FACEBOOK FRAUD

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

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The proof that mainstream media outlets like Marketwatch, Bloomberg and CNBC are nothing but mouthpieces for the corporate fascist states of America is the blaring headlines about the tremendous profit growth just reported by Facebook. 

Here’s the deal. There is no such thing as Non-GAAP earnings. That is a made up number. Corporations in America are required to use GAAP to record their books.

The idiots in the mainstream media are dutifully regurgitating the FALSITY that Facebook earnings went up 48% over last year.

The TRUTH is that Facebook earnings went up 0% over last year.

Just a slight variance.

Keep waiting for anyone beside Zero Hedge to report this inconvenient fact. Jim Cramer says buy, buy, buy.

The Most Ridiculous Charts From Facebook’s Quarterly Earnings

Tyler Durden's picture

Facebook may still be able to fool most people most of the time, with gullible investors ready to believe that there were 1.393 billion monthly active addicts who just have to tell the world how their day went, of which 208 million were in the US and Canada, which is more than every single working-age American and Canadian, but where the magic of Facebook’s just reported earnings of $0.54 can truly be appreciated, is in the absolutely magical breakdown between GAAP and non-GAAP for the net income microblogging service.

The punchline: Facebook reported $1,133 billion in GAAP earnings: exactly the same as a year ago. What happened to non-GAAP income from operations during the same period? It rose from $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion. Again: this is in a period in which GAAP income remained unchanged!

As for real, GAAP EPS, it was… drumroll… $0.25, or less than half of the mark-to-unicorn number that only FB shareholders, if not advertisers, can love.

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FUNDAMENTALS

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

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Stock manipulation – not just for Wall Street anymore.

“New Normal” Fundamentals Hit Chinese Stocks

Tyler Durden's picture

Fun-durr-mentals…

 

 

h/t @TomOrlik


PIN MEET HOUSING BUBBLE 2.0

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Posted on 16th January 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Housing bubble 2.0 just met Pin 2.0

The 30 Year U.S. Treasury bond yield hit 2.35% yesterday. That is the lowest rate in U.S. history for the 30 Year Treasury. During the deepest darkest depths of the recession in March 2009, after the stock market had fallen over 50%, the yield was 3.5%. One year ago it was yielding 4.0%. Long term interest rates are not controlled by Yellen. They reflect the economic prospects of the country. When they are rising it means the economy is doing well. When they are plummeting to all time lows, the economy is either in recession or headed into recession. Take your pick. No amount of government data manipulation, feel good propaganda spewed by the captured mainstream media, or Ivy League educated Wall Street economist doublespeak, can change the fact this economy is in the dumper and headed much lower. The Greater Depression is resuming its downward march toward inevitable war.

ust30low

  • KBH SEES 1Q BOTTOM LINE ABOUT BREAK-EVEN (against expectations of a 17c rise!)
  • KB HOME CFO SAYS FIRST-QUARTER MARGINS EXPECTED TO BE DOWN
  • KB HOME PULLED OUT OF `COUPLE’ HOUSTON LAND DEALS, CEO SAYS
  • LENNAR CFO SAYS MARGINS ARE POISED TO NARROW ON LESS PRICING POWER
  • LENNAR GROSS MARGIN DECLINED & SALES INCENTIVES GREW
  • LENNAR CEO SAYS “ACROSS THE BOARD, WE’RE SEEING INTENSIFIED COMPETITION AS BUILDERS GO OUT AND CHASE VOLUME”

KB Home had revenues of $2.4 billion in 2014. They are one of the largest home builders in the country. It’s stock has dropped 30% in the last few days. It’s down 40% from its February 2014 high. It’s down 85% from its 2005 high. It had $9 billion of revenues and delivered 60,000 homes in 2005. Then Pin 1.0 popped the first bubble. Revenues collapsed to $1.3 billion and they lost hundreds of millions from 2007 through 2012.

Lennar had revenues of $7.0 billion in 2014. They are the largest home builder in the country. It’s stock has dropped 9% this week. It had been trading at a seven year high, but is still trading 33% below its 2005 bubble high. It had $14 billion of revenues and delivered 42,000 homes in 2005. Then Pin 1.0 popped their bubble. Revenues imploded to $3 billion and they also lost hundreds of millions from 2007 through 2012.

Their admissions earlier this week are proof Bubble 2.0 has met Pin 2.0. KB Home’s 85% increase in revenue and Lennar’s 130% increase in revenue since 2011 have been nothing but a Federal Reserve/Wall Street/U.S. Treasury engineered scheme to repair the balance sheets of the insolvent Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks. The financial industry oligarchs and their servile lackey puppet politicians decided an easy money, Wall Street created scheme to boost home prices would benefit the .1% and restore some of their fraudulently acquired wealth. It isn’t a coincidence home prices rose in parallel with the Fed’s QE programs. And it isn’t a coincidence the bubble is rapidly deflating now that QE3 is over.

The fraudulent nature of the supposed housing recovery can be deciphered by analyzing a few pertinent data points. 30 year mortgage rates were in the 5% to 6% range during the first bubble. Mortgage rates have been consistently below 4% for the last three years. In a healthy market driven economy, these low rates should have brought in first time home buyers and led to a sustainable long-term recovery.

Instead, the number of homes bought by first time buyers has languished at record low levels. The majority of homes sold in 2011 and 2012 were distressed foreclosures and short sales, and the vast majority of sales in the last two years have been to Federal Reserve financed Wall Street investors, Chinese billionaires and fast buck flippers. New home sales of just above 400,000 five years into an economic recovery are at previous recession lows, despite record low mortgage rates. They languish 65% below 2005 levels, when KB Home and Lennar were minting money. Existing home sales of 5 million are back at 1999 levels and 30% below the 2005 highs. This pitiful result is after $3.5 trillion of QE, extremely low mortgage rates, and tremendous hype from the NAR and the corporate MSM (It’s always the best time to buy).

