Posts Tagged ‘budget deficit’

Poor Planning On Your Part Doesn’t Not Constitute a Fiscal Emergency On My Part, California

Poor Planning On Your Part Doesn’t Not Constitute a Fiscal Emergency On My Part, California

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

While California legislators are busy patting themselves on the back for breaking the gridlock that set world records for the longest a state has gone without an official budget (the word "budget" in government accounting terms being a joke in and of itself), it is important to point out that their "solutions" are really just costly magic tricks that manipulate the accounting to create an illusion of a fix.

Case in point, the good old "sale leaseback" trick. 

LA Times:

The budget deficit would also be closed partly by selling an array of state properties and buildings, many of which the state will subsequently lease back . The sales are projected to generate more than $1 billion, the sources said.

Some of the deficit would be wiped out on paper but could quickly rematerialize. Legislators have said they will fill $1.4 billion of the budget gap by replacing the administration’s revenue projections with those of the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, which are more optimistic.

Billions more of the deficit would be handled with expectations of financial help from Washington, but the state has no control over whether those funds will arrive. More than $3 billion more would be borrowed from other state funds.

To recap:

Using better numbers than the first set of numbers = $1.4 billion
Selling PP&E to be leased back = $1 billion upfront (doesn’t mention how much it will cost us in the long run to lease the crap back)
Handouts from Obama = a couple billion

So glad to see accounting fraud has been completely legitimized.


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The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

The Road to World War III – The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to Play

By David DeGraw (h/t ZH)

The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

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Editor’s Note: The following is Part I to David DeGraw’s new book, “The Road Through 2012: Revolution or World War III.” This is the second installment to a new seven-part series that we will be posting throughout the next few weeks. You can read the introduction to the book here. To be notified via email of new postings from this series, subscribe here.

I: Economic Imperial Operations

The Road to World War III - The Global Banking Cartel Has One Card Left to PlayWhen we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers,…
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The Ecstasy of Empire

The Ecstasy of Empire

Courtesy of PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS writing at CounterPunch

Clock Striking 12 O'clock

The United States is running out of time to get its budget and trade deficits under control. Despite the urgency of the situation, 2010 has been wasted in hype about a non-existent recovery. As recently as August 2 Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner penned a New York Times column, “Welcome to the Recovery.”

As John Williams (shadowstats.com) has made clear on many occasions, an appearance of recovery was created by over-counting employment and undercounting inflation. Warnings by Williams, Gerald Celente, and myself have gone unheeded, but our warnings recently had echoes from Boston University professor Laurence Kotlikoff and from David Stockman, who excoriated the Republican Party for becoming big-spending Democrats.

It is encouraging to see some realization that, this time, Washington cannot spend the economy out of recession. The deficits are already too large for the dollar to survive as reserve currency, and deficit spending cannot put Americans back to work in jobs that have been moved offshore. 

However, the solutions offered by those who are beginning to recognize that there is a problem are discouraging. Kotlikoff thinks the solution is savage Social Security and Medicare cuts or equally savage tax increases or hyperinflation to destroy the vast debts. 

Perhaps economists lack imagination, or perhaps they don’t want to be cut off from Wall Street and corporate subsidies, but Social Security and Medicare are insufficient at their present levels, especially considering the erosion of private pensions by the dot com, derivative and real estate bubbles. Cuts in Social Security and Medicare, for which people have paid 15 per cent of their earnings all their lives, would result in starvation and deaths from curable diseases. 

Tax increases make even less sense. It is widely acknowledged that the majority of households cannot survive on one job. Both husband and wife work and often one of the partners has two jobs in order to make ends meet. Raising taxes makes it harder to make ends meet--thus more foreclosures, more food stamps, more homelessness. What kind of economist or humane person thinks this is a solution?

Tax forms with money

Ah, but we will tax the rich. The rich have enough money. They will simply stop earning.

Let’s get real.  Here is what the government is likely to do.  Once Washington realizes that the dollar is…
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David Rosenberg Vindicated

David Rosenberg Vindicated

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From today’s Breakfast with Rosie

NOT IN KANSAS ANY MORE

Well, it took some patience but it looks like the economic environment I was depicting this time last year just shortly after I joined GS+A is starting to play out. Deflation risks are prevailing and a growing acknowledgment over the lack of sustainability regarding the nascent economic recovery. Extreme fragility and volatility is what one should expect in a post-bubble credit collapse and asset inflation that we endured back in 2008 and part of 2009.

