Saturday, 25 May 2019

Beware! Stagflation Rears Its Ugly Head & It's The Fed's Fault

The so-called "greatest economy ever" is anything but. With each passing day, the dreaded "Stagflation" comes closer into view. Rising prices coupled with a recession is the worst of both worlds for the powers-that-shouldn't-be at The Fed. Central planning is always doomed to failure. Economic reality always strikes with a vengeance.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Global Markets Rocked as US-China Trade and Tech Rift Deepens

THE GUARDIAN: Shares fall sharply in Asia, Europe and North America in intensifying war of words

The deepening trade and technology war between the US and China has sent global stock markets sharply lower and prompted a warning from the IMF of the increasing risks to the global economy.

Shares fell sharply in Asia, Europe and North America on a day that saw investors alarmed by the intensifying war of words between Washington and Beijing, poor news on the American economy, and political chaos in Britain.

Hours after the Japanese conglomerate Panasonic joined the list of companies cutting its ties with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Huawei’s chief executive of lying when he said the company had no links to China’s communist government.

In a marked toughening of its rhetoric, China demanded that Donald Trump’s administration change course, while the country’s charge d’affairs in London said the UK could suffer “substantial” loss of investment if Huawei were banned from involvement in Britain’s 5G network. » | Larry Elliot, Economics editor | Thursday, May 23, 2019

Russia Chooses Gold over Dollar

Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, joins News.Views.Hughes to discuss the uptick in Russia’s gold-buying and why it makes some western analysts nervous.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Is Nationalism Killing the EU? | State of Europe

Since the last European parliamentary elections in 2014, nationalist right-wing parties have made significant gains in many European states. Does the growing influence of right-wing nationalism pose a threat to the ideal of European unity?

To understand what moves Europe's citizens, DW's Max Hofmann traveled around the continent seeking the perspectives of key players and those directly affected by the major issues of today. For example, how the migration drama on the southern coast of Italy originates and ends partly in eastern Germany. Or how right-wing populists in France try to lure in voters - and how comparable political forces in Poland have used similar tactics to gain seats in government. In investigating the topics of environment and climate protection, Hofmann visits the EU Climate Change Dossiers and the EU's largest per capita plastic waste producer: Ireland. Through each trip, Hofmann seeks to better understand the connections and centrifugal forces at play across Europe.

Marks & Spencer to Close Another 20 Stores as Profits Plunge

THE GUARDIAN: M&S annual profits almost wiped out by a £440m bill for a modernisation programme

Marks & Spencer is accelerating its retreat from the high street by closing a further 20 of its full-line stores, which sell clothing and food under one roof.

The retailer said it planned to close 85 of its big high street stores, on top of the 35 it has already shut. The company is battling the transfer of clothing sales online and it had already told the City to expect about 100 closures.

The news of the extra branches being axed came as the group pointed to “green shoots” of recovery, despite annual profits being pulled down by a £440m bill for a modernisation programme. The overhaul of the struggling chain will also involve the closure of 25 of its Simply Food convenience stores. » | Zoe Wood | Wednesday, May 22, 2019

British Steel Enters Insolvency after Rescue Talks with Government Fail

THE GUARDIAN: Steelmaker directly employs 5,000 people and thousands more in the supply chain

British Steel has entered insolvency, putting 5,000 jobs directly at risk and endangering thousands more in the supply chain after talks with the UK government failed to reach an agreement on emergency funding.

The business secretary, Greg Clark, issued a statement on Wednesday following confirmation that the court has granted an application by the directors of British Steel to enter an insolvency process.

Control of the company will pass to the Official Receiver – an employee of the Insolvency Service – who will run a compulsory liquidation. EY has been lined up to carry out the administration. » | Jasper Jolly | Wednesday, May 22, 2019

UN Report Compares Tory Welfare Policies to Creation of Workhouses

THE GUARDIAN: Ministers in denial about impact of austerity since 2010, says poverty expert

A leading United Nations poverty expert has compared Conservative welfare policies to the creation of 19th-century workhouses and warned that unless austerity is ended, the UK’s poorest people face lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.

In his final report on the impact of austerity on human rights in the UK, Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused ministers of being in a state of denial about the impact of policies, including the rollout of universal credit, since 2010. He accused them of the “systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population” and warned that worse could be yet to come for the most vulnerable, who face “a major adverse impact” if Brexit proceeds. He said leaving the EU was “a tragic distraction from the social and economic policies shaping a Britain that it’s hard to believe any political parties really want”. » | Robert Booth, Social affairs correspondent | Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Trump's China Trade War Risks Damaging US Economy, Says OECD

THE GUARDIAN: Intensification of tariff dispute also likely to knock almost $600bn off world economy

Donald Trump has been warned by the west’s most influential economics thinktank that further escalation of the US-China trade war would unleash significant damage for the American economy, as well as the rest of the world.

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) said that an intensification of the dispute between Washington and Beijing would likely knock as much as 0.7% off the level of global GDP by 2021-22.

Under such a scenario, the hit to the world economy from higher tariffs could be quantified at almost $600bn (£472bn).

