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Author Topic: Misery Index: The Obama Depression - "Private sector doing just Fine"  (Read 56239 times)
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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2011, 06:46:52 PM »

Sbarro Pizza Preparing Chapter 11 Filing
Wall Street Journal ^ | 04/01/2011 | MIKE SPECTOR



Sbarro Inc., the fast-food pizza chain that dots shopping-mall food courts, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as soon as next week, said people familiar with the matter...

"Sbarro continues to work constructively with our key stakeholders to restructure our debt and position the company for long-term success," the company said. "Throughout this restructuring process, the company expects to continue to operate in the normal course and without interruption."

The company has been battered during the recession amid lower consumer confidence. Several months ago it warned of substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern...

Sbarro, based in Melville, N.Y., employs about 5,000 people and started cutting jobs and closing stores in the wake of the global financial crisis...

The eatery was founded in the late 1950s when the Sbarro family opened a grocery store in Brooklyn, N.Y., offering homemade mozzarella, imported cheese, sausage and salami. Sbarro opened its first mall location in 1967 in Brooklyn's King Plaza Shopping Center, which marked its transition to fast-food service. It grew to operate more than 1,000 stores in some 40 countries, becoming a staple in malls and airports from Egypt and Israel to Japan and New Zealand.

Battered by the recession, however, the company closed more than 150 restaurants in the past two years. It showed a loss of about $29.3 million during the first nine months of last year on sales of roughly $239 million. For 2009 it reported a loss of $ 37.2 million. It had about $12.67 million cash and cash equivalents at the end of September.

The losses prompted the company in December to raise salaries and hand out bonuses for top executives and managers to keep them from leaving. Meantime, Sbarro's lackluster earnings caused it to violate debt terms.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


________________________ ________________________ ________


The losses prompted the company in December to raise salaries and hand out bonuses for top executives and managers to keep them from leaving. Meantime, Sbarro's lackluster earnings caused it to violate debt terms.



Ha ha ha ha ha - freaking brilliant,. 
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2011, 06:50:32 PM »

Beef prices soar
http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/31/markets/beef_price_increasing/index.htm ^ | 3/31/11 | Parija Kavilanz

Posted on Thursday, March 31, 201



NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If you're already shocked by how much your favorite cut of beef costs at the supermarket, brace yourself because prices will keep going up.

Surging commodity prices already have consumers paying more for groceries such as eggs, milk, cereal and meat. The price of beef in particular has shot through the roof

In February, the average retail price per pound for beef was $3.87, up 12.4% versus a year ago, according to market research firm FreshLook Data.

The average retail price for a pound of chicken was up 3.9% in February versus a year ago, turkey was up 5.4%, veal up 6.7% and pork up 10%.


(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...


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« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2011, 06:17:46 AM »

We've Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers
More Americans work for the government than in manufacturing, farming, fishing, forestry, mining and utilities combined..Article
By STEPHEN MOORE
www.wsj.com





If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?

Every state in America today except for two—Indiana and Wisconsin—has more government workers on the payroll than people manufacturing industrial goods. Consider California, which has the highest budget deficit in the history of the states. The not-so Golden State now has an incredible 2.4 million government employees—twice as many as people at work in manufacturing. New Jersey has just under two-and-a-half as many government employees as manufacturers. Florida's ratio is more than 3 to 1. So is New York's.

Even Michigan, at one time the auto capital of the world, and Pennsylvania, once the steel capital, have more government bureaucrats than people making things. The leaders in government hiring are Wyoming and New Mexico, which have hired more than six government workers for every manufacturing worker.

Now it is certainly true that many states have not typically been home to traditional manufacturing operations. Iowa and Nebraska are farm states, for example. But in those states, there are at least five times more government workers than farmers. West Virginia is the mining capital of the world, yet it has at least three times more government workers than miners. New York is the financial capital of the world—at least for now. That sector employs roughly 670,000 New Yorkers. That's less than half of the state's 1.48 million government employees.

View Full Image

ImageZoo/Corbis
 .Don't expect a reversal of this trend anytime soon. Surveys of college graduates are finding that more and more of our top minds want to work for the government. Why? Because in recent years only government agencies have been hiring, and because the offer of near lifetime security is highly valued in these times of economic turbulence. When 23-year-olds aren't willing to take career risks, we have a real problem on our hands. Sadly, we could end up with a generation of Americans who want to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The employment trends described here are explained in part by hugely beneficial productivity improvements in such traditional industries as farming, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. These produce far more output per worker than in the past. The typical farmer, for example, is today at least three times more productive than in 1950.

Where are the productivity gains in government? Consider a core function of state and local governments: schools. Over the period 1970-2005, school spending per pupil, adjusted for inflation, doubled, while standardized achievement test scores were flat. Over roughly that same time period, public-school employment doubled per student, according to a study by researchers at the University of Washington. That is what economists call negative productivity.

But education is an industry where we measure performance backwards: We gauge school performance not by outputs, but by inputs. If quality falls, we say we didn't pay teachers enough or we need smaller class sizes or newer schools. If education had undergone the same productivity revolution that manufacturing has, we would have half as many educators, smaller school budgets, and higher graduation rates and test scores.

