Linking ≠ endorsement.
⇧ A Revolutionary Pope Calls for Rethinking the Outdated Criteria That Rule the World | WEB OF DEBT BLOG
We can’t avoid “politics” while fully discussing economics. Neither can we avoid religion.
…we live on a planet that holds the promise of abundance for all. Mechanization and computerization have streamlined production to the point that, if the work week and corporate profits were divided equitably, we could be living lives of ease, with our basic needs fulfilled and plenty of leisure to pursue the interests we find rewarding. We could, like St. Francis, be living like the lilies of the field. The workers and materials are available to build the infrastructure we need, provide the education our children need, provide the care the sick and elderly need. Inventions are waiting in the wings that could clean up our toxic environment, save the oceans, recycle waste, and convert sun, wind and perhaps even zero-point energy into usable energy sources.
The holdup is in finding the funding for these inventions. Our politicians tell us “we don’t have the money.” Yet China and some other Asian countries are powering ahead with this sort of sustainable development. Where have they found the money?
The answer is that they simply issue it.
The Monetary and Banking Reform Movement will continue growing.
⇧ Employment Situation Summary
Anyone telling you this is great news, is missing the downsides or deliberately misleading. Very mixed data:
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JUNE 2015
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.
Household Survey Data
The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 5.3 percent in June, and the number of unemployed persons declined by 375,000 to 8.3 million. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.8 percent), adult women (4.8 percent), and blacks (9.5 percent) edged down in June, while the rates for teenagers (18.1 percent), whites (4.6 percent), Asians (3.8 percent), and Hispanics (6.6 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)
The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 381,000 to 2.1 million in June. These individuals accounted for 25.8 percent of the unemployed. Over the past 12 months, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 955,000. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force declined by 432,000 in June, following an increase of similar magnitude in May. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 62.6 percent in June. The employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, was essentially unchanged in June and has shown little movement thus far this year. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 6.5 million, changed little in June. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-t ime job. (See table A-8.)
In June, 1.9 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 653,000 discouraged workers in June, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in June had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 223,000 in June, compared with an average monthly gain of 250,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1.)
Employment in professional and business services increased by 64,000 in June, about in line with the average monthly gain of 57,000 over the prior 12 months. In June, employment continued to trend up in temporary help services (+20,000), in architectural and engineering services (+4,000), and in computer systems design and related services (+4,000).
Health care added 40,000 jobs in June. Job gains were distributed among the three component industries–ambulatory care services (+23,000), hospitals (+11,000), and nursing and residential care facilities (+7,000). Employment in health care had grown by an average of 34,000 per month over the prior 12 months.
Employment in retail trade increased by 33,000 in June and has risen by 300,000 over the year. In June, general merchandise stores added 10,000 jobs.
In June, employment in financial activities increased by 20,000, with most of the increase in insurance carriers and related activities (+9,000) and in securities, commodity contracts, and investments (+7,000). Commercial banking employment declined by 6,000. Employment in financial activities has grown by 159,000 over the year, with insurance accounting for about half of the gain.
Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs in June. Employment in truck transportation continued to trend up over the month (+7,000) and has increased by 19,000 over the past 3 months.
Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in June (+30,000) and has increased by 355,000 over the year.
Employment in mining continued to trend down in June (-4,000). Since a recent high in December 2014, employment in mining has declined by 71,000, with losses concentrated in support activities for mining.
Employment in other major industries, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, and government, showed little or no change over the month.
The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 34.5 hours in June for the fourth month in a row. The manufacturing workweek for all employees edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and factory overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls were unchanged at $24.95. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.0 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 2 cents to $20.99 in June. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for April was revised from +221,000 to +187,000, and the change for May was rev ised from +280,000 to +254,000. With these revisions, employment gains in April and May combined were 60,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 221,000 per month.
⇧ All-Cash Buyers Drop to Lowest Level Since November 2009
“As housing transitions from an investor-driven, cash-is-king market to one more dependent on traditional buyers, sales volume has been increasing over the last few months and is on track in 2015 to hit the highest level we’ve seen since 2006,” Blomquist continued. “And while sellers this spring are realizing the biggest average home value gains since 2006, home price appreciation is softening as the supply-and-demand balances tip more in favor of buyers and as banks began to clear out some of their more highly distressed foreclosures that sell at scratch-and-dent prices.”
