Europe’s robots to become ‘electronic persons’ under draft plan

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An industrial robotic arm pours a glass of beer at the Automatica trade fair in Munich on Tuesday. Photo: Bloomberg

 

Munich:   Europe’s growing army of robot workers could be classed as “electronic persons” and their owners liable to paying social security for them if the European Union adopts a draft plan to address the realities of a new industrial revolution.Robots are being deployed in ever-greater numbers in factories and also taking on tasks such as personal care or surgery, raising fears over unemployment, wealth inequality and alienation.

Their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability, a draft European Parliament motion, dated May 31, suggests. Continue reading

76 million Americans are struggling financially or just getting by

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Wages are finally rising. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 2007. Inflation remains muted.

But 31% of American adults, or 76 million people, say they are struggling to get by or just barely making it, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s latest survey on Americans’ economic well-being, which looked at 2015.

The Fed survey highlights many of Americans’ continuing economic worries. Some 46% of adults say they can’t cover an unexpected $400 expense or would have borrow or sell something to do so. Continue reading

Germany May Be a Bigger Threat to the European Union than Brexit

Destroy to rebuild and retake Europe is the German plan.

Further detailed information: Germany’s Invisible Crisis – Mauldin Economics (PDF format)

 

Two polls were recently released that call the European Union in question.

A poll in Italy reported that the Five Star Movement (a populist political party that wants to hold a referendum on whether Italy should remain in the European Union) was the most popular political party in the country ahead of local elections scheduled for next month.

On the same day, British researchers who surveyed nine EU countries reported that 45 percent of respondents believed that their country should hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EU. Continue reading

FINANCIAL CRASH FEARS: Crisis signs as US jobs market plunges to worst level in six years

AMERICA shocked global markets today as it unveiled the worst set of job figures since the recovery out of the financial crisis.

The dollar and world stock markets plunged today after it was revealed just 38,000 new US jobs were created last month – below expectations of around 164,000 and the the lowest figure since 2010.

Furthermore, employers hired 59,000 fewer workers in March and April than had previously been reported.

Continue reading

IMF issues warning to Eurozone: Lagarde says tackle financial crisis NOW or face RUIN

EUROPE’s economy is in a worse state than previously thought, shock figures revealed today, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urged the bloc to do more to tackle problems amid an increased risk of a global financial crisis.

Head of the Fund Christine Lagarde said action by world leaders to boost growth was becoming more urgent as threats were rising without decisive action.

Ms Lagarde urged the bloc to improve job training to tackle high youth unemployment and fight against low growth. Continue reading

Trump predicts ‘massive recession’

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump predicted that the United States is on course for a “very massive recession,” warning that a combination of high unemployment and an overvalued stock market had set the stage for another economic slump.

“I think we’re sitting on an economic bubble. A financial bubble,” the billionaire businessman said in an interview with The Washington Post published on Saturday.

Continue reading

Europe’s Banks Begin to Fail

Guess who did eventually bail out Greece.

An article from 2011 with lessons to learn from for today:

 

A chain reaction is set in motion—and a lot of people are going to get hurt.

The date is May 11, 1931. Creditanstalt, a little-known Austrian bank, suddenly announces it can’t make its debt payments. An unstoppable chain reaction results.

Bank failure, stock market crash, mass business closures, 25 percent unemployment, trade wars, runaway inflation, multiple currency collapses, the Great Depression, World War ii. All of it began with a little-known bank in a small country in the heart of Europe.

That is history. And it is happening again.

A similar epoch-changing event may be about to occur in Europe.

Continue reading

Lowest Ever: The Baltic Dry Index Plunges To 394 As Global Trade Grinds To A Standstill

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For the first time ever, the Baltic Dry Index has fallen under 400.  As I write this article, it is sitting at 394.  To be honest, I never even imagined that it could go this low.  Back in early August, the Baltic Dry Index was sitting at 1,222, and since then it has been on a steady decline.  Of course the Baltic Dry Index crashed hard just before the great stock market crash of 2008 too, but at this point it is already lower than it was during that entire crisis.  This is just more evidence that global trade is grinding to a halt and that 2016 is going to be a “cataclysmic year” for the global economy. Continue reading

Trump Predicts U.S. Economic ‘Bubble’ Could Soon Burst

Billionaire Donald Trump sees economic clouds hovering above the U.S. economy. And if it’s going to rain, he wants the precipitation to fall while President Barack Obama is still in the White House.

