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After a disappointing March for the auto OEM's, a hopeful wall street has set it's sites on a rebound in April with consensus SAAR estimates currently set at 17.25 million, up from 16.53 million in March.  Per the chart below, the March 2017 print for auto sales was the lowest in over two years, despite massive incentive spending by the OEMs.   Of course, OEMs didn't bother to adjust production levels to sinking sales which pushed inventory days to the highest March print since

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Iran news agency FARS reports that according to Syrian military sources, Moscow has informed Damascus of its preparedness to dispatch ground troops to Syria. FARS - which like most US media should always be taken with a gran of salt - quotes the Al-Hadath news, according to whose sources Russia has announced that in case of the Syrian army's request it is ready to send ground forces to Syria. The sources said that special Russian forces are prepared to be deployed in regions which are

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The USS Mahan has to take evasive actions in the Straits of Hormuz today, in order to avoid an Iranian 'fast attack' vessel. The Mahan sounded the danger alarm, fired flares and manned their weapons, but the Iranian cowards tucked tail and scattered before reaching within 1,000 yards of the U.S. destroyer. "Coming inbound at a high rate of speed like that and manning weapons, despite clear warnings from the ship, is obviously provocative behavior," said one American official in

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Exactly one day ago, we reported that "China's first domestically built aircraft carrier will soon launch in Dalian, Liaoning Province for drills and trial voyages, putting to the test proprietary technology meant to further Beijing's expansion in the South and East China seas." A dock at the Dalian shipyard was being filled with water Sunday the local press reported, in preparation for the launch. The Chinese-made vessel is expected to enter service around 2020, joining China's first and only

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Authored by Thaddeus Howze via Medium.com, For the sake of this essay, feudal economic models imply the idea that a very tiny segment of the society is fantastically rich while the bulk of society works hard, has few choices about the work they do, and tend to be poorly compensated for their efforts. feu·dal·ism: noun, historical the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn

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If you want to take the temperature on where the craft beer brewing industry is on the convergence of an exploding industry and the greater use of trademark law, you need only look at what intellectual property lawyers are saying. We had just discussed a Q&A with several IP attorneys in wine country lamenting on how trademark law is throwing up roadblocks to a likewise expanding wine industry and the need for a more nuanced interpretation of marketplaces within the alcohol industries.

Read more: Techdirt.

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, The last thing I ever wanted to do was write about France’s likely next president, Emmanuel Macron, but here we are. This post was inspired by a very telling Financial Times article sent to me by a reader, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Most Americans paying attention to global affairs have some conception of his opponent, nationalist firebrand Marine Le Pen, but Macron is likely to be very much a black box. I hope

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In June last year, we wrote that the price of platinum was going to go up. And it did: By 18 percent over the next seven weeks.   Now, after the price of platinum has fallen again, an almost identical […] The post Why this precious metal could rise in price – sharply and soon appeared first on ValueWalk.

Read more: ValueWalk

sanctuary cities ban over-ruled – judge Agrees With Law Prof: It’s Probably Unconstitutional, and a Largely Empty Threat Federal judge William Orrick III of California has issued an order blocking enforcement of part of a threat by the Trump administration […] The post Judge Blocks “Toothless” Threat to Sanctuary Cities appeared first on ValueWalk.

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As we covered a few days ago, looking just at the manufacturing PMIs it is clear that the Eurozone economy is looking much stronger than that of the US.  So here’s a closer look at the surveys.  Sometimes you see […] The post Eurozone vs USA, whose economy is doing better? appeared first on ValueWalk.

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President Trump is expected to unveil his tax plan tomorrow. It would reportedly lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent. Budget analysts predict that would cost the federal government more than $2 trillion in revenue over a decade. But the administration says the tax cuts will boost the economy so much that they’ll pay for themselves because of increased economic activity. Is that realistic?  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

CSI Compressco

CSI Compressco LP (CCLP) surprised many income investors last week when it announced a 50% cut to its distribution, sending its stock price tumbling by nearly 20%.   The company has been in business for more than 45 years and paid […] The post CSI Compressco appeared first on ValueWalk.

