Politics,Economics and The Struggle To Survive In America

The time is now, the revolution is upon us. Our childrens, children need our resolve in this fight. Take the blinders off and get out of the"Matrix". By JJP 


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18 states sue Education Secretary DeVos for rescinding student protection rules

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 13, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)



 Did you really think she was installed in that position to help you? She's just the fall-girl; FOLLOW THE MONEY! By JJP

18 states sue Education Secretary DeVos for rescinding student protection rules


A coalition of 18 states and the District of Columbia sued the Education Department and Secretary Betsy DeVos Thursday for rescinding Obama-era rules aimed at protecting students from predatory colleges.


The "borrower defense" rule — scheduled to take effect on July 1 — allowed student loan borrowers to apply for loan forgiveness if they were defrauded by for-profit schools. It also largely prohibited schools that participate in the federal student loan program from forcing students to use arbitration to settle legal disputes and waive their class-action rights.


The states' complaint alleges that the Education Department violated federal law by rescinding the rules, which were finalized by the Obama administration in November. About 16,000 borrower defense claims are currently being processed, the Education Department said last month.


The Education Department canceled the rule "without soliciting, receiving, or responding to any comment from any stakeholder or member of the public, and without engaging in a public deliberative process," according to the states' complaint.




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In a statement, Education Department Press Secretary Liz Hill called the states' complaint an "ideologically driven suit."



"The state attorneys general are saying to regulate first, and ask the legal questions later," she said.


DeVos' move was partly based on a lawsuit filed in May by the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools, which argued that the borrower defense rules exceeded the Education’s Department’s statutory authority and were devised with erroneous data. “The Department cannot simply dismiss these allegations,” Hill said.


The Trump administration has been clear about wanting to eliminate what it considers to be burdensome regulations for the private sector. Since taking the helm at the Education Department earlier this year, DeVos, the daughter-in-law of Amway founder Richard DeVos and a strong proponent of charter schools, has been chipping away at the student protection rules enacted by the Obama administration.


“Since day one, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who led the lawsuit.


Regulators in the Obama administration particularly focused their enforcement on fraudulent for-profit schools that charge thousands in tuition and fees while advertising misleading or inaccurate statements about graduates' prospects for finding jobs in their fields of study.


For-profit schools depend heavily on federal student loans and grants. In 2009, the 15 publicly traded for-profit education companies received 86% of their revenues from taxpayer-funded loans, according to the lawsuit.


Even though they make up a small percentage of all post-secondary schools in the country, students at for-profit colleges accounted for about one-third of loan defaults in the three-year period starting in 2013, according to the Department of Education. About 44 million people in the U.S. hold $1.34 trillion in student loan debt, says data from the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax. That’s more than all credit card or car loan debt currently held by American consumers.


Amid the crackdown, several for-profit schools, including Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute, have shut down, driving the industry to step up lobbying efforts for regulatory relief after Trump's victory in November.


In May, DeVos signaled her intent to target the borrower defense rule and subsequently said that its implementation would be delayed. The Education Department also announced its intent to issue a new rule to replace the borrower defense rule.


In enacting the borrower defense rule last year, the Obama administration reviewed more than 10,000 comments from students, school officials and consumer advocates, and gave schools more than six months to prepare for the implementation.


Last Friday, the Department of Education also delayed the implementation of the so-called gainful employment rule by a year to July 1, 2018.


Finalized by the Obama administration in 2014, the rule requires colleges offering career education programs to provide information to students to help them assess the value of the education they would receive. The required information includes on-time graduation rates, percentage of students that land jobs in the chosen field, typical wages for graduates and debt amounts students can expect.


The worst-performing programs cited by the Department of Education — those that consistently leave their graduates with more debt than they can repay – are required to show evidence of improvement or lose eligibility for federal funding.


Student and teacher advocate groups approved the lawsuit filing Thursday. “It is no surprise that these regulations have been strongly opposed by for-profit schools, which have saddled students with crushing debts for college degrees," said Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association, an lobbying group for public school teachers. "Some of the degrees provided by these for-profit institutions ... are often not even worth the paper on which they’re printed."


Other state attorneys general joining the lawsuit are from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.






Microsoft to lay off thousands in sales, marketing reshuffle

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 13, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)



 The world's alleged richest man, is laying off THOUSANDS! Think about that America.. By JJP

Microsoft to lay off thousands in sales, marketing reshuffle


SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft plans to shed thousands of jobs in a major reboot to focus on its fast-growing cloud-computing business.


"Microsoft is implementing changes to better serve our customers and partners," Microsoft said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Today, we are taking steps to notify some employees that their jobs are under consideration or that their positions will be eliminated. Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis. This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others."


The software giant did not specify how many jobs would be cut. When asked about cuts during a conference call, Microsoft President Brad Smith had no comment Thursday morning.


The restructuring largely affects the software giant's sales operations outside the U.S. under chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, executive vice presidents Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois. All three executives on Monday notified employees of a reorganization, but did not mention layoffs.


Microsoft employs 121,567 people worldwide, and 71,594 in the U.S.


Microsoft shares fell 0.7%, to $68.57.


Disappointing sales of Microsoft's Surface computer line — they plunged 26%, dragging down PC sales 7% — undercut fiscal third quarter results, announced in April, while its Azure cloud revenue nearly doubled. A man walks past a Microsoft sign at the annual Microsoft

A man walks past a Microsoft sign at the annual Microsoft shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Wash., on Nov. 30, 2016. On July 7, 2017, Microsoft announced plans to shed thousands of jobs in a major reboot to focus on its fast-growing cloud-computing business. Elaine Thompson, AP

 Microsoft: the evolution of a tech giant

The Redmond, Wash. company's profits overall soared 28% to $4.8 billion. Sales rose 8% to $22 billion.


Microsoft gets dinged by hardware - this time, it's Surface

Strong cloud-based sales made up for the drop in PC revenue, making good on Althoff's pledge for Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing service to be the centerpiece of the company's sales strategy.


Microsoft's change in strategy had a ripple effect on its sales, prompting a move from on-site support to telephone support, says long-time Microsoft analyst Jack Gold.


"This is not the first realignment Microsoft is undertaking due to the shift to cloud, and it's unlikely to be the last one," Gold says.

The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 13, 2017 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)



 The truth is so intoxicating America. Please take a sip.... By JJP

The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide

Growing concerns about wealth inequality and the expanding racial wealth gap have in recent years become central to the debate over whether our nation is on a sustainable economic path. This report provides critical new information about what has fueled the racial wealth gap and points to policy approaches that will set our country in a more equitable and prosperous direction. All families need wealth to be economically secure and create opportunities for the next generation. Wealth - what we own minus what we owe—allows families to move forward by moving to better and safer neighborhoods, investing in businesses, saving for retirement, and supporting their children’s college aspirations. Having a financial cushion also provides a measure of security when a job loss or other crisis strikes. The Great Recession of 2007-2009 devastated the wealth of all families except for those with the most. The unprecedented wealth destruction during that period, accompanied by long-term high unemployment, underscores the critical importance wealth plays in weathering emergencies and helping families move along a path toward long-term financial security and opportunity. Extreme wealth inequality not only hurts family well-being, it hampers economic growth in our communities and in the nation as a whole. In the U.S. today, the richest 1 percent of households owns 37 percent of all wealth. This toxic inequality has historical underpinnings but is perpetuated by policies and tax preferences that continue to favor the affluent. Most strikingly, it has resulted in an enormous wealth gap between white households and households of color. In 2009, a representative survey of American households revealed that the median wealth of white families was $113,149 compared with $6,325 for Latino families and $5,677 for black families.1 Looking at the same set of families over a 25-year period (1984-2009), our research offers key insight into how policy and the real, lived-experience of families in schools, communities, and at work affect wealth accumulation. Tracing the same households during that period, the total wealth gap between white and African-American families nearly triples, increasing from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 20092 (see Figure 1). To discover the major drivers behind this dramatic $152,000 increase, we tested a wide range of possible explanations, including family, labor market, and wealth characteristics. This allowed us, for the first time, to identify the primary forces behind the racial wealth gap. Our analysis found little evidence to support common perceptions about what underlies the ability to build wealth, including the notion that personal attributes and behavioral choices are key pieces of the equation. Instead, the evidence points to policy and the configuration of both opportunities and barriers in workplaces, schools, and communities that reinforce deeply entrenched racial dynamics in how wealth is accumulated and that continue to permeate the most KEY FINDINGS 1. Tracing the same households over 25 years, the total wealth gap between white and African-American families nearly triples, increasing from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009. 2. The biggest drivers of the growing racial wealth gap are: • Years of homeownership • Household income • Unemployment, which is much more prominent among African- American families • A college education • Inheritance, financial supports by families or friends, and preexisting family wealth 3. Equal achievements, such as income gains, yield unequal wealth rewards for whites and African-Americans. Knowledge advancing security, opportunity, and equity

important spheres of everyday life. Data for this analysis derived from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a nationally representative longitudinal study that began in 1968. We followed nearly 1,700 working-age households from 1984 through 2009. Tracking these families provides a unique opportunity to understand what happened to the wealth gap over the course of a generation and the effect of policy and institutional decision-making on how average families accumulate wealth. Unfortunately, there were not enough data that tracked wealth information in a sufficient number of Latino, Asian American, or immigrant households to include in this report. As a result, the specific focus here is on black-white differences. Yet, while each group shares different histories and experiences, we believe this examination captures important dynamics that can be applied across communities of color. Figure 1. Median net worth by race, 1984-2009 We started our analysis with an overriding question: Why has economic inequality become so entrenched in our post-Civil Rights era of supposed legal equality? The first step was to identify the critical aspects of contemporary society that are driving this inequality (Figure 2).3 Next, we sought to determine whether equal accomplishments are producing equal wealth gains for whites and African-Americans (Figure 3)4. This approach allows for an evidence- based examination of whether the growing racial wealth gap is primarily the result of individual choices and cultural characteristics or policies and institutional practices that create different opportunities for increasing wealth in white and black families. Among households with positive wealth growth5 during the 25-year study period, as shown in Figure 2, the number of years of homeownership accounts for 27 percent of the difference in relative wealth growth between white and African-American families, the largest portion of the growing wealth gap. The second largest share of the increase, accounting for 20 percent, is average family income. Highly educated households correlate strongly with larger wealth portfolios, but similar college degrees produce more wealth for whites, contributing 5 percent of the proportional increase in the racial wealth gap. Inheritance and financial support from family combine for another 5 percent of the increasing gap. How much wealth a family started out with in 1984 also predicts a portion (3 percent) of family wealth 25 years later. Unemployment, the only significant factor that depleted wealth since it forced families to draw upon their nest eggs, -2- The wealth trends depicted in Figure 1 beg the question of what caused such dramatic racial wealth inequities. With a gap of close to a quarter of a million dollars, virtually every possible explanation will have some degree of accuracy, no matter how miniscule a factor. The challenge is to identify the major evidence-based factors affecting the growing racial wealth gap. To discover the major drivers behind the $152,000 increase in the racial wealth gap, we tested a wide range of possible explanations that included family, labor market, demographic, and wealth characteristics, and we have determined how different factors affect the widening racial wealth gap over a generation. The compelling evidence-based story is that policy shaping opportunities and rewards where we live, where we learn, and where we work propels the large majority of the widening racial wealth gap. The Foundations of Inequality 