History is replete with enough examples of this — balance sheet recessions are different animals than traditional inventory recessions, and the transition to the next sustainable economic expansion, and bull market (the operative word being sustainability) in these types of cycles take between 5 to 10 years and are fraught with periodic setbacks. I know this sounds a bit dire, but little has changed from where we were a year ago. To be sure, we had a tremendous short-covering and a government induced equity market rally on our hands and it’s really nothing more than a commentary on human nature that so many people rely on what the stock market is doing at any moment in time to base their conclusions on what the economic landscape is going to look like.

So, we had a huge bounce off the lows, but we had a similar bounce off the lows in 1930. The equity market was up something like 50% in the opening months of 1930, and while I am sure there was euphoria at the time that the worst of the recession and the contraction in credit was over, it’s interesting to see today that nobody talks about the great runup of 1930 even though it must have hurt not to have participated in that wonderful rally. Instead, when we talk about 1930 today, the images that are conjured up are hardly very joyous.

I’m not saying that we are into something that is entirely like the 1930s. But at the same time, we’re not in Kansas any more; if Kansas is the type of economic recoveries and market performances we came to understand in the context of a post-World War II era where we had a secular credit expansion, youthful boomers heading into their formative working and spending years and all the economic activity that…
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Japan Redux: A Video Case Study Of The Upcoming U.S. Lost Decade

Interesting video--argues for eventual hyperinflation in the US. – Ilene

Japan Redux: A Video Case Study Of The Upcoming U.S. Lost Decade

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Whether one believes in inflation or deflation, one thing is certain: in many ways the current US experience finds numerous parallels to what has been happening in Japan for not one but two decades. While major economic, sociological and financial differences do exist, the key issue remains each respective central bank’s failed attempts to reflate its economy. While long a mainstay of Japan, if the first failed version of our own QE, which pumped $1.7 trillion of new liquidity into the system, is any indication, future comparable efforts by our own Fed will be met with the same outcome (and hopefully with the same political result: the half life of an average Japanese prime minister is 6 months – if only our career politicos knew their tenure in office could be capped at half a year…).

There is of course the "tipping point" optionality discussed earlier by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, when comparing the hyperinflationary timeline during the Weimar republic, which noted that it took just a few months for the economy to slide from a period of price stability to outright hyperinflation. Either way, for an ironic look at the Japanese deflation scenario, targeted more at novices although everyone will likely learning something from it, we present the following informative clip from, ironically, the National Inflation Association, which asks whether Japan is a blueprint for America’s imminent lost decade(s). 


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The ECB Blasts Governmental Fear-Based Racketeering, Questions Keynesianism, Believes The Fed’s Powers Are Overestimated

The ECB Blasts Governmental Fear-Based Racketeering, Questions Keynesianism, Believes The Fed’s Powers Are Overestimated

Courtesy of Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

Altagamma Congress - 2009 Scenarios

In what could one day be seen by historians as a seminal speech presented before the Paul Volcker-chaired Group of Thirty’s 63rd Plenary Session in Rabat, the ECB’s Lorenzo Bini Smaghi had two messages: a prosaic, and very much expected one: of unity and cohesion, if at least in perception if not in deed, as well as an extremely unexpected one, in which the first notable discords at the very peak of the power echelons, are finally starting to leak into the public domain. It is in the latter part that Bini Smaghi takes on a very aggressive stance against not only the so-called "inflation tax", or the purported ability of central bankers to inflate their way out of any problem, but also slams the recently prevalent phenomenon of fear-mongering by the banking and political elite, which has become the goto strategy over the past two years whenever the banking class has needed to pass a policy over popular discontent. The ECB member takes a direct stab at the Fed’s perceived monetary policy inflexibility and US fiscal imprudence, and implicitly observes that while the market is focusing on Europe due to its monetary policy quandary, it should be far more obsessed with the US. Bini Smaghi also fires a warning shot that ongoing divergence between the ECB and Germany will not be tolerated. Most notably, a member of a central bank makes it very clear that he is no longer a devout believer in that fundamental, and false, central banking religion – Keynesianism.

First, a quick read through the "prosaic" sections of Bini Smaghi’s letter.

