Another Cold War Is Inevitable, This Time With China

A cold war in the 21st-century seemed unlikely… until now.

Tariffs by the United States on $200 billion worth of Chinese products and retaliatory tariffs by China on $60 billion worth of American goods went into effect on Monday.

While the United States and China are competing for global supremacy, they maintain mutual agreements to handle their complicated relationship. But, the tide might be turning…
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Argentine President Says “There’s No Chance Argentina Will Default” With Increased IMF Credit

Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina, stated that a revamped arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will help boost investor confidence in the country after a financial crisis forced South America’s second-largest market to a recession.

“We are working with the IMF and we are going to present something that will bring confidence,” Macri said. “More confidence than what we’ve had in the last 10 days when markets have turned around and things are moving better.” (more…)

Betsy DeVos Loses Student Loan Forgiveness Lawsuit, Indebted Students Still Commiting Suicide

A new ruling from a federal judge means the U.S. Department of Education has delayed student loan forgiveness for some.

The Attorneys general of 19 states, as well as the Districct of Columbia, sued U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education for delaying a borrower protection rule scheduled to take effect on July 1. (more…)

Dow Surges Despite Trump’s New Tariffs On $200 Billion Worth Of Chinese Goods

The latest tariffs on American and Chinese goods aren’t as severe as expected, making stocks rise on Tuesday. Substantial profits in tech also propelled market gains.

The S&P 500 increased 0.5 percent to close at 2,904.31, headed by buyer discretionary spending and industrials. It is also less than half a percent from its record high. (more…)

Geopolitics Driving Gold

(Gold Silver Bitcoin) President Trump warned last week of a  “major, major conflict with North Korea”. He said he’d rather do things diplomatically, though it’d prove “very difficult.”

Trump has made no secret about tensions between North Korea and the US. “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” the president said. “We’d love to solve things diplomatically, but it’s very difficult.”

Trump noted that he was confident in Chinese President Xi Jinping and his attempts to influence the North. The pair met in Florida earlier this month to discuss the situation in the Korean Peninsula.



“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death,” Trump told Reuters. “He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well. With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”

White House officials on Wednesday describe North Korea as an “urgent” threat to national security and a “top foreign policy priority.”

Military action by the US would likely snowball into a massive strike from the North on South Korea. North Korea could also attack Japan.




“My problem is that I have established a very good personal relationship with President Xi,” the president said. “I really feel that he is doing everything in his power to help us with a big situation. So I wouldn’t want to be causing difficulty right now for him. So I would certainly want to speak to him first.”

Russia blocked a Security Council statement proposed by the U.S. on Wednesday to condemn North Korea’s missile tests. China supported the measure.

“Russia is slowing this down, and it is not clear why,” the diplomat told CBS News. “The U.S. wanted to get the message out.” North Korea’s failed missile test launch on Sunday added to geopolitical tensions escalating between President Donald Trump and Pyongyang.

By Wednesday, the world learned that military aircraft headed for Australia were not on their way to North Korea, as President Trump had intonated.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday that Washington would work with its allies and China but that United States would meet any attack with an “overwhelming response”.

The first of 1250 US Marines have begun to make landfall  “stand ready to fight” against North Korea.

“I think that the commitment that we’ve taken to put a task force here with a conversation to get larger over the years says that we do think this is an important region,” Lieut. Colonel Middleton said.

“We are seeing once again a little bit of a flight to safety as a result of the news over the weekend of North Korea’s attempted missile test. That’s resulting in a little bit of a weakness in the U.S. dollar,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

The U.S. military intercepted two Russian bombers in international airspace off Alaska’s coast. A pair of F-22 Raptor aircraft intercepted the Russian TU-95 Bear bombers on Monday, according to Navy Commander Gary Ross, a Pentagon spokesman said. He called the intercept “safe and professional.”

On Tuesday, at an annual military parade in Tehran, Iran put on display new S-300 air defense missile system, as well as other weapons seen under banners calling for “Death to Israel” in Persian.

