“In the beginning, all the world was America.” — John Locke“The Garden of Eden was a perfect place,” my friend Manuel explained. “Man had free will. He could live in harmony with nature and God — and everything would be fine. But if he defied God, the stain of original sin would be on his […]
One issue I have with our modern lifestyle – of many — is the emphasis on perfection. Newer, slimmer, bigger, better, faster: the message of perfection screams out to us from glossy magazines, slick television ads and popup ad after popup ad. (Or purrs, cajoles, teases, and smothers.)While I do believe fundamentally in pursuing whatever your […]
People jacked up about income inequality can find a new hobby. The 1% are victims of a doomsday machine, and the countdown is ticking. Machine, thy name is “family.”This came to mind as I was reading a preview of Columbia Professor Andrew Ang’s forthcoming, must-read book on Asset Management. Ang is that oxymoron, an exciting […]
After a week of reckoning about the American oil and gas boom… I’ve got to get something off my chest.I can’t stand it when a coworker takes credit for something I did.Whether it’s a special report I wrote or just a little investing trick I found on my own — if someone takes it and […]
It might sound like the latest new product from Apple, but IPAB is actually the newest major legal challenge to Obamacare.Recently, a three-judge panel in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco heard arguments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, a 15-member panel created by the Affordable Care Act and empowered […]
I’m sure you’ve seen the news. As if recent, past U.S. policy fiascos in Libya, Egypt and Syria were not enough, the wheels are now coming off the proverbial bus in Iraq, site of so much blood and treasure spent in the last decade. Radical Islamist armies are marching toward Baghdad, slicing through Iraqi government […]
Americans have come to believe that the IRS and the income tax are inevitable parts of our lives. After all, most everyone alive today has lived his entire life under federal income taxation.It wasn’t always that way. For some 125 years, the American people lived without having any tax imposed upon their income.The obvious question […]
Here’s a fun fact: Although we all hate the U.S. dollar, as it continues to hemorrhage wealth, its foothold as the world’s reserve currency isn’t going to disappear overnight.A Russian gas deal with China won’t change that — as we’ll highlight below.But before we get to the nitty-gritty, let’s dive into a story that’s right […]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the term “forgotten man” in a 1932 speech to describe those at the bottom of the economic pyramid who, he felt, government should aid.But the originator of the phrase “forgotten man” had a whole different meaning in mind. He aimed to expose the seeming good intentions of government to reveal […]
“As the nation’s central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding […]
“Do you hear that popping noise?” “Yeah…” said Joe, my racquetball companion. “What is that?” “It’s my knee” I replied, grimacing. Apparently, after a series of twists, turns and lunges, my left knee had endured enough. Every step I took produced that eerie suction sound your tongue makes after being released from the roof of […]
The Keynesian disaster recovery plan has been to lower rates, force people to take more risk in search of yield, and entice others to borrow and spend and, magically, more jobs will be created. If people won’t buy stocks, central banks will.Back in 2011, Ben Bernanke, when asked if QE2 was driving up stock prices, […]
I want to share some insight and give you a front-row seat to America’s next big shale play.Let’s get to it…Over the past 10 years, the U.S. has turned the ship around, quite literally.We’ve gone from a country that was expecting to import massive amounts of oil and gas — to a country that’s sitting […]
In September 2009, when President Obama made a primetime speech pitching his not-yet-passed health care overhaul, he made the following promise: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits — either now or in the future. Period.” To prove his seriousness, he further promised that “there will be a provision […]
Whatever your views on the role of government, one thing is clear: There will be no way to pay for it if the economy doesn’t grow. And I’m not talking by a measly percentage point or two. If we can’t find our way back to 5% annual economic growth or above soon, America’s accumulated federal […]
They’re in every grocery store… those brightly colored boxes of prepared foods loudly claiming how healthy they are. But they’re not what you think. Nearly all of the prepackaged “low-fat,” “low-carb,” and “heart-healthy” meals lining the shelves are just shadows of real food… with little to no nutritional value. “Most people think of “flavoring” as […]
What if I told you that the march of human progress could be traced in a direct line from the Epicureans of Ancient Greece… through the 18th Century’s cure for smallpox… to where Steve Jobs and Bill Gates found inspiration as scrappy teenagers… to the flying car of tomorrow?Stay with me and I’ll show you […]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices are rising at a 2.1% annual rate. This suggests to us that the current stock market boom will die with a bang, rather than a whimper.Fed economists say they don’t think inflation rates are rising. They think the most recent reading is a fluke. But why […]
Real progress happens through real people, ideas, and innovations. Not by legislation argued and debated in Congress. Right now, one of the most influential technologies is changing the way people do business. And reinventing the future in the process.
Innovation can change the world… if the world lets it. Unfortunately, society’s gatekeepers make it a point to constrain, regulate, and control these ideas. But their power is limited, and the power of innovation is too great. Unfortunately for regulators, there are some technologies they can’t control.
