THE WOLF STREET REPORT: How the Fed Boosts the 1%, as Told by the Fed

Even the upper middle class loses share of household wealth to the 1%. The bottom half gets screwed.

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  205 comments for “THE WOLF STREET REPORT: How the Fed Boosts the 1%, as Told by the Fed

  1. BobT
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Quit being so honest or be prepared for a swat team smashing your door down very soon.

    Thank you for all your great work.

    • mike
      Nov 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      Amen. Thank you. Another enormous set of parasitic entities sucking out the blood of the majority in the US are the HMOs and health insurers. They now grab most of the profits that used to go to doctors and hospitals, albeit those are still well paid and doctors’ numbers are limited by the AMA.

      Having helped people with many bankruptcies, I can certify that the leading cause of consumer insolvency or bankruptcy is a medical problem in the family. The “Federal” Reserve banking cartels manipulation and the rising medical costs for care which is worst among developed nations in the US are the main reasons why the quality of life in most developed countries is now better than in the US. Radical change is needed or US medical costs as a percentage of GDP will keep rising at dramatic rates.

      • Frederick
        Nov 12, 2019 at 3:25 am

        American expat here living in sunny Marmaris Turkey Had to spend 10 days in hospital last year for kidney problems Total cost to me upon leaving 40 dollars parking fee Lots of tests performed and a kidney biopsy

  2. fred flintstone
    Nov 11, 2019 at 3:33 am

    As stated many times……all the fed is doing is stealing from middle class savers and transferring it to their mega rich friends. They are the enemy of the people.
    The excuse being…..look…..you’ve got a job……right…….while my productivity has increased greatly since 1970 my standard of living has declined and my inheritance is being destroyed. No future. Good thing the wife works……but all that means is my kids grow up raised by a day care and we have no family life.
    Meanwhile the rich complain about global warming threatening their beach front mansions while flying to London in their private jet to watch a tennis tournament.
    Tax the rich and use it to build infrastructure. The estate tax should be 80%. No step up at death for capital gains. Junior, who was born into the lucky sperm club, needs to find something productive to do. Then let interest rates go where they belong.

    • Wolfbay
      Nov 11, 2019 at 6:04 am

      The estate tax was Important to the founders to prevent the creation of a new “royal” class. It’s as American as apple pie.

    • Rebecca Ryan
      Nov 11, 2019 at 7:26 am

      The government got rich by encouraging women to work. Double income tax. This fact has forced families to rely on day care kids raised by strangers. Sad

      • RD Blakeslee
        Nov 11, 2019 at 9:59 am

        “Women’s Lib” was anything but, it turns out …

        For most, just shifted labor in house and home to labor in behalf of the financial establishment.

        • sierra7
          Nov 13, 2019 at 11:12 am

          RD Blakeslee:
          Alan Greenspan on hiring women:
          “Mr. Greenspan explains the gender bias with the free-market pragmatism that has become his hallmark: “I always valued men and women equally, and I found that because others did not, good women economists were cheaper than men. Hiring women does two things: It gives us better quality work for less money, and it raises the market value of women.”
          This is a quote from the NYT years ago; If my memory serves me he also explained his attitude on hiring women over men in his book: “The Age of Turbulence”. Again if I remember correctly he is more “crude” in his explanation of why he hired women over men….they were qualified but much cheaper……
          I happen to have spent three decades working in an industry that followed: “Equal pay for equal work”. Women received the same pay for the same work. I also was involved with the training of many women for managerial positions that were previously only open to men. I found that they had just as much incentive, drive and capacity to “succeed” as men….

      • SueV
        Nov 11, 2019 at 10:16 am

        Rebecca Ryan, Not only a second taxable income in the household, but in some cases taxable day care workers, and definitely more taxable products and services purchased cause Mom is too tired when she gets home from work to cook, sew, etc…..

      • Frederick
        Nov 11, 2019 at 10:34 am

        The government got rich? Doesn’t seem that way to me with all the debt Spending is out of control though especially military spending IMO

      • Scott
        Nov 11, 2019 at 10:35 am

        I’ve always said, “Do you want your kids to model themselves after the daycare lady or you?” If you want your kids to be like you, you have to around them.

      • A/C in SD
        Nov 12, 2019 at 9:51 pm

        Rebecca, hit the nail on the head. And if you choose to not play the game you and your family spend your days swimming against the current. But your children will forever thank you and they will certainly rise head and shoulders above any of their daycare raised peers.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS)
        Nov 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm

        Simple arithmetic-increase the amount of available human labor and reduce it’s worth proportionally. Robots coming to an economy near you, soon.

        May we all find a better day (better work may be harder…).

      • Ed C
        Nov 13, 2019 at 5:58 pm

        Long story but I’d have been better off in day care.

    • economicminor
      Nov 11, 2019 at 11:36 am

      Shoulda, woulda, coulda.. Right, tax the rich! Sure.. good idea. And we’ll spend it on the Industrial Arms, No the Industrial Education, No the Industrial Health Care, No Infrastructure, No, No No… just pay everyone to not work.. that’s a great idea too!

      As Wolf has pointed out, the 1% keep getting all the benefits while the 99% get higher loan balances. At some point this will end as no matter how low the interest rates are, the loans still have to be serviced.

      Then again, the 10 yr Treasury was at 1.94% this morning. The trend hasn’t been for lower rates.

      For those of us that believe Minsky was correct, all those inflated asset values that made the 1% gain so much may just be an illusion. Again, someone has to service all the debt behind all those Zombie Corporations that have created so much apparent value for the few. Who is going to do that when those appointed with that task are those who have not gained anything other than oppressive debt loads.

      Who will you tax when this Ponzi Pyramid collapses?

    • Jack3
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:07 pm

      “The estate tax should be 80%.” It used to be something like that, until Reagan I believe changed it.

      • Bobber
        Nov 12, 2019 at 10:44 am

        I agree with that. If I have to pay taxes, I’d rather pay them when I’m dead. You can’t take it with you, and the kids get happiness through working, not handouts.

    • mike
      Nov 11, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Amen. However, I think that a wealth tax is necessary, because the rich now control congress. See Simon Johnson’s “The Quiet Coup” in the Atlantic magazine.

      • mike
        Nov 11, 2019 at 5:26 pm

        To clarify previous comment, since I was interrupted while typing it, if we start taxing an annual 17% tax on billionaires, for example, we start to chop down the enormous wealth with which they bribe/contribute to politicians. Also, having assisted the ultra rich in estate planning as an attorney, I think that the public will be astonished at the level of hidden wealth held by the rich once the government has the power to inquire into all hidden and foreign assets held by the wealth.

        To make a wealth tax fair and collectible, the government should impose a forfeiture penalty on all undisclosed assets: otherwise, the most corrupt among the rich will hide the most assets and pay the least wealth tax. All title to undisclosed assets of the billionaires should automatically pass to the US government, with a 14% (example) bounty paid to those who help the government collect undisclosed/hidden assets concealed to defeat the wealth tax.

        This should apply as to all assets that are held as of a particular year for which no wealth tax was paid and regardless of whether the billionaires become Russian citizens, etc., to avoid the wealth tax.

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 8:41 pm

          Agree.

    • NBay
      Nov 12, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      I think the Fed is run by the rich and their listed/PE corporations just like the our government is. By whoever these “United Citizens” might really be. So getting mad at either Fed or Gov is missing recognizing the real criminal organizations, or “enemy”, if you will. Even if the Treasury had bank branches they would figure out a way to put it all under their private control.
      They DO make law as needed, ya know?

      It’s just a different “politburo”. At least we maybe have some feeble grasp still with our “vote”, but most can be convinced of anything. Think that was well proven in 2016.

      But, I am damned certain we have absolutely NO say in the corporate world unless one owns a big shitload of stock, as in a 0.1%er. Currently requires about $20M to join that bunch, and still just be a lower level party member.

  3. Manfred Keeting
    Nov 11, 2019 at 3:52 am

    How can I obtain a transcript of today’s broadcast?
    Manfred Keeting

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I will eventually start working on it after some due procrastination (cleaning up transcripts is kind of a tedious job). I’ll post it likely Wed or Thursday. So stay tuned, as they say.

      • RD Blakeslee
        Nov 11, 2019 at 10:01 am

        I volunteer to clean up the cleanup …

  4. Ensign_Nemo
    Nov 11, 2019 at 4:31 am

    I spoke recently with a clerk at a grocery store. She started working there in 1979 at $8.24 an hour. She mentioned that the store had a reputation as a good place to work. Even though it was a blue collar job, everyone showed up for the interviews in formal wear, suits and ties for the gents and dresses or office clothing for the ladies.

    Today, the same job starts at $10.50 an hour. They can’t fill positions – a full-time job was posted for two weeks with zero applicants. Even the high school and college kids aren’t applying there anymore. They are now employing ex-cons just released from prison and still on probation. Applicants show up in street clothes with nose rings and they often fail drug tests or the background check for theft or violent felonies (they do screen for those crimes). They are starting to drop drug testing now in some locations.

    As a result, the store is understaffed to the point where they close some departments, such as the hot foods, early because they have literally nobody to staff them. They were a 24 hour store until a few years ago, now they are closed for seven hours a day.

    The frozen food warehouse is staffed with actual convicts – literal prison labor, out on daily work release. They closed the old warehouse, staffed with free workers, a few years ago. The trucks with frozen food were once wrapped neatly with plastic and rarely fell over en route, now they usually have a badly wrapped pallet or two collapse inside the truck. The truckers complain bitterly as they need to pick the boxes up and re-stack them by hand, inside a trailer cooled down to zero degrees.

    These are the people handling your food.

    The company just bought a chain of 56 gas stores and convenience stations last year, so they aren’t hurting for cash or credit. The rumor is that they are trying to slowly exit the low-margin grocery business and diversify into higher margin retail and eventually real estate and conglomerate wheeling and dealing.

    Meanwhile, they have stores with many empty shelves and departments closing early. Panhandlers are starting to show up occasionally in front of the store, as the neighborhood slowly decays. They aren’t dirt poor panhandlers, either – one of them drove away in a Dodge Caravan after she was chased away. Her car was nicer than the cars of most of the employees.

