THEY’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BALANCE SHEET

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Posted on 23rd August 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Driving home from work on Friday night I found it terribly amusing listening to the “business journalists” on the local news station trying to explain the 531 point plunge in the Dow and the 1,105 point plummet from the Tuesday high. The job of these faux journalist mouthpieces for the status quo is not to report the facts, analyze the true factors underlying the market, or seek the truth. Their job is to calm the masses, keep them sedated, and paint the rosiest picture possible.

The brainless twit who reported the stock market bloodbath immediately went into the mode of counteracting the impact of what was happening. She said the market is overreacting, as the country has strong job growth, low inflation, a strongly recovering housing market, and an improving economy. The fact that everything she said was a complete and utter falsehood was exacerbated by her willful ignorance of the Fed created bubble leading to the most overvalued stock market in history. How can these people pretend to be business journalists when they haven’t got a clue about stock market valuations and just say what they are told to say?

Anyone who listens to a mainstream media pundit, talking head, or spokes bimbo deserves the reaming they are going to receive. They are paid to lie, obfuscate, spin, and propagandize on behalf of their corporate media executives, who are beholden to Wall Street bankers, mega-corporations, and the government for their advertising dollars. The mainstream media is nothing but entertainment for the masses, part of the bread and circuses designed to distract the dumbed down, iGadget addicted, ignorant masses.

The entire stock market bubble has been created and sustained by the Federal Reserve and their QE and ZIRP schemes to prop up insolvent Wall Street banks, enrich corporate executives, and produce the appearance of a recovering economy. The wealth was supposed to trickle down to the masses, but the trickle has been yellow in appearance and substance. The average American is far worse off today than they were in 2007, with the Greater Depression Part 2 underway.

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Bernanke Blasts Lew’s $10 Bill Woman-ification

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Posted on 22nd June 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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I think Llpoh and Bennie would make fine friends. They have a hatred in common.

 

Authored by Ben Bernanke via The Brookings Institute,

I must admit I was appalled to hear of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s decision last week to demote Alexander Hamilton from his featured position on the ten dollar bill. My reaction has been widely shared, see for example here, here, here, here, and here.

Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, would qualify as among the greatest of our founders for his contributions to achieving American independence and creating the Constitution alone. In addition to those accomplishments, however, Hamilton was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S. history. As detailed in Ron Chernow’s excellent biography, as Treasury Secretary Hamilton put in place the institutional basis for the modern U.S. economy. Critically, he helped put U.S. government finances on a sound footing, consolidating the debts of the states and setting up a strong federal fiscal system. The importance of Hamilton’s achievement can be judged by the problems that the combination of uncoordinated national fiscal policies and a single currency has caused the Eurozone in recent years. Reflecting on those parallels, as Fed chairman I recommended Chernow’s biography to Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. Mario told me that he read it with great interest.

Hamilton also played a leading role in creating U.S. monetary and financial institutions. He founded the nation’s first major bank, the Bank of New York; and, as Chernow points out, Hamilton’s 1791 Report on the Mint set the basis for U.S. currency arrangements, which makes his demotion from the ten dollar bill all the more ironic. Importantly, over the objections of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Hamilton also oversaw the chartering in 1791 of the First Bank of the United States, which was to serve as a central bank and would be a precursor of the Federal Reserve System.

In the nineteenth century, a principal public role of central banks was to control banking panics, as the Bank of England would do quite successfully. Unfortunately, in large part because of populist opposition, neither the First Bank of the United States nor its successor, the Second Bank of the United States, would have their charters renewed. President Andrew Jackson led the opposition to the Second Bank, vetoing a bill passed by Congress to continue its operations. The expiration of the Second Bank’s charter in 1836 likely worsened the very severe Panic of 1837, which was followed by a prolonged economic depression. The United States would go on to suffer numerous banking panics that would hamper its economic and financial development over the rest of the century.

Hamilton’s demotion is intended to make room to honor a deserving woman on the face of our currency. That’s a fine idea, but it shouldn’t come at Hamilton’s expense. As many have pointed out, a better solution is available: Replace Andrew Jackson, a man of many unattractive qualities and a poor president, on the twenty dollar bill. Given his views on central banking, Jackson would probably be fine with having his image dropped from a Federal Reserve note. Another, less attractive, possibility is to circulate two versions of the ten dollar bill, one of which continues to feature Hamilton.

