The OTHER Debt Bubbles: How Private Sector
Debt Could Trigger the Next Financial Crisis (Source activistpost.com) The $22 trillion
official national debt is a much discussed problem, even as politicians exhibit
zero motivation to do anything about it. But as big an economic overhang as it
is, government debt isn’t likely to trigger the next financial crisis.
servicing the growing federal debt bubble will depress GDP growth, cause the
value of the dollar to drop, and raise inflation risks. But the bubble itself
won’t necessarily burst – not anytime soon.
long as politicians face no political consequences for deficit spending, and as
long as the Federal Reserve keeps the Treasury bond market propped up… then
many more trillions can be added to the national debt. Meanwhile, more fragile
debt bubbles exist in the private sector. Unlike government debt – which
carries the implicit backing of the Fed’s unlimited printing press – debts
incurred by corporations, investors, consumers, and students can default. Globally,
there exists $250 trillion in debt against economic assets of around $100
trillion. The notional value of all derivatives now approaches a quadrillion
dollars. It’s been called the “everything bubble”… and it could soon lead to
the “everything bust.”
household debt rose to a record $13.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Mortgages, student loans, car loans, and credit cards represent enormous
burdens even during a good economy. These burdens will prove unbearable for
millions of Americans in the years ahead. For many the financial crisis is
already here: Pending home sales have fallen on a year over year basis for 13
loan delinquencies recently hit their highest level in 9 years. More than 7
million Americans are delinquent on their auto loan payments – an all-time
record. Some 5.1 million people are in default on their student loans. Student
loans now rank as the second largest biggest category of American consumer
debt, just behind mortgages. The cruel reality is that many of these “gender
studies” and “art history” type degrees will never be worth as much in the job
market as they cost to obtain.
Martha Stewart partners with marijuana
producer Canopy Growth to create hemp-derived goods(Source usatoday.com)
years of success in merchandising, Martha Stewart is tapping into a new
industry: hemp-derived products. The businesswoman and television personality
will be partnering with Canopy Growth, a major marijuana and hemp
producer, to develop a line of CBD products.
company is focusing on improving the lives of both humans and animals, it said
Thursday. Currently, several clinical trials are underway. Stewart will be
advising the company as it develops this new line, first starting
with animal health products. “I am delighted to establish this partnership
with Canopy Growth and share with them the knowledge I have gained after years
of experience in the subject of living,” Stewart said in a statement. “I’m
especially looking forward to our first collaboration together, which will
offer sensible products for people’s beloved pets.”
Growth has seen steady improvement throughout 2019 in its stock performance.
Starting the year trading at $28.92 per share, the company’s stock opened at
$47.02 per share Thursday morning.
company hopes to leverage Stewart’s name and expertise, Bruce Linton, Canopy
Growth Chairman and co-CEO, said in statement.
soon as you hear the name Martha , you know exactly who we’re talking
about,” Linton said. “Martha is one of a kind and I am so excited to be
able to work alongside this icon to sharpen our CBD product offerings across
categories from human to animal.”
isn’t the first celebrity partner the company has tapped into. Tweed, a Canopy
Growth subsidiary, partnered with Snoop Dogg in 2016. Currently, the acclaimed
artist and Stewart star in a show together entitled “Martha & Snoop’s
Potluck Dinner Party.”
A new study shows America’s drug overdose
crisis is by far the worst among wealthy countries(Source vox.com) America’s opioid epidemic has driven total drug overdose deaths
to record numbers — with overdose deaths hitting 70,000 in 2017, killing more
people annually than guns, car crashes, or HIV/AIDS ever have in a single year
in US history. But a new study confirms the level of overdose deaths isn’t just
outside historical norms for the US; it’s also far beyond the norm among
wealthy nations around the world. The study, by University of Southern California researcher
Jessica Ho, compared the US to 17 other wealthy nations and found that
America’s level of overdose deaths has outpaced other nations for more than a
decade. Illicit fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, started to supplant heroin in the
black market — causing another spike in overdoses, since fentanyls are
generally more potent than heroin or other traditionally consumed opioids.
2015, the US had the highest overdose death rate among any of the countries Ho
studied — by far. The rate was 60 percent higher than in Finland and Sweden,
which were once at the top among wealthy nations.
