The Keynesian Economy In One Chart

Submitted by David Stockman via Contra Corner blog,

Sometimes a chart is worth a thousand words, and this is one. Real Median household income peaked way back in 1999 at $56,000 and by 2012 it was down 9% – an unprecedented decline. It goes without saying that Washington’s Keynesian ministrations on the money printing and national debt front didn’t much help.

 

In fact, the Fed’s balance sheet has expanded from $450 billion  to $4.4 trillion during that period or by nearly 10X. Likewise, the national debt has nearly quadrupled  to $17 trillion during the same period.

Well, all this monetary and fiscal profligacy did apparently help in one precinct: Namely, the Washington beltway where median household income reached its all-time high in 2012 (the last year available) of $65,200 and undoubtedly continues to rise. By contrast, 30 states reached their peak real household incomes more than a decade ago, and some reached that point more than two decades back.

The provinces have thus not kept pace with the imperial capital. Not by a long shot.

As also shown in the table below, 30 states have experienced a 10% or more decline since their peak year, and in 10 states the decline has ranged from 19% to 27%. Those figures do not represent merely a dip or even an extended setback. They amount to a devastating shrinkage in the standard of living being experienced by tens of millions of households.

 

Yet the mainstream narrative blathers on that the business cycle expansion is back on track and that last month’s numbers were a tad better than the month before. The table above says that’s all Keynesian bread and circuses – the fleeting uptick interval between the serial bubbles and busts that our Washington overlords have condemned the people to endure.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/RVoR8h Tyler Durden

Coal: A ‘Million Dollar Mile’ Getting Longer In the U.S.

By EconMatters

 

With cheap domestic natural gas prices and tighter environmental regulations, U.S. demand for coal has fallen in recent years. So coal export has become ever more important to domestic coal producers. With accelerating growth in economy and power demand, Asia is the obvious new export target for U.S. coal. U.S. coal shipments outside the country in 2014 are expected to surpass 100 million tons for the third year (see chart below). 

 

Data Source: EIA, U.S. Energy Dept.

 

Further Reading: The Power Race: Coal vs. Gas


East, Pacific Northwest, Gulf?

 

Typically, coal is transported via rail, truck to the port terminal and then exported by large dry bulk cargo ships. But the aging port infrastructure in the U.S. is already struggling with capacity issue. The capacity along the east coast is strained with increasing US coal exports to Europe.

 

Map Source: Platts 

 

Theoretically, Pacific Northwest would be the best location for new coal terminals to serve the booming Asian market. The western region (including the Power River Basin) is the top coal producing area in the U.S. according to the U.S. Energy Dept. However, active environmentalism in Washington and Oregon has managed to block almost every major proposal for now coal terminal.

 

Data Source: EIA, U.S. Energy Dept.

Frustrated, coal producers in the Powder River Basin are willing to pay a higher transit fee to use terminals in Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and British Columbia, Canada. But Canadian ports are also having capacity issue handling the surging coal export volume from the U.S. For now, Gulf of Mexico, where local governments and citizens are friendlier to the traditional energy and fossil-fuel industries, seems the best option where additional capacity in the near-term could be more likely.

 

 

China, Europe or South America?

 

As a result, some U.S. producers have shifted to target markets that are closer, such as Europe and Brazil. Europe is implementing more pollution-control measures on power plants to wean itself from nuclear power after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, as well as natural gas to reduce the supply dependency on Russia. In fact, UK was the top foreign buyer of American coal in 2013.

 

 

 

Increasing Global Coal Demand

 

According to IEA, although U.S. coal demand has dropped to 24-year low, the black rock is still the world’s fastest-growing energy source, forecast to rise 2.3 percent a year through 2018 and is the second-largest source behind oil.

 

World Energy Demand by Fuel

Chart Source: Coal Medium Term Market Outlook 2013, IEA 

 

The coal demand growth is driven mostly by non-OECD countries with China leading the way. China is world’s top coal producer, but the nation is also plagued by dangerous coal mining conditions and transport congestion. So China will continue to need more coal to feed its energy requirement. As long as China’s economy holds up, U.S. coal companies should benefit.

 

 

From NIMBY to NIYBY

 

However, a lot of the upside of coal export hinges on new export capacity gets approved and built in the U.S. and ocean bulk freight stays low.

