Tag Archives: BLS

The Slow Death Of The U.S. Economy

Deteriorating real economic fundamentals – The most important economic report out last week was retail sales for February, which showed at 0.1% decline from January. This was a surprise to Wall Street’s brain trust, which was expecting a 0.4% gain. Keep in mind the 0.1% decline is nominal. After subtracting inflation, the “unit” decline in sales is even worse. This was the third straight month retail sales declined. The decline was led by falling sales of autos and other big-ticket items. In addition, a related report was out that showed wholesale inventories rose more than expected in January as wholesale sales dropped 0.2%, the biggest monthly decline since July 2016.

Retail and wholesale sales are contracting. What happened to the tax cut boost to spending? Based on the huge jump in credit card debt to an all-time high and the decline in the savings rate to a record low in Q4 2017, it’s most likely that the average consumer “pre-spent” the anticipated gain from Trump’s tax cut. Now, consumers have to spend the $95/month on average they’ll get from lower paycheck withholdings paying down credit card debt. As such, retail sales have tanked 3 months in a row.

Paul Craig Roberts published a must-read essay on the slow death of the U.S. economy:

As for the full employment claimed by US government reporting agencies, how does full employment coexist with this reported fact from the Dallas Morning News: 100k Applications For 1000 jobs.

Toyota Motor Company advertised the availability of 1,000 new jobs associated with moving its North American headquarters from southern California to Texas and received 100,000 applications. Where did these applications come from when the US has “full employment?”

Clearly, the US does not have full employment. The US has an extremely low rate of labor force participation, because there are no jobs to be had, and discouraged workers who cannot find jobs are not measured in the unemployment rate. Not measuring the unemployed is the basis of the low reported unemployment rate. The official US unemployment rate is just a hoax.

You can read his full commentary here:    America Is Losing Its Economy

Paul Craig Roberts: Make Believe America

Americans live a never-never-land existance. The politicians and presstitutes make sure of that.

Consider something as simple as the unemployment rate. The US is said to have full employment with a January 2018 unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, down from 9.8 percent in January 2010 – BLS Statistics.

However, the low rate of unemployment is contradicted by the long-term decline in the labor force participation rate. After a long rise during the Reagan 1980s, the labor force participation rate peaked in January 1990 at 66.8 percent, more or less holding to that rate for another decade until 2001 when decline set in accelerating in September 2008.

Today the labor force participation rate is the lowest since February 1978, reversing all of the gains of the Reagan years.

Allegedly, the current unemployment rate of 4.1 percent is the result of the long recovery that allegedly began in June 2009. However, normally, employment opportunities created by economic recovery cause an increase in the labor force participation rate as people join the work force to take advantage of employment opportunities. A fall in the participation rate is associated with recession or stagnation, not with economic recovery.

How can this contradiction be reconciled? The answer lies in the measurement of unemployment. If you have not looked for a job in the last four weeks, you are not counted as being unemployed, because you are not counted as being part of the work force. When there are no jobs to be found, job seekers become discouraged and cease looking for jobs. In other words, the 4.1 percent unemployment rate does not count discouraged workers who cannot find jobs.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has a second measure of unemployment that includes workers who have been discouraged and out of the labor force for less than one year. This rate of unemployment is 8.2 percent, double the 4.1 percent reported rate.

The US government no longer tracks unemployment among discouraged workers who have been out of the work force for more than one year. However, John Williams of shadowstats.com continues to estimate this rate and places it at 22 or 23 percent, a far cry from 4.1 percent.

In other words, the 4.1 percent unemployment rate does not count the unemployed who do show up in the declining labor force participation rate.

If the US had a print and TV media instead of the propaganda ministry that it has, the financial press would not tolerate the deception of the public about employment in America.

Junk economists, of which the US has an over-supply, claim that the decline in the labor force participation rate merely reflects people who prefer to live on welfare than to work for a living and the current generation of young people who prefer life at home with parents paying the bills. This explanation from junk economists does not explain why suddenly Americans discovered welfare and became lazy in 2001 and turned their back on job opportunities. The junk economists also do not explain why, if the economy is at full employment, competition for workers is not driving up wages.