Issuing a downbeat assessment of the global economy as the standoff between the world’s two biggest economies continues to simmer, the OECD said the world’s economic momentum had weakened markedly and that growth was set to stay at a subpar rate as the tensions over trade persist. It said both the US and China stood to lose out from the imposition of higher tariffs. » | Richard Partington, Economics correspondent | Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Friday, 17 May 2019

The Guardian View on UK Inequalities: Following the US Threatens Democracy

THE GUARDIAN: Brexit, like Trump, is not the cause of disenchantment with democracy but rather its symptom – one with roots in the UK’s political and economic disenfranchisement

Serious questions need to be asked about why Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is riding high in the polls and why so many people seem to want to buy his snake oil ahead of the elections to the European parliament. Yet no one in government is posing them. It seems obvious that countries where voters feel excluded both politically and economically will be susceptible to conspiracy thinking. As a country we ought to be grateful that Sir Angus Deaton, Nobel laureate in economics, has stepped forward to warn that the UK risks replicating the United States’ extreme inequality – and reaping the political whirlwind.

In a speech on Tuesday night in London, the Princeton economist rightly said that US capitalism is not delivering for most citizens. Even while per capita GDP has risen, real wages for US men without a four-year college degree have been falling for half a century. Less educated Americans are dying by their own hands, from suicide, from alcoholic liver disease, and from drug overdoses. Life expectancy in the US has fallen for three years in a row, the first time such a reversal has happened for a century. » | Editorial | Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Market Meltdown Continues Amid President Donald Trump's Trade War | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Wall Street saw a massive sell-off on Monday as investors responded to an escalating trade battle between the U.S. and China, after Beijing announced it would be slapping tit-for-tat tariffs on $60B of U.S. goods. The panel discusses.

Markets Can’t Save Us from Retail-less Economy

Dr. Jack Rasmus, professor of political economy, joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the ongoing restructuring of the US economy and how it enriches big businesses at the expense of ordinary people, whose jobs will continue to disappear. He says “the financialization of the global economy is getting worse” and that unregulated markets are incapable of rescuing Main Street or averting the coming economic crisis.

An Unending Trade War Leaves Wall Street Jittery

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Investors are dealing with a painful new reality: The trade war between the United States and China could last indefinitely.

That anxiety spread across the stock markets on Monday, as investors around the world tried to divine the potential fallout to economic growth and corporate profits. Bonds and commodities, too, flashed warnings of a slowdown.

The stock losses have brought an end to a recent calm that had settled over Wall Street. For months, investors had assumed that the trade war, a major hazard for the global economy, would end soon. Just weeks ago, the S&P 500 reached a record high.

That illusion has been shattered, as concerns mount about slowing growth and rising costs. China said on Monday that it would increase tariffs on nearly $60 billion of goods, in response to a similar move last week by the Trump administration. » | Matt Phillips | Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday, 13 May 2019

President & CEO 'Beyond Freaked' over China Tariff Hikes

President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association Rick Helfenbein told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that he and others in the industry are "scared and panicked" over the escalating trade war between the US and China.

Dow Plummets after China Retaliates with Higher Tariffs

The Dow plunged after China said it will raise tariffs in retaliation to last week's tariff increase by the United States. China hiked tariffs on $60 billion of imports from the United States. It first imposed the tariffs last year. Worries over the escalation of the trade spat with China just aren't going away.

China Retaliates Against the U.S. With Its Own Higher Tariffs

THE NEW YORK TIMES: BEIJING — China’s finance ministry announced on Monday evening that it was raising tariffs on a wide range of American goods to 20 percent or 25 percent from 10 percent, in the first Chinese move to retaliate over President Trump’s broader increase in tariffs on Chinese goods last Friday.

But the finance ministry delayed the implementation of its tariff increase until June 1, a delay of nearly three weeks that allows time for negotiators to make one last push for a deal. The delay roughly matches one that the Trump administration in effect put on its own tariff increase.

Beijing’s retaliation comes at a time when many in China feel that the United States has behaved highhandedly in threatening tariffs. “Mutual trust and respect are of the essence in handling the negotiations,” said Zhu Ning, a Tsinghua University economics professor. » | Keith Bradsher | Monday, May 13, 2019

Sunday, 12 May 2019

The Week Trump Drove the Stock Market Nuts: Here's a Play-by-Play of How His Trade War with China Wreaked Havoc and Erased $1.4 Trillion in Market Value

BUSINESS INSIDER: US stock market entered the week riding high, but saw its historically strong start to 2019 thrown into disarray as President Donald Trump reignited his trade war with China. / The benchmark S&P 500 lost 2.2% in its worst week of the year, while roughly $1.4 trillion was erased from global stock indexes at one point.

They say all good things must come to an end, and that certainly rang true this past week for the US stock market.

Equities entered Monday riding high after a historically strong start to 2019. But by the time Friday afternoon rolled around, they'd suffered through their worst week of the year. As of Thursday's close, the MSCI All-Country World Index of global stocks had already seen $1.4 trillion of market value erased.

But that summary hardly does justice to the turbulence felt along the way, which frayed investor nerves and led many to wonder if this was the beginning of the end for the 10-year bull market. » | Joe Ciolli | Saturday, May 11, 2019