Davos ‘Agenda’ to be Reflected at 2017 International Forum in St. Petersburg Russia

Andy’s Notes – “Reflected” This is just a brief snapshot of one of the groups who form global policy.

Parts of the agenda from the World Economic Forum in Davos will also find a place in the program of the annual International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg (SPIEF) this year, a key organizer of the Russian forum told RT.

As platforms for dialogue, “we have been always cooperating with the forum in Davos”, director of Roscongress foundation, Aleksandr Stuglev, said in an interview with RT.

Stuglev was speaking on the sidelines of the international forum, currently underway at the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Some of the people involved in the organization of the Davos forum, are also part of the preparatory team for the annual event in St. Petersburg.

Read more

© Vincenzo Lombardo / Getty Images

There are “more than 200 experts who are on a permanent basis involved in the preparation of the SPIEF program,” Stuglev said. In addition, when it comes to the number of “professionals” who are engaged in the process, “the figure will rise to 1,000 people.”

“There is no doubt that the participants at the Davos forum are among them and the program parts which are being discussed at Davos, will be reflected in St. Petersburg as well,” Stuglev told RT.

The Roscongress director also referred to the external session of the global Davos forum which took place in Moscow in 2016 (for the first time in three years).

“The decision to suspend the activities of the forum in Moscow was made by themselves [organizers]. I believe that if they continue to hold events in the Russian capital, then there will be no obstacles,” Stuglev said.

READ MORE: Renowned pianist Denis Matsuev plays Rachmaninov & Beethoven in Davos, Switzerland

He noted that relations with the organizers of the annual gathering in Switzerland “are very warm” and they have already been invited to the SPIEF 2017, due to be held in early June.

The Roscongress Foundation was established in 2007 and is a key organizer of internal and international congresses and exhibitions with an economic and social focus.

Andy Appears on Liberty Talk Radio – 3:00 PM EST

Andy’s Notes: Inauguration aside, there are some relevant economic topics to be discussed, plus I’ve got a few questions regarding the policy behind some of the comments I’ve heard today so far. Time will tell if today marks a transition or merely another transfer. For all of you who think the globalists are quaking in their boots scared of a few rallies, etc. – think again. You’ve got to hit them a lot harder than that and this punch comes not from an Oedipal reaction, but one from the heart. Lots and lots of heart. Interested? Be here or be nowhere:



www.youtube.com – Liberty Talk Radio

2008 in China? Beware Tomfoolery and Masochistic Backwardation

Graham’s Musings: Make no mistake there is a currency war going on under the surface. Right now it is quiet. Think of the crowded theater analogy. At their core, the Chinese oligarchs are no different from America’s or anyone else’s oligarchs. They want as much for themselves while keeping enough crumbs in the ring to help the economy produce more – that will later be confiscate vis a via a variety of means. Same as the good ole’ USA. Different faces, same rotten agenda. Inauguration? Stuff it. I love my country, but what I see on TV is not my country.

Overnight the PBOC injected another CNY95 billion into its banking system bringing the total weekly injection to a record CNY1.13 trillion.

However, it was not enough and overnight China allowed its five biggest banks to cut their reserve requirement ratio by 1% taking it down to 16% thus temporarily lowering the amount of money that they must hold as reserves to relieve pressure in its financial system as demand for cash surges ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, Reuters reported. The banks affected by the move iclude ICBC, CCB, Bank of China, Bocom, and Agricultural Bank of China. The last time the central bank cut RRR was Feb. 29, 2016. The move is expected to release approximately 630 billion yuan in liquidity.

The dramatic moves come in a bid to avert a cash crunch heading into the country’s biggest holiday of the year.

Earlier in the week short-term funding costs had spiked to their highest levels in nearly 10 years on fears that liquidity was sharply tightening, sparking a jump in the yuan currency. But China watchers polled by Reuters had not expected a cut in RRR until the third quarter of 2017, as such a move would put more pressure on the ailing yuan. Following the massive central bank liquidity injections, key funding and money market rates showed signs of easing on Friday but remained well above normal levels.

