ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Apr 05 07:58

Brazilians whacked: Crooks hijack bank's DNS to fleece victims

Rather than picking off online banking customers one by one, ambitious hackers took control of a Brazilian bank's entire DNS infrastructure to rob punters blind.

The heist, detailed by security engineers at Kaspersky Lab, took place over about five hours on Saturday October 22, 2016, after the miscreants managed to get control of the bank's DNS hosting service using targeted attacks. They managed to transfer all 36 of the bank's domains to phony websites that used free HTTPS certs from Let's Encrypt. These sites masqueraded as the bank's legit online services, tricking marks into believing the malicious servers were the real deal. That allowed the crims to steal customers' usernames and passwords as they were typed into the sites' login boxes.

Apr 05 07:49

FED GOVERNOR: MARCH ‘BLOWOUT JOBS GROWTH’ NEW EVIDENCE OF ECONOMIC TRACTION

Outgoing Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo told CNBC on Wednesday that robust March job growth at American companies provides more confirmation of a “solid trend” of strength in employment.

He also said the economy is gaining traction.

U.S. companies added 263,000 jobs in March, according to the latest ADP and Moody’s Analytics private payrolls report. That was well above the 185,000 expected from economists surveyed by Reuters. The government reports its March employment report on Friday.

Apr 05 07:47

Paul Craig Roberts - Debt Based System Running Out of Steam, Nuclear War More Likely: Blame Washington & MSM

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, formerly a top editor at the Wall Street Journal, says nuclear war is the most dire problem Americans face. This comes at a time when trust between Russia and America is at all-time lows.

Apr 05 07:43

Amazon is refunding £55 million to customers - Find out if YOU are eligible for a refund

In 2016, a US federal judge ruled that Amazon had failed warn parents that free apps downloaded from its store could still contain in-app purchases.

Amazon did not provide parents with enough notice – or password requirements – to prevent any unwanted charges from children using the apps independently, the judge found.

The Federal Trade Commission has estimated parents were mistakenly charged upwards of $70 million, roughly £55 million, between November 2011 and May 2016.

Now that Amazon has dropped its appeal, the refund process can begin.

Customers who were affected by this issue will be refunded via method of purchase, not gift cards.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Amazon is due to begin its refund program "shortly".

Apr 05 07:34

THE PENTAGON HAS NEVER BEEN AUDITED & TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE UNACCOUNTED FOR. WHERE HAS IT GONE?

An audit refers to an official financial examination, to which every person, corporation, and government organization in the United States is subject. To be exempt from an audit or to not be audited on an annual basis is practically unheard of, even if a business makes a small amount of money. So, why doesn’t the Pentagon, the headquarters for the United States Department of Defense — which accounts for 54% of the U.S. government discretionary spending — get audited?

To be clear, this is illegal. Legislation that was passed in the early 90s states that all government agencies must be audited on an annual basis. The Pentagon has not been audited for the past 20 years, yet there have been no legal consequences. Instead, the U.S. government awards the Department of Defense with billions of dollars annually. Why does the Pentagon get special treatment from the U.S. government and what exactly is it hiding?

WHY THE PENTAGON IS LONG OVERDUE FOR AN AUDIT

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Upping the budget for a military institution which believes itself to be unaccountable for its spending, is really a very, very bad precedent, and must be stopped.

Apr 05 06:59

PAYLESS SHOE FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY, WILL CLOSE 400 STORES IMMEDIATELY

Payless ShoeSource, the discount shoe store, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"This is a difficult, but necessary, decision driven by the continued challenges of the retail environment, which will only intensify," said Payless' CEO W. Paul Jones in a statement.

Payless plans to immediately close 400 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and will also "aggressively manage" the rest of its real estate portfolio. That will mean closing additional stores and seeking to modify existing lease terms. The retailer currently has 4,400 stores in more than 30 countries.

In recent years, reports Forbes, the retailer has suffered from flat and declining sales and a staggering amount of debt, as shoppers shun malls and instead opt for online or other discount stores.

Revenues slid 4% to $2.3 billion in the twelve months ending in October 2016, according to Moody's.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The debt Payless is carrying is nothing short of staggering.

But blaming on-line sales for their demise is more than a little disingenuous; the quality of product their buyers chose was generally very low, and products from the store didn't last well at all.

Apr 05 06:54

RICHMOND FED PRESIDENT RESIGNS AFTER ADMITTING LEAKING FED POLICY DELIBERATIONS

Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker has just admitted he leaked confidential Fed monetary policy information to Medley Global Advisers, a publisher of macroeconomic analysis for institutions such as hedge funds and asset managers. It is owned by The Financial Times.

He has resigned effective immediately. He had planned on retiring in October.

There is no immediate indication if Lacker will face criminal prosecution. The FBI has been probing the Fed's 2012 leak to Medley since 2015.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would expect no prosecution whatsoever; the rich rarely eat their own.

Apr 05 06:42

Buy This Cheaper Commodity Now To Save Your Wealth Before The Imminent Market Collapse

If we consider the weight the market is carrying now, it is no secret that we are on the verge of yet another market collapse.

Apr 05 06:42

AMERICANS NEED NOT APPLY

Americans and American products are systematically discriminated against by Law.

US companies who want to hide behind the US military and courts and live in our country must hire the Americans who protect them and their money.

Apr 04 18:28

Intelligence Insider Who Simulated Financial War Games For Government: “What They’re Going To Do Is Lock Down The System… Close The Banks, Money Market Funds, Stock Exchanges”

There is only one reason the U.S. economy has thus far avoided a completely devastating collapse that threatens to end life in America as we have come to know it. According to former intelligence operative and author of Jim Rickards, it has everything to do with confidence. Slow but surely, however, that confidence is eroding and it is only a matter of time before the machinations and manipulations of central banks, governments and financial institutions lead to a total destabilization of the system.

And when that day finally comes – when credit markets lock up, stock markets crash, or the U.S. dollar collapses – Rickards, the author of The Road To Ruin: The Global Elites Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis, warns in a recent interview with Greg Hunter’s USA Watchdog that access to your assets will be heavily restricted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is why you have to plan, NOW, to start working outside the financial grid, and not get stuck as an "unintended investor" whose assets are going to be used to fix the banks' collective woes.

