Capitalism, The Fed and Economic Policy

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  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 28,475
    mickeyrat said:
    The Jobs thing has me baffled too.  All the big tech have announced layoffs in the thousands and not a ripple?

    have they happened yet? aside from twitter.

    so if not even a ripple, think how much better those numbers are if tech layoffs dont happen.....
    They are coming though.  10k jobs from google, FB, Tesla, Amazon.
    Microsoft too
  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 10,237
    mrussel1 said:
    mickeyrat said:
    The Jobs thing has me baffled too.  All the big tech have announced layoffs in the thousands and not a ripple?

    have they happened yet? aside from twitter.

    so if not even a ripple, think how much better those numbers are if tech layoffs dont happen.....
    They are coming though.  10k jobs from google, FB, Tesla, Amazon.
    Microsoft too
    Biogen as well from what I've heard. 
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899

     
    Exxon profits at record high in 2022 as energy prices soared
    By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
    Today

    NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon Mobil posted record annual profits in 2022 as Americans struggled with high prices for gasoline, home heating and consumer goods.

    The oil giant brought in $12.75 billion in profits in the fourth quarter, bringing annual profits to $55.7 billion. That exceeded Exxon's previous annual record of $45.22 billion in annual profits Exxon set in 2008, when a barrel of oil soared close to $150.

    The Irving, Texas, company brought in $95.43 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter.

    Recovering demand and tight energy supplies helped boost profit, the company said.

    “While our results clearly benefited from a favorable market, the counter-cyclical investments we made before and during the pandemic provided the energy and products people needed as economies began recovering and supplies became tight,” said CEO Darren Woods. “We leaned in when others leaned out.”

    Exxon achieved its best-ever annual refining throughput in North America and the highest globally since 2012, the company said. It mechanically completed the expansion of its Beaumont Refinery in Texas and expects to bring 250,000 barrels per day of crude oil distillation capacity to the market in first quarter of this year.

    Exxon earned $3.09 per share in the quarter. That was lower than the expectations of analysts polled by Factset, who were anticipating $3.29 per share.

    The price of oil ranged between $70 to $90 for a barrel of U.S. benchmark crude during the quarter. Domestic natural gas prices, which affect the cost of home energy and electricity, ranged from $6 to $7 per million British thermal units during the quarter, according to FactSet, which was a higher price than most Americans have paid in recent years.

    Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Russia’s decreased its supply of natural gas to Europe, which resulted in higher prices of natural gas and its liquid counterpart, LNG, on the global market.

    President Joe Biden has accused oil companies of profiting from the war Russia waged on Ukraine, and has previously raised the possibility of a war profit tax on oil companies. Exxon said it incurred $1.3 billion during the quarter associated with European taxes on the energy sector.


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  • Read an article about how everyones savings are now dried up that they saved during the pandemic, credit card debt is up, car sales are the lowest in ages(this one cracks me up because dealers are charging OVER sticker), house prices are as low as 2014(I think this is wrong too because my area isn't like that), food costs more, everything costs more yet people aren't buying now and prices for everything are higher.

    This is a recipe for a recession.

    Private builders won't be building new projects anytime soon because of the borrowing price on the dollar.  Our Union Halls here in NY are getting filled.

    Storm is a coming.
  • The JugglerThe Juggler Behind that bush over there. Posts: 46,906
    edited February 2023
    Read an article about how everyones savings are now dried up that they saved during the pandemic, credit card debt is up, car sales are the lowest in ages(this one cracks me up because dealers are charging OVER sticker), house prices are as low as 2014(I think this is wrong too because my area isn't like that), food costs more, everything costs more yet people aren't buying now and prices for everything are higher.

    This is a recipe for a recession.

    Private builders won't be building new projects anytime soon because of the borrowing price on the dollar.  Our Union Halls here in NY are getting filled.

    Storm is a coming.
    It's not quite that bad. The main thing I disagree with in what you read is home prices being as low as they were in 2014. That's not remotely accurate. I believe there will be a mild recession later this year (it's indirectly what the fed is trying to induce) but it will not resemble anything close to what we saw back in '08/'09. People have equity in their homes. They have a way to get out of that credit card debt...they didn't back then. 
    Post edited by The Juggler on
    chinese-happy.jpg
  • Read an article about how everyones savings are now dried up that they saved during the pandemic, credit card debt is up, car sales are the lowest in ages(this one cracks me up because dealers are charging OVER sticker), house prices are as low as 2014(I think this is wrong too because my area isn't like that), food costs more, everything costs more yet people aren't buying now and prices for everything are higher.

    This is a recipe for a recession.

    Private builders won't be building new projects anytime soon because of the borrowing price on the dollar.  Our Union Halls here in NY are getting filled.

