Notice how there seems to be a collection of negative global data points kind of clustering? I have.
Things are not going well in the old US of A, despite what the official mouthpieces are saying. There is a sense that the grownups are gone. That the thing which makes America, America, is under serious threat. There is a sense that taxpayers are not valued. Indeed that some people resent taxpayers even though the taxpayers are funding the welfare state. There is a sense that the crony class is shutting people out. (Which it is.) That the “you didn’t build that” mentality has truly taken hold in large swathes of America, even while the cronies pillage away.
In the attached video the narrator says that the results of of the survey are “surprising.” I don’t know that they are.
Of course the next question is, “Where are you going to go?”
The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is feeling a bit unstable right now. Instability is the great enemy of the Chinese Communist Party. The market mechanism continues to bleed through all across the Chinese economy and Beijing is getting (more) nervous. The state “capitalism” miracle is looking a lot less miraculous these days.
The Chinese stock market is off over 20% since mid June. (Though still up more than that for the year.) A property bubble continues to pop. Exports have slowed. Change is in the air. Of course it’s been in the air before.
Now it looks like China may have deployed its own version of the “Plunge Protection Team” to hold back reality. Thing is reality is reality.
OK, so Greece is messed up. We know that. It’s not a surprise. The call for a referendum from Athens was a surprise but not the end of the world.
So the people will decide. That’s good I suppose. Is the EU about to retreat from its frontiers? Will the Greek people capitulate? What will equity and debt markets do? Which country is next? If you have the answer to any of these questions please feel free to contact me in short order.
The principal author of our current economic ills doesn’t seem to know history any better than monetary policy.
When the Obama administration announced that it was planning to replace Alexander Hamilton on the ten dollar bill with an unspecified woman, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke leapt into the fray. He said he was “appalled” by the decision since Hamilton “was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policy maker in US history.” He proposed that Andrew Jackson be removed from the twenty dollar bill instead.
A New York Sun editorial on June 23 dryly noted that Hamilton was the author of the Coinage Act of 1792, which represents the very sound money that Bernanke has done everything in his power to destroy. The Sun, however, tempered its criticism with the following comment: “We understand that there are serious persons who reckon Hamilton, who was notoriously partial to federal power, would not have opposed the idea of fiat paper money. This point has been marked for us by no less a scholar than the journalist and historian Myron Magnet…. Let us stipulate Mr. Magnet’s point.”
Let us not stipulate Magnet’s point, because it is incorrect. Hamilton condemned paper money not backed by gold or silver as an evil. Here is what Hamilton actually said: “The emitting of paper money by the authority of Government is wisely prohibited….Though paper emissions, under a general authority, might have some advantage…, yet they are of a nature so liable to abuse—and it may even be affirmed, so certain of being abused—that the wisdom of the Government will be shown in never trusting itself with the use of so seducing and dangerous an expedient…. The stamping of paper is an operation so much easier than the laying of taxes, that a government, in the practice of paper emissions, would rarely fail…to indulge itself too far in the employment of that resource…even to [ the point of creating]…an absolute bubble.” [ Report to the House of Representatives, Dec 13, 1790]
This is an interesting tack.
TTIP (TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), TPP (TransPacific Partnership), TPA (Trade Promotion Authority, aka fast track authority), so many acronyms. It’s almost like they are confusing on purpose.
Think of the TTIP as the TPP for Europe.
The Republican House and Senate leadership have a lot invested in the TPP, and so do many very powerful industry interests. The “free trade” agreement has been in negotiations for years. Many a lobbyist has a bonus riding on this legislation.
As we said a couple of weeks ago some of the worst bills become law just before summer vacation or Christmas when no one is paying attention and all the lawmakers just want to go home.
Congressman Hensarling deserves some praise. He has spearheaded the effort to kill the Export-Import Bank (let’s hope that thing gets put in the grave) in the face of massive lobbyist firepower and now he’s putting the Fed squarely in his sights.
Hensarling’s area of interest with regard to the Fed is the 2012 leak of Fed Minutes to prominent insiders 19 hours before the the public got to see the information. This is important, market moving information which if gotten early could have been very “helpful” to traders. (We’d love to know if any of the banks involved moved on the early information.) This is what Bloomberg had to say about the incident in 2013.
The Fed initially said recipients were primarily congressional staffers and trade organizations. A list of 154 recipients released later by the Fed show that banks also were among them. The list included Barclays Plc, BB&T Corp., BNP Paribas SA, Capital One Financial Corp., Citigroup Inc. (C), Fifth Third Bancorp, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Nomura Holdings Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Regions Financial Corp., U.S. Bancorp, UBS AG and Wells Fargo & Co.
Other financial firms included IntercontinentalExchange Inc., the Atlanta-based owner of the world’s largest credit- default swap clearinghouse that has agreed to buy NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion; buyout firm Carlyle Group LP (CG), and financial- market data provider Standard & Poor’s.
You can read the entire article HERE.
This supposedly was an accident. Boy, what an accident. I sure think the American people deserve to know the details of this accident. So does Congressman Hensarling. But the Federal Reserve is fighting to keep things secret. Why?
That is frankly a good deal. It should be noted that 15 years ago or so Zimbabwe was more or less a functioning country. With close proximity to relatively rich South Africa it was not the typical sub-Saharan African state. But it did have (has) a populist dictator who was able to run things into the ground.
There was a time when I had more time and I used to play poker sort of seriously. I still play occasionally. I enjoy the game. I find it endless in nuance and full of lessons about life.
As Kenny Rogers says, know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away, and when to run. (Though I would say that if you ever find yourself running away from a poker game it’s probably time to consider another pastime.)
Poker, real poker, is a great analogy for life. Some of us come to the table with big stacks. Some of us come to the table with small stacks. Big (tall) stacks are a huge advantage. Small stacks are harder to work with.
This is the guy who heads up the TPP talks. Nice that Citibank has one of its guys working on behalf of the American people in these negotiations. Only thing which would have been better would have been if Froman was from Goldman Sachs. Then we’d REALLY know that we are in good hands.
Any vote in the House on the continued existence of the Ex-Im Bank will show pretty clearly which members are on the side of the cronies and which are on the side of the taxpayer citizens. I sure would’t want to be a Congressman who voted with the cronies and the lobbyists. That could be a real political liability.