Bini Smaghi, who is a member of the executive board of the ECB, has a primary obligation to defend the ECB’s public image in this time of weakness and complete lack of credibility. And so he does. When discussing the ECB’s response to the Greek fiasco and contagion, he is steadfast that the response, although delayed and volatile, was the right one. Furthermore, he claims that the hard path Europe has set on is the right one, as it will ultimately right all the fiscal wrongs, even without the benefit of individual monetary intervention. Ultimately, the ECB is convinced that not letting Greece fail, either in the…
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US Posts Its 19th Straight Monthly Budget Deficit

US Posts Its 19th Straight Monthly Budget Deficit

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Surely this does not come as a shock to anyone.

Reuters:

The United States posted an $82.69 billion deficit in April, nearly four times the $20.91 billion shortfall registered in April 2009 and the largest on record for that month, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

It was more than twice the $40-billion deficit that Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast and was striking since April marks the filing deadline for individual income taxes that are the main source of government revenue.

Department officials said that in prior years, there was a surplus during April in 43 out of the past 56 years.

Remember, Social Security should have its own fund of around $2 trillion but instead has a stack of IOUs in the form of US Treasurys and no money.

Business Week:

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, in a report issued May 10, projected an April deficit of $85 billion. “The decline in non-withheld individual income tax receipts and the increase in individual refunds were partly offset by higher revenues from other sources,” the CBO said in the report.

Revenue and other income fell 7.9 percent to $245.3 billion in April from $266.2 billion the same month last year, the Treasury said.

Corporate tax receipts totaled $77.1 billion for the year to date, an increase of 8.9 percent. Individual income tax collections were down 11.6 percent so far this fiscal year to $500.8 billion.

Spending for the entire government for April jumped 14.2 percent from the same month a year earlier to $328 billion.

Outlays by the Social Security Administration rose to $437.7 billion for the fiscal year to date. Spending by the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the Medicare and Medicaid programs, rose to $504 billion.

The question now is how the hell we can dig our way out of this hole. The easy answer (without wasting years pursuing a Masters in econ) is we can’t. If you’ve ever been buried in debt, you understand how difficult it is to ever right your financial situation once you’re in over your head. The government seems to believe that normal rules don’t apply because of that whole world reserve currency thing but I imagine there will come a point when the world will…
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Bernanke Is Getting Scared….

Bernanke Is Getting Scared….

ben bernankeCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

You have to love this sort of utter claptrap…

“Achieving long-term fiscal sustainability will be difficult, but the costs of failing to do so could be very high,” Bernanke said in remarks prepared for a speech today to a White House commission on the budget deficit. “Increasing levels of government debt relative to the size of the economy can lead to higher interest rates, which inhibit capital formation and productivity growth — and might even put the current economic recovery at risk.”

Really Ben?

We need to review a few graphs again.

Let’s start with this one:

This is the true deficit, measured simply by the amount of Treasury debt (including intergovernmental games) outstanding.

Of note is that it has never decreased materially since 2001.

Why is this important?  Because every dollar that the government borrows and spends is one dollar that pulls forward demand from tomorrow and spends it today.

This game continues, as it did in the housing market, right up until you can’t get any more credit to do it with. 

But more importantly as you put forward this sort of distortion in the market the economy becomes habituated to that deficit spending and incorporates it into GDP!

This then turns that deficit spending into a mandate on an ongoing basis lest you have a recession – or worse.

Now let’s look at how big that distortion has become, as a percentage of GDP:

This is where your problem begins.  While government deficits have varied over time, during the 2000 decade…
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School Crisis In Nevada; Governor Seeks To Cancel Collective Bargaining With Schools Because The State Is Broke

School Crisis In Nevada; Governor Seeks To Cancel Collective Bargaining With Schools Because The State Is Broke

Courtesy of Mish

USA, Nevada, Las Vegas, The Strip at dusk, elevated view

Nevada has an $881 million budget deficit and drastic cuts are on the horizon for education. Governor Gibbons is investigating options of canceling collective bargaining agreements with school districts. Unfortunately that maneuver is likely illegal.

State revenue shortfall $881 million

It’s official. The state government revenue shortfall that legislators and the governor must eliminate through spending cuts later this month is $881 million.

State Budget Director Andrew Clinger said today that the shortfall has been formally calculated at $881.4 million, which would necessitate a 20.2 percent cut in state spending between March and June 30, 2011.

