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Thread: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    I've posted this story in the 'religion' section, but it's making an impact (as intended) in other areas of modern life as you can see from this article which i'm posting- from the 'Business Insider';

    More: Pope Francis Inequality The Pope Just Published One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Modern Capitalism That You Will Ever Read

    Joe Weisenthal

    Nov. 26, 2013, 9:26 AM 115,103 151


    • inShare101



    AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho


    Pope Francis is out with the first big, written text of his papacy. The full text can be found here (via Izabella Kaminska).
    The section of the text that's getting the most attention is his powerful denouncement of our current financial system, the obsession with consumption, inequality, and the tyranny of capitalism.
    The key part of the text is below, though first here a few lines that really stand out.
    On the importance of remembering those who are less fortunate: "We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications. At the same time we have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences."
    On the seriousness of [COLOR=#007705 !important][COLOR=#007705 !important]economic[/COLOR] exclusion: "Just as the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say 'thou shalt not' to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills."[/COLOR]
    On the failure of traditional economic dogmas: "... some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that [COLOR=#007705 !important][COLOR=#007705 !important]economic [COLOR=#007705 !important]growth[/COLOR][/COLOR], encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and nave trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting." [/COLOR]
    On exploding inequality: "While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few."
    On the world's obsession with money: "We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose."
    On the dangerous mix of inequality and consumerism: "It is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric."
    On the role of the state in providing for the common good and regulating the economy: "This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. "
    Here's the whole section:
    I. SOME CHALLENGES OF TODAY’S WORLD
    52. In our time humanity is experiencing a turning-point in its history, as we can see from the advances being made in so many fields. We can only praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications. At the same time we have to remember that the majority of our contemporaries are barely living from day to day, with dire consequences. A number of diseases are spreading. The hearts of many people are gripped by fear and desperation, even in the so-called rich countries. The joy of living frequently fades, lack of respect for others and violence are on the rise, and inequality is increasingly evident. It is a struggle to live and, often, to live with precious little dignity. This epochal change has been set in motion by the enormous qualitative, quantitative, rapid and cumulative advances occurring in the sciences and in technology, and by their instant application in different areas of nature and of life. We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power.
    No to an economy of exclusion
    53. Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
    Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
    54. In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and nave trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.
    No to the new idolatry of money
    55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.
    56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.
    No to a financial system which rules rather than serves
    57. Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. Ethics has come to be viewed with a certain scornful derision. It is seen as counterproductive, too human, because it makes money and power relative. It is felt to be a threat, since it condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. In effect, ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside of the categories of the marketplace. When these latter are absolutized, God can only be seen as uncontrollable, unmanageable, even dangerous, since he calls human beings to their full realization and to freedom from all forms of enslavement. Ethics – a non-ideological ethics – would make it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order. With this in mind, I encourage [COLOR=#007705 !important][COLOR=#007705 !important]financial [COLOR=#007705 !important]experts[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] and political leaders to ponder the words of one of the sages of antiquity: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood. It is not our own goods which we hold, but theirs”.[55]
    58. A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders. I urge them to face this challenge with determination and an eye to the future, while not ignoring, of course, the specifics of each case. Money must serve, not rule! The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of [COLOR=#007705 !important][COLOR=#007705 !important]economics[/COLOR][/COLOR] and finance to an ethical approach which favours human beings.
    No to the inequality which spawns violence
    59. Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence. The poor and the poorer peoples are accused of violence, yet without equal opportunities the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programmes or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility. This is not the case simply because inequality provokes a violent reaction from those excluded from the system, but because the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root. Just as goodness tends to spread, the toleration of evil, which is injustice, tends to expand its baneful influence and quietly to undermine any political and social system, no matter how solid it may appear. If every action has its consequences, an evil embedded in the structures of a society has a constant potential for disintegration and death. It is evil crystallized in unjust social structures, which cannot be the basis of hope for a better future. We are far from the so-called “end of history”, since the conditions for a sustainable and peaceful development have not yet been adequately articulated and realized.
    60. Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve. This serves only to offer false hopes to those clamouring for heightened security, even though nowadays we know that weapons and violence, rather than providing solutions, create new and more serious conflicts. Some simply content themselves with blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles; indulging in unwarranted generalizations, they claim that the solution is an “education” that would tranquilize them, making them tame and harmless. All this becomes even more exasperating for the marginalized in the light of the widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries – in their governments, businesses and institutions – whatever the political ideology of their leaders.
    Read the full text here




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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    The Pope? He was a bouncer before he was the Pope.

