Tag: Finance

Ep. 604 – An Economic Quagmire

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 604 - An Economic Quagmire
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From one economic figure to the next, it is never really good enough. At least not for the Federal Reserve and other major central banks to truly begin normalizing their respective balance sheets, let alone even discuss the topic. They are concerned how tapering and/or any subsequent increase to interest rates will impact global equity, bond, and currency markets. And rightly so. The Fed attempted to taper and increase interest rates only a few short years ago and it ended with equity markets dropping nearly 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. The economy and equity markets could not digest a Fed’s balance sheet below $4 trillion or the Federal Funds Rate just north of 2 percent. Fast-forward to a balance sheet near $8 trillion and the FFR at the zero bound, and you can surely see their predicament. Equity and bond prices have been able to increase over this pandemic period for one reason and one reason only and that is due to the major liquidity injections by central banks and federal government programs. Remove these items and prices are nowhere near these levels. Policymakers are trapped, they know it, and they are getting more and more nervous by the day.

Initial jobless claims came in at 385,000 for the week ending 29 May. This is the lowest figure since 14 March of 2020 when the number was 256,000. The number from last week was revised slightly lower by 1,000 to now stand at 405,000. In aggregate, some 15.4 million Americans continue to claim some form of unemployment insurance. This gives a de facto unemployment rate of 11.1 percent. The official unemployment rate is currently 6.1 percent. The May jobs report will be released tomorrow morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, and it will be watched closely by global markets. Analysts are looking for nearly 1 million jobs having been added to the roles for the month of May. A recent report released by ADP has stated that 978,000 private sector jobs were added in the month of May. Recall that last month, expectations were for nearly 1 million job gains for April, however, the official statistic came in at 266,000. Will May be a repeat of April or more in alignment with market forecasts?

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has hit another all-time and now currently stands at $7.935 trillion. This is a week-over-week increase of some $32 billion. It is somewhat laughable how the Fed stated only yesterday that they will begin to taper their holdings of corporate bonds, which amount to $14 billion. And even this is supposed to be a process that could take until the end of the year. Meanwhile, they added $32 billion to their balance sheet in one week alone! The Fed also remains committed to their QE policy of purchasing at least $120 billion per month in US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. M1 and M2 money stock has also been updated and both currently stand at all-time highs, as of April. Coming in at $18.935 trillion and $20.109 trillion, respectively, really puts things into perspective, especially when considering that M1 was at $4 trillion prior to the pandemic and M2 was at $15.5 trillion. So what exactly did we get for all of this funny money? Because we can assure you that this is no free lunch. Jay Powell, Chair of the Fed is expected to speak tomorrow. Most likely this will be some form of damage control for the jobs report whether the number is good looking or ugly. These markets need continued hand-holding in order to grind higher. Talk about a command and control economy. Land of the free, eh? Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Inflation #FoodPrices #Gold #Silver #Protests #Riots #Liberty #USA #Leadership #Revolutions #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Jobs #Bailouts #Debt

Ep. 601 – Debt Distorts Reality

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 601 - Debt Distorts Reality
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With politicians and central bankers attempting to solve or alleviate the impact from the pandemic, they are in actuality making the problem worse. This is because one cannot expect to solve a global debt crisis by adding record amounts of debt onto the system. Furthermore, the massive printing press operation that is being conducted globally does not translate into productivity. Rather, it translates into inflation, which is an increase in the money supply. Sure, printing presses can print currency, but they cannot print productivity, jobs, or innovation. Yet, what will result from all of this, and it is already being felt across the world, are higher prices. Whether it is in energy, commodities, food, housing, transportation, medical expenses, or more, prices are moving up and will likely stay there for some time. The Kapital News believes that we will be entering a period of structural inflation – meaning that the effects of inflation, higher prices, will be sustained due to central bank and federal government policies, supply-chain disruptions, and geopolitical events.

