FIRE is an acronym for Finance, Insurance and Real Estate. Basically that sector is about assets, not production and consumption. And most people think of the economy as being producers making goods and services and paying labor to produce them and then, labour is going to buy these goods and services. But this production and consumption economy is surrounded by the asset economy: the web of Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate of who owns assets, and who owes the debts, and to whom.
70 to 80% of bank loans in North America and Europe are mortgage loans against real estate. Banks lend more and more money to the real estate sector. A home or piece of real estate, or a stock or bond, is worth whatever banks are willing to lend against it.
Savers operate at the top of the pyramid, the 1% lending out their savings to the 99%. The overall net savings may be zero. But gross savings are much higher, 18-19% of the US economy. Every economy is a credit economy. (Michael Hudson) read more
Zelaya's government offered free education and school meals to children, provided subsidies to small farmers and free electricity to the poor, reduced interest rates and increased the minimum wage. This earned Zelaya the love of his people, but the hatred of the elite and, consequently, the United States. So Hillary and Obama had Zelaya deposed in a right wing coup.
U.S. Ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens wrote "there is no doubt" that Zelaya's removal "constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup". He was ignored. Secretary of State Clinton's friend and ally Lanny Davis was the Washington lobbyist for the Honduran business community. Through Davis, Hillary contacted one of the conspirators, Roberto Micheletti. She would later write in her book, Hard Choices, that she helped push the Honduran elite to feign legitimacy through elections, "which would render the question of Zelaya moot". The U.S. backed the coup and increased military aid to the new government. (Vijay Prashad) read more
Think of Republicans and despair for the human race. Even the ones who otherwise seem morally and intellectually sound champion political views straight out of Morons R'Us.
However, Democrats are worse, not morally or intellectually, and neither are their views worse. But within the matrix of our two party system, Democrats do the most harm. Democrats buy snake oil at Morons R'Us too.
Were it not for New York State's election rules, which disenfranchised large numbers of potential Sanders voters, and for the Democratic Party machines that the Clintons concocted or took over during the past decade and a half, Sanders might have been able to sustain the momentum he brought into the New York primary by winning there. He would then have been well positioned to give the Clinton juggernaut a run for its money in the remaining primaries. (Andrew Levine) read more
President Barack Obama said, "If you look at the economic platforms of the Republican candidates for president, they don't simply defy logic and any known economic theories, they are fantasy. Slashing taxes for those at the very top, dismantling regulatory regimes that protect our air and our environment and then projecting that this is going to lead to 5-7% growth, and claiming that they'll do all this while balancing the budget, nobody with the most rudimentary knowledge of economics thinks that any of this is possible."
Donald Trump's tax plan would reduce federal government revenues by $9.5 trillion over a decade, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. That would trigger an increase in the national debt of 80% of GDP by 2036 unless there were massive spending cuts.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tax proposal would reduce federal revenue by $8.6 trillion over a decade, mostly for the wealthiest Americans, according to the Tax Policy Center. (Daniel Marans) read more
WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth braked sharply in the first quarter to its slowest pace in two years as consumer spending softened and a strong dollar continued to undercut exports.
Gross domestic product increased at a 0.5 percent annual rate, the weakest since the first quarter of 2014. Almost all sectors of the economy weakened in the first quarter, with the housing market the lone star.
The Fed left its benchmark overnight interest rate unchanged and suggested it was in no hurry to tighten monetary policy further. It hiked rates in December for the first time in nearly a decade.
Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, increased at a 1.9 percent rate. That was the slowest since the first quarter of 2015 and marked a deceleration from the fourth quarter's 2.4 percent rate. (Lucia Mutikani) read more