Archive for the Federal Reserve Category

Economics And Finance:  Girls v. Boys (June 4, 2018)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Bernanke, Federal Reserve, Gender, Greenspan on June 4, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “What do Nomi Prins, Terry Gross, Yves Smith, Lynette Zang, Catherine Austin Fitts, Nicole Foss, Ellen Brown, Danielle DiMartino Booth, Brooksley Born, Sheila Bair, Janet Tavakoli, Gail Tverberg, Gretchen Morgenson, Michelle Singletary and Lionel Shriver have in common?”

J          “ . . .  How many guesses?”

K          “Who’s counting?  Take your time.  The face-off does not fall for an hour.”

J          “ . . .  They all have vowels in their names.”

K          “To a person.  Nothing gets by you.”

J          “Nothing.  No.  a.  chance.”

. . .

J          “And consonants, too.  Two consonants, too.”

. . .

K         “No ‘Québec’ in any of the names.”

. . .

K          “What do Allan Greenspan, Philip Gramm, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulsen, and Robert Rubin have in common?”

J          “They too have vowels in their names, but they never should have been allowed to get near the bowels of the body politic.”

K          “They never should have been allowed to have any proximity to the bourse, the boardroom or the blackboard.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Kids (At The Fed) Are Not Alright (January 30, 2012)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Girls are alright

From available sources, Ben Bernanke made the following statements and prognostications:

July 2005:  “We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis.”

November 2005:  “With respect to their safety, derivatives, for the most part, are traded among very sophisticated financial institutions and individuals who have considerable incentive to understand them and to use them properly.”

March 2007:  “All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.”

October 2007:  “It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.”

January 2008:  “The U.S. economy has a strong labor force, excellent productivity and technology, and a deep and liquid financial market that is in the process of repairing itself.”

And last but definitely not least when it comes to misleading and dangerous drivel:

January 2008:  “The Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.”

Going Forward With The “Reverse Stock Split” (February 5, 2018)

Posted in Crime/Punishment, Dow Jones, Federal Reserve, Kleptocracy, Rackets, Rule of Law, Stock Market on February 5, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The Federal Reserve has purposely pursued a policy to punish citizens, including millions of hard working and God fearing Americans in their retirement, who merely seek a predictable and reasonable rate of return on their money.  If citizens want any real return on their money, the Fed forced them into the stock market racket.”

J          “Which is a crime and really should be punished as a crime.”

K          “Except we subsist in a country without the rule of law.”

. . .

K          “The Dow was at about 26,000 last week before today’s collapse, yet the real value of the underlying stocks measured by realistic price/earnings ratios is only about 13,000 to perhaps 15,000.”

J          “But that type of thinking undermines the consensus that all Americans are financial geniuses.”

K          “The ‘Wealth Effect’ is surreptitiously impoverishing many of those financial geniuses.  Too many investors/speculators are spending more money or, even worse, incurring more debt without realizing that their faux wealth will soon vaporize.”

J          “The ‘Poverty Effect’ will be a bodacious and stupendous bummer.”

. . .

K          “Check this out.  In a typical stock split, one share at $100 per share is split into two shares at $50 per share.  That thinking is so outmoded and outdated.  Everything in the stock market is hocus pocus.  I propose a reverse stock split where one share at $100 per share is split into two shares at $100 per share.  We need to create wealth.”

J          “Count me in.  The Dow at 52,000.  Just like that.  Twice as rich.  But with the absurdity, the insanity, the depravity and the irrationality that defines our reality, why not a three for one split and thus a Dow of 76,000.  Thrice as rich.  Just like that.  We need to concoct wealth.”

K          “Pocus hocus.  Count me in.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Dow Is The Canary (April 26, 2010)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Dow at 104,000!!!!!!!!!!!

Or not.

“Adjunktification” In The S.I.C. (Schooling Industrial Complex) (March 13, 2017)  

Posted in Adjunktification, Education, Federal Reserve, Schooling, Schooling Industrial Complex, Sports, Trumpi on March 13, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “I love ideas.  I think there are others who also like them.  But not many others.”

J          “Finding a critical mass of folks who are interested in ideas is challenging.  Everyone is too busy struggling desperately to make it through the day economically, emotionally and physically.  Unrestrained contemplation is an unaffordable luxury today.”

K          “College is that rare, brief and fleeting period of time when one is free to think.”

J          “Sometimes it seems that only a few folks are actually thinking in college.  And it sure is far from free.”

