The deregulation of the financial system during the Clinton and George W. Bush regimes had the predictable result: financial concentration and reckless behavior. A handful of banks grew so large that financial authorities declared them “too big to fail.” Removed from market discipline, the banks became wards of the government requiring massive creation of new money by the Federal Reserve in order to support through the policy of Quantitative Easing the prices of financial instruments on the banks’ balance sheets and in order to finance at low interest rates trillion dollar federal budget deficits associated with the long recession caused by the financial crisis. Continue reading
Originally posted at Monty Pelerin’s World blog,
It is easy to be upset about what is happening all around. The economy is being destroyed, deliberately, by insane economic policies. Incentives to work are being eliminated by punishing work. At the same time rewards are increasing for not working. Not surprisingly we get less of what we penalize (work) and more of what we subsidize (non-work).
As an economist I get sick over what I see happening to what was once a great engine of productivity, capital creation and improvements in standards of living.
After two centuries of progress that amazed the world, the conditions necessary for growth and productivity are steadily being removed. Their presence allowed the miracle of America. Their absence guarantees the decline. Carried to extreme, the US could become a second or third-world nation within a few decades. Virtually all changes in the last five to ten years point in this direction and these changes are accelerating.
As pained as the economic retrogression is, the loss of freedom is even more disturbing. It was free markets and free men that made America the dominant economic power and the beacon of freedom. Without freedom, no economic policy can succeed. Yet, just as economic policies seem designed to destroy rather than create, so too does the role of government as steadily destroys freedom with its expanded oppression and power. The absence of freedom is tyranny. The absence of freedom is also poverty.
Economic decline is difficult to convey, although data are useful.
The decline of liberty, however, is not easily quantifiable and even more difficult to communicate. An email from Simon Black, expresses his concern regarding Leviathan government and its increasing oppression. It provides as good a qualitative measure of what is occurring to freedom in this country:
By now it should be clear to anyone paying attention that most of Western civilization is on a dangerous slide into tyranny.
They’re confiscating funds directly from people’s bank accounts. They’re seizing reporters’ personal records and phone logs. They’re digitally spying on everyone’s emails.
They’ve authorized military detention and drone assassination of their own citizens.
They’re using tax offices to harass political opposition groups.
They tell us what we are allowed to eat and drink, what foods we are allowed to put in our own body.
Think about it. These are Soviet tactics, plain and simple.
What’s more, they don’t even care. They think we’re all idiots who are too stupid to even notice what they’re doing.
In fact, just a few days ago, Barack Obama staunchly defended his policies, saying “you can complain about Big Brother. . . but when you actually look at the details, then I think we’ve struck the right balance.” This is textbook sociopathic behavior: destructive, antisocial conduct and a complete lack of conscience.
Unfortunately this is just the beginning.
Imagine what it will look like in a few more years: trillions of dollars of more debt… more printed currency. More police state tactics. More invasions of privacy. More ridiculous regulations.
Preparation for disaster, whether natural or man-made, should be as vital as any ideal found in the various practices of religion and spiritualism. Preparedness should be treated with reverence, discipline and duty. The drive for preparation should be seated in the very heart of humanity. As individuals and as a society, we should hold preparedness dear, for it is an expression of the desire for survival and the key to maintaining our inherent freedoms. Without self-sufficiency, we set ourselves up for endless failure and enslavement. Continue reading
US Daily Index. These indexes are designed to provide real-time information on major inflation trends, not to forecast official inflation announcements. We are constantly adding new categories of goods, but we do not cover 100% of CPI goods and services. The price of services, in particular, are not easy to find online and therefore are not included in our statistics….
…Inflation doesn’t matter. Food stamps are a sign of prosperity. Down is up. Orwell would be proud of our financial press….
The Dow has now reached a new peak. The media is prancing up and down like a giddy school girl as if this had a significant impact on the bottom line for most Americans. Don’t let the details out that many companies have increased their bottom line by squeezing wages and cutting worker benefits. Yet the mainstream press can’t even get one thing straight with inflation. The Dow is actually down 11 percent from where it was in 2000 adjusting for inflation. After all, a dollar is only worth as much as it can purchase in the economy. The US dollar has been hit over this period as well. Real household wages are back to levels last seen in the mid-1990s. So the Dow “peak” is really more symbolic and many Americans realize this. Let us take a look at where the stock market stands today through the lens of inflation.
Inflation erodes stock gains. The Dow really isn’t the best indicator of overall stock performance since it only follows a small number of companies. These are handpicked companies and the track record isn’t perfect. After all, they even had AIG and Citigroup until a few years ago. A better measure would be the S&P 500. The S&P 500 adjusting for inflation is down in real terms about 26 percent from the peak reached in 2000… via My Budget360…
…You can’t make money without selling something real. You can’t make something real without first imagination manifesting itself in your head. You can’t have imagination without surrendering yourself to an idea that you want to create something of value to other human beings.
And now it’s too late. Now the course of history has finally written it’s next chapter. There’s no more bullshit. I’m going to tell you why you have to quit your job. Why you need to get the ideas moving. Why you need to build a foundation for your life or soon you will have no roof… via Altucher Confidential.
As is clear by this chart, inflation was virtually unheard of until the Creature from Jekyll Island the Federal Reserve took over. However, more importantly, things didn’t really start to get bad until the 1970?s right after Nixon took the nation off the gold standard in 1971. Since that time, America has seen a period of non-existent real wage growth and a huge gap grow between the rich and the poor ever since. Nothing like livin’ the debt slave dream!
…Our nation has entered into the last stages of fascism. Both parties have supported this path since Hoover and FDR of the 1930s, both parties are guilty. The only way to avoid a repeat of Germany 1933-45 is to go all out to defeat fascism here in America by any means necessary.
