Google Groups
Join To Get Blog Update Notices
Visit the Hickory Hound Group

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- October 14, 2012

Middle Out Economics - The Hickory Hound - June 26, 2012 - Over the last several days Barack Obama has pushed a notion that we need to have bottom up economics. Without mincing words, I think he is a little off. He does talk about the middle class, but the middle class isn't the bottom. It is the middle. The problem is that it is shrinking.                 Trickle Down or Bottom Up, these are both notions of Democrats. Neither is a sustainable economic theory. They are just simple slogans. What we have to do is reinvigorate the Middle Class. There is really only one way to do that. We need to regain the sovereignty of our nation by putting corporations back in their box.                  Currently, we don't have a Capitalist system. There is a notion pushed by Democrats that we do. The Bail Outs have sheared the vestiges of capitalism back to nothing. Capitalism is an idea and ideas don't die, but the system that is currently in place is a Corporate centered Neo-Feudalistic model.                The Neo-Feudalistic model basically centers itself around having no middle class. There will be an elite class who control the Mega-Corporations and include those who revolve in and out of the government and then there will be the peasant class.

I noticed that people all over the country have been coming to the Hound to read this article. It is related to another article that I wrote in April 2010 entitled the Race to the Bottom that received a lot of attention. Both of the articles center around the notion that we cannot attain growth in this nation until we address the negative issues that face the middle class. We have heard this issue bandied about by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, but the problem is that these men and their campaigns can't relate to the plight of the middle class, because they are privileged. It seems that you have to be a part of this struggle to truly understand it. People at the upper end of the business strata and the government don't have a clue. They think they do, but they don't. Let's take them having to make choices about the necessities of life -- Food, Clothing, Shelter, Health, Transportation and Energy. Let's put them on a real budget and have them have to make decisions, not about what they would like, but about what is most vital to their survival and then maybe they might start to understand what many of us are facing today.

Forget Class-Warfare; It's Age-Warfare We Should Worry About - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - October 10, 2012 - As class-warfare implicitly breaks out - trumpeted by our political leaders - it seems that there is another, much more relevant, trend that is occurring that strikes at the heart of our nation. With Friday's jobs number still fresh in our minds, Citi's Steve Englander takes a look at one small slice of the demographics subject and found a rather concerning and little discussed fact. Employment-to-population ratios among older individuals have gone up in recent years, in contrast to the so-called prime-aged 25-54 cohort, where employment-to-population is much lower than earlier. It seems the real divide in this nation is not between rich and poor but old and young - as the 55-plus (and even more 65-plus) are forced to stay in the workplace as retirement remains a dream (thanks to ZIRP and Keynesianism's excess crises from boom-to-bust leave median wealth well down - even if the rich are 'ok')

Wholesale Prices in U.S. Rise More Than Forecast on Fuel - Bloomberg - Alex Kowalski - October 12, 2012 - Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose more than forecast in September, reflecting a jump in fuel costs that failed to trickle down to other goods.                          The producer price index climbed 1.1 percent after a 1.7 percent gain in August, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.8 percent increase. So-called core producer inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was unchanged, the first time it didn’t increase since October 2011.

Food Inflation To Surge, Goldman Warns - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - October 10, 2012 - We have been very active in our discussions of the impact of the pending rise in food prices around the world (from central bank largesse to weather-related chaos). As Goldman notes, food inflation has been one of the most significant sources of headline inflation variation in emerging markets (EM) over the past few years. Since June, international prices for agricultural commodities have risen almost 30%, increasing the risk of fresh, food-related increases to EM headline inflation. We, like Goldman, expect EM headline inflation to start to reflect the relevant pressures more broadly in the October prints at the latest. While the effects, for now, are expected to be less extreme than the 2010-2011 episode, the timing as the US enters its fiscal-cliff-prone malaise, could mean a further round of easing will reignite this critical inflationary concern.

High-tech job openings in N.C. plunge 12% in September - WRAL Techwire - Rick Smith - October 12, 2012 - Research Triangle Park, N.C. — Just in time for the holidays, the jobs picture is getting worse across North Carolina for employment in information technology,                        High-tech job seekers are facing a toughening environment across North Carolina, a new report shows. Advertised IT open positions plunged 12 percent in September and have fallen for three consecutive months.                      In fact the daily average fell to below the same month total in 2010 and is only 250 higher than a year ago.                    Nationally, the news is somewhat better as job openings fell 1.1 percent.                    "Employers are pulling back," warns the North Carolina Technology Association in its latest IT Job Trends report.                       After openings surged to nearly 6,000 in March, the job market has fallen sharply with the monthly opportunities falling in five of the ensuing six months.                    Budget woes and the presidential campaign apparently are convincing firms to hold off on hiring, at least for now.                     "We believe that employers are correcting their outlook for engaging this year with job seekers close to a level last seen before the recession," the report says. "This resulted in a bump of employment this year.                   "The current trend suggests that we will not seen an improvement until after the presidential election.                "With the federal budget uncertainties for next year in mind employers may want to restrain themselves until decisions have been made in Washington."

