Argentina Raises Interest Rate to 69.5%


Armstrong Economics Blog/Socialist Re-Posted Aug 15, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Argentina is out of options. I reported on the ongoing widespread protests occurring across the country. The majority of the nation is unemployed, and the currency is basically worthless. The people can no longer rely on the socialistic promises as the government is unable to fund its programs. Basic necessities are no longer available, and the people are suffering.

After inflation reached 60%, the nation decided to stop printing money entirely. The central bank just voted to raise the benchmark rate by 950 bps to 69.5%. Inflation now sits at 71% after prices rose 7.4% in July.

Estimates state that inflation could reach 90% in Argentina by the end of the year. The government has run the economy into the ground, 6 feet under, and it will need a complete overhaul for the people to begin living comfortably again.

Romania Gifts Moldova One Million Potassium Iodide Pills


Armstrong Economics Blog/War Re-Posted Aug 15, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

The world is preparing for the worst – a nuclear disaster. Romania gifted Moldova one million pills that protect against radioactivity due to fighting near the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine. Russia has control of the plan but claims it will not begin a nuclear war. Still, the Commission for Exceptional Situations of Moldova is distributing potassium iodide pills to citizens as a precaution.

The pill is supposed to prevent the thyroid from absorbing radioactive iodine and must be taken within 24 hours of exposure.

Romania has personally distributed 30 million potassium iodide pills to its citizens. Romania’s Minister of Health, Alexandru Rafila, is urging everyone under the age of 40 to pick up their tablets. “There is more demand, less demand, I don’t know to tell you. But now, perhaps as things get tense in Ukraine, demand is likely to increase. But family doctors must issue a prescription to those who need to receive potassium iodide.” He added.

Romanian doctors expressed disappointment as citizens immediately panicked and rushed to obtain these pills. The fear of a potential nuclear disaster is now embedded in the minds of many Eastern Europeans.

Sunday Talks, Representative Scott Perry Discusses His Encounter with a Tyranical DOJ


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 14, 2022 | sundance

Representative Scott Perry, R-Penn., appears with Maria Baritomo to discuss his experience with the FBI after agents confiscated his cell phone. Additionally, Mr Perry discusses the Biden administration’s handling of national security issues including China, Iran and the U.S-Mexico border. {Direct Youtube Link}

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Using Familiar Leaks, the New York Times Frames the Case Against President Trump 4.0


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 14, 2022 | sundance

State Dept use CNN.  CIA/IC use Washington Post. DOJ/FBI use New York Times/Politico. These are the constants in an ever evolving, ever changing, yet always consistent narrative engineering roadmap.

The New York Times frames the newest version of the ‘case against Trump.’  This is technically update 4.0, from the original 2015/2016 targeting effort.  Version 2.0 was Robert Mueller. Version 3.0 was the impeachment revision built upon 1.0 and 2.0.

In the latest update, 4.0 carries the same intent but a modified and expanded design.

New York Times – […] Last year, officials with the National Archives discovered that Mr. Trump had taken a slew of documents and other government material with him when he left the White House at the end of his tumultuous term in January 2021. That material was supposed to have been sent to the archives under the terms of the Presidential Records Act.

Mr. Trump returned 15 boxes of material in January of this year. When archivists examined the material, they found many pages of documents with classified markings and referred the matter to the Justice Department, which began an investigation and convened a grand jury.

In the spring, the department issued a subpoena to Mr. Trump seeking additional documents that it believed may have been in his possession. 

[…]  In an effort to resolve the dispute, Mr. Bratt and other officials visited Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., in early June, briefly meeting Mr. Trump while they were there. Two of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, spoke with Mr. Bratt and a small number of investigators he traveled with, people briefed on the meeting said.

Mr. Corcoran and Ms. Bobb showed Mr. Bratt and his team boxes holding material Mr. Trump had taken from the White House that were being kept in a storage area, the people said.

According to two people briefed on the visit, Mr. Bratt and his team left with additional material marked classified, and around that time also obtained the written declaration from a Trump lawyer attesting that all the material marked classified in the boxes had been turned over.

A short time after the meeting, according to people briefed on it, Mr. Bratt sent Mr. Corcoran an email telling him to get a more secure padlock for the room. Mr. Trump’s team complied.

The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.  (read more)

That’s essentially the nub of the current DOJ/FBI effort to target/remove President Trump.