FIGURE 2: WHAT’S DRIVING THE INCREASING RACIAL WEALTH GAP explains an additional 9 percent of the growing racial wealth gap. In addition to continuing discrimination, labor market instability affectes African- Americans more negatively than whites. The evidence we present to examine the racial wealth gap points to institutional and policy dynamics in important spheres of American life: homeownership, work and increased earnings, employment stability, college education, and family financial support and inheritance. Together, these fundamental factors account for nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of the proportional increase in the wealth gap. In the social sciences, this is a very high level of explanatory power and provides a firm foundation for policy and reform aimed at closing the gap. The $152,000 Question: What Drove the Growing Gap? Having identified the major drivers of the racial wealth gap, we now can dig deeper into each one—homeownership, income, college education, inheritance, and unemployment—to determine how similar accomplishments grow wealth differentially by race. Figure 3 provides a close look at how these factors, as well as marriage, which we will discuss later, translate into differences in wealth accumulation for black and white families. We know that wealth increases through accomplishments such as job promotions, pay increases, or the purchase of a home, as well as important life and family events including receiving an inheritance and getting married. Figure 3 highlights how similar accomplishments and life events lead to unequal wealth gains for white and African-American families. The result is that while wealth grew for African-Americans as they achieve life advances, that growth is at a considerably lower rate than it is for whites experiencing the same accomplishments. This leads to an increase in the wealth gap. homeownership The number of years families owned their homes was the largest predictor of the gap in wealth growth by race (Figure 2). Residential segregation by government design has a long legacy in this country and underpins many of the challenges African-American families face in buying homes and increasing equity. There are several reasons why home equity rises so much more for whites than African-Americans: • Because residential segregation artificially lowers demand, placing a forced ceiling on home equity for African- Americans who own homes in non-white neighborhoods6; • Because whites are far more able to give inheritances or family assistance for down payments due to historical wealth accumulation, white families buy homes and start acquiring equity an average eight years earlier than black families7; • Because whites are far more able to give family financial assistance, larger up-front payments by white homeowners lower interest rates and lending costs; and • Due to historic differences in access to credit, typically lower incomes, and factors such as residential segregation, the homeownership rate for white families is 28.4 percent higher than the homeownership rate for black families8. Homes are the largest investment that most American families make and by far the biggest item in their wealth portfolio. Homeownership is an even greater part of wealth composition for black families, amounting to 53 percent of wealth for blacks and 39 percent for whites9. Yet, for many years, redlining, discriminatory mortgage-lending -3- 

practices, lack of access to credit, and lower incomes have blocked the homeownership path for African- Americans while creating and reinforcing communities segregated by race. African-Americans, therefore, are more recent homeowners and more likely to have high-risk mortgages, hence they are more vulnerable to foreclosure and volatile housing prices. Figure 1 shows households losing wealth between 2007 and 2009 (12 percent for white families, 21 percent for African-American families), which reflects the destruction of housing wealth resulting from the foreclosure crisis and imploded housing market. Overall, half the collective wealth of African-American families was stripped away during the Great Recession due to the dominant role of home equity in their wealth portfolios and the prevalence of predatory high-risk loans in communities of color. The Latino community lost an astounding 67 percent of its total wealth during the housing collapse10. Unfortunately the end to this story has yet to be written. Since 2007, 10.9 million homes went into foreclosure. While the majority of the affected families are white, borrowers of color are more than twice as likely to lose their homes. These higher foreclosure rates reflect a disturbing reality: borrowers of color were consistently more likely to receive high-interest risky loan products, even after accounting for income and credit scores11. Foreclosures not only have a direct impact on families, they also result in severe collateral damage to surrounding neighborhoods. One report estimates that this collateral destruction led to nearly $2 trillion in lost property wealth for communities across the country. More than half of this loss is associated with communities of color, reflecting concentrations of high-risk loans, subsequent higher foreclosure rates, and volatile housing prices12. FIGURE 3: HOW WEALTH IS ACCUMULATED* *This table shows how key life advances and events (an increase in income, inheritance, family financial support, homeownership and marriage) translate into the ability to increase wealth. Even with equal advances, wealth grows at far lower rates for black households, who typically need to use financial gains for everyday needs rather than long-term savings and assets. **Regression estimates at the median change in wealth over the 25-year study period conducted separately for white and black households While homeownership has played a critical role in the development of wealth for communities of color in this country, the return on investment is far greater for white households, significantly contributing to the expanding racial wealth gap shown in Figure 1. The paradox is that even as homeownership has been the main avenue to building wealth for African-Americans, it has also increased the wealth disparity between whites and blacks. income and employment Not surprisingly, increases in income are a major source of wealth accumulation for many US families. However, income gains for whites and African-Americans have a very different impact on wealth. At the respective wealth medians, every dollar increase in average income over the 25-year study period added $5.19 wealth13 for white households (see Figure 3), while the same income gain only added 69 cents of wealth for African American households. The dramatic difference in wealth accumulation from similar income gains has its roots in long-standing patterns of discrimination in hiring, training, promoting, and access to benefits that have made it much harder for African- Americans to save and build assets. Due to discriminatory factors, black workers predominate in fields that are -4- 

least likely to have employer-based retirement plans and other benefits, such as administration and support and food services. As a result, wealth in black families tends to be close to what is needed to cover emergency savings while wealth in white families is well beyond the emergency threshold and can be saved or invested more readily. The statistics cited above compare change in wealth over the 25 years at the median wealth for typical white and black households. Yet we already know that the average white family starts out with abundantly more wealth and significantly higher incomes than the average black family. When whites and blacks start off on an equal playing field with a similar wealth portfolio, their wealth returns from similar income gains narrow considerably.14 Black families under this scenario see a return of $4.03 for each dollar increase in income – a considerable closing of the wealth breach. This analysis also captured the devastation of unemployment on wealth accumulation. Unemployment affects all workers but due to the discriminatory factors listed above, black workers are hit harder, more often, and for longer periods of time. With much lower beginning wealth levels and unequal returns on income, it is a greater challenge for African-Americans to grow their family wealth holdings in the face of work instability. inheritance Most Americans inherit very little or no money, but among the families followed for 25 years whites were five times more likely to inherit than African-Americans (36 percent to 7 percent, respectively). Among those receiving an inheritance, whites received about ten times more wealth than African-Americans. Our findings show that inheritances converted to wealth more readily for white than black families: each inherited dollar contributed to 91 cents of wealth for white families compared with 20 cents for African-American families. Inheritance is more likely to add wealth to the considerably larger portfolio whites start out with since blacks, as discussed above, typically need to reserve their wealth for emergency savings. college education In the 21st century, obtaining a college degree is vital to economic success and translates into substantially greater lifetime income and wealth. Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but current research tells a different story. The achievement and college completion gaps are growing, as family financial resources like income and wealth appear to be large predictors of educational success. While current research identifies a narrowing black-white achievement gap, race and class intersect to widen the educational opportunity deficit at a time when workers without higher-level skills are increasingly likely to languish in the job market. College readiness is greatly dependent on quality K - 12 education. As a result of neighborhood segregation, lower-income students—especially students of color—are too often isolated and concentrated in lower-quality schools. Neighborhoods have grown more segregated, leaving lower-income students—especially students of color—isolated and concentrated in lower-quality schools, and less academically prepared both to enter and complete college. Further, costs at public universities have risen 60 percent in the past two decades, with many low-income and students of color forced to hold down jobs rather than attend college full time and graduating in deep debt. Average student debt for the class of 2011 was $26,600. Student debt is an issue that affects most graduates, but black graduates are far more vulnerable: 80 percent of black students graduate with debt compared with 64 percent of white students.15 More blacks than whites do not finish their undergraduate studies because financial considerations force them to leave school and earn a steady income to support themselves and their families.16 The context of broad class and race educational inequity helps us better understand why a college education produces more wealth for white than black households, accounting for a 5 percent share of the widening racial wealth gap (see Figure 2). In the past 30 years, the gap between students from low- and high-income families who earn bachelor’s degrees has grown from 31 percent to 45 percent.17 Although both groups are completing -5- 

college at higher rates today, affluent students (predominantly white) improved much more, widening their already sizable lead. In 1972, upper-income Americans spent five times as much per child on college as low-income families. By 2007, the difference in spending between the two groups had grown to nine to one; upper-income families more than doubled how much they spent on each child, while spending by low-income families grew by just 20 percent.18 social and cultural Factors As part of this analysis we set out to test notions about the role social and cultural factors play in widening or closing the racial wealth gap. To determine how these factors might affect wealth, we zeroed in on the role of marriage in perpetuating the racial wealth gap. We find that getting married over the 25-year study period significantly increases the wealth holdings for white families by $75,635 but have no statistically significant impact on African-Americans. Single whites are much more likely to possess positive net worth, most likely due to benefits from substantial family financial assistance, higher paying jobs, and homeownership. Hence, marriages that combine modest wealth profiles seem to move whites past emergency-level savings to opportunities to invest and build wealth. By contrast, marriage among African-Americans typically combines two comparatively low-level wealth portfolios and, unlike white households, does not significantly elevate the family’s wealth. While the number of household wage earners bringing in resources does correlate to higher wealth, the impact of marriage is not statistically significant for blacks and the reality is that most do not marry out of the racial wealth gap. Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Public policy can play a critical role in creating a more equitable society and helping all Americans build wealth. College loans, preferential homeownership, and retirement tax policies helped build opportunities and wealth for America’s middle class. Medicare and Social Security have protected that wealth. While the bold vision of policymakers, advocates, and others interested in social and racial justice is needed to develop a precise policy agenda, we believe the following broad public policy and institutional changes are critical to closing the gap: • Homeownership - The data in this report clearly target homeownership as the biggest driver of the racial wealth gap. We need to ensure that mortgage and lending policies and fair housing policies are enforced and strengthened so that the legacy of residential segregation no longer confers greater wealth opportunities to white homeowners than it does to black homeowners. As our nation moves towards a majority people of color population, increasingly diverse neighborhoods must deliver equitable opportunities for growing home equity. • Income - This report identifies the importance of stable, family-supporting jobs and increasing incomes as a prime avenue for building wealth. To address the gap caused by income disparity, proven tools should be fully implemented at the national, state, and local levels, including raising the minimum wage, enforcing equal pay provisions, and strengthening employer-based retirement plans and other benefits. • Education - It is clear that differential educational opportunities and rewards are further widening the racial wealth gap. We need to invest in affordable high-quality childcare and early childhood development so every child is healthy and prepared for school. We need to support policies that help more students from low-and moderate-income families and families of color attend college and graduate. And we need to value education as a public good and invest in policies that do not leave students strapped with huge debt or a reason to drop out. • Inheritance - Due to the unearned advantages it transmits across generations, inheritance widens inequality and is a key driver of the racial wealth gap. If we truly value merit and not unearned preferences, then we need to diminish the advantages passed along to a small number of families. Preferential tax treatment for large estates costs taxpayers and provides huge benefits to less than 1 percent of the population while diverting vital resources from schools, housing, infrastructure, and jobs. Preferential tax treatment for -6- 

dividends and interests are weighted toward wealthy investors as is the home mortgage deduction and tax shielding benefits from retirement savings. It is time for a portfolio shift in public investment to grow wealth for all, not just a tiny minority. Without that shift the wealth gap between white and black households has little prospect of significantly narrowing. A healthy, fair, and equitable society cannot continue to follow such an economically unsustainable trajectory. 

