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Half of the world’s prison population of about nine million is held in the US, China or Russia.

Prison rates in the US are the world’s highest, at 724 people per 100,000. In Russia the rate is 581. At 145 per 100,000, the imprisonment rate of England and Wales is at about the midpoint worldwide. Many of the lowest rates are in developing countries, but overcrowding can be a serious problem. Kenyan prisons have an occupancy level of …

My Political-Financial Road Map for 2017

Happy New Year! May yours be peaceful, safe and impactful! As tumultuous as last year was from a global political perspective on the back of a rocky start market-wise, 2017 will be much more so. The central bank subsidization of the financial system (especially in the US and Europe) that began with the Fed invoking zero interest rate policy in …

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Alternative Visions – Review of 2016 US and Global Economic Events + Predictions 2017 – 12.30.16

Dr. Jack Rasmus reviews the major economic events of 2016 and their likely continuing impact in the year ahead. Topics includes global trade stagnation, Federal Reserve rate hikes, global oil and commodity prices, property financial bubbles in China and capital flight and devaluation, Europe events involving the ECB, Italian and Europe banks, the UK economy post-Brexit, negative rates and non performing bank loans worldwide, the failure of Abenomics and bank of Japan’s QE, Latin American recessions, and the global corporate debt bubble. Also addressed are the US economy’s first quarter collapse and recovery, Fed rates, the shift to fiscal-infrastructure spending, the unwinding bond bubble and emerging stock bubble, health care and drug price inflation, and the rising US dollar and its impact on emerging markets. Jack offers his predictions for 2017 for the US economy, Europe, Japan, China, India, Latin America, emerging markets, and global commodity prices. (Next week show: review of major political events of 2016 and political predictions 2017).

MARK WEISBROT – Doubling Down on Disaster: the Degradation of Brazil

When Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in May and removed from office in August, many called it a coup. The president was not charged with anything that could legitimately be called a crime, and the leaders of the impeachment appeared, in taped conversations, to be getting rid of her in order to cut off a corruption investigation in which they and their …

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How Brazil Got the Worst Austerity Program in the World

Brazil’s new president, Michel Temer, has introduced austerity via constitutional amendment, freezing Brazil’s state spending at 2016 levels for 20 years, allowing it to increase only at the rate of inflation. This is really dumb–if Brazil’s population grows, or Brazil has an economic crisis, or Brazil has to go to war, it will be trapped within 2016 fiscal parameters. So …

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JD Lara – 9 Things Newbie Homesteaders Just Don’t Think About

The “back-to-the-land” movement continues to grow in America, and if you’re one of those who’ve made the big leap from city to country, or are planning to do so soon, here are a few things you’ll want to remember. The more knowledgeable and prepared you are, the easier the adjustment will be. 1. Get ready for some big culture shock. …