The Economy, Stupid!

The markets have had wild swings for about a year now….but with that the profits roll on for the corporations…..the president’s lack of economic knowledge and the wild lies of something good is just making things worse.

And this past week it has come to a head (as they say)…..it happened in the bond markets……

An economic alarm bell has sounded in the US, sending warnings of a possible recession ahead—and sending the Dow plunging 800 points by the end of the day. Yields on 2-year and 10-year Treasury notes inverted early Wednesday, a market phenomenon that shows investors want more in return for short-term government bonds than for long-term bonds. It’s an indication that investors have lost faith in the soundness of the US economy, the AP reports. What appeared to be a slight thaw in trade relations between the US and China that had sent markets sharply higher Tuesday was quickly forgotten, with the Dow opening down 400 points. By 12:30pm ET it was down nearly 650 points; a half-hour later it had plunged 737 points, or 2.6%, reports CNBC. By end of day it was down 800, the S&P 500 was down 86, and the Nasdaq was down 242, per Marketwatch.

CNBC notes that bank stocks like Bank of America and Citigroup have been the big losers today, down 5% and 5.2% respectively, as “it gets tougher for [them] to make a profit lending money in such an environment.” The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hit 1.622%, falling below the yield of a 2-year, which was 1.634%. The last inversion of this part of the yield curve was in December 2005, two years before a recession brought on by the financial crisis hit. An inversion like the one taking place Wednesday has preceded the last nine recessions dating back to 1955. When a recession might hit, if it does, is a little hazier. Months or even years have passed after an inversion takes place, and before economists can connect the two. Marketwatch notes Wednesday was the Dow’s worst day this year.

Here comes the “R” word…. a “recession”…..some are running worried….

Then there are the multiple lies about China and tariffs….remember when he said China would pay for the tariffs not the American people?  That was the same lie as Mexico would pay for that damn silly border wall.  Don’t forget the lie about all the billions flowing into the coffers of the nation…that was a lie as well…..

If China was gonna to pay and the pain would all be on someone else then why did Trump decide to postpone tariffs until mid-December?

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed off his Sept. 1 deadline for 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, delaying duties on cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods, in the hopes of blunting their impact on U.S. holiday sales.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trade-china-tariff/trump-backs-off-china-tariff-plan-with-delays-for-cellphones-laptops-idUKKCN1V31CR

Would “impact US holiday sales”…..that should tell you everything you need to know about these pseudo-economic solutions….even if you are not a genius like our Supreme Leader Trump.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

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Closing Thought–17Jul19

Every time Trump or his knuckle draggers open their mouths we hear how successful this damn silly Trump trade war is….but just because he says something does not make it so….regardless what the drooling 30% thinks.

Despite the somewhat positive news that Trump would refrain from slapping new duties on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods – which would have sparked a full-blown trade war. Americans have recently become irritated with Trump’s tariffs and his self-proclaimed label as Tariff Man, new IBD/TIPP polling shows, and first reported by Investor’s Business Daily.

The IBD/TIPP Poll covered 900 responses from June 20-27, 16% of respondents said Trump should increase tariffs if there’s no China trade deal this summer. Another 33% said Trump should remove all tariffs on China, even if a near-term agreement can’t be reached, while 44% said Trump should leave the duties in place.

While the President continues to insist that China pays the tariffs, Americans are starting to become more spectacle that he could be deceiving them

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-29/new-poll-shows-almost-half-americans-think-trumps-trade-war-bad

Corporate media will not report the real story of Trump’s trade policies….instead they will tell the nation what is rosy and what is total manure.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Tariffs–Winners And Losers And Economics

Our Trade War With China!  Who’s gonna win and who gonna lose?

With all the words flying around about this legal aspect or another…..the news on our trade war with China takes a back seat…..but I think it needs to be in the forefront……

I found an article that tells the winners and losers in this trade war (I am hoping that you will actually read the referenced article)…..areas of our economy like technology, agriculture, steel, etc……

U.S. companies in everything from computer chips to tractors have said President Donald Trump’s trade wars, including disputes with Beijing and global steel tariffs, have had an impact on them.

Even for some of the expected winners, such as steel companies, the benefits of the president’s tariffs are not entirely clear.

Trump said on May 5 he would raise tariffs on $200 billion (£159 billion) worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%, ratcheting up pressure on Beijing to agree to a deal.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-usa-trade-china-winners-losers-factbo/winners-and-losers-in-trumps-trade-war-with-china-idUKKCN1TK1UM

And yet the markets have not tanked on the bad news for the bigger of our corporations…..

Is this a good thing…… these tariffs?

This “Booming Economy” that we hear about from Trump, the GOP and others is looking a lot like the economy……wait for it……under Obama…..

In some key ways, the Donald Trump economy, on fire last year but slowing this year, is starting to resemble the one he inherited from his predecessor .

