End Times and Current Events

General Category => North America => Topic started by: Mark on May 27, 2013, 07:01:41 am

Title: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on May 27, 2013, 07:01:41 am
40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
If you know someone that actually believes that the U.S. economy is in good shape, just show them the statistics in this article.  When you step back and look at the long-term trends, it is undeniable what is happening to us.  We are in the midst of a horrifying economic decline that is the result of decades of very bad decisions.  30 years ago, the U.S. national debt was about one trillion dollars.  Today, it is almost 17 trillion dollars.  40 years ago, the total amount of debt in the United States was about 2 trillion dollars.  Today, it is more than 56 trillion dollars.  At the same time that we have been running up all of this debt, our economic infrastructure and our ability to produce wealth has been absolutely gutted.  Since 2001, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities and millions of good jobs have been shipped overseas.  Our share of global GDP declined from 31.8 percent in 2001 to 21.6 percent in 2011.  The percentage of Americans that are self-employed is at a record low, and the percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is at a record high.  The U.S. economy is a complete and total mess, and it is time that we faced the truth.
The following are 40 statistics about the fall of the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe...
#1 Back in 1980, the U.S. national debt was less than one trillion dollars.  Today, it is rapidly approaching 17 trillion dollars...
#2 During Obama's first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.
#3 The U.S. national debt is now more than 23 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
#4 If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.
#5 The federal government is stealing more than 100 million dollars from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day.
#6 Back in 1970, the total amount of debt in the United States (government debt + business debt + consumer debt, etc.) was less than 2 trillion dollars.  Today it is over 56 trillion dollars...
#7 According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percent of all global economic activity in 2001.  That number dropped to 21.6 percent in 2011.
#8 The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
#9 According to The Economist, the United States was the best place in the world to be born into back in 1988.  Today, the United States is only tied for 16th place.
#10 Incredibly, more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities in the United States have been permanently shut down since 2001.
#11 There are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then.
#12 According to the New York Times, there are now approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings in Detroit.
#13 When NAFTA was pushed through Congress in 1993, the United States had a trade surplus with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars.  By 2010, we had a trade deficit with Mexico of 61.6 billion dollars.
#14 Back in 1985, our trade deficit with China was approximately 6 million dollars (million with a little "m") for the entire year.  In 2012, our trade deficit with China was 315 billion dollars.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
#15 Overall, the United States has run a trade deficit of more than 8 trillion dollars with the rest of the world since 1975.
#16 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.
#17 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.
#18 At this point, an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
#19 Small business is rapidly dying in America.  At this point, only about 7 percent of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed.  That is an all-time record low.
#20 Back in 1983, the bottom 95 percent of all income earners in the United States had 62 cents of debt for every dollar that they earned.  By 2007, that figure had soared to $1.48.
#21 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.
#22 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.
#23 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have as much wealth as the bottom one-third of all Americans combined.
#24 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either "poor" or "low income".
#25 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
#26 Overall, the federal government runs nearly 80 different "means-tested welfare programs", and at this point more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one of them.
#27 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid.  Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.  It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#28 As I wrote recently, it is being projected that the number of Americans on Medicare will grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.
#29 At this point, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years.  That comes to approximately $328,404 for every single household in the United States.
#30 Right now, there are approximately 56 million Americans collecting Social Security benefits.  By 2035, that number is projected to soar to an astounding 91 million.
#31 Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.
#32 Today, the number of Americans on Social Security Disability now exceeds the entire population of Greece, and the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.
#33 According to a report recently issued by the Pew Research Center, on average Americans over the age of 65 have 47 times as much wealth as Americans under the age of 35.
#34 U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
#35 As I mentioned recently, the homeownership rate in America is now at its lowest level in nearly 18 years.
#36 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.
#37 45 percent of all children are living in poverty in Miami, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty in Cleveland, and about 60 percent of all children are living in poverty in Detroit.
#38 Today, more than a million public school students in the United States are homeless.  This is the first time that has ever happened in our history.
#39 When Barack Obama first entered the White House, about 32 million Americans were on food stamps.  Now, more than 47 million Americans are on food stamps.
#40 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of "Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming."


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 22, 2013, 11:39:57 am
Jobless picture is worse than you think: Gallup

While the government next week is expected to say the unemployment picture continues its gradual improvement, one indicator shows this jobs market is the worst in a year and a half.

Widely followed pollster Gallup puts the nation's unemployment rate at an ugly 8.6 percent in August, a startling jump from the 7.8 percent the organization recorded for July. When counting the underemployed, the rate zooms to 17.7 percent, off its 2013 high of 18.2 percent.

The government puts the jobless figure at 7.4 percent, and 14 percent when including the underemployed and those who have quit looking.

While Gallup's numbers have offered significant divergences from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the two numbers had been running fairly close for most of the year. In fact, Gallup's tally actually briefly slipped below the government's in April when it recorded 7.4 percent, compared to the BLS number then of 7.5 percent.

Since reaching that April bottom, though, Gallup's numbers have surged and tracked above 8 percent for August, reaching their highest level since hitting 8.7 percent in mid-March 2012.

The trend comes at a ticklish time for the economy.

The Federal Reserve is contemplating an exit from its quantitative easing program in which it buys $85 billion a month in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities

Central bank policymakers have tied the potential QE pullback to an unemployment rate—as recorded by the BLS—in the 7 percent range, while 6.5 percent would be the minimum hurdle before the Fed would start raising its target interest rate again.

While Gallup's numbers can be volatile, they have portended rises in the official rate.

The data set is limited, but in previous occasions when the divergence was more than 1 percentage point "the BLS unemployment rate was flat to up over the next three months," Bespoke Investment Group said.

To be sure, there are major caveats.

The Gallup numbers are not seasonally adjusted, and surveying methodologies differ substantially.

"The BLS method is statistically more rigorous. With the Gallup, you're basically doing a poll," said Jacob Oubina, senior economist at RBC Capital Markets. "The Gallup is more of a sentiment-type indicator. Either way, the unemployment rate doesn't really give you a good indicator of the true state of the labor backdrop."

Title: Emerging Market Sell-off Worsens, More Pain Ahead
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 22, 2013, 02:56:10 pm
Video: Emerging Market Sell-off Worsens, More Pain Ahead

Heavy selling engulfed emerging markets again with more currencies falling prey to fears of higher global borrowing costs and a reduction in cheap cash supplies from the United States. Only a few Federal Reserve policymakers thought it would soon be time to "slow somewhat" the pace of the central bank's bond-buying at a meeting last month, while others emphasized patience in deciding when to start to wind down the stimulus program. The U.S. Federal Reserve is considering a new tool to help it drain cash from the banking system and keep short-term interest rates at their targeted level when it decides to shift away from its current ultra-loose monetary policy

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 10, 2013, 05:36:53 pm
Study: US could default as early as Oct. 18

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States could default on its obligations as early as Oct. 18 if Washington fails to agree on legislation to raise the government's borrowing cap, a new study predicted Tuesday.

The Bipartisan Policy Center analysis says the default date would come no later than Nov. 5 and that the government would quickly fall behind on its payments, including Social Security benefits and military pensions.

The think tank's estimate is in line with a warning last month by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that the government would exhaust its borrowing authority by mid-October and be left with just $50 billion cash on hand.

The government has never defaulted on its obligations. Raising the $16.7 trillion borrowing cap promises to be a major struggle for House Republicans and President Barack Obama.

Two years ago Obama agreed to pair a $2.1 trillion increase in the debt limit with an equivalent amount in spending cuts spread over 10 years. But the president now says that he won't negotiate over the debt limit and is asking Congress to send him a straightforward increase that would ensure the government can pay its bills.

In January, House Republicans permitted an increase in the debt ceiling without demanding offsetting spending cuts.

It's commonly agreed that failure to increase the debt limit on time would roil financial markets and lead to a downgrade of the government's credit rating. The political fallout would also be intense, especially if Social Security benefits are delayed.

Tuesday's study predicts that if the default date — which is when the government cannot pay its bills in full and on time — comes on Oct. 18, the subsequent Social Security payments due on Nov. 1 could be delayed by almost two weeks.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Kilika on September 10, 2013, 05:58:22 pm
This is all smoke and mirrors.

There are a massive amount of agencies and federal expenses that have no constitutional standing in the federal budget in the first place. They should be under the control of the several states, right along with the tax money the feds take for running those operations. It's financially irresponsible to take state money, only to turn around and dole it back to the states in the form of "grants and aid". Look at all the expense of just managing such an operation. The tax money should never have left the states in the first place.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 23, 2013, 09:00:53 pm


Facing Reality

Low-income Americans have long had to scrape by in old age, relying primarily on Social Security. The middle class, with its more educated and resourceful retirees, is supposed to be better prepared, with some even having the luxury to forge fulfilling second acts as they redefine retirement on their own terms. Or so popular culture tells us.

The reality is often quite another story. More seniors who spent much of their careers as corporate managers and professionals are competing for low-wage jobs. For these growing ranks of seniors with scant savings, it's the end of retirement.

About 7.2 million Americans who were 65 and older were employed last year, a 67 percent increase from a decade ago, according to government data. Yet 59 percent of households headed by people 65 and older currently have no retirement account assets, according to Federal Reserve data analyzed by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

Downward Mobility

"People who built successful careers, put their kids through college and saved what they could, are still facing downward mobility," said Teresa Ghilarducci, an economist at The New School, who has studied the finances of seniors.

It's about to get worse. Right behind the current legions of elderly workers is the looming baby boomer generation, who began turning 65 in 2011 and are reaching that age at a rate of about 8,000 a day. They're the first generation expected to fund their own retirements, even as they live longer lives.

They, too, are coming up short. Company-paid pensions are mostly a thing of the past, replaced in the last three decades by 401(k) accounts primarily funded and managed by employees. The median 401(k) balance for households headed by people aged 55 to 64 who had retirement accounts at work was $120,000 in 2011, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Not Enough

Those savings will provide $4,800 a year, assuming seniors withdraw 4 percent annually, the amount recommended by retirement experts to ensure retirees don't run out of money in their lifetimes.

Little wonder that half of baby boomers aged 50 to 64 don't think they'll ever have enough to retire, according to a 2011 survey by AARP.

"The current retirement savings systems isn't working, and that's becoming a crisis as Americans who make it to 65 in good health are now living at least two more decades," said Larry Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., the world's largest asset manager.

