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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 67,895

Journal Archives

Bank of Japan Drops Ball, Gvt. Pension Fund Stops Buying Stocks, Nikkei Plunges, J-REITs Eviscerated

Bank of Japan Drops Ball, Government Pension Fund Stops Buying Stocks, Nikkei Plunges, J-REITs Eviscerated
by Wolf Richter • September 1, 2015

On Tuesday, Japanese stocks took the worst drubbing of the major Asian stock markets. The Nikkei plunged 725 points or 3.84% to 18,165. On August 10, it had set a multi-year high of 20,808. At the time, Japanese stocks gleamed; they’d elegantly skirted the China swoon. But over the past three weeks, the Nikkei has dropped 12.7%.

Japan has some, let’s say, issues. Private consumption dropped 0.8% in the last quarter, and GDP dropped 0.4%. The economy shrank in six of the past 12 quarters. That’s how well Abenomics has worked out for the economy.

But during that time, stocks have more than doubled! That’s where the real impact of Abenomics has been.

To his credit, Shinzo Abe decided to achieve a national consensus on how to deal with Japan’s mountain of government debt and mega-deficits that add to it every year. He ran on that platform in 2012: Japan would print itself out of its fiscal troubles. And the price would be paid over time by the Japanese people.

The Bank of Japan had been engaging in QE before the term had even been invented, buying Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) and equity ETFs as part of its policy. But under Abenomics, its purchases skyrocketed, purposefully strangling the JGB market, thus taking complete control over it. ...................(more)


Professor Richard Wolff: "Americans....haven't been fooled by the recovery hype."

Listen: https://kpfa.org/episode/economic-update-august-28-2015/

Economist Richard Wolff breaks down the week’s volatility in global stock markets, China’s economic conditions and explains the drop in price of oil and the economics of the Northwest’s forest fires, Amazon 80,000 seasonal worker’s without pensions and more.

Professor Richard Wolff: "Americans....haven't been fooled by the recovery hype."

Listen: https://kpfa.org/episode/economic-update-august-28-2015/

Economist Richard Wolff breaks down the week’s volatility in global stock markets, China’s economic conditions and explains the drop in price of oil and the economics of the Northwest’s forest fires, Amazon 80,000 seasonal worker’s without pensions and more.

Infographic: A History of Debt Forgiveness and Relief

from YES! Magazine:


Dead-cat bounce fizzles, U.S. benchmarks violate support

(MarketWatch) The U.S. markets’ recovery attempt has fizzled, and the major benchmarks are once again traversing less-charted territory.

Consider that each index has violated first support, strengthening an already bearish longer-term technical backdrop.

Before detailing the U.S. markets’ wider view, the S&P 500’s SPX, -2.59% hourly chart highlights the past two weeks.

As illustrated, the S&P has failed to sustain its rally attempt atop the 1,971 mark, detailed last week. (The August weekly closing low).

The S&P closed Monday at 1,972, and Tuesday’s early downturn places it in less-charted territory. ...................(more)


Unlucky lottery winner gets IOU from state of Illinois

Winning the lottery is typically cause for jubilation. Not so for Danny Chasteen — who, instead of a big payoff, got an IOU from the fiscally strapped state of Illinois

Chasteen and his girlfriend, Susan Rick, won $250,000 last month in the state lottery but could not claim the prize as legislators had not passed a state budget, according to reports.

For lottery winnings exceeding $25,000, the state comptroller has to process the check, and, with the budget in limbo, those funds cannot be disbursed, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“You know what’s funny? If we owed the state money, they’d come take it, and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head,” Rick said, according to the Tribune.


“Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York rank (as) the bottom five states, largely owing to low amounts of cash on hand and large debt obligations,” said Eileen Norcross, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center.


Does it seem like our economy has become sort of a "middle man" economy?

It seems we don't produce many new manufactured products anymore, so third-party services like this are now considered "innovation.":

(Bloomberg) The problem with used cars, at least from the app-centric perspective of Silicon Valley's eager disruptors, is that prospective buyers can’t simply order up a test drive as easily as a pizza. You can imagine the elevator pitch for a startup promising to remedy this injustice: It's like Uber for cars. Well … used cars.

Shift Technologies has for the past year been trying to steal a slice of secondhand car sales from Craigslist, CarMax, and traditional dealerships. In the magical cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the marginally more convenient future sometimes arrives first, would-be buyers can now skip the used-car lots and awkward e-mails to strangers with a 2009 Honda Civic to spare. Flush with $50 million of funding led by the venture team at Goldman Sachs, the San Francisco-based Shift plans to take its car-shopping service to 18 more U.S. cities by 2017.

Here’s how it works: Someone with a vehicle to sell pings Shift, which collects the car and zips it back to its warehouse for a thorough mechanical audit and some light refurbishment. If the ride passes muster, Shift and the seller agree on a guaranteed minimum price and the vehicle is listed on Shift’s site. .......................(more)


I hope the President doesn't accept anything to drink from him, especially if it's yellow.....

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to venture into the Alaskan wilderness for a special episode of survivalist reality show Running Wild with Bear Grylls.

NBC announced the special episode Monday, with Obama set to film segments for the adventure series during his three-day trip to Alaska this week.

The show, currently in its second season, pairs British adventurer, writer and survivalist Grylls with celebrities – including Kate Winslet, Ed Helms, Deion Sanders and Channing Tatum – who attempt to test their physical limits outdoors.

Unsurprisingly, Obama will be the first U.S. president featured on the show. Grylls is best known for his long-running former TV series Man vs. Wild. .................(more)


U.S. Stocks Tumble as China Slowdown Deepens Concerns on Growth

(Bloomberg) U.S. stocks joined a worldwide selloff, after equities’ worst month in more than three years, amid continuing concerns that China’s slowdown will weigh on the global economy.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slid 2.2 percent to 1,927.96 at 10:05 a.m. in New York, following the benchmark’s biggest monthly slide since May 2012. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 402.15 points, or 2.4 percent, to 16,125.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 2 percent.

“The problem is, as much as China is the catalyst for this, it’s also that we’re seeing weakness in fundamentals here,” said Matt Maley, an equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co LLC in New York. “A lot of company earnings were hurt by China in the second quarter and it’s only gotten worse. People are losing confidence with the whole situation there breaking down, not just in the stock market but in data as well.”

Equities dropped in Asia, with the Shanghai Composite Index slumping as much as 4.8 percent, after manufacturing reports pointed to a deepening Chinese economic slowdown. ....................(more)


Recession confirmed as Canada's GDP shrank in 2nd quarter

(CBC News) Canada's economy expanded in June but declined by 0.1 per cent for the second quarter as a whole, meeting the bar of what is legally defined as a recession.

The economy expanded by 0.5 per cent in June, Statistics Canada said.

But that slight monthly uptick wasn't enough to offset the contraction in the previous two months, which means for the second quarter as a whole, the economy shrank.

The economy also shrank in the first quarter, which means Canada's economy has met the bare minimum required before a recession is declared — two consecutive quarters of decline. ................(more)


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