Gas prices and the middle class

I have noticed lately it seems gas is most expensive in Ritzville and in the Hood. Life seems to be the same way – the rich and the poor stimulate the economy. Rather ..the rich and the poor are the economy, or so it seems. And the middle class always seems to find a way to separate themselves from it just a simple observation today..

Okay I’m not saying the middle class are not actuall part of the economy honestly that would be foolish. I’m just saying it seems that the rich buy the asset that the poor spend money on which are liabilities to the poor. The middle-class, the real middle-class, which is greatly shrinking and for the reasons I am talking about here(that and they are at or approaching retirement), stash their cash and avoid paying interest. In an economy that is entirely built on debt, very little is contributed financially outside of the fractional reserve dollars that they create by holding their money in savings. However, the real value created by these people is usually very high when you look at the quality of workmanship they produce in the small business sector. The rich and the government however beat the hell out of them. We have been seeing this especially in recent years with this bloodbath of the middle class.

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Bailout: The name of the game

It is absolutely madness. Yesterday was a huge injection of dollars into the global financial system by central banks. It seems fiat currencies are swirling the drain now.. Look for precious metals to surge again and listen for new talk of a one world currency..It’s only a matter of time. However, as Robert says, “The people who understand that they must increase their financial education, save themselves and not rely on the rich, or the government, survive and thrive in times of crisis”

So increase your financial education which will lead to increase in cash flow. Rely on God and your faith, not the rich or the government, and thrive in these times of oppertunity! – Joshua Gamen

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In my book, Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money, I write that bailouts are the name of the game. This means that the ultra rich will never suffer like the middle class and poor do in financial crisis. The institutions that are deemed “too big to fail” will always be bailed out. This also means that sometimes big institutions prefer financial crisis because they know they will be bailed out, and they also know they can make a lot of money from those bailouts.

This week, a bombshell hit on the lending practices of the Federal Reserve to the largest banks in the world during the peak of the financial crisis. As Bloomberg reports in an article entitled, “Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks Undisclosed $13B,”

“The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he ’wasn’t aware of the magnitude.’ It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.”

Additionally,

“The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its January issue.”

Big gets bigger.

Everyone knew that the name of the game is bailouts for institutions that are too big to fail, and while news agencies have been talking about the gargantuan $7.7 billion in commitments by the Fed to save the economy, the details released this week through the Freedom of Information Act show what we’ve known all along – the rich will say anything to protect their ass-ets and build their balance sheets.

For instance, in November of 2008, Bank of America’s CEO, Kenneth Lewis said that his bank was “one of the strongest and most stable banks in the world.” On that same day, Bank of America owed $86 billion to the Federal Reserve in emergency loan money.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, told his shareholders in 2010 that he only borrowed from the Fed to encourage others to borrow from the Fed. In reality, the bank borrowed twice its cash holdings from the Fed, and on one day in February 2009, borrowed a colossal $48 billion – one year after the creation of the Fed’s emergency lending program.

All in all, the big six banks comprised of JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley accounted for 63 percent of all daily average lending by the Fed to banks and financial institutions, receiving over $160 billion in TARP funds and borrowing around $460 billion from the Fed.

During that time, “Total assets held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data.”

Additionally, the Fed helped prop up both Bear Sterns and Wachovia with emergency loans as they were being gobbled up by JPMorgan and Wells Fargo respectively. The Fed transferred $50 billion in secret loans to Wachovia to prevent financial collapse until Wells Fargo could seal the deal, and they sent $30 billion in secret loans to Bear Sterns so that JPMorgan could wrap up that deal—all while providing $29 billion in financing to JPMorgan to fund the deal.

Essentially, the Fed protected the bigger banks and helped them grow even bigger by keeping brain-dead banks on financial life support long enough to graft them into the bodies of bigger financial institutions like a financial Frankenstein.

This was all done in secret, and without the knowledge of the American people and the Congress.

The safety net.

