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One-third of working Americans support two-thirds of the population

One-third of working Americans support two-thirds of the population: The hidden figures of those not in the labor force and transfer payments

There still seems to be little acknowledgement of the massive army of people now falling into the category labeled as not in the labor force. Some of this growth is predictable like many older Americans hitting retirement age. But this only explains a small portion of the change since many older Americans are needing to work much longer since they have paltry retirement savings. The unemployment rate dropping dramatically has largely been driven by this category expanding and labor force participation is at generational lows. You also have spending growing in the form of military, Medicare, and Social Security that are now eating up a larger portion of the budget. Deficit spending continues to occur in the face of a booming economy. Why? The math shows that one-third of private sector workers are supporting two-thirds of the population. We have over 92 million Americans that are now part of the not in the labor force category. Let us dig into the numbers even further since some tend to think this is only happening because of older baby boomers.

Not in the labor force demographics – not just old people

People tend to think that those in the not in the labor force category are largely older people. That is true but we’ve seen a large growth of those in their prime working years landing in this category. That is not a good thing. We’re also seeing more students go to college which is positive as long as you are not going into massive debt and are pursuing a quality education. Sadly, many are going into deep debt for a mediocre education.

Let us look at the not in the labor force category carefully:

Not-in-Labor-Force-Demographics

Source: BLS, Jobenomics Blog

This is a very high number of people not in the labor force. Nearly one-third of the country falls in this category. And what we find is more older people are making up a larger portion of the labor force.

Labor force participation rates – the boost in unemployment figures

There has been some dramatic shifts to the labor force. Take a look at the following chart:

Labor-Force-Participation-By-Age

Source: BLS, Jobenomics Blog

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‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery

I suspected the PPTs involvement in the dramatic market turn last week. Free markets don’t change direction and sentiment at the drop of a dime. John Crudele of The New York Post is one of only a few financial commentators that actually will expose market manipulation and Wall Street’s devious and fraudulent practices.-Lou ‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery ‘Plunge protection’ behind market’s sudden recovery John Crudele NY Post Mysterious forces were trying their best, but they couldn’t keep the stock market from swooning Wednesday. They failed in the morning, despite massive purchases of stock index futures contracts. Within minutes of the market’s opening, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 350 points. Later in the day — after a lot of shocking ebb and flow — the Dow bottomed out with a decline of 460 points. It was only in the last hour of trading that the market saviors managed to trim the Dow loss to just 173 points. And they succeeded only after Janet Yellen’s private, upbeat remarks about the economy were leaked. Welcome to a new kind of stock market — one that the average investor should refuse to be invested in. Anyone whose investments tightly track the major indices is now losing money since the beginning of 2014. The Dow is down 1.1 percent on the year, with the S&P and Nasdaq up 3 percent for 2014. Just for the record, I’ve been telling you for years that the stock market was in a bubble and that you should enjoy it while it lasts because bubbles always pop. Of course, if you could time the end of the bubble you’d be doing quite well. Miss the end and you are back to where you started. Or worse off in terms of confidence and finances. I obviously don’t know whether we are now seeing the end of the current stock-market bubble, during which the S&P index has risen 102 percent since October 2008. But there are people like my friend Peter Grandich of Trinity Financial, who has been excellent at predicting market corrections in the past and who thinks this is the end. I already brought up the sensitive issue of a market crash in a column on Oct. 9 that began: “Is this the month the stock market will crash?” October is historically a spooky month for stocks and in that column I rattled off the crashes and major price corrections of 1929, ’78, ’79, ’87, ’89 and 2008 to prove it. Will 2014 soon be added to that list? That’ll be the cliffhanger in today’s column. More…

The Stock Market Is In A Danger Zone

The S & P 500 has broken the 200 day moving average. The risk in stocks is very high. -Lou

What breaking the 200-day moving average for stocks really means

 

click on chart to enlarge chart

Whats Going On In Financial Markets

Census Bureau Worker Blows The Whistle On The Employment Report

What have I been telling you for years? I don’t trust the accuracy of any government economic report.-Lou

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Census Bureau Worker Blows The Whistle On The Employment Report

NY Post

John Crudele

A field supervisor in the Census Bureau’s Denver region has informed her organization’s higher-ups, the head of the Commerce Department and congressional investigators that she believes economic data collected by her office is being falsified.

