A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Mike Whitney Archive
Draghi's "No-growth" QE
Let’s say you’re diagnosed with colorectal cancer. But instead of going to a professional for help, you decide to treat yourself with glycerol suppositories and high doses of Vitamin C. Well, then, you’re probably going to die, right? This same rule applies to economics. If you try to reduce unemployment and boost growth by doing... [MORE]
If This Doesn't Make You Mad...
Why is the Fed threatening to raise interest rates when the economy is still in the doldrums? Is it because they want to avoid further asset-price inflation, prevent the economy from overheating, or is it something else altogether? Take a look at the chart below and you’ll see why the Fed might want to raise... [MORE]
Down the Plughole
Growth of Real Hourly Compensation for Production/Nonsupervisory Workers and Productivity, 1948–2011 Is America in the throes of a class war? Look at the chart and decide for yourself. It’s all there in black and white, and you don’t need to be an economist to figure it out. But, please, take some time to study the... [MORE]
Bravo!
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“If undercharging for energy products occurs deliberately, it also effects those who introduce these limitations. Problems will arise and grow, worsening the situation not only for Russia but also for our partners.” – Russian President Vladimir Putin It’s hard to know which country is going to suffer the most from falling oil prices. Up to... [MORE]
Did the U.S. and the Saudis Conspire to Push Down Oil Prices?
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“Saudi oil policy… has been subject to a great deal of wild and inaccurate conjecture in recent weeks. We do not seek to politicize oil… For us it’s a question of supply and demand, it’s purely business.” – Ali al Naimi, Saudi Oil Minister “There is no conspiracy, there is no targeting of anyone. This... [MORE]
Barbarossa 2
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“The plunge of the Russian currency this week is the drastic outcome of policies implemented by the major imperialist powers to force Russia to submit to American and European imperialism’s neo-colonial restructuring of Eurasia. Punishing the Putin regime’s interference with their plans for regime change in countries such as Ukraine and Syria, the NATO powers... [MORE]
US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling
“John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it... [MORE]
Shale Leads the Way
Crude oil prices dipped lower on Wednesday pushing down yields on US Treasuries and sending stocks down sharply. The 30-year UST slipped to a Depression era 2.83 percent while all three major US indices plunged into the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) led the retreat losing a hefty 268 points before the session... [MORE]
Putin Gobsmacks Obama and Euro-Leaders with Surprise Gas Deal
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin clinched a groundbreaking deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that will strengthen economic ties between the two nations and make Turkey the major hub for Russian gas in the region. Under the terms of the agreement, Russia will pump additional natural gas to locations in central Turkey and... [MORE]
Ukraine War Driven by Gas-Dollar Link
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“The Fed’s ‘need’ to take on an even more active role as foreigners further slow the purchases of our paper is to put the pedal to the metal on the currency debasement race now being run in the developed world — a race which is speeding us all toward the end of the present currency... [MORE]
Does the Name "Strauss-Kahn" Ring a Bell?
The International Monetary Fund has finally admitted that it was wrong to recommend austerity as early as it did in 2010-2011. The IMF now agrees that it should have waited until the US and EU economies were on a sustainable growth-path before advising them to trim their budget deficits and reduce public spending. According to... [MORE]
The Double Whammy
Japanese stocks suffered their biggest one-day plunge in more than four months following an announcement that the world’s third biggest economy had slipped back into recession. The two consecutive quarters of negative growth were triggered by an increase in the sales tax that was implemented by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in April. The VAT tax... [MORE]
It's No Accident
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2014 was a banner year for Afghanistan’s booming opium industry. According to a United Nations annual survey released on Wednesday, opium cultivation set a record in 2014, increasing by an impressive 7 percent year-over-year and up nearly 50 percent from 2012. Afghanistan presently produces 80 percent of the world’s heroin which provides billions of dollars... [MORE]
Grab a Pitchfork
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“The Republican victory does not represent a shift by the American population to the right, but demonstrates the bankrupt and reactionary character of the Democratic Party and the mass disillusionment with the Obama administration. In the absence of any progressive alternative to the two right-wing, corporate-controlled parties, the majority of potential voters stayed home. Voter... [MORE]
Subprime Loans and Auto Sales
“It’s not the underlying economics that’s driving things, it’s central bank liquidity.” — Matt King, Citigroup Soaring auto sales are not so much a sign of a strong economy as they are an indication of financial hanky-panky. We saw this same type of fakery play out in housing between 2004 – 2006, when prices went... [MORE]
The American Dream, Gone
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1: Wage Stagnation: Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It, Elise Gould, EPI Economic Policy Institute: “The hourly compensation of a typical worker grew in tandem with productivity from 1948-1973. …. After 1973, productivity grew strongly, especially after 1995, while the typical worker’s compensation was relatively stagnant. This divergence... [MORE]
"Easy Money" Mel Watt Loosens Lending on Mortgages
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Here we go again. Last week, the country’s biggest mortgage lenders scored a couple of key victories that will allow them to ease lending standards, crank out more toxic assets, and inflate another housing bubble. Here’s what’s going on: On Monday, the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mel Watt, announced that Fannie... [MORE]
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Market Crash?
“Frankly, we are so far off the economic rails, the locomotive is stuck in a swamp and the trailing cars are piling up around it.” Anonymous, Comments line, Naked Capitalism Since the end of the recession in 2009, investors have borrowed a record amount of money to finance their stock acquisitions. According to the Financial... [MORE]
Unbelievable. On Wednesday, stocks were hammered after economic data showed that the US and global economies were headed for a major slowdown. By mid-day, the Dow was down 460 points before clawing its way back to minus 173 points. It looked like the market was set for another triple-digit flogging on Thursday when the Fed... [MORE]
In the Blink of an Eye
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“Financial markets are faced with uncertainty that isn’t going away. The slowdown in Europe is probably in the early innings, the Fed hasn’t begun to raise interest rates, and geopolitical crises seem to pop up by the day.” Jeff Cox, Finance editor, CNBC Six years of zero rates and trillions of dollars of asset purchases... [MORE]