The jobs recovery is a complete and total myth. The percentage of the working age population in the United States that had a job in March 2013 was exactly the same as it was all the way back in March 2010. In addition, as you will see below, there are now more than 101 million working age Americans that do not have a job. But even though the employment level in the United States has consistently remained very low over the past three years, the Obama administration keeps telling us that unemployment is actually going down. Anyone that tells you that "a higher percentage of Americans are working today" is telling you a complete and total lie. The sad truth is that there has been no jobs recovery whatsoever. If things were getting better, there would not be more than 101 million working age Americans without a job.
The witch-hunt against the "rich" (as defined by a random group of people) through the establishment of creeping global capital controls continues. First, it was Europe deciding that €100,000 in savings is the "fair" threshold on savings above which any haircut goes, with Cyprus demonstrating first and next Italy making it clear local depositors above the threshold will also be impaired in the future; then a group of journalists mysteriously lands millions in top secret files exposing essentially every offshore bank account: a perfectly legal option, however when mixed in with the implication that this money is all tax-evasion gotten it provides for a combustible mix, and now it is America's turn to fire the first shot across the capital control bow, because as part of his proposed budget, Obama plans to set a limit of how much one can spend per year on retirement through tax-preferred retirement plans. As it turns out, according to the Obama administration it is only fair to spend a total of $205,000 in nominal dollars per year on retirement, but not more. This means that as a result of the artificial limit, the Budget will set a total cap on retirement plans of about $3 million. Anything above that, feel free to please spend on your peas instead of saving, or just invest in Bernanke's stock market ponzi. After all, that is the only artificial indicator Obama has to point to, when "proving" his policies are working.
Yesterday we reported that the conclusion of the MF Global Trustee's 124 page report is that the collapse of MF Global, and the illegal commingling of billions in customer funds which may or may not have been recovered yet from JPMorgan and others, was all Jon Corzine's fault. Of course, courtesy of his special rank in the Obama administration, Corzine will never go to jail: after all justice in the crony states of America is only for the little people - those who don't bundle millions for the president, and those who don't run Too Big To Prosecute banks, or both at the same time, get a get out of jail card (literally). So if he isn't in minimum security prison, where on earth is Mr. Corzine to be found these days? The WSJ answers.
Today, we got the laughable news that the unemployment rate declined even as those not in the labor force grew by over 660,000, while the total civilian non-institutional population grew by just 167,000 to 244,995, meaning the actual labor force declined by 496,000. Which is precisely the issue: fudging the labor force participation rate is how the Obama administration has managed to maintain the myth the economy has grown under his leadership for the past 4+ years. It hasn't, and in fact if one renormalizes for the recent long-term average participation rate of 65.8%, one gets a very different number. How different? A difference that is now at a record compared to what is reported. As the chart below shows, a "renormalization" process indicates a massive and record 4% difference between the reported unemployment rate of 7.6%, and what the real unemployment rate is assuming normal growth of the labor force, which in March was 11.6%, up from 11.3% in February, and the highest since August 2012 when it was 11.7%. More importantly, as the real unemployment chart shows, the economy has not improved by one bit since 2009!
David Stockman’s New York Times Op-Ed has ruffled a lot of feathers. Paul Krugman dislikes it, saying Stockman sounds like a cranky old man, and criticising Stockman for throwing out a load of meaningless numbers that sound kind of scary, but are less scary in context. What Krugman overlooks is Stockman’s excellent criticism of crony capitalism, financialisation, systemic rot and Wall Street corruption of Washington, something Stockman has seen from the inside as part of the Reagan administration. There are plenty of other writers who have pointed to this problem of propping up casino finance, including myself. But very few of them are doing so on the pages of the New York Times. In the long run, I think it will become patently clear that throwing liquidity at the financial system won’t solve anything other than immediate liquidity concerns. The rot was too deep. The financial sector needed real reform in 2008. It still needs it today.
The Fed Isn’t Providing “Monetary Morphine”; It’s Spreading Financial Cancer That is Killing the Markets and Democratic CapitaliSubmitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 04/01/2013 09:55 -0400
I disagree with the “addiction” metaphor because it implies that the markets/ addict could potentially become healthy if the dealer stopped dishing out the drugs. This ties in with Bernanke’s claims that everything is under control and that he can remove the excess liquidity anytime he wants to.
