Posts Tagged ‘Summers’

Roubini, Summers and Obama: Duh

Roubini, Summers and Obama: Duh

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Day 2

Out of Davos come two opinions that Bloomberg (and others) have spun as arguing for "continuing stimulus efforts":

“The headline number will look large and big, but actually when you dissect it, it’s very dismal and poor,” Roubini said in a Jan. 30 Bloomberg Television interview following a U.S. Commerce Department report that showed economic expansion of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter. “I think we are in trouble.”

Roubini said more than half of the growth was related to a replenishing of depleted inventories and that consumption was reliant on monetary and fiscal stimulus. As these forces ebb, the rate will slow to 1.5 percent in the second half of 2010.

No really?  We’ve embedded $500 billion in annual transfer payments of various forms over the last 18 months.  That’s about 3% of GDP, or more than the "advance" GDP number says that personal consumption expanded (2.2%)

In other words, but for the additions to transfer payments over what was present before we went into this mess consumption would be printing a solid negative number – still.

Summers said that the "statistical recovery" won’t mask "a human recession."

Human recession Larry?  Is that like the "mental recession" that John McCain’s favored economic wonk proclaimed during the campaign?

Never mind our "good friend" President Obama, who is proposing a $3.8 trillion budget today.  In a break with the usual "optimistic" view compared to the CBO, he’s predicting that the deficit this year will total $1.8 trillion, or almost 50% of the total federal spending – and that’s with more than $800 billion in higher taxes (which have a near-zero chance of actually passing Congress in an election year!)

The President claims to be enacting a "spending freeze" and claims that it is "everything but security and defense."  In typical Washington form this is a lie – education and R&D (everywhere) are getting a 6% increase.  This, while inflation is currently running at a statistical zero, and on the back of the last year’s budget which amounted to a "ratchet up" game played with the voters.

This is the same game, by the way, that was played with the states and their so-called "Federal Help"…
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JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down 7 Days in a Row

JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down 7 Days in a Row

Courtesy of Ellen Brown at Web of Debt

Murray RothbardWe are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Rubin/Geithner). The bodies left strewn on the battleground could include your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

In 2000, the Rockefellers and the Morgans joined forces, when JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan merged to become JPMorgan Chase Co. Today the battling banking titans are JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that gained notoriety for its speculative practices in the 1920s. In 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a closed-end fund similar to a Ponzi scheme. The fund failed in the stock market crash of 1929, marring the firm’s reputation for years afterwards. Former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin came from Goldman, and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rose through the ranks of government as a Rubin protégé. One commentator called the U.S. Treasury “Goldman Sachs South.”

Goldman’s superpower status comes from something more than just access to the money spigots of the banking system. It actually has the ability to manipulate markets. Formerly just an investment bank, in 2008 Goldman magically transformed into a bank holding company. That gave it access to the Federal Reserve’s lending window; but at the same time it remained an investment bank, aggressively speculating in the markets. The upshot was that it can now borrow massive amounts of money at virtually 0% interest, and it can use this money not only to speculate for its own account but to bend markets to its will.

But Goldman Sachs has been caught in this blatant market manipulation so often that the JPMorgan faction of the banking


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WHAT THE SCOTT BROWN VICTORY SAYS ABOUT THE ECONOMY

WHAT THE SCOTT BROWN VICTORY SAYS ABOUT THE ECONOMY

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

Scott Brown Campaigns Day Before US Senate Special Election

While most pundits are inclined to view Scott Brown’s Senate victory in Massachusetts as a referendum on President Obama’s healthcare plan, I view it as a sign of increasing anger over the state of the United States economy.  President Obama swept into office on the back of “change” and “hope”.  Although there has been an overwhelming amount of hope, there has been almost no change since taking office one year ago.

While the economy continues to suffer President Obama continues, with laser-like tunnel vision, to focus on the healthcare bill.  At a time when 10% of American’s are out of work, bankers are receiving record bonuses and the government debt spirals out of control, the President is focused on a bill that will likely raise taxes and increase overall spending.  Americans don’t think that makes one bit of sense and they’re exactly right.

It’s time for President Obama to wake up and realize that his economic team is failing him.  We are repeating the mistakes of the past and the great reflation experiment is not working for the average American.  This policy of print and spend hasn’t worked in the past and it’s not working now.  The same men who helped get the economy into this mess (the bankers, Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, etc) are the same men who are going to bury his re-election hopes in 2012 if he doesn’t start reshaping his focus.

