President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address came up short of the facts on several topics. Obama apparently omitted part of his presidency in boasting of nearly 900,000 manufacturing jobs “in the past six years.” Over his entire time in office, manufacturing jobs have gone down by 230,000.
- China trade surprise brings relief (Reuters)
- Obama knocks Trump, voices optimism (Reuters)
- Republican Candidates Criticize Obama’s State of the Union Address (WSJ)
- Republicans and Democrats Agree: We Hate Wall Street (WSJ)
- Oil rises for first time in eight sessions on China, U.S. stocks draw (Reuters)
- U.S. Exports First Freely Traded Oil in 40 Years (WSJ)
- China Imports Record Crude as Price Crash Accelerates Buying (BBG)
Here’s a newsflash that CNBC didn’t mention. According to the BLS, the US economy generated a miniscule 11,000 jobs in the month of December.
In March 2014 Wall Street’s ex-items S&P 500 earnings forecast for 2015 was about $133 per share; it ended up 20% lower at $106. Yet here they go again - the consensus for 2016 started out at $137 per share last spring, and is just now beginning to make its way back toward the high $120s. It is a barometer of the abject complacency and intellectual sloth that has descended on the casino owing to two decades of Fed coddling and seven year of free money for the carry trades. In the case of Chipotle, it was always just a burrito. In the case of the US and world economy and financial markets, it’s not even that.
"Demographics may not rule absolutely, but they likely will dominate investment markets and returns for the next few decades until the Boomer phenomena fades away. The 1% – in addition to the 99 – will need extra doses of Xanax, or additional slices of cake, to cope."
Taking away from the government its power of compelling the citizenry to accept money that it monopolistically controls and abuses may serve as an important legal and economic change to force the government and those who live at its spending trough to face the reality of the welfare state’s ideological and fiscal bankruptcy before it is too late to avert a complete collapse of the society.
In this day and age it seems like almost everything is disposable, and many employers have found that they can make a lot more money if they have a workforce that can be turned on and off like a faucet. In America today, there are more than 17 million “independent workers”, and they represent a bigger share of the workforce than ever before.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s seminal masterpiece Crime and Punishment is often thought of as one of the longest classics at more than 200,000 words. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which was signed into law on Friday, is nearly twice as long. At 887 pages, the bill allocates $1.15 trillion in war and discretionary spending for fiscal year 2016 which began almost three months ago. (That’s an average of $1.3 billion in spending PER PAGE of the bill.) In making it public law, President Obama has effectively signed the death warrant of the US government’s finances.
Moments ago, the House of Representatives just passed the $1.15 trillion spending bill that includes a $680 billion package of tax-break extensions, in a 316 to 113 vote, and will now move to the Senate, where its passage is likewise assured and will be signed by the president over the next few days. For those wondering what are the main components of the spending bill, here is a quick summary.
- Oil heads for third straight weekly loss as supply weighs (Reuters)
- BOJ's $2.5 Billion ETF Boost Seen Having Little Impact on Stocks (BBG)
- Japan core CPI seen flat in November, household spending down (Reuters)
- Dollar gets altitude sickness as BOJ disappoints (Reuters)
- Fed Hikes, but Some Rates Veer Lower (WSJ)
- White House calls for 'common sense steps' to help Puerto Rico (Reuters)
Combine the rising regulatory burden with the decline of entrepreneurship, and you get a bubbling brew that is toxic to self-employment/small business.
Finland made the news recently by proposing a pilot program of guaranteed income for all, also known as Universal Basic Income: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens. Proponents claim Basic Income can be paid by redirecting existing welfare programs, but a quick review reveals this as nonsense.
So how do you grow household wealth by $18 trillion in the face of these dismal real world trends? In a word, with a printing press. But what happened today is that Draghi showed he is out of tricks and Yellen confessed she is out of excuses. Yes, this sucker is going down. And this time all the misguided economics professors turned central bankers in the world will be powerless to reverse the plunge.
A simmering rage is bubbling below the surface as 20% of American households rely on food stamps to survive, the percentage of Americans in the labor force stands at a four decade low, real household income remains stagnant at 1988 levels, corporate profits have reached record levels while corporations continue to fire Americans – shipping their jobs overseas, and the six mega-corporations representing the mainstream media cover up the truth, mislead the public with propaganda, while celebrating the .1% as saviors of our economy. There is nothing more volatile to societal stability than millions of unemployed men, growing angry and resentful towards the ruling class for their lot in life.
It's the kind of business plan that would be laughed out of a business school classroom. "The co-ops were essentially amateur exercises." Why not scrap the perverse ACA regulations and admit it was a pipe dream to ever assume young, healthy people could be coerced into paying several times their expected costs to cover other people’s excessive spending.