Earlier today, Rabobank’s Michael Every laid out succinctly the dilemma facing Beijing, when he said that “China appears to have perhaps decided that the economic damage being wrought by a demand collapse and supply-chain shutdown is just too much to bear.” As reported overnight, Xi Jinping stated that China will meet its economic goals AND win the battle vs. the virus, and Beijing is urging firms to increase output even as the capital itself is largely locked down – and other cities are physically locking people into their homes. That’s as even the US admits that the Phase One trade deal will be slow off the market due to the virus impact.
Of course, China is no stranger to Double Think: as Every put it, “a freely-floating, controlled currency; market-determined, state-directed interest rates; and free-trade mercantilism. Yet increase economic activity from here and the virus will spread, both internally and globally. Concentrate on just the virus, and the local and global economic impact will be enormous.”
That, in a nutshell, was how Rabobank saw China’s “dialectic that has no comfortable Fichtean synthesis to the thesis and antithesis” and concluded that “things are going to get nasty for economies and markets – especially with official WHO word that a vaccine is 18-months away.”
Today, two days after China officially returned to work, we got the first confirmation of just how catastrophic Beijing’s order to local enterprises and businesses to rush back reboot the economy could be, when Jennifer Zeng reported that a company in Suzhou reopened, and immediately at least one CoVid2019 case found. As a result, the company’s 200+ employees couldn’t go home and were immediately placed under quarantine. At least the workers managed to “organize” quilts for themselves….CLICK for complete article
We’ve come a long way from being able to superimpose Trump’s hair on our own heads. We’ve also come a long way from wearing masks and sunglasses in public for reasons of fashion or healthcare. Now, it’s about dodging facial recognition.
Protesters in Hong Kong are doing exactly this to avoid facial recognition technologies, with some even employing lasers that cameras can’t process or recognize. But it’s not just amid mass protests in Hong Kong that everyone should be worried about facial recognition technology. It’s used everywhere from airports and shopping centers to all that lies in between.
Proponents hail the crime-solving and potential crime-prevention benefits, but the sacrifice is great.
Privacy advocates say it could lead to automatically identifying and tracking anyone, not just criminals, and it can be used for violations of privacy….CLICK for complete article
Commercial and industrial loans (C&I loans) at all commercial banks fell to $2.33 trillion as of January 1, the lowest since March 2019, according to Federal Reserve data on commercial banks, released on Friday. C&I loans peaked in August last year at $2.38 trillion and have since fallen 1.7%. This has occurred despite three rate cuts by the Fed over the period.
C&I loans are used by businesses for working capital or to finance capital expenditures. Working capital loans are usually collateralized by receivables and inventories. Capital expenditure loans are collateralized by equipment and the like.
These loans are often credit lines with floating interest rates – which are very low and very appealing for borrowers. And banks are eager to extend these loans and are offering them aggressively, even to my little company. So there is no issue at this side of the equation…CLICK for complete article
Could it be that stock markets are catching on to the fleeting nature of tweeting, or is there something bigger at play here as the massive rebound one might expect on good news all around fails to translate on the S&P 500 or the DOW? Before the open on Monday, the S&P 500 had gained only 30 points since Friday’s news of a “massive” trade deal with China, combined with a victory for Boris Johnson in the UK that should have signaled less uncertainty over Brexit.
The DOW went from 27,907 at Wednesday’s close to 28,130 at Thursday’s, and then it lost the thread. By Friday, the news failed to seem exciting anymore, and the DOW closed 28,137…CLICK for complete article
This is Andrew’s follow up video to his September webinar, Protect & Prosper Through the Coming Chaos.
Physics students study mechanical systems in which pulleys are massless and frictionless. Economics students study monetary systems in which rising prices are everywhere and always caused by rising quantity of currency. There is a similarity between this pair of assumptions. Both are facile. They oversimplify reality, and if one is not careful they can lead to spectacularly wrong conclusions.
And there are two key differences. One, in physics, students know that pulleys have mass and friction, and graduate to a more sophisticated understanding. Two, the Quantity Theory of Money (QTM) is not a simplified view of reality. It is oversimplified, to be sure, but it is a false theory.
QTM leads one to think that the groceries you can buy with a dollar are intrinsic to the dollar itself. And this leads to the idea that, the lower the dollar goes, the easier it would be to pay dollar debts. Returning to our physics analogy, pulleys are not massless and frictionless. And the value of the dollar is not 1/P (purchasing power).
We have written a lot about when government forces businesses to pay for things that their customers do not value, and do not usually even know about. We deem these things useless ingredients. Consider an example. Suppose the federal government got more serious about the Americans with Disabilities Act, and they no longer allow noncompliant restaurants and bars to remain grandfathered under the old code. All of these businesses now must spend a lot of money getting compliant, and reducing their revenue-generating floor space for the sake of much larger bathrooms. This does not cause prices to rise, directly. If restaurants could charge more, then they would already be charging more…CLICK for complete article