Gimme a break, will ya? Wherein I rant, supported by the Fed’s own data.
By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.
In an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal, Fed Chair Jerome Powell rationalized and defended the Fed’s ultra-radical, previously unthinkably monstrous, and super-fast bailout of asset holders starting a year ago, when within three months the Fed created $3 trillion and purchased assets with them, and created the biggest media hoopla about those purchases and many more trillions in future purchases, in order to inflate asset prices further, and make asset holders immensely rich.
It was a huge success. Asset prices nearly across the board surged way past the levels before the crisis, and those holding them got a lot richer, very fast.
And Powell therefore concluded his op-ed with this line: “I truly believe that we will emerge from this crisis stronger and better, as we have done so often before.”
The “we” being the asset holders, the richest asset holders at the very top; and the “we” excluding the bottom 50% of Americans, according to the Fed’s own data, which we’ll get to in a moment.
The reports and data are coming out of the woodwork from all directions. Oxfam said that the combined wealth of the world’s top 10 billionaires has skyrocketed by $540 billion since the crisis began. GOBankingRates came up with a list of the biggest gainers in net worth between March 18, 2020, and October 7. The Americans on this list:
- Jeff Bezos (+$72.6 billion);
- Elon Musk (+$63.3 billion);
- Mark Zuckerberg (+$42.1 billion);
- MacKenzie Scott (+$23.6 billion);
- Steve Ballmer (+$18.5 billion);
- Larry Ellison (+$19.9 billion);
- Nike founder Phil Knight & Family (+$19.8 billion);
- Bill Gates ($17.8 billion); Michael Dell (+$15.6 billion)
The Fed’s own data on the Fed’s handiwork: ballooning wealth disparity.
The Federal Reserve collects data on its handiwork of creating the greatest wealth disparity of all times, and Powell surely has looked at these reports put together by the outfit he runs. According to which the total wealth (assets minus debt) spreads out this way:
Let’s dive into the Fed’s handiwork a little more deeply, which gets worse the deeper we dive:
- The top 10% in Q4 2020 were $8.01 trillion richer than before the crisis; half of those gains ($4 trillion) were pocketed by the top 1%.
- The bottom 50% gained only $471 billion in wealth, spread across half of the US population.
- The wealth disparity between the top 10% and the bottom 50% ballooned by $7.5 trillion during the crisis.
Even worse: The wealth disparity per capita.
If the US population is 330 million, then 1% = 3.3 million people; and 50% = 165 million people. And so, per capita, at those levels (wealth = assets minus debt):
- Wealth of the 1% = $11,700,814 per person (up by $1.22 million from Q4 2019)
- Wealth of the bottom 50% = $15,065 per person (up by $2,851 from Q4 2019)
And so from Q4 2019 to Q4 2020, the wealth disparity between the 1% and the bottom 50% has ballooned by $1.1 million per person.
Even worse: Most of the “wealth” of the bottom 50% is in cars and other stuff, not actual assets.
The Fed’s measure of “wealth” includes the value of cars, dishwashers, furniture, smartphones, and other consumer durable goods that people have. But durable goods are not assets that earn a return or grow in value. They’re consumption items, and their value shrinks over time to zero or salvage value.
Per capita at the bottom 50%, the value of durable goods averages $8,920 per person, or nearly 60% of their total wealth. That portion of their wealth cannot earn a return or grow in value.
Their wealth related to actual assets that can earn a return is just $6,140 per person of the bottom 50%. These crumbs may be inadvertently increased by the Fed’s asset bubble. So if asset prices surge by 20% across the board, the bottom 50% would pocket just $1,228, while someone worth $2 billion would pocket $400 million.
This potential income doesn’t even include the powerful impact of leverage, to which the top 10% have much greater and cheaper access than the bottom 50%.
In other words, according to the Fed’s own data, the bottom 50% have nearly no income-producing assets, and cannot gain any measurable wealth from the Fed’s shenanigans.
The year’s gain in durable goods that the bottom 50% own is likely attributable to the factors we have observed for months: Stimulus payments, extra unemployment payments, and the shift in spending from services (flights, hotels, cruises, restaurants, sports events, movie theaters, haircuts, etc.) to durable goods that triggered the record spike in spending on durable goods.
The bottom 50% spent this money on durable goods, and now the Fed counts this stuff as an increase in “wealth.” And this money came from the government and from a shift in spending, and not from the Fed.
Even worse: ownership of stocks and equity funds.
- The top 10% own $29.6 trillion in stocks and equity funds, or 88.5% of the total, or $10 million per person.
- The bottom 90% own 3.8 trillion, or 11.5% of the total, or $11,600 per person
- The bottom 50% don’t own hardly any stocks, just $190 billion, or $1,150 per person.
So when the Fed decided to create the largest asset bubble the world has ever seen, it knew who owned those assets, and who would benefit. The Fed itself is generating the reports on who owns these assets and who therefore benefits from policies that inflate these assets.
Mr. Powell, do you see that we see that you see that we know that inflating asset bubbles is designed from get-go to inflate the wealth of the very rich, and the remainder of the Americans get to eat dust?
Even worse: for the Bottom 50%, life gets more expensive.
There are the negative consequences of the Fed’s asset bubble policies for the bottom 50%: Life gets more expensive. Housing costs surge, and other prices surge too, and buying those durable goods gets more expensive, and thereby the Fed, with its inflation goals, is cutting the purchasing power of labor of the bottom 50%.
Those are the consequences of the Fed’s policies. And the Fed is assiduously tracking and touting those consequences.
Even worse: Congress.
Of course, Congress could crack down on the Fed. But the members of Congress are either already in the top 10% or are trying to get there asap when they join Congress, and so they too benefit from the Fed’s policies, and will therefore never crack down on the Fed, regardless of what their stated policies may be.
End of rant.
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Sorry to repeat a comment from yesterday but it fits.
This is from a piece on ZH by Dylan Grice: ‘The bubble is just beginning’
As far as linking the Fed’s obsession with CPI, while ignoring wild speculation, this one nails it.
Up to the 29 Great Crash, the 1999 Dot.com Nasdaq Crash, the 2008 Housing Crash (that almost took down the world’s banks ), the Fed was complacent in each case AND said why: the CPI was showing no signs of excess. The Fed Chairs respectively were: Strong, Greenspan, Bernanke.
The message for Powell could not be clearer: a benign CPI is a very poor predictor of looming disaster.
It does not respond to the lowest real interest rates in 500 years, even as speculation goes to extremes not seen in 500 years. (At least tulips were real)
And tulips are edible too.
Tulip petals…can take the Place of Onions in cooking..lol
Dont eat the black ones… they are the most valuable.
Amen. I also particularly love Wolf’s rant in this article. I do believe that we are going to see a huge economic crash and potentially, a depression. On the lighter side, while I do not want to be viewed as defending the claims of the head of the banksters’ (not government owned) toxic, parasite, the “Federal” Reserve, since Americans will hopefully finally tire of hosting parasites, the USA will not necessarily continue in decline as some have gleefully claimed.
Currently, we are definitely declining. That is true. However, the USA has massive, natural resources, hosts a population with great wealth (mainly in the top 3%), and our country is underpopulated compared to others. It also faces a demographic cliff as more people retire and the younger generations cannot afford to support them (like the CCP’s mismanaged China) but it can get out of these problems with time after a probable depression if it is led well.
It merely has to allow more immigration, assist US parents who have more children, and establish a sovereign wealth fund to copy the CCP’s China by establishing, funding, and overseeing economic zones to encourage investment, with subsidies to encourage high technology development in those zones, while taxing the foreign income of the ultra-rich to pay for those subsidies. Some of the companies of the ultra rich have not paid taxes for decades, so they could now be forced to pay a 49% tax on all foreign income upon which they have not already paid US taxes. See “How Does Apple Avoid Taxes?” in Forbes Magazine.
Ideally, we should get the EU to imitate this or the ultra rich will just flee to the EU to avoid taxation as some fled to Russia to avoid French taxes. While the average human beings that are immigrants are fine to provide workers, to ensure that there is a large pool of extremely talented individuals among the immigrants, instead of the investor visa (which I would call the immigration program to allow high and mid-level organized crime leaders into the USA, who have no convictions yet), it could test immigrants for ability and perseverance and if they have higher abilities and test positive for perseverance, even provide scholarships to them.
After decades as an attorney, I opine that it is more often perseverance than just talent that has led to success in establishing enterprises, etc. Those scholarships could be paid by taxing the gigantic endowments of the universities of the ultra rich in the USA.
The key point is that the enormous wealth of the USA still exists and is in the hands of the few, ultra rich who have been using it for their own best interests and against America’s best interests (e.g., by investing it in factories in China using quasi-slave labor and giving them high technology that can then be used to arm the CCP’s PLA) due to political corruption: the exclusion of foreign earned income from US taxation of Americans. See Simon Johnson’s “The Quiet Coup.” It is time to take that power and wealth back, which has been growing tax-free for decades while legitimate companies like Ford and others have been paying their US income taxes.
Congress is already actively considering legislation to NOT tax off-shore income and non residential international earnings. Already had requests for comments on the Fed Register a year ago, which I of course responded to as a real negative move for the IRS.
The IRS is going to go out of business.
K, we are already doing some of what you claim can save us (ex: more and more and still more immigranition) yet we remain noticably UN saved. And the generation retirement IS fully funded. If ever it’s not is due entirely to raiding for ex current Fed policy or rufusing to keep SS tax level raised in line with inflation do as to sabatoge it.
K said: “It merely has to allow more immigration,”
cb – Because by passing out free borrowed money and services to immigrants we can get more blue party voters that will vote for more free money and services. It’s self-actualizing. Not all immigrants will vote blue, but they only need a solid majority. We can have a democracy instead of this lopsided republic. Then we can just vote for whatever we want from the Treasury. It’s magical.
I came here from Zerohedge almost a full cycle ago because Wolf was so level headed and seemed to be as neutral an observer as you could find… rather than predict the weather, he just reported it.
His recent change in style certainly has raised my eyebrows.
The WolfVIX is going parabolic.
Is that good or bad ??
To stay the same is to stagnate.
If you are not upset about the generational theft facilitated by Federal Reserve policies of the past 30 years, you are in a coma.
@Bobber – it’s not generational. It’s class warfare.
Its corporate fascism. Happens when oligarchy owns government and writes the rules for themselves.
You are quite correct!
When the Fed states that their policy is to have inflation, which they deliberately under report, higher than interest rates, they are making an open declaration of war.
That war is specifically aimed at middle class retirees who save and live on fixed income sources.
Wolf is a patriot in the best sense of the word. His articles all reflect that even if they are often written with a very neutral tone. In this piece and others, he is warning us more emphatically as our ship speeds toward an iceberg.
Below Replacement Fertility is a truth in every nation on planet earth.
In the US fertility is 16% plus .. below what is considered replacement.
Old people die .. the Hordes of the Aged are not descending upon us to the nations detriment. The problem is that there is little or no substantial aged care to cover the oldies till death. And therefore the story is to cover the fact of gross neglect on the part of the government is really the problem.
“It’s not us, it’s not our fault .. it’s them .. they will not die.” they cry & we believe them.
K said: “It merely has to allow more immigration”
This satisfies the corporatists and the elite of both parties, and is something that is in the dis-interest of non asset owners and working people.
Rentiers love immigration, legal or illegal, the more the better. Immigration enlarges the pool of buyers and workers. It pushes up rents and asset prices and puts downward pressure on wages. Illegal immigration contributes to an “off the books” black market in labor where law abiding, tax paying businesses find themselves at a competitive disadvantage to those who hire illegals “off the books” and skirt the law and taxes.
Immigration suppresses the working class and benefits the rich capital owning class.
Right. If I ran a lemonade factory, I would love to have lemons walk across the border instead of having to buy them.
Some immigration does that. I would argue that it will continue whatever we do, because too many authorities are too motivated to look the other way by the ultra-low wages paid the undocumented aliens, who are also often cheated and abused, and those authorities are probably bribed by their criminal employers.
However, the USA has to chose whether it wants to be Japan or closer to India. Compromises will have to be made if the US wants to remain a superpower for much longer. Taxation of the ultra rich and the taking over by a sovereign wealth fund of bailed out banks and businesses will enable Americans to get some reasonable retirement payments and even basic healthcare in exchange.
Will the USA see a declining population, shrinking economy, and immigration of only the most unskilled, who take only the most menial of jobs until the dollar is worthless, which will happen soon if the banksters’ “Federal” Reserves keeps creating trillions to bail them out as it created $2 TRILLION surreptitiously in 2019 to 2020 to give to them to bail them out by buying their uncollectible, mortgage backed securities. The CCP’s example of creating subsidized economic zones, with favorable lending standards, cheap labor (or more likely massive automation, which is coming), merchantilism to drive foreign competitors out of business using government subsidies/low interest loans, etc., can be imitated in many ways by the USA.
The skilled immigrants that we need to erase our coming demographic cliff in VARIOUS YEARS not immediately, which cliff admittedly will hurt us for many years yet, are readily available. We can pick and choose from the most talented potential immigrants from the entire world if we abandon our fear/hatred of immigrants, so that the bell curve of our population has a large portion of supremely talented individuals to develop our technology, manage our factories, etc.
The alternative is a world dominated by the CCP’s China, maybe with Xi was world dictator. Good help us all in such a world.
I would prefer to be America, but given the choice of Japan or India, I would prefer Japan. Which would you prefer?
Who has a fear/hatred of immigration? We have been letting in millions of immigrants, legal and illegal. Corporatists, Globalists, large asset owners, landlords and politicians love immigration.
How many “supremely talented” individuals to develop our technology, manage our factories, etc. do we need to import? Are you suggesting that we don’t the existing talent within our population? Are you suggesting that we don’t have the raw talent to develop? Are you suggesting we don’t have the capacity to develop technology? Are you suggesting we should import worthy individuals to manage all of the factories we have exported and outsourced?
No the alternative to limiting immigration is not a dictatorship by Xi. but nice try. the Globalist initiative might have a job for you.
CB : demographics are like hurricanes and cannot be controlled by will power. Our country and Japan face demographic cliffs as our populations age. Only immigration measures to enlarge the younger parts of our populations can fix that. Japan cannot do that due to hatred or dislike of immigrants.
