Banned in China

China is a country that has a government that regulates its people from being polluted by other countries. It is a republic that wants its people to not lose touch with its own culture. This is because the country has experienced downfalls in the past when it was influenced and taken advantage of by different countries. In effect, the Chinese government regulates all news, history book, games, and stories that would tarnish the integrity of their nation, as well as things that could corrupt the minds of its people. Listed below are ten things that are/was banned in mainland China.

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Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat)

Social media is surely one of the most influential mediums in our world today. From online bullying to scandals, and to different lies, everything could be made famous and be accepted as true with the help of social media. Everything on social media is something that society readily accepts or denies depending on how it is received by the majority.

Facebook was gaining a lot of popularity by 2009. China then decided that Facebook was nothing but trouble to its people that is why they banned it in their country. It was banned because Facebook seemed to be the cause of several riots, government censorships on the website, and in order to protect some local companies. China then released its own social media like Facebook which actually gained more users than Facebook, but every content was censored and controlled.

Another social media site that was banned in China was twitter. Twitter was also deemed by China as something that would not do any good to its people. As a result, it is one of the websites that cannot be viewed within the Great Firewall of China.

Snapchat is a social media app for mobile phones which allows users to send pictures that would only last for a few seconds. As harmless as the app may seem to be, the Chinese government does not support the app and banned it also. The Chinese government wants to keep out many western influences as much as possible. Also, it wants its domestic tech companies to develop its own apps in order to give to the public.


China does not support Gambling. Casinos were banned and outlawed in Beijing during the late 1940’s. casinos were shut down and were not allowed to operate within the country. The Laws were so strict that even advertising gambling or casinos were not allowed on Chinese soil. The only gambling platform which was allowed by the government was state-run lotteries.

Children’s Book (Green Eggs and Ham)

Even children’s were banned in China. This iconic children’s book Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss was banned within Chinese borders in 1965. It was banned because the Republic did not like the thought of the book wherein the idea of Marxism was portrayed in the book. Marxism is a social and economic theory that states that social classes should not be present in our world. In 1991, the ban on the book was lifted in the death of Dr. Seuss.

China does a lot of censorship with the things their people are reading, writing, listening or watching. The Republic wants their people to uphold the values and customs of its nation. The country upholds and treasures its rich culture and history and does not want it to be destroyed by external influences. An example of this is an incident wherein a Japanese CEO denies the rape of Nanking which was a huge part of Chinese history. The Chinese government as well as its people immediately asked for a public apology from the CEO and promises not to patronize its companies in Japan. This is a result of the Chinese government doing what it needs to do in order to preserve its history.

Intermarine: Connecting Houston to the entire world

Oil and Gas equipment, wind turbines, military equipment and heavy lift machinery – these are the types of cargo that many shipping companies simply do not have the capabilities or technical know-how to manage. Right here in the Port of Houston, however, is Intermarine, a vital player in the global shipping industry; and the company’s Operations Center – the largest break bulk shipping terminal in the country.1

With the help of equipment financing through the Chase Maritime finance group, Intermarine has begun to symbolize Houston’s role as an international shipping hub. Since Intermarine moved to Houston in 2009, Chase has acted as the company’s primary treasury provider, and played an active role in the company’s global expansion.

With operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, Intermarine relies heavily on JPMorgan Chase’s global expertise, personnel and capabilities to provide the kind of global treasury services that few banks can.

Intermarine is propelling growth for not only the country, but also Houston’s position as the energy capital of the world. The company has played an instrumental role in transporting wind turbines and all of this expansion continues to improve the lives of people right here at home. As Intermarine continues to grow the business globally, their local impact increases, driving essential economic development for the greater Houston community.

Citi’s Buiter: ‘Inconsistent’ Fed will never reach normal

The U.S. Federal Reserve will fail to raise its benchmark interest rate to 2 percent before the next recession takes hold and will likely opt for negative interest rates in the next downturn, according to the Citigroup’s chief economist.

“We know that there are going to be few rate increases (by the Fed), and not to a very high level,” Willem Buiter told CNBC Friday.

“We may be at barely 1 percent at the end of 2016 and I don’t think that in this cycle we are going to see 2 percent. We will be back at the zero lower bound before you can say ‘cyclical downturn’.”

Buiter criticized the U.S. central bank, which he believes has been engaged in “systematic forward misguidance” and “maximizing the degree of uncertainty.”

A central bank should not “communicate by committee,” according to Buiter, who added that Federal Reserve members have been personally sending mixed messages at consecutive speeches or interviews.

