Herbert Marcuse: “The housing crisis doesn’t exist because the system isn’t working. It exists because that’s the way the system works.”
Socialism never took root…America…poor see themselves not…exploited proletariat…but temporarily embarrassed millionaires. Steinbeck
Now that the Pentagon wants to address climate change, progress may be possible.
After all we only implemented food assistance when the head of the Selective Service in WWII warned Congress that too many draftees were being rejected due to malnutrition, the interstate highway system is actually the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, and the internet and numerous other technologies were funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
No fear, no funds.
There is a far cheaper option though: giving homeless people housing and supportive services. The study found that it would cost taxpayers just $10,051 per homeless person to give them a permanent place to live and services like job training and health care. That figure is 68 percent less than the public currently spends by allowing homeless people to remain on the streets. If central Florida took the permanent supportive housing approach, it could save $350 million over the next decade.
Interesting study that real estate debt has become the center of the financial industry, increasing fragility, and worsening recessions while diverting resources from industry.
In other words, banking today consists primarily of the intermediation of savings to the household sector for the purchase of real estate. The core business model of banks in advanced economies today resembles that of real estate funds: banks are borrowing (short) from the public and capital markets to invest (long) in assets linked to real estate.
By contrast, nonmortgage bank lending to companies for investment purposes and nonsecured lending to households have remained stable over the 20th century in relation to GDP. Nearly all of the increase in the size of the financial sectors in Western economies since 1913 stems from a boom in mortgage lending to households and has little to do with the financing of the business sector.
An interesting paper by Eric Toder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and Alan D. Viard of the American Enterprise Institute on replacement of the corporate tax with a shareholder oriented accrual tax program. (Via Martin A. Sullivan at The Tax Analysts Blog.)
The second option, which could be adopted unilaterally by the United States, would replace the corporate income tax with increased taxation of shareholders. American shareholders of publicly traded companies would be taxed on both dividends and capital gains at ordinary income tax rates and capital gains would be taxed upon accrual. The option would ensure that American shareholders in both U.S. and foreign based multinational corporations pay tax on their worldwide income, while improving incentives for both domestic and foreign corporations to invest in the United States and increasing the competitiveness of U.S.- resident MNCs. It would also curtail a host of closed-economy distortions, including the current system’s biases against corporate equity‐financed investment, dividend payments, the sale of appreciated assets, and specific industries and types of capital. But it would face a number of design challenges and would reduce federal revenue. It would also confront severe political obstacles because it would be perceived as a giveaway to corporations, it would tax accrued gains that many shareholders do not consider to be income, and it would require other tax increases or spending cuts.
Major Surgery Needed: A Call for Structural Reform of the U.S. Corporate Income Tax
Increasing supply while decreasing demand:
A survey by Harvard Business School reports that its alumni would rather buy robots, out-source, or use part-time workers than hire (and train) full-time, long-term employees. Part of the reason the economy will grow but with wealth concentrated among the haves, a declining middle class, and a growing class of have-nots.
Corporate boards lavish them with massive pay packages and politicians venerate them as “job creators.” But it turns out that America’s business chieftains would rather not create full-time jobs to do what needs doing if they can possibly avoid it, according to the latest annual survey from the Harvard Business School (HBS).
Worker productivity is up but worker share of profits is at an all time low.
Workers aren’t earning less because they’re slacking off — just the opposite. Their productivity increased 8 percent between 2007 and 2012 while their wages actually fell, a trend that has been going on since at least 1979. And they’ve been speeding up since the recession, increasing their productivity last summer at the fastest pace since 2009.
The productivity has helped out corporations. They saw record high profits last year, rising to $1.68 trillion, and they have been rising steadily for some time, more than fully recovering what they lost to the financial crisis. Yet workers are getting little of that money. Profits have risen nearly 20 times faster than workers’ incomes since 2008, and on the whole workers have seen a lost decade of stagnant wage growth.
Who cares if you’re innocent. It’s the process that counts, not Justice.
This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged “actual innocence” is constitutionally cognizable.
