“We first discussed the possibility of state and local governments using eminent domain to ‘save us’ from further housing issues a year ago but now the NY Fed has gone one step further with an academic-based justification for why this process is not a “zero-sum-game” and will render all stakeholders better off. We can hear echoes of “trust us” in this commentary as the authors explain how multiple valuation methods will be used to ascertain “fair-value” – which has always worked so well in the past – and that we have “little to fear” from the resultant long-term contraction in liquidity or credit as bubbles can only inflate during times of easy credit availability (and that will never happen!)”
Via Zero Hedge
“Yesterday, briefly, we were confused by the eruption in the stock market following a not too bad sub-200K nonfarm payrolls number. Because we know that in the New Normal bad is always good, no matter what the well-coifed TV pundit du jour tells you. Then we remembered that yesterday is when the USDA releases its monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program data, i.e. Americans on Foodstamps.
It was here that the ramp was perfectly explained, because while the bad (for stocks of course) data was that individual foodstamps recipients rose by 170K in March – if just a whisker below all time highs – it was the number of American households on foodstamps, which rose to a new all time high of 23,116,441 (each collecting an average of $274.30 per month) that perfectly explained the Dow Jones’ 200 point surge higher: the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle-classes to the 1% continues without a hiccup.”
Via Zero Hedge
Treasury, UAW health care trust will sell 50 million shares of GM stock
“The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors stock in a new public offering in conjunction with GM’s return to the S&P 500 index on Thursday.
The United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust — which holds about 14 percent of GM — will also participate by selling 20 million shares, making the total offering size 50 million shares. It represents about 12 percent of Treasury’s outstanding GM stock.
The move may mean that Treasury completely exits in 2013, rather than by the end of March 2014. The return to the S&P will prompt significant demand for GM shares and the stock has recently traded near its highest level since February 2011. GM is filing a new prospectus ahead of the sale.”
Via Detroit News
“In yet another hit for both the administration’s trustworthiness and the hope of some spin-off of the GSEs, the WSJ reports that the Federal Housing Administration’s projected losses over 30 years could reach as high as $115 billion under a previously undisclosed stress test. The results, which were not included in the agency’s independent actuarial review (because of the potential uproar it might create according to emails), are based on the Fed’s stress-test scenario – which seems like something that should (perhaps) have been included. The fact that this data was omitted from the report is “troubling” to House Oversight Committee head Darrell Issa. In its annual audit, the agency disclosed that under current conditions, total losses would exceed its reserves by $13.5 billion over 30 years (with a $943 million loss this year alone). The projected shortfall under a ‘protracted economic slump’ is $64.5 billion but the ‘tail risk’ event, that was originally included in earlier drafts, based on the Fed’s stress test, is $115 billion. Hardly the upside-encouraging potential that private-finance will be looking for in funding FEDMAGIC.”
Via Zero Hedge
“”When you have city employees, police, and firefighters have taken pay cuts, it doesn’t look good,” is the somewhat understated response from Detroit’s emergency manager to the city’s latest debacle. Amid the deepening financial crisis the crumbling region faces, four trustees of its public pension funds spent $22,000 of retirement funds to attend a conference at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu. “It’s one of these things we trustees must do to stay on top of the field,” is how one of the trustees defended the decision, a second would not comment, and the other two could not be found according to Reuters (we can only imagine what they were up to). Conference representatives noted that “these are intelligent folks there to do a job, not there for vacation,” yet many funds did decide to boycott the event as it sent the wrong message. But irony of ironies, Detroit decided it was appropriate – perhaps since one well attended session covered ‘how to avoid front-page scandals.’”
Via Zero Hedge
” The federal government spent more than $2 billion to provide food stamps to Puerto Rico in 2012, up to 25 percent of which is untraceable because it is distributed in cash and there is “no way to verify that funds are spent on food,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The funds are used to supply more than one-third of the population of Puerto Rico with food stamps.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) for Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the United States, received $2 billion in Nutrition Assistance Block Grants in fiscal year 2012.
Part of that total includes funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), popularly known as the “economic stimulus,” which passed in 2009 — $165 million in economic stimulus funds went to food stamps in Puerto Rico in FY 2012.”
Via CNS News
“I’ve got a very important story to tell, so listen closely. Fed a diet of ‘alternative reactions to the mainstream news’, you probably won’t know about any of this, because it’s not had much of a public airing. The final push of Agenda 21 is to unite us all, mainstream and alternative alike – an end to the current system, and the institution of the ‘fair sounding’ new world order: green and caring.
There have been several attempts to co-opt the Occupy movement to advance this agenda, which is neither green nor caring. In fact, it intends to exploit nature and people to the fullest extent.
We need to expose this agenda. Otherwise, the next time you’re out on the street protesting, you’ll be accosted by a Happiness Angel, who just wants to make you better, so that we can all be happy……’
Via Activist post
“Despite the Obama administration’s generous support for green energy, job creation in the sector has both lagged and come at a hefty cost to taxpayers, according to a new report.
According to the Institute for Energy Research, the Department of Energy has spent nearly $26 billion since 2009 on its Section 1703 and 1705 loan programs. However, these two programs only yielded 2,308 permanent jobs — meaning the cost to taxpayers was $11.25 million per job.
“Clearly, in terms of ‘bang for the buck,” government programs that coddle renewable energy are losers,” according to IER. “In terms of jobs, the losers are the American workers who would otherwise be gainfully employed but for the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars on the administration’s obsession with “green energy.’””
Via The Daily Caller
“The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,962,532 million in April, which exceeds the 10,815,197 people who live in the nation of Greece.
According to newly released data from the Social Security Administration, the record 10,962,532 total disability beneficiaries in April, included a record 8,865,586 disabled workers (up from 8,853,614 in March), 1,936,236 children of disabled workers, and 160,710 spouses of disabled workers.
According to its latest census, Greece had only 10,815,197 residents.”
Via CNS News