It’s been a phenomenal circus, the screaming and hollering on all sides about the “fiscal cliff,” in the media, from lawmakers, from chieftains of our industries, particularly those that feed at the government’s big trough, such as defense contractors, which include some of the largest global corporations. Even NPR this morning postulated that it would cause a million job losses. Hysteria comes to mind.
Contributed by G. Edward Griffin. Is the Federal Reserve really doing such a bad job… or does it actually do exactly what it's supposed to do, but the average American is in the dark about what that is? In this explosive video, G. Edward Griffin talks about the Fed's real role in the US economy and why – contrary to common belief – it is not this banking cartel's mission to act in the best interest of the American public.
A Greek economist’s terse sarcasm: “GDP has decreased by €47 billion in the last five years. Economy is expected to contract by 3.8% in 2013, the 6th straight year of recession! Unemployment has reached 24.7%. Youth unemployment... 55.4%! No worries though—we have the sun, the sea, our cultural background.” And GOLD.
Contributed by Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD. In July, Japan set a premium price for solar energy that was three times the rate of conventional power. This meant utility companies would be paid three times more for electricity sourced from solar. That premium will ignite the use of solar power – and solar uses a lot of silver.
When an acquaintance of mine in Greece had dinner with one of his relatives, a ranking official at the Bank of Greece, the discussion inevitably came around to the Troika—the bailout and austerity gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF—and how Greece should send them packing. “Of course,” the central banker said, “it would help considerably if we actually had a functioning government these past 182 years.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has a singular problem: 84% of all voters have “little” or “no” confidence in him. The fate of Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, leader of the opposition Socialist party, is even worse: 90% of all voters distrust him! Those are the two top political figures of the two major political parties, and the utterly frustrated and disillusioned Spaniards are defenestrating them both.
Contributed by Blankfiend, of Fibs and Waves. Jens Weidmann, President of the German Bundesbank, has been vocal in his dissent of the ECB’s Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program. Is he doing this just to be a thorn in Draghi's side, or does he have further plans that may go beyond just talking?
Contributed by Chriss Street. President “Houdini’s” miraculous creation of 873,000 jobs in September magically drove down the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.8%. The last time a similar jobs increase appeared was June of 1983 when the economy grew at an astronomical 9.3% annual rate. But behind the smoke and mirrors is the President’s July suspension of the “workfare” requirements for welfare recipients.
Contributed by Casey Research. There's a belief among certain economists that if the government takes a more active role in the economy, the social outcome can be improved. Dr. Lacy Hunt, executive VP of Hoisington Investment Management, says it's a false belief… and he has proof to back it up. An unprecedented buildup of debt, he shows, can only lead to one outcome: a drop in Americans' standard of living.
Deceptive calm and optimism have settled on the German financial markets. But Germany, after hyperventilating for two years about its superior economic model, is worried about exports. And Chancellor Merkel about the elections next year. It would be a heck of a lot easier to hang on to power if Germany isn’t in a deep recession because exports dried up. And they are drying up. But suddenly, domestic demand is getting hit.
It started on September 19. In several East German states, a lot of children and adolescents fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea. A week later, it was officially acknowledged as a foodborne illness. And now is has become the largest wave of food poisoning ever recorded in Germany.
Cypriot President Christofias dug in his heels. On Greek TV. Not behind closed doors with the Troika, the austerity gang from the European Commission, the IMF, and the ECB that have performed such miracles in Greece. But as Cyprus veers toward bankruptcy, his game of playing the Russians against the Troika has fallen apart, banks are in worse condition than imagined, and the bailout amounts jumped again.
Contributed by Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner. Federal Withholding Tax collections for September were strong. That implied the BLS nonfarm payrolls data to be released Friday should beat consensus expectations. But there are problems with both the withholding tax data, and especially the BLS data, that make the market’s focus on the jobs numbers just a little insane.
The French government is trying to reign in its deficit by jacking up taxes, including the capital gains tax—an old philosophical pillar of the French left. But an explosive essay published last Friday hit a nerve with entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, artisans, and mom-and-pop business owners. And their anger, which spread across the social media, the papers, and finally TV news, turned into an open revolt.
The final amount that the US government owes at the end of fiscal 2012 (September 30) is, drumroll, $16,159,487,013,300. It owes it, in no particular order, to the Saudis, US citizens, the Social Security Trust Fund, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Russians.... It amounts to about 103% of GDP. An earsplitting hangover from a debt binge that robbed the future. But there are winners.
Despite the current hype about the recovery in California, the manufacturing index suddenly collapsed. And with the star of California, Venture Capital, facing a “dismal fundraising climate,” funding for startups might soon dry up.
Contributed by Chriss Street. In thirty years, historians will mark the assassination of America’s Ambassador to Libya on September 11, 2012 as a more important event than the terrorist attacks in 2001. On “9-11,” the United States’ self-appointed role to provide peace in the Western World as the only military super-power was challenged for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eleven years later, on “9-11 Squared”, that role was terminated.
The Paris auto show should have been exciting. Over 100 new models from econo-boxes to exotic prototypes. Chicks next to some of them. Nausea-inducing colors, downsized motors. Something for everyone. But it had been preceded by supplier events loaded with the dire verbiage of an industry on a death march. Particularly in France, whose private sector is veering into economic fiasco. And on Monday, it became official.
Contributed by George Dorgan. The second biggest hedge fund of the world, the Swiss National Bank, will lose against the biggest hedge fund, namely the global conglomerate of Swiss companies. They earn money everywhere in the world and repatriates profits to the safety of the franc. But what Standard and Poor's published last week on the SNB, and for which it wanted news agencies to pay at least $400, was not even worth a penny.
There is little that would rock the oil world more than a revolution in Saudi Arabia. But with a coming leadership crisis, it is becoming all too likely. Saudi is facing major economic challenges as dramatic increases in social spending and domestic fuel consumption eat through the kingdom's all-important oil revenues. Is a 1973-style oil crisis about to engulf the entire world?