But wait, that’s not all, because also overnight, the PBOC said it provided a “temporary liquidity facility” to some major commercial banks for 28 days to help ease a cash crunch before the Lunar New Year holiday. According to Bloomberg, the operation provides more effective liquidity transmission before the week-long break, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement Friday.

The PBOC said the new lending facility will have a funding cost for banks that’s around the same as open-market operations for a similar 28-day period, which is about 2.55 percent. That means the tool differs from cutting the ratio of deposits big banks must hold in reserve and suggests a fresh evolution of tools policy makers have been overhauling.

Commercial banks had 11 trillion yuan ($1.6 trillion) of sovereign and financial bonds outstanding as of December, Ming said, and have pledged about 43 percent of those to access funding through central bank open market operations, limiting room for further such operations.

The PBOC’s statement Friday didn’t say whether the temporary funding required collateral. Should none be required, that would be unusual because most such tools involve collateral.

The PBOC has shifted toward selective tightening after a two-year easing cycle. President Xi Jinping and other policy makers decided at their annual economic conference last month China should plan prudent and neutral monetary policy this year to prevent financial risks.

“It’s too premature to conclude that there’s a change in China’s monetary policy direction,” Raymond Yeung, chief greater China economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in a note. “Liquidity management and leverage control seem to be more appropriate expressions to describe the policy direction of China’s central bank.”

“It’s likely the central bank will use temporary liquidity facility as a regular tool in the future to ease liquidity shortage before quarter-end or holidays,” said Xia Le, chief economist at Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA in Hong Kong. The PBOC is using a new tool because older ones offer funds at a high cost and longer duration than needed, and it’s wasteful for banks that need money for five days to have to borrow for a full year, Xia said.

While in the past the PBOC has engaged in similar moves ahead of the new year, the latest move suggested there were additional factors involved in draining liquidity: “Today’s move seems to suggest that liquidity conditions are tighter than authorities’ expectations, as capital outflows remain strong,” said Zhou Hau, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank in Singapore.

“But in the meantime, an outright easing will add pressure on the yuan exchange rate as well. That could be the reason behind today’s strange move.”

The central bank will restore the RRR for the five banks to the normal level at an appropriate time after the holiday, according to Reuters’ sources. “This is a temporary adjustment, and is mainly in response to the cash withdrawal, tax payment and reserve payment. (The RRR) will go back to the normal rate after the Lunar New Year holiday,” one source said.

The PBOC said later on Friday that it will provide temporary liquidity support for several major commercial banks for 28 days to ensure adequate liquidity ahead of the Lunar New Year, according to a notice posted on its official microblog.  The funding cost for the liquidity support will be about the same as the open market operations rate over the same period, the PBOC said, without specifying any requirement for collateral.

As noted previously, Chinese liquidity always tightens in China ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, which this year starts on Jan. 27 and ends on Feb. 2, as households and companies usually withdraw huge amounts of cash from banks. The central bank typically responds by injecting ample funds into the market.

But some traders say its injections this year have barely been keeping up with heavier demand. This year, the holiday also extends over the month-end, when corporate cash demand increases and some tax payments are due, adding to the strain.

Analysts estimate that every 50 basis point cut in RRR systemwide effectively injects an estimated $100 billion worth of long-term cash into the economy, which recorded its slowest growth in 26 years last year.

Let’s Go Cashless! – Stiglitz

Graham’s Musings: It should be no shock that Nobel Laureate Criminal Stiglitz wants to go cashless. Anything to further enrich his bosses. By the way, the Nobel prize has become nothing more than a sad joke. How long will it be before another warmonger is given the esteemed Peace Prize?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already removed 86% of his country’s currency from circulation in an attempt to curb tax evasion, tackle corruption and shut down the shadow economy.

Should the US follow suit?