If you have been following housing for the last year or so, this comes as no surprise to you.
⇧ 6 Arrested in Louisiana for Oakdale Arsons
A month long investigation by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office into a string of fires in Oakdale has resulted in the arrest of six people, including three Allen Parish volunteer firefighters.
⇧ Missouri Pair Sentenced to Prison for Arson, Insurance Fraud
Two men have been sentenced to federal prison for arson and insurance conspiracy after authorities say they conspired to burn houses they bought and insured in Kansas City, Mo.
⇧ mainly macro: Why Germany wants rid of Greece
Sic ’em with the truth.
…Germany finds the truth about Greece too upsetting, too challenging. This is because since 2010 Greece has done most of what the Troika asked of it. In particular, changes in its government’s underlying primary budget balance (i.e. the degree of austerity enacted) have been greater, by a long distance, than any other European economy. For many outside Germany what has happened to Greece as a result is hardly surprising: austerity is contractionary, and austerity on steroids is ruinous. Yet Germany is a country where the ideas of Keynes, and therefore mainstream macroeconomics in the rest of the world, are considered profoundly wrong….
Love it! — one of his most pointed.
⇧ Tracy couple sentenced for perjury, fraud – Golden State Newspapers: Tracy Press News
The Tiptons agreed to plead guilty to the perjury and fraudulent insurance claim charges in lieu of a jury trial related to the fire that destroyed their house at 27771 S. Fagan Road on July 5, 2008. The remaining charges were dismissed: arson of one’s own property, insurance fraud, grand theft, and destroying insured property with intent to defraud.
A jury has convicted former Fort Belvoir-area resident Lawrence Wayne Reese, 56, of nine offenses including arson, use of fire in commission of another federal offense and multiple counts of fraud related to submission of a fraudulent insurance claim.
⇧ Two of Yellen’s Favorite Numbers Tell a Nuanced Story About the Job Market – Bloomberg Business
The number of unemployed who threw in the towel and dropped out of the workforce rose by 141,000 (after three decreases).
And those who weren’t in the labor force and decided to jump back in and look for a gig dropped by 243,000 (also after showing three months of progress) to 2.08 million, the fewest in seven years.
A tornado picked up a single-wide trailer in eastern Montana and threw it onto a storage shed about 60 feet away, injuring a 79-year-old man and his dog.
⇧ Fixing the Eurozone – YouTube
Hans Werner-Sinn is a very knowledgable man with an excellent memory and who won’t accommodate unclearness. He’s also for a United States of Europe, as we are. We learned from this video, as we think you will likely too.
⇧ BusinessDay Economic Survey: Arise Steve Keen, forecaster of the year
None of the others thought our terms of trade would collapse by more than a few per cent. Keen picked 10 per cent. We got 12.25 per cent. The pay cut rocked the budget deficit, but not by as much as most predicted. Keen went for $40 billion. The budget papers say it’ll be $41.1 billion.
Wage growth slipped to a new low of just 2.3 per cent. Most of the panel couldn’t see it coming, many going for 3 per cent or more. Only Keen and also University of Newcastle economist Bill Mitchell picked 2 per cent. Tom Skladzien, of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, deserves an honourable mention as well. With his ear to the ground he picked 2.5 per cent.
The Reserve Bank cut its cash rate twice in response to the slide in national income. None of the bank economists expected it. Only Keen and Mitchell went for a cut, to 2.25 per cent.
The lower rates spurred a sharemarket boom which pushed the S&P/ASX 200 to near 6000 in February before it fell back in May and June to close not too far from where it started at 5459. Keen picked 5500 — far closer than the much higher forecasts of the panellists who didn’t see the interest rate cuts coming.
On the bond market the economists employed by banks embarrassed themselves. Instead of climbing as they all expected, Australia’s 10-year bond rate slid to an all-time low before edging back up to 3.01. Keen picked 3.5 per cent, the only forecast anywhere near reality.
As our consistent readers already know, we follow Steve Keen’s work pretty closely and have done for quite a few years now.
By the way, Bill Mitchell (we know him as Billy) is an MMTer (Modern Money Theory), as is Keen. They both like Yanis Varoufakis too.
