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Posts Tagged ‘Janet Yellen’

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The Federal Reserve Bank is expected to raise interest rates tomorrow. It will most likely be a mild increase of 1/4 to 1/2 percent.

The US and world economies are heading for a recession worse than the last one, and it should begin by June 2017, give or take a few months. Then President Donald Trump will get the blame, as well as the Republican US senate and the Republican US House of Representatives.

The Republicans will blame the Federal Reserve. Blame the recession and its dire impacts on the effects of Reaganomics, which has been a long-term policy of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent (I doubt Reagan intended it that way). That decreased the demand for goods and services on the part of the 99 percent, and has led to a series of bubble economies for the United States since the 1980s.

The result has been the weakest economic growth in US history under President George W. Bush. The job gains under Bush numbered less than 1.4 million jobs total, with declining real wage growth. Things have been quite a bit better under President Obama. However, the job growth numbers under Obama are far worse than any other president since and including Jimmy Carter, with the exception, of course, of Bush.

Carter had the best monthly job growth numbers of any president since 1976. See Why Did President Jimmy Carter Create More Jobs Per Year Than Any President Since Him? JohnHively.wordpress.com

The Fed and everybody else expect the current economic expansion to continue. That’s insane. All the indications and variables suggest we are on a crash course with a massive recession by June 2017. See The New Recession is Knocking at the Door, and It’s Going to Be Worse than the Last One–JohnHively.Wordpress.com

Only two US business expansions have lasted longer than 100 months. The third longest expansion began under President Ronald Reagan and lasted 92 months. Including this month, the current expansion is 91 months. That means by next June it will have lasted 98 months. Given the weaknesses of the current US economy, we most likely won’t make it much longer than June.

The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates tomorrow and hasten the coming of the next recession by a month or two.

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US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is faced with a problem. In the seventh year of an economic expansion there is considerable disagreement over whether the Fed should hike interest rates.

According to Bloomberg News, “At the presidential debate on Sept. 26, Republican candidate Donald Trump accused Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen of inflating “a big, fat, ugly bubble” by keeping interest rates too low. Yellen couldn’t just shrug off the accusation, because only five days earlier three members of her own rate-setting group, the Federal Open Market Committee, had expressed the same idea in more delicate language.”

So what’s the problem? The economy isn’t overheating at a time when it’s likely peaking. Unemployment is low, but then so is demand for goods or services compared to previous business expansions. Otherwise, the Fed would be happy to raise rates in order to curb inflation.

The underlying problem for Yellen and the governor’s of the Fed is that income distribution has become so one-sided that the 99 percent cannot afford to purchase enough stuff to make inflation rear its head. This is the one thing the press and Yellen don’t consider, at least not in public. Perhaps this is because it’s politically unpalatable to the super-rich overseers of the elected officials of the Republican and Democratic parties.

Those overseers have a financial stake in the outcome of the Fed’s decision. Raising rates might push share prices lower. Of course, that housing bubble might also blow up.

The 1 percent took 99 percent of all income growth from 2009-14 (an historic record), and more than 50 percent in 2015. The 1 percent now are stealing via legislation anywhere from 22 to 36 percent of all income produced every year in the US (depending on whose figures you use), up from roughly 8 percent in 1981. That leaves the 99 percent with less money to burn.

Of course, the 99 percent use credit to make up for some of that shortfall, but during this recession, picking up the slack in demand via credit isn’t working as well as during the other boom times during the last 35 years.

And so Yellen sits and waits, while the governors of the Fed argue over whether rates should be raised. There’s obviously strong interest within the Fed to pop that bubble.

Maybe those Fed officials should be wondering what they’re going to do when the economy tanks. It’s late in this boom period. Perhaps, Fed officials need to think about applying negative interest rates.

#Note: The Fed raised interest rates by a tad last November, but it hasn’t dared lift them since.

Yellen Can’t Hide the Struggle Inside the Fed–Bloomberg News

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Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen announced Wednesday, December 16 that the Fed will raise short term interest rates by .25 percent. That means interest rates are going to rise for the 99 percent; from 15 to 17 percent on credit cards, for example. Home mortgage rates, car loans, home equity credit lines, and student loans, among other loans, are going to rise. Home mortgage loans will rise from about 3 percent to roughly 5 percent.

Yet there are no signs of an inflationary spiral, which would in theory spur the Fed into raising rates, which is one of its falsely stated goals. Then there’s high (but not too high) employment, another cherished and false goal of the Fed. For the last six years the US economy has been creating less jobs every year (and with declining wages) than occurred under that alleged dreadful president, Jimmy Carter, whose four years as president also included rising real wages. Carter did this with an economy and population about half of today’s economy.

