27 January 2015
“My hunch is that no one talks about the birth and death rates of American business because Wall Street and the White House, no matter which party occupies the latter, are two gigantic institutions of persuasion. The White House needs to keep you in the game because their political party needs your vote. Wall Street needs the stock market to boom, even if that boom is fueled by illusion.”
As Pam and Russ Martens note in their recent article below, "Wall Street’s overarching function today is that of an institutionalized wealth transfer mechanism, propped up by compromised regulators and a dysfunctional Congress."
This is a terrific article, right on point, getting the bigger picture that almost all economic writers are missing, or failing to state in a clear and direct manner without mincing words. The moneyed interests are not beneficent wealth creators doing God's work and creating jobs and value. These are more like white collar criminals who are able to bend the law to their will, acting like parasites on the real economy.
THEY are 'too big to fail,' and you are 'too little to matter,' except as a convenient source of their income.
The financial sector is a utility function in a healthy, sustainable, and productive economy. But in our misdirected mania to establish and maintain the global dollar supremacy in our pride and power, we have turned a utility function into a top priority and the central focus of the economy, to our own ultimate misfortune.
Our society is out of balance and distorted as a result. Corporations take precedence over people, and money directs the course of public policy and foreign entanglements, to its own ends. And the people are left to suffer.
The decline and stagnation of America coincides with the rise of an outsized and increasingly corrupt financial sector, that is misdirecting resources and gaming the savings and efforts of the great mass of the people, reallocating money to it own wasteful purposes.
As such, the Fed is not only being wasteful with their QE programs, they are actually being counterproductive by propping up a corrupt and harmful financial system that is a major impediment to economic recovery and progress. This is the lesson of the lost decades of Japan, and we are not only repeating them here, but are strongly influencing and urging their adoption in Europe.
And shame on the liberal economists, who will promote stimulus of any sort in their ideological fervor, and cheerlead the results along with the White House, without being mindful that stimulus in itself is not a good thing, if it stimulates the wrong things. QE is not an effective means of stimulus for the real economy, but it is a windfall and a sinecure for the financial sector and the one percent.
People and the real economy need jobs and higher real wages, but not increasingly powerful Banks for which they are prey. Aggregate demand will stimulate jobs and wages, but not government handouts to the wealthy, who will chase hot money scams and monopolies before sharing their wealth with employees and productive investments.
The privileged and fortunate have an age old model of feudalism in mind: lords and serfs. And if the financial elite have their way, the looting, surveillance, and repression will continue, until exhaustion or collapse.
Their greed knows no bounds, and is never satisfied. Power and pride have their own imperatives: better to be a lord in a kind of hell, than just another servant, even in heaven.
History has shown, again and again, how pernicious the corruption can become once the abuse of power takes root in a system. And how hard it finally falls.
People cannot work harder and save faster than the financiers and their politicians can steal their capital, misdirecting it into scams, frivolous 'innovations,' unjust taxes and subsidies, and ultimately into their own financial machine where it enables even more scams, corruption, and malinvestments.
And reform cannot happen in a system where the moneyed interests vet the presidential candidates in advance, for whom they will allow you the privilege of voting, whipped up into an enthusiasm by the emotional directed messages of their corporate media. Vote for Red! No, you fool, vote for Blue!
The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery.
Evidence Grows Showing Wall Street as a Negative Economic ForceBy Pam Martens and Russ MartensJanuary 27, 2015Wall Street’s overarching function today is that of an institutionalized wealth transfer mechanism, propped up by compromised regulators and a dysfunctional Congress. As the PBS program Frontline reported in 2013, if your work career spans 50 years and you receive the historic return of 7 percent on stocks in your 401(k) plan, the 2 percent typical fee charged by Wall Street mutual funds will gobble up almost two-thirds of your account.The Frontline program was called The Retirement Gamble. Wall Street On Parade checked the math and found this was not a gamble but a certainty: 'under a 2 percent 401(k) fee structure, almost two-thirds of your working life will go toward paying obscene compensation to Wall Street; a little over one-third will benefit your family – and that’s before paying taxes on withdrawals to Uncle Sam.'"
Related: Wall Street's Threat to the Middle Class - Reich
26 January 2015
“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged against provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.”James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1798
The big tickle in the Big Apple today is the gathering storm.
No, not the significance of the Greek elections, in which the people who founded democracy have emphatically said 'enough' to an oppressive austerity by the central planners of the EU and the Troika.
