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IMF Boosts Global Growth Forecast to 3.5% Despite Geopolitical Angst

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The global economy is on course for its best performance in several years despite trade tensions and looming geopolitical threats, the International Monetary Fund said ahead of a meeting of world finance chiefs in Washington this week.

Investors are skittish over a potential U.S. standoff with North Korea, France’s elections and Washington’s fresh use of force in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But global investment, manufacturing and consumer confidence are signaling strength. U.S. growth is projected to accelerate. Europe and Japan are finally showing signs of recovery.

Meantime, oil prices have risen from 2016 lows, boosting inflation readings from exceptionally low levels and offering hope for economies dependent on commodity exports that the worst of the two-year price rout might be over.

The International Monetary Fund, in its flagship report on the state of the global economy, nudged up its forecast for world growth this year a tenth of a percentage point to 3.5%, which will be the fastest rate in five years if the IMF is correct.

“Acceleration will be broad-based across advanced, emerging, and low income economies, building on gains we have seen in both manufacturing and trade,” said IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld.

While the IMF kept its forecast pickup for U.S. growth at 2.3% for the year—up from 1.6% last year—it notched higher outlooks for all five of Europe’s largest economies. The U.K.’s bump-up was the biggest, a 0.5 percentage point increase to 2% for the year.

In Asia, another dose of government stimulus has pushed China’s growth forecast up a tenth of a percentage point to 6.6%, and the fund lifted Japan’s outlook by 0.4 percentage point to 1.2%.

Global OutlookThe International Monetary Fundbumped up its forecast for globaleconomic growth by 0.1 percentagepoint on the back of faster expectedexpansions in Europe, Japan andChina.THE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: World Economic Outlook April 2017
IndiaChinaWorldU.S.U.K.EuroMexicoRussiaJapanBrazil0%2468Indiax7.2%

Growth in cross-border trade of goods and services this year—while still well below pre-crisis levels—is projected to nearly double to 3.8%. Consumer price inflation across advanced economies is projected to pick up to 2% on average, more than twice the previous year, and is gathering pace in emerging markets, too.

“The global economy is accelerating after a period of expansion that has been the most gradual of the past century,” Bank of Montreal chief executive officer William Downe told shareholders earlier this month.

Like many of the largest banks in the U.S., Canada’s fourth-largest lender reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profits, with earnings up nearly 40% on the year.

Measures of optimism of households, businesses and investors show high hopes about growth prospects and expectations of higher inflation. Consumer confidence isn’t just strong in the U.S.: It also ticked higher in March in the eurozone, underpinned by a eurozone unemployment rate that in February hit its lowest level since mid-2009.

Spring ShootsTrade and consumer prices indicatethe global economy may be finallyreturning to healthTHE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: World Economic Outlook April 2017
%20162017Growth in WorldTradeAdvanced EconomyCPI01234

Surveys of purchasing managers showed that activity in the first three months of the year in the eurozone’s manufacturing and services sectors hit its highest measure since 2011, before the eurozone economy entered a slowdown caused by its government debt crisis.

Bellwether companies in Europe, like German car maker Daimler AG , reported sharply higher earnings in the first three months of the year. And French car parts maker Faurecia SA said first-quarter sales rose 9.8% on strong growth in the U.S. and China.

“A strengthening of the U.S. and global economy…allow us to make some positive assumptions about business conditions for the remainder of our fiscal year,” said William Furman, chief executive officer of international railroad giant, Greenbriers Company, based in Lake Oswego, Ore.

Even with the generally positive projections outlined by the IMF, however, trade frictions, political uncertainty and China’s debt problems still threaten to erode and potentially upend global growth. Those and other headwinds are expected to keep world growth capped at 3.8% for the foreseeable future, according to the IMF’s long-term outlook.

“The world economy may be gaining momentum, but we cannot be sure that we are out of the woods,” said Mr. Obstfeld.

Investor sentiment in U.S. growth is reliant in part on the Trump administration delivering on promises of a tax overhaul and infrastructure spending, though the president has hit speed bumps advancing his agenda.

Productivity growth around the world—a critical component of economic expansion—is still slow. Growth is also held back by still-sluggish trade growth, aging populations and the failure of the European Union to resolve the legacies of its sovereign debt crisis.

