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The State of the Economy

The State of the Economy

The Federal Reserve and plunge safety workforce will rig the markets for the mega-rich till the US dollar loses its position as world reserve foreign money.

The story line goes out that the economic growth is weakening and the Federal Reserve has to get the printing press operating again. The Fed makes use of the cash to buy bonds, which drives up the prices of bonds and lowers the interest rate. The idea is that the lower rate of interest encourages shopper spending and enterprise investment and that this improve in shopper and business spending leads to more output and employment.

The Federal Reserve, European Central Financial institution, and Financial institution of England have been wedded to this coverage for a decade, and the Japanese for longer, without stimulating business funding. Quite than borrowing at low rates of interest so as to make investments more, firms borrowed in an effort to purchase again their inventory. In different phrases, some firms after using all their income to buy again their very own stock went into debt with a purpose to further scale back their market capitalization!

Removed from stimulating business investment, the liquidity provided by the Federal Reserve drove up inventory and bond costs and spilled over into actual property. The fact that firms used their income to purchase back their shares relatively than to spend money on new capability signifies that the firms did not experience a booming financial system with good investment alternatives. It’s a poor financial system when the most effective investment for a corporation is to repurchase its personal shares.

Shoppers, devoid of real revenue progress, maintained their dwelling standards by going deeper into debt. This course of was aided, for instance, by stretching out automotive funds from three years to 6 and seven years, with the outcome that loan balances exceed the value of the automobiles. Many households stay on credit cards by paying the minimum amount, with the outcome that their indebtedness grows by the month. The Federal Reserve’s low interest rates usually are not reciprocated by the high credit card interest rate on outstanding balances.

Some European nations now have unfavorable interest rates, which signifies that the bank does not pay you interest on your deposit, but costs you a payment for holding your cash. In other words, you’re charged an rate of interest for having money in a bank. One purpose for that is the assumption of neoliberal economists that buyers would like to spend their cash than to observe it regularly wither away and that the spending will drive the financial system to greater progress.

What’s the progress fee of the financial system? It’s troublesome to know, as a result of the measures of inflation have been tampered with with a purpose to keep away from cost-of-living changes for Social Security recipients and the cost of COLA changes in contracts. The buyer worth index is a basket of goods that represents a mean household’s expenditures. The weights of the gadgets in the index are estimates of the share of the household price range that’s spent on these gadgets. An increase in the costs of items in the index would increase the index by the load of those gadgets, and this was the measure of inflation.

Modifications have been made that decreased the inflation that the index measured. One change was to substitute a lower cost various when an item in the index rose in worth. Another was to designate an increase in worth of an item as a top quality enchancment and never rely it as inflation.

Something comparable was carried out to the producer worth index which is used to deflate nominal GDP with a view to measure actual economic progress. GDP is measured when it comes to cash, and a few of the progress within the measure is due to worth increases slightly than to extra output of products and providers. In an effort to have a very good estimate of how a lot real output has elevated, it is essential to deflate the nominal measure of GDP by taking out the worth rises. If inflation is underestimated, then real GDP shall be overestimated. When John Williams of Shadowstats adjusts the actual GDP measure for what he calculates is a two-percentage level understatement of annual inflation, there was very little financial progress since 2009 when a restoration allegedly started, and the financial system remains far under its pre-recession degree in 2008.

In other phrases, the assumption that the US has had a decade long economic restoration is more likely to be an illusion produced by underestimating inflation. Certainly, each day experience with the prices of meals, clothes, household items, and providers indicates a better price of inflation than is officially reported.

The low unemployment price that is reported can also be an phantasm. The federal government achieves the low fee by not counting the unemployed. The economic and psychological value of looking for a job are high. There are the economic prices of a presentable appearance and transport to the interview. For a person and not using a pay verify, these prices quickly mount. The psychological prices of failure to find a job time after time also mount. Individuals turn into discouraged and cease wanting. The federal government treats discouraged staff who can’t discover jobs as not being within the work drive and omits them from the measure of unemployment. John Williams estimates that the actual price of US unemployment is 20%, not three.5%.

The decline within the labor drive participation price supports Williams’ conclusion. Normally, a booming financial system, which is what three.5% unemployment represents, would have a rising labor drive participation price as individuals enter the work drive to reap the benefits of the employment opportunities. Nevertheless, in the course of the alleged ten yr growth, the participation fee has fallen, an indication of poor job opportunities.

