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The red line in the graph below represents borrowing to buy corporate shares. The blue line represents the growing value of the S&P 500 stock index. Notice the growth in the financial markets is being fueled by record amounts of debt. The growth of both clearly mirrors each other.

Eight months ago, I wrote, “The latest in a long line of stock market bubbles is being fueled by record amounts of debt according to the New York Stock Exchange. This debt is called “buying on margin” (BOM). Notice the acronym of BOM, which is pretty close to bomb, and this current bubble is going to explode. Total BOM hit a record high of $528.2 billion in February 2017.”

By November 2017 (the latest data that is available), total BOM hit nearly $581 billion. Stock prices, in other words, have been bid up with borrowed money, like at an auction.

Once the lunatic Trump tax cuts were passed, the already dangerously obese stock market bubble began expanding even more in anticipation of more after-tax cash going to the rich and corporations, to whom the vast majority of those tax cuts were targeted. This has given corporations and the rich the leverage to borrow on margin even more in anticipation of future increased after-tax earnings.

That is not necessarily always a big problem early in a business expansion when the market is going up, but it’s now late in the ball game. Our economic expansion is 103 months old (as of January 2018), making it the third longest in US history. In terms of numerous indices, such as job, GNP, and wage growth, this is one of the weakest expansions in US history. The vast majority of new income and wealth have gone to the top 1 percent, and not to the 99 percent.

All of this suggests the coming crash is long overdue. When we hit this soon to arrive recession, it should be a train wreck worse than the so-called Great Recession of 2007-09.

November’s total BOM was nearly $80 billion more than twelve months before. This increase is a sign of optimism or foolishness. People and institutions like hedge funds want to get in on the action while the stock markets are rising. What is going to happen when the bubble pops?

Suppose you have $10,000 to invest, so you purchase 100 shares of Home Depot at $100 per share. The market crashes and the share price drops to $40. Now your investment is worth $4,000. That is not a good result, but your investment is still worth something, and can potentially recover if you hang on to it in the long run.

Let’s say you borrow an additional $20,000 from your broker to buy another 200 Home Depot shares at $100 each for a total of 300 shares and at a total cost of $30,000. The market crashes and the share price quickly drops to $40. Now all 300 shares are only worth $12,000 — but you owe your broker $20,000 (plus interest) for borrowing money to buy the stock. The broker calls in his loan. You are forced to sell your shares to get the funds to pay your broker but at the lower share price. You lose $18,000 of your $30,000 investment. But your broker wants the rest of his $20,000 plus interest. You only have $12,000 remaining of your original $30,000 investment, so you owe more than $8,000 to your broker.

So your original $10,000 is wiped out, your loan of $20,000 is annihilated, and you need to come up with $8,000 plus interest to pay back your broker.

During most recessions, it is much more difficult to get credit to pay your broker back, so you may both be out of luck, although you’ll likely be in court defending against him, her or it.

On a massive scale, say trillions of dollars of investments, that’s a recipe for absolute disaster for the whole economy. Corporations of all types (which often borrow to purchase their own shares in order to jack up their share prices), as well as hedge funds, governments, investment banks, commercial banks, small businesses, other wealth management firms, etc…, will likely need to lay off employees in order to pay back the money they owe.

Side Notes

***Let’s also get something straight which the corporate media doesn’t want us to know; tax cuts for corporations are the same as tax cuts for the rich since corporations in great measure pass on their tax cuts to the wealthy via higher after-tax corporate profits, rising share prices and surging dividends.

***As an aside, your government has allowed a conspiracy in restraint of trade in the housing market to be the primary fuel that ignited this current stock market bubble. See The Big Banks Are Manipulating the Housing Market–JohnHIvely.wordpress.com.

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The United States Federal Reserve Bank issued a report in September 2017 showing the top 1 percent of US income earners own almost twice as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of Americans.

According to the Fed’s report, the bottom 90 percent of citizens have seen their wealth fall from nearly 38 percent of total US wealth in 1989 to 23 percent today, a 40 percent drop. Meanwhile, the 1 percent has seen their share of wealth grow from just under 30 percent in 1989 to 38.6 percent today.

In the same report, Federal Reserve researchers reported the rich took a record-high 23.8 percent of the overall US created income in 2016, up from approximately 8 percent in 1980. The report showed the bottom 90 percent of families now make less than half of the country’s income. That figure slipped to 49.7 percent in 2016, down by more than 20 percent since 1989.

