Posts Tagged ‘real economy’

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

2009: The Year Wall Street Bounced Back and Main Street Got Shafted

Courtesy of Robert Reich, of Robert Reich’s Blog

Mature businessman dancing along street with briefcase and umbrella

In September 2008, as the worst of the financial crisis engulfed Wall Street, George W. Bush issued a warning: "This sucker could go down." Around the same time, as Congress hashed out a bailout bill, New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, the leading Republican negotiator of the bill, warned that "if we do not do this, the trauma, the chaos and the disruption to everyday Americans’ lives will be overwhelming, and that’s a price we can’t afford to risk paying."

In less than a year, Wall Street was back. The five largest remaining banks are today larger, their executives and traders richer, their strategies of placing large bets with other people’s money no less bold than before the meltdown. The possibility of new regulations emanating from Congress has barely inhibited the Street’s exuberance.

But if Wall Street is back on top, the everyday lives of large numbers of Americans continue to be subject to overwhelming trauma, chaos and disruption.

View of town's main street with mountains in the distance

It is commonplace among policymakers to fervently and sincerely believe that Wall Street’s financial health is not only a precondition for a prosperous real economy but that when the former thrives, the latter will necessarily follow. Few fictions of modern economic life are more assiduously defended than the central importance of the Street to the well-being of the rest of us, as has been proved in 2009.

Inhabitants of the real economy are dependent on the financial economy to borrow money. But their overwhelming reliance on Wall Street is a relatively recent phenomenon. Back when middle-class Americans earned enough to be able to save more of their incomes, they borrowed from one another, largely through local and regional banks. Small businesses also did.

It’s easy to understand economic policymakers being seduced by the great flows of wealth created among Wall Streeters, from whom they invariably seek advice. One of the basic assumptions of capitalism is that anyone paid huge sums of money must be very smart.

But if 2009 has proved anything, it’s that the bailout of Wall Street didn’t trickle down to Main Street. Mortgage delinquencies continue to rise. Small businesses can’t get credit. And people everywhere, it seems, are worried about losing their…
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YRCW: NO SUSTAINED ECONOMIC RECOVERY

YRCW: NO SUSTAINED ECONOMIC RECOVERY

YRCWCourtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

YRC WorldWide is tanking over 50% on bankruptcy speculation.  The large trucking company has been entangled in brutal labor renegotiation’s and is at the heart of the economic downturn with their highly economically sensitive transport based business.

On Friday the company reported a $158.7MM loss which was followed up by a debt exchange announcement this morning.  Investors are growing increasingly concerned that the announcement could result in an eventual Chapter 11 filing.  Although the company is having cost difficulties (primarily labor related) the weakness at the company is primarily economically related.  On the conference call CEO Bill Zollars detailed the economic struggles which we continue to see across the entire real economy.  His comments would be most unwelcome to anyone who has bought into the recent stock market surge which is now not only very expensive, but pricing in very optimistic economic and earnings growth in 2010:

“The operating environment remains very challenging as we continue to face a difficult economy that appears to have stabilized, but is not showing any signs of sustained positive momentum.  We remain cautiously optimistic that the economy has bottomed out, but it remains too early to know for sure.  We’re not anticipating any growth in the economy for the remainder of this year and at least for the first half of next year.”

I think it’s safe to say that the stimulus based recovery is almost entirely non-organic.  Without further aid from the government and the Federal Reserve this liquidity driven market is likely staring at a very difficult road ahead, if not the dreaded double dip.

 


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How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance’s Five Fatal Flaws

Here’s an excellent, must-read article by William K. Black.  Special thanks to New Deal 2.0. - Ilene

How the Servant Became a Predator: Finance’s Five Fatal Flaws

By Bill Black, Courtesy of New Deal 2.0

money-shark-150 - preditor stateRoosevelt Institute Braintruster William K. Black explains how the finance economy preys on the real economy instead of serving it. He shows how both have become dysfunctional and warns that we must not neglect the real economy — the source of our jobs, our incomes, and the creator of goods and services — as we focus on financial reform.

What exactly is the function of the financial sector in our society? Simply this: Its sole function is supplying capital efficiently to aid the real economy. The financial sector is a tool to help those that make real tools, not an end in itself. But five fatal flaws in the financial sector’s current structure have created a monster that drains the real economy, promotes fraud and corruption, threatens democracy, and causes recurrent, intensifying crises.