 

Coal companies are eager to pour money into new terminals. Bloomberg reported that Oakland, California just recently rejected a coal export facility proposed by Bowie Resource Partners LLC despite the promise of ‘thousands’ of new construction jobs and a $3 million-a-year payroll in city. The message from Oakland: “Whatever the economic benefit would’ve been, it wasn’t worth destroying the planet over.” (Note: Oakland’s unemployment rate is higher than that of the national average as well as California.)

 

As the environmental cause has evolved from NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) to NIYBY (Not in Your Back Yard), coal industry needs to address oppositions not only on coal dust from train, but also on potential global climate impact. So even though many producers are hopeful of new export facilities eventually coming online, status-quo seems more likely the near-term outlook.

 

Ocean Freight Could Bite

 

Currently, ocean freight rates are at historical low because of vessel overcapacity. This has allowed US coal to be more competitive in international markets. But freight rate will not stay this low for too long. By then, the U.S. coal will have a difficult time competing with producers in Indonesia, Australia and Russia that are closer to the Asian key markets.

 

According to WSJ, while shipping coal from a U.S. mine to a customer in Asia adds $50 to the per-ton price, Australian producers can get coal from their mines to China and other Asian markets for half that.

 

Near Term Outlook 

 

China will continue to import coal from U.S. mines via Canadian coal terminals operated by companies such as Westshore Terminals Ltd. Westshore has raised its annual handling capacity to 33 million tonnes this year from 24 million tons in 2007 and are sending as much as 3.76 million tons a month abroad.

 

In the U.S., CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX) has some export advantage over peers since the company owns the Baltimore Marine terminal.  Bloomberg noted this is the only terminal wholly owned by a coal company in the U.S.  Other coal companies will have to pay fees to CONSOL to use the terminal with 15 million tons a year capacity.

 

Rail companies like CSX (NYSE: CSX), Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC), and top U.S. coal companies Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), and Arch Coal Inc. (NYSE: ACI) also jointly or individually own a few terminals on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico.

 

Houston-based terminal operator Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMP) last year said it plans to invest more than $450 million in coal terminal expansion projects. That already caused air quality concerns at Houston Ship Channel among local environmentalists. This suggests U.S. Gulf Coast states may seem more accommodating to oil and gas in the past, the coal dust air pollution problem means new coal facilities may still have a tougher time getting approved.

 

A Million Dollar Mile Awaits

 

The recent trend suggests U.S. regulators are increasingly taking into consideration the global-warming impacts of coal pollution problem in Asia as they decide on new coal terminal proposals. But I see the logic more like this: The law of supply and demand means Asia will get its coal (oil and gas) from somewhere else, if not from the U.S., to feed its energy hunger.  Until Asian developing nations get their environmental standards and regulations together, the global warming impact will go on even if U.S. totally bans all energy export to Asia.

 

Bloomberg said CONSOL employees call a long coal train a “million dollar mile,” which is a reference to the cargo’s total value at current prices.  For now, until the coal industry can properly address the coal dust air pollution issue and get approvals for new export capacity, the line for the “Million Dollar Mile” could get even longer.

 

 © EconMatters All Rights Reserved | Facebook | Twitter | Post Alert | Kindle




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1i5sy1y EconMatters

56% Of Recent Black College Graduates Get A Job That Does Not Require A College Degree, CEPR Finds

With everyone focused on what is undisputedly the next mega credit bubble in the form of student loans, which in the most recent quarter hit a record high of over $1.1 trillion, the topic of college education, and specifically its utility, has gotten much press coverage over the past month. As we summarized most recently two days ago, the key variables involved when calculating the costs and benefits revolve around whether one uses (generous amounts) of student loans and what area of specialization one picks. But according to a recent report published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research titled “A College Degree is No Guarantee“, there is another, perhaps more important variable when it comes to getting the most out of one’s college education: race.

As the WSJ reports, “among those with a job in 2013, more than half of black recent college graduates—56%–were in an occupation that typically doesn’t require a college degree, according to a report Tuesday by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning Washington think tank.”

But while one may be inclined to accuse the authors of pandering or, gasp, racism, the reality is almost just as bad for all races:

Among all recent college grads with a job, the rate still was a very high 45%. (The report defines a recent college grad as someone between the ages of 22 and 27 with a four-year degree.)

The follow through from here is logical: upon graduation some 56% of blacks fall into a state defined as “underemployment”, not to be confused with the same term used by the BLS,  “in which college-educated workers aren’t getting high enough salaries to pay off their student debt and achieve a middle-class lifestyle.”