The falsity of the housing recovery storyline can be seen in the fact that mortgage applications linger at 1995 levels, even though mortgage rates are 400 basis points lower than they were in 1995. A critical thinking individual might ask how home prices could rise by 20% since 2012 even though mortgage purchase applications are 20% lower than they were in 2012 and 65% below 2005 levels. The answer is they couldn’t have risen by 20% without massive monetary manipulation and insider deals between Wall Street banks, Wall Street hedge funds, FNMA, Freddie Mac, The Fed, and the U.S. Treasury.

gt10mbap

You see, average Americans buy houses not as an investment, but as a place to live. They save enough for a down payment by spending less than they earn, and then make monthly payments for 30 years from their rising household income. Of course, that was the old days. Real median household income is exactly where it was in 1995. It is currently below the level of 1989. Average Americans have made no headway in 20 years. The median price of a home in 1995, according to the Census Bureau, was $128,000. The median price of a home today is $281,000. When prices go up 120% and your real income remains stagnant, even record low mortgage rates is just pushing on a string. With real wages continuing to fall, young people saddled with a trillion dollars of student loan debt, the full impact of the Obamacare neutron bomb (kills small business, doctors and jobs, but not insurance conglomerates or government bureaucracy) just detonating, and an economy clearly going into the tank, there is absolutely no possibility of a real housing recovery in the foreseeable future.

nnnnffffff

The Too Big To Trust banks have consistently accounted for 35% to 55% of all mortgage originations in the U.S. over the last four years. Wells Fargo is the undisputed leader. All of these banks have reported dreadful financial results this week, with plunging revenues and profits, even with accounting shenanigans like relieving loan loss reserves and marking their balance sheets to fantasy rather than true market values. In the midst of a supposed housing recovery, with mortgage rates at historic lows, the largest mortgage originator in the world, saw their mortgage originations FALL by 12% over last year. They are down 65% from two years ago. JP Morgan and Citigroup also saw their mortgage businesses contracting. These banks have been firing thousands of people in their mortgage divisions. This is surely a sign of a healthy growing housing market. Right?

Essentially, the entire housing recovery storyline has revolved around the Federal Reserve providing free money to Wall Street banks, who then withheld foreclosures from the market, sold them in bulk at inflated prices to Wall Street hedge funds like Blackstone, who then created a nationwide rental business, driving prices higher. FNMA and Freddie Mac did their part by selling their bulk foreclosures to the same connected hedge funds. The average person had no opportunity to bid on foreclosed homes and reap the benefits of lower prices. Blackstone has since created a new derivative, by packaging their rental income streams into an “investment” to sell to muppets. Their rental properties are concentrated in the previous bubble markets of Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada. What a beautiful business concept. Free money from their Federal Reserve sugar daddy, kicking people out of their homes and then renting their houses back to them, driving prices higher by restricting supply and stopping new household formations, double dipping by creating a new exotic subprime investment opportunity, and then exiting stage left before it all blows sky high again.

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THE GREATEST DECEPTION EVER TOLD

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Posted on 23rd December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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The American Dream and government statistics – you’d have to be asleep to believe either. The blatant disregard for the truth and the utter contempt for the common man by the ruling class in NYC and DC is breathtaking to behold. The lies, obfuscation, misinformation and propaganda issued by the government and mindlessly regurgitated by their MSM lackey brigade has approached hyper-speed as this shitshow we call America descends into an epic clusterfuck of  deception, corruption and fraud. 

Exposing The Deception: How The US Economy “Grew” By $140 Billion As Americans Became Poorer

Tyler Durden's picture

This is simply stunning.

Regular readers will recall that last month, at the same time as the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported was a far better than expected 3.9% GDP (since revised to 5.0% on the back of the previously noted Obamacare spending surge), it also released its Personal Spending and Income numbers for the month of October, or rather revised numbers, because as we explained exactly one month ago “Americans Are Suddenly $80 Billion “Poorer“” thanks to (upward) revised spending data and (downward) revised income. What this meant a month ago is that as a result of a plunge in the imputed US savings rate, some $80 billion in personal savings was revised away from the average American household and right into the US economy.

After all, something had to grow the US GDP by a massive amount in order to give the Fed the green light it needs to hike rates eventually, just so it can then ease when the global dry powders from all the other central banks is used up.

And sure enough, this is how just one month ago, personal income was revised lower…

 

… Even as personal spending was revised higher:

 

Leading to an $80 billion revision lower in personal saving, and by mathematical identity, a comparable growth in US GDP.

 

* * *

Fast forward to today when we find that… absolutely nothing has changed, and in order to boost US GDP some more, the BEA engaged in precisely the same data revision trick!

On the surface, today’s Personal Income and Spending data were inline to a little bit better than expected:

  • Personal Income supposedly rose 0.4% in November, up from a 0.3% revised growth in October, and in line with expectations.
  • Personal Spending supposedly also rose, this time by 0.6%, up from an upward revised 0.3%, and just above the 0.5% expected.

So far so good: nothing abnormal, and in fact, in isolation this data would be good, suggesting the US consumer is spending more as the year closes.

And then we looked at the Personal Savings number: it was reported at 4.4% in November, down from 4.6% in October. Which is odd because last month, the October savings rate was disclosed as 5.0%, in turn down from a downward revised 5.6% in September.

Wait, could the BEA be engaging in precisely the same deception in November as it did in October.

