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Economist: China Trade War Could Mean “The End of the World as We Know It”

Globalization as it has existed since WWII could be finished.

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Economist Neil Shearing says that the escalation of America’s trade war with China could be the death knell for globalization and “the end of the world as we know it.”

Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department designated China as currency manipulator, the first time that has been done in 25 years.

The People’s Bank of China responded by warning that the decision would “bring turmoil to the financial market.”

Earlier, Trump slapped a new 10 per cent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting 1 September.

This followed China’s decision to order its state-owned companies to completely halt purchases of US farm products.

With no trade deal to end the impasse expected before the 2020 election, Neil Shearing, group chief economist at Capital Economics, says the consequences could be massive.

“Lingering in the background is a more fundamental concern – namely that we may be witnessing the end of globalization,” Shearing said in a note to clients.

“If so, the rapid increase in cross-border movement of goods, services, capital and people that has been the defining feature of the global economy over the past two decades may be about to reverse – with macroeconomic implications that would extend well beyond the narrow impact of tit-for-tat tariffs,” he said.

Shearing is predicting the possible “disintegration of the rules-based system” that has governed commerce since World War II and a “balkanization” of the economy where the U.S. and China operate on different payment systems and tech platforms.

“It’s too soon to say exactly how events will pan out, but this casts the escalation in the US-China trade war over the past year in an altogether more ominous light. We may be witnessing the end of the world as we know it,” wrote Shearing.

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Economy

McDonalds to Replace More Human Employees With Drive-Thru AI

How’s that $15 an hour looking now?

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McDonalds is set to replace more human employees with automated technology after the company announced that it intends to use a new AI program to take drive-thru orders.

The food chain has acquired Mountain View-based voice tech startup Apprente in order to “alleviate pressure on restaurant employees.”

More like alleviate them of their jobs.

The technology can handle “complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering,” allowing for “faster, simpler and more accurate order taking,” according to reports.

“McDonald’s plans to roll out self-service kiosks across all US restaurant locations by 2020 – reducing the need to employ as many human cashiers,” reports Zero Hedge.

How’s that $15 dollars an hour paycheck working out for you now?

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Economy

Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Says There’s About to be an Uprising in America

Wealth gap, stagnant wages to bring about “revolution”.

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Billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio says that a revolution is coming in America because wages have stagnated and the income gap between the rich and poor is wider than ever.

Dalio, who is worth almost $17 billion dollars, warns that, “Widening income/wealth/opportunity gaps pose existential threats to the United States because these gaps are bringing about damaging domestic and international conflicts and weakening America’s condition.”

The Bridgewater Associates founder says that those who grew up middle class are earning less than their parents because wage growth compared to inflation has been stagnant since the 1980’s.

“Disparity in wealth, especially when accompanied by disparity in values, leads to increasing conflict and, in the government, that manifests itself in the form of populism of the left and populism of the right and often in revolutions of one sort or another,” Dalio writes.

Noting that the next economic downturn will cause this gulf to become painfully apparent, Dalio says the wealth gap should be treated as a “national emergency” and that the whole economic system needs to be re-engineered.

Numerous studies have shown that wealth inequality inevitably leads to civil unrest, so Dalio’s prediction is by no means an unlikely scenario.

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Economy

Illinois Passes Bill Requiring Companies Have Women, Blacks on Corporate Boards

State Rep. says absurd new rule is a business killer.

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The Illinois House of Representatives has passed a bill requiring publicly held companies to have at least at least one woman and one African American on their company’s corporate board starting in 2021.

If companies refuse to comply with the draconian law, they will be hit with a whopping fine of $300,000 dollars.

Instead of hiring people on merit and not skin color, companies will be forced to employ people unsuitable for the job simply to fulfil some hare-brained political correctness quota.

“No mention of qualifications, no mention of what to do if the particular individuals don’t match up well to other candidates for the position. Nope – you just better have them on your board…or else,” writes Ferlon Webster Jr.

State Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) argues that the bill was a business killer.

“We are destroying the ability for our state to grow,” she said.

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