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Pound plunges before inflation data release, sparking fresh ‘leak’ concerns

A sharp fall in sterling just before surprisingly weak June inflation data was released has...

Resume Inflation at the NSC: Lt. General McMaster’s Silver Star Was Essentially Earned for...

Photo by Army Capabilities Integration Center | Public Domain In the annals of human conflict, the Gulf War of 1991, when the US dispatched half...

US doesn’t even have 2 parties, just one endorsing inflationism, Fed & IRS –...

Americans do not really have a choice under the current electoral system. The political landscape is...

Inflation nation: Healthcare, housing costs on the rise as anticipated Fed interest rate hike...

If August felt like a tough month, you’re not alone. Rapid inflation marked a 32-year high...

Revealing the Real Rate of Inflation

The grim reality is that real inflation is 7+% per year. This week, I’ve noted that Consumer Prices Have Soared 160% Since 2001while under-the-radar declines...

The Effects of Government-Issued Money: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?

Fifteen years after embarking on its largely ineffective quantitative easing program, Japan appears poised to try the form recommended by Ben Bernanke...
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Video: Why Bankers and Financiers Benefit from Low Inflation Policy

PERI's Gerald Epstein explains why financial institutions like the IMF promote fiscal policy that reduces investment, economic growth, and employment. Via Youtube

The Pentagon’s Medal Inflation

Like grade inflation in college, the Pentagon has engaged in medal inflation, diluting awards for actual heroism by proliferating ribbons...
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Video: ‘Never give up hope’? Ukrainian govt promises new reforms as inflation hits record...

Ukraine's economy is in dire straits - people are poor and the social situation has deteriorated. With yearly inflation hitting a record 45%, Ukraine...
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Video: Wheelbarrow Hyperinflation, From Venezuela To The U.S

http://surviveshemitah.com/TDV1127EY3G/ Jeffs New Video In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews Jeff Berwick the dollar vigilante inside the barrio's of ... source

UK salaries lag inflation despite employment recovery, report shows

Employment in the UK has returned to ‘pre-crash’ levels while wages remain low and their growth behind inflation, according to newly published official figures. A new...

Financial Bubble Implosions. Asset Price Inflation and Social Inequality

It is now common knowledge that the U.S. economy has in recent years been experiencing extremely uneven developments. While the financial sector has been...

Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else

Have you noticed that prices are going up rapidly?  If so, you are certainly not alone.  But Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, the Obama administration and the mainstream media would have us believe that inflation is completely under control and exactly where it should be.  Perhaps if the highly manipulated numbers that they quote us [...]

TSHTF Inflation: “What YOU Will Pay for What You Need to Survive”

This extremely informative article has been generously contributed by John Galt. Follow his John Galt FLA website for essential news, informative analysis and a truly unique perspective on global happenings. Be sure to check out his widely popular The Day The Dollar Died series available for free online, as well as John’s latest The YearRead the Rest...

The Fed transfers bank losses to taxpayers by inflation

Peter Palms  RINF Alternative News The bailout game as applied in real life to Penn Central, Lockheed, New York City, Chrysler, Commonwealth Bank of Detroit, First...

We Will Be Told Hyperinflation is Necessary, Proper, Patriotic and Ethical

Patrick BarronMisesJanuary 14, 2014 Hyperinflation leads to the complete breakdown in the demand for a currency,...

Some Economists See Inflation as Cure for Sluggish Economy

President Obama's choice to succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke next year, is among a number of influential economists who would welcome a higher...

Fed Nominee Yellen, a Staunch Inflationist and Establishmentarian

When Barack Obama nominated Janet Yellen (shown) to succeed Ben Berananke as head of the Federal Reserve, the markets heaved a collective sigh of...

UK inflation rising despite low wages

Wages in Britain have failed to keep up with rising inflation rates, a new study shows. Research by XpertHR found that the typical increase for...

Euro-Zone Wages Lag Inflation

Alex BrittainWall Street JournalSeptember 16, 2013 Workers in some of the euro zone's hardest-hit economies suffered...

Euro-Zone Wages Lag Inflation

Alex BrittainWall Street JournalSeptember 16, 2013 Workers in some of the euro zone's hardest-hit economies suffered...

First Signs of Hyperinflation Have Arrived

US national debt can travel from the earth to the sun and back a stunning 83 times. JS Kim zerohedge.com August 26, 2013 The first signs of hyperinflation...

German inflation rate hits yearly high

Experts attributed the inflation hike to higher food costs brought on by a cold winter.

'German inflation hits peak annual rate’

Inflation increased more than expected on a monthly basis, as consumer prices rose by 0.5 percent.A new poll shows the German annual inflation rate...

FED’s Propaganda On Deflation, Inflation & Bubbles

Every day, I read dozens of articles on finance and economics and I am amazed that the mainstream media continue to publish articles written...

On The Economy: Inflation Accelerates; Fed Rumors Rise

npr.orgJuly 12, 2013 The morning’s major economic news: – Inflation. Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in June...

Inflation Is Too Low? Are You Kidding Us Bernanke?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that inflation in the United States needs to be higher. Yes, he actually came right out...

Bernanke’s Inflation Problem

Ben Bernanke has an inflation problem. There isn’t any inflation and that’s a problem. In the last 12 months, consumer prices have risen a mere...

UK inflation rate soars in May

UK inflation rate soars in wake of air fare rises.UK inflation has increased to 2.7 percent in May, up from 2.4 percent in April...

Eurozone inflation rate increases in May: Eurostat

Press TVJune 17, 2013 The data released by EU statistics office Eurostat on Friday indicated that...

'Eurozone inflation rises in May'

The European financial crisis began in early 2008.New official data show the inflation rate increased across the eurozone in May, amid deteriorating economic situation...

Rezaei vows to tackle inflation, sanctions

Iranian presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaei says he has what it takes to tackle inflation, unemployment as well as the US-engineered sanctions. On Monday, the independent...

‘Next administration must curb inflation’

Presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi during a press conference in Tehran on June 10, 2013Presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi says the next administration has to curb...

Aref to tackle unemployment, inflation

Iranian Presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref has vowed to resolve the problem of unemployment and continue the subsidy reform program. In a speech in the holy...

Aref to tackle unemployment, inflation

Iranian Presidential candidate Mohammad-Reza Aref has vowed to resolve the problem of unemployment and continue the subsidy reform program. In a speech in the holy...

Britain’s inflation highest in EU

Britain has the highest food and energy inflation in western Europe.Britain has the highest food and energy inflation in western Europe as UK households...

Haddad-Adel blames banks for inflation

Presidential candidate Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel speaks in a televised program.Iranian presidential candidate Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel has blamed Iranian banks for fueling price hikes in the country,...

Shadow Banking and Financial Fraud: Massive Asset Inflation, Who Really Benefits?

Have you ever wondered why when over 40 million Americans are on food stamps, millions of homes foreclosed and millions more unemployed, there is...

Curbing inflation to top Aref agenda

Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Reza Aref says curbing inflation will be his top priority if he wins the June 14 vote. On Sunday, the Reformist...

Deflation Smackdown: Bernanke’s Madcap Money Printing Fails to Boost Inflation

“Under a fiat money system, a government… should always be able to generate increased nominal spending and inflation, even when the short-term nominal interest...

NN Qalibaf vows to curb inflation

Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf addresses a crowd of people in the western city of Ardebil on May 30, 2013.Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad...

Aref to subdue inflation, create jobs

Reformist presidential candidate Mohammad Reza Aref has criticized the high rate of inflation in Iran, pledging to fight unemployment and create jobs if elected...

Gharazi to form anti-inflation cabinet

Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi speaks at a press conference in Tehran on May 23, 2013.Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi says he will form...

'Expense-revenue balance curbs inflation'

Govt. expense-revenue balance curbs inflation: GharaziPresidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi answers questions at a press conference in Tehran on May 27, 2013.Iranian presidential candidate, Mohammad...

Gharazi set to curb inflation, create jobs

Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi says he will form an anti-inflationary administration to improve the countryâ„¢s economy if he wins the June 14 vote. Speaking...

Gharazi set to curb inflation, create jobs

Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi says top of his agenda will be to form an anti-inflation government if he wins the upcoming election. In...

Will It Be Inflation Or Deflation? The Answer May Surprise You

Michael SnyderEconomic CollapseMay 23, 2013 Is the coming financial collapse going to be inflationary or deflationary?...

Gharazi vows to subdue inflation

Iranian presidential candidate Mohammad Gharazi says he will form a cabinet to subdue inflation in order to improve the countryâ„¢s economy if he wins...

IMF warns Saudi Arabia of inflation

The International Monetary Fund has warned Saudi Arabia of a possible inflation risk, urging the kingdom to take preemptive measures against the potential risk. In...

Iran hopeful vows to rein in inflation

Iranian presidential hopeful Mohammad-Reza Aref says he has devised an economic plan rein in the countryâ„¢s inflation to achieve development and progress. Å“We have a...

Energy Costs Push Inflation To 9-Month High

Rising energy and petrol bills combined to push inflation to a nine-month high in February, tightening the household spending squeeze.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) measured the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) at an annual rate of 2.8% in February, up 0.1% on the previous month and in line with economists' forecasts.

The ONS said the increase was also driven by higher video game and photographic equipment costs.

Higher energy bills saw housing costs rise 0.5% between January and February, while transport prices rose 1.2% due to a 4p-a-litre surge in the cost of petrol and 9% increase in air fares.

CPI continues to outstrip wage growth in the UK and the gap is expected to widen as experts predict inflation will top 3% by the summer.

The Treasury shrugged off the increase, insisting it was "in line with market expectations and down by almost a half from its peak of 5.2%."

But there are signs of even further inflationary pressure in the economy as the weaker pound leads to higher oil import costs.

Just last month, the Bank of England forecast that CPI inflation would remain above its 2% target into 2016, pushed up by higher energy and university tuition prices.

The latest inflation figures also cast doubt on the bank's ability to pump more money into the flat-lining economy through its quantitative easing programme.

We learn on Wednesday whether out-going governor, Sir Mervyn King, voted again to extend QE by a further £25bn when the minutes of this month's meeting of the monetary policy committee (MPC) are released.

In February, the MPC voted 6-3 against further stimulus.

:: The Retail Prices Index (RPI), which also includes housing costs, dropped to 3.2% in February from 3.3% in January as food inflation eased slightly.

With Minimum Wage Bill, Congress Is Just Trying to Keep Up With Inflation

With Minimum Wage Bill, Congress Is Just Trying to Keep Up With Inflation

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Posted on Mar 5, 2013
AP/Mike Groll

By Thomas Hedges, Center for Study of Responsive Law

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to announce that they had introduced a bill in Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 over three years. The legislation would ensure that the minimum wage is indexed so that it would keep up with inflation rates every year.

“Every time we’ve raised the minimum wage,” Harkin said, “the economy gets stronger—every single time.”

The bill “would give a raise to 30 million American workers,” he said. “More than half of these are women and nine out of 10 are adult workers, not teenagers.”

About 120 million Americans make less today than the minimum wage standard in 1968, when workers were making $10.50 an hour adjusting for inflation.

Since 2002, the poverty rate among U.S. children, almost all of who have at least one parent making the minimum wage, has risen from 16 to almost 22 percent.

The current minimum wage “is immoral and it is economically dangerous,” Miller said at the news conference Tuesday. “We know that businesses can afford to raise the minimum wage. The New York Times just yesterday called it the golden age of corporate profits, even while workers’ wages remain stuck in quicksand.”

Harkin noted that “with an increase in minimum, wage workers have more to spend locally and not overseas. This is just basic economics. Increased demand means increased economic activity ... [and] a boost to Main Street.”

Harkin and Miller said they would like to see the minimum wage hiked even higher than what they have proposed.

“We have to be realistic though,” Harkin said. “We want it to pass through Congress.”

Opponents of the legislation argue that boosting the minimum wage would push companies to lay off more of their workers. It is the nature, they say, of running a business in a competitive market.

But average CEO pay, Miller pointed out, is 900 percent higher than it was in 1985 and is 360 times the salary of the average—not the lowest paid—worker.

