This is exactly why I wrote that I would have lower the rate by 100 basis points rather than 25. I wouldn’t have raised the rate in the first place. It was a big mistake. We knew Trump’s corporate-tax cut would not have a lasting positive impact and that most of the money would go into stock buybacks.
Between February 1994 and February 1995, the Fed raised its benchmark short-term interest rate by three percentage points to slow the economy and forestall the risk of inflation. At first, officials thought they were “behind the curve” because employment, output, and spending all grew briskly through much of 1994.
As the tightening cycle progressed, however, the difference between yields on two-year and 10-year U.S. Treasuries collapsed to almost nothing. By the summer of 1995, it was clear the Fed had overshot. Manufacturing production had flatlined. Retail-sales growth slowed from an annual rate of 9% in 1994 to 3% by the middle of 1995. The average number of private-sector jobs added each month dropped from over 300,000 at the end of 1994 to barely 100,000 by the middle of 1995. The jobless rate stopped falling, and the number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment insurance grew on a sustained basis for the first time since the 1991 recession.
Perhaps most ominously, 10-year yields had plunged by two percentage points in the first half of 1995. The Fed eventually responded by lowering its policy rate in July. It would ultimately cut 0.75 percentage point by the beginning of 1996.
The “mid-cycle adjustment” in 1995-96, to borrow a phrase from current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, was successful. American production and spending growth reaccelerated by the end of 1996, while the job market quickly returned to new heights. The expansion ended up lasting for another half-decade.
The question now: Can the Fed repeat the same trick?
State lawmakers promise ‘heavy penalties’ for landlords who violate rent laws
… it won’t be until at least 2020 that any changes to the law can occur when the next legislative session in Albany reconvenes.
Study: Breathing dirty air is like smoking a pack a day
Breathing four pollutants — ground-level ozone, fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and black carbon — was found to be associated with increases in emphysema, a lung disease that causes shortness of breath and is most associated with smokers. Just a small increase of three parts per billion of ozone was associated with damage equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for 29 years.
Ceres risk analysis of power sector calls for decarbonization by 2050
The framework covers the limits of clean energy resources and energy efficiency measures on companies’ profitability, along with risks related to supply and demand changes, higher insurance premiums, reduced access to capital due to recurring costs from extreme weather events and other costs.
Business growth opportunities covered in the analysis include electrification, renewable energy and low-carbon services and the need for new transmission lines to connect renewable energy resources.
One Tax System for Most Americans, and a Second System for the Wealthiest
Walmart is one of a number of companies that have implemented a full-court press effort to reduce its property taxes nationwide.
This strategy works for the corporate giants because many local taxing jurisdictions simply don’t have the financial resources to match up against corporate legal teams in court, and often find it cheaper to simply give in to corporate tax-cutting demands.
Tlaib’s grandmother says
“Trump has told Rashida and Ilhan to go back to their home countries. What a contradiction, yesterday he asked them to leave and today he asks that they aren’t let in,” said Bassam Tlaib.
Kushner to soon break ground on its first development in Florida — a 400-foot, $550M tower
Plans filed with the City of Miami show a $550 million tower rising 408 feet with 1,100 units. Kushner plans to break ground in October with the first of three phases that comprises 400 units, as first reported by Next Miami. The design calls for an eight-story parking garage sheathed in perforated triangular aluminum panels, according to plans filed with the city. The building includes required ground-floor retail space and an amenity deck for residents atop the garage.
Democrats torch Trump failures on rural digital divide
It’s harder to live in the country if you work remotely.
The following gives me no pleasure.
I typically like much of what Popular Resistance has to say. They usually do a good job of holding a mirror up to our USA. However, as with the vast, vast majority of the “far left” (they aren’t as “far” as most on the right would like you to believe), they have a tendency to hate US imperialism so much that, that hate colors their analysis.
I’m certainly not saying it’s always easy to not let hatred of US imperialism or hatred of other iterations of dictatorship-leaning ideologies and practices influence one’s statements.
In the current case of Hong Kong (the libertarian-capitalist dystopia) versus Xi (China’s self-appointed, totalitarian dictator), it’s a trap to hate one and not the other. It’s a trap not to stand against both at the same time.
