The U.S. Has Lost 195,000 Good Paying Energy Industry Jobs

Not all jobs are created equal. There is a world of difference between a $100,000 a year energy industry job and a $10 an hour job running a cash register at Wal-Mart. You can comfortably support a middle class family on $100,000 a year, but there is no way in the world that you can run a middle class household on a part-time job that pays just $10 an hour. The quality of our jobs matters, and if current long-term trends continue unabated, eventually we are not going to have much of a middle class left. At this point the middle class has already become a minority in America, and according to the Social Security Administration 51 percent of all American workersmake less than $30,000 a year right now. We have a desperate need for more higher paying jobs, and that is why what is happening in the energy industry is so deeply alarming.
Just today we got some more disturbing news. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the U. S. has lost 195,000 good paying energy jobs since the middle of 2014…
Cheap oil has fueled a massive wave of job cuts that may not be over yet.
Since oil prices began to fall in mid-2014, cheap crude has been blamed for 195,000 job cuts in the U. S., according to a report published on Thursday by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
It’s an enormous toll that is especially painful because these tend to be well-paying jobs. The average pay in the oil and gas industry is 84% higher than the national average, according to Goldman Sachs.
Those are good paying jobs that are not easy to replace, and unfortunately the jobs losses appear to be accelerating. In their new report, Challenger, Gray & Christmas went on to say that 95,000 of those job cuts have come in 2016, and 17,725 of them were in July alone.
We also got some other bad news for the U. S. economy on Thursday.
Factory orders are down again, and at this point U. S. factory orders have now been down on a year over year basis for 20 months in a row. That is the longest streak in all of U. S. history.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on August 4th, 2016.

Jailing Banksters Will Not Resolve the Economic Crisis

Meet the Scapegoats
Last week, an Irish court sentenced three prominent banksters for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis. Judge Martin Nolan, who pronounced judgment, said that the bansksters had committed ‘a very serious crime.’ He continued:
‘The public is entitled to rely on the probity of blue chip firms. If we can’t rely on the probity of these banks we lose all hope or trust in institutions.’*

Meet the scapegoats! Three Irish bankers sent to jail: former finance director at the failed Anglo Irish Bank, Willie McAteer (42 months); former Irish Life and Permanent Bank Chief Executive Denis Casey (33 months); and former head of capital markets at the Anglo Irish Bank, John Bowe (24 months). This may very well be a case of going to jail for stupidity. They were doing the bidding of regulators, in the erroneous belief that they wouldn’t throw them under the bus when push came to shove. The three had engaged in a scheme of pushing money around in circular fashion in order to make Anglo Irish Bank look healthier than it was. However, as the defense noted: they reacted to the what Irish regulators told them at the time, who demanded that ‘Irish banks support one another as the financial crisis worsened, in a program called the green jersey agenda.’ As former Irish central bank governor John Hurley said in testimony, ‘The ECB told Ireland to stand with its failing banks’. Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen in turn said:’Ireland was bounced into the bailout by Hurley’s friends in the ECB, which was ‘at all times pushing’ us into an international rescue program.’ We would note: not a single regulator, central bank bureaucrat or politician was ever even remotely in danger of getting jail time!

This post was published at Acting-Man on August 5, 2016.

LowRatesMatter: MetLife Misses Big, Blames Fed Policy For Massive Job Cuts

In a poetic poke to the eye of the Fed’s “lower for longer” interest rate policy intended to manage, in part, job creation, MetLife just announced a massive earnings miss and job cuts which the CEO attributed to lower investment income due to, you guessed it, low interest rates. According to MetLife’s 2Q 2016 earnings release, the company reported operating earnings of $924 million, down 48 percent from the second quarter of 2015, and 47 percent on a constant currency basis. Operating earnings in the Americas decreased 42 percent, and 41 percent on a constant currency basis. The stock is being punished in today’s trading session and is currently down roughly 9% (a mere $4BN of value destruction).
According to a report by Bloomberg, MetLife, the largest U. S. life insurer, plans to cut expenses by
11 percent as low interest rates squeeze investment income. Metlife’s CEO discussed the company’s cost cutting initiatives on it’s earnings call:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2016.

Republican ‘Comfort’ Crashes To 2 Year Lows As Black Hope Tops White

The last few weeks have seen an historic shift in Americans’ “comfort” levels. For the first time in 6 months, consumer confidence among black Americans is higher than that of white Americans, having soared in the last two weeks, during and following The DNC convention.
One thing of note is how much more volatile consumer comfort among black Americans is than white Americans…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2016.

Whiff of Panic among Australia’s Biggest Banks?