The same is true of almost all other government services. Mass transit spends more and more every year and yet a much smaller share of Americans use trains and buses today than in past decades. One way that private companies spur productivity is by firing underperforming employees and rewarding excellence. In government employment, tenure for teachers and near lifetime employment for other civil servants shields workers from this basic system of reward and punishment. It is a system that breeds mediocrity, which is what we've gotten.

Most reasonable steps to restrain public-sector employment costs are smothered by the unions. Study after study has shown that states and cities could shave 20% to 40% off the cost of many services—fire fighting, public transportation, garbage collection, administrative functions, even prison operations—through competitive contracting to private providers. But unions have blocked many of those efforts. Public employees maintain that they are underpaid relative to equally qualified private-sector workers, yet they are deathly afraid of competitive bidding for government services.

President Obama says we have to retool our economy to "win the future." The only way to do that is to grow the economy that makes things, not the sector that takes things.

Mr. Moore is senior economics writer for The Wall Street Journal editorial page.


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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2011, 02:19:56 PM »

February Construction Activity Drops 1.4%, Lowest in More Than a Decade
ENR/AP ^ | 04/01/2011 | MARTIN CRUTSINGER




February Construction Activity Drops 1.4%, Lowest in More Than a Decade 04/01/2011 Associated Press/AP Online

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

WASHINGTON - Builders started work on fewer homes, apartments and government projects in February, pushing construction activity down to the lowest level in more than a decade.

Construction spending tumbled for a third straight month, dropping 1.4 percent in February, the Commerce Department said Friday. The weakness pushed total activity down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $760.6 billion, the smallest total since October 1999. That was below the previous recession low set back in August.


(Excerpt) Read more at enr.construction.com ...
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« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2011, 02:35:41 PM »

Hi, here’s a food stamp graph that will ruin your day.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2698970/posts

Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)

Sunday, April 3rd at 8:00AM EDT

23 Comments
Because why have a nice, sunny morning? We probably can’t afford those anymore, anyhow.

H/T AoSHQ Headlines:



Primed by the financial meltdown; took off like a rocket in January 2009, and is now reaching for the stars. Over 44 million on the rolls (somewhere around 14.3% of the population), which is about 14 million or so more than when this administration took office. The graph is sufficiently grim and depressing on its own to make further commentary largely unnecessary, but I will add one sardonic comment. If current conditions are what the White House considers to be “our economic recovery,” then let me be clear: You’re Doing It Wrong.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Benefits are down, too. A little counter-intuitive, given that the time frame is the Democratic party’s control of the government… no, wait, in that case it’s not counter-intuitive at all.


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« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2011, 03:10:18 PM »

Hi, here’s a food stamp graph that will ruin your day.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2698970/posts

Posted by Moe Lane (Profile)

Sunday, April 3rd at 8:00AM EDT




Hahah, that can't be..Andreistheman says the economy is getting better.  However, the food stamp gauge seems to suggest otherwise.
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« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2011, 03:15:39 PM »

Hahah, that can't be..Andreistheman says the economy is getting better.

The graph is horrble but it its in png format.   Copy at the link.   Its horrible.   

And dont listen to andre - he is in heat like a rabid dog for Obama's reelection. 
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« Reply #32 on: April 04, 2011, 08:05:59 AM »

Weekly Indicators: Economy Slowing Due to Choke Collar of High Oil Prices
Seeking Alpha ^ | 4-4-2011 | Hale Stewart




Weekly Indicators: Economy Slowing Due to Choke Collar of High Oil Prices

Hale Stewart
April 04, 2011

Last week's headline numbers were the 216,000 jobs added in March and the continued decline in the unemployment rate to 8.8%. As usual, I'll have more to say in the coming week, including at least one finding that contradicts the conventional wisdom. For now, we can just note that it was a good number - just not good enough for all the ground we have to make up.

Other monthly numbers continued to show an economy that is slowing due to the choke collar of high Oil prices. The manufacturing workweek declined (-.1), as did new factory orders. There are two more of the 10 leading indicators that have turned down. Residential and non-residential spending also declined. New cars sold in March also declined slightly from February, although at 13.1 million vehicles, this is still the second best showing in over two years. On the plus side, manufacturing as measured by the Chicago PMI and the ISM continued on a tear. BUT the leading components of that index - new orders and vendor deliveries - declined. Vendor deliveries declined sharply - the third of the 10 leading indicators to show a decline this week.

Did I mention that Oil was like a choke collar constricting economic growth?

Turning now to the high-frequency weekly indicators:

The BLS reported that Initial jobless claims last week were 388,000. The 4 week average is 394,250. This is the sixth week in a row that this number has been initially reported below 400,000. On the other hand, this series has not made a new low in the last month. Will the downward momentum continue or has it stalled?


(Excerpt) Read more at seekingalpha.com ...


