Saturday, October 31, 2020

Washington D.C. Is Essentially Just A Gigantic Money Machine

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by Michael Snyder, The Economic Collapse Blog:
If you have ever wondered why our leaders in Washington D.C. seem to act so strangely, the truth is that it almost always comes down to just one thing. It has been said that “money makes the world go round”, and that is definitely true in Washington. This year the federal government will spend more than 4 trillion dollars, and that represents well over one-fifth of our national GDP. With so much money coming in and so much money going out, the stakes are incredibly high, and that is why so much money is poured into political campaigns on the national level.

The Student Loan Bubble and Economic Collapse

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from Antonius Aquinas:
The inevitable collapse of the student loan “market” and with it the takedown of many higher educational institutions will be one of the happiest and much needed events to look forward to in the coming months/years. Whether the student loan bubble bursts on its own or implodes due to a general economic collapse, does not matter as long as higher education is dealt a death blow and can no longer be a conduit of socialist and egalitarian nonsense for the inculcation of young minds.

The perilous condition of the student loan sector can be seen by looking at a few ominous pieces of data:

The Fed May Show Trump No Love

by Peter Schiff, GoldSeek:

The Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program, which lasted from the end of 2008 to October 2014, was specifically intended to push up asset prices by lowering long-term interest rates and reducing financial risk. This provides a good explanation why the stock market gained nearly 200{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from the bottom in March 2009 to October 2014 despite the fact that the U.S. economy persistently performed below expectations during that time.

Many people, myself included, argued that once the stimulus was removed stock prices would have to fall. Two and a half years later that has yet to occur. Although U.S. stocks are no longer rocketing upwards like they were during the QE era (the S&P 500 is up just 19{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} since the program wound down completely in November 2014), they have yet to experience any type of meaningful correction. Certainly market observers sense danger, but with the Federal Reserve cavalry always ready to ride to the rescue (as they did in January of 2016), markets have been free to drift upward.

The PullBack Is Over (For Now): Cryptocurrencies Gain $28 Billion & Nearly A 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} Gain In The Last 48 Hours

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by Jeff Berwick, The Dollar Vigilante:
So much for the cryptocurrency correction. Two days ago when bitcoin hit nearly $1,800 and the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies nearly touched $60 billion, I wrote in my article entitled, “Coinpocalypse”, “I am now thinking it has dropped enough to start wading back in.”

And, it appears I nailed it almost down to the minute. As soon as that article went live, the cryptocurrencies began staging a comeback. And they continue to do so as we speak.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies increased from $60 billion to currently $88 billion for a nearly 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} gain in just the last 48 hours.

Notorious Spanish Banker Found Dead With Shotgun Blast To The Chest [And “Homicide” Has Been Ruled Out.]

from Zero Hedge:
The former chairman of one of Spain’s largest banks has been found dead with a shotgun blast to the chest in a private hunting estate in southern Spain, the country’s Civil Guard said Wednesday.

According to AP, Miguel Blesa, the former head of the now defunct Caja Madrid savings bank – whose brushes with the law and extravagant hunting trips came to symbolize the excesses of the country’s economic boom – was awaiting the result of an appeal to a six-year prison sentence for misusing corporate credit cards (if not Spiderman towels) issued by the infamous Bankia, another defunct bank.

A Tale of Two Nations: Russia vs USA Economic Prospects

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by F. William Engdahl, New Eastern Outlook:
Taking the extraordinary USA and EU economic sanctions against Russia and low oil prices since 2014 into account, Russia’s economic outlook looks excellent going forward while that of Trump’s America looks bleak, to put it mildly. Paraphrasing the memorable 1992 Presidential candidates debate between a then-young William Jefferson Clinton and George H.W. Bush, “It’s the debt, stupid.”

In the past few years too many US economists and analysts such as Moody’s Credit Rating have tried to dismiss the economy of the Russian Federation as a near-bankrupt Soviet-era oil and gas-dependent economy, devastated by the 2014 collapse in oil price. This is a grave mistake, especially so as military calculations of NATO in many cases depend on such poorly-informed and dated judgments. Here are just a few select examples of what is really going on in terms of cutting edge and even bleeding edge technology R&D and commercialization in Russia in the civilian sector. The West’s neo-colonial smug arrogance has no place.

Harley-Davidson Spirals Down, Announces US Layoffs, Builds Factory in Thailand

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by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:
Trying to manage a structural decline in a terrible industry.

Shares of Harley-Davidson (HOG) dropped 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in the morning after the company reported second-quarter earnings and were down nearly 6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} at the end of the day. Almost everything was bad.

Retail sales by its dealers in the US fell 9.3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in Q2, compared to a year ago, to 49,668 motorcycles. They were “down more than we anticipated,” the company said. And with “soft sales across most markets,” sales by its dealers globally fell 6.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

How One Woman’s Failure to Act is Costing Her More Than Just Money

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by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:
Every summer around this time I rent a palatial wine and olive estate here in central Italy for a few weeks of relaxation with friends, business colleagues, and Sovereign Man: Total Access members.

We’ve been coming to the same place for six years in a row, and it’s gorgeous.

At the center of the estate is an 18-bedroom mansion that has been in the same family since it was built four centuries ago.

Back then, Italy was still a major center of wealth and power. London was still a developing backwater and New York didn’t even exist yet.