In other news, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee today that the Fed probably won't be able to adequately respond to the next recession because rates are already so low.
The current low level of interest rates “means that it would be important for fiscal policy to support the economy if it weakens,” he told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.
Powell said that the Fed would resort to tools it used in the last recession if it’s again forced to lower short-term interest rates to zero.
Meanwhile, European parliament has voted in favor of signing a free trade agreement with Vietnam, giving European business a leg up over American businesses after Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that included Vietnam.
Finally, scientists working for the Dutch government are proposing the construction of massive dams to completely enclose the North Sea and protect northern Europe from rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming.
A Dutch government scientist has proposed building two mammoth dams to completely enclose the North Sea and protect an estimated 25 million Europeans from the consequences of rising sea levels as a result of global heating.
Sjoerd Groeskamp, an oceanographer at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, said a 475km dam between north Scotland and west Norway and another 160km one between west France and south-west England was “a possible solution”. [...]
The cost of building a so-called North Sea Enclosure Dyke, estimated at between €250bn and £500bn, amounts to barely 0.1% of the combined GDP of all the countries that would be protected by it, they calculate.
Programming note... early this afternoon I learned that a longtime friend passed away in her sleep on Sunday night. I've just been sitting here stunned for hours and haven't written anything. I didn't even realize what time it is. I'll try to be back here tomorrow or Friday.