Listen To This Week’s Radio Show 3-27-15

Listen to this week’s “The Financial Physician” radio show. -Lou

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33 Strange Facts About America That Most Americans Would Be Shocked To Learn

Another great piece from Michael Snyder.-Lou

33 Strange Facts About America That Most Americans Would Be Shocked To Learn

Michael Snyder, Economic Collapse Blog

Did you know that about one-fourth of the entire global prison population is in the United States?  Did you know that Apple has more money than the U.S. Treasury?  Did you know that if you have no debt and also have 10 dollars in your wallet that you are wealthier than 25 percent of all Americans?  Did you know that by the time an American child reaches the age of 18, that child will have seen approximately 40,000 murders on television?  There are some things that are great about the United States, and there are definitely some things that are not so great.  Once upon a time we were the most loved and most respected nation on the entire planet, but those days are long gone. 

We have wrecked our economy, we have lost our values and we have fumbled away our future.  But if you look close enough, you can still see many of the things that once made this country a shining beacon to the rest of the world.  This article includes some weird facts, some fun facts, but also some very troubling facts.  It has been said that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and hopefully as people enjoy reading the fun facts in this article they will also take note of the more serious facts.  If we are ever going to change course as a nation, we need to come to grips with just how far we have fallen.

The following are 33 strange facts about America that most Americans would be shocked to learn…

#1 The amount of cement that China used from 2011 to 2013 was greater than the total amount of cement that the United States used during the entire 20th century.

#2 In more than half of all U.S. states, the highest paid public employee in the state is a football coach.

#3 It costs the U.S. government 1.8 cents to mint a penny and 9.4 cents to mint a nickel.

#4 Almost half of all Americans (47 percent) do not put a single penny out of their paychecks into savings.

#5 In 2014, police in the United States killed 1,100 people.  During that same year, police in Canada killed 14 people, police in China killed 12 people and police in Germany didn’t kill anyone at all.

#6 The state of Alaska is 429 times larger than the state of Rhode Island is.  But Rhode Island has a significantly larger population than Alaska does.

#7 Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the other 49 U.S. states put together.

#8 The city of Juneau, Alaska is about 3,000 square miles in size.  It is actually larger than the entire state of Delaware.

#9 When LBJ’s “War on Poverty” began, less than 10 percent of all U.S. children were growing up in single parent households.  Today, that number has skyrocketed to 33 percent.

#10 In 1950, less than 5 percent of all babies in America were born to unmarried parents.  Today, that number is over 40 percent.

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10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis

I touched on this during this week’s radio show.-Lou

10 Charts Which Show We Are Much Worse Off Than Just Before The Last Economic Crisis

Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If you believe that ignorance is bliss, you might not want to read this article.  I am going to dispel the notion that there has been any sort of “economic recovery”, and I am going to show that we are much worse off than we were just prior to the last economic crisis.  If you go back to 2007, people were feeling really good about things.  Houses were being flipped like crazy, the stock market was booming and unemployment was relatively low.  But then the financial crisis of 2008 struck, and for a while it felt like the world was coming to an end.

Of course it didn’t come to an end – it was just the first wave of our problems.  The waves that come next are going to be the ones that really wipe us out.  Unfortunately, because we have experienced a few years of relative stability, many Americans have become convinced that Barack Obama, Janet Yellen and the rest of the folks in Washington D.C. have fixed whatever problems caused the last crisis.  Even though all of the numbers are screaming otherwise, there are millions upon millions of people out there that truly believe that everything is going to be okay somehow.  We never seem to learn from the past, and when this next economic downturn strikes it is going to do an astonishing amount of damage because we are already in a significantly weakened state from the last one.

For each of the charts that I am about to share with you, I want you to focus on the last shaded gray bar on each chart which represents the last recession.  As you will see, our economic problems are significantly worse than they were just before the financial crisis of 2008.  That means that we are far less equipped to handle a major economic crisis than we were the last time.

