THIS IS YOUR RECOVERY AND THIS IS YOUR RECOVERY WITHOUT DRUGS

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Posted on 18th August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”Thomas Jefferson

Does this chart portray an economic recovery in any way? Wages have been stagnant since the START of the supposed recovery in 2010. Real median household income, even using the highly understated CPI, is on a glide path to oblivion. You just need to observe with your own two eyes the number of Space Available signs in front of office buildings, strip centers and malls across America to realize we have further to fall. Low paying, part-time burger flipping jobs aren’t going to revive this debt saturated economic system. But at least the .1% are enjoying their Federal Reserve created high. Fiat is a powerful drug when administered in large doses to addicts on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 has risen from 666 in March of 2009 to 1,972 today. That is a 196% increase in a little over five years. During this same time, real household income has fallen by 7%. There have been a few million jobs added, while 11 million people have left the labor market. According to Robert Shiller’s CAPE ratio, the stock market valuation has only been higher, three times in history – 1929, 1999, and 2007. He seems flabbergasted by why valuations are so high. Sometimes really smart people can act really dumb.

The Federal Reserve balance sheet was $900 billion before the 2008 financial crisis. Today it stands at $4.4 trillion. The Fed has increased their balance sheet by 220% since the March 2009 market lows. Do you think there is any correlation between the Fed puppets printing $2.4 trillion and handing it to their Wall Street puppeteers, who used their high frequency trading supercomputers and ability to rig the markets so they never lose, and the third stock bubble in the last 13 years? It’s so self evident that only an Ivy League economist or CNBC anchor wouldn’t be able to see it.

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Let’s look at the amazing stock market recovery without Federal Reserve heroine pumped into the veins of Wall Street banker addicts. If you divide the S&P 500 Index by the size of the Federal reserve balance sheet, you see the true purpose of QE1, QE2, and QE3. It wasn’t to save Main Street. It was to save Wall Street. Without the Federal Reserve funneling fiat to the .1% banking cabal and creating inflation in energy, food, and other basic necessities for the 99.9%, there is no stock market recovery. The recovery has occurred in Manhattan and the Hamptons. It’s been non-existent for the vast majority of people in this country. The wealth effect and trickle down theory have been disproved in spades. The only thing trickling down on the former middle class from the Fed is warm and yellow.

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The entire stock market advance has been created on record low trading volumes and record high levels of monetary manipulation. Even though the Federal Reserve has driven senior citizens further into poverty with 0% interest rates, those with common sense have refused to be lured back into the lion’s den. They have parked record levels of fiat in no interest bank and money market accounts. They are tired of being muppets led to slaughter.

Quantitative easing was supposed to force little old ladies into the stock market and consumers to spend their debased dollars before they lost more value. The spending would revive the dormant economy just as the Keynesian text books promised. It didn’t happen. The peasants haven’t cooperated. Quantitative easing and ZIRP sapped the life from the middle class as their wages have stagnated and their living expenses have skyrocketed. Mission Accomplished by the Fed. Of course, the CNBC bimbos and shills would declare this $10.8 trillion to be money on the sidelines ready to boost the stock market ever higher. I love that storyline. It never grows old.

The MSM, government and Wall Street continue to flog the story about a housing recovery. It’s been nothing but a confidence game based upon the Fed’s easy money and the Wall Street scheme to buy up foreclosed properties with the Fed’s money. The scheme was to artificially boost home prices by restricting home supply through foreclosure manipulation, in order to allow the insolvent Wall Street banks to get out from under their billions in toxic mortgage loans.

Shockingly, the Case Shiller home price index has soared by 25% since 2012 despite first time home buyers being virtually non-existent and mortgage applications plunging to 14 year lows. How could that be? Don’t people need mortgages to buy houses? Isn’t real demand necessary to drive prices higher? Not when Uncle Ben and Madam Yellen are in charge of the printing press. Housing bubble 2.0 has arrived. I wonder if the Federal Reserve balance sheet increase of 50% since 2012 has anything to do with the new housing bubble.

