Sunday, May 20, 2018

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Credit Card Delinquencies Spike Past Financial-Crisis Peak at the 4,788 Smaller US Banks

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Subprime is calling.
In the first quarter, the delinquency rate on credit-card loan balances at commercial banks other than the largest 100 – so at the 4,788 smaller banks in the US – spiked in to 5.9%. This exceeds the peak during the Financial Crisis. The credit-card charge-off rate at these banks spiked to 8%. This is approaching the peak during the Financial Crisis.

A sobering set of numbers the Federal Reserve Board of Governors released this afternoon.

But overall, across all commercial banks, including the largest banks with the largest credit-card loan balances outstanding, the delinquency rate was 2.54% (not seasonally adjusted). This overall rate was pushed down by the largest 100 banks, whose combined delinquency rate in Q1 was 2.48%.

Making Excuses for Russiagate

by Daniel Lazare, Consortium News:

The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks. The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if The Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

Why Are So Many People Moving Out Of California?

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by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:

In recent years, the number of people moving away from the state of California has greatly outnumbered the number of people moving into the state. Reasons for the mass exodus include rising crime, the worst traffic in the western world, a growing homelessness epidemic, wildfires, earthquakes and crazy politicians that do some of the stupidest things imaginable. But for most families, the decision to leave California comes down to one basic factor…

Money.

Vatican Assails Wall Street for Creating an “Amoral Culture”

by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall St On Parade:

The Vatican released a lengthy report yesterday on how the drive for accumulating money at any cost has turned Wall Street and much of the global financial system into an “amoral culture,” noting that the idea that markets will be self-policing is pure bunk. The Vatican has apparently decided to keep the debate alive that Senator Bernie Sanders started during the presidential campaign of 2016 when he repeatedly railed against Wall Street for having a “business model of fraud.” The Vatican’s entry into this critical conversation would be much more meaningful if each time it or the Pope lectures the world on the meaning of morality they would acknowledge the Catholic Church’s own moral failings over decades in protecting sexual predators of children, refusing to report the assaults to law enforcement and moving the predators from parish to parish — not all that dissimilar to the private justice system run by Wall Street as predator brokers move from firm to firm. (See our related article on the Pope here.)

The Overlooked Meaning of “This is America” by Childish Gambino

from Vigilant Citizen:

This is America clearly struck a chord with this generation. But is there more to the character played by Donald Glover than meets the eye? We’ll look at the symbolism of This is America and its significance in today’s social climate.

After over 100 million YouTube views in less than a week and intense media attention, it is safe to say that This is America has reached the enviable status of “cultural phenomenon”. Combining violent imagery with interpretative dance, the video conveys a message that is clear, yet ambiguous, obvious, yet enigmatic. It holds a mirror up to a popular culture that is in crisis and a new black pride movement rebirthing from an utterly toxic womb.

9 Foods To Cut Your Risk Of A Deadly Stroke

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from Green Med Info:

Five million people die from stroke every year. Those deaths can be cruel and lingering. These 9 foods can help keep you safe.

Worldwide five million people die from stroke every year accounting for about 10 percent of total deaths.[i] But those deaths can be cruel and lingering. In just moments, you can go from happy, active, and productive to the helpless prisoner of a useless body.

Ischemic stroke occurs as a result of a blockage within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases. Hemorrhagic stroke is usually caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure. It occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures.

GMO GEOPOLITICS: PUTIN CONFIRMS IT

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by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:

For years I’ve been arguing that there is a GMO geopolitics going on in the world, as European and American agribusiness cartels – think only of IG Farbensanto, my nickname for the whole GMO-food control project, recently made a reality by German giant Bayer buying out American Monsanto (in cash!) – try to gain control of the world’s food supply through patented seeds, and while other countries, Russia and India, have resisted. I’ve been arguing that Russia’s growing stance against GMOs would position it as the world’s biggest non-GMO food supplier. This article, shared by Mr. B., makes it abundantly clear that this is exactly what is in Mr. Putin’s mind:

RISE OF THE MACHINES: US ARMY IS TURNING TO ‘TERMINATOR’-STYLE AUTONOMOUS ROBOT SOLDIERS ON BATTLEFIELD

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by Geoffrey Grinder, Now The End Begins:

OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS, THE PENTAGON IS POISED TO SPEND ALMOST $1 BILLION FOR A RANGE OF ROBOTS DESIGNED TO COMPLEMENT COMBAT TROOPS. BEYOND SCOUTING AND EXPLOSIVES DISPOSAL, THESE NEW MACHINES WILL SNIFF OUT HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS OR OTHER AGENTS, PERFORM COMPLEX RECONNAISSANCE AND EVEN CARRY A SOLDIER’S GEAR.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A robotized device can absolutely make life safer, more productive and more enjoyable. The problem comes when AI progress to such a point that the temptation to allow these robots to begin making decisions on their own becomes unavoidable. Facebook did an AI experiment last year that was quickly shut down when the chatbots suddenly created their own language that the humans running the experiment were not able to understand. That’s how lightning-fast these things can get out of control. Now, replace ‘chatbots’ with autonomous robots armed with military weapons, and you see very quickly the danger in where this is all heading.