Tag Archives: recession

Economists issue the “D Word” on global economy

The possibility of a global depression is now being floated in economic circles due to the expected cascading failures of European banks and the growing fear that the European Central Bank (ECB) won’t be able to prop them up.

Forbes.com makes a case for global financial doom built around the collapse of Spain, the resultant fall of the EU, contagion into the U.S. and China.

Within the next year, and likely sooner than later, Spain will break the back of Europe as it requires larger and larger bailouts. That crisis will impact the US economy, banks and stock markets. The slowing of both major zones will impact China’s already slowing export machine, and then the bursting of the real estate bubble will strongly impact spending of China’s new upper and middle class.

China’s “hard landing” will then accelerate already falling commodity prices and hurt the exports of many emerging countries. That’s how we get a worldwide financial crisis that is deeper than 2008 and further stimulus plans will quickly become impotent as is already the case in Europe. The dangers of a global crash are high between late 2012 and late 2014.

Even left-leaning Politico sees the possibility of a world-wide economic calamity, but they don’t make the case that it’s a cascading failure as much as a bunch of bad stuff happening in different places at the same time. Kind of a set of terrible coincidences:

 – an Asian slowdown brought on by European woes

– India’s economy sputtering to a nine-year low

– a continued economic slowdown in China

– weakness coming out of South Korea and Australia

– a growing banking crisis in Spain

– a deepening of Greece’s economic collapse

– increased economic problems across Africa

– the desperate plea of European bankers for a unified rescue fund

MSNBC’s Morning Joe comments on a Wall Street Journal article talking about an Asian slowdown, Spanish banks and the terrible unemployment report in the U.S.

The fact that the D-word is even being floated has implications. When dire news is floated, it is often intended to soften the blow of the actual bad news that is sure to result. The media is circulating “global depression” so that everyone is prepared for the absolute disaster and can be relieved when they discover that it’s only a global recession.

A global recession is all but guaranteed at this point. By the end of the summer the slowdown will be obviously impacting the U.S. economy at the worst possible time for Barack Obama’s re-election. Maybe Jay Carney will be able to convince us how Obama saved the U.S. from the global depression while the rest of us shake our heads knowing that the Obama recession never actually ended.

The End is Near

Welcome to the beginning of the end of the economic recovery. On Tuesday diesel fuel was $4.49 per gallon along interstate route 81 in New York State!

The price of fuel is rapidly approaching what Malcolm Gladwell would call the “tipping point”. Diesel fuel hit a peak of $4.72 per gallon in July of 2008. That took a huge toll on the American economy. Housing bubble notwithstanding, the high price of diesel contributed to the economic crash of 2008.

Consider that everything you buy is on at least two trucks before it gets to the store where you purchase it. Not only that, but all of the raw materials used to make whatever you buy are shipped to the manufacturer by truck. Every nickel rise in the cost of diesel fuel adds one penny to the cost of each and every mile of truckload freight. That might not sound like much, but when you think about the number of miles freight is carried in our country, and how many times something is on a truck before it gets into your hands, it is easy to see the extra cost add up. If you watch the price of milk in the grocery store, you will see very quickly that it mirrors closely the cost of diesel fuel at the pump.

What happened in 2008 was that available freight dropped off quickly as diesel fuel approached $5.00 per gallon. With profit margins already slim, companies were forced to pass these added costs on to the consumer. As consumer prices rose to cover transportation costs, customer purchasing dropped. Companies shipped less freight. This caused a temporary excess in available trucks, which put downward pressure on freight rates. Despite the high cost of fuel, carriers were forced to take less for their loads, or park some trucks. This balanced out at the cost of small trucking companies being forced out of business, and drivers losing their jobs; about 200,000 of them by early 2009.

At a time when the nation’s economy is slowly crawling out of a disaster, rising fuel prices pose the most serious threat to our recovery. In 2007 tractor-trailer trucks carried freight a record 184.2 billion miles. By 2009 that figure had dropped to 167.8 billion miles.

Diesel fuel hit its low point of $2.09 per gallon in March of 2009, and we entered a slow recovery. Freight has been steadily increasing since, and trucking companies began hiring again in 2009. By late 2011 hiring was in full steam, and companies are continuing to hire drivers. If fuel rates are sustained at current levels, or if they continue to rise, the same squeeze will happen again, and relatively quickly. The closer diesel fuel gets to $5.00 per gallon, the closer we get to another recession. We have now reached the tipping point for fuel prices, which seems to be about $4.50 per gallon. If we sustain these prices for very long we will see the recently encouraging economic numbers do a rapid about face and the 8.3% unemployment number the President is so proud of will begin to rise.

Possible Shift in Power for Virginia Senate – Vote Today

The State of Virginia has some very important elections today as the balance of power could shift dramatically with a GOP take over of the state’s Senate.  Governor Bob McDonnell has a split congress in the Commonwealth as it stands now, with Democrats holding the majority in Virginia’s upper house and Republicans controlling the lower as well as the Governor’s mansion.  A shift to a Republican majority in the state Senate would basically give the Governor a new agenda for the remainder of his first and only term.

 

The Democrats hold a narrow majority in the Virginia Senate of 22-18.  A mere 2 seat swing would give Republicans a technical majority with Lt. Governor Bill Bolling casting tie breaker votes if deadlocked in favor of the GOP.  Three seats would give them outright control over committee assignments and chairs.  Seventeen incumbent Democrats are running against an opponent compared to only 4 Republicans.  Nine Republicans are running unopposed to only 3 Democrats.  Many are speculating not if the Senate will turn, but by how much.

 

To put the Democratic concerns into perspective, Democrat favorite Barbara Favola, who should be a shoe-in to replace long time Senator Mary Margaret Whipple (D) in the dark blue 31st district in Arlington, is facing a significant challenge from Republican Caren Merrick, who has surged in the polls as of late.  Even though it is unlikely Merrick can pull off a victory, there mere fact that Favola has to break a sweat could be an indicator that other toss-ups in the state could end ugly for the Democrats.

 

On McDonnell’s unfettered agenda could come some badly needed tort reform and the full privatization of liquor stores and the phasing out of the state ABC stores.  It could also help O’Donnell’s rising star on the GOP national level.  His name continues to be mentioned as a possible ticket mate for the GOP presidential nominee along with Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Governors Bobby Jindal (LA) and Chris Christie (NJ) – all of which claim not to be interested.  McDonnell has not made such claims.

