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Economics

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Why did the Fed raise its benchmark interest rate when inflation is still running below the Fed’s target, workers wages have hardly budged and the economy is not even growing at 1 percent? Yellen was asked that question at a press conference on Wednesday following the release of the FOMC’s statement. Her answer helps to... Read More
Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy. It’s basically a scheme for handing over public assets to private corporations that will extract maximum profits via user fees and tolls. Because the plan is essentially a boondoggle, it will not... Read More
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The U.S. economy is weak. Very weak. But the Federal Reserve is planning to raise interest rates anyway. Why? Here’s what’s going on: According to the Atlanta Fed the US economy is expected to grow at a respectable 2.8 percent for the first quarter of 2017 That’s not bad considering that, for the entire year... Read More
It’s funny how an election can change the way a man sees the world. Before the election, Donald Trump thought that stocks were dangerously inflated. In an interview on CNBC, he said “I hope I’m wrong, but I think we’re in a big, fat, juicy bubble.” That was Candidate Trump. President Trump sees things differently.... Read More
Trump wants to rip up the financial rule book and let the bankers go hog-wild. But haven’t we tried that before? Last Friday, the president announced a plan to scrap the rules that were put in place in 2010 to prevent another financial meltdown. Trump wants to return to the ‘good old days’ when the... Read More
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It's amazing how Obama was able to dupe the American people into believing that the weakest expansion in the postwar era, was an "economic recovery." Frankly, it boggles the mind. Think about it for a minute: Productivity, business investment, personal consumption, inflation and growth have all been either sputtering-along at half speed or at historic... Read More
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Donald Trump has a plan for dealing with the stock market bubble. Make it bigger. Before the election candidate Trump blasted Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen for keeping interest rates too low for too long to keep the economy humming along while Obama was still in office. The president elect accused Yellen of being politically... Read More
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Why is the Fed creating incentives for US corporations to destroy themselves? Why is the Fed pushing insurance companies and retirement funds into bankruptcy? Why is the Fed raising interest rates when inflation is still well below its 2 percent target? Things are not always what they seem. In theory, the Fed’s low interest rates... Read More
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Trump’s economic plan has sent stocks ripping higher for six weeks straight. But what’s going to happen to stock prices when Congress gives Trump’s plan a big thumbs down? Has anyone thought about that yet? And what about the Fed? Does anyone seriously think that Fed chairman Janet Yellen is going to sit on her... Read More
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Will Donald Trump be good for the US economy? The American people seem to think so. According to a recent survey taken by Gallup “Americans have relatively high expectations (of) the president-elect… Substantial majorities (upward of 60%) believe the Trump administration will improve the economy and create jobs. A slim majority (52%) say he’ll improve... Read More
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In Donald Trump’s first four years as president, he will not only choose three judges for the Supreme Court, he’ll also pick five of the seven members on the Fed Board of Governors. It would be impossible to overstate the effect this is going to have on the nation’s economic future. With both houses of... Read More
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Here’s your economics quiz for the day: Question 1– What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the financial system? Question 2– What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the economy? (Via fiscal stimulus for infrastructure projects, extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc) If you picked... Read More
Why has the Fed created incentives for US corporations to loot their companies and drive them deeper into debt? Despite four consecutive quarters of negative earnings, weak demand and anemic sales, US corporations continue to load up on debt, buy back their own shares and hand out cash to their shareholders that greatly exceeds the... Read More
Liberals and progressives love to point across the aisle and accuse their oppone
The US economy has never been as mismanaged as it is today. Don’t take my word for it, just look at the bond market. On Thursday, the yield on 30-year US Treasuries dropped to a record-low 2.18 percent while the benchmark 10-year Treasury slid to 1.37 percent. (less than 1 basis point above its all-time... Read More
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British voters delivered a savage deathblow to the EU corporate superstate on Thursday sending global markets tumbling and forcing Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation. The narrow victory, which caught the prognosticators by surprise, is the strongest sign yet that working people across the continent are awakening to economic and political disaster that... Read More
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On Tuesday, the 10-year German bund slipped into the bizarro-world of negative rates where lenders actually pay the government to borrow their money. Aside from turning capitalism on its head, negative rates illustrate the muddled thinking of central bankers who continue to believe they can spur growth by reducing the cost of cash. Regrettably, the... Read More