Do not have a cent more in the bank than you need to pay your bills; if you need to, find a check cashing entity which will charge you for the transaction, and keep your assets as liquid as possible.

Apr 04 18:23

European Union Tells Hungary and Poland To Accept Mass Migration Or Leave

France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union (EU).

The two nations have ignored Brussels’ insistence that they take migrants presently residing in great numbers in Italy and Greece. Public opinion in Hungary and Poland is also strongly against being forced to accept thousands of migrants from non-European cultures.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am not a betting woman, but I would almost be willing to bet what Hungary's and Poland's answer to the EU will be on this issue, and that would be,in Hungarian and Polish, somewhat of the equivalent of "You can stick your EU membership where the sun cannot shine!"

Apr 04 18:10

‘O’Reilly Factor’ Advertiser Exit Grows After Alleged Harassment Settlements

About 18 advertisers have issued statements about pulling their ads

Apr 04 16:12

The Next Subprime Crisis Is Here: 12 Signs That A Day Of Reckoning Has Arrived For The U.S. Auto Industry

The same thing happened just before the great financial crisis of 2008. All of the warning signs were there well in advance, and many of the experts were warning about what was coming as early as 2005. But because it did not happen immediately, a lot of people greatly mocked the warnings.

Apr 04 16:01

Jamie Dimon Warns “Something Is Wrong” With The US

"Our problems are significant, and they are not the singular purview of either political party. We need coherent, consistent, comprehensive and coordinated policies that help fix these problems. The solutions are not binary – they are not either/or, and they are not about Democrats or Republicans."

Apr 04 15:39

European Union Tells Hungary and Poland To Accept Mass Migration Or Leave

France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand Hungary and Poland either accept migrants under the quota system or leave the European Union (EU).

The two nations have ignored Brussels’ insistence that they take migrants presently residing in great numbers in Italy and Greece. Public opinion in Hungary and Poland is also strongly against being forced to accept thousands of migrants from non-European cultures.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am not a betting woman, but I would almost be willing to bet what Hungary's and Poland's answer to the EU will be on this issue, and that would be,in Hungarian and Polish, somewhat of the equivalent of "You can stick your EU membership where the sun cannot shine!"

Apr 04 14:33

VALUATION DECISION OF THE DAY – which is worth more: Pippa Middleton’s bum, Tesla cars or the Rock of Gibraltar?

The South African rand is falling in value, the euro is doing well against the dollar, US car makers announcing poor sales results have seen their shares wobble, and the price of some quoted tech companies continues to rise despite their inability to make a profit.

Apr 04 13:35

SOUTH AFRICA JUNK CREDIT RATING - Credit Rating Has Been Cut to Junk Status. Sends Currency Tumbling

South Africa’s rand tumbled on Monday afternoon after credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s the credit grade to junk status, saying a cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma last week had put fiscal and growth outcomes at risk.

Apr 04 11:59

CHARTS: The gold bull is gaining steam

Apr 04 11:45

Homeless Families Are Being Forced Out Of London As Temporary Housing Costs Soar

Homeless families in London are being given temporary accommodation outside the capital because the spiralling cost of rent is draining council funds, new figures show.

According to London Councils (LC), the number of placements outside the capital rose from 113 between April and June 2012 to 551 between December and April 2016.

Apr 04 11:43

Proposed #CollegeForAll Plan Would Tax Wall Street To Destroy Student Debt Crisis

In a progressive push-back to the Trump administration’s right-wing agenda—and amid rising inequality—Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday unveiled their legislative plan for tuition-free public colleges to lift the burden of “crushing debt.”

Apr 04 11:09

The Federal Reserve Conspiracy and Rockefeller (1952) By Emanuel Josephson

“Since commerce and money are the livelihoods of nations and their peoples, the control of money is the obvious key to the control of nations and the world. …Rome’s successor the Holy Roman Empire dissimulated its interest in money and its power. This was in accord with its professed tenets of Nazarene, theistic Communism.

“Under ecclesiastic Canon Law, even profits in business transactions were decreed to be the cardinal sin and capital offense of ‘usury’ As late as the sixteenth century, one hundred businessmen were burned at the stake in Geneva, as a penalty under Church law, for making profits in their business transactions. Title to all wealth , as well as to the person and lives of all the earth, are claimed by the Church, on the ground that their ownership is divinely vested in the Pope as the Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth.

Apr 04 10:52

New Cold War Lines Are Being Fortified: There Are Interests Behind The Throne That Are Not Controlled By The Trump Administration

For those of you who have completely fallen in line with the thought that President Trump is the panacea to all our problems, it’s advisable that you rethink that stance. Firstly, there are interests behind the throne that are neither controlled by nor parallel to the interests of the administration. Secondly, the “transition period” is not over. It is far from over, and the lines that are developing…both of intra and inter-party dissension domestically…and the “Second Cold War” lines throughout the world…have materialized. They are beginning to solidify, and they are becoming fortified.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What I am seeing, looking at the world situation, is very much like that archetypal dream of witnessing a slow-motion train wreck which one is incapable of stopping, despite one's best efforts.

So the best advice I can give our readers and radio listeners is, please don't panic: plan.

This means having long-term, storable food and water with you; extra medications for yourselves and your pets; and having a bug-out kit, and plans about how to get yourself away from mass areas of panic or hurt, should it come to that.

You also need to find a way of protecting yourself and your family with which you are comfortable, because if people even suspect that you are prepping, they will want to tear down your door, and loot your supplies from you in a heartbeat.

Find like-minded friends in your community with whom you can work, and barter.

A really excellent prepper newsletter comes from a very sage lady by the name of Daisy Luther, and you will get tips for prepping, and yes, a little advertising as well. But if you are new to the concept, what she has to say can be invaluable.

