Thursday, December 3, 2015

WTI settles under $40; Brent ends near 7-year low

Yellen comments point to rate hike; U.S. supply up 10th week ahead of OPEC meeting

U.S. oil futures sank under $40 a barrel on Wednesday and Brent oil plunged to nearly seven-year low after U.S. government data revealed a 10th straight weekly climb in crude supplies and comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen pointed toward an interest-rate hike by the central bank later this month.
The weekly increase in crude stockpiles contributed further to a global glut of supplies and the stronger likelihood of a rate hike boosted the dollar, pressuring prices for oil. In a speech Wednesday, Yellen voiced support for a rate increase at the central bank’s meeting in two weeks.
January West Texas Intermediate crude CLF6, +1.18% dropped $1.91, or 4.6%, to settle at $39.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the lowest since Aug. 26, based on the most-active contracts.
Brent crude LCOF6, +1.44% fell $1.95, or 4.4%, to $42.49 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange, the lowest settlement since March 2009.

Paris Climate Talks: Pacific Islands Demand Help
At COP21 in Paris, small island nations are calling for a tougher climate change agreement. What are they asking for? Why could "loss and damage" become a polarizing issue? WSJ's Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.
Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an increase of 1.2 million barrels in crude supplies for the week ended Nov. 27.
The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that the U.S. crude inventories rose 1.6 million barrels last week, but analysts surveyed by Platts showed a forecast for a 1.2 million-barrel decline.
Companies are required to report data to the EIA, while reporting to the API is voluntary.
Seeing an increase “in an end-of-year destocking season was a surprise,” said John Macaluso, an analyst at Tyche Capital Advisors.
The EIA also reported total weekly oil output rose 37,000 barrels a day to 9.2 million barrels a day.
Gasoline supplies climbed by 100,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose 3.1 million barrels last week, according to the EIA. The Platts survey showed stockpile expectations for a rise of 130,000 barrels for gasoline and an increase of 100,000 barrels for distillates, which include heating oil.
On Nymex, January gasoline RBF6, +1.31% fell 7 cents, or 5.1%, to $1.293 a gallon and January heating oil HOF6, +1.74%  shed 6.4 cents, or 4.7%, to $1.305 a gallon.
January natural gas NGF16, -0.28%  also ended down 6.6 cents, or 3%, at $2.165 per million British thermal units.
Both WTI and Brent oil prices saw a very brief spike in the minutes ahead of Wednesday morning’s supply report. The spike followed a report suggesting the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries had agreed to reduce output.
However, the report, which cites comments from an Iranian official, said the agreement does not include Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf Arab countries.
After going beyond the headline, traders “quickly realized that a production cut without Saudi Arabia is not really a production cut at all,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group.
Read: Don’t expect Saudi Arabia to back down when OPEC meets
Macaluso said that “with prospects like Libya, Iran and Indonesia (to be once again accepted as an OPEC member) expected to increase production, Saudi’s main interest is to maintain the lion’s share of the market.”
Read: Is Saudi Arabia about to boost oil prices?
Analysts at Wood Mackenzie believe that OPEC will likely maintain its production ceiling at the current level or adjust it “upward slightly” to reflect Indonesia’s rejoining the group.
Meanwhile, the monthly U.S. jobs report is due Friday. That could also strengthen prospects for the rate hike this month and provide a further lift for the dollar.

10 cities where home prices have jumped most

Slide 1 of 11
The Denver area, which includes Aurora and Lakewood, has seen price increases of 11.9%, according to a study out Wednesday by real estate site, which examined median home prices for single-family, three-bedroom homes from the August-September 2014 period to August-September 2015. That means the Colorado city has had the fastest home price growth out of the 25 cities analyzed by, a real estate services website.
(Incidentally, the S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed a 10.7% increase in Denver home prices from August of last year to August of this year, which also made it the fastest growing city in terms of home prices among the 20 cities measured.)
What’s more, this year, home prices in Denver hit a record high, according to data from real estate firm RealtyTrac, which examined home prices over the past 15 years. That growth may not be a good thing for buyers: Real estate analytics firm CoreLogic notes that Denver is one of only 14 markets in the country that is now overvalued, meaning that home prices in the area were 10% or more over the long-term sustainable level (which measures home affordability based on per capita income levels in the area).
Read: Millennials drive the new-home market in Phoenix
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Opinion: How good intentions in Paris could lock in global warming

