Feb 20 2013

Crossing the debt Rubicon. Does debt even matter? Over $5 trillion in Federal debt now held by international and foreign investors.

In most economic literature there seems to be a tipping point at which a nation enters a precarious state in which too much debt has been taken on.  A typical point occurs when a country hits a point where annual GDP is surpassed by total outstanding debt.  We recently crossed that threshold.  Another long-term trend […]

Feb 17 2013

The difference between investing in the dollar store economy and living in it: 20 percent of Americans now receiving food stamps. Dollar stores become a growth industry and top one percent gobble up all income gains after recession.

Lost in the tireless cheerleading for the stock market which in reality, is largely a sophisticated sham for most Americans, we had a report from the Department of Agriculture that should put things into perspective.  In the latest release of data for November 2012 (released in February 2013), the report noted that 141,067 Americans were […]

Feb 15 2013

The higher education racket gets long in the tooth: For-profits account for 47 percent of defaults but make up only 13 percent of total enrollments.

Bubbles do not burst in a nice orderly fashion.  In fact, incredible graft enters the system where it becomes obvious to any bystander that the bubble is going to burst.  This is the case for higher education.  The US has over 4,000 colleges and universities, with many of them operating like glorified paper mills.  Similar […]

Feb 12 2013

Are stock investors coming back in at another debt induced peak? How regular stock investors are horrible at market timing.

The media is falling over itself with articles on how fantastic the stock market is.  The fact that the S&P 500 is now up from the March 2009 lows by over 100 percent seems to put the financial crisis in the annals of history.  Yet for most investors, the stock market is largely a casino.  […]

Feb 9 2013

The coming pension crisis: States face a $3 trillion funding gap. Only about 10 percent of Americans now covered by pensions.

Many Americans look at the crisis in Greece and shake their heads wondering how it is possible for an entire country to derail the future of its younger generation.  One big problem in Greece was massive government liabilities funding very generous pensions.  Yet this came at an enormous cost.  The US is facing a different […]

Feb 8 2013

The relentless punishment of the American saver. Fed policy has encouraged spendthrift attitude and yield seeking behavior from Americans.

The Federal Reserve has actively pursued a policy that punishes American savers.  The drive to push interest rates lower has inflated both the stock market and housing market once again.  Yet little of this gain has trickled down into household income for Americans.  The primary reason for this is that most Americans do not derive […]

Feb 4 2013

The United States of Debt Addiction: Our reliance on debt has created an entire economy fortified in the fires of moral hazard and fiscally dangerous leverage.

16 point 7 trillion dollars.  That is our current national debt.  12 point 8 trillion dollars.  That is the amount households carry in mortgage and consumer debt.  We are now addicted to debt to lubricate the wheels of our financial system.  There is nothing wrong with debt per se, but it is safe to say […]

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