Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Economy. Show all posts

Thursday, August 13, 2020

10,000,000 acres of corn flattened


On Monday, an absolutely massive “derecho” roared through the Midwest.  According to USA Today, the storm had winds of up to 112 miles per hour…
The storm had winds of up to 112 mph near Cedar Rapids, Iowa – as powerful as an inland hurricane – as it tore from eastern Nebraska across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, including Chicago and its suburbs.
Most hurricanes don’t have winds that high once they finally reach shore, and I have

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Trump is going to win

“Don’t Fight the Narrative”

It’s widely believed that the stock market looks ahead and discounts the future. But consider this November’s presidential election…
Joe Biden has a substantial lead over President Trump in the polls. But Biden’s platform is not what you would call market friendly. For example, it calls for a 39.6% tax rate on dividends and capital gains.
But the stock market is near all-time highs again, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average nearing 27,000, the S&P over 3,200 and the Nasdaq actually at record

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Golden Goose is DOA

Convention planners hope to see an industry rebound, which absolutely will not ever occur again
With McCormick Place and other halls idle, the industry tries to imagine a post-pandemic future.
By David Roeder@RoederDavid Jun 11, 2020, 6:44am CDT


Expect deep cleaning, temperature checks and masks to be part of the convention experience, experts said. Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority

Everything about McCormick Place is designed for crowds. When the people will be back is the question that preoccupies those in the meetings business, which has been at a standstill since March.

An early and sudden victim of attempts to control the spread of COVID-19, the convention shutdown

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Wealth

THE PAINTER AND THE SHUTDOWN

6a00d834515c5469e20240a51d0193200b-500wiBy John F. Di Leo - 
As we watch our jobless claims skyrocket, our businesses close, and our government print currency in an effort to make us feel better about it, this may be a good time to take a step back, and consider what economic activity really is, at its heart.  What is money?  How is wealth created?
It’s a complex question, but as bureaucrats crank up their printing presses and argue about where to send those crisp new dollar bills, we may be better off taking a step back and considering the subject “from 30,000 feet,” as the saying goes.
The Parable of the Painter
A man bought $10 worth of paint and canvas, and went to spend a sunny day at a local park.  He set up his easel at a spot with a good view, and went to work on a scene.
At the end of the day, just as he was finishing up, a passerby saw his work, and was impressed. The passerby paid him $500 for the painting, on the spot.
This is wealth creation.  The painter – through use of his creativity and skill – transformed

Monday, September 16, 2019

Trump Has Few Options to Respond to Saudi Oil Attack

President faces questions about Iran strategy with depleted national-security team

With Iranian involvement widely suspected in Saturday’s attacks, Mr. Trump faces new questions about his Iran strategy.

By Jessica Donati
Updated Sept. 15, 2019 9:06 pm ET

WASHINGTON—The attacks on Saudi Arabia’s energy-production system thrust President Trump into a fierce foreign-policy crosswind, at a time when his national security team is at its thinnest point in over a year.

With Iranian involvement widely suspected in Saturday’s attacks, Mr. Trump faces new questions about his Iran strategy, with a diminished set of tools available to escalate his “maximum pressure” campaign

Oil


If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…




stock market

In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher.  The Wall Street Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is coming.  Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Just about everything that we buy has to be moved, and moving stuff takes energy.  When the price of oil gets really high, that tends to create

Saturday, September 14, 2019

This could have an effect on the cost of energy

Saudi Arabia oil facilities ablaze after drone strikes

Media captionAbqaiq is the site of Aramco's largest oil processing plant
Drone attacks have set alight two major oil facilities run by the state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia, state media say.
Footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco's largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield.
The fires are now under control at both facilities, state media said.
A spokesman for the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen said it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks.
The military spokesman, Yahya Sarea, told al-Masirah TV, which is owned by the Houthi movement and is based in Beirut, that further attacks could be expected in the future.
He said Saturday's attack was one of the biggest operations the Houthi forces had undertaken inside Saudi Arabia and was carried out in "co-operation with the honourable people inside the kingdom".
Saudi officials have not yet commented on who they think is behind the attacks.
"At 04:00 (01:00 GMT), the industrial security teams of Aramco started dealing with fires at two of its facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais as a result of... drones," the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
"The two fires have been controlled."
Map
Abqaiq is about 60km (37 miles) south-west of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province, while Khurais, some 200km further south-west, has the country's second largest oilfield.
Saudi security forces foiled an attempt by al-Qaeda to attack the Abqaiq facility with suicide bombers in 2006.