Instead of short-term emissions cuts, we should be working to eliminate carbon fuels entirely

The fastest and cheapest way to cut carbon emissions is to replace coal-fired power plants with cleaner natural gas plants, but that could lock us into more global warming in the long run. Instead, we should be working to eliminate all carbon fuels by 2070.
By JeffreyD. Sachs
NEW YORK (Project Syndicate) — In the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, more than 150 governments submitted plans to reduce carbon emissions by 2030. Many observers are asking whether these reductions are deep enough. But there is an even more important question: Will the chosen path to 2030 provide the basis for ending greenhouse-gas emissions later in the century?
According to the scientific consensus, climate stabilization requires full decarbonization of our energy systems and zero net greenhouse-gas emissions by around 2070. The G-7 has recognized that decarbonization — the only safe haven from disastrous climate change — is the ultimate goal this century. And many heads of state from the G-20 and other countries have publicly declared their intention to pursue this path.
Also read this: As Paris talks climate, U.S. leaders plot phaseout of renewable tax credits
Yet the countries at COP21 are not yet negotiating decarbonization. They are negotiating much more modest steps, to 2025 or 2030, called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The United States’s INDC, for example, commits the U.S. to reduce CO2 emissions by 26-28%, relative to a 2005 baseline, by 2025.
Though the fact that more than 150 INDCs have been submitted represents an important achievement of the international climate negotiations, most pundits are asking whether the sum of these commitments is enough to keep global warming below the agreed limit of 2º Celsius (3.6º Fahrenheit). They are debating, for example, whether the INDCs add up to a 25% or 30% reduction by 2030, and whether we need a 25%, 30%, or 40% reduction by then to be on track.
Paris Climate Talks: Pacific Islands Demand Help
At COP21 in Paris, small island nations are calling for a tougher climate change agreement. What are they asking for? Why could "loss and damage" become a polarizing issue? WSJ's Jason Bellini has #TheShortAnswer.
But the most important issue is whether countries will achieve their 2030 targets in a way that helps them to get to zero emissions by 2070 (full decarbonization). If they merely pursue measures aimed at reducing emissions in the short term, they risk locking their economies into high levels of emissions after 2030. The critical issue, in short, is not 2030, but what happens afterward.
There are reasons to worry. There are two paths to 2030. We might call the first path “deep decarbonization,” meaning steps to 2030 that prepare the way for much deeper steps after that. The second path could be called the way of “low-hanging fruit” — easy ways to reduce emissions modestly, quickly, and at relatively low cost. The first path might offer little low-hanging fruit; indeed, the low-hanging fruit can become a distraction or worse.
Here is the reason for worry. The simplest way to reduce emissions to 2030 is by converting coal-fired power plants to gas-fired power plants. The former emit about 1,000 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour; the latter emit around half of that. During the coming 15 years, it would not be hard to build new gas-fired plants to replace today’s coal plants. Another low-hanging fruit is great gains in the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines, taking automobile mileage from, say, 35 miles per gallon in the U.S. to 55 miles per gallon by 2025.
The problem is that gas-fired power plants and more efficient internal-combustion vehicles are not nearly enough to get to zero net emissions by 2070. We need to get to around 50 grams per kilowatt-hour by 2050, not 500 grams per kilowatt-hour. We need to get to zero-emission vehicles, not more efficient gas-burning vehicles, especially given that the number of vehicles worldwide could easily double by mid-century.
Deep decarbonization requires not natural gas and fuel-efficient vehicles, but zero-carbon electricity and electric vehicles charged on the zero-carbon electricity grid. This more profound transformation, unlike the low-hanging fruit eyed today by many politicians, offers the only path to climate safety (that is, staying below the 2ºC limit).
By pursuing coal to gas, or more efficient gas-burning vehicles, we risk putting ourselves into a high-carbon trap.
The figure above illustrates the conundrum. The low-hanging-fruit pathway (red) achieves a steep reduction by 2030. It probably does so at lower cost than the deep-decarbonization pathway (green), because the conversion to zero-carbon electricity (for example, wind and solar power) and to electric vehicles might be more costly than a simple patch-up of our current technologies.
The problem is that the low-hanging-fruit pathway will achieve fewer reductions after 2030. It will lead into a dead end. Only the deep-decarbonization pathway gets the economy to the necessary stage of decarbonization by 2050 and to zero net emissions by 2070.
The allure of the short-term fix is very powerful, especially to politicians watching the election cycle. Yet it is a mirage. In order for policy makers to understand what’s really at stake in decarbonization, and therefore what they should do today to avoid dead-end gimmicks and facile solutions, all governments should prepare commitments and plans not only to 2030 but also at least to 2050.
This is the main message of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), which has mobilized research teams in 16 of the largest greenhouse-gas emitters to prepare national Deep Decarbonization Pathways to mid-century.
The DDPP shows that deep decarbonization is technically feasible and affordable, and it has identified pathways to 2050 that avoid the traps and temptations of low-hanging fruit and put the major economies on track to full decarbonization by around 2070. The pathways all rely on three pillars: major advances in energy efficiency, using smart materials and smart (information-based) systems; zero-carbon electricity, drawing upon each country’s best options, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage; and fuel-switching from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles and other shifts to electrification or advanced biofuels.
A key question for Paris, therefore, is not whether governments achieve 25% or 30% reductions by 2030, but how they intend to do it.
For that, the Paris agreement should stipulate that every government will submit not only an INDC for 2030 but also a non-binding Deep Decarbonization Pathway to 2050. The U.S. and China have already signaled their interest in this approach. In this way, the world can set a course toward decarbonization — and head off the climate catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t.
This article has been published with the permission of Project Syndicate From Good Intentions to Deep Decarbonization.
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a professor of sustainable development and professor of health policy and management, and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Guido Schmidt-Traub is executive director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Jim Williams is director of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project.