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A couple weeks ago the Wall Street Journal confirmed our worst fears about the student loan program, that is, that it was going to blow up in the government’s face just like all the other gigantic debt-bubbles that preceded it. For the sake of background, here’s a brief excerpt from the article that will bring... Read More
30 years of wage stagnation followed by one wealth-eviscerating asset bubble after another has drained the optimism from the collective American psyche. Most people now think things are going to get worse for themselves and their children. This pervasive pessimism shows up in other surveys as well, like this recent Gallup poll in which the... Read More
Is there a conspiracy to keep wages from rising or is it just plain-old class warfare? Check out these charts from a recent report by Deutsche Bank and see what you think: (Feeling Underpaid, Zero Hedge) Well, what do you know? Everywhere the global bank cartel has its tentacles, wages are either flatlining or drifting... Read More
What do you think this chart means? (The post-recession economy is worse than we thought, Fortune) It means the U.S. economy is in the throes of the lousiest recovery since World War 2. “But how can that be”, you ask? “After all, hasn’t the Fed kept interest rates at zero for seven years while hosing... Read More
Booming auto sales have more to do with low rates and easy financing than they do with the urge to buy a new vehicle. In the last few years, car buyers have borrowed nearly $1 trillion to finance new and used autos. Unfortunately, much of that money was lent to borrowers who have less-than-perfect credit... Read More
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Last week, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi announced a much bigger and wider-ranging stimulus package than anyone had expected. Unfortunately, the ECB’s bond buying program will have no impact on employment, business investment, inflation, lending or growth. It will, however, create a temporary incentive for corporations to buy back more of their own shares... Read More
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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is worried that recent ructions in the equities markets could be a sign that another financial crisis is brewing. In a sobering report titled “Uneasy calm gives way to turbulence” the BIS states grimly: “We may not be seeing isolated bolts from the blue but the signs of a... Read More
Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s biggest economies met in Shanghai, China over the weekend to discuss many of the problems for which they alone are responsible. Leading the list of issues, was the steady deceleration in global growth which, to great extent, is the result of experimental monetary policies central banks implemented... Read More
Zero rates and QE have stopped working and that has investors worried. Very worried. If you want to know why stocks have been taking it on the chin lately, look no further than the quote above. Mr. Valeri nails it. The Central Banks have lost their touch which is why investors are cashing in and... Read More
America’s richest investors are betting trillions of dollars that the US economy will stay lousy for years to come. Who are these wealthy investors? Bondholders. And their views on the state of the economy are reflected in the yields on long-term US Treasuries. At present, the yields on long-term debt are very low which means... Read More
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Let’s say you lend your brother-in-law, Pauli, 5,000-bucks so he can get his fledgling construction business off-the-ground. Then, you find out a week later that ‘good-old Pauli’ has shot the wad playing the horses at Long-acres and buying cocktails for his loafer-friends at Matt’s Mad Dog tavern? Would you feel like you’d been ripped off?... Read More
Everyone take a deep breath. This isn’t 2007 again. The banks aren’t loaded with $10 trillion in “toxic” mortgage-backed securities, the housing market hasn’t fallen off a cliff wiping out $8 trillion in home equity, and the world is not on the brink of another excruciating financial meltdown. The reason the markets have been gyrating... Read More
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P peaked in May 2015, investors were still confident that the Fed “had their back” and that any steep or prolonged downturn in stocks would be met with additional liquidity and a firm commitment to maintain zero rates as long as necessary. But now that the Fed... Read More
Why is the economy barely growing after seven years of zero rates and easy money? Why are wages and incomes sagging when stock and bond prices have gone through the roof? Why are stocks experiencing such extreme volatility when the Fed increased rates by a mere quarter of a percent? It’s the policy, stupid. And... Read More
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2016 started with a thud on Monday when news from China sent global stocks into freefall. The Shanghai index plunged 242 points before a system-wide circuit breaker kicked in and trading was halted. All three major US indices followed Asia’s downward slide with the Dow Jones leading the pack with a triple-digit loss on the... Read More
Why is the economy still in the doldrums after 6 years of zero rates and three rounds of Quantitative Easing? It’s because consumers aren’t consuming and there’s too much debt. You see, despite the Fed’s wacko theories about pumping liquidity into the financial system to make investors feel wealthier, people actually have to buy things... Read More
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Imagine your doctor put you on a daily dose of oxycontin, phenobarbital and Quaaludes for six years straight. Then he suddenly cancelled your prescription. Do you think your behavior might become a bit erratic? This is what’s going on with the stock market. It’s trying to shake off six years of overmedication brought on by... Read More
After 6 full years of zero rates and extreme pump-priming that flushed more than $10 trillion dollars into global markets, the Federal Reserve decided that even the slightest uptick in its benchmark Fed Funds rate would trigger enough destructive volatility in emerging markets that it would be better to postpone the rate hike until some... Read More
Why Are Stocks Going Berserk?
