Monday, March 7, 2016

The Decline Of The Male Workforce.......ANOTHER PESKY FACT!


The Decline Of The Male Workforce

Having fallen consistently from almost 90% particpation in the labor force in 1948 to just 68.5% in 2015, it appears that crossing below the 70% participation rate has pushed American men to their limit of faith in career politicians.



Friday, March 4, 2016

THE 2016 ELECTION GETS EVEN MORE INTERESTING............

Judge Warns Hillary "Should Be Terrified" After Justice Grants Email-Staffer Immunity

"She should be terrified of the fact that he's been granted immunity,"adding that "they would not be immunizing him and thereby inducing him to spill his guts unless they wanted to indict someone."

The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton's private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.

So far, there is no indication that prosecutors have convened a grand jury in the email investigation to subpoena testimony or documents, which would require the participation of a U.S. attorney's office.

Judge Andrew Napolitano warns "She should be terrified of the fact that he's been granted immunity," adding that "they would not be immunizing him and thereby inducing him to spill his guts unless they wanted to indict someone."

Napolitano argued that the revelation that former Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano, who set up Clinton's private email server in 2009, is reportedly being offered immunity means he will 
likely be called to testify against someone much higher on the "totem pole."

Pagliano will likely be asked how he was able to "migrate a State Department secure system onto her private server." He then presented this theoretical question: "Mr. Pagliano, did Mrs. Clinton give you her personal Secretary of State password to enable you to do that?"

"If he answers, 'yes,' we have an indictment for misconduct in office as well as espionage. She should be terrified of the fact that he's been granted immunity," Napolitano added.

The Judge explained that only a federal judge can grant immunity and will only do so if a sitting jury is ready to hear testimony from the "immunized person," suggesting the investigation is well on its way to a possible indictment.

"We also know they are going to seek someone's indictment, because they would not be immunizing him and thereby inducing him to spill his guts unless they wanted to indict someone," he said.

Napolitano noted there are only about five people between Pagliano and Clinton.

It's my strong impression that the Justice Department doesn't go around granting immunity to people unless the person getting the immunity may be able to shed light on an important part of the investigation.

After all, if Pagliano a) knew nothing or b) did nothing wrong, why would he need immunity to talk to the FBI?

ANOTHER INTERESTING ELECTION DEVELOPMENT:

Romney Plots To Block Trump At Republican Convention

Only in America's so-called democracy could a proven "loser" so vehemently and shamelessly condemn a current "winner" with the goal of overturning 'we, the people's' prospective leader in favor of himself. In the latest and most desperate action from the establishment, CNN reports Romney has instructed his closest advisers to explore the possibility of stopping Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention (by revising rules for instance). As The GOP self-immolates, perhaps Romney - as the mouthpiece of the establishment - should pay heed to Florida Governor Risk Scott who explained "I trust the voters, so I will not try to tell the Republican voters in Florida how to vote."



Corporate Default Rate Jumps Past Lehman Moment.....

Corporate Default Rate Jumps Past Lehman Moment

The US corporate default rate, according to Standard & Poor's Global Fixed Income Research, soared from 2.8% in January to 3.3% in February, a big jump for just one month, and the highest rate since December 2010, when it was recovering from the Financial Crisis, with QE and ZIRP running at full bore, and with banks and big corporations getting bailed out by the Fed and the Treasury.

And it's higher than it had been during the early phase of the Financial Crisis in September 2008, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, when all heck was breaking lose, when stocks and bonds were plunging, and when the default rate was "only" 2.96%.

But this time it's different, they reassure us. In December 2007, the default rate was 1.02%. At the time, banks were already cracking at the seams. Bear Stearns would soon pop. The Financial Crisis was visible on the horizon. And the economy entered what would later be called the Great Recession. By November 2009, nearly two years later, the default rate peaked at 12%.

These aren't overnight fireworks. Credits take their time to react.

But then newly created money surged through the system. What followed was the greatest credit bubble in US history. By July 2014, the default rate had dropped to 1.4%. That was the peak of the Fed's fanciful handiwork that had "saved" the economy, an era when even the riskiest borrowers could get new money to fill their financial sinkholes, when bankruptcies had become rare, when the business cycle had been abolished, and before the price of oil fell off the cliff.

Then it all came unglued again. And in February, S&P's US trailing-12-month speculative-grade corporate default rate finally accomplished the feat and jumped above the rate of the Lehman-moment.