An additional variable, although far less important, is experience: “experience makes a difference, with workers further out of school tending to hold better jobs than recent college graduates. Among all employed black college graduates—regardless of when they earned their degree—about 42% were in a job that didn’t require a degree in 2013. Among all employed college graduates regardless of race, the figure was 35%. The weak labor market comes at a time when young college graduates also are carrying higher debt loads than previous generations to cover rising college costs.”

The punchline, by the CEPR report’s author Janelle Jones (who incidentally is also black, which has no bearing on this topic… which is why we note it):

“Black workers have been told for a generation that the way for you to do better is go to college. These are people who go to college in the face of rising tuition, needing to work to support themselves, not having a family structure. They finish college and then they end up finding a job that job doesn’t end up requiring a degree and pays less than those that do require a degree.”

Well, to be honest Janelle, all workers have been told for a generation, and actually much longer than that, that the way to do better is go to college.

So while we appreciate the study’s conclusion, which is what we expected, namely that nearly half of college graduates end up in jobs that do not require a college education (and certainly do not pay well enough to repay the student loans) and as such the delinquencies on student loans are guaranteed to skyrocket in the coming years, we are amused by yet another attempt to make this into a black, non-black i.e., “race” issue, although we have a very distinct feeling that when the topic of student loan forgiveness (and its monetization by the Fed) becomes the pressing political issue in a couple of years, along racial lines is precisely just how this latest government hand out will be approached.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1gQGQZn Tyler Durden

Is The Economic Recovery Only Statistical?

Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management,

 




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1tlsCkT Tyler Durden

VIX Tumbles To 9-Month Lows Leading Volumeless Stock Surge

Wednesday is the new Tuesday. From the moment equities closed yesterday, they rallied on another macro data-less day. The US open sparked another JPY-based run higher and then the pump-and-dump after FOMC cleared the way for VIX – which closed at its lowest in 9 months (on the day the FOMC warns of complacency concerns) – to lead stocks back to the week's highs. Credit was not as excited – just like Monday (before Tuesday's reality-check for stocks). Goldman took the shine off things late on by explaining to BTFD'ers that "there were no surprises" and stocks faded modestly. Treasury yields closed higher (2-3bps) but rallied post-FOMC. Gold down modestly, USD flat, and WTI crude up to almost $104.

 

VIX… at 9-month lows on the day the Fed said " LOW VOLATILITY IN MARKETS MAY INDICATE COMPLACENCY"

 

The S&P 500 never looked back from yesterday's close…

 

Post-FOMC…

 

As shorts were squeezed once again…

When stocks ran to the highs, it was all VIX…

 

As Bonds and JPY disconnected…

 

 

Just as stocks disconnected from credit in Monday and reconnected on Tuesday, so we saw Wednesday so the same…

 

 

Treasuries rallied post-FOMC (as stocks did)

 

The USD dumped after the FOMC…

 

and here's your day across asset classes…

 

Charts: Bloomberg




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1ogkAHQ Tyler Durden

Martin Armstrong Warns Out Of Control Unions Are The Real Poison Pill Of Western Society

Submitted by Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics blog,

Unions-1960s

Unions have been the real plague of society. There is not much they have not really destroyed. They wiped out New York City as a port. No ships dock in New York City any more. They serious reduced the American auto industry reducing quality that opened the door for foreign cars. The big three US auto manufactures are General Motors (NYSE:GM), with 17.9 percent market share, Ford (NYSE:F), with 15.9 percent market share, and Chrysler, with 11.5 percent market share. That is just 45.3% with the rest going to foreign. Toyota (NYSE:TM) alone has 14.3 percent market share.

The unions are probably worse in Philadelphia than anywhere. They are driving the city’s Convention Center into the brink of bankruptcy because of their arrogant demands. We had to cancel our conference there because we were not allowed to hire a video company that was not local Philadelphia Union. The German film crew that has been making this move would not be allowed to have their own people. We had to cancel and move. When we called the Marriott with just 1 week to the event, they asked why were we cancelling? The unions?

The Construction Unions are basically criminal organizations. They threaten people who do not use union labor and now a bunch of people are getting indicted for such violent activity. These unions have been destroying equipment of competing firms that are not union. They have goon squads that intimidate people.

