Tag Archives: financial

Stuart Varney Hits GOP Over Inflated Budget: ‘What on Earth’ Are They Thinking?

Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney took a shot at Republicans Monday morning, for their abandonment of “financial restraints” — asking “what on earth” is going on with the party.

While the GOP often pushes the idea that they are the side of financial conservatism and limited government spending, their latest budget proposal gives off an entirely different message. Rather than focusing on that message of frugality, President Donald Trump and Republicans are spending trillions more dollars with no hope of cutting the national deficit over the next decade.

More from Mediate

Posted by Libergirl

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Thank You for Your Service: How One Company Sues Soldiers Worldwide

Image: Pro Publica

Army Spc. Angel Aguirre needed a washer and dryer.

That’s when he saw an ad for USA Discounters, guaranteeing loan approval for service members. In military newspapers and magazines, on the radio, and on TV, the Virginia-based company’s ads shout, “NO CREDIT? NEED CREDIT? NO PROBLEM!” The store was only a few miles from Fort Carson.

“We ended up getting a computer, a TV, a ring, and a washer and dryer,” Aguirre said. “The only thing I really wanted was a washer and dryer.”

Aguirre later learned that USA Discounters’ easy lending has a flip side. Should customers fall behind, the company transforms into an efficient collection operation. And this part of its business takes place not where customers bought their appliances, but in two local courthouses just a short drive from the company’s Virginia Beach headquarters.

More from Pro-Publica

Posted byLibergirl

Financial world shaken by 4 bankers’ apparent suicides in a week

The apparent suicide death of the chief economist of a US investment house brings the number of financial workers who have died allegedly by their own hand to four in the last week.

Image: RUSSELL INVESTMENTS / AP PHOTO

50-year-old Mike Dueker, who had worked for Russell Investment for five years, was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, says AP.

Local police say he could have jumped over a fence and fallen 15 meters to his death, and are treating the case as a suicide.

Dueker was reported missing by friends on January 29, and police had been searching for him.

A Sheriff’s spokesman said investigators learned that he was having problems at work but did not elaborate.

Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman declined to comment, however said, that Dueker was in good standing at Russell.

“We were deeply saddened to learn today of the death,” Tice said in an e-mail on Friday. “He made a valuable contributions that helped our clients and many of his fellow associates.”

Dueker joined Russell Investment in 2008. He wrote for Market Outlook financial services publications, forecasting the business cycle and the target federal funds rate. He is the creator and developer of a business cycle index that forecast economic performance published monthly on the Russell website.

More from Russia Today

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Bernanke tackles critics of Fed’s growth push

Bernanke pushed back against accusations that the Fed’s policy is laying the groundwork for inflation, enabling the government to run large budget deficits, undercutting the dollar and hurting savers.

He said that while the country’s unusually weak economic performance had forced the Fed to resort to less conventional tools after lowering interest rates to effectively zero, the Fed’s goals of price stability and maximum sustainable employment have not changed.

“These goals mean, basically, that we would like to see as many Americans as possible who want jobs to have jobs, and that we aim to keep the rate of increase in consumer prices low and stable,” Bernanke told the Economic Club of Indiana.

In response to the financial crisis and deep recession of 2007-2009, the Fed slashed overnight borrowing costs to rock bottom and bought some $2.3 trillion in mortgage and Treasury securities in an effort to keep down long-term rates and stimulate investment.

Last month, the central bank said it would buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities every month until the jobs outlook improved substantially as long as inflation remained contained.

The Fed’s unconventional efforts to spur growth have not been without critics, including many Republicans, who have argued they threaten future inflation and were abetting profligate spending in Washington. The party’s presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, vowed if elected he would not renominate Bernanke, himself a Republican, to a third term.

In his speech, Bernanke essentially laid out a primer on the Fed’s policies that took on the criticisms one-by-one.

In doing so, he underscored the central bank’s resolve to continue pushing for stronger growth and more job creation, reiterating the commitment the Fed made at its September meeting to keep a heavy dose of monetary stimulus in place even after the economic rebound appears to gain traction.

“As long as price stability is preserved, we will take care not to raise rates prematurely,” Bernanke said.

NEW PARTY, SAME PUNCH BOWL

The Fed chief noted inflation had fluctuated close to Fed officials’ target of 2 percent for a long time, and that inflation expectations have remained stable, suggesting low risk of a sudden spurt of price rises.

