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Friday, April 29, 2011

Ben Bernanke is a Lying Enabler

Peter Schiff believes that Ben Bernanke is lying about the threat of inflation. He says Bernanke knows that if he fights inflation the phony economy that his monetary policy helped inflate will come crashing down.

Schiff also says the only reason the U.S. is running these huge deficits is because Ben Bernanke is making it possible. The Fed's Quantitative Easing program is buying up most of the Treasury bonds with Bernanke's newly printed money. But, Bernanke actually said at his press conference that deficits are the biggest threat this country faces. However, by monetizing the U.S. debt Bernanke makes himself an enabler of Congress's overspending. He is covering their drunken sailor bar tab. Schiff adds, if the Fed had some monetary discipline, stopped buying bonds, and raised interest rates that would force Congress to cut spending. They would have no way to sell all their bonds without the enabler's help!


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Ron Paul says Bernanke is lying about having a "strong dollar" policy. He then asks, "When is Bernanke Going to Admit Fed Policy is a Total Failure?"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ben Bernanke: Buck Busting Buzzard - update

Bernanke caught in the inflation headlights

Ben Bernanke has been upgraded from plain Buck Buster to the Buck Busting Buzzard. This is based on his obliviousness to wildfire inflation that is igniting all over the frick'n economy. Sure, if you look at just labor and housing costs prices seem stable, but everything else it seems is bust'n a move higher. The Ben "Buck Busting Buzzard" Bernanke will soon have an economic landscape covered in the carcasses of the American middleclass to feast on if he continues his hellbent mission to wipeout the dollar.

Here are some more assorted reactions to the Buzzard's press roost yesterday.

Jeff Reeves /MarketWatch:
The 9 Places Where Inflation Is Crushing Us --
The Federal Reserve would have you believe that everything is fine, focusing on core inflation rates and ignoring broader measures of inflation as they affect food and energy. These commodity-driven prices, as our central banking overlords would have you believe, are naturally more volatile and shouldn’t be overstated...

Here are nine crushing costs of inflation that are breaking many American households:  beef, pork, grains, gasoline, copper, diapers, paper towels and toilet paper, shipping surcharges, and (low) wages.
John Michaelson / RealClearMarkets:
The Fed's Low Rates Prevent Recovery -- the Fed's policy:
Causes a massive, hidden and unprecedented transfer of wealth. The money comes from savers and retirement accounts, sponsors of defined benefit pension plans, beneficiaries of endowments and foundations that generally have a high consumption coefficient of income. The beneficiary of the wealth transfer has to a great extent been the financial sector which has used the transfer to strengthen its finances and compensate its already highly paid employees...
Larry Kudlow / RealClearMarkets:
Bernanke Punts Dollar, Gold Slams Ben --
Mr. Bernanke had no defense of the sinking dollar, or the inflation it brings, or the drop in middle-class living standards it causes. So it's little surprise that gold prices surged $24 to $1,526 during the Fed chairman's press conference. Silver jumped sharply as well. The markets clearly don't see any King Dollar shift by the Fed...
Editorial / New York Sun:
Ben Speaks: The Golden Dog That Didn't Bark --
What the silver price actual shows is that it’s not the gasoline that’s going up but the dollar that’s going down. So it’s just bizarre for Mr. Bernanke to be talking of a “strong and stable” dollar, which he did, Mr. Malpass pointed out, three times in the press conference. The result is what Mr. Malpass called “a disconnect between the rhetoric and the policy” because “the dollar is neither strong nor stable and the U.S. hasn’t supported it.” Said Mr. Malpass, a former official under President Reagan: “For years, Treasury and the Fed have acted as if the current value of the dollar qualifies as “strong and stable.” This severely undercuts the credibility of Treasury and the Fed on the dollar.”
Caroline Baum / Bloomberg:
Bernanke Must Have Lost My List of Questions --
It’s true that, for anyone over the age of 40, the [Bernanke] press briefing was a big deal. Prior to 1994, the Fed didn’t even announce its policy changes. Too much information in the hands of the public was thought to be dangerous.
Stephen Roach / Project Syndicate:
Zombie America Is Turning Japanese --
If China is successful in implementing its pro-consumption agenda, the rest of Asia will be well positioned to avoid the fallout from America’s new generation of zombie consumers. How the United States copes is a different matter altogether.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ben Bernanke's First Press Conference: Snooze Fest

