Busted: Bankers and The Global Economy

October 15, 2010

US Inflation Not High Enough Says Bernanke

Wages are stalled, job numbers are anemic, prices are up and social security payments are frozen. The Fed’s policymaking committee “is prepared to provide additional accommodation if needed to support the economic recovery and to return inflation over time to levels consistent with our mandate.” Apparently, action is needed, even though Bernanke is speaking in yesterday’s terms.

According to Bernanke, current inflation numbers are well below the Fed’s objective of 2%. He is worried about deflation caused by printing dollars. Now the Fed will print more dollars and buy securities on the back end in a sort of mock economic transaction. Inflation and Fed profits are the main concern. Inflation allows central bankers to take an additional cut of economic life blood for their services.  In the past, Bernanke has tried upselling to Wall Street. Today, many news articles are claiming that the Fed plans to tame inflation.  He expects to create inflation, but does the Fed have the control it needs to regulate that inflation?  Bernanke thinks so. Bernanke claims to believe that the Fed’s intervention will stimulate the economy, reduce unemployment and prevent deflation. Clearly, the Fed thinks they are large and in charge. This comment and others were made to show intent about “avoiding a double-dip recession.”

Chairman Ben Bernanke said this morning that the Federal Reserve is prepared to take new action to boost the economy.  Inflation has been too low of late and unemployment is poised to come down too slowly. They intend to create inflation. Are you ready for the fallout?

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, Justice Minister Ken Clarke warned that world is “in grave danger of financial collapse.” He warned that western nations are “not out of the woods yet”…”We have rescued ourselves for the moment from being bracketed with the weaker brethren with doubts about our credit rating and the costs of our borrowing, but if we fail to deliver the kind of program we have set out we will be back there all too soon if we are not too careful.”  Clarke’s comments come only six days before the coalition government’s massive spending cuts are announced. The U.K. government argues that the cuts are necessary to restore the economy to health. Opponents claim they will push the U.K. into a double-dip recession.

 

July 11, 2010

Recession: The Ol’ Double Dip?

What is happening in the U.S. economy? The  newborn atmosphere of a slow recovery has plummeted since the start of the year when financial agencies were debating when to announce an interest rate increase. That is no longer the case.

The tax credit for first-time home buyers for up to $8,000 was over in April. Since then, housing transactions have nearly vanished. The mortgage loan interest rate has fallen to historic lows. The economic upturn that authorities claimed earlier this year simply the result of economic stimulus measures by the United States government.

Events are just as somber outside of the United States. From all appearances, a $1 trillion relief package ended the financial crisis that hit Europe. Still there is not a sign of recovery. Germany provided the needed stimulus funds, but is no longer providing capital to keep failed economies that have squandered credit with bankers solvent. Efforts to revive the economy have resulted only in more loss as bankers continue to plunder with their derivative cons. The U.S. has been fearful of making changes for the banking and finance community. Central bankers are still in charge, printing dollars as if there were no tomorrow.

Job are gone in the United States, likely forever. This is the admission of VP Joe Biden a little more than a week ago. States are looking at emergency measures to see what they can do to avoid the bleeding of jobs to other lands and to other peoples. Arizona is due to begin enforcement of a controversial immigration policy that is designed to return employment back to Arizona residents since measures by the federal government have been lackluster to non-existent in many places. The nation is full of illegals, the exact number unknown.

The price of a global economy is likely to be high. Every economy is subject to bring another one down. No one has discovered a way to move out of the doldrums. $787 billion in the U.S. was designed to boost domestic consumption, but the market is still cold. Congress has moved to bolster the economy through The Buy American Act, a ancient law passed in 1933 that requires the suppliers of the government to use American made products. Lawmakers are afraid to close tax loopholes that have remained open for corporations since 1991. As a result, nothing changes.

