The Economic Downturn Is Accelerating – Episode 1399

The Economic Downturn Is Accelerating
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Jamie Dimon doesn’t want to talk about cryptocurrency anymore since he made his statement that bitcoin was a fraud.  Sears is closing 150 stores in Canada and laying off 12,000 people. GM is laying off 1,500 people because of declining sales. JPM charge off increased, this is the same thing that we saw during the run up to the 2008 crisis. The entire world is based on debt and the public continues to add debt on top of debt. Inflation is coming and the FED doesn’t want you to know that its on its way. Trump signed the unwinding of Obamacare executive order. The Russian ads on Facebook and Google were purchased by Americans. NK says nuclear program is for peace and security so the US does force regime change. NK recognizes Crimea. The War Powers act will be delayed to Nov 2. This will force the President to end the war in Yemen. Kaspersky says prove that they colluded with Russia.

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Current News – 10.12.2017


Dimon Unexpectedly Reverses On Bitcoin: “I’m Not Going To Talk About Bitcoin Anymore”

  •   This just one month after her boss, JPM CEO Jamie Dimon lashed out at the cryptocurrency, calling it a “fraud” which is “worse than tulip bulbs. It won’t end well”, will “blow up” and “someone is going to get killed.” Oh, and that “any JPMorgan trader trading bitcoin” will be “fired for being stupid.”

  • Fast forward one month, when bitcoin just hit a new all time high due to relentless demand, having completely ignored both China’s ban of exchange trading and Dimon’s rant, and with everyone – including Goldman – wanting to be part of it, JPMorgan clearly has no qualms about its “fiduciary obligation” when it comes to taking clients’ money to help put them in what it has called – on the public record – a fraud.
  • That said, Jamie Dimon was far less verbose today, and as Bloomberg notes he wasn’t keen to talk about bitcoin again when asked about the cryptocurrency during today’s call.  Dimon said “I wouldn’t put this high in the category of important things in the world, but I’m not going to talk about bitcoin anymore.”  


Sears Canada Liquidates: 12,000 Canadians To Lose Their Jobs 

  • 12,000 jobs may not sound like much but that’s roughly how many jobs Canada adds to its economy each month. Only in this case, that’s how many workers are about to find themselves without a job because overnight Sears Canada announced plans to liquidate its remaining 150 stores instead of restructuring, the latest admission of brick and mortar defeat in the war with Amazon, with the result some 12,000 job losses in the coming weeks. 


GM to Lay Off 1,500 More Workers, as its Car Sales Plunge Twice as Fast as Rest of Industry 

  • Hounded by overcapacity. But other automakers do just fine with cars.
  • Starting in mid-November and going through the rest of the year, General Motors will close its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant – its only remaining factory in its hometown – and lay off about 1,500 workers, “people familiar with the plan” told the Wall Street Journal. When the plant does resume production, output will be cut by 20%, and 200 people will be out of a job.
  • To deal with its dying-car-sales syndrome, GM has been cutting production and has been laying off people. But even its crossover production took a hit. On September 22, it sent a notice to employees at its Spring Hill, Tenn., assembly plant that makes the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5 crossovers – among the very vehicles GM is counting on as the engine for sales growth.
  • GM told employees that it would eliminate the entire third shift due to “moderating” sales. About 1,000 workers would be cut. These cuts wouldn’t be a temporary layoff for a few weeks, as there was no indication that the shift would be brought back in the near future. “We believe the best way to react…is to reduce output,” the statement said.


The “Missing Slide”: JPM Credit Card Charge-Offs Just Shy Of Four Year Highs

  • , JPM’s net credit card chargeoffs remained over $1 billion as of Sept 30, at $1.019BN to be precise, and just shy of the highest level going back to March 2013, suggesting that contrary to Jamie Dimon’s commentary, the US consumer is not doing all that hot after all.

 The provision for credit losses was $1.5 billion, up from $1.3 billion in the prior year. 


Simon Black: “The Craziest Mortgage Scheme I’ve EVER Seen”

  • The National Association of Realtors polled 2,000 millennials between the ages of 22-35 about student debt and homeownership… Only 20% of those surveyed owned a home… Of the 8 in 10 that didn’t own, 83% of them said student debt was the reason. And 84% said they’d have to delay a home purchase for years (seven years being the median response).
  • And that’s all bad for the home-selling business. Once again, the lenders are getting creative…
  • Miami-based homebuilder, Lennar Homes, recently announced it would pay a big chunk of a student loan for any borrower buying a home from them.
  • Debt has become such a keystone of our society, that the only way we can afford something is to swap one type of debt they can’t afford with another type of debt.
  • A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trust showed 41% of US households have less than $2,000 in savings – a full one-third have zero savings (including 1 in 10 families with over $100,000 in income). Another study showed 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.
  • The point is, America is broke… A single, surprise expense like a flat tire or a doctor’s visit would wipe most people out.
  • But people continue buying homes, cars, TVs and college educations by taking on more and more debt… And now, by swapping one type of debt for another.
  • Wealth is built on savings and production. Not on playing tricks with paper and going deeper into debt. 


Fed Officials Frantically Play Dumb to the Coming Inflationary Storm 

  •   the US Dollar has lost some 84% of its purchasing power since 1971, and yet the Fed has routinely claimed that inflation has been “subdued” or “under control” throughout that time period (with the brief exception of the inflationary spikes of the ‘70s).