President Hassan Rouhani said at the ceremony that Iranian military was “avoiding tensions and encounters” but that it had to “remain vigilant in the face of plots hatched by the others and increase deterrent power.”

Gold has held firm in recent weeks, thanks to tensions surrounding North Korea other geopolitical uncertainty including the upcoming French presidential election. Still, it endured its worst gain in a month on Wednesday, falling 0.8 percent.

Poor U.S. economic data and a lack of confidence for the Trump administration on tax cuts have led to the expectation of faster inflation.

Economic turbulence, extended by President Trump, contributed to safe-haven bids for gold. Unrest in other parts of the world, like Syria and North Korea, also contributed to gold’s higher price.

Gold climbed on Friday, ensuring a monthly gain of more than 1%, as data showing weak U.S. economic growth weighed on the dollar.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, which helps measure the dollar, had fallen 0.1% and trading about 1.6% lower for the month.

Exchange-traded funds SPDR Gold Trust increased 0.2%, climing for the month 1.6%. iShares Silver Trust fell 0.2%, down 5.3% for the month. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF increased 2.5% Friday,  its monthly loss 1.9%.




Americans Don’t Necessarily Believe Government Statistics (Especially Republicans)

Partisanship determines how people see CBO and government output on government statistics, including the jobless rate and even the Census according a new survey by YouGov. U.S. citizens pick and choose what they believe. Republicans are generally more skeptical of the government. Democrats and Republicans, to be sure, have similar reactions on other government stats.

Related: Donald Trump Said He’d Consider a Gold Standard


A majority of Democrats believe most government statistics are reliable, but less than half of Republicans think so; 42% of Republicans, on the other hand, believe few or no statistics provided by government.

For instance, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 24 million would lose health insurance under the Republican plan. Neither Democrats nor Republicans believed the government numbers, as 46% of Democrats believed more people will lose health insurance and 46% of Republicans believed fewer people will lose health insurance.

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Both parties believe the Census Bureau undercounted how many U.S. in 2010, and many doubt numbers reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggesting the agency under-reports the true numbers.
Many Republicans believe the crime rate has increased over the last twenty years. The government says they have decreased.

Republicans and Democrats are both likely to believe government statistics when it comes to warming global temperatures — pluralities in both parties say the NASA and NOAA reports are correct.

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However, while three in four Democrats say human activity is the cause, only 29% of Republicans believe this so.

Not much has changed since YouGov did the same survey in January 2015, when 45 percent of Democrats and 19 percent of Republicans saw all or most public statistics as reliable and accurate.

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The data is similar to a trend detected by a Marketplace-Edison Research Poll released last fall in which more than 4 and 10 Americans were found to somewhat or completely distrust the federal government economic data.

Nearly half of Americans, and a supermajority of Trump voters, don’t believe unemployment rates, inflation numbers, household spending figures, health insurance coverage rates, gross domestic product growth and other stats.

Image: Shutterstock

The IMF Says Donald Trump is Good for the American Economy



As Trump is planned stimulus to pump money to upgrade bridges, roads and other parts of the nation’s infrastructure, and cutting corporate and personal taxes, the IMF is saying the President Trump could  be good for U.S. economy.

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund said Sunday that President Donald Trump will probably be good for the American economy in the short term. She did say rising interest rates and a strengthening dollar will be tough for global trade.

Also Read: Donald Trump Said He’d Consider a Gold Standard

Ms. Lagarde cited Trump’s plans for investment in U.S. infrastructure and his likely tax reforms could do well for America’s economic fortunes. Donald Trump’s policies might be felt in the rest of the world.

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“That’s a tightening that is going to be difficult on the global economy and for which economies have to prepare,” Lagarde said during an event at the World Government Summit in Dubai as reported by USA Today.

