In the early 1970s, there were about 200,000 new US businesses created each year (net of closures). Now, the number is negative. Why are Americans getting poorer?Look no further. No new businesses (net). No new jobs (again net). No new wealth. Under Obama and Draghi, crony capitalism flourishes. Real capitalism dies.
Three weeks ago, when reporting on Obama’s close personal friend and Bank of Hawaii “community banker” appointee to the Fed board, Allan Landon, we emphasized an apparently trivial data point that had somehow managed to slip through the background due diligence process. Namely, that about a decade ago, the same Landon stepped down as board member from the Seattle Federal Home Loan Bank after he was found to have “failed to comply with a rule requiring the disclosure of conflicts of interest by a director by failing to make disclosure to the Seattle Bank board of their institutions’ planned redemptions.” The full story can be read here, but in a nutshell a banker that the president himself has appointed to join the US money printing authority was on the cusp of being investigated for embezzlement, and was forced to quietly disappear into the night despite denying “any wrongdoing.” Today we learn just how much assets the banker who at least once was caught with “borderlineembezzlement ” made during his humble tenure as a “community banker.” The number: somewhere between $10 and $40 million.
With Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath warning - in no lesser status-quo narrative-deliverer than The Wall Street Journal - that The ECB’s actions (and pre-emptive collapse in the EUR) means the U.S. economy must deal with a rapidly strengthening dollar that will make American goods more expensive abroad, potentially slowing both U.S. growth and inflation; and Treasury Secretary Lew coming out his crypt to mention “unfair FX moves,” it appears The Fed (and powers that be) are worrying about King Dollar. This suggests, as Mises Canada’s Patrick Barron predicts, the Fed will start charging negative interest rates on bank reserve accounts as the final tool in the war on savings and wealth in order to spur the Keynesian goal of increasing “aggregate demand”. If savers won’t spend their money, the government will take it from them.
The European Central Bank’s launch of an aggressive program this week to buy more than €1 trillion in bonds poses important tests for the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve.
Europe’s new program of money printing—and the resulting fall in the euro—means the U.S. economy must deal with a rapidly strengthening dollar that will make American goods more expensive abroad.Continue reading »
Draghi’s answer is simple: we have now thrown the kitchen sink at the deflation problem and there has been no inflation (he conveniently forgets to mention that the world is now caught in a vicious spiral in which every single central bank is printing money just to export deflation to its peers, with more and more printing necessary each year just to stay in one place). In other words, just because hyperinflation hasn’t materialized so far, it never will.
*DRAGHI SAYS TODAY’S MEASURES WILL BOLSTER INFLATION
*DRAGHI CITES SIGNALING EFFECT ON INFLATION EXPECTATIONS
“Different this time?” or “Einsteinian Insanity”?
With The ECB set to announce a QE4EVA-esque bond-buying initiative within the next hour or two, we thought it worth looking at just what The Fed’s balance-sheet experiment did for inflation expectations (the key narrative that is driving Draghi’s decision) and economic growth (what every politician is demanding Draghi help with)…
Axel Weber says it is “hard to say” whether Europe would be in better shape today if the euro had never been launched, a tactful evasion understood as nostalgia for the stability of the D-Mark
The former head of the German Bundesbank has warned that the European Central Bank (ECB) will not succeed in raising inflation for years to come and is almost powerless to revive the fortunes of the eurozone on its own.
Axel Weber, now chairman of UBS and widely-regarded as Europe’s most influential private banker, said Europe’s leaders had squandered the chance to rebuild the eurozone’s foundations when the going was good and markets were calm.Continue reading »
Yesterday, to much fanfare, the White House blasted that it was Obama’s desire to appoint Allan R. Landon, a Hawaiian community banker, to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. To wit: “President Obama said, “Allan Landon has the proven experience, judgment and deep knowledge of the financial system to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy. He brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, particularly as a community banker. I’m confident that he will serve our country well.”
Fed Chair Janet Yellen pushed for him to be her No. 2 in a move that was viewed as a show of confidence and strength as she prepares to lead the Fed through one of it most challenging periods, managing the wind down of massive stimulus programs put in place following the financial crisis.