“Remember the word bubble? You heard it here first,” the Republican presidential front-runner told about 1,200 people at a rally Saturday afternoon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I don’t want to sound rude, but I hope if it explodes, it’s going to be now, rather than two months into another administration.” Continue reading

America Crosses The Tipping Point: The Middle Class Is Now A Minority

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Americans have long lived in a nation made up primarily of middle-class families, neither rich nor poor, but comfortable enough, notes NPR’s Marilyn Geewax, but this year – for the first time in US history, that changed. A new analysis of government data shows that as of 2015, middle-income households have become the minority, extending a multi-decade decline that confirms the hollowing out of society as 49% of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month. Sadly, the trends that are destroying the middle class in America just continue to accelerate.

Back in 1971, about 2 out of 3 Americans lived in middle-income households. Since then, the middle has been steadily shrinking. Continue reading

Europe may be witness to a new political era

The success of Marine Le Pen and the National Front (FN) in France underlines the shifting plates of European politics.

She is far right, anti-Europe and anti-immigration, but many of those who voted for her once voted for the Communists and the Socialists.

She has attempted to reinvent the FN as the party of the voiceless, the left-behind and the angry. Continue reading

We Still Aren’t Sure What Will Cause Janet Yellen to Pull the Trigger

One way or another, rates must go up.

 

The central bank is facing a communications problem.

The effectiveness of the Federal Reserve’s communication strategy is clearly questionable when the outcome of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting is considered a coin toss among economists who closely follow monetary policy.

What’s missing from the central bank’s communication strategy?

Continue reading

Germany Will Conquer Europe With Migrants’ Help – Polish Media

Germany has already economically conquered Europe. The subjugation of Cyprus and then Greece are proof. All that’s left are to force Great Britain out and force France, Italy and Spain to fall in line. After this comes the United States of Europe and its EU Army, both of which are already in the making. To the Germany’s credit, it will be hard for anti-Germans and the rest of Europe to call today’s Germans racist or Nazis. This calculated move will help them shed off stereotypes from the past and allow further ascension on the world stage and a tighter grip over Europe.

 

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By throwing its doors wide open to thousands of migrants Germany has a clever plan in mind. The influx of migrants will help solve the country’s precarious demographic situation, boost the economy and make Germany a moral example for the rest of Europe, a Polish journalist wrote Tuesday.

Germany plans to take in 800,000 migrants this year alone and millions more in the coming years. Fully aware of the most immediate downsides of this decision, the Germans are still taking the risk because they realize the long-term benefits this could bring them, Eliza Litak wrote in an article carried by wPolityce.pl news portal. Continue reading

Mass Immigration and the Undoing of Europe

  • In Germany, where traffickers are now dropping off illegal immigrants on Autobahns, authorities have reacted — not by trying to intercept or discourage traffickers, but by putting up new road signs alerting drivers of potential pedestrians on the highway.
  • Last month alone, more migrants landed on the shores of Greece than in the whole of 2014.
  • If the mainstream media keep reminding everyone how the rioting immigrant youths in France or Britain are driven by economic inequality now, imagine the scale of unrest once European welfare states cannot finance “half the planet” anymore and are forced to cut welfare benefits.
  • No one, however, especially the media, blames migrants for their own actions.
  • This is the real tragedy of the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe: apart from those fleeing combat zones, most migrants swarming European borders and coastlines do not appear to be in any real or dire need.

Even before this year’s mass immigration began, Germany was struggling to deal with roughly a quarter of a million asylum applicants — without even accounting for the illegal immigrants already in the country. The recent wave of migration would push those figures to record heights.

The trend in Germany merely reflects the overall scale of the European immigrant crisis. In July 2015, an estimated 50,000 refugees entered Greece, a surge of 750 percent. Last month alone more migrants landed than in the whole of 2014.

Continue reading

Say A Little Prayer

Monthly Investment Outlook from Bill Gross

I’m not what you would call a “prayerful” type of guy. Even at 30,000 feet, when the air gets rough, I never invoke the “God” word, settling instead for promising myself that if I ever get back to terra firma, I will never fly again, which I promptly forget days or even hours later. It’s not that I’m a non-believer in prayer’s ultimate destination, but more of a cynical take on why the Lord would hand out party favors to everyone that asked, or to those that asked most intently.

Funny, too I think, about how I learned two different versions of the Lord’s Prayer: one – the Protestant litany – spoke to “forgiving our debts as we forgive our debtors”; the other – maybe a more traditional Catholic influenced version – substituted “forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The differences never much bothered me as I prayed less and sinned more into my teenage years, but later I got to thinking about it as I entered the bond market and began to contemplate the odds of paying and being paid, or trespassing and being trespassed against with other people’s money. Given a chance, I thought I would infinitely prefer forgiving a trespasser as opposed to a debtor. Continue reading