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Daily Digest 4/3 - The End Of OPEC Is Near, Greening Arctic Ice Explained

Chris Martenson - April 3, 2017 - 07:45
  • First Post-Brexit Tremors: Theresa May "Would Go To War" To Protect Gibraltar
  • Student Debt Giant Navient to Borrowers: You’re on Your Own
  • Create Your Escape Plan Now
  • Trump Aides’ Disclosures Reveal Surge in Lucrative Political Work
  • The customer is always wrong: Tesla lets out self-driving car data – when it suits
  • How Many Robots Does It Take to Replace a Human Job?
  • The End Of OPEC Is Near 
  • Greening Of Arctic Ice Explained: Thinning Sea Ice Causing Massive Growth Of Dangerous Phytoplankton

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Categories: Economics

Promises to Coal Country Aside, Trump’s Budget Cuts Will End an Economic Lifeline

The Appalachian Regional Commission helps to create jobs and improve economic fortunes of “distressed counties” in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Categories: Economics

Promises to Coal Country Aside, Trump’s Budget Cuts Will End an Economic Lifeline

The Appalachian Regional Commission helps to create jobs and improve economic fortunes of “distressed counties” in West Virginia and Kentucky.
Categories: Economics

Sheelah Kolhatkar: Hedge Funds Are The Robber Barons Of Our Time

Chris Martenson - April 2, 2017 - 07:14

Sheelah Kolhatkar, former hedge fund analyst and staff writer at the New Yorker, thinks hedge funds have enjoyed enormous unfair advantages for far too long.

In her recent book Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street, she details out how many hedge funds use financial engineering and accounting tricks -- legal and illegal -- to fill their coffers at investor expense. And then they use those ill-gotten gains to influence politics.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 4/1 - The Growing Wealth Divide, Is Gasoline Demand On The Rise?

Chris Martenson - April 1, 2017 - 08:25
  • The growing divide between the haves and the have-nots, in one stunning chart
  • Japan's BTMU plans international fund transfers via blockchain in 2018
  • All the President's Millionaires: Trump Aides Unveil Assets
  • Famed Hacker Kevin Mitnick Shows You How to Go Invisible Online
  • What Is An Elite College Really Worth?
  • Trump signs order undoing Obama climate change policies
  • Is Gasoline Demand On The Rise?

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Categories: Economics

Doing 'Retreat' Right

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2017 - 10:08
Executive Summary
  • Understanding the difference between Artificial and Economically-Viable Communities
  • What to look for in a retreat community
  • Why regional assets matter
  • The importance of "path dependence" in a retreat location

If you have not yet read Part 1: Having A 'Retreat' Property Comes With Real Challenges available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part 1, we considered the nature of security and independence, and found that the intuitively appealing remote cabin in the woods (RCITW) is actually highly insecure and does not reduce dependence on fragile global supply chains at all—it may well increase our dependence and vulnerability to disruptions.

Security is a function of an engaged community (eyes on the street, knowing one’s neighbors, reciprocity of caring) and occupancy. The remote cabin that’s rarely occupied is the acme of insecurity.

Here in Part 2, we’ll consider the qualities that create security and resilience in communities.

Artificial Communities vs. Economically Viable Communities

If we reckon a community is a collection of dwellings, we might be tempted to view all collections of dwellings as being roughly equal. This would be a great mistake, for communities divide very naturally into artificial communities and economically viable communities.

In artificial communities, security is poor and difficult/costly to improve.  In economically viable communities, the multiple layers of stakeholders provide self-reinforcing homegrown security.

Artificial communities are consumer communities—they produce essentially nothing. Economically viable communities produce goods and services as a function of their natural-resource advantages (good soil, adequate water, river ports, coastal harbors, advantageous weather, etc.) and concentrations of capital (rail lines, banks, universities, an entrepreneurial culture supported by local government, etc.).

History has not been particularly kind to defensive strategies, which is what most artificial communities are. This is why...

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Categories: Economics

Having A 'Retreat' Property Comes With Real Challenges

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2017 - 10:07

A flurry of recent headlines has highlighted the financial elites’ interest in secure retreats (a.k.a. bug-out locations) should the trucks stop rolling. 

The intuitive solution to many, from the super-wealthy on down, is some version of a hideaway in the woods: a remote locale known only to the owner, where the owner can burrow safely away until the storm passes.

It turns out security and independence are tricky qualities, and surprising reversals are not just possible but likely: what appears to be secure at first glance might be highly insecure, and independence turns out to be highly relative.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 3/31 - Good News Friday: Homeless Aid In LA, The Dawn Of Commercial Spaceflight

Chris Martenson - March 31, 2017 - 08:41
  • We may have just witnessed the dawn of truly commercial spaceflight
  • Russian rumbling: Anti-corruption demonstrations sweep across Russia
  • Canada Is Going to Legalize Marijuana in 2018
  • Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan signs comprehensive civil rights legislation into law
  • More States To Expand Medicaid Now That Obamacare Remains Law
  • It’s a wrap: Measure H wins 69.37% in final tally for homeless aid
  • Man Collects $763,000 He Thought Was a Scam
  • For Better Health, Close Your Eyes And Do Nothing

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 3/30 - Traditionalism And Cultural Ecology, Your Private Browsing History For Sale

Chris Martenson - March 30, 2017 - 08:14
  • "Traditionalism" through the Lens of Cultural Ecology
  • 'Tickled plumb to death': These Trump voters love Obamacare and are glad it's survived
  • Monster riot control vehicle can take over streets
  • For sale: Your private browsing history
  • Ian Bremmer Says Le Pen Can Really Win and Cause Crisis
  • Death Valley Snowballs and Fiat Currencies
  • Maduro’s Last Stand: Military Takes Over Struggling Oil Sector
  • 1 Million Pounds Of Chicken Recalled Due To “Metal Objects”

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: Eggshell Markets

Chris Martenson - March 29, 2017 - 16:20

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

  • Vexing Volatility
    • How the VIX is being used to drive the markets
  • We Can't Handle Losses Anymore
    • Why the market is now incredibly vulnerable to downturns
  • Our Captive System
    • Until it breaks, the system is run to serve the banks, not us
  • The Death Of The Living Wage
    • The hollowing out of the middle class continues

Lots of sobering material packed into this week's Off The Cuff discussion between Chris and John. While there are signs of growing instability to be found nearly everywhere, both are very concerned about the extreme fragility of today's financial ""markets"". At the slightest sign of weakness, tremendous interventions now happen on a daily basis to keep prices from falling, even by a single percent.

