How are millions still underwater as home prices rise? (Thank the Federal Reserve)

During the Crash the Fed should have let things fall. It would have been painful. Very painful for some. But the market would have cleared. Some people would have picked up deals and many people would be in houses now, even many who would have hurt in 2008/2009, with positive equity.

Instead the Fed intervened and tried to put a bottom under house prices. As such we have the situation we have now. Millions of homeowners still underwater and a much less mobile workforce.

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Barely Half of Student Loans Are Being Repaid

That is a pretty significant stat. It certainly does not indicate upward mobility for today’s youth.

It also indicates how completely out of whack our crony system of student debt is. The colleges love it. The students well, they aren’t able to pay the money they were loaned back. So they don’t love it so much.

(From FEE)

Now, these statistics do not mean that taxpayers will need to pick up the tab for 46 percent of the outstanding student loan balance,

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Pensions Drive Global Debt Three Times Higher Than Previously Estimated

The debt monster hasn’t gone away. It hasn’t been tamed. It is growing, lurking, just waiting for interest rates to rise. But right now, few are concerned.

In the words of Yoda, “You will be.”

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Faith in ‘healing’ central banks has faded says “central bank of central banks”

“We may not be seeing isolated bolts from the blue, but the signs of a gathering storm that has been building for a long time,” Borio said.

The above comes from the Bank of International Settlements in Switzerland.

In mid December we asked;

Are we feeling the first winds of the next large economic storm right now?

The winds sure did start to whip at the beginning of this year.

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Another bit of the college bubble pops: Ernst and Young says hires no longer need a college degree, ‘no evidence’ university equals success

Recently Penguin Publishing did the same thing and the “no college required” trend is a trend which is picking up steam in the working world. It’s about time. There are many qualified candidates out there who are marginalized simply because they lack a college degree.

As we’ve said before, college can hold much value. It was valuable for me that is for sure. However, the cult of college has long been out of control. Many many people who go to college these days shouldn’t really be there.

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Why are people angry? They feel that no matter what the powerful always get what they want, the TPP, the bailouts, the Ex-Im Bank, the Omnibus

The USA IS an exceptional country. We are SUPPOSED to be different from the rest of the world. This is SUPPOSED to be a place where the citizenry is respected. Some people, powerful people, have forgotten this. They should be reminded.

One of the reasons there is so much unease in the country (and in the world) is because everyday people feel completely marginalized by the powers that be. There is a sense that everyday people are now just observers,

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US Marshals arresting people for not paying their federal student loans

7 US Marshals came to the guy’s house, with automatic weapons, and hauled him away over a $1500 loan from 1987. Then he had to sign a repayment plan at the courthouse.

He owed the government a relative pittance and yet the full resources of the US Marshal service were employed to bring this guy in. What do you think the cost of 7 marshals, the cars, the judge’s time, the legal processing, etc. cost the US taxpayer?

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People over 50 carrying much more debt than in the past, this could be dangerous

I certainly see it where I live. Across the street from me are homes which are in the $500k-$1 million range (my neighborhood is nice but more modest) and it is filled with retirees, most of whom built their homes in the period after the 2008 Crash. These were the folks who had money during those particularly lean times. The only people who could get a mortgage. Indeed at least some of these people probably paid cash for their homes.

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4.9 Percent Unemployment Can’t Be True Amid 15 Percent Food Stamp Participation Rate

Animal spirits in the Year of the Monkey?

Most of our readers will probably agree with this statement. Let’s face it, the “jobs number” is arguably the most politically massaged economic number there is. There have long been questions about its validity but now with the rate at an extremely low 4.9% the number just feels absurd.

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Money is Fleeing the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State, China, and it is Destabilizing

“Even I keep my money in Switzerland these days.”

China is not such a good place to keep money medium to long term as it turns out. The wealthy in China are “deeply distrustful” of policy makers. As such many are getting out of China if they can. Beijing is concerned, probably panicking in light of all of the money which is flowing out of the country. And as China is in many respects a black box (perhaps a grey box) people with money can only assume that things are bad and so that compounds the Chinese “problem.”

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European banks near ‘terrifying’ crisis: Raoul Pal (VIDEO)

Sure, “European banks.” All banks.

People in America are just plugging along seemingly oblivious to the storm which continues to gather strength overseas and in some cases is already buffeting the United States. It is foolhardy. We have just gotten used to the new post-2008 lower standards of living in this country and we want to think that the global depression which started in 2007-2008 is all over. It’s not.

Will the world go to hell in a hand basket tomorrow?

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And another little bit of the college bubble pops, Penguin Publishing drops degree requirement

I think college has quite a lot of value for many people. It certainly was valuable for me. (In oh so many ways.) But college costs, driven by easy money from the government, have gotten out of hand. The value per dollar at many institutions is not as attractive as it once was. We now have a generation of middle class kids saddled by debt. They start life with what are essentially mortgages hanging around their necks, and they don’t even have a roof of their own to sleep under for the “mortgage.”

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And now a clip of Bernie Sanders taking Hillary Clinton to task (at the debate) for the $600,000 she’s taken from Goldman Sachs in the past year (VIDEO)

We have no horse in the presidential race as we often say but we sure have an issue with Government Sachs, the bank which long ago should have died but was saved by virtue of its connections in government. (Not the only bank.) The bank then, post-2008 went on to expand further around the world all fresh and “recapitalized.” (Recapitalized with your money.)

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Obama wishes that he was FDR, Thank God he’s incapable of doing what FDR did

To our liberal friends out there I ask for your indulgence. I have been thinking quite a lot about the presidency over the last couple of days and the power we have vested in the institution. (Or perhaps more accurately the power that has been taken by the institution.) 

Presidents always seem to want more power. Republican or Democrat this has been true. But I think this has been particularly true for our current president.

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