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Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit Ain't Over' til It's Over

Brexit May Well Never Happen

The “Leave” campaign won an unexpectedly decisive majority in Thursday’s referendum on Britain’s EU membership. So why do Brexit’s biggest backers already seem so discombobulated? 

Commenters described “Leave” icon and possible next prime minister Boris Johnson as “rather pale” and “uncharacteristically subdued” the morning after. Nigel Farage, the leader of the U.K. Independence Party, spent Friday morning distancing himself from the “Leave” campaign’s promise that Britain’s EU funds would be redirected to the National Health Service; and Tory European Parliament member Daniel Hannan admitted that renegotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU wouldn’t actually decrease immigration. Sorry, “Leave” voters who wanted to either curb immigration or fund the NHS! (That’s pretty much all of them.)

Deadly, record-breaking heat and wildfires sweeping across US are a clear sign of manmade climate change

The high temperatures have hampered firefighters' efforts to put out blazes that started before the heat set in. In New Mexico, the North Fire has grown to cover over 36,000 acres,

It Felt Like 71 C in India on June 13th
Some of the highest hea values ever recorded on earth. The delay of India’s monsoon is a pretty big deal. It reduce the amount of moisture necessary for the provision of life-giving crops for this country of 1.2 billion, and it increases life threatening heatwaves.

Greenland Hits Record 75°F, Sets Melt Record 


Climate Emergency Declaration

Australian Parliament must declare a climate emergency. the alarming spike in global temperatures as in the bleaching of the Reef. Insist our leaders stop playing political games and stand together to draw a line in the sand. 

Click here to 

Friday, June 24, 2016

#Brexit "HUGE VICTORY" For #UK Democracy, Liberty and Sovereignty

World Markets Roiled by Brexit as Stocks, Pound Drop; Gold Soars

Global markets buckled as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union drove the pound to the lowest in more than 30 years while sparking demand for haven assets from U.S. Treasuries to gold.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 587 points, or 3.4 percent, erasing gains for 2016 as bank shares plunged. European stocks bore the brunt of the carnage, with the Stoxx 600 Index sliding 7 percent in its worst day since October 2008. The yen briefly strengthened past 100 per dollar for the first time since 2013. Treasury yields had their biggest drop in more than four years and gold rallied above $1,300 an ounce. Volatility surged, with the CBOE’s measure of anxiety jumping 30 percent.
“This is going to take a large number of trading days, if not weeks, to iron through,” said Stephen Wood, who helps manage $237 billion as chief market strategist for North America at Russell Investments in New York. “‘There were a lot of surprise positions that had be unwound very, very quickly -- that’s been a significant phenomenon. Some of that will probably be re-traced. Initial reactions tend to be more extreme than long-term averages.”

Why Britain Voted to Leave the EU

Is The “Official 9/11 Story” Coming Apart At The Seams?

It seems that Washington is clearly setting the Saudis up to take the fall should the 9/11 cover-up start to unravel. The Saudis can already see the guns being pointed at its direction. This has the potential to bring an end to the strategic alliance between Washington and Saudi Arabia. 

Saudis Exert Pressure to Escape UN Blacklist

If they were not removed from the annex to the UN’s annual report on children and armed conflict, the Saudis had threatened to cut off millions of dollars in humanitarian funding.

Mass Exodus of Oil Companies From the Arctic

With the departure of a Spanish oil company from the Chukchi Sea, only Shell still holds a drilling lease in U.S. Arctic waters. Here’s why an Arctic oil boom never happened and why it probably never will.

The Cost of Proposed Offshore Drilling $180 Billion 

The net increase in global carbon emissions from those leases over their lifespans would be 850 million metric tons of C02 = the annual emissions of 3.6 million vehicles over fifty years. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

British Debt Spirals To New Heights

George Osborne's shame as Britain's debt tops £1.6TRILLION amid borrowing spiral

THE Chancellor has been left red-faced after Britain's debt surged to £1.606 TRILLION last month, as the Government continues to borrow billions more than expected, figures revealed today.

Despite pledging to get Britain's finances back on track, George Osborne continues to oversee state spending outpace income by billions of pounds, according to estimates from the Office for National Statics (ONS).

The Government borrowed a staggering £17.9billion in the two months since the start of the financial year in April - even more than the same time period last year. 

It meant Britain's gigantic debt as a share of the economy edged up again in May to 83.7 per cent, with the state now owing an extra £49.6 billion compared to May 2015. 

The jump in this year's borrowing also puts the Chancellor firmly on track to spectacularly blow his election promises.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Any Tickets For Upper Middle Class?

What Does It take to Be Upper Middle Class?

What's left unsaid is much of the upper middle class is prospering due to privileged positions that are increasingly at risk of disruption.