There are the rock-bottom bond yields, plodding economic growth and, not to be understated, the Federal Reserve seemingly pulling all the strings, a role that was only exacerbated in the days since the financial crisis and Great Recession and continues to the present day.

Those similarities came into even sharper focus this week, when the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield fell below 2% for the first time since Trump became president, and the Fed’s indication, if something just short of an outright promise, that it soon will be cutting rates about half a year since its most recent hike.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way: The 2017 tax cut and aggressive moves toward deregulation were supposed to pull the U.S. economy out of its glacial move higher. That happened in 2018, but policymakers and Wall Street pros are growing increasingly fearful that a slowdown if not outright recession is on the horizon, and the Fed is being asked again to ride to the rescue.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/the-trump-economy-is-starting-to-look-more-and-more-like-the-obama-economy.html

Oh Snap!  All the comparisons to what Obama did…will this make the list for Supreme Beloved Leader?

Me thinks this news will not see the light of day.

There is other news that is missed by the MSM……some economists are predicting a crash is coming…..but can Trump hold it off until after the election…..

If he times it right, Donald Trump might set back the Democratic Party for a generation or more; if he misses, he’ll go down in history along with Herbert Hoover as the guy who brought the nation an economic disaster.

Back in 2007 and early 2008, many of us were convinced that an economic crash was coming, and that George W. Bush and his Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, and Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan, knew it.

And we also thought that they were doing everything they could to hold it off so it would happen after the 2008 election, so if a Democrat was elected they could say the crash was because people were “worried about the incoming Democrats,” and if McCain won it would be his problem, not Bush’s.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/18/can-donald-trump-hold-economic-crash-until-election

What do you think?

Would a crash change your mind on voting this time around?

South Of The Border Down Mexico Way

When Trump issued his ultimatum to Mexico I at first was worried because Mexican Avocados are divine…..but after some thought I figured this was just a way to divert the news from Trump’s problems…….

In the beginning was the threat…..

President Trump has vowed to slap new tariffs on all goods from Mexico—and to keep increasing them until the country stops migrants coming to the US. On June 10, the US “will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” the president tweeted Thursday. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied at which time the Tariffs will be removed.” The White House says the tariffs will rise to 10% on July 1, then go up 5% each month after that until they hit 25% on Oct. 1, reports the Washington Post. Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters he was going to make his biggest statement on the border so far.

Trump said in a statement that after October, the tariffs will remain at 25% “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.” The surprise announcement came on the day that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began to ratify the USCMA trade deal with US and Canada, which could now be in jeopardy, reports Reuters. The tariffs could devastate Mexico’s economy, though experts including trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo suspect Trump will backtrack on the move, as he did with his threat to seal the border in March. “This seems more theater and tactics than a strategy to solve the migration crisis and rebalance North American trade,” Ujczo tells the AP.

And then just a day before the tariffs were to take effect…..we have a deal! (Go figure!)

“Indefinitely suspended.” That’s the fate of the tariffs President Trump had warned he’d levy against Mexico, per Trump himself, who tweeted Friday that a deal on immigration had been signed with our neighbors to the south, per Politico. Trump had previously signaled there was a “good chance” a deal was coming to stave off a progressively increasing tariffs hit on Mexico, and he crowed Friday night that had happened. “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” he tweeted. “The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended. Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”

How fortuitous….a deal just in the nick of time……appears my first reaction was the correct one after all……this was a game to divert attention…and then he can claim a success for something that was already a success.

Turns out Friday’s big immigration deal between the US and Mexico—or at least most of it—had already been struck over the past few months, officials on both sides tell the New York Times. The new agreement states that Mexico will deploy “its National Guard throughout Mexico” to stop migrants, but Mexico made that promise to Kirstjen Nielsen, former secretary of homeland security, back in March. The agreement also expands a program for asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting US legal confirmation, but that was struck in December and announced by Nielsen five days before Christmas. In the latest negotiations, US officials failed to add that America can reject asylum seekers if they hadn’t first tried refuge in Mexico.

I am glad we have a deal…..even if it was negotiated months ago…..but Trump did not doing anything most other presidents do…..take credit for successes.

My avocado affliction is safe….for now.

Since I am an old fart…..The title of this post made me think of an old Patsy Cline song…..

It Is About “Rare Earth”……

Not the rock group from the 70s (Get Ready and Celebrate)….I am referring to those minerals that are a major component in some electronics….and guess who has control of much of these elements?   Wait for it……..China!

Rare Earth Minerals?  What the Hell is that all about?

Many applications of REE are characterized by high specificity and high unit value. For example, color cathode-ray tubes and liquid-crystal displays used in computer monitors and televisions employ europium as the red phosphor; no substitute is known. Owing to relatively low abundance and high demand, Eu is quite valuable—$250 to $1,700/kg (for Eu2O3) over the past decade.

