Income Growth for Bottom 90% in America Since 1966 is…59 Dollars

Via: Liberty Blitzkrieg

Posted on March 26, 2013

We’ve all seen these statistics before in one form or another, but David Cay Johnston does an excellent job going into more detail for us in an article he published late last month. As he correctly notes, when things get extreme like this you ultimately end up with serious social unrest. Furthermore, as I have pointed out for years and years, this kind of disparity does not happen under free markets with rules and regulations applied equally to all. It happens under totalitarian societies, whether fascism, communism or crony capitalist corporatism (which is the model in the USA). It only happens when a very small oligarch class takes over the political process of a nation and then uses it to game the system.

However, I would take exception to Mr. Johnston’s conclusion that the root problem is the tax system. While I do not for one moment deny that the oligarchs game the tax system to provide loopholes for themselves, this is not why the 1% of 1% has taken all the wealth of the nation. This is much more related to the Federal Reserve and its policies of printing trillions of money out of thin air and distributing it to the oligarchs, either directly or through low interest loans. If you tax the rich more, they will still make more because they will still have the access to the cheap money. The Federal Reserve is the core cancer of the entire thing and they must be stopped. Some excerpts below:

The average increase in real income reported by the bottom 90 percent of earners in 2011, compared with 1966, if measured at one inch, would extend almost five miles for the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent.

Read more: here

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Our Chavez: Huey Long

Via: Counterpunch

Where’s the Kingfish Now That We Really Need Him?

by MIKE WHITNEY

“Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.”
– Huey P. long, Governor of Louisiana

Americans are committed to capitalism and prefer free market solutions whenever possible.

Wrong. The truth is that support for capitalism has been steadily eroding since the Great Crash of ’08 when markets tumbled and housing prices plunged wiping out $8 trillion in home equity and leaving 5 million homeowners facing foreclosure. After that dose of cold water in the face, support for the free market system dropped precipitously from 80% (in 2002) to a titch above 54% by 2010. Interestingly, in France (according to the Economist) only 6% of the people now “strongly” support the free market. Here’s more from the article in the Economist:

“Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.” (“Market of Ideas: Capitalism’s waning popularity”, The Economist)

“Social contract”? What social contract? You mean the social contract that allows the banks to fleece your ass at every opportunity with no chance of being held accountable?

While the report is 2 years old, it indicates something that’s fairly obvious to many, that Americans are generally pragmatic people who judge a system by its results not by the public relations blabber issuing from the business channel. “Show me the beef”, that’s what the average working slob cares about, not some horseshit about “the wondrous symmetry of the self-correcting market”. What a load of malarkey. If we’d applied the theories of the market fundamentalists after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the 10 biggest banks in the country would have been euthanized (as they should have been) and we’d be well on our way to a true recovery. Instead, the economy is still hopelessly mired in a long-term slump that shows no sign of ending. The only thing that’s “corrected” is the profit margins on Wall Street which are at record highs. Get a load of this from the WSWS:

“As the US government prepares to furlough 1 million federal workers and slash hundreds of billions in social spending, corporate executives in the United States are receiving among the highest payouts in history. USA Today reported Thursday that at least ten CEOs took in $50 million apiece in 2012, largely as a result of cashing in stocks that have soared in value with the rising market. According to the newspaper, “Early 2013 proxy filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing number of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched in breadth and size since the Internet IPO craze enriched tech company executives more than a decade ago…..

Read more: here

QE Is "Unsustainable And Unfair To Those Who Work For A Living"

Via: Zero Hedge

Via ‘Lucas Jackson’,

Fed Creates A New $4.25bn Asset Manager Every Business Day in March

There is ample debate going on in the market right now about the long-term effects of the Fed’s seemingly never-ending QE. The well-respected Stanley Druckenmiller was on CNBC this morning defending his recent commentary that the mal investment currently being instigated by the Fed can only end poorly. The counter-point was provided by former Fed governor Kevin Warsh who in his best status quo pleasing way essentially said Bernanke is in charge and all is well.

Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn’t. Personally, in the debate between a Fed governor academic and a man who successfully managed billions of dollars for decades, I’ll put my money behind Mr. Druckenmiller any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

But I’m not smart enough to know what will be the result of the Fed’s latest monetary experiments. Perhaps all will be well. Perhaps the magical money multiplier really works and is higher than anyone thinks? Perhaps the wealth effect is just about to kick in. Perhaps inflation really is low and muted, as Bernanke keeps repeating. Perhaps housing is recovering despite a continuing decline in real wages. Who knows? I don’t.

But one thing I do know is that the Fed’s hands are all over markets today. Consider for a moment the current QE program.

QE aka Money for Nothing

In March, there are exactly 20 business days. Also in March, the Fed will commit to purchase via their Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) approximately $85bn in securities from the TBTF primary dealers. The $85bn in cash (not real cash but actually 1s and 0s in an electronic account) didn’t exist on the world’s ledger in February. However, yesterday at the Fed some functionary sat down at a computer, went into one of the Fed’s POMO accounts and entered the numbers 85, followed by nine 0s. Suddenly, the world had an additional $85bn. It doesn’t exist and then POOF! 11 key strokes later and it exists.

Read more: here

Why Is JPMorgan’s Gold Vault, The Largest In The World, Located Next To The New York Fed?

Via: Zero Hedge

When two weeks ago we exposed the heretofore secret location of JPM’s London gold vault (located under the firm’s massive L-shaped office complex at 60 Victoria Embankment) we thought: what about New York? After all, while London is the legacy financial capital of the “old world“, it is New York that the biggest private wealth of the past century is concentrated, and it is also New York where the bulk of the hard assets backing the public money of the world’s sovereigns are located, some 80 feet below ground level in the fifth sub-basement of the New York Fed, resting on the bedrock of Manhattan.

That the topic of the gold “held” by the New York Fed – historically considered the gold vault with the largest concentration of gold bars in the world – has become rather sensitive, in the aftermath of the Bundesbank’s request to repatriate it (surely, but very, very slowly), is an understatement.

Yet in the aftermath of some of the revelations presented here, we believe quite a few other countries will follow in Germany’s footsteps for one very simple reason:

Suddenly the question of whether their gold is located at 33 Liberty, or just adjacent to it, in what we have learned is the de facto largest gold vault in the world, located across the street 90 feet below 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza, doesn’t appear to have a clear answer.

Read more: here

Interesting…..Hmm..
-Moose

The Ethics of Repudiation

Via: Ludwig von Mises Institute

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by John P. Cochran

Do you ever get the feeling that no one in the Washington power elite is willing to seriously deal with the major economic threat to future prosperity facing the United States today: mounting government debt and the associated deficits? The problem, as pointed out by Murray Rothbard over 20 years ago:

Deficits and a mounting debt, therefore, are a growing and intolerable burden on the society and economy, both because they raise the tax burden and increasingly drain resources from the productive to the parasitic, counterproductive, “public” sector. Moreover, whenever deficits are financed by expanding bank credit—in other words, by creating new money—matters become still worse, since credit inflation creates permanent and rising price inflation as well as waves of boom-bust “business cycles.”

In 1992, when Rothbard wrote the above, the US debt was approaching $4 trillion (now nearing $17 trillion) and Federal Reserve policy was relatively benign compared to the current quantitative easing, which is effectively monetizing a significant portion of newly created government debt. The “peace dividend” from the end of the Cold War and the false prosperity from two Fed-created economic booms made the problem appear less urgent and allowed politicians to kick the can down the road. A solution is now urgent, but not likely. David Henderson’s “Must Default Be Avoided at All Costs?” is a great place to start in order to reinvigorate a serious discussion on a moral approach to shrinking the size of the federal government down to a less destructive level.

