The TV channel correspondent decided to play a trick on the White House worker: after all, these same Washington workers, who often do not remember, and who do not know how many states there are and how many families will be nine, are not amused by just lazy. The reporter asked Carney to comment on the new economic indicators, which now exceed the expectations of even those optimists in the United States whom one can call science fiction. After all, everything is great all around - from the equity and housing markets to consumer confidence in the future. Carney gladly supported the correspondent’s “theses”:
“Mentioned by you news is welcome. This is evidence of the strength and resilience of our economy and the American people. This is also a confirmation of the fact that in 2008-2012, not easy, but correct political decisions were taken that helped lead us to the path of economic recovery and job creation. But we have not yet reached the point to which we need to come, so it’s impossible to fold our hands. There is still a lot of work ahead. ”
Here the journalist of the TV channel hit the bottom.
After all, you, Mr. Carney, he said, argued that a sequestration threatens our economy with almost catastrophe. And then what - a dash forward?
But if it were not for the Republicans (Carney hinted), then there would be a real jerk. It is the republican opposition that charges the administration with the fact that it deliberately intimidates people with the danger of sequester - for the sake of its own political gain, of course.
Mr. Carney said, referring to the data of the Congressional Budget Office, that the economic recovery "would have gone even faster if it had not caused unnecessary wounds." The bureau specialists believe that a sequestration will cost America "about three-quarters of a million jobs" and "up to half a percent of economic growth."
In short, the presenter received on his republican nose, and then fell silent.
Nevertheless, many experts agree with the opinion of the blurred journalist that the current economic success may be nothing more than a symptom of the next inflated "bubbles".
Mark Spitznagel, owner of the Universities Investment Fund, told CNN that he has a record flow of funds this quarter. According to the rules of the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission, it is prohibited for him to disclose exact figures, the correspondent writes. ITAR-TASS, but the fund has hundreds of millions of dollars. Mtster Spitznagel is convinced that the fall in the stock market interest on 20 or more will happen in the US over the next 6-12 months.
Former head of the Federal Bank Deposit Insurance Commission, Sheila Baer, and former congressman Barney Frank appeared in Fortune magazine with an article entitled “Beware! The mortgage-backed bond market has begun to do the old again. ”
These people, however, look like alarmists, making gloomy distrustful faces against the background of thickly and syto smiling bourgeois, who believe not only in today's day, but also in a bright capitalist future.
What needs to be done to prove "success" and boast a "prosperity" in the postmodern world? That's right: rely on any rating. Even better - by several ratings.
Anna Koroleva ("Expert") cites data that in May, the US consumer confidence index in 2013 rose to a five-year high - 76,2. This was recently announced by the Conference Board organization (which, in fact, the indicator calculates).
The new indicator turned out to be even better than the forecast of economists surveyed by MarketWatch (they expected the index to grow to the 72,3 point).
The increased confidence index should tell the American and global community that consumers in the United States are more optimistic about the state of the economy over the next six months.
There is also another index - expectations. He jumped to the highest level in seven months - from the 74,3 point in April to the 82,4 point in May.
The assessment of the current economic situation also improved: its index rose to 66,7 (compared to 61,0 a month earlier).
As Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the Conference Board, points out, “consumers are much more optimistic about the future economic situation and employment prospects. The data show that consumer confidence is on the mend and may recover after a fall due to a financial cliff, lower wages and tax increases associated with budget sequestration. ”
In short, people believe that they will live better and better. And once such a thing, rating writers give them more and more new indices. Obama will probably enter history as the most index president.
The Case-Shiller index, which reflects the value of real estate in the twenty largest cities in the United States, turned out to be higher than expected: in March it grew by 1,4% compared to February, and increased by 10,9% in annual comparison, which represents the best result since April 2006 of the year.
Not economics, but sheer euphoria. Holiday some. Fairy tale. The American dream is coming true.
The rating agency Moody's did not wish to lag behind the offices either smaller. His experts sat at the calculators, fiddled with Excel, and raised the outlook on the US banking system from negative to stable. Arguments? Analysts vaguely reported a steady improvement in the economic situation in the United States and a decrease in the risk of bank losses. Low, they say, interest rates support employment growth in the country, and those who are busy go to banks for loans, which is quite good.
Experts were silent about the fact that those who are not busy are sitting on benefits or starving, and are in no hurry to go to the banks.
