The ECB’s efforts to buy corporate bonds as part of its stupendous asset buying binge has not only pushed a number of government bond yields below zero, where investors are guaranteed a loss if they hold the bond to maturity, but it has also done a number – perhaps even a bigger one – on the euro junk-bond market. It has totally gone nuts. Or rather the humans and algorithms that make the buying decisions have gone nuts. The average junk bond yield has dropped to an all-time record low of 2.42%.
In the household survey, employment rose by 345,000. However, voluntary part-time employment rose by a whopping 469,000 while part-time for economic reasons dropped by 44,000.
Journalist Seymour Hersh has given us good reason to believe what many have long suspected: that the “hacking” of the Democratic National Committee, which supposedly delivered the White House to Donald Trump, was an inside job. In a recorded phone conversation with Ed Butowsky, a Republican operative who has been financing an investigation of the Seth Rich affair, Hersh told Butowsky that Seth Rich, who worked for the DNC and was murdered on July 10, 2016, was in contact with WikiLeaks, and wanted money for access to the DNC emails.
Earlier this week I was struck by the similarities and differences between two graphs I saw float by. And the thought occurred that they are as scary as they are interesting. The graphs show eerily similar trends. And complement each other. The first graph, which Tyler Durden posted, shows productivity, defined as more or less the same as GDP per capita. It goes all the way back to 1790 and contends that 2017 productivity is about back to the level it was at in 1790. In the article, Tyler suggests a link with the amount of time people spend on Instagram et al, but perhaps there is something more going on.
Russia hysteria has become a full-blown national psychosis at a moment in history when a separate array of troubles poses the real threat to America’s well-being. Most of these have to do with the country’s swan dive into bankruptcy, but meeting them honestly would force uncomfortable choices on the grifters and caitiffs in congress. Meanwhile, the Treasury Dept is burning through its dwindling cash reserves, and all government activities will face a shutdown at the end of the summer unless congress votes to raise the debt ceiling — which may be way harder than passing the stupid Russia sanctions bill.
Home prices in Canada’s largest city posted their biggest monthly drop in at least 17 years in July and sales plunged as government efforts to cool the market and the near-collapse of a mortgage lender made buyers leery.
Last week I wrote an article and did an interview explaining that in my reading of the new Russia sanctions bill just signed by President Trump, there is a measure opening the door to a US government crackdown on some of the non-mainstream media. In particular, Section 221 of the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” would punish “persons” who are “engaging in transactions with the intelligence or defense sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation.”
The government fought cannabis — and cannabis won. This Wednesday is the eightieth anniversary of the first major action the federal government took against cannabis in the United States, and eight decades later, that same federal government has still failed to reduce Americans’ consumption of the plant. In fact, it’s on the rise. Long before the era of prohibition, druggists used cannabis as a medicine. According to Origins, a joint publication by the Ohio State University and Miami University history departments.
There was some proof that President Donald Trump was a major proponent of currency manipulation during the 2016 presidential campaign, but now the evidence is piling up and he sounds like one big Keynesian. It now seems like he is going to finally forego a strong-dollar policy that was implemented by former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s – though the greenback hast lost 95 percent of its value since 1913.
The German media has characterized US arms deliveries to Ukraine as a nightmare. In an interview with Sputnik, political analyst Igor Shatrov said that this opinion is shared by all Europeans who have fallen victim to Washington’s sanctions.