According to the narrative, President Trump isn’t allowed to have any records of his administration.  So goes the origin of the targeting.  All other presidents are permitted to have documents, but not Trump.   Trump bad. All others, good.

…”the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.” Yeah, well, kind of hard to respond to whatever they wanted, without actually touching or moving the boxes; but ignore that… we need to make it suspicious or something.

NBC Legal Analyst Barb McQuade showcases the current DOJ plan as outlined by the Lawfare crew. [link]

To anyone concerned, I would simply say ‘relax‘.  Be angry, but not despondent.

The effort is as much intended to wear YOUR psyche down as it is to attack Trump.  Remember the Alinsky strategy: Ridicule, Isolate, Marginalize… This is the essential goal of political lawfare.

Yes, political lawfare is corrupt, horrible and infuriating.   However, at the end of the day it is based on weak arguments and fear.

The problem they face against Trump is simple.  In 2020 President Trump earned 75 million votes in the election.  75 million.  How can they duplicate the election fraud to defeat 75 million voters, without the benefit of covid mail-in ballots?

That’s their problem.  They cannot defeat him or us.

They must remove President Trump because he/we represent an existential threat.

They will fail…

….There are more of us, than them.

Yet More Problems at Problematic Baltimore Drug & Vaccine Production Plant—Plenty of Taxpayer Dollars Burn Away


TrialSite Staff Posted on Aug. 14, 2022, 10:30 a.m.

A drug and vaccine drug production facility in Baltimore plagued with problems was shut down by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early 2021. Apparently suspended due to contaminants, the FDA allowed the production facility to go back online just months later in August of 2021. Now about 135 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will need to be destroyed due to yet more quality mishaps at the same facility. Other production problems at an Emergent BioSolutions production facility reported by this media led to the destruction of 400 million vaccine doses last year. According to a statement by Johnson & Johnson has ended its relationship with Emergent BioSolutions. The New York Times covered this latest quality debacle late last month.

Emergent BioSolutions benefited from multiple federal contracts during the pandemic yet couldn’t keep the quality together to avoid the wastage of hundreds of millions of vaccine doses.

Emergent BioSolutions was a costly partner for AstraZeneca as well as Johnson & Johnson. A manufacturing partner in America they were apparently the cause of vaccine safety issues at the now notorious Baltimore plant run by Emergent BioSolutions. The most recent quality debacle was more widely reported in places such as India.

While Emergent BioSolutions has been plagued with production errors, they still benefit from ongoing federal government grants—meaning ultimately taxpayer-funded research.

Why aren’t the feds more concerned? TrialSite reported just a few months ago that the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) granted Emergent BioSolutions funds for yet another vaccine development effort. This time the funds went to Emergent BioSolutions to conduct a Phase 1 study evaluating an early-stage vaccine for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEV), Western Equine Encephalitis virus (WEEV) and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis virus (VEEV).

Perhaps the quality issues plaguing the Emergent BioSolutions Baltimore production facility won’t be an issue for the development of investigational products for this novel vaccine?

Neil Oliver, Think the Unthinkable and Accept That is the Better Reference Point


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 13, 2022 | Sundance

Neil Oliver returns from a vacation to deliver one of his best contemplative monologues to date.  Mr. Oliver rightly says that if you reset your historic reference points, and you begin to recognize that thinking the unthinkable is actually the best reference point for your current state, it is like a key that unlocks the answers.

We are the battered spouses in an abusive relationship with government. Nothing we can do is going to appease the abuser, it is the inherent state of their disposition. WATCH:

[Transcript] – It is hard to think the unthinkable – but there comes a time when there’s nothing else for it. People raised to trust the powers that be – who have assumed, like I once did, that the State, regardless of its political flavour at any given moment, is essentially benevolent and well-meaning – will naturally try and keep that assumption of benevolence in mind when trying to make sense of what is going on around them.

People like us, you and me, raised in the understanding that we are free, that we have inalienable rights, and that the institutions of this country have our best interests at heart, will tend to tie ourselves in knots rather than contemplate the idea those authorities might actually be working against us now. I took that thought of benevolent, well-meaning authority for granted for most of my life, God help me. Not to put too fine a point on it, I was as gullible as the next chump.

A couple of years ago, however, I began to think the unthinkable and with every passing day it becomes more and more obvious to me that we are no longer being treated as individuals entitled to try and make the most of our lives – but as a barn full of battery hens, just another product to be bought and sold – sold down the river.

