While much has been said about the benefits of Bernanke's wealth effect to the asset-owning "10%", just as much has been said about the ever deteriorating plight of the remaining debt-owning 90%, who are forced to resort to labor to provide for their families, and more specifically how their living condition has deteriorated over not only the past five years, since the start of the Fed's great experiment, but over the past several decades as well. However, in the case of America's "servant" class, Al Jazeera finds that their plight is now worse than it has been at any time over the past century, going back all the way to 1910!
- EU Fines Financial Institutions Over Fixing Key Benchmarks (Reuters)
- Euro-Area Economic Growth Slows as Exports, Consumption Cool (BBG) - someone has a very loose definition of growth
- Ukraine Officials Scour Globe for Cash as Protests Build (BBG)
- Oops: Franklin Boosted Ukraine Bet to $6 Billion as Selloff Began (BBG)
- Japan Plans 18.6 Trillion Yen Economic Package to Support Growth (BBG) - or about 2 months of POMO
- How Peugeot and France ran out of gas (Reuters)
- Iran threatens to trigger oil price war (FT)
- Abe Vows to Pass Secrecy Law That Hurts Cabinet’s Popularity (BBG)
- Brazil economy turns in worst quarter for 5 years (FT)
- Australia’s Slowdown Suggests RBA May Need to Do More (BBG)
- Biden calls for trust with China amid airspace dispute (Reuters)
As an experiment, Bloomberg Businessweek typed the names of the 50 states into Google to see what people most frequently ask about them. The questions range from dumb (well, mostly dumb) to revealing, both about the states and about the people doing the searching. Lots of questions about carrying a gun, buying alcohol, getting divorced, and fighting union organizers. Whether a state is in the Midwest or South seems to be a particular obsession. But the most common question about the states is even more basic: Is it a state? or Is it racist?
Mobs, Stampedes, Fights, Brawls, A Stabbing And Shooting: A Video Compilation Of Black Thursday 2013Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/29/2013 22:17 -0500
That greatest of all American traditions - the Black Friday Thursday stampede, this year accompanied with a stabbing and a shooting, is back. A quick review of all readers may have missed by not lining up in droves outside of stores that were selling products at just above cost instead of the usual massive pre-Thanksgiving markup. So what did it all look like? The answer: like this...
To the DOJ, a $13 billion receipt is the "largest ever settlement with a single entity." To #AskJPM, a $13 billion outlay is a 100%+ IRR. And perhaps more relevant, let's recall that JPM holds $550 billion in Fed excess reserves, on which it is paid 0.25% interest, or $1.4 billion annually. In other words, out of the Fed's pocket, through JPM, and back into the government. Luckily, this is not considered outright government financing.
One of the biggest lies in finance is this perpetual deception that inflation is good. Ben Bernanke, the current high priest of US monetary policy, recently remarked that it’s “important to prevent US inflation from falling too low.” Well of course, we wouldn’t want that, would we? Just imagine the chaos and devastation that would ensue if the cost of living actually remained… you know… the same. One shudders at the mere thought of price stability.
- Philippines Left Reeling in Wake of Storm (WSJ)
- Khamenei controls massive financial empire built on property seizures (RTRS)
- Race to Bottom Resumes as Central Bankers Ease Anew (BBG)
- U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays (LA Times)
- Obama Stocks Among Best After Re-Election as Rally Tested (BBG)
- Health-Law Rollout Weighs on Obama's Ratings, Agenda (WSJ)
- Twitter in Celebrity Spat With Facebook as Rivalry Builds (BBG)
- Iran deputy industry minister shot dead (AFP)
- Financier of Taliban-linked group shot dead in Pakistan (RTRS)
- Obama: The Lonely Guy (Vanity Fair)
TedBits - Newsletter
Across the 50 states, the Bloomberg Muni team has collected the government financial statistics and adjudged the most (and least) under-funded pension plans. Wisconsin is least under-funded with a 99.91% funding ratio (beaten by the District of Columbia's 'over-funding' at 106.92%) with Illinois the most under-funded at a measly 40.37% funding ratio... It seems only one choice is left for those far from retirement in Illinois... move!
