according to the latest update from the 29 west coast ports that serve as the entry point of the bulk of Asia/Pac trade into and out of the US, things are about to get far worse for America's manucaturing base, because as RILA reported earlier, talks between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) representing port management, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) officially broke down on Wendesday, and without an agreement, experts have suggested that nearly 30 west coast ports could be shut down within a week. As RILA reports, "a work slowdown during contract negotiations over the past seven months has already created logistic nightmares for American exporters, manufacturers and retailers dependent on an efficient supply chain. A complete shutdown would be catastrophic, with hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk if America’s supply chain grinds to a halt."
We can certainly "hope" that the markets will continue to march endlessly higher. However, "hope" has never been an effective portfolio management strategy. Considering that the decline in oil prices is supposed to good for the consumer, even though personal spending declined in the most recently reported period, the decline in dividends will certainly have a negative effect on those depending on those dividends. The current detachment between spending and the stock market will likely be corrected rather harshly at some point.
As politicians know, dead people don’t vote. In fact, politicians today routinely steal from the dead... specifically the unborn. Children that won’t even be born for decades will inherit enormous debts that have been racked up today on drones, bombs, and wars that were waged in our era. President Obama’s most recent budget makes this abundantly clear...
Another Conspiracy Theory Becomes Fact: The Entire Oil Collapse Is All About Crushing Russian Control Over SyriaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 11:45 -0400
And so the great chess game involving Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United States, Qatar, Syria, ISIS, Ukraine, natural gas and lots and lots of oil, is finally revealed.
"There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie. And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class." - CEO of Gallup
While the US government has yet to opine on the recently leaked information during Joe Biden's November trip to Ukraine that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the US is already providing lethal aid to Kiev, and certainly has said absolutely nothing about the presence of US soldiers - either taxpayer funded or mercenary - on Ukraine soil, the topic of legitimizing lethal weapons is once again on the front of the White House agenda. According to the WSJ, "The U.S. government is considering providing Javelin antitank missiles, small arms and ammunition to Ukraine, part of an effort to try to deter further aggression by Russia-backed rebels there, according to U.S. officials."
For the past couple of years, the economic optimists have been telling us that the economy has been getting better. Well, if the economy really has been getting better, why does the homeownership rate keep going down? If the economy really was healthy, more people would be getting good jobs and thus would be able to buy homes. But instead, the homeownership rate has continued to plummet throughout the entire “Obama recovery”.
Just as AAPL stock hits record highs and single-handedly rescues Q4 earnings from the doldrums, it appears President Obama is bringing his own brand of 'middle-class-economics' Robin-Hood-iness to crush the 'wealth generating' machine that has served America's 1% so well for so long. As AP reports, The White House plans a six-year half a trillion dollar public works program financed with a one-time mandatory tax on profits that U.S. companies have amassed overseas. Under current law, profits only face federal taxes if they are returned, or repatriated, to the US; but Obama's new deal would set a tax on accumulated foreign profits at 14% and due immediately as part of a broader administration plan to overhaul corporate taxes. Of course, with Republicans 'in charge', it is unlikely to pass as Paul Ryan blasted, "the president is trying exploit envy economics again," adding, "top-down redistribution doesn't work."
Presented with no comment...
For decades, the rest of the planet has regarded the United States as “the land of opportunity” where almost anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard. The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs. With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest are scrambling really hard to keep their own places. Something has gone horribly wrong... We are the generation that gets to witness the end of the American Dream.
"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee." - Mitt Romney
Following Congress, The Republican-led Senate just passed The Keystone XL Pipeline Bill - as expected:
*SENATE PASSES BY 62-36 BILL TO APPROVE KEYSTONE, DEFYING OBAMA
Nine Democrats joined all of the Republicans who were present in supporting the legislationNow, it is time for President Obama to unleash The Veto Pen...
Is the BLS overstating employment growth? I guess it depends on whose data set you choose to believe. However, there is little denying the fact that with over 60% of the population living paycheck-to-paycheck, stagnant wage growth and declining net worth over the last five years, there is something that simply does not add up. If employment growth were indeed growing as strongly as in the late 90's, it would seem logical to expect that many of the disparities in the economic landscape should be starting to equalize somewhat. Unfortunately, that has yet to be the case.
Over the past few days someone figured out that while there is an extensive barrier surrounding the White House, it only stretches about 8 feet above the ground. Everything above that is open air, or, as it is better known in this day and age of pervasive drone overflights: "a direct path."
- Alexis Tsipras: the Syriza leader about to take charge in Greece (Guardian)
- Tsipras to form anti-bailout Greek government after big victory (Reuters)
- Tsipras Forges Anti-Austerity Coalition in EU Challenge (BBG)
- East Coast braces, flights canceled as 'historic' blizzard bears down (Reuters)
- Rebels press Ukraine offensive, Obama promises steps against Russian-backed 'aggression (Reuters)
- Syriza Victory Brings Hope for Immigrants of EU Access (BBG)
- For Saudis, Falling Demand for Oil Is the Biggest Concern (BBG)
- Oil prices fall on market relief over Saudi policy (Reuters)