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Ahead Of “Big Jobs Numbers”, Initial/Continuing Claims Offers ‘Positive’ Surprise

Ahead Of "Big Jobs Numbers", Initial/Continuing Claims Offers ‘Positive’ Surprise



Ahead Of "Big Jobs Numbers", Initial/Continuing Claims Offers 'Positive' Surprise Tyler Durden Thu, 08/06/2020 - 08:37

Initial Jobless Claims was above a million last week for the twentieth straight week, but, after two straight week of rising, fell last week from 1.435mm last week to 'just' 1.186 million new Americans signing up for jobless claims for the first time.

Following yesterday's plunge in ADP payrolls, Continuing Jobless Claims confounded and fell (improved) after rising last week for the first time in eight weeks...

A total of 55.31 million Americans have now applied for jobless benefits for the first time since the pandemic lockdowns began (that's over 330 layoffs for every COVID death in America), and massively more than the 22.1 million during the great financial crisis.

However, as Michael Snyder detailed previously, under the surface of these numbers, things are far from rosy looking forward.

When millions of Americans were losing their jobs at the beginning of this pandemic, we were told not to worry because the lockdowns were just temporary and virtually all of those workers would be going back to their old jobs once the lockdowns ended.  Well, now we are finding out that was not even close to true.  Over the last 18 weeks, more than 52 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, and a very large percentage of them are dealing with a permanent job loss.  In fact, one brand new survey discovered that 47 percent of all unemployed workers now believe that their “job loss is likely to be permanent”.  The following comes from a USA Today article entitled “Almost half of all jobs lost during pandemic may be gone permanently”

In April, 78% of those in households experiencing job loss felt that that situation would be temporarily. But now, 47% think that job loss is likely to be permanent, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

What that number tells us is that we are facing the worst employment crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

All of those permanently unemployed workers are eventually going to need new jobs, but meanwhile the U.S. economy as a whole is in a free fall that is absolutely stunning.  On Thursday, we are scheduled to get the GDP number for the second quarter, and everyone is expecting that it will be really bad

Data due Thursday are forecast to show U.S. gross domestic product plummeted an annualized 34.8% in the second quarter, the most in records dating back to the 1940s, after the spread of Covid-19 prompted Americans to stay home and states to order widespread lockdowns.

This downturn has been particularly hard on small businesses.  Just check out these numbers

  • Yelp reported 71,500 businesses that were listed on their site have closed for good since March 1.

  • 80% of independent restaurants aren’t sure they’ll survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Nearly half of all small-business members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce lost 100% of their sales or closed down completely.

What a nightmare.

But the third quarter was when the U.S. economy was supposed to come roaring back to life.

We were told that it would be the greatest economic comeback in our history, but instead the numbers are telling us that the economy is actually starting to slow down once again.

In fact, U.S. consumer confidence in July is much lower than it was in June…

U.S. CONSUMER confidence fell in July to a reading of 92.6 as coronavirus cases surged around the country, shuttering some bars and other businesses and raising concerns about the future of the economy.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that the index fell in July from a reading of 98.3 in June. The drop is more significant than economists predicted, and is due mainly to a decrease in consumers’ economic expectations for the short-term future.

In addition, we just witnessed the largest decline in wholesale inventories since the peak of the last financial crisis

June was supposed to be the month of second-derivative beats in economic data, reaffirming the manic bid in stocks. For Wholesale Inventories it was not.

Against expectations of a rebound from a 1.2% drop in May to a 0.5% drop in June, wholesale inventories actually tumbled 2.0% MoM, the worst since the peak of the great financial crisis…

So it doesn’t look like any sort of a “recovery” is happening.

Instead, it appears that we are sliding into the next chapter of this new economic depression.

In June, 19 percent of all U.S. small businesses were closed, but now that number is up to 24.5 percent.

That certainly isn’t progress.

With each passing day, more companies are announcing layoffs.  And every worker that gets laid off is another American that doesn’t have a paycheck to spend.  During the last recession, millions of Americans slid out of the middle class, and we are watching it happen again.

