There are times when I'd like to share something with you but my Voice in the Garden site does not seem the appropriate place, thus, this blog.

There are experiences, thoughts, views... and for anyone lurking/waiting to pounce (as has occurred on several occasions), please do not attempt to turn what I post into a political statement. This is NOT a political site, but IS about occurrences, reality, and personal opinion concerning what I see in the world around me and my family. There are many excellent writers whose works "speak" to me, and I shall include some of them. At times it may be
something I think you would enjoy or simply whatever ails you (me).
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fed in the Drivers Seat

Lee Adler of Wall Street Examiner writes about the effect of the Federal reserve and it's cash to Primary Dealers:

"... As I have shown throughout the 10years I have been directly tracking this, the Fed has near absolute control over both the US  stock market and the economy based on how much cash it pumps into Primary Dealer trading accounts.  This indicator is a proprietary measure of the amount of money the Fed pumps through Primary Dealer accounts...".

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Corzine Theft is Going to be the Best Show Since Watergate

Russ Winter writes in the Wall Street Examiner

Finally after five months of investigations comes the Jon Corzine MF Global bombshell Friday [Bloomberg: Corzine Ordered Funds Moved to JP Morgan].  The Bloomberg article references an e-mail written by Edith O’Brien,  the assistant Treasurer at MF Global and a memo written by congressional staffers. A few aspects are of note:  first that Corzine “gave direct instructions” to transfer $200 million in segregated consumer funds to JP Morgan for payment on an overdraft and used a lower level functionary O’Brien to carry it out.   Then in a clear violation of fiduciary responsibility JP  Morgan’s risk officer asked MF Global for a letter stating these funds were not customer segregated accounts, but then took the money anyway. The chief counsel for MF Global nixed the letter JPM sent over as “too strong”.

O”Brien is to testify before Congress on Wednesday, but will plead the Fifth. This suggests she has not been offered a deal, or immunity.

The captured regulatory agencies have not weighed in on this now nearly five months after this historic crime.  On the overall issue of fraud and regulatory capture, view this  Max Keiser and Mark Melin clip.

The Corzine ties into the labyrinth of the Obama Administration are dark and deep. It is a virtual six degrees of Kevin Bacon sistema (the word used for this form of government in Brazil) and in every sense of the word a criminal enterprise.   Here are various clips of Obama and Biden heaping praise on Jon Corzine.

This is what Obama says about Jon Corzine. I can see why Obama likes him so much.  They both have the same moral compass.
“Like many of us in public life today, Jon is a leader who’s been called to govern in some extraordinary times. He’s been tested by the worst recession in half a century — a recession that was caused by years of recklessness and irresponsibility and a do-nothing attitude. It was caused by the same small thinking that has plagued our politics for decades — the kind of thinking that says we can afford to just tinker around with our problems, we can put off the tough decisions, defer the big challenges. We can just tell people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. Well that’s not the kind of leader that Jon Corzine is.”– Barack Obama, July 2009
-and “John Corzine is the smartest man in the room”….Joe Biden

It is hard for me to imagine that Obama can shuck and jive this one.  Is he really going to revert to his shameful 60 minutes interview where he makes excuses for criminal conduct on Wall Street and twists the logic around to make himself look righteous. I have to think he may just turn the dogs loose on Corzine, but where does that lead?  Corzine was more than a fund bundler, crony, and influence peddler.  He was instrumental in stacking the Obama administration with his associates. What happens with CFTC apparatchik and former Corzine employee at Goldman Sachs, Gary Gensler for example?  CFTC was charged with regulating MF Global.  What about Eric “Empty Suit” Holder, Obama’s attorney general, who never met a Wall Street crime he didn’t like? And what about JP Morgan’s role in this?  This should and might be the biggest story since Watergate. My favorite from the wag comment gallery: “Can we possibly take down Corzine, JP Morgan, and Obama all in one fell swoop? No way my life gets that good!!! No way.”
This will also be the supreme test of the two-tiered Justice system in this country. I am certain that Corzine will claim:

1. There was only an alleged call, no email from Corzine?
2. No form returned to JPMorgan?
3. Did JPM allow the transfer illegally?
4. And “Segregated accounts can include customer money and excess company funds.” So if he did want the money transfered did someone mess up and not transfer just company funds?
Still:
1) Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense.
2) The violation of fiduciary duty alone constitutes grand theft and criminal negligence.

