AUTOMATION THREATENS JOBS AS NEW SHUTDOWNS TAKE HOLD. With politicians closing – again – sectors of their states’ and nations’ economies to blunt the latest surge in COVID cases, companies are rushing the adoption of automating technologies that will let them maintain production without human workers, according to a new study by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
 The pandemic-inspired shutdowns, coupled with more sophisticated robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), is causing a “double disruption” in the world’s labor markets, the WEF said in its report.
Currently, about 30 percent of work-related jobs are automated, the WEF said. But about 85 million human jobs worldwide will succumb to automation by 2025, the group estimates, creating a half-and-half split in the labor force between people and machines.
However, the new technologies will create about 97 million new jobs, it said, more than enough to absorb the displaced workers.
The caveat: bringing those surplus workers into the automated future will require companies to make major investments in “upskilling and reskilling” their workers, something few have shown an ability to do on the scale the future will demand.
“More than 120 million workers globally will need retraining in the next three years due to artificial intelligence’s impact on jobs,” noted a recent IBM survey, including 50 million Chinese workers and 11.5 Americans, according to a 27 October article in Forbes.
It is believed that over 50 million Chinese workers may require retraining, as a result of AI-related deployment, according to a 27 October article in Forbes, and the U.S. will be required to retool 11.5 million people with skills needed to survive in the workforce. Millions of workers in Brazil, Japan, and Germany will need assistance with the changes wrought by AI, robotics and related technology.
“While some new jobs would be created as in the past, the concern is there may not be enough of these to go round, particularly as the cost of smart machines falls over time and their capabilities increase,” the WEF report warned.
“AI, robotics and other forms of smart automation have the potential to [contribute] up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030,” PriceWaterhouseCoopers noted in a separate report. “This extra wealth will also generate the demand for many jobs, but there are also concerns that it could displace many existing jobs.”
The loss of work has sparked discussions of how governments would replace lost income tax revenue. The looming disappearance of jobs also has led more people to ponder a guaranteed basic income that could be funded by a tax on robots, Bill Gates said in a recent interview with Quartz.
“Right now, the human worker who does $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, Social Security tax, all those things,” he noted. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
TREND FORECAST: Just Silicon Valley destroyed the ability of musicians to make a living by digitizing music, so, too, will robotics eliminate hundreds of millions of manual labor force jobs. Indeed, this is merely the second phase of the Industrial Revolution, which replaced hand-crafted with assembly-line produced.
When the Industrial Revolution began, there were about a billion people on the planet. Today, there are 7.8 billion. Thus, the loss of jobs to robotics and other high-tech advancement, such as self-driving vehicles, will negatively affect billions within the labor force.
The implications will be more migration from poorer nations, increasing violence, crime, rebellions, riots, and demonstrations leading to civil and regional wars.
As Gerald Celente has noted, “When people lose everything, and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.” And lose it they will as billions sink into deep poverty.
HALF THE WORLD’S WORKERS FEAR LOSING THEIR JOBS. Fifty-four percent of the 12,430 employees in 27 countries surveyed in October by the World Economic Forum are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about losing their jobs in the next 12 months.
Russians were the most anxious, with 75 percent fearful of imminent unemployment; Germans were the most easygoing, with only 26 percent worried.
The survey also asked if workers could learn new skills for future jobs from their current employers. In Spain, 86 percent said they could; fewer than 50 percent of Japanese, Russians, and Swedes thought they would be able to learn new skills on the job.
The survey was taken between 25 September and 9 October, just as the current wave of the pandemic was beginning.
A THIRD OF CANADIANS WON’T RECOVER FROM LOCKDOWN. A third of Canadians believe they will never recover financially from the economic shutdown, according to an October survey by FP Canada, a trade group for financial planners.
 Most of those reporting permanent damage are in their 40s and 50s, closer to the end of their working lives than the beginning, with less time to make up their losses.
Also, 41 percent of respondents said they are in a worse financial situation than before the shutdown, and 42 percent said they are too financially weak to endure a second shutdown.
TRENDPOST: While the mainstream media continually focuses on rising COVID cases, they barely report the socioeconomic and personal devastation inflicted on literally billions of people across the globe as a result of overt draconian government measures that have destroyed the global economy, while doing virtually nothing to win the COVID War.
As we have noted, but again, barely mentioned, nations such as Sweden and Belarus have not locked down at all and their virus death rates are much lower than most of the European nations that had and continue to lock down their economies. 
CANADA’S CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR SEES “LONG SLOG.” The Bank of Canada will hold its benchmark interest rate at the current 0.25 percent through 2023, according to a statement by the bank.
It will take that long for the country’s economy to recover from the shutdown, Tim Macklem, the bank’s governor, said in a press conference, noting that “we’re going to get through this but it’s going to be a long slog.”