Mike sees only two possible, ultimate outcomes from all that is going on; either a world war, or a complete collapse of the US economy, and a collapse of the Federal government, none of which would be pleasant scenarios through which to have to survive.

But looking at the magnitude of what is going on, survival will be the name of the game, and most probably in relatively short order.

Apr 04 10:32

How the Federal Reserve is robbing us blind.

Apr 04 10:08

Declining Living Standards In The U.S.; Myth Or Reality?

We often hear the economists raising the most profound questions of declining living standards in the U.S. We have analyzed this issue and here is the analysis build using various sources.

Apr 04 09:35

2017 Retail Bankruptcies Soar To 'Great Recession' Highs

As U.S. equity markets continue their march back toward all-time highs, courtesy of the latest BTFD binge trade, at least one 'small' segment of the U.S. economy does not seem to be participating in the rally as 9 brick-and-mortar retailers have already filed for bankruptcy protection in 1Q 2017 alone. That volume of filings matches the total number of retail bankruptcies for all of 2016 and puts the industry on pace to exceed even the 'great recession' highs.

Apr 04 09:35

Iceland's Jailed Bankers Are Back, Demanding They Were Crisis Scapegoats

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, one country stood out: Iceland was the one nation in the world which not only let its banks fail, but convicted the bankers responsible for the collapse of the country's financial system (incidentally, since then Iceland has been one of the world's economic success stories, with the economy growing over 7% last year). Now, nearly a decade later, Iceland’s ex-bankers, once reviled as symbols of crony and rogue capitalism, say they were scapegoats: and having been "improperly" jailed for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis, they’re now taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"You are not ALLOWED to jail a banker!!!!" -- Das FED

Apr 04 09:15

Are 401K Holders About To Feel A Savers Pain?

There’s an old truism people forget all too often. It has many variations and is attributed to even more, its core meaning goes something like this:

“If the government can give it to you, than it can also take it away.”

Some of you might be wondering if I’m talking about the current “tax” advantages that have made these vehicles so popular over the years. To that I’ll say no, not at this current time. But I feel that will be the least of worries coming down the pike in the not so distant future.

No, what I’m directly addressing is what is now emanating from the one and only non-government, privately held institution, directed by a consortium of non-elected, Ivory Towered, policy wonks: The Federal Reserve.

And those emanations are anything but 401K holder friendly. Let me explain…

Apr 04 09:14

Dallas Mayor Pulls Support For "Massive Taxpayer Bailout" Of Police Pension

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings has finally reached his maximum willingness to throw taxpayer dollars at the Dallas Police and Fire Pension (DPFP) system and has pulled is support for a bill that, if it passes, will undoubtedly prove to be yet another futile effort to save the system from insolvency. Despite support for the original legislation introduced by Dan Flynn, chair of the pensions committee in the Texas House of Representatives, Rawlings apparently took issue with a last minute addition to the bill that would have taxpayers fund the pensions of "phantom employees" based on a target Dallas police force of 3 officers per 1,000 residents.

Apr 04 09:14

Why Special Interests Sacrifice The Future For Short-Term Gain

The special interests that dominate politics dominates to produce a form of economic warfare. The more some can manipulate the political machinery, the more they can feather their own nests. They even use similar propaganda techniques.

In wartime, we are always defined as the good guys, ennobled by our moral cause. "They" are the bad guys, to be demeaned and dehumanized, so few will be bothered by what is done to them. Similarly, in domestic politics, representatives of each group paint themselves as particularly worthy or needy, making their advocacy morally superior, contrasted with their opponents whom they tar as selfish or unprincipled.

However, advocates for such causes do not always occupy the moral high ground they try so hard to create. They advocate coercing those who have done no harm to others to justify it. Further, the policies proposed often benefit existing members of a group, but harm those who will be members of that group in the future.

Apr 04 09:10

Ralph Lauren To Close Flagship Fifth Avenue Store; Cut Jobs

The retail massacre claimed its latest victim this morning when iconic luxury retailer Ralph Lauren said it would shut its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, among other office and store locations, and cut jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan.

Apr 04 08:32

Boeing signs first major deal with Iran under Trump administration

Boeing has signed a $3.4 billion deal with Iran's Aseman Airlines to supply 30 737 MAX aircraft to the carrier.

Apr 04 08:25

Trump takes aim at visa program for high-skilled workers

The Trump administration is beefing up enforcement of the H1-B visa program used by tech companies to bring high-skilled workers to the U.S.

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security said it was taking steps to “further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse.”

"The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged," the agency said.

Apr 04 08:14

11 Weeks in Prison, 20 Years to Go for Peaceful Amish Father of 12 — Sam Girod Update…

Sam Girod is a peaceful Amish farmer from Kentucky who made and sold homemade salves, the type that anyone could make in their kitchen. These salves have never hurt anyone (did I mention, NO ONE?), and his “crime”? Rape? Murder? Drug dealing? Nope, not even close. His crime was mislabeling his homemade “product”, according to the FDA. So he changed the label. They said it wasn't good enough. He changed it again. Years later they came after him again. Then he missed a court hearing that he didn't even realize he was supposed to attend. It went from bad to worse from there…

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"How DARE you compete with major corporations by making your own products!!!!!"

Apr 04 08:11

REVEALED: EU budget CRISIS as Juncker facing cliff edge over £200BN deficit

THE European Union (EU) has a growing debt mountain of £203billion (€238billon) and has admitted difficulties in paying its bills.

The European Commission (EC), which oversees the budget and is run by unelected president Jean-Claude Juncker, says it tried to make the funding crisis "disappear" .

Luxembourg politician Mr Juncker, who represents the European People's Party (EPP) and earns €304,212 per year plus allowances of as much as 15 per cent more, took over the budget of the bloc in 2014.

Apr 04 08:06

Central banks ditching euro for Sterling

Concerns over political instability, weak growth, and the European Central Bank's (ECB) negative interest rate policy have led central banks to cut euro exposure; the Financial Times reported, citing a survey of reserve managers at 80 central banks.

