Economics and Investing:

A Year of Sovereign Defaults? – G.G.

o o o

Items from Mr. Econocobas:

2015 Was the Hardest Year to Make Money in 78 Years

Chicago PMI Plummets to 42.9; Lowest Since 2009

Items from Professor Preponomics:

US News

Is It Time for a Skyscraper Alert? (Mises Institute) Excerpt: “The important thing to remember is that skyscrapers do not cause economic crises. Rather they are just a very noticeable example of the distortions taking place throughout the economy when interest rates are [kept] artificially low by the central bank.”

Puerto Rico to Default on Some Debt (Reuters) Of course the question remains: how long can Puerto Rico shuffle their accounts to continue making payments? The answer is very likely “not long enough”. Unfortunately, even if they were granted eligibility for Chapter 9, this would be unlikely to resolve Puerto Rico’s deep debt entanglements. It’s likely that this story will, as a result, continue to unfold over a long period of time. For now, Puerto Rico is having to decide which debts to pay, which debts will go without payment and from which nooks and crannies to draw the money. Excerpt: “The Caribbean island’s biggest payment, $328.7 million in general obligation debt, will be paid, the governor told reporters at a press conference in San Juan. More than half of that payment was made by taking revenues from other commonwealth agencies…”

A Turning Point for Markets in 2016 (Business Insider) An interesting move on the game table of global economic chess. “2016 should see most economies continue to struggle with recession and anemic growth, while the US dollar strengthens and the US market receives considerable foreign inflows of capital. The rest of the world will wrestle with striking a balance between policy and markets.”

Report: Obama Sets Red Tape Record at 545,875 Pages (Waste Fraud and Abuse) Excessive regulation is more than a nuisance. It places a stranglehold on economic enterprise, and it impairs and imperils freedom. Be aware of what’s coming… Excerpt: “Administration is openly excited about the prospect of building upon the President’s dubious red-tape record. Though I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.”

EMC and the DELL Takeover: Job Cuts Coming (Bloomberg) Another merger and job losses coming. Perhaps more important is the rise of monopoly power among big business machines and the impact this will have on competition, the development of new enterprise, diversity of goods and services, and pricing. Current staff facing the delivery of pink slips will feel the effects shortly. The rest of us will feel the effects for a very long time thereafter.

International News

The MYSTERY of the Stolen Gold: A Fascinating New Detail Emerges (Zero Hedge) Excerpt: “… and not only that, but it was here where we found what may be the most fascinating detail of today’s article, namely Gold Holding’s (aka Dubai’s) hint that Russian gold no longer has to be denominated in US Dollars for transaction purposes. Instead, it can be denominated in Yuan…. as can Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Africa gold transactions, in the process bypassing the SWIFT payment system entirely, and all official traces and records that a gold transaction ever took place!”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

7 Off-Grid “Un-American” Ways You Can Save Money (Off the Grid News) Although most of these suggestions have been reviewed before, pursuit of the “Off the Grid Kitchen” is not often seen among lists like these. It’s a great way to save money on the costs of operating a traditional kitchen, to direct your preparedness investments in the purchase and direction of alternatives and to gain important, life sustaining experience in the process.