 

For additional analysis on this topic and related trades, subscribers go to Russ Winter’s Actionable. The subscription fee is $69 per quarter and helps support Russ’s work on your behalf. Click here for more information or to subscribe.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gallup Struggles With BLS Data

March 8, 2012

U.S. Unemployment Up in February

Underemployment is 19.1%, up from 18.7% in January

by Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist
PRINCETON, NJ -- U.S. unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 9.1% in February from 8.6% in January and 8.5% in December.
Gallup's U.S. Unemployment Rate, Monthly Averages

The 0.5-percentage-point increase in February compared with January is the largest such month-to-month change Gallup has recorded in its not-seasonally adjusted measure since December 2010, when the rate rose 0.8 points to 9.6% from 8.8% in November. A year ago, Gallup recorded a February increase of 0.4 percentage points, to 10.3% from 9.9% in January 2011.
In addition to the 9.1% of U.S. workers who are unemployed, 10.0% are working part time but want full-time work. This percentage is similar to the 10.1% in January, but is higher than the 9.6% of February 2011.
Percentage of U.S. Workers Working Part Time but Wanting Full-Time Work, Monthly Averages

As a result, Gallup's U.S. underemployment measure, which combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed and the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, increased to 19.1% in February from 18.7% in January. This is an improvement from the 19.9% of February 2011.

Gallup's U.S. Underemployment Rate, Monthly Averages

To see the entire report, continue here

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MLK "USA, be still and know that I'm God"

Key words from Rev. Kings speech entitled: 
"Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"
Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967
 

"And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God."

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Winds of Change

Matt Ridley writes in Spectator.co.uk:

"The government has finally seen through the wind-farm scam – but why did it take them so long?

To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.

If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now. The people of Britain see this quite clearly, though politicians are often wilfully deaf. The good news though is that if you look closely, you can see David Cameron’s government coming to its senses about the whole fiasco. The biggest investors in offshore wind — Mitsubishi, Gamesa and Siemens — are starting to worry that the government’s heart is not in wind energy any more. Vestas, which has plans for a factory in Kent, wants reassurance from the Prime Minister that there is the political will to put up turbines before it builds its factory... continue here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

If This Is Such a Strong Economy, Why Does This Chart Look Recessionary?

From Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds
(March 2, 2012)

Is the U.S. really a post-oil economy?

One way to gauge the real economy is to look at charts of the GDP, wages, household debt and the price of oil; another way is to correlate all of these on one chart. The following chart (courtesy of frequent contributor B.C.) plots these four metrics thusly: GDP/(wages/household debt)/price of oil.
What pops out of the chart is what happens when oil spikes higher or declines. In 1973, the first oil shock sent the economy off a cliff. Conversely, when oil fell to $12/barrel in the late 1990s while wages were rising strongly, the plotline peaked, reflecting a strong economy.
In 2008, oil spiked to $140/barrel in 2008, household debt reached record heights and wages began stagnating, and the economy fell into a sharp recession. When oil plummeted back to $40/barrel in early 2009, the plotline spiked up.
When oil prices and household debt are high while wages stagnate or decline, the economy sinks to recessionary levels.

Here are B.C.'s observations:

This chart utterly discredits the economics profession and those who claim that the post-industrial economy ("deindustrialization" and "financialization") is not oil-constrained and the service economy is what the rest of the world should adopt as the normative standard at $100+/barrel oil.
The current plotline is hovering just above the recessionary levels of late 2008. Does this reflect a strong economy, or one that is weak? If oil keeps climbing, what will that do to a visibly weak economy?
The Bulls are convinced that the U.S. has decoupled from the rest of the world and from the price of oil. This chart makes the opposite case: the price of oil matters, especially when wages are declining and household debt is elevated.