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“Wealth Effect” = Widening Wealth Inequality

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, Note that widening wealth and income inequality is a non-partisan trend. One of the core goals of the Federal Reserve's monetary policies of the past 9 years is to generate the "wealth effect": by pushing the valuations of stocks and bonds higher, American households will feel wealthier, […]

Forget The Phony Pension Accounting, Here’s How Much Your State Pension Is Really Underfunded

The phony assumptions that go into calculating public pension underfundings in the United States are a frequent topic for us.  As our readers are aware, state pension administrators are given fairly wide leeway to simply pick a discount rate out of thin air.  Of course, since pensions are nothing but a massive stream of future […]

Canadian Homeowners Take Out HELOCs To Fund Subprime Purchases

Authored by Steve Saretsky via VanCityCondoGuide.com, The HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) has been a blessing and a curse for Canadian households. While it has helped spur house prices and simultaneously provided consumers the ability to tap into their new found equity, it has also crippled many Canadian households into a debt trap that seems […]

These PE Firms Are About To Get Crushed By Their Subprime Auto Bets

In the aftermath of the ‘great recession,’ private equity firms placed massive bets on subprime auto finance companies with the typical “thesis” going something like this: “well, people have to get to work don’t they?”…genius, if we understand it correctly. Of course, the “thesis” seemed to be confirmed when auto securitizations performed relatively well throughout […]

House Passes Tax-Reform Bill – 12 Republicans, All Democrats Vote Against

After more than six weeks of frenzied negotiations, the House of Representatives has passed the reconciled version of President Donald Trump's tax plan, leaving only one major hurdle between Republicans and their biggest legislative accomplishment of the Trump era. In a 227-203 vote, the House passed the tax plan over united Democratic opposition, as well […]

Here Is The Full Text Of The Final Republican Tax Bill

Update: in addition to the previously leaked highlights (see below), Republicans on Friday evening released the final version of their legislation to slash tax rates for corporations and individuals. The 1,097 page document, containing the bill and an explanatory statement, was crafted by the House-Senate conference committee. The bill is expected to come up for […]

Full Tax Bill Highlights Leaked

Here are the full policy highlights of the Republicans' Tax Cuts & Jobs Act… Policy Highlights The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) overhauls America’s tax code to deliver historic tax relief for workers, families and job creators, and revitalize our nation’s economy. By lowering taxes across the board, eliminating costly special-interest tax breaks, […]

Signs Of The Peak: These 10 Charts Reveal An Auto Bubble On The Brink

U.S. auto sales have hovered well north of replacement rates for several years now on the back of an improving labor environment and more importantly an extremely accommodating financing market characterized by $0 down, 0% interest loans to subprime borrowers, with perpetually longer maturities to help manage monthly payments…because if your monthly payment is $500 […]

Housing Bubble 2.0: All-Cash Offers Increasingly Required To Compete In Overheating Markets

Back in 2005, anyone with a modest amount of startup capital and a dream could become a millionaire flipping houses.  The complete disregard for the underlying risk building up in what was later exposed as one of the biggest pricing bubbles in history resulted in investors dominating a market that had previously been reserved for […]

“Almost A Given It Will End Badly”: Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle Says U.S. Pensions Are Doomed

Legendary investor Jack Bogle is apparently not all that optimistic that public pension funds in the U.S. are going to be able to meet their future funding obligations.  Speaking with Bloomberg earlier today, Bogle predicted that bond returns will be a paltry 3% over the next decade, with stock returns not that much better, making […]

US Credit Card Debt Surges Above $1 Trillion, Just Shy Of All Time Highs As Student, Car Loans Breach Records

Earlier in 2017, using the latest – and soon to be revised – Fed data, newspapers and financial media reported that US consumer credit card debt had risen above $1 trillion for the first time since the financial crisis. Ironically, just a few months later the Fed revised its data series sharply lower, sending the […]

“Excessive Pockets Of Gluttony”: Meet PA’s Public Pensioners Making $500,000 A Year Courtesy Of Taxpayers

Liberal politicians in Washington D.C. often complain about the federal tax code being too regressive and thus placing too large a burden on low-income families while allowing “millionaire, billionaire, private jet owners” to get a free pass (one must to be willing to ignore actual statistics to reach this conclusion but lets just take the […]

The Great Retirement Con

Authored by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com, Frankly put: retirement is now a myth for the majority…   The Origins Of The Retirement Plan Back during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress promised a monthly lifetime income to soldiers who fought and survived the conflict. This guaranteed income stream, called a "pension", was again offered to […]

This Michigan Bank Just Brought Back The Zero-Down Mortgage; They’ll Even Cover Your Closing Costs

A small savings bank in Michigan, Flagstar Bank, has come up with a genius, innovative new mortgage product that they believe is going to be great for their investors and low-income housing buyers: the “zero-down mortgage.”  What’s better, Flagstar is even offering to pay the closing costs of their low-income future mortgage debtors.  Here’s more […]

Yale’s Endowment CIO Has Some Really Bad News For Public Pensions…

Public pensions all around the country like to play a clever little game that allows them to drastically understate the current value of their future liabilities and therefore pretend that their ponzi schemes are something other than insolvent frauds.  Of course, we’re talking about the artificially high discount rates that pension boards consistently use to […]