Read more: here

The Ethics of Repudiation

Via: Ludwig von Mises Institute

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 by John P. Cochran

Do you ever get the feeling that no one in the Washington power elite is willing to seriously deal with the major economic threat to future prosperity facing the United States today: mounting government debt and the associated deficits? The problem, as pointed out by Murray Rothbard over 20 years ago:

Deficits and a mounting debt, therefore, are a growing and intolerable burden on the society and economy, both because they raise the tax burden and increasingly drain resources from the productive to the parasitic, counterproductive, “public” sector. Moreover, whenever deficits are financed by expanding bank credit—in other words, by creating new money—matters become still worse, since credit inflation creates permanent and rising price inflation as well as waves of boom-bust “business cycles.”

In 1992, when Rothbard wrote the above, the US debt was approaching $4 trillion (now nearing $17 trillion) and Federal Reserve policy was relatively benign compared to the current quantitative easing, which is effectively monetizing a significant portion of newly created government debt. The “peace dividend” from the end of the Cold War and the false prosperity from two Fed-created economic booms made the problem appear less urgent and allowed politicians to kick the can down the road. A solution is now urgent, but not likely. David Henderson’s “Must Default Be Avoided at All Costs?” is a great place to start in order to reinvigorate a serious discussion on a moral approach to shrinking the size of the federal government down to a less destructive level.

Read more: here

Moroccan Pottery Classes, Shrimp On Treadmills And Obamaphones – Bernanke’s Biggest Bloopers Tie It All Together

Via: Zero Hedge

Those who listened to Bernanke’s three hour oratory before the House Committee today noticed something different: the Chairman’s tone was far more resigned, and as noted previously, on occasion devolved into incoherent, illogical ramblings that may be satisfactory for an introductory economics class at Clown College (aka Princeton), but certainly are inappropriate for the man who runs the world’s most important printer.

And while as expected the bulk of the Q&A session focused on the sequester, there were enough pearls one could shake a GDP hockeystick at. We have extracted the best of these exchanges below. However, the definitive five minutes comes from this fiery confrontation between Sean Duffy and the Chairman, in which the republican has obviously had enough with the monetary policy chief coming in Congress and telling Congress how to conduct fiscal policy, when it is Bernanke’s deficit-monetizing actions that allow zero-cost borrowing and thus profligate, indiscriminate spending to result in such lunacy as total US debt just hitting a record 16,618,701,810,927.77.  

From the negative jobs impact resulting from cutting Moroccan Pottery Classes, no longer handing out Obamaphones, stopping the payment of travel expenses for the watermelon queen in Alabama, and most importantly preventing shrimp from running on a treadmill, to Bernanke explaining how a 2% cut in the budget would result in mass mayhem, in the context of a 1% interest rise resulting in $100 billion in additional interest expense, and much, much more, the Chairman ties it all together.

Read more: here

Moroccan Pottery Classes, Shrimp On Treadmills And Obamaphones – Bernanke’s Biggest Bloopers Tie It All Together

Via: Zero Hedge

Those who listened to Bernanke’s three hour oratory before the House Committee today noticed something different: the Chairman’s tone was far more resigned, and as noted previously, on occasion devolved into incoherent, illogical ramblings that may be satisfactory for an introductory economics class at Clown College (aka Princeton), but certainly are inappropriate for the man who runs the world’s most important printer.

And while as expected the bulk of the Q&A session focused on the sequester, there were enough pearls one could shake a GDP hockeystick at. We have extracted the best of these exchanges below. However, the definitive five minutes comes from this fiery confrontation between Sean Duffy and the Chairman, in which the republican has obviously had enough with the monetary policy chief coming in Congress and telling Congress how to conduct fiscal policy, when it is Bernanke’s deficit-monetizing actions that allow zero-cost borrowing and thus profligate, indiscriminate spending to result in such lunacy as total US debt just hitting a record 16,618,701,810,927.77.  

