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Alternative Visions – The Federal Reserve Hikes Interest Rates—What’s Behind the Decision – 03.17.17

The Fed raised interest rates again this past week. Jack explains it has little to do with it having reached its inflation or employment targets, but represents the major policy shift underway by US economic elites. From Fed low interest policy for eight years subsidizing stock, bond and financial assets—and thereby corporate and investor profits and incomes of the wealthiest 1%–the shift now underway is to subsidize profits and incomes of the 1% by cutting taxes, deregulation, and moderate infrastructure spending. Sustained low Fed rates were beginning to cause more instability in financial markets after 8 years. They played their part in boosting profits and incomes; now another policy ‘mix’ is emerging. Jack shows how Fed 2% inflation and job targets are phony justifications for Fed low rate policy continuation; how and why long term rates which the Fed doesn’t control will continue to rise, and what the global responses and effects in Europe, Japan and China will be to the new Fed direction. Will the Fed be used by the US economic elite to check Trump? Possibly.

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Trends This Week – Markets on the rise? – 02.15.17

Markets and small business optimism continue to climb under President Trump, aided by deregulation, tax deals, and stimulus programs. While markets and employment have grown, real wages have hardly made gains, spelling out a spike in mortgage and subprime auto loan delinquencies. Added to the number of populist parties wanting out of the Eurozone, turmoil is looming over the commodity and equity markets, further pushing the prices of safe-haven assets such as gold.

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Craig Torres and Saleha Mohsin – Mnuchin Backs Fed Independence and Signals Reform Isn’t Priority

U.S. Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin isn’t jumping on the Republican bandwagon to audit the Fed. In written questions by senators following his confirmation hearing on Thursday, Mnuchin was asked about his thoughts on “politicizing decisions made by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the benefits of an independent central bank.” Mnuchin’s answer was crafted carefully. “The Federal Reserve …

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Alternative Visions – Key Economic Events Past Week Before Trump Inauguration – 01.20.17

Jack Rasmus reviews the key economic events, US and global, in the run-up to the Trump inauguration: China President Xi warning of trade war with US, the European Central Bank’s continuation of its QE policy, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, May, signals a ‘hard Brexit’, Trump cabinet nominees tell Congress what they want to hear (and not what they intend …

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Prashant Gopal – Wall Street, America’s New Landlord, Kicks Tenants to the Curb

On a chilly December afternoon in Atlanta, a judge told Reiton Allen that he had seven days to leave his house or the marshals would kick his belongings to the curb. In the packed courtroom, the truck driver, his beard flecked with gray, stood up, cast his eyes downward and clutched his black baseball cap. The 44-year-old father of two …

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Pam Martens and Russ Martens – U.S. Quietly Drops Bombshell: Wall Street Banks Have $2 Trillion European Exposure

Just 17 days from today, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the nation’s 45th President and deliver his inaugural address. Trump is expected to announce priorities in the areas of education, infrastructure, border security, the economy and curtailing the outsourcing of jobs. But Trump’s agenda will be derailed on all fronts if the big Wall Street banks blow up …

My Political-Financial Road Map for 2017

Happy New Year! May yours be peaceful, safe and impactful! As tumultuous as last year was from a global political perspective on the back of a rocky start market-wise, 2017 will be much more so. The central bank subsidization of the financial system (especially in the US and Europe) that began with the Fed invoking zero interest rate policy in …

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Alternative Visions – US Stock Bubble-Causes and Consequences + Italy Banks – 12.09

Jack focuses on the bubble growing in US stock markets, as money capital surges out of bonds and from Europe and emerging markets into US stocks. All US markets are at record levels, with the DOW having tripled since 2009 in value. Jack discusses the various causes and origins of the current bubble, including the global rotation from bonds, anticipated Trump infrastructure spending and massive corporate tax cuts, multi-industry deregulations coming, and devaluing foreign currencies. The recent Saez report on income inequality trends is reviewed in contrast. Why capitalists are switching from monetary, central bank policy now to fiscal policy to continue massive gains for the 1%. Other negative data for the US is reviewed, including productivity trends and public debt. The show concludes with a discussion of the recent Italian referendum and Italian banks and China’s pending currency devaluation and bank problems.