Why yes, Virgina: not only did the US Department of Economic Truth completely fabricate its GDP numbers earlier, but the way it got to said fabrication is by fudging – for the second month in a row – both the entire Personal Income and Personal Saving data series.

Behold what the original data looked like in October, in November, when the extensive and already documented data revision took place, and just now, when the December data shows that the BEA once again revised everything just as it had previously.

To wit: here is Personal Income, revised substantially lower yet again, for every single datapoint of Q3 and then some, from July until October!

 

Sure enough, here is the revision to Personal Outlays: once again, a reduction in income magically meant that US household spent more in retrospect. As the chart below shows, Personal Outlays (Spending) was revised higher from July until October as well. What is most impressive is how the revision shifted the slope of US personal spending from one of Slowdown as reprted in October, to a literal explosion based on the latest data.

 

So how was all this spending funded? Simple: Americans “supposedly” dug massively into their savings, and as the following chart shows, Personal Savings have now crashed from what was originally an “unrevised” 5.6% in September, subsequently revised to 5.0% in November and 4.5% currently, and all the way down to 4.4% in November. Incidentally, this is the lowest savings rate since 2013, and the lowest savings rate for the month of November since 2006!

 

So what do all these revisions mean numerically? Luckily we can put absolute numbers alongside the savings rates, and as the following chart show, as of September 30, or the end of Q3, when US GDP supposedly soared by 5% annualized we now know that data revisions of personal income and spending alone generated…

 

… A whopping $140 billion in GDP!

So what does this mean? Well, as we learned earlier US GDP grew in Q3 by a nominal $272 billion to $17.6 trillion. We now know that more than half of this increase came from, drum roll please, data revisions!

In other words, US GDP, using pre-revision data, would have been less than 2.5%. But that woul dhardly lead to the euphoric blow-off top rally we have seen today which sent the DJIA for the first time ever above 18,000, which in turn is so critical to boost consumer confidence so Americans will, in real life, do what the BEA hopes they have already done at least on paper, and that is reduce their savings by a whopping 20% at the end of September, or by some $140 billion, to $593 billion in order to spend, spend, spend.

And the other irony: as the BEA also reported, what did Americans allegedly spend the bulk of their savings on?

Obamacare.

So in short, today the market is euphoric and hitting all time highs because Americans dug into their savings and spent billions on the “Affordable” Care Act.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the short answer why the US is “growing” when the rest of the world is mired in a triple (or quadruple if one is Japan) recession.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

SHOULD YOU BELIEVE WHAT THEY TELL YOU OR WHAT YOU SEE?

80 comments

Posted on 11th December 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Sometimes I wish I could just passively accept what my government monarchs and their mainstream media mouthpieces feed me on a daily basis. Why do I have to question everything I’m told? Life would be much simpler and I could concentrate on more important things like the size of Kim Kardashian’s ass, why the Honey Boo Boo show was canceled, the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, whether I’ll get a better deal on Chinese slave labor produced crap on Black Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, fantasy football league standings, the latest NFL player to knockout their woman and get reinstated, Obama’s latest racial healing plan, which Clinton or Bush will be our next figurehead president, or the latest fake rape story from Rolling Stone. The willfully ignorant masses, dumbed down by government education, lured into obesity by corporate toxic packaged sludge disguised as food products, manipulated, controlled and molded by an unseen governing class of rich men, and kept docile through never ending corporate media propaganda, are nothing but pawns to the arrogant sociopathic pricks pulling the wires in this corporate fascist empire of debt.

I’m sure my blood pressure would be lower and my mood better if I just accepted everything I was told by my wise, sagacious, Ivy League educated, obscenely wealthy rulers as the unequivocal truth. Why should I doubt these noble, well intentioned, champions of the common folk? They’ve never misled us before. They would never attempt to use two highly publicized deaths as a lever to keep black people and white people fighting each other and not realizing all races are now living in a militarized police surveillance state supported by the one Party. They would never use their complete control over the financial, political, judicial, and media organisms to convince the masses that voting for one of their hand selected red or blue options will ever actually change anything. They would never engineer the overthrow of a democratically elected government, cover up the shooting down of an airliner, and attempt to blame their crimes on the leader of a nuclear power in their efforts to retain a teetering global empire. They would never overthrow or wage economic warfare on countries that don’t toe the line regarding the continued dominance of the petrodollar in global commerce.

Sadly, I’m cursed with a mind that questions everything and trusts no one in authority or associated with the status quo. It’s the reason I don’t read newspapers or watch mainstream media television entertainment propaganda, disguised as news. It’s the reason I will never vote in a national election again. The lesser of two evils is still evil. I’m skeptical of every piece of data fed to the sheep by the government apparatchiks working for the state. The faux journalists being paid millions by one of the six corporations controlling the media and dependent upon the government, Wall Street bankers, and mega-corporations for their advertising revenues regurgitate whatever they are told by those pulling the purse strings. The mainstream media are nothing but propaganda peddlers for the Deep State and truth telling is prohibited in their world of deception, debt, and denial. Their job is to sustain, enhance, and further enrich the status quo by engineering consent through what they report and what they do not report. The true ruling powers who operate in the shadows behind the scenes are men of power, wealth, status and education who truly believe they are better equipped to consciously manage and manipulate the public mind to achieve their ends. They are disciples of the Edward Bernays School of deception, manipulation and propaganda.

“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it? The recent practice of propaganda has proved that it is possible, at least up to a certain point and within certain limits.” Edward Bernays

The Nazis were pikers compared to the technologically savvy Madison Avenue maggots and Silicon Valley snakes who mold the opinions, tastes, and beliefs of the iGadget addicted, vapid, unintelligent, unquestioning, zombie-like masses who beseech to be led, told what to do and what to believe. A vast swath of the population don’t read books or even know how to read above a grade school level. They couldn’t write a coherent paragraph if their life depended upon it. But they can twitter, text, Instagram, and facebook at the speed of light. Try walking down any street in an American city without some iGadget distracted oblivious moron bumping into you. The addicting nature of today’s technology is being used by the ruling elite to monitor, control, and make you respond the way they choose.