Middle-class income has dropped almost 10 percent over the last 23 years as a result, the congressman said.

Amy Crawford, who traveled from Illinois to Washington, D.C., to speak at the news conference, illustrates today’s minimum wage job holder. For more than 30 years, she worked as a designer and considered herself a member of the middle class. But since moving to Chicago 14 months ago, she has not been able to find commensurate work and now her temporary job at a fast food restaurant is looking more and more permanent.

“I used to think minimum wage jobs were for other people, people who worked where I stopped to get doughnuts or burgers,” the 56-year-old Crawford said. “They weren’t me. They had less education and fewer skills. They didn’t work as hard as I had or try as hard.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong,” she acknowledged. “The truth is that in today’s economy anyone can wind up in a minimum wage job.”

This article was made possible by the Center for Study of Responsive Law.

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Inflation Is the Legacy of the Federal Reserve

The father of the theory that government stimulus is the way to fight severe downturns – John Maynard Keynes – famously said about inflation:

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke also admits that inflation is a tax on the American people:

By issuing bonds to itself the government seems to have miraculously raised revenue without burdening anyone else. This is probably why the mechanism is universally adopted throughout the world’s financial system. Yet free money does not, and cannot, exist. Since there can be no such thing as a government, or anyone else for that matter, raising revenue “at no cost” simple logic tells us that someone, somewhere has to pay.

But who? This is where the subtle dishonesty resides, because the answer is that no-one knows. If the money printing creates inflation in the product market, the consumers in that product market will pay. If the money printing creates inflation in asset markets, the purchaser of the more elevated asset price pays. Of course, if the printed money ends up in asset markets even less is known about who ultimately pays for the government’s ‘free lunch’, because in this case the money printing sets off its own dynamic via the perpetual Ponzi machine that is the global financial system. The ‘free lunch’ providers will be the late entrants into whatever asset-bubble or investment fad the money printing inflates.

The point is we can’t know who will pay, only that someone will pay. Thus the government has raised revenues without even knowing upon whom the burden falls, let alone telling them. Compare this to raising explicit ‘honest’ taxes, which are at least transparent. We know who levied the sales tax or the income tax, when it was levied, when it is payable, and how much has to be paid. The burden of this money printing, in contrast, seeps silently into the economy, falling indiscriminately but indubitably on unseen, unknowing victims.

The economic hardships this clandestine tax operation imposes are real and keenly felt. But because no one knows from where it comes the enemy is unseen. Thus, during great inflations, societies turn on themselves with each faction blaming another for its malaise: the third century inflation crisis in ancient Rome coincided with Diocletian’s infamous persecution of the Christians; the medieval European debasements coincided with surging witchcraft trials; the extreme Central European hyperinflations following WW1 saw whole societies blaming their Jewish communities. More recently, the aftermath of the historically modest asset inflations in the tech market and the US real estate market have seen society turn on “fat-cat CEOs” and “greedy bankers” respectively.

By now, some of you might feel this all to be irrelevant. Surely, you might be thinking, the plain fact is that there is no inflation. I disagree. To see why, think about what inflation is in the light of the above thinking. I know economists define it as changes in the price of a basket of consumer goods, the CPI. But why should that be the definitive measure, given that it’s only one of the many possible destinations in money’s Brownian journey from the printing presses? Why ignore other destinations, such as asset markets? Isn’t asset price inflation (or bubbles as they are more commonly known) more distortionary and economically inefficient than product price inflation?

I believe economists focus so firmly on product prices in their analysis of inflation not because of any judgment over the relative importance of one type of inflation over the other, but simply because CPI-type measures of inflation are easier to see. In doing so, they resemble the fabled driver who lost his keys one evening and was found looking for them under a streetlamp. When asked by his wife why he was looking there when he’d probably lost them further back, he replied “Because here it’s easier to see.”

We know that revenue cannot be raised for one person without costing someone else. We know that money printing generates revenue for the public sector. So we also know that money printing must be a tax. We know that the magnitude of that tax – the inflation rate – can be reliably measured by the increase in the rate of base money growth. Since we don’t know which markets new money will end up in or even when, we know we can’t reliably count on measures of inflation in those markets to tell us what the ‚inflation rate? is. Thus, the only reliable measure of inflation is the expansion of the monetary base. So to those who say there is no inflation, I give you the following chart.

By now, the more polite economists among those still reading may be thinking something like: “What utter drivel you are full of Grice! When there is a recession/depression on and the pressure faced by an economy is deflation, which can become self-fulfilling, the only correct thing to do is to create inflation to protect jobs.”

To this I would reply that every right thinking person wants to see job creation. Those advocating the creation of inflation, or fiscal stimulus are doing so because that’s what the system of logic known as ‘theoretical macroeconomics’ teaches. Yet this system of logic with its deeply flawed epistemological foundations is what brought us here in the first place! The macroeconomic body of knowledge represents no such thing – a cacophony of faiths would be more accurate. The instruments and gauges it recommends policy makers rely on – CPI, trend growth, output gaps, NAIRUs, budget deficits, debt/GDP – are subject to such wide conceptual ambiguity, not to mention estimation error, as to render them utterly meaningless. The fact is the captains of our ship have no reliable gauges. They have no understanding of what a yank of this lever, or a push on that button will ultimately achieve. They just think they do. Intoxicated by trumped up notions of what they know and understand, the drunk driving of macroeconomists is what led us to where we are today.

A Modest Proposal To Save The Postal Service: Hyperinflation

"The financial problems of the Postal Service are getting bigger every year," is how US Postmaster General Donahoe tried to convinced Congress not to block the bill the end Saturday delivery of mail. Raising the specter of mutually assured destructive bailouts in the future, the CEO rattle lawmakers (and other stakeholders) as NBC News reports, Representative Darrell Issa noting "It's very clear that ultimately, either the rate payer or the taxpayer will have to pay the $20 billion in debt of the Postal Service."

Indeed Mr. Issa - so by our reckoning the plan to tax emails was a non-starter and so we compare the 73.5 billion pieces of mail handled by the USPS and the $20bn budgetary gap, it would appear the answer is simple - the current 45c stamp will have to rise in value by 27c or 60% in order to meet the shortfall.

The problem of course is the legal limit on increasing stamp prices is bounded by what the BLS' official annual inflation report is, and which as the Fed is happy to reminds us, is at best 2% per year. Luckily, every problem, in this case too little inflation, has a solution: in this case hyperinflation.

The simple money creation by increasing the nominal value of the stamp is by now a well-trodden path of inflating away your problems that our central bankers have taught us - or else the 10s of billion forced into pension funds might just have to be tempered. So much for Valentine's Day at a cost of 72c per stamp.

Of course, absent hyperinflation and the needed 60% price inflator to avoid a taxpayer funded bailout, all we may need are some hedonic adjustments for the utility of  stamp to justify the cost...

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It’s Not The Economy, It’s Inflation & The Fed Stupid

It will not be a great shock to ZH readers, but the sad truth (no matter what one is told by the plethora of talking heads and commission takers) is that neither EPS upgrades or EPS outlooks are in any way correlated to equity market performance. Inst...

Guest Post: More Stealth Inflation As Maker’s Mark Slashes Alcohol Content

Via Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

They just ain’t making Maker’s like they used to.  According to the company, an apparent bourbon shortage has besieged the company leaving it no choice but to cut the alcohol content of their booze from 45% to 42%.

I’m sorry, but this excuse reeks of marketing spin.  What manufacturer decides to dilute their product when they face high demand, rather than just raise the price by 3% and keep the quality intact?  In a world where horse meat is increasingly finding its way into “all beef” product, where biotech salmon is soon to hit the streets and where Subway’s foot long sandwiches are less than 12 inches, I’d be willing to bet this is simply just another case of good old fashioned stealth inflation.

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

Distillers of a world famous bourbon has cut its alcohol content so it can meet increasing demand for the drink.

The owners of Maker’s Mark, which is distilled Loretto, Kentucky, said they are unable to produce the bourbon fast enough.

It announced that the bourbon – which used the slogan ‘It tastes expensive… and is’ – will drop its alcohol content by three per cent.

It will now be reduced to 42 per cent ABV from 45 per cent.

Shame they couldn’t just dilute it with horse meat.

Full article here.

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Inflation, Mean-Reversion, And 113 Years Of Bond & Stock Returns

The baby boomers now retiring grew up in a high returns world. So did their children. But, as Credit Suisse notes in their 2013 Yearbook, everyone now faces a world of low real interest rates. Baby boomers may find it hard to adjust. However, McKinsey (2012) predicts they will control 70% of retail investor assets by 2017. So our sympathy should go to their grandchildren, who cannot expect the high returns their grandparents enjoyed. From 1950 to date, the annualized real return on world equities was 6.8%; from 1980, it was 6.4%. The corresponding world bond returns were 3.7% and 6.4%, respectively. Equity investors were brought down to earth over the first 13 years of the 21st century, when the annualized real return on the world equity index was just 0.1%. But real bond returns stayed high at 6.1% per year. We have transitioned to a world of low real interest rates. The question is, does this mean equity returns are also likely to remain lower. In this compendium-like article, CS addresses prospective bond returns and interest rate impacts on equity valuations, inflation and its impact on equity beta, VIX reversions, and profiles 22 countries across three regions. Chart pr0n at its best for bulls and bears.

Over 113 years, the relative size of world stock markets has shifted significantly...

But the changes have been very cyclical...

The last 13 years have been somewhat special... as real yields around the world have collapsed...

and that has historically tended to mean low equity returns...

The busts of the dot-com era, LTCM & Russia, and Lehman/Credit Crunch had a very different profile to previous risk flares in VIX...

and while they suggest that mean-reversion has provided upside potential for stocks (in the past, staying in stocks at the start of the year when real rates are negative has proved a better bet that exiting), the concept of a shifted world paradigm (see VIX and global real rates) suggests perhaps it is different this time.

And the argument of equities as an inflation hedge is flawed due to its non-linearity...

Though valuations at the current inflation expectations seems to be 'cheap', one can only question the actual inflation expectations... as the official spot data diverges from market expectations...

And as CS notes, extrapolating from such a successful market can lead to “success” bias. Investors can gain a misleading view of equity returns elsewhere, or of future equity returns for the USA itself.

until recently, most of the long run evidence cited on historical asset returns drew almost exclusively on the US experience. Focusing on such a successful economy can lead to “success” bias. Investors can gain a misleading view of equity returns elsewhere, or of future equity returns for the USA itself. The charts opposite confirm this concern. They show that, from the perspective of a US-based international investor, the real return on the world ex-US equity index was 4.4% per year, which is 1.9% per year below that for the USA.

But what is clear from the above charts, in the 50 years since 1963, Bond and Stock returns are far more similar than different, no matter what your RIA tells you..

Because, it's fiscally - for the USA - very different this time...


2013 Yearbook Final Web by

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Guest Post: Stocks, Money Flows, And Inflation

Via Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

Sentiment Goes Nuts

Mish reports that this week's Barron's cover looks like a pretty strong warning sign for stocks (but not only the cover as he points out, but also what's inside). However, there may be an even more stunning capitulation datum out there, in this case a survey that we have frequently mentioned in the past, the NAAIM survey of fund managers. This survey has reached an all time high in net bullishness last week, with managers on average 104% long (this is to say, including the bears, the average response results in a leveraged net long position, a first).


NAAIM

A new record high in the net bullish percentage of the NAAIM survey of fund managers – click for better resolution.

However, that is not all. NAIIM asks fund managers to relate their positioning as a range bounded by “200% net short” to “200% net long”, in other words, even fully leveraged net long and net short positions are considered.

The survey keepers also relate where the most extreme replies are situated within this range. Naturally, the most bullish manager(s) have been between 180% and 200% long for some time. So that number is actually only of concern if it shrinks, which has  in fact done (slightly) last week.