It seems a similar result is obtained when dividing the Case Shiller Index by the size of the Fed’s balance sheet. The real housing market for real people is worse than it was in 2009. The national home price increase has been centered in the usual speculative markets, aided and abetted by the Fed’s easy money, managed by the Wall Street hedge funds, and exacerbated by the late arriving flippers who will be left holding the bag again. The Fed/ Wall Street scheme has priced young people out of the market and has failed to ignite the desired Keynesian impact. Investors/flippers account for 34% of all home sales. Foreigners with no knowledge of value metrics account for 30% of all home sales. The lesson of history is that most people don’t learn the lessons of history. The 2nd housing bubble in seven years is seeking a pin.

If ever you needed proof of the confidence game in its full glory, the chart below from Zero Hedge says it all. Mortgage rates have been falling for the past year, home builders have been reporting soaring confidence about the future, and the National Association of Realtors keeps predicting a surge in home buying any minute now. One small problem. Mortgage applications are in free fall, new home sales are at 1991 levels, and existing home sales are falling. Home prices have peaked and are beginning to roll over. The Wall Street hedgies are all looking to exit stage left. Young people are saddled with over a trillion of government issued student loan debt and millions of older subprime borrowers have been lured into more auto loan debt. Home sales will be stagnant for the next decade.

 

Quantitative easing will cease come October, unless Yellen and Wall Street can create a new “crisis” to cure with more money printing. By every valuation measure used over the last 100 years, stocks are overvalued by at least 50%. By historical measures, home prices are overvalued by at least 30%. Ten year Treasuries are yielding 2.4%, while true inflation is north of 5%. With real interest rates deep in negative territory, the bond market is even more overvalued than stocks or houses. These simultaneous bubbles have been created by the Federal Reserve in a desperate attempt to keep this debt laden ship afloat. Their solution to a ship listing from too much debt was to load it down with trillions more in debt. The ship is taking on water rapidly.

We had a choice. We could have bitten the bullet in 2008 and accepted the consequences of decades of decadence, frivolity, materialism, delusion and debt accumulation. A steep sharp depression which would have purged the system of debt and punishment of those who created the disaster would have ensued. The masses would have suffered, but the rich and powerful bankers would have suffered the most. Today, the economy would be revived, saving and investing would be generating needed capital for expansion, and banks would be doing what they are supposed to do – lending money to businesses and individuals. Instead, the Wall Street bankers won the battle and continue to pillage and loot the national wealth while impoverishing the masses.

The arrogance, hubris and contempt for morality displayed by the ruling class is breathtaking to behold. They think they are untouchable and impervious to norms followed by the rest of society. They may have won the opening battle, but will lose the war. Discontent among the masses grows by the day. The critical thinking citizens are growing restless and angry. They are beginning to grasp the true enemy. The system has been captured by a few malevolent men. When the stock, bond and housing bubbles all implode simultaneously, all hell will break loose in this country. It will make Ferguson, Missouri look like a walk in the park. I wonder if the occupants of the Eccles building in Washington DC will get out alive.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”Henry Ford

Charts provided by Confounded Interest

Edward Bernays: Invisible Government Controls Social Patterns, Finances, & Education

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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SHOOT FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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How about a shot in the leg?

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has released mobile phone footage that seems to be at odds with parts of its story surrounding the officer-involved shooting of Kajieme Powell in the weeks after Michael Brown’s death.

According to St. Louis Public Radio, the police released the video Wednesday evening as part of an effort to be more transparent when it comes to violent incidents involving law enforcement. In addition to the cell phone footage, the department also released security camera footage of the alleged robbery, as well as the two 911 calls made to police.

Police were first called to the scene – less than four miles away from the spot Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was killed – when a local store owner reported the 25-year-old Powell for stealing drinks and snacks. A separate woman, meanwhile, also reported Powell for allegedly having a knife in his pocket and acting strangely.

As RT noted previously, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said Powell was brandishing a knife and ignored commands to drop it. Dotson said Powell approached the officers carrying the knife “in an aggressive manner,” with an overhand grip, and was shot when he came within three or four feet of police.