"Longevity should be a blessing, but if you haven't planned for it, you're going to work much longer than you ever dreamed of doing," he said. "Or you better be good to your children because you're probably going to be living with them."

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 23, 2013, 09:09:35 pm
^^ When I was reading this, thought about how even churchianity pastors invest their retirement accounts in 401Ks - forget about them getting a salary, this is even worse. Yet another reason why they are compromised.

1Tim 6:7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Ti 6:9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1Ti 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Ti 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

Title: Treasury Warns of Potential Default by Mid-October
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 25, 2013, 11:27:57 am
Treasury Warns of Potential Default by Mid-October

Washington — The Treasury will only have $30 billion of cash on hand by mid-October, putting the United States on the precipice of an unprecedented default, the department said on Wednesday.

The warning puts additional pressure on a hamstrung Congress, which is already struggling to prevent the federal government from shutting down over a budget impasse on Oct. 1.

In a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew warned that a single day’s net expenditures can be as high as $60 billion. On any given day after that mid-October deadline, money going out might overwhelm money coming in plus cash on hand.

That means that until Congress lifts its statutory debt ceiling, the Treasury could miss or be forced to delay paying some of its bills. Such an event would be unprecedented, and financial analysts anticipate a violent market reaction that might raise federal borrowing costs, slow the recovery and destabilize markets around the world.

The House recently passed legislation that would order Treasury to prioritize payments to bondholders — an action meant to soothe the markets in the event of a debt-ceiling crisis. But the Obama administration has rejected that idea and refused to negotiate over the debt limit more broadly.

“The United States should never have to choose, for example, whether to pay Social Security to seniors, pay benefits to our veterans, or make payments to state and local jurisdictions and health care providers under Medicare and Medicaid,” Mr. Lew wrote.

“There is no way of knowing the damage any prioritization plan would have on our economy and financial markets. It would represent an irresponsible retreat from a core American value: We are a nation that honors all of its commitments,” he added.

But Republicans are currently debating what legislation to tie to raising the debt ceiling, such as defunding the Affordable Care Act or new spending cuts. That has set up a second showdown over budget and financial issues.

“The president remains willing to negotiate over the future direction of fiscal policy, but he will not negotiate over whether the United States will pay its bills for past commitments,” Mr. Lew said. “Extending borrowing authority does not increase government spending; it simply allows the Treasury to pay for expenditures Congress has already approved.”

The potential costs from a debt-ceiling default might dwarf the costs associated with a government shutdown. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington research group, has estimated that market concern over the potential of a default in 2011 cost nearly $19 billion over 10 years.

The United States hit its statutory borrowing limit of about $16.7 trillion on May 19, meaning that Treasury could no longer issue new debt to pay the government’s bills. With the government running in the red, the Treasury has used a series of “extraordinary measures” to free up about $300 billion in cash. But those measures buy it only so much time.

In the letter, Mr. Lew set Oct. 17 as the effective deadline for Congressional action: after that date, the country would be at severe risk of missing or defaulting on some of its payments every day going forward.

The Treasury makes more than 80 million individual payments a month. After exhausting its extraordinary measures, it would miss about 30 percent of those payments until Congress raised the ceiling again.

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Treasury is facing a $12 billion Social Security payment on Oct. 23 and a $6 billion interest payment on the public debt on Oct. 31.

On Nov. 1 alone, it needs to spend $18 billion on Medicare, $25 billion on Social Security, $12 billion on military pay and veterans benefits and $3 billion on the Supplemental Security Income program.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Kilika on September 25, 2013, 01:22:28 pm
Either these people are financially trashing this country on purpose, or they are some of the most incompetent people I've ever seen.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 30, 2013, 11:09:58 pm
Breaking News@yahoo: Deadline passes for federal government shutdown

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 01, 2013, 12:45:18 am
Government Has Shut Down 18 Times Since 1976

NPR points out:

Since a new process was put into place in 1976, the U.S. government has shut down 17 times [Update: Make that 18]. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan each dealt with six shutdowns during their terms in office, lasting anywhere from one day to 2 1/2 weeks.

The last actual shutdown came in 1996 ….  The last shutdown lasted three weeks ….

This is not to say that there a shutdown would have no effect … but it is not the end-of-the-world scenario which some would paint it to be.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 01, 2013, 12:51:17 am
Forget Partisan Rhetoric … The Threatened Government Shutdown Is Caused By Bad Policy By BOTH PARTIES

The Real Cause of the Crisis

Preface: Remember what the Founding Fathers said about partisan soap operas.

While partisans focus on specific things the other side is doing – “Obamacare” and the “debt ceiling” are the buzzwords of the day – the truth is that we wouldn’t be in this budget crisis in the first place if the government hadn’t engaged in bipartisan idiocy by:

◾Killing the Golden Goose of the internet economy – by far the strongest section of the U.S. economy – through mass surveillance, which directly harms internet companies, Silicon Valley, California … and the entire U.S. economy (Facebook lost 11 millions users as of April mainly due to privacy concerns … and that was before the Snowden revelations)

◾Encouraging American businesses to move abroad for decades, sucking money out of the U.S. economy and injecting it into foreign economies

◾Fighting a series of wars – which are horrible for the economy – when not absolutely vital to protect against an imminent attack

◾Creating the too big to fail banks, which are dooming the economy

◾Giving massive subsidies to the giant banks, saving the big banks at taxpayer expense, choosing the banks over the little guy, and saying no to helping Main Street … while continuing to throw trillions at the giant banks

◾Throwing a large percentage of those bailouts at foreign banks (and see this)

◾Throwing money at other corporate welfare queens

◾Giving massive subsidies to the doomed nuclear industry

◾Propping up the bondholders … which is killing the rest of the economy

◾Refusing to prosecute criminal fraud … which is destroying the economy

◾Engaging in massive quantitative easing, which drains the government coffers, hurts the economy and the little guy, and more than offsets any savings from budget cuts in other areas (a huge portion of the money from quantitative easing went to foreign companies. More here and here)

◾Engineering a “jobless recovery” which is really a redistribution of wealth from the little guy to the big boys … which hurts the overall economy

◾Allowing an over-financialized economy, which leads to depressions

◾Allowing runaway fraud, waste, and corruption

◾Spending large amounts of money on a failed drug war

◾Allowing giant corporations to escape paying taxes – or even allowing them to get tax refunds – while slamming the small business owner and little guy (we at Washington’s Blog aren’t partisan one way or the other, but we are for fairness. Moreover, small businesses create a lot more jobs than big businesses)

Title: The federal court system will feel shutdown pains
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on October 03, 2013, 12:25:36 pm
The federal court system will feel shutdown pains

While the Supreme Court will operate as usual, for now, during the partial federal government shutdown, the rest of the federal court system will face a cash crunch in less than two weeks.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments starting on October 7 and it issued orders this Tuesday. On its website, the Court said its building is open this week, and it will have weekly updates on its operational status during the shutdown.

As a point of reference, the Court remained open for business during the Clinton-Gingrich shutdown battle of 1995 and 1996.

But the remainder of the federal court system could face serious issues beyond October 15, if the shutdown is still in effect.

That is entirely possible, given that the debt-ceiling deadline is  October 17,  and there are growing concerns that a shutdown deal won’t be cut until there is a debt-ceiling deal.

Judge John Bates, secretary of the Judicial Conference and director of the Administration Office of the federal courts, said just before the shutdown that the federal court system had funds to stay mostly operational for 10 business days.

The federal court system was already dealing with severe financial and operational issues related to the sequester, the across-the-board spending cuts that came out of the last budget battle in Washington.

So what happens after October 15 after the federal courts have used up cash from fees and other sources?

Many workers will need to be furloughed, while others will work without pay (and then get back pay after the shutdown ends).

It will be up to regional judges to decide which employees are essential and stay on the job, and which ones are sent home.

A spokeswoman for the Administration Office told Reuters that these judges will have the full power and latitude to make furlough decisions.

“Each court is going to be different,” said Karen Redmond.

The Justice Department wants to postpone its appearances in civil and bankruptcy cases, as long as such acts don’t violate the Anti-Deficiency Act by compromising safety and property.

But the Justice Department is expected to continue its role in criminal cases in an uninterrupted fashion.

Federal judges won’t be among the furloughed employees, but some judges might not get paid until the shutdown is over.

Also, payments to court-appointed defense lawyers and jurors could be delayed.

On Tuesday, Southern District of New York U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska agreed with a Justice Department request to delay most civil cases (other than civil forfeiture cases).

Back in September, Judge Bates wrote to President Barack Obama, requesting that the federal judiciary receive adequate funding to “meet its constitutional and statutory obligations.”

Judge Bates said several years of flat budgets followed by the sequester cuts “have had a devastating impact on court operations nationwide.”

“I hope that you and the Congress will recognize the uncontrollable nature of our workload and provide the resources necessary for the Judiciary to perform its essential constitutional functions,” he said.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on November 20, 2013, 07:55:36 am
Fake Employment Numbers – And 5 More Massive Economic Lies The Government Is Telling You

According to a whistleblower that has recently come forward, Census employees have been faking and manipulating U.S. employment numbers for years.  In fact, it is being alleged that this manipulation was a significant reason for why the official unemployment rate dipped sharply just before the last presidential election.  What you are about to read is incredibly disturbing.  The numbers that the American people depend upon to make important decisions are being faked.  But should we be surprised by this?  After all, Barack Obama has been caught telling dozens of major lies over the past five years.  At this point it is incredible that there are any Americans that still trust anything that comes out of his mouth.  And of course it is not just Obama that has been lying to us.  Corruption and deception are rampant throughout the entire federal government, and this has been the case for years.  Now that some light is being shed on this, hopefully the American people will respond with overwhelming outrage and disgust.

The whistleblower that I mentioned above has been speaking to John Crudele of the New York Post.  In his new article entitled "Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report", he says that the huge decline in the unemployment rate in September 2012 was "manipulated"...

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
Two years earlier, the Census had actually caught an employee "fabricating data", but according to this whistleblower the corruption at the Census Bureau goes much deeper than that...

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.
Well, is it really such a big deal that some of the unemployment numbers were faked?

After all, hasn't the unemployment rate been consistently going down anyway?

Unfortunately, as you will see below, that is simply not the case.  The following are five massive economic lies that the government has been telling  you...

"The Unemployment Rate Has Been Steadily Going Down"

According to the official government numbers, the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen all the way down to 7.3 percent.

