The US Army lost $6.5 Trillion in 2015, and has not yet cooked the books for 2016. Between 1998 and 2015 the Department of Defense and Department of Housing and Urban Development lost $21 Trillion, Which is approximately the national debt. (Where is that much wealth being diverted?)
Uncle Sam's Unfunded Promises, John Mauldin.
Yes, politicians have promised that Social security will pay you certain amount, but the government is not legally bound. You are legally bound to pay your taxes, and have done so, but the laws change periodically, as politically expedient. Social Security has always been pay-as-you-go, and a cash cow for other projects. $210 Trillion is the total promise-gap.
You may recall the lawsuit from the financial crisis, where large banks like JP Morgan had to pay fines for their longstanding illegal practices during the subprime mortgage fiasco, defrauding state and local governments, investors and home-buyers. They paid $1.4 billion of their fine in cash, as required. The rest was to be paid back to defrauded home-buyers to reduce their mortgages. Their mortgages were reduced. JP Morgan mostly reduced the mortgage payments of home-buyers, whose mortgages it had already sold to investors, letting the investors eat the losses. (If only we were all smart enough to be elite bankers...)
George Soros is funding and guiding the Catalan independence movement. (Now, things make more sense. George always likes to divide people against each other and control their money. It's his style. All that's missing is a color for this revolution.) Thanks Eleni.
Spanish PM Rajoy "will not negotiate", until Catalan independence advocates completely capitulate. That keeps the pot stirred up for Mr Soros. (Look! Tony Blair could mediate negotiations.)
Spanish government spokesman openly hints that Catalan President Puigdemont might end up like a previous president of Catalonia, Luis Companys, did in 1940, if he declares independence. Companys is the only incumbent democratically elected president in European history to have been executed.
Thierry Meyssan has the story of what is going on in Burma, why the Buddhists are exterminating Muslims, and why right-thinking Muslim governments like Saudi Arabia must send armed forces to restore peace, PRONTO. (Oh, it's to block Chinese access to some seaports, as their big investments in rail, pipelines, roads and ports are about to start paying off.) Thanks Eleni.
China used to be an oil exporting country until domestic use ramped up to feed industry and booming economy. China is now the largest global oil importer. All this time, China has pumped more Chinese oil every year. That will reverse or top out next year. China hits peak-Chinese-oil, just at the US hit peak-American-oil in 1971. (Recall the rough spot after that?)
Turkey is working with Al-Qaeda across the border in Syria, again, to block Kurdish consolidation of territory, and to chew up Kurdish, Syrian and Iranian lives in the meat grinder of war. Al-Qaeda in Idleb is called "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham this week. Same trusted contractor; new name. This violates a recent treaty, but it's a lot easier for Turkey.
60% of global biodiversity loss is due to meat based diets. Wow. (A modern chicken has 1/6 the omega-3 fats in it as a 1970s chicken, too.)
With 23bn chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and guinea fowl on the planet – more than three per person – the biggest user of crop-based feed globally is poultry. The second largest, with 30% of the world’s feed in 2009, is the pig industry.
For Thousands of years, the English countryside has never been so empty of people and animals as it is now. (Not a money making proposition to grow crops and raise animals the old, sustainable ways, so not happening.)
Costa Rica demonstrates that high quality of life and long life expectancy can be maintained decade after decade without economic expansion. (Heresy!)
My friend, Manuel, the MD in Puerto Rico, called this morning, to say it has been totally weird running a hospital without water. He expects electricity and water to be working very soon. He may be able to send some video of the mayhem eventually. No internet yet, and so on.
The case for wiping out Puerto Rico's debt: About 25% of the debt could have been serviced before Hurricane Maria hit. Spread out the losses...
"First, the large investment houses like Franklin Templeton, Oppenheimer, Citi and JP Morgan, which own large chunks of bonds. These investment houses, however, have vast and diverse holdings in the trillions of dollars that are hedged against just about every eventuality."
"Second, a host of hedge funds that bought into the Puerto Rico bond market at a discount. These hedge funds have made extraordinary gains on this debt by way of interest-rate payments on the face value of the discounted bonds."
"Third, small investors who live in Puerto Rico and elsewhere who stand to suffer the most. These investors have no hedges against these losses, and (unlike hedge funds) have not reaped extraordinary gains on Puerto Rican debt."
"A considerable portion of these bonds are insured by MBIA, Ambac and Assured Guaranty, which are contractually obligated to take over payments, a reality that will cause some shock to their stock prices."
Half of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million people are covered under Medicaid, which gets much less federal funding than it does in states. Medicaid in Puerto Rico is on track to collapse at the end of this year.
Choosing Which Camp