In fact, much of this is already well underway and many smaller nations are suffering from high rates of inflation. This will lead, if it has not already, to political fallout, protests, riots, conflicts, and revolutions. These events will likely first take root in weaker economies, but will make their way to more developed and diversified economies as well. Inflationary policies can greatly distort reality whereby people think that rising asset prices means that there is a strong underlying economy causing such price movements. However, nothing could be further from the truth. It is not a growing economy that is leading to such price increases, but rather a growing money supply. Another way of looking at it, is to say that it is a weakening currency or a devaluing of the US dollar that is causing prices to rise. Meaning it takes more dollars to purchase the same amount of goods because those dollars have been devalued. This does not occur in a strong economy, but rather a weak one.

If one wants to look at some of the distortionary effects of these policies, then look no further than US retail sales. The trend line has been completely decimated. It can be understood when looking at this data series that there would be a downward deviation to retail sales during the GFC and during the pandemic. However, there is a notable difference when comparing these two time periods. In the former, during the GFC, retail sales peaked in late 2007 and did not recover to that peek until early 2011. This makes intuitive sense that it would take awhile to regain the previous trend. Yet, when we review the pandemic, we see a massive drop-off in retail sales, which makes sense given the lockdowns and restrictions. However, we see a huge V-shaped recovery back to where retail sales were prior to the pandemic in only a few short months, and beyond this, we now see retail sales well above the previous trend. In fact, even if we were to remove the GFC and pandemic deviations, we would likely still not be at the high levels we are currently witnessing. Peak sales prior to the pandemic were around $525 billion in early 2020. In March, the most recent data point, now stands at $620 billion. What this data series suggests is that a couple to a few years’ worth of spending has been pulled forward to today! This is all thanks to Uncle Sam spending money that we do not have and the Federal Reserve printing up the money out of thin air like some 3rd world banana republic. In essence, future growth and prosperity has been stolen from the future in order to make today look better than what it actually is. This is the moral of the story on how debt distorts reality. This is completely unsustainable and when the bottom falls out, it will cause tremendous amounts of damage across the spectrum and around the globe.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending 22 May came in at 406,000. This is the lowest figure since the pandemic began and is a continuation of trend with falling claims figures. The prior week saw no change, thus remaining at 466,000. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program saw 93,000 filing, thus taking the total to just shy of 500,000. In aggregate, some 15.8 million Americans continue to claim some form of unemployment insurance. This gives us a de facto unemployment rate of 11.4 percent. The official unemployment rate stands at 6.1 percent. The May jobs report will be released on the first Friday in June. The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet came down by $19 billion and now stands at $7.903 trillion. The Fed remains committed to their QE policy whereby they are purchasing at least $120 billion per month in US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Their balance sheet is likely to make new all-time highs on a near weekly basis. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Inflation #Jobs #Gold #Silver #FoodPrices #Housing #Debt #Bailouts #Protests #Liberty #USA #Revolution #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Spending #Commodities

Ep. 593 – Jobless Claims Down, Producer Prices Up

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 593 - Jobless Claims Down, Producer Prices Up
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The initial jobless claims figure for the week ending 8 May, came in at 473,000. The lowest figure in over a year and continuing its downward trend as the economy reopens. Data from the prior week was revised upward by 9,000 to now stand at 507,000. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program saw 104,000 Americans file for the first time, also during in the week ending 8 May. In aggregate, across all forms of unemployment insurance, some 16.9 million Americans continue to file claims. This is for the week ending 24 April and gives us a de facto unemployment rate of 12.8 percent, which is more than 2x the official rate. The official unemployment rate is now 6.1 percent.

Also released today was the Producer Price Index Summary, which showed that producer prices for the final demand index rose by 6.2 percent in April on a year-over-year basis. This is the highest figure since records were kept on a yearly basis going back to November of 2010. Stripping out food, energy, and trade services, the index stands at 4.6 percent, which is also a record-high going back to August of 2014. As we witnessed yesterday in the CPI report, these figures released today were higher than market expectations. The question becomes just how long these price increases will continue. Will they be transitory as the Federal Reserve claims, or will they be longer-lasting and more structural for a few years or more to come? This is a crucial question, as markets, economies, political processes, and societies will all be greatly impacted.

