(12 days ago)
These Are The 9 Zero Hedge Charts Showing "Obama's Recovery" That Angered The Washington Post
As regular readers know, one of our favorite chartpacks to show "Obama's recovery" is the one below, presented most recently just two days ago during Obama's now almost weekly televised sermon of how the economy is great and anyone who disagrees is "peddling fiction", which using simple Bloomerg data, summarize recent changes in key economic indicators including soaring federal debt and government dependency via food stamp use, surging healthcare costs and social inequality, plunging homeownership, income, and labor force participation, and - of course - driving it all, none of the president's or Congress' actions, but the Fed's balance sheet, something even major banks admit is better known as "printing money" - money that ends up blowing one after another asset bubble unable to finds its way into the broader economy - a stigma that is now gone in a world in which helicopter money is seriously considered by lunatics in power.
To be sure, the charts do not in any way imply that Obama started any of these disastrous trends (with a few exceptions); they do however make it very clear that more than 7 years under president Obama, these same trends have not changed.
This means that while Obama may have inherited a bad economy, contrary to the endless propaganda, the economy has only gotten worse.
One needs only to go on a very short drive through any of the neighborhoods of Obama's native Chicago to get a clear realization of this sad fact (while wearing a bulletproof vest).
(12 days ago)
In Obama's Final Jobs report, A Record 95.1 Million People Were Not In The Labor Force
As it began so it will finish.
Putting the exclamation point on a trend that has marked Obama's entire presidency, in the final Obama jobs report, the BLS announced that the total number of people not in the labor force grew once more, rising by 18,000 in December, and a whopping 841,000 in the past three months, to a new all time high of 95.102 million Americans no longer in the workforce.
This meant that the perennial bogeyman of the Trump administration, the collapsing labor force participation rate, remained flat near 35 year lows, risint fractionally from last month to 62.7% as a result of 152.111 million people employed in a civilian non-institutional population of 254.742 million.
(12 days ago)
Top Ex-White House Economist Admits 94% Of All New Jobs Under Obama Were Part-Time
It’s true not just because of the sad realities such as that «Top Ex-White House Economist Admits 94 % Of All New Jobs Under Obama Were Part-Time» — or, as the economists Alan Krueger and Lawrence Katz wrote in the original of that study: «94 percent of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements». («Alternative work arrangements» referred there to Americans who were involuntarily working only part-time jobs — they simply couldn’t find full-time, though that’s what they wanted.) In other words: Obama’s failure isn’t just because of America’s increasingly sales-clerk, and burger-flipping, workforce.
(12 days ago)
The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment | Gallup
Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.
Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.
There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
And it's a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual's primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen's talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class.
I hear all the time that "unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren't feeling it." When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't "feeling" something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.
Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.
(12 days ago)
Debt Surge Producing Fake Recovery
What do the following headlines have in common?
US wages grow at fastest pace since 2009
Euro area economy ended year with strongest growth since 2011
Surge in home prices is beating the one in mortgage rates
Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Fastest Pace in Two Years
German Inflation welcomed back
Obviously they’re all favorable, with the possible exception of German inflation – though even that is “welcome”. Taken together they paint a picture of a global economy that’s finally returning to the kind of solid growth and steady, positive inflation that most people consider both normal and good.
Unfortunately, the reason for the improvement is emphatically not good: In 2016 the world borrowed a huge amount of money and spent the proceeds. The result is “growth,” but not sustainable growth.
Federal Debt in FY 2016 Jumped $1.4 Trillion, or $12,036 Per Household
(CNSNews.com) – In fiscal 2016, which ended on Friday, the federal debt increased $1,422,827,047,452.46, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.
At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of fiscal 2015, the federal debt was $18,150,617,666,484.33, according to the Treasury. By the close of business on Sept. 30, 2016, the last day of fiscal 2016, it had climbed to $19,573,444,713,936.79.
According to the Census Bureau’s latest estimate, there were 118,215,000 households in the United States as of June. That means that the one-year increase in the federal debt of $1,422,827,047,452.46 in fiscal 2016 equaled about $12,036 per household.
The total federal debt of $19,573,444,713,936.79 now equals about $165,575 per household.
Corporates Lead Surge To Record $6.6 Trillion Debt Issuance
(The News PK) – Global debt sales reached a record this year, led by companies gorging on cheap borrowing costs.
The bond rally that dominated the first half of the year helped entice borrowers that issued debt via banks to take on just over $6.6tn, according to data provider Dealogic, breaking the previous annual record set in 2006.
Companies accounted for more than half of the $6.62tn of debt issued, underlining the extent to which negative interest rate policies adopted by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, as well as a cautious Federal Reserve, encouraged the corporate world to increase its leverage.