Read Popular Resistance’s article, “Hong Kong In The Crosshairs Of Global Power And Ideological Struggles.” You will see there at least two salient issues that are insufficiently addressed from a truly progressive perspective. Again, sometimes an easy trap; however, one that, nevertheless, must be avoided at all cost.
The two most operative words in the article are poverty and democracy. In addition, the treatment of extradition is also vital. Let me start with extradition, as the article attempts to set the readers frame of reference there.
It is absolutely true what the article says about the mega-billionaires of Hong Kong and their views concerning extradition. However, in Popular Resistance’s zeal to rightly denounce US imperialism, Popular Resistance fails to mention the totally legitimate fear progressives in Hong Kong have about being extradited to face charges in Xi’s courts. It is exactly the same reason Julian Assange doesn’t want to be tried in a US court for the “crime” of exposing US wrongdoing concerning the ill-fated invasion and temporary occupation of Iraq, which war was based upon a pack of lies about Saddam Hussein having and/or pursuing nuclear weapons.
Saddam did not try to obtain yellow cake to make any level of bombs. The yellow cake memo George W. Bush referred to as evidence Saddam must be removed was a known forgery. Our own CIA had informed the Bush-43 administration of that months before Bush’s State of the Union Address. Bush had wanted to make the claim in an earlier speech, and the CIA made clear at the time that the allegation was not credible and should not be used. Bush knew that but used it anyway in his Address, which swayed the American people to back his attack, invasion, occupation, and killing of Saddam. He lied us into war. That’s a crime.
Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning, is sitting in prison as I write this for exposing US war crimes in Iraq through Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. Assange is in prison in Britain because he knew the US plan to get hold of him to do to him what has been wrongly done to Manning.
People in Hong Kong who have criticized Xi’s dictatorship when they were in China but are now in Hong Kong fear receiving Xi’s version of the Manning-treatment. They are in Hong Kong as Assange was in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, not wanting to be extradited to face a kangaroo court hellbent on meting out punishment for exposing that the emperor has no clothes.
That is no small matter, and Popular Resistance should not have overlooked it and should not seek to diminish it.
As for poverty, it is true that in monetary terms, many Chinese have enough money to now not be considered as living in poverty; and, Popular Resistance deserves credit for stating the obvious that China has huge environmental issues to tackle and that China is trying very hard to tackle. However, the article fails miserably in my view to point out that even by the World Bank’s 2015 figures (which Bank I certainly don’t simply trust when it comes to neoliberal figures), some ten million Chinese live in poverty, some in abject poverty, while Xi and the others high up in the “Communist” Party live in hypocritical luxury every bit as luxurious as the “93 billionaires” of Hong Kong. To true progressives, this is a litmus test on honesty. Look at how AMLO, the current President of Mexico, lives and travels by comparison. AMLO knows what hypocrisy is and strives mightily to avoid it and not simply for appearances sake. Xi couldn’t care less.
Again, that’s no small matter.
Finally, we come to the all-important: democracy. This is Popular Resistance’s most glaring failure. It is so bad in my view, that it calls into question Popular Resistance’s ideological integrity. It’s so bad that I can’t say it was an easy trap Popular Resistance (PR) fell into.
PR has been a fount of advocacy for economic democracy. One could have rightly said it was PR’s guiding principle. However, the article not only glosses over it, the article appears craftily worded to manipulate the reader to side with Xi against those in Hong Kong and elsewhere, such as Taiwan, who are pushing for grassroots economic-democracy not under any dictatorship, whether by a single person or a party, such as the Chinese Communist Party. PR sounds right-wing Bolshevik to me in the article. That would be ranging from the Leninist-leaning to the outright Stalinistic. Xi is rather Stalinistic in terms of how he see’s his own authority. I’m not saying Xi’s crimes have risen to the level of Stalin’s, but he believes he has the authority to do what Stalin did if his control is threatened.
If you even consider this a small matter to be simply dismissed, your thinking is very dangerous for true economic democracy, which democracy brooks no dictators ever.
