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Daily Digest 5/20 - Trump Won't Break Up Big Banks, Who's Hiring and Who's Firing

Chris Martenson - May 20, 2017 - 08:46
  • Employment: Pick a Number, Any Number
  • It's Official: The Trump Administration Won't Break Up Big Banks
  • Betsy DeVos hits hard reset on student loan servicing contracts
  • Who’s Hiring? (Software Companies) Who’s Firing? (Hardware)
  • Brain Region Found to be Associated With Fear of Uncertain Future
  • Silver: Train Leaving Station Soon
  • New French Science Minister Appointed
  • The Painful Truth About Teeth 
  • America's Largest Pension Fund Has Dumped a Fortune Into Monsanto Stock
  • The Secret Life Of Urban Crows

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Categories: Economics

Prepare For The Great Global Contraction

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2017 - 17:01
Executive Summary
  • The repercussions of the Fed's Free Money Machine
  • Why debt-funded state control stagnates productivity
  • The importance of the 8-year cycle
  • What should guide investors' focus and decisions

If you have not yet read Part 1: How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we asked these questions: can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, we asked: is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely?

Let’s start by looking at the mechanism that funds the government’s deficit spending, i.e. its ability to borrow and spend enormous sums of money year after year.

The Free Money Machine

The state can afford to continue or increase fiscal stimulus (deficit spending) because the central bank (the Federal Reserve) has created what amounts to a free money machine. Here’s how the machine works.

The federal government issues $1 trillion in new bonds to fund another $1 trillion in deficit spending. The central bank (Federal Reserve) creates $1 trillion with a few keystrokes, and buys the $1 trillion in bonds with newly created money.

The Federal Reserve earns interest on the $1 trillion in bonds it now owns, but it returns this income to the Treasury, minus the Federal Reserve’s relatively modest expenses of operation. Let’s say the bonds carry an interest rate of 2.5%.  The government pays the Federal Reserve $25 billion in annual interest, and the Federal Reserve returns $20 billion annually, so the net cost of borrowing and spending $1 trillion is an insignificant $5 billion.

If this isn’t entirely free money, it’s extremely close to free money.

So in ten years, the Federal Reserve owns $10 trillion more in federal bonds (assuming the bonds are long-term and didn’t mature).

It's no wonder that some economist propose...

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Categories: Economics

How Long Can The Great Global Reflation Continue?

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2017 - 17:01

Given the extraordinary failure of both Keynesian stimulus and private-sector credit growth to create a self-sustaining cycle of expansion whose benefits flow to the entire workforce rather than to the top few percent, what can we expect going forward? Can we just keep doubling and tripling the economy’s debt load every few years? What if household incomes continue declining? Are these trends sustainable?

In the near-term, is this Great Reflation running out of steam, or is it poised for yet another leg higher? Which is more likely?

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/19 - Good News Friday: Rooftop Agriculture In Brooklyn, The Secret to Killing Superbugs

Chris Martenson - May 19, 2017 - 07:54
  • 50 floating screens will clean the Pacific garbage patch next year
  • Coastal Liberals Look Out: The Working Class Is the New Face of Activism
  • For Voting Rights Advocates, Court Decision Is ‘Temporary Victory’
  • New York’s Legislature Is On The Brink Of Passing Universal Healthcare
  • This wasn't just a primary victory. This was a revolution
  • Brooklyn’s Newest Condo Amenity: Rooftop Agricultural Plots
  • Where a solar roof works and where it doesn’t
  • Komodo Dragon Blood May Hold the Secret to Killing Superbugs

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: Volatility Attacks!

Chris Martenson - May 18, 2017 - 23:03

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Volatility Attacks!
    • The market calm is suddenly shattered
  • Trading A Credit Crisis For A Currency Crisis
    • How all this ultimately ends
  • Misuse & Abuse Of Power
    • Is the norm these days, not the exception
  • The Coming Reset
    • Yes, it will be painful. But let's focus on what we want to come afterwards

In this week in which volatility in the markets -- which has been MIA for longer than any other time in history -- has suddenly come roaring back, Chris and John focus on the inherent fragility of the financial system, which is now utterly dependent on continued central bank subsidization. 

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.

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Categories: Economics

Q&A: David Bollier on the Potential of the Commons

Shareable Magazine - May 18, 2017 - 10:05

David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger, and consultant who spends a lot of time exploring the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. In 2010, he co-founded the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that works to promote the commons internationally. He was also founding editor of and a fellow of On the Commons from 2004 to 2010. He has written, co-authored, or co-edited 12 books.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/18 - The Malware That Wreaked Chaos, Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply?

Chris Martenson - May 18, 2017 - 07:03
  • The Malware That Wreaked Global Chaos
  • Fluxology revisited — how Steven Chu will save us
  • Payoffs From Putin to Trump? McCarthy Says No, He Was Just Kidding
  • Falling U.S. Jobless Claims Add to Signs of Labor Tightness
  • $6.40 an hour for nine years: how I got stuck in a career as a Walmart employee
  • US immigration arrests surge 40% under Donald Trump
  • Has Global Oil Demand Really Surpassed Supply?
  • Where Have All The Insects Gone?