I was in government long enough to know that decisions like this have considerable bureaucratic inertia and are accordingly hard to reverse. But the Treasury Department should do everything within its power to defend the honor of Jack Lew’s most illustrious predecessor.

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So.. keep Hamilton (pro-Fed) but dump Jackson (anti-Fed)…

Did Bernanke just become the internet’s biggest troll? Of course, Bernanke has already reserved the $100 trillion bill for his own omnipotent likeliness.


CONSUMERS NOT FOLLOWING ORDERS

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Posted on 14th June 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Last week the government reported personal income and spending for April. After months of blaming non-existent consumer spending on cold weather, shockingly occurring during the Winter, the captured mainstream media pundits, Ivy League educated Wall Street economist lackeys, and Keynesian loving money printers at the Fed have run out of propaganda to explain why Americans are not spending money they don’t have. The corporate mainstream media is now visibly angry with the American people for not doing what the Ivy League propagated Keynesian academic models say they should be doing.

The ultimate mouthpiece for the banking cabal, Jon Hilsenrath, who does the bidding of the Federal Reserve at the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal, wrote an arrogant, condescending, putrid diatribe, directed at the middle class victims of Wall Street banker criminality and Federal Reserve acquiescence to the vested corporate interests that run this country. Here are the more disgusting portions of his denunciation of the formerly middle class working people of America.

We know you experienced a terrible shock when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 and your employer responded by firing you. 

We also know you shouldn’t have taken out that large second mortgage during the housing boom to fix up your kitchen with granite counter-tops. 

You should feel lucky you’re not a Greek consumer.

Fed officials want to start raising the cost of your borrowing because they worry they’ve been giving you a free ride for too long with zero interest rates.

We listen to Fed officials all of the time here at The Wall Street Journal, and they just can’t figure you out.

Please let us know the problem.

The Wall Street Journal was swamped with thousands of angry responses from irate real people living in the real world, not the elite, QE enriched, oligarchs living in Manhattan penthouses, mansions on the Hamptons, or luxury condos in Washington, D.C. Hilsenrath presumes to know how the average American has been impacted by the criminal actions of sycophantic Ivy League educated central bankers and their avaricious Wall Street owners.

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SOMETHING SMELLS FISHY

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Posted on 28th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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It’s always interesting to see a long term chart that reflects your real life experiences. I bought my first home in 1990. It was a small townhouse and I paid $100k, put 10% down, and obtained a 9.875% mortgage. I was thrilled to get under 10%. Those were different times, when you bought a home as a place to live. We had our first kid in 1993 and started looking for a single family home. We stopped because our townhouse had declined in value to $85k, so I couldn’t afford to sell. In 1995 I convinced my employer to rent my townhouse, as they were already renting multiple townhouses for all the foreigners doing short term assignments in the U.S. We bought a single family home in 1995 with the sole purpose of having a decent place to raise a family that was within 20 minutes of my job.

Considering home prices on an inflation adjusted basis were lower than they were in 1980, I was certainly not looking at it as some sort of investment vehicle. But, as you can see from the chart, nationally prices soared by about 55% between 1995 and 2005. My home supposedly doubled in value over 10 years. I was ecstatic when I was eventually able to sell my townhouse in 2004 for $134k. I felt so smart, until I saw a notice in the paper one year later showing my old townhouse had been sold again for $176k. Who knew there were so many greater fools.

This was utterly ridiculous, as home prices over the last 100 years have gone up at the rate of inflation. Robert Shiller and a few other rational thinking people called it a bubble. They were scorned and ridiculed by the whores at the NAR and the bimbo cheerleaders on CNBC. Something smelled rotten in the state of housing. We now know who was responsible. Greenspan and Bernanke were at least 75% responsible for the housing bubble and its eventual implosion, which essentially destroyed our economic system. They purposely kept interest rates at obscenely low levels, encouraging every Tom, Dick and Julio to buy a home with a negative amortization, no doc, nothing down, adjustable rate mortgage, so they could live the American dream of being in debt up to their eyeballs.

