Thursday, November 12, 2015

Macy’s Announces More Closings As Sales Continue To Free Fall


()  Macy’s M -13.99% cold streak just keeps getting colder.
The department store reported Wednesday that comparable sales fell 3.9% last quarter for their third consecutive drop. Overall revenue totaled $5.87 billion for the period ended Oct. 31, well below Wall Street forecasts. Investors punished the stock, sending it down 5% in premarket trading. The company also said it would extend an already announced schedule of store closings.
Macy’s, the largest U.S. department store company by sales, has been trying to navigate a consumer shift away from apparel—a category that makes up the bulk of its sales—to items like cars, electronics, and home repairs, which are areas where Macy’s is virtually absent. Meanwhile U.S. malls, many of which are anchored by Macy’s stores, continue to be hit by falling shopper traffic.
Compounding the retailer’s challenges even further: Tourism in the U.S. is way down, hurting its stores in Manhattan, San Francisco, and Miami, its highest grossing locations. Macy’s gets 5% of sales from international tourists. The company also owns the Bloomingdale’s chain.
“We are disappointed that the pace of sales did not improve in the third quarter,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement. “Spending by domestic customers remained tepid, especially in key apparel and accessory categories. Simultaneously, the slowdown in buying by international visitors continued to significantly impact Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.”
Earlier this year, shortly after reporting poor results, Macy’s announced it would close up to 40 stores. On Wednesday, the retailer said it expected more closings beyond the current round, which are slated to happen by the end of January. About 800 Macy’s and Bloomingdales stores are currently open in the U.S.
The company also announced it would not spin off its stores into a real estate investment trust, something activists investors were pushing it to do to unlock the value of its real estate, which notably includes Macy’s Manhattan flagship, a store that could be worth $5 billion on its own. Lundgren said a REIT did not have an upside, but he did leave the option on the table. (This week, McDonald’s alsosaid it had opted not to create a REIT.)
Macy’s has been trying to diversify its business. It is opening a store in the United Arab Emirates in a few years and has launched T.J. Maxx-like rival chain called Backstage.
But within its own department stores, Macy’s is looking to branch out of apparel a bit more and is focusing on its 150 best stores to improve merchandise presentation. Those stores will see more assortments in key destination departments such as jewelry and watches.
For now though, the results are worrisome coming just ahead of the key holiday shopping season.

Christopher Markowski – Obamacare Taking a Major Toll on Economy

from Financial Survival Network
We sat down with Wall Street’s Watchdog,Chris Markowski
Chris is skeptical of Any Fed rate hike. Can the economy and Wall Street survive it? He believes that the time has come for tax reform in the form of a flat tax. And repeal of Obamacare is a major priority as it is an unmitigated disaster that is starting to cause real harm to real people.
We can only hope our future leader is listening.

Wal-Mart Workers Demand Discount on Food


()   After successfully lobbying Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to raise wages, labor activists have a new demand: Give employees a discount on food. For the world’s largest retailer, that could cost more than $400 million.
Wal-Mart currently offers workers a 10 percent discount on all merchandise except the vast majority of food. Fruits, vegetables and some snacks are the only food items included in the promotion, unless they’re on sale. Some employees want more groceries to be included in the discount, noting that competitors such as Target Corp. and Whole Foods Market Inc. already offer that perk.
“It is ridiculous,” said Janet Sparks, a Wal-Mart employee in Baker, Louisiana, who’s been active in labor groups pushing for higher wages. “You can get a 10 percent discount on cat food, but if I buy tuna or chicken, I get no discount.”
A group of Wal-Mart workers started an online petition last week calling on the company to expand the discount, and it’s received almost 13,000 signatures from employees. The group, which isn’t affiliated with a separate organization financially backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International union, plans to take the petition to store managers and executives this month.

Company Surveys

Wal-Mart already offers the food discount during the holidays — the period between Thanksgiving and the end of the year — but the employees are seeking to extend it year-round. In response, Wal-Mart said it has surveyed employees on what they would like the company to offer and the potential perk doesn’t rank as high as other benefits.
While a food discount has been mentioned by workers, higher wages, better scheduling and more regular hours were a bigger priority, said Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company.
“Wal-Mart is investing $2.7 billion dollars in its associates this year and next in higher wages, better training and more scheduling control,” he said. “In addition to offering quarterly cash bonuses to hourly associates, Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) program with a 6 percent company match. We think these benefits, along with some of the highest starting wages in the industry makes Wal-Mart a very competitive employer for top talent in the retail industry.”

Potential Costs

For a company of Wal-Mart’s size, a seemingly small benefit can add up quickly. The 10 percent discount would be spread out over 1.4 million U.S. employees, more than the population of San Diego.
The average U.S. household with an annual income above $20,000 spends more than $3,000 a year on food at home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If all Wal-Mart employees took advantage of the proposed benefit and purchased their groceries at work, it could cost the retailer more than $420 million a year in discounts. And that’s in a category with already-thin margins. The supermarket industry has a profit margin of 1.7 percent, according to research firm IBISWorld.
Wal-Mart, which had more than $16 billion in profit last year, declined to say how much the additional discount would cost or whether it’s considering such a move. Lundberg said the retail giant is always reviewing employee benefits, noting that it offered $500 million in discounts last year on general merchandise, fruits and vegetables.