As Paris talks climate, U.S. leaders plot phaseout of renewable tax credits

Phase-out talk comes as Obama launches clean-energy research plan 


The solar investment tax credit could be extended under ongoing tax talks, but then phased out.

Lawmakers are discussing phasing out tax credits for renewable energy as part of a year-end deal to renew a raft of expired tax breaks.
House and Senate negotiators have been working to complete a deal on reviving the breaks, known as extenders. A person familiar with the talks said there have been no discussions since last weekend, however.
Negotiations have included extending the wind production tax credit for five years — but beginning to phase it out in 2017. Under a draft negotiating document, it would be phased out entirely by 2019.
Similarly, negotiators have discussed a phase-out for the solar investment tax credit, with timing to be determined. But first, the credit would be extended for either two or five years.
The potential moves by lawmakers come as President Barack Obama returns from the Paris climate talks. At the talks, Obama and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates launched a multi-billion-dollar initiative to accelerate clean-energy research and development, as part of global efforts to combat climate change.
Analyst Chris Krueger of Guggenheim Partners said in a commentary on Tuesday that solar companies like First Solar FSLR, +2.56%   and SunPower SPWR, +4.22%   would be among the biggest industry winners from a deal on extenders. The deal could also include a permanent research-and-development credit and some tax benefits for low-income workers.
A spokesman for the Solar Energy Industries Association did not comment directly on either the potential extension or phase out of the solar credit, which applies to residential and commercial properties.
“The solar investment tax credit has been critical to the growth of the solar industry and it will continue to be critical,” said SEIA spokesman Dan Whitten. “We continue to work with members of Congress in both parties to make sure that policies put into place seize upon the vast opportunities solar energy offers to grow the economy, create American jobs and improve the environment.” He said nearly 200,000 Americans are employed at 8,000 solar companies.
The American Wind Energy Association has urged Congress to extend the wind credit for “the longest practical term.”
The association has also said a phase-out of “sufficient length and design” is something that could work for the industry.