Ben Bernanke takes a nap during a lull at his first press conference

Reporter falls asleep asking a question at Bernanke's press conference

More nap time at Bernake press conference
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The Ben Bernanke press conference this afternoon was pure kabuki theater, a boring charade of bureaucratic babble.  Bernanke, for example, got to use his new favorite babble buzzword, "transitory," three times. The spoon fed questions and rehearsed answers gave Ben "the Buck Busting Buzzard" Bernanke plenty of room to alibi his way out of his crimes of killing the US dollar, letting inflation loose upon the world, and robbing the middle class.

Bernanke, the man who prints billions of new dollars with the press of a button, also likes to pass the buck, when it comes to taking responsibility for destroying the dollar.

Bernanke:
Thanks. First, I should start by saying that the secretary of the treasury, of course, is the spokesperson for U.S. policy on the dollar...
Representative Ron Paul called out Bernanke for putting on a charade and not addressing the real issues. He pins the tail on the skunk, when he says, Bernanke is culpable for inflation.

Let's hope Rep. Ron Paul can help make the Federal Reserve's role in dominating our economic lives "transitory," and someday soon end the Fed.

Ron Paul / paul.house.gov:
Statement on Federal Reserve's Press Conference --
"Chairman Bernanke's press conference today was unprecedented, and it demonstrates that Federal Reserve officials are very concerned about growing public criticism of Fed policies. Although Mr. Bernanke predictably provided no substantive information, the American people want real answers about Fed bailouts, lending to foreign banks, and most of all inflation. Mr. Bernanke continues to ignore his culpability for the inflation all Americans suffer due to the Fed's relentless monetary expansion. Rising prices are the direct result of Fed devaluation of our dollar. Yet rather than addressing the Fed's loose dollar policy, Mr. Bernanke continues to assure us that inflation is not a problem.

Without the Federal Reserve's relentless expansion of credit throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, there could have been no excessive borrowing or explosion of subprime lending. Through easy credit, the Fed initiated the economic boom that created the dot-com bubble. When that bubble burst the Fed pumped additional liquidity into the system, which led to a new boom that created the housing bubble. Commodity prices have risen rapidly, producer prices have followed suit and consumers are already seeing the beginning of massive price increases passed on to them. And now the Fed's additional trillions of dollars in monetary pumping is creating yet another bubble. This is the exact opposite of stability in the marketplace and has nothing to do with free markets. It is central economic planning at its worst. And the end result may be hyperinflation and the destruction of our currency.

Now Americans are waking up to the dangers of the Fed's inflationary monetary policy, and they want it to stop. Today's staged press conference will not be enough to stop the growing demand for real Fed transparency, and I hope to build on that grassroots demand by passing legislation that will result in a true audit of the Fed's activities.

Support from my colleagues was vital in the last Congress in making progress towards Fed transparency, and I hope to build on that support in this Congress. It is well past time that we begin to rein in the Fed." - Congressman Ron Paul
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The Huffington Post colorfully noted Bernanke's press conference camouflage.
Bernankemania! Golden Words From the Leader of the Temple
It was fascinating to watch a smart guy not communicate so effectively. And he didn't do it by saying too little. He did it by saying too much.

And by adopting a lot of different personas. Instead of one Ben Bernanke, we got a whole roomful: Bernanke the Job Creator, Bernanke the Budget Cutter, Bernanke the Activist, Bernanke the Fatalist ... He crowdsourced himself and hid in a flock of decoy Bernankes...
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Incredibly some economic extremists, like Paul Krugman, are saying Ben Bernanke is not destroying the dollar fast enough, in order to somehow help the unemployed. Krugman is worried that Bernanke was being "intimidated by the inflationistas," because he was not printing even more dollars, via quantitative easing. Krugman wants more dollars, more inflation. That is, running through the streets naked, crazy.

