MONEY: CAT retail sales indicates global depression

Monday, July 27, 2015

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/07/tyler-durden/forget-recession/

Forget Recession: According To Caterpillar There Is A Full-Blown Global Depression
By Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
July 23, 2015

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And the cherry on top: there has now been an unprecedented 31 consecutive months of CAT retail sales declines. This compares to “only” 19 during the near systemic collapse in 2008.

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SO why is the stock market not going down?

The FED and its Zero Interest Rate.

The politicians and bureaucrats continue to borrow and spend to expand the welfare / warfare state.

Like the old war movie — i forget which — “get small in your hole”.

Bad times are coming.

Sooner or later, some very ugly chickens will come home to roost.

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MONEY: Pension in your future — maybe, maybe not!

Friday, July 24, 2015

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/day-of-reckoning-for-american-pensions-is-fast-approaching_072015

Day of Reckoning for American Pensions Is Fast Approaching
Joshua Krause
The Daily Sheeple
July 18th, 2015

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For decades, local and state governments in the United States have made promises to their employees that they cannot keep. They guaranteed a certain level of income to retirees at a time when America was its most prosperous, and when most people didn’t live as long as they do now. Those lucrative pensions they promised are starting to catch up to them in a big way.

Earlier this week, Moody’s cut Chicago’s credit rating to “junk,” largely due to their $20 billion pension shortfall, and they put the City of Houston on notice. Many of the major pension funds use the stock market to bolster their savings, but despite record profits on Wall Street, it doesn’t seem like any of them reached their revenue goals. California’s Public Employees Retirement System only reached a third of the annual revenue they projected, and the state’s teacher fund failed to reach their goal. Overall, Moody’s found that the 25 largest public pension funds in the US have a $2 trillion budget shortfall.

*** end quote ***

So what will happen?

I’d look at Greece and, closer to home, the Delta Pilot’s pensions.

The Federal “Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation” does not insure plans offered by federal, state, or local governments.

So, I’d expect a severe “haircut”. Pensions, if we use the PBGC limits, would be reduced to about 57K per year.

I can imagine the riots when it happens, but happen it will. 

If I was planning on a pension for my golden years, then I meet with a fee-based register financial adviser to revise your plans. 

Argh!

Hard times ahead.

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MONEY: Unfunded and underfunded liabilities

Monday, July 6, 2015

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-coming-era-of-pension-poverty.html

WEDNESDAY, JULY 01, 2015
The Coming Era of Pension Poverty
Assuming “growth” will fund all promised pensions and entitlements is magical thinking.

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Promises made in flush times cannot be kept in lean times. Common sense suggests that public employee pension benefits should be tied to the revenues required to pay them and the rate of low-risk returns on pension funds. If common-sense is “union bashing,” then we not only have a pension-funding problem, we have a propaganda problem.

Regardless of what was promised, what can’t be paid won’t be paid. The federal government can print money, but state and local governments cannot print money to pay soaring pension and healthcare costs. Push taxes and junk fees up enough and you will spark a taxpayer rebellion. If you doubt this, check out the origins of Prop 13 limits on property taxes in California.

*** end quote ***

Unfunded and underfunded liabilities about in the Zero Interest Rate Environment set up by the FED.

The estimates are staggering.

And yet the corruption continues. Politicians give Gooferment Unions big ‘benefits’ and Gooferment Unions give politicians big ‘campaign contributions’. And the taxpayer is on the hook.

Argh!

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MONEY: Save the penny; it’s educational

Friday, May 22, 2015

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/keep-using-cash-support-killing-penny/

If You Want People To Keep Using Cash, Support Killing The Penny
By Justin Pot on 15th May, 2015 

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There’s quote you might have heard.“A penny saved is a penny earned” -Ben Franklin

First: Franklin never said that. Second: adjusting for inflation, an early 1800’s penny is worth about 25 cents today. With these points in mind, I propose the following update: “A quarter saved is a quarter earned” -Unknown

My point is simple: when the penny was worth more, no one saw the need for a piece of currency valued at 1/25th of a penny. Creating something like that would have been stupid, because you couldn’t have bought anything with it.penny-bucketToday, it’s nearly impossible to find anything that costs one cent. Anywhere.Seriously: try to find anything that costs a penny. You’ll have to resort to a single nail at the hardware store, but when you try to pay for it with your penny the clerk will probably tell you not to bother – saying to just take the nail and leave. 

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I disagree. The penny is an in your face constant reminder that the Gooferment, specifically the FED (i.e., Ferderal Reserve Bank) … …

— The Federal Reserve Bank is a misnomer. IT ain’t “federal”. It reserves nothing. And, it ain’t a “bank”. It is a private cartel of the elite banks run for their benefit and that of the entrenched politicians. —

… … stolen the wealth of the world by inflation. I insist on ranting every time some wants to get rid of the penny, by pointing to Ron Paul and the evils of fiat currency. 

Without the Fed’s fiat currency, WW1 and WW2 could not have been fought and the current welfare / warfare state would be impossible. 