Preliminary indications are that the US is headed toward a recession deeper and longer than the last one, and we should arrive there somewhere between seven and seventeen months from now. The Fed’s actions exacerbate these indications by redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent, curtailing demand, and hurting the economy, such as a US durable goods sector that is clearly in recession. So what gives? What is the Fed up to?

Despite false statements to the contrary, the Fed actually has pretty much followed only two goals throughout its history, and its latest move is a classic example of this. One goal is to protect the profits and share prices of the big banks, and number two is to protect wealthy investors from their own bad investment decisions. Everybody else is expendable when the Fed undertakes its responsibilities. In other words, the 99 percent is expendable, and often the victims, of the Fed’s actions on behalf of its unstated goals, which is to financially protect the rich.

And so in this most recent Fed action, the Fed is doing its first duty; increasing the earnings and share prices of the big banks at the expense of the 99 percent, which makes it seem, quite accurately, that the relationship between the Fed/Big Banks and the 99 percent is akin to parasites unto their hosts.

Your higher credit payments are going toward greater bank profits, which will provide rising dividends to rich shareholders. Share prices might and should rise, at least in the short term. This is pure income redistribution, and the corporate propaganda network wants you to believe the Fed’s increase in interest rates is to stabilize the economy, or limit non-existent inflationary pressures, or who knows what. But the last thing the corporate press wants you to know is that more of your income is being redistributed by the US Federal Reserve Bank to the rich via higher bank profits, rising shares, and soaring dividends. The rich are going to get richer, and you are going to be more poor.

The ten biggest US banks have many things in common, and one of them is declining share prices since last summer. Clearly, the Fed’s action is intended to reverse the decline.

The ten biggest US banks are:

1 JP Morgan Chase
2. Bank of America
3. Citigroup
4. Wells Fargo
5. US Bancorp
6. Bank of New York Mellon Corporation
7. PNC Bank
8. Capital One
9. HSBC North America Holdings
10. TD Bank US Holding Company

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The governors of the Federal Reserve Bank voted to keep interest rates at historic lows in their September 17, 2015 meeting. The bank has not raised interest rates in nearly a decade. Lucky us, or maybe unlucky us.

Chairwoman Janet Yellen cited a number of reasons why the bank decided to keep rates low. She mentioned, for example, the weakness of manufacturing in China.

However, she didn’t mention that nearly 50 percent of US manufacturing is done in China, which, quite naturally, indicates a slowing down of US outsourced manufacturing, which certainly impacts the US. Like a good politician, she also did not mention that the evil US trade deficit is fueled by US manufacturers exporting jobs overseas, like Microsoft, Apple, Nike and Adidas. These and hundreds of other companies manufacture their products in China and elsewhere, and export their stuff to the US.

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This is precisely and the only reason why the US has a trade deficit. The US trade deficit, in other words, is with US job exporters, not with China, Pakistan, Mexico or elsewhere.

Anyway, keeping interest rates low was a good thing for the US economy. Typically, the Fed waits to raise interest rates until just after the US economy begins to slide into recession.

That process begins when US corporations see a slowdown in their earnings growth, in the aggregate. These businesses begin to lay people off, which jacks up their profits. Perhaps the folks running the Fed take this as some sort of sacred signal that everything is all right. However, laying enough people off throughout the economy ignites recessions in the process of jacking up those profits, because the demand for goods and services slackens, jobs and profits decline, and a recession begins even while corporate earnings expand.

This is why I mentioned the slowdown of Chinese manufacturing, which in all likelihood, represents something of a slowdown of US manufacturing abroad. Profit growth has been shaky the last two years, though still growing in fits and spurts with sudden quarterly declines followed by rapid growth.

In other words, the US and world economies are still quite weak, especially since the rich have stolen 95 percent of all income growth in the US since 2009, an historic high by a wide margin. This has meant sluggish US and world economic growth since the more money the 1 percent steal in the US and elsewhere, the weaker the demand for goods and services by the 99 percent.

Yellen has the brains to understand all of this. This is likely why the Fed has kept interest rates at historic lows for years. To maintain their standards of living, the 99 percent had to keep borrowing because they haven’t gotten a raise in 35 years on average and in real terms. Raise interest rates and the demand for goods and services begins to die.

Raising interest rates will likely be the straw that sends the world economy into the monstrous fangs of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. This crisis may already be in its early less visible stages.

Not a single world leader has learned the lesson from the last Recession. The current US economic expansion is fueled by the same artificially created housing and stock market bubbles as the last recession. Wall Street executives are calling the economic shots in the White House, on Capital Hill and the US Supreme Court. That’s why nobody who could do anything did squat about the corrupt forces that brought about last recession, and now the bill is coming due.

