Daily Digest 9/2 – China’s Space Dream Is America’s Nightmare, Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt?

Economy

China’s factory activity shrinks for fourth month as trade woes deepen (Thomas R.)

Persistent weakness in China’s vast manufacturing sector could fuel expectations that Beijing needs to roll out stimulus more quickly, and more aggressively, to weather the biggest downturn in decades.

Prime minister says Pakistan will respond if India attacks (Sparky1)

India on Thursday said it has information that Pakistan is trying to infiltrate “terrorists” into the country. Pakistan’s army spokesman, Maj. Gen. Ghafoor, rejected the Indian claims, saying Pakistan was a responsible state and “we would be insane to allow infiltration” across the Line of Control that divides the countries in Kashmir.

Here’s a list of recession signals that are flashing red (Adam)

Data is coming at investors from every angle with so-called recession indicators flashing signs of an economic slowdown brought on by slower growth abroad and the U.S.-China trade war. A slowing global economy is pressuring central banks abroad to lower borrowing rates at unprecedented levels and a tit-for-tat tariff war between Washington and Beijing is weighing on business sentiment.

Why people should not get too worked up about recession fears (Sparky1)

“Take a deep breath. There is not enough evidence to suggest we are on the immediate verge of recession,” said Steve Chiavarone, a portfolio manager and equity strategist at Federated Investors.
Chiavarone said his firm tracks six economic indicators to try and forecast when a recession might be nigh.

Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt? (Don R.)

While a new poll shows most US citizens believe the political and economic system is rigged against them, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren also echo this sentiment. Some conservatives are now pushing back. But what says the evidence? Bill Black analyzes the situation.

Google Photos can now search for text in your pictures — here’s how (Thomas R.)

The new tool makes it easier to find a recipe you saved, a funny meme you screenshotted or your bank account number. You can also use it to pinpoint a photo that you took of a Wi-Fi password, business card or phone number.

Vaccines: The fights against infectious disease and anti-vaxxers’ fears (Walter S.)

The resurgence of measles is due in large part to growing vaccine hesitancy among parents. At least 96% of any given population must be vaccinated against measles for “herd immunity” to protect everyone. Mark Honigsbaum, a journalism lecturer at City, University of London, explains how distrust of vaccination is not limited by nationality, ethnicity, ideology or even economic circumstance…

Geomagnetic Storm to Hit Portions of US Over the Weekend – NOAA (Thomas R.)

According to the scientific classification, the G2 storm is “moderate”, but charged solar particles may cause voltage issues in high-latitude power systems. According to the NOAA, long-duration G2 storms can occasionally cause transformer damage.

States are trying to change a system that keeps poor people in jail. The bail industry is blocking them. (Sparky1)

As structured, the bail bonds industry survives largely off those who don’t have the financial resources to post bail. Overwhelmingly, the service of a bail bondsman is their only way out of jail. Bail bond companies make money by charging a fee — typically 10% of a defendant’s bail amount. So if a defendant has bond set at $50,000, the bail bond company charges $5,000 to get them out. No matter what, the bonds company will collect that charge — guilty or not guilty. Even if the charges are dropped. That is the price and process of release.

China’s Space Dream is America’s Nightmare (thc0655, Thomas R.)

In fact, as you will see throughout this piece, China’s space ambitions are expansive, compelling, and a direct (and enduring) threat to the United States. For, it is not only in the area of space mining that China envisions becoming the dominant player. China also seeks to acquire true military parity with the United States in orbit of Earth; by building the capability to damage or destroy vulnerable American satellites and by potentially placing weapon systems—disguised as civilian systems—in orbit.

Talking the talk: the voice-recognition disruptors looking to outsmart big tech (Sparky1)

While it’s great for consumers, it’s good for business, too. With a strong focus on helping independent retailers and enterprises, its platform-neutral operating system enables retailers like Majid Al Futtaim to embed the technology within its ecosystem of brands, retaining the relationship with the customer.

Argentina slaps controls on the peso as currency crisis grows (Thomas R.)

The currency plunged by more than 35% against the US dollar in August. Investors were panicked when left-winger Alberto Fernández beat out Macri in a primary vote on August 11, a major upset indicating that he could win a national election set for October 27. Argentina’s foreign exchange reserves now sit at $58 billion, down 25% from a peak in April, according to Capital Economics, a research firm.

Musk, Ma: biggest problem world faces is population collapse (Thomas R.)

“Most people think we have too many people on the planet, but actually, this is an outdated view,” Musk said while on stage with Ma at at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Wednesday. “Assuming there is a benevolent future with AI, I think the biggest problem the world will face in 20 years is population collapse.”

US Drillers Drop 11 Rigs (Thomas R.)

Among the major basins, the Permian led for the second consecutive week with a loss of five rigs. However, at 429 active rigs, the Permian still accounts for almost half of the nation’s total.

Technology won’t save us from climate change (Thomas R.)

But the more pressing concern here is that technology simply cannot solve the problems that it created. Never forget that 100 companies are responsible for 71% of all global emissions; or that tech giants are some of the worst offenders when it comes to producing disposable goods or being complicit in an endless cycle of planned obsolescence.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 8/31/2019

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