Our elected leaders in Washington are desperate to do something about this, and almost all of them seem to agree that more socialist programs are the answer.  A fifth “stimulus bill” is being put together but remains stuck in gridlock, and the Urban Institute is warning that if Congress does not hurry we could see the poverty rate in this country rise substantially

Millions more Americans will be thrown into poverty if Congress fails to enact three policies meant to help families get through economic hardships related to the pandemic, according to a new study by the Urban Institute.

The report finds that the poverty rate for the last five months of 2020 will rise to 11.9% if expanded unemployment-insurance benefits, a second round of stimulus checks, and increased SNAP allotments are not approved, a significant increase over the projected annual rate of 8.9%.

If the Urban Institute thinks that an 11.9 percent poverty rate is bad, just wait until they see what things will be like in this country a few years from now.

Our entire system is in the process of melting down, but it will take some time for the drama that we are watching to fully play out.  Our leaders in Washington and the bureaucrats over at the Federal Reserve will keep flooding the system with money in a misguided attempt to fix things, and this will result in exceedingly painful inflation.

The cost of everything (including essentials such as food) will be going way up, and that means that your money will increasingly become less and less valuable.

If you could print your way to prosperity, Venezuela and Zimbabwe would be the wealthiest nations on the entire planet today.

At this point, almost everyone in Venezuela is a “millionaire”, but almost everyone is also living in extreme poverty.

History has shown that wildly printing money doesn’t work, but the U.S. is going down the exact same path, and it isn’t going to be pretty.

Even though things are quite crazy out there right now, this is our window of opportunity to get prepared for the troubled times that are ahead, because things are not going to be getting any easier from here on out.

*  *  *

And with the latest round of virus relief continuing to be stuck in gridlock, we suspect things will get depressingly worse before they get better.

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Saudis On High Alert After Yemen’s Houthis Fire Another Missile At Israel, Fresh Clashes Erupt

Saudis On High Alert After Yemen’s Houthis Fire Another Missile At Israel, Fresh Clashes Erupt

Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen have reportedly…



Saudis On High Alert After Yemen's Houthis Fire Another Missile At Israel, Fresh Clashes Erupt

Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen have reportedly fired another missile aimed at Israel on Monday. An initial launch of a couple of missiles over a week ago saw a US warship of Yemen's coast intervene to shoot down the projectiles. 

This time the Houthi missile flew over Saudi territory, putting the kingdom on a high state of alert. While fighting between the Saudi-UAE coalition and Yemen's Houthis has raged since 2015 (also with Washington backing), the last days have seen an uptick in fighting, which regional observers believe is connected with events in Gaza. Israel too sees Yemen as a dangerous 'pro-Iran' base of operations threatening the broader region. However, the Houthis are by and large an impoverished rag-tag regional rebel movement which sees Riyadh as trying to bolster an unpopular puppet government by force of superior air power.

Illustrative file image: Yemeni Houthi rocket, via Anadolu Agency

"Saudi Arabia’s military has gone into a state of high alert following deadly clashes with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who also tried to fire a missile over the kingdom toward Israel, according to people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg reports. The fresh clashes resulted in four Saudi soldiers dying in the southwestern Jazan Province on the border with Yemen, based on defense sources cited in the report.

Bloomberg additionally emphasizes that this shatters forward momentum made on a developing peace deal. "Before the escalation, the two sides were on the cusp of a deal despite the death of four Bahraini soldiers serving in the Saudi coalition in a Houthi drone attack last month," the report continues. 

There's also Saudi-Israel normalization which remains a big question. It was only a little over a year ago that Saudi Arabia began opening its airspace for Israeli flights to pass through, and this summer saw the unprecedented opening up of the kingdom's airports to Israeli carriers.

But since the Hamas Oct.7 attack on southern Israel, and return strikes which have pummeled Gaza, resulting in a massive civilian death toll - the Saudi and Israel relationship has once again deteriorated. The hoped-for Abraham Accords are effectively dead, and some analysts have pointed out this is exactly what Hamas and its Iranian supporter wanted. Israeli carriers are now greatly scaling back flights over the region due to the new security threats.