An attack method open to all

Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent
This latest attack underlines the strategic threat posed by the Houthis to Saudi Arabia's oil installations.
The growing sophistication of the Houthis' drone operations is bound to renew the debate as to where this capability comes from. Have the Houthis simply weaponised commercial civilian drones or have they had significant assistance from Iran?
The Trump administration is likely to point the finger squarely at Tehran, but experts vary in the extent to which they think Iran is facilitating the drone campaign.
The Saudi Air Force has been pummelling targets in Yemen for years. Now the Houthis have a capable, if much more limited, ability to strike back. It shows that the era of armed drone operations being restricted to a handful of major nations is now over.
Drone technology - albeit of varying degrees of sophistication - is available to all; from the US to China, Israel and Iran... and from the Houthis to Hezbolllah.

Markets await news from key facilities

Analysis by BBC business correspondent Katie Prescott
Aramco ranks as the world's largest oil business and these facilities are significant. 
The Khurais oilfield produces about 1% of the world's oil and Abqaiq is the company's largest facility - with the capacity to process 7% of the global supply. Even a brief or partial disruption could affect the company, given their size.
But whether this will have an impact on the oil price come Monday will depend on just how extensive the damage is. Markets now have the weekend to digest information from Aramco and assess the long-term impact.
According to Richard Mallinson, geopolitical analyst at Energy Aspects, any reaction on Monday morning is likely to be muted, as markets are less worried about supply than demand at the moment, due to slower global economic growth and the ongoing trade war between the US and China.
As Aramco is preparing for its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO), it will be mindful that it needs to have communicated clearly with the market about what has happened.
The IPO is part of a reform package led by King Salman's son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to reduce the economy's reliance on oil.

Who are the Houthis?

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement has been fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.
Yemen has been at war since 2015, when President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia backs President Hadi, and has led a coalition of regional countries against the rebels.
The coalition launches air strikes almost every day, while the Houthis often fire missiles into Saudi Arabia.
Mr Sarea, the Houthi group's military spokesman, told al-Masirah that operations against Saudi targets would "only grow wider and will be more painful than before, so long as their aggression and blockade continues".
Saudi-led coalition air strike on Dhamar in Yemen, 1 SeptImage copyrightEPA
Image captionSaudi-led coalition air strikes regularly target Houthis in Yemen
Houthi fighters were blamed for drone attacks on the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction facility last month and on other oil facilities in May.
There have been other sources of tension in the region, often stemming from the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Saudi Arabia and the US both blamed Iran for attacks in the Gulf on two oil tankers in June and July, allegations Tehran denied.
In May, four tankers, two of them Saudi-flagged, were damaged by explosions within the UAE's territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman.
Saudi Arabia and then US National Security Adviser John Bolton blamed Iran. Tehran said the accusations were "ridiculous".
Tension in the vital shipping lanes worsened when Iran shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz in June, leading a month later to the Pentagon announcing the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Mr. Thomas Sowell, a great thinker.

One of my all-time most favorite economists — Thomas Sowell — turns 89 tomorrow, he was born on June 30, 1930. Here is Thomas Sowell’s webpage and here is his Wikipedia entry. Milton Friedman once said, “The word ‘genius’ is thrown around so much that it’s becoming meaningless, but nevertheless I think Tom Sowell is close to being one.” 