October Smashes Merger Records as Companies Turn to Megadeals

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 4, 2017 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)



October Smashes Merger Records as Companies Turn to Megadeals


Forget merger Monday: October as a whole was a record month for dealmaking, with almost half a trillion dollars of mergers and acquisitions announced globally.


CenturyLink Inc.’s $34 billion acquisition of Level 3 Communications Inc., as well as General Electric Co.’s deal to combine its oil and gas division with Baker Hughes Inc., pushed October’s deal volumes to about $489 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest amount for at least 12 years, topping the previous record of $471 billion in April 2007, the data show.



“Every weekend recently has been busy,” Bob Profusek, partner and chair of the global M&A practice at law firm Jones Day, said in an interview Monday on Bloomberg Television.


“The fundamental drivers are still there,” Profusek said. “Low growth -- which is bad for most things, but it’s good for M&A because that’s how you get growth -- and very accommodating capital markets.”


Profusek worked for Potash Corp. on its merger with Agrium Inc., and is advising Reynolds American Inc. on British American Tobacco Plc’s $47 billion bid for the rest of the company.


To watch Bob Profusek talk about oil and gas M&A, click here


More Megadeals


Just eight transactions account for more than $300 billion of the October total as megadeals continue to find favor among dealmakers. The biggest deal of the year, AT&T Inc.’s $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner Inc., was revealed on Oct. 22 in a rare Saturday deal announcement.


So far this year, 32 deals valued at more than $10 billion have been struck. That puts 2016 on track to beat every year since 2007 except for last year, when a bumper 52 transactions of that size or more were announced.



“Size matters,” said Profusek, “particularly because we’re in a very challenging regulatory environment right now.”


Almost 30 deals announced since the start of 2015 have not yet closed, including Dow Chemical Co.’s $59 billion merger with DuPont Co., which was pushed back until next year.


The two health insurance megadeals -- Anthem Inc.’s bid for Cigna Corp. and Aetna Inc.’s offer for Humana Inc. -- are also still pending. Both those deals are currently trading with at least $40 gaps between the offer price and the target’s current share price, indicating investors are pessimistic they will close.


Despite currency and equity markets reacting skittishly to poll results and news sentiment in the final days before the U.S. presidential election, M&A activity is forging ahead.


“I don’t hear boards or management really putting the election high on their list of concerns,” Frank Aquila, partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, said in a telephone interview. “Unless there is some sort of regulatory deadline or tax deadline that people are working to, deals get there when they get there.”



UPS will freeze pensions for thousands of nonunion employees

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 3, 2017 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)



 The squeeze is upon "US", the noose is going to get tighter and tighter America. The 1/10 of 1percent is making a mad dash to unsnare us all. By JJP

UPS will freeze pensions for thousands of nonunion employees


UPS on Wednesday told some workers that the company plans to freeze their pensions, joining the ranks of other large employers that are moving away from the defined benefit plans.


UPS is notifying more than 70,000 nonunion workers this week that the change will take place in five years as part of a move to reduce expenses and help curb a long-term funding shortfall. As of December, UPS was about $7 billion short of the $25.3 billion needed to pay future benefits for the workers in that plan, said Steve Gaut, a company spokesman.


The affected workers will stop accruing pension benefits on Jan. 1, 2023. After then, they will only be able to receive the pension benefits they have earned up until that point. UPS will switch to contributing between 5 percent and 8 percent of workers’ salaries into a 401(k) savings account, where workers will be responsible for deciding how the money is invested. Some employees who were hired before 2008 may be eligible for additional contributions, Gaut said.

Pensions, in which employers are responsible for making predetermined payouts to employees after they retire or reach a certain age, have been on the decline over the past several decades. Only 20 percent of Fortune 500 companies offered some sort of pension to new hires in 2015, down from 59 percent in 1998, according to a report from the research firm Willis Towers Watson.



Since the financial crisis, more companies have either closed off plans for new hires or frozen benefits, according to the report. By 2015, 39 percent of employers had frozen benefits for pension plans, up from 21 percent in 2009.


Companies are struggling to afford pension plans as people live longer, which increases the amount of benefits they receive. Funding those benefits has also become more difficult in an era of low bond yields and weaker stock market returns. Because of this, more companies are focusing to defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) accounts, where costs can be more predictable. With these retirement accounts, companies can agree to make a contribution up front that is often based on the worker’s salary and contribution amount.


The changes at UPS apply primarily to employees in managerial or administrative roles and do not affect the roughly 270,000 drivers and other employees covered by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union. Their retirement benefits are covered by a contract that won’t expire until July of next year. Gaut said it was “premature” to comment on the upcoming negotiations that will affect those workers.



UPS said it wanted to give workers five years to plan for the changes to their retirement benefits. Some employees may choose to save more over the next several years to make up for some of the difference, Gaut said. People who retire before the changes are rolled out in 2023 won’t see a difference in their benefits, he adds.

Global Wealth 2017: Transforming the Client Experience

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 1, 2017 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (0)



 This is why the "Rich stay Rich". It's a rigged system Period-Point-Blank.. By JJP



Global Wealth 2017: Transforming the Client Experience

The overall growth of global private wealth picked up momentum in 2016, allowing for a good deal of regional variation. All regions experienced positive growth, with North America, Western Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa posting stronger expansion than in the previous year, and Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Japan growing at slower rates. Asia-Pacific was nonetheless the most robust region, achieving an increase that was just shy of double digits. We expect sizable growth to continue.


This report, The Boston Consulting Group’s 17th annual analysis of the global wealth management industry, includes two topics that we reexamine every year—the global market-sizing review and the wealth manager benchmarking study—as well as a special chapter about the impact of digital technology on the industry.


The market-sizing chapter outlines the evolution of private wealth from both global and regional perspectives, including viewpoints on different client segments and offshore centers, and takes a fresh look at private-banking revenue pools. The benchmarking analysis stems from a survey of more than 125 wealth managers and involves more than 1,000 performance indicators related to growth, financial performance, operating models, sales excellence, employee efficiency, client segments, products, and trends in different markets.


In our benchmarking, we focused on issues surrounding the decline of what for many years was a highly profitable wealth management business, lightly regulated and with low capital requirements. To be sure, since the financial crisis of 2007–2008, institutions have been dealing with more sophisticated and circumspect investors who demand reduced fees and commissions in order to increase returns in a low-yield world. Wealth managers have tried to reduce costs to ease the squeeze on profit margins, but a more forward-looking approach will be required in the future. On the positive side, we have observed an inflection point over the past year, with more wealth managers beginning to increase strategic investments to transform their businesses.


Our benchmarking chapter also takes a detailed look at the ever-evolving role of the relationship manager and how that critical position is shifting—indeed, how it must shift—in the search for competitive advantage. Overall, it is our view that wealth management, despite considerable challenges, will remain a very attractive business as long as institutions take steps to adapt to the changing environment. Determining investment priorities and following through on them will be critical to success.


In our discussion of digital technology, we highlight how digital has become a key accelerator for future change in wealth management. The problem is that most players, so far, have pursued digital innovation primarily as a feature selection exercise, centering on what their existing technology can provide along with what competitors (and, to some extent, fintechs) may intend to offer. Many of their digital launches have been realized opportunistically, stemming from one-off task forces, thus producing basic, largely disconnected, or insufficiently embedded digital capabilities. In order to make a step change in digital advancement and leapfrog the competition—to truly transform the client experience—wealth managers need to introduce a new approach to client journeys, upgrading to a next-generation, 2.0 version.


In preparing this report, we used traditional segment nomenclature that will be familiar to most wealth management institutions, dividing the client base into the following categories: affluent, lower high net worth (HNW), upper HNW, and ultra-high net worth (UHNW). These wealth bands tend to vary from player to player. We based segments on the following measures of private wealth:


Affluent: between $250,000 and $1 million

Lower HNW: between $1 million and $20 million

Upper HNW: between $20 million and $100 million

UHNW: Over $100 million

Moreover, in order to clearly gauge the evolution of global private wealth, we have updated and fine-tuned our market-sizing methodology, incorporating newly available data for countries where information previously had been difficult to obtain. The report also introduces our revenue pools model, which can be used to estimate banking market sizes and potential total banking revenue. Our revenue pools methodology calculates market-specific results for the largest 18 markets (covering 80% of total global wealth). Results for the remaining markets are based on regional averages. All growth rates are nominal, with fixed exchange rates.


As always with our annual global wealth reports, our goal is to present a clear and complete portrait of the business, as well as to offer thought-provoking analyses of issues that will affect all types of players as they pursue their growth and profitability ambitions in the years to come. We take a holistic view of the entire wealth management ecosystem, emphasizing how the market, institutions, and clients interact and identifying where the best opportunities for wealth managers can be found.

Fed gives big U.S. banks a green light for buyback, dividend plans

Posted by Jerrald J President on July 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)



  This is why "BANK'S" need to be non-profit entities and owned by the citizens of the community they serve. The system is rigged, did you forget they where BAILED-OUT by the tax payers! By JJP

Fed gives big U.S. banks a green light for buyback, dividend plans


The Federal Reserve has approved plans from the 34 largest U.S. banks to use extra capital for stock buybacks, dividends and other purposes beyond being a cushion against catastrophe.


On Wednesday, the Fed said those lenders, including household names like JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp, had passed the second, tougher part of its annual stress test. The results showed that many have not only built up adequate capital buffers, but improved risk management procedures as well.


One bank, Capital One Financial Corp, must resubmit its scheme by year-end, though the Fed is still allowing it to go forward with its capital plan in the meantime.


Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who is acting as regulatory lead for the U.S. central bank, said the process "has motivated all of the largest banks to achieve healthy capital levels and most to substantially improve their capital planning processes."


Altogether, banks that went through the tests will be able to pay out 100 percent of their projected net income over the next four quarters, compared with 65 percent after last year’s results, a senior Fed official said. It would be the first time since the 2008 financial crisis that banks return at least as much money to shareholders as they produce in annual profit.


The verdict marks a significant victory for the banking industry, which has worked for years to regain its stature. The green light could also serve as a watershed moment for Wall Street, which is eager to get a lighter regulatory touch from policymakers in Washington.


After the Fed's announcement, banks began to release details on how they plan to use their extra capital. Apart from Capital One, bank stocks rose in after-hours trading.


Citigroup Inc won a particularly notable victory, gaining permission to return nearly $19 billion to shareholders, or about 125 percent of projected earnings over the next four quarters - a big bump from last year, and more than analysts had expected.


Capital One must resubmit plans because it did not appropriately account for risks in "one of its most material businesses," the Fed said. Concerns centered around internal controls and whether senior management and the bank’s board of directors would be informed about problems in a timely and appropriate way, the Fed official said.


The Fed did not identify which business was ill-prepared. Capital One's most significant business is credit card lending. It has also built up a presence in auto lending. Both areas have been flagged by bankers and analysts as showing signs of weakness lately.


Capital One has until year-end to deliver an improved submission. In the interim, the bank can go ahead with its plan to repurchase up to $1.85 billion worth of stock, but the Fed can still object if the problems are not fixed.


Capital One had already reduced its capital request after the first set of stress-test results was released last week.


American Express Co had also resubmitted a plan with reduced requests, which was approved.