Pre-crisis growth rates were an exceptional time for major emerging markets. Many are now bumping up against the ceiling of growth gains that could prove hard to extend. The rapid economic liberalization of China, India and Eastern Europe and the development of global supply chains made the pre-crisis trade-growth trend at twice the pace of the global economy a unique period, says World Trade Organization chief economist Robert Koopman. The WTO economist said he only sees an acceleration of trade to around 1.5 times the global growth rate.

Economic growth in China, the world’s second largest economy, has also come at a cost of an unprecedented credit buildup that many economists warn could mean much weaker growth ahead and even financial turmoil.

Meantime, rising short-term U.S. interest rates could hurt highly-leveraged American firms that have loaded up on cheap credit over the past several years, the IMF said. Many emerging markets are also vulnerable to an increase in borrowing costs and a strengthening dollar, having also stocked up on debt.

All these reasons are why building trade tensions are worrying the finance ministers and central bankers gathering in Washington this week for the IMF and World Bank’s semiannual membership meetings. Fears of protectionism dominated a meeting last month of the Group of 20 largest economies, and IMF chief Christine Lagarde last week warned that “a sword of protectionism” is hanging over the global economy.

With trade long an important driver of world growth, the IMF estimates a surge in tariffs and other trade barriers could sap 2 percentage points off global gross product.

The U.S. says its policies or threats don’t amount to protectionism, but rather are an effort to rebalance distorted trade relationships. Trump officials say other countries’ tariffs, taxes and other barriers have fueled trade deficits with most of the country’s biggest trade partners at the expense of U.S. workers.

But the IMF, Germany and other nations are anxious that overly-aggressive actions by the U.S. could spark a tit-for-tat trade war that stalls global growth.

So far, however, Mr. Trump’s team has shown itself in the trade arena to be less aggressive than some feared. The White House proposal to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement has been more modest than many expected, and despite Mr. Trump’s promises over several months to label China and other countries “currency manipulators,” the president last week reversed course, with his Treasury Department officially declining to label any country with the designation.

WSJ



45 Comments on "IMF Boosts Global Growth Forecast to 3.5% Despite Geopolitical Angst"

  1. Apneaman on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 8:28 pm 

    “Measures of optimism of households, businesses and investors show high hopes about growth prospects and expectations of higher inflation.”

    Really? How the hell do you measure optimism?

    Do they need to take your bodily fluids or sumthin?

    Maybe I’ll get my optimism tested.

    Test guy – “Sir, for your optimism test we need a stool sample, a blood sample, a urine sample, a seaman sample and some of your drool”

    Me – “Ok just take my underwear then.”

  2. Midnight Oil on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 8:58 pm 

    350 TRILLION record worldwide debt to boot,
    Which btw won’t be ever paid back…

  3. Apneaman on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 10:09 pm 

    Why should anybody but a handful of overlords give a fuck about all these numbers? It’s not like the commoner is getting a slice. More folks are becoming impoverished or subsistence living or sliding backwards fast so who is this good news for exactly?

    8 rich people own as much wealth as half the world

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/18/rich-people-own-much-money-half-world-report-says/y6az3Wtasd5TIf9Q6k3I4K/story.html

    Human progress. What is the final goal? One cunt own everything and everyone? So basically 7.5 billion human lives are as players in a rigged game of monopoly. Oh how proud the neoliberal capitalists must be of their grand system. Marx predicted all of it from the corruption to the concentration of wealth and power to the destruction of the biosphere. Marx was right about capitalism. Wrong about Communism as the prescription to it. Life time batting average 500. It appears to be a short lived Pyrrhic victory over it, don’t it… slaves?

  4. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 10:51 pm 

    The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.
    -Al Bartlett, (RIP)

    At a continued 3.5% annual rate of growth, the global economy’s entire inputs and outputs would double in 21.42 years, or by 2038.

    Not going to happen.

  5. Dave thompson on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:03 pm 

    Fasinating to still read msm telling us all about infinet growth on a finite planet into forever.

  6. Boat on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:10 pm 

    Yes greggiet,

    Once China and India etc slow down 0- 1 percent will be normal. But efficiency and tech will ensure better products, using less energy, more productivity. Think robots and big data. The world won’t need as many humans. Daddy won’t drive an ox cart no more.