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, thinks so. Phasing out currency and moving towards a digital economy would, over the long term, have “benefits that outweigh the cost,” the Columbia University professor said on day one of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

Reissue. Breakdown of Indian rupee banknotes in circulation and counterfeit notes detected

Breakdown of Indian rupee banknotes in circulation

Stiglitz was speaking in the session Ending Corruption alongside Mark Pieth from the Basel Institute of Governance and APCO Worldwide Founder and Executive Chairman Margery Kraus. Stiglitz and Pieth co-authored a report, Overcoming the Shadow Economy, in November last year.

Quantifying the scale of the problem, Stiglitz said: “You can put it into the context of one of the big issues being discussed in Davos this year – the backlash against globalization, the darker side of globalization … The lack of transparency in global financial markets, the secrecy havens that the Panama Papers exposed, just reinforced what we already knew … There is a global framework for both corruption and tax evasion and tax avoidance.

“The fact that you can hide ill-gotten gains so easily in these secrecy havens really provides incentives for people to engage in this activity as they can get the economic returns and then enjoy the benefits of those returns. If there were not these secrecy havens then the benefits from engaging in these kinds of illicit activity would be much diminished.”

One of the countries that has not done enough to fight corruption is the US, Stiglitz went on to say, and one remedy could be to phase out cash and embrace digital currencies.

“I believe very strongly that countries like the United States could and should move to a digital currency,” he said, “so that you would have the ability to trace this kind of corruption. There are important issues of privacy, cyber-security, but it would certainly have big advantages.”

Stiglitz is not the only Davos economist to make the case for a “less-cash” society. Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff has argued for two decades that a society awash with cash contributes to the growth of the underground economy. Rogoff believes large-denomination bank notes, rarely used by ordinary people and businesses, should be phased out. “Cash facilitates crime because it is anonymous, and big bills are especially problematic because they are so easy to carry and conceal,” he says in this article.

China Warns Trump “It Will Take Off The Gloves” If He Continues To Provoke Beijing

Andy’s Notes: This is what happens when you give an opponent leverage. We’ve been giving away leverage for the last 30 years like candy rains down from fire trucks at a Halloween parade. Now when we try to use any type of strong-arm tactic (frankly, I think the Chumpster is all blow and no show, but we’ll see) the opponent immediately jumps on its leverage. Don’t get mad at me, America, we all did this to ourselves.

In the latest indication that China is becoming increasingly unsettled by Trump’s relentless attacks on legacy diplomacy with China, and especially the “One China” policy, two leading state-run newspapers warned on Monday that Beijing will “take off the gloves” and take strong action if Trump continues to provoke Beijing over Taiwan once he assumes office.

The reaction was provoke by Trump’s latest US interview, in which he told the WSJ that the “One China” policy was up for negotiation. China’s foreign ministry, in response, said “One China” was the foundation of China-U.S. ties and was non-negotiable.

“If Trump is determined to use this gambit in taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” the otherwise calm English-language China Daily said. It added that Beijing’s relatively measured response to Trump’s comments in the Wall Street Journal “can only come from a genuine, sincere wish that the less-than-desirable, yet by-and-large manageable, big picture of China-U.S. relations will not be derailed before Trump even enters office”.

But China should not count on the assumption that Trump’s Taiwan moves are “a pre-inauguration bluff, and instead be prepared for him to continue backing his bet”. “It may be costly. But it will prove a worthy price to pay to make the next U.S. president aware of the special sensitivity, and serious consequences of his Taiwan game,” said the national daily.

The far more fiery state-run nationalist tabloid, The Global Times, echoed the China Daily, saying Beijing would take “strong countermeasures” against Trump’s attempt to “impair” the “One China” principle.

“The Chinese mainland will be prompted to speed up Taiwan reunification and mercilessly combat those who advocate Taiwan’s independence,” the paper said in an editorial.

The official statement, while less provocative, was just as terse: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States was clearly aware of China’s position on “One China”. “Any person should understand that in this world there are certain things that cannot be traded or bought and sold,” she told a daily news briefing. “The One China principle is the precondition and political basis for any country having relations with China.”

