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  1. #1081

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Just like everywhere there are too many airline pilots in Switzerland right now. On the other hand SBB (national rail company) is struggling with a severe lack of train drivers. Hence a new idea that SBB would provide training for the surplus pilots to drive trains instead with understanding that Swiss hires them back in few years when flying is back to normal. Driving trains doesn't pay as much as flying planes, but still a lot better than being unemployed.

    Will be interesting to see whether this works out and there is enough interest.
    Roger forever

  2. #1082

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Ylan Q. Mui @ylanmui

    Really interesting work by @BrookingsEcon on the economic impact of a $2T relief package.

    Big takeaway: Economy would return to pre-pandemic path by 3Q 2021.

    Without it, recovery could take a decade.

    Here's what the authors assume:

    * $1700 rebate check/adult, plus $700 CTC
    * $300/week in enhanced UI for 1 year
    * $400B state/local
    * $400B for PPP
    * $400B for testing, schools & airlines

    Which policy has the most "bang for the buck?"

    Extending unemployment insurance, followed by household rebates and state & local aid.

    Read more here:
    https://brook.gs/3lvOgn7
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  3. #1083

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Just like everywhere there are too many airline pilots in Switzerland right now. On the other hand SBB (national rail company) is struggling with a severe lack of train drivers. Hence a new idea that SBB would provide training for the surplus pilots to drive trains instead with understanding that Swiss hires them back in few years when flying is back to normal. Driving trains doesn't pay as much as flying planes, but still a lot better than being unemployed.

    Will be interesting to see whether this works out and there is enough interest.
    Gee, the concept of re-training people. How avant-garde!
    (Just jealous. If only I lived in such a country)
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  4. #1084

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    The diaspora is everywhere in the world. In the USA, there are large groups in South Florida, Houston and Atlanta. Europe, in Madrid, and the children of the Italian immigrants from the 50's and 60's are regaining their parents' nationalities and going to Europe.
    Large groups are also in Chile and Argentina. Peru has very much blocked us. Panama, as you say, has also tried to stop immigration.
    It is almost 6 million people that are out. But as I have said before: we are not a sexy story (no war porn) so we go largely unnoticed.
    Some of those, scared by the government and turn the country is taking, are preparing for a second migration. Article featured some stories last week.


    Which of course alarms me even more... when the people who have already been through something start leaving because they're witnessing the same signs agains... time to out the globe.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  5. #1085

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Right now not obvious where would one go. No country really needs extra labour...
    Roger forever

  6. #1086

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Examples:
    A good friend of my GF, who was in Buenos Aires, left shortly after the election. Reason? "I left Venezuela because of Chavez, I am not going to be in another country run by Chavistas" (meaning Cristina and her Kirchneristas).
    On the other end of the continent, a former GF, in Florida, is moving to Portugal. Reason? 4 years of Trump.
    Once you migrate once, the second time is easier. I may have to look into it in 2022, when Colombia will very likely elect Gustavo Petro, a former left-wing revolutionary that is promising the young people of the country all the pies in the sky that Chavez, Cristina, Evo and all these idiots always promise.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  7. #1087

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Right now not obvious where would one go. No country really needs extra labour...
    Certainly. But begging is a job. So begging in a place where people have some money is more profitable than begging in a place where people have none. It is a terrible cycle.
    For example. Near one of the supermarkets I shop, there is this man begging close to the entrance. He has mastered a truly heart-wrenching call: "Give me something so I can buy some bread!". One day, as I was returning home, I noticed him in front of me. He was also walking down the street. He turned one way, which was my direction. He turned another, also in my direction. And then he walked up the steps of a building not too different from mine, and used his key to open the front door.
    He gets no more alms from me, certainly, but I may be one of few that knows his little secret.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  8. #1088

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Right now not obvious where would one go. No country really needs extra labour...
    You obviously haven't lived in a 3rd world country looking at the abyss.

    Regardless, as medics, we might be the one profession in demand almost anywhere in the world.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  9. #1089

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Drop-shot View Post
    You obviously haven't lived in a 3rd world country looking at the abyss.