Stephanie Kelton, who is Bernie Sanders’ chief economist, is also an MMTer.
You see a great deal of MMT in Ellen Brown’s posts as well. One of Ellen’s posts is featured above.
Congratulations to you, Steve! The rest of the world will catch on yet, and you’ll deserve a great deal of the credit for it.
⇧ Tulsa-area multi-family housing market is hot – Tulsa World: Focus
More than 1,000 units are under construction downtown and Parker estimates another 500 more will be announced in the next 30 to 60 days.
“The demand for the downtown residential is about to get met,” Parker projected.
He does admit demand is cyclical and there can be a tendency to overbuild.
“Everybody wants to jump on board, then the demand has to catch up,” he said. “It’s basic economics.”
That’s completely correct; but nationally, we aren’t even close to meeting demand, as unaffordable rent rates attest. Landlords don’t typically like hearing that; but unless we have affordable housing, our entire economy will suffer even more. Wise landlords want profits but not so much that the system crashes.
⇧ Man dies in collapse of stairway at Folsom apartment complex | The Sacramento Bee
Folsom police report that a 27-year-old man died Friday afternoon when an external stairway collapsed at an apartment complex.
⇧ Public Sector Employment Is Stuck in the Doldrums | Economic Policy Institute
As a direct result of austerity policy, public sector jobs are still nearly half a million down from where they were before the recession began. Moreover, this fails to account for the fact that we would have expected these jobs to grow with the population—taking that into consideration, the economy is short 1.8 million public sector jobs. This shortfall in public sector jobs in turn removes the multiplier effect on private sector demand, snowballing into an even slower recovery.
⇧ Will Dubai spark a trend for 3D printed offices? – RealViews
…technological innovations are starting to impact on the construction industry. The team behind the 3D office estimates that 3D printing could slash building time by between 50 and 70 percent, reduce labor costs by between 50 and 80 percent and cut construction waste by 30 to 60 percent.
“It could have significant benefits for housing in remote locations or providing shelter in response to emergencies like earthquakes and typhoons by providing a quick and cheap solution. Also it could help to provide mass, standardized low cost housing in much of the developing — and developed world — in response to ongoing population growth and urbanization,” he says.
⇧ Greece risk pales against China – YouTube
China’s leadership is panicking?
Concern continues to mount over a default by Greece, but as FT markets editor Mike Mackenzie explains to John Authers, senior investment commentator, the threat posed by a slowdown in China should be of far greater concern.
Our readers know that we have been pessimistic on China all along.
What this says about what the US should do is that we need to stimulate via bond-free currency and to deliberately target productivity that will not result in inflation or deflation, only growth.
It can be done.
A 1936 crime film directed by Phil Rosen, starring Onslow Stevens, Kay Linaker and Noel Madison.
Dan Adams resigns his position as prosecutor on the district attorney’s staff and sets out to clean up a gang of fake-accident racketeers.
⇧ No, Puerto Rico Isn’t Greece – The New York Times
…Puerto Rico’s economy has stumbled, its payments to Washington have dropped while its receipts from federal social insurance programs have risen, so that the island is in effect receiving aid on a scale that would be inconceivable in Europe.
That’s why, among other reasons, the United States of Europe (monetary/currency, banking, fiscal, and political unity) is the right direction.
By the way, should Puerto Rico be a full state in the US or be a separate nation-state? It’s current status seems wrong to us. The Puerto Ricans seem quite split over it too with some wanting things to simply remain the way they are.
Disclosure: We certainly haven’t studied the matter in-depth.
⇧ 3 Crucial Areas to Cultivate For a Sustainable Business
…if the system proves to be a dog and isn’t working, don’t be afraid to scrap it and rebuild.
⇧ Professor Hubbard’s Claim about Wage and Compensation Stagnation Is Not True | Economic Policy Institute
Pay stagnation, wage stagnation, and compensation stagnation for the vast majority of workers is a real phenomenon. We should focus on addressing this problem rather than denying it.
⇧ The Bonddad Blog: Even with its best year of the Millennium, the bottom 99% only received58% of total income growth in 2014
Keep in mind that 2014’s income growth wasn’t because employers suddenly got generous with wage increases — they only averaged about 2% — but rather because the price of gasoline collapsed, causing inflation to completely disappear. And even with that boost, the top 1% still took 42% of all growth. There is simply something deeply wrong with an economic system that generates that kind of disparity, even when the bottom 99% is having their best year in several decades.