However, here is the stunner: the most “bearish” fund manager is now 60% net long! That has also never happened before – in effect, there not only are no bears left, there is also no-one left who's merely “neutral” on the market – the bullish consensus is now effectively 100% in the sense that not a single manager among those surveyed is left with an open net short position, not even a tiny one. Two weeks earlier, the most bearish respondent was still 200% short, and one week earlier 125%.

NAAIM response range

The NAAIM response range. The red ellipses show the new all time high in net bullish positioning, as well as the stance taken by the most “bearish” manager in the survey, who's now 60% net long.

That should be good for at least a two to three percent correction one would think, probably intraday (i.e., to be fully recovered by the close).

“Money Flows”

The nonsense people will talk – people who really should know better -  is sometimes truly breathtaking. Recently a number of strategists from large institutions, i.e., people who get paid big bucks for coming up with this stuff, have assured us that “equities are underowned”, that “money will flow from bonds to equities”, and that “money sitting on the sidelines” will be drawn into the market.

What are “underowned” equities, precisely? Are there any stocks that are not yet owned by someone, so to speak orphans, that are flying around in the Wall Street aether unsupervised? If so, give them to us please. Since apparently no-one owns them, they should presumably come for free.

And how exactly does money “flow from bonds to stocks”, pray tell? There may well be bondholders crazy enough to sell their bonds so they can buy into a stock market that's already 130% off the lows, but then someone else will have to buy their bonds, and someone will have to sell them his stocks. If that happens, someone will end up the patsy, but no money has “flowed” from one market to another. All that has happened is that the ownership of bonds, stocks and cash has changed. The same holds of course for so-called “money on the sidelines”.

Admittedly, the stock of money is indeed growing, courtesy of the Federal Reserve's virtual printing press. At the moment it increases at an 11.2% annual pace (broad money TMS-2) respectively a 9.3% annual pace (narrow money TMS-1), which is admittedly none too shabby and undoubtedly a major reason why stock prices have held firm. However, what that mainly  tells us is that money is now worth less, because there is more of it. Which prices in the economy will rise when the money supply is increased is never certain, but it is certain that some prices will rise.

Other than that, all stocks, all bonds and all cash are always held by someone. The only orphaned cash that is truly “on the sidelines” are banknotes people have lost on the street. Probably not enough to push equities even higher, but you never know.

John Hussman has also written about this very topic again last week (Hussman is  among the handful of people actually getting this right) and has raised a further interesting and logical point in this context. He explains why the weighting of bonds versus equities at pension funds and other institutional investors has been altered toward a larger percentage of bonds:

“Quite simply, the reason that pension funds and other investors hold more bonds relative to stocks than they have historically is that there are more bonds outstanding, relative to stocks, than there have been historically. What is viewed as “underinvestment” in stocks is actually a symptom of a rise in the gross indebtedness of the global economy, enabled and encouraged by quantitative easing of central banks, which have been successful in suppressing all apparent costs of that releveraging.”

(emphasis added)

There you have it – all it means at this juncture is that there is more debt extant than before. In fact, a lot more – as Hussman also remarks:

“[...] the volume of U.S. government debt foisted upon the public (even excluding what has been purchased by the Fed) has doubled since 2007, not to mention other sources of global debt issuance, while the market capitalization of stocks has merely recovered to its previously overvalued highs.”

(emphasis in the original)

The above facts have been pointed out over and over again, by Hussman and a few others (to our knowledge, Mish, Steven Saville and yours truly. If we forgot to mention anyone, then only because we haven't come across their writings yet). And yet, the fallacy keeps being repeated by people all over Wall Street.

Stocks  and “Inflation”

As noted above, there is currently (and has been for the past 4 ½ years), plenty of inflation. The money supply is inflated at breakneck speed, after all, the 10% and higher annualized growth rates we have experienced are compounding. We keep hearing from various sources that stocks are expected to be acting as a “hedge” when the time comes when a decline in money's purchasing power becomes evident by dint of rising indexes of the “general price level”, such as CPI. For instance, Kyle Bass last week reminded us of the excellent performance of Zimbabwe's stock market during the hyperinflation period by noting:

Zimbabwe's stock market was the best performer this decade – but your entire portfolio now buys you 3 eggs"

He's quite right, but it would actually be a mistake to compare the current market situation and the situation we will likely have the opportunity to observe should CPI actually ever rise again, with the Zimbabwe situation (at least initially).

Let us explain: right now, the “inflation” backdrop is a kind of sweet spot for stocks. There is plenty of monetary inflation, but the officially reported decline in money's purchasing power is very small, which helps to keep bond yields at a low level. “Inflation expectations”, i.e., expectations regarding future CPI, have risen, but not by enough to disturb this happy state of affairs.

It should be clear that the chance to go from “almost no inflation” (let's call that state “A”) directly to “hyperinflation” (which we will call state “C”)  is non-existent. Again, this is in the sense of rising consumer prices and disregarding the fact that the officially reported data are somewhat suspect. We are also disregarding the fact that the decline in money's purchasing power cannot be “measured” anyway.

So even to those who insist that stocks will protect one against the ravages of sharply rising prices of goods and services, it should be clear that things won't simply go from “A” to “C” in one go, but will first proceed to “B” (note, we are also leaving a deflationary contraction of the money supply aside here, which everyone agrees will result in falling stock prices. As long as there are Bernanke & co. at the helm, it isn't going to happen anyway).

“B” is the state of affairs that pertained in the 1970s: high levels of CPI, close to and intermittently even exceeding double digits, but not hyperinflation. What would stocks likely do if we were visited by such a state “B” in spite of the valiant efforts to keep CPI as low as possible by means of an ever changing calculation method?

Both logic and experience tell us that their valuations will be compressed, this is to say, p/e ratios will decline, very likely into single digits. This is because high levels of CPI will raise bond yields considerably, and the future stream of earnings will have to be discounted by higher interest rates.  Stock prices will also reflect the then presumably much higher inflation expectations. If nominal economic growth does not exceed the increase in CPI, then neither will earnings. The 1970s have in fact already shown what happens in such an environment: the stock market tends to decline.

So what if hyperinflation were to break out one day? In Zimbabwe even the nominal prices of stocks of companies that were effectively put out of business because they could no longer pay for inputs (due to a lack of foreign exchange) soared.

However, Kyle Bass is correct: the devaluation of money in the wider sense was even more pronounced than the increase in stock prices. Stocks did not protect anyone in the sense of fully preserving one's purchasing power. It was clearly better to hold stocks than cash or bonds in the hyperinflation period, but still your portfolio would 'only buy you three eggs' when all was said and done (while cash holdings bought absolutely nothing anymore in the end). 

The only things that actually preserved purchasing power were gold, foreign exchange and assorted hard assets for which a liquid market exists. We have put gold in first place because it not only preserved purchasing power during the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, it actually increased it.  Stocks did no such thing.


zimbabwe stock market

The ZSE Industrial Index – impressive, right? Not so fast…..(via Random Thoughts) – click for better resolution.

709px-ZWDvUSDchart

The Zim$-USD exchange rate, official, parallel market, and the 'OMIR' rate (which is probably the most exact one: “…the Old Mutual Implied Rate (OMIR) was calculated by dividing the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange price of shares of the insurance company named "Old Mutual" by the London Stock Exchange Price for the same share.” – click for better resolution.

Zimbabwe's estimated inflation rate (from a report by the CATO institute, pdf):

Zim-inflation-1

Zimbabwe's hyperinflation progression

Hyperinflation episodes compared:

Zim-inflation-2

The time it took for prices to double, several hyperinflation episodes compared.  As can be seen, the rise in Zimbabwe's stock market was no match for the decline in money's purchasing power.

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Inflation

Inflation

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Posted on Feb 4, 2013

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The High Price Of Understated Inflation

The reliable data which policymakers and the public need if effective solutions are to be found is not available. As Tullett Prebon's Tim Morgan notes, economic data has been subjected to incremental distortion; Data distortion can be divided into two categories. Economic data has been undermined by decades of methodological change which have distorted the statistics to the point where no really accurate data is available for the critical metrics of inflation, growth, output, unemployment or debt. Fiscal data, meanwhile, obscures the true scale of government obligations. While he does not believe that the debauching of US official data is the result of any grand conspiracy to mislead the American people; he does see it as an incremental process which has taken place over more than four decades. From 'owner equivalent rent" to 'hedonics', few series have been distorted more than published numbers for inflation, and few if any economic measures are of comparable importance; and the ramifications of understated inflation are huge.

Via Dr. Tim Morgan, Tullet Prebon, the high price of understated inflation

Though the undermining of data quality has been widespread, few series have been distorted more than published numbers for inflation, and few if any economic measures are of comparable importance. In the United States, CPI-U inflation reported at 3.2% in 2011 probably masked real price escalation which was very much higher than that. This is hugely significant, because inflation is central to calculations of economic growth, wages, pensions and benefits. Moreover, understated inflation undermines calculations of the ‘real’ cost of credit as represented by interest rates and bond yields, a factor which, as we shall see, may have played a very significant role in the escalation of indebtedness during the credit super-cycle.

British inflation data, too, seems pretty optimistic Between 2001 and 2011, average weekly wages increased by 38%, which ought to have been a more than adequate rise when set against official CPI (consumer price index) inflation of 27% over the same period (fig. 4.1). But the reported rate of overall inflation between those years seems strangely at odds with dramatic increases in the costs of essentials such as petrol (+59%), water charges (+63%), electricity (+97%) and gas (+168%).

Those who question the accuracy of official inflation measures in Britain have nothing much more upon which to base their suspicions than intuition, experience and the known escalation of the prices of essentials. In the United States, this situation is quite different, and far greater data transparency has enabled analysts to reverse out the methodological changes of the last three decades. The scale of the distortions which have been identified is truly shocking.

The biggest single undermining of official inflation data results from the application of “hedonic adjustment”. The aim of hedonic adjustment is to capture improvements in product quality. The introduction of, say, a better quality screen might lead the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to deem the price of a television to have fallen even though the price ticket in the shop has remained the same, or has risen. The improvement in the quality of the product is equivalent, BLS statisticians argue, to a reduction in price, because the customer is getting more for his or her money.

A big problem with hedonic adjustment is that it breaks the link between inflation indices and the actual (in-the-shop) prices of the measured goods. Another is that hedonic adjustment is subjective, and seems to incorporate only improvements in product quality, not offsetting deteriorations. A new telephone might, for example, offer improved functionality (a hedonic positive), but it might also have a shorter life (a hedonic negative) and, critics claim, the official statisticians are all too likely to incorporate the former whilst ignoring the latter. The failure to incorporate hedonic negatives may be particularly pertinent where home-produced goods are replaced by imports, a process which has been ongoing for more than two decades. A Chinese-made airbrush might be a great deal cheaper than one made in America, but is the lower quality of the imported item factored in to the equation?

A second area of adjustment to inflation concerns ‘substitution’. If the price of steak rises appreciably, ‘substitution’ assumes that the customer will purchase, say, chicken instead. As with hedonic adjustment, the use of substitution not only breaks the link with actual prices (a process exacerbated by ‘geometric weighting’), but it also, as Chris Martenson explains, means that CPI has ceased to measure the cost of living but quantifies “the cost of survival” instead.

Geometric weighting, too, plays a significant role in the distortion of American inflation data. In any case, some of the weightings used in the official indices look strange, one example being medical care, which accounted for 16% of consumer spending in 2011 but is weighted at just 7.1% in the CPI-U.

Since the process of adjustment began in the early 1980s, the officially-reported CPI-U number has diverged ever further from the underlying figure calculated on the traditional methodology. Fig. 4.2 gives an approximate idea of quite how distorted US inflation data seems to have become over three decades. Instead of the 3.2% number reported for 2011, for example real inflation was probably at least 7%. Worse still, the official numbers probably understate the sharp pick-up in inflation which America has been experiencing. A realistic appreciation of the inflationary threat would be almost certain to have forced very significant changes in monetary policy.

Taken in aggregate, the extent to which the loss of dollar purchasing power has been understated is almost certainly enormous. Between 1985 and 2011, official data shows that the dollar lost 53% of its value, but the decrease in purchasing power might stand at more like 75% on the basis of underlying data stripped of hedonics, substitution and geometric weighting.

