Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quips & Quotes

Reuters did a poll recently regarding "Quantitative Easing" and the results were simply astounding (but not really):

"The Fed's $2.8 trillion "quantitative easing" program has, among other things, lifted stock prices to record highs, driven interest rates to record lows and put a floor under what had been a reeling housing market.
Yet barely a quarter of Americans even know what it is.
A poll leading up to the Fed's pivotal decision, expected Wednesday afternoon, found just 27 percent of U.S. adults could correctly pick the correct definition of quantitative easing from among five possible answers."
Full piece here:


Janet Tavakoli had a nice write up regarding POTUS, financial crisis, and basic theft:
"Another of President Obama’s broken campaign promises was that he would enact campaign finance reform. I believe that went right out the window, when he realized during his first campaign that corporations would throw money at him.
If the White House really didn’t like the Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, it could have used moral suasion to work with Congress to amend our Constitution.It now appears to many citizens as if the chief goal of most of Congress is to be reelected, and that means they’re more interested in campaign contributions than in representing the interests of their constituents and the country. As for upholding the Constitution, it is only a priority when it coincides with the special interests they seem to represent."
Can read her here:


Irony too, because a classic wedge has formed, even with Federal Reserve intervention, the returns are getting smaller, but it appears we have a little more to go:
Financiers of course see it as well:
"When an economist tells them that growing the nation's debt over the past 12 years from $6 trillion to $16 trillion is not a problem, and that doubling it again will still not be a problem, this simply does not compute."
Seth Klarman, here in our own backyard is giving money back! Can read here:


Of course, when you have a CONgress in your back pocket to bail you out, fines for fraud upon us don't matter, even when it's $8 billions worth...unreal:


Speaking of J.P. Morgan:

"I was also contacted by two JP Morgan employees who told me they had a large amount of documented evidence of market trading abuses in gold and silver by their bank (JP Morgan). [And they handed it over to the CFTC.]"

Say it isn't so:

57.8 contracts per ounce in this completely rigged and corrupt market. Of course this is all paper, and the entire fraud would crumble should even 1% "Stand and Deliver", but the fraud must continue.

Of course, the largest wealth transfer known to mankind must also continue; your savings, your 401k, your pension, your earnings, everything, being completely obliterated:

"Accordingly, the Committee decided to continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month."

7% of our economy being supported by money created out of thin air, backed by nothing. In response to this, I'll end with Pater Tenebrarum of the Acting Man Blog (via MISH):

 "I am deeply convinced that they really have no friggin idea what they are doing. And eventually we will all find out they had no idea."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Five years ago

This happened:
Just days before we saw this:

Are we better off today? Are you better off? Still think the banks needed a bailout? Or should they have been broken up and sold off into smaller entities? We have seen massive intervention, of which The Federal Reserve and other Central Banks continue to this day. The laws have changed, we have fewer banks today and they continue to shrink, is this a good thing? "Too Big To Fail" is now synonymous with unfettered crime. Our debts continue to grow thanks to wars that will not end, while our currency is debased, but still strong as others fight off inflation against other currencies. We have seen major United States Supreme Court decisions, especially The Citizens United Decision effecting the way we elect our government since the crisis, which ostensibly means "money equals speech". We have seen Wall Street continue to run roughshod over our fellow citizens with no one going to jail thanks to weak regulatory bodies and an unwilling branch of our judicial system, The U.S. Attorney Generals Office. We still see massive amounts of fraud continue since 2008, what has really changed on this anniversary date?

Things to ponder and discuss on our five year anniversary since the crash of 2008, in an era where so few have so much power and control over so many.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spitting on their graves

This sums up (unfortunately) how many of our elected officials act - tomorrow is a somber remembrance of one of the saddest days in our history - please take a moment to remember those we lost - lets at least do what our elected officials never REALLY do - take time to reflect and remember how important and blessed our country is.  - COB