‘Australia’s WTF Moment’
Australian bank regulators that had for years practically encouraged the big four Australian banks to do whatever it takes to further inflate the housing bubble suddenly fretted publicly in April about the banks’ exposure not only to housing but also to China. And now something strange has happened that set off all kinds of warning sirens.
On August 2, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) lowered its target ‘cash rate’ by 25 basis points to 1.50%. And what did the banks do? Something so strange it smelled of panic.
Everything is nearly hunky-dory around the globe and in Australia, the RBA said to rationalize the rate cut, but it mentioned some squiggles in Australia’s housing market. And since about two-thirds of the assets of the big four banks are loans to the property sector, particularly mortgages, the RBA is getting nervous. It mentioned the oncoming tsunami of supply of housing units, tightening lending standards, and the pull-back of maxed out potential homebuyers. It seems the RBA fears that something is going to prick the Australian housing bubble and take down the banks.
The big four banks – Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac Banking Corp (WBC), and National Australia Bank (NAB) – are a special breed. Their total assets amount to 220% of Australia’s GDP!

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ August 4, 2016.

Ira Epstein’s Gold Report: Aug-4-2016

Over the past month the marketplace has gone through a lot in terms of:
Brexit World Monetary Policy US Presidential Nominees A failed coup in Turkey North Korean Tensions Escalating China loses court battle in dispute over South Seas Brexit
Those who subscribe to my research know that I have written extensively about Brexit and what I think the ultimate outcome will look like. Simply put, there’s no rush on the U. K.’s part to get out of the Eurozone but the politicians have to act on immigration and rights to immigrants to satisfy the voters. Look for the exit to be protracted, with lots of negotiations taking place over a long period of time. My personal expectation is for this to follow the path Norway took.
Norway is a member of the European Economic Area and has tariff-free access to the single market for most goods, but is outside the European Customs Union.
This begs the question of what is a customs union.
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines a customs union as ‘a trade agreement by which a group of countries charges a common set of tariffs to the rest of the world while granting free trade among themselves. It is a partial form of economic integration that offers an intermediate step between free-trade zones (which allow mutual free trade but lack a common tariff system) and common markets (which, in addition to the common tariffs, also allow free movement of resources such as capital and labour between member countries). A free-trade zone with common tariffs is a customs union.’
If the U. K. follows something along these lines, the U. K. would incur additional administrative costs. This means that all goods entering the customs union would face pre-agreed to customs controls, mandatory paperwork and likely have extra duties to pay depending on the type of goods being entered and their origin. If the U. K. decides to go this route in order to deal with EU members, the U. K. will likely first resolve the customs union issues before it enters into any serious negotiations over non-EU bilateral trade deals. This is going to take a long period of time, but in the end expect something will get in place that allows the U. K. to easily enter into trade with EU partners. I expect nothing of serious consequence to be decided before year end, but that doesn’t mean that public sway isn’t taking place and that that sway won’t force the Bank of England to take action to show it has control of the situation. The bank might lower interest rates or even decide to launch another Quantitative Easing Package (QE). I doubt QE will occur at this as the Brexit fallout seems very muted right now.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 4 August 2016.

THE TIDE HAS TURNED: Large Silver Miner Reports First Profit In 3 Years

It looks as if the TIDE HAS TURNED as one of the industry’s large silver producers finally reported its first profit after three long years. Coeur Mining reported a $17.3 million adjusted income profit in Q2 2016 compared to an $11 million adjusted loss in the previous quarter.
This is truly a significant trend change as Coeur Mining has suffered 12 consecutive quarters of adjusted income losses. The last time Coeur stated a profit, was in the first quarter of 2013 when it reported an adjusted income gain of $6.8 million:

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on August 4, 2016.

Why Wall Street Loved What The Bank of England Announced Today

Following a handful of underwhelming monetary announcements by the likes of the ECB, BOJ and RBA, today the BOE’s Mark Carney unveiled his own version of Draghi’s infamous “whatever it takes” gambit, unleashing a kitchen sink of options that went well beyond what Wall Street expected, even quasi-copying Draghi’s phrasing, saying the central bank will take “whatever action is necessary” to ensure the UK economy remains strong.
To do that, in addition to the widely expected 25 bps rate cut, Carney also unveiled a 70bn increase to the BOE’s QE to 445bn consisting of 60bn in Gilt purchases and up to 10bn of corporate bond purchases. In addition, the BOE guided expectations towards a further, small rate cut to “close to but a little above zero” by the end of the year, which would be its effective lower bound.
The Committee revised lower its GDP outlook by 2.5% over the next three years. In the BoE’s revised outlook, weaker growth owes partly to a weaker outlook for potential output. Together with the effects of weaker Sterling, this implies a larger and more persistent inflation overshoot.
And Wall Street absolutely loved it, because in a replica of the ECB’s CSPP, this time called the Corporate Bond Purchasing Scheme, or CBPS, the BOE assured that corporate bond yields would sink even lower, as per our preview last night, in the process forcing yield-chasing investors to buy even more dividend stocks and push the market to even greater highs, allowing banks to offload even more risk onto retail investors. Of course, that’s not how they called it, instead DB’s Mark Wall said “the breadth of the package and confidence in the capacity” while Goldman Andrew Benito said the BOE action was “a significant package of policy easing.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2016.