Looking at the fear of immigrants coming here just now to do menial work, as shown in media, I say that we can select intellectual elites to come to the USA like China’s thousand talents program. MANY more of the world’s top scientists and engineers would prefer to live in the USA particularly after the CCP’s inhumane conduct even against its Han majority and hatred and genocides against its minorities. Yes, the USA has some great scientists but the world has many more that we can co-op to prepare for what is coming and forestall a disaster for the whole world.
Only if we can really advance and reform in a major way, will we be intimidating enough to avoid what has been predicted with the CCP’s oppressed China within less than half of a decade EVEN BY CHINA DOVES! The time to avoid conflict is BEFORE the bullets fly and such measures will also be good economically for most Americans.
Getting US and all allied companies to cut off the CCP’s factories by not selling to or buying from them and building a replacement network of non-profit suppliers is how we avoid strengthening the CCP until it can destroy us.
I wrote non C C P suppliers, darn Amazon tablet!
K, you said.
“too many authorities are too motivated to look the other way by the ultra-low wages paid the undocumented aliens, who are also often cheated and abused, and those authorities are probably bribed by their criminal employers.”
Sounds like you don’t care if laws are enforced or not. If authorities are looking the other way and getting bribed, prosecute them and put them in prison.
Remember, when the rule of law breaks down, no one obeys any laws.
And no one is against immigration – that is a false red-herring straw man argument – again all we want is the enforcement of law. If the laws are bad, support changing the law.
Sorry that you apparently are the last to know. As a lawyer for decades, let me assure you that the law BROKE AND REMAINS BROKEN DOWN in the US: e.g. read the Rolling Stone article that refers to Eric Holder as Wall Street’s double agent. Read about the banks’ crimes, which continue due to banksters’ control over them.
We have large numbers of corrupt, bribed judges with corrupt, bribed politicians. Read Simon Johnson’s polite “The Quiet Coup.” As to enforcement of the laws of immigration, argue to the many farmers that employ so many immigrants about that and I hope that they do not resort to violence with you.
K – If i understand you correctly:
Government is corrupt – agree
Lawful immigration of primarily skilled workers and semi-shilled is beneficial – agree
Illegal unregulated migration is bad – agree
Hope they do not resort to violence – coming soon
Competition with China must be won economically and demographically and with intelligent common sense – agree
Now as to reality – can any of what you recommend be implemented by our corrupt society? Is Giggles Harris up to the Presidency? Granted Slow Joe is an easy act to follow. The haves will not give up a penny regardless of their virtue signaling. (What would get their attention is if their assets fell in value below the cost of maintenance.) What will the illegals be forced to do when financial reality comes home to them? The only hope I see – albeit slim – is to achieve some semblance of a lawful society. But it seems that the sociopaths have tied our shoelaces together. As for me, I think I can sell my resume to the local Warlord.
The robots with current deployment growing and soon to advance in multiplicity will answer the current shortage of human labor. Also, they will be faster and cheaper as a labor/production force… progress will increase, additional resources and housing will not be needed.
Nicely Said K.
Just to keep the Historical Record straight, the Fed began bailing out the Banks in September 2019. That is before a single Covid case.
Hundreds of Billions a week were going to the usual culprits, I believe still unnamed but certainly Citi, JPM and the rest of the Losers. Wall St on parade seems to be the only outlet that dares mention this fact.
The Fed’s repo market bailout wasn’t for the banks. They were LENDERS to the repo market. It was a bailout of highly leveraged hedge funds and mortgage REITs that had heavily borrowed in the repo market short-term to fund risky long-term bets. And when they started to blow up because they couldn’t borrow anymore, and were threatening the whole financial system with contagion, the Fed bailed them out by stepping into the repo market.
12 months into COVID19 Pandemic World Stocks and Share Prices have never been higher. Explain !!!!
Why do the World`s Taxpayers have to make the 0.1 % Rich Richer ? Where are our elected Governments ? Why haven`t they got our backs ?? Who do they get their Bribes from ? Wall Street ? Israel ? the City of London Corporation ?
Quality aged care will create much needed employment = TAX PAYERS & consumers.
Been the problem all along – the rich aren’t hiring enough servants.
“Housing costs surge, and other prices surge too, and buying those durable goods gets more expensive, and thereby the Fed, with its inflation goals, is cutting the purchasing power of labor of the bottom 50%.”
The coming inflation will pound down and grind the working families of this nation.
That’s the same inflation that floated the stock market, and created the disparity.
Low interest rates are stimulative only SHORT term. Protracted, they are destructive via the behavior they promote. Desperation investing, yield chasing, irresponsible debt creation.
CPI is a TERRIBLE metric….worse, the PCE that the Fed watches…conveniently, for the PCE allows for items to be substituted OUT if they rise too much in price….like it didnt matter.
The new and improved inflation index will not include any items that have increased in price. Voila!
So you consider Greenspan and Bernanke to have been “strong “ FED chairs?!!!!
Man you’re so delusional!
Now back to the article and this is for Wolf!
Your article is unbelievably repetitive and mundane! and does NOT INSPIRE neither a Revolution nor uprising!
That said, I am still at a loss why the underlying FACTORS that are driving the US Economy do NOT merit a mention?!
I understand that this Forum is dedicated to the Economic aspect of the life of this Nation and by extension ( due to the weight of the US’s Economy in relation to the world economy) the wider world economy.
However I fail to understand your point in picking the FEDERAL RESERVE’s chair speech and repeated reference to the Rich as been the audience meant to hear what he has to say!
Well bloody hell! You “ all the AMERICAN CITIZENS “ have known for ( eternity) that the Federal reserve is serving its own owners and had a chance to ( CHANGE THAT) in the last election and you Blew IT!
time and again this whining about life unfairness and all that entails!
As A democracy! The chance to boot the F)(;:rs inhabiting the DC was in your hand , and you’ve been played again!
Believing the like of Pelosi and Ocasio to bring you the MMT ‘s salvation!!!
and NO I don’t believe that TRUMP had any CREDIBILITY to do otherwise!
The only thing that counted for him was that he was considered an outsider to the DC’ s
Swampy eco system!
The old adage serves its purpose well here” you can’t expect a different result from doing the same thing over and over again “!
So cheer up and walk in Powell’s shoes for a moment, what would you having DO?!
I mean really really Wolf!
Do you think that the AMERICAN ECONOMY can handle INTEREST RATE RISES?!
and to what end ?
The country have the resources and manpower to do well , it only lacks leaders.
That is what is lacking WOLF.
The Cajones that the American leadership had in times past is Not there, and the bizarre Cultural shift in the last 20 year have all but disappeared! Been shriveled to oblivion that is to say!
We’re living in a Monkey’s world now where PRONOUNS are more important than SUBSTANCE!
The American society now have NO PASSION and DETERMINATION to be a Winner or affect CHANGE!
These are NOT STALE OBSERVATIONS!
until a more VERILE VIRUS than the Bloody COVID infect the American Psyche,
No Chang will take effect,
The VIRUS that YOU and other should be PRAYING to infect this NATION is
Yes FREEDOM, and with it the whole mentality of settling for scrap thrown to you by this TWO PARTY system.
End the SYSTEM and get the real CHANCE of leading the world again,
Lose it and you’ll be looking to CANADA and MEXICO to migrate to!
‘Strong’ is not an adjective applied to Greenspan and Bernanke, it is the last name of the Fed Chair just before the 29 Crash. Chairman Strong, who also saw no consumer inflation.
While I agree the biggest benefactors are the rich since they are the largest holders of equities, I also see a “The peasants are revolting” situation if all federal, military, state, city, teachers, and the remaining corporate pensions are wiped out while the largest influx of Boomer retirees in US history are relying on them to live.
Is it possible the Fed sees this hazard? The remaining middle class pensioners would not be happy.
Why do you think the USA government is giving people free money? Wellfare money exists to prevent peasants revolting.
As well as not prosecuting small time criminals as long as the steal under $1,000 or whatever it is in CA. Now they just go into the store and take whatever they want, knowing this. It satiates them for a time.
Fining people who have nothing does not work. Jailing the homeless or the unemployed who have nothing to eat?
Do you know how much it costs to hold a person in prison or even jail? California is still wealthy but its state government may face more surges so it will have to pay up to avoid having its hospitals go under.
RE:K The end mass incarceration campaign, is meant to do this. Obama’s second AG, LL proposed decriminalizing urban neighborhoods after Ferguson. US has the largest prison population in the developed world, mostly people of color. Soros has spent huge amounts of money on challenges to local DA elections. Even while they lose, (voters want law and order) their influence is felt. BLM is the predictable outcome of impressing minorities to think of themselves as victims. While Reagan was governor of CA he threw open the doors of the mental institutions, and put these people on the streets. Other states followed. The result fifty years later is a permanent population of mentally ill people, and half the nation is functionally insane. Prisons today, besides minorities, have large numbers of white supremacists, and those convicted of hate crimes. The solution to GPS them, might work if there are sufficient resources. The issue of crime and economics doesn’t have much traction among voters, but certainly economics and dignity, and personal autonmy does play a role. The lower 50% in those charts are wards of the state in one manner or another. The 1% billionaires offer non living wage jobs. Now that mental illness is no longer stigmatized, anyone with a personality disorder can grow up to be a titan of industry, or president. The US financial system is institutionalized corruption, and politics is institutionalized insanity. Social reforms tend to follow the trends.
Reliance, dependence, allegiance.
Bought with money borrowed from the future, pulled forward by fake interest rates created by the Fed…that also happens to fluff the 1%.
So who is left to complain?
The self reliant ….
Why do you think Washington DC has become a fenced-in armed camp with twice as many troops as in all of Afghanistan?
To defend against the homeless?
The Indian government is located in a walled and guarded compound where citizens are not allowed free entry.
When I was there, there were elderly ladies chaining themselves to the gates protesting corruption.
In Varanasi millions were allocated for a sewage treatment plant, but the money was embezzled and the raw human sewage was still dumped right in the Ganges River near the Ghats where people were bathing.
Does Flint Michigan ring a bell? Or the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill? Or Hanover? Or Love Canal?
Incompetent governments have to hide from the people they are destroying from their corruption.
Sounds as though buying options on pitchfork, torch, tar, and feather suppliers is a good investment.
Dont forget plywood….for boarding up purposes.
Clearly, the banksters that control the “Federal” (not government owned) Reserve see the hazard but the greed of the banksters will cause them to still want to inflate away the value of people’s pensions, social security payments, savings, etc. I sure hope that we come to the pitchfork time — which is a dream that I have nurtured.
If things continue as they are, Americans had better plan on eating out of trash cans in their old age, because their social security payments will have no real purchasing power and their pensions are all essentially bankrupt: they have been over-milked by Wall Street and the banksters’ “Fed” so the pensions’ assets have not grown and are tiny compared to the funds that the retired pensioners will need to retire with some dignity.
Two comments on the list:.
1). Some of the problem may take care of itself as all but one or two wealth holdings are in tech that could get an 80% markdown pretty easily.
2) If you are doing business with these people or own their shares then they are wealthy with your money. We all get to chose what we do with our time and money.
I have shifted my purchases in the opposite direction of the herd.
Small, local shops, from food to parts and fabricating. I fear these tech freaks and their bought politicians more than any virus.
Well said and something so few will do. The only thing i can do that counts in this day and age is spend or invest my money with compaines or producta i beleive im. The unfortunate thing is that list is small.
Temporary free money is the social sedative which they are applying until the Digital Prison and ESG social -credit controls have been constructed and applied in the West.
They are the makers of history and reality: there will be no revolt possible in the digitised world.
They will never lack minions to serve them, for a bigger slice of the nice fat pie which is based on mass oppression and manipulation.
Corruption heaped upon corruption until we cannot see the light of day anymore, and freedom is just another word for our chains.
Notice, too, how they have already divided us into ‘essential’ and inessential’. Now, what do you imagine will happen to the ‘inessential’ in due course?
Not such ‘free’ money after all, considering the true cost, is it?
Xabier you’re too depressing. Go watch “Blade Runner.” Better yet “Soylent Green.” Or the original “Rollerball” with James Caan. Or all three.
You mean the Gym teacher that handed out towels doesnt deserve the 6 figure pension for life, with automatic 3% increases (Illinois)?
The pensions were over promised …. the math never worked…
for many of these Blue states…public unions….
Top pensioner in IL worked for the University System….
$598,000 a year….after 20 years (didnt cure cancer)…and will draw $21 million based on life expectancy. (Source Taxpayer United)
So the Fed is supposed to RUIN other people’s retirements, those without the fluffy govt pensions, those who saved for retirement….by driving inflation and cutting interest rates to zero?
Hayek noted, that Central Planners (like the Fed) make decisions that INTENTIONALLY harm one group to the benefit of another. The Fed has harmed the “one group” long enough.
A lot of those 3% pensions were gotten when we recently lived thru 10% inflation, and Fed interest suppression probably has far more to do with underfunded pensions than anything else.
The taxpayers who pay for these pensions never had a say. They didn’t get to vote on them, etc. These greedy government pigs were essentially defrauding taxpayers. There needs to be massive haircuts. Clawbacks would even be fair at this point. I know a few retired firefighters and cops, and it’s sickening what they’re hauling in. Even they laugh about it.
Powell did comment, negatively, concerning the non financial intermediaries, ie pension funds. Perhaps it is only a preemptive mea culpa. Empathy, like sorry, don’t feed the bulldog. Yes, Fed sees the hazard, corporate America sees the hazard, and none of these billionaires wants to trade their position for oligarch in a quasi russian gangster capitalist economy. There will be another depression, this time around they will print money and hand it out, and if you can figure out that plays out, you get to wear the top hat and tails.
This makes no sense. On the one hand you say that the billionaires don’t want a “quasi Russian gangster capitalist economy,” but on the other hand “they will print money and hand it out.” The latter guarantees the former, as every country in history that has hyperinflated their currency away has quickly turned into a basket case.
Isn’t the whole purpose of a private central bank to make the rich richer and the poor poorer?
To the point of slavery.
That’s what I thought.
Our Founders warned of the dangers of the National Bank….
they would have screamed at the Central Bank concept.
Arttcle I, Sect 8 reserves the right to tax and mint to Congress.
