Retail numbers miss in December. The retail market is imploding on itself and if we go back to last year retail has not improved. We will see more stores closing. Savings are down and revolving credit is up, the American people are tapped out. Housing is declining quickly, Wells mortgage business is going down the drain. Neiman Marcus is on track towards bankruptcy. The central bank makes their move to take control the crypto market. The cabal is firing everything they have at Trump to turn the public and remove him from office. They are now saying that he used language against those who are trying to enter the country via DACA. They are bringing up old stories to push their agenda. Russia wants the US out of Syria, they are now making the case the US is blocking humanitarian aid to the people in the al-tanf area.
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Current News – 01.12.2018
- For the fourth year in a row December retail sales numbers (control group) missed expectations. After the shocking 1.4% MoM surge in sales in November, December retail sales growth slowed to just 0.3% MoM.
- Pretty much every sector saw gains, but still the data missed:
- Which is odd considering that the US consumer is now fully tapped out, with personal savings at 10 year lows…
- … while credit card borrowings just hit an all time high.
- If US retailers can’t beat expectations now (with the exception of non-store, i.e., online, retailers of course) when can they?
- Neiman Marcus is facing bankruptcy risk in the next year as high as 50%, according to a recent report from CreditRiskMonitor, which tracks the financial risks associated with companies with publicly traded stock or bonds. According to its promotional materials and executives, CreditRiskMonitor is 96% accurate in predicting bankruptcies.
- Neiman, along with Bon-Ton and Sears Holdings, is among the retailers with the highest near-term risk of filing for bankruptcy, according to CreditRiskMonitor.
- Following deflationary prints in import prices and producer prices, core consumer prices came in modestly hotter than expected. Core CPI printed +1.8% YoY –
- Wells just reported that its ‘bread and butter’ is virtually gone, and in Q1 the amount in the all-important Wells Fargo Mortgage Application pipeline plunged by a whopping 23% to just $23 billion, and at the lowest level since the financial crisis.
- The lagging mortgage originations number, which usually trails the pipeline by 3-4 quarters, was nearly as bad, plunging 39% sequentially from $72 billion to only $44 billion, “due to higher rates and seasonality.” Since this number lags the mortgage applications, we expect it to post fresh post-crisis lows in the coming quarter.
- And finally, there was the chart showing the bank’s consumer loan trends: these reveal that aside for credit cards, the broad decline in credit demand continues.
- What these number disturbingly reveal, is that the average US consumer can not afford to take out mortgages at a time when rates rise by as little as 1% or so from all time lows. It also means that if the Fed is truly intent in engineering a parallel shift in the curve of 2-3%, the US can kiss its domestic housing market goodbye.
- Bill Dudley, the second most important person in the Federal Reserve – the organization that is responsible for the third consecutive and largest ever yet asset bubble in history – said that one risk he was increasingly worried about was, drumroll, elevated asset prices. Because, supposedly, the Fed has little to input in how asset prices came to be where they are…
- Just as ominous was Dudley’s admission that the second risk he was concerned about is “the long-term fiscal position of the United States” i.e. US debt. Specifically, Dudley said that the Trump tax cut “will increase the nation’s longer-term fiscal burden, which is already facing other pressures, such as higher debt service costs and entitlement spending as the baby-boom generation retires.“
- Oddly there was no mention of which administration doubled US debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in under a decade, and which organization enabled this to happen by keeping rates at record low levels, while crushing savers, and bailing out habitual gamblers.
- A we get further clarification that the end of South Korean crypto trading is not nigh as Yonhap reports the various government ministries need more time and more consultations over the mininstry of justice’s plan to ban crypto-exchanges.
“The issue of shutting down (cryptocurrency) exchanges, told by the justice minister yesterday, is a proposal by the justice ministry and it needs consultations among ministries,” Kim said.
- Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he will work with the Group of 20 nations to prevent cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin from becoming the digital equivalent of an anonymous Swiss bank account.
- “We are very focused on cryptocurrencies,” Mnuchin explained, pointing to discussions with other regulators within the U.S. government and later stating: “We want to make sure that bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things.”
- Mnuchin said that the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government body that assesses financial system risks, has formed a working group focused on cryptocurrencies, and explained that “In the United States — and people may not realize this — under our laws, if you have a wallet to own bitcoins, that company has the same obligation as a bank to Know Your Customer. So, in the United States, we have rules for anti-money-laundering, for all different types of entities, we can track those types of [transactions]. The rest of the world doesn’t have that. So one of the things we are working very closely with the G-20 on is making sure that this doesn’t become the Swiss numbered bank account.”
