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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- April 7, 2013

21 Statistics About The Explosive Growth Of Poverty In America That Everyone Should Know - The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael - April 4th, 2013 - f the economy is getting better, then why does poverty in America continue to grow so rapidly?  Yes, the stock market has been hitting all-time highs recently, but also the number of Americans living in poverty has now reached a level not seen since the 1960s.  Yes, corporate profits are at levels never seen before, but so is the number of Americans on food stamps.  Yes, housing prices have started to rebound a little bit (especially in wealthy areas), but there are also more than a million public school students in America that are homeless.  That is the first time that has ever happened in U.S. history.  So should we measure our economic progress by the false stock market bubble that has been inflated by Ben Bernanke's reckless money printing, or should we measure our economic progress by how the poor and the middle class are doing?  Because if we look at how average Americans are doing these days, then there is not much to be excited about.  In fact, poverty continues to experience explosive growth in the United States and the middle class continues to shrink.  Sadly, the truth is that things are not getting better for most Americans.  With each passing year the level of economic suffering in this country continues to go up, and we haven't even reached the next major wave of the economic collapse yet.  When that strikes, the level of economic pain in this nation is going to be off the charts.                 The following are 21 statistics about the explosive growth of poverty in America that everyone should know...

60 Completely Outrageous Ways The U.S. Government Is Wasting Money - The End of the American Dream - Michael - March 24, 2013 - Is there anyone better at wasting money then the U.S. government?  Despite the sequester and all of the talk about “deep cutbacks”, the federal government continues to waste money in some of the most outrageous ways imaginable.  For example, does the U.S. government really have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the size and shape of the reproductive organs of ducks?  Does the U.S. government really have to spend 1.5 million dollars to study why so many lesbians are overweight?  There is so much waste that could still be cut out of the federal budget, and yet the very small sequester cuts that just happened are being described as “catastrophic” by many of our politicians.  But you know what?  The federal government will still spend more money in fiscal year 2013 than it did in fiscal year 2012 even after the sequester cuts are factored in.  So if this is how much whining our politicians will do even though government spending is still going up, what would they do if we were actually forced to start living within our means at some point?  That is something to think about.  In any event, please show this article to anyone that believes that the U.S. government is actually “tightening the belt”.  Sadly, the truth is that the federal government is still wasting our money in some of the most frivolous ways that you could possibly imagine.                         The following are some of the completely outrageous ways that the U.S. government is wasting money…

People Not In Labor Force Soar By 663,000 To 90 Million, Labor Force Participation Rate At 1979 Levels - Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - April 5, 2013 - Things just keep getting worse for the American worker, and by implication US economy, where as we have shown many times before, it pays just as well to sit back and collect disability and various welfare and entitlement checks, than to work .The best manifestation of this: the number of people not in the labor force which in March soared by a massive 663,000 to a record 90 million Americans who are no longer even looking for work. This was the biggest monthly increase in people dropping out of the labor force since January 2012, when the BLS did its census recast of the labor numbers. And even worse, the labor force participation rate plunged from an already abysmal 63.5% to 63.3% - the lowest since 1979! But at least it helped with the now painfully grotesque propaganda that the US unemployment rate is "improving."                        People not in labor force:

Job Gains Slow Amid U.S. Unemployment at Four-Year Low - Bloomberg - By Alex Kowalski - April 5, 2013

Weak job gains hurt economic outlook - Reuters - Jason Lange - April 5, 2013

Job Insecurity High as Layoffs Show Huge Surge - Reuters through CNBC - April 4, 2013

Wal-Mart's Food Fight: Betting on Data, Not Workers - Reuters through CNBC - Martha C. White - April 5, 2013 - The company is throwing its supply-chain and inventory management expertise behind the delicate logistics of stocking and selling products that can wilt or sour, but if a data-driven solution to what historically has been perceived as a people problem fails, it won't just be the groceries that spoil.
"It's one of the top issues they face," said Gary Giblen, an independent retail industry consultant. "You only get one time at bat with perishables," he said.                  Groceries are a big opportunity for Wal-Mart. "About half of meals eaten in this country include one fresh item," said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for the NPD Group.                       "The general megatrend is that people are eating more fresh food's growing faster than the packaged food sector," consultant Giblen said...                            "Our grocery business continues to be a key traffic driver," executive vice president and president of Wal-Mart U.S. William Simon told investors when the company reported its quarterly earnings in February. That month, the company's grocery business got a high-profile boost when Michelle Obama visited a Walmart store in Missouri and touted its healthy eating initiatives, part of the First Lady's Let's Move! anti-obesity campaign.                     But this attention comes as the retail giant comes under media scrutiny for what critics say are chronically understaffed stores.
"Don't have items they are looking for-can't find it," was one complaint detailed in an internal memo obtained by the New York Times that addressed the issue of staffing, noting that customers "lose trust" when this happens.

