North Korea Slams Trump’s “Provocative, Aggressive Words”, Will Test Missiles “When It Sees Fit”

In a terse response to President Trump's earlier threats and later promises of pre-emptive strikes, North Korea's vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol says it is not his own country but the United States and President Donald Trump who are "making trouble."

Vice Minister Han made the comments in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press in Pyongyang on Friday. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that North Korea was "looking for trouble" and added that if China doesn't do its part to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the U.S. can handle it.

Han cited Trump's tweets as problematic, as well as the U.S. military's participation in exercises with South Korea and an aircraft carrier's move to the region.

"Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words. …. It's not the DPRK but the US and Trump that makes trouble."

Furthermore, North Korea's vice foreign minister said it will conduct its next nuclear test whenever its supreme headquarters sees fit, warning that the situation on the Korean Peninsula was in a "vicious cycle" as tensions with the U.S. and its allies deepen.

Han told AP that Pyongyang won't "keep its arms crossed" in the face of a U.S. pre-emptive strike.

As we detailed earlier, tensions have escalated on the Korean Peninsula, as this Saturday marks the anniversary of the birth of the nation's founder — Kim il-Sung, grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un. At the highest levels in South Korea and the U.S., sources told NBC News, there are fears North Korea could mark the "Day of the Sun" by testing a nuclear device. As discussed yesterday, North Korea in the past has used these national holidays to celebrate the strengths of the regime and to reinforce the national narrative of their independence, as confirmed by Cha.

"I think that is what President Trump is getting trying to get the Chinese to do," said Cha. "[It] would impose real pain and force real choices on North Korea — whether the costs are worth it for them to continue to pursue this program if they no longer have any sustenance."

In addition to the coal ships, the Chinese made an important gesture at the UN Thursday: A surprising abstention on a Security Council resolution condemning a Syrian chemical weapons attack. China didn't stand with the Russians on Syria, as it has in the past.

Peter Schiff Warns: “Nothing Has Changed Under Trump… We’re Headed For A Major Crisis”

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

When Donald Trump was elected, there was so much optimism among libertarians and conservatives, it was almost palpable. However, it’s only been several months into his first term, and it’s becoming quite apparent that Trump is no savior. In retrospect, it was foolish to think any single person could snap his fingers, and reverse decades of financial mismanagement and political corruption. It was foolish to think that he could dismantle an entrenched bureaucracy that is more powerful than most people realize.

But not everyone was convinced that Trump was going to be able to turn this ship around. Peter Schiff knew that the damage done by the political establishment was irreversible, and that our financial system was living on borrowed time. In a recent interview with Future Money Trends, Schiff explains why Donald Trump can’t stop the inevitable, and how you can crash proof your assets ahead of the economic pain that is coming:

Donald Trump should already be disappointing a lot of people who thought we were going to get change, we were going to make America great again. We didn’t repeal Obamacare, that’s here to stay. Major tax reform is dead. We’re dropping bombs.

 

I mean it’s the same old same old right? Big government… bigger deficits… more cheap money… keep the air in the bubble. We’re headed for a major major crisis.

Watch the full interview with Peter Schiff:


(Watch At Youtube)

As for what that major crisis will be, it’s not what most people would expect. As Schiff points out, it’s not going to be triggered by one sector of the economy, as we saw in during the last financial crash. The crisis is going to emerge with the dollar itself, which Schiff says could cause precious metal prices to soar. Everyone is taking for granted the fact that the dollar is king, but it’s not going to be for long. Not when our government continues to rack up debt like a compulsive gambler; which at this point, doesn’t appear to be changing under Trump.

The dollar is living on borrowed time, literally. And so we just don’t know. It’s like a bomb with a fuse, but we just don’t really know how long the fuse is. The dollar, I think is in a major bubble. I think it is in the process of topping out. I think once it completes this top it’s going down. And I think it’s going to take out the lows from 2008…

 

…I think it’s going to go down for the count. Because the last time, what saved the dollar was the financial crisis, and that crisis resulted in everybody buying the dollar. But I think the next crisis is not going to be the same crisis that we had in 08. I think the dollar is going to be the crisis. I don’t think it’s going to be a bread and butter financial crisis.

 

This is going to be a currency crisis. So it’s going to be the US government. It’s not going to be the mortgage markets that’s blowing up. It’s going to be the treasury bond market that’s blowing up. It’s going to be the Federal Reserve that’s blowing up. And this is going to be a major major negative for the dollar, not a positive.

We really don’t know how long that fuse is, but there’s no doubt that it’s been lit. There is a frustrating truism in economics. You can easily predict if something bad is going to happen, but you can never predict when it’s going to happen.

That’s because the economy is built on numbers that are easy to calculate, but it’s impossible to predict how people will react to those numbers. In our case, people don’t want to believe that this economy is built on a house of cards and that their standard of living is in jeopardy. That willful ignorance, that confidence, can keep the show going long after the curtain should have been drawn. However, no amount of confidence can keep an unsustainable system running forever. Eventually, reality becomes impossible to ignore.

Trump doesn’t want to preside over a major decline in our standard of living, but ultimately that has to happen. Because this is the consequence of all this excess consumption that went on before he was president. You know, we sacrificed our future to indulge our past. The future is now the present. We’re here, and it’s time to pay the piper.

There’s only one thing you can do, according to Peter Schiff. Prepare yourself and your family with real assets like gold and silver that will keep your finances afloat during the next currency crisis.

 

Which Graduate Degree Gets You Out Of Debt The Fastest?

Via Priceonomics.com,

If you’re one of the 29% who feels their choice of major in college didn’t prepare them to secure the job they wanted after graduation, you may be considering graduate school as a shot at a do-over. Those seeking higher income may indeed find themselves better equipped after earning a graduate degree. But this second chance can come at a steep cost.

