Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Our Government Is Now Orwell On Steroids

"Yes, Virginia, two plus two can equal five.  And since we're the U.S. Government, we can tell you that two plus two equals six."
Caution:  our Governmental system is now on full retard.

Today's GDP report was a complete Orwellian farce.  The annualized number for Q2 was reported to be 1.7%.  Of course, lost in the shuffle was the second massive downward revision for Q1 GDP, which was revised down again from 1.8% to 1.1%  What that means is that on an inflation-adjusted basis the first quarter GDP was negative - i.e. the economy is in a recession.

However today the Government rolled out its massive "revision" in the overall GDP level going all the way back to 1929.  In sparing you the ugly details, essentially the net affect of this was to raise the overall GDP level by $551 billion. How, you might ask?  The Government went all the way back to 1929 and reclassified all the money spent on "intellectual property products" and reclassified them as "investments" rather than expenses as incurred.  So, if you figure out a new way to remove the wrapper from a Hershey bar, the Government decided that 20% of the cost of that Hershey bar was an "investment" in making your life easier, so 20 cents of the dollar spent becomes an "investment" and added to the GDP.  While that may seem like an absurd analogy, it really isn't.  Here's the BEA's nice marketing flyer on this Orwellian change:  LINK

Of today's 1.7% annualized GDP estimate, .15 is attributed to the new "intellectual property products" and .41 is attributed to inventory build.  Why are businesses building inventory when consumer demand for everything except basic necessities is declining?  If you strip out the unneeded inventory build and erase the intellectual property garbage, the GDP is 1.2%. 

Recall that Q1 GDP was originally reported at 2.4%, revised the first time around to 1.8% and now has been taken down 1.1%.  Expect the same thing to happen to today's farce of a number.  As for the half-trillion dollars added to the overall level of GDP, there's only one reason this was conjured up:  it makes the Debt to GDP ratio look not quite as bad.  It goes from 105% of GDP to 101%.   Brace yourself for a big increase to the debt limit ceiling...

Orwell is laughing his ass off and Atlas just shrugs.


  1. Think sealing Tylenol and all other drugs--adds zero real value (makes them difficult to open)but adds GDP

  2. remember on inventory building you end up capitalizing production overhead costs as inventory value rather than "unfavorable" variances, thus increasing EPS (and decreasing cash but companies have become cash cows due to lower capex)

  3. Economic Recovery by Statistical Manipulation

    However, it appears income (GDI) is rising faster than GDP output. The BEA revisions therefore appear aimed at raising GDP to the higher GDI levels.

    But income is rising faster because investors, wealthy households (2%), and their corporations are increasing their income at an accelerating pace from financial securities investments—that don’t show up in GDP calculations which consider only production of real goods and services and exclude financial securities income like stocks, bonds, and derivatives. So instead of adjusting GDI downward, the BEA will raise GDP. It appears from early press indications it will do this by reducing deductions from GDP due to research and development and by now counting some kinds of financial investments as GDP.

    Apart from making it appear the US economy is doing better than it in fact is, what are the motivations for the forthcoming redefinition of GDP, one should ask?

    For one thing, it will make it appear that US federal spending as a share of GDP is less than it is and that US federal debt as a share of GDP is less than it is. That adds ammunition to the Obama administration as it heads into a major confrontation with the US House of Representatives, controlled by radical Republicans, over the coming 2014 budget and debt ceiling negotiations again in a couple of months. It also will assist the joint Obama-US House effort to cut corporate taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars more, as legislation for the same now moves rapidly through Congress in time for the budget-debt ceiling negotiations.

    Revising GDP also enables the Federal Reserve to justify its plans to slow its $85 billion a month liquidity injections (quantitative easing, QE) into the banks and private investors. This ‘tapering’ was raised as a possibility last June, and set off a firestorm of financial asset price declines in a matter of days, forcing the Fed to quickly retreat. But the Fed and global bankers know QE is starting to destabilize the global economy in serious ways and both, along with the Obama administration, are looking for ways to slow and ‘taper’ its magnitude—i.e. slow the $85 billion. Redefining GDP upward, along with upward revisions to jobs in coming months, will allow the Fed to revisit ‘tapering’ after September, when the budget-debt ceiling-corporate tax cut deals are concluded between Obama and the US House Republicans.

  4. Dave, Don't you think that as long as the U.S. is the worlds reserve currency and has all the military power, that it can keep this going for a while ? Interesting interview with Catherine Austin Fitts. I hope you can take some time to watch and render your opinion. Thanks.