Facebook, corporate media organizations, quasi-government organizations, and the NSA are creating a corporate totalitarian state where the slaves willingly sacrifice their privacy, liberty and freedom for mindless entertainment and distractions. The 21st Century totalitarian state captures your political beliefs, daily activities, habits, interests, spending behaviors, organizational associations, love life, pictures, psychological makeup, and fears from your own postings on the internet. With the right algorithms they can uncannily predict how you will react to different situations and messaging. They can also uncover threats to the status quo. Under the guise of keeping you safe from terrorists they are actually ferreting out subversives and radicals who refuse to conform to their idea of a good citizen slave. We will all be subject to our own Room 101.

Dan Kaplan in his recent article about Facebook as a tool for totalitarianism lays out the extreme threat to our future:

Today’s totalitarian demands a more subtle way to influence cultural and political sentiment. But if you got your hands on an algorithmically filtered newsfeed? One that could control the stories people see every day and influence their emotions across geographic, political and economic lines? You’d be in business.

But then there was the mood-influence study that scandalized us for a couple of weeks this year. Facebook changed the tone of content showing up in people’s feeds to test the impact it could have on their moods. The results, not too surprisingly, suggested that Facebook has the power to manipulate sentiment at scale.

Given how easy it is to scare people about the scary-seeming-but-actually-low-risk Ebola, and how dumb we all get when we are afraid, it is not crazy to think that under the wrong circumstances — like one or two more mass-scale terrorist attacks on major cities — modern democracy gives way to something akin to 1984.

If Big Brother were to seize the reins of power, sure, he’d use the cable news the way it’s being used today. But Facebook’s data maw, targeting power and sentiment-manipulation capabilities would be far more insidious. Whether this is what we become or not comes down to the future we choose to build.

The saddest part of this episode of mass delusion, mass confusion, and mass media collusion is that even though we are moving towards Orwell’s totalitarian vision of society, thus far, technology, triviality and an unending array of distractions have lured the masses into passive preoccupation with egotistical pleasures. We’ve been persuaded to love our servitude while drowning in a sea of irrelevance, diversions, and trifles. We continue to amuse ourselves to death while forging our own chains of debt and yielding to the direction of an all-powerful welfare warfare surveillance state that promises to protect us from phantom threats while actually abolishing our rights, freedoms, and liberties. No coercion necessary. We have been trained to love our servitude.

“A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.” Aldous Huxley – Brave New World

Arrogance, Desperation, Lies & Truth

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

The level of data massaging by the government and their co-conspirators on Wall Street and in the corporate media is a futile attempt at a happy ending that will never come to fruition. The intensity and relentlessness with which the state and its quasi-state minions attempt to paint a false picture of economic recovery is equal parts arrogance and desperation. The arrogance is a function of successfully pulling off the greatest heist in world history from 2003 through 2008 with no adverse consequences, no criminal charges, no penalties for their crimes, and more power and wealth than they had prior to 2003. The only way to stop sociopaths is to throw them in jail or kill them. In our dystopian paradise of greed, they were rewarded with trillions in rescue packages by their cohorts in crime at the Federal Reserve and in Congress. They’ve paid themselves billions in bonuses for gorging at the Federal Reserve trough of QE and ZIRP. The desperation is borne from the fact that after $7.5 trillion of debt added by the Federal government and $3.5 trillion of debt created by the Federal Reserve since 2009, the Greater Depression for average Americans deepens by the day.

The men pulling the strings behind the scenes are drunk with power and their hubris allows them to believe their own infallibility and blinds them to the dire consequences for our country when their debt Ponzi scheme fails. But, as we grow ever closer to the day of reckoning, they will use every means at their disposal to paint a positive picture, regardless of the facts and reality for the average person. The examples of twisting, distorting and outright lying about the economic reality of our times are endless. These are some of the major false storylines peddled by our benevolent corporate fascist leaders:

The BLS reported 321,000 jobs added in November and the unemployment rate at 5.8%. Jobs are plentiful, based upon these statistics.

A skeptical critical thinking individual might ask a few questions or point out a few inconvenient facts the government purveyors of propaganda might not want us to ponder:

  • The non-manipulated, non-seasonally adjusted number of jobs in November FELL by 270,000. The BLS added 600,000 jobs as an adjustment to achieve the headline grabbing result.
  • If the jobs market is so good, why is the labor participation rate at a 30 year low of 62.8%?
  • Since 2007 the number of working age Americans has risen by 17 million, while the number of employed has risen by less than 1 million, but the unemployment rate is about the same.
  • Why would almost 14 million working age Americans leave the labor force since 2007 if the economy is booming and jobs plentiful, with 1.2 million leaving in the last 12 months?
  • Why would payroll tax receipts be flat with last year if millions of new jobs have been created?
  • If the country has really added 8 million jobs since 2010, how could real median household income FALL by 2.3%?

According to the government reported figures, the economy hasn’t been this strong since 2007. GDP has supposedly grown at greater than 4% over the last two quarters.