⇧ IMF: austerity measures would still leave Greece with unsustainable debt | World news | The Guardian
Greece had no intelligent choice but to vote “No” (“OXI”) on the greferendum.
“Greece would face an unsustainable level of debt by 2030 even if it signs up to the full package of tax and spending reforms demanded of it, according to unpublished documents compiled by its three main creditors.
“The documents, drawn up by the so-called troika of lenders, support Greece’s argument that it needs substantial debt relief for a lasting economic recovery. They show that, even after 15 years of sustained strong growth, the country would face a level of debt that the International Monetary Fund deems unsustainable.
“In the creditors own words: ‘It is clear that the policy slippages and uncertainties of the last months have made the achievement of the 2012 targets impossible under any scenario’.”
⇧ Greek referendum no vote signals huge challenge to eurozone leaders | Business | The Guardian
…the Greek leader believes he has strengthened his negotiating hand.
Tsipras campaigned for a no vote, arguing that this was the best way to secure a better deal, keeping Greece in the euro while obtaining debt relief from its creditors. The leaders of Germany, France and others stated the opposite: that a no vote meant the Greeks were deciding to become the first country to quit the currency, membership of which is supposed to be irreversible.
…the Greek vote is a huge blow to EU leaders, particularly the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who has dominated the crisis management through her insistence on fiscal rigour and cuts despite a huge economic slump, soaring unemployment and the immiseration of most of Greek society.
“The failure of the euro means the failure of Merkel’s [10-year] chancellorship,” said the cover of the latest issue of Der Spiegel, the German weekly. It depicted her sitting atop a Europe in ruins.
“The first thing is that the IMF report proves that the debt is not viable and secondly that there is a new popular mandate as it would seem from the apparent result of the referendum,” said Euclid Tsakalotos, the chief Greek negotiator with creditors. The report he referred to was an internal document obtained by the Guardian last week, in the runup to the referendum, which supported Greek calls for writing down the country’s unmanageable debt level, a proposal that is anathema to Berlin.
…Tsipras and his flamboyant finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, have been hugely vindicated following a big gamble which will resonate in Greece and Europe for years to come. And even though the terms which were voted on had already been withdrawn, they have now been so definitively rejected by democratic ballot that the eurozone’s scope for negotiation is effectively narrowed.
Tsipras appeared cool and relaxed casting his ballot. “A day of celebration,” he said. “Democracy has defeated fear.”
⇧ Europe Wins – The New York Times
…in any case, democracy matters more than any currency arrangement.
Amen to that!
However, Tsipras and Varoufakis definitely know what they are doing: economic democracy, Paul.
Also, you should study Varoufakis. He’s every bit the economist you are. Ask Joe Stiglitz, your economist friend. Joe thinks Yanis is an economics genius, as do many others in Joe’s camp. In fact, we think Yanis has a grasp on some fundamentals where you seem weak (though we aren’t putting you down by saying it — you’ve been pretty self-deprecating lately anyway, which we like in people when its genuine).
⇧ ‘EU leaders see Syriza as threat to neo-liberal Europe’ — RT Op-Edge
…since Syriza took power in January, for the past five months while the government is trying its best to negotiate a workable deal with many compromises to the creditors, the creditors [have remained] hostile… to every solution proposed by the Greek government. I think they see Syriza and the left-wing government as a threat to a neo-liberal Europe.
That’s exactly what we wrote months ago. It is not an opinion of some tiny minority. It is pretty much the general consensus of anti-Austerians, who number in the hundreds of millions.
It took $817 million, two starts, more than six years and one worker’s life to drill a so-called “Third Straw” to make sure glittery casinos and sprawling suburbs of Las Vegas can keep getting drinking water from near the bottom of drought-stricken Lake Mead.
The pipeline, however, won’t drain the largest Colorado River reservoir any faster. It’s designed to ensure that Las Vegas can still get water if the lake surface drops below two existing supply intakes.
Officials are currently giving Lake Mead a nearly 50-50 chance of ending 2016 below the 1,075-foot trigger point — unless the drought is broken.
