I co-host five, one-hour radio shows each week. The program is called Financial Survival and airs live between 3PM and 4PM (Central time) on AmericanVoiceRadio.com and DGSCoins.net as well as short wave, satellite and four AM stations around the country.
I write a script for each day’s radio shows (except for those days when we have guests) I probably average four scripts per week. Each script contains three to five topics gleaned from the mainstream news plus my comments on those topics.Sometimes we talk about some of those topics on the radio. Sometimes we don’t talk about any of them.
Although these “scripts” have a shoot-from-the-hip quality, I think that some of them offer an idea or insight that might be of interest to readers on this blog. Therefore, in hopes that readers might glean a little insight, I’m going to start publishing my daily scripts on this blog.
33,000 Bankers Fired?
ZeroHedge.com published an article entitled “UniCredit To Fire 10,000 As EU Bank Pink Slip Pandemonium Continues”. According to that article,
“Deutsche Bank is set to fire some 23,000 people or around a quarter of its workforce.
“The layoffs at Deutsche don’t say much for Europe’s economic “recovery” and may also suggest that far from creating jobs, the persistence of ZIRP (Zero Interest Rate Policy) has crimped margins forcing banks to make up the difference by getting leaner.”
That’s a very interesting point. How have conventional banks managed to remain profitable during six years of ZIRP? By raising fees?
“UniCredit (CRDI.MI), Italy’s biggest bank by assets, has 146,600 employees across 17 countries. Unicredit is planning to cut around 10,000 jobs, or 7 percent of its workforce, as it seeks to slash costs and boost profits.
“And there, ladies and gentlemen, is your European recovery–33,000 pink slips in a single day—10,000 from UniCredit and 23,000 from Deutsche Bank”.
The number of layoffs aren’t absolutely fantastic or evidence that those two banks are about to collapse.
The fact that two major banks that have several hundred thousand employees laid off 23,000 workers does not signal that the entire European and/or global banking industry is a state of chaos.
On the one hand, those lay-offs constitute 23,000 more tiny “leaves in the breeze” that indicate that European banking, at least, is highly competitive and under significant stress.
Or, on the other hand, those layoffs might instead indicate that Deutche Bank and UniCredit are moving closer to a digital banking system that is both cash-less and “check-less”. It’s obvious that a banking system that uses less paper cash and paper checks will have less need for clerks and tellers to manage the flow of paper debt-instruments. As the banks become increasingly digitized, they’ll need fewer and fewer employees.
Are the 23,000 layoffs more likely due to financial stress that forces layoffs?
Or, are those 23,000 layoffs evidence of increased bank computerization, a closer approach to a cashless society, and therefore a diminishing need for employees that allows layoffs?
Either way, those firings can’t be good news. Either the banking system is in trouble or the “cashless society” cometh.
We’re Number 16! We’re Number 16!
In, “U.S. drops to 16th on ‘economic freedom’ list, behind Canada, Chile,” The Washington Examiner wrote:
“The United States, ranked second in worldwide economic freedom as recently as 2000, has plummeted to 16th, according to a new report of world economies.
“The Fraser Institute’s annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, showed that the country’s drop started in 2010, the second year of the Obama administration.
“The analysis uses 42 variables to create an economic freedom rating of 157 countries based on the ‘size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation of credit, labor and business.”
“The U.S. fell in several areas, including legal and property rights and regulation.
“The top 10: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Jordan, Ireland, Canada, with the United Kingdom and Chile tied at 10.
“A weakened rule of law, the so-called wars on terrorism and drugs, and a confused regulatory environment have helped erode economic freedom in the United States, which remains behind Canada and other more economically free countries such as Qatar, Jordan and the U.A.E.”
“Overall, “Economic freedom breeds prosperity and economically free countries like Canada offer the highest quality of life while the lowest-ranked countries are usually burdened by oppressive regimes that limit the freedom and opportunity of their citizens.”
Thus, as everyone knows, the US is sliding down that list towards greater and greater oppression.
The “land of the free” is listed as the 16th freest nation on earth.
What an indictment of the Republican and Democrat parties.
What an indictment of ignorance and apathy of the American people.
Who can read that number and claim to be proud of this country or themselves?
Extra! Extra! Read all About it: Global Trade Slump!
The Wall Street Journal wrote in “Worries Rise Over Global Trade Slump” that:
“Growth in exports and imports is lagging far behind the pace during past expansions, threatening productivity and living standards
“A sharp drop in global trade growth this year is underscoring a disturbing legacy of the financial crisis: Exports and imports of goods are lagging far behind their pace of past expansions, threatening future productivity and living standards.”