‘Feel Some Heat’

The added benefit could become a necessary expense for Wal-Mart as the labor market becomes more competitive and the company tries to improve worker morale. Wal-Mart began increasing its minimum wage this year in hopes that happier employees will be more productive and provide better customer service, an area the company has identified as needing improvement.
“It is probably going to be hard for Wal-Mart to say, ‘We can’t do that,’” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst with Edward Jones & Co. “They are probably going to feel some heat” from employees, he said.
Adding the discount also might some upside if it coaxes more workers into doing their grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. Sparks said she and many of her colleagues get their food at stores such as Dollar General, Aldi and Winn-Dixie, where the prices are lower.
“A lot of employee are buying groceries outside of Wal-Mart because they have to stretch their dollars and are chasing sales,” Sparks said. “What better way to guarantee 1.4 million shoppers?”

Stock Decline

Investors, though, are concerned about Wal-Mart’s already-escalating costs. They see the previous investments in its workforce as a drag on profits, and that’s reflected in the company’s share price. It suffered the worst one-day stock decline in more than 27 years in October after predicting a drop in annual profit, driven by an additional $1.5 billion it will spend next year on higher wages. The shares fell 1.9 percent to $57.58 on Wednesday.
A food discount could further cut profits and upset investors, Yarbrough said.
“The question is, if a person spends less on grocery, do they put that money into other items in the store that have higher margins?” he said. “It is going to impact the bottom line some, but it is hard to know if it is offset.”

Shopping Elsewhere

Bobby Womack, a cashier at the Wal-Mart in Baker, said the discount would allow her to buy food that would help her diabetes, such as whole grains or products without added sugar. She said she buys a lot of her food at Family Dollar and Dollar General, which have some of the same brands as Wal-Mart for a fraction of the price. A can of cream of chicken soup, one of her staples, costs 66 cents at Family Dollar, compared with $1 at Wal-Mart, she said.
Workers also point to the fact that Wal-Mart provides the discount over the holidays. If the company can afford it then, it should be able to offer the benefit every day, they say.
“We are hungry all year,” said Nancy Reynolds, a Wal-Mart worker in Merritt Island, Florida, who works with the labor group pushing for the change. “We need the help all year, not just one month.”

Dollar rally is amazing, though 71% of that move is against the sickly Euro, & a BOJ actively trying to hyperinflate

Dollar rally is amazing, though 71% of that move is against the sickly Euro, & a BOJ actively trying to hyperinflate

US Federal Reserve allows ruling elite to control monetary policy: Analyst

The US central bank, known as the Federal Reserve System and informally as the Fed, is an “anti-democratic” institution that has enabled a small ruling class to control the country’s financial system, according to an American journalist and radio host in New York.

“The Federal Reserve does allow the elite here control over monetary policy,” Don DeBar told Press TV on Wednesday.
“It’s anti-democratic that allows the 1 percent as they’re called to devalue of savings of everyone else,” DeBar said.
Dr. Ron Paul, a former US congressman and presidential candidate, has said unless the United States shuts down the Federal Reserve, the world will experience a major economic crisis.
Paul, the founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, made the remarks in an article published on Monday while commenting on the US economy and the role the Federal Reserve plays in it.
“Allowing a secretive central bank to control monetary policy has resulting in an ever-expanding government, growing income inequality, a series of ever-worsening economic crises, and a steady erosion of the dollar’s purchasing power,” Dr. Paul wrote.

Read more


Baltic Dry Index The Dollar Vigilante
ZeroHedge carried an article on the Baltic Dry Index which measures global trade and announced, “It’s Official: The Baltic Dry Index Has Crashed To Its Lowest November Level In History.”
The Baltic Dry Index measures freight travel around the world. If freight is not traveling from one country to another, then economic activity is probably in the doldrums and so are a variety of exporting economies.
Here, from Investopedia, the definition of the Index:
A shipping and trade index created by the London-based Baltic Exchange that measures changes in the cost to transport raw materials such as metals, grains and fossil fuels by sea. The Baltic Exchange directly contacts shipping brokers to assess price levels for a given route, product to transport and time to delivery (speed).
Autumn is supposed to be a good time for the index. In other words, consumers are purchasing more goods for a variety of reasons. The school year is beginning and so is the holiday season.
The actual growth arc is from the middle of summer through Thanksgiving. But that arc has been notably absent this year as the Index has moved disturbingly down during the season of its greatest supposed strength.
At a level of 631, this is the lowest cost for Baltic Dry Freight Index for this time of year in history.. and within a small drop of an all-time historical low.
BDIY The Dollar Vigilante
As this Index is quite representative of economic activity worldwide, the plunge probably explains the hesitancy of central bankers to follow through with their plans to declare the Great Recession vanquished and begin the necessary task of hiking rates.
What the Baltic collapse shows us clearly is that the past declarations of economic recovery are part of a larger pastiche  of economic mythology. The internet itself has exposed the entire central banking manipulation, which is intended to impress without actually creating any significant successes.
It cannot proclaim success because the securitization of debt is not a logical operation. This was the reason the mathematician John Maynard Keynes was recruited to create a theoretical edifice that justified a nonsensical monetary approach.
The issue Keynes explored was the business cycle and this was investigated as well by the free-market theoretician Ludwig von Mises. Along with his disciple FA Hayek, Mises determined that the modern business cycle is the product of central bank monetary stimulation.
First the central bank stimulates by keeping interest rates too low and eventually the economy is flooded with cheap credit. This causes an artificial boom that eventually turns into a steep bust.
For a while people feel rich because of all the easy credit and often overextend themselves by buying expensive cars, houses and other appurtenances of success. But when the bust begins, many of these same individuals lose their jobs, their money and eventually their houses and everything else.
Keynes on the other hand began AFTER the bust and suggested that government could alleviate the bust by printing additional money – thus re-stimulating the economy. But in retrospect this was a ridiculous prescription.
The entire system is a kind of hoax. It doesn’t work. It wasn’t designed to work but to create serial collapses. Those running the system may or may not be fully aware of its depredations but the debasement continues nonetheless. It’s constructed that way.
And that is why we know the end is near. The Baltic Index indicates that unlike some other times in the past, this reflation has failed. We could have predicted it because this time the Fed didn’t bother to clean out the rot and ruin before the money printing began. That means we are not at the beginning of a new bull cycle but merely stuck in the remnants of an ongoing bear market that started either in 2008 or 2002.
By not allowing the larger economy to deflate back to “normal,” central banks have piled one bubble on top of another. The quadrillion dollar market in derivatives is just one example. But this latest Baltic Index is also an indication of how central banks, predictably, have failed.
No doubt we will see more attempts at reflation and central bankers will continue to talk about a “recovery” even though they are all but guaranteeing there will not be one. But this too is predictable as from what we can tell, the banking class wants a worldwide depression that can justify the implementation of a worldwide currency.
Here at TDV, nothing the bankers do fools us anymore. We don’t believe the propaganda and you ought to ignore it too. The collapse that is coming will be of the biblical-level variety and most people have no idea it is possible, much less probable.  Many will get hurt in this collapse but those who can see clearly and prepare for the collapse in advance stand a much better chance to continue with their lives and lifestyles.
On our blog, we provide analysis of many of the problems faced by Western economies. But in our TDV newsletter we provide solutions – and that’s why we’ve gained thousands of subscriptions in the past six months, as more and more people wake up to what’s really happening to their savings and overall economic security.
Please consider a subscription. Right now you can subscribe for only US$39.95 if you  click here. With your subscription you gain access to all of TDV’s back newsletters, special reports, books and TDV’s “meet up” groups in your area as well. Please join us. There will be perilous times but together we are stronger than individually.

