Many ask, what will happen when quantitative easing ends? China doesnât want to accumulate more Treasury and Agency bonds and we find the buying from London and the Cayman Islands questionable at best. We have always suspected that the real buyers in part from those locations were the Fed. Quite frankly we believe that QE2 is much further ahead in issuance than we are told. Remember they actually began adding liquidity last June. Problems as a result of such creation of money and credit have been the leveraged unnatural elevation of the stock market. All the funds normally devoted to cleaning up the Treasury/Agency market by banks and institutions have allowed these entities to dis-intermediate their funds to the stock market and commodities. This process has allowed the artificial inflation of prices in stocks and commodities, which in time will become problematic. The Fed knew that the course they were taking would result in just what we have seen and the minute market s see that easing is going to end they would end their participation. One of the key reasons of the treasury bail out was to keep the stock market up. The mirage of wealth had to be maintained since wealth in real estate for the most part had been destroyed. The multiyear bond bull market also looked like it could be coming to an end as real interest rates began to climb some six months ago. QE2 has again fostered risk taking in the form of leverage. We might also add that many other governments have done the same thing and that means when forcing liquidity ends every market will fall simultaneously.
The result of Fed and bipartisan policies has been price inflation in commodities and particularly food prices. Higher costs have spread worldwide and will continue to do so for the next two years or more. Our conclusions on extending QE2 to QE3 are simple. It is not going to end. If it were to end the bottoms would fall out of everything except gold and silver. Central banks have deliberately chosen higher inflation rather than face reality. That decision is going to cost them dearly. Inflation can be contained but that comes with a price, less money and credit, higher interest rates and deflationary depression. As you can see they are trapped in a box and they cannot get out, worse yet, they are well aware that there is no escape.
There will be Treasury debt to be sold perpetually with deficits of $1.6 trillion. Congress talks in terms of cutting $60 billion and the administration wants to add $50 billion. That is virtually no effort at all, as the deficit nears 11% of GDP. Truly a banana republic number. The liquidity created by the Fed to create depth to the Treasury market is little more than a mirage with side effects. The monetization has to bring inflation. It in no way solves the out of control debt creation that has to be adjusted at the White House and in Congress and that has not happened and it looks like it isnât going to happen. The excesses are worsening not getting better. QE1 and QE2 have created terrible distortions and only delayed higher interest rates that are naturally underway in the real market. We have just observed a quick bond market rally, but will it last? We find it hard to believe that it will under these nervous conditions, as other sovereigns withdraw from purchasin g. These conditions have to drive yields higher with very negative consequences. Big players at some point will come to the realization that the debt situation is no longer manageable and recognize that there has to be a purging process. When that process finally begins markets will go starkly negative.
The budget for next year plans for the fourth consecutive deficit of $1.65 trillion or more. This is the official estimate. In reality the deficit is considerably higher. Officially that is 44% of projected federal spending. We see lots of figures that put government debt between 85% and 103% of GDP. These are very significant numbers, because they indicate that that total effort has to be devoted to servicing debt and growth canât continue. That is why we saw five fading quarters of GDP growth to 3% to 3-1/4%. QE2, plus stimulus, will only bring 2% to 2-1/4% this time in what we have called the law of diminishing returns. Simply, the focus of debt service does not help GDP growth. It is like putting out an endless fire comparable to being in hell. A QE3 plus the same stimulus will only produce an official 1% GDP growth, when in reality the figure will be minus 1-1/2%. Without the boost real GDP growth would be minus 3%. Are you getting the message? It is a faÃ§ade and it wonât work. If we throw in municipal and state debt, personal and corporate debt, we are really in trouble. If we look across the pond we see England and Europe experiencing the same problems, because they have done the same thing although in a smaller way. By the end of the year the US will have reached debt of more than 100% of GDP. How far can this go? We donât know, but the day of reckoning is not far away. We might add, what will happen when corporate America can no longer keep two sets of books, particularly the financial sector? What is interesting is that government, Wall Street, the BIS, the FASB and the financial media never mention the existence of such a practice, which renders financial reports bogus and irrelevant.
