Wall Street Journal
‘Punishment Interest,’ as Germans call it with Teutonic precision, becomes a pandemic.
Instead of reading between the lines of the 28 page FOMC minutes, we have The Wall Street Journal's Jon Hilsenrath to explain to us what we should believe. His message is not dovish. Despite tumult in financial markets, weak economic conditions abroad, and risks that low inflation could drift lower, Hilsenrath notes that the Fed forged ahead with a decision to end the central bank’s bond-buying program because the domestic economy and labor market appeared to be on course for further improvement. Furthermore, officials added a new twist: a debate about whether they should add new information in their official policy statement on how quickly rates will rise once increases commence.
Ahead of President Obama's address to the nation tomorrow to dictate his executive orders on immigration, potentially allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to stay legally in the US, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds nearly half of Americans disapprove of his plan. Only a dismal 38% support the President taking this executive action... which makes us wonder if there has ever been so much revulsion at the policies of a standing President. It's good to be king.
“If [They're] Right, Everything The Fed Has Been Doing To Try To Stimulate The Economy Isn’t Just Useless — It’s Backward”
If only George Orwell could see us today. When he wrote “1984” back in 1948, he probably never imagined that the “totalitarian, bureaucratic world” that he imagined would ever actually become a reality. But that is precisely what is happening. The control freaks that run our society are absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking, recording and monitoring virtually everything that we do. We truly are becoming a “1984” society, and if we continue on the path that we are currently on eventually our world will be transformed into something more hellish than anything that George Orwell ever imagined.
Since Ben Bernanke reminded the world of the existence of government printing-presses, echoed Milton Friedman's "helicopter drop" solution to fighting deflation, and decried Japan for not being as insane as it could be... it has only been a matter of time before some global central bank decided that the dropping of cash onto the populace was the key to economic recovery. Having blown their wad on QQE (and been left with a triple-dip recession), it appears Japan has reached that limit. As Japan's News47 reports, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed his cabinet to develop economic measures such as handing out 'gift certificates' to the poor to "support personal consumption directly."
"As a drearily soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones, she’s about as banal of an American politician as it gets."
While talking heads proclaim - incorrectly - that low oil prices are unequivocally good for the US economy, it is very much not the case for oil producers around the world. Most notably, Venezuela - which 'needs' oil prices above $100 to maintain its socialist utopia - and currently ranks at a lowly 100th on the world's prosperity index, is in grave trouble if this trend continues. Venezuelan bonds plunged to new record lows today as oil prices hit fresh cycle lows, strongly suggesting default or currency devaluation is imminent. However, as is usual (think Mexico) Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco Torres ruled out devaluation even as oil price drop exacerbates country’s finances. As one analyst noted, "there's broad understanding that in the absence of any corrective policy measures that these guys are going to be in serious trouble." It appears they already are. The Maduro government desperately needs a rise in oil prices, but Saudi Arabia has so far rebuffed calls for an emergency meeting as it pursues a strategy of waiting out higher cost competitors. OPEC does not plan on meeting until Nov. 27. That is still an eternity for a country that is beginning to unravel.
It appears the concept of no consequences is now deeply embedded in the American society. As Student loan debtloads surge ever higher - and opportunities grow ever lower - NBC News reports a rather stunning 24% of Millennials said they expect their loans will ultimately be forgiven, according to study released Wednesday by Junior Achievement and PwC US. That helps to explain why delinquency rates are at record highs - aside from the massive debtloads and no high-paying jobs - as students see bankers rigging every market in the world with little to no consequence, one can only imagine the lessons being learned.
Chris Martenson is an economic researcher and futurist, specializing in energy and resource depletion, and co-founder of PeakProsperity.com. As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar, The Crash Course, that interconnected forces in the economy, energy, and the environment that are shaping the future, one that will be defined by increasing challenges as we have known it. Chris’s insights are in high demand by the media as well as academic, civic, and private organizations around the world, including institutions such as the U.N., the U.K. House of Commons, and the U.S. State Legislatures. So with that we’d like to welcome Mr. Chris
Despite testifying that she wasn’t informed of the deadly ignition-switch problem until late December 2013, The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to emails it has obtained, GM ordered a half-million replacement ignition switches almost two months before it alerted federal safety regulators to any problems. Who was in charge of GM purchasing at this time? Mary Barra. As WSJ concludes, the switch order, nearly two months before GM told NHTSA of the need for recall in early February, suggests the company took initial concrete action to address the defect, but outside of scrutiny by regulators and vehicle owners.
“A Luxembourg structure is a way of stripping income from whatever country it comes from,’’ said Stephen E. Shay, a professor of international taxation at Harvard Law School and a former tax official in the U.S. Treasury Department. The Grand Duchy, he said, “combines enormous flexibility to set up tax reduction schemes, along with binding tax rulings that are unique. It’s like a magical fairyland.”
Economic forecasting is a dangerous job. As Mark Twain put it in his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson, “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.” Every wrong prediction could doom a career, or a bank account. Prudence and humility are the only sound tools for building one’s reputation. The talking heads on CNBC appear to know neither. They pledge allegiance to the flag of the tinkering bureaucracy. It explains the loss of ratings, and loss of confidence in the ability of “experts” to see what’s coming down the tracks. Refusing to learn from mistakes will lead to future blunders. Pundits that don’t heed this message are doomed to fail.
Please don't claim anything changes if one party or the other is in the majority. Anyone clinging to that fantasy is delusional.
The Keynesian notions of “potential GDP” and “aggregate demand” have no basis in the real world. They are revealed doctrine. They are the religion of the state’s economic policy apparatus. Its bad enough that this destructive economic religion leads to the farcical forecasting games evident in the EC’s chronic updates and slow-walks of the GDP numbers down. The evil, however, is that the Keynesian apparatchiks will not desist in their destructive money printing and borrowing until they have suffocated free market capitalism entirely, and have monetized so much public debt that the financial system simply implodes.