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    FNC just said consumers spent 3% less during this year's Black Friday weekend than last year's. That's a decent size drop.
    So more is coming out this morning.

    The "decent drop" was in the retail brick and mortar stores.

    Online selling - up as much as 35%.

    Eat that, Walmart. LOL

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Oh and I PROMISE you I wont be buying shit at Best Buy, or any other major places anymore. I already shop online.

    I will NOT, I REFUSE to go out there and get run over in parking lots by assholes, or go through stores to shop for something that is already picked over or damaged and repackaged.

    I predict large big name stores going out of business in the next year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post
    .

    I predict large big name stores going out of business in the next year.
    Best Buy almost went out. They finally realized that they have to offer the same price as online instead of the dual pricing shit they used to pull, stop with the bait and switch BS and actually provide some customer service.

    I still loathe the store, but if you want to go buy and hold a piece of electronics, it's about the only game in town. Walmart has some of that stuff, but not nearly the selection.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Walmart aint got nothing now here.

    I walked through looking for something the other day (I forgot what).

    Yes, You can go Hold Shit in Best Buy - but you can't get it all there, believe me, I tried.

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    For the record I had a 2 TB drive go tango uniform Sunday. I went everywhere trying to find a duplicate.

    it's a WD 2 TB "My Book Essential". Guess what? Fuckers encrypt the data being written to the hard drive.

    Guess what else? You can't BUY a controller, you have to find a duplicate drive to be able to get the new controller.

    As soon as I recover my data I'm going to use the new drive with a generic controller and reformat it so I can actually read my data on any machine.

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    Wells Fargo Study: 37 Percent of Middle-Class Americans Say They Never Will Retire

    October 24, 2013

    Many middle-class Americans apparently aren't expecting to live their golden years in leisurely retirement.

    A hefty 34 percent of them think they will work until at least the age of 80, because they haven't saved enough for retirement, according to a Wells Fargo study survey conducted by Harris Interactive.

    That's up from 25 percent in 2011 and 30 percent in 2012.

    But 37 percent say they'll never retire and will work until they are too sick or die.

    What's the solution to this?

    Building savings and creating a retirement plan can improve the retirements for those now in their working years, says Laurie Nordquist, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust

    Meanwhile, a 59 percent majority of the middle class say paying monthly bills is their chief day-to-day financial concern. That's up from 52 percent last year.

    Saving for retirement takes second place, with 13 percent calling it a priority. Overall, 42 percent say saving for retirement and paying bills concurrently is impossible.

    Thus 48 percent don't have confidence that they will be able to save enough for a comfortable retirement.

    The survey of 1,000 middle-class Americans between the ages of 25 and 75 was conducted July 24 to Aug. 27.

    "For the past three years, the struggle to pay bills is a growing concern, and the prospect of saving for retirement looks dim, particularly for those in their prime saving years," Nordquist says in a statement.

    "Having a plan and saving not only creates more hopefulness, but it produces results that can grow and lead to a solid retirement."

    In the survey, 52 percent of the middle class say they are confident they will save enough for retirement. But only 29 percent say they have a written plan.

    Among those who have a written plan, 70 percent feel confident about their retirement, while only 44 percent of those who don't have a plan feel confident.

    Of those who have a plan, 91 percent say they have willpower to save, compared with 75 percent for those who don't have a plan.

    In the key 40-to-59 demographic, those who say they have written a plan also say they have saved $63,000 for retirement, while those who say they haven't written a plan say they have saved $20,000.