  • With this level of currency depreciation, incomes would have to rise exponentially to compensate for Americans’ higher cost of living. They haven’t. As a result of this, Americans have increasingly relied on two parents working instead of one, while supplementing their incomes with credit cards and other debt instruments. 

  • Put simply, the official inflation numbers are garbage.
  • The Fed purposely wants it this way because understating inflation allows the Fed to
  • 1)   Overstate GDP growth
  • And…
  • 2)   Paper over the fact that incomes have been on the decline relative to cost of living since the early ‘70s.



Trump Signs Executive Order To Begin Unwinding Obamacare

  •  Trump said in signing the order at a White House ceremony. “For a long time, I’ve been hearing repeal, replace, repeal, replace.”
  • He then said that the order is “starting that process” to repeal ObamaCare. It will be the “first steps to providing millions of Americans with ObamaCare relief.”
  • The order will direct federal agencies to take actions aimed at providing lower-cost options and fostering competition in the individual insurance markets, 
  • While Trump’s order seeks to expand the ability of small businesses and other groups to band together to buy health insurance through what are known as association health plans (AHPs), and also lifts limits on short-term health insurance plans, in some ways the order’s impact remains a mystery as the full extent of the effects will not be immediately clear. The executive order largely does not make changes itself; rather it directs agencies to issue new regulations or guidance. Those new rules will go through a notice and comment period that could take months, officials said.
  • No matter what the final outcome of Trump’s EO, one thing is clear: at least 12.7 million taxpayers will be happy with the outcome. As Bloomberg reports, according to the Internal Revenue Service, 12.7 million taxpayers claimed a health-care coverage exemption on their tax forms, some because they couldn’t find an affordable plan. 


NYT: “Russia Ads” were mostly made by Americans

  • The more details that emerge about Russia’s “sophisticated” efforts to sway the November election in favor of President Donald Trump, the more ridiculous Sen. Mark Warner’s aggressive rhetoric sounds. But instead of fading away, upcoming testimony from Facebook, Twitter and maybe Google will likely keep the story on life support for the foreseeable future, especially now that Congress has succeeded in browbeating all three of the tech giants mentioned above to admit that Russian agents were buying advertising or otherwise disseminating targeted propaganda on their platforms.Almost all of the content promoted by the Russia-backed Facebook groups was created by Americans, much of it by conservative news websites like the Conservative Tribune.

    “A New York Times examination of hundreds of those posts shows that one of the most powerful weapons that Russian agents used to reshape American politics was the anger, passion and misinformation that real Americans were broadcasting across social media platforms.

    In other words, many Americans are seeing right through Congress and the mainstream media’s characterization of “Russian interference” as a sophisticated propaganda campaign targeted at swing state voters.



US already ‘lit fuse of war,’ nuclear arms not subject to negotiations – N. Korea’s FM

  • Pyongyang will not give up its nuclear program under any conditions, North Korea’s Foreign Minister has emphasized, stating that the US has “lit the fuse of war” and that Washington should cease its hostile actions first.
  • Therefore, “our nuclear arsenal is adeterrent that guarantees peace and security in the region and the right of the Korean nation to exist and develop,” Ri said.
  • Russia has repeatedly warned that attempts to pressure North Korea into stopping its nuclear missile program through sanctions could only lead to further confrontation, especially amid the never-ending war of words by Washington and Pyongyang while threatening to destroy each other. 


North Korea Recognizes Crimea as Part of Russia

  • According to the statement, the North Korean Foreign Ministry marked its position on the issue at the UN vote and considers Crimea as an “integral part of the Russian Federation.” Pyongyang has also said it recognizes the Kuril Islands as Russian territory.
  • “The publishing house “Scientific Encyclopedia” released a new political Atlas of the World. We noticed that the Crimean peninsula (pages 240-242) has already been painted in Russian colors. 


War Powers Act Challenge on Yemen Postponed to November 2

  • the House leadership’s attempts to undermine the bipartisan House Concurrent Resolution 81, which would end US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen, is failing. On Wednesday, the House unanimously agreed to delay the vote on the resolution to November 2.
  • The concurrent resolution directs the president to end all military participation in the Saudi war in Yemen immediately, pointing out that Congress never authorized such an operation. Congress has sole discretion to make such a determination, and in over two years of war in Yemen, there’s never been such a vote.
  • While a lot of America’s ongoing wars are at present not authorized under the War Powers Act, Yemen is a particularly glaring one, because there isn’t even a roundabout argument to be made to try to connect this to the vague AUMF on fighting al-Qaeda. Indeed, in fighting against the Shi’ite Houthis in Yemen, the Saudi-led war has greatly enhanced al-Qaeda’s power in the country.


Erdogan Tells US “We Don’t Need You” 

  •   President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to pour some more gasoline on the fire, and said on Thursday that if the U.S. does not accept Turkey the way it is “then we do not need you”, 


Cyber Attacks

Kaspersky Lab Asks for Evidence of Firm’s Alleged Collusion With Russian Gov’t

  •   Kaspersky Lab is denying media reports that the company’s anti-virus software was used to look for secret documents in the United States and is asking for evidence of such claims, a company spokesperson told Sputnik on Thursday.
  • “Kaspersky Lab has nothing to do with the situation described in The New York Times or other media outlets and has no information about it. We reconfirm our readiness to work together with the US authorities to answer any questions about the company’s products, as well as internal procedures,” the company’s spokesperson said.