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Squeezing The Consumer From Both Sides

Authored by 720Global's Michael Lebowitz via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, The Federal Reserve raised the Federal Funds rate on December 13, 2017, marking the fifth increase over the last two years.  Even with interest rates remaining at historically low levels, the Fed’s actions are resulting in greater interest expense for short-term and floating rate borrowers. The effect of […]

Holiday Spending Set To Hit 12-Year High Thanks To…Debt

Even though consumer confidence cooled for a second straight month in November, CNBC is reporting that holiday spending for the average American household is on track to be the highest in 12 years. Amazingly, the CNBC All-America Survey found that the average family will spend $900 for the first time in the 12-year history of […]

The Depression Of The 1930s Was An Energy Crisis

Authored by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog, Economists, including Ben Bernanke, give all kinds of reasons for the Great Depression of the 1930s. But what if the real reason for the Great Depression was an energy crisis? When I put together a chart of per capita energy consumption since 1820 for a post […]

Core Consumer Price Growth Comes In Cold – Apparel Prices Plunge Most Since 1998

Following producer prices' surge in November, consumer prices rose 2.2% YoY (as expected). October producer price pushed to its highest since Dec 2011 but consumer prices are not being pushed higher for now… The energy index rose 3.9 percent and accounted for about three-fourths of the all items increase; indexes for motor vehicle insurance, used […]

Labor Market Conundrum: Number Of Millennials Living At Home With Mom Continues To Surge

Nary a day goes by that President Trump and/or the talking heads on CNBC fail to mention the following unemployment chart as evidence that “everything is awesome” with the U.S. economy… …which might be true unless you’re among the 95 million-ish Americans who have been looking for a job for so long that you no […]

Taxes: Here’s What’s Going To Stay The Same

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com, On October 3, 1913, US President Woodrow Wilson signed the Underwood-Simmons Act into law, creating what would become the first modern US income tax. The legislation (at least, the income tax portion) was only 16 pages and imposed a base tax rate of just 1%. The highest tax rate […]

How Uncle Sam Inflates Away Your Life

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon,” once remarked economist and Nobel Prize recipient Milton Friedman.  He likely meant that inflation is the more rapid increase in the supply of money relative to the output of goods and services which money is traded for. As more and more […]

Why Populism Isn’t Going Away

Authored by Ronald-Peter Stoferle via The Mises Institute, The vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump has baffled the main stream and the establishment. Most market participants and observers didn't believe ex ante that they were possible, and as a result were completely surprised when the unexpected happened. Ever since the term populism […]

The Ponzi Scheme That’s Over 100x The Size Of Madoff

Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com, By January 1920, much of Europe was in total chaos following the end of the first World War. Unemployment soared and steep inflation was setting in across Spain, Italy, Germany, etc. But an Italian-American businessman who was living in Boston noticed a unique opportunity amid all of that devastation. […]

The Downright Sinister Rearrangement Of Riches

Authored by EconomicPrism's MN Gordon, via Acting-Man.com, Simple Classifications Let’s begin with facts.  Cold hard unadorned facts. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at standard atmospheric pressure.  Squaring the circle using a compass and straightedge is impossible.  The sun is a star. The sun is not just a star, it is a benevolent star. Look, […]

Americans’ Economic Confidence Turns Negative For First Time Since Election

Last week,we noted that, despite storms, wildfires, quakes, higher gas prices, and failed Washington policies, Americans are – according to The University of Michigan – their most confident since January 2004.   Additionally, businesses are cock-a-hoop BUT the real economy is seriously lagging…   This all seems a little odd… and sure enough, we get […]

Buffett’s Wrong – Why Market Valuations Are Not Justified By Low Interest Rates

As is his way, Billionaire investor Warren Buffett calmed an anxious nation earlier this month with his comments that: "Valuations make sense with interest rates where they are." And it seemed to work as stocks hit new record highs and Americans have never, ever been more sure that stocks will continue rising for the next […]

Inflation Ignorance – Missing The Systemic Decline In Quality, Utility, Durability, And Service

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, The quality, durability, utility and enjoyment-of-use of our products and services has been plummeting for years. One of the more mysterious aspects of the official inflation rate is the hedonic quality adjustments that the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes to the components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The […]

Stocks Up and Yields Down, Gold and Silver Report 8 Oct 2017

Many gold bugs make an implicit assumption. Gold is good, therefore it will go up. This is tempting but wrong (ignoring that gold does not go anywhere, it’s the dollar that goes down). One error is in thinking that now you have discovered a truth, everyone else will see it quickly. And there is a […]

“This May Be The End Of Europe As We Know It”: The Pension Storm Is Coming

Authored by John Mauldin via MauldinEconomics.com, I’ve written a lot about US public pension funds lately. Many of them are underfunded and will never be able to pay workers the promised benefits – at least without dumping a huge and unwelcome bill on taxpayers. And since taxpayers are generally voters, it’s not at all clear […]