The days when unions were necessary to ensure working conditions are long gone. There are all sorts of laws in place that unions are no longer necessary. Nevertheless, we are looking at a major rise in civil unrest coming primarily from state unions. These are teachers ro bureaucrats all demanding more and refusing to reduce their demands. This system is just unsustainable. They have attack advertisements in Pennsylvania blaming school violent on cutting teachers. Governor Christie cannot fund the pensions of state workers. When he said the unions have to give back, they said no – they want more.

Roman-Army

The problem is that the only way to pay these unions is to raise taxes. That reduces the disposable income and robs the citizen of their future to fund state workers. It was the unfunded pensions that caused the collapse of the Roman Empire and it wiped out the city of Detroit. More than 50% of tax revenue went to pensions and that means you cannot fund government without it shrinking.

This is the poison pill that will destroy Western Society. This hunt for taxes will destroy the economy and will not save the day in the end game. Just do the math.

 




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1jtBimc Tyler Durden

Don’t Overthink The FOMC Minutes, Goldman Suggests: “There Were No Surprises”

While everyone tries very hard to read between the lines of the Fed minutes with the consensus conclusion being that suddenly (as opposed to previously?) the Fed is confused about what the best exit strategy is, with words such as reverse repos thrown around for dramatic impact even though this topic has been around for nearly a year, the reality is that there was absolutely nothing market moving or material in today’s report (which furthermore reduced the use of the word “weather” from 15 instances in March to just 8 in April although no mentions of El Nino just yet). Here is Goldman’s FOMC minutes post-mortem confirming just this.

From Goldman’s Jan Hatzius

No Major Surprises In April Minutes

BOTTOM LINE: The April FOMC minutes contained no major surprises. There was no news on the likely date of the first funds rate hike or the pace of subsequent hikes, and participants’ views on the economic outlook were unchanged. Participants discussed the exit strategy and were in favor of further testing of policy tools, but no new policy decisions were made.

MAIN POINTS:

1. The April minutes contained no new information on the likely date of the first fed funds rate hike or the pace of subsequent hikes.

2. Participants discussed the exit strategy in a joint meeting of the FOMC and the Board of Governors, but emphasized that this was intended as “prudent planning” and not an indication that normalization would begin soon. Participants were in favor of additional testing of tools including the term deposit facility, but did not make any new policy decisions with respect to the exit strategy. “A number of participants” suggested providing more information about how long reinvestment of Treasuries and MBS will last.

3. “A number of participants” expressed concern that the slowdown in the housing sector could prove persistent. “A couple” of participants specifically mentioned tight lending standards as a concern for the housing market, in line with comments by Fed Chair Janet Yellen during the March press conference.

4. Participants discussed research on the relationship between labor market slack and inflation at length. “A number” of participants argued that the unemployment rate currently understates total labor market slack and “expressed skepticism about recent studies suggesting that long-term unemployment provides less downward pressure on wage and price inflation than short-term unemployment does.” The staff noted that wage growth, import prices, and commodity prices remain soft, and both “most participants” and the staff continued to forecast that inflation will require a few years to return to the 2% target.

5. The Fed staff did not make any major changes to the medium-term economic forecast and continued to view weakness in the early part of Q1 as transitory and largely owing to the unusually cold and snowy winter weather. Participants did not materially change their views on the economic outlook from March either.

6. Participants discussed financial stability concerns, but were generally not concerned about risks from financial imbalances




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1mZCgYH Tyler Durden

Is It A Bird? Is It A Plane? No It’s A Russian ICBM.. Over Iran?

While we are no experts in either geography (did Iran and Kazakhstan just get a lot closer?) or inter-continental ballistic missile identification (was anyone else test-firing nuclear missiles last night), the skies over Iran were glowing last night with what the news agency astrological experts said was "according to previous experiences, guessed to be the final stages of a long-range ballistic missile launcher." This is good news, for Iran, but, according to the Russian Navy blog, they are preparing for another ICBM test-firing next week… so Norway might want to be on the look-out.

 

Strange light in the sky in NorthWest Iran was Russian ICBM, INSA Says

Initial reports Mnttshr late Tuesday night, showed the bright object in the sky at around 21:41 hours on the same period in Tabriz and Urmia Sky and other cities in East and West Azarbaijan, has been observed.

 

Zare true amateurs Urmia said the unidentified object in the vicinity of 30 degrees above the horizon 21 hours and 40 minutes West has seen around June. Witnesses reported that a luminous object shaped tapered tail cone of the cone to the north and the south were targeted.

