Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Deficit

Trump Suggests National Debt “Deal,” Media Calls It “Fanciful” and “Dangerous”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 9, 2016:  

A snippet from Donald Trump’s conversation with CNBC on Thursday raised the ire of numerous media commentators, who called Trump’s plan “unprecedented” (CNBC), “fanciful” and a “threat” (New York Times), and “tantamount to a debt default” (Yahoo Finance). Others called his remarks “reckless,” while Tony Fratto, a former Treasury official in the George W. Bush administration said, “This isn’t a serious idea — it’s an insane idea.”

What sparked the ire? The initial impetus was when Trump said, “[The U.S. Treasury is] paying a very low interest rate. What happens if that interest goes up two, three, four points? We don’t have a country. I mean, if you look at the numbers, they’re staggering.”

Indeed they are. The U.S. Debt Clock shows the national debt closing in on $20 trillion, while the economy is slumping along, with a GDP at just over $18 trillion. Put another way,

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Brazil’s Lower House Votes to Impeach President Rousseff; Little Likely to Change

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 19, 2016:  

Shouts of “Anybody but Dilma” resonated in Brazil’s lower house on Sunday as that body voted 367-137 to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.  After the dust settles, that is very likely what they are going to get: a change in name only. The corruption and anti-capitalist policies will remain.

Rousseff promised to fight impeachment every step of the way:

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Brazil’s Economy Entering Depression

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 28, 2016: 

English: Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro city ce...

English: Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro city center, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The latest numbers coming out of Brazil confirm what Goldman Sachs said last December: “What started as a recession … is now mutating into an outright economic depression, given the deep contraction of domestic demand.”

Translation: President Dilma Rousseff’s attempt to stimulate the slowing economy via massive insertions of new debt has in fact had the opposite result.

Consumers have cut back by more than eight percent across the board, while investment spending has declined more than 10 percent last year, with cumulative capital spending

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Venezuelan President Maduro Raises Gas Prices 6,000 percent, Devalues Bolivar

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 18, 2016:  

During a five-hour TV speech on Wednesday that turned into a harangue against capitalism and President Obama, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro exercised the powers granted to him in January to deal with the country’s economic crisis. He did what most socialists do when their policies don’t work:

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Health Insurers Going Broke, Thanks to ObamaCare

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 10, 2016:  

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

Obama’s signature on ObamaCare bill.

The results for 2015 are in. The losses health insurers experienced following the rollout of the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as ObamaCare) in 2014 got even worse. Seventy percent of insurers lost money on individual health plans, according to McKinsey and Company, the global management consulting firm. And it isn’t likely to improve any in 2016.

On Wednesday Humana Inc. reported that

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As Oil Price Drops, Iraq Faces Existential Threat

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, February 1, 2016:  

In Iraq the culture of dependency is so great that the drop in the price of oil threatens the country’s very existence. With every Iraqi dependent upon the government for essentials like sugar, tea, rice and cooking oil, and the government dependent upon oil for more than 90 percent of its budget, the existential threat is real.

In January 2015 the government, headed up by President Fuad Masum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, passed a budget that

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Vulture Funds are Saving American oil

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 13, 2016:  

Over time vultures have gotten a bad rap. Some refuse even to admit that the American Bald Eagle is a vulture, preferring to think of it as a magnificent example of strong individualism and pride. In fact they are birds of prey, scavenging the carcasses of dead animals or, in the case of the Bald eagle, swooping down to snatch an unsuspecting fish from the water with its powerful talons.

Vulture funds work in somewhat the same way. To put it crudely, they

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Puerto Rico Defaults Today on Part of $1B Debt Payment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 4, 2015:  

Both the Puerto Rican flag and the United Stat...

Both the Puerto Rican flag and the United States flag fly over Puerto Rico

Last June Puerto Rico’s Governor, Garcia Padilla, said his government was out of money and would have to default on some of the bonds issued by various government agencies. It owed some $54 million to the Public Finance Corporation and another $140 million to the government’s Development Bank. By moving some funds around on the government’s balance sheet, Padilla was able to make most of those payments.

Since then Padilla’s financial woes have snowballed.

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Saxo Bank’s Outrageous Predictions for 2016

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Tuesday, December 22, 2015:  

Every year about this time the Copenhagen-based Saxo Bank offers up its most outrageous predictions for the coming year. Some of them are doozies:

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Oil: How Much Lower?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 19, 2015:  

Cover of "The Black Swan: The Impact of t...

Cover via Amazon

Speaking at the Irish economics forum Kilkenomics last weekend, former successful derivatives trader, professor of Risk Engineering at New York University, and author of The Black Swan, Nassim Taleb said he thinks the price of a barrel of oil could go as low as $4 a barrel. This could be the result of a

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World Oil Glut Swells to 3 Billion Barrels, Driving Prices Down Further

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 16, 2015:  

Friday’s November report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) confounded so-called experts who have repeatedly predicted a bottom in oil prices. After West Texas Intermediate (WTI) briefly dropped below $40 a barrel in August, bulls were delighted to see prices for crude bounce up over $50 and stay there — right up until October.