The Fed imposes a tax upon us (inflation) and they digitally mint (M2 up 27% in under a year). The “digital minting” speaks for itself. Violation? The inflation tax thrust upon us results is a “taxation without representation” situation, for the People have nothing to say about what the Fed does. (unelected who dictate yet are insulated from the ill effects of their own policies due to inflation protections in their compensations) Violation?
Stable Prices (2nd Mandate)….. they promote and will allow an inflation that at least rips 22% to 28% (2-2.5%) off the Dollar in ten years. At least. Violation?
Promote Moderate long term interest rates. (3rd Mandate)…..the Fed promotes all time low long term interest rates which are immoderate by definition, and also allow irresponsible debt creation (MMT) that the mandate was designed to PREVENT. Violation?
Right. Constitutional violations across the board for the Fed Reserve clowns.
Well put. You hit the nail on the head.
What we need is a march on the Federal Reserve building in Washington DC.
One one side of the street, you’d have 40 million retirees complaining about low interest rates on savings, 40 million millennials complaining about high housing prices, 30 million students complaining about tuition inflation, and 60 million wager earners complaining about low wage growth and lack of opportunity.
On the other side of the street, you’d have 500 hedge fund owners and CEO’s complaining about high tax rates, death of qualified job candidates to work for minimum wage, and slowdown of business bailouts.
Occupy Wall Street was the closest we got to that, and the “most liberal President ever” ordered a coordinated DHS attack on it, imprisoned and tortured it’s leaders and informed them they would be assassinated if they continued.
Ever get the feeling that if the people started protesting the ‘actual’ cause of wealth inequality then the real bullets would be used?
Occupy Wall St was just a few blocks away from the NY Fed.
Was not the “most liberal President ever”, “Mr. Transparency”, a complete Corporatist?
Sharing the street side of those hedge fund owners and CEO’s you would have millions of landlords and the bought off middle – – – politicians, government retirees and government employees, welfare and transfer payment receivers, the military industrial complex, the medical/big pharma complex, public trade unions, the police and military, etc.
Got to show confidence, of course. So Jay pumps the fog machine. Congress critters benefit by avoiding all responsibility. No wonder the sold out millennials are hopping mad. I believe we will attend the Magic Money Tree. Great experiment and time to buy some Vaporcoin.
I think we are close to the end game whether the end game is continued slow financial repression or a quick over the weekend reset. I lean toward the latter as I think the former will not do the job.
Best I can tell real returns on retiree pensions pencil out to be zero the next 30 years so new retirees will be looking at 3% withdrawals. Means there will be all kind of pension problems that will need to be addressed as they are penciling in 5% real returns which can not happen.
The main issue to watch for is there is a lot of bad debt in the world and who is going to eat it and how. We can see that conservative savers have already eaten more than their fair share, but that will continue because where else is there that easy of a bird to pluck. Anyway a lot of student loans, housing, shady corporate loans have gotten to be acknowledged. Admitting there is a problem is a good first step.
As inflation increases retiree 3% drawdowns become 4%, then 5%, then…eventually whatever is necessary.
Definitely agree that the Fed is on the wrong track and has exacerbated this, but aren’t there some elephants in the room that you aren’t talking about including the Trump tax cut? The Bush Tax cuts? Changes in estate tax and the increased ability to avoid taxes?
Again, agree the Fed is f’ed but Congress has significantly contributed too.
Congress…I guess they are the only ones to say something to the Fed…but they themselves are the great beneficiaries of the cheap money …for all their vote buying schemes and pet projects. A catastrophe must then occur to shake the ground, turn the focus onto the Fed.
This is NOT a good situation.
The Fed is in CONSTANT VIOLATION of two of THREE mandates, and not a peep. (promoting inflation that rips 22-28% (2-2.5%) off the dollar in ten years, promoting record low rates when mandated to promote moderate long rates)
No, they won’t discuss those matters. For most of them, the only bad guys are Democrats. GOP crimes are swept under the rug and ignored!
The Bush tax cuts you mentioned were the first time in US history that a President announced tax cuts AND started a war at the same time.
I got a check for $300 (which I didn’t want or need). Millionaires got $50K on average that they didn’t need.
Cheney’s administration (with baby bush the lesser as rubber stamp) was a massive catastrophe for this country.
“Dubya” only looks good when compared to the utterly ridiculous and incompetent DJT.
As one Iraqi famously said when told of the pending US invasion so save them from Saddam Hussein: “It’s like being saved from Charles Manson by Ted Bundy.”
If you want an example of a politician who actually cares about regular people, look up Katie Porter.
The biggest charlatan the world has ever known, jerome powell.
Three way tie..
Bernanke (promised to unwind QE when things got back to normal)
Yellen (go big!)
These three have promoted and witnessed $20 TRILLION IN NATIONAL DEBT increase, and never connected what they were doing with such irresponsible debt creation.
The Fed did try to unwind QE, starting around Jan 2018. This continued for over a year and a half. The Fed even started raising the Fed Fund Rate!
Wolf had bunches and bunches of hopeful articles describing all that, which were really very positive and hopeful that the Fed was finally Doing The Right Thing.
I remember posting in response here on this forum that the rate of QE unwind was so slow, it would take over four years to complete and that the chances of another recession hitting before the QE was fully unwound were incredibly high, and so it was almost certain that we would never see that QE go away.
When the Fed started raising interest rates, Wolf had some more hopeful positive articles about the Fed.
Then the yield curve inverted in mid to late 2019, the repo markets and stock market went berserk and the Fed put a full stop to all of its efforts to Do The Right Thing.
Next, the Pandemic started in early 2020, lockdowns started in April 2020, the economy nose dived, and the Fed and US government have now gone into Full MMT Mode
With the ongoing slapdowns continuing with China, the era of China continuing to support the insatiable American appetite for ultra cheap durable goods Not Made In The USA is likely coming to an end also.
Yes, there are plenty of other cheap labor countries, yes this is in the long run better for American workers, but considering that China now has a dominant command of world production of many many important things like solar panels and neodymium for the magnets that go into electric motors, weaning off that reliance on China will only add to the Inflation That Is To Come,
China now has dominant command .. important things like solar panels.
Is our fault = + Australia .. it was time to run with solar energy 30 years ago & we were able bodied to go .. but the government stomped all over it .. we could have been in front & I remember there were a few solar panels on the White House at one point .. a token gesture only but never the less & the next president had them taken down .. because they were “pussy”
Sorry, I keep seeing that old saw about Reagan taking down Carter’s “solar panels” from the roof of the White House out of spite or whatever.
Truth is, those were solar heated water panels that provided hot water for the White House, not electricity. They had a tendency to leak and so were removed for that reason. The only solar electricity cells available in that era were these tiny little chips about a half inch in size, not panels that could power a whole house
Jerome Powell makes me sick to my stomach! But then so did Greenspan, Bernanke and Yellen and most of CONgress.
When Jerome Powell says “we are going to let inflation run hot,” what he is really saying is “we are going to make life as miserable as possible for the middle and lower classes.” On what planet is it ok to do this, and why does he get a pass? There is absolutely no justification at all for this. This guy should be strung up.
Imagine the business owner, working 12 hour days….
and hearing day after day how the Fed policy is making people long stocks richer and richer. The Fed has done nothing for the working families of this country. In fact, by taking away any return on savings, they have removed the avenue of saving to achieve financial stability.
The Fed has split the nation into
1. Those who own enough stocks
2. Those who DONT own enough stocks
And these business owners are the ones creating value. Buying / holding existing stocks does absolutely nothing for the economy.
Powell is one of the vulture capitalist predators- The richest Fed chairman in history- well over 50 million in his oligarchic pocket.
Hell of an indictment. Way to go.
Shame on the Fed, Shame on the government and, there’s no getting away from it, shame on the nation.
You would think that a smart central banker would take a limo down to Goldman Sachs and see why they are working young bankers 100 hours per week pushing SPACs out the door. I think there is a saying collect the fee up front and be impossible to get to when it blows up.
One of the things that amazes me is how ‘investors’ keep falling for the same old crap.
Of course they emerge richer from the crises they make. Crises are the only thing we manufacture.
1.Manufacture a panic or a war or a “pandemic”.
2. Destroy all peasant jobs, imprison and bind and gag the peasants, and watch the peasants die.
3. Profit (and fun!)
They know exactly what they are doing – looting the country.
The ‘social divisions’ inflamed by the media are the “look! a squirrel!” distractions while it is happening.
Yes, while you were looking at the media’s squirrel, congress quietly voted this week to bring back the old Earmark Vote (Purchasing and Bribery) Program! Now the value of house and senate seats has gone up greatly!
Now the rich can get their crap legislation passed by buying the votes required. All thanks to the new sheriff in town, joe!
The wide open southern border has greatly increased the kickbacks congress gets from the drug cartels.
Not to forget the $60,000 per child per year bounty so-called churches get from uncle sam for looking after orphans of which they spend less than $7,000 per child per year. That leaves $53,000 per child until 18, for admin and kickbacks to congress. That is why the border isn’t a crisis for joe!
Biden has been in an office a whole month and has ruined the perfect America left behind by Covid Don in only 30 days.
Those talking points are getting really stale. Oh…gotta run, an undocumented poverty stricken child who speaks no English just stole my job!
Wes says something of substance, and you want to jump on the media’s “look, a squirrel” bandwagon?
Leaving aside all the Political Class pontificating idiocies (and god knows there are enough of those) the Fed is basically stuck in a dilemma,
1) The Fed’s only really immediately powerful tool is the manipulation of interest rates through the manipulation of the unbacked money supply,
2) low interest rates should encourage increased investment (ie, jobs) in *new* real assets over time, but
3) Via the near universal use of the DCF model, lower interest rates almost immediately increase the present value of *existing* assets – which doesn’t do squat for jobs.
(In a way, followers of #3 are screwing up since *eventually* #2 will provide new, superior competition to existing assets…but this is a slow, slow, slow process as 20 yrs of ZIRP has illustrated and…#3’s scream bloody political murder when their asset valuation mistakes start to bite).
The Fed/DC should know this in their bones but 20 years of largely failed ZIRP suggests,
1) Not, or
2) they can’t figure out how to partition interest rate effects between new real asset (job) creation and (no job) existing asset inflation, or
3) they wholly and unalterably believe that wildfire financial asset inflation must precede sluggish, multi decade real asset/job creation.
The Fed must know they have more or less failed for 20 yrs but there is almost no evidence of course correction or innovation.
Probably because it is only when the Fed semi rationally tapers, that the NYC/DC/MSM nexus goes into full hysteria mode – so the Fed responds to the most unreality addicted elements of US society.
The Fed shouldn’t be lowering interest rates to increase demand today. That doesn’t help the economy one bit. It simply pushes production forward and robs the next generation of jobs and wealth creating opportunities. It’s generational theft.
There is no legitimate reason for continuous Fed interventions.
The Fed should simply be providing liquidity as lender of last resort, only in the face of a short-term crisis, not as a permanent fixture.
“It’s generational theft.”
AARP was promoting fiscal pedophilia for at least 30 years before ZIRP joined in.
I still think one of the most obscene things I ever saw on broadcast TV were the AARP commercials that used children to pimp AARP’s agenda.
cas-check. For all of the grumbling among ‘AARP-age’ citizens about ‘participation trophies’ for those in younger generations, have always found the biggest ‘participation trophy’ of all in much of AARP’s agenda, i.e., perks just for being lucky enough to make it to a certain age…
may we all find a better day.
“It’s generational theft.”
If I were a political cartoonist, I would draw a picture, titled “QE,” of an evil Jerome Powell caricature feeding innocent children into a meat grinder where $100 bills came out the other end. That’s what they’re doing – rendering the young to satiate their own GREED.
They are desperate to (at least partially) make good on the hopeless, planless political promises they made decades ago.
If they don’t, they are terrified of losing their phony baloney jobs.
For decades DC has reminded me of the worst-ever variety show plate spinning act.
“The Fed should simply be providing liquidity as lender of last resort, only in the face of a short-term crisis, not as a permanent fixture.”
But from each emergency came self authored powers, ignored official mandates, self expanded authority.
The history of this nation is Fed Funds equal to or in excess of inflation. For 12 years, the Fed has pegged Fed Funds under inflation. For 12 years the national debt has ramped up $20 Trillion and climbing. ($9 Trillion for the first 215 years, $20 Trillion in last 12)
Powell, basically on his own, increased M2 by 27% in under a year.
Powell is implementing an inflation TAX on us.
What POWER …to digitally mint and tax the citizenry!
Article I, sect 8 gives those powers to Congress, not an unelected body.
That’s “taxation without representation”, for we have no “representation” on the Fed. This injustice has caused Revolutions in the past.
No Fed: periodic financial crises utterly devastate economy. No long-term inflation.
Fed as lender of last resort: financial collapse scenarios prevented, but large crashes periodically wipe out swaths of “wealth” and create large macroeconomic fluctuations. Money supply remains mostly stable.
Fed as great benefactor and vanguard of the economy/assets: collapse and crashes are prevented by frequent tsunamis of money ensuring that asset holders never feel the pain of misallocated resources. Recessions are mild and infrequent so stability is increased but inefficient investment ensures weak economic growth. Extreme wealth inequality threatens to overthrow the status quo as the underclasses sense that something deeply unfair is occurring. Eventually attempted coups and revolutions take place until one is either successful or a brutal totalitarian govt arises in response. Money supply grows at rapid pace.
Bobber said: “The Fed should simply be providing liquidity as lender of last resort, only in the face of a short-term crisis, not as a permanent fixture.”
This is the mantra that the Camel (the FED) used to get it’s nose under the tent. Maybe we should rethink this mantra. Why encourage the imprudence of a bank or company (or a bunch of hedge funds or private equity groups) to leverage itself to thin? It has proven to be a terrible idea.
“Examining the relationship between 3-month and 10-year benchmark rates and nominal GDP growth over half a century in four of the five largest economies we find that interest rates follow GDP growth and are consistently positively correlated with growth. If policy-makers really aimed at setting rates consistent with a recovery, they would need to raise them. We conclude that conventional monetary policy as operated by central banks for the past half-century is fundamentally flawed. Policy-makers had better focus on the quantity variables that cause growth.
Reconsidering Monetary Policy: An Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between Interest Rates and Nominal GDP Growth in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan”
How about the relationship between expanded money supply and GDP?
Seems they are just “printing” to bump GDP….
