Thursday, October 17, 2019

How Iran Can Use Bitcoin to Avoid US Sanctions

by Mish Shedlock, The Maven:

Effective Nov. 4, Trump demands all trade with Iran to cease. Iran can potentially use Bitcoin as a workaround.

Interest Payments on Federal Debt on Pace to Eclipse Social Security Outlays

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by Peter Schiff, Schiff Gold:

At the current trajectory, the cost of paying the annual interest on the US debt will equal the annual cost of Social Security within 30 years, according to a recent report released by the Congressional Budget Office.

By 2048, as interest rates rise from their currently low levels and as debt accumulates, the federal government’s net interest costs are projected to more than double as a percentage of GDP and to reach record levels.  Those costs would equal spending for Social Security, currently the largest federal program, by 2048.”

Is China Part Of The “Emerging Market Crisis”?

by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:

Being huge, consequential and technologically advanced, China isn’t normally lumped into the “emerging” category with Brazil and Argentina. To most observers they’ve already left the kids table and are now seated with the developed-world adults.

But that might be premature. A big part of China’s economic ascendance was purchased with borrowed money – including a lot of US dollars – and came at the perceived expense of US well-being. And the US now wants to redress what it sees as unfair terms of trade in the most abrupt way possible.

HSBC Bank To Staff Branches With Humanoid Robots

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by Aaron Kesel, Activist Post:

HSBC, will test robots created by SoftBank Robotics, in the lobby of their Fifth Avenue branch in midtown Manhattan, CNBC reported.

The robots are not only designed to interact with customers but also take selfies, dance and tell jokes. Pepper, one of the robots equipped with a tablet on its chest at the HSBC Manhattan branch, danced to a techno beat in a demonstration according to CNBC.

This marks the second known test of robots for banking; the first being a bank in China, Construction Bank (CCB), that opened a Shanghai branch run entirely by robots in a testing phase for finance with little to no human involvement, Activist Post reported.

The next bear market in stocks will spark a retirement crisis

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by Howard Gold, The Burning Platform:

Almost lost amid the torrent of recent news was a sobering item that will surely have far-reaching consequences.

The U.S. government announced that for the first time since 1982, it is tapping into Social Security trust funds to pay current benefits to recipients and it is dipping into Medicare’s reserves to cover the costs of that program.

The trustees also projected that the trust fund will run out of money by 2034 and that Medicare’s fund for paying costly hospital bills will be depleted by 2026.

Make Capital Cheap and Labor Costly, and Guess What Happens?

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by Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds:

Employment expands in the Protected cartel-dominated sectors, and declines in every sector exposed to globalization, domestic competition and cheap capital.

If you want to understand why the global economy is failing the many while enriching the few, start with the basics: capital, labor and resources. What happens when central banks drop interest rates to near-zero? Capital becomes dirt-cheap. It becomes ludicrously easy to borrow money to buy whatever cheap capital can buy: stock buybacks, robots, automation tools, interest-sensitive assets such as housing, competitors or potential competitors, high-yield emerging-market bonds, and so on.

As The Yield Curve Flattens – Craig Hemke (27/06/2018)

by Craig Hemke, Sprott Money:

For the reasons we’ve discussed over the past several years, the U.S. yield curve continues to flatten, with Wednesday seeing new, 11-year low spreads. As you know by now, this has significant long-term implications.

Let’s start with the latest update. Below are snapshots of the current yields for the 2-year note and the 10-year note.

Foreign Buyers Made Me Do It: Canada Reflects Back on its Housing Bubble

by Stephen Punwasi, Wolf Street:


A massive survey of recent homebuyers reveals all.

Have you ever woken up after a night of drinking, and only had a vague recollection of what happened? Then your responsible friend sets off a chain of text messages, trying to figure out where you went wrong? Well that’s what the Canadian real estate industry just did, and man-o-man did people screw up. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Crown corporation in charge of mortgage liquidity, conducted a massive survey of recent buyers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. After getting drunk on exuberance, buyers indulged in a little too much borrowing, blaming everything from land scarcity to foreign buyers for the bidding wars they entered.