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« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2011, 08:18:41 AM »

27 Depressing Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Will Make You Feel Even Worse
TEC ^ | 4-4-2011


Via FR

Feeling Depessed? 27 Depressing Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Will Make You Feel Even Worse

April 4, 2011

If you know someone that believes that the U.S. economy is in great shape, just show that person the following statistics. But please don't show these statistics to anyone that is feeling depressed or that has just lost a job - it might push such a person over the edge. The sad truth is that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a long-term decline and it is coming apart at the seams. Right now the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve are attempting to "paper over" our economic problems with massive amounts of government debt and paper currency, but in the end it is not going to work. When you analyze the numbers objectively, it leads to the inescapable conclusion that we are headed for another Great Depression. That is a very depressing thought, but there is no denying that decades of debt and incredibly bad decisions are starting to catch up with us. The economic pain that is coming is going to be absolutely mind blowing.

It would be nice if our politicians and our business leaders suddenly started making incredibly wise decisions so that we could bring the U.S. economy in for a "soft landing", but the chance of that happening is so small that it is not even worth mentioning.

It is time for all of us to face up to the truth. In this day and age it is really easy to get caught up in the trap of feeling depressed, but once we understand exactly how bad our problems are it can be empowering because then we can start focusing on solutions.

The following are 27 depressing statistics about the U.S. economy that are almost too crazy to believe....

#1 The Obama administration projects that the federal budget deficit will be approximately $1,600,000,000,000 this year. Right now the Republicans and the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail over budget cuts. The Republicans are proposing to cut the budget deficit by 3.8%. The Democrats only want to cut it by 2.1%.

#2 The U.S. economy actually grew more between 1930 and 1940 than it did during the decade that recently ended.

#3 Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.

#4 Agricultural commodities are absolutely soaring. The price of corn has more than doubled over the last 12 months. Considering the fact that corn is in literally thousands of our food products, that is a very frightening statistic.

#5 Between 1999 and 2009, real median household income in the United States declined by 5.0%.

#6 It is being estimated that total U.S. government debt will grow by 42 percent by the year 2015.

#7 According to the Pentagon, the cost of the first week of attacks on Libya was 600 million dollars.

#8 The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.

#9 According to the U.S. Energy Department, the average U.S. household will spend approximately $700 more on gasoline in 2011 than it did during 2010.

#10 It is being projected that for the first time ever, the OPEC nations are going to bring in over a trillion dollars from exporting oil this year. Their biggest customer is the United States.

#11 According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth. Back in 2007, that number was just 18.6 percent.

#12 China produced 19.8 percent of all the goods consumed in the world last year. The United States only produced 19.4 percent.

#13 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#14 The U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#15 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars since the peak of the real estate market in 2005.

#16 According to RealtyTrac, one out of every 45 U.S. households was hit with a foreclosure filing in 2010.

#17 The number of homes that were actually repossessed reached the 1 million mark for the first time ever during 2010.

#18 New home sales in the United States set a brand new all-time record low in the month of February.

#19 Now home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak in July 2005.

#20 The financial condition of American families continues to deteriorate rapidly. In 2010, one out of every eight American families had at least one family member that was unemployed. That number was the highest it has been since the U.S. Labor Department began keeping track of that statistic back in 1994.

#21 There are now more than 6 million Americans that the government says have given up looking for work completely.

#22 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.

#23 Americans now owe more than $900 billion on student loans, which is also an all-time record high.

#24 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.

#25 According to the Federal Reserve, between 2007 and 2009 median household net worth in the United States fell by 23 percent.

#26 The Federal Reserve also says that median household debt in the United States has risen to $75,600.

#27 According to a recent article posted on the website of the American Institute of Economic Research, the purchasing power of a U.S. dollar declined from $1.00 in 1913 to 4.6 cents in 2009. Sadly, the Federal Reserve is working very hard to get rid of the little bit of purchasing power that the U.S. dollar has left.

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« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2011, 11:38:48 AM »

Here Come The Increases In Coffee Prices
Economic Policy Journal ^ | 4-4-2011 | Robert Wenzel

Here Come The Increases In Coffee Prices

Robert Wenzel
April 4, 2011




Price inflation is about to hit from every angle. Since the financial crisis, Bernanke has printed too much money for it not to have a major impact. All indications are that it will hit hard in the second half of this year.

The only persons who appear not to be concerned about price inflation are NYT columnist Paul Krugman and his former Princeton colleague, Ben Bernanke, and other members of the Fed.

But keep in mind, just a few months ago Krugman wrote this:

There’s really nothing here to shake my view that deflation, not inflation, is the threat. Bernanke, who famously said the subprime crisis is no big deal, has been in lock step with Krugman in his lack of concern about price inflation. This is really scary since Bernanke is the captain of the money printing boat, known as the Federal Reserve.

And New York Fed president William Dudley doesn't think there is an inflation problem because as he put it: "Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful. You have to look at the prices of all things." A member of the audience quite correctly shouted to Dudley, ""You can't eat an iPad."

Anyway, here's something more to contemplate while you drink your morning coffee. SFC, again, this time on coffee prices:

If it hasn't already, your local coffee shop is probably about to raise the cost of your morning latte.