The drugged race horse syndrome. Suddenly, unresponsive.
But the historical incestuous relationship between the political establishment and the MSM (with *very* rare exceptions, before somebody rolls out the Pentagon Papers) has allowed DC to frame a lot of patsies for its own failed policies.
Medical System Derangement=Insurance Companies!
There is nothing new under the sun.
Kings and governments always try to be popular with the people. The only way they can do it is to try to deliver (ie spend) more for the tax which is impossible with retainers to pay.
Once they get to the limit of acceptable taxation they have to move on to borrowing. Once they get to the limit of possible borrowing, they have to move on to clipping the currency. When that blows up in anarchy, it’s time for a new regime. Usually a tough guy who tells people they can’t have any easy stuff. Once he’s restored order, democracy creeps back in and it all starts over again. Herman Khan, (Hudson Institute) I think it was, reckoned the most economically efficient stage in the process was benign oligopoly. Don’t quote me, I’m going back years. The book was ‘the year 2000’ a remarkable prophecy written late 70’s I think. Saw China and hedonism coming, but failed to get internet and mobile phones (big factors).
Pretty much spot on from a historical basis.
In America, a rather disgusting MSM has played a key role in undercutting common sense/historical wisdom among the citizens.
The internet has at least allowed a space for the reintroduction of concepts outside the MSM/DC “worldview factory” but unfortunately a lot of the most ruinous/relentless policies were entrenched before the internet facilitated less-rigged debate.
I agree cas
Tech is key, MSM was a product of the TV age which can now be eclipsed, as you say, by peer to peer internet.
The only difference between a ‘caveman’ and a ‘modern’ man is, one carries a wooden club, and the other carries a mobile phone. 40yrs ago it would have been, watches TV, and 100yrs ago listens to radio. Tech speeds up historical cycles.
“The Fed must know they have more or less failed for 20 yrs”
$20 Trillion in national debt during that time…
and how much world wide debt from the antics of central bankers?
No, the Fed’s goal was to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. They were gloriously successful!
The FED .. & correction or innovation
Maybe they just don’t know how ??
Don’t we .. the audience .. always assume that they know what they are doing because they are superior “It’s their job to know” .. but are they really superior intellect ??
We as backseat drivers ??
Stranger things are real.
Cas127 said: “2) low interest rates should encourage increased investment (ie, jobs) in *new* real assets over time, but”
You might want to re-think this. I suggest it is a false premise (or at minimum, an unproven premise). It does provide good cover though, for a corrupt FED, Congress, and their wealthy beneficiaries.
“I truly believe that we will emerge from this crisis stronger and better, as we have done so often before.”
Well isn’t that Special!
We like ourselves, don’t we Jerome? And who could it be who’s emerged from this crisis stronger? Who has benefited from this before? Who could it be??
Let me see, oh, I don’t know…could it be….THE RICH!
He just basically pulled a “God’s work” a la Blankfein. The egos of these guys are off the charts. In fact, it’s malignant narcissism. They’re psychopaths.
These people do not believe in the efficiencies of a free market…where lower prices bring buyers, and higher prices bring sellers…and that cycles cleanse the market of the poorly operated and leveraged.
They want to manage the entire thing……all charts must move low left, to upper right.
All the people at the cocktail parties think I’m doing great!…J Powell
The foundation of money is confidence in the system. Everything that comes out of the Feds mouth is designed to increase confidence in the system. I think Powell knows what he is saying isn’t true.
Fed has really distorted asset prices. This is immoral because the less sophisticated you are about the financial system the more mistakes you are likely to make contributing/withdrawing to a 401K or purchasing a home.
To say “we” indicates the 1% would suggest a conspiracy, you do realize that right? And as we have been told ad nauseam, conspiracies do not exist, except in the instance of the Capitol protests….
Nothing to see here, move along…
BigMedia’s blinders block them from seeing the crippled production,
overdosing, homelessness, arson.
They can only see the rising asset prices; & it makes them feel good.
The April 2020 Supplementary Leverage Ratio Exemption,
which allowed banks to carry extra “risky” assets ( e.g. T-bonds ),
ends this month. Also, eviction moratoriums end this month.
This means less lending to, & less housing for, the great unwashed.
These (unseen) peasants will up their revolt.
& I’m right there, in the middle of it, catching the crossfire.
Today, low fertility checks humanity, not war.
— Fertility is punished.
— Disengagement is rewarded.
1989, “we” thought Japan would rule the world;
today, Japan is OK despite the lack of babies/growth/inflation.
China is next, same as Japan.
Immigration has given America an edge but, still,
it’s ” Turning Japanese ” ( I really think so ).
Jeff Relf said: “Immigration has given America an edge but, still,
it’s ” Turning Japanese ” ( I really think so ).”
What edge would that be? Higher housing prices? Lower wages? Greater cultural continuity?
Hallelujah! If that’s a rant, we sorely need more of them. You can learn a lot from them.
Just to note the moment of my epiphany in the rant:
If the bottom 50 percent gained $471 million in wealth since the crisis began a year ago and there are 165 million people in those ranks,
That comes out to $2.85 per person.
That sounds about right to me. I noted a few extra coins in my pocket the other day.
Nice work, young author. Thanks for it.
That — $471 million — was a typo. Thanks for pointing it out. It’s $471 billion with a B, amounting to $2,851 per person, of which $815 was the increase in the value of durable goods they owned.
OK. I believe you because I believe you but I still think the $2.85 was accurate in my particular case.
Eight quarters, six dimes, five nickels, two pieces of lint and a phone number on a scrap of paper with no name. I found them in my pocket the other day. All unaccounted for.
Better send in a 1099 just to be safe. You’re not rich enough to hire a tax lawyer to get you a pass.will
Glad to see that the firewall is letting you through again :-]
By some estimates there are 500 million guns owned by the public.
The more money siphoned to the very rich and the rich, the less the vast majority of gun holders have and have to lose by using their weapons.
Imagine the Jan 6 uprisings on steroids , lets say 10 times as many people.
And how many of the richest accumulated their wealth directly from government policies.
Would AMZN have survived if they had to pay sales taxes from the beginning . Would TSLA be in business without government subsidies and grants.
And there will not be any great reset , but there will be a violent revolution akin to the French Revolution and it coming not in 50 years or even 10 years or 5 years,
,but this year or next
I used to wonder what made the French enjoy watching the bloodshed of the guillotine. I don’t wonder anymore. I used to wonder how the Third Reich gained so much support. I don’t wonder anymore. I understand it now.
I watched that hate boil over last year in my south Minneapolis neighborhood. Problem was that the anger got diverted into destroying local businesses.
Mob mentality and tribalism is dangerous. The counter-force was block-to-block people standing guard for each other throughout the nights in the beginning with the most violence and arson.
Why do you think they are turning the Capitol in DC into the equivalent of Baghdad’s Green Zone?
It is not because they are expecting cookies from a grateful nation.
After January 6th, it’s pretty much inevitable.
It’s pretty much guaranteed January 6th, 2025 will be a repeat if Trump loses again.
Trump is/was/will be just a symptom.
The underlying problems and refusal to reform started long before him and the consequences will be felt long after him.
Apple: T is very likely to be ineligible by then. He is almost certain to be convicted of income tax evasion. He has bragged about paying little tax almost as much as Leona Helmsley ( 750$ in each of two years).
A library of T INC records has just been finally delivered to investigators, after years of stall tactics. His main accountant will either flip or be charged.
I don’t think he will to jail as Biden will recant and pardon him, to heal rifts and not be first to let a former Pres go to jail.
Nixon knew he was looking at jail, absent a pardon. About 30 top guys did go, including Nixon’s AG.
Nixon consoled himself, or pretended to, by saying ‘some good writing has been done in jail’ (As well as smart, Nixon was a considerable scholar, a reader and writer)
Well in this case we know THAT ain’t happening, so one more reason to pardon on compassionate grounds.
Trump was/is/will be largely irrelevant to the enormous problems that have been seriously building up in this country for 50 yrs.
Trump’s election was a result of citizen outrage at the DC/NY “consensus”/Establishment and its absolute refusal to reform/course correct for 20 worsening yrs.
Essentially nothing has changed about the underlying trends of national decline so the citizen rage continues to build.
That will happen with or without nitwit bogey man Trump.
My guess is that the Left is even more terrified of a conservative figure (any conservative figure) with more on the ball than Trump…because he will come forearmed with knowledge of how key Dem factions have grown fat through government failure. If we are lucky, he would also go after similar Republican factions.
In the end, it really isn’t so much about Left vs. Right in the US as it is about the Ins vs. the Outs in the DC sewer.
The US is less about two distinct parties ideologically and more about two mafias fighting over the protection racket money.
The Democrats act like looters…
They are somewhere they broke into illegally
They are stuffing things threw Congress like a looter stuffs his pockets
They are doing all in a big hurry like they know they’re not supposed to be there and are about to get caught.
Historicus, yes. The bailouts of public and private unions in the “stimulus” bill was among the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.
Yes, and inside every society, there is a percentage who will do the dirty work with pleasure. The loonies come out of the woodwork in these times and there are plenty as we keep finding out, from top to bottom.
We’ve had the same crew overall in Congress for over 20 years (and -$28 trillion) so we know what to expect in this decade also. Hide what you want to keep.
Golly, I thought I was dark on occasion, but we’ve got you pulling a Madame Defarge today.
One theory is that people who perhaps had more wholehearted faith in prior regimes, get even angrier when disillusioned than those who were pretty cynical from the start.
I wonder if you think that might apply.
To a certain extent, it is a political/ideological variant on the “fury of a woman scorned” observation.
If you go back to my very pre-T commentary. You would see I already thought we were closer to 1932 than 2022. I still think that. Instead of assuming I have no basis for the theory, maybe you should widen the scope of your news gathering.
Also, my often commented on rent control theory is playing out somewhat. I thought we would get rent control, especially in all the big metro areas. Well, we got more than just rent control. It’s heading towards property confiscation. I was early and conservative, I think this applies to both predictions.
The last few times my husband went to buy ammunition, the shelves were fairly empty. So those 500 million guns may not be that effective if there are not bullets to put in them. We haven’t looked for ammunition in a few months so perhaps the supply has increased.
No, the supply has not increased. I still can’t get ammo.
I’ve bought 9 MM luger from online sources. You just have to sign up for a notification if it’s out of stock. Pricey though, about a dollar a bullet (hollow point).
Depth Charge –
“No, the supply has not increased. I still can’t get ammo.”
Hey DC…..I think your posts from solder of fortune magazine are accidenty getting bounced over here to this financial site by accident.
It’s ok, go back there and fix your setting…
Well, I hope no one shoots themselves in the foot drawing those Clint Eastwoods. I really don’t want to shoot anyone but some I wouldn’t mind knocking the hell out of.
BrianC – PDX
No it’s still in short supply. There has been a huge stampede of people buying up anything firearms related. My local Cabelas has been sold out for weeks. A friend and his wife had gone to Cabelas right after the election and he saw a line out the door and into the parking lot. His wife went off to look for a winter jacket, and he decided to see where the line went. It was people in queue to buy centerfire rifle and handgun ammunition.
It is insane. There are a tremendous number of first time firearms buyers out there right now.
Situation hasn’t improved. I have over 100,000 rounds, and I still haven’t been back to the range because I don’t want to shoot any of my stock until the shortage abates.
I wanna say who needs 100,000 rounds but hey who am I to judge
By the time you need it, you no longer are able to get it. Like most things, including toilet paper last year, for example.
100,000 rounds. Seems excessive to me, but maybe I’m not aware of why this is a good amount to have on hand. How did you decide on that amount? Is there some amount that you use at the range each month?
They need to let local mom and pop stores get the zero sales tax benefit.
Florida does not have state income taxes. They have flat taxes.
“Florida’s general state sales tax rate is 6% with the following exceptions: 4% on amusement machine receipts, 5.5% on the lease or license of commercial real property, and 6.95% on electricity.” Florida Dept of Revenue
“Would AMZN have survived if they had to pay sales taxes from the beginning . Would TSLA be in business without government subsidies and grants.”
What’s the phone number for the carbon credits? How did Musk get the deals like he got in NY, CA? And never understood how AMZN didnt have to pay state sales tax. (Years ago, I shorted it …. ran fast)
How did Pelosi get so rich? Feinstein?
So the USA is facing a bloodbath of epic proportions because those who control the govt. refuse to let it help regular people while serving almost entirely the wealthy and big business?
Yeah, it’s too bad people chose the fake populist, the guy who co-opted Bernie Sander’s main message. Sanders asks a really pertinent question again this week. To Jeff Bezos…if you have $182B, why fight your employees getting a raise?
It’s a great question, one so rarely asked by anybody in Congress and pointing out the big problem in the USA.
During the times of Tammany Hall, there was as word for being so greedy as to shock people. A greed that was beyond the pale….
We expect greed. We expect abuse. We expect mismanagement and incompetence.
But what we’re experiencing now, built up over decades, a century or more….it simply has to stop.
I hope the revolution is bloodless but I hear many lusting for violence. Maybe having 500M guns lying around won’t turn out to be such a wonderful idea after all…
“God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal.”
WTF is going on with WTF??
It’s funny how people like to talk about revolution in this country. Muppets don’t do revolution. Not even during the Great Depression.
Muppets get sent to other countries to die. Except what happened yesterday at Market St, SF is a preview of what will happen overseas ;)
The depression caused the rise of the gangsters of the 1930’s. The crime wave wasn’t a revolution, but it gave rise to the big crime organizations in America.
Prohibition helped a little bit.
A bad economy will drive people underground. No surprises there.
There was a rather brisk trade going across the Detroit Riiver in those days!
What is the mobility of people between wealth percentiles over time? For example, Bezos was not in the 1% at one point in his life.
Minuscule. Those few people that make it are always held up as red herring for the 99.9% that never make it.
There will always be a “1%.” That’s just how math works. But the issue is how wealthy the Fed has made the 1%, at the expense of the bottom 50%.
Are there any stats on transition to higher wealth percentiles? I grew up in the lower middle class. My Dad, a better man than me, did not have a high school education. I won’t disclose my wealth percentile, but I guess I am another one of those red herrings.
