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

Category Archives: Free Market

Dow and Employment Jump in May and June, Confirming Economy’s Rebound

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 1, 2020: 

Wall Street celebrated its best quarter since 1987, with the Dow gaining 17 percent from April through June, the S&P 500 Index rising 20 percent and the small-cap NASDAQ leaping 30 percent.

The news came on top of the latest report from the country’s largest payroll processor ADP, which reported that private-sector employment increased by more than 2.3 million from May to June. This came on top of employment gains in April of three million.

Job gains were across the board, with a million new jobs being reported by small companies employing fewer than 50 people, more than 550,000 by midsized companies, and nearly 900,000 reported by companies with 500 or more employees.

The goods-producing sector gained 457,000 jobs, with most of them in construction and manufacturing, while the service-sector employment jumped by nearly two million. The bulk of those, as expected, were in the “leisure and hospitality” sector as restaurants opened and customers flocked to take advantage.

To top it off,

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Chesapeake Energy Declares Bankruptcy; Should Emerge Leaner and Stronger

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 29, 2020: 

Chesapeake Energy Corporation, once the country’s second-largest natural-gas producer, declared bankruptcy on Sunday in Houston. Most on Wall Street weren’t surprised, as the company had warned repeatedly that it likely wouldn’t survive in its present form thanks to excessive debt and the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Wall Street used words such as “succumbs” and “failures” and the like to describe the company’s descent into bankruptcy.

The New American has chronicled the company’s history of enormous success — in 2011 Forbes named the company’s co-founder Aubrey McClendon to its “20-20 Club,” which is comprised of CEOs who had delivered to investors returns in excess of 20 percent a year for 20 years — as well as McClendon’s enormous tolerance for risk as he was building the company.

When McClendon died in a car crash in 2018, Doug Lawler took over as chief executive. Lawler faced an enormous task: reduce the company’s towering debt while pivoting from production of natural gas to the much more lucrative business of producing crude oil.

He almost made it.

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Consumer Spending Rebounds a Record Eight Percent in May

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 26, 2020:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported on Friday that consumer spending jumped to a new record in May: 8.1 percent over April, more than double the all-time high ever recorded since the bureau started keeping track of such things in 1959.

Consumers, locked away owing to government mandates in response to the COVID virus, headed for auto showrooms and big box stores to celebrate their new freedom in May.

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Banks Cutting Credit to Shale-oil Drillers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 15, 2020: 

In the private capitalist system, capital-intensive industries such as oil and gas production need all the capital they can get in order to survive. Banks that are doing their usual spring cleaning — called reserve review and assessment followed by “redeterminations” — are discovering that many of their loans to shale-oil drilling enterprises don’t have enough reserves backing them up in case they default.

Moody’s and JP Morgan Chase are forecasting that

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The Bear Market in Stocks Is Over, Says Wall Street Guru

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 9, 2020: 

Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, reviewed last week’s market action on Wall Street and concluded that the bear market in stocks is over: “Not too long ago we were in the midst of a terrible meltdown in the stock market. But it turned out to be a 33-day bear market lasting from February 19 to March 23. Ever since then, we’ve had a melt-up.”

Yardeni has been here before.

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NFIB: Small Business Optimism Jumped in May

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, June 9, 2020: 

The report from the National Federation of Independent Business, representing the views of its 325,000 members, confirmed Friday’s jobs report: The economy is on the rebound:

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U.S. Economy Peaked in February; Republican Consumers to Drive the Recovery

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, June 8, 2020: 

Those in charge of determining when the U.S. economy peaked at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) said it happened in February.

Using a very loose definition of when a recession starts — it involves “a decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months,” they say — the seers at NBER declared affirmatively that February marked “the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 … and lasted 128 months, the longest in the history of U.S. business cycles, dating back to 1854.”

The data junkies refused to comment on how long the recession might last, or how strong it might be when it recovers. Signs are emerging that May marked the bottom, with a jobs report that astonished and embarrassed nearly every forecaster in its robust surprise.

Predictions as to how long the recovery will last and when the economy will get back to full steam are a dime a dozen,

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May’s Jobs Report Shows Strong Economic Recovery Underway

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 5, 2020:  

The jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Friday morning greatly exceeded forecasters’ expectations. Most were expecting a loss of 8 million jobs in May. Instead the economy, now clearly rebounding, generated 2.5 million new jobs.

And the unemployment rate, widely expected to approach 20 percent, dropped to 13.3 percent.

The BLS’s commentary was much more muted:

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Global Research Firm: Shutdown Altering Lifestyles in Major ways

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 28, 2020:  

The global market research firm Euromonitor International (EI), headquartered in London, has been forced to revisit its 2020 predictions thanks to the coronavirus shutdown.

Some trends are being accelerated; others have been stalled; still others are being redirected.