1. The financial sector harms the real economy.

Even when not in crisis, the financial sector harms the real economy. First, it is vastly too large. The finance sector is an intermediary — essentially a “middleman”. Like all middlemen, it should be as small as possible, while still being capable of accomplishing its mission. Otherwise it is inherently parasitical. Unfortunately, it is now vastly larger than necessary, dwarfing the real economy it is supposed to serve. Forty years ago, our real economy grew better with a financial sector that received one-twentieth as large a percentage of total profits (2%) than does the current financial sector (40%). The minimum measure of how much damage the bloated, grossly over-compensated finance sector causes to the real economy is this massive increase in the share of total national income wasted through the finance sector’s parasitism.

Second, the finance sector is worse than parasitic. In the title of his recent book, The Predator State, James Galbraith aptly names the problem. The financial sector functions as the sharp canines that the predator state uses to rend the nation. In addition to siphoning off capital for its own benefit, the finance sector misallocates the remaining capital in ways that harm the real economy in order to reward already-rich financial elites harming the nation. The facts are alarming:

• Corporate stock repurchases…
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THE RECESSION IN RAIL TRAFFIC CONTINUES….

THE RECESSION IN RAIL TRAFFIC CONTINUES….

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

The recession in railroads continues unabated.  This is likely the surest proof we have that Ben is simply reflating the bubble while the real economy continues to flounder.  Carloadings were down 17.2% year over year and intermodal traffic declined 15.7%.   On the positive side, it’s quite clear that rail traffic has stabilized and doesn’t continue to decline, however, the robust recovery that equities and other markets have priced in is completely non-existent in the rail data.  The weakness was broad across all segments of the economy.  The weakness was particularly apparent in metals and forest which could be a sign that the recent weakness in housing and lumber prices is a trend:

rails2

The AAR reports:

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 8, 2009 — The Association of American Railroads today reported that for the week ended Oct. 3, 2009, rail traffic continues to reflect the down economy – originating 277,734 carloads, down 17.2 percent compared with the same week in 2008. All of the 19 carload freight commodity groups were down from the same week last year, with declines ranging from 2.7 percent for chemicals to 53.2 percent for metallic ores.

Intermodal traffic of 206,293 trailers or containers on U.S. railroads was down 15.7 percent from the same week last year. Container volume fell 10 percent and trailer volume dropped 37 percent.

Regionally, carloads were down 16.4 percent in the West and 18.3 percent in the East. For the first 39 weeks of 2009, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 10,381,905 carloads, down 18.1 percent from 2008; 7,347,299 trailers or containers, down 16.8 percent, and total volume of an estimated 1.11 trillion ton-miles, down 17.3 percent. Total volume on U.S. railroads for the week ending October 3 was estimated at 29.7 billion ton-miles, off 16.6 percent from the same week last year.

rails1

Source: Railfax, AAR

 


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ValueWalk

Lynch, Bezos, Capital Allocation And Dividend Investing

By Sure Dividend. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Sure Dividend’s goal is to reach as many people as possible about the advantages of investing in high quality dividend growth stocks for the long run.

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Zero Hedge

Only 73% OF Americans Are "Likely To Adhere To The Law"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Many factors influence how effectively a government is able to uphold the rule of law and some of them include access to courts, lack of corruption, effective policing and institutional competence.

While some governments are able to combine these efficiently, resulting in strong adherence to the law, Statista's Niall McCarthy notes that others tend to struggle...



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Chart School

Rallies Slow As Semiconductors Tag Resistance

Courtesy of Declan.

Friday saw the indices close near the lows of the day as Semiconductors tagged resistance and its 20-day MA. Supporting technicals offered a mix of bullish and bearish markets but shorts have their opportunity with a stop above 1,334.


The S&P edged a close above the bullish mid-line in stochastics along with a 'buy' in On-Balance-Volume. However, the index also experienced a relative loss against Small Caps as it struggles to attract new buyers.

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Digital Currencies

As Bitcoin Nears $11,000, Here's A History Of Its Biggest Ups And Downs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The cryptocurrency rebound off Feb 5th's bloodbath lows (below $6,000 for Bitcoin) has been impressive, as a 'mysterious' massive buyer 'bought the dip' and momentum took care of the rest.

With Bitcoin now nearing $11,000 (almost a double off the lows), ...



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Insider Scoop

Walmart, Target Are Susquehanna's Top Picks Ahead Of Retail Earnings Season

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related WMT Upcoming Earnings: Hurricane Effects Still Trickling Through For Home Depot? Did Walmart Meet It...

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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

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

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Morten Wendelbo, Texas A&M University and Timothy Callaghan, ...



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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 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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Promotions

NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

 

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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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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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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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