Chinese companies are starting to default on their debt


()  A huge Chinese cement manufacturer will default on a 2 billion yuan ($314 million, £207 million) domestic bond on Thursday, as cracks begin to show in the country’s mountain of corporate debt.
China Shanshui Cement Group’s move to renege on its Chinese debt “will also constitute an event of default” on its 500-million-dollar-denominated bonds due in 2020, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The company is at least the sixth Chinese company to fail to pay back domestic creditors this year, Bloomberg said.
Sinosteel last month failed to pay interest on 2 billion yuan of notes maturing in 2017, while Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co. didn’t pay back creditors the full amount it owed on October 13.
For the past few years, China’s companies, banks, and local governments have been loading up on debt.
Loans to companies and households stood at a record 207% of gross domestic product at the end of June, up from 125% in 2008, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.
If that doesn’t worry you, consider that Greek debt is “only” 185% of GDP. (“Normal” debt for a country is somewhere around 100% of GDP.)
Corporate debt in China has grown faster than in any other top-15 economy.
Here’s the chart:
Chinese corporate debt BAMLBAML
Much of the debt explosion has come since 2007, as this chart from a McKinsey report earlier in the year shows:
China 2007 debt explosionMcKinsey
Some of this has its roots in the response to the 2008 financial crisis. Central banks around the world dropped interest rates to record-low levels and bought up government debt to shore up the financial system and keep the cheap money flowing.
This pushed down the interest payments — or yield — people got on their less-risky investments, so they turned to debt issued by companies in emerging economies for a decent return.
China dominates these kinds of investments. Its companies borrowed around $377 billion from 2010 to 2014, according to a report from the Bank for International Settlements (emphasis ours):
Low long-term rates at the centre of the financial world helped to push foreign investors into local government bond markets in many emerging markets that offered higher yields. It has also encouraged increased EM borrowing on capital markets — corporations in foreign currency on international markets and governments in local currency on domestic markets.
At some point, all this will reverse — gradually or abruptly.
That point might be coming soon. The US Federal Reserve has been hinting strongly that rates are about to go up, possibly as soon as December.
If that does happen, it could make it harder for Chinese companies to service their existing debt, making defaults more frequent and more likely.

Fed’s Next Interest Rate Move, Deadly Decoy? The Last Time Rates Rose (1% To 5%), Gold Rose 75%

 Unemployment at 5%! (If you skip counting 94 million people)
The last time rates rose (1% to 5%), Gold rose 75%
Government to retirees “NO Cost of Living Adjustment for 2016”

Netanyahu: The European Union should be ashamed of itself

Economic Collapse — The Train Wreck that is Happening Now!


Economic Collapse

Economic Collapse — The Train Wreck that is Happening Now!

Even the Tweedledumbs of Wall Street are finally catching on to the fact thatglobal economic collapse is happening all around them. Two weeks ago, they could have stood inside the building shown on the left with their nicely polished, rose-colored glasses and seen only signs of an improving housing market. Now enough shingles are falling on their heads that they’re starting to realize things are falling apart.
To back up my case that even the US economy is now collapsing, I’ll quote the permaBULLs who are finally joining me — though they’ve never heard of me — in agreement that the US stock market is crashing and/or that we are experiencing a global economic collapse. Anyone can quote the permabears to support a bear market; so, I’ll build my case stronger by quoting The Resistance.

Even bullheaded Jim Cramer can smell a bear and glimpse a global economic collapse

CNBC’s Jim Cramer is a man who usually can’t get out the word “bear” even when one is eating his butt. So, one sure sign the bull market is dead is when you hear Cramer, who less than two weeks ago was prating about now being the time to buy “the dip” in the stock market, stating that we have clearly entered a bear market:
I think we’re very much IN a bear market. (“Cramer: We’re in a bear market“)
Jim Cramer waved goodbye to September and a horrendous third quarter on Wednesday. The market declined almost 10 percent during that time, and “every rally turned out to be a trap or a sucker’s game!” (“Cramer: I can’t be bullish“)
While the bear market is now obvious enough that even Cramer cannot avoid admitting it has a bite he doesn’t like, his foresight is limited to thinking it will turn out to be something like the mini crash that I also predicted back in August 2011 … a month before it happened (which he also missed).
In other words, Cramer now gets it without getting it. Little does he perceive how big are the gaping jaws of this particular bear who has his hind side, though even Cramer does casually mention “the threat of collapse,” moving along quickly as if collapse is barely worth a mention.

