• Category Archives Government
  • Are The ‘Toxic’ Democrats Destined To Become A Permanent Minority Party?

    It has become exceedingly clear that the Democratic Party is in deep trouble. Close to 55 million dollars was spent on the race in Georgia’s sixth congressional district, and that shattered all kinds of records. Democrat Jon Ossoff was able to raise and spend six times as much money as Karen Handel and yet he still lost. This was supposed to be the race that would show the American people that the Democrats could take back control of Congress in 2018, and so for the Democrats this was a bitter failure. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee actually injected almost 5 million dollars into the race themselves, and Planned Parenthood threw in another $700,000. But after all of the time, effort and energy that was expended, Handel still won fairly comfortably.
    The Democrats are trying to spin this result as some sort of ‘moral victory’, but as Dan Balz of the Washington Post has pointed out, there are ‘no moral victories in politics’…

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 21st, 2017.


  • Off the Deep End

    I just looked at the charts here at 6am Pacific time. I shouldn’t be surpised… Here, have a cup of coffee. I sure needed one.
    I thought you might have friends or relatives who could use a bit of perspective–from reasonable ground that can bear scrutiny. And for this blog, I suspect this is another sermon for the choir, for most.
    In late October of 2016, I foolishly posted my reasons for voting for Trump on Facebook for all my friends & family to read. They did. And they proceeded to beat the hell out of me, or stand by and watch. No doubt most thought, ‘Don’t know what’s wrong with that boy.’ ‘He’s gone off the deep end’
    Private conversations with a few have smoothed over some differences. Others have been silent, showing civility and restraint, but still perhaps wondering what went wrong with me. ‘Civility’ of course is simply not telling others what you really think about them, choosing instead to focus on shared interests, like the weather. But going off the deep end can certainly lead the wrong direction – drowning in a dark pool of the unknown where things lurk, and long tentacles rise to wrap around your ankle and quickly pull you under. So I read the objections of my friends and relatives as a well-intentioned effort to help me back to rationality.
    Most lakes have a slope down to the deep end – and this is one of them.
    I was thirty-two years old when I started back to college in 1990 after 12 years in the electrical trade, with union membership, a solid democrat perspective on politics, and a union-inspired socialistic preference for economics. Liberal progressivism had not developed to today’s level by the time I graduated for the 3rd time ten years later. I had earned a PhD and changed careers to become a college teacher. Repulsed by the Clinton scandals and opposing the drain of our government budgets by social programs (as championed by democrats), I started voting for republicans. My socialistic views softened, giving way to a rational capitalism, although I still favor taking care of folks in a bind through job training and employment assistance. I landed a position teaching in college, earning tenure, advancing toward full professorship, beginning to publish articles in our discipline’s top journals.
    Then 2008 happenend.

    This post was published at TF Metals Report on Wednesday, June 21, 2017.


  • Since Seattle Placed A Tax On Guns And Ammunition, The City’s Violent Crime Rate Has Increased

    In recent years, Seattle has developed a reputation for passing asinine laws. Recently the city tried to increase taxes on diet soda, because the drink is more popular among white people. In the past they’ve allowed 6th graders to receive IUDs without parental consent, and have enlisted garbage men to snoop through residential trash in search of compost that is illegal to throw out. Seattle was also the first American city to pass a $15 minimum wage law, which promptly hurt low wage workers.
    So it’s no surprise that sometimes the city passes laws that backfire in very predictable ways. In 2015 Seattle tried to place a tax on gun and ammunition purchases, in an effort to curb some of the costs the city pays for gun violence. However, these taxes didn’t have the desired effect.
    Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016. Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.

    This post was published at shtfplan on June 21st, 2017.


  • Global Equities Markets Weaker Amid Falling Oil, Bond Yields

    (Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly lower overnight, due in part to falling crude oil prices recently and by lower world government bond market yields.
    Slumping oil prices and lower bond yields suggest inflationary price pressures will remain squelched. U. S. stock indexes are also pointed to weaker openings when the New York day session begins.
    On the world geopolitical front, Saudi Arabia has a new crown prince, in a surprise change of leadership for that country. The new prince could take a harder line on Iran, reports said.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on June 20, 2017.


