Jul 5 2012

The dynamic central banking duo – ECB balance sheet up over €3.1 trillion mimicking Fed balance that is close to $3 trillion. Shuffling toxic assets into darkness.

You might have the vague memory that the European Central Bank reacted somewhat negatively to the Federal Reserve’s massive balance sheet expansion a few years ago.  The ECB was not following in the same path as that of the Fed.  Well fast forward to the current Euro crisis and the ECB now has a balance […]

Jul 3 2012

The great deleveraging – US households see access to debt diminish. Housing affordability and reversion to the home price to family income ratio.

Households in the US continue to face a painfully slow process of austerity via debt deleveraging.  In a debt based system like the one we live in access to debt is viewed by many as access to money.  That is, your ability to finance a car, home, vacation, or even a college education is largely […]

Jul 1 2012

The financial benefits of food stamps – Record $78 billion worth of food stamps issued in 2011. Select Wal-Mart stores pulled in 25 to 40 percent in revenues from food stamps according to a recent analysis.

When you think of food stamp usage you rarely think about big financial profits.  Yet some businesses are managing to get a big piece of the food stamp pie.  Last year alone the government spent a record $78 billion in food stamps.  This is a large amount of money and this is why you might […]

Jun 28 2012

The contagion of the European Union and banking debt – 20 European Banks have liabilities above 50 percent of their home country GDP. Why an EU FDIC is highly unlikely in the short-term.

The crisis in Europe is boiling over yet again.  The central connecting factor of all of this is too much debt relative to production.  Debt in itself is not a bad thing.  If you borrow modestly for a home and have sufficient income to cover your mortgage payment then this might actually be beneficial.  When […]

Jun 26 2012

The burden of unsupportable debt. US debt-to-GDP growing at a pace rivaling certain European nations – The dramatic problems of peak debt in 2012.

What makes this global financial crisis unique is that it is based on unsustainable levels of debt.  In historical cases you would have sovereign nations defaulting on their debts but these were more isolated and clustered, not global issues.  Today virtually every large crisis that is hitting is occurring because of peak debt situations.  No […]

Jun 22 2012

Starting life in the negative net worth column. What the Fed does not want you to know about American net worth figures.

The reports on American wealth from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Census did not get the press they deserved.  You would think that an overall decline of 40 percent for household net worth would get the attention of the press but that might throw a wrench into the consumption machine that they are promoting.  Up […]

Jun 20 2012

Financial panic button for younger Americans – The sandwich generation saw a 59 percent decline to their net worth as they deal with college aged students living at home and elderly parents.

Unfortunately more data pointing to the deterioration of the middle class came out this week regarding net worth figures.  One of the more ominous data points regarded the sandwich generation of those taking care of college aged kids and parents.  The net worth figures this time released by the US Census coincide with the information […]

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