“It’s been singularly unhelpful,” he said. “There is just no consistent message, which is not data-dependent it is confusion dependent.”

His comments come a day after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer hinted that “some major central banks” could move away from near-zero interest rate policy “in the relatively near future.”

Traders continue to seek guidance on whether the Fed will move from near-zero rates at its policy meeting next month. The U.S. central bank has held the federal funds rate there since the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Buiter said he believes that Fed will now have to move in December to be perceived as still being consistent. He said that global central banks will “at best” be able to move benchmark rates back up to 2 percent, whereas historically a normalization would have seen rates above 4 percent.

“The next time a (cyclical downturn) happens, the Fed too will be going negative as will the Bank of England,” he said.

The economist has purveyed a bearish view of the global economy recently, telling CNBC in October that the world faces a period of contraction and declining trade next year. He believes that China, Brazil and Russia are all edging towards an economic downturn.

Expect at LEAST three rate hikes in 2016: Economist

Investors may need to brace for at least three rate hikes by the Fed next year, Renaissance Macro’s chief U.S. economist said Friday

“I think in 2016, we’re going to have the unemployment rate below 5 percent and headline inflation will be close to 2 [percent],” Neil Dutta told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “Underlying inflation dynamics are moving in a direction that’s going to pressure the Fed towards a more aggressive path than the markets are pricing in at the moment.”

“I think the Fed is going to go at least three times next year; if not four. That’s what they mean by ‘gradual,'” he said.

Several Fed officials have recently signaled they would be in favor ofincreasing rates for the first time in more than nine years, including Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, following a strong October jobs report.

The CME Group’s FedWatch tool puts the chances for a December rate increase at about 70 percent.

However, strategist Boris Schlossberg does not share Dutta’s view.

“Fixed income markets are the smartest markets in the world, and they are telling you that, even if the Fed moves, it’s going to be very much a one-and-done,” B.K. Asset Management’s managing director of FX strategy told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“One of the reasons why I think the euro doesn’t have that much more downside to go is because the market has already discounted the idea that we’re going to do the hike, and there’s nothing much more left after that for a while. The Fed is going to sit there and watch,” he said.

The euro has lost nearly 1 percent against the dollar this week and about 3 percent in November.

Schlossberg said the central bank would stand pat “only if we have some horrendous, exogenous shock.”

However, Oppenheimer Funds Chief Investment Officer Krishna Memani stressed Friday that investors should be careful if the central bank does hike next month.

“The Fed is tightening; they haven’t done anything like that in a long time. While it seems the economy may be doing OK, I think there are plenty of headwinds facing us,” he said in another “Squawk Box” interview. “Things are pretty slow in emerging markets, thing are falling apart in oil and in the energy sector.”

WTI crude in 2015

“It’s really more about how the markets and investors and, more importantly, companies, perceive it to be. If they believe that, as a result of this, things will slow down, and the U.S. is really the only source of growth in the world, then we’ll have a problem on our hands,” Memani said.

US Fed’s Williams sees strong case for December interest-rate hike

There is a “strong case” for raising interest rates when Federal Reserve policymakers meet next month, as long as U.S. economic data does not disappoint, a top Fed official said on Saturday.

“The data I think have been overall encouraging, especially on the labor market,” San Francisco Fed President John Williams told reporters after a conference at University of California Berkeley’s Clausen Center.

“Assuming that we continue to get good data on the economy, continue to get signs that we are moving closer to achieving our goals and gaining confidence getting back to 2-percent inflation… If that continues to happen there’s a strong case to be made in December to raise rates.”

The Fed is widely seen increasing its benchmark overnight interest rate at its Dec. 15-16 policy meeting, and the debate is already shifting to the pace of rate hikes going forward.

Williams sought on Saturday to make clear that rate hikes would not only be gradual, but would not follow the stair-step pattern that characterized the Fed’s last policy-tightening cycle, when it raised rates by a quarter of a percentage point at every meeting.

“I do think the slope is the most important thing to communicate, the pace of increases,” he said, adding that the Fed’s quarterly economic forecasts will be critical in that regard, along with public comments from Fed officials and possible changes to the Fed’s post-meeting statement.

“We definitely do not want to, either through our actions or our words, indicate a preference for a very mechanical path of interest rates, whether it’s every other meeting or however you think about it,” Williams said. “Since economic data can surprise on the upside and the downside, maybe there will be opportunities to show we are data dependent.”

Consumer confidence declines again

An employee rings up a customer at the Macy's flagship store in New York.