 

It would also serve as yet another mini-referendum on the Obama administration.  The President took the normally red electoral state in 2008 with ease, but his favorability has dropped dramatically in the state and is likely to stay down as long as the economy continues to flounder.  Having a completely red legislature in the neighboring Commonwealth will also not bode well as many D.C. power players live in the state.

Obama Blames America for Slow Job Growth

When speaking to a local reporter in Orlando, Florida, President Obama seemed to lay the blame for slow job growth at the feet of Americans themselves. When asked about the sluggish economy and poor job growth over the past several months the president replied, "The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have the same competitive edge that we…. needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track."  Those of you who were old enough may be getting Jimmy Carter flashbacks by now to his infamous "malaise" speech. At that time, President Carter deferred to a "crisis of conscience." It seems as if President Obama is alluding to the same condition.  

It appears that President Obama has thrown another log on the raging bonfire of deflecting blame onto others. This time it’s the people’s fault. According to our president,Americano longer has the competitive edge it once had. So I suppose the question is, why?  

It certainly can’t be due to the fact that our corporate income tax rate is the second highest in the world, nearly 1/3 of a company’s profits.  He uses his sleight-of-hand technique on corporate income tax, decrying big businesses, like General Electric, who use loopholes in the system to pay hardly any income tax. Of course, he says nothing about the hundreds of thousands of small businesses who cannot use the same loopholes and, as a result, end up paying the full load.

 It certainly can’t be because these income taxes are so high, and that small businesses are the engine of our economy, that they cannot afford to hire on extra help, especially when the debate tax hikes has still not been settled.  

It certainly can’t be because of the president’s relationship with big labor, which continues to play the part of the parasite that eventually kills the host. This certainly cannot be the reason why automakers cannot compete with foreign imports because of union demands to pay bloated wages and benefits that will eventually cripple these companies ability to compete.  

And it certainly can be that big businesses are moving huge parts of their operations overseas because of massive over-regulation and over taxation from our federal government. After all we’ve injected close to $1 trillion of our grand kids’ money into the system. This, of course, has worked every time it has been tried in history-just look at Greece!  

Once again it is obvious that the current occupant in the White House either cannot or will not entertain even the thought that his policies of economic socialism and big government micromanagement are the cause of the economic slowdown and the nonexistent recovery we have been in for three years. To once again put blame on the American people for the mistakes of the government is the height of hypocrisy.

Will history revere President Obama in the same fashion it did Jimmy Carter? We will see on November 6, 2012.

The Gipper’s Protege

Obama and the Democrats have been eager lately to compare their “messiah” with Ronald Reagan. How they can do this and simultaneously decry him is of course a paradox only the Democrats can get away with. But since Obama is so eager to channel the Gipper, perhaps a comparison of the two bears examination.

Actually, there are a few similarities between them. Both ran on the promise of economic change and both inherited economies that were in the throes of a recession, in part caused by the policies of their predecessors. However, while the state of the economy may have been similar upon their respective inaugurations, that is about as far as the similarities go. The attitudes of Obama and Reagan could not be more different.

Reagan, of course, campaigned against the ineptitude of Jimmy Carter and his spending policies, blaming him, and rightfully so, for the economic woes of the time period. Unlike Obama though, once he stepped into office, Reagan actually took action to fulfill his campaign promises. He did not merely endlessly whine about Carter’s policies and their detrimental effect on the economy, nor did he blame economic headwinds. Rather, Reagan took action- cutting taxes, increasing work incentives and deregulating the economy. As a result of this, according to the Heritage Foundation, the GDP grew a total of 35.7% between 1983 and 1990. Obama on the other hand, continues to advocate massively expensive, intrusive New Deal reminiscent policies, despite the fact that such programs were not successful for FDR. And when, unsurprisingly, they haven’t worked either this time, all he can do is complain about economic head winds, and of course, blame Bush.

Economic policies aside, the attitudes with which Reagan and Obama have approached their presidency are also polar opposites. Reagan’s personality is perhaps chiefly what makes him so memorable and endearing, even to those of us who were not alive during his presidency. He had the ability to do what most politicians cannot- make fun of himself, and even his opponents without anyone taking serious offense. But despite his lighthearted manner, he still was very much a respected figure of authority and could take charge of a situation. Unlike Reagan, who famously said, in response to a question about his own age, that he wouldn’t take advantage of Walter Mondale’s youth and inexperience, Obama lacks the ability to joke about himself and position, and he certainly doesn’t treat his opponents with the same respect Reagan did. Obama has even called the Republicans enemies in the past, and despite the media’s promise to take more responsibility in eliminating so called ‘violent rhetoric’ from the public stage, he and his administration have had no harsh words when members of his own party have called Republicans terrorists and Nazis.

So maybe next time Obama gets up to speak before the nation, he can take a moment to conjure up the image of the man he supposedly is emulating, and speak with a grin on his face, a joke in his heart, and the knowledge that he alone is responsible for the actions of his administration, because in the words of the great Gipper himself “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”

Is President Obama Pushing Us Into a Double Dip Recession? History Says YES

President Obama’s approval ratings among American voters have been dropping to historic lows as he heads into the third year of his first, and only term, as President of The United States. Electoral history backs up that last statement, in the fact that no incumbent President has ever been reelected with our current stubbornly high unemployment rate hovering over 9%. Throw in the fact that the dollar is weak, gasoline is still about double what it was when he took office, and the fact that many economists point to the total unemployment as to being more like 17%, not the 9% that the new Liberal math is using to get it at that level, and we end up with 63% of Americans  saying they do not like the direction the country is going under Barack Obama. That points to Obama as being what is simply know as a “One and done President.”

 Does Barack Obama know he is a one and done president?  He must know how disgusted most of America is  in the hope and change slogan that has now become simply,  no hope and change for the worse, when we see those sharply tanking approval ratings. Since Obama knows he will be defeated in 2012, relegated to the dustbin of being known as the worst President in modern American history, many folks believe he is setting up the next Republican President administration to fail by damaging our economy immensely. History also shows this to be a pattern of past Presidents. If you can create an atmosphere of long-term instability in our economy, it could lead Americans to eventually voting for Hope and Change 2.0.  in 2016,  just like they did in 2006 without any clear definition of just what kind of trans-formative change  candidate Obama was  talking about.