 

With notice of the cone, and repeat it several times to collect pictures of this phenomenon in the Iranian sky, space science and editorial experts on the nature of space phenomena discovered astronomy.

 

 

 

 

Shahram Yazdanpanah, a space scientist said: "The time compared to the sunset viewing area, shape and appearance of the observed phenomena and observed a large area, leaving no doubt that we have an orbital phenomena, have been. According to previous experiences and observations of a phenomenon that is guessed to tank the final stages of a long-range ballistic missile launchers or space must belong. Place it most likely occurred at much height at which time the night is over, and so there is still sunlight reflected sunlight from the fuel tank gases abandoned, Tuesday evening in the West,'s probably scene daunting Iranian is created. "ballistic missiles, space rockets close to the very structure of the upper atmosphere layers are crossed.

 

Yazdanpanah was founded in response to the phenomenon of Astronomy magazine said: «? according to location, space launchers, the observed phenomenon seems to have been the result of a space-launched ballistic missiles most likely to be the test is related to the Russian

And so while Iran (and Kazakhstan) may now be clear… the Russian Navy has said another ICBM launch is coming…

 

 

 

So maybe looking North this time? Perhaps Norway should lock its doors?




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/Tv6YOV Tyler Durden

I’m A Fiat Slave, And So Are You

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Fiat money is at base a form of indirect wealth transfer from those forced to hold the money to those issuing the money.

I describe the pernicious servitude created by debt as debt serfdom, as serfdom implies a neofeudal arrangement that requires serfs' acceptance of this financial yoke of servitude. In other words, debt is freely accepted as the line of least resistance in a system that incentivizes debt and places high barriers to debt-free independence from a Status Quo operated to benefit the owners and issuers of debt, not the debtors.

Correspondent Jeff W. has identified an even more insidious form of monetary servitude that he calls fiat slavery, as the servitude is enforced by fiat (unbacked government-issued) money.

In other words, being forced to use state-issued fiat currency is a form of servitude, as fiat money is at base a form of indirect wealth transfer from those forced to hold the money to those issuing the money.

Beyond this state-enforced wealth transfer from citizens to the state, there is a secondary wealth transfer going on in any fiat-money system: the neofeudal financial nobility who are closest to the money spigot get to buy whatever real-world assets and income streams offer the best return before the money trickles down to the debt-serfs paying interest and taxes.

For example, the financial nobility can borrow billions of dollars at near-zero interest from the Federal Reserve, and use this nearly-free fiat money to buy student loans that pay 7+% annually. They can also snap up houses for cash that the nobility then rents to debt-serfs who have been outbid by those with the extraordinary advantage of unlimited access to the Fed's nearly-free fiat money.

Here is Jeff's commentary:

 


In a world where every country prints fiat money, the entire human race today, except for its money masters, is subjected to fiat slavery.

Almost everyone understands what it means to be a tax slave. It means that people must work several months of the year for the benefit of the taxing authorities. Taxes in the U.S. today are several times higher than they were 100 years ago, and at present-day tax levels, today’s Americans are rightly called tax slaves.

What it means to be a debt slave is also easy to understand. It means that one must spend a large fraction of one’s time to earn money to pay creditors. Millions of Americans today are mired deeply in debt, but today’s America is also a country where if you personally stay out of debt, the government will go into debt for you.

Each American taxpayer is on the hook for his or her share of over $17 trillion in debt that government admits to; the real debt total is much higher.

 Government leaders are eagerly plunging us ever deeper into debt each year.

Most Americans also have personal experience of being a wage slave. It means that a person has no way to make a living except by selling his labor into a glutted market. Thomas Jefferson hoped that most Americans could own their own farms and thereby profit from capital improvements that they made through their own efforts. Such Americans could be their own bosses and escape wage slavery. But today we live in an age of huge factory farms, and it is more difficult than ever to establish or run any small business. Thus wage slavery is the norm for Americans today.

But few people understand what it means to be a fiat slave. Being a fiat slave means that one lives in a country where the machinery of money printing is used to maximize wealth extraction from its citizens.

How do they maximize the wealth they can extract through money printing? 

First of all, it is done by increasing of the volume of transactions that take place in a given fiat currency. Each newly-printed unit of fiat is a drop in the bucket in terms of the inflation it creates, and more fiat can be printed without causing serious inflation if a country has a bigger bucket.

