Business

Sparklers for BONFIRE (Pic: GETTY)

FIRE UP RED-HOT SAVINGS

MILLIONS will be sending rockets skyward and scoffing bangers for November 5 but why not cut the cost of your celebrations?

Research has found we spend a whopping £497million on the occasion but a bit of clever thinking could help you out.

If you're having a party at home, snap up some leftover Halloween goodies.

Shops will slash their prices to get rid of perfectly good stock which they think is out of date once Halloween is over.

Related Articles

Or why not ask your guests to bring a bottle, something to eat, or even some fireworks?

No one will mind contributing a little something to help spread the cost.

Nothing says Guy Fawkes night like a sausage in a bun and all the big supermarkets will have deals on. Check them out online before to see which has the best saving.

And don't splash out on things like toffee apples when it's easy to make your own – after all you just need apples, melted toffees and a splash of milk.

There are some excellent recipe suggestions if you search online.

Supermarkets are also the best place to head for fireworks if you plan on launching your own.

Aldi has a Lol pack of 19 fireworks for just £9.99, with other packs ranging in price up to £49.99. Sparklers are £1.29 for 21.

Meanwhile Morrisons have a Demon Display of 30 fireworks for £20 and two for £10 on rockets. Asda also has a good two for £10 range.

If you are heading to a display, rather than forking out for tickets, hunt around to find one for free. And rather than pay for food and drink, plan ahead and bring you own picnic.

But leave booze at home at most displays won't allow alcohol.

——————–

DID YOU KNOW?

Safety is key if you are hosting your own fireworks party.

Make sure you check out the Firework Code at rospa.com

Eat out and stay on budget (Pic: Daily Star/ GETTY) Related Articles

HOW TO DRIVE DOWN THE COSTS ON THE ROAD

A few small changes can save you money

GOOD news for motorists – fuel duty has been frozen for the ninth consecutive year.

In Monday's Budget, the government kept the current rate of 57.95p on each litre of petrol and diesel.

But if you want to make sure you are keeping the costs as low as possible, here's how you can improve your vehicle's fuel efficiency.

Start by clearing out any unnecessary baggage – the lighter your car is, the less effort it needs to accelerate.

EVERY 50KG YOU RIDE WITH INCREASES PETROL BY 2% (Pic: GETTY)

On average, every 50kg you ride around with increases your petrol consumption by 2%.

Keep your tyres inflated. Lower tyre pressure increases the drag on a car, meaning you need more fuel.

Take your foot off the accelerator.

Research has found driving at 80mph uses to up to 25% more fuel than motoring at 70mph.

Sudden acceleration and braking will also drain it further.

Ditch the air con unless you really need it. It uses up a huge amount of fuel – up to 10% in traffic.

It's generally more efficient to drive with the windows down and air con off at lower speeds but at higher speeds, it's better to have the air con on and windows up due to the extra drag caused by having the windows down.

Don't fill up. Fuel is heavy, so the more you put in, the more weight you are adding.

Put a bit less in and fill up more often to make your car run efficiently.

Plan your journey. Avoid traffic black spots and busy times where possible. And make sure you work out your route with a map or sat nav before setting off.

You won't get lost and end up driving further than necessary.

Read the road. Build up momentum when going downhill to help you get uphill rather than accelerating more. The easiest way to do this to watch the road as if you were on a bike and accelerate accordingly.

Or if you are just doing a short journey, think about leaving the car behind and walking or cycling. You'll save money and get some fresh air and exercise!

Related Articles

Read More – Source

Business

Moby has decided to cancel his UK book tour for Then It Fell Apart as he battles the fallout from his claims to have dated Natalie Portman, a misunderstanding for which he subsequently apologized.

Before the apology, Moby claimed on social media he had received “anonymous threats of violence from (Portmans) fans, and its affecting my business and my health.”

After completing the US leg of his book tour, Moby made the tour cancellation announcement today on his web page. The UK dates were to start this Saturday at a festival.

“Moby is canceling all upcoming public appearances for the foreseeable future,” a note on his website reads. “We apologies for any inconvenience this may cause. All tickets will be refunded at the point of purchase, and Moby is happy to provide signed bookplates to everyone who bought tickets to these events.”

