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Economics

A Manual for the New Era of Activist

Movement-building approaches from the civil rights era get a 2017 update.
Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: A Dependable Crash Indicator Is Now Flashing

Chris Martenson - August 3, 2017 - 19:36

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

  • Trade Wars
    • Suddenly arising with Russia and China
  • Modern Monetary Theory
    • A delusion that dates back to the days of John Law
  • A Great Crash Indicator
    • RV sales are sending a warning sign
  • Risky Real Estate
    • Private equity will sell fast when times get bad

Chris and John discuss the looming trade wars with Russia and China, the long-term implications of the worldwide credit binge, and the indicators that will presage a systemic correction. John shares his assessment of one of his most trusted crash indicators, RV sales:

This is a typical cycle for RVs. It’s a big toy and people are cocky now because they’ve been working for a little while. They have extremely easy credit. Interest rates are incredibly low. If you’ve got a decent credit score you can buy an RV for 2 or 3% interest and a lot of people are taking advantage of that, just as they spent the last three or four years taking advantage of incredibly cheap car loan terms, and running, basically, an auto sales bubble. They’ve kind of shifted to RVs now, which is yet another sign that the cycle is nearing an end.

This "recovery" is 8 years old now. The typical recovery is 6 years. So we already have an expansion that’s a couple of years longer than normal. It’s actually the third longest since World War II. Which means that, everything else being equal, we should be pretty close to the end of this cycle and ready for a downturn. And now you’ve got indicators like RV sales going just parabolic, indicating that, at least in that little section of the market, money is incredibly easy and buyers are euphoric. And that’s also a sign that things are nearing the end. There are lots of other signs, but that’s one.

Every time there’s a bubble in an asset class, there’s always a new reason for it that appears to explain it. But historically the explanation never holds. The cycle still reasserts itself at some point. And things go back to normal. And I suspect that’ll be the case with RVs at some point.

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Crossing Party Lines to Build Local Solar Power

Shareable Magazine - August 3, 2017 - 08:44

In this episode of Building Local Power, we interview Debbie Dooley, President of Conservatives for Energy Freedom and co-founder of the Green Tea Coalition.

Categories: Economics

Podcast: Crossing Party Lines to Build Local Solar Power

Shareable Magazine - August 3, 2017 - 08:44

In this episode of Building Local Power, we interview Debbie Dooley, President of Conservatives for Energy Freedom and co-founder of the Green Tea Coalition.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/3 - A State Of Emergency, Should We Worry About Excess Reserves?

Chris Martenson - August 3, 2017 - 06:35
  • Should We Worry About Excess Reserves?
  • Sabotaging Russia-US Relations for Good
  • We Are Already in a State of Emergency
  • The College Debt Bubble (And Six Rules For 529 Plans)
  • You're A Biased Investor
  • In A Better World
  • Cryptocurrency 101
  • The solution to the global crisis of capitalism is simplicity itself
  • Oil Prices Slip As OPEC Oil Exports Creep Higher
  • EXCLUSIVE: Al Gore’s Home Devours 34 Times More Electricity Than Average U.S. Household

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Categories: Economics

The Embassy Network Fosters a Multifaceted Approach to Shared Living

Shareable Magazine - August 2, 2017 - 10:09

Communal housing is not just for students anymore. The Embassy Network, a collective  of shared houses across North America, Latin America, and Europe, is reinventing communal living for adults. The network was founded in San Francisco in 2012 by former NASA scientist Jessy Kate Schingler, her husband Rob Schingler (founder of satellite mapping company Planet Labs), and a few friends.

Categories: Economics

The Embassy Network Fosters a Multifaceted Approach to Shared Living

Shareable Magazine - August 2, 2017 - 10:09

Communal housing is not just for students anymore. The Embassy Network, a collective  of shared houses across North America, Latin America, and Europe, is reinventing communal living for adults. The network was founded in San Francisco in 2012 by former NASA scientist Jessy Kate Schingler, her husband Rob Schingler (founder of satellite mapping company Planet Labs), and a few friends.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/2 - New Nuclear Plants Scrapped, LA’s ‘Virtual Bankruptcy’ Equals ‘Service Insolvency'

Chris Martenson - August 2, 2017 - 06:36
  • Delta Air Lines To Suspend Flights To Venezuela, Amid Unrest
  • Idaho Health Plan Rates Set To Increase In 2018
  • California 2018 health insurance rates come out Tuesday, and they'll likely be higher
  • Health-care costs for typical Canadian family will eclipse $12,000 this year; up nearly 70% since 1997
  • LA’s ‘Virtual Bankruptcy’ Equals ‘Service Insolvency'
  • Chicago Pension Bills Soar as City Pays Up to Keep Funds Solvent
  • Brazil faces lost generation of young workers after recession
  • Government vows to halt oil production if cost remains high
  • Billions down the drain as new nuclear plants scrapped
  • British consumers grappling with heavier debt loads: Moody's
  • U.S. Treasury expects to borrow $96 billion in third-quarter, $501 billion in fourth-quarter
  • China Inc.'s Next Debt Headache Is $580 Billion of Put Options Coming Due
  • This Is an Outrage, Junk-Bond Market Says. Everyone Buys Anyway
  • No Bubble in Stocks But Look Out When Bonds Pop, Greenspan Says

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Categories: Economics

How Food Assembly Created a Sustainable, Community-driven Food Sharing System in Europe

Shareable Magazine - August 1, 2017 - 13:09

The first "Ruche," or Food Assembly, took place in La Fauga, France, near the city of Toulouse, in September 2011 and took off from there. It was a space where consumers could meet food producers and pick up produce that they had previously ordered online. Since then, it has grown into a robust network of independently operated farmers' markets organized via an online platform. The timing for the launch of Food Assembly was ideal.

