It is that time of the year when the President of the United States delivers his annual "State Of The Union" address. Despite the nation's voting choice in November, President Obama's retooled message is, "The American resurgence is real... Don't let anybody tell you otherwise." The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President's new message? Before he takes to the podium with his bullish optimism, he might want to consider the following charts...
Foreign policy actions have consequences. The aggressive foreign policies of the United States and its allies in the Middle East have radicalized thousands and have made us less safe. Blowback is real whether some want to recognize it or not. There are no guarantees of security, but only a policy of non-intervention can reduce the risk of another attack.
Lazard's Antonio "Tax-Inverter" Weiss Withdraws Treasury Nomination (But End-Arounds Senate For 'Counsel' Role)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/12/2015 17:18 -0500
It appears Lazard's investment banker Antonio Weiss' "help" in tax inversions was just too 'unpatriotic' to scare President Obama off at the last minute.
- *ANTONIO WEISS SAID TO WITHDRAW NAME AS TREASURY NOMINEE
- *WEISS SOUGHT TO AVOID LENGTHY CONFIRMATION PROCESS (how thoughtful?)
The White House exclaimed "opposition to Weiss was unjustfied," so perhaps it was his $203 million in assets just would not have played well with Obama's new vision for the future. However, he has managed to get a position as "counselor" - which does not require Senate approval.
"This is why Putin is Public Enemy Number 1. It’s because he’s blocking the US pivot to Asia, strengthening anti-Washington coalitions, sabotaging US foreign policy objectives in the Middle East, creating institutions that rival the IMF and World Bank, transacting massive energy deals with critical US allies, increasing membership in an integrated, single-market Eurasian Economic Union, and attacking the structural foundation upon which the entire US empire rests, the dollar." Up to now, of course, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have taken the biggest hit from low oil prices; but what the Obama administration should be worried about is the second-order effects that will eventually show up...
If it looks like a war, acts like a war and smells like a war, it may just be a war. The US has been waging economic, financial, trade, political and even kinetic war-by-proxy against Russia. The only question is why?
As we recently noted, The Prison State of America is alive and well as our prison-industrial complex, which holds 2.3 million prisoners, or 25 percent of the world’s prison population, makes money by keeping prisons full. While the statistics are mind-boggling, we thought it particularly ironic that on the day when President Obama officially launched his "free community-college for all" plan, that we point out there are more jails than colleges in America... and here's where they live...
Yesterday, to much shock and dismay, Obama revealed his latest "noble" grand vision: provide a free community college education to millions of folks. Apparently now, far too late, even the community organizer-in-chief realized that with $1.2 trillion in student loans the Millennials will never be able to take their rightful place as the dynamo of US economic growth. What is Obama's solution? Another free lunch. Socialist unicorns and Marxist rainbows aside, what will Obama's "free" plan cost taxpayers? The answer: $60 billion over 10 years, according to a White House official.
Having tested-the-waters with his "2 years of free community college for all" plan last night, President Obama will this afternoon explain how it's all going to work, how it will be paid for (and by whom), how it will not raise education costs, how it will ensure Americans become more productive and encouraged to seek and take work, and how it will wean people from suckling at the teat of the welfare state... Oh and how he will define 'responsible' students? (rather like moderate terrorists we suspect?). Or is this all a 'delaying tactic' as America's aging workforce crowds out the younger generation from all but burger-flipping?
Just 2 days after President Obama reflected on his glorious 'save' of the US auto industry - forgetting to explain how so much of this 'buying frenzy' has been predicated on massive low-quality-borrower-based credit extensions - The Wall Street Journal bursts the bubble of 'contained-ness'. Auto loan delinquency rates are surging to levels not seen since 2008 and stunningly, more than 8.4% of borrowers with weak credit scores who took out loans in the first quarter of 2014 had missed payments by November. As even glass-half-full-status-quo-hugger Mark Zandi is forced to admit, "It’s clear that credit quality is eroding now, and pretty quickly."
With the number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs nearly 71% higher than it was a decade ago, and the average graduate leaving college with $29,400 in debt (crushing their hopes of leveraging up to buy that American Dream-creating house), President Obama has unleashed a double whammy of ideas in the last few days. Reducing mortgage insurance and cutting down-payment restrictions for FHA loans (i.e. providing huge leverage to segments of society to repeat the mistakes of the last housing bubble); and now, as The LA Times reports, President Obama says he is rolling out a plan to make two years of community college free, or nearly so, to every student across the country. Because it's "fair"?
Today's WTF moment of the day comes courtesy of The Daily Signal, in which we read that while speaking at his first press conference since being narrowly reelected as House speaker after some 24 republicans defected, the Ohio Republican argued he is the "most anti-establishment speaker we’ve ever had." Actually... no. And here's why...
Welcome to the new old normal 'Murica... buy those homes... lever up... spend the HELOC... die a debt serf...
The 114th Congress formally convened yesterday. In what follows, Goldman Sachs presents its views on some of the central questions regarding the political and policy outlook for the coming year. In general, Goldman expects most of the deadlines Congress faces over the coming year to result in only limited uncertainty, though the debt limit increase that will be necessary later in 2015 is the main potential exception. Additionally, they expect legislation to "audit" Fed monetary policy decisions is likely to pass the House again in 2015, but enactment looks less likely.
Yesterday, to much fanfare, the White House blasted that it was Obama's desire to appoint Allan R. Landon, a Hawaiian community banker, to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. To wit: "President Obama said, “Allan Landon has the proven experience, judgment and deep knowledge of the financial system to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy. He brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, particularly as a community banker.” Apparently what he also brings as Bloomberg's Dawn Kopecki reminds us, is the usual near-criminal cronyism and corruption that we have all grown to love and expect from every single Fed governor in recent history. It turns out in 2005 Landon agreed to step down as SFHLB board member due to the "appearance of impropriety" when he "failed to comply with a rule requiring the disclosure of conflicts of interest by a director."
"Some Folks Are Buying Cars..." President Obama Explains Why Subprime Auto Loans Are Great For America - Live FeedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/07/2015 16:27 -0500
This should be good... On the same day as the administration pushes through 3% down FHA loans for some insane reason, President Obama is in Michigan to discuss the renaissance of the US Autoo industry (or more correctly described- the rebirth of the subprime lending bubble)...