Monthly Archives: March 2016

The crazy logic behind an alliance of Trump-Sanders supporters

By Jim Tankersley and Scott Clement

A supporter of Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) holds up a sign during a Trump rally at the International Exposition Center March 12, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski

It’s rare for a populist candidate to go far in presidential politics. It’s almost unheard of for two of them to advance as far, in the same year, as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have. Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Sanders still has a shot at the Democratic one. Their successes share some common themes, which are fueling speculation that populist voters from the left and right might come together to back a single candidate come November, or even form their own political party in the years to come.

The idea is that anger at Wall Street, stagnating middle-class wages, international trade agreements, the influence of rich donors in political campaigns and, most of all, American political elites, will bring millions of blue-collar voters into an unlikely alliance.

Perhaps they will support Trump against Hillary Clinton in the fall, or perhaps, as the liberal former Labor Secretary Robert Reich spelled out last week in an op-ed, they will revolt against both parties in the next presidential race.

Reich envisions a 2020 election where a so-called “People’s Party” emerges with a platform blasting “crony capitalism,” breaking up banks and soaking the rich to send more money to workers from the government. “Millions who called themselves conservatives and Tea Partiers joined with millions who called themselves liberals and progressives,” he writes, “against a political establishment that had shown itself incapable of hearing what they had been demanding for years.”

That’s possible; America saw a semi-related party, Ross Perot’s Reform Party, burst onto the scene in the 1990s, though it never won a seat in Congress or …read more


What’s your chance of an earthquake in 2016?

For the first time ever the USGS has issued an earthquake forecast for 2016 that involves both natural and human-induced earthquakes. You may be surprised to know that California isn’t alone as the earthquake capital anymore — Oklahoma has joined in, with big numbers! Oklahoma experienced more earthquakes in 2015 than California, but it’s important to note that most of Oklahoma’s are human-induced.

…read more

Source:: CNN US News

China is the only emerging market that matters

By Matt O’Brien

epa05090895 A woman walks past a screen in the brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, 07 January 2016. Trading was halted for the day on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges on 07 January after a steep drop in prices triggered an automatic 'circuit breaker' for the second time this week. Prices on the CSI 300 Index plummeted more than 7 per cent in the first 30 minutes of trading. EPA/LONG WEI CHINA OUT

(EPA/Long Wei)

The first rule of getting people to invest with you is coming up with an acronym. After all, everybody loves a good acronym. So that’s what Goldman Sachs did 15 years ago when it coined the term “BRICs”—that’s short for Brazil, Russia, India, and China—to describe the emerging markets that you had to have money in.

It was always a lie.

If that wasn’t obvious before, it should be now. Consider this: Brazil is stuck in its worst recession since the 1930s, but still has double-digit inflation. That’s what happens when your debt bubble and the global commodities bubble burst at the same time that your sinking currency sends prices soaring from their already elevated levels. And its government hasn’t even been able to do anything about this, because it’s collapsing itself due to a slow-motion corruption scandal.

Then there’s Russia. It never had an economy so much as an oil-exporting business that subsidized everything else, so it’s also shrinking now that oil prices have fallen so far — which, of course, Western sanctions have only made worse. Now, India is actually doing pretty well, but it’s still struggling to streamline its regulations and build enough infrastructure so that it can grow as much as it could. And China might be growing fast compared to almost any other country, but not to its own lofty standards. Money is pouring out now that China’s economy is starting to slow down under the weight of having built more factories than it needs and borrowed more money than it wants. That’s made its stock market crash, and would have made its currency do so as well if the government’s wasn’t spending so much to prop it up.

But it’s …read more