⇧ Officials: Lake Fire region at risk of flooding, slides for up to five years
The fire both kills off vegetation, which holds the soil in place and forms natural conduits for rain and precipitation, but it can also damage the soil itself.
“What happens after a fire is that soil loses its ability to absorb water,” Forest Service soil scientist Eric Schroder said.
If it gets hot enough, a wildfire can turn silicates in the soil into glass, making it less absorbent, which hydrologists refer to as being “hydrophobic.”
It can lead to flash floods and debris flows “the consistency of wet cement,” carrying rocks and even boulders bigger than a tool shed down the mountain, onto roads and buildings below.
⇧ Greek referendum: ‘people power has happened’ – Paul Mason (Episode 10) – YouTube
Okay, let’s give Paul Mason a chance to redeem himself after his rather harsh interview of Yanis Varoufakis.
Judge for yourselves, of course; but for our part, we think Paul likes the outcome.
If Wolfgang Schaeuble didn’t like dealing with Yanis Varoufakis, he’d hate even more dealing with Steve Keen.
Here’s Steve’s advice to Greece.
…it’s time for Syriza to return the hardball tactics that the Troika has thrown at them. Go back to the meeting with a plan for debt restructuring—and a significant one. Include not only the restructuring that the IMF admitted last week is needed, but also a write-off of the 20% of the debt that effectively represents the failure of the Troika’s program. Submit a budget with a 3% deficit as allowed by the Maatricht Treaty (the Treaty also insists on a maximum government debt ratio of 60% of GDP, but even Germany breaches that with a ratio of about 75% of GDP). A 3% primary budget deficit would provide a huge stimulus to the Greek economy, and end the Great Depression the Troika’s failed austerity program has caused.
If the Troika still refuses to negotiate, to compromise on its own failed program, then Syriza should threaten total default—a move that would send shock waves through Europe while simultaneously taking a major burden off the Greek economy. That would then present the Troika with a choice: what are you more committed to? Austerity, or the Euro?
He wouldn’t hesitate telling Wolfgang that Wolfgang is an economic idiot, literally.
The world is changing, just as it has always done. Neoliberalism is dying, as it should. The sooner, the better. It is both morally and intellectually bankrupt.
⇧ Yanis Varoufakis: the economist who wouldn’t play politics | Paul Mason
Okay, since we did Paul Mason already above and since after we added those two entries, Yanis Varoufakis resigned as Greek Finance Minister. So, here’s Paul on that and on Yanis in general in Paul’s eyes.
Why did Varoufakis go? The official reason, on his blog, was pressure from creditors. But there are a whole host of other reasons that made it easier for him to decide to yield to it.
Truth be told, Yanis simply put the Greek people and the whole movement before his own “glory,” which is his glory.
Good job, Yanis!
If you think Yanis will simply disappear, you have no idea where the left will place him in the pantheon of academic economists. He will not be disappearing. In fact, we will be hearing more from him now than we had while he was Greek FM and after the elites complained that they couldn’t “deal” with him (read beat his reasoning).
We are also confident that Alexis Tsipras was not disloyal but that Yanis and he remain loyal together to the cause of democracy in justice.
Yanis didn’t lose. The people won.
⇧ Big investors buy fewer homes but see bigger gains
Institutional investors, defined by RealtyTrac as entities purchasing at least 10 properties in a calendar month, made up just 2.4 percent of single-family home sales in May, a record low going back to January 2000, the earliest month with data available.
⇧ Deadline to File Flood Insurance Claims in Oklahoma Extended
Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner…said the Federal Emergency Management Agency has given National Flood Insurance Program policyholders an extra 180 days to file.
⇧ Opportunities Still Exist for Real Estate Investors Despite Foreclosure Inventory Decline – DSNews
“For the last few years, investors have been able to find real estate bargains they could turn into rental properties. That period is pretty much over—the inventory of foreclosed homes has been picked fairly clean, at least in the larger markets,” said Ingo Winzer, president and founder of Local Market Monitor. “You don’t need a bargain in order to make a good real estate investment. Demand for rentals continues to increase in many markets, while homeownership erodes. It’s strongest in those markets growing the fastest, which describes our Top 10 list.”
⇧ What now, Merkel? asks Germany after Greek voters reject further austerity | Business | The Guardian
Neoliberal minions are pulling out all the stops, but saner heads are still there.
