Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

July 31, 2011

Realities Behind the U.S. Debt Crisis

While incompetent and corrupt politics continues to announce a huge divide between sides, the real truth is that Americans have been deceived. The last election proved how little difference exists between moderates on either side, and that is what politics in the United States plays to. Despite the rhetoric in debt crisis debate, there are few meaningful differences in the plans that are being voted on.

Both bills have been estimated to reduce the national budget deficit by around $900 billion over the next 10 years, which is small change in a nation that is overspending by 50%. $750 billion is linked to actual decisions to cut spending. The remaining savings are another accounting gimmick, a projected reduction in interest payments on the national debt because of the proposed budget cuts. $70 billion of the “huge savings” will be applied to 2012 and 2013. As usual, deciding to do anything meaningful always points off somewhere in the distant future. $70 billion is small potatoes for a large economy that continually overspends by increasing margins.

The real issue resides in the fact that the nation has an unstable fiat currency that has been losing its purchasing power for decades. Today, the well is virtually dry, which could easily result in the collapse of the dollar as international currency. This makes the reality of planning ahead a mere mental exercise instead of meaningful in any way. What is worse is that all this fancy accounting is dependent on an unrealistic gross national product of 4.86%. As a result, this budgeting is an exercise in smoke and mirrors.

If you live in the United States, you’ve probably heard the grim news. National GDP growth for the first quarter of 2011 was just revised down yesterday by 81% from 1.91% to 0.36%. Never mind that 1.91% is paltry growth anyway. Second quarter estimates for the nation look even worse as the Federal Reserve prints more fiat dollars than ever before. Printing greenbacks doesn’t create economic growth or employment.

As the Federal Government wriggles in credit agony, the Treasury had $51.6 billion available for discretionary spending. The U.S. Treasury expects to bring in $172.4 billion from August 3rd through August 31st in tax receipts, while being scheduled to pay out $306.7 billion. This means a projected deficit of $134.3 billion. The Federal Government is scheduled to make its interest payment of $30 billion on the national debt on August 15th. They are now on track to spend a record $514.5 billion this year on interest payments alone. The nation faces an increase of the interest rate because of a likelihood of a credit downgrade, which would destroy any deficit reductions proposed by national politicians.

The Treasury has been able to pay bills in recent weeks by using accounting gimmicks, but that has come to an end in a few days. The Federal Government is in a real pickle without more fiat money printed by the Federal Reserve. Prioritizing incoming tax receipts of an expected $174.2 billion is essential, which will include the $30 billion interest payment on August 15th to avoid default.

The immediate obligations to the populace in August are $49.2 billion in Social Security, $50 billion in Medicare and Medicaid, topped by $12.8 billion in unemployment benefits. $23 billion of $49.2 billion in Social Security payments are due to be paid on August 3rd. $59 billion in treasury bills are due on August 4th to pay back investors. This says nothing of $31.7 billion in defense payments to pay soldiers and the like.

As a U.S. debt default and credit shortage looms, investors continue (so far) to invest in Treasury Bonds as a safe haven, which would be worthless in the event of a national default. All of this assumes, of course, that they don’t rewrite all the rules because of the need to save the international economy. I’m surprised that they haven’t already taken over the ‘renegade’ credit agencies in the name of national security so that the world can continue to ride the dollar bubble.

After all the politics, interest rates are likely to be propelled rapidly upward, resulting in obvious hyperinflation that cannot be quietly manipulated or explained away. The world is flooded with American greenbacks, thanks in no small part to the uninspired management of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. As a result, the Federal Reserve is likely to be the only buyer for U.S. debt. How long will that last as it is?

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June 15, 2011

US economist predicts economic storm in 2013

devalued dollarA “perfect storm” of fiscal woes in the United States, a slowdown in China, the debt crisis in Europe and stagnation in Japan has a decent chance of damaging the global economy by 2013, Roubini told reporters late last week. Even so, he is being quite conservative about it. A 33% chance doesn’t seem like news to me. All this by New York University professor Nouriel Roubini, who correctly predicted the global economic crisis in 2008.