To get free, unlimited access to these books and 100s more, join the Laissez Faire Club! The Ethics of Redistribution by Bertrand de Jouvenel Release Date: July 24, 2014 This interesting and challenging book argues that redistributing income from the rich to the poor is unethical. It also shows how redistribution works in practice: it […]
“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.” — Emperor Palpatine, The Return of the JediJon Stewart made great comedic hay during the Bush Administration out of the enormity of Dick Cheney’s “Sith Lord” malevolence. Events in Iraq in the past week have made especially palpable Cheney’s Palpatine-like quality.As Iraq unravels, you may suspect that Cheney might now […]
Entrepreneurs are high-tailing it out of the United States, and it’s the politicians’ faultThe U.S. government is driving some of its most productive citizens abroad. The only beneficiaries are countries such as Singapore and Switzerland, which offer sanctuary to Americans fleeing avaricious Uncle Sam.Three years ago Eduardo Saverin, one of Facebook’s founders, joined 1,780 other […]
What’s the #1 reason a start-up fails?It runs out of money!And why would it run out of money?Because nobody wants the product it’s selling!For early-stage investors, this presents a bit of a conundrum:If a product doesn’t exist yet, how do you figure out if there’s demand for it?And how do you figure it out before […]
Politicians love raising the minimum wage because they don’t have to ask voters to pay more in taxes. They just dump the costs onto shop owners. But they don’t act like politicians and go into debt to pretend like they have all the money in the world. They face real world situations. And sometimes that means replacing workers with more affordable options...
In France, each winemaking appellation is governed by specific rules. To be called a “Burgundy” or a “Bordeaux,” for example, wines must come from a specific geographic border. Not only that, these rules dictate which grapes can be grown, how they’re irrigated and pruned, and even what alcohol level is allowed in the finished product. […]
A cushy job in Hawaii that pays six figures. A beautiful girlfriend/boyfriend. Job security and professional experience that gives you plenty of future opportunities. Would you throw that all away to do what you think is right? Last year, one government contractor did just that. And now you see the world the government tried to hide from you.
As the world gets more digital, people forget about the benefits of transacting in cash. And government officials know that.
Regulation is supposed to keep you safe and make the economy function smoothly. At least that’s what they tell you in the news. But there’s another cost to regulation. One that you won’t hear about unless you have to deal with directly. And for the people in the economy who do, they’re the ones who have to pay the final cost.
The experts will tell you the recession is over, but they’re only torturing the data to hide the truth. The economy never recovered from the downturn it experienced. But the downturn happened in 2000, not 2008. The country’s been in the middle of a 14 year recession and hardly anyone knows the truth.
The trend of pervasive surveillance is accelerating. Fortunately, the marketplace for privacy is growing too. And with just a little effort, you can take advantage of these privacy tools to help protect your “digital life.” Several months ago, in our Make Yourself Invisible to the NSA special report, we told you about DuckDuckGo. Unlike Google […]
Every time Bitcoin crashes, it winds up at a price greater than it’s previous high. Yet the experts still call it a currency fad that will fade away. But a little over a year since it really took up, the digital currency is still going strong, and is once again seeing its price rise. But is there another reason why people are buying Bitcoins.
All paper currency has a shelf life. It could be 5 years or 500 years, but at some point, the value of any paper currency eventually reaches zero. That's why, for centuries, people have turned to one shiny metal to safeguard their personal store of wealth. And, as Jim Rickards explains, you still have that option. Read on...
The news is out that Bank of American (BoA) has $64 billion in mortgages that are at least 6 months delinquent and yet the bank hasn’t pulled the trigger on foreclosure. If that doesn’t seem like a lot, consider that $64 billion is almost half BoA’s market cap.
in other words, by keeping tens of billions of mortgages off the market, Bank of America is hoping to limit the supply of houses in the market, creating an artificial shortage, in the process pushing up the prices of all other house higher, and only then to start dumping its pre-foreclosure inventory to a witless housing market.
The $64 billion, reports Bloomberg, is more than twice the amount held by its four biggest competitors combined and is 3.3% of all the mortgages it services. Competitors like Citigroup and J.PMorgan Chase have around 1% of their mortgages in this category.
Most of the loans were originated by Countrywide, the falling knife BoA caught during the financial meltdown.
Back in 2008 it took an average of 367 days for a lender to work through the foreclosure process and secure the collateral. Now, reports Bloomberg,
Mortgages on U.S. homes at the time the borrower lost the property averaged a record 728 days late in October, up from 661 days a year earlier, according to Lender Processing Services Inc. in Jacksonville, Florida.
“With delinquent mortgages you want to triage them, work out ones that can be worked out and foreclose the ones that can’t,” professor Alan White tells Bloomberg. “But if the only outcome is no outcome, it’s not helping any of the parties affected, including the economy.”
For whatever reason, BoA seems to be moving slower at clearing their foreclosure pipeline than other lenders. Some borrowers were 500 days late before receiving a default notice and modification paperwork moves slow and is often lost at BoA.
The claim that the housing crisis is over gets more common everyday. But how does this market take off with 2.5 properties nationwide in the shadow foreclosure pipeline? ZeroHedge calls the “foreclosure stuffing” by BoA, Fannie, etc. the “most obvious housing subsidy in the last four years.”
Enjoy the dead cat bounces while you can.