Global coffee prices have doubled over the past year, recently reaching a 14-year high and leading national companies like Starbucks to increase prices in recent weeks. Peet's and some smaller Bay Area specialty coffee roasters raised prices in the fall, while others are just now announcing increases. And it doesn't look as if it will stop there... Coffee prices generally fluctuate with the C market, a global commodity futures market that establishes benchmark prices for green arabica beans, the highest-grade coffee. Last spring.

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« Reply #35 on: April 04, 2011, 01:19:40 PM »

IMF economists see dire future for US taxpayers
AFP ^ | 04/04/2011




Americans will need to pay much heavier taxes and accept less from public healthcare to put state finances on a sustainable track, according to an IMF study published Monday.

"The United States is facing an untenable fiscal situation due to the combination of high fiscal deficits, an aging population and rapid growth in government-provided healthcare benefits," three International Monetary Fund economists said in a report.


(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...



________________________ ________________________ _______



Can someone please reind mewhy Obama ditched th recommendations of his own debt panel? 
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« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2011, 05:04:11 AM »

Rising oil prices beginning to hurt US economy
AP/YahooNews ^ | 4/6/11 | PAUL WISEMAN


________________________ ________________________ __



Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the economy. After adjusting for inflation and for seasonal factors, consumers spent 0.3 percent more in February than in January.

But that's unlikely to last. Gasoline prices are surging just as inflation-adjusted incomes are falling. More expensive gas is draining much of the cash Americans are receiving from a cut in Social Security taxes this year.

Zandi estimates that higher oil prices shaved 0.5 percentage point from growth in the January-March quarter. He predicts the economy grew 2.6 percent during the quarter.

If oil prices average $100 a barrel for the year, Zandi says, growth will be 0.3 percentage point lower than if prices had stayed at last year's level — an average of less than $80 a barrel. A few months of $125-a-barrel oil would slash economic growth by a full percentage point, Zandi says. And a few months at $150 a barrel could push the economy back into recession.


(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2011, 05:31:01 AM »

Fed Staff Increases Its Inflation Forecast
Economic Policy Journal ^ | 4-5-2011 | Robert Wenzel




Fed Staff Increases Its Inflation Forecast

Robert Wenzel
April 5, 2011

The the Federal Open Market Committee has just released the minutes of the Committee meeting held on March 15, 2011.

The minutes indicate that the Fed staff is increasing its near-term inflation expectations. According to the minutes:

The [Fed] staff revised up its projection for consumer price inflation in the near term, largely because of the recent increases in the prices of energy and food. However, in light of the projected persistence of slack in labor and product markets and the anticipated stability in long-term inflation expectations, the increase in inflation was expected to be mostly transitory if oil and other commodity prices did not rise significantly further. As a result, the forecast for consumer price inflation over the medium run was little changed relative to that prepared for the January meeting.

Translation of this Fed Speak:

We (The Fed) see the price inflation that is just ahead. We hope it is just "transitory" but have no basis for believing it is. In any event, we are going to only raise the price inflation forecast for the near term and hope the inflation goes away after that, which it won't if oil and other commodity prices keep climbing. It should also be noted that this raising of Fed inflation levels is being done at the "staff" level, the clever Bernanke being sure not to spook markets into thinking Fed members are concerned about inflation and are about ready to cut the inflationary money printing party.

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« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2011, 06:10:09 AM »

BofA the Gloomiest of Them All: GDP at 1.5%
CNBC ^ | Monday, 4 Apr 2011 11:33 AM ET | Jeff Cox




The race to the bottom for first-quarter GDP projections has a new leader: Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

With a succession of mild unemployment drops unable to ease concerns about the larger slow-growth story for the US economy, BofAML now sees the quarter’s growth prospects at just 1.5 percent.

The firm’s forecast, in a research note Monday from economist Ethan S. Harris, makes JPMorgan Chase’s [JPM 46.58 0.24 (+0.52%) ] outlook of 2.5 percent seem downright rosy and jibes with a recent warning from Capital Economics that the economy is at a crawl and unlikely to do better than 2 percent in growth.

“A lot of the recent ‘strong economy’ talk ignores the events of recent weeks. While payrolls were solid, we now expect just 1.5% Q1 GDP growth,” Harris wrote in a note to clients. “This weak patch is happening before the impact of rising energy prices is felt.”


(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...
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« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2011, 08:31:33 AM »

Consequences of the M1 Money Supply
http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/consequences-of-the-m1-money-supply

 | 4/5/2011 | David DeGerolamo


________________________ ________________________ ________________________ _



What are the consequences of the Federal Reserve's policy to expand the M1 money supply? The following chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve shows how fast the money supply has exploded under the Obama administration:



Art Laffer wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal on June 11th, 2009 which outlined some of the consequences of the Federal Reserve’s policy to increase the money supply. Two years later and we see that his analysis was correct for his short time frame predictions:

The expansion of money, given an increase in the monetary base, is inevitable, and will ultimately result in higher inflation and interest rates. In shorter time frames, the expansion of money can also result in higher stock prices, a weaker currency, and increases in commodity prices such as oil and gold. January 2009 to present price increases:

Stock Market 8500 => 12,400 USD vs.Swiss Franc 1.0727 CHF => 0.922051 CHF (USD down 14%) Oil $45.87 => $108 (per barrel) Gold $800=>$1435 $1453.70


What is the M1 Money Supply?
M1 includes funds that are readily accessible for spending:

(1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions (2) traveler's checks of nonbank issuers (3) demand deposits (4) other checkable deposits (OCDs), which consist primarily of negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts at depository institutions and credit union share draft accounts.

