Posts Tagged ‘big government’

New Job Opportunity – Spitting at the Moon

New Job Opportunity – Spitting at the Moon

Courtesy of Mish 

moon

In multiple posts Paul Krugman is saying "I told you so". For example, please consider Nobody Could Have Predicted

Pictures support the view that stimulus worked as long as it lasted, boosting the economy — which is the same conclusion Adam Posen drew from Japan’s experience in the 1990s: Fiscal policy works when it is tried.

But the stimulus wasn’t nearly big enough to restore full employment — as I warned from the beginning. And it was set up to fade out in the second half of 2010.

So what was supposed to happen? The invisible cavalry were supposed to ride to the rescue.

I never understood why the Obama administration thought this would happen so soon; history tells us that the effects of a financial crisis on private spending are normally protracted. And sure enough, the cavalry has not arrived.

Stimulus and Full Employment

The idea we can stimulate the economy to full employment is about as silly as silly gets. Krugman wanted double the stimulus we got. Well, we got zero benefit unemployment-wise from the stimulus and in my book infinity times zero is still zero.

Yes, unemployment fell from 10.1% to 9.5% but all of that decrease, if not more than all of that decrease, was a result of a falling participation rate. The bottom line is neither the Fed increasing its balance sheet by $trillions nor a $1.4 trillion deficit did a thing to lower unemployment.

Of course the Keynesian clowns will holler things would have been worse in the absence of stimulus. Really?! Would banks be lending more? Would small businesses be hiring?

Full Employment Made Easy

Krugman wants full employment. I suppose the government could easily employ everyone who does not have a job. Then again, didn’t we effectively do just that?

Here is a snip from "Contained Depression" that suggests we did.

We are certainly in a depression. However, 40 million people on food stamps as of August 2010, masks that depression. The cost of the food stamp program is on schedule to exceed $60 billion in fiscal 2010. For comparison purposes, there was just over 11 million on food stamps in 2005.

Please note there are 14.6 million unemployed, but of them 4.5 million of them are receiving regular unemployment


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Nothing Was Sacred: The Theft of the American Dream

Jesse wrote a terrific opening post for Phil’s Weekend article and popular R.E.M. song "It’s The End of the World as We Know It." - Ilene 

Nothing Was Sacred: The Theft of the American Dream

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

America must decide what type of country it wishes to be, and then conform public and foreign policy to those ends, and not the other way around. Politicians have no right to subjugate the constitutional process of government to any foreign organization.

Secrecy, except in very select military matters, is repugnant to the health of a democratic government, and is almost always a means to conceal a fraud. Corporations are not people, and do not have the rights of individuals as such.

Banks are utilities for the rational allocation of capital created by savings, and as utilities deserve special protections. All else is speculation and gambling. In banking, simpler and more stable is better. Low cost rules, as excessive financialisation is a pernicious tax on the real economy.

Financial speculation, as opposed to entrepreneurial investment, creates little value, serving largely to transfer wealth from the many to the few, often by exploiting the weak, and corrupting the law. It does serve to identify and correct market inefficiencies, but this benefit is vastly overrated, because those are quickly eliminated. As such it should be allowed, but tightly regulated and highly taxed as a form of gambling.

When the oligarchy’s enablers, hired help is the politer word, and assorted useful idiots ask, "But how then will we do this or that?" ask them back, "How did we do it twenty years ago?" Before the financial revolution and the descent into a bubble economy and a secretive and largely corrupted government with a GDP whose primary product is fraud.

Other nations, such as China, are surely acting for their own interests, and in many cases the interests of their people, much more diligently and effectively than the kleptocrats who are in power in Washington and New York these days. How then could we possibly subvert the Constitution and the welfare of the people to unelected foreign organizations? If this requires a greater reliance on self-sufficiency, then so be it. America is large enough to see to its own, as the others see to theirs.

Economics will not provide any answers in and of itself. Economics without an a priori policy and morality, without a guiding principle…
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Never Let the Threat of a Manufactured Crisis Go to Waste

Never Let the Threat of a Manufactured Crisis Go to Waste

Courtesy of Mark Thoma, Economist’s View 

There’s been a lot of speculation about the motives of the Austerians — those who want to begin balancing budgets now because they believe that’s what markets want. For example, Paul Krugman attributes it, in part, to

moralizing and posturing. Germans tend to think of running deficits as being morally wrong, while balancing budgets is considered virtuous, never mind the … economic logic. “The last few hours were a singular show of strength,” declared Angela Merkel … after a special cabinet meeting agreed on the austerity plan. And showing strength — or what is perceived as strength — is what it’s all about.

But there is another argument based upon the notion of "never let a crisis — or the manufactured threat of one — go to waste." This is an opportunity to "starve the European Beast" in the eyes of many European conservatives, and there are those who are using the "that’s what markets want" argument as cover for an ideological agenda:

The spectre of laissez-faire stalks Britain, by Jeremy Seabrook, CIF: The relish with which David Cameron announced that our whole way of life would be affected for years by impending cuts, and no one in the land would be exempt from the asperities about to be inflicted, suggested to many that he and his fellow cabinet-millionaires will probably weather the coming storm better than the rest of us.