But is it worth it? And moreover, does it matter financially if you attend a prestigious graduate school or not?

One way of answering this question is to look at how much income you make after grad school compared to the amount of debt you've now accumulated. We decided to analyze data from Priceonomics customer Earnest, a financial services company, to see which advanced degrees produced graduates with the the most (and least) student debt and how that compared to their actual earnings after school. 

We looked at the following graduate degrees: MDs (medicine), DDS (dentistry), Pharm D (pharmacy), MBA (business administration), JDs (law), Masters in Science or Engineering, Masters in Arts, and other masters degrees.

We found that medical professionals take on the most debt – even when their high salaries are accounted for – while MBAs enjoy a low debt burden relative to their income.

We also looked at the question of does the prestige of the school matter.

We found graduate program prestige comes with tangible financial benefits: for all disciplines except medicine, graduates of top-100 programs enjoy lower debt relative to their income upon graduation. This trend continues after graduation, with the exception of engineering graduate students, where students from less prestigious schools have more favorable debt to income ratios six years after graduation than their counterparts from higher ranked schools.

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We first asked how much debt the typical graduate degree holder carries. This data is supplied by respondents looking to refinance their debt, so while it is self-reported, users must be reasonably accurate if they wish to receive realistic rate estimates. Average student loan debt – which comprises debt accumulated in college and graduate school – is reported for each degree type below.

Data source: Earnest

Future medical professionals – a category that includes doctors, dentists, and pharmacists – can expect to take on the most debt to finance their degrees. Future lawyers, too, take on six-figure debt to finance their degrees. Masters programs of all stripes are the cheapest, though graduates’ debt still ranges from around $60,000 all the way up to nearly $90,000.

This ranking lines up with degree program duration: MD programs typically take 4 years to complete, JDs 3 years, and full-time masters programs 1 or 2 years. 

Even with a hefty price, a degree program may be worth it if it confers earning power to match. If we account for income, do doctors still have the highest debt compared to other graduate degree-holders?

To answer this question, we divided average debt by our respondents’ average self-reported income to calculate a debt-to-income ratio for each group of graduates. Debt-to-income ratios below 1 mean these degree-holders make more than they paid for their degree in one year. Values over 1 mean the degree cost more than what the typical graduate makes in a year.

Data source: Earnest

Even if we take income into account, medical professionals bear the greatest burden when it comes to paying for their degrees. These graduates make a solid income, but it’s not enough to balance out their formidable debt.

Graduates with Masters of Arts degrees take second place in our debt-to-income ranking despite paying the least for their credentials. These graduates can expect relatively low starting salaries that handicap their ability to pay down debt.

At the other end of the spectrum, MBAs enjoy the lowest debt-to-income ratio. These degrees are relatively affordable and confer high earning power. 

The relationship between income and debt changes over time as graduates climb the career ladder and pay down their loans. We wanted to see how debt-to-income ratio changes as graduates establish themselves in their careers, so we broke our sample down by years post-graduation to chart a debt-to-income trajectory for each degree type.

Data source: Earnest

Graduates with all degree types experience a decrease in debt-to-income ratio after graduation, but in some professions, those ratios come down faster than in others.

Medical professionals have the highest debt-to-income ratio immediately after graduation. This is likely because MDs begin their careers in residencies, which are essentially low-paid apprenticeships lasting 3 to 6 years. Once residents become practicing physicians, they can expect comfortable six-figure salaries and subsequently make fast progress on their debt. 

In contrast, MBAs have the flattest trajectories toward debt freedom. Though they have the lowest debt-to-income ratio across the entire post-graduation time period we considered, they  make the least progress between years 1 and 11 after graduation.

The chart below zooms in on the last data point in our chart, ranking debt-to-income ratio for midcareer professionals 11 years removed from graduation.

Data source: Earnest

Even in the middle of their careers, graduates with Masters of Arts degrees earn relatively little compared to their debt. Costly law and medical degrees hold debt-to-income ratios near 1 for lawyers and doctors, as well. 

Professionals with degrees in business, science, or engineering fare comparatively better, making comfortably more than the cost of their degree in one midcareer year.

Of course, all degrees aren’t created equal. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, for example, grants its MBA recipients access to a higher-powered network than does the average public college. This advantage could translate to a real difference in earnings and, in turn, debt-to-income trajectory. 

To see the difference grad school reputation can make, we broke our sample down based on whether a graduate’s degree program landed in the top 100 for their field, then charted debt-to-income trajectory over 11 years post-graduation.

Data source: Earnest

School reputation matters. Across a variety of disciplines, professionals who graduate from higher-ranked schools begin their careers with less debt relative to their income. And for the most part, this trend is still apparent a decade after graduation. 

There’s one exception: medical professionals have more or less the same debt-to-income trajectory regardless of their school’s reputation. With respect to student debt, all medical degrees are created equal.

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So if you’re seeking an affordable graduate degree that will boost your earning power, what should you do?

The “rich doctor” stereotype makes medicine look appealing, but it doesn’t do justice to the burden of financing an MD. Medical professionals take on an average debt near $200,000 to finance their degrees, and early in their careers, their income does little to offset their debt. Attending a more prestigious school doesn’t mitigate their high debt-to-income ratio; graduates of top schools pay just as much relative to their salary as grads from lower-ranked programs.

In contrast, the average MBA makes six figures after spending one or two years in graduate school. They typically take on around $90,000 in debt, but consistently enjoy a low debt-to-income ratio. This is doubly true for graduates of top-100 business programs, who enjoy the high income that comes with access to a high-powered alumni network.