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has hit a new all-time high and now stands at $7.83 trillion. This is a week-over-week increase of $20 billion. The Fed remains committed to their QE program of purchasing at least $120 billion per month of US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. So far, the Fed has brushed off the recent higher than expected inflation figures, as they continue with their transitory remarks. They also appear to want to wait and see what future data points suggest is underway throughout the economy. Chances are they will be too late to respond to any structural problem and thus their efforts will likely prove futile. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Inflation #FoodPrices #Bitcoin #Bitcon #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Gold #Silver #Commodities #Liberty #USA #Leadership #Jobs #Bailouts #Protests #Riots #Revolution #Peace

Ep. 592 – There’s No Inflation, But There IS!

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 592 - There's No Inflation, But There IS!
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, released their Consumer Price Index Summary for the month of April. The headline figure came in at 4.2 percent on a year-over-year basis, which was above market consensus. This is the highest reading since September of 2008. Speaking of no inflation, used cars and trucks saw an increase of 10 percent in the month of April! With people moving out of the cities and into the suburbs, they are also bidding up the prices of new and used vehicles. Also, with the impact of the pandemic, many people may also be concerned with utilizing public transportation and are thus opting for their own vehicles. This one-month increase of 10 percent is the highest on record since the series began in 1953. Also, notable was the all items less food and energy category rose by 0.9 percent, which was the largest monthly increase since 1982.

On a year-over-year basis, some of the notable increases were the following: food is up 4.2 percent, energy is up 25.1 percent, gasoline is up 49.6 percent, utilities (gas) is up 12.1 percent, new vehicles are up 2.0 percent, and used vehicles are up 21.0 percent. Speaking of vehicles, Q4 2020 average prices for new and used vehicles came in at $40,107 and $27,689, respectively. Down payments also increased, but still puts the average monthly payment at $581! And here you were thinking that all that free money from Uncle Sam was actually free – well, bless your heart. There is no free lunch and this is one of the worst economic policies that has ever been implemented and on a global scale to boot. Now some may say that this is all transitory. Perhaps the degree to which these prices are rising may be transitory, but the overall inflation and its effects, are anything but temporary. This is a structural shift that is going to wreak havoc around the globe for years to come. Pay attention! Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Inflation #FoodPrices #CarPrices #Debt #Spending #Gold #Silver #Commodities #Oil #Liberty #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Leadership

Ep. 589 – April Fools Jobs Report

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 589 - April Fools Jobs Report
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The market consensus was looking for a gain of one million jobs in the month of April. Instead, the figure came in at +266,000. This was quite the miss. However, it certainly gives at least another month of cover for fiscal and monetary authorities to continue with their narrative that more policy intervention is needed. From the White House, both the President and Treasury Secretary were stating how there is still a long road ahead. They also mentioned how the extension of unemployment benefits has no impact on this dismal jobs number. Instead, they cite the effects of the pandemic and the costs and lack of availability of child care. Interesting to note, however, is that members of the Federal Reserve did mention that the extension to unemployment benefits likely did impact the jobs number for April. As many people are getting paid just as much to stay home as compared to actually working. This belief by some Fed members was stated because, first of all, it is true, and then secondly, those extensions are a fiscal measure, not a monetary one. So the Fed is more than happy to throw a fiscal policy under the bus and shift the blame from themselves onto Congress and the White House, even though they are the ones financing such fiscal policy nonsense.

Clearly, both fiscal and monetary policy authorities want the “gravy-train” to continue as do the markets. And despite this dismal number, markets rallied and made new highs on the DJIA and the S&P500. This is a function of central bank liquidity, which continued to march higher this week and with it equity prices. This is the true narrative to monitor. If markets continue to buy into the rising liquidity injections, then they climb higher, if they cease to buy these actions, then it is game over, as this is the only thing that is propping these markets up. And it is not just the equity markets, but the bond market, and others as well.

