Daily Digest 7/4 – U.S. Sees Most Layoffs Since Financial Crisis, Renewables ‘Never Meant To’ Power Modern Civilization

Economy

Hong Kong police tactics baffle the experts as legislature is trashed (Sparky1)

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, saying she had heard people “loud and clear”, suspended the extradition bill, which would allow people to be sent to mainland China for trial, but stopped short of protesters’ demands to scrap it.

Roubini Lives Up to ‘Dr. Doom’ Alias With Global Recession Call (Adam)

“There’s massive, massive amounts of price manipulation” in cryptocurrency trading, he said in remarks at the conference. As for blockchain, “it’s the most overhyped technology ever, it’s nothing better than a glorified spreadsheet,” Roubini said. “Nobody’s using it, and nobody’s ever going to use it.”

Putin signs bill suspending participation in nuclear arms treaty (Sparky1)

Putin has vowed that Russia will not be the first to deploy new intermediate-range missiles and warned the U.S. against deploying new missiles in Europe, saying that Russia will retaliate by fielding new, fast weapons that will take just as little time to reach their targets.

US sees most layoffs since the financial crisis, many in retail jobs (Adam)

Jobs outsourcing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has kept layoff data by month for years. Its researchers wrote, “So far this year, employers have announced plans to cut 330,987 jobs, a 35% increase from the 245,179 cuts announced through the first half of last year. This year marks the highest first-half total since 2009, when 896,675 job cuts were announced.” Second-quarter numbers were not much better. Cuts for the period rose 34% from the same period in 2018, when the figure was 104,800.

How One State Is Effectively Tackling Its Vaccine Problem (Sparky1)

Not only that, the findings revealed a decrease in geographic clusters of under-vaccinated children, which pose a particular threat to herd immunity and can fuel wider outbreaks. Because the measles is so contagious (about 90 percent of people who are unvaccinated and come into contact with the disease will catch it), the percent of people who must be vaccinated in an area in order to sustain herd immunity is very high.

EU leaders choose France’s Lagarde for ECB after marathon summit (Sparky1)

The discord echoed a wider fracturing of the EU’s political center that was evident in May’s European Parliament elections that delivered a more fragmented assembly in which no bloc won a majority and far-right and far-left groups performed strongly.

Israel says it is bracing militarily for possible U.S.-Iran escalation (Sparky1)

“It should be taken into account that mistaken calculations by the (Iranian) regime…are liable to bring about a shift from the ‘gray zone’ to the ‘red zone’ – that is, a military conflagration,” he said in a speech to the Herzliya Conference.

A Tale of Three Cities (GE Christenson)

The fictional City of Debtapolis resembles countries in the western hemisphere. Regular people, politicians, and central bankers inhabit the city. Digital currency units buy less every year, and are created in large quantities. The political and financial elite control the government and economy to expand their wealth. Economic statistics, sincere politicians and the media assure the people that “it’s all good.”

Hong Kong Protests Show Dangers of a Cashless Society (thc0655)

Specifically, protestors fear that the Chinese judicial system, with all its attendant human rights baggage, would come to supplant Hong Kong’s. This would be no small problem. China isn’t shy about cracking down on political dissidents, even those from other states under their control. For example, in 2017, a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist was detained in China and sentenced to five years in prison for “subverting [Chinese] state power” in his home country.

Oh that it should come to this Part 10 (Jesper A.)

There was a code as there always is, a way of being part of the group, a sort of collective idea where too much individualism and separation was seen as bad — the alarms are going off left and right — is this not a sect?

President Trump slams China, Europe over currency manipulation as he defends July 4 event cost (Sparky1)

Trump’s tweet came a day after he announced two picks for the Federal Reserve, Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller. Trump has criticized the Fed for raising interest rates. Higher rates generally increase the value of a country’s currency.

ISIS escapees become victims of sex trafficking (Sparky1)

In the post-ISIS era, the vulnerable and displaced are easy prey for human trafficking rings. CNN’s Arwa Damon reports on what’s causing the trade to rise in Iraq.

A giant heat dome over Alaska is set to threaten all-time temperature records (Sparky1)

Anchorage’s nighttime lows may settle only in the mid-60s during this hot stretch, which is close to its average high at this time of year.

“This 7-day forecast contains the warmest 1-day, warmest 2-day, warmest 3-day, warmest 4-day, warmest 5-day, warmest 6-day, and warmest 7-day period on record for Anchorage,” tweeted Alaska climatologist Brian Brettschneider. This heat wave is the latest in a nonstop barrage of warm weather for the northernmost state. It comes right on the heels of a June that was well above average and filled with wildfires that are persisting and/or growing into July.

The Reason Renewables Can’t Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To (Ivo M.)

After renewables investors and advocates, including Al Gore and Greenpeace, criticized Germany, journalists came to the country’s defense. “Germany has fallen short of its emission targets in part because its targets were so ambitious,” one of them argued last summer.

“If the rest of the world made just half Germany’s effort, the future for our planet would look less bleak,” she wrote. “So Germany, don’t give up. And also: Thank you.”

The Devastation of Farm Country Is Biting Us All on the Butt (Don R.)

Such hardship is not a one-time blip. For six straight years, more than half of America’s ag producers have lost money on their crops and herds, and this year promises more of the same. Thus, to keep the farm afloat and make ends meet, farmers commonly work a part-time side job and have a spouse who commutes to a full-time city job. With typical dark humor, they refer to these off-farm jobs as the cost of supporting their “farming habit.” Indeed, today’s ag economy is so bleak that about 70% of the total income of U.S. farm families comes from their “secondary jobs.”

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/3/19

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