Category Archives: Economy

Are the payroll jobs reports merely propaganda statements?

US economics statistics are so screwed up that they do not provide an accurate picture. Continue reading

Both parties agree: Selling out is worth it

The lobbying industry, despite a small decline in revenue, is still the fastest way to make big bucks in Washington.

Pity poor Washington. No doubt breaking the hearts of elected and appointed government officials, their staffs and hangers-on, the Open Secrets blog at the Center for Responsive Politics reports that the “influence industry appears to be contracting, and the trend continued in 2015.” Continue reading

Financial turmoil and increasing risks of a severe worldwide economic recession in 2016-17

The onset of 2016 has been most chaotic for global financial markets with, so far, a severe stock market correction. As a matter of fact, the first month of 2016 has witnessed the most severe drop in financial stocks ever, with the MSCI All-Country World Stock Index, which measures major developed and emerging stock markets, dropping more than 20 percent, as compared to early 2015. For sure, there will be oversold rallies in the coming weeks and months, but one can expect more trouble ahead. Continue reading

The populist revolution: Bernie and beyond

The world is undergoing a populist revival. From the revolt against austerity led by the Syriza Party in Greece and the Podemos Party in Spain, to Jeremy Corbyn’s surprise victory as Labour leader in the UK, to Donald Trump’s ascendancy in the Republican polls, to Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly strong challenge to Hillary Clinton—contenders with their fingers on the popular pulse are surging ahead of their establishment rivals. Continue reading

A crisis worse than ISIS? Bail-Ins begin

While the mainstream media focus on ISIS extremists, a threat that has gone virtually unreported is that your life savings could be wiped out in a massive derivatives collapse. Bank bail-ins have begun in Europe, and the infrastructure is in place in the US. Poverty also kills. Continue reading

New Year market turmoil

Will 2016 be the year the artificially stimulated US economic house of cards collapses? It’s long overdue. What can’t go on forever, won’t. Markets levitate only for so long. Day of reckoning time inevitably arrives. Continue reading

Who owns the Federal Reserve Bank and why is it shrouded in myths and mysteries?

The Federal Reserve Bank (or simply the Fed), is shrouded in a number of myths and mysteries. These include its name, its ownership, its purported independence from external influences, and its presumed commitment to market stability, economic growth and public interest. Continue reading

What does last week’s ‘rate hike’ mean?

The Federal Reserve raised the interbank borrowing rate last Wednesday by one quarter of one percent or 25 basis points. Readers are asking, “What does that mean?” Continue reading

Reinventing banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador

Global developments in finance and geopolitics are prompting a rethinking of the structure of banking and of the nature of money itself. Continue reading

Hang onto your wallets: Negative interest, the war on cash, and the $10 trillion bail-in

Remember those old ads showing a senior couple lounging on a warm beach, captioned “Let your money work for you”? Or the scene in Mary Poppins where young Michael is being advised to put his tuppence in the bank, so that it can compound into “all manner of private enterprise,” including “bonds, chattels, dividends, shares, shipyards, amalgamations . . .”? Continue reading

Another phony payroll jobs number

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that the US economy created 271,000 jobs in October, a number substantially in excess of the expected 175,000 to 190,000 jobs. The unexpected job gain has dropped the unemployment rate to 5 percent. These two numbers will be the focus of the financial media presstitutes. Continue reading

US on the road to becoming a Third World country

On January 6, 2004, Senator Charles Schumer and I challenged the erroneous idea that jobs offshoring was free trade in a New York Times op-ed. Our article so astounded economists that within a few days Schumer and I were summoned to a Brookings Institution conference in Washington, DC, to explain our heresy. In the nationally televised conference, I declared that the consequence of jobs offshoring would be that the US would be a Third World country in 20 years. Continue reading

How Obama could beat the debt ceiling and go out a hero

On November 3, the US government will again run out of money due to a debt ceiling artificially imposed by Congress. This is the third time in four years that a radical faction has taken the country to the brink of default to extort concessions that are at best only marginally related to the budget. Continue reading

Killing off community banks: Intended consequence of Dodd-Frank?