    Storm is a coming.
    It's not quite that bad. The main thing I disagree with in what you read is home prices being as low as they were in 2014. That's not remotely accurate. I believe there will be a mild recession later this year (it's indirectly what the fed is trying to induce) but it will not resemble anything close to what we saw back in '08/'09. People have equity in their homes. They have a way to get out of that credit card debt...they didn't back then. 
    I might have read the pricing wrong... It may have said lowest sales since 14 because yes, prices aren't down at all by me.

    When are companies going to see the writing on the wall and lower prices?  It has to be slashed across the boards.

    We will see what happens.  People w equity having to use it up to stay afloat will just make everyone in debt again...
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899
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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • The JugglerThe Juggler Behind that bush over there. Posts: 46,906
    Read an article about how everyones savings are now dried up that they saved during the pandemic, credit card debt is up, car sales are the lowest in ages(this one cracks me up because dealers are charging OVER sticker), house prices are as low as 2014(I think this is wrong too because my area isn't like that), food costs more, everything costs more yet people aren't buying now and prices for everything are higher.

    This is a recipe for a recession.

    Private builders won't be building new projects anytime soon because of the borrowing price on the dollar.  Our Union Halls here in NY are getting filled.

    Storm is a coming.
    It's not quite that bad. The main thing I disagree with in what you read is home prices being as low as they were in 2014. That's not remotely accurate. I believe there will be a mild recession later this year (it's indirectly what the fed is trying to induce) but it will not resemble anything close to what we saw back in '08/'09. People have equity in their homes. They have a way to get out of that credit card debt...they didn't back then. 
    I might have read the pricing wrong... It may have said lowest sales since 14 because yes, prices aren't down at all by me.

    When are companies going to see the writing on the wall and lower prices?  It has to be slashed across the boards.

    We will see what happens.  People w equity having to use it up to stay afloat will just make everyone in debt again...
    Maybe that was it. 

    A lot of people are able to save money with cash out fha loans, knowing they can then streamline to a lower rate and save more once drop again. 
    chinese-happy.jpg
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 28,475
    edited February 2023
    We need a good, soft recession to reset market prices,  consumer prices,  etc. So long as unemployment doesn't spike too highly,  it will be better for us in the long term.
  • mrussel1 said:
    We need a good, soft recession to reset market prices,  consumer prices,  etc. So long as unemployment doesn't spike too highly,  it will be better for us in the long term.
    That's be nice.  The big 5 are all laying off 10K each in tech so that's a big hit and like I said, we have a bunch of people on the benches here.

    I still think we get a decent ripple.

    Average price of a vehicle is 40K.  I'm not paying 50k for a damn truck.  My boss just spent 90K.  That's just dumb.
  • The JugglerThe Juggler Behind that bush over there. Posts: 46,906
    mrussel1 said:
    We need a good, soft recession to reset market prices,  consumer prices,  etc. So long as unemployment doesn't spike too highly,  it will be better for us in the long term.
    Agreed
    chinese-happy.jpg
  • The JugglerThe Juggler Behind that bush over there. Posts: 46,906
    edited February 2023
    Enormous jobs number this morning. Recession on hold...
    chinese-happy.jpg
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 28,475
    Enormous jobs number this morning. Recession on hold...
    Brandon sucks 
  • The JugglerThe Juggler Behind that bush over there. Posts: 46,906
    mrussel1 said:
    Enormous jobs number this morning. Recession on hold...
    Brandon sucks 
    Well now, hold the phone. This number is clearly due to the newly sworn in Republican congress. 
    chinese-happy.jpg
  • mrussel1 said:
    Enormous jobs number this morning. Recession on hold...
    Brandon sucks 
    Well now, hold the phone. This number is clearly due to the newly sworn in Republican congress. 
    Particularly the new speaker.
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899

     
    An unexpected job surge confounds the Fed's economic models
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
    5 mins ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Does the Federal Reserve have it wrong?

    For months, the Fed has been warily watching the U.S. economy's robust job gains out of concern that employers, desperate to hire, will keep boosting pay and, in turn, keep inflation elevated. But January’s blowout job growth coincided with an actual slowdown in wage growth. And it followed an easing of numerous inflation measures in recent months.

    The past year's consistently robust hiring gains have also defied the fastest increase in the Fed's benchmark interest rate in four decades — an aggressive effort by the central bank to cool hiring, economic growth and the spiking prices that have bedeviled American households for nearly two years.

    Instead, economists were astonished when the government reported Friday that employers added an explosive 517,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate sank to a new 53-year low of 3.4%.