    "This data so clearly shows what a difference a retirement plan makes in that people who have a plan have saved three times what those without a plan have saved," Nordquist explains. "A plan instills confidence and gives people the discipline to stick with their objectives and reach their financial goals."

    As for the respondents who don't have a written retirement plan, 45 percent say it's because they have "so few financial assets." One-third of the middle class say Social Security will be their "primary" source of income in retirement.

    "People say they don't have a plan because they don't have enough money," Nordquist notes. "The most important message I can impart about retirement is that planning is for everyone. It is the foundation for consistent savings, which can allow people to have the nest egg they will need in retirement and can also help people determine the role Social Security will play in their retirement."

    Further, 40 percent say a large unexpected healthcare expense represents their biggest retirement fear, while and 37 percent list the loss or reduction of Social Security as fear No. 1.

    As for the stock market, only 24 percent of the middle class view stocks as a good investment for retirement. Meanwhile, 45 percent say "the stock market doesn't benefit people like me."

    A majority (52 percent) say they shun stocks because "I am afraid to lose my nest egg in the ups and downs of the market."

    Surprisingly enough, fear of the stock market is more intense among those aged 25 to 29, with 56 percent of them afraid they would lose their savings in equities. Asked what they would do with $5,000 given to them for retirement investment, 58 percent of people in this age group say they would allocate it to a saving account or certificate of deposit.

    The reluctance for stocks may stem partly from the fact that 51 percent of the middle class say they have little interest in learning about investing.

    Nordquist is struck by the fear of stocks. "The middle class just isn't making the link between being invested and the potential growth of their savings, but on top of this fear is apathy. There is no interest in learning more about investing," she states.

    "Fear and apathy are a bad combination, whereas knowledge about saving and investing is empowering. We've got to move people to this mindset."

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Quote Originally Posted by American Patriot View Post
    The Pope? He was a bouncer before he was the Pope.
    He was alot of things too; a chemistry major in school and a Jesuit. Many of his order became very leftist very openly in the 60's and 70's under Father-General of the Order Father Pedro Arrupe (who was very anti-american), but Bergoglio held his politics closer to the cassock and strove to cultivate a perception of being like Francis of Assisi in his poverty and concern for the poor personally, making him very popular in Latin America. Now we see he has the biggest 'bully pulpit' in the world, and here he is only a few months into his pontificate and he launches a full-on attack on Capitalism....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorongil2012 View Post
    He was alot of things too; a chemistry major in school and a Jesuit. Many of his order became very leftist very openly in the 60's and 70's under Father-General of the Order Father Pedro Arrupe (who was very anti-american), but Bergoglio held his politics closer to the cassock and strove to cultivate a perception of being like Francis of Assisi in his poverty and concern for the poor personally, making him very popular in Latin America. Now we see he has the biggest 'bully pulpit' in the world, and here he is only a few months into his pontificate and he launches a full-on attack on Capitalism....
    That was Rush's take on it...


    Rush: Pope Francis' Words Are 'Pure Marxism'

    December 2, 2013

    Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh says he admired Pope Francis just fine — until he made "unbelievable" comments castigating elements of modern capitalism.

    Now he calls the pontiff's 50,000-word statement calling for church reforms "pure Marxism," and said he thinks it's "sad how wrong" Pope Francis is, reports CNN.

    Limbaugh took to the airwaves last week, the day after Francis released the "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), to take aim at the Pope's economic views and to chastise him as being "dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong."

    In Limbaugh's segment, "It's Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It's a Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists)," the talk-show host told his estimated 15 million listeners the Pope's views are "sad because this Pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth."

    Francis, who had worked on behalf of the poor in his native Argentina, has refused some of the traditional luxuries that normally accompany the papal office, including choosing to stay in a Vatican guest house as opposed to the papal palace. In addition, this summer, Francis refused the use of the new Mercedes "Popemobile" in favor of touring the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa in an open-air, 20-year-old Fiat.

    In "Evangelii," Francis warns the "idolatry of money" will lead to a "new tyranny."

    He also said trickle-down economics "expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."

