Posts Categorized: Jim’s Mailbox

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Jim,

How does this go…currency wars trade wars hot wars?

Dave

China Ambassador Warns Of “Dire Consequences” If No Deal, Hints At “All Out” War
November 28, 2018

Earlier today, Trump’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow poured cold water on expectations for an imminent resolution of the US-China trade war when he said that negotiations in the run up to this week’s G-20 talks “haven’t yielded any progress”, and unless something changes, the “administration will move ahead with the next phase of tariffs.”

“Things have been moving very slowly between the two countries,” Kudlow said, adding that it was up to Xi to come up with new ideas to break the deadlock. And, echoing a report from the US Trade Representative published earlier this month, Kudlow said there hasn’t been much of a change in China’s approach. “We can’t find much change in their approach,” Kudlow told reporters. “President Xi may have a lot more to say in the bilateral [with Mr Trump], I hope he does by the way, I think we all hope he does…but at the moment, we don‘t see it.”

Just a few hours later, a report by Reuters confirmed that Kudlow won’t be “seeing it” for a long time, because according to China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, China is going to this week’s G-20 summit hoping for a deal to ease a damaging trade war with the United States, even as he warned of “dire consequences” if U.S. hardliners – read the trade hawks led by Peter Navarro – try to separate the world’s two largest economies.

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JB,

This really pushes the PC boundaries using a native American truth telling.  I can’t wait to respond to the brigade of offended snowflakes!  It seems the truer something is…the more offended they are?

Best,

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim,

We talked about this on Saturday.

Dave

Sweden Is on the Verge of Going Completely Cashless: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
November 26, 2018

Sweden is rapidly turning into a cashless society, which seems like the utopian dream of many a government figure. What could possibly go wrong from the government’s point of view? Isn’t it ideal that they could soon digitally control every single person in the country?

Actually, quite a few things are going wrong. So much so that even members of the government are expressing concern.

Sweden is the most cashless society in the world

The change is happening fast in the European country.

“No cash accepted” signs are becoming an increasingly common sight in shops and eateries across Sweden as payments go digital and mobile…

…Sweden is widely regarded as the most cashless society on the planet. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; many shops, museums and restaurants now only accept plastic or mobile payments…

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…And no one will be allowed special anything for attempting illegal entry. Learn what “legal” is and become one, it is LITERALLY as simple as that…

JB

Trump Tells Mexico To Ship Migrants Home Or See Border Permanently Closed
November 26, 2018

President Trump offered Mexico some advice on deporting migrants massed in Tijuana and threatening to storm the U.S., telling the neighboring nation in a tweet to send them “back to their countries” by plane or by bus – or face a permanent closure of the border.

Trump’s tweet followed a vow from Mexico to deport migrants who tried to illegally enter the U.S. The Trump administration has said asylum claims from members of a series of caravans originating in Central America must be processed outside the U.S., and that all those entering illegally will be denied. A federal judge has at least temporarily ruled against the policy, but the administration has taken steps to harden the border.

“Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump tweeted early Monday morning. “Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it anyway you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A. We will close the Border permanently if need be. Congress, fund the WALL!”

The missive came after a chaotic Sunday that saw hundreds of migrants from a caravan that originated in Central American pushing past Mexican riot police and rushing the border at the port of entry in San Ysidro, Calif., in a major test for both U.S. border authorities and Mexican officials.

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Democracy?

Jim

Voter fraud in California?

JB

Signature Gatherers Bribed Skid Row Homeless People in ‘Large-Scale Voter Fraud Scheme,’ DA Says
November 20, 2018

Nine people are accused of various fraud charges after allegedly bribing homeless people on Skid Row with money and cigarettes to sign ballot measure petitions and voter registration forms, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The defendants allegedly solicited hundreds of false and/or forged signatures by offering homeless people $1 and/or cigarettes for their participation during the 2016 and 2018 cycles.

The charges include circulating a petition with false names, using a false name on a petition, registering a fictitious person and voter fraud.

Kirkland Kauzava Washington, 38, Harold Bennett, 53, and Louis Thomas Wise, 36, each face eight counts and six years and four months in prison if convicted.

Richard Howard, 62, Rose Makeda Sweeney, 42, Christopher Joseph Williams, 66, Jakara Fati Mardis, 35, Norman Hall, 61, and Nickey Demelvin Huntley, 44, each face four counts and four years and eight months in prison if charged.

Prosecutors recommended that bail be set at $25,000 for each defendant.

The arrests of the defendants were part of an LAPD crack down on voter fraud, according to the Los Angeles Times, and the FBI also investigated.

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Jim,

Looks like President Trump is worried about the Petro dollar and US policy!

Dave

Trump Says Oil Prices Would “Go Through The Roof” If We Broke With Saudi Arabia; Wants Lower Rates
November 20, 2018

Shortly before departing to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday, Trump issued a flurry of statements to reporters, covering everything from geopolitics, to monetary policy, to currencies, to his daugher’s emailing habits.

Echoing previous remarks, Trump started by saying he would like to see lower oil prices and interest rates.

Trump also repeated his earlier statement, saying that abandoning Saudi Arabia would be a mistake and that the Saudi situation is “complicated” and “is what it is.” The president also said that he will meet the Saudi Crown Prince in Argentina “if he’s there.”  Earlier, Trump said the U.S. would remain “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia after the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Courtesy of Dave.

Jim

America Has Built 800+ Military Bases Worldwide. So Why Can’t It Build a Mexican Border Wall?
November 20, 2018

 The US government has constructed at tremendous cost to its taxpayers some of the most impressive structures – both architectural and organizational – of all time. Yet somehow it has failed to build a viable wall on the Mexican border.