 


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Volcker: Don’t Use Taxpayer Money to Prop Up Anything But Traditional Depository Banking Functions

Volcker: Don’t Use Taxpayer Money to Prop Up Anything But Traditional Depository Banking Functions

Paul Volcker Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

While many people have called for the giant, insolvent banks to be broken up, Paul Volcker argues for a different approach: making sure that the taxpayers aren’t paying for their speculative activities which lie outside of traditional depository banking functions.

As Bloomberg writes:

“I do not think it reasonable that public money --taxpayer money — be indirectly available to support risk-prone capital market activities simply because they are housed within a commercial banking organization,” Volcker said.

Since January, Volcker has advocated that regulators should prohibit financial companies whose collapse would pose a risk to the economy — those considered “too big to fail” — from engaging in certain types of trading and investing activities. The administration wants stricter oversight for such companies and tighter capital and liquidity requirements.

“Extensive participation in the impersonal, transaction- oriented capital market does not seem to me an intrinsic part of commercial banking,” Volcker said. “Substantial involvement in heavily leveraged finance and heavy proprietary trading almost inevitably entails risks.”

“I want to question any presumption that the federal safety net, and financial support, will be extended beyond the traditional commercial banking community,”

As the Wall Street Journal notes:

Mr. Volcker said banks should be banned from "sponsoring and capitalizing" hedge funds and private-equity firms, which are largely unregulated. He also said "particularly strict supervision, with strong capital and collateral requirements, should be directed toward limiting proprietary securities and derivatives trading."

He also said collateral and leverage restrictions against the largest nonbank financial institutions "may be needed."

The comments reflect Mr. Volcker’s long-held view that banks should act more in line with their traditional role and not take extremely risky gambles, which could threaten the viability of commercial banks and expose the Federal Reserve and taxpayers to large risks…

gamblingOf course, the people with real power in the Obama administration – Summers, Geithner and Bernanke – don’t want to break up or regulate the too-big-to-fails.

As Yves Smith has repeatedly pointed out, Volcker has been sidelined from the first days of Obama’s cabinet nominations . .. even before Obama was sworn in as President.

 


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US Consumer Demand Off a Cliff as the Crisis Deepens

US Consumer Demand Off a Cliff as the Crisis Deepens

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

As we said, we would be taking a closer look behind the headline GDP numbers recently released. The advantage of procrastination is that eventually a capable person will chart up the data which you have been studying. So thank you to ContraryInvestor for his excellent charts. His site is among the best, and we read it regularly.

The big story is the collapse of the US consumer, unprecedented since WW II, and possibly the Great Depression. This is apparent in the numbers despite the epic restatement of GDP having just been done by the BLS in their benchmark revisions.

If the Fed and Treasury were not actively monetizing everything in sight, we would certainly be seeing a more pronounced deflation as prices fall WITH demand. And if they continue, we may very well feel a touch of the lash of that hyperinflation that John Williams is predicting. We still think a stiff stagflation is more likely, but are allowing that the Fed and Treasury may indeed be ‘just that dumb enough’ to trigger something less probable.

Until the consumer returns to some semblance of health, there will be no sustained recovery. It really is that simple.

The Fed will have to stop artificially draining credit supply by paying such a high rate of interest on reserves. They know this. It will stimulate lending, even to less worthy borrowers. But this is not a cure. It is one of the paths to more inflation, fresh asset bubbles, and the devaluation of the dollar. And ‘stimulus’ handouts are no better. Healthcare reform is a step in the right direction. The US consumer pays far too much for the same (or less) level of care in most of the developed nations. But that is not enough.

The cure will be to increase the median wage, and to stop the transfer of the national income to fewer and fewer hands. For that is how the system is set up today. It is not the result of ‘free markets’ but a sustained transfer of wealth through regulatory and tax policies, and a pernicious corruption of the nation most significantly starting in 1980, although a case has been made for 1913.

It is an ironic echo that our current over-his-head badly advised President seeks…
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The Obama Deception

The Obama Deception

obama/supermanCourtesy of Allan

To get the economy back on track, will President Barack Obama have to break his pledge not to raise taxes on 95 percent of Americans? In a “This Week” exclusive, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told me, "We’re going to have to do what’s necessary.”

Geithner was clear that he believes a key component of economic recovery is deficit reduction. When I gave him several opportunities to rule out a middle class tax hike, he wouldn’t do it.

“We have to bring these deficits down very dramatically,” Geithner told me. “And that’s going to require some very hard choices."

George Stephanopoulos Aug 2, 2009

Back on November 1, 2008, I published my endorsement of Barack Obama for President. To say I have been disappointed would be a gross understatement. My previous political cynicism, which I thought was slayed and erased by Obama’s candidacy, has returned with a vengeance. Like a Swine Flu virus temporarily muted by the vaccine of the moment, my political atheism has mutated once again and this time the result is a complete obliteration of faith in political leadership.