    Liberal Catholics hailed the Pope's critique, saying church leaders should spend more time protecting the poor. And, they are demanding an apology from Limbaugh.

    "To call the Holy Father a proponent of 'pure Marxism' is both mean-spirited and naive," said Christopher Hale of the Washington-based Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. "Francis' critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church's social teaching."

    Limbaugh pointed out that he is not a Catholic, but said he "profoundly" admires the faith, and he admired Pope Francis, "up until this."

    Further, Limbaugh said he has visited the Vatican, "which wouldn't exist without tons of money," several times.

    He further claimed that as far as "Evangelii" is concerned, "somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope."

    Limbaugh was also offended by the Pope's criticism of "the culture of prosperity," which he called a "mere spectacle" for the poor of the world.

    "This is almost a statement about who should control financial markets," Limbaugh railed.

    "He says that the global economy needs government control. I'm not Catholic, but I know enough to know that this would have been unthinkable for a Pope to believe or say just a few years ago."

    Limbaugh was not the only conservative commentator to rail about the Pope's views on capitalism.

    "I go to church to save my soul," said Fox News' Stuart Varney, who is an Episcopalian. "It's got nothing to do with my vote. Pope Francis has linked the two. He has offered direct criticism of a specific political system. He has characterized negatively that system. I think he wants to influence my politics."

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    I think we all pretty much knew something like this was the case...


    Census ‘Faked’ 2012 Election Jobs Report

    November 18, 2013

    In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

    The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

    And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

    Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

    And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

    “He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

    The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

    Ironically, it was Labor’s demanding standards that left the door open to manipulation.

    Labor requires Census to achieve a 90 percent success rate on its interviews — meaning it needed to reach 9 out of 10 households targeted and report back on their jobs status.

    Census currently has six regions from which surveys are conducted. The New York and Philadelphia regions, I’m told, had been coming up short of the 90 percent.

    Philadelphia filled the gap with fake interviews.

    “It was a phone conversation — I forget the exact words — but it was, ‘Go ahead and fabricate it’ to make it what it was,” Buckmon told me.

    Census, under contract from the Labor Department, conducts the household survey used to tabulate the unemployment rate.

    Interviews with some 60,000 household go into each month’s jobless number, which currently stands at 7.3 percent. Since this is considered a scientific poll, each one of the households interviewed represents 5,000 homes in the US.

    Buckmon, it turns out, was a very ambitious employee. He conducted three times as many household interviews as his peers, my source said.

    By making up survey results — and, essentially, creating people out of thin air and giving them jobs — Buckmon’s actions could have lowered the jobless rate.

    Buckmon said he filled out surveys for people he couldn’t reach by phone or who didn’t answer their doors.

    But, Buckmon says, he was never told how to answer the questions about whether these nonexistent people were employed or not, looking for work, or have given up.

    But people who know how the survey works say that simply by creating people and filling out surveys in their name would boost the number of folks reported as employed.

    Census never publicly disclosed the falsification. Nor did it inform Labor that its data was tainted.

    “Yes, absolutely they should have told us,” said a Labor spokesman. “It would be normal procedure to notify us if there is a problem with data collection.”

    Census appears to have looked into only a handful of instances of falsification by Buckmon, although more than a dozen instances were reported, according to internal documents.

    In one document from the probe, Program Coordinator Joal Crosby was ask in 2010, “Why was the suspected … possible data falsification on all (underscored) other survey work for which data falsification was suspected not investigated by the region?”

    On one document seen by The Post, Crosby hand-wrote the answer: “Unable to determine why an investigation was not done for CPS,” or the Current Population Survey — the official name for the unemployment report.

    With regard to the Consumer Expenditure survey, only four instances of falsification were looked into, while 14 were reported.

    I’ve been suspicious of the Census Bureau for a long time.

    During the 2010 Census report — an enormous and costly survey of the entire country that goes on for a full year — I suspected (and wrote in a number of columns) that Census was inexplicably hiring and firing temporary workers.