In 1931, during the Great Depression, the US government began construction of the Hoover Dam, one of the most ambitious civil engineering projects ever attempted. Employing thousands of US laborers, some 100 of whom reportedly lost their lives in the course of the project, the dam is mind-boggling due its sheer size, rivaling that of the pyramids.

At 726 feet tall, the wedge-shaped structure is 660 ft (200 m) thick at its base, narrowing to 45 ft (14 m) at the top, which provides enough room to accommodate a highway connecting Nevada and Arizona. The project required millions of cubic feet of concrete – said to be enough to pave a two-lane highway from San Francisco to New York – and tens of millions of pounds of steel.

Many decades later, the US government undertook another extensive project known as the US Embassy in Baghdad. Although rarely discussed in the US media, this 104-acre slice of American property in a foreign country is so immense that it rivals Vatican City in terms of size [the Vatican is an independent city-state, complete with its own euro-based currency and security detail, located inside of Rome].

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Jim/Bill,

A bank looking for a hedge……

Deutsche Bank Lost $60MM On Trade Meant To Minimize Risk

The most troubled German lender had put on a hedge to minimize risk at its U.S. equities business. Instead, the company lost tens of millions on the trade.    

    November 21, 2018

When it was right under their noses!

Weiner: “Buying Gold Is A Non-Expiring Hedge”

“In this scenario, the marginal buyer of gold will not be the speculator. It will be the mainstream investor who is desperate to protect himself from a financial system going mad again…”

    November 21, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diogenes, seeking the perfect hedge.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

 

Jim/Bill,

You know the system’s broke when…….

You get paid for a job POORLY done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for the bonuses.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Sears Asks To Pay Executive Bonuses Despite Bankruptcy
November 19, 2018

Struggling retailer Sears Holding Corp. this month asked a court to approve millions of dollars in bonuses to 18 company executives despite ongoing bankruptcy proceedings that led to the closures of dozens of store locations.

The company wants to pay a total of $8.5 million in bonuses to the executives as well as a further $16.9 million in retention bonuses to 322 other high-level employees, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. If approved, the payments would be dispersed over the company’s next two fiscal quarters.

Sears’ chief financial officer and chief digital officer are among the executives who would receive bonuses. The payouts to other employees would be tied to the company’s financial performance.

Sears declined to comment. A bankruptcy court is expected to decide on the request on Dec. 20.

The company, which includes Sears and Kmart stores, has struggled to maintain sales and store traffic amid the rise of e-commerce competitors. Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October and said it would close 142 unprofitable stores as part of the restructuring process.

Sears is attempting to sell about 400 of its top-performing stores. An auction of the stores is expected to take place in January.

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Jim/Bill,

California wildfires have taken center stage this year.

Will financial wildfires follow suit? Contagion?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A contagion in the banking community could prompt a rush for the exits and another FED bailout.

But hey, it’s only money.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

These Banks Now Have A $41 Billion Problem With GE
November 21, 2018

Three weeks ago we reported that in the first nail to its investment grade coffin, GE had found itself completely shut out of the Commercial Paper market when Moody’s downgraded its senior unsecured rating to Baa1, from A2, and downgraded the short-term rating to P-2, from P-1, making future sales of CP impossible. So, in lieu of CP access, GE said it would replace that funding with a net $40.8 billion of available credit facilities committed from banks. Or, as we explained “GE will now use its revolver, which carries a higher interest rate, to fund what it previously achieved using CP.”

This transition in GE’s reliance from commercial paper to revolver is not just a problem for GE, however, which now faces higher funding costs and encumbered assets: with the industrial conglomerate’s business and operations deteriorating rapidly, GE has become a major headache for America’s largest banks almost overnight.

As Bloomberg reports, the five biggest Wall Street firms have committed to lending at least $3.5 billion each to GE even as the industrial giant is facing rising concerns about its viability and the sustainability of its debt.

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It’s who counts the vote that is the problem…or is it Common Core?

JB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Meeting of the Summer Tires Club. Courtesy of CIGA Sister K.

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Mike Martin, who has been with me from the days of the Sinclair Group Companies.

Jim

China Just Dumped The Biggest Load Of US Treasuries In 8 Months
November 19, 2018

In September, China’s share of US Treasuries holdings had the highest decline since January as ongoing trade tensions with Washington forced the world’s biggest economy to take measures to stabilize its national currency.

Still the biggest foreign holder of the US foreign debt, China slashed it’s share by nearly $14 billion, with the country’s holdings falling to $1.15 trillion from nearly $1.17 trillion in August, according to the latest data from the Treasury Department. The fall marks the fourth straight month of declines. China is followed by Japan, whose share of US Treasuries fell to $1.03 trillion, the lowest since October 2011.

Washington has accelerated the Treasury issuance to avoid potential growth in the federal deficit due to the massive tax cut pushed by President Donald Trump, as well the federal spending deal approved by the government in February.

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Jim,

Is President Trump concerned the Petro dollar is in danger?

Dave

Trump Affirms Support For MbS, Warns “World Is A Dangerous Place”
November 20, 2018

After promising to publish a “very full report” about the CIA’s findings related to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s complicity in the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump on Tuesday instead released a statement where he once again defended the US’s relationship with the kingdom, and questioned whether MbS even knew about the killing.

While Trump described the murder as a “terrible” and “unacceptable” crime, he claimed that as US intelligence agencies continue to investigate, they could still find that MbS wasn’t responsible for ordering Khashoggi’s murder.

Oil prices moved lower on the statement as investors interpreted it as just another sign that the US won’t follow through with any material sanctions or other punitive measures against the kingdom itself (though the Treasury Department did sanction 17 individual Saudis, including a senior aide to the prince, over their alleged involvement. Presumably, as long as the kingdom does everything in its power to keep oil prices low, Trump won’t give them any problems.

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