Archive for the ‘economics’ Category

Americans spent more last year on pharmaceutical drugs than the entire military defense budget of China, Russia, and the UK combined. A total of $374 billion to be specific.

The latest figure, which comes from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics as reported by AP, is the highest jump we’ve seen since 2001 — and even 13% higher than 2013. The astronomical $374 billion figure contributed to record-shattering numbers of prescription drugs being purchased from pleasantly surprised pharmacies around the nation. More than 4.3 billion prescriptions were dispensed in 2014, with Medicaid covering around 17% and pushing heavily on the total increase.

“Spending rose 13 percent, the biggest jump since 2001, to a total of $374 billion, according to a report released Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. After accounting for population growth and inflation, the increase equaled 10 percent,” wrote Linda A. Johnson for the Associated Press.

What does this ultimately mean? Let’s tie it into the recent report regarding the even more absurd numbers behind how much money the medical establishment wastes on an annual basis. As I covered back in March, the Institute of Medicine has unearthed one of the most startling financial discoveries regarding our medical system imaginable.

According to the report, the current medical system in the United States wastes a whopping $750 billion per year on unnecessary treatments, failed preventative measures, and much more. Yes, almost a trillion dollars. Even more than the entire military defense budget of the United States.

more: http://naturalsociety.com/americans-spent-374-billion-on-big-pharma-drugs-last-year/

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‘An American writer in Washington, DC says economic downturns are not “organic happenstance” but they are orchestrated by international bankers to plunder the public.

“When the economy crashes people don’t have the money to pay their bills and their loans. When this happens, real material wealth is transferred to these very same banks through foreclosures and repossessions,” Walt Peretto said in an interview with Press TV on Monday. “It’s the biggest con job ever perpetrated against mankind.”

In a recent interview with Russia Today, former US presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul said that the biggest economic crash ever will hit the American economy when current “bubbles” burst.’

Read more: International bankers orchestrate economic crises to loot masses: American writer

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Thanks to a variety of idiosyncratic political crises and country-specific stumbling blocks, Brazil, Turkey, Malaysia, and to a lesser extent Russia, have received the lion’s share of coverage when it comes to assessing the EM damage wrought by the comically bad combination of slumping commodities prices, depressed Chinese demand, slowing global trade, and a “surprise” yuan devaluation.

Put simply, the intractable political stalemate in Brazil, the civil war in Turkey, the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia (and the fact that the country was at the center of the 1998 meltdown), and the hit Russia has taken from depressed crude prices mean that if you want to pen a story about emerging market chaos, those four countries have plenty to offer in terms of going beyond the generic “falling commodities + a decelerating China = bad news for EM” narrative.

But just because other vulnerable countries aren’t beset with ethnic violence and/or street protests doesn’t mean they too aren’t facing crises due to falling commodity prices and the slowdown of the Chinese growth machine.

One such country is Australia, which in some respects is an emerging market dressed up like a developed economy, and which of course has suffered mightily from the commodities carnage and China’s transition away from an investment-led growth model.

Out with a fresh look at the risks facing Australia is RBS’ Alberto Gallo. Notable excerpts are presented below.

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From RBS

Australia has become a commodity focused economy, with an increasing exposure to China. For the past decades, Australia has been buoyed by the rapid Chinese expansion, which outpaced the rest of the world. Australia benefited from China’s strong demand for commodities given its investment-led growth model. China is Australia’s top export destination and 59% of those exports are in iron-ore. But as China struggles to manage its ongoing credit crunch and continues its shift to consumption-led growth Australia’s economy is likely to be hurt by lower demand for commodities.

more: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-02/australia-going-down-under-bubble-about-burst-rbs-warns

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While the September jobs number was an absolute disaster, here is the real punchline: in September, the people not in the labor force soared by a whopping 579,000 to a record 94.6 million, up from the previous record 94.0, even as number of people employed – according to the household survey used to calculate the “5.1%” unemployment rate – tumbled by 236,000 to 148.8 million.


