Retail sales this holiday season are higher than at any other time, but a close look we see people have been charging like crazy, savings rate is falling and debt is moving up. US home sales have collapsed, home prices are way out of the reach of the everyday American. Stock market has declined prior to Christmas and on Christmas eve, now Trump is saying buy the dip, why would he say this, is it because he has the magic wand. Trump continues to criticize the Fed, the MSM and the DS are panicking because they know what comes next. The government is still shutdown and Rand Paul releases his festivus report. North and South Korea agree to a rail link connecting their countries. Air strikes hit Damascus from Lebanon, many missiles were intercepted.Rebels ready to surrender in Al-Tanf. Clapper is panicking about Trump leaving Syria that there will be unintended consequences.
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Current News – 12.26.2018
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- the National Retail Federation forecasting a sales bump of up to 4.8% to a combined $720 billion for November and December.
- And with the holidays having only just passed, one early indicator suggests that the final total might be more optimistic than expected: According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, total US sales (excluding autos) climbed 5.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 compared with a year earlier. That means US consumers spent some $850 billion overall.
- Overall, strong growth in online shopping was a major growth factor, as total purchases climbed 20%. Meanwhile, Department Store sales grew by 10%.
- Sounds great, but here is one problem the latest raft of spending data revealed, spending outpaced incomes once again in November, sending the savings rate lower, suggesting that this latest consumption binge was largely fueled by debt.
- A home-price indicator created by ATTOM Data Solutions, which maintains the country’s largest property database, showed that the median price for US homes during the fourth quarter was at its most unaffordable level since Q3 2008 – a more than 10-year high. The nationwide home affordability index, which measures the percentage of the average annual wage needed to buy a home compared with the historical average, slumped to 91 during the fourth quarter, down from 94 in Q3 – the third straight quarterly decline.
- Across the US, the number of counties where home-price appreciation outpaced wage growth massively outnumbered counties where wages outpaced home price growth (which would make homes in those areas more affordable).
- The percentage of counties that registered indexes below 100 (indicating that homes became less affordable compared with long-term averages) fell slightly from the prior quarter – but was essentially flat.
Among 469 U.S. counties analyzed in the report, 357 (76 percent) posted a Q4 2018 affordability index below 100, meaning homes were less affordable than the long-term affordability averages for the county. That was down from a 10-year high of 78 percent of counties posting an affordability index below 100 in Q3 2018.
“While poor home affordability continues to cloud the U.S. housing market, there are silver linings in the local data as home price appreciation falls more in line with wage growth,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.
“Affordability improved from the previous quarter in more than half of all local markets, and one in five local markets saw annual wage growth outpace annual home price appreciation, including high-priced areas such as San Diego, Brooklyn and Seattle.”
- across the US, buying a home remains out of reach for most workers.
- Trump also urged Americans to buy the dip when on Tuesday he suggested that the recent swoon in the stock market is a buying opportunity for investors.
- “We have companies, the greatest in the world, and they’re doing really well,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Christmas Day. “They have record kinds of numbers. So I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to buy. Really a great opportunity to buy.”
- Trump’s invocation to BTFD came one day after the most violent Christmas Eve selloff on record, and the day when the S&P fell not only to its lowest level in 20 months,
- President Trump said
- “They’re raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
- Trump said “we’ll see” when asked if he has confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom he appointed and has repeatedly criticized.
- The worst case scenario is that the Fed digs in its heels and chooses to challenge Powell’s firing in the courts as a way to preserve the independence of the central bank. That process could drag on indefinitely, creating a sustained “risk off” scenario in financial markets that would eventually create sufficient damage to the broader economy that hurts Main Street.
- Even in the best case scenario, the Fed becomes another damaged institution. Arguably, it already is. There is a risk that at this point any action taken by the Fed to cushion markets or the economy will look as if policy makers are simply yielding to Trump’s demands. In other words, the appearance of independence may disappear if Trump’s antics create the uncertainty that necessitates a Fed response.
- Hence, regardless of what happens, we are now well into uncharted and dangerous territory. It is not obvious that the government has the capacity to respond effectively to a financial crisis. That means that the Fed would have to shoulder an even greater role than in the last crisis. But now, the Fed may be less effective because of the damage inflicted by Trump.
- During an interview Maxine Waters said we need to get rid” of President Donald Trump over reports that he is reportedly considering firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
- “We must understand that the Fed does not work for the president of the United States. The Fed creates monetary policy based on what’s good for the economy and, of course, I may disagree from time to time with their decisions but we must not interfere,” Waters claimed.
- “They must be independent. Right now Powell is saying that they’re dealing with inflation, but they don’t work for the president. The president can’t fire them. All that the president can do when he opens his mouth is rattle the markets. As a matter of fact, the volatility that you see in the markets is caused by the kinds of statements that this president will make causing more uncertainty,” she continued.
