With every passing week that money markets rates remain pinned to the zero bound by the Fed, the magnitude of the financial catastrophe hurtling toward main street America intensifies. When the next financial bubble crashes it can only be hoped that this time the people will grab their torches and pitchforks. Stanley Fischer ought to be among the first tarred and feathered for the calamity that he has so arrogantly helped enable.
The private economy and its millions of savers exist for the convenience of the apparatchiks who run the central bank. In their palpable fear and unrelieved arrogance, would they now throw millions of already ruined retirees and savers completely under the bus? Yes they would.
Both the stock market and oil prices have been plunging. Is this “just another cycle,” or is it something much worse? We think it is something much worse...
It's a case of economic policy run amuck. Real estate development can boost the economy, under the right conditions: lots of jobs and economic activity get generated when homes are built or refurbished. And there is the wealth effect when home prices rise. But when taken to extremes - as it is today and was in the previous economic cycle consumer spending gets squeezed out in order to pay mortgages and rent. It becomes an incredibly unproductive use of capital. Simply put, we have a surge in college-age prostitution and it's the Fed's fault. It gives new meaning to the term "perverse monetary policies"
Want further evidence of the misappropriation of taxpayer funds to post-secondary education? Look no further than the Pell grant program.
As the capital markets from Shanghai to New York were melting down in ways hearkening back to the early days of the prior financial crisis - a period of time many would like to forget (or act) as if it never happened - the Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman decided it was time once again to weigh in with what will surely be viewed by the so-called “smart crowd” as a brilliant perspective on what ails the world: Not enough debt. He came out blazing with what seems the only bullet in his arsenal as a cure-all for what ever the ailment might be (e.g., debt.) as he argues this view in his latest: Debt Is Good.
How bad is America's $1.3 trillion student loan problem, you ask? As WSJ reports, "nearly seven million Americans have gone at least a year without making a payment on their federal student loans, a staggering level of default that highlights how student debt continues to burden households despite an improving labor market."
Today many are talking about the economy, but that’s all they’re doing: talking. Doesn’t matter if its today’s politician, CEO’s from the largest corporations, some national or regional business association figure-head, right down to academia with its self-perpetuating gaggle of Ivory Tower economic aficionados. All they are doing is paying lip-service to the problems. And the reason? They can’t do anything about it because as of today, the U.S. economy is being controlled high-handedly by The Federal Reserve. The U.S. economy has never before been under the command and control of a single entity – until now. Today the Fed. entices nearly all businesses to focus on short-term games of financial engineering rather than on core business principles to grow. This is what a stance at the zero bound gives rise to.
At this point, you can crowdfund just about anything. Campaigns to raise funds for medical bills, student loans, movies, new inventions, and startup capital have sprung up from all over the world, which led the crowdfunding industry to generate $16.2 billion globally last year in funding transactions. A new trend is emerging within the industry – platforms designed solely for litigation crowdfunding.
The up and coming generations have plenty to blame on the "baby boomer" generation and the scores of bad fiscal and monetary policy decisions that has robbed them of their future. The job of each generation is to leave the world in a better place than they found it. It is clear, we failed.
The presumed Democratic nominee is set to roll out her plan to confront the $1.2 trillion student loan bubble. As Bloomberg reports, the pitch is expected to be one of the "biggest-ticket policy proposals of her presidential campaign," totaling some $350 billion and will include $200 billion for states who will be encouraged to do more to facilitate loan-free college educations and a $150 billion refi effort for the country’s heavily indebted students.
Did you take out a $245,000 loan to pay for your degree? Good news, the Department of Education wants you to know that "your payment could be as low as $0 a month!"
We are delighted to report that about 7 years after it was glaringly obvious to everyone except the Fed of course, now - with the usual half decade delay - even the NY Fed has finally figured out what even 5 year olds get. "A new study from the New York Federal Reserve faults these policies for enabling college institutions to aggressively raise tuitions. The implication is the federal government is fueling a vicious cycle of higher prices and government aid that ultimately could cost taxpayers and price some Americans out of higher education, similar to what some economists contend happened with the housing bubble."
Earlier this week, the largest for-profit college in the country disclosed that the FTC is investigating whether the school adopted "deceptive or unfair practices" in the course of recruiting students. Now that the closure of Corinthian Colleges has set a $3.6 billion precedent, will the government investigation of Apollo Education put taxpayers on the hook again?
This seemingly inexhaustible credit line is now drying up, with severely negative consequences for oil producers with debt that's coming due. The row of dominoes swaying unsteadily in these stiff winds won't take much to topple.