The reason Americans cannot find jobs and have left the labor force is that US corporations have offshored millions of American jobs in order to raise profits, share prices, and executive bonuses by lowering labor costs. Many American industrial and manufacturing cities have been devastated by the relocation abroad of production for the American consumer market, by the movement abroad of IT and software engineering jobs, and by importing lower paid foreign workers on H1-B and other work visas to take the jobs of Americans. In my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, I give examples and document the devastating impact jobs offshoring has had on communities, cities, pension funds, and consumer purchasing power.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST:  PCR – MAKE BELIEVE AMERICA

313k Jobs Added? Nice Try But It’s Fake News

The census bureau does the data-gathering and the Bureau of Labor Statistics feeds the questionable data sample through its statistical sausage grinder and spits out some type of grotesque scatological substance.  You know an economic report is pure absurdity when the report exceeds Wall Street’s rose-colored estimate by 53%.  That has to be, by far, an all-time record-high “beat.”

If you sift through some of the foul-smelling data, it turns out 365k of the alleged jobs were part-time, which means the labor market lost 52k full-time jobs.  But alas, I loathe paying any credence to complete fiction by dissecting the “let’s pretend” report.

The numbers make no sense.  Why?  Because the alleged data does not fit the reality of the real economy.  Retail sales, auto sales, home sales and restaurant sales have been declining for the past couple of months.  So who would be doing the hiring?  Someone pointed out that Coinbase has hired 500 people.  But the retail industry has been laying off thousands this year. Given the latest industrial production and auto sales numbers, I highly doubt factories are doing anything with their workforce except reducing it.

And if the job market is “so strong,” how comes wages are flat?  In fact, adjusted for real inflation, real wages are declining.  If the job market was robust, wages would be soaring.  Speaking of which, IF the labor market was what the Government wants us to believe it is, the FOMC would tripping all over itself to hike the Fed Funds rate.  And the rate-hikes would be in chunks of 50-75 basis points – not the occasional 0.25% rise.

The Housing Market Is Starting To Fall Apart

Last week I summarized January existing home sales, which were released on Wednesday, Feb 21st. Existing home sales dropped 3.2% from December and nearly 5% from January 2017. Those statistics are based on the SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate) calculus. Larry Yun, the National Association of Realtors chief salesman, continues to propagate the “low inventory” propaganda.

But in truth, the economics of buying a home has changed dramatically for the first-time and move-up buyer demographic plus flipper/investors. As I detailed a couple of issues back, based on the fact that most first-time buyers “buy” into the highest possible monthly payment for which they can qualify, the price that a first-time, or even a move-up buyer, can afford to pay has dropped roughly 10% with the rise in mortgage rates that has occurred since September 2017. The game has changed. That 10% decline results from a less than 1% rise in mortgage rates.

That same calculus applies to flipper/investors. Investors looking to buy a rental home pay a higher rate of interest than owner-occupied buyers. Most investors would need the amount of rent they can charge to increase by the amount their mortgage payment increases from higher rates. Or they need to use a much higher down payment to make the investment purchase. The new math thereby removes a significant amount of “demand” from investors.

It also occurred to me that flippers still holding homes purchased just 3-4 months ago are likely underwater on their “largesse.” Most flippers look for homes in the price-range that caters to first-timers (under $500k). This is the most “liquid” segment of the housing market in terms of the supply of buyers. Any flipper that closed on a home purchase in the late summer or early fall that needed to be “spruced up” is likely still holding that home. In addition to the purchase cost, the flipper has also incurred renovation and financing costs. Perhaps in a few markets prices have held up. But in most markets, the price first-time buyers can pay without significantly increasing the amount of the down payment has dropped roughly 10%. Using this math, any flipper holding a home closed prior to October is likely sitting on a losing trade.

Similar to 2007/2008, many of these homes will be sold at a loss or the flipper will “jingle mail” the keys to the bank, in which case the bank will likely dump the home. I know in some areas of metro-Denver, pre-foreclosure listings are rising. Some flippers might turn into rental landlords. This will increase the supply of rental homes which, in turn, will put pressure on rental rates.