Apr 04 08:02

HOW A PRIVATE PRISON COMPANY USED DETAINED IMMIGRANTS FOR FREE LABOR

GEO incarcerates more immigrants (and receives more public money to do so) than any other detention center operator, according to an analysis by the anti-detention group CIVIC. And its business detaining immigrants for ICE is only expected to grow "with this increased and expanded approach to border security," CEO George Zoley said in a February earnings call.

According to the lawsuit, there were two ways GEO cashed in on cheap labor from detainees. There was the facility's sanitation policy, under which detainees like Ortiz were required to work as janitors without pay. If they didn't, they risked being punished with solitary confinement, according to GEO's local detainee handbook. Detainees could also apply for a job in Aurora's voluntary work program, which paid them exactly $1 a day to keep the facility running.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Any way you look at this, it is slave labor.

These people should have been repatriated, and the country of origin charged for their housing and services, while they were illegally in the US.

Apr 04 07:26

THE NEXT SUBPRIME CRISIS IS HERE: 12 SIGNS THAT A DAY OF RECKONING HAS ARRIVED FOR THE U.S. AUTO INDUSTRY

In 2008, subprime mortgages almost single-handedly took down the entire financial system, and now a new subprime crisis is here. In recent years, the auto industry has been able to boost sales by aggressively pushing people into auto loans that they cannot afford. In particular, auto loans made to consumers with subprime credit have been accounting for an increasingly larger percentage of the market. Unfortunately, when you make loans to people that should not be getting them, eventually a lot of those loans are going to start to go bad, and that is precisely what is happening now. Meanwhile, automakers and dealers are starting to panic as sales have begun to fall and used car prices have started to crash. If you work in the auto industry, you might remember how horrible the last recession was, and this new downturn could eventually turn out to be even worse. The following are 12 signs that a day of reckoning has arrived for the U.S. auto industry…

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In looking at local Hawaiian commercials for car leasing, the prices are so low that it looks like the auto companies here are nearly giving away these lease rates, because they cannot move product to save their lives.

As reported at bloomberg.com in February of this year:

Dealer's first overflow lot in 37 years exposes US car pileup

Apr 04 07:08

Amazon is a destroyer of jobs and the merchant economy

If this is progress, just how much more can our economy afford? The myth of cheap prices, conveniently seldom factors in the structural costs to society. Building an all inclusive monopoly based upon minimal employees and predatory prices ignores the long anti-trust history that helped create the middle class.

Apr 04 07:06

Housing Bubble in Sydney Soars to New High, Politicians Promote Scheme to Bitter End

“Buy property in Sydney and you’re ‘pretty well set for life’”: Government to first-time buyers.

Apr 04 06:58

Credit rating agency downgrades South Africa to junk status

An international credit rating agency has downgraded South Africa to junk status, following the country's controversial cabinet shake-up last Friday.

Apr 04 05:21

The Next Subprime Crisis Is Here: 12 Signs That A Day Of Reckoning Has Arrived For The U.S. Auto Industry

In 2008, subprime mortgages almost single-handedly took down the entire financial system, and now a new subprime crisis is here. In recent years, the auto industry has been able to boost sales by aggressively pushing people into auto loans that they cannot afford.

Apr 03 21:27

An Extraordinary “Path to Marijuana Reform” by Two Oregon Congressmen

Two Oregon congressional democrats, a senator and a representative, show ground-breaking leadership with their “Path to Marijuana Reform.” Three pieces of excellent legislation showcase the effort by Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Earl Blumenauer. This proposal has excellent cannabis policy goals. It would:

Deschedule Marijuana Completely. No Schedule II, maybe Schedule III, categories that would leave cannabis in the clutches of the DEA. One of the Oregonians’ proposals, the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, would remove cannabis entirely from the Controlled Substance Act, freeing it from most federal control. States would be free to prohibit or legalize with their choices and their votes. As with alcohol and tobacco, marijuana products would be subject to a federal excise tax.

Apr 03 16:30

Moscow And Beijing Join Forces To Bypass US Dollar In Global Markets, Shift To Gold Trade

In other words, China and Russia are shifting away from the dollar-based trade, to commerce which will eventually be backstopped by gold, or what is gradually emerging as an Eastern gold standard, one shared between Russia and China, and which may day backstop their respective currencies.

Apr 03 16:19

Economists: All the bubbles are ready to bust

Whether Trump is a willing participant or an unwitting scapegoat doesn’t much matter. It’s simply important to remember that before he became president, Trump was known as one of the world’s greatest salesmen. If you think about it, it was a whole bunch of other really convincing salesmen who got us into this mess. So it stands to reason that only those of us who learn to read between the lines of a tremendous pitch are going to make it out with our skin.

Apr 03 16:11

‘BE PREPARED’ ECB fires grave warning to Europe's most debt-ridden countries

EUROPE'S debt-laden countries have been warned to prepare for higher borrowing costs and an end to ultra accommodative monetary policies that have helped prop up economies in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

In a stark alert, a top policymaker from the European Central Bank (ECB) told governments and other players to expect interest rates to start rising from negative levels.

ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure told an audience in Paris: "It's obvious that the financial sector, and other economic actors and especially governments must prepare (for higher interest rates).

"I hope that eurozone governments know that interest rates will not stay at current levels."

Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal are among the countries that are burdened with heavy debts after being bailed out at the height of the financial crisis.

Apr 03 15:44

Morgan Stanley: Used car prices may crash 50%

For months we’ve been talking about the massive lending bubble propping up the U.S. auto market. Now, noting many of the same concerns that we’ve highlighted repeatedly, Morgan Stanley’s auto team, led by Adam Jonas, has just issued a report detailing why they think used car prices could crash by up to 50% over the next 4-5 years.

Apr 03 12:54

Homeowners are pulling cash out again; this time it’s the millennials

Fast-rising home prices gave homeowners more equity than many expected, and they are now tapping that equity at the fastest rate in eight years.

Homeowners gained a collective $570 billion throughout 2016, bringing the number of homeowners with "tappable" equity up to 39.5 million, according to Black Knight Financial Services. Those borrowers have at least 20 percent equity in their homes.