Rather than letting the enormous and increasingly onerous pile of corporate debt blow up and get restructured, at the expense of bondholders and stockholders, the Fed, in its infinite wisdom, made sure that this debt, plus even more new debt, would get carried forward to burden companies and the economy overall for years to come. Hence the lousy recovery.

And it's going to get worse. 

Standard & Poor's expects the default rate to rise to 3.9% by December 2016, up from 2.8% in December 2015, and 1.6% in December 2014, as it reported in February.

Stressors in the form of persistently low oil prices, the beginning of tighter monetary policy by the Federal Reserve for the first time in nine years, and slowing global growth likely will produce more defaults in the next 12 months.

In its "pessimistic scenario" — "if global economic and financial headwinds continue on their present course" — the default rate could jump to 5.2%. That would match the rate in February 2009 when it was on the way to 12%.

The collapse of lower-rated junk bonds is now having nasty "spillover effects," as S&P called them, on higher-rated junk bonds and even on investment-grade bonds, whose yield spreads widened to 868 and 254 basis points respectively (8.68 and 2.54 percentage points).

As the bond market comes unglued from the bottom up while contagion spreads far and wide, stocks are going to have a rough time, regardless of whatever thrilling rallies appear out of the fog. 

The basic reality is this: When a company gets in credit trouble, stockholders, who are at the bottom of the capital structure, are the first to feel the pain; and when it defaults, stockholders often get completely wiped out.



PROFIT MARGINS.......ANOTHER PESKY FACT!

Profit Margins Are About To Collapse The Most In The 21st Century

While companies continue to feel ever so generous when responding to the NFIB's survey, and increase raise intentions to boost wages with every passing month (just never this month) even they admit that it is impossible to pass through these wage hikes in the form of rising prices. 

As the chart below from JPM shows, the difference between "intentions to raise prices" less "intentions to raise wages" - a proxy for operating margins - has not been this negative in the 21st century.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

There's A Bull Market In Uncertainty..........more uncertain than ever!

HERE IS THE REAL PROBLEM:

TWO VERY INSIGHTFUL COMMENTS FROM REGULAR READERS OF THESE EMAILS.

Self Greed and self gratification are the motivators of most people, meaning their minds are incapable of believing anything that may deprive them of their wants, or what is best for their country.

                                                                                                                                 BO D.

If Trump has an accident or is assassinated, America will go to war against itself - this will not just be the divisiveness driven by Obama. Right now, many people are arming themselves against both known and unknown threats.  It isn't just terrorism or an illegal immigrant invasion across as wide open southern border that has led to this situation.  It is a government and politicians wildly out of touch with the American citizen and utterly unwilling to do anything to upset the very lucrative apple cart.

                                                                                  BOB W.

PEOPLE WANT TO BELIEVE THE LIES, AND THE LIES ARE BEING EXPOSED MAKING IT HARD TO CONTINUE DELUDING ONESELF! UNCERTAINTY IS THE RESULT OF AVOIDING THE TRUTH.

"The American economy is a failed economy,"  

                  Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said in London on Wednesday.

There's A Bull Market In Uncertainty

It's been a volatile start to 2016 for the markets and the only thing we seem to know for sure is that no one knows anything.  

In a note to clients, UBS' Julian Emanuel highlighted the following the chart which shows the increase in the number of stories on Bloomberg that contain the word "uncertain."

The future for us all is now more uncertain than ever.


The Two-Party Illusion.........A HUGE SCAM!

The Two-Party Illusion

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil." 

                                         John Adams

The Great Illusion of the two-party system is that it allows the voter a choice – usually between a liberal and a conservative government. The reality is that, whichever party wins the election, the government is, in truth, a totalitarian one. The "choice" is a mere distraction from the true objective.

Recently, an American college student, Justin Snyder, commented on his choice for his country's next president and his reasons for it. Mister Snyder said, in part,

"I support Hillary Clinton for president … When you add up her know 
how, leadership, and experience, it's clear that Hillary Clinton is a perfect fit to be the commander-in-chief of the largest military the world has ever seen … The thing is, we've been trying the free market thing for centuries. All we have to show for it is a super wealthy class of people who run the country. What we need is someone to represent the common man, and that someone is Hillary Rodham Clinton."