As a result, the loud-mouthed but dimly synapsed Cramer still reassures his viewers, “We want to bebuyers.” Maybe your “we” does, Cramer; but mine sure doesn’t — if I have a “we.” These crashing stock prices are, in Cramer’s opinion, now approaching bargain-bottom prices. In my opinion, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Last week I was going to list Cramer among the village idiots who still believed the stock market was going to find its upward trend again. The only reason I didn’t is that the village is fertile with idiots, so my idiot list was getting long for today’s short attention span. (A problem I always have with my writing: Do you want substance with enough facts/quotes to solidly back up the opinion, or do you want a few quotable sound bytes? In a world that feeds on bytes, I guess I’m contrarian there, too.)

What is the current evidence of a global economic collapse?

What one calls something is always less easy to say when one is just entering it than after one has come out of it.
My big prediction for this fall was not merely that the US stock market would crash (by which, I mean it will have to do worse than become a bear market, defined as a 20% drop). I also said we will enter a period of global economic collapse, and I’ve said that collapse will be worse than what we saw at the bottom of the Great Recession. So, I’ve somewhat defined what it will look like, and clearly it doesn’t look anything like that yet.
How, then, is my prediction turning out, now that fall has officially begun?
Let’s start with the change in trend for US employment since that is the Fed’s key way of measuring recessionary trends:
U.S. employers slammed the brakes on hiring over the last two months and wages fell in September, raising new doubts the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by the end of this year.
Payrolls outside of farming rose by 142,000 last month and August figures were revised sharply lower to show only 136,000 jobs added in August, the Labor Department said on Friday. (“Job Growth Cools in Last Two Months, Raising Doubts on Economy“)
Well that didn’t sound too good, except as an indicator that my prediction might prove right; so, let’s look at US gross domestic product, which is how economists assess recessionary trends:
The U.S. economy is on track to grow 0.9 percent in the third quarter. (“Atlanta Fed Sees 50 Percent Drop in GDP Growth Estimate for Q3“)
That estimate by one Federal Reserve bank is a sharp shrinkage of US GDP from the 3+% reported for previous quarter, and that decline is consistent with what the Federal Reserve now knows about September’s equally severe decline in manufacturing:
Surveys conducted by regional Federal Reserve banks signal that U.S. manufacturers came undersevere stress in September.
Seven of these surveys have been released over the course of the month….
All these regional surveys pointed to shrinking manufacturing sectors, with some prints coming in at their worst levels since the Great Recession….
The Empire State manufacturing index earlier this month indicatedback-to-back months of contraction, with the employment sub-index and six-month forward outlook hitting multiyear lows…. The Kansas City Fed’s index has beenstuck in negative territory since March, with new orders, shipments, employment, and exports all declining in September.
…Two regional indices confirmed that the pain is widespread. The ISM Milwaukee Purchasers Manufacturing Index sank to its lowest level since 2009. (“US Manufacturing Got Crushed In September“)

Yikes! That sounds really bad, and those are surveys by the Federal Reserve, which has been looking to build a case for raising interest rates. Now, let’s take a look at what this shrinkage in manufacturing means for jobs in an easy-to-read chart:

economic collapse
Nice. We haven’t seen that kind of job drainage since 2009, the belly of the Great Recession, and the only reason it looks small right now is that it has just begun to heat up near the end of the year. Didn’t someone on this blog (that would be me) say that the reason this economic collapse would be so bad is that it is really all about falling back into the belly of the Great Recession? I’ve said, since stimulus efforts began, that the belly of Great Recession was merely propped up into positive territory by vast amounts of artificial life support and that the Great Recession would reveal its true depth once the artificial life support finally ran out.
But, lest you think it is only manufacturing that is getting hit, take a look at the broad sweep of job losses in America during September:
The cuts come as the world’s largest retailer struggles to shore up its profit margins, which have been weighed down by a $1 billion investment announced earlier this year to increase wages for half a million store-level workers and other cost pressures. The company’s stock is down 26 percent so far this year. (“Wal-Mart Said to Cut Hundreds of Jobs at Headquarters“)

O.K. but that’s just Wal-Mart, and it is a small employment cut, so maybe its profits are really only down because it finally decided to share a small percentage of its billions in profit with its employees. Right?
Wrong. (For starters, Wal-Mart is an icon of American retail — for better or worse — and right now things are looking too weak at Wal-mart to even accommodate what still amounts to pretty low wages.)
This is not just Wal-Mart. It is a September sweep of major businesses showing employment reductions:
The number of announced layoffs by U.S.-based companies surged in September from the previous month, and Hewlett-Packard’s outsized cuts raise a red flag, John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday.
“It’s interesting that we are beginning to see some big layoff announcements this year,” he said. “One of the things you start to see as you get near the end of a period of expansion, but before it really turns, is you start to see major layoffs occurring, big mega-layoffs like we’re seeing now.
U.S.-headquartered companies put 58,877 jobs on the chopping block last month, up 43 percent from just more than 41,000 in August.
…Challenger said the computer sector led all other industries in layoffs in September. (“Big layoffs may signal end of expansion“)
Well, that doesn’t sound too sweet either. The computer industry, which has led the bull market for years in the US, is the industry now leading the fall-off of jobs. So, this is a sea change.