    “Today’s jobs report is almost too good to be true,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter. “Like $20 bills on the sidewalk and free lunches, falling inflation paired with falling unemployment is the stuff of economics fiction.”

    In economic models used by the Fed and most mainstream economists, a job market with strong hiring and a low unemployment rate typically fuels higher inflation. Under this scenario, companies feel compelled to keep boosting wages to attract and keep workers. They often then pass those higher labor costs on to their customers by raising prices. Their higher-paid workers also have more money to spend. Both trends can feed inflation pressures.

    Yet even as hiring has been solid in the past six months, year-over-year inflation has fallen from a peak of 9.1% in June to 6.5% in December. Much of that decline reflects cheaper gas prices. But even excluding volatile food and energy costs, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge has risen at about a 3% annual rate over the past three months — not so far above its 2% target.

    Those trends have raised questions about a core aspect of the Fed's higher interest rate policy. Chair Jerome Powell has said that conquering inflation would require “some pain.” And the Fed's policymakers have forecast that the unemployment rate would rise to 4.6% by the end of this year. In the past, an increase that much in the jobless rate has been associated with a recession.

    Yet Friday's report suggests the possibility that the long-standing connection between a vigorous job market and high inflation has broken down. And that breakdown holds out a tantalizing possibility: That inflation could continue to decline even while employers keep adding jobs at a healthy pace.

    “This does suggest that the traditional Fed models are not describing the current situation and that perhaps this time is actually different," Pollak said in an interview.

    “The pandemic pushed the labor market into completely different territory," she continued. "And so the usual forces may just not operate here.”

    Yet it's also possible that Friday's report could nudge the Fed in the opposite direction: The consistently strong job growth might convince Powell and other officials that, despite the signs that wage growth is slowing, a powerful job market will inevitably reignite inflation. If so, their benchmark rate would have to stay high to cool the pace of hiring.


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  • cblock4lifecblock4life Posts: 1,384
    This is what happens when companies, corporations start paying fair wages.  It’s not rocket science.  When you finally can make more actually going to work then staying home people do all kinds of strange things….like feeling respected enough to get up everyday.  
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 28,475
    I expected much steeper market declines today, considering the blowout report.  
  • Enormous jobs number this morning. Recession on hold...
    Insane...  And just when you think you know the market...
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899

    How the Wealthy Save Billions in Taxes by Skirting a Century-Old Law

    by Paul Kiel and Jeff Ernsthausen
    29 - 37 minutes

    ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

    At first glance, July 24, 2015, seems to have been a brutal trading day for Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO. He dumped hundreds of stocks, losing at least $28 million.

    But this was no panicked sell-off. Among the stocks Ballmer sold were those of the Australian mining company BHP and the global oil giant Shell. Had Ballmer lost confidence in BHP’s management? Was he betting that the price of oil would not soon recover? Not at all. That very day, Ballmer also bought thousands of shares in BHP and Shell.

    Why would he sell and buy shares in the same companies on the same day? The answer is counterintuitive to the average person but obvious to a sophisticated investor: A loss, for tax purposes, is valuable; a big one can wipe out millions in potential taxes. Ballmer’s two-step process allowed him to use the loss to lower his taxes, while the near-simultaneous purchase meant he effectively hadn’t changed his investment.

    Since 1921, claiming tax losses from so-called wash sales — selling shares of a company then buying them again within a short period — has been forbidden. But Ballmer collected his losses anyway because, technically, the types of shares he bought and sold weren’t the same.

    Both Shell and BHP offered two different versions of their common stock. For each company, the two stocks were legally distinct, but they performed very similarly because, after all, they were shares in the same company.

    Ballmer’s not-so-bad day, in fact, was carefully planned, part of a strategy by Goldman Sachs, which conducted the trades on Ballmer’s behalf, to wield the stock market’s natural volatility to the billionaire’s advantage. At Goldman, the hundreds of stocks in Ballmer’s “Tax Advantaged Loss Harvesting” accounts were selected to follow the movement of the broader markets. Over time, the markets, as they had historically, would buoy Ballmer’s investments upward. When, inevitably, some of the stocks underperformed or the whole market dipped, Goldman was ready to pounce, selling off the losers and replacing them with equivalents.



    continues....


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899


      
    US inflation likely eased again last month if more gradually
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
    Today

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. inflation likely slowed again last month in the latest sign that consumer price increases are becoming less of a burden on America's households. But Tuesday's report from the government may also suggest that further progress in taming inflation could be slow and “bumpy,” as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has described it.

    Consumer prices are expected to have risen 6.2% in January from 12 months earlier, down from a 6.5% year-over-year surge in December. It would amount to the seventh straight slowdown.