Hua added, “If anyone attempts to damage the One China principle or if they are under the illusion they can use this as a bargaining chip, they will be opposed by the Chinese government and people. “In the end it will be like lifting a rock to drop it on one’s own feet,” she concluded, without elaborating.

Meanwhile, The Global Times ratcheted up its war rhetoric, saying Trump’s endorsement of Taiwan was merely a ploy to further his administration’s short term interests, adding: “Taiwan may be sacrificed as a result of this despicable strategy.”

Other joined in. “If you do not beat them until they are bloody and bruised, then they will not retreat,” Yang Yizhou, deputy head of China’s government-run All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, told an academic meeting on cross-straits relations in Beijing on Saturday. Taiwan independence must “pay a cost” for every step forward taken, “we must use bloodstained facts to show them that the road is blocked,” Yang said, according to a Monday report on the meeting by the official People’s Daily Overseas Edition.

Trump has yet to tweet a response, if any, this morning.

Clarification of our Last Column ‘In a Lawless World, Rules STILL Matter’

Dear Readers, it was called to our attention by a reader that we left an area of this latest column open to multiple interpretations. First, we greatly appreciate the note. The text in question is the following:

“Debt is a fantastic example of this and that is why we harp on debt so much in this column. There are many falsehoods regarding debt, but the most blatant of these comes from a group of folks – we are not sure what to call them other than misguided – who think that debt equals prosperity. Let us explain. They will tell you that when the USGoverment, for example, borrows money from the Chinese, by accounting function it makes the US richer. They look at the fact that the US just got say $10 billion from an auction of fresh USBonds. So we’re $10 billion richer?

These people, many of whom claim to be accountants, obviously don’t know much about accounting because for the debit in the general fund or whatever account the $10 billion from the Treasury auction went into, there must be a credit somewhere else – under a liability. The very wording makes one wonder if the USGovt didn’t get $20 billion – the accounting terms certainly make it sound that way.”

The group we are talking about is NOT the current fiat, debt-based, central bank cartel-run cesspool we are currently encumbered with or those who run it. They know full well what they are doing. It is 100% intentional. The group we are talking about is a small group (mostly CPAs) of individuals who try to use accounting ‘rules’ to say that debt equals prosperity. Being CPAs, they should full well know that they’re only telling half the story, but they’re either extremely misguided, are owed a refund for their ‘education’, or have an agenda. We don’t know which.

‘Conservatives’ Want to Raise US Debt by $9 Trillion?

Andy’s Notes: Meaningless? This is a typical government scam. It costs a fortune to create and run, then costs an even bigger fortune to dismantle; and it probably won’t actually get fully dismantled anyway. Congress must truly think the People are stupid…

Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have been adamant – the federal debt is way too high and has got to be tamed fast.

Cruz, a Republican from Texas, helped lead the 2013 fight against raising the debt limit, a fight that resulted in a partial government shutdown. Rubio, a Republican from Florida, in announcing his plans for this year, said Tuesday that “one major thing that will cost us jobs and hamstring our economy is our rising debt.”

So why did they and 49 other Senate Republicans vote this week to consider a measure that says the “appropriate levels of the public debt” would rise from the current $20 trillion to $29.1 trillion in 10 years? And predict deficits of $1 trillion by the end of that period?

Because, they said, it’s the first procedural step in repealing Obamacare. And they insisted the number is meaningless.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Wednesday discussed plans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s controversial health care law. Pence was on Capitol Hill to meet with Republican congressional leaders to discuss strategy.


“The resolution is designed for one purpose only, to serve as a vehicle to repeal Obamacare,” said Cruz.

The wink at the apparently ballooning debt was very different from how conservative Republicans have proceeded in recent years. They made debt reduction a centerpiece of presidential campaigns. And they vowed to never give in, even defying their own party leaders.

