Friday, May 29, 2015

2009 Was the Hardest Year to Enter the Workforce

This is not surprising see it was the end of the epicenter of the bust phase of the Fed created bom-bust business cycle.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Goldman Sach's Crony Revolving Door Spins Once Again

Andrew J. "Buddy" Donohue will return to the Securities and Exchange Commission as the chief of staff for SEC Chair Mary Jo White.

Donohue is currently a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

This is not Donohue's spin through the crony revolving door.

He previously served as director of the SEC's Investment Management Division from May 2006 through November 2010.

He has also worked at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, as well as Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and OppenheimerFunds Inc, the investment fund subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

In a statement, White said Donohue will be deeply involved in helping the SEC write rules to protect Goldman Sachs create a uniform fiduciary standard for retail brokers and investment advisers.

To bring full circle to the revolving door cronyism, Donohue was also a member of the board of The Mutual Fund Directors Forum.


Ron Paul Warns CNBC Viewers about the Economy

Ron Paul's appearance in Porter Stansberry commercials has already driven the mainstream crazy. But that was only when ads linking to the Ron Paul videos were appearing online.

Now, Stansberry is running 30 second commercials of Dr. Paul warnings on CNBC. Which first of all indicates that there are a lot of people paying attention to RP, otherwise Stansberry wouldn't be running the commercials there.

Further, these clips are great. They are just Dr. Paul warning of the developing crises in the economy. Everyone who watches CNBC will know DR. Paul's view on what is ahead.

When the inevitable spike in price inflation, the dollar collapse and the downturn in the business cycle occur, everyone will know Dr. Paul saw it in advance.


The 'Misery Index' Professor says Venezuela's Inflation Rate is Over 500%

Steve Hanke writes:
Venezuela’s bolivar is collapsing...I estimate Venezuela’s current annual implied inflation rate to be 510%. This is the highest rate in the world. It’s well above the second-highest rate: Syria’s, which stands at 84%.

Why is Janet Yellen Skipping Jackson Hole?

Mr. Establishment Apologist, gold-hater, Ron Insana hints it may have something to do with the current separate  DOJ and House investigations into a leak from the Fed (that possibly came from Yellen).

Insana writes at CNBC:
The annual economic symposium there, sponsored by the Kansas City Fed, has become a virtual staging ground for new policy declarations from the likes of Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and global central bankers who want to drive home policy points in late August, just before everyone returns from their summer vacation. But something funny is happening on the way to Jackson Hole this year. Fed Chair, Janet Yellen, has decided not to participate, the first Fed chair to skip the trip in modern memory...

[T]here has been some talk that Congress is concerned about whether Ms. Yellen was the source of that Fed leak to the Fed forecasting firm, Medley Global Advisors, founded by the late Richard Medley. He was among those with links to Washington whose Fed forecasts could move markets.

Ms. Yellen admitted to having met with representatives of the firm in June of 2012, though she has denied revealing any sensitive information to them. Other Fed staffers also met with reps from Medley, who a couple months later, released a near perfect prediction of information the Fed would make known a mere day later.

The Department of Justice, and the Fed's internal investigating arm, is also investigating the matter, according to Ms. Yellen, herself.
While I think Ms. Yellen, more likely than not, simply does not want to pre-empt any move the Fed might make in September, it's also possible that she would prefer to keep her head down for a while and announce policy changes through official channels, rather than hint at coming events.
Insana's mention that "there is some talk" that Congress is concerned whether Yellen was the source of the leak is the first direct mention that Yellen may have been the leaker.

This hint from an insider like Insana should not be taken lightly. It continues to look like powers that be may be putting Yellen in play to oust her, which, of course, would mean that the former head of Israel's central bank, current vice-chairman Stanley Fischer, would become acting Fed chair.


The State of the Housing Market (And the business cycle)

This is not what the down phase of the business cycle looks like. What some Austrian school leaning economists fail to recognize is  that the Fed creates a boom AND bust cycle. We are in the "Boom' phase, that is the phase where money is pushed in distorted fashion into the capital goods sector, which includes the stock market and real estate.


Why the Minimum Wage Hike in Los Angeles Could be More Damaging than Hikes in Other Cities

We have already seen how damaging the minimum wage has been in cities like San Francisco and Oakland, with some marginal books stores and restaurants closing.

Given the large population in Los Angeles working at the current minimum wage, the impaat could be much more significant.

Monica Potts has the details:
This week, the Los Angeles City Council voted to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour, from the current $9, by 2020, joining the ranks of other liberal cities like Seattle and San Francisco who are acting despite federal inaction on the issue. But L.A. is the largest city to have raised the minimum wage so far, and the increase is much higher than the proposed federal hike to a little more than $10 from the current $7.25. Not only that, but as much as 50 percent of L.A.’s workforce may be affected, which is many more people than in any city that has raised its minimum wage so high to date.

Russia’s Central Bank Increasing Gold Reserves

A lesson to learn from Vladimir Putin: When the Empire monetary threatens confiscation, it is time to move into gold.  -RW

CMI Gold and Silver reports:

Russia is increasing its gold holdings because gold is a reserve asset that is free from legal and political risks, a senior Russian central banker said on Tuesday.

The comments by Dmitry Tulin, who manages monetary policy at the central bank, reflect Russian fears that the country’s overseas assets could be frozen as part of a possible toughening of Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.