Russian choir draws criticism over
performance describing nuclear attack on U.S.(Source msn.com)
Russian Orthodox Church expressed regret over a choir performance that featured
a satirical Soviet-era song describing a nuclear attack on the United States in
the midst of heightened tensions between Washington
Feb. 23 performance by the St. Petersburg Concert Choir at the historic St.
Isaac’s Cathedral attracted widespread attention after it was posted on social media. “Choir performances
are held regularly in St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the fact that appropriate
music is performed is not a problem,” the press office of the Petersburg
metropolitan said on February 26, according to Radio Free Europe. “But this song
performed by a fairly well-known choir, of course, is surprising. We regret
that this happened in St. Petersburg, and particularly in St. Isaac’s.”
its performance to mark Defending the Fatherland Day, the choir sang an
untitled song from 1980 that described Soviet submariners and bomber pilots
preparing to launch a nuclear strike at the U.S. “for three rubles.” The lyrics
include the lines: “On a submarine with an atomic motor/ And with a dozen
bombs of a hundred megatons / Crossed the Atlantic and I call on the gunner: /
“Aim, I say, at the city of Washington!”
a statement, the choir said it routinely performs songs as originally written
and refuses to “rewrite lyrics for the sake of political correctness.” The song
was performed as an encore, St. Isaac’s Cathedral said. It does not approve of
After Putin’s warning, Russian TV lists
nuclear targets in U.S. (Source Reuters)
state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target
in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is
developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes. The targets
included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland. The
report was broadcast days after President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was
militarily ready for a “Cuban Missile”-style crisis if the United States wanted
one. With tensions rising over Russian fears that the United States might
deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a Cold War-era
arms-control treaty unravels, Putin has said Russia would be forced to respond
by placing hypersonic nuclear missiles on submarines near U.S. waters. The targets, which Kiselyov described as U.S.
presidential or military command centers, also included Fort Ritchie, a military
training center in Maryland closed in 1998, McClellan, a U.S. Air Force base in
California closed in 2001, and Jim Creek, a naval communications base in
Vatican, Microsoft team up on artificial intelligence ethics (Source Associated Press)
The Vatican says it is teaming up with Microsoft on an academic prize to promote ethics in artificial intelligence.
Pope Francis met privately on Wednesday with Microsoft President Brad Smith and the head of a Vatican scientific office that promotes Catholic Church positions on human life.
The Vatican said Smith and Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of the Pontifical Academy for Life told Francis about the international prize for an individual who has successfully defended a dissertation on ethical issues involving artificial intelligence.
The winner will receive 6,000 euros ($6,900) and an invitation to Microsoft’s Seattle headquarters.
The Vatican says Smith discussed artificial intelligence “at the service of the common good” during the papal meeting.
The theme of the Pontifical Academy’ of Life’s s 2020 plenary assembly is AI(Artificial Intelligence).
CALIFORNIA NIGHTMARE: OVER HALF OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN THE STATE WISH THEY COULD LEAVE (Source Blacklistednews.com) In the 1960s and 1970s, the possibility of moving to the west coast was “the California dream” for millions of young Americans, but now “the California dream” has turned into “the California nightmare”. According to a brand new survey, 53 percent of those living in California are considering leaving the state, and there are certainly lots of reasons to hit the road and never look back. The cities are massively overcrowded, California has the worst traffic in the western world, drug use and illegal immigration both fuel an astounding amount of crime, tax rates are horrendous and many of the state politicians appear to literally be insane. And on top of all that, let us not forget the earthquakes, wildfires and landslides that are constantly making headlines all over the world. Last year was the worst year for wildfires in California history, and these days it seems like the state is hit by some new crisis every few weeks. But none of those factors are the primary reason why so many people are eager to leave. According to a brand new survey by Edelman Intelligence, the main reason why so many are considering leaving the state is the high cost of living.
