Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate and Professor at Columbia University believes that the US economy was and still is sick. He believes that it will remain sick because of bad choices that have been made from 2008 onwards:
In the past we have discussed at length the inevitable demise of the USD as the world's reserve currency noting that nothing lasts forever. However, when former World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin warns that "the dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises," we suspect the world will begin to listen (especially the Chinese. Lin, now - notably - an adviser to the Chinese government, concludes that internationalizing the Chinese currency is not the answer (preferring a basket approach) but ominously concludes, "the solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency," as it will create more stable global financial system.
At a time when Wall Street is absolutely swimming in wealth, New York City is experiencing an epidemic of homelessness. According to the New York Times, the last time there was this many homeless children in New York City was during the days of the Great Depression. And the number of homeless children in the United States overall recently set a new all-time record. Americans like to think of themselves as "the wealthiest nation on the planet", and yet the number of young kids that don't even have a roof over their heads at night just keeps skyrocketing. There truly are "two Americas" today, and unfortunately most Americans that live in "good America" don't seem to really care too much about the extreme suffering that is going on in "bad America".
A decision by the FHFA requiring the GSEs to finally release detailed information on loans they acquired and guaranteed uncovers an ugly truth about the GSEs that many should be aware of (as we noted the exuberance here). The release was only required on 35 million fully-amortizing, full documentation, 30-year fixed rate mortgages, which means as JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest notes the underwriting histories on another 20-30 million loans (e.g., the riskier ones) remain a mystery (and likely will forever). As Cembalest concludes, some people made up their minds on all the factors causing the housing crisis in 2009, and others in 2011. As long as new information keeps coming out, it seems premature to close the book on it, he adds, first, the private sector descent into underwriting hell took place well after the multi-trillion dollar GSE balance sheets had gone there first; and second, there are many reasons to wonder how bad the former would have been had the latter not preceded it.
As H.L. Mencken opined, 'The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.' It is no wonder that, according to a Gallup Poll conducted in early October, a record-low 14% of Americans thought that the country was headed in the right direction, down from 30% in September. That's the biggest single-month drop in the poll since the shutdown of 1990. Some 78% think the country is on the wrong track. Simply put, Faber explains, it is most unlikely that US economic growth will surprise on the upside in the next few years. It is more likely there will be negative surprises.
Gold had a good run for twelve years but has fallen by as much as 20% this year alone. Is that set to continue?
There are times when things are jinxed from the very moment they have been drafted into blueprints and right up until the moment they are conceived. There are just times when it would be probably better to cut your losses while the chips are down before it all goes downhill and drags you with it.
Usually what goes up normally ends up coming back down to Earth with a damn great thud. Well, that was long ago with good old Isaac Newton and the apple story.
There are people in the world that go to work every day to end up stating the damn obvious.
The rest of the world has had enough of the monopoly of the credit-rating agencies that are largely biased towards the US economy and it’s about time that it all came to an end.
It’s all for play isn’t it when the French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls summons the US Ambassador?
Dreams usually come to an end when we get to the good part. The juiciest part of the American dream has ended too
As we sit in our comfortable living rooms, loafing back into our sofas, munching on a bar of chocolate and slurping down the coffee whilst checking the smartphone for message most of us have little idea that the chocolate, the coffee and the smartphone were made by resorting to indirect slavery quite probably.
Once upon a time the person that ended up with the Nobel Prize for whatever it might have been was always the single person to be left standing on the podium in the number one position.
It’s obvious that we might sometimes have the impression the freedom has no price on it. But, think again.