This type of behavior is reckless because it creates a false safety net. The big banks and the ultra rich know they will be bailed out and so they take even greater risks, putting the economy at even greater risk, and playing games with your money.

As Professor Oliver Williamson says, “The banks that were too big got even bigger, and the problems that we had to begin with are magnified in the process. The big banks have incentives to take risks they wouldn’t take if they didn’t have government support. It’s a serious burden on the rest of the economy.”

Of course, this should come as no surprise, as the Fed doesn’t exist to protect the middle class and the poor. Rather, it exists to protect banks and the ultra rich. Something they’ve shown they can do well, efficiently, and without government knowledge or intervention.

Learn the rules of the rich with a financial education

All this is to show what I’ve been saying for many years, you can’t rely on the government to save you, and your definitely can’t rely on the Fed. The government doesn’t even know what’s going on in our financial policy and the Fed hides those details in order to help their friends on Wall Street…after all, the people who run the Fed used to work there, and probably will again someday. You don’t bite the hand that feeds.

If you want to avoid getting wiped out by the next financial crisis, you must understand the rules of the rich and play by those rules. With a new presidential election heating up this year, I’m sure you’ll hear many calls for hope and change on both sides. Many people will believe that their candidate will make a difference and that this will be the time things will change.

The reality is that nothing has changed in decades. The rich take care of the rich and grow richer. The poor and the middle class grow poorer. And the people who understand that they must increase their financial education, save themselves and not rely on the rich, or the government, survive and thrive in times of crisis.

Take charge of your financial future so that you can live large when hard times come.

Written by: Robert Kiyosaki

BS: “The Recession is Over.”

By Joshua Gamen

Sure. I recall a lot of hype last summer that the real estate market had hit bottom too.. Try telling that it has hit bottom to the millions of Americans who have lost their home to foreclosure this year. Or to their neighbors, who continue to throw their money at their sinking ship home while the foreclosures around them sink it’s value, and any hope for a return in their lifetime.

Who is the recession over for? The millions of unemployed people? The business owners who don’t have any customers? The guy trying to sell his home? The elderly lady trying to retire? The young adult trying to start his business? TELL ME, WHO IS THE FREAKING RECESSION OVER FOR?!

Let’s look at housing numbers:

  • Almost $6 trillion in housing wealth has been lost since 2005
  • Home values have dropped 30 percent
  • Existing home sales dropped 27 percent over the previous month
  • Housing inventories stand at 12.5 months(some part of the country, 24-36 months), over twice what’s considered healthy

What about Income, or Unemployment?

  • The unemployment rate is officially at 9.6%. It is a lot higher unofficially, because many unemployed Americans have been without a job for too long for the government to consider counting them.
  • Americans with jobs have seen their income fall over 4% between ’07-’09, and the % of Americans living BELOW the poverty level rose to 14.3%!
  • The gap is widening largely between the rich and the poor. Furthermore, the gap between the rich and the middle class is growing rapidly, as is the pace.(The top 20% of households now account for over 50% of all pre-tax income in the country = bye bye middle class.)

To quote the great educator/businessman/investor, Robert Kiyosaki:

“Maybe when the NBER says the recession is over, they mean it’s over for the ultra-rich. After all, many corporations are now posting better than expected earnings reports and balance sheets are getting healthier. For instance, FedEx recently announced that their earnings more than doubled. They also announced that they’re firing 1,700 people. Why? I believe it’s because they know what you already know, the recession may be “officially” over—but it’s not really over. Is the recession over for housing? Not according to the numbers. Thanks to high unemployment, new home orders are down 15 percent over last year, foreclosures are still rising, and pricing is not recovering. People are predicting that the housing inventory, which is more than double healthy levels, will take up to three years to work through. There will be no recovery until that happens.”

MORE COMING!

I wish I could post some stats to show that the market is taking a positive direction, but that would be covering up the truth with illusions. There are plenty of illusions out there to hide behind, but let’s be real..

Unemployment is still rising, and without jobs, nothing can get done. Business owners can’t provide jobs if they don’t have customers. And there aren’t any customers if there isn’t any money to spend. Sure, more money can be printed, but it will only become worth less as they print more and more, and they are..