This has cooled temporary benefits of trade by corporations in the U.S.  known as the trade deficit. Corporations don’t care about this public denuding of wealth. They simply look to their own profits, not a sustainable relationship over time. Politicians outside of the U.S. want to promote free trade, as if the United States has more to offer in this regard. Even during the recession, the States were the primary agent of consumption for the world. Reckless spending, careless law and the rise of the corporate oligarchy has resulted in a new world, with a more level playing field. That is, after all, what globalists have wanted. This means that the big players that the globe depended on for economic sustenance are no longer the powerhouses they once were.

The nation is in an economic quagmire because it has ceded its wealth to corporations, a.k.a. multinationals and central bankers. The common opinion is that nations should not try to survive at the expense of other nations. Even so, the reality is that this has always been the case. The homogenized sameness of global balance supports only those that are in place to take advantage of it. The majority of the world will suffer at the hand those few that won’t. What’s new about that? It’s simply more political pandering that benefits a few.

June 27, 2010

Jobs & G20: Budget Slashing Fever & Fantasy

To hear the G-20 proclaim it, the U.S. and other “prime economies” had better slash their budget deficits before the world comes to an end. The U.S. Senate quashes continued aid for the unemployed. Wall Street investment firms and banking succeeds in watering down financial reform. The fantasy continues while economists and politicians worry behind the scenes.  Even VP Joe Biden openly admitted that the United States will not regain the jobs that were lost in the “Great Recession.”

The official jobless rate, projected at below 10%, is pure fiction and must treated as such by those that seek the truth. It doesn’t consider many unemployed people that have dropped off the charts into oblivion. Underemployment is a national plague that the Labor Bureau of Statistics has revealed. Many are the discouraged job seekers and those that have settled for part-time work. The U.S. Labor Department shows that there are 79 million men in America between the ages of 25 and 65. Nearly 18 million of them, a record 22%, are out of work. This doesn’t include the underemployed. The impact is larger in African-American men.

The financial markets, like the government lawmakers, could care less about the deficit. Perhaps they should. As a result, investment rates in bonds is down. Almost all of them ignore engineered inflation which pays off central bankers to the tune of about 10% yearly, the real loss in buying power for the nation. In the meantime, the official inflation rate is a “convenient” 3% most years. Powers that be project an inflation rate 2.3% yearly for the next 30 years. Dreamland. Because of what is really a stagflation economy, falling prices and deflation of the dollar are more likely.

Wall Street and multinational capitalism seems to be in robust condition, to the cost of everyone but them. Corporate profit margins have reached record levels at 36% as the average American is short circuited entirely. These profits have never been so high since record keeping began. These figures are much the same as they were in the Reagan administration.

More than half of the national budget funds defense (don’t forget the wars), national debt interest and Social Security/Medicare. Politicians are eyeballing cuts on the latter, often silent as a senior political voice fades away. Don’t kid yourself. You’ll pay for seniors and the disabled one way or the other. Don’t kid yourself about the other major expenses either. Meanwhile, the national budget has climbed steadily for decades in the 6% to 10% range, much higher than the professed inflation rate.

There are no easy answers beyond beginning to live within our means as a nation. For years, Americans had forgotten about this necessity, encouraged by the system to spend endlessly, until the recession hit us between the eyes. Only bankers, multinationals and Wall Street have profited in their own economic bubble. Government has forgotten what economic balance and locally productive jobs mean, threatening to destroy their own system of weights and balances with unfettered spending and wars overseas, designed to keep terrorist attacks overseas and out of America. We have created our own reality. Are we willing to change?

June 4, 2010

Why We’re Falling Into a Double-Dip Recession

Filed under: business, corporatism, credit, economy, government, inflation, money, recession, stagflation — Tags: , , — digitaleconomy @ 5:12 pm

The only reason the economy isn’t in a double-dip recession already is because of three temporary boosts: the federal stimulus (of which 75 percent has been spent), near-zero interest rates (which can’t continue much longer without igniting speculative bubbles), and replacements (consumers have had to replace worn-out cars and appliances, and businesses had to replace worn-down inventories). Oh, and, yes, all those Census workers (who will be out on their ears in a month or so).