Other big lay-offs came in September from ConAgra, which cut 30% of its office-based workers during a move of headquarters. (Maybe just a streamlining business decision in that particular case.) More indicative of trend,  Chesapeake Energy is laying off 15 percent of its workforce after major losses in the last quarter. Chesapeake is the nation’s second-largest producer of natural gas. Think about it: the energy industry is where almost all job growth happened during the so-called “recovery.” So, this is the unwinding of what little recovery we saw — the vanishing of the illusion. All told, the energy industry has made almost 75,000 job cuts this year!
Other big cuts this year, outside of the energy industry and computer industry,have come from Target (17,000 jobs cut), Procter and Gamble (6,000), American Express (4,000), JP Morgan Chase (5,000), Caterpillar (5,000).
That’s why the ‘Incredibly fearful’ Fed braces for jobs report today:
Data-dependent Federal Reserve officials suddenly are finding the data turning against them.
A year that was supposed to provide the Fed with plenty of ammunition to justify a rate increase has fallen considerably short. Economic growth remains mired, inflation increasingly has become a bygone remnant of years past and industrial activity is nearing contraction levels.
Moreover, the stock market is tumbling, investors’ nerves are frayed and a government shutdown, narrowly averted for October, looks increasingly probable in December, right around the time the U.S. central bank gets its final opportunity to start normalizing interest rates.
On top of it, corporate America has seen a few high-profile episodes of mass layoffs.

That jobs report, mentioned earlier, did not come out as the Fed hoped to see in order to ease it’s concerns about raising interest rates:
Payrolls rose less than projected in September, wages stagnated and the jobless rate was unchanged as people left the workforce, signaling the global slowdown and financial-market turmoil are rippling through the world’s largest economy.
…Revisions to prior reports cut a total of 59,000 jobs from payrolls in the previous two months.
(“Hiring Slows as Employers Add Just 142K Jobs“)
Comments Michelle Girard, an economist at RBS Securities,
“Every aspect of the September jobs report was disappointing.”
Says Brian Jacobsen, a portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management,
“You can’t throw lipstick on this pig of a report.” (Newsmax)
The percentage of the US population that is employed is now at its lowest since the bad recession we had in 1977. That’s your “recovery.”
True, you just can’t put enough lipstick on this pig. The fact above paint a picture of a nation in retreat. Last fall I scoffed at the ridiculous people at Goldman Sachs and Bank of America (and several other entities) that believed in the “recovery” and were projecting 2015 to be another good year of growth in the stock market, albeit volatile and bit slower in growth than previous years. That was the standard line that prevailed on Wall St.
I seriously wondered if all the people at Goldman and BO America had put their heads through a noodle maker after what had just happened that October. The volatile part, of course, I agreed with because it agreed with me when I saw the October 2014 plunge as the beginning of greater volatility that would typify the new year.
As for the other part of their predictions, however, they are now all retreating from their 2015 projections to come more and more in line with what I predicted late last fall. Each month, they nip their projections of good times back a little more severely, and have finally gone negative. But how good are predictions that are revised after the fact? Why do people even listen to them? These are the same strutting buffoons who missed predicting the Great Recession.
Goldman Sachs now expects the S&P 500 to finish in the red in 2015.
Chief U.S. equity strategist David Kostin lowered his year-end price target for the S&P 500 to 2,000 from 2,100, citing slower than anticipated growth from the world’s two biggest economies. (“Goldman Sachs Slashes S&P 500 Price Target, Sees Negative Return for US Stocks“)

Look at what is really happening to see how far behind the curve BofA and Goldman Sachs remain, even with their retreat:
Stocks will fall about 5 percent from current levels and may even slide into bear market territory in the next few months as emerging markets like China rattle investors, said Bob Janjuah, senior adviser at Nomura Holdings Inc.
He forecast that the S&P 500 stock index will end the year at 1,820 from its current level of about 1,920 amid signs of economic weakness.
“I fear that we could even see prints in the low 1700s which would entail a 20 percent move (an official bear market) in the S&P 500 from its 2015 high of 2134,” he said in a Sept. 30 report obtained by Newsmax Finance.“Globally I expect things to be even weaker.”(“Nomura’s Janjuah: Brace Yourself for Deeper Stock Declines“)
Here BofA and Goldman are getting on board with what is happening late in the game by re-predicting the future after it has happened … and they are still running high above what will actually happen. Maybe that’s why one of these companies is now seeing its own much-deserved decline:
Bank of America Corp. is cutting dozens of jobs across the firm’s trading and banking divisions after Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan pledged to trim expenses amid a decline in trading revenue. (“BofA Said to Cut Dozens of Traders, Bankers as Revenue Drops“)

Ah, justice. Their Revenue should drop. It should fall through the floor. As should their traders and pathetic bankers. As usual, though, the CEO is starting with cuts at the wrong end. Moynihan should have started with himself. It’s always everyone’s fault but his. I mean, after all, how can he blame the decline of revenue on falling market conditions when his own company advised all their clients last fall that things were favorable for stock market growth this year, and advisement is their business? Given that they said it would be such a favorable year, doesn’t that mean Moynihan must be doing an abysmal job if he now has to lay off traders in a thriving market?