…Wolfgang Schäuble. Germany’s finance minister has been at odds with Merkel in recent weeks, after making it plain that he favoured at the very least a temporary exit of Greece from the eurozone, in contrast to her desire to keep on talking and in the event of a yes in Sunday’s referendum, negotiating a third bailout. Last week his popularity ratings had reached an all-time high, with the majority of Germans welcoming his stance while Merkel’s judgment has been increasingly called into question.
Günter Verheugen, a member of the SPD and a former EU commissioner, said the European project threatened to fall apart if Berlin did not overcome its fear that to make concessions to Greece would mean other countries would be lining up to receive similar conditions.
“I think this is the reason that this row is so bitter and so deep,” he told public radion Deutschlandfunk. “But it has in the meantime gone so far beyond that, that we really need to be recognising today that our Europe is threatening to fall apart. … and we cannot let that happen.”
One wonders how so many Germans are so undereducated about modern economics, living in the dark ages: neoliberalism. Where’s the vision in the German leadership? Why are so many Germans so bent upon being anti-European unity? What a shame it is that they don’t understand how much better the US system is (even though it could use vast improving).
In the US, we don’t let any state go down the drain the way the Germans seem to be willing to do regarding Greece (though we think Greece will make it even if they have to do it without German overt help).
Anyway, we think it’s way too premature to be deciding how Germany will ultimately act as a result of the greferendum.
Wolfgang’s ratings were high before the referendum, when the neoliberals were trying to psych the Greeks into caving in with a Yes vote. Things are different now, and we must wait to see how well reality will sink in with the Schäuble types.
⇧ Ending Greece’s Bleeding – The New York Times
Why are the Germans deaf to this sort of data-based talk from Paul Krugman and others?
If they [the Greeks] can’t make a go of Europe’s common currency, it’s because that common currency offers no respite for countries in trouble. The important thing now is to do whatever it takes to end the bleeding.
“Would Greek exit from the euro work as well as Iceland’s highly successful devaluation in 2008-09, or Argentina’s abandonment of its one-peso-one-dollar policy in 2001-02? Maybe not….” That also means maybe it would. We think it would work.
⇧ Thomas Piketty: “Deutschland hat nie bezahlt” | ZEIT ONLINE
This is a great interview with Thomas Piketty; however, it’s in German. If you open it in Chrome, there will be a little translate icon in the webpage address line you may click and accept.
Piketty: Those who want to expel Greece from the Euro-Zone today will end up in the dustbin of history. If the Chancellor wants to secure he place in history, like succeeded Kohl with the unification [of Germany], it must be now successfully used for an agreement in the Greece issue – including a debt conference, which we then start over at zero.
Let’s hope she hears him. Let’s hope the German people hear him. He’s right.
⇧ High Rents are Bad for Your Teeth ‹ Zillow Real Estate Research
Almost 60 percent of households with the highest rent burden could not cover three months’ worth of expenses in the event of a financial emergency.
High rent burdened households are also more likely to sacrifice medical care to make ends meet than other households.
A guaranteed living income would fix all of that, and many would still want to work on top of it. In fact, many would start businesses because they could afford to take the risk. That would employ more other people too. It would be a win-win for sure.
⇧ Debt Deflation in Greece – The New York Times
There is absolutely no way that the world, and especially the Germans, should be allowed to ignore the facts.
…the troika program was simply infeasible, and would have been infeasible no matter how willing the Greeks had been to make sacrifices. The more they cut, the worse things got, because of Fisherian debt deflation.
… If Greece had received major debt forgiveness, it would still have gone through hell, but with at least some hint of an eventual exit. Instead it was pushed into a cycle of ever-worse pain without hope.
⇧ How to Be the Investor Motivated Sellers WANT to Contact
We like this article because we really believe Chris isn’t just saying Chris cares.
…other investors come in and hassle the seller, beat them up on price, or don’t truly care about their situation, here is where I score a few wins. I genuinely care about the sellers and their situations….
⇧ UPDATE — Sickles Avoids Jail, Manasil Doesn’t | KIWARadio.com
Primghar, Iowa — Sentences were handed down in O’Brien County District Court in Primghar this morning in two cases involving the fire that destroyed Buddz’s and the Rec Bowl in Sheldon in May, 2013.