The storm they are concerned with is the odd convergence of two storms of nature, that have sent a chill across the northeast, an impressively sudden drop in the barometer, and an approaching mass of low pressure and humidity making its way up from the southwest, scheduled to arrive late this evening.
I hear the NYSE is pledging to remain open tomorrow. Since there is no storm surge to speak of, to short out the financial robots, and not many people are required to take the non-operating subways, trains, and roadways into work, it may very well be 'ok' tomorrow.
Do algos dream of electronic sheep?
The anticipated hit on the metals ahead of the option expiration on the Comex tomorrow came in on schedule, unlike the thousands of flights that are cancelling their inbound arrivals into New York and Boston.
Let's see if the wiseguys can continue to press their will on the global bullion markets. The formations on the charts are not set for a trend change just yet. There may be time to kick the can of rehypothetical reckoning down the road for yet another month.
Have a pleasant evening.
Posted by Jesse at 4:29 PM
Stocks shook off the Greek elections today, and managed to recover their earlier losses from the overnight futures and this morning, in what be called by some as a 'bit of bravado.'
After the bell Microsoft came out with a slight beat to inline on revenues, depending on who you asked. But the earnings were hard to sort out with all the special charges, yada yada. The stock was selling off after hours.
Microsoft is most decidedly NOT cool again on a technical front. Their phone operating software is a bloated pig blowing chunks, and their Surface is submerged. Old fogies like me may still use their stuff, but it is not gaining much tractions with the younger set, except perhaps for the Xbox. Microsoft overall is an aging monopoly, and they have not yet made the transition to profitable and sustainable growth, except for the Xbox.
I will not even say anything about the absurdity of much of the 'journalism' on the financial news networks today, except to note that since he left NYC as Mayor, Michael Bloomberg has been taking a very hands on, personal and detailed attention to the shape and stories offered by his news network. It is telling that he has no background in journalism at any level, and apparently not much respect for it either, since he views the news arm of his business as a means to sell more of his stock trading terminals. No wonder his TV operation has come to resemble The View for the one percent.
Be that as it may, Davos Man sees the Greeks as no threat to the status quo of Europe. At least not for now. But could it be that plans are being made? As Inequality Soars, Nervous Super-Rich Already Planning Their Escapes
Speaking of escapes, I hope our café friends have been able to extricate themselves from their workplaces in the northeastern cities, to find a warm refuge from the approaching blizzard in the warmth and heart of their homes.
Le proprietaire and she-who-must-be-treasured are safely ensconced in the somewhat distant foothills of Metropolis, and are snuggling down for what looks to be a rather blustery 24 hours. Coffee and bakery is being served, after a hearty entrée of home made raviolis and salads.
Have a pleasant evening.
Posted by Jesse at 4:19 PM
'Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall staythese criminal bankers and stock market riggers from theswift completion of their appointed rounds.'
Update on Monday evening: It appears the storm center is slipping further east, and so the worst of the storm will miss NJ and NYC. The worst wind and snowfall will be hitting eastern Long Island and New England.
In discussing this with some friends and students of meteorology, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty about how far to the West that the major impact of this storm will go.
The problem is that the storm is fairly delineated, and a difference of 25 to 50 miles for the path of the storm center will make a significant difference for NJ and even NYC with regard to winds and snow totals.
But it appears that plans are proceeding, and things are being battened down for the snow and potentially damaging winds.
Mayor DeBlasio just announced that all non-emergency vehicles will be banned from the roadways after 11 PM. Schools closed tomorrow. Parks closing at 6 PM because of danger from falling branches.
New Jersey Transit is stopping commuter train service at 10 PM tonight.
We urge New Yorkers to stay home and stay safe tonight. governor.ny.gov #blizzardof2015
"This is not a situation that should be taken lightly. It could be a matter of life and death. Caution is required." #blizzardof2015
Jan. 26, 2015
We are considering a travel ban on all main roads at 11pm tonight. Decision will be made at 4pm. governor.ny.gov #Blizzardof2015
Jan. 26, 2015
Update on NYC Subway system operations. There will be limited service after 7pm. #blizzardof2015 snpy.tv/15CAFD1
Jan. 26, 2015
.@NYGovCuomo asking all non-essential state employees to leave work before 3 p.m. #blizzardof2015 #NYCblizzard
Jan. 26, 2015
There will be limited @MTA subway service after 7pm. We are anticipating closing @MetroNorth and @LIRR at 11pm. #Blizzardof2015
Posted by Jesse at 12:53 PM