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Archive for March, 2020

The rich receive most of their income, from 2/3rds to 100 percent, via corporations, either through capital gains by the selling of shares or with dividends distributed to shareholders. So it should come as no surprise that the billionaires who control the Republican Party got what they wanted in the Federal stimulus bill while the billionaires who control the Democratic Party got theirs, as well. They got more than the bill itself.

The rich will receive $4.95 trillion from the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. You read that right. The $2.2 trillion includes more than $450 billion for large corporations, allegedly in loans. The bill includes a proviso that the Federal Reserve can print up to ten times that amount and lend that $4.5 trillion with a nod and a wink to large corporations.

The combined profits of all US corporations in 2018 and 2019 were slightly over $4 trillion before taxes. The rich and their corporations, in other words, are getting more than two years’ worth of profits from the stimulus bill. This money will mainly go to the largest corporations, which means the money will go to a small number of corporations, pretty much the 100 to 150 largest. This means a massive stock market bubble is on the horizon fueled by the Fed, lies, political corruption, smoke and mirrors.

In effect, both the Democratic and the Republican members of the US congress decided to save their rich owners by giving them trillions of dollars, most of which will go to the top 1 percent. Then they throw crumbs to the rest of us and their corporate media dutifully failed to report this. Huffington Post and The American Prospect and a few others did report it.

Now, yes, some of you will say, but these are loans. The corporations need to pay the loans back. Wrong! In the future, Fed officials will tell you the loans have been repaid, or the loans were never made, but those will be lies, just like when Fed officials told us the $26 trillions it loaned out to twelve banks during the Great Recession was all paid back by 2011.

That $26 trillion bailout was top secret. Nobody was going to be told about it except the recipients, banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan/Chase. Then United States House members Ron Paul and Alan Grayson pushed through a bill authorizing the first and only audit of the Fed. The non-partisan General Accounting Office uncovered the $26 trillion bailout. Otherwise, we were never going to be told of it.

The entire U.S. banking industry in the four years from 2008 through 2011 earned $158 billion pre-tax dollars. The $158 billion represents less than 7/10ths of 1 percent of $26 trillion. Obviously, the banks could not have returned the money. It was mathematically impossible. Then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke after the audit proceeded to lie when he claimed the money had been paid back, and this was mostly ignored by the corporate media.

So you know what’s going to happen. Major corporations will receive close to $5 trillion that they will never need to return, and will never pay taxes on since Fed officials will lie and either say, “They paid it back,” or “They never borrowed the money.” Don’t expect another audit for 100 years. (There has only been one audit of the Fed in its 100+ years of existence, and that is how the $26 trillion bailout was discovered. Click this link for that story.)

0.01 percent of the U.S. population will receive nearly $5 trillion. That money will be used for dividends, CEO compensation, share buybacks in the future (since they are limited with this bill),  and just about anything the billionaires want. That’s why they pay the big bucks in the form of campaign contributions to politicians and spend billions of dollars on lobbyists.

In the meantime, a large portion of us 314,685,000 citizens will share $1.75 trillion (about $5500 each on average) to help keep the economy afloat while the roughly 300,000 richest of parasites share $5 trillion, which comes out to a little over $16.6 million each.

That should tell you how corrupt our democracy and both major political parties have become. You should also be aware that with the $26 trillion bank bailout the Fed went from being a central bank to a money-laundering machine for the banks and their rich shareholders. With the new bailout, the Fed has been given permission by the Federal government via both major political parties to be a money launderer for the rich and the rest of their money-making corporations. In other words, the Fed has been a criminal enterprise for the rich by violating U.S. money-laundering laws since 2008.

For more on this from the American Prospect, click the following link.

For more on this from the Huffington Post, click Democrats Are Handing Donald Trump The Keys To The Country: The Senate coronavirus bill is shocking.

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Corrupt Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina sits on the U.S. intelligence committee. After receiving a briefing in February on the likely devastating economic impacts of the coronavirus, he told members of a rich folks club called the Tar Heel Circle about what was coming and how devastating the coronavirus was going to be. It costs $500 to $10,000 to gain membership into the Tar Heel Circle. Members represent major corporations based in North Carolina and major campaign donors.

They now had inside knowledge during the meeting of what was going to happen and, if they had any brains, they got out of the market, like Burr did.

Corrupt U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein also sits on the intelligence committee and she received the same information as Burr. Allegedly through her husband, she sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock and escaped just before the financial and economic hurricane hit the United States. She is as guilty as Burr of insider trading and both should be charged with insider trading.

