TRENDS ON THE ECONOMIC AND MARKET FRONT
As we had forecast for over a month, Congressional Republicans and President Joe Biden would reach a meaningless debt ceiling deal to avoid a national default. Also as we had forecast, the debt ceiling would be broken through once again with no end in sight... as the cover of this week’s Trends Journal illustrates.
In the U.S., its service industry, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of Gross Domestic Product, fell from 51.9 in April to 50.3 in May, according to data released yesterday by the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing PMI. Barely in positive territory, a reading above 50 indicates growth.
The SPAC bust on Wall Street last year wiped billions of dollars from speculators’ accounts but made billions for SPACs’ executives and early investors, a Wall Street Journal investigation of more than 460 SPAC-related companies found.
The availability of loans to corporations, and the criteria to qualify for them, are at their most stringent since the depths of the COVID War, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation.
The U.S. jobs market refused to slow last month, with employers adding 339,000 non-farm workers across a range of economic sectors, according to the labor department’s initial estimate.
Small businesses, especially startups, are finding it harder to get new loans, while some existing businesses are seeing their credit lines cut, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), which guarantees the safety of bank deposits up to $250,000, has seen its reserve shrink from $128 billion on 1 January to $116 billion now, according to the Financial Times.
TRENDS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC FRONT
Silverstein Properties, which developed the new World Trade Center, has made a deal to sell a 20-story office property on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue for $105 million. In 2020, the company had refinanced the building for $171 million.
Inflation and interest rate hikes are causing companies in many sectors to lay off employees. To illustrate the employment trends and the socioeconomic implications, each week we will list job losses.
Across the 20-country Eurozone, inflation’s rate fell to 6.1 percent in May, down from 7 percent in April and reaching the slowest pace since February 2022 when Russia attacked Ukraine, the European Union’s statistics agency announced.
Although inflation in the Eurozone settled to 6.1 percent in May, its lowest in 14 months, European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde said in a public statement that inflation is “still too high” and the central bank must raise its base interest rate even more to rein it back.
In April, the price of a loaf of plain white bread in the U.K. was 28 percent higher than a year before. In Germany, cheese costs 40 percent more and potatoes 14 percent.
Saudi Arabia is in discussions about joining the New Development Bank (NDB), an increasingly important lender to developing nations.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula on Tuesday threw his support behind a common South American currency—something like the euro—that he said would provide a strengthened monetary policy and “better compensation mechanisms” for trading.
After a tense weekend meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC+), Saudi Arabia announced it would pare back its oil production by one million barrels per day in an attempt to push crude prices higher.
Nations’ bank overseers must increase their budgets dramatically to step up supervision in the wake of March’s twin collapse of Signature and Silicon Valley banks in the U.S. and Credit Suisse’s failure in Switzerland, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said in a statement last week.
Portugal’s environmental regulators have given a positive recommendation on Savannah Resources’ proposed Barroso lithium mine that will produce enough of the metal to supply 500,000 electric vehicles (EVs) annually, the company says.
China’s manufacturing and services sector both slowed in May, offering more evidence that the growth spurt early this year after the government lifted anti-COVID restrictions has not lasted.
As we had long forecast, the higher central banks raise interest rates, the lower the Merger and Acquisition trend... which hit record highs during the COVID war when interest rates sank and governments pumped in countless trillions to artificially prop up sinking economies.
UKRAINE WAR TREND UPDATE
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken addressed a crowd in Helsinki, Finland, NATO's newest member, last week and once again tried to describe Russia's decision to invade Ukraine as a serious miscalculation by the Kremlin.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared that any peace deal brokered in Ukraine would need to “affirm the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week that his forces are now prepared to wage an effective counteroffensive against Russia, stating that Kyiv “strongly believes that we will succeed.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is already being pressured by top military officials to declare full military mobilization in the Ukraine War, vowed to retaliate after a drone strike hit Moscow last week in the war question’s latest escalation.
Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s national security council, said last week that Moscow is in a “de-facto war” with the United Kingdom after Britain’s military chief publicly approved Ukrainian strikes inside Russia.
The Biden administration announced last week that it will provide Ukraine with $300 million in weapons from another drawdown from Defense Department stocks—which will include additional munitions for Patriot air defense systems.
No matter how divided the media Presstitutes and politicians claim the U.S. Congress is divided, when it comes to feeding the military-industrial complex and waging war, the facts prove they are on the same murderous page.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE By John & Nisha Whitehead
We have become a nation in a permanent state of emergency.