Barack Obama and his Liberal Party USA group of advisers, czars and high-powered appointees have been shown to try to replicate the failed Socialistic policies of past administrations of the lefto-sphere numerous times since Obama was elected. They have also used the gimmickry and manipulation of the masses techniques of past Presidents Carter, Wilson, Hoover, FDR, and Clinton often, ( while ignoring Truman’s economy recovery facts)  in trying to make their case for their Liberal wealth redistribution to buy votes campaigns.  Jimmy Carter, whom is widely known as the worst POTUS in modern history, along with Bill Clinton who is infamous for disgracing our White House with his Monica Lewinski down-under policies, are both still heavily involved in pimping the Barack Obama tax hike agenda of today. Do these Liberal elitists ever retire?  It says a lot about the current administration in their willingness to ignore Carter and Clinton’s incompetence and perversions, while trying to prop them up as respected people that Americans should listen to today.

The  bottom line is that, true to their Liberal ideology, Barack Obama and company are trying to tax us into a double-dip recession. History proves it, and the current stagnant economy due to the failed policies of the past 3 years, coupled with the numerous stealth tax increases hidden in the Obama agenda such as those being found in Obama-care, will prove deadly to our economy in the near future. Tax increases and massive over-regulation are piling up in all sectors of our economy, with many of them being back-loaded until…. 2013, right after Obama is kicked out of office. Coincidence? Not likely. Fake Democrats have a well-documented history of implementing stealth policies in able to regain power in future elections by crippling the economy through failed Keynesian economic policies. Then, they sit back and start screaming that it is all the conservative policies that hurt working Americans and everyone should get out and vote for Democrats. This is the proven cycle of the two-party political system, and people fall for it time and time again while ignoring the history of American economics.

         Today, on my local news I saw that Bill Clinton is telling Americans and Congress to pass Obama’s current massive tax hikes plan(s) RIGHT AWAY. The doomed-to-fail American Jobs Act, the newly announced Buffet Rule, and the hidden agenda of letting the Bush tax cuts expire are all in fact, tax hikes on every man, woman and child in America. ( Except for most of the Liberal base though, as they, like Buffett and Obama-bedpal G. E. , very rarely actually pay taxes)  That sent red flags dancing across my vision immediately. Bill Clinton’s fallacy about just what happened when he was President has been very well-exposed as to containing a very heavy dose of leftist propaganda in saying our economy skyrocketed during the Clinton years simply because he raised taxes on the rich. To be perfectly clear, history points to raising taxes as prohibitive to growing our economy time and time again. The current Liberal administration seems very good at using past history to dig out the trickery and manipulation tactics that have been used before to fool the American public into going along with tax increases that, in fact, will lead us into a double-dip recession. Is Barack Obama pushing us into a double dip recession on purpose? History says he is doing  just that, when we look at how past tax hikes have resulted in severe downturns in our economy throughout our presidential history.

In an article from The Heritage Foundation titled, Hoover, FDR and Clinton Tax Increases: A Brief Historical Lesson, we see indisputable facts that prove to us that raising taxes during a recession only leads us into a double-dip recession or even a depression. These historic examples  also show us to be the exact same tactics that the Obama administration is now using  as we head in  2012 and the Presidential elections.

                          Lets start with President Herbert Hoover back in the troubled economic times of  the early 1930’s.:

” After the 1929 stock market crash, the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 raised import prices and more importantly threw a bucket of cold water on global trade flows, helping send the economy into deep depression. The economy had very little chance to recover. Along with gross and ongoing monetary policy mismanagement, President Hoover raised taxes in 1932. The consequences were devastating. As Alan Reynolds points out: ‘ President Herbert Hoover asked for a temporary tax increase…in June 1932, raising the top income tax rate from 25% to 63% and quadrupling the lowest tax rate from 1.1% to 4%. That didn’t help confidence or the Treasury. Revenue from the individual income tax dropped from $834 million in 1931 to $427 million in 1932 and $353 million in 1933′ ”  ( emphasis mine)

Note the highlighted lines there. Those were some whopping tax increases, and if Barack Obama and the Liberals in Congress get their way we will see the exact same thing when we look at the big picture and actually add all of the Obama tax increases already on the books to the new ones he is proposing today. Hoover’s huge tax increases also point us towards  the failed New Deal  Keynesian-style spending  that is always at the root of Progressive ( posing as democratic) policy. It led directly to a double-dip recession that really hurt the very working class people Democrats at the time purported to represent as we see here:

This caused a “double-dip” recession, sky-rocketing the unemployment rate to well above 20 percent. After 1933, the economy showed glimmers of recovery: unemployment dropped from near 25 percent in 1934 to under 15 percent in 1937, and economic activity was picking up. Contrary to Keynesian conventional wisdom, however, the recovery didn’t come as a result of New Deal spending. Christina Romer, former chief economic advisor to President Obama, makes clear: “Fiscal policy played a relatively small role in stimulating recovery in the United States.” Rather, the initial recovery happened largely because of monetary expansion, the “money supply increased nearly 42 percent between 1933 and 1937,” according to Ms. Romer. ( the monetary expansion link there gives us a very detailed look at the Great Depression and it’s causes)

          Five years later FDR repeated the same mistake as Hoover, as we see here

 

Unfortunately, President Roosevelt made the same crucial mistake President Hoover made 5 years earlier, so the recovery didn’t last. FDR raised taxes sharply in 1937 in an attempt to balance the budget. Once tax increases took effect, the economy collapsed into another recession – the second stage of the double-dip which lasted into WWII. ( emphasis mine)

 

 

       President Harry S. Truman, whom we all know was a huge history buff and an avid reader, learned just how dangerous Keynesian economic policies had been while he was serving as FDR”s Vice President , and as President in 1945 directed a true economic recovery through conservative, pro-growth principles:

As Burt Fulsom writes:

Congress reduced taxes. Income tax rates were cut across the board. FDR’s top marginal rate, 94% on all income over $200,000, was cut to 86.45%. The lowest rate was cut to 19% from 23%, and with a change in the amount of income exempt from taxation an estimated 12 million Americans were eliminated from the tax rolls entirely.