The heads of these companies are dumber than the head on a dollar bill and more corrupt than a three-dollar counterfeit. In fact, conspiracy theories are created because people believe that those in charge could not actually be this dumb.
Here is where the stock market has gone over the course of one year since the stock market crash I predicted for October 2014:
economic collapse
Exactly right back to where it was when things fell apart on October 2014. When the market rebounded back then, I said it would round off and crash again and eventually (in the spring of 2015) pegged that crash for the fall of 2015. Here we are.
David Stockman, President Reagan’s budget advisor, sees the event of October 2014 as a watershed — a marker of where the market is really going now, and he says that the present drop back to that level is not merely a retest of that level:
Here we are again, knocking on the door of the Bullard Rip low of last October 15th. While we will know soon enough whether this battered and bloodied bull will give up the ghost on this trip down and slice through 1867 on the S&P 500 or stage another half-hearted rebound, one thing cannot be gainsaid.
To wit, all the reasons for a deep correction ahead—–not merely the perennial Wall Street hyped “retest”—— remain in tact; and a passel of new ones have appeared, too.
…In the interim, the global commodity collapse has gathered force, and is now spilling over into financial market mechanics in the form of the Glencore meltdown and CDS blowout. (“This Is Not A Retest——Take # 2“)
If Wall St. is going to call this present market drop a “retest” of what happened on October, 2014, then that must mean they see what happened in October, 2014 was a part of what is happening now. So, even by the “retest” line of thinking, if the market crashes now, the plunge in October 2014 was connected to this crash.

Did you notice that last bit about Glencore? This could be the Bear-Stearns that starts our return to the belly of the Great Recession. Glencore, the world’s largest commodities trader, is now teetering on the edge bankruptcy. Other major commodities traders are not doing much better.
The 15-month commodities free-fall is starting to resemble a full-blown crisis.
Investors are reacting to diminished demand from China and an end to the cheap-money era provided by the Federal Reserve. A Bloomberg index of commodity futures has fallen 50 percent since a 2011 high, and eight of the 10 worst performers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index this year are commodities-related businesses.
Now it all seems to be coming apart at once. Alcoa Inc., the biggest U.S. aluminum producer, said it would break itself into two companies amid a glut stemming from booming production. Royal Dutch Shell Plc announced it would abandon its drilling campaign in U.S. Arctic waters after spending $7 billion. And the carnage culminated Monday with GlencorePlc, the commodities powerhouse that came to symbolize the era with its initial public offering in 2011 and bold acquisition of a rival in 2013, falling by as much as 31 percent in London trading.
It’s about to get worse…. “In commodities you’re going to get a lot of failures, companies closing up.” (“With Glencore, Commodity Rout Beginning to Look Like a Crisis“)
Glencore’s equity is down another -30% today, only weeks after having raised capital to shore up its balance sheet for “Armageddon.” The cause of the rout is a note from Investec which suggests Glencore equity could be wiped out (and probably already is worth nothing) if commodity prices remain at current levels. Investec’s biggest concern is the amount of debt on Glencore’s balance sheet. This is a theme that BK et al have harped on for quite some time – the commodity house of cards was built on the false belief that China’s appetite would never end and commodity prices would always go up. Sound familiar? It should because it is the same dynamic that caused the housing crisis/financial crisis of 2008. (“Is Glencore the Bear Stearns of 2015 and Deutsche Bank the Next AIG?“)

Deutsche Bank’s problems are that it has about a $76 TRILLION exposure to derivatives. You know, those things that played a major role in causing that thing we called “the Great Recession.” Those derivatives,says Bank of America, are nowa junk-bond “train wreck that is accelerating.” This time, it is not all “mortgage-backed securities,” but includes junk bonds issued to commodities producers, particularly in the energy industry and mining industry, where Glencore was king.
Apparently, even that dim candle in the wind that calls itself the “Bank of America” is finding the world is full of darkened denial towards its recent glimpse of illumination:
Around this time last year, when our view on HY [high-yield bonds\ began turning decidedly less rosy, the biggest pushback we got from clients was that we were too bearish. A couple of months back, as our anticipated low single digit return year looked likely to come to fruition, many clients began to sympathize with our view, but challenged us on our contention that there were issues beyond the commodity sector. Tellingly, we now have an Ex- Energy/Metals/Mining version of almost every high yield metric we track (it started off as just Ex-Energy last year). Point out the troubles in Retail and Semiconductors and pat comes the reply that one’s always been structurally weak and the other’s going through a secular decline. Mention the stirring in Telecom and we’re told that it’s isolated to the Wirelines. When we began writing this piece, Chemicals and Media were fine, and Healthcare was a safer option; not so much anymore. At this pace, we wonder just how long until our Ex-Index gets bigger than our In-Index.
That however is just the beginning. We suspect that this is the start of a long, slow and painful unwind of the excesses of the last five years.(“BofA Issues Dramatic Junk Bond Meltdown Warning: This “Train Wreck Is Accelerating”)
BofA pats itself on the back that now single-digit prediction of stock-market growth for 2015 came to fruition (because its clients thought it should have been more bullish). Yet, in the same breath, BofA admits things are now looking even worse than that “bearish” prediction. So, what they are really saying is that they didn’t get it as wrong as they could have. Even though they have already had to revise their predictions downward, it sounds like BofA feels they were almost prescient for having overestimated the market less than their clients did.

Ahem. Is that not what I said about Bank of America’s predictions last fall — that their single-digit predictions were far too rosy compared what would really appear? So, they pat themselves on the back now for being a wee bit less wrong than they could have been as they finally (almost a year later) begin to sense what I warned of back in their rosier days. They are perhaps a little too beholden to what their clients want to hear (and what they want their clients to believe).
I, on the other hand, don’t care what anyone wants to hear or wants to believe. Denial is 99% of our problem from the very start of this crisis. So, get over it! The sooner we stop saying, “Oh, that’s too gloomy of a picture” and start seeing reality for what it is, the sooner we will take the serious corrective action that is needed and stop relying on unsustainable stimulus measures and stop leaving the responsibility for our economy to central banks.

