Sachs. This is more to do with the market mechanics underlying such events.
There is every indication that governments, regulators, tax authorities, and the global elite are moving in for the crypto-kill.
The future of Bitcoin may be a dystopia in which Big Brother controls what’s called “the blockchain” and decides when and how you can buy or sell anything and everything.
Furthermore, cryptocurrency technology could be the very mechanism used by global elites to replace the dollar based financial system.
- Governments don’t like competition especially when it comes to money. Governments know they cannot stop blockchain, in fact they don’t want to. What they want is to control it using powers of regulation, taxation, and investigation and ultimately more coercive powers including arrest and imprisonment of individuals who refuse to obey government mandates with regard to blockchain.
- Blockchain does not exist in the ether (despite the name of one cryptocurrency) and it does not reside on Mars. Blockchain depends on critical infrastructure including servers, telecommunications networks, the banking system, and the power grid, all of which are subject to government control.
- An elite U.S. legal institution called the Uniform Law Commission, that proposes model laws intended for adoption in all fifty states, has released its latest proposal called the “Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act.”
- This new law will not only provide a regulatory scheme for state regulators, but will also be a platform for litigation by private plaintiffs and class action lawyers seeking recourse against real or imagined abuses by digital coin exchanges and facilities. Once litigation begins, anonymity is the first casualty.
- Cryptocurrencies and the Super-Elites Plan
- Consider the following additional developments:
On August 1, 2017, the SEC announced “Guidance on Regulation of Initial Coin Offerings,” the first step toward requiring fundraising through blockchain-based tokens to register with the government.
On August 1, 2017, the World Economic Forum, host body to the Davos conference of global super-elites, published a paper entitled “Four reasons to question the hype around blockchain.”
On August 7, 2017, China announced they will begin using blockchain to collect taxes and issue “electronic invoices” to citizens there.
- Perhaps most portentously, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has weighed in. In a special report dated June 2017, the IMF had this to say about blockchain:
These open schemes (that underlie Bitcoin, for instance) could be very disruptive if successfully implemented. By contrast, in permissioned DLTs, the validation process is controlled by a pre-selected group of participants (“consortium”) or managed by one organization (“fully-private”), and thus serve more as a common communications platform.” (emphasis added).
- This paper should be viewed as the first step in the IMF’s plan to migrate its existing form of world money, the special drawing right or SDR, onto a DLT platform controlled by the IMF. In
- In a move many people thought would never happen, the Catalan parliament approved a referendum that would allow a vote on the region’s independence from Spain.
- The central government seeks intervention from the Constitutional Court. But short of invasion who is going to stop the vote?
The Spanish government has accused the Catalan Parliament of committing a “constitutional and democratic atrocity” by approving legislation to allow next month’s bitterly disputed independence referendum to go ahead.
The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, ordered government lawyers to file a complaint with the country’s constitutional court so that the vote could be annulled.
- Spain Moves to Block Catalonia Referendum
- What It All About?
- Tax Collection – Catalonia is the industrial superstate of Spain. Catalonia sends far more to Madrid than it gets back. Secession would cost Spain approximately 20% of tax revenue.
- Language – Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, but a language that developed independently out of the vulgar Latin spoken by the Romans who colonized the Tarragona area. It is spoken by 9 million people in Catalonia, Valencia,
- History – Dating back to 1150 and 1707 Catalonia was not part of Spain. Numerous kings tried with no success to end the Catalan language.
- Eurozone Implications
- The independence referendum is not a vote to leave the EU or the Eurozone.
- As an independent country, Catalonia would have to apply for membership to the EU and to the Eurozone.
- Despite differences over Syria and the Iranian nuclear deal, current Russia-Saudi Arabia relations are arguably at an apex, both in terms of shared interests and mutual understanding. It has just been announced that King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will visit Russia in late October. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on September 5 that the exact date will be announced later. Only some details are left to be discussed.