Mister Snyder has done quite well in absorbing the modern liberal party line, one that both advances itself on the concept of collectivism, yet reverses itself on its position just two generations ago that war is an evil concept, promoted by conservatives in an effort to control the world.

His comments are not unusual, and that's what makes them significant. He's a modern, educated, effectively indoctrinated liberal. His political counterpart is a modern, educated, effectively indoctrinated conservative. Together, they comprise the backbone of governmental dominance over a people: different party, same blind acceptance of political party dogma.

John Adams had it right in his 1780 letter to Jonathan Jackson, as quoted above. He understood that the old method of thought control – that of kings ordering their vassals what to believe – had had its day. It had never been fully effective, as the vassal was free to decide whether he believed the king. But, as early as 1780, the future would belong to those politicians who were skilled in giving the public "A" and "B" choices.

People need to believe that they have a choice. Interestingly, though, they seem to be content with only two choices. A skilled politician therefore limits the number of choices to two and, today, this is the way it's done in most "advanced" countries. Whether it's Democrat vs. Republican, or Tory vs. Labour, there are two dominant parties. Each is represented by a group of individuals seeking to gain or maintain public office.

Initially, in order to sell the two-party concept to voters, it's important for each party to have a philosophical identity. These two identities would seem to need to be based on opposing primary principles or ideologies, such as a free market system vs. collectivism, or empire-building warfare vs. a commitment to peace.

The US did, indeed, follow this route in developing its own primary sports teams, the Democrats and the Republicans. And, along the way, it learned that the public can be best manipulated if they are blindly devoted to either one team or the other. (Those in the red T-shirts detest those in the blue, and vice versa.)

Once this blind devotion has been achieved, it becomes possible to dispense with the extreme polarity of principles and ideology. As stated above, only two generations ago, there was a "collectivism and peace" party and a "free market and empire" party in the US. What they had in common, however, was that both required an increasingly larger government to support its objectives.

Today, the US political system has evolved to the point that the principles and ideology are disappearing.Today, Democrats fully accept and even encourage overseas aggression. This has been achieved through the illusion of "terrorism." Similarly, the Republicans have watered down their commitment to a free market system through the soma of ever-widening entitlements.

No longer is it necessary that the two dogmas are polar opposites. They can only be five degrees apart from each other, yet each team of supporters fully believes his team is morally right and the other team is morally wrong.

Meanwhile, they're both headed toward the same warfare/welfare end. !!!!

And of course, both teams fully accept the concept that an ever-expanding government role is necessary in achieving these ends.

But how is it possible that the principles and ideologies have been virtually erased? After all, the very idea of principles is that they are not based on popularity, but on inner conviction. Well, truth be told, the great majority of people have no real moral compass at all; no real inner sense of convictions. Their convictions can be manipulated in such a way that the portion of the brain that wishes to deal with convictions can be redirected into areas that are of little consequence. !!!!!!

On the surface of it, this seems like a bold and even radical statement, yet, as we can readily see, as long as never-ending debates are maintained over the less vital issues, such as abortion rights, gay rights, etc., a people can be distracted away from primary principles. Therefore, the government has the ability to create the illusion that a two-party system exists when, in truth, as the caption below states,

"VOTING: It's deciding which criminal gets to steal everything you have."

The concept of a government as a body of individuals that are chosen by election to represent 
the voters is a good one, but it's not a concept that's shared by those who are elected. Those who are elected almost unanimously see the concept as one in which the rulers are determined. They have no illusion about representation, although they do understand that they must give the impression to voters that they see themselves as representatives. Rulers seek to rule. All other concerns are secondary.

Over time, those elected will look for every opportunity to increase their own power (both politically and economically). Consequently, the longer a governmental system exists in a given country, the more it will deteriorate toward tyranny.

At some point, there is, in almost every country, a rebellion of some sort that causes a reset – a return to a more democratic structure where a greater level of representation once again takes place. Then the deterioration, inexorably, begins anew. This is why Thomas Jefferson was so fervent that, every so often,a revolution is essential.

It should be pointed out that the US is not alone in this deterioration. In all fairness, many other countries are in a similar state. Increasingly, people in these countries recognize that conditions are becoming tyrannical. 

Yet, most hold out the hope that the next election will somehow magically result in a return to basic freedoms. This will not be the case. Deterioration is baked in the cake. Regardless of the candidate, regardless of the party, regardless of the country, the outcome will be the same.