Corporate tax rates were trimmed and FDR’s “excess profits” tax was repealed, which meant that top marginal corporate tax rates effectively went to 38% from 90% after 1945….By the late 1940s, a revived economy was generating more annual federal revenue than the U.S. had received during the war years, when tax rates were higher. Price controls from the war were also eliminated by the end of 1946. The U.S. began running budget surpluses. ( emphasis mine)

How many of our readers can even imagine what a tax rate of 90%, as highlighted above, would do to this country ? Could that happen again? History already shows us that it will, if we do not address the current economic cliff we are standing on the edge of, and if we do not reinstate the free market principles that lead to overall  economic growth and create a stable economic climate . That simply means less taxation through corporate tax rate deductions and a repeal of the overbearing, expensive regulations that stifle economic growth.  The more companies and businesses pay in taxes, the less money there is for expansion and new job creation. It doesn’t take a Harvard trained elitist or a career politician to understand these facts. To the contrary, all it takes is a look at the history of economics above, with an eye on just what policies were good for America and which ones were proven to lead to double-dip recessions. It is historical fact.

             Last but certainly least, President Clinton’s policy record shows us both how misleading Liberals are when they say he lead us into the most prosperous economy in U.S. history, and their fallacy of whether or not he raised taxes to do it:

The disastrous mistakes from Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt underscore the importance that Washington not raise taxes in a weak economy. But that doesn’t stop the Left from advancing the notion. They point to Clinton’s record as proof. After all, Congress pushed through a big tax increase under President Clinton, and the economy boomed, right?  ( emphasis mine)

That much-overstated Liberal propaganda, when discussing the history of U.S. economic policy with regard to the Liberal tax-the- rich schemes, is in fact just that, mainly mind-manipulating propaganda put out by the ever- economically- illiterate Socialists posing as working-class champion Democrats as we see here:

Heritage senior fellow JD Foster adds:

The first period, from 1993 to 1996, began with a significant tax increase as the economy was accelerating out of recession. The second period, from 1997 to 2000, began with a modest tax cut as the economy should have settled into a normal growth period. The economy was decidedly stronger following the tax cut than it was following the tax increase. ( emphasis mine)

So there we have it, from Presidents Hoover, to FDR, to Truman, and finally to the myth of President Bill Clinton’s much-stated tax increases having ‘supposedly’ led to economic prosperity and job creation, we see that U.S. economic history shows us that raising taxes , especially during the current Obama-recession, will lead us straight into a double-sip recession. A double-dip recession, and possible  great depression are on the horizon for America due to Barack Obama’s current numerous tax increases, ( some obvious and many hidden) and  his big government-over- regulation-laden agenda. Obama knows he is a one and done President, and is doing everything he can to set up the next administration to fail by pushing for massive tax hikes during the current recession, while all the time blaming it on Republicans.  History tells us that this is, in fact, Barack Obama’s current agenda. Let’s all work together to avoid a double-dip recession that will hurt all Americans, and defeat Barack Obama in 2012.

 

 

The Jobs Speech: Same Proposals Will Equal Same Results

President Obama gave his much anticipated speech on jobs (links to full text and video below). While many were looking forward to some plan from the leader of the country, and his supporters were glad to have something to justify their reverence for the man they will vote for next year, the speech falls incredibly short when analyzed from a real-world perspective.

To be perfectly honest, I would have rather spent this time analyzing the actual legislation the president is proposing than on the speech he gave. From an academic standpoint, it is always preferable to begin any analysis with original source material rather than someone’s summary or belief on what may or may not be in there. Yes, this is even true of politicians who supposedly write the bills, something that was made inherently clear in the Obamacare debates where even House Majority Leader Pelosi stated we needed to pass the bill so we could find out what was in it.

But since nobody in the administration thought it prudent to post a bill, and the only thing they did publish is a “fact sheet” consisting of little more than a reference list of talking points as well as op-ed pieces here and there, we are left with the speech and the promises made therein. In the interest of brevity, meaning that this is an article and not the book I could write on this subject, I only chose five of the more problematic parts of the speech for inclusion here.

Let us begin:

“The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools. It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows; installing science labs and high-speed Internet in classrooms all across this country. It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures. It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects across the country. And to make sure the money is properly spent and for good purposes, we’re building on reforms we’ve already put in place. No more earmarks. No more boondoggles. No more bridges to nowhere.”

There are two main issues to take with this part of the president’s pitch. The first has to do with the fact that most of the projects he mentions have questionable needs, both in general and regarding federal involvement. For example, high-speed internet connections are not expensive and can be done by a local cable provider. Routers are cheap and available at Wal-Mart for around $40. Is there such an immense need to go all the way to D.C. to fund one of these systems a local superintendent could fund by having students hold a bake sale?

The second has to do with how many of these projects will require perpetual funding by the localities in which they are instituted. If you are wondering why this is important, imagine someone gives you a puppy as a gift. You were not planning on a puppy, did not ask for one, and you cannot just give it back. You have to feed it, train it, schedule your time around it to take it out to do its business and go for walks, seek out and pay for boarding if you go on vacation, etcetera. This is a huge demand on money and time that you had never had to budget for in the past but now have to take into consideration with ever thing you do from now on.

The same could be said with, say, a new light rail. You will now have to plan for it to be built, suffer through the traffic problems that will come about with its construction, and pay the maintenance and repairs for as long as it is in service. That’s not to mention all of the people that will work there, driving the trains, issuing tickets, and providing security. All of these added costs will now go to the people you depend on to get elected, most of whom will probably never ride it.

(Before people start calling me a dog hater, it should be noted that I love dogs and currently have two in my “pack.” I have had dogs all of my life and was simply using that as an analogy to make a point).

“And everything in this bill will be paid for. And here’s how:
The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next ten years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I’m asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act.”

This is probably the biggest falsehood and attempt at misdirection that the president or anybody could have said if nothing else than due to the fact that we are running consistent deficits. Remember the debt ceiling debate in July and August? That was because we had no money and had to borrow more to pay for what we have on the books now. We still don’t have any money because our monthly obligations dwarf what we take in, which means we still have to borrow or print to pay for much of what we spend on. Somehow we are expected to take on more debt to the tune of $447 billion in what amounts to yet another stimulus bill.

