TRENDS ON THE ECONOMIC AND MARKET FRONT
POST-SPAC MERGED COMPANIES WRITE OFF $11.57 BILLION
Businesses that went public by merging with special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) in the past three years wrote off $11.57 billion in so-called “goodwill impairment charges” in 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported.
FED OFFICIALS: PUSH THOSE INTEREST RATES UP HIGHER AND FOR LONGER
The U.S. Federal Reserve should raise its key interest rate above 5 percent and leave it there until inflation shows clear signs of retreating, Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Bank of Cleveland, said in an 11 April speech at New York University.
ECONOMIC UPDATE – MARKET OVERVIEW
Where is the U.S. economy headed? Will equities keep going up? Have gold prices hit their highs? Will inflation rise or fall?
THE REASON TO OWN STOCKS INSTEAD OF BONDS IS DISAPPEARING
The “equity risk premium”—the extra profit investors collect for owning stocks instead of bonds—has shrunk to 1.59 percentage points, its smallest since October 2007, The Wall Street Journal reported.
U.S. INVESTMENT FUNDS SEE GREATER OPPORTUNITIES ABROAD
United States asset managers are increasing their holdings in stock markets abroad, prospecting for havens that minimize the impact of the high interest rates and economic uncertainty plaguing equity prices at home, the Financial Times reported.
U.S. CPI FALLS TO 5 PERCENT IN MARCH BUT CORE INFLATION TICKED UP
In March, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) slowed to an annual growth rate of 5 percent, its slowest since May 2021 and a full point below February’s 6-percent pace, the labor department reported.
FOOD PRICES FALL FOR FIRST TIME IN ALMOST THREE YEARS
In March, grocery prices fell for the first time since September 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
CONSUMERS BUY LESS IN MARCH, SHOWING PROOF OF SLOWING ECONOMY
For the second consecutive month, U.S. consumer spending retreated, falling 1 percent in dollar volume in March compared to February, the commerce department reported.
U.S. CORPORATE PROFITS FALLING FASTEST SINCE EARLY 2020
Profits among companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index will report an average 6.8-percent drop in first-quarter earnings compared to the same period last year, data firm FactSet predicted.
APARTMENT BUILDING SALES SLOWEST SINCE 2009
The slump in commercial real estate has spread to apartment buildings, which were the sector’s top performers in 2021 when rental rates surged with demand as soaring home prices froze more households out of home ownership.
SALES OF VACATION HOMES FALL BY HALF
The number of mortgage rate locks for the purchase of vacation homes dove 52 percent in this year’s first quarter compared to 2019 levels, according to data analyzed by USA Today.
TRENDS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC FRONT
SPOTLIGHT: OFFICE BUILDING BUST
The U.S. average office occupancy rate dipped to 48.5 percent during the week of 9 April, according to Kastle Systems, which monitors entry-card usage among 2,600 businesses in 47 states.
WHEN THE ECONOMY FALLS JOBS GO WITH IT
This is week 35 of our reporting the long trend-line of layoffs that signal recession in a country near you.
DEBT PRESSURES MOUNTING FOR POOR COUNTRIES
This year, low-income nations will face their biggest bills for loan repayments in the past quarter century, the private, nonprofit advocacy group DebtJustice has calculated.
MAJOR ECONOMIES MUST REIN IN BORROWING, IMF SAYS
China, the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Japan, South Africa, and Turkey are likely to increase their national debts by five percentage points of GNP from now through 2028, Vitor Gaspar, policy director of the International Monetary Fund, said last week in comments quoted by the Financial Times.
VENTURE FUNDING PLUMMETS 53 PERCENT IN THIS YEAR’S FIRST QUARTER
Venture capital firms invested $76 billion in start-up companies in the first three months of this year, compared to $162 billion during the same period in 2022, the Financial Times reported.
BIG SPENDERS, ESPECIALLY IN CHINA, FLOCK BACK TO LUXURY BOUTIQUES
Luxury conglomerate LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton reported a 17-percent spike in first-quarter sales, year over year, as well-heeled Chinese shoppers returned to its stores and consumers in Europe and Japan stocked up on the company’s clothing, handbags, and jewelry.
YEN’S VALUE SAGS AS CENTRAL BANK LEAVES POLICY UNCHANGED
On 9 April, the value of Japan’s yen slipped 1 percent against the dollar, falling as low as ¥133.4 after Kazuo Ueda, the Bank of Japan’s new governor, announced that the bank will maintain a -0.50-percent interest rate and continue to hold bond rates at rock bottom.
