by Michael Krieger
In a press release, the groups highlighted the links between Citigroup—which has lobbied extensively on the TPP, TTIP, and Fast Track authority—and Froman, who they note “received a more than $4 million golden parachute from Citigroup upon leaving the large financial institution to join the Obama administration in 2009.”
In particular, the letter’s signatories are concerned that provisions in proposed trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the TransAtlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) would weaken or rollback existing U.S. financial regulations, for the benefit of big banks.
– From the Common Dreams article: Is US Trade Rep a Wall Street Crony? Groups Demand Transparency.
No one is pushing harder to pass the multi-national corporate giveaway masquerading as a free trade deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), than Obama’s top trade representative, Michael Froman. Therefore, we probably should know a little bit about him. What do you know? Probably not much.
Here’s something you should know. From the New York Times:
Continue Reading at LibertyBlitzkrieg.com…
by Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse Blog
On Friday, the federal government announced that the U.S. economy contracted at a 0.7 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2015. This unexpected shrinking of the economy is being primarily blamed on “harsh” weather during the first three months of this year and on the strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Most economists are confident that U.S. GDP will rebound back into positive territory when the numbers for the second quarter come out, but if that does not happen we will officially meet the government’s criteria for being in another “recession”. To make sure that the numbers for Q2 will look “acceptable”, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is about to change the way that it calculates GDP again. They are just going to keep “seasonally adjusting” the numbers until they get what they want. At this point, the government numbers are so full of “assumptions” and “estimates” that they don’t really bear much resemblance to reality anyway. In fact, John Williams of shadowstats.com has calculated that if the government was actually using honest numbers that they would show that we have continually been in a recession since 2005. That is why I am referring to this as a “recession within a recession”. Most people can look around and see that economic conditions for most Americans are not good, and now they are about to get even worse.
Continue Reading at TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com…
from Zero Hedge
Last Saturday in “Behind The Scenes In FX Trading: What Is Really Going On”, we showed that as stop-hunting algos descend on the FX market, liquidity is drying up. More specifically, we looked at a Hui and Heubel ratio (basically a measure of how much trading is going behind observable price moves) that JP Morgan constructed to measure FX liquidity and we also examined FX market volatility and bid-asks on the way the drawing the following conclusion:
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Andy Landis
Social Security has a number of offbeat “quirks.” Here are the top 10, including how to turn your payments into zombies.
Quirk No. 10: Your birthday isn’t your birthday
Federal law says you “attain” any age the day before your birthday. So if you’re aiming for a critical birthday — like 62 for Social Security or 65 for Medicare — you actually reach that age a day early.
Quirk No. 9: Your birth month isn’t your birth month
Social Security says that you must be eligible “throughout a month” to receive payment. For example, if you want Social Security at 62 with a June 15 birthday, you’re eligible in July, the first month you’re 62 throughout the month.
Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…
by Eric Peters
Eric Peters Autos
Wouldn’t it be easier if they just hit us all with another once-annually additional “fee” (that is, another tax) that would be due Jan. 1 and otherwise left us alone on the roads unless we actually caused an accident?
Instead of cops lurking in cutouts on the highway, radar guns at the ready, fleecing people at random – why not just cut ’em a check every year and end the dog-and-pony show that goes on countless of thousands of times every day by the side of the road – and later on, in a court?
It’d be so much easier for everyone.
Probably, more profitable, too.
Continue Reading at EricPetersAutos.com…
by Ryan McMaken
Brendan Nyhan at The New York Times seems to be under the impression that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has something to do with free trade. Nyhan writes that the TPP
is the latest step in a decades-long trend toward liberalizing trade — a somewhat mysterious development given that many Americans are skeptical of freer trade.
But Americans with higher incomes are not so skeptical. They — along with businesses and interest groups that tend to be affiliated with them — are much more likely to support trade liberalization.
Nyhan is probably correct that much of the population — especially the part that’s never studied economics — is against the lowering of trade barriers. After all, much of the population is wed to ancient ideas of mercantilism which views trade with foreign countries as a zero-sum game in which anything that benefits foreigners must be harmful to “us.” As Henry Hazlitt wrote with exasperation in Economics in One Lesson, “popular thought … in everything connected to international relations, [has] not yet caught up with Adam Smith …”
Continue Reading at Mises.org…
by James Corbett
The International Forecaster
There are two types of people in this world: the glass-half-fulls and the glass-half-empties. The fulls see the silver lining to every gray cloud and the empties scoff at silver linings. It’s the yin and yang of human nature, and, like all such dualities, we’re all a little bit of both, depending on the situation.
But whichever side might be more dominant in you, one thing is for certain: locking ourselves away from the other perspective isn’t healthy. It’s too easy these days to get lost in the echo chamber of online opinions where we only ever read what we already believe to be true. The fulls believe everything is hunky dory because the websites they frequent and the people they talk to focus on the positives and downplay the rest. The empties are the opposite.
Continue Reading at TheInternationalForecaster.com…