The ramifications of understated inflation are huge. First, of course, and since pay deals often relate to reported CPI, wage rises for millions of Americans have been much smaller than they otherwise would have been. Small wonder, then, that millions of Americans feel much poorer than official figures tell them is the case. By the same token, those Americans in receipt of index-related pensions and benefits, too, have seen the real value of their incomes decline as a result of the severe (and cumulative) understatement of inflation.

This process, of course, has saved the government vast sums in benefit payments. Rebasing payments for the understatement of inflation since the early 1980s suggests that the Social Security system alone would have imploded many years ago had payments matched underlying rather than reported inflation. In other words, the use of ‘real’ inflation data would have overwhelmed the federal budget completely or, conversely, might have forced government to come clean on what levels of welfare spending really can be afforded.

Another implication of distorted inflation, an implication that may have played a hugely important role in the creation of America’s debt bubble, is that real interest rates may have been negative ever since the late 1990s (fig. 4.3). Taking 2003 as an example, average nominal bond rates12 of 4.0% equated to a real rate of 1.7% after the deduction of official CPI-U inflation (2.3%), but were almost certainly heavily negative in real terms if adjustment is made on the basis of underlying inflation instead.

Logically, it makes perfect sense to borrow if the cost of borrowing is lower than the rate of inflation. Whilst most Americans may not have been aware of the way in which inflation numbers had been subjected to incremental distortion, their everyday experience may very well have led them to act on an intuitive understanding that borrowing was cheap. We believe that distorted inflation data may, together with irresponsible interest rate policies and woefully lax regulation, have been a major contributor to the reckless wave of borrowing which so distorted the US economy in the decade prior to the financial crisis.

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Minimum Wage Hikes Do Not Cause Inflation

At the start of 2013, ten states raised their minimum wage rates: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. These ten states did so because each has a law requiring that it maintain the purchasing power of the state wage floor with an annual inflation adjustment, also called a “cost-of-living adjustment (COLA)” or “inflation-indexing.”

This flurry of activity sparked, yet again, a political fight over the merits of this century-old labor standard. One issue that comes up is whether minimum wage hikes will trigger inflation, i.e., cause an overall rise in prices.

Take, for example, John Fleming, spokesman of the Florida Retail Federation. Reflecting on the 12-cent (1.6%) Florida minimum wage hike from $7.67 to $7.79 about to take effect on the New Year, he worried that in order to adjust to the higher minimum wage, businesses would be forced to mark up prices, “And then you get to this inflationary spiral where higher prices lead to higher cost of living.”

This fear of inflation from the minimum wage is not based on any reasonable description of how these minimum wage hikes will likely impact businesses, or the economy more generally. The potential impact of minimum wage hikes on the overall price level is simply too small to have any appreciable impact on inflation.

One way to assess the threat of inflation posed by a minimum wage hike is to estimate directly how much it could raise businesses’ costs. This would give us a sense of what the potential impact of a minimum wage hike would be on prices, assuming businesses would pass these costs onto their consumers.  Of course, there are other ways firms can adjust, aside from raising prices. For example, employers may experience some labor-cost savings as their higher wages lower turnover rates and motivate greater worker productivity. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that firms pass the entire cost increase from a minimum wage hike to consumers.

Past research on how business costs rise with minimum wage hikes indicates that a 10-percent minimum wage hike can be expected to produce a cost increase for the average business of less than one-tenth of one percent of their sales revenue. This cost figure includes three components. First, mandated raises: the raises employers must give their workers to meet the new wage floor. Second, “ripple-effect” raises: the raises employers give some workers to put their pay rates a bit above the new minimum in order to preserve the same wage hierarchy before and after minimum wage hike. And third, the higher payroll taxes employers must pay on their now-larger wage bill. If the average businesses wanted to completely cover the cost increase from a 10-percent minimum wage hike through higher prices, they would need to raise their prices by less than 0.1 percent.[1]A price increase of this size amounts to marking up a $100 price tag to $100.10.

COLA increases are much, much smaller than 10 percent. The average rate of annual inflation, as measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, averaged 2.6 percent over the last two decades (1991-2011).  The average business therefore could easily cover the cost increase from a typical COLA by raising prices less than 0.03 percent.[2] This amounts a price tag of $100 going up by less than three pennies. Price increases this small would have a negligible impact on a 2.6 percent average inflation rate.

This basic conclusion is supported by a 2008 study that reviewed the economic studies on the impact of minimum wage hikes on prices and inflation.[3] The estimates from these studies cover a relatively wide range, suggesting that a 10-percent increase in the minimum causes overall prices to rise somewhere between 0.2 percent and 2.16 percent, with most estimates falling below 0.4 percent. These estimates are larger, but in the range of how much businesses’ costs increase as discussed above.  Even the higher estimate of a 0.4 percent rise in price level with a 10 percent minimum wage hike suggests that a typical COLA adjustment to the minimum wage rate would only push up the price level by 0.1 percent.[4] Recall that this amounts to adding just one dime to a $100 price tag.

The bottom line: these minimum wage hikes pose no inflationary threat. The potential contribution of the minimum wage COLAs to inflation would be to raise the rate of inflation by less than 0.1 percent. This would raise, for example, the average annual inflation rate of 2.6 percent to 2.7 percent—a change so small that the rate is effectively unchanged in any meaningful way. In fact, this potential impact on inflation is smaller than the margin of error for the Department of Labor’s estimate of inflation.[5]


[1] For example, see PERI minimum wage impact studies for Arizona, and Florida.

[2] (0.1%/10%) x 2.6% = 0.026%

[3] “A Survey of the Effects of Minimum Wages on Prices,” by Sara Lemos, Journal of Economic Surveys 22(1): 187–212, 2008.

[4] (0.4%/10%) x 2.6% = 0.1%

[5] For 2011, the margin of error for the national estimate of inflation, as measured by the CPI-U was +/- 0.14%.

You Wanted Inflation, You Got It: Japanese Gasoline Price Rises To Eight Month High

When one thinks of open-ended, "inflation targeting" one usually thinks of soaring markets, at least in nominal terms, exploding central bank balance sheet, and happy central planners. What one usually does not think of, is, well, inflation targeting. Because while the shadow banking financial system, perfectly devoid of deposits, has for now provided a sufficient buffer from trillions of reserve injections from spreading into the broader economy of the US and Europe, and has primarily impacted stock markets as unsterilized liquidity injections are used by banks to bid stocks, Japan has been far less lucky in this regard. As it turns out, the massive slide in the Japanese Yen in the past 2 months on nothing but ongoing promises of open-ended action, something Europe has perfected, and the US most recently enacted, may have already achieved its goal of pushing inflation. only not to the desired 2% level, but about 50% higher. Luckily, it is for such trivial things that nobody really every needs, such as fuel and consumer products - just ask the BLS.

As the Nikkei reports "the average price of regular gasoline rose to an eight-month high of 150 yen per liter on Tuesday, up 1.2 yen from a week earlier, according to data released on Thursday by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. The price has climbed 4.5 yen, or 3%, since late November, when the yen's downswing started. The dollar-based price of crude oil has remained steady since November, but the yen's slide by about 10 yen to the dollar has resulted in higher import prices."

It gets better

The price of kerosene rose to a nine-month peak. Growing demand due to a cold spell have pushed the price of the fuel up more sharply than other petroleum products.

External hard-disk drives are selling at higher prices at volume electronics retailers, partly because key imported components are paid for with dollars. The average price shot up 540 yen from a week earlier to 8,580 yen, according to research firm BCN Inc.

At Rakuten Inc.'s (4755) online mall, one of the most popular Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners sells for around 29,000 yen. The price of the U.S. product could exceed 30,000 yen after the current inventory runs out in the spring, said a company official.

And that old barbarous relic just hit an all time high:

The domestic retail price for gold hit a 32-year high earlier this month. "Jewelry prices are closely linked to those precious metals, so price hikes will likely spread," said an official at F&A Aqua Holdings Inc.

The Nikkei's conclusion: "Households are beginning to feel pinched by the weaker Japanese
currency
."

Well, the Japanese people wanted Abe, and his inflation targeting policies. They got what they wanted: at least the endless jawboning part that is. We have yet to see just how the BOJ will implement the action that is supposed to back the surge in the USDJPY by over 1000 pips in two months. And now, they also have the surging prices to show for it.

And once the full impact of the spillover from unlimited monetization in the country with the JPY1 quadrillion in debt spill over, look for the prices of all goods and services to explode.

But at least Japanese exports will surge. Oh wait, that would assume that the nationalistic Abe government smoothes tensions with China, something it has not only not done, but exacerabted drastically in the past month or so.

We wonder how long the Japanese people will last until they say enough with this inflationary experiment, and kick Abe out on hopes of a prompt return to deflation.

Perhaps someone far smarter than the MIT and Princeton educated central planners conceived the saying that one should be careful what one wishes for...

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No Inflation In December BLS Says

The December CPI is out, and according to the BLS, or more specifically, it's X-12 Arima reality processors, there was no inflation in the past month, with headline CPI printing at 0.0%, as expected, and up from a 0.3% deflation in November. Excluding food and gas, CPI rose 0.1%, less than the expected 0.2%. Compared to a year ago, inflation was a tame 1.7%, the BLS would like you to believe, and 1.9% ex food and energy. Luckily these numbers exclude such soaring in price items as education, and it certainly excludes a proxy for reserve inflation such as the stock market, which while certainly not a part of staple purchased goods, shows just where the free Fed money is going. As such, the S&P is as good a proxy of real, free money generated "inflation", as anything else. Naturally, once the stock market bubble pops, things will change, but for now why buy food when one can buy FUD and pray there is a greater fool to sell it to in a day or to. The biggest reported change in inflation Y/Y is in the price of medical care services which increased 3.7% compared to December 2011, and Utility gas service, which in turn declined by -2.9% from a year earlier. Finally, for those confused why producers see the need to dilute coffee and bear, and add just a little more than the RDS of horse meat to burgers, the reason is that food at home prices increased by 1.3% in 2012, while dining out has gotten a whopping 1.8% more expensive. That's right: the price of the food you eat at home has increased by 1.3% in the past year - so says the BLS which apparently like the Fed, only eats hedonically adjusted iPads.

Some charts:

And from the report:

Year in Review:

The CPI rose 1.7 percent in 2012 after a 3.0 percent increase in 2011. This was the third smallest December-December increase of the past ten years and compares to a 2.4 percent average annual increase over the span.

The energy index increased 0.5 percent in 2012, a sharp deceleration from its 6.6 percent increase in 2011. The gasoline index rose 1.7 percent in 2012 after increasing 13.8 percent in 2010 and 9.9 percent in 2011. The household energy index declined in 2012, falling 1.1 percent after increasing 1.8  percent in 2011. The fuel oil index rose 3.6 percent in 2012, but the electricity index decreased 0.5 percent and the index for natural gas fell 2.9 percent, the fourth straight year it has declined.

The index for food rose 1.8 percent in 2012, a deceleration from its 4.7 percent increase in 2011. The index for food at home rose 1.3 percent in 2012 compared to 6.0 percent in 2011. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose in 2012, with increases ranging from 0.5 percent (dairy  and related products) to 2.0 percent (other food at home). The nonalcoholic beverages group was the only index to decline, falling 0.2 percent. The index for food away from home rose 2.5 percent in 2012 after increasing 2.9 percent in 2011.

The index for all items less food and energy decelerated slightly in 2012, rising 1.9 percent after a 2.2 percent increase in 2011. This matches the average annual increase of 1.9 percent over the past ten years. Several indexes decelerated in 2012. The apparel index, which rose 4.6 percent in 2011,  increased 1.8 percent in 2012. The index for new vehicles increased 1.6 percent in 2012 after rising 3.2 percent in 2011, and the medical care index rose 3.2 percent in 2012 after a 3.5 percent increase the prior year. The index for airline fares rose 2.1 percent, the tobacco index increased 1.9 percent, and the recreation index rose 0.8 percent; all of these increases were smaller than in 2011. The index for household furnishings and operations was unchanged in 2012 after rising in 2011, and the index for used cars and trucks turned down in 2012, falling 2.0 percent after increasing 4.0 percent in 2011. In contrast, the shelter index accelerated in 2012, rising 2.2 percent after a 1.9 percent increase in 2011. The index for rent rose 2.7 percent and the index for owners’ equivalent rent increased 2.1 percent.