You may recall that the owner of the business, Kristina Manasil of Sheldon, along with her then-boyfriend Adam Sickles, were charged with 1st Degree arson in connection with the blaze. In addition, Manasil was charged with Insurance Fraud for attempting to collect on the fire insurance that covered her business.
Three of five sea-surface temperature indexes are at their warmest sustained weekly value since the 1997-98 event, the bureau said. The so-called temperature anomaly in the central Pacific in June was the second warmest on record for the month, behind only 1997, it said.
⇧ Fragile Europe, Exposed and Unmoored | Foreign Policy
…doing and redoing the same thing in order to keep together conflicting goals and preserving the status quo is no longer tenable.
Was it ever? We think not.
⇧ Yanis Varoufakis: Angela Merkel has a red and a yellow button. One ends the crisis. Which does she push? | Comment is free | The Guardian
If Angela Merkel doesn’t step up to the task of educating the German people about real economics:
…Europe’s reverse alchemists began with gold (an integration project that was the pride of its elites) but will soon end up with the institutional equivalent of lead.
Writes Yanis Varoufakis.
⇧ Euclid Tsakalotos [now Foreign Minister of Greece] SYRIZA address to Sinn Fe´in Ard Fheis – YouTube
[Then] Greek Deputy Foreign Minister [now Greek Foreign Minister, replacing Yanis Varoufakis] Euclid Tsakalotos (SYRIZA) address to Sinn Fe´in Ard Fheis 2015. Introduced by Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan.
Be careful what you wish for, Angela Merkel, et at.
The intro is long for his short speech, so we’re not embedding the whole video but just linking directly to the part were Euclid Tsakalotos begins (though the intro is rousing).
⇧ Rift Emerges as Europe Gears Up for New Talks on Greece Bailout – The New York Times
The international-neoliberal media that was offering pretty much a one-sided Yes-vote argument are still at pretty much the same thing after the No vote by sounding as if the rest of Europe is coalescing around being even harsher toward Greece. Well, it’s not true.
As for Germany, it’s taking a tough line early for negotiating reasons. Angela hasn’t yet set the German people up for the news. Give her time (if she has the brains and heart to pull it off, which remains to be seen).
Germany continued to maintain a hard line with Athens on Monday, just a day after Greek voters decisively rejected a bailout deal from its creditors. But some European countries showed a willingness to soften the push for austerity that has proved so contentious.
⇧ Greece contagion under ECB’s [QE] control | FT Markets – YouTube
The risk of Grexit and contagion of the crisis to the eurozone periphery is being held in check by the ECB’s quantitative easing programme. Erik Nielsen, global chief economist with UniCredit explains to the FT’s Ralph Atkins why China is the real worry as the ECB has Greece and Europe’s recovery covered.
The thing is, they could just as easily QE Greece out of its troubles. A smarter move would be to take care of Greece via European fiscal stimulus with bond-free euros; but, there’s no political/fiscal union, and the euro is a debt-based currency.
When will they catch on and free governments and the people from the bankers’ grasp?
⇧ Multifamily Facing Industry-Wide Challenge – YouTube
Lisa Trosien, president of ApartmentExpert.com, discussed one of the biggest challenges in the multifamily industry today at the 2015 NAA Education Conferenc…
Train them up.
After a slow first quarter, office market fundamentals rebounded at the close of Q2, undermining suggestions that both economic and office-market growth were slowing.
There’s so much volatility, though, and little pass-through of productivity gains into higher wages.
⇧ How Much Money Do Private Real Estate Fund Managers Have? | Finance & Investment content from National Real Estate Investor
Closed-end private real estate funds have $245 billion concerning which they plan to spend most in North America and most on value-add properties.
⇧ [India] Worrying signs: The end game in Indian real estate might just have started
Mantri Developers is currently promising double your investment in just three years. This means a return of 26 percent per year. When would any real estate company promise such a high rate of return? Only when it is not able to raise money through the conventional routes.
Mantri Developers are promising assured 100 percent return. The question is how is it being allowed to advertise such an investment scheme with the word “assured” in it. How can anyone assure a return of 26 percent per year? This is a clear example of how weak the financial regulators in this country are. A builder can advertise 26 percent per year assured returns and get away with it.
