Archive for February, 2012

Daily Readings 02-29-2012

By: admin
Published: February 29th, 2012

I Tried to Open a Lemonade Stand

Want to open a business in America? It isn’t easy.

Before Ice Cream Shop Can Open, City’s Slow Churn

Ms. Pries said it took two years to open the restaurant, due largely to the city’s morass of permits, procedures and approvals required to start a small business. While waiting for permission to operate, she still had to pay rent and other costs, going deeper into debt each passing month without knowing for sure if she would ever be allowed to open.

Two Americas indeed

I am the 50.5 percent.

I am, according to the Heritage Foundation, part of the lucky half of Americans who pay federal income taxes, so that the other half (technically the remaining 49.5 percent) can pay nothing.

Half of us are paying the whole bill. Somehow that doesn’t seem fair. Folks like Elizabeth Warren and President Barack Obama agree. They think we should pay more.

Buffett: Higher gas prices won’t derail economic recovery – HA-HA …recovery?

Sometimes Even Warren Buffett Gets It Wrong – Seems like some big mistakes

Just pick through Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders of his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway. His pronouncements are eagerly anticipated by investors around the world. But sometimes even the Oracle gets it wrong.

We’re Already Europe

With seemingly every day bringing more bad news from Europe, many are beginning to ask how much longer the United States has before our welfare state follows the European model into bankruptcy. The bad news is: It may already have.

G20 to Europe: show us the money

Leading economies told Europe it must put up extra money to fight its debt crisis if it wants more help from the rest of the world, piling pressure on Germany to drop its opposition to a bigger European bailout.

China’s Growing Growth Risks

 If everything goes right for China, it will surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy, in current dollar terms (and more quickly in real terms), by 2021. Its per capita income will reach that of today’s lower tier of high-income countries. But, despite its forward momentum, the Chinese economy faces looming risks in the coming decade.

The Fed’s Anti-Recession Effort May Unleash 15% Inflation

Even at the current lending rate, the money supply has been growing faster than the economy. In December 2011, M2 — the money supply measure that includes currency, checking accounts, savings accounts, money-market mutual funds, and traveler’s checks — grew at a year-to-year rate of about 10%. The U.S. economy during this period grew at 2.8%.

Assuming no changes to the financial or payments system, this translates to a potential inflation rate of 7.2% (10% less 2.8%). This is basic monetary policy arithmetic. But it only considers money currently in circulation. Given the current volume of bank reserves, more money is certain to enter circulation, increasing the risk of even higher inflation.

John Williams: Warning – Monetary Base Spikes to Historic Level

John Williams just issued a warning regarding the Monetary Base vaulting to a historic high.  Williams, who founded ShadowStats, also stated the reason for the expansion is directly related to a deepening systemic solvency crisis.  Here is what Williams had to say about the situation:  The seasonally-adjusted St. Louis Fed Adjusted Monetary Base just jumped to an historic high level in the two-week period ended February 22nd, as shown in the (above graph).  The movement here largely is under direct control of the Fed’s Federal Open Mark Committee (FOMC) and is suggestive of a deepening systemic solvency crisis.”

How the Government is Robbing Pension Plans

Reinhart is the toast of economic circles these days for speaking out about the newest way Western governments are using financial repression to liquidate their debts, particularly after a financial crisis. They’re doing this on the backs of savers, including pension funds, according to economists. In practice, financial repression can lead to “the rape and plunder of pension funds. Financial repression consists of very low nominal interest rates combined with captive lending by large banks or pension funds to a government. The low, stable interest rate facilitates the servicing costs of large public debts. Sometimes modest inflation is added to the mix. This results in zero to negative real interest rates that reduce government debt. Hence, broadly defined, financial repression is a wealth transfer from savers to debtors using negative real interest rates — with the government as one of the key debtors.

S&P Warns Student Loans May Be The Next Bubble To Burst In US Economy

Thought the mortgage crisis was a rough ride? Buckle up for the next financial crisis.

Student-loan debt may be the next major U.S.-asset bubble to burst, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The problem: colleges and universities are hamstrung with lower endowments, while students have increasingly lower prospects of ever paying back their loans. Student debt now outpaces credit-card debt, approaching $1 trillion for the first time.

Why College Aid Makes College More Expensive 

Two new studies offer clues on why. One measures the degree to which some colleges reduce their own aid in response to increased federal aid. The other suggests federal aid is helping to push college costs higher.