That sounds really good, and it would seem to imply that a higher percentage of the American people are now working.

Sadly, that is not the truth at all.

Posted below is one of my favorite charts.  The employment-population ratio measures the percentage of the working age population that actually has a job.  As you can see, this number fell dramatically during the last recession and since the end of 2009 it has remained remarkably flat.  In fact, it has stayed between 58 and 59 percent for 50 months in a row...


At the moment, the employment-population ratio is just one-tenth of one percent above the lowest level that it has been throughout this entire crisis.

So are we in an "employment recovery"?

Absolutely not, and anyone that tries to tell you that is lying to you.

So how is the government getting the unemployment rate to go down?

Well, they are accomplishing this by pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed Americans have disappeared from the labor force.

According to the government, the percentage of Americans that want to work is now supposedly at a 35 year low...


If the labor force participation rate was still exactly where it was at when Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, the official unemployment rate would be about 11 percent right now.  People would be running around going crazy and wondering when the "economic depression" would finally end.

But when people hear "7.3 percent", that doesn't sound so bad.  It makes people feel better.

Of course if you are currently unemployed and looking for a job that doesn't exactly help you.  At this point there is intense competition even for minimum wage jobs in America.  For example, according to Business Insider you actually have a better statistical chance of getting into Harvard than you do of being hired at a new Wal-Mart that is opening up in the Washington D.C. area...

The store is currently combing through more than 23,000 applications for 600 available positions, reports NBC Washington.

That means that Wal-Mart will be able to hire one person for every 38 applications it receives — i.e., just 2.6% of applicants will walk out with a job.

That's more difficult than getting into Harvard. The Ivy League university accepts 6.1% of applicants.

"Inflation Is Low"

This is another lie that government officials love to tell.  In particular, the boys and girls over at the Federal Reserve love to try to convince all of us that inflation is super low because it gives them an excuse to recklessly print lots more money.

But anyone that goes to the grocery store or pays bills on a regular basis knows that there is plenty of inflation in the economy.  And if we were being given honest numbers, they would show that.

According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the U.S. inflation rate was still calculated the exact same way that it was back when Jimmy Carter was president, the official rate of inflation would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent today.

But the Federal Reserve certainly doesn't want everyone running around talking about "Jimmy Carter" and "stagflation" because then people would really start pressuring them to end their wild money printing schemes.

And without a doubt, what the Fed is doing is absolutely insane.  The chart posted below shows that the M1 money supply has nearly doubled since the beginning of 2008...


"Quantitative Easing Is Economic Stimulus"

How many times have you heard the mainstream media tell you something along these lines...

"The Federal Reserve decided today that the economic stimulus must continue."

There is just one thing wrong with that statement.

As I showed in a previous article, it is a total hoax.

In fact, a former Federal Reserve official that helped manage the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program during 2009 and 2010 is publicly apologizing to the rest of the country for being involved in "the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time"...

I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.

Yes, quantitative easing has most certainly helped Wall Street (at least temporarily).

Meanwhile, median household income in the U.S. has fallen for five years in a row.

Meanwhile, the federal government is now spending nearly a trillion dollars a year on welfare.

Meanwhile, 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are now homeless.  In fact, that number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

"Obamacare Is Going To Be Good For Middle Class Americans"

There were three giant promises that were used to sell Obamacare to the American people...

#1 We would all be able to keep our current health insurance plans.

#2 Millions more Americans were going to be covered by health insurance.

#3 Most Americans would be paying lower health insurance premiums.

Well, it turns out that all of them were lies.

At this point, approximately 4 million Americans have already had their health insurance plans canceled due to Obamacare, and according to Forbes that number could ultimately reach 93 million.

And so far only about 100,000 Americans have actually signed up for Obamacare, so that means that the number of Americans with health insurance has dropped by about 3.9 million since the beginning of October.

Good job Obama.

Meanwhile, Americans all over the country are being hit with a massive case of sticker shock as they start to realize what Obamacare is going to do to their wallets.

According to one study, health insurance premiums for men are going to go up by an average of 99 percent under Obamacare and health insurance premiums for women are going to go up by an average of 62 percent under Obamacare.

And if you are a young man, you are going to get hit particularly hard.  At this point, it is being projected that health insurance premiums for healthy 30-year-old men will rise by an average of 260 percent.

But you don't have to be young to pay higher premiums.  As I mentioned the other day, one couple down in Texas was recently hit with a 539 percent rate increase.

"The U.S. National Debt Is Under Control"

The mainstream media would have us believe that the budget deficit is now under control and the U.S. national debt is not a significant problem any longer.

But that is not the truth.

The truth is that we are on pace to accumulate more new debt under the 8 years of the Obama administration than we did under all of the other presidents in all of U.S. history combined.

Every single hour of every single day, our politicians are stealing about $100,000,000 from future generations of Americans.  It is a crime so vast that it is hard to put into words, and it is literally destroying the economic future of this country.

Over the last 13 and a half months, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than 1.12 trillion dollars.

If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and you had spent a million dollars every single day since then, you still would not have spent that much money by now.

And most Americans don't realize this, but the U.S. government must borrow far more than a trillion dollars each year.  Trillions more in existing debt must be "rolled over" just to keep the game going.

For example, the U.S. government rolled over more than 7.5 trillion dollars of existing debt in fiscal 2013.

So what is going to happen someday when the rest of the world pulls out and stops lending us trillions of dollars at ridiculously low interest rates that are way below the real rate of inflation?

Our financial system is far more vulnerable than we are being told.  We are in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet, and when this bubble bursts it is going to be an absolutely spectacular disaster.

Please don't believe the mainstream media or the politicians when they promise you that everything is going to be okay.


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Kilika on November 20, 2013, 12:58:38 pm
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
Two years earlier, the Census had actually caught an employee "fabricating data", but according to this whistleblower the corruption at the Census Bureau goes much deeper than that...

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

I remember when they made that drop in the numbers. I still don't believe it, especially since the federal website says there wasn't a drop like that from August to September, in the same year. Now if you say that is for 2012 to 2013, sure, that's what the site says, but I don't even believe those numbers.

But what I noticed is missing even from this article, is the fact that they themselves put out a number of 10% unemployment in October 2009, and have been dropping it ever since. A drop of 3% in less than 3 years, just from a "recovery"? I don't believe that for a second!

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000 (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000)

I agree though that the government has been manipulating the numbers right off the top by claiming a certain amount of people are "no longer looking for employment", so they don't consider those people unemployed! That's government math for ya!

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 20, 2013, 01:19:12 pm
I agree though that the government has been manipulating the numbers right off the top by claiming a certain amount of people are "no longer looking for employment", so they don't consider those people unemployed! That's government math for ya!

And they should - the only ones in that group that shouldn't be included are the ones that 100% adamantly say they have no desire to look for employment(whether they are out of work for 1 day or 10 years).

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on January 14, 2014, 11:06:20 am
America's Dwindling Economic Freedom

Regulation, taxes and debt knock the U.S. out of the world's top 10.

World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

For 20 years, the index has measured a nation's commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.
Those losing freedom, on the other hand, risk economic stagnation, high unemployment and deteriorating social conditions. For instance, heavy-handed government intervention in Brazil's economy continues to limit mobility and fuel a sense of injustice.

REST: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303848104579308811265028066?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303848104579308811265028066.html

Title: The new face of food stamps: working-age Americans
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 26, 2014, 04:21:17 pm
The new face of food stamps: working-age Americans

Food stamp participation has grown fastest among workers with some college training at a time when wages and salaries are stagnant.

WASHINGTON — In a first, working-age people now make up the majority in U.S. households that rely on food stamps — a switch from a few years ago, when children and the elderly were the main recipients.

Some of the change is due to demographics, such as the trend toward having fewer children. But a slow economic recovery with high unemployment, stagnant wages and an increasing gulf between low-wage and high-skill jobs also plays a big role. It suggests that government spending on the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program — twice what it cost five years ago — may not subside significantly anytime soon.

Food stamp participation since 1980 has grown the fastest among workers with some college training, a sign that the safety net has stretched further to cover America's former middle class, according to an analysis of government data for The Associated Press by economists at the University of Kentucky. Formally called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, the program now covers 1 in 7 Americans.

The findings coincide with the latest economic data showing workers' wages and salaries growing at the lowest rate relative to corporate profits in U.S. history.

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night is expected to focus in part on reducing income inequality, such as by raising the federal minimum wage. Congress, meanwhile, is debating cuts to food stamps, with Republicans including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., wanting a $4 billion-a-year reduction to an anti-poverty program that they say promotes dependency and abuse.

Economists say having a job may no longer be enough for self-sufficiency in today's economy.

"A low-wage job supplemented with food stamps is becoming more common for the working poor," said Timothy Smeeding, an economics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who specializes in income inequality. "Many of the U.S. jobs now being created are low- or minimum-wage — part-time or in areas such as retail or fast food — which means food stamp use will stay high for some time, even after unemployment improves."

The newer food stamp recipients include Maggie Barcellano, 25, of Austin, Texas. A high school graduate, she enrolled in college but didn't complete her nursing degree after she could no longer afford the tuition.

Hoping to boost her credentials, she went through emergency medical technician training with the Army National Guard last year but was unable to find work as a paramedic because of the additional certification and fees required. Barcellano, now the mother of a 3-year-old daughter, finally took a job as a home health aide, working six days a week at $10 an hour. Struggling with the low income, she recently applied for food stamps with the help of the nonprofit Any Baby Can, to help save up for paramedic training.

"It's devastating," Barcellano said. "When I left for the Army I was so motivated, thinking I was creating a situation where I could give my daughter what I know she deserves. But when I came back and basically found myself in the same situation, it was like it was all for naught."

Since 2009, more than 50 percent of U.S. households receiving food stamps have been adults ages 18 to 59, according to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The food stamp program defines non-elderly adults as anyone younger than 60.

As recently as 1998, the working-age share of food stamp households was at a low of 44 percent, before the dot-com bust and subsequent recessions in 2001 and 2007 pushed new enrollees into the program, according to the analysis by James Ziliak, director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky.

By education, about 28 percent of food stamp households are headed by a person with at least some college training, up from 8 percent in 1980. Among those with four-year college degrees, the share rose from 3 percent to 7 percent. High-school graduates head the bulk of food stamp households at 37 percent, up from 28 percent. In contrast, food stamp households headed by a high-school dropout have dropped by more than half, to 28 percent.

