How’s That Recession Coming?

Pretty good if you ask me. Most economic indicators this year have moved relentlessly in the direction of recession, and now the Cass Freight Index is saying a US recession may start in the 3rd quarter, fitting up nicely to my prediction that we would be entering recession this summer.

Cass comes on board

The Cass Freight Index is one of the most robust proxies for the US and global economies there is. If freight isn’t moving, the economy is dying. As Cass says, their’s is a simple, fundamental approach to encapsulating the economy:

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Trump and Johnson Add Unpredictability to French Summit

[Related: Trump offered to buy Greenland from Denmark whose Prime Minister said th idea was “absurd.” -Bob]

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

Brexit Britain’s overtures to U.S. President Donald Trump risk further complicating the search for common ground this weekend at a Group of Seven summit already clouded by transatlantic rifts over trade, Iran and climate change.

The summit host, President Emmanuel Macron of France, has set the bar low for Biarritz to avoid a repeat of the fiasco last year when Trump threw Canada’s G7 summit into disarray by leaving early, scotching the final communique.

Macron, an ardent europhile and staunch defender of multilateralism, will count on incremental advances in areas where a united front can be presented, with the meeting, which runs from Saturday to Monday, officially focusing on the broad theme of reducing inequality.

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Germany Considers a 19% Meat Tax to Combat Global Warming

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Anyone here believe that global warming zealots want to stop at 19%?

Germany may introduce ‘meat tax’ to protect the environment

Currently meat has reduced tax rate of 7 per cent but politicians say it should increase to 19

Phoebe Weston Science Correspondent @phoeb0  1 day ago

Germany could introduce a “meat tax” to protect the climate and improve animal welfare.

Currently meat in the country has a reduced tax rate of seven per cent but the Social Democrat party and the Greens are arguing that this should increase to the standard 19 per cent, with additional revenue spent on improving animal welfare.

New York Hot Dog
Monks Hot Dog, author Mark H. Anbinder

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Inflationary Financing And GDP

By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

We tend to think of a nation’s accounts as being split between government and the private sector. It is for this reason that key tests of a nation’s economic sustainability and prospects for the currency are measures such as a government’s share of a nation’s economic output, and the level of government debt relative to gross domestic product.

While there is value in statistics of this sort, it is principally to give a quick overview in comparisons with other nations. For a more valuable analysis it is always worthwhile following different analytical approaches in assessing the prospective evolution of a currency’s future purchasing power.

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The Hong Kong Protests

It appears that the two steps forward, one step backwards approach of mainland China isn’t working as Hong Kong citizens are protesting again. The increasingly violent protests have plunged Chinese-ruled Hong Kong into its most serious crisis in decades, and the situation appears to be getting worse every week. What does it imply for the gold market?

Hong Kongers Protest

On Monday, Hong Kong’s Airport Authority canceled flights as demonstrators poured into its main terminal. What is going on in Hong Kong? The protests began over plans that would have allowed extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. Although the bill was suspended, the protests continue, as people demand democratic reforms. The problem is that although Hong Kong – as a former British colony – still enjoys freedoms not seen in mainland China, they are on the decline. The protesters say that mainland China is meddling in Hong Kong, citing examples such as legal rulings that have disqualified pro-democracy legislators.

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German Gold In World War-II

By Larry LaBorde – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

During WWII the Germans were in need of money to buy foreign materials to conduct the war. It is estimated they stole almost 500 metric tons (around 16 million troy oz equal to $23 billion USD @ $1,450 / oz) from various governments. Most was taken from Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Czechoslovakia. The French gold (about 2,500 metric tons or 80 million troy oz) was saved from the Germans in a rather interesting story that I will save for later.

It is very roughly estimated that around 100 tons were passed through Switzerland and then sent to neutral countries to purchase goods. There are stories of the Vatican bank helping Germany to launder and store gold as well as the German gold train buried in a tunnel in Poland and secret gold transfers to Argentina. Those stories are undocumented and have been the subjects of speculation for decades.

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Casting Off The EU Millstone

Introduction

It should have been no surprise that Boris Johnson is now Prime Minister. It should also be no surprise he will implement Brexit on 31 October, the last date agreed between Mrs May’s government and the EU. Johnson was elected by Conservative constituency members to do just that. His cabinet appointees are fully supportive, including ex-Remainers (that’s politics!) and he has appointed an aggressive rottweiler, Dominic Cummings, as his Brexit enforcer. Already, his influence over Brexit strategy can be detected. There are no compromises to be had, a point which slower minds in the commentariat find difficult to comprehend and accept.

It is likely there will be an agreement on the way forward after Brexit, which could involve a transition period, but nothing like that agreed with Mrs May. If, as seems unlikely, the EU digs its heels in, the UK will walk away. That is the message being given by the new administration.

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