Legislators so far have not said where they want to reduce spending. They are scheduled to meet with Gibbons’ staff later today, when they will be given the governor’s proposed list of cuts.

So far, Gibbons has announced publicly he will support no more than a 6 percent cut in state employee salaries, a 10 percent reduction in public education spending, and layoffs of 300 state employees. He also wants to temporarily suspend collective bargaining rights for school employees and to close the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.

Gibbons aims for 10 percent in school cuts  

Gov. Jim Gibbons said Tuesday he hopes to cut state appropriations to public schools by 10 percent as he seeks to reduce state spending by $900 million between March and June 30, 2011.

Anticipating the need to roll back the salaries of teachers and other K-12 school employees in the face of declining revenues, he has ordered his lawyers to determine whether he can temporarily suspend by executive order the collective bargaining agreements with unions that bind school districts to pay specific salaries and benefits.

Lynn Warne, president of the Nevada State Education Association, said Gibbons cannot under state law suspend collective bargaining.

She noted that in the collective bargaining law (Nevada Revised Statute 288.150) local governments can suspend this right only "in situations of emergency, such as a riot, military action, natural disaster or civil disorder."

And collective bargaining can be suspended only for the duration of the emergency, according to the law.

"I suppose you can do almost anything in an emergency," said Tobias, a former professor at the Boyd School of Law in Las


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News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

GOLDMAN SACHS: Hedge funds are betting billions that these 18 stocks are doomed (Business Insider)

Hedge funds have had a great year picking stocks. But there's a dark underbelly to their investment activity that involves betting on companies to falter.

Moody's downgrades Hong Kong credit rating after China cut (Fox News World)

Moody's decision to cut its credit rating for Hong Kong soon after downgrading its ...



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Zero Hedge

Has The Drug War Incentivized Police To Treat Citizens Like Terrorists?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Duane Norman via Free Market Shooter blog,

A video of a Florida Sheriff making a promo video to scare has been making the rounds recently.  Casey Research recently covered the affair, noting the following quote f...



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ValueWalk

Boost Your Retirement Savings

By The Sovereign Investor. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Kids don’t understand money. They don’t understand how to save it, how to spend it or how to stay out of money trouble.

According to data released by the Program for International Student Assessment, more than a fifth of U.S. teens lack basic financial literary skills.

Photo by stevepb (Pixabay)

In fact, Chinese students are ranked as the most financially literate teens, followed by Belgium and Canada. American teens ranked seventh overall in the assessment of science, reading and mathematics.

This lack of knowledge is go...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrency Chaos: Bitcoin Bounces Back After Crashing As Asian Fever Re-Emerges

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

After crashing $500 from its intraday highs today, Bitcoin has bounced back $300 off its intraday lows extending gains into what is likely to be another frenetic Asian session. While there are numerous drivers of the recent action, 'scaling' and 'asian fever' are the greatest factors with Japanese and Korean premia exploding.

Of course in context today's intraday drop is de minimus...

...

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Chart School

S&P Breakout on Higher Volume Accumulation

Courtesy of Declan.

While I expected the Dow Jones to be the breakout flyer, instead it was the S&P which led the charge on higher volume accumulation.  Technicals are all in the green with a return of the MACD trigger 'buy'.



The Dow did manage to break past 21,000 with a MACD trigger 'buy' but it's still contained by all-time high resistance at 21,200. The index is still well positioned for a larger breakout, but this is the sixth day of consecutive gains for the index so some pullback can be expe...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

OPEC Boss Embraces Shift to Top Diplomat (The Wall Street Journal)

During a turbulent year for oil prices, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ top official, Mohammad Barkindo, has embraced a role as the global energy industry’s chief diplomat.

Eurozone ‘still fragile’ despite growth spurt, warns European Central Bank (The Telegraph)

Europe’s sovereign debt crisis might seem like a distant memory as the eurozone economy ...



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Members' Corner

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Interesting discussion of what affects our behavior. 

Description: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Filmed April 2017 at TED 2017

 

p.s. Roger (on Facebook) saw this talk and recommends the book ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of May 22nd, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Biotech

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Courtesy of Ian HaydonUniversity of Washington

Precision editing DNA allows for some amazing applications. Ian Haydon, CC BY-ND

There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR.

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene e...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:

Democr...



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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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