The authors of the ZeroHedge blog summed up the preliminary results of the Obama administration. It turns out that the 44 th president of the United States has collected more debt than the 42 of its predecessor, taken together, journalists say Interfax. Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke simply put the country in debt.
In 1980, the US national debt was less than 1 trillion. dollars, today it is approaching 17 trillion. dollars. If you extinguish Obama’s debts at a dollar-per-second rate, you can pay them back only in 184000 years. Some astronomy.
In 2001, US GDP accounted for 31,8% of all economic activity, and in 2011, this number decreased to 21,6%. This is the data of the World Bank, and not of any “rating agency”.
The number of Americans working in manufacturing today is less than in 1950, although the country’s population has more than doubled since then. In 1950, more than 80% of citizens in the US had jobs. Today, unemployment is over 35%. Moreover, 53% of those who still work earn less than 30 thousand dollars a year.
According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans live in poverty or misery. The government was forced to introduce almost 80 various social security programs to those in need.
This is not all that Interfax has written about. It lists only the most basic, the most surprising for those who sing the praises of Obama’s rule and the great and unique American economy. And rating agencies work on crowd psychology and cheap shamanism. It’s no joke - to hear this: “As the Case-Schiller index showed ...” Or this: “Moody's specialists raised ...” Well, and, probably, sometimes the writers of the indicators act on a political order. We are all sinners.
Behind a beautiful front facade lies an unsightly reality. The example of the Pentagon, one of the key departments of the great democratic America, proves this completely.
Voice of America News Service reported that the Pentagon will have to send in a forced unpaid leave for 11 days most of 800 thousands of civilian employees - because of the sequestration. (That is, we note, to take loans from banks and stimulate the American economy, these guys and girls, the future of which is now in question, are unlikely to become. I would like to know what they think about the "trust index" and other indices).
The decision on unpaid leave may encourage many potential employees to abandon the idea of working in the defense department and instead find work in the private sector.
Probably there they will believe in the infallibility of the indices.
An unnamed military official noted that more than 800 thousands of employees would go on forced leave from 600 thousands. This will happen in a few weeks.
The Ministry of Defense has the most significant losses from sequestration. This department needs to cut the budget by 30 billion dollars by September to 46. Moreover, the cuts will be made on an even larger scale if Congress does not prevent the sequestering process.
Representatives of the military leadership have repeatedly warned Congress that spending cuts could adversely affect the country's defense capabilities. The Pentagon’s chiefs are worried about the ongoing war in Syria, the development of Iran’s nuclear program and the upcoming withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
On the other hand, let us add from yourselves, what is the matter with you, Misters, about Syria and Iran? What does the "defense" potential? Did comrade Ahmadinejad get ready to attack the USA from the sky, and Bashar Asad threatens to bomb the Qatari and Saudists, exemplary democrats hiding under the guise of the monarchy, loyal to the White House?
The Pentagon reached the point that urged Congress to take measures to close the military bases. Congressmen are against: the closure of military bases in the country can completely ruin the local economy, near these bases feeding.
Sergey Kostyaev, an expert at the Center for the Study of the Problems of Interaction between Business and Government, Senior Researcher of the Institute of Scientific Research and Information Technologies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, writes that the American defense industry reacts to budget sequestration by reducing staff and selling non-core assets. The decreased number of mergers and acquisitions indicates that the defense industry in the US negatively assesses the prospects of the industry.
The largest military-industrial concern "Lockheed Martin", writes S. Kostyaev in the journal "Expert", released the report for the first quarter of 2013. In the current year, because of the sequestration of the federal budget, the company will miss 825 million dollars. In its IT division, 650 people were fired. Later, the restructuring of the program of the ill-fated F-35 aircraft is also expected.
A month ago, the Congressional Budget Office published a report on the state of the economy, according to which a reduction in military spending this year will reduce economic growth rates by 0,5%.
“In the 2012-2013, as a result of the enactment of the Law on Budget Control, national defense spending as a whole was reduced from 671 to 652 billion dollars. According to the forecasts of the research company “SDI”, in 2013-2017 the share of military expenditures in GDP will decrease from 4,6 to 3,1%. In the budget request of Barack Obama for the 2014 fiscal year, it is planned to spend even less on national defense - 615 billion dollars, of which only 166 billion is for the purchase of weapons. A stark contrast to 2008 the year when purchases cost 400 billion dollars! ”
Under President Clinton, elected in 1992, the Cold War seemed to be history, and therefore defense spending was reduced. At that time, military-industrial concerns chose a policy of mergers and acquisitions. Just in 1990-s. and giants such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were formed. Nowadays, MIC firms are selling non-core assets, notes S. Kostyaev.