  7. GregT on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:34 pm 

    Tech decreasing energy usage is a fallacy Boat, and once again you display a complete lack of understanding of fiat monetary systems, economies of scale, and of the exponential function. You can keep throwing nonsense out of your ass until the cows come home, none of it will make reality go away.

    And also Boat. The world needs humans, like humans need cancer.

  8. Boat on Wed, 19th Apr 2017 11:50 pm 

    greggiet,

    We will never agree. No problem. I will repeat, when the world’s survival instinct kick we will go to robots instead of immigration. You want economies of scale? Lol you just can’t think wind and solar powering a electric economy. You can’t get your head out of today’s BAU and see the obvious changes coming which will be the new exponential functions. You think the US can’t drop to a WWII level of population? I say it’s inevitable. And not a critical job lost. The future will have very few paper pushers. Go to a doctor, more paper pushers than trained health providers. Our economies are filled with waste jobs that will not be missed.

  9. GregT on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 12:20 am 

    If you made the slightest bit of sense Boat, I would be among the first to engage in a meaningful debate with you.

    “Lol you just can’t think wind and solar powering a electric economy.”

    I have three separate PV systems here already, and will be installing a fourth this summer. I already have the panels, cabling, and inverter. The charge controller is being shipped as we speak, and the batteries are on order. I am very well aware of the limitations of alternate electric power generation, as well as the costs.

    “You can’t get your head out of today’s BAU and see the obvious changes coming which will be the new exponential functions.”

    Like I have said repeatedly; you display a complete lack of understanding of the exponential function. Do a bit of research, or keep making yourself look like an idiot. Your choice.

    “Our economies are filled with waste jobs that will not be missed.”

    Once again, you also display a complete lack of understanding of economies of scale.

  10. Cloggie on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 2:05 am 

    Oil prices are relatively low, world population is growing with 1.1%/year. Productivity grows thanks to further automation. So why no 3.5% growth this year, provided we can avoid major conflict.

    It may not be wise, but that has never been a reason for something not to proceed. Humanity is getting younger and dumber, so let’s bring it on!

  11. onlooker on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 2:52 am 

    They will be giving us their version of cheery forecasts all the way to the bitter end. Oh and Mr. IMF, growth is cancer at this point!

  12. makati1 on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 3:26 am 

    Boat makes Alfred E. Newman look like an Einstein.

  13. onlooker on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 3:33 am 

    Ha, Boat part of your argument is correct. We have many superfluous people who will be “disappearing” But the rest is techie hopey hype

  14. Davy on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 6:13 am 

    “nudged up its forecast for world growth this year a tenth of a percentage point to 3.5%”. That is a boost? A tenth of a percent is a popcorn fart and nothing to crow about especially considering what a shame forecasts are anymore. Sounds more like a goal seek and is clearly irrelevant considering margins of error.

    A Ponzi continues to grow until it ends and that is where we are at. A Ponzi is about appearance and emotions not reality. Ponzi’s are all about deception. Madoff was so successful for two reasons one being the markets were building and the other was his small cut. He succeeded in getting the feeder funds on board creating a huge and successful Ponzi operation. The real Ponzi became greater than Bernie. It became a large self-sustaining fund of diverse organization unconcerned with where the money came from and only with the return itself. If one reflects on what the IMF is then one sees it is little more than a Madoff figure.

    Stagflation of malinvestment based on yield driven debt is not healthy growth. If one digs around he will see plenty of hard data showing what is wrong. It is the soft data that is bubbly. Our markets are a bubble. Every one of them is involved in financial repression and artificial liquidity. Normal price discovery is gone. If the real cost of money normalized half of China’s business sector would be non-performing. It has been shown 20% of the US business sectors are non-performing at a higher cost of money. Since the US is so connected to China then China’s 50% non-performing equates into a US 50% non-performing. I did not mention the rest of the world that is no better. China and the US wag the world’s tail. All major governments are unfunded liabilities deep in debt. I see zero optimism. If I have optimism is it the amazement that it holds together at all.

    This is about hard and soft data diverging and it represents that same denial in other sectors of society. We have a narrative of progress and we have the ability to weave a picture of progress even in decline. It is one of those special human success stories. It is a Ponzi civilization. It is an elaborate house of cards. One can only wonder what minimum will end it all because there are so many. What small perturbation will tear down the doors of deception? There are so many and time is running out.