#1 The National Debt

Just prior to the last recession, the U.S. national debt was a bit above 9 trillion dollars.  Since that time, it has nearly doubled.  So does that make us better off or worse off?  The answer, of course, is obvious.  And even though Barack Obama promises that “deficits are under control”, more than a trillion dollars was added to the national debt in fiscal year 2014.  What we are doing to future generations by burdening them with so much debt is beyond criminal.  And so what does Barack Obama want to do now?  He wants to ramp up government spending and increase the debt even faster.  This is something that I covered in my previous article entitled “Barack Obama Says That What America Really Needs Is Lots More Debt“.

Presentation National Debt

#2 Total Debt

Over the past 40 years, the total amount of debt in the United States has skyrocketed to astronomical heights.  We have become a “buy now, pay later” society with devastating consequences.  Back in 1975, our total debt level was sitting at about 2.5 trillion dollars.  Just prior to the last recession, it was sitting at about 50 trillion dollars, and today we are rapidly closing in on 60 trillion dollars.

Presentation Credit Market Instruments

#3 The Velocity Of Money

When an economy is healthy, money tends to change hands and circulate through the system quite rapidly.  So it makes sense that the velocity of money fell dramatically during the last recession.  But why has it kept going down since then?

Presentation Velocity Of M2

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Listen To This Week’s Radio Show

Today I discuss The Federal Reserve’s muddled statement on when they are going to raise rates. Boy they have painted themselves into the corner.-Lou

 

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Nearly At “Full Employment”? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie

It’s all lies and propaganda, welcome to George Orwell’s”1984″.-Lou

Nearly At “Full Employment”? 10 Reasons Why The Unemployment Numbers Are A Massive Lie

Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

On Friday, we learned that the official “unemployment rate” has fallen to 5.5 percent. Since an unemployment rate of 5 percent is considered to be “full employment” by many economists, many in the mainstream media took this as a sign that the U.S. economy has almost fully “recovered” since the last recession.  In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, some Federal Reserve officials believe that “the U.S. economy is already at full employment“.  But how can this possibly be?  It certainly does not square with reality.  Personally, I know people that have been struggling with unemployment for years and that still cannot find a decent job.  And I get emails from readers all the time that are heartbroken because they are suffering through extended periods of unemployment.

So what in the world is going on?  How can the government be telling us that we are nearly at “full employment” when so many people can’t find work?  Could it be possible that the government numbers are misleading?

It is my contention that the official “unemployment rate” has become so politicized and so manipulated that it is essentially meaningless at this point.  The following are 10 reasons why…

#1 Since February 2008, the size of the U.S. population has grown by 16.8 million people, but the number of full-time jobs has actually decreased by 140,000.

#2 The percentage of working age Americans that have a job right now is still about the same as it was during the depths of the last recession.  Posted below is a chart that shows how the employment-population ratio has changed since the beginning of the decade.  Does this look like a full-blown “employment recovery” to you?…

Employment Population Ratio 2015

#3 The primary reason for the decline in the official “unemployment rate” is the fact that the government now considers millions upon millions of long-term unemployed workers to “no longer be in the labor force”.  Just check out the following numbers

The number of Americans participating in the labor force has been on a decline for the past few years. Nearly 33 percent of the Americans above age 16 are not part of the workforce, the highest number since 1978. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report issued recently has found 92,898,000 Americans above age 16 not a part of the labor force of the country as on February 2015.

When President Obama took over the office in January 2009, nearly 80,529,000 Americans were not a part of the labor force. The number has increase by nearly 12 million over the last few years.

#4 Over the past couple of years, the labor force participation rate in this country has been hovering near mutli-decade lows

The labor force participation rate hovered between 62.9 percent and 62.7 percent in the eleven months from April 2014 through February, and has been 62.9 percent or lower in 13 of the 17 months since October 2013.

Prior to that, the last time the rate was below 63 percent was 37 years ago, in March 1978 when it was 62.8 percent, the same rate it was in February.

#5 When you add the number of “officially unemployed” Americans (8.7 million) to the number of Americans “not in the labor force” (92.9 million), you get a grand total of 101.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.  Does that sound like “full employment” to you?

#6 The quality of our jobs continues to decline.  Right now, only 44 percent of U.S. adults are employed for 30 or more hours each week.

