Income disequilibrium – The top 74 Americans earned an average of $518 million in the economic troubling year of 2009. Top 1 percent earned 14 percent of all earnings in 2009 versus 11 percent in 1989.
The disappearing middle class in the United States is a troubling consequence of the culmination of economic and political policies of many decades. There is a sense, and probably why so much frustration is out in the country, that the once comfortable life of being middle class is slowly slipping through our hands. The American [...]
Shipping the housing market overseas. Long-term housing prospects hinge on an economic recovery for working Americans first – No housing bottom until middle class recovers a foothold in the U.S.
The housing market can have no sustainable recovery without the employment market improving. It is incredible that over three years into this crisis that there has been little focus on coupling employment with housing. Banks argue that many are simply not paying their mortgage yet they want the Federal government to ease lending restrictions. Who [...]
Debt U – 4,800 colleges and universities in the U.S. and many are putting students into massive amounts of debt. The higher education bubble is getting to a point of bursting.
A few months ago a troubling milestone was passed. In the United States college loan debt outstanding has surpassed credit card debt. As of June 2010 $829 billion in student loan debt was outstanding compared to $826 billion in credit card debt. Higher education by looking at a handful of metrics is clearly in a [...]
How the mortgage interest deduction subsidizes the spending of wealthy families at the expense of middle class families. Average California mortgage deduction for filers is over $18,000 versus $9,900 in Texas.
One of the sacred cows of our economy revolves around the mortgage interest tax deduction. Home buying is heavily subsidized in the United States. The Federal Reserve has injected trillions of dollars in purchasing mortgage backed securities and other questionable assets all for the purpose of keeping interest rates low. Yet this is one area [...]
Some American families are $133 a month away from Great Depression like problems – 1 out of 7 Americans receiving food assistance at an average of $133 per person.
The U.S. government is now spending roughly $5.6 billion per month on food assistance helping out 41,836,000 Americans. How bad is it for the lower economic strata of families in our economy? In January of 2007 we had 26,000,000 Americans on food assistance. The economic crisis has added 15,800,000 Americans onto the food assistance program [...]
Fed extends a helping hand to Hilton Hotels and takes over malls across the country – The Federal Reserve clandestine bailout of the $3 trillion commercial real estate industry. South Florida apartment building prices down 52 percent from peak.
If you think residential real estate is having problems, you should shift your gaze to the mammoth issues confronting commercial real estate. Little is mentioned about commercial real estate (CRE) in the mainstream media yet this is a $3 trillion market (or twice the annual GDP of Texas). Much of the problems in CRE are [...]
The debt end game – Top 10 percent of families own an average of $700,000 in stocks while the next 15 percent own an average of $53,000. The other 75 percent are insignificant players by Wall Street standards.
The government recently announced on a slow Friday a $1.29 trillion budget deficit as if it were no big deal for the completed fiscal year. In fact, this was spun as grand news since the previous budget deficit topped $1.4 trillion. We are now reaching a nationwide tipping point of debt. The U.S. Treasury and [...]
The hidden gigantic risk of derivatives – Top 77 U.S. banks have their hand in $225 trillion in derivatives. The top 5 banks hold $7.8 trillion of all banking assets growing their asset base by $1.7 trillion from 2007.
The concentration of banking risk in the United States is immense. The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury like to convey a pretense that we have a very diverse banking system with over 7,800 banking institutions. In the mind of most of the public, this seems like a very diverse industry. Imagine having 7,800 different kinds [...]
Will the U.S. face a generation of underperforming housing values? It happened from 1915 to 1945 and the current trend is not looking favorable. Current U.S. housing values over priced by 30 percent.
It is hard to imagine a time in U.S. history when housing was actually perceived as cheap for an entire generation. Yet this is the exact experience that occurred from 1915 to 1945. Home values were cheap in relative inflation adjusted terms. Even after 1945, homes were still affordable and this is where the seeds [...]
Bank of America has $2.3 trillion in assets but $956 billion of that is made up in loans. Think those loans are valued at current market levels? The FDIC would have a challenge even breaking up one too big to fail bank.
The FDIC has a herculean challenge in confronting the too big to fail banks. There is little doubt that having institutions that are too big is part of the reason for the current systemic crisis. Yet through the last few years the solution has been to make these banks even bigger allowing their web to [...]