All Posts Tagged With: "Recession"

The US is in Pre-Recession

The Commerce Department has released GDP data for the fourth quarter of 2012, and these numbers indicate a contraction of an annualized .1 percent, which wasn’t exactly a crash, but it was a contraction nonetheless.

If you read my work, you already know that I don’t think there was a real economic recovery, and that we are in a significant economic depression. If you pretend that people settling for part-time work when they used to have full-time work is indicative of job growth; and think the Fed ’s buying $40 billion per month in bonds with thin-air fun bucks is good; and ignore the college graduates who can’t find jobs because they hadn’t entered the “workforce” yet and were thus not officially unemployed – then …


There Was No Recovery

“Double Dip.” By now you have probably seen this term somewhere. It appears that the economic recovery is stalling in what is supposedly its second year, and now the economy is poised for the dreaded “Double Dip.”

It is a lie. There was no recovery in the first place. The alleged “recovery” existed only on paper, and only with a great deal of mathematical trickery.

A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, measured by the change in the gross domestic product, and the GDP is an illusion.

We calculate our GDP like this: Investment + Consumer Spending + Government Spending + Net Exports. If the federal government spends $1 billion on an airport in Pennsylvania that nobody uses, that is calculated …


Cash for Clunkers

money-flying-awayBy all accounts, the cash for clunkers program has been a huge success.  Never mind the fact that auto dealerships want nothing to do with the bureaucratic red tape and if at all possible will steer a customer toward conventional financing.  The fact of the matter is that it has been a real boost to the economy.

So who really has benefited from this program?

  • Some consumers, who traded up from old gas guzzlers to spiffy new fuel-efficient models,
  • Auto dealers, who were able to dump inventory and pay their financiers,
  • Banks, who all of a sudden, had some new auto loan volume, with up to $4,500 down-payments,
  • Auto companies, especially Ford, Toyota, Honda and Nissan, who led the pack in sales.  Conspicuously absent from

2008 Election Thoughts

I’m tired of everyone dumping on George Bush.  I’m the first to admit that he has some serious leadership deficiencies, but he is the President and won the job fair and square twice, despite what the Libs think.  As President, he deserves our respect, just like Nixon and Clinton did.  For eight years, I had to  suck it up and respect a man who molested women half his age in his office.  Nearly all the issues Bush has had to deal with are a direct result of Clinton policies and Democratic bungling, particularly as it relates to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and “mark to market” accounting standards.  (For more information, see Brian Wesbury’s column in the Wednesday, October 1,  Wall Street Journal.)  For those


Burning Down The [US] House

Talking Heads:

No visible means of support and you have not seen nuthin yet

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The House of Representatives today passed the Senate version of the $700 Billion Bail-out.  For now, it’s over.  Bush signed the bill shortly after the vote, and we have not seen nuthin yet.

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the market is not exactly tripping over itself to show its appreciation.  After the announcement of the bill passage, the Dow lost all of the 200 or so points it had gained today, and then some. 

I haven’t even had time to read the bill yet, but have heard so far that there’s some pork.  It shouldn’t surprise me that our Congress, while debating the bill most …


The Senate Strikes Back

Our US Senators have approved a version of the $700 Billion Bail-out Bill that provides some new features:

  • New tax breaks for businesses
  • Raising the FDIC deposit insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000

Normally, I am all about tax breaks for businesses.  I think that is one of the best ways to stimulate growth.

And without a doubt, raising the FDIC limit will help so many… almost rich people.  Okay, pretty much just really rich people.  I don’t even know anyone that has close to the $100,000 limit in a protected bank instrument, so I’m having a hard time understanding who benefits from this.  Maybe someone like Warren Buffet or Dan Rather, but not anyone I know.  I take that back, Buffet would have that …


The Economy Today

My cohort DJ is going to disagree with me.  Just you wait and see.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today did not scare me.  It did surprise me, because I didn’t think that Congress had the ability to face down the President, Treasury Secretary and their own part leaders all at the same time.  (For the votes of the Representatives from Iowa, see below, or this link for the roll call vote).

I am so proud of them!  From the above Reuter’s article:

“This isn’t legislation. This is extortion,” said Florida Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite. “This is so embarrassing it turns the stomach of most Americans.”

That pretty much sums up my thinking on this.

As I mentioned yesterday, I think we should seriously …


AT&T Profits Mean We Must Be In A Recession

AT&T this morning reports an increase in quarterly profit.  From the Reuters story:

AT&T’s first-quarter profit rose to $3.46 billion, or 57 cents per share, from $2.85 billion, or 45 cents a share in the same quarter a year earlier.

The positive report results mostly from strong growth in AT&T’s wireless business.  Traditional phone subscriptions were down.

One could read different messages from this.  Wireless products are still what I consider a luxury, though more and more people see it as a necessity.  However, I find it hard to believe that anyone would cling to their cell phone if it meant skipping meals to afford it.  So is this a sign that we’re not in a recession after all?

Although that is one view, …


Everyone Deserves To Own A House, Right?

Well, Hillary appears to be attempting to make EVERYONE happy.

More government money to rescue folks who simply bought more house than they could afford. According to a Wall Street Journal story Tuesday, Hillary proposes:

  • Freezing Forclosures for 90 days
  • Freezing Interest-rate Resets on Sub-primes for 5 years
  • Establish a $30 billion fund so states and cities can buy foreclosed properties
  • Expand the Mortgage Revenue Bond Program (provides below market interest rates for first-time home buyers) by $10 billion

Thanks so much. I’ve heard a number of people call this, appropriately, “cost-shifting”. That means one group of people (those of us who are careful to buy what we can afford) are going to take

Capitalism and open market disciplines cannot support a class of people

Fed Cuts Key Rate 3/4 Points

Wow, the Federal Reserve has reacted dramatically to the global markets spinning out of control.  According to KCCI TV’s web site this morning, the Fed lowered the federal funds rate to 3.5%:

In a statement on its Web site, the Federal Reserve took the action in view of a weakening of the economic outlook and increasing downside risks to growth.

“While strains in short-term funding markets have eased somewhat, broader financial market conditions have continued to deteriorate and credit has tightened further for some businesses and households,” the statement said. “Moreover, incoming information indicates a deepening of the housing contraction as well as some softening in labor markets.”

The KCCI story provides additional info about what’s been happening around the world, including India halting trading …