Seasonally adjusted M1 is calculated by summing currency, traveler's checks, demand deposits, and OCDs, each seasonally adjusted separately. So where are we headed according to one of North Carolina's rising Democrat stars: Erskinse Bowles.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjAg8Sx1fi4

“I'm really concerned,” Bowles told the committee last month. “I think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. A lot of us sitting in this room didn't see this last crisis as it came upon us. But this one is really easy to see. The fiscal path we are on today is simply not sustainable.

“This debt and these deficits that we are incurring on an annual basis are like a cancer and they are truly going to destroy this country from within unless we have the common sense to do something about it,” said Bowles.

“I used to say that I got into this thing for my grandchildren,” Bowles said. “I have eight grandchildren under five years old. I'll have one more in a week. And my life is wonderful and it is wild. But this problem is going to happen long before my grandchildren grow up.

“This problem is going to happen, like the former chairman of the Fed said, or the Moody's said, this is a problem we're going to have to face up,” he said. “It may be two years, you know, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. But if our bankers over there in Asia begin to believe that we're not going to be solid on our debt, that we're not going to be able to meet our obligations, just stop and think for a minute what happens if they just stop buying our debt.

“What happens to interest rates?” asked Bowles. “And what happens to the U.S. economy? The markets will absolutely devastate us if we don't step up to this problem. The problem is real, the solutions are painful, and we have to act.” I would not recommend that you wait for the government to act as Mr. Bowles suggests. Ask yourself why the government is printing money and then protect your assets before the dollar evaporates.

See these related articles on the consequences of interest rate increase coming in the near future:

Get Ready to Pay for the Federal Reserve’s Mistakes

Another Brick in the Wall



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« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2011, 08:39:32 AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_TjBNjc9Bo" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_TjBNjc9Bo</a>
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« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2011, 11:35:21 AM »

Ryan: Debt on Track to Hit 800 Percent of GDP; 'CBO Can't Conceive of Anyway' Economy Can Continue Past 2037
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
By Nicholas Ballasy



(CNSNews.com) – House Budget Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said President Barack Obama’s budget strategy is to “do nothing, punt, duck, kick the can down the road” while the debt remains on track to eventually hit 800 percent of GDP and the CBO is saying it "can't conceive of any way" that the economy can continue past 2037 given its current trajectory.

Ryan also said that the House Republicans’ FY2012 budget, which he unveiled yesterday, would save Medicare and help the United States avoid a debt crisis.

“It all comes down to this: Either you fix this problem now where we, you can guarantee people who’ve already organized their lives around these programs get what they have coming to them, or you pick the president’s path, which is do nothing, punt, duck, kick the can down the road, and then we have a debt crisis and then its pain for everybody,” said Ryan.


“Then, you do start cutting seniors,” he said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.  “So, the question here is not if we reform Medicare. The question is when and how we reform Medicare and by reforming Medicare now, you save Medicare.” Ryan said during

He continued, “So the question is, do we save these programs now by engaging in budget reform that preempts a debt crisis that gets this situation under control and gets this economy growing or do we worry about politics, do we worry about the next election and then by doing so, kick the can down the road, only to wake one day and see a real problem where you have to do indiscriminate cuts to everybody including senior citizens? We don’t want to have European austerity in this country, which is a debt-crisis-fueled cut to current seniors, tax increases on the current economy to slow us down.”

Ryan’s proposal, which cuts $5.8 trillion in government spending over the next decade, would provide Medicare beneficiaries with subsidies to purchase private insurance starting in 2022.  The proposal would also end taxpayer support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and provide no funding for the implementation of the health care reform law passed by Congress last March.




<i><i>House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R.-Wis. (AP photo)</i></i>

“We’re on a debt crisis path. We are on a path where the government goes from 20 percent of GDP, to 40 percent then 60 percent of GDP. We’re on a path where our debt goes from about 68 percent of GDP to 800 percent of GDP over the three-generation window,” Ryan said.

“I asked CBO to run the model going out and they told me that their computer simulation crashes in 2037 because CBO can’t conceive of any way in which the economy can continue past the year 2037 because of debt burdens,” said Ryan.

“So, we have to go out and give the country a choice,” he said. “We know the path the president’s put the country on. It’s a path that I fundamentally believe transforms this country into something it was never designed to be – into a cradle-to-grave social welfare state and economic stagnation.”

