A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Mike Whitney ColumnsAuthor Archive
Work Until You're Dead?
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More and more Americans are, and not by choice. They simply don’t have the means to survive otherwise. According to CNN, “Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings…50% have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all….” (“76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck“, CNN Money)… [MORE]
While Housing Sales Slow
10-year Treasuries veered into the danger zone on Friday as yields broke through the crucial 3 percent barrier signaling a slowdown in housing sales due to higher mortgage rates. Fixed rate mortgages are expected to edge higher even though the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.48 percent just days earlier. The Fed’s announcement… [MORE]
Slip Sliding Away
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According to a new Washington Post-ABC poll, Barack Obama now ranks among the least popular presidents in the last century. In fact, his approval rating is lower than Bush’s was in his fifth year in office. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at a dismal 43 percent, with a full 55 percent of the public “disapproving… [MORE]
America's Missing Investors
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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”: “The U.S. economy simply isn’t investing enough to ensure that there will be enough good paying… [MORE]
It's Closer Than You Think
“We are on the eve of a deflationary shock which will likely reduce equity valuations from very high to very low levels…..it is increasingly likely that one event will be the catalyst to very rapidly change inflationary into deflationary expectations. Indeed, when key prices are already falling across the globe, one should expect one key… [MORE]
Subprime Auto
Rates are low, credit is easy, underwriting is shoddy, and sales are booming. There’s your thumbnail sketch of today’s “surging” auto market. It’s a carbon copy of the subprime mortgage fiasco that plunged the economy into recession 5 years ago. Now the same nightmare is unfolding in Cartopia, the emerging credit Shangri-la where anyone who… [MORE]
Wall Street is buzzing, and it’s all about bubbles. In fact, according to Google Trends, interest in the term “stock bubble” was higher in November 2013 than anytime since October 2008. And that should be expected given that the Dow Jones just broke through the 16,000-mark while the NASDAQ sailed-past the 4,000 milestone for the… [MORE]
Shifty Shinzo's Corporate Welfare Program
Abenomics is based on the idea that if you give rich people a lot of money, they’ll spend it and the economy will get better. There are a few minor flaws to the theory, however, like the fact that it doesn’t work. While trickle down has greatly impacted the sales of Gucci handbags, Farragamo scarves,… [MORE]
"Cha-ching!"
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Remember how Quantitative Easing was going to “get the banks lending again”? Well, it hasn’t worked that way. In fact, after 4 years of zero rates and $3 trillion in monetary pump-priming, “banks are lending less to small businesses and consumers than before the financial crisis”. (International Business Times) But how can that be, you… [MORE]
Stagnation Hysterics
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America’s “highest profile economist” thinks we need more asset bubbles to battle negative real interest rates and persistent secular stagnation. In a controversial post on his blogsite, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman argues that bubbles may be necessary to make up for insufficient demand, high unemployment, and sluggish growth. Here’s the clip from his… [MORE]
She Knows How the Game is Played
“As a first line of defense, we have a variety of supervisory tools, micro- and macro-prudential, that we can use to attempt to limit the behavior that is giving rise to those asset price misalignments.” Janet Yellen’s circular, Greenspan-like response to a simple question about How the Fed should deal with “asset bubbles”. On Thursday,… [MORE]
Where's the Outrage?
“This was a program (QE) that was devised to help mortgage lending in America…Instead, what we saw was massive Wall Street earnings.” Andrew Huszar, Bloomberg TV Interview A former Federal Reserve official who helped the Central Bank manage its bond buying program, dubbed QE, has admitted that the program is a fraud. In a shocking… [MORE]
Corporate Plantations to Bolster Growth
“Japan appears to be turning an economic corner.” US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Japan hasn’t turned the corner. Japan is merely doing what it’s been doing for the better part of the last 15 years, fumbling around with interest rates, fiscal stimulus, and goofy monetary policies in order to siphon more wealth from the working… [MORE]
Escape From The Dollar
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Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Fed has backed itself into corner. A rise in interest rates would strengthen the dollar, give the dollar new life as world reserve currency, and halt the movement into gold, but a rise in rates would collapse the bond and stock markets and reduce the value of derivatives on the… [MORE]
“If the dollar does indeed lose its role as leading international currency, the cost to the United States would probably extend beyond the simple loss of seigniorage, narrowly defined. We would lose the privilege of playing banker to the world, accepting short-term deposits at low interest rates in return for long-term investments at high average… [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… [MORE]
"4,594,000 Mortgages Going Unpaid in the United States."
Buying a house is a lot like buying a car. If you don’t look under the hood, you could wind up with a lemon. Only with housing, it’s not as simple as checking the dipstick or looking for oil under the rear axle. No, smart home buyers check the data to see what’s really going… [MORE]
How Unregulated Banking Triggered the Crash of '08
“Repo has a flaw: It is vulnerable to panic, that is, ‘depositors’ may ‘withdraw’ their money at any time, forcing the system into massive deleveraging. We saw this over and over again with demand deposits in all of U.S. history prior to deposit insurance. This problem has not been addressed by the Dodd-Frank legislation. So,… [MORE]
Ferraris for the Rich and Bupkis for Everyone Else
Ferrari sales are going gangbusters in Japan, but beer sales have started to fizzle. That’s all you really need to know about Abenomics. According to Bloomberg: “Ferrari said sales in Japan will rise by 30 percent this year….(Sales have already) increased 28 percent in the first six months. Lamborghini sales are also soaring. According to… [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… [MORE]