Fiber-optic telecommunication cables provide much greater bandwidth than the copper wires and cables they have largely replaced. Fiber-optic cables can transmit signals over long distances because they incorporate periodically spaced lengths of erbium-doped fiber that function as laser amplifiers. Er is used in these laser repeaters, despite its high cost (~$700/kg), because it alone possesses the required optical properties.

Specificity is not limited to the more exotic REE, such as Eu or Er. Cerium, the most abundant and least expensive REE, has dozens of applications, some highly specific. For example, Ce oxide is uniquely suited as a polishing agent for glass. The polishing action of CeO2 depends on both its physical and chemical properties, including the two accessible oxidation states of cerium, Ce,3+ and Ce4+, in aqueous solution. Virtually all polished glass products, from ordinary mirrors and eyeglasses to precision lenses, are finished with CeO2.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs087-02/

Plus the Rare Earth Minerals are used in our military……

A lack of these minerals could force a national security risk……and that would increase the use of the military (cause and effect)…….

I would say the possibility of a war with China is more so than with Iran.

Thoughts?

And now they, China,  have issued a threat over the Trump tariffs……

Facing new trade sanctions and a US clampdown on its top telecommunications company, China issued a pointed reminder Wednesday that it has yet to unleash all its weapons in its trade war with the Trump administration. Chinese state media warned that Beijing could cut America off from exotic minerals that are widely used in electric cars and mobile phones. The threat to use China’s rich supply of so-called rare earths as leverage in the conflict has contributed to sharp losses in US stocks and sliding long-term bond yields, the AP reports. The nationalistic Chinese newspaper Global Times warned that China has plenty of ways to retaliate against the United States, including the threat of cutting off supplies of rare earth minerals. China last year produced 78% of the world’s rare earths, according to researchers at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

If the US fails to exercise restraint, it will see that “China is far from running out of cards, and we have the will and determination to fight the US to the end,” the paper’s editorial said. China has used rare earths as a cudgel before. Five years ago, the World Trade Organization slapped down China’s attempt to restrict the export of rare earths during a dispute with Japan, rejecting its claim that it just wanted to conserve supplies. Scott Kennedy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, however, says the threat has lost much of its power. First, users of rare earths have stockpiled the minerals for a “rainy day,” he says. Second, they also have figured out how to “use less rare earth to achieve the same results” in products like lasers and magnets. And third, different minerals and chemicals are increasingly being used as rare earth substitutes.

Not to worry……we have troops in a country that is sitting on about $1 trillion (that is trillion with a “T”) worth of rare earth minerals……

Afghanistan, a country nearly the size of Texas, is loaded with minerals deposited by the violent collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began inspecting what mineral resources Afghanistan had after U.S.-led forces drove the Taliban from power in the country in 2004. As it turns out, the Afghanistan Geological Survey staff had kept Soviet geological maps and reports up to 50 years old or more that hinted at a geological gold mine.

https://www.livescience.com/47682-rare-earth-minerals-found-under-afghanistan.html

That is right…out longest war EVER is in a country that is loaded with rare earth minerals……could that explain why we are hanging on in the spot?

It is not like we have never fought a war for a resource……think OIL……

Ever Heard Of ‘Cause And Effect’?

Closing Thought–31May19

I realize that the “invasion” of Latin Americans is important to this president and “tariffs” are his answer to all our economic problems…..whether you believe these fantasies or not…there is a thing call ’cause and effect’……

That is ….. one process or state, a cause, contributes to the production of another process or state, an effect, where the cause is partly responsible for the effect, and the effect is partly dependent on the cause. In general, a process has many causes, which are also said to be causal factors for it, and all lie in its past.

A little simpler?

For every action there is an opposite but equal reaction. Did that help?

All that out of the way what am I going on about?

The newest utterance from Our Beloved Supreme Leader……

President Trump has vowed to slap new tariffs on all goods from Mexico—and to keep increasing them until the country stops migrants coming to the US. On June 10, the US “will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP,” the president tweeted Thursday. “The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied at which time the Tariffs will be removed.” The White House says the tariffs will rise to 10% on July 1, then go up 5% each month after that until they hit 25% on Oct. 1, reports the Washington Post. Earlier Thursday, Trump told reporters he was going to make his biggest statement on the border so far.

Trump said in a statement that after October, the tariffs will remain at 25% “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.” The surprise announcement came on the day that Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began to ratify the USCMA trade deal with US and Canada, which could now be in jeopardy, reports Reuters. The tariffs could devastate Mexico’s economy, though experts including trade lawyer Daniel Ujczo suspect Trump will backtrack on the move, as he did with his threat to seal the border in March. “This seems more theater and tactics than a strategy to solve the migration crisis and rebalance North American trade,” Ujczo tells the AP.

Is this just something said to divert the attention of the MSM?  Will it remain if the markets tank?