  15. onlooker on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 6:20 am 

    Stagflation of malinvestment based on yield driven debt is not healthy growth– This Ponzi is the mother of all ponzi’s because it will wipe out all the players and the balloon will not re-inflate again

  16. Davy on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 6:44 am 

    This is an investor talking opportunity not agenda. Greed is another emotion but not the same as an ideological agenda. I don’t agree with everything he says but he makes some glaring points against the future some here paint for a new Euro-century.

    “Doug Casey Warns, The EU’s Collapse Is Now “Imminent”
    http://www.internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-quitaly-and-the-collapse-of-the-eu

    “Nick Giambruno: Doug, you predicted the fall of the European Union a few years ago. What has changed since then?
    Doug Casey: Well, what’s changed is that the entire situation has gotten much worse. The inevitable has now become the imminent.”

    “The European Union evolved, devolved actually, from basically a free trade pact among a few countries to a giant, dysfunctional, overreaching bureaucracy. Free trade is an excellent idea. However, you don’t need to legislate free trade; that’s almost a contradiction in terms.”

    “But that wasn’t the way the Europeans did it. The Eurocrats, instead, created a treaty the size of a New York telephone book, regulating everything. This is the problem with the European Union. They say it is about free trade, but really it’s about somebody’s arbitrary idea of “fair trade,” which amounts to regulating everything. In addition to its disastrous economic consequences, it creates misunderstandings and confusion in the mind of the average person. Brussels has become another layer of bureaucracy on top of all the national layers and local layers for the average European to deal with.”

    “The EU was built upon a foundation of sand, doomed to failure from the very start. The idea was ill-fated because the Swedes and the Sicilians are as different from each other as the Poles and the Irish. There are linguistic, religious, and cultural differences, and big differences in the standard of living. Artificial political constructs never last. The EU is great for the “elites” in Brussels; not so much for the average citizen.”

    “You’re going to see other countries leaving the EU. The next one might be Italy. All of the Italian banks are truly and totally bankrupt at this point. Who’s going to kiss that and make it better? Is the rest of the European Union going to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to make the average Italian depositor well again? I don’t think so. There’s an excellent chance that Italy is going to get rid of the euro and leave the EU.”

  17. Dredd on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 9:35 am 

    It’s a pig in a poke economy in a pig in a poke civilization informed by a pig in a poke media (Agnotology: The Surge – 20).

  18. Jef on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 9:55 am 

    Like I said before the tptb needs to maintain the illusion that it is still possible for anyone to get rich. If that illusion is ever popped…it all over…wild in the streets…total chaos. So we will always be told things are just about to get a whole lot better. They lie!

    “Data Fraud At Chinese Province Suggests Local GDP Numbers As Much As 20% “Overcooked”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-24/data-fraud-chinese-province-suggests-local-gdp-numbers-much-20-overcooked

  19. twocats on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 10:44 am 

    although quite a bit of bullshit in the article, it’s not at all unrealistic to think the globe can push out another 3.8% year. consumption of oil also going up. How much of that is tribute to the Red Queen I guess you’d have to guess. But certainly a couple years of “modest” oil prices and oil companies pumping at a loss or at least reduced profit has allowed global economy to make another push.

  20. twocats on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 10:45 am 

    *or 3% if you believe the 20% inflated thing, which is probably true world wide. Plus probably knock off another 1/2 percent due to pure debt creation/inflation.

  21. twocats on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 10:50 am 

    of course IMF has been way-way off for a number of years

    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/Charts/ERP_chart3.png

  22. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 12:50 pm 

    Census: More Americans 18-to-34 Now Live With Parents Than With Spouse

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/census-more-americans-18-34-now-live-parents-spouse

  23. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 12:51 pm 

    America is Regressing into a Developing Nation for Most People

    “A new book by economist Peter Temin finds that the U.S. is no longer one country, but dividing into two separate economic and political worlds”

    https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/america-is-regressing-into-a-developing-nation-for-most-people

  24. Plantagenet on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 2:03 pm 

    When you’ve got 7-8% GDP growth in India and China and you average that with the 1-2% GDP growth in the US and EU, you come up with about 3.5% growth in global GDP.

    The IMF number seems OK.

    Cheers!

  25. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 2:25 pm 

    Sure planty, the IMF are honest as saints and life is just wonderful in India because of those numbers.

