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Very Smart For Advertisement
Post Date: 2011-09-16 09:36:31 by jwpegler

Leaked Documents Reveal Major Speculators Behind 2008 Oil Price Shock: Hedge Funds, Koch, Big Banks, Oil Companies
Post Date: 2011-09-15 18:57:58 by Brian S
Last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leaked confidential data about oil speculation to a number of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. Ordinarily, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the regulatory body that oversees futures trading, does not provide identities of speculators to the public. However, the data leaked by Sanders provides a rare snapshot into the trading volumes by major speculators right before the oil price spike in the summer of 2008. As experts from Stanford University, Rice University, the University of Massachusetts, and authorities have concluded, rampant oil speculation was the prime driver of the record high prices for crude oil three years ago. ...

Consumer Prices, Jobless Claims Exceed Forecasts
Post Date: 2011-09-15 13:16:25 by Brian S
The cost of living in the U.S. climbed more than forecast and unemployment claims rose, battering the confidence of Americans squeezed by stagnant wages and higher prices of food, housing and energy. The consumer-price index increased 0.4 percent in August, and jobless claims climbed by 11,000 to 428,000 in the week ended Sept. 10, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index held last week at the second-lowest level of 2011 as the most households in three years said it was a bad time to spend. Unemployment stuck around 9 percent may prompt consumers to keep cutting back, hurting sales at companies like Best Buy Co. and prompting Federal ...

Setting Grandma's Hair on Fire
Post Date: 2011-09-13 19:05:54 by jwpegler
Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme for these young people," said Gov. Rick Perry in his first debate as a presidential candidate. "The idea ... that the current program is going to be there for them is a lie." Pressed by the moderator, Perry did not back down. He doubled down, calling Social Security a "monstrous lie to our kids." Is not such language provocative, Perry was asked. Retort: "Maybe it's time to have some provocative language in this country." Since Barry Goldwater suggested the program be privatized and LBJ ran an ad of a Social Security card being scissored in half, the issue has been "the third rail of American ...

Small-Business Confidence in U.S. Falls to 13-Month Low as Demand Slows
Post Date: 2011-09-13 12:21:21 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. small businesses dropped to a 13-month low in August as fewer companies projected better economic conditions and improving sales, a private survey found. The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index decreased to 88.1, the weakest reading since July 2010 and the sixth-consecutive decline, from 89.9 in July. The number of small-business owners saying they expected the economy will improve six months from now fell to the lowest level since 1980. “Hope for improvement in the economy faded even further through the month,” William Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement accompanying the index report. “With ...

Greece Default Risk Jumps to 98%
Post Date: 2011-09-12 16:48:51 by Brian S
Greece’s chance of default in the next five years has soared to 98 percent as Prime Minister George Papandreou fails to reassure international investors that his country can survive the euro-region crisis. “Everyone’s pricing in a pretty near-term default and I think it’ll be a hard event,” said Peter Tchir, founder of hedge fund TF Market Advisors in New York. “Clearly this austerity plan is not working.” It now costs a record $5.8 million upfront and $100,000 annually to insure $10 million of Greek debt for five years using credit-default swaps, up from $5.5 million in advance Sept. 9, according to CMA. Papandreou’s promises to adhere to deficit ...

Bank Of America Cutting 30,000 Jobs
Post Date: 2011-09-12 12:29:09 by Brian S
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Bank of America said Monday that it plans to eliminate 30,000 jobs as part of a plan to save $5 billion. The announcement came after Chief Executive Brian Moynihan outlined the bank's strategy at an investor conference in New York. BofA has already disclosed plans to eliminate a total of 6,000 jobs this year. And it recently announced a management shakeup that effectively will split the bank into two units: one serving consumer and one serving commercial clients. The bank said it expects a "significant portion" of the reduction in headcount to occur through attrition and the elimination of unfilled positions. BofA had a total of 287,000 employees as of ...

Economists Show Support For Obama Job-Growth Plan
Post Date: 2011-09-09 15:34:45 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A tentative thumbs-up. That's the assessment from economists, who have offered mainly positive reviews of President Barack Obama's $447 billion plan to stimulate job creation. Some predict it would put hundreds of thousands of people back to work next year, mainly because a Social Security tax cut for workers would be deepened and extended to small businesses. "Payroll tax cuts are very powerful," says Allen Sinai, chief economist of Decision Economics. "They provide a boost to direct income and, in turn, spending, which is important to growth." Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, estimates that the president's plan ...

Dissecting Obama's Jobs Stimulus Lies
Post Date: 2011-09-09 12:19:59 by Capitalist Eric
President Obama's rumored $300 stimulus program ballooned to $447 billion upon unveiling. For a full text of the speech, please see President Obama's jobs address Amusingly, the plan is overweight tax cuts in an attempt to get Republican buy-ins. Let's dissect portions of Obama's speech, lie by lie. Obama: I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Mish: That is lie #1. There shouldn't be anything controversial about the proposal, but there is. Obama's proposal is primarily an election stunt as opposed to a genuine effort to ...