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Don’t Be Fooled by the Federal Reserve’s Anti-Audit Propaganda

This piece from Ron Paul fits in well with the first half of my radio show last Friday (A must listen ).-Lou

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Don’t Be Fooled by the Federal Reserve’s Anti-Audit Propaganda

 

Ron Paul Institute
In recent weeks, the Federal Reserve and its apologists in Congress and the media have launched numerous attacks on the Audit the Fed legislation. These attacks amount to nothing more than distortions about the effects and intent of the audit bill.

Fed apologists continue to claim that the Audit the Fed bill will somehow limit the Federal Reserve’s independence. Yet neither Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen nor any other opponent of the audit bill has ever been able to identify any provision of the bill giving Congress power to dictate monetary policy. The only way this argument makes sense is if the simple act of increasing transparency somehow infringes on the Fed’s independence.

This argument is also flawed since the Federal Reserve has never been independent from political pressure. As economists Daniel Smith and Peter Boettke put it in their paper “An Episodic History of Modern Fed Independence,” the Federal Reserve “regularly accommodates debt, succumbs to political pressures, and follows bureaucratic tendencies, compromising the Fed’s operational independence.”

The most infamous example of a Federal Reserve chair bowing to political pressure is the way Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns tailored monetary policy to accommodate President Richard Nixon’s demands for low interest rates. Nixon and Burns were even recorded mocking the idea of Federal Reserve independence.

Nixon is not the only president to pressure a Federal Reserve chair to tailor monetary policy to the president’s political needs. In the fifties, President Dwight Eisenhower pressured Fed Chairman William Martin to either resign or increase the money supply. Martin eventually gave in to Ike’s wishes for cheap money. During the nineties, Alan Greenspan was accused by many political and financial experts — including then-Federal Reserve Board Member Alan Blinder — of tailoring Federal Reserve policies to help President Bill Clinton.

Some Federal Reserve apologists make the contradictory claim that the audit bill is not only dangerous, but it is also unnecessary since the Fed is already audited. It is true that the Federal Reserve is subject to some limited financial audits, but these audits only reveal the amount of assets on the Fed’s balance sheets. The Audit the Fed bill will reveal what was purchased, when it was acquired, and why it was acquired.

Perhaps the real reason the Federal Reserve fears a full audit can be revealed by examining the one-time audit of the Federal Reserve’s response to the financial crisis authorized by the Dodd-Frank law. This audit found that between 2007 and 2010 the Federal Reserve committed over $16 trillion — more than four times the annual budget of the United States — to foreign central banks and politically influential private companies. Can anyone doubt a full audit would show similar instances of the Fed acting to benefit the political and economic elites?

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“Joe Legal” and “Jose Illegal”

I found this in my email box yesterday.-Lou

worker

 

A Farm Worker Picking Raspberries

You have two families:
“Joe Legal” and “Jose
Illegal”. Both families have two parents, two
children, and live in California ..

Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security
Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social
Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash “under the
table”.

Ready? Now pay
attention….

Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per
week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state
and federal tax;
Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per
week, or $31,200.0 0 per year.
Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has
$31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited
coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00
per year.
Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage
through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals
at a cost of $0.00 per year.
Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for
food stamps or welfare.
Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or
$6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible
for food stamps, WIC and welfare.
Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or
$14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has 9,631 .00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent
Subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per
month, or $6,000.00 per year.
Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car
insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance.
Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, “We don’t need no
stinkin’ insurance!” and still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay
utilities, gasoline, etc..

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay
utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country
every month..

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part
time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with
his family.

Joe Legal’s and Jose Illegal’s children
both attend the same elementary school.
Joe Legal pays for his children’s lunches, while
Jose Illegal’s children get a government
sponsored lunch.
Jose Illegal’s children have an after school ESL
program. Joe Legal’s children go
home.

Now, when they reach
college age,
Joe Legal’s kids may not get into a State School
and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other
tuition help, even though
Joe has been paying for State Schools through his
taxes, while Jose Illegal’s
kids “go to the head of the class” because
they are a minority.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same
police and fire services, but
Joe paid for them and Jose did not
pay.

If you vote for or
support any politician that supports illegal aliens… You
are part of the problem!

We need to keep this
going–we need to make changes ASAP!

It’s way PAST time
to take a stand for America and Americans!