In my opinion, there is no economist alive today who has done more to eloquently, articulately, and persuasively advance the principles of economic freedom, limited government, individual liberty, and a free society than Thomas Sowell. In terms of both his quantity of work (at least 46 books and several thousand newspaper columns) and the consistently excellent and crystal-clear quality of his writing, I don’t

Saturday, June 15, 2019

American merchants pushing Chinese garbage

As the uncertainty and potential impact over U.S.-China tariffs war still looms large, 661 companies and associations from different industries, including retailers Walmart, Target, Costco, Macy’s and Gap, just sent a letter to the White House urging the Trump administration to do this: Get back to the negotiating table and resolve trade tariffs spat with China. 
“We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs," according to the letter sent Thursday by Tariffs Hurt The Heartland, the largest nationwide business community effort against tariffs and backed by more than 150 trade groups across retail, tech, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. “Additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the U.S. economy. Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China’s unfair trade practices. Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies….not China.”
Trump administration has already raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on about $200 billion of furniture and

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Pork shortage

A plague of epic proportions is ripping through the global pig population, and CNBC is warning that this unprecedented outbreak of African swine fever “could lead to significant shortages” of pork in the global marketplace.  As you will see below, the price of pork has already risen 38 percent over the last 4 weeks, and it appears inevitable that it will go a lot higher as this crisis continues to intensify.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

How the Federal Reserve May Try to Lift the Economy From the Next Recession

Of late it has been raising chirps about negative interest rates and permanent quantitative easing.

Why such talk in an allegedly strong economy?
Neither policy has proven effective… incidentally.
Now our agents inform us former chair Janet Yellen is out stumping for her former employer:
Said she, “Global central banks don’t have adequate crisis tools.”
What might these be?
In September 2016 she perhaps let the feline out of the bag. She suggested the Federal Reserve could help the economy if it were allowed to purchase stocks and

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Food prices are about to shoot up


We have never seen anything like this before.  According to satellite data that was just released by Reuters, “at least 1 million acres of U.S. farmland” were covered by water for at least seven days this month.  That is an agricultural disaster without equal in modern American history, and yet the mainstream media is treating this like it is some sort of second class story.  It isn’t.  This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far, and people want to know what is going on.  A few days ago, I posted a story entitled ‘“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months’, and it has already been shared on social media

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Historic, Widespread Flooding “Through May” – Food Prices To Skyrocket As 1000s Of Farms Are Destroyed

We have never seen catastrophic flooding like this, and the NOAA is now telling us that there will be more major flooding for at least two more months.  On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that “historic, widespread flooding” would “continue through May”.  More than 90 percent of the upper Midwest and Great Plains is currently covered by an average of 10.7 inches of snow, and all of that snow is starting to melt.  That means that we are going to transition from one of the worst winters in modern history to a flood season that has already taken an apocalyptic turn for farmers all across America.  At this moment, millions of acres of

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Here it comes......housing slowdown

Las Vegas Housing Weakness Signals the Slowdown Is Spreading 

Market has shifted in recent weeks; ‘Any property we’re pulling up right now, it’s reduction, reduction, reduction’ 