    On a monthly basis, though, inflation is expected to have jumped 0.5% from December to January, according to a survey of economists by the data provider FactSet. That would be much faster than the 0.1% uptick from November to December.

    So-called core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs to provide a clearer view of underlying inflation, are also expected to have slowed on a 12-month basis. They are forecast to have increased 5.5% in January from a year earlier, down from a 5.7% year-over-year rise in December.

    But for January alone, economists estimate that core prices jumped 0.4% for a second straight month — roughly equivalent to a 5% annual pace, far above the Fed's target of 2%.

    “The process of getting inflation down has begun,” Powell said in remarks last week. But “this process is likely to take quite a bit of time. It’s not going to be, we don’t think, smooth, it’s probably going to be bumpy.”

    Average gasoline prices, which had declined in five of the past six months through December, likely rose about 3.5% in January, according to an estimate from Nationwide. Food prices are also expected to have risen, though more slowly than the huge spikes of last summer and fall.

    On a brighter note, clothing and airfare costs are thought to have barely budged from December to January. And economists have estimated that hotel room prices fell sharply.

    Overall, the government's inflation report will likely show the continuation of a pattern that has emerged in recent months: The costs of goods — ranging from furniture and clothing to toys and sporting goods — are falling. But the prices of services — restaurant meals, entertainment events, dental care and the like — are rising faster than they did before the pandemic struck and threaten to keep inflation elevated.

    Goods have become less expensive because supply chain snarls that had inflated prices after the pandemic erupted in 2020 have unraveled. And Americans are shifting much of their spending toward services, after having splurged on items like furniture and exercise equipment during the pandemic.

    Yet average wages are rising at a brisk pace of about 5% from a year ago. Those pay gains, spread across the economy, are likely inflating prices in labor-intensive services. Powell has often pointed to robust wage increases as a factor that's driving up services prices and keeping inflation high even as other categories, like rent, are likely to decelerate in price.

    The Biden White House last week calculated a measure of wages in service industries excluding housing — the sector of the economy that Powell and the Fed are most closely tracking. The administration's Council of Economic Advisers concluded that wages in those industries for workers, excluding managers, soared 8% last January from a year earlier but have since slowed to about a 5% annual pace.

    That suggests that services inflation could soon slow, especially if the trend continued. Still, wage gains of that level are still too high for the Fed's liking. The central bank's officials would prefer to see wage growth of about 3.5%, which they see as consistent with their 2% inflation target.

    A key question for the economy this year is whether unemployment would have to rise significantly to achieve that slowdown in wage growth. Powell and other Fed officials have said that curbing high inflation would require some “pain” for workers. Higher unemployment typically reduces pressure on businesses to pay bigger wages and salaries.

    Yet for now, the job market remains historically very strong. Earlier this month, the government reported that employers added 517,000 jobs in January — nearly twice December's gain. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969. Job openings remain high.

    Powell said last week that the jobs data was “certainly stronger than anyone I know expected," and suggested that if such healthy readings were to continue, more rate hikes than are now expected could be necessary.

    Other Fed officials, speaking last week, stressed their belief that more interest rate increases are on the way. The Fed foresees two more quarter-point rate hikes, at its March and May meetings. Those increases would raise its benchmark rate to a range of 5% to 5.25%, the highest level in 15 years.

    The Fed lifted its key rate by a quarter-point when it last met on Feb. 1, after carrying out a half-point hike in December and four three-quarter-point increases before that.

    The financial markets envision two more rate increases this year and don't expect the Fed to reverse course and cut rates until sometime in 2024. For now, those expectations have ended a standoff between the Fed and Wall Street investors, who had previously been betting that the Fed would be forced to cut rates in 2023 as inflation fell faster than expected and the economy weakened.


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  • Now if the markets for new cars keeps going down maybe the prices will too...
  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899

     
    CBO projects higher unemployment, slow exit from inflation
    By FATIMA HUSSEIN, JOSH BOAK and KEVIN FREKING
    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that it expects the U.S. economy to stagnate this year with the unemployment rate jumping to 5.1% — a bleak outlook that was paired with a 10-year projection that publicly held U.S. debt would nearly double to $46.4 trillion in 2033.

    The office's updated 10-year Budget and Economic Outlook outlined stark expectations for the decade ahead, where Social Security would be unable to pay full benefits to recipients in 2032 — with a roughly 20 percent reduction in benefits across the board — and the net interest costs on U.S. debt would eclipse what the nation spends on defense.

    “The debt trajectory is unsustainable,” CBO director Phillip Swagel told journalists at a press conference after the report's afternoon release. The CBO can't tell Congress what to do, he said, ”but at some point, something has to give — whether it’s on spending or revenue."

    The latest figures seemed to affirm the worst fears of many U.S. consumers and businesses. But in a reminder that the U.S. economy has seldom behaved as anticipated through the pandemic and its aftermath, the employment forecast looks very different from the pace of hiring so far this year.

    The CBO estimated that just 108,000 jobs will be added in 2023, but employers added 517,000 jobs in January alone. It also assumes that inflation will ease from 6.4% to 4.8% this year, far more pessimistic than Federal Reserve officials who in December said inflation would fall to 3.5%.

    The CBO separately pointed to the risks of not increasing the government's legal borrowing authority, noting that the Treasury Department could exhaust its current “extraordinary measures” to keep the government running while President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy jostle over a deal.

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to congressional leadership last month, stating that her agency will use creative accounting measures to buy time until Congress can pass legislation that will either raise the nation’s $31.4 trillion borrowing authority or suspend it again for a period of time.

    If tax receipts from this year’s filing season fall short of estimated amounts, the U.S. could hit its statutory debt ceiling earlier than July, according to the nonpartisan organization, which provides independent analyses of budget and economic issues to Congress.

    Following the CBO issuing its report, Senate Democrats reiterated their calls for Republicans to help pass legislation to increase the nation’s borrowing authority. Then, they said, lawmakers could turn their attention to funding the government and addressing the solvency of Medicare and Social Security.

    “We don’t want to cut benefits. We don’t want to privatize. We don’t want to do the kinds of things that Republicans have talked about in that area,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said of Social Security. “And we have some plans to make it solvent, which you’ll hear from down the road.”

    Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said the report “paints a dire picture.”

    “If we don’t get serious about reining in spending, reducing annual budget deficits and bringing down the debt, the country will end up spending more on interest payments than the programs that actually benefit Americans,” Grassley said.

    The outlook warns about rising yearly budget deficits. In 2033, the CBO anticipates that the yearly shortfall in tax revenues relative to spending would exceed $2.85 trillion, more than double the deficit in 2022. Publicly held debt was roughly equal to U.S. gross domestic product in 2022, but it would climb to 118% of GDP by 2033.

    The office says the biggest drivers of rising debt in relation to GDP are increasing interest costs and spending for Medicare and Social Security.

    The two parties also engaged in blaming the other side for the rising deficit projections. Republicans blamed Democrats for spending too much during the Biden presidency and Democrats blamed Republican for the tax cuts undertaken during the Trump presidency.

    “Biden’s numerous bailouts and massive government expansion disguised as COVID relief has blown out spending and exacerbated our debt disaster,” said Rep. Jodey Arrington, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee. “House Republicans must rein-in the unbridled spending and restore fiscal sanity in Washington before it’s too late.”

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said Republicans “deliberately” made the deficit worse during the Trump presidency with “massive revenue losses because they lowered tax rates for their corporate and billionaire friends and donors.”

    One reason why the CBO expects a slowdown this year are the actions taken by the Fed. The U.S. central bank has been trying to reduce inflation by raising its benchmark interest rates. Earlier this month the Fed raised its key interest rate a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March of last year.

    The CBO expects growth to pick up once the Fed has tamed inflation and pulls back on its benchmark rates.


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899
    act like a company, you should be tax exempt no?
     
    Mormon church fined for obscuring $32 billion investment portfolio
    By SAM METZ
    Yesterday

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm have been fined $5 million for using shell companies to obscure the size of the portfolio under church control, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday.

    The faith, widely known as the Mormon church, maintains billions of dollars of investments in stocks, bonds, real estate and agriculture. Much of its portfolio is controlled by Ensign Peak Advisers, a nonprofit investment manager overseen by ecclesiastical leaders known as its presiding bishopric.

    The church has agreed to pay $1 million and Ensign Peak will pay $4 million in penalties based on the violation.

    Ensign Peak avoided disclosing investments “with the church’s knowledge,” denying the SEC and the public of accurate information required under law, Gurbir Grewal, the agency’s enforcement director, said in a statement.

    Federal investigators said for a period of 22 years, the firm violated agency rules and the Securities Exchange Act by not filing paperwork required that disclosed the value of its assets.

    Instead, they said Ensign Peak filed the forms through 13 shell companies they created, even as they maintained decision-making power. They also had “business managers,” most employed by the church, sign the required shell company filings.

    “The Church was concerned that disclosure of its portfolio, which by 2018 grew to approximately $32 billion, would lead to negative consequences,” the SEC said in a statement announcing the charges.

    Increasingly, the church and its Salt Lake City-based investment arm have faced scrutiny over the fact that tax law largely exempts religious groups from paying U.S. taxes. Ensign Peak is registered as a supporting organization and integrated auxiliary of the church. Investment managers of its size are required to report stockholdings quarterly.