Ahead Of Tomorrow’s Jobs Number, A Big Red Flag: Tax Withholdings Slump

Rubber Duckies and the Jobs Number
Given the volatility of recent U. S. labor market data, markets will pay special attention to Friday’s Employment Situation report. Current expectations are for 175-180,000 jobs added, somewhat better than the 3 month average of 140,000. Wage growth will be the other statistic of note, with last month’s 2.6% advance over last year as the benchmark. Looking at individual tax/withholding receipts (available from the U. S. Treasury) for the month of July, there is reason for caution on both indicators. July ‘Withheld’ receipts – those tax and withholding payments that come straight from wage earner pay stubs – are down 1.0% year over year.
This data series can be choppy, and looking at the three month trailing average yields a 3.1%. That’s a touch slower than the 2016 YTD comp of 3.3%, and tells us to not expect too much from Friday’s number.
Also worth noting: YTD non-withheld tax receipts (such as those that come from ‘Gig economy’ workers) are down 6.5%, and July’s comp is 15% lower than a year ago.
Last, corporate tax receipts are down 11% YTD, and if the current pace of these payments holds it will be the first negative comp since 2011. Bottom line: if the tax man isn’t as busy, can the U. S. economy really be expanding?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2016.

Insider Trading and Taxes: The State Wants to Read Your Mind

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson was back in the news this summer thanks to a 2014 federal investigation into an insider trading case. It is alleged that Mickelson owed high stakes sports gambler Billy Walters a considerable amount of money in July of 2012. As a result, Walters advised Mickelson to buy stock in Dean Foods Company as a result of an inside tip received by Walters’ longtime friend and top Dean Foods director Thomas C. Davis. The purchase netted Mickelson $931,000 after he sold the stock less than one month after purchase. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now ruled that he must return the entire $931,000 plus another $105,000 in interest. Davis and Walters are named as co-defendants in the SEC’s civil suit while Mickelson is named only as a relief defendant. No further legal action will be taken against the golfer commonly referred to as ‘Lefty.’
Insider trading laws are typically difficult to assess. In this particular case, Davis appears to be the individual who provided the non-public information and Walters appears to be the one who received it. Mickelson is involved as a result of being a third party to the initial infraction having been told information illegally obtained but not actually receiving it from the original source (Davis). This is the reason for the more lenient status in the case for Mickelson and the harsher status for the other two men.
Can the State Prove Motive?
Many have wondered why Mickelson hasn’t been considered for a harsher sentence in this case. His being a sports celebrity, along with having considerable wealth, paints a perception of someone able to beat the system as a result of these advantages. But if Mickelson had already owned stock in Dean Foods and had been told not to sell by the same inside source, would the SEC still be able to file charges against him? Could they really prove that the golfer’s inaction in deciding to keep ahold of the stock he had was the result of this illegal tip? Of course not, because only positive actions can be ascribed to information no matter if it is legally obtained or not. This is one of the major problems in attempting to crack down on insider trading.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 4, 2016.

Factory Orders And Trucking Have Imploded, Recovery, I Think Not – Episode 1040a

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 4, 2016
Retail spending in Australia slows. Initial jobless claims rise as Challenger Gray and Christmas report more layoffs. Millennials are now living paycheck to paycheck. Class 8 trucking declines and at the same time factory order decline for 20 consecutive months. Brits are now taking their currency out of the banks and hiding it under the mattress. The people in Venezuela are now killing zoo animals for food.

Why Is High-Yield Energy Debt Decoupling From Oil?

The recent drop in crude oil prices has not reflected in the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF, as shown in the chart below. Various analysts believe that the close correlation between the junk bonds and crude oil – which have been together for quite some time – has now decoupled.
Is this relationship really over, or is this parting of ways only a temporary separation?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2016.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Rangebound Until Non-Farm Payrolls

The markets got what they expected from the Bank of England this morning, with a 25 basis point cut, and an expansion of QE to include corporate debt.
If the financial system was not corrupt and broken this might mean something. Alas, it is not, so it does not, except for more of the same kind of corporate debt expansion to buy back stocks, boost payouts to the one percent, and build monopolies.
So stocks continued to wind around within a relatively narrow range that has held good for the past 19 trading days.
Tomorrow we get the US Non-Farm Payrolls. An outlier either way *could* shake things up a bit.
Let’s see what happens.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 04 AUGUST 2016.