Bond defaults starting to create global economic collapse … again

It’s same song, second verse.
I hate to quote the Dark One so much, but it is illuminating when even The Dark begins to see clearly. It is particularly atypical of BofA to paint things in such stark terms as what I’m about to quote. Bank of America expects bond defaults to start to rise over the next couple of years. Sound familiar? Sound like where we stood with mortgage defaults in 2007, which then rose for the next few years, which resulted in the defaults of mortgage-backed securities?
As more investors continue to see the forest for the trees, we believe they will see what we have seen: a series of indicators that are consistent with late cycle behavior that we think clearly demonstrates a turn of the credit cycle…. We often see that a cycle is approaching its end when the bad apples start visibly separating out from the pack as idiosyncratic risk surfaces. We saw this first with Energy and Retail, then Telcos and Semis, and now creeping into some of the perceived ‘safe havens’ such as Healthcare and Autos…. We believe the market is now reflecting the thesis we have outlined in recent months: lower commodity prices will trigger rising contagion, and weakness will spread to the broader credit markets (in particular lower-quality high yield)….This, in our view, is a virtual certainty.
Oh, yes, they have had such foresight! They are now certain of the kinds of things I was certain of a year ago. Thanks for coming on board with me, BofA? And I’m sure you’ll get all the credit.

Time’s proclaimed “Master of the Universe” predicts a stock market crash

Don’t just take all of this from me — someone no one of importance knows — or especially from the Dark One. Take it from Time’s “Master of the Universe.” Billionaire financier Carl Icahn, whom Donald Trump would tap to be his Secretary of the Treasury, just released a strong warning video today in which he says,
I’ve been worried for the last five, six months about the market and the economy and the dangerous spot that we’re in…. This country needs — somebody to wake it up. The same type of short-term thinking that is happening in government is happening in corporate America…. It’s financial engineering at its height. The earnings that are being put out today — I think they are very suspect. These earnings are fallacious. And, yet, analysts look at it quarter for quarter. If your earnings went up for the quarter, your stock goes jumping up…. If you really do GAAP [Generally Accepted Accounting Principles], you haven’t really increased earnings for three years…. We are making earnings with financial engineering…. I’ve seen this before a number of times. I’ve been around a long time. I saw ’69, ’74, ’79 …  ’87, and then 2000 wasn’t pretty, and I think a time is coming that might make some of those times look pretty good…. The public, they got screwed in ’08. They’re going to get screwed again.

Icahn, is an icon of the financial world. When Time magazine called him “Master of the universe” on their cover, they said he was “the most important investor in America.” The Icahn of finance is speaking in nearly apocalyptic terms about the US economy and where it is headed.

Major hedge fund managers, where we saw so much trouble in the economic collapse 2008, are in trouble again

There’s no big bank failure on the horizon. The housing market is booming, not melting. Yet for a handful of well-known hedge fund managers, 2015 is looking a lot like 2008, when their industry suffered record losses and investor withdrawals…. Every struggling hedge fund has struggled in its own way, yet September did a lot damage for many managers, including Ackman, who slumped as much as in all of 2008…. “Hedge funds are reeling from a relentless rout that has all but killed a year’s worth of alpha in a matter of two weeks.” (“Hedge Funds on Track to Rival ’08 Slump“)

The Fed heads are already dead and don’t know it

One of my bold claims for this fall was that the Federal Reserve would wind up in a position where it would no longer matter if it raised interest rates or not. They would be damned if they do and damned if they don’t. 1) If they raised rates, the end of life support would shock-pop the stock bubble created by free money that can be borrowed at zero-percent interest. 2) If they chose, after so much talk about raising rates, to not raise them, people would cue in quickly that there really has been no recovery. After seven years, the still believes the economy is too shakey to even weather a quarter-of-a-percent interest boost. It would give the lie to their narrative of recovery.

I am now seeing that exact argument materialize in many places. Here is one example:
The Federal Reserve continues to change the criteria for raising interest rates, which in turn creates increasing uncertainty and signals that all is not well with our economy….
The result of these moving goal posts and unclear goals is increasing uncertainty. Its most visible impact is in the increased volatility in the stock market.
It also sends a clear signal that our economy continues to be in a state of emergency. The accommodative monetary policies of bond buying and zero interest rates were sold to Americans as emergency measures to help stabilize the U.S. economy.There continuation means that our economy has been in a state of emergency for almost 7 years. Chair Yellen even confirmed this by stating that the U.S. economy is too fragile to withstand the normalization of interest rates, even with a slow ramp up over many years.
It seems that the Federal Reserve finds itself in between the rock and a hard place it wanted to avoid. (Newsmax)
The truth that now dawns is that, rather than having been through seven years of recovery, we have been through seven years of being in a state of emergency. The Fed’s recovery charade is in need of its own recovery.
America is collapsing.

What about my prediction that this would not just be a US stock-market crash, but a global economic collapse?