The fiscal and monetary policies introduced last year and this year will continue to drag future economic growth downward, while also leading to increased costs across the board in commodities, and items needed to live. Housing and rents continue climbing higher, as do construction and building materials, as do commodities, from base metals, to agricultural products. These price increases will translate into great economic, political, and social strife in the coming months and years and this will be a global phenomena. Some of this fallout is already being witnessed in smaller countries, where they are near collapse or are already there. This trend will continue to make its way up the chain impacting larger economies and countries. This funny money coming from Uncle Sam is anything but a gift from the government, and it is anything but free. The costs of which will be some of the most expensive in human history in terms of price increases, social and political impact, lower living standards, and lost opportunities. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Jobs #Inflation #USA #Liberty #Protests #FoodPrices #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Bailouts #Debt #Spending #Revolution #Leadership

Ep. 588 – Jobless Claims Below GFC

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 588 - Jobless Claims Below GFC
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It has been over a year, but finally the initial jobless claims figure is below that witnessed during the depths of the GFC. In aggregate, regular state unemployment and PUA claims came in at a combined 599,000 for the week ending 1 May. The peak during the GFC was around 660,000. The prior combined figures for around an entire year stood north of 900,000 on a weekly basis! Regular state claims came in at 498,000 and the prior week was revised upward by 37,000 to stand at 590,000. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims came in at 101,000. In aggregate, amongst all forms of unemployment insurance, some 16.2 million Americans continued to file claims. This gives a de facto unemployment rate of 11.6 percent. The official unemployment rate is currently at 6 percent. The jobs report for the month of April will be released tomorrow by the BLS.

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet stands at $7.81 trillion, which is a week-over-week increase of $30 billion, and is just shy of a new-all time high. The Fed remains committed to purchasing at least $120 billion of US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities per month. This will take the balance sheet to around $8.5 trillion by the end of the year, and The Kapital News expects that number to be closer to $10 trillion. This policy of QE continues onward despite record high equity prices, record high housing prices, sky-rocketing commodity prices, rising food prices, et cetera. If the jobs report provides a strong number, then the Fed is going to find themselves to be trapped even more than what they currently are. How can they continue to justify their policies and interventions if everything is looking healthy? Of course things are not healthy. It is a smoke and mirror show provided to us via trillions in fiscal and monetary policies. But the Fed will never admit to this, so they will continue with some made up narrative to justify their reckless actions. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Jobs #Inflation #Protests #FoodPrices #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Liberty #USA #Leadership #Gold #Silver #Commodities #Debt

Ep. 585 – Priced Out of Housing

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 585 - Priced Out of Housing
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Only a few months ago the average new home build cost an extra $24,000 due to the price increase of lumber alone. Fast-forward to today and now that increase is $36,000! That is an increase of 50 percent in only a few short months. And of course we are told constantly by our policymakers that there is no inflation. Do not believe your lying eyes is supposedly their message. Further, this is placing upward pressure on rents as well, and according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), monthly rent payments are likely to increase by $120 per month. So understand that Uncle Sam and company have been sending out stimulus checks over the last year. If your rent should increase by $120 per month, then that check simply went to covering this rent increase. However, it will not be able to cover all of the other price hikes that exist from A-Z.

As we continue to see upward pressure on prices, many major corporations have been issuing press releases to their customers indicating that they will be increasing their prices, if they have not done so already. It would also be prudent to not only pay attention to the price hikes, but also the volume of product. Is it the same weight or lesser? Is it the same count or fewer? With these prices increasing there are only a few things that can happen. For example, corporations can assume the price hikes, thus squeezing their margins; they can pass along the entire cost to their customers, thus increasing consumer prices yet also risk losing market share; or a combination of the two. However, whichever option is chosen by what company, one thing is certain and that is margins and savings will be squeezed. The markets are priced to perfection, as the saying goes and thus anything that strays from this narrative can have some serious negative consequences.