The shifts in food stamp participation come amid broader changes to the economy such as automation, globalization and outsourcing, which have polarized the job market. Many good-paying jobs in areas such as manufacturing have disappeared, shrinking the American middle class and bumping people with higher levels of education into lower-wage work.

An analysis Ziliak conducted for the AP finds that stagnant wages and income inequality play an increasing role in the growth of food stamp rolls.

Taking into account changing family structure, higher unemployment and policy expansions to the food stamp program, the analysis shows that stagnant wages and income inequality explained just 3.5 percent of the change in food stamp enrollment from 1980 to 2011. But from 2000 to 2011, wages and inequality accounted for 13 percent of the increase.

Several economists say food stamp rolls are likely to remain elevated for some time. Historically, there has been a lag before an improving unemployment rate leads to a substantial decline in food stamp rolls; the Congressional Budget Office has projected it could take 10 years.

"We do not expect income inequality stabilizing or declining in the absence of real wage growth or a significant reduction in unemployment and underemployment problems," said Ishwar Khatiwada, an economist for the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University who reviewed the Labor and Commerce departments' wage data.

Full- and part-time workers employed year-round saw the fastest growth in food stamp participation since 1980, making up 17 percent and 7 percent of households, respectively. In contrast, the share of food stamp households headed by an unemployed person has remained largely unchanged, at 53 percent. Part-year workers declined in food stamp share.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 11, 2014, 04:34:09 pm
House Passes Debt Limit Extension

The House has passed a "clean" extension of the debt limit.

Twenty-eight Republicans joined all but two Democrats to approve the extension of the debt limit until March 2015 -- without any additional legislative wish list items attached.

The vote was 221-201.

The Senate is expected to take up the debt limit extension before the end of the week.

Republicans had wanted to attach some kind of policy provision to the must-pass legislation. Members suggested including measures like approving the Keystone XL pipeline or repealing part of the Affordable Care Act, but leaders were unable to secure enough votes for those add-ons to ensure passage. The White House also insisted it would not pay “ransom” for the extension, a position that Obama successfully held during last year’s government shutdown.

Ultimately, House Speaker John Boehner brought a “clean” debt limit extension for a vote, a move that incensed many conservatives who wanted to extract some kind of concession from the White House.

On Tuesday, Boehner said that the nation’s debt is Obama’s responsibility. “Let his party give him the debt ceiling increase that he wants,” Boehner added, saying that Republicans would supply the “minimum” number of votes to get the legislation over the finish line.

“He’s the one driving up the debt and the question [Republicans are] asking is, why should I deal with his debt limit?” he said. “So the fact is, we’ll let the Democrats put the votes up, we’ll put a minimum number of votes up to get it passed.”

That represented a major reversal for Boehner, who had previously insisted that an increase in borrowing must be matched by an equal amount of spending cuts.

The House vote on the debt limit was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but it was shifted to Tuesday when a major snowstorm was projected to hit the East Coast.


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on February 12, 2014, 12:31:18 pm
Seesaw Economy: Nearly One in Three Dipped Into Poverty

In America’s new normal, plenty of Americans will tumble into poverty at some point – but few will be stuck there forever.

Nearly one in three Americans experienced a stint of poverty between 2009 and 2011, a new Census Bureau report finds, but only a fraction of those people were stuck below the poverty line for the entire three-year period.

“There’s a lot of movement in and out of poverty,” said Ann Stevens, director of the Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis.

That’s partly due to the weak recovery, in which one small victory can push someone above the poverty line – but another setback can shove that person right back down.

“I hear people say ‘paycheck to paycheck’ and I think, ‘Oh my God, that would be great.’”

But it’s also because of a longer-running trend toward lower skilled, low-paying jobs. Permanent, good paying jobs are largely going to the highly skilled and highly educated, while many of the rest are living on a knife-edge of economic ruin, where even living paycheck to paycheck seems like a luxury.

“I hear people say ‘paycheck to paycheck’ and I think, ‘Oh my God, that would be great,’” said Jessmynda Dosch-Evangelista, above.

The 22-year-old from Wellsville, N.Y., makes $5 an hour plus tips at her part-time job as a server at a pizza chain. She rarely knows how many hours she’ll be working, or how much money her customers will leave on the table.

That means she also rarely knows whether she’ll make enough to pay the rent or put food on her own table.

“It’s not even month to month. It’s week to week or night to night,” she said.

The Census Bureau report found that 31.6 percent of Americans were in poverty for least two months between 2009 and 2011, compared to 27.1 percent of Americans between 2005 and 2007. The recession ran from late 2007 to mid-2009.

Those who fell below the poverty line also stayed there longer. The median length a person spent below the poverty line was 6.6 months between 2009 and 2011, as compared to 5.7 months between 2005 and 2007.

This narrower look at monthly poverty statistics is different from the Census Bureau’s annual poverty report, which looks at the share of the population whose total annual income fell below the poverty threshold for the year. For a single person, the annual poverty threshold was $11,720 in 2012. For a family of four including two children, it was $23,283.

Needing help
The prevalence of short bouts of poverty helps explain why some people who appear to have the trappings of a more economically secure life – such as a nice car, a home or a flat-screen TV – may also suddenly need help making ends meet.

“You would expect them to have in their households the signs of not having been poor a couple of years ago,” said Arloc Sherman, senior researcher with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning think tank.

It also explains why, in recent years, so many Americans have had to rely, at least for a few months, on programs such as unemployment benefits or food stamps.

That’s been the case with Dosch-Evangelista.

During a good period, she said, she might be scheduled for plenty of shifts and bring in enough tips to feed herself and her cat, plus buy necessities like soap and toilet paper.

Jessmynda Dosch-Evangelista, 22, is hoping to land a second job that would allow her to pay her bills more regularly, but in the meantime her financial stability varies from week to week.

But then come the bad periods, like the one right before the holidays in which she said she didn’t get any shifts at all for a while and had to turn to social services for emergency help with her $435-per-month rent.

Even when things are good, Dosch-Evangelista has little wiggle room in her meager budget.

She doesn’t have a car and tries to avoid even taking the bus, preferring to walk if she can to save the 50-cent fare. She rarely goes out with friends, but is too ashamed of her apartment to have people over

The report also showed that a large number of people who got out of poverty didn’t make it that far up the economic ladder, and were just barely above the poverty line.

“A lot of people either experience poverty or skate very close to the line,” Sherman said.

Risky situation
Dosch-Evangelista said that financially, she was better off when she was getting cash assistance. She still gets benefits through SNAP, the modern food stamp program, but she said she is proud to have a job and not be accepting cash aid except in extreme emergencies.

“I’d rather work a crappy job and take the risk from week to week of losing my apartment than be on welfare, and I’m hoping that says something about me,” she said.

She’s hoping that her situation will improve when she starts a second job helping out with basic duties at an area group home. She expects the pay will be minimum wage, but the extra hours should mean more money each month.

In the long run, she hopes to finish college and eventually start an agency to help people like herself, who were adopted in their late teens. She’s currently taking a break from school because of the financial stress, but she’s confident that she will get back to college eventually.

“I’m not rosy-eyed about it, but I’m optimistic, I guess,” she said of the future. “I’m trying to be realistic.”

First published February 12th 2014, 1:59 am

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Kilika on February 12, 2014, 01:00:29 pm
“I’d rather work a crappy job and take the risk from week to week of losing my apartment than be on welfare, and I’m hoping that says something about me,” she said.

What it says is that you have bought into the socialist scam. They want you in a crappy job in a small crappy apartment in their cesspools they call cities. It says you've been backed into a corner where you're dependent on society to make available, for a price, all of life's resources such as food, water, and housing. Their goal is to pay as little as possible, and offer as little as possible and be the only source for what people need.

If people think this reloading of the unemployment benefits will continue, I think they are in for a surprise.

I can't see them continuing to give money to people who are in effect perpetually out of work. The love of money forces them to cut their expenses and raise their profits. Something has to give. It's unsustainable.

You don't take the whole carrot away, just offer a smaller and smaller carrot, conditioning people to accept less and less for more and more.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on March 11, 2014, 05:23:31 am
We Are In FAR Worse Shape Than We Were Just Prior To The Last Great Financial Crisis

None of the problems that caused the last financial crisis have been fixed.  In fact, they have all gotten worse.  The total amount of debt in the world has grown by more than 40 percent since 2007, the too big to fail banks have gotten 37 percent larger, and the colossal derivatives bubble has spiraled so far out of control that the only thing left to do is to watch the spectacular crash landing that is inevitably coming.  Unfortunately, most people do not know the information that I am about to share with you in this article.  Most people just assume that the politicians and the central banks have fixed the issues that caused the last great financial crisis.  But the truth is that we are in far worse shape than we were back then.  When this financial bubble finally bursts, the devastation that we will witness is likely to be absolutely catastrophic.

Too Much Debt

One of the biggest financial problems that the world is facing is that there is simply way too much debt.  Never before in world history has there ever been a debt binge anything like this.

You would have thought that we would have learned our lesson from 2008 and would have started to reduce debt levels.

Instead, we pushed the accelerator to the floor.

It is hard to believe that this could possibly be true, but according to the Bank for International Settlements the total amount of debt in the world has increased by more than 40 percent since 2007...

    The amount of debt globally has soared more than 40 percent to $100 trillion since the first signs of the financial crisis as governments borrowed to pull their economies out of recession and companies took advantage of record low interest rates, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

    The $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 compares with a $3.86 trillion decline in the value of equities to $53.8 trillion in the same period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The jump in debt as measured by the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS in its quarterly review is almost twice the U.S.’s gross domestic product.

That is a recipe for utter disaster, and yet we can't seem to help ourselves.

And of course the U.S. government is the largest offender.

Back in September 2008, the U.S. national debt was sitting at a total of 10.02 trillion dollars.

As I write this, it is now sitting at a total of 17.49 trillion dollars.

Is there anyone out there that can possibly conceive of a way that this ends other than badly?

Too Big To Fail Is Now Bigger Than Ever

During the last great financial crisis we were also told that one of our biggest problems was the fact that we had banks that were "too big to fail".

Well, guess what?

Those banks are now much larger than they were back then.  In fact, the six largest banks in the United States (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley) have collectively gotten 37 percent larger since the last financial crisis.