New home sales – The plunge in January new home sales was worse than existing homes. New home sales dropped 7.8% from December. This follows December’s 9.3% plunge from November. The December/January sequence was the biggest two-month drop in new home sales since August 2013. Back then, mortgage rates had spiked up from 3.35% in June to 4.5% by the end of August. The Fed at that time was still buying $40 billion worth of mortgages every month. With QE over and an alleged balance sheet reduction program in place, plus the Fed posturing as if it will continue nudging the Fed Funds rate higher, it’s likely that new home sales will not rebound like they did after August 2013, when mortgage rates headed back down starting in early September 2013.

Contrary to the Larry Yun false narrative, the supply of new homes jumped to 6.1 months from 5.5 months in December. How does this fit the Yun propaganda that falling sales is a function of low inventory? The average price of a new home is $382k (the median is $323k). New home prices will have to fall significantly in order for sales to stop trending lower. What happens if the Fed really does continue hiking rates and mortgage rates hit 5%?

January “Pending” Home Sales – The NAR’s “pending home sales index,” which is based on contract signings, was released this past Wednesday. It plunged to its lowest level since October 2014. The index dropped 4.7% vs. an expected 0.5% rise from the optimist zombies on Wall St. It’s the biggest 1-month percentage decline in the index since May 2010. On a year-over-year comparison basis, the index is down 1.7%. December’s pending home sales index was revised down from the original headline report.

The chart below, sourced from Zerohedge with my edits added, illustrates the way in which rising and falling mortgage rates affects home sales. The mortgage rate data is inverted to better illustrate the correlation between mortgage rates and home sales:

Housing sales data is lagged by a month. Per the blue line, current homes sales (i.e. February sales/contract signings) have likely declined again given that mortgage rates continued to rise in during the month of February.

The above commentary on the housing market is from the latest Short Seller’s Journal.  Myself and several subscribers have been making a lot money shorting homebuilders this year.  But it’s not just about homebuilders.  I presented ZAGG as a short in the SSJ in the December 10th issue at $19.  It plunged down to $12 yesterday.  I’ve had several subscribers report gains of up to 40% shorting the stock and 3x that amount using puts.

You can find out more about this unique newsletter here:  Short Seller’s Journal

More B.S. From The BLS Leads To A Blatant Attack On Gold & Silver

With the release of the latest BLSBS at 8:30am EST, the market interventionists were set up for a spectacular effort today. The S&P was first out of the gate, to the upside of course, and the precious metals were slammed. Ironically, the impulse triggered by the headline jobs report should have effected the stock market and the precious metals similarly.

How are 100’s of thousands of working age people leaving the labor force yet, somehow, the BLS can report hundreds of thousands of new jobs that were filled? Well, there is the “Birth/Death Model”. The Birth/Death Model, much like the Federal Reserve Note, is just made up out of thin air. A number is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and then entered into the BLS report. It has nothing to do with reality. But someone forgot to tell the BLS that construction spending in June was down nearly 10% year over year from last June because the BLS reports that new construction businesses added 11,000 new jobs to the economy – an economic and statistical extreme improbability.

If there were any markets that actually moved in accordance with fundamentals, natural price discovery or anything associated with reality the S&P and Dow Jones would be moving to the downside as well. Why? Because as Dave explains in the latest Shadow of Truth, if the [equities] markets were sensing the Fed was going to raise interest rates, and if the employment report were based in reality the Fed would be forced to raise interest rates, this would be negative for those indices. But, alas, everything is rigged, so it doesn’t matter. The “market saved us again…”

Non-Farm Payroll Propaganda – Aka Fake News

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

I dislike giving the employment report any acknowledgment because the report is constructed for the purposes of political expedience. But I can’t help posting a few comments because, once again, the non-farm payroll report for June showed significant growth in sectors of the economy for which real world business economic reports showed economic contraction. The headline number purports that the 222k new jobs were created in June. This wailed on the consensus estimate of 170k.