Preparing to Storm America’s Castle (Sourcethetrumpet.com)
The United States is being threatened by hostile nations taking over the Caribbean Sea. Major news sources pay little attention to this region, but the Caribbean is vital to U.S. security. This sea not only connects the East Coast with the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal, it guards the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico. Half of America’s seaborne trade passes through the Gulf. So a foreign power that controls the Caribbean could cripple the U.S. economy by restricting its access to oceanic shipping. This geographic reality is why Russia and China want to challenge U.S. dominance in the Caribbean. These aspiring superpowers are forging alliances with socialist governments in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. If these Latin dictatorships become staging grounds for Russia and China, a coalition of nations could potentially cut off U.S. access to the Panama Canal and seal off the Straits of Florida and the Yucatan Channel. As shocking as this scenario sounds, the Bible reveals that enemies will seize control of the world’s most strategic maritime choke points and lay siege to the United States. America is going to lose access to the Panama Canal, the Straits of Florida, the Windward Passage, the Yucatan Channel and many other shipping lanes that its people rely on for food, electronic components, oil, raw materials and other goods. The results will be devastating. Russia offered Cuba a $43 million loan in November to buy Russian military equipment, and it vowed to expand “strategic” ties with the island. On Oct. 10, 2018, Newsweek reported a senior Russian official as saying that Russia is considering building a military base in Cuba. This would be the first Russian base in Cuba since the Kremlin closed a Soviet-era electronic spying outpost near Havana in 2001. Meanwhile, two Russian nuclear-capable bombers flew a patrol over the Caribbean on Dec. 12, 2018, from a base in Venezuela. After this alarming incident, one Russian daily suggested that Russia establish a permanent military presence on the island of La Orchila, northeast of Venezuela’s capital city. The Russian government-owned tass news agency said this presence would “represent one of the largest semipermanent deployments of Russian military equipment in the region since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, which marked the height of the Cold War.”
Former US Air Force agent charged with defecting to Iran (Source AFP) The US Justice Department charged a former Air Force intelligence official Wednesday with spying for Iran, saying she exposed a fellow US agent and helped the Revolutionary Guard target her former colleagues for cyber attacks. US officials said Monica Witt, 39, who worked a decade in Air Force counterintelligence, had an “ideological” turn against her country and defected in 2013, turning over information on US espionage operations against Tehran. “It is a sad day for America when one of its citizens betrays our country,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers, announcing the indictment. “This case underscores the dangers to our intelligence professionals and the lengths our adversaries will go to identify them, expose them, target them, and, in a few rare cases, ultimately turn them against the nation they swore to protect,” he said. The US also indicted four Iranians working for the Revolutionary Guard who, using information Witt provided them, targeted her former colleagues in US intelligence with malware and phishing scams in hopes of accessing their computer networks. The Justice Department has issued arrest warrants for Witt and the four Iranians, who all remain at large. She is believed to be in Iran, officials said. In a parallel action, the US Treasury announced sanctions on the New Horizon Organization, a Revolutionary Guard group that had invited Witt to Tehran in 2012, and a separate company tied to the hacking effort.
Guttenberg: An Expert on Financial Crises? (Source Thetrumpet.com) Between January 16 and 18, St. Moritz, Switzerland, hosted the 2019 Crypto Finance Conference. The event, which focuses on the financial system of the future, hosted some of the world’s most high-profile investors. One of the conference’s keynote speakers was Germany’s former economics minister and defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. The Crypto Finance Conference website states that the event offers attendees “educational keynotes by industry experts, insightful panel discussions about current and future trends, as well as unique networking opportunities.” Cryptocurrency is one of the world’s emerging technologies. Some expect it to transform business transactions as we know them.
Guttenberg is seen by many as an expert in the field. His understanding of politics and digital trends, plus the influence he holds in Europe, have earned him considerable respect. Guttenberg is regularly invited to speak about global trends. His keynote speech on January 17 is worth paying particular attention to. The title of his speech was “Blockchain and Geopolitics: A Powder Keg or a Solution for Global Crisis?”
Financial technology experts believe that blockchain technology will transform the world’s banking. Financial visionaries of the world believe that whoever gains the upper hand in the development of this technology may soon lead the world into a transformed future.
Guttenberg believes the same and has promoted the technology as one of the solutions to Europe’s crisis. He believes that if Europe takes the leading role in digitalization, it could soon lead the whole world and solve the global geopolitical crisis.
A looming financial crisis currently threatens the world. If America continues on its current course, it is only a matter of time before another financial collapse occurs. This would throw Europe into a massive financial crisis.
But new financial technologies could enable Europe to create a financial system that operates independently from the U.S., saving Europe from financial crisis.