Spend or be financially doomed: Idolizing the gods of consumption and stoking the fires of debt based speculation. Has the Fed crossed the line of no return?
The Federal Reserve has created the perfect environment where savers are chastised and debt based spending is glorified. Our economic engine is powered by the fires of consumption. This has been true for many decades. What is different about our current space in time is the punishment savers are taking. Many banks through savings or [...]
The facts behind the mountain of student debt: 13 percent of students owe more than $50,000 and nearly 4 percent owe more than $100,000. Student debt grew by 284 percent from 2004 to 2013.
Many Americans view a college education as a way to build a better life. College is seen as an avenue for better prosperity and the ability to pull yourself up beyond your current circumstances. In fact, after World War II programs like the G.I. Bill allowed many Americans the opportunity to pursue a college degree. [...]
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 [...]
Reinventing GDP: US GDP to be revised in July by adding “intangibles” to the tune of $500 billion. The make believe economy.
The US debt-to-GDP ratio is now quickly reaching insurmountable levels. It is interesting that a paper citing this issue is now being openly discredited as if this is reason enough to put on the rocket boosters of quantitative easing. Japan has gone so far off the deep end that they are now intervening in their [...]
US households are tapped out on debt: While US households are forced to eat austerity measures financial institutions load up on debt and purchase assets at rock bottom prices.
US households are tapped out with debt. Debt matters. Contrary to what is being spouted out over the airwaves having too much debt does cause problems. American households tipped over this point when total household debt reached annual GDP. This is a critical juncture and results in massive deleveraging. There doesn’t seem to be answer [...]
Where did the American worker go? 663,000 people were removed from the labor force pushing the figure to 90 million Americans not looking for work.
The employment report was very weak no matter how you sliced it. The unemployment rate fell but this was largely driven by an incredibly large number of people dropping out of the labor force. This recession has been extremely tough on US households. The recession was technically over in the summer of 2009 which seems [...]
Casino economics: How the S&P 500 endured two 50 percent dips in the 2000s and sent the middle class packing.
It took the S&P 500 about 13 years to get back to where it was in 2000. Of course the power of inflation has taken an even deeper toll on this trend. The stock market is largely a spectacle for most average Americans. It is a dramatic sideshow like going to the track and betting [...]
US Household income continues to fall in midst of recovery: Since the recession started median household income is down 7.3 percent.
US households continue to face a declining standard of living. The first obvious item comes from falling incomes. Some of this is being masked by renewed access to debt as banks are once again lending money to over stretched consumers. Yet real wealth recovery this is not. The next major depressing factor for households is [...]
Who’s afraid of a little bit of inflation? How low interest rates hide the real price of housing, college tuition, and cars.
Inflation is like the proverbial story of a frog in hot water. Drop a frog in boiling water, it jumps right out. Drop a frog in regular water but slowly raise the heat, and it will slowly boil into oblivion. Inflation has a subtle way of destroying purchasing power. Unless incomes are rising, which they [...]
The Sequestered Gilded Age: Top 20 percent of households control over 90 percent of all stocks and financial wealth: Bottom 40 percent of all households have an average net worth of -$10,600.
Income inequality is now at levels last seen in the United States during the Gilded Age. This was a time of incredible opulence for the few while the many struggled to get by. There is even a story of a Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish throwing a dinner party to honor her dog that arrived wearing a [...]