Feds offer new hope for avoiding 'robocalls' - Jennifer C. Kerr, Associated Press through USA Today - April 2, 2013 - There may soon be another way to fight those annoying recorded phone pitches known as robocalls.                   The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday announced winners of a national contest to develop new blocking technology for illegal sales calls.                  Recorded commercial robocalls are illegal even if a consumer is not on the do-not-call list. Those calls may only be placed if someone has given their consent.                  The winners are Aaron Foss, a freelance software developer based in Long Island, N.Y., and Serdar Danis, a computer engineer who did not wish to disclose his hometown. Each winner will receive $25,000.                     The technologies developed by Foss and Danis involve software that could analyze and filter calls to screen out those being placed from a computer or from someone who has been identified as an unwanted caller.                        The judges also selected two Google computer engineers as winners of a separate category, which did not include a cash prize, for organizations that employ 10 or more people...

Auto Lending Bubble Inflates, And the Fed May Be Responsible - Reuters through CNBC - April 3, 2013 - ... At car dealers across the United States, loans to subprime borrowers like Nelson are surging — up 18 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, to 6.6 million borrowers,according to credit-reporting agency Equifax Inc. And as a Reuters review of court records shows, subprime auto lenders are showing up in a lot of personal bankruptcy filings, too. It's the Federal Reserve that's made it all possible.                   In its efforts to jumpstart the economy, the U.S. central bank has undertaken since November 2008 three rounds of bond-buying and cut short-term interest rates effectively to zero. The purchases of mostly Treasury and mortgage securities - known as quantitative easing and nicknamed QE1, QE2 and QE3 - have injected trillions of dollars into the financial system.                          The Fed isn't alone. Central banks from Tokyo to Frankfurt to London are running their printing presses overtime. The heavily indebted advanced economies are trying to reflate their way out of the prolonged bout of crisis and recession that crystallized with the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings in 2008.                  That crisis, of course, followed a nearly decade-long cycle of easy money and exotic financial products that itself began with the collapse of the tech-mania bubble of the late 1990s.                The Fed's program, while aimed at bolstering the U.S. housing and labor markets,has also steered billions of dollars into riskier, more speculative corners of the economy. That's because, with low interest rates pinching yields on their traditional investments, insurance companies, hedge funds and other institutional investors hunger for riskier, higher-yielding securities — bonds backed by subprime auto loans, for instance.                  Lenders like Exeter have rushed to meet that demand. Backed by Wall Street banks and big private-equity firms, they have been selling ever-greater amounts of subprime auto loans in the form of relatively high-yield securities and using the proceeds to fund even more lending to more subprime borrowers.                    Expansion of the subprime auto business was chronicled in a 2011 Los Angeles Times series. Since then, growth has continued apace. Consider that in 2012, lenders sold $18.5 billion in securities backed by subprime auto loans, compared with $11.75 billion in 2011, according to ratings firm Standard & Poor's.                The pace has continued so far this year, with $5.7 billion of the securities issued, compared with $4.4 billion for the same period last year, according to Deutsche Bank AG. OnMonday alone, three deals totaling $1.6 billion of subprime auto securitieswere announced by Wall Street banks.                 To make up for the risk of taking on increasing numbers of high-risk borrowers,subprime auto lenders charge annual interest rates that can top 20 percent.                       The Exeter loan Nelson and his wife got, for example, carried a 21.95-percent rate. Exeter, which is majority-owned by private-equity giant Blackstone Group, assumes that one in four borrowers will default on their loan, according to an Exeter investor pitch book reviewed by Reuters.

David Stockman - Head of Reagan's Office of Management and Budget on the Current Economy - The Reaganomic's Team - The Great Deformation

Fox Business -

Bloomberg -


 - Peak Prosperity

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