Desperate people do desperate things, and it appears that Americans are rapidly becoming a lot more desperate. An epidemic of thievery is sweeping across America, and authorities are not quite sure what to make of it. So why is all of this happening? Well, as we have written about previously, crime is on the rise in the United States, and poverty is absolutely exploding. In fact, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month. Over the past five years, we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of people that cannot take care of themselves without help from the government. Millions upon millions of Americans that have been forced into poverty are becoming increasingly angry, frustrated and desperate. And what we are watching right now is only just the beginning - all of this is going to get a whole lot worse.
Today, one of America's best-known welfare programs with 47.6 million participants or 15% of the total population, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also known as "foodstamps" or EBT, is due for a substantial haircut: beginning Friday, there will be a phased in $5 billion reduction (6% of the program) for the 12 month period starting November 1st 2013. So what happens next?
While the White House spied on Frau Merkel and Obamacare developed into a slow-moving train wreck, while Syria was saved from all-out war by the Russian bell and the Republicrats fought bitterly about the debt ceiling… something monumental happened that went unnoticed by most of the globe. The US quietly surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. You read that correctly: "The jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history," stated Reuters on October 15. "U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia's output from 1970-1974." After the initial moment of awe, pragmatic readers will surely wonder: Then why isn't gasoline dirt-cheap in the US?
While nearly three years after the Fukushima disaster the world is finally focused, rightfully so, on the epic ecological and radioactive clusterfuck unfolding in Japan, where in a desperate effort to distract the population from what is going on in its back yard, the Premier has launched the most ridiculous monetary experiment doomed to failure, the reality is that the US itself harbors a veritable waste land of radioactive fallout, much of it hidden in plain sight. As the following interactive map from the WSJ shows, of the 517 active sites in the continental US, found on the Department of Energy's listing of facilities "considered" for radioactive cleanup through its Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program, some 43 have a "potential for significant radioactive contamination" through the time of the study. Find out if your state, city, or town is located next to a potential dormant and largely secret Fukushima, using the following handy interactive map.
The rollout of Obamacare to date has been, as many predicted, the case study of everything that is wrong with a mandatory government-conceived, supervised and enforced program. Ignoring for a minute the daily embarrassment the Obama administration has to face with the well-documented failings of the HealthCare.gov website which on second glance should win Obama the Nobel Price for coding in Fortran (or Cobol), and which seems set for a full-blown overhaul that would force a delay of the mandate whether Obama wants it or not, the several million "glitchy" lines of code have become the greatest gift the GOP could have asked for. A gift, which as the saying goes, keeps on giving. Because one of Obama's suggested loopholes has been to advise people who can't or won't sign up online, to do so using old-fashioned means: by paper, pen or phone. Unfortunately, that's where the rabbit hole just goes deeper, because as Politico reports, the glitches that started on line have rapidly shifted to the world of phone and mail, as virtually every pathway of enrolling into the enforced healthcare program is now hopelessly bottlenecked, if not entirely shut.
UPDATE: *OBAMA SAYS REPUBLICANS MUST SET ASIDE SOME PARTISAN CONCERNS
Senator Harry Reid has a cunning new plan and says "we're getting closer," providing yet more hope that the US won't tip inauspiciously over the edge of the economic abyss. The latest rumored deal proposal, to be presented at the White House meeting at 3pm, includes automatic spending cuts, a framework for budget negotiations, extends the debt ceiling for 6-9 months, and funds the government through December at current sequester levels. Doing so, as AP reports, would punt the fight over whether to lock in 2014 sequestration levels at $967 billion until December. And by extending the debt ceiling until the middle of next year, it would put the issue in the center of the heated 2014 midterm elections. While this provided some short-term optimism, Obama was quick to remind the market that "it appears that has been some progress in the Senate in fiscal impasse negotiations and will see if it is real when he meets congressional leaders."