The Government attributes 16k in new jobs to the construction industry. How can this possibly have been the case when construction spending declined 4.4% on a quarterly basis for April and May? Moreover, housing starts have been declining for the past few months, including June. Unless there’s a new model for running a business, contracting economic activity is accompanied by payroll cost-cutting. The number is just not credible. Same with retail, for which the Government wants us to believe that 8100 jobs miraculously were created despite the fact that retail stores are being closed at one of the fast rates in history.

Then there’s the nefarious “birth/death” model, which guesstimates the number of jobs created by new companies started in June net of jobs lost from new businesses closed in June. I have news for the Bureau of Labor Statistics: new business formation, according to Gallop, is at a 40-yr low. Furthermore, potential business owners are less likely to risk borrowing money for a new business when the cost of borrowing is increasing. Maybe the BLS statisticians forgot about the Fed interest rate hikes and forgot to plug the higher cost of capital in to their new business formations blender. The B/D model attributes 102k new jobs from new businesses net of business deaths. To convolute their reporting Hmmm…23k of those came from construction…need I say more?

The above commentary is a preview of this week’s Short Seller’s Journal.

BLS B.S.: 93% Of New Jobs Since 2008 Were Birth/Death Model Estimates

A research report from Morningside Hill Capital sourced from Zerohedge shows that 93% of the jobs “created” since 2008 were Birth/Death model estimates.  While some portion of those jobs were no doubt legitimately created, the issue is over-estimation of jobs created by new businesses net of jobs lost from failed businesses.  As it turns out, most of the job growth that has been reported by the Government since 2008 – and which in turn fueled some massive stock rallies – never existed.

Ronald Reagan’s administration was the “culprit” behind the creation of the Birth/Death model because apparently Reagan was complaining that the BLS was undercounting the jobs he “created” (from the link above, pg 11).

The source of estimation error derived from the methodology used by the Census Bureau is highly flawed because it extrapolates B/D growth estimates based on historical experience.  When the economic activity in the current period is below the historical rate of economic activity (real economic activity, not inflation-generated growth or growth fashioned from data manipulation), the slow-down in new business formation that occurs in reality is not picked up by the B/D model.

BLS Admits High Error Potential – If you bother to sift through the section of the BLS website that describes the Birth/Death model methodology – something which Wall Street analysts and financial news reporters have never bothered to do – the BLS admits the high potential for error.  From the BLS website:

The primary limitation stems from the fact that the model is, of necessity, based on historical data. If there is a substantial departure from historical patterns of employment changes in net business births and deaths, as occurred from 2008 into 2009 during the 2009 benchmark, the model’s contribution to error reduction can erode. As with any model that is based on historical data, turning points that do not resemble historical patterns are difficult to incorporate in real time. Because there is no current monthly information available on business births, and because only incomplete sample data is available on business deaths, estimation of this component will always be potentially more problematic than estimation of change from continuing businesses.

Perhaps the biggest source of error comes from the Census Bureau’s estimate of jobs from workers not covered by UI tax reports (employers required to pay out unemployment insurance). These are part-time workers (primarily independent contractors). As the BLS admits:

There are some types of employees that are exempt from UI tax law, but are still within scope for the CES estimates. Examples of the types of employees that are exempt are students paid by their school as part of a work study program; interns of hospitals paid by the hospital for which they work; employees paid by State and local government and elected officials; independent or contract insurance agents; employees of non-profits and religious organizations (this is the largest group of employees not covered); and railroad employees covered under a different system of UI administered by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). This employment needs to be accounted for in order to set the benchmark level for CES employment.

Over time some sources from which CES draws input data have become unreliable.

Thus, even the BLS admits that the B/D model is B.S. Furthermore, in all probability, the “Death” component of the B/D model likely has outweighed the “Birth” component of the B/D guesstimates, as new business formation is at a 40-yr low based on two studies, one from the Census Bureau and one from Gallup.  Per Gallup, the rate of firms closing began to exceed the number of new businesses in 2008.  Thus, by the BLS’ and Census Bureau’s own admission, the B/D model has grossly over-stated the number of net jobs created since 2008.  In fact, in all probability, the number of jobs from business “births” and “deaths” has declined.