In the newly released video, Powell can be seen walking in the direction of and yelling at the two responding officers, telling them to shoot him. However, his hands look to be at his side while this is happening, and he also appears to be further than three or four feet from police when they decide to shoot him.

Powell had a well-known history of mental illness, though it’s unclear how, if at all, that played into police decision-making. He was shot about 15-20 seconds after police arrived, about nine times total.

Speaking to CNN, Dotson acknowledged that Powell’s hands were down when he was shot, but said the man was brandishing a knife and walking towards officers at a close enough range that the knife was considered a lethal weapon.

“The officers did what I think you or I would do, they protected their life in that situation,” Dotson said, as quoted by the Huffington Post. He mentioned that tasers aren’t “100 percent” successful, concluding, “In a lethal situation, they used lethal force.”

Previously, Dotson also pointed to the safety of his officers as the most important concern.

“I think officer safety is the number one issue,” he said on Tuesday. “I think you have the right to protect yourself and defend yourself” if someone approaches you with a knife and gets too close.

Congress Proposes Law Banning Body Armor In The Land Of The Free

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

By the late 1920s, Joseph Stalin became the unchallenged leader of the Soviet Union after having eliminated his opposition.

He topped it off in 1929 by serving a decisive blow to anyone that would dare to oppose him by outlawing private gun ownership in the country.

From that year on until 1953 when Stalin died, it’s estimated that more than 20 million Soviet citizens that were seen as a threat to the country’s leadership.

People were rounded up and either murdered outright, or sent to infamous gulag labor camps.

Stalin is an extreme case. But history is ripe with examples of governments which disarm their citizens, only to engage in serious oppression afterwards.

Communist China. Nazi Germany. Cambodia. Guatemala. Uganda. The list goes on and on. Pacification of the citizens is almost always a prerequisite to totalitarianism.

There have been a lot of attempts to disarm, or at least partially disarm, people in the US throughout history as well.

Each time there’s a major shooting somewhere, the chant to ban firearms grows louder.

But the latest proposal is especially telling.

H.R. 5344 is a bill currently going through Congress that would ban the purchase of body armor.

Violation would carry CRIMINAL penalties, including up to ten years in prison.

Many bullet-resistant items on the market now, such as bulletproof backpacks for school children, would be banned by this legislation.

This is incredible given that the legislation is all about banning something that is purely defensive.

Whatever your stance on firearms, I hope we can agree that it’s pretty damn difficult to hurt another human being with body armor.

People buy body armor for protection. That’s the point. Duh.

So why in the world would they want to ban it?

The government claims that “criminals and rampaging madmen” can “wreak havoc” while wearing body armor, and it’s important to shield police from these nefarious individuals.

Uh, wait a sec– you mean the same police that go around terrorizing ordinary citizens who aren’t breaking any laws whatsoever?

The same police who beat homeless people to death?

The same police who shoot and kill innocent animals in broad daylight in the middle of the street?

The same police who scream “I will f***ing kill you!” with their weapons trained on crowds of protestors exercising their constitutional rights?

Right. Those guys.

This is such a disgusting, yet unfortunately predictable, turn of events in the Land of the Free.

It’s enraging. It’s infuriating. And it’s so obvious: the country has become a giant police state. And the trend is not getting any better.

It’s time to set aside emotion. It’s time to set aside a lifetime of propaganda and programming telling you that you live in a free country.

It’s time to look at the objective evidence all around you.

They spy. They steal. They wage illegal wars. They authorize military detention of civilians. They assassinate citizens.

They intimidate. They terrorize. They torture. They suspend due process when it suits. They destroy anyone who challenges them.

And now they want to take away a non-violent means of protecting yourself.

This is our reality. And at a minimum, it’s time for rational, thinking people to come up with a Plan B. What’s yours?

OBAMA ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Via Cagle Post

QUOTES OF THE DAY

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.

James Madison

If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.

Andrew Jackson

“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.”

Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer

“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is, perhaps, the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint and un-mint the modern ledger-entry currency.”

Major L L B Angus

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.”

John Kenneth Galbraith (1908- ), former professor of economics at Harvard, writing in ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’ (1975)

As Nicolas Trist – secretary to President Andrew Jackson – said about the incredibly powerful privately owned Second Bank of the United States, “Independently of its misdeeds, the mere power, — the bare existence of such a power, — is a thing irreconcilable with the nature and spirit of our institutions.”

(Schlesinger, The Age of Jackson, p.102)

A Warning From 1995 About the Repeal of Glass-Steagall

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Jesse

 

Here is a reprint of a warning that was published in the NY Times in 1995 about Robert Rubin’s and Alan Greenspan’s misguided attempts to overturn Glass-Steagall.
Any reasonably informed student of economic history ought to have understood this argument.
There was a well-funded, decade long campaign led by the Banks to overturn Glass-Steagall.  A lot of propaganda was written, and lot of political connections were made, and a lot of money was spent.
Too many were willfully blind. Some through their devotion to utopian ideology.  Others through devotion to their careers.  And even more just kept their heads down and hid their noses in their books and reams of irrelevant data.
And for the most part they still are, with many caught in a credibility trap.
Until the music stops.
NY Times
End Bank Law and Robber Barons Ride Again
 Sunday, March 5, 1995
To the Editor:
Re “For Rogue Traders, Yet Another Victim” (Business Day, Feb. 28) and your same-day article on Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin’s proposal to eliminate the legal barriers that have separated the nation’s commercial banks, securities firms and insurance companies for decades: The American Bankers Association, Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, Representative Jim Leach and Treasury Secretary Rubin are gravely misguided in their quest to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act.
Their contention that insurance companies, commercial banks and securities firms should be freed from legislative obstructions is predicated on fallacious, historically inaccurate statements. If the Baring Brothers failure does not give them pause, a history lesson is our only hope before the Administration and bank lobby iron out their differences and set the economy back 90 years.
The argument that American financial intermediaries will become “more efficient and more internationally competitive” is false. The American financial system is the most stable, most profitable and most dynamic in the world.
The notion that Glass-Steagall prevents American financial intermediaries from fulfilling their utmost potential in a global marketplace reflects inadequate understanding of the events that precipitated the act and the similarities between today’s financial marketplace and the market nearly a century ago.
Although Glass-Steagall was enacted during the Great Depression, it was put in place because the Aldrich-Vreeland Act of 1908, the blue-sky laws following 1910 and the Federal Reserve System of 1913 failed to keep the concentration of financial power in check.The investment climate that ultimately led to Glass-Steagall was one filled with emerging markets, interlocking control of productive resources and widespread bank ownership of securities.
Ever since railroad securities began driving secondary capital markets in the late 1860′s, “emerging markets” have existed for investors looking for high-yield opportunities, and banks have been primary agents in industrial development. In the 19th century, emerging markets were scattered throughout the United States, and capital flowed into them from New York, Boston, Philadelphia and London. In the same way, capital flows from the United States, Japan and England to Latin America and the Pacific rim — today we just have more terms to define the market mechanisms.
The economy and financial markets were even more interconnected in the 19th century than now. Commercial and investment banks could accept deposits, issue currency, underwrite securities and own industrial enterprises. With Glass-Steagall lifted, we will chart a course returning us to that environment.
J. P. Morgan and Andrew Mellon made their billions through inter locking directorates and outright ownership of hundreds of nationally prominent enterprises. Glass-Steagall is one crucial piece of a litany of legislation designed to place checks and balances on the concentration of financial resources. To repeal it would be tantamount to bringing back the days of the robber barons.
The unbridled activities of those gifted financiers crumbled under the dynamic forces of the capital marketplace. If you take away the checks, the market forces will eventually knock the system off balance.
MARK D. SAMBER
Stamford, Conn.
Feb. 28, 1995
The writer is a management consultant specializing in business history.

