Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Toyota Under Fire

DALY CITY, CA - FEBRUARY 03:  The Toyota logo ...

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The unrelenting attacks on Toyota are a metaphor for similar attacks on the free-market economy by its detractors.

Up until August, 2009, Toyota had become the premier automobile manufacturer in the world. Through its “relentless pursuit of perfection” (Toyota’s Lexus brand’s marketing slogan), Toyota enjoyed increasing sales and profitability through its successful efforts to serve its customers better than its competition.

In August, a horrendous car crash involving a family driving a Lexus automobile killed the driver, Mark Saylor, a California Highway Patrol officer, his wife and daughter, and his brother-in-law. A recording of a passenger’s frantic 911 call, lasting 52 seconds, was broadcast throughout the media and pushed Toyota into the unwelcome and unaccustomed spotlight of negative public attention. That attention continues today.

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Latest on the Economy: Heading Up or Head Fake?

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When the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that “the output of goods and services…increased at an annual rate of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009,” the usual suspects in the kept media could hardly restrain themselves. ABC News’ headline trumpeted, “Economy Grows…Fastest Since 2003” which was “fueled by companies boosting output to keep stockpiles up.”  Their announcement explained that “Growth exceeded expectations mainly because business spending on equipment and software jumped much more than [was] forecast.”

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Bernanke’s Kudos, Criticisms Miss the Point

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A preliminary vote today for Ben Bernanke’s reappointment to a second four-year term as chairman of the Federal Reserve is expected to clear the way for a final favorable vote by the Senate.

Bernanke’s first term record was subjected to criticism and praise during confirmation hearings in December, and  he was selected as Time magazine’s Person of the YearTime magazine’s Michael Grunwald was kind to a fault, calling Bernanke “our mild-mannered economic overlord” (a reference, no doubt to Superman’s mild-mannered Clark Kent), and “the most powerful nerd on the planet.”  In that lengthy tribute, Grunwald summarized the Fed’s role:

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Lessons from Massachusetts

Coakley Senate Sign

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Yesterday the New York Times concluded that Scott Brown’s victory over Martha Coakley for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat resulted from Democrat complacency, Republican tentativeness, and Tea Party activism. Based upon interviews with more than 30 individuals involved in the race, the Times traced the rise of Brown from relative obscurity over the past month to victor on Monday.

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Turning REpublicans into TEApublicans

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 2:  Tea Party Patriots c...

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Tea Party activists are trying to take over the Republican Party from the ground up, according to the New York Times.

There are many pieces to the Tea Party puzzle, described as a “diverse, rambunctious and Internet-connected network of groups.” This includes Tea Party Nation which describes itself as a “user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God-given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers, [who] believe in Limited Government, Free Speech, the 2nd Amendment, our Military, Secure Borders and our Country.”

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Weak Dollar Obama’s Fault?

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...

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According to Newsweek, the dollar isn’t weakening, and even if it is, it isn’t Obama’s fault. On Tuesday, Daniel Gross iterated all the reasons that, according to conservatives, the American dollar should weaken. Conservatives, he said, blame the actions of the Federal Reserve with the lowering of interest rates to zero, printing money, and expanding the monetary base. They also blame the Obama administration for running up huge deficits in its efforts to restart the faltering economy.

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Democrat Retirements a Trend or a Tsunami?

Christopher Dodd, U.S. Senator.

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The announcements by Democrat Senators Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Byron Dorgan (N.D.) last week that they will not be running for reelection in 2010 raised both concerns by Democrats and hopes of Republicans.

Senator Dodd’s announcement has been examined thoroughly elsewhere on this site, but Senator Dorgan’s announcement was an unexpected bombshell that followed announcements by Alabama Representative Parker Griffith that he was switching parties from Democrat to Republican, along with the retirement announcements from two Democrats from Tennessee and another one from Kansas. The battles that are currently raging in Nevada for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s seat and in Pennsylvania for Democrat Senator Arlen Specter’s seat, along with the battles in Illinois and Delaware to fill the Senate seats formerly held by Democrats Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden, indicate more than just a midterm election shift.

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The Fed: Forever Blowing Bubbles

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An article in the New York Times asked that since the Federal Reserve “failed to recognize the last bubble…why should Congress, or anyone else, have faith that future Fed officials will recognize the next [one]?”

The roots of the present Great Recession stretch back to the bursting of the last bubble—the tech bubble—in the late 1990s. As the stock market declined sharply, the Fed under then-chairman Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates in an attempt to keep the economy from collapsing. The Times succinctly noted in its overview of the credit crisis that “lower interest rates make mortgage payments cheaper, and demand for homes began to rise, sending prices up. In addition, millions of homeowners took advantage of the rate drop to refinance their existing mortgages. As the industry ramped up, the quality of the mortgages went down.”

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Stock Rally Owing to Plunge Protection Team Conspiracy?

Polar Bear Plunge 2008

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The 60 percent gain in stocks since March was largely caused by secret government purchases of stock-index futures, the CEO of TrimTabs claims.