Let me put it another way: if you have been driving yourself almost demented in an effort to think the best of those in charge – those in senior positions in government, those in charge of the great institutions of State, those running the big corporations – but finding it increasingly impossible to do so … then the solution to the problem might be to turn your point of view through 180 degrees and accept, however unwillingly, that we are … how best to put this … being taken for a ride.

When you find a stranger’s hand on your wallet, in the inside pocket of your jacket … rather than trying to persuade yourself he’s only making sure it doesn’t fall out … it might be more straightforward to draw the conclusion you’re in the process of being robbed.

Once the scales fall from a person’s eyes, the resultant clarity of sight is briefly overwhelming. Or it is like being handed a skeleton key that opens every locked door, or access to a Rosetta Stone that translates every word into a language instantly understood.

Take the energy crisis: If you’ve felt the blood drain from your face at the prospect of bills rising from hundreds to several thousands of pounds while reading about energy companies doubling their profits overnight while being commanded to subsidise so-called renewables that are anything but Green while listening to this politician or that renew their vows to the ruinous fantasies of Net Zero and Agenda 2030 while knowing that the electricity for electric cars comes, in the main and most reliably, from fossil fuels if you can’t make sense of it all and just know that it adds up to a future in which you might have to choose between eating and heating then treat yourself to the gift of understanding that the powers that be fully intend that we should have less heat and less fuel and that in the planned future only the rich will have cars anyway. The plan is not to fix it.

The plan is to break it, and leave it broken. If you struggle to think the best of the world’s richest – vacuous, self-obsessed A-list celebrities among them – endlessly circling the planet on private jets and super yachts, so as to attend get-togethers where they might pontificate to us lowly proles about how we must give up our cars and occasional holiday flights – even meat on the dinner table … if you wonder how they have the unmitigated gall … then isn’t it easier simply to accept that their honestly declared and advertised intention is that their luxurious and pampered lives will continue as before while we are left hungry, cold and mostly unwashed in our unheated homes.

Here’s the thing: if any leader or celeb honestly meant a word of their sermons about CO2 and the rest, then they would obviously lead by example. They would be first of all of us willingly to give up international travel altogether … they would downsize to modest homes warmed by heat pumps. They would eschew all energy but that from the sun and the wind. They would eat, with relish, bugs and plants. They would resort to walking, bicycles and public transport.

If Net Zero and the rest was about the good of the planet – and not about clearing the skies and the beaches of scum like us – don’t you think those sainted politicians and A-listers would be lighting the way for us by their own example? If the way of life they preach to us was worth living, wouldn’t they be living it already? Perhaps you heard Bill Gates say private jets are his guilty pleasure.

And how about food – and more particularly the predicted shortage of it: the suits and CEOs blame it all on Vladimir Putin. But if the countries of the world are truly running out of food, why is our government offering farmers hundreds of thousands of pounds to get out of the industry and sell their land to transnational corporations for use, or disuse unknown? Why aren’t we, as a society, doing what our parents and grandparents did during WWII and digging for victory? Why is the government intent on turning a third of our fertile soil over to re-wilding schemes that make life better only for the beavers? Why aren’t we looking across the North Sea towards the Netherlands where a WEF-infected administration is bullying farmers off their land altogether, forcing them to cull half the national herd.

Those Dutch farmers are among the most productive and knowledgeable in the world, holding in their heads and hands the answers to all manner of questions about how best to produce food, and yet their government is so intent on scaring them out of the business that a teenage boy in a tractor, taking part in a protest to defend ancient rights and traditions, was fired on by police.

Why do you think it matters so much, to the government of the second most productive population of farmers in the world, to gut and fillet that industry? Why? Why have similar protests, in countries all across Europe and the wider world, been largely ignored by the mainstream media – a media that would have crawled on its hands and knees over broken glass just to report on a BLM protester opening a bag of non-binary crisps. Why the silence on the attack on farming?

And while we’re on the subject of farmland ownership, why is computer salesman Bill Gates buying so much farmland in the US – more than a quarter of a million acres in 19 states at the last count, while simultaneously promoting the production and sale of fake meat? And why have so many small planes crashed into massive food processing plants in the US, sparking fires and thereby hobbling the production and distribution of yet more of the very stuff of life? Why is this happening to farmers and farming … all across the hitherto developed world …?

