martes, 18 de agosto de 2015
Más signos ominosos
¿Cómo será el colapso imperial cuando acontezca? ¿Adoptará la forma de un booooom, o la de un fiuuuuuuu? Y, sobre todo, ¿cuándo será? Estamos como esos chamanes que tiran al aire unos huesos de tortuga y te largan una fecha. Astroboy, nada jugado, predice: ocurrirá en esta década. Anoten, chicos.
La primera de las dos notas que posteamos hoy fue escrita por Paul Craig Roberts la semana pasada en su sitio web (http://www.paulcraigroberts.org). Asegura una tasa de desempleo real para los EEUU del 23%. Veintitrés por ciento. Dale que va. Veamos:
Título: The US Economy Continues Its Collapse
Texto: Do you remember when real reporters existed? Those were the days before the Clinton regime concentrated the media into a few hands and turned the media into a Ministry of Propaganda, a tool of Big Brother. The false reality in which Americans live extends into economic life. Last Friday’s employment report was a continuation of a long string of bad news spun into good news. The media repeats two numbers as if they mean something - the monthly payroll jobs gains and the unemployment rate - and ignores the numbers that show the continuing multi-year decline in employment opportunities while the economy is allegedly recovering.
The so-called recovery is based on the U.3 measure of the unemployment rate. This measure does not include any unemployed person who has become discouraged from the inability to find a job and has not looked for a job in four weeks. The U.3 measure of unemployment only includes the still hopeful who think they will find a job.
The government has a second official measure of unemployment, U.6. This measure, seldom reported, includes among the unemployed those who have been discouraged for less than one year. This official measure is double the 5.3% U.3 measure. What does it mean that the unemployment rate is over 10% after six years of alleged economic recovery?
In 1994 the Clinton regime stopped counting long-term discouraged workers as unemployed. Clinton wanted his economy to look better than Reagan’s, so he ceased counting the long-term discouraged workers that were part of Reagan’s unemployment rate. John Williams (shadowstats.com) continues to measure the long-term discouraged with the official methodology of that time, and when these unemployed are included, the US rate of unemployment as of July 2015 is 23%, several times higher than during the recession with which Fed chairman Paul Volcker greeted the Reagan presidency.
An unemployment rate of 23% gives economic recovery a new meaning. It has been eighty-five years since the Great Depression, and the US economy is in economic recovery with an unemployment rate close to that of the Great Depression.
The labor force participation rate has declined over the “recovery” that allegedly began in June 2009 and continues today. This is highly unusual. Normally, as an economy recovers jobs rebound, and people flock into the labor force. Based on what he was told by his economic advisors, President Obama attributed the decline in the participation rate to baby boomers taking retirement. In actual fact, over the so-called recovery, job growth has been primarily among those 55 years of age and older. For example, all of the July payroll jobs gains were accounted for by those 55 and older. Those Americans of prime working age (25 to 54 years old) lost 131,000 jobs in July.
Over the previous year (July 2014 - July 2015), those in the age group 55 and older gained 1,554,000 jobs. Youth, 16-18 and 20-24, lost 887,000 and 489,000 jobs.
Today there are 4,000,000 fewer jobs for Americans aged 25 to 54 than in December 2007. From 2009 to 2013, Americans in this age group were down 6,000,000 jobs. Those years of alleged economic recovery apparently bypassed Americans of prime working age.
As of July 2015, the US has 27,265,000 people with part-time jobs, of whom 6,300,000 or 23% are working part-time because they cannot find full time jobs. There are 7,124,000 Americans who hold multiple part-time jobs in order to make ends meet, an increase of 337,000 from a year ago.
The young cannot form households on the basis of part-time jobs, but retirees take these jobs in order to provide the missing income on their savings from the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy, which is keyed toward supporting the balance sheets of a handful of giant banks, whose executives control the US Treasury and Federal Reserve. With so many manufacturing and tradable professional skill jobs, such as software engineering, offshored to China and India, professional careers are disappearing in the US.
The most lucrative jobs in America involve running Wall Street scams, lobbying for private interest groups, for which former members of the House, Senate, and executive branch are preferred, and producing schemes for the enrichment of think-tank donors, which, masquerading as public policy, can become law.