As for the Houthis, the Shia group vying for full control over Yemen has also long been seen as supported from Tehran, having also received covert weapons shipments. 

Netanyahu is meanwhile issuing new threats aimed at Iran:

Elsewhere in the Middle East on Monday, an American base in Iraq has once again come under attack. "Four Katyusha rockets on Monday fired at Iraq's Ain al-Asad air base which hosts U.S. and other international forces in western Iraq," security sources told Reuters.

Casualties were unknown in the immediate aftermath. "Rockets were fired from a desert area around 25km (15 miles) north of the base and Iraqi security forces launched a search for the attackers, two security sources said," the report continues. 

Attacks on US forces in both Iraq and Syria are becoming a daily occurrence, despite the last Friday early morning airstrikes on 'Iranian targets' in Syria. The White House has warned of more 'decisive action' to come, but the reality is that the US occupation in Syria leaves American forces exposed. 

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/30/2023 - 15:30

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DeSantis Warns China ‘Key Player’ Behind Ukraine, Israel Wars

DeSantis Warns China ‘Key Player’ Behind Ukraine, Israel Wars

Authored by Jackson Richman, Eva Fu and Jan Jekielek via The Epoch Times (emphasis…



DeSantis Warns China 'Key Player' Behind Ukraine, Israel Wars

Authored by Jackson Richman, Eva Fu and Jan Jekielek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Florida governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis warned on Oct. 27 that China is "the key player" behind the conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) during a Q&A with Epoch Times senior editor Jan Jekielek (L) and Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on Oct. 27, 2022. (Erin Granzow)

Appearing at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation, a  conservative think tank in Washington, in conjunction with The Epoch Times, Mr. DeSantis struck a hawkish tone toward Beijing, calling it a “key player” behind the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza Strip.

"The CCP is keeping both Iran and Russia afloat financially," Mr. DeSantis said in his speech, using the acronym for the Chinese Communist Party. "China's purchasing massive amounts of Iranian oil on the black market, thereby enriching the mullahs and Russia is selling China gas and much, much more. And that is bolstering Russia's war machine."

Mr. DeSantis went on to say that the protracted conflict between Ukraine and Russia since February 2022 "will ultimately benefit China because it will distract America and it will deplete our already dwindling Western weapons and ammunition stockpiles."

And while the United States will support Israel in defending itself, he believes that China “like[s] the Hamas-Israel conflict.”

Clearly the way the world has gone the last two years has benefits to China,” he said. “There’s no question.”

“The threat posed by the CCP requires our primary focus and attention right now. They are the first truly peer competitor that we have dealt with in our lifetimes."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) during a Q&A with Epoch Times senior editor Jan Jekielek (M) and Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts (L) at the Heritage Foundation in Washington on Oct. 27, 2022. (Erin Granzow)

The Biden administration has relaxed or failed to enforce sanctions on Iran, which has given drones to Russia and exports oil to China. Mr. DeSantis noted that Russia has been selling China gas and “much, much more.”

He blamed “bad decisions made by America's ruling class” for the economic leverage China now has over the U.S. economy, noting that the United States had given China most-favored-nation trading status and allowed Beijing to be part of the World Trade Organization.

"And China has grand ambitions. They seek to be the dominant power in the entire world and they are marshaling all their society to be able to achieve that objective," he said. "So this is a formidable threat and it requires a whole-of-society approach."

He warned that “a world that's dominated by CCP will see them export their authoritarian vision all across the world.

“This will be a world marked by internet policing, artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and social credit scores. It will end up creating a global dystopia and this is a regime that you do not want to have control or influence over our society,” he said, comparing the China threat to the Soviet Union's effort to spread communism worldwide.

The death toll that the Chinese regime is responsible for over its 70 some years of ruling “may very well be the highest of any government in history and numbers in the 10s of millions,” and the regime’s coverup of the pandemic, he added, has “put the rest of the world in great peril.”