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Guest Post: Inflation Rocks The UK As Beer Gets Watered Down

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg

Inflation Rocks The UK As Beer Gets Watered Down

These types of stories are popping up with increased frequency throughout the western world.  Products are simply declining in quality, and in many cases these declines are being accompanied by price increases.  Remember my article from a week ago Inflation Hits Coffee as Brewers Secretly Swap Robusta for Arabica.  This is more or less the same story, except this time in the UK and centered around beer.  From CNBC:

Britain’s favorite pint of bitter is being watered down as austerity continues to bite and taxes rise.

John Smith’s Extra Smooth, billed as “no nonsense beer”, is being reduced from 3.8 percent alcohol to 3.6 percent in response to rising costs and reduced beer consumption.

Heineken, which is also raising the cost of the famous bitter by about 2.5 pence a pint, said it was bringing John Smith’s “in line with competitor smooth ales that already sit at or below this alcoholic strength”, including its biggest rival, Carlsberg’s Tetley Smoothflow.

Now here is my favorite line:

 

“Extensive research conducted with retailers and consumers consistently confirmed that a 0.2 percent reduction in [alcohol content] does not compromise on the taste and quality,” a Heineken U.K. spokesman said.

Um yeah, but it does compromise on the alcohol…the main reason most people drink beer in the first place.

Heineken blamed the rising cost of energy and ingredients such as barley – as well as higher beer duty – for the increase.

There you go.  Finally the truth comes out; the culprit is inflation.  Taste that beer?  That’s the taste of you getting poorer.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Guest Post: Inflation Rocks The UK As Beer Gets Watered Down

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg

Inflation Rocks The UK As Beer Gets Watered Down

These types of stories are popping up with increased frequency throughout the western world.  Products are simply declining in quality, and in many cases these declines are being accompanied by price increases.  Remember my article from a week ago Inflation Hits Coffee as Brewers Secretly Swap Robusta for Arabica.  This is more or less the same story, except this time in the UK and centered around beer.  From CNBC:

Britain’s favorite pint of bitter is being watered down as austerity continues to bite and taxes rise.

John Smith’s Extra Smooth, billed as “no nonsense beer”, is being reduced from 3.8 percent alcohol to 3.6 percent in response to rising costs and reduced beer consumption.

Heineken, which is also raising the cost of the famous bitter by about 2.5 pence a pint, said it was bringing John Smith’s “in line with competitor smooth ales that already sit at or below this alcoholic strength”, including its biggest rival, Carlsberg’s Tetley Smoothflow.

Now here is my favorite line:

 

“Extensive research conducted with retailers and consumers consistently confirmed that a 0.2 percent reduction in [alcohol content] does not compromise on the taste and quality,” a Heineken U.K. spokesman said.

Um yeah, but it does compromise on the alcohol…the main reason most people drink beer in the first place.

Heineken blamed the rising cost of energy and ingredients such as barley – as well as higher beer duty – for the increase.

There you go.  Finally the truth comes out; the culprit is inflation.  Taste that beer?  That’s the taste of you getting poorer.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (4 votes)

Inflation sticks at 2.7 percent for third month in December

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Russia’s inflationary bogey remains attractively low in 2012

Inflation in Russia keeps on touching its historic lows, standing at 6.6% in 2012. The Central Bank of Russia is now saying a turning point has been passed, with prices ‘doomed’ to follow a downward motion in 2013.

Prices grew at an even slower annual pace in 2011, when the inflation rate was 6.1%, according to the official data of Russian Statistic Service (Rosstat).

In 2012, food prices underpinned the largest part of the overall increase, as they were up 7.4% year on year. Meat, fish, eggs and milk – the basics of most people’s daily diet – gained the most. Among non – food items the cost of tobacco products jumped the highest – by 21.2% in 2012.

While a bad crop in 2012 forced the Russian Government to abandon initial plans to keep inflation below 6%, such fundamental factors as a slowing economy, de – facto floating of the rouble, coupled with budget constraints did their part and kept the final figure sound, says Kommersant daily.

Russians increased their saving at the end of 2012, as the Deputy Head of the Ministry for Economic Development commented then, which was coupled with increased deposit rates. Though lower spending could eat into the pace of economic growth in 2013, price stability seems to remain a priority for the monetary authorities in Russia.

“Starting from 2Q of next year we’ll be back to our target of between 5% and 6% for the index of consumer prices, if we don’t commit a lot of follies or anything extreme happens in the world,” the first deputy head at CBR told Interfax in December 2012.

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Photo by katesheets | CC BY 2.0 In the midst of what is quickly becoming a political crisis, or rather a crisis for the political...

Ten Years After Financial Crisis, Our Elites Have Learned Nothing

(Photo: BrianAJackson / iStock / Getty Images Plus) Last week, I heard BBC announce the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the financial crisis. This...

A Sharp, Funny Assessment

This book is extremely informative and a snarky assessment of the Washington establishment which is quite entertaining. As a libertarian, Stockman is not always...

US Postal Service calls for price increases amid record losses

The US Postal Service has seen record losses as traditional mail is replaced by electronic means....

Bull Market History With Richard Russell

POITOU, FRANCE – Guess what U.S. stocks did yesterday… They went up, of course. Just like they always do. Some people have expressed wonder… and doubt…...

The Progressive State of America

The progressive left is blathering about a living wage.  There are numerous fallacies at play here.  Suffice it to say that, by and large,...

Printing Half a Quadrillion Dollars

Stock investors are rejoicing about stock markets making new highs in many countries, totally oblivious of the risks or the reasons. It seems that...

To Protect Our Planet and Revitalize Our Economy, We Need a Climate Conservation Corps

Bob Dylan famously sang that “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”  We could update Dylan’s adage to say...

There is Still Time to Prevent Civil War in Venezuela

Photo by Andreas Lehner | CC BY 2.0 As Latin America celebrates the end of the region’s longest violent conflict in Colombia, I have watched...

Economic Collapse?

APPIP ERROR:nodata  that occurs every four generations as a time of great turmoil. Their Generational Theory is a framework which explains where we are, how...

Ten Ways Your Tax Dollars Pay for War — Past, Present and Future

There are hundreds of billions of dollars in "defense" spending that aren't even counted in the Pentagon budget. (Photo: icholakov / iStock / Getty...

The Hidden Costs of “National Security”

You wouldn’t know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians, and the president, but these are the...

Obama Economic Recovery Was America’s Weakest

Eric Zuesse The following graph of “Non-farm Payroll Jobs in United States" shows America’s economic recoveries from recession, in numbers of jobs, and indicates very...

NYC: Front Line of Income Inequality

New York City faced a crisis four decades ago with a massive electrical failure and fear of crime. Now, it...

Ending austerity could unleash economic shock on Britain, warns budget watchdog

Published time: 14 Jul, 2017 09:29 Ending the Tory program of austerity cuts and increasing...

Empire Files: Abby Martin in Venezuela — Supermarkets to Black Markets

Abby Martin talks to Venezuelans on the streets of Caracas and investigates the main claim that there's no free press, and that there is...

Imperialism Is Alive and Kicking: A Marxist Analysis of Neoliberal Capitalism

Indian Marxist economist and political commentator Prabhat Patnaik. (Photo: Sreejithkoiloth / Wikipedia) The concept of imperialism has fallen out of the political lexicon of many...

Missouri reverses minimum wage from $10 an hour to $7.50

Bucking the trend of other states to raise minimum wages to $15 an hour, Missouri’s Republican...

There's No Good Reason for Your Boss to Make 347 Times What You Do

CEO pay at America's 500 largest companies averaged $13.1 million in 2016. That's 347 times what the average employee makes. So CEOs make a lot of money. But,...

There’s No Good Reason for Your Boss to Make 347 Times What You Do

CEO pay at America’s 500 largest companies averaged $13.1 million in 2016. That’s 347 times what the average employee makes. So CEOs make a lot...

Corbyn to demand Queen’s Speech amendments on pay cap, emergency service cuts

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has tabled amendments to the Conservative government’s Queen’s Speech, demanding an...

Sovereign Debt Jubilee, Japanese-Style

Japan has found a way to write off nearly half its national debt without creating inflation. We could do that too. Let’s face it. There...

US growth forecasts slide, IMF cites uncertainty in Trump’s fiscal plan

Published time: 28 Jun, 2017 00:51 The International Monetary Fund has released its US economic growth...

Financial Auguries Predict Impending Fiscal Doom

Jun 27, 2017 By Mundilfury | Financial auguries predict impending fiscal doom on the horizon. Two recent articles have cited a...

GOP 'Health' Bill: Death, Disaster, and Gilded Age Greed

The Republican Senate’s draft health bill differs from the House version, but its basic purpose is the same: give millionaires and billionaires a massive...

London Fire Fuels Movement to Tackle Inequality in Britain

Didn't Prime Minister Theresa May initially make some proposals to reduce inequality? When she first became prime minister less than a year ago, she spoke...

Poor and Middle-Income Families Need a Better Way Than 529s to Save for College

A college education is increasingly necessary for success in today's economy. It's also increasingly expensive. Americans with a college degree earn, on average, US $1...

‘If You Work a Full-Time Job, You Shouldn’t Be Earning a Poverty Wage’

For the June 9, 2017, episode, CounterSpin reaired a piece originally broadcast on November 14, 2015, in which Janine Jackson interviewed Holly Sklar about...

When the Black Market Becomes the Real Market

For many years, I’ve described black markets not as the evil danger to economies that governments profess them to be, but as predictable and...

Street sale: Houston offers city property to raise cash?

The city council of Houston, Texas has approved selling or swapping almost $2 million worth of...

‘This Is the Only Way to Restore Democracy in Brazil’

Janine Jackson interviewed Maria Luisa Mendonça about Brazil’s presidential crisis for the June 2, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.       1. CounterSpin170602Mendonca -...

British wages in free fall, only crisis-hit Greece is worse in OECD

British suffered the biggest wage slump of all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)...

When the Alleged Fix Increases Systemic Fragility

All the “fixes” have fatally weakened the real economy, and created a dangerous illusion of “wealth,” “growth” and solvency. The “fix” of the last eight...

Business Group Fawns Over Trump

Many U.S. business groups groused about President Obama even as their companies thrived but are lavishing praise on President Trump...

Foreign Country Interferes in US Politics

In this age of rancorous hyper-partisanship, getting members of Congress to agree on anything beyond the naming of a post office is a challenge....

Wine, Art, and Ferraris

The Bernanke-Yellen bubble is impacting many sectors of the economy. Agriculture land, motor vehicles and auto loans, banking, bonds, contemporary art, corporate stocks, higher...

Venezuelans top nationality seeking asylum in US

Published time: 24 May, 2017 00:35 Edited time: 24 May, 2017 00:37 For the first time,...

There Is No Getting Around the Fact That Restricting Abortion Access Has Economic Consequences...

Recently, Lori Szala the national director of client services for the Human Coalition, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times attempting to deny...

Israel Lobby Pays the Political Piper

Exclusive: The Israel Lobby is so powerful that for years it insisted it didn’t exist – and Official Washington went...

Falling wages fuel social crisis in Australia

  ...

Tory manifesto targets immigrants, free school lunches & elderly home care

The Conservative Party’s election manifesto was officially published on Thursday, packed with social measures so...

Theresa May accused of channeling ‘Thatcher the milk snatcher’ by scrapping free school lunches

Published time: 18 May, 2017 12:30 Prime Minister Theresa May has been dubbed the “lunch...

UK workers face ‘living standards crisis’ as real wages fall & prices rise

British workers have seen their real-terms pay fall for the first time in three years...

NATO’s Biggest Challenge – Make ‘Frightened’ Europe Pay Up!