He also downplayed fears that the central bank’s policies would damage the long-run value of the dollar, saying the stronger growth that Fed officials are trying to engender would actually support the currency.

“I don’t see any inconsistency with our policy and maintaining a strong dollar,” he said.

Bernanke expressed confidence that the Fed had the right tools to keep inflation at bay and suggested the central bank’s unconventional policy easing made the challenge of knowing when to remove stimulus no greater now than in the past.

“Determining precisely the right time to ‘take away the punch bowl’ is always a challenge for central bankers, but that is true whether they are using traditional or nontraditional policy tools,” Bernanke said. “The Federal Reserve’s price stability record is excellent, and we are fully committed to maintaining it.”

He also argued against the notion that the Fed was monetizing the federal debt or effectively printing money to keep the government’s borrowing costs low.

“That’s not what’s happening, and that will not happen,” Bernanke said. “We are acquiring Treasury securities on the open market and only on a temporary basis, with the goal of supporting the economic recovery through lower interest rates.”

The U.S. economy expanded at a paltry 1.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter, far less than what is needed to bring down the country’s elevated 8.1 percent jobless rate.

Bernanke disputed the charge that the Fed’s policies are damaging savers, arguing they will also benefit from a strong and growing economy.

By Ann Saphir/Reuters

Posted by The NON-Conformist

QE4? The Big Wall Street Banks Are Already Complaining That QE3 Is Not Enough

QE3 has barely even started and some folks on Wall Street are already clamoring for QE4.  In fact, as you will read below, one equity strategist at Morgan Stanley says that he would not be “surprised” if the Federal Reserve announced another new round of money printing by the end of the year.

But this is what tends to happen when a financial system starts becoming addicted to easy money. There is always a deep hunger for another “hit” of “currency meth”. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was probably hoping that QE3 would satisfy the wolves on Wall Street for a while. His promise to recklessly print 40 billion dollars a month and use it to buy mortgage-backed securities is being called “QEInfinity” by detractors. During QE3, nearly half a trillion dollars a year will be added to the financial system until the Fed decides that it is time to stop. This is so crazy that even former Federal Reserve officials are speaking out against it. For example, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker says that QE3 is the “most extreme easing of monetary policy” that he could ever remember. But the big Wall Street banks are never going to be satisfied. If QE4 is announced, they will start calling for QE5. As I noted in a previous article, quantitative easing tends to pump up the prices of financial assets such as stocks and commodities, and that is very good for Wall Street bankers. So of course they want more quantitative easing. They always want bigger profits and bigger bonus checks at the end of the year.
But at this point the Federal Reserve has already “jumped the shark”. If you don’t know what “jumping the shark” means, you can find a definition on Wikipedia right here. Whatever shreds of credibility the Fed had left are being washed away by a flood of newly printed money.
Those running the Fed have essentially used up all of their bullets and the next great financial crisis has not even fully erupted yet.
So what is the Fed going to do if the stock market crashes and the credit market freezes up like we saw back in 2008?
How much more extreme can the Fed go?
One can just picture “Helicopter Ben” strapping on a pair of water skis and making the following promise….
“We are going to print so much money that we’ll make Zimbabwe and the Weimar Republic look like wimps!”
Sadly, the truth is that money printing is not a “quick fix” and it never has been. Just look at Japan. The Bank of Japan is on round 8 of their quantitative easing strategy, and yet things in Japan continue to get even worse.
But that is not going to stop the folks on Wall Street from calling for even more quantitative easing.