Anyone who is sentient knows consumer spending accounts for 68% of GDP. Capital investments that lead to long term prosperity continue to decline as a percentage of GDP from 20% in 2000 to 16% today. We’ve chosen consumption and financialization over savings and investment. This fact leads to some observations:

  • If GDP has actually grown by 20% since 2008 how does this correlate with a 6.9% decline in real median household income?
  • GDP has been goosed by a $69 billion increase in government spending, with the majority going to the military industrial complex. ISIS has been a godsend for our GDP and arms dealer profits.
  • GDP was increased retroactively by $500 billion last year based on a new way the government accounts for intangibles.
  • The surge in consumer expenditures over the last two quarters has been in the purchase of services. The higher costs for Obamacare are a boon for GDP. Are they a boon for your bank account?
  • The trade deficit has fallen as exports of petroleum products have temporarily provided a boost to GDP. The collapse in oil prices will reverse that trend rapidly.

According to the quasi-governmental mouthpieces at the Conference Board, consumer confidence is near a 5 year high, reflecting what should be robust spending.

So we are told by the representatives of corporatism that we are confident about the economy and the future. How does that measure up to the facts on the ground:

  • Black Friday weekend sales collapsed by 11% versus the previous year. As the pundits tried to blame it on on-line sales (10% of total retail sales), Cyber Monday also proved to be a dud.
  • If the average person is confident about the future and happy with their economic circumstances, why did they just vote to throw out the bums in November?
  • If consumers are confident, why have real retail sales, excluding subprime debt goosed auto sales, been flat for the last three months and up only 1% in the last year?
  • If consumers are so confident, why are credit card balances still $138 billion BELOW where they were in 2008? If all these new jobs are being created why is credit card debt lower than it was in mid-2010? Maybe consumers are so desperate they are using credit cards to pay utility and tax bills and not using them for frivolous Chinese crap at big box retailers.
  • The increased spending at grocery stores and restaurants is driven by food inflation, not foot traffic. Discretionary spending at furniture, electronics, and sporting goods stores is flat.
  • Department store sales continue to fall. Sears and JC Penney teeter on the verge of bankruptcy. Delia’s is liquidating and Radio Shack isn’t far behind. The major chains have completely stopped building new stores. The great bricks and mortar unwind relentlessly plods forward. In addition, online growth is stalling as states implement sales taxes.

According to the government, the deficit was ONLY $483 billion in 2014.

This is a real doozy. Obama has been touting how he has cut the deficit through his wise management of the budget. This is where government accounting is used by apparatchiks to mislead the public and obscure the truth. A few pertinent facts are always left out by the politicians touting deficit reduction:

  • Because of the budget impasse in 2013, the Federal government stopped updating the national debt on a daily basis, but we know from when they started counting again, the debt went up by $2.3 billion per day. Therefore, the national debt on October 1, 2013 was approximately $17.038 trillion. On October 1, 2014 the national debt was $17.875. Therefore, the national debt went up by $837 billion in 2014. Just a smidge higher than the reported deficit of $483 billion.
  • Interest is not paid on reported deficits. It’s paid on the national debt, so the massaged, manipulated and made over deficit is meaningless. The national debt was always slightly higher than reported deficits, but in the last few years the deviation has grown to a Grand Canyon size.
  • The deficit number has been artificially lowered by nothing other than accounting entry hocus pocus. The Federal Reserve increasing its balance sheet to $4 trillion out of thin air creates approximately $80 billion of phantom interest profits that are paid to the Treasury. Why don’t they increase their balance sheet to $40 trillion and eliminate deficits all together?
  • The biggest accounting scam is Fannie and Freddie. Just as the Wall Street banks have created fake profits through accounting entries regarding future losses, Fannie and Freddie have gone the extra mile in helping fake deficit reduction. These bloated insolvent government run pigs required a $187 billion taxpayer bailout in 2009. Amazingly, when you allow criminals to value their assets at whatever they choose, phantom profits flow like honey.
  • These two horribly run institutions of fraud “generated profits” of $129 billion in 2014 which were “paid back” to the Treasury. That is four times more than Apple or Exxon’s profits during a non-existent housing recovery. Why are their stocks trading at just over $2 per share if they are generating vastly more profits than they were in 2007 when their stocks were north of $70 per share? It’s because the profits are fake. Everyone knows it, but the Federal Deficit is reported $129 billion lower because these insolvent entities pretended to pay the taxpayer back. Accounting entries do not reduce deficits. Spending less than you generate in revenues reduces deficits.

According to the government, we’ve experienced a strong housing recovery since 2010.

The supposed housing recovery storyline continues to be beaten like a dead horse by the Wall Street media (CNBC) and the shills at the NAR. Anyone with a functioning brain (eliminates CNBC bimbos, hacks, and Ivy League economists) can see there has been no real housing recovery:

  • The 24% rise in home prices (Case Shiller Index) since the 2012 low has been nothing more than a Wall Street hedge fund/Federal Reserve scheme to elevate prices and make Wall Street bank balance sheets less insolvent. Wall Street banks withholding foreclosures from the market while Wall Street hedge funds (Blackstone) use free money from the Fed to buy up housing and rent it out to former homeowners has enriched the .1% while destroying the dream of home ownership for millions.
  • The percent of first time home buyers remains near record lows, while speculators, flippers, hedge fund managers, and rich Chinese businessmen make up a record number of purchasers. The fact this is a fake housing recovery is proven by mortgage applications to purchase a home sitting at 1995 levels and 30% below 2009 recession lows. Maybe the fact real median household income is also at 1995 levels, real wages keep declining, and labor force participation is at 1978 levels has something to do with real people not being able to purchase a home.

  • Even with the artificial hedge fund demand, existing home sales are lower than 2013 and languishing at 1999 levels. They are still 25% below 2005 levels, despite the lowest mortgage rates in history. New home sales are a disaster, with no appreciable increase in two years. Apartment construction has far outpaced single family housing construction. After a five year housing recovery, new home sales languish at levels seen at the bottom of our last six recessions. New home sales are 65% below the 2005 peak and at levels seen in the early 1960’s when there were 130 million less people living in the country.