From the negative jobs impact resulting from cutting Moroccan Pottery Classes, no longer handing out Obamaphones, stopping the payment of travel expenses for the watermelon queen in Alabama, and most importantly preventing shrimp from running on a treadmill, to Bernanke explaining how a 2% cut in the budget would result in mass mayhem, in the context of a 1% interest rise resulting in $100 billion in additional interest expense, and much, much more, the Chairman ties it all together.

Read more: here

What Do They Know That We Don’t?

Via: Testosteronepit

Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 5:58PM

 Friday evening when no one was supposed to pay attention, Google announced that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would sell 3.2 million of his Google shares in 2013, 42% of the 7.6 million shares he owned at the end of last year—after having already sold 1.8 million shares in 2012. But why would he sell 5 million shares, about 53% of his holdings, with Google stock trading near its all-time high?

“Part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity,” Google mollified us, according to the Wall Street Journal. Soothing words. Nothing but “a routine diversification of assets.”

Routine? He didn’t sell any in 2008 as the market was crashing. He didn’t sell at the bottom in early 2009. And he didn’t sell during the rest of 2009 as Google shares were soaring, nor in 2010, as they continued to soar. In 2011, he eased out of about 300,000 shares, a mere rounding error in his holdings. But in 2012, he opened the valves, and in 2013, he’d open the floodgates. So it’s not “routine.”

Read more: here

What Do They Know That We Don’t?

Via: Testosteronepit

Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 5:58PM

 Friday evening when no one was supposed to pay attention, Google announced that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would sell 3.2 million of his Google shares in 2013, 42% of the 7.6 million shares he owned at the end of last year—after having already sold 1.8 million shares in 2012. But why would he sell 5 million shares, about 53% of his holdings, with Google stock trading near its all-time high?

“Part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity,” Google mollified us, according to the Wall Street Journal. Soothing words. Nothing but “a routine diversification of assets.”

Routine? He didn’t sell any in 2008 as the market was crashing. He didn’t sell at the bottom in early 2009. And he didn’t sell during the rest of 2009 as Google shares were soaring, nor in 2010, as they continued to soar. In 2011, he eased out of about 300,000 shares, a mere rounding error in his holdings. But in 2012, he opened the valves, and in 2013, he’d open the floodgates. So it’s not “routine.”

Read more: here

Anonymous posts over 4000 U.S. bank executive credentials

Via: zdnet.com

By Violet Blue for Zero Day | February 4, 2013 — 07:28 GMT (23:28 PST)

Following attacks on U.S. government websites last weekend, Anonymous seems to have made a new “Operation Last Resort” .gov website strike Sunday night.

Anonymous appears to have published login and private information from over 4,000 American bank executive accounts in the name of its new Operation Last Resort campaign, demanding U.S. computer crime law reform.

A spreadsheet has been published on a .gov website allegedly containing login information and credentials, IP addresses, and contact information of American bank executives.

If true, it could be that Anonymous has released banker information that could be connected to Federal Reserve computers, including contact information and cell phone numbers for U.S. bank Presidents, Vice Presidents, COO’s Branch Managers, VP’s and more.

The website used in this attack belongs to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC). The page extension URL is titled, “oops-we-did-it-again.”

Read more: here

Anonymous posts over 4000 U.S. bank executive credentials

Via: zdnet.com

By Violet Blue for Zero Day | February 4, 2013 — 07:28 GMT (23:28 PST)

Following attacks on U.S. government websites last weekend, Anonymous seems to have made a new “Operation Last Resort” .gov website strike Sunday night.

Anonymous appears to have published login and private information from over 4,000 American bank executive accounts in the name of its new Operation Last Resort campaign, demanding U.S. computer crime law reform.

A spreadsheet has been published on a .gov website allegedly containing login information and credentials, IP addresses, and contact information of American bank executives.

If true, it could be that Anonymous has released banker information that could be connected to Federal Reserve computers, including contact information and cell phone numbers for U.S. bank Presidents, Vice Presidents, COO’s Branch Managers, VP’s and more.

The website used in this attack belongs to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC). The page extension URL is titled, “oops-we-did-it-again.”

Read more: here