Even Greek politicians scored higher.
With harsh long-term consequences for the heavily indebted countries.
Corruption is only possible if the benefits to the parties engaged in it far outweigh the potential consequences. However, as soon as the potential consequences become real, that’s when everything changes: people start talking/ confessing, and the corruption begins to come unraveled.
One Day Ahead Of State Of The Union Address, American Dissatisfaction With Economic, Political Issues At RecordSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2012 09:01 -0500
As Obama takes the stage for tomorrow's State of the Union address, in which, among other things, he probably will not announce that the US debt limit is effectively $16.4 trillion, or 107% of GDP and rising, he faces a very unhappy audience: one which according to Gallup has seen its dissatisfaction with economic and political issues hit record levels. Among the Gallup observations: "As President Barack Obama prepares his annual address to Congress, Americans are broadly dissatisfied with the state of the nation in several specific issue areas, with satisfaction down sharply in some cases since January 2008. However, three issues -- the nation's economy, the size and power of the federal government, and the moral and ethical climate in the country -- fit both of these unwelcome criteria." And with the only response the administration has in the past three years consisting of either printing more money which sends all assets, especially energy, higher in price, or fiscal stimulus of which 90% and more is lost due to inefficiencies and corruption, we don't see satisfaction rising any time soon.
Beer, wine, mood, and San Francisco real estate –with more predictive power than is allowed by law.
Hope is soaring. But the toughest creature out there, the one no one has been able to subdue yet, has other plans.
Independents would elect Paul over Obama.
Brief and concise summary of the week's key bullish and bearish events.
Congress, the ideal American institution: it spends more than it takes in and borrows the difference. We love that. It means free money, services, wars, and other goodies. And yet....
Gallup, which unlike the BLS, does not fudge, Birth/Die, or seasonally adjust its data, has just released its most recent (un)employment data. And it's not pretty: for all those hoping that the Labor Participation Rate fudge that managed to stun the world a few weeks ago with a major drop in the November jobless rate, don't hold your breath. Gallup which constantly pools 30,000 people on a weekly basis, has found that for the past 4 weeks, both underemployment and unemployment have risen for 4 weeks in a row. And while the number of US workers "working part time and wanting full-time work" one of the traditional short cuts to boosting US jobs has risen to almost a 2 year high, it is the Job Creation Index in December which plunged in the last week, confirming that the Initial Claims data out of the BLS has been spurious and is likely to revert back over 400k on short notice. In summary, here is how Gallup debunks the BLS' propganda: "The sharp drop in the government-reported unemployment rate for November and the sharp drop in jobless claims during the most recent reporting week have combined to create the perception that the job market may be improving. Economists are wondering whether this means the economy is stronger than previously estimated. Political observers are wondering how fast and how far the unemployment rate needs to fall to significantly improve the president's re-election prospects. In contrast, Gallup's data suggest little improvement in the jobs situation. December unemployment is up slightly on an unadjusted basis. In fact, the government is likely to report essentially no change in the unemployment rate when it issues its report on December unemployment in the first week of 2012. Of course, this assumes that the labor force doesn't continue to shrink at so rapid a pace that it drives down the unemployment rate, as it did last month. Gallup's most recent weekly job creation numbers also suggest little improvement in the jobs situation. As a result, it may be wise to exercise caution in interpreting the drop in the government's most recent jobless claims numbers." Or, less diplomatically, the BLS is lying like a drunken sailor just as the economy is about to turn. And if BAC continues languishing under $5, it will turn very hard.
The ever-eloquent populist-in-chief has just turned an important corner. It seems that the clear class warfare escapades he has been engaging in recently have backfired as, according to a poll by Associated Press-GfK, a majority of adults, 52 percent, said Obama should be voted out of office while 43 percent said he deserves another term. This confirms the report from the previous Gallup poll, that our President heads into election year with a significant problem: "Heading into his re-election campaign, the president faces a conflicted public. It does not support his steering of the economy, the most dominant issue for Americans, or his overhaul of health care, one of his signature accomplishments..." While understandably the party preferences bias for and against, it is the Independents that must be the greater concern as "The president's standing among independents is worse: Thirty-eight percent approve while 59 percent disapprove." Given the fact that its-the-economy-stupid, we wonder just how long the entirely independent and sacrosanct Federal Reserve will remain on the sidelines, or is QE3 coming Jan 1st?