Categories: Economics

How Food Assembly Created a Sustainable, Community-driven Food Sharing System in Europe

Shareable Magazine - August 1, 2017 - 13:09

The first "Ruche," or Food Assembly, took place in La Fauga, France, near the city of Toulouse, in September 2011 and took off from there. It was a space where consumers could meet food producers and pick up produce that they had previously ordered online. Since then, it has grown into a robust network of independently operated farmers' markets organized via an online platform. The timing for the launch of Food Assembly was ideal.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 8/1 - CT Lawmakers Approve Pension Concessions, Bitcoin ATMs invade Philly

Chris Martenson - August 1, 2017 - 07:55
  • Connecticut lawmakers approve labor pact with pension concessions
  • Bitcoin ATMs invade Philly, taking cryptocurrency to the masses
  • Is The World Really Better Than Ever?
  • I Won’t Get Chipped, And Neither Should You
  • DARPA Wants To Build A BS Detector For Science
  • Shale Drillers Aren’t As Safe As You May Think
  • Border Agency Set to Jumpstart Trump’s Wall in a Texas Wildlife Refuge
  • The Killing Fields

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Categories: Economics

Future of Work: Seats2Meet's Innovative Model for Freelancers to Connect and Collaborate

Shareable Magazine - July 31, 2017 - 13:16

Back in 2014, I stood at the entrance to Seats2Meet's flagship coworking space in Utrecht, Netherlands, and stared at a flat panel display showing all the names of all the people working there and their skills in real time. Ronald van den Hoff, Seats2Meet's president and co-founder, explained that anyone could work for free in a Seats2Meet space as long as they agreed to help other people in their network. The fuel running the network is social capital.

Categories: Economics

Future of Work: Seats2Meet's Innovative Model for Freelancers to Connect and Collaborate

Shareable Magazine - July 31, 2017 - 13:16

Back in 2014, I stood at the entrance to Seats2Meet's flagship coworking space in Utrecht, Netherlands, and stared at a flat panel display showing all the names of all the people working there and their skills in real time. Ronald van den Hoff, Seats2Meet's president and co-founder, explained that anyone could work for free in a Seats2Meet space as long as they agreed to help other people in their network. The fuel running the network is social capital.

Categories: Economics

How BlaBlaCar is Revolutionizing the Way Carpooling Works Around the World

Shareable Magazine - July 31, 2017 - 09:09

It started as a simple idea: Entrepreneur Frédéric Mazzella was trying to visit his parents home in the French countryside in 2003, but he was unable to buy a plane or train ticket. He decided to drive there instead with his sister, and noticed en route that most people were driving alone. Could there be a way to connect all those empty seats with people like himself, who needed a ride?

Categories: Economics

How BlaBlaCar is Revolutionizing the Way Carpooling Works Around the World

Shareable Magazine - July 31, 2017 - 09:09

It started as a simple idea: Entrepreneur Frédéric Mazzella was trying to visit his parents home in the French countryside in 2003, but he was unable to buy a plane or train ticket. He decided to drive there instead with his sister, and noticed en route that most people were driving alone. Could there be a way to connect all those empty seats with people like himself, who needed a ride?

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/31 - Perfect Crash Indicator Flashing Red, Cities To Face Huge Power Shortages

Chris Martenson - July 31, 2017 - 09:05
  • The Perfect Crash Indicator Is Flashing Red
  • The Future Of Media Is Here, And I Was There
  • Technology Could Make or Break the Food Workforce of the Future
  • The future of fake news: don't believe everything you read, see or hear
  • Twitter's Death Is Good News For You
  • Senators buck Sessions, move to protect state medical marijuana laws
  • Cities Face Huge Power Shortages In Near Future
  • Hydroponic greenhouses gets $25M to grow New England produce

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Categories: Economics

Medicaid Survived the Health Care Battle—Now Let’s Give It to Everyone

We should ditch employer-provided insurance. Administrative costs for Medicaid are nearly half of the cost of private sector plans. Yes, half.
Categories: Economics

Patrick Byrne: Why Cryptocurrencies Matter

Chris Martenson - July 30, 2017 - 12:28

This week we talk with Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, and rare courageous voice within corporate America raising concern that powerful interests on Wall Street are destroying US companies for profit, robbing investors and destabilizing our financial system in the process. 

Byrne has been an early advocate for digital currencies and their potential to protect financial wealth from the massive policy missteps being undertaken by the Federal Reserve. (In 2014, Overstock.com became the first major retailer to accept Bitcoin payments.) 

In this week's podcast, Byrne details out the promising potential of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, as well as his thoughts as to whether they will be able or not to evade subversion by the world central authorities.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/30 - EU Explores Account Freezes, The Disaster That Could Follow A Flash In The Sky

Chris Martenson - July 30, 2017 - 08:33
  • EU explores account freezes to prevent runs at failing banks
  • When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?
  • Iran Worried U.S. Might Be Building 8,500th Nuclear Weapon
  • When Health Law Isn’t Enough, the Desperate Line Up at Tents
  • A Veteran ICE Agent, Disillusioned with the Trump Era, Speaks Out
  • The disaster that could follow from a flash in the sky
  • Why Are Majors Shying Away From Gazprom?
  • Pittsburgh officials may have 'deflected' attention from lead-contaminated water 

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Categories: Economics

Our Brave New '''Markets'''

Chris Martenson - July 28, 2017 - 18:18

One thing is clear: These aren’t your daddy’s markets anymore.

Why?  Because about 10 years ago the Rise of the Machines (aka high frequency trading algorithms) completely altered the terrain of what we call the ‘capital markets.’ 

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Categories: Economics