Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Federal Reserve’

Does This Trump-Caused Market Slump Foretell Recession?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Of course, the Stock Market is NOT the economy, but for many, it’s the easiest touchstone to consider approximating the economy. And because most Americans are NOT heavily invested in Wall Street, its performance only nominally and indirectly affects them.

However, for those traders whose livelihood depends upon its gains or losses, such as corporate and investment banks, and brokerage houses, speculators, derivatives traders, hedge and other type funds, and the like, it doesn’t portend well.

And then, Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, while vacationing in Mexico, decided to call on Sunday the CEOs of 6 of the largest banks in America (Brian Moynihan of Bank of America; Michael Corbat of Citi; David Solomon of Goldman Sachs; Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase; James Gorman of Morgan Stanley; and Tim Sloan of Wells Fargo), and then Twitterized it ex post facto. The media managers at Treasury decided to inform the public that… “The CEOs confirmed that they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations. He also confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues, and that the markets continue to function properly.”

The Current White House Occupant is Mad at Mnuchin, and wants to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, ostensibly because Mnuchin told POS45 that Powell would be a good choice for Fed Chairman. That’s according to four anonymous people, who were described by Bloomberg News as being “four people familiar with the matter” and speak “on condition of anonymity.” Where I come from, and live, that’s called cowardice. It might be called something else in Trumpanzeeville.

In the days ahead, POS45 will Read the rest of this entry »

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Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Participation Reports May 2014: Don’t Believe the “Spin”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 8, 2014

This will be of interest to the curious, especially those who seek and search for the truth.

Asserting to cite data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CNS News recently reported that the Labor Force participation rate was at a 36-year low.
The headline to that story reads:
37.2%: Percentage Not in Labor Force Remains at 36-Year High
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/372-percentage-not-labor-force-remains-36-year-high

Upon examination of the BLS website, the data was found to be honest and accurate.
http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

Information on the data set presented is:
Data extracted on: June 8, 2014 (4:07:31 PM)
Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey
Series ID: LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over

Following is the chart as shown on the BLS website:

Chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics of Labor Force Participation, Seasonally adjusted http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

Chart #2: From the Bureau of Labor Statistics of Labor Force Participation, Seasonally adjusted http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000 Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate, age 16+

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the information is accurate – that is, if it accurately represents the thing it purports to represent – then there is a genuine cause for concern, perhaps even alarm. But first, sometimes, information has to pass the “smell test.” If it just doesn’t sound right, dig a little deeper.

However, there is a DEFINITE skew which, when considered, renders the interpretation of the findings questionable, at best.

Since there are TWO separate entities reporting the SAME information, how could it possibly be inaccurate, or incorrect?

Let’s consider further, to determine if such alarm might be genuinely warranted.

Searching for Labor Force Participation Rate datasets from Read the rest of this entry »

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Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” shows improving economy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Federal Reserve regularly publishes a summary of economic activity in the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the United States.

It is important to note that “This document summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.”

Much, if not most of the news was promising.

Summary highlights from this Beige Book 2013-01-16 are that:

• “Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic activity has expanded since the previous Beige Book report, with all twelve Districts characterizing the pace of growth as either modest or moderate.”

• “All twelve districts reported some growth in Read the rest of this entry »

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Taxpayers’ $182B TARP bailout of AIG Now Fully Recovered

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

As the president and others – nonpartisan and partisan alike – have noted, BIG BUSINESS should NOT need a bailout. They should be operated in such a manner as to allow the Free Market to decide how, to what extent, and if they prosper. As part of that process, ironclad and strong regulation to prevent fraud and abuse should be vigorously enforced. And chief executives Read the rest of this entry »

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How to End This Depression

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 29, 2012

It’s been said that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

The distinguished Dr. Krugman – who accurately foretold in 2001 that the “Bush Tax Cuts” would create significant deficit (and they did) – understands the role of government in providing opportunity for entrepreneurs and private enterprise, and the equally important role that government has in responsibility to protect public health and safety.

The long and short of it is this: Government spending on economic infrastructure (including education) is a good investment because it yields significant immediate and long-term results.

Why?

Because Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the private sector.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the aforementioned premise, and the numerous times about which I have written in detail about the same. This entry illustrates with three excellent examples of that principle.

Naysayers and critics miss one very important factor in their analogy, which is that the Federal government has the power and authority to print money. The way that factor relates to the issue at hand is this: While the government could – in theory, and in reality – print enough money to give $10,000 to every man, woman and child in this nation the net effect of so doing would be to devalue the money, which would be resulting from inflation.

How to correct, resolve or work within the guidelines of that factor is to understand that one very important role of government is to provide OPPORTUNITY for entrepreneurs and private enterprise. By providing opportunity, government is also encouraging private enterprise and entrepreneurship. And, for the strict Constitutionalists, courts have continued to uphold and acknowledge that such power is contained within the Preamble’s clause “to promote the general welfare.”

Further, for the “anti-Big Government” naysayers, it is preposterous (contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous) to imagine that, in this era, with every technological advance, invention and discovery which has been made since 1776, and with our population (now approaching 312,000,000), that we would have fewer laws, rules and regulations than when we first began.

And, for those who say we should balance our budget, I would agree. However, I hasten to point out, that the last time that was done was under Eisenhower and LBJ. That does not excuse us from an ongoing civil discussion and debate about how to effectively manage our nation’s budget. Perhaps a formula of some type which would take into account GDP, debt (outstanding Treasury notes), trade deficit, population growth, birth rate, and other factors – with an “escape” mechanism for times of civil emergency or war, of course.

For such, we need technocrats – experts in areas of operations – rather than bureaucrats. Perhaps in an advisory role. But then again, we have those.

So… why don’t we work together as we ought?

Politics.

It seems that “Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.”