Mr. DeSantis pledged to reorient U.S. foreign policy to prioritize the Indo-Pacific region to defend U.S. national security. Deterring CCP aggression, he said, requires the United States to project strength, which he detailed as bolstering the U.S. military to deny Chinese ambitions toward Taiwan, unleashing “America's full economic potential,” ensuring U.S. technological dominance, and closing border loopholes.

The Florida governor has maintained a tough-on-China record during his tenure, including by restricting Chinese purchases of property in the state and banning the controversial Beijing-funded Confucius Institute program from school campuses. In September, he directed the Florida Department of Education to cut state funding for four schools, citing their “direct ties to the CCP” that he said "constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public."

During a Q&A with Mr. DeSantis, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts and Epoch Times senior editor Jan Jekielek asked the governor if the issue of human rights should be tied to U.S. policy on trade with China.

"Traditionally, human rights have been linked to trade or trade has been linked to human rights," noted Mr. Jekielek, also the host of EpochTV's "American Thought Leaders."

"I think human rights is something that's good to stand for. What is the concrete interest? I do think it informs a concrete interest because this is one of the great weaknesses of the CCP," said Mr. DeSantis. "What they're trying to export around the world ultimately, is something that is going to suffocate human freedom. Their vision is a dystopian vision."

Mr. DeSantis' statements came hours before Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with President Joe Biden at the White House. The regime's top diplomat is in Washington for meetings with senior Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. The administration has framed its relationship with the regime as one of "strategic competition" rather than directly adversarial.

Along with warning about China, other topics Mr. DeSantis highlighted in his major foreign policy speech include the latest Hamas-Israel conflict, which began on Oct. 7 and consisted of the biggest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, and border security amid the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

During his Q&A, Mr. DeSantis noted the trend of leftist governments in Latin America.

"We should have an updated version of the Monroe Doctrine for our own neighborhood in the 21st century," he said, referring to a late 19th-century principle that viewed attempts by Europe to intervene in the Americas as a potentially hostile act against the United States itself.

Mr. DeSantis emphasized the United States is now at “the decisive decade” to “arrest our country's decline” and tackle the challenge from China.

“At the end of the day, China has a lot of liabilities. They have a lot of weaknesses,” he said. “They want to maintain ironclad control over their population indefinitely,” but there are already cracks showing, and increasing, “because they are not doing what needs to be done for individuals to ultimately flourish.”

Tyler Durden Mon, 10/30/2023 - 14:40

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“They’ll Bankrupt Us”: Rand Paul Rages That Dems & GOP “Want To Send $100 Billion To Everyone” In Foreign Countries

"They’ll Bankrupt Us": Rand Paul Rages That Dems & GOP "Want To Send $100 Billion To Everyone” In Foreign Countries

Authored by Steve…



"They'll Bankrupt Us": Rand Paul Rages That Dems & GOP "Want To Send $100 Billion To Everyone” In Foreign Countries

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

Senator Rand Paul has warned that “the very existence” of the U.S. is under threat from Democrats and Republicans wanting to send “$100 billion to everyone,” in other countries.

In a Fox News interview, Paul warned that “they’ll bankrupt our country in sending money everywhere all over the planet,” adding “It is probably the greatest threat to our national security.”

Paul further urged that “The greatest threat to it is the national debt. We borrowed a trillion dollars in the last three months. It is out-of-control spending, and we are threatening the very existence of our currency, and perhaps our country, by this crazy, profligate spending.”

The Senator continued, “the big government Republicans in the Senate have already joined hands with the Democrats over here — they want $100 billion to everyone.”

“People forget we have to borrow the money or print the money because we don’t have the money,” Paul added.

Paul noted that while funding for Israel will continue, the new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has “unilaterally put the kibosh on the big government sort of wastebasket approach of dumping in another $60 billion for Ukraine.”

“I think, actually, it’s going to stop,” Paul said.


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Tyler Durden Mon, 10/30/2023 - 15:10

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