    It gained traction in 2019 when a whistleblower alleged the church had stockpiled nearly $100 billion in funds, rather than directing it toward charitable causes. Ensign Peak has since been a source of intrigue and mystery for the nearly 17-million member Utah-based faith, which encourages members worldwide to give 10% of their income in a what is known as “tithing.”

    Two years later, prominent church member James Huntsman filed a lawsuit against the church alleging it misrepresented how it used donations and, rather than direct them to charitable causes, invested in assets including real estate and an insurance business. A judge dismissed the complaint last year and Huntsman later appealed the decision.

    Earlier this month, the 2019 whistleblower, a former Ensign Peak investment manager named David Nielsen, submitted a 90-page memorandum to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee demanding oversight into the church's finances.

    In a statement, church officials said over the time period investigated, none of their holdings had gone unreported and all had been disclosed through the separate companies. They said they had “relied upon legal counsel regarding how to comply with its reporting obligations while attempting to maintain the privacy of the portfolio" and noted that Ensign Peak had changed its reporting approach after learning of the SEC's concerns in 2019.

    “We affirm our commitment to comply with the law, regret mistakes made, and now consider this matter closed,” they said.

    Sam Brunson, a church member and tax law professor at Loyola University Chicago, said the $5 million fine differed from past accusations leveled against Ensign Peak because the church appears to have admitted some fault.

    A failure to fill out SEC paperwork may not fuel broader conversations about how the church manages its money, he said, yet it reflects an “incredibly aggressive” strategy to keep certain information from the public.

    “For the last 70 years or so, the Mormon Church has had an ethos of keeping its finances private,” Brunson said.



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  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899

     
    US revises down last quarter's economic growth to 2.7% rate
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.7% annual rate from October through December, a solid showing despite rising interest rates and elevated inflation, the government said Thursday in a downgrade from its initial estimate.

    The government had previously estimated that the economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate last quarter.

    The Commerce Department's revised estimate of the fourth quarter's gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — marked a deceleration from the 3.2% growth rate from July through September.

    Thursday's report revised down the government's estimate of consumer spending growth in the October-December quarter, from a 2.1% rate to 1.4%. That was the weakest such showing since the first quarter of last year.

    Business spending also slowed in the fourth quarter, suggesting that the economy lost momentum at the end of 2022.

    More recent data, though, shows that the economy has since rebounded. Consumers boosted retail sales in January by the most in nearly two years, and employers added a surprisingly outsize number of jobs. The unemployment rate reached 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969.

    Some of the surprisingly strong economic gains in January likely reflected much warmer-than-usual weather. Few economists expect similar outsize gains in hiring or spending in the coming months. Most analysts think growth is slowing to a roughly 2% annual rate in the current January-March quarter.

    And the Federal Reserve is expected to keep raising its benchmark interest rate over the next few months and to keep it at a peak through year’s end to try to defeat still-high inflation. Minutes from its last policy meeting released Wednesday showed that all 19 Fed officials favored raising rates at the next two meetings.

    “From the Fed’s perspective, a slowdown in the economy is anticipated and will be welcome news," said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, a consulting firm. “However, even as growth slows, a focus on lowering elevated inflation means rates will move up further and will remain higher for longer.”

    Higher borrowing costs make mortgages, auto loans and credit card borrowing more expensive. Those higher rates could discourage consumers and businesses from spending, hiring and investing and could eventually push the economy into a recession.

    The economy’s growth at the end of 2022 reflected mainly a restocking of inventories, which will likely unwind in coming quarters, and a pickup in government spending. Housing investment fell nearly 26%; higher borrowing rates have crushed homebuying.

    Inflation, measured year over year, has cooled since it reached 9.1% in June, having slowed to 6.4% in January. Yet on a monthly basis, price gains accelerated from December to January, raising the prospect that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate higher than it has previously signaled.

    In Thursday's GDP report, the government also sharply revised up its estimates of Americans' incomes in the fourth quarter. After-tax income, adjusted for inflation, jumped 4.8%, a much larger gain than the previous 3.3% estimate.

    The upward revisions reflected higher wages and salaries than was estimated earlier, and state stimulus payments that were intended to offset inflated costs of gas, food and other necessities. Twenty-one states, including California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania issued one-time payments last year, typically in the form of tax refunds.

    The boost in incomes could continue to support consumer spending this year and might have helped drive retail sales up in January. If so, stronger consumer spending could force the Fed to continue raising rates or keep them elevated for longer to cool the economy and quell inflation.


