Archive for the ‘economy’ Category

Trump Victory Greeted With Global Financial Panic

November 9, 2016

Trump Victory Greeted With Global Financial Panic

The political triumph of reality TV star Donald J. Trump in the United States presidential election was greeted by a 700-point drop in the stock market and a plunging US dollar. This is all familiar territory for President-Elect Trump, who has pledged to run the government like the businesses he bankrupted six times.

God Save the Republic.

More:

“Financial markets tumble amid Trump’s surprising election-night performance,” Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

“Markets plunge worldwide as Trump shows surprising strength,” Ylan Q. Mui and Simon Denyer, Washington Post

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Image from the Chicago Tribune, 1931.

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Trump Economic Policy

August 10, 2016

Trump Economic Policy

Donald Trump — meat purveyor, TV reality star, and Republican presidential candidate — trotted out some phrases disguised as an economic plan on Monday. They were phases familiar from the last 30 years of the GOP’s trickle-down, deregulating, big-corporate, no-taxes-for-the-rich philosophy, the failed policies that crashed the world economy when Republican leadership was last inflicted upon the nation, making the rich even wealthier at the expense of the rest.

After lambasting the Republican elites and their policies during the primaries, why is Mr. Trump suddenly embracing the old GOP worldview? Looks like he wants those wealthy guys to fund his general election campaign– he’s peddling high-dollar tickets to fundraising events at the homes of the rich. No wonder he named “six guys named Steve” and other billionaire hedge fund and real estate speculators as his “economic advisers“.

More:

“Sliding Trump Seeks Solidarity With Establishment He Spurned,” Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg

“Donald Trump Sells Out to Trickle-Down Economics,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Trump’s Frankenstein economics,” Ben White, Politico

Related:

“Donald Trump wants to slash your child care bill. But he’s doing it all wrong.” Jeff Spross, The Week

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Davos 2016

January 20, 2016

Davos 2016

The billionaire masters of Planet Earth and their pet politicians are in Davos this week for the 46th World Economic Forum. The US is sending a high-powered team led by Joe Biden, John Kerry, Kevin Spacey, will.i.am, and Leonardo DiCaprio. You can join them for a mere $31,473 a ticket, if you’ve paid your $50,000 WEF dues. Hotel, dining, and valet parking are extra. Gatecrashers and the improperly dressed will be politely turned away by police and 5,000 Swiss soldiers.

 

The Forum is going to be really inconvenient this year due to security concerns. You’ll have to land your private jet at Dübendorf military airbase and get to Davos by limo, helicopter, or horse-drawn carriage.

This year’s agenda will focus on Industry 4.0, aka “The Fourth Industrial Revolution … the fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds which is creating entirely new capabilities”and replacing laborers with robot employees. Naturally, Forum members want to speed up that process. And WEF is concerned about women, too, and that’s why this year almost 20% of Davos attendees are women. Progress!

More:

“62 People Own Half the World’s Wealth, Oxfam Says Ahead of World Economic Forum,” Pan Pylas, NBC New York

“Get a grip on inequality, leaders urged in run-up to World Economic Forum,”  AP via Chicago Tribune

“The 2016 World Economic Forum Misfires With Its Fourth Industrial Revolution Theme,” Jeremy Rifkin, Huffington Post

“Davos Robot Eclipses Davos Man as Gloom Descends on World Elite,” Simon Kennedy, Matthew Campbell, The Guardian

“Industry 4.0 to be huge job killer,” Deutsche Welle

“Robots put five million jobs at risk,” SwissInfo.ch

“Report from Davos: ‘Men still run the world—and it’s not going that well,’” Jenny Anderson, Quartz

“The failure of Davos,” Felix Salmon, Fusion

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Americans Sell Off Stocks, Buy Lottery Tickets

January 13, 2016

Americans Sell Off Stocks, Buy Lottery Tickets

It’s 2016. Wall Street is down, but lottery ticket sales are up. Wednesday’s Powerball grand prize is expected to be around $1.5 billion.

Powerball includes 44 state lotteries and those in DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Odds of winning: 1 in 292 million.

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The 40 Percent

October 17, 2015

The 40 Percent

On-call, part-time, provisional, and non-permanent workers, freelancers, temporary contract workers, independent contractors and consultants. Put them all together and you’ve got about 40 percent of America’s workers.

It breaks down like this:

Agency temps: 1.3%
On-call workers (work when needed): 3.5%
Contract company workers: 3.0%
Independent contractors: 12.9%
Self-employed workers (shop owners, etc.) 3.3%
Part-time workers: 16.2%

It’s possible to define this group down and pretend that many of these under-employed, under-paid workers are “independent small business owners,” but that doesn’t make their lives any less precarious. Many contingent workers in this “1099 Economy” are also contingent social service clients.

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China: Capitalism? You Wanted It, You Got It.

August 26, 2015

China: Capitalism? You Wanted It, You Got It

Update: “China’s stock market falls for the 5th straight day,”  Timothy B. Lee,Vox

“China’s stock market plunges for the fourth straight day,” Timothy B. Lee, Vox

“China 2015: beware the links with 1929,” Larry Elliott, The Guardian

“Why the Chinese slowdown everybody knew was coming is causing a freak-out,” Chico Harlan, Washington Post

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Market Correction

August 22, 2015

Market Correction

On Friday Wall Street deflated with a mighty belch, as the Dow dropped over 500 points, the worst one-day loss since 2008. Overall there’s been a 10 percent drop from the May 19 peak, so it’s officially a “Market Correction.

Why? Some blame it on the fears about the instability of China’s economy, others on the EU and Greece, or the Fed, or the low price of oil and other commodities, or the Zodiac.

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