Geez I'm relieved its the EO's that are creating equity weakness.... it would be a social & political injustice to blame it on the CB policy for their continued systemic drawn down of trillions of global liquidity! /Sarc
In 2015, the total U.S. trade deficit was $531.5 billion. That's because it imported $2.7618 trillion of goods and services while exporting $2.2303 trillion. The deficit is higher than in 2013 when it was only $478 billion. That's because the dollar strengthened 25% in 2014 and 2015. But, it's less than the record $762 billion trade deficit in 2006. A lower deficit means exports are gaining on imports.
That's good for businesses that will create more U.S. jobs. (Source: U.S. Census, U.S. Trade)
Wrote this in another thread a couple days back..... sound similar?
Writing from Costa Rica, we winter here and have every year since 2010....
We have never seen so few tourists, so few beach goers and people in the restaurants. Locals and ex pats involved in the economy claim it is not as bad as it appears. The usually over booked place we stay has had 50% open occupancy and a hotel in a local town has not had a guest in two weeks. Was going to start a thread on this, then just tacked onto yours...
Here is my theory or at least wild butted guess, for the last eight years the fed has been printing and exporting debt at earth shattering rates. Places like Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico and most of the rest of the world have been sucking it up like a whore on crack. All levels from the rich to the poor and ex pats who have moved to avoid taxes, are out of control in debt. Some locals here who make less than 8k annually, have 30 to 50k in debt, mostly in auto loans at 12+%.
Now that the dollar is strengthening, was 525 to 1 last January now 555-560 to 1, the weight of dollar based debt is stiffling the economy and slowly suffocating the other wise happy people. So much so if this continues, we will not return next year, or will go to non tourist areas only. So my thought overall is that once the fed exported debt worldwide, we have now reversed the pumps and are going to suck all those dollars plus interest back in. Which will literally send a large portion of the world into Grecian/Argentinian moment. Either way the days of high flying non substance based economies are gone.... and it will be main stream news by summer....
From the locals I have spoken with 2/3rds have to convert from colones to USD then pay. Which means last year they converted 525 to 1usd, now they have to give 550+. When purchasing my understanding is that special considerations were given at closing for us lock. much like the US adjustable rate mortgage scam. One of our friends here is expat US and he sold his hotel a year ago and put his up front money into colones at 519, about a half a mil. It was Jan 20, I suggested he convert to dollars and buy CYS which was sitting at 6 and paying .26 a share per quarter. He ranted and raved about the dangers of the stock market, well he has lost almost 35k just on currency slide and could have been getting 20k a quarter plus been at a base of around 580k.....
You have to be a genius and have gonads of steel to deal in currencies...
Prices are going up, my 1000 colones Imperial is now 1150 to 1200 at the super joseth and 1400 dining out. Gas is up 15%, just noticed as we passed, we use car service as public transportation is pretty good here. Funny a per person bus fare dropped from 325 to 295 from manuel antonio to quepos, they claim the locals could not afford it, but bus traffic is little to none except on weekends and at sunset. Tours have all gone up considerably trying to offset volume with higher prices, causing even less people to take tours.
Yesterday, our usual beach massage lady from Argentina, was verbally abused by a local competitor half way up the beach for being to close. The usual crew selling cigars, ceramic pots and beads of every type walk back and forth all day long with little to no sales. Honestly, it can really take the fun out of traveling watching a tourist destination fold up and die...
I had tried to convince my bride to buy that hotel 5 years ago, had to turn to her on this trip and admit for the millionth time how much smarter than me she is.... crow tastes better after 4 or 5 imperials..
We have always enjoyed meeting and socializing with other travelers, had retirement business cards printed, and keep up with several dozen from over the years. So here is what we have observed, in Montezuma which is on the base of the Nicoya, we were told by several friends and met some ex pats from France who over the last six months sold everything and moved there. They stated flatly that the new Government was going to re tax certain categories of income and if it was deemed your gains had negative social implications a new tax bill could be coming, to which they said f@#% that. There was far fewer Americans, Canadiens, and locals vacationing there.
In MA, it's just about dead, hardly any Americans 25% of normal I guess, A few Canadiens 50% of normal, and hardly any Europeans, like maybe 8 or 10 couples total. Come to think of it we have not seen one Japanese or Asian tour bus, hadn't thought of it but it was an every other day occurrence, and not one sighting so far.
So it just appears like people are not vacationing, or at least not here....
But we also herd our favorite restaurant on the beach in Charleston closed, so maybe its bigger than I suspect..
Hard to explain but it really feels like someone or something died and we just didn't get the memo... Wife summed it up this way "we came down here one year too many.... it's 65 back home should have just saved our $ toward heading to Ireland in the summer"
How is that any different than in the US with 10K baby boomers hitting 65 every day for years now and another 12 years to go & only getting 1% CD rates.
No return = no vacations, no eating out, no new cars, cut back on Christmas presents, etc.........
