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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Financial Advice Fails - As Everybody Becomes Poorer

Platinum Wealth Partners’ Insights

There are tipping point indicators in  any directions you care to explore. Stock markets are being crushed, economies are heading towards long slumps, Europe faces a migration crisis, technology doesn't help, and moreover - everyone is becoming poorer. 

A deeper look into these indicators and many more; suggests we are operating beyond the planet's physical capacities and the constraints imposed by limits to growth.

August 27, 2015

Real Household Net Worth:

 Look Out Below?

In my last post I pointed out that over the last half century, every time the year-over-year change in Real Household Net Worth went negative (real household wealth decreased), a recession had either started, or was about to.  (One bare exception: a tiny decline in Q4 2011, which looks rather like turbulence following The Big Whatever.) Throughout, click for source. - 

The problem: we don’t see this quarterly number until three+ months after the end of a quarter, when the Fed releases its Z.1 report for the the preceding quarter. The Q2 2015 report is due September 18.

But right now we might be able to roughly predict what we’re going to see four+ months from now, in the report on our current quarter, Q3, which ends September 30. We’re a bit over a month from the end the quarter, and we have some numbers to hand.

The U.S. equity markets are down roughly 7% year-over-year

South Africa's economy contracts, risk of recession grows

PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa's economy shrank for the first time in more than a year during the second quarter of 2015, raising the risk that labour disputes and slowing Chinese demand for commodities could push it towards recession.
The economic strain will inhibit the central bank from raising rates further to protect a weak currency and target inflation, while also torpedoing government efforts to keep deficits in check and protect its credit ratings.

Afghan migrants arrive on the Greek island of Kos after crossing from Turkey to Greece

A record 107,500 migrants crossed the EU borders last month to outstrip the previous monthly record in June of 70,000. During the first seven months there were nearly 340,000 migrants, up from 123,500 last year,

Warring Migrant Tribes, Grenade Attacks…What Is Going On In Sweden?

A Police officer secures on December 16,
if you bring intolerant people into your country this is what can happen

Not only how we deal with the world and make sense of it, or interact with each other, but also how we look at ourselves and understand our own nature, existence, and responsibilities. 
This is the IT version of my book The Great Field (available in Kindle books).

$2.1 Trillion Erased From U.S. Stocks In Six Days

The enormous losses reflect the deep fears gripping markets about how the world economy will fare amid a deepening economic slowdown in China.

The DowS&P 500 and Nasdaq have all tumbled into correction territory, their first such 10% decline from a recent high since 2011.
The S&P 500 -- the best barometer for the biggest U.S. companies -- has lost trillions of market value in the six-day selloff through Tuesday, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
To put those losses into perspective, that's roughly equal to the combined market value of these corporate titans put together:
 Apple (AAPLTech30)Google(GOOGLTech30)Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA)ExxonMobil (XOM)Facebook (FBTech30)Walmart(WMT) and 21st Century Fox (FOXA).

Originally Published 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Since 2000 Real GDP Grew 31.6%, But Wages Are Flat?

Platinum Wealth Partners

Markets were momentary inspired by Buffet’s latest blockbuster deal  and shenanigans that turned over the downward sentiment of the past seven trading-sessions. But the old guy in Omaha is not the world, and the real world could actually care less about what Berkshire did, does, or doesn’t do. Markets, however, being collectively neurotic by nature, care for short time spurts -   that is until the next trendy thought or event captures its child-like focus and limited imagination – thus the game goes on..   

A brief review of the real world concludes that there is little to be exuberant about. In addition to Greece,SpainItaly and perhaps the rest of the Eurozone, along with other nations, all account for many top Western economies who are  in critical distress. Some are near terminal. Meanwhile, bad debt at Chinese banks continues to accelerate, as expected, Resource economies are seeing exports drop for commodities. Australia’s  coal industry is now on the watch list ; so is Norway’s oil industry.  Bonds for the Eurozone are now paying negative returns, indicating that there are no “Real Economy “investments for notional capital. Japan’s consumer confidence is dropping faster than a hockey’s player’s gloves in a big-game  fight , each month. Russia’s GDP fell sharply, by 4.5%; it is getting hammered by both sanctions and resource issues. Taiwan too is lowering market yields. BrazilVenezuelaMexico, and no doubt many more South and Central American countries, are basket-cases. Then there is the Ukraineand its Slovak and Eastern European neighbours, who are all experiencing hardships.

 Still, an even  bigger concern are countries in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, where the economic optics are limited, distorted or non- existent, but one may conclude with confidence that given  the extent of wars, starvation, medical deprivation and extra-ordinary waves of migration to less-marginal neighbouring countries, that most of these economies are also terminal cases with little hope of recovery to  sustainable levels for their indigenous populations. Overpopulation is thus rampant everywhere.