The last recession was the worst since the Great Depression. The next one, as I have pointed out in my book, The Rigged Game: Corporate America and a People Betrayed, will be far more hideous.

The Fed has literally no tools to fight off this coming Great Depression, but it will print trillions of dollars to save billionaires and others from their foolish investment decisions. See breakdown-of-the-26-trillion-the-federal-reserve-handed-out-to-save-rich-incompetent-investors-but-who-purchase-political-power–JohnHively.wordpress.com

The federal government will be forced to expand the deficit, and instead of having 48 million people permanently on food stamps, the US will have 60 to 100 million, unless the madness of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent via job exporting trade treaties, unsustainable and illogical immigration policies (both legal and illegal, HB1 visas), and privatization scams.

Much of this can be reversed simply by amending income redistribution schemes known as international trade agreements, limiting immigration by restricting the flow of people moving into the USA at least until wages begin to rise, enforcing current immigration laws, and putting a halt and reversing many privatization follies.

All three of these policies have stolen jobs from American citizens, while enriching the politically and financially affluent in the process, all at the expense of people who produce goods and services.

Of course, that is precisely what the corrupt US government (all three branches), and both corrupt major political parties, have been driven to do by the money unleashed in the political markets since and because of the Reagan tax cuts for the rich.

The ultimate end game of Reaganomics is coming to its ugly conclusion.

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Wall Street Plutocrat Larry Summers was President Obama’s first choice to lead the Fed, but he made some missteps and out he went. That left Yellen. Thanks to the Almighty! Yellen’s predecessor was a scheming architect of redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

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The answer to Senator Sander’s question is simple enough. The Democratic and Republican Parties represent different factions of the 1 percent. So in that respect, the US is ruled by an oligarchy, aided and abetted by a corporate news media whose editors edit and omit all news articles that might allude to the truth. In addition, these editors sow the seeds of discord in their stories to pit the factions of the 99 percent against one another. More on this subject will be exposed this summer with stories from actual newspapers and television news programs.

It should also be pointed out that many of the oligarchs wield a controlling interest in both major political parties,notably Wall Street, Big Pharma, and Big Oil companies, such as Goldman Sachs. That’s one of the reasons why many people see little policy differences in the two parties, and what little there is, it is contrived and hovers around social issues, such as gay marriage, abortion and illegal immigration.

On all economic issues, the Republican Party and a large contingent of corporate Democrats, led by President Barack Obama and Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, make sure they possess enough votes to pass legislation that redistributes income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, such as the looming Trans Pacific Partnership, which the Guardian newspaper calls Nafta on Steroids, and which is the largest treaty for redistributing income, wealth and political power (what little the 99 percent have) in the history of human kind, and which is supported by the vast majority of Republicans, and secretly negotiated and pushed mightily by President Obama.

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Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a strong defense of the central bank’s easy-money policies on Monday, saying its “extraordinary” commitment to boosting the economy, especially the still struggling labor market, will be needed for some time to come.

In her first public speech since becoming Fed chair two months ago, Yellen cited the struggles of three American workers in backing the policies of low interest rates and continued bond-buying. She said there remains “considerable” slack in the economy and job market, a sign that further monetary stimulus can still be effective.

“I think this extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that view is widely shared by my fellow policy-makers at the Fed,” Yellen said at a community reinvestment conference.

The Fed, frustrated with the slow recovery from the 2007-2009 recession, has kept rates near zero for more than five years. It has said it will keep them there for a considerable time even after it ends a bond-buying program, which is to be wound down later this year.

Yellen, however, is being practical. Interest rates have been getting lower and lower since the 1980s. This trend mirrors another economic trend; as the government has redistributed income from the 99 to the 1 percent via legislation and free treaties, and income has become increasingly lopsided in favor of the 1 percent because of the policies of the corrupt federal government, interest rates have gone down, down, and down. That’s because there is a relationship between these two trends.

As income has been redistributed to the 1 from the 99 percent over the last thirty-three years, people have been unable to purchase the goods and services necessary to maintain a strong economy. So interest rates have had to drop so that people can more afford the goods and services. In other words, the mal-distribution of income (and wealth, too) has had a direct impact on lowering interest rates.

Yellen knows this, and she also knows that the economy most likely cannot afford an increase in interest rates (which would redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent), and such a policy if pursued by the Federal Reserve would most likely send the spluttering US economy into its next recession, and this recession and its impacts on the nation and its people will be far worse than the last recession.

Check out the rest of the story below.

Reuters.com

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