Does he realize that if this is law and the economic activity in Mexico ceases it will create more people in search of economic security?  (That is cause and effect)…..

This is a silly trade policy…it is that simple……

But let us look at other economic news……

How about those “tax cuts”?……..(Read and weep!)

Despite lofty promises from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that went into effect last year have done little—if anything—to raise workers’ wages, boost economic growth, or spur business investment.

That’s according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which appeared to vindicate warnings from progressive critics that the GOP tax cuts were little more than a scam designed to put more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans.

In its 23-page report (pdf), the independent research arm found that while the Republican tax law has not done much for workers or the overall economy, it has sparked a wave of stock buybacks, which primarily benefit rich executives.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/29/virtually-no-wage-growth-surge-stock-buybacks-study-offers-more-proof-trump-tax-cuts

Billions are pouring into the US treasury because of the Trump tariffs……..

President Donald Trump likes to talk about the money Washington is making from the spate of tariffs his administration has imposed on global trading partners. The catch? Most of it is probably coming from American pocketbooks.

At a postelection news conference on Wednesday, Trump misleadingly claimed that billions of dollars would “soon be pouring into our Treasury from taxes that China is paying for us.”

He got the first part right. Federal revenue from tariffs in the third quarter increased by more than 33% from the same quarter last year, Treasury Department data shows. And in October — the first full month in which all tariffs announced to date were in effect — the monthly collection appears to have doubled from the 2017 level to about $6 billion, according to estimates from daily receipts.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/trump-tariffs-revenue-up-sharply-american-costs-increase-2018-11-1027713336

These Trade Wars are good for the US, right?

President Trump’s trade battles are costing the U.S. stock market $5 trillion and counting, according to Deutsche Bank.

Given the bulk of equity returns come from equity price appreciation, in an escalated trade war with China and now Mexico, the U.S. is losing trillions of dollars in foregone returns as markets sink on the negative headlines, the bank said Friday.

“The costs of the trade war in our view are about its indirect impacts,” said Deutsche Bank chief strategist Binky Chadha in a note to clients. “The trade war has been key in preventing a recovery in global growth and keeping US equities range bound. Foregone US equity returns from price appreciation (12.5% annual rate) for 17 months are worth $5 trillion.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/trumps-trade-wars-have-cost-the-stock-market-5-trillion-and-counting-deutsche-bank.html

Someone explain to me where the “good news” is in all this trade war stuff?

Farmers Get Help

Yesterday Our Beloved Supreme Leader had a presser to announce his aid to the American farmer that may have trouble with the tariffs……and they all bow down……

With more than a dozen farmers at his side, President Trump announced a $16 billion aid package to compensate farmers for their losses in the trade war with China. “This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars the Treasury takes in” from China, he said. That’s not the way it works, the Washington Post points out: China does not pay the tariffs; importers do. Some importers then pass the cost on to American consumers. The administration had announced $12 billion in emergency measures in July. The relief announced Thursday will be distributed to farmers in three installments, with the first payment in July or August, the others in November and January 2020, if the tariffs are still in place.

Randy Spronk, a hog farmer and past president of the National Pork Producers Council who attended the White House meeting, said farmers realize the aid will not make up for their losses in a trade war. “But it makes enough of a difference to keep a lot of farmers so they can survive,” Spronk said, per the Post. The aid for farmers will ultimately come from taxpayers, said one expert, ABC reports. “Do the Chinese pay some of the tariff? Yes, probably in specific cases,” he said. “Do they pay most of it? No, the consumer pays most of it ultimately.” The American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union said that they appreciate the help, but that farmers would prefer to have a long-term trade deal with China.

This money was offered last Summer….and I agree with whoever said…”if tariffs hurt farmers then welfare is not the answer”……as always…I have written about the announcement a year ago……https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/closing-thought-21sep18/

God knows our farmers need the help….but not everyone sees this politicial ploy as the answer to that problem……

President Donald Trump’s snap decision to send billions of dollars in new aid to farmers could be bad for the farm economy and the federal budget.

Many farmers are still deciding what to plant this spring and could be swayed toward crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five year

But the Trump administration’s decision to roll out the program now is drawing critics.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters Wednesday that the White House should have been more cautious about the timing of the announcement because farmers are still planting.

“[W]e want farmers to make decisions on how many acres of corn and soybeans to plant based on the market and not something the government’s doing,” he said.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Jonathan Coppess, an agricultural policy professor at the University of Illinois, and a former head of the USDA Farm Service Agency during the Obama administration.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/trump-farmer-bailout-trade-usda-1459840

Our farmers do not want the ‘welfare’ they prefer to earn their money….keep one thing in mind….agri-business also will get this ‘welfare’ and that who it is truly protecting.

Where are the deficit hawks?  They have plenty to say when food stamps are on the agenda….where are they now?