38 82 THE ECONOMY AND FINANCIAL MARKETS I. Global 2.0: From Slow Burn to Budget Hot Potato A. Controlled Demolitions Accelerate • CEO: “The Retail Industry Is In Panic Mode” • In the Economic Circle of Life, Businesses are Dying Faster than Ever • 5 Charts That Explain Just How Indebted Your State Is • Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy Pension Funds , Entitlements and Failures • Here Are America’s Most Underfunded S&P 500 Corporate Pensions • Illinois “Budget Deal” Is Likely The Death Knell For The State’s $130 Billion Under- funded Pensions • New Jersey Has the Worst Finances in the Nation, Report Says • 1 Million Ohio Public Employees Face Pen- sion Cuts As Another Ponzi Teeters On The Brink B. Currency Wars/War on Cash • Maduro Follows Russian/Chinese Lead – Leaves the US Petro Dollar System – Vene- zuela has Huge Oil Deposits • The Economist: “Get Ready For A World Currency By 2018” • Governments to Control Large Cash Trans- actions • U.S. Consumers Embrace Freedom to Choose Cash C. Cryptocurrency Education and Studies • Princeton University: Bitcoin and Crypto- currency Technologies Text and Lectures • BIS Study: Central Bank Cryptocurrencies • Global Crytocurrency Benchmarking Study – Hileman & Rauchs 2017 Central Banks and Regulators Assert Control • IMF Proposes Central Bank Digital Curren- cies To Crush Cryptocurrencies • Bitcoin Crashes On Massive Volume As China Plans To Shut Local Exchanges • US Launches Quiet Crackdown On Crypto- currencies • SEC Cracks Down “Initial Coin Offerings”: Tokens Are Subject To Securities Laws • New Proposed Regs You Must Declare If You Have More than $10K in Crypto Currencies • Russia Backpedals On Bitcoin – Unveils Plan To Ban Cryptocurrency Sales To “Ordinary People” • South Korea Bans All New Cryptocurrency Sales News • John McAfee: “Pandora’s Box has been Opened” (Crypto Currency Security) • North Korea Is Dodging Sanctions With a Secret Bitcoin Stash • 1% Own 99% of All Bitcoin • JP Morgan Buys Bitcoin, Price Rises 20% • Bitcoin Bond in Japan Wants to Bring Cryp- tocurrency into ‘World of High Finance’ • Investment Firm VanEck Calls Bitcoin a ‘Fad,’ then Files for Bitcoin ETF • Hackers have Stolen $32 Million in Ethere- um in the Second Heist this Week D. The Debt Growth Model is Dying • Global Debt Hits 325% Of World GDP, Rises To Record $217 Trillion • BIS Study: Demographics Will Reverse Three Multi-decade Global Trends • Global Debt may be Understated by $13 Trillion: BIS Bonds and Interest Rates • Fed Balance-sheet Runoff Could Rock Fiscal Boat • 19 European Countries Now Have Negative Interest Rates • The Fed Has Created “Universal Basic In- come For The Rich” And Now It Can’t Get Out Equity Public and Private • S&P 500 Closes at Record High as Earnings VII. News Trends & Stories