I know what you’re thinking. He’s attempting to be deficit-neutral with that proposal, and that would be fine if we had spending under control, but we do not. This approach still adds to the deficit and overall debt because the money is still being spent, albeit on this new program. In short, it is not paid for.

For some perspective on stimulus, and if you want to be really strict with the definition, there were seventeen stimulus programs instituted from March 2008 through June 2009. Yes, you read that right. We have had 17 different stimulus bills pass through the federal government during that timeframe. While the official unemployment rate has come down from its peak at 10.1% in October of 2009, it is still at 9.1% and the overall economy is stalled. They have not worked regardless of the size or where they were targeted. Neither will this one.

He went on to quote President Kennedy by stating:

“Our problems are man-made — therefore they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants.”

While it is true that all of our economic problems we are facing now are man-made, it is ironic that he is proposing another version of a bill that has not worked in the past three and a half years. One could make the argument that since the economy has done nothing despite those bills being passed, they are the cause of this economic malaise we seem to be stuck in.

Yes, sometimes the treatment is worse than the illness. If this is the result of the president’s focus on jobs and the economy, perhaps he should go do something else.

“Pass this jobs bill.”

This phrase and similar appeals for this nonexistent bill’s passage occurred 17 times throughout the speech. If you are wondering why this is important, stay up past your bed time and watch some infomercials. Keep track of how many times the phrase “buy now” is said. It is a marketing gimmick, and the fact that he did not bother to make public the bill he wants passed, we would probably be better off simply buying something from late-night television.

“I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it. But here is what every American knows. While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets. Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary – an outrage he has asked us to fix. We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share.”

I was hesitant about including this part of the speech in here because it is simply worn out class warfare catch phrases. What changed my mind was the fact the president followed it up with “this isn’t class warfare” four paragraphs later. Let us take it at its face:

Raising taxes on the “rich” do nothing to make the lives of those under them any better. While I am personally far from being considered rich, I noted in an article on American Thinker how taking money from someone that is better off only hurts everybody involved.

Perhaps instead of trying to take what a few successful people have, he should direct the audience to look at those successful people at try to emulate their success. Such an approach would be more ethically sound and would seek to build people up rather than tear a few down. After all, the majority of those doing well did not start off that way.

It was unsurprising, yet at the same time disappointing, that he would bring up the “Warren Buffett’s Secretary” argument. For those who haven’t been paying much attention, Mr. Buffett made headlines not too long ago by blasting the US income tax system because he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. What was not mentioned, and apparently still isn’t, is why he pays a smaller rate: He essentially has no income in the way most of us earn income. Most of what Mr. Buffett earns comes in the form of dividend payments and other investment options, so while he may pay a lower rate on his personal income due to his type of income, he still pays more in taxes in one year than many people will earn in a lifetime.

The bottom line is that this speech was simply a political ploy to pass another stimulus bill. Since he failed to provide the bill itself, all of the benefits, as seen from both a Democrat and Republican perspective, amount to nothing. We are asked to support, we are asked to trust, we are asked to believe, but are given nothing tangible that would support such acts on our part.

Because of stunts like this, I would add that it is a profound shame that we have to treat our politicians like President Reagan treated the Soviet Union: Trust but verify.

*****
Rand Paul issued a statement on the president’s speech and class warfare argument:

 

__________
Sources:
Full text of speech here
Full video of speech here
Jobs Fact Sheet 
Huff-Po Op-Ed 
Stimulus Package Details 
American Thinker article 
Times Online Warren Buffet article

Presidential Speech Tonight – No Crystal Ball Needed

Tonight the President of the United States will appear before a joint session of Congress to give a speech on what he considers important issues facing America today. With the exception of the State of the Union Address, which is required by the Constitution itself, presidential speeches to a joint assembly are usually reserved for times of crisis or for timely events.

Tonight’s speech however, is reportedly about the epidemic of unemployment in our country. These speeches are supposed to be given in response to unexpected events and the like but I have to wonder, when did this administration figure out that the economy was in trouble? What gave it away? Unemployment over 9%? Timely… for about 2 years!

So if unemployment is such a crisis today, why wasn’t it important enough to give a joint session speech a month ago when it was just as bad – say, when the President was at the Vineyard? Calling a joint session is a Constitutional prerogative of any President, but to do it just to inject your name back into the headlines is an abuse of power. Just call a press conference, dude.

Be that as it may, let’s predict what he’ll talk about tonight. The White House has already released talking points to many liberal media outlets. Other than the normal rhetoric, such as, “Congress needs to put country ahead of politics” and “asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share”, here are some other things that will be probably regurgitated (the term ‘New in Box’ need not be applied here)

AND AS A BONUS, we will give you the translation for these points!

Obama: We inherited a down economy.
Translation: It’s all Bush’s fault!

Obama: We need to work in a bi-partisan fashion
Translation: You need to do what we want or we’ll call you names. And….It’s all Bush’s fault!

Obama: The time for obstruction and gridlock is over.
Translation: My turn, my turn!! My White House!! Me, me, me!!! Do it MY way. And……… It’s all Bush’s fault!

Obama: We need to put the country ahead of Politics
Translation: Politics meaning that you disagree with me. And…….. It’s all Bush’s fault!

Obama: That’s why I am proposing tonight, “The American Jobs Act”
Translation: That’s why I am proposing “The mug your grandchildren to pay off my base so they wont hang me out to try and I can get re-elected Act”. And…………… It’s all Bush’s fault!

Obama: I am renewing my call for civility
Translation: Exceptions have already been mailed out to union bosses, wacko Congresswomen from Cali who REALLY need to retire, majority ‘the war is lost’ leaders, all former Presidential candidates and Howard Dean. And…….. It’s all Bush’s fault!

Obama: Hope and Change.
Translation: I hope you got some change, cause stuff gonna cost a lot more when we’re done raiding the till. And, oh by the way….It’s all Bush’s fault!

New packaging, same manure.

OH WAIT, I do have a new prediction! I predict Apple’s stock to rise dramatically tomorrow morning based on all the Ipods that will be used in the House Chambers, so that Congress can watch the game. Hey, the President might get some applause after all! He’ll just have to time it with the next touchdown.

