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Joined Nov 11, 2007
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Great Fucking Job Yuse (sic) Guys are Doin’

“Public Faith in Congress Falls Again, Hits Historic Low
Of major U.S. institutions, Americans most confident in the military
by Rebecca Riffkin
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ confidence in Congress has sunk to a new low. Seven percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress as an American institution, down from the previous low of 10% in 2013. This confidence is starkly different from the 42% in 1973, the first year Gallup began asking the question.

Confidence in Congress since 1973

These results come from a June 5-8 Gallup poll that updated Americans’ confidence in 17 U.S. institutions that Americans either read about or interact with in government, business, and society.

Americans’ current confidence in Congress is not only the lowest on record, but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend. This is also the first time Gallup has ever measured confidence in a major U.S. institution in the single digits. Currently, 4% of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in Congress, and 3% have quite a lot of confidence. About one-third of Americans report having “some” confidence, while half have “very little,” and another 7% volunteer that they have “none.”

Confidence in Congress has varied over the years, with the highest levels in the low 40% range recorded in the 1970s and again in the mid-1980s. Confidence rose in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but has declined since 2004, culminating in this year’s historic low.

Three in Four Americans Have High Confidence in the Military

The military continues to rank at the top of this year’s list, with 74% of Americans having either a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the institution. Another 20% of Americans have “some” confidence in the military. Seven percent have very little or no confidence. The military has ranked at the top of the list all but one year since 1989. Prior to that, the church or organized religion, now with 45% confidence, typically finished first.

Confidence in Institutions

As is the case with confidence in Congress, Americans’ confidence in many of these institutions has changed over time. The current 74% of Americans who have high levels of confidence in the military is actually lower than it has been in the past. Confidence in the military spiked in March 1991 to 85%, just after the first Persian Gulf War, but fell back through the 1990s. It also spiked in 2002 and 2003, after 9/11, and again in 2009, just before U.S. troops began withdrawing from Iraq.

Still, the current 74% confidence level is significantly higher than the average 67% rating given…”

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It’s Like this Kid

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkzNglaH8mA&feature=youtu.be 450 300]

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Yale’s Robert Shiller: ‘We Should Be Worried About Steep Decline’ in Stocks

“Many investors are nervous that the stock market may soon plunge, and that concern is understandable, says Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller of Yale University.

“We should already be worried about a steep decline,” he tells Forbes. “The market is highly priced, but by my standards not quite as highly priced as it was in 2007.”

Shiller is referring to his cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio, which is based on the last 10 years of earnings. The ratio reached 27 in 2007, when the stock market peaked, and stands at 26.1 now.

“That’s close, and that is a cause for concern,” Shiller argues. “So it might be a time to tilt one’s investments away from the U.S. Don’t get greedy.”

The S&P 500 hasn’t seen a 10 percent correction in 32 months….”

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BMO’s Ablin: Liquidity From Fed, Others Will Likely Push Stocks Higher

“While worries about the U.S. economy and the Iraq conflict may have weighed on stocks in recent sessions, Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, believes the market can resume its ascent.

“Up ’til now, most geopolitical developments, namely Crimea and Ukraine, have had very little impact on the U.S., but now because Iraq and oil are involved — oil prices rising with the potential for higher pump prices crimping demand — that is starting to spill over into the markets,” Ablin told Yahoo.

“Even though we have these issues and the market is relatively expensive, we have an enormous amount of liquidity flowing into the market,” he stated….”

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Study: Top Pay Equals Worst Performance

“Wave goodbye to the theory that top pay guarantees top performance. The highest-paid CEOs are also the worst performers, according to academic research cited by Forbes.

The study shows that CEOs who get paid huge amounts become overconfident and tend to think less critically about their decisions.

“They ignore dis-confirming information and just think that they’re right,” says one of the authors of the study, Michael Cooper of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business.