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler sold over three million dollars of shares after a private briefing in the U.S. Senate about the likely negative economic impacts of the coronavirus. Loeffler claims she has a third party manage her shares and she had nothing to do with the sale of her assets. Of course, just like Feinstein, she could have passed on information to the third party. Her rationale sounds flimsy.

Nowadays the 1 percent steal about 38 percent of all income produced in the United States compared to 8 percent in 1980. Three men own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the population. Control of the political process and the corruption of both major political parties, as well as the conservative/corporate wing of the United States Supreme Court, has made this possible. Receiving insider information on the coronavirus and its likely financial impact on the United States is just one small reason why income and wealth inequality in the United States and throughout the world over the last forty years has grown.

None of these corrupt senators bothered to tell the public of what was coming. Corruption reigns throughout the congress. Do not expect a serious congressional investigation.

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You can see the effects of the Coronavirus in the nearly empty restaurants, coffee shops, health clubs, etc…. throughout the United States. The U.S. should have gone into recession sometime in 2016 to 2018 after corporate profits peaked during the third quarter of 2014 and annually during that year. The U.S. always follows a decline in total corporate profits with a recession unless corporate earnings pick up. However, something kept this business expansion going far beyond what it historically should have since corporate earnings have been down for almost six years.

The Fed’s $26 trillion bailout of billionaires and multi-millionaires during the last economic crisis, as well as record corporate debt, helped to prolong the record economic expansion and the stock market bubble far beyond what economic fundamentals would normally have allowed. Record corporate share buybacks have helped the bubble and expansion along, although share buybacks had long been considered market manipulation.

Apple, for example, purchased $320 billion of its own shares over the last seven years pushing its stock price after a seven-way split in 2014 from $92 a share to over $320 until January 2020. The shares have lost $50 so far and are likely to lose a lot more. $320 billion are heading down the drain.

President Donald Trump’s tax cuts which largely went to the rich and their corporations should be given plenty of credit for extending this expansion and stock market bubble. Most corporations used the tax savings for share buybacks. All that did was inflate perhaps the largest US stock market bubble in history. As the number of people filing for unemployment insurance rises, the bubble will have further to fall, and it is likely the business contraction will be worse because of it, and the president should be given plenty of credit for that too.

Income and wealth inequality has continued to grow over the last forty years to historic proportions. Consumer debt is at record levels, as is corporate debt. Gross domestic product growth has been much lower over the last decade than under President’s Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, and Clinton. The same is true with job growth. Wages have been stagnant for forty years. Home prices have fallen 8 percent since and including the fourth quarter of 2017. Rich investors are pouring out of the mortgage bond markets.

All of this suggests a recession of historic magnitude, among the worst ever. I am not the only one who thinks this way. The Fed over the last ten days has lowered interest rates, and will likely lower them even further this week. Normally that does not happen until after a recession has officially begun. In addition, the president has declared a national emergency and the Democrats and Republicans have a relief package all set for the Senate to vote on this coming week.

None of the share buybacks, federal stimulus packages, and interest rate decreases will likely defeat the impact of the Coronavirus unless they come with a vaccine. Many months from now expect the folks at the National Bureau of Economic Research to get together and determine the recession began in March 2020, maybe April.

President Trump will not be at fault, though his tax cuts for the rich and their corporations will have played a negative role in the coming debacle.

There is a reason why income and wealth inequality has gotten so bad in the United States that three men own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the population.

You can blame the Democrats and the Republicans and the billionaires who pull their strings. For tax cuts for the rich blame Republicans; for exporting millions of jobs and redistributing trillions of dollars of income from the 99 to the 1 percent blame the Democrats, especially the Clinton’s and Joe Biden. For deregulation of Wall Street blame Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton and Joe Biden. The list goes on but the leaders of the two parties work together behind closed doors to ensure all this stuff occurs.  This is precisely why the two parties have acted so quickly together to fight the Coronavirus and the ensuing economic debacle they have created.

**An hour after I wrote and posted this story the United States Federal Reserve Bank dropped interest rates a full percent down to virtually zero and announced it would purchase $700 billion of U.S. Treasury Notes and Mortgage-Backed Bonds. The recession has not even begun and everybody in power is acting as if the next Great Depression began a year ago. The folks in power know a disaster coming when they see it. Hell, they created it by redistributing trillions of dollars from the 99 to the 1 percent during the last forty+ years. Now the chickens may be coming home to roost.

 

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