The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to...

Milton Friedman Debunked

Austrians realize that empirical reality is unique, particularly raw statistical data.  Let that data be massaged, averaged, seasonals taken out, etc. and then the...

May pledges to boost military spending after defense chiefs say Britain can’t afford to...

Published time: 11 May, 2017 10:08 UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to increase...

Welcome To Weimerica

Editor's Note: The author of this piece, Ryan Landry, recently appeared on Red Ice Radio. Make sure to check out his show...

Living standards plunge in UK

  ...

Analysis Uncovers “Nearly $2 Billion in Errors” in Peabody’s Misleading Study About the Future...

WASHINGTON - A detailed analysis of a presentation made by Peabody Energy at an April 7 meeting of the Arizona Corporation Commission highlights major...

Is Francis a Fascist?

Fresh off a hate-filled rant against populism (a.k.a. consent of the governed), Pope Francis recently delivered another mean-spirited, hateful diatribe about the “grave risks...

It’s Time for a National $15 Minimum Wage

In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, a basic principle of American economic life should be that if you work 40...

Claims of crooked UK MPs passing secret reports to City traders remain uninvestigated

Published time: 28 Apr, 2017 14:13Edited time: 28 Apr, 2017 15:59 A claim that London City...

Remembering the Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed

If you work in a corrupt system, you have two basic options. First, you could rationalize away your role in the corruption. If you ever...

The Federal Fiscal Joke

Donald Trump wants to cut the tax/confiscation rate.  Ok, but maybe it would be a good idea to look at the monetary and fiscal...

Twice the price of Clinton: Obama to net $400K for Wall street speech

Former President Obama is set to net $400,000 for speaking at a Wall Street health care...

Earth Day Should Be Called "People of Earth" Day

You might think of the rainforest or the endangered polar bear on this day, but Earth Day is a commemoration with decidedly American roots,...

Austerity Never Ends: Economists Say Wages Are Too High

No, you can’t really make this stuff up: Orthodox economists continue to tell us that the reason for ongoing economic stagnation is that wages...

Protection Against Gov’t Lies and War

There are lies, damned lies and news, to paraphrase British Prime Minister Disraeli who said: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Today we...

Bank of England implicated in interest rate-rigging scandal, new recording shows

The Bank of England (BoE) has been implicated in the Libor rigging scandal, according to...

The War on Cash

Before the United States ran aground on the dangerous reefs of State interventionism and centralism, the dollar was not only a sign of stability...

"It's a Cover-Up, Not a Clean-Up": Nuclear Waste Smolders in Sites Across the US

Hanford, in Washington State, the scene of the largest radioactive cleanup in the country. Cleanup of toxic waste at Hanford has passed the 20-year...

Crashing pound putting families’ post-Brexit living standards at risk

There are signs that the financial fallout from the Brexit referendum is beginning to have...

Another GOP President Balloons the Deficit

Facing the Democratic “#Resistance,” President Trump has jumped into the arms of congressional Republicans and is following the old GOP...

The Fed's Interest Rate Hike Will Prevent People From Getting Jobs

(Photo: Greg Dunlap; Edited: LW / TO) This month the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates for the third time in the last year and...

Yellen’s Effed up Attack on Working People, Sad

Photo by DonkeyHotey | CC BY 2.0 Why did the Fed raise its benchmark interest rate when inflation is still running below the Fed’s target,...

Killing the Elderly: Social Security Starves Us Slowly as the GOP Tries to Kill...

Photo by Fabricator of Useless Articles | CC BY 2.0   I currently receive a Social Security benefit check of $985 a month, which is a...

Is Trump a Jacksonian?

Is President Trump a “Jacksonian”?  He apparently believes so:  On his fifth day in office he installed a portrait of President Andrew Jackson in...

Millennials selling their possessions to pay for food – survey

Published time: 15 Mar, 2017 17:13 New figures show people born after 1983 are more likely...

We’re in the 9th Year of the 4th Turning

In Part One and Part Two of this article, I revealed how the Deep State’s fake data and fake news propaganda machine can be...

The Ebbs and Flows of History

In Part One of this article, I exposed the establishment narrative of a strong economy as rubbish by providing hard data regarding imploding gasoline...

Budget predictions: Chancellor to keep purse strings tight in last pre-Brexit financial statement

Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to keep the strings to the British state purse pretty...

Lords at odds with official statistics in warning that Brexit won’t cut migration

A House of Lords report warns free movement will not alter net migration into the...

A State’s Right to Honest Money

History shows that, if individuals have the freedom to choose what to use as money, they will likely opt for gold or silver. Of course,...

NYT Reporting on Trump’s Budget Outline Is Seriously Confused

New York Times print-edition front page (2/28/17) News for the New York Times: Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are not political philosophers. Apparently the paper is...

Shock findings! Millennials are not as selfish as you might think

Published time: 24 Feb, 2017 13:02Edited time: 25 Feb, 2017 13:58 Millennials are less likely to...

Dangerous Economic Myths

Our country is beset by a large number of economic myths that distort public thinking on important problems and lead us to accept unsound...

Fiction and the Fed

Even the most innocent novel can give its reader a fresh perspective on the economy during the author’s time. Economic writings and economic conditions...

Cometh the Angel of Death

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – Amid all the sound and fury of the Trump news cycle, hardly anyone noticed. There is a specter haunting this economy. It is...

Millions of UK families on brink of poverty, report from leading think tank finds

Rising prices and stagnating incomes have left millions of British families on the very brink...

NAFTA Has Harmed Mexico a Lot More than Any Wall Could Do

President Trump is unlikely to fulfill his dream of forcing Mexico to pay for his proposed wall along the United States' Southern border. If it...

Britain in line for decade of austerity & highest tax burden in 30 years,...

As the UK faces another decade of austerity, Britain’s tax burden is to hit its...

Big Pharma Launches Sentimental Ad Campaign to Distract From Skyrocketing Drug

(Image: LW / TO; Adapted: Funnytools; StevePB) The pharmaceutical industry has a massive public relations problem, and it knows it. Even our new, unapologetically pro-corporate...

Trump’s Terrifying Problem

Every president inherits something difficult. Some problems are simply out of the incoming president’s hands. Obama inherited a financial crisis. Reagan inherited double digit inflation. Kennedy,...

Donald Trump ‘has been good for the UK economy,’ says Bank of England

Britain’s economy is benefitting from greater confidence in US financial markets following the election of...

To Build an Autocracy, First Build an Oligarchy

David Frum’s “How to Build an Autocracy” leaves out the first step in the recipe. In “How to Build an Autocracy” (Atlantic, 3/17), George W....

How We the People Were Screwed by Obama’s Bogus “Recovery”

It’s amazing how Obama was able to dupe the American people into believing that the weakest expansion in the postwar era, was an “economic...

Austerity strikes back: Living standards set to tumble as Britain’s ‘mini-boom’ ends

British living standards are set to crash as the “mini-boom” witnessed over recent years comes to an end, dragging income growth down to just...

The Economy: What Now?

We must now examine how a new Presidency looks at averting a long overdue economic collapse.  GW Bush knew what he faced going in...

Managing Money as a Human Right

There are two main problems with existing monetary theory. The first is serious, the second is mainly a technical administrative issue. The first and most...

Trump's Pick for Budget Adviser Once Called Social Security and Medicaid "Unconstitutional"

Pesident Donald Trump's choice to be a top budget adviser once voted as a state senator to declare Social Security and Medicaid unconstitutional. Rep. Mick Mulvaney...

Theresa May won’t last & Donald Trump’s a ‘would-be dictator,’ says George Soros

British Prime Minister Theresa May won’t last long in office and US President-elect Donald Trump...

Obama’s Bombing Legacy

Exclusive: President Obama has joked he still doesn’t know why he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, but his record...

American Nationalists

Since World War II, the two men who have most terrified this city by winning the presidency are Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. And they...

Davos Man Is a Neanderthal Protectionist

The NYT had an article on the annual meeting of the world's super-rich at Davos, Switzerland. It refers to Davos Man as "an economic elite who...

Millennials earn less, owe more than Baby Boomers at same age – report

Young people have half the wealth and earn 20 percent less than Baby Boomers did when...

Economist admits BoE’s Brexit financial collapse warnings were ‘a misjudgement’

Economists failed to predict the 2008 financial crash and completely misjudged Brexit’s impact, the executive...

Britain’s top bosses have already made more money in 2.5 days than you will...

British bosses have already made more money in the first two and a half work days of 2017 than most people will make over...

Venezuela on the Brink

Photo by Andreas Lehner | CC BY 2.0   The crisis engulfing Venezuela appears to have reached the point of no return. Inflation is heading for...

Head-On Collision Between Perception and Reality

Economist Jim Rickards appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” outlining his 2017 predictions for rate hikes, Trump stimulus, and the coming US recession. Rickards believes...

Losing Faith in Their Own Alchemy

Mervyn King is the British Ben Bernanke. An eminent academic economist, who now teaches both at New York University and the London School of...

Income Inequality Is Off the Charts. Can Local Policies Make a Difference?

Occupy Wall Street protesters sleep on the sidewalk near the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012. (Marcus Yam / The New York Times) The...

The Reason the Fed is Raising Rates, and Why It Won’t Work 

Photo by DonkeyHotey | CC BY 2.0 Why is the Fed creating incentives for US corporations to destroy themselves? Why is the Fed pushing insurance...

US closed $40bn worth of global arms agreements in 2015, far outstripping competitors –...

The US took first place in closing weapons sales deals globally last year, signing agreements to...

Something Wicked This Way Comes

I stopped trying to predict markets back in 2008 when the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Wall Street bankers, and their propaganda peddling media mouthpieces...

Market Shock 2017

We are now approaching the final mania in markets. The Dow seems to be on its last swansong. Investors have been determined to take...

Santa Claus Economics

He ran for the highest office in the land on a platform that excoriated the corporate “one-percenters,” promising to reign them in with reams...

Money woes predicted to worsen for Brits next year as Brexit takes hold

If you think life is a struggle now, experts warn that the rising prices of...

Will Obsolete Systems Be Replaced With The $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan?

To stimulate the economy, create new jobs and generate new GDP requires an injection of new money. Borrowing from the bond markets or off-balance-sheet...

Brexit pushes London out of top 100 most expensive cities

London has plummeted 57 places in a global ranking of the most expensive world cities...

MPs will enjoy £1,000 pay hike, while average worker endures 10% real term wage...

MPs will see their salaries rise by over £1,000 ($1,271) next April, in the second...

Why EU Must End in Tears

The latest consequence of economic mismanagement in Europe was the failed attempt at constitutional reform in Italy this week. The Italian people have had enough...

Outlawing Jobs

Sometimes life forces us to make decisions, even when we don’t have enough information to know how the decision will turn out. The risks...

Buy A House For 2.6 Ounces Of Gold

Few people realize the coming bargains in all asset markets within the next five years or so. Stocks, bonds, and property will be fractions...

The Case for Free Trade

The Free Market 1, no. 1 (Fall 1983) In 1981 the Federal Register published a declaration from President Reagan: “I determine that it is in...

Trump and the Fed

REUTERS: Is it reasonable to expect to see a return to a 3 to 4 percent pace of U.S. economic growth under Trump’s policies; if...

To Really Make America Great Again

Former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher recently gave a speech identifying the Federal Reserve’s easy money/low interest rate policies as a source...

What Has Neoliberal Capitalism Ever Done for India?

Colin Todhunter When India ushered in neoliberal economic reforms during the early 1990s, the promise was job creation, inclusive growth and prosperity for all. But,...

Trump’s Awesome Opportunity

Come January, President-elect Donald Trump — the self-described “king of builders” — will be faced with a unique re-modeling opportunity that’s nearly exclusive to...

The system is rigged for another market crash

(RINF) - Since Donald Trump’s victory on election night we have seen the worst bond crash in 15 years.  Global bond investors have seen...

Obama’s Nonexistent Legacy

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org “Trump did more than any democrat to deflate the neocon/neoliberal agenda that liberals themselves screamed was fascist when Bush...