Corporate bond sales climbed 8 per cent year on year to $3.6tn, led by blockbuster $10bn-plus deals to finance large mergers and acquisitions.
The remaining debt included sovereign bonds sold through bank syndication, US and international agencies, mortgage-backed securities and covered bonds. The figures exclude sovereign debt sold at regular auction.
“The low cost of financing with record-low interest rates simply made building up leverage tempting,” said Scott Mather, chief investment officer for core fixed income at Pimco.
Total global debt tops 325 pct of GDP as government debt jumps: IIF
(Reuters) – Global debt levels rose to more than 325 percent of the world’s gross domestic product last year as government debt rose sharply, a report from the Institute for International Finance showed on Wednesday.
The IIF’s report found that global debt had risen more than $11 trillion in the first nine months of 2016 to more than $217 trillion. The report also found that general government debt accounted for nearly half of the total increase.
Emerging market debt rose substantially, as government bond and syndicated loan issuance in 2016 grew to almost three times its 2015 level. China accounted for the lion’s share of the new debt, providing $710 million of the total $855 billion in new issuance during the year, the IIF reported.
To sum up: Emerging market borrowing in 2016 was triple the year-earlier level. Corporate borrowing was the highest since 2006. And the US somehow managed to add another $trillion of government debt in the late stages of a recovery, when tax revenues are usually strong enough to shrink or eliminate deficits.
Since every penny of that new debt was presumably spent, it should come as no surprise that the latest batch of headline growth numbers have been impressive. Which is the basic problem with debt-driven growth: The good stuff happens right away while the bad stuff evolves over time – in the form of higher interest costs that depress future growth – making it hard to figure out what caused what.
That’s bad for regular people who have to live through the resulting slow-down or crisis. But it’s fine for the people who made the borrowing decisions because they get credit for the growth pop but won’t be around – having retired with huge pensions and high prestige – before the secondary effects really kick in.
This time, however, the cause-and-effect dynamic is being accelerated by a spiking dollar and rising interest rates, both of which raise the cost of debts that are denominated in dollars and/or have to be refinanced in the year ahead. So the mother of all financial crises that has been inevitable for a couple of decades has, thanks to all this new debt, taken a giant step towards “imminent.”
(12 days ago)
Barack Obama started with a Nobel Peace Prize and is ending his presidency with the Pentagon's Distinguished Public Service Medal.
Sounds about right for a president who bombed 7 nations and became the first in U.S. history to be at war every single day of his eight year administration.
So how many bombs did Obama drop in 2016 alone?..
As you know, I'm not a fan of Zero Hedge (too much cherry picking data to match viewpoints rather than objective analysis) but this time they have absolutely nailed it.
And all without digging into the number of people killed by the US military under his tenure.
And the really scary things .... he's one of the most popular presidents' in US history!
Thanks for posting.
(11 days ago)
Zero Hedge certainly publishes a great deal of hype --- and I ignore the majority of the articles posted on that site --- but they do hit the nail on the head at times.
I decided to publish those articles after someone vehemently insisted that Obama was leaving behind a stellar economic record....
Clearly the economy has worsened dramatically during his administration.
At the end of the day I do not see these results as his fault --- there is nothing that anyone can do about the situation --- literally trillions of stimulus has been thrown at the economy since he took office --- but increasingly the stimulus pushes on a string.
Trump may throw trillions more at the economy (infrastructure spending?) which might move the needle a little for awhile --- but I cannot see how he can 'make America great again'
Job Losses, Debt and Obamacare = Failed Presidency
Hannity: Obama hiding the truth about his failed presidency
Almost 3,000 new environmental regulations
The US cannot afford all that + 10-20 million Illegal Immigrants draining social benefits
Hey, the wealth that can be extracted from "white men's wallets" does not stretch that far !
"he's one of the most popular presidents' in US history!"
Laura Ingraham puts that popularity, and Obama's political savvy into perspective
Laura Ingraham rips President Obama's farewell address
At Obama's first inauguration "they were able to conjure up hope...
unwarranted as it turns out"
The Bullsh/tter-in-Chief (Obama) sells his (bogus) "achievements" one last time
Starting at 6 minutes
Tucker Carlson Tonight / Fox News / January 10, 2017
Published on Jan 10, 2017
It amazes me how popular he is after serving the country so poorly, and never ever having worked for ALL the people.
Thank goodness, he said the right thing about wanting "a peaceful transition"
(7 days ago)
Obama Expands Surveillance Powers on His Way Out
With mere days left before President-elect Donald Trump takes the White House, President Barack Obama’s administration just finalized rules to make it easier for the nation’s intelligence agencies to share unfiltered information about innocent people.