But the fact that mortgage rates were lower last year makes it less likely today's borrowers would want to refinance this year. About 68 percent of tappable equity belongs to borrowers with mortgage rates below today's levels. The vast majority of these borrowers, more than three-quarters, also have FICO credit scores well above average, which gives them more options for cashing out on their homes.

Apr 03 12:12

Record $10 Trillion Paper Gold Trading Market Continues To Depress Price

How do you depress the physical gold price? It’s quite easy… you throw $10 trillion paper dollars at it. Not only did global paper gold trading amount reach a new record in 2016, it surpassed the previous year’s total by nearly 50%.

Apr 03 11:52

Bankers get rid of euro, prefer pound

World Central Banks prefer pounds. And reject euros or reduce their assets in this currency to the minimum. It was reported by the Financial Times with a reference to the Central Banking Publications and the HSBC bank. Reserve managers of 80 largest central banks with total volume of investments at 6 trillion euros have taken part in the survey. The euro is no more trusted because of political instability in the EU, as well policy of the European Central Bank. The Brexit has also influenced. By the way, despite Britain's launching procedure of the exit from the EU, the majority of world banks consider the UK as the most reliable place for currency reserves. One more event in Europe may affect euro, analysts are sure. That is victory of Marine Le Pen at the presidential elections in France. In this case, the currency rate of dollar and euro will be equal. Such a forecast has been given by the Bloomberg agency given survey data of the leading economists.

Apr 03 10:18

RUSSIA WINS ENERGY WAR IN EUROPE AFTER EU SURRENDERS ON NORD STREAM 2

Confirmation that the EU Commission has dropped its opposition to Nord Stream 2 – the giant gas pipeline Russia is building through the Baltic to supply natural gas directly to Germany – effectively ends whatever doubts previously existed about the project.

More importantly, it also means Russia has won the energy war, which has been raging around the issue of Russian gas supplies to Europe over the last decade and a half.

Nord Stream 2 is the second undersea gas pipeline directly linking Russia to Germany. It comes after Nord Stream 1, which was laid down in the late 2000s and completed in 2011, coming on stream in 2012.

The story of the export by Russia of gas to Europe is extraordinarily tangled and is scarcely ever discussed properly. This is unfortunate because in my opinion it is the single most important reason for the collapse in relations between Russia and the West since Putin came to power in 1999.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a huge win for Russia and its oil industry.

Apr 03 09:46

A world without retirement

We are entering the age of no retirement. The journey into that chilling reality is not a long one: the first generation who will experience it are now in their 40s and 50s. They grew up assuming they could expect the kind of retirement their parents enjoyed – stopping work in their mid-60s on a generous income, with time and good health enough to fulfil long-held dreams. For them, it may already be too late to make the changes necessary to retire at all.

In 2010, British women got their state pension at 60 and men got theirs at 65. By October 2020, both sexes will have to wait until they are 66. By 2028, the age will rise again, to 67. And the creep will continue. By the early 2060s, people will still be working in their 70s, but according to research, we will all need to keep working into our 80s if we want to enjoy the same standard of retirement as our parents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The USA is already here, whether older workers realise it or not.

And the underfunding of US pensions, coupled with the reality that Social Security is on its last legs, is going to create a world of hurt for older Americans who thought they could retire, but cannot.

Apr 03 09:41

Italy Is About To Fall

As the chickens come home to roost in Europe, the failed pieces of a doomed experiment are about to crumble into fragments that will never be reparable. Following Brexit and a rise in what our ever-so trustworthy media calls “right-wing nationalism”, the clouds of doom seem far from dissipating over Europe just yet. The next to go in a string of wobbling dominoes may be Italy—but not of its own volition.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apr 03 09:37

EMPLOYEES IN EUROPE GETTING IMPLANTED WITH MICROCHIPS

The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created.

What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.

“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it. “It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As an entrepreneur, I am very grateful right now that I work for companies as a free-lancer who would never ask me to do this!!

Apr 03 09:09

It’s Official: Obama Presidency Had Worst Economic Growth Since World War II – 4th Worst in History!

On Thursday we closed the book on the Obama economic “miracle” — and it’s a miracle we are not in a recession.

Last week the Commerce Department released its third revision for fourth-quarter 2016 gross domestic product. The number came in at a paltry 2.1 percent, meaning that growth during President Obama’s final year in office — the end of an “Error of Hope” — landed with a big thud at just 1.6 percent.

That low-water mark puts the Obama presidency in last place among all the post-World War II presidents when it comes to economic growth.

Apr 03 09:04

As homeless shelter closes for season, guests exit into cold, wet April snow

Roughly 30 guests of Concord’s cold-weather homeless shelter departed for the last time as it closed for the season Saturday morning, emerging into the elements, where at least some of them would eventually spend the night.

They made it no farther than the parking lot of the shelter building at St. Peter’s Church on North State Street before their feet sunk into the near foot of wet snow that continued to fall.

Apr 03 09:02

Base Jumping off the Stock Market’s Peak

According to Bank of America, there is no time to leap into the stock market like the moment before its cataclysmic fall. BofA’s Michael Hartnett has no doubt that the stock market stands on the edge of catastrophic collapse, but the euphoric rise before it takes the plunge could be the greatest financial rush you’ll ever know

Apr 03 08:29

Unraveling QE “Later This Year” Gets Serious, New York Fed President William Dudley is on Board.

Today it was New York Fed President William Dudley’s job to hammer home the message. He’s one of the most influential members on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee. His New York Fed deals with the securities that are on the Fed’s balance sheet as a result of QE. And he said the Fed might start reversing QE this year.

Apr 03 08:13

Caterpillar shuts plant in Illinois, 800 to lose their jobs

Caterpillar Inc. said on Friday it will shut its Aurora, Illinois, plant, costing about 800 employees their jobs as the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker shifts production to other U.S. facilities.

Apr 03 08:13

Why Amazon's explanation for shutting down Diapers.com and Quidsi stunned employees

Last week, Amazon announced it was shutting down Diapers.com and the rest of the Quidsi subsidiary, claiming it hadn't been able to turn the business profitable.