It is quite obvious that QE2 and the stimulus are not getting the desired results. That is understandable considering that nothing they can do can resurrect the economy. The insiders are well aware of that. The system will fold when they want it too. Their problem is they know we are waiting for them to pull the plug, so we can then react and spoil their plans. Thinking people now realize that the entire stimulus isnât and hasnât worked. There have been no spending cuts and there wonât be. What they are doing has not worked and wonât work; it is a perpetual stalling for time. In late 2009 it was announced that the recession was over, yet, unemployment has improved only slightly. A commission was set up to reduce budget deficits and their recommendations were essentially ignored. Goodness, who would want to cut spending $1 trillion a year for four years? The disintegration is underway and it is only a matter of time before the wheels come flying off the economy. The re is absolutely no discipline or any effort to seriously save the system.
Earlier Japan and now China have been financing the US. The Japanese have been in a depression since 1992 and as long as they keep doing what they are doing they will sink further. China is now in the position that Japan has been in for so long. The sale of US debt by either the Japanese or Chinese in any meaningful way would sink all three economies and the world economy would join in for the ride. You might call it mutually assured destruction. What has happened is that on a net basis both have cut back or stopped buying US obligations. They and others are non-buyers or sellers of US debt. China has recently sold about $50 billion in US debt. The question is will they continue to do so and our answer is probably yes. That means the Fed has to be the buyer and that can only be accomplished via monetization followed by inflation.
The US deficit increases exponentially each year into the trillions of dollars. In the meantime Wall Street, banking and others have been bailed out of their grievous mistakes. The solution has been more government spending, some $850 billion a year and quantitative easing. The Fed creates money out of thin air, and buys Treasury and Agency securities. In fact the Fed owns 25% more of the Treasuries and Agencies than China and they in time probably will end up owning them all. In fact we believe that the Fed already owns $1.5 trillion of that paper. The US and the Fed will have no buyers in the end and only default can follow. Foreigners are well aware of what is going on and that is why the US 10-year T-noteâs yield has risen from 2.05% to 2.20% and recently to 3.74%. That is quite a leap. We see 4% to 4-1/4% by year end and 5% to 5-1/2% by the end of 2012. The bull market in Treasuries is over and in time the entire game will be over. It is called the ultimate Ponzi sc heme and it will not work. That is why you have to have gold and silver related assets; they are the only real money.
We have great reservations concerning the Fedâs balance sheet because of derivatives and swaps, and who knows what else they are up too. The balance sheet has expanded almost $225 billion over the past 16 weeks, as global central bank assets have catapulted $1.5 trillion yoy, which means the Fed is not the only central bank printing money and credit under the euphemism quantitative easing. Over the past two years the increase has been $2.6 trillion, or 40% to $9.3 trillion. The result has been the bailout of financial companies in the US and Europe and presently the continued flow of funds to these institutions and the funding of sovereign debt. These policies have created a false sense of security, bought time, and extended the false faÃ§ade of healthy markets and economies. As the strong underflow of deflation persists, governments and central banks instill re-inflation, because if they do not do so their seemingly healthy financial and economic environment will collap se. This conceptual pursuit has in its process allowed great flows of capital to flow into stock markets thereby raising equity prices, which in turn has produced false confidence. Be as it may this papering over of systemic problems will not permanently allow the instability lurking just below the surface.
Such developments have again raised the level of leveraged speculation. The banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions have avoided sovereign debt, because that is being managed by the Fed, and have launched another wild spate of speculation. You would have thought they would have had learned their lessons almost three years ago. There is no question the world is awash in liquidity, which is very dangerous and disastrous for currencies versus gold and silver. At the same time North Africa and the Middle East are enveloped in turmoil and who knows where it could lead next. At the same time food prices hit new highs and availability becomes more difficult, as commodity prices keep rising as investors begin a flight to quality. We now have price inflation as well as monetary inflation. Most professionals and investors disregard these dull problems at their peril.
We donât have to remind you of what is happening in Libya and could happen in Saudi Arabia. That realization is finally being reflected in a small way in US and foreign markets. The potential for future problems is enormous, especially in oil production. In the meantime the seduction of speculation holds forth. This time the players could be very wrong and the losses unmanageable.