That means renouncing the programs that transfer power to the federal government such as social security, Medicare, education, transportation, and banking regulations, everything that allows centralized planning needs to be opposed. This means conservatives have to stop giving capitalism lip service and embrace the free enterprise system.
We need to understand government produces nothing; they can only create poverty, death, and destruction…. Continue reading
Overview. The United States government has five interrelated motivations for destroying the value of the dollar:
- Creating money out of thin air on a massive basis is all that stands between the current state of hidden depression, and overt depression with unemployment levels in excess of those seen in the US Great Depression of the 1930s.
- It is the most effective way to meet not just current crushing debt levels, but to deal with the rapidly approaching massive generational crisis of paying for Boomer retirement promises.
- It creates a lucratively profitable $500 billion a year hidden tax for the benefit of the US government which is not understood by voters or debated in elections.
- It is the weapon of choice being used to wage currency war and reboot US economic growth; and
- It is an essential component of political survival and enhanced power for incumbent politicians.In this article we will take a holistic approach to how individual short term, medium and long term pressures all come together to leave the government with effectively no choice but to create a substantial rate of inflation that will steadily destroy the value of the dollar…via FINANCIAL SENSE….
…We see two things in the chart above on average American wages. First we see how (in real dollars) wages for the average U.S. worker have been falling steadily for more than 40 years. Those wages have now fallen by more than 50%, all the way down to the same levels as during the Great Depression. And we see how the U.S. government’s lies about inflation have almost entirely concealed this relentless collapse in wages. How convenient.
Meanwhile, we see the percentage of Americans who are actually working also plummeting downward, to a 30-year low. The collapse in wages has been accompanied by a collapse in employment levels. Combined, it translates into a collapse in consumer purchasing power of well in excess of 50%.
The great Economic Myth (naturally perpetuated by the U.S. government) is that “the world can’t live without” the American Consumer. The truth is that the rest of the world has been gradually learning how to live without the American consumer for the past 40 years, as the American consumer is literally less than half what he used to be. The real-and-obvious question instead is how will the U.S.’s consumer economy be able to survive the Death of the U.S. Consumer?… via Economy: The U.S. Retail Collapse Accelerates ETF DAILY NEWS.
Can you manage your money? A personal finance quiz.
Are you financially literate enough to manage your own money? Teenagers say less than half of their families have had a discussion about money management, according to a 2011 Junior Achievement/Allstate Foundation survey. Another poll by Yahoo Finance found that 37 percent of adults have no retirement savings, and 38 percent plan to live off Social Security after retirement. When it comes to making good decisions about money, are you a beginner, a financial whiz, or somewhere in-between? Take the quiz to find out.
If Raoul Pal was some doomsday spouting windbag, writing in all caps, arbitrarily pasting together disparate charts to create 200 page slideshows, it would be easy to ignore him. He isn’t. The founder of Global Macro Investor “previously co-managed the GLG Global Macro Fund in London for GLG Partners, one of the largest hedge fund groups in the world. Raoul came to GLG from Goldman Sachs where he co-managed the hedge fund sales business in Equities and Equity Derivatives in Europe… Raoul Pal retired from managing client money in 2004 at the age of 36 and now lives on the Valencian coast of Spain, from where he writes.” It is his writing we are concerned about, and specifically his latest presentation, which is, for lack of a better word, the most disturbing and scary forecast of the future of the world we have ever seen….
And we see a lot of those.
Consider this: Continue reading
Alternate Inflation Charts. The CPI chart … reflects our estimate of inflation for today as if it were calculated the same way it was in 1990. The CPI on the Alternate Data Series tab here reflects the CPI as if it were calculated using the methodologies in place in 1980. In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living…
Year in, year out, Washington bestows tuition aid on students and their families. Year in, year out, the cost of tuition surges, galloping well ahead of inflation. And year in, year out, politicians vie to outdo each other in promising still more public subsidies that will keep higher education within reach of all. Does it never occur to them that there might be a cause-and-effect relationship between the skyrocketing aid and the skyrocketing price of a college education? That all those grants and loans and tax credits aren’t containing the fire, but fanning it?
… Cash is created out of thin air by the central bank of the country which is often privately owned. The central bank can just have it printed for the cost of printing, by the government or privately. The central bank then uses this cash it creates out of thin air to buy interest-bearing public debt in the form of government bonds.Government debt is perpetual and thus interest paid on it is perpetual. Therefore a good definition of cash might be: evidence of public debt on which taxpayers will be paying interest forever…
We are being throttled by the Big Lie: we’re told that if the predatory financial system implodes, we’ll all be ruined. The opposite is true: the only way to save our economy is to let the corrupt, pathological and flawed financial system implode….
Overview The Consumer Price Index CPI for all food increased 0.8 percent between 2009 and 2010 and is forecast to increase 3.5 to 4.5 percent in 2011.
• Consumer and Wholesale Inflation Jumped in September
• September’s Annual Inflation: 3.9% (CPI-U), 4.4% (CPI-W), 11.5% (SGS)
• Annual PPI Inflation Hits 6.9% in September
“Consumers paid more for food and gas last month, although inflation outside those volatile categories was tame. The Labor Department says the Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent in September, below a 0.4 percent rise in August. Excluding food and energy, so-called core prices increased 0.1 percent, the smallest rise since March.
Inflation has worsened this year, after the cost of oil, grains and other commodities spiked in the spring. But economists expect price increases to moderate in the coming months as weak growth lowers commodity prices…” via Consumers paid more for food, gas in September – Yahoo! Finance.