The IEA report tried to corral all the complexities of the oil market into its two-page report:

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Saudi Arabia is Losing Its Bet

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 23, 2015:  

A month after OPEC decided in November, 2014 to keep pumping oil, columnist Nathan Vardi, writing in Forbes, said that “Saudi Arabia is making a massive $750 billion bet in 2015 that the oil kingdom can endure lower oil prices longer than other oil producing countries … including [the US].”

It now turns out that the bet was much larger, and it’s going against OPEC. According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia is being forced to delay paying its government contractors as those lower oil prices, which declined faster and more sharply and are staying down longer than expected, are pushing the country further into deficit. This is on top of the

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Lower Oil Prices Pinching OPEC

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 22, 2015:  

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the slowing in the demand for crude oil worldwide, coupled with more-than-abundant supply, bodes ill for higher prices for oil for at least the next year, if not longer. This is bad news for OPEC countries that need much higher oil prices to stay solvent.

The IEA predicted in its report last week that

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Federal Deficit at Eight-year Low; Don’t Celebrate Yet

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 16, 2015:  

On Thursday the Treasury Department announced that the federal deficit for the 2015 fiscal year, which ended September 30, fell to an eight-year low — $439 billion — thanks to tax revenues that grew at a rate faster than government spending. Revenues, according to the department, grew by eight percent over last year while government spending grew by five percent.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew celebrated:

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Oil Price Rebound Not Likely to Last, Says the IEA

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, October 14, 2015: 

Since early August the price of crude has jumped almost 20 percent, moving some, including those in OPEC’s cartel, to conclude that its strategy is working: Flood the market to force prices so low that marginal producers, especially in the United States, will go out of business. With the resultant decrease in supply, prices will rebound, hopefully to levels where the cartel’s countries can continue to fund their welfare/warfare states.

Said the cartel last week:

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OPEC’s Strategy Appears to be Working: U.S. Layoffs Slowing Oil Production

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, October 13, 2015:  

On the surface, OPEC’s gamble appears to be paying off. As the oil cartel continues to pump at near maximum capacity, American energy producers are stacking rigs and laying off workers.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there were an estimated 700,000 workers involved in oil and gas development and production prior to the decline in oil prices. Since then, some 200,000 of those jobs no longer exist, rig count is down to record lows, and, if the EIA is correct, U.S. oil output next year will decline for the first time in eight years.

OPEC itself has estimated that

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The Ripple Effect of Rising Interest Rates

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 9, 2015:  

With financial talking heads now convinced that the Federal Reserve will finally increase interest rates as a result of the record-setting job openings report, few are asking about the “ripple effect” those increases might mean for individuals, for the auto and the housing industry, for companies and corporations, and, most importantly, for the debt-laden federal government.

If and when the fed announces upcoming interest-rate increases, in the short run, individuals might be tempted to accelerate their buying decision on cars and houses to take advantage of low rates before increases start flowing through to lenders in those sectors. In the longer run,

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Hyperinflation Imminent in Venezuela From Socialist Reforms

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 4, 2015:  

Estimates that price inflation in Venezuela is running between 10 and 20 percent a month are too low if one looks at the black market there. By putting price controls on essentials such as personal care items and medicines, President Nicolas Madura (pictured), a protégé of Marxist Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s previous president, has guaranteed at least two things: shortages and rationing. A healthy but very expensive black market has sprung up to meet consumer needs for items such as chickens, medicines, and toilet paper.

In that black, or free, market, Venezuelan women were shocked to find that the price of tampons and other sanitary supplies jumped

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Saudi Arabia’s Cash Reserves Dwindling, Forcing It to Borrow

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 7, 2015:  

English: Saudi Arabia

In an astonishing admission that the Saudis have gambled with a bet that is now going sour, the Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (the country’s central bank) reported:

It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers [in the United States] are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short run.

The main impact has been [for U.S. producers] to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells.

This [strategy to break U.S. producers] requires more patience.

But patience will last only as long as their foreign reserves of cash, and Saudi Arabia’s reserves (immense though they be) are dwindling rapidly. They peaked at $737 billion in August of 2014. In May of this year, they were down to

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Greek Vote the Death Knell for the EU?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 8, 2015:  

English: Nigel Farage at Lord's cricket ground...

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, named “Briton of the Year” in 2014 by the London Times, has finally found his voice. He noisily departed the Conservative Party in 1992 after the signing of the treaty that created the European Union to start his own UK Independence Party (UKIP). His criticism of the EU has been steady ever since, culminating in his eulogy on Monday: “The European Union is Dying Before our Eyes.”

According to Farage, Sunday’s referendum in Greece sealed its death warrant, even if somehow the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is able to come to terms with the troika and have them turn on the financial spigot once again: “It [was] a crushing defeat for those Eurocrats who believe that you can simply bulldoze public opinion.” He added,

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.