Other big banks, including Wells Fargo & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley, also cleared the Fed's bar, and most issued press releases detailing big increases in shareholder payouts.


In a twist, Bank of America's planned dividend hike could lead Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc to convert a large preferred stake into common stock, which would turn it into the bank's largest shareholder.

This year was the first time all banks undergoing stress tests passed, although it was also the first time most were excluded from the "qualitative" component that Capital One failed. Only 13 of the 34 lenders were subject to that part, which bankers have criticized as being too opaque and subjective.


In response to those complaints, the Fed has now started to give banks more specific details on why they fail or where they need to improve, even if they sail through the tests.


To offer clarity to the public, the Fed also cited examples of where unnamed banks had stumbled in the past.


For instance, one lender failed the qualitative component in a prior year because senior management had told the board of directors and the Fed that a problem related to capital planning had been solved when it had not. Another management team had relied too heavily on experiences during the financial crisis, even though the bank's business and risk profile had changed dramatically since then.


Although all the banks passed, some came close to missing a key financial hurdle known as the supplementary leverage ratio in the toughest part of the exam. That metric fell to as low as 3.1 percent at Goldman Sachs, just above the required minimum of 3 percent. JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and State Street Corp also reported ratios below 4 percent.


The ratio's requirements are not fully phased in, but the minimum is slated to move even higher over time. Wall Street has slammed the capital rule as overly burdensome, and it is being watched closely for change as part of the broader deregulation push in Washington.

Now Just Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 17, 2017 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)



  You can't make this America! Still believe in the American Dream? By JJP

Now Just Five Men Own Almost as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population


Last year it was 8 men, then down to 6, and now almost 5.


While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of 06/08/17, the world's richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.


Why Do We Let a Few People Shift Great Portions of the World's Wealth to Themselves?


Most of the super-super-rich are Americans. We the American people created the Internet, developed and funded Artificial Intelligence, and built a massive transportation infrastructure, yet we let just a few individuals take almost all the credit, along with hundreds of billions of dollars.

Defenders of the out-of-control wealth gap insist that all is OK, because, after all, America is a 'meritocracy' in which the super-wealthy have 'earned' all they have. They heed the words of Warren Buffett: "The genius of the American economy, our emphasis on a meritocracy and a market system and a rule of law has enabled generation after generation to live better than their parents did."


But it's not a meritocracy. Children are no longer living better than their parents did. In the eight years since the recession the Wilshire Total Market valuation has more than TRIPLED, rising from a little over $8 trillion to nearly $25 trillion. The great majority of it has gone to the very richest Americans. In 2016 alone, the richest 1% effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves, with nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) coming from the nation's poorest 90%—the middle and lower classes. That's over $17,000 in housing and savings per lower-to-middle-class household lost to the super-rich.


A meritocracy? Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos have done little that wouldn't have happened anyway. ALL modern U.S. technology started with—and to a great extent continues with—our tax dollars and our research institutes and our subsidies to corporations.

Why Do We Let Unqualified Rich People Tell Us How To Live? Especially Bill Gates!


In 1975, at the age of 20, Bill Gates founded Microsoft with high school buddy Paul Allen. At the time Gary Kildall's CP/M operating system was the industry standard. Even Gates' company used it. But Kildall was an innovator, not a businessman, and when IBM came calling for an OS for the new IBM PC, his delays drove the big mainframe company to Gates. Even though the newly established Microsoft company couldn't fill IBM's needs, Gates and Allen saw an opportunity, and so they hurriedly bought the rights to another local company's OS -- which was based on Kildall's CP/M system. Kildall wanted to sue, but intellectual property law for software had not yet been established. Kildall was a maker who got taken.


So Bill Gates took from others to become the richest man in the world. And now, because of his great wealth and the meritocracy myth, MANY PEOPLE LOOK TO HIM FOR SOLUTIONS IN VITAL AREAS OF HUMAN NEED, such as education and global food production.

—Gates on Education: He has promoted galvanic skin response monitors to measure the biological reactions of students, and the videotaping of teachers to evaluate their performances. About schools he said, "The best results have come in cities where the mayor is in charge of the school system. So you have one executive, and the school board isn’t as powerful. 

—Gates on Africa: With investments in or deals with Monsanto, Cargill, and Merck, Gates has demonstrated his preference for corporate control over poor countries deemed unable to help themselves. But no problem—according to Gates, "By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world."

Warren Buffett: Demanding To Be Taxed at a Higher Rate (As Long As His Own Company Doesn't Have To Pay) 

Warren Buffett has advocated for higher taxes on the rich and a reasonable estate tax. But his company Berkshire Hathaway has used "hypothetical amounts" to 'pay' its taxes while actually deferring $77 billion in real taxes.

Jeff Bezos: $50 Billion in Less Than Two Years, and Fighting Taxes All the Way


Since the end of 2015 Jeff Bezos has accumulated enough wealth to cover the entire $50 billion U.S. housing budget, which serves five million Americans. Bezos, who has profited greatly from the Internet and the infrastructure built up over many years by many people with many of our tax dollars, has used tax havens and high-priced lobbyists to avoid the taxes owed by his company.

Mark Zuckerberg (6th Richest in World, 4th Richest in America)


While Zuckerberg was developing his version of social networking at Harvard, Columbia University students Adam Goldberg and Wayne Ting built a system called Campus Network, which was much more sophisticated than the early versions of Facebook. But Zuckerberg had the Harvard name and better financial support. It was also alleged that Zuckerberg hacked into competitors' computers to compromise user data.


Now with his billions he has created a 'charitable' foundation, which in reality is a tax-exempt limited liability company, leaving him free to make political donations or sell his holdings, all without paying taxes.


Everything has fallen into place for young Zuckerberg. Nothing left to do but run for president.

The False Promise of Philanthropy

Many super-rich individuals have pledged the majority of their fortunes to philanthropic causes. That's very generous, if they keep their promises. But that's not really the point.


American billionaires all made their money because of the research and innovation and infrastructure that make up the foundation of our modern technologies. They have taken credit, along with their massive fortunes, for successes that derive from society rather than from a few individuals. It should not be any one person's decision about the proper use of that wealth. Instead a significant portion of annual national wealth gains should be promised to education, housing, health research, and infrastructure. That is what Americans and their parents and grandparents have earned after a half-century of hard work and productivity.

Borrowing on Borrowed Time

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 17, 2017 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)




"The federal government has borrowed so much that there are few places left on the planet where it can borrow more. Take a look at who has loaned the most money to the U.S. government. At the top of the list are the Social Security, Medicare and various federal pension trust funds. For decades, these trust funds have collected more money than they have paid out to retirees – in total, over $5 trillion more. But every time the trust funds generated surpluses, the federal government would borrow and spend them. That makes American retirees are the government's largest creditor". Stop allowing them to manipulate your mind! By JJP


Borrowing on Borrowed Time

 The official federal debt will soon cross the $20 trillion mark for the first time in American history. That's six times the federal government's annual income. While the official debt reached seven times the federal government's annual income at the end of World War II, that was prior to the days of unfunded liabilities. The official debt and the actual debt were thus the same.


But when the government started promising future Social Security benefits that it wouldn't be able to afford, the official debt became just the tip of a monumental iceberg. Today, unfunded liabilities add another $100 trillion to $200 trillion to the federal debt. This makes the federal government's total financial obligations at least 36 times its annual income.


Gargantuan debt is old news though, and politicians know it. They are keenly aware that voters have stopped paying attention, which means they can keep borrowing with impunity. But there's a new financial problem looming that will soon gain people's attention: The U.S. government is running out of places to borrow.


The federal government has borrowed so much that there are few places left on the planet where it can borrow more. Take a look at who has loaned the most money to the U.S. government. At the top of the list are the Social Security, Medicare and various federal pension trust funds. For decades, these trust funds have collected more money than they have paid out to retirees – in total, over $5 trillion more. But every time the trust funds generated surpluses, the federal government would borrow and spend them. That makes American retirees the government's largest creditor.


The second largest creditor, the Federal Reserve, owns a bit less than $3 trillion of the government's debt. Foreign governments own $4 trillion of the government's debt. Foreign people and corporations own another $2 trillion. American citizens, companies, and local and state governments own the remaining $6 trillion.


Of these four groups – foreigners, Americans, the Federal Reserve and the trust funds – three have been cutting back on their lending to the federal government for some time.



Since 2000, the federal debt has grown at an average annual rate of 8.2 percent. (6.7 percent excluding the Great Recession years). That's about twice the average annual rate at which the economy has grown. Over just the past eight years, the federal debt has doubled from $10 trillion to just shy of $20 trillion. But while the government has been steadily borrowing more, lenders have been steadily lending less.


Foreign investors have slowed the growth in their lending from over 20 percent per year in the early 2000s to less than 3 percent per year today. Foreign investors are no longer interested in loaning our government seemingly limitless amounts of money. And there is every indication that their willingness to lend will continue to wane.


Things are even more dire with Social Security. This year, for the first time since the program was established, the Social Security trust fund will generate a deficit – it will pay retirees more money than it collects from workers. For 80 years, the federal government borrowed Social Security surpluses to fund its profligate spending. Unless Congress overhauls Social Security, the program will never again generate a surplus for the government to borrow. In fact, the situation will reverse because the government must now start paying back to Social Security those trillions of dollars it borrowed. Growth in lending from the trust funds has slowed from 10 percent per year in the early 2000s to 4 percent today, and is projected to head into the negative numbers as early as this year. There is simply no money left there for the government to borrow.


Before the Great Recession, American investors were lending the federal government 10 percent less each year. The uncertainty of the recession caused a flight back to the perceived safety of Treasury bonds, but that quickly dissipated. Since 2001 and excluding the recession years, American investors have been lending the federal government an average of 2 percent less each year.



Growth in Federal Debt Held by US Investors

Growth in Federal Debt Held by US Investors Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan


If federal borrowing is growing steadily at an average pace of 6 percent per year, yet foreign and American investors are slowing their lending, and the trust funds have no surpluses left to lend, where is the government getting the money it's borrowing? And where will it get more in the future?


The answer is the Federal Reserve. Prior to the Great Recession, the Fed was increasing its annual lending to the US government by almost 6 percent per year. The Fed then dramatically increased its lending during the recession – that's what all the "quantitative easing" talk was about. On average, since 2001, the Fed has increased its lending to the federal government by over 11 percent annually.


Growth in Federal Debt Held by the Federal Reserve

Growth in Federal Debt Held by the Federal Reserve Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan


The U.S. government has borrowed more money than any government in human history. Politicians have convinced voters that government debt doesn't matter or that, by the time it does, some magical solution will present itself. The ugly truth, though, is that there simply aren't enough investors left on the planet willing to loan the U.S. government enough to maintain its spending habits. So the Federal Reserve takes up the slack. And this is where things go from bad to worse, because the Federal Reserve prints the money it loans.


When the Fed prints more money, every one of the dollars already in circulation, from those in people's savings accounts to those in their pockets, loses some value. Prices go up in response. That's inflation.


Since the end of World War II, inflation in the U.S. has averaged less than 4 percent per year. When the Fed starts printing money in earnest because the government can't obtain loans elsewhere, inflation will rise dramatically. How far is difficult to say, but we do have some recent examples of countries that tried to finance runaway government spending by printing money.