For example, in its report released on December 31, 2019, EI said, “During times of economic, political or personal uncertainty, consumers are drawn to the comforts of home. In seeking to unwind and get back on track, consumers retreat to their personal safe spaces where they are free from the distractions of the world around them.”

“Shelter-in-place” mandates and “stay-at-home” orders have greatly accelerated this movement, as more and more consumers are turning their homes into multifunctional work and play centers: adding fitness centers, entertainment rooms, and school classrooms to their homes through retrofitting rooms’ previous usages. The home is increasingly being viewed as “the hub” of all activities, including social, family, religious, education, and exercise.

The momentum behind the “green” revolution has stalled,

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Trump Announces Cautious Reopening of U.S. Economy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 17, 2020:

President Donald Trump told a gathering of governors in Washington on Thursday about his plan to reopen the U.S. economy, calling it “Opening up America Again.” He said, “We are not opening all at once but one careful step at a time.” Based on advice from his advisors, it calls for a three-phase, “science-based” strategy that he is recommending to the states.

Phase One calls for governors to announce that

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Massive Oil Discovery in Alaska to Provide More Supply as World Economy Recovers

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 13, 2020:

The announcement of a massive new oil find on Wednesday couldn’t have come at a better time. The 1.8 billion barrel prospect called Talitha is located next to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline on Alaska’s North Slope, reducing greatly the developer’s transportation costs when the field comes online in the next few years.

By that time the world’s thirst for low-priced crude oil will have returned following the COVID-19 shutdown, and Talitha’s low cost will help lead the United States and global economies to even higher levels of output.

Pantheon Resources updated an evaluation of an old exploration well and concluded that

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Crude Oil Prices Pop on Trump’s Tweet: Saudi Arabia and Russia To Cut Production

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, April 2, 2020:

President Donald Trump’s Tweet early Thursday morning pushed crude oil prices up more than 20 percent: “Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!”

Skeptics tempered the rise, noting that there was no deal, only a promise to restart the negotiations that failed in March between members of OPEC and Russia to limit production. Russia left that meeting with “acrimony,” which started a price war in which Saudi Arabia and Russia were both pumping at near-maximum rates. Since then, crude oil prices were cut in half, with some commentators suggesting prices could drop still further, from near $25 a barrel at present to less than $10.

Skeptics also noted that

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Just how bad is the U.S. Economy? The Waffle House Index just Flashed RED

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 1, 2020: 

Waffle House restaurants almost never close. As one customer wrote: “I swear I’ve eaten at a Waffle House where a tree came in the front window and good chunks of the roof came off in bad weather, and they just kept right on serving like it was a Tuesday.”

The chain just announced that it has closed nearly 400 of its more than 2,100 restaurants.

FEMA considers the Waffle House as an indicator of the health of the overall economy. It uses what it calls its Waffle House indicator: Green, when the restaurants are open and serving a complete menu; Yellow, when they are operating on reserve or emergency power and offering a limited menu; and Red, when they are closed.

The closure of its restaurants reflects the news from the St. Louis Fed. Its President Jim Bullard just announced: “The unemployment rate … is going to be somewhere between 10 percent and … 42 percent.” The lower number is the most optimistic projection of present trends while the higher number is the most pessimistic. They reflect a minimum of 27 million jobs lost during the shutdown and 67 million at the worst.

Neal Boss, the director of public relations for Waffle House, tried to put those numbers into human terms: “To see something of this magnitude and [to] try to explain it in terms of human cost … we see how it physically affects people through the infection … there’s the human cost of the very individuals who have been disproportionately affected.”

He added:

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OPEC Cartel Failure Drops Oil Prices, Rattles Markets

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, March 9, 2020:

Following the failure of a meeting by members of the oil cartel known as OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) in Vienna last week to extend its production cuts, Saudi Arabia’s oil company, Aramco, announced price cuts across all markets and an increase in its production.

The failure came on the heels of an announcement by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that it had reversed its previous estimate that demand for oil would increase in 2020 and predicted that worldwide oil demand would drop by 700,000 barrels a day instead. That announcement was historic, the biggest drop in demand in a decade.

It also occurred at a time when the concerns over COVID 19/coronavirus had reached panic proportions, leaving hotel rooms, airlines, and tour companies facing sharp declines in passenger bookings.

In other words,

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Obama Judge in California Rules Against Gig Economy

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, February 18 , 2020: 

The ruling denying injunctive relief to Uber and Postmates and their drivers from California’s onerous, and likely unconstitutional, law AB 5 by Obama-appointed judge Dolly Gee last week illustrates why such judges holding for unions and the state need to be replaced.

The bill was supported by unions and the state of California for obvious reasons. The unions hated the competition, and the state needed the tax revenues that would be generated by turning freelancers into employees.

