Data, Info and News of Life and Economy

Daily Archives: June 28, 2022

Chart: UN Budget – Who Has Paid Their Dues?

Source : Statista

Chart: U.S. Consumer Confidence Plunges In June 2022

The downward trend of personal saving rate suggests Conference Board expectations have further to fall.

Source : Bloomberg and Trading Economics

Manufacturing Inventory Hits Record US$1.8tn Worldwide

Manufacturers from Samsung to Ford are seeing a sharp increase in inventory as consumer demand weakens amid surging inflation, prompting worries that companies will have to adjust production in the face of a looming protracted economic downturn.

Inventory held by 2,349 listed global manufacturing companies hit a record $1.87 trillion at the end of March, up $97 billion from three months earlier, according to a Nikkei analysis of information from QUICK FactSet. That was the highest level in 10 years, or since comparable data have been available.

This inventory buildup can be traced to factors such as difficulty in moving products due to supply chain disruption, and some companies intentionally stocking up in case they faced shortages. Some businesses also built up stock in anticipation of an increase in consumer demand with the reopening of economies following declines in COVID cases.

The problem now is that this high level of inventory, coupled with slow consumption, could lead manufacturers to slam their brakes on production and exacerbate an economic deceleration that is already underway.

The slowdown in consumer demand is particularly noticeable in electronics, such as smartphones and personal computers, as consumers feel their purchasing power has diminished due to inflation amid global commodity price hikes.

The $97 billion increase is larger than the $83 billion jump recorded in the first quarter of 2018, when worldwide inventory levels surged amid intensifying trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

In percentage terms, the rate of increase during January-March 2022 was 5.3%, the largest after the 6.1% gain in January-March 2018. This has resulted in longer inventory turnover, with the ratio declining by 3% in the first quarter of 2022 from the quarter before.

It took 81.1 days for businesses to sell off their stock, up 3.6 days from the fourth quarter, and the longest in the last 10 years, excluding 2020 when sales plummeted due to COVID.

Inventory increased in all 12 manufacturing sectors. Three sectors accounted for 61% of the total — electronics, autos and machinery.

Electronics registered the biggest spike, up $26.7 billion, or 6%, to $457 billion. Analysis of individual company levels show that raw materials posted the biggest gain, followed by work in process.

Of all the companies covered in the analysis, Samsung Electronics recorded the biggest inventory growth in dollar terms, of $4.4 billion, or up 13% from the previous quarter to $39.2 billion. Of the increase, $2.5 billion was due to an increase in raw materials.

Samsung reported flat sales for the first quarter, compared with the preceding quarter. Samsung suffered disruption in April in its procurement of raw materials for memory production and had said that it intended to build up inventory to avoid further such problems.

At Taiwanese PC maker Asus, sales dropped 9% while inventory grew 18%, as raw materials and finished products both grew by about $500 million. Asus did increase the stock of electronic materials, but also saw sales slow in Europe due to the war in Ukraine. Chief Financial Officer Nick Wu says that the company intends to keep the current level of inventory.

In the auto industry, the level of inventory grew $14.8 billion, or 6%, to $273 billion, as Ford Motor suffered an 8% drop in sales and a 21% jump in inventory to $14.6 billion, the highest in 25 years.

As many as 53,000 vehicles have been left unfinished due to the lack of components. Ford CFO John Lawler had said that inventory buildup is weighing on the company’s cash flow.

At Mercedes-Benz, stock jumped 9%. The German carmaker has seen an increase in unfinished products due in part to the lack of components and also to shipping problems amid the Ukraine crisis. CFO Harald Wilhelm said it was difficult to make forecasts given geopolitical uncertainty.

On the positive side, worldwide high inventory is not expected to result in a serious cash crunch soon. The amount of cash held by the 2,349 companies stood at $2.2 trillion at the end of March, 2.3 times their monthly sales. Any number above 2 is considered reasonable.

Samsung, for one, boasts that it is holding $100 billion in cash, or equivalent to five months of sales. Toyota Motor has 6 trillion yen ($44.19 billion) in cash, which is worth 2.3 months of sales.

Still, companies are right to be cautious. Both the U.S. and the eurozone have seen their purchasing managers’ index drop to around 50, the break-even level, in June, while in China, the index stayed below 50 for three straight months through May. Any number below 50 indicates an economic contraction.