. . .

K          “Does even one percent (1%) of the money spent on the American Schooling Industrial Complex (S.I.C.) get spent on the creation and transmission of ideas?”

J          “Between foot/basketball and bureaucrats, surely not much more than two percent (2%) of the money is committed to ideas.”

K          “Someone should calculate the historic ratio of dollars spent on bureaucrats versus students and calibrate a percentage ceiling on expenditures for ballers and bureaucrats.  Some Assistant Provost Dean may need to go back to teaching or go.”

. . .

K          “‘Adjunktification’ is the new paradigm.  The adjunkts now carry the burden of transmitting ideas, although they may not have enough free time to create ideas.  They are not junk, but they are treated like junk.”

J          “Academia is replicating life.  A bloated mass of overpaid bureaucrats at the top exploit a small underpaid cadre at the bottom doing the work.”

K          “When you reflect on it, perhaps academia does prepare one for life.”

. . .

K          “In the election, so many voters for Trump realized that those who pass themselves off as the intellectual elite in America are a fraud.”

J          “The apparatchiks and the nomenklatura are the errand boys and the errand girls with gilded certificates serving the interests of the gilded class.”

K          “And making a little gold.  The S.I.C. is parcel and part of the carefully calibrated system of checks and balances that advances the obedient and the compliant through the system.”

. . .

K          “So many departments of academia today are not even about ideas.  They are about credentials from top to bottom.  The only realistic and economically viable solution is to bestow a Ph.D. on every citizen at the age of eighteen.  Particularly in economics which is a religion calculated to obscure the truth and protect the wealthy.”

J          “Would they have to show up to get it?”

. . .  

[See “The 2016 Nobel Prizes in Economics Go to those Who Pushed Criminogenic Policies” in “New Economic Perspectives” by William K. Black dated February 27, 2017 and the e-commentary at “First Annual Noble Prize In Eco-nomics (October 10, 2016).”]

[See the e-commentary at “Unionizing Athletes And Adjuncts (And Sherpas) (April 21, 2104)” and review the previous e-commentary on “Education” and “Schooling.”]

Bumper stickers of the week / Foam Fingers of the week:       

The Federal Reserve is “checkmated” by moves it alone commandeered and engineered.  The “king” now is in check with no way to remove the threat.  The Fed cannot maintain rates and cannot raise rates and cannot lower rates.  . . .  If you are the only one who can make the moves on a board you control, how can you maneuver yourself into checkmate?

We’re Number 1 (at something)

March Madness seems like a delightfully ironic phrase.

Do you fill in your brackets?

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been.  The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”  Isaac Asimov, “A Cult of Ignorance”, Newsweek, January 21, 1980.  

The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)

Posted in Book Reference, Collapse, Courts, Debt/Deficits, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Federal Reserve, Gold, Gold Standard, Guns, INFORM Act, International Finance, International Monetary Fund, Journalism, Money, Newspapers, Petrodollar, Press/Media, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Silver, Silver Standard, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), World's Reserve Currency on September 5, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

X          “Some of the folks at the G20 Summit may kick around the future composition of the ‘Special Drawing Rights’ that is emerging as the new world’s reserve currency.  The International Monetary Fund formally sets the composition of the SDRs, yet the major players gathered in China yesterday to discuss such matters.  A thing is now being described as a right.”

Z          “Sounds like they are creating a right to reach first for your gun.”

X          “Or they are sketching a new picture of the economic future based on rights rather than on power and circumstance.”

Z          “Or someone special who has been allowed to have the only gun in the great currency gunfight now must play well with others who are suitably armed.”

X          “Or the one with the big gun is now being disarmed.”

. . .

X          “Felicitous publication really.”

Z          “Timely, even.  The times they are changin’ the way we will make change in the near future.”

X          “In The Mandibles, Lionel Shriver adopts Keynes’ term ‘Bancor’ rather than the new age term ‘SDR’ to describe supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets.  As the U.S. Petrodollar slips as the world’s reserve currency and then as the dominant component of the SDR/Bancor, the United States people will slip to second-world status in the world.”

Z          “The way I describe it, when the Petrodollar is no longer the big dog, the United States is no longer the leader of the pack.”

X          “Prices will increase and perhaps double in short order before more structural disorder devolves.  Our McMansions still will sport baroque brushed nickel bathroom fixtures in the multiple bathrooms, yet in due course the water coursing through the corroding pipes will be increasingly intermittent and decreasingly safe.”