An employee rings up a customer at the Macy’s flagship store in New York.

U.S. consumers were feeling less optimistic about the economy in November, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 90.4 in November, missing estimates for 99.5. It was also lower than October’s reading of 99.1.

“The decline was mainly due to a less favorable view of the job market. Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions, on the other hand, was mixed. Fewer consumers said conditions had improved, while the proportion saying conditions had deteriorated also declined. Heading into 2016, consumers are cautious about the labor market and expect little change in business conditions,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board.

The share of Americans surveyed by the Conference Board anticipating more jobs in the coming months fell. Fewer people also expect to see their incomes increase. The percentage describing jobs as “plentiful” declined to 19.9 percent from 22.7 percent.

The decline in the confidence index comes after a robust month of hiring in October. Employers added 271,000 jobs last month as the unemployment rate settled at a healthy 5 percent.

The monthly consumer confidence survey is conducted by Nielsen for The Conference Board.

US preliminary Q3 GDP up 2.1% vs 2.1% increase expected

The U.S. economy grew at a healthier clip in the third quarter than initially thought, suggesting resilience that could help give the Federal Reserve confidence to raise interest rates next month.

The Commerce Department on Tuesday said the nation’s gross domestic product grew at a 2.1 percent annual pace, not the 1.5 percent rate it reported last month. It said efforts by businesses to reduce an inventory bloat had not been as aggressive as previously believed.

The growth estimate was also boosted by upward revisions to business spending on equipment and investment in home building. While consumer spending was revised down a bit, its pace remained brisk.

A shipping container at the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City Terminal is loaded aboard a ship in Savannah, Ga.

A shipping container at the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City Terminal is loaded aboard a ship in Savannah, Ga.

When measured from the income side, the economy grew at a brisk 3.1 percent clip, an acceleration from the second quarter’s 2.2 percent pace.

The third-quarter’s respectable expansion should set up the economy to achieve at least 2 percent growth in the second half of the year, around its long-run potential. In the wake of robust job growth in October and strong domestic demand, the Fed is expected to raise rates at its Dec. 15-16 policy meeting.

The GDP revision was in line with economists’ expectations. Businesses accumulated $90.2 billion worth of inventory in the third quarter, instead of the $56.8 billion reported last month.

As a result, the change in inventories chopped off 0.59 percentage point from third-quarter GDP growth, rather than the 1.44 percentage points the government reported in October.

That, however, suggests inventories could be a drag on fourth-quarter growth.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, grew at a 3.0 percent rate, down from the 3.2 percent rate estimated last month. The downward revisions mostly reflected weak outlays on communication services and utilities.

A measure of private domestic demand, which excludes trade, inventories and government spending, was revised down to a still sturdy 3.1 percent pace from the previously 3.2 percent rate.

Though there are signs consumer spending slowed early in the fourth quarter, it is likely to remain supported by a tightening labor market, rising house prices, which are boosting household wealth, as well as low inflation.

Growth in exports, which have been hurt by a strong dollar and sluggish global demand, were revised to show a slower 0.9 rate of increase. With imports rising at a slightly faster pace than previously reported, that left a trade deficit that subtracted 0.22 percentage point from GDP growth.

Trade was previously reported to have had a neutral impact on GDP growth.

Deep spending cuts by energy firms following a collapse in oil prices continued to weigh on growth. Spending on mining exploration, wells and shafts tumbled at a 47.1 percent rate, rather than the 46.9 percent pace reported last month.

Investment in nonresidential structures contracted at a 7.1 percent pace, instead of the previously reported 4.0 percent rate. However, business spending on equipment was revised up to a 9.5 percent rate from a 5.3 percent pace.

The Commerce Department also reported that corporate profits after tax fell at a 1.6 percent rate in the third quarter after rising at a 2.6 percent pace in the second quarter. Profits, which have been undercut by the dollar’s strength and lower oil prices, were down 8.1 percent from a year ago, the biggest decline since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Wall Street take note—’It’s the economy, stupid’: BlackRock

For those wondering what it will take for the market to reach new highs, BlackRock’s Russ Koesterich channeled a 1990’s Clinton campaign mantra by saying “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Using the theme of James Carville’s famous 1992 campaign quote, Koesterich told CNBC’s “Futures Now” on Tuesday that the S&P 500will continue to trade in this sideways and choppy pattern that we’ve seen this year until there’s “significant evidence of growth” in both the economy and earnings picture.

“The key thing for the U.S. market is that we are already at the top of its valuation range. The S&P 500 is already trading at 19 times forward earnings and there’s only so much further that multiple expansion can take us,” BlackRock’s global chief investment strategist said.

Furthermore, Koesterich pointed to the underlying threats of a strongdollar, weak global economy and collapsing energy prices for putting the United States “in the midst of a profit recession.” The U.S. dollar index has rallied 10 percent year to date, which has put immense pressure on corporate earnings. Throughout 2015 the S&P 500 has seen back-to-back quarters of decelerating revenue growth, according to FactSet.

“Looking back at history, profit recessions — defined by at least two quarters of consecutive negative earnings growth — typically accompany economic recessions,” Koesterich added. However, he doesn’t necessarily believe a full-blown recession is on the horizon as he expects “further dollar appreciation will be more muted than earlier this year” and “oil prices have probably bottomed.”

Koesterich anticipates the S&P 500 to get a boost heading into the end of the year, as clarity from the Fed could ease short-term volatility. However, he urges investors to pay close attention to economic activity in 2016, as it will be “key for determining whether or not the current profit blip is simply an interruption in the long-term bull market or the beginning of the end.”

Consumer spending tepid; savings near 3-year high

U.S. consumer spending barely rose in October as households took advantage of rising incomes to boost savings to their highest level in nearly three years, pointing to moderate economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Cash money dollars

The Commerce Department said Wednesday consumer spending edged up 0.1 percent after a similar increase in September.

That suggests consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, has slowed from the third quarter’s brisk 3.0 percent annual pace.

In other economic reports Wednesday:
Jobless claims fall as labor market tightens
US durable goods orders soar
Mortgage applications fall 3.2% as rates retrench

The tepid rise in consumer spending could combine with an anticipated drag on the economy from an ongoing inventory reduction to hold the economy to around a 2 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter. The government reported Tuesday that the economy expanded at a 2.1 percent rate in the third quarter.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending rising 0.3 percent last month. When adjusted for inflation, consumer spending gained 0.1 percent in October after rising by the same margin in September.

Personal income increased 0.4 percent last month, accelerating after a 0.2 percent gain in September. Wages and salaries shot up 0.6 percent, the largest increase since May. With income outpacing spending, savings rose, which could boost consumer spending in the coming months.

Savings increased to $761.9 billion last month, the highest level since December 2012, from $722.9 billion in September.

There was still no sign of inflation, which has persistently run below the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target.

A price index for consumer spending ticked up 0.1 percent after declining in September for the first time since January.

In the 12 months through October, the personal consumption expenditures price index was up 0.2 percent after a similar rise in September.

Excluding food and energy, prices were unchanged after rising by 0.2 percent in September. The so-called core PCE price index rose 1.3 percent in the 12 months through October, for the 10th-straight month.

US business spending gauge surges, durable goods orders soar

A shopper walks past washer and dryers at a Best Buy store in Northbrook, Illinois.

A shopper walks past washer and dryers at a Best Buy store in Northbrook, Illinois.

A gauge of U.S. business investment plans surged in October, the latest suggestion that the worst of the drag from a strong dollar and deep spending cuts by energy firms was over.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased 1.3 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent rise in September.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast these so-called core capital goods orders rising only 0.4 percent after September’s previously reported 0.1 percent dip.

The report came on the heels of data this month showing a solid increase in manufacturing output in October. A survey of factories also showed a rise in new orders last month.

Manufacturing, which accounts for 12 percent of the economy, has been slammed by the dollar strength and the spending cuts in the energy sector. The dollar has appreciated 18.1 percent against the currencies of the United States’ main trading partners since June 2014.

The pace of appreciation, however, is gradually slowing. Economists also believe that the bulk of spending cuts by oil field firms like Schlumberger in response to lower crude prices have already been implemented.

Still, manufacturing has to deal with an inventory overhang. Data on Tuesday showed businesses had not been as aggressive as initially thought in their efforts to reduce unsold merchandise, leading to an accumulation of inventories that economists said was unsustainable.

Shipments of core capital goods, which are used to calculate equipment spending in the government’s gross domestic product measurement, fell 0.4 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.7 percent gain in September.

Core capital goods shipments were previously reported to have risen 0.5 percent in September.

An 8.0 percent jump in transportation equipment spending also contributed to lifting overall orders for durable goods — items ranging from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last three years or more — which surged 3.0 percent last month.

Transportation was buoyed by an 81.0 percent increase in aircraft orders. Boeing reported on its website that it had received 59 orders last month, up from 29 aircraft orders in September. Orders for automobiles and parts fell 2.9 percent.