    Caste lives on, and on

    Indian society deludes itself that caste discrimination is a thing of the past, yet it suffuses the nation, top to bottom

    https://aeon.co/essays/how-india-deludes-itself-that-caste-discrimination-is-dead

  26. Plantagenet on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 4:37 pm 

    @Apey

    Life doesn’t have to be great in India for their GDP to grow by 7-8%. In fact its probably easier for them to achieve strong GDP growth because they are starting from such a low level.

    Cheers!

  27. makati1 on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 5:39 pm 

    The real GDP growth numbers in the U$ are actually zero to negative. The published ones have been fake for years. The real, as measured originally, GDP is about $10t/year, not $17T+.

    The real way to measure GDP is by energy used and net energy use has been dropping, not growing. An economy cannot grow if there is no growth in energy use as is becoming obvious with reality in America.

    It will become even more obvious in the days to come as the infrastructure continues to collapse and the chaos grows. Civil war? Greater Depression? Both? We shall see.

  28. Boat on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 10:07 pm 

    mak,

    As usual your wrong. Much cheaper nat gas, oil and renewables is what’s pushing a higher GDP unless you are a country that exports and got into bad spending habits when all of those energy sources were much higher just a few years ago. That’s why 4 years ago when you doomers were screaming collaspe I saw the trend towards cheaper fuels and knew you were wrong.

  29. Apneaman on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 10:28 pm 

    Boat, do you know of a country without bad spending habits and retard levels of debt?

  30. makati1 on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 10:56 pm 

    Boat, you are not worth answering. Your blindness to reality, or just pain donkey mentality is a waste of my time. You are in the brainwashed mindset of Davy. You only see what you want to see and it is NOT the real world. Because you cannot see THE US HAS JUST COLLAPSED! on the front page of your newspaper, you think it is not happening. I’ll clue you in. You will NEVER see any negative ‘news’ on your USMSM Iron Curtain news sites. papers, movies, TV, magazines, etc.

    You obviously also do not know history. Ignorance is a sad thing today. There is no excuse for you to not see what is happening, I guarantee, you soon will and that 2X4 is gonna hurt. Bad!

  31. makati1 on Thu, 20th Apr 2017 11:04 pm 

    Ap, I do. The Philippines. ^_^

    “Today, the Philippines government is owed more than it owes in foreign debt.”

    Government external debt: $46B =20% of GDP
    Private external debt: $22B 19% of GDP

    https://www.scribd.com/document/212692428/Life-and-Debt-Philippines

    Not to mention that most Filipinos have no loans or credit cards or even bank accounts.

  32. Cloggie on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 2:53 am 

    Not to mention that most Filipinos have no loans or credit cards or even bank accounts.

    That’s because they are not seen as credit-worthy. Picking your nose can not be regarded as a profitable economic activity. Having debt in the first place is a sure sign that creditors see in you the economic potential to someday pay back the loan, with interest.

    No debt is bad (when you are young).
    Too much debt is bad.
    A limited amount of debt is not bad.

  33. Cloggie on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 3:29 am 

    “The European Union evolved, devolved actually, from basically a free trade pact among a few countries to a giant, dysfunctional, overreaching bureaucracy. Free trade is an excellent idea. However, you don’t need to legislate free trade; that’s almost a contradiction in terms.”

    Complete bullshit. The EU of 500 million comprises a small bureaucracy of 30,000 civil servants and a minuscule budget of 1% EU GDP.

    Who is this Doug Casey anyway?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Casey

    A Ayn Rand adept, supporter of the failed nation-destroying Libertarian ideology and classmate of Bill Clinton. Casey should worry about the US that indeed has a giant dysfunctional war bureaucracy with a size and budget multiple times of the EU.

    The only thing that is wrong with the EU is that it is still run by US vassals and still carry out orders from Washington, entirely against its own interest, like letting itself being pushed into a conflict with Russia and import millions of useless human time bombs from Africa and Arabia.

    Just like Eastern-Europe got liberated from the USSR in 1989, Western Europe needs to be liberated from Americans (Washington rather) as soon as possible and let America die the demographic death all by itself.