Paul Krugman:
Bernanke Wimps Out  —  So Bernanke did get asked why, given low inflation and high unemployment, the Fed isn't doing more.  And his answer was disheartening.  —  As far as I can tell, his analytical framework isn't too different from mine.  The inflation rate to worry about is some underlying …

he’s not making sense, that his own theories — and for that matter the doctrine endorsed by the Fed itself — says that the central bank should be doing much more quantitative easing, not stopping …
discussion:
David Dayen / Firedoglake:   Bernanke to Unemployed: Drop Dead
Matthew Yglesias / Yglesias:   Bernanke Calls For Anemic Recovery
Mike Konczal / New Deal 2.0:   Our Questions for Ben Bernanke
David Leonhardt / New York Times:   Holding Bernanke Accountable
R.M. Schneiderman / The Daily Beast:   Fed's Ben Bernanke: Trust Me!
Sudeep Reddy / Real Time Economics:   Recap: Bernanke's First Press Conference
Dakinikat / Sky Dancing:   A First: Fed Chair Presser
related:
ZeroHedge: Transcript And Word Cloud Of The FOMC's "Historic" First Ever Media Pantomime
Binyamin Appelbaum, NY Times: Bernanke Defends Himself and the Fed
Jeff Cox / CNBC: Did Chairman Ben Just Tip His Hand at QE3?
Ezra Klein / Washington Post: What Ben Bernanke Should've Said
Doug Kass / TheStreet.com: Bernanke Presser Will Be Non-Event
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Video of Bernanke Press Conference (for insomniacs):

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ben Bernanke: Buck Buster update

“ It’s taken almost two centuries or bankers to pull the wool over Americans’ eyes, but today you and I are working for intrinsically worthless paper that can be created by bureaucrats — created without sweat, without creative ability, without work, without anything but a decision by the Federal Reserve. This is the disease at the base of today’s monetary system. And like a cancer, it will spread until the system ultimately falls apart. This is the tragedy of the great lie. Te great lie is that fiat paper represents a store of value, money of lasting wealth.” – Richard Russell, Dow Theory Letters
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Ben Bernanke burning U.S. dollars, it's only paper after all
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More views on Bernanke's destroy the dollar campaign. When U.S. Senators start warning Ben Bernanke about inflation it probably means the avalanche has already started.

The Daily Caller:
Kirk calls out Bernanke on inflation -- In a blunt letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) warned against inflation.

The letter comes in advance of Bernanke’s much-anticipated first-ever press conference on Wednesday.

Sen. Kirk is concerned that the Fed’s controversial “quantitative easing”(QE2) program is driving inflation, writing “once higher inflation gains momentum, it will do great damage to the U.S. economy by stifling small businesses, challenging families and fixed-income seniors.” The Fed’s QE2 program was a $600 billion bond purchasing effort aimed at keeping inflation low...

You can read the full letter below (key graph in bold):
Re: Inflation is Here

Dear Chairman Bernanke:

I am concerned that inflation has already accelerated inside the U.S. economy while lagging government measurements will take too long to give sufficient warning. Once higher inflation gains momentum, it will do great damage to the U.S. economy by stifling small businesses, challenging families and fixed-income seniors.

During your March 1st testimony before our Senate Banking Committee, you noted that rising commodity prices and uncertainty over oil supplies could change inflation expectations with “…sustained rises in the prices of oil or other commodities would represent a threat both to economic growth and to overall price stability, particularly if they were to cause inflation expectations to become less well anchored. We will continue to monitor these developments closely and are prepared to respond as necessary to best support the ongoing recovery in a context of price stability.”

It appears that your words of warning have been realized. As of April 1st, many commodity prices are sharply up since last year, including copper (18%), light crude (25%), soybeans (48%) and corn (85%). In my meetings with small business owners across Illinois, they report rapidly increasing prices inside the U.S. economy. This strong upward price trend may take weeks, if not months, for government measures to record.

Recently, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, stated “I would recommend against buying long-term fixed-dollar investments…if you ask me if the U.S. dollar is going to hold its purchasing power fully at the level of 2011, 5 years, 10 years or 20 years from now, I would tell you it will not.” This is a stark warning from one of our country’s most experienced and successful investors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that twelve month inflation rates rose from 1.7% in January to 2.2% in February to 2.7% in March, a nearly 60% increase over the last 90 days. The latest seasonally-adjusted Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI-U reports an even higher rate of 4.7%. Additionally, MIT economists now project the world inflation rate rose to five percent. Clearly, European and Chinese central banks expect inflation and took measures to slow it. Both the CPI-U and the MIT worldwide rates are now substantially higher than the “1.25 to 1.75” U.S. inflation range projected by the Federal Reserve just six weeks ago at the March 1st hearing.