History’s nastiest economic collapses captured in one animated graphic

The U.S. has endured 26 major economic meltdowns

As fears of another economic disaster waft over a stubbornly resilient stock market, cost-estimating website took a look at major collapses throughout history. The sweeping animated graphic starts with the devaluation of bronze and silver currencies after the Second Punic War back in 202 B.C. and finishes with the crumbling of China’s stock market earlier this year.
The crises were broken up into nine categories ranging from financial, like the one we suffered seven years ago, to the speculative bubble, which most of us are all too familiar with.
Here are some notable examples over the years:
“Credit: The Crisis of 1763 began in Amsterdam with the collapse of Leendert Pieter de Neufville and spread to Germany and Scandinavia.”
“Supply Side Shock: In 1970, the world’s major industrial countries entered into an energy crisis, with countries facing substantial petroleum shortages, real and perceived, as well as elevated prices.”
“Speculative Bubble: After several years of a booming Internet industry, stocks began to sharply decline in 1999, affecting major economies, including U.S., Germany, Great Britain, and Italy.”
“Stock Market Crash: The Wall Street Crash of 1929, or Black Tuesday, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the U.S.” also took an overall look at which countries have managed to endure the most collapses over the years. The U.S. tops the list with 26. That’s one crisis every nine years and twice as many as Spain, Italy and Portugal, which share the second spot.

“Over time, the United States developed a boom-to-bust economic cycle,” wrote Raul Amoros,’s content director. “Given the strength of the U.S. economy and sophistication of its capital markets, the U.S. is able to have shorter cycles by effectively adjusting policy when the economy expands and contracts. Under this cycle theory, one would expect the next U.S. economic collapse to occur in 2025, probably much sooner.”
Watch the entire video here.

This Coca-Cola holiday ad is sparking outrage in Mexico

Ad seen as ‘discriminatory and detrimental to the health of indigenous people’

Getty Images
Health groups in Mexico call Coca-Cola’s holiday message out of touch and offensive.

Coca-Cola Co. may want to teach the world to sing, but it’s hit a sour note in Mexico over a controversial ad that has since been taken down from the company’s YouTube channel.
An advertisement featuring young, light-skinned volunteers passing out bottles of Coke KO, -0.28% to an indigenous group in Oaxaca, Mexico, is being panned by an alliance of health organizations and consumer-rights advocates as insensitive and offensive. They are calling for the company’s “Open Your Heart” holiday campaign to be halted.

The ad shows young, fashionable volunteers hauling in coolers of Coke and a Christmas tree with red Coca-Cola lights as part of a community service offering.
As the volunteers bond with locals over bottles of Coke, the company says it aims to “break down prejudice” by sharing, stating that “this Christmas a group of young people decided to give something very special to the indigenous community of Totontepec Villa de Morelos in Oaxaca.”
“It’s outrageous for the indigenous,” Diana Turner, a spokeswoman for Consumer Power, told the Associated Press. Consumer Power is part of the group that is asking Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination to block the ads. On its website, Consumer Power calls Coca-Cola's ad “discriminatory and detrimental to the health of indigenous people,” a population that has seen obesity and malnutrition rates skyrocket over the past decade.
The video “was launched on digital channels, seeking to convey a message of unity and joy,” Coca-Cola spokeswoman Ann L. Moore said in a statement to MarketWatch. “Our intention was never to be insensitive to or underestimate any indigenous group. We have now removed the video and apologize to anyone who may have been offended.”
Mexico, a major consumer of sugary beverages, has been grappling with a growing obesity crisis over the past decade. The National Survey of Health and Nutrition reported in 2012 that more than half the population of Mexico City was either overweight or clinically obese, and a year later, the country was back in the headlines for surpassing the U.S. as world’s heaviest country. Obesity is particularly a problem among rural, more impoverished communities in the southern part of Mexico.
Mexico has introduced a soda tax and launched a media campaign to raise health and obesity awareness over the past couple of years, and surveys show that more than half of Mexicans now say they are limiting their sugary beverage intake.
“People are beginning to perceive that drinking these beverages represents a health risk,” Alejandro Calvillo, director of El Poder del Consumidor, told The Wall Street Journal last year.
Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are the two leading causes of death in Mexico, according to the Mexican Diabetes Federation.
The ad was removed from Coca-Cola’s YouTube channel Tuesday evening.