The hate of imperialism should never see one cozying up to Stalinism, Maoism, or Xiism (a mere hybrid that hasn’t yet shown its worst side) or excusing any of them to any degree for any reason.
Here’s the test that is a fact. China is 100% top-down, not bottom-up. Hong Kong is 100% top-down, not bottom-up. That’s all a true economic-democrat needs to know about China and Hong Kong. Both systems are fundamentally wrong and harmful because of it. Popular Resistance has engaged in quite a bit of whitewashing via it’s article and has come down quite a few notches in my estimation as a result. I was never totally onboard with PR, but now I’m quite concerned PR has to be openly countered (until they fully and openly repent), which I’ve done here for cause.
Kiwi publishers face censorship demands from Chinese printers
“Anyone that prints books regularly in China will confirm that printers operate under certain Chinese laws that impose some restrictions on the material they can print,” Barrowman said.
“The Chinese economy offers tremendous opportunity, but we as a country need to be aware the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is prepared to use that economic power for geopolitical ends,” said the Epsom MP.
“People are very economically exposed to the whims of the CCP now. It’s a really big problem.”
Yes, it’s a really big problem.
Microsoft Confirms Update Warning For Windows 10, Windows 8.1 And Windows 7 Users
An organization the size of Microsoft, with the resources it has to hand, should have quality testing processes that are market-leading.
This is a security problem because it makes people think twice before applying updates that are essential from that security perspective. I’m not even talking about the organizations that will implement some reasoned risk analysis that balances the threat exposure against the business continuity. Instead, I’m talking about the hundreds of millions of ordinary Windows users who will see the updates breaking stuff and switch them off where they can.
These are the very same users who are most at risk from the vulnerabilities that get fixed in those updates. These are the users for whom security isn’t front and center when using their computers; getting the task at hand, whatever it may be, done is all that matters.
Ransomware is a way of driving up the “value” of Bitcoin. When are the governments of the world (national, state, provincial, local, etc.) going to make the smart move of banning all cryptocurrencies to end the insanity?
Of course, the ransomware monsters take the Bitcoin and sell it for real money. For them, it’s a trade-off. They’ll try to convert when the “value” of Bitcoin is high, but timing the “market” is difficult with so many monsters doing likewise.
Anyway, governments dragging their feet should be changed by the people being hurt by the greedy maniacs. Those governments should be replaced with people with the intelligence to instantly shut down all cryptocurrencies.
Combined Toxic 100 / Greenhouse 100 Indexes (2019 Report, Based on 2017 Data)
Jeremy Corbyn calls for crackdown on political donors ‘corrupting democracy’
… we will ban donations or loans to political parties from people who are not registered for tax in the UK, so are not contributing to our public services and infrastructure.
What’s outlined in the next linked article is all due to inept US foreign policy from the George H.W. Bush administration right on through the current Trump administration. Bush-41 started it off by not having the faintest idea of what to do upon the breakup of the Soviet Union. He missed the perfect opportunity to turn Russia into a complete and trusted ally. Then we had the opening of China for trade with the US while US labor was deliberately further thrown to the wolves (jobs exported to China) for the sake of corporate-executive greed. If those things hadn’t happened, just think about what the USA’s position would be in the world right now. For the record, my view about the fall of the Soviet’s is not hindsight and neither is my view about opening China. Those were my positions at the time.
Sanders unveils proposal for massive overhaul of criminal justice system
Obviously, Bernie doesn’t want to simply tinker around the edges. I think he’s right to tackle it comprehensibly. Naturally, the legislative process would result in something at least somewhat different from what he’s proposing.
… wants to ban facial recognition software in policing as well as put a moratorium on the utilization of algorithmic risk assessment tools.
I’d have to see more about those. Facial recognition, per se, isn’t bad. It depends on the who, what, where, when, and why of the particular circumstances. It should not be used for police-state purposes. The same goes for algorithmic risk-assessment.
The real solution is for society to move completely away from punishment after the fact (after the crime) to preventative measures (comparable to preventative medicine) and to totally humane and ethical rehabilitation if a crime has been committed. Those changes would make policing vastly better and safer for all concerned.