Land Of The Debt Serf: How "Auto Title Loan" Companies Ruthlessly Prey On America's Growing UnderclassSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/08/2015 20:30 -0400
“I look at title lending as legalized car thievery,... What they want to do is get you into a loan where you just keep paying, paying, paying, and at the end of the day, they take your car.”
Hungary becomes the first European country to sign on for China's ambitious Silk Road initiative. Beijing hopes the program will serve to relieve the country's industrial overcapacity problem while facilitating a tough transition to a consumer-led economic model. Given the growing number of headwinds China faces, "One Belt, One Road" may represent the counrty's 'one chance' to rescue the flagging economy.
It looks like this 'recovery' is going to need a triple-seasonal-adjustment to bring reality back to perception...
Something happened in late 2008 that has skewed the recovery towards the wealthiest Americans.
Moments ago MCD reported its May comp store sales which confirmed what we cynically noted is the reason for the data halt, namely that no matter what it does, MCD simply can not "turnaround" its foundering business, and after a drop of -0.6% in April, May global comp sales dropped once again, this time by -0.3%. This was the 12th consecutive month of global comparable store declines. Next month will be the 13th. There won't be a 14th.
Why has the dollar jumped in recent weeks? Global conspriacy and lies? Are thousands of investors and participants being deluded?
In the latest jobs report we find the following stunner: since the start of the Second Great Depression, the US has added 2.3 million "foreign-born" workers, offset by just 727K "native-born". This means that the "recovery" has almost entirely benefited foreign-born workers, to the tune fo 3 to 1 relative to native-born Americans!
"In the United States, it took 18 quarters (4.5 years) before fixed business investment regained its pre-recession peak, in chain-volume terms. That compares with an average of just five quarters before business investment recovered to its peak level prior to the onset of previous post-War recessions; previously, it had never taken longer than three years for that milestone to be attained."
It’s the breakdown of jobs by age that really screams out. It is a known fact that people in the 45 to 54 age bracket are in their prime earning and spending years. In the last year the number of employed 45 to 54 year olds has DECLINED by 67,000. It DECLINED in May by 51,000. It has DECLINED by 187,000 since February. It is a known fact that people over 55 dramatically reduce their spending as they approach and enter their retirement years. The Boomers have added 824,000 jobs in the last year, or 28% of all the new jobs added.
Grit your teeth if you have to. Cry if you want to. US labor market is improving and the dollar is strengthening.
The Fed sees no risks of bubble trouble because they are looking at it all from the 2008 perspective. That is completely wrong-headed; if there is a “next one” it will have nothing to do with subprime mortgages, or even mortgages and real estate. Everyone seems to simply assume that the subprime problem ended in 2008, if only by crash. That is true but only of mortgages. Deleveraging is myth as debt has still expanded, and greatly, just not in the same exact places. There are certainly auto and student loans that have exploded exponentially, especially in subprime categories, but if there is another credit bubble now, the third, it is undoubtedly corporate debt.
The last time the Establishment Survey was as robust as the past year or so was 1999; then, the average productivity was 3.7%! That number actually makes sense intuitively, since businesses would have good reason to go on a hiring spree. Porting that to the current period, as in the mathematical construction of productivity here, would mean, holding output constant, that total hours in the past five quarters would have been not +2.7% but -1.7%. These numbers literally do not add up.
Although we solved the "mystery" of America's missing wage growth some three months ago, the central planner/ Ivory Tower crowd is still confused. WSJ has taken the time to lay out nine prevailing theories from some of the country’s ‘finest’ economic minds...
Central bankers have promised ad nauseum to keep rates low for long periods of time. And they have delivered. Their claim is that this helps the economy recover, but that is just a silly idea. What it does do is help create the illusion of a recovering economy. What we have is the financial system posing as the economy. And a vast majority of people falling for that sleight of hand. Now the central bankers come face to face with Hyman Minsky’s credo that ‘Stability Breeds Instability’. Ultra low rates (ZIRP) are not a natural phenomenon, and that must of necessity mean that they distort economies in ways that are inherently unpredictable. For central bankers, investors, politicians, everyone. That is the essence of what is being consistently denied, all the time.
Two weeks ago, Citigroup presented what it thinks is the biggest nightmare for the Fed: it said that the FOMC’s "biggest worry is not lift off and its market and economic implications, but what happens if the economic recovery dies of old age without the Fed having done anything to tighten." And, according to Citi's FX strategists, "if this were to occur, the USD would probably fall faster than it rose from July-March." A precursor to loss of faith in the Dollar's reserve currency status perhaps. Today, Citi's Steven Englander lays out what is the Fed's second biggest nightmare: a rebound which is so fast, the Fed's entire carefully planned renormalization schedule collapses.