There was also an accompanying Instagram post, with text reading “last post” and a caption that says, “Im going to go away for awhile.”:

Im going to go away for awhile.
But before I do I waRead More – Source

Business

Anti-Trump protests take place across Mexico

Mexico is ready to hit the U.S. where it hurts: Corn.

Mexico is one of the top buyers of American corn in the world today. And Mexican senator Armando Rios Piter, who leads a congressional committee on foreign relations, says he will introduce a bill this week where Mexico will buy corn from Brazil and Argentina instead of the United States.

It's one of the first signs of potential concrete action from Mexico in response to President Trump's threats against the country.

"I'm going to send a bill for the corn that we are buying in the Midwest and…change to Brazil or Argentina," Rios Piter, 43, told told CNN's Leyla Santiago on Sunday at an anti-Trump protest in Mexico City.

He added: It's a "good way to tell them that this hostile relationship has consequences, hope that it changes."

American corn goes into a lot of the country's food. In Mexico City, from fine dining restaurants to taco stands on the street, corn-based favorites like tacos can be found everywhere.

Related: Mexican farmer's daughter: NAFTA destroyed us

America is also the world's largest producer and exporter of corn. American corn shipments to Mexico have catapulted since NAFTA, a free trade deal signed between Mexico, America and Canada.

American farmers sent $2.4 billion of corn to Mexico in 2015, the most recent year of available data. In 1995, the year after NAFTA became law, corn exports to Mexico were a mere $391 million.

Experts say such a bill would be very costly to U.S. farmers.

"If we do indeed see a trade war where Mexico starts buying from Brazil…we're going to see it affect the corn market and ripple out to the rest of the ag economy," says Darin Newsom, senior analyst at DTN, an agricultural management firm.

Rios Piter's bill is another sign of Mexico's willingness to respond to Trump's threats. Trump wants to make Mexico pay for a wall on the border, and he's threatened taxes on Mexican imports ranging from 20% to 35%.

Trump also wants to renegotiate NAFTA. He blames it for a flood of manufacturing jobs to Mexico. A nonpartisan congressional research report found that not to be true.

Read More – Source

CNN
Business

Happy 10th birthday, iPhone

You may never have to plug in your iPhone again.

Apple has joined an industry group devoted to wireless charging, strengthening existing rumors that the next iPhone will charge without a cord. The Wireless Power Consortium, which is made up of some 200 organizations that promote a single wireless charging standard, confirmed to CNNTech that Apple joined the group last week.

IPhone rumors swirl months before each new version is announced, and hype around the so-called 'iPhone 8" is particularly high: Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil a major redesign of the this fall to mark the 10-year anniversary of the smartphone.

The company has already shown interest in doing away with cumbersome cords. The Apple Watch charges wirelessly, provided consumers spend $79 on a magnetic charging dock. And the latest MacBook now comes with only one USB port.

Related: Apple stock nears a record high

Apple would also create another iPhone revenue stream by selling a wireless charging station separately. The feature would simplify charging for smartphone owners. RRead More – Source

CNN
Business

There is a lot of talk about which economic bubble will burst first and burst the worst (sounds like a gangsta rap song, no?)

The stock market, real estate, luxury goods, corporate debt and government bond bubbles, and other lesser bubbles, all jockey for the titles. Its the “Everything Bubble” for good reason.

The “good reason” is: the 1% owns everything of high value, so if Western governments make it their policy to inflate those valuations even higher, then the 1% regains everything they lost in 2008. Welcome to Western Liberal Democracy – if you have a seat in the House of Lords Im sure youre not suffering too badly.

Because of that “good reason” I listed all of these bubbles are worse now than in 2008. Nothing was learned and nothing was delivered: I am not a doomsdayer, but these kind of facts make me write that Great Recession II (Great Depression II?) is around the corner.

However, not all bubbles are created equal:

The luxury goods bubble, for example. Its mildly interesting, from a sensational news aspect, that the most expensive bottle of wine is now worth $558,000…but the luxury goods market is a minuscule part of every nations “real” economy, excepting France, Italy and Switzerland. Back in 2008 a half-million dollars set the record for largest lot of wine ever – 27 bottles – so these stories only prove the existence huge asset inflation (bubbles) – 1/27th in the area of wine sales.