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A Juicero press squeezes juice from Juicero-branded packages of produce. It connects to the internet, costs $399 and is not necessary for squeezing juice from Juicero-branded packages of produce. The company raised an estimated $120 million from venture capitalists. So when Bloomberg News posted a video showing the machine squeezing juice from a produce package next to a reporter squeezing a juice bag by hand, it caused a bit of a buzz. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal talked with Bloomberg’s Ellen Huet about the squeeze test and what it says about Silicon Valley. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. Kai Ryssdal: So, where did this company come from? How did we get to the point where we're, you know, paying $400 for a juicing machine? Ellen Huet: So, it was actually $700 when the machine first launched, believe it or not. And then, once it came on the market, investors who tried it figured out actually you can squeeze the packs by hand, and you can get the same amount in basically the same amount of time, and some of them were pretty frustrated. We got a tip about it, checked it out ourselves and did a test in our own Bloomberg pantry, and we were so shocked. We were squeezing this juice packet, and we couldn't believe how easy it was. Ryssdal: So, what does it say then, about the state of venture capital in Silicon Valley today that this company got, like, $150 million in VC money for a thing that you can squeeze with your hands? Huet: It was more like $120 million, which is still a lot of money. If you are a startup entrepreneur, I think you're jealous of that at that amount of funding. I really think it just shows that people put money into ideas, and people and they don't really know whether it's going to work. The investors we talked to said they put money into Juicero before they ever saw a working prototype. They didn't know what it was going to look like, and they trusted the entrepreneur. Maybe they made the wrong call or maybe not. Maybe the company will still be fine. They have a really impressive supply chain that gets fresh fruits and vegetables from farms into these packets to your home within, you know, just a few days, and that's quite impressive. So I think there's definitely still some value there. They just built this machine that, as it turns out, was really not needed. Ryssdal: I wonder if maybe this entire episode makes folks who are not in venture capital, not in high-tech — that is to say, most of the rest of the population — look at Silicon Valley and go, “What is the matter with you?” Huet: Yeah, you know, juice is something that already many people think is kind of unnecessary. There were a lot of anti-juice reactions to this. Ryssdal: Anti-juice? Huet: Yeah, they say things like, “Oh, just eat a fruit, like an apple or something.” And yeah, it's a lot of money for something many people think is unnecessary. It is kind of a First World problem. And, you know, maybe the people who were making fun of it weren't the target market anyway. So we don't really know how this might affect the company overall, but it may not be the end. Ryssdal: Well, we should say, I mean, this certainly has raised company's profile, and they're fighting back. Huet: Yeah. They fired back and said, “Here are the advantages of the juice system. It's easy, you don't have to go through the trouble of squeezing it by hand." Some people found their response unconvincing, other people may have found it made a good point. Ryssdal: Ellen Huet. She covers Silicon Valley and high-tech for Bloomberg, most recently on Juicero. Thanks a lot. 

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

When President Trump promised he'd be tough on trade, Canada wasn't a name he threw around much. But his administration’s first big trade tax turns out to be a proposed 20 percent or so tariff on Canadian "soft lumber." That’s pine, spruce, fir — the kind of wood used to build homes. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said this is not the start of a trade war with Canada. But it does feel to some like a warning shot. Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

This week, President Trump will likely sign an executive order related to national monuments. And, no, I’m not just talking about statues. These are federal designations meant to protect things like public land and water. Trump’s order is expected to review some of them, which could upset a lot of environmentalists. It could upend protections his predecessors have put in place across the country.  Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

In a 'Crocodile Dundee-esque' show of "that's not a nuclear missile... this is a nuclear missile" one-upmanship, US military personnel will test fire the deadly (unarmed) Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile between 12:01 and 6:01 a.m. tonight from the north end of the Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc in California. Col John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, will oversee the launch of the long range missile, saying: "Team V is once again ready to work

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As China approaches “the biggest change in political governance since the Cultural Revolution,” what does this mean for stability and commodity prices? Chinese economic growth is expected to moderate to various degrees. With Macquarie commodities analyst Colin Hamilton looking at […] The post Two-tier Commodity Pricing Ahead appeared first on ValueWalk.