San Bernardino: Two suspects killed after mass shooting

Multiple fatalities and injuries in San Bernardino, Calif., shooting as police seek active shooters.
Up to 14 people died and up to 17 were injured in a mass shooting Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., and police later shot and killed one male and one female suspect in the attack.
The mass shooting occurred at Inland Regional Center, which serves people with developmental disabilities in the community about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, SBPD Chief Jarrod Burguan said in a televised news conference. Workers were apparently gathered for a party or some other function when the shooting started.
The suspects used long guns and “acted like they were on a mission” during the attack, Burguan said. The suspects escaped the shooting site in a dark-colored SUV.
Officers followed a tip to a residence in nearby Redlands, Calif., and saw a vehicle believed to be driven by the suspects leaving the residence, Burguan said. A pursuit ensued that ended in a shootout that killed two suspects, an unidentified man and woman, and injured one officer who was expected to survive.
“They were dressed in kind of assault-style clothing,” Burguan said of the deceased suspects in a second news conference Wednesday, adding that they were both armed with assault weapons and handguns.
A third person seen running from the area was eventually detained after a search.
David Bowdich, who heads the local FBI office, said that he could not yet term the attack “terrorism.”
“It is a possibility, but we do not know that yet,” Bowdich said at the news conference.
The FBI was assisting with the investigation at three locations: The Inland Regional Center, the site of the police-involved shooting, and the residence in Redlands.
“This is truly a tragedy in our country,” Bowdich said.




"Henceforth no Jew, no matter under what name, will be allowed to remain here without my written permission. I know of no other troublesome plague within the state than this race, which impoverished the people by their fraud, usury and money-lending and commits all deeds which an honorable man despises. Subsequently they have to be removed and excluded from here as much as possible."

Queen Maria Theresa
40 year reign / Sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma

Now, 230 years later ...
Chairman of the Federal Reserve: Ben Bernanke (Jewish), just replaced by Janet Yellen (Jewish)
Ben Bailout Bernanke printed funny money like it was going out of style!
New Jewish Fed Chair Janet Yellen is just as bad as Ben.
The prior THREE chairmen of the Federal Reserve: Alan Greenspan (Jewish) - Paul Volcker (born to Jewish mother (Klippel) /raised Lutheran) - Arthur Burns (Jewish)
Alan Greenslime (1987-2006) He created the catastrophic housing bubble.
Paul Volcker (1979-1987) He once said "American must accept a reduction in their living standards."
Arthur Burns (1970-1978) President Nixon feared him.
Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve: Stanley Fischer (Jewish). His predecessor was Janet Yellen (now the Jewish Chair). Her predecessor was Donald Kohn (Jewish) 
*Together with the US Fed Chief and the NY Fed, the Vice Chairman of the Fed holds permanent voting power regarding Fed policies. The symbolic regional Fed Chairs (Denver, Dallas, Kansas City etc.) only hold rotating minority voting power. Those powerless branches are given to figurehead Gentiles to "run".)
Fischer & Kohn
The Secretary of the US Treasury is Jack Lew (Jewish). The Director of the Congressional Budget Office is Doug Elmendorf (Jewish. The Director of the IRS is John Koskinen (Jewish) -- whose predessor was Douglas Shulman (Jewish).
Lew, Elmmendorf, Koskinen, Shulman

Legendary White Collar Criminals: Bernie Madoff - Jack Abramoff - Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Jewish Mobsters were much more powerful than the Sicilian mob ever was. Above: Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel.