As the home of the world’s reserve currency, the United States should experience lower inflation than markets overseas. Recently, both the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post editorial boards warned that with a weakening dollar, this may no longer be true. Yesterday, the New York Times highlighted a Northwestern University study by Professors Arvind Krishnamurthy and Annette Vissing-Jorgenson who showed that under Quantitative Easing interest rates decreased, but only for companies with top credit ratings. They wrote “rates that are highly relevant for households and many corporations — mortgage rates and rates on lower-grade corporate bonds — were largely unaffected by the policy.” Recently, the President of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, Charles I. Plosser, echoed the conclusions of that study. Regarding Quantitative Easing, he said “I didn’t think it was going to have much of an impact, and it complicated the exit strategy. And what we’ve seen has not changed my mind.”

The rising price of energy, negative S&P outlook for U.S. debt and broad-based increase in the price of other commodities/goods puts the U.S. in a rapidly changing environment for expected inflation. I would strongly urge you to increase the speed with which you measure prices. Should you also find the trends that I have now heard widely about, you should prepare the Board for an early end to Quantitative Easing, along with other monetary measures to protect Americans from rising inflation.

Thank you for in advance for your response.
Sincerely,
Mark Kirk
U. S Senate
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Seeking Alpha:
Is This What Hyperinflation Looks Like From the Inside? --
Gold is making new nominal highs almost daily. Silver, meanwhile is making 30-year highs. Prices at the pump are soaring, despite an oversupply of oil. The latter is only partly explained by ongoing Middle East turmoil and refinery retooling in preparation for the summer driving season. Anyone who eats has no doubt noticed that food prices are going up while the packages that food comes in are shrinking.

"Panic dollar selling is setting in," hedge fund manager Dennis Gartman says. "This may carry farther than any of us dream of or, worse, have nightmares of." In the race to the bottom, the dollar is ahead of the pack...
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The Billion Prices Project @ MIT --
These indexes are designed to provide real-time information on major inflation trends, not to forecast official inflation announcements. We are constantly adding new categories of goods, but we do not cover 100% of CPI goods and services. The price of services, in particular, are not easy to find online and therefore are not included in our statistics.
Country: USA
DAILY ONLINE PRICE INDEX

----
Wall Street Journal:
Bernanke's Inflation Paradox -- The Fed said it wanted higher prices. Voila!
The Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee meets again today, and we suppose congratulations of a sort are in order. Last September, the committee declared that it wanted prices to rise more rapidly, and on that score it has succeeded. The question now is whether the Fed's success in promoting inflation is undermining the economic recovery it claims to be supporting.

This is the paradox of exceptionally easy monetary policy, and rarely has it been as obvious as it is today. The Fed has flooded the world with dollar liquidity that by its reckoning has lifted stock and other asset prices, eliminated the risk of deflation (if such a risk really existed), and prevented a double-dip recession. Wall Street and the White House are delighted.

On the other hand, this dollar flood has also contributed to a boom in commodity prices around the world, spurred inflation in countries with links to the dollar, and prompted investors to seek returns in non-dollar assets that are often risky and in many cases will prove to be a misallocation of capital
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Robert Auerbach / Huffington Post:
Bernanke's Press Conferences Will Not Remedy the Fed's Corrupt and Deceptive Public Records Policies --
What is needed is a complete record of the discussions at the Fed meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC (12 members), and its Board of Governors (7 governors when all seats are filled). These unelected officials determine the size of the nation's money supply and the payment of billions of dollars of interest to private sector banks...
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Zero Hedge:
20 Questions For Ben Bernanke --
In March of 2009 you stated that for QE1 the Fed was printing money. However, you have stated that QE2 is not printing money. Can you define the difference?
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Jeff Berwick / SafeHaven:
The Federal Reserve Note is Dead, Long Live the Dollar --
US dollars were backed by gold and known as gold certificates from 1882-1933. Dollars backed by silver lasted longer, known as silver certificates, and were in circulation from 1878 to 1964.