    I suspected that this turnover of employees was being done purposely to boost the number of new jobs being report each month. (The Labor Department does not use the Census Bureau for its other monthly survey of new jobs — commonly referred to as the Establishment Survey.)

    Last week I offered to give all the information I have, including names, dates and charges to Labor’s inspector general.

    I’m waiting to hear back from Labor.

    I hope the next stop will be Congress, since manipulation of data like this not only gives voters the wrong impression of the economy but also leads lawmakers, the Federal Reserve and companies to make uninformed decisions.

    To cite just one instance, the Fed is targeting the curtailment of its so-called quantitative easing money-printing/bond-buying fiasco to the unemployment rate for which Census provided the false information.

    So falsifying this would, in essence, have dire consequences for the countr

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    That was Rush's take on it...

    Rush: Pope Francis' Words Are 'Pure Marxism'

    December 2, 2013

    Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh says he admired Pope Francis just fine — until he made "unbelievable" comments castigating elements of modern capitalism.

    Now he calls the pontiff's 50,000-word statement calling for church reforms "pure Marxism," and said he thinks it's "sad how wrong" Pope Francis is, reports CNN.

    Limbaugh took to the airwaves last week, the day after Francis released the "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), to take aim at the Pope's economic views and to chastise him as being "dramatically, embarrassingly, puzzlingly wrong."

    In Limbaugh's segment, "It's Sad How Wrong Pope Francis Is (Unless It's a Deliberate Mistranslation By Leftists)," the talk-show host told his estimated 15 million listeners the Pope's views are "sad because this Pope makes it very clear he doesn't know what he's talking about when it comes to capitalism and socialism and so forth."

    Francis, who had worked on behalf of the poor in his native Argentina, has refused some of the traditional luxuries that normally accompany the papal office, including choosing to stay in a Vatican guest house as opposed to the papal palace. In addition, this summer, Francis refused the use of the new Mercedes "Popemobile" in favor of touring the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa in an open-air, 20-year-old Fiat.

    In "Evangelii," Francis warns the "idolatry of money" will lead to a "new tyranny."

    He also said trickle-down economics "expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power."

    Liberal Catholics hailed the Pope's critique, saying church leaders should spend more time protecting the poor. And, they are demanding an apology from Limbaugh.

    "To call the Holy Father a proponent of 'pure Marxism' is both mean-spirited and naive," said Christopher Hale of the Washington-based Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. "Francis' critique of unrestrained capitalism is in line with the Church's social teaching."

    Limbaugh pointed out that he is not a Catholic, but said he "profoundly" admires the faith, and he admired Pope Francis, "up until this."

    Further, Limbaugh said he has visited the Vatican, "which wouldn't exist without tons of money," several times.

    He further claimed that as far as "Evangelii" is concerned, "somebody has either written this for him or gotten to him. This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope."

    Limbaugh was also offended by the Pope's criticism of "the culture of prosperity," which he called a "mere spectacle" for the poor of the world.

    "This is almost a statement about who should control financial markets," Limbaugh railed.

    "He says that the global economy needs government control. I'm not Catholic, but I know enough to know that this would have been unthinkable for a Pope to believe or say just a few years ago."

    Limbaugh was not the only conservative commentator to rail about the Pope's views on capitalism.

    "I go to church to save my soul," said Fox News' Stuart Varney, who is an Episcopalian. "It's got nothing to do with my vote. Pope Francis has linked the two. He has offered direct criticism of a specific political system. He has characterized negatively that system. I think he wants to influence my politics."
    Indeed. I think Benedict XVI was pushed aside in a 'palace revolution' to make way for a Communist Pope; the timing and other factors is interesting when you look at Venezuela, Brazil, Nicaraugua, and so forth, and Obama needing the support of the Catholic vote here in the USA at a critical point in time in his administration, needing someone in the Vatican even more liberal than most American Catholics in order to secure the Democrat vote bloc in 2014. Again, it takes years to prep a guy to go into full-on attack mode on Capitalism, and I recall Bergoglio was the runner-up to Ratzinger in 2005.

    America and Global Capitalism are more imperilled than many realize, I think.