Isn’t the simple obvious answer … the answer that makes most sense and that is staring us in our trusting faces … that power for the power-hungry has always rested most effectively upon control of food and its supply? Why are the powers that be attributing this to a cost-of-living crisis when everyone with two brain cells to rub together can see it’s a cost of lockdown crisis – the inevitable consequence of shutting down the whole country – indeed the whole world – for the best part of two years. Soaring inflation, rising interest rates, disrupted supply chains.

Might they be calling it a cost-of-living crisis as part of their bare-faced attempt to distract us from the fact that while ordinary individuals face a life and death struggle in the coming months, the corporations have celebrated their share of the greatest transfer of wealth in history? Doesn’t that seem more likely? However unthinkable, might it not be more compelling to ask why our government, and governments around the world, have effectively stood by and held the coats of huge corporations while those money magnets pulled almost all of the world’s wealth into their already creaking coffers?

Are our governments more interested in enabling, in aiding and abetting the rich, than in lifting so much as a finger to protect our livelihoods, our ways of life? I’m only asking. What about the money in our pockets? Why is it getting harder and harder to use good old cash, notes and coins? Why are we being nudged further and further away from spending-power we can see and hold, and towards a digital alternative that exists only on the hard drives of the banks that run the world? Why is that do you think?

Rather than dismiss as yet another conspiracy theory the idea of cash being ultimately replaced with transactions based on the exchange of what amount to glorified food stamps that will only be accepted if our social credit score demonstrates that we’ve been obedient girls or boys … how about taking the leap and focussing on the blatantly obvious … that if we are not free to buy whatever and whenever we please, free of the surveillance and snooping of governments and the banks that run them, then we have absolutely no freedom at all.

And while we’re on the subject of money and banks, why not pause to notice something else that is glaringly obvious – which is to say that the currencies of the West are teetering on the abyss, and that one bank after another is revealed, to those who are bothering to watch, as being as close to bankruptcy as its possible to be without actually falling over the edge.

Then there’s the so-called vaccines for Covid – I deliberately say “so-called” because by now it should be clear to all but the wilfully blind that those injections do not work as advertised. You can still contract the virus, still transmit the virus, still get sick and still die. Denmark has dropped their use on under-18s. All across the world, every day, more evidence emerges – however grudgingly, however much the various complicit authorities and Big-Pharma companies might hate to admit it – of countless deaths and injuries caused by those medical procedures.

And yet here in Britain and just about everywhere else, governments continue to try and get those needles into as many arms as possible, even the arms of the smallest and youngest. The ripe stink of corruption is everywhere. I trusted authority for most of my life.

Now I ask myself on a daily basis how I ignored the stench for so long. Across the Atlantic, the Biden Whitehouse sent the FBI to raid the home of former president Donald Trump. Meanwhile Joe Biden and his son Hunter – he of the laptop full of the most appalling and incriminating content – fly together on Airforce 1. No raids planned on the Obamas, nor on the Clintons. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi flew to Taiwan and onwards to China. Her son Paul, an investor in a Chinese tech firm and with seats on the board of companies dealing in lithium, was along for the ride, into that part of the world where three quarters of the world’s lithium batteries are made. Taiwan leads in that technology.

It is hard to think the unthinkable. It’s hard to think that all of it, all the misery, all the suffering of the past and to come might just be about money, greed and power. It is hard to tell yourself you’ve been taken for a fool and taken for a ride. It’s hard, but the view from the other side is worth the effort and the pain. Open your eyes and see. (link)

Big Picture, Review all DC Activity from June 3rd with New Eyes


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 13, 2022 | Sundance

As many people start to recognize, perhaps some for the first time, the scale of corrupt DC activity, specifically as it surfaces in the unprecedented August 8 raid of President Trump’s home, it is important to emphasize a point.

As noted by President Trump and numerous lawyers in/around his office, the U.S. Dept of Justice and FBI visited Mar-a-Lago on June 3, 2022, to review presidential documents kept in storage boxes there.  After that visit the next contact with DOJ and FBI officials was the raid on August 8th.

With this timeline in mind, and knowing how the DC administrative deep state operates, all current evaluations must consider these dates carefully.   Many people have puzzled over why the DOJ and FBI waited. Good question.  However, the better question is…

…What was DC doing between June 3 and August 8?

The original exploration of Mar-a-Lago took place before the first J6 hearing ever happened.  The first J6 hearing took place June 9, a week after the DOJ and FBI initially went to Mar-a-Lago.  Do not be naive.  Intellectual honesty would accept the results of that June 3rd review were part of the larger Trump targeting dynamic.