A perusal of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows total US corporate profits hit their highest level ever in the third quarter of 2017. The next three highest were during the three quarters preceding the third quarter. Corporate after-tax earnings were also at their highest levels during the past four quarters. This shows US corporations are doing fine without the tax cuts.

According to the BEA, despite record aggregate corporate earnings in 2017, average monthly job growth was lower than in 2016. Rather than increasing jobs, much of those record earnings are providing higher dividends and share buybacks. Both of these are done with the intention of raising share prices, thereby fueling an already dangerous stock market bubble.

There is a good chance that much of the corporate tax cuts will be used to increase dividends and find ways to increase share values, which redounds mainly to the rich.

In a research report for the National Bureau of Economic Research, economist Edward N. Wolff shows that the top 1 percent own 40 percent of all corporate shares, while the 90-99 percent own 44 percent, as of 2016. That means the top ten percent will be the primary beneficiaries of the new tax cuts for corporations, increasing both their income and their wealth relative to everybody else.

Thus, income and wealth inequalities are certain to increase under the newest Republican tax cuts. People may reasonably suspect the tax cuts were written to ensure this result, and with potentially dire results.

The stock market bubble may grow bigger than would otherwise be the case in the absence of the tax cuts. Once the bubble bursts, the 99 percent will likely be the principal victims in the form of higher unemployment, reduced incomes, home foreclosures, increased homelessness, and all the things that historically come with the bursting of stock market bubbles.

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Donald Trump has been in office nearly a year, Republicans control the US House and the Senate, and nary a word has been voiced by Republican legislators or that guy in the white house about passing legislation prohibiting abortion.

Senate Republicans passed tax cuts for the rich with only 51 votes using a procedure called “Reconciliation.” Now “reconciliation” has to deal with budget matters and has nothing to do with, say, making abortion illegal. However, the Republican Senate could easily advance a motion that requires a simple majority vote on legislation outlawing abortion, but they are not likely ever going to do this.

The Republicans in the US Senate passed a motion to make certain that all nominees to the US Supreme Court are able to take a seat on the highest court in the land with only a majority vote in the Senate, and filibusters are forbidden.

So what gives? Why won’t the Republicans eliminate legal abortions?

The Republicans, quite naturally, play the folks on the religious right as much as the Democratic leadership plays labor union members. The last thing Republican leaders want to do is pass legislation banning abortions. Doing this would allow fundamentalist Christians to focus on other issues.

What would Jesus Christ focus on in the absence of the abortion issue? Something about rich folks getting into heaven via an eye of a needle comes to mind. That has to be a giant needle, or maybe Jesus meant rich folks don’t have a shot at the kingdom of heaven. Maybe Christians might begin thinking about things like wealth and income inequality. That’s a big issue nowadays because income and wealth inequality has become so lopsided in favor of 1 percent of the population (See In the USA, the 1 Percent Now Own More Wealth Than the Bottom 90 Percent–JohnHively.Wordpress.com). The last thing the Republican leadership wants is defections of its base to the other side on the issue of wealth and income inequality.

My best guess is the Republican leadership doesn’t want to lose its grassroots base, and keeping abortion rights alive is the key to keeping the base aroused and under control by maintaining the base’s eternal hope that abortion one day will be legally ended. This hope, of course, can only be kept alive by keeping legalized abortion alive.

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The United States Federal Reserve Bank issued a report in September 2017 showing that the top 1 percent of US income earners now own almost twice as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of Americans. Notice the corporate media did not cover this report. They did not want us to know this stuff.

Anyway, wealth is defined as assets, such as stocks, bonds, futures options, houses, cars, clothes, trinkets and such.

The graph above is straight from the Federal Reserve Bulletin. Notice the bottom 90 percent have seen their wealth drop from nearly 38 percent of the total wealth in 1989 to 23 percent today, a 40 percent drop. Meanwhile, the 1 percent has seen their wealth grow from just under 30 percent in 1989 to 38.6 percent today. The 1 percent also own more wealth than those people among the 90 to 99 percent, but just barely.

The reason the 1 percent has gained so much wealth while the 90 percent has lost it is that the rich are stealing it from everybody else via their corruption of both major political parties, and such corrupt politicians as Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Orrin Hatch, Paul Ryan, and Ron Wyden.