How to End This Depression

May 24, 2012

Paul Krugman

The depression we’re in is essentially gratuitous: we don’t need to be suffering so much pain and destroying so many lives. We could end it both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines—anyone, that is, except those who have actually studied the economics of depressed economies and the historical evidence on how policies work in such economies.
Obama in Master Lock factory Milwaukee

President Obama on a tour of the Master Lockfactory in Milwaukee with the company’s senior vice-president, Bon Rice, February 2012; Susan Walsh/AP Images

The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.

But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.

Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.

But some readers will wonder, isn’t a recovery program along the lines I’ve described just out of the question as a political matter? And isn’t advocating such a program a waste of time? My answers to these two questions are: not necessarily, and definitely not. The chances of a real turn in policy, away from the austerity mania of the last few years and toward a renewed focus on job creation, are much better than conventional wisdom would have you believe. And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: Read the rest of this entry »

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Atlanta Federal Reserve: Southeast employment up in May

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 18, 2012

Slowly, but surely, the signs that our nation’s economy is improving are emerging.

They’re not rapid, they’re not massive, but they’re there.

And like a trickle that becomes a raging river, it’s beginning to rain.

District employment increases modestly in May

06/18/2012
Payroll employment 6th district 1/11-5/11

Payroll employment 6th district 1/11-5/11

The Sixth District as a whole added 9,000 jobs in May, following 9,600 new payrolls in April, and 18,900 in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Alabama, Florida, and Georgia recorded payrolls increases while Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee reported payroll decreases. Georgia was primarily responsible for the net positive District increase.

Payroll employment 6th district states 1_11-5_11

Payroll employment 6th district states 1/11-5/11

The District unemployment rate was Read the rest of this entry »

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Federal Inspector General Investigation proves Ron Paul’s claims “Bizarre”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

{Updated annotation 05 April 2012: There is a cost to the “bizarre” accusations made by Rep. Dr. Ron Paul, MD (R-TX) during that Congressional hearing. As a direct result of his accusations, a 16-month long Inspector General investigation was conducted, which undoubtedly cost “we the people,” aka taxpayers, several millions of dollars.}

It’s one thing to say “the moon is made of green cheese.”

It’s an entirely different matter to say it and truly believe it.

In this case, Rep. Dr. Ron Paul, MD (R-TX), believes it.

God help him.

God help us all when kooks like him get elected to any public office.

I rather think this solitary example is proof positive that Rep. Dr. Ron Paul is unfit for office.

Following are various news items referencing the recently released findings.

Along with the news items about the findings is a link to Rep. Dr. Ron Paul’s, MD (R-TX) column hosted on the LewRockwell.com website. Lew Rockwell is another prime example of a kook, who, like Rep. Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX) subscribes to the theories of the “Austrian School of Economics” which – though it’s Mises Institute is headquartered in Auburn, Alabama – has no ties with the city or university located in that town.

{Note to the reader: Throughout this entry, there are numerous links to references and resources about the highlighted items. None of the links are advertising, and most all links refer to entries on Wikipedia, while some refer to original or referenced resources.}

Excerpted from Marketplace, Morning Report, Wednesday, 04 April 2012 – “Fed money played no role in Watergate.

Marketplace’s David Gura is here live from Washington to tell us about something a little juicier. Morning David.

David Gura: Morning Jeremy.

Hobson: So this item, I gather, comes from the Fed’s inspector general?

Gura: That’s right; so we’re learnign about the Fed’s history. First, we learned that the Federal Reserve was not involved in the Watergate burglary back in 1972; the cash used in the scandal did not come through the Federal Reserve. And second, there is no evidence the Fed helped Saddam Hussein, helped Iraq, get billions of dollars to buy weapons in the 80s.

Hobson: OK, all good to know — but why was the inspector general looking into this?

Gura: So, back in February of 2010, Ben Bernanke was testifying before the House Financial Services Committee. And Republican Congressman Ron Paul — one of the Fed’s biggest critics — made these two claims, about the Fed and Watergate, and about the Fed supposedly loaning money to Saddam Hussein.

And this is was Ben Bernanke’s reply, at the hearing back then: Read the rest of this entry »

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A Greece Fire; Thoughtful Commentary on Unthoughtful Commentary

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Greece Fire; Thoughtful Commentary on Unthoughtful Commentary

Having read Mr. Alex Tokarev’s commentary “My big fat Greek bonus” published online May 11, 12:49 PM at http://online.worldmag.com/2010/05/11/my-big-fat-greek-bonus/, I must admit that some of his concerns are, in part, well taken… however poorly expressed. Though he does not adequately support the case for fiscal prudence, the complaints he makes in general terms about fiscal prudence are well-deserved.

Though his straw man argument is inadequately defended, placing exclusive responsibility and blame upon Greek national officials for that nation’s crisis is insufficient, and certainly short sighted. However, his rambling, miasmatic complaints have not fallen upon deaf ears – although they may have fallen upon spirited ones. Excitement, however, must be directed toward a long-term objective, and it is the more broad scope which I think he ignores. While having the ability to direct the nation toward a long-term goal is laudable, he neither cites any governmental mandate. On the whole, after having read his opinion, one might wonder if he were doing little more than expressing infantile frustration, for he certainly offers no potential solution.

The Grecian debt crisis is not due exclusively to what he calls “the bursting of the statist bubble,” “welfare pyramids” or other descriptive pejoratives to describe Grecian governmental services and activities.

Though he decries “irresponsible lenders and borrowers” whom perpetuate “bankrupt political practices,” he attempts to correlate and demean both, describing what he calls a “strong culture of entitlement” as “a beast,” though he never specifically mentions any program, plan, office, group or person.

As colorful and passionate as he may feel about Greece’s problems, he failed to …Continue…

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