According to Mr. Roubini, the world economy expansion may slow in the second half of this year as “the deleveraging process continues, fiscal stimulus is withdrawn and confidence ebbs.”  To me, this seems obvious. This process is really part of what is already happening. It’s not news. The job market stinks in the U.S. and other modern nations. Money isn’t being made abundantly in the real economy. It’s all on Wall Street and in the investment world, based on heavy borrowing and debt restructuring of nations based on fiat money. Washington has been unwilling to deal with a one-trillion-plus budget deficit and a distinct bond market revolt is in the wings. Investors are waking up to the danger to their investment as US bonds are in danger of becoming junk. This will create higher interest rates and possible hyperinflation, which will remove any possibility of a recovery, even resulting the destruction of the dollar for an international medium of exchange. The bankers aren’t truly bothered by this. Based on inside information, the bankers already have a plan in the wings that I have touched on previously. It’s all about marketing, presentation to them.

Already, we have riots in Greece, as they face the music regarding the bad debt that the nation and bankers have created. They claim that officials need to restructure the debt of Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Waiting too long will ultimately result in the disintegration of the euro zone stability, experts say. Roubini agrees. The ridiculous aspect to the entire scenario is that all banking debt in the current system that is created will never be paid back. Further, much of this debt has been cleverly folded into Wall Street investments with the idea of making money, either through long or short selling. But this does not solve the problem of any debt unless the nations involved have the ability to make money by having control. They don’t. Only the bankers make money on any debt. In the meantime, these nations are paying on interest, not on principal. It’s stupid. The spiral never ends. Roubini and most economists remain silent on this aspect of the system.

Many other analysts, like myself,  have repeatedly warned of a “possible” repeat of the 2008 global economic meltdown in the immediate future. Others, like Moscow financial expert Alexander Osin expresses hope that the international community will be able to find the way out. Russian economist Konstantin Sonin  warns against overdramatizing the situation since people like Roubini are full of it, false prophets, in essence. The solution?

“The world economy faced such a problem in the 1930s,” Osin says, adding that Adolf Hitler’s ascent to power and the beginning of World War Two helped to resolve the problem. “At present, it should be solved by peaceful means, which the global community is almost certain to find.” Certainly, the Russians and Arabs are doing quite well since they are sitting on oil profits. That will only last as long as the current monetary gaming system does. That is the problem behind the whole matter. An eternal debt-based banking system destroys the nations that depend on it unless they are sitting on huge cash cow. Rest assured, that is temporary. If they are doing business with the bankers, the banking system will drain that wealth too. That is the nature of the system in place, as well as the nature of the future system.

So, to solve the problem we need a global war and preferably another Hitler. In the meantime, resolving the monetary system crisis is all about “hope,” and now we are listening to Russians for economic advice. The global economy really is in trouble. There won’t be any gain without plenty of pain. Never mind the pain that so many are in now.

E. Manning

March 30, 2011

U.S. Geithner Shocks Global Markets by Supporting International Currency

Filed under: business, central bank, corporatism, economy, federal reserve, inflation, politics — digitaleconomy @ 6:49 am

devalued dollarThe plight of the dollar and recent national inflation is making the United States quite shaky for a long-term economic recovery. The powers that be haven’t helped matters. Recently, economic adviser Timothy Geithner has been suggesting that a global currency sponsored by the IMF is desirable. This earth shaking statement caused the dollar to plunge instantly against the euro, yen, and sterling as the comments flashed across trading screens. The fact that anyone of importance is considering dumbing down the dollar is causing great fear and not a little doubt. The mainstream media in the United States has tried to quiet the news by keeping it out of the news.

Barack Obama, in a prime-time press conference on March 25, had at first ignored a question about the subject and, when it was put to him responded tersely: “I don’t believe that there’s a need for a global currency.”

Mr Geithner later qualified his remarks, insisting that the dollar would remain the “world’s dominant reserve currency … for a long period of time” but the seeds of doubt have been sown.

The markets appear baffled by the confused statements emanating from Washington. President Barack Obama told a new conference hours that there is no threat to the reserve status of the dollar.