And as a result of this latest surge in people who aren’t working, nor want to work, the participation rate crashed yet again, and sliding from 62.6% to 62.4%, it was the lowest since October 1977.


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‘It’s probably the last place you would think of for growing food, but about 100 feet below London, the one-year old startup Growing Underground is producing what it calls “sustainable and mouth-wateringly fresh micro greens and salad.” It’s the world’s first subterranean farm. The site, a bomb shelter during World War II, was abandoned for 70 years until entrepreneurs Richard Ballard and Steven Dring came along.

Once fully operational, it’s estimated that the system will be able to produce between 11,000 and 44,000 pounds of produce each year. “The whole system runs automatically, with an environmental computer controlling the lighting, temperature, nutrients and air flow,” Steven Dring, co-founder of the parent company, Zero Carbon Food, told Bloomberg.’

Read more: Entrepreneurs Transform a WWII Bomb Shelter into World’s First Underground Farm

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While the Case-Shiller index reported earlier was weaker than had been expected, and the 20 City composite index posted its third monthly decline in a row, the headline hid a wide dispersion of home prices beneath the surface.

Perhaps just to underscore this point, Case-Shiller also provided a handy chart showing the best and worst cities for home prices in the US.

It will come as no surprise that the west, with San Diego, is where the gains are still frothiest: after all the Chinese “hot money” exporters are rushing to park their funds before the exit door slams shut, and are doing so as close to home as possible.

What was surprising is the other end of the spectrum, because as Case-Shiller clearly shows, Detroit – after staging a brief dead cat bounce in the aftermath of its bankruptcy and since sliding once again – may no longer be the worst city for home prices in the US. It has now been displaced by a city which many speculate will be nothing short of the “next Detroit.”

The silver lining: while Chicago home prices have been sliding for the past 4 months, they are still up compared to last year… if only for the time being.


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Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos has just made $16 billion in a single year.

Amazon workers are treated like dirt.

Working four days in a row without sleep; a woman with breast cancer being put on ‘performance-improvement plans’ together with another who had just had a stillborn child; staff routinely bursting into tears; continual monitoring; workers encouraged to turn on each other to keep their jobs.”

Amazon: Devastating expose

Bill Gates, technology advisor at Microsoft, is now worth $76billion.

But some people want to throw Microsoft Windows 10 out the window

Recently Toshiba was involved in a $1.2 billion accounting scandal.

Volkswagen has had a major push to sell diesel cars in the US, backed by a huge marketing campaign advertising its cars’ low emissions.

Yet, reportedly, the cars have now been shown to emit 10 to 40 times the legal amount of dangerous substances while on the road.

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Headquarters of Glencore in Baar, Switzerland

‘Are we about to witness the most important global financial event since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008? Glencore has been known as the largest commodities trading company on the entire planet, and at one time it was ranked as the 10th biggest company in the world. It is linked to trillions of dollars of derivatives trades globally, and if the firm were to implode it would be a financial disaster unlike anything that we have seen in Europe since the end of World War II.

Unfortunately, all signs are pointing to an inescapable death spiral for Glencore at this point. The stock price was down nearly 30 percent on Monday, and overall Glencore stock has plunged nearly 80 percent since May. There are certainly other candidates for “the next Lehman” (Petrobras and Deutsche Bank being two perfect examples), but Glencore has definitely surged to the front of the pack. Right now many analysts are openly wondering if the firm will even be able to survive to the end of next month.’

Read more: Is Glencore The Next Lehman? The World’s Largest Commodities Trading Company Is Toast

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‘The whole system is built on fraud, it is threatening to topple at any moment, and there is no telling exactly when that moment will be. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men could continue to prop it up for years, but sooner or later, it will crumble, then collapse, and take down nearly everyone with it.