Corporate Earnings Fraud...........CORRUPTION, COWARDS AND CRIMINALS!

Corporate Earnings Fraud

Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter are pretty much in the books. The deception, falsification, accounting manipulation, and propaganda utilized by mega-corporations and their compliant corporate media mouthpieces has been outrageously blatant. It reeks of desperation as the Wall Street shysters attempt to extract the last dollar from their muppet clients before this house of cards collapses.

The CEOs of these mega-corporations accelerated their debt financed stock buybacks in 2015 as stock prices reached all-time highs and are currently so overvalued, they will deliver 0% returns over the next decade. This disgraceful act of pure greed by the Ivy League educated leaders of corporate America to boost their own stock based compensation is reckless and absurd.

It is proof that 
education at our most prestigious universities has produced avaricious MBAs following financial models and each other like lemmings going over the cliff. These intellectual giants evidently never learned the basic rule of buying low and selling high in order to make a profitable trade.

The previous all-time high in stock buybacks occurred in 2008 at the previous peak. That brilliant strategy led to 50% shareholder losses in a matter of months. No Board of Directors fired any CEO for these disastrous strategic blunders. These cowardly ego maniacs didn't buy back any stock in 2009 and 2010 when they could have made a killing with valuations at decade lows. After the stock market recovered by 100%, these stooges then began borrowing and buying. It has now reached another all-time high crescendo.

Dividends and stock buybacks in 2015 topped $1 trillion for the first. As CEOs have borrowed billions to buyback their inflated overvalued stock, they have put the long-term sustainability of their firms at extreme risk.

When a dead retailer walking like Macy's, which is seeing it's sales fall and profits crater by 30%, announces a $1.5 billion stock buyback when it already is weighed down with $7 billion in debt, you realize the men running these companies have no common sense or concern for the long-term viability of their companies. They'll get a golden parachute no matter how badly they screw the pooch.

The stock buyback scheme by corporate CEOs is just one of the devious methods used to cover-up the dramatic downturn in corporate profits. These titans of industry, and 
their Wall Street heroin dealers, and their corporate propaganda outlets need cover while they abscond with more of the nations wealth, before pulling the rug out from beneath the American people once again.

The 2008 Wall Street created financial crisis will look like a walk in the park compared to what's coming down the pike now. 

We now have a bond bubble, stock bubble, housing bubble, commercial real estate bubble and central banker confidence bubble all poised to pop simultaneously. The negative interest rate and banning of cash schemes will be dead on arrival, driving a stake into the heart of the Fed vampire.

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive." 

It's become perfectly clear over the last few weeks that 
the deception, misdirection, spin, and outright accounting fraud being used to hide the horrific financial results of S&P 500 companies has been orchestrated by the corporations, Wall Street "analysts" and the likes of cheerleaders like CNBS.

When "dead retailer walking" J.C. Penney reported their fourth quarter results last week the stock immediately soared 15%. The Wall Street propaganda machine was declaring turnaround complete. Modest positive comp store sales after five years of double digit declines were proof J.C. Penney was back. I went to the company press release and no matter how hard I searched, they never mentioned their Net Income. They blathered on about EBITDA and adjusted earnings per share, but not a peep about the actual GAAP Net Income.

Once I was able to access their Income Statement I realized why. Their completed turnaround resulted in a $131 million 4th quarter loss, almost $100 million higher than last year's loss. They finished their turnaround year with a loss of more than a half BILLION dollars. This company will be on the retail scrap heap of history in a couple years, but the Wall Street fleecing machine tells its muppet clients to buy, buy, buy. And the lemmings do as they are told. MBA NOW STANDS FOR MASTER BULLSHIT ARTIST! THE MOTHERS AND 
CHILDREN OF THESE PEOPLE SHOULD BE VERY PROUD! AS LONG AS THEY GET PAID,THEY DON'T AND WON'T ROCK THE BOAT! THEY ARE VERY COWARDLY, THEY WOULD RATHER LIE FOR PERSONAL GAIN, REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES, THAN TELL THE HARD TRUTH. MANY HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR SO LONG THAT THEY DON'T EVEN RECOGNIZE THE TRUTH ANYMORE.

The other blatant manipulation and spin is headline after headline stating one company after another beat expectations. What you are not told is expectations at the beginning of the quarter were 20% higher than they were on the day they reported. The highly paid 30 year old MBA "analyst lemmings" are told by the companies to reduce earnings expectations as the quarter progresses.