Lots of grandparents still living in their homes with laddered CD's. They were set when they had SS & 12, 10K CD's paying 5% / $500 mo. Now they are lucky to get $100 mo.
Sure some had 240K or 360K or 480K or whatever but it's all the same. That 5% rate of return floor was pretty much carved in stone....... to bad it was sandstone & wore away and inflation left them broke after a lifetime of work.
When this huge downturn started I was reading about the depression & people were poor but enjoyed getting dressed up and seeing an affordable movie or dancing etc.......
That never happened in the last 8 years of recovery. If anything it has gone the other way.
whole lot of those boomers falling off the edge and into the abyss have nowhere near a 1/4 to 1/2 mill in stored cash
to many, 100K is a HUGE amount of dough, and they worked for years and skimped and scraped to come up with that
those being the same types that don't trust the stock monkeys, and are ultra conservative in everything they do. Thinking they made out big selling their house for $25K more than they bought it for after putting on siding, a roof, and so on.
I was talking to one of these just the other day and tried to explain that being too conservative is a real 'thing'. That inflation alone will eat up their gains and then some, wherein they lose purchasing power over time. Sad thing is, they know something is wrong, but are extremely hesitant to step away from that due to fear. Fear that their itty bitty nest egg will disappear altogether.
Can't say as I blame them either as there are sharks out there in those waters. We see it everyday where markets can destroy a nest egg if they aren't careful.
The real problem is people's attitudes. They are still living in the 9-to-5 retire at 65 mentality. That worked great for brief periods but constant inflation and collapsing social services guarantees the average working person nowadays will ALWAYS be duded in retirement. What is retirement? Nothing other than the industrial complex's way of saying to burnt out workers "you are useless now, go away and die." For 50 years people work their asses off with the promise of a cushy retirement, but as we see clearly, retirement now means poverty and stress for the greater majority.
I'm in my fifties, work 25 hours a week, work 4 days a week, and plan to continue working till I die but for an ever diminishing number of hours. To do this you need to be self-employed I think, in a job you love and in a job you can do as you age. My uncle is 90 years old and not particularly fit but he mows his own lawn and does lots of other things besides, so yes it's certainly practical even at that extreme age. If you keep your hand in the game you will always have an income that always goes up with inflation.
THE GREAT SWINDLE:
I think people look forward eagerly to retirement for 2 reasons.
1/ they are told and hence believe, that's it's great to sit on your bum all day and do nothing.
2/ they have been worked to death by their employers and desperately need an extended holiday.
Before the industrial revolution no one retired, but they didn't work 50 to 60 hours a week either. Far from it in fact.
The largest oil rig count since November, 2015 has some people making crazy predictions that the jump in rigs will somehow replace OPEC production cuts. While over time the jump in shale oil rigs will add to U.S. production and may even exceed expectations, the thought that it can replace the recent OPEC/non-OPEC production cuts or even meet them barrel for barrel is just not correct.
While some look at the initial output from shale oil rigs as evidence that production will overtake oil OPEC production cuts and perhaps meet OPEC cuts barrel for barrel fails to take in the decline rate or flush rate from a shale oil rig. While initially a shale rig on average may produce seaway 1000 to 1500 barrels a day after initially drilled, there is a flush rate that in a matter of days or weeks could reduce that output to maybe 100 or 200 barrels of oil per day. So, to keep the upward trajectory, the U.S. shale patch would have to continue to add rigs to continue the upward trend of production.
Per Petrologistics, OPEC production cuts this month will total about 900,000 barrels per day since July. Data by from the Energy Information Administration released this month in their last “Short Term Energy Outlook” is predicting that U.S. crude oil production averaged an estimated 8.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016 and is forecast to average 9.0 million b/d in 2017 and 9.3 million b/d in 2018. So, they are predicting only an increase of say 300,000 barrels. Goldman Sachs estimates that year-on-year U.S. oil, “production will rise by 290,000 bpd in 2017” if a backlog on rigs that are still to become operational is accounted for. Still far below the 900,000 barrels that are being cut. Some say that OPEC has only cut 750,000 barrels a day so far but even so that would have to double the EIA and Goldman Sachs oil production figures to get to the amount of the OPEC cut.
U.S. oil production has risen by about 6% in July when the rig count bottomed out and later after OPEC defied almost everyone but me and made a deal to cut production. So even if you straight-line the current pace of growth, U.S. shale may be able to add production of 600,000 bpd by mid-2017 but if OPEC continues to keep output at current levels, you will see a decline in global inventories as demand growth rebounds. While we have seen a dip in demand recently, it seems to be temporary.
The Energy Information Administration predicts that U.S. shale output in February will rise by 41,000 barrels a day, not even enough to make a dent in OPEC production gain and a rate that would have to be maintained for almost a year if indeed the shale producers are going to catch up with the OPEC cuts. The other rigs that many shale producers have are financially strapped. Some are drilling to break even and some are drilling at a loss. While may shale operations may be profitable above $50 a barrel, if we fall below that area we may see the rigs fall off as fast as that went up as we did back in 2016.