The Saudiâs are terrified, so much so that they increased social spending by $36 billion including a 15% pay increase, which will prove to be additionally expensive. Incidentally, you can expect other nations worldwide to copy the Saudi lead of short-term expediency.
We are sure China and the US are watching the Middle East with great trepidation. It could only be a matter of time before they and many other nations experience the same dilemma. There should be monetary tightening, but there wonât be. The Fed certainly doesnât care about inflation. Their concept is to keep the economy rolling along. In fact we expect easing and inflation to accelerate, assisting the rise in gold and silver prices. Further monetization is on the way and you can plan on that. There is no other way to keep the system going. Batten down the hatches there are violent storms ahead.
A small town in Alabama, which has stopped paying its retirees' pensions, could be an early casualty in a coming pension disaster, the New York Times reports.
As public pension funds across the nation suffer from years of underfunding, and from assets that lost value in the financial crisis, experts say that days of reckoning are fast approaching. In Prichard, Alabama, that day came last year: When the fund ran out of money, the city stopped paying retirees, the NYT reports. Retirees have sued, but to little avail. The money simply does not exist.
Without pension checks, 11 retirees have died, according to the NYT. Others have declared personal bankruptcy. The rest of the 150 retired workers are struggling to get by.
After years of procrastination, governments across the nation are beginning to be crushed under the enormity of their pension promises. State laws require that retirees be paid -- Prichard is breaking the law -- but there are fewer legal requirements that governments actually put the money behind their promises. In the years leading up to the financial crisis, many cities delayed funding their pensions, as assets were seeing high returns and governments expected good times to last.
But as the crisis hit, from the end of 2007 to the beginning of 2009, funds lost 29 percent of their value. Now, funds still expect the kinds of returns they were seeing before the crash, effectively disguising the hole.
City pension funds are short $574 billion, according to analysis by professors Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua Rauh, who expect certain funds to run dry during the coming decade. In Prichard's case, the fund had resources in 2003 to cover only 33 percent of its promises, the NYT says.
"The reality for Prichard is that if you took money to build the pension up, who's going to pay the garbage man?," said R. Scott Williams, a lawyer for the city, according to the NYT. "Who's going to pay to run the police department? Who's going to pay the bill for the street lights?"
Terror threats appear to be on the rise as FEMA has rushed a $1 Billion order of dehydrated food in the event of attacks on domestic targets in the US.
This is also coming on the heels of one of the largest terror drills performed by the US Navy on American soil, as Operation Solid Curtain is taking place this week.
In an article Tuesday from the Beaufort Observer, many of the largest suppliers of dehydrated foods in the country are dropping their distributors and customers to dedicate their resources to supplying a billion dollar FEMA request and purchase.
One of the nation's largest suppliers of dehydrated food has cut loose 99% of their dealers and distributors. And it's not because of the poor economy. It's because this particular industry leader can no longer supply their regular distribution channels. Why not? Because they're using every bit of manufacturing capacity they have to fulfill massive new government contracts. Look, the government has always been a customer of the industry to some extent. But according to our sources, this latest development doesn't represent simply a change of vendor on the government's part. It's a whole new magnitude of business.
And that's not all.
Apparently, even though they've cut off their regular consumer markets, the industry leader I've just mentioned still can't produce enough survival food to meet the government's vast requirements. How do we know? Earlier this month, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) put out a Request for Proposal, or RFP, for even more dehydrated food. The RFP called for a 10-day supply of meals - for 14 million people. That's 420 million meals. Typically, FEMA maintains a stockpile of about 6 million meals. Why the sudden need to increase the stockpile by 420 million more? (And that's in addition to whatever our aforementioned industry leader is supplying.) It almost seems like they're trying to stock a modern day "Noah's Ark," doesn't it?
Single functions or events such as FEMA requesting a purchase of survival food might not stand out as peculiar when it is their responsibility to ensure they are mission ready for unforseen events in the US, but couple this with other pieces of the puzzle, such as the Navy drill of Solid Curtain, which is intended for: nationwide "drill" involving all military, and it's a drill based on a severe terrorist attack.
And the public had best be aware of something major potentially occurring on our soil in the near future. Â Global events across the world such as the revolutions and protests, the rising spike in oil, the falling dollar, food shortages, and unrest in Wisconsin and Ohio, are bringing us to the point where crisis may take place, whether from domestic or foreign sources.
