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Rare Van Halen Leicestershire, Donnington Park August 18, 1984 Valerie Bertinelli Cameo

If you need a Good Opening for black, use this.

"Arrogant Hunter Biden has never been held accountable — until now"

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FOMC Minutes: Idiots On Display (Save Three)
Post Date: 2011-08-30 18:33:12 by Capitalist Eric
Nuts. Simply nuts. The information reviewed at the August 9 meeting indicated that the pace of the economic recovery remained slow in recent months and that labor market conditions continued to be weak. In addition, revised data for 2008 through 2010 from the Bureau of Economic analysis indicated that the recent recession was deeper than previously thought and that the level of real gross domestic product (GDP) had not yet attained its pre-recession peak by the second quarter of 2011. Translation: Nothing we did was effective. Over the intermeeting period, U.S. financial markets were strongly influenced by developments regarding the fiscal situations in the United States and in Europe ...

What's Going On With The U.S. Economy?
Post Date: 2011-08-30 17:49:41 by Capitalist Eric
There's a very good post over at Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis today. ("US in recession right here, right now") Blogger Mike Shedlock makes the case that the economy may already be in recession. It's all matter of whether if one uses the the consumer price index (CPI) or the the BEA's measure of price inflation to make their calculations. There's a fair amount of technical jargon to wade through in the article, but the charts are pretty persuasive and--if nothing else--they reinforce most people's suspicions that the economy is getting worse by the day. It's too bad we don't have a financial media that's willing to explain what's ...

U.S. Consumer Confidence Falls to Two-Year Low
Post Date: 2011-08-30 11:24:27 by Brian S
Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest in more than two years as Americans’ outlooks for employment, incomes and business conditions soured. The Conference Board’s index slumped to 44.5, the weakest since April 2009, from a revised 59.2 reading in July, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. It was the biggest point drop since October 2008. Economists predicted the August gauge would fall to 52, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. An unemployment rate above 9 percent, a downgrade of the country’s top credit rating, partisan squabbling over the budget deficit and a volatile stock market weighed ...

Consumer Spending Rises in July, Beats Forecast
Post Date: 2011-08-29 10:54:14 by Brian S
Consumer spending climbed more than forecast in July as Americans dipped into savings to buy cars and cool their homes, showing the biggest part of the economy is holding up. Purchases rose 0.8 percent, the biggest gain since February, after a 0.1 percent decline the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.5 percent increase. Incomes grew 0.3 percent, pushing the savings rate to a four-month low. Industry data showed autos sold at the fastest pace in three months as supply constraints from Japan’s March earthquake began to ease, while outlays on services, which includes ...

Hurricane Irene’s Estimated U.S. Cost for Insurers Drops to $2.6 Billion
Post Date: 2011-08-29 10:49:07 by Brian S
Hurricane Irene’s estimated cost to insurers fell to about $2.6 billion in the U.S. as the storm lost strength en route to New York, according to Kinetic Analysis Corp., a firm that predicts the effects of disasters. That compares with a projection last week from the Silver Spring, Maryland-based company of as much as $14 billion when Irene was forecast to make landfall in New York as a Category 2 hurricane. Total economic losses, including those that aren’t insured, may be about $7 billion. “Insurers may get off pretty easy,” Charles Watson, Kinetic’s research and development director, said in a phone interview from Savannah, Georgia. “This one’s not ...

Pending Home Sales Slip in July but Up Strongly From One Year Ago
Post Date: 2011-08-29 10:47:25 by Brian S
WASHINGTON, DC, Aug 29, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Pending home sales declined in July but remain well above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors(R). All regions show monthly declines except for the West, which continues to show the highest level of sales contract activity. The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, slipped 1.3 percent to 89.7 in July from 90.9 in June but is 14.4 percent above the 78.4 index in July 2010. The data reflects contracts but not closings. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales activity is underperforming. "The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage ...