Since Adam Smith, capitalist economists (for the most part) have agreed that government (or other social institutions) should fill the gaps that the private sector can not address or would not do so as efficiently and/or effectively as the public sector. The Ex-Im Bank is a government agency that provides credit support to U.S. exporters. A major beneficiary is Boeing – airplanes being one of the U.S.’s largest export industry. Supporters argue that the Ex-Im Bank supports jobs, economic growth, helps the U.S. trade balance, and actually generates a profit to the Treasury while doing so.
While critics are correct that the program may create trade distortions, other countries have similar programs so a unilateral disarmament by the U.S. wouldn’t level the playing field but simply tilt in more in favor of non-U.S. producers such as Airbus.
In addition part of the Ex-Im Bank’s role is to help small companies enter the international market and I would argue that there is a gradient between trade promotion and trade distortion.
Legitimate criticisms include one by Delta that the U.S. government is providing a subsidy via Boeing/Ex-Im Bank to foreign airlines who then have a competitive advantage over U.S. airlines causing economic harm (including job losses) in that industry. Thus the impact of the Ex-Im Bank needs to be measured not just on the primary effects but also on the secondary effects. An also interesting issues is raised in the Comments section of the Bernstein column by Roger Anderson who points out that in recent years Boeing has had a negative federal income tax rate while competitor General Dynamics has paid at a 29% tax rate. So just how large is the real subsidy of Boeing and is it fair to its U.S. competitors?
So will Congress address this complicated issue with the intelligent nuanced analysis that it deserves? Probably not. Joe Nocera of the NY Times reports on Rep. Hensarling’s view of the Ex-Im Bank:
Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave a speech to the Heritage Foundation. Hensarling is a Tea Party favorite. His core view is that better government is less government, and that there is nothing government can do that the private sector can’t do better.
Hensarling’s speech was about economics, which, of course, meant it was about wasteful government subsidies and “crony capitalism.” He tossed off what he felt were examples of each — the failure of Solyndra; the continued existence of Fannie Mae; the bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry — before landing on a government organization that he described as being the “poster child of the Washington insider economy and corporate welfare.”
“Its demise,” he went on, “would clearly be one of the few achievable victories for the Main Street competitive economy left in this Congress. I believe it is a defining issue for our party and our movement.
As if there are Mom & Pop stores selling jetliners and jet fighters in the local strip mall.
Downing scarcely had taken a seat aboard the Harlem Railroad when an agent told him to leave. Downing refused, and “the agent and driver immediately seized hold of him, dragged him out, and assisted by two other men, gave him a severe beating, and inflicted a wound in his neck.”
When NYC residents fought racially segregated public transit and the landmark lawsuit was won by a future Republican president.
A new Demos study finds that federally-supported firms, defined as companies that receive 10 percent or more of the yearly revenue from contracting,employ 6.6 million people. Of these workers, 3.5 million of these workers earn wages at or below 150 percent of the poverty line for a family four (disproportionally minorities and women). And they frequently get lousy treatment from their employers.
A 2010 GAO investigation found that the government frequently awards contracts to companies with wage, safety, environmental, immigration and Medicare violations. Meanwhile, according to a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee report, firms that do federal contracting made up 30 percent of the companies with the largest penalties for health, safety and wage violations between 2007 and 2012.
Two giant global banks helped at least a dozen hedge funds skirt full tax payment on more than $100 billion worth of stock trades, according to a new congressional investigation made public Monday.
The probe by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will be the subject of a daylong hearing on Tuesday and also spells more trouble for the embattled Internal Revenue Service.
At issue is whether complex financial deals arranged by London-based Barclays Bank PLC and Germany’s Deutsche Bank AG deliberately helped hedge funds skirt U.S. tax laws for financial advantage and bend rules designed to protect the financial system from excessive borrowing to finance speculative bets.
The IRS in 2010 issued a warning against the financial instruments at question in the Senate probe, but roughly four years later, no additional tax money has been collected from the hedge funds involved, Senate investigators said…
The Senate report alleges that Deutsche Bank and Barclays conspired with the hedge funds to create a complex investment vehicle that gave the appearance of being a brokerage account like those used by ordinary Americans who play the stock market.
The difference, however, is that these accounts, called “basket options,” involved billions of dollars in rapid and constant computerized trading. The hedge funds, the report said, were taking short-term profits but being taxed as if they were ordinary investors holding stocks for a year or longer. They were taxed at a rate of 15 percent to 20 percent instead of the rate of ordinary income, which is as high as 39 percent….