And this whistleblower — who asked that I not identify her — said her bosses in Denver ignored her warnings even after she provided details of wrongdoing by three different survey takers.

The three continued to collect data even after she reported them.

When I spoke with this whistleblower earlier this year as part of my investigation of Census, she told me that hundreds of interviews that go into the Labor Department’s unemployment rate and inflation surveys would miraculously be completed just hours before deadline.

The implication was that someone with the ability to fill in the blanks on incomplete surveys was doing just that.

The Denver whistleblower also provided to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform the names of other Census workers who can spill the beans about data fraud in other regions.

Census is broken up into six regions. Cheating has already been proven in the Philadelphia region. And with this whistleblower’s letter, Census authorities now have allegations that the same kind of nonsense was going on in Denver — that office covers Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming

The Oversight Committee recently completed a report along with the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that verified one case of falsification in the Philly office. But the committee said it couldn’t prove or disprove that there was a nationwide pattern of data fraud because Commerce — which oversees Census — had “obstructed” its investigation.

“There are serious issues within the Census Bureau Denver regional office management and I feel it’s time that you are made aware of them,” the whistleblower wrote on Sept. 30 to Penny Pritzker, the head of Commerce, and Wayne Hatcher, associate director of Census Field operations.

More…

 

Important Gold Points From

The view on gold from my friends at Canadian Mine Analysis.-Lou

gold

 

Important Gold Points, our view October 9, 2014

 

1-Gold representation as a percentage of total assets held by large institutions and by various investment funds is still quite low and has been dropping, yet on the other side are the world’s central banks that have been consistent buyers of the bullion. As you are aware, it is not easy to purchase gold bullion in large volume without moving the price up, having it delivered and stored safely. You may want to ask the Germans about the storage! The bottom line is that we expect to see more non-central bank institutions investing in gold mining stocks in order to participate in a potential bull market in gold. That method will be their proxy for gold investments. As you know, buying gold bullion in size without moving the price up can be very difficult.

2- Understand well that the central bankers such as the Chinese are presently trying to accumulate as much gold bullion as possible at prices as low as possible. Price weakness in the price of gold affords them the opportunity to accumulate gold at what they consider to be undervalued price levels. Unlike mining analysts and mining companies who lament low gold prices, the central bankers consider price weakness as opportunities to buy when bullion is “on sale.”

3-Still required? Yes required! For a strong bull market in gold and gold mining stocks, our historical analysis (and the analysis of others as well) suggests that at the same time, we would need to see a bear market in the large industrial stock market such as the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 500. With near zero interest rates it is very difficult to see a bear market in the industrial stocks for now.

4-The large buyers of gold bullion who are the central banks are not emotional but extremely well informed and attempt to time their bullion purchases using fundamental supply and demand analysis. They also use technical and cyclical analysis. Too often, the investing public, traders and some hedge funds can be far too emotional and engage in chasing and pushing the gold stocks up. Patient accumulation is a key ingredient to successful investing in mining stocks.

5-Technical Analysis! At Canadianmineanalysis.com, we like to see the gold price move up in a slow solid pattern, not “spike” type moves which usually indicates emotional buying. Slow prudent buying is the key. The angle of price ascent depicted on the chart is so important. Last March 18, 2014 on Canadianmineanalysis.com, I did not like the move from $1200 to the $1375 level. This is exactly what I wrote: “Examine a gold chart, you will find that when gold bullion has a move up of about $200 or more within a short span of three months or less, it will usually come back minimally in the amount of 30% to 50% of its upmove.” It certainly came back and more so didn’t it?

6-Is the price of gold manipulated? We sure think so. It is difficult for the world’s bond markets to maintain interest rates at near 1% to 3% if the gold market is in a bull phase. And keep in mind that large brokerage houses DO NOT want a bull market in gold as it brings with it a bear market or at best a very lethargic market in industrial stocks. A bear market in large industrial stocks has a severely negative impact on brokerage house profitability. There is a low level of profitability for the brokerage houses in the mining sector stocks.

