Federal Reserve ZIRP has essentially destroyed household income growth: Households headed by those 45 to 54 see their real household income growth drop by 16 percent from 1999.
The Federal Reserve has pursued a zero interest rate policy as a mechanism for pulling the US out of the financial crisis. Interestingly enough low rates and heavy speculation were part of the cocktail that led us into the crisis in the first place. Ben Bernanke recently mentioned a bit of concern that speculation is [...]
What does it mean to be retired in the United States? The age of disappearing pensions, dependence on Social Security, and stock market speculation.
A few days ago the stock market experienced a mini panic as someone hacked a reputable news source Twitter account and posted a sensational headline. The markets quickly reacted to this news. What was troubling is many algorithm-based trading systems are setup to scour internet information for these kinds of dramatic changes. Many of the [...]
Debt based delusion: Fed spending far outstripping revenues, balance of trade, and business inventories decline.
One clear symbol of our new Gilded Age is that of the peaking DOW while food stamp usage is at a peak as well. Even though the DOW is only a reflection of a handful of companies, the media focuses on this as if it were a barometer of the real economy. It isn’t. Household [...]
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 [...]
Is the stock market a sham for the middle class? Retail investors expected to pull out $475 billion in funds. Volatility index under pricing real risks.
The stock market is largely a source of entertainment or awe for most Americans instead of being a true source of wealth. In the United States roughly 42 percent of all financial wealth is aggregated with one percent of the population. One third of Americans have no savings at all so for this group, the [...]
Sequestering the working and middle class – The implications of runaway debt. GDP at record levels yet nonfarm employment is 4 million below previous peak. Trillion dollar coins. Greece unemployment reaches a new record.
Gear up those printing presses. You might be thinking that some of the policy talk coming out today is from The Onion but no, the idea of a $1 trillion coin is being discussed. The Federal Reserve is already very willing to become a shadow bad bank and take on all the questionable assets from [...]
Diving into the fiscal economic mess – Fiscal cliff a reckoning for decades of poor financial management and massive debt based spending.
The media is making it appear that the fiscal cliff is a sudden event. Like a countdown to a New Year’s party. Yet this cliff was as predictable more than a decade ago as we spent more than we took in as an economy. The challenge is real because our spending is so much more [...]
The Temple of Inflation – where does the typical Americans spend their money? A comparison between 1986 and today.
For most people that I know the mortgage and rent payment will eat up the largest portion of a monthly budget. This is the case for the vast majority of Americans as well. Housing is the biggest line item expense on the monthly budget. For the most part people tend to think that the Federal [...]
Smoke and mirrors economy – 47 percent of the members in Congress are millionaires. 67 percent of Senators. Fed and Treasury money close to $7 trillion.
The Federal Reserve is really deep into uncharted territory. In no other time in history has the Fed been so intricately involved in the overall economy. The Fed balance sheet has expanded to an incredible level under very little scrutiny by the public or elected officials, many who have a vested interest in keeping the [...]
A nation in the pangs of deleveraging – The long-term trend of a declining dollar and a collapsing middle class.
As Americans go out to vote many go blissfully unaware of the reality that our total public debt is now above $16.2 trillion. If your only source of information was the mainstream press this fact rarely came up in any debates or journalistic investigations. The discussion of stagnant household income never even came up in [...]