U.S. Economic Growth to Fall Sharply Due to Uncertain Policies

SAN FRANCISCO and LONDON, Aug. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Economic growth in the U.S. over the next 12 months is expected to decline to around 2.0 percent, significantly lower than the 3.1 percent predicted as late as June 2011, according to the proprietary macroeconomic model of Mellon Capital Management, part of BNY Mellon Asset Management.    The slower growth expectation is discussed in a recent white paper from Mellon Capital, “Impact from the Recent Turmoil: A Macroeconomic Outlook.”

The report attributes the lower growth forecast in the U.S. to the impact of the uncertainty of government policies during a soft economic patch.  The weakening economic outlook, in Mellon Capital’s view, could limit earnings growth for the companies comprising the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to approximately 6.8 percent over the next 12 months, well below the consensus forecast of 14.1 percent. Mellon Capital also warns that deteriorating conditions in the Eurozone could pose a threat to financial markets.

“While our models are forecasting earnings well below the consensus, the situation appears to be far better than 2008, when, according to our model,  the probability for negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth rose to 30 percent before the Lehman failure,” said Jonathan Xiong, managing director and global investment strategist in Mellon Capital’s global asset allocation group.  “This time, even if U.S. GDP growth falls to zero percent, we believe the companies in the S&P 500 should post earnings gains since they derive nearly half of their earnings from outside the U.S.”

Looking at the Eurozone, Mellon Capital suggests the lack of a long-term solution to the debt problem may result in a prolonged period of uncertainty that ultimately ends with the restructuring of the debt in certain peripheral nations.

“We believe the sovereign crisis in Europe represents a much larger and more complicated structural issue than the U.S. debt downgrade or austerity plans,” said Xiong.  “While the recent actions by the European Central Bank to purchase bonds in Italy and Spain seem to have eased short-term uncertainty, we do not believe this is a long-term solution to resolving the sovereign debt issues in Europe.”

Charity Defined

We continually hear the liberal left rant that the Conservatives want to take food out of the mouths of children and throw grandma off the cliff.

Liberals refuse to understand and/or accept the fact that their definition of “charity” is not at all what charity truly is.

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.

If I see you with a sandwich, and I see a hungry child at another table, and I walk over to you, demanding that you give your sandwich to the hungry child, I am not being charitable. If you give your sandwich to that child, but only because I am demanding it, you are not being charitable either.

What if I ask you if you would mind giving your sandwich to the child? Maybe you have not noticed the child as I have. You willingly agree. This is charity.

Now, what if I have a sandwich, but I do not want to give up my sandwich? I tell you that you need to give your sandwich to the child, while I continue to eat my sandwich. Obviously, this is not charity.

Lastly, what if I walk over, grab your sandwich from you, not giving you the choice to give the sandwich? Is this charity? No, this is me stealing from you, whether I give the sandwich to the child or not. Whether or not I have a sandwich of my own, and I am eating it, or if I give it to the child as well, if I come and take your sandwich from you, I have taken your choice from you. This is thievery, plain and simple.

God is very clear that we are to be charitable.

This past week, charity was defined in action. With our economy in a state of disarray, unemployment numbers through the roof, and the cost of everything going up every day, it’s truly a blessing to see charity defined in actions not just words or piety.

In Woodstock, Georgia, the Georgia Dental Association’s Foundation for Oral Health teamed up with the First Baptist Church of Woodstock to host a two-day dental clinic.

The line was estimated to be 2,000 yards long (that is the size of 20 football fields), and a total of 4,000 people were in line.

People of all ages came to the clinic to have needed dental work done- for free. This event was done out of the goodness of the hearts of volunteers. Conservative Daily News contacted Martha S. Phillips, Executive Director of the Georgia Dental Association, who verified that there were no government subsidies, grants, or anything of the like used for this event, saying:

There were no government funds used. All costs were paid for by private donations.

There were people that came the day before the clinic opened, and actually “slept on the concrete”. Due to hard economic times, the need for dental services have greatly increased.

Dr. Richard Smith, a dentist who practices in Atlanta, said:

“A bunch of us started looking around and realized that with this economy we had to do something. We are not responsible for the problem that’s there, but we’re the only ones who can fix it.

“A lot of these people are in pain, they have infections, they’re missing front teeth … there’s a huge need just to get people back to work. Mothers can’t take care of their children, fathers can’t earn a living … we’ve got to help them.”

The clinic was set up at the church, where 100 dental chairs and more than 1,600 volunteers, including 300 dentists volunteered their time and service.

“We’ve got hygienists we’ve got dental assistants working, there’s oral surgeons extracting teeth, we have endodontists doing root canals … we’ve got people here to feed them; it takes an army and this church has just been absolutely incredible.”

Dr. Michael Vernon, a dentist from Augusta, was deeply moved by the response from the patients, saying:

“Two the first three patients that I saw actually sat in the chair and cried because they were so appreciative of what we’re doing here and it just made me feel good about being here.”

More than 1,600 volunteers came to help other people because they care. Private citizens gave donations. No one depended on the government to provide a single penny to the cause. This is truly charity defined!

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love [charity] builds up. 1 Corinthians 8:1

God calls us to love- to give charity- to those in need. Throughout history, the Church has been the place where people went when they needed help. Slowly, over the last four decades, that has changed. The church has stopped being the place for the needy and hurting people of the world, so the government stepped in.

The liberal left has turned our government into an idol- their god whom they see as responsible to care for everyone. This goes against God Almighty’s command that this is puffed up arrogance, not charity. While God expects us to help people in need, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says:

If a man will not work, he shall not eat.

What began as simply allowing, but what has now become an expectation of  the government to provide for everyone who does not “have”, we have stopped requiring that a person have personal responsibility for their behavior. It is a slippery slope that has gotten completely out of control and is fast leading us to self-destruction as a nation.

What once was just providing food for the hungry has now become providing cell phones for anyone that does not already have one. Somewhere along the way, Uncle Sam was shoved out of command, and Uncle Sugar stepped in. This country is so very different from the America I know and love, where there is a certain expectation for her citizens to be a productive part of society. We have allowed personal responsibility to be thrown out the window, turned to the government to solve our problems, allowed the citizens of this great nation to feel they are entitled to every whim and want that becomes the trend.

