Marshall Sutherland
  
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Mon, 28 Aug 2017 17:20:09 -0400
The average American had a bigger savings account… in 1997!
The average American had a bigger savings account… in 1997!

Quite literally as a I write these words to you, the heads of the world’s largest central banks are packing their bags and heading home after a three-day symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Central bankers aren’t exactly mega-celebrities, so their conferences don’t make international news outside of financial circles.

But if people understood what was at stake, they’d probably pay more attention.

Central bankers wield totalitarian authority over their nations’ interest rates.

Setting interest rates means they have direct influence over the price of money. In other words, they influence the price of EVERYTHING–

How much you pay for your mortgage. The price of your home. How cheap (or expensive) it is for a business to borrow money for expansion… which directly affects how many people they hire.

Their influence over rates helps determine how much interest the government pays each year on its debts, which ultimately impacts tax rates and other spending programs.

It’s extraordinary power.

And whereas nearly every branch of government has some system of checks and balances to ensure no single body has too much authority, central banks aren’t technically part of the government…

… so their power is nearly entirely unchecked.

To be fair, I’m sure they’re all very nice people with good intentions.

Central bankers are not moustache-twirling villains plotting a takeover of the world.

But the decisions they make have serious implications over the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Just like politics, every action they take has winners and losers.

And it’s easy to see who’s been winning over the last several years as a result of their policies.

Stock markets around the world are at all-time highs. Bond markets are at all-time highs. Real estate is at all-time highs.

If you own assets you’ve done extremely well.

But if you’re in the rapidly deteriorating middle class, especially the lower middle class, you haven’t.

Looking at the United States, for example, it seems quite strange that the stock market is near its ALL-TIME HIGH while the overall economy has been sluggish for years.

Annual GDP growth for the United States in 2016 was a measly 1.6%, a rate that barely keeps up with population.

And global GDP growth has been low for years.

This has had a significant impact on employment and wages.

Central bankers and politicians tout that the unemployment rate in the US is at a 10-year low.

And that sounds great.

But it’s easy to see a different picture when you look deeper at the numbers.

According to data from the US Labor Department, for example, the percentage of Americans in their prime work years (between the ages of 25 and 54) who actually have jobs is still WAY below the level prior to the 2008 Great Recession.

Image/photo

Wage growth has also been stagnant..

On top of that, debt levels are hitting record highs. Student debt. Consumer debt. Auto loans.

And people are once again unable to pay their debts.

Over the last 12 months, for example, Capital One’s net charge-offs increased 40%.

Cash levels are also incredibly low.

We’ve all seen the stories about how little savings the average American has.

Well, I pulled the data myself, using Bank of America as a proxy.

Bank of America’s annual report from 2016 shows that the bank has $592 billion in consumer deposits from 46 million households.

That works out to be an average of $12,870. Per HOUSEHOLD. Not per person.

And that amount includes EVERYTHING: savings, investments, retirement, etc.

What’s amazing is that, 20 years ago, Bank of America’s annual report showed the bank had $392 billion in deposits from 30 million households.

That worked out to be $13,067 per household… in 1997!

So 20 years later, Bank of America’s average customer has LESS MONEY. And that’s before adjusting for inflation.

This is one of the biggest stories of our time: the middle class… especially the lower middle class… is being decimated.

A strong middle class has long been the hallmark of modern western civilization.

In fact, history shows that throughout many dominant empires, from ancient Rome to the British Empire, a robust middle class is essential to maintain a durable society.

Where the middle class is strong and growing, civilization flourishes.

And where the middle class fails, civilization turns over.

Source
Marshall Sutherland
  
Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Fri, 02 Jun 2017 18:27:13 -0400
Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving
Less Than Zero: How The Fed Killed Saving

Image/photo

Savings accounts were created to provide an incentive for people to plan for the future. Put money away today, let it grow through the miracle of compounding interest, and have more tomorrow.

Prudent savings is essential to a healthy economy. It offers resilience during downturns, and provides seed capital for productive enterprise.

But we are no longer a nation of savers. The Federal Reserve has killed the incentive to be one.
Marshall Sutherland
  
I'm about 2/3 through. It has been an interesting listen so far. My local library system doesn't carry the book. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Sun, 23 Apr 2017 15:25:58 -0400
G. Edward Griffin: Exposing The Creature From Jekyll Island
G. Edward Griffin: Exposing The Creature From Jekyll Island

Image/photo

G. Edward Griffin, the author of the seminal book on the formation of the Federal Reserve, The Creature of Jekyll Island, joins the podcast this week to add his perspective to our ongoing critical examination of the Fed and the impact its actions are having on society.

Ed's decades of research and critique of the Federal Reserve, sadly, have left him with conclusions that corroborate our own. Despite its carefully-crafted image as an essential public servant, Griffin concludes it is anything but. It is a private cartel that has connived its way to tremendous advantage and power, secretly (and not-so-secretly) plundering the American people of their treasure and freedoms.
JRandal
  
As I recall, a recent Brad Thor novel used the Fed as a backdrop for the plot.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Fri, 03 Mar 2017 21:59:05 -0500
The Coming Great Wealth Transfer
The Coming Great Wealth Transfer

Image/photo

In the past, I've warned about the coming Great Wealth Transfer.  But now we need to talk about it in the present tense, because it’s here.

Virtually everybody in the bottom 95% is being economically and financially sacrificed to bail out the prior bad decision of the central banks and their associated governments. And as that’s deeply unfair, it breeds resentment. Psychology tells us that resentment breeds contempt. And once there, relationship are doomed to fail. Our leaders have broken their covenant with the governed, and the governed are increasingly pissed. Expect that simmering anger to boil over at some point.
Marshall Sutherland
  
Similar to David Collum's 2016 Year in Review that I reposted recently, but looking forward.

Forecast 2017: The Wheels Finally Come Off - KUNSTLER

Image/photo
Marshall Sutherland
  last edited: Sat, 04 Mar 2017 12:01:00 -0500  
Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Sun, 02 Oct 2016 13:19:25 -0400
David Stockman: America Now Lives Under A 'Perverted Regime'
David Stockman: America Now Lives Under A 'Perverted Regime'

Image/photo

David Stockman, former director of the OMB under President Reagan, former US Representative, and veteran financier is an insider's insider. Few people understand the ways in which both Washington DC and Wall Street work and intersect better than he does.

In his upcoming book, Trumped! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin...And How to Bring it Back, Stockman lays out how we have devolved from a free market economy into a managed one that operates for the benefit of a privileged few. And when trouble arises, these few are bailed out at the expense of the public good.

Stockman brings us his report of what 30 years of politics, degenerative crony capitalism and 'bubble finance' have finally wrought. The upheaval and crossroads represented by Donald Trump's candidacy spell economic disaster or resurgence, depending on the steps America chooses to take from here.
Marshall Sutherland
  last edited: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 22:47:53 -0400  
BlogBlog wrote the following post Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:23:27 -0400
Hell To Pay
Hell To Pay

Image/photo

Those familiar with my writing know I put the word “markets” in quotes because we no longer have a financial system where legitimate price discovery is a regular -- or even recognizable -- feature.

It's destined to fail. What more can be said about such a flawed system?

Well, a lot as it turns out.

And failure to pay attention at this stage of economic and ecological history will prove to be exceptionally painful.

read more
cer
cer
  
Marshall Sutherland
  
BlogBlog wrote the following post Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:48:14 -0400
Sorry Losers!
Sorry Losers!

Image/photo

By its actions, the Federal Reserve has selected a precious few winners and many, many losers.  Sadly, you are highly likely to be one of the losers.

Sorry!

I'm one, too, if that helps soften the blow.

But we have a lot of company.

read more
Marshall Sutherland
  
URGENT: Audit the Fed 'fast-tracked' for a Senate vote

ACTION ITEM

Senator Rand Paul has introduced and "fast-tracked" S.2232, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015. But...

    We must act fast -- BEFORE JAN. 12, 2016! -- to demand of Congress: Audit the Fed! I sent a letter to my "representatives" in Congress using Downsize DC's "Audit the Fed" campaign. I'm going to share my letter with you, so you can copy and paste it.
    But you shouldn't act alone. We need others to join us in sending a letter to Congress. Numbers matter. So, reach out to five people who will passionately agree and ask them to join you.