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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Economic Stories of Relevance in Today's World -- April 27, 2014

Bad Government and Central Bank Policy Are the MAIN CAUSE of Runaway Inequality - Washington's Blog - April 27, 2014 - Thomas Piketty:  “Rock Star Economist” Pushes Inequality to the Forefront of Economic Discussion - French economist Thomas Piketty’s book on inequality – Capital in the Twenty-First Century – has gone completely viral...                      We noted in 2010 that extreme inequality helped cause the Great Depression … and the 2008 financial crisis.  We noted in 2011 that inequality helped cause the fall of the Roman Empire.                       In a few short years, mainstream economists have gone from assuming that inequality doesn’t matter, to realizing that runaway inequality cripples the economy.

Exactly Like 7 Years Ago? 2014 Is Turning Out To Be Eerily Similar To 2007 - The Economic Collapse Blog - Michael Snyder, - April 23rd, 2014 - The similarities between 2007 and 2014 continue to pile up.  As you are about to see, U.S. home sales fell dramatically throughout 2007 even as the mainstream media, our politicians and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke promised us that everything was going to be just fine and that we definitely were not going to experience a recession.  Of course we remember precisely what followed.  It was the worst economic crisis since the days of the Great Depression.  And you know what they say - if we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.  Just like seven years ago, the stock market has soared to all-time high after all-time high.  Just like seven years ago, the authorities are telling us that there is nothing to worry about.  Unfortunately, just like seven years ago, a housing bubble is imploding and another great economic crisis is rapidly approaching...

Home loans hit 14-year low as rates rise - Los Angeles Times -April 25, 2014 - The mortgage industry's output of new loans is at the lowest point in 14 years, according to estimates from a trade publication.                     Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday that even in the depths of the financial crisis, mortgage lenders were busier than during the first quarter of 2014.                    One factor is the end of a refinance boom as interest rates have risen well off their record lows. But though the rates are still great by historical measures, mortgages written for home purchases have been weak as well, as sales of new and previously owned homes have slowed.                          QUIZ: Test your knowledge of home loans                                  About $235 billion in new home loans were made last quarter, Inside Mortgage Finance said, off 23% from the fourth quarter’s estimated $305 billion and 58% lower than in the first quarter of 2013.                 It was the lowest output since the first quarter of 2000, when new originations totaled $215 billion. At the height of the financial crisis, in the fourth quarter of 2008, lenders still managed to originate $260 billion in home loans.

25 million middle-class Americans live hand-to-mouth - CBS Moneywatch - Aimee Picchi - April 25, 2014 - If asked to describe the typical American who lives paycheck-to-paycheck, you might conjure up the image of a minimum-wage worker struggling to make rent each month.                      But a new study out of the Brookings Institution finds that two-thirds of U.S. households living "hand-to-mouth" are actually middle class, with homes and retirement assets. Only about one-third of those just getting by financially are what most would consider poor, with median incomes of about $20,000.                       Overall, about 38 million American families live hand-to-mouth, or about one-third of all U.S. households.                     So why do families with decent incomes and assets have to live "hand-to-mouth," spending all their cash with each paycheck? The reason may be that such middle-class consumers are opting to put money into illiquid investments with better rates of return than a savings account, such as real estate or a retirement portfolio, Greg Kaplan, assistant professor of economics at Princeton University, told CBS MoneyWatch...

It All Begins With This: U.S. Middle Class Is No Longer The World’s Richest Zero Hedge - Tyler Durden - April 25, 2014 - Over five years ago, when we first dared to make the "bold" claim (a tangent of which now serves as the basis for bestselling books that paraphrase Karl Marx) that all Bernanke's idiotic assault on the average American, known as Quantitative Easing, would achieve, would be to crush the US middle class, it was ridiculed - perhaps we too should have charged a perfectly capitalist $23.97 for this profound assessment to be taken seriously. Still, we are gratified to learn, some five years later, that indeed, the US middle class, well on its way to extinction, just took out the first and most critical  milestone, to wit - the US middle class is no longer the world's richest. And yes, "it's all downhill from here."                        Sadly, mostly for America's chauvinism, the distinction of the world's richest middle class now goes to Canada, while the poor in much of Europe now earn more than poor Americans...

North Dakota wants you: Seeks to fill 20,000 jobs
- CNN Money - Blake Ellis -March 19, 2014
In a new recruiting campaign to be rolled out in May, the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation is aiming to fill more than 20,000 jobs -- ranging from truck drivers and oilfield workers to receptionists and food servers.            North Dakota's huge oil boom has spurred thousands of job seekers to flock to the state for years now. In some cities, the population has quadrupled.              Yet, the growth continues and companies are still so desperate for workers that the state is teaming up with oil giant Hess Corp. (HES, Fortune 500) to launch an $800,000 campaign to attract new talent.

The Vicious Cycle of Apathy Towards Tyranny in Amerika - SGT Report - Mark S. Mann - April 26, 2014 -...
1.) The level of crony capitalism and financial crimes that have been committed in recent years including the blatant rigging and manipulation of every possible financial market. Even though this has been greatly exposed and accepted as truth, few individuals have been prosecuted or jailed as a result.
2.) The last 4 Presidents of the United States have shown complete and total disregard for the American Constitution and the American legislative process by abusing the Executive Signing Order powers usurped by their offices in order to subjugate the citizenry of this country.
3.) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been turned into a financial assassination squad used to destroy individuals, organizations, and corporations who have become political enemies of the State.
4.) Eric Holder, the head of the Department of Justice and chief law enforcement officer of the Federal Government is a criminal who is blatantly guilty of Perjury and Contempt of Congress, and many other crimes too numerous to list here, crimes that would otherwise land your average citizen in a federal prison for many years.
5.) The NSA/ FBI / CIA and God knows who else have engaged in massive unconstitutional / illegal surveillance and data collection operations against millions of Americans under the guise of “National Security”.
 6.) The level of extreme brutality by the police in America, and the formation of a totally militarized police state across the United States. Here we see Chief Ken Geddes posing with the Preston, Idaho PD’s shiny new MRAP.
7.) The deliberate destruction by government of any means for individuals to be self-sustaining or self-sufficient, including the excessive over regulation and interference of independently owned farms or ranches. Laws as ridiculous as criminalizing the collection of rain water on your own property.
 8.) Our government using the label of potential “Domestic Terrorists” in reference towards groups of American Veterans, Christians, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, Gun Owners, and “Sovereign Citizens”..

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