It is likely that the U.S. economy has lost jobs since 2008.  This would explain why the Labor Force Participation Rate has declined to a level not experienced since the late 1970’s when household’s were primarily composed of one income providers.   The concept that the number of jobs since 2008 has, in reality, declined is reinforced by the fact that 94.98 million of the 254.77 million civilian non-institutional population – over 37% of the 15-yr old to 64-yr old population – is no longer considered to be part of the Labor Force.

Non-Farm Payroll Reports – The Big Lie: Feed The Pigeons

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. – Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda

Think about the psychology behind Goebbel’s statement for a moment. If you are going to tell a lie, make it so outrageous that most people would fall into believing that it’s true because they would not let themselves believe that someone would try to present an extreme lie as the truth. It’s like a modified Stockholm Syndrome mechanism.

Dave , this is so transparent and bad that I am almost rendered speechless and I always have something to say.  – John Embry  in an email exchange

I didn’t bother to watch the American Horror Story presentation of the release of the non-farm payroll report as it was released. I’m not in the habit of turning on the Cartoon Network this early in the morning. But when I saw the headline numbers my response was to laugh out loud.

No sense dissecting the numbers because I’m also not in the habit of spending time analyzing and interpreting complete nonsense. Everyone reading this has seen the analytic dismemberment of the BLS data releases ad nauseum.  After enough iterations, it becomes a boorish waste of time.  I am looking forward to John Williams’ comments later today, of which I’ll share a few snippets.

Kudos to my friend and colleague who predicted how today would unfold almost perfectly. Almost. Even he vastly underestimated the degree to which the BLS would shove a lie in our face. Well, he got the sequence of plays right but he underestimated the size of the Big Lie – this was from Wednesday:

BD model adds 145,000 jobs. NFP for October comes in at 190,000. Mark Zandi gets quoted in every wire service saying it’s a clear indicator of the underlying strength and improvement in the economy. All jump even harder on the consensus December Fed rate hike band wagon. Stock market rips lower and Gold gets hammered to under $1100. Stock market rips at 3:30pm into the Friday close as they force massive short covering into green and Gold goes unchanged on the day.

It remains to be seen if the stock market rips higher by the end of the day. I bet it will. I doubts gold will rally however, at least today. It’s for sure going higher but we might have to wait until the market understands that there will be no rate hike in December and, if anything, more QE is coming.  But the only way to support the Big Lie is keep a lid on the one indicator that would severe the Achilles’ Heel of the Big Lie.

On another note, the homebuilders are getting ripped apart again today. Gee, if so many people found jobs, doesn’t that mean homebuilders will selling more homes? Shouldn’t these stocks being flying? Two of the largest homebuilders have now reported big declines in deliveries in their third quarters through September. But I thought the summer was supposed to be the best period for home sales…bummer dude.

Burst of hiring sends unemployment to 5%!!!!! LOL! This is getting to be such a joke Dave. I’m getting crash fatigue. It’s like the Bataan Death March. Let’s get it over with my God! – blog comment from “Richard”

Extreme And Blatant Gold Futures Manipulation: Bad Jobs Report Ahead?

These guys are seriously overplaying their hand so something must be up.  – John Embry email to me in reference to the blatant intervention in the stock and gold futures markets

The Cliff’s Notes explanation to John’s comment:  The Fed knows the economy is technically in a recession and will be forced to take Fed Funds negative sometime in early 2016.  Yellen floated that trial balloon earlier today.   That’s an event that should launch gold.

First, in reference to the extreme degree of anti-gold propaganda currently being vomited by the western media – see this article from Mark Hulbert LINK and this article from the new Jon Nadler LINK – here is what is going on in the physical gold market:

Reuters has reported that the China Gold Association has announced that Jan/Sept gold production was up 1.48% to 356.9 tonnes and consumption was up 7.83% to 813.89 tonnes. This is the biggest gap between production and consumption growth that JBGJ can remember. The huge Chinese output growth has been going on for well over 10 years and with the early mines getting old sustaining the trend must be getting increasingly difficult. A leveling off or even more a decline in Chinese gold output could increase import demand dramatically.  – John Brimelow from his Gold Jottings report

Typically when there’s bad news coming, the Fed/banks engage in an extreme degree of market intervention to keep the stock market aloft and a heavy lid on the price gold.  After all, they can’t have a rising price of gold alert the world to the degree to which the U.S. system is one big fraud.