In the same report, Federal Reserve researchers discovered the rich stole a record-high 23.8% of the overall US created income in 2016 (See graph below), up from 8 percent in 1980. However, the current figure appears to be understated. At least one report shows the rich are stealing 37+ percent of the total income produced in the United States. The Fed’s report showed the bottom 90% of families now make less than half of the country’s income. That figure slipped to 49.7% in 2016, down by more than 20% since 1992 (It is likely the drop is greater according to another study).

The reason why the billionaires are getting wealthier and the rest of us are becoming poorer is because of such things as trade agreements via political corruption, privatization scams, tax cuts for the rich, unrestricted campaign finance donations, mandatory testing of public school students K-12, student loans, Federal Reserve and US government rescue of mortgage-backed bondholders by the tens of trillions of dollars (See The $26 Trillion Dollar Bailout to Save the 1 Percent, a totally corrupt corporate wing of the US Supreme Court (John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Anthony Kennedy),  etc…. Corruption in US politics have not been this bad since the Gilded Age, and this is how the rich are getting richer by stealing from the rest of us.

Millions of US jobs have been exported since 1992, thanks to trade treaties negotiated to ensure US corporations can export jobs to low wage nations, as well as create jobs in these poverty-wage nations rather than here. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower extreme poverty wages in Mexico (where the minimum wage is $4.70 a day), China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and elsewhere goes straight into the already fat wallets of the well-to-do parasites of the millionaire and billionaire classes.

The job losers (the producers) might get unemployment insurance if they are lucky. The rich take their stolen loot and purchase wealth, such as stocks and bonds. The job losers often have to sell their assets to cover their expenses as they search for new jobs that typically pay less than what they once earned.

This is a nice income and wealth redistribution scam that every Democratic and Republican senator and member of the House of Representatives know very well. Every president since and including Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama have known this scam.

The billionaires continued their war against the 99 percent when the US Senate passed their tax cut for the rich and their corporations. And so the war continues against the 99.5 percent. This is class warfare at its most one-sided.

You can find the report from the Federal Reserve at https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/files/scf17.pdf. The graphs are located on pages 11 and 12 if I remember correctly.

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You only need to look at the Bush tax cuts of almost 15 years ago to recognize how tax cuts for the rich destroy jobs and redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent in the process. George W Bush was the first president since Herbert Hoover to experience negative job growth during his presidency. Now Trump will be the second president since Hoover to experience negative job growth. Here’s how the scam works.

The tax cuts for corporations will increase their after-tax profits. This will be handed out to the rich in the form of higher stock prices (capital gains) and dividend payments.

Meanwhile, the tax-cuts for the rich will deliver them more after-tax income with which to purchase more speculative investments. Both corporations and the individual wealthy will then inflate the current stock market bubble by purchasing more stocks, futures options, and other things of those natures. (A futures market is an auction market in which participants buy and sell commodity and futures contracts for delivery on a specified future date)

Naturally, this will bid up the price we pay for commodities, such as food, natural gas and oil. The difference between the current prices and the new higher (inflated via tax cuts for the rich) prices we will pay means that more of our income will be redistributed from us to the 1 percent.

In other words, we will be made to pay more to the rich for the food we eat, the natural gas we use to heat our homes, and the gasoline we need to power our cars, as well as other things, and that extra money we will be forced to pay will go straight into the pockets of the billionaires, people like Warren Buffett, the Koch Brothers, and Donald Trump.

The stock market bubble, perhaps the biggest in US history, will now continue to grow as both corporations and the individual wealthy have more money to bid stock prices up. The stock market bears a remarkable resemblance to a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise (or artificially high stock prices) is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors. In this case, the rich will be paid more and more for so long as the bubble continues to inflate, and for so long as it takes for the bubble to fizzle out. Corporate management will feel the pressure to export more and more US jobs in order to pay what is necessary to prop up their stock prices.

In other words, the tax cuts will produce greater pressure on corporate managements to export more US jobs to low age nations whenever possible. The difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower overseas wages will go straight into the pockets of the superwealthy. The rich will get all the increasing returns on investment from us, the stakeholders, rather than later investors. In that way, along with one other way which I shall not go into now, the stock market closely resembles a Ponzi scheme.

Trump’s disastrous tax cuts will cause a one trillion dollar increase in the federal deficit over the next ten years. Naturally, in order to reduce the deficit, Republicans will demand reductions of federal expenditures on education, road maintenance, social security payments to the elderly and disabled, Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, food stamps and other programs that benefit the middle class and the poor, because of the deficit they have created with their tax cuts for the rich. In this way, the billionaires will become richer at the expense of everybody else, thanks to the unnecessary tax cuts.