Terror alerts have been raised by FEMA in the past month, and this new special order of dehydrated food, at the magnitude of $1 Billion dollars in taxpayer money, should be a call for everyone to prepare on your own for any potential crisis.
Infosys, which employs more than 15,000 foreign workers in the United States, systematically commits visa fraud and tax fraud to increase profits, and threatened and retaliated against a "principal consultant" who called them on it, the man claims in Lowndes County Court. On its Web page, Infosys describes itself as specializing in business consulting and strategic IT services outsourcing, with 2010 revenue of $5.7 billion, and 127,779 employees.
In his complaint, Jack Palmer says he worked for Infosys "as a Principal - Enterprise Solutions" since August 2008.
Many of Infosys' 15,000 foreign nationals who work in the United States do so on H-1B visas, Palmer says: "Infosys is an H-1B dependent corporation and is one of the biggest 'users' of the H-1B program."
After the federal government restricted the H-1B program, in 2009, Palmer says, he was sent to Bangalore, India, for "planning meetings."
"During one of the meetings, Infosys management, discussed the need to, and ways to, 'creatively' get around the H-1B limitations and process and to work the system in order to increase profits and the value of Infosys' stock. The decision was made by management to start using the B-1 visa program to get around the H-1B restrictions.
"Under the law, the B-1 visa category applies to temporary business visitors who come to the United States to conduct activities of a commercial or professional nature, such as consulting with business associates, negotiating a contract, or attending business conferences. Individuals on B-1 visas are prohibited by law from working in full time jobs in the United States.
"During the course of his employment, plaintiff learned the Infosys was sending lower level and unskilled foreigners to the United States to work in full-time positions at Infosys' customer sites in direct violation of immigration laws. Plaintiff also learned that Infosys was paying these employees in India for full-time work in the United States without withholding federal or state income taxes. Plaintiff also learned that Infosys overbilled its customers for the labor costs of these employees.
"In order for a foreign Infosys employee to obtain a B-1 visa, an American employee of Infosys had to write a 'welcome letter,' basically stating that the employee was coming to the United States for meetings rather than to work at a job."
Palmer says that Infosys managers in the United States and India asked him to write false welcome letters, and he refused. On July 1, 2010, he says, he "was asked to join a conference call in regards to his refusal to write the 'welcome letters,' during which call plaintiff was chastised for not being a 'team player.'"
Then he was transferred to another project in a different division, Palmer says. There, he says, he "soon learned that Infosys was illegally employing B-1 visa holders on that project as well." Infosys asked him to rewrite the contract for that project, and he refused, "because he knew that the purpose was to try to cover up Infosys' overcharging this customer by using the lower-income B-1 employees and charging the higher pay rate for specialized employees," according to the complaint.
Palmer says he called Infosys corporate counsel, Jeff Friedel, and explained the violations to him. Friedel is not named as a party to this lawsuit.
In September 2010, Palmer says, an Infosys manager from India "confirmed the violations, but stressed to the plaintiff that it was important to 'keep this quiet.'"
Palmer says he got "further pressure, harassment and retaliation for refusing to be a part of the illegal conduct."
At Friedel's urging, he says, he filed a report with Infosys' "Whistleblower Team," on Oct. 11, 2010. But the whistleblower team "failed and refused to promptly investigate plaintiff's report and still refuses to thoroughly and fairly investigate and correct the illegal conduct," Palmer says.
Since filing his report, he says, he has been "subjected to constant harassment, threats, and retaliation" including "numerous threatening phone calls;" monitoring of his emails; "racial taunts or slurs, including being called 'a stupid America' and criticized for being a Christian;" refusal to pay his bonuses; refusal to "reimburse him for customary and substantial expenses;" and being forced to work more than 70 hours a week "without appropriate compensation."
Palmer says he reported to Friedel that Infosys was breaking other laws, including "failure to pay federal and state income taxes; falsification of I-9 forms; and the fraudulent and illegal documentation of aliens." And he claims that Friedel "admitted by electronic mail and via phone calls that Infosys was and is guilty of visa fraud."
