All of this raises an interesting question about the future of the US dollar. Because if an economy as large and powerful as China’s has had to concede defeat, does this mean that “King Dollar” will rule forever? No chance.
- China central bank tries to soothe global markets, says no reason for yuan to fall further (Reuters)
- Huge blasts at Chinese port kill 44, with hundreds injured (Reuters)
- China efforts to slow yuan fall hoist Europe shares, bond yields (Reuters)
- Greek Economy Unexpectedly Surged Before Capital Controls (BBG)
- Joe Biden Is Sounding Out Allies About a 2016 Bid (WSJ)
- U.K. Tries to Kick-Start Shale Gas With Planning Speedup (BBG)
The economy operates within a finite world, so at some point, a problem of diminishing returns develops. In other words, it takes more and more effort (human labor and use of resources) to produce a given quantity of oil or food, or fresh water, or other desirable products. The problem of slowing economic growth is very closely related to the question: How can the limits we are reaching be expected to play out in a finite world? Many people imagine that we will “run out” of some necessary resource, such as oil, but we see the situation differently. Here are a few issues that may not be obvious.
Earlier this week I told you about Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI), which will become insolvent in a matter of months. The DI problem (just like the rest of Social Security) has been a long time coming. But rather than form some meaningful solution, Congress has instead opted to commit financial fraud by commingling DI monies together with the other Social Security funds. Now comes the Highway Trust Fund. The difference between DI and the Highway Trust fund is that this one won’t be insolvent in a matter of years or months. Their own data shows that it may very well be toast… today.
The so-called “trustees” of the social security system issued their annual report last week and the stenographers of the financial press dutifully reported that the day of reckoning when the trust funds run dry has been put off another year - until 2034. So take a breath and kick the can. That’s five Presidential elections away!
...Except that is not what the report really says.
It’s difficult to say what’s more striking about President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation: its breathtaking radicalism, the refusal of the press to cover it, or its potential political ramifications. The danger AFFH poses to Democrats explains why the press barely mentions it. This lack of curiosity, in turn, explains why the revolutionary nature of the rule has not been properly understood. It will take time for the truth to emerge. Just by issuing AFFH, the Obama administration has effectively annexed America’s suburbs to its cities. The old American practice of local self-rule is gone. We’ve switched over to a federally controlled regionalist system. Now it’s strictly a question of how obvious Obama and the Democrats want to make this change — and when they intend to bring the hammer down.
The ongoing downshift in property construction will continue to undercut China's demand for commodities, raw materials and machinery, weigh on property as well as mining and industrial investment, and be a drag for overall GDP growth in 2016. The most direct and important channel through which this impact spreads is trade linkages, given China's role as the top exporter and second largest importer in the world.
Spain has over $1.0 trillion in debt outstanding… and Italy has €2.6 trillion. These bonds are backstopping tens of trillions of Euros’ worth of derivatives trades. A haircut on them would trigger systemic failure in Europe.
"...between ridiculously low interest rates and the increasing costs of compliance, we can’t make money anymore..."
The US government has really screwed the world on this. Paperwork is the priority. Not business. The transition isn’t going to be smooth. And it won’t happen overnight. But there will come a time, and likely soon, when the United States gets displaced.
It is impossible to wean an economy that relies on debt and leverage for its "growth" of excessive debt and leverage.
Some people talk about peak energy (or oil) supply. They expect high prices and more demand than supply. Other people talk about energy demand hitting a peak many years from now, perhaps when most of us have electric cars. Neither of these views is correct. The real situation is that we right now seem to be reaching peak energy demand through low commodity prices.
When forecasting how much oil will be available in future years, most agencies, including EIA, IEA and BP appear to adopt a similar 'work-backwards from GDPO growth expectations' method. It seems that this approach has a fundamental flaw. It doesn’t consider the possibility of continued low oil prices and the impact that these low oil prices are likely to have on future oil production. Hoped-for future GDP growth may not be possible if oil prices, as well as other commodity prices, remain low.
"Today, Europe is not independent… The US is drawing us [the EU] into a crusade against Russia, which contradicts the interests of Europe,” said the former French Prime Minister Fillon while the chief economist at Bremer Landesbank adds that as a result of US policies "unmeasurable damage lies in an elevated geopolitical risk situation for the people in the EU.”
Legislation has been in introduced in the California state Senate that would increase the state’s approximately 47 cents-per-gallon gas tax by 10 cents. The new California fuel levy, which would be the state's first increase since 1994, will be collected on top of an 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax that is charged to all drivers in the nation to fill the federal government’s transportation funding coffers.