    Society gets what it rewards, and right now hard-pressed “honest” blue collar workers – who once were part of the middle class, and are now in the lower class – are getting ground into powder by the system. The remnants of the middle class are shrinking. Once the middle class is gone, then it’s probably the end of the American Republic, as the same problems killed the Roman Republic. When Julius Caesar took power, 320,000 out of perhaps a million people in the city of Rome received free bread.

    We are transitioning into an empire – but who will staff the grocery stores when they get free bread for sitting at home?

    • Xabier
      Nov 11, 2019 at 4:48 am

      Henry IV of France, known to history as ‘The Good’, remarked to the then 1%:

      ‘If you screw my people, you are actually screwing me!’

      One of the very few rulers of those days who at least – when he wasn’t chasing the ladies and dodging assassins – spared some thought for the prosperity of the mass of the population.

      No accident, perhaps, that as a boy he was sent out to wander the mountains barefoot and poorly clad, and mixed with all sorts of people.

      I don’t see any Henry in the US today: it’s transitioning into a Latin American social structure, ruled by demagogues and kleptocrats – the writing is on the wall.

      Best bet is to serve the wealthy in some indispensable and valued fashion. They reward such servants very well the rest can live in tents cities for all they care.

      • Deanna Johnston Clark
        Nov 11, 2019 at 6:38 am

        I love history as well and France didn’t topple the kings, the mystery secularists did.
        Now I hate to disillusion you. The dark, lonely, 2 lane road from here in Savannah to Hilton Head, SC is dangerous and very busy at all hours. The extreme wealthy of Hilton Head vote down zoning for housing for the people who make their lifestyle possible…year after year. Those have an hour trip.
        They trust their homes, their children, their golf courses to these souls, but they won’t live near them…even the plantations were set up with more human closeness.

        • Just Some Random Guy
          Nov 11, 2019 at 11:30 am

          If I buy a $1M home, I want other $1M homes next to me, not Section 8 apartments. This isn’t anything new.

        • Daedalus
          Nov 11, 2019 at 2:39 pm

          I live in Tennessee. I do not live in a ‘gated community’. One of the things that was once ‘disturbing’ and now refreshing is that without ‘zoning’, one meets a wider range of humanity and actually learns a thing or two. Now (20 years later) I find that my best neighbors (ones that would even take me into their house if I fell into intense need) are the ‘locals’ which most gated communities abhor.

        • Frederick
          Nov 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm

          Same situation where I lived in the Hamptons Most of the workers came from further west or what we called “ upIsland” four or five to a small sedan usually quite old and rickety looking but got the job done Some people housed some workers onsite in converted garages or carriage houses

        • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
          Nov 12, 2019 at 2:50 am

          This is a huge factor in the death of social mobility in the US.

          We’ve all heard the stories of the rich family the maid works for, helping send the maid’s son to college, because the maid was live-in or lived nearby and the people all knew each other. Now, the working class lives hours away and there is near total separation.

        • nhz
          Nov 12, 2019 at 1:24 pm

          Experience from my country (Netherlands) shows that mixed neighborhoods (with different social groups and different income levels, and homes that suit those differences) often do best in the long term when it comes to living conditions and home price appreciation. Wealthy areas will do well for a long time until suddenly they don’t. Poor areas like purely social housing for “disadvantaged” groups or foreign migrant communities often start at a disadvantage and quickly get even worse despite all the money that is pumped into them.

    • raxadian
      Nov 11, 2019 at 5:22 am

      Let me guess, they don’t take aliens? Too scared the current anti immigration policy will mean they get in trouble with the law? Also ten bucks today buy a lot less than eight did then.

    • Joe
      Nov 11, 2019 at 8:25 am

      Shows all this immigration is garbage when they too will not work for a living when the government benefits are more enticing…

      • D
        Nov 11, 2019 at 2:48 pm

        For 80k years, humans lived in an environment where the community took care of each other. Most followed the community norm. To give an example, men hunted and stole horses, women raised children, skinned and preserved meat. However, those who could not follow those norms for one reason or another were supported by the society and given other roles.

        People like to work. Humans are naturally ‘busy’
        and will mess around with their environment like pack rats or oriels. They, however, do not like to work for YOU.

    • billy
      Nov 11, 2019 at 9:05 am

      10.50 is not the 2019 equivalent of 1979 8.24, not even close. They are literally getting what they are willing to pay for.

      • Frederick
        Nov 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

        In 1969 as a high school sophomore I made 2.90 an hour plus great tips if I hustled which I always did Gasoline was 26 cents a gallon I believe Every Sunday in the summer my girlfriend and I drove out to Southampton for a day at the beach 160 miles RT and worth it In 1979 I was earning 300 dollars a day working for a vinyl siding contractor installing Andersen windows and doors He paid his deadbeat brother a hundred a day to keep him from being homeless He usually drank most of it away anyway

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 10:02 am

      Start by paying a living wage. $8.24 in 1979 was a good starting wage but $10.50 in 2019 is a joke.
      If what you’re saying is true then we can stop subsidizing businesses with prison slave labor. We pay to incarcerate criminals while business reaps the benefits of cheap subsidized prison slave labor; laborers that can’t be much of a threat to society if they’re allowed, or is it forced, to work to a frozen food warehouse. I do know that many call centers use, or did use, prison labor and that many airline reservation use prison labor but never heard of warehouses using convicts. I wouldn’t be surprised.
      Bread and circuses was the mantra of Roman leaders long after Caesar. Give the people bread and entertainment in hopes they don’t rise up against those with everything.

      • Young Buck
        Nov 11, 2019 at 11:02 am

        David, when I used to work at Dollar Tree in highschool, we would open boxes and find prison shanks in with the merchandise. Im not making this up, I found 2 myself. It was more common than I thought it would be.

      • NBay
        Nov 11, 2019 at 7:33 pm

        Speaking of jailing people,

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States#/media/File:US_incarceration_timeline-clean.svg

        Top marginal tax rate also went from 70% to 28%, and many other MAJOR things happened. Mostly “Free Market” stuff…union busting…trickle down, etc.

        • Cas127
          Nov 12, 2019 at 7:34 pm

          This 70 pct to 28 pct income tax change is becoming a dishonest trope of the Dems – that 70 pct rate came with a ton of legal tax deductions that greatly reduced the effective rate.

          Those deductions no longer exist – so the intergenerational effective tax rates are much closer than the deceitful Dems would ever be honest enough to admit.

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 9:31 pm

          Cas- It went from 78% to 25% from 1920 to 1932. You know what happened back then. That a “trope” also?

          Also most of these Dems are to the right of Eisenhower, who ran a 90% rate. Was he another “trope”.

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 9:36 pm

          Excuse, the drop was 1920-1924, it began a sharp rise in 1932.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Nov 12, 2019 at 2:52 am

        I didn’t make more than $5 an hour until mid-1986, and on the $7 an hour the carpenter’s union would have paid me as an apprentice if I’d gone with them, would have enabled me to buy a house.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Nov 12, 2019 at 2:55 am

        Meal-prep companies like Blue Apron use convicts.

        https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/10/05/496758732/meal-kits-and-chaos-report-reveals-unsavory-side-of-blue-apron-warehouse

        There’s also a good Vanity Fair article about this.

    • RD Blakeslee
      Nov 11, 2019 at 10:10 am

      New staff: more and more robots and immigrants – dearly loved for working cheap.

      The upper class in this country could not maintain its status without immigrants – both illegal and H1B.

    • Bowler
      Nov 11, 2019 at 6:15 pm

      In the NYC tri-state area the labor scarcity problem you meniton is solved using illegal aliens. White vans deliver these poor soles to gas stations, grocery stores or landscaping concerns. Many of these exploited people have no idea where they are, they’re just there to do a basic job at the lowest possible price. (ask just about anyone working a cart in Manhatten for directions and you’ll get the same answer- “I have no idea where I am”.

      I hear Powell speak of the mystery of why wage inflation has not picked up. Between cheap junk from China and literal invisible armies of exploited illegals, I see no way for an average person to get ahead.

  5. David Hall
    Nov 11, 2019 at 5:45 am

    They should make the rich pay more taxes instead of running a 1.3 trillion deficit and building up luxury hotels and resorts for the upper class. It is the worse income inequality since 19

    • David Hall
      Nov 11, 2019 at 5:47 am

      …since 1929. Then came FDR.

    • Anon1970
      Nov 11, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      The big tax cuts in recent years came under Bush 43. Even during the brief period under Obama when the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, they couldn’t eliminate the tax loophole for hedge funds (the 15% income tax rate on fund management fees). Senator Charles Schumer, the Democrat from NY State refused to support its elimination. My guess is that the financial services industry is as important to NY State as oil is to Texas and Schumer knows who is funding his political campaigns.

  6. morticia
    Nov 11, 2019 at 5:52 am

    The FED is the FED, they’re banker-owners (1%) they were designed to take care of their own, they’re following goals exactly on target. BIS has central banks operating all over the earth using the exact same prescription.

    Well? So what are you going to do about it?

    Nuttin, I know

    Get out of Dodge is #1, that’s solves all the expense problem. Kids can go to Germany find free education, or many country’s have low cost education, and housing.

    We already know how this is going to end, its in the Deagle Report from 2007, that by 2025 the USA population is down -80%, that the young left, and the old died for lack of money to treat common illness.

    The worst of all this is that people still argue “Are we in a recession? Will there be a recession?”, we have been in a depression since 2007, and it just keeps getting worse.

    Which all goes back to the Deagle ( chief strategist for Rockefeller in 1950’s ) Report, the young that exit early get out, those that wait, will have less&less options, as the world doesn’t want anymore USA expats.

    Nothing happening isn’t/wasn’t planned long ago, the writing has always been on the wall. Wolf is right, the rich are prepared.

    Lastly, its possible to invest like the 1%,you can see the Hedge-Fund SEC filings, little guys can imitate the big boyz.

    The problem is Kleptocracy, its a Government ran by common-criminals, and the bottom 50% have nothing left to steal, so now the 1% top-criminals are going after the bottom 99%. This how this stuff always ends.

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 9:10 am

      mortica,

      “its in the Deagle Report from 2007, that by 2025 the USA population is down -80%,…”

      It may be in that nonsense report, but it’s unadulterated BS. We’re only six years away, and the population is still growing.