New rules issued by the Obama administration under Executive Order 12333 will let the NSA—which collects information under that authority with little oversight, transparency, or concern for privacy—share the raw streams of communications it intercepts directly with agencies including the FBI, the DEA, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a report today by the New York Times.
That’s a huge and troubling shift in the way those intelligence agencies receive information collected by the NSA. Domestic agencies like the FBI are subject to more privacy protections, including warrant requirements. Previously, the NSA shared data with these agencies only after it had screened the data, filtering out unnecessary personal information, including about innocent people whose communications were swept up the NSA’s massive surveillance operations.
(7 days ago)
(4 hrs ago)
Obama's Biggest Lies
“We signed into law the biggest middle-class tax cut in history”
This 2011 claim was not based on a dollar figure but on dubious math — that supposedly 95 percent of working families received some kind of tax cut under the Making Work Pay provision in Obama’s stimulus bill. John F. Kennedy actually wins the prize for biggest tax cut, at least in the last half-century. By the same measure, the income tax provisions of George W. Bush tax cuts were more than twice as large as Obama’s tax cut over the same three-year time span. (While a large portion of Bush’s tax cut went to the wealthy, it also benefited the working poor.)
“90 percent of the budget deficit is due to George W. Bush’s policies”
During the 2012 campaign, Obama repeatedly reminded voters that he became president during a grim economic crisis. But he went too far when he claimed that only 10 percent of the federal deficit was due to his own policies. About half of the deficit stemmed from the recession and forecasting errors, but a large chunk (44 percent in 2011) were the result of Obama’s actions. At another point, Obama also falsely suggested that the Bush tax cuts led to the Great Recession.
“If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it”
This memorable promise by Obama backfired on him in 2013 when the Affordable Care Act went into effect and at least 2 million Americans started receiving cancellation notices. As we explained, part of the reason for so many cancellations is because of an unusually early (March 23, 2010) cutoff date for grandfathering plans — and because of tight regulations written by the administration. So the uproar could be pinned directly on the administration’s own actions.
“The Capitol Hill janitors just got a pay cut”
President Obama offered an evocative image at a 2013 news conference when the sequester spending cuts struck the federal budget — janitors sweeping the empty halls of the Capitol, laboring for less pay. But it turned out that he was completely wrong. Janitorial staff did not face a pay cut — and Capitol Hill administrative officials even issued a statement saying the president’s remarks were “not true.” Then the White House tried to argue that janitors at least faced a loss of overtime. That was not correct either. The episode was emblematic of the administration’s overheated rhetoric during the sequester debate.
“The day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism”
Obama did refer to an “act of terror” in the immediate aftermath of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but in vague terms, wrapped in a patriotic fervor. He never affirmatively stated that the American ambassador died because of an “act of terror.” Then, over a period of two weeks, given three opportunities in interviews to affirmatively agree that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack, the president obfuscated or ducked the question. So this was a case of taking revisionist history too far for political reasons.
“I didn’t call the Islamic State a ‘JV’ team”
In 2014, Obama repeated a claim, crafted by the White House communications team, that he was not “specifically” referring to the Islamic State terror group when he dismissed the militants who had taken over Fallujah as a “JV squad.” But The Fact Checker obtained the previously unreleased transcript of the president’s interview with the New Yorker, and it’s clear that’s who the president was referencing.
“Republicans have filibustered 500 pieces of legislation”
Obama, a former senator, got quite a few things wrong in this 2014 claim. He spoke of legislation that would help the middle class, but he was counting cloture votes that mostly involved judicial and executive branch nominations. Moreover, he counted all the way back to 2007, meaning he even included votes in which he, as senator, voted against ending debate — the very thing he decried in his remarks. At best, he could claim the Republicans had blocked about 50 bills, meaning he was off by a factor of 10.
“The Keystone pipeline is for oil that bypasses the United States”
Long before Obama killed the Keystone pipeline project in 2015, he made a number of dubious claims about it, including that the pipeline would have no benefit for American producers at all. But the crude oil would have traveled to the Gulf Coast, where it would be refined into products such as motor gasoline and diesel fuel; the State Department said odds were low that all would be exported. Also, about 12 percent of the pipeline’s capacity had been set aside for crude from North Dakota and Montana.
“We have fired a whole bunch of people who are in charge of these [VA] facilities”
Obama in 2016 misled the public about the number of people held accountable for the 2014 scandal over manipulated wait-time data at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which contributed to patient deaths. Congress responded by passing a law that sped up disciplinary actions for senior executive service employees. But when Obama made his statement in September, only one senior executive had been removed for a case involving wait time (though the actual firing was for an ethics violation).