In The News Today

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Bill Holter’s Commentary

No need to make anything anymore …except dollars for export!

Trade deficit soars as U.S. imports record amount of goods from China, Mexico, Europe
December 5, 2017

The numbers: The U.S. trade deficit in October jumped 8.6% to a ninth-month high of $48.7 billion from $44.9 billion. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a $47.6 billion gap.

Imports climbed 1.6% to a record $244.6 billion. Exports were unchanged at $195.9 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

What happened: OPEC was a big winner. Nearly half of the increase in the U.S. trade deficit was tied to larger imports of petroleum at higher prices. The average cost of a barrel of oil rose to a more than two-year high of $47.26.

The story was not just all oil. Non-petroleum imports set a new peak. The amount of goods imported from China, Mexico and the European Union all hit record highs.

The insatiable demand of Americans for consumer staples such as cell phones and HDTVs spurred imports in the runup to the holiday shopping season.

U.S. exports, for their part, were held back by a big drop in shipments of large passenger planes and soybeans. Both typically exhibit sharp swings in late summer and early fall.

The big picture: The sharp increase in the trade deficit might be the only thing to prevent the U.S. economy from topping 3% for the third quarter in a row. If it doesn’t recede in the next two months, fourth-quarter GDP could take a hit.

Yet a larger deficit doesn’t tell the whole story. Americans are importing more goods because the U.S. economy is the healthiest it’s been in more than a decade. They can afford to spend more.

U.S. exports have also surged owing to the strongest global economy in perhaps just as long. Other countries are also doing better



Bill Holter’s Commentary

Being the skeptics we are and speaking of bogus charities, the question must be asked  “how much of Clinton foundation money reached its charitable intentions…”?

Ex-Rep. Corrine Brown Sentenced To 5 Years For Stealing From Bogus Charity
December 4, 2017

Former Rep. Corrine Brown has been sentenced to five years in prison for pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars from donors who believed their money was going to charity. A federal judge on Monday sentenced the Florida Democrat, who was voted out of office last year, on 18 crimes ranging from conspiracy to fraud.

“It is a sad day for everyone. It is a sad day for this community,” Judge Timothy Corrigan said in court, according to The Associated Press. “I was impressed with all the outpouring of support for you and it’s a tribute to you and the work you’ve done … and that makes it more tragic and sad.”

The prison sentence marks the coup de grâce for Brown’s political career, which at one time was lauded for its historic, trailblazing achievement. When she won election to the House in 1992, Brown became one of the first three African-American lawmakers from Florida to be elected to Congress since Reconstruction.

Brown, 71, went on to serve 12 terms in the House until she lost last year’s election under the cloud of her indictment.