Do not rush yourself.  Take the time to re-review all of the activity inside those dates.  Do not think only about the Joe Biden administration or the democrats who have already exposed their intent.  Remember, anti-Trump targeting is NOT a partisan issue.  The republican powerbrokers in the DC system have facilitating motives just like Democrats. This is a UniParty aspect.

For the sake of transparency, as an identified J6 target CTH had encounters with the J6 investigators during this timeframe.  However, that is ancillary -and obscure- to the larger point, but it does give us a ‘sense’ of what the priorities of the DC system were -and their expressed sense of urgency- at the time.

The Trump targeting is not a democrat -vs- republican issue.  The two political clubs hold an almost identical vested interest, albeit admittedly one side needs to publicly pretend they are not assisting.

We must always remain aware; this is national political power at its highest and most corrupt level.  There are trillions at stake for the interests of both clubs.  Donald Trump represents a unique threat to all DC stakeholders.

All future posts on this issue are likely to be password protected.   However, in the interim the primary point today is to contemplate what you see unfolding against the backdrop that each political club Washington DC is operating in their own interest, and in their unified interest.  Some coordination is almost certain.

That said, the power interests on the republican side of the equation had full knowledge of what the intents and motives were of the DOJ/FBI following that June 3rd visit to Mar-a-Lago.  Republican political interests operated within that window, June 3rd to August 8th, to establish the current political landscape.

On the Democrat side of the club, they began the J6 committee offensive a week later, June 9th….

…. But what did the Republican side of the club do, to capitalize in advance on what they knew was coming?

This is the context for looking around at current events on the GOPe side of the equation.  You avoid battered conservative syndrome when you look back upon the path you have followed without knowing who paved it and why.  What did the republican club do, and plan to roll out, between June 3rd and this week?

The republicans knew what was coming.

We have been through too much together, we have documented far too much together, to pretend these DC operations are organic or partisan.

Everything that has happened since June 3, 2022, needs to be look at with new eyes.

I do mean everything, including the actions, scheduled activity, and responses from the professional political class to these recent events.  The actions of all political candidates need to be re-reviewed, while looking at the timeline with new eyes.

Inflation Moderates in July with Drop in Energy Prices, But Look Closely Food Prices are About to Skyrocket


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 10, 2022 | sundance 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released the July inflation figures known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) [DATA HERE]. I’m not going to spend much time on the review because the big picture results are exactly what we expected, the appearance of a false inflation plateau, drop and/or moderation of inflation.

The July energy prices dropped significantly driven by a reduction in consumer demand for gasoline and fuel oil, which lowered prices.   We can expect a very similar outcome in August (report in Sept).

Most financial and economic media are reporting an “unexpected” drop in inflation, ex:

Prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, a slowing pace from the previous month due largely to a drop in gasoline prices. On a monthly basis, prices were flat as energy prices broadly declined 4.6% and gasoline fell 7.7%. That offset a 1.1% monthly gain in food prices and a 0.5% increase in shelter costs. {link}

Most econ people will look at the price drop sectors and accept that consumer spending on durable goods and non-essentials has become a downward price point on key categories like vehicles etc.

This is the ‘stag’ part of the ‘stagflation’ (economy), or the new lingo; the ‘dis’ part of the ‘disinflation’ (consumer spending).

For the middle-class or working class, especially those families with young children, I would shake all those data points away, clear the table and look more closely at [BLS Table-2] to see where our eyeballs should be focused.

Look closely at all food group products that originate as “ROW CROPS” and/or “GRAIN”.   Just by looking at the current rate of price increase, you can easily see that all grain and row crop outcomes are going to explode in price in around 60 to 90 days.

The wholesale food supply chain is starting to price-in the future cost at market for products that have yet to be harvested.  Remember, ‘row-crops’ and ‘grains’ are the most energy intensive farming and carry the highest rate of energy use in the process, including fertilizer and diesel prices.  Row crops also carry the highest labor rate to harvest.

When you look at row crops and grains in the Table-2 breakdown of food prices the input price cost is easy to spot.

Annualizing the price outcomes, we see:

Flour at +60% in June and +38% in July.

Bread overall at +19% in June, and +34% in July.

Crackers at 12% in June, and +40% in July.

All grain-based categories are in this +35% to +50% annualized rate.  This is a good rough estimator for what is going to happen in the third wave of food prices we have been discussing.  These are energy cost increases we have to look forward to within current grain harvests.  Additionally, a global shortage of grain will only make this worse.