However, both have been usurped by the Federal Reserve Note. A completely fiat, non-free market currency...

the Federal Reserve, impoverished countless millions and destroyed untold wealth, is coming to an end. The Federal Reserve Note will be lucky to survive past the 100th birthday of the Federal Reserve Act, on December 23, 2013. Thank god.
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NY Times:
Stimulus by Fed Is Disappointing, Economists Say --
“What has it done? It has eased credit conditions, it has pumped up the stock market, it has suppressed the dollar,” said Mickey Levy, Bank of America’s chief economist. “But does the Fed think that buying Treasuries and bloating its balance sheet is really going to create permanent job increases?”
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RayStevens.com:  Obama Budget Plan

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Tilted, Tarnished, and Tainted New York Times

Sean Hannity of Fox News does a story entitled, "Behind The Bias at The New York Times." The story says that the NY Times, once the gold standard in print journalism, with the motto all the news that's fit to print, has lost its way. Their operational motto has now become: all the news that's fit to distort, all the news that's fit to suppress, and all the news that's fit to ignore.

I thought it was important to look at what was going on inside America's premier news organization. And it was frightening, the blunders, the biased coverage, the gaffes are kind of chilling. -- William McGowen, author of Gray Lady Down
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ben Bernanke: Buck Buster

Ben Bernanke is bent on breaking the back of the U.S. dollar, by devaluing it. Here are some assorted views on how his plan is going:

Editorial / Wall Street Journal:
The World Flees the Flood of Soggy Dollar --

At an economic town hall this week, President Obama blamed "speculators" for rising oil prices. He should have mentioned the Fed and his own Treasury, which have encouraged the world to invest in hedges against the falling dollar. Chairman Ben Bernanke and Mr. Geithner have deliberately pursued a policy of unprecedented monetary and spending stimulus to reflate the economy and boost asset prices. The bill is coming due in a weak dollar, food and energy inflation, and the decline of U.S. economic credibility...
Jeff Cox / CNBC:
How Low Can It Go? The US Dollar Rout Is On --
...the rout of the US dollar" is in full effect. Panic dollar selling is setting in...
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Zero Hedge:
The Fed Must End QE2 on April 27th --
The Federal Reserve has lost all credibility on Wall Street, and most of the American public with the absolute refusal to recognize the dire effects on asset prices that QE2 has created. But the refusal is part of the problem. It reinforces the wide spread belief of investors that the Fed is out of touch with reality, and that they sit in their Ivory Tower implementing an exceedingly loose monetary policy, with the stated goal of inflating asset prices...
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Slope of Hope:
Quantitative Easing Round 3? --

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Satyajit Das / Minyanville:
Voodoo Economics: The Subtle Side Effects of Quantitative Easing --
The side effects of QE may prove highly toxic, in part because of the risk of retaliation from affected parties. Other countries may institute competitive QE programs, to offset the Fed’s actions. Emerging market countries are openly talking about "currency wars." Some countries have already introduced controls against short-term capital flows. Such measures, triggered by QE, could also affect the prospects of global economy recovery.
John Mauldin / The Big Picture:
The “Miracle” of Compound Inflation -- What the CBO Assumes ... Scylla and Charybdis – The Federal Reserve and the FDIC... La Jolla, Toronto, and Cleveland
Higher inflation means US debt is easier to pay back, as nominal GDP is what we pay taxes on, not inflation-adjusted. Inflation is a tried and true method of dealing with too much debt. Inflation is also just another word for default, but it sounds so much better to the ear...
Howard Gold / MarketWatch:
When Will Ben Take the Punch Bowl Away? --
So, Bernanke and his allies won’t pivot to fight inflation until they’re sure the deflationary dog is dead. That, of course, could cause them to fall behind the curve in the fight against inflation...
David Merkel / Aleph Blog:
16 Questions For Bernanke's Press Conference -- 
14) Quantitative easing has forced investors to take more risk, particularly retirees who need income. Is it fair to engage in an economic policy that is unfair to investors and seniors? Why harm savers who deserve a good return on their savings? ...
Jon Hilsenrath / Wall Street Journal:
Bernanke Fed Pursues Era Of Glasnost --
Next Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will do something no Fed chief has done before: Stand before a room full of journalists after officials conclude a policy meeting and answer questions about the central bank's decisions...
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Slope of Hope:
US Dollar Breaks 2009 Low --
The federal intervention processes continue to throw the US Dollar underneath the proverbial school bus. It is not going to be a pretty site, when the bus reaches its final destination...