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WHY STOCKS WILL CRASH IN TWO CHARTS

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Posted on 26th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“Things always become obvious after the fact”Nassim Nicholas Taleb

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”  – Aldous Huxley

The S&P 500 currently stands at 2,126, fractionally below its all-time high. It is now 300% above the 2009 low and 34% above the 2008 and 2001 previous highs. Most people believe this is the new normal. They are comfortably numb in their ignorance of facts, reality, the truth, and the inevitability of a bleak future. When the herd is convinced progress and never ending gains are the norm, the apparent stability and normality always degenerates into instability and extreme anxiety. As many honest analysts have proven, with unequivocal facts and proven valuation measurements, the stock market is as overvalued as it was in 1929, 2000, and 2007.

Facts haven’t mattered, as belief in the infallibility and omniscience of Federal Reserve bankers, has convinced “professionals” to program their high frequency trading supercomputers to buy the all-time high. If central bankers were really omniscient and low interest rates guaranteed endless stock market gains, then why did the stock market crash in 2000 and 2008? The Federal Reserve’s monetary policies created the bubbles in 2000, 2007 and today. There was no particular event which caused the crashes in 2000 and 2008. Extreme overvaluation, created by warped Federal Reserve monetary policies and corrupt Washington D.C. fiscal policies, is what made the previous bubbles burst and will lead the current bubble to rupture.

Benjamin Graham and John Maynard Keynes understood how irrational markets could be over the short term, but eventually they would reach fair value:

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” – Graham

“The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.” – Keynes

Graham’s quote reflects the difference between hope and reality. This explains the ridiculous overvaluation of Amazon, Shake Shack, Twitter, Linkedin, Tesla, Google, and the other high flying new paradigm stocks. Story stocks soar because the herd believes the stories peddled by Wall Street and company executives. Five of these six stocks don’t have a PE ratio because you need earnings to calculate a PE ratio. In the long run the market will weigh the value these companies based upon profits and cashflow. It is the same story for the market as a whole. There is no question who is to blame for what now amounts to a three headed hydra of bubbles poised to burst.

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Bernanke Says “No Large Mispricings In US Securities”; These 5 Charts Say Otherwise

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Posted on 25th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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We all know Bennie is a financial guru. His foresight is unquestioned. He saved the world, don’t you know? His wisdom and ability to portend the future is unrivaled. Who could forget his previous market calls?

(October 20, 2005) “House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”

(January 10, 2008) “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

(March 28, 2007) “At this juncture, however, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained. In particular, mortgages to prime borrowers and fixed-rate mortgages to all classes of borrowers continue to perform well, with low rates of delinquency.”

(July, 2005) “We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”

(February 15, 2007) “Despite the ongoing adjustments in the housing sector, overall economic prospects for households remain good. Household finances appear generally solid, and delinquency rates on most types of consumer loans and residential mortgages remain low.”

(November 15, 2005) “With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.”

(January 18, 2008) “[The U.S. economy] has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself.”

(May 17, 2007) “All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well. Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable.”

“The GSEs are adequately capitalized. They are in no danger of failing.”

(Two months before Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed and were nationalized) “They will make it through the storm.”

(June 10, 2008) “The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.”

Tyler Durden's picture

Retired central banker, blogger, bond guru and hedge fund consultant Ben Bernanke just uttered the following total rubbish…

  • *BERNANKE: NO LARGE MISPRICINGS IN U.S. SECURITIES, ASSET PRICES

In an effort to save whoever it is that will pay him $250,000 next for these wise words, we offer five charts.

 

One of these things is not like the others…

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Blogger Ben’s Basically Full Of It

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Posted on 5th May 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

Ben Bernanke’s skin is as thin, apparently, as is his comprehension of honest economics. The emphasis is on the “honest” part because he is a fount of the kind of Keynesian drivel that passes for economics in the financially deformed world that the Bernank did so much to bring about.