WASHINGTON: Senate panel: Banks helped hedge funds skirt taxes | Economy | McClatchy DC.
….Why then did “endanger[ing] the company” become Citi’s controlling officers’ paramount mortgage strategy despite Bowen’s copious, dead-on accurate warnings? Citi’s most senior managers, including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, were personally put on written notice by Bowen that an extraordinary and growing percentage – eventually 80% – of Citi’s purchased mortgages were “toxic” and that it was reselling them through fraudulent “reps and warranties.” Unlike Holder, there is no conceivable dispute that every Citi officer warned by Bowen instantly understood the implications. There is only one logical answer – they knew that the accounting controlling fraud scheme Bowen described was a “sure thing” guaranteed to make them personally wealthy at the expense of Citi’s shareholders (and, absent a federal bailout, Citi’s creditors).
In response to these frauds Holder’s response is to fine the bank (Citi) – and to do nothing to the officers who grew wealthy by looting Citi’s shareholders. The fine, of course, will be paid by Citi’s shareholders – who were one of the primary victims of the controlling officers’ “toxic mortgages” fraud schemes…..
Yes I confess, I agree with David Stockman.
The central banks of the world are massively and insouciantly pursuing financial instability. That’s the inherent result of the 68 straight months of zero money market rates that have been forced into the global financial system by the Fed and its confederates at the BOJ, ECB and BOE. ZIRP fuels endless carry trades and the harvesting of every manner of profit spread between negligible “funding” costs and positive yields and returns on a wide spectrum of risk assets.
Moreover, this central bank sponsored regime of ZIRP and money market pegging contains a built-in accelerator. As carry trade speculators drive asset prices steadily higher and fixed income spreads steadily thinner—- fear and short interest is driven out of the casino, making buying on the dips ever more profitable and less risky. Indeed, the explicit promise by central banks that the money market rate will remain frozen for the duration and that ample warning of any change in rate policy will be “transparently” announced is the single worst policy imaginable from the point of view of financial stability. It means that the speculator’s worst nightmare—–suddenly going “upside down” due to a sharp spike in funding costs—-is eliminated by central bank writ….
At the present time, for example, 40% of all syndicated loans are being taken down by sub-investment grade issuers. This is materially higher than the 2007 peak, and is accompanied by an even more virulent outbreak of “cov-lite” credit terms. Indeed, upwards of 60% of these junk loans have no protection against debt layering and cash stripping by equity holders—-notwithstanding their nominal “senior” status in the credit structure. The obvious implication, of course, is that the Fed “easy money” is being massively diverted into leveraged gambling and rent stripping by the LBO houses. Three times since 1988 this kind of financial deformation has led to a thundering bust in the junk credit market. Why would monetary central planners, who allegedly watch their so-called “dashboards” like a flock of hawks, think the outcome would be any different this time?…”
The Implosion Is Near: Signs Of The Bubble’s Last Days | Seeking Alpha.
Fitch Ratings says Canada’s real estate market is as much as 20 per cent overpriced and cautions the government may need to take more measures to slow down borrowing on homes.
Fitch is the second U.S. financial agency to sound the alarm on Canadian home prices in the past week, with the Morningstar research firm predicting a 30 per cent correction was possible over the next few years.
The latest warning comes as the Teranet–National Bank composite house price index for June showed prices rose 0.9 per cent from May and were up 4.4 per cent from last year.
These two subsidies will cost the U.S. federal government about $2 trillion over the next 10 years, almost all of which will go to the wealthiest Americans. Past Congresses have repealed both of these subsidies at different points in time, though they were later revived by subsequent legislation.
About 60 percent of the world’s population lives along estuaries and coastal areas Of the 32 largest cities in the world, 22 are located on estuaries 90 percent of Europe’s international trade passes through estuaries and their adjacent ports Coastal recreation and tourism generate between $8-$12 billion per year in the United States alone Often called the “nurseries of the sea,” estuaries provide vital nesting and feeding habitats for many aquatic plants and animals.
The Global Estuaries Forum brings together public institutions, the private sector, researchers, and NGOs from around the globe in an effort discuss and meet the pressing and immediate challenges facing our world’s most important estuaries. Follow on Twitter at @EstuariesForum.