Economics and Investing:

China establishes rival to World Bank. Sent in by G.G.

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California cash sales surge while total sales volume plunges: Cash sales made up 30 percent of total sales last month.

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Video: Egon von Greyerz – Bond Market Biggest Bubble in the World – Sent in by G.G.

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Items from Professor Preponomics:

U.S. News

When Santa Was a Bank (Bloomberg) A Little Bit of History… “For much of the 19th century, Santa Claus had a branch office at No. 12 Wall Street. This was the “Saint Nicholas Bank,” established in 1853 and capitalized at $500,000.”

58 Facts About the US Economy from 2015 – Almost Too Crazy to Believe (The Economic Collapse Blog) From the Article: “The following are 58 facts about the U.S. economy from 2015 that are almost too crazy to believe…”

How Overregulation Led to the Collapse of Obamacare’s Largest Co-op (Daily Signal) From the Article: “A new report examining the collapse of Health Republic of New York, Obamacare’s largest co-op, said its failure—which may lead to a $265-million loss of taxpayer dollars—can be attributed in part to heightened regulatory control by the state.”

Unconverted: Contrarian Economist Unswayed by Fed’s Lift-Off (Reuters) From the Article: “The historic rate move on Dec. 16 “was very, very stupid.”

International News

Switzerland to Vote on Banning Banks from Creating Money (The Telegraph) From the Article: “If successful, the sovereign money bill would give the Swiss National Bank a monopoly on physical and electronic money creation…”

Zimbabwe’s Newest Legal Tender: Chinese Yuan (Christian Science Monitor) From the Article: “In exchange for $40 million in debt forgiveness from China, Zimbabwe will introduce the yuan as an official currency, one of many used since the country’s own dollar collapsed under hyperinflation in 2009.”

The Trade Wars Begin: U.S. Imposes 256% Tarriff on Chinese Steel Imports (Zero Hedge) Hint: “The measure is clearly aimed exclusively at China’s dumping of steel on the U.S. market, and its relentess exports of deflation.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

How Much Half of Americans Nearing Retirement Have Saved for It (Deseret News) Spoiler Alert: Fifty-two percent of households 55 and older haven’t saved a dollar for retirement…”