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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. economy’

U.S. Economy Falters: Growth Fell In Last Quarter of 2014

February 28th, 2015 Comments off

 

According to revised data from the Commerce Department, the American economy grew by only 2.2 percent in Q4 of 2014, significantly lower than the earlier reported figure of 2.6 percent, which caught analysts off-guard.  The corrected GDP growth figure for Q4 is a sharp drop from the reported 5 percent growth in Q3, throwing a wet blanket over claims made earlier by the Obama administration that the U.S. economy was set for strong, consistent growth.

Typical with poor economic data emanating from Washington, the analysts and pundits are already doing their spin routine, claiming that the disappointing economic data for Q4 of last year was merely a temporary speed bump. The prediction of annual GDP growth in excess of 3 percent in 2015 for the American economy is being forecasted by many observers.

But what about the undeniably very bad economic news coming from the Eurozone and Russia, and the slowdown in China and Brazil? As the U.S. economy is not a island, it seems unreasonably optimistic to believe that the proliferation of bad economic news from abroad will not impact the United States negatively.

 

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

 

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Hillary Clinton Nude

Hillary Clinton Nude

U.S. Economy Was In Slowdown In Final Quarter of 2014

January 31st, 2015 Comments off

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis  has released its initial figures for the final quarter of 2014; GDP grew by 2.6 percent, a disappointing showing after the Q3 results supposedly showed 5 percent GDP growth. Several observers were skeptical of the 5 percent number for Q3, which was the basis for the Obama administration proclaiming victory and the return of economic prosperity in the United States.  Even if the Q3 number was correct,  overall GDP growth in the U.S. economy, based on official figures, was 2.4 percent for all of 2014.

While the official GDP growth figures for 2014 indicate the fastest level of economic growth in the U.S. since the global economic and financial crisis arose in 2008, it is still a very weak number after six years of a supposed recovery, and after trillions of dollars of deficit spending and vast monetary easing by the Federal Reserve in a frantic effort to stimulate the American economy. And now, Europe and even China are facing a slowdown, and in the case of the Eurozone, probable recession, likely to be exacerbated by the looming conflict with Greece over the terms of that nation’s financial bailout.

The U.S. is not immune to what is happening elsewhere in an era of interconnected economics. The lackluster growth figures for Q4 is a clear sign of that.

 

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

 

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW VIDEO

Hillary Clinton Nude

Hillary Clinton Nude

 

U.S. Economy Contracted By Nearly Three percent In First Quarter of 2014

June 25th, 2014 Comments off

Blame it on the weather, the pundits are already chiming. But no amount of verbal acrobatics can disguise the fact that the U.S. economy experienced its worst performance in Q1 of 2014 since the dark days of 2009, following in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, revised figures show the American economy contracted at a rate far worse than the originally reported decline of 1 percent; the updated figure is a  contraction in the first quarter of 2.9 percent.

The same spin masters claiming this very bad performance for the U.S. economy was due to unusually cold weather are already predicting a very strong rebound in the next quarter. However, if one looks deeply at the data released by the Commerce Department, a big factor in the Q1 contraction was a decline of 8.9 percent in exports. What is left unexplained by the “experts” is how a contraction in exports by nearly nine percent was created by cold weather conditions.

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

 

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW VIDEO

Hillary Clinton Nude

Hillary Clinton Nude

U.S. Economic Crisis Remains A Job Crisis

May 7th, 2014 Comments off

About four years into the supposed end of the Great Recession,  the proclaimed recovery of the U.S. economy remains one that is largely jobless, as well as being artificially goosed and propped up by massive bouts of monetary stimulus, known as quantitative easing, by the Federal Reserve. Thus, the April jobs report has been heralded as great news by pundits, claiming that the American economy that month created 288,000 net new jobs, and that the official unemployment rate has declined to 6.3 percent. Sounds like good economic news-but not so fast.

The economics correspondent for the British newspaper The Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, has waded into the details of official employment and workplace participation statistics in the United States, and found that in fact the non-farm workforce in the U.S. actually declined by 806,00 in April and overall labor participation in the U.S. has declined to a miserable 62.8 percent of the population. Thus, it is able-bodied men and women who have left the labor force due to discouragement that has driven down the unemployment rate, and not new job creation. The U.S. economy, which officially grew by a measly 0.1 percent in the last quarter (essentially no-growth),  is still dependent on massive monetary stimulus and large government deficits. Meanwhile, monetary stimulus is losing its economic punch, while distorting the economy through the creation of massive asset bubbles. The Fed recognizes this, and is well into its tapering back of quantitative easing.

