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A three-point plan to avert disaster in the Eurozone

Guest post by Ari Andricopoulos It is difficult to read the history of inter-war Europe and the US without feeling a deep sense of foreboding about the future of the Eurozone. What is the Eurozone if not a new gold standard, lacking even the flexibility to readjust the peg? For the war reparations demanded at Versailles, or the war debts owed by France and the UK to the US, we see the huge debts owed by the South of Europe to the North, particularly Germany. The growth model of the Eurozone now appears to be based largely on running a […]

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Looking At Muted Returns? Your 401(k) Might Be Your Best Friend

If they’re not sick to their stomachs yet, they will be soon. First-quarter 401(k) account statements will be arriving in mail boxes in a few short weeks. When they do, a lot of Americans will wonder why they even bothered contributing. For all of the day-to-day noise, the market is going to finish the quarter pretty much where it started. And to think, the market hasn’t even crashed yet. Running on a proverbial treadmill like that is frustrating, and I’d love to tell you to expect better returns for the rest of the year. But based on where stocks are […]

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Robert Kiyosaki And Harry Dent Warn That Financial Armageddon Is Imminent

Financial experts Robert Kiyosaki and Harry Dent are both warning that the next major economic crash is in our very near future.  Dent is projecting that the Dow will fall to “5,500 to 6,000 by late 2017″, and Kiyosaki actually originally projected that a great crash was coming in 2016 all the way back in 2002.  Of course we don’t exactly have to wait for things to get bad.  The truth is that things are not really very good at the moment by any stretch of the imagination.  Approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover […]

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Why we have a wage inequality problem

Wage inequality is a topic in elections around the world. What can be done to provide more income for those without jobs, and those with low wages? Wage inequality is really a sign of a deeper problem; basically it reflects an economic system that is not growing rapidly enough to satisfy everyone. In a finite world, it is easy for an economy to grow rapidly at first. In the early days, there are enough resources, such as land, fresh water, and metals, for each person to get a reasonable-sized amount. Each would-be farmer can obtain as much land as he […]

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Depressing Survey Results Show How Extremely Stupid America Has Become

Ten years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the course of the next decade.  In the movie, an “average American” wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that he suddenly finds himself in.  Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us.  We have […]

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The unaffordable George

On March 16th, George Osborne unveiled his shiny new Budget. Full of populist tax giveaways to help “hard working people”, it was the sort of budget that we might expect from a Chancellor riding the crest of an economic recovery. UK plc is growing well, profits are rising and the Board can afford to increase the dividend. But this is not the current economic situation. Far from an economic recovery gathering pace, the latest figures from the OBR show that UK plc is slowing. In its March 2016 Economic & Fiscal Outlook, the OBR trimmed its GDP growth forecast for […]

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Corporate Debt Defaults Explode To Catastrophic Levels Not Seen Since The Last Financial Crisis

If a new financial crisis had already begun, we would expect to see corporate debt defaults skyrocket, and that is precisely what is happening.  As you will see below, corporate defaults are currently at the highest level that we have seen since 2009.  A wave of bankruptcies is sweeping the energy industry, but it isn’t just the energy industry that is in trouble.  In fact, the average credit rating for U.S. corporations is now lower than it was at any point during the last recession.  This is yet another sign that we are in the early chapters of a major […]

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The BLS’ Inflation Figures Seem Far Removed From Reality…

Recently the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released inflation figures for February. Being a statistics geek, I immediately went to the source data and combed through the figures. As I looked through the numbers, from the single reading of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), all the way through the individual price changes, I found myself wondering what it all means. I understand the data, and have analyzed it for almost two decades. But does this report give us any useful information at all? Or is it so divorced from reality that we should just junk the whole thing and start […]

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Gold, the Misery Index, and Insanity

In 1980 Ronald Reagan spoke about the Misery Index.  An economist had added the inflation rate to the unemployment rate, called it the Misery Index, and used it to indicate the social costs and economic difficulty for the middle class. Today the Misery Index is much smaller than in 1980, thanks to … intelligent fiscal management, economically beneficial monetary policy from the Federal Reserve, and wise political policy from the White House.  If you believe any of those, read no further. Most people will agree that the Misery Index is much smaller today because the numbers have been gimmicked.  Does […]

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23 Percent Of Americans In Their Prime Working Years Are Unemployed

Did you know that when you take the number of working age Americans that are officially unemployed (8.2 million) and add that number to the number of working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force” (94.3 million), that gives us a grand total of 102.5 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now?  I have written about this before, but today I want to focus just on Americans that are in their prime working years.  When you look at only Americans that are from age 25 to age 54, 23.2 percent […]

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