France urges Italy to stick to EU commitments

DW – May 20 , 2018

Italy must continue to uphold its financial commitments to the European Union even under a possible populist new government if the stability of the eurozone is to be maintained, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned on Sunday.

“If the new government takes the risk of not respecting its commitments on debt and the deficit, but also the clean-up of the banks, the financial stability of the eurozone will be threatened,” Le Maire told France’s CNEWS television.

“Everyone in Italy must understand that Italy’s future is in Europe and nowhere else, and if this future is to be in Europe, there are rules that must be respected,” he added.

Le Maire’s comments come as the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and far-right League party move toward forming a government in Italy, which has been in political limbo since indecisive March elections.

Beijing Has Agreed To ‘Substantially Reduce’ America’s Trade Deficit With China

Ryan Pickrell – May 19, 2018

The U.S. and China have finally reached an agreement on trade, defusing rising trade war tensions, White House officials announced Saturday.

Following two days of bilateral consultations on trade, representatives from Washington and Beijing reached a consensus on trade, with the latter agreeing to take “effective measures to substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China,” a joint statement explained.

An increase in exports to China would “meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development,” as well as “help support growth and employment in the United States,” according to the statement.

Study: 40 Percent of US Households Can’t Pay The Basics

Jeffrey Rodack – May 6, 2018

A new study reveals more than 40 percent of U.S. households can’t afford middle-class basics like rent, child care and cellphones, Axios is reporting.

The study was conducted by United Way and reported by Axios. It is scheduled for release on Thursday.

According to Axios, the study found 34.7 million people in the U.S. who live above the poverty line, but cannot pay ordinary expenses. The number is twice as high as the 16.3 million who are in actual poverty, project director Stephanie Hoopes said.

And she said the number of those just above poverty appears to be growing larger despite the improving economy.

“It’s a magnitude of financial hardship that we can’t been able to capture until now,” Hoopes said.

War On Cash Goes into Full Effect — Purchases Over $10,000 ILLEGAL in Australia

– May 12, 2018

Canberra, Australia – The Australian government announced that it will soon be illegal to use more than $10,000 cash to purchase anything, forcing individuals who wish to buy more expensive items to use a cashier’s check or electronic transfer, ostensibly in the name of fighting organized crime and money laundering.

The move reportedly comes in response to the government’s Black Economy Standing Taskforce. In addition to the cash purchase ban, the government has allocated a $319 million package to the Tax Office to develop new strategies to target the black economy.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Black Economy Standing Taskforce will include a rigorous identification system and “mobile strike teams,” in an effort to detect people making suspicious cash transactions, as well as a black economy hotline for citizens to report anyone suspected of engaging in illegal transactions.

EU in Disarray as Brussels Demands Bigger Budget Contributions After Brexit

Jack Montgomery – May 3, 2018

The EU is in disarray as member-states push back against its next long-term budget, which will require significantly higher payments once Britain leaves.

Typically, the EU budget does not rise through above limits “equivalent to 1 per cent of the EU’s Gross National Income”, according to The Telegraph — but Brussels is attempting to appropriate funds equivalent to 1.08 per cent of GNI — a 9.3 per cent increase — despite the bloc losing its second-biggest net contributor.

“The European Commission just presented an EU Budget the size of 28 member-states but we are only 27 member-states to finance it,” complained Lars Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark.

“A smaller EU as a result of Brexit should also mean a smaller budget,” added Mark Rutte, Prime minister of the Netherlands earlier, insisting “this proposal is not an acceptable outcome”.

Global debt balloons to all-time high of $164 trillion

RT – May 1, 2018

The world is now 12 percent of GDP deeper in debt than it was at the peak of the financial crisis in 2009, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF). China was described as a “driving force” behind the new debt levels.

According to its Fiscal Monitor report, global debt is at a historical high, reaching the equivalent of 225 percent of GDP.

“One hundred and sixty-four trillion is a huge number,” said Vitor Gaspar, head of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department. “When we talk about the risks looming on the horizon, one of the risks has to do with the high level of public and private debt.”

The ballooning debt could make it harder for countries to respond to the next recession and pay off debts if financing conditions tighten, according to the fund.

‘New world order’ could stem from US-China trade battle

– April 6, 2018

A trade showdown between the world’s two biggest economies could be the flashpoint for a new international order, according to the chief advisor of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission.

A tit-for-tat trade standoff between the U.S. and China has fueled market fears that the dispute could soon spiral into a full-blown trade war. Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in escalating tariff threats since early March — with market participants concerned about the potential impact of an ensuing trade war.

“The signal must be there is a new order emerging, and how that new order emerges will depend upon the wisdom, the patience and the understanding of the top leaders,” Andrew Sheng, chief advisor at China’s Banking Regulatory Commission, told CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick on the sidelines of the European House Ambrosetti Forum in Italy Friday.

JP Morgan: 75 Percent of Ultra-Rich Expect Recession in Next 2 Years

Newsmax – April 19, 2018

A total of 75 percent of ultra-high net worth investors reportedly are bracing for the economy to plunge into recession with the next two years.

A J.P. Morgan survey found that of those expecting an economic downturn in the U.S., a fifth of respondents — 21 percent — believe it will begin in 2019 and 50 percent expect the next recession to start in 2020, reported.

J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Spring Investment Barometer questioned more than 700 global private clients across Europe and the Middle East. “Ultra-high net worth individuals” are generally classified as anyone with more than $30 million in liquid financial assets, and high-net worth is defined as having more than $1 million, CNBC reported.

To be sure, the global economy will race further ahead this year, expanding at its fastest pace since 2010, but trade protectionism has the potential to quickly tire it out, the latest Reuters polls of over 500 economists worldwide suggest.

Fingerprints, Eye Scans Now Required To Buy Food In India

Prophesy News – April 18, 2018

There was a string of interesting financial reports from India this week that appear to be unrelated at first glance, but upon further inspection they all seem to be working towards a common goal—an intrusive big brother surveillance state that tracks every single financial transaction for every single resident.

According to The New York Times, the Indian government has implemented an identification system that will require scans of fingerprints, eyes, and faces for all financial transactions, including food, banking, cell phone plans and state assistance.

The program is called Aadhaar, and it will be mandatory for the 1.3 billion people who live in India.

Most of India is already enrolled in the program, with a total of 1.1 billion already using the system. However, most people are obviously signing up under duress, as they have no other ways of accessing basic commerce or financial services.

The GOP tax plan means short-term gains for the economy, but federal debt is primed to explode, CBO analysis says

– April 9, 2018

The Republican overhaul of America’s tax code and increased government spending are projected to boost economic growth to 3.3 percent this year but push the national debt to nearly the same size as gross domestic product by 2028, according to government data released Monday.

The Congressional Budget Office forecast that the new tax law will generate an average of 0.7 percent growth over the decade and create 1.1 million jobs. It also predicted the two-year federal spending deal would increase GDP by 0.3 percent this year and 0.6 percent in 2019. However, larger budget deficits would crowd out private investment in later years, dampening economic growth.

As a result, the CBO estimated the cumulative deficit over the next decade will be $1.6 trillion larger than previously projected. By 2028, the national debt would total 96 percent of GDP.

“Such high and rising debt would have serious negative consequences for the budget and for the nation,” the CBO report said.