Lagarde discussed a creeping and “insidious” anti-globalization movement which has led to a rise in protectionist views. “We have been saying globalization is great, international trade is great — and it is,” she said. “But we have not looked at those who were badly, negatively impacted.” Instead of citing derivatives and bad loans, she cited robots and shrinking incomes of the global middle class.

Regarding Trump in the White House, Lagarde tread lightly, saying “this is really a work in progress — there’s been of announcements, a lot of tweets, a lot of things being said.” She pointed towards the importance of data and facts in decision making.

“I know it’s not fashionable at the moment, but I think that facts, figures (and) actual assessment of the reality matter and that we have to be honest about it,” she said.

Her comments mirror IMF statements in January, when the said that a stimulus in spending under Trump should bode well for the U.S. economy.

The IMF’s recent optimism towards the U.S economy comes as the world awaits how the Trump administration will approach global governance.

The IMF’s most recent growth forecast for 2017 is 2.3%, an incremental increase from its 2.2% made in October. Next

Trump has claimed his economic policies would mean a 4% pace.

The IMF called its forecast for the U.S. the most probable of a “wide range of possible scenarios,” citing uncertainty over Trump and a Republican controlled congress will spell.

If Donald Trump pursues stimulus measures above the IMF forecast, U.S growth could prove even stronger. Donald Trump protectionism could stifle the growth.

The IMF’s tune was different during the Presidential election, when they sugested that Trump’s protectionism wold be bad for world economy.

“For two decades before the 2000s, global trade regularly grew by 7%, or twice the rate of the world economy. Today, however, trade growth is below that of the global economy – at about 2%,” Lagarde said.

“There is a growing risk of politicians seeking office by promising to ‘get tough’ with foreign trade partners through punitive tariffs or other restrictions on trade. I am deeply concerned about this – not only because I was a minister of trade, but because trade has been at the heart of the IMF’s mandate for more than 70 years.”



Donald Trump Unveils New US Business Policy in SHOCKING Tweetstorm



President elect Donald J Trump took to Twitter last week to promise punitive actions for those companies who left the US. It’s hardly the sort of free trade beliefs he pushed during the election, and a nightmare scenario for US business.

Mr. Trump outlined what could become one of his legacy policies as President of the United States in a tweetstorm.

Mr. Trump first tweeted,“Just tried watching Saturday Night Live – unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can’t get any worse. Sad”

He then launched the bombshell US business policy on which there will be a tax for US companies, who re-incorporated abroad, to sell their products back to US businesses and consumers.

That Mr. Trump fails to distinguish between small and big companies – “any business” he tweets – could have implications for thousands of small and family businesses.

“The U.S. is going to substantially reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country,” Trump’s first tweet of on the subject begins, “fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S.  ……

without retribution or consequence, is WRONG! There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies …..”

Trump spells out why: this will make it harder for US companies to escape.

Across the tweets, the President essentially threatens US companies, offering back nothing more than a promise of future low taxes for those who obey.

“these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged,” he tweets. “Please be forewarned prior to making a very …expensive mistake!

In a truly Orwellian ending, Mr. Trump tweets: “THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS”

We were watching when last week Mr. Trump declared at a rally in Indiana, “companies are not going to leave the US anymore without consequences.” We waited for him to elaborate. He has.

CEO’s are asking, ‘Who’s next?’ in context of last week’s Carrier deal.

Sarah Palin called that deal “crony capitalism.” Mike Pence denied it. Mr Trump, meanwhile, uses the Carrier deal as an example of a business first approach.

Mr. Trump’s actions could disrupt balances in the ‘Chimerica’ arrangement with China, prompting a trade war so soon as his first 100 days in office.

Bitcoin Investor Peter Thiel Dresses as Hulk Hogan for Trump Donor’s Costume Party



Bitcoin investor Peter Thiel attended the same costume event last week where Donald Trump made headlines. The theme of the event – heroes and villains – prompted Mr. Trump to fittingly dress as himself. (more…)