“I don’t believe that there is a need for a global currency. The reason the dollar is strong right now is because investors consider the United States the strongest economy in the world with the most stable political system in the world”

March 15, 2011

Obama’s Plan To Punish Banks

Filed under: banking, business, corporatism, economy, recession — digitaleconomy @ 11:56 am

Large banks targeted“Shock and awe” are in the wings as the Obama administration seeks to force mortgage firms to reduce monthly payments for as many as 3 million distressed homeowners. This is to happen in the next 6 months as part of an agreement to settle accusations for improper foreclosures as well as patent violations of consumer protection laws.

The forced agreement would accomplish four goals set out by state and federal policy makers and regulators as part of multi-agency investigations into abusive mortgage practices by the nation’s largest financial firms. It will punish banks for violations of state law and federal regulations, provide much-needed assistance to distressed borrowers and send a warning to firms about abusing homeowners in the future.

Obama hopes to start a healing process required to clear the large volume of repossessed and soon-to-be-foreclosed homes that’s continue to depress the housing market and prices while draining consumer confidence.

 

February 14, 2011

Scary Facts About Getting a Job in America

Filed under: business, economy, money, recession, stagflation — Tags: , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 12:23 pm

Business Insider published “19 Scary Facts About Getting a Job in America.”

This recession is not another run-of-the-mill post-war recession, nor is it simply what globalism looks like. The recession in the U.S.A.  is a prolonged structural unemployment caused by multinational corporations fleeing high-cost labor markets to exploit low-cost labor markets. The impacts are real and devastating:

1) If you lose your job today, there’s a 70 percent chance you won’t find a job in the next month.

2) If you’ve been unemployed for a year, there’s a 91 percent chance you won’t find a job in the next month.

3) Two million people have exhausted 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. Another four million will do so in 2011.

4) There was zero job growth in the past decade, the worst 10 years on record.

5) In the most optimistic scenarios, payrolls won’t return to 2008 levels until 2013. In that time, the population will grow by 5 percent.

6) More than one in four jobs added to the economy last year were temporary.

7) At 2000 levels of labor force participation, the unemployment rate would be 13 percent.

8) When you count the unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers, only 47 percent of the work force is fully employed.

9) The number of workers over 55 has increased nearly 8 percent in three years. No retirement means no hiring.

10) Four out of 10 baby boomers said they will have to “work until they drop.”

11) The average length of unemployment is 22 weeks.

12) For workers over 55, the average length of unemployment is 43 weeks.

13) In one of the hardest cities to find a job, Las Vegas, there are nine applicants for every job opening.

14) No jobs crash since the Great Depression of the 1930s even compares to what’s happening now, in terms of the number of jobs lost by the economy as a whole.

15) A 1 percent increase in unemployment leads roughly to a 1 percent increase in suicides.

16) More than 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since 1998.

17) The number of motor vehicle manufacturing jobs will decline by 20 percent in the next decade.

18) The number of apparel manufacturing jobs will drop by 57 percent over the next decade.

19) Here is the competition: A network engineer in Bangladesh makes $6,000 a year, while a CEO earns $30,000 on the average.

The Business Insider report concluded with the following observation: “Getting a job today means going up against terrifying odds.”

February 10, 2011

U.S. Unemployment hits 17.3%

Filed under: business, economy, politics, recession — digitaleconomy @ 11:30 pm

It would seam that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is intentionally understating the current unemployment rate, most likely with an aim to bolstering the Obama administration’s claim that the unemployment rate is improving as jobs are created in a recovering economy.

In a BLS news release on Feb. 4, the unemployment rate was reported to have fallen 0.4 percent to 9.0 percent in January 2011, even though only 36,000 non-farm jobs were created.

The report further claimed the number of persons unemployed in January 2011 decreased by about 600,000, to 13.9 million people, while the labor force was unchanged.

Truthfully, it’s all in the classifications. Tracking down the different definitions of unemployment used by the BLS is an exercise in how the Obama administration lies with statistics.

The monthly unemployment rate report turned out by the BLS defines unemployment as those currently without a job who have actively looked for work in the prior four weeks and are currently available for work.

This definition conveniently excludes from the definition of unemployed those who have grown so discouraged that they are no longer looking for work, as well as those who are considered under-employed because they have been forced to accept part-time or lower paying full-time employment because no other jobs are available.