China’s export economy expanded by 14.8 percent last month, overcoming a sluggish world economy by increasing sales of electric vehicles (EVs) and related items, and also by expanding its trade with Russia, the Financial Times reported.
SPOTLIGHT: BYE BYE BUCKS – THE DEATH OF THE DOLLAR
Since Western allies levied sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine, the proportion of world trade paid for in China’s renminbi currency has more than doubled, according to the Financial Times.
SPOTLIGHT: FALLOUT FROM THE BIG BANKSTER BUST CONTINUES
Rising interest rates have left banks less stable, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) chief economist warned in an 11 April interview with CNBC.
SPOTLIGHT: BIGS GETTING BIGGER
Drug giant Merck will pay $10.8 billion in cash to buy Prometheus Biosciences, a San Diego company that develops drugs for diseases resulting from the body’s defective immune system.
UKRAINE WAR TREND UPDATE
RUSSIA SAYS DOCUMENT DUMP CONFIRMED WHAT IT ALREADY KNEW
Russia indicated that the secret document dump from the Pentagon that ended up on social media sites and showed just how involved the U.S. is in conducting war against Moscow was unsurprising.
SUPPORT IN U.S. FOR UKRAINE WAR DIPS AS MORE AMERICANS GO BROKE
Americans are losing interest in supporting Ukraine’s effort to fight off Russia as the war continues to drag on with no signs that Moscow can be stopped.
FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT ADMITS EUROPE AT WAR WITH RUSSIA
Francois Hollande, the former French president, said during a prank call in February that Europe and France are direct participants in the Ukraine War but aim not to make it official because they hope to avoid a clash with Russia.
DOC DUMP SHOWS HUNGARY’S LEADER SEES U.S. AS A TOP ADVERSARY
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, has identified the U.S. as one of his country’s top adversaries after public disagreements over sanctions against Russia, according to leaked Pentagon documents.
LEAKED DOCS CONFIRM REPORTS NATO TROOPS ARE ON THE GROUND IN UKRAINE
One of the slides included in the leaked classified Pentagon document dump appeared to confirm suspicions that NATO forces were on the ground in Ukraine during the war against Russia.
U.S. PLAYING POSSIBLE WILDCARDS IN UKRAINE CONFLICT: HITTING MOSCOW WITH MISSILES
The U.S. has prepared for “wild card” scenarios that could develop during the Ukraine War including the sudden deaths of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the possibility that Kyiv targets the Kremlin with a missile strike.
MEDVEDEV BRUSHES OFF POLISH PM’S CLAIM THAT NATO WOULD QUICKLY DEFEAT RUSSIA
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s national security council, brushed off comments from Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who said NATO would make quick work of Moscow if war ever reached beyond Ukraine’s borders.
UKRAINE TO LOSE WAR: U.S. TRIES TO SAVE FACE AFTER CLASSIFIED DOC LEAK
When Russia launched the Ukraine War on 24 February 2022, The Trends Journal had forecast that despite mainstream media “experts” and U.S./NATO government “officials” forecasting that Ukraine would defeat Russia, we had forecast the opposite.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Dr. Joseph Mercola
MEDIA COVERS UP TRACKING OF UNVACCINATED PEOPLE
In mid-February 2023, I reported that the U.S. government has secretly been tracking those who didn’t get the COVID jab, or are only partially jabbed, through a previously unknown surveillance program
TRENDS IN TECHNOCRACY by Joe Doran
THE SINGULARITY AND THE SIMULATION
Most people have an awareness now that technologically driven surveillance has become as pervasive in supposedly free western countries, as it is in the most repressive regimes on the planet.
THIS WEEK IN SURVEILLANCE
Scientism demands comprehensive data in order to further its fundamental premise of furthering “progress.”
TRENDS IN CRYPTOS
AN AI TAKE ON WHERE CRYPTOS ARE HEADING
Bitcoin could provide a more affordable and accessible way to send and receive money, especially for people in developing countries.
CATO ANALYSIS PANS CBDC CLAIMS
How do the arguments for the benefits of CBDCs stack up, versus the risks? The libertarian CATO Institute recently updated their assessment, and concluded the supposed benefits of government / Federal Reserve issued digital dollars via retail or end user accounts are overstated.
The maneuvers and motivations surrounding the Securities Exchange Commission's year’s long suit against Ripple Networks might be murky and complex.