    Regardless, as medics, we might be the one profession in demand almost anywhere in the world.
    Fortunately not, does it look that bad in Argentina right now? True about doctors - needed in many places, but I was more thinking about the general population without highly sought after skills.
    Roger forever

  10. #1090

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Fortunately not, does it look that bad in Argentina right now? True about doctors - needed in many places, but I was more thinking about the general population without highly sought after skills.
    It is not looking good, at all:
    Is Argentina Really On Track To Become The Next Venezuela?
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  11. #1091

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Fortunately not, does it look that bad in Argentina right now? True about doctors - needed in many places, but I was more thinking about the general population without highly sought after skills.
    Yes, the outlook is bleak.

    Economy has been a mess for a while now. Add the pandemic and the draconian measures taken here (still no flights for example, longest lockdown in the world, etc) and mix with some Kirchnerism and voila!

    There are so many things wrong that I truly don't know where to begin. Mainly it's looking very bad because the government has no plan and no credibility so nothing that it does (when it does things correctly) works. It's all too little, too late.

    In the midst of this, instead of discussing economic and health issues they're more worried about reforming the judiciary branch so she-who-shall-not-be-named can go scot free.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  12. #1092
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    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Not about the world economy, but:
    In 1982, the Venezuelan Bolivar had a fixed exchange rate of 4.30/1$. This week, the exchange rate reached 430,000/1$.
    However, around 2005, Chavez had to drop 3 zeroes from the currency after his disastrous economic performance. And about 3 years ago, the government again dropped 5 zeroes. They chose 5 zeroes so people could not easily think about the conversion.
    So, the reality is that the currency went from 4.30 (1982) to 430,000 PLUS 8 zeroes: 43,000,000,000,000. A devaluation of 10 Trillion (10 billion NON-US).
    That's how you destroy a country. And of course, this has nothing to do with Covid or other recent factors. It is just simply what happens when you are a dictatorship/kleptocracy.

    We were speaking for a while yesterday with some of my SO's family, who live in a suburb of Caracas. They were just noting because with the currency mess, everyone is now completely ignoring bolivares and everything, including basic groceries, is priced in dollars. The kicker is that everything is very expensive - in dollars. Some of the prices they mentioned are considerably more than we pay for products in New York. At the same time, people are starting to get paid in dollars as well, and apparently, there is tons of demand and people are spending money fairly freely (since goods are back after the shortages of the last few years).

    To me, it's a little bit confusing as to where the dollars are coming from, given the situation for the Venezuelan diaspora in other countries hasn't been great during COVID. But it must be from them sending money back home.

    This of course only concerns the middle class and above and not the unfortunate people who end up desperately walking to the borders.


  13. #1093

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmm8 View Post
    ...

    To me, it's a little bit confusing as to where the dollars are coming from, given the situation for the Venezuelan diaspora in other countries hasn't been great during COVID. But it must be from them sending money back home.

    This of course only concerns the middle class and above and not the unfortunate people who end up desperately walking to the borders.
    Nope. The $$$ are not actually IN Venezuela. What people are doing is using ZELLE, almost exclusively. There is another app, APPTM (mix ATM with APP) and people can make electronic payments.
    All these accounts, of course, are in the USA. Since the initial devaluation of the currency in 1982, a lot of Venezuelans kept their "real" money offshore (ahem). We knew that the GOV was no longer credible with financial policies, so we would keep our money out, or otherwise a lifetime of savings could be wiped out in one single devaluation. So of course, that created a vicious circle that is perpetuated until today.
    My sister, for example, pays for my nephews school via ZELLE. But, as you say, the price for anything is usually higher than anywhere else. You are paying a mark up of 50% at a minimum. So the cycle towards poverty continues.

    The BOLD part: indeed, that is solely upper middle class and rich people. The poor are out of this loop, and they continue to suffer tremendously. I received, today, a clip of people walking towards the Colombian border. On one side of the road, kilometers of cars lined up, waiting to be able to fuel up. On the other, walkers trying to escape.
    It is far worse than depressing.

