Home Sales In Westchester Plunge As Wealthy Buyers “Spend More Time With Their Accountants”

It appears the drop in home sales that has afflicted Manhattan and wealthy tri-state-area enclaves like Greenwich, Conn. is spreading to Westchester County, the suburban enclave directly north of the Bronx According to Bloomberg, sales fell 18% in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, marking the fourth straight quarter of declining sales.

Purchases in the northern suburban county — which shoulders the biggest property-tax burden in the U.S. — plunged 18 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the most since 2011, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of sales declines. read more

“Thanos Did Nothing Wrong”? 1000s Embrace The Population-Control Philosophy Of Marvel’s Most-Twisted Super-Villain

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

“Thanos did nothing wrong” has become one of the most common mantras on the Internet in recent days, and it just sparked one of the biggest events in Reddit history, but most people still don’t understand what all of the commotion is about.  So let me try to break it down very simply. 

In the most recent Avengers movie, the story centers around a super-villain named Thanos that intends to wipe out half of all life in the universe.  He does not want to do this just to be evil, but rather his plan is to get population growth under control so that those that remain will be able to enjoy happy, sustainable lives.  read more

Neocons Panic As Trump-Putin Meeting Could Mark Close Of Syrian Proxy War

When multiple op-ed pieces appear in the pages of the New York TimesWashington Post, and the CFR-owned Foreign Affairs authored by neocons simultaneously pleading with Trump Don’t Get Out of Syria(!) all within the same week, this is typically an indicator that the president is about to do something good. 

Trump is set to meet with Putin one-on-one this coming Monday in Helsinki after a contentious NATO summit and a sufficiently awkward visit with Theresa May, and mainstream pundits’ heads are exploding.  read more

The Exorbitant Cost Of Getting Ahead In Life

Authored by Michael Scott via SafeHaven.com,

Some 84 percent of Americans claim that a higher education is a very or extremely important factor for getting ahead in life, according to the National Center for public policy and Higher Education.

So, it’s worth the exorbitant cost, but not everyone can pay, and outsized costs in the U.S. are giving much of the rest of the developed world the higher education advantage.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with a Bachelor’s Degree earn around 64 percent more per week than those with a high school diploma, and around 40 percent more than those with an Associate’s Degree. In turn, those with an Associate’s degree earn around 17 percent more than those with a high school diploma. read more

“Dealers Are Taking Control” – Baltimore Murder Rate Soars As Police Ease Up On Stops

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a gathering of police officials back in May that “if you want crime to go up, let the ACLU run the police department,” he may have had a point. While opponents of “aggressive” police tactics like stop and frisk and other “broken windows”-type policing have complain about the injustice faced by minorities who they say are disproportionately and unfairly targeted by police, the city of Baltimore is demonstrating what happens when police dial back stops for minor violations like street-level drug dealing and other “everyday violations.” read more

The Media’s Brazen Dishonesty About North Korean Nuclear Violations

Authored by Gareth Porter via The American Conservative,

Press irresponsibly relies on single-source report to accuse Kim of breaking an agreement he never made…

In late June and early July, NBC News, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal published stories that appeared at first glance to shed a lurid light on Donald Trump’s flirtation with Kim Jong-un. They contained satellite imagery showing that North Korea was making rapid upgrades to its nuclear weapons complex at Yongbyon and expanding its missile production program just as Trump and Kim were getting chummy at their Singapore summit. read more

WeWork Bans Meat To ‘Help’ Employees “Reduce Their Personal Environmental Impact”

Meat-loving employees of co-working giant WeWork are going to have to stick to veggies and sushi after the company notified its global staff of 6,000 that they will no longer reimburse meals that include meat – and it won’t pay for any red meat, poultry or pork at WeWork events.

Co-founder Miguel McKelvy detailed the new policy in an email to employees this week, noting that the firm’s upcoming “Summer Camp” employee retreat would offer no meat options for attendees.  read more

Get Ready For The Third “Oil Shock”

Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,

Big Middle East wars are often catastrophic for global oil supplies.

This makes sense. The Middle East accounts for more than 40% of global oil exports. So, a big conflict in the Middle East often triggers a big spike in the price of oil.

Take the 1973 “oil shock,” for example. Oil prices suddenly spiked… roughly quadrupling in a matter of weeks.

Today, we could be on the verge of an oil crisis even worse than that. That’s because regional tensions are growing in the Middle East. Specifically, the conflict between Iran and Israel—and their allies—is quickly getting worse. read more

Mountains Of Trash Piling Up On US Shores After China Stops Taking It

Mountains of trash have been collecting at US recycling facilities shores after China stopped accepting “contaminated” materials from facilities across the country.

Last year, China accounted for over half of the scrap metal purchases exported by the United States, while for decades they have been buying up US recycling by the ship-full after US sorting facilities bale up paper, cardboard or plastics to be crushed and transformed into raw materials for industrial purposes.

Since 1992, China and Hong Kong have taken in approximately 72% of global plastic waste according to a study in the journal Science Advances. Since January, however, Beijing stopped accepting most paper and plastic waste in accordance with new environmental policies. read more

It “Hit The Mortgage Market Over The Head With A Baseball Bat”

Authored by Wolf Richter via WolfStreet.com,

8 ‘boots-on-the-ground’ findings from Sydney’s deflating housing bubble…

Australia’s housing market is getting rattled. The mortgage industry is in turmoil. Banks are battered by incessant revelations of misconduct.  Home prices in the Sydney and Melbourne metros, after surging to an astounding degree, are deflating. And the once splendid and vast game of real-estate speculation just isn’t fun anymore.

Lindsay David, of LF Economics in Sydney — who has long played a role in exposing misconduct in Australia’s banking system including, in early 2016, by calling for a Royal Commission investigation into the mortgage sector — put some findings of his boots-on-the-ground analysis into a note to clients. Here are some of them: read more