      • Tony bolongy
        Nov 11, 2019 at 12:26 pm

        Give him till 2025 to see if it happens .
        If I told you 15 years ago that some central banks were to be negative interest rates then you would have laughed at me if I tell you the us dollar reserve status is in deep do doo you will also laugh at me
        Build that wall better make sure the tax base doesn’t get out

    • nhz
      Nov 12, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      The German economy is ruled by the ECB just like the US economy is pushed around by the FED; Christine Lagarde is at least as bad as the clueless jokers of the FED and their policies are very much the same (actually a lot worse if you are a saver …) – of course, these BIS/IMF banksters all have the same background.

      As Fred Flintstone says way above, the basic policy is stealing from the middle class, giving to their friends in the 0.1% and saddling the average citizen with epic debt. Don’t think for a moment that the average German is doing well, just like in the US only a very small group really profits. Even low cost housing is no longer a given in Germany as the RE locusts have finally discovered this last EU refuge with some housing market sanity … EU politicians LOVE helping their friends in the RE sector squeezing more money out of their voters, while pretending to work for the country. No way to hide unless you want to live in a third world country, which isn’t a good alternative for most of us.

  7. Mark
    Nov 11, 2019 at 6:39 am

    USA Absolute totalitarian oligarchy

    Socialism for the rich- They keep their profits, and “socialize” their losses to you.

    Vulture capitalism unparalleled in modern history.

    Thanks private, unaudited Fed.

  8. w.c.l.
    Nov 11, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Is there an index that tracks the sale of torches and pitchforks?

  9. John
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Interesting Wolf. Money begets money. Seems the Fed and banks have all the power. Here and around the world. In keeping all of this on myself I try to do what’s best in a world of worry. Media, banks, politics, academia, all contribute to ideas and opinions. I remember the six hundred bucks the government gave me. I remember cash for clunkers right after I bought a used Lincoln. Those leaders and lenders of money, have created so much of it, but try and borrow it and it is inequality! Not just wages! I’ve worked hard, I have a value and respect of what I have, it wasn’t free. For them it was! Still in all of these realizations I still remain grateful because there was a time, I took it all in with judgement and disdain for what had taken place with the banks. I think if we lived in a perfect world it would not be this one. Just too many people to figure it all out, especially politically. Thanks for all your time and insights.

    • RD Blakeslee
      Nov 11, 2019 at 10:19 am

      There have always been problems that have no solutions.

      The confounding complexity of modern life is one of those and
      avoidance of it is best, IMO.

      Get away from high-population places and simplify your life.

  10. CtKahanamoku
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:17 am

    I live in Connecticut where the only promise our new Governor has kept is to not levy any taxes on the wealthy yet tolls are on the way. Apparently only regressive taxation of everyone else can solve our problems. Capitalism has run amok because those who govern reject all those who insist that our country should develop a culture where capitalism is only one part of the methodology for prosperity, not the be all and end all of civilization.

    The scale is so heavily skewed towards the 1% that only a true paradigm realignment can prevent the complete decay of civilized values.

    If that means more democratic socialism then bring it on.

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Connecticut Huh? Hope you don’t own property there since it seems to be collapsing pretty badly I feel bad for the older people who didn’t sell in time and may get hurt badly with the coming collapse

    • Happy1
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Connecticut is probably not the best example for your proposal that all taxes there are regressive, there was no state income tax whatsoever until 1982 and now the top rate is close to 9%, so the state’s politicians have already soaked the rich, they aren’t increasing taxes on the wealthy now because the wealthy are all moving to Florida, but you can hardly make the case that Connecticut has been coddling the 1%.

      • Anthony Aluknavich
        Nov 11, 2019 at 3:56 pm

        I left CT in 1981 for a job in Texas. Last year, I went back to visit family and the town was a slum and crime ridden. My sister’s young granddaughter was thrilled to be picked for a job in a convenience store…11:00 PM to 7:00 AM. I told her to pack iron…

      • Wisdom Seeker
        Nov 11, 2019 at 7:02 pm

        Happy1, you’re making the standard left-wing error of conflating income with wealth.

        The wealthy don’t bother with income taxes because they already have their wealth.

        Income taxes hurt the productive and prevent them from saving and accumulating wealth. But they don’t hurt the already-wealthy, who own the system and get their cash without having to call it income for tax purposes.

        • weinerdog43
          Nov 12, 2019 at 8:26 am

          “Happy1, you’re making the standard left-wing error of conflating income with wealth.”

          Wrong. That is a right wing point. See Warren’s wealth tax.

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 12:28 pm

          Since most of today’s Democrats are to the right of Eisenhower, you are both parsing words on the same basic notion.
          It’s the net wealth gap that now matters most, obviously, and the easiest redistribution to deal with. They won’t leave the country….for where? Those manmade islands in Dubai? But their financial engineers WILL come up with something, that’s guaranteed, and we had better have politicians who understand and will not allow it.

          PS: Barring a super Manhattan Project sized Green New Deal and a ZPG program, things will still go to heck, but on a gentler slope, maybe allowing time for a cultural “wising up”.

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm

          Take it from someone who maintains a Biologist point of view.

          It IS the only game on the planet, all the rest are side shows, and whether we play well or not is ENTIRELY in our hands….barring our time running out due to geologic or extraterrestrial action like solar, asteroid, etc.

  11. Al Loco
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:19 am

    A wealth tax won’t change any of this as long as law and policy makers can accept cash from the top 1%. I occasionally wish for a solar flare to wipe out the grid for a few years. It’ll suck for awhile but I see it as the only way to even things back out.

  12. hidflect
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:30 am

    It’s not just the retail middle class and below that are suffering. Consider how small to medium enterprises must seek financing via capital raises or loans having to pay 20% discount margins on top of fees and commissions to brokers while people like Masayoshi Son throw $Billions at ridiculous ventures without a second thought. Many, if not most, of these small cap concerns never break out to profitability because of the usurious debt drag they suffer along the way. It’s killing emerging business.

  13. Iamafan
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:33 am

    A great help to understand how the Fed helps the “rich”, I would recommend you listen to Zoltan Pozsar’s new interview.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2019-11-08/why-the-repo-markets-went-crazy-podcast

    They get to live to fight another day.
    This is a great way to learn from the expert on repo.

    • Saltcreep
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:38 pm

      Cheers, Iamafan, I found that linked content very well explained and interesting! So far I’ve listened to it twice. It’s so clearly laid out that it causes even a simpleton like me to believe that I might have a better picture of what’s really going on there.

    • bungee
      Nov 11, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      Yeah thanks, Iamafan. A good listen

    • Ej
      Nov 11, 2019 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you.. it’s nice to hear some intelligent discussion.. often so much tinfoil hat stuff here when we could be striving for an understanding of where we are and where were actually going. Appreciate it.

  14. Sandy Toes
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Thx for framing this issue in clear & measurable manner. There are many ramifications across the board on so many fronts.

    This is why this issue merits good understanding based on objective data to avoid demagoguery.

    Delivering this info by voice is easier & quicker, and also conveys level or urgency.

    To properly appreciate, internalize & digest it, it would help many of us to really see it. When possible, I would encourage Wolf to provide the data in a written report that includes graphical or even tabular form.

    Thank you

  15. Joe
    Nov 11, 2019 at 8:32 am

    The new disrespect coming out is “Okay Boomer”. Which throws in the face of trying to make a decent living when the younger generation now can spit in your face and you can’t do a damn thing about it.

    • Scott
      Nov 11, 2019 at 10:55 am

      At some point they will have to fend for themselves. Not everything is given to you for just participating.

      I worked hard and sacrificed a lot of years to get ahead as a “boomer,” but I see and hear the “new adults” wanting and expecting instant financial success. I guess the internet highlights success and helps create the “if only I was or could do that.”

      • GirlInOC
        Nov 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm

        No one I know wants success handed to them on a platter. This whole “entitled” Millennial trope is tiresome and of course utterly false. We want to work and have the same opportunities we saw our parents and grandparents had. But we can’t get ahead, not for lack of trying and show me data otherwise if you think Millennials dont work, but because the system has been stacked and built and rigged towards benefiting a select few. This isnt even debatable. It is a fact that is being discussed here….a grocery store checker in ’79 paid 8 bucks an hour but today they’re paying 10??? Ok boomer.

      • Daedalus
        Nov 11, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        As a ‘boomer’, you just happened to be at a point in our history that allowed you to ‘succeed’. After WWII, the US was in a position to have no foreign competition (economically speaking). Thus, you were guaranteed an advantage.

        I lucked out as well. I could work in the summer (steel mill) and pay for my tuition to one of the best schools in the country. My Astronomy degree cost my parents very little. As a graduate student, the University actually paid ME to attend.

        Those days are gone. You benefited, big time, from a government (societal) boost. So did I. At least I recognize my responsibility to pay it back.

      • NBay
        Nov 12, 2019 at 10:03 pm

        “OK Boomer.”

        -Me 1947-?

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm

      They better not spit in this Boomers face or they will get taught a harsh lesson on respect for the elderly My wife was born in 1977 does that make her gen X

  16. Unamused
    Nov 11, 2019 at 8:57 am

    These are the people handling your food.

    Very few chemicals are regulated and hundreds can be found in your corporate food supply, which has long been contaminated and gets worse every year. This pleases the Medical Industrial Complex and motivates the so-called ‘organic’ food movement.

    We are transitioning into an empire

    The US has always been an empire, Ensign, founded on slavery and genocide. Article IV, section III of your Constitution assumes it, as does the policy of Manifest Destiny. You have an emperor now, but the pretences to democracy have been dropping since the 19th century.

    Democracy, which has grown up in the last three hundred years, represents, with its emphasis upon individual responsibility and individual actions, the most difficult societal system, requiring a definite human maturity. Totalitarian alternatives can in many ways be regarded as escapes from this difficulty into the irresponsibility of following a leader who deprives the people of their liberty and their maturity but promises them ‘security’ and ‘economic progress’. To that end, personal immaturity and self-gratification are celebrated and promoted by corporate America in particular, and in U.S. culture in general, because it prepares the electorate to give up its responsibility to maintain democracy in favor of totalitarian leadership.

    Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.

    – John Adams

    • Unamused
      Nov 11, 2019 at 8:59 am

      Reply to Ensign_Nemo, above.

    • Kent
      Nov 11, 2019 at 11:13 am

      A proper reading of American history shows at the time that the word “democracy” as used by the upper class was a pejorative. “Democracies” was often used in the context of the rabble rising up against their betters. That’s how John Adams intends that in his comment here.

      The USA was always intended to be a country for the 1%. Yes, there was a brief moment after the Great Depression where a middle-class was built. But that is an aberration. We are returning to our founding proposition as an indentured servant/slave state. Though now we are indentured through debt to the system as wage slaves, with our purchases being made to the “company store” being the various banks and monopolies that get their (our) money back.

      • Daedalus
        Nov 11, 2019 at 3:02 pm

        I’d invite you to consider Lincoln.

        • Unamused
          Nov 11, 2019 at 4:25 pm

          Take your pick.

          Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.

          – Abraham Lincoln

          I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.

          – Abraham Lincoln

          This nation can never be conquered from without. If it is ever to fall it will be from within.

          – Abraham Lincoln

        • Saltcreep
          Nov 11, 2019 at 5:44 pm

          I like that second Lincoln quote. And it seems that the civil war was when the power of industry really showed its hand in the US.

          In respect of the first quote, I reckon it was out of date by the time it was spoken. Fossil fuels have sidelined labor, and before labor eventually once again eclipses fossil fuels there’ll be hell to pay for overextension.

          The third quote is true of just about anywhere now. Nearly everywhere on the planet is now an overpopulated, resource starved, simmering cauldron of discontent that nobody in their right mind would want to take over.

        • Hubble
          Nov 11, 2019 at 8:20 pm

          Albert Einstein seems to have agreed with most of us .. ..

          https://libcom.org/files/Einstein%20on%20capitalism.pdf

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 10:34 pm

          …add Stephen Hawking’s quote….has to do with sharing wealth.

          Also what my lobbyist uncle (Hilton Head beach front home, among many others) said to me about Carter. “What’s a damned scientist doing in the Whitehouse?”.
          Carter made the mistake of telling us all what we did not want to hear….the truth.

    • Jon
      Nov 11, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      We were successful because we were a republic, not a democracy. The checks and balances that kept us successful were removed in the 20th Century. Specifically, the 17th amendment allowed Senators to be elected by popular vote, removing an important check on the federal government. Now the feds can simply withhold money from the states to force them to do what they want.

      • Unamused
        Nov 11, 2019 at 4:48 pm

        We were successful because we were a republic, not a democracy.

        A republic is a democracy, and you’re not authorised to rewrite the dictionaries.

        The US is an oligarchy barely still pretending to be a democracy, built on stolen land by repressed laborers who in the end were flattered into screwing themselves.

        • Jon
          Nov 11, 2019 at 7:12 pm

          A republic is very different than a democracy. The founders didn’t want democracy because they hated mob rule. We have a constitution with enumerated responsibilities of each branch.

          Our problems do not come from the founders hating democracy, they come from 1913 when progressives took over the government and created a central bank, started the income tax and passed the 17th amendment.

          There are wonderful courses at Hillsdale.edu that will enlighten you.

        • Wisdom Seeker
          Nov 11, 2019 at 7:24 pm

          Unamused – disagree with your claim that “A republic is a democracy”. Although it seems you are not alone… perhaps the memory hole is swallowing the traditional definitions of these terms.

          As I learned it decades ago, and as originally defined by Madison in Federalist 10, a Republic is governed by representatives chosen by an electorate. But note: the electorate may not be the whole population, and the process of choice need not be democratic. In the early days even the USA was not fully democratic, since many could not vote, particularly women and slaves. Today children still cannot vote. In the 1700s it was common in many areas to restrict the right to vote to landowners; the USA would still have been a republic in that case – but not really a democracy.

          By contrast a Democracy is one in which all the people participate with equal rights in governing the group.

          Clearly there’s a spectrum of options in between, but it’s not true that all republics are democracies, which is why “democratic republic”, the standard phrase describing the US government, isn’t redundant.

          This matters because, for example, the Electoral College system in the US is a feature of a republic but not a popular-vote democracy. That and many other republic-type features in the US system are there to protect minority interests against a possible Tyranny of the Majority. History certainly shows that enough of the people are vulnerable to manias and panics to make a right mess of things with a pure majority-take-all democratic system.

        • Unamused
          Nov 11, 2019 at 8:27 pm

          disagree with your claim that “A republic is a democracy”

          It’s not merely ‘my claim’, and you cannot honestly characterise it that way.

          It is the definition in every dictionary.

          If this were a political site, which it is not, I could lecture you on the nature of political systems, only one of which accomodates Libertarian ideologues with agendas:

          Power structures:

          Associated state Dominion Chiefdom

          Federalism

          Federation – Confederation – Devolution

          Integration

          Empire – Hegemony – Unitary state

          Administrative division

          Power source:

          Democracy
          (power of many)

          Direct – Representative – Liberal – Social Demarchy – Others

          Oligarchy
          (power of few)

          Anocracy Aristocracy Corporatocracy Plutocracy Kleptocracy Kakistocracy Kraterocracy Stratocracy Synarchy Timocracy Meritocracy Technocracy Geniocracy Gerontocracy Noocracy Kritarchy Particracy Ergatocracy Netocracy Capitalist state Socialist state Theocracy

          Autocracy
          (power of one)

          Despotism – Dictatorship – Military dictatorship – Tyranny

          Anarchism
          (power of none)

          Anarchy – Free association – Stateless – Libertarian ideology.

          Power ideology:

          Monarchy vs. republic
          (socio-political ideologies)

          Absolute Legalist Constitutional Parliamentary Directorial
          Semi-presidential Presidential

          Authoritarian vs. libertarian
          (socio-economic ideologies)

          Tribalism – Despotism – Feudalism – Colonialism – Distributism – Anarchism – Socialism – Communism – Totalitarianism

          Global vs. local
          (geo-cultural ideologies)

          Commune = City-state – National government – Intergovernmental organisation – World government

          Don’t get in over your head.

        • NBay
          Nov 12, 2019 at 10:46 pm

          “….that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from this earth.”

          -Lincoln, in a plea to ALL of us, some 35 years before 1900.

          Somebody is certainly confused here, that is for sure, and I doubt it was Abe.

    • JZ
      Nov 11, 2019 at 3:24 pm

      US became great NOT because of democracy. It is LIBERTY. Translation: One shall NOT use violence against other people and their property.
      Democracy? Translation l: mob rules.

      How to determine whether a region is a true religion or fake one. The answer is true religion has answer/theory for life and death, plus, the deity can NOT be a living human.

      How to determine a nation’s founding principle is true principle or a fake one? The answer is that the principle is NOT up to any living human’s influence.

      Liberty is a true principle and democracy is a fake one.
      Democracy makes people feel better, liberty forces people to abide by the rules that benefit society as a whole.
      “They” just keep peddling democracy and ignore liberty. Because democracy can go either good or bad, depending on the mob. So corrupt the mob is step one.

      • Unamused
        Nov 11, 2019 at 7:05 pm

        Liberty is a true principle and democracy is a fake one.

        Unfortunately, some people define liberty as the freedom to abuse and unfairly exploit other people, and democracy as an impediment to that ‘freedom’ and therefore best replaced with the right kind of authoritarianism.

        One has to be careful. The night is dark and full of terrors.

        • JZ
          Nov 11, 2019 at 9:27 pm

          Facing the brain wash power of modern media, any “term” can be twisted to corrupt the mass and under the name of democracy, the mass votes and moved the agenda those who controls modern media wants.
          Even you bring one to NYC and ask him/her why the green statue is lady of liberty but NOT lady of democracy, he/she might want to rename it into lady of democracy.
          All politicians go on TV and tout democracy and national interest,
          but NO one emphasize on liberty or national principle.
          Interest corrupts people, principle guard against corruption.

          Let’s all vote to use national police force to TAX billionaires. Is this against liberty? sure. But remember the FED? The institution that can print and you will be in jail if you print the same thing? The billionaire used FED to force wealth transfer from the wealth to begin with. So let’s get even. This is what happened if a nation does NOT follow principle and seek interest.
          Just let US decay. Like they said, US is corrupt, but it is still better than the rest of the world.

      • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
        Nov 12, 2019 at 3:04 am

        Yep because we totally never-ever used violence against other people (like those who were here first, French, Spanish, etc colonists, all the Africans we dragged over here, and anyone else who got in our way….)

      • NBay
        Nov 12, 2019 at 11:02 pm

        How do we know there is only one diety? My guess is there is at a minimum over 7 Billion, and most likely trillions of trillions more, and it would be very hard indeed to prove they are all “fake”.

  17. gorbachev
    Nov 11, 2019 at 9:03 am

    I listened to to this report 3 times .Holy smokes.They will

    soon arrive to empty your closets.What ….uncle Warren was the

    biggest benificiary of the great bailout.That is not the story

    we were told to believe.Remember we were told.. uncle Warren bailed

    out Bank of America ,Goldman Sachs etc.

    Great report Wolf.Hope all goes well with you.

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 10:45 am

      If you followed Greg Hunter of USA Watchdog you would be very well aware of the fact that Warren Buffet was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the bailouts in 2008

    • Anon1970
      Nov 11, 2019 at 11:10 am

      I guess I must be in the minority here, being more concerned about Aunt Elizabeth emptying my wallet than Uncle Warren. Any wealth tax imposed on the 1% will soon be broadened to cover a lot more people lower down on the food chain, just as was the case with the income tax.

      In retrospect, the financial bailout during the Great Recession might have been handled better but the people at the top were afraid of setting off a financial panic if Bank of America or Citibank had been allowed to go under. The FDIC did not have enough resources to honor its bank deposit guarantees in the event of a run on the country’s banks as occurred in early 1933.

      • Wisdom Seeker
        Nov 11, 2019 at 7:28 pm

        RE “more concerned about Aunt Elizabeth emptying my wallet than Uncle Warren”

        That’s because Aunty E wants to hook the siphon directly to your wallet. Uncle W doesn’t actually touch your wallet, he just pours all the new money into his and lets inflation dwindle your money away. But over time Uncle W does far more damage because you can’t see the loss and therefore won’t fight over it.

