The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Show by  
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Publications Filter?
Counterpunch
Nothing found
 BlogviewMike Whitney Archive
/
Wall Street

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
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
shutterstock_549530905
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
shutterstock_539744317
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
shutterstock_538492708
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
shutterstock_416888221
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
shutterstock_344709218
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
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
shutterstock_248804185
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
shutterstock_237993976
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
shutterstock_217844521
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
shutterstock_103610648-2
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
shutterstock_111482546
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
shutterstock_160811282
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
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
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
US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling
U.S. powerbrokers have put the country at risk of another financial crisis to intensify their economic war on Moscow and to move ahead with their plan to “pivot to Asia”. Here’s what’s happening: Washington has persuaded the Saudis to flood the market with oil to push down prices, decimate Russia’s economy, and reduce Moscow’s resistance... Read More
Subprime Loans and Auto Sales
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 through the roof due to a mortgage-lending scam (“subprime”) that crashed the stock market and sent... Read More
shutterstock_130325381
"Easy Money" Mel Watt Loosens Lending on Mortgages
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... Read More
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Market Crash?
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 Times, margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) peaked in February, 2014 at $466 billion and has only recently dipped slightly lower. That’s $85 billion more than 2007... Read 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... Read More
shutterstock_105189368
In the Blink of an Eye
Six years of zero rates and trillions of dollars of asset purchases couldn’t stop stocks from falling sharply on Wednesday. All three major indices moved deep into the red, with the Dow Jones leading the pack, dropping an eye-watering 460 points before rebounding nearly 300 points by the end of the session. Risk-free assets, particularly... Read More
Global CBs Secretly Load up on Equities Pushing Prices Higher
Central banks have shifted into stocks and are buying up everything that isn’t bolted to the floor. That’s the gist of the story that breathlessly appeared in the Financial Times about a week ago and swept across the blogosphere like a Santa Anna brushfire. And there’s some truth to it too, if taken with a... Read More
shutterstock_96935573
First Quarter Growth Goes Negative while Bond Yields Plunge
If you follow the stock market, you probably think the economy is sizzling. But if bonds are your thing, then you probably think we’re still in recession. So which is the better gauge of what’s going on in the real economy; stocks or bonds? The bond market is more accurate. And recently, long-term yields have... Read More
shutterstock_133513469
Are you looking for signs of froth in the stock market? Then you might want to take a look at stock buybacks. According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 20 percent of the total value of stocks today are stock buybacks, that is, corporations that purchase their own shares to push up prices. Here’s the... Read More
NY Fed's Dudley Warns that "Firesales" Could Trigger Another Financial Crisis
Ask your average guy-on-the-street ‘what caused the financial crisis’, and you’ll either get a blank stare followed by a shrug of the shoulders or a brusque, three-word answer: “The housing bubble”. Even people who follow the news closely are usually sketchy on the details. They might add something about subprime mortgages or Lehman Brothers, but... Read More
shutterstock_103476707
America's Missing Investors
Guess who’s investing in America’s future? Nobody, that’s who. Just check out this excerpt from an article by Rex Nutting at Marketwatch and you’ll see what I mean. The article is titled “No one is investing in tomorrow’s economy”: Now the author seems to believe that the lack of net investment is just a temporary... Read More
The Fed's Bloated Balance Sheet
Historians often point to October 29th, 1929, as the beginning of the Great Depression, but it really wasn’t. Black Tuesday, as it is known today, was merely the capitulation-phase of a stock market collapse that had begun more than a month earlier. Equities prices had been gyrating wildly since early September edging lower and lower... Read More
The Nightmare Scenario
President Barack Obama is determined to prevail in his battle with GOP congressional leaders on the debt ceiling issue, but not for the reasons stated in the media. Obama is less concerned with the prospect of higher interest rates and frustrated bondholders than he is with the big Wall Street banks who would be thrust... Read More
Not Convincing
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke shocked the world on Wednesday when he announced there would be no change in the Fed’s $85 billion-per-month asset purchase program dubbed QE. The announcement sparked a buying frenzy on Wall Street where all three major indices shot to record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) climbed 146 points to... Read More
The QE Conundrum
Now there's something you don't see every day. On Wednesday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported that the world's biggest economy grew at a measly 1.8 percent, far-below analysts most pessimistic predictions. The news that the US economy had "slowed to a crawl" was immediately felt on Wall Street where jubilant traders loaded up... Read More
What's Really Driving the Crashing Markets?
Normally, stocks don't fall off a cliff unless the economic data suddenly turns south or there are signs of an emerging crisis, like a run on the shadow banking system or threat to Middle East oil supplies. But neither of these played a part in this week's equities massacre where the Dow Jones Industrial Average... Read More
Another Sign of the Buckling Economy
U.S. workers are getting squeezed like never before. Hourly pay for nonfarm workers (you and me) fell at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in the first three months of the year. This represents the biggest decline in wages on record. Factory workers took an even bigger hit. They saw their wages plunge by nearly... Read More
From Spring Swoon to the Big Crash
The media is calling it a "Spring swoon", but it's really just the next phase of the long slump. After a strong showing in the first quarter (Q1), the economy is starting to lose steam for the forth year in a row. The main cause for the slowdown is --what Bloomberg calls--"the biggest federal-budget tightening... Read More
The Fed's Recipe for Disaster
Investors have boosted their borrowing to near-record levels to load up on stocks. The last time that margin debt was this high was just before the bubble burst in 2007. In January, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) margin debt tipped $366 billion, just shy of the 2007 peak of $380 billion. The Fed's zero rates... Read More
Riddled With Corruption
Is there anything more maddening then watching elected officials and regulators cash in for their time in office? Here's two more names you can add to the list: Former SEC chief Mary Schapiro and ex-US Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). Schapiro, the feckless sellout who accomplished absolutely zero as chairman of the once-feared Securities and Exchange... Read More
The Fed's QE Pushes Stocks to Record Highs
Stock bubble? What stock bubble? As the Dow Jones edges closer to its October 9, 2007 closing high of 14,164, the mood on Wall Street has changed from cautious optimism to outright euphoria. Traders are now in seventh heaven as shares continue to charge upwards buoyed by weak earnings, slow growth, high unemployment, low capital... Read More
Mom and Pop Call It Quits
Despite the dire "fiscal cliff" predictions, stocks ended the year on a high-note led by the Dow Jones crossing the 13K mark with an impressive 166 point gain on the day. The NASDAQ and S&P 500 followed closely behind posting 59 point and 23 point gains respectively. The S&P ended the year up 13.4 percent,... Read More
Just Ask a Banker
Now there's something you don't see every day. If I told you that the Wall Street Journal ran no less than 3 articles in the last week promoting more regulations, you'd think I was crazy. But it's true. And, for once, the WSJ is right. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted down... Read More
Fake Numbers for a Fake System
US stocks hit a four-year high on Tuesday before lapsing back into negative territory by the end of the session. Normally, a milestone like that would have sent cheers ringing out across the trading floor, but not this time. This time the reaction was more subdued, even somber, mainly because the rally appears to be... Read More
No Items Found