Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today's links

Trump:  The U.S. is going to substantialy reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies ......these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged. Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

"We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments. …In our dealings with other countries we will seek shared interests wherever possible...”
I am not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world saying ‘this is the way it’s got to be.’ … If we’re an arrogant nation they will resent us, if we’re a humble nation but strong they’ll welcome us."

"The overall objective is to boost the incomes and purchasing power of middle- and working-class families. If we don't, nothing else is going to work.” Trump adviser Anthony Scaramucci



1--U.S. Economic Confidence Highest in Nine Years, gallup


-- Americans expressed more positivity about the U.S. economy last week than they have at any other time during the nine years that Gallup has been tracking the U.S. Economic Confidence Index. ...



Bottom Line

It's not just Americans who have felt more economically exuberant since the election -- U.S. markets have skyrocketed, with the Dow closing above 19,000 this week for the first time in its 120-year history.

So, while the election's results may have improved Americans' outlook on the economy, favorable market conditions may have driven their confidence further upward. This also comes as many economists expect that potential U.S. economic growth could have a significant effect worldwide.

It's too early to tell whether this uptick in Americans' positivity will last as Trump's term begins in January. But two weeks of positive index readings on the heels of his unexpected victory reveals a degree of economic confidence Americans have not expressed since the recession.


2--The Promise and Peril of the Trump Trade, J Lahart 


Long-term interest rates have risen sharply on his pledge to bolster the economy—but can he deliver?


Markets are predicting that President-elect Donald Trump will be able to juice the economy soon after he gets in office. That is putting extra pressure on him to succeed quickly before higher rates quash any economic liftoff.

Since the election, investors have embraced a view that the spending and tax-cut package Mr. Trump is promising will both boost growth and fan inflation. That has been good for stocks, but very bad for bonds, which have sold off sharply. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note is approaching 2.5%. Data Tuesday about rising labor costs coupled with last week’s 4.6% unemployment rate mean inflation, and yields, could rise further.

Rising interest rates change the longstanding dynamic in the economy and markets. The higher yields go, the more costly it becomes for companies and households to borrow. The higher yields go, the stronger the dollar is likely to become, widening the trade deficit and weighing on the economy. And the higher yields go, the more attractive bonds become relative to stocks...

A simulation that forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers ran for The Wall Street Journal shows what happens if Treasury yields rise further, not because of an improving economy but because investors believe, based on an incorrect growth forecast or for whatever reason, that the Federal Reserve will raise rates more aggressively

3--Economic growth in the United States: A tale of two countries

It’s a tale of two countries. For the 117 million U.S. adults in the bottom half of the income distribution, growth has been non-existent for a generation while at the top of the ladder it has been extraordinarily strong. And this stagnation of national income accruing at the bottom is not due to population aging. Quite the contrary: For the bottom half of the working-age population (adults below 65), income has actually fallen. In the bottom half of the distribution, only the income of the elderly is rising.6 From 1980 to 2014, for example, none of the growth in per-adult national income went to the bottom 50 percent, while 32 percent went to the middle class (defined as adults between the median and the 90th percentile), 68 percent to the top 10 percent, and 36 percent to the top 1 percent. An economy that fails to deliver growth for half of its people for an entire generation is bound to generate discontent with the status quo and a rejection of establishment politics.


Because the pre-tax incomes of the bottom 50 percent stagnated while average national income per adult grew, the share of national income earned by the bottom 50 percent collapsed from 20 percent in 1980 to 12.5 percent in 2014. Over the same period, the share of incomes going to the top 1 percent surged from 10.7 percent in 1980 to 20.2 percent in 2014.7


4-- Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is a Full-on Privatization Assault


5--The rich don't spend tax cuts


6--The no growth recovery


The long-term impact of higher costs for healthcare, housing and education has been to dampen Americans' productivity, consumption, quality of life, ambitions and career choices.


7--All in the family?  Jamie Dimon Named Chairman Of Business Roundtable Scoring Another Key D.C. Post For Wall Street


8--David Rosenberg Throws Up On The "Trump Rally" - Here's Why


Financials and energy-- These two sectors, representing just over 20 per cent of the S&P 500 market cap, have accounted for all the gains since then...


Big deal. Ronald Reagan, who was the original “Make America Great Again” advocate (as opposed to a copycat), saw the equity market soar 6 per cent in his first month in office.

Guess what? The market peaked less than four weeks into his term and for the next two years we had an economic downturn and a 25-per-cent slide in the stock market. The combination of rising bond yields, Fed tightening and a stronger dollar took care of that honeymoon.
After all, we all know what happens when the honeymoon is over. The hard work begins.
That slump we just saw in October export volumes and widening in the trade deficit is surely just an early sign of what is to come.


Before The Donald does anything on his first hundred days, something tells me the lagged impact of the tightening in financial conditions associated with the recent bounce in interest rates and appreciation of the U.S. dollar is going to come back and bite the economy in the tush, as was the case heading into 2016.


9--U.S. Stocks Post Biggest One-Day Rally Since Election


Many analysts expect the rally to continue in 2017, noting that gross domestic product has grown, the labor market has continued to strengthen and corporate earnings are on the mend.
“Things were already improving before the election,” said Jeremy Zirin, chief equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas. “What’s happened since is that many of the pro-growth trends have been exacerbated.”
The Dow industrials gained 298 points, or 1.6%, at 19550, and the S&P 500 rose 1.3% to 2241. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.1%, erasing losses from earlier in the session.

10--In counterterrorism speech, Obama hints at danger of dictatorship


The colossal hypocrisy of Obama’s speech, and the absurdity of his pose as the defender of “the rule of law” and democratic rights, are underscored by reference to the Nuremberg Tribunals. What Obama did not mention is the declaration of the chief prosecutor at the tribunal, US Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, that the basic crime alleged against the accused Nazi leaders was the planning and execution of a war of aggression, from which, Jackson said, all the other war crimes flowed. By this standard, the top officials of the Obama administration, including Obama himself, deserve to be hauled before a new tribunal to face war crimes charges....

In reality, the Obama administration has carried out the most sweeping attacks on democratic rights in the name of the struggle against terrorism: authorizing blanket capture of all telecommunications and Internet traffic; keeping open the Guantanamo Bay detention camp; shielding the Bush administration officials who oversaw CIA torture; persecuting whistle-blowers who exposed US government crimes such as Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning; and carrying out a systematic program of drone-missile assassinations worldwide, on an unparalleled scale.
But Obama’s speech amounted to an admission that the policies he has pursued have paved the way for an even more right-wing and undemocratic policy once Trump enters the White House. Obama is aware that the incoming government will be one of immense repression and violence, and he cautions Trump against excesses....

Beyond his advice to Trump, Obama appeared to be appealing more to the military itself, which exercises an overbearing and dominant influence over the entire state, including his own administration and the incoming Trump-led government. The choice of the venue was significant. Rather than addressing the American people about the perilous state of American democracy, he spoke before the headquarters of US Special Operations Command, concluding with an appeal that “our men and women in uniform and the citizens who support you… carry forward what is best in us.”





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