The surge in gasoline supply will be cut as record U.S. demand and record U.S. exports will cut into that over supply. In fact, per JD power last year, we had record car sales. In 2016, a total of 1,178,133 new vehicles were sold, a record for a calendar year. This year 17.6 million cars are expected to be sold and would be another record.
Early on many analysts missed the significance of shale oil production and now they are overestimating its production rates. I am not saying that U.S. shale oil production may slow the upside on oil, it won’t stop it. We still feel oil is near the low for the year shale or no shale.
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Iraqi Dinar 500 Notes - One Million Worth (2000 Notes)
Front: Ducan Dam: The dam is located by Al Zab dowside river within Sulaimania governorate ,it is 70 KM far to the north west of Sulaimania city.Dam Type: A bowed concrete , it half diameter is 120 M , it is top length 360 M . at a width of 8.4 M . Overall Storage Capacity : 6.8 Billion cubic meter
Back: Winged Bull : It is a huge statue ,its length 4.42 M weighs more than 10 tons , one individual of the couples guards one of the wall doors of the dur shrokeen city which was founded by the Assyrian king Surjoon the second (721- 705 B.C.) which sinhareb , surjoon's son has abandoned and transferred the Capital to Ninava city.
Currency trading? Legitimate investment. And that's what Iraqi dinar scammers hang their hat on to bleed you dry.
Jun 3, 2014, 1:45 pm EST | By John Jagerson, Editor, SlingShot Trader
I was first introduced to the Iraqi dinar scam by a friend of mine who asked me if it was a good investment several years ago. And I’m amazed to see how long it has persisted, not to mention how active the scam is today.
How the Iraqi Dinar Scam Works
The scam is basically perpetrated by dinar currency dealers, who work through “promoters” on message boards and through church and social groups to sell physical dinar currency. They promise that the dinar, which currently trades at about 1,200 to the U.S. dollar, will soon be “revalued” to a much higher rate. They usually promise returns of several thousand percent when you buy dinar.
The dealers get away with it because as long as you are not directly promoting the dinar as an investment, the dealers can sell it without it being a registered/regulated security.
The promoters get away with what they do because, as long as you are not selling the dinar, you can pretty much say anything you want about it.
The connections between the dealers and the promoters are usually hidden behind false names and corporate shells.
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For example, there is a large dealer here in my local area owned by the wife of a popular dinar promoter who goes by an online pseudonym. Hidden relationships like this are more common in this scam than you might think. Very few have been shut down by the FTC or SEC, and I expect that will remain the case in the future.
Why Is This a Scam?
The underlying premises used by the dealers/promoters to convince inexperienced currency traders that this is a “sure thing” are relatively easy to refute, but victims have to be willing to confirm the facts for themselves.
Here is a brief summary of the lies told by the scammers and why they aren’t true:
Currencies are not stocks: Scammers suggest that because Iraq sits on one of the world’s largest (and easiest-to-access) oil reserves, the dinar will appreciate as they export this commodity. If Iraq were a company and the dinar was a stock this would be true, however, oil exporters work very hard to prevent their currencies from appreciating. There is even an economic problem called “Dutch disease” that describes what happens when a commodity exporter’s currency appreciates in value. The bottom line is that Iraq doesn’t want an appreciating currency because it wouldn’t do the country any good. Iraq wants economic growth, not currency growth. If oil exports increased the value of a currency, why don’t other exporters experience appreciation? Much more often they experience the opposite: devaluation.
You can’t do business internationally with a low exchange rate: The argument that a country can’t do business if its base currency (the dinar) is only worth a fraction of a U.S. penny is a common but absurd argument. In the modern global economy, the decimal place in an exchange rate doesn’t matter. If it did, how could South Korea, Indonesia, Madagascar, or Vietnam be such large exporters of consumer goods? You don’t need to look farther than the tag on your shirt to confirm that each of these exporters, with currency exchange rates lower than the dinar, don’t have any problems exporting goods.
I know a family that lives almost completely on the dole. Mom's income tax return exceeds by $6 or 7 thousand the amount ever withheld from her paychecks. So I guess I get to help support her whether I want to or not. She gets an EBT card that entitles her to $425 in benefits every month. The family can afford cases of canned soda pop and mountains of carry-out pizza, but cannot afford a small tube of acne meds for the 14-year-old granddaughter. Let's not even talk about dental care...
It is a poor, poor way to live a life; and that is the first and worst tragedy. But, sadly there is more; those of us paying taxes every year help to subsidize their bad behavior.
Edit to add: I have long argued that almost everyone is doing about the best that they're able (or think they're able.) But many are blindly ignorant and incapable; they're not "bad" people. But it is apparently a learned behavior. It is passed down, generation to generation/.