Nevertheless, it shows how desperate the builder is to raise money. And that can only be good news for prospective buyers to buy homes to live in.
To conclude, two major sources of funding for real estate companies, bank loans and new project launches are drying up. The third major source, black money, still remains. For reasons only best known to the government, it has chosen to concentrate totally on foreign black money and not do anything about the domestic black money, a lot of which ends up in real estate. It’s time the Narendra Modi did something about the domestic black money as well, in order to make real estate in this country more affordable.
⇧ 7 big questions about China’s astonishing stock market crash and what happens next – The Washington Post
Nice but overly cautious reporting by Ana Swanson:
The Chinese government denounced the market movement as panic selling, and responded to the drop in a way that many analysts saw as a huge overreaction.
Working through various agencies, the government cut interest rates for the fourth time this year, paused new initial public offerings, capped short selling, changed the rules to allow pension funds and the social security fund to invest more in stocks, and ordered state-owned companies and controlling shareholders not to sell their shares. It changed the rules so that investors can, for the first time, use their houses as collateral to borrow money to buy stocks.
Most significantly, it used a state-owned securities financing company to lend $42 billion to 21 brokerages so they could purchase blue-chip stocks — on top of $20 billion that brokerages said they would buy over the weekend. As Gwynn Guilford of Quartz notes, taken together China’s response was bigger than TARP, one of the U.S. government’s prime responses to the financial crisis.
As Scott Kennedy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote in a recent note, “Over a quarter of China’s stock market capitalization is now supported through margin financing, turning an equity market into a de facto debt market.”
(5) What about the property market?
There’s another clear reason that the stock market began rising in late 2014. The price of property, the traditional way for many Chinese households to invest, started to slump, due to a slowing economy and excess inventory.
The property market has actually showed signed of reviving in recent months (which may be pulling some money out of stock markets) but investors still don’t see property as a good financial investment. When people don’t want to invest in housing, som e naturally turn to equities. “You squeeze one side of the balloon and the air goes to the other side of the balloon,” Chovanec says.
There are a few other interesting, potential casualties of the latest market drop. Some analysts say that the Chinese government’s repeated pledges to boost the market and subsequent failures to do so could damage its credibility and lead to a crisis of confidence. Even if that doesn’t happen, the government’s latest measures are definitely calling into question its 2013 pledge to let the market play a “decisive” role in governance — the central promise of its economic reform agenda.
This dynamic means that a dip in prices in China could quickly spark an even bigger sell-off, as investors sell stock to pay their brokers. Some Chinese companies have even pledged their own shares as collateral for bank loans — meaning that, if their share price falls enough, they may default on their loans. This leverage could threaten the stability of banks and brokerage firms.
What is really going on is that the Chinese Communist Party has been rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic thinking that doing so will keep the ship from taking on more and more water when the real issue is with their entire very poorly designed economy. They can’t have poorly regulated market socialism while moving toward even worse privatizations. In short, they were far too greedy. While Mao Zedong was utterly wrong on nearly every front, Deng Xiaoping was equally mistaken but in the other direction.
⇧ Water Regulators Look At Rate Increases To Maximize Conservation | Valley Public Radio
They need to keep in mind that there are customers who are already living completely hand-to-mouth and who’ve cut back on water as much as possible. Raising their rates will only take food off the table or send them into bankruptcy.
⇧ Why the Treasury market shrugged off the Fed minutes – MarketWatch
Minutes from Federal Open Market Committee meetings typically move markets, but Treasury investors did not react much to the minutes from the Fed’s June meeting, released Wednesday afternoon.
Amid fears of broader global instability, most notably a crash in China’s Shanghai Composite stock index and the nagging Greek crisis, traders are betting that the confluence of those global events puts in jeopardy any rapid rate increase.
Traders have gotten the hang of post-Greenspan hyper-reactionism. They have learned to read the forward guidance much. much better, which is a good thing, as we need to keep rates low regardless of the Fed’s silly worrying about not having “normalized” rates to allow them room to lower when they think they might need to in future. They have many other tools and should stop worrying. Anyway, we’ve always needed fiscal action (stimulus), and the Fed should push hard for it since doing so will not do what they fear: make them irrelevant. Only debt-free currency will really make them irrelevant, and the American people need a great deal more educating before we get there.