TRENDS ON THE ECONOMIC AND MARKET FRONT
The proportion of remote workers who feel connected to their company’s mission or purpose slipped from 32 percent to 28 percent year over year, according to a Gallup survey of 9,000 employees this spring and summer.
The facts are there for all to see. Across the globe, the rich are getting richer as the plantation workers of Slavelandia get poorer. And to make a bad situation worse, the era of Dragflation, where economies go down and inflation rises, has just begun.
After-tax corporate profits in this year’s second quarter were 9.4 percent below those of a year earlier, the U.S. Commerce Department reported in late August, although companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index showed only a 2.9-percent decline in earnings per share, data service Refinitiv said.
With 187,000 new jobs in August, the U.S. labor market is in a sweet spot, economists say.
In May, home prices fell in their steepest monthly drop since 2012, as we reported in “U.S. Home Prices Fall By Most Since 2012” (27 Jun 2023), U.S. home prices began rising again.
From 2015 into 2022, small and regional banks nearly doubled the value of their loans against commercial real estate, amassing...
In the wake of three bank failures last spring, and as the commercial real estate bust continues to unfold, federal bank regulators are pressing small and regional banks to add to their liquidity, Bloomberg reported.
TRENDS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC FRONT
The HCOB purchasing managers index (PMI), which measures business activity across the 19-country Eurozone, sank to 47 in August, its lowest in 33 months, after the ongoing slump in manufacturing was joined by an unexpected contraction in services.
Governments, businesses, and households are toting record levels of debt. The world’s trading network is shattering along geopolitical faultlines. The world’s economy is precariously close to a recession and, at best, will grow so slowly that emerging nations may forfeit years of potential gains.
Welcome to the second year of our listing the loss of jobs. As we have detailed, there is a global economic contraction underway that will worsen in the Northern Hemisphere as the summer ends and the reality of winter life begins to set in. In the U.S. the employment numbers are already weakening.
This is old news to Trends Journal subscribers, but it's making headline news now! After exceeding expectations this year, thanks to tight job markets and consumers’ continued shopping, growth among the worlds’ leading economies will slow next year, many economists now expect.
Central banks’ interest rate increases slow broader economic growth for at least 12 years, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
The dollar’s loss of its central role in the world’s economy is “an objective and irreversible process,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told the BRICS summit on 5 September.
The shipping industry has entered its peak season, the time when retailers are expecting their holiday inventories of clothing, decorations, electronics, toys, and other items.
Canada’s economy contracted by 0.2 percent in this year’s second quarter, Statistics Canada reported.
In this year’s second quarter, U.S. businesses signed new leases for about 97.5 million square feet, approaching twice the 57.4 million that marked the low point during the COVID War, data service CoStar reported.
Last month, the value of China’s exports was 8.8 percent below that of a year earlier, the government announced, marking the fourth consecutive month of reduced sales abroad.
As we had long forecast, the higher central banks raise interest rates, the lower the Merger and Acquisition trend… which hit record highs at the height of the COVID War in 2021 when interest rates sank and governments pumped in countless trillions to artificially prop up sinking economies.
UKRAINE WAR TREND UPDATE
When it comes to Ukraine, all roads lead to corruption and Volodymyr Zelensky is leading the charge.
Aleksey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told a forum last week that the conflict in Ukraine is not a border war with Russia, but rather the “active phase” of WWIII.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters earlier this month that his forces are on the move, despite what critics have said about the country’s counteroffensive that wasn’t.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters earlier this month that it is not accurate to call Ukraine’s counteroffensive a slow-moving effort and called it a failure.
The New York Times ran a story earlier this month that summed up what The Trends Journal has been saying since the start of the Ukraine War: no talk of compromise is allowed unless Ukraine achieves all of its goals against the much larger Russian army.
John Kirby, the White House National Security Council spokesman, told reporters last week that criticizing Ukraine’s counteroffensive does not serve any purpose.
Russian media outlets reported last week that Moscow has placed the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile “on combat duty” amid heightening tensions with the West over the Ukraine War.
In an effort to keep up support for Kyiv, Western officials are continuing to tell news outlets that Russia has somehow lost on the ground in Ukraine.
Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire who has irked the mainstream news media for taking a pragmatic stance on Ukraine, may have prevented WWIII by cutting off Kyiv from accessing his Starlink internet over Crimea—and preventing a major escalation.
There’s a growing sense in the West that the war in Ukraine is not going well for the West, and Eastern European countries—the loudest “supporters” of Kyiv—are fearful of the reality that Russia could emerge from the conflict much stronger and more assertive in the region.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by John & Nisha Whitehead
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”—H.L. Mencken
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Dr. Joseph Mercola
The quality of school lunches has been deteriorating for decades, and it just got another downgrade.
