The Dallas Fed’s latest manufacturing gauge has imploded! It fell to -17.5 from -7.4, the worst reading in 11 months. The New York and Philadelphia indices tanked, and the overall plunge in these up-to-date manufacturing surveys over the past couple of months is one of the worst on record!
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday …
“The Federal Reserve is just days away from ending one of the major steps to aid the U.S. economy — but the effort has done little to solve the original problem: The government and individuals alike are still heavily in debt.”
The Journal goes on to make the same argument:
“The fundamental problem is that reversing the trend of piling on the debt requires some combination of cutting spending, growing income or the economy, and inflation. But wage growth is stagnant and home prices, which underpin much of the debt problem, are still falling.
“Meanwhile, in a vicious circle, businesses aren’t hiring or investing because they know consumers are tapped out. Banks, for their part, are hoarding cash, being stingy with new loans.
Ben Bernanke admitted in his most recent press conference:
“We don’t have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting … Some of the headwinds that have been concerning us, like the weakness in the financial sector, problems in the housing sector, balance sheet and deleveraging issues, may be stronger and more persistent than we thought.”
If you’re counting on the Fed to get things right, good luck! They got the dot-com bubble wrong. They got the housing bubble wrong. Their plan to underwrite an economic recovery has proven to be the wrong medicine for what ails the nation.
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A “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economy expansion may slow in the second half of this year as “the deleveraging process continues, fiscal stimulus is withdrawn and confidence ebbs.”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.
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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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Back in early 2005, President George Bush excitedly told the nation how great the country was doing. Behind the scenes was another matter. The housing market was overheated. Economic danger signs were in the air. The Fed had an opportunity to reduce the risk among banks, notably smaller ones. The Federal Reserve Board is also guilty of regulatory inaction that directed contributed to the mortgage meltdown.
The leadership of the Federal Reserve rejected advice from one of the nation’s top banking regulators, a professional accounting board and the Fed’s own staff for restrictions on commercial bankers use of special debt securities to raise capital. The exponential growth and lack of tracking ability for these securities threatened the fabric of banking operations.
Chairman Alan Greenspan and the other six Fed governors voted unanimously to reaffirm a nine-year-old rule allowing liberal use of what are called trust-preferred securities. Previous to that time community banks had few ways to raise capital without issuing more common stock and diluting share price. The Fed allowed the banks to count the securities as debt that they could loan against, even while counting the proceeds as reserves. Through the fractional reserve, banks were then free to borrow and lend in amounts 10 times or more than the value of the securities being issued. This kind of leveraging became the norm. The Fed enabled Wall Street bankers to encourage community banks to take on huge debt and to plunge the borrowings into real estate loans.
Institutions relying on these instruments took more risks and failed more often than those that did not include the use of these trust-preferred securities. Investment banks on Wall Street aggressively pooled these community-bank securities into complex bonds, much like the complex mortgage bonds that nearly brought down the financial system in 2008.
The consequences have continued to build for small bankers. More and more banks are defaulting, requiring intervention by the FDIC. The bank failures have already left more than $1 billion of the complex bonds on the books of the FDIC bank rescue fund.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating how securities firms promoted the sale of these complex bonds in a poorly understood, billion dollar offshore market for debt issued by banks, insurers and real estate trusts without checking their greed. Everyone was making money and delighted by the results. As the market became saturated, bankers refused to conduct business, becoming sitting ducks in a frozen banking system. Eventually, in October 2008, the system faced a complete collapse.
McClatchy Newspapers Article
Fed’s mysterious policy: How do we know if it’s working?
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Even as residents of the United States are losing their homes in record numbers, the Federal Reserve wants to put the burden on homeowners by stopping their ability to cease foreclosures, including the ability to escape predatory home loans with onerous terms. So goes the Fed’s proposal to amend a 42-year-old provision of the federal Truth in Lending Act. This has raised the ire of labor, civil rights and consumer advocacy groups along with a slew of foreclosure defense attorneys.
For the first time in a while, scuttlebutt exists about stripping some of the power being lavished the Federal Reserve and instead, allowing this aspect of law to be handled by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which begins its work next year.
Since 1968, the Truth in Lending Act has given homeowners the right to rescind illegal loans for up to three years after the transaction was completed if the buyer wasn’t provided with proper disclosures at the time of closing. During the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve continued to expand its own authority through 21,000 transactions that lend tens of billions of dollars to Goldman Sachs and other giants of Wall Street, as well as British, German and French banks, including other big businesses and smaller banks from Puerto Rico through the United States. The Republicans are now trying to use this as political capital, mandated by many newly elected members of Congress that campaigned on platforms to rein in the Federal Reserve’s freedom to act independently of Congress.
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“Capital must protect itself in every possible way, both by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, mortgages foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through the process of law, the common people lose their homes, they will become more docile and more easily governed through the strong arm of government applied by a central power of wealth under leading financiers. These truths are well known among our principal men who are now engaged in forming an imperialism to govern the world. By dividing the voter through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting for questions of no importance. It is thus by discreet action we can secure for ourselves that which has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”
– Montagu Norman, Governor of The Bank Of England, addressing the United States Bankers’ Association, NYC 1924
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