Why Congress Blocking the Debt Ceiling Increase Will Launch an Economic Boom
Post Date: 2011-08-28 10:44:04 by Capitalist Eric
Pieter Schoonheim Samara writes: The general population hasn’t been taught the economics of the private sector free enterprise Capitalism as it relates to Freedom (audio link) in many decades, nor that private sector capitalism is the opposite side of the same coin of Liberty upon which the Constitution is based. The result from what we saw with the August 1st Obama/Reed/Boehner passage of a $1 Trillion spending increase sham now and $1 trillion cuts after 5 to 10 years is that Progressives have convinced even conservatives and Tea Party Republicans into believing that the driving force of the economy is the government and that private sector capitalism failed, while facetiously ...

The Many Collapses of Keynesianism [How the Government Rips You Off]
Post Date: 2011-08-27 10:56:48 by Capitalist Eric
It should be obvious to everyone but the most dedicated adherent of Keynesianism that the stimulus did not accomplish its end. The combination of outright spending by Congress, the desperate schemes to reflate the housing market, the attempt to transfuse bleeding firms with other people’s money, and the creation of trillions in artificial money, has not done a thing to lift the US economy. Actually, the reverse has been true. All these efforts have prevented the adjustment of economic forces to the post-boom world. And all the resources that the stimulus consumed were extracted from the private sector, for we must always remember that government has no resources of its own. Everything ...

U.S. Banks Seek Relief on Swelling Deposits
Post Date: 2011-08-26 10:36:55 by Brian S
U.S. regulators have asked some banks to take more deposits from large investors even if it’s unprofitable, and lenders in return are seeking relief on insurance premiums and leverage ratios, according to six people with knowledge of the talks. Deposits are flooding into the biggest U.S. banks as customers seek shelter from Europe’s debt crisis and falling stock prices. That forces lenders to raise capital for a growing balance sheet and saddles them with the higher deposit insurance payments. With short-term interest rates so low, it’s hard for financial firms to reinvest the new money profitably. Regulators have asked banks to take the deposits anyway, three people said, ...

Consumer Sentiment Sinks In August On Government Despair
Post Date: 2011-08-26 10:32:02 by Brian S
(Reuters) - U.S. consumer sentiment sank in August as consumers lost confidence in lawmakers' ability to stave off the threat of another recession, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index edged up from its mid-August level but was still consistent with recession-era lows. The index has only been lower in three other surveys, which were taken in April and May 1980 and November 2008. The final August reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment was at 55.7, down from 63.7 the month before. It was slightly better than August's preliminary reading of 54.9, which had been the lowest level since May 1980. ...

Fear Sets In, Panic Begins, Ruin Perceived, Prepare for Gold $2100
Post Date: 2011-08-25 16:02:45 by Capitalist Eric
Something big is going on in the United States in a sentiment change, an altered state of psychology, a growing sense of panic. My opinion is that the nation has entered the early stage of comprehension among the population of systemic failure. The most immediate measures are the rash of heavy selling down days in the US Stock market, the strong purchases in Gold, as well as the reactions to constant news of sovereign debt in trouble, and the big banks teetering. Several other softer measures have been noted, made overwhelming by their sheer numbers. A perception wave has taken hold of a toxic USEconomy, a toxic US financial sector, a toxic US housing sector, a toxic economic brain trust in ...

Home Short Sales Increase as Banks ‘More Realistic’ on Market
Post Date: 2011-08-25 11:55:12 by Brian S
U.S. homes nearing foreclosure accounted for 12 percent of total sales in the second quarter as banks agreed to more transactions at prices below the outstanding mortgage balance, RealtyTrac Inc. said. The proportion of sales of homes in default or scheduled for auction rose from 10 percent a year earlier and was little changed from the first quarter, the Irvine, California-based information company said today in a report. Most of those were short sales, or transactions for less than the mortgage debt, according to RealtyTrac. An increase in short sales, along with a shorter average time to sell such homes and bigger discounts relative to normal deals, indicate the market is clearing ...