To get an estimate of these other categories of unemployed, we have to turn not to the BLS monthly unemployment rate press releases, but to a less well-known table produced by the BLS, Table A-15, “Alternative measures of labor utilization.”

Here is the relevant A-15 BLS table for January 2011.

Even a quick inspection shows that unemployment in this table is presented for January 2011, not at 9.0 percent, but as 9.8 percent, listed under “U-3 Total unemployed, as a percentage of the civilian labor force (official unemployment rate).

A difference is that Table A-15 considers a person to be unemployed if they are without a job for 15 weeks or longer, with no requirement that the person be actively looking for a job in the prior 15 weeks.

In other words, a different time frame – a longer look at weeks unemployed – and a less rigorous screening out for those who are becoming discouraged – results in a higher unemployment rate.

But the major difference is that the monthly unemployment rate reported by the BLS press releases is seasonally adjusted – in other words, altered – by a calculation known only to the bureaucrats within BLS.

By the time we get to U-6, the BLS is willing to consider as unemployed all persons including those marginally attached to the labor force, plus those forced to work part time.

Now, looking at the unadjusted U-6 data, the unemployment rate jumps to 17.3 percent for January 2011, not the 9.0 percent originally reported in the monthly BLS unemployment rate press release.

Even here, the number is intentionally understated, largely because workers who are so discouraged that they have abandoned looking for work altogether are by definition excluded from being included in the BLS estimate of how large the labor force truly is.

But the seasonal adjustments and “baseline” recalculations are where the Obama administration gets to manipulate the unemployment numbers to make sure the BLS remains on theme with the current White House spin on the economy.

It is no wonder that economist Jim Fitzgibbon, head of the Highlander Fund, calls the BLS monthly unemployment rate report “worthless,” noting “the entire report is seasonally adjusted to be positive, while the non-adjusted data is just awful.”

So, where the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 9.8 percent in November 2010 to 9.0 in January 2011, the non-adjusted unemployment rate went in the exact reverse direction, from 9.1 percent in November 2010 to 9.8 percent in January 2011.

The only BLS number that merits any attention at all is the unadjusted U-6 number from table A-15.

But, clearly, the Obama administration would do anything possible – including manipulating data – to avoid having to admit to the American public that after having spent billions in stimulus funds and trillions in deficits, unemployment in the United States for January 2011 was 17.3 percent.

 

February 4, 2011

Bernanke: Catastrophic Implications for U.S. Economy

Filed under: banking, business, corporatism, economy, federal reserve, government, money, recession — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 6:09 am

 

USA facing debt crisis

Ben Bernanke of U.S. Federal Reserve has warned that the failure to promptly raise the national debt ceiling would catastrophic.  This catastrophe would clearly have a negative impact on paper assets denominated in dollars and other fiat currencies.

Bernanke was blunt about the threats by some congressional Republicans to use the upcoming debt-ceiling vote as sledgehammer to force harsh spending cuts:

“I would very much urge Congress not to focus on the debt limit as being the bargaining chip in this discussion, but rather to address directly the spending and tax issues that we have to deal with in order to make progress on this fiscal situation,”

“Beyond a certain point … the United States would be forced into a position of defaulting on its debt. And the implications of that on our financial system, our fiscal policy and our economy would be catastrophic.”

It’s important to realize that Bernanke did not use his typical conservative language regarding the necessity of addressing U.S. fiscal challenges. To the contrary, he painted a bleak picture of the possible consequences of failing to act:

“… if government debt and deficits were actually to grow at the pace envisioned, the economic and financial effects would be severe. Sustained high rates of government borrowing would both drain funds away from private investment and increase our debt to foreigners, with adverse long-run effects on U.S. output, incomes, and standards of living. Moreover, diminishing investor confidence that deficits will be brought under control would ultimately lead to sharply rising interest rates on government debt and, potentially, to broader financial turmoil. In a vicious circle, high and rising interest rates would cause debt-service payments on the federal debt to grow even faster, causing further increases in the debt-to-GDP ratio and making fiscal adjustment all the more difficult.”

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