Z          “Many of us have those problems now while everything appears to be dory hunky.”

. . .

X          “Her description of the human consequences is very plausible, yet her explanation for the underlying causes is only partially complete.  Contemporary economic doctrine is exposed as voodoo and a specious secular religion that rationalizes those in power acquiring and retaining wealth.  The entitlement Ponzi scheme receives appropriate blame.  The pernicious involvement of the Federal Reserve is alluded to obliquely, yet the entrenched corruption and incompetence in every quarter are not addressed.”

Z          “She does not describe the institutions that are failing systematically and simultaneously.  Congress, courts, executives and executive agencies, bureaucrats, universities, news outlets, parents, preachers, prophets, you name it.  At some time, a fragile, fractured, fissured and fundamentally weak system of manipulation and intervention will fail with consequence.”

X          “She does observe that the traditional news fashioners are defunct.”

. . .

X          “‘The Chip’ is first described in an e-commentary titled ‘Monitoring The Masses:  The Card And The Chip’ published on January 12, 2015.  She further develops the human impact of implanting ‘The Chip’ to control and corral the masses.  ‘The Chip’ is so much more efficient and effective than the corn chip and football at sating the populace.”

Z          “‘The Chip’ is an electronic lobotomy that is more powerful, pervasive and perverse than fear or drugs.  Technology saves us.  I think that is what one would conclude.  Surely.”

. . .

X          “An empire cannot continue to mimeograph a fiat currency and force it on the rest of the world at great cost and consequence to the rest of the world without the rest of the world demurring at some point.”

Z          “And the rest of the world is becoming restive.”

X          “They are issuing SDR-denominated bonds.”

Z          “And they are selling oil without even acknowledging the Petrodollar.”

. . .

X          “In her novel, the U.S. government confiscates gold and disregards even basic civil liberties while confiscating the yellow stuff.”

Z          “Survey the universe of commentary on the subject and you discover that no one has ever even questioned that the government will confiscate gold when the stuff competes with the fake stuff.”

X          “The people of the United State of Nevada who seceded from the dysfunctional disunion agree that it is ‘dumb’ and ‘arbitrary,’ but they base their currency the ‘Continental’ on the gold standard.”

Z          “She does not see that the government would have eliminated cash of any kind years or decades earlier.”

X          “That is one of the harbingers of great danger.  When the government outlaws or confiscates Au, Ag, Fe, Pb, or even worthless fiat cash, the end of civil rights and civil liberties is near.”

Z          “Or here.”

 . .

[See the e-commentary at “Monitoring The Masses:  The Card And The Chip (January 12, 2015)”, “Brave 1984 Farm:  The Best Of All Possible Worlds (March 19, 2012)” and the e-commentary on the institutional distractions in our society at “Foot Longs and Football (September 2, 2013).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

G20 > G7; SDR > FRN; World > USA   

In the intermediate run, a Kleptocracy is unsustainable.

Litigation:  “Recreational”, “Sport” And  “Diversionary” . . . And The “Department Of Just-Us” (December 21, 2015)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Courts, Department of, Federal Reserve, Russia, Sports, Wall Street on December 21, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “The definition varies yet ‘Recreational Litigation’ is usually defined as an unfounded claim or defense advanced by someone with unlimited funds who uses bullying techniques to harass and often bankrupt a small and often defenseless person or entity for grins.”

J          “Or for some ulterior purpose.  I call it ‘Sport Litigation’ because it is so unsporting.  The ‘Department of Just-Us’ is the richest and most powerful player in the American Legal Game.”

K          “FIFA is corrupt to the core.  So is Wall Street.  The United States has no business investigating and prosecuting FIFA corruption.  The United States does have legitimate business investigating and prosecuting Wall Street corruption.”

J          “‘Sport Litigation’ is the felicitous term.”

K          “I may be wrong, yet I have this nagging suspicion that the government may be trying to pressure FIFA not to allow Russia to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

J          “Prostituting the Beautiful Game.  Ugly.”

. . .

K          “The ‘Department of Just-Us’ as you call it long ago served notice that the banksters are above and beyond the law.  The FIFA case may be a way for the ‘Department of Just-Us’ to serve notice that anyone who gets out of line will get it.  And also to distract us from the real problems and the real danger.”