A good friend of mine came into this country as an undocumented alien from Mexico. He was on food stamps growing up. He is very well off now, founded and cashed out of one biotech company, and founded a second. Another red herring? Both of us are benefitting from the Fed’s propping up asset prices. No disrespect, Wolf, but I wonder how really rare this is.
First, I’ll say it again: This article isn’t hammering the 1%-ers. This article is hammering the Fed for creating the greatest wealth disparity ever, at the expense of the bottom 50%. You can blow a country apart that way.
There are a lot of 1%-ers and 10%-ers here on this site. And most of them see what the Fed has been doing.
In terms of transitioning: Let’s do the math: 99% of the people are not in the 1%. So if half of the 1% are new arrivals each generation, then about 99.5% of the 99%-ers will never ever make it.
The 1%, 10%, 20% are going to catch it in the neck (taxation/dilution wise) regardless.
But I would suggest the possibility that gross DC incompetence has more or less impoverished everybody in the US.
I know ZIRP has artificially propped up equity markets for 20 years…but it also confiscated huge sums from more safety minded savers (also numbered among the top 50%,75%).
And while current idiotic valuations among a subsector of stocks are goosing certain billionaires’ fortunes (a significant percentage of whom publicly and loudly proclaim Dem party loyalties), it is not inconceivable that stocks are going to ultimately do what stocks do…become volatile.
So Covid billions (as with CBO/mortgage/real estate billions before them) may vanish as underlying economic reality once again overcomes the DC print machine.
And, for me, that underlying reality is China’s clearer and cleaner eclipse of the US in productive efficiency, output, and capacity.
That fact will determine the fate of the US for the next 100 hundred years much more so than if some app developer (or god help us, Kardashian) went from $1 to $2 billion until their luck, hubris, or hype ran out.
Hike taxes on the 1%, 10%, 20% if used to buy time for DC to grow wise (but if they haven’t for 50 years, why would they in 10?).
But so long as the mantra “America is the richest country on Earth…we can afford A to Z” is widely believed, the US will *never* reform enough to make the statement once again true.
The increased tax revenue will simply go where the tax revenues have gone for 50 years…to the favored, corrupt factions of both Left and Right, institutions and sectors that are the *worst* run in American life (because DC has insulated, and therefore cultivated, their failures).
“I know ZIRP has artificially propped up equity markets for 20 years…but it also confiscated huge sums from more safety minded savers (also numbered among the top 50%,75%).”
Well its only been 12 years.
Not so far back, in 2007, the Dow made its all time highs in July at 14K. Fed Funds were 4%!
When Powell, to his credit, put Fed Funds at 2% in later half of 2018, the Dow shed 5K pronto. Now, 1% Fed Funds would roll the stock market. The threshold gets lower and lower.
And, as you say, this has been a theft, beginning with the first QE in July of 2009, of the savers money to prop the stock market. At first, it might have been sold as a necessity. It became something else….and the theft continued to this day.
If you look at the 10 yr Treasury rates, they went from 6.7% in January 2000 to 3.3% in June 2003.
1 yr Treasuries went from 6.1% to 1% over the same period.
(The slow subsequent rise in rates to something resembling legitimacy eventually popped idiot Bubble 1.0…formed thanks to EarlyZIRP).
This was before explicit money printing by the Fed (Quantitative Lying) but the Fed has multiple tools to influence interest rates and explicit printing is just one.
(I know the Fed pinned pre QE interest rate gutting on an enormous pool of unrecycled Chinese export proceeds but 1) that doesn’t mean the Fed wasn’t acting as well, and 2) was the Fed/DC dead and blind during the non-recycling?)
-The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90%—And That’s Made the U.S. Less Secure
Time -Sept 14, ’20
-The wealthiest 1% has taken $50 trillion from working Americans and redistributed it, a new study finds.
Business insider (SEpt 18, ’20)
-Top 1% Of U.S. Households Hold 15 Times More Wealth Than Bottom 50% Combined
-If a pie represented the estimated $98 trillion of household wealth in the United States, nine pieces, or 90% of the pie, would go to the wealthiest 20% in the country, according to a National Bureau Of Economic Research study of household wealth trends in the united states from 1962 to 2016. Out of those nine slices, four would go to just the top 1%.
CBS Jan 31, ’20
WRONG. Bezos was always a 1%’er. His grandfather owned a 25,000 acre ranch where Bezos spent a lot of time growing up.
2000 is when BOJ went ZIRP…
and the arbitrage and the lemmings followed to pound our rates…
“Wherein I rant…”
And keep it up, Wolf, as we’re relying on you in this age of disinformation.
A financial system this overvalued should be providing financial cover to the many, not to the few. The few have too much already, and their organizations frankly don’t provide enough service or employment to warrant the rewards the system has bestowed. It is clear the system doesn’t function for the many, and it is also clear how hollow the leadership is and has been for a long time.
I expect another collapse real soon. Didn’t see it coming the last time, but now I do. Too much dysfunction everywhere. Stop trying to pick up pennies in front of a steamroller, it will crush you eventually. Withdraw as much as you can from the dysfunction, it is a waste of your time, money and energy.
“it is also clear how hollow the leadership is and has been for a long time.”
So true, Petunia, and in so very many areas of our national leadership. Just one recent in the news example, the meeting in Alaska with China to build better relationship. If you’ve read our leader’s actions in the run up to it, it defies common sense, basic good manners all our mother’s taught us, diplomatic norms, etc. It’s just plain stupid and incompetent. You don’t piss on the shoes of someone you want to get along with better. Yet, our leaders can’t even grasp this simple reality.
Our leader is simply unfit for the office. The people who selected him knew it, and the people who voted for him knew it as well. The world knows he is unfit, yet we think we are still a super power in spite of his incapacity. The delusion is the problem.
Agree, and saying what you probably already know… using the word leader to describe him is the likely the greatest of licence. “His” policies are almost indistinguishable from his predicesor.
Superpower? Not… we lost the last few wars we were in, and I was in one of them. I’m embarrassed to be a U.S. citizen the way this country has treated its citizens. If you really believe you have representation in government, try getting a personal meeting with your congressman (or even speaking to him (or her) on the phone).
And the last guy was? It’s common knowledge that T is semi-literate. He inherited 500 million in 1985 real estate (mainly the Starrett apt complexes) which today would be worth more than the most generous estimate of his net now. It’s funny hearing all this rage about the 1 %. I don’t know about Bezos ‘always’ being a 1%, I just doubt it, but I do know that Gates and Ellison were nowhere near at the start. T was from the time he inherited, and NO ONE is more careful to let everyone know it. So why does he get a pass from the rant?
I’ve been reading about T since ‘Art of The Deal’ by Tony Schwartz and as a young realtor was a T fan.
Repeat: BY Tony Schwarz, not as the cover says ‘with Tony Schwartz’. Schwartz has apologized for his role in making T a celeb instead of just a real estate guy. He says he needed the money and the ‘puff piece’ came with a rare 50/50 split. But Schwartz still tried to pull out after a week. “He wouldn’t sit down with me for more than 5 minutes. It only went ahead when he let me listen to his phone calls for material.”
Hilariously, T now says T wrote the book. With Schwartz proofing or something?
But seriously there is only one real, unvarnished, insider, look at T and it’s none of the political stuff, it’s ‘Trumped’ by Jack O’Donnell, T’s head of casino operations. T tried to suppress it. You’ll see why.
(O’Donnell reported the attempt to suppress, and the lawyer, to the casino regulators)
America is a kakistocracy.
I don’t want to come along as a gerontophobe but sometimes too old is just too old to run a country in times when new thinking is required. Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most amazing president this country has known and if I recall correctly he was sworn in at 42.
That’s what Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and all those other loathsome, pathetic professional liars in the right-wing echo chamber told you think.
The country is 245 years old and your scapegoat is the guy who’s been on the job for a single month.
Are you sure the “Delusion” isn’t coming out of your TV?
I supposed in your mind, our world would be perfect w/the silver-spoon, millionaire by age 8, money-laundering, tax-evading, lying, twice impeached, international embarrassment still in charge?!
The guy who spent 1 yr out of his 4 as “Prez” playing golf?!?!
If you were going to pick a man to look up to….you can’t do better than that? “The world knows he is unfit.” LOL!!!
I haven’t watched Fox in about 2 years since I cut the cord.
Biden is senile. Nobody had to convince me, I can see it, repeatedly. This is something I have seen in my own family. The look of fear they have when they have no recognition and the look of joy when they do recover recognition.
This situation is dangerous for all of us and the dems will reap what they have sown. Every world leader can see it too.
Less error of two weevils, likely for most folks eh Pet?
While a lot of folks thought some of what Trump did was good,,, many of those same folks told me they thought he had lost his marbles, to put it politely, and would not vote FOR him,,, and so ended up either not voting against him or not voting at all the second time.
As a former small contractor, I could not vote for T, as he was clear he had made some of his money screwing small contractors, and I consider his two opponents either just as bad crooks, or incompetent or both, so voted for one of our local folks both times.
I’ll take a well-intentioned senile person over an intelligent scam artist every time. At least the senile person has periods of positive contribution.
I wonder why some people are able to go off on political rants yet my comment about the “violent insurgency” being nothing more than a selfie opportunity for unarmed attention-seekers was deleted?
Imagine talking to the citizens of other countries who have been under the siege of a violent insurgency and coup, and trying to convince them that’s what we just had. What a joke. This country’s politicians, and their media puppets, are a bunch of drama queens.
It was deleted because it was the same blatant falsehood that people want to spread around everywhere. There are TONS of videos out there on this. Take a look. All kinds of mayhem happened.
And yes, you’re correct, I should have deleted Petunia’s comment as well. Touché. I noticed it too late and let it go. Bad decision.
“You don’t piss on the shoes of someone you want to get along with better.”
You don’t have to piss on their shoes…but you,
1) Should move away from someone pissing on your shoes…for 20 years and
2) Tell the shoe pissers in no uncertain terms that the days of unreciprocated shoe pissing are over.
DC could have and should have had that conversation with China 15 years ago.
It had the data and laws in place to do so.
But DC, being DC, didn’t.
The free market solution would be to buy some galoshes
My hatred and contempt towards Jerome Powell probably rivals my hatred towards Greenspan. Not that any of Greenspan’s successors deserve any less hate but there are something about these two character that really make them stand out head and shoulders above the rest. Powell so far as out done every of those clowns though if I have to compare the two. Trillions later, market and asset prices have gone totally banana and still can put on a straight face and hold interest rate at pretty much next to zero and claim everything is almost back to normal. It takes certain level of psychopathy to pull something off like that.
Not only that, he smiles and says there is an unlimited amount in store should it be needed, that he is going to continue the same policies which have led to such massive distortions. This guy has a screw loose.
I draw the analogy to Alec Guiness in the “Bridge Over the River Kwai”…the final scene…where Alec stands there, rubbing his forehead saying..
“What have I done.”
For me, Zimbabwe Ben Bernanke will always be the worst.
He, more than the others, provided the ersatz intellectual cover for vast stupidities (“We have a technology called a printing press…”).
It was the kind of unjustified arrogance, hubris, and disdain that made you want to shove his nose into his brain.
In July of 2009, Bernanke wrote an article for the WSJ explaining how QE would be “unwound” when things go better.
I tore it out and still have it…I knew it was a lie when he wrote it..
How many BILIONS, TRILLIONS of QE since?
I think your hatred is somewhat misplaced. Probably ought to blame members of the Senate and some power brokers in the house. Powell is the technician who ensures money flows to DC by dishonest means. Would be more honest to tax than to print.
Perhaps, but “just following orders” really hasn’t been a good excuse for a long time.
And, there is a long tradition of academic Wormtongues writhing in eagerness to justify/temporarily enable the fiscal crack addicts.
And Greenspan’s “hero”….Ayn Rand….she ended up dying:
1) Living in public housing
2) Cashing those SOCIAL(ism) security checks
Their entire political philosophy is a fraud. It’s just culture wars to keep the rubes voting again and again to slash their own throats. #familyvalues
I’ve seen no evidence that Rand died in public housing but I have seen where she did take some Social Security.
Regardless, you don’t have to be a 100% believer in the inerrancy of all Objectivist philosophy in order to be deeply cynical about the daily operation of American government-in-practice.
The entire Constitution was drafted and ratified by men deeply cynical about governments-in-practice.
And, in many ways, the last 50 years of decline have been an indictment of how governments-in-practice operate (can kicking, currency fraud, villain invention, bureaucratic incompetence on a global scale, stagnation in the service of corrupt, core constituencies, etc.)
Rand lived out her life in a rent controlled apt in NY. This is an often heard criticism of her. Hardly her fault the city kept the WWII price controls in place.
All the ‘people’ who are part & party to what’s simply a colossal commons smash-n-grab should have a date with a lampost!
These people shouldn’t be running our world, and us the lowlymokestanis, into the mud. They are nothing but Liers and Conjures!
What do you mean “we” kemosabe?
Gotta love this wealth transfer, how come I don’t hear the other side complaint about wealth transfer now like they cried about it with even a slight mention of a wealth tax? Where’s my crying Leon Cooperman now?
The way things are going, looks like we will be on a super fast track to feudalism, better yet make that Neo-feudalism..good times
I don’t like the wealth tax because I fear it will be like the income tax. At first just a temporary tax on the rich and now we are all doing turbo tax to list $11.24 of interest income down at the credit union.
I think in a few years we might all be forced into listing all assets above $1000 for their yearly take.
So you don’t want the wealthy to pay their fair share because you fear it MIGHT someday effect you too?
You just summed up the GOP’s entire political philosophy and how they’ve kicked the working class in the nutz for generations. And how do you get those folks to keep voting against their own interests?
Social wedge issues (guns, gods, gays, punching down and picking on immigrants)….AKA the culture wars.
Why talk about fixing anything when you can fixate on the ‘sex’ of a potato and cry like a snowflake because the Seuss Foundation decided to stop publishing a few unpopular titles.
And you wonder why things are so terrible?!?!?!?!
I don’t have a problem with Rich paying more. Just not a new wealth tax. Eliminate charitable donations to “nonprofits” would clean up the system a lot. A lot wealth escapes using that loophole.
Have to admire you nodecentrepublicansleft. Your strength is the strength of ten because your heart is pure. You need a Sancho Panza.
The wealthy live off of assets. They are able to hire the productivity of others.
The working class lives off of labor.