Power-hungry and lawless, the government has weaponized one national crisis after another in order to expand its powers and justify all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Only 6.8 percent of U.S. adults have optimal cardiometabolic health, while an estimated 47 million have cardiometabolic disorders that increase their risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Risk factors for cardiometabolic disease include high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, elevated fasting blood sugar, dyslipidemia and elevated triglycerides.
PRESIDENTIAL REALITY SHOW® 2024
The mainstream media continues to diligently cover Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s bid for president while mostly ignoring Robert F. Kennedy Jr., President Joe Biden’s democratic challenger.
TRENDS IN TECHNOCRACY by Joe Doran
From cars to food: many have noticed a distinct shift in attention of radical climate activists lately.
Food is squarely on the table as a subject of “unsustainable” so-called greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon and methane.
The whole world needs a digital ID now more than ever, right?
With AI susceptible to use by “bad actors” to create video and voice prints that can realistically mimic anyone from celebrities like Joe Rogan, to AI visionaries like…well, Sam Altman of OpenAI, many are now saying that the case for digital IDs is getting more urgent.
TRENDS IN CRYPTOS
The draft of a bill that would provide clarity to class some crypto assets as digital commodities has been released by key Republican Chairs on the House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee.
Firms like Charles Schwab and Nomura are promoting new crypto services as a safer way to gain exposure to assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, according to a recent Financial Times report. (“Traditional finance firms set to challenge digital pioneers,” 31 May 2023.)
NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) might have built-in crypto wallets, if a new development proposal is incorporated into the Ethereum network protocol.
TRENDS IN THE COVID WAR
Medical evidence from peer-reviewed studies are now making it clearer that repeated controversial mRNA vaccinations are showing harm to the immune system’s ability to fight the COVID virus.
TRENDS IN GEOPOLITICS
A successful, united war effort in Ukraine—led by the United States and NATO—would make Beijing think twice about invading Taiwan, the island’s de-facto ambassador to the U.S., said.
James Taiclet, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, the world’s biggest defense contractor, praised Congress’s decision to raise the debt ceiling without touching the defense budget.
China’s top defense official criticized the U.S. Sunday following what Beijing described as a reckless near-miss between an American destroyer and Chinese warship in international waters in the Taiwan Strait.
The U.S. upped the ante in its row with Mexico over genetically modified corn imports by requesting dispute-settlement consultations with Mexico City under a major trade agreement—and Mexico City said it is prepared to fight.
The Israeli military bombed secret Iranian weapons facilities inside Syria earlier last month that were believed to be producing precision missiles for Iran’s Quds Force, according to reports.
TRENDS IN HI-TECH SCIENCE by Ben Daviss
Using a special strain of bacteria, a research team at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created nanowires that can make an electric charge by pulling humidity—even tiny amounts—from air.
Among green energy advocates, coal is reviled as the dirtiest and smoggiest of fuels.
Re-establishing nerve pathways after damage is one of medicine’s toughest problems. A related one is dealing with dead heart tissue that clings to the heart after a heart attack and can cause other cardiac problems even years later.
TRENDS IN AI
“We have reached the tipping point of a new computing era” in which “everyone is a programmer,” Jensen Huang, CEO of chip maker Nvidia, said in a speech last week at the Computex tech conference in Taiwan.
The Financial Times tells the story of a 17-year-old Australian high-school student who was bored by his textbooks. He grafted a set of simple instructions that told ChatGPT-4 to teach him the concepts and skills he needed to master to pass his exams.
Always eager to automate any task, Amazon is now using AI to catch defective products before they’re sent to customers.
Thanks to the world’s rush to artificial intelligence (AI), Foxconn—the world’s largest assembler of electronic equipment—says it will ship twice as many servers in the second half of this year than it did in the first.
The current headlong rush to use AI across industries and applications is “unhealthy” and could pose a “danger to political systems, to democracy, to the very nature of truth,” Yoshua Bengio told Canada’s C2 International business conference on 24 May.
One of every 31 Americans who enters a hospital will pick up an infection while there. That comes to about 1.7 million infections each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The first thing John Brownstein, Boston Children’s Hospital’s Chief Innovation Officer wants everyone to know is that artificial intelligence (AI) is not replacing any staff members.
The National Eating Disorder Association fired all six people staffing its phone-in help line and told the line’s 200 volunteers not to come back because everyone was being replaced by Tessa, a chatbot that would guide callers to sources of help.