30 Facts That Prove The American Middle-Class Is Being Destroyed

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Posted on 22nd August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

The 30 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed.  Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a staggering pace.  Yes, the stock market has soared to unprecedented heights this year and there are a few isolated areas of the country that are doing rather well for the moment.  But overall, the long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class just continue to accelerate. 

Over the past decade or so, the percentage of Americans that are working has gone way down, the quality of our jobs has plummeted dramatically and the wealth of the typical American household has fallen precipitously.  Meanwhile, we have watched median household income decline for five years in a row, we have watched the rate of homeownership in this country decline for eight years in a row and dependence on the government is at an all-time high.  Being a part of the middle class in the United States at this point can be compared to playing a game of musical chairs.  We can all see chairs being removed from the game, and we are all desperate to continue to have a chair every time the music stops playing.  The next time the music stops, will it be your chair that gets removed?

And in this economy, you don’t even have to lose your job to fall out of the middle class.  Our paychecks are remaining very stable while the cost of almost everything that we spend money on consistently (food, gas, health insurance, etc.) is going up rapidly.  Bloomberg calls this “the no-raises recovery”…

Call it the no-raises recovery: Five years of economic expansion have done almost nothing to boost paychecks for typical American workers while the rich have gotten richer.

 

Meager improvements since 2009 have barely kept up with a similarly tepid pace of inflation, raising the real value of compensation per hour by only 0.5 percent. That marks the weakest growth since World War II, with increases averaging 9.2 percent at a similar point in past expansions, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Bloomberg.

There are so many families out there that are struggling right now.  So many husbands and wives find themselves constantly fighting with one another about money, and they don’t even understand that what is happening to them is the result of long-term economic trends that are the result of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  Without middle class jobs, we cannot have a middle class.  And those are precisely the jobs that have been destroyed during the Clinton, Bush and Obama years.  Without enough good jobs to go around, we have seen the middle class steadily shrink and the ranks of the poor grow rapidly.

The following are 30 stats to show to anyone that does not believe the middle class is being destroyed…

1. In 2007, the average household in the top 5 percent had 16.5 times as much wealth as the average household overall.  But now the average household in the top 5 percent has 24 times as much wealth as the average household overall.

2. According to a study recently discussed in the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

3. One out of every seven Americans rely on food banks at this point.

4. One out of every four military families needs help putting enough food on the table.

5. 79 percent of the people that use food banks purchase “inexpensive, unhealthy food just to have enough to feed their families”.

6. One out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections“.

7. Only 48 percent of all Americans can immediately come up with $400 in emergency cash without borrowing it or selling something.

8. The price of food continues to rise much faster than the paychecks of most middle class families.  For example, the average price of ground beef has just hit a brand new all-time record high of $3.884 a pound.

9. According to one recent study, 40 percent of all households in the United States are experiencing financial stress right now.

10. The overall homeownership rate has fallen to the lowest level since 1995.

11. The homeownership rate for Americans under the age of 35 is at an all-time low.

12. According to one recent survey, 52 percent of all Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

13. The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has hit an all-time high of 11.4 years.

14. Last year, one out of every four auto loans in the United States was made to someone with subprime credit.

15. Amazingly, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.

16. One recent study found that 47 percent of unemployed Americans have “completely given up” looking for a job.

17. 36 percent of Americans do not have a single penny saved for retirement.

18. According to one survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.

19. More than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year in wages.

20. Only four of the twenty fastest growing occupations in America require a Bachelor’s degree or better.

21.  In America today, one out of every ten jobs is filled by a temp agency.

22. Due to a lack of decent jobs, half of all college graduates are still relying on their parents financially when they are two years out of school.

23. Median household income in the United States is about 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000 after adjusting for inflation.

24. Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

25. It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.

26. According to one study, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity.

27. Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin.  But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.

28. If the middle class was actually thriving, we wouldn’t have more than a million public school children that are homeless.

29. If you can believe it, Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.

30. In terms of median wealth per adult, the United States is now in just 19th place in the world.

UNDER THE BRIDGE

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Posted on 21st August 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues