It seems the market – or the collection of pre-programmed heuristic biases that make up the equity investing public (and machines) – is slowly but surely realizing the confidence trick that is the Fed’s Quantitative Easing programs. The following chart should clarify – to anyone placing their gambling chips on the hopes of another round of easing from the Fed – why the game is up. To wit, the reverse geometric progression of S&P 500 performance during each Fed action: QE1 +50%, QE2 +30%, Twist +18%, QE3 & Twist +8%… so QE4 +4%, QE5 +2%, and QE6 +1%…Here’s another measure. A year ago 25% of Americans planned to work until age 80. Now that number is 30%.
As they struggle to save for retirement, a growing number of middle-class Americans plan to postpone their golden years until they are in their 80′s. Nearly one-third, or 30%, now plan to work until they are 80 or older — up from 25% a year ago, according to a Wells Fargo survey of 1,000 adults with income less than $100,000. “It is so tough for Americans to save for retirement that the answer seems to be to work longer,” said Joe Ready, director of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.Let the Markets Clear! – Ron Paulhttp://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2021:let-the-markets-clear&catid=64:2012-texas-straight-talk&Itemid=69
Ron Paul: “Never in American history have we needed to adopt a policy of laissez faire more desperately; never has government seemed more determined to artificially prop up an industry”
The ultimate result of these interventions by our caring friends in Congress and the Fed has been the biggest housing bubble and crash in US history, leaving millions of Americans underwater on their mortgages if they have not already lost their houses altogether. Congress and the Fed are directly responsible for millions of shattered lives, and almost unknowable economic damage in the form of trillions of dollars in mortgage backed securities.
The only solution to this mess is to allow the US housing market to clear. All of the bad mortgage debt must be liquidated, whether via foreclosure or bankruptcy. Banks holding substantial mortgages or mortgage backed assets must face the music and adjust their balance sheets to reflect today’s reality. Undoubtedly this will force many banks into immediate insolvency, but such banks must be allowed to fail without receiving another nickel of taxpayer money. Banks took the risks and made money during the bubble years; those who exercised bad judgment must now accept the consequences of their actions.
Never in American history have we needed to adopt a policy of laissez faire more desperately; never has government seemed more determined to artificially prop up an industry. But only by allowing the housing market to clear can we hope to rebuild our shattered economy from a stable foundation. Clearly there will be pain in the short term, but we owe it to younger Americans and future generations to allow the reemergence of a rational housing market.Ron Paul Warned Us: United States, Not China, Is Biggest Currency Manipulatorhttp://www.policymic.com/articles/17742/ron-paul-warned-us-united-states-not-china-is-biggest-currency-manipulator
During the presidential debates and on the campaign trail, former Governor Mitt Romney has focused many of his attacks on China. Accusing them of “manipulating their currency” to gain and unfair trade advantage against the U.S., Romney has promised to isolate China on his first day in his office in part of a broader hawkish policy towards China. But not only is Romney wrong to demonize China, he completely ignores the real currency manipulators: the U.S. Federal Reserve.
In classic politician doublespeak, Romney’s accusations against China are a few truths mixed in with a lot of lies, pandering and propaganda. While it is true that China has been keeping the value of its currency artificially low over the last decade, this has been largely in response to the U.S. doing essentially the exact same thing for four decades now.
Since 1971 when President Nixon infamously defaulted and cut all gold ties from the dollar, the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have been printing trillions of dollars as part of a deliberate strategy to boost U.S. exports and harm nations exporting goods to the U.S. China holds hundreds of billions worth of U.S. government bonds of debt and has been repaying its creditors, like China, with increasingly devalued dollars.Personal note: Another good reason to purchase Chinese Yuan to hedge against the devaluation of the dollar