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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyrat said:

     
    US revises down last quarter's economic growth to 2.7% rate
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
    Yesterday

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.7% annual rate from October through December, a solid showing despite rising interest rates and elevated inflation, the government said Thursday in a downgrade from its initial estimate.

    The government had previously estimated that the economy grew at a 2.9% annual rate last quarter.

    The Commerce Department's revised estimate of the fourth quarter's gross domestic product — the economy’s total output of goods and services — marked a deceleration from the 3.2% growth rate from July through September.

    Thursday's report revised down the government's estimate of consumer spending growth in the October-December quarter, from a 2.1% rate to 1.4%. That was the weakest such showing since the first quarter of last year.

    Business spending also slowed in the fourth quarter, suggesting that the economy lost momentum at the end of 2022.

    More recent data, though, shows that the economy has since rebounded. Consumers boosted retail sales in January by the most in nearly two years, and employers added a surprisingly outsize number of jobs. The unemployment rate reached 3.4%, the lowest level since 1969.

    Some of the surprisingly strong economic gains in January likely reflected much warmer-than-usual weather. Few economists expect similar outsize gains in hiring or spending in the coming months. Most analysts think growth is slowing to a roughly 2% annual rate in the current January-March quarter.

    And the Federal Reserve is expected to keep raising its benchmark interest rate over the next few months and to keep it at a peak through year’s end to try to defeat still-high inflation. Minutes from its last policy meeting released Wednesday showed that all 19 Fed officials favored raising rates at the next two meetings.

    “From the Fed’s perspective, a slowdown in the economy is anticipated and will be welcome news," said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, a consulting firm. “However, even as growth slows, a focus on lowering elevated inflation means rates will move up further and will remain higher for longer.”

    Higher borrowing costs make mortgages, auto loans and credit card borrowing more expensive. Those higher rates could discourage consumers and businesses from spending, hiring and investing and could eventually push the economy into a recession.

    The economy’s growth at the end of 2022 reflected mainly a restocking of inventories, which will likely unwind in coming quarters, and a pickup in government spending. Housing investment fell nearly 26%; higher borrowing rates have crushed homebuying.

    Inflation, measured year over year, has cooled since it reached 9.1% in June, having slowed to 6.4% in January. Yet on a monthly basis, price gains accelerated from December to January, raising the prospect that the Fed will raise its benchmark rate higher than it has previously signaled.

    In Thursday's GDP report, the government also sharply revised up its estimates of Americans' incomes in the fourth quarter. After-tax income, adjusted for inflation, jumped 4.8%, a much larger gain than the previous 3.3% estimate.

    The upward revisions reflected higher wages and salaries than was estimated earlier, and state stimulus payments that were intended to offset inflated costs of gas, food and other necessities. Twenty-one states, including California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania issued one-time payments last year, typically in the form of tax refunds.

    The boost in incomes could continue to support consumer spending this year and might have helped drive retail sales up in January. If so, stronger consumer spending could force the Fed to continue raising rates or keep them elevated for longer to cool the economy and quell inflation.


    The home buying drop is good for one thing, corporations.  The groups I feel have ruined the house market in the first place by buying up properties and renting/flipping them because they are strapped with cash will win this round again. The house prices go down and they can buy with cash.

    They'll keep pushing the limits on what the market will bare and keep bleeding people dry.

    What ever happened to the big layoffs from the big tech companies?  Seems like it didn't even make a dent.


  • mickeyratmickeyrat up my ass, like Chadwick was up his Posts: 34,899

     
    Fed's rate hikes likely to cause a recession, research says
    By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
    Today

    NEW YORK (AP) — Can the Federal Reserve keep raising interest rates and defeat the nation's worst bout of inflation in 40 years without causing a recession?

    Not according to a new research paper that concludes that such an “immaculate disinflation” has never happened before. The paper was produced by a group of leading economists, and three Fed officials addressed its conclusions in their own remarks Friday at a conference on monetary policy in New York.

    When inflation soars, as it has for the past two years, the Fed typically responds by raising interest rates, often aggressively, to try to cool the economy and slow price increases. Those higher rates, in turn, make mortgages, auto loans, credit card borrowing and business lending more expensive.

    But sometimes inflation pressures still prove persistent and require ever-higher rates to tame. The result — steadily more expensive loans — can force companies to cancel new ventures and cut jobs and consumers to reduce spending. It all adds up to a recipe for recession.

    And that, the research paper concludes, is just what has happened in previous periods of high inflation. The researchers reviewed 16 episodes since 1950 when a central bank like the Fed raised the cost of borrowing to fight inflation, in the United States, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. In each case, a recession resulted.

    “There is no post-1950 precedent for a sizable ... disinflation that does not entail substantial economic sacrifice or recession,” the paper concluded.