      • sierra7
        Nov 13, 2019 at 1:23 pm

        Anon 1970:
        The American people during the height of the GFC were given a false dichotomy of choice(s)….ie…..”…we cannot let the ‘big’ banks fail.”
        We didn’t have to.
        Just break them up, recapitalize the good parts, fire the lead managements that contributed to the mess and move forward.
        Roll over the “bad debts”………bad mortgages, sausage style financial jelly rolls that contained so much crap.
        Lots of investors would have lost lots of money. We just couldn’t have that.
        So, a “bazooka” (which is not a fined tuned weapon) was used.
        And, of course Mark to Market rules were rescinded.
        “Presto!”
        Valuation meant whatever you wanted it to mean.
        WE did have a choice.
        Our leadership panicked and gave in to the oligarchs.

  18. Marc
    Nov 11, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Hi all,

    As am sure many here are aware this is all getting very close to a tipping point and as history has shown us every great civilisation has always in the end destroyed itself. Well now we all live in one big global civilisation and humanity and humanitarian acts are far and few between if at all.
    I’m sure as stated by many here that realise this it really isn’t going to end well the mega rich may well be in the end of days of enjoying their enormous wealth and power. I do believe within the next 10 years max there is going to be serious and unavoidable civil unrest worldwide as many will no longer to be able to feed themselves or their families, access even basic medical care or housing and then when they have nothing left to lose and are starting to die an uprising against the criminal 1% and our so called leaders will erupt. Unfortunately they are only to aware of whats coming hence the militarisation of Police forces with their vast arsenals of military hardware. Once they have their Robot armies that will only follow orders and have no conciseness they will fight back to control their debt slave populations whilst removing and killing those that pose the greatest threat and that they can not control.
    It also seems that at least the younger generations are on to all the theft of resources and assets the elites have been up to as well as their destruction of the planet we live on and are looking like they may well lead the battle to re-balance society from the bottom up. I just hope I’m gone before it starts to happen is all.

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      Marc Agreed As Gerald Celente says “When people lose everything ,they lose it” Very true statement I just worry that the people of the USSA are too fractured to put up much of a fight when the day arrives TPTB will probably succeed in dividing and conquering as always

      • Xabier
        Nov 11, 2019 at 2:23 pm

        I have thought so too: in the first half of the 20th century, there was a very large, self-conscious, muscular, industrial working class, which had to be either fought and repressed, or appeased.

        Not so now: ‘identity’ fragmentation and de-industrialisation have gone a long way.

    • Daedalus
      Nov 11, 2019 at 3:05 pm

      I suspect you’ve read ‘Collapse’ by economist Jared Diamond. If not, you should. He confirms your suspicion by giving historic examples.

      • NBay
        Nov 12, 2019 at 11:41 pm

        Mr Jared is pathetically “historically handicapped” …..life is the only game being played on this planet….you are playing it……3 1/2 – 4 billion years so far….best guesses are another 4 billion to go…..many species have come and gone, and many more will.

  19. Just Some Random Guy
    Nov 11, 2019 at 11:42 am

    Minimum wage in 1980 was $3.10.
    Average cost of gas in 1980 was $1.20

    So one hour of minimum wage bought about 2.5 gallons of gas.

    Today minimum wage is $7.25. Average gas is $2.75. 1 hour of minimum wage buys….wait for it….about 2.5 gallons of gas! Whoa!

    Which is weird since i have been told many times that the minimum wage back in the “olden days” had so much more purchasing power than it does today. Turns out it’s exactly the same.

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      Just Some Random Guy,

      You cannot live in gasoline, nor drive to work in gasoline, nor eat gasoline, nor use gasoline for healthcare, nor get your higher education in gasoline. So why don’t you compare healthcare costs to minimum wage or rents and home prices to minimum wage. Or costs of higher education to minimum wage. Or the costs of cars — new and used — to minimum wage. You’ll have some real fun :-]

      • Frederick
        Nov 11, 2019 at 2:07 pm

        My father paid a thousand dollars for a spanking new 1966 Beetle which he picked up in Germany , drove around Europe for 6 weeks and had shipped to NYC for 300 dollars Hows thatfor comparison of vehicle costs or I should say the loss of purchasing power of the greenback

        • Nov 11, 2019 at 3:16 pm

          Your father must have bought the luxury for-export version :-]

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:36 pm

      Minimum wage for me in 1969 was 2.90 and gas was 26 cents so I could fill up my VW beetle from empty for two and a half bucks Not too shabby huh? Working Saturdays and after school during the week with tips I could take home a hundred dollars Not bad for a kid

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:04 pm

      In 1969 one hours minimum wage of 2.90 for me purchased around 11 gallons of leaded regular priced at 26 cents so yeah fuel was far cheaper then in relation to low paid workers salaries At least in NY Can’t speak for the wage in say Mississippi

    • Zantetsu
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      JSRG, your posts are usually the least insightful in the comments section of this site.

      • Just Some Random Guy
        Nov 11, 2019 at 3:30 pm

        Zanestu,

        I take that as a compliment. I point out that the constant calls for socialism is based on myths. The fact you’re getting angry means I’m getting through.

        • Zantetsu
          Nov 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

          Who’s angry? Keep projecting, I guess. I just want to give some feedback. Wolf ripping your every post to shreds doesn’t seem to be having any effect on you, perhaps you need to hear it from multiple sources.

        • NBay
          Nov 13, 2019 at 12:01 am

          The only difference between you and Hannity is he is worth $100M…you have a lot more work to do……

    • unit472
      Nov 11, 2019 at 4:48 pm

      Go back to 1964 and a gallon of gas was about a quarter but the quarter was silver. Today an ounce of silver is more than $16 so a minimum wage of $1 silver dollar per hour would be about the proposed $15 per hour companies claim is ‘unaffordable.

  20. Implicit
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    The robots will be taxed. It is just a matter of time and money. Pure humanoids that lose their jobs will be subsidized a portion of the 24 hour wages that the robot/computers earn for the wealthy oligarchs, Humanoids enhanced with robotic/computer adaptations-they call some of them challenged now, but there will be jealousy of many of them in the future, will be taxed at a lower rate as an incentive to get amped and/or enhanced physically and mentally,

    In the near term:
    The fed and the gov are walking from each side of the high wire. “one side is ice and the other is fire” Lleon Russell)
    If the rate gets too heated up too high, which seems to be around 3.5-3.50 on the 10 yr, the debt defaults will be huge for the gov and many companies, The economy blows up big, and we have to economically burn to death very quickly, and start ove,.
    If it goes too low and stays there the economy freezes like Japan, but it is a slow insidious decline like Japan.
    They have chosen Japan,

    • nhz
      Nov 12, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      “the robots will be taxed”: I bet they (their owners) in that case will incorporate right away in some faraway country that has zero tax on robots … it might happen for personal robots but not for those employed by multinationals or the 0.1%.

      Of companies like Google, Facebook, Apple etc. etc. get away with this, why would robots fare any worse?

  21. Bobber
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Best report yet. It cuts to the heart of the issue, which is lack of economic fairness, driven by inequality of opportunity. The Federal Reserve is advantaging the wealthy (the top 1%), to the detriment of everybody else.

    I recall a Fed member saying several years ago, in response to the wealth issue, that asset appreciation of the top 1% was a “transitory” effect of policy, implying asset values would drop when the Fed began to sell its balance sheet assets. As time has shown, however, the Fed refuses to sell a material amount of assets, for fear that it will reduce some of the wealth of the top 1%, even though unemployment and inflation are at obvious lows.

    The Federal Reserve appears to be on a policy of perpetual asset price inflation, with no way out, except a huge asset price bust and depression down the road. This is not responsible economic stewardship.

    Ironically, the Fed’s actions appear structured to maximize long-term unemployment and inflation, and minimize long-term economic growth, in circumvention of its mandate. We have already seen hyperinflation of asset prices.

    This leads to a reasonable question – is the Federal Reserve disregarding its mandate?

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:39 pm

      Unemployment numbers are nebulous at best If you look deeper at the statistics you will get a different picture

      • Bobber
        Nov 11, 2019 at 2:52 pm

        Say unemployment is higher than represented. How does the Fed’s financial repression address that?

        Does the Fed really think it can spur growth by transferring wealth from prudent investors to debtors and speculators. It’s idiotic and short-sighted. The financial instabilities will explode.

        Very simply, you don’t solve a debt problem by issuing more debt.

        More likely, the Fed understands this and is pursuing a nefarious strategy on behalf of the top 1% (Wall Street), which it communicates with every hour of every day.

        When was the last time the Fed had a discussion with representatives of Average Joe or attempted to address how its policies impact the majority of Americans?

        • Frederick
          Nov 11, 2019 at 3:35 pm

          The FED couldn’t care less about whether or not we “ Deploreables” are employed They only care about their owners the bankers and their wealthy friends in the top tier I thought everybody knew that by now by their actions

  22. M. Everett
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Greetings Wolf,

    Thank you for speaking the truth. We are now seeing so many people losing autos and homes in our area; very sad. I am personally witnessing multiple families moving into the same house, and, another thing that has been happening is people moving storage sheds on to small lots and living in them. Here is a local builder of the very buildings that are scattered all over our hills and valleys as homes now. https://countrysideportablebuilding.com/

    Regal Beloit is closing their doors in a local town, which, will have a huge impact. https://www.ky3.com/content/news/Regal-Beloit-announces-closing-of-its-West-Plains-Mo-plant-200-employees-impacted-564235491.html

    D.R.S. is a contractor in the same town (they build rail cars and military equip), they just announced last week huge layoffs coming. Hutch industries, located west of West Plains in Mansfield and Seymour, MO, is the factory I mentioned before that build trailer sliders. They have laid off more with rumor of even more to come. Tracker boats in Springfield are making cuts, and have went to a 3 day work week. I was approached last week by two different men attempting to find work – any work.

    I have a friend who has hauled heavies for Caterpillar for almost 2 decades, and, to say the bottom has fell out, would not be an understatement.

    I have lived here my whole life, and, what used to be a productive place is no longer. We used to have hundreds of little dairy farms and many clothing factories. Each little town had hardware stores like Otasco, Western Auto, and, also new car and tractor dealerships; most are gone. The Ozarks, without school teachers, police, state workers, utilities and, “welfare,” is DEAD. A business man in Springfield, told me just last week, they found 6 homeless people living in a small wooded area on their property. Since the 1970’s, southern Missouri, like much of the country, has been in steady decline regardless of who holds office.