MASSIVE government printing of US Currency. I call it currency, because it is just that-it’s not money! In 1971 President Nixon took the US off of the gold standard, meaning that the dollar was no longer attached to anything of value. It is simply a piece of paper that is backed by the good faith of the citizens of the United States.(See US dollar bill) They can print as much of this paper as they want, but the problem is, supply and demand will always work their course. Too much supply brings the equilibrium price down, and with the rate they have been running the printing presses the past few years, the market will soon be flooded with worthless pieces of green paper. –

If you study the history of currencies, since the earliest recorded times, every civilization that has had a currency not attached to something of value(ie: gold or silver), has gone to 0. That means, as more and more of the currency comes into existence, the existing currency is devalued, until the currency is no longer worth anything. Sound like pennies? Soon this will be nickels, then dimes, then quarters. Even the metal in them won’t be worth much, since they haven’t been made from silver since the late 60’s.(Weird how the government stopped using real silver and snatched it out of the money supply just a few short years prior to 1971 when our currency was removed from it’s tie to gold. Conspiracy?? 😉

In 1974, the government passed a law called ERISA. This made it so that people’s retirement was up to themselves, not the employer. It gave birth to plans like the 401k, and mutual funds, plans that were devised so that you could “invest for your retirement.” When this happened the American citizens turned to mutual funds, stocks and 401k’s for retirement plans. What they were actually doing was handing their money to wall street to play with until they retire, and expecting that wall street would automatically grow their money for them.

As we saw with the recent stock market crash, Wall Street is not looking out for the mutual funds or 401k accounts, Wall Street is looking out for their FAT KATS. What’s worse is, regardless of your opinion on the stock market, it doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to see that when the largest demographic of citizens(Baby Boomers) start to retire, money will flow out of the stock market like never before. This will be a the second dip of this what I believe to be, double dip recession.

Foreclosures can’t slow down, not yet. Go to google and type in mortgage resets. You will see graphs that will show you the largest mortgage product ever sold – the 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage(ARM), and when these loans will adjust. These loans were primarily written in 2006 and 2007, right at the end of the real estate bubble, and will be resetting over the next 2 years. This will cause another HUGE drop in real estate values, as the number of foreclosures will sky higher, and at a more rapid pace than current.

Good News??

There is good news…

When markets bubble and then pop, the money doesn’t disappear, it just flows into another asset class. It moves.. The money is going somewhere, so where is it going? Well, take a look at the value of gold, or silver. Go to Google, and type in “gold spot.” Examine the value of gold as it has climbed over the past week, month, year, 5 years, or further. Then check out the same for silver. Since forever, gold and silver have always been used for exchange, hence making it the real money of the world. Until the rich figure out where they can put their money to make more money, they are holding it in the form of real money, gold and silver. It’s catching on quick, think of how many places you see driving to work and back that say, “WE BUY GOLD.” It is the next major bubble, but we’re still early to the trend. Gold just went over $1,300 an ounce today, but we will see gold hit $13,000 per ounce, and in the not too far future.

Assets are cheap. Real estate, businesses, etc. Now is a good time to gather as many assets as you can, that will reward you as the economy turns around. Buy investments for what they will provide you in cash flow, do not worry about selling for a profit. That is speculation. Whatever you grow your asset and sell it for later should be the gravy. Now is an excellent time to pickup businesses for cheap, cut out the expenses, make the systems more efficient, and get the asset as profitable as possible. Now is an amazing time to buy real estate that will cash flow for you as well.(Rental income exceeding the loan you are paying to own the property.)

So…

The recession is not over. We are in a new economy, the old one is not coming back. We are in a shift from the industrial era to the information age. In this new economy, knowledge is money. You can print your own money just like the the Fed does. Financial IQ is the way out of the paycheck chasing. Get real, get right, and get assets! Financial knowledge, is the greatest asset you have, so acquire as much of it as you can!

~Josh