Daily Digest 11/21 – Understanding the Repo Crisis, Fracking Under Fire In California


Wall Street is getting very bullish as stocks hit records. Here’s why that’s worrisome (Thomas R.)

“Everybody seems to think that FOMO [Fear of Missing Out] will cause institutional players to buy, buy, buy into the end of the year,” Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, told me. “Everyone is saying that the only thing that can throw a wrench in the works is a breakdown in the Phase One [China] negotiations and nobody thinks that will happen (because both sides need some sort of smaller deal),” he wrote to me.

Dalio: We Are Heading Into a ‘New World Order’ (Thomas R.)

Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of investment management firm Bridgewater Associates, talks about the global economy, financial markets, and policies. He speaks at Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum in Beijing.

Boomers Are Thriving on an ‘Unprecedented’ $9 Trillion Inheritance (Thomas R.)

Age inequality is most dramatic when comparing the oldest and youngest adults. In 1989, the median household age 65 to 75 held almost eight times more wealth than families headed by 25- to 35-year-olds. By 2016, according to an analysis by the St. Louis Fed, the median baby boomer had close to 13 times more wealth than the typical millennial.

Trump’s Pardons for Servicemen Raise Fears That Laws of War Are History (tmn)

While all three men were accused of war crimes, the details of their cases raised disparate concerns for military order.

Lieutenant Lorance was convicted at trial in 2013 for ordering the shooting of a group of civilians in Afghanistan, an order he then tried to cover up. He was given a full pardon.

Trump wants South Korea to pay more for defense. He shouldn’t stop there (Thomas R.)

Each one of these foreign bases costs the taxpayers not just in maintenance bills, but in payments we often must make to those foreign countries to use their land or coastlines. There are also the costs of maintaining diplomatic relationships with those nations to make sure they don’t suddenly kick our troops and bases out. At last count, the cost of maintaining those bases is $156 billion per year.

Two jail guards for Jeffrey Epstein charged with cover-up in his suicide (Thomas R.)

In an afternoon hearing, Noel and Thomas pleaded not guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn to charges they falsely certified to having conducted inmate counts during Epstein’s final hours, and to a conspiracy charge. They are each expected to be released on bail.

“It is our hope that we will be able to reach a reasonable agreement in this case,” Noel’s lawyer, Jason Foy, told reporters outside the courthouse, but added that his client was prepared to defend against the charges.

Understanding the Repo Crisis (thc0655)

The crisis in liquidity is that American bankers will NOT lend to Europe. Because of the European Banking Crisis, banks just do not trust banks. Nobody knows who will be standing after a failure at Deutsche Bank. The Fed has had to step in to be the neutral lender NOT because of a crisis in the USA, but because of the collapse in confidence in Europe’s banking system as a whole. Stay alert – this is just getting started.

Competition in retail has become a zero-sum game: Morning Brief (Thomas R.)

The results also come ahead of expected results out Thursday from Nordstrom (JWN), Macy’s (M), and the Gap; same-store sales are forecast to fall 1%, 0.3%, and 3.5% at each company, respectively. (Shares of Nordstrom and The Gap were also caught up in the apparel selloff on Wednesday, dropping 4% and 3% ahead of each company’s quarterly report.)

‘Polite’ robots and underground tunnels: JD’s vision for future smart cities (Thomas R.)

British start-up Magway recently announced that it is planning to build narrow underground tunnels and tracks to run beside U.K. freeways and beneath cities carrying parcels and groceries. The company hopes to build a network of pipes, less than 1 meter wide, to transport items in pods along a track powered by a magnetic motor.

Gold Stocks Now? (GE Christenson)

Compared to the S&P500 Index, the GSCI (commodity index) is at five-decade lows. The ratio has not been this low since 1971. After 1971, gold rose from $40 to over $800 by January 1980. A similar factor of 20 rise in the price of gold would move it to $30,000 – a crazy number.

China bought most of Greece’s main port and now it wants to make it the biggest in Europe (Thomas R.)

Since the Greek financial crisis, Beijing and Athens have deepened their links. Greece announced in August last year that it was formally joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — the ambitious investment plan of Xi that connects Asia, Africa and Europe.

Fracking Under Fire In California (Michael S.)

Interestingly, however, Gov. Newsom said at the time that he did not think that he had the authority to place a moratorium on fracking, something that environmental groups have long demanded. The latest actions only affect permits for new projects. According to the AP, there are 263 pending permits on the desk of regulators, but none of them have been approved since July when the top official was removed.

Re-greening: can Louisville plant its way out of a heat emergency? (jdargis)

Trees provide shade while also lowering the temperature of their surroundings through evaporative cooling. Without action, it is feared the tree canopy will continue to decline as trees fall due to storms, pests and age – a scenario that could see the city’s rapid warming continue, alongside a number of other deleterious effects.

Gold & Silver

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Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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