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Daily Digestss 7/20 - China Stocks Plunge, Thoughts On Gold

Chris Martenson - July 20, 2017 - 07:15
  • China stocks plunge on ‘Black Monday’, with nearly 500 stocks falling by daily limit of 10pc
  • Japan Central Bank's ETF Shopping Spree Is Becoming a Worry
  • Trump Fed chief candidates say ambitious growth targets can be met
  • Thoughts On Gold
  • Who are the Transportation Disadvantaged?
  • U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel
  • Together, technology and teachers can revamp schools
  • The Man Who Blew The Door Off The Microbial World
  • 'An insane amount of heat' as fire near Yosemite National Park moves with frightening speed

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Categories: Economics

College Was Once Free and For the Public Good—What Happened?

Students didn’t have to worry about tuition and debt until higher education became more about personal gain than contributing to society.
Categories: Economics

Illinois's Cook County Helps Solar Energy Cooperatives Rise and Shine

Shareable Magazine - July 19, 2017 - 13:23

In Cook County, Illinois, one of the most populous counties in the U.S., officials are taking an innovative approach to spur job growth and promote sustainable energy. Last April, they launched a program to support community shared solar power in the Chicago area and selected 15 pilot sites — public housing complexes, churches, industrial areas, and landfills, to implement community-owned solar projects.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/19 - Insurance Set To Soar For Some In LA, Private Student Loan Debts Could Be Wiped Away

Chris Martenson - July 19, 2017 - 07:21
  • Health insurance rates set to soar for some in Louisiana
  • Fort Worth pension woes bring second downgrade from Moody’s
  • Venezuela has less than $10 billion -- lowest reserves in over 20 years
  • As Paperwork Goes Missing, Private Student Loan Debts May Be Wiped Away
  • Japan gov't says to miss primary surplus goal, debt/GDP ratio to fall
  • Japan Central Bank's ETF Shopping Spree Is Becoming a Worry
  • Jeff Sessions wants police to take more cash from American citizens
  • Ecuador Abandons The OPEC Deal: Who’s Next?
  • City of Chicago posts deleted EPA climate change information on website

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Categories: Economics

Nearly Half of Trump Supporters Want Republicans to Work with Democrats to Improve ACA

And the majority of the Senate wants to work together, find common ground, and move on. That’s called governing.
Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/18 - From $2B to Zero, Don't Get Burned By Cryptocurrencies

Chris Martenson - July 18, 2017 - 08:37
  • From $2 Billion to Zero: A Private-Equity Fund Goes Bust in the Oil Patch
  • Average Canadian house worth $504,458 in June, down 10% since April
  • Sniffing out the truth about the end of the Canadian real estate boom: Don Pittis
  • Don't Get Burned By Cryptocurrencies
  • What's the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?
  • What We Know — And Don’t Know — About Hate Crimes in America
  • Electric Vehicles Won’t Topple Oil... Yet
  • No offense, American bees, but your sperm isn’t cutting it

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Categories: Economics

10 Noteworthy Experiences at OuiShare Fest 2017

Shareable Magazine - July 18, 2017 - 04:30

There is a growing potential for "United Cities" to replace the United Nations, according to Mark Watts, executive director of C40, a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change. This statement was quite fitting for the opening plenary of the fifth annual Ouishare Fest in Paris, France, this month. This year's event focused on the great potential of cities.

Categories: Economics

Failure To Communicate

Chris Martenson - July 17, 2017 - 18:06

The mass media simply doesn't have an established reference point for the concerned citizen who, through education and foresight, decides to take prudent steps today to reduce their future vulnerability while increasing their level of personal prosperity.

So, movements like ours get shunted into the existing constructs they do know, pretty much all of which exist on the "fringe".