The stock market bubble is also mainly a rich-persons problem – we only hear about it so very often because…the rich own the media in the West, and the coverage thus reflects their interests. Yes, 52% of Americans own stock, because its a huge part (stupidly, rapaciously) of the American private pension system, but only 18% own stock directly and can buy and sell at will. We all know that stocks no longer have any correlation to a companys actual performance and prospects; those really paying attention also know that the Great Recessions bailout money has been used for stock buybacks, which raise the stock price. That bubble is ending, too: taxpayer-funded stock buybacks were higher than ever in 2018 and yet produced the worst market results since 2008.

This now-failing tactic of buybacks is the source of the “corporate debt bubble”. The stock market bubbles bursting is not that important to the everyday person, no matter how much media coverage will be devoted to it – the real economy will not not sink because of it, no matter how much less your 401k pension is now worth. The relatedcorporate debt bubble is far more impactful: instead of using that cheaply-borrowed money from the government to hire or for RnD, corporations are thus not prepared for capitalisms next inevitable crisis, which translates into layoffs, which translates into a huge “real economy” hit as workers are not buying lunch, paying rent or buying decidedly non-luxurious but still-necessary goods.

The real estate bubble affects many more people, and not just in the construction market. Just over 50% of Germans are homeowners, rising up to 70% as you get in the former Socialist Bloc nations, with the US around 65%. Amazingly, home prices have surpassed the prices in 2008 in the US. But its rarely remembered that houses are only worth what a bank will loan you to pay for them. Banks are getting money from governments cheaply, but instead of “real economy” investments they inflate houses (which they own) with incorrect valuations. When credit is so low that borrowing is near free, why not pay yourself more? So that means more dumb loans have been dangled and signed. When this bubble bursts it will hurt but it wont bring the entire economy to a total halt.

(Sidebar: As a daily journalist who deals with housing activists regularly, let me pass this on to you – there are few mass problems easier for the government to fix than housing. Housing oversupply in the US is back to 2007 levels? Why arent the homeless and poorly-housed rejoicing? Because in the West housing policy is controlled by real estate speculators, lenders and landlords – not dwellers/citizens. Your country lacks (mainly low-cost) housing supply (like France and the US)? Again, the stroke of a pen creates a fabulous, real-economy and real quality-of-life-boom for your citizenry. But…not in capitalism. Think China is wrong to build “ghost cities”? I say lay off the propaganda: you are wrong to imagine that construction doesnt move faster than government bureaucracy. Check those ready-made planned towns in 10 years – they always get filled up with Chinese “peasants” eventually.)

The bond bubble, however, is the mother of all bubbles. Thats because the most important actor in any economy is the government.

Lie to yourself about how “the West values a free market” all you want – if a government cannot pay bills & wages or provide necessary services, then the real economy will be crippled. Because so many Western governments run on deficits – which is not to say that all debt is unproductive debt – they have to borrow via bonds.

Cant borrow, like Greece? Then you wind up…like Greece.

It takes a US government shutdown for The “socialism for the losses” New York Times to say what all lower and middle-class people know: government jobs are the best ones. The Times is right: no government jobs/cutbacks, then no more lunches at Rayettas Lunch Box but brown-bagging instead; no jobs for Blacks/Muslims, then its back to their two low-paying choices in private industry, depending on gender – janitor/security or receptionist; austerity cutbacks or shutdown-cutbacks indeed means “three families that would be getting above-average pay” wont get it, with huge consequences on the local and national levels.

So I am not falsely trumpeting the virtue of “big government” when I note that if/when Eurozone governments cannot borrow money via bonds, then 1) they cannot continue zero-interest lending to banks, 2) which means banks cannot fund stock market buybacks to prop up the stock market and also inflate (non-productive) corporate debt, 3) cannot give banks the money for risky and overvalued loans to prop up values in the real estate market, 4) they are not able to create the profits which fuel sales in the luxury goods market.