In the meantime, most folks in North America are getting poorer, since 2000,  as “The Tale Of Two Charts” ndicates below - and more importantly, they do not participate at all in the real GDP growth. It looks  much worse too, as per capita incomes are going backwards while  drowning in the temporary relief from more debt at all levels, to keep a broken  consumer  consumption system hobbling along. Pensions and medical services are also in peril in both  developing and developed countries.

So indeed, markets may be neurotically happy for a brief moment enjoying  the usual relief reactions, despite what is plain and clear to object analysis and evaluation. Meaning, the iceberg’s damage has but one inescapable conclusion – so what the heck, why not rearrange the deck chairs with Uncle Warren, while having the ship’s band play merrily along - once more?

Knowing that in the end, reality is a cruel mistress - who promises wide-spread currency wars (devaluations –  already ChinaJapanAustralia are suspects…), and trade protectionism with its consequential and expanding global conflicts!

Good Luck; Be Careful Out There!

Where Did the GDP "Growth" Go? Not into Wages

How can the economy grow by roughly one-third in real dollars while real median household income drops like a rock?
Based on gross domestic product (GDP), the U.S. economy has grown smartly since 2000: GDP rose from 10,031 in 2000 to 17,840 in mid-2015. That's an increase of 77.8%.

A Tale of Two Charts

Ironically - the same old French story - Storm the Bastille?

The Permian Basin in West Texas remains one of the few bright spots compared to other shale basins in North America. Drilling there is still profitable, with low costs and existing infrastructure. A series of pipelines have come online in West Texas over the past year, eliminating the discount that Permian oil traded at compared to the WTI benchmark. The Wall Street Journal notes that RSP Permian (NYSE: RSPP), a Permian driller, successfully sold new equity, a sign that investors are still keen on drillers in the basin. RSP sought to raise funds to complete acquisitions and the company raised $157.5 million by selling new stock this week. There is a lot of speculation about when and to what extent lenders and equity investors will pull out of the shale sector, but RSP’s successful offering demonstrates that there is still an appetite for shale companies among investors.

  With just one model on sale to support all its R&D, it's understandable why a share sale might be on the horizon. When you look at Tesla's finances the same way that GM and Ford report theirs (generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP), the company lost nearly $15,000 per car this last quarter. Although Tesla says this number is more than covered by income from EVs it leases direct to customers, designing and developing cars is neither cheap nor simple, and the company will need cash to grow into a multiple-model lineup.

Farmer Ryan Rogers checks on a generator at Homestead Dairy in Plymouth, Indiana, which invested in a biogas recovery system whiThe Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than three million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated last year by Homestead and the 246 other US livestock farms which have installed biogas recovery systems.
That's equivalent to taking more than 630,000 cars off the road.

The Mongstad oil and gas refinery, part-owned by Statoil ASA, is near Bergen, Norway.
Oil is losing value just as investments in the petroleum industry are heading for the biggest drop since 2000. To cope with the shift, companies such as Statoil ASA started restraining spending more than six months before Brent crude started to tumble.

As Economic Malaise Grows, Brazil 

Budget Deficit Hits All Time Record

June’s result means that the government's budget deficit reached a record breaking 8.1% of GDP -- one of the highest across emerging and developed economies and the highest in Brazil since the beginning of current data in 1995.

Learning Success: 

APPLY Tips From The Best


Indra Nooyi,  PepsiCo , another of  100 Most Powerful Women - Forbes, has not only led her company to record financial results but is making strides to move PepsiCo in a healthier direction, leading the courageous charge to shed traditional fast food properties and to replace them with initiatives to supply healthier foods. She is deeply caring and committed as a senior executive. She is a fun-loving executive as well—she played lead guitar for an all-woman rock band in college, loved to play cricket, and is known to sing karaoke and perform at corporate gatherings to this day. Yes, I have been known to relate to her fun-loving spirit as a senior executive as well.

Originally Published

Platinum Wealth Partners

Friday, August 7, 2015

WAR ON MIGRATION Hits Europe - Overpopulation Now Critical Issue, & More

Global Digest Comments

"In just a few short decades life on earth has changed dramatically.  
For in 1961 regimes were building walls to keep people in, and thus stop the national outflow of people. Today, we are ironically rebuilding those same walls to keep people out.  So we  will now need Churchill to rewrite his famous speech and come up with a new metaphoric term  that defines the "New Iron Curtain" that has descended upon so many nations; including the USA, around the globe.