Across the nation, public officials will strike somber poses and shed television-friendly tears and bow their blow-dried heads in memory of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
They’ll hold hands, light candles, and pass around a plateful of platitudes: “Never forget,” they’ll intone. “Let’s roll,” they’ll thunder. “God bless America,” they’ll warble in perfect harmony.
They’ll assure us that they are committed to fighting terror and securing our borders and doing whatever it takes to protect the homeland from another horrific mass murder at the hands of freedom-hating fanatics. And then?
And then, from Washington state to Washington, D.C., they’ll go back to work, roll up their sleeves, and spit on the graves of the 9/11 dead.
Your pious city councilwoman will return to the office to draft a resolution condemning the common-sense detention and deportation of Middle Eastern illegal aliens suspected of terrorism.
Your politically correct police chief will refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in criminal investigations of illegal visa overstayers and border-crossers and ship-jumpers.
Your pandering mayor will stealthily renew his policy of preventing city employees from reporting illegal aliens.
Your indignant local librarian will promote fear-mongering and misinformation about the Patriot Act.
Your regional Chamber of Commerce president will join forces with Canadian and Mexican government representatives to put business interests ahead of border enforcement.
Your tuition-thirsty university president will lobby behind closed doors against federal efforts to track foreign students and ensure that they go home when required. Your vote-hungry governor will encourage document fraud through his support of insecure foreign-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses for “undocumented workers.”
Your race card-fearing congressman will court Arab and Muslim special interest groups and donors who have coddled Islamists on college campuses, in prisons, and in the U.S. military in the name of “diversity.”
Your grandstanding senator will block funding for long-delayed homeland defense measures — such as a national entry-exit system to monitor temporary foreign visitors — even as he whines about the need for more money to ensure our safety.
Your incompetent Transportation Security Administration will stonewall pilots who want training to be armed, squander tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on lucrative contracts for weapons-detection equipment that doesn’t work or get used, and continue to ban racial profiling.
Your indifferent Interior Department will look the other way as underequipped and understaffed park rangers along the southwestern border remain vulnerable to drug smugglers and terrorists.
Your bloated Homeland Security Department will keep Clinton-era holdovers in pivotal positions, reduce routine inspections at seaports in the name of efficiency, and continue to shortchange interior enforcement against deportation fugitives and asylum con artists in favor of duct tape tipsheets and cosmetic color-coded alerts.
Your corrupted State Department will appease Saudi terror-backers, reward butt-covering managers, assuage European travel industry tycoons, and continue to defend lax visa screening policies.
Your Democratic presidential candidates will unanimously endorse the very kind of amnesty policies that allowed several al Qaeda operatives to infiltrate this country and hatch terrorist plots.
And your Republican Party elites will continue to spurn immigration enforcement reformers within their own ranks for fear of alienating ethnic constituencies that will never vote for them anyway.
To those who lost their lives on Sept. 11 because their government failed to enforce its borders, laws, and sovereignty, the politicians and bureaucrats and civic leaders will ostentatiously offer one measly day a year of dedication in rhetoric — and 364 days of desecration in deed.

Bikers denied no-stop permit for 9/11 rally through D.C. but will ride anyway

Another example of how this current regime in Washington views patriotic AMERICANS. I have no doubt that this group of bikers will be photographed and researched in the NSA database once they ride - The DHS will be watching them closely - as we know the DHS considers groups like this to be the real threat in America - COB  

The nation’s capital has denied a “no stop” permit for the “2 Million Bikers to DC” rally on Wednesday, meant to “remember those who were killed on 9/11 and honor our armed forces.”
The group said in a statement Sunday that D.C. officials denied their request for a special nonstop ride through town with a waiver for red lights, stop signs and other traffic signals.

“What could have been a one or two hour ride through will now likely be an all day event,” the group said.
Denial of the permit sparked outrage on the biker group’s website because the District of Columbia reportedly has granted the American Muslim Political Action Committee a permit for the Million Americans Against Fear rally, formerly known as the Million Muslim March, for Wednesday on the National Mallthe PAC announced Saturday.
BizPac Review points out that the Muslim advocacy group also announced it had received a commitment from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, to speak at the event.
The 2 Million Bikers to DC group offered an apology to D.C. residents, who will undoubtedly be disturbed by the noise.
“We did the right thing and went through the proper channels to secure a no-stop permit to ride through your great city,” the groups said Sunday. “We wanted to ride an established route, which would have taken us past the Viet Nam Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, across the bridge into Virginia, and that’s it! We would have been completely out of Washington DC, and your city would have been back to normal.”
The bikers plan to meet at the Harley Davidson in Fort Washington, Md., on Wednesday morning, where they will have opening ceremonies, blessings, the Pledge of Allegiance and a handful of speakers. The final route has not yet been announced “for security purposes,” the group said.

“[O]n September 11th, we ride as one!!” the group said. “We ride to pay tribute and offer respect to those that lost their lives on that day 12 years ago, and to salute our troops engaged in the War on Terror. Riders!…we are the best of the best in America!! Our love for these people and this country is staggering, and we will make a display of Patriotism and solidarity America won’t soon forget!!”
At the time of this report, the Million American March Against Fear (MAMAF) had garnered 141 “likes” on Facebook, and the 2 Million Bikers to DC had gained 56,284.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/9/bikers-denied-no-stop-permit-911-rally-will-ride-a/#ixzz2eV9AgQ96
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Real Economy

 The disturbing trend in the economy appears to be surfacing even by those loyal to the current Administration, today's Eagle-Tribune makes no exception:


The blogosphere is full of tales of woe by ordinary Americans looking for jobs, underemployed, or surviving on government benefits continue to grow. I'm only speculating here as a non-Economist, but The Middle East is a perfect diversionary tactic for continued secular change going on in our labor markets. In a word, it's simply disastrous. Sure there are exceptions in any given area at any given time, but I'd like to look at the bigger picture, and a trend that is clearly deteriorating. A condition of course that even policy wonks like Paul Krugman are reluctant to admit.

The first data point I'd like to hit on is the extraordinary amount of people "Not in the Labor Force".

That is 90 million Americans not working, nearing one-third of our population. There are of course demographics that attribute to this, especially retiring "Boomers", but I'll parse that shortly. Of that 90 million not in the labor force, we have over 6 million Americans not in the labor force, but would like a job today, as seen here:

That's over 1 million more than when the "official" recession started. So while it is currently trending better, the five-year trend clearly shows deterioration. As the E-T article correctly states, the "Labor Force Participation Rate" continues to decline. Mindful that this started long before the current administration, but made no better:

The above BLS data shows the participation rate is at 1978 levels, just as women were starting to enter the workforce. Translation: Now men and women are both out of jobs, which I think is safe to speculate this would include dual households. So where is this job creation that we always hear about? See here:

Closing in on 30 million Americans working part-time, accurately dubbed: "The New Normal". So maybe college kids and older retiring Boomers are skewing the statistics? Let's look:

As we can see, the demographics of 25-54 year old the secular change is happening with what we traditionally associate with working adults. What does this all mean? John Williams over at "Shadow Stats" uses an alternative formula for his unemployment numbers. He uses the pre-1994 methodology of long term discouraged workers, which the BLS did away with (read when numbers look bad, change the math of doing the calculation):

As you can see through this methodology, the real unemployment rate exceeds 20%, and has been high for over a decade. Of course no politician will ever claim responsibility as they prefer to use current BLS methods where they don't count all the true unemployed. There's another caveat not readily mentioned in Main Stream Media (MSM) adding to this disaster; disability claims:

We are approaching 30 million Americans claiming disability. Normally this would not catch any attention, but if you look closely, claims spiked just after 2010, when Emergency Unemployment Extended Benefits expired. That's tax free income...forever. Speaking of incomes and wages:

That is our wages in relation to GDP, simple and complete wage destruction. Chances are if you are working and not self-employed, you have heard of the "do more with less" mantra. Well this expresses that in terms of production and what you receive as a result of the fruits of your labor. An easier way to see how this effects all of us is a graph publish by Doug Short, courtesy of Sentier Research:

The above shows we have been losing the battle on wages for a very long time. This research includes inflation in their formula, which is why we would see a diversion using only nominal data. As far as wages are concerned, they're simply being destroyed. There are of course multiple reasons for this, and I'll cover the basics shortly, but one of my favorite charts is here:

In a $16-plus trillion dollar economy, my favorite unanswered question to politicians is this: Where is the tax revenue for $16 Trillion dollars? I have yet to receive an answer for this. Of course, I and many others continue to speculate on this, and I personally look in a couple areas:

What we see is a leveraged economy. Between The Federal Reserve's $3.3 trillion dollar balance sheet and consumer credit outstanding nearing $60 trillion. Of course in The Fed's case, another question I inquire with our Congress Members: How does that Fed balance sheet unwind? Along with a growing balance sheet, The Fed is diluting our currency at roughly 7% every year through Quantitative Easing (QE), Primary Open Market Operations, Zero Interest Rate Policy and debt monetization (buying our own debt/debt used as currency). The results have been horrific and cannot be defended by any measure, seen here:

Your money is buying less and less, while the costs thanks to QE keeps those costs rising. Will The Fed taper or not is yet another unknown question. Whether they do or not, does it matter to you as a "Main Street Citizen"? I think the damage is done, and irreversible, when you add in inflation, the picture is even bleaker:

"Shadowstats" use both theirs and the official Fed inflation rates. The official Consumer Price Index does not factor in fuel or food, but we don't need such trivial items do we? Meanwhile the real economy is being systematically dismantled for those of us on Main Street. Any question to that can be seen here with M2 Velocity:
What is M2 Velocity:

                              "The velocity of money is the frequency at which one unit of currency is used to purchase  domestically- produced goods and services within a given time period. In other words, it is the number of times one dollar is spent to buy goods and services per unit of time. If the velocity of money is increasing, then more transactions are occurring between individuals in an economy." 

We are slowly grinding to a halt.

When the war talk or action on Syria ends, it will be interesting if the economy is brought to the forefront. We'll see the antics with the debt ceiling, as it will be increased, but then what? Thanks to technology, aging demographics, and destructive monetary policy, we are what I believe seeing a shift in all things economic. Meanwhile, State and Federal officials will see to more taxation, debasement of currency and more Americans facing the pressures of all the aforementioned. For those out of work, or those that still have a job and/or career, I wish I had the answers. I wish our government wasn't so intent on theft of your earnings while the economy is in free fall. The status quo of long-time crony government is destroying this country, and it is not restricted to political Party. Good luck to us all, because if the trends continue to worsen, luck is all we'll have.

*Late edit as it is appropriate here, courtesy Twitter via The Limerick King:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Markey votes...."Present"


Markey Votes “Present!”– Updated With Markey Tweet!

In the ultimate tribute to President Obama’s leadership style, Foreign Relations Committee Member Ed Markey of Massachusetts voted “present” on the president’s plan to attack Syria:
markey votes present
We here in Massachusetts are so proud…

CONGRESSMAN: Calls Running 498-2 Against...

Does anyone believe Congress will listen to the people? - I no longer have that faith - COB

Arizona congressman Matt Salmon’s constituents have called his office 500 times about Syria, he tells National Review Online in an interview, but only two callers have expressed support for intervening there. “This is not hyperbole!” he says emphatically.
And Salmon himself is firmly against authorizing a strike. “I don’t see any national-security imperative for our country at all. Both sides in this equation are bad actors.” He also notes that Obama has been unable to form an international coalition and hasn’t laid out an overall objective for a missile strike. “Other than saving face for the president, I don’t understand what we would be doing,” he says.
Further, Salmon doubts the intervention will be brief. “Nobody believes this is going to be a couple surgical strikes,” he says.
Salmon agrees the dynamics of the vote are likely to mirror the July vote on an amendment from Representative Justin Amash to reign in the NSA’s broad surveillance powers, except the vote against authorizing Syrian intervention is likely to have more support. The authorization “will fail by 20 votes,” he predicts.
Salmon praised President Obama for coming to Congress for authorization, but he fears whether the president will abide by the will of the legislature. It would be a constitutional crisis if Obama overrode the will of Congress on Syria, he says, describing that scenario as the “most significant flouting of separation of powers in this nation, if this happens.”
Salmon is part of the right flank of the GOP conference, someone who is deeply frustrated with Speaker John Boehner’s unwillingness to use the upcoming continuing-resolution fight to draw a line in the sand over Obamacare funding.
He also sees the Syria fight as part of a larger battle for the heart of the GOP’s foreign-policy soul. The lessons of Iraq, but also the “past 30 or 40 years” are that “we should be a lot more cautious.” Of the Iraq War, launched by Republican president George W. Bush, he says “We’ve spent countless lives and dollars, and for what?” Salmon says that his fellow Republicans who weren’t in office during the Bush years were more likely to have learned those lessons from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than those who were in D.C. to authorize them. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Controversial security program coming to N. Andover, Methuen schools

My initial reaction to this is - I'm not a fan - I know the lefties will kill me for this, but if the President's children can have armed guards at their school (no - not the secret service) I wonder why any other children in America would be less than equal - COB

(MyFoxBoston.com) – A controversial security plan is heading to schools in North Andover and Methuen.

According to the Eagle-Tribune, the ALICE program addresses how teachers should react if a gunman enters their school.
ALERT stands for alert, lock down, inform, confront, and evacuate. Until now, teachers were taught to alert and lock down the school. Now, the system calls for teachers and staff to confront the intruder as a last resort.
Officials suggest throwing things, shouting, or pushing desks as a distraction.

Methuen leaders say the program gives school staff more options in an emergency setting.
The school districts will begin training faculty this fall. Training for students will come later in the school year.

Read more: Eagle-Tribune

Read more: http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/23323338/2013/09/03/controversial-security-program-coming-to-n-andover-methuen-schools#ixzz2dqNLTHN7