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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
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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
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... Read 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... Read More
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The American Dream, Gone
1: Wage Stagnation: Why America’s Workers Need Faster Wage Growth—And What We Can Do About It, Elise Gould, EPI Economic Policy Institute: (Note: Flatlining wages are the Number 1 reason that the majority of Americans still think we’re in a recession.) 2: Most people still haven’t recouped what they lost in the crash: Typical Household... Read More
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Obama Killed It
If you follow the financial news, you already know that the American people are on an epic downer. Just check out some of these headlines I pulled up in a five minute Internet search and you’ll see what I mean: And here’s my personal favorite: “NBC/WSJ poll: 60 percent say fire every member of Con
Global Depression Enters Year Five
Is this the lousiest recovery of all time? Check it out: The number of people currently on food stamps in the US is at a record-high of 47.1 million. That's more than twice as many recipients than in 2007 when the crisis began. And the percent of Americans living below the poverty line has skyrocketed,... Read More
Memo to Obama: Creat More Jobs or Resign
Abysmal. That's the only way to describe the latestjob's report. The whole thing stunk. And, on top of that, the unemployment rate has been heading higher for the last 3 months. It's now at 9.2 percent a full two years into the recovery. That's unprecedented. Where are the jobs, that's what everyone wants to know.... Read More
Memo to Obama: Creat More Jobs or Resign
Abysmal. That's the only way to describe the latestjob's report. The whole thing stunk. And, on top of that, the unemployment rate has been heading higher for the last 3 months. It's now at 9.2 percent a full two years into the recovery. That's unprecedented. Where are the jobs, that's what everyone wants to know.... Read More
A Permanent Jobs Program
When the recovery began 2 years ago, the rate of unemployment was 9.5 percent. Today it's 9.1 percent. Think about that for a minute. Doesn't that prove that the market isn't really self-correcting after all? I mean, if the market was self-correcting then unemployment would have gone down by now, right? But, it hasn't. Why?... Read More
Party Like It's 1929
A bleak jobs report sent stocks and commodities tumbling on Wednesday, while new signs of distress gripped the service industries index. An updated report from the ADP showed that private sector hiring slowed more than expected from March to April as companies struggled to meet rising raw material costs and flagging consumer demand. The service... Read More
Meanwhile, Back in the Homeland
On Thursday, Gallup reported that "More than half of Americans say the U.S. economy is in a recession or a depression despite official data that show a moderate recovery.....The April 20-23 Gallup survey... found that only 27 percent said the economy is growing. 29 per cent said the economy is in a depression and 26... Read More
Why do so many people hate John Maynard Keynes? Anyone who spends time on the economics blogs knows that Keynes is blamed for everything from the Wall Street bailouts to quantitative easing. But, why? There's nothing in Keynes "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money" that suggests that he would have supported the bailouts... Read More
Jobless Claims Rising, Manfacturing Slowing, GDP Shrinking
At the time, the idea of a nationwide "Recovery Summer" tour must have seemed irresistible. After all,  the stock market was inching its way higher every week and there were convincing signs that the economy was on the rebound. What better time for President Barack Obama to barnstorm his way across the heartland singing praise... Read More
Down the Drain
Imagine the reaction at the White House when the Department of Labor released its weekly unemployment figures on Thursday. Jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 500,000 in the second week of August. There's been no improvement in the jobs market in 9 months and now unemployment is edging upwards again. This wasn't supposed to happen.... Read More
Land of Squandered Opportunity
The economy has gone from bad to worse. On Friday the Commerce Department reported that GDP had slipped from 3.7% to 2.4% in one quarter. Now that depleted stockpiles have been rebuilt and fiscal stimulus is running out, activity will continue to sputter increasing the likelihood of a double dip recession. Consumer credit and spending... Read More
Zilch for You Know Who
On Tuesday, the 30-year fixed rate for mortgages plunged to an all-time low of 4.56 per cent. Rates are falling because investors are still moving into risk-free liquid assets, like Treasuries. It's a sign of panic and the Fed's lame policy response has done nothing to sooth the public's fears. The flight-to-safety continues a full... Read More
An Interview with Marshall Auerback
Marshall Auerback is a Fellow at the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. He has some 28 years experience in the investment management business, serving as a global portfolio strategist. Mr Auerback graduated magna cum laude in English & Philosophy from Queen’s University in 1981 and received a law degree from Corpus Christi College, Oxford University... Read More
More Stimulus, More Government Jobs Programs, More Debt Relief
There's no reason why a sharp-witted politico like Barack Obama can't survey the wreckage around him and draw the same conclusions as FDR. The unemployment crisis should be the president's first order of business; Job 1. Instead, Obama is paralyzed by indecision, unable to settle on a policy that he's willing to stick with through... Read More
Into the Pitch Black Tunnel
The economy continued to shrink in the first quarter of 2009 at an annual pace of 6.1 percent, making it the worst recession in more than 50 years. Gross Domestic Product slipped into negative territory from January to March for back-to-back quarters of negative 6 per cent growth. The news of falling GDP was preceded... Read More
"The Foundations of Our Economy are Strong"
Retail sales fell in March as fearsome job losses and tighter credit conditions forced consumers to cut back sharply on discretionary spending. Nearly every sector is seeing declines including electronics, restaurants, furniture, sporting goods and building materials. Auto sales continue their nosedive despite aggressive promotions on new vehicles and $13 billion of aid from the... Read More
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