  • Even the Mainstream Sees the Disconnect Between Fed Rhetoric and Actual Data

    The Fed is hawkish about jacking up interest rates, but even the mainstream is catching on to the disconnect between Fed rhetoric and actual data.
    The recent Federal Reserve rate increase and talk of more boosts in the future has sparked a rally for the dollar. This has caused the price of gold to sag. But TJM Institutional Services managing director Jim Iuorio recently said on CNBC’s Futures Now that he’s still bullish on gold because he thinks the Fed’s hawkish tone doesn’t line up with actual economic data.
    I’m a longer-term bull in gold and if you look at the long-term chart the trend is still higher. What the Fed said yesterday is disconcerting to the market, and that’s why the dollar rallied so hard. But as we start to move away from that, we start to see some data that is deteriorating, the dollar should shrink back again and gold should be fine.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JUNE 21, 2017.


  • We Need A Public Inquiry Into The Economics Profession

    Britain is preparing to leave the European Union with no real plan and a government in disarray, writes economist, Ann Pettifor. How can we trust economists at the Treasury not to impose more disastrous policies?
    If the British economy crashes as a result of Brexit, it will not vindicate economists. It will simply illustrate once again, their failure.
    I and my colleagues at Policy Research in Macroeconomics (PRIME) believe there is urgent need for an independent, public inquiry into the economics profession, and its role in precipitating both the financial crisis of 2007-9, the subsequent very slow ‘recovery’; and in the British European referendum campaign.
    Financial disarray is not unlikely under Brexit, but whether this turns into anything material depends in the first instance on economic policy. How can we trust economists at the Treasury not to impose more disastrous policies?

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 21, 2017.


  • Secular Stagnation?

    In today’s Outside the Box my good friend Charles Gave shares an instructive ‘Tale of Two Countries.’ Since 1981 in the UK and France, structural growth rates have diverged: The rate has fallen by two-thirds in France, while in the UK it has risen. Why? Well, to begin with, in the UK Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister in 1979 and almost at once reduced the role of the bureaucracy in managing economic activity and dialed back government spending as a percentage of GDP. Meanwhile, in France, Franois Mitterrand was elected president in 1981 on a platform that expressly aimed to expand the scope of government.
    The effects on growth were predictable, says Charles, having been explained by Joseph Schumpeter in his 1942 book Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.
    More recently, in the US, when government spending as a percentage of GDP shot up from 33% to 39% during the Great Recession, our growth rate fell from 2.5% to less than one percent. And that, says Charles, is the story on US stagnation – not the more fashionable narrative of ‘secular stagnation.’

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JUNE 21, 2017.


  • 5 Ways Fed Rate Hikes May Squeeze Your Wallet

    The Federal Reserve nudged up interest rates another .25 points last week. Of course, nobody was surprise by the central bank’s move. It was widely expected. Nevertheless, the Fed’s latest policy move has everybody bullish on increasing rates into the future
    Of course, nothing has fundamentally changed. As Paul Singer said earlier this month, the financial system is no more sound than it was in 2008. All of this talk about rate hikes will vanish like a vapor if actual economic data continues to point toward a slowdown.
    But since everybody is talking rate hikes right now, this is probably a good time to consider just how rising interest rates will effect your wallet.
    We tend to think about Federal Reserve policy in macro-economic terms. How will it effect the stock market? What kind of bubbles will it blow up? How will it impact the price of gold? But Fed policy also has a direct effect on the average American. In simplest terms, rising rates mean it will cost you more to pay off credit cards and other loans. That’s not good news for an economy buried in debt.
    Here are five ways rising interest rates can put the squeeze on your pocketbook.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on JUNE 21, 2017.


