From Whence Cometh Our Wealth - The People's Labor Or The Fed’s Printing Press?

It is hard to believe that in these allegedly enlightened times this question even needs to be asked. Are there really educated adults who believe that by dropping helicopter money conjured from thin air, the central bank can actually make society wealthier? Well, yes there are. They spread this lunacy from the most respectable MSM platforms.

Sprott Money's picture

As has been noted frequently in the past, most of the business news posted by the mainstream media is a collection of economic fairy-tales which utterly pervert what is actually taking place, most particularly with respect to reporting on the Western bloc. Occasionally, however, we will get some sort of mild, pseudo-confession, which gives us just a glimpse of the economic carnage in these once-prosperous/once-affluent societies.

Futures Slide Then Rebound On Endless "Unnamed Source" Greek Chatter, Dollar Slides; China Surges

Once again it's all about Greece, with the latest iteration of a "Greek deal is imminent" rumor making the rounds and, just like yesterday, sending futures in the green, just a little over an hour after the increasingly more illiquid E-mini future has slid 0.7%. The EUR, where the bulk of Virtu headline kneejerk reacting algos are to be found, has surged over 100 pips overnight on more hope and optimism.

The Delusional World Of Imperial Washington

The first step in any 12-step imperial-overstretch recovery program would involve accepting the fact that American power is limited and global rule an impossible fantasy. Accepted as well would have to be this obvious reality: like it or not, the U.S. shares the planet with a coterie of other major powers -- none as strong as we are, but none so weak as to be intimidated by the threat of U.S. military intervention. Having absorbed a more realistic assessment of American power, Washington would then have to focus on how exactly to cohabit with such powers -- Russia, China, and Iran among them -- and manage its differences with them without igniting yet more disastrous regional firestorms.  But for any of this to happen, American policymakers would first have to abandon the pretense that the United States remains the sole global superpower -- and that may be too bitter a pill for the present American psyche (and for the political aspirations of certain Republican candidates) to swallow. From such denialism, it’s already clear, will only come further ill-conceived military adventures abroad and, sooner or later, under far grimmer circumstances, an American reckoning with reality.

A Hurt Ben Bernanke Explains That He Is Not Responsible For Record Inequality, Epic Hilarity Ensues

One might be predisposed to thinking that monetary policies aimed explicitly at inflating prices for the assets most likely to be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy would have a high likelihood of exacerbating the wealth divide. Not so, says Ben Bernanke in a new blog post. "Certainly, inequality and lack of social mobility are issues of first-order significance for economic policy in general. Should they also be first-order considerations for the making of monetary policy? I have my doubts."

French Unemployment Surges By Most In 7 Months To New Record High

s it any wonder Marin Le Pen's Front National Party is a) leading in the polls, and b) pushing for an EU in/out referendum? Whatever it is that France (and/or Europe) is doing, is not working. Despite all the promises, French unemployment has risen practically non-stop for 4 years and just hit a new all-time record...

"By Almost Every Measure Stocks Are Overvalued" Warns Goldman After Slamming Corporate Buybacks

Over the weekend, we first reported that none other than Nobel prize winner Robert Shiller said that in his opinion, unlike 1929, this time everything - stocks, bonds and housing - was overvalued. Curiously, none other than Goldman's chief equity strategist, David Kostin echoed this sentiment when in his latest weekly note to clients he said that "by almost any measure, US equity valuations look expensive. The typical stock in the S&P 500 trades at 18.1x forward earnings, ranking at the 98th percentile of historical valuation since 1976. For the overall index, the aggregate forward P/E multiple equals 17.2x, a rise of 63% since September 2011, compared with the median expansion of 48% during 9 previous P/E expansion cycles. Financial metrics such as EV/EBITDA, EV/Sales, and P/B also suggest that US stocks have stretched valuations. With tightening on the horizon, the P/E expansion phase of the current bull market is behind us."

DoJ Allows Nazi War Criminals To Escape With $20 Million In Social Security Payments

"In a forthcoming report triggered by an Associated Press investigation, the top watchdog at the Social Security Administration found the agency paid $20.2 million in benefits to more than 130 suspected Nazi war criminals, SS guards, and others who may have participated in the Third Reich's atrocities during World War II," AP reports.

US Savings Rate Jumps As Americans Again Spend Less, PCE Tumbles

This is not what the American Dream is made of... US consumers got a generous 0.4% rise in incomes in April - better than the 0.3% expectation - but none of it was spent! Personal Spending was unchanged - missing expectations for the 5th month of last 6. What this means is obvious, Americans are saving more (savings rate surged from 5.2% to 5.6%) and spending less... this is not the wealth effect creating 70%-of-GDP-consuming world that The Fed's textbooks say it should be...

Hysterical (Or Historical) Blindness

When money and investing is no longer rewarded by business acumen and prowess - rather it’s “Here’s a boatload of cheap money. Throw as much as you can, as fast as you can, at as many as you can, and see what, if any sticks” - that is when you should be looking for where the lifeboats are hanging. Rather, than hanging around on the poop-deck waiting to see if it’s all about to hit a fan. We guess we’re just back to the old turn a blind eye to anything historical. Remember “It’s different this time.” Nothing to see here, move along, don’t fret, no need for concern. Just remember and repeat three times every time there’s reason for concern when the market drops 200 or 300 points out of the blue only to recover all if not more the next day... “The Fed’s got your back, the Fed’s got your back, The……”

And Now The Bull's Turn: Jeremy Siegel Explains "No Way There Is A Bubble, No Signs Of Recession"

Having detailed the less status-quo-sustaining side of things, thanks to some frankness from Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, who warned "unlike 1929, this time everything - Stocks, Bonds and Housing - is overvalued," we thought it only fair-and-balanced to illustrate the alternative perspective and who better than Jeremy Siegel to deliver it. In his anti-thesis of Shiller's facts, Siegel unleashes textbook dogma to pronounce, "in no way do current levels quality as a bubble", that stock returns should remain supported by fundamentals, there is no sign of a recession in the next 18 months, The Dow's fair-value currently is 20,000, and "not much" could dissuade him from holding stocks.

John Kerry Goes Biking In France, Hits Curb, Breaks Leg; Will Fly Back To US In "Specially Outfitted Aircraft"

Over the years, many have tried to prevent John Kerry from inserting his foot in his mouth and failed. Today, none other than Kerry himself achieved just that, both literally and metaphorically. America's Secretary of State went biking in the French Alps when he hit a curb, and broke his femur. Not to worry: he is expected to make a full recovery and was in good spirits, according to John Kirby. And just to make sure of that, US taxpayers will be invoiced a little over a million so that a specially equipped airplane picks up the SecState "to ensure he remains comfortable and stable throughout the flight."