Editor’s Note:
 5 Signs Stock Market Will Collapse in 2013

“The more CEOs are paid, the worse the firm does over the next three years, as far as stock performance and even accounting performance,” he tells Forbes.

Cooper and two professors, one at Purdue Universtity and the other at the University of Cambridge, studied data from 1,500 companies with the biggest market caps. They were surprised to find that the more CEOs got paid, the worse their companies did.

At the very top, the 5 percent of CEOs who were the highest paid turned in the worst company performance — 15 percent worse than the average. Broadening the view a bit, the top 10 percent of highest-paid CEOS turned in company performance’s that were 10 percent worse than the average.

The highest-paid CEOs apparently tend to think they can do no wrong, or they would not be entrusted with their position and their pay.

“That tends to result in over-investing — investing too much and investing in bad projects that don’t yield positive returns for investors,” Cooper explains.

The study finds that among the top-paid CEOs, 19 percent did mergers and those deals resulted in a negative performance of 1.38 percent during the following three years.

“The returns are almost three times lower for the high-paying firms than the low-paying firms,” Cooper argues. “This wasteful spending destroys shareholder value.”

The study also reveals….”

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Interest Rates Remain Unch, FOMC Leave Markets with No Real Direction

“The Federal Reserve has released its latest monetary policy decision. Mostly it was a non event, as the Fed is not indicating a quicker pace of rate hikes, despite improving unemployment and inflation data.

The Fed kept interest rates between 0% and 0.25%, and took another $10 billion off its monthly asset purchases.

The Fed also released its latest Summary of Economic Projections, which includes an updated version of its “Dot Plot,” and it looks like the FOMC has no idea where interest rates are going.

The Dot Plot shows what various members of the FOMC are predicting for the path of future rate hikes. It’s a forecast.

The latest version of its Dot Plot shows an even wider dispersion among where FOMC members believe interest rates will be, both at the end of the next three years and over the longer run. In other words, there’s no consensus about what’s going to happen with interest rates. It’s anyone’s guess.

Here’s the latest Dot Plot, followed by the previous Dot Plot from March…..”

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More commentary on the economy

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State of the Union: What It’s Like

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmyqdxBKvH4 450 300]

We’ve all seen a man at the liquor store beggin’ for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dread-locked, and full of mange
He asks a man for what he could spare, with shame in his eyes
“Get a job, you fucking slob,” is all he replies
God forbid, you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues

Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom that said he was in love
He said, “Don’t worry about a thing, baby doll
I’m the man you’ve been dreaming of”
But 3 months later, he say he won’t date her or return her calls
And she swear, “Goddamn, if I find that man, I’m cuttin’ off his balls”

And then she heads for the clinic
And she gets some static walking through the door
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner
And they call her a whore
God forbid, you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to choose

Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like

I’ve seen a rich man beg, I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry, I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin, I heard an honest man lie
I’ve seen the good side of bad and the downside of up
And everything between

I licked the silver spoon, drank from the golden cup
And smoked the finest green
I stroked the fattest dimes at least a couple of times
Before I broke their heart
You know where it ends, yo, it usually depends on where you start

I knew this kid named Max
Who used to get fat stacks out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late
He liked to get shit-faced and keep the pace with thugs

Until late one night, there was a big old fight and Max lost his head
He pulled out his chrome .45, talked some shit, and wound up dead
Now his wife and his kids are caught in the midst of all of this pain
You know it comes that way
At least that’s what they say when you play the game
God forbid, you ever had to wake up to hear the news
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose

Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like
Then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose

 

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No Change is Expected From the FOMC, Inflation Could Change Outcome in the NEar Fututre

“The Federal Reserve received some further cause for discussion at its policy meeting this week with a report of a surprising jump in consumer inflation.

Yet most economists aren’t altering their view that the Fed’s first interest rate increase is at least a year away. Analysts cautioned that that time frame could change if inflation were to accelerate. The consumer price index rose 0.4 percent in May, the government said, and has risen 2.1 percent over the past 12 months — roughly at the level of the Fed’s target rate for inflation.

