Medicare

Why Lower Gasoline Prices Are Not Stimulating The Economy

Fed officials and financial news reporters are collectively wondering why the economy seems to be slowing down, even though lower oil and gasoline prices ought to be a stimulative factor.  If consumers are spending less of their money on gasoline, then they ought to have more to spend on other stuff, or so goes the reasoning.  So why is it not working?

The Rejection Election - A Leap Into The Dark

For the Sanders and Trump voters, the status quo seems not only unacceptable, but intolerable. And if their candidates and causes do not prevail, they are probably not going to accept defeat stoically, and go quietly into that good night, but continue to disrupt the system until it responds. Unlike previous elections in our time, save perhaps 1980, this appears to be something of a revolutionary moment. We could be on the verge of a real leap into the dark.

Fantasy? North Korea's "Hangover-Free Alcohol" Or America's "Consequence-Free Debt"

While we may poke fun at North Koreans’ gullibility, frankly we don’t find the idea of ‘hangover-free alcohol’ any dumber or less deceptive than the idea of ‘consequence-free debt’. Or the idea that you can print your way to prosperity. Hangover-free alcohol is pretty silly. But in the West, we believe the biggest lies of all...

 

The American Revolution - The Sequel

Most Americans receive benefits of one type or another from their government; and most Americans receive their opinions from the media. The pervasive difficulty here lies in the erroneous concept that there can be a return to freedom whilst maintaining the dependency upon largesse from the State. “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.”

"You Lie" - Fact-Checking Obama's SOTU Job "Gains" Claims

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.

Frontrunning: January 13

  • 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)

Priced For Perfection - Why This Burrito Market Is Heading For A Fall

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.

Bill Gross Warns Of Demographic Doomsday

"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."

Central Bank Money Printing - The Rotten Philosophy That Lies Beneath

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.

The Rise Of The Temp Economy: More U.S. Employers Than Ever Want A "Disposable Workforce"

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.

Congress's $1.15 Trillion Spending Bill: Heads They Win, Tails You Lose

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.