• Tag Archives Barack Obama
  • ‘Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste’ – And Short AMZN

    The ‘crisis’ quote above originated with Winston Churchill. Several U. S. politicians have referenced it since then (most recently Rahm Emanuel when he was Obama’s Chief of Staff). I’m sure the Wall Street snake-oil salesmen and economic propagandists are more than happy to attribute the deteriorating economic numbers to the hurricanes that hit Houston and southwestern Florida.
    Retail sales for August were released a week ago Friday and showed a 0.2% decline from July. This is even worse than that headline number implies because July’s nonsensical 0.6% increase was revised lower by 50% to 0.3% (and it’s still an over-estimate).
    Before you attribute the drop in August retail sales to Hurricane Harvey, consider two things: 1) Wall St was looking for a 0.1% increase and that consensus estimate would have taken into account any affects on sales in the Houston area in late August; 2) Building materials and supplies should have increased from July as Houston and Florida residents purchased supplies to reinforce residences and businesses. As it turns out, building supplies and material sales declined from July to August, at least according to the Census Bureau’s assessment. Furthermore, online spending dropped 1.1%. Finally, the number vs. July was boosted by gasoline sales, which were said to have risen 2.5%. But this is a nominal number (not adjusted by inflation) and higher gasoline prices, i.e. inflation, caused by Harvey are the reason gasoline sales were 2.5% higher in August than July.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 23, 2017.


  • SEPT 22A/SENATOR MCCAIN DITCHES LAST ATTEMPT AT REAP OF OBAMACARE AND THAT SENDS GOLD AND SILVER HIGHER/ GOLD ENDS THE DAY UP $1.70 BUT SILVER DOWN 5 CENTS/ BOTH GOLD AND SILVER COT IS GOOD FOR A…

    GOLD: $1294.45 UP $1.70
    Silver: $16.95 DOWN 5 CENT(S)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1297.50
    silver: $17.02
    SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1303.72 DOLLARS PER OZ
    NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1295.85
    PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $7.87 (premiums getting larger)
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1306.41
    NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1296.60
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$9.81 (premiums getting larger)

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on September 22, 2017.


  • ‘Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste’

    The ‘crisis’ quote above originated with Winston Churchill. Several U. S. politicians have referenced it since thenm (most recently Rahm Emanuel when he was Obama’s Chief of Staff). I’m sure the Wall Street snake-oil salesmen and economic propagandists are more than happy to attribute the deteriorating economic numbers to the hurricanes that hit Houston and southwestern Florida.
    Retail sales for August were released Friday and showed a 0.2% decline from July. This is even worse than that headline number implies because July’s nonsensical 0.6% increase was revised lower by 50% to 0.3% (and it’s still an over-estimate).
    Before you attribute the drop in August retail sales to Hurricane Harvey, consider two things: 1) Wall St was looking for a 0.1% increase and that consensus estimate would have taken into account any affects on sales in the Houston area in late August; 2) Building materials and supplies should have increased from July as Houston and Florida residents purchased supplies to reinforce residences and businesses. As it turns out, building supplies and material sales declined from July to August, at least according to the Census Bureau’s assessment. Furthermore, online spending dropped 1.1%. Finally, the number vs. July was boosted by gasoline sales, which were said to have risen 2.5%. But this is a nominal number (not adjusted by inflation) and higher gasoline prices, i.e. inflation, caused by Harvey are the reason gasoline sales were 2.5% higher in August than July.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 20, 2017.


  • Health Fraud? Do the Architects Do It Too?

    Gee, what happened here?
    Vermont’s Attorney General has settled the state’s claims of fraud against Jonathan Gruber, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who served as a technical consultant for President Barack Obama and as one of the chief architects of Obamacare.
    Under the terms of the settlement, Gruber will no longer work as a taxpayer-funded economic consultant for the state’s health care system and he won’t seek to be paid any money he might be owed, reports the Rutland Herald, a Vermont newspaper.
    Note that the Vermont AG also won’t go after him under the Civil False Claims Act too.

    This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-09-14.


  • Debt Nightmare: Does Anyone Actually Care That Our Exploding National Debt Is Destroying Our Future?