Palmer says he repeatedly reports the "threats and retaliations" to Infosys human relations department and to corporate counsel, and they refused to do anything about it.
He seeks punitive damages for breach of contract, expenses, intentional infliction of emotional distress, outrage, negligence and wanton misconduct, and legal misrepresentation and fraud. He is represented by Kenneth Mendelsohn of Montgomery.
The number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously owned homes fell in January; a sign the industry that triggered the recession was struggling at the start of 2011.
The index of pending home resales dropped 2.8 percent after a revised 3.2 percent decrease the prior month that was initially reported as a gain, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for a 2.3 percent decrease.
Businesses in the U.S. unexpectedly grew in February at the fastest pace in two decades, indicating manufacturing remains at the forefront of the recovery.
The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago Inc. said today its business barometer rose to 71.2 this month, the highest level since July 1988, from 68.8 in January. Figures greater than 50 signal expansion. The gauge, which was projected to fall, exceeded every estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
A video of Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) screening passengers at a Savannah, Georgia Amtrak station has been gaining quite a bit of attention and many are wondering why we were screening passengers who had just disembarked from a train.
We were wondering the same thing.
The screening shown in the video was done in conjunction with a VIPR operation. During VIPR operations, any person entering the impacted area has to be screened. In this case, the Amtrak station was the subject of the VIPR operation so people entering the station were being screened for items on the Amtrak prohibited items list as seen in the video.
It should be noted that disembarking passengers did not need to enter the station to claim luggage or get to their car.
Signs such as the one shown here are posted at the entrance to the impacted area.Â
However, after looking into it further, we learned that this particular VIPR operation should have ended by the time these folks were coming through the station since no more trains were leaving the station. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused for those passengers.
So by now, you're probably wondering what a VIPR is? Is it a type of snake that we misspelled? A really cool car. Nope. It's a team that's made up of Federal Air Marshals, Surface Transportation Security Inspectors, Transportation Security Officers, Behavior Detection Officers and Explosive Detection Canine teams. The teams provide a random high-visibility surge into a transit system and work with state and local security, and law enforcement officials to expand the unpredictability of security measures to detect, deter, disrupt or defeat potential criminal and/or terrorist operations.
Can we all together say......Â "Ahhhh.. Poor Bank of America", they are getting it from all sides!
First people are standing up against the FRAUD Foreclosures and judges are ruling against them left and right.
Pimco and the New York Federal Reserve bank among many other hedge funds and investors of MBS (mortgage backed securities) were demanding their investments back from the fraudulent securities.
Bank of America was fighting it.Â Well it seems as of the end of 2010 they had paid 46 BILLION back to PIMCO - N.Y. Fed and others and they still have 10.7 BILLION of Claims against their MBSÂ filed!Â That is HUGE!Â Also by those big entities demanding all that money, they pretty much know the game is up and the fraud is coming out in all ways.Â They are wanting out before the complete SHTF when it is disclosed ALL the MBS sold by MERS banks are fraud!Â One mortgage was put into multiple MBS bonds.
BOA has spent over one Billion more in litigation in 2010 than they had expected to (defending fraud foreclosures). Looks like they have booked more litigation fees in for this year (2011).
Wells Fargo has also had over 1 Billion in litigation fees in loss to the bank due to MERS fraud foreclosures!
The Republican plan to slash government spending by $61bn in 2011 could reduce US economic growth by 1.5 to 2 percentage points in the second and third quarters of the year, a Goldman Sachs economist has warned.Â The note from Alec Phillips was seized in the ongoing US budget fight by Democrats as validating their argument that the legislation approved by the Republican-led House of Representatives last Saturday would do significant damage to the US recovery.
Last week the Dow fell 2.2%, S&P fell 1.7%, the Russell fell 1.6% and the Nasdaq 100 fell 2%. Banks fell 3%; broker/dealers 3.6%; cyclicals 2.3%; transports 4.7%; consumers 2%; utilities 0.3%; high tech 3%; semis 1.7%; Internets 3.1% and biotechs 3%. Gold bullion rallied $21.00, the HUI rose 0.2% and the USDX fell 0.6% to 77.21.
The 2-year T-bill fell 3 bps to 0.72%, as the 10-year T-note fell 17 bps to 3.42%. The German 10-year bund fell 10 bps to 3.15%.