- The visit has been anticipated for a long time. This will be the first time a Saudi king visits Russia. Russia is a partner in the Kingdom’s far-reaching ambitious plans. The potential of bilateral relations development is extraordinary.
- Reframing the current diplomatic crisis in North Korea is essential if genuine progress is to be made in diffusing the current tense situation.an already confrontational relationship between our countries, and has probably eliminated any chance of good faith peace talks between the United States and North Korea. In addition to restraining the warlike rhetoric, our leaders need to encourage talks between North Korea and other countries, especially China and Russia.
- The recent UN Security Council unanimous vote for new sanctions suggests that these countries could help. In all cases, a nuclear exchange must be avoided. All parties must assure North Koreans they we will forego any military action against them if North Korea remains peaceful.
- President Jimmy Carter
- I have visited North Korea three times, and have spent more than 20 hours in discussions with their political leaders regarding important issues that affect U.S.-DPRK relations.
- In June 1994, I met with Kim Il Sung in a time of crisis, when he agreed to put all their nuclear programs under strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to seek mutual agreement with the United States on a permanent peace treaty, to have summit talks with the president of South Korea, to expedite the recovery of the remains of American service personnel buried in his country, and to take other steps to ease tension on the peninsula. Kim Il Sung died shortly after my visit, and his successor, Kim Jong Il, notified me and leaders in Washington that he would honor the promises made by his father.
- . My last visit to North Korea was in May 2011 when I led a delegation of Elders (former presidents of Ireland and Finland and former prime minister of Norway) to assure the delivery of donated food directly to needy people.
- During all these visits, the North Koreans emphasized that they wanted peaceful relations with the United States and their neighbors, but were convinced that we planned a preemptive military strike against their country. They wanted a peace treaty (especially with America) to replace the ceasefire agreement that had existed since the end of the Korean War in 1953, and to end the economic sanctions that had been very damaging to them during that long interim period.
- North Korea’s representative at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok has given his first public statement to journalists since President Vladimir Putin announced his plans for trilateral economic cooperation between Russia and the two Korean states.
- Kim Young Jae said,
“We are not opposed to the trilateral cooperation (with Russia and South Korea), but this is not an appropriate situation for this to be implemented”.
- He continued,
“We severely condemn attempts by South Korea and Japan to use the EEF for their impure political purposes. Their attacks against self-defensive measures to strengthen the DPRK’s nuclear deterrent forces — they are clearly at variance with the purpose and nature of our forum, where economic cooperation between the Russian Far East and Asian countries is discussed”.
- Earlier, President Putin spoke of Russia’s desire to build transport links between the entire Korean peninsula and Russia.
- If South Korea was to engage with North Korea on a disarmament plan, even one that due to the highly weaponised topography of the Korean peninsula would be largely symbolic, this could be the necessary element which would see Pyongyang state that it is ready to fully engage wit Putin’s proposal.
- The fact that Pyongyang responded positively to the Russian plan is indicative of the fact that now it is up to South Korea to show it will respond with care and good measure to statements from the North.
- In this sense, the ball is largely in South Korea’s court. If Seoul is to re-activate its so-called Sunshine Policy of engagement with the North which was a stable of South Korean diplomacy under the Presidencies of Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, there is every chance that when combined with Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov’s famously skilled diplomatic tactics, such a policy could result in Moscow, Pyongyang and Seoul initiating the process which Vladimir Putin spoke of at the Eastern Economic Forum.
- Seoul is interested in signing a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union
- A US Air Force aircraft evacuated 20 Daesh field commanders from the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, liberated this week by government forces
- “Amid successful actions by Syrian government troops in the eastern part of Syria in late August, a number of field [Daesh] commanders backed by US special services, had been promptly evacuated from Deir ez-Zor to safer regions in order to use their experience in other directions,” the source said.
- The source said that on August 26, a “US Air Force helicopter” had evacuated 2 Daesh field commanders of “European origin” with members of their families from an area located to the north-west of Deir ez-Zor at night.