- Is the Economy Slowing… or Growing?
Why the Fed's 100th Birthday Could Be Its Last
On December 23rd, the Federal Reserve will turn 100 years old.
We can look back on its few successes… but its many failures far outweigh any positives it may have achieved.
What's at stake now is the Fed's future. And it looks bleak.In fact, the Fed won't even exist in 100 years...
The Five Biggest Corporate Fines Ever in the United States
The JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) $13 billion settlement finalized Tuesday tops the list of the biggest corporate fines ever in the United States.
The Department of Justice, attorney general, and other agencies have said that the JPM deal will serve as a framework for resolving other lender issues, meaning more record-breaking fines could be on the way.To continue reading, please click here...
Don't Fall for This New Old Trick
Kmart has joined a long and "distinguished" list of retail chains who offer a rent-to-own program.
It's a sign of the times… Only, rather than being a sign of economic recovery, it's a sign of retail desperation.
Ostensibly, these programs are intended to benefit cash-strapped consumers who couldn't otherwise afford to buy big-ticket items. In reality, the program turns consumer goods like a $300 television into a $415 purchase, according to Bloomberg.
Talk about "the vig" …The imputed interest rate is more than 100%, annually.
It's absolutely appalling, and it ranks right up there with the exploitive subprime lending practices that lead to the financial crisis.And we're not falling for it...
Deflation Is Coming (and It's Not What You Think)
Be careful out there.
The stock market rally that started in March 2009… The one that's taken us out of the Great Recession and to new highs… The rally that's driving sentiment indicators of people who benefit from rising financial assets directly, peripherally, or because they hope all boats rise with the market…
The rally has never been loved.
The thing is, equity markets don't need love to go twice as high from here, or three times as high in the next 20 years. If they get what else they need, they'll keep going higher.
We could be on the verge of a generational bull market. That's if deficit-plagued, interconnected global sovereigns deleverage and, at the same time, re-capitalize middle and rising classes by making "recourse-sound" capital available and simultaneously reconstituting entirely the notion of taxation.
Too bad the likelihood of that happening is somewhere between slim and none.
That's one reason why I'm an increasingly reluctant bull.
But there's another reason too.And it has to do with deflation...
Congress Just Played a Trick on American Taxpayers
It just so happens I have both a "trick" and a "treat" for you today.
First, the "trick."
Wednesday the House passed a bill titled The Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act.You won't believe why they thought this would be a good idea...
This $1.7 Trillion Industry Will Turbocharge the U.S. Economy
Barron's recently predicted that over the next 20 years, "the U.S. economy is likely to grow less than 2% a year, down from 3% or better since World War II."
Citing the work of prominent Northwestern economist Robert J. Gordon, Barron's predicts a long era of slow growth, market turbulence, and – of particular concern – the ongoing displacement of middle class jobs due to technological innovation.Here's how to capture your share...
Will United States Debt Holders Bail on Treasuries?
Since the mid-1990s, China and a host of other foreign governments have quietly acquired one-third of all United States public debt. Foreign holders of United States debt held more than $5.6 trillion in Treasury securities as of August 2013.
But continued debt-ceiling drama in the United States is starting to change that.
Beware the Strange Data in the September Jobs Report
If you still needed confirmation this is the slowest economic recovery in history, you need look no further than today's (Tuesday's) September jobs report.
Total non-farm employment in the United States rose 148,000 in September, a soft number well short of the 180,000 expected. The unemployment rate itself fell to 7.2% – the lowest it's been since U.S. President Barack Obama took office.Here's why we're skeptical of the latest jobs report...
The First Thing Yellen Should Do to Save America
There is so much to say about the United States government not defaulting.
I'd like to start with a thank you.
It isn't easy, but I'll try.
Thank you, Congress, for showing the world there's nothing wrong with the full faith and credit of the United States… and for showing the world that having full faith and credit in the United States government is a total bust.
An extension? Really? So, we go through this again in a matter of weeks?
But let's move on. Let's talk about Janet Yellen. She's far more relevant.
She's about to become the most powerful person in the United States – in the entire world, for that matter.Here's the first thing Yellen could do with all that power - if she wants to save America...