7-Last summer of 2013, I suggested that gold bullion was making a bottom since it was selling under the cost of production for many gold mining companies; that has an enormous impact on the supply of gold. Remember that we are in a supply and demand business! That “cost of production” is a very important ingredient in a bottom. I saw that an analyst recently forecast gold is heading to $660. Maybe, but I have always looked at the cost of production. I doubt that gold would sell at about half the cost of production. Rest assured that the Chinese and Indians would take advantage of the low prices.

8-In keeping with their tradition of often offering pitifully poor investment advice, the major American brokerage houses will continue to impart the worst advice possible for the gold and gold mining stocks. They have a superb track record for doing just that. That will never change.

9- Are Gold stocks cheap? In our opinion, many of them are right now. True to form, many of the brokerage house recommendations will come after most of their “picks” have already had moves up on average of over 40%.

10- Canadian Mine Analysis.com will soon release a short booklet on gold mining which will explain the basics of gold mining exploration and production for investors. It will try to convey informative facts on the fundamentals involved in mining. It will give investors a solid overview of gold mining

JP Morgan Chase hack: 4 steps you must do now

If you have an account with JP Morgan Chase you must take the following action. I don’t have an account at that firm in the first place, hey but that’s me, I don’t like to do business with a company fined over $23 billion last year for fraudulent business practices.-Lou

JPMorgan-Chase-Bank-Headquarters

 

JP Morgan Chase hack: 4 steps you must do now

Fox News – JP Morgan Chase Bank has revealed that 76 million household accounts, along with 7 million business accounts, were compromised in a recent cyber-attack. This attack ranks among the largest ever disclosed. Details indicate the hack occurred during June and July this past summer.

What we know

The breach affects everyone who visited the company’s websites, including Chase.com, or used its mobile app during June and July of 2014.

Customer names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses were taken. This doesn’t sound like much but it’s enough for scammers to have a field day.

JP Morgan Chase says that there is no evidence that account information for such affected customers – account numbers, passwords, user IDs, dates of birth or Social Security numbers – was compromised during this attack.

4 steps you must do now

If you bank with JP Morgan Chase – and this hack could actually affect 83 million people – I recommend the following:

1. Change your online and mobile app passwords and PINs for your debit and credit cards. Click here for tricks on creating strong passwords you won’t forget. Be sure to update your personal security questions and answers too. This is important. Change your passwords on any other online account that used the same user names or passwords as your JP Morgan account.

2. Watch all your accounts like a hawk! In fact, set up text alerts to let you know about unusual activity – learn how to do that here. In some previous hack attacks, the victims were hit with small charges of just a few dollars to not attract too much attention.

3. If you notice any unusual activity on your accounts, contact your bank immediately and request new debit or credit card.

4. You’re likely to get email supposedly coming from Chase. If you get any email that asks you to click a link or download a file, it’s a scam and delete it right away. Click here to learn how to spot these email scams.

Whoever is behind this attack went through a tremendous effort to hack about 90 different servers deep inside JP Morgan Chase. Even with a new debit card, you might not be safe. Hackers have other ways to steal your information. Click here for the five riskiest places to swipe your debit card.

Hackers’ Attack Cracked 10 Financial Firms in Major Assault

ISIS, Ebola in America, stock market volatility, Secret Service missteps, and now major financial firms being hacked……kinda makes one feel uneasy. Crazy times are coming.-Lou

cyber-security-05152013

Hackers’ Attack Cracked 10 Financial Firms in Major Assault

NYT-The huge cyberattack on JPMorgan Chase that touched more than 83 million households and businesses was one of the most serious computer intrusions into an American corporation. But it could have been much worse.

Questions over who the hackers are and the approach of their attack concern government and industry officials. Also troubling is that about nine other financial institutions — a number that has not been previously reported — were also infiltrated by the same group of overseas hackers, according to people briefed on the matter. The hackers are thought to be operating from Russia and appear to have at least loose connections with officials of the Russian government, the people briefed on the matter said.

It is unclear whether the other intrusions, at banks and brokerage firms, were as deep as the one that JPMorgan disclosed on Thursday. The identities of the other institutions could not be immediately learned.