Some such negativity right now with the current state of housing is the likelihood of pricing out a generation of homebuyers. The demographic most negatively impacted right now is the Millennial generation. This cohort has to contend with purchasing record-high housing prices, equity prices, car prices, rents, student debt payments, and the lack of current and future opportunities. All while likely to be left with the responsibility of cleaning up this mess from a budgetary and governmental standpoint. This is the intersection of economics, politics, and social issues. The dam is about to burst globally because of these issues, and when it does, it will be epic! Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Housing #Lumber #Jobs #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Liberty #USA #Leadership #Inflation #Gold #Silver #Commodities

Ep. 584 – Job Or Just A Paycheck?

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 584 - Job Or Just A Paycheck?
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Evidently one does not need a job in order to receive a paycheck in the new America. As stated by President Biden yesterday evening, Americans should not have to choose between a job or a paycheck. So presumably, one can go to work and earn a paycheck, or one can simply decide that they would prefer to just receive a paycheck by doing nothing. It would have to be assumed that the government will be sending out the checks. This is beyond ridiculous, but this is what was said. As The Kapital News has been stating for the last couple of years and especially last year, with all of the stimulus checks that were sent out, was how the American people were being conditioned to accept money from the government. This is a trial run at universal basic income or UBI, which is part of modern monetary theory, or MMT. The overall belief is that money grows on trees, deficits and debts do not matter, and if inflation should ever be of concern, just raise taxes. A terribly flawed idea and it should not even be considered an idea – that is how bad it is. Nonetheless, many Americans have grown accustomed to and fond of these checks from the government, not realizing the true cost that awaits them on the other side. This will take the form of much higher prices, higher taxes, lower living standards, and the loss of opportunities.

Initial jobless claims came in at 553,000 for the week ending 24 April. The prior week was revised upward by 19,000 to now stand at 566,000. While the regular state unemployment number is now below the figures we saw during the depths of the GFC, when taken together with the federal program of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, which came in at 122k, in aggregate still keeps us above those GFC figures for over a year. While trending lower, there is still along way to go as prior to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, claims were between 200-300k. In aggregate, some 16.6 million Americans continue to claim some form of unemployment insurance. This gives us a de facto unemployment rate of 11.9 percent, which is still about 2x as high as the official rate at 6.0 percent. Next Friday will be the release of the official jobs report for the month of April.

The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet retreated by $40 billion from last week’s all-time high and now stands at $7.78 trillion. The Fed remains committed to their QE policy of purchasing at least $120 billion per month of US Treasuries and mortgaged-backed securities. This will take their balance sheet to around $8.5 trillion by the end of the year and The Kapital News is projecting it may be closer to $10 trillion. For perspective, the balance sheet was just shy of $900 billion prior to the GFC. Monetary measures of M1 and M2 were also released. These figures used to be updated weekly, but are now refreshed on a monthly basis. M1 and M2 both hit new all-time highs, at $18.68 trillion and $19.89 trillion, respectively. These were month-over-month increases of $280 billion and $250 billion, respectively. The ultimate narrative that matters is this one that pertains to central bank actions and the injections of liquidity into the system. Should markets continue to buy into it, then markets likely continue grinding higher. But should they cease to buy into it, or the system hits exhaustion, or an endogenous or exogenous event occurs, they it is likely game, set, and match for this decade plus long bull market.