The claimed payroll jobs for July are in the usual categories familiar to us month after month year after year. They are domestic service jobs—waitresses and bartenders, retail clerks, transportation, warehousing, finance and insurance, health care and social assistance. Nothing to export in order to pay for massive imports. With scant growth in real median family incomes, as savings are drawn down and credit used up, even the sales part of the economy will falter.
Clearly, this is not an economy that has a future.
But you would never know that from listening to the financial media or reading the New York Times business section or the Wall Street Journal.
When I was a Wall Street Journal editor, the deplorable condition of the US economy would have been front page news.
La segunda nota viene del blog económico Monty Pelerin's World (http://www.economicnoise.com):
Título: Only The Date Is Unknown
Texto: The US and world economies are frauds that are coming unraveled. The Greek bailout is the most recent example of “kick the can down the road” solutions. The US housing bubble was an attempt to cover up/recover from the dot-com bust. Now the US is in a financial bubble engineered to recover from the housing bubble debacle. Soon this bubble will burst. Only the date is unknown.
Two predictions can be made with reasonable confidence:
* The stock market is likely to be halved and that might be optimistic. Only the date is unknown.
* The economy will eventually resemble the Great Depression. Only the date is unknown.
Nothing is ever certain. An experienced CFO told me at the beginning of my career that “even the impossible has a 20% probability.” In deference to him and years of empirical evidence, I put the the above two events as virtually certain, i.e., an 80% probability.
The Current Problem
Phoenix Capital provided reasons to expect horrible outcomes:
* The REAL problem for the financial system is the bond bubble. In 2008 when the crisis hit it was $80 trillion. It has since grown to over $100 trillion.
* The derivatives market that uses this bond bubble as collateral is over $555 trillion in size.
* Many of the large multinational corporations, sovereign governments, and even municipalities have used derivatives to fake earnings and hide debt. NO ONE knows to what degree this has been the case, but given that 20% of corporate CFOs have admitted to faking earnings in the past, it’s likely a significant amount.
* Corporations today are more leveraged than they were in 2007. As Stanley Druckenmiller noted recently, in 2007 corporate bonds were $3.5 trillion… today they are $7 trillion: an amount equal to nearly 50% of US GDP.
* The Central Banks are now all leveraged at levels greater than or equal to where Lehman Brothers was when it imploded. The Fed is leveraged at 78 to 1. The ECB is leveraged at over 26 to 1. Lehman Brothers was leveraged at 30 to 1.
* The Central Banks have no idea how to exit their strategies. Fed minutes released from 2009 show Janet Yellen was worried about how to exit when the Fed’s balance sheet was $1.3 trillion (back in 2009). Today it’s over $4.5 trillion.
The cumulative effects of decades of interventions to mask economic weakness are harmful to the economy. Statistical manipulation and outright lies in government reporting of economic conditions suggest that times are becoming ever more desperate for the political class. There is not enough bailing wire in the world to hold this train wreck in check. Nor is there any way to solve the massive problems created over decades.
Mac Slavo believes we are already in a world-wide depression stating:
With stock markets in China having self destructed, Greece and Europe in another crisis, and corporate earnings for some of the world’s biggest corporations showing lackluster performance, it should be clear that the situation is rapidly deteriorating.
But for the last several years America has appeared to remain fairly insulated from overt crisis. We were told that a recovery had taken hold, jobs were returning and consumer confidence had reached new highs, propaganda which drove millions of investors back into stock markets and real estate. No one in the mainstream world, it seems, believes there’s anything to be concerned about.
Except there is.
Nassim Taleb described the problem:
Uncertainty should not bother you. We may not be able to forecast when a bridge will break, but we can identify which ones are faulty and poorly built. We can assess vulnerability. And today the financial bridges across the world are very vulnerable. Politicians prescribe ever larger doses of pain killer in the form of financial bailouts, which consists in curing debt with debt, like curing an addiction with an addiction, that is to say it is not a cure. This cycle will end, like it always does, spectacularly.
Each intervention has been bigger than the previous one. And they are needed more frequently. Bad times are here and have been despite what government says. Worse times lie ahead. Only the date is unknown.
Government is helpless at this point. Their cover-ups have made matters worse. When the unknown date arrives, America will likely look like some third-world country. Its political system may not survive.
Welcome to Venezuela with nuclear weapons.