Woodstock First Baptist Church and the Georgia Dental Association has shown this nation that true charity can be done and done well. They did not look to the government for handouts. They put their hands out- not to receive something, but to give something- a helping hand to those in need.

 

Consumer Confidence Slides for Second Straight Month

NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Although Congress and President Obama have agreed to raise the debt ceiling, a majority of Americans say that the debate has made them less confident in the nation’s economic recovery. More than half (54 percent) of Americans surveyed say that the debt ceiling debate has made them feel less confident in the economy, and 42 percent say that it has made them less confident in their own finances and investments, according to the August RBC Consumer Outlook Index. The RBC survey was completed immediately before the resolution of the debt ceiling negotiations.

Indicative of Americans’ concern with the state of the country, the number of Americans saying the U.S. is on the wrong track spiked in August to 76 percent, up from 63 percent last month, and the highest rate since July 2008. Only 24 percent of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction.

Confirming the nation’s restive mood, U.S. consumer confidence dropped in August for the second straight month as measured by the RBC Consumer Outlook Index. According to the Index, consumer confidence declined to 40.2 for August, down 3.5 points from the 43.7 reading in July and 6.5 points below the post-recession high of 46.7 in June.

“There is clearly a strong inclination to highlight the wrangling in Washington over the debt ceiling as having weighed heavily on confidence this month,” said RBC Capital Markets chief U.S. economist Tom Porcelli. “However, we would caution against assigning all the blame on this one aspect of the recent backdrop, which to say the least, has been disappointing. We would also highlight the jobs index and the investment index within the overall RBC Index as particularly troubling.”

Although the overall RBC Consumer Outlook Index declined, employment security remained relatively stable in August, with the Jobs Sub-Index falling only 0.8 points to stand at 52.0. While this is down from June’s high-water mark, it remains above the low point for the year. Job confidence also remains stable, as actual experience with job losses fell slightly from last month to stand at 37 percent. This remains the best score on this metric since 2008. However, 31 percent of Americans say they or someone in their household is currently worried about losing their job, up from 25 percent last month.

This month’s drop in the overall RBC Consumer Outlook Index is driven partly by a weaker Current Conditions Sub-Index, which dipped 4.5 points to 28.9, from 33.4 in July. Three out of five Americans (59 percent) say they are less comfortable making a major purchasing decision, such as a home or car, than they were six months ago, which is up from 48 percent last month.

The Investments Sub-Index dropped 4.7 points to 31.8, down from 36.3 in July. Half of Americans (52 percent) think that the next 30 days will be a bad time to invest in the stock market, up from 35 percent last month. The stock market, as represented by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, had lost almost five percent in the days leading up to the RBC survey.

The Consumer Expectations Sub-Index also declined this month to 49.4, down 3.7 points from 53.1 in July. While optimists and pessimists roughly balanced each other out for most of the year, in August, twice as many Americans expect the economy to worsen versus improve (40 percent, versus 18 percent).

After declining for two months, gas prices have reemerged as a major concern for consumers. Pump prices have risen over the last month, and the number of consumers expecting gas prices to rise in the next year has increased to 82 percent, up from 67 percent in July.

With the back-to-school spending season underway, two out of five parents (40 percent) say that they plan to reduce their spending this year because of the economy. The responses are essentially unchanged from a similar question asked a year ago, indicating that the impact of economic conditions is the same.

High Inflation and Low Investment Hampers Recovery

LONDON, July 27, 2011/PRNewswire/ —  Rising inflation and flat investment have kept the world’s economic recovery stuck in reverse, the latest Global Economic Conditions survey from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has shown.

Of the 2,186 ACCA members surveyed between 16 May and 6 June 2011, only 26% reported increased confidence, down from 28% three months ago, with 57% saying that economic conditions are either deteriorating or stagnating, up from 51% only three months ago.

While the rocketing inflation of the first quarter of 2011 was not repeated in the second three months, a greater proportion of those surveyed, 54% – up from 51% in the last quarter – reported an increase in operating costs. This is double the number of respondents who mentioned inflation two years ago.

The survey shows that rising costs are not just confined to the fastest-growing economies.

While best performing markets Malaysia and Pakistan are leading the inflation league table, rising costs were also cited by 45% of respondents in Western Europe, which has been affected by the continent’s debt crisis, still sits at the bottom of the ranking in terms of business confidence and economic optimism.

The survey shows that businesses are becoming increasingly unable to respond to the inflationary challenge through cost-cutting.

Around 30% of respondents expect their governments to get spending decisions right in the medium-term, but 16.5% expect dangerous levels of over- or under-spending and this group has been growing every quarter since late 2009.

Access to finance has been tightening globally for the past six months, and this appears to be the case for both growth capital and short-term liquidity. This, combined with rising costs, now appears to be leading to an increase in the number of respondents who fear that customers (31%) or suppliers (15%) might go out of business, as well as those reporting problems with late payment (31%).

Despite these worrying trends, confidence figures among finance professionals have not yet dipped to a situation where they believe there will be a renewed downturn.

For the past two years, professionals in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region have been consistently more optimistic than their colleagues elsewhere about the state of the economic recovery, and this resulted in high levels of confidence in their own organisations.

In this survey, however, confidence is surprisingly low in both regions, with Asia-Pacific recording a net loss of confidence for the first time in two years. Hong Kong and Malaysia seem to be particularly affected, while Singapore has bucked the trend by recording further confidence gains.

While the gloom in the Far East reflects the fallout from the disaster in Japan, flagging confidence in Africa is mostly a lagged effect of the slowdown elsewhere. The GECS results show that the impact of a drop in activity in OECD countries has for the last few months been trickling down the supply chain, first to the Asia-Pacific region and then to Africa.

However, unlike the previous quarter, most of the pressure on access to finance appears to be concentrated on Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

Under these challenging conditions, profitable value-added opportunities of most types have become scarcer and the investment environment has deteriorated slightly, especially in terms of financing and business support. Still, investment itself has remained flat and the outlook for employment and investment in staff has even improved slightly. This is almost certainly related to the slow recovery in new orders.