Lastly, several active military officials in France are warning of a civil war breaking out in the country. The rush of immigrants into the country over recent years is one such reason cited by the officials, along with other government policies that they believe are leading to the downfall of the country. The French government will be dealing with these individuals via military council, but their message has already been heard. With all of the actions and policies that have been implemented by governments and central banks around the world, the global system has been materially weakened. This type of rhetoric, along with the global protests, riots, revolutions, civil wars, conflicts, and coups will only pick up steam from here. The true costs of all of these policies have yet to be fully felt and once they are, global flare ups will be the norm in countries large and small, weak and powerful. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Jobs #Inflation #FoodPrices #Debt #Spending #bananarepublic #EndTheFed #FireCongress #Liberty #USA #Leadership #Bailouts #Protests

Ep. 583 – Powell + Biden Speak, Trillion Dollar Giveaways

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 583 - Powell + Biden Speak, Trillion Dollar Giveaways
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Just when you thought multi-trillion dollar deficits for the past couple of years was bad enough, wait…there is more! The one-two punch from monetary and fiscal authorities keeps coming with no end in sight. The government, especially the Democrat party wants to continue with the massive spending spree and the Federal Reserve is more than happy to continue to finance such profligacy. Of course nothing is free and the results will be higher direct taxes at every level, federal, state, and local, higher inflation, lower living standards, and fewer opportunities. One cannot fix a global debt crisis with even more debt. Yet no policy maker regardless of political party or monetary institution wants to take responsibility or accountability for their years of reckless and criminal behavior. We do not have the right to steal from future generations, yet that is exactly what it means when we run these types of annual deficits and accumulate a national debt of over $28 trillion and growing!

Today was the conclusion of the FOMC meeting and as expected the Fed left the Federal Funds Rate unchanged at 0.00-0.25 percent. They also maintained their stance with respect to their QE program whereby they will continue to purchase at least $120 billion per month of US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Last week their balance sheet hit a record high of over $7.8 trillion. Fed Chair, Jay Powell, continues to reiterate that inflation expectations will be transitory and will be a result of base effects, due to the low levels seen last year due to the lockdowns. In effect, he is stating that the Fed is just going to wait and see what happens next year, because the base effects will be in play through the remainder of this year. So a large print on inflation may very well occur and the Fed will just presumably shrug it off and say it is only due to base effects. We wonder if the people who have to pay higher prices will be so nonchalant about their currency being devalued?

Finally some tougher questions were asked of Jay Powell, but most likely simply due to the obvious absurdity of their policies and rhetoric. For instance, questions were asked with respect to the real estate market, which is currently hitting all-time highs with prices and other metrics. It was then asked with this as a backdrop, why then does the Fed continue to purchase $40 billion per month of MBS? It may be understood and even accepted that during the GFC, housing prices were collapsing and MBS were toxic assets and the Fed was attempting to inject liquidity into the system via these purchases. That was then and this is now. The GFC was an emergency and thus they justified their actions because of the falling house prices. Now, we have prices at all-time highs and the Fed also states that the economy is recovering – so where is the emergency to justify these purchases? A fair and basic question that received a terrible answer or better yet a non-answer, but at least the question was asked. On the other side, however, giving credit where credit is due, Jay Powell did admit that rising housing prices are pricing people out of the market, especially younger people, and that this is problematic. This is true. Yet does he not understand that much of this is a direct result of monetary policies that he is responsible for and fiscal policies of which his institution finances? This summarizes who and what we are dealing with.

This evening President Joe Biden gave an address to a joint-session of Congress. In his hour long speech he promised trillions of dollars in new spending on top of the trillions of dollars already passed to be spent during his short-time in office. There is completely no understanding of basic mathematics that exists within Congress, especially within the Democrat party. For instance, the Biden administration wants to increase taxes on the wealthiest of individuals and corporations. And presumably, with this extra tax revenue all of these new and old programs will be funded. Well not so fast. We are on track to spend nearly $8 trillion this year alone! This will give us an annual budget deficit of over $4 trillion. Our deficit will be larger than the entire amount of tax revenue that is brought in, which is around $3.5 trillion. Further, if you take $8 trillion and divide by 52 weeks in the year, you get around $154 billion of spending per week! And this is just the federal government. So, you can confiscate 100 percent of Jeff Bezos’ net worth, not just income, but everything the man owns, and it will only finance the US federal government for one full week! Yeah it does not add up and look who is in control of the education system – yep the government. These programs are outrageous, un-American, and unconstitutional. Yet none of that is going to stop them from trying to pass more legislation and spend trillions of dollars that we do not have – thus stealing it from future generations and robbing them of their prosperity and opportunities. This is all only going to get worse. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Fraud #Inflation #Spending #Debt #Gold #Silver #EndTheFed #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Liberty #USA #Leadership #Revolution #Protests #Peace