Source : Nikkei Asia

Infographic: The World’s Most Popular Religions

The Seven Pillars of Bitcoin

Sylvain Saurel wrote . . . . . . . . .

Bitcoin is a monetary revolution that will change the world of the future. Bitcoin will not only change the world of the future forever, but it will also change it for the better. The Bitcoin system will enable the construction of a fairer and simply better world for everyone.

When I explain this, some people seem dubious.

The fact that I am a Bitcoiner would prevent me from seeing things objectively. In reality, I think it’s quite the opposite. Being a Bitcoiner allows me to see things as they are.

I swallowed the famous metaphorical red pill that Morpheus has been presenting to Neo in the movie The Matrix for a long time. From then on, I discovered the ugly truth about the current monetary and financial system. This allows me to better appreciate all the characteristics of Bitcoin.

I am convinced that it is impossible to appreciate Bitcoin at its true value if you have not discovered the ugly truth about the current system.

You cannot appreciate the solution to a problem if you have not become aware of the problem yourself. This is obvious, but I like to repeat it because many people do things the wrong way around by first buying Bitcoin without trying to understand the problems it solves.

Without being aware of why Bitcoin is there, you can’t have complete confidence in Bitcoin and apply the best strategy when its price fluctuates sharply.

The Bitcoin revolution is made possible by the seven fundamental pillars on which the Bitcoin system is based. I will present them to you in the following without the order of appearance indicating a greater importance of one of the pillars over the others.

1. Open Source

The Bitcoin system is based on the open-source software Bitcoin Core. It is an essential pillar that has contributed to the incredible success of Bitcoin. Anyone can access the Bitcoin source code.

Everyone can check by himself how the Bitcoin network works. Even better, everyone can contribute to the evolution of Bitcoin. The community of developers who contribute every day to improve Bitcoin is one of the main strengths of Bitcoin in the face of all the competitors who claim to be able to supplant Bitcoin one day.

Bitcoin is above all a monetary revolution.

Its disruptive technology serves to give credibility to its monetary attributes that make all the difference. Many are mistaken in thinking that Bitcoin will one day be supplanted by more powerful technology. This is not where the real competition lies.

So there is no need to look for the next Bitcoin. The real revolution took place with the invention of Bitcoin. In the years to come, Bitcoin will evolve in the same way that the Internet has evolved since its creation.

Thanks to its developers, Bitcoin will become safer and more reliable every day to guarantee the security of the billions of dollars its users have invested in it. Even more than money, the security of the Bitcoin network is essential to ensure that the Bitcoin revolution can continue to progress smoothly.

2. Transparent

Bitcoin Blockchain is based on open-source code. This allows everyone to check what their source code does. In addition, its Blockchain is permissionless and trustless. Anyone can become a node of the Bitcoin network.

Any user can check all transactions validated on the Bitcoin network from the Genesis block mined on January 3, 2009, by Satoshi Nakamoto.

This transparency of Bitcoin allows all its users to form their own opinion about the truth. The consensus obtained gives weight to the Bitcoin network.

This ability to verify everything for yourself is reflected in Bitcoin’s motto:

Don’t trust, Verify.

Bitcoin will never impose on you a truth that is not yours as the current monetary and financial system does.

You will be free to determine what the truth is for yourself. When you become a Bitcoiner, you then get into the habit of developing an acute critical mind that pushes you to verify everything for yourself.

3. Neutral

In creating Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto was well aware that he was inventing a technology capable of revolutionizing the current monetary and financial system.

Rather than wanting to benefit financially from his invention as all Altcoins founders do, Satoshi Nakamoto decided to offer Bitcoin to all the inhabitants of the Earth as a magnificent gift.

It is then up to its users to make Bitcoin a success or a failure.

This is an important concept in the Bitcoin world. There is no leader. All Bitcoin users have the same weight, and this is something truly revolutionary.

As long as you have the private keys to your Bitcoin, no one can take them away from you. Furthermore, no one can stop you from making the transactions you want to make.