    The future for Europe lies in a formal alliance with post-Soviet Russia, a hard-Brexit and open hostility with Britain, claiming the guardianship of European America, a massive rearmament program, preparing for fourth generation warfare (on North-American soil), as well as a secret diplomatic agreement with China of how the post-American Era world order should look like:

    https://s17.postimg.org/6wwnomfpb/worldmap.jpg

  34. makati1 on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 4:23 am 

    Cloggie, ALL debt is bad. ALL debt. You are a slave to the lender until it is paid off. Most Westerners are slaves for all of their lives and don’t even realize it until they lose their income and the bank repossess all their ‘stuff’. I am debt free and it is the best feeling ever. Try it sometime.

    Do you think they would be happier with debt? I don’t. They live on average 8-9 years less than you or I probably will, but they are happy years, free of most artificial stress. They actually OWN what they own. It is not rented to them by the bank for 20-30 years, always worrying if they will be able to ever really own their home free and clear. Most never do. The bank owns it. Try to not pay and see who the real owner is.

    BTW: I am sure many of your family and neighbors pick their nose in public. Although, in my 9 years here, I don’t recall ever seeing that anywhere. But then, you have fake Asian news sources and ideas 50+ years old. What are the personal habits of the Middle East invasion ongoing in your country. Do they use a toilet or…? LMAO

  35. Cloggie on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 5:00 am 

    Cloggie, ALL debt is bad. ALL debt. You are a slave to the lender until it is paid off.

    No it isn’t. You get something in return for that debt: capital you can use for investment. What you call “slavery”, I call work and effort to create something of value.

    When I had my college grad in my pocket, I went to the bank and they gave me a loan for 100% mortgage of an apartment. The bank did that on the basis of my college grad and a low-paying beginners PhD-job at the university. OK, and a 100% loan guarantee provided by the (stinking rich) municipality, thanks to the presence of Philips Electronics and DAF trucks.

    Due to that loan I could start an ordered life and 15 years later the apartment was paid off and since 2000 I live comfortably free of rent/mortgage in a well-maintained, well-furnished, well-equiped 4 room home, with a 130 m2 garden, directly behind my kitchen door, providing me with 100% food (if necessary), solar panels on my roof providing me with 100% electricity (in cooperation with the kWh-bank aka the grid) and soon a 16 m2 thermal solar collector, providing me with at least 60% reduction on natural gas space heating requirements. I plan to construct the thermal solar collector such, that the absorber plates will be 10 black solar panels, providing me with extra electricity, sufficient to power a simple and small heat pump for $700…

    https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Air-Conditioner-Inverter-Ductless/dp/B01DVW6G06/ref=sr_1_1

    …as I only need to heat the living room of 32 m2 and using a container with gravel stones as a heat storage, by pumping the warm air from the collector through it. The climate in Holland during the winter is so mild that no further heating is necessary. I think that eventually I can heat my home completely without fossil.

    Just to top it off, just for the sport, I finally will collect the rain water in a rain barrel for the garden water requirements.

    No debt and no skills will lead to this kind of life in Philippines:

    http://tinyurl.com/mao9kkm

    Thanks but no thanks.

    You are confusing work and effort with slavery. These are two entirely different things.

    That’s not to say that debt slavery doesn’t exist. For instance by attending some useless Marxist college and collecting an enormous amount of debt for nothing but a degree in “lesbian finger painting”. You always much match the debt money with something useful.

    During the first few of my professional years I sublet two of my four rooms to foreign students (including two students from Canada, one of them female, quite a pleasant experience I must say). The income from that was sufficient to cover the mortgage. Once I abandoned academic life and alt-energy and went into IT and yuppie-dom, the freelancer money came in quickly. I’m over sixty, hardly worked more than 20 years effectively in my life, never touched a dime of handouts and had endless amounts of freedom and spare time, mostly spend on reading.

    Working for a living is not slavery as nobody owns you a living. I do not consider myself a slave if I manage to live (like my parents on average) 84 years. Of which 20 years education, 20 years work for money. That’s 44 years of freedom. And I wouldn’t consider my student years devoid of freedom either.lol
    Yes I will work until the end, as long as I can, not because I am forced to or have to, but because I want to (private engineering software projects, more reading, writing blogs/books on history & energy).

    And the debt in my life (college + mortgage) played a positive role in it all.

  36. Davy on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 5:40 am 

    “Complete bullshit.” Sounds to me like Makati-ism that is complete denial and emotional transference.

