Major Economists Everywhere Are Freaking Out Over The Scarcity Of Safe Assets - Business Insider - Simone Foxman - April 13, 2012 - Amid elevated market uncertainty, investors have been clamoring to get their hands on so-called "safe assets," privately and publicly issued securities with little risk used to hedge against more volatile investments. Of primary focus has been sovereign bonds. U.S. government Treasuries, Japanese government bonds, and German bunds are trading at record highs, yielding little profit for investors.
But the scarcity—and thus the high price of these securities—has been exacerbated by central bank measures taken to mend the troubles of the crisis. Since the financial crisis, quantitative easing has essentially given banks in the U.S. and U.K fast cash in exchange for Treasuries and gilts, and immediately freed up funds to put money in riskier places that would spur corporate growth.
However now investors are worried that the long-term effects of driving up the cost of safe assets will make it harder for institutional investors like investment banks and hedge funds to meet the stricter standards of new rules put in place to ensure financial stability. PIMCO's Mohamed El-Erian expressed this anxiety in a speech to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis yesterday. "In the last three plus years, central banks have had little choice but to do the unsustainable in order to sustain the unsustainable until others do the sustainable to restore sustainability," he said. "In the case of three institutions in particular (the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Fed), they also change the balance between “safe” and other assets in the financial system."
Thieves Stealing Plaques, Vases From Plots At Plain Lawn Cemetery in Hicksville - CBS New York 2 - April 11, 2012 - HICKSVILLE, N.Y. – For the past few days, Adele Meyer has spent a lot of time thinking about her deceased aunt and uncle, and that’s because the Freeport resident recently learned that one of her family’s cemetery plots was robbed. “I had come to decorate the graves for Easter,” Meyer told CBS 2′s Elise Finch on Wednesday, “and I turned around and noticed that the plaque wasn’t there. It was just dirt where their names used to be.” A large brass plaque with Charlie and Virginia Bailey’s names on it was ripped out of the ground. Over the past few months thieves have ravaged the tiny Plain Lawn Cemetery in Hicksville. They’ve stolen almost every bronze vase on the property and at least seven brass plaques , each of which is valued at $1,700.
Principal forgiveness on mortgages gains appeal - USA Today - Julie Schmit - April 11, 2012 - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could save $1.7 billion if they forgave principal on some distressed mortgages, new analysis shows. The Federal Housing Finance Agency— which regulates the mortgage giants — may decide in the next few weeks about whether to use principal forgiveness as a foreclosure prevention tactic, said Edward DeMarco, acting director of the FHFA while speaking Tuesday at the Brookings Institution...
Principal reduction "is clearly getting more traction" as a foreclosure prevention tactic, says Laurie Goodman, senior managing director of Amherst Securities. The recent $25 billion mortgage settlement requires loan servicers to do at least $10 billion in principal reduction. That doesn't cover Freddie or Fannie loans. Principal forgiveness supporters say it'll lead to fewer foreclosures and help stabilize housing prices. FHFA's new analysis — and DeMarco's discussion of it — signals that a change is likely, says Ira Rheingold of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
88 Million (That’s One In Three Americans) Are Invisible to Government Employment Statistics - SHTFplan.com - Mac Slavo - April 13th, 2012 - With recovery in full swing and unemployment dropping to an Obama administration near record low of 8.2%, the US economy seems to be bouncing back stronger than ever. Unless, of course, you look at the numbers no one in mainstream media, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, or the administration is talking about. As many of our readers already know, the official unemployment rates released monthly by the BLS (U-3, U-6) fail to account for one very key figure – those individuals who are no longer in the labor force.
Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.
Over the past several years people have dropped out of the labor force at an astounding, almost unbelievable rate, holding the unemployment rate artificially low. Some of this was due to major revisions last month on account of the 2010 census finally factored in. However, most of it is simply economic weakness.
In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,604,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 1,315,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 2,289,000.
The Civilian Labor Force fell by 164,000.
Those “Not in Labor Force” increased by 310,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed.
Those “Not in Labor Force” is at a new record high of 87,897,000.
