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Today’s show focuses on the growing ‘dash for cash’ (aka liquidity crisis) underway by businesses and investors, as they anticipate falling revenues, profits, and cash needed to service (i.e. pay principal & interest charges) their $10T run up in corporate debt (bonds, loans, etc.) over the past decade. Rasmus explains how the $5T in junk bond & BBB corporate debt is especially at risk. Initial likely crisis in oil-energy junk bonds as global oil prices plummet into the $20-$30 range. How falling financial asset markets and prices are becoming synchronized globally, how the real (non-financial) global economy is falling into recession everywhere, and how the two sectors—financial markets and real economy—exacerbate each other’s downward trend. Credit crunch and crisis are the mechanism and nexus for transmitting the mutual downturns of financial & real sectors. Rasmus explains what’s going on in the credit markets and why the Fed is pumping $1.5T in just three days into just the Repo market in the US. A general liquidity crisis has emerged now.  Dr. Rasmus then reviews the measures proposed by Trump and the Democrats in the House. The show concludes with Dr. Rasmus reviewing his own just published fiscal stimulus measures (also available today on his blog, jackrasmus.com, and on the Counterpunch blog, and soon elsewhere). For a similar discussion, listen to Dr. Rasmus’s interview with Vermont ‘Equal Time Radio’ host, L. Traven, this past Wednesday at http://equaltimeradio.com/2020/financial-crash-underway-prelude-to-deep-recession.

 Dr. Rasmus comments on the continuing fall in financial markets and how that may prove a contagion channel to the real economy and recession. Why the Fed’s .5% rate drop earlier this week had no effect at all on the stock market implosion, continuing to this day. Worst since 2008. Why other financial asset markets (oil, commodities, currencies, etc.) are also contracting sharply. How financial asset deflation can translate into US junk bond, BBB bonds, leveraged loans, Repos, and derivatives financial problems. How the latter propagate then to the real economy via a credit crunch. Rasmus explains why monetary policy solutions are dead in the water. What’s coming possibly this weekend and next in fiscal (tax, spending) responses by US and other government. Rasmus reviews the 4 channels of coronavirus contagion to the real and financial economy (supply chains, demand, asset deflation, currency devaluations). The show concludes with an analysis of this week’s ‘Super Tuesday’ and the now more clearer evidence of Democrat Party leaders and financiers’ strategy to stopo Sanders. How this may lead to an irrevocable split in the Democratic Party and defeat of Biden should he become the nominee (now likely). For analysis of the primaries, read Dr. Rasmus’ just published print piece, “Super Tuesday and the Irrevocable Split in the Democratic Party’ on his blog, jackrasmus.com).

The big news of the past week is the collapse of global stock markets, now having fallen by nearly 15% and continuing. Dr. Rasmus explains why, and why such a fast rate of contraction—comparable to what happened in 2008-09. Also, an update on the various ‘channels’ by which the virus impacts stock and other financial markets, and in turn how both propagate by means of various channels to the ‘real’ US and global economy.  Discussion next examines the weak state of the US economy in fourth quarter 2019, driven by ‘weak’ indicators like inventory build up and faster fall in imports than in exports. Why business investment, manufacturing, commercial building are all falling, and why the household consumer spending picture is especially weak for the middle class and below. How the virus effect will depress the real US economy in coming weeks. A review of the rest of world economies’ markets and emerging recessions. Dr Rasmus concludes with a review of the lack of preparedness and reporting of actual virus cases in the US, especially in California. Why there are essentially no virus test kits now available. Will consumer panic buying in Hawaii soon spread to California and elsewhere?  The show concludes with a comment on the Democratic party primaries and the growing ‘get Sanders’ movement within the party leadership and money contributors. (For more on this check out Dr Rasmus’ recent published articles on the primaries on his blog, jackrasmus.com) Next week: the Super Tuesday primaries results analysis, with guests.