“We are offering a country that is true to this country’s founding principles that is prosperous, that is pro-growth, that lives within its means, that is an opportunity society with a sound, resilable safety net,” said Ryan.
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« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2011, 03:35:52 PM »

US corn reserves expected to fall to 15-year low
Associated Press ^ | 4/8/11 | Staff




St. Louis - Rising demand for corn from ethanol producers is pushing U.S. reserves to the lowest point in 15 years, a trend that could lead to higher grain and food prices this year. The Agriculture Department on Friday left its estimate for corn reserves unchanged from the previous month. The reserves are projected to fall to 675 million bushels in late August, when the harvest begins, or roughly 5 percent of all corn consumed in the United States. That would be the lowest surplus level since 1996.The limited supply is chiefly because of increasing demand from ethanol makers, which


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« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2011, 07:03:43 AM »

9% Rate Economy Good or Excellent, 56% Say Poor
Rasmussen Reports ^ | 4/9/11 | by Scott Rasmussen




~ EXCERPT ~

The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures the economic confidence of consumers on a daily basis, fell for the fifth straight day on Saturday. At 76.5, the Consumer Index has fallen five points since Monday’s recent peak. Confidence is down one point from a month ago and thirteen points from three months ago.

Currently, just 9% of American adults rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent while 56% rate the economy as poor. Most (54%) say the economy is still getting worse while two-thirds (66%) say the country is still in a recession.

The Consumer Index reached a two-year high of 93.3 on January 7 and has been trending lower ever since. Consumer confidence for the full month of March was the lowest since last September.

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« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2011, 05:11:38 AM »

America's Inflationary Depression
TMO ^ | 4-10-2011 | Bob Chapman

Posted on Saturday, April 09, 2011 5:10:07 PM by blam

America's Inflationary Depression

Economics / Great Depression II
Apr 09, 2011 - 02:24 PM
By: Bob Chapman


We see signs that American workers are getting worn out. Management may have squeezed the last drops of extra work that they can out of them. That has been reflected in the latest worker productivity. Since WWII the average increase has been 2-1/2% year after year, but last week’s numbers were terrible, up only 0.2% per year. Europe and the US have been able in part to offset advantages of foreign producers by consistently getting better productivity results.

For those of you that are new to these statistics, they are a reflection of labor productivity, or advances in the way work is done. Such previous success have allowed companies to get the job done with fewer employees and in instances to offshore some work to take advantage of cheap foreign labor. If you use a combination of labor and investment funds, recent results are only up 0.1% for 2009. Those numbers are usually about half of regular productivity numbers. What low overall numbers mean is that throwing money at manufacturing problems is not working as well as it has in the past.

Recessions tend to supply lower figures and that is understandable. We are currently in an inflationary depression and have been since February of 2009, just over two years ago. Few economists agree with us, but that is normal. A few catch up in 8 to 12 months, the rest take two or more years.

Higher interest rates tend to be a factor, a negative factor. The higher the rates the larger the impact on the use of investible funds and productivity. The negative side coming from the cost of funds. During our recent depression the cost of funds has not been a factor, because interest rates are very low. As rates eventually move higher they will negatively impact employment at the worst possible time. Those higher rates will as well inhibit the level of capital investment and will contribute to corporate insolvencies. During the beginnings of this depression employment has paid a very heavy price, as corporate profits have boomed. Unemployment rates are about half of what they were during the “Great Depression.” Current long-term unemployment is terrible and many over 40 years old caught in that web will never work again.

It is very discouraging and disconcerting when workers train foreigners to do their jobs and are then fired. The jobs go to some foreign land and the new worker is paid 20% or 30% of what the terminated worker was paid. In addition companies, especially large corporations, are taking advantage of the breaks government is offering and buying labor saving equipment so that they do not have to hire or re-hire personnel. The result as we have seen is long-term unemployment, which in many cases means permanent unemployment, particularly for those over 40 years old.

Using invested capital, interest rates and manufacturing productivity, along with monetary policy gives one a possible overview of where the economy is eventually heading. They also give you a solid view of where gold and silver and commodities are headed. In 2000 after 20 years of being in the doldrums these factors, especially monetary policy, told us that we were embarking on a long-term bull market in gold and silver. The dreadful monetary policy of the 1990s had set the stage for what we have seen since June of 2000, almost 11 years. At this juncture we are as yet anywhere near where the top is, but it certainly is not here.
We are in the process of stage 2, which should take us to $2,400 to $3,000 and then stage 3 to $6,000 to $8,000, based on real inflation since 1980. Obviously that figure will be higher three to five years from now. One of the good aspects of all this is that once devaluation, revaluation and multilateral default come. There will be no further reason for the Treasury, the Fed and other central banks to manipulate gold and silver prices, if the new world reserve currency is 25% gold backed and we believe that will become reality. The elitists want another fiat currency, but nations will not stand for a repeat of what they have seen during the tenure of the US dollar. You had all better hope we are right, because a fiat alternative would create another world monetary disaster.

As we have explained many times in the past, since February 2009 the US has been in an inflationary depression. It has taken a while to get underway, but it is moving relentlessly forward.

We currently have real inflation in the vicinity of 8%, not less than 2%, which our government tells us. By the end of the year we will have 14% plus, matching 14-3/8% of 2-1/2 years ago, which was caused by an 18% increase in money and credit. Current inflation is mainly caused by a switch to quantitative easing, QE1 and $850 billion in stimulus from Congress, which will play itself out into next year. Fast on the heels of that monetary policy we will be exposed to the affects of QE2 and the $862 billion injected into the system by QE2 and stimulus 2. That will carry us into 2013.