After years of being blocked by Democratic leader Harry Reid, The Washington Times reports, the Senate will finally get a chance next year to vote on legislation to force a broad audit of the Federal Reserve’s decision-making. Ron Paul’s flagship legislative efforts have been picked up by his son and now has the backing of the leader of the new Republican majority, Sen. Mitch McConnell, whose office says the legislation will earn a floor vote. While the bill is not a sure thing, it appears to have The Fed worried as Reuters reports, Yellen and other Fed officials are lobbying Capitol Hill to drop the audit push.
As The Washington Times reports,
After years of being blocked by Democratic leader Harry Reid, the Senate will finally get a chance next year to vote on legislation to force a broad audit of the Federal Reserve’s decision-making. Continue reading »
A few weeks ago, we reported that for some still unexplained reason, the US Treasury is ordering “survival kits” to its employees overseeing the federal banking system. To wit:
The Department of Treasury is spending $200,000 on survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation. As FreeBeacon reports, survival kits will be delivered to every major bank in the United States and includes a solar blanket, food bar, water-purification tablets, and dust mask (among other things). The question, obviously, is just what do they know that the rest of us don’t?
We still don’t know why. But what makes things even more surprising, and confusing, is that two days before the survival kit RFP soliciation became public on December 4, 2014, a just as curious notice was blasted by the Fed’s recruiting Twitter account:
Exactly one month ago we observed that, as expected in the aftermath of the Netherlands’ shocking and still not fully-explained gold repatriation from the NY Fed, the amount of foreign earmarked gold on deposit with the Fed had just experienced a 42 ton withdrawal: the single largest outflow of gold held at the NY Fed in over a decade, going back all the way to 2001. This had brought the total amount of YTD gold withdrawals from the NY Fed to a whopping 119 tons: the most since the Lehman collapse.
However, because this total was insufficient to cover just the Dutch repatriation of gold from the NY Fed (which amounted to 122 tons), we knew there would be more activity when the November data hit. Sure enough, earlier today the Fed reported the total amount of earmarked gold (or gold “held in foreign and international accounts and valued at $42.22 per fine troy ounce; not included in the gold stock of the United States“) for the month of November: at $8.184 billion, this was a $60 million drop from the previous month (or it would be at the $42.22/ounce “price”; at market prices the value of the withdrawn gold is about $1.7 billion).
In actual tonnage terms, this means that in November some 47.1 tons of gold were withdrawn from the NY Fed, bringing the Fed’s total earmarked gold to just 6,029 tonnes: the biggest single monthly outflow going back to the turn of the century. This is also the lowest amount of gold held at the NY Fed vault located at 33 Liberty street (and just across from the even bigger vault located at 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza) in the 21st century. Continue reading »
Why will Christmas 2014 be the last Christmas in America? It’s simple: declining wages cannot support an ever-expanding mountain of debt. The Federal Reserve has played a game for six long years of lowering the cost of debt (i.e. the rate of interest borrowers must pay), which has enabled stagnating wages to support ever heavier debt loads. There is an endgame in sight to this financial trickery…
But today, we continue with our look at the macro situation at the end of 2014… One way of measuring GDP is to add together consumption, investment, government spending and net exports.
The idea is to measure total spending. And in this way, also measure production. Most things produced are sold. Add up how much spending there is and you get an idea of how much production there’s been.
US GDP is reported to be $18 trillion a year – with $3.5 trillion coming from US federal government spending. Add state and local government spending, and the total rises to more than $6 trillion.
This means that the private sector – the part that pays the bills – is only $12 trillion. Total debt – government, corporate and personal – in the US is now $58 trillion (misreported yesterday as $59 trillion… but what’s a trillion dollars between friends?). That’s nearly five times the real economy that supports it.
And it helps explain why it is so hard to “grow your way out” of debt. Assuming an annual interest rate of 2%, even if you could contain debt increases to 3% of GDP a year, the productive part of the economy would have to grow at 5% just to stay even. No developed economy in the world is growing that fast.
At an interest rate of 3%, the annual interest on $58 trillion is $1.7 trillion. That’s slightly less than 10% of GDP. But it’s 14% – or one of every seven dollars – of the private sector economy.Continue reading »
As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the week, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation.
