- In January 2017 the European Commission announced it was exploring the option of imposing upper limits on cash payments, with a view to implementing cross-regional measures as soon as 2018. To give the proposal a veneer of respectability and accountability the Commission launched a public consultation on the issue. Now, the answers are in, but they are not what the Commission was expecting.
- A staggering 95% of the respondents said they were opposed to a cash ceiling at EU level. Even more emphatic was the answer to the following question:
- “How would the introduction of restrictions on payments in cash at EU level benefit you, or your business or your organisation (multiple replies are possible)?”
Read more at:People Not Amused by EU Efforts to “De-Cash” their Lives
- “Financial Crisis Of Historic Proportions” Is “Bearing Down On Us”
- John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics latest research note, Prepare for Turbulence, is excellent and a must read warning about the coming financial crisis. Mind refreshed from what sounds like a wonderful honeymoon and having had the time to read some books outside his “comfort zone” he has come to the conclusion that we are on the verge of a “major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest.”
- Mauldin is a New York Times bestselling author and respected investment expert and his excellent analysis concludes with advice to prepare urgently for the financial “crisis of historic proportions” which is “once again bearing down on us”
Read more at: “Financial Crisis” Coming By End Of 2018 – Prepare Urgently
- Did you know that the federal government is going to spend more than 4 trillion dollars this year? To put that into perspective, U.S. GDP for the entire year of 2017 is going to be somewhere between 18 and 19 trillion dollars. So when you are talking about 4 trillion dollars you are talking about a huge chunk of our economy. But of course the federal government doesn’t bring in 4 trillion dollars a year. At the beginning of Barack Obama’s first term, we were 10.6 trillion dollars in debt, and now we are nearly 20 trillion dollars in debt.
- That means that we have been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt. When you break that down, that means that we have essentially been stealing more than a hundred million dollars from future generations of Americans every single hour of every single day to pay for our debt-fueled lifestyle. Even Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is warning that this is not sustainable, and yet we just keep on doing it.
Read more at:Is This The Generation That Is Going To Financially Destroy America?
- We’re “your” trustworthy news source, even though we’re all owned by six corporations or billionaires with political agendas.
The “news” is so devoid of content that a simple software program could assemble a semi-random daily selection of headlines, scrolling banners, and radio/TV “news” reports from a pool of typical “news” stories and insert a bit of context (local highways that are congested, rough neighborhoods where shootings occur, names of local authorities, etc.), and the consumer of “news” would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the randomly generated “news” and the “real news.
- “The “news” has loomed large in The News–a classic self-referential loop in which the media itself becomes its own content. While the controversy over what constitutes “fake news” and “real news” has itself become “the news,” the cold reality is all “news,” “real” or otherwise, is content-free.
Read more at:The “News” Is Content-Free
- For decades suburbia was home to the highest concentration of wealth in America, and perhaps even the entire world. It was the seat of our nation’s thriving middle class and a beacon of economic mobility. The streets were clean and safe, the schools were highly regarded, and there were plenty of middle class jobs to be had.
- But something has changed in suburbia. While offshoring and automation have destroyed millions of jobs across the country, the decimation of brick and mortar stores by online retailers has pounded the wealth base of suburbia. So much so, that there are more people living in poverty in suburbia than any other place in America.
Read more at:Death Of The Middle Class: The Suburbs Have Absorbed Half Of America’s Poverty Growth
- When Obama announced the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and the seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds in Maryland last December in response to alleged Russian interference in the election, Putin just smiled and said Russia would not retaliate, expecting that relations between Russia and the US would normalize under president Trump. Six months later, relations have not only not normalized but have deteriorated further following the latest round of sanctions against Russia despite daily allegations that Trump colluded with the Kremlin to convince several million Americans to vote against Hillary.
- And, as a result, Putin’s patience appears to have run out, and according to Russian newspaper Izvestiya, the Kremlin is set to expel around 30 US diplomats and freeze some US assets in a retaliatory move against Washington.
Read more at:“We Are Forced To Strike Back”: Russia Set To Expel 30 US Diplomats, Seize US Asset
- Debt-dependent consumption in a world in which wages stagnate for the bottom 90% and energy costs increase as demand outstrips supply is a system with only one possible end-point: collapse.
Even though we don’t know precisely how the future will unfold, we know a few things:
- — Of the 7.5 billion humans on the planet, virtually every individual wants to enjoy a high-energy consumption “middle-class” lifestyle. As a generous estimate, 1.5 billion people enjoy a high-energy consumption lifestyle today; the remaining six billion are aspirants hungry for all the goodies enjoyed by the 1.5 billion—all goodies based on affordable, abundant energy.
- — Our dependence on debt to fuel growth—more extraction of resources, more energy, more manufacturing, more consumption and more earned income to pay for all this expansion of debt and consumption—has built-in limits:
Read more at:The Inevitability Of DeGrowth