Read more: ValueWalk

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say Washington has forgotten them,  according to the latest Marketplace-Edison Research poll.  So what's behind that feeling? And what do you want from government? We'll talk about it. Plus: a closer look at what it means to "Buy American"  and former Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing joins us to answer our Make Me Smart question. Finally: We're kick off our book club. If you want to help decide our first read, make sure you vote here.  And before you get any deeper into the internet, make sure you learn all about the key differences between privacy law in the United States and the European Union.  Subscribe to "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly" on iTunes or your favorite podcast app. 

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

The latest Marketplace-Edison Research Poll asked Americans whether they thought the U.S. government should be run more like a business. We ask because President Trump on many occasions promised to do so and to bring his business acumen to bear on the presidency. This is something Americans have argued over for more than 100 years. “Business people, business-oriented people, they’ve got a different mindset for getting things done and how to get things done, and they go quickly to the problem and try to resolve it,” said Curtis Moore of Kingston, Tennessee.  Moore, himself a retired businessman, was among our poll respondents. Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say the government should be run like a business — 78 percent to 32 percent. A majority of Americans over age 45 think it’s a good idea, those under 45, and women, tend to think it’s not.   “I mean, business shouldn’t have anything to do with families,” said poll respondent Debbie Bolton from Erlanger, Kentucky, referring to the role of government as caretaker and helper. “I think that puts us middle-class people in a bad spot.” Robert Hayes, a respondent from Fayetteville, North Carolina, captured both sides of this American argument. On the one hand, he said, “government has a different mission than business. Business has a mission for making money, government has a mission to take care of the people and the nation.” But on the other hand, “there are many things that could be run more efficiently at less cost to the tax payer if it were run more like a business,” Hayes said. How has president Trump done at keeping true to his promise? “President Trump is doing what he can to act decisively,” said H.W. Brands, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. “And if there’s one thing most people have in mind in distinguishing the business world from the political world is that the CEO of a business can act decisively.”  Trump has asked his son-in-law to head up the Office of American Innovation to revamp the federal bureaucracy, but it’s way too early to say how that’s going. So far, the president’s most decisive moments have come when he signs executive actions — orders, proclamations, memoranda. “A lot of these that you read have not been able to make large policy changes,” said Sharece Thrower, assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt. “They order agencies to look into policy change, and even the big ones, like immigration orders, we’ve seen the courts step in.” Where courts haven’t been a problem for Trump, Congress has. One of Trump’s signature promises was health care reform. So far, he’s been unable to convince the legislature to go along.  “One thing that’s unique to the Trump presidency is maybe his lack of anticipation of some of these constraints,” Thrower said. That blind spot may be a direct result of Trump’s business experience, argues Morley Winograd, senior fellow at USC’s Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy.  “As soon as he needs to address alternate centers of power in the Congress and the judiciary, he’s failed,” Winograd said. “Partially because he’s never had to take into account those kinds of alternative power centers in decision-making in a business." Trump’s most famous line before the presidency may well have been “you’re fired!” But he can’t fire Paul Ryan or a judge that blocks his orders. “I think,” Winograd said, “he’s learning how unlike a business government is.”  Take our economic anxiety quiz to see how you compare to the national average.

Read more: Marketplace All Stories

Several months ago, when it was still conventional wisdom that Trump wanted to replace Janet Yellen - at least until Trump's famous WSJ interview in which he flipped on this and various other issues - with a hawk once her turn runs out in 2018, the financial punditry was busy coming up with potential replacement names, a practice which gradually faded away once it emerged that Trump may well keep Yellen. That changed today when in a note by Beacon Policy Advisors, a new name emerged which

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  Michael Kitces and Josh Brown haver a killer conversation that is must-listening for anyone in the Investment Advisory business:   You can: download it here; Read the transcript (click, then scroll down) here; Stream it here:     The post Michael Kitces + Josh Brown = Great Podcast! appeared first on The Big Picture.

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