G7 NATIONS TO HELP DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CREATE DIGITAL CURRENCIES
Helping emerging nations create their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) will be among the topics on the agenda of the G7 group of leading wealthy countries when it meets this year to address the world’s rapidly expanding digital economy.
TRENDS IN THE COVID WAR
COVID-19 FALLOUT: SUICIDE RATES IN U.S. JUMP FOR FIRST TIME IN YEARS AMID LOCKDOWNS
The National Center for Health Statistics said last week that suicide rates in the U.S. rose 4 percent in 2021 after falling for the two previous years while politicians were locking down Americans to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
CAN mRNA COVID VACCINES CHANGE HUMAN GENETICS? NEW STUDY POINTS TO YES
Medical experts defending radical mRNA technologies used to induce human cells to create a foreign “spike protein” at a genetic level, have claimed since 2020 that the technology does not itself alter human genes.
TRENDS IN GEOPOLITICS
ISRAEL PUSHING U.S. TO FIGHT IRAN
A “Top Secret” document that was part of the major leak earlier this month laid out methods that Israel could use in its effort to get the U.S. involved more in its standoff with Iran, which includes Tel Aviv increasing its support for Ukraine in return.
ISRAEL KEEPS BOMBING SYRIA
Israeli forces struck military targets in Syria earlier this month in response to rockets fired from the Syrian side into the stolen Golan Heights that the Western Presstitute media calls “Israeli-occupied.”
MAJORITY OF CITIZENS ACROSS WEST ASIA AND NORTH AFRICA DECRY U.S. INTENTIONS
The Trend Journal has long said: When the U.S. comes to your country promoting “freedom and democracy,” run. It is propaganda language of another military-industrial complex foreign entanglement.
THE BOTTOM LINE: FRANCE’S MACRON’S PUSHING CLOSER TO CHINA AND AWAY FROM U.S.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned fellow European countries last week that it is important that they make their own decisions when it comes to China and international diplomacy and that France was not a “vassal” of the U.S.
ISRAEL ROCKED BY NEW ROUND OF PROTESTS OVER JUDICIAL OVERHAUL
More than 100,000 Israelis took to the street on Saturday in Israel to voice their opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul plans, which has become a weekly tradition until the measures are killed.
BRICS ON THE RISE: BRAZIL’S LULA WARMS UP TO CHINA, COOLS DOWN ON AMERICA
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week in Beijing and solidified plans to work more closely in the future and “expand trade and balance in world geopolitics,” which was seen as the Global South’s latest rejection of U.S. hegemony.
U.S. RAMPING UP WAR WITH CHINA
Gerald Celente has long said the business of China is business, and the business of the U.S. is war.
AMERICAN PARENTS HAVING TOUGH ECONOMIC TIME TAKING CARE OF ADULT KIDS
A new poll released by Bankrate found that seven in 10 parents with adult children are currently making financial sacrifices to help provide for their offspring.
U.S. SUBMERGED IN ‘FOREVER CHEMICALS’ IN DRINKING WATER, D.C. LYING ABOUT IT
The authors of a new study published in the journal Science said they found 26 different types of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances—known as PFAS, or “forever chemicals” – including half that are not identified by the Environmental Protection Agency’s test methods.
THE DIGITAL CONTENT YOU DON’T OWN CAN CHANGE EVERY DAY
There’s a line from a 1990’s movie, Timechasers, where a character laments concerning the “tangents” created by time travelers run amok: “The past changes now, every day.”
PENTAGON PURSUING BLEEDING EDGE AI TO WAGE WAR
Advancing technology, advancing war. The two are inextricably, symbiotically aligned in development by major powers like China and the U.S., and humankind will do doubt reap the results.
TRENDS IN HI-TECH SCIENCE by Ben Daviss
KILLING BRAIN CANCER WITH A TWEAK TO THE DIET
The brain cancer called glioblastoma has a 100-percent fatality rate. A person’s median survival time after being diagnosed is just 16 months.
WATER BATTERIES: NO METAL, 1,000 PERCENT MORE ENERGY
No one’s built a working prototype yet, but engineers at Texas A&M University have used detailed computer calculations and initial experiments to show that water-based batteries are not only possible, but better than today’s workhorse lithium-ion power cells.
SCIENTISTS CREATE “CYBORG CELLS” AS USEFUL NEW LIFE FORM
Cyborg cells—living bacteria infused with a polymer network created by scientists at the University of California Davis—can survive the body’s immune system and deliver a lethal chemical cocktail to cancer tumors, the researchers have shown.