As reported by CNN, two Kraft Heinz ready-to-eat prepackaged Lunchables are being added to K-12 school lunch programs across the U.S. as of this fall semester.
TRENDS IN TECHNOCRACY by Joe Doran
“Most people say they want their kids to be their own genetic offspring—but such a desire is in conflict with other evolving values around parenting and family.”
Political and social coercion is often largely carried out by winning debates before they even start, via defining the terms used.
Words are used to negatively define opponents and win the argument by their simple embodiment of some perceived good or truth.
It’s hard to parody the dystopian control-freak technology ambitions of Government entities, as two recent stories underscore.
TRENDS IN CRYPTOS
As the U.S. banking system, and an unknown ocean of derivatives investments teeter on the edge of a cataclysm, the SEC seems more concerned than ever with…Ripple?
TRENDS IN GEOPOLITICS
Niger’s new leadership—that has been in place after the July coup in the former French colony—has accused Paris of amassing forces and military equipment in nearby countries—raising the risk of a military intervention that could further destabilize the country.
Japan, the U.S.’s WWII enemy who bombed Pearl Harbor and killed tens of millions across Asia, will spend $53 billion in 2024 to beef up its military in the perceived threat of China and North Korea—much to the delight of Washington.
It didn’t take long for Romania to change its tune.
Kevin McCarthy, the U.S. House of Representatives speaker with about as much knowledge on nuclear waste as your mailman, visited Japan this week and endorsed Tokyo’s move to dump toxic waste from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific, and criticized China for raising concerns.
Berlin has declared war on Russia and on the average German.
The U.S. and Israel are preparing to come together—once again—to practice attacking Iranian targets in the next few months that will simulate responding to a multi-front missile attack from Iran and separate attacks on nuclear facilities, according to a report.
The anti-French dominos continue to fall in Africa, with Gabon’s military staging a coup last month to oust President Ali Bongo Ondimba, whose family has ruled the country for 55 years—enriching themselves while using its close ties with Paris to maintain power.
As protests continue in Israel in opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reform package, his government is continuing to carry out attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.
The Missouri vs. Biden court case continues to affirm that the Biden administration owes its “success” and likely its existence, to a concerted destruction of Constitutionally protected free speech opposition.
The U.S. is losing more than a million young and working-age adults compared to other high-income countries, which researchers said is “unprecedented in modern times.”
Thomas Rabe, the head of RTL Group, Germany’s largest private broadcaster, has clashed with the government over its move to strictly limit junk-food advertising during programming that usually attracts a lot of children viewers.
TRENDS IN HI-TECH SCIENCE by Ben Daviss
An experiment led by scientists at Cold Springs Harbor National Laboratory has transformed cancer cells into muscle cells.
Scientists at Australia’s Monash University have isolated an enzyme in a common soil bacterium that pulls hydrogen from air and uses it to make an electric current.
At the University of California San Diego, researchers have 3D-printed an “engineered living material” that neutralizes organic pollutants in water, then can be dissolved by a common nontoxic compound.
TRENDS IN AI
An anonymous, self-described “cybersecurity professional” built an AI in the course of a few weeks for the purpose of spreading fake news and other forms of disinformation.
Experts at the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have warned organizations that chatbots can still be easily fooled into ignoring their behavioral guardrails or tricked into saying or posting incorrect, offensive, or damaging information.
Experts said AI will create more jobs. Hacking seems to be one of those lucky professions.
Toddlers learn by wandering around their environments, picking things up, and playing with them to see what they’re for and how they work. Now Meta and Carnegie Mellon University’s renowned robotics department have collaborated to make robots that learn the way three-year-olds do. They named the AI “RoboAgent”.
U.S. senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has planned nine “AI Insight Forums” to educate senators about AI, starting this week.
Not to be outdone by Yanks, on the first two days of November the U.K. will host a global “AI Safety Summit” to explore realistic options for regulating AI.
Thieves are using AI’s increasing skill at cloning people’s voices to steal money from bank accounts.
The combination of generative artificial intelligence and machine learning could as much as double U.S. economic productivity and add trillions of dollars to global GDP after a decade of greater and greater adoption, some analysts have predicted.
The all-important college admissions essay has long been a screen for college admissions offices. How thoughtful is the applicant? How articulate? What is the applicant’s character, the person’s goals and values?
Owners of retail and office space are finding that they can charge premium rents for “green” locations that are more energy-efficient, have more natural light and better air circulation, and meet the increasingly stringent environmental codes cities are adopting.