    Last note: I can tell by their accent that almost all delivery "kids" here in Bogota are Vennies. The tragedy expands daily.
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  14. #1094
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    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Nope. The $$$ are not actually IN Venezuela. What people are doing is using ZELLE, almost exclusively. There is another app, APPTM (mix ATM with APP) and people can make electronic payments.
    All these accounts, of course, are in the USA. Since the initial devaluation of the currency in 1982, a lot of Venezuelans kept their "real" money offshore (ahem). We knew that the GOV was no longer credible with financial policies, so we would keep our money out, or otherwise a lifetime of savings could be wiped out in one single devaluation. So of course, that created a vicious circle that is perpetuated until today.
    My sister, for example, pays for my nephews school via ZELLE. But, as you say, the price for anything is usually higher than anywhere else. You are paying a mark up of 50% at a minimum. So the cycle towards poverty continues.

    The BOLD part: indeed, that is solely upper middle class and rich people. The poor are out of this loop, and they continue to suffer tremendously. I received, today, a clip of people walking towards the Colombian border. On one side of the road, kilometers of cars lined up, waiting to be able to fuel up. On the other, walkers trying to escape.
    It is far worse than depressing.

    Last note: I can tell by their accent that almost all delivery "kids" here in Bogota are Vennies. The tragedy expands daily.
    Thanks for that insight - I thought the accounts were foreign because so many now have family outside of Venezuela - but I didn't think about money saved abroad in advance. Which of course makes sense, because most of the money being abroad is true for all of my partner's family.


  15. #1095

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Kurt "Mask Up, Vote Early" Eichenwald
    @kurteichenwald

    In 2017, I wrote that GOP tax cuts were a catastrophe for USA because they came at a time of economic strength and massive debt - something never been done in history of the world. The problem, I said, was that there would inevitably be an economic.../1

    ...turn, one that could easily transform into a disaster because of the precarious nature of our fiscal house caused by the cuts. The big danger: The interest on the debt as a percent of the budget. We are borrowing more money to pay the interest, which means we are paying....,/2

    ...more interest, which means we have to borrow more, etc. Traditionally, during a financial catastrophe, government increases spending and cuts taxes. But, because of GOP recklessness, we did the *opposite* - increased spending and cut taxes during boom times. It is like.../3

    ...using the fire extinguisher when there is no fire. When fire comes along, there is nothing to put it out. Last night, @GStephanopoulos correctly asked Biden about raising taxes on wealthy during this economic crisis. The reality is, the recklessness of the GOP has left no.../4

    ...options. In order to pump up the stock market, they flooded economy with cash when things were strong, then the Fed did everything it could to prevent the bubble from popping by adding more cash (which it's continuing to do now, a big reason why the market is up) And Trump../5

    ..kept pushing & pushing for negative interest rates *in a strong economy* to keep BS valuations going. I never imagined one party would be so reckless, but there we are.

    This will be *very* hard to get out of, and as usual, it is up to the democrats to fix this nightmare.../6


    ...but we can't cut spending without killing the economy. We cant raise taxes on the group that spends its money (middle class and below) without killing the economy. It would be best to have never had these ridiculous tax cuts, but there is no choice but to reverse the ones.../7

    ...for the rich. No economy can survive borrowing to pay interest on its borrowings in perpetuity. The short-term boom of the GOP will cripple this country if not managed. And they will not manage it because, like in everything else (Covid, etc) dogma trumps reality for them.../8

    ...I dont know if the democrats can maneuver out of this disaster. In 2009, the last time there was a GOP fiscal and economic disaster to unwind, I did not think Obama could pull it off, but he did. So I am willing to suspend my disbelief. BUT if the GOP takes the senate or.../9

    ...the presidency, ideology will continue to drive reality. We will be unable to fix this. And it all will come falling down because, as interest on the debt takes up more & more of the budget, investors in our debt will see what's coming & cut back on buying. We will have.../10

    ...to start chasing investment by raising interest rates because the risk of holding US debt will go up. (Particularly if the GOP starts talking about defaulting again, like they did during Obama.) So, on top of everything else, we are approaching a point of no return..../11


    ...if you are voting for your tax cuts, you're an idiot. Because this is unsustainable and what's the big deal about tax cuts when the market collapses as interest rates go up?

    Vote to save this country, not for temporary and idiotic greed.

    U.S. Budget Gap Tripled to Record $3.1 Trillion in Fiscal 2020
    By Vince Golle
    October 16, 2020, 2:00 PM EDT Updated on October 16, 2020, 2:16 PM EDT
    Shortfall relative to economy is largest since World War II
    Total outlays, including those for pandemic relief, soar 47.3%
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




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