    The paper was written by a group of economists, including: Stephen Cecchetti, a professor at Brandeis University and a former research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan and a former Fed staffer; Peter Hooper, vice chair of research at Deutsche Bank, and Frederic Mishkin, a former Federal Reserve governor.

    The paper coincides with a growing awareness in financial markets and among economists that the Fed will likely have to boost interest rates even higher than previously estimated. Over the past year, the Fed has raised its key short-term rate eight times.

    The perception that the central bank will need to keep raising borrowing costs was reinforced by a government report Friday that the Fed's preferred inflation gauge accelerated in January after several months of declines. Prices jumped 0.6% from December to January, the biggest monthly increase since June.

    The latest evidence of price acceleration makes it more likely that the Fed will need to do more to defeat high inflation.

    Yet Philip Jefferson, a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, offered remarks Friday at the monetary policy conference that suggested that a recession may not be inevitable, a view that Fed Chair Jerome Powell has also expressed. Jefferson downplayed the role of past episodes of inflation, noting that the pandemic so disrupted the economy that historical patterns are less reliable as a guide this time.

    “History is useful, but it can only tell us so much, particularly in situations without historical precedent,” Jefferson said. “The current situation is different from past episodes in at least four ways.”

    Those differences, he said, are the “unprecedented” disruption to supply chains since the pandemic; the decline in the number of people working or looking for work; the fact that the Fed has more credibility as an inflation-fighter than in the 1970s; and the fact that the Fed has moved forcefully to fight inflation with eight rate hikes in the past year.

    Speaking at Friday's conference, Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, came closer to accepting the paper's findings. She said its conclusions, along with other recent research, “suggest that inflation could be more persistent than currently anticipated.”

    “I see the risks to the inflation forecast as tilted to the upside and the costs of continued high inflation as being significant,” she said in prepared remarks.

    Another speaker, Susan Collins, president of the Boston Fed, held out hope that a recession could be avoided even as the Fed seeks to conquer inflation with higher rates. Collins said she's “optimistic there is a path to restoring price stability without a significant downturn." She added, though, that she's “well-aware of the many risks and uncertainties” now surrounding the economy.

    Yet Collins also suggested that the Fed will have to keep tightening credit and keep rates higher “for some, perhaps extended, time.”

    Some surprisingly strong economic reports last month suggested that the economy is more durable than it appeared at the end of last year. Such signs of resilience raised hopes that a recession could be avoided even if the Fed keeps tightening credit and makes mortgages, auto loans, credit card borrowing and many corporate loans increasingly expensive.

    Problem is, inflation is also slowing more gradually and more fitfully than it first seemed last year. Earlier this month, the government revised up consumer price data. Partly as a result of the revisions, over the past three months, core consumer prices — which exclude volatile food and energy costs — have risen at a 4.6% annual rate, up from 4.3% in December.

    Those trends raise the possibility that the Fed's policymakers will decide they must raise rates further than they’ve previously projected and keep them higher for longer to try to bring inflation down to their 2% target. Doing so would make a recession later this year more likely. Prices rose 5% in January from a year earlier, according to the Fed’s preferred measure.

    Using the historical data, the authors project that if the Fed raises its benchmark rate to between 5.2% and 5.5% — three-quarters of a point higher than its current level, which many economists envision the Fed doing — the unemployment rate would rise to 5.1%, while inflation would fall as low as 2.9%, by the end of 2025.

    Inflation at that level would still exceed Fed's target, suggesting that the central bank would have to raise rates even further.

    In December, Fed officials projected that higher rates would slow growth and raise the unemployment rate to 4.6%, from 3.4% now. But they predicted the economy would grow slightly this year and next and avoid a downturn.

    Other economists have pointed to periods when the Fed successfully achieved a so-called soft landing, including in 1983 and 1994. Yet in those periods, the paper notes, inflation wasn't nearly as severe as it was last year, when it peaked at 9.1% in June, a four-decade high. In those earlier cases, the Fed hiked rates to prevent inflation, rather than having to reduce inflation after it had already surged.


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  • Usually by now we have a lot of public works coming out to bid, there aren't.  Private isn't looking that great either.  The prison industry is booming again though.  My former employee has been trying to get me back because they have a serious backlog.

    So yes, I would lean towards a recession coming.
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 28,475
    Usually by now we have a lot of public works coming out to bid, there aren't.  Private isn't looking that great either.  The prison industry is booming again though.  My former employee has been trying to get me back because they have a serious backlog.

    So yes, I would lean towards a recession coming.
    I heard on the news this morning that in some areas unemployment rate on construction is less than 1%.  You aren't seeing anything close to that?
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