According to the corporate media, the auto market is hitting on all cylinders with annual sales of 16.4 million, the highest since 2006.

Pretending to sell automobiles to people without the means to pay you for the automobile is always a good business idea. Of course, when you have Ally Financial and the rest of the Wall Street banking cabal doling out 7 year 0% loans and subprime auto loans like candy, it’s easy to move inventory. The temporary boost to GDP by issuing more bad debt always works out in the long run. Right?

  • If the auto business is booming why have GM profits fallen from $9.2 billion in 2011 to $5.4 billion in 2013, and on course to fall to $4 billion in 2014? Record levels of channel stuffing produces sales gains, but no profits. Why is their stock 25% below its 52 week high and lower than it was in 2010 when it was IPO’d after being rescued by Obama?
  • If the auto business is booming why are Ford’s profits falling by 35% versus last year and lower than they were in 2010? Why is their stock price 16% below its 52 week high and still 20% below its 2010 price?
  • Auto loan debt is at an all-time high of $950 billion, up 33% since 2010 when the Fed, Wall Street, and the political class in the fetid D.C. swamp decided they needed new debt bubbles in auto loans and student loans to jump start our moribund economy.
  • There are 65 million auto loans outstanding, and the average debt now stands at $17,352. Over 30% of auto “sales” are actually leases. The rest are financed over an average of 65 months. Virtually all new car sales are nothing more than 3 to 7 year rentals. It’s amazing what easy money from the Fed can produce.
  • Over 31% of all new auto loans this year were to subprime borrowers. They now account for 36.5% of all outstanding auto loans. You become a subprime borrower by defaulting on previous debt obligations. In a shocking development, auto loan delinquencies surged by 13% in the last quarter, with subprime loan delinquencies skyrocketing by 18%. When has issuing billions of debt to subprime borrowers ever caused problems before?
  • Only a University of Phoenix African Studies major is more of a subprime risk than the millions of ecstatic Escalade drivers cruising around our urban ghetto paradises. The average student loan debt is now $33,000. Until the Obama administration went Keynesian, student loan debt was primarily in the private sector. When Obama entered the White House total student loan debt was $620 billion and delinquencies totaled $50 billion. There are now $1.3 trillion of student loans outstanding, with the Federal government accounting for $830 billion and guaranteeing a large portion of the rest. Delinquencies have skyrocketed to $125 billion, as another taxpayer bailout beckons.

According to the corporate mainstream media pundits, the plunge in oil prices from $100 per barrel to $61 per barrel is unequivocally good for the economy. The shale oil boom has worked its magic and happy times are here again.

Sometimes you have to wonder whether the highly educated spokesmodels on the corporate mainstream media are really as vacuous and clueless as they appear or whether they are just paid to look pretty and mouth the corporate line. They seem incapable of comprehending the unintended consequences of various events. The collapse in oil prices is one of those events.

  • There is no doubt that lower oil prices will lower the price of gas for the average American. Estimates say they will save $368 per year, which can be spent elsewhere. The highly paid shill economists who declare this will boost spending seem to be math challenged. Retail sales figures include gas stations. What isn’t spent there will be spent in another category, most likely healthcare or groceries as prices in both areas continue to escalate. It’s a zero sum game. No new spending will occur.
  • The worldwide supply of oil has only increased marginally over the last few years. The U.S. shale boom has been offset by declines elsewhere (Libya, Iran, Mexico). The reason for the collapse is the same reason for the 2009 collapse – worldwide demand is contracting. Europe is in a depression. Japan is in a depression. Russia’s economy is contracting. China is decelerating rapidly. The U.S. demand is flat. The implications of another global recession after five years of central banks printing trillions of fiat currency are alarming to say the least.
  • The cost to extract shale oil and transport it to a refinery capable of processing it is high. Honest analysts will tell you that a price of $70 to $80 is required to breakeven. Most companies don’t build breakeven into their plans. Bakken shale oil sells at a discount of about $14 per barrel due to the difficulty of extraction, transport, and processing. It is now selling for $47 per barrel. The number of permits for new rigs fell by 40% in November when oil was still selling for $75 per barrel. Do you think permits for new wells will fall at a price of $61 per barrel? Capital spending by the energy industry accounted for 33% of all capital spending in the last few years. I’m sure some other industry will pick up the slack. Right?
  • It seems the shale oil boom has resulted in a few jobs being created since the 2010 recession trough. In fact the states where fracking is prevalent have accounted for all the job growth in the nation. I wonder if a shale oil bust will have any employment implications. There are 9.3 million jobs related to the energy industry across the country. The plunge in oil prices created by Saudi Arabia in the 1980s created a depression in Texas which contributed to the S&L crisis. This plunge will reveal who has been swimming naked in the high yield bond market and derivatives market.

These are just a few examples among a multitude of lies. Others include: stocks aren’t overvalued, gold isn’t money, inflation is good for you, and ISIS terrorists are an imminent threat to your way of life. Every feel good story fed to the masses by the oligarchs running this shitshow we call America is no different than the propaganda doled out by other infamous totalitarian regimes throughout history. We believe things because we’ve been conditioned to believe them. The crony capitalist oligarchs are intelligent enough to invent theories to explain how the world should work, but not intelligent enough to interpret their models correctly. When they act on their theories (Keynesianism), their actions appear to be those of a lunatic. Despite all evidence refuting their theories, their arrogance and hubris lead them to destruction. The collective insanity of this world is almost too much for a rational thinking person to grasp. The extremely wealthy men operating in the shadows will use every means at their disposal to retain power, enhance their wealth, and crush dissent.