    When will America finally wake up? The borrower is the servant of the lender, and we now have a colossal 20 trillion dollar chain around our collective ankles. We have willingly enslaved ourselves, our children and our grandchildren, and yet our addiction is so insatiable that we continue to add more than 100 million dollars to our debt load every single hour of every single day. The national debt is sitting at a grand total of $20,162,176,797,904.13 at this moment, but now that the debt ceiling has been lifted that number is expected to shoot up very rapidly toward 21 trillion dollars by the end of the year. The national debt had been held down by accounting tricks to keep it under the debt limit for many months, but every time this has happened before we have seen the national debt absolutely explode back to projected levels once the debt ceiling was raised.
    But very few of our ‘leaders’ in Washington seem to care that we are in the process of committing national suicide. There is no possible way that we will be able to continue to be the most powerful economy on the planet if we continue down this road. During Obama’s eight years in the White House, we added more than 9 trillion dollars to the national debt. That certainly improved things in the short-term, because if we could go back and take 9 trillion dollars out of the economy over the past 8 years we would be in an absolutely nightmarish economic depression right now.
    But even with all of this borrowing and spending, our economy has still only grown at an average rate of just 1.33 percent a year over the last 10 years.
    And by going into so much debt, we are literally destroying the future for our children and our grandchildren.
    What we are doing to them is beyond criminal, and people should be going to prison over this. But instead we just keep rewarding these Congress critters by sending the same cast of characters back to Washington over and over again.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on September 11th, 2017.


  • Waiting for a Republican Rollback of Government? Don’t Hold Your Breath

    The Republicans failed on health care, but now they are offering a new plan for tax and spending cuts, with a promise of smaller government.
    But the GOP, with few exceptions, seems about as creditable as the Democrats and their flawed, small-business killer, Obamacare. Many of the Democrats are people who subscribe to a socialism without doctrines; a kind of backdoor collectivism. So now, as they expect the Republicans to fail and lose control of Congress, naturally many of them are waiting for their chance to ram a single payer health care system down the throats of already overtaxed Americans.
    Many Americans thought they were voting for less government in 2016, but they have been disappointed again and again by a party that doesn’t seemed interested in rolling back government.
    Sir, Could You Just Give Us One More Chance? Still, Republicans, in their recent budget document say they will get taxes and spending right this time. This is reminiscent of the character Hoover in the 1970s movie Animal House. In the wreckage of a college homecoming parade that he and his fellow expelled hooligans have just destroyed, he pleads with the college dean, ‘This may seem an inappropriate time to bring this up, but could you just give us one more chance?’
    Republicans want just ‘one more chance’ to roll back an out of control government that they helped to build. So now they have offered their proposals in their economic game plan, ‘Building a Better America,’ the GOP’s ‘Plan for Fiscal Responsibility’ coming out of the House Budget Committee. It calls for cutting taxes and details the outrageous overreach of government.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on April 28, 2017.


  • Massive PBGC Rate Hikes Force Corporate Debt Binge As Companies Try To Pay Down Pensions

    As if defined benefit pensions funds weren’t fun enough for corporate shareholders, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), the federal entity that backstops pension obligations when companies default, has enacted massive increases in insurance premiums for operating such plans over the past 5 years.
    Ironically, the premiums started to skyrocket during Obama’s second term with flat-rate premiums nearly doubling from $35 per participant in 2012 to $69 per participant in 2017. Moreover, the variable rate premium paid by corporations nearly quadrupled over the same period from $9 per $1,000 of Unfunded Vested Benefits (UVBs) to $34.
    ***
    Meanwhile, the rate-hike party at the PBGC is hardly over. Corporate pension operators can expect another 16% and 24% hike in flat and variable-rate premiums, respectively, over just the next two years. Which should be plenty of money to hire a bunch of new bureaucrats…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 23, 2017.


  • Realtors Warn Of “Another Housing Crash” If Mortgage Tax Deductions Are Scrapped

    After failing miserably if their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, Republicans are set to shift their legislative agenda to focus on tax reform when they get back from their generous month-long August recess (taxpayers are such great employers). Among other things, proposed changes to the personal tax code would include eliminating nearly all tax write-offs, including those for state and local taxes, and instead doubling the standard deduction.
    Of course, potentially no industry would be more impacted by such a move as the housing market which has sparked a slight panic at the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As Reuters points out this morning, roughly 30 million taxpayers taxpayers claim mortgage interest deductions totaling some $70 billion each year which provides a huge incentive to own a home.
    The National Association of Realtors issued an “August Recess Talking Points” circular imploring members to remind lawmakers that “Homeowners must be treated fairly in tax reform” to avoid “another housing crash.”
    The group cited a report it commissioned from PwC that estimated home values could quickly dive more than 10 percent if the tax plan becomes law.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 15, 2017.