From every perspective, the American economy does not look nearly as good as it is being described in official circles, and ditto for much of the rest of the world, still mired in the great global economic crisis.

 

 

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

 

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW VIDEO

Hillary Clinton Nude

Hillary Clinton Nude

 

 

 

New Fed Chair Janet Yellen Faces Global Financial Woes From Tapering

February 5th, 2014 Comments off

With Ben Bernanke  now gone (but not forgotten), Janet Yellen replaces him in the role of being the most important central banker on the planet. However, Ms. Yellen does not begin her role as the first woman to serve as chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve at the most auspicious of times.

In its latest version of quantitative easing, the Fed had been purchasing 85 billion dollars a month of bonds with money it prints at will, seeking to keep the economy afloat and interest rates artificially low. However, even the architect of this program, Bernanke, knew that this avalanche of manufactured liquidity was unsustainable in the long term. Thus, the Fed began a process known as “tapering,” in effect, slowly winding down the bond buying program and hope and pray that the world financial system doesn’t come apart at the seams.

Thus far, the bond purchasing program has been modestly reduced, initially to 75 billion dollars each month, with an announcement of a forthcoming reduction to 65 billion dollars per month. Despite these modest efforts at tapering its vast money printing operation, the Fed’s moves have already initiated global panic, reflected in wild volatility in equity exchanges all across the world. Stock markets, bloated by easy money printed by the Federal Reserve, are showing their fragility even during this initial, early period of monetary tapering.

Even more worrisome than the wild swings on Wall Street and many other stock markets has been the impact of tapering on major emerging markets. At its peak, quantitative easing had the effect of putting into the hands of major investors cheap money, but with virtual zero interest rates at home . The result of all this was to send this horde of cheap  U.S. dollars overseas, where a higher rate of return was offered by riskier emerging markets. However, the onset of tapering points to higher interests rates in the future for the U.S. economy, leading to the start of a process of repatriation of those cheap dollars back to the United States. As the process begins, emerging markets are already feeling the pinch, with nations such as Turkey, Brazil and South Africa beginning to incur fiscal pressure, leading to significant runs on their currencies concomitant with a rise in interest rates.

Fed Chair Yellen will now face the daunting task of unwinding the monetary mess created by her processor, supposedly for the purpose of saving the U.S. economy from the mistakes made by past policymakers, including former Fed Chairman Bernanke. As we are witnessing with the increasing fragility of emerging markets, the future policies of Yellen will have a decisive impact on the entire global economy, for good or ill.

 

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

 

Hillary Clinton Nude

 

Hillary Clinton Nude

HILLARY CLINTON NUDE

Hillary Clinton Nude

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Economy Continues to Suffer High Unemployment

January 14th, 2014 Comments off

The December 2013 jobs reported recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics  shows, on paper, a steep decline in the unemployment rate, to 6.7 percent, versus 7 percent for November. Yet, not even the usual happy chorus was cheering what, on the surface, was positive economic news. The BLS also showed that a mere 74,000 jobs were created in December by the U.S. economy.

Depending on various statistical measurements, the American economy must produce at least 150,000 jobs per month, and more realistically 200-250,000 just to keep even with the normal flow of new entrants into the U.S. labor market, based on natural population growth. In other words, based on the statistic of 74,000 jobs created in December, the actual unemployment rate in the United States should have increased rather than decrease. The reason why the official U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent is that a large number of long-term unemployed Americans have left the job market, either voluntarily, or arbitrarily based on the BLS statisticians deciding not to count them among the officially unemployed.

The official numbers can be ignored; in truth the United States continues to suffer the ravages of high unemployment-and underemployment-nearly six years after the onset of the global economic crisis.