Ep. 582 – Low Rates Fuel Housing, Zombies, + Chaos

The Kapital News
The Kapital News
Ep. 582 - Low Rates Fuel Housing, Zombies, + Chaos
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Low interest rates are fueling much more than just housing and zombie corporations, but earlier today housing data came across the wires. The Case-Shiller 20-city composite home price index saw an 11.9 percent year-over-year increase in the month of February. This reading is the highest since 2014. With respect to the national home price index, the year-over-year increase was also at 12 percent. This is the highest reading since 2006. It is interesting to note that the time period of reference is just prior to the GFC when the housing market peaked.

The Kapital News has been mentioning how the current environment is likely going to have to contend with a triple whammy or trifecta of serious economic and financial issues. For one, the trade wars, supply disruptions, and fiscal policy measures are highly reminiscent of the causes of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Secondly, there is a fascination and outright obsession with big tech names, SPACS, and cryptocurrencies, where the crowd claims that these assets can only experience price appreciation. Thus mirroring the Dot-com era. And lastly, with residential real estate prices moving as they have been over the prior year and likely to continue in this manner for at least the remainder of this year, will generate data points not seen since the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, which led to the GFC. So, it should be highly evident that risks abound and that such price appreciation across the spectrum of asset classes is due in large part because of low interest rates, fiscal policies, and monetary policies. All of which cannot last forever, so it begs the question, when will it let up, and when it does, what will the fallout look like?

Not only are low interest rates fueling asset prices higher, they are also creating new zombie corporations, as well as continuing to prop up existing zombies. If market forces were allowed to prevail, as opposed to distortionary interventions via the government and central bank, then these firms would have gone out of business and/or restructured. This would have been a net-positive for the long-term health of the economy. Yet due to such monetary and fiscal policies, these poorly managed companies were given a life-line, and it came in the form of easy money and cheap credit via low interest rates. The existence of these firms will stunt future growth and prosperity because these firms will have to allocate a disproportionate amount of their cash flows to servicing debt as opposed to capital expenditures, investments, and hiring. This is at complete odds with one of the dual mandates of the Federal Reserve and that is achieving full employment. Well how can full employment be achieved if a significant portion of US firms are classified as zombies? This figure is now nearing 25 percent! This is a question that needs to be asked and answered.

Lastly, because the worlds of economics, politics, and social issues are always intertwined, there exists risks and opportunities within any environment. However, given the current climate, it is reasonable to assume, and recent geopolitical events would indicate that there are more risks than there are opportunities. It is simply not logical to believe that a global debt crisis can be managed or solved by increasing the amount of debt into the system. This faulty logic along with the subsequent policies that are implemented, give rise to a lot of social movements, and increase the likelihood of global conflict. This conflict can be internal to countries or it can be between and amongst nations that can turn into war. Revolutions are fought on empty stomachs. And when one accounts for increasing food prices, commodities, and security threats, coupled with pandemic lockdowns, lack of future opportunities, and many people being priced out of various markets, then it is rather easy to connect the dots. The global system is extremely fragile right now on many fronts, and thus it will only take the slightest of internal or external shock(s) to bring it all down. Stay diversified, stay vigilant, and stay with The Kapital News. #Economy #Inflation #FoodPrices #Protests #Revolution #USA #Liberty #EndTheFed #Leadership #bananarepublic #FireCongress #Gold #Silver #Commodities #Peace