There is little more feared by the wealthy than a wealth tax. To lose the ability to extract the productive efforts of others is a painful situation to contemplate.
The wealthy far prefer the “income” tax. How is it that a person’s labor is taxed at a higher rate than dividends?
I read this more of a defense of the change of course with fiscal policy, which is making wall street types nervous.
What’s the “change of course”?
Not printing more as the 10 yr Tbill has increased?
No sarcasm intended.
Pretty soon J.Powell will be a host next to Cramer on CNBC.
Well to play Devil’s Advocate for a second… “Bubbles Get Burst”
It is hard to see how the assets owned by the bottom 50% go down in value. The thing about the value of “cars, dishwashers, furniture, smartphones, and other consumer durable goods” is that their value may go down SLOWLY over time… but they cannot be taxed away nor drop like a rock.
The “wealth” of the Top 50% can drop pretty quickly. The price of your stocks can drop if you are too invested in fracking companies, APPLE, or Elon’s latest gadget… to say nothing of Bitcoins. Bonds are a never-ending source of calamity… I defy anyone to declare that they have the bond markets “all figured out” and avoid being made to look like a fool. Art, cars, wine, diamonds and other stores of wealth for the rich can simply fall out of favor.
And that is to say nothing of taxes… which will be going up on the rich more than on others. If for no other reason than because they have to.
I get Wolf’s point that the CURRENT plays by the FED have helped the rich to get richer. The question is “What comes next?” In that I suspect that Powell is right… that the bottom half are about to get their due. Particularly IF INFLATION CAN BE CONTAINED.
We shall see.
Fed Chair Jerome Fowl is running scared because the class war is reaching nadir.
That’s why all the braggadocio. “We’ll fight them on the beaches, . . .”
Sharpen the guillotines boys. This time don’t just occupy WS, take it over.
What’s WS’s favorite aphorism? “Buy when there’s blood in the street.”
Conversely, bleed the effing plutocrats when there’s buying in the street.
Look at Vanita Gupta, Biden’s nominee for the No. 3 job at the U.S. Justice Department. Gupta ran the Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama. Vanita Gupta has a stake in a business led by her father that pays workers in Mexico less than $2 an hour, despite her advocacy for a $15 an hour federal minimum wage in the U.S. Gupta, a civil rights attorney-turned Justice Department nominee, has reported owning between $42 million and $187 million in assets and properties with her spouse. She reported earning between $902,000 and $3 million in the past year, the filing shows. The biggest chunks of her assets come from her shares in companies linked to her father, Raj Gupta, Avantor corporate chairman and Wall Street financier with vast corporate interests.
Avantor, like Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and the Eastman Kodak chemical division, makes big money from selling chemicals like glacial acetic acid to anyone paying the bill. Such as Mexican drug lords through cut-outs. All these companies are closely linked to Wall Street, especially Goldman Sachs. When, in the 19th century, the British East India Trading Company (controlled by the Rothschilds) started illegally flooding imperial China with smuggled in opium, the Chinese fought back, launching the Opium Wars to protect its people from the City of London financed (and British Empire protected) drug dealers. The United States, on the other hand, gives Wall Street drug dealers top government jobs in law enforcement.
To be fair, the manufacture and sale of distilled vinegar is not particularly damning.
“I guess I would be angry too, if I tried to short entire US Market year ago. Am I the only one who can see hypocrisy here? :)”
I’m one of the privileged. I’ve benefited from the Fed’s shenanigans for decades, you moron.
In addition, I COVERED my very profitable short a year ago at the bottom. I took out a new short in mid-June. It’s all documented right here.
“Mr. Powell, do you see that we see that you see that we know that inflating asset bubbles is designed from get-go to inflate the wealth of the very rich, and the remainder of the Americans get to eat dust?”
I was about halfway through this article when I heard myself saying to myself, “good lord; it’s time”. Then I heard myself to myself for myself from myself mutter, “it’s coming, it’s really coming this time”. Wherein I continued to the point where there was no escaping the ‘this time’ folks here long so desperately within themselves for – a sign to either show a difference or offer an ending with a bit more substance than just simply being a bit different, at least this time not be same as last time.
No, I knew what was coming: “Yeah, Wolf’s gonna go take swim”,
I said aloud to myself. “He really is. I can tell. Yeah, it’s time. It’s past time.” Otherwise he’s gonna start calling readers “morons”, feeling better for a moment before he again feels the heat rising within, out of control of his self and clouding how he sees himself and others. No, not today. Today he will see himself swimming and he will go down, refresh and move forward with contributions to things within a world where small differences add up to bigger differences where, perhaps, more within his control than he realizes.
Wolf, look over in the corner. See the wet-suit? Just put it on. Go out. Pick up your feet. Smile at a stranger. Enjoy your habitat. Get to the ocean and immerse yourself for yourself with yourself and just chill in the wetness. Look up! Feel the wind in your face! Dunk under and let your entire body go weightless letting go of the pressure. Then swim back ferociously as if your life depended upon it. Dry and resume.
And when you do, don’t call the moron a moron.
You missed most of the story. Drunken Gambler has been trolling my site by fabricating BS about me and my life and trolling me with it. This has no place here. I called him out on this a few times, but it didn’t take. So today was it. That was his last comment here. That’s what happens to trolls.
BTW, I swim without wetsuit
Since the rich own most of the assets in this country, unlike say 20 years ago, why would the stock market ever go down? In order for that to happen, someone in the in group will have to betray the others.
Just make it 95% over some egregious value.
Use it or lose it.
The government is owned by rich people in case you haven’t heard.
“Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page
Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much inﬂuence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy inﬂuence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent inﬂuence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. “
Not necessarily. You assume the 1% will be the bagholders. For “this time to be different” you just have to let FOMO soak in a bit longer. Don’t we all agree this charade cycle has been drown out longer than ever before. I can only go from my own experience but people I have known as fiscally conservative seem to be taking on more risk when it seems obvious the opposite should happen. The pull is real.
>We can’t effect wealth inequality
Why would he say that?
Hoover’s trickle down economy policies enacted as well as pre-great depression market madness, in combination with the global climate change paralleling the 1929 great draught…and this guy has the audacity to make such a statement…Simply stupid, and I mean 7/5 stupid.
I wonder how much is a dollar worth in a country full of angry and hungry people?
I think if you are looking at Hoover as the problem, you aren’t looking back far enough. I think it was the dope that got the US involved in the stupidity of World War I that created the need for printed money that created the roaring 20’s.
By 1929 the debt bubble was going to pop and take a long time to mop it up. Not that different from now. Whoever happens to be the Host of the party when the clock strikes midnight gets the blame.
He hears criticism coming from with the industry now. The Fed needs to be careful. The public fears the banks when the stock market is falling.
This is no longer the case. With the negative public perception rising, politicians might find it possible to pass things, such as a wealth tax or a transaction tax.
We know it’s all BS. Fed has unicorn job of price stability, everybody that wants a job can get one and making sure system doesn’t implode. They are in the process of creeping into social justice and climate change. They are making heaven on earth.
Place “social justice” and “climate change” in the same category as “military intelligence” and “jumbo shrimp.”
“NYC man sells fart for $85, cashing in on NFT craze,” was the exact headline the NY Post ran with on Thursday of this week whilst reporting on a Brooklyn-based art director in the midst of selling “a year’s worth of fart audio clips” as non-fungible tokens.
The artist, Alex Ramirez-Mallis, asked the Post: “If people are selling digital art and GIFs, why not sell farts?”
What The Fart?
This is the problem:
If you are a saver, heavy cash that used to make nearly 3% savings and now makes 0.5% what do you do?
Do you invest in a market that has no value? Do you invest in a fragile housing market? Do you buy gold that goes down in value when people can’t buy it because they’re broke? Or do you hold on to cash that right now goes down in value at about 4,000 – 5,000 dollars per 100,000 per year?
It’s like watching money leaking from the garden faucet and being sucked into the rich neighbors yard.
one of the few here it seems trying to figure out what they can personally do for their financial future besides form a mob. kudos to you, sir.
the answer to your question is to buy and hold physical gold.
it does not go down in value. though we are lucky enough that it is so low in price right now. we buy gold waiting for that market, not to go up, but to fail. like 1933 and 1971. we are past due. this is gonna be a big one.
allow me to point out one flaw in your thinking, to help you see this easy path better-
you say about gold, “… when people can’t buy it because they’re broke?”
if they are truly broke then they do not get gold, true. but if they have even meager savings they can buy LESS in terms of weight, but the same PRICE. unlike real estate or complex paper deals, buying gold is for everyone! it doesn’t matter how much gold you buy, only how many dollars worth. the small purchases made by simple savers like us does not affect the ocean of futures and derivatives spewed by bullion banks. earn enough to live well and save in physical gold. you will look like a genius one day, and feel much calmer about your finances while you wait.
No matter how many times it is said the gold bugs always come back with their old solution, buy gold! Well, gold is a commodity not a fiat currency. Yes, gold and dollars were once one and the same, but they are not anymore. By their logic, any commodity could become a fiat currency just because they want it to. The bottom line is if the economy collapses into a barter economy, gold will only be worth what people think it’s worth and you can’t eat gold. Every bandit will be hunting for gold hoarders, but in the end, you can’t eat it and you have to sell it for actual money or goods for it to be worth anything. So you turn up at the market where you pull out your chunk of gold (the vendor tells you the cost of whatever it is you need is a one ounce chunk of gold, no more, no less) to buy whatever it is you need in an economic collapse and you wonder why that group of dodgy looking characters follows you home. In reality, if the economy collapses into a barter system, an apple orchard will have far greater value than gold. Do you see why?
I really, really wish this site allowed more thorough discussion so that my response to you would be read and understood by the many, many upset people who cannot seem to make sense of what is happening.
It’s important. you aren’t stupid, Fat Chewer, but you are wrong. your logic is sound but your initial assumptions are off and it leads you to a false conclusion.
gold is NOT I repeat NOT a commodity. that is the fatal flaw in your argument. It is not used up, Fat Chewer. it isn’t burned, it isn’t eaten, it isn’t spread in tiny amounts and twisted amongst millions of products. It goes from one hole in the ground to another. for generations.
put it this way: why did the gold standard fail in the 1930s? and then again in the 1970s? Or even better, why does a gold standard ALWAYS fail? It is because fractionally reserve systems are vulnerable to deflationary shocks. Just like ours today is. The difference is that we can keep ours going by printing, whereas on a gold standard the system fails because, not only can you not eat gold, but you cant print gold either.
Now what are bullion banks today? what is the LBMA? well, it is an association of banks. kinda like our federal reserve is made of many member banks. but the LBMA has books DENOMINATED IN ounces. not pounds or dollars or euros.
Let that sink in. They have been setting up their own little-great-depression this whole time. The size of which may surprise everyone. It’s gonna happen again. It will be a big deal though I do not think we will be reduced to barter. I hope you and others take this logic to heart.
and oh yeah, i own an apple orchard thank you very much. looking forward to this spring and fresh cider. [huge grin]
Lol! That apple orchard was a very good investment! Yes, I agree, I doubt it’ll get to the point of a barter economy, and therefore you say it is a good store of wealth because humans will always love that shiny yellow metal, which is probably true.
Readers, just remember that something truly productive like an orchard is always a better option than a commodity that relies on speculation.
“gold will only be worth what people think it’s worth and you can’t eat gold.”
This and your whole comment is B.S. my question is then why every country always looking for gold? china, russia, etc… why does the U.S. have fort Knox? guarded 24/7 + NY Fed basement. We have more gold than any other country. More than twice the gold reserves of the next country in line (Germany). Oh, I wonder why Germany loves and piled up so much gold? hint: Weimar Republic.
my view is the Fed will keep printing and printing until the $ collapses. We will be lucky if that doesn’t trigger a world wide depression. Then the only way to restore faith in the dollar will be to open up fort knox and peg the dollar to gold. Then we start building the economy again until we forget the pain and get Nixon 2.0 bring the money back to fiat. Then the cycle repeats.
This is the only option I see and if it doesn’t happen then China’s renminbi will inevitably be the global reserve currency and their dream of dominating us will be a reality.
So after this bubble pops, the government will determine gold’s worth by pegging the dollar to it and ALLOW people to withdraw and feel the gold in order to be faithful to the dollar again. So if you have private gold and bring it out now, you are… [what bungee said].
We have lived through a long period of government and Fed stimulus that has rewarded leveraged up risk taking and punished risk off savings. That is what fiat money can do. If you have made it this far being a saver or being a value investor then there is probably no reason to change as changing investing styles is probably one of top five mistakes people make.
If the past is a guide, when stocks are this high, savings returns will beat return on stocks for a 20 – 30 year period.
Yup. You need 100% profit to recover from a 50% loss.
The best article I have read on the impact the Fed’s policy is having on wealth inequality. It is little wonder there is little or no correlation between interest rates / bond yields and consumer price inflation. A large percentage of the population need to save more money (and spend less) to buy a house and fund their retirement. Low interest rates and bond yields do, however, have a big impact on asset prices. The fact the Fed – and other central banks – fail to even acknowledge this beggars belief.
A large number of journalists are also unwittingly responsible for central bank actions. They seem to judge central bankers based on how high they can push up bond prices and financial markets. They lauded – almost worshipped Draghi. The same happened with Greenspan – until house prices collapsed. Meanwhile Lagarde is too scared to say anything negative after the press attacked her for saying it wasn’t her job to correct yield spreads.
It’s nice to finally read an article which points out the problems associated with asset low interest rates and asset price inflation.
Thank you for putting yourself out there and reporting truth in an age of pure lies and propaganda.
“Whatever we do now echoes in eternity…”
History of the future will forget Wolfstreet and the commenters here. How do you think people are suffering?
1. Food is scarce? Nope its plenty. we are producing more food with less people and exporting more. Actually can’t get free containers to get out them soybeans.
2. Science and technology is at its peak. I can get 5G internet connection and talk to y’ll, family and friends. I find everything in my smartphone.
3. Amazon (similar delivery service) drops electronics, computers and stationary bikes outside my door.
4. In the past I must give 1/3rd of my harvest to the king. Now, the government gave $2000 to me so far. This is apart from any unemployment, SSN and Medicare/caid given to the peasants.
5. Lets consider the 10 year yields. Do you think I become angry at the feds because I paid $20 more on the $1000 laptop?