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    As you may or may not have heard today, the unemployment rate has dropped to 7%!!!

    Yay! Happy days are here again!

    Or is it just that Obama's approval rate is under 40%?

    I'm guessing the latter. Here's why...


    1,148,000 Fewer Americans Have Jobs Today Than 7 Yrs Ago

    December 6, 2013

    1,148,000 fewer Americans held jobs this November than did seven years ago in November 2006, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    Back then, according to BLS, 145,534,000 Americans held jobs. This November, according to BLS, only 144,386,000 Americans hold jobs. That is a drop of 1,148,000 in the number of Americans working.

    This decline in the number of Americans who actually have jobs has come even though the size of the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population and the size of the nation’s civilian labor force have both grown significantly over the last seven years.

    The civilian noninstitutional population is made up of all people 16 or older who are living in the United States and are not in the military or a prison, mental facility or nursing home. The civilian labor force consists of all people in the civilian noninstitutional population who either have a job or who actively sought a job in the past four weeks.

    In November 2006, the civilian noninstitutional population was 229,905,000. In November of this year, it was 246,567,000—an increase of 16,662,000 over seven years. In November 2006, the civilian labor force was 152,406,000. This November, it was 155,294,000—an increase of 2,888,000 in seven years.

    Thus, while the civilian noninstitutional population has increased by 16,662,000, the labor force has increased by only 2,888,000--and the number of people actually holding jobs has actually decreased by 1,148,000.

    This is reflected in the higher unemployment rate the United States is experiencing today. In November 2006, the national unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. This November, it was 7.0 percent.

    The unemployment rate would be even higher except that a smaller percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population is participating in the labor force today than was the case seven years ago. In November 2006, the labor force participation rate was 66.3 percent. By this November, it had declined to 63.0 percent.

    That means that in November 2006, 33.7 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States did not have a job and was not looking for on. This November, 37 percent of the civilian noninstitutional population of the United States did not have a job and was not looking for one.






    41% of Net New Jobs in November Were in Government

    December 6, 2013

    Federal, state and local governments hired a net additional 338,000 workers in November, equaling 41 percent of the total of 818,000 net additional jobs created in the United States during the month.

    At the same time, the unemployment rate for government workers fell from 4.4 percent in October to 3.2 percent in November. (The overall national unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent.)

    In October, governments around the country employed 19,726,000 people, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In November, that rose to 20,064,000—a net increase of 338,000 people employed by government.

    Overall, in October, 143,568,000 people in the United States had jobs, according to BLS. In November, that rose to 144,386,000—a net increase of 818,000 people employed.

    The net increase of 338,000 people working for government equaled 41 percent of the overall net increase of 818,000 people working in the United States.

    From October to November, the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent. November was the 60th straight month that unemployment has been 7.0 percent or higher.

    Despite the October-to-November increase in the number of people working for government in the United States, the 20,064,000 working for government this November was still fewer than the 20,598,000 who worked for the government in November 2012, according the BLS.




    The Real US Unemployment Rate: 11.5%

    December 6, 2013

    While it may appear at first glance that the first chart below shows just one data series, what we have shown are two data sets: one presents, on an inverted axis, the Civilian Employment-to-Population rate, which unlike the unemployment rate as a fraction of the labor force (most recently printing at just 7%), has barely budged since the Lehman collapse. The other data set shows what an implied unemployment rate as calculated by Zero Hedge would be assuming a long-term average of 65.8% worker labor participation rate.

    As we reported earlier, according to the BLS this number most recently was 63.0%: a 20 bps rebound from the 35 year low posted in October, but still woefully wrong. The chart shows much more accurately what the real unemployment rate would be when looking at the overall noninstitutional population instead of the ever rising amount of Americans who for one reason or another are not in the labor force.



    On the next chart, we then proceed to juxtapose the implied unemployment rate with the officially reported BLS data.



    In short: applying a realistic labor force participation rate to the unemployment rate series, shows that the real US unemployment rate is now 11.5%, a 4.5% difference from the reported number, and the second highest ever, only better compared to October's 4.7%.