It’s why the Fed might actually welcome the news of slightly higher inflation: It will help ease long-standing concerns that inflation might be too low. For the past two years, inflation by one key measure has remained under the Fed’s 2 percent target.

“I don’t think the Fed is going to express concern about the May price increase,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors.

When the Fed issues a statement Wednesday after its meeting ends and updates its economic forecasts, and then Chair Janet Yellen holds a news conference, investors will be seeking clues about when short-term rates will finally rise. They will also be looking for hints about how and when the Fed will start unloading its vast investment holdings…..”

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A Minuscule Rise in Mortgage Rates Slams Applications by 9.2%

“It didn’t take much to keep potential borrowers away from their mortgage lenders last week—a minimal rise in rates sent volume tumbling 9.2 percent on week, seasonally adjusted, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Applications to refinance a loan fell 13 percent on week, while applications to purchase a home fell 5 percent on week and are now 15 percent below the volume seen a year ago.

“Interest rates increased relative to the previous week, as incoming economic data continues to suggest a pickup in the pace of growth,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist….”

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The Military Industrial Complex Wins Again

“Recall a week ago we wrote “US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq’s Air Force” in which we said:

… the US will deliver the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in what Baghdad’s envoy to the United States called a “new chapter” in his country’s ability to defend its vast borders with Iran and other neighbors.

….the US earlier in March provided Iraq with some 100 Hellfire missiles as well as assault rifles and other ammunition. Then in April the US sent more arms, providing Iraq with 11 million rounds of ammunition and other supplies.

It is unknown how many of these have fallen into Al Qaeda/ISIS hands (we do know that at least one Iraqi Black Hawk chopper was captured during the rush for Mosul). What is known is that as PBS Frontline reported two weeks ago, while the administration has denied arming Syrian “rebels”, i.e. the same ISIS militants that have crossed the border and are now fighting in Iraq…

… the reality is that it has. From: “Obama Says Not Arming Syrian Rebels, Syrian Rebels Say He Is

… the Syrian rebels themselves say they are already armed and trained by US in the use of sophisticated weapons and fighting techniques, including, one rebel said, “how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.” The interviews are the latest evidence that after more than three years of warfare, the United States has stepped up the provision of lethal aid to the rebels, as PBS notes “it appears the Obama administration is allowing select groups of rebels to receive US-made anti-tank missiles.”

The commander of the unit also told Ali that their American contacts had asked him to bring 80 to 90 members of his unit to Ankara for training.

One of the fighters said they received three weeks of training in how to conduct ambushes, conduct raids and use their weapons. They also said they received new uniforms and boots.

“They trained us to ambush regime or enemy vehicles and cut off the road,” said the fighter, who is identified only as “Hussein.” “They also trained us on how to attack a vehicle, raid it, retrieve information or weapons and munitions, and how to finish off soldiers still alive after an ambush.”

To summarize: the US was arming and training the same Al Qaeda/ISIS groups of Jihadists, that it concurrently gave Iraq weapons to fight…..”

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State of the Union: I Get By

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXLmt6i-hBY 450 300]

Government man keep calling my house
Talking ‘bout I owe, harassing my spouse
Gotta park my truck on another block
Cause the sub-prime loan got my ass in hockGotta couple good friends with helping hands
I need a brand new job with a health care plan
They closed the plant, they stole my job
Told me crime don’t pay unless you ask the mob

So I smoke a little grass, drink a little wine
Watch a little tube, try to kill a little time
And every single day I fall a little more behind
But I’m paying it no mind, it’ll all be fine

[Chorus:]
I get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by
I laugh not to cry
I stay a little high
I ain’t gonna lie
I barely get by
I laugh not to cry
I stay a little high
I ain’t gonna lie (got it good)

