Category Archives: Financial

Pam Martens & Russ Martens ~ Janet Yellen: Average Net Worth Of 62 Million U.S. Households Is $11,000

“Until Fed Chair Yellen is prepared to do more than give lip service to income and wealth inequality, her command over monetary policy will be sorely challenged.” – P Martens & R Martens

JanetYellen2It took 200 years of hard data in a bestselling book by Thomas Piketty, awesome graphs and charts in Robert Reich’s documentary, “Inequality for All,” and years of scolding from Wall Street on Parade, but Fed Chair Janet Yellen has finally, and correctly, arrived at the idea that the nation’s economic ills are deeply rooted in the fact that U.S. “income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years.” That was the message Yellen delivered on Friday in a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, replete with stomach-churning figures from the Fed.

Make no mistake about it, coming at the end of a week that saw dramatic up and down spikes in the stock market – Yellen was sending a pivotal message to the Wall Street wealth hoarders – your billionaire standing could be as ephemeral as a day lily if we don’t fix this income and wealth gap.

Yellen quieted the crowd with this opener: “The past several decades have seen the most sustained rise in inequality since the 19th century after more than 40 years of narrowing inequality following the Great Depression.” Using data from the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances, Yellen punctuated her message with these hair-raising figures: Continue reading

Greg Hunter Interviews Paul Craig Roberts ~ Dollar Is The Weak Spot For US [Video]

Former Treasury Secretary Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says all U.S. financial policy revolves around propping up the dollar.  Dr. Roberts contends, “I’ve always said the whole system is rigged.  It’s a house of cards, and the weak spot is the dollar because they cannot print foreign currencies for which to buy dollars.  So, if there is a worldwide run on the dollar, they lose control then.  In the meantime, they have all these things they can do to counteract the direction of the markets, and I expect them to continue doing that.”

So, if propping up the dollar is the top priority, then suppressing the gold price is a close second.  Could the COMEX or LBMA simply run out of metal sold below mining cost?  Dr. Roberts says, “Well, a lot of people think that, particularly people who think there is no gold left in Fort Knox or in the New York Fed.  They think all that has been lent out and used up.   If they’re right, then the policy they have in naked shorts in gold to drive down the price just increases the demand in Asia for more bullion.  If that is true and they don’t have a way to make those deliveries, then they are producing the crisis for themselves by holding down the gold price.  Whereas, if they let the price rise, it might temper the demand for gold in Asia and remove that problem.” Continue reading

Charles Hugh Smith ~ Why Nations (And Organizations) Fail: Self-Serving Elites

CharlesHughSmithThe book Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty neatly summarizes why nations fail in a few lines:

(A nation) is poor precisely because it has been ruled by a narrow elite that has organized society for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of people. Political power has been narrowly concentrated, and has been used to create great wealth for those who possess it.

Sound like any countries you know? Perhaps we should flip this question around and ask: how many nations don’t fit this profile?

I submit that this dynamic of failure–the concentrated power and wealth of self-serving elites– is scale-invariant, meaning that it is equally true of communities, towns, cities, states, nations and empires alike: all fail when they’re run for the benefit of a narrow elite.

There is a bitter irony in the ease with which American pundits discern this dynamic in developing-world kleptocracies while ignoring the same dynamic in America. One would imagine it would be easier to see the elites-inevitably-cause-failure in one’s home country, but the pundits by and large are members of the Clerisy Upper Caste, well-paid functionaries, apparatchiks, lackeys, factotums, toadies, sycophants and apologists for the very elites that are leading America down the path of systemic failure as the ontological consequence of their self-serving consolidation of wealth and power. Continue reading

Charles Hugh Smith ~ Why the State Has Failed to Reform Our Broken Financial System

“Expecting the state to truly reform the nation’s engines of financialization is like asking the cocaine addict married to the wealthy dealer to divorce the dealer.” – C H Smith

CharlesHughSmithMost observers think they know why the government (i.e. the state) has failed to truly reform the financial system: corrupt politicos on the receiving end of the Too Big to Fail (TBTF) banks and financiers’ millions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions do the banks’ bidding.

FinancialProfitsVsDebt2

While the reduction of democracy to an auction in which the highest bidder controls the state is certainly one systemic reason for this abject failure, there is an even greater, more deeply systemic reason why the state cannot reform the rotten core of financialization.

The state has become dependent on the wages and profits of finance for its own revenues.