    A local county commissioner told me that without federal money it would be impossible to maintain the county. A school board member told me the same thing concerning the financial status of the school. It makes me so sick I want to vomit because it didn’t used to be this way.

    My farm is paid for, and, we do have a good business, of which I am thankful. We still garden, can vegetables, cut our own firewood for heat, and, butcher our own beef, deer etc. That being said, there are many who are not so fortunate; so, every time I hear some horses’ arse say the economy is good, and that “WE” are not in a depression, I want to invite them to come and take a drive with this part of “WE”. Yeah, I would take them to alot of places that they can’t imagine exists, like an elderly lady ten miles from me who still has a dirt floor. But, then I would get them on a back road, punch them in the mouth, kick their sorry arse out of my truck, and, let them find their way back from a scene that resembles something from the movie Deliverance. Oh, and, I would holler out the window as I departed, “Don’t forget we are not in a recession, or depression, or, whatever the heck you want to call it!”

    Again, thank you for your analysis, and I will be mailing you a contribution tomorrow.

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      M. Everett,

      Thanks for the boots-on-the-ground report. Glad your farm is still doing ok and is debt-free. That’s a biggie now. Lots of problems right now with farm loans going bad. Shadow banks have moved in with high-interest rate loans because farm lenders are getting reluctant to lend. And farmers are on the debt-hook. You can lose the farm that way.

      “…and I will be mailing you a contribution tomorrow.” Thank you!!!

    • Xabier
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Reminds me of when Roosevelt told Jimmy Warburg, the banker, to take a road trip and see some real life for a change…..

    • DawnsEarlyLight
      Nov 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      Rent to own sheds! Says it all.

  23. Iamafan
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    There might be a simple solution to all this. Let them fail. The Fed should just step aside and allow their Balance Sheet to get smaller. Let it fall wherever it can fall.

    • Kent
      Nov 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      Problem is that the billionaires become millionaires, and the thousandaires become homeless and destitute. And most folks are actually thousandaires.

  24. Keepcalmeverythingisfine
    Nov 11, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    OK, we all know what the Fed bank did and will continue to do and how it affects just about everything. If one were to calculate the asset inflation rate where you live it would give you an idea of how fast your wealth is being destroyed if you were still in cash 100%. Say you had your wealth divided up between stocks, bonds, gold coins, and real estate (no cash). This year S&P 500 is up about 20%, typical investment grade bond funds are up 18%, Gold is up about 11%, and where I live real estate is about flat. That’s a lot of asset inflation! Now in the back of your head you are thinking the rug could get pulled out any day now and it will all come crashing down, just like in 2000 and 2009. However, those crashes were before QE. Now that QE is commonly used to prevent any liquidity problem we are in a whole new ballgame. Based on recent Fed actions, and comments by the new head of ECB, the QE spigot will open wherever/whenever there is a liquidity problem. Invest and plan accordingly. Complaining about the Fed is not going to help you. Re-hashing all the ill effects of Fed actions over the past many years will not help you. Complaining about the oligopolies created by Fed/Government actions will not help you. We are on our own in a whole new investing environment. All of the old valuation metrics, allocation strategies, and principals of finance are mostly useless to us now. Reversion to the mean you say? What is the “mean” now with trillions of liquidity pumped into the financial system? Maybe some algo can figure that out but I sure can’t. The next “crash” will be met with massive QE, and asset prices will be inflated. Period.

    • Bobber
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      So you think “QE forever” is feasible? This conclusion would rest on many unanswered questions, such as:

      How will inflation be controlled?

      How long can debt growth exceed GDP growth?

      How long can $1T-plus federal deficits continue?

      Won’t pension funds go broke?

      Can the wealth gap continue to expand without a popular outcry?

      What happens if investors turn risk-averse, creating a tidal wave that drowns the Fed?

      How can the Fed continue to stimulate the economy when bumping against the zero bound?

      • Keepcalmeverythingisfine
        Nov 11, 2019 at 2:34 pm

        The answer to everyone of these questions is more QE, it is just a matter of where the money is funneled. Natives restless? Give them some QE this time (helicopter money). Investors pulling back, use QE to buy stocks and bonds (FOMO) and they will be back in force. It is happening now as we speak. I would not call it “QE forever,” more like “QE on demand.” We crossed the Rubicon with QE, and there is no going back, and the Fed knew this when they did it. Just like when Nixon closed the gold window, we never went back. The QE game can go on for a very long time.

        • Bobber
          Nov 11, 2019 at 3:17 pm

          There’s a reason why there has been no QE or fiscal stimulus given to Average Joe. Inflation would explode, and the whole house of cards would fall apart.

          You can give QE and tax breaks to the wealthy, because they accumulate wealth and don’t spend it. It simply expands the wealth divide. There will no trickle down to Average Joe, but the Fed does not report to him.

      • Gershom
        Nov 11, 2019 at 8:02 pm

        How can the Fed continue to stimulate the economy when bumping against the zero bound?

        The Fed isn’t “stimulating” the economy. It’s only stimulating its own asset bubbles and Ponzi markets, in preparation for the next Great Muppet Reaping, while the real, productive economy is being looted and asset-stripped by the Fed’s Wall Street grifter accomplices.

      • FromKS
        Nov 12, 2019 at 9:54 am

        >How will inflation be controlled?

        Hedonic adjustments will be used, inflation always stubbornly below 2%.

        • nhz
          Nov 12, 2019 at 2:10 pm

          not only that: if you make sure that ordinary people have to spend almost all their income on housing, healthcare insurance, education and a few other government-controlled expenses, they have nothing left to drive up the price of daily purchases like those that are tracked by the CPI. And of course the CPI basket will be cleverly adjusted to take maximum advantage of this.

          If you think there is no inflation look at the price for what the 0.1% buys; it’s more like +20% per year, at least – admittedly, cocaine and some similar stuff is going down in price but that’s probably because it is no longer for the elites ;)

    • RD Blakeslee
      Nov 11, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      Do I infer that asset inflation will continue without end?

      I don’t think so – there’s a mathematical limit – physical phenomena described by exponential curves cannot go to infinity.

      “The numbers are going to get larger much faster than they have in the past. One thing is certain: the point is fast approaching where the amount of new debt being issued will quickly overwhelm the system, which is laboring now from the strain.” Len Penzo

      https://lenpenzo.com/blog/id57700-black-coffee-9-nov-2019.html#comments

      • Wisdom Seeker
        Nov 11, 2019 at 7:40 pm

        RD I called you out on this before but you’re making the same error.

        Money is just numbers. Numbers can go as high as you like, just ask Zimbabwe.

        The actual value of assets, expressed in useful units, certainly is finite, but that’s not what inflation is about. Inflation is about making sure that what you own stays the same and what they own increases in price, so they control more of the asset base.

        • RD Blakeslee
          Nov 12, 2019 at 9:01 am

          No, I’m not in error – I have highlighted, not an absolute number limit, but a limit in any real system on an exponentially increasing curve of the RATE at which its increase can be accommodated.

  25. Leslie
    Nov 11, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks Wolf. I get it. Now how do I make more money? I experienced the current environment in early/mid 2000s. Chase called me to Chicago to explain that they’d lost ALL my invested money in what is now called MBS’s. Luckily, in those days 100% was (government negotiated) reimbursed. Upon analysis, I decided my new overarching strategy was to simply “bet WITH the Fed”. Meaning hard pivot to leveragable government back-stopped assets. For me that mostly meant the purchase of multifamily rentals. Many other people saw and did exactly the same. So Fast forward a decade. It’s been a slow easy to read train wreck. I expect shades of the same money-system for the next decade. I know how we got here. I know where we’re going. But now, EXACTLY how do the top 49% protect, elevate and accelerate our net wealth? Stay all-in with the Fed? Pivot to asset protection? Minimize tax exposure? Strategy is not as simple as it once was.

    • nhz
      Nov 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm

      Many people in Netherlands and some other EU countries are thinking like you: go with the flow, believe the BS and instead of getting 0,01% interest on your savings account and having 1.2-2% of your wealth taxed away every year (Netherlands has a wealth tax worse than what Pocahontas proposes, only it isn’t called a wealth tax), buy properties to rent out and make an easy tax-free 5 or 10% (that’s what they assume) and along the ride make out big time thanks to automatic 10% or so yearly appreciation of the property.

      But renters in the free market are now paying over 50% of their income on rent, for often really POS properties that are sometimes way below the quality that any foreign migrant or people on social security would accept. In reality, you can be lucky if you get net 2% return on rental real estate. Of course valuations are still surging here so it all looks like easy money, and most people who own rentals make more money than people with a day job. They are boasting about their profits like some people playing with tech stocks in 1999. But in reality many are sitting on HUGELY overvalued properties (with huge loans) that depend on QE forever.

      You can bet with the FED or ECB but from now on it is pure Ponzi because none of the valuations of these investments makes any sense.

  26. Kiers
    Nov 11, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    The “genius” of the Trumpf administration is to take “race” and throw it into the mix, to further occupy the mindspace of the bottom 50% while Tim Cook (avoids tarffs) Bill Gates(investor in prisons, brokered deal helping Huawei) and private prisons “make deals”. Sarah Palin 2020!

  27. Jack2
    Nov 11, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    OMG, this is not going to end good. Wolf, are you in handcuffs yet for telling it like it is?

  28. Nov 11, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    The real economy is handcuffed to the speculative, Wall St. economy. Can you blame the Fed? If the Titanic goes down those in steerage get out last, or not at all. You want to ask which politician is responsible, there is no wealth redistribution plan because there is no plan. Dalio makes the argument (specious) that capitalism doesn’t work for everybody which infers that socialism does. Only thing is, it works better for some than for others.

    • Unamused
      Nov 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      The real economy is handcuffed to the speculative, Wall St. economy.

      Wall St. is holding the real US economy upside down and flogging it to shake the money out. Greece was just for practice.