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Categories: Economics

How to Set Up a Community Co-op

Shareable Magazine - May 17, 2017 - 08:38

Before joining the Institute for Solidarity Economics recently, I spent the last five years working for rural communities charity the Plunkett Foundation, an organization which supports the establishment of community co-operatives. Community co-operatives are businesses which trade primarily for the benefit of their community. Controlled by the community themselves, they have open and voluntary membership and, crucially, they encourage people to get involved – either by becoming a member, or by volunteering time or getting involved in another way.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/17 - Playing Catch-Up On Pension Funding, Italy Inflation and Debt Rise

Chris Martenson - May 17, 2017 - 06:32
  • Vermont Health Insurer Asks to Increase Rates 12.7 Percent
  • Fairfield pension costs projected to reach $37.5M yearly
  • Playing catch-up on public pension funding
  • Forget Puerto Rico, What About U.S. States' Soaring Pension Debts?
  • Gov. Malloy Revises Budget To Plug $2.5 Billion Deficit
  • Italy Inflation, Debt Rise
  • Italian economy to shrink slightly this year: S&P

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Taking a Systems Approach to Designing the New Economy

Shareable Magazine - May 17, 2017 - 00:51

"It's not enough to build your own company, you have to participate in building the whole ecosystem," says Jeffrey Hollender. In this episode of Next Economy Now, Kevin Bayuk, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Jeffrey Hollender, founder of Seventh Generation, the American Sustainable Business Council and Sustain Natural among other enterprises and organizations.

Categories: Economics

Yes, We Can Choose Good Globalization

The integration of knowledge, science, hospitality, and travel can have huge benefits for human connections and peace.
Categories: Economics

Podcast: Why Societies Based on Equality do Better

Shareable Magazine - May 16, 2017 - 13:23

You probably already know that levels of inequality have reached staggering heights in the 21st century. Perhaps you've come across Oxfam's report detailing how the world's eight richest men own as much wealth as the poorest half of the population. Or maybe you heard Senator Bernie Sanders' assertion that 99 percent of all new income since the financial crisis has gone to the top one percent.

Categories: Economics

Meet g0v, the Open-source, Digital Community Transforming Democracy in Taiwan

Shareable Magazine - May 16, 2017 - 12:45

In 2014, a digital-driven movement emerged in Taiwan that challenged the former ruling party Kuomintang's move to fast-track the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement. The members of the movement felt the trade deal between China and Taiwan would impinge on Taiwan's sovereignty. The Sunflower Movement, a youth-driven, tech-savvy, cross-sectoral coalition, occupied the Taiwanese Parliament for more than three weeks.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/16 - Paper vs. Physical Silver, Everything Bubble: Code Red

Chris Martenson - May 16, 2017 - 08:52
  • Millennial to Millionaire: Stop Blaming Avocado Toast for Why We’re Not Buying Houses
  • Trump confirms he shared intel with Russia’s foreign minister
  • Selected Articles: The North Korea Nuclear Issue
  • PAPER vs. PHYSICAL: The Amazing Amount Of Leverage In The Silver Market
  • Everything Bubble: Code Red
  • Congress Is Coming After Your 401(k)
  • Anti-net neutrality spammers are flooding FCC's pages with fake comments
  • Artificial Intelligence Is Crucial For The Energy Industry
  • How a Melting Arctic Changes Everything Part II: The Political Arctic

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Categories: Economics

But Wait, U.S. Bank Has Not Stopped Funding Pipelines

Despite announcing its intent to stop pipeline project loans, U.S. Bank still gives massive amounts of general financing to oil giants who build pipelines. Will it stop that?
Categories: Economics

More On 'Being' (Free Webinar)

Chris Martenson - May 15, 2017 - 18:48

On this coming Monday, May 22 at 4pm EST, Chris and Becca will hop online to expound on key practices that can help each of us navigate how we want to "be" in the arriving future. And they'll leave ample time for live audience Q&A.

If the time of the webinar is inconvenient for you, don't worry. Everyone who registers for it will receive a link to an archive video of the webinar, which you can replay to your hearts content.

If this of interest to you, register now for this free webinar.

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Categories: Economics

Q&A: NASA's Amy Kaminski on Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation Tools

Shareable Magazine - May 15, 2017 - 14:51

Can open innovation stimulate critical improvements and breakthroughs that will provide direct benefits to the world? In recent years, many organizations have turned to open innovation to solve their toughest challenges and address their R&D needs.

Categories: Economics

Why the 'Power of Cities Deserves to be Explored'

Shareable Magazine - May 15, 2017 - 14:20

Cities must prepare for a greater political role, but without retreating into isolation. This is the opinion of Arthur De Grave, veteran member of the OuiShare Collective, who will be tackling the question of cities as self-contained polities at the OuiShare Fest 2017.

Categories: Economics

Commons Governance as a Means and an End

Shareable Magazine - May 15, 2017 - 13:49

My son Jake was born on Dec. 20, 2009. He was premature. He weighed less than five pounds. When my wife's maternity leave ran out five months later, we had to arrange childcare because we both worked. We had three choices:

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 5/15 - How Venezuela Got To The Brink Of Collapse, Is Our Kids' Diet Making Them Sick?

Chris Martenson - May 15, 2017 - 06:30
  • CT takes another credit rating hit on Wall Street
  • Why We Should Be Concerned About Low Oil Prices
  • Your Vote Didn't Count, and the Board Didn't Tell You in Time to Do Anything About It
  • How Venezuela Stumbled to the Brink of Collapse
  • The Economist Who Helped Write Trump’s Tax Plan in Five Days
  • Here’s Why You’ll Pay Higher Gas Prices Whatever The Market
  • GloBull Warming Hokum On 'Earth Day'
  • Is Our Kids' Diet Making Them Sick?
  • Sullied seasoning: Sea salts come with a dash of microplastics

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Categories: Economics