ETC

Guest Post: Welcome To The United States Of Orwell, Part 3: We Had To Destroy Democracy In Order To Save It

The dominant narrative of our so-called 'National Security State' seems to be: we were surprised by a treacherous, shadowy, sinister enemy and we have to set aside the niceties of democracy and civil liberties to combat this new and terrible foe. It's actually very simple: whatever the National Security State does anywhere on Earth is legal. Whatever action you take to protect your civil liberties is illegal. The State holds all the hammers, and you know what happens to raised nails.

Guest Post: Welcome to the United States of Orwell, Part 2: Law-Abiding Taxpayers Treated As Criminals

Law-abiding taxpayers are treated like criminals while the criminal class of financiers and State apparatchiks are free to loot and pillage muppets and taxpayers alike. It's actually very simple: whatever the state or Federal government does to you, that's legal. Whatever action you take to protect your rights is illegal. In case you have any doubts about where our "leadership" is taking us, please review these Assorted quotes by Fascists or about Fascism.

RobertBrusca's picture

Bernanke’s argument that he can push demand harder to reduce unemployment is based on the notion that unemployment is more cyclical than structural. Unfortunately that seems like a bad bet given the evidence. The greatest bulge in unemployment in this cycle is from not-temporary unemployment instead of from temporary unemployment. And that category’s contribution to the unemployment rate is larger than in this expansion at this point than in any previous expansion at the 32-month mark since at least the 1970s. Ben seems to be rolling the dice on a bad bet. But it’s a bet that gives him a rationale for postponing tightening which is what his Great Depression lesson tells him to do. Right now all we really know is the ‘what’ of his policy ‘not the ‘why.’

Guest Post: How To Think Like A Mad Man, Find Your Edge & Risk Little For Lots

Eccentric People

The enigma that is eccentricity can be unravelled by grasping of this single statement; that which you perceive is both a matter of the object of your perception (in this case; the eccentric person) and your apparatus of perception. Eccentricity, then, is as much a quirk of the popular mind as it is of a particular person. So with the assumption that you seek creativeness and intrigue — here’s how to think eccentrically, find your edge and risk little for lots.

Guest Post: How Housing Affordability Can Falter Even as House Prices Decline

Those snapping up housing for cash are either buying to rent the homes or to speculate that a resurgent housing market will arise and they can "flip" for big profits. This segment simply isn't large enough to soak up all the millions of homes languishing in the "shadow inventory" of homes being held off the market in the vain hope prices will bubble higher. The general idea of lower home prices is that once prices fall to some magic threshold, buyers will jump in and liquidate the inventory. That notion makes two enormous assumptions: 1) Interest rates will stay near-zero when inflation is factored in. 2) Household income will stop declining. In other words, there are three inputs to housing affordability, and price is only one of them. Interest rates and disposable income are equally important.

JP Morgan Finds Obama, And US Central Planning, Has Broken The Economic "Virtuous Cycle"

In the last few months we have presented various analyses, both ours and those of Goldman and even Jon Hilsenrath, on why one of the core economic empirical relationships: Okun's law, is now broken. Subsequently we presented another parallel line of inquiry - namely that in order to preserve the illusion of a recovery, the Obama administration (with help from the Fed) has engaged in a quality-for-quantity job transfer, where America is creating increasingly more jobs of lower quality (the bulk of which are part-time), which in turn is leading to less proportional personal income tax revenues, and thus to a secular shift in an indicator which is even more important for US economic growth than simply the number of jobs "gained" each month - labor productivity. Today, JPM's Michael Feroli ties these two perspectives together in an analysis that has extremely damning implications for the US, and global, economic growth prospects. In a nutshell, Feroli finds that "Productivity, which used to be procyclical, has now turned countercyclical" which in turn means that "if labor is no longer a quasi-fixed factor of production this may eliminate one type of non-convexity in production, thereby reducing the likelihood that the economy has multiple equilibria and is subject to self-fulfilling prophecies" or said somewhat simpler: "the conditions for self-fulfilling prophesies in the macroeconomy may no longer exist." Still confused: central planning, and the Obama vote grab has killed the "virtuous cycle"... Which in turn means that everything America is trying to accomplish is now a lost cause, as every incremental dollar spent, whether by fiscal and monetary policy, is pursuing an outcome that is now theoretically and practically impossible to achieve!