 

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

 

Hillary Clinton Nude

 

Hillary Clinton Nude

HILLARY CLINTON NUDE

Hillary Clinton Nude

Global Economic Growth Forecast Cut By IMF: Implications Are Sobering

October 27th, 2013 Comments off

While media throughout the world continues to give the impression that the global economic crisis and its related debt and fiscal issues are on the path to recovery, largely  by cherry picking the news, the International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for 2013. In July, the IMF projected global GDP growth for the current year of 3.2 percent; this has now been cut back to only 2.9 percent, despite the continuation of massive fiscal and monetary stimulus by sovereigns and central banks throughout the world.

For 2014 the IMF now projects global economic growth of 3.6 percent, a reduction from an earlier forecast of 3.8 percent. These reductions come despite the IMF boosting its projection of economic growth in the UK. Contrasting with so-called “green shoots” that some pundits have pointed to since 2009, there continues to be an avalanche of bad economic data throughout the world; supposed economic recovery in one region or country is offset by worsening news elsewhere. In the meantime, central banks throughout the world, and especially in developed countries, continue to flood the globe with unprecedented levels of liquidity, all conjured out of thin air. Without this radical level of monetary easing, the already anemic levels of economic growth, typically substantially below the proportion of fiscal deficits to GDP in many sovereigns, would almost certainly collapse.

According to the IMF, a slowdown in economic growth in major emerging markets, in particular China, Russia, India and Mexico is creating a drag on overall global economic expansion. This seems almost a reversal from the onset of the crisis in 2008, when the United States was the major driver of the global economic and financial crisis and China viewed as the primary savior. The IMF now sees the U.S. as being the sovereign most pivotal for facilitating global economic growth, in the wake of the slowdown in China and other major emerging economies. However, as noted  by the International Monetary Fund, political gridlock in the U.S., especially in relation to the extension of the national debt limit, is a foreboding threat for the entire global economy. Even in the absence of political dysfunction, the IMF chose to reduce its forecast of GDP growth in the American economy.

At present, the IMF projects a meager 1.6 percent growth in the U.S. economy for this year, far below the proportion of America’s GDP devoted to deficit spending. In other words, the amount of money Washington borrows to fund the federal government remains far above the nominal growth in the GDP. In addition, the Federal Reserve continues its policy of quantitative easing unabated, despite periodic hints of “tapering” the money printing.

What the IMF does not elaborate on (but should) is this point; how much longer can major economies like the U.S. engage in historically unprecedented levels of monetary and fiscal stimulus that provides, at best, levels of economic growth so unimpressively marginal? If the best that such levels of public indebtedness and central bank money printing can provide is anemic growth approaching stall speed, the next major financial crisis to hit will likely be beyond the powers of even the most creative Treasury Secretary or central banker to contain.

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

Hillary Clinton Nude

HILLARY CLINTON NUDE

Hillary Clinton Nude

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Street go in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.

U.S. Politics 2013 Style: “Let’s Kill The Economy”

October 5th, 2013 Comments off

The supposed sole superpower on the globe, the United States of America, has a government largely shut for business-thanks to the nation’s dysfunctional political establishment. It is as though Al-Qaida secretly brainwashed Congress and the White House, and gave them all a script to follow, one that inflicts as much harm as possible on the still-weak American economy.

For the past four days, President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House  John Boehner, have talked past each other, with the government largely mothballed with no budget approved by Congress. The hard-right of the Republican Party is using the shutdown of the government to pressure the Democrats to delay provisions of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” But in all fairness, the entire U.S. political establishment must take responsibility for this example of failed politics. And the worst may be just ahead. If by October 17 Congress does not approve raising the debt ceiling, currently at $16.7 trillion, a financial apocalypse may ensue.  Yet, America’s incompetent politicos seem more fixated on their narrow political agendas than preventing  what may be the mother of all economic crises.

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

Hillary Clinton Nude

HILLARY CLINTON NUDE

Hillary Clinton Nude

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Street go in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.

U.S. Economy Growth Is Tepid

August 1st, 2013 Comments off

The U.S. Commerce Department released Q2  results that indicate that, at an annualized rate, the American economy grew at 1.7 percent. And Wall Street and its coterie of experts are ecstatic. Why, I may ask? Because that number supposedly beat the predictions of those same experts, and exceeded that Q1 number, which reflected annual growth of the U.S. GDP at 1.1 percent.