The big question is will we have QE3 and the answer is yes, officially or unofficially. Getting stimulus 3 will prove very difficult, if not impossible. That means the Fed will have to take up the slack in funding to keep the financial system afloat. Thus, next year or perhaps by the fall, the Fed will have to feed $2.5 trillion into the system just to keep it going sideways to slightly lower. Establishment economists are calling for 4% to 4-1/2% GDP growth for 2011. Remember without these monetary and fiscal crutches GDP would be minus 1% or more. Such performance will put ever-higher pressure on inflation taking 2012 to 25% or perhaps 30% in 2014. It is already in the pipeline.

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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2011, 05:19:38 AM »

America's Inflationary Depression
TMO ^ | 4-10-2011 | Bob Chapman

Posted on Saturday, April 09, 2011 5:10:07 PM by blam

America's Inflationary Depression

Economics / Great Depression II
Apr 09, 2011 - 02:24 PM
By: Bob Chapman


We see signs that American workers are getting worn out. Management may have squeezed the last drops of extra work that they can out of them. That has been reflected in the latest worker productivity. Since WWII the average increase has been 2-1/2% year after year, but last week’s numbers were terrible, up only 0.2% per year. Europe and the US have been able in part to offset advantages of foreign producers by consistently getting better productivity results.

For those of you that are new to these statistics, they are a reflection of labor productivity, or advances in the way work is done. Such previous success have allowed companies to get the job done with fewer employees and in instances to offshore some work to take advantage of cheap foreign labor. If you use a combination of labor and investment funds, recent results are only up 0.1% for 2009. Those numbers are usually about half of regular productivity numbers. What low overall numbers mean is that throwing money at manufacturing problems is not working as well as it has in the past.

Recessions tend to supply lower figures and that is understandable. We are currently in an inflationary depression and have been since February of 2009, just over two years ago. Few economists agree with us, but that is normal. A few catch up in 8 to 12 months, the rest take two or more years.

Higher interest rates tend to be a factor, a negative factor. The higher the rates the larger the impact on the use of investible funds and productivity. The negative side coming from the cost of funds. During our recent depression the cost of funds has not been a factor, because interest rates are very low. As rates eventually move higher they will negatively impact employment at the worst possible time. Those higher rates will as well inhibit the level of capital investment and will contribute to corporate insolvencies. During the beginnings of this depression employment has paid a very heavy price, as corporate profits have boomed. Unemployment rates are about half of what they were during the “Great Depression.” Current long-term unemployment is terrible and many over 40 years old caught in that web will never work again.

It is very discouraging and disconcerting when workers train foreigners to do their jobs and are then fired. The jobs go to some foreign land and the new worker is paid 20% or 30% of what the terminated worker was paid. In addition companies, especially large corporations, are taking advantage of the breaks government is offering and buying labor saving equipment so that they do not have to hire or re-hire personnel. The result as we have seen is long-term unemployment, which in many cases means permanent unemployment, particularly for those over 40 years old.

Using invested capital, interest rates and manufacturing productivity, along with monetary policy gives one a possible overview of where the economy is eventually heading. They also give you a solid view of where gold and silver and commodities are headed. In 2000 after 20 years of being in the doldrums these factors, especially monetary policy, told us that we were embarking on a long-term bull market in gold and silver. The dreadful monetary policy of the 1990s had set the stage for what we have seen since June of 2000, almost 11 years. At this juncture we are as yet anywhere near where the top is, but it certainly is not here.
We are in the process of stage 2, which should take us to $2,400 to $3,000 and then stage 3 to $6,000 to $8,000, based on real inflation since 1980. Obviously that figure will be higher three to five years from now. One of the good aspects of all this is that once devaluation, revaluation and multilateral default come. There will be no further reason for the Treasury, the Fed and other central banks to manipulate gold and silver prices, if the new world reserve currency is 25% gold backed and we believe that will become reality. The elitists want another fiat currency, but nations will not stand for a repeat of what they have seen during the tenure of the US dollar. You had all better hope we are right, because a fiat alternative would create another world monetary disaster.

As we have explained many times in the past, since February 2009 the US has been in an inflationary depression. It has taken a while to get underway, but it is moving relentlessly forward.

We currently have real inflation in the vicinity of 8%, not less than 2%, which our government tells us. By the end of the year we will have 14% plus, matching 14-3/8% of 2-1/2 years ago, which was caused by an 18% increase in money and credit. Current inflation is mainly caused by a switch to quantitative easing, QE1 and $850 billion in stimulus from Congress, which will play itself out into next year. Fast on the heels of that monetary policy we will be exposed to the affects of QE2 and the $862 billion injected into the system by QE2 and stimulus 2. That will carry us into 2013.

The big question is will we have QE3 and the answer is yes, officially or unofficially. Getting stimulus 3 will prove very difficult, if not impossible. That means the Fed will have to take up the slack in funding to keep the financial system afloat. Thus, next year or perhaps by the fall, the Fed will have to feed $2.5 trillion into the system just to keep it going sideways to slightly lower. Establishment economists are calling for 4% to 4-1/2% GDP growth for 2011. Remember without these monetary and fiscal crutches GDP would be minus 1% or more. Such performance will put ever-higher pressure on inflation taking 2012 to 25% or perhaps 30% in 2014. It is already in the pipeline.