The penny is the “canary in cage” for the national debt, the deficit, the unfunded liabilities, and the out of control spending.

Keep the penny and let’s not forget WHY it’s worthless!

If you doubt any of this rant, listen to the Tom Woods podcast http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-397-the-fed-the-lifeblood-of-the-empire/ and how the FED enables war.

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MONEY: Investing short term earnings and long term as well?

Friday, May 1, 2015

https://www.quora.com/I-am-a-single-mother-who-is-looking-to-invest-my-money-What-suggestions-do-you-have-for-something-that-will-be-good-for-short-term-earnings-and-long-term-as-well?__snids__=1105045430&__nsrc__=2

I am a single mother who is looking to invest my money. What suggestions do you have for something that will be good for short term earnings and long term as well?

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I’m a big fan of Ric Edelman, the Financial Advisor, who does a weekly radio show for decades. He says that his objective to help people become rich.

(Disclaimer: I’m a Client for several years and get nothing for giving this recommendation.)

He offers — and several of my coworkers have taken them up on it — to spend some time with ANYONE regardless of possible account size and help identify your goals and suggestions how to reach them.

One specific coworker had a job, a mortgaged house, and nothing else. One of their Financial Advisors has spent four hours with her over the last three months coaching her financially. So I’d recommend that you talk to one of these guys rather than trying to go it alone.

There is NO obligation to do business with them.

They are registered financial advisers which means they work in your best interest (i.e., the fiduciary standard).

They have an account minimum of 5k$ if you want to have them handle your investments. So, I’d say 1-800-call-ric or ricedelman dot com.

I worked on Wall Street for a couple of decades, managed my own portfolio, and I wish I had found them much sooner. Just my opinion.

Remember the sources of my education! I’m just a fat old white guy injineer with:

  • Law “degree” from watching Judge Judy;
  • Medical “degree” from watching Doctor Phil;
  • Building “degree” from watching “Holmes on Homes”;
  • Investing “degree” from reading about Bernie Made-off;
  • Finance “degree”from listening to Ric Edelman;
  • Sensitively managing Human Resources from watching Chef Ramsey; AND
  • Creating loving /  caring human relationships from studying the movie roles
    of Gunny Ronald Lee Ermey! 

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MONEY: A gold Drachma?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/03/frank-hollenbeck/deadly-government-labs/

Five Steps to Fixing Greece’s Debt Problem
By Frank HollenbeckMises.org
March 5, 2015

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Step Five: Fix the New Drachma to Gold

Gold has many drawbacks, but gold’s primary advantage lies in the fact that it constrains current and future governments from using the printing presses to finance government expenditures. Once the tie to the euro is broken, Greece should then fix its new currency to gold. Even though Greece has no significant gold reserves, it can follow the example of Germany in 1923 when a broke Germany slowly returned to a gold standard by first fixing its money to non-gold commodities (i.e., rye bread in the German case).

By instituting true austerity and freeing the banking sector from the euro and the EU, Greece could go from being the example to avoid to the example to emulate in a relatively short period of time. With such a financial structure, Greece would benefit from long-term financial and economic stability. It would force Greece to make hard choices up front, thus avoiding later problems in the first place.

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I’d want some of them. Or any hard money currency tied to something!

As a non-enconmist, I’d assume that there would be a capital inflow with a hard money currency.

Akin to the Swiss Franc, that’s becoming a proxy for a strong fiat currency.

And, if Russia or China do it, then that is the end of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Whatever happened to the gold dinar?

Remember what happened to Saddam when he made noises about wanting to be paid in gold for his oil?

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MONEY: 401(k) Programs — Methadone for the Middle Class?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

http://www.garynorth.com/public/13421.cfm

401(k) Programs: Methadone for the Middle Class
Gary North – February 06, 2015

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Methadone is a legal drug that is taken by former heroin addicts. It eliminates the “rush” that heroin offers, but it also eliminates withdrawal symptoms. It lets heroin addicts escape the need to buy the expensive illegal drug.

Methadone is for heroin addicts who just cannot bring themselves to go cold turkey from an addictive drug that distorts their perception.

That is what a 401(k) retirement plan is for middle-class workers.

*** end quote ***

Even a gold bug, such myself, understands the concern that the 401k may not be enough.

And, the younger the person, the more they are at risk.

Clearly SocSec isn’t enough retirement savings, especially when the Gooferment cheats on inflation, COLA, Medicare rates, and — of course — the ULTIMATE cheat making SocSec ½ taxable income!!!

A similar concern exists with 401ks and IRAs. The “rules” can be changed. And, when you think of the 18T$ “debt” and 17T$ in tax deferred savings accounts under the control of about 2100 “custodians”, it’s not hard to imagine the political mischief that could emerge. There was a “trial balloon” about “saving” “We, The Sheeple” from “market risk” by swapping the 401k/IRA money for an “enhanced social security benefit”. It died a quiet death, but bad ideas are like Dracula rising from the grave.

So while I think folks “must” participate in the 401k / IRA system, they must also realize that there is a “counter party risk” and you better have other assets.

For once I’m glad I’m old.

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