Up to 40 people may be held by a supposed extremist in Sydney,but the entire world is currently being held hostage economically by international banks. This is the crisis no one in the mainstream is talking about, so alternative analysts must.
And when there is hyperinflation, real estate prices of all sorts—residential, commercial, industrial—go into a free-fall: Their prices crash and burn, completely and utterly.
The Great Hernán P.’s example is exactly what any sensible investor should do, in an inflationary or hyperinflationary period: Preserve capital at all costs, via commodities(… like gold and silver),while keeping a sharp eye out for real estate opportunities. As inflation rises and real estate prices collapse, be prepared to trade the commodities you own for real estate assets selling at depressed prices.
History may not repeat but it sure does rhyme. Mike Maloney has studied monetary and financial breakdowns throughout history and concludes that there’s nothing new or different happening this time, except its global and far more massive than any other time in history.
Worse, there are echoes of 1911 where a series of diplomatic blunders and national pride and intransigence combined to create the still largely inexplicable start to WW I.
Chris Martenson: Well it’s global this time, right? This is — there’s nowhere to hide. (…) What has happened when we’ve tried to print our way to prosperity before? What has happen? Why has it happened and what have been the consequences always been?
Mike Maloney: Whenever you try to print your way to prosperity it transfers well from the masses to the few. The few being the people running the game and then also the hucksters that are very nimble, the con artists and so on. You see these people get rich during the Weimar Hyperinflation. There were quite a few of these fancy salespeople that got rich; they didn’t stay rich once things stabilized again.
But it creates such a topsy turvy world that the normal person that does not know how to operate under these weird economic conditions cannot possibly keep up with things and wealth is transferred away from those people to the people that are very good at observing what’s going on that second and adjusting to it. But the one thing that I see as a constant throughout history is that gold and silver eventually do an accounting of all this — the financial — you know financial finessing that the governments are doing.
And when it does that it — there is a transfer of wealth to the people that own gold and silver. And so — it’s very rare moments in history. This does not happen often. But it’s a great opportunity and I’ve just — you know if you look at gold right now the public’s opinion of gold is quite low because it’s been going down for three years. Continue reading »
And while it is very clear by now that nothing will change under the current corrupt and compromised executive, legislative and judicial system, because at the end of the day, Goldman has indirect control over all three branches of government , here is the one anecdote which, in a non banana republic, would be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
As the financial crisis raged in September 2008, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley sought sanctuary from the Federal Reserve.
The last two big independent broker-dealers were allowed to become bank holding companies, giving them access to government liquidity that could keep them afloat.
Goldman drafted its own statement, quoting Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive, as saying: “We believe that Goldman Sachs, under Federal Reserve supervision, will be regarded as an even more secure institution.”
According to people familiar with the matter, Goldman then drafted another release and sent it to the New York Fed. This one was to be used as the central bank’s own statement.Continue reading »
Not a quarter passes without the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) aka central banks’ central bank (also the locus of some of the most aggressive manipulation of gold and FX in human history) reiterating a dire warning about the fire and brimstone that is about to be unleashed upon the global economy.
It started in June of 2013, when Jaime Caruana, certainly the most prominent doom and gloomer at the BIS (who also was Governor of the Bank of Spain from 2000 to 2007 when this happened) asked if “central banks [can] now really do “whatever it takes”? As each day goes by, it seems less and less likely… [seven] years have passed since the eruption of the global financial crisis, yet robust, self-sustaining, well balanced growth still eludes the global economy…. low-interest policies have made it easy for the private sector to postpone deleveraging, easy for the government to finance deficits, and easy for the authorities to delay needed reforms in the real economy and in the financial system. Overindebtedness is one of the major barriers on the path to growth after a financial crisis. Borrowing more year after year is not the cure…in some places it may be difficult to avoid an overall reduction in accommodation because some policies have clearly hit their limits.”
The BIS’ preaching did not end there, and hit a new crescendo in June of 2014, when in its 84th Annual Report, the BIS slammed “Market Euphoria”, and found a “Puzzling Disconnect” between the economy and the market”: Continue reading »