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Daily Archives: July 15, 2022

Chart: U.S. Home Sales Are Getting Canceled at the Highest Rate Since the Start of the Pandemic

Chuckles of the Day




Proverbs from First Graders

A first grade teacher presented each of the 25 children in her class the first half of a well known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. Imagine the insight to be gained from this class of 6 year old children.

  • Don’t change horses ___ until they stop.
  • Strike while the ___ bug is close.
  • It’s always darkest before ___ Daylight Saving Time.
  • Never underestimate the power of ___ termites.
  • You can lead a horse to water but ___ how?
  • Don’t bite the hand that ___ looks dirty.
  • No news is ___ impossible.
  • A miss is as good as a ___ Mister.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new ___ math.
  • If you lie down with dogs, you’ll ___ stink in the morning.
  • Love all, trust ___ me.
  • The pen is mightier than the ___ pigs.
  • An idle mind is ___ the best way to relax.
  • Where there’s smoke there’s ___ pollution.
  • Happy the bride who ___ gets all the presents.
  • A penny saved is ___ not much.
  • Two’s company, three’s ___ the Musketeers
  • Don’t put off till tomorrow what ___ you put on to go to bed.
  • Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and ___ you have to blow your nose.
  • There are none so blind as ___ Stevie Wonder.
  • Children should be seen and not ___ spanked or grounded.
  • If at first you don’t succeed ___ get new batteries.
  • You get out of something only what you ___ see in the picture on the box.
  • When the blind lead the blind ___ get out of the way.
  • And the WINNER is: Better late than ___ pregnant.

* * * * * * *

Smartest?

A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute, yelled to the passengers that they had better jump, and then he bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining. The doctor grabbed one and said “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live,” and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, “I’m a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live.” He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, “My son, I’ve lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace.”

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, “Not to worry, Father. The ‘smartest man in the world’ just took off with my back pack!”




Is the Chinese Yuan Beginning to Chip Away at Dollar Dominance?

China appears to be chipping away at dollar dominance.

While there is no indication that the dollar is in imminent danger of toppling from its perch as the global reserve currency, more central banks are warming up to the yuan.

According to UBS Asset Management’s annual reserve manager survey, about 85% of central banks said they are invested in or are considering investing in the Chinese yuan. That’s up from 81% a year earlier.

USB surveyed 30 top central banks.

On average, central bank foreign exchange managers plan to hold about 5.8% of reserves in yuan within the next 10 years. That would represent a sharp increase from the 2.9% level of global reserve yuan holdings reported by the International Monetary Fund in late June.

Meanwhile, the average share of US dollar holdings dropped to 63% as of June 2022, according to the survey. That was down from 69% in the previous year.

According to Business Insider, the response to the invasion of Ukraine “has increased talk about a ‘multipolar’ world, in which the US is no longer the overwhelmingly dominant force.

There is some speculation that the weaponization of the dollar to punish Russia for the invasion of Ukraine has motivated some countries to diversify away from the dollar. Less exposure to the greenback means less exposure to diplomatic and economic pressure from Washington DC.

Declining confidence in the dollar started long before recent events in Ukraine. The Federal Reserve printed trillions of dollars out of thin air in response to COVID-19. This devalued the dollar as evidenced by the surge in prices over the last year. This was the predictable result of creating money out of thin air and handing it out to spend. More money chasing the same amount (or with governments shutting down economies fewer) goods and services will always lead to a general rise in prices.

The only reason the US can get away with this policy to the extent that it does is its role as the world reserve currency. There is a built-in global demand for dollars that helps absorb the money printing. But what happens if that demand drops? What happens if China and other countries decide they don’t want to hold a currency that is losing value every day?

After Russia invaded Ukraine, the US cut some Russian banks, including the central bank, off from the SWIFT payment system.

SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The system enables financial institutions to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized environment. Since the dollar serves as the world reserve currency, SWIFT facilitates the international dollar system.

SWIFT and dollar dominance gives the US a great deal of leverage over other countries.

And the US went a step further. In an unprecedented move, the Federal Reserve froze Russia’s dollar reserves. In effect, Russia’s dollar assets are valueless to the country. It can’t use them at all.

Even if you think Russia deserves these draconian economic sanctions, it’s important to remember that they could come at a cost.

Recent dollar strength compared to other world currencies suggests that the dollar remains in a strong position. But things could shift quickly. How much more borrowing and printing will the world tolerate before they become wary of holding dollars? And will the US propensity to use the dollar as a foreign policy weapon undermine trust in the greenback?

The world is watching.


Source : Schiff Gold

Infographic: 33 Problems with Media

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Vsual Capitalist

What Value on Nature? Countries Now Have 1st Guidelines

Countries have approved the first comprehensive guidelines for judging the value of nature following four years of intense debate, officials said Monday.

The report was endorsed by 139 countries, including the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K. and Germany, that are members of the United Nations-backed Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES.

Its authors hope the guide they’ve drawn up with the help of experts from a wide range of disciplines will make it easier for governments to consider more than just the economic benefits of a project when deciding whether and how to go ahead with it.

This includes figuring out how local communities will gain or lose from a project such as a hydroelectric dam — a situation that has regularly led to friction between businesses, citizens and authorities in the past.

Rather than prescribe a set way for governments to estimate these non-economic benefits, the report provides them with tools for working through the often complex assessment process, said its co-author Patricia Balvanera of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

“We provide a roadmap to decision-makers for how to deal with this very complex situation they face every single day,” she said.

Fellow author Unai Pascual of the Basque Center for Climate Change in Bilbao, Spain, said the report’s approval represents a “milestone” for the way governments view nature, by challenging some of the underlying assumptions that have contributed to environmental destruction.

The report was drafted with the help of dozens of experts from both social and natural sciences in an attempt to bridge the often considerable differences between disciplines and find a common approach they could all support, he said.

“We don’t know what will come next,” said Pascual, but suggested the guidelines are likely to be reflected in the negotiations at December’s U.N. conference on biodiversity in Montreal.

Representatives of Indigenous groups welcomed the new guidelines and an IPBES report published last week which highlighted the need for sustainable use of nature.

“There is a growing body of evidence showing that when the rights of Indigenous peoples are guaranteed, we outperform all other forest managers in reducing deforestation and preventing wildfires,” said José Gregório Díaz MIrabal of COICA, a coordinating body for the indigenous organizations of the countries of the Amazon Basin.

“If the goal is to succeed in saving the Amazon, any plan must be carried out in collaboration with Indigenous peoples,” he said.


Source : AP

Chart: The Chinese Economy Advanced 0.4% YoY in Q2 2022

Source : Trading Economics