    1. No. I think China is systematically attacking us using gold and currency swap/trading deals with all the big trading nations. They would dump our Treasuries but know it's not the best move for them. They'll make so much money from their gold when Treasuries/the dollar collapse that it won't matter.

    2. This country has been so gutted by elitists that they don't care either. They have domiciles all over the world. We're in the end game. Read or re-read Atlas Shrugged. Or just re-read the last 1/4 of it. That's what's happening here now.

  5. The U.S. Military Has Awarded Contracts to Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan

    I suppose it just wasn’t enough that our allies, “the rebels” in Syria, have significant Al-Qaeda elements to them. No, we are the USA! USA! Best country ever. Defender of human rights. City on a hill. We must do far more than that. So we did.

    This story below from Bloomberg, highlights a 236-page report by the U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office, which shows that military contracts have been granted to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Yep, this is exactly what happens when an empire gets too big, too corrupt, and ends up in the hands of a bunch of sociopaths. From Bloomberg:

    Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

    “I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

  6. upon further review-

    we could easily see more inventory building because if we are seeing inflation move in-price inflation that is--its a decent strategy to build inv ahead of the inflation--not only material costs but if the Govt starts screwing around with minimum wages all wages head up.

  7. Countering devaluation: Govt slaps temporary ban on gold import


    In an attempt to address steep devaluation of the rupee against the dollar, Pakistan on Tuesday temporarily banned import of gold to save the precious foreign currency reserves.

    The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, took the decision to ban the import of the yellow metal for one month with immediate effect.

    During a meeting with Dar in Karachi last week, the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP) had claimed that smuggling of gold to India was causing rupee devaluation, as the importers were mopping up dollars from the market to meet the needs of the Indian buyers.

    After the Indian government’s decision to discourage gold import by imposing 8% duties, the buyers had shifted to Pakistan where the commodity was allowed to be imported duty free since 2001.

    For encouraging re-export of gold products Pakistan had allowed the duty free import of gold under “Entrustment” and the “Self Consignment” schemes of 2001.

    “There have been serious apprehensions that these schemes for duty free import of gold are being abused by some unscrupulous elements and the national interest is being damaged. Instead of being used for its intended purpose, the gold is being smuggled to India,” read an official handout.

    According to the ECC decision, the operation of these schemes will remain suspended till end-August and the ban will allow the government sufficient time to re-examine the operation of these schemes with a view to speedily removing any loopholes and deficiencies.

    1. Government borrowing and debt is the ONLY THING keeping the stock, bond and real estate markets afloat...PERIOD. The longer we keep ignoring the 800 lb gorilla..the worse the collapse will be when
      the INEVITABLE INFLATION hits US and the whole world. It's as simple as credit card limits...Once no one will lend us money....our profligate lifestyle for the last 70 years catches up with us, and economic reality sets in. THERE AINT NO FREE LUNCH....If all we had to do was PRINT money....there'd be no need for anyone to work.

  8. Senators question energy market settlement with JPMorgan

    In a letter to the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, both of Massachusetts, questioned whether the settlement announced on Tuesday included “adequate refunds to defrauded ratepayers.”

    They also asked FERC why certain JPMorgan executives “who sought to impede the commission’s investigation” will not be punished.

  9. XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'
    • XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
    • NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
    • Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history

    A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet.

    The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian's earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.

    US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden's assertion: "He's lying. It's impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do."

    But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

    pink slime soup and bad gin...

  10. I was under the impression that headline GDP figures were already adjusted for inflation, so don't think your suggestion that US is in recession (on inflation adjusted basis) is correct.

    "Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
    located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013"


    1. Um, do you REALLY think the inflation rate is the .7% annualized CPI deflator used by the Government? That's embarrassing for you if you do.

    2. There's no need for hostility. I was not saying I agreed with the official inflation figures, but your post implies you were talking about them. What inflation figures would you suggest it should be deflated by? If we used Shadow Stats inflation figures then you could make the argument the US has been in recession for decades...

    3. Shadow Stats calculates CPI the way it was calculated in 1990. I don't know why everyone doesn't use that one.

      The U.S. has been in economic contraction on a real inflation-adjusted basis for a long time. Think about how long it's been since a typical family could get by on one wage-earner and maintain the same standard of living that a one-wage family had in 1965. It's why the overall level of personal debt has been rising for decades.

