● Monopolized: Life in the Age of Corporate Power
Summary via publisher (The New Press)
Over the last forty years our choices have narrowed, our opportunities have shrunk, and our lives have become governed by a handful of very large and very powerful corporations. Today, practically everything we buy, everywhere we shop, and every service we secure comes from a heavily concentrated market. This is a world where six major banks control most of our money, four airlines shuttle most of us around the country, and four major cell phone providers connect most of our communications. If you are sick you can go to one of three main pharmacies to fill your prescription, and if you end up in a hospital almost every accessory to heal you comes from one of a handful of large medical suppliers. Dayen, the editor of the American Prospect and author of the acclaimed Chain of Title, provides a riveting account of what it means to live in this new age of monopoly and how we might resist this corporate hegemony.
The under-the-radar gains for several corners of the precious and base metals markets are drawing wider attention as buying heats up. Although year-to-date gains aren’t uniformly positive for all corners of the metals market, recent trading action suggests a bull sweep is possible in the weeks ahead as momentum builds, based on set of exchange-traded products through yesterday’s close (July 23).
Trump cancels parts of Republican convention, citing coronavirus: CNBC
China orders US consulate in Chengdu to close–retaliation for Houston: CNN
US Covid-19 deaths above 1,100 for third straight day: Reuters
Senate GOP will delay release of coronavirus relief plan to next week: CNBC
US fighter jet came dangerously close to Iranian passenger plane over Syria: BBC
US dollar on track for weakest month since start of 2018: Bloomberg
Gold, copper and silver–unusually–are rising together this year: The Economist
PMI data: Eurozone economic output grew in July–first rise since Feb: IHS Markit
UK economy rebounds in July via PMI data–biggest increase in 5 years: IHS Markit
US Leading Econonmic Index continued to rise in June but pace slowed: MW
US jobless claims turned higher last week–a new warning for the economy: CNBC
The demand for safe-haven government bonds shows no sign of easing. It’s not hard to understand why when you consider renewed concern that the US economic recovery is cooling, US-China relations are deteriorating, and there are few signs that America is getting control of the coronavirus. It all adds up to a strengthening conviction that buying Treasuries, even at or near record low yields, remains a prudent choice.
Senate Republicans and White House set to unveil new relief bill: Roll Call
Trump to send “a surge” of federal security forces to US cities: BBC
Should we expect an October surprise for a Covid-19 vaccine? Politico
China likely to retaliate in US decision to close China’s Houston consulate: CNBC
FBI: China harboring military-linked fugitive scientist in California: CNN
Another night of unrest in Portland as mayor stung by tear gas: Reuters
US unemployment claims remain elevated, suggesting recovery is cooling: WSJ
Better-than-expected corporate earnings support European stock prices: Reuters
US existing home sales surged 21% in June–biggest monthly rise on record: CNBC
Year-to-date gains still dominate the US fixed-income landscape for year-to-date results. Except for junk bonds, the rest of the American bond realm is enjoying a bull run in 2020 through yesterday’s close (July 21), based on a set of exchange-traded funds.
Trump: Covid-19 crisis will probably ‘get worse before it gets better’: CNN
Trump administration may expand federal law enforcement in cities: Politico
US orders China to close its Houston diplomatic consolate: NY Times
Economic hit from Covid-19 will endure, even with vaccine, economist says: CNBC
Key dates re: expiring coronavirus support programs around the world: BBG
Economists support extension of paying jobless workers $600 a week: 538
Senate banking committee approves Shelton, Waller for Fed positions: CNBC
Japan Composite PMI for July still reflects deep economic contraction: IHS Markit
Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Index (1mo) continues to indicate economic recovery: CF
Next week’s release of the initial second-quarter US GDP data is
widely expected to be a horror show. Is relief on its way in Q3?
Three vaccine developers report encouraging initial results: NY Times
US bars 11 Chinese firms from buying American technology products: NY Times
Trump may send more federal law enforcement officers to major US cities: BBC
UK ends extradition treaty with Hong Kong: CNN
European Union agrees on $859 billion coronavirus recession stimulus: BBC
Chevron will buy Noble Energy–biggest US energy deal since oil crash: CNBC
Turkey overtakes Russia as world’s top buyer of gold: Nikkei Asian Review
S&P 500 edged higher on Monday, closing above previous post-correction peak:
Equities outside the US in developed markets topped last week’s widespread gains for the major asset classes, based on a set of exchange-traded funds. Rising nearly 2% for the trading week through July 17, the rally in this corner lifted prices to a level that’s close to a post-correction high.