Rep. Maxine Waters: We Need To Spend A Trillion Or More On A Jobs Program
Post Date: 2011-09-06 17:36:18 by CZ82
Rep. Maxine Waters: We Need To Spend A Trillion Or More On A Jobs Program by Josh Feldman On Meet the Press today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters called for President Obama to take a more forceful approach to a jobs program, and likely made Republicans drop their jaws with the amount of money she argued the United States should invest in such a plan. David Gregory asked Waters if it would be possible for the president to take on an ambitious role in working on job creation in Congress, given the recent partisan fights over the debt ceiling. Waters put the impetus on Obama to take the first step. “The president must be bold. I agree that he must have a jobs program, he must create ...

Union chief calls Apple 'unpatriotic' for not hiring more workers
Post Date: 2011-09-05 16:58:36 by CZ82
Union chief calls Apple 'unpatriotic' for not hiring more workers By Meghashyam Mali - 09/04/11 09:54 AM ET President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters James P. Hoffa criticized the patriotism of American corporations who are sitting on assets and holding back from employing more American workers. Hoffa called American businesses "unpatriotic" for opening factories and stores overseas instead of helping boost employment at home on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday. He singled out Apple Inc., saying “every time they do something, they do it in China, they do it somewhere else.” “We owe an obligation to America, let’s put America back ...

U.S. Index Futures Plunge, Signaling Decline Tomorrow on European Concerns
Post Date: 2011-09-05 12:42:18 by Brian S
U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may slide for a third day when exchanges open tomorrow, as European markets showed growing concern the sovereign debt crisis is worsening. Bank of America Corp. (BAC) declined 5.9 percent and Citigroup Inc. (C) dropped 4.9 percent in German trading as banks led the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to a 4.1 percent retreat. Alcoa Inc. (AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, slumped 3 percent in Germany. S&P 500 futures expiring in September lost 2 percent to 1,145.60 at 11:29 a.m. in New York. U.S. markets are closed for the Labor Day holiday. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 2 percent as Italian bonds dropped ...

Postal Service Facing Default, Shutdown Without Congressional Intervention
Post Date: 2011-09-05 11:19:12 by Brian S
The head of the U.S. Postal Service said in an interview that the organization will default -- perhaps as early as this winter -- unless Congress intervenes. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's comments reflect a well-known reality that the Postal Service is in dire financial straits. The rise of email and online bill-paying has steadily eroded its profits over the years while labor costs soar. Donahoe is calling for a host of changes, including the elimination of Saturday delivery, to close a deficit projected to top $9 billion this year. But he said Congress needs to step in to help keep the service alive. "Our situation is extremely serious," he told The New York Times. ...

The shocking truth about electric cars
Post Date: 2011-09-04 09:00:10 by CZ82
The shocking truth about electric cars MARGARET WENTE | Columnist profile | E-mail From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published Thursday, Sep. 01, 2011 2:00AM EDT Wouldn’t you love to have an electric car? They’re clean, green and righteous. And once we make the switch, we can pull the plug on fossil fuels, air pollution, imported oil and Middle Eastern autocrats, and create millions of green jobs into the bargain. No wonder progressive governments are so eager to plow money into electric cars. This week, Ontario’s McGuinty government (which likes to brag that Ontario is Canada’s greenest province) showered Magna International with nearly $50-million to develop new ...

Contrary To GOP Claims, Small Businesses Say Taxes And Regulation Aren’t Holding Back Hiring
Post Date: 2011-09-03 12:04:04 by lucysmom
Predictably, Republicans reacted to today’s dismal jobs number — which showed that zero net jobs were created in August — by blaming the supposed avalanche of taxes and regulations put in place by the Obama administration. “Private-sector job growth continues to be undermined by the triple threat of higher taxes, more failed ‘stimulus’ spending, and excessive federal regulations. Together, these Washington policies have created a fog of uncertainty that’s left small businesses unable to hire and American families worried about the future,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) in a statement today. However, McClatchy conducted a survey of small ...

Steve Forbes to Newsmax: Obama, Bernanke Must Go
Post Date: 2011-09-02 19:46:45 by CZ82
Steve Forbes to Newsmax: Obama, Bernanke Must Go Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011 06:03 PM By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter Former presidential candidate and Forbes magazine editor Steve Forbes tells Newsmax that President Obama’s planned economic reforms are “the definition of insanity” — repeating failed policies in the hopes that somehow they will become successful. In a wide-ranging exclusive interview, Forbes also declares that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should have resigned a long time ago, says Obama will be a one-term president, and looks for significant and positive reforms in Washington after the 2012 elections. He also predicts the United States will ...

Obama Halts Controversial EPA Regulation
Post Date: 2011-09-02 14:19:55 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday scrapped his administration's controversial plans to tighten smog rules, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders. Obama overruled the Environmental Protection Agency — and the unanimous opinion of its independent panel of scientific advisers — and directed administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposed regulation to reduce concentrations of ground-level ozone, smog's main ingredient. The decision rests in part on reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy. The announcement came shortly after a new ...