The stock market has become historically overvalued.  David Stockman discusses this in his latest article – This Time Is The Same – And Worse.  In his analysis, he reports that the trailing 12-month P/E ratio on the S&P 500 is 22.49x, or higher than it was at the peak of the stock market in 2007.

However, there’s one big flaw in Stockman’s analysis.  He’s using current GAAP accounting numbers.  In order to compare current S&P earnings with earnings and P/E ratios, we have to adjust the earnings by employing “apples to apples” GAAP standards.   Generically, the latest significant GAAP changes in 2010 enabled the big banks to include a significant amount of non-cash “adjustments” as part of their reported net income.  In some quarters, more than 90% of the GAAP net income reported by major banks and financial firms is based on non-cash, discretionary “adjustments.”

In truth, and admittedly this is somewhat imprecise but not wholly inaccurate because the same dynamic applies to the tech sector S&P 500 companies as well (note: IBM is currently being investigated by the SEC for revenue recognition issues – this fact supports my assertion), it is highly probable that the $93.80 per share EPS cited by David Stockman is substantially less than $93.80 using 2007 or 2000 or 1987 GAAP standards.   I would hazard a highly educated guess that if we did the exercise of adjusting today’s S&P 500 earnning using the GAAP rules in place in 2000 that the $93.80 EPS would be cut in half.

In fact, I know of someone who did that exercise back in 1998, using 1987 GAAP standards, and this person determined that the reported earnings in 1998 were less than half of what was reported that year if 1987 GAAP standards were employed.

In other words, the true P/E ratio on this current stock market is, in all probability, the highest in history.

I want to show the gold market intervention that occurred blatantly today and then I’ll suggest a good possibility for the current extreme degree of market intervention (click on each to enlarge):

5minGoldoneYrGold

The ratio of paper gold to deliverable physical gold reported to be in Comex vaults almost hit 300 earlier this week.  After yesterday’s long-side liquidation/bullion bank short-covering operation the ratio “mellowed” out a mere 278x.

As you can see, gold moved higher after a series of gold-friendly comments from the ECB’s Mario Draghi. It was promptly slapped back down about 10 minutes before he Comex floor trading in gold commenced. This occurs about 90% of the time. No news or events occurred that would have prompted the sell-off in gold. After starting to recover from the obligatory Comex floor trading smack, Janet Yellen issued tourettes syndom outbursts loaded with incoherent nonsense about how great the economy was doing, the labor market was tight and the FOMC was going hike rates in December.

Yellen’s comments, other than being the drool of a babbling idiot, had no basis in provable fact. Nearly every private-sector compiled economic data series is reflecting a precipitous decline in economic activity that is back down the activity levels of 2008/2009.  As for a “tight” labor market?  Yes, I suppose if you just ignore the 93 million who have left the labor force – i.e. 28% of the total U.S. population – then I suppose it’s a bit easier to manipulate the data to reflect a low rate of unemployment.  Make no mistake, the unemployment rate number being reported is an unmitigated fraud, which makes Janet Yellen an unmitigated fraud.

This brings me back to my explanation for the extreme and blatant stock/gold market manipulation this week.  A friend and colleague of mine from NYC does great work on how the BLS uses its fraudulent “birth/death” model to manipulate the non-farm payroll report every month.  The employment report for October comes out Friday this week.  Historically the BLS inserts a big bump up in the birth/death jobs additions in October.  My colleague believes that the number reported will be manipulated higher than the 177k estimate in order to support Janet “Tourettes Syndrome” Yellen’s rate-hike in December fairytale:

BD model adds 145,000 jobs. NFP for October comes in at 190,000. Mark Zandi gets quoted in every wire service saying it’s a clear indicator of the underlying strength and improvement in the economy All jump even harder on the consensus December Fed rate hike band wagon Stock market rips lower and Gold gets hammered to under $1100 Stock market rips at 3:30pm into the Friday close as they force massive short covering into green and Gold goes unchanged on the day. A bullish comment from Jim Bullard is optional…

This view is well-crafted and will likely be right.  However, with each passing non-Government economic report which shows jobs being cut, especially in the manufacturing, energy and financial sectors, the big job additions reported by the BLS take the Government numbers deeper into the credibility hole.   The extreme manipulation and intervention in the U.S. stock/gold market reflects the extreme degree of desperation which the Fed/Treasury/banks are exerting in order to prevent the markets from revealing the truth about the degree to which the U.S. political/financial/economic system has been completely engulfed in fraud and corruption.

