Economy | - Part 5

Fun with Zero on the Y-Axis

To someone who used to produce a lot of charts (not so much at all anymore), this video about when and where to place zero on the y-axis was pretty entertaining.

Of course, this being Vox, Fox News was the poster-boy for using the Y-axis to lie, however, when looking at the detail behind the example that was offered up, the deception that was produced by the “Fair and Balanced” network was pretty egregious.

Ahead of today’s big Federal Reserve meeting minutes that will, absent a major market temper tantrum between now and then, seal the deal for a December rate hike, David Stockman shares some thoughts on this and related subjects at CNBC.

The former Reagan budget director, current proprietor of the Contra Corner website, and author of The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America was busy yesterday as evidenced by the six segments appearing after a quick CNBC video search.

A Great Job for Retirees?

It is not at all clear to me how this job would in any way qualify as a great job for anyone in their golden years, that is, with the notable exception of it either being this or having no food at all to put on the table, in which case, the definition of great is really being stretched.

Via this Fiscal Times story that, aside from this and the Uber driver entry, makes sense.

Yeah. This is Going to End Well.

From this Bloomberg story comes more evidence that corporate America and the financial industry continue to push further into uncharted territory with debt levels at big companies surging past previous record highs and an increasing share being used to finance such society-benefiting activities like share buybacks and acquisitions as shown below.

Of course, the Federal Reserve has nothing to do with this alarming trend and former Fed Chief Ben Bernanke would be the first to tell you so, as he did yesterday with William Cohen in this offering from the NY Times Deal Book blog:

“The low rate of interest isn’t something that God gave us here,” he explained. “It’s something that is a feature of the economy.”

“So”, in the words of Jesse Pinkman (and Walter White), “There’s that”.

Druckenmiller Does Not ♥ the Fed

Hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller has high praise for the Federal Reserve’s response to the financial crisis, but nothing good to say about the organization that didn’t see it coming and has now fostered new bubbles that are sure to end badly.

Notes Druckenmiller:

You would have thought we’d have gotten out of emergency measures… At some point, over six years, when you have zero rates and quantitative easing, you move investors out the risk curve, you cause emerging market governments … to act in ways they’ve never been able to act in history because markets wouldn’t have let them … you cause corporations to start acting in bizarre ways, buying back twice as much stock at prices two-and-a-half times where they were four or five years ago…

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