U.S. Dollar breaks to new 2 1/2-year low
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Glenn Beck's take on Ben Bernanke perpetrating the greatest theft in history, the busting of the U.S. dollar...


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Warning Shot Across Bow of U.S. Credit Rating

This morning Standard & Poors downgraded the outlook for the United States credit rating to negative. The heat on Washington to get their fiscal act together on the budget deficit has been turned up. The Standard & Poors downgrade official means they believe that there is a one in three chance (33%) that the U.S. will lose its AAA rating within two years. Maybe this move shakes up the debate on the budget in favor of more austerity. Will Washington take meaningful action before 2013? One observer called it "amateur hour" in Washington, that's the bottomline.

Slope of Hope:
Something Bernanke Can't Control --

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CNBC: 
S&P Affirms US AAA Rating, Cuts Outlook to Negative  —  Standard & Poor's on Monday downgraded the outlook for the United States to negative, saying it believes there's a risk U.S. policymakers may not reach agreement on how to address the country's long-term fiscal pressures...
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ZeroHedge:
Did The S&P Downgrade Warning Just Make A Debt Ceiling Compromise Even More Difficult? -- Basically expect more posturing from both sides of the aisle, which ironically may merely lead to a cementing of intractable positions, and kick the can so far down the street that not even S&P can see where it lands: a non-compromise compromise that the Hill is so good at, yet one which won't fly any longer...

Philip Rucker / Washington Post: 
As debt ceiling vote nears, the pressure's on House Republican freshmen  —  They ran against debt.  They swore and swore again that they'd cut up the nation's credit card.  —  But now the 87 freshmen House Republicans are facing intense pressure from administration officials …
discussion:
James Risen / New York Times:   Debt Ceiling Increase Is Expected, Geithner Says

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Washington's Ever Growing Beast



via Slope of Hope
related:
CNN:
U.S. credit rating outlook lowered by S&P -- Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook for the nation's long-term debt Monday, even as it reaffirmed the agency's top-tier rating for the U.S. economy...

But the ratings agency lowered its outlook for America's long-term credit rating to "negative" from "stable," based on the uncertain political debate around the nation's fiscal problems...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bernanke Shows Off His Rat DNA

Charlie Sheen has tiger blood. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has rat blood. That's the conclusion you come to when analyzing the starkly different decisions made this past week by the Federal Reserve and the ECB (European Central Bank). Rats like to multiple and that is what Bernanke is doing with the dollar – multiplying them. The ECB sees inflation and raised its interest rates. A measure designed to shore-up the Euro currency. Bernake happily continues with his counterfeiting operation (QE-2) as he keeps his foot on the dollar printing accelerator. Damn the dollar, full speed ahead.

Caroline Baum of Bloomberg goes over the Bernanke experiment:
Bernanke, Trichet Expose Their Respective DNA --

Two central banks look at the same underlying fundamentals, reach two different conclusions and take two different policy actions...

For the ECB’s Jean-Claude Trichet, the goal of the rate increase was to prevent “second-round effects in price and wage-setting behavior” from boosting inflation further. Euro- zone inflation rose 2.6 percent in March from a year earlier, above the ECB’s target of no more than 2 percent over the medium term. Trichet judged that the action was warranted to anchor inflation expectations.

Stateside, Fed chief Ben Bernanke looked at U.S. inflation of 2.1 percent and came to the opposite conclusion. He told an Atlanta Fed conference last week that any inflation from commodity prices would be “transitory” as long as inflation expectations remain “stable and well-anchored.”

Who’s right?