[Letter from Committee on Financial Services]
Maxine Waters, California, Ranking Member
How do you obstruct oversight?
How do you obtain ‘inside knowledge’ to closed door ‘financial’ investigations?
Maxine Waters, California, Ranking Member
Those who are the loudest….
Have the most to FEAR [hide]?
The government is still shutdown, people are pushing the idea that the wall is just to expensive, but I don’t see them complaining about the government spending money on the following, Lets look at what some of these government officials are talking about
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said a border wall would be “very expensive” and asked, “Why don’t we use that money for roads?” Likewise, Republican establishment lawmakers have claimed the border wall is too costly for them to support.
- So Sen. Rand Paul’s released the annual “Festivus Report” reveals that about $115 million in American taxpayer money funded a slew of government projects, including $200,000 to put on plays in Afghanistan.
- American taxpayers this year have also been forced to subsidize:
- $76 million to provide stipends to Somali National Army
- $18 million to promote tourism in Egypt
- $2.4 million to study daydreaming
- $1 million to support “legislative priorities” in Libya
- $875,000 to study the sexual habits of quails on cocaine
- $635,000 to develop a Pashto-language TV drama series for Afghanistan
- $400,000 to support asset seizure programs in Paraguay
- $360,000 to study horse and donkey hunting on the ancient Anatolian Peninsula
- $250,000 to teach Rwandan special interest groups how to lobby elected officials
- $75,000 to make videos marketing U.S. colleges to Indian students
- $75,000 to blow leaf blowers at lizards
- $35,000 to encourage people in the Republic of the Congo to use local resources
- $15,000 to fund a fictionalized opera about Prince Harry, called “Stone Prince”
- $50,000 to create conceptualized games in India
- $50,000 to teach female entrepreneurs in India how to “vlog”
- $50,000 to fund museum trips in Bosnia & Herzegovina
- American taxpayers have paid nearly $30 million since 2014 to fund “reintegration” gift bags for illegal aliens and their children who were deported from the U.S. to their home countries, Breitbart News reported.
- The cost of the USAID program is yet another bill that American taxpayers are forced to subsidize on top of the annual $116 billion that illegal immigrants cost taxpayers. This amount does not include the money stripped from Americans through wage suppression, job displacement, and rising housing prices due to mass illegal and legal immigration. Criminal illegal aliens in prison also cost taxpayers about $1.4 billion every year.
- If we add in all the deep state wars we would be over a trillion dollars.
- during christmas trump tweeted out the following from the oval office
I am in the Oval Office & just gave out a 115 mile long contract for another large section of the Wall in Texas. We are already building and renovating many miles of Wall, some complete. Democrats must end Shutdown and finish funding. Billions of Dollars, & lives, will be saved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
- Trump also tweeted the following
I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
- North and South Korea broke ground Wednesday on an ambitious project to modernize North Korean railways and roads and connect them with the South —
- The ceremony at the North Korean border town of Kaesong came weeks after the Koreas conducted a joint survey on the northern railway sections they hope to someday link with the South. It is one of several peace gestures agreed on between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in made
- On December 26, the Russian Foreign Ministry released an interesting statement commenting on the situation with the US troops withdrawal.
- “We are closely monitoring the execution of the decision made by US President Donald Trump on December 19 to withdraw the American army from Syria. We understand the importance of this decision, which, according to our assessment, is to contribute to a comprehensive settlement of the situation,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed. “We do not completely understand all the reasons and incentives of this move; there is no clarity regarding the temporary withdrawal schedule for the US military either.“
- Members of several Syrian opposition armed units are ready to lay down their arms and surrender to the Syrian army once US troops and their allies leave the Al-Tanf base in southeastern Syria,
- According to the news portal, a large number of militants stationed in a 55-wide area around Al-Tanf have expressed readiness to surrender and make reconciliation agreements with the Syrian authorities.
- former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, also a CNN contributor, discussed potential “unintended consequences” of President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
- Clapper said, “Exactly. I spent 13 years throughout my career in the Pentagon, and the Pentagon is an institution of planning and orderliness. There are all kinds of implications here when you withdraw, particularly doing it as we appear to be doing it in Syria, precipitously. There are all kinds of unintended consequences that will occur here, and it plays havoc in the Pentagon. The other thing, of course, is they are all on pins and needles thinking what is the next tweet we will get about deploying or withdrawing with not a lot of notice.”
Chemical attack in Syria?
Public ‘pull out’ of troops in Syria….
History will not repeat itself this time.
The clock is ticking.
When will the 1st alarm ring?
If the Senate was the primary target (majority control)….
53-47 active when?
EO (designated_target(s)) active when?
“There are a lot of sealed indictments” – SC
“It’s all going to come out, U1, Dossier, CF, etc….” – SH
“I have pretty good sources…” – SH
There is a reason why SH, SC, and JS are on stage.