The Wall Street Journal is reporting a story that’s been common knowledge for several years. As seen in the Baltic Dry Index (a measure of how much cargo is being moved by ship around the world), global trade has fallen from 2,800 in A.D. 2010 to 818 today. That’s a 71% decline in the past five years. That decline hasn’t been steady. There’ve been some ups and downs in the Baltic Dry Index, but the major trend has been downward for at least five years.
The current level of 818 is consistent with a global recession and/or global depression.
And the Wall Street Journal is announcing this “trade slump” as if it were news. And it is. But it’s old news.
This is a tribute to how quickly all of us forget the news. We hear Monday’s news, but tend forget it when we hear Tuesday’s news. On Wednesday, we tend to forget Tuesday’s news, etc. One day’s news gets washed away by the next day’s news.
For example, we now all know that Donald Trump is running for the Presidency in the A.D. 2016 election. How many of us remember that Donald Trump had also run for the Republican nomination for President in A.D. 2012?
I didn’t. I had to be reminded.
And I surely didn’t remember that The Donald first talked about running for President in an A.D. 1988 interview by Oprah Winfrey. Point: Trump’s been contemplating a run at the Presidency for over 25 years. That old, forgotten “news” changes my current perception of the man.
• How quickly we forget individual facts, hmm?
Our forgetfulness makes it easy for politicians who’ve deceived us before, to deceive us again.
I don’t know that we can afford to remember “everything” we’ve previously seen or heard. Maybe doing so would overload our minds.
In any case it seems to be our nature to forget facts.
Nevertheless, we might to able to remember principles. We might be able to learn and remember a handful of fundamentals against which all future facts can be judged and evaluated. Then we might not be so easily deceived.
In any case, it’s incumbent upon all of us to read, listen, study, try to understand—and try to remember—at least enough fundamental principles to allow us to independently discern what’s happening at any given point.
It used to be that the world moved so slowly we could get by by just remembering the facts.
Today, the world is moving so fast that facts are coming and going, changing and disappearing so quickly that they the sometimes tend to be almost meaningless.
But what still changes so slowly that they might be understood, remembered and applied?
Principles. Values. Fundamentals.
If you can begin to grasp and apply those concepts, you might be able to make sense of our fast-moving world.
Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’s Proposals: $18 Trillion
Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’s Proposals: $18 Trillion” which reported, in part,
“Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose liberal call to action has propelled his long-shot presidential campaign, is proposing an array of new programs that would amount to the largest peacetime expansion of government in modern American history.”
In A.D. 2008, we elected a President who might not have even been born in this country. Who could have imagined that such an event was even possible?
Likewise, here comes Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist/communist/collectivist who’s not only running for the Democrat Party’s nomination for President, but beating Hillary Clinton in some polls by 22% and who is proposing that government grow by another $18 trillion.
Another $18 trillion! The national GDP is only about $16 to $17 trillion.
I look at Bernie Sanders and say, Well, surely Americans could not be dumb enough elect a collectivist who wanted to increase the size of government by $18 trillion. That’s just obvious, right?
And then I think, “Oh, wait—weren’t Americans dumb enough to elect George W Bush to the White House TWICE? And then, weren’t American dumb enough to elect the Kenyan Barack Obama to the White House TWICE?”
And I think to myself, Americans really are dumb enough to vote Bernie Sanders into the White House. Like any other collectivist, Bernie Sanders is the candidate of the morons, incompetents, unemployables, and parasites who are all eager to vote for anyone who will promise them an endless supply of free lunches.
In the end, Sander’s supporters all believe that they are entitled to something for nothing, entitled to live off the sweat of another man’s productive efforts rather rely on themselves to provide their food, clothing and shelter.
So, it’ll be interesting, and perhaps dangerous, to see how many parasites will vote for Bernie Sanders and an even bigger government.
I keep being surprised. I wouldn’t have thought the Democrats could find a worse candidate than Hillary—but, with Bernie Sanders, perhaps they have.
A Couple of Headlines:
• Zero Hedge published an article entitled, “Dependence On Central Banks Is ‘Unrealistic And Dangerous’, BIS Warns”
That headline alone tells us that the Bank of International Settlement (BIS) is warning us that we can’t depend on central banks to bail us out of the next significant market decline and/or depression.
They probably wouldn’t be issuing that warning unless they felt some sort of significant decline was imminent.
• Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis published, “European Border Controls Return; is the Schengen Free Movement Treaty Dead?”
That headline implies that Europe is beginning to reject the influx of hundreds of thousand, potentially millions, of Muslims fleeing from Syria and/or invading from other Muslim countries.
As European nations restore border controls to prevent illegal aliens from entering individual countries, their international borders are restored, their sense of nationalism is restored, and the impulse to creating a single, European Union is frustrated.
Ironically, the Muslim invasion is helping to restore nationalism in Europe and helping to defeat the forces of globalization and the New World Order.