Paul Krugman Says Markets Will ‘Never’ Recover From Trump; Dow Hits Record High


‘When will markets recover? Never.’

Blake Neff reports: New York Times opinion writer and economist Paul Krugman predicted early Wednesday morning that the stock market will “never” recover from Donald Trump’s presidential victory, only to be proven spectacularly wrong in less than a day. Instead of collapsing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time high shortly before the closing bell.

“It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover? If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

Futures markets imploded Tuesday night as soon as it became apparent Trump was likely to win. At their nadir, futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 750 points.

“We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.”

— Paul Krugman

At that point, Krugman chose to release a blog post in which he predicted these jitters represented a new permanent reality in the U.S. economy. Read the rest of this entry »

Debt Distress Level at Highest Since Recession


The number of companies with the lowest credit ratings and negative outlooks jumped to 195 in December, the highest level since March 2010, says Standard & Poor’s.

Matt Krantz reports: Nomura Head of U.S. Rates Strategy George Gonclaves discusses Fed policy and the U.S. economy. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” Bloomberg

Higher interest rates are about to hit companies – just when many are ill prepared to handle them.


The Federal Reserve this month took interest rates up for the first time in nearly a decade – ending the days of free money. It might take a few years for higher rates to hit companies – as they look to refinance debt. But the troubling part is many companies aren’t in great shape to eat the higher costs.

The number of companies with the lowest credit ratings and negative outlooks jumped to 195 in December, the highest level since March 2010, says Standard & Poor’s. The biggest culprit for the jump in these so-called “weakest links” is the oil and gas sector, which accounts for 34 of them. But financial companies are close behind, representing 33 of the weakest links, says S&P….(read more)

Source: USAToday

CHANGE: Majority Of Americans Oppose ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban For First Time In 20 years Of New York Times Polling


AWR Hawkins reports: According to NYU political scientist Patrick Egan, the opposition to such a ban is up 16 percentage points from the numbers seen in 2011. Moreover, support for an “assault weapons” ban is down 19 percent. On January 15-19, 2011 Americans polled at 63 percent in favor of a ban and 34 against. On December 4-8, 2015, American polled only 44 percent in favor of such a ban, with 50 percent polling in opposition.


The real swing in numbers can be seen by contrasting the latest figures with the first poll NYT took on the topic during January 2-3, 1995. At that time support for a ban was at 67 percent, while opposition to a ban was at 27 percent.


These numbers square with a post-San Bernardino Breitbart News report showing that AR-15 sales have been skyrocketing since the December 2 San Bernardino attack….(read more)

Source: Breitbart

DDoS Attacks are Getting Much More Powerful and the Pentagon is Scrambling for Solutions

Industry reports are out that show the number of DDoS attacks is trending upward, even hitting new highs.

 reports: No wonder the Pentagon has announced it’s working on a plan to fund tools and researchers to help organizations defend themselves against the pervasive threat of cyber assaults known as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

“The threat posed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks continues to grow each quarter. Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated.”

— John Summers, vice president of Akamai’s cloud security business unit

In recent days, the agency said it’s looking to fund researchers who can come up with tools as part of a program starting next April that would, among other things, help organizations recover from DDoS attacks in a maximum of 10 seconds. And the acknowledgement of that hunt for researchers for the program, called Extreme DDoS Defense, arguably comes not a moment too soon.

A few new industry reports are out that show the number of DDoS attacks is trending upward, even hitting new highs. Their provenance and targets take many forms – from organized, malicious hackers targeting sophisticated organizations to more isolated incidents where, experts say, the intent is to just find a weakness somewhere, anywhere. But the result is a kind of cyber blitz that’s growing in number and aggressiveness.

Hackers published two million passwords online, security experts have said (Picture: Alphaspirit/Getty)

Hackers published two million passwords online, security experts have said (Picture: Alphaspirit/Getty)

New York Magazine was among those organizations recently hit by a DDoS attack, and at a critical moment. After publishing the blockbuster results of an interview with 35 women who’ve accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting them, the magazine’s website was knocked offline by what appeared to be a DDoS attack.

Attacks like those, said Incapsula co-founder Marc Gaffan, are not only on the rise but “have essentially been going up for the last two years, quarter over quarter.”

[Read the full story here, at BGR]

His company is a cloud-based application delivery service. According to another cloud services provider, Akamai Technologies, DDoS attacks were up 132% in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Mayor de Blasio Scores Big Win for New York!


That was the finding of a new Quinnipiac University Poll released this afternoon, which found that only 33 percent of New York City voters rated the quality of life here as “very good” or “good”—the lowest number ever measured by the university, whose trend line for the question dates back to 1997. And 48 percent of voters said quality of life has dropped in the last few years.

“Only 33 percent of New York City voters rated the quality of life here as “very good” or “good”—the lowest number ever measured by the university, whose trend line for the question dates back to 1997.”

That dismal outlook comes just a day after Mr. de Blasio earned his all-time-lowest approval rating in a Quinnipiac Poll released yesterday—which his administration noted came after he was hammered by negative advertisements during his failed attempt to cap Uber. And it comes on the same day the mayor is seeking to offer one solution to quality of life complaints: a comprehensive plan to tackle the issue of homelessness.

While Mr. de Blasio’s numbers are at a record-low, the number of New Yorkers who think crime is a “very serious” problem in New York City is at an all-time high —48 percent. That’s higher than the oldest entry on Quinnipiac’s trend line for that question: in 1999, only 35 percent of voters said crime was “very serious.” Read the rest of this entry »

Here, Hold My Drink While I Count My Money: Number of Billionaires Hits Record High


The combined wealth of the world’s billionaires increased by 12 percent to $7.3 trillion, higher than the combined market capitalization of all the companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average

For CNBC reports: The world economy is going through a rough patch, yet the world’s billionaire population is at an all-time high.