Starting in 1975, Greece tried to jumpstart its economy through stimulus spending, which it paid for by printing money. For 15 years, the Greeks suffered 20 percent inflation. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia printed money to keep its government apparatus running. The result was five years over which inflation averaged 750 percent and peaked at 2,500 percent. Today, in the face of a collapsing economy, Venezuela's government has resorted to printing money to pay its bills. The result is nearly 200 percent inflation, which the International Monetary Fund expects to reach 1,600 percent in 2017. And here, after the U.S. abandoned the gold standard in 1971, the Fed ramped up its money printing. The result was 10 percent to 15 percent inflation for much of the 1970s.


For nearly a century, politicians have treated deficit spending as a magic wand. In a recession? Government must spend more money! In an expansion? There's more tax revenue, so government can spend more money! Always and everywhere, politicians argued only about how much to increase spending, never whether to increase spending. Past politicians left massive deficits, and the debt they created, for future generations to fix. The future has now arrived. There is simply no one left from whom to borrow.

The U.S. Is Where the Rich Are the Richest

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 17, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)




"1 percent of the world’s population hold 45 percent of the world’s $166.5 trillion in wealth. They will control more than half the world's wealth by 2021". 

The U.S. Is Where the Rich Are the Richest

Things are looking rosy for American billionaires and millionaires as wealth accumulation goes into overdrive.


It’s an excellent time to be rich, especially in the U.S.


Around the world, the number of millionaires and billionaires is surging right along with the value of their holdings. Even as economic growth has slowed, the rich have managed to gain a larger slice of the world’s wealth.


Globally, almost 18 million households control more than $1 million in wealth, according to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group. These rich folk represent just 1 percent of the world’s population, but they hold 45 percent of the world’s $166.5 trillion in wealth. They will control more than half the world's wealth by 2021, BCG said.


Rising inequality is of course no surprise. Reams of data have shown that in recent decades the rich have been taking ever-larger shares of wealth and income—especially in the U.S., where corporate profits are nearing records while wages for the workforce remain stagnant.

In fact, while global inequality is simply accelerating, in America it’s gone into overdrive. The share of income going to the top 1 percent in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last 35 years, after dropping in the decades after World War II (when the rich were taxed at high double-digit rates). The tide shifted in the 1980s under Republican President Ronald Reagan, a decade when “trickle-down economics” saw tax rates for the rich fall, union membership shrink, and stock markets spike.


Now, those policies and their progeny have helped put 63 percent of America’s private wealth in the hands of U.S. millionaires and billionaires, BCG said. By 2021, their share of the nation’s wealth will rise to an estimated 70 percent.



Boston Consulting Group Global Wealth Report 2017

The world’s wealth “gained momentum” last year, BCG concluded, rising 5.3 percent globally from 2015 to 2016. The firm expects growth to accelerate to about 6 percent annually for the next five years, in both the U.S. and globally. But a lot of that can again be attributed to the rich. The wealth held by everyone else is just barely growing.



Boston Consulting Group Global Wealth Report 2017

Where is all this wealth coming from? The sources are slightly different in the U.S. compared with the rest of the world. Globally, about half of new wealth comes from existing financial assets—rising stock prices or yields on bonds and bank deposits—held predominately by the already well-off. The rest of the world’s new wealth comes from what BCG classifies as “new wealth creation,” from people saving money they’ve earned through labor or entrepreneurship.


In the U.S., the creation of “new” wealth is a minor factor, making up just 28 percent of the nation’s wealth increase last year. It’s even lower in Japan, at 21 percent. In the rest of the Asia Pacific region, meanwhile, two-thirds of the rise is driven by new wealth creation.



Boston Consulting Group Global Wealth Report 2017

Political changes could boost the riches of American millionaires even further. After the 2016 election, U.S. stocks rose as investors hoped Republican President Donald Trump and a Republican Congress would agree to eliminate regulations and lower corporate tax rates. The wealthy may also get a tax cut as part of the bargain. For example, the American Health Care Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal and replace Obamacare, includes the elimination of taxes paid almost exclusively by the top 1 percent.


“No one knows” what kind of tax changes will become law, said BCG senior partner Bruce Holley. However, “this could buoy the [growth in U.S. wealth] that we are predicting.”



World Wealth & Income Database

Unsurprisingly, for a country where almost a quarter of income goes to the rich and where they hold the highest concentration of wealth, a big chunk of the world’s richest call America home. Two out of five millionaires and billionaires live there, and their ranks are growing fast. There are now about 7 million Americans with more than $1 million, and BCG expects 10.4 million millionaires and billionaires in the U.S. by 2021. That’s an annual growth rate of 8 percent, or about 670,000 new millionaires each year.


Millionaires are far rarer in the rest of the world than in the U.S., where 5.7 percent of all households own more than $1 million in assets. The only countries with a higher concentration of millionaires are much smaller nations, such as Bahrain, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland, most with a reputations as havens for the wealthy. China has the second most millionaires and billionaires, at 2.1 million, though its population is four times the size of America.



The Housing Recovery Is Leaving Out Most of America

Posted by Jerrald J President on June 17, 2017 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)




"The number of Americans spending 50 percent of their income on rent is near historic highs, something likely to get even worse if proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development eliminate rental assistance for hundreds of thousands". THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!! The illusion of the myth called "CAPITALISM" is coming home TOO ROOST.. By JJP


The Housing Recovery Is Leaving Out Most of America

Elsewhere, gains are slow and low-income households are paying more rent than ever.


For further evidence of the uneven recovery among U.S. housing markets, how’s this: In the 10 most expensive U.S. metropolitan areas, median home values have increased by 63 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation. In the 10 cheapest metros, median values rose by just 3.6 percent.


That finding, and the others illustrated by the charts below, comes from the State of the Nation’s Housing, an annual report published Friday by Harvard University’s Joint Center For Housing Studies. While home prices have increased sharply in expensive coastal cities, plenty of urban centers are lagging behind. Home prices in 3 out of 5 metropolitan areas remain below their pre-recession peak, and home prices in low-income neighborhoods are faring even worse.


Meanwhile, the number of Americans spending 50 percent of their income on rent is near historic highs, something likely to get even worse if proposed budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development eliminate rental assistance for hundreds of thousands. Demand for rental units continues to rise, pushing rents higher.


The good news—such as it is—is that slow price appreciation in much of the country outside the hot metros means for-sale units there remain relatively affordable for more families.



Home prices increased in 97 out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, according to the report. Nationally, nominal prices returned to the peaks they held before the Great Recession. But when you adjust for inflation, those prices are as much as 16 percent below past peaks. And appreciation hasn’t been evenly distributed: A May report from Trulia showed that nationally, just 1 in 3 homes has recovered peak value. The Harvard report, however, shows the price gains have been concentrated in high-income neighborhoods.



The flip side of low appreciation should be greater affordability for home buyers. Indeed, 59 percent of households in U.S. metros can afford to purchase the median home, the Harvard report stated, and in 1 in 5 metros, 75 percent can afford to buy. (In this case, the report defines affordability based on a 5 percent down-payment and monthly mortgage payments of no more than 36 percent of household income.)


But many local markets suffer from low inventory, the report notes, partly because of the sluggish pace of new construction: The U.S. added fewer housing units over the decade ending in 2016 than in any 10-year period since 1990.



Joint Center for Housing Studies

And while a significant number of Americans spend half of their income on rent, that figure did tick down a bit in 2015, to 11.1 million. That’s still 49 percent more severely rent-burdened households compared with 2001. The vast majority of those households earn less than $30,000 a year.


Regardless of income, or whether they own or rent their homes, families that spend half their income on housing are forced to make sacrifices elsewhere in their budgets. When the poorest families pay less for housing, the extra money goes to necessities like health care. Among households that fall in the bottom 25 percent for total consumer spending, those that spent less than 30 percent of their income on housing spent three times as much on health care.



Those hoping for relief in the form of new rental stock may be waiting for a while. After growing by leaps following the foreclosure crisis, the nation’s stock of single-family rentals actually fell in 2015, the last year for which the report offers data. Low-rent units, meanwhile, are being replaced by more expensive offerings, the report said. That is where the money is.



Trump's Budget Bites Deeply Into Programs Benefiting His Voters

Posted by Jerrald J President on May 24, 2017 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)



 Surprise, Surprise, Suprise America. Trump kept his word he is "Making America Great Again" 1920's style Great.. By JJP

Trump's Budget Bites Deeply Into Programs Benefiting His Voters


President Donald Trump made an impassioned plea for support from minority voters during his election campaign by asking them, “What do you have to lose?”


On Tuesday, they got an answer, as did many of the rural, poor and working-class voters who propelled him into office. In his fiscal 2018 budget proposal, Trump asked Congress for $3.6 trillion in spending cuts that would mean steep reductions in food stamps, Medicaid health insurance payments, disability benefits, low-income housing assistance and block grants that fund meals-on-wheels for the elderly.


The plan found little favor in Congress, even among Republican lawmakers from districts and states that gave Trump wide margins in the November election, and it had Democrats talking about a deal on spending that would exclude the White House.


The administration was undeterred. Budget Director Mick Mulvaney called the spending proposal released Tuesday a rethinking of government to place greater weight on the interests of the people who pay taxes rather than those who turn to it for help.


“It’s a taxpayer-first budget,” Mulvaney said. “We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs and the amount spent on those programs.”


Congressional Priorities


But Congress has its own plans and, as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview last week with Bloomberg News, Trump’s priorities “aren’t necessarily ours.”


“We know the president’s budget is not going to be passed as proposed,” Republican Senator John Cornyn said on Tuesday. Even so, Senate Republicans are working to implement some of Trump’s proposed Medicaid cuts as part of an Obamacare repeal bill and plan to take up his proposed tax rate cuts later this year.


Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called Trump’s budget “the latest example of the president breaking his promises to working Americans.” But he also highlighted the bipartisan agreement on 2017 spending that cut the White House out of negotiations. He held out hope for a repeat of that deal, saying “our Republican colleagues dislike this budget almost as much as we do.”


House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump’s budget, like those of his predecessors, will get a heavy reworking in Congress. But he sought to highlight areas where the White House and congressional Republicans share similar goals.


“Here’s what I’m happy about: We finally have a president who’s willing to actually even balance the budget,” Ryan told reporters. “And we will have a great debate about the details on how to achieve those goals.”


Deep Cuts


Trump’s fiscal plan reaches deeply into programs relied on by many of his core supporters, including cuts of $610 billion from Medicaid alongside alongside $250 billion savings from repealing Obamacare, $193 billion from food stamps and $72 billion in Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program, which provide cash benefits for the poor and disabled.


States that Trump carried in the presidential election are high on the list of those that spent the most federal money for Medicaid in 2016, including Pennsylvania at No. 4 with $16.6 billion, Ohio a notch lower with $15.1 billion and Michigan at No. 7 with $12.3 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Among the top 25 states for proportion of households receiving food stamps, Trump won 16 of them, according to a comparison of election results and Census Bureau figures. That includes three in the top five for usage: Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky.


Those three also are among the top states with the highest proportion of beneficiaries of Social Security disability payments. Of the 25 states with the highest shares of recipients compared with total population, Trump carried 17 of them in November.


Agricultural Programs


Cuts to agricultural programs also will be felt in Trump country. Eight of the 10 states that received the most federal money in farm subsides voted for Trump, according to a state ranking compiled by the Environmental Working Group. Even in Illinois and Minnesota, the two states that voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, rural areas supported the Republican.