6. How many of cheeseburger and lotto playing citizens even know what is a SPY?
Its the stimmys now…
You must be the investor class.
I have a coworker (late 20s) trying to buy a house. Every month inflation eats away at his savings, while home prices get further and further away. He was outbid by 60k by an investor who didn’t even visit the property. You act as if things are so great, but as the dollar is no longer a store of value, the people will look at the money printers, the wealthy, and the financiers for revenge.
Obviously, it’s his fault for saving that money instead of buying overpriced stonks, crypto, or NFTs! /s
This is exactly what I mean when I say that low interest rates and QE benefit the boomers (or a subset of the boomers) at the expense of young people starting out.
Then you have the absolutely despicable Janet Yellen who goes on and on about how low mortgage rates help homebuyers. She’s either lying or stupid, because those low mortgage rates just mean sellers raise their prices and people like your coworker are still out of luck.
There are a lot of boomers and prior generations whose income streams got wiped out by the Fed’s interest rate repression. Some of them are posting here.
Wolf, absolutely. There are many who are risk averse, saved well but are not rich (say, $300k-$500k in savings at the time of retirement) and lose out fair interest rates. I used to do tax returns for these people through a volunteer organization for people with low incomes, and it was sad to watch interest income drop for them.
But, to the extent that Fed policy benefits asset holders, Boomers are disproportionately asset owners, whether they are stocks or houses, compared to Millennials and Gen Zers.
Isn’t it amazing how the MSM would go on endlessly about how income strapped seniors allegedly “had to eat dogfood” in the early 80’s (early Reagan era) but let DC need to ZIRP seniors’ savings for the last 20 years and the MSM says essentially *nothing*.
For 20 years.
He is probably fortunate. Fed’s got all asset prices blown up. He should keep stashing cash and doing research. Most likely he is going to get a chance every decade or so to buy a house on sell.
I was desperate to make my first home purchase, but I was rushing life. Home ownership is mostly for wives and children in my opinion. It’s a cash drain until you sell it and it’s not liquid.
And the taxes on a home can be increased according to the “needs” of government.
And everybody has a big screen TV!
“It was the best of times….it was the worst of times….”
You are happy with your $2000 stimulus payment?
If you had received your fair share of stimulus, you should have received $26,000 (i.e., $4T stimulus / 150M households). Instead, you got $2000.
Government straddled you with $26,000 debt in exchange for a token $2000. Deal?
The worse the crisis, the richer these pigs get. It’s like a pig that has control of its own slop. Can you say 1 ton porkers for days?
“In other words, according to the Fed’s own data, the bottom 50% have nearly no income-producing assets, and cannot gain any measurable wealth from the Fed’s shenanigans.”
It’s time to end these cronies, by ANY means possible. We are beyond “let them eat cake.”
makes me sick. tweet it and make it viral. people need to be aware of whats happening in this country.
“Powell simply doing his job”.
Deficits equal to 16% of GDP.
Total debt-to-GDP at all-time highs.
Housing prices our of reach.
Wealth concentration at all-time high.
700k new unemployment claims last week.
Rampant fraud and waste related to hastily installed gov’t programs.
Record bailouts of airlines, banks, stockholders, and bondholders.
Complete loss of credibility.
He’s doing his job, but he’s not doing it well.
Hey Wolf Readers,
Of course some always emerge better..
According to history this is a given outcome.
I think that this article is pointing out one often overlooked observation.
There are one or two certain entities (groups of ten or less)
about to become the world’s only trillonaires.
If one simply sees millionaires as middle class everyone one else is working or poor or destitute pay check to check.
The American Middle Class is gone, it was wipe out purposely by federal reserve policy and the Reagan Administration, both Bush disastrous cartels, Clinton Administration NAFTA, nail in the hard working person’s coffin, Obama look the other way policies and Trumps rear view mirror stubbornness.
I am bought and sold at the daily marketplace.
The alternative is destitute and starvation.
Like most I’ll take the marketplace over the other plus billions and billions humans.
I’m a lucky one.
So are all reading this.
Obama bears as much of the blame as anybody. He had a chance to send these bankers to prison by the dozen, and did completely the opposite, inviting Jamie Dimon to the White House as a confidant instead of the anti-American economic terrorist he and his brethren really are. Obama ended up with his oceanfront estate in the Hamptons. Do the math.
So Obama is the lone US politician personally responsible for reeling in Wall Street, K-Street, etc. excesses?
Everybody else gets a pass?
What about President Ford’s pardon of Tricky Dick? There was a chance to show the rule of law meant something.
What about every other US President and their administrations?
Just because a former US President ends up buying a nice house somewhere doesn’t prove anything.
Why don’t you hold those same high expectations to others?
“Do the math” on all the rest while you’re doing the math.
It’s like blaming Biden, the guy who been on the job for a single month for all the woes the USA has accumulated over 2.5 centuries.
Since you weren’t paying attention,,, this is what Depth Charge said:
“Obama bears as much of the blame as anybody.”
He didn’t anyone else a pass.
I heard Huey Long is coming back, this time with a bullet-proof vest.
I put time into a message and displeased its not here for certain friends to view.
It was factually correct and non abusive.
It just got hung up. It’s here for all to see.
Peace out and love in our friendships, everyone aboard?
Wolf, many have been hearing of the next crisis…can you provide an example of what will happen…what may trigger the next crisis? Outside of a major war what will be the catalyst for the market to start to tumble? Many of us would appreciate some insight into what might happen to trigger the event…What will make the Fed unable to respond?
Ammo isn’t available because people are hoarding it right now- buying it whenever it shows up on a shelf in a store, and not using it either. Look around at your shooting ranges where they are open- not nearly as busy as they were just a year and half ago- the ammo is too precious to use right now at a range, at least if you are already proficient as using firearms.
8 million new gun owners, they say..
each by a box of 50
That’s 400 million rounds…
You are right, I am hoarding my 9 MM hollow point cartridges and my #4 buckshot shells for self protection, if it comes to that.
And now they are selling a box of 25 at a higher price.
There is going to be no happy ending to what is happening. What the Fed is doing simply can’t continue indefinitely, and they can reverse course either. Every single indebted entity in the government and the business world simply can’t survive a rise in interest rates much beyond where they are right now, so the Fed is trapped- it is either raging inflation or deep deflation of financial assets. There is no third way.
There is a solution. Raise the fuck out of taxes for the 1% and corporations.
Never happen. They will raise taxes on the other 99% first.
Has it occurred to you that unless the loop holes crafted by lawyers, accountants, lobbyists, and their bought off Congressional lawmakers are all removed, and new ones are not put in, hypocrites like Buffet and Gates will keep getting richer?
I don’t see a lot of people going after them… one side would be practically chopping off their own support infrastructure if they did that, the other would be put at odds with their own talking points.
Tax the 1% at 100% and it would cover government spending for only a few months. They’d have to raise taxes on the middle class also to raise a lot more money. And of course cutting any spending is out of the question.
And, yes, these are the kinds of things that lead to revolutions.
So, to sum up the article, the problem is the Fed playing money games, and the government body that enables it… Congress.
Here are the charts and statistics to prove it.
Well, we should get some people governance in there, thank goodness we have a new administration on deck to make things better.
At this point, I think the only question left is when will the sandbags run out and when the dam will burst. I suppose to a lesser extent, how each individual will survive whatever is coming next.
P.S. Wolf, love the eToro ad on the left, and the tax prep ad on the right. It sums up the age we’re in nicely.
Is the Fed playing these games because Congress (particularly, the Dems) demands it for their insane spending packages (union pension bailouts, “stimulus” checks that are unneeded, unjustified state pension bailouts) or does the Fed do it anyway and Congress just sees the opening?
A long time ago, a friend gave me a mug with a cartoon and said: “Amazingly enough, millions of America adults still believe in Santa Claus. In fact so many still believe in Santa Claus that mental health professionals you have a special name for them… Democrats.” That statement still rings true today, more so than ever in fact. The Republicans have decided to join the party some time ago, there is practically no difference anymore between them.
At this point, we might be better off with CCP, then at least that way we’d be spared from all the rhetoric about human rights and other BS that only gets used as virtue signaling talking points. And stop bothering with our CCTV/Pravda new media.
They know that, and are preparing.
Now, for a classic revolution one really has to be able to storm the chateau or palace, protest outside the bank that has robbed you, etc.
In a digitised world – which is approaching very rapidly indeed – every institution will be immaterial and the rulers inaccessible.
Digital credits of dissidents and rebels will disappear instantly. Services will be cut off likewise.
All that is real will be the surveillance/killer drones and autonomous small battlefield (ie your city streets) vehicles. Military training is brainwashing: political protest will be defined as national security threat. The police have been militarised.
And, as Noah Hariri observed, it’s now possible to control huge numbers of people with very little direct force. Trialled in Israel, now being rolled out everywhere.
The last year has also been a massive mind-and- crowd-control exercise, in case no one has noticed……
I agree that every time you allow a company to force you to use their app, instead of providing a real customer service person, they are distancing themselves from their responsibilities to you as a customer. Especially, when you find out their app doesn’t work as promised, and you are left with no recourse, and they take no responsibility.
Verizon, I’m talking about you. Soon you will have one less app user.
Same with Turnkey Vacation Rentals
When you think you have deleted all of their app – you haven’t.
Concept: “Federal troops” implementation [rolled out in Minneapolis & DC in ’20].
Lots of ex-mil types (Seals/Special Forces/Marine recon) working construction gigs.
How so? Open your ears & eyes!
The only way out I see is violent revolution and nothing less
How do you destroy a country: debauch the currency. Lenin.
History is the history of nations debasing their currency…..Hayek
CLOWARD PIVEN / PELOSI POWELL
According to Forbes, an ultra rich guy like Trump is $1 billion in dept. That means 2% inflation is an annual subsidy of $20 million to him, at the expense of savers, pensioners etc.
The mob still hasn’t figured this out so they keep pulling down statues instead of storming the Eccles Building.
Remember that Gamestop thing a month ago? The comments in the Wallstreetbets reddit were amusing to read. But what really struck me was the HATE that I read from especially young people against the system and (unfortunately) also against older generations that are seen as responsible for all this (not always justified imo, as most of them get F#$%ed just as hard)
Another thing that I noticed in the past year is that a lot of people that are (or used to be) solidly middle class are now suddenly angry and very critical of the way the system works, while they were very docile before.
Something is brewing under the surface.
Totally agree with distancing yourself from every app. The aim is to provide as little service and contact as possible. They are insulating themselves from responsibility to their customers. If they won’t provide real people service, dump them fast.
Before I buy any new product or service which is a financial investment, I call the company, specifically the CS personnel. I don’t call the sales lines, I call the “existing customers” lines. The sales lines always pick up immediately because they know they have to in order to get the sale.
The existing customers lines are where you find out if they’re playing the “due to unusually high call volumes” game, and what level of service they are providing. I wait to see if they are outsourced to India, Philippines, etc. A lot of info can be gleaned, and future headaches avoided, by taking this step.
This country will NOT survive without those confederate statutes.
Stop shopping at super markets?! But dude…they’re “super”.
You’re delusional if you thought it was ever going to end with Confederate statutes (sic).
That’s very interesting. That means that some of the people on WSB will be teaching or showing others how it works. That’s new. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before except for rare random incidents.
What complete swine the War Party Of The Rich Is. Enjoy the two levers they give you to pull. And we criticize Russia ….. unbelieveable
The last election proved, it doesn’t matter who we vote for, they will choose for us. You will be surprised on how many don’t vote next time. It’s going to be true one party govt, no more pretending. The Whigs should just go home at this point.
Already a one party thing..the revised “No Nothings” as in “No, nothing will be repaired today or beyond.”. But you do get some crackers while they cut the cheese from ingesting that steak lunch on the public tab.
I am not sure about that. I think the Dems were more creative about their election strategy. I think it was Hillary’s main campaign guy that formulated the strategy of flooding the zone with mail in ballots and a few more things like that including media collusion. He is wicked smart and almost got Hillary across the finish line but he blew it in the rust belt for her.
Part of being a US citizen involves losing with some grace and dignity. If your party’s ideas are rejected and you lose. That’s life. The incessant whining and crying over not getting your way is childish.
Is it really so difficult to look at the last administration, say for instance the botched response to Covid, the corruption, the lies, the incompetence, spending 1 out of 4 years on a golf course, to understand why more people than not wanted a change.
It’s the GOP who taken the white house while losing the popular vote twice in the last 2 decades. You know in real democracies, the person with the most votes wins…there is no electoral college.
That’s how every other advanced nation does it.
Yeah, well, in a pure “democracy,” people vote themselves free stuff, as the Democrats have shown.
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
the election came down to competence, or American pragmatism.
My brother has lived in Moscow for 2 decades and I’ve heard many stories that would blow your mind.
Yes, we have lot of problems in the USA, but please…comparing the USA to Russia is ridiculous. We may be headed in that direction but those are incredibly different animals.
A visit to Russia would make you fall deeply in love w/the USA all over again.
Ah – no it won’t. At least not St. Petersburg.
I very much appreciate the charts, article, and commentary. This type of study is very complex. Many variables come into play including currency devaluation, innovation, taxes, demographics to name a few. If the Fed never started QE after the great financial crises, the first chart above would most likely would look proportionately similar to the starting point of 1995 only with much higher values (but not quite as high as we have today). The middle 50%-90% are losing ground to the top 10% proportionately. Other than that fact, the first chart is essentially a high level view of a free market capitalist (mostly) society over time. It will always look like that in the US unless we change to mostly communism/socialism.
Here’s some good news though. I know a few people in the top 10% (probably more like the top 5%). Recently they have become very unhappy people (wealthier too) due to factors outside their control. I know plenty of people in the middle, and they too have become unhappy recently compared to say 10 years ago. I also happen to know a few families at the bottom living pay check to pay check. They are the happiest people I know. I love being around them. I don’t like being around my wealthy friends so much any more. I wonder if other people have experienced this? Anyway, the charts don’t tell the complete story and tend to make emotions run high. Most people enjoy a higher standard of living today compared to 10-20 years or more ago. We have our problems in this country and these issues are coming to a head along with our fiscal quagmire. We’ll get through it. Be positive, and patient.
Things became skewed when the wealthy starting getting big tax cuts, around the Reagan era. We’ve followed a perverse trickle down theory, which proposes that if you cut taxes on the wealthy, they’ll create jobs.