  • US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Still Interested In Ultralong (High Duration) Sovereign Debt As Argentina Sees strong demand for surprise 100-year bond

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    US Treasury Secretary Steve ‘The Munchkin’ Mnuchin said on Bloomberg News today that Treasury is still considering issuing ultra-long sovereign debt. This comes on the news that Argentina is issuing a 100 year sovereign bond that is in hot demand. Reuters – Argentina sold $2.75 billion of a hotly demanded 100-year bond in U. S. dollars on Monday, just over a year after emerging from its latest default, according to the government.
    The South American country received $9.75 billion in orders for the bond, as investors eyed a yield of 7.9 percent in an otherwise low yielding fixed income market where pension funds need to lock in long-term returns.
    Thanks to a stronger-than-expected peso currency, the government has increased its overall 2017 foreign currency bond issuance target to $12.75 billion from its previous plan of issuing $10 billion in international bonds, Finance Minister Luis Caputo told reporters in Buenos Aires.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ June 20, 2017.


  • 69 Percent Of Americans Do Not Have An Adequate Emergency Fund

    Do you have an emergency fund? If you even have one penny in emergency savings, you are already ahead of about one-fourth of the country. I write about this stuff all the time, but it always astounds me how many Americans are literally living on the edge financially. Back in 2008 when the economy tanked and millions of people lost their jobs, large numbers of Americans suddenly couldn’t pay their bills because they were living paycheck to paycheck. Now the stage is set for it to happen again. Another major recession is going to happen at some point, and when it does millions of people are going to get blindsided by it.
    Despite all of our emphasis on education, we never seem to teach our young people how to handle money. But this is one of the most basic skills that everyone needs. Personally, I went through high school, college and law school without ever being taught about the dangers of going into debt or the importance of saving money.
    If you are ever going to build any wealth, you have got to spend less than you earn. That is just basic common sense. Unfortunately, nearly one out of every four Americans does not have even a single penny in emergency savings…
    Bankrate’s newly released June Financial Security Index survey indicates that 24 percent of Americans have not saved any money at all for their emergency funds.
    This is despite experts recommending that people strive for a savings cushion equivalent to the amount needed to cover three to six months’ worth of expenses.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on June 20th, 2017.


  • 100 Million Dead In US

    Go ahead folks, read this one.
    Accordingly, I must communicate to you at this time the full extent of our dire fiscal straits and the potential disruptions that we face in addressing even our most critical core responsibilities going forward into the new fiscal year. My Office has very serious concerns that, in the coming weeks, the State of Illinois will no longer be able to guarantee timely and predictable payments in a number of areas that we have to date managed (albeit with extreme difficulty) despite an unpaid bill backlog in excess of $15 billion and growing rapidly.
    We are effectively hemorrhaging money as the state’s spending obligations have exceeded receipts by an average of over $600 million per month over the past year. (ed: That’s $7.2 billion/year)
    My cause for alarm is rooted in the increasing deficit spending combined with new and ongoing cash management demands stemming from decisions from state and federal courts, the latest being the class action lawsuit filed by advocates representing the Medicaid service population served by the state’s Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). As of June 15, the MCOs, and their provider networks, are owed a total of more than $2.8 billion in overdue bills at the Comptroller’s Office. There is no question that these obligations should be paid in a more timely manner and that the payment delays caused by the state’s financial condition negatively impact the state’s healthcare infrastructure. We are currently in court directed discussions to reach a workable and responsive payment schedule going forward, but any acceleration of the timing of those payments under the current circumstances will almost certainly affect the scheduling of other payments, regardless of other competing court orders and Illinois statutory mandates.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-06-21.


  • Report: Measured for Social Progress, U.S. Is a Second-Tier Nation

    You can tell a lot about a nation by the kind of research reports it spews out monthly or quarterly. In the United States, we are bombarded with Federal government reports on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Durable Goods Orders, Retail Sales, Housing Starts and the like. If you want to know the price of gold or oil or thousands of corporate stock prices, you can get those numbers on a second by second basis on your laptop or mobile app.
    Research releases in the United States that measure how the nation is doing in the area of social progress are far fewer and less timely. You’re not going to find such data released monthly or even quarterly. Take for example, Federal studies that measure homelessness among students in public schools. The most recent research we could find from the U. S. Department of Education measured the data for the 2014-2015 school year. Clearly, it’s not something a rich nation wants to brag about. The report found that pre-K through 12th grade students in the U. S. who had experienced homelessness in the 2014-2015 school year totaled 1,263,323 – double the amount from a decade ago and a stunning 34 percent increase since the economic recovery began in the summer of 2009.