What Student Debt Problem; Simple Solution ends the problem

A problem clearly stated is a problem half-solved.
Dorothea Brande
The real issue is that there are college students that don’ want to work and want to go to the best colleges money can buy, and the parents are encouraging this. What happened to the day you went to the college you could afford, and you worked to pay for all of it or, at least, helped your parents. The problem lies with the parents and the kids; the parents are encouraging this asinine behaviour. Today’s generation believe that they are entitled to the best of the best without having to work for it. College Graduates that are drowning in debt, but still refuse to give up on luxuries is a perfect example of this principle in action. Instead of tightening their belts, they continue to add to the debt and then cry wolf when everything starts to fall apart.
What made the baby boomers great and all those that came to the U. S decades ago? Everyone worked hard; there were no handouts, today’s generation’s wants the best of the best, but most of them do not want to work hard to achieve their goals. If nothing is done to address this handicap, this generation will continue to demand more and more while doing less and less. Eventually, someone has to pay for these handouts, and this translates into higher taxes; those that work hard will have to pay more and more to support those that don’t.
Things are getting so bad now, that you have websites that glamorise the concept of having a sugar daddy to pay for your college. More than 350,000 students belong to one of these sites, so it is a trend that is gathering momentum. In most cases, these students are going to expensive colleges as opposed to attending a state or city college where the fees are considerably lower.
Essentially what you have here are college students selling themselves to sugar daddies to pay for their college. In many cases, the students are attending very expensive colleges and studying for degrees that are useless and won’t land them a high paying job. So what’s the logic in attending an expensive college and earning a degree in a field that will not land you a decent paying job? Many of these students will be tempted to stick with the new trade they took up in order to pay for their college fees. A simpler and more effective solution would be to follow the simple strategy outlined below.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 4 August 2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Respect

“Most of them became wealthy by being well connected and crooked. And they are creating a society in which they can commit hugely damaging economic crimes with impunity, and in which only children of the wealthy have the opportunity to become successful. That’s what I have a problem with. And I think most people agree with me.”
Charles Ferguson, Predator Nation
‘They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.’
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
“The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power as well. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich.
Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace.”
Tacitus, Agricola
Gold and silver were marking time today ahead of the Non-Farm Payrolls Report tomorrow.
It is remarkable, and surprising if you did not know how they think, how little the politicos and the professional class of the Anglo-American elite understand their own cultures and people, especially outside of the NY-Washington metroplex.
Not to mention their abysmal ignorance of and carelessness with the rest of the world when it gets in the way of their selfish desires.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 04 AUGUST 2016.

AUGUST 4/ENGLAND SURPRISES MARKETS WITH ADDITIONAL QE ON TOP OF CUTTING IT’S INTEREST RATE TO .25%/GOLD AND SILVER REBOUND WITH THE NEWS FROM ENGLAND/JAPAN IS NOW ENTERTAINING WAGE CONTROLS: THEY…

Gold:1361.00 up $4.80
Silver 20.41 down 3 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold: 1362.00
Silver: 20.34
For the August gold contract month, we had a large 205 notices served upon for 20,500 ounces. The total number of notices filed so far for delivery: 9862 for 986,200 oz or tonnes or 30.674 tonnes
In silver we had 6 notices served upon for 30,000 oz. The total number of notices filed so far this month: 146 for 730,000 oz.
Tomorrow is the FOMC report on the job gains in the uSA for last month. Even though the report has fraudulent data in it, many hedge funds have their eyes glued ready to sell or buy within seconds of its release especially gold and silver. So you are warned: gold and silver will be quite volatile tomorrow. The last jobs report was awful and I do not think that they will have two consecutive bad reports. They love putting lipstick on this economic pig
Today England joined Japan and the ECB with massive QE. England also lowered its interest rate to a tiny .25% heading towards zero bound. The message is clear: the global economy is in one complete mess! Gold and silver responded in kind.
Let us have a look at the data for today.
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In silver, the total open interest FELL BY A SMALLISH 1398 contracts DOWN to 223,142 AND CLOSE AN ALL TIME NEW ALL TIME RECORD AS THE PRICE OF SILVER FELL BY 22 CENTS WITH YESTERDAY’S TRADING. In ounces, the OI is still represented by just over 1 BILLION oz i.e. 1.116 BILLION TO BE EXACT or 159% of annual global silver production (ex Russia &ex China).
In silver we had 6 notices served upon for 30,000 oz
In gold, the total comex gold ROSE BY A CONSIDERABLE 1700 contracts despite the fact that the price of gold FELL by $8.30 yesterday. The total gold OI stands at 583,911 contracts.
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With respect to our two criminal funds, the GLD and the SLV:
GLD
we had no changes, to our gold inventory at the GLD . /
Total gold inventory rest tonight at: 969.65 tonnes
SLV
we had no changes in the SLV, the SILVER INVENTORY AT THE SLV
rests at 350.815 million oz.
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on August 4, 2016.