 

 Dr. Rasmus provides an update on latest developments of past week on the Coronavirus and its growing impact on China’s economy, and the contagion channels to the rest of the global economy. Media and business ‘consensus’ that effect and recovery will be ‘V-shape’ in China is now collapsing. Ditto that the economic effects will be largely contained to China itself. Multiple sources of evidence emerging the virus is spreading faster, and outside China now. Five channels of economic contagion are discussed: trade/supply chain channel; currency channel; commodities and commodity futures channel, financial asset market channel, consumption channel (tourism & luxury goods). Why Japan (and So. Korea) economy is most fragile and susceptible to China contagion. Other Asian economies at risK: Honk Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Australia. (Why no reporting coming from Taiwan?). Goldman Sachs, IMF, S&P forecasts. Review of Japan’s current recession underway and deepening due to sales tax hike, Trump trade war, China-Japan supply chain & tourism impacts. Why monetary and fiscal stimulus won’t work. The show concludes with brief analysis of the recent Democrat party candidates debate and why the ‘traditional middle’ of the party is collapsing in favor of Sanders & Bloomberg.

Today’s show focuses on describing the channels of economic contagion from the China virus, both within China and from China to the rest of the global economy. Recent reports of the coronavirus infection/death rates rising again. Why comparison with SARS virus is inaccurate. Why investors and markets are trying to downplay the actual data. Broken supply chains, exports/imports decline, oil and commodities demand futures & deliveries, China’s currency devaluation channel, global shipping and cruise-airlines impacts, financial asset markets contagion—all likely to worsen in coming months. Review of estimates of impact on China GDP. Second half of show discussion on Trump’s proposed latest budget & why Social Security-Medicare-Medicaid will be main target after the November election. How Democrat party leaders are escalating their attacks on Sanders. Their strategy to select Bloomberg on the second ballot at the party convention. Why Buttigieg and Klobuchar are getting big money & Why Biden is toast already and Warren will withdraw after super Tuesday.

Today’s show focuses on dissecting the content and meaning of Trump’s State of the Union (SOTU) speech earlier this week. Not really a normal SOTU speech, but a classic ‘agitation’ speech designed to roil and mobilize his political base for the upcoming election.  Little was said about where the country may be headed economically or socially in his final year of his first term—as is typical in past SOTU speeches. A lot said about the ‘enemy’ (immigrants) and its ‘coddlers’ (Democrats, California) and Trump’s vision to intensify his appeal to hate and fear in the run up to the November election. Rasmus outlines the 6 features of an agitational speech, and how Trump’s SOTU fills the definition. What Trump did not say about trade, taxes, family leave, social security, space force costs, foreign policy failures or plans. How Latinos are the criminal-enemy. His plans to attack Sanctuary Cities (and California), and expand gun rights, school prayer, private school education, drug prices, etc.  Trump’s new racism appeal: split the minority vote by appealing to blacks and attacking other minorities. Trump lies about the US economy (GDP, jobs, wages, incomes), healthcare insurance, family leave, pre-existing conditions, ISIS defeat, challengers to US economic empire, and phony Israel-Palestine peace plan. The SOTU as his launch to attack Democrats in 2020.

Dr. Rasmus provides his reflections on the Senate trial of Trump and the further crisis and decline of Democracy in America that it represents. How James Madison’s worst fears and warnings are being played out before our eyes historically in the (T)rump trial underway.  How the outcome now will embolden Trump to engage in similar behavior and move further to ‘govern’ by bypassing Congress. The trial as the expansion of the Imperial presidency in domestic as well as foreign policy. How current events are very much like 1856 America. The potential impacts of the Coronavirus on the China, Asia and global economies are reviewed. The imminent big impact on stock and other financial markets. How consumer spending in the US has begun to slow appreciably since November already, and business investment and manufacturing continues to contract. The virus may be the factor yet to push the US economy into recession.  Rasmus discusses the weaknesses of Trump’s China trade deal and the just signed NAFTA 2.0.  Why Brexit plus virus now entering Europe will mean a ‘double’ hit to the Europe economy on both sides of the channel.

