Why You (Probably) Have Bought Your Last Car Already

By Justin Rowlatt – Re-Blogged From BBC News

[If the images don’t show up, please see the original article. -Bob]

I’m guessing you are scoffing in disbelief at the very suggestion of this article, but bear with me.

A growing number of tech analysts are predicting that in less than 20 years we’ll all have stopped owning cars, and, what’s more, the internal combustion engine will have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

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Rising Interest Rates Start Popping Bubbles

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

Towards the end of economic expansions, interest rates usually start to rise as strong loan demand bumps up against central bank tightening.

At first the effect on the broader economy is minimal, so consumers, companies and governments don’t let a slight uptick in financing costs interfere with their borrowing and spending. But eventually rising rates begin to bite and borrowers get skittish, throwing the leverage machine into reverse and producing an equities bear market and Main Street recession.

We are there. After a year of gradual increases, interest rates are finally high enough to start popping bubbles. Consider housing and autos:

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The Mythology and Mathematics of Income Disparity

By Granddad – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

There are those who tell us that all of the benefits of tax cuts and the wealth created by our booming economy goes to the very rich; that the “one percent” has taken it all, leaving the middle class and poor behind. We are told that disparity of income and wealth, the distance between rich and poor, is at record levels, and this is a threat to our democracy. We are also often told that income disparity results from the greed and avarice inherent in a capitalist society.

This mythology is difficult to reconcile with history or arithmetic. In real dollars, the four wealthiest men early in the twentieth century, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, and Ford were as rich as any today. Meanwhile, only the very rich had indoor plumbing and carriages, labor had no union bargaining power, consumers had no protection against monopolies, farmers had no electricity or tractors and the government proffered no welfare benefits or other income transfers. In earlier times kings and queens and their retinue controlled all wealth.  In ancient Rome, there were only landed patricians, plebes, and slaves. The patricians, one hundred families, less than two percent of the population ruled the Roman Empire and controlled virtually all the wealth for over two centuries. In the Roman Republic, fifteen percent of the population was enslaved.

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A 50% Market Decline & No Way To Stop It

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Is Ron Paul about to be proven right once again?  For a very long time, Ron Paul has been one of my political heroes.  His willingness to stand up for true constitutional values and to keep saying “no” to the Washington establishment over and over again won the hearts of millions of American voters, and I wish that there had been enough of us to send him to the White House either in 2008 or in 2012.  To this day, I still wish that we could make his classic work entitled “End The Fed” required reading in every high school classroom in America.  He was one of the few members of Congress that actually understood economics, and it is very sad that he has now retired from politics.  With the enormous mess that Washington D.C. has become, we sure could use a lot more statesmen like him right now.

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Scary US & Foreign Market Chrts

By Clive Maund – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

There are times in life when being alarmed is actually a healthy defense mechanism that gives you an advantage over the many for whom “ignorance is bliss.” This is one of those times.

The U.S. stock market is now at a dangerous unprecedented overbought extreme, as the charts that we will look at in this update make abundantly clear, after years of being wafted higher by a combination of QE, ZIRP and stock buybacks, and latterly Trump’s tax bonanza, which has kept the party going by making windfall cash available for still more buybacks. However, with QE having already reversed into QT (Quantitative Tightening) and rates rising, the tide has already turned, and the vice is closing inexorably on the market, which will soon buckle and collapse back into an overdue and very necessary bear market that will serve to at least partially flush out the monstrous excesses of the past decade, before they come riding to the rescue with QE4. The magnitude of these excesses means that the bear market is likely to be anything but orderly, and it should be characterized by at least one big crash phase.

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The “Strong Dollar” Buys Less

By Clint Siegner – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Some of last week’s weakness in the stock market was attributed to surprisingly week jobs report on Friday. Non-farm payrolls came in significantly below projections.

However, much of that weakness was explained by Hurricane Florence. And the headline unemployment rate dropped to 3.7% – the lowest in almost 50 years.

Much was made of that, while almost nothing was made of the rate of employment at 60.4% – also near 50-year lows.

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Retail Apocalypse Picks Up Speed

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From Freedom Outpost

Over 20 major retailers have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of last year, and in 2018 we may break the all-time record for annual store closings that was established just last year.  We are in the midst of the worst retail apocalypse in American history, and it appears to be picking up speed as retail giants such as Sears, JCPenney, Brookstone and Mattress Firm spiral toward bankruptcy.  We live at a time when the middle class is being systematically destroyed, and so the truth is that U.S. consumers simply do not have as much discretionary income as they once did.  Many large retailers believed that things would eventually turn around, and they have been fighting very hard to survive, but now, time has run out for quite a few of them.

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