Government is Mommy and Daddy – where they lead, all the children must follow. It is only the socialist-inspired systems (China, Vietnam, Iran, Cuba, etc.) – which have fundamentally different aims and which fundamentally limit the reach of high finance as well as neoliberal and foreign capitalists – which will be able to buffet the coming storm.

The Eurozone, however, could see total chaos at any moment; France has the Yellow Vests already.

Eurozone: Still the weakest link, but even weaker

I have written extensively about how the Eurozone is far, far weaker economically now than during their Sovereign Debt Crisis in 2012.

Back then, nobody wanted to loan to Eurozone nations like Greece and Ireland, whose balance sheets rocketed to awful expressly because they were laden with banker bailout debt from 2008. Given that Eurozone nations have relinquished the right to print their own money, those countries were up a creek without a paddle. Get a loan or the national economy stops.

But…why loan to many in the Eurozone in 2012? They suffered the 2008 crash PLUS banker bailout debt PLUS they had embarked on the policy of “strangle your national economy to reduce the social safety net and workers rights”, a.k.a. austerity.

The “solution” was Mario Draghis “Whatever it takes” speech, which translated on a practical level to Quantitative Easing, i.e. no-strings attached, near-free taxpayer money to the 1% and high finance in order to stop them from squeezing the national bond markets of the Eurozone as they had started doing. The US and Japan had embarked on QE sooner and more deeply.

This solution steadfastly refuses to inject money into the real economy, which is why Yellow Vests are suffering instead of content.

The first proof of this is that the Eurozone has achieved a Lost Decade of economic growth (average annual growth rate from 2008 to 2017 was just 0.6%.) – which the media never admits but which I detailed – despite 6 years of QE. Money was only injected into the 1%er economy, and the second proof of this is that we now have Real Estate Bubble II, Stock Market Bubble II, Luxury Goods Bubble II, etc. Only Eurozone Government Bond Bubble II has not appeared…because when it does, by definition, all hell will break loose. The government, socialists understand, is the ONLY backstop from disaster – capitalists falsely believe it is the SOURCE of disaster.

Beyond the poor day-to-day policy of QE, there have been no structural policy changes as result of the poor, capitalist-led rules which allowed Sovereign Debt Crisis I to happen in the first place: no mutualization of Eurozone debt, no increased transparency of the EuroGroup, no changes at all. So…of course there will be Sovereign Debt Crisis II!

All this explains, to a time-traveller in 2008, that the 1% has continued to win despite the Great Recession caused by their bad decisions!

The Yellow Vests are there precisely as a result of the guaranteed failure of non-socialist inspired economic policies.

When the Eurozone bond market gets turbulent, its a Yellow Vest rampage – I say, Good

On top of all this practical, governmental failure, the logic, philosophy and history of capitalism dictates Sovereign Debt Crisis II will happen: punk, unpatriotic, heartless high financiers will go back to doing what they do before the European Central Bank began buying them off – squeezing the national bond markets for profit.

“Oh, ECB interest rates are no longer 0%? Then why would we risk our own money to buy your ever-worsening countrys bond? Oh, the ECB wont go below 0%? You mean you wont pay us to buy your bonds? Oh, the ECB cant buy national bonds either, because QE has bought so much (2.5 trillion euros) that its credibility is strained and its legal limits reached? And your nation cant print money either? Well, too bad for your nation, I guess. Germany and the Dutch should be relatively ok, thankfully.”

Furthermore, we also have a generation of young capitalists who have never, ever seen a bear market. Wrap your heads around this perpetual reality of capitalism; they will get their tails handed to them on a platter, and our tails along with them.

To say that I am wrong about why the European Debt Crisis will not get start soon – given the withdrawal of high finance-pampering – is to say that capitalism is not “capitalism” but that it is a centrally-planned, regulated, protective, riches-limiting socialism instead; is to say that high-finance has found morality and wants to make money honestly; is to say that international neoliberal capitalists have rediscovered fraternal patriotism.

The Eurozones QE, after postponements, is now done. It was supposed to be finished in September of 2017, which is why I wrote this 7-part series about it back then, but it was postponed and prolonged with a QE2 until December 2018. The US and Japan have also had multiple rounds of QE.

