“Were you to look at official government statistics that calculate our rate of price inflation for food, energy, clothing, and other consumer goods, you’d think that prices were as stable today as they were under the gold standard.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation rate remains well below the Federal Reserve’s 2.5% threshold. Insofar as the government is concerned America’s core inflation rate is just 1.7%, a testament to the economic prowess of our central bank and Chairman Ben Bernanke.
And because there is no significant price rise being realized in consumer goods based on the government’s calculations, the millions of Americans dependent on disbursements like social security, disability assistance and nutritional food support will see no adjustments to their monthly stipend. And why would they? Prices aren’t rising!”
Via SHTF Plan
“As more and more countries within the European Union struggle economically, the euro – the union’s common currency – becomes more embattled, with its founder now even predicting its demise.
German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, who was responsible the euro’s development and launch, is now calling for the end of the single currency in order to let southern Europe recover. He says if not, the current fiscal course is “leading to disaster.”
“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said, according to the Telegraph, one of Britain’s largest dailies.
“The Germans have not yet realized that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, adding that much of the current fiscal crisis has come in large part from Germany’s squeeze on wages, in order to gain export share.”
Via Natural News
“The almighty dollar is looking less mighty these days. By almost every measure, the purchasing power of the US dollar is in precipitous decline.”
Via Zero Hedge
“The lessons of Jeremy Grantham’s recent interview with Charlie Rose seem to be becoming increasingly prescient as the stock market surges to new highs amid a crumbling macro (and micro) economy. “Bernanke is whipping the economic donkey that can only grow at 1-2% as if it was a race horse growing above 3%,” and unfortunately he will keep doing it “until the donkey is dead.” As Grantham says, it is a “very dangerous situation to have the most powerful man in the world,” doing this as simply put, the Fed, “does not have the tools to generate employment.” But while Grantham’s clarity on Bernanke’s actions are unquestionable in their endgame, his views (below) on Keynes, debt, and wealth transfer are even more concerning. “We had this amazing experiment… but we have been conned into believing by the financial world that debt is everything.“”
Via Zero Hedge
“Two things make the problem more pressing now. The financial crisis and its aftermath had an unusually big effect on them. Many employers sack the newest hires first, so a recession raises youth joblessness disproportionately. The number of young people out of work in the OECD is almost a third higher than in 2007. Second, the emerging economies that have the largest and fastest-growing populations of young people also have the worst-run labour markets.
Why is this so important? A number of studies have found that people who begin their careers without work are likely to have lower wages and greater odds of future joblessness than those who don’t. A wage penalty of up to 20%, lasting for around 20 years, is common. The scarring seems to worsen fast with the length of joblessness and is handed down to the next generation, too – leading to a vicious cycle that weighs on growth dramatically.
Countries with the lowest youth jobless rates have a close relationship between education and work. Germany has a long tradition of high-quality vocational education and apprenticeships, which in recent years have helped it reduce youth unemployment despite only modest growth. Countries with high youth unemployment are short of such links.”
Via Zero Hedge
“If the American people truly understood how the Federal Reserve system works and what it has done to us, they would be screaming for it to be abolished immediately. It is a system that was designed by international bankers for the benefit of international bankers, and it is systematically impoverishing the American people. The Federal Reserve system is the primary reason why our currency has declined in value by well over 95 percent and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger over the past 100 years. The Fed creates our “booms” and our “busts”, and they have done an absolutely miserable job of managing our economy. But why do we need a bunch of unelected private bankers to manage our economy and print our money for us in the first place? Wouldn’t our economy function much more efficiently if we allowed the free market to set interest rates? And according to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress is the one that is supposed to have the authority to “coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures”. So why is the Federal Reserve doing it? Sadly, this is the way it works all over the globe today. In fact, all 187 nations that belong to the IMF have a central bank. But the truth is that there are much better alternatives. We just need to get people educated.”
“For a while there, it seemed that even the densest of career economists who try to pass for stock pundits on financial comedy TV, were starting to get that without the Fed’s (and the ECB’s, and the BOE’s, and the BOJ’s) QE, the market would be much, much lower (whether 500 points lower as Gundlach suggested or much more, remains unclear). After all: by now it should have been clear to most that QE is doing nothing for the economy, and everything for the stock and bond market (here we certainly agree: there is a bond bubble, which by implication there is an even more massive stock bubble too – anyone who says the two are unlinked can be immediately put on mute).”
Via Zero Hedge
“Most people fail to understand basic mathematical concepts such as exponents and ratios as they apply to everyday life. We usually “get it” when it comes to the mathematical facts that are taught in school (if we passed through basic Algebra) but nobody in our government schools ever teaches how these functions apply to the real world.
The reason they don’t, I assert, is that the educational establishment from the government itself on down knows full well how these functions relate to everyday life, and they also know that if you understood these facts there would be a revolution the next morning as you would understand exactly how you have been systematically and intentionally robbed by the mavens of finance with not only the consent but the active participation of your government.
With that in mind I wish to present two pieces of data today. The first is “average hourly earnings”, which is from the St Louis Fed, and the second is the total systemic debt, public and private, taken from the Fed Z1.
Why the second as a point of comparison? Because as I have repeatedly pointed out “credit” (that is, debt on the other side of the balance sheet) spends exactly the same as does currency (emitted money.) Therefore, when one compares earnings power in real terms one must look at the denominator that is in actual use, which is that currency + credit.
Over the last 30 years, from 1980 to today, the average production and non-supervisory employee earnings have gone from $6.61 to $20.09 (not seasonally adjusted.) We will use the September 2012 cut-off for this because that’s where our Z1 data ends (for another few weeks), which is $19.83.
This is an almost-perfect triple, which sounds great at first — you’re making three times as much, per hour, today as you were in 1980.”
Via Market Ticker
“While GBP jumped and the world celebrated the UK’s recent avoidance (for now) of a triple-dip recession (defined on GDP as opposed to reality), the situation in the island nation appears to be going from bad to worse. As Carney takes over the reigns of this once mighty nation he faces a country deeply divided. As the BBC reports, while London real estate prices smash old records, a stunning one-in-five households borrowed money or used savings to cover the costs of food in April. This is the equivalent of five million households unable to fund their food via income alone. Over 80% of these people are concerned about rising food prices (just as print-meister Carney is about to go ‘Abe’ on them) and almost 60% find it difficult to cope on their current incomes. The director of the consumer group ‘Which?’, noted that “many households are stretched to their financial breaking point,” as “families face a cost of living crisis.” While equity and real estate prices hit all-time highs, the opposition sums up the country’s feeling, “this incompetent government needs to wake up to the human cost of their failed economic policies.”"
Via Zero Hedge