    Of course, don't inform the Fed of this discrepancy: if aware, the Fed's monetary mandarins would likely never taper. Then again, if indeed the Fed never does taper as many suggest (since it is the flow, not the stock), we will know just which series of unemployment data the Fed is looking at.

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    Rise Of Cattle Rustlers Contributing To Increase In Beef Prices

    October 28, 2013

    A crime reminiscent of the Wild West is hitting consumers in their wallets as cattle rustling is on the rise.

    Justin Oldfield—a central valley rancher who also represents the California Cattlemen’s Association—says rustlers are drawn to the $1,500 a head of cattle could catch.

    He says ranchers are losing tens of thousands of dollars a year to cattle crimes similar to copper thefts.

    “What’s problematic is they get about 100 percent of the profit when they sell the animal,” Oldfield said.

    Cattlemen try to protect their beef with branding, but rustlers instead target newborn calves before they’re marked and take them to auction.

    In 2012, 10,400 cattle were reported stolen or missing by Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers—a 36 percent increase from 2010.

    The combination of rustling and the recent loss of cattle to harsh weather conditions in the Midwest could affect consumers’ bottom line, said Taylor’s Market co-owner Danny Johnson.

    “We buy a little bit of that, and it’ll be affecting beef prices across the board,” he said.

    Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 924 on Oct. 7, which specifies penalties for livestock theft. That law will go into effect on Jan. 1.

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post

    Rise Of Cattle Rustlers Contributing To Increase In Beef Prices

    October 28, 2013

    A crime reminiscent of the Wild West is hitting consumers in their wallets as cattle rustling is on the rise.

    Justin Oldfield—a central valley rancher who also represents the California Cattlemen’s Association—says rustlers are drawn to the $1,500 a head of cattle could catch.

    He says ranchers are losing tens of thousands of dollars a year to cattle crimes similar to copper thefts.

    “What’s problematic is they get about 100 percent of the profit when they sell the animal,” Oldfield said.

    Cattlemen try to protect their beef with branding, but rustlers instead target newborn calves before they’re marked and take them to auction.

    In 2012, 10,400 cattle were reported stolen or missing by Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers—a 36 percent increase from 2010.

    The combination of rustling and the recent loss of cattle to harsh weather conditions in the Midwest could affect consumers’ bottom line, said Taylor’s Market co-owner Danny Johnson.

    “We buy a little bit of that, and it’ll be affecting beef prices across the board,” he said.

    Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 924 on Oct. 7, which specifies penalties for livestock theft. That law will go into effect on Jan. 1.
    In the Old West, the penalty for cattle rustling was usually a tree party at the end of a rope.

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Hmmm

    FDIC, Fed Vote to Approve Volcker Rule

    FDIC, Fed Board Vote Unanimously to Approve Long-Delayed Rule for Banks; SEC Approves in a 3-2 Vote






    By Scott Patterson,
    Ryan Tracy and
    Stephanie Armour
    connect

    Updated Dec. 10, 2013 12:20 p.m. ET
    WASHINGTON—The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board and Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday approved the Volcker rule, set to usher in a new era of tough oversight that drills to the core of Wall Street's profitable markets and trading businesses.



    After nearly three years of haggling between regulators and bankers, the so-called Volcker rule is on the cusp of becoming law. But even after years of debate, big questions remain about this rule. Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general of the TARP program, joins MoneyBeat.




    The so-called Volcker rule will put in place new hurdles for banks that buy and sell securities on behalf of clients, known as market making, and will restrict compensation arrangements that encourage risky trading. The Fed also approved an extension to give banks until July 2015 to comply with the rule, though firms will be expected to make "good faith" efforts to get into compliance earlier.
    The FDIC and Fed's votes were unanimous, while the SEC voted 3-2 in favor of the rule. The regulator's Republican commissioners voted against it.
    Read the Rule