Trump’s proposal claims to balance the budget within a decade. But it relies on a tax plan for which the administration has provided precious little detail and makes heavy use of accounting gimmicks.


The budget predicts a sweeping tax overhaul package that would strengthen economic growth while providing few details of how the tax code would change. The one thing the administration has said is people and businesses will pay less; the budget asserts the amount of revenue collected won’t drop.


Neither of the White House’s assertions -- that Trump’s tax plan would be both revenue neutral and fuel budget coffers by $2 trillion to $2.6 trillion through economic growth -- are realistic, said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.


‘Impossible Assumptions’


She called the administration’s projections of three percent annual growth "really not possible -- they have impossible assumptions of no changes in revenue and tax cuts." She added that to see three or four percent growth "is nearly unprecedented. You’d need productivity growth at a level you’ve never seen."


The scant detail in Trump’s tax proposal was likely to hinder tax reform, she said. “They rolled out all the goodies but none of the offsets that would be necessary,” MacGuineas said. “I’m not a fan of surprises, and you have to set realistic expectations, because there are real trade-offs and choices.”


The independent Tax Policy Center estimated that Trump’s campaign tax plan would add $7.2 trillion to the deficit. Economic growth spurred by Trump’s tax and regulation policy would add more than $2 trillion in tax revenue, according to the budget documents.



The budget also makes use of several other classic accounting gimmicks. It assumes that the wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East will cause future Congresses to allocate $593 billion in extra war funding that won’t be needed and then claims to save that amount by not spending it.


The Trump budget also assumes a $35 billion savings from changes to financial services industry regulations and a repeal of the Dodd-Frank law’s orderly liquidation authority, under which financial regulators are empowered to untangle and wind down the biggest banks in a crisis. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected savings of $14.5 billion over a decade from eliminating the authority.


The plan calls for some new domestic spending, including $25 billion over 10 years for nationwide paid parental leave -- a cause championed by first daughter Ivanka Trump -- and an expansion of the Pell Grant program for low-income students. The Department of Homeland Security’s budget would increase $3 billion versus the final full year of President Barack Obama’s term.


While the Pentagon’s budget would see a $6 billion increase, the push for more high-priced weapons -- including fulfilling Trump’s pledge to increase the Navy fleet to 350 ships from 275 that can be deployed today -- will wait another year.


He’s also proposing cutting funding for the State Department by more than 28 percent, which Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said “will gut soft power.”


“If we implemented this budget you’d have to retreat from the world or put a lot of people at risk,” said Graham, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “A lot of Benghazis in the making if we actually implemented the State Department cuts.”


He said the Trump budget “is not going to go anywhere.”


The administration has pitched its changes to student loan programs as beneficial to students. The budget would create a single repayment plan that would cap monthly payments at 12.5 percent of discretionary income, an increase from the 10 percent cap under some existing payment plans. But students would only need to repay their loans for 15 years, rather than 20, with the remainder wiped out by the federal government. That change would cut the federal subsidy by $76 billion.


The proposal seeks to boost government revenues by allowing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ending the practice of sharing oil royalties with states along the Gulf of Mexico and selling off government-owned electricity transmission lines in the West. Like much of the budget, those moves are likely to face opposition on Capitol Hill.


Trump has promised a wall on the southern U.S. border that Mexico will eventually pay for, and the budget includes $2.6 billion in 2018 – $1.6 billion for “new and replacement border wall’’ in certain locations and about $1 billion for other items including aircraft, equipment and surveillance technology to deter illegal activity. Trump estimates the wall will cost $8 billion to $12 billion, but most experts say it will likely be more expensive.

Finance Elite in Vegas: Long Live Trump! Or Pence. Whichever

Posted by Jerrald J President on May 24, 2017 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)



  While the news media distracts America with foolishness; this is what the money men do. They win regardless of whose in the "White House".By JJP


Finance Elite in Vegas: Long Live Trump! Or Pence. Whichever



As Donald Trump’s ballooning scandals sent stocks tumbling Wednesday, hedge fund managers gathered at the Bellagio in Las Vegas for one of the industry’s most popular conferences. First on the day’s agenda: pedaling exercise bikes, visiting a spa and trying a beauty service called GlamSquad. The mood was relaxed.


The SALT conference was founded by Anthony Scaramucci, a fund management executive-turned-Trump booster, and was the first big fundraising stop last year for campaign finance chief Steven Mnuchin, who’s now Treasury secretary. Many attendees this year stand to profit if Trump fulfills his promise to slash taxes and Wall Street regulation.


So why weren’t they freaking out over chatter of potential impeachment?



“We all feel comfortable with Mike Pence leading,” said Anna Stone, a marketing and investor relations consultant whose clients include family offices and hedge funds. “Some people would be happier.”


The general indifference to Trump’s travails here says much about the financial industry’s view of the young administration. For many on Wall Street, deregulation and tax reform matter more than a border wall or travel ban. Even if Trump succumbs to crisis, the thinking goes, Republicans and Pence can press on. The vice president has taken steps to begin building his own political war chest.


The scene at the conference, where a white McLaren was parked indoors for guests to ogle, contrasted with the uproar in markets, where the S&P 500 Index fell the most since September and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shares slid the most in almost a year. On Thursday, U.S. stocks were poised to continue their descent as European and Asian equity markets slumped.


Ignoring News


On a quiet, shaded patio at the hotel, attendees sipped coffee and networked. Down below, Bank of America Corp. and competing prime brokerages lured clients to poolside bungalows. David Rubenstein huddled at a corner table at the Palio Cafe, where a cold-pressed juice costs $12.50. Fellow billionaire Marc Lasry took calls.



Everything You Need to Know About Impeachment



Some attendees confessed they hadn’t tuned in yet to the scandal’s latest developments, with a few saying they were more interested in finding that night’s parties. Others simply brushed off allegations that Trump asked the head of the FBI to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and reports that the president disclosed sensitive intelligence to Russian officials. Trump has denied wrongdoing. By evening, the Justice Department had named a special counsel.


Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell said he dislikes the “cacophony” around the president, and that none of the revelations this week suggest Trump should be removed.


“I think the president has the competence, and all this unfit-for-office stuff is a bunch of stuff," Zell said in an interview from the conference.


Steady Hands


The elite in Las Vegas weren’t alone. In Washington, Wall Street consultant Paul Atkins said things were just fine. The former member of the Securities and Exchange Commission runs Patomak Global Partners LLC and sits on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum. He had just come from a meeting of the board of a mutual fund company that featured Craig Phillips, a former BlackRock Inc. executive who’s leading the Treasury’s review of banking regulation. What Atkins and his colleagues care about is that the government is on its way to rolling back rules.


“You can divorce the Washington drama from the good work that the administration already is doing,” he said about deregulation. “That’s what people are focusing on.”


Wall Street has been too confident about Washington before, and it doesn’t always read government tea leaves perfectly. Early in the Republican primaries, few took Trump seriously. Even after June’s Brexit vote took bankers by surprise, not many predicted the novice politician could top Hillary Clinton. This year, the White House and Capitol Hill may be too gummed up to make the major changes bankers crave.


“None of us in the markets yet know what’s fake and what’s real,” said Bruce Richards, who runs distressed-debt investor Marathon Asset Management. Even though the burst of delight about Trump that fueled the U.S. stock market is coming to an end, he said, Mnuchin and economic adviser Gary Cohn lend steady hands. He doesn’t think those two former Goldman Sachs partners are going anywhere.


Bernanke’s Warning


Cohn delighted executives when he talked about privatizing U.S. infrastructure at a meeting in Washington last month with members of the Partnership for New York City, an event co-chaired by Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat and Blackstone Group LP billionaire Stephen Schwarzman. On Wednesday, Kathryn Wylde, the partnership’s president, said her colleagues won’t abandon Trump because of the day’s crises.


“It’s the only game in town, so I think most of the financial and other leaders will stick with it until they can’t,” she said. “The focus will shift to the leadership in Congress and working with them on trying to drive these important items home.”


Ben Bernanke was on the SALT schedule alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, at least five billionaires and the comedian Steve Harvey. The former Federal Reserve chairman had a warning for his calm colleagues.


“Markets are very blase about political risk until the very last moment,” Bernanke said. “They go along until something happens that pulls the rug out from under their assumptions.”



Cohn Says Privatizing Some Infrastructure Makes Sense

Posted by Jerrald J President on May 24, 2017 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)




Cohn Says Privatizing Some Infrastructure Makes Sense

2016 Land Report 100

Posted by Jerrald J President on May 2, 2017 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)




Of all private U.S. agricultural land, Whites account for 96 percent of the owners, 97 percent of the value, and 98 percent of the acres. Nonetheless, four minority groups (Blacks, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics) own over 25 million acres of agricultural land, valued at over $44 billion, which has wide-ranging consequences for the social, economic, cultural, and political life of minority communities in rural America. This article presents the most recent national data available on the racial and ethnic dimensions of agricultural land ownership in the United States, based largely on USDA’s Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey of 1999. 

2016 Land Report 100


No. 1 John Malone


2,200,000 acres




1. John Malone

2. Ted Turner (down 43,000 acres)

3. Emmerson Family (up 35,000 acres)

4. Stan Kroenke (up 522,000 acres)

5. Reed Family

6. Irving Family (down 4,000 acres)

7. Singleton Family

8. Brad Kelley (down 500,000 acres)

9. King Ranch Heirs

10. Pingree Heirs

11. Wilks Brothers (up 172,000 acres)

12. Briscoe Family (up 80,000 acres)

13. Ford Family

14. Lykes Heirs

15. O’Connor Heirs (up 80,000 acres)

16. Martin Family – NEW TO LIST

17. D.R. Horton (up 131,195 acres)

18. Stimson Family – NEW TO LIST

19. Westervelt Heirs – NEW TO LIST

20. Simplot Family

21. Fisher Family – NEW TO LIST

22. Philip Anschutz

23. Drummond Family

24. McDonald Family – NEW TO LIST

25. Jeff Bezos (up 110,000 acres)

25. Holding Family

27. Hughes Family

28. Malone Mitchell 3rd

29. Collins Family (up 923 acres)

30. Nunley Brothers

31. Llano Partners Ltd. (up 30,000 acres)

32. Bass Family (up 135,000 acres)

33. Mike Smith (down 2,472 acres)

34. Collier Family

35. Kokernot Heirs

36. Killam Family (up 22,000 acres)

37. Lee Family – NEW TO LIST

37. Anne Marion

39. Babbitt Heirs

40. Shannon Kizer – NEW TO LIST

41. Galt Family – NEW TO LIST

42. Lyda Family

43. Fasken Family (up 95,000 acres)

44. Coffee Family – NEW TO LIST

45. Jones Family

45. True Family

47. Reynolds Family

47. Sanders Family – NEW TO LIST

49. Paul Fireman

50. Barta Family – NEW TO LIST

51. D.K. Boyd

52. Koch Family

53. Riggs Family

54. Stefan Soloviev (up 93,949 acres)

55. Kenedy Memorial Foundation

56. Louis Bacon (up 6,769 acres)

57. Bidegain Family

58. Yates Family (up 121,500 acres)

59. Cassidy Heirs (up 7,195 acres)

60. Scott Family

61. East Wildlife Foundation

62. T.R. Miller Family – NEW TO LIST

63. Hearst Family

64. Gage Heirs

65. Cocanougher Family – NEW TO LIST

66. Eugene Gabrych

66. Hunt Family

66. Langdale Family

69. Skiles Family – NEW TO LIST

70. Williams Family (up 1,450 acres)

71. Bogle Family

71. Durrett Family – NEW TO LIST

73. Kennedy Family – NEW TO LIST

74. Robert Funk

75. McCoy Remme Ranches

76. Mike Mechenbier (up 8,123 acres)

77. Broadbent Family

77. Irwin Heirs

79. Sugg Family

80. Jones Sisters – NEW TO LIST

81. Cogdell Family

81. Fanjul Family

83. JA Ranch Heirs

84. Ellison Family

85. Boswell Family

85. Eddy Family

85. Green Heirs

88. David Murdock

89. Wells Family

90. L-A-D Foundation (up 13 acres)

91. Don Oppliger

92. Benjy Griffith III

92. Walker Family – NEW TO LIST

94. Gerald J. Ford

95. Arthur Nicholas

96. Friedkin Family – NEW TO LIST

97. Patrick Broe

98. Harrison Family

99. Lane Family

100. Walker Heirs – NEW TO LIST

Who Owns The Land? Agricultural Land Ownership by Race/Ethnicity

Posted by Jerrald J President on May 2, 2017 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)