It looks as if Queen Maria was on to something!

Greece has leaped from the first world into a fourth world world of vice, squalor and poverty helped along by the Vampire Squid and ruthless European Central Banksters and their own propensity to skip taxes:

Paul Craig Roberts: Wealthy Germans Forced Pensions of Poor Greeks Down to $94 monthly
EU proves that “democracy,” “compassion,” “good will,” are cant used to cloak Western looting and oppression.
Mr. George Romanias, Greek Secretary General on Social Services, has said today, speaking to the Greek MEGA TV station:
“I cannot stay in the Ministry. I went to apply some principles. I cannot do the opposite” Mr Romanias said adding that he will submit his resignation by tomorrow morning. “I cannot apply the law they oblige me to introduce. It is not possible to give a monthly pension of 87 Euros to a handicapped person. This is what was put in law”
Speaking about the law introduced with express procedures, upon insistence of the Creditors, including all European governements and the Commission, he said “it is the first time in my life that I see a project of law written with such illiteracy, such amateurism and such ignorance… The Prime Minister was blackmailed, that is sure, but I cannot apply a law I don’t agree with and about which I was not asked”.…
Four in Ten Greeks Live in Poverty…
Greek Wealth Is Everywhere but Tax Forms
In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where summer temperatures often hit the high 90s, just 324 residents checked the box on their tax returns admitting that they owned pools.
So tax investigators studied satellite photos of the area — a sprawling collection of expensive villas tucked behind tall gates — and came back with a decidedly different number: 16,974 pools.…
Greece is the template for the NWO.
There are some really hot midwestern US chicks that NY bankers would love to keep as sex slaves.
Sadly the economy just isn’t bad enough yet. Give it another couple years.
Meanwhile In Greece, The Price Of A Prostitute Drops To €4 Per Hour
Lazos conducted the study among 400 women working on the streets. The study has lasted 3 years. Many of these women were students.
They sell sex for a piece of bread – so to say – “in order to eat or cover basic needs and extra expenses as they have no money,” The Times and Lazos on The Times claim.
“80% of prostitutes in Greece are Greek women aged 17 to 20”.
The price for sex has dramatically decreased from €50 euro for 60 minutes down to “€2 for half an hour.

Billions to Israel, screw our homeless : Berkeley Passes Strict Laws For Sidewalks, Homeless

 Despite heated opposition from homeless advocates, the Berkeley city council voted Tuesday night in favor of a strict set of laws that will ban people from taking up more than 2 square feet of space on sidewalks.

The laws ban people from sleeping in planter beds, leaving any personal belongings in trees, and also tighten existing bans on public urination and defecation.

Vice Mayor Linda Maio says the rules are meant to help the homeless.

“This is designed to create welcoming sidewalks for everyone,” Maio said.

The city plans to build new public bathrooms downtown, and create storage units for personal belongings.

Six council members voted in favor of the ordinances, while three others did not vote, BerkeleySide tweeted late Tuesday night.


San Bernardino, Ca. Shooting Still Active & Obama Calls For More Gun Control

With San Bernardino, California local police, as well as state police and FBI, still scrambling to determine what happened after three gunman shot up a county employee Christmas party, our so called commander & chief goes straight to playing the gun control card.

“President Obama addressed the fatal shooting in San Bernardino, California Wednesday that left at least 14 dead, saying it continues a disturbing pattern of gun violence in America that has “no parallel.”

“The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in world,” Obama told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell in an interview.

Obama added that there were “steps we can take, not to eliminate every one of these mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently,” he said. “We should come together in a bipartisan basis at every level of government to make these rare as opposed to normal.”
The president, briefed on the shooting earlier in the day by his Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco, and is receiving regular updates as the situation develops, just can not be bothered to comfort Americans and only interested in making “gun control [the] top issue of [ his ] final year “.