Just recall that he first joined the Fed way back on 2002 after an academic career of scribbling historically superficial and blatantly misleading monographs about the 1930s. These were essentially zeroxed from Milton Friedman’s monumental error about the cause of the Great Depression. In a word, Friedman and Bernanke pilloried the Fed for not going on a bond buying spree during 1930-1932 and thereby stopping the shrinkage of money and credit.

In fact, excess reserves in the banking system soared by 12X during those four years, interest rates were at rock bottom and the US economy was saturated with idle cash. So there was no financial stringency——not the remotest aspect of a great monetary policy error.

Instead, what actually happened was that the US banking system was massively insolvent after a 12-year credit boom fueled by the Fed’s printing presses. This first great credit bubble arose initially from the Fed’s maneuvers to fund the massive war production surge of 1915-1919 and then from its fostering of a vast domestic and international credit bubble during the Roaring Twenties.

Alas, none of the Fed governors during the 1930-1932 credit contraction had graced the lecture halls of Princeton. But to nearly a man they knew you can’t push on a string, and that a healthy economy requires that busted loans and soured speculations must be purged from the financial system in order for sustainable growth to resume.

Bernanke has never had a clue about this truth. As I showed in The Great Deformation, what he got wrong about the early 1930’s—– he replicated in spades after the September 2008 financial crisis:

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THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

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Posted on 11th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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We passed upon the stairs
Spoken was and when
Although I wasn’t there
He said I was his friend
Which came as a surprise
I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone
A long long time ago

Oh no, not me
We never lost control
You’re face to face
With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand
And made my way back home
I searched for farming land
Years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazer stare
We marked a million hills
I must have died alone
A long long time ago

Who knows?
Not me
I never lost control
You’re face, to face
With the man who sold the world

Who knows?
Not me
We never lost control
You’re face, to face
With the man who sold the world

Can’t Wait To Read Bernanke’s Memoirs? Here Are All The Timeless Statements By The Former Fed Chairman

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Posted on 9th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Tyler Durden's picture

In lieu of a market wrap piece today, because frankly there was no “market” to speak of, just a couple of made by/for HFT stop hunts, we will instead pay homage to the man who made all this commentary on farcial, broken markets possible.

Ben Bernanke.

But first we will let Ben speak for himself.

 

Humble, daring, courageous. All words that promptly come to mind upon reading the following excerpt, and we are confident the Goldman Sachs preface will surely add “patrioticto the trio of adjectives.

And while we know it will be next to impossible to wait until October when this book of toner repair and printer cartridge replacement wisdom comes out, here is a sampling of timeless soundbites by the former Fed Chairman and current blogger, that should be enough to hold readers over.

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10/1/00 – Article published in Foreign Policy Magazine

A collapse in U.S. stock prices certainly would cause a lot of white knuckles on Wall Street. But what effect would it have on the broader U.S. economy? If Wall Street crashes, does Main Street follow? Not necessarily.

7/1/05 – Interview on CNBC

INTERVIEWER: Ben, there’s been a lot of talk about a housing bubble, particularly, you know [inaudible] from all sorts of places. Can you give us your view as to whether or not there is a housing bubble out there?

BERNANKE: Well, unquestionably, housing prices are up quite a bit; I think it’s important to note that fundamentals are also very strong. We’ve got a growing economy, jobs, incomes. We’ve got very low mortgage rates. We’ve got demographics supporting housing growth. We’ve got restricted supply in some places. So it’s certainly understandable that prices would go up some. I don’t know whether prices are exactly where they should be, but I think it’s fair to say that much of what’s happened is supported by the strength of the economy.

7/1/05 – Interview on CNBC

INTERVIEWER: Tell me, what is the worst-case scenario? We have so many economists coming on our air saying ‘Oh, this is a bubble, and it’s going to burst, and this is going to be a real issue for the economy.’ Some say it could even cause a recession at some point. What is the worst-case scenario if in fact we were to see prices come down substantially across the country?

BERNANKE: Well, I guess I don’t buy your premise. It’s a pretty unlikely possibility. We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.

10/20/05 – Testimony before the Joint Economic Committee, Congress

House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.

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BEN’S COURAGEOUS STORY

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Posted on 8th April 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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The actual title of Helicopter Ben’s ode to his Wall Street owners.