Here’s an analogy of what’s happened in the past few decades of financialization: you meet Mr./Ms. Right (he/she is attractive, makes a lot of money, well-dressed, good social skills, etc.), fall in love and marry. Continue reading

Andy Hoffman ~ Worldwide Fiat Implosion: How High Can Silver Go? [Audio]

“It looks like the end game is possibly starting,” says MilesFranklin’s Andy Hoffman. “Bond yields around the world have now hit an average an all-time low. The most damning proof yet of QE failure is out there for the world to see. I don’t think anyone is left that’s actually saying “recovery” any more because it’s obvious, you’re seeing crashing commodities, crashing currencies, crashing bond yields, now crashing stock prices… the whole propaganda game is broken.

The powers that be are LOSING CONTROL OF PAPER MARKETS.” Join us as Andy also answers the question, “How high can silver go?” Andy’s site: http://www.milesfranklin.com/

SF Source SGTreport.com  Oct 15 2014

Pam Martens & Russ Martens ~ New Book: Senator Schumer Was Regular Visitor to Madoff Offices

“On September 9 of this year, Nathan Vardi, writing for Forbes, reported that “Barbara Picower, the widow of the biggest beneficiary of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, has resumed her role as one of the nation’s top philanthropists, heading a new foundation with more than $2 billion in assets.”” – P Martens & R Martens

Sen. Charles Schumer

Sen. Charles Schumer

New York City has 8.4 million people living in its boroughs. But when it comes to defending those charged with financial crimes, it’s a very small, clubby world of people who are either related to each other or have worked together in the past. And this clubby group has one more thing in common: most of its members seem to be lavishing huge campaign contributions on U.S. Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer of New York – a man who is in a position to recommend Federal Judge appointments and the Justice Department’s U.S. Attorney who will prosecute the financial crimes – or not.

These are the findings in a new on-line book, JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook, being offered free as a chapter a month by attorneys Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer. (Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator who was swindled by Madoff and is passionate about getting an unabridged recital of facts out to the public, including details about the extensive involvement in the fraud by the big Wall Street bank, JPMorgan Chase, and Madoff clients that the authors believe to have been co-conspirators.)

Chapter 3 is now up on the web site and delivers this nugget: “Senator Schumer was a frequent visitor to Madoff in his office in New York’s Lipstick Building.” This information came to Chaitman in 2009 from Madoff employees and is confirmed by a 2014 interview with Madoff himself by Politico’s MJ Lee, indicating that Schumer paid personal visits to Madoff  to collect campaign contributions.

In the March Politico article, Lee adds this: “Approached in a Senate hallway last week, Schumer seemed willing to talk to a reporter — until the subject of Madoff came up. ‘I’m not commenting,’ the New York Democrat said as he walked away. ‘I am not commenting.’ ”

The web of relationships unveiled in the book include the following: Continue reading

Greg Hunter Interviews John Williams ~ Reality Of No Economic Recovery Means Collapse [Video]

Economist John Williams is sticking by his assessment that the economy is in deep trouble.  Williams says, “What we are seeing is a very big fiction by the financial media and the political media that the economy has recovered.  The economy has not recovered. . . . We are seeing all sorts of things that indicate the economy is not recovering and never has recovered, and it is turning down again.”

On the recent wild gyrations of the stock market, Williams says, “I can’t give you good reason for why the stock market is as high as it is.  The fact you are seeing this volatility means there are a lot of people who are very nervous about what is going on and where things are in the market.  It is probably one of the great bubbles of all time.  It most likely will collapse along the lines of the U.S. dollar in response to the reality of no economic recovery. . . . I can’t think of a more vulnerable market than what we are seeing here.”  Continue reading

Gary Christenson ~ Silver, Warfare And Welfare

“Silver is currently inexpensive compared to the S&P 500 Index, crude oil, the size and rate of increase of the national debt, and especially the future price for silver after markets have reset, paper assets have devalued, and hard assets have jumped much higher in price.” – G Christenson

GaryChristensonUS policies that promote warfare and welfare have produced massively increased debt, much higher consumer prices, larger government, and more central bank intrusion into the markets.  And yes, higher silver and gold prices also resulted from these policies.

Fifty years ago we were bombing North Vietnam “back into the stone age” while also declaring a “war on poverty.”  The consequences of both “wars” have not been encouraging.  Since then we have created considerable indebtedness by promoting such questionable ideas as a war on Iraq, a war on drugs and a war on terrorism.  Future uses of national income and more debt could include a war on ebola, war on ISIS, and many other “wars.”

Official national debt has increased from roughly one-third of a $ Trillion in 1964 to nearly $18 Trillion today.  The price of a barrel of crude oil has increased from about $1.50 to about $90 over the past 50 years.  A pack of cigarettes has increased from a quarter to nearly $6.  There are 1,001 more examples of increasing prices, often not matched by increases in personal incomes. Continue reading