Buffet Invests $5 Billion in Bank of America
Post Date: 2011-08-25 10:08:15 by Fred Mertz
Warren Buffett comes to the rescue, again. On Thursday, Berkshire Hathaway, run by Mr. Buffett, announced plans to invest $5 billion in Bank of America, a vote of confidence for the beleaguered financial firm. The conglomerate has agreed to buy 50,000 preferred shares that will pay a 6 percent annual dividend. Bank of America has the option to buy back the shares at any time for a 5 percent premium. According to CNBC, Mr. Buffett approached Bank of America early Wednesday about a potential deal. Article Tools The investment by Berkshire should help allay market concerns about Bank of America. Shares of the financial firm have been battered of late over fears the company lacks sufficient ...

Gold Tumbles Most Since December 2008
Post Date: 2011-08-24 12:09:31 by Brian S
Gold plunged in New York, heading for the biggest drop in 18 months, on speculation that financial markets may be stabilizing, eroding the appeal of the precious metal a haven. Bullion has tumbled more than 5 percent in two days, erasing gains in the past two weeks that sent the metal up as much as 16 percent since Aug. 5 to a record $1,917.90 an ounce yesterday. On Aug. 16, Wells Fargo & Co. said climbing speculative demand from investors had pushed the market into a “bubble that is poised to burst.” U.S. equities climbed today after a Commerce Department report showed orders for U.S. durable goods climbed more than forecast in July as a surge in demand for aircraft and ...

Higher Durable-Goods Orders Ease Economic Worries
Post Date: 2011-08-24 11:58:47 by Brian S
WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge in demand for autos and aircraft drove orders for long-lasting manufactured goods higher in July, easing fears that the economy might be on the verge of another recession. The rebound in the auto industry helped offset a decline in orders for most other factory goods. Stocks rose after the better-than-expected report showed the biggest increase in durable-goods orders since March, when the Japan earthquake disrupted supply chains and slowed auto production. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 50 points in morning trading. Broader indexes also increased. Overall orders for durable goods rose 4 percent last month, the Commerce Department said ...

Home Prices in U.S. Fell 5.9% in Second Quarter, FHFA Says
Post Date: 2011-08-24 11:56:27 by Brian S
Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices in the U.S. fell 5.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline since 2009, as foreclosures added to the inventory of properties for sale. Prices dropped 0.6 percent from the prior three months, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said today in a report from Washington. In June, prices retreated 4.3 percent from a year earlier, while increasing 0.9 percent from the previous month. Foreclosures are boosting the supply of properties on the market and undercutting the confidence of homebuyers, sapping demand even as mortgage rates tumble to the lowest in more than half a century. The U.S. inventory of homes for sale averaged 3.7 ...

GDP Statistic Is a Lie, Time for a New Measure of Economic Growth
Post Date: 2011-08-24 09:57:14 by Capitalist Eric
Martin Hutchinson writes: Gross domestic product (GDP) is the most commonly used measure of economic growth. But GDP isn't just inaccurate and misleading - it's the contrivance of Keynesian economists seeking to push their own, big-government agenda. That's right. GDP is a financial ruse - the biggest of the past half-century. And it's time to move past it to another, more accurate measure of economic growth. Keynesian economist Simon Kuznets designed GDP at the height of the New Deal era. Kuznets first revealed the measure in a report to Congress in 1934. GDP takes into account consumption, investment and government expenditure to create a measure of economic growth. But ...

Stop Hershey’s Exploitation!
Post Date: 2011-08-23 23:08:20 by Fred Mertz
Hundreds of foreign exchange students paid $3,000-$6,000 each to come to the U.S. this summer for what they thought would be a cultural exchange program to learn English and experience American culture. Instead, they found themselves working in deeply exploitative conditions packing chocolates at Hershey's plant in Pennsylvania for low wages. They are forced to work in back-breaking conditions and round-the-clock in production lines. When the students complained, Hershey's threatened to have them deported. Now the exchange students are fighting back. On August 17, hundreds of student guestworkers from around the world were joined by unemployed U.S. workers and labor leaders in a ...

July New-Home Sales Fell to Five-Month Low
Post Date: 2011-08-23 11:57:24 by Brian S
Sales of new U.S. homes declined more than projected in July to the lowest level in five months, indicating the industry is struggling to stabilize two years into the economic recovery. Purchases fell 0.7 percent to a 298,000 annual pace after a 300,000 rate in June that was slower than previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median projection in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a 310,000 rate in July. Builders are less inclined to start new projects as they face competition from cheaper existing homes and the prospect of foreclosures putting more unsold properties on the market. A jobless rate above 9 percent and limited ...