“Being a card carrying member of the privileged class means never having to say I’m sorry, much less ‘not guilty.’  Power is doing what you want when you want, and consequences are for everyone else. Or perhaps these titans of modern industry and the halls of power are at heart just good natured bumblers, who in a genuine belief destroy lives and crash economies, while pursuing insane ideological assumption put forward by vested interests, all the while stuffing their pockets, and crushing all dissent with the political skills of a Machiavelli and the ruthlessness of Al Capone.” – Jesse

The two party system is nothing but a ruse designed to keep the people believing they have a say in how things are run in this country. Both parties support the military industrial complex. Both parties support the militarization of police forces around the country. Both parties support the mass surveillance of its citizens. Both parties do the bidding of their rich corporate and special interest benefactors. Both parties favor deficit spending for eternity. Both parties believe the government should expand its role in our everyday lives. Both parties do the bidding for and protect the Wall Street interests who really run this country. No more proof is needed than what has occurred over the last five years, as criminal Wall Street bankers were rewarded for their malfeasance with trillions of dollars from taxpayers and their puppets at the Federal Reserve. While we were allowing ourselves to be distracted, amused, entertained, and indebted, the oligarchs were busy conducting a silent coup.

“Let’s be clear about this, the oligarchs are flush with victory, and feel that they are firmly in control, able to subvert and direct any popular movement to the support of their own fascist ends and unslakable will to power.

This is the contempt in which they hold the majority of American people and the political process: the common people are easily led fools, and everyone else who is smart enough to know better has their price. And they would beggar every middle class voter in the US before they will voluntarily give up one dime of their ill-gotten gains.

But my model says that the oligarchs will continue to press their advantages, being flushed with victory, until they provoke a strong reaction that frightens everyone, like a wake-up call, and the tide then turns to genuine reform.” – Simon Johnson

The oligarchs have had a good run. The system cannot be reformed from within. The corruption runs too deep. The system is broken and can’t be fixed. There is no doubt in my mind that a collapse approaches which will make 2008/2009 look like a walk in the park. The anger, blame and retribution will sweep away the existing social order and replace it with something new. It will be up to the people to decide what happens next. We were warned two centuries ago by a wise man. Hopefully, we’ll get a 2nd chance.

“However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.” George Washington

 

ARE YOU A GLOBAL COOLING DENIER?

23 comments

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

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The normal temperature in Philly on this date is 56 degrees. It’s currently 23 degrees, going to a high of 29 degrees. The low tonight will be 18 degrees. I froze my balls off walking to my office this morning. When oh when will I ever reap the benefits of global warming? Could one of you global warming numbskulls please let me know when Philly winters will become warmer?

For fuck sake, how could it be below freezing in Hawaii?

I guess I’ll have to wait for Time Magazine to be wrong again.

I’m still waiting for all those hurricanes created by global warming.

Educational Fraud

3 comments

Posted on 13th November 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Guest Post by Walter E. Williams

 

It would be unreasonable to expect a student with the reading, writing and computing abilities of an eighth-grader to do well in college. If such a student were admitted, his retention would require that the college create dumbed-downed or phantom courses. The University of North Carolina made this accommodation; many athletes were enrolled in phantom courses in the department of African and African-American studies. The discovery and resulting scandal are simply the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a much larger problem.

A UNC learning specialist hired to help athletes found that during the years 2004 to 2012, 60 percent of 183 members of the football and basketball teams read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. Eight to 10 percent read below a third-grade level. These were black high-school graduates, and their high-school diplomas were clearly fraudulent. How cruel is it for UNC to admit students who have little chance of academically competing on the same basis as its other students? Black students so ill-equipped run the risk of ridicule and reinforcing white stereotypes of black mental incompetence. If these students are to retain their athletic eligibility or minimum GPA requirements, universities must engage in academic fraud.

Academic fraud benefits the entire university community except the black students. If universities can maintain the scholar-athlete charade, they earn tens of millions of dollars in sports revenue. Other than as a pretense, academics can be ignored. The university just has to create academic slums, where weak students can “succeed.” Stronger academic departments benefit because they do not have to compromise their standards and bear the burden of having to deal with weak students. Then there’s that feather in the diversity hat upon which university administrators are fixated. I guarantee you that academic fraud is by no means unique to UNC. As such, it represents gross dereliction and dishonesty on the parts of university administrators and faculty members.

Unfortunately, and to the detriment of black people, there is broad support among black members of the academic community for practices that lead to academic fraud. In the wake of the UNC scandal, the Carolina Black Caucus — a campus group of administrators, staff and faculty — rushed to the defense of the black athletes and the department of African and African-American studies, claiming an unfair investigation and unfair public and media attack. One campus student group said that the student-athlete fraud scandal is actually a result of “white supremacist, heteropatriarchal capitalism.”

Focusing solely on the academic problems of blacks at the college level misses the point. It is virtually impossible to repair 12 years of rotten primary and secondary education in the space of four or five years of college. Proof of that is black student performance on postgraduate tests, such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT. The black-white achievement gap on those tests is just as wide as it is on the SAT or ACT, which high schoolers take. That’s evidence that primary and secondary education deficiencies have not been repaired during undergraduate years.

The academic achievement level for white students is nothing to write home about. Only 25 percent of white high-school graduates taking the 2011 ACT met its benchmarks for college readiness in all subjects for which it tests. Only 4 percent of black students were college-ready in all subjects, according to their scores on the ACT.

