Chinese county bans birthday parties in bid to be frugal – BBC News

A county in southwest China has banned birthday parties and other celebrations, following calls from the central government to be more frugal.

It also set out new rules for weddings and funerals, including a ban on cash gifts more than 200 yuan (£22, US$31).

Hey Fed, Explain Again How Making Billionaires Richer Creates Jobs, by Charles Hugh Smith | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

The Fed’s real job is to monetize the government’s debt at an acceptably low rate of interest. All this other economic and financial stuff is just window dressing. From Charles Hugh Smith at

Despite their hollow bleatings about ‘doing all we can to achieve full employment’, the Fed’s policies has been Kryptonite to employment, labor and the bottom 90%–and most especially to the bottom 50%, the working poor that one might imagine most deserve a leg up.

As wealth and income inequality soar to new heights thanks to the Federal Reserve’s policies of zero interest rates, money-printing and financial stimulus, the Fed says its goal is to create more jobs. Really? OK, let’s look at how the Fed’s doing with that.

I’ve assembled a chart deck to display the consequences of Fed policies on debt, wealth inequality and employment. Recall what Fed policies actually do:

1. Zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) destroyed the low-risk return on savings and money market funds, stripping everyone not in the Fed-privileged rentier-speculator-financier class of safe, real returns on capital.

2. Zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) lowered the cost of speculation by financiers and corporations but left the interest rates paid by the working poor for credit cards, auto loans and student loans at extortionate rates.

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South Carolina Follows Montana In Ending All Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Programs

It appears we were overly cynical when we said just an hour ago that we won’t be holding our breath to find out if any other state will join Montana in ending many unemployment benefits in response to the unprecedented worker shortage. Just moments…

The Fed Finally Gets Some Tough Questions. And Fails to Answer Them. by Robert Aro | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

There’s something seriously wrong with a monetary system that must rely on continuous obfuscation. From Robert Aro at

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell showed how simple questions do not always get simple answers. When speaking to the media after the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, some difficult questions were asked. So much so, Powell had to repeat one question to himself, asking:

When will the economy be able to stand on its own feet?

He immediately followed with:

I’m not sure what the exact nature of that question is.

FOX News correspondent Edward Lawrence elaborated, asking when the Fed would lower the number of treasuries it buys, and when the economy would function “without having that support from the monetary side.”

Powell found ways to avoid answering the idea of a nation which stands without central bank supports, but he did refer to various “tests” the Fed will do in order to make decisions like shrinking the balance sheet, explaining:

we’ve articulated our test for that, as you know, and that is just we’ll continue asset purchases at this pace until we see substantial further progress.

He went on to say that prior to making any decisions, such as buying fewer treasuries, they will give the public a lot of notice beforehand.

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The Pressure Cooker, by The Zman | STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

They keep turning up the heat on the pressure cooker, and sooner or later something’s going to blow. From The Zman at

A universal truth of life is that pressure reveals character. This is not only true in individuals, but it is also true in societies. When times are easy, all sorts of undesirable things can be overlooked. The petty corruption in government is not a big deal in a booming economy. Inequality is ignored, maybe even celebrated when times are good, because people think their time will come. It is when things turn down that all of a sudden, those issues rise up and take up people’s attention…

Montana Is First State To Cancel Unemployment Benefits In Response To Unprecedented Worker Shortage

… Three weeks ago, when looking at the unprecedented labor shortage that is crippling the US economy (even with some 100 million Americans not in the labor force)… …we said that there is a simple reason for this paradoxical phenomenon: trillions in […]

“Bernie Sanders Has Won”: Munger Says Millennials Will Have “A Hell Of A Time Getting Rich Compared To Our Generation”

…Buffett then quoted Keynes about speculators and bubbles, saying we’ve had a lot of people in the casino in the past year, where people are day trading and basically gambling (adding there’s nothing wrong with gamblers). The gambling impulse is very strong worldwide and sometimes it gets an enormous shove. But Buffett also warns that gambling “creates its own reality for a while and no one’s going to tell you when the clock strikes 12 and it all turns to pumpkin and mice.”…

Economy will see ‘burst of inflation’ more severe than the Fed is selling: Paulsen – YouTube | Truth2Freedom’s Blog

FOX Business’ Larry Kudlow argues too much free money will lead to a welfare state. The Leuthold Group chief investment strategist Jim Paulsen provides insight into inflation concerns for the market. #FoxBusiness

Rents in San Francisco Down 30%, in Silicon Valley Down 19%, both at Multi-Year Lows. But Inland Rents Spike | Wolf Street

That the US rental market has been thrown into turmoil is an understatement. This is just an example — though in no major city have rents plunged from such a high pedestal by so much so fast as in San Francisco.

“We’re On An Economic Cliff!”

Comment by tonytran2015: The US dollars are already having a short half-live of about 14 years relative to gold. Higher inflation, meaning even shorter half-live, may turn away its acceptance and the inflation may amplify itself (Inflation is vicious to fiat money users).

“We’re On An Economic Cliff!” Via, By and large, the mainstream is bullish on the economy. According to conventional wisdom, we are in the midst of a robust recovery. In fact, many people out there believe the Fed is going to have to tighten monetary policy sooner rather than later. But there are a […]