“The fastest growing segment of the billionaire population, in terms of wealth source, are those who inherited only part of their fortunes and became billionaires through their own entrepreneurial endeavors.”

A new survey shows that 155 new billionaires were minted this year, pushing the total population to a record 2,325 – a 7 percent increase from 2013.


Credit goes to the United States – home to the most billionaires globally – where 57 new billionaires were recorded this year, according to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2014 released on Wednesday.


Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean were also large contributors, with 52 and 42 new entrants, respectively.

“The fastest growing segment of the billionaire population, in terms of wealth source, are those who inherited only part of their fortunes and became billionaires through their own entrepreneurial endeavors,” the report said, noting that 63 percent of all billionaires’ primary companies are privately held. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: More Pilots Testing Positive For Drugs

New York Scenic Shots

Tests of pilots killed in plane crashes over more than two decades show an increasing use of both legal and illegal drugs, including some that could impair flying, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“The tests also revealed increased pilot use of all kinds of drugs, including drugs that could impair a pilot’s functioning as well as drugs used to treat potentially impairing conditions such as seizure disorders and psychiatric illness.”

The study examined toxicology reports for almost 6,700 pilots killed in crashes from 1990 to 2012. Not only did the share of pilots testing positive for a drug increase over that period, but the share of pilots who tested positive for multiple drugs increased as well. Pilots testing positive for at least one drug increased from 9.6 percent to 39 percent, while positive tests for two drugs rose from 2 percent to 20 percent and three drugs from zero to 8.3 percent.

Over the same period, new drugs were coming into use and the U.S. population was aging, creating greater demand for drugs. The toxicology tests “reflect tends in the general population and likely indicate a significant increase in drug use” by pilots as well, the study said. Read the rest of this entry »

Uninsured Opposition to Obamacare Reaches All-Time High


Sarah Hurtubise writes:  Americans without health insurance have never seen Obamacare is such a negative light.

“The Obama administration’s outreach efforts to educate the uninsured on Obamacare also appear to be falling flat.”

Kaiser Family Foundation’s monthly health tracking poll found that in February, 56 percent of the uninsured view the Affordable Care Act unfavorably.

The percentage of uninsured with a positive view reached its lowest point since Kaiser began tracking reactions in March 2010 when Obamacare was passed into law. Just 22 percent of uninsured Americans have a generally favorable opinion about the law.

This pessimistic outlook isn’t all that surprising. Health industry experts have found that exchanges are more often than not selling coverage to those that were previously insured. According to reports, majority of exchange customers either had their previous coverage cancelled due to Obamacare regulations or switched over willingly to access premium subsidies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rinse, Repeat: FBI Report Shows Violent Crime Decreased as Gun Sales Increased


Violent crime fell during the first six months of 2013–at the same time the number of gun purchases was expanding.

AWRHawkins reports:  According to preliminary FBI stats, “All offenses in the category of violent crime” fell during the first six months of 2013, compared to the same time period in 2012.

John R. Lott demonstrated this conclusively, back in 1990s, in his highly-regarded book: More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition” (Studies in Law and Economics) order it from Amazon

UPI reports that this included “murder, non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, [and] aggravated assault and robbery.” Specifically, “murders declined by 6.9 percent, forcible rapes declined 10.6 percent, aggravated assaults decreased 6.6 percent and robbery offenses were down by 1.8 percent.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Poll: Percentage Who Think Gun Control Too Strict Triples in One Year

Gun rights activist Holly Cusumano, 18, waves a flag during a rally for the 2nd Amendment at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Another timely item from that I almost missed. AWR Hawkins reports:  A new poll finds the percentage of Americans who think gun control too strict is at its highest point since 2001 and triple what it was in 2013.

The Gallup poll shows that “55 percent of Americans… are dissatisfied overall with American gun laws and policies.” Among the dissatisfied, 16 percent are Americans who believe gun control laws should be rolled back.

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Home Video Market Grows for Second Year Thanks to Digital Streaming


(AP) LOS ANGELES U.S. home video spending rose nearly 1 percent to $18.2 billion in 2013, the second straight year of growth as higher spending on video streaming subscriptions and digital purchases offset the decline in DVDs.

The figures were released by the consortium of Hollywood studios and electronics makers, The Digital Entertainment Group, on Tuesday.

Digital sales of movies and TV shows rose 47 percent to $1.2 billion, while subscription streaming spending rose 32 percent to $3.2 billion.

Read the rest of this entry »

America’s new target shooters: Younger, female and urban

America’s new target shooters: Younger, female and urban

by Guns and Gear

The face of America’s target shooters is changing. New target shooters–those who have taken up the sport in the last five years–are younger, female and urban when compared to established target shooters, or those participating for more than five years, according to a survey commissioned by NSSF.

Read the rest of this entry »

The number of Americans reading print newspapers, magazines and books is in rapid decline

Less Than A Quarter Of Americans Read Newspapers

Only 29 percent of Americans now say they read a newspaper yesterday – with just 23 percent reading a print newspaper. Over the past decade, the percentage reading a print newspaper the previous day has fallen by 18 points from 41 percent to 23 percent. Somewhat more 38 percent say they regularly read a daily newspaper, although this percentage also has declined, from 54 percent in 2004.

Also according to the recent Pew Research Center poll, Americans enjoy reading as much as ever – 51 percent say they enjoy reading a lot. This is little changed over the past two decades, but a declining proportion gets news or reads other material on paper on a typical day. Many readers are now shifting to digital platforms to read the papers…


via CBS Houston