  "Of all private U.S. agricultural land, Whites account for 96 percent of the owners, 97 percent of the value, and 98 percent of the acres". This should explain why Black people in America have nothing. From 1604-1865 we where "SLAVES". From 1865-1965 legal slavery(13th Amendment+Jim Crow). Yet you ask why "Can't we do better". Ownership of land equals "EQUITY" or "WEALTH". Under the scheme called capitalism... By JJP

   Who Owns The Land? Agricultural Land Ownership by Race/Ethnicity

 Of all private U.S. agricultural land, Whites account for 96 percent of the owners, 97 percent of the value, and 98 percent of the acres. Nonetheless, four minority groups (Blacks, American Indians, Asians, and Hispanics) own over 25 million acres of agricultural land, valued at over $44 billion, which has wide-ranging consequences for the social, economic, cultural, and political life of minority communities in rural America. This article presents the most recent national data available on the racial and ethnic dimensions of agricultural land ownership in the United States, based largely on USDA’s Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey of 1999.

Global debt explodes at 'eye-watering' pace to hit 170 trillion

Posted by Jerrald J President on April 29, 2017 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)



 The question that should be on your mind is; if the world's entire GDP is only worth $90-Trillion dollars. How can the debt be paid off, there's not enough currency in circulation to pay it off. It's key strokes on a computer! By JJP

 Global debt explodes at 'eye-watering' pace to hit £170 trillion

  Global debt has climbed at an "eye-watering" pace over the past decade, soaring to a fresh high of £170 trillion last year, according to the Institute of International Finance (IIF).


The IIF said total debt levels, including household, government and corporate debt, climbed by more than $70 trillion over the last 10 years to a record high of $215 trillion (£173 trillion) in 2016 - or the equivalent of 325pc of global gross domestic product (GDP).


It said emerging markets posed "a growing source of concern" to financial stability and the global economy as debt burdens in these countries climb at a rapid pace.



Growing vulnerabilities


The IIF data showed the increase was partly driven by a "spectacular rise" in emerging markets, where total debt stood at $55 trillion at the end of 2016, or 215pc of total emerging market GDP.


Debt has risen from $16 trillion in 2006 and $7.4 trillion in 1996.


The body, which represents the world's top financial institutions, said a wave of maturing debt this year presented a "growing refinancing risk".


It estimates that more than $1.1 trillion of emerging market bonds and loans will mature this year, with dollar-denominated debt accounting for a fifth of all redemptions.



It said China faced around $40bn of dollar-denominated redemptions this year, while Russia faced redemptions of $20bn.



International bodies including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have warned that rising interest rates in the US could bring an end to an emerging market corporate debt binge as companies in these countries see their debt servicing costs rise in local currency terms.


"While risks associated with currency mismatches may not be as acute as during past emerging market debt crises, the overall emerging market debt burden - particularly as global interest rates head higher - is a growing source of concern," the IIF said in a note.


The Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said on Tuesday that credit in China continued to grow at a "rapid" pace.


Corporate credit in the world's second largest economy has climbed to 166pc of nominal GDP.


The IMF at the end of last year warned of broader risks to the global economy.


While the global economy appears to be turning a corner, the Fund said there was a risk that low growth, high debt and weak banks could push the world in a dangerous direction.


It said the "sheer size of debt could set the stage for an unprecedented private deleveraging process that could thwart the fragile economic recovery".


Governments lead advanced economy debt rise


The increase in debt in advanced economies has been led by rising public sector debt, according to the IIF.


Outstanding government debt in the US and UK has more than doubled since 2006, data shows, while Japan and the eurozone have seen a 50pc increase.


By contrast, households and businesses in advanced economies embarked on a period of "substantial deleveraging" in the decade after the crisis, compared with growth of $72 trillion in the ten years to 2016.


Private debt as a share of GDP fell by almost 30 percentage points in the UK between 2008 and 2015, according to the IMF, representing the biggest reduction in the advanced world.


Emerging market debt boom


The "substantial rise" in emerging market debt over the past decade has been driven by the development of local currency bond markets.


Total local currency debt stood at $48.5 trillion in 2016, while foreign currency debt stood at $7.2 trillion.


The IIF said foreign currency debt was below the peak seen in the second quarter of 2014, though this drop was driven by Chinese companies repaying dollar-denominated debt, and a loan restructuring programme in Hungary.


It said Latin American countries had seen much sharper increases in foreign currency debt, including Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, as well as Turkey and South Africa.


Corporate debt burdens are also much higher. The IIF said increases had been "concentrated in non-financial corporates, where debt-to-GDP has risen from 68pc in 2006 to 100pc in 2016", even though the pace of growth has slowed in recent quarters.

Barack Obama to be paid $400,000 for speech at Cantor Fitzgerald event

Posted by Jerrald J President on April 28, 2017 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)


  This is why you have to follow the money! Wall Street get's bailed out by "OUR" governement with interest free money. The  banks own the Insurance companies, which in turn bank roll Senator Barack Obama presidential campaign. Senator Obama becomes President. ObamaCare get's passed Insurance companies get rich. Banks get America! By JJP


Barack Obama to be paid $400,000 for speech at Cantor Fitzgerald event

Former US president criticised over role at Wall Street firm’s conference after he previously vowed crackdown on ‘fat cats’


Last modified on Wednesday 26 April 2017 19.40 EDT


Barack Obama is to be paid $400,000 (£312,000) to speak at a healthcare conference organised by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald, despite his criticism of the finance sector when he was US president.


The fee is nearly double that received by Hillary Clinton, who had hoped to succeed him as president, for speeches at Goldman Sachs and indicates the scale of the potential earnings of the former US president.


Neither his representatives nor Cantor Fitzgerald could be reached to comment on the reports from the US, where he is facing criticism for his decision to accept the engagement.


In 2010, Obama was credited with pushing through legislation that was intended to clamp down on Wall Street. A year earlier he said that he did not run for office to help out “a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street”.


Since the end of his second term he has started to write his memoir – he and his wife, Michelle, are reportedly receiving $60m for separate accounts – and took a holiday with the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.




/ 2:33




‘So what’s been going on?’: Barack Obama returns to public stage

But Obama, 55, returned to the public stage this week to speak at the University of Chicago, where he said he would support future leaders. He told the audience that economic inequality and lack of opportunity, a skewed criminal justice system and climate change must be confronted.



“All those problems are serious, they’re daunting, but they’re not insoluble. What is preventing us from tackling them and making more progress really has to do with our politics and civic life,” he said.


The Cantor Fitzgerald event is scheduled for September, with Obama being described as the keynote speaker at a lunch during the healthcare conference. The firm, which had offices in the World Trade Center and lost two-thirds of its staff in the September 11 attacks, is not known for its Democratic links: Howard Lutnick, Cantor’s chairman and chief executive, is reported to have backed Jeb Bush, the Republican who lost out to Donald Trump for the party’s presidential nomination.


Fox News, which first reported the speaking engagement, quoted Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic political consultant, as saying: “He went on the attack against Wall Street and now he’s being fed by those same people he called fat cats. It’s more hypocritical than ironic.”


However, Obama is joining a long line of former senior politicians to be paid for speeches. Bill Clinton was reportedly paid $750,000 for a speech in Hong Kong to the telecoms company Ericsson. His wife, Hillary, disclosed during her presidential campaign that they had been paid more than $25m in speaking fees since January 2014.



Politico has reported that George W Bush is paid up to $175,000 for every speech while the former presidential candidate Sarah Palin is said to have received $115,000 for one speech.


UK politicians also command hefty fees for speeches. The former chancellor George Osborne – who is not standing for re-election in June – disclosed that he had received more than £500,000 from speeches in the US, including two events for JP Morgan at £81,174 and £60,578 each, last year.


In 2009 Tony Blair received £390,000 for two half-hour speeches in the Philippines, while Gordon Brown has donated fees of about £70,000 for speaking engagements to his charitable foundation.

18 Big Companies That Paid Zero in Taxes? Here's the Deal

Posted by Jerrald J President on April 26, 2017 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)



  If you think this bad, wait until the Trump tax cut's go into effect! By JJP


18 Big Companies That Paid Zero in Taxes? Here’s the Deal


A flawed tax code couples a high top rate with big deductions—you might even call them loopholes. GE calls report “deeply flawed and misleading.”


Once health care is tamed, President Donald Trump and Congress will turn to other bears, such as the byzantine U.S. tax code. Conveniently, a new report has come out on legal tax avoidance.


The report, from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, says 18 of America’s biggest corporations paid zero federal income tax from 2008 to 2015.


Feel free at this point to bang your head on the tax forms strewn across your kitchen table. After that, consider these points:



1. General Electric Co., International Paper Co., Priceline Group, and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. were among the companies that the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy says had no net tax liability at all over the period.


2. These are not simple calculations. They involve complicated assumptions and choices, such as what bits to put in the numerator (the tax) and what bits to put in the denominator (the profit). General Electric called the report “deeply flawed and misleading” and added: “Over the last decade, GE paid $32.9 billion in cash income taxes worldwide, including in the U.S.”


3. The Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy and its sister organization, Citizens for Tax Justice, lean left. Sample blog headline: “Bernie Sanders Is a Champion for Tax Fairness.” That said, CTJ's corporate-tax studies have been cited even by neutral experts.


4. Note the word “legal” in “legal tax avoidance.” These companies obeyed the law, as far as anyone knows. If you have a problem with their actions, blame Congress, not the companies and their highly skilled tax attorneys and accountants.


5. ITEP cites the 18 companies to reinforce its larger point: that corporate taxes are lower than they appear to be. One of President Trump's familiar talking points is that the U.S. has just about the world's highest corporate tax rate. The ITEP report is titled The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth. It says that of the 258 companies in its sample that had profits every year from 2008 to 2015, the average “effective” tax rate was 21.2 percent.



6. It's pretty well accepted by now that while the U.S. has one of the very highest top rates on corporate income, its average rate isn’t unusually high because there are lots of allowable deductions. So the new report, the latest in a series going back to the 1980s, isn’t breaking any conceptual ground.