What does it take to be upper middle class? According to one analyst, the answer is: at least $100,000 a year for a family of three. The Growing Size and Incomes of the Upper Middle Class (Urban Institute).
The paper claims the upper middle class has grown from 12.9% of the population in 1979 to 29.4% in 2014--in essence, the shrinkage of the "middle class" is not just from households dropping down the ladder but millions of households climbing up to the upper middle class.
While the evidence broadly supports this secular shift--the concentration of income and wealth in the top 20% increases while the wealth and income of the bottom 80% stagnates--I think the claim that 30% of all U.S. households are upper middle class grossly overstates the reality, which is it's become increasingly costly to even qualify as middle class, never mind upper middle class.
I've explored these topics in depth over the past few years:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

UK Marching To Liberty Drummer's Beat

Image result for patrick henry liberty or death

Will The UK Write History Towards Freedom? 

We are one week away from the EU referendum, the moment when the British people will be called upon to make a historic decision – will they vote to “Brexit” or to “Bremain”? Both camps have been going at each other with fierce campaigns to tilt the vote in their direction, but according to the latest polls, with the “Leave” camp’s latest surge still within the margin of error, the projected outcome is too close to call.
It is a rare moment in history. The British haven’t had their say since they voted to join the European Community back in 1975. What was initially thought of as a project to unite Europe into one common market, with benefits of free trade and great promises of increasing national wealth, has mutated into a completely different entity. The British have, instead, found themselves being dragged into a regional economy of zero growth and a weak Euro, and heavily indebted states. You may have come across the arguments of both camps, but here we wish to address what a “Brexit” or “Bremain” scenario would mean for Britain.

If the UK Bremains..

If the British vote to “Bremain”, Britain will start to operate with a “special status” within the union, after Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly renegotiated Britain’s relationship with the EU, in anticipation of the referendum. Cameron tried to change some of the rules of the agreement, to address the concerns of the British public that made them favor a Brexit in the first place. The matter of ‘sovereignty’ came first in the list of the most common anti-EU grievances, as the public felt the country no longer had a say in its own affairs, and was pressured to comply with EU regulations as part of the greater union. Cameron succeeded in having the UK released from any commitment to be politically integrated into the EU body, and there were talks about granting some autonomy and power to national parliaments, through the “red card mechanism” (i.e. if 55% of national parliaments object to one vote, they can block a proposal submitted by the European Commission). This proposal, however, does not in any way alter the UK-EU relationship, while it is also unlikely to be practically enforced, much like the preexisting “yellow” card that has only been used twice so far. Thus, British autonomy, specifically, remains unaddressed. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

#Brexit Would Permanently Impair UK, Says IMF

IMF says Brexit will permanently lower UK incomes

Bleak verdict is last throw of dice for international economic organisations

A decision by Britain to leave the EU would result in a “negative and substantial” hit to the economy, “permanently lower incomes” and harm the economies of other European states, the International Monetary Fund has said.
In the short term, a difficult exit could push the economy into recession next year and even a relatively smooth transition would have a “material impact”
In the longer term, the damage caused by an extended period of uncertainty and the likely higher costs of trade would be sufficient to wipe out any gains from reduced contributions to the EU, the IMF concluded.
The bleak verdict is a last throw of the dice for the international economic establishment which has been united in its warnings about the risks of Brexit.
In a sign of the concern sweeping capitals as the Leave campaign edges ahead in the polls, Finland’s outgoing finance minister Alexander Stubb, told the FT he feared this could be “the Lehman Brothers moment of Europe”.
“It’s absolutely clear that there would be economic mayhem if the UK were to vote out,” Mr Stubb said.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Future Visions From Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce unveils its first driverless car

Carmaker says ‘vision vehicle’ offers glimpse into future of luxury transport

The Rolls-Royce 'vision vehicle' marks a different direction for a super-luxury marque

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars on Thursday unveiled its first driverless car, with a “vision vehicle” it hopes will cast a glimpse into the future of luxury transport.
With no steering wheel, a door on one side only and a virtual assistant that can book hotels or advise on your wardrobe selection, the car marks a different direction for a super-luxury marque.
Several carmakers have revealed plans for self-driving vehicles. But Rolls-Royce said its customers, who pay as much as £1m for a bespoke, hand-built model, will still demand a luxurious riding experience in an era where everyone will be chauffeured by robots.
“In 25 years from now, when you see commoditised bubbles as cars, there will be our customers who are used to sitting in something that is luxury,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
The design, over a year in the making, is a rejection of “utilitarian and bland future modes of mobility”, he added.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

DE- INDUSTRIALIZATION :Implosion of Venezuela


The Disaster of De-industrialization 

Once a nation no longer produce essential goods and services, it becomes vulnerable to collapse.
By now, we all know what's happening in Venezuela: hyperinflation, empty stores, a regime in denial. The Trajectory of Venezuelan Hyperinflation Looks Frighteningly Familiar... (Zero Hedge)

My contacts in Venezuela tell me that merely posting the black market exchange rate of bolivars to USD can get you arrested. So yes, Venezuela's regime has gone full Orwell-1984: whatever is true is outlawed.
Venezuela is imploding not because of hyper-inflation, but as a result of policies that led to hyper-inflation: policies that generate perverse incentives, disincentives to produce goods and services and incentives to depend on government subsidies.
But one of my correspondents nailed a key cause that is rarely discussed: Venezuela has been effectively de-industrialized. Capital that should have been invested in the electrical grid and the oil industry has been diverted to other pet projects (and the pockets of regime insiders).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bankers' Bubbles Bursting