‘Students’ future for sale’: Thousands march against education cuts in London

Thousands of students, teachers and university staff took to the streets of the British capital...

Hey, What Happened To My Chocolate Bar?

The confectionery corporation Mondelez International Inc. has announced it will be downsizing its beloved Swiss chocolate bar Toblerone due to the high cost of...

What Mises Would Say

Last week, Austria issued a 70-year bond, the longest dated sovereign in the Eurozone. (Italy had issued a 50-year bond on October 4.) Austria’s...

Death, taxes and condoms: Bonanza year for hot-button ballot issues

Voters in 35 states will not only be considering the next US president but 154 ballot...

The Looters vs. the Looted

From the conclusion of my earlier post on the topic: It is the state against the people; it is the stakeholders against the subjects. Significant power...

How Soon Before We Become Venezuela?

It’s nonsense to claim that inflation is only going up 1 percent per year in the United States. The cost of living of a...

The Average American Has No Money

They could essentially monetize everything, and then you have state ownership. And through the central banking system, you introduce socialism and communism, which is...

Nuclear Annihilation

Twenty-five years is a long time to get back to where you started, but two-and-a-half decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it...

October 2016: The Month Political Journalism Died

A version of this commentary originally appeared on Environmental Health News (10/19/16). Fox News‘ Chris Wallace before the last chance to ask both major presidential...

Clinton Promises to Increase Social Security Tax

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org During the final Presidential candidates’ debate, on October 19th, Hillary Clinton said that workers’ “social security payroll contribution will go...

Halloween Comes Early as Bloomberg Tries to Scare Kids With Debt Monster

Bloomberg (10/14/16) decided to get into the Halloween spirit by warning our kids about the national debt. The piece is headlined “A Child Born...

Freezing in Iceland

During the 2008 economic crisis, Iceland’s government froze offshore accounts held by foreign investors in that country’s currency, the krona. Recently, the government of...

MoD to buy £3bn armored vehicle fleet from Germany – report

The British Army is set to buy up to 800 infantry vehicles from Germany at...

Life will get ‘difficult’ for Britain’s poor as prices soar post-Brexit, Bank of England...

Life will “get difficult” for Britain’s most vulnerable as rising inflation due to a slump...

Invest in Rolling Steel

Gold may not have the high rate of return that the casino called Wall Street offers … to insiders. But it is one way to...

She’s With Her

Inside Track The stock market – where shares in profit-making companies are exchanged – went up again on Friday. Does this mean the outlook for...

On the Edge of a Black Hole

The world economy is now at its most dangerous point in history. In virtually every major country or region, there are problems of a...

The Looming Smash-Up of the World’s Economy

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has written an article on a United Nations report on debt and default. He is a Keynesian. He worries about deflation. Deflation is...

Why the Middle Class is Dying

OUZILLY, France – First, some travel advice… A niece was visiting from North Carolina. She left this morning for Paris. We warned her, “Paris is the...

Republicans Issue Good News About Obamacare

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org To Republicans, good news about Obamacare (the American President’s ‘legacy’ healthcare-reform program, called officially “The Affordable Care Act”) is...

Why Are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?

Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist ...

Israel Is Rich, Powerful, and Armed With 100s of Nukes

Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the...

Homophonophobes v. Trump

Donald J. Trump is both a racist and not a racist, depending upon the source that one consults.   His comments regarding the rapaciousness of...

Protection from Looting Government

The autumn of 2016 has for some time looked like a period when dark clouds will move in over the world economy. Therefore, it...

Hillary’s Sicko Relationship

As a U.S. senator, Hillary Clinton helped arrange for $1.65 billion in low-interest, federally guaranteed “Liberty Bonds” (supposedly earmarked for post-9/11 rebuilding in New...

Zimbabwe to print own version of US dollar bill

The governor of Zimbabwe’s central bank said it will begin issuing its own version of the...

YOLO Economics

(Photo: Garry Knight / Flickr) The economy, we have been taught, is a cat with considerably more than nine lives. The bottom might drop out...

Will You Be a Cash Criminal?

Harvard professor and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, Kenneth S. Rogoff, is out with a new book. The Curse of Cash. In the book, he...

The Black Horse of the Apocalypse

Revelation 6:5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was...

Reagan Sold Your Future, Trump Will Too

Two generations ago, many white working-class Democrats bought into Ronald Reagan’s promise of a better nation. Eager for “morning in America” — and swayed...

Banking giants reverse predictions of post-Brexit ‘Brecession’

Two of the City’s biggest powerhouses have scrapped their predictions of a post-Brexit recession which...

‘Invisibilizing the Workers Who Actually Do the Work’ – Transcript of CounterSpin's special Labor...

Janine Jackson assembled some of CounterSpin‘s best segments on workers and media for a special September 2, 2016, episode for Labor Day. This is...

Pushback Against Cultural Marxism

We have gotten so used to seeing college presidents and other academic “leaders” caving into so many outrageous demands from little gangs of bullying...

When Are People Going To Figure It Out?

A rally in gold prices happened on Friday after Janet Yellen’s hint at a potential US rate hike in September. During the economic symposium...

Click to share with Homeland Security: DHS to monitor visa-waiver applicants’ social media

The process for visa-waiver applicants has been under fire from US citizens and politicians alike. But...

Large insurers exiting Obamacare exchanges over lack of profit – former exec

Major private insurance companies such as Aetna, which is “extremely profitable,” have fled Obamacare health exchanges,...

This Will Turn Out To Be Very Bad

Submitted by Christoph Gisiger via Finanz und Wirtschaft, James Grant, Wall Street expert and editor of the investment newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer», warns of...

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

By David Lewis August 22, 2016 Murray N. Rothbard is now recognised as one of the foremost economists of the last century, and rightly so. Not...

Academics and Gov’t Don’t want You To Know

Economics is far simpler than most in academics or government would have you believe. To make accurate predictions all you really need is an...

The Bloody Evil of George Soros

Excerpt from Contagion:The Betrayal of Liberty; Russia and the United States in the Post-Cold War Era adapted for lewrockwell.com ……..Spooked out of Russia after the...

You’re With Her?

You’re with her? (Referring to the many “I’m With Her” online advertisements re: Hillary Clinton for President) Really? You mean the lady who destroyed 30,000 emails,...

1 in 3 UK households on brink of homelessness – Shelter

One in three British households are teetering on the brink of homelessness because rent and...

Progressives Have Always Despised Red Meat

You have never heard of Rachel Premack. Admit it. Until July 3, neither had I. On that day, Ms. Premack got her 15 minutes of fame....

Dispelling Illusions

Welcome to the wonderful world of illusions. This is the world where few people can see the difference between reality and fantasy. And maybe...

The Burrito Index

Our real-world experience tells us the official inflation rate doesn’t reflect the actual cost increases of everything from burritos to healthcare. In our household, we...

Banking Cartels Are Sending Europe Into Collapse

Unequivocally, the rubber is hitting the road NOW!  So much so, I believe “last to go” markets are in danger of being overwhelmed by...

The Deep State

I’d like to address some aspects of the Greater Depression in this essay. I’m here to tell you that the inevitable became a reality in...

Trump Will Destroy the Republican Party

We have something special to share with you over the next couple days. Instead of our usual market commentary, we’re featuring a recent interview...

Central Banks Will Create an Historic Gold Rush

The central banks are leading the world into a black hole and have no idea what a disaster they have created. What initially seemed...

President Hillary and World War III

I recently sat down with Casey Research founder Doug Casey to discuss this. Doug is a former classmate of Bill Clinton and has met...

UK wages drop more than in any advanced economy since financial crisis … level...

Workers in Britain have suffered the biggest fall in real wages since the financial crisis than any other leading economy besides Greece, a new...

America Needs an Old-Fashioned Depression

Describing what he called the “crack-up boom”, Ludwig von Mises, the great Austrian economist, said: The boom cannot continue indefinitely. There are two alternatives. Either...

Doing fine & heading for recession: Economic confusion reigns in post-Brexit Britain

With some economists saying there are no signs of a sharp post-Brexit economic slowdown, others...

After Nice, Don’t Trade Liberty for Security

Europe suffered another tragic terrorist attack Thursday night, as a white semi-truck deliberately ran over scores of pedestrians in Nice,...

Helicopter Money

The Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester is a clueless apparatchik and Fed lifer, who joined the system in 1985 fresh out of Barnard and Princeton and has imbibed in...

Family finances hit by Brexit vote… and it’s going to get much worse

House prices and family finances are being threatened by a “significant” post-Brexit economic slowdown, the...

Philadelphia airport workers to strike for $15/hour minimum wage during Dems convention

Service workers at the Philadelphia international airport just voted to go on strike during the Democratic...

Fool’s Errand: NATO Pledges Four More Years of War in Afghanistan

The longest war in US history just got even longer. As NATO wrapped up its 2016 Warsaw Summit, the organization agreed...

It’s Not the Brexit, Stupid

Just over a week ago the world was coming unglued, as enough British citizens grew a pair and spit in the face of the...

Zero Growth Can be Dynamic

Copyright Martin Addison and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence Growth is considered the foremost driver of prosperity. The growth rate of Gross...

Lost in the Military-Industrial Complex

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have ducked any serious discussion of America’s escalating military spending, suggesting that whoever wins will...
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UK Elections: Business As Usual Triumphs

UK Elections: Business as Usual Triumphs

by Stephen Lendman

May 7 general elections approach. Britain is like America. It's all over before polls open. Monied interests win every time.

Ordinary people lose out more than ever in modern memory. It shows in opinion polls. 

Only 16% of voters trust politicians. Why anyone besides well-off Brits do they'll have to explain.  

It doesn't matter who wins on Thursday. Torries and New Labour are even in polls. They're like Republicans and Democrats in America - two sides of the same coin, not a dime's worth of difference between them.

Neither major party is expected to win a majority. Expect coalition government with smaller parties to follow. They largely support the same regressive policies.

All politicians lie. Nothing they say can be believed. New Labour leader Ed Miliband maintained the standard saying Britain's "clear choice on Thursday (is) between a Labour government that will put working people first or a Tory government that will only ever work for the privileged few."

Britain's "clear choice" is none at all. Monied interests run things. Bankers top the pecking order.

Politicians come and go. One major party or the other wins. Things stay the same.

Neoliberal harshness, financialization, weak unions, offshoring manufacturing, privatizing state enterprises, deregulation, and disappearing social justice characterize Britain's economy.

London's Guardian warned of a "hit list of (more) welfare cuts" coming.

Voltaire once explained British society saying its people "are like their own beer; froth on top, dregs at bottom, the middle excellent."

Today's froth never had it better. Poor Brits are enduring their hardest times since post-WW II recovery.

Middle class society is fast disappearing - like in America. Britain's weekly Spectator magazine says it's "shrinking and sinking."

"The lifestyle that the average earner had half a century ago -  reasonably sized house, dependable healthcare, a decent education for the children and a reliable pension - is becoming the preserve of the rich." 

"Middle-class pensioners look on amazed at how their children, now into adulthood, seem to have a far harder time."

Rich elites run things more than ever. They doubled their wealth since 2009. The average worker earns less when adjusted for inflation and wage cuts.

Former Bank of England governor Mervyn King said middle class society is enduring the longest squeeze in living memory. Rich folks never had it better.

London is unaffordable to live in. House prices average over $750,000. The average wage is less than $50,000.

In January, thousands participated in a March for Homes rally. They demanded solutions to unaffordable housing prices - worsening as they escalate.

They carried banners saying "People before profit." Build council homes (reasonably priced ones for working class people)." "Take the wealth of the 1%."

Rents surged an average 13% annually since 2010. So have repossessions and evictions. Britain increasingly is unfit to live in - just like America.

New Labour claiming "Britain can be better" rings hollow for millions enduring increasing hardships.

They're "all the same," growing numbers of voters say about a system increasingly ignoring their needs.

They promise one thing. They do another. Serving monied interests and allying with Washington's war machine matter most.

Respect Party Bradford West MP George Galloway is running for reelection. He calls himself "your traditional, much-loved black cab."