Well, after 40 years of this propaganda, we know what really happens when you give wealth to the already-wealthy. They hoard it, and the economy recedes. Most of the wealthy aren’t job creators. They are passive investors that trade stocks and bonds, and go golfing every day.
If you want to reward true job-creators, do it with an investment tax credit, employment credit, or something similar, not a tax cut that benefits any old wealthy slug.
Water trickles down. Money trickles up.
Nothing new. People believing otherwise also believe in this thing called the American Dream.
Agree with the concept kcef, and have had the same experience over the last 60 years or so:
Grew up in a couple of very wealthy areas of SWFL, and had some very rich kids ( mostly of clients of a parent ) to play with and then get into trouble with, along with many ”working class” kids.
Upper middle/professional and rich kids were always more difficult to deal with, selfish and arrogant,, and as teens always got more drunk – with booze liberated from home, etc.
As I have gotten older, I pretty much try to avoid hanging out with even wealthy blood relatives due to their controlling/sour dispositions, and similar with former friends and co-workers who have too much money and too much time on their hands, and seem very unhappy, in general.
Those still working with passion and pride, especially skilled manual labor seem to be happier in general.
Same with younger friends, many of whom are doing very well financially these days doing skilled manual labor; they especially seem to enjoy life more and have more satisfying ”adventures” also.
”May you live in interesting times” may be a curse to some folks, but to many it appears to be the opposite/more satisfying, eh?
One great thing about manual labor is that after you clean and put down your tools you can return to your other life and the work doesn’t follow you. The exercise is healthier too.
The best thing about Treason is it only takes two witnesses to levy a charge. We must have a good 350 million on hand now.
Many of the populace, who have been driven into poverty, have their children go into the military as the last hope. They are then slaughtered on battlefields thousands of miles from home. Many suffer from PTSD and are found on the streets. Last R or D I voted for was McGovern. The people , in their infinite wisdom choose the biggest degenerate of all time, Nixon! Any body reading this, who has voted for EITHER party is responsible for the mess we are in.
“Successful” (read elites) have the well-studied psychological tendency to rationalize the world around them. They believe that they have the expert/elite talents to understand events better than others (e.g. peasants), so can explain away things like out of control economic events- crashes, high income inequality (read “labor market arbitrage”).
Several of these people said us peasants should just shutup and believe that bailouts are for our own good- go search comments made by Munger, Blankfein and Dimon between ~2008-2010. If the bailouts hadn’t happened for the elites, us peasants would have starved for sure (such is their argument)!
All of this is sad. Humanity has reached a tipping point. People have lost their souls
The disproportionate accumulation of wealth is incredible. However, I think it would be great to see, how many of this accumulated wealth in stocks is actually profitable/unprofitable from the real economy perspective: therefore creating actual profit.
A bubble economy, full of companies, which never made an actual profit and are today valued as XY billion dollar companies is not a real wealth based economy. And that kind of wealth lasts only as long as the bubble stays a bubble.
To be an owner of a 2 billion dollar company which loses 300 million a quarter and constantly needs new debt … What is it really worth in a downturn? I guess we’ll find soon enough.
Asul, you forgot to mention that the company has no product to sell, just hype about it’s progress in making one.
Three women are comparing husbands. The first says: “My husband is a banker. He comes home with flowers, takes me out for a wonderful dinner, then we go home and make love.” The second says: “My husband’s a biker. He comes home and just ravishes me all night.” The third says” “My husband is chairman of an IPO. He comes home, takes his shoes off, sits on the edge of the bed, and spend hours telling me how great it’s going to be.”
Interesting that the gap really began in 2002, at the start of the Iraq war. Wars are always a cause for corruption, but perhaps this one set new standards. 2009 was the shock of recognition, the gap in collateral holding the financial scheme together. Capital had been offshored, rehypothecated. The system had changed, instead of speculating, money went into hiding, and the path to recovering that equity closed off. All potus 44 really needed to solve GFC was a boatload of Marines and a map of the Caribbean banks. We are at the same inflection point, bank reserves are off the charts, while QE has pumped cash deposits to record levels. Need I say what is needed is a bail-in??
The tragedy of averages? Everybody in a group is not the same.
How many of these bottom 50% actually have negative net worth due to debts being greater than ‘assets’? Their incidence will be masked by balancing better situations in the overall average. Unpaid credit card etc. balances, greatly increase negative net worth due to rapid divergence between balance due and depreciating durable goods resale values. Even the poorest of peasants in the world don’t have negative net worth unless they to, are unfortunate enough to fall prey to debts as well as minimal belongings. A truly despicable tragedy of our times.
1) ZG Gold Futures weekly : In Feb 2001 gold dropped to a higher low @$255. Gold popped up after Sept 11 2001 WTC terrorists attack that melted tons of US gov gold.
2) Nov 5 2017 backup sent Gold > $1000 for the first time.
2) Between Mar 2008 and Feb 2009 Gold built an inverse H&S, with
a head down in Oct 20 2008 low @ 681. Gold plunged between Oct 2007 and Oct 2008, during Benny Mandelbrot craziest volatility cluster.
3) After a small triangle gold jumped to it’s Backbone. The Backbone : Nov 30 2009 (H) and Feb 10 2010 (L).
4) The Backbone TR : 1226.40/ 1045.20 ==> Backbones are very very important.
5) Thereafter ZG popped up to Sep 5 2011 high, the precious all time high.
6) ZG plunge to the Backbone,, built a failed 2Y inverse H&S, with a head down in Nov 23 2015 @ 1114.50 and RS in Dec 19 2016. Thereafter, a 1Y+ triangle that sent gold to the current top.
7) Gold might visit the Backbone, or breached it, to build a huge cause, perhaps for 6 more years, for a total 17 years, between 2010 and 2027.
I can see a situation where gold falls a lot. Gold “should” have made huge gains with all this money printing, yet it didn’t. Consequently, any tightening could destroy the price. I think it’s overpriced at this point, especially considering the premiums. I am not a buyer of any PMs at this point in time. Barring a currency collapse, there’s limited upside, IMO. I have 5% of my net worth in PMs.
You may want to check out this info. from Rand Corp. too.
Probably the most direct IT source in existence for any and all relevant data about anything and everything.
8) Who got WTC melted gold ?
9) Who got DB vault.
There is a possibility that interest rates will rise for a while, then go far lower. That has been the pattern in place for well more than a decade. If that happens, Real Estate will benefit.
Imagine how high prices would be if mtg rates go negative … the probability of this event is not great, but big enough that the scenario could be in play.
Just eyeballing the first graph, it appears that the wealth of the top 10% a little more than doubled from 2010-2020. That is 10-11%/year, or so, on average.
The 10 year average annual return on the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund (VTSAX) is 13.45%. The category average is 11.94%.
If you put $1,000,000 in VTSAX Jan 1 2010 when it was trading at $26.50, you’d have $3,00,000 on Jan 1 2020 when it was $79.6. If $10,000, you’d have $30,000. Rich or not so rich, the return is the same.
The 10% wealth percentile starts at around $906,000. 5% is around $2,076,000. 1% at around $9,840,000, according to the DQYDJ.com website. Don’t Quit Your Day Job?
“Rich or not so rich, the return is the same.”
That seems false to me. For example, the return of the average top 1% wealth bracket person investing 20% of their wealth is not “the same” as the return of the average lower 50% wealth bracket person investing 20% of their wealth.
Disclaimer: I may be very well missing the point — in my old age, it is distressing to realize I’m significantly less special, and also definitely less potentially perceptive / competent in being understanding or succeeding in the world.
Replace “seems” with “feels” and I think I can point out the issue here.
The VTSAX does not discriminate. It offers the same return to anyone.
Let’s try using feelings analysis on a few scenarios to illustrate why emotions may be at odds with reality.
1. One investor places $1 million in mutual fund WHAM which returns 10% after one year, making him $100,000 richer. A second person places $10 million in the Republic of Swabia’s one year treasury which yields 1%. After one year, this investor is $100,000 richer. It feels like the return on either investment is identical.
2. President Harris is succsseful in instituting a flat federal income tax. No matter what your income, you pay 20%, no deductions. The average Wall Streeter is paying $400,000 on an average $2 million yearly earnings. The average Uber delivery person is paying $3,000 on their $15,000 yearly income. It feels like the high income earners are paying a higher rate.
Cueing up Morris Albert.
Crush the Peasants!
You can kill someone with misused percentages.
About your #1: Guy A invests $1,000 in a fund, and guy B invests $10,000,000 in the same fund. Those are the numbers that compare to the data in the article. The Bottom 50% owns just over $1,000 per person in stocks. At the top 10% it is close to $10,000,000 per person.
For both the fund returns 10%. Guy A’s wealth increases by $100. Guy B’s wealth increases by $1,000,000. The wealth disparity between the two increased by $999,900.
That is EXACTLY the principle by which the Fed has exploded the wealth disparity, and it is hiding behind percentages, just like you did. You’re reciting the same red herring BS propaganda that the wealth-is-only-for-us gurus have been spouting for years. You can tear up a country with this philosophy.
Guy A and Guy B can be the same person, just at different points in the person’s life. It is within the realm of possibilities that Guy A may have cursed such an unfair system, but upon becoming Guy B, he could be cursing a system that so unjustly rewards Guy C, the fellow with $100 million, or he could just tell the Guy A’s of the world to work hard, save and perservere.
The number of millionaires, excluding primary residence, increased 73% from 2008-20018, from 5.9 milllion to 10.23 million.
Crush-in a nation of 360+ million (roughly 36:1 on people count, am curious of the average gross assets of a 36 vs. those of a 1).
may we all find a better day.
That fits with what I read. It was coming in 2020, just happened the convenient pin was covid. Could have been housing, a city going bankrupt or 100 different things. Covid allows the govt to go in crisis mode and go warp speed on spending.
Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellon, Powell.
I think the band “The Who” was way ahead of their time when they released their hit song, I believe it was “Don’t get fooled again” (please correct me if I’m wrong) which had a famous line “The new Boss same as the old boss”.
The 4 clowns above fit that line pretty accurately.
Cmon! A manufactured crisis? Fake vaccines? Prove it
Seems like the human race is doing all the wrong things if we want our species to have a future. Our short-sightedness and greed will be the end of us. Shame, we had potential but decided to piss it away.
Before I read anything but the introduction:
“we the rich will emerge from this crisis”
Ah ha ha ha, ha ha, aha ha ha he he he, ha ha !!
If the power goes out, it will not be as easy as pulling a switch & it all come on again & in good working order.
And the world s fast approaching blackout.
Metaphorically speaking of course.
ROMAN HISTORY —
The super rich crushed the small farms that BUILT Rome and did exactly what Gates is doing.
GATES needs to forfeit ALL his assets as reparations to the thousands of children harmed by Built huge corporate farms where the former FREE independent farmers were tenant farmers.
MAKE the FANGS perform their Civic Duty or ELSE ………………….
Why is this legislation not pushed at the National level?
It is so far past time you politicians MAKE the FANGS pay their taxes and contribute proportionally to the National Defense from which they benefit far more than ordinary Workers.
“To whom much has been given, much shall be required”
The Propaganda they pump out has the People cutting their own throats.
We are told that the Rich should “be allowed to keep THEIR money to create jobs”
Then the bulk of taxes are shifted onto the working poor.The Poor pay nearly ALL the taxes — passed on by the 1% in higher prices and fees.
POOR People pay sales taxes, property taxes, fees, and all sorts of other government crap.
The 1% has multiple MANSIONS and other properties and if they want these WARS that (supposedly) protect THEIR property, they better PAY for the War Equipment because THEY sure as hell do NOT SERVE IN UNIFORM. In the early days of the Roman Republic and Empire, the wealthiest citizens were taxed heavily to raise the money needed to defend Rome or prosecute wars of conquest.
“The patrician class served as officers in the army, and it was their duty to serve in the front lines, and in some cases (such as the horrendous defeat at Cannae) suffer higher combat death rates that common soldiers.
Profound disunity is characterized by the recognition that favored elites make no sacrifices, and this injustice consumes the binds of civil unity. The elites benefit the most from the system, piling up enormous fortunes and great political power, while the disempowered masses make the sacrifices on the battlefield and pay the taxes.
Those “foundations, Trusts, Endowments” they set up are NOT charity, they are tAX dodges wherein THEY control the money in ways that benefit THEM while dumping more tax burden on YOU. ALL F-T-E money should be ordered spent within one year and never anther formed.
This disunity is not only political; it is social, economic and cultural as the elites’ wealth soars in direct correlation to their unwillingness to make any sacrifices for the common good.”
“I truly believe the we will emerge …. ”
Reminds me of Churchills we will defeated the on the beaches speech.
There are exceeding of .. $1.2 quadrillion .. in the form of investments, derivatives & cryptocurrencies in the world.
$1,200,000,000,000,000 = $1.2 quadrillion
– $291,2 billion = the 10 top richest
= $1,199,999,708,800,000 ..
The 10 richest .. are they sure ??
What about the man who walks on water .. surely not ??
Thanks Wolf – this one is exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time. My only conclusion is that there was a silent coup driven by the instability of the 60s and 70s – protests, bombings, inflation and an energy crisis scared a lot of people. Everything since the dual mandate and shift to Monetarism has been designed to reallocate wealth – that’s the Fed’s real mandate, domestically and internationally.
The GINI index has risen from 34.7 in 1979 to 41.8 in 2016. The World Bank estimate for 2020 was 48, but that was before the pandemic. When you add in the supply shock to the labor market over the last 50 years…
bitcoin one trillion dollar value mostly achieved in under two years
this is equivalent to about 570,000,000 million ounces of gold probably taking countless man hours and expense to produce over many years.
if i had a few bitcoin , this would be an excellent time to trade for something super real like gold
“The bottom 50% gained only $471 billion”
Wasn’t the value of the stimmy checks about $400 billion? So the total increase in wealth for the bottom 50% was from government handouts?
While “within three months the Fed created $3 trillion and purchased assets” increasing the wealth of the 1%.
Wolf, you are too gentle on the FED bastards destroying the country.
“TURN OFF THE BUBBLE MACHINE!”
– Lawrence Welk, proprietor of the only successful national bubble machine, 1951 – 1981.