More by Michael Snyder/Infowars

Posted by The NON-Conformist

FCC Launching Huge Internet Tax

Get ready for another transfer of wealth via government confiscation. The FCC is ready to tax internet service in order to fund its Connect America Fund boondoggle.
As is usually the case in corporatist nations – Mussolini told us corporatism is the essence of fascism – mega-corporations support this brazen theft.
“Numerous companies, including AT&T, Sprint and even Google have expressed support for the idea,” reports The Hill today.
The scheme is nothing new. “Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC’s Universal Service Fund.” The “Service Fund” was devised as yet another grand socialist enterprise “to ensure that everyone in the country has access to telephone service, even if they live in remote areas.”
In 2011, appointed apparatchiks at the FCC “overhauled a $4.5 billion portion of the Universal Service Fund and converted it into a broadband Internet subsidy, called the Connect America Fund. The new fund aims to subsidize the construction of high-speed Internet networks to the estimated 19 million Americans who currently lack access.”
It hardly seems relevant that the FCC lacks statutory authority over broadband. Nowadays, just about the entire government – from Obama’s executive orders to the “Super Congress” – runs by dictatorial fiat.
The FCC’s illegal power grab supported by transnational telecoms has already resulted in the sort of abuses that are routine when the government inserts itself in the business realm.
“Of course the ‘Connect America Fund’ is more than just another flagrant government shakedown of taxpayers and naked bureaucratic power grab,” writes Howard Rich. “Like the ‘Green Jobs’ scam that brought us the infamous Solyndra scandal, it’s yet another example of government fundamentally usurping the private sector’s role of allocating capital.”
In fact, the government’s new “broadband scam” already has its own Solyndra scandal – a company called Open Range.
Right around the time Genachowski was making his “necessary participation” speech, it was revealed that Open Range filed for bankruptcy despite being approved for $267 million in loans from the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Ironically, it was a decision by the FCC to deny a special license to Open Range’s business partner, Globalstar, that led to the company’s collapse. Some have even speculated that the FCC deliberately denied this license because it was promoting a competing venture involving LightSquared, a company backed by a powerful Democratic fundraiser.
Imagine that, another instance of crony capitalism benefiting the entrenched political class.

By Kurt Nimmo

Posted by The NON-Conformist

U.S. Authorities Subpoena Seven Banks In LIBOR Probe

U.S. authorities are investigating the involvement of seven large banks in the alleged manipulation of the London inter-bank offer rate (LIBOR).
Subpoenas were issued to Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) (NYSE:BCS), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Deutsche Bank AG (ETR:DBK) (FRA:DBK) (NYSE:DB), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA) (NYSE:HBC), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS), and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS) by the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who are leading the investigation.
The United States government is conducting a criminal investigation regarding the possible involvement of other banks in the LIBOR scandal. Investigators want to find out if there is a conspiracy between Barclays other banks in manipulating the LIBOR rates, and if there’s enough evidences and testimonies to file criminal charges.
Ralph Silva, a banking analyst at SRN said it is the first time for authorities to investigate a rate rigging conspiracy. He said, “This is the first time we’re seeing a legal case that is trying to prove [collusion]. If they can prove it, then all the fees could amount to tens of millions of pounds.”
According to analysts, the civil case filed by investors against the banks seeking damages in losses from the LIBOR manipulation will be strengthened if U.S. investigators file criminal charges. Berkshire Bank, a lender based in New York filed a lawsuit against 21 banks in connection with the alleged LIBOR manipulation, and it is seeking the right to represent other financial institutions in a potential class action lawsuit.
Barclays paid a $454 million fine, after admitting the bank submitted false London and euro interbank offered rates. The bank’s top two executives, Marcus Agius and Bob Diamond, resigned from their position as chairman and chief executive officer respectively.
Martin Wheatley, managing director of the Financial Services Authority said the LIBOR system is no longer a “viable option” after reviewing the process on how the benchmark interest rates for financial contracts are calculated, based on the estimated interest rates on loan in 10 currencies submitted by a group of major banks.
The FSA said, Derivatives traders requested the false submissions in the LIBOR and EURIBOR setting process, as they were “motivated by profit and sought to benefit Barclays’ trading positions.”
According to the report from Bloomberg, RBS and UBS confirmed receiving the subpoena and requests for information regarding the LIBOR scandal. Both banks are cooperating in the LIBOR investigation, according to the spokespersons.
A regulatory filing from Citigroup showed the bank’s subsidiaries continue to receive requests for information regarding the case, from government agencies in the United States, including the offices of the attorneys general in New York and Connecticut. Citigroup also received requests for information from authorities in other countries.
Spokespersons from Barclays, HSBC, JP Morgan, and UBS declined to provide any comment regarding the subpoena, according to the report.
Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, is also actively reviewing the issues related to the LIBOR, and issued subpoenas, while Massachusetts Attorney General, Martha Coakley, confirmed last month that her office is working with other state agencies in conducting a LIBOR investigation.

By International Business Times

Posted by The NON-Conformist