"You don't know what you've got until it's gone. There are not a lot of us black cabs around any more."

His constituency is one of Britain's poorest. It's struggling to reinvent itself. Despite his best  best efforts, he's up against a corrupted, uncaring system.

He's one of 650 House of Commons members. "Recovery, what recovery," he asks?

"We keep hearing that the economic recovery is better in Britain than in any other European country."

"Well it may be in London and the Home Counties, but it certainly isn't here" and most other places in Britain.

Millions are suffering. Food banks are proliferating, Galloway explained. "Can you imagine what the country will look like by 2020 if these barbarians are returned" to power, he stressed.

"We need investment in jobs and infrastructure…But it won't come under the Tories or this miserable local Labour administration." Or New Labour if it bests the Torries nationwide.

Social justice is fast disappearing. Force-fed austerity is official UK policy. 

So is growing wealth inequality. It's risen four times faster since 2008 compared to the seven preceding years.

It bears repeating. Britain is like America - governed of, by and for its privileged elites alone.

It's corrupt, fundamentally unfair and ruthlessly anti-democratic. Young people have no futures.

An entire generation is lost. Social welfare cuts hits Britain's most disadvantaged hardest.

Inequality is booming. Politicians able to make a difference don't care. Increasing amounts of public wealth in private hands is a slippery slope to third world status.

Margaret Thatcher escalated inequality. She oversaw one of the greatest ever transfers of wealth to British society's most well-off.

David Cameron is worse. New Labour's Ed Miliband is no better. Robbing poor Peter to pay rich Paul is official bipartisan policy.

It's endorsed by Liberal Democrats, Britain's third ranked party. It's neither liberal nor democratic. It's hard right like the rest.

On Thursday, voting options are death by hanging or firing squad. Ballot choices exclude government serving everyone equitably.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty

Barack Obama is secretly negotiating a global economic treaty which would destroy thousands of American businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.  In other words, it would be the final nail in the coffin for America’s economic infrastructure.  Obama knows that if the American people actually knew what was in this treaty that they [...]

The post Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty appeared first on The Economic Collapse.

The Public Sector Is A Milk Cow For Private Enterprise

Paul Craig Roberts RINF Alternative News Social Security and Medicare are under attack from Wall Street, conservatives, and free market economists. The claims are that these...

When is a democracy not a democracy? When it’s in Britain

SHAUN LAWSON Imagine a country where the views of well over half of the electorate are discounted and treated as an irrelevance. Imagine a government...

What Happens to Sales and Employment When Corporate Profits Fall?

Charles Hugh Smith Corporate profits are back at the levels reached in 1990, 1999 and 2008 that presaged recessions and a sharp downturn in sales...

The U.S. Economy Slows to Stall Speed

Charles Hugh Smith This long-term weakening of the economy is the direct result of financialization and the Federal Reserve’s policy of propping up impaired debt...

The Obama Arms Bazaar

With the end of the Obama presidency just around the corner, discussions of his administration’s foreign policy legacy are already well under way. But...

If Anyone Doubts That We Are In A Stock Market Bubble, Show Them This...

Michael Snyder RINF Alternative News The higher financial markets rise, the harder they fall. By any objective measurement, the stock market is currently well into bubble...

The Rise of the Working Poor and the Non-Working Rich

Many believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they're lazy. As Speaker John Boehner has said, the poor have a notion that...

China’s Slowdown, Harbinger of a New Business Model?

At the opening of China’s annual parliamentary meeting last week, Premier Li Keqiang laid out Beijing’s policy agenda for the year, speaking frankly about the formidable challenges to growth facing the Chinese economy. Li referred to a myriad of systemic, institutional, and structural problems as ‘tigers in the road,’ responsible for holding up development.

Beijing subsequently unveiled this year’s GDP target at about 7 per cent, the lowest target in over 15 years. After three decades of rapid expansion, Li has referred the current period of slower, sustained economic growth as the ‘new normal’. Though the revised performance target remains robust by global comparison, the Chinese leadership is now taking measures to offset further downward pressure on the economy.

The slowdown in the world’s second largest economy is driven primarily by high debts (estimated at more than 280 per cent of GDP), an unintended consequence of the central government’s massive credit stimulus following the global financial crisis of 2008 to 2009. Following the crash, investments in property and infrastructure were financed primarily by credit to compensate for lower consumer demand for Chinese exports.

Declining commodity and oil prices, lower international and domestic demand, and falling industrial production have converged, placing an increasingly heavy debt burden on provincial governments and industrial firms. China is currently experiencing a property downturn and low consumer inflation, while three consecutive years of contracting industrial output has spurred on deflationary risks.

Read the full story on New Eastern Outlook

Nile Bowie is a columnist with Russia Today, and a research affiliate with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at [email protected].

Nuland Lied to Congress about Phantom Russian Hoards in Ukraine

Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland represents the worst of America's dark side. Her rap sheet reads like convicted Nazis hanged...

Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks: Unfair Competition or a Better Mousetrap?

Ellen Brown RINF Alternative News Public banks in North Dakota, Germany and Switzerland have been shown to outperform their private counterparts. Under the TPP and TTIP, however,...

Will the United States End Up Like Greece? The Risks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

For years people have been running around Washington yelling that the United States was at risk of becoming Greece. There may actually be a...

The Federal Reserve Has Declared the Winner in the Generational Financial War

Reprinted with permission of Washingtons Blog The policy of safeguarding Boomer benefits with asset bubbles will lead to the destruction of the unprepared, the unwary...

The College Industrial Complex Does Not Want You To Read This

A college education used to be considered the great equalizer in which a young adult from any social class could close the future income...

Ukraine: Central European Powder Keg

Stephen Lendman  RINF Alternative News Kiev's so-called day of silence remains shaky at best. Reports indicate casualties after its announcement. Peace is a convenient illusion. Illegitimate oligarch...

Central Banks’ 2% Plan to Impoverish You

Reprinted with permission from Washingtons Blog The 2% target is low enough that the household frogs in the kettle of hot water never realize they’re...

The Idiotic Economic Theory that Is Causing Governments to Blow Up their Economies

No, We CAN’T Inflate Our Way Out of a Debt Trap Top mainstream economists have pushed the theory that we can inflate our way out...

Straight Talk and Reflections

Stephen Lendman  RINF Alternative News I generally restrict personal comments to one-on-one emails. Or discussions with friends, family and others. This article an exception. Why not at...

The Swiss Gold Referendum

Paul Craig Roberts RINF Alternative News In a few days the Swiss people will go to the polls to decide whether the Swiss central bank is...

New UK study finds 300,000 more people living in poverty

Dennis Moore A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), based on research carried out by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, found that 300,000 more...

Why QE May Lead to DEFLATION In the Long Run

“If Right, Everything The Fed Has Been Doing To Try To Stimulate The Economy Isn’t Just Useless – It’s Backward” Quantitative easing (QE) was...

The Problem of “Stupid” in Economics

Dean Baker MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber has inadvertently become a YouTube celebrity as a result of a video of him referring to the public as...

War Making and Class Conflict

Joseph T. Salerno All governments past and present, regardless of their formal organization, involve the rule of the many by the few. In other words,...

How Macroeconomic Data Encourages Government Intervention

Frank Shostak It is generally held that for an economist to be able to assess the state of the economy, he requires macroeconomic indicators which...

More Lies from “Our” Government: The Latest Jobs Report

Paul Craig Roberts  RINF Alternative News Just as the German media has destroyed its credibility with lies, the US government is consistently destroying Washington’s credibility both...

We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy

It is difficult to find the motivation to write about the state of the global economy these days, if only because there is not...

The Economy Of The Largest Superpower On The Planet Is Collapsing Right Now

Michael Snyder RINF Alternative News How do you fix a superpower with exploding levels of debt, that has a rapidly aging population, that consumes far...

Why American Financial Markets Have No Relationship to Reality

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS and DAVE KRANZLER RINF Alternative News The bullion banks (primarily JP Morgan, HSBC, ScotiaMocatta, Barclays, UBS, and Deutsche Bank), most likely acting as...

Food poverty is a British problem

There are 13 million people living below the poverty line in Britain. In Manchester, one of the country’s fastest-growing cities, 38 per cent of...

The Fix Is In: Fed Stops Stock Slide with Talk of QE Extension

MIKE WHITNEY RINF Alternative News Unbelievable. On Wednesday, stocks were hammered after economic data showed that the US and global economies were headed for a major...

Suspected Nazi war criminals collecting ‘millions’ in Social Security — investigation

US taxpayers have paid millions of dollars in Social Security benefits to dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals, even after they were forced out...

America’s Grand Fortunes Go Overboard

Sam Pizzigati Imagine yourself part of the typical American family. Your household would have, the Federal Reserve reported in September, a net worth of $81,200. That’s...

What’s Really Killing the World Economy

Turns out forgiveness can be a virtue when it comes to easing hard economic times, as well as other areas of life. The world economy...

Why Isn’t America “As Mad As Hell” And Unwilling To “Take It Anymore”?

Dave Hodges RINF Alternative News Howard Bloom, Yale literature professor and cultural critic, recently stated “I am 79 years old and I have never seen this...

If Children Are Being Crowded Out, It is Being Done by Rich People

Dean Baker There is a well-funded effort (think Fix the Debt and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation) to distract people from the upward redistribution to...

British Health Workers Urged To Take Strike Action

Annette Mackin Britain’s biggest health union today named Monday 13 October as the day for England’s first NHS strike over pay in 32 years. Unison health...

Distorting Perceptions of Economic Reality

Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler RINF Alternative News The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents (JP Morgan, Scotia, and HSBC) have been using naked short-selling to...

Forty five million in poverty in the US

Andre Damon Forty-five million people are living in poverty in the United States, according to figures released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. The 2013 Income...

No Economy For Americans

Paul Craig Roberts RINF Alternative News The Dow Jones stock average closed Friday at 17,137, despite the fact that the payroll jobs report was a measly...

Economic data show gathering global slump

Nick Beams  RINF Alternative News The latest economic statistics from Europe, Japan and China point to deepening recessionary trends in the global economy. The eurozone economy is...

The Seven Year Cycle Of Economic Crashes That Everyone Is Talking About

Michael Snyder RINF Alternative News Large numbers of people believe that an economic crash is coming next year based on a seven year cycle of economic...

The US forced bankruptcy of Argentina

Ellen Brown  RINF Alternative News If Argentina were in a high-stakes chess match, the country’s actions this week would be the equivalent of flipping over all...

War and social attacks spread throughout Ukraine

Christoph Dreier The Ukrainian army has expanded its offensive against the rebel controlled cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, fighting house-to-house battles with rebel groups. While...

Millions of Americans Are Vulnerable to Starvation

Dave Hodges RINF Alternative News The cost of food has been steadily increasing in places like Thailand and Venezuela as evidenced by the fact that since the beginning of...

30 stats to show to anyone that does not believe the middle class is...

Michael Snyder  RINF Alternative News The 30 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class in...

Is the Dollar and Equities Ready to Crash?

James Hall  RINF Alternative News As the yearly end of summer doldrums engulf the Hamptons, the uber-wealthy position themselves for a rocky coming storm when the...

Snyder: “A Major Event Just Happened In Financial Markets”

Michael T. Snyder RINF Alternative News Did you know that a major event just happened in the financial markets that we have not seen since the...

How Old Will Social Security Be When the Rich Pay the Same Rate as...

Nicole Woo Today is Social Security's 79th birthday, a good time to celebrate the nation's most effective anti-poverty program, which, especially after the housing crash...

14 Reasons Why The U.S. Economy’s Bubble Of False Prosperity May Be About To...

Michael Snyder RINF Alternative News Did you know that a major event just happened in the financial markets that we have not seen since the financial...

How to protect yourself in an economic crisis

Does the current economic crisis have you worried? Are you wondering how to achieve financial freedom so you can protect yourself and your family...

California’s 2014-2015 budget attacks education

Theo Mclean California’s recently enacted 2014-2015 budget codifies the continuation of the attacks on education by the ruling class. Teachers and students are among those...