World Bank

Nine Reasons Why Low Oil Prices May "Morph" Into Something Much Worse

Why are commodity prices, including oil prices, lagging? Ultimately, it comes back to the question, “Why isn’t the world economy making very many of the end products that use these commodities?” If workers were getting rich enough to buy new homes and cars, demand for these products would be raising the prices of commodities used to build and operate cars, including the price of oil. If governments were rich enough to build an increasing number of roads and more public housing, there would be demand for the commodities used to build roads and public housing. It looks to me as though we are heading into a deflationary depression, because prices of commodities are falling below the cost of extraction. We need rapidly rising wages and debt if commodity prices are to rise back to 2011 levels or higher. This isn’t happening.

Which Is A Bigger "Act Of Faith" - Owning Gold Or Stocks?

The WSJ has released yet another gold hit piece calling it a "pet rock' and gold bugs "subjects of a laboratory experiment on the psychology of cognitive dissonance" just one day after the PBOC reveals it has added the biggest amount of gold in history in order to "ensure security." But the biggest irony is that none other than Citigroup made a far bolder case that it is not the ownership of gold but of stocks that is the ultimate act of faith: "investors remain united in their faith in the central banks – if not for their ability to create growth, then at least in their ability to push up asset prices. And yet the limits of that faith are increasingly on display." So who is right?

How Socialism Destroyed Puerto Rico, And Why More Defaults Are Looming

With Puerto Rico missing a payment on a bond overnight "due to non-appropriation of funds" but denying that this constitutes anything close to a default, the territory may be about to retake the limelight as Greece is now "fixed." As Peter Schiff explains, this is far from over... As in Greece, the Puerto Rican economy has been destroyed by its participation in an unrealistic monetary system that it does not control and the failure of domestic politicians to confront their own insolvency. But the damage done to the Puerto Rican economy by the United States has been far more debilitating than whatever damage the European Union has inflicted on Greece. In fact, the lessons we should be learning in Puerto Rico, most notably how socialistic labor and tax policies can devastate an economy, should serve as a wake up call to those advocating prescribing the same for the mainland. 

China-Led Bank Will "Keep America Honest," Provide Alternative To IMF, Nomura Says

"The AIIB may come to play an important role in keeping America honest. It is difficult to say at this point whether the AIIB will have a negative or a positive impact on the global economy. At the very least, however, the emergence of an international institution with a viewpoint different from that of western creditors will help enhance the quality of debate over emerging economies’ debt problems."

De-Dollarization - Mapping The Ruin Of A Reserve Currency

The dollar has been a stalwart of international trade over the majority of the last century. Around the time of the formation of the Eurozone, it reached its recent peak at 71.0% of official foreign exchange reserves. Since then, its composition of global reserves has more recently dropped to a more modest 62.9% in 2014. However, the dollar is slowly losing its status as the world’s undisputed reserve currency.

How The US Government Blew $1 Billion In Taxpayer Funds On "Ghost Schools" In Afghanistan

In the wake of so many wasteful, inhumane and disastrous foreign policy failures, the U.S. government has been desperate to highlight some significant successes in order to justify all of these tragic foreign imperial blunders. One such supposed success relates to education in Afghanistan, an area into which some $1 billion in taxpayer money has been spent to build schools and pay teachers according to Buzzfeed. U.S. Government officials have consistently trumpeted all of the good work that has been done in this regard, but there’s one slight problem. Not only are most of the statistics complete bogus, but in many cases, a lot of this U.S. wealth that was meant to be targeted for education, has gone straight to the coffers of some of the most ruthless warlords in the county. How could this happen you ask?

Greece, China, & Russia – A Plan B For Tsipras

"Greece would survive, have new powerful friends, have bargaining chips that neither Europe nor America could ignore; China would have projected the use of the Yuan right in to Europe, and Russia would have more than a toe-hold for military power right inside NATO. If I was Tsipras or Varoufakis I would be on the phone right now."

How Greece Has Fallen Victim To "Economic Hit Men"

"Greece is being 'hit', there's no doubt about it," exclaims John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, noting that "[Indebted countries] become servants to what I call the corporatocracy ... today we have a global empire, and it's not an American empire. It's not a national empire... It's a corporate empire, and the big corporations rule."

Ex-Im Bank Bites The Dust Today - Good Riddance To A Crony Capitalist Heist

The Export-Import Bank died last night when its charter expired. After 81 years, what is commonly known as Boeing’s Bank is headed toward Washington’s trash bin. When Congress returns it could revive Ex-Im, which primarily subsidizes big business exports. But a proper burial for what Barack Obama once called “corporate welfare” would save Americans money, reduce economic injustice, and promote economic growth. Ex-Im’s closure is a very rare victory for the good guys in Washington. Crony capitalism is running rampant in America, undermining confidence in a market economy.

Could Armenia Be The Next Ukraine?

When Konstantin Kosachyov, the head of the Russian Federation Council's International Relations Committee, said the protests in Armenia against a 16.7 percent power price hike follow a color revolution scenario sponsored by Western powers, many commentators rushed to compare the crisis in Yerevan with the 2014 protests in Kyiv that toppled the pro-Russian president, Victor Yanukovych. However, the street protests in Armenia have more to do with the overall economic situation in the country than with proxy clashes between foreign countries.

UK Government Study Finds: If Nothing Is Done, Expect Civilizations' Collapse By 2040

We ran the model forward to the year 2040, along a business-as-usual trajectory based on ‘do-nothing’ trends - that is, without any feedback loops that would change the underlying trend. The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots. In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.