The Plunge Protection Team (PPT), otherwise known as the Working Group on Financial Markets, has been the target of conspiracy theorists ever since an article in the Washington Post in 1997 first shed light on the operation. The Working Group was created by Executive Order following Black Monday’s market crash on October 19, 1987, when the stock market declined more than 20 percent in a single session. Its purpose was to give recommendations for legislative and private sector solutions for “enhancing the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of financial markets and maintaining investor confidence.”

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Bernanke: Lax Oversight Recession’s Cause

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 14:  Ben Bernank...

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Regulatory failures and not low interest rates were responsible for the housing bubble, implosion and current recession, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke asserted on Sunday.

“Stronger regulation and supervision aimed at problems with underwriting practices and lender’s risk management would have been…more effective [in] constraining the housing bubble [rather] than a general increase in interest rates,” Bernanke told the American Economic Association.  Bernanke, while awaiting Senate confirmation for another term as Fed Chairman, defended recent and continuing charges that the Fed contributed significantly to the current financial crisis by keeping interest rates too low for too long.

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The Fed’s New Tool to Fight Inflation

WASHINGTON - APRIL 17:  Federal Reserve Chairm...

Last Monday, the Federal Reserve unveiled its new “term deposit facility” as another tool to fight inflation.

It was reassuring to note that the Fed has finally defined inflation’s causes properly: as a continuing rise in the general price level usually attributed to an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services.

With the enormous increase in money and credit that the Fed has engineered over the past year, concerns are being raised about the coming rise in the general price level.  These concerns are being reflected in the recent declines in the bond market as investors appear to be demanding higher interest rates to offset some of that anticipated rise.

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Economic Reality vs. Cheerleaders

Timothy Franz Geithner, President of the Feder...

When MSNBC headlined the report that existing home sales surged by 7.4 percent in November (according to the National Association of Realtors), it suggested that such an improvement boosted “recovery hopes.” Others jumped on the recovery bandwagon, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board Alan Blinder.

According to Geithner, it’s now reasonable to expect “positive job growth” by spring and correct to assert that people should have confidence in an improving economy.  “I think most people would say the economy actually is strengthening now,” he added.

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World’s Toughest Sheriff – No Apologies!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona...

He instituted a number of innovative programs that have been effective in preventing or reducing crime, including bicycle registration; block watches; child ID; “Operation Identification”; “Operation Notification”; “Hard Knocks High,” which gives credits for a high school diploma; ALPHA, a highly successful anti-substance abuse “Project Lifeline;” and an annual summer camp for kids.

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Paul Samuelson, ‘Economics’ Textbook Author, Dies at 94

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Long-renowned economist Paul Samuelson died on December 13 at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts, at the age of 94. In addition to writing Economics in 1948 — which became the best selling economics textbook for several decades, having been translated into forty-one languages and selling over four million copies — Samuelson also won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1970.

The chorus of accolades of effusive praise continues to resonate:

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Bernanke Claims Economy Recovering

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told the Economic Club of Washington that the economy is recovering, even as it confronts “formidable headwinds.”

He also promoted the Federal Reserve, and the job he is doing as head of the Fed) in an op-ed piece he wrote recently in the Washington Post where he assured readers (and Congress) that “the Fed played a major part in arresting the [financial] crisis, and we should be seeking to preserve [the Fed’s] ability to foster financial stability and to promote economic recovery without inflation.”

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Jobs Summit: More talk? Yes. More jobs? No.

unemployment

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When ABC News asked if the “jobs summit” would make real progress or would just be “simply a glorified public-relations stunt,” it studiously avoided asking the real question: How can the prime movers that created the current economic “Great Recession” be expected to fix it?

For starters, where is the constitutional authority for the government to get involved in creating jobs, even if it could?

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Captains of the Economy: The ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ Network is Alive and Well

ABC News Now

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In its attempt to glorify “the 10 who shaped the U.S. economy the most since 2000,” ABC News did a great favor for those interested in the interconnections among the “elite” who are impacting the current world economic and political scene.

Naturally, much was left unsaid about these “captains,” especially regarding their connections to the elite currently in charge. In order, then, here is a brief look at each of these “10 who shaped the U. S. economy”:

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Double Dip Recession Coming?

Double Dip Package

If Will Rogers didn’t say “Those who don’t read the papers are uninformed; those who do are misinformed,” he probably should have.

Witness this headline from The Wall Street Journal: “Jobs, Spending Bode Well for Growth.”

Compared to this from Bloomberg: “Orders for Durable Goods in U. S. Unexpectedly Fall.”

Or this from APNews: “Jobless claims off, spending up in sign of rebound.”

Finally, to confound the confusion, see this from the Denver Post: “Good news raises hopes that recovery won’t fizzle.”

How does one make any sense of it all? Dr. Kenneth McFarland (named America’s Number One Public Speaker by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce in 1965) once quipped that he had read so much about the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol that he just decided to give up reading!

There is another option: dig deeper.

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Inflation? What inflation?

Huff and puff and...

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We dont have to hire historians to see where deficit spending will take us. We have only to look around now. Since the end of World War II, some of history’s greatest national disasters have taken place right here in the Americas. North Americans used to laugh or shake their heads at the economies of the south that seemed always on the brink of collapse.  Banana republics, we derisively called them. We’re not laughing now.

Here are some examples he provides of inflation lag time:

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.