But that narrative doesn't exactly mesh with what was said at an all-hands meeting just a few months ago, when Amazon and Quidsi executives told employees that they were confident that Quidsi would indeed be profitable in 2017, several sources in attendance told Recode.

Apr 03 08:12

Dow falls 100 points as financials drop more than 1%

U.S. equities traded mixed on Monday — the first trading day of the month and quarter — as investors parsed through key economic data.

Apr 03 08:01

What Is America Going To Look Like When Stocks, Home Prices And Even Used Cars All Crash By At Least 50 Percent?

Have you ever thought about what comes after the bubble? In 2008 we got a short preview of what life will be like, but most Americans seem to have come to the conclusion that the last financial crisis was just a minor bump in the road toward endless economic prosperity. But of course the truth is that the ridiculously high debt-fueled standard of living that we are enjoying now is not sustainable, and after this bubble bursts it will be an extremely painful adjustment for our society.

Apr 03 07:33

Greece crisis bites as £3.4BN pulled from banks and manufacturing output WORST in eurozone

GREEKS are tightening their belts spending less and less in supermarkets as billions disappears from their bank accounts.

Capital outflows have shot up to £3.4billion (€4bn) since the start of the year while "impoverished" members of the public cut back on spending.

New figures out from the Marketing Laboratory of the Athens University of Economics and Business show half of Greeks are only buying the "absolute necessities".

They say consumers are spending almost £34 (€40) less a month at supermarkets as they try to tighten their belts amid the country's debt crisis.

And that reduction in spending is having an impact on supermarket turnover signalling a 13 percent decline.

The average monthly household expenditure is £234 (€274) compared to £265 (€310) a year earlier, it has been revealed.

Apr 03 04:50

RUSSIA WINS ENERGY WAR IN EUROPE AFTER EU SURRENDERS ON NORD STREAM 2

Confirmation that the EU Commission has dropped its opposition to Nord Stream 2 – the giant gas pipeline Russia is building through the Baltic to supply natural gas directly to Germany – effectively ends whatever doubts previously existed about the project. More importantly, it also means Russia has won the energy war, which has been raging around the issue of Russian gas supplies to Europe over the last decade and a half.

Apr 02 11:49

Is the Global Taxman Coming? But Who Are They Really Going After?

Credit Suisse is once again under international investigation for allegedly helping its clients evade the prying eyes of national tax authorities. This comes after the bank was fined $2.6 billion by the U.S. government in 2014 for helping Americans evade taxes.

Apr 02 10:29

Maybe The Recovery Wasn’t Real After All

For a while there it looked like the US and its main trading partners had finally achieved escape velocity. Growth was up, inflation was poking through the Fed’s 2% target, and most measures of consumer sentiment were bordering on euphoric.

Apr 02 08:42

Moscow And Beijing Join Forces To Bypass US Dollar In Global Markets, Shift To Gold Trade

Bypassing the US dollar appears to be paying off: according to the Chinese State Administration of Taxation, trade turnover between China and Russia increased by 34% in January, in annual terms. Bilateral trade in January 2017 amounted to $6.55 billion. China’s exports to Russia grew 29.5% reaching $3.41 billion, while imports from Russia increased by 39.3%, to $3.14 billion. Just as many suspected, with Russian sanctions forcing Moscow to find other trading partners, chief among which China, this is precisely what has happened.

The creation of the clearing center enables the two countries to further increase bilateral trade and investment while decreasing their dependence on the US dollar. It will create a pool of yuan liquidity in Russia that enables transactions for trade and financial operations to run smoothly.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apr 02 08:41

This Economy is Ruined for Many Americans

Here’s a mystery: Has this “wealth-effect” economy that the Fed so beautifully engineered since the Financial Crisis gotten a lot riskier, scarier, and uglier in some profound ways for lower-income Americans, those making $30,000 or less a year?

Apr 02 08:31

New Study Finds That Six Jobs Are Lost for Every Robot Added to the Workforce

A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research presents sobering statistics that illustrate the impact automation is already having on the workforce, noting that each industrial robot introduced between 1990 and 2007 lead to the loss of 6.2 jobs.

Apr 02 08:21

War-Ravaged South Sudan Draws $500 Million Oranto Oil Bet

Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum International Ltd. plans to bet half a billion dollars that Africa’s newest nation can end a three-year civil war and create the conditions to revive its oil industry.

Oranto, a closely held company part-owned by the Eze family that also has assets in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, plans to invest $500 million to develop the oil block awarded by South Sudan earlier this month.

Apr 02 08:20

James Rickards: Money Riots Coming in Next Financial Collapse, Didn’t Get a Honeymoon-He Got a Burning Bed

Financial expert James Rickards, who was one of the few that predicted a Trump Presidential win, says the new President has battles on many fronts. Rickards contends, “It’s one thing to say there is an opposition to a President. There is always some opposition to the President.

Apr 02 04:15

Having A 'Retreat' Property Comes With Real Challenges

A flurry of recent headlines has highlighted the financial elites’ interest in secure retreats (a.k.a. bug-out locations) should the trucks stop rolling. That those with the most money and access to expertise are preparing safe havens has moved the conversation about bug-out plans from the alt-media to the mainstream, however briefly.

Apr 01 19:13

Is the Global Taxman Coming?

Credit Suisse is once again under international investigation for allegedly helping its clients evade the prying eyes of national tax authorities. This comes after the bank was fined $2.6 billion by the U.S. government in 2014 for helping Americans evade taxes. Helping high net worth private clients and corporations evade taxes, and then getting caught is not unique to Credit Suisse. Fellow Swiss megabank UBS and UK giant HSBC were fined hundreds of millions of dollars for their troubles.

Apr 01 11:33

F-35 Continues to Stumble

The F-35 still has a long way to go before it will be ready for combat. That was the parting message of Dr. Michael Gilmore, the now-retired Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, in his last annual report.