Bloomberg reported recently that Russia is now the world's biggest gold buyer, its central bank having added 570 tonnes (18.3 million troy ounces) over the past decade. At $1,650/ounce, that's $30.1 billion worth of gold. Russia isn't alone, of course. Central banks as a group have been net buyers for at least two years now. But the 2012 data trickling out shows that the amount of tonnage being added is breaking records. Based on current data, the net increase in central bank gold buying for 2012 was 14.8 million troy ounces – and that's before the final 2012 figures are in for all countries. This is a dramatic increase, one bigger than most investors probably realize. To put it in perspective, on a net basis, central banks added more to their reserves last year than since 1964. The net increase – so far – is 17% greater than what was added in 2011, which was itself a year of record buying. The message from central banks is clear: they expect the dollar to move inexorably lower. It doesn't matter that it's been holding up against other currencies or that the economy might be getting better. They're buying gold in record amounts because they see a significant shift coming with the status of the dollar, and they need to protect themselves against that risk. Embrace the messages central bankers are telling us – the ones they tell with their actions, not their words.
It is clear now that we must have been wrong about the economy. No more proof is needed than the fact the Dow has gone up 1,500 points. Everyone knows the stock market reflects the true health of the nation – multi-millionaire Jim Cramer and his millionaire CNBC talking head cohorts tell us so. Ignore the fact that the bottom 80% only own 5% of the financial assets in this country and are not benefitted by the stock market in any way. It is time to open your eyes and arise from your stupor. Observe what is happening around you. Look closely. Does the storyline match what you see in your ever day reality? It is them versus us. Whether you call them the invisible government, ruling class, financial overlords, oligarchs, the powers that be, ruling elite, or owners; there are powerful wealthy men who call the shots in this global criminal enterprise. No amount of propaganda can cover up the physical, economic, social, and psychological descent afflicting our world. There’s a bad moon rising and trouble is on the way.
The Cyprus deposit scramble contagion spreads as Reuters reports that "Swiss banks would be required to "motivate" remaining U.S. clients to come clean to U.S. tax officials. If they failed to do so, confidential bank data would be forwarded to U.S. officials. The initial shipment of data from those banks would not include client names but, based on the data, U.S. officials would be able to submit a judicial aid requests to get the names of alleged tax evaders."
Even Democratic Party Loyalists Starting to Wake Up to the Fact that Obama Is As Bad As Bush … Or WorseSubmitted by George Washington on 03/17/2013 03:10 -0400
Surprise, surprise... the 'most transparent administration ever' is, well, the least transparent. Not that any of you are shocked by this revelation, but a new report by the Associated Press demonstrates just how secret our government and intelligence agencies have become. Not only did they claim “national security” over and over like a bunch of drunk parrots, they also claimed the need to protect “internal deliberations.” Specifically, the number of times the government withheld or censored reports in 2012 was 479,000 times, up 22% from 2011. The CIA denied 60% of requests, up from 49% in 2011. "In some ways, the Obama administration is actually even more aggressive on secrecy than the Bush administration."
The long-awaited tell-all is coming soon to an ebook near you soon - well in 2014. AP reports that none other than 'Turbo' Tim Geithner has an agreement with Crown Publishers (Random House) to publish his 'behind-the-scenes' account of the financial crisis. From his tenure at the NYFRB to his stint under Obama's wing, we can't wait for all the gossip - ...and then I said, "yes sir, whatever you want sir..." As Crown adds in its PR, "Secretary Geithner will chronicle how decisions were made during the most harrowing moments of the crisis, when policy makers faced a fog of uncertainty, risked catastrophic outcomes, and had no institutional memory or recent precedent to guide them." Should be a thriller... as he answers the all-important question of why (or not) but rest comfortably as he intends to "provide a 'playbook' that future policy makers can draw on." Given the success of Obama's odyssey, we humbly suggest Tim title the as-yet-untitled book, 'The Oddacity Of Hype'.
Government to Spy On Everyone Who Banks In the U.S.
The United States is expected to lead the pack among non-OPEC members in terms of oil supply growth for 2013. That's the assessment from this month's market report from the Vienna-based cartel. OPEC, in its forecast, said U.S. oil supply growth is projected at 600,000 bpd this year. That figure, however, is 40,000 bpd less than the previous year. The Vienna-based cartel said U.S. oil growth could go either way for 2013, but noted growth from tight oil developments in states like North Dakota is expected to slow down. While improved drilling technology may offset some of that decline, OPEC said that factors like price issues may dampen the oil boom in the United States.
A little while ago, Paul Ryan revealed his proposal for a US budget titled "the Path to Prosperity" which is a 91-page waste of time, because if America nearly fired more people than were employed as a result of an $85 billion reduction to the increasing US rate of spending, at least according to math and logic-challenged Maxine Waters, Ryan's suggestion to really gut spending by cutting $4.6 trillion from the deficit over the next decade would be Armageddon incarnate as interpreted by the Obama administration. Which, no matter what one thinks of Ryan's political views, is unfortunate as the fundamental ideas contained in the budget are spot on: America has an unsustainable spending problem which, however, simply can not be resolved, period. After all - why bother: Bernanke will fund US deficit spending until the very end. So while we present the budget in its entirety for those who need a handy paperback to print out, below we have cropped the key, read scariest charts, from Ryan's budget. They are self-explanatory.