  • Is The Yellen Fed Planning To Sabotage Trump’s Presidency?

    Authored by Stefan Gleason via Money Metals Exchange,
    The Federal Reserve can make or break a president.
    Monetary policy influences all financial markets as well as the cycles in the economy. No president wants to have to run for re-election when the stock market and economy are turning down.
    Recall that President George H. W. Bush was sitting on sky-high job approval numbers in 1991 and was expected to coast to victory in his 1992 re-election bid. But then the economy swooned toward recession, giving Bill Clinton the opening he needed.
    Bush later blamed Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan for his defeat. Greenspan had held interest rates too high for too long, Bush complained.
    On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump complained that Fed chair Janet Yellen was trying to help Hillary Clinton by keeping rates near zero and pumping up the stock market with liquidity.
    ‘They’re keeping the rates artificially low so that Obama can go out and play golf in January and say that he did a good job… It’s a very false economy,’ Trump told reporters in September 2016. Later that month in the second presidential debate, he declared, ‘We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble. . . The only thing that looks good is the stock market. But if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s going to come crashing down.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 12, 2017.


  • Not Your Grandfather’s Stock Market – The Sudden Shift in ETFs

    This is not your grandfather’s stock market.
    Turbulence and fear has suddenly appeared after a phenomenal stock market run post-election. Is this the new norm? Is it a temporary reaction to the saber-rattling going on between Trump and the NK dictator? Or, is it the realization that the Swamp is beginning to look unbeatable, at least in terms of Trump’s economic promises?
    Valuations are extremely high which makes any investment riskier than normal. These valuations seem predicated on the expectations that major economic growth is just around the corner. Such growth cannot occur without radical change in Obamacare and taxes. This change seems in doubt, at least in the magnitude that is necessary.
    Congress will likely pass measures on both counts, but they will be watered-down versions of what is necessary. Thus a good case can be made for a serious correction in valuations even if/when Congress passes something and then pats themselves on the back claiming the problem is solved. No problem is ever solved in Washington unless it is repeal of the legislation that created the problem in the first place.
    No one knows what is going to happen with North Korea. However, even if that were to turn benign a serious correction is likely.

    This post was published at Economic Noise on August 10, 2017.


  • ‘Dr.Doom’ Warns “The Gap Between Wall And Main Street Is Widening… Correction Is Inevitable”

    Now that US President Donald Trump has been in office for six months, we can more confidently assess the prospects for the US economy and economic policymaking under his administration. And, like Trump’s presidency more generally, paradoxes abound.
    The main puzzle is the disconnect between the performance of financial markets and the real. While stock markets continue to reach new highs, the US economy grew at an average rate of just 2% in the first half of 2017 – slower growth than under President Barack Obama – and is not expected to perform much better for the rest of the year.
    Stock-market investors continue to hold out hope that Trump can push through policies to stimulate growth and increase corporate profits. Moreover, sluggish wage growth implies that inflation is not reaching the US Federal Reserve’s target rate, which means that the Fed will have to normalize interest rates more slowly than expected.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.


  • Raising the Debt Ceiling Means Jacking Up Future Inflation

    The dramatic failure of the U. S. Senate’s last-ditch Obamacare repeal effort leaves Republicans so far without a major legislative win since Donald Trump took office. No healthcare reform. No tax reform. No monetary reform. No budgetary reform.
    The more things change in Washington… the more they stay the same.
    Despite an unconventional outsider in the White House, it’s business as usual for entrenched incumbents of both parties. The next major order of business for the bipartisan establishment is to raise the debt ceiling above $20 trillion.
    Since March, the Treasury Department has been relying on ‘extraordinary measures’ to pay the government’s bills without breaching the statutory debt limit.
    By October, according to Treasury officials, the government could begin defaulting on debt if Congress doesn’t approve additional borrowing authority.
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants Congress to pass a ‘clean’ debt limit increase. That would entail just signing off on more debt without putting any restraints whatsoever on government spending.
    Fiscal conservatives hope to tie the debt ceiling hike to at least some budgetary reforms. But even relatively minor spending concessions will be difficult to obtain from the bipartisan establishment.