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Categories: Economics

How Biohackers at Counter Culture Labs Are Trying to Make Insulin More Affordable

Shareable Magazine - July 17, 2017 - 08:44

According to the World Health Organization, more than 420 million people around the world — including over 29 million Americans — have diabetes. People with diabetes are unable to naturally produce sufficient insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar in the body. Over 90 years ago, Canadian scientists discovered a way to extract the hormone from pigs and cattle and purify it for human use.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/17 - Fake 'Natural' Foods, How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking

Chris Martenson - July 17, 2017 - 06:42
  • Coca-Cola Insists It Made Coke ‘Healthy’ by Putting Fiber in It
  • Bitcoin is trying to find a bottom after a weekend selloff
  • The Threat to American Elections You Don’t Know About But Should
  • These 'missing charts' may change the way you think about fossil fuel addiction
  • Are Deeper Cuts OPEC’s Only Option?
  • Live near the beach? Coral reef expert Charlie Veron has some advice for you
  • Degeneration Nation: Connecting the Dots Between Factory Farms, Roundup, GMOs, and Fake 'Natural' Foods
  • How a Small Town Is Standing Up to Fracking

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/15 - Americans Hoarding Money In Checking Accounts, Temp Adjustments And Climate Change

Chris Martenson - July 15, 2017 - 07:47
  • Americans are hoarding money in checking accounts
  • Confidant Of Pope Francis Condemns U.S. Religious Right
  • National Debt Too High, Silver Price Too Low
  • The Fallout 
  • Uber's Opportunistic Ouster
  • ‘Extreme’ Use of Painkillers and Doctor Shopping Plague Medicare, New Report Says
  • Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand
  • Orwell’s Nightmare: Temperature Adjustments and Climate Change 

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Categories: Economics

A Better Model For Predicting What Happens Next

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 20:39
Executive Summary
  • The dangerous shortcomings of the world's dominant 'Neoclassical' economic models
  • The predictive advantage of understanding the Overton Window
  • The alternative (and very likely better) models of Keen and Minsky
  • The critical improvement to ALL models of tying economics to energy/resources

If you have not yet read Part 1: Bad Models Result In Terrible Outcomes available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

So let’s see if we can understand the model errors for the central banks.  Again this is important because if they’ve got it wrong, then we all will pay a very heavy price -- with Venezuela, Argentina, and Zimbabwe all providing vivid examples of what happens when the social contract of money is ruined.  

To begin, the current crop of monetary practitioners at the world’s central banks are all devotees and advocates of the neoclassical branch of economics.  It’s an odd dogma for them to hold because its track record at explaining or predicting what has either happened or might yet happen is utterly dismal.

As Steve Keen explains:

[Economics as understood by the central bankers] has always been grounded in the beliefs that (a) capitalism is inherently stable, (b) that the financial sector can be ignored—yes that’s right, ignored—when doing macroeconomics, and (c) that the Great Depression was an anomaly that can also be ignored, because it can only have been caused either by an exogenous shock or bad government policy, both of which cannot be predicted in advance.

(Source)

The main flaw in the neoclassical approach to economics is that it completely ignores, or rather assumes away, any and all trends in debt creation.  In this bizarrely incomplete system of thinking, the financial system is considered to be, essentially, a self-correcting zero-sum entity (that balances itself out nicely with a little help now and then). 

So such things as carefully tracking GDP increase per new unit of debt, overall indebtedness ratios and understanding that crises are bred from complacency are of no practical concern to a neoclassical economist, such as those fully occupying the halls of power currently.

One way to understand the dogma that infects the central banking halls of power lies in what Jim Kunstler recently surfaced in a piece he wrote on the Overton Window, which, importantly...

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Categories: Economics

Bad Models Result In Terrible Outcomes

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 20:38

Recently I spent a month in Buenos Aries.  I went there to study the people, the culture and the economy of a prosperous land, filled with kind, well educated people.

One key lesson was this; bad policies can ruin every advantage you might have had.

While not as bad off as it was in 2002 when people filled the streets banging pots and pans in protest of their economically ruined lives, the place is still clearly depressed as are most of its people. 