As a follow up to recent shows focusing on the 10 most important economic, technology and political events in the US for 2019, today’s show delves deeper and looks at the 10 most important of the past decade, since the great recession and financial crash of 2007-09. Topics covered include: Obama’s failed economic recovery program of 2009, Obama’s $6 trillion in extended Bush tax cuts for the rich and business, the $1T austerity program of 2011 cutting social programs, the Federal Reserve Bank’s $5T bailout of the banks and investors via QE and zero interest rates for banks for 7 years, the US debt acceleration for government, households and business, the financial asset market boom and bubbles (stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc.) still underway, $10 trillion in corporate stock buybacks and dividend payouts, the deregulation of the ACA and Dodd-Frank healthcare and bank Acts of 2010, and the rise of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Libra (proposed), and others.  On the political side of the past decade, most important events include the Supreme Court passage of Citizens United, Obama’s failure to bail out Main St. in 2010 and Democrat party debacle in the 2010 midterm elections, the shift in the ‘Red’ states and consequent spread of voter suppression, gerrymandering, and red state dominance of the electoral college, Trump’s transformation of the Republican party into a sycophant base and personal following, the cultural decline of America witnessed in rising opioid addiction, gun killings, and suicides, the Muller Report and Democrats outmaneuvered by Trump, and the Impeachment of Trump in 2019.  

 Dr. Rasmus dissects the just announced signing of the US-China Phase 1 trade deal. Trump claims of achievements are debunked and revealed as mostly smoke and mirrors. Trade terms claimed by Trump, and analyzed by Rasmus, include: majority ownership by US companies in China, ending China’s manipulation of its currency, gains in IP and Tech transfer limits on China, the claim of $100B more a year purchases of US farm goods by China, and another $100B in purchases of manufacturing and services by China. What’s fact and  what’s Trump fiction in these areas? Rasmus agrees with the Council on Foreign Relations conclusion that China has only restored agriculture purchases and provide “nice words on IP” and that Trump got what he could have had two years ago! Rasmus explains what’s coming (and not coming) next in Phase 2; why Trump’s trade war(s) are over; why the US-China tech war will now escalate; and what’s behind Trump still keeping $370B in tariffs. The costs of the China-US trade war are described, including the facts about the trade deficit effects, costs to US businesses, impact continuing on the US farm sector, the average hit to consumers of $806 from rising prices, impacts on US business investment contraction, and global investment and GDP, and absurd claims by Trump’s administration (Kudlow and Mnuchin) of the impact on US GDP growth. (Next week show: ‘The 10 Most Important Economic and Political Events of the past decade, 2010-19)

Dr. Rasmus provides an analysis of the events of the past week involving Trump’s ordered assassination of Iran’s general, Soleimani, and how it represents the way the USA typically precipitates military confrontation that often lead to war. (Read Rasmus’s article, Trump’s Déjà vu Wartime Playbook and 2 other articles posted on the blog, jackrasmus.com). How the US wartime playbook involves a definable pattern of provocations followed by issuing an unacceptable demand that often leads to military action—similar case examples from Vietnam to the 1st Gulf War to Afghanistan to the Iraq war and now being repeated in the Trump provocation (assassination) and eventual unacceptable demand aimed at Iran. In the second half of the show Dr. Rasmus follows up his last week discussion of the 10 most important US Economic events of 2019 with a discussion of the 10 most notable US political developments of 2019: the Trump v. Iran provocation set in motion in December 2019, Trump’s Impeachment; the Mueller Report; the growing US Constitutional crisis; Trump’s packing of federal courts; Neocons taking over US foreign policy; US ‘Red’ states continued anti-democracy drift expanding voter suppression and gerrymandering; US social-cultural decline (opioids deaths, suicides, gun deaths, record homeless, millions without health access, and household debt crisis); Trump’s ‘Space Force’; and the continued internal realignment of the Republican (now Trumpublican) and Democratic Parties. 

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