7. Most of the 18 companies on the list are electric utilities. That’s no coincidence. During the financial crisis, Congress enacted a policy called “bonus depreciation” intended to stimulate economic growth. It allowed companies to write off new investments right away. Because they do a lot of investment, utilities enjoyed some of the biggest benefits. The downside? Because the investments are already fully written off, the companies won’t be able to get a tax benefit from depreciating them in future years, notes PG&E spokesman Brian Hertzog. International Paper also cited bonus depreciation, along with the impact of the recession and pension fund contributions. A spokeswoman for Priceline disputed the report, citing filings showing it did pay federal income taxes.


8. Just about everyone agrees that the U.S. corporate income tax system is a mess. That includes GE, which said in a statement, “The tax code is complex and outdated, which is exactly why tax reform must happen this year. GE has long been advocating to simplify and modernize the tax system—even if it means we pay more in taxes.”


9. Even if 35 percent isn’t what companies pay, the top rate does matter. As every student of intro econ learns, decisions are made at the margin, not on the average. If the government grabs 35 percent of the last dollar of income you earn, you'll be at least a bit discouraged from earning that last dollar. “There’s a good argument for coming up with some broader business tax with a lower rate that doesn’t allow so many deductions,” said Alan Cole, an economist at the Tax Foundation, which describes itself as nonpartisan and which Cole called more “market-leaning” than ITEP and Citizens for Tax Justice.


10. The report urges Congress to stop allowing U.S. companies to defer federal taxes on offshore profits. More than $1 trillion in cash has piled up abroad because companies don’t want to pay U.S. tax on it. That may be a good idea, but only if it’s coupled with a cut in the top rate. Otherwise U.S. companies would have an even stronger incentive to shift their headquarters overseas to escape U.S. taxation, Cole said.


Now go pay your taxes.

Special report: America's perpetual state of emergency

Posted by Jerrald J President on April 24, 2017 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)



  Special report: America's perpetual state of emergency


WASHINGTON — The United States is in a perpetual state of national emergency.


Thirty separate emergencies, in fact.


An emergency declared by President Jimmy Carter on the 10th day of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979 remains in effect almost 35 years later.


A post-9/11 state of national emergency declared by President George W. Bush — and renewed six times by President Obama — forms the legal basis for much of the war on terror.


Tuesday, President Obama informed Congress he was extending another Bush-era emergency for another year, saying "widespread violence and atrocities" in the Democratic Republic of Congo "pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States."


Those emergencies, declared by the president by proclamation or executive order, give the president extraordinary powers — to seize property, call up the National Guard and hire and fire military officers at will.


"What the National Emergencies Act does is like a toggle switch, and when the president flips it, he gets new powers. It's like a magic wand. and there are very few constraints about how he turns it on," said Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor at Princeton University.


If invoked during a public health emergency, a presidential emergency declaration could allow hospitals more flexibility to treat Ebola cases. The Obama administration has said declaring a national emergency for Ebola is unnecessary.


In his six years in office, President Obama has declared nine emergencies, allowed one to expire and extended 22 emergencies enacted by his predecessors.


Since 1976, when Congress passed the National Emergencies Act, presidents have declared at least 53 states of emergency — not counting disaster declarations for events such as tornadoes and floods, according to a USA TODAY review of presidential documents. Most of those emergencies remain in effect.


Even as Congress has delegated emergency powers to the president, it has provided almost no oversight. The 1976 law requires each house of Congress to meet within six months of an emergency to vote it up or down. That's never happened.

United States of Emergency


U.S. presidents have declared 52 states of emergency since Congress passed the National Emergencies Act in 1976. Thirty are still in effect. A breakdown by president:


Instead, many emergencies linger for years or even decades.


Last week, Obama renewed a state of national emergency declared in 1995 to deal with Colombia drug trafficking, saying drug lords "continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States and to cause an extreme level of violence, corruption and harm in the United States and abroad."


In May, President Obama rescinded a Bush-era executive order that protected Iraqi oil interests and their contractors from legal liability. Even as he did so, he left the state of emergency declared in that executive order intact — because at least two other executive orders rely on it.


Invoking those emergencies can give presidents broad and virtually unchecked powers. In an article published last year in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, attorney Patrick Thronson identified 160 laws giving the president emergency powers, including the authority to:


• Reshape the military, putting members of the armed forces under foreign command, conscripting veterans, overturning sentences issued by courts-martial and taking over weather satellites for military use.


• Suspend environmental laws, including a law forbidding the dumping of toxic and infectious medical waste at sea.


• Bypass federal contracting laws, allowing the government to buy and sell property without competitive bidding.


• Allow unlimited secret patents for Army, Navy and Air Force scientists.


All these provisions come from laws passed by Congress, giving the president the power to invoke them with the stroke of a pen. "A lot of laws are passed like that. So if a president is hunting around for additional authority, declaring an emergency is pretty easy," Scheppele said.


In 2009, Obama declared a state of national emergency for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. That emergency, which quietly expired a year later, allowed for waivers of some Medicare and Medicaid regulations — for example, permitting hospitals to screen or treat an infectious illness off-site — and to waive medical privacy laws.


Unlike the Ebola crisis, the swine flu had hospitalized 20,000 people and killed 1,000 when Obama declared an emergency.


At a congressional hearing last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said another emergency power — the ability to waive procurement regulations — may be helpful in responding to Ebola.


The White House said an Ebola emergency isn't necessary. "I'm not aware of any consideration that currently is underway (for) any sort of national medical emergency," spokesman Josh Earnest said last week. "I wouldn't rule it out, but frankly ... that's not something that we're actively considering right now."


Presidential emergency powers are hardly new. The Militia Acts of 1792 gave the president the authority to take over state militias to put down an insurrection, which is what President George Washington did two years later during the Whiskey Rebellion. President Abraham Lincoln commandeered ships, raised armies and suspended habeas corpus — all without approval from Congress.


President Franklin Roosevelt declared a state of emergency in 1933 to prevent a run on banks, and President Harry Truman declared one in 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War. After President Richard Nixon declared two states of emergency in 17 months, Congress became alarmed by four simultaneous states of emergency.


It passed the National Emergencies Act by an overwhelming majority, requiring the president to cite a legal basis for the emergency and say which emergency powers he would exercise. All emergencies would expire after one year if not renewed by the president.


Three days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush issued Proclamation 7463. It allowed him to call up the National Guard and appoint and fire military officers under the rank of lieutenant general.

President George W. Bush sits with his National Security



That proclamation has been renewed every year since 2001, including by Obama last month.


As of Sept. 30, about 25,700 guard and reserve troops remain involuntarily called up to federal service on the authority of Bush's proclamation, the Pentagon says. Canceling the state of emergency would allow them to go home.


Eight generals and admirals have been appointed to their positions despite laws limiting the number of general officers in each service. That's because the state of emergency allows the president to bypass the law and appoint an unlimited number of one- and two-star generals.


Those numbers are down significantly from their peaks over the past decade. There were 202,750 guard and reserves called up involuntarily in 2003. In 2009, the military had 89 more generals and admirals than Congress allowed for in a non-emergency situation.


The Department of Defense is conducting a review of how it would meet staffing needs if the president fails to renew the state of emergency, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman. That review has been going on quietly for years, and the emergency has been extended each time.


Bush's Proclamation 7463 provides much of the legal underpinning for the war on terror. Bush cited that state of emergency, for example, in his military order allowing the detention of al-Qaeda combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and their trial by military commission.


The post-9/11 emergency declaration is in its 13th year. Eleven emergencies are even older.




The oldest operational emergency was issued by President Carter in 1979. For Mohamad Nazemzadeh, that state of emergency isn't an academic debate. He's on trial because of it and could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


Nazemzadeh, an Iranian-born Ph.D. biochemical engineer, was a research fellow at the University of Michigan where he did research on new radiation therapies to cure cancer and epilepsy. In 2011, he attempted to broker the sale of a $21,400 refurbished MRI coil to an Iranian hospital.

Mohamad Nazemzadeh



That's illegal under a string of executive orders dating back to the Carter administration. Carter, invoking his emergency powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, imposed an embargo on trade with Iran in 1979. That emergency has been renewed every year since.


In its current form, the executive order has an exception for medicine — but not medical equipment.


In 2010, Congress passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability and Divestiture Act. The law tightened sanctions against Iran but included broader exceptions, including for medical equipment such as the MRI coil.


Nazemzadeh's lawyer, Shereen Charlick, argued that Congress delegated the emergency powers to the president and intended to take part of them back with the 2010 law.


"The congressional exemptions trump the executive order. Since Congress is the lawmaking body and gave the president the emergency powers in the first place, it can remove the authority it delegated to the president. That's my argument," Charlick said. "I did not prevail on that argument. I still think I'm completely right."


Judge James Lorenz rejected that argument. "It is undisputed that the plain language of IEEPA vests authority to the president to declare an emergency and implement economic sanctions," he said in his ruling in January. Even though Congress made it legal to send medical equipment, the president can use his emergency powers under the old law to require a license, the judge ruled.


Nazemzadeh didn't have a license. Such licenses are routine but expensive.


"If you look at the history of IEEPA, it was to give the president extra powers in times of emergency. It wasn't intended to permanently expand the powers of the executive branch. It's all on fairly shaky ground," said Clif Burns, a Washington sanctions lawyer.


The president uses that emergency power because it's the only tool he has to enforce sanctions. Congress has twice allowed the Export Administration Act to lapse — first from 1994 to 2000 and again since 2001 — because of a dispute over anti-boycott provisions involving Israel.


"The president, as well as his predecessors, have declared a number of national emergencies in the context of IEEPA in order to impose economic sanctions, including with respect to the situations in Iran, Syria and in order to address terrorism and proliferation concerns," said Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council. He declined to discuss the internal deliberations around the declaration or renewal of national emergencies.




The National Emergencies Act allows Congress to overturn an emergency by a resolution passed by both houses — which could then be vetoed by the president. In 38 years, only one resolution has ever been introduced to cancel an emergency.


After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, President Bush declared a state of emergency allowing him to waive federal wage laws. Contractors rebuilding after the hurricane would not have to abide by the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires workers to be paid the local prevailing wage.

An aerial view shows the flooded area in the northern


(Photo: Menahem Kahana, AFP/Getty Images)


Democrats — and some Republicans from union-friendly states such as Ohio and West Virginia — cried foul. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., introduced a resolution that would have terminated the emergency. Bush, under pressure from Congress, revoked it himself two months later, and Miller's resolution was moot.


"The history here is so clear. The Congress hasn't done much of anything," said Harold Relyea, who studied national emergencies during a 37-year career at the Congressional Research Service. "Congress has not been the watchdog. It's very toothless, and the partisanship hasn't particularly helped."


If anything, Congress may be inclined to give the president additional emergency powers. Legislation pending in Congress would allow the president to invoke an emergency to waive liability for health care providers and to sanction banks that do business with Hezbollah.


Scheppele, the Princeton professor, said emergencies have become so routine that they are "declared and undeclared often without a single headline."


"If we had to break the glass and flip the switch in order to do it ... it would be helpful for the alarm to go off at least. It's a sign that normal law isn't set up right," she said. "States of emergency always bypass something else. So what we need to look at is what's being bypassed, and should that be fixed."