Party people in the place to be
Put your hands in the sky if you barely getting by
It’s on and on till the brake of dawn
Got to keep the rent paid and the power on

Yes yes y’all and it never stops
I don’t trust the government, I don’t trust no cops
We dip and we dive and we socialize
We struggle and we strive just to stay alive

I get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by (got it good, got it good)

When I finally get home I can’t relax
Cause I’ve been over worked and I’ve been over taxed
My bank accounts empty, all my cards are maxed
And I ain’t looking for no pity, I’m just stating the facts

I voted for some change and it’s kinda strange
“No” it’s all I got in my pocket
I bought a few led’s, now I’m growing some trees
And it’s a sweet fucking hustle don’t knock it

I told y’all before I would break the law
To put some food in my baby girl’s belly
Cause the senator man took a bribe in hand
And went and shipped my job to New Delhi

[Chorus:]
I get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by
I laugh not to cry
I stay a little high
I ain’t gonna lie
I barely get by
I laugh not to cry
I stay a little high
I ain’t gonna lie (got it good)

Party people in the place to be
Put your hands in the sky if you barely getting by
It’s on and on till the brake of dawn
Got to keep the rent paid and the power on
Yes yes y’all and it never stops
I don’t trust the government
I don’t trust no cops
I dip and I dive and I socialize
I struggle and I strive just to stay alive

[Chorus:]
I get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by (got it good, got it good)
I barely get by
I laugh not to cry
I stay a little high
I ain’t gonna lie
I barely get by
I laugh not to cry
I stay a little high
I ain’t gonna lie (got it good)

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Five Gauges That Could Signal a Stock-Market Correction

“Stocks have scored decent gains this year, with the S&P 500 minting 19 records to date. That has prompted some market participants to call for the S&P SPX  to hit 2,000 in 2014.

But it’s just when investors start to feel complacent that they should turn around and consider the chance of a correction, according to Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management.

“Throughout this year, our best guess has been to expect the S&P 500 to reach as high as the 2000ish level sometime this year, but for the stock market to also experience a correction at some point perhaps ending the year about where it began,” he wrote in a note. “Since the stock market is closing in on the 2000ish level, it’s time to consider whether it will simply continue higher throughout this year, or if in the second half, the stock market finally struggles with a more difficult environment?”

Of course, there’s no immediate risk of a correction, he says. But that could all change quickly. He lays out five gauges to watch for that could signal correction pressures in the market:

1. More aggressive stock-market gains: The S&P has traded mostly in a 100 to 125 point range around its uptrend since the beginning of 2013. That’s a “controlled and methodical” upward move, Paulsen said. These gains need to accelerate to a more unsustainable pace in order for the risk of a correction to increase, he said.

Wells Capital Management

2.  Decline in correction calls: Even as stocks have gained this year, stock-market bears have continued to broadcast their views about the likelihood of a correction. While that has slowed somewhat — investors are more comfortable than at any time in this recovery, Paulsen said — there isn’t a broad feeling of euphoria. “For correction risk to truly become elevated, most have to believe a correction is not likely,” he wrote….”

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Related article: Is the Bull Market Topping 

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S&P: China Over Takes U.S. as Coporations Borrow Over $14 Trillion

“The Chinese corporate bond market has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest and is set to soak up a third of global company debt needs over the next five years, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s, underscoring the growing risk China’s debt market is imposing on the global financial system.

Chinese corporate borrowers owed $14.2 trillion at the end of 2013 versus $13.1 trillion owed by U.S. corporations with the switch in rankings taking place a year earlier than it had expected, S&P said on Monday.

The Asia-Pacific region, led by China, is seen accounting for half of global corporate debt financing needs of $60 trillion over the five-year period to 2018 when the region will account for more than half the projected total debt outstanding of $72 trillion.

China, the world’s second-largest economy is currently financing a quarter to a third of its corporate debt through its shadow banking sector and this had global implications, S&P said.