- Mnuchin added that he was worried about heightened levels of speculation in the bitcoin market. “The other concern I have is, there’s a lot of speculation in this, and I want to make sure that consumers who are trading this understand the risks,” Mnuchin said. “I am concerned that consumers may get hurt.”
- As usual, the media bias tries to make hay out of words, and not focus on content of President’s reaction
- US President Trump created a DC media firestorm on Thursday, when he reportedly questioned the policy of the United States regarding bring people in from war-torn and very poor Third World nations, with very strong, and profane language.
- “Why are we having all these people from s***hole countries come here?” the president reportedly barked during an Oval Office sitdown meeting that was attended by several members of Congress. Two people, unnamed, but claiming familiarity with the matter, reported this to the Washington Post.
- , the Wall Street Journal has picked this weekend to revive a rumor that it first published shortly after the election, and which President Trump’s lawyers have previously denied.The paper described a plot by the Trump campaign to pay off an adult film actress who had been negotiating with Good Morning America for an exclusive interview about her brief affair with the president in 2006, just one year after he married Melania Trump.
- President Donald Trump admitted that he used “tough language” during his immigration reform meeting with members of Congress but hinted that reports of his “shithole countries” comment were not accurate.
- “The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used,” he wrote on Twitter on Friday morning.
The language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used. What was really tough was the outlandish proposal made – a big setback for DACA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018
- The White House’s own website lays the the idea out very clearly.
The United States must adopt an immigration system that serves the national interest. To restore the rule of law and secure our border, President Trump is committed to constructing a border wall and ensuring the swift removal of unlawful entrants. To protect American workers, the President supports ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and moving the country to a merit-based entry system. These reforms will advance the safety and prosperity of all Americans while helping new citizens assimilate and flourish.
- The senators that came to the DACA meeting yesterday did not want this. Now, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program that was started as an Executive Order by President Obama, that allows some immigrants who came into the US illegally, as children from being deported immediately. It is fairly expansive, allowing any individual who entered the US illegally to defer deportation for two years, if they were younger than 31 years old on June 15, 2012, and who came to the USA before they were 16 years old. In other words, this order and concurrent program applies to not just children, but to adults who may have been in the workforce for over 10 years. The idea is to allow these people time to make the move to legalized status in this country, but it also amounts to an amnesty in many ways, because the deferral can be renewed.
- The charge made by liberals and the media is, of course, to portray the intent to phase this program out as “cruelty to the children” when in fact, many of these people are not children at all, but working adults who are gaming the US tax system by not participating in the American structure as all citizens have to. Illegal aliens are often paid off the books for their work, and although this can mean low wages, it also means that what wages these people get, they get to keep it all. Gaining legal status in the USA means what it does in any country – that the person becomes subject to the laws including those of taxation in that country. While not having legal status can be harder in terms of not being able to receive some services, in the United States, much of this has been ameliorated anyway, so that we even read stories of illegal aliens getting driver’s licenses. In other words, they gain ID without responsibility to participate in some of the less fun aspects of living the US, like paying taxes.
- It is further alleged that some of these illegals are able to find their way into the voting booth, where they would be expected to vote for Democrats, since Democrats champion these various ways of making life easier for illegals and to not make them responsible.
- The meeting that made the news today with President Trump allegedly cursing was different than the televised meeting from a day before. However, it provided fodder for the anti-Trump press after an unusually dignified and surprising televised meeting with a wide ideological slice of Congressional members the day before. Even the MSM had to give grudging approval of the president here.
- U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Joseph Votel has assured the head of Pakistan’s army that Washington “is not contemplating any unilateral action” inside the country, a statement from the Pakistani military said Friday.
- Votel, who spoke to General Qamar Javed Bajwa by telephone “over the week”, also said that the “on-going turbulence” around a tweet by Donald Trump suspending aid to the country was “a temporary phase”, according to the statement.
- Russia’s Foreign Ministry has demanded that the US lifts all restrictions to the access of humanitarian aid to the Rukban refugee camp in the Al-Tanf area.
- They say that the area is de-facto occupied by US forces.
- Moscow reitterated “the need to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Syria in the implementation of humanitarian deliveries and the observance of international humanitarian law.”
- “We demand the lifting of all restrictions on the access of convoys with food and medicines, increasing the transparency of humanitarian actions,” the ministry said. It also pointed out the US military “bears full responsibility” for the situation in the Al-Tanf area under its control.