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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- February 2, 2014

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts interview on King World News - Former US Treasury Official, Co-Founder of Reaganomics, Economist & Acclaimed Author - February 1, 2014 - Emerging Market mess created by the Fed created financial chaos (manipulated markets)... Destabilizing other currencies to bolster the Dollar... Gold investors need to consider a downturning economy and deflation. Will the Fed reinstitute and expand Quantitative Easing. The Fed will do this depending on the state of the Dollar in relation to the economy. Russia is considering flushing Dollars out of the system. Other counntries are doing this and moving towards the Chinese Yuan... If we bail out the banks it may cause the end of the dollar as the World Reserve Currency... In the end the Banks have to go or the Dollar has to go. This is the big decision. Will be made (most likely) by June... The biggest danger in the World is the U.S. desire for World Hegemony that can lead to Nuclear War... The biggest Financial concern is the loss of the Dollar as the World Reserve Currency. Does the Fed choose to save the Dollar or save the banks... China is creating value through Manufacturing. The World now wants to hold Yuan. China is in a solid position, especially compared to U.S. Financial exposure. (King World News Interview)

Movement is Life-Catherine Austin Fitts
- USA - Greg Hunter - January 27, 2014
- Investment advisor Catherine Austin Fitts knows the economy is bad, but not all bad.  She says, “There are many aspects of the economy where the fundamentals are dreadful, and there are certainly parts of the economy collapsing in an evolving implosion.”  Fitts contends capital has shifted out of the old system and into a new system that is high tech and rapidly evolving.  Fitts explains, “One of the things that is keeping the slow burn going is that money flowing into the new system is being reinvested, and those parts of the economy are not only growing but growing strongly. . . . . You need to see the fact that we have a global 2.0, which is essentially bankrupt; and we have a global 3.0, which is rich with resources and growing dramatically. . . . The reinvestment in global 3.0 is now accelerating at rapid speeds, and I think it is going surprise everybody of how dramatic the changes are going to be.”   Fitts says you can sum up what to do with a line from last year’s Brad Pitt movie about zombies.  Fitts says, “Movement is life.  It is unbelievable in importance that we all be prepared to shift.  When you have this very deep and dramatic shift in technology and investment flows that ripple through all aspects of our lives. . . . So, the guys that are going to be the winners are the guys that can get the high learning speeds.”                              What is one of the biggest changes coming?  Fitts says, “In September of 2011, there were approximately 800 million people on smart phones or tablets or desktops around the world. . . . Since September 2011, another half a billion people have gotten onto smart phones and tablets. . . .That’s astonishing because we have 1.2 billion people on smart phones and tablets who are one market in theory.  That’s new.  Never in the history of the world have we had 1.2 billion people who shared membership in one consumer market.”

Nearly Half of America Lives Paycheck-to-Paycheck - Time - Christopher Matthews - January 30, 2014 - The economic picture is looking brighter these days. The federal government announced Thursday that economic growth had picked up to its fastest pace in two years, while employment growth over the past five months has averaged a healthy 185,000 new jobs. But as evidenced by a report out Thursday from the Corporation for Enterprise Development, nearly half of Americans are living in a state of “persistent economic insecurity,” that makes it “difficult to look beyond immediate needs and plan for a more secure future.”                         In other words, too many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. The CFED calls these folks “liquid asset poor,” and its report finds that 44% of Americans are living with less than $5,887 in savings for a family of four. The plight of these folks is compounded by the fact that the recession ravaged many Americans’ credit scores to the point that now 56% percent of us have subprime credit. That means that if emergencies arise, many Americans are forced to resort to high-interest debt from credit cards or payday loans.                           And this financial insecurity isn’t just affected the lower classes. According to the CFED, one-quarter of middle-class households also fall into the category of “liquid asset poor.” Geographically, most of the economically insecure are clustered in the South and West, with Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Nevada, and Arkansas being the states with the highest percentage of financially insecure.

States see record high in long-term joblessness - Pew/Stateline Though USA Today - Jake Grovum - February 1, 2014 - In 28 states, a third or more of the unemployed have been without a job for six months or longer, leaving them with no unemployment insurance safety net following the expiration of extended benefits in December.                            In New Jersey, Florida and the District of Columbia, nearly half of the unemployed have been out of work for longer than 26 weeks, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all 50 states and D.C., the average is 33%.                             Before the Great Recession, the highest the long-term joblessness share ever reached was 26% in mid-1983, according to the EPI analysis. Today, 41 states and D.C. have shares of long-term unemployment above that level.

Economy’s sticky problem: Older and jobless - CNBC - Allison Linn - January 31, 2014 -
Let's say you're the boss, and you have an opening for a widget maker.                              Are you going to choose the person who has been making widgets at your competitor's plant every day for the past two years, or the one who's made lots of widgets in the past—but hasn't worked anywhere for two years?                         Economists say one big problem with the nation's weak economic recovery is that too many employers have the luxury of choosing the person who's already making widgets—and that's leaving those who are already out of work behind.                         "If you're not working—and you're not improving your credentials—it's harder to find a job. That's just simply reality," said Joel Naroff, chief economist with Naroff Economic Advisors.

How the GOP lost Middle America
- Pat Buchanan explains impact of Republican Party 'selling its soul to the multinationals' - World Net Daily Commentary - January 31, 2014 - Out of the Republican retreat on Maryland’s Eastern shore comes word that the House leadership is raising the white flag of surrender on immigration.                    The GOP will agree to halt the deportation of 12 million illegal aliens and sign on to a blanket amnesty. It only asks that the 12 million not be put on a path to citizenship.                         Sorry, but losers do not dictate terms. Rich Trumka of the AFL-CIO says amnesty is no longer enough. Illegal aliens must be put on a path to citizenship and given green cards to work – and join unions.                   Rep. Paul Ryan and the Wall Street Journal are for throwing in the towel. Legalize them all and start them on the path to citizenship.                   A full and final capitulation. Let’s get it over with.                        To understand why and how the Republican Party lost Middle America, and faces demographic death, we need to go back to Bush I...

Wal-Mart: Food Stamp Cuts Hurt Our Profits - Wal-Mart’s CFO practically admits that the company largely benefits at the expense of taxpayers - - Kit Daniels - January 31, 2014 - Wal-Mart announced today that cuts in a federal food stamp program as well as record cold temperatures hurt its fourth quarter profits.                  After previously reporting “relatively flat” sales for the quarter, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. now says that sales for its namesake store and its Sam’s Club locations would be “slightly negative” for the November-January quarter, according to Agence France-Presse.                        Wal-Mart’s Chief Financial Officer, Charles Holley, blamed the revised forecast on deeper-than-expected cuts to the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the extreme cold weather occurring in the past month.                      On Nov. 1, the federal government cut $5 billion from the SNAP program due to a planned stimulus withdrawal, which resulted in an average loss of $36 a month for each of the almost 50 million Americans on the program, including many of Wal-Mart’s own employees.                      Taxpayers are subsidizing Wal-Mart through an endless cycle of purchases made through welfare benefits and public assistance given to supplement its workers’ low wages.                         A study released last year found that nearly $1 million in public assistance a year went to 300 employees at just one Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wisconsin.                         Employees at another Wal-Mart in Ohio were asked this past Thanksgiving to donate food items for their co-workers in need so they could also enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner.                   “This is a perfect example that shows how the quality of the jobs in this country has gone down the toilet,” Michael Snyder wrote on the subject.

James Turk: We’re Living Within A Money Bubble of Epic Proportion - Investment Watch - Chris Martenson - January 26th, 2014 - James Turk believes the time we live in now will be studied by future historians for generations to come. Just as we today marvel at the collective madness that resulted in the South Sea and Dutch tulip manias, our age will be known as the era when society lost sight of what money really is.                      And as result, the wrong kinds of wealth — today, that’s mostly financial assets — are valued and pursued. And just like those bubbles from centuries ago, when the current asset boom goes bust, the value of paper wealth will vaporize.                 In contrast, those holding tangible productive assets or real money will fare much better on a relative basis.                     James and co-author John Rubino (of have recently published a new book covering the details of this prediction called The Money Bubble: What To Do Before It Pops. Within it, they delve into the reasons for why the world is destined for what Ludwig von Mises termed a “crack up boom”:

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