Archive for the 'Economy' Category


Is Obama the Worst US President in History?


In his final year of US Presidency, let’s take a look at Barrack Obama’s legacy. What will he be remembered for? What direction has he steered America? Here are some points on results that Obama’s administration has results:

  • Raised the US Federal Debt from $6.3 trillion to $19.3 trillion
  • Unprecedented 65 million people globally displaced
  • Record global citizens killed from terrorism
  • A Record 94,610,000 Americans Not in Labor Force
  • Record gap between the rich and poor
  • The top 1% control over 50% of the nation’s wealth
  • CEO pay to average workers has soared to record high
  • 22% of children live in poverty in the United States
  • Record mass shootings in the US under his watch
  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death of children ages 5-14
  • More people die from drugs than from car accidents
  • More than one in four blacks live in poverty
  • The jobless rate for blacks is twice that of whites
  • The median income for black households is less than 60% that of white ones
  • Racial tensions in the US have been stoked under his watch
  • The middle class in the US is disappearing
  • More than ½ a million people are homeless in the US
  • More than 25 percent of U.S. students fail to graduate high school in four years
  • record losses in manufacturing jobs and record trade deficits

These few stats alone are up-hauling from a President who has claimed to have savedthe country from the Great Recession. Obama’s passing the buck mentality and deflecting responsibility exemplify signs of poor leadership. Only time will tell but Obama will most likely go down in history as one of the worst US Presidents.



Is Target Corporation in Trouble?

Target Corporation a once promising retailer who drew in retail shoppers by the drove for their interesting line of merchandising which included mod retro fashions for women and men as well as interesting lines of home furnishings and accessories seems to be in trouble of late. After trying to aggressively expand in Canada, Target quickly closed all their entire Canadian operations and laid off their entire staff there after generating huge losses. They gave former Target Canada CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s a ‘walk-away’ package estimated at $61M (more than the entire severance for all the Canadian employee’s combined) for leading the expansion plan fiasco. Enter a Target store of late and you notice cheap, dull merchandising, limited hours of operation and empty parking lots. Although their stock is trading near multi-year highs, Target is inevitably in trouble. With stiff competition from other department stores, clothing chains and dollar stores competing for a declining demographic the fact is Target’s quality has dropped so dramatically it cannot compete. Recently downgraded by Barclay’s, Target has become too reliant on department store credit cards and huge markups on low quality merchandise as well as derivatives trading to generate profits and forgot what consumers want. It is following Kmart’s model and unless it strays away from that, it will follow the fate of the Canadian subsidiary.


Is Stephen Harper the Worst Prime Minister in Canadian History?

With elections in Canada approaching on Monday October 19th, 2015 there are questions surrounding the most controversial Prime Minister in Canadian History. How will he be remember? Let’s look at some facts looking back at his 9 year tenure in power as follows:

* Harper has the track record of the worst economic growth in Canada of any PM since the Great Depression
* reverting from the conservative approach the previous Liberal governments enforced the PM has allowed the Canadian banks to take huge risks in the footsteps of their American counterparts who brought about the 2008 crisis
* appointment of corrupt government officials by the PM
* More than 140 Canadian food plants have closed since Harper took office
* Combined debts at all levels of government have sky rocketed
* Our future has been mortgaged by chasing the short term growth at all costs mentality
* the PM has placed all his eggs in one basket in his economic growth policies and management
* Canada has become the worst polluter per capita in the world
* Vast agricultural fields have been destroyed for building unsustainable real estate overdevelopment
* The most soldiers have been killed while Harper has been in office than any PM since the Korean War
* The success in the policies of the PM has been concentrated towards the top 10-20% of companies and individuals
* Small business has been hurt by Harper and the result are countless boarded up shops on main streets all over Canada
* The PM has helped our precious resources and prestigious companies to be sold off to the highest foreign bidder
* encourage the CMHC to instead of being used to help genuine first time home buyers buy reasonable homes instead to support mass speculation in real estate
* housing costs for buyers and renters have never consumed such a high proportion of their income
* PM tries to fix external political problems in foreign countries when he cannot fix the domestic social problems in his own
* Various Canadian industries are suffering the plight of the current PM’s administration such as mining, oil and gas resources, advertising, retail, technology, manufacturing  to name a few
* Never has there been a bigger gap between the rich and the poor in Canadian history than under Harper
* allowing the costs of post secondary education tuition to balloon out of control for students that have forced record debts to pursue higher education
* low accountability standards allowing white collar criminals who have run their Canadian corporations into the ground leaving shareholders, pensioners and employees empty handed with a slap on the wrist
* lack of serious investment in research and development or the future of the country instead of returning party contributors favours

Is Stephen Harper the worst Prime Minister in Canadian history?


Is Obama the Ghetto President?

With US stock markets soaring to all time highs of late and prosperity amongst the wealthy also to record levels Barack Obama in his 7th year as US President has created some disturbing issues or concerns that are not reported in mainstream media. Record number of individuals are reliant on food stamps, 1 in 5 people are in collections, the gap between the rich and the poor has far exceeded that in the Roaring 1920’s and is at record levels, 40% of the country has no savings for emergencies, more than half of all students in the public school system come from poverty, child poverty is unprecedented, the average debt per household is over $200,000, there are an unprecedented number of boarded up properties, there are record number of commercial as well as residential real estate sitting vacant or classified as zombie foreclosures, poverty rates and indifferences amongst black and other minorities within America are staggering, post secondary school education has soared and become only affordable to the rich, student loan debt is staggering and consumers are in personal debts at record levels to name a few concerns. It seems that Obama’s legacy as President will have only benefited very few connected to Wall Street as well as the top echelons of wealthy in society and will be remembered as one of creating the greatest disparity in American history. Coming from a Senate position in Illinois where economic disparity and poverty is unsustainable (especially in areas of Chicago) it seems though Obama has left a trail of not addressing such issues almost turning his back to them. When images of riots happening in some of the poorer neighbourhoods (such as what happened in Missouri) it is becoming apparent that the Obama administration has created more economic ghettos in America? Will he be remembered as the Ghetto President?


Why is Oil falling?

Just before the 2008 crisis during oil’s peak it had climbed to nearly $146 a barrel. Traders and pundits alike were calling for $200 or even $250 oil at that point. It then collapsed to nearly $32 a barrel as well as gasoline futures down to $1 a gallon over the months as the Great Recession of 2008 came into effect. Initially the Federal Reserve pinpointed that collapse as the reason behind the start of the 2008 recession but later retracted the thesis outlining that from their website. Strong rallies occurred to bring the oil back up over $100 a barrel and even to around $120 a barrel where it had been propped up for quite some time. In recent weeks on the markets, oil futures have taken a beating as well as gasoline futures. Why has this happened? Let’s look at some reasons:

– Russia has huge investments in oil and a collapse in the price of oil would completely destabilize it’s government (remember the 1990’s?) as well as smaller nations such as Venezuela who pose a threat to Western Powers.
– The Saudi’s have lost market share of oil production to foreign producers and can afford to crash the price so as to crush competitors and force them to slow production.
– The United States can afford to also produce oil at very cheap prices as well as OPEC nations so they too can afford to crash the price so as to crush competitors and force them to slow production or close up shop (i.e. Canadian Oil Sands).
– margin debt trading hit all time highs recently (as it was before the 2007/2008 decline) and the CBOE (Chicago Board of Options Exchange – an organization mired in a history of corruption) raised margin requirements for Oil, a dubious movement which they have performed in the past to control the prices of various commodities.

It becomes fairly easy to understand why oil is crashing and the political reasons behind it.


Is Oil in Another Bubble?

With record high prices of gas at the pumps of late in North America, much like before the 2008 crisis, there seems to be a disconnect between oil futures and the actual demand. Below are some indicators that oil and petroleum is due for a long awaited correction due to economic conditions:

– India’s Diesel consumption, which accounts for over 40 percent of local fuel sales, declined 1 percent in the year, its first fall in more than a decade
– Demand for fuel oil in the U.S. fell to an average of 154,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the week ended April 11, the lowest level since the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) started tracking the data in 1991
– Total U.S. petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) were down in Q1 of this year (compared to last year)
– A slowdown in Chinese as well as Global oil demand growth is occurring
– Inventories for Crude Oil in the US have been sky rocketing of late in the world’s top oil consuming nation (United States) are close to exceeding record-highs. This is also occurring in the world’s second biggest economy (China)
– The average American is driving less due to the record high gas prices at the pumps and spending record amounts of their personal expenditures on energy costs

With central banks and world governments focusing on supply side economics (low interest rates, low margin trading requirements for trading as well as mass accumulation of inventories) they have encouraged mass speculation on oil and gas futures much like before the 2008 crisis. Will there be another economic fallout due to these imbalances? Is it deja vu?


Are Retailers in a Recession?

With the following recent headline news of store closures and layoffs in the Retail Sector there
is some indication that retailers are experiencing or predicting a recession:

– GameStop also said it expects to close 2 percent of its stores totalling about 132 locations
– Toys R Us laying off 500 staff
– Levi Strauss & Co. laying off 800 staff
– Walgreens is closing 76 Unprofitable Stores
– Sbarro Pizza declaring bankruptcy
– Quiznos Subs declaring bankruptcy
– Best Buy laying off up to 2000 Managers
– RadoShack closing 1100 stores
– Sony to close 20 of it’s 31 US Retail stores
– Sears Canada closing numerous store locations and laying off 1600 in Canada
– Bi-Lo announcing 13 store closures
– Big Lots exiting entirely from Canada
– Brookstone preparing to file for bankruptcy
– Macy’s laying off 2500 employees
– JC Penney closing 33 stores and laying of 2000
– Kmart closing many stores and laying off staff
– Dots declared bankruptcy
– Ashley Stewart declares bankruptcy