The Eurozone – the largest macroeconomy in the world and yet also the weakest link the global economy, and which has been significantly weakened by the policies pursued since 2012 and since 2008) – is about to re-enter crisis mode.

Maybe at the first sign of Eurozone Sovereign Debt Bubble II they will announce QE 3, but that would require a changing of their rules – the ECB is not as independent as the US Fed or the Bank of Japan, after all. It is very likely – given the horrifically slow nature of the EUs 18th-century Liberal Democratic system – that the rules will not be changed in time, given the fact that QE 3 would come amid such a very worse economic and bubble situation than QE 1 or QE 2.

And now France has the Yellow Vests: angered, rendered desperate and emboldened by eight years of austerity.

Just imagine the effect any major economic shock and subsequent slowdown will have on the Yellow Vests – what if unemployment goes from 9% to 11%? The Yellow Vests are marchiRead More – Source

Business

In an attempt to bring some balance to Chinas growing domination across the Indian Ocean region, Delhi and Tokyo agreed to jointly develop Sri Lankas largest and busiest seaport, Colombo.

India, Japan and Sri Lanka are planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the near future. The agreement is aimed at expanding the port by increasing its volume and transportation capacities.

Nearly 90 percent of Sri Lankas seaborne goods currently pass through the Colombo port, which is located on the west coast and serves as an important terminal in Asia due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean. The port connects the country with Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Also on rt.com Belt and Road to boost Chinas growth over next four decades

In 2017, the port of Colombo handled the traffic of 6.21 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). Last year, maritime transport data analyst Alphaliner ranked the sea hub as the Worlds highest container growth port.

The joint project reportedly comes in response to growing concerns about increased Chinese investment across the region, which could drive countries such as Sri Lanka into indebtedness. Over the past years, Colombo has been seeking to benefit and attain full capacity with a boom in regional economies.

Also on rt.com Is US concerned over China pouring money into the Middle East? RTs Keiser Report has the answer Read More

RT
Business

MADRID — Spains Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Wednesday fended off criticism over stagnant pensions by promising to raise payments if he gets opposition backing for the delayed 2018 budget.

Rajoy said he will propose tax cuts for retirees and families, as well as increases for minimum pensions and payments to widows under the framework of budget negotiations, which are due to start later this month.

“As long as Im the prime minister, pensions wont be frozen … they will rise as much as possible,” he told Congress in a special session called in response to pensioners protests and criticism by the opposition.

Labor unions have called fresh demonstrations for Saturday, demanding payment increases in line with inflation, which reached 2 percent in 2017. Pensions have risen by 0.25 percent annually in the past five years.

Rajoys minority government managed to assemble a fragile multiparty coalition to back the 2017 budget, but its unclear whether it will be able to do the same this year, with some key opposition groups hesitant to lend their support.

The Socialists and far-left Podemos have tried to sink their teeth into Rajoy on pensions, an issue dear to the ruling Popular Partys aging constituency: An estimated 36 percent of over-65s voted for Rajoy in 2016, when he received 33 percent of the total vote.

“You should be ashamed to raise pensioners payments by €2 and come here boasting,” Margarita Robles, the Socialist speaker in Congress, told Rajoy on Wednesday.

“You say theres no money. Its not true,” said Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos, accusing Rajoy of wasting taxpayers money by bailing out the banks.

“We cant spend what we dont have because that is precisely what sank our country and were obliged to meet our European commitments in terms of the public deficit,” Rajoy replied.

WhileRead More – Source

Politico
Business

BERLIN — There will be no parade, no teary farewells, not even a kiss from Jean-Claude Juncker.

Instead, Greeces time as a de facto European Union colony will end on Monday as it began in 2010, with the stroke of an anonymous eurocrats pen.

Greece emerges from its eight-year, some €300 billion “rescue” regimen with a debt load many economists, including those at the International Monetary Fund, deem unsustainable. Its also a vastly poorer country than it was when the EU stepped in, with its economy declining nearly 25 percent over the course of the bailouts (a performance that puts Greece in league with the likes of Venezuela, Libya and Yemen).

Despite Greeces continued difficulties, many of Europes powerful regard the rescue effort not just as a success, but as a model.