The time was yesterday for preparing for the worst, according to your own needs and budget. The best idea is to steadily and gradually built that resilience up with supplies, skills and a network of a handful of trusted associates. Take heeds, the warnings are coming rapidly now.’

Read more: Bankers Preparing for Final Phase of Looting: ‘You Will Soon Lose Everything You Own’

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Harris&Ewing The Capitol in the snow 1917

Societies in decline have no use for visionaries
– Anaïs Nin

The moment we heard that John Boehner would resign, the first thing that came to mind was: the next one will be a Greater Fool and a Bigger Liar. For all of his obvious faultlines, Boehner is human. As was evident for all to see Thursday when the Pope -Boehner’s as Catholic as JFK and Jesus Christ- came to see ‘him’ in ‘his’ Senate. Even smiled reading that the Pope had asked Boehner to pray for him.

But Boehner was really of course just a man who through time increasingly became a kind of barrier between a president and his party on the one hand, and Boehner’s own, increasingly ‘out there’, party on the other. He moved from far right to the right middle just to keep the country going. In essence, that’s little more than his job, but just doing your job can get you some nasty treatment these days in the land of the free.

So now we’ll get a refresher course in government shutdown, though there’s no guarantee that Boehner’s successor will be enough of a greater fool to cut his/her (make that his) new-found career short by actually letting it happen. At least not before December.

More Here: http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/09/greater-fools-and-bigger-liars/

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‘On Tuesday, after acknowledging their failure in stemming the surge of homelessness in the city, municipal officials in Los Angeles, California took the drastic step of announcing they were declaring a “state of emergency.”

In Los Angeles, the homeless are everywhere.

From encampments in freeway underpasses, to the high-value streets of Venice, they live in clusters of tents, or under tarpaulins spread over shopping carts, in parking lots and neighborhoods from downtown’s skid row to Studio City and beyond, this is where the homeless live.

The announcement from Mayor Eric Garcetti and seven members of the City Council was powerful in that it resonated loudly in a city that has seen an 85 percent increase in the homeless in just two years.’

Read more: The third world side of the American dream: In Los Angeles, the 60,000 homeless are everywhere as municipal officials declare a ‘state of emergency’

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‘When Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina was at the helm of Hewlett-Packard, she oversaw HP’s lobbying of the U.S. government for a temporary tax holiday on corporate profits so it could use the money to create new jobs. Much of that money, however, was used to buy back HP stock while then-CEO Fiorina fired 14,500 employees, according to a new report from The Daily Beast.’

Read more: Carly Fiorina and Hewlett-Packard ‘Scammed’ U.S. Government Out Of $4 Billion, Says Report

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Carly Fiorina’s Ex-Husband: ‘She’s the Ultimate Clown’

| 22 Sept 2015 | Carly Fiorina tries to play up that she started from the bottom and worked her way up. The truth couldn’t be much farther from that. Her father was the dean of the Duke University School of Law and deputy attorney general under Richard Nixon…Fiorina was a complete disaster as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. A former employee of Fiorina was even more blunt: “She is an a**hole of magnificent proportions…pathologically unable to give a s**t about anything but herself.”

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Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 2.56.00 PM


. Bloomberg reports the following:

Martin Winterkorn, engulfed by a diesel-emissions scandal at Volkswagen AG, amassed a $32 million pension before stepping down Wednesday, and may reap millions more in severance depending on how the supervisory board classifies his exit.


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‘Congress is asking the Pentagon’s watchdog for another probe into how the military racked up 5,000 charges at casinos and strip clubs totaling more than $1 million over the course of a year – and whether the government footed the tab.

In a memo released on Monday, the Pentagon inspector general said the Senate Armed Services Committee has requested an additional probe into the department’s excessive spending.

“Our objective is to determine whether (Defense Department) cardholders who used government travel cards at casinos and adult entertainment establishments for personal use sought or received reimbursement for the charges,” the memo said, according to Reuters.’

Read more: Congress demands probe into Pentagon’s $1 million strip club and casino bill

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