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close to  home ... have seen 3 major chains close down and will not reopen anytime soon ... if ever again ...

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2.5 MILLION JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!

 

 

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gonna buy one myself ...  predict it will be treated like song of the south .... sad ... really sad ...

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Jeff Bezos's wealth soars to $171.6 billion to top pre-divorce record 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/jeff-bezoss-wealth-soars-to-171-6-billion-to-top-pre-divorce-record/articleshow/76743514.cms

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/505543-jeff-bezoss-wealth-hits-record-high-171-billion

 

Good to know Daddy Warbucks won't starve.

bezosjeff_102219getty_tech-stocks_0.jpg?

 

Guess Jeff will celebrate this 4th of July.

film__3565-annie--hi_res-3e47fadf.jpg


 

 

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- PaulCraigRoberts.org - https://www.paulcraigroberts.org -

Monopoly Is the New Normal

Posted By pcr3 On July 15, 2020 @ 7:36 am In Articles & Columns | Comments Disabled

Monopoly Is the New Normal

Paul Craig Roberts

CNN is happy to report more bad news that can help the presstitutes unseat President Trump: 

“Mass unemployment. Surging bankruptcies. An unprecedented health crisis. It’s going to be really ugly. Here come the big bank earnings.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/13/investing/bank-earnings-recession/index.html [1] 

The report has interesting information that CNN doesn’t seem to have noticed. CNN reports that banks are in trouble because of low interest rates.  But don’t banks pay low interest rates and charge high rates? Interest on credit card balances is 19%, and if you miss a payment the interest rate can rise to 29%.

CNN reports a S&P Global Ratings estimate of $2.1 trillion in credit losses due to the pandemic and says the five largest US banks have set aside $35 billion against loans expected to go bust.

That is not much of a cushion for the loans of our five largest banks. Unless rules have changed and I am mistaken, bank reserves are an offset to profits. If the five banks expect $35 billion in profits and put that amount in reserves, they have no profits to report and no taxes to pay. Later when they need a stock price boost, they can stop adding to reserves, and their earnings will show a big jump. 

There is another interesting point in the CNN report that went unnoticed. Because of various scandals and penalties, Wells Fargo is currently prevented from growing its balance sheet.  In other words a hold has been put on its size and the bank is prohibited from acquiring more assets to offset its losses. Could the Federal Reserve be setting up Wells Fargo for a takeover by one of the New York Banks?  A bank that can’t grow its balance sheet is not in a good position to remain independent.

In my youth US economic policy focused on preventing concentration of economic activity.  No more.  Concentration is the new normal. In the US the five largest banks have about half of total bank assets. Media ownership is concentrated in 6 corporations. Big Box chains have taken over from independent businesses.  Amazon is an online retail monopoly. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are essentially monopolies. 

We have gone from monopoly is bad to monopoly is good.  Anti-trust, once an area of economic study, seems to have disappeared from the curriculum and from federal regulation.

Copyright © 2016 PaulCraigRoberts.org. All rights reserved.

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Will the disconnect between equity prices and fundamentals come to an end?

Posted By pcr3 On July 19, 2020 @ 6:35 am In Guest Contributions | Comments Disabled

Will the disconnect between equity prices and fundamentals come to an end?

It has been obvious for many years that equity and bond prices reflect money creation, not fundamentals.  Indeed, values are at odds with fundmentals.  This is now dawning on Wall Street institutions.

In an interview with  Bloomberg TV, Oksana Aronov, head of alternative fixed-income strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management, said that central bank buying has forced rising credit valuations out of line with deteriorating fundamentals, resulting in a market where everything is broken:

European and U.S. credit investors are “locked in this collective hallucination with the central banks around valuations and what they mean and that there is a lack of desire to acknowledge the fact that market valuations are entirely fabricated – or synthetically generated – by all the central bank liquidity and do not reflect fundamentals of the securities that they represent,” Aronov said in a Friday BTV interview, adding that “Central banks continue to run the show and investors need to be really cautious here.”

And while it is meaningless to try and impute logic or reason to what is clearly a broken, manipulated and centrally-planned market – in fact, one could argue that this manmade “market” is one giant Constanza farce in which whatever does not make sense will continue to work until everything finally collapses – Aronov has several recommendations including:

•raising liquidity

•staying in high-quality credit

•not extending duration profile

Why? Because “we’re going into a much more difficult second half” with the fiscal cliff coming in just two weeks, where a trapdoor may open below the economy and lead to another crash.

Aronov also pours cold water on all the “but a vaccine is coming” cheerleaders, saying that “even if we have a vaccine arrive some time at the end of this year or beginning of next year we will still realize that the damage has been done and particularly small business that’s been without revenue for months and was forced to close, is not going to be able to reopen simply because a vaccine is here now. So the news on the ground will continue to feel pretty dire.”

Meanwhile, while nobody is paying attention, downgrades and defaults are piling up, there’s a record level of fallen angels which isn’t reflected in credit valuations, and the fundamentals are simply getting worse by the day.

Oksana’s ominous conclusion: “Ultimately fundamentals will prevail” which is extremely frightening when one considers that everything is so overvalued that once fundamentals indeed do prevail, the Great Depression will be a mere walk in the park compared to the coming crash.

Her advice to those who nonetheless want to put their money into something: “Investors should look to the things that make sense fundamentally before investing.” Things such as gold, because once fundamentals prevail the current monetary system will no longer exist.

Aronov’s full interview is below:

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/jpmorgan-central-banks-have-created-collective-hallucination-where-valuations-are-entirely [1] 

 
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