Meanwhile, 1,400 smaller banks have gone out of business during that time frame, and only one new bank has been started in the United States in the last three years.

So the problem of "too big to fail" is now much worse than it was back in 2008.

The following are some more statistics about our "too big to fail" problem that come from a previous article...

-The U.S. banking system has 14.4 trillion dollars in total assets.  The six largest banks now account for 67 percent of those assets and all of the other banks account for only 33 percent of those assets.

-Approximately 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared over the past five years.

-JPMorgan Chase is roughly the size of the entire British economy.

-The four largest banks have more than a million employees combined.

-The five largest banks account for 42 percent of all loans in the United States.

-Bank of America accounts for about a third of all business loans all by itself.

-Wells Fargo accounts for about one quarter of all mortgage loans all by itself.

-About 12 percent of all cash in the United States is held in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase.

The Derivatives Bubble

Most people simply do not understand that over the past couple of decades Wall Street has been transformed into the largest and wildest casino on the entire planet.

Nobody knows for sure how large the global derivatives bubble is at this point, because derivatives trading is lightly regulated compared to other types of trading.  But everyone agrees that it is absolutely massive.  Estimates range from $600 trillion to $1.5 quadrillion.

And what we do know is that four of the too big to fail banks each have total exposure to derivatives that is in excess of $40 trillion.

The numbers posted below may look similar to numbers that I have included in articles in the past, but for this article I have updated them with the very latest numbers from the U.S. government.  Since the last time that I wrote about this, these numbers have gotten even worse…

JPMorgan Chase

Total Assets: $1,989,875,000,000 (nearly 2 trillion dollars)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $71,810,058,000,000 (more than 71 trillion dollars)


Total Assets: $1,344,751,000,000 (a bit more than 1.3 trillion dollars)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $62,963,116,000,000 (more than 62 trillion dollars)

Bank Of America

Total Assets: $1,438,859,000,000 (a bit more than 1.4 trillion dollars)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $41,386,713,000,000 (more than 41 trillion dollars)

Goldman Sachs

Total Assets: $111,117,000,000 (just a shade over 111 billion dollars – yes, you read that correctly)

Total Exposure To Derivatives: $47,467,154,000,000 (more than 47 trillion dollars)

During the coming derivatives crisis, several of those banks could fail simultaneously.

If that happened, it would be an understatement to say that we would be facing an "economic collapse".

Credit would totally freeze up, nobody would be able to get loans, and economic activity would grind to a standstill.

It is absolutely inexcusable how reckless these big banks have been.

Just look at those numbers for Goldman Sachs again.

Goldman Sachs has total assets worth approximately 111 billion dollars (billion with a little "b"), but they have more than 47 trillion dollars of total exposure to derivatives.

That means that the total exposure that Goldman Sachs has to derivatives contracts is more than 427 times greater than their total assets.

I don't know why more people aren't writing about this.

This is utter insanity.

During the next great financial crisis, it is very likely that the rest of the planet is going to lose faith in the current global financial system that is based on the U.S. dollar and on U.S. debt.

When that day arrives, and the U.S. dollar loses reserve currency status, the shift in our standard of living is going to be dramatic.  Just consider what Marin Katusa of Casey Research had to say the other day...

    It will be shocking for the average American… if the petro dollar dies and the U.S. loses its reserve currency status in the world there will be no middle class.

    The middle class and the low class… wow… what a game changer. Your cost of living will quadruple.

The debt-fueled prosperity that we are enjoying now will not last forever.  A day of reckoning is fast approaching, and most Americans will not be able to handle the very difficult adjustments that they will be forced to make.  Here is some more from Marin Katusa...

    Imagine this… take a country like Croatia… the average worker with a university degree makes about 1200 Euros a month. He spends a third of that, after tax, on keeping his house warm and filling up his gas tank to get to work and get back from work.

    In North America, we don’t make $1200 a month, and we don’t spend a third of our paycheck on keeping our house warm and driving to work… so, the cost of living… food will triple… heat, electricity, everything subsidized by the government will triple overnight… and it will only get worse even if you can get the services.

All of this could have been prevented if we had done things the right way.

Unfortunately, we didn't learn any of the lessons that we should have learned from the last financial crisis, and our politicians and the central banks have just continued to do the same things that they have always done.

So now we all get to pay the price.


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on June 04, 2014, 12:02:30 pm
Half of Americans can’t afford their house

 As the housing market slowly recovers, a majority of homeowners and renters are finding it hard to meet rising rents and mortgage payments, new research finds.

Over half of Americans (52%) have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

“Affordability issues are real and a major hurdle,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, an industry group. Home prices have increased 20% over the past two years while wages have barely gone up, he says. “Only by adding more new supply, via housing starts, can home prices be tamed,” Yun adds. In fact, construction of housing units has averaged around 1.5 million a year for the past five decades, he says, but it’s likely to be less than 1 million in 2014.

What’s more, at least 15% of American homeowners (or residents of 78 counties across the country) were living in housing markets where the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home requires more than 30% of the monthly median household income — long considered the maximum for rent/mortgage repayments. Housing costs above that threshold are “unaffordable by historic standards,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at real estate data firm RealtyTrac. In New York county/Manhattan, mortgage payments represent 77% of the median income and in San Francisco County represents 70%.

Also see: Why the price of a new home is rising

Although mortgage rates are still quite low, down payments, poor credit and tighter lending standards remain three of the biggest hurdles for buying a home, especially among young people, Blomquist says. “The slow jobs recovery for young adults has made it harder for them to save and to get a mortgage.” Some 84% of young people are delaying major life decisions due to the poor economy, according to a 2013 survey by Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit think tank based in Arlington, Va.

Some people also appear to be cooling on one facet of the American dream. About 43% of respondents in the “How Housing Matters Survey” say owning a home is no longer “an excellent long-term investment and one of the best ways for people to build wealth and assets,” and over half say buying a home has become less appealing. Although 70% of renters aspire to own a home, some 58% believe that “renters can be just as successful as owners at achieving the American dream.”

Also see: Why your rent is so damn high

But they’re still suffering the aftershocks of the property bust, experts say. In the years after the recession of 2008, more than 7.5 million homeowners lost their home to foreclosure or short sale and about 9 million more homeowners are still underwater and owe more than their property is worth, Blomquist says. “If one looks at the last seven years as a predictor of housing market behavior in the future, it certainly should give one pause about whether buying a home is a good investment or not,” he adds.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, says Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA’s Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate. “From a policy perspective, we overshot in prescribing homeownership too often and to those who would have benefited more from other housing solutions,” he says. Homeownership rates hit 64.8% in April, the lowest since 64.7% in the second quarter of 1995, according to the Census Bureau. “It’s wise to approach homeownership with more skepticism and more trepidation,” he says.

The good news: Rising prices have lifted millions of homeowners out of negative equity. Since the lowest point in the housing market crash, rising prices have led to an additional $4 trillion in housing equity, going to existing homeowners, smart investors and those who can afford to buy, Yun says. Home prices, including distressed sales, increased 10.5% in April 2014 year-over-year, according to the latest survey from mortgage-data firm CoreLogic, representing the 26th consecutive month of annual increases in home prices.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 13, 2015, 02:19:00 pm
5 states most hurt by falling oil prices

Oil prices are falling, and for many Americans that’s good news, as gas prices at the pump are down and likely will stay that way in the coming months (gasoline futures fell to nearly a six-year low on Wednesday). But for some — especially residents of certain states — the falling oil prices aren’t the best news.

A study released Wednesday by financial site MoneyRates.com , which ranked states based on their rates of oil production, oil consumption and the percentage of oil workers employed in each state’s workforce, found that some states will feel the falling-oil-price burden more heavily than others.

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According to Richard Barrington, the senior financial analyst for MoneyRates, while robust oil production is usually good for a state, falling oil prices can hurt high-oil-production-states’ economic performance (not to mention impact the related job market), at the same time that it boosts the economic performance of states that produce little or no oil — in particular those that also consume a lot of it.

Here are the five states most hurt by falling oil prices, according to MoneyRates.com:

1. North Dakota

Oil-rich North Dakota will feel the biggest negative impact from falling oil prices thanks to the fact that oil production has been such a big help to North Dakota’s economy in recent years (the state has the lowest unemployment in the country, in part due to oil-related jobs) — and lowered prices could slow growth. The study reveals that “at 4.61%, the percentage of oil workers in North Dakota’s workforce is the second highest in the nation, and the state produces more than eight times the amount of oil that it consumes … that’s a bad combination in the context of lower oil prices.” MoneyRates estimates that the drop in oil prices over the past year will cost North Dakota $11 billion in 2015 – or roughly $16,000 per resident.

2. Wyoming

Oil jobs are a bigger percentage of the job market in Wyoming than in any other state (they make up more than 6% of the jobs), which is what makes the falling oil prices such a big threat in this sparsely populated state, Barrington says. MoneyRates estimates that the oil-price drop will cost Wyoming $1.38 billion in 2015.

3. Alaska

Alaska — home to the 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline System — will feel a major shock from falling oil prices because it is both a big producer of oil and a significant part of its workforce works in the oil industry. The state stands to lose more than $6 billion in 2015 due to falling oil prices, MoneyRates estimates.


While the overall economic impact of falling oil prices on this state ($660 million, or an average of $170 per resident) is small compared with some other states, the big oil price impact here will happen with regards to the job market, as 3.64% of the state’s workforce is employed in the oil industry, explains Barrington.

5. New Mexico

There’s nothing enchanting about what will happen to New Mexico thanks to falling oil prices: This state, which will get hurt in terms of economic impact (it will cost them $2.19 billion in 2015, according to MoneyRates) and jobs, lands in the No. 5 spot on this list.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on January 19, 2015, 04:48:58 pm
Yes, you ARE paying more for food

The idea that there's no inflation might not make much sense to plenty of ordinary people.

And yet, a report issued Friday by the Labor Department indicated that, when considered as a whole, the U.S. economy isn't seeing especially higher prices. In the past 12 months, the Consumer Price Index for all items rose 0.8%, below the year-over-year rate of 1.3% recorded in the November report and far under the 10-year average. The "core" rate, which leaves out food and energy price changes, was up 1.6% in the last 12 months. Not bad.

Of course, it all depends on how you look at it. While it's the job of professional economists to study these things, regular folks normally aren't building spreadsheets. They're concerned with eating and driving, with all the daily thinking about the world's costs in a different way. That includes spending a lot of time noticing the items that are getting pricier, especially the necessary ones like food.