The breadth of the attacks — and the lack of clarity about whether it was an effort to steal from accounts or to demonstrate that the hackers could penetrate even the best-protected American financial institutions — has left Washington intelligence officials and policy makers far more concerned than they have let on publicly. Some American officials speculate that the breach was intended to send a message to Wall Street and the United States about the vulnerability of the digital network of one of the world’s most important banking institutions.

“It could be in retaliation for the sanctions” placed on Russia, one senior official briefed on the intelligence said. “But it could be mixed motives — to steal if they can, or to sell whatever information they could glean.”

The JPMorgan hackers burrowed into the digital network of the bank and went down a path that gave them access to information about the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of account holders. They never made it into where the more critical financial information and personal information are stored.

The bank’s security team, which first discovered the attack in late July, managed to block the hackers before they could compromise the most sensitive information about tens of millions of JPMorgan customers, said several security experts and others briefed on the matter. The attack was not completely halted until the middle of August and it was only in recent days that the bank began to tally its full extent.

American officials say they have been working with JPMorgan since the intrusion was detected, chiefly through the Treasury, the Secret Service and intelligence agencies that seek to find the source of the attacks. But that is slow work and one official cautioned against leaping to conclusions about the identities or the motives of the attackers.

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Downsize Your Life at Retirement

Today’s column for Physician’s Money Digest.-Lou

downsizing-a-property

Downsize Your Life at Retirement

Louis G. Scatigna, CFP | Friday, October 03, 2014

For many people, retirement is the Promised Land. It’s a time they always dreamed of when they no longer have to work and will finally have time to do as they please. To reach their goal, they played by the book: they saved, invested, and built up nice retirement funds. Now, after years of putting their families first, they get to focus on themselves and do what they want. Or so they think.

Retirees often struggle because retirement can be a dramatic change. It’s not just trading a career for a life of leisure, action for inaction, and large paychecks for smaller dividends. It can involve less excitement, responsibilities, challenges, growth, and prestige. All of a sudden, you’re not so busy or constantly making important decisions. You’re no longer in the center of all the action, but on the sidelines, out of the game. You’re not surrounded by dynamic, stimulating people who you like and admire and not doing what you are so expert at.

To ease the transition, many people try to keep other aspects of their lives at the same level they enjoyed when they were working and their incomes were at their peaks. To fill the gaps, they try to live full, wonderful lives by remaining active, eating well, taking courses, entertaining, and traveling.

When you retire, your life will be different, you won’t have the same needs. So it’s essential to make adjustments so you can get the most out of your life. Since your income will be reduced, downsize the parts of your life that you no longer need. Downsizing will save you money, time, and aggravation.

The most important item to downsize is your home, because in retirement, housing expenses are usually the largest item in your budget. When you retire, your choice of housing will determine your lifestyle. The lower your housing costs, the more money you will have available for other things.

Most retirees don’t need to live in big houses with lots of rooms; it can be an expensive luxury. The bigger the home, the more it costs to maintain. Plus, it takes much more work, which many retirees can no longer do. In addition to larger mortgage payments or rents, bigger homes usually have higher property taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance, and utility costs.

The money for those additional costs could be used to improve your lifestyle during your retirement years.

Although downsizing their homes will improve their financial health, many retirees can’t make the move. They’re comfortable in their homes and may have strong emotional ties and wonderful memories. For years, their home was the center of their lives, the nest where they raised their family and the scene of many memorable events. They know all their neighbors and consider them friends.

Many retirees spent years improving their homes and making them exactly the way they wanted. They landscaped, planted trees, and added extra rooms. Frequently, they did a lot of the work themselves. Now that their homes are finally completed, they don’t want to leave. Many feel deeply rooted and too old to move. So they stay put.
Unfortunately, many retirees are trapped in their expensive homes. After they pay their living expenses, they have no money left to enjoy anything else in their lives.

If retirees downsize by selling their homes and buying or renting smaller, less expensive ones, it can free substantial amounts of money that they can invest to generate income. Since many have lived in their homes for years, they have built up a lot of equity that can be earning money for them.

When my father retired, my parents had the choice to continue living in the family home or moving to a smaller residence. Had they stayed in their house, virtually all of their income would have been spent paying for and maintaining their home. It would have cut down on what they could do and they would never have been able to travel or expand their lives.

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