economy

A Global House Of Cards

As most Americans, if not the financial media, are aware, Quantitative Easing (a euphemism for printing money) has failed to bring back the US economy.  So why has Japan adopted the policy? 

Since the heavy duty money printing began in 2013, the Japanese yen has fallen 35% against the US dollar, a big cost for a country dependent on energy imports.  Moreover, the Japanese economy has shown no growth in response to the QE stimulus to justify the rising price of imports.

The Ugly Face of Shareholder Value Exposed By Inversions

Something strange is happening to familiar American companies:  Burger King has become Canadian, Pfizer seems to be trying to be British, and Walgreens has backed away from becoming Swiss only because of the outcry over their plan for a new nationality.  Seeing what our companies are willing to do to escape paying income tax, people are beginning to wonder about how American our American companies are.

 

Killing the Economy

The economy has been debilitated by the offshoring of middle class jobs for the benefit of corporate profits and by the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing in order to support a few oversized banks that the government protects from market discipline. Not only does QE distort bond and stock markets, it threatens the value of the dollar and has resulted in manipulation of the gold price.

Federal Reserve's Debbie Downer FOMC Statement

debbiedownerFor those once again thinking they were getting their crack cocaine, quantitative easing, once again they are disappointed.

The FOMC statement showed no change in policy from the Federal Reserve. For the rest of us, the FOMC statement acknowledges our crappy economy.

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June suggests that economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year. Growth in employment has been slow in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated. Business fixed investment has continued to advance. Household spending has been rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year. Despite some further signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has declined since earlier this year, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.

Additionally the Fed doesn't expect things to really improve:

More Dire Reports Show the American Labor Force is in Huge Trouble

U.S. Corporations made record profits in 2011 while regular people went without jobs. A new study from the International Labor Organization shows Corporate Profits are doing fine and back to pre-recession levels. Yet this is at the expense of American workers and investment in America.

The ILO covers labor internationally. From their report, the world of work, there are some dire predictions. Austerity is one thing killing economies. The authors also found no recovery in sight for labor markets. They also realize as do many, except for those who could actually do something, if policies were enacted that were geared towards labor, we would not be in this mess and finally, the high unemployment and never ending income inequality is brewing up a nasty mix of social unrest.

More than half of 106 countries surveyed by the ILO face a growing risk of social unrest and discontent.

Add to that a new report from the Census, in part sponsored by the ,Kauffman Foundation, shows start-up companies are at record lows, 8%, in the United States.

Walmart's Low Prices Bear a High Cost for America

For untold millions, Walmart is not simply a place to shop, but the place. Considering that the quintessential big-box retailer claims to, and often does, offer just about every conventional item necessary for the family at an affordable price, this should be none too surprising.

However, at what cost does this convenience come, and in the grander scheme of things, is what Walmart has to offer really convenience at all? The company’s ownership would most definitely say so, as would throngs of eager consumers. Many economists, social scientists, and former employees, though, have a strikingly different opinion. While one can choose to believe whichever side of the argument he or she likes best, where do the facts lie?

First and foremost, it should be known that every single American taxpayer is essentially footing the bill for Walmart’s mere existence.

According to Reuters, this is because, as a study published last year by the City University of New York’s Hunter College Center for Community Planning showed, company employees receive inadequate health insurance coverage and in turn are left with few other options than to apply for public assistance. Beyond providing a lack of medical benefits, Walmart’s presence in most regions, says the study, "Depresses area wages....pushes out more retail jobs than it creates, and results in more retail vacancies."

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