Let’s hold our horses before uncorking the champagne bottles. By any standard, 1.7 percent annual GDP growth is tepid, and it is downright atrocious when one considered the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus being poured into the U.S. economy by the politicians and the Federal Reserve, care of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s quantitative easing and purchases of U.S. securities at the rate of 85 billion dollars per month, facilitated through the Federal Reserve’s printing press.

In addition to the above facts, the comparison with Q1 is misleading. Yes, 1.7 percent looks better than 1.1 percent. But let us recall that the 1.1 percent figure is a corrected number; the original Commerce Department report on Q1 was annual GDP growth of 1.8 percent.  Who can be certain that the Q2 number will not at some point be corrected downward, just as with the Q1 report?

All in all, despite the celebratory hype, I find nothing to cheer about in the report, and find the meager growth figure a pathetic end product derived from unprecedented fiscal deficits and Federal Reserve money printing.

If Hillary Clinton runs for President of the United States  in 2016, see the video about the book that warned back in 2008 what a second Clinton presidency would mean for the USA:

Hillary Clinton Nude

HILLARY CLINTON NUDE

Hillary Clinton Nude

WALL STREET KILLS--A CHILLING NOVEL ABOUT WALL STREET GREED GONE MAD

To view the official trailer YouTube video for “Wall Street Kills,” click image below:

In a world dominated by high finance, how far would Wall Streetgo in search of profits? In Sheldon Filger’s terrifying novel about money, sex and murder, Wall Street has no limits. “Wall Street Kills” is the ultimate thriller about greed gone mad. Read “Wall Street Kills” and blow your mind.
photo

Sequestration: Economic Russian Roulette Comes To America

March 7th, 2013 Comments off

Russian roulette is the macabre  game of death, in which a revolver with a single bullet is passed around, each player pointing a gun at his head and pressing the trigger. There is, mathematically speaking, a one in six chance of blowing one’s brains to smithereens. This morbid game of chance, strangely enough, has now been adopted as the primary fiscal model by that once-august body known as the United States Congress.

As numerous commentators have observed, the two-party political oligarchy that dominates American politics has becomes hopelessly polarized. That polarization in turn has morphed into  political paralysis, leading to an inability by policymakers to craft rational economic directives in the midst of an ongoing global economic crisis. The result is tepid economic growth at best, fueled by massive, trillion dollar per annum deficits that require staggering amounts of borrowing by the U.S. Treasury to stave off national insolvency. Therein lies the problem. The Obama administration must periodically come to Congress for authorization to raise the national debt limit; without such congressional approval, the government loses its authority to borrow money.  In a situation where Congress is politically divided, with the Republicans controlling the House of Representatives and venting unrestrained hostility towards President Obama,  the entire economy of the United States is held hostage to this political version of sausage-making. 

The last stand-off over the debt limit led to The Budget Control Act of 2011. The GOP acquiesced to raising the debt limit on condition that the Obama administration concurred with over 900 billion dollars in spending cuts over the next decade. And herein lay the minefield.  Since the Democrats and Republicans could not reach consensus on  those precise deficit reduction measures, they did agree  to creating a poison pill for themselves, which has since become known by the non-pharmaceutical name of sequestration. If Congress could not agree on which spending cuts to implement, arbitrary reductions in federal spending outlays would occur automatically, with 85 billion dollars in budget cuts coming into effect in the current fiscal year.

That wasn’t supposed to happen, for this was playing Russian roulette with fiscal policy and management of the overall national economy. Who in their right mind among the two political parties controlling Congress would want the entire globe to witness American legislators playing a game of Russian roulette as their methodology of economic management?  Yet that is exactly what has now happened.

There are arguments currently underway as to how much of an impact 85 billion dollars in arbitrary spending reductions will have on a still fragile economy. These concerns miss the essential point.  The fact that America’s political establishment has allowed such a spectacle to occur presents a discordant image to the global bond market that is essential for lending the credit that keeps the United States solvent. And increasingly, those critical lenders are seeing the fiscal decision-making of the United States being transformed into a farcical display of political expediency. There will come a time when  the bond vigilantes will simply have had enough of an increasingly dysfunctional political system still acting as though it presides over an unassailable superpower. When that time has come, the mother of all sequestrations will have arrived.