Two Roads Diverged...
related:
Doug Nolan / Asia Times:
Diverging policies, again --
This is a dangerous period. Global liquidity is way too plentiful, while speculation has become too all-embracing and rewarding. Indications of monetary excess are everywhere. Indeed, we're in the midst of the biggest financial bubble in history (the "global government finance bubble") - yet everyone seems comfortably oblivious. The Fed will persevere with its doctrine of ignoring asset prices, government borrowing excesses, market distortions and rampant speculation. These don't, after all, even enter into their policy framework. The Fed is also determined to disregard increasingly entrenched inflation dynamics, convinced that its interest rate policy, quantitative easing programs and dollar neglect aren't behind the upsurge in commodities prices. Amazingly, the Fed likes what it sees and, much to the markets' liking, clearly prefers to stay the course...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ben Bernanke the Lying Counterfeiter

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this past week that rising commodity costs are "temporary" and “the increase in inflation will be transitory.” Ben Bernanke is a liar. The Fed's Quantitative Easing (QE-2/money printing) program correlates very nicely with rising commodity prices. Plus, now that the inflation genie is out of the bottle it wants to run wild.

The Fed's stubborn commitment to a zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and QE-2 now puts them in a box that will collapse on them and the American public. The run on the dollar is gathering steam. Record oil and gold prices tell us that the mess will be getting worse. Bernanke's policies cost this country hundreds of billions or even trillions in lost wealth due to his destruction of the U.S. dollar. However, no one seems to get too upset about this bare face counterfeiter wiping out our money. Instead we're transfixed by Congress fighting over $39 billion of chump change budget cuts. It's ridiculous and it is an example of being penny wise and pound foolish.


Russ Winter / Minyanville:
When Will Fed-Created Melt-Up Turn Into a Meltdown? -- The following chart says it all. The Fed’s aggressive Treasury monetization has been the causa proxima (90-percent correlation) to the peddle-to-the-metal Minsky Meltup in commodities...

Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
Bernanke Says Fed Must Monitor Inflation ‘Extremely Closely’ -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said policy makers must watch inflation “extremely closely” for evidence that rising commodity costs are having more than a temporary impact on consumer prices.

“So long as inflation expectations remain stable and well anchored” and the rise in commodity prices slows, as he’s forecasting, then “the increase in inflation will be transitory,” Bernanke said yesterday in response to audience questions after a speech in Stone Mountain, Georgia...

related:
Jim Rogers: Inflation – 'It’s Here! It’s Serious!' - LewRockwell.com
Fiat Money Trashed for Gold Moments Away - Richard Daughty, Asia Times
Putting It All In Perspective: Bernanke Does More For The Budget In 15 Minutes Than The Government Does In A Year - Zero Hedge
Dollar Decline About Easy Money Fed, Not Shutdown - Larry Kudlow, RealClearMkts
Toxic Dollar: Why Nobody Wants U.S. Currency - Simon Hobbs, CNBC
Inflation Is Squeezing Workers' Paychecks - Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Ron Paul: "Bernanke Is The Greatest Counterfeiter In The History Of The World" - Daily Bail
Ben Bernanke Is A Murderer Of The Middle Class - Business Insider

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inside the Fukushima Daiichi Dead Zone

A couple of Japanese journalists traveled into the heart of the 20km restricted zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. They found stray dogs, grazing cows, and very few cars. All the while their Geiger counters mounted on the car’s dashboard keep clicking faster as they get closer to the nuke plant. Their counters hit a maximum of 112 microSieverts per hour when they got within 1.5 km (.932 mile) of the crippled reactors.



via NY Times:
Inside Fukushima Evacuation Zone: Cows, Dogs, and Geiger Beeps

Monday, April 4, 2011

Over 44 Million Americans Need Food Stamps

Items of Interst:

ClarionAdvisory.com:
Food Stamp Graph… gulp -- According to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 44,187,831 people were on food stamps at the beginning of February.

SNAP rolls up to the USDA and they sure do make neat graphs don’t they? You know at least they’re graphing out in red, white & blue… SNAP should get together with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS publishes data on unemployment and inflation, among other things. Maybe we could combine SNAP and the BLS into one agency called, S-C-R-E-W-E-D.

discussion:
The Underground Conservative:   Food Stamp Nation
The Lonely Conservative:   Sit Down Before Viewing This Graph
Chris W / Left Coast Rebel:   Because Our Economy Is Improving

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia