Category Archives: Economy

Rothschild Makes Dismal Admissions To His Investors

https://s15-us2.ixquick.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=https%3A%2F%2Fseeker401.files.wordpress.com%2F2016%2F06%2F4071279737_c3002005034100.jpg%3Fw%3D497&sp=2558d78c8358f592f3b11a0799f03e75RIT Capital Partners fund issued its 2016 year-end report in late February. While the company was pleased to report a net profit of 12.1 percent and total shareholder returns hold at 14.2 percent, the company, and its chairman Lord Jacob Rothschild, seem preoccupied with risks associated with political and economic instability.

Rothschild announced that while the funds’ assets are at an all-time high, the announcement comes, “Against a background of daunting uncertainty and political turmoil.” Going further, he stated a more ominous warning. “At this time of upheaval and uncertainty, our investment portfolio will continue to be well diversified,” he wrote comforting his shareholders their fund’s portfolio would be as protected as possible from any coming downturns in the market.

However comforting the report may be for individual investors, Rothschild’s final comments loom large over the mostly positive economic report. He wrote, “There could well be a period ahead of us when the avoidance of risk is as high a priority as the pursuit of gain.” The investment banker’s chosen word of “period” seems to indicate a coming downturn in profitability, even though for the past five years the fund has realized a profit of more than 1 billion Euros.

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According to the report, Rothschild and his very powerful family have a vested interest in preserving their assets. “RIT Capital Partners plc is an investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its net assets have grown from £280 million on listing in 1988 to over £2.7 billion today. RIT is chaired by Lord Rothschild, whose family interests retain a significant holding,” the issue reveals. If the fund, whose value is at an

If the fund, whose value is at an all-time high, suddenly declines, falling with it will be a large portion of wealth the Rothschild family enjoys. Although, any such declines would hardly come as a surprise to the Rothschild family who reportedly controls much of the world’s wealth and has a hand in nearly all of the world’s banking institutions, including the Federal Reserve, as some have stated.

The chairman’s statement continues with what some might say is an ominous and uncertain view of the future. “Since the last World War, we have enjoyed some 70 years of patiently crafted international cooperation, which is now threatened,” an apparent reference to Brexit and the UK’s referendum to withdraw from the European Union.

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“Against this deeply worrying geo-political situation,” he wrote seeming to highlight the potential of WWIII if the Syrian conflict continues, “one can point to a number of positive investment factors.” Echoing many statements made by the current U.S. president, Lord Rothschild stated he was hopeful corporations would receive a break in government imposed revenue. He said, “in the US, the proposed tax reduction for companies and individuals,” was a favorable policy change for his fund’s portfolio.

Resounding President Trump’s call for deregulation, Rothschild also was reportedly pleased with the “reforms of an over-regulated system.” Likewise, in step with Trump’s call to exponentially increase spending on America’s failing transportation infrastructure, Lord Rothschild is pleased. However, Trump’s call for, “increases in fiscal and infrastructure expenditure…come at a time late in the business cycle, when the labor market is close to full employment,” meaning there’s no forecast of immediate returns on infrastructure spending projected in the future.

The banking and financial baron also seemed to lament that “wage increases up by some 4% over the last few months” a factor which affects the bottom line for every company. He also stated across the fund’s portfolio will also be affected by rising interest rates. “Valuations are at the high end of their historical range, inflation is returning and in these circumstances, it is likely that interest rates in the US will rise meaningfully,” he said. And coming from the man whose familial connections and financial partners control the Federal Reserve, he should know.

By Jack Burns | The Free Thought Project

Ready For A Bout Of Stagflation, After The Next Depression, Like We’ve Never Seen Before

Money manager Michael Pento says don’t believe the Fed when it says “the economy is doing well.” It’s not. Pento explains, “As long as the stock market continues to go up, the Fed is going to continue to slowly raise interest rates. So, when the inevitable collapse occurs, and that’s what the Fed does, the Fed is in the business of lowering interest rates, creating asset bubbles, which pile up the level of debt, then raising rates and collapsing the economy. That’s their mantra. That’s their MO (modus operandi) and it has happened over and over again. The occurrences are going to be much more dire as we go through time. So, the Fed is trying to get bullets in the chamber. The Fed is going to raise rates slowly. The yield curve is going to invert. . . . We are going to have another catastrophe in the stock market and in the bond market and in the real estate market and in the global economy.”

With the latest GDP number now coming in at less than 1%, Pento says the Fed will be forced to reverse course soon when the economy tanks again. Pento contends, “They will have no choice, this is what they are going to do. They are going to do everything they can to rebuild the asset bubble, but it’s going to take a lot more than lowering interest rates and a little bit of QE. They’re going to have to have helicopter money, and I think that’s going to happen right after we enter this next depression. I don’t use hyperbole here either. I say depression because I look at the data. The data tells me the great recession that was headed towards a depression started in 2007 and ended in 2009. They were talking about not getting money out of the ATMs and massive bank defaults. That was going to make the Great depression in the 1930’s look like a Sunday picnic. That was caused by a Fed Funds rate at 1% for one year and a housing bubble. You look at the bubbles we have today, the national debt in 2008 was $10 trillion. It’s now $20 trillion. . . . You have the entire globe that has massively and exponentially raised its level of debt . . . and the level of asset bubbles. . . . Most of the metrics are at all-time record highs. The GDP has been artificially boosted by 100 months of 1% or lower Fed Funds rate. I think a depression is absolutely unavoidable. What did they fix? Absolutely nothing. They just made the economy exponentially more artificial and more dependent on free money.”

Pento predicted the bond market would ultimately collapse in his 2013 book titled “The Coming Bond Market Collapse.” He says the collapse has started and will get worse quickly. Pento is watching Europe and says, “When the European Central Bank (ECB) announces they are going to take the $60 billion a month of easing and take it to zero, you are going to see a bond market revolt. The free market, whatever is left of it, is going to aggressively start shorting bonds. You will see yields spike in Europe, which is going to drag up bond yields across the globe. That’s when this thing will all unravel and unravel very, very quickly.”

In closing, Pento predicts, “The stock market is a bubble. It’s going to fall at least 50% for starters and before The Fed gets to helicopter money. You better be ready.”

By Greg Hunter | USA Watch Dog

Elite Are Prepped And Ready For The Economic Crisis

The following is an interesting overview, via X22Report.com, of our current economic situation and the behavior of the elites going into the next stage of the collapse process.

https://i1.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/03/09/20170314_world.jpg

As Alt-Market’s Brandon Smith notes, take special note of the information on the abrupt decline in bank issued loans (debt); is it not rather coincidental that as the Federal Reserve presses forward with the interest rate hiking process that credit issuance suddenly freezes up?

This is what I have been warning about since last year, and now we are watching it unfold


Lawyer Joke:

One afternoon a lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw two men along the roadside eating grass.

Disturbed, he ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate.

He asked one man, “Why are you eating grass ?”

“We don’t have any money for food,” the poor man replied. “We have to eat grass.”
“Well, then, you can come with me to my house and I’ll feed you,” the lawyer said.
“But sir, I have a wife and two children with me. They are over there eating grass under that tree”

“Bring them along,” the lawyer replied.

Turning to the second poor man he stated, “You may come with us, also.”
The other man, in a pitiful voice, then said, “But sir, I also have a wife and six children with me!”

“Bring them all as well,” the lawyer answered.

They all entered the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limousine. Once under way, one of the poor fellows turned to the lawyer and said,

“Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you.”

The lawyer replied, “Glad to do it.

You’ll really love my place.

The grass is almost a foot high.”

Did you really think there was a heart-warming lawyer story?
Look at Congress — over 300 LAWYERS

Trump vs. $20T Debt Ceiling – Coming March 15th

Former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman:  “I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th 2017.  That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015.  That holiday expires.  The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion.  It will then be law.  It will be a hard stop.  The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash.  We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate.  By summer, they will be out of cash.  Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises.  Everything will grind to a halt.  I think we will have a government shutdown.  There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace.  There will be no tax cut.  There will be no infrastructure stimulus.  There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”

Stockman also predicts very positive price moves for gold and silver as a result of the coming budget calamity.

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Despite The Recent Rise, Trend In Rates Remain Lower

Yield Bottom Is Still Ahead Of Us

Donald Trump’s victory sparked a tremendous sell-off in the Treasury market from an expectation of fiscal stimulus, but more broadly, from an expectation that a unified-party government can enact business-friendly policies (protectionism, deregulation, tax cuts) which will be inflationary and economically positive. It doesn’t take too much digging to show that the reality is different. The deluge of commentaries suggesting ‘big-reflation’ are short-sighted. Just as before last Tuesday we thought the 10yr UST yield would get below 1%, we still think this now.

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Business Cycle

No matter the President, this economic expansion is seven and a half years old (since 6/2009), and is pushing against a difficult history. It is already the 4th longest expansion in the US back to the 1700’s. As Larry Summers has pointed after 5 years of recovery, you add roughly 20% of a recession’s probability each year thereafter. Using this, there is around a 60% chance of recession now.

History also doesn’t bode well for new Republican administrations. Certainly, the circumstances were varied, but of the five new Republican administrations replacing Democrats in the 19th and 20th centuries, four of them (Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush) faced new recessions in their first year. The fifth, Warren Harding, started his administration within a recession.

Fiscal Stimulus 

Fiscal stimulus through infrastructure projects and tax cuts is now expected, but the Federal Reserve has been begging for more fiscal help since the financial crisis and it has been politically infeasible. The desire has not created the act. A unified-party government doesn’t make it any easier when that unified party is Republican; the party of fiscal conservatism. Many newer House of Representatives members have been elected almost wholly on platforms to reduce the Federal debt. Congress has gone to the wire several times with resistance to new budgets and debt ceilings. After all, the United States still carries a AA debt rating from S&P as a memento from this. Getting a bill through congress with a direct intention to increase debt will not be easy. As we often say, the political will to do fiscal stimulus only comes about after a big enough decrease in the stock market to get policy makers scared.

Also, fiscal stimulus doesn’t seem to generate inflation, probably because it is only used as a mitigation against recessions. After the U.S. 2009 Fiscal stimulus bill, the YoY CPI fell from 1.7% to 1% two years later. Japan has now injected 26 doses (link is external) of fiscal stimulus into its economy since 1990 and the country has a 0.0% YoY core CPI, and a 10yr Government bond at 0.0%.

Rate Sensitive World Economy

A hallmark of this economic recovery has been its reliance on debt to fuel it. The more debt outstanding, the more interest rates influence the economy’s performance. Not only does the Trump administration need low rates to try to sell fiscal stimulus to the nation, but the private sector needs it to survive. The household, business, and public sectors are all heavily reliant on the price of credit. So far, interest rates rising by 0.5% in the last two months is a drag on growth.

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Global Mooring

Global policies favoring low rates continue to be extended, and there isn’t any economic reason to abandon them. Just about every developed economy (US, Central Europe, Japan, UK, Scandinavia) has policies in place to encourage interest rates to be lower. To the extent that the rest of the world has lower rates than in the US, this continues to exert a downward force on Treasury yields.

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Demographics

As Japan knows and we are just getting into, aging demographics is an unmovable force against consumption, solved only with time. The percent of the population 65 and over in the United States is in the midst of its steepest climb. As older people spend less, paired with slowing immigration from the new administration, consumer demand slackens and puts downward pressure on prices.

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Conclusion

We haven’t seen such a rush to judgement of boundless higher rates that we can remember. Its noise-level is correlated with its desire, not its likelihood. While we cannot call the absolute top of this movement in interest rates, it is limited by these enduring factors and thus, we think it is close to an end. In a sentence, not only will the Trump-administration policies not be enacted as imagined, but even if they were, they won’t have the net-positive effect that is hoped for.  We think that a 3.0% 30yr UST is a rare opportunity buy.

Source: California Mortgage Broker

Only Two Sets Of Solutions As The Status Quo Crumbles

We are about to start a painful learning process about what is “impossible” and what is inevitable.

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Two charts illustrate Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform: this chart of the S-Curve of financialization, leverage, debt, central planning, regulatory capture and globalization–that is, the engines of modern “growth”–depicts the inevitable stagnation and decline of these dynamics as overcapacity, debt saturation and diminishing returns take hold.

This chart illustrates the status quo’s insistence on doing more of what has failed spectacularly: since all this worked in the boost phase, the central planning Cargo Cult’s “leadership” is convinced it will all work magically again, if only we do more of it.

Alas, this is magical thinking. One might as well paint radio dials on rocks and expect the rock to magically turn into a functioning radio.

The chart of the Seneca Cliff illustrates how the S-curve of “growth” can continue expanding even as the foundation weakens. As the foundations of real growth weaken– productivity, collateral, social mobility, etc.–the system become increasingly fragile and brittle. But this fragility is masked by the appearance of stability until a crisis cracks it wide open.

Normalcy crumbles into instability, and people and systems accustomed to stable supply chains and political stability struggle to maintain their grip on income streams and resources as abundance slips into scarcity and dependence on central planning becomes a liability of learned helplessness.

The S-curve:

https://i0.wp.com/www.oftwominds.com/photos2016/S-curve7-16.gif

Seneca Cliff:

https://i0.wp.com/www.oftwominds.com/photos2016/Seneca-Cliff3.png

There are two sets of solutions as stability and financialized “growth” slide into instability and long term contraction.

1. Acquire skills that will be increasingly scarce and a network of collaborators, customers and suppliers who value/make use of these skills.

2. Create a new mode of production that doesn’t rely on central banks, states and global finance to function: in effect, a decentralized, localized networked system that exists in parallel with the centralized hierarchies of the current mode of production which is centralized, industrialized, globalized, financialized, neofeudal, neoliberal, neocolonial, and dependent on ever-expanding leverage, debt, central planning, regulatory capture and fossil fuel consumption.

I describe the first set of solutions in my book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

The second set of solutions are the subject of my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology & Creating Jobs for All.

Ultimately, these two sets of solutions are two facets of the only solution: a more sustainable, just, efficient, decentralized, transparent and opportunity-for-all mode of production.

Naysayers love to claim that these solutions can’t possibly work for the usual array of reasons, which boil down to 1) my identity is dependent on poking holes in others’ solutions or 2) my status and livelihood are dependent on the status quo continuing exactly as it is now or 3) an un-examined faith that the current mode of production is the only possible mode of production.

Note to naysayers: the “solution” that can’t possibly work is the continuation of the status quo. There are only two pathways as the status quo arrangement destabilizes, decays and decoheres: 1) a doomed nostalgia for “solutions” that are no longer attainable (for example, Cargo Cults of “endless growth”) or 2) an alternative set of solutions that are sustainable because they are localized, networked, democratized, opt-in and self-funded.

We are about to start a painful learning process about what is “impossible” and what is inevitable. Once it becomes self-evident that the current mode of production is not sustainable, we’ll have no choice but to try more sustainable modes of production that are not just more efficient but that offer greater stability, opportunity and social mobility.

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By Charles Hugh Smith | Of Two Minds

Kmart Closing 64 More Stores, Laying Off Thousands

“Liquidation sales start September 22. Stores closed by mid-December”.

Kmart is closing 64 stores across 28 states.

Sears Holdings, which owns Sears and Kmart, informed Kmart employees of the closures on Friday, according to several local news reports and multiple employees who spoke with Business Insider.