“We have experienced that the misbehavior of one country can put us all in danger” — Angela Merkel

“This program was an unbelievable challenge for us, as were the other rescue programs for euro states,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the architects of the bailout strategy, said recently. “But altogether we can say the euro is stable, the programs have been completed and the countries are more competitive.”

Greece has become something of a Rorschach test for how to govern the eurozone, one with profound implications at a time when Europes leaders are debating how to improve the eurozones architecture.

“We have experienced that the misbehavior of one country can put us all in danger,” Merkel said in a speech to the Bundestag, the German parliament, in March.

For those who see Greece through the German prism, the harsh austerity forced on Athens, coupled with a refusal to grant it substantial debt relief, offers a powerful prescription. “Accountability and control go hand in hand,” Merkel said.

In other words, though Greece may be diminished, its catastrophe has offered the rest of the currency bloc a frightening example of what can happen when governments skirt the rules. If sacrificing Greece is the price for preserving the euro, so be it.

The alternate view, articulated in dramatic terms by French President Emmanuel Macron last September in front of the Acropolis, is that Europes “sovereignty, democracy and trust are in danger” as a result of the crisis. Europes treatment of Greece has eroded the very foundation the European Union was built on, according to this argument.

Ultimately, the debate comes down to ones definition of “solidarity.”

Most Germans, for example, are convinced they showed Greece the utmost solidarity by providing billions in low-interest loans. While forgiving Greeces debt might put the country on more solid financial footing, it would open the door to “moral hazard,” the rewarding of bad behavior.

What that reasoning ignores is that Germany was the biggest winner of Europes bailout policies. No country has benefited more than Germany from the introduction of the euro, which has been a boon to its industry, fueling exports across the region. So if “saving” Greece was really about preserving the euro, Germany was primarily acting in its own interest.

Its easy to see why: The loans provided to Greece by the European rescue funds have put little German treasure at risk. In fact, so far theyve generated a tidy profit.

“For Greece to be stable in the long term, the people, companies and investors have to regain trust in the countrys future prospects” — Guntram Wolff

Europe, to quote a Teutonic saying, has left Greece with too much to die and tooRead More – Source

Politico
Business

ABC said today that last weeks special Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lears All in the Family and The Jeffersons totaled 15 million combined viewers when including Love+3 and a Saturday repeat. And the originals series creator thinks he knows why so many people tuned in.

“Clearly, there is still a large demand for multicam comedy on subjects we care about deeply,” Norman Lear said. “Thanks again to our partners, ABC and Sony, for understanding this and backing us.”

Citing Nielsen Media Research, ABC said today that the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted Live in Front of a Studio Audience added 2.1 million viewers in Live+3 and 0.4 rating points in delayed viewing. That brought the total to 12.5 million viewers and a 2.1/11 in adults 18-49 for the first airing. The weekend rerun pulled in 2.49 million Live+Same Day viewers and earned a 0.4/1 with the demo.

Live in Front of a Studio Audience starred Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei as Archie and Edith Bunker and Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes as George and Louise “Weezy” Jefferson. The cast also included Ellie Kemper, Marla Gibbs, Jovan Adepo, AnthonRead More – Source

Deadline
Business

Former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill is set to host a morning digital talk show titled Black Coffee for BET.

After revealing last month at Viacoms NewFronts presentation that the series would debut sometime this year, the cable network announced Tuesday it will launch on Monday, June 3 at 10 a.m. ET, across YouTube, Facebook Watch, Twitter, BET Now App, and BET.com.

The half-hour daily series “will keep viewers up to speed on Black Twitters buzziest conversations” as well as “feature news-making interviews with top celebrities, athletes, and social media stars,” the network said.

“We are excited to have Marc host our new irreverent digital series. Marc is one of the nations leading voices on culture, entertainment, sports, and politics, with equal parts unfiltered wit and raw street savvy,” David A. Wilson, SVP of Digital Content and Studios for BET Networks, said in a statement.

Added Hill: “BET Networks has been home to me for many years, and I am proud to expand our partnership with this innovative series. I look forward to galvanizing the Black community on our platforms and encouraging dialogue that moves the culture forward.”

The author and political activist will be joined by co-hosts Gia Peppers, Jameer Read More – Source

Deadline