Purchasing Power

BofA Does The Full Math On What Minimum Wage Hikes Really Mean

There is an impact to employment when employers are forced to give workers more money... BofA estimates that a 10% rise in the minimum wage reduces employment by 2%; and adds that "the net benefit of raising the minimum is not clear based on the literature."

The Prospects For Money

"In my view, this new bout of turmoil in financial markets is the prelude to the final demise of government currency..."

Consumer Credit Jumps $19 Billion In May Thanks To New All Time Highs In Student And Auto Loans

The latest consumer credit report confirmed what we have now known for years: revolving credit remains stagnant at best, with just $2.3 billion in credit card debt added in May, a modest rebound from last month's $1.4 billion but certainly nowhere near pre-crisis monthly increase levels. Why not? Because US consumers once again found a way to "fungibly" convert non-revolving credit, namely auto and mostly student loans, into purchasing power.

Fearing Confiscation, Japanese Savers Rush To Buy Gold And Store It In Switzerland

In the face of a clear lack of trust in Japanese leadership, local investors are buying gold to store in Switzerland. The reason: they are increasingly worried about confiscation which is why they are storing it half way around the globe.  The number of buyers jumped 62% in the first six months from the second half of 2015, Atsuko Sato Whitehouse, head of Japanese markets at the London-based investment service, said this week.

The Gold Standard: Friend Of The Middle Class

If policy makers truly want to improve the condition of the middle class, which consists primarily of wage earners, a return to a monetary order of “hard money” is an economic and moral necessity.

"You Want To Own Gold" Marc Faber Warns "Brexit Is The Excuse For QE4"

“If Brexit is used as an excuse, the central banks will print more money, QE4 in the U.S. is on the way and the depreciation in the purchasing power of currencies will continue,” warned a vociferous Marc Faber said in a Bloomberg TV interview today from Hong Kong. "In that situation, you want to own some gold..."

The Fed's 3rd Mandate & The Value Of Cash

Jan 2008: Bernanke "The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession." Jun 2008: Bernanke "The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished." Jun 2016: Yellen "chances of recession this year are 'quite low'... The U.S. economy is doing well. My expectation is that the U.S. economy will continue to grow." Channelling Bernanke?

"Whatever It Takes" Wasn't Enough

Bond manager Jeffrey Gundlach made headlines this week with the comments “central banks are losing control.” I would suggest that central bankers actually lost control back in 2012. Mario Draghi’s “whatever it takes” pledge actually amounted to concerted central bank intervention to shield global markets and economies from the intensifying forces of the downside of a historic Credit Cycle. The global Credit boom persevered for a few more years, right along with historic market distortions and economic maladjustment. Downside risks have grown significantly.