    This post was published at GoldSilverWorlds on August 2, 2017.


  • Crashing Auto Sales Reflect Onset Of Debt Armageddon

    July auto sales was a blood-bath for U. S auto makers. The SAAR (Seasonally ManipulatedAdjusted Annualized Rate) metric – aka ‘statistical vomit’ – presented a slight increase for July over June (16.7 SAAR vs 16.5 SAAR). But the statisticians can’t hide the truth. GM’s total sales plunged 15% YoY vs an 8% decline expected. Ford’s sales were down 7.4% vs an expected 5.5% drop. Chrysler’s sales dropped 10.5% vs. -6.1% expected. In aggregate, including foreign-manufactured vehicles, sales were down 7% YoY.
    Note: These numbers are compiled by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by manufactures. Also please note: A ‘sale’ is recorded when the vehicle is shipped to the dealer. It does not reflect an economic transaction between a dealer and an end-user. As Automotive News reports: ‘[July was] the weakest showing yet in a year that is on tract to generate the industry’s first decline in volume since the 2008-2009 market collapse.’
    The domestics blamed the sharp decline in sales on fleet sales. But GM’s retail sales volume plunged 14.4% vs its overall vehicle cliff-dive of 15% And so what? When the Obama Government, after it took over GM, and the rental agencies were loading up on new vehicles, the automakers never specifically identified fleet sales as a driver of sales.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on August 2, 2017.


  • JULY 31/GOLD AND SILVER HOLD DESPITE THIS BEING THE LAST DAY FOR OPTIONS EXPIRY ON LONDON OTC CONTRACTS/WAR OF WORDS BETWEEN USA, NORTH KOREA AND CHINA RE THE NORTH KOREA’S LAUNCHING OF THAT ICBM…

    GOLD: $1268.00 DOWN $1.60
    Silver: $16.79 UP 9 cent(s)
    Closing access prices:
    Gold $1269.60
    silver: $16.85
    SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: FIRST FIX 10 15 PM EST (2:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SECOND FIX: 2:15 AM EST (6:15 SHANGHAI LOCAL TIME)
    SHANGHAI FIRST GOLD FIX: $1273,24.79 DOLLARS PER OZ
    NY PRICE OF GOLD AT EXACT SAME TIME: $1269.20
    PREMIUM FIRST FIX: $4.04
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    SECOND SHANGHAI GOLD FIX: $1272,13
    NY GOLD PRICE AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1267.80
    Premium of Shanghai 2nd fix/NY:$4.33
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    LONDON FIRST GOLD FIX: 5:30 am est $1266.35
    NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME: $1266.80
    LONDON SECOND GOLD FIX 10 AM: $1267.55
    NY PRICING AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. $1268.00
    For comex gold:
    AUGUST/
    NOTICES FILINGS TODAY FOR APRIL CONTRACT MONTH: 1637 NOTICE(S) FOR 163700 OZ.
    TOTAL NOTICES SO FAR: 1637 FOR 163700 OZ (5.091 TONNES)
    For silver:
    AUGUST
    233 NOTICES FILED TODAY FOR
    1,165,000 OZ/
    Total number of notices filed so far this month: 233 for 1,165,000 oz
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    On Friday night I wrote the following:
    ‘On yesterday’s commentary I thought we were going to have a raid today. I noticed that the gold/silver equity shares sold off badly yesterday and that is a sure sign that an attack will occur. Probably our crooks were blindsided today with the failure of the Republicans to pass the healthcare bill as well as lousy GDP report, the all important wage inflation is non existent and the passing of new sanctions against Russia. And then we can couple all of this with the new launching of a ICBM that could hit New York and Boston…and yet with all of that news, the gain in gold was less than 10 dollars and silver, 11 cents. However today again, the gold/silver equity shares fell off badly on closing and we have only Monday morning for options expiry. There has never been any time during any options expiry that the crooks have not generated a raid. So if they fail to raid on Monday, they are losing control as demand is far outstripping supply in our precious metals.

    This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on July 31, 2017.


  • Market Talk- July 28th, 2017

    A weak market close for most of the Asian indices today but saw the KOPSI and ASX off around 1.55% the pair. The Nikkei gave up another 0.6% as the yen trade back to the mid 110’s. With Shanghai the only core that closed positive even the Hang Seng fell -0.6%. The sell-off was broad based but financials seemed to take their share of the beating, possibly influenced by European declines and notably that of Deutsche bank. The late news that the US Senate had voted down the Obama appeal certainly didn’t help sentiment. Japan did see a weaker Retail Sales release (2.1% versus a 2.3% expectation) with an inline Consumer Prices number.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 28, 2017.