Pity the Poor Central Bankers: Playing Masters of the Universe Is No Longer Fun

It was fun playing Masters of the Universe when expectations were low.
Ah, the good old days, when a simple, completely empty promise to do whatever it takes could move the world. It was fun being a central banker back in the good old days--back then playing Master of the Universe was wondrously good fun.
Now--not so fun. Now that interest rates are drifting below zero, there's not much room for fun left in that sandbox.
As for mortgage rates: they're so low, some countries are effectively paying people to take out a mortgage, and the resulting bubbles and market distortions are no fun.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

#IMF Flags China's Corporate Debt

Figure at 145 per cent of GDP is ‘very high by any measure’, says IMF’s David Lipton

IMF sounds warning on China’s corporate debt

China’s corporate debt risks sparking a bigger crisis if the authorities fail to tackle it, the International Monetary Fund has warned.
It is the latest red flag over China’s ballooning debt, which rose to a record 237 per cent of gross domestic product in the first quarter on the back of massive lending designed to boost economic growth.
That has put the subject to the fore of this year’s annual IMF review of the Chinese economy with a team from the Fund set to conclude its latest monitoring mission on Tuesday.
“Corporate debt remains a serious — and growing — problem [in China] that must be addressed immediately and with a commitment to serious reforms,” said David Lipton, the IMF’s number two and the leader of its latest mission, which ends on Tuesday.
Speaking in Shenzhen, where then-paramount leader Deng Xiaoping kicked off China’s experiments with capitalism more than three decades ago, Mr Lipton pointed to the potential risk to the global economy.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Solar Energy Costs Dropping Dramatically

Solar energy costs continue to plunge across the world


Two stunning auction results in India and Chile in the last week have underscored the extraordinary gains that large-scale solar has made against its fossil fuel competitors.
In both countries, solar is now clearly the cheapest option compared to new coal-fired power stations. In Chile, where the auction was open to all technologies, fossil fuel projects did not win a single megawatt of capacity. And the auction produced the lowest ever price for unsubsidised solar – US6.5c/kWh.
In India, US firm SunEdison won the entire 500MW of solar capacity on auction in the state of Andhra Pradesh, quoting a record low tariff for India of INR 4.63/kWh (US7.1c/kWh). Again, this was unsubsidised. And again, it beats new coal generation, particularly generation using imported coal.
These bids follow an auction in the US last month by the Texas city of Austin, which contracted to build 300MW of large-scale solar PV at a price of less than US4c/kWh. Even after backing out a tax credit, this is still less than US6c/kWh, and still beats gas and new coal plants, if anyone was planning to build one.
As Greentech Media reported last month, and we have signalled in the past, that means utilities are choosing large-scale solar over new peaking gas plants. Solar PV is beating gas on fuel costs alone, and is acting as a safe hedge against fuel price volatility.

EYE on the World - Global Concerns and Risks Rise

" Stories Going Beyond the Mainstream " 


    Global Concerns and Risks Rise  

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Southern Europe Faces 
Zika Risk In Summer

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Southern Europe risks Zika outbreaks this summer


Established Aedes-mosquito population could spread the Zika virus in Europe this summer if infected travelers introduce the virus. An analysis of temperatures, vectorial capacity, basic reproductive number (R0), and air traveler flows suggests parts of Southern Europe may be at risk for Zika outbreaks between June and August. This according to a study, led by Umeå University researchers in Sweden and published in the journal EBioMedicine.

US Health Care Huge Source Of Greenhouse Gases

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Environmental and health impacts of US health-care system

New Haven, Conn.-- If the U.S. healthcare system were a country, it would rank 13th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The study, published June 9 in PLOS ONE, quantified previously unreported environmental and public health impacts of the nation's healthcare sector.
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China Cannot Be Fixed?

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Pity Poor China: There's No Easy Fix to the S-Curve 

This decline is inevitable in fast-expanding economies that depended on export growth and investment booms.

The S-Curve can be likened to a rocket's trajectory: first, there's an ignition phase, as the fuel of financialization, cheap labor and untapped productive capacity is ignited.

Climate Change Could End Global Trade

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Globalization made economic production more vulnerable to climate change




The susceptibility of the global economic network to workers' heat-stress has doubled in the last decade, a new study published in the journal Science Advances finds. The analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Columbia University shows for the first time how enhanced connectivity of the global network of supply can amplify production losses, as these losses can be spread more easily across countries.

Investors Not Buying China's Market Story

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U.S. investors skeptical about China’s move to widen markets

 U.S. asset managers and hedge funds are wary about pouring more money into China until the government addresses its stock market crash last year and wild swings in the yuan, they said on Tuesday, as China unveiled measures to attract U.S. buyers of its assets.

Jobs Report Draws Concerns From Yellen

 Yellen  Says Latest Jobs Report Raises Questions About Economic Outlook 

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 Janet Yellen speaks at a World Affairs Council of Philadelphia event on Monday. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen affirmed Monday that the central bank won’t be raising short-term interest rates until new uncertainties about the economic outlook are resolved. Her comments, delivered at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, echoed conclusions investors drew Friday after the release of disappointing job market data


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