Proponents said gig workers would benefit from minimum-wage laws imposed on employees, and they would now have sick-leave coverage and unemployment insurance, along with other benefits. And the state would gain an estimated $8 billion from payroll taxes that gig operators such as Uber and Postmates and their independent contractors weren’t currently paying.

Opponents pointed out the obvious: Most gig workers don’t want to be employees. Most like the freedom associated with the gig economy, such as setting their own hours. And customers and consumers enjoy the better service and lower costs associated with services such as Uber and Postmates when compared to taxi drivers and FedEx, UPS, and the U.S. Postal Service. They predicted that once the law became effective on January 1, many of those freelancers would be out of work.

It’s already happening.

As The New American pointed out, Vox Media (which interestingly supported AB 5) has canceled its contracts with about 200 freelance writers and replaced them with just 20 new part-time and full-time employees.

Thomas Cushman, a commercial fisherman, has seen the law force his business to stop paying his crew:

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House Set To Pass “Worst Bill,” the PRO Act

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, February 6, 2020: 

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is calling the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, H.R. 2474, “the worst bill in Congress”. It’s a “compilation of dozens of extreme labor policy proposals from the past several years lumped into one disastrous bill,” according to Lizzy Simmons, NRF’s Vice President.

Not only does the bill have the support of Democrat presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Joe Biden, it has 218 cosponsors in the House. This means that the bill, expected to be voted on on Thursday, will easily pass over Republican resistance.

The bill threatens all of the gains the president talked about during his State of the Union message on Tuesday, including wage growth among lower-paid workers and a thriving economy pushing unemployment down to levels not seen in 50 years.

This summary includes the most egregious of the 30 provisions of the bill:

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ADP Says 291,000 New Jobs in January; It’s More Like 336,000

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, February 5, 2020: 

The jobs report from ADP on Wednesday understated job growth in January. Based on its own payrolls, the growth of private employment in the United States wasn’t 291,000. It was actually 336,100 when new jobs created by franchises were included.

The new jobs appeared in every sector of the economy, from small businesses to large and from goods-producing to service-providing. Small businesses added 94,000 new jobs; medium sized companies added 128,000 while large companies (500 employees and up) added 69,000. Those running franchise operations hired 45,100 new people in January.

Construction and manufacturing added 55,000 jobs, while professional and business services hired 49,000. Education added 70,000, while the leisure and hospitality sector brought on 96,000 new people.

The president didn’t need this information Tuesday night. He already had more than enough to fill his State of the Union speech before Congress. He took credit for

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Impeachment? What Impeachment? Voters Are Tuning Out

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 27, 2020: 

Voters are tuning out of the Trump impeachment trial in droves. After two days of watching the Democrats bash the president, viewership of the six major networks covering it dropped by 20 percent. When the Associated Press asked voters why, they said they’re bored and tired of “the whole partisan saga.”

Most of them made up their minds months ago, said Eric Kasper, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: “A lot of people have made up their minds, and it looks pretty clear what the outcome of this trial is going to be.”

Only 11.8 million people watched the six networks during the first two days of the Senate trial, compared to

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Davos Confab to Replace “Shareholder Capitalism” With “Stakeholder Capitalism”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, January 23, 2020:

As The New American noted on Wednesday, the real agenda of the Davos confab taking place this week in Switzerland is giving more and more power and control to global elites in order to make the world more “sustainable.” We wrote: “This involves us giving them — the saviors — more power and more money.” The partners supporting the World Economic Forum (WEF) vision include Big Business, Big Banking, Big Tech, Big Foundations, Big Green, and Big Labor. As we noted, “This united front pushes for more Big Government as the solution to every “crisis” — with Global Total Government as the ultimate solution.”

The “crises du jour” Davos is laboring to solve consists of “income inequality,” “climate change,” and “political polarization.” The solution: changing how corporations operate to meet those needs and solve those problems, by force.

It’s called “stakeholder” capitalism, and it will replace the old, outmoded, and corrupt “shareholder” capitalism that has done nothing less than catapult the world’s standard of living to levels never seen in history.

The real intentions of the gathering at Davos were barely visible in 1973 when its Code of Ethics for Business Leaders concluded that

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Faceoff Between Trump and Thunberg at Davos Was a Bust

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 22, 2020: 

Cain Burdeau, writing for Courthouse News, hoped for more drama at Davos as Greta Thunberg (the “voice of climate change”) and Donald Trump, the president of the United States, were expected to confront each other over the climate-change issue. Instead, Trump “said nothing about global warming, called climate activists [without mentioning Thunberg by name] ‘prophets of doom’, and touted a future where ‘virtually unlimited energy reserves’ from fossil fuels and other polluting energy sources will keep factories humming while government cuts regulations and taxes.”

Thunberg set the table for the confrontation in a nearly unintelligible speech given just hours before Trump’s arrival, in which she stated,

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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.
Copyright © 2021 Bob Adelmann