The rate is the lowest the bank can hold without damaging the country’s financial system, the bank said.
The bank also pledged to continue buying government bonds to keep borrowing costs low until the recovery is “well underway” and will maintain current stimulus levels.
However, it will reduce its weekly bond purchases from $5 billion to $4 billion and buy more longer-term securities, which tend to do a better job of stimulating the economy, the bank’s policy statement said.
Canada’s Gross Domestic Product will return to its pre-pandemic level some time in 2022, the bank has predicted.
By 2023, the country’s economy should have “absorbed slack” caused by the shutdown and be maintaining inflation at a sustainable 2-percent rate, the bank said separately in its quarterly forecast.
After the statement was released, Canada’s dollar lost 1 percent against the U.S. greenback.
Aggressive fiscal policy is also essential, especially because the bank has little room left to cut interest rates further, said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s finance minister, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Canada has the capacity to take on more debt, she said, and spending should not be restrained before the recovery is well under way.
TREND FORECAST: We forecast the Bank of Canada will lower rates into negative territory next year as the Greatest Depression worsens.
CANADA FORGING “GLOBALLY COORDINATED” DIGITAL CURRENCY. The Bank of Canada is consulting with other G7 nations as it plans a digital currency to be called the “loonie,” Canadian slang for the country’s one-dollar coin.
A “globally coordinated” approach will minimize the risks of unexpected glitches and help thwart criminals, Tim Macklem, the bank’s governor, told Reuters.
The bank is moving from research and development to planning the loonie’s release, although there is no immediate need to do so, Macklem said.
“If another country has [a digital currency] and we don’t, that could certainly create some problems,” so countries need to share information on their designs and timelines for issuing digital money, he added.
“Currencies move across borders, and so we certainly wouldn’t want to be surprised by some other country,” he added. “It will be important for us to share information on what each of us is doing, is planning on, and on the timeline that we might do it on.”
China’s successful $1.5-million October test of its digital renminbi and Facebook’s plan to issue its Libra stablecoin are prodding nations to speed their own work to create electronic money.
TREND FORECAST: We have written extensively over the past three years that the world will go digital. As noted, it will allow governments to how every penny, lira, yuan, euro, etc., was spent, who spent it, on what, when and where. This will allow them to collect more taxes and for Big Brother to monitor every step and movement that the Plantation Workers of Slavelandia make.
Here is a link to one of our articles on the changeover to digital currency: “FROM DIRTY CASH TO DIGITAL TRASH.”
CHINESE LAW LEGALIZES DIGITAL CURRENCY, BANS COMPETITORS. A draft law in China lays the legal groundwork for the country’s digital currency, known as Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), by updating the definition of the renminbi and bans all other entities from issuing digital yuan-backed electronic money.
The law would allow the DCEP to circulate and be convertible interchangeably with physical coins and banknotes.
The DCEP “would be good to fight against cryptocurrencies and global stablecoins and prevent their erosion of currency-issuance rights,” Mu Changchun, Director of the People’s Bank of China’s Digital Currency Research Institute, said at last week’s Bund Summit in Shanghai, the Financial Times reported.
The dangers of bogus e-wallets and the difficulty underprivileged groups might have in accessing the DCEP emphasize the need for the central bank’s control, Mu said, adding that the central bank will “coordinate the construction of digital currency application scenarios for the purpose of identification.”
China has long been clear that the DCEP is intended to eventually replace physical money as well as give the government tighter control over its currency.
China has run four successful tests of its DCEP in four major cities and is planning to have it in general circulation in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, placing at the forefront of nations, including the U.S., that are planning to issue digital currencies of their own.
EUROPE’S GDP REBOUNDS IN THIRD QUARTER, BUT… The collective GDP of the 19 countries using the euro as currency grew 12.7 percent in 2020’s third quarter compared to the second.
However, the output remained 4.3 percent lower than a year previous, marking the depth of the current recession.
The countries fear a slide back toward economic contraction as Britain, France, and Germany have imposed new shutdowns amid the COVID virus.
The shutdowns raise the risk of another round of mass bankruptcies, particularly among small businesses that depend on tourism and face-to-face interaction with customers.
EUROPE’S CENTRAL BANK HINTS AT MORE STIMULUS. With economic risks “clearly tilted toward the downside” now that Eurozone countries are imposing new shutdowns against a resurgent COVID virus, the European Central Bank (ECB) promised “a thorough reassessment of the economic outlook and the balance of risks” so it can decide whether to “recalibrate its instruments, as appropriate, to respond to the unfolding situation.”
The bank made the comments on 29 October as part of its latest policy statement, which included decisions to hold its benchmark interest rate at negative 0.5 percent and maintain its bond-buying program at €1.35 trillion, of which it has spent about half.
