Post Tagged with: "Obama"

Gary Shilling: We are either in or entering a recession

Gary Shilling: We are either in or entering a recession

Here’s another Tech Ticker segment on the state of the economy. Noted economic bear Gary Shilling believes the US is in recession or will be entering one shortly. His view is that wages have not grown robustly enough to warrant the level of spending consistent with continued recovery. Indeed, the three consecutive months of declining retail sales are a clear sign of recession in Shilling’s view.

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America’s slowdown is not about Europe, it’s about the debt

America’s slowdown is not about Europe, it’s about the debt

I would submit then that the problem is the debt. This is true right across the developed economies. Until the debt is reduced, global growth will be slow and that makes economies susceptible to recession. As much as the President wants to deflect attention toward the disaster building in Europe, he should admit to himself that more needs to be done on household debts, incomes and jobs. A banking-centric policy response has caught up with us and we’ll just have to see if we can ride this one out.

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Chart of the Day: US Congress Approval Rating

Chart of the Day: US Congress Approval Rating

The latest Gallup poll shows the approval rating for Congress at a record low 10%. 86% disapprove.

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Obama Administration propaganda on prosecuting elite financial frauds

Obama Administration propaganda on prosecuting elite financial frauds

The Obama administration’s record of prosecuting elite financial frauds is worse than the Bush administration’s record, which is a very large statement. Neither administration has prosecuted any elite CEO for the epidemic of mortgage fraud that drove the ongoing crisis. This contrasts with over 1,000 elite felony convictions arising from the S&L debacle. The ongoing crisis caused losses more than 70 times greater than the S&L debacle and the amount of elite fraud driving this crisis is also vastly greater than during the S&L debacle.

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More on Banks Making Shed Loads But Fannie And Freddie “Losing Money as a Matter of Policy”

More on Banks Making Shed Loads But Fannie And Freddie “Losing Money as a Matter of Policy”

Fannie and Freddie have already been nationalized and the government is already on the hook for hundreds of billions of dollars of losses as a result. Clearly, this makes it a lot easier to use the GSEs as vehicles to pump money into the economy because any incremental loss is completely obscured by the existing gargantuan losses. Fannie and Freddie can essentially become a giant stimulus slush fund for the Obama Administration as we head into the 2012 election.

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The Fetish for Liquidity (and Reform of the Financial System)

The Fetish for Liquidity (and Reform of the Financial System)

So here’s the deal. What happened is that the financial sector taken as a whole moved into extremely short-term finance of positions in assets. This is a huge topic and is related to the transformation of investment banking partnerships that had a long-term interest in the well-being of their clients to publicly-held, pump-and-dump enterprises whose only interest was the well-being of top management.

It also is related to the rise of shadow banks that appeared to offer deposit-like liabilities but without the protection of FDIC. And it is related to the Greenspan “put” and the Bernanke “great moderation” that appeared to guarantee that all financial practices—no matter how crazily risky—would be backstopped by Uncle Sam. And it is related to very low overnight interest rate targets by the Fed (through to 2004) that made short-term finance extremely cheap relative to longer-term finance. All of this encouraged financial institutions to rely on insanely short short-term finance.

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I repeat: The Fed’s Permanent Zero rate policy is toxic

I repeat: The Fed’s Permanent Zero rate policy is toxic

Permanent zero can work over the medium-term but the economy is dependent on employment growth and monetary policy doesn’t drive that.

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The stark contrast between European economic policy and US economic policy

The stark contrast between European economic policy and US economic policy

I was on CNBC yesterday ahead of Ben Bernanke’s speech explaining the FOMC’s recent decision to add an explicit inflation target to its decision to extend its rate easing/permanent zero policy. My conclusion: the Obama mortgage plan and Bernanke easing campaign are bullish for the US economy.

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It’s Timmy Time

It’s Timmy Time

This is a sing along in honor of the US Treasury Secretary.

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Real Financial Regulators Love Prosecutions of Fraudulent Bank CEOs

Real Financial Regulators Love Prosecutions of Fraudulent Bank CEOs

Senior former regulators are willing to be quoted by name asserting that Obama’s (not Bush’s) financial regulatory leaders are blocking lawsuits against fraudulent financial elites and their anti-regulatory co-conspirators because they fear embarrassment.

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Edward Harrison’s Ten Surprises for 2012

Edward Harrison’s Ten Surprises for 2012

Welcome to Credit Writedowns Pro. This is the first post in a series here. Let me start this Byron Wien-style and make a predictions list. Wien defines his surprises as events to which investors assign 1-in-3 odds of happening but which he believes have a more than 50 percent likelihood of occurring in 2012. That’s how I am playing it too.

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Barack Obama circa 1991

Barack Obama circa 1991

Here is a video clip of US President Obama from February 1991 in which he narrates a PBS ode to Charles Hamilton Houston during Black history month.

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