It’s not that I retract my endorsement, or that I would now have voted for John McCain, electing Obama was good for our country in narrowly defined ways, good for the global community as well, but he has revealed himself to be just one more in a long line of lying, deceiving, incompetent political hacks.

Obama ran on the promise to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home in 16 months after he took office, by May 20, 2010. Instead, he has acted to just bring some of the troops home by August 31, 2010. Not a big deal? Say that to the soldiers who are slain or maimed between May and August of 2010, or to those who will be part of Obama’s "residual force" of 50,000 troops who will be staying until December, 2011.

In Afghanistan Obama has embraced George Bush’s indefinite occupation policy as well as the extension of that war into Pakistan.

Similarly, Obama is defending and even expanding the Bush administration’s war-on-terrorism powers, which have constituted among the greatest infringements on civil liberties and privacy in our nation’s history.

Obama ran on a clearly anti-Washington establishment platform, promising an administration of new names and


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Phil's Favorites

New Report Reveals Goldman Sachs' Crime Wave Under Last Three CEOs (Who Got Obscenely Rich in the Process)

Courtesy of Pam Martens

(Left to right) Three Most Recent CEOs of Goldman Sachs: Henry (Hank) Paulson; Lloyd Blankfein; David Solomon, Current CEO.

Yesterday, the nonprofit Wall Street watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth and scathing analysis of the past 20 years at Goldman Sachs. A bold headline summed it up as follows: “$874 Billion in Bailouts, 36 Major Legal Actions,
$9.8 Billion in Fines and Settlements with Billions More Coming.”
...



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Zero Hedge

American & Chinese Airlines May Never Bounce Back From The Coronavirus Outbreak

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Airlines around the world have already taken a hit thanks to Boeing, now the coronavirus outbreak is set to kick the industry while it's already down. And the US and China will be hit especially hard.

Plenty of countries are cutting off are limiting flights to China right now. Air Canada just announced its cancelling select flights, South Korea, Hong Kong and other Asian countries have either cut off travel, or are reducing flights and screening for symptoms of nCoV,...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Will Junk Bonds Continue To Send A Positive Message To Stocks?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

If the saying “So goes Junk Bonds, So goes stocks” is true, what Junk bonds do in the next couple of weeks could send an important message to stocks!

Junk bond ETF (JNK) has created a series of higher lows since June of last year. When JNK moves higher like this, historically it sends a positive message to stocks.

JNK has declined a very small percentage in the past two weeks, which has it testing rising support at (1).

So far JNK is not sending a negative divergence to stocks.

If JNK holds at support and rallies off (1), they continue to send a ...



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Insider Scoop

A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Up; Fed Decision In Focus

Courtesy of Benzinga

Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded higher in early pre-market trade, ahead of earnings from McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD), General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Th...



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Biotech

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

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

 

When will there be a coronavirus vaccine? 5 questions answered

A security guard wears a mask as she keeps watch at arriving passengers at Manila’s international airport in the Philippines on Jan. 23, 2020, as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus. Aaron Favila/AP Photo

Courtesy of Aubree Gordon, University of Michigan and Florian Krammer, ...



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Chart School

Top Patterns for Retail Investors

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Retail investors are last in line for market leading research, no matter, the retail investor can profit from these secret sauce patterns..

Well not so secret now, the main point is you do not have to climb Mount Everest to be called a mountain climber, there are many other hills to climb to make your mark. Just like stocks.

You do not have to battle with the high frequency traders to win in the markets, there are long and slow methods to do just as well.  

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Some charts from the video


...

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The Technical Traders

The Wuhan Wipeout - Could It Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

News is traveling fast about the Corona Virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Two new confirmed cases in the US, one in Europe and hundreds in China. As we learn more about thispotential pandemic outbreak, we are learning that China did very little to contain this problem from the start. Now, quarantining two cities and trying to control the potential
outbreak, may become a futile effort.

In most of Asia, the Chinese New Year is already in full swing.  Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India and a host of other countries are already starting to celebrate the 7 to 10 day long New Year.  Millions of people have already traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to visit family...



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Members' Corner

The War on All Fact People

 

David Brin shares an excerpt from his new book on the relentless war against democracy and how we can fight back. You can also read the first, second and final chapters of Polemical Judo at David's blog Contrary Brin.

The War on All Fact People 

Excerpted from David Brin's new book, the beginning of chapter 5, Polemical Judo: Memes...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...

...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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.

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.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

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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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