The truthful title of his traitorous actions.

THE COURAGE TO PRINT

Via William Banzai

On February 7, 2009 Bernanke Admitted What It Was All About

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Posted on 4th March 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Tyler Durden's picture

Back on February 7, 2009, one month before the Fed unveiled its massive (for its time) first episode of Quantitative Easing, the Federal Reserve was flailing. And, as revealed today by the latest annual batch of Fed transcript releases, precisely one month before the Fed commenced monetizing tens of billions in government debt and MBS, Bernanke held perhaps the longest conference call in the Fed’s history (the transcript alone is 65 pages) in which he revealed that he was working on something entirely different: an “aggregator bank” concept, which would have been essentially a quasi-nationalization of  the US banks whereby Fed funds is commingled with the bank’s capital in order to avert public attention from the trillions of bad assets on the bank books.

It is during the discussion of this plan, which mysteriously disappeared from the Fed’s plan of action between February 7 and a month later, when America set off on its path from which 7 years later it is still unable to ween itself (and in fact now everyone else is also pursuing QE), that we learn for a fact precisely what most have suspect if not known for a fact, namely that the resulting “bailout” of the US economy by way of QE was nothing more than a way to keep bank shareholders “thrilled.”

From the February 7 transcript:

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BREAKING BAD (DEBT) – EPISODE THREE

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Posted on 1st March 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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In Part One of this three part article I laid out the groundwork of how the Federal Reserve is responsible for the excessive level of debt in our society and how it has warped the thinking of the American people, while creating a tremendous level of mal-investment. In Part Two I focused on the Federal Reserve/Federal Government scheme to artificially boost the economy through the issuance of subprime debt to create a false auto boom. In this final episode, I’ll address the disastrous student loan debacle and the dreadful global implications of $200 trillion of debt destroying the lives of citizens around the world.

Getting a PhD in Subprime Debt

“When easy money stopped, buyers couldn’t sell. They couldn’t refinance. First sales slowed, then prices started falling and then the housing bubble burst. Housing prices crashed. We know the rest of the story. We are still mired in the consequences. Can someone please explain to me how what is happening in higher education is any different?This bubble is going to burst.” Mark Cuban

 http://www.nationofchange.org/sites/default/files/StudentLoanDebt070313_0.jpeg

Now we get to the subprimiest of subprime debt – student loans. Student loans are not officially classified as subprime debt, but let’s compare borrowers. A subprime borrower has a FICO score of 660 or below, has defaulted on previous obligations, and has limited ability to meet monthly living expenses. A student loan borrower doesn’t have a credit score because they have no credit, have no job with which to pay back the loan, and have no ability other than the loan proceeds to meet their monthly living expenses. And in today’s job environment, they are more likely to land a waiter job at TGI Fridays than a job in their major. These loans are nothing more than deep subprime loans made to young people who have little chance of every paying them off, with hundreds of billions in losses being borne by the ever shrinking number of working taxpaying Americans.

Student loan debt stood at $660 billion when Obama was sworn into office in 2009. The official reported default rate was 7.9%. Obama and his administration took complete control of the student loan market shortly after his inauguration. They have since handed out a staggering $500 billion of new loans (a 76% increase), and the official reported default rate has soared by 43% to 11.3%. Of course, the true default rate is much higher. The level of mal-investment and utter stupidity is astounding, even for the Federal government. Just some basic unequivocal facts can prove my case.

There were 1.67 million Class of 2014 students who took the SAT. Only 42.6% of those students met the minimum threshold of predicted success in college (a B minus average). That amounts to 711,000 high school seniors intellectually capable of succeeding in college. This level has been consistent for years. So over the last five years only 3.5 million high school seniors should have entered college based on their intellectual ability to succeed. Instead, undergraduate college enrollment stands at 19.5 million. Colleges in the U.S. are admitting approximately 4.5 million more students per year than are capable of earning a degree. This waste of time and money can be laid at the feet of the Federal government. Obama and his minions believe everyone deserves a college degree, even if they aren’t intellectually capable of earning it, because it’s only fair. No teenager left behind, without un-payable debt.

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