More bad news: U.S. water bills to triple

First high gas prices, now water. A shocking new report about the nation’s crumbling drinking water system says that Americans should expect their bills to double or triple to cover repairs just to keep their faucets pouring. That means adding up to $900 a year more for water, nearly equal the amount of the newly extended payroll tax cut.

Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels

More American households are falling back into the debt hole, this time without the safety net of home values to help bail them out, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Last year, total US consumer debt reached its highest point in a decade, according to a credit card industry observer.

 Geithner and the ‘Privilege’ of Being American

The Founders argued that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were rights that preceded government—not things to be granted by it.

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Why gas prices are so high?

By: admin
Published: February 26th, 2012

Answer – Because the asshole politicians in Washington DC do not do their jobs, but think the solution to all of our problems is to just print more money, but what happens is, that this solution in turn makes oil more expensive not only here but worldwide.

2008:  Candidate for president Barak Obama….

2012Running on Empty…

While these represent only a fraction of the Obama administration’s efforts to stifle new energy production, here’s a look at some of the key data points from above:

  • MARCH 7, 2009 – ABC News says the White House is closely monitoring the expedited Solyndra loan project even as it was delaying new American energy production that would help make us less dependent on foreign energy. Gas is $1.94 a gallon.
  • JUNE 27, 2009 – President Obama urges the Senate to adopt House Democrats’ “cap and trade” national energy tax, the same one the president once admitted would cause electricity rates to “necessarily skyrocket.” Then-GOP Leader Boehner later said the bill “would raise electricity prices, increase gasoline prices, and ship American jobs to countries like China and India.” Gas is $2.50 a gallon.
  • MARCH 31, 2010 – Instead of opening new areas to energy exploration and development, President Obamablocks deep-ocean energy production on 60 percent of America’s Outer Continental Shelf. Gas is $2.80 a gallon.
  • DECEMBER 1, 2010  The president re-imposes and expands the moratorium on offshore energy production. Gas is $2.86 a gallon.
  • JANUARY 2, 2011 – TIME reported that the Obama administration issued the first in a series of regulations on January 2 designed to unilaterally impose a national energy tax. Gas is $3.05 a gallon.
  • JUNE 21, 2011 – The White House opposes the House-passed Jobs & Energy Permitting Act that would unlock an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Gas is $3.65 a gallon.
  • NOVEMBER 8, 2011 – The Obama Administration releases a plan for a five-year moratorium on offshore energy production, placing “some of the most promising energy resources in the world off-limits,” according to the House Natural Resources Committee. Gas is $3.42 a gallon.
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Fake Apple store, meet fake dead Steve Jobs

By: admin
Published: February 26th, 2012

…and that is mostly how the Chinese are stealing our JOBS…

From here

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Daily Readings 02-23-2012

By: admin
Published: February 23rd, 2012

Gasoline Prices Are Not Rising, the Dollar Is Falling

Right now, the threat posed by rising gasoline prices is not just to family budgets. An even greater danger is that the government will use escalating oil prices as an excuse to do something stupid.

Corporate Outlooks Hint At More Pain Ahead

U.S. companies are dialing back their quarterly profit forecasts at the highest rate since early 2009, driven by unnerving European headlines along with rising commodity and energy costs.

Obama’s Virtual Economy

With his recently announced campaign platform—An Economy Built to Last—President Obama has essentially constructed a virtual economy. Instead of the economy we all live in, he’s making one up and inviting us to pretend we are living in it. Welcome to the Sim City Economy.

The Boy Who Played With Fusion

Taylor Wilson always dreamed of creating a star. Now he’s become one

Solyndra Wins Approval to Pay Bonuses to Remaining Employees

Solyndra LLC (SOLY), the failed solar-panel maker that got $535 million in government loan guarantees before filing for bankruptcy, won court approval to pay some of its remaining workers as much as $368,500 in bonuses.

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Daily Readings 02-22-2012

By: admin
Published: February 22nd, 2012

Don’t forget the Vaseline when you buy yourself a gasoline…

White House seeks to deflect blame over rising gas prices – Blame Canada…

Under fire from Republicans over rising gasoline prices, the White House on Tuesday highlighted factors beyond its control for gains in global oil markets, as it sought to deflect blame over a potentially damaging election-year issue..

If Economy’s Improving, Why Is Dependency Growing?