For example, Canada’s GDP is about 11% the size of America’s. At first glance this might be taken to mean that Americans can print nine times more dollars than Canadians. But we must also remember that U.S. dollars circulate throughout the world, and Eurodollars and petrodollars also add to the total of U.S. dollar transactions.

Because of extraterritorial dollar circulation, the U.S. might actually be able to print 20 times more than Canada without causing serious (in terms of causing political problems for the money printers) inflation. From this we see why money printers may want to fight wars to protect America’s dollar circulation areas in the Middle East or in Afghanistan, where much of the opium trade is transacted in dollars.

But a country’s fiat transaction volume is only part of the equation. A more important part of the equation is the inflation level. Imagine two countries: Country A with an annual fiat transaction volume of 100 trillion units per year and Country B with a volume of 50 trillion. Everything else being equal, Country B can only print half as much fiat each year to give to its government and its banking elite.

But suppose further that the inflation rate in Country A is 5% absent any money printing, and the inflation rate in Country B is negative 2% due to global wage arbitrage, regulatory suppression of small businesses, and high unemployment. Suppose further that a real inflation rate of 5% is the money printers’ upper limit because it is the maximum asset erosion that wealthy bondholders will tolerate. Now we see that potential money printing in Country A is reduced to zero, while potential money printing in Country B is 3.5 trillion units (50 trillion times seven percent).

American money printers thus have trillions of dollars in incentive to support deflationary policies, which may include global wage arbitrage (sending work to the country where labor is cheapest), suppression of job creation by small businesses, suppression of private-sector labor unions, support for open borders immigration, commodity price suppression through market interventions, support for genetically modified seeds so as to push agricultural prices down, support for owners taking a larger share of corporate revenues so as to reduce labor’s share, and support for high levels of consumer debt so as to dampen inflationary pressure in a nation of demoralized debt slaves. All of these oppressive policies enrich the money printers at the citizens' expense.

Tax slavery, debt slavery, wage slavery, and fiat slavery are four methods that elites employ to extract wealth from the people. To this list we should also add their encouragement of Ponzi gambling. Ponzi asset bubbles are constantly being created and citizens are encouraged to go into debt to “cash in” on bubble profits (or get wiped out in bubble crashes). Those five methods are the major wealth extraction methods they use.

Those who support the cause of human freedom must resist tax slavery by insisting on a government that keeps its spending down to the bare basics. Free people must also support a culture that discourages people from getting into debt and encourages them to get out of debt and stay out. They must demand that government debt be rolled back to zero.

Policies that favor capital accumulation in families and a supportive legal environment for small businesses are the antidotes to wage slavery, and free people must also demand that there be zero wealth extraction from the citizens through money printing. That can best be done by requiring 100% gold backing for currency and eliminating fractional reserve banking. 

Eliminating the inflation that comes from money printing will also go a long way toward eliminating asset bubbles and Ponzi gambling on asset bubbles.
Older Americans have watched as a once-free people have been reduced to slave-like conditions. Not only has wealth been ruthlessly extracted from the people, but today’s surveillance state is more intrusive than ever, and the police are increasingly insolent and imperious.

What are we going to do? A necessary first step is to take the blinders off and to see clearly how elites are victimizing you. A second step is to figure out what practical steps you can take as an American to secure the blessings of liberty for yourself and your posterity. Freedom is not free, as the saying goes, and the price of freedom is not only eternal vigilance, but also intelligent action. We should begin this work today. 


Thank you, Jeff, for describing our fiat bondage. Awareness of the sources of wealth transfer and monetary servitude is the first step forward.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/RV1rzC Tyler Durden

Stocks Pump-And-Dump-And-Pump On Fed Minutes; Bonds & Gold Rally

The knee-jerk reaction in JPY (which ran to 101.50 running stops) rippled across stocks (which ran to highs and took out stops), bonds (which ran to high yields of the day and took out stops), and gold (which ran to the week’s lows and took out stops). But that did not last long. With the algos taking a back seat for a moment to real positioning, bonds are rallying, gold is up, the USD is down and equities are unch to down (Russell worst). Credit markets remain weak on the week and (just like Monday) unimpressed by equity’s exuberance.

 

Pump-and-dump-and pump…

 

But credit ain’t buying it again…




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/TuTDpU Tyler Durden