  11. A Forensic Investigation...regarding gold rehypothecation and fractional reserve banking

    Before we begin, I just want to salute SSJ for his diligence in attacking this subject. As you all know, if we collectively wait for "mainstream" outlets to pursue the facts regarding gold rehypothecation and fractional reserve banking, the truth will remain hidden. It is only through the efforts of concerned individuals like SSJ that we will be able to prepare for and anticipate the next acts of the wicked central banks and their sinister bullion bank accomplices. let's begin at the end. Here are the conclusions I posted and asked SSJ to review:

    GLD was "funded" with gold leased out (sold) by the BoE and SNB.
    With everything going on, not only are those entities no longer willing to provide supply, they're actually taking their gold back before it's too late.
    Holders like Paulson and Soros are the "fly in the ointment" as they have a GLD claim on the same gold that the BoE and SNB claim as their own "leased" assets.
    We are witnessing a managed, slow-burn "run" on the London vaults, where supposed "allocated" gold rests for entities worldwide but this gold has instead been leased out, not only to the GLD, but sold into the market and currently dangling around the necks and wrists of Asians as well as being recast into 1Kg Chinese bars.

  12. If this isn't a good enough reason to stop watching MSM news I don't know what is. Sociopaths on full display here


  13. Michael Lewis: Did Goldman Sachs Overstep in Criminally Charging Its Ex-Programmer?

    What Serge did not yet know was that Goldman had discovered his downloads just a few days earlier, months after he’d made the first of them. They’d called the F.B.I. in haste, just two days before, and then put their agent through what amounted to a crash course on high-frequency trading and computer programming. McSwain later conceded that he didn’t seek out independent expert advice to study the code Serge Aleynikov had taken. (“I relied on statements from Goldman employees.”) He himself had no idea of the value of the stolen code (“Representatives of Goldman told me it was worth a lot of money”) or if any of it was actually all that special (he based his belief that the code contained trade secrets on “representations made by members of Goldman Sachs”). The agent noted that the Goldman files were on both the personal computer and the thumb drive he’d taken from Serge at Newark Airport. (But virtually none of those files had been opened. If they were so important, why hadn’t Serge looked at them in the month since he’d left Goldman?) The F.B.I.’s investigation before the arrest consisted of trusting Goldman’s explanation of some extremely complicated stuff, and 48 hours after Goldman called the F.B.I., Serge was arrested.

    On the night of the arrest—without an arrest warrant—Serge waived his right to call a lawyer. He phoned his wife and told her what had happened and that a bunch of F.B.I. agents were on the way to their home to seize their computers, and to please let them in—though they had no search warrant, either. Then he sat down and politely tried to clear up the F.B.I. agent’s confusion. “How could [the agent] figure out if this was a theft if he didn’t understand what was taken?” Serge recalls having asked himself. What he’d done, in his view, was trivial; what he stood accused of—violating both the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 and the National Stolen Property Act—did not sound trivial at all. Still, he thought, if the agent understood how computers and the high-frequency-trading business actually worked, the matter would be quickly cleared up. “The reason I was explaining it to him was to show that there was nothing there,” Serge says. “He was completely not interested in the content of what I am saying. He just kept saying to me, ‘If you tell me everything, I’ll talk to the judge, and he’ll go easy on you.’ It appeared they had a very strong bias from the very beginning. They had goals they wanted to fulfill. The goal was to obtain an immediate confession.” (The F.B.I. declined to comment on Aleynikov’s case.)

  14. Bloomberg Interview on Recession

    ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan joing Bloomberg TV this morning to discuss our recession call, and how the U.S. economy is now resembling Japan's "lost decades."

  15. Corporate Sell-Outs Exploit a Secret New Gimmick
    August 1, 2013
    by David Sirota

    To know Greeley has it right, just consider the career of one of the architects of this scheme, Max Baucus.

    The retiring Montana senator is the senior Democrat on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee. In that position, he hasn’t used his power to rid the tax code of corporate-written loopholes, subsidies and handouts – the public record shows that he has used his power to riddle the tax code with those expensive giveaways. In exchange for embedding those handouts in the tax code, Baucus has been rewarded handsomely with campaign cash to the point where he has been famously labeled “K Street’s Favorite Senator.” That label is particularly appropriate considering a recent dispatch from The New York Times showing that “no other lawmaker on Capitol Hill has such a sizable constellation of former aides working as tax lobbyists.”