While the U.S. dollar has been the world’s reserve currency for 100 years, more and more people are realizing that its life expectancy in this position is now counted. The incredible weakening of the U.S. dollar since 1971 seems never to stop and drives the value of the U.S. dollar towards zero.

Some believe that the U.S. dollar cannot be replaced because there is no alternative.

These people quickly forget that Bitcoin is precisely the only credible alternative to the U.S. dollar that is at the heart of the current monetary and financial system.

Many countries are beginning to no longer accept the exorbitant advantage that the U.S. dollar provides to the United States. Many are seeking to reduce their dependence on the U.S. dollar. Neutral politically, Bitcoin will be an increasingly preferred alternative in the years to come.

4. Decentralized

The Bitcoin network is decentralized. This decentralization is an incredible strength of Bitcoin. A real pillar that allows it to make a difference with all the existing Altcoins.

This makes Bitcoin unstoppable, no matter what Donald Trump or the other powerful people of this world may think.

This decentralization makes Bitcoin more resistant to potential attacks. Its network has an uptime of 99.985% since its creation.

This uptime has nothing to envy those of the Web giants. It’s incredible when you think that Bitcoin has developed only thanks to the will of its users to build a better world for everyone. Bitcoin has never received any financial help from private investment banks or States.

Its current market cap of 570 billion dollars is a phenomenal success, and this is only the beginning. The best is yet to come for Bitcoin.

Currently, Bitcoin remains the most efficient solution for transferring money quickly and borderless. Transaction fees are virtually zero compared to bank fees for such transfers.

Moreover, the 10-minute transfer time for the order is incomparable with the SWIFT interbank payment network, where it takes 2 to 5 days at best.

Bitcoin’s total independence allows you to transfer money without having to answer indiscreet questions that bankers or governments love to ask those who transfer money through the SWIFT interbank system.

Bitcoin gives you the freedom to live your life on your own terms.

5. Censorship-resistant

The absence of a leader has allowed Bitcoin to become a true democracy where all users are equal. Each user is free to use his Bitcoin as he wishes.

No one can force you to use your Bitcoin against your will. You can send your Bitcoin to whomever you want over the network.

Your Bitcoin can never be confiscated as long as you have the private keys. As a reminder of this necessity, please remember this golden rule that is enshrined in the heart of the Bitcoin Club’s rules:

Not your Keys, Not your Bitcoin.

Bitcoin, therefore, allows you to preserve your wealth over time in a censorship-resistant manner.

With today’s banking system, governments can put pressure on you by threatening to confiscate what you own. With Bitcoin, you no longer have that fear. It’s an incredible guarantee in a world as uncertain as to the one we live in currently.

6. Secure

The proper functioning of the Bitcoin network, as well as its security, is ensured by Bitcoin users. This is essential because it implies that without its users, Bitcoin would be nothing.

In the world of Bitcoin, you will discover a double dependence: Bitcoin needs you as much as you need Bitcoin.

Bitcoin miners make their computing power available to the network to validate blocks of transactions. A transaction block is validated every 10 minutes on average.

To encourage the miners to ensure the smooth operation of the network, Satoshi Nakamoto has planned two things:

  • A Bitcoin reward that halves every 210,000 blocks issued in an automatic operation called Halving.
  • A transaction fee.

New Bitcoin units are therefore predictably issued with each block successfully added to the Bitcoin Blockchain.
This allows everyone to predict the timing of new Bitcoin issuance until 2140 when all Bitcoin units have been issued.

Currently, Bitcoin is the most secure decentralized network in the world.

Its network is becoming more and more secure over the years as its Hash Rate increases.

It is also an indicator of the network’s good health, protecting it from potential attacks such as a 51% takeover of the network’s Hash Rate.

Such a secure network reassures users and investors alike that the Bitcoin revolution will be a success in the years to come.

7. Monetary policy

With the decentralization of the Bitcoin network, this last pillar is probably the most important. Bitcoin’s monetary attributes make it a species apart in a world where everything is going digital.

This is what will prevent Bitcoin from disappearing in the future.

While the U.S. dollar, and all fiat currencies, can exist in unlimited quantities since the establishment of the current monetary and financial system in August 1971, Bitcoin exists in finite quantities.

There will never be more than 21 million BTC in circulation.