Expect a big “beat” on Friday from the NFP report, followed by beat-down of gold.  That smack in gold should be bought with both hands.

One more point, Yellen referenced the possibility of taking rates negative. Talk about an obvious trial balloon.  This tells us that she and her band of FOMC stooges understand the truth about the economy.   This is an event that should send gold on a moonshot.  They are working to make sure that the lift-off platform is as low as possible.

Paul Craig Roberts: The US Economy Continues Its Collapse

When I was a Wall Street Journal editor, the deplorable condition of the US economy would have been front page news.  –  Paul Craig Roberts

President Obama attributed the decline in the participation rate to baby boomers taking retirement. In actual fact, over the so-called recovery, job growth has been primarily among those 55 years of age and older. For example, all of the July payroll jobs gains were accounted for by those 55 and older. Those Americans of prime working age (25 to 54 years old) lost 131,000 jobs in July.

Over the previous year (July 2014 — July 2015), those in the age group 55 and older gained 1,554,000 jobs. Youth, 16-18 and 20-24, lost 887,000 and 489,000 jobs.

Today there are 4,000,000 fewer jobs for Americans aged 25 to 54 than in December 2007. From 2009 to 2013, Americans in this age group were down 6,000,000 jobs. Those years of alleged economic recovery apparently bypassed Americans of prime working age.

You can read the rest of Dr. Roberts’ commentary here:  The U.S. Continues To Collapse

There’s No BS Like The BLS

The employment report isn’t worth discussing, quite frankly.  We already know ad nauseum that the report is completely fabricated and, perhaps, only reflects a modicum of what is really happening in the U.S. labor market.  That is, the report shows that most of the employment “gains” are occurring in the part-time segment of the labor force, while full-time jobs continue to disappear.

The only purpose served by dissecting the report is to “legitimize” the number as if those are the numbers we should be discussing.  The talking heads and economic “experts” in the financial media look like complete idiots when they engage in passionate discourse about a “tight labor market” and an “improving employment situation.”  It’s beyond absurd.

Furthermore, we already know that the labor force participation rate continues to decline into oblivion.  Again, it’s become obvious over the last several years that the U.S. economy is quickly approaching the point at which more than one-third of the population is not even considered to be part of the “workforce.”  That fact is starting to put me to sleep – and perhaps that’s the goal of these Government manipulated economic reports.

But one area of the report did catch my eye.  According to Government data-collectors and statisticians, the number of workers over the age of 55 surged to an all-time high, while the number of workers in the 25-54 age bucket plunged by 131k.  Even if that latter number not the real number, it certainly reflects some sort of statistical reality.  In fact, I would bet the real number is even bigger.   This fact becomes obvious when you walk into any retail big box stores and grocery stores – not just Costco or Home Depot – and you see AARP members performing menial tasks like greeting and thanking customers, collecting grocery baskets and even bagging merchandise.  The Social Security set is being forced back to work and its crowding out the prime segment of the workforce who might otherwise take those jobs or who don’t take them because they don’t pay enough.

The only reason I bring this up is because – for any of you who remember – Obama gave a speech about a year ago in which he asserted that the rapid decline in the labor force participation rate was caused by people over the age of 55 taking early retirement.

Either Obama is a psychopathic liar or he is a complete idiot who merely serves the purpose of reading the propaganda that scrolls in front of his eyeballs on the teleprompter.  I suspect it’s a combination of the two factors.

I suspect I was not the only person at the time who pointed out this incongruity, because I have not heard that particular propaganda soundbyte coming from the Obama Government since Obama expelled that large brown piece of fecal matter from his mouth.