The government is at full throttle to present the economy as improving especially in light of the upcoming election. At the same time, there has been a stunning rise in dependency as most recently presented by the Heritage Foundation.

Economy in recovery? Not so fast

Are we finally on the path to a sustained recovery, or will it peter out all over again in 2012? The answer all depends on a few key challenges…

The Worse the Economy, the Longer People Live: Peter Orszag – You call that life?

A weak labor market, like the one we’ve experienced since the financial crisis in 2008, imposes enormous stress on people. Given the added anxiety created by a weak economy, you might think life expectancywould decline. Oddly, though, during recessions, exactly the opposite tends to happen: Life expectancy rises.

Greek ruins, American-style

President Obama’s budget puts America on the path toward Greece. It is a reckless document, a stunning betrayal of U.S. economic interests. By its own numbers, Obamanomics leads to national bankruptcy. Unless there is a dramatic course correction, we will share the bleak fate of the Greeks: riots, chaos and internationally imposed austerity measures. We, too, are committing fiscal suicide.

50 percent tax rate ‘failing to boost revenues’ – DUH!

The amount of income tax paid fell sharply last month in the first formal indication that the new 50p higher rate is not raising the expected amount of revenue.

Portugal Needs More Money To Stay Afloat – Uh-oh!

With its massive austerity measures, Portugal has become the poster child of the troika of the EU, ECB and IMF. But the country is still stuck in a deep recession and it is unclear how it will return to growth. It may need to rely on European loans for years to come.

EU to Move to Suspend Funds to Hungary, EU Official Says 

The European Commission will adopt a proposal tomorrow to suspend infrastructure-development subsidies to Hungary after the country failed to curb its deficit in a sustainable way, a European official said.

Is Japan’s Global Creditor Status at Risk?

Trade deficits may undercut Japan’s ability to service a massive debt load far bigger than Greece’s

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Read more on Gasoline, Oil at Wikinvest

Cartoons 02-20-2012

By: admin
Published: February 20th, 2012

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Daily Readings 02-20-2012

By: admin
Published: February 20th, 2012

On 3rd Anniversary of Obama’s $787B Stimulus, Unemployment Sets Record

On the third anniversary of President Barack Obama’s $787-billion stimulus spending program, the unemployment rate set a new record, staying above 8 percent for the longest period since the end of World War II – 36 months.

Obama Stimulus Turns Three: What Has It Achieved?

At the time, Obama claimed that it would “create or save” up to 3.5 million jobs, and that “a new wave of innovation, activity and construction will be unleashed across America.” The stimulus, would, he promised””ignite spending by businesses and consumers” and bring “real and lasting change for generations to come.”

So three years later, how do the stimulus results stack up? Here’s where various indicators stood in or around February 2009, and where they stand today…

Report: Millions of jobless file for disability when unemployment benefits run out

Standing too many months on the unemployment line is driving Americans crazy — literally — and it’s costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

With their unemployment-insurance checks running out, some of the country’s long-term jobless are scrambling to fill the gap by filing claims for mental illness and other disabilities with Social Security — a surge that hobbles taxpayers and making the employment rate look healthier than it should as these people drop out of the job statistics.

A Graphic Question: Where Are the Jobs?

 36.3% of working-age Americans do not have a job and are not even looking

Nearly Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes

Another eye-popping number was the percentage of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, which now accounts for nearly half of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, most of that population receives generous federal benefits.

Tim Geithner to Paul Ryan: “We don’t have a definitive solution… We just don’t like yours”

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

Every time you go shopping, you share intimate details about your consumption patterns with retailers. And many of those retailers are studying those details to figure out what you like, what you need, and which coupons are most likely to make you happy.Target, for example, has figured out how to data-mine its way into your womb, to figure out whether you have a baby on the way long before you need to start buying diapers.

Cafe could lose one-third of staff

Increasing the state minimum wage would be the pits for one-third of the workers at the Velvet Peach Cafe in Brooklyn.

Owner Erica Phillips said she’d have to lay off three of her nine employes to finance the raises she’d have to give the other six. And she wouldn’t be able to hire any new employees for the foreseeable future.

Pelosi: Federal employees should not ‘carry an undue burden’ by paying more into pensions – Really? Federal employees don’t want to pay 1.5% more to their pensions? Why not? Make them! If they do not like it, they may quit their overpaid jobs then.

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