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Daily Digest 10/23 – Your CC Debt Could Be Making You Sick, What America Didn’t Anticipate About China

DATE POSTED:October 23, 2019
Economy

Low returns for public pensions threaten future retirees (Saxplayer00o1)

Public pensions currently have an estimated 1.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities, meaning they have that much less than they owe in retirement obligations. And because of the anticipated low-market returns, this already enormous funding gap is likely to grow if pension plans don’t make proper changes.

Chicago mayor eyes big bond refunding to save $200 million for budget (Saxplayer00o1)

Just months after taking office, the mayor in late August warned of “hard choices” to deal with an $838 million deficit, the biggest since at least 2001 due to growing costs for personnel, pensions and debt.

Italy’s public debt rises to 138% of GDP in Q2 – Eurostat (Saxplayer00o1)

Italy’s public debt rose to 138.0% of the country’s gross domestic product in the second quarter of the year, up from 136.6% in the previous three months, in further violation of the European Union requirement to reduce debt, data showed on Tuesday.

Your credit card debt could be making you sick (Saxplayer00o1)

The average American has three credit cards and a total balance of $6,506, up slightly from last year, according to Experian’s annual study on the state of credit and debt in America.

Outstanding consumer debt now exceeds $4 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.

The fall of property prices and a weak dollar has wiped more than 120,000 Aussie millionaires off the face of the earth (Saxplayer00o1)

It was led downwards by the value of the family home, the main asset for most households, which dropped as the market slumped. According to Credit Suisse data, that led to a 6.3% decline in home values across the country. Match that with a 5% decline of the Australian dollar against the US greenback and suddenly things aren’t looking so rosy.

1 Brexit deal passes Parliament but another critical timing vote fails (tmn)

The second vote that was held Tuesday night was related to the timeline of the further passage of the bill, and that vote failed, meaning that some of the members who voted in favor of the bill voted against the proposed three days they were being given to evaluate and amend the bill.

US diplomat: Trump linked Ukraine aid to demand for probe (tmn)

In a date-by-date account, detailed across several pages, the seasoned diplomat who came out of retirement to take over as charge d’affaires at the embassy in Ukraine details his mounting concern as he realized Trump was trying to put the newly elected president of the young democracy “in a public box.”

What America Didn’t Anticipate About China (edelinski)

Although there was probably a good geopolitical argument to make for granting China MFN status, the Carter administration was compelled to justify its decision by appealing to America’s idea of its higher purpose in China. Beijing deserved MFN status because, Americans were told, China was on an unstoppable march to a market economy with free and fair elections. As Representative Bill Alexander, a Jimmy Carter supporter from Arkansas, told the House the day MFN status was approved, “Seeds of democracy are growing in China.”

Russian Hackers Co-Opt Iranian Cyber Tools to Attack 35 Countries, NSA Warns (edelinski)

Authorities said the Nautilus and Neuron tools had “very likely” originated in Iran, but Turla had acquired both tools by early 2018. The group initially used the malware in combination with one of its own toolkits, called Snake, but eventually began targeting victims with the tools directly. According to the release, Turla worked to gain further access to targets by scouring their networks for backdoors that had been inserted by Iranian hackers.

Some U.S. electronics factories start layoffs as trade tariffs hit (Thomas R.)

The electronics industry has increasingly sourced raw materials, components and manufacturing equipment from Chinese factories. They are then assembled into final products, ranging from control panels for tractors to medical imaging machines, in factories closer to customers, including in the United States.

Mercedes-Benz’s tiny car brand bets on China after failing in US (Thomas R.)

U.S. sales in the car’s first year were just under 25,000 units, but fell from there, bottoming out at a mere 1,276 in 2018. Sales in Europe were far higher at around 97,000 in 2018, but still not enough to make money for Smart parent Daimler, which some analysts estimate is losing around $500 million a year on the brand.

API Reports Yet Another Big Oil Inventory Build (Thomas R.)

US crude oil production as estimated by the Energy Information Administration showed that production for the week ending October 11 stayed at 12.6 million bpd for the second week in a row—the highest production level that the United States has seen, and a growing worry in combination with the grim demand growth outlook for 2020.

Is Eating Meat Worse Than Burning Oil? (Michael S.)

With agriculture already using almost half of the world’s vegetated land, and agriculture and related land-use change generating one-quarter of our annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, what we eat has, perhaps, growing implications for topsoil, pollution, greenhouse gases, and deforestation.

The new science fossil fuel companies fear (Thomas R.)

“With federal policy being unsupportive and still emphasizing continued energy development, I just thought it would be a new lever to look at the companies that have their hand on the tiller,” said Heede, who now lives in Colorado. “And pressure can be exerted in a number of ways.”

Here’s What You Need To Know About Today’s Historic Climate Fraud Case Against Exxon (tmn)

The investigation followed parallel investigations by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times showing how the oil company’s own researchers confirmed that fossil fuels have contributed to global warming in the 1970s and 1980s. (Subsequent reporting revealed oil researchers were studying climate change back in the 1950s.) The information about Exxon’s climate research threw the company’s later efforts to cast doubt on climate science and fund misinformation campaigns into sharp focus.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 10/22/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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