December 18, 2013

Hodgepodge of links on finances and the economy

Millennials today are financially worse off than their parents were at the same age

 Chart Age Group Networth

Simon Black on Zerohedge

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, just 33% of Americans think their children will have a better life than they did. On the other hand, 62% believe their children will be worse off.

They’re likely to be right.  The typical American family has seen its real income (adjusted for inflation) fall for 5 consecutive years now, and it earns less in real terms that it did in 1989.

According to the Census Bureau, median household income fell in 2012, and it languishes 8.3% below the pre-crisis peak in 2007.
The Brookings Institution, meanwhile, calculates that real incomes for working-age men in the US have fallen by 19 per cent since 1970.

80 is the new 60 when it comes to retirement

Running out of money in retirement is scaring the hell out of record numbers of older workers, forcing them to stay in the workforce.
Now 80 is the new 60 when it comes to retirement. Many older workers who finally clock out have sharply underestimated their financial needs in retirement, raising the specter of personal financial disaster.

Nearly half of older workers are on the job longer than they had planned to be — on average, by three more years than they estimated at age 40, according to a recent survey of Americans 50 and over by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Handsome Is as Handsome Gives writes Arthur Brooks in the Wall Street Journal

Donors to charity aren't merely generous souls. They're happier, healthier and better looking too

Camden, New Jersey: One Of Hundreds Of U.S. Cities That Are Turning Into Rotting, Decaying Hellholes

All over America, formerly prosperous communities are being transformed into crime-infested wastelands of poverty and despair.  …… Jobs and businesses are leaving our cities at a staggering rate, and what is being left behind is poverty, crime and extreme desperation. 

In Camden

-"In September, its last supermarket closed, and the city has been declared a "food desert" by the USDA. The place is literally dying, its population having plummeted from above 120,000 in the Fifties to less than 80,000 today."

-"Their home is a city with thousands of abandoned houses but no money to demolish them, leaving whole blocks full of Ninth Ward-style wreckage to gather waste and rats."

-"With legal business mostly gone, illegal business took hold. Those hundreds of industries have been replaced by about 175 open-air drug markets, through which some quarter of a billion dollars in dope moves every year."

-"On January 18th, 2011, the city laid off 168 of its 368 police officers, kicking off a dramatic, years-long, cops-versus-locals, house-to-house battle over a few square miles of North American territory that should have been national news, but has not been, likely because it took place in an isolated black and Hispanic ghost town."

-"After the 2011 layoffs, police went into almost total retreat. Drug dealers cheerfully gave interviews to local reporters while slinging in broad daylight."

-"The carnage left Camden's crime rate on par with places like Haiti after its 2010 earthquake, and with other infamous Third World hot spots, as police officials later noticed to their dismay when they studied U.N. statistics."

A glimmer of good news. Crime Rate in Camden, NJ Going Down After Unionized Police Force Sacked

The reorganization increased the amount of police on the streets and incorporated cutting edge technology such as ShotSpotter rooftop monitors. The initiative has already gotten results, according to city leaders.

Over the summer months this year, the murder rate fell by 22 percent and crime overall was down 15 percent, according to data provided by Camden County officials.

The Census Bureau calculates that there are 46.5 million people living in poverty in the United States, or 15% of the population

"Experts" in the Federal government assure us the unemployment rate is 7%. But if we include the 91.5 million people of working age who could be working (and would be working in a work-fare economy), then the real unemployment rate is double the official rate: 14% or even higher.
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We want to believe the fake unemployment rate of 7% rather than the real rate of 14+% because the officially sanctioned forgery feeds our belief that our bloated, corrupt Empire of Debt is sustainable, fair and working well. To accept that we've been bamboozled, ripped off, taken advantage of and ultimately cheated out of an authentic economy and life by swindlers is too painful.


What If There's A Recession In 2014?  Gonzalo Lira speculates.

If policymakers were gunfighters, they’d be out of bullets: They have run out of effective policy tools to improve the economy.
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Before facing up to a possible 2014 recession, let’s ask ourselves: What happened during the last recession?…To stave off what looked like financial and economic Armageddon, the Treasury Department first under Henry Paulson and then under Timothy Geithner, and the Federal Reserve under Ben Bernanke, basically threw money into the economy…..   

Rather than take the hit, work out the bad loans, and organically regrow the economy, the Treasury and Fed measures were essentially morphine—or heroin—to dull the pain of the Global Financial Crisis: They made us feel great, but the disease is still there…. Overindebtedness. Bad debts piled on top of bad debts……
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So to weather it, you’d have to know what’s going to happen. A basic outline is pretty clear:

Stocks will take the brunt of the beating,…Bonds won’t do so well either, at least not corporate issuance…Real estate? Forget it—….The only store of value will be commodities. Not just precious metals, but all commodities: Industrials, agros, and fossil fuels…..If there is such a rotation from equities and bonds into commodities, then the prices of food and transportation will rise—precipitously.

Thus we will have inflation, possibly severe inflation. But the Fed will be loathe to rein in inflation via interest rate hikes….The Fed cannot conceive of any way in which to help the economy that does not involve keeping interest rates low.

In other words, the government will not be able to save the economy…The Federal government and the Federal Reserve are out of bullets.
Which means we are on our own come a recession. And we’ll be paying not only for the recession of 2014, but also for the recession of 2007-09, which was deferred, but not worked out.

Here are some of America’s most famous brands currently held in foreign hands:

Budweiser, now owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V., which is based in Leuven, Belgium
Alka-Seltzer, now owned by German company Bayer Schering Pharma AG
Ben & Jerrys, now owned by British-Dutch Unilever
AMC theaters, now owned by the Chinese
7-Eleven, now owned by the Japanese company, Seven & I Holdings
Woman’s Day Magazine, now owned by the French company,  Hachette Filipacchi Médias, S.A
Purina, now owned by the Swiss company, Nestle
Gerber, now owned by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Novartis
Firestone, now owned by the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation
Citgo, now owned by the government of Venezuela
French’s Mustard, now owned by Reckitt Benckiser, a British conglomerate
Frigidaire, now owned by Sweden’s AB Electrolux
The Plaza Hotel in New York City, now owned by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva’s El-Ad Group
Trader Joes, now owned by German billionaires Karl and Theo Albrecht
Dial soap, now owned by Henkel KGaA, based in Dusseldorf, Germany
Sunglass Hut, now owned by Italian eyewear seller Luxottica Group
Posted by Jill Fallon at December 18, 2013 12:07 AM | Permalink