Freddie Macâs 30-year fixed mortgage rates declined, fell 5 bps to 4.95%. One-year ARMs rose 1 bps to 3.40%. The 15âs fell 5 bps to 4.22% and the 30-year fixed rate jumbos fell 11 bps to 5.46%.
Fed credit jumped $13.4 billion to a record $2.505 trillion. Fed credit was up $97.6 billion ytd and $326 billion yoy, or 10.4%. Fed foreign holdings of Treasury/Agency debt this past week gained $4.1 billion yoy to a record $3.388 trillion. Custody holdings rose $424 billion yoy, or 14.3%.
M2, narrow money supply gained $8.4 billion to a record $8.883 trillion, yoy it is up 3.8%. Total money fund assets declined $5.2 billion last week to $2.751 trillion. Assets have fallen $415 billion over the past year, or 13.1%.
Total commercial paper outstanding rose $5.2 billion to $1,046 trillion. CP is up $7.7 billion ytd. It is still off 19.1% yoy.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is a defendant in more than 10,000 legal proceedings and may be $4.5 billion short of reserves needed to cover those costs in a worst-case scenario, the firm said in a regulatory filing on Monday.
The New York-based bank's legal woes range from individual actions against JPMorgan Chase to class actions with "potentially millions" of litigants to "regulatory/government investigations." The suits include common law tort and contract claims, statutory antitrust claims, securities claims and consumer protection claims, the bank said in its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
JPMorgan is the last of the four big U.S. banks to detail some of its exposure to litigation in its annual report. While the banks didn't say what their overall litigation reserves are, JPMorgan, Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) outlined a potential $11.2 billion shortfall in litigation reserves altogether.
Last week, Citi said it might fall $4 billion short, while BofA said it might be $1.5 billion behind legal cost reserves and Wells Fargo said it might be $1.2 billion behind.
Banks' legal woes have gotten much attention ever since the so-called "robosigning" scandal erupted last fall. Banks made a practice of letting employees sign off on thousands of foreclosure affidavits without properly vetting the underlying information. In some cases, homes were seized and in others there is doubt over who rightly owns the property - both in terms of mortgage-bond investors and in terms of occupants.
Regulators and all 50 state attorneys general have been investigating big banks' mortgage practices. Federal agencies are trying to pull together a plan to settle with big mortgage servicers in a deal that may result in billions of dollars' worth of principal forgiveness for troubled borrowers. The result of private litigation is more difficult to predict. In a conference call last month, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon predicted that securitization lawsuits alone will be a long, difficult battle.
"It is going to be years before this plays out and this litigation is going to be fought almost securitization by securitization," Dimon said. "There is almost no other way to do it."
Litigation and regulatory actions tied to Goldman Sach's selling of mortgage-backed securities could cost the investment bank an additional $3.4 billion in legal expenses, Goldman's said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week.
The $3.4 billion is a "worst-case scenario" projection and does not reflect the true risk Goldman faces, but rather what could happen if the firm lands on the losing end of all litigation, a spokesman for the firm said.
The company's projection of greater-than-budgeted for legal expenses puts it in company with Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Co. and JPMorgan & Co., all of which are facing billions in extra legal expenses in 2010 to fight consumer and investor litigation, as well as regulatory actions.
"The firm is involved in a number of judicial, regulatory and arbitration proceedings concerning matters arising in connection with the conduct of the firmâs businesses," Goldman said in its filing. "Many of these proceedings are at preliminary stages, and many of these cases seek an indeterminate amount of damages."
Goldman landed in the firing line of the Financial Crisis Enquiry Commission when the group investigated the causes of the 2008 financial meltdown.
The commission weighed heavily into Goldman Sachs for allegedly pushing subprime mortgage-backed securities while simultaneously shorting the same instruments.
Many of the legal filings pending against Goldman Sachs were filed by purchasers of subprime mortgage securities who are either demanding damages or asking Goldman's to repurchase the securities they sold.
Goldman is also fighting multimillion-dollar lawsuits that claim a similar strategy was employed by the investment bank's marketing of a collateralized default obligation platform, known as ABACUS.Powered By iWebRSS.com