At over 2,300 pages, the Dodd Frank Act is the longest and most complicated bill ever passed by the US legislature. It was supposed to end “too big to fail” and “bailouts,” and to “promote financial stability.” But Dodd-Frank’s “orderly liquidation authority” has replaced bailouts with bail-ins, meaning that in the event of insolvency, big banks are to recapitalize themselves with the savings of their creditors and depositors. The banks deemed too big are more than 30% bigger than before the act was passed in 2010, and 80% bigger than before the banking crisis of 2008. The six largest US financial institutions now have assets of some $10 trillion, amounting to almost 60% of GDP; and they control nearly 50% of all bank deposits. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: French workers show how to fight

Workers in the United States have learned some painful lessons: that they live on less than their peers in much of Europe and are woefully insecure in their jobs and retirements—if they have jobs and retirement plans, at all. What U.S. workers have not learned—or have forgotten—is how to fight. They can take some tips from the French, who “throw down the gauntlet at any mention of job loss or pay cuts.” Continue reading

Friday’s payroll jobs report

The 142,000 September payroll jobs reported Friday (2 Oct 2015) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is too small to be consistent with the still high stock averages or the alleged economic recovery. Moreover, the BLS says that it over-estimated the July and August payroll jobs by 59,000. Continue reading

Time for the nuclear option: Raining money on Main Street

Predictions are that we will soon be seeing the “nuclear option”—central bank-created money injected directly into the real economy. All other options having failed, governments will be reduced to issuing money outright to cover budget deficits. So warns a September 18 article on ZeroHedge, titled “It Begins: Australia’s Largest Investment Bank Just Said ‘Helicopter Money’ Is 12-18 Months Away.” Continue reading

Finland and India workers send a message

When a country faces economic problems, it immediately calls for an austerity program to deal with the situation. Austerity does not mean that the wealthy will have to surrender their jet planes or their yachts, or use of personal expenses as tax write-offs. Continue reading

Near zero percent US federal funds rate since December 2008

Low rates benefit investors at the expense of savers, retirees and pensioners without paychecks needing income especially harmed. At near zero percent for nearly seven years, virtually none is forthcoming for most people. Continue reading

The age of finance capital and the irrelevance of mainstream economics

Despite the fact that the manufacturers of ideas have elevated economics to the (contradictory) levels of both a science and a religion, a market theodicy, mainstream economics does not explain much when it comes to an understanding of real world developments. Indeed, as a neatly stylized discipline, economics has evolved into a corrupt, obfuscating and useless—nay, harmful—field of study. Harmful, because instead of explaining and clarifying it tends to mystify and justify. Continue reading

The boss who fought for the working class

He was born into poverty in New Hampshire in 1811. Continue reading

Whither the economy?

The great problem with corporate capitalism is that publicly owned companies have short time horizons. Unlike a privately owned business, the top executives of a publicly owned corporation generally come to their positions late in life. Consequently, they have a few years in which to make their fortune. Continue reading

Quantitative easing for people: The UK Labour front-runner’s controversial proposal

Dark horse candidate Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently leading in the polls for UK Labour Party leader, has included in his platform “quantitative easing for people.” Continue reading

Where is Neo when we need him?

In The Matrix in which Americans live, nothing is ever their fault. For example, the current decline in the US stock market is not because years of excessive liquidity supplied by the Federal Reserve have created a bubble so overblown that a mere six stocks, some of which have no earnings commiserate with their price, accounted for more than all of the gain in market capitalization in the S&P 500 prior to the current disruption. Continue reading

Central banks have become a corrupting force

Are we witnessing the corruption of central banks? Are we observing the money-creating powers of central banks being used to drive up prices in the stock market for the benefit of the mega-rich? Continue reading

Trumping the federal debt without playing the default card

In a post on “Sovereign Man” dated August 14, Simon Black argued that Donald Trump may be the right man for the presidency. Continue reading

The US economy continues its collapse

Do you remember when real reporters existed? Those were the days before the Clinton regime concentrated the media into a few hands and turned the media into a Ministry of Propaganda, a tool of Big Brother. The false reality in which Americans live extends into economic life. Continue reading

Massive movement of cash from Fed prior to 9/11

CHICAGO, Il—Although the 9/11 Commission and Federal Bureau of Investigation claimed they thoroughly investigated suspicious “put options” placed against the shares of United and American Airlines, as well as Swiss Re and Munich Re prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they failed to investigate another set of suspicious financial transactions prior to 9/11. Continue reading

The Greek coup: Liquidity as a weapon of coercion

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. Continue reading

EU’s Greek debt austerity plan rejected by the IMF

I have maintained since the so-called Greek Debt “crisis” began back in 2010, I believe it was, that the imposition of austerity on Greece could not possibly work and that the only solution was to write down the debt to a level that Greece could service and introduce reforms that loosen the hold the oligarchs have on the Greek economy. The current Greek government has taken the same position, and now the IMF has joined us. Continue reading

How America became an oligarchy

According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of—or even against—the will of the majority of voters. America’s political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites. Continue reading

$1.5 quadrillion time bomb

When investing becomes gambling, bad endings follow. The next credit crunch could make 2008-09 look mild by comparison. Bank of International Settlements(BIS) data show around $700 trillion in global derivatives. Continue reading