UPDATE 2-Fed's Bullard-Banks should be smaller to manage failure - Reuters - October 11, 2012 - Big U.S. banks should become smaller to make any failure more manageable, a senior Federal Reserve official said on Thursday, supporting a suggestion that the size of banks be limited to a specific percentage of U.S. gross domestic product.                        "I'm very much of a view that 'too-big-to-fail' remains alive and well and the only way to really make progress on this issue is to get firms down to a smaller size where you'd feel comfortable letting them fail if the situation arose," St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told reporters.                         Bullard was referring to a situation in which a bank gets so big that it is too costly to let it fail if it gets into trouble. This is a competitive advantage a big bank can exploit through access to cheaper capital, which allows it to grow even larger compared with their rivals.                   Some Fed officials advocate simply breaking apart the biggest banks and Bullard has aligned himself with that camp.                     "I do not think that we need firms that are so large and complicated in order to have a healthy intermediation sector in the U.S.," he said. "We would be better served by a setup that had smaller firms in a competitive landscape across the sector."                Fed Board Governor Daniel Tarullo suggested in a speech on Wednesday that Congress might want to think about new laws to cap the size of banks relative to the size of the U.S. economy. He argued this would tie their growth to the county's own growth and consequent ability to absorb the shock if they got into trouble. Bullard said that the suggestion had merit.

Plant that got $150M in taxpayer money to make Volt batteries furloughs workers - Fox News - Perry Chiaramonte - October 8, 2012 - President Obama touted it in 2010 as evidence "manufacturing jobs are coming back to the United States,” but two years later, a Michigan hybrid battery plant built with $150 million in taxpayer funds is putting workers on furlough before a single battery has been produced.                  Workers at the Compact Power manufacturing facilities in Holland, Mich., run by LG Chem, have been placed on rotating furloughs, working only three weeks per month based on lack of demand for lithium-ion cells.                    The facility, which was opened in July 2010 with a groundbreaking attended by Obama, has yet to produce a single battery for the Chevrolet Volt, the troubled electric car from General Motors. The plant's batteries also were intended to be used in Ford's electric Focus.                     Production of the taxpayer-subsidized Volt has been plagued by work stoppages, and the effect has trickled down to companies and plants that build parts for it -- including the batteries.                     “Considering the lack of demand for electric vehicles, despite billions of dollars from the Obama administration that were supposed to stimulate it, it’s not surprising what has happened with LG Chem. Just because a ton of money is poured into a product does not mean that people will buy it,” Paul Chesser, an associate fellow with the National Legal and Policy Center, told                 The 650,000-square-foot, $300 million facility was slated to produce 15,000 batteries per year, while creating hundreds of new jobs. But to date, only 200 workers are employed at the plant by by the South Korean company. Batteries for the Chevy Volts that have been produced have been made by an LG plant in South Korea.                     The factory was partly funded by a $150 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. LG also received sizeable tax breaks from the local government, saving nearly $50 million in property taxes over 15 years and another $2.5 million annually in business taxes. Landing the factory was hailed as a coup when shovels first hit the ground.

U.S. Files Civil Mortgage Fraud Suit Against Wells Fargo - Bloomberg - Chris Dolmetsch and Dakin Campbell - October 10, 2012 - Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) was sued by the U.S. for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over claims the bank made reckless mortgage loans that caused losses for a federal insurance program when they defaulted. The complaint filed yesterday in federal court in New York, which alleges misconduct spanning more than a decade related to the bank’s participation in a Federal Housing Administration program, follows similar cases against other lenders, including Citigroup Inc. (C) and Deutsche Bank AG. (DBK)... Yesterday’s lawsuit undermines San Francisco-based Wells Fargo’s reputation as a lender that avoided some of the industry’s worst underwriting practices and threatens to compound the bank’s costs as the government completes probes of the housing bubble’s collapse. The firm, now the largest U.S. home lender, paid $125 million and set up a $50 million assistance fund to settle federal claims in July that it discriminated against minority borrowers. The settlement was the second-largest fair-lending accord reached by the Justice Department at the time. Wells Fargo originated 33.1 percent of all U.S. mortgages in the first six months of the year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry publication. JPMorgan, the second- busiest, originated 11.1 percent.

Eatery in Asheville closes, another plans to shut
- Asheville Citizen Times - October 10, 2012
Restaurant Solace closing - Asheville Scene - October 10, 2012

The End of the Petrodollar Means The End of America as We Know it

The Petrodollar is really the only thing we have left ..... industries are leaving, the banks are BANKrupt and our resources pillage.d The biggest crash in financial markets history will be the end of the petrodollar.China and Russia are trying to strip the dollar of its dominant role in world trade, especially of Middle Eastern oil. So before they can boot the US military out of Asia and Eastern Europe, they have to strip the dollar of its dominant role in world trade, especially of Middle Eastern oil . The US military are not the world police for humanity, the US Military are the Police of Forced Free Trade via the US Petrol Dollar. As fast as the world can burn oil, the US can spend & print money. Tax dollars are subsidizing the price of gas at the pumps via the US Military in blood of the nations that have the oil . Al Qaeda is just another branch of the US government. Most people that think they really know what's going on, haven't figured that out yet.

Visualizing America's Economic Freedom Plunge
- Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - October 12, 2012

No comments: