By Numerian posted by Michael Collins
The consensus is in and there is strong agreement: the US economy is on the path to a sustained recovery. 2011 will be a year of surprises on the upside, and 2012 will be even better. Among a list of the top 25 economists surveyed, not one of them predicts a recession in 2011. There is hardly any investment strategist or economist to be found who sees any risks serious enough to derail the US economy. Here is just a sample of the consensus thinking that is to be found in end-of-the year forecasts: (Image)
*Economists in universities and on Wall Street have raised their growth projections for next year. Retail sales, industrial production and factory orders are on the upswing, and new claims for unemployment benefits are trending downward. Despite persistently high unemployment, consumer confidence is improving. Large corporations are reporting healthy profits, and the Dow Jones industrial average reached a two-year high this week. – New York Times Continue reading
By Eric Cantona
By Numerian posted by Michael Collins
“This breakdown in the debtor-creditor relationship has been entirely of the banks’ making and has been encouraged by powerful interests, including the Federal Reserve, the main regulator of the big banks.” Numerian
Joe Nocera, financial columnist for The New York Times, had an interesting conclusion to his recent article on Bank of America:
I admit it: I want to see the banks feel some pain. Most people do, I think. Banks did terrible things during the subprime bubble, and they still haven’t paid any real price. I find myself rooting for judges to rule against banks in foreclosure cases. I would love to see these big investors put the serious hurt on Bank of America, which will encourage other investors to pile on. I know this colors my thinking. I can’t help it.
Yet I also know the flip side. If the foreclosure lawyers start winning a lot of cases, if judges halt foreclosures on a widespread basis, if investors start to extract billions upon billions of dollars from the banks — and if banks become seriously weakened as a result — we’ll be right back where we were two years ago. The banks will need to be saved for the good of the economy. The taxpayers will have to come to the rescue. That’s an appalling prospect too.
Banks: We can’t live with them, and we can’t live without them. It stinks, doesn’t it?
This brief flourish of disgust for the banking industry received a lot of attention, almost all of it favorable. Millions of Americans want to see “serious hurt” put upon the banks, especially the big banks that are in the Too Big To Fail category. Why do we hate the banks so?
Those who should be leading this country, and contributing to its development, have spent the past 25 years joining the parade of looters and predators who have found ways to extract wealth from the middle class and the poor in this country. Numerian
Just a few cynics doubted the magnificent procession of then Senator Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. He was the redemption of our past sins, the proof that we were a better nation than we had been. After all, race has been at the center of American politics since Bacon’s Rebellion was crushed in 1667 but we were moving beyond that. And we did. Race was set aside for most of those who voted.
As it turned out, the campaign wasn’t about redeeming anything other than the bill that Wall Street presented to the citizens of the United States in October, 2008. The financial system was grinding its gears, about to flame out in a series of big investment bank failures. The Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, told a private session of Congress that absent immediate aid, the financial calamity would be so devastating that Congress should prepare for riots by outraged citizens.