The high academic failure rate among blacks means one of two things. Either black students cannot learn or primary and secondary schools, parental choices, black student attitudes, and cultural values regarding education are not conducive to what young blacks need for academic excellence. Colleges admitting underperforming black students conceal, foster and perpetuate the educational damages done to these youngsters in their earlier education.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

Surprise: Obamacare Enrollment 30% Less Than Previously Expected; Spike In 2015 Premiums Imminent

4 comments

Posted on 10th November 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Bend over. The elections are complete and your eternal Obamacare rectal exam is about to begin. Premium increases, soaring deductibles, penalties, fees, rationing, and less doctors. Sounds fabulous. Obama and his minions lied every step of the way. I’m still waiting for my $2,500 annual reduction in premiums.
Tyler Durden's picture

While the small business scourge that is Obamacare may not last very long now that the GOP has full control of Congress, and a scourge it is according even to the Philly Fed itself as per “Obamacare Is A Disaster For Businesses, Philly Fed Finds“…

… there is some hope that its disastrous impacts on the US economy (one has to find the irony that the economic slam in late 2013 and early 2014 was blamed on snow in the winter and not on the US president), may be finally fading.

The reason: according to the WSJ, moments ago the Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying – with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror – that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted.

Only it’s not even 9.9 million:

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said Monday the administration was aiming for 9.1 million paid-up enrollees for 2015, though the range could extend to 9.9 million, according to the agency’s analysis. Ms. Burwell said she respected the work of the Congressional Budget Office and its projections but that she believed HHS figures were based on the best and most up-to-date information.

So really 8 million, or less? Which is great news for the economy as it means less forced wealth redistribution, if less than great news for the administration’s propaganda. Recall that as recently as two months ago this number stood about 30% higher: according to a projection by the Congressional Budget Office, some 13 million Americans were expected to enroll in Obamacare in the coming year. But what’s some 30% between friends? Just blame it on seasonal adjustments. And don’t forget: the US budget deficit needs to soar in the coming years to open the much needed capacity for the Fed to monetize even more debt because everyone who lived through October 15 saw what will happen if the Fed continues to monetize more than 100% of net issuance.

It gets worse, or if one is the US economy, better:

Also diminished is the number of Americans who had private coverage under the law’s marketplaces for 2014. The administration said Monday that around 7.1 million people across the country who picked plans during the current year’s open-enrollment period were still paid up for their coverage. That’s down from the eight million who the administration said had picked plans as of this spring.

So… 1 million down in 9 months: must be even more seasonal adjustments.

And just as everyone suspected in late 2013, the wildly overblown numbers by the administration were just that, because sooner or later, even those getting handouts would have to make a token payment or at least confirm they are legal US residents. They couldn’t.

HHS officials said they had cut off tax credits for December for 120,000 households that hadn’t responded to requests for more information about their income. Another 112,000 people have had their coverage terminated because the federal government couldn’t confirm they were legally residing in the U.S. That number is down slightly from an earlier announcement from the federal government that it was cutting off 116,000 people over immigration and citizenship status issues.

And with Obamacare’s punitive measures having been delayed through 2015 in hopes of “buying” the midterm elections, hopes which now lie crushed in a smoldering heap, next up is the real sticker shocked:

A new window-shopping tool on the federal insurance website that made its debut late Sunday is giving consumers the first glimpse of health-insurance prices for next year. Many people who bought insurance plans through HealthCare.gov will see their premium increase in 2015 unless they are willing to switch insurance carriers.

Changing plans to ones which have far worse deductibles and coverage, which of course is par for the course for anything the government gets its hands on. For everyone else, well: there are higher prices which will more than offset the temporary gas price drop holiday:

Proposed rates filed by insurers with state regulators over the past six months suggested that big carriers that snapped up a lot of customers last year are raising their rates for 2015, and new market entrants and plans that got fewer sign-ups in 2014 are slashing prices in a bid for more market share. The final rates, posted late Sunday on HealthCare.gov, have followed a similar pattern. As a result, most people who bought coverage through the site last year will see their premiums increase for 2015, at the same time that the lowest rate available on the site remains relatively steady.

 

In Tallahassee, Fla., the lowest-cost silver plan available to a 26-year-old nonsmoker for 2014 was sold by Florida Blue, or Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, with a premium of $228 a month. For 2015, the cost would rise about 20% to $273, according to the premium information displayed on HealthCare.gov. The same 26-year-old could pay a $236 monthly premium for a United Healthcare plan that wasn’t available for 2014.

The punchline:

“We are strongly encouraging people to come back to HealthCare.gov,” said Kevin Counihan, chief executive of the site, on Sunday.

And if people don’t come back, do they get an IRS audit?

ANOTHER STIMULATING USE OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS

5 comments

Posted on 7th October 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Isn’t that quite a coincidence. Why would she know what her own husband was doing in his spare time? She’ll probably still get re-elected. The creative use of your tax dollars is never ending. Low income gated townhouse communities in West Philly, payoffs to teacher’s unions across the country, and now a little green fraud perpetrated by U.S. Congress critters.

Via Doug Ross

 

Husband of Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) Formed “Green Energy” Company to Profit From Obama Stimulus

 

But the Democrat Senator from North Carolina claims she knew nothing — nothing — about her husband’s “business”:

Sen. Kay Hagan’s husband and son created a solar energy contracting company in August 2010, and then, using $250,644 in federal stimulus grant funds, her husband hired that same company to install solar panels at a building he owns.

Public records show that Green State Power was formed seven weeks before JDC Manufacturing — a company owned in part by Greensboro attorney Charles “Chip” Hagan III, Sen. Hagan’s husband — received the stimulus grant for the solar project at a 300,000-square-foot facility in Reidsville, N.C.

A story in late September on the Washington, D.C.-based website Politico revealed that JDC Manufacturing received “nearly $390,000 in federal grants for energy projects and tax credits created by the 2009 stimulus law, according to public records and information provided by the company.”