Vladimir Ivanov ("Independent newspaper") told that the American parliamentarians rejected a number of Pentagon proposals aimed at reducing military spending. Congressmen are forcing the defense ministry to purchase or maintain outdated weapons and military equipment in working condition. According to American experts, they are just trying to keep their electorate.
“So, for example, representatives of both chambers of the American parliament, despite all the objections of the Pentagon leaders, who stated that they did not need weapons that did not meet modern requirements, voted to allocate almost $ 0,5 billion for the purchase of a modernized 70 -ton tank Abrams.
Meanwhile, the top army leadership stated that now they do not need such tanks. “If we had a choice, we would use these funds in a different way,” said Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno.
Lawmakers, proponents of the procurement of a modernized version of the Abrams heavy tanks, argue that the appropriations will help preserve the equipment of enterprises involved in the production of tanks, as well as preserve highly qualified specialists. The only plant in the United States that produces such tanks is located in Lima, Ohio. The plant has about seven hundred employees, and it is of great importance for the urban economy. According to recent estimates by General Dynamics, more than 560 subcontractors and about 18 thousands of specialists participate in the production of Abrams. Only in the state of Pennsylvania more than 40 firms are engaged in this production.
Contrary to the desire of the Pentagon, lawmakers approved the cost of financing measures to maintain on combat duty of the seven extended-life Navy ships, although there is no operational need to use them.
The leadership of the US Navy Ministry decided to write off seven Tayconderoga class cruisers in the next two years. Multipurpose ships were put into service in the 90-ies of the last century. Large amounts of money are needed to upgrade them. Therefore, the Navy decided that they are easier to write off. But the congressmen, who approved the last law on the budget of the Pentagon, rejected these plans of the naval department.
The air force due to the cancellation of several transport aircraft (C-130 and C-5А), B-1 bombers and UAVs are going to save about $ 600 million, but these plans also cause sharp objections from congressmen.
Obviously, Republican hawks, panicking over the budget sequestration, are doing everything now to make this sequestration even more terrible. I wonder what the “confidence index” will be if the budget deficit increases from the opposition of the congressmen to the cuts program and the public debt ceiling is broken once again. The other day, Jacob Lew, the US Treasury Secretary, promised relative calm until September 1 - but what will happen next? After all, even Ben Bernanke, this tireless cash helmsman who filled the whole world with green paper, is thinking of surrender.
Well, while the official American elite is happy not only for the soaring indices, but also for thousands of bonuses.
22 May found out that the elite of US civil servants for 4 of the year received 340 awards alone million dollars. These people automatic budget cuts, I mean sequestration, does not apply. This is stated in the report of the Senate Subcommittee, published in the American media, reports RBC.
Senior Executive Services, who make up less than 1% of the federal workforce, received from 2008 to 2011. in the form of bonuses more than 340 million dollars. It is about bonuses - additions to the annual salaries, which ranged from 119 thousand dollars to 179 thousand dollars.
The sequestration has canceled bonuses for most federal employees, but, by law, various services are required to pay bonuses to employees belonging to the highest caste - the Senior Executive Service. These senior officials occupy positions just below the heads of various ministries and departments appointed by the president (deputies, heads of departments, etc.). Among the leaders in paying bonuses to employees were: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Science Foundation, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Commerce.
Konstantin Rychkov ("Moscow Komsomol") recalled that a similar scandal with bonuses recently took place in Congress (exactly where cuts are not in vogue).
At least 25% of congressmen paid bonuses to their employees on the basis of 2012 of the year. The average value of the bonus apparatchiks was thirty thousand dollars. Some congressmen found it possible to support their employees with six figures.
Crisis is a crisis!
And what about ordinary Americans? And who cares about ordinary Americans, except the tax department? And then, is it not enough for simple Americans indexes and ratings from Moody's?
The police are dispersing the “Occupy” protest, comrade Rychkov writes, using brutal methods. On May 20, dozens of demonstrators were detained under the windows of the US Department of Justice. These people demanded to bring to justice financiers, who have tried a lot for the sake of the economic crisis.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru