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Tag Archives: economics

The Federal Reserve Has Declared the Winner in the Generational Financial War

Sorry baby boomers but you are killing us. You enjoyed an economic rising tide for pretty much your whole lives (a tide which today’s young adults can’t even dream of)  and, well, if you haven’t squared yourself away financially by now (I am speaking generationaly here) I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy. The money is running out. Sorry. I’m not inclined to run my financial life and that of my country into the ground just because you’ve been “promised” a certain standard of living.

It sounds harsh, and perhaps in some ways it is. But you’ve gotten the breaks. You got to party. You guys divorced each other, did blow, and leveraged the country to meet your “needs.” Now my generation has to clean things up and put things in order, like adults.

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The parade of hypocrisy which is Davos

Davos, for those who don’t know is a little town high in the Swiss Alps where many of the world’s financiers and intellectual muckity mucks gather once a year. There are conferences, lots of “Oprah style” conversations with bank CEOs and former heads of state, Kissinger waxes on about whatever. Perhaps little bit of skiing too (for those still limber enough) and expensive prostitutes (for the same limber set.)  CNBC and Bloomberg descend to read the tea leaves and to rub elbows. Lots of business cards are exchanged. Much cognac is enjoyed. It’s a nice way for people who want to rule the world to get to know the people who actually DO run the world. In general it sounds like a pretty good time.

But man, are some of the folks who attend just stinking hypocrites. (Soros is there almost every year.)

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Employment in the USA since 2007 with and without Texas (Chart)

Cheap gas is great. I’m all for it. Seriously $1.90 at the local pump. Fantastic. But pretty much all net “real” jobs created in the US since the onset of the current economic calamity have been as a result of the shale gas revolution and in Texas specifically. The oil plunge has impacted this and Americans should be prepared for it.

It is interesting that according to the attached article Texas alone is the 6th largest producer of crude oil on the planet now. One never hears that in the old media.

It should also be noted that all of this happened while US carbon emissions dropped markedly during the period. One doesn’t hear that either.

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The “House Rich” movement, and the woe of aftermath

Where I live they are building houses again. The neighborhood beside me should have been built 5 years ago but finally the bulldozers are in motion again. But don’t call it a recovery. There is no vibrance in the market. Just a subset of people escaping places like California with solid state jobs at the University.

But even here there is concern. 2 years ago the builders began again, thinking the market had finally turned. But after a brief uptick things settled down again. The all cash buyers disappeared and all that was left were regular people who actually needed mortgages.

And getting a mortgage is still pretty tough as the attached article outlines.

But I believe a small part (but a growing part) of the ongoing housing chill is that many people have finally seen through the rather idiotic obsession with always living in the largest house one can afford – or in many cases – one cannot afford.

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Iowa Ethanol Lobby Starts 2016 Campaign to Regain Its Influence

Ethanol makes no sense financially (for the country, for farmers it can be great), environmentally, and some people say it kills your gasoline engine when it is blended in. And yet the corn growers hold huge political sway and have been able to wrangle billions in subsidies for their crop.

Why?

That Iowa, where a lot of corn is grown holds the first presidential caucus has a lot to do with it.

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Center for American Progress reveals its top donors, Walmart, Microsoft, Bank of America among big givers

CAP is one of the most influential polical organizations in DC and until recently it was headed by John Podesta who left to join the current White House. He was Bill Clinton’s 4th Chief of Staff and will likely feature prominently in any Hillary Clinton run for the presidency.

As its name implies CAP is associated with creating and disseminating “progressive” policy positions. Interesting then that so many large corporations and wealthy individuals give so generously to it.

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