The Joint Strike Fighter Program has already consumed more than $100 billion and nearly 25 years. Just to finish the basic development phase will require at least an extra $1 billion and two more years. Even with this massive investment of time and money, Dr. Gilmore told Congress, the Pentagon, and the public, “the operational suitability of all variants continues to be less than desired by the Services."

Apr 01 11:15

Trump's NAFTA Reversal Likely Tied To Oil Industry Pressure

(*2016Presidential Candidate Trump called NAFTA; 'the worst trade deal in history' , but he was only talking to us , when he did
This extensive article explains how keeping that campaign promise has met layers of corporate opposition , and rather then fight , Trump has succumbed .)

Apr 01 09:27

What You Need To Know About Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's Son-In-Law And Newly Appointed Advisor

It was Jared who helped prepare Trump for an appearance before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in March, and Jared who helped broker a truce with Fox News when Trump fought with Megyn Kelly, the network's star anchor. After Trump fired Corey Lewandowski, his campaign manager, in June, it was reported that Ivanka had demanded Lewandowski's dismissal for trying to marginalize Jared's influence...Most recently, Jared was on hand to help Trump choose Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate—over and above, it did not go unnoticed, the great nemesis of the Kushner family, Chris Christie.

Apr 01 09:25

US Healthcare- Who Pays for this Boondoggle?

"Every family is one serious medical event away from financial destruction." Glen, a recently retired American, gives his reaction to the current US debate over health insurance.

Apr 01 09:24

I Am Fishead - Documentary Film (2011)


"WHAT'S WRONG WITH OUR WORLD? THIS IS A FILM FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KNOW."

Every meaningful change starts with awareness. In our culture, we not only praise psychopaths in the highest positions of power, but in many cases, they became our role models. Challenge your beliefs! We have delved into the world of psychopaths and heroes and revealed something crucial about us.

http://www.fisheadmovie.com/

Apr 01 08:25

Banks Are Secretly Reporting Cash Transactions To The Police

UK demand for gold is surging. The auto bubble has been inflated and their many signs that show its ready to pop.Q4 2016 revised to 2.1 to show Obama had a strong economy during his presidency.

Apr 01 07:58

Truth and myth on the gender pay gap

Over the last few years, defenders of markets, including me, have been on the offensive, arguing that the gender pay gap is in some sense a “myth.” More recently, critics have replied that it’s not a myth and that those who think it is a myth are peddling nonsense.

Apr 01 06:33

Jordan Roy-Byrne: Downside Risk Increasing

Apr 01 05:09

OIL WARS! U.S. Shale Ignores OPECs Warning: Oil Rig Count Soars By 21, highest level since September 25, 2015

The United States oil and gas rig count jumped by 15 this week, to its highest level since September 25, 2015, according to Baker Hughes’ latest report on domestic drilling activity.

Apr 01 04:49

Do the Roots of Rising Inequality Go All the Way Back to the 1980s?

Unless we change the fundamental structure of the economy so that actually producing goods and services and hiring people is more profitable than playing financial games with phantom assets, the end-game of financialization is financial collapse.

Mar 31 14:34

The Ticking Time Bomb That Will Wipe Out Virtually Every Pension Fund In America

Are millions of Americans about to see the big, juicy pensions that they were counting on to fund their golden years go up in flames in the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history? When Bloomberg published an editorial entitled “Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore“, it simply confirmed what a lot of people already knew to be true. Pension funds all over America are woefully underfunded, and they have been pouring mind boggling amounts of money into very risky investments such as Internet stocks and commercial mortgages. Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, this is a crisis that everyone can see coming well in advance, and yet nothing is being done about it.

Mar 31 13:01

Here’s Why Italy’s Banking Crisis Has Gone Off The Radar

For a country that is on the brink of a gargantuan public bailout of its toxic-loan riddled banking sector, or failing that, a full-blown financial crisis that could bring down the European financial system, things are eerily quiet in Italy these days. It’s almost as if the more serious the crisis gets, the less we hear about it — otherwise, investors and voters might get spooked. And elections are coming up.

But an article published in the financial section of Italian daily Il Sole lays out just how serious the situation has become. According to new research by Italian investment bank Mediobanca, 114 of the close to 500 banks in Italy have “Texas Ratios” of over 100%. The Texas Ratio, or TR, is calculated by dividing the total value of a bank’s non-performing loans by its tangible book value plus reserves — or as American money manager Steve Eisman put it, “all the bad stuff divided by the money you have to pay for all the bad stuff.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is really bad; and the question that comes to mind is, how in the world will the EU and the IMF be able to bail this country out, without invoking extreme financial austerity on the Italian people, much as happened when the Cypress banking system fell apart?!?

And the short answer is, if things are as bad with the Italian economy as they appear, there will be no other way; and all Italian politicians know that should this happen, the Italian people will be very upset.

Mar 31 12:48

Venezuela Bonds Crash As Political Situation Turns "Explosive"

Venezuela sovereign bonds crashed on Friday as a result of soaring political tensions after the annulment of the country's legislature by its high court on Wednesday, a move that ignited protests, invoked international condemnation and prompted the opposition to call for a military response to what it deemed a "coup."

One day after our report on the latest attempt by Maduro to seize unilateral control of the government and to isolate the opposition, the political situation turned "explosive" on Friday when Venezuela's powerful attorney general Luisa Ortega broke ranks with President Nicolas Maduro's government after the Supreme Court annulled congress, a rare show of internal dissent as protests and international condemnation grew. As a reminder, the pro-Maduro Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was assuming the legislature's functions because it was in "contempt" of the law. The opposition promptly slammed the decision as a "coup" against an elected body.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am deeply concerned that this situation in Venezuela will not end well, and that we may see a great deal more bloodshed, as the political/economic scene crashes into chaos, as we have charted in recent articles about the problems here.

Mar 31 12:44

Morgan Stanley: Used Car Prices May Crash 50%

For months we've been talking about the massive lending bubble propping up the U.S. auto market. Now, noting many of the same concerns that we've highlighted repeatedly, Morgan Stanley's auto team, led by Adam Jonas, has just issued a report detailing why they think used car prices could crash by up to 50% over the next 4-5 years.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know what used price cars are on the mainland, but here on Oahu, in looking at commercials for leases on higher end pre-owned cars, it appears that car dealers just cannot move product.