Quite simply, we are facing "Wars On Migration" everywhere because the relationship between geographic carrying capacity and national population numbers are stressed to the limits. These are clear signs that we have reached the overall limits to growth on the planet as forewarned by MIT computer models in the 70's. You can thus expect that things are going to get much worse, before they ever get better.

The overpopulation crisis is also manifesting in many other ways, but what is clear and apparent is that urgent measures are needed to significantly reduce human populations to more harmonious and sustainable levels, before nature has its last word.

And you can rest assured - those will be very unpleasant words, indeed."

“Mass migration could change the face of Europe's civilisation. It is irreversible, There is no way back from a multicultural Europe. Neither to a Christian Europe, nor to the world of national cultures,. If we make a mistake now, it will be forever,"

 Italian policemen in riot gear stand as residents and far right demonstrators protest against a migrants' arrival in the area in Rome, Friday, July 17, 2015. (Massimo Percossi/ANSA via AP)

 Syrian refugees in June on the Syrian side of the border crossing at Akcakale.

Now the most walled region in the world, and range from fences inside cities to anti-migrant barriers.

Organic certification is process-based. That is, certifying agents attest to the ability of organic operations to follow a set of production standards and practices which meet the requirements of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the [National Organic Program] regulations . . . If all aspects of the organic production or handling process were followed correctly, then the presence of detectable residue from a genetically modified organism alone does not constitute a violation of this regulation.

Young men charge towards the truck, clambering onto the top with pipes, which are then lowered into the tank. Others push the drums in place - there's a mad scramble to fill them up with clean water.
Fights break out as some people are pushed out of the way.

Queue for water in Delhi



July 31, 2015

Dr Peter G Kinesa's Digest 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Plant Life Destruction Forecasts Humanity's Fate, & More

"If human beings do not go extinct, and biomass drops below sustainable thresholds, the population will decline drastically, and people will be forced to return to life as hunter-gatherers or simple horticulturalists, according to the paper."

Human domination of the biosphere: Rapid discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind


Number of years of phytomass food potentially available to feed the global human population. Graphic: Schramski, et al., 2015 / PNASEarth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7 billion, and to transform the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity of the earth. This rapid discharge of the earth’s store of organic energy fuels the human domination of the biosphere, including conversion of natural habitats to agricultural fields and the resulting loss of native species, emission of carbon dioxide and the resulting climate and sea level change, and use of supplemental nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources. The laws of thermodynamics governing the trickle-charge and rapid discharge of the earth’s battery are universal and absolute; the earth is only temporarily poised a quantifiable distance from the thermodynamic equilibrium of outer space. Although this distance from equilibrium is comprised of all energy types, most critical for humans is the store of living biomass. With the rapid depletion of this chemical energy, the earth is shifting back toward the inhospitable equilibrium of outer space with fundamental ramifications for the biosphere and humanity. Because there is no substitute or replacement energy for living biomass, the remaining distance from equilibrium that will be required to support human life is unknown.

The Humanitarian’s Dilemma

As the humanitarian crisis deepens for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Doctors Without Borders is trying to heal their wounds without enabling the occupation. As the suffering has become normalized, we have been questioning the wisdom of our presence. This is the humanitarian’s dilemma: how to alleviate the suffering of a population while not enabling the powers at the root of the pain. Today, due to settlements, byways, checkpoints, and military deployments, Palestinians can inhabit less than 40 percent of the West Bank.

bnef storage prices

Adding one kilowatt-hour of battery storage raises that cost slightly, but is still well below the cost of the grid-sourced power. Even 5kWh of battery storage can be installed and still costs are below that of the grid.

It is the major route for immigrants into Europe.

If Taylor’s brand of philanthropy looks less like charity and more like commerce and politics, that’s on purpose. Her charitable giving spans more than two decades; at first she concentrated on education and cultural causes, donating money directly to organizations. But philanthropy alone, she says, cannot put a dent in the world’s problems unless it’s somehow connected to business and the social compact — and to society’s main institutions.

Remotely hacking and disabling a car's brake system, also the ability to jerk the steering wheel at will, with a simple laptop is not just on the horizon, it's here. As early as 2013, hackers were able to remotely gain access to cars and control them, including their brakes and lock systems. More recently, a $60 DIY device has been released which makes car hacking easier than ever. And this is what's going down before driverless cars hit the road.

Saudi Arabia Finally Gives Up

Saudi Arabia has long said that it has loads of untapped reserves and would, within a few years, be on track to increase oil production from 10 million barrels per day to as much as 15 million barrels of oil per day. But Saudi production has stayed stubbornly at 10 million barrels.