Daily Digest 8/3 – Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay Middle Class, What’s Happening To Greenland’s Ice?


Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class (Sparky1)

The debt surge is partly by design, a byproduct of low borrowing costs the Federal Reserve engineered after the financial crisis to get the economy moving. It has reshaped both borrowers and lenders. Consumers increasingly need it, companies increasingly can’t sell their goods without it, and the economy, which counts on consumer spending for more than two-thirds of GDP, would struggle without a plentiful supply of credit.

Brazil clinches designation as ‘major non-NATO ally’ to U.S. (Sparky1)

The U.S. government designates the title to countries with which it shares key strategic relationships, and the tie offers certain military and financial benefits. The new declaration allows Brazil to buy U.S. military weapons and equipment. Trump and administration officials examined the issue last spring during a visit by Bolsonaro to the White House.

Free-spending consumers lift company profits, but Trump tariffs now loom (Sparky1)

Even so, consumers would be unlikely to see higher prices when they start shopping for the holiday season, which begins in November, as a result of the new tariffs. Most retailers have already purchased their holiday-season merchandise, and the inventory for the most part has already arrived at U.S. ports and warehouses.

U.S. Ends Cold War Missile Treaty, With Aim of Countering China (Sparky1)

At a moment when the potential for nuclear confrontations with North Korea and Iran is rising, the American decision to abandon the 32-year-old treaty has prompted new worries in Europe and Asia, and warnings that echo an era that once seemed banished to the history books. The resurgence of nuclear geopolitics was evident in the Democratic debate on Tuesday night, when presidential hopefuls grappled with whether the United States should renounce “first use” of nuclear weapons in any future conflict.

Wild Imagination (mcarlin)

For modern people, an animate worldview might seem a superstitious, primitive perspective, or an artifact from an “over-active imagination” – a dismissive designation that was frequently directed toward me as a young person. Meanwhile, the common (and perhaps unconscious) dead-universe worldview allows for, and maybe even insists upon, a cannibalistic relationship with unfeeling forests, mountaintops, rivers, creatures, cultures.

WSJ: US Farmers Filing For Bankruptcy At Levels Not Seen Since Great Recession (Don R.)

U.S. farm debt—covering operations, land, equipment, livestock and more—last year climbed to more than $409 billion, according to a USDA forecast. That’s the largest sum in nearly four decades and a level not seen since the 1980s, when farmland values plunged and interest rates skyrocketed, boosting debts and pushing many farmers and lenders out of business.

The Colorado Rapids casually let everyone know that the plague still exists in 2019 (Sparky1)

“Following recommendations from the Tri-County Health Department and the City of Commerce City, the Colorado Rapids game with Montreal Impact on Saturday, August 3 at 7PM will go ahead as scheduled. However, it has been recommended that the post-game fireworks display be cancelled due to the confirmed presence of plague-infested fleas affecting prairie dog colonies in the surrounding areas.

S&P 500 Posts Its Worst Week Of 2019 As Trade Tensions Flare (Thomas R.)

“The threat of additional tariffs on China and the lack of any progress in the trade negotiations again have made investors more worried that the disruptions which have led the Fed to need to cut rates might in fact escalate faster than the positive impact of rate cuts,” said Kate Warne, chief investment strategist at Edward Jones.

Silver Prices – The Next Five Years (GE Christenson)

Crude oil sold for $2.00 in 1971. Today it sells for about $55.00. It peaked at $147 in 2008. Crude oil prices rise because the banking cartel devalues the dollar and when commodities are more desired than paper assets.

Over the long-term, commodity prices, including oil and silver, rise and fall opposite to the S&P 500 Index. When investors favor stocks (and paper investments) commodity prices are often weak. When commodity prices are strong, stocks are often weak. The model assumes that silver prices are mildly, but inversely, affected by the S&P 500 Index.

Researchers create human-monkey chimeras in China (Sparky1)

Most research involving chimeras is aimed to developing techniques for growing human organs for transplantation. Izpisúa Belmonte has previously worked on similar chimera experiments involving human cells and pig embryos. The human cells failed to take hold and grow. Izpisúa Belmonte has, however, successfully grown mouse-rat hybrids.

Epstein reportedly hoped to develop super-race of humans with his DNA (Sparky1)

In the aftermath of his 2008 sex trafficking conviction, Epstein hoped to seed the human race with his DNA by impregnating women at his ranch in New Mexico, one of his properties where young women, including minors, were allegedly abused, the newspaper reported in a major investigation.

Hepatitis A is spreading through poop on the streets. Philly is betting public bathrooms can stem the outbreak. (thc0655)

“We will be deploying hand washing stations as quickly as we can,” said Brian Abernathy, managing director for the city. “We intend to also provide some public toilets and public facilities, but that’s a harder challenge, especially as it relates to making sure they are safe and secure.”

Why Oil Prices Plunged Today (Michael S.)

The disappointing announcement was compounded by some poor economic data. U.S. manufacturing activity fell to its weakest rate in three years, according to the Institute for Supply Management. In July, manufacturing activity in the Eurozone contracted at its fastest rate since 2012. That could prompt another round of easing from the European Central Bank. “The euro zone PMI dashboard is a sea of red, with all lights warning on the deteriorating health of the region’s manufacturers,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, according to Reuters.

How Climate Change Could Trigger the Next Global Financial Crisis (Terry L)

Now, in an article this month in Foreign Policy, Tooze asserts that the Fed needs to battle climate change in the same way. “If the world is to cope with climate change, policymakers will need to pull every lever at their disposal,” he writes. “Faced with this threat, to indulge in the idea that central banks, as key agencies of the state, can limit themselves to worrying about financial stability … is its own form of denial.”

Walloped by heat wave, Greenland sees massive ice melt (Sparky1)

The scope of Wednesday’s ice melt is a number difficult to grasp. To understand just how much ice is being lost, a mere 1 billion tons — or 1 gigaton — of ice loss is equivalent to about 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, the Danish Meteorological Institute said . And 100 billion tons (110 billion U.S. tons) corresponds to a 0.28 mm (0.01 inch) rise in global sea levels.

Is Greenland gaining or losing ice? (newsbuoy)

So we see a long term trend of accelerating ice mass loss since the 1970s. This is confirmed by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, measuring shifts in Earth’s gravity field. The GRACE data offers a complete picture of the entire ice sheet, allowing comparisons of mass changes in coastal regions (eg – elevations below 2000 metres) with the Greenland interior (above 2000 metres). Over the period 2003 to 2008, the coastal regions were observed to be losing ice mass while the interior was in approximate mass balance. The overall result is that the Greenland ice sheet is losing ice mass.

What’s happening to Greenland’s ice? (newsbuoy)

Almost all of the ice loss was due to changes in surface mass budget, with thinning found virtually everywhere. At some locations, the ice sheet surface decreased by over two and a half metres per year between 1995 and 2017 based on measurements using space-borne radar altimeters.

Google’s extravagant climate change Camp mocked as party for ‘entitled fools’ (thc0655)

The billionaire creators of Google each year invite a who’s who of A-listers to the event, which is meant to be a conference where influential people discuss how to make the world a better place.

But photos of celebrities tooling around the island on Maseratis and arriving on diesel-spewing mega yachts worth up to $400 million infuriated everyone watching from home.

French farmers dump manure outside office of Macron party lawmaker (Sparky1)

Anti-government protests have picked up after the French parliament approved the ‘CETA’ EU-Canada trade deal, which opponents said undermined the EU’s social and ecological regulations by importing products made under conditions that would not be allowed in Europe.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/1/19

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