It is “necessary to take action,” Christine Lagarde, ECB bank President, told reporters after the announcement. The bank is working to adjust “all our instruments,” she added, hinting that the bank is already deciding on a series of steps, the Financial Times reported.
Those steps are likely to include adding €500 billion to its bond-buying initiative and extending its end date from next June to the end of 2021, analysts say, although they do not believe interest rates will change.
In the ECB’s most recent quarterly survey, commercial banks have widely reported plans to reduce lending to businesses and households.
That has led some analysts to believe the ECB will continue to lend to the banks at special rates as low as negative 1.0 percent or even cut the benchmark rate further.
Lagarde promised the bank would continue to do all it could to maintain a stable economy.
“We have done it for the first wave [of the pandemic and shutdown] and we will do it for the second,” she said in her comments to press, which were reported in the Financial Times.
TREND FORECAST: The ECB will continue to pump cheap money into the economy and equity markets as Europe sinks deeper into the “Greatest Depression.” The more money they inject into the system, the lower the euro will fall.
As we have forecast, the U.S. dollar remains strong, not because of economic fundamentals, but because other nations currencies are declining as they keep flooding the system with more cheap money.
Overall, central bank measures are positive for rising gold and silver prices since the more money they print, the lower the value of their currency and the greater the desire for investments in safe-haven assets.
TURKEY’S LIRA CONTINUES TO LOSE VALUE. Turkey’s currency fell to a record-low eight to the dollar on 27 October.
That followed a 2.1-percent drop against the buck on 23 October, to a then-record 7.9792 after the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey startled investors and analysts by leaving its benchmark repo rate at 10.25 percent.
Observers had been expecting the bank to raise the rate in an attempt to slow the country’s 11.25-percent inflation rate.
With the interest rate lower than that of inflation, investments in lira-denominated stocks and bonds effectively lose money.
Economists have long urged the bank to boost interest rates to salvage investments and keep the lira from depreciating further.
Instead, the bank has held rates steady and made it easier for businesses and households to borrow, which increased imports while the economic shutdown crippled Turkey’s export industries.
However, the bank did tighten a loophole that gives the bank an option to raise its average interest rate without formally increasing the benchmark rate.
The measure does little to rescue the bank from its larger difficulties.
To stabilize the lira, this year the central bank has sold foreign currencies, including dollars it borrowed from the country’s domestic banks, and bought lira. The currency has failed to recover and the central bank now owes more money than it has on hand.
The lira also has suffered from geopolitical tensions that worsened over 24 and 25 October after Turkish president Recep Erdoğan questioned French president François Macron’s mental health following Macron’s controversial comments about Islam. France then recalled its ambassador to Turkey
Other Turkish officials launched verbal attacks on Europe’s treatment of Muslims, comparing it to the continent’s treatment of Jews in the 1930s.
Erdoğan also has dared the U.S. to impose the sanctions he claimed were threatened after Turkey sided with a warring faction in the disputed Caucasus territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The lira has lost about 25 percent of its value this year.
About $7.6 billion in foreign money has fled Turkey’s bond market this year and $5.7 has been pulled out of the country’s stock market, analysts report.
HERMÈS REPORTS SALES OF LUXURY ITEMS CLIMBING. Hermès, the French purveyor of luxury clothing and accessories, reported third-quarter sales 7 percent above last year’s, measured in constant currencies.
It was the first high-fashion house to report a return to global growth since the pandemic and shutdown hobbled sales last spring.
Although Chinese shoppers are driving much of the rise, European and U.S. consumers also boosted sales in their regions, according to quarterly reports from Hermès and high-fashion competitor LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
While the pandemic and shutdowns have prevented well-to-do consumers from traveling, they may be making up for it by pampering themselves at home, analysts speculate.
Hermès’ share price is up as much as 23 percent this year; LVMH’s has gained about 4 percent.
Hermès’ good quarterly numbers bode well for the luxury goods market; analysts are watching Burberry and Cle. Financiere Richemont, owner of Cartier and other high-end brands, to see if their share prices buck up as well.
The laggard is Gucci, whose sales slid 12 percent in the quarter.
The company’s business model depends on well-heeled shoppers, particularly Chinese, going on buying sprees in Europe’s fashion capitals and airports’ duty-free stores. With the pandemic and shutdown keeping travelers at home, Gucci lost its customer base.
The company’s sales were down 47 percent in Europe for the quarter but rose 44 percent in the U.S., due to a roaring stock market and wealthy travelers stranded at home, the company said.
TREND FORECAST: Yes, sales were down in Europe and up in the U.S because of roaring stock market. Again, as the facts and data prove, the rich are getting richer and the rest of society is sinking into deep depression… physically, financially, spiritually, and morally.
 While there was an uptick in sales in the U.S. as winter sets in and economic conditions deteriorate, from high end to low end, so, too, will retail sales.

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