Sometimes they pre-announce earnings will fall by 20% to $0.45 per share, then three weeks later announce actual results of $0.46 per share, therefore beating expectations. This game is getting long in the tooth. Corporate revenues have been falling for a number of quarters, and they have run out of accounting reserves to make the numbers. So they move on to plan C.

If you can't make the numbers work, just fake the numbers and call them "adjusted". So when a corporate CEO opens 50 retail stores that turn out to be dogs and is eventually forced to close the stores and fire 10,000 employees, they just call those one time charges and ignore the $50 million loss when reporting the results. Heads the CEO wins, tails the shareholders lose. 

Wall Street reports a beat, and the clueless investors believe the lies. 

It's all fun and games until the next financial crisis hits, recession sweeps across the land, and the fraud, deception, and lies are revealed.

Even the billionaire oligarch crony capitalist Warren Buffett addressed this despicably flagrant flaunting of basic accounting principles to mislead shareholders in his annual letter last week:

It has become common for managers to tell their owners to ignore certain expense items that are all too real. "Stock-based compensation" is the most egregious example. The very name says it all: "compensation." If compensation isn't an expense, what is it? And, if real and recurring expenses don't belong in the calculation of earnings, where in the world do they belong?

Wall Street analysts often play their part in this charade, too, parroting the phony, compensation-ignoring "earnings" figures fed them by managements. Maybe the offending analysts don't know any better. Or maybe they fear losing "access" to management. Or maybe they are cynical, telling themselves that since everyone else is playing the game, why shouldn't they go along with it. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY AFRAID OF LOSING THEIR JOBS / PAYCHECKS, THEY ARE WALL STREET WHORES!

Whatever their reasoning, these analysts are guilty of propagating misleading numbers that can deceive investors…. WHORES! When CEOs or investment bankers tout pre-depreciation figures such as EBITDA as a valuation guide, watch their noses lengthen while they speak.

Based on fake reported earnings per share, the profits of the S&P 500 mega-corporations were essentially flat between 2014 and 2015. Using real GAAP results, earnings per share plunged by 12.7%, the largest decline since the memorable year of 2008. 
Despite persistent inquiry it is virtually impossible for a Wall Street outsider to gain access to the actual GAAP net income numbers for all S&P 500 companies. With almost $500 billion of shares bought back in 2015, the true decline in earnings is closer to 15%.

The increasing desperation of corporate CEOs is clear, as accounting gimmicks and attempts to manipulate earnings in 2015 has resulted in the 2nd largest discrepancy between reported results and GAAP results in history, only surpassed in 2008. 

The gaping 25% fissure between fantasy and reality means the S&P 500 PE ratio is actually 21.2 and not the falsified 16.5 propagated by Wall Street and their CNBS mouthpieces. True S&P 500 earnings are the lowest since 2010. Corporate profits only decline at this rate in the midst of recessions.

With approximately $270 billion of "one time" add-backs to income used to deceive the public, the true valuation of the median S&P 500 stock is now the highest in history – higher than 1929, 2000, and 2007. Wall Street's latest con game, with the active participation of corporate CEO co-conspirators, is a last ditch effort to fend off the inevitable stock market crash. 

It didn't work in 2008 and it won't work now. All economic indicators are flashing red for recession. Stocks are poised for a 40% decline faster than you can say Wall Street criminal banks.

The most infuriating aspect of this shameless ruse by corporate America and the Wall Street cabal is their complete lack of conscience or acknowledgment of misdeeds that destroyed the financial system in 2008. The American people bailed these sociopaths out, have borne the brunt of the QE and ZIRP save a banker programs, and "we the people" 
are poised to get screwed again when financial collapse part two hits in the near future.

The establishment is aghast that Donald Trump is storming towards the presidency. They are blind to the fact their unconcealed felonious actions rise to the level of treason in the eyes of average hard working Americans. 

The fabric of this country is being torn asunder by a contemptible class of corporate fascists, ego maniacal bankers, shadowy billionaires, and media titans. They have reaped billions of profits since 2009 as the Fed and politicians in D.C. rolled out "solutions" designed to enrich them. They are confident their failures will be shifted to the American people again. The American people may have a different opinion this time. Pitchforks and torches are being readied.