    In light of such a record, the notion that Baucus has built the anonymous submission system in order to help challenge K Street is, in a word, absurd. Having spent so much political capital enriching his corporate donors and lobbyists at the expense of taxpayers, he is retiring with one last gift to those benefactors – a secrecy system designed to let them rewrite the tax code from scratch in a way that most serves their interests.

  16. Tick Tock…They Pulled the Pin!

    “Liquidity” is what makes the world go round. “Liquidity” if you recall, was (still is) the primary tool that was applied to “fix” the world after the 2008 Lehman event. Yes, it was absolutely necessary to flood the system; otherwise we would have seen a default cascade. And no, “liquidity” did not fix anything. It only kept the system going and prolonged the end game.

    Well, we are again seeing a big problem right now behind the scenes when it comes to liquidity. Not with stocks, not with bonds…but with commodities. I spoke today with the owner of a large supplier to Miles Franklin and he told me that “liquidity” is drying up for the ability to hedge precious metals. I will try to explain the best that I can, it is somewhat above my pay grade as I am a horseman with street smarts, not a computer geek esoteric rocket scientist.

    When you call a coin dealer to purchase (or sell) in any sizeable quantity, the dealer will then call their supplier. The supplier will then take the order and call their dealer; in the meantime there will be 2-4 days before the metal arrives so this dealer must protect themselves against market movement. They will call an “aggregator” to lay off the risk. An aggregator deals in OTC contracts and will write a contract down to the exact ounce. They take the opposite side of the trade in other words, for a small premium which of course is built into the original price of the trade and is ultimately paid for by the end client.

    The above is super simplified but please understand that this is how the world turns in ALL markets. Risk must be, and is hedged through these aggregators with ECP’s (eligible contract participants). We heard on the 20th that Morgan Stanley was exiting this market, then on the 25th it was JP Morgan’s turn and now this week it is others. These firms are “ECP’s” who ultimately take on the risk. I should rephrase that…they WERE the ones who took on the risk as they are now exiting the business.

    So I asked, “How can you still do business without hedging?” to which I found out that so far this week almost ALL of the hedging has been done through Europe, particularly for silver. There is liquidity…just not any coming from the US. He also told me that between 2:00PM and 5:00PM this week he was not able to do any silver hedging at all because there was nowhere to hedge as Europe is sleeping.

    Is this why we often see late day pops, at times?

    How can average guy tell tightness in otc markets?

  17. Triple-Feature: “America Discredited,” “Bradley Manning Verdict Convicts Washington,” and “Hiding Economic Depression With Spin” — Paul Craig Roberts

    America Discredited

    Paul Craig Roberts

    As Washington loses its grip on the world, defied by Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and now Russia, the US government resorts to public temper tantrums. The constant demonstration of childishness on the part of the White House and Congress embarrasses every American.

    Washington’s latest outburst of childish behavior is a response to the Russian Immigration Service granting US whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum in Russia for one year while his request for permanent asylum is considered. Washington, having turned the US into a lawless state, no longer has any conception of legal procedure. Law is whatever serves Washington. As Washington sees it, law is nothing but Washington’s will. Any person or country that interferes with Washington’s will is behaving unlawfully.

    Because Obama, like Bush before him, routinely disobeys US law and the US Constitution, the White House actually thinks that Russian President Putin should disobey Russian and international law, overturn the Russian Immigration Service’s asylum decision, and hand over Snowden to Washington.

    The White House spokesman, who is so unimpressive that I cannot remember his/her
    name/gender, declared that the White House moron might punish Putin by not going to visit him in Moscow next month. I doubt Putin cares whether the WH moron shows up.

    The WH moron’s term of office is close to an end, but Putin, unless the CIA assassinates him, will be there for another decade. Moreover, every Russian leader has learned that a US president’s word means nothing. Clinton, the two Bushes and the current WH moron violated every agreement that Reagan made with Gorbachev. Why would the president of Russia, a nation ruled by law, want to meet with a tyrant?

  18. How six months before WWII Britain gave Hitler $9-million in gold (that belonged to another country)

    There is more to the tale of Czechoslovak gold being stolen by Germany than the Bank of England’s embarrassment – the Bank for International Settlements actually financed Hitler’s war machine, says Adam LeBor.

    The documents reveal a shocking story: just six months before Britain went to war with Nazi Germany, the Bank of England willingly handed over nearly $9-million worth of gold to Hitler – and it belonged to another country.

