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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- November 6, 2011

Fed lowers GDP forecast, mulls more action - Reuters - Pedro da Costa and Mark Felsenthal - November 2, 2011 - The Federal Reserve on Wednesday slashed its forecast for growth, raised projections for unemployment and said it was mulling the possibility of buying more mortgage debt to spur a struggling recovery. While members of the central bank's policy-setting panel voted 9-1 to hold a steady course, one official urged more stimulative action now and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Europe's debt crisis posed big economic risks. At a news conference after a two-day meeting, Bernanke said buying more mortgage-backed securities was an option to help the economy and added that the U.S. central bank was still looking for ways to give clearer guidance on its policy path. "While we still expect that economic activity and labor market conditions will improve gradually over time, the pace of progress is likely to be frustratingly slow," he said. "Moreover, there are significant downside risks to the economic outlook," Bernanke said. "Most notably, concerns about European fiscal and banking issues have contributed to strains in global financial markets, which have likely had adverse effects on confidence and growth."

U.S. Payrolls Rose 80,000 in October; Jobless Rate Fell to 9% - Bloomberg - Shobhana Chandra - November 5, 2011 - U.S. employment climbed in October at the slowest pace in four months, illustrating the “frustratingly slow” progress cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke this week. The 80,000 increase in payrolls was less than forecast and followed gains in the prior two months that were revised up by 102,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The unemployment rate fell to a six-month low of 9 percent from 9.1 percent even as the labor force expanded.

US retail sales miss expectations - The Financial Times through Yahoo News - Barney Jopson in New York - November 3, 2011 - US retail sales climbed 3.8 per cent in October, but missed market expectations as retailers prepare for a holiday shopping season of fierce competition and volatile consumer sentiment. Sales rose for the 26th consecutive month in spite of the weak US economy, but the 3.8 per cent rise fell below forecasts of a 4.4 per cent rise and marked the first miss this year. The figures did little to alter the prevailing outlook for end-of-year shopping, as consumers say they will spend less on gifts than last year while analysts forecast that once they hit shop floors they will end up spending between 2 and 3 per cent more.

Send Citi, BofA to 'Minor Leagues' for Breakup: Mayo - CNBC - Jeff Cox - November 1, 2011 - Big banks that haven't been performing should be broken up before they become a threat to the entire financial system, analyst and author Mike Mayo told CNBC.      Referring specifically to Bank of America and Citigroup , the managing director at Credit Agricole said the institutions are classic examples of banks where shareholders should be able to step in and remove ineffective executives. Bad corporate governance — and not fundamental weaknesses of capitalism — is at the heart of why so many people distrust banks, said Mayo, who called for accountability rather than more regulation. Mayo is author of the upcoming Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst's Fight to Save the Big Banks From Themselves.

Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker laughs at the great increase in wealth disparity over the past 10 to 15 years, and at Americans for not speaking out more forcibly against it - Faux Capitalism - November 1, 2011 - In an October 24, 2011 interview with Charlie Rose, former Fed Chairman and fellow Bilderberger, Paul Volcker, laughed at the great increase in wealth disparity in the United States over the past 10 to 15 years, and at Americans for not speaking out more forcibly against it (starting at 18:27).

But there is a feeling — which I’ve been a little surprised has not been expressed more forcibly before — the distribution of income, which has changed very radically in the last 10 or 15 years. And you have a situation in the United States where there’s been almost no growth in real income for the average family for 10 or 15 years, but way at the upper end of the income distribution, there’s been an enormous increase, of a kind that didn’t take place in my lifetime or even in your lifetime. (laughs)

Rose responded with “it’s unbelievable!” — which is only genuine if he’s referring to Americans not speaking out more forcibly against it, and not the fact that it’s taken place, since he holds the Triple Crown for membership in globalist organizations where policies are discussed and made, and he regularly features fellow members on his program.     Rose posted a short 4-minute YouTube clip from the nearly half-hour interview, conveniently omitting reference to fellow Bilderberger Paul Volcker laughing at fellow Americans.

GOLDMAN SUX - Giant Squid Strikes Again at Occupy Wall Street's Credit Union - Greg Palast - October 31, 2011 - Last week, Democracy Now! and The Guardian ran our story about Goldman Sachs yanking financial support from a community credit union for honoring one of its largest customers. The customer: Occupy Wall Street. Our report so enraged Goldman that, within days, it doubled down on its attack on the little community bank. Goldman had already demanded the return of its $5,000 payment to the Lower East Side Peoples Federal Credit Union. Now, sources say, the trillion-dollar Wall Street mega-bank sent the following message to the not-for-profit community bank: "You will never get a dime from any bank ever again." About those "dimes" Goldman is taking away: They come from you and me, the taxpayers who put up billions into the Troubled Asset Recovery Plan (TARP), usually known as the Bank Bail-Out Fund.

Mortgage Fraud and the Housing Market - October 28, 2011 - Max Keiser & Catherine Austin Fitts

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