Entries Tagged 'Economics and Investing' ↓

WORD OF THE DAY — INFLATION — THE FED PART-TWO

STAVING OFF INFLATION

Inflation has been defined by economists as “too much money chasing too few goods”. If we use John Maynard Keynes variable Wages to offset Inflation we can see that broken supply chains are a really bad problem.

And another variable causing inflation (that was not created in Keynes’ lifetime) could be the the ‘helicopter money’ of the 2020 – 2021’s that is still trickling down in 2022 to some people via government fiat.

But even with Government payments to every American, too many working people have Wages too low to live on.

On the other hand, raising the Minimum Wage is hard on Main Street small business owners.

So I want to suggest another way to fight inflation. Clearly the broken supply chain problem is on the side of too much money and not enough goods. And the Executive Branch needs to tackle these things as much as possible.

But what I’d suggest for workers who have run out of Wages and government checks is that the Executive branch could expand the U.S. government’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program and offer it to blue collar workers as well.

The U.S. Government’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Continue reading →

WORD OF THE DAY – THE FEDERAL RESERVE – PART ONE

DO YOU REMEMBER the GREAT RECESSION?

I certainly do. Some of my friends lost a lot of money back in 2007-2009. So, I’m not sure that the Fed is going to be able to lasso inflation or recession today using the methods they used previously before the Great Recession 0f 2007-2009.

That financial crisis was a big bust brought on by Wall Street moguls trading ‘insurance contracts’ with each other. These contracts were called ‘derivatives’ i.e. derived from an underlying financial product.

Many of the of the heads of big banks, insurance companies, and  investment mangers hawking derivatives back in 2007-2008 are still residing in comfortable offices on Wall Street today. But don’t think nothing has changed. That crisis seriously changed the face of their financial products.

Money market certificates were the first large financial products to fail along with the banks 2007-2009. Since then another category that working people relied on for savings faded away. Those were U.S.government bills and bonds.

And since then the Federal Reserve began to lower interest rates while hundreds of banks and credit unions in the U.S. declared bankruptcy.

Meanwhile our Federal Government  hurried into action and came up with several programs to protect the “too big to fail” big U.S. corporations, e.g. City Bank, Lehman Brothers, Goldman-Sachs, AIG, etc. using taxpayer money.

THE REASONS THAT THE MOGULS CHANGED THEIR PRODUCTS

Those giant coporations that survived the Great Recession are now hawking ETFs and Index funds. (ETFs) Exchange Traded Funds have almost driven mutual funds out of the stock market by offering low fees.

One lone investment management advisor, Vanguard, is using TV ads to seek out working people who desire to be owners of their mutual fund products. So why is this important to understand?

ETFs are derivatives of mutual fund and index funds. ETFs can be traded on the stock market all day while mutual funds are less flexible – mutual funds trade only once a day. (Index funds, such as the S&P 500 or Russell 2000 are also now widely used by options traders for buying and selling stocks to control risk of losses).

Vanguard’s appeal to those who would be owners of mutual funds reminds me of seeing a money show speaker back in 2007 who claimed that real estate products (REITS) were better than other kinds of investments because they were REAL. I couldn’t help snorting!

At that time I owned a condo unit that was full of mold and could not be lived in, sold, or rented.

This happened because the Homeowners Association Board members refused to remediate my condo, and even kept on watering our porous siding in winter.

That VERY REAL investment was a nightmare that stretched over six years while embroiled in a court suit that ended with our larcenous attorney taking every penny and more from pathetically small settlement she negotiated for us on order of the court.

So why have ETFs and Index funds taken over the stock market?  The Moguls in the Giant Wall Street corporations no longer want to own products that they can’t quickly buy or sell (i.e., liquid products). When there is upheaval in the market, buyer beware! Do your research!

BACK TO OUR SUBJECT – THE FEDERAL RESERVE

I’ve thought for decades that relying merely on two variables out of the many variables in British economist Lord John Maynard Keynes’ 20th century algebraic formulas used by  economists to end the GREAT DEPRESSION of the 1930s are too few to stave off Inflation or Recession.

I still have no idea why the FED has confined itself to balance Keynes’ variable Employment against Keynes’ variable Interest Rates to control inflation and recession.

Our biggest economic challenge right now seems to be broken supply chains, a variable that didn’t exist in Keynes’ life time. (but would probably fall between two of Keynes’ variables Imports and Exports now).

The second biggest challenge is the churn in Employment that’s going on that is causing employees to try to get better jobs and make more money.

THE FED—WHY NOT USE A DIFFERENT VARIABLE?

Why not? There are other choices. For example, in Keynes secondary formula there is a variable called Wages. Wages are workers earnings.

Many working people earn Wages too low to live on in this year. On the other hand, raising the Minimum Wage is hard on Main Street employers who have lost customers when Covid hit.

Ever since 2020, Big Pharma has been working overtime along with Covid vaccinations and opiods as well  to over use the Internet and cable companies to sell products galore on TV.

Also, numerous other small entrepreneurs are shilling online. And we have bought their products with taxpayer money from the government. That tapered off this year. Dramatically!

Right now, there is a scarcity of workers due to the low-wage service sector that has blossomed in past decades. And many workers are losing their jobs because Congress’ Trade Adjustment Assistance for Workers program (TAA) has allowed the program to expire on July 1st.

Wherever I walk on the Main streets or shopping centers where I live, there are “We’re hiring” signs on the windows. The Employment variable has been doing quite well. What isn’t doing well is the Wages variable.

Why isn’t this variable doing better? You’ll notice that after the the GREAT RECESSION of 2007-2009 the FED began lowering Interest rates, thus dampening down savers and encouraging many people to pay off their credit cards and other debts and spend like crazy.

The FED is now raising interest rates in hopes that consumers will start using their credit cards again to offset rising inflation. But what is happening is that there is still too much money chasing too many empty buildings, empty store shelves, and empty car lots and broken-down supply chains. Basic human needs are not being served like they were before.

So where are those good paying union jobs that President Biden promised to spend taxpayer money on???

See my next post, WORD OF THE DAY —INFLATION +THE FED Part 2

WORD OF THE DAY — TANKING

Over many decades of sports watching, I’ve become more and more suspicious about the NFL and NBA referees and coaches with each passing year, growing ever surer that there is gigantic game-fixing going on—with no limits on betting that take poor schmucks to the cleaners. It’s billions of dollars we’re talking about. It’s way more than baseball or horse racing betting! It’s Las Vegas gone amok.

Earlier this year I watched a San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors basketball game. Right at the end Derrick White was flailing and so were the other great three point shooters in that team.

The Spurs have beaten a lot of great teams this year but always seemed to peter out at the end and they remain at the bottom of the Western league. Even the Golden State announcers commented about this on TV!

Early this year I learned the word for what I observed in many of those games. Continue reading →