Report author Manos Schizas, senior policy adviser with ACCA, said: “There are a number of concerns in the latest report, including that the loss of momentum in Asia and Africa has become particularly pronounced in the last few months. The limits of austerity are also being explored in Western Europe and a renewed tightening of credit and cashflow conditions could be on the cards, even as new orders and employment are beginning to recover.

“If these new trends – coupled with high inflation and low investment – persist we would expect to see further instability in the near future, which will present more challenges for all sectors professional accountants whether they work in practice or industry in the second half of 2011.”

Central and Eastern Europe buoyed by stable fundamentals as the rest of Europe deteriorates

For the time being, the region appears to be riding out the storm of the European fiscal crisis, even though respondents’ confidence in their own organisations and their faith in the global recovery are slowly being eroded. About 45% of respondents in the region (down from 50%) feel that global economic conditions are improving or about to do so, but only 26% reported confidence gains (virtually unchanged from 27% in the last quarter).

Business revenues, access to finance and cashflow conditions are now increasingly stable, which has prompted a rise in capital spending in the region. That said, the outlook for employment and investment in staff is still negative. Respondents are reporting more opportunities to profit from innovation and customer insights and fewer opportunities to cut costs or encourage efficiencies through the supply chain.

Respondents in the region expect government spending to grow moderately over the next five years, a prospect that now appears more sustainable than when the question was posed in previous surveys. Only about 8% expect their national governments to over-spend dangerously in the medium term, down from 14% in the previous quarter.

Debt-o-crats Are Spending U.S. Into Depression

Should the U.S. government, which has amassed a staggering debt of $14.5 trillion (about $4 trillion of that since President Obama took office), increase its debt limit? The question ought to be rhetorical; $47,000 per citizen is quite enough, thank you. Polls indicate that many voters don’t fully understand the ongoing debt ceiling debate, but even the least sophisticated laborer knows that spending more than he makes will eventually get him into trouble. Big trouble.

The Democratic Party, which still controls the federal government despite Republican gains last fall, seems to have missed the memo. This is hardly the first time they’ve been at odds with reason, but one would think they’d have learned by now. After failing miserably to stifle the Tea Party movement, which sprang up in opposition to excessive taxation, irresponsible spending, and the unconstitutional expansion of government, frantic Democrats have developed an astonishingly unlikely comeback strategy: Raise the debt limit, raise taxes, and spend more.

During last year’s campaign season, Obama compared the U.S. to an automobile. Put it in “D” to move forward, or “R” to move backwards, he joked. The car is moving forward, all right–towards the edge of a cliff. Instead of changing course, or slowing down to get a good look at the road ahead, Democrats are mashing the accelerator. Those who want to increase the debt limit are comparable to irresponsible consumers who max out their credit cards, and, instead of cutting back, apply for more. The word “unsustainable” is overused in politics, but it is the correct adjective for describing liberal policies.

Sadly, this intentional ineptitude affects all Americans. With a mere 153 million of us working (that’s six in ten, roughly), increasing the federal government’s debt ceiling and spending the country into a depression is beyond careless or reckless. It’s criminal.

If the U.S. passes the point of no return (if it hasn’t already), Democrats’ handling of the nation’s finances will have brought it to its knees as surely as a nuclear attack. Whether a nation is destroyed by a foreign military or its own leaders makes little difference to the millions of innocent people who live there, whose only mistake was to trust the men and women they elected. What the current administration is doing to the U.S. economy is akin to fiscal terrorism.

What is the appropriate response to terrorism?

Elected Republicans are talking a tough game, demanding substantial cuts to federal spending, but they are not sincere. Their talking points are crafted to appeal to the Tea Party movement, which can make or break the GOP’s future. If Republicans were serious about defending American prosperity, they would stop at nothing to neutralize the internal threat, which is overwhelmingly greater than the threat posed by any foreign enemy. Compromise is not, or should not be, an option.

Fourteen Republicans have formally declared their candidacy for president, nine of whom are taken seriously. One of them should raise the question: At what point does a government that deliberately mismanages the people’s money cease to be legitimate?

 

Chris Slavens is a conservative columnist. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Study Reveals Impact of Real Estate ‘Shadow Inventory’ on Recovery

ATLANTA, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Despite steady gains in key industry sectors, the nation’s housing market continues to exert pressure on the overall rate of economic recovery. While financial conditions across multiple financial sectors suggest economic stabilization and growth, delinquencies still exceed pre-recession levels due to continued turbulence in the mortgage marketplace, according to Equifax (NYSE: EFX) national credit trend research for May 2011.

Slowing today’s economic recovery are the challenges posed by high shadow inventory levels, which are contributing to the continued rise of severe mortgage delinquencies and write-offs. According to Equifax research, write-off dollars for home finance, which includes first mortgage and home equity installment loans as well as home equity revolving accounts, are still climbing and have yet to show signs of peaking. In fact, home finance write-offs reached $304.6 billion in 2010 compared to a combined total of $126.7 billion for 2006 and 2007.

Equifax data shows that severe delinquencies among these loan vintages have remained nearly constant since the first quarter of 2010. Further analysis reveals that as of May 2011 there are approximately$319.7 billion in 2006 and 2007 first mortgage vintages that are in the initial foreclosure process – many of which may be written off.

Real estate owned (REO) properties represent another roadblock to recovery. According to Equifax, first mortgage REO rates remain high as lenders struggle to divest of properties unsuccessfully sold through a short sale or foreclosure auction. While various factors over the last few years have led to fluctuations in the number of REO properties, REO rates since March 2011 are on the rise and causing continued economic strain. Equifax data shows that in May 2011:

  • Three percent of all U.S. first mortgages representing $21.8 billion were REO properties.
  • Foreclosure complete rates of 1.45 percent were almost in lock step with bankruptcy rates of 1.6 percent – suggesting that the majority of REO properties are the result of bankruptcy proceedings.

 

“Shadow inventory and real estate owned properties are still playing a dominant role in today’s mortgage market and slowing the pace of economic recovery. While we are seeing stabilization across multiple sectors of lending, there remains a significant volume of delinquent first mortgage loans, which has slowed the foreclosure process. Until these foreclosures are processed, the mortgage market will continue to impact economic growth,” said Craig Crabtree, senior vice president and general manager, Equifax Mortgage Services.

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