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on June 21, 2017.


  • Top Executives of Barclays Charged

    The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has brought charges against Barclays and four former executives surrounding the Qatari investment during the 2008 financial crisis. You may remember at the time Lloyds and RBS were offered UK government support with certain strict conditions attached. However, Barclays declined the government offer and instead turned to Qatar which eventually became the biggest single shareholder, with around 6%.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jun 21, 2017.


  • Trump Will Reveal Whether “Comey Tape” Exists Later This Week

    President Donald Trump has said he will make an announcement this week pertaining to his claims that there are taped recordings of conversations between himself and former FBI Director James Comey, Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced at a Tuesday press conference.
    In a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by The Wall Street Journal in May, the Secret Service said it doesn’t have any audio copies or transcripts of conversations from inside the White House.
    ***
    Trump told reporters during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden earlier this month that he’d reveal the truth about whether the rumored “Comey tape” exists in ‘the very near future.’ The president cryptically added ‘Oh, you’re going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer, don’t worry.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • The Russians Do It Again: Democrats Get Crushed In Georgia Election Despite 7x Spending Advantage

    Summary:
    After months of Democrats boasting that Georgia’s special election in the 6th district would be a startling referendum on Trump’s agenda, they just got served up another stunning defeat, as most networks have now called the race for Republican Karen Handel. In fact, rather than losing ground since Trump moved into the White House, Republicans actually performed better.
    Of course, making Handel’s win even sweeter for Republicans is the fact that Democrats outspent them by a margin of 7-to-1, with Ossoff dropping a staggering ~$22 million versus only $3 million for Handel….which is kind of reminiscent of how things played our for Hillary…oops.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • Illinois Comptroller: “The State Can No Longer Function, We Have Reached A New Phase Of Crisis”

    With just 10 days to go until Illinois enters its third year without a budget, resulting in the state’s imminent downgrade to junk status and potentially culminating in a default for the state whose unpaid bills now surpass $15 billion, Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued a warning to Illinois Gov. Rauner and other elected officials on Tuesday, saying in a letter that her office has “very serious concerns” it may no longer be able to guarantee “timely and predictable payments” for some core services.
    In the letter posted on her website, Mendoza who over the weekend warned that Illinois is “in massive crisis mode” and that “this is not a false alarm” said the state is “effectively hemorrhaging money” due to various court orders and laws that have left government spending roughly $600 million more a month than it’s taking in. Mendoza said her office will continue to make debt payments as required, but indicated that services most likely to be affected include long-term care, hospice and supportive living centers for seniors. She added that managed care organizations that serve Medicaid recipients are owed more than $2.8 billion in overdue bills as of June 15.
    “The state can no longer function without a responsible and complete budget without severely impacting our core obligations and decimating services to the state’s most in-need citizens,” Mendoza wrote. “We must put our fiscal house in order. It is already too late. Action is needed now.”
    Unveiling the most dire langage yet, in her letter Mendoza said “we are now reaching a new phase of crisis” perhaps in an attempt to prompt the Democrats and Republicans to sit down and come up with a comrpomise:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.