The stores that are closing will begin liquidation sales on September 22 and close by mid-December, employees said.

Sears did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Separately on Friday, Seritage Growth Properties, a real-estate investment trust that owns 235 Sears and Kmart stores, revealed in a filing that Sears had decided to terminate leases on 17 stores, meaning it would close those stores.

According to RBC Capital Markets analysts, all 17 closures are Kmart stores and they will close by January.

The new wave of closures follows Sears’ decision to shut down nearly 80 stores — most of which were Kmart stores — in July. Moody’s analysts warned last week that Kmart doesn’t have enough cash or access to cash to stay in business. Kmart has about 870 stores today, down from about 1,300 in 2012.

Here’s a full list of stores that will close in December, according to employees:

  • Kmart #3044: Lawton, OK
  • Kmart #3180: Merrillville, IN
  • Kmart #3241: Springfield, IL
  • Kmart #3320: Houma, LA
  • Kmart #3328: New Lenox, IL
  • Kmart #3355: Panama City, FL
  • Kmart #3359: Gardendale, AL
  • Kmart #3521: Binghamton, NY
  • Kmart #3556: Elkhart, IN
  • Kmart #3594: Chicago, IL
  • Kmart #3644: Nashville, TN
  • Kmart #3695: Sierra Vista, AZ
  • Kmart #3706: Wytheville, VA
  • Kmart #3754: Martinsville, VA
  • Kmart #3814: Kearney, NE
  • Kmart #4066: Jackson, MI
  • Kmart #4095: Joliet, IL
  • Kmart #4135: Augusta, GA
  • Kmart #4162: Salt Lake City, UT
  • Kmart #4175: Canton, OH
  • Kmart #4176: Cheektowaga, NY
  • Kmart #4439: Yakima, WA
  • Kmart #4700: Fenton, MI
  • Kmart #4717: Oak Ridge, TN
  • Kmart #4739: Clarksville, TN
  • Kmart #4772: Burnham, PA
  • Kmart #4781: Macomb, IL
  • Kmart #4837: Riverton, WY
  • Kmart #4845: Manistee, MI
  • Kmart #4851: Byron Center, MI
  • Kmart #4910: Mentor, OH
  • Kmart #4917: Thornton, CO
  • Kmart #4961: Burlington, NC
  • Kmart #4970: Memphis, TN
  • Kmart #4972: Lubbock, TX
  • Kmart #4984: Tinley Park, IL
  • Kmart #7024: Scottsbluff, NE
  • Kmart #7061: New Iberia, LA
  • Kmart #7077: Harlingen, TX
  • Kmart #7174: Pikeville, KY
  • Kmart #7205: Grand Rapids, MI
  • Kmart #7216: Moorhead, MN
  • Kmart #7306: Sioux Falls, SD
  • Kmart #7356: Jonesboro, AR
  • Kmart #7412: West Valley City, UT
  • Kmart #7478: Waipahu, HI
  • Kmart #7551: Indio, CA
  • Kmart #7560: Craig, CO
  • Kmart #7587: Fontana, CA
  • Kmart #7625: Los Angeles, CA
  • Kmart #7642: Natchez, MS
  • Kmart #7718: Hixson, TN
  • Kmart #7733: Alpena, MI
  • Kmart #7755: Deming, NM
  • Kmart #7775: Lafayette, IN
  • Kmart #7795: Abilene, TX
  • Kmart #9129: Mount Airy, NC
  • Kmart #9146: Great Barrington, MA
  • Kmart #9397: West Saint Paul, MN
  • Kmart #9571: Cullman, AL
  • Kmart #9586: Sault Saint Marie, MI
  • Kmart #9623: Springdale, AR
  • Kmart #9728: Smyrna, TN
  • Kmart #9751: Cody, WY

Also Read: Moody’s: Sears’ and Kmart’s shutdown is imminent

By Hayley Peterson | Business Insider