    The official history of the bank, written in 1950 but posted online for the first time on Tuesday, reveals how we betrayed Czechoslovakia – not just with the infamous Munich agreement of September 1938, which allowed the Nazis to annex the Sudetenland, but also in London, where Montagu Norman, the eccentric but ruthless governor of the Bank of England agreed to surrender gold owned by the National Bank of Czechoslovakia.

    The Czechoslovak gold was held in London in a sub-account in the name of the Bank for International Settlements, the Basel-based bank for central banks. When the Nazis marched into Prague in March 1939 they immediately sent armed soldiers to the offices of the National Bank. The Czech directors were ordered, on pain of death, to send two transfer requests.

    central banksters....scumbags then, scumbags today.

  19. Montagu Norman didn't surrender it to Hitler he gave it to Max Warburg in part compensation for the purchase of the Reichbank by Hitler through the BIS. Warburg was what they call a sovereign and Hitler was a nobody.

  20. Congress to get Obamacare exemption: report

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — The White House has approved a deal that will exempt members of Congress and their staff from some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, Politico reported late Thursday.

    Under the law, popularly referred to as Obamacare, lawmakers and their aides were required to source health insurance “created” by the law or offered through one of its exchanges, and without the subsidies they currently enjoy, the members of Congress would have faced thousands of dollars in additional premium payments each year, the report said.

    However, the Office of Personnel Management now plans to rule that the government can continue to make a contribution to the health-care premiums of the lawmakers and their staff, it said, citing unnamed congressional sources and a White House official.

  21. Swaps Probe Finds Banks Rigged Rate at Expense of Retirees

    Skyscrapers to Annuities

    ISDAfix is used to value derivatives trades known as swaptions, which are options on rate swaps. The contracts give the holder the right to swap a fixed- for a floating-rate obligation at some future point at a predetermined level. The amount of derivatives underlying swaptions contracts outstanding as of July 26 totaled $29.5 trillion, according to the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.

    ISDAfix rates also help determine everything from borrowing costs on bonds that finance skyscrapers to interest on annuities. The benchmark, set in five currencies, is used to price euro-denominated corporate bonds and $550 billion of securities tied to commercial real estate. Fluctuations help determine the performance of structured notes bought by wealthy individuals.

    Kerrie Cohen, a spokeswoman for Barclays, declined to comment, as did Scott Helfman of Citigroup and Steve Adamske, a spokesman for the CFTC in Washington.

    “ICAP is cooperating with the CFTC’s wider inquiry into this area, and due to its pending nature we will not be commenting further,” Guy Taylor, a spokesman, said in a telephone interview.
    ‘Banging the Close’

    Banks set ISDAfix for 10-year rate swaps at 2.861 percent yesterday, up from 1.785 percent at year-end, according to ICAP data.

    CFTC investigators are piecing together evidence that shows swaption traders at banks worked with rate-swap traders at their own firms to manipulate ISDAfix, the person said. The swaption traders told their rate-swap colleagues the level at which they needed ISDAfix to be set that day in order to bolster the value of their derivatives positions before these were settled the next day, the person said.

    The rate-swap trader would then tell a broker at ICAP, the biggest arranger of the contracts between banks, to execute as many trades in interest-rate swaps as necessary to move ISDAfix to the desired level. This would be done just before 11 a.m. in New York, the time when current trades are used to create reference points that help determine the final ISDAfix rates, the person said.
    Treasure Island


    "Are you cool with the government having access to your online information in the name of national security? Fine. Do you feel the same way about an oil company accessing that information to protect its interests?

    Sorry, but a federal court already made that decision for you. Mother Jones reports that Chevron (CVX -1.95%) was granted access to nine years of email metadata -- which includes names, time stamps and detailed location data and login info, but not content -- belonging to activists, lawyers and journalists who criticized the company for drilling in Ecuador and leaving toxic sludge and leaky pipelines in its wake.

    Chevron alleges it's the victim of mass extortion and is using that stance to justify asking Google (GOOG -0.08%), Yahoo (YHOO -1.14%) and Microsoft (MSFT +0.38%), which owns moneyNOW and Hotmail, for the data. Federal judge Lewis Kaplan granted the Microsoft subpoena last month and ruled that it didn't violate the First Amendment because Americans weren't among the people targeted. The problem is that they were."

    When a group of individuals get together with common interests, and infiltrate the 3 branches of governments, that is called Racketeering.