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Categories: Economics

Off The Cuff: The Schizophrenic Fed

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 09:59

In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Axel Merk discuss:

  • No Rate Hike After All?
    • Yellen sings a dovish tune this week
  • Wait, Wasn't The Fed Just Warning It Would Tighten?
    • Yep. It was talking tough up until now
  • Why Can't The Fed Make Up It's Mind?
    • Because it's in a box. Jawboning is all it can do at this point
  • The Next Fed Head
    • A complete transformation may be in store soon

Chris and Axel unpack the latest guidance from the Fed issued this week. For those listening, the Fed's inconsistency is understandably infuriating. One week it's warning about tightening ahead, the next it's telling folks rates are just fine where they are.

Axel, who has more inside access to current & past Fed officials than anyone we know, feels that the Fed is simply trying to walk a tightrope it knows will one day snap. At this point, it's trapped. It needs to normalize rates, but doing so will crash the markets. So it's using the only tool it has -- confusion -- to keep the system fooled that everything is under control. Of course, one day the ruse will be discovered. But until then, the Fed will obfuscate, vacillate, prevaricate -- whatever it can do to keep the status quo in place for one more day...

Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/14 - Good News Friday: Human Chain Rescues Drowning Family, Zen And The Art Of Making Meat

Chris Martenson - July 14, 2017 - 08:15
  • Amazing human chain formed to rescue drowning family in PCB
  • Connecticut Just Banned Civil Forfeiture Without A Criminal Conviction
  • Bail reform wins final passage in Senate
  • Free Us All
  • Oregon Senate passes bill to mandate work schedule predictability
  • Gov. Inslee signs ‘best-in-nation' paid family leave program
  • Zen in the Art of Making Meat
  • Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule

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Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/13 - Finding Unity In Divided D.C., What's Next For Stocks, Bonds and Gold?

Chris Martenson - July 13, 2017 - 06:49
  • Finding Unity In A Divided Washington
  • What's next for the dollar, stocks, bonds & gold?
  • Blockchain: The End of Gold Price Suppression
  • Putin's Real Long Game
  • This Nation Just Became The World’s Newest Energy Superpower
  • Energy Independence: Chimera or Chameleon?
  • The Louisiana Environmental Apocalypse Road Trip
  • Garbage-Fed Seagulls Are Spoiling Our Lakes and Reservoirs With Their Poop

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Categories: Economics

The Time Thief

Chris Martenson - July 12, 2017 - 19:14

Recently, the Federal Reserve has been on a mission to boost stock prices and make sure that no financial crises ever happen again.

They’ve been doing this by explicitly propping up financial markets (and, I believe, suppressing others) in ways that enrich the speculator class generally, and the big banks specifically.

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Categories: Economics

Podcast: Douglas Rushkoff and Natalie Foster on the Future of Work

Shareable Magazine - July 12, 2017 - 12:45

Playing for Team Human today is Natalie Foster. Foster brings a unique determination and optimism to questions surrounding the future of work. Her research as a fellow of the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and as an affiliate at the Institute for the Future focuses on rebuilding the social contract for the changing landscape of labor in the 21st century.

Categories: Economics

This Massachusetts Town Shows What a Sustainable Economy Looks Like

Shareable Magazine - July 12, 2017 - 12:03

For more than three decades, the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, has quietly demonstrated how grassroots, sustainable, and human-centric projects could easily become the building blocks of the next economy. One organic farm in particular has been a shining example of how economic systems that take human and environmental needs into account could uplift communities.

Categories: Economics

Daily Digest 7/12 - LA Budget Woes Continue, CA Cuts Services To Pay Pension Costs

Chris Martenson - July 12, 2017 - 07:38
  • A city pension board vote could add to Los Angeles' budget woes
  • Senator calls Illinois tax increase a 'welcome to Michigan' sign
  • California Cuts Services, Staff to Pay Pension Costs
  • Emanuel sloughs off Moody’s threat to drop Chicago’s bond rating
  • Troubled Chicago school system sells $500 million bonds at high rates
  • Illinois' $21 billion in school debt pushes up property taxes
  • Risks in China's banking sector controllable: official
  • US consumer credit up $18.4 billion in May, most in 6 months
  • EU seeks more collective approach to dealing with bad loans

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Categories: Economics