Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Notes From Underground: But Subjectivity Is Objective (Woody Allen, Love and Death)

November 15, 2017

The airwaves fill with the narrative of the coming corporate tax cut benefiting profits, growth and higher wages. Each side argues that their data is closer to reality: one being static analysis the other dynamic scoring of increased growth. My view continues to be, REAL TAX REFORM, NOT A TAX CUT. Genuine tax reform would provide tax relief for the middle-income earners and most probably result in a tax increase for the high-income earners. Congress has mucked up TAX REFORM as the starting point OUGHT to have been a return to BOWLES/SIMPSON. The problem with the Bowles plan is that it meant spending cuts as well as an effort to broaden the tax base by closing many tax loopholes. Also, Alan Simpson was in favor of defense cuts so it was a genuine tax restructuring as all “OXES WOULD BE GORED.”

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Notes From Underground: The IMF Lies and Other Myths

March 16, 2014

The news out of the Crimea places the vote on the referendum at 95.5 percent in favor Russian control. The outcome was predetermined but one would think that the pro-Russian faction would have at least fixed the results to make it appear somewhat legit. Why, it makes me wonder if the Chicago boys had been secretly brought into the Crimea to garner such a ridiculous outcome. Now the EU and the U.S. are going to find sanctions to make the oligarchs and other hoarders of Russian wealth suffer the consequences of Vladimir Putin’s 19th century actions. But this will not be a one-sided affair as Russia will be able to invoke counter measures of its own. There are many things to ponder:

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Notes From Underground: The Circus Has Left Town, Time To Clean Up The Manure

October 16, 2013

The budget negotiations and political maneuvering that have clogged the airwaves and the capital flows are now kicked further down the road and financial markets can again resume crunching data and analyzing fundamentals and technicals. It became a distraction as the television pundits and anchors opined on the impact of the “Washington Standoff.” The worst part of the entire drama was the constant parade of corporate CEOs warning Congress about the damage being done to the U.S. economy.

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Notes From Underground: Even Chairman Bernanke Doesn’t Believe the Projections … On the Other Hand

April 25, 2012

The FED provided the markets with everything and nothing at the same time. The FOMC STATEMENT was little changed from the last meeting although it wasn’t short of qualifiers. In discussing the HOUSING SITUATION the FED added the word “DESPITE” in noting signs of improvement the housing sector remains depressed. The FED wants to make sure that housing needs to be for more robust before the siren of all clear sounds (hence the word DESPITE). The FED noted that “STRAINS in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook.”

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Notes From Underground: 40 YEARS AGO TODAY NIXON CLOSED THE GOLD WINDOW BUT OPENED UP THE FIAT MONEY GUSHER

August 15, 2011

Yes, 40 years ago that miscreant Machiavellian, Richard Nixon, took the U.S. off the GOLD EXCHANGE STANDARD and later in the year supposedly proclaimed that we are “ALL KEYNESIANS NOW.” Nixon learned that a fiat-based currency with a compliant CENTRAL BANK can create enough liquidity to promote short-term economic growth. The supposed conservative PRESIDENT forgot the element of Keynes that proscribed acting in an anti-cyclical fashion by running budget surpluses during economic growth times. Once Nixon could pressure Arthur Burns to roll the presses, getting CONGRESS to deficit spend for any purpose was an easy task.

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Notes From Underground: Bernanke Testified On The Hill and Proved to be no FOOL

July 13, 2011

It was time for the FED Chairman to make his legislated appearance to Congress and Mr. Bernanke rightly refrained from being dragged into the battle over the budget. I have criticized the FED Chairman more than a month ago when he offered an opinion on the budget resolution. Fiscal issues are the purview of CONGRESS and the FED risks its independent stature if it wants to opine of the CONGRESSIONAL PREROGATIVE. Congressmen and women tried to get Bernanke to wade into the muddied waters and finally he flippantly said that legislators get paid the “big bucks” to make fiscal policy.

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Notes From Underground: Mr. Bernanke, Remember your Bailiwick is MONETARY POLICY

June 15, 2011

Today’s economic data continued the recent pattern of tepid activity. The EMPIRE MANUFACTURING INDEX was very soft but the analysts believe that the Japanese earthquake played havoc with global supply chains and thus impeded some manufacturing sectors. The CPI number was right on target and thus had no impact. The CAPACITY UTILIZATION and INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION were on the soft side, which added more concern to the fragility of the U.S. economy. Markets are left with moderate growth while being plagued with the continual problems of the PIIGS.

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Notes From Underground: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Arrested on Rape Charges AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IT’S NOT OF A COUNTRY

May 15, 2011

Today’s NOTE‘s headline wrote itself as the history of the IMF and its relationship to stressed emerging markets is replete with acts of “nation violation” in its efforts to ensure that creditors were/are always satisfied–most recent example is Greece. All levity aside, the accusations against DSK have important implications for FRENCH domestic politics as well as the role of the IMF in the current SOVEREIGN DEBT CRISIS plaguing the EU. Last week, the ASSISTANT MANAGING DIRECTOR of the IMF, John Lipsky, announced that he was leaving, thus the leadership of IMF is really  going to be in turmoil.

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Notes From Underground: Canada Casts Aside the Liberal Party as Ignatieff Rolled the Dice and Crapped Out

May 3, 2011

The election that never should have happened is in the books and the result proved that personal arrogance masquerading as public policy is a poison unless you live in a totalitarian dictatorship. Michael Ignatieff pursued a no-confidence in the hope of achieving his desire to become prime minister of Canada. His roll of the dice has cost the long esteemed LIBERAL PARTY its position in parliament and brought to the fore a more left-oriented NDP.

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Notes From Underground: S&P’s Downgrade … Where’s the BEEF??

April 20, 2011

The markets were roiled by the S&P DOWNGRADE of  the U.S. DEBT  outlook to a “negative” while maintaining the AAA rating. This really could be of no surprise to those who follow the markets closely. The initial reaction was to sell the equities and BONDS. The surprise was that the U.S. DOLLAR was bought aggressively. All of these  trades were short-lived as the S&P closed against recent highs today and the BONDS rallied back immediately on Monday although they have softened with the strength in the EQUITY markets. The DOLLAR was purportedly bid because of the FINNISH vote on Sunday night and of rumors of a GREEK restructuring.

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