So what about the big debt? That will come later, Cruz said. “We intend to have a vigorous debate later this summer on a budget for the next fiscal year that addresses the enormous threat our deficit and debt poses,” Cruz said.

Rubio was not available for comment. His press secretary, Matt Wolking, pointed to a letter Cruz, Rubio and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, wrote to Senate Republican leaders just before the vote.

“Our votes in favor of the ‘Obamacare repeal resolution’ do not indicate in any way our support for the revenue, spending, and deficit numbers therein, nor for the use of those numbers as the basis for future federal budgets,” the letter read.

They note that the $29 trillion debt total is simply a number assuming all current spending levels continue – and does not include the full impact of repealing the health care law. That would come later, but this resolution allows several pieces of repeal to require only 51 Senate votes to move forward, instead of the 60 usually needed to limit debate. Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats.

We seek your commitment to passing a fiscal year 2018 budget resolution that sets our new, unified Republican federal government on a path to balance in 10 years without the use of budgetary gimmicks or tax increases. Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee in a letter to Senate Republican leaders

In the past, Cruz has had a different take on debt strategy. In October 2015, when the Senate was mired in one of its frequent fights over whether to raise the debt limit, Cruz was highly critical of Republican leaders.

“Unfortunately Republican leadership approaches every battle preemptively surrendering, saying we can do nothing,” he told Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody.

But voting for repeal and its huge presumed debt was different, Cruz told McClatchy this week. “We do not accept the underlying assumptions,” he argued, that lead to such a big debt.

To nonpartisan budget-watchers, such logic is ridiculous.

It was, they said, fresh evidence of why the debt keeps growing. The public hardly understands the complex budget process, they said, and see lawmakers making promises and then putting off the harder stuff.

“Nobody’s going to understand any of this,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington watchdog group, of the conservatives’ reasoning.

What the public understands, she said, is that in their daily lives, they look at their budget first and then decide what to buy.

“No company, no consumer should make large decisions without putting a budget in place first,” she said.

What the public understands is that “$20 trillion is not an appropriate level of debt,” said Steve Ellis, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington budget research group.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the lone Republican to oppose considering the repeal bill when the Senate voted 51-48 to proceed Wednesday. “Because we’re in a hurry, we can’t be bothered,” he said sarcastically. “It’s just numbers, I was told again and again … and yet the legislation says it is a budget.”

He asked, “Why don’t we put a vision into the budget that represents what Republicans say they are for?”

And so I say, if they’re only numbers, and if the numbers don’t matter … why don’t we put numbers in that balance? Sen. Rand Paul, protesting the projected $9 trillion increase in the debt over 10 years

Paul hopes the House of Representatives will be more receptive to his plea. He met Thursday with members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservative lawmakers.

Many seemed sympathetic to his concern, and plan to meet Monday night for further talks. One idea, said chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., could be to vote on repeal and replacement at the same time.

Republicans say crafting and passing a leaner budget will be easier with a Republican president in the White House.

“I think the speaker is a pretty good salesman and the president-elect is going to be a good salesman too,” said Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, chairman of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee and the House Ways and Means health subcommittee.

Republicans now control the White House and Congress for the first time in 10 years. The GOP last ran the House, Senate and White House from November 2002 through January 2007. The debt grew between 7 percent and 9 percent each year.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article125030534.html#storylink=cpy

It’s the Debt, Stupid! – John Rubino

Graham’s Musings: Fits in very nicely with our latest piece – If one can’t spend their way to prosperity, then it should be obvious to all that one definitely cannot BORROW and spend their way to prosperity. However, the United States still hasn’t gotten the memo. They will most certainly get what they’ve got coming though.

What do the following headlines have in common?

US wages grow at fastest pace since 2009

Euro area economy ended year with strongest growth since 2011

Surge in home prices is beating the one in mortgage rates

Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at Fastest Pace in Two Years

German Inflation welcomed back

Obviously they’re all favorable, with the possible exception of German inflation – though even that is “welcome”. Taken together they paint a picture of a global economy that’s finally returning to the kind of solid growth and steady, positive inflation that most people consider both normal and good.