J          “The ‘Department of Offense’ is engaged in endless wars and fear generation to distract us from the inevitable consequences of the actions and inactions of their friends and comrades at the ‘Department of Treasure’ and the Federal Reserve.”    

K          “What about describing it as ‘Diversionary Litigation’ designed to make the public believe that evil foreigners are being prosecuted while actually diverting attention from the real problems and the real danger.”

. . .  

[See the e-commentary at Schooling The Apparatchiks For The Kleptocrats (December 7, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”  H. L. Mencken

May the farce be with you.

Savor the solstice; Nature still sustains.

To Raise Or Not To Raise? (December 14, 2015)  

Posted in Bureaucracy, Federal Reserve, Interest Rates, Movie Reference, Sports, Wall Street on December 14, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “That is the answer.”

2          “They can’t raise it, they can’t maintain it, they can’t lower it.  They are not in a stalemate because they are in checkmate.”

1          “Game over?”

. . .

2          “A decision not to decide is a decision.  The Fed has been deciding not to decide and has decided to destroy the real economy since at least 2008.  If they decide to raise the rate a nominal .125 or .250 percent, they may be able to get away with it.  Anything more substantial will tip over this unreal and surreal economy of their contriving.  Interest rate derivative swaps will strain, fragile emerging markets will sag and the federal government will be forced to spend more of the budget on interest payments.”

1          “They are said to need to show that they are tough guys and gals who are trying to return to a real economy.  They are said to need to establish ‘Wall Street cred’.”

2          “They have no ‘Main Street cred’.  At least among the few dozen folks who give a cred.”

. . .

1          “So will they raise the interest rate?  Yes or no?  If they do, how much?  .125?  .250?”

2          “The question is not ‘will’ they but ‘should’ they raise the interest rate.”

. . .

1          “A betting pool.  There you go.  We might as well have fun.”

2          “No they should not.  .125 to appear to be doing something.  The effective rate now may hover near an average of .100, so they may be able to do something without doing anything.”

1          “Maybe.  .250 to feign cred.  And then be able to reverse gears.”

2          “See we shall.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Interest Rates ‘risin (March 30, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Do.  Or do not do.  There is no try.”  Yoda

What happens when you run out of altitude, airspeed and ideas all at the same time?

Otter:  “I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

Bluto:  “We’re just the guys to do it.”

                                                    “Animal House” movie (1978)

Fed up yet?

“In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.”  Isaac Asimov

They Can Print Money (November 2, 2015)

Posted in Bail In, Bailout/Bribe, Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, FDIC, Federal Reserve, Kleptocracy, TARP, Wall Street on November 2, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

Q          “The FDIC can simply print money.”

B          “Maybe.  However, the response to the Big Jolt may be . . . nuanced?  By the government?  Let me explain.  Or at least confuse the issue.”

. . .

Q          “By any metric – economically, morally, psychologically, ethically, metaphysically, generationally – TARP was a grand fraud perpetrated on the American people.  And the central message is crystal clear – everyone in power knows that there are no limits or restraints of any kind to government criminality at the top.  They can simply print money.”

B          “Maybe.  During what I call the Financial Crime of 2008, the government could have nationalized the banks, but those in power allowed the banks to nationalize the government, in particular the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department.  The Fed and Treasury now have carte blanc to do anything that serves the interests of their Owners on Wall Street and with the Big Banks.  However, the FDIC may not have that absolute freedom and immunity from liability and accountability.  The bureaucrats in the bureaucracy at the FDIC bureaucracy may behave like bureaucrats.  Some risk-averse bureaucrat may seize up and say that she or he will not make the decision to commit the agency to exceed its authority because he or she may not have enough stroke to obtain immunity.”

Q          “The most risk-averse course of action still is to print money or create electrons.”

B          “Maybe.  The Owners have agreed that ‘bail ins’ are the answer to their self-created problem.  At some point, however, even J. Q. Public may say ‘bastante’ and swing by the bank and demand his or her deposits.” 

Q          “They will hand out a plastic card in lieu of physical cash.  Print money or produce plastic.  There is no difference.”

. . .

B          “Maybe.  Except that the fundamental problem today is not liquidity, it is solvency.  The system is insolvent.  Printing more money is akin to distributing cigarette butts.  The bucks, like butts, soon will not be cherished.”

Q          “At that point, we may be bartering cigarettes.”

B          “Maybe.  If they are available.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at (M)End The Fed (July 11, 2011).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank; give a man a bank and he can rob the world