    More from Today





    The Fed will now move to apply the rule to the large bank holding companies it oversees, but not "community banks" with less than $10 billion in assets, which will be exempt from the rule if they don't engage in most of the activities covered by it.
    Some banks affected by the rule said they believed they are already in compliance with the regulation, while others said they were still studying the nearly 1,000-page document to assess its impact.
    Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said Tuesday the rule won't dramatically change how the nation's second-largest bank does business and that the company ended proprietary trading—making bets with the bank's own money—two years ago. He said the bank has been selling its hedge-fund and private-equity holdings over the past four years.
    "That's not a big part our company," he said to investors at a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. conference in New York. "We'll have to work through it, but in the end if we serve our customers, there's a business there."
    U.S. financial stocks, meanwhile, appeared to be taking the Volcker rule in stride, with many financial stocks rising. In midmorning trading on Tuesday, Morgan Stanley was up 1.5% at $30.84 and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was up 1.4% at $170.07, even though Goldman was touted by analysts as the firm most likely to be impacted by the new rule.
    Top financial regulators, who have spent 2 years trying to finalize the Volcker rule, expressed support for the final version but noted its effectiveness will depend on its enforcement by banking and market regulators.
    Trading Milestones

    The Volcker Rule is the latest big event to affect Wall Street's traders, many of whom came of age in an era of deregulation and increasing leverage that took off in the 1980s.
    View Graphics






    Forging the 'Volcker Rule'

    The Volcker rule, a provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial law that seeks to curb risks at banks by limiting their trading, has taken nearly five years to evolve from an idea mooted by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
    View Graphics










    More on the Rule





    "The ultimate effectiveness of the rule will depend importantly on supervisors, who will need to find the appropriate balance while providing feedback to the Board on how the rule works in practice," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a statement ahead of the Fed's vote.
    Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, who gets two votes as the head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a board member of the FDIC, said the OCC will work to ensure its examiners are prepared to strictly enforce the Volcker rule.
    "During 2014, we will develop the necessary examination procedures and training to ensure that our bank examiners have the tools they need to do the job," Mr. Curry said in a statement.
    Earlier Tuesday, Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Bart Chilton threw his support behind the final version of the rule, saying it has been "solidified tightly to avoid loopholes."
    Mr. Chilton, who has been pushing for tougher language on the types of hedges banks can engage in, said in a statement the Volcker rule will prevent "risky gambles for the house" that put banks—and their customer deposits—at risk.
    Mr. Chilton, who has said he plans to step down from the commission, made a last-minute decision to vote on the rule, saying he wanted to make sure it was strict enough to prevent banks from making risky bets with their own money.
    Regulators are expected to vote on the rule Tuesday despite a looming snowstorm that has shut down the federal government for the day.
    The FDIC and the Fed are holding open meetings to vote on the rule, while the CFTC and SEC plan to sign off on the rule without a public meeting. Mr. Curry is expected to sign off for the OCC later today.
    The so-called Volcker rule will put in place new hurdles for banks that buy and sell securities on behalf of clients, known as market making, and will restrict compensation arrangements that encourage risky trading.

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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Looks like the DOW hit a gusher.... 16K+

    I'm not sure what the record is or what it hit but was above 16,000 when it closed a few minutes ago.

    Apparently the "easing" will continue?

    (Please let this continue until I can remove myself from the grid.....)

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    What Happened The Last Time A Major Central Bank "Tapered" QE?

    December 18, 2013

    After having followed a zero interest rate policy strategy and facing a further deteriorating economy in an environment of falling prices (deflation), the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced the introduction of QE on 19 March 2001 and kept it in place until 9 March 2006. The BoJ chose for a very orderly and gradual unwinding of its government securities portfolio, by continuing its regular purchases of these securities (i.e a taper and not sale). The market rejoiced at the normalization for a week or 2... before dropping 24% in the following 2 months. Of course, that was a "policy mistake"; the Fed knows this time is different.



    Think 24% is ok and Fed will just rescue stocks again?... things "esclated"...



    to end -75%.


    Awkwardly that lines up with the 1920/30s analog we have previosuly noted...



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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????

    Time to start going more conservative in the 401k
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Financial Crisis - 2013 - ????


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