The Economic Collapse Blog does a terrific job of periodically putting together a compilation of the scariest data points about the US economy. Today is one such day, and the list of 50 economic numbers presented is indeed, as the author puts it, "almost too crazy to believe"... Almost. As noted: "At this time of the year, a lot of families get together, and in most homes the conversation usually gets around to politics at some point. Hopefully many of you will use the list below as a tool to help you share the reality of the U.S. economic crisis with your family and friends. If we all work together, hopefully we can get millions of people to wake up and realize that "business as usual" will result in a national economic apocalypse." Or, far more likely, 99% of the population can continue watching Dancing with the Stars, as what little wealth remains is terminally transferred to those who are paying attention right below everyone's eyes.
Gallup Finds Recent Job Boost Due To "Temp And Part-Time" Hiring; Underemployment Greater Than Prior YearSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/05/2011 19:10 -0500
While the BLS unemployment number, fudged strategically to lower the denominator, or the total labor force, may have come well better than expected (as somehow miraculously ever more people find the shadow economy a more hospitable place where to make their money and drop off the BLS roll forever) we once again go to that trusty fallback, the monthly Gallup poll of underemployment. What we find here is rather different from what the BLS, and the administration would like us to believe, namely that "underemployment, a measure that combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed with the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, is 18.1% in November, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment. That is up from 17.8% a month ago and 17.2% a year ago." Said simply, "many employers appear to have chosen to hire part-time rather than full-time employees for this holiday season." Naturally, this should come as no surprise: it was first discussed here in May, when we said: "As the attached chart shows, since the start of the depression, America has lost 9.1 million full time jobs, offsetting this by a gain of 2.3 million part time jobs. No need to outsource to Asia any more: America now outsources jobs to temp agencies. And so the transition of America into a part-time worker society, first discussed in December of 2010 continues." (the attached chart can be seen here). As for the Gallup chart which comes from the real economy, not from some seasonally fudged, birth/death adjusted grotesque model deep in the bowels of 2 Massachusetts Ave NE Washington, here it is.
It's Official: Obama Is Now The Worst American President As His Approval Rating Plunges Far Below Carter'sSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/29/2011 14:46 -0500
We doubt many will be surprised by the latest presidential polling update from Gallup, and certainly not the record nearly 50 million Americans on foodstamps, but here it is nonetheless, from US News: "President Obama's slow ride down Gallup's daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history. Since March, Obama's job approval rating has hovered above Carter's, considered among the 20th century's worst presidents, but today Obama's punctured Carter's dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama's job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter's 51 percent." One can only imagine what would happen to Obama's ratings if indeed the Iranian hostage situation escalated and the president was forced to get involved, in addition to oil spiking to "doomsday" levels of course as Pimco's worst case predicts: "Back in 1979, Carter was far below Obama until the Iran hostage crisis, eerily being duplicated in Tehran today with Iranian protesters storming the British embassy. The early days of the crisis helped Carter's ratings, though his failure to win the release of captured Americans, coupled with a bad economy, led to his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980." And while some may say this is merely a one time blip, a longer-term average shows otherwise: "Gallup finds that Obama's overall job approval rating so far has averaged 49 percent. Only three former presidents have had a worse average rating at this stage: Carter, Ford, and Harry S. Truman. Only Truman won re-election in an anti-Congress campaign that Obama's team is using as a model." On the other hand, neither Ford nor Carter has such erudite opponents as Herman "I did not sleep with those 999 women" Cain.
Though late to the party as usual, the proverbial man on the street – along with members of mainstream media and Wall Street heavyweights – is finally waking up to the decade-long, 700% increase in the price of gold, joining a growing buzz around the monetary metal. From questions whether gold is in a bubble to predictions that soaring prices are just around the corner, one thing is clear: a new phase of awareness for gold is upon us. How far might it move before these troubling times are over?