  • Countries Are Ramping Up On Gold Purchases As The Dollar Takes A Dive – Episode 1340a

    The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 24, 2017
    Existing home sales slump, this is the weakest summer since 2011, this is not a good sign. Caterpillar sales increase because of the purchases from China and the Asian sector, this is fading already. Obama’s economy was one of the weakest economies we have seen since 1971. IMF forecast for US growth has been revised lower, it also revised global growth. Visa and other credit card issuers are pushing a cashless society to increase profits through transaction fees. Turkey and many other countries are purchasing a huge amount of gold. Janet Yellen confirms that the US dollar is collapsing.


  • A Pro-Growth Move

    When President Trump was elected last November, the stock market threw a pro-growth party that resulted in a robust year-end rally for the major indices. Stock market participants were enthused by the prospect of reduced regulations, increased infrastructure spending, the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and, most importantly, tax reform.
    That enthusiasm manifested itself in the outperformance of value stocks, but in more recent months, growth stocks have flexed their muscle and have been leading the major indices to new record highs.
    The shift in leadership has been plain to see and it plainly suggests that the stock market isn’t as hopeful as it once was that the assumed pro-growth legislation will come to pass.
    That has been discouraging in an economic sense because the real-time economic data have served as a reminder that the US economy is still stuck in its low-growth rut.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 07/24/2017.


  • Technical Scoop – Weekend Update July 23

    It was another quiet week for the markets even as the S&P 500 hit new all-time highs less than 25 points from 2,500. Investor focus continued to be on Trump and the goings-on at the White House. For months, years even, Republicans and Trump vowed that there would be health care reform by ending Obamacare and bringing in their own version. Tax reform was another part of the agenda that was top in investors’ minds. By week’s end, health reform lay in tatters and tax reform is becoming doubtful. Despite a number of iterations of repeal-and-replace Obamacare, in the end they did not satisfy enough Republican senators to push it through the Senate. It went either too far or not far enough. In desperation, they went for a straight repeal and that one proved to be dead on arrival.
    After six months of Republicans controlling the White House, Congress, and the Senate they have not been able to pass one piece of major legislation. While seemingly it has not weighed on the stock markets, it does appear to be weighing on the US Dollar as the US$ Index sunk to new 52-week lows. As to tax reform, well, that appears to be going nowhere either and deadlines loom at the end of the fiscal year September 30, 2017. The debt ceiling is looming once again as the Treasury is poised to run out of money in early October – unless, of course, they agree to extend it once again. The debt ceiling debate is becoming increasingly rancorous, but not between Republicans and Democrats – instead, between Republicans and Republicans. The White House is on one side and Congress on the other, with one wanting and recognizing the need to raise the debt ceiling while the other wants to slam on the brakes for their own agenda.
    Things continue to heat up on the Russian investigation front. Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, the principals at the heart of the Russian meeting that was initially denied, are due to meet a Senate judiciary committee on July 26. Things continue to whirl around the investigation with constant implied threats from the White House leveled at special counsel Robert Mueller if the investigation expands into Trump’s finances. It ought to be interesting given Mueller’s authority especially if it clashes directly with the President. The President also slammed his Attorney General for recusing himself in the Russian investigation and if he had known that in advance, Jeff Sessions would never have been appointed. Something about throwing your report under the bus it seems. Finally, the President said that since he has the power to grant pardons he could pardon himself. Nothing said about the ensuing constitutional crisis.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 23 July 2017.


  • How Accurate Are CBO Forecasts? The Answer In Two Charts

    Even as the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare in recent months has suffered one humiliating loss after another, at the hands of none other than the very same Republican party, one government agency has been repeatedly scapegoated for the GOP’s failure to come up with a credible and passable alternative to Obamacare: the Congressional Budget Office. Then agan, while hardly an excuse for their sheer incompetence, the GOP is certainly right to point the finger at the CBO’s track record of “forecasts”, one which we have mocked here on occasion after occasion after occasion.
    And here, in just two charts, is why when it comes to matters of predictive accuracy, the CBO is almost as bad as the Federal Reserve.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2017.