    The EU is an unworkable union that can only succeed in tying together in many ways desperate cultures and national identities in increasing affluence. The union is mired in debt and dysfunctional bureaucracy that needs to consolidate but is unable to because of the desperate cultures and national identities that resist consolidation in a pan European identity. It is likely the EU will be the first casualty of the breakdown of modernism since Europe is overly financialized and interconnected without the required political and economic apparatus. Europe needs to be a United States but lacks the will and the mechanisms to do this.

    All I hear from Europhiles here is The US needs to be destroyed so Europe can rise like a Phoenix in a Paris, Berlin, Moscow nonsense. Europe is beset by huge issues like a “sloppy joe” sandwich on wonder bread. It is dripping and oozing into a slop. It is not the future but an example of hubris at the extreme. If the US is an example of a dying empire Europe is the example of a Union that became a self-fulfilling mistake of converging incongruences for the sake of affluence.

    Europe is all about the profit motive without the substantive of healthy growth and investment. What we saw was a common economic and currency Union that allow debt to skyrocket. This allowed the north to economically colonize the south at the same time the south saw its lifestyles unnaturally inflate to unsustainable levels. Now the Union is mired in debt, unemployment, and lackluster growth. It has a deeply indebted south and a north unsustainably reliant on southern growth for its internal exports.

    Europe is particularly exposed now to nationalism that could rip it apart first from the failure of the Euro currency then by the end of normal trade and movement of people. All this will happen as a divorce with ugly division of marital assets. This division of assets will be a mess and lead to internal conflict. It very possibly could end in civil war. Europe is a white ghost and a Deadman walking. The only consolation if it can be call consolation is Asia is much worse with overpopulation and the US is no better with its systematic dysfunction. We are all coming apart and Europe is coming apart in a uniquely European way.

  37. Davy on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 5:57 am 

    Some people here talk about the US as a 3rd world country. Maybe they should look closer to home.

    “40% Of Spanish Children Live In Poverty”
    http://tinyurl.com/kt4yl8c

    “Despite a resurging stock market and stabilized bond risk premia (cough Draghi cough), EurActiv reports the proportion of children living below the poverty line in Spain has increased by 9 percentage points between 2008 and 2014, to reach almost 40%.”

    “But it’s not just children, Spanish poverty rates across the whole nation remain extreme. Still as long as stocks are stable and bond yields low, Europe is ‘fixed’.”

  38. onlooker on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 7:09 am 

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-20/paul-tudor-jones-has-message-janet-yellen-be-terrified
    Paul Tudor Jones Has A Message For Janet Yellen: “Be Terrified”

  39. AFDF on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 9:29 am 

    Of course the IMF is right because with the power to control money, comes the ability to make magic.

    I prefer money, the law, and the handgun and the state. I’m tired of dealing with finicky individuals in a community settings.

    The only barely functional community settings would be a congregation of low energy, do nothing pot smokers and I hate being retarded.

    I could be reasonable and accept a mixed solution of pot smokers and state control. But I’m only human. I have extremist tendency to prefer one over the other.

  40. Dredd on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 10:52 am 

    Forecasting of all kinds is easier when the ghosts stop being ignored (The Ghost-Water Constant – 9).

  41. Davy on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 11:05 am 

    Clog, did you know that the ECB & BOJ purchased 1 trillion in financial assets in the first 4 months of 2017? How about that growth. You know stocks, bonds, and MBS. The kind of junk, I mean stuff, that goes “poof” in a downturn.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-21/why-nothing-matters-central-banks-have-bought-record-1-trillion-assets-2017

  42. onlooker on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 11:13 am 

    Davy could those investments you cited be an attempt mainly to maintain confidence in stocks in anticipation of an impending rout?

  43. Davy on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 11:24 am 

    Onlooker, it is desperation with the next step likely something akin to helicopter money. They are out of options and the tapering ahead is going to be ugly. They can’t continue to buy up financial assets and they are approaching that point of saturation.

  44. onlooker on Fri, 21st Apr 2017 3:10 pm 

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/insider/108528/cuff-era-easy-money-over?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

    Debt-funded stimulus no longer yields an increase of GDP

  45. peripato on Sat, 22nd Apr 2017 9:33 am 

    More rainbows and unicorns from the IMF. Lol…

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