last edited: Thu, 06 Sep 2018 19:49:07 -0400  
10 YEARS LATER – NO LESSONS LEARNED

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Some highlights:

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Wall Street/Fed/Treasury created financial disaster of 2008/2009. What should have happened was an orderly liquidation of the criminal Wall Street banks who committed the greatest control fraud in world history and the disposition of their good assets to non-criminal banks who did not recklessly leverage their assets by 30 to 1, while fraudulently issuing worthless loans to deadbeats and criminals. But we know that did not happen.

You, the taxpayer, bailed the criminal bankers out and have been screwed for the last decade with negative real interest rates and stagnant real wages, while the Wall Street scum have raked in risk free billions in profits provided by their captured puppets at the Federal Reserve. The criminal CEOs and their executive teams of henchmen have rewarded themselves with billions in bonuses while risk averse grandmas “earn” .10% on their money market accounts while acquiring a taste for Fancy Feast savory salmon cat food.


Total household debt topped out at $14.5 trillion in 2008 and proceeded to fall by almost $1 trillion as a tsunami of foreclosures swept across the land. But a funny thing happened on the way towards Americans approaching debt with the appropriate caution – QE1, QE2, QE3 and propped up Wall Street banks doling out loans to anyone capable of fogging a mirror and scratching an X on a loan document. The Deep State oligarchs realized the only way to keep their ponzi scheme economy afloat was to lure in more suckers with debt that could be re-circulated to make the economy appear solvent.

College students, after over a decade of government school indoctrination, were the perfect dupes. From 2009 until today the government has doubled student loan debt from $750 billion to over $1.5 trillion. Everyone likes a shiny new car, so the financial industry took auto lending from $700 billion to over $1.1 trillion over the same time frame. The re-ignition of the housing bubble, through Wall Street engineered supply suppression, has driven prices far above the 2005 peak in most major markets.


In what passes for the normal exercise of crony capitalism in this warped deviant shitshow we call America, the biggest corporations in the world took the free money created by the Federal Reserve and proceeded to “invest” it in their own stock rather than investing it in their operations and workers. Borrowing at near zero rates and using the proceeds to buy back hundreds of billions of your own stock had multiple benefits for greedy feckless Harvard MBA CEOs. Reducing shares outstanding juiced their earnings per share, resulting in a false profit picture to investors, who bid their stock prices higher.

Corporate executives tied their compensation to stock performance and reaped extravagant salaries and bonuses. This same scenario played itself out in 2007 – 2009. These brilliant CEOs bought back a record amount of stock just before the financial collapse. Using their borrowings, along with Trump’s tax cut windfall, current day S&P 500 company CEOs are saying “Hold My Beer”. They are on pace to buy back $1.2 trillion of their stock at all-time highs. When stock prices are cut in half again, these greed monkeys will pay no price for their reckless stupidity. All of this idiocy has been aided and abetted by the Fed with their near zero interest rates a decade after the crisis supposedly ended.


Does every new president get brought into a room where they are told what to say about the economy, or else? Mr. Concerned about government spending and deficits signed one of the largest tax cuts in history (mostly to corporate America) while simultaneously ramping up military spending and cutting absolutely nothing. The result is trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see. The fake government data he once scorned, he now boasts about on a daily basis. It seems he now loves low interest rates and bubbles.

He threatens the Federal Reserve Chairman about raising rates. Even though the stock market is 45% higher than when he declared it a bubble, he takes credit for its ascension to record highs. Saber rattling and threatening war around the globe is now par for the course. It seems Trump thinks he can run our economy like a NYC real estate mogul. He does have experience with bankruptcies. That may come in handy.
  
Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Fri, 16 Feb 2018 19:58:13 -0500
The Worst Threat We Face Is Right Here At Home
The Worst Threat We Face Is Right Here At Home

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The Federal Reserve has done far more self-inflicted harm to long-term US interests than anything that Russia has been accused of, let alone been proven to have done. At this point, there’s no contest between the two.

The worst threats we face are right here at home.
  
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.

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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
  
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

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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.
  
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

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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.
  
As I recall, a recent Brad Thor novel used the Fed as a backdrop for the plot.
  
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

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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.
  
Similar to David Collum's 2016 Year in Review that I reposted recently, but looking forward.

Forecast 2017: The Wheels Finally Come Off - KUNSTLER

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  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'

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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.
  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

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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
  
BlogBlog wrote the following post Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:48:14 -0400
Sorry Losers!
Sorry Losers!

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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
  
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.