Meanwhile, quite naturally, Republicans will insist on increased federal military expenditures and expanded deportations of undocumented immigrants because these programs are highly profitable to their base, which is the billionaires who control the party, and not the grassroots. The US currently spends more on its military than the next 26 nations combined, 25 of who are US allies. Talk about overkill or unnecessary.

The tax cuts are unnecessary inasmuch as the 1 percent are stealing a record amount of the total national income, going from 8 percent in 1980 to 37+ percent nowadays. Three people, (Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates now own wealth (assets) than the bottom 50 percent of the US population. The top 1 percent now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. In addition, corporate profits are at record levels. So neither corporations or the rich need the money except as a way to steal more money from the rest of us, and the money from their theft will keep those stock markets, futures market, and other markets boiling upward until the bubbles pop. And that will produce a disaster for Trump, the Republicans, and us.

Every Republican who voted yes on the bill knows everything that I have written above. Yet, they still voted yes. This shows that the billionaires are their real constituents and not the grassroots. They all know the bill was passed on a series of lies.

Read more: Futures Market https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/futuresmarket.asp#ixzz507u73Y1m The d
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The billionaires who control the US federal government and both major political parties are quaking in their boots because the Mexican government has increased the national minimum wage ever so slightly, by .45 cents per day. No doubt the billionaires are worried the increase will cut into corporate profits, slow the increase in share prices during the current economic and stock market bubbles, and perhaps even slow the increase in dividend payments. Heaven forbid!

CNN reports that “Nearly 25 million Mexicans are getting a pay raise next week. From $4.25 to $4.70 — a day. Mexican government and business leaders agreed on Tuesday to raise the country’s minimum wage starting on December 1 to 88.36 pesos from 80.04 pesos. The 10% raise is good news for 24.7 million Mexicans who work either one or two minimum wage jobs. But it also resurfaces a key complaint by American workers who voted for President Trump, in part because of his pledge to renegotiate NAFTA, the trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Trump blames NAFTA for the loss of many American jobs. Cheap labor has attracted American companies to Mexico for decades.”

Trump, of course, is correct. Millions of US jobs have been exported to Mexico since before Nafta, and millions more have been created there by US corporations rather than here because the terms of Nafta paved the legal road to do so. Generally, the numbers have been egregiously understated by researchers because the methodology they use deliberately understates US job losses.

What Trump doesn’t want US citizens to know, which is also what the billionaires who run the Republican Party and the Democratic Party don’t want you to know is that US income and wealth inequalities have been fueled by Nafta, and the stock markets have been booming since Nafta, precisely because Nafta has allowed US corporations to export millions of US jobs to Mexico. The difference between the old higher US wages and benefits and the new lower Mexican wages with no benefits goes straight into the already super-sized and ultra-fat wallets of the uber-rich via higher corporate profits, surging share prices and rising dividends.

Do you ever wonder how Warren Buffett, Phil Knight, the Koch Brothers, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and others ever got so much richer than they should be? These wonder boys have always been big-time supporters of cheap Mexican and cheaper Chinese, Vietnamese and Bangladesh wages with no benefits and fewer worker safety and relaxed or nonexistent environmental controls in those and other nations. They also have prospered because of these things.

So these rich folks owe quite a debt to the record income and wealth inequality they have created to Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Paul Ryan, and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden. The rest of us pay the price of the massive political corruption they have created.

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Trump’s tax scam, as you can see from the video above, is a big tax giveaway to the rich via corporations. When corporations receive tax breaks, this raises their after-tax profits, which is then passed on almost exclusively to the rich via higher dividends and surging stock prices.

We already have an ultra-dangerous stock market bubble about to implode, and Trump’s tax plan will only make it bigger, but it will also make the coming recession worse by a wide margin. It is likely Trump’s tax plan is designed to do precisely this.

This means the tax plan has been written to create greater income and wealth inequalities, which are already at dangerous levels not seen before in US history. US corporate profits have been at record levels for years, gaining in size quarter after quarter.

Is anybody corrupt, stupid or insane enough to believe that corporations and the rich need more money? Trump and the Republican Party are most likely all three of the above, or is it something else?

The corporate tax cuts given by the Trump plan will keep that bubble expanding until it pops. That is the only logical explanation for the tax plan, which is an extremely dangerous idea in itself.

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