Threats to the U.S. Dollar, Illusion Of Stable Currency Vortex
Post Date: 2011-09-02 13:35:09 by Capitalist Eric
The Jackson Hole Conference was a dud. To the astute student observer, something happened never seen before. The US central bank chief admitted failure, if only people could properly interpret and translate his words of helplessness and disappointment. A more apt description was that USFed Chairman Bernanke used the forum to announce on stage that the central bank failed and is powerless to react to the current lapse into recession. Many watchers no longer believe that a Quantitative Easing chapter #3 will be announced. Surely it will come sooner or later. Watch the USTreasury auctions for the best clue. The QE2 program was about prevention of auction failure, not economic stimulus. A quick ...

An Unusual Economy?
Post Date: 2011-09-01 20:44:02 by CZ82
An Unusual Economy? By Thomas Sowell Many in the media are saying how unusual it is for our economy to be so sluggish for so long, after we have officially emerged from a recession. In a sense, they are right. But, in another sense, they are profoundly wrong. The American economy usually rebounds a lot faster than it is doing today. After a recession passes, consumers usually increase their spending. And when businesses see demand picking up, they usually start hiring workers to produce the additional output required to meet that demand. Some very sharp downturns in the American economy, such as in the early 1920s, were followed quickly by bouncing back to normal levels or beyond. The ...

Carmakers Report Surprisingly Strong August Sales
Post Date: 2011-09-01 19:25:26 by Brian S
Fears that car buyers would stay away from dealerships in August never materialized. Instead, Americans were lured by new models, cheaper financing and the need to replace aging cars. As a result, August sales rose 7.5 percent compared with the same month last year, according to Autodata Corp. Most major automakers reported healthy sales increases in August, led by Chrysler with a 31 percent jump. Toyota and Honda saw double-digit declines as they continued to struggle with earthquake-related car shortages. Results were better than expected. Some analysts thought that the volatile stock market and Hurricane Irene would hurt sales. While it was easy for carmakers to do better than last ...

After Bumpy August, Economy Shows Signs Of Growth
Post Date: 2011-09-01 19:24:16 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) -- August began with rising fears that another recession was about to hit. That was then. A month later, the economy and the stock market appear more resilient, suggesting that consumers, businesses and investors remain confident enough to keep spending. A more authoritative test will come Friday, when the government issues the August jobs report. Employers are expected to have added 93,000 jobs, which would not be enough to significantly lower the jobless rate of 9.1 percent. But it would solidify evidence that the economy, though still weak, is growing steadily. Many analysts now expect it to strengthen in the months ahead. A stream of data released Thursday bolstered ...

Retailers Report Solid Gains For August
Post Date: 2011-09-01 19:22:33 by Brian S
NEW YORK (AP) -- Americans kept shopping in August despite a month of bad news. Besides old worries about the economy, shoppers had new troubles in August that could have kept them from heading to stores. They faced higher prices for food and clothes. Wild stock market swings fueled concerns about another recession. Then, Hurricane Irene hit in the middle of the important back-to-school shopping season. Despite those factors, revenue in August among 26 retailers was up 4.6 percent at stores open at least a year -- a key industry measure -- according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. The gain is in line with the 4 percent to 5 percent that analysts predicted at the ...

Nevada Lawsuit Shows Bank of America’s Criminal Incompetence
Post Date: 2011-09-01 12:51:51 by lucysmom
It’s pretty remarkable that Mr. Market shrugged off the devastating implications of the amended lawsuit filed by the Nevada attorney general, Catherine Masto against various Bank of America entities. As we’ve stated before, litigation by attorney general is significant not merely due to the damages and remedies sought, but because it paves the way for private lawsuits. And make no mistake about it, this filing is a doozy. It shows the Federal/state attorney general mortgage settlement effort to be a complete travesty. The claim describes, in considerable detail, how various Bank of America units engaged in misconduct in virtually every aspect of its residential mortgage business. ...

Economy Added 91,000 Jobs In August
Post Date: 2011-08-31 11:19:41 by Brian S
By Peter Schroeder - 08/31/11 09:16 AM ET The economy added jobs at a slightly slower rate in August, but businesses are also planning to lay off fewer workers, according to a pair of private reports. Jobs in the private sector grew by 91,000 from July to August, slightly below expectations and down from the 109,000 added in July, according to payroll processor ADP Employer Services. That July number was revised down on Wednesday, as ADP previously recorded 114,000 jobs were created that month. While the ADP report is often treated by markets as a precursor to the official government employment report, the two figures have diverged significantly in recent months. Nonetheless, ...

Strong Autos Drove July Factory Orders Up 2.4 Pct.
Post Date: 2011-08-31 11:15:38 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factory orders rose strongly in July on the biggest jump in demand for autos in more than eight years and a surge in commercial airplane orders. The increase suggests supply chain disruptions created by the Japan crisis are easing. The Commerce Department says factory orders climbed 2.4 percent, the largest increase since March. Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 9.8 percent, the largest one-month gain since January 2003. The increase follows a decline of 0.4 percent in June, which stoked fears the country could fall back into a recession. Manufacturing has been one of the leading sectors since the recession officially ended two years ago. But higher energy ...

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