If you’ve been following the markets for the last three weeks, you’ve probably figured out that something is wrong. The markets are no longer behaving the way they should, and that has people worried. Very worried. In the last 15 trading days, the Dow Jones has experienced an unprecedented 13 triple-digit days, which means that... Read More
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The virus that spread to stock markets around the world and nearly destroyed the global financial system in 2008 has reemerged with a vengeance sending global equities deep into the red and wiping out more than $5 trillion in market capitalization in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, before the opening bell, major market index... Read More
Corporations are taking the retirement savings of elderly public employees and using them to inflate their stock prices so wealthy CEOs and their shareholders can enrich themselves at the expense of their companies. And it’s all completely legal. Under current financial regulations, corporate bosses are free to repurchase their own company’s shares, push stock prices... Read More
Last Friday’s stock market bloodbath was the worst one-day crash since 2008. The Dow Jones dropped 531 points, while the S&P 500 fell 64, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 171. The Dow lost more than 1,000 points on the week dipping back into the red for the year. At the same time, commodities continued to... Read More
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The Iran nuclear agreement has less to do with proliferation than it does with geopolitics. The reason Obama wants to ease sanctions on Iran is because he wants to push down oil prices while creating an alternate source of natural gas for Europe. In other words, the real objective here is to hurt Russia which... Read More
There’s been a virtual blackout of news from this year’s seventh annual BRICS summit in Ufa, Russia. None of the mainstream media organizations are covering the meetings or making any attempt to explain what’s going on. As a result, the American people remain largely in the dark about a powerful coalition of nations that are... Read More
The New Silk Route/Silk Road. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Wikimedia Commons
The Skirmish in the Spratlys
The vast build up of military assets in the Asia-Pacific signals a fundamental change in U.S. policy towards China. Washington no longer believes that China can be integrated into the existing US-led system. Recent actions taken by China– particularly the announcement that it planned to launch an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) that would compete... Read More
Titanic Stock Bubble Fueled by Buyback Blitz
Why are stocks still flying-high when the smart money has fled overseas and the US economy has ground to a halt? According to Marketwatch: So if retail investors are moving their cash to Europe and Japan (to take advantage of QE), and the US economy is dead-in-the-water, (First Quarter GDP checked in at an abysmal... Read More
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GDP Downer
The world’s biggest economy ground to a standstill in the first quarter of 2015 wracked by massive job losses in the oil sector, falling personal consumption, weak exports and droopy fixed investment. Real gross domestic product (GDP), the value of the production of goods and services in the US, increased at an abysmal annual rate... Read More
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America's Start is Setting
The Laussanne negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. They are, in fact, another attempt to weaken and isolate Russia by easing sanctions, thus allowing Iranian gas to replace Russian gas in Europe. Laussanne shows that Washington... Read More
"Margin Call from Hell"
The crisis that began seven years ago with easy lending and subprime mortgages, has entered its final phase, a currency war between the world’s leading economies each employing the same accommodative monetary policies that have intensified market volatility, increased deflationary pressures, and set the stage for another tumultuous crack-up. The rising dollar, which has soared... Read More
Varoufakis vs. the Troika
A disagreement over the terms of a deal to provide a bailout extension for Greece, has set the stage for a final clash between the Eurogroup and members of the Greek ruling party, Syriza. Although the agreement was approved on Tuesday when a list of reforms were submitted by Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to... Read More
A Valiant Effort
It’s not easy to negotiate with a gun to your head. Nevertheless, that’s the situation Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis found himself in on Friday preceding a crucial meeting with the Eurogroup. According to one report, the objective of the last-ditch confab “was to prepare a consensus text that would be the basis for the... Read More
Don't Tell Anyone in Berlin
If you haven’t been following developments in the Greek-EU standoff, you’re really missing out. This might be the best story of the year. And what makes it so riveting, is that no one thought that little Greece could face off with the powerful leaders of the EU and make them blink. But that’s exactly what’s... Read More
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... Read More
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