“As you know we are increasing our gold holdings, although this comes with market risks,” Tulin told lawmakers in the lower house of parliament.

“The price of it (gold) swings, but on the other hand it is a 100 percent guarantee from legal and political risks.”

According to central bank data, Russia’s gold reserves rose to 40.1 million troy ounces as of May 1 compared with 39.8 million ounces a month earlier.

(HT Felix Bronstein)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

These 19 Passports Will Be a Lot More Valuable on July 1st

It seems strange that a complete accident of birth has such a massive impact on someone’s life.
We don’t get to control where we’re born. It’s a fluke really. Yet as soon as we come into this world a particular nationality is thrust upon us like a birthmark that stays with us for life.

Our nationality dictates so many things throughout our life.

It might mean that we’re required to serve in the military-- to go fight and die in some foreign land at the behest of an insensitive, out of touch politician.

It might mean that we’re required to pay an ever increasing portion of our income to finance government largess that we don’t agree with at all.

It can also substantially restrict the places we can go and travel in this world.

A Response to Joshua Sperber’s Libertarian Mythologies

By Luis R. Rivera III

Last night I came upon a recent article attacking libertarianism. I read it and took it upon myself to defend what the author was attacking: libertarianism. Libertarian Mythologies can be viewed in its entirety here:
I begin my paper by dividing up Joshua Sperber’s claims. He makes two claims one normative and one economic. Mr. Sperber’s normative claim is that physical aggression whether it’s global hegemony, imperialism, colonialism, vandalism, coercive purging or war is morally wrong. His economic claims are that capitalism or markets hurt the overall economy. I agree with his normative claim and strongly disagree with his economic view. I address Sperber’s conflation of the state and private sector individual which is the normative part of his argument. This section is followed by Sperber’s views on economics. Both of these sections are buttressed with excerpts from his paper as well as the corresponding rebuttals.

Anthony Bourdain Invested in This Website After the Founder Sent Him a Drunken Email

I am going to rule that this is an indication that Bourdain is an interesting character, rather than this is another example of Fed money printing gone mad.

Bloomberg reports:
Among the many ways for a business to raise capital these days, sending a drunken e-mail to Anthony Bourdain probably isn’t the most fruitful strategy. But it worked for Roads & Kingdoms, a burgeoning Web magazine offering an eclectic mix of food, politics, and travel fare.
“It was like a midnight Hail Mary, but Tony responded right away,” said Matt Goulding, one of two veteran journalists behind the media platform. This morning, Roads & Kingdoms announced that Bourdain has invested an undisclosed sum and joined the startup as a partner and editor-at-large. It's Bourdain's first personal stake in a company, a purchase that expands to digital media a personal brand largely built on TV and books.
In short, the "many glasses" of sake that fueled Goulding's midnight missive paid off.
It wasn't an entirely cold query. Goulding had met Bourdain in 2011 when they were both covering a snail feast in Spain's Catalonia region. At the time, Goulding, known for his book series Eat This, Not That, and then Time magazine editor Nathan Thornburgh were about to launch Roads & Kingdoms. The idea was to enlist hundreds of professional journalists to occasionally pen an essay, shoot a series of photos, or crib a piece of narrative nonfiction from their overflowing Evernote apps and scribbled bar receipts.
Today, Roads & Kingdoms has a staff of 10 people in Brooklyn, N.Y., editing and publishing works from some 500 contributors worldwide. This week, the site featured a first-person account of subsisting solely on Chinese military rations, a deep dive into Kashmir’s heroin trade, and a celebration of drinking pastis in southern France.


A Bankster Think Tank "To Help Educate the World"

JPMorgan Chase & Co has launched the JPMorgan Chase Institute, a think tank.

International Business Times reports:
The institute aims to use real-time big-data analytics for the benefit of policymakers, businesses and the wider public. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said the think tank is out to “educate the world.”

As its inaugural report’s conclusions show, perhaps unsurprisingly, the greater good might just be served through Chase’s own banking products...

The institute isn't your typical corporate stab at social responsibility. It has access to a uniquely vast trove of customer data: Chase’s checking and savings accounts. Moored to the largest American bank by assets, the think tank says it can put "the broad spectrum of data within the firm to use for the public good.”

In its first report the institute writes:
 To draw conclusions about household liquidity and income and consumption volatility, we adapted the firm’s internal data on nearly 30 million U.S. account holders into a secure groundbreaking data asset.
The president of the Institute,  Diana Farrell, is a revolving door crony. She was the Global Head of the McKinsey Center for Government and then  an operative in the White House as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President on Economic Policy from 2009-2011. She also coordinated "stakeholder engagement" around the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and operated as a member of the President’s Auto Recovery Task Force.

Most fascinating is the Institute's Chief of Staff, Director of Operations, Rachel Pacheco.

Pacheco's past consulting and research includes government reforms in Kazakhstan with Tony Blair Associates, climate financing in Indonesia. This looks like the CIA control in the Institute.


Oh Boy, I Have Heard This Before

Yeah right, Ben, real normal:

Developer Building $500 Million Home

San Francisco's Median Rent Climbs to $4,225!!!

A Picasso Sells for $179 Million

Money Supply growth (M2NSA) since the Great Recession:

Here is the last time Bernanke thought things were normal.