Student workers protest at Hershey's, say their life not so sweet [Full Thread]
Post Date: 2011-08-23 10:38:11 by Fred Mertz
For 400 foreign students, working at a Hershey's chocolate packing plant in Palmyra, Pa., may be less sweet than it sounds. The National Guestworker Alliance filed a complaint Wednesday on behalf of 400 international students who had apparently paid $3,000 to $6,000 to participate in a U.S.-certified cultural exchange program. The complaint, sent to the U.S. Department of State, says the students were exploited by Hershey Co. and that the company takes unfair advantage of the program. The students also launched a protest at the plant. Those protests were continuing Thursday, with the students, labor leaders and Pennsylvania workers who have joined the fight rallying in downtown ...

Gold Extends Record Price Past $1,900 An Ounce
Post Date: 2011-08-22 19:46:57 by Brian S
--Comex December gold touches intraday record at $1,901.70 in after-market trade --Hopes that Fed will hint at more stimulus buoy gold --SPDR Gold Shares ETF outpaces value of SPDR S&P 500 ETF as investors flock to gold By Tatyana Shumsky Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Gold breached $1,900 in after-market trading as strong demand for a store of value pushed prices to fresh records. Gold has marched higher for six consecutive trading days, setting new records for four consecutive trading days including Monday. Gold continued making gains after Comex floor trading finished Monday, with the most actively traded contract, for December delivery, touching ...

Early Mortgage Delinquencies Rise to Highest in Year as U.S. Economy Slows
Post Date: 2011-08-22 12:15:18 by Brian S
The percentage of U.S. mortgages overdue by one month rose to the highest level in a year in the second quarter as homeowners who lost jobs were unable to make their payments. The share of home loans overdue by 30 days rose to 3.46 percent of all mortgages, from 3.35 percent in the first quarter, according to a report today from the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington. The percentage of mortgages overdue by 60 days increased to 1.37 percent from 1.35 percent, while foreclosures dropped for the second consecutive quarter. The gain in early delinquencies signals a slowing economy may increase foreclosures, said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist of the trade group. The unemployment rate ...

Wisconsin Loses 12,500 Private-Sector Jobs In July
Post Date: 2011-08-20 13:06:44 by Brian S
Wisconsin lost 12,500 private-sector jobs last month in the deepest single-month decline since the depths of the 2008-'09 recession, effectively annulling most of the previous month's gains. Gov. Scott Walker, who last month credited his administration's business-friendly policies for big job gains in June, attributed the July job losses to turmoil in the national and international economy as well as to uncertainty created by the state's special recall elections. Asked whether he should be held accountable for July's decline as long as he also wants credit for June's gain, Walker responded by describing what he called "incredible uncertainty both at the ...

Former Official: SEC Violated Federal Law
Post Date: 2011-08-19 15:22:58 by CZ82
Former Official: SEC Violated Federal Law August 19, 2011 by Marcy Bonebright A former SEC official has reportedly alleged the agency violated Federal law by destroying the records of enforcement cases it had decided not to pursue. A former Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) official has alleged the agency violated Federal law by destroying the records of enforcement cases it had decided not to pursue, according to The Washington Post. The agency allegedly purged records involving major Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley. The cases reportedly involved suspicions of “insider trading, financial fraud and market ...

Texas Unemployment At Highest Level Since 1987
Post Date: 2011-08-19 13:40:53 by Brian S
(CBS/AP) The unemployment rate in Texas has jumped to 8.4 percent in July, the highest level since the state was reeling from an energy, real estate and banking crisis 24 years ago. The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday the jobless rate was up from 8.2 percent in June. The increase came despite a 10th consecutive month of job growth. The agency says the state added 29,300 jobs in July. The unemployment rate matched the figure from July 1987. Commission Chairman Tom Pauken says the state "continues to feel the effects of a stagnant national economy." The U.S. jobless rate is 9.1 percent. The trade, transportation and utility sector added 15,300 jobs last month, but that ...

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