Dreaming Of Summer

Which picture of my yard do you think was snapped today?-Lou

 

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The Fed Loaned $6 Trillion to Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in Back Door Bailout

Wall Street and the Fed are out of control.-Lou

The Fed Loaned $6 Trillion to Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in Back Door Bailout

From: Wall Street On Parade

Yesterday, the Senate Banking Committee held the first of its hearings on widespread demands to reform the Federal Reserve to make it more transparent and accountable.

Senator Elizabeth Warren put her finger on the pulse of the growing public outrage over how the Federal Reserve conducts much of its operations in secret and appears to frequently succumb to the desires of Wall Street to the detriment of the public interest. Warren addressed the secret loans that the Fed made to Wall Street during the financial crisis as follows:

“During the financial crisis, Congress bailed out the big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money; and that’s a lot of money. But the biggest money for the biggest banks was never voted on by Congress. Instead, between 2007 and 2009, the Fed provided over $13 trillion in emergency lending to just a handful of large financial institutions. That’s nearly 20 times the amount authorized in the TARP bailout.

“Now, let’s be clear, those Fed loans were a bailout too. Nearly all the money went to too-big-to-fail institutions. For example, in one emergency lending program, the Fed put out $9 trillion and over two-thirds of the money went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

“Those loans were made available at rock bottom interest rates – in many cases under 1 percent. And the loans could be continuously rolled over so they were effectively available for an average of about two years.”

One of the key reasons that the Fed wanted to keep this information buried from the public is that Citigroup was insolvent during the period it was receiving loans from the Fed.

There is also growing distrust of how some Fed personnel appear to cozy up to Wall Street. During Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee a week earlier, Senator Warren severely criticized the actions of Scott Alvarez, the General Counsel of the Federal Reserve. Warren said Alvarez had delivered a speech before the American Bar Association challenging Dodd-Frank’s so-called push-out rule that would bar insured depository banks from holding dangerous derivatives and swaps on their books. Not long thereafter, Citigroup slipped a repeal of the provision into the must-pass spending bill that would keep the government running through this September.

Warren noted that the Dodd-Frank legislation was passed in 2010 but the Fed had stalled the implementation of the push-out rule until 2016 – long enough for Citigroup to eventually have it repealed, a feat which it has now accomplished.

Warren also revealed that Alvarez was stonewalling her office in making his findings public on his investigation into a leak of information from a September 2012 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The Senator noted that Wall Street firms can make significant profits trading on leaked FOMC information ahead of public disclosure. Warren said the public was still waiting two and a half years later for Alvarez to disclose the details of what occurred.

One of the four panelists at the hearing, Peter Conti-Brown, an Academic Fellow at Stanford Law School whose forthcoming book, The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve, will be published by Princeton University Press, also weighed in on the Fed’s General Counsel. Conti-Brown said in his written statement:

“…while other general counsels at administrative agencies are not subject to presidential appointment, the Fed’s chief lawyer makes judgments of extraordinary importance that are unlikely to ever be subject to judicial review. Courts have made clear for eighty years that they will not review the Fed’s decision about monetary policy, including when those decisions require novel interpretations of law. And in the crisis, emergency decisions were made that have been effectively removed from judicial review, including violations of state corporate law and issues raised by the Constitution. While judicial review still occurs in many of the Fed’s regulatory determinations, in places where value judgments are of the most consequence, the Fed’s lawyer is the first and last word on what the law allows or forbids. For this reason, the Fed’s chief lawyer should be a presidential appointment…”

Given the public’s disgust with President Obama’s Wall Street appointments, this hardly seems like a solution that will curry favor with the citizenry. A far more pragmatic solution would be to strip the Fed of any regulatory role and let it get back to its Congressional mandate of setting monetary policy.

In answer to a question on regulatory capture at the Federal Reserve banks, Conti-Brown said “the very idea that bankers are selecting their regulator – not through Congress but directly through the exercise of vote should give us all pause…How could the Reserve Bank presidents do anything but dance with the one that brung them.” (Dodd-Frank eliminated the ability of Class A Directors which consist of banking interests to vote on the selection of the regional Fed Bank Presidents. However, Class A Directors elect three Class B Directors who do get to vote on the selection of the Bank President along with Class C Directors who are chosen by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.)

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