“This means that as much as 10 percent of global corporate debt is exposed to the risk of a contraction in China’s informal banking sector,” the agency said, estimating this at $4 trillion to $5 trillion. “With China’s economy likely to grow at a nominal 10 percent per year over the next five years, this amount can only increase.”

Cash flows and leverage at Chinese corporations are the worst among global peers, having deteriorated from being the best in 2009, according to a corporate financial risk trend measure used by Standard & Poor’s….”

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Welcome to FOMC Week

“It’s FOMC week.

On Wednesday, the Fed will give its next policy update. Its widely expected to continuing its “tapering” of monthly asset purchases by $10 billion, which is the pace that it’s been going on.

The best preview is from economist Tim Duy, whose post you should read here.

But we wanted to pull out two of Tim’s charts, because they’re particularly important.

The first shows the trajectory of the unemployment rate vs. what economists estimate as the “natural” rate of unemployment, if the economy were operating at full capacity.

 

 

 

The next chart shows inflation against the Fed’s stated goals…..”

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Black Gold Expected to Top $116 or More on Iraq Tensions, Au Rises as Well

“Brent Crude was projected by Wall Street analysts to average as much as $116 a barrel by the end of the year. Now, with violence escalating in Iraq, how far the price will rise has become anyone’s guess.

The international benchmark surged above $114 on June 13 for the first time in nine months as militants routed the Iraqi army in the north and advanced toward Baghdad, threatening to ignite a civil war. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL, has halted repairs to the pipeline from the Kirkuk oil field to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey.

The conflict threatens output in OPEC’s second-biggest crude producer. The Persian Gulf country is forecast to provide 60 percent of the group’s growth for the rest of this decade, the International Energy Agency said June 13. Global consumption will “increase sharply” in the last quarter of this year and OPEC will need to pump more oil to help meet the demand, according to forecasts from the Paris-based IEA.

“We’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop in this tightly balanced market and now it’s happened,” Katherine Spector, a commodities strategist at CIBC World Markets Inc. in New York, said June 13 by phone. “There have been lurking risks but nobody was projecting how quickly things would turn worse.”

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Families arrive at a Kurdish checkpoint next to a temporary displacement camp in Kalak,… Read More

Rising Prices

Brent for August settlement rose as much as 82 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $113.28 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange today.

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Gold on the Rise

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Sandy Hook Redux: Obama Officials Confirm That it Was a Drill and No Children Died

” “I have a lot of sources in regards to as to what’s going on with the president and the administration and so on, and every one of my sources said it was a false flag”--Paul Preston

Paul Preston

Paul Preston

Sofia Smallstorm, who produced and directed the documentary, “Unraveling Sandy Hook”, which many regard as the best video study of the Sandy Hook event, recently interviewed a Los Angeles school expert, Paul Preston, about Sandy Hook and his knowledge of what had transpired.

Governor Malloy had held a press conference that day, explaining that he and the Lt. Governor had been “spoken to” that something like this might happen, which raised the question, what “something like this” did he mean? Had he been told a school shooting massacre would take place? or a drill that would be presented as a real event, which appears to be what took place?

Remarkably, we now have confirmation from an unexpected source. Paul Preston had obtained information from officials in the U.S. Department of Education of the Barack Obama administration, who confirmed to him on the basis of their own personal knowledge that:

(1) it had been a drill;

(2) no children had been killed; and,

(3) it had been done to promote an anti-gun agenda.

Given his background of 41 years in the California public school system (from custodian to district superintendent) and having served as a teacher, coach, vice-principal and principal before retiring in 2012 as the superintendent of two charter schools, I thought what he had to say about Sandy Hook deserved widespread dissemination.

So when did a two-hour show on Revolution Radio, “False Flags (9/11, Sandy Hook and the Boston bombing)” on 30 May 2014, as the third segment, I included the second 30-minutes of Sofia’s interview with Paul Preston, which is archived on “The Real Deal” and can be heard here…”

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