    • nhz
      Nov 12, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      socialism worked great for Wall Street; they would have been wiped out under real capitalism ;(

  29. Augusto
    Nov 11, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Wolf, I don’t know what is scarier, how far the 1% will go or how far the 99% will let them get to. Its like reading about some Roman Emperor who keeps taking and taking, indulging his fancies at everyone else’s expense, going further and further, until something or someone finally snaps, and then….chaos….

    • Frederick
      Nov 11, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      It’s a good question and I hope to live long enough to see the results Or maybe NOT

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      Eventually, something has to give.

      • Trinacria
        Nov 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm

        The question is when? I thought by now this thing would have cratered as it seems so detached from reality. When it eventually does , just a simple mean reversion will really be MEAN !!! As you have pointed out in an earlier article, companies are loading up on debt to buy back shares. On the balance sheet the net worth remains unchanged at first as a a result of this transaction. Could be a real problem for these corps when share price starts to crater…just ask GE. On the income statement it gives the illusion of increasing EPS, but much debt was taken on to do that. I read where the insiders have been getting out, the corps are loaded with debt, the “little guy” gets in…so does the little guy once again end up being the “bag holder” in this game??? Thanks for a great report.

        • Trinacria
          Nov 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm

          one more thought: as an example of bag holders….I just read that someone who purchased either Intel or Cisco (significant companies) in 1999, and held those shares, would still not be even today. I checked the charts on those shares and that is indeed true. In Sept. of 1929 didn’t the Fed chair (Fischer) state that stock were on a permanently high plateau? So, are the people now entering these nutty markets the current day “bag holders”?

        • nhz
          Nov 12, 2019 at 2:25 pm

          @Trinacria

          The same can be said for many EU stock markets. Despite an epic rally in the last few years, the Dutch stock market (heavy on tech and financials two decades ago) is still 15% below the top from 2000. Even when adjusting for dividends, holding cash would have produced a better outcome (although with the new QE regimen that is a thing of the past …).

    • NBay
      Nov 13, 2019 at 1:09 am

      Biological (or even chemical systems, like virus, prion, or less) that were TOO good at predation disappeared when the availability of prey did, whether “living” prey or not.

      Some sort of balance is a surviving “formula”, I would guess.

  30. vinyl1
    Nov 11, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    You said it: “the stock market is open to all”. In fact, it has out-performed private equity and leveraged loans. If the middle and upper middle class had invested aggressively in the stock market at the bottom, or even in the middle, they would have made a lot of money.

    But in order to do this, you actually have to have some level of investing skill. Knowing how to analyze corporate financials and business models will allow you to select likely stocks and make money.

    • Sunny129
      Nov 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm

      ‘Knowing how to analyze corporate financials and business models will allow you to select likely stocks and make money.’

      NO. You don’t!

      If one had put money BLINDLY on S&P Etf and rode behind Fed’s put, since March of ’09, s/he would have made over 300% in less than 10 yrs! The wonders of Crony Capitalism supported by Fed!

      • nhz
        Nov 12, 2019 at 2:28 pm

        of course most of the little people were selling in 2009, just like in 2001, and not buying. From what I know in Europe, most of the small investors didn’t start buying until a few years after the “crash” and they typically buy most near the top.

        timing (or call it luck) trumps fundamentals in this market.

  31. Bruce Turton
    Nov 11, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    As former President Ike Eisenhauer warned in 1960, “beware the military-industrial complex”. Word later came that he wanted to include “Congress” as part of the triad of danger to the U.S. But his ‘warning’ was really nothing new, and having not been heeded in any way, but reinforced the ‘status quo’ by the totality of governments (and the education systems), this is where we are at. As Audre Lorde famously said, “The master’s tools can never dismantle the master’s house.”

    Rutherford B. Hayes (11 March 1888) – 19th President of the United States.
    “The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of working men. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations. — How is this?”

    • Gershom
      Nov 11, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Go to YouTube and watch George Carlin’s “It’s a big club and you aren’t in it” monologue. Carlin was a prophet unappreciated in his own time.

  32. Gershom
    Nov 11, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Social unrest is going viral from Hong Kong to Chile for the same reason: younger generations who have been screwed over by the .1% and their central bank accomplices are starting to lash out at a system that offers them only debt peonage on the globalists’ incorporated neoliberal plantation. By rigging the game to their own advantage to facilitate the financial strip-mining of the 99%, the rapacious elites may have unintentionally sown the seeds of their own destruction.

    • Trinacria
      Nov 11, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      No question…”they” (elites) are creating people who have nothing to lose. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose !!!!

      • Lisa_Hooker
        Nov 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm

        Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose. Freedom ain’t worth nothin’, but it’s free.

    • Frederick
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:40 am

      Same as it’s always been History rhyming again

  33. M. Everett
    Nov 11, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Its not all bad, depends on where you live. But like I said, it has been in steady decline for decades. Not very long ago a man could raise a family milking 12 Jersey cows and have a few sows and chickens. Trying to start a Dairy farm today in the Ozarks is absolute financial suicide.

    • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:20 am

      It would probably work going “seriously” back-to-the-land as in get a big enough piece of it with wood, water, etc., raise your crops and animals for your own consumption and gifting to neighbors, and earn what “cash money” you need working online, making crafts or gathering natural materials to sell on sites like Etsy or Ebay, maybe doing some seasonal work.

  34. Gershom
    Nov 11, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

  35. Guy D Chun
    Nov 11, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    Has anyone calculated the compounded returns on a 6% annual dividend distributed to the FED shareholders? It must be enormous.

    • Gershom
      Nov 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      Has anyone calculated how many billions in interest earnings savers have been bilked out of by the Fed’s artificially suppressed rates since 2009?

      • Nov 11, 2019 at 7:22 pm

        Gershom,

        Sort of. With $10 trillion in savings products currently at US banks, each 1% in interest rate repression means $100 billion per year that savers are being bilked out of.

        In 2009, there were about $4 trillion in savings products. So if the average over those 10 years is $7 trillion in savings products, and interest rate repression (the difference between the rate actually paid and the rate that would have been paid without the Fed’s intervention) amounted to an average of 3%, the total that savers have gotten bilked out of over those 10 years would be about $2.1 trillion.

        • Gershom
          Nov 11, 2019 at 7:59 pm

          Thank you, Wolf. So savers and the responsible are getting royally screwed so the .1% can concentrate all wealth and power in their own corrupt hands. Why do we even bother still calling ourselves a republic instead of an oligarchy?

        • Lisa_Hooker
          Nov 12, 2019 at 1:52 pm

          If the banks still payed interest at the same rates that they did while I spent 35 years saving, I, now in my dotage, would be spending an additional $1200-1500 per month into the economy. Instead I find myself still saving.

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm

      Guy D Chun,

      I haven’t calculated it. But it might less than what people think.

      The 6% annual dividend was lowered in 2016: The Fed now pays its shareholder financial institutions with $10 billion or more in assets a rate of 6% or the prevailing 10-year Treasury auction rate, whichever is less. So at the current rate, it would be about 1.9%. For small banks, the 6% dividend still applies.

      The dividend percentage is applied to each bank’s “paid-in” capital stock, with the big banks having paid in most of the capital.

      Total “paid-in” capital is now around $32 billion. So maybe 90% or more of all dividend payments are made to US banks with assets of over $10 billion (JPM’s assets exceed $2 trillion). Of that $32 billion in paid-in capital, 90% would be $29 billion, which would trigger a dividend at the 10-year Treasury rate. If this is 2%, those banks combined would receive $580 million in annual dividends. The smaller banks would get 6% of $3 billion, or $180 million in annual dividends.

      In the past, the paid-in capital was smaller: for example, $18 billion in 2007 and $9 billion in 2004. But the dividends were based on 6% across the board. For example, in 2014, paid-in capital was $28.5 billion, and the Fed paid a total of $1.7 billion in dividends.

      These dividends get spread over the several thousand banks that are Federal Reserve member banks.

    • Ensign_Nemo
      Nov 11, 2019 at 11:44 pm

      It’s easy to do.

      Open a calculator on a computer or smartphone, or grab an old-fashioned handheld calculator (if you are an old nerd).

      Type in 1.06 (this is “x”).

      Hit “x to the y” (the y is a superscript, above and to the right of the x).

      Type in how many years as the “y”.

      1.06 to the 1 = $1.06, a 6% return after a year.

      For ten years, it’s $1.79, a 79% gain.

      For the 106 years since the passage of the law that created the Fed in 1913, which would be paid near the end of next month if they use that as their payment day, it’s $481.31, or almost a 500-fold increase.

      One dollar invested in the Fed in 1913, if re-invested and never taxed, gets you almost five Benjamins today.

      Interestingly, the value of a dollar has fallen by about 96% since then, according to one source. A dollar today is the equivalent of about 3.856 cents in 1913. Thus, the ‘real’ gain is reduced to 481.31 * 0.03856 = 18.55, which is still a huge increase, almost a Jackson for a Washington, rather than five Benjamins for a Washington.

      http://www.in2013dollars.com/1913-dollars-in-2019

      • Ensign_Nemo
        Nov 12, 2019 at 12:13 am

        Oops, I missed the change in the law in 2016, so that reduces the big bank returns for the past few years to about 1.9% or so, according to Wolf.

        The banks that are under the $10B cap still get the 6% rate.

  36. breamrod
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:01 pm

    minimum wage in 1968 69 was 1.50 not 2.90. You had a great job if you made 2.90.

    • Frederick
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:45 am

      Guess so I was a yard worker at a local lumberyard ( was pre Home Depot era) and could pull in 30 dollars on a good Saturday in tips) but it was in a wealthy suburb of NYC

    • NBay
      Nov 13, 2019 at 1:45 am

      Pretty sure minimum W-2 wage was $1.25 summer ’65, what I was making on my first W-2. Cut firewood and ignored taxman before that, and can’t remember what paper routes paid, was an alternate on two for 2-3 years in late grade school & 7th.

  37. WES
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    It just seems to me that the 1% really hit their stride when Nixon cut the dollar’s last remaining ties to gold.

    My Father thought he would live to see the collapse but he didn’t.

    Now I seriously doubt I will live long enough.

    I wonder now if my children will see the collapse in their life times?

    • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:22 am

      I think he saw it, you’re seeing it, and they’ll see it.

      This is it. This is the collapse. This is what collapse looks like. Just a long slow grind downward.