The government measures jobs in two methods: the payroll jobs report that seeks to measure the new jobs created every month (which is not a measure of employment as an individual might hold two or more jobs) and the household survey that seeks to measure employment. The outcomes are often at odds and cannot be reconciled. What does appear to emerge is that the brand new jobs reported are for probably the most half low productiveness, low value-added, lowly paid jobs. Another conclusion is that the number of full time jobs with benefits are declining and the variety of part-time jobs are rising.

A case might be made that US dwelling requirements have declined because the 1950s when one revenue was enough to help a household. The husband took the slings and arrows of the work expertise, and the wife offered household providers similar to residence cooked nutritious meals, youngster care, clean garments, and an orderly existence. At this time most households require two earners to make ends meet after which solely barely. Saving is a declining choice. A Federal Reserve report a few years in the past concluded that about half of American households could not produce $400 cash until personal possessions have been bought.

As the Federal Reserve’s low rate of interest policy has not served atypical People or spurred funding in new plant and gear, who has it served? The answer is corporate executives and shareholders. Because the liquidity provided by the Federal Reserve has gone mainly into the costs of monetary belongings, it is the house owners of those belongings who have benefitted from the Federal Reserve’s policy. Years ago Congress in its unwisdom capped the quantity of government pay that might be deducted as a business expense at a million dollars until efficiency related. What “performance associated” means is an increase in income and share worth. Corporate boards and executives achieved “efficiency” by decreasing labor prices by shifting jobs offshore and through the use of income and borrowing in an effort to buy again the corporate’s shares, thus driving up the worth.

In different phrases, corporate leaders and house owners benefitted by harming the US financial system, the careers and livelihoods of the American work drive, and their very own corporations.

That is the rationale for the extraordinary worsening of the revenue and wealth distribution in america that is polarizing the US right into a handful of mega-rich and a mess of have-nots.

The America I grew up in was a chance society. There were ladders of upward mobility that could possibly be climbed on benefit alone with out requiring family standing or social and political connections. Instate school tuition was low. Most households might handle it, and the scholars of those families that would not afford the fee worked their approach via college with half time jobs. Scholar loans have been unknown.

That America is gone.

The few economists able to thought marvel concerning the high worth/earnings ratios of US shares and the 26,000 Dow Jones when stock buy-backs point out that US firms see no funding alternatives. How can inventory costs be so high when firms see no progress in US shopper revenue that may justify funding within the US?

When President Reagan’s supply-side financial policy received the Dow Jones as much as 1,000, the US still had a real financial system. How can it’s that right now with America’s financial system hollowed out the Dow Jones is 25 or 26 occasions larger? Manipulation performs a task in the answer. In Reagan’s last yr in workplace, the George H.W. Bush forces created the Working Group on Financial Markets, in any other case generally known as the “plunge safety staff,” the purpose of which was to stop a inventory market fall that might deny Bush the Republican nomination and the presidency as Reagan’s successor. The Bush individuals did not want any replay of October 1987.

The plunge safety staff brought together the Federal Reserve, Treasury, and Securities and Change Commission in a format that would intervene within the stock market to stop a fall. The simplest approach to do that is, when faced with falling stock prices, to step in and purchase S&P futures. Hedge funds comply with the chief and the market decline is arrested.

The Federal Reserve now has the power to intervene in any financial market. Dave Kranzler and I have proven repeatedly how the Federal Reserve or its proxies intervene within the gold market to help the worth of the excessively-supplied US greenback by printing naked gold contracts to drop on the gold futures market as a way to knock down the worth of gold. A rising gold worth would show that the greenback help arrangements that the Federal Reserve has with different central banks to take care of the illusion of a robust dollar is a contrived arrangement rejected by the gold market.

See here, here, and here.

What few, if any, economists and financial market commentators understand is that at present all markets are rigged by the plunge safety staff. For no less than a decade it has not been potential to guage the financial state of affairs by relying on conventional considering and strategies. Rigged markets do not reply in the best way that aggressive markets respond. That is the explanation why corporations that see no investment opportunities for his or her income higher than the repurchase of their very own shares can have excessive worth/earnings ratios. That is the reason why the market’s effort to convey stock prices according to sensible worth/earnings ratios is unsuccessful.

As far as I can surmise, the Federal Reserve and plunge safety group can proceed to rig the financial markets for the mega-rich until the US dollar loses its position as world reserve foreign money.

This text was initially revealed at PaulCraigRoberts.org on June 6, 2019.­