Source: Townhall Finance
The number of those folks – the ones that don’t matter anymore because counting them would hinder the President’s reelection bid – is absolutely staggering for what is supposed to be the engine of the global economy and the world’s only super power:
Federal Funds to Train the Jobless Are Drying Up - New York Times - MOTOKO RICH - April 8, 2012 - ... Across the country, work force centers that assist the unemployed are being asked to do more with less as federal funds dwindle for job training and related services...
The Labor Department announced on Friday that employers had added only 120,000 new jobs in March, a disappointing gain after three previous months of nearly twice that level. But with 12.7 million people still searching for jobs, the country is actually spending less on work force training than it did in good times. Federal money for the primary training program for dislocated workers is 18 percent lower in today’s dollars than it was in 2006, even though there are six million more people looking for work now. Funds used to provide basic job search services, like guidance on résumés and coaching for interviews, have fallen by 13 percent. Political fights have focused primarily on extensions of unemployment insurance, while the cuts in funds for training have passed with little debate and little notice. At the peak in 2000, the federal government was spending more than $2.1 billion a year in today’s dollars for training programs aimed at dislocated workers under the Workforce Investment Act. Stimulus funds added close to $1.5 billion over two years, but now annual spending has receded to about $1.2 billion... In his latest budget proposal, President Obama also requested an additional $2.8 billion a year for job training over the next decade. “Even in this very tight budget,” said Gene Sperling, national economic adviser, “the president felt that there was an imperative to call right now for a more simplified and effective training system” that also had an increase in funds. Whether Congress is willing to consider more aid is uncertain. The federal budget endorsed by House Republicans calls for reductions in a broad category that includes job training.
Keeping up with the 1 percent - Reuters - Chrystia Freeland - March 23, 2012 - We know now that trickle-down economics doesn't really work — the past decade in the United States has seen incomes at the very top soar, while the earnings of the middle class stagnated or declined.
But a growing body of academic research is suggesting that this benign force's wicked stepsister, a phenomenon two economists have dubbed "trickle-down consumption," is having a powerful impact on the economy and politics of the United States. The idea is that income inequality has a significant impact on the 99 percent: It drives the rest of us to consume more, whether we can afford to or not...
Lower U.S. Crop Reserves Raising Food Costs in Election Year - Bloomberg - Jeff Wilson - April 9, 2012 - U.S. corn stockpiles are poised to be the smallest in 16 years by August and soybean reserves will be lower than the government expected, potentially accelerating food-price inflation in an election year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture may say tomorrow that corn inventories on Aug. 31 will be 37 percent lower than a year earlier at 715 million bushels (18.2 million metric tons), the average of 32 analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with a projection of 801 million bushels last month. Soybean stockpiles will be 242 million bushels, down from a March prediction of 275 million, the survey showed... “U.S. supplies are going to be tight and that means we need good weather this year to improve inventories,” said Shawn McCambridge, the senior grain analyst for Jefferies Bache in Chicago. He said reserves before the harvest will fall to 626 million bushels, or equal to 4.9 percent of consumption, below the record low of 5 percent in 1974. The U.S. was the world’s biggest shipper of corn, soybeans and wheat last year, USDA data show. The country’s wheat surplus on May 31 may fall to 794 million bushels, compared with 825 million estimated by the USDA in March and 862 million a year earlier, according to the analysts surveyed. Futures in Chicago rose 0.7 percent today to $6.43 a bushel.
Damon Vickers : NWO, Surveillance, & Investments Coast to Coast AM - April 11, 2012 -
NWO, Surveillance, & Investments Coast to Coast AM - 11.4.2012 with Guest : Damon Vickers . Damon Vickers, author of The Day after the Dollar Crashes and managing director at Nine Points Management and Research, speaks to Coast to Coast AM about what he believes to be the looming crash of the US dollar.This is why China is telling its citizens to buy gold and silver--to prepare for the day in which all heck brakes loose upon telling the USA "no more treasury purchases.
Greg over at Backburner news was kind enough to share his video footage of Max Keiser and Reverend Bill Masters on Mott Street 4/12/2012. Max covers some important issues including fraud in the markets, Wall Street, the role of collateral, Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan, crap deals of JPM, congress, Goldman Sachs, fraud, ECB, IMF, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Germany, derivatives, financial terrorism, global raping-destruction of nation states, toxic securities, credit default swaps, and silver. This video is both entertaining and important.
Reverend Billy of OWS here on Youtube
Reverend Billy of OWS here on Youtube