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

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades - a result of pretending climate change isn't political

 

Britain has its first new deep coal mine in decades – a result of pretending climate change isn't political

Oscar Johns / shutterstock

Courtesy of Rebecca Willis, Lancaster University

The UK is widely seen as a climate leader. Its Climate Change Act, which passed into law ten years ago, is the envy of the world. It has targets for carbon reduction enshrined in law, and recently, the government hinted that it would adopt a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the current target is an 80% reduction). Four years ago, the government, with cross...



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ValueWalk

The Future Of National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ) Stock; Cannabis Webinar

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whitney Tilson’s email to investors discussing the LaCroix maker National Beverage Corp. (FIZZ)’s stock; Tesla; Cannabis webinar; question 3; Jamaica.

1) I’m still sniffing around National Beverage Corp, best known for its LaCroix brand of flavored sparkling water, which I wrote up as my Stock Idea of the Day in my ...



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Zero Hedge

"It Feels Eerily Like 2007" - DoubleLine's Gundlach Blasts Fed's "Unprecedented Reversal"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

As the whipsaw in stocks and the dollar sank in today - while the bond market remains unimpressed by the machine's liftathon today - market participants are still shaking their heads at what just happened.

One of the more outspoken of those market participants is DoubleLine CEO Jeffrey Gundlach who took to Twitter this morning to express his disdain...

Three months ago the Fed predicted totally different policy than where they are now. How can they predict 2020 policy with a straight face?

— Jeffrey Gundlach (@TruthGundlach) March 21, 2019

 

But he was not done, in a brief i...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Interest Rates Sputter... Is U.S. Economy Next?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The Federal Reserve wasn’t quite as hawkish as investors expected. The result: Treasury bond yields (interest rates) fell sharply.

In today’s chart of the 10-Year US Treasury Yield, we highlight the reversal in rates that occurred late last year.

This wasn’t just any old reversal, though. It occurred along the same long-term downtrend line that produced reversals in the years 2000 and 2007.

A closer look at the chart and it appears that 10-year yields are breaking short-term support. This is also occurring as monthly momentum rolls over fr...



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Chart School

Silver is cheap vs Gold

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Metal investors will be paying attention to how out of favor silver is relative to gold. And it is hard to wonder why with the well forecast boom of electric cars expected over the next 10 years. Who owns all the silver? JM Bullion has a series of charts here. Notice the stock pile held by JPM. They will do will if silver gets to $30 USD an once!

Chart up to April 2017



As of the 20th of March 2019 the US Federal Reserve has switched to dovish...

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Insider Scoop

Wells Fargo Expects FedEx Margins To Remain Under Pressure From Market Woes

Courtesy of Benzinga.

FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX) reported disappointing third-quarter results Tuesday and lowered its fiscal 2019 guidance.

The flexibility of the company’s network allows it to respond more quickly to competitive threats and a tough supply chain environmen...



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Biotech

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

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

 

Marijuana is a lot more than just THC - a pharmacologist looks at the untapped healing compounds

Assorted cannabis bud strains. Roxana Gonzalez/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of James David Adams, University of Southern California

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states as of November 2018. Yet the federal government still insists marijuana has no legal u...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

 

Facebook's cryptocurrency: a financial expert breaks it down

Grejak/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Alistair Milne, Loughborough University

Facebook is reportedly preparing to launch its own version of Bitcoin, for use in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Could this “Facecoin” be the long-awaited breakthrough by a global technology giant into the lucrative market for retail financial services? Or will...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

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:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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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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