A worse version of Japans Lost Decade, that's where we are headed.
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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2011, 01:51:50 PM »

IMF cuts economic forecasts for U.S.
CNN ^ | April 11, 2011: 10:02 AM ET | Annalyn Censky, staff reporter



...Citing weak real estate markets and high unemployment, the IMF cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth to 2.8% this year, down from the 3% rate it predicted just three months ago. The IMF also lowered forecasts for the United Kingdom and Japan...


(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
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« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2011, 05:19:25 PM »

Inflation Actually Near 10% Using Older Measure
CNBC ^ | 04/12/2011 | CNBC



After former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was appointed in 1979, the consumer price index surged into the double digits, causing the now revered Fed Chief to double the benchmark interest rate in order to break the back of inflation. Using the methodology in place at that time puts the CPI back near those levels.

Getty Images Inflation, using the reporting methodologies in place before 1980, hit an annual rate of 9.6 percent in February, according to the Shadow Government Statistics newsletter.

Since 1980, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed the way it calculates the CPI in order to account for the substitution of products, improvements in quality (i.e. iPad 2 costing the same as original iPad) and other things. Backing out more methods implemented in 1990 by the BLS still puts inflation at a 5.5 percent rate and getting worse, according to the calculations by the newsletter’s web site, Shadowstats.com.


(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...
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« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2011, 05:20:18 PM »

Cotton prices heat up this summer
CnnMoney.com ^ | April 12, 2011 | Parija Kavilanz




If you can't wait to shed that scratchy wool sweater for a cool new cotton T-shirt this summer, prepare yourself. The price hikes on cotton goods that are coming your way will be decidedly uncool.

This summer, shoppers will be paying 10% to 15% more on all cotton products, according to a new industry survey.

"I can't recall a time when we've seen this type of retail price [increase] on cotton products," said Andrew Tananbaum, CEO of Capital Business Credit, which provides financing to clothing and home furnishing suppliers.

For years, raw cotton prices had been falling, keeping a lid on retail prices for shirts, socks, dresses, home furnishings and other cotton merchandise.

But that trend dramatically changed over the past year, as cotton prices soared to record highs following a global supply shortage.

As raw cotton prices surged, manufacturers and sellers have fought to insulate shoppers from paying more for cotton products.

But that's ending, with producers and sellers saying they're no longer able to eat up the additional costs to their business.


(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
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« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2011, 05:32:03 PM »

US lacks credibility on debt, says IMF
By Chris Giles and James Politi in Washington


Published: April 12 2011 19:15

The US lacks a “credible strategy” to stabilise its mounting public debt posing a small but significant risk of a new global economic crisis, says the International Monetary Fund.

In an unusually stern rebuke to its largest shareholder, the IMF said the US was the only advanced economy to be increasing its underlying budget deficit in 2011 at a time when its economy was growing fast enough to reduce borrowing.

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Obama to set out alternative fiscal vision - Apr-12.Clive Crook: Obama on deficits and debt - Apr-12.In depth: US budget - Mar-15.Stage set for US debt limit fight - Apr-12.Tackling the deficit is next fiscal battle - Apr-10.Lex: US budget - Apr-11..The latest warning on the deficit was delivered as Barack Obama, the US president, is becoming increasingly engaged in the debate over ways to curb America’s mounting debt.

To meet the 2010 pledge by the Group of 20 countries for all advanced economies – except Japan – to halve their deficits by 2013, the US would need to implement tougher austerity measures than in any two-year period since records began in 1960, the IMF said. In its twice-yearly Fiscal Monitor, the IMF added that on its current plans the US would join Japan as the only country with rising public debt in 2016, creating a risk for the global economy.

Carlo Cottarelli, head of fiscal affairs at the Fund, said: “It is a risk that if it materialises would have very important consequences ... for the rest of the world. So it is important that the US undertakes fiscal adjustment in a way sooner rather than later.”

At the moment, the US has outlined less than half of the tax increases and spending cuts necessary to bring its public debt down in the medium term, the IMF calculated. “More sizeable reductions in medium-term deficits are needed and will require broader reforms, including to social security and taxation,” the IMF said.

The IMF said the US economy “appears sufficiently strong” to withstand greater austerity measures and tax increases, adding that the benefit of last year’s stimulus package “is likely to be low relative to its costs”.

Having narrowly averted a government shutdown last week through a deal with congressional Republicans to cut $38.5bn in spending from this year’s budget, Mr Obama will today unveil his plans to rein in America’s long-term deficits, which are driven by popular programmes like Medicare,Medicaid and social security.

The debate over US fiscal policy is expected to intensify in the coming weeks and months as the US hits its congressionally mandated debt limit of $14,300bn. Without approval by lawmakers to increase it, the US could face potential default as early as July, and so far Republicans and Democrats remain some distance from reaching a deal.

.Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dc1aadea-652e-11e0-b150-00144feab49a.html

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