The current weakness in the Las Vegas housing market is being driven by a sense of panic in buyers and sellers who remember the last crash, real-estate brokers and analysts say.
The current weakness in the Las Vegas housing market is being driven by a sense of panic in buyers and sellers who remember the last crash, real-estate brokers and analysts say.PHOTO: MARK RALSTON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
The national housing slowdown is spreading to markets like Las Vegas and Phoenix, where prices still haven’t reclaimed their pre-crisis peaks. 
After home values rose sharply this year, the market has shifted in recent weeks. Prices fell slightly in November while the inventory of unsold homes in the Las Vegas region has roughly doubled compared with a year earlier, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. Existing home sales slowed nearly 12% in November compared with a year earlier. 
Angela Hutchins, a Las Vegas realtor, said price cuts of up to tens of thousands of dollars are now common. “Any property that we’re pulling up right now, it’s reduction, reduction, reduction,” she said.
The share of Las Vegas-area listings with price cuts rose sharply to 23% in October from 11% a year earlier, according to Zillow.
This year’s slowdown began in some of the hottest markets like Seattle and Denver, which rebounded early from the housing crash. Prices in these markets are still 30% to 70% above their previous peaks.
Now these cities are looking less like an exception and more like leaders of a broader national slowdown that is spreading to less expensive markets—Tampa, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Las Vegas—that haven’t fully recovered from the prior crash.
The recent weakness in these markets is driven less by lack of affordability, as it has been in places like Seattle and Denver, but rather by a sense of panic among buyers and sellers for whom the memory of the last crash is still fresh, real-estate brokers and housing analysts say.
Las Vegas was “the poster child of the housing crash in 2008,” said Vivek Sah, director of the LIED Institute for Real Estate Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “There are some buyers who are not pulling the trigger because of that.”
The deceleration in these less expensive markets suggests that the housing slowdown isn’t a temporary blip but could become a longer-term shift to a more sluggish national housing market in the months to come.
In Las Vegas, where home prices fell the furthest of any major market in the country, the median home price remains about 7% below its previous peak of $315,000 more than a decade ago.
But prices were still rising up to October thanks to a surge in buyers priced out of California, new jobs in the region from growing data centers, and the planned relocation of the Oakland Raiders football team to Las Vegas in 2020.
The median home price shot up from $265,000 at the beginning of this year to $300,000 in September, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. In September—the most recently available data—Las Vegas was the only market in the country covered by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index that saw double-digit price appreciation.
In recent weeks the market has shifted, and prices declined to roughly $295,000 in November. Still, the slowdown is nascent trend in many of these metropolitan areas, and the market could yet rebound during the typically busier spring selling season. 
However, Mr. Sah said buyers in the region are much more cautious than they were a decade ago, when many people bought multiple homes near the peak of the market. Now, after seeing prices shoot up, many sellers have rushed to put their homes on the market before prices came back down at the same time as buyers have put on the brakes, real-estate agents said.
Fitch Ratings has also been warning that Las Vegas is one of the most overheated markets in the country based on a growing disconnect between prices and rents and incomes.
Chris Bishop, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, said he expects the number of homes for sale in the region to continue growing. He views this as a normalization of the market, rather than an echo of the prior crash. Currently there are about 7,000 homes on the market, whereas during the last crash inventory swelled to more than 20,000 homes.
“We saw the job market tanking and people buying brand-new houses. That doesn’t even make sense,” he said. “We don’t see that anymore.”
Indeed, there are few signs that homeowners are stretched too thin. The share of mortgages in the Las Vegas area that are 30 days or more delinquent was just 3.9% in September compared to nearly 25% at the bottom of the last housing crash, according to CoreLogic Inc.
In Phoenix, another prominent victim of the housing bust, a similar malaise has recently overtaken the market. Sales of new homes were down more than 20% from mid-October to mid-November compared with a year earlier to their lowest level in two years, according to Jim Belfiore, founder and preside

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Must read....not for the feeble or presumptuous minded

Told the truth
The All-Pervasive Military/Security Complex


The article below by Professor Joan Roelofs is reproduced with permission from CounterPunch.
The article appeared in the print edition of CounterPunch Vol. 25, No. 3, and is available online at https://joanroelofs.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/insecurity-blanket.pdf 
The article is long but very important and is worth a careful read. It shows that the military/security complex has woven itself so tightly into the American social, economic, and political fabric as to be untouchable. President Trump is an extremely brave or foolhardy person to take on this most powerful and pervasive of all US institutions by trying to normalize US relations with Russia, chosen by the military/security complex as the “enemy” that justifies its enormous budget and power. 
In 1961 President Eisenhower in his last public address to the American people warned us

Thursday, May 24, 2018

UBI being pushed now

Alice in Wonderland’s White Queen believed six impossible things before breakfast.
Today’s guardians of opinion demand we believe six more... and another dozen by lunch.
That the mainstream news is precisely and invariably accurate, for example.
That deficits do not matter.
Or that a man offered $15 an hour to loaf will decline it for a job that only pays him $10.
Thus we arrive at the glittering gem of universal basic income, or “UBI.”
UBI is an idea gaining traction among those given to believing impossible things — college

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Buybacks

The Stock Market Cannot Crash in 2018

The stock market cannot crash in 2018.
This we have on excellent authority… and we encourage you to plan accordingly.
Put away all fear of trade war, geopolitical fireworks or Federal Reserve botchwork.
The stock market cannot crash this year.
What evidence brings us to this happy conclusion?