Unfortunately, the reason for the improvement is emphatically not good: In 2016 the world borrowed a huge amount of money and spent the proceeds. The result is “growth,” but not sustainable growth.

Federal Debt in FY 2016 Jumped $1.4 Trillion, or $12,036 Per Household

(CNSNews.com) – In fiscal 2016, which ended on Friday, the federal debt increased $1,422,827,047,452.46, according to data released today by the U.S. Treasury.

At the close of business on Sept. 30, 2015, the last day of fiscal 2015, the federal debt was $18,150,617,666,484.33, according to the Treasury. By the close of business on Sept. 30, 2016, the last day of fiscal 2016, it had climbed to $19,573,444,713,936.79.

According to the Census Bureau’s latest estimate, there were 118,215,000 households in the United States as of June. That means that the one-year increase in the federal debt of $1,422,827,047,452.46 in fiscal 2016 equaled about $12,036 per household.

The total federal debt of $19,573,444,713,936.79 now equals about $165,575 per household.

Corporates Lead Surge To Record $6.6 Trillion Debt Issuance

(The News PK) – Global debt sales reached a record this year, led by companies gorging on cheap borrowing costs

The bond rally that dominated the first half of the year helped entice borrowers that issued debt via banks to take on just over $6.6tn, according to data provider Dealogic, breaking the previous annual record set in 2006.

Companies accounted for more than half of the $6.62tn of debt issued, underlining the extent to which negative interest rate policies adopted by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan, as well as a cautious Federal Reserve, encouraged the corporate world to increase its leverage.

Corporate bond sales climbed 8 per cent year on year to $3.6tn, led by blockbuster $10bn-plus deals to finance large mergers and acquisitions.

The remaining debt included sovereign bonds sold through bank syndication, US and international agencies, mortgage-backed securities and covered bonds. The figures exclude sovereign debt sold at regular auction.

“The low cost of financing with record-low interest rates simply made building up leverage tempting,” said Scott Mather, chief investment officer for core fixed income at Pimco.

Total global debt tops 325 pct of GDP as government debt jumps: IIF

(Reuters) – Global debt levels rose to more than 325 percent of the world’s gross domestic product last year as government debt rose sharply, a report from the Institute for International Finance showed on Wednesday.

The IIF’s report found that global debt had risen more than $11 trillion in the first nine months of 2016 to more than $217 trillion. The report also found that general government debt accounted for nearly half of the total increase.

Emerging market debt rose substantially, as government bond and syndicated loan issuance in 2016 grew to almost three times its 2015 level. China accounted for the lion’s share of the new debt, providing $710 million of the total $855 billion in new issuance during the year, the IIF reported.

To sum up: Emerging market borrowing in 2016 was triple the year-earlier level. Corporate borrowing was the highest since 2006. And the US somehow managed to add another $trillion of government debt in the late stages of a recovery, when tax revenues are usually strong enough to shrink or eliminate deficits.

Since every penny of that new debt was presumably spent, it should come as no surprise that the latest batch of headline growth numbers have been impressive. Which is the basic problem with debt-driven growth: The good stuff happens right away while the bad stuff evolves over time – in the form of higher interest costs that depress future growth – making it hard to figure out what caused what.

That’s bad for regular people who have to live through the resulting slow-down or crisis. But it’s fine for the people who made the borrowing decisions because they get credit for the growth pop but won’t be around – having retired with huge pensions and high prestige – before the secondary effects really kick in.

This time, however, the cause-and-effect dynamic is being accelerated by a spiking dollar and rising interest rates, both of which raise the cost of debts that are denominated in dollars and/or have to be refinanced in the year ahead. So the mother of all financial crises that has been inevitable for a couple of decades has, thanks to all this new debt, taken a giant step towards “imminent.”