~ Robert Reich

May 14, 2010

Big Business & Consequence of Economic Recovery

Because of the way that the United States economy is structured, every article of good news is almost always balanced by an equally troubling fact of economic life. Despite the prospects of a growing recovery in the eyes of many, we are now confronted with the latest trade deficit statistics.

As the economy improves, established business and some people are spending more money. The unhappy news is that the nation is spending more on imported goods than the rest of the world is spending on U.S. goods.

The latest statistics show that U.S. exports rose 3.2 percent during the month. Authorities equate this to a seasonally adjusted $147.9 billion. Imports increased by almost the same percentage, rising to $188.3 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $40.4 billion for the month of March. This an increase of 2.5 percent compared to the prior month, the highest trade imbalance in dollars in 15 months.

Much of the trade imbalance is due to the cost of  addictive imported oil, which points to the need for more effective national energy policy. The recent gulf oil spill has put a bit of a monkey wrench into what government says are short-term plans.

The largest winners in this trade process are the Middle East, followed by China. While consumers ultimately decide what they will buy, the big decision makers in all this hocus-pocus is Big Business, either through Corporate America, Multinational Corporations and large retailers like Wal-Mart. Responsibility doesn’t stop there. Even small mall shops bear a burden in supporting cheap foreign goods. In fact, no business is free from supporting cheap foreign goods over American goods. That die was cast in the 1990s. Even now, corporations are constantly trying to lower their bottom line and increase profits exponentially. Most of the time, they don’t care how they do it.  As a result the nation spends more than ever on foreign goods to support the desire for cheap stuff. Unhappily, because of corporations, much of that cheap stuff isn’t really cheap. It is being marked up by Big Business, made more desirable through glitzy advertising. As a result, quality of goods is often being reduced as well.

Corporations are not being encouraged to use goods produced in the United States. In fact, there is little incentive to produce goods in the U.S. when insanely cheap manufacturing sources can be found overseas. Politics is often involved with the notion of “saving America.” Any economic sustainability for this nation must involve corporations and businesses that do business in America.

It has been posited by many that consumers must demonstrate more discipline. While consumers do vote with their dollars, they often have little choice in the matter, especially in this decade. It isn’t simply about tightening spending and buying American goods. Corporations that do business in America must comply as well for the nation to succeed in putting down a continued national trade imbalance. Any other approach is simply magical thinking.

September 16, 2009

Double Dip Recession or Recovery?

Filed under: corporatism, credit, economy — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 7:55 am

Global industrial production now shows clear signs of recovering at least when comparing the current ‘recession’ with the Great Depression. During that time, a decline in industrial production continued for a full three years. The question remains regarding final demand for this increased production. Will renewed demand actually materialize or did the U.S. government create a small bubble with $2 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program? Will consumer spending, especially in the US, remain weak, causing the increase in production to go into inventories? If production simply falls into inventories, this will result in sharp cut backs and result in a return to recession. The labor market combined with ailing business credit and finance in the U.S. does not hold out much promise for an end to the recession. Will the Obama administration jigger with credit markets to somehow expand credit markets?

Global stock markets and investment banking and profiteering have mounted a sharp recovery since the beginning of the year. Still, the decline in stock market wealth remains even greater than at a comparable stage of the Great Depression. The downward spiral in global trade volumes has abated. This may be due to the return of the old ways of doing business that President Obama has decried publicly in the last few days. Data exists for June that shows a modest uptick in trade, but  the collapse of global trade remains dramatic by the standards of the Great Depression.

September 2, 2009

Recession Moderates: August 2009 Report

Filed under: economy, recession, tracking — Tags: , , , , — digitaleconomy @ 8:51 am

082009recession
Recession moderates in 79 of 380 U.S. metropolitan areas.

Job losses continue.

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