And I would suggest that the floor may come for used car sales even more quickly, and more aggressively, that a 4 - 5 year time frame!!

Mar 31 12:37

The US Owes 3x all the gold ever produced

The US owes the world 453,000 tons of gold which is almost 3 times all the gold ever produced in history. The average American is totally unaware what is happening to his money since he doesn’t travel outside the country. He doesn’t realize how prices are going up every year, especially since the official inflation figures have nothing to do with real inflation.

Mar 31 12:30

"Manias, Panics And Crashes": A Stunning Warning From Bank Of America

Bank of America's Michael Hartnett is back with another controversial note overnight, reminding readers that "it ain't a normal cycle" for one overarching reason: central banks.

Mar 31 12:28

Urban Farmer Curtis Stone Teaches Profitable Backyard Farming

By Vin Armani

In this video, the Urban Farmer Curtis Stone describes his journey from socialist musician to liberty-loving entrepreneur who’s frontyard and backyard farm makes more than $100,000 a year. Curtis is an inspirational example of living the change he wants to see in the world.

Curtis Stone is a farmer, author, speaker and consultant. His area of expertise is in quick growing, high value annual vegetables for direct consumer market streams. His book, The Urban Farmer demonstrates organic intensive techniques with a focus on business and systems to streamline labor and production. He offers a new way to think about farming. One where quality of life and profitability coexist. Visit Curtis at http://theurbanfarmer.co/

Mar 31 11:09

High Number Of Consumers See Stock Rally As Sure Thing

The percentage of respondents in UM’s survey of consumers who view a stock rally over the next 12 months as a “sure thing” is near record levels.

Mar 31 10:16

Seven pro-marijuana bills introduced Thursday in Congress

Seven pro-marijuana industry bills were announced Thursday morning by a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers in the House and Senate, suggesting that 2017 may be the year real reform gets through the Capitol.

The sponsors range from longtime marijuana industry allies such as Oregon Democrat U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer to newcomers to the cause such as Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

Three bills were introduced in the Senate, along with four more in the House. In the upper chamber, the point man is Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who is sponsoring all three bills.

Mar 31 10:09

MEDIA DELUDES AMERICANS: Shale Oil Production Suffers Massive Decline Rates

The Mainstream media continues to delude the public into believing cheap shale oil production will make the United States energy independent. We now see articles suggesting that Americans will no longer need to rely upon the Middle East or OPEC for our future oil supply when all we need to do is ramp up our domestic shale oil production. Unfortunately, its not that simple or easy.

Mar 31 10:02

THE TICKING TIME BOMB THAT WILL WIPE OUT VIRTUALLY EVERY PENSION FUND IN AMERICA

Are millions of Americans about to see the big, juicy pensions that they were counting on to fund their golden years go up in flames in the biggest financial disaster in U.S. history? When Bloomberg published an editorial entitled “Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore“, it simply confirmed what a lot of people already knew to be true. Pension funds all over America are woefully underfunded, and they have been pouring mind boggling amounts of money into very risky investments such as Internet stocks and commercial mortgages. Just like with subprime mortgages in 2008, this is a crisis that everyone can see coming well in advance, and yet nothing is being done about it.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And what happens to people whose pensions fail, because of the economic strains both cities and financial institutions are under?!?

There is going to be a lot of emotional and financial pain, begging to live with family members or friends; visualise, if you will, the TV series "The Golden Girls", but without the laughs.

I would strongly suggest that right now, you choose not to be a victim of such a potential calamity.

When it comes to financial issues, trust is either for complete idiots, or for those people who can do their financial advisors a great deal of harm, if their monetary outcomes are not to their liking.

If humanly possible, you have to be your own financial planner, and make sure that you have some hedges, including some physical precious metals which are directly under your own control.

Unfortunately, this problem is not going to be going away anytime soon, and no "magical thinking" on the part of a soon to be pensioned retiree, will make that happen.

Mar 31 09:27

The world’s first pension crisis

In the late in the 5th century BC, the government of ancient Rome came up with a new idea that has lasted for thousands of years.

Mar 31 09:15

Iowa governor blocks minimum wage hike approved in several counties

Tens of thousands of Iowa workers who received a raise in Iowa could see their pay cut after the governor signed a bill that would roll back the minimum wage throughout the state.

On Thursday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) signed House File 295, which prohibits any county or city in the state from exceeding the statewide minimum wage of $7.25.

The statewide minimum wage is the same as the federal minimum and has remained at $7.25 since 2008.

Mar 31 09:15

‘EU is particularly good at doing a terrible job’ – Yanis Varoufakis

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has described the measures taken by the EU to settle the economic crisis in Greece as a “terrible job.” The comment comes as Greece agrees to new reforms that are set to help the country qualify for cheaper loans.

“Isn’t it yet another piece of evidence that the European Union is particularly good at doing a terrible job, but handling what should be a very manageable crisis,” Varoufakis told CNN on Tuesday.

He noted that, in fact, the goals set for Athens are nearly impossible to reach. “The people at the IMF [International Monetary Fund]… told us that the Greek debt is unsustainable and the austerity that is being [imposed] upon Greece is catastrophic for the program itself.”

Mar 31 09:14

The ECB’s Illusory Independence

A commitment to the independence of central banks is a vital part of the creed that “serious” policymakers are expected to uphold (privatization, labor-market “flexibility,” and so on). But what are central banks meant to be independent of? The answer seems obvious: governments.

In this sense, the European Central Bank is the quintessentially independent central bank: No single government stands behind it, and it is expressly prohibited from standing behind any of the national governments whose central bank it is. And yet the ECB is the least independent central bank in the developed world.

Mar 31 09:08

This Indicator Says Recession Dead Ahead

Mar 31 08:39

Stock Market “Exuberance” Drives Merger Valuations to “Highest Level on Record”

Pre-collapse year 2007 keeps popping up with eerie frequency.

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