  • MIAMI POLICE COMMANDER FIRED FOR ‘HINDERING’ SHOOTING INVESTIGATION

    A North Miami police commander was fired on Wednesday after an internal affairs investigation concluded he hindered an investigation into a police-involved shooting and misled the North Miami police chief.
    The commander, Emile Hollant, was in a position of authority last year when fellow officer Jonathan Aledda, a member of the department’s SWAT team, shot a group home therapist named Charles Kinsey, striking him in the leg. Kinsey was reportedly following police orders and pleading with officers not to shoot just before the incident.
    Kinsey had been attempting to help Arnaldo Rios, a severely mentally impaired 27-year-old man and one of Kinsey’s patients at a nearby group home, who had police called on him for sitting in the middle of the road.
    When police arrived at the scene, Kinsey was sitting next to Rios, trying to convince him to get out of the road. A silver toy truck Rios had in his hand was mistaken by officer Aledda for a weapon, prompting him to fire at Rios, but he missed and hit Kinsey, who fortunately survived with a minor injury.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JUNE 20, 2017.


  • Hong Kong Warns: Its Housing Bubble is a ‘Dangerous Situation’

    The HK financial system is ‘very strong’ and ‘can withstand an adjustment in the property market.’
    The Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar. Hong Kong’s monetary policy is follows the Fed’s monetary policy. The Fed has embarked on a tightening cycle, raising rates four times so far. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has followed each time. Last week, it raised its policy rate by 25 basis points to 1.5%. This will have consequences for the most expensive and ludicrously inflated housing bubble in the world.
    ‘We have to warn our people about the dangerous situation of the property market at the moment,’ Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan told Bloomberg TV.
    ‘No one can tell how deep the adjustment will be or what is the appropriate level of adjustment because it is market force,’ he said. ‘It is not up to the government to dictate, but I think it is important for people to recognize it is risky.’
    But he doesn’t expect a repeat of what happened when Hong Kong’s prior housing bubble imploded during the Asian Financial Crisis.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Jun 20, 2017.


  • Argentina issues 100-year bond. What could possibly go wrong?

    Apparently while I was in the air yesterday flying between Asia and Europe, the financial system proved once again that it believes in magic beans.
    The latest absurdity is that the government of Argentina sold $2.75 billion worth of bonds yesterday afternoon.
    It’s not strange or unusual for a government to sell bonds; it happens multiple times across the world nearly every single day of the year.
    What’s totally insane about yesterday’s bond sale in Argentina, though, is the duration of these particular bonds.
    Remember that a bond is similar to a loan; as an investor, you’re basically loaning money to whichever government issues the bond.
    And, like a loan, a bond has a maturity date – the date at which the government is supposed to pay you back the ‘face value’ of the bond.
    often have a 3-7 year term. Student loans can easily go 10 or 15 years. A home mortgage can last 30 years.
    It’s the same with government bonds, which often have a term up to 30 years.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on June 20, 2017.


  • Argentina 100 Year Bond Sale 3.5x Oversubscribed

    When we previewed yesterday unexpected announcement that Argentina would join Mexico, Ireland and the U. K. in issuing a 100 year bond, just one year after emerging from its latest default, we said “we expected the potential yield of 8.25% to come down as the offering will likely be many times oversubscribed.” It was.
    According to Reuters, late on Monday Argentina sold $2.75 billion of a “hotly demanded” 100-year bond in U. S. dollars, and as expected the surge for yield resulted in 3.5x oversubscription: the South American country received $9.75 billion in orders for the bond, which in turn lowered the final yield to 7.9% with a 7.125% cash coupon, from the initial price talk of 8.25% in what Reuters dubbed an “otherwise low yielding fixed income market where pension funds need to lock in long-term returns.” Luckily for those same pension funds, they never have to worry about returns on capital as there is zero chance Argentina will not default again in the next 100 years.
    Meanwhile, courtesy of yield-starved investors around the globe, the Argentina government increased its overall 2017 foreign currency bond issuance target even more, to $12.75 billion from its previous plan of issuing $10 billion in international bonds, Finance Minister Luis Caputo told reporters in Buenos Aires, in large part to fund its soaring budget deficit. As Reuters notes, Argentina will tap international capital markets to finance a fiscal deficit of 4.2% of GDP. Caputo said Argentina has $2.6 billion in bonds left to be issued this year. The new paper could be denominated in euros, yen or Swiss francs. It is not clear if the remaining issues will be in 100 year or longer maturities.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.