The reason why is that the system is too vulnerable for ANY degree of loss to be sustained without fear of collapsing it.

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

Daily Digest 3/29 - Pension Crises Ahead, N.J. Credit Rating Cut 11th Time

Chris Martenson - March 29, 2017 - 07:23
  • Healthcare to triple in cost for retired Texas teachers
  • Bill aims to address high health care costs
  • Why local governments and school districts are wrestling with unfunded pension liabilities
  • Pension cuts looming for Ohio teachers and retirees
  • Pension Crisis Ahead: Why Public Employees Should Think About A Golden Nest Egg Now
  • Spain’s Social Security shortfall rises to €18.6 billion in 2016
  • Distressed Funds Find Treasure in China's Mounting Bad Debts
  • Household Debt Near Recession Levels, But This Time’s Different
  • N.J. credit rating cut for 11th time under Christie

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Project Equity's Alison Lingane on the Perks of Worker-Owned Cooperatives

Shareable Magazine - March 29, 2017 - 00:33

"Good decisions are built into worker cooperatives from the inside out," says Alison Lingane.

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Ryan Honeyman, a partner and worker-owner at LIFT Economy, interviews Alison Lingane, co-founder of Project Equity.

Project Equity is a nonprofit organization that fosters economic resiliency by demonstrating and replicating strategies to increase worker ownership.

In this interview, Lingane and Honeyman discuss:

Categories: Economics

How to Keep Businesses (and Small Towns) Alive When Owners Retire

In Kansas, a new matchmaking service is helping transition small businesses to new hands. Could it be a model for the rest of rural America?
Categories: Economics

Building a Sharing Economy Takes More Than Just a Smartphone

Shareable Magazine - March 28, 2017 - 12:31

I ran into my friend Rick the other day in a small town near our homes in northern Vermont. He was just coming out of the bookstore, holding a pink plastic bag that, I would soon learn, contained a dozen eggs from his flock of free range hens. After a bit of small talk, Rick asked, "You don't by any chance have a pair of jumper cables in your car?" I did."Would you be willing to drive over to the post office and jump my pickup truck? I’ve been trying to park on hills until I can get a new battery, but there just ain't enough slope at the post office."

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 3/28 - Deaths Of Despair, The Four Deep Drivers Of Destabilization

Chris Martenson - March 28, 2017 - 07:33
  • Is the US facing an epidemic of 'deaths of despair'? These researchers say yes
  • What the Berkshires Learned by Launching its Own Currency
  • The 21st Century’s Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The Big Four Deep Drivers of Destabilization
  • Step Free of Government Chaos
  • An Alabama Prison’s Unrelenting Descent Into Violence
  • A Dream of Clean Energy at a Very High Price
  • Texans Receive First Notices of Land Condemnation for Trump’s Border Wall
  • Trump moves decisively to wipe out Obama’s climate-change record

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Categories: Economics

Cooperativism in the Digital Era, or How to Form a Global Counter-Economy

Shareable Magazine - March 28, 2017 - 05:51

"What if this is not capitalism, but something worse?" McKenzie Wark's question eloquently summarizes the growing criticism of profit-maximizing business models within the so-called collaborative sharing economy.

Categories: Economics

The Way Toward Single-Payer Health Care—Even With This Congress

It’s likely that the Trump-Ryan failure will push state legislatures to consider expanding Medicaid—putting even more people under the public insurance system.
Categories: Economics

The Favela as a Community Land Trust: A Solution to Eviction and Gentrification?

Shareable Magazine - March 27, 2017 - 13:50

Inextricably linked to Rio de Janeiro's identity for more than a century, favelas today serve the essential function of providing affordable housing to nearly a quarter of the city's residents.

Categories: Economics

Michael Ableman: Urban Agriculture

Chris Martenson - March 27, 2017 - 10:30

Food security is a foundational cornerstone of resilience, which is why here at Peak Prosperity we recommend sourcing a substantial percentage of your food calories locally. Buy from nearby sustainable farms and, if at all possible, grow some of your own food yourself.

While many of our readers are now doing exactly this, we commonly hear how difficult it can be to follow these steps for those living in the suburbs or large cities.

In today's discussion, Michael Ableman walks us through how farming in our cities is indeed possible. In fact, it not only results in healthier foods, but in healthier communities, too.

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Categories: Economics

Michael Abelman: Urban Agriculture

Chris Martenson - March 27, 2017 - 10:30

Food security is a foundational cornerstone of resilience, which is why here at Peak Prosperity we recommend sourcing a substantial percentage of your food calories locally. Buy from nearby sustainable farms and, if at all possible, grow some of your own food yourself.

While many of our readers are now doing exactly this, we commonly hear how difficult it can be to follow these steps for those living in the suburbs or large cities.

In today's discussion, Michael walks us through how farming in our cities is indeed possible. In fact, it not only results in healthier foods, but in healthier communities, too.

Join the conversation »

Categories: Economics