Eggs are also in this +50% range, and Coffee around +42%.

The same is true for row crops with potato prices in July up +40% (annualized).

SUMMARY:  Energy prices in July, Aug, Sept, moderate yet stay high – giving the false impression of inflation slowing as the overall economy continues shrinking.  However, by the time we get to Sept, Oct, Nov, all of those high farming costs are going to transfer from the field to our forks.  Food inflation in the last quarter of this year is going to be the urgent family conversation that takes the place of gas prices.

Second Quarter Productivity Drops Again, Companies Paying Workers More to Produce Less


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on August 9, 2022 | Sundance 

The previous first quarter productivity drop of 7.4% was the largest quarterly drop in 74 years.  Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the second quarter productivity dropped another 4.6% [Data Here].

For July, companies are paying 5.7% higher wages and getting a 4.6% drop in output, resulting in a total unit labor cost increase of 10.8%.  That increase in final output cost will either result in higher prices or lower profits.

With weak consumer purchasing (low demand) already creating an inventory surplus, hence lower outputs, lower profit leads to cutbacks.  The largest company expenses are generally labor and energy costs. The more variable and controllable of those two expenses is labor.  You know what comes next.

(WSJ) – […] Rising productivity is the key to improving living standards; it allows companies to raise wages without raising prices and fueling inflation. Instead, businesses appear to be paying workers more to produce less. The higher unit labor costs suggest companies will either endure lower profits or pass on higher costs to consumers.

“The trend in productivity growth has worsened compared to prior to the pandemic, and the surge in unit labor costs makes the Fed’s challenge of getting inflation back down to its 2% target all the more challenging,” Wells Fargo economist Sarah House said in a research note.

The central bank has increased rates four times this year from near zero in March in an effort to raise borrowing costs, slow economic growth and bring inflation down.

The consecutive negative productivity readings are a reversal from earlier in the pandemic, when the economy was expanding rapidly and businesses appeared to be adopting new technology to cope with worker shortages and limits to face-to-face contact. (read more)

Meanwhile, “U.S. manufacturing output in June was down by 0.4% compared with March though it was still up by 3.6% compared with the same month a year earlier, estimates prepared by the Federal Reserve Board found. Three-month output growth was the weakest since early 2021, and confirms slackening momentum evident in other data on output, orders and jobs.” (Reuters)

This month’s inflation report (reflecting changes in July) will show a large decline in overall inflation. This will provide the White House with a false narrative of confidence that inflation has peaked.  However, food inflation (farm prices not yet realized) will combine with wage inflation (as noted above) sometime around October, and then we enter another round of rising prices.

The prices for durable goods have likely peaked.  If you are in the market for an expense item (appliance, furniture, etc) look for significant incentives to trigger in Sept/October; right around the same time when the layoffs start.  So, sit tight for a few more weeks.

However, the prices for highly consumable products will present a false plateau (Aug/Sept) until they go bananas again just before the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Prepare and time your affairs accordingly.

Civil Unrest in Panama Continues


Armstrong Economics Blog/Central America Re-Posted Aug 8, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

The people of Panama have been protesting the obscene cost of living for weeks. President Laurentino Cortizo has promised to lower the cost of basic necessities such as food and energy, but the people are not satisfied. Teachers began protesting in July and went on an initial three-day strike. This act of defiance inspired other groups who also took to the streets to call for price reductions.

Inflation in Panama sits at 4.2% as of May, while the unemployment rate hovered around 10%. Fuel costs have soared nearly 50% since January of this year. The issue here is that despite the country’s economy growing, the benefits have not been passed on to the people in any way. Many highly-skilled professionals, such as doctors, left the country long ago for countries where they’re paid competitively and access to medical care has become increasingly difficult.

Protestors blocked the Pan-American highway, which is the main route for most of Panama’s food. Even the Catholic Church stepped in during June to mediate the battle between the people and government. The first round of discussions mediated by the Catholic Church resulted in the government freezing the cost of 72 products. Additionally, the government will now allocate 6% of GDP to education by 2024. The Inter-American Highway, connecting Panama to the rest of Central America, was cleared but the supply constraints and resulted in significant losses.

Panama’s economy grew 17.8% in 2021, and 13.6% in Q1 of 2022. There is no reason for Panamanians’ quality of life to decrease when their economy is in a surplus. The protests will continue as the people have realized that their corrupt government does in fact work for them