Suffice it to say for the moment, that everything is only so much worse in the other economies of the world.
The U.S. economy, which has been outshining most others around the world, is weakening. Lackluster growth overseas has reduced exports of U.S. factory goods. China, the world’s second-largest economy after the United States, is slowing. Europe is struggling. Emerging economies from Brazil to Turkey are straining to grow at all. (Newsmax)

I won’t spend much time on this because I think everyone knows that things look even worse in the rest of the world right now than they do in the U.S. So, let’s just look at what one of Europe’s largest and most influential banks, Credit Suisse, has to say:
The financial markets have been flashing doomsday signals in the past few months.
China’s stock market rout, commodities getting crushed, and a loss of investor confidence at Glencore and Volkswagen have combined for the worst quarter since 2011.
A team of Credit Suisse analysts led by James Sweeney looked at investor appetite for risk and found that it fit the profile of a full-blown panic. (“CREDIT SUISSE: The markets are gripped by ‘panic’“)
Hmm. “Full-blown panic.” No wonder the bullheaded Jim Cramer is even getting the point that the bull markets in stocks are dead. The bear is back everywhere, and she is angry.
In fact, twenty of the world’s emerging markets are officially in recession. By “emerging markets” economists mean smaller nations with economies that were rapidly rising during the vaunted “recovery” from the Great Recession. Now, they are rapidly falling.
From the beginning days of quantitative easing and low interest rates, I have said that both were artificial life support and that our “recovery” from the Great Recession would end as soon as all the artificial life support. It would end because those stimulus measures were resolving nothing that needed to be fixed; so, their effect is temporary, and they are not economically sustainable because you cannot run the money press at full speed forever without creating far worse problems.
More recently, I said that we will not even have to reach the point where the last of artificial life support (zero interest by the Fed) ends before the effectsof stimulus end. That would happen this fall, I claimed, because the Fed’s stimulus has reached the point in the curve of deminishing returns where maintaining stimulus is now more damaging to the illusion of recovery than it is helpful. Simply put, the Fed has been making so much noise for so long about the possibility of raising interest rates that not raising them would cause many people to start to wonder if the Fed will ever be able to raise interest rates without killing its “recovery” (which, of course, it never can; see previous paragraph).
So, it’s now game over. The illusion is giving way. It no longer matters if the Fed raises interest rates. Even many of the permabulls are starting to see that the emperor at the Fed has no clothes. (And we’re talking Grandma Yellen, so yikes!) Even Bank of America is able to see it now and boasts of how prescient they were … just for being less rosy a year ago than they might normally have been. That’s foresight, Bank of America style!

I am betting my blog that we are now in a US stock market crash and a global economic collapse

Last year, I nearly bet my blog that the stock market would crash in the fall. In fact, I wrote that into an article and later mentioned that I had made that bet. When I went back to look for it months later (when it still wasn’t clear what the plunge in Sept.-Oct., 2014, really was), I found I must have thought the better of going out on that limb and taken the bet out before publishing the article. Searching back through several articles, I couldn’t find it.
Though I stopped short of betting my blog, I did predict a stock market crash for the fall of 2014. For several months after that, it may have looked to some readers here like I was wrong. I sometimes wondered myself. Now, I think a strong case can be made that the October 2014 plunge, to which the present equal plunge is being compared, was the first major foreshock of a bear market that has been unfolding ever since and is now developing into a full-blow economic collapse.
Therefore, I am going on record now as betting my blog that we are, in fact, in an unfolding stock market crash and a global economic collapse. Many still don’t see it that way (a.k.a. folks like Cramer who see it as a bear market that will end soon). So, I’m not making this bet after the fact. Many Wall St. gurus, in fact, still do not agree that we are in bear-market territory, much less a full-blown stock market crash. We won’t know who is right until we have enough of it behind us to know for certain what to call it.
My bet is this: If the present downturn does not develop into a stock market crash that is also part of a global economic collapse, I’ll stop writing this blog. To be more specific, before this bear is done raging, I am betting the stock market will be down more than 20% and may eventually drop as much as 60%. In fact, I believe the world is entering an economic apocalypse because the bursting of the recovery illusion that so many have put their stock in (literally) is going to be horrifying for all of those who have believed in it and very difficult for even theprepared.

I suspect there will be some additional emergency shoring to maintain the illusions a little while longer because I can’t imagine the government wouldn’t dress the corpse up as well as it can during an election year where ALL incumbents stand to fail if the economy completely collapses on their watch. Yet, I also cannot imagine any efforts will be successful in reversing or slowing slide for even as much as a year.
Regardless, the illusion is now breaking up. All that might be obscured for the election year is just how bad the failure of our present economic system really is.(source)

Poll Shows The Majority Of Americans Oppose Transgender People Using Preferred Bathroom


A troubling new poll has found that the majority of Americans are not on board with letting transgender individuals use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
According to the poll conducted by CBS News, 59 percent of Americans believe that transgender individuals should use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth, while 26 percent are comfortable with self-determination when it comes to choosing which bathroom to use.
The survey asked participants to choose between the statements “Transgendered [sic] students should use the bathrooms/locker rooms of their birth gender” and “Transgendered [sic] students should use the bathrooms/locker rooms of their preferred gender."
The results are upsetting to say the least.
The use of public restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms by transgender individuals has long been a polarizing issue. In early 2013, transgender first-grader Coy Mathis was barred from using the girl's restroom at her school. The case sparked a national debate about school policies for transgender children, with the court eventually ruling that Mathis should have been allowed to use the bathroom of her choice.
Legislation has since been passed in other parts of the country in an effort to counter institutionalized discrimination against the transgender community. In California, for example, lawmakers passed a bill last year that allows transgender public school students to use the restroom and play on the sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.
While the American public's response to this CBS poll shows how much work we have left to do when it comes to education about transgender lives, experiences and rights, the trans community is gaining more and more visibility. Recently, "Orange Is the New Black" star and outspoken advocate Laverne Cox graced the cover of Time magazine and there has been an notable increase in discussions (though sometimes problematic in their presentation) about trans issues in the mainstream press, including popular programs like "The Katie Couric Show" and "The Colbert Report."

Profit Prisons – Inmates Charged for Jail Stay, Left Buried in Debt When they Get Out