Look Out Below: Even With Bloated Federal Spending, The Real Economy Has Hit Stall Speed.

by Charles Hugh-Smith
Look out below, for even with bloated federal spending, the real economy has hit stall speed.
What do we mean when we say the U.S. economy is at stall speed? Stall speedrefers to the air speed and angle of the wing (called the angle of attack) needed to keep an aircraft aloft.
“An aircraft flying at its stall speed cannot climb, and an aircraft flying below its stall speed cannot stop descending. Any attempt to do so by increasing angle of attack, without first increasing airspeed, will result in a stall.”
In layman’s terms, once an airplane’s speed drops to the point that cranking the wing angle up no longer provides enough lift, the airplane stalls out and starts an unintended (and often uncontrolled) descent.
The real U.S. economy (as opposed to the stock market) is at stall speed, and is about to crash into recession. The analogy (via longtime correspondent B.C.) is apt, as the economy is losing speed on multiple fronts.
B.C.’s chart is unique, in that it includes everyone’s favorite stimulus, huge federal deficits: trillions of dollars borrowed from our children and grandchildren to support bloated federal fiefdoms, favored cartels and various bread-and-circuses programs that placate the restive masses.
There are three parts to this chart. Let’s look at them one at a time. The red line is real final sales per capita, which means all sales in the economy adjusted for inflation divided by the population, i.e. per person.
This scrapes away some of the distortions built into gross domestic product (GDP), which is heavily gamed to provide the illusion of “growth.”
Note that real sales have reached lower highs and hit lower lows for the past three decades–they’ve now rolled over, which means the economy is slowing.

The black line is real sales minus the drag of healthcare and the borrowed-from-our- grandchildren federal deficit, which does not qualify as organic economic growth. Together, these two lines have a remarkably successful track record in predicting recessions, going back four decades.
Now they are once again dropping below the line-in-the-sand that signals recession. As for healthcare’s correlation to recession, please read The Coming Great Recession, Brought to You by the Healthcare Cartel (December 1, 2015).
The blue line is federal deficits as a percentage of real sales–a measure of how much of the real economy is debt-funded federal spending. To state the obvious: an economy that requires massive central-state deficit spending to keep from imploding is not a healthy economy. Rather, it’s a crony-capitalist Paradise on its way to history’s ash-heap of failed Elites and failed policies.
Note that now, at the very peak of the 7-year long “recovery,” this line is at levels that previously marked recessionary lows. This means federal deficit spending is at levels that were once considered “emergency stimulus spending” in the depths of recession.
Now we need extraordinary federal deficit spending just to keep from crashing.
But look out below, for even with bloated federal spending, the real economy has hit stall speed.

Ominous Development In Greece Signaling A Wider Future Seizure Of Private Assets

There’s been an ominous development in Greece signaling a wider future seizure of private assets (including cash, jewelry, etc) by the Greek government.  Coming soon to a jurisdiction near you…
Cash ‘under the mattress’ totaling more than 15,000 euro, jewelry and other valuable items such as diamonds and gemstones, should be declared to electronic system of tax authorities, Taxisnet, as of 1. January 2016. Next to properties and vehicles and shares, now the taxpayers will also have to declare their deposits. And not only that. They will have to fill if they rent bank lockers and if yes, also the name of the bank and the branch, even if abroad…
Note that this Assets declaration process will initially apply to lawmakers, journalists, public servants etc and is the rehearsal for the creation of the electronic property & assets register that will be extended to all taxpayers.

Did Paul Krugman Secretly Meet With Vladimir Putin for $200,000 Cash in a Suitcase?

I have learned from a person close to Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman that Krugman secretly met with Russian president Vladimir Putin for a fee of $200,000 cash--in a suitcase.
Apparently, Krugman's speaking fee is $200,000 per event and that is what he charged Putin.
I can't verify that the meeting took place or the suitcase filled with cash was given to Krugman, but I am quite certain that Krugman did tell my source the story.