His parade of Margaret Thatcher, who resembled nothing so much as a faded kabuki performer, outside 10 Downing Street, was also highly symbolic. It was a redemptive moment, the "ultimate" triumph of policies she advocated (but did not entirely follow) 30 years ago. It exhibited the qualities of purification ritual, reversion to a more severe form of capitalism; and in the process a transformation of nanny state into stepmother state.

Nick Clegg’s pious assertion that cuts would be fair and compassionate was at odds with Cameron’s gusto, which is familiar enough in Conservative rhetoric: Cameron confronting an overweening state, which will be shrunk so the private sector might flourish once more. When he said the effects of his policies would be felt for decades to come, he meant something more than a mere diminution of the structural deficit. He admitted as much… 

While cutting back big government may appear a


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Our Bigger Better (?) Government

Our Bigger Better (?) Government

Courtesy of Tom Lindmark, But Then What

Keith Hennessey has a series of charts that put today’s budget announcements in perspective. If you have a moment I suggest you click over to review them. The one below is in my opinion the most important of the set that he produced.

obama-budget-2011-spending

A lot of the talk today has centered on the size of future deficits. It’s an important topic but not the most important. If you believe as Hennessey does and as I do that the size of the budget and its relationship to the size of the economy is what ultimately matters then this chart is what you need to focus upon. Ultimately, the real impact is the size of the bite that the government intends to put on the economy, not whether they raise the funds to do so via taxes or borrowing. Regardless of where the money comes from, it represents a diversion away from the productivity of the private sector and into the public coffers.

As you can see, the Obama budget is substantially above the budget he submitted in 2010 and represents what would appear to be a permanent increase in the percent of the pie that will be taken to fund future expenditures. Perhaps more to the point, it breaks away significantly from historical norms. The implications of such an expansion of federal spending at the expense of the private sector are largely unknown.

We know from experience that the budget proposal we have seen today is only a starting point. Congress will no doubt add substantially to the baseline and natural disasters, national defense, and all manner of other unforeseen events will drive the numbers higher.

I harbor little hope that either Republicans or Democrats have the will or for that matter the inclination to rein in this expansion of government. It’s pretty much a done deal and all of us will most likely be poorer for it.


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Phil's Favorites

Brexit: the last time MPs were given indicative votes to break a deadlock, they failed

 

Brexit: the last time MPs were given indicative votes to break a deadlock, they failed

Deadlocked. Pajor Pawel/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Martin Farr, Newcastle University

One of the many ironies thrown up in the course of Brexit has been just how controversial attempts by parliament – the UK’s supreme constitutional authority – to take back control have been.

First, MPs insisted on holding a “meaningful vote” on the government’s draft Brexit deal. Then they insisted that the prime minister must return to parliament within three days with a new plan after they ...



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Zero Hedge

IBM Jumps On Guidance Boost Despite Revenue Slide, Massive Addbacks, Bizarre Tax Rate

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

IBM is back to its revenue declining, non-GAAP-EPS-beating-through-low-tax-gimmick ways.

With Wall Street expecting IBM to report (non-GAAP) EPS of $4.82 in Q4, the company "beat" by the tiniest of margins, reporting non-GAAP, adjusted EPS of $4.87, a 5% drop from last year.

So far so good, but as usual, there was a gaping difference between GAAP and non-GAAP, and in this case it was more than double, with the company reporting a paltry $2.15 in GAAP EPS, more than 50% below the Non-GAAP number. ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P and Crude both testing key breakout levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The correlation between Crude Oil and the S&P 500 has been rather high over the last 100-days, as each looks to have peaked at the same time around the 1st of October at (1).

After peaking together in October, Crude fell over 40% and the S&P nearly declined 20%, with both bottoming on Christmas Eve at each (2).

Both have experienced counter-trend rallies since the lows, as Crude is up 23% and the S&P 13%.

These rallies have both testing dual resist...



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Insider Scoop

Cowen Suits Up With Nike, Looks To Outperform

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related NKE Consumer Discretionary Q4 Earnings: U.S. Consumer Appears Strong Amid Heightened Global Uncertainty Golf Equipmen...

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 20, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

After entering the week quite overbought, indexes took a small retreat Monday before hurling back upwards.  This is typical of the “V” shaped moves up after any significant selloff, we’ve seen most of the past decade and watching them unfurl is quite amazing actually.  Thought maybe this time would be “different” but not so much.  So two week’s ago we asked “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problem in 1 speech?” – and thus far the market has answered resoundingly yes.  The word of the year thus far in 2019 is “patience” as that simple insert into a speech change the whole complexion of everything.

China has also been busy stimulating; on Tuesday:

An announcement from the People’s Bank of China that ...



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ValueWalk

Everyone Else Is Selling Stocks, So Is It Time To Buy?

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

After a difficult few trading days in the beginning of the year, U.S. stocks are bouncing back with meaningful gains on Monday following Friday’s strong rally. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 were all up by more than half a percent by midday. It looks like investors could be taking advantage of the end-of-the-year declines, but is this a wise time to be buying?

Trying to time the bottom of the market will almost always be a fool’s errand, but one firm suggests equities could have much farther to fall before they hit bottom in 2019.

...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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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

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

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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.

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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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