    • Frederick
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:47 am

      Wes I’m 65 and starting to think the same thing but who knows Things seem to be accelerating as of late

  38. Keepcalmeverythingisfine
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    All references to 1929, 1987, 2000, 2009 are not valid now and we cannot rely on the outcome of a debt bubble to be the same as then because we have entered the age of QE. It is a different animal. It allows massive debt to be absorbed and consequences to be limited. We may get a 10-20% correction, and then the QE spigot will be turned on and markets will be allowed to live another day. The day of reckoning, if any of us live long enough to see it, will be a classic exchange on $1m “old dollars” for one “new dollar.” This is likely to be decades away. Even Warren Buffet has $128b in dry powder waiting for an opportunity, and his returns for the past few years have badly under-performed the S&P 500. An event like buying the March low in 2009 (which I did) cannot happen in the age of QE. Like I said earlier, it appeared that QE was over for good until the Fed stepped into the Repo market in September and then re-started QE shortly after. That was when “QE On Demand” was born, and we are going to see more of it. A little here, a little there, and it can be administered for a very long time. We must change our expectations.

    • unit472
      Nov 11, 2019 at 8:37 pm

      There used to be this woman who who ran TV ads promoting investing directly with a company and reinvesting the dividends they paid back into more shares of that same company. It was the ultimate buy and hold strategy and you paid no fees or commissions doing it. I did this and put $5000 in Dominion Energy in 2000. It sells natural gas and electricity. That $5000 is now worth over $28,000 and pays out over $100 per month in dividends.

      This maybe what limits QE. At some point people will lose faith in the currency of states doing it. Shares of Microsoft, Apple, Toyota and other blue chip multinationals will have more value than Yen, Dollars or Euros. Do I want dollars or shares in companies with actual value. Gold performs the same role. It won’t give you spectacular returns ( and its taxed as a collectible not an investment) but it holds it value as compared to currency.

    • Bobber
      Nov 11, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      You speak of QE as though it is some new fangled idea. There’s a reason why QE wasn’t used in the past. Government officials were smarter then, and less desperate.

    • Xabier
      Nov 12, 2019 at 4:49 am

      True, and the ability to keep this nonsense going since 2008 has surpassed all reasonable, expectations: but further monetary indulgence might now lead to a collapse in the currencies of the weaker states in the system – one thinks of the UK above all,

  39. DR DOOM
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Which will get “fixed” first this or the PG&E bird nest outside your window. We won’t be holding our breath for either .

  40. Gold is just..gold
    Nov 11, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    So many informed, intelligent & interesting comments, akin perhaps to ZH in its (very) early days.. may WS prosper/stay in control.

    Allow me to step outside the square with what millions of Buddhists, Hindus – and others believe:

    There Are No Accidents In The Universe

    So where does that leave this economic debate?

    • Unamused
      Nov 11, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      So where does that leave this economic debate?

      Largely irrelevant. “A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep.” Certainly not while they’re gorging.

  41. Gershom
    Nov 11, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    “Saving is the act of the individual consumer and consists in the negative act of refraining from spending the whole of his current income on consumption.”

    — John Maynard Keynes, economic charlatan and ideological guiding light to the Keynesian fraudsters at the Federal Reserve

    • NBay
      Nov 13, 2019 at 2:06 am

      Classical Economics was Poly-Sci….political decision making and agendas.

      There is no Nobel prize for either, they are not sciences according to the Nobels.

      Cold fusion folks were charlatans….it’s my opinion the “small sun on earth” effort is also.

  42. Nov 11, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    Whenever the Fed Funds Rate is rising,
    the homeless population explodes,
    all hopped-up on drugs, young-n-horny,
    stealing ( with impunity ) left-n-right.

    Years later, the stock market takes a bow,
    dipping down a bit before climbing back up.
    It’s 100% synthetic, predictable.

    • Frederick
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:50 am

      Trouble with your theory is the FED funds rate isn’t rising and yet homelessness or near homelessness is exploding in the Western world anyway

  43. Just Some Random Guy
    Nov 11, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    And once again, another record close for he DJIA. Seems like an inverse relationship between how well the markets do and how much fear there is out in the blogosphere.

    • Nov 11, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      So how exactly do you think the record close is going to help the bottom 50% of households in terms of wealth, that together own 2.2% of all stocks and stock mutual funds because they live from paycheck to paycheck, given that they have to spend too much of their money on housing, health care, education, and other things, and have nothing left over to invest? As pointed out with ample clarity in the podcast.

      Oh I understand. Not your problem. As long as you get your record close of the DOW (the S&P 500 and Nasdaq didn’t have a record close BTW). That’s the only thing that matters. I get that by now.

      • Xabier
        Nov 12, 2019 at 4:45 am

        An attitude known in Britain as: ‘I’m alright, Jack. Stuff you!’

        Jack, on the whole, does not tend to take such arrogance lying down for long ……

        The fantasy economy of stocks and cheap debt has long since disconnected from the real economy: but the real economy, being stubbornly physical, will reassert itself against mere fantasy in due course.

        Those who complacently view themselves as being among the secure top 20% will have quite a nasty shock one day, and find that fear and despair are very real indeed.

        Even the great, princely, banking house of Warburg in Germany was almost wiped out by the 1929 crash: when money goes, it goes…

  44. Trinacria
    Nov 11, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    I wonder if Mr. Random Guy will think it is his problem when so many desperate people (many created as a result of these crazy and immoral Fed policies) cast their votes in favor of socialistic/statist candidates and policies and we all start marching toward the Venezuela model. Most people don’t want handouts, rather a level playing field so they can simply take care of themselves and their families through their work/efforts. When money is not priced fairly (interest rates) all kinds of stupid and immoral things start to happen….Immoral because it harms the more vulnerable in society. This will come back and haunt everyone, even the 1%. I promise you.

  45. Ensign_Nemo
    Nov 12, 2019 at 12:05 am

    I do wonder what would happen if people gradually adopt a universally recognized cryptocurrency that has a stable value, and allows them to simply bypass all fiat currencies.

    Taxation, which is paid in fiat, ties everyone into the banking system. Otherwise, people could trade in wampum, or barter for their everyday needs.

    In the dying days of the Roman Empire, the silver-based currency was debased repeatedly. The denarius, a coin which originally had a 95% silver content, had more and more cheap metal mixed into it until it was a copper coin with a thin silver plating around it.

    The army insisted on being paid in gold by that time, and killed any emperor who refused. The empire then refused to accept its own silver coinage and demanded payment of taxes in gold. This destroyed what was left of the productive classes, as only the elite and the army had any gold coins.

    In Weimar Germany people spent their paychecks within the hour because overnight inflation rates were more then 50%, and waiting until the next day meant that they could not afford to buy enough food to eat.

    I wonder if something like Bitcoin will someday be the only payment accepted by the IRS, while the Fed keeps printing dollars by the billions and trillions, and nongovernment workers get paid in evaporating dollars that must be converted to Bitcoin immediately to be spent on necessary goods and services.

    • alex in San Jose AKA Digital Detroit
      Nov 12, 2019 at 3:27 am

      Crypocurrencies are not money to 99% of the world’s population. Good solid metal coins you can hold in your hand, are.

      • medialAxis
        Nov 12, 2019 at 2:08 pm

        Ever tried spending gold? Online or off?

        • Nov 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm

          But dollars work great for spending.

  46. Trinacria
    Nov 12, 2019 at 12:37 am

    So Ensign, do you wonder what would happen if we simply promoted and encouraged honest behavior and shunned bad behavior with total antipathy ? A new system will not save us at this point. If the people would lead in enough numbers, the leaders will follow. We can start by cutting back what is under each of our control… unnecessary mindless consumption and stop incurring so much debt as a society…in short simply one’s life. It is very satisfying. This “orc” (monster) needs to be brought down peacefully and through honest behavior (or virtuous behavior as Plato would say). The image that comes to mind in in the 2nd Lord of Rings movie (Two Towers) when the orc was running with the torch toward the gun power….Aragorn yells at Legolas: “bring him down”….yes, we will suffer as a society initially, but not as much as when this massive juggernaut of debt comes our way and we as a society has done nothing to prepare!!! I have no doubt we are looking at a replay of the 1930’s…the FED know this – they know they have a tiger by the tail, but they will not deviate course which will only make the final explosion that much worse. I feel this in my bones. I hope folks will start coming to their senses.

    • Ensign_Nemo
      Nov 12, 2019 at 7:14 am

      The elite are trying to figure out what the commoners will do once it becomes obvious to all that the dollar is dying. If people can sidestep the entire system either by barter or by cryptocurrency, then the bankers will become just another group of middlemen that have been disintermediated by changing tech and customs.

      I noticed that the IRS will require everyone to state if they own any cryptocurrencies on their income tax forms next year. It should be interesting when everyone with a Brave browser or a Minds.com account says “yes” because they have a few coins here or there :)

      More seriously, something like Libra, the attempt by Facebook to create a new cryptocurrency, will probably be used to trick people into using an easily trackable and thus easily taxable crypto, so that they can be herded into the pens and slaughtered by the tax men after the dollar collapses.

      Venezuelans who have some crypto or other means of storing wealth outside the clutches of their corrupt government are not starving, those who have only bolivars are malnourished. This will be the fate of Americans at some point in our future. Socialism combined with central banking eventually allows the banking/government parasites to kill their hosts, unless the hosts can shake them off.

      • nhz
        Nov 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm

        Currencies are dying and the same could happen with crypto when the system starts to fall apart; good luck cashing your crypto when the electricity net or the web breaks down. The only thing of real value would be productive assets and there are few of those that would hold value in dire times; most factories and capital goods would not qualify either when there is massive unrest and all kinds of infrastructure failure. Venezuelans are lucky if they can get by somehow thanks to some neighbor countries that still have functioning infrastructure. Citizens in first world countries won’t be so lucky when SHTF.

  47. GimmeSummaThutMonez
    Nov 12, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    Um Wolf, you might want to change your article title to “Fed and Pres”, per the stable genius comments today, November 12, 2019:

    “We are actively competing with nations who openly cut interest rates so that now many are actually getting paid when they pay off their loan, known as negative interest,” he said. “Who ever heard of such a thing?”

    “Give me some of that,” he said. “Give me some of that money. I want some of that money.”

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