This gives an incredible guarantee to all Bitcoin users. When you buy a Bitcoin, you know that you will still own 1 Bitcoin out of 21 million in 10, 20, or 50 years. Bitcoin thus avoids devaluing what its users own.

Aside from time, you will find nothing scarcer on Earth than Bitcoin. It is the most scarce thing ever created by humans.

Bitcoin’s monetary policy is also distinguished by the fact that the issuance of new Bitcoin units is predictable. It is automated in the Bitcoin source code and does not depend on any arbitrary human decision. No one can decide to accelerate the rate at which new Bitcoin units are issued.

The inflation of the supply of new Bitcoin units inevitably reduces over time. For every 210,000 blocks issued, the reward for miners is halved. The last Halving took place on May 11, 2020. Since then, the inflation of the supply of new Bitcoin units has been only 1.8% per year.

At the next Halving, at a block height of 840,000, this inflation will drop below zero for the first time in history. Bitcoin will become the most scarce asset in the world ahead of gold and its annual inflation of 1.6%.

This inflation will reach zero in 2140 when all Bitcoin units have been issued.

Bitcoin’s monetary policy is to be contrasted with the quantitative easing practiced by central banks. In the case of Bitcoin, we speak of quantitative hardening. This is an incredible virtue of Bitcoin that protects all its users.

Final Thoughts

Bitcoin is the biggest technological disruption since the Internet. Bitcoin’s technology is there to give credibility to its monetary attributes. These attributes make Bitcoin a true monetary revolution.

Based on the seven pillars that I have just presented to you, Bitcoin builds day after day a fairer and better world for all its users.

It is only a matter of time before the greatest number of people realize this. Bitcoin adoption will explode in the coming years. With a limited supply, and with inflation decreasing over time, the Bitcoin price is promised to reach $1 million within the next 20 to 30 years.

Those who choose to support Bitcoin sooner will naturally be the ones who will get the biggest reward. The good news is that we are still early for Bitcoin, and you still have the opportunity to enjoy it to the fullest.

It’s up to you.

Source : In Botcoin We Trust

G7 Aims to Raise $600 billion to Counter China’s Belt and Road

Andrea Shalal wrote . . . . . . . . .

Group of Seven leaders on Sunday pledged to raise $600 billion in private and public funds over five years to finance needed infrastructure in developing countries and counter China’s older, multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project.

U.S. President Joe Biden and other G7 leaders relaunched the newly renamed “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment,” at their annual gathering being held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.

Biden said the United States would mobilize $200 billion in grants, federal funds and private investment over five years to support projects in low- and middle-income countries that help tackle climate change as well as improve global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure.

“I want to be clear. This isn’t aid or charity. It’s an investment that will deliver returns for everyone,” Biden said, adding that it would allow countries to “see the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies.”

Biden said hundreds of billions of additional dollars could come from multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, sovereign wealth funds and others.

Europe will mobilize 300 billion euros for the initiative over the same period to build up a sustainable alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative scheme, which Chinese President Xi Jinping launched in 2013, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the gathering.

The leaders of Italy, Canada and Japan also spoke about their plans, some of which have already been announced separately. French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson were not present, but their countries are also participating.

China’s investment scheme involves development and programs in over 100 countries aimed at creating a modern version of the ancient Silk Road trade route from Asia to Europe.

White House officials said the plan has provided little tangible benefit for many developing countries.

Biden highlighted several flagship projects, including a $2 billion solar development project in Angola with support from the Commerce Department, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, U.S. firm AfricaGlobal Schaffer, and U.S. project developer Sun Africa.

Together with G7 members and the EU, Washington will also provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal as it develops an industrial-scale flexible multi-vaccine manufacturing facility in that country that can eventually produce COVID-19 and other vaccines, a project that also involves the EU.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will also commit up to $50 million over five years to the World Bank’s global Childcare Incentive Fund.

Friederike Roder, vice president of the non-profit group Global Citizen, said the pledges of investment could be “a good start” toward greater engagement by G7 countries in developing nations and could underpin stronger global growth for all.

G7 countries on average provide only 0.32% of their gross national income, less than half of the 0.7% promised, in development assistance, she said.

“But without developing countries, there will be no sustainable recovery of the world economy,” she said.

Source : Reuters