In a Lawless World, Rules STILL Matter – My Two Cents

Dear Readers, As we begin 2017 we thought it important to remind everyone that despite the ongoing euphoria regarding the markets, the (s)eletion results, and so forth that there are still Laws of Economics. We’ve been violating these laws for decades and putting off the consequences by creating even bigger lies. While this could certainly go on for quite a while yet, at some point it will end and when it does, it will end badly. This week we take a look at genuine capital formation and then what the Keynesians allow to pass for capital formation among other pertinent topics. We wish you a safe and aware New Year. The article is available below in both Word and PDF format.

Andy / Graham

In a Lawless Worrld Rules STILLMatter – PDF Format

In a Lawless World, Rules STILL Matter – Word Format

Record Number of Americans NOT in Labor Force (Still… Again)

Andy’s Notes: Quickly approaching 1/3 of Americans not in the work force. Can 2 support 1? Look at your last pay stub and see what your deductions were for Medicare/SS, etc. See if it adds up. I’ll give you a hint – it doesn’t. Notice the slope on this chart is just like every other negative metric in the USEconomy. Heading upwards with an increasing slope. But hey, Trump is in charge and America is great again even though we’re going to be doing basically the same thing from what we’re hearing so far.

(CNSNews.com) – Barack Obama’s presidency began with a record number of Americans not in the labor force, and it’s ending the same way.

The final jobs report of the Obama presidency, released Friday, shows that the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 14,573,000 (18.09 percent) since January 2009, when Obama took office, continuing a long-term trend that began well before Obama was sworn in.

In December, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 95,102,000 Americans were not in the labor force, 47,000 more than in November; and the labor force participation rate was 62.7 percent, a tenth of a point higher than in November.

The participation rate dropped to a 38-year low of 62.4 percent on Obama’s watch, in September 2015. It was only 3-tenths of a point higher than that last month.

People over age 16 who are no longer working or even looking for work, for whatever reason (retirement, school, personal preference, or gave up), are counted as not participating in the labor force.

When President Obama took office in January 2009, 80,529,000 Americans were not in the labor force, the highest number on record. That number rose steadily during his two terms, reaching a record 95,055,000 in November 2016, then setting another record (95,102,000) in December.

BLS said the December unemployment rate increased a tenth of a point to 4.7 percent, well below the Obama-era high of 10 percent. Last month, a record 152,111,000 Americans were counted as employed, up 63,000 from November; and the number of unemployed stood at 7,529,000, an increase of 120,000 from the prior month.

But people who stop looking for a job are no longer counted as unemployed.

In an interview with a Chicago reporter yesterday, Obama said he has done “an enormous amount” to create greater economic opportunity for Americans.

“I took an economy that was about to go into a Great Depression, and we’ve now had a little over six years of straight economic job growth, an unemployment rate that’s down below 5 percent, and incomes that have gone up and poverty that has gone down.”

Obama also conceded that “there are still folks out there who struggle and communities that are still depressed.” He called it an “ongoing battle.”

“We have to continue to work to make sure that kids are getting the best education they can, that jobs are being located so that people in need can access them, and that’s going to be something that I suspect we’ll all be working on, and folks will still be working on after I’m gone.”

During Obama’s two terms in office, the number of employed Americans reached its lowest point – 138,013,000 – in December 2009. Eight years later, in December 2017, 14,098,000 Americans have been added to the employment rolls.

The government collects payroll taxes from Americans who work, and some of that money is spent on government programs that support people who do not work. So the more who work, the better for the economy.

In December, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 254,742,000.  Of those, 159,640,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 159,640,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 67.3 percent of the 254,742,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.

According to BLS, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by a lackluster 156,000 in December. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 165,000 per month.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.4 percent), adult women (4.3 percent), teenagers (14.7 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (7.8 percent), Asians (2.6 percent), and Hispanics (5.9 percent) showed little change in December.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.8 million in December and accounted for 24.2 percent of the unemployed. In 2016, the number of long-term unemployed declined by 263,000.