And if you believe you're paying more for what you eat, you, in fact, are correct. For 2014, the index for food rose 3.4%, up from a 1.1% increase the prior year. That outpaces the food index's average annual climb of 2.7% over the last 10 years. The index for food we eat at home was up 3.7% last year, well ahead of the 0.4% increase in 2013. Regarding food eaten at restaurants and other establishments, that index rose 3% last year after a 2.1% gain in 2013.

The following numbers might be closer to what typical consumers are noticing on grocery store receipts. Note that the CPI report also offers much greater detail than this, such as pointing out that the tomato index rose 16.5%, but here are some details on various major food group index changes:

--Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs: Up 9.2% in 2014, the largest change from one December to another since 2003. In comparison, the 2013 change was 2.9%.

--Beef and veal: Up 18.7%.

--Dairy and related products: Up 5.3%.

--Fruits and vegetables: Up 3.2%. Both fell in 2013.

--Nonalcoholic drinks: Up 0.7%.

--Cereals and bakery products: Up 0.5%, the same change as the previous year.

These changes are measured with indices that date back years, starting at 100. For instance, the total food index was 245.976 in December 2014, compared with 237.869 in December 2013 -- that increase in the index is the 3.4% change. So while the percentages aren't necessarily direct translations of dollar-price changes you're recording, they're good indications of the gains nationally.

With commodities and their pricing, it's always a story of supply levels and the demand in the market. The nation's food industry has faced a number of challenges, but recent issues have included a cattle herd that's been much smaller than normal, lifting beef prices, and poor weather in the West that hindered certain crops. Relatively stable cereal and bread pricing, meanwhile, has been able to stay that way because of high wheat production, the USDA recently said.

As for why the overall CPI's rise is on the low side -- only one time in the last 50 years has a December-to-December change been less, and that was 2008 -- energy is a big factor here. That index fell 10.6% last year, with the index for gasoline dropping 21%. However, the electricity and natural gas measures were both higher.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 21, 2015, 09:01:10 pm
Drenched in red: Wall Street plunges in worst weekly retreat since 2011

U.S. markets tumbled more than 5% this week as worries mounted over the state of the global economy.

The S&P 500 plummeted 64.8 points, or 3.2%, on Friday, capping a painful week that saw the broad-market barometer shed 5.8%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 530.9 points, or 3.1% on the day. It was the steepest drop since August 2011 for the blue-chip average. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 171.5 points, or 3.5%. All three major benchmarks are now in the red for 2015, and the Dow narrowly entered correction territory.

The selloff wiped out some $1.3 trillion in U.S. market value since Tuesday morning, according to a calculation by Yahoo Finance using the Dow Jones U.S. Total Market Index. In a sign of the concern on the Street, the CBOE's VIX, which is sometimes called Wall Street's fear gauge, spiked more than 100% for the week.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on August 22, 2015, 06:40:32 am
Panic On Wall Street As Stock Market Drops 500 Points In Wild Slide Down


U.S. stocks closed deep in the red on Friday as global growth concerns accelerated selling pressure to push the Dow and Nasdaq into correction territory.

“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” Luke 21:26 (KJV)

The major averages had their biggest trade volume day of the year and posted their worst week in four years. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at session lows, off nearly 531 points and in correction territory for the first time since 2011 as all blue chips declined. The last time the index closed more than 500 points lower was on Aug. 10, 2011. In the last five years, the index has only had four instances with closing losses of more than 400 points.

“For investors the momentum and the drive of the market is now lower (than) it used to be because there’s no place to hide,” said Lance Roberts, general partner at STA Wealth Management. “Every time we hit the major technical points we kept selling.”

“What is important is the price action of the market has done something we haven’t seen since the last bull market peak,” Roberts said. “There is something going on internally in the market. That illness that has been building up in the market.”

A trader also noted that investors stopped looking at technicals and were plowing through them. “It’s an expiration day and it looks like they’re to have for sale on the close maybe as much as a billion dollars,” said Art Cashin, director of floor trading for UBS.
The Nasdaq Composite lost 3.5 percent, also closing in correction territory and joining the other major averages in negative territory for the year.

Apple declined 6 percent, in bear market territory, and the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) plunged 3.1 percent. “Right now there is a feeling of fear in the marketplace and all news is interpreted negatively and it’s interpreted indiscriminately,” said Tom Digenan, head of U.S. equities as UBS Global Asset Management.

The S&P 500 fell through a support level of 1,980 to end at 1,970, off 7.6 percent from its 52-week high. The index is off about 4.3 percent for the year so far. Information technology and energy led all 10 sectors lower on the day.

Energy was the worst decliner for the week, with no sectors posting weekly gains. As of Friday morning, 28 percent of the S&P 500 was in a bear market.

“It’s more of the same,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group. “From a technical perspective we broke” 2,040 on the S&P 500, the lower end of the trading range. The Russell 2000 fell into correction territory in the open and failed attempts to stay out of it. source
Apple dumps $158B, enters bear market

Wiped out of 2015 gains. Apple has swung into the red for the year, taking away the one security blanket investors have had while the rest of the market suffered. Shares are Apple are now down 3.2% on the year – a rude awakening since the stock had been up as much as 22% through its high this year. source
Oil suffers longest weekly losing streak since 1986

U.S. oil futures on Friday settled below $41 a barrel for the first time since the Great Recession to suffer an eighth straight weekly loss—the longest streak of weekly losses since 1986. Nymex prices haven’t seen a streak of that many weekly losses since the 10-week stretch of losses that ended on March 7, 1986, according to FactSet data. source
China sparks global panic

Weak manufacturing data out of China was the latest bad news to wreak havoc in financial markets this week. The devaluation of the yuan last week sparked global growth concerns that hit almost every global asset class, finally reaching what had until now been a bastion of stability: the S&P 500. source
Dow 5,000? Yes, it could happen

I don’t mean to be alarmist or to induce panic, but someone needs to tell the public that there is a plausible scenario in which the U.S. stock market now collapses by another 70% until the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls to about 5,000. The index tumbled more than 3% to 16,460 on Friday.

Dow 5,000? Really? Yes, it could happen. source


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 23, 2015, 09:23:50 am
I'll admit, the whole economy collapse doesn't interest me much anymore - b/c there are much bigger fish to fry(deceptions growing 10-fold, ie).

However, I believe it's coming to a point now where TPTB can't even rig their own markets anymore. The set up for the OWG/ToJT is drawing nigh now.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on August 24, 2015, 08:50:34 am
Great fall of China sinks world stocks, dollar tumbles

Alarm bells rang across world markets on Monday as a near 9 percent dive in China shares and a sharp drop in the dollar and major commodities panicked investors.

European stocks were more than 5 percent in the red and Wall Street was braced for similar losses after Asian shares slumped to 3-year lows as a three month-long rout in Chinese equities threatened to get out of hand.

Oil plunged another 4 percent, while safe-haven government U.S. an German bonds and the yen and the euro rallied as widespread fears of a China-led global economic slowdown and currency war kicked in.

"It is a China driven macro panic," said Didier Duret, chief investment officer at ABN Amro. "Volatility will persist until we see better data there or strong policy action through forceful monetary easing."

Many traders had hoped that such support measures, which could include an interest rate cut, would have come from Beijing over the weekend after its main stocks markets slumped 11 percent last week.

With serious doubts also now emerging about the likelihood of a U.S. interest rate rise this year, the dollar slid against other major currencies.

The Australian dollar fell to six-year lows and many emerging market currencies also plunged, whilst the frantic dash to safety pushed the euro to a 6-1/2-month high above $1.15.

"Things are starting look like the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Speculators are selling assets that seem the most vulnerable," said Takako Masai, head of research at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo.

As commodity markets took a fresh battering, Brent and U.S. crude oil futures hit 6-1/2-year lows as concerns about a global supply glut added to worries over potentially weaker demand from the normally resource-hungry China.

U.S. crude was last down 3.6 percent at just below $39 a barrel while Brent dropped to $43.74 a barrel to take it under January's lows for the first time.

Copper, seen as a barometer of global industrial demand, tumbled 2.5 percent, with three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange also hitting a six-year low of $4,920 a tonne. Nickel slid 6 percent to its lowest since 2009 too at $9,570 a tonne.


The near 9 percent slump in Chinese stocks was their worst performance since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2007 and wiped out what was left of the 2015 gains, which in June has been more than 50 percent.

With the latest slide rooted in disappointment that Beijing did not announce expected policy support over the weekend, all index futures contracts slumped by their 10 percent daily limit, pointing to more bad days ahead.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 5.1 percent to a three-year low. Tokyo's Nikkei ended down 4.6 percent and Australian and Indonesian shares hit two-year troughs.

"China could be forced to devalue the yuan even more, should its economy falter, and the equity markets are dealing with the prospect of a weaker yuan amplifying the negative impact from a sluggish Chinese economy," said Eiji Kinouchi, chief technical analyst at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo.

Just as worrying was evidence that developed markets were becoming synchronized with the troubles. London's FTSE with its large number of global miners and oil firms, was down for its 10th straight day, its worst run since 2003.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was last down 5 percent at 1,355 points, wiping around 400 billion euros ($460.16 billion) off the index and taking its losses for the month to more than 1 trillion euros.

U.S. stock futures also pointed to big losses for Wall Street's main markets, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial and Nasdaq expected to open down 3.6, 4.0 and 4.9 percent respectively.

It is likely to tip the S&P 500 and Nasdaq formally into 'correction' territory - meaning stocks, at their lows, are 10 percent off their 52-week highs.

"We are in the midst of a full-blown growth scare," strategists at JP Morgan Cazenove said in a note.


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Mark on August 24, 2015, 08:56:10 am
China stocks plunge triggers global rout

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Global equities saw their sharpest falls since the 2008 financial crisis, as a rout in Chinese shares unleashed alarm across markets from the US to Asia and stoked mounting fears of a China-led global economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 fell 5.2 per cent, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,000 points, or 6.5 per cent. Those moves echoed dramatic falls in Europe where the FTSE Eurofirst 300 slid 6.9 per cent, and the FTSE 100 fell 5.3 per cent, its sharpest decline since March 2009.

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The falls came after the Shanghai Composite racked up its worst day since February 2007, wiping out all its gains of 2015, in a tumultuous session that even Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, dubbed “Black Monday”.

The turmoil on global markets began two weeks ago when China unexpectedly devalued its currency, raising fears that its economy might be in worse shape than previously thought. Since then, global stock markets have lost more than $5tn in value.

With China now representing 15 per cent of the world’s economy, any slowdown there will have huge repercussions for global growth.

Jim Reid, an analyst at Deutsche Bank, said the market sell-off had originally been driven by expectations that the US Federal Reserve would raise interest rates, perhaps as early as next month.

However, “China’s confrontational move two weeks ago and the subsequent knock-on through emerging markets have accelerated us towards something more serious”, Mr Reid said. “We always thought something would get in the way of the Fed raising rates in September and we’re perhaps seeing this now.”

The growing sense among investors that the Fed will put off lifting interest rates pushed up the euro, which rose 1.5 per cent against the dollar on Monday.

Worries about China’s outlook hammered crude oil, which fell to a six-year low, while average commodity prices traded at their lowest levels this century and emerging market currencies plunged. Meanwhile, haven assets such as the euro, yen and US government bonds rallied.

Monday’s fall in China partly reflected investor disappointment that Beijing had not adopted any fresh measures over the weekend to staunch the sell-off after the 11.5 per cent fall in the Shanghai Composite last week.

There had been expectations that the government might announce a fresh loosening of monetary policy, perhaps reducing the proportion of deposits that banks need to hold in reserve.

But Beijing appears to have decided that it is too expensive to prop up the equity market, especially as it is now intervening separately on a massive scale to stop its currency from devaluing further.
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The authorities have already spent $200bn buying up shares to support prices over the last seven weeks. In addition, since August 11 they have spent as much as $200bn of China’s foreign exchange reserves to keep the renminbi from falling too far, according to people familiar with the People’s Bank of China and its market interventions.

Investors had thought that Beijing would defend the Shanghai Composite’s 3,500 level. But that floor was breached in the first second of trading on Monday, and the index carried on tanking until it was down 9 per cent at 3,191, its lowest level since March. The index ended the session down 8.5 per cent at 3,209.

The market has a downward limit of 10 per cent on individual stocks, so Monday’s rout was about as close to a freefall as China allows. Of the 1,114 stocks listed in Shanghai, nearly 900 were down by more than 9.9 per cent. Just five rose.

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The price of West Texas Intermediate oil, the US benchmark, fell $1.93 to $38.55 a barrel — its lowest since February 2009. Brent crude, the global benchmark, retreated $2.25 to $43.27 a barrel, a level last seen in March 2009.

Countries that rely on exports to China saw their currencies come under pressure. The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell 1.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively, to $0.7220 and $0.6567.

Futures suggest the S&P 500 will decline 2.5 per cent in New York.

“Caution remains warranted,” said analysts at Crédit Agricole. “Currencies such as the euro are likely to remain well supported, at least until monetary policy expectations become a more dominant market driver anew.”


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on December 10, 2015, 08:54:56 pm
Here's How Much the U.S. Middle Class Has Changed in 45 Years
They're now outnumbered by the richest and poorest

In the age of rising income inequality, the task of preserving America’s middle class has been taken on by politicians across the ideological spectrum. A new report from Pew Research Center shows just how much the economic fortunes of this group have changed since the 1970s.

In every decade since then, the percentage of adults living in middle-income households has fallen, according to Pew, which is based in Washington. The share now stands at 50 percent, compared with 61 percent in 1971.

More from Bloomberg.com: It's All Gone Wrong for One of World's Biggest Mining Companies

This matters because  the "state of the American middle class is at the heart of the economic platforms of many presidential candidates ahead of the 2016 election," Pew researchers Rakesh Kochhar and Richard Fry wrote in their report. Meanwhile "a flurry of new research points to the potential of a larger middle class to provide the economic boost sought by many advanced economies."

Pew defines a middle-class household as one having income that is two-thirds to double that of the overall median household income. A family of three, for instance, would need to have a minimum income of $41,869 to qualify as middle-income.

More from Bloomberg.com: Billions of Barrels of Oil Vanish in a Puff of Accounting Smoke

Here’s more data on how America’s middle class has morphed over the last few decades:

They're no longer the majority

Being a member of the middle-class has long been treated as an American badge of honor. However middle-income households have lost their majority status in the U.S, with the size of their counterparts on opposite ends of the income spectrum overtaking them in number.

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Some 120.8 million adult Americans lived in middle-class households this year, according to Pew. That’s slightly less than the combined number of upper-income adults (51 million) and those at the lower tier (70.3 million).

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Their income gains are smaller

While households across the spectrum have seen higher earnings over the past several decades, upper-income households have seen their pay rise the most.

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The median income of those families was $174,625 in 2014, up 47 percent since 1970, Pew data show. That compares with a 34 percent gain for the middle class and a 28 percent increase for the poorest households.

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Households of all income levels got hit hard during the recession, resulting in earnings declines between 2000 and 2014.

Blacks are least likely to be middle-income

Blacks are less likely to be part of the middle class than any other racial or ethnic group, the Pew report finds. Some 45 percent of black adults were in the middle-income tier, down 1 percentage point from 1971.

One positive note is that blacks are the only major racial group to see a decline over that time frame in their share of adults who are low-income, which is down to 43 percent from 48 percent. Still, that percentage is the highest of the ethnic groups, alongside Hispanics.

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White Americans are the only racial group where a majority is in the middle class, though their share fell to 52 percent this year from 63 percent in 1971.

Their piece of the pie is shrinking

The middle class holds 43 percent of U.S. aggregate income, the smallest share in Pew’s data back to 1970.

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Almost half of aggregate earnings in the U.S. is now commanded by the wealthiest families, who are "are on the verge of holding more in total income than all other households combined," Kochhar and Fry wrote. "This shift is partly because upper-income households constitute a rising share of the population and partly because their incomes are increasing more rapidly than those of other tiers."

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 03, 2016, 11:26:18 am

BOOM TIME: Hillary For Prison 2016 Economy Exploding in Merchandise, Movies and Books

Of course, all elections spawn merchandise — remember Barack Obama action figures? — but the money being made by bashing Hillary, often in extreme ways, is huger than even Trump himself might imagine. And the scores of independent vendors who flocked to the convention in Ohio are just the tip of the iceberg; there is, it turns out, a vast right wing Hillary-hating industry — including an entire genre of documentary filmmaking and book publishing — that's booming like never before now that Clinton has won the Democratic presidential nomination.

Hillary For Prison 2016 tee shirts, buttons and bumper stickers are a growth industry, at least for four more months.

“I support Hillary,” says a woman peddling anti-Hillary buttons, bumper stickers and T-shirts outside the Republican National Convention in mid-July in Cleveland. “But a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.”

What this particular girl — who declined to give her name — is doing is making a killing, and she’s not the only one. For the four days of Donald Trump’s convention, the streets outside the Quicken Loans Arena were turned into a Marrakech bazaar of Trump-pumping, Hillary-dumping merchandise. There were Trump yard signs, Trump bottled water, Trump breakfast cereal (“They’re Great Again,” it says on the box), endless racks of bright red “Make America Great Again” baseball caps as well as tables full of stuff that maybe should have been sold in brown paper wrappers.

Of course, all elections spawn merchandise — remember Barack Obama action figures? — but the money being made by bashing Hillary, often in extreme ways, is huger than even Trump himself might imagine. And the scores of independent vendors who flocked to the convention in Ohio are just the tip of the iceberg; there is, it turns out, a vast right wing Hillary-hating industry — including an entire genre of documentary filmmaking and book publishing — that’s booming like never before now that Clinton has won the Democratic presidential nomination.

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza’s latest anti-Clinton movie, Hillary’s America, opened July 15 — right before the RNC — and already is the highest-grossing documentary of the year, earning $6.3 million (it cost $5 million to make, money put up by unnamed conservative investors). A book based on the film will add more gold to the pile — it will debut at No. 2 on The New York Times best-seller list Aug. 7. “Hillary  has made a lot of money off of the American people,” D’Souza tells THR. “So we’d like to make a little off of her.”Bannon, who made a fortune as an early investor in Seinfeld by negotiating the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment (and who now is executive chairman of Breitbart News), is hoping to recoup his $1 million investment in the film by selling rights to TV outlets and digital platforms. “The movie is a public service,” he says. “But we’re capitalists, so we hope to make a little money.” Clinton Cash, another anti-Hillary movie, debuted at Cannes in May and again screened in Cleveland during the RNC. But, according to producer Stephen Bannon, theatrical release is not this doc’s business model.

Aside from the occasional opportunistic Democratic — like the Hillary supporter selling anti-Clinton T-shirts — most involved in the Hating Hillary business are largely ideologically motivated. They believe in their cause and also hope to profit from it. One vendor in Cleveland, a self-published author named Loren Spivack, estimated that he was making about $150 an hour selling his anti-Hillary “children’s” books — with titles like The Wizard of Iz and The Gorax — at the RNC (with sales from his website raking in another $25,000). But that’s not why he writes them. “My favorite character is the Cowardly RINO,” he says, referring to not-conservative-enough politicians deemed “Republican in Name Only”). “He knows Democrats are up to no good, but he’s too timid to do anything about it.”

Still, given market forces, even Trump supporters must be conflicted about the outcome of the election. “If Trump wins, my movie and book will be slightly dated,” admits D’Souza. “So I have a vested interest in Hillary winning. But I’m still rooting against her.” source

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 04, 2016, 09:07:59 am
Here’s the Insane Amount the Average Parent Will Pay for After-School Activities

If you feel like the cost of your kid’s sports, musical activities and school clubs is getting out of hand, it’s not your imagination. A new survey confirms that the expenses parents will incur this year for extracurricular activities have skyrocketed.

According to this year’s Backpack Index — an annual look at the cost of school supplies and other expenses compiled by The Huntington National Bank and nonprofit Communities in Schools — the increase is a little over 7%, across all grade levels.

It’s lowest in elementary school, since younger kids don’t participate in as many school-sanctioned sports or other activities, but even there you can expect a roughly 3% increase. Parents of middle-school kids will see an average of 6% higher costs. And things really take a jump in high school, where parents face a 10% increase.

Average Cost: Nearly $739

Across all three age groups, the average student’s extracurricular costs will come to nearly $739 this year — about $50 higher than last year. Parents of elementary school kids are paying about $463 per kid, on average, in extracurricular activities this year, while middle-school parents will pay just over $629. And if you’ve got a kid in high school, brace yourself: You’ll be paying an average of around $1,124.

Increases stem largely from the challenge school administrators face when trying to balance budgets and allocate funds. Although parents value extracurricular activities, they expect school resources to support academics first and foremost, says Steven McCullough, COO and interim co-CEO for nonprofit Communities In Schools, a group that provides support for lower-income families to encourage kids to stay in school.

“When faced with trying to balance these priorities, schools are forced to ask parents to dig into their pockets for more in activity fees,” McCullough says.

Blame Sports Activity Fees

Much of the increase falls on families with athletically inclined kids. “At schools in our markets, we observed that many are charging participation fees for multiple sports — a change from the prior common practice of capping sports fees to a student’s first sport if a student athlete is on multiple teams,” says Brent Wilder, a Huntington spokesman.

This pay-to-play increase has spiked the average cost to parents, with sports-related fees alone rising to $375 from $200 last year for high schoolers. Again, that’s per kid — rough luck for parents who have more than one student in high school at the same time.

Wilder said a similar trend is playing out in middle schools, albeit at a lower level, with the average sports fee rising from $125 to $175 for each student participating.

Sports fees are even having an impact in elementary school, as more parents demand more time-intensive programs for increasingly younger kids. “Our kids are getting into sports and activities at earlier ages, so they’re progressing faster and more quickly into more organized and more expensive activities,” McCullough says.

Controlling Costs

For parents who are experiencing sticker shock but want their kids to get all of the emotional, social and academic benefits of school extracurricular activities, McCullough has a few suggestions.

Talking to administrators is a good first step: Chances are you’re not the only one feeling a financial pinch from activity fees. Parental feedback can help schools decide if a program is worth keeping or tweaking. If the high prices will leave you strapped, you can also ask if your school has sliding scale fees to help lower-income families cover the costs; many districts do.

Volunteering can also yield a reduction in extracurricular fees, McCullough says. And he encourages parents to check out local listservs or parent networks for used (but still serviceable) sports equipment, musical instruments, and other gear.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on August 12, 2016, 02:48:43 pm
86% of American renters can't afford to become homeowners

86% of American renters don’t have a sufficient credit score or income to afford to buy a home in their local market, according to a new study by Zillow. The US has seen homeownership rates in a steady decline since the 2007 housing bubble collapse; we’re now approaching a 48-year low. The new numbers from Zillow paint a bleak picture about the future of homeownership in the US.

As Americans flock to rentals, the vacancy rate is approaching a 40-year low. Rents have increased 7% between 2001 and 2014 while household incomes dropped 9% over the same period. Nearly 50% of renters in the US are “cost-burdened” by their rent, meaning they spend more than 30% of their pre-tax income on housing.

According to economists at the Urban Institute, 59% of all households formed between 2010 and 2030 will rent their homes; this will create a surge in rental demand that the current market is unable to meet, potentially creating a rental affordability crisis.

A bump in average income and credit scores wouldn’t necessarily reverse the trend, according to Zillow. Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell says the decrease in homeownership in the United States is largely an income problem, but extends beyond that. “When faced with hurdles of high prices and low inventory, first-time homebuyers are renting longer than ever before even if they are qualified to buy,” says Gudell. “This is a conundrum for many young people who move to those cities because of their strong job markets, only to find tight inventory and steep competition standing between them and their dream home.”

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 08, 2016, 05:12:16 pm
A critical US industry is pointing to an economic downturn

If the transportation industry is any indicator — and it usually is — then the economy could be on the brink of a downturn.

When the economy is on the decline, the transportation sector is one of the first things to go. According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), shifts in its index that track train, truck, boat and plane activity occur before shifts in economic growth, leading the wider economy by about four months.

The index has taken a negative turn starting in late 2015 and into the summer of 2016, according to CNBC calculations. While true turning points are usually identified after the fact, the recent downward momentum could signal a similar movement in the economy as a whole.

The freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) combines monthly truck tonnage, air revenue from freight and mail, weekly rail carloads, rail ton-miles, tons moved by water and pipeline transportation into a single indicator. A similar passenger index measures passenger miles and trips by plane, train and public transportation. Both measures have been found to change ahead of the wider economy.

"A very large portion of freight volume consists of raw materials and other intermediate goods, which may be ordered in anticipation of growing activity in the manufacturing sector," BTS analysts wrote in their last historical review of the data.

Conversely, as downstream demand begins to falter, freight shipments also decline. While passenger travel is a consumer service and may be expected to lag or change with the economy, personal and business travel also seem to respond to economic confidence and sometimes leads other indicators.


Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on September 21, 2016, 04:44:54 pm
Is the U.S. election killing the economy?

The matchup between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is the wackiest U.S. election of our lifetimes. It isn't helping the economy

Growth was already off to a lousy start in 2016. Experts predicted a summer rebound, but so far, election concerns are growing and the economic gauges are lagging.

"Ultimately, what will determine whether we have a recession next year is the comfort level Americans have with who occupies the White House in 2017," says Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at The Economic Outlook Group.

Right now, that comfort level is low. Most voters don't like Clinton or Trump, according to "unfavorability ratings" in the polls. In corporate America, there's alarm at how tight the race is now. Many believe Clinton would be better for the economy than Trump, but even with Clinton, CEOs have concerns about how friendly she will be toward businesses.

Just take a look at what CEOs of America's top companies are saying lately.

U.S. businesses are concerned
Nearly 20% of the S&P 500 companies mentioned the presidential election in their latest quarterly earnings call as a red flag.

"It seems as though every time things begin to settle, something else happens, like Brexit or the dynamics of the upcoming U.S. election, to underscore that there's nothing normal about the new normal," said Campbell Soup (CPB) CEO Denise Morrison on July 20.

"There's a presidential election ... I think has some very unique characteristics that could be affecting the mindset of middle America consumers," said Signet Jewelers (SIG) CEO Mark Light on August 25.

"I think the election here in the United States is a level of uncertainty that's probably unsettling consumers right now," said Arthur Peck, CEO of Gap (GPS) on September 7.

The Trump wild card
A simple recipe powers the U.S. economy: People and businesses have to go buy stuff. When they do, America prospers. When they don't, America suffers.

The great fear is that the chaos of the election will cause Americans to keep their wallets shut. It's already happening among CEOs. Yes, businesses are still hiring workers (U.S. job openings are at a record high), but companies aren't spending much on new equipment and research.

This isn't a totally new phenomenon. Research shows a slowdown in so-called "capital expenditures" is common in election years. But Trump is a wild card that's arguably making businesses even more cautious.

"A candidate like Donald Trump is the mother of all uncertainties," says Baumohl. Businesses don't like to make huge investments in uncertain times.

Growth was already slow in 2016
America's economy only grew 1% in the first half of the year, well below the historic average of over 3% (and even below the not so great 2.4% rate of the past two years). A lot of that sluggish growth is blamed on companies holding back on big purchases because of the energy sector slump and Brexit. Now the U.S. election is on everyone's minds.

"The election -- or the circus -- that is being played out is certainly not helping the economy," says economist Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research.

In August, Clinton held a sizable lead. But Trump is the ultimate wild card. The usual models don't seem to fully capture the Trump effect. The race is now again neck-and-neck in key swing states.

"One would have to be foolish NOT to be uncertain," says economist Diane Swonk of DS Economics.

Will Americans keep spending?
The question is whether the American shoppers are also getting spooked. Business spending is important, but individual spending makes up the bulk -- nearly 70% -- of the U.S. economy.

So far this year, consumers have been the bright spot. Americans aren't spending quite as much as the lush pre-recession days, but they still shopping online and in (some) stores. Consumer confidence has rebounded to the highest levels since the crisis.

But in August, retail sales came in far lower than expected. It could just be a blip -- or the beginning of deeper concern moving from businesses to Main Street.

"Between now and [the election,] CEOs and consumers will scale back spending, especially if polls show the race is a tight one," predicts Baumohl of The Economic Outlook Group.

The bottom line is the U.S. -- and global -- economies were already in a mediocre state. The Trump v. Clinton election is only adding to the list of concerns. The Federal Reserve is expected to hold off on raising interest rates today because of the unease (although the Fed doesn't like to admit it takes U.S. politics into account).

"It's only one more ingredient, but, unfortunately, it's an ingredient in a very poor stew," says Swonk of DS Economics.

Title: Re: 40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Be
Post by: Psalm 51:17 on November 09, 2016, 10:50:48 am
What President Trump will mean for your pocketbook

This election cycle has been unprecedented in so many ways, and the result is sure to cause some economic upheaval. When the dust finally settles after Donald Trump's historic win, where will it leave American consumers, Social Security recipients, student loan holders and taxpayers? USA TODAY asked experts about a host of pocketbook issues. Here’s what we learned.

Minimum wage

Based on Trump's campaign positions, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour might rise to $10 an hour, or the decision to raise minimum wages would be left to the states. In short, some workers — those in states that have raised or plan to raise the minimum wage — would see somewhat of a boost, while the rest would see little or no change in their standard of living.


Trump intends to significantly reduce marginal tax rates, increase standard deduction amounts, repeal personal exemptions and cap itemized deductions, according to Bob Williams, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute.  His proposal would cut taxes at all income levels, although the largest benefits, in dollar and percentage terms, would go to the richest households, according to the Tax Policy Center (TPC). According to TPC’s analysis of his tax plan, on average, households throughout the income distribution would see their tax bills go down. But some taxpayers, especially single parents, would see higher taxes.

Student loans

Trump has proposed to cap repayments at 12.5% of a borrower’s income and if borrowers make repayments for 15 years, he would forgive the rest of the debt, according to Third Way. Trump does not offer a plan to make college affordable, according to Carmel Martin, executive VP for policy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund

Paid family and medical leave

Trump plans on guaranteeing six weeks of paid maternity leave, worth an average of $300 weekly. However, he offers no relief for adoptive parents, fathers or caregivers who might be taking care of other family members who are ill, Martin says.

Child care expenses

Trump plans to let working parents deduct child care expenses for up to four children and elderly dependents. He also plans to establish dependent care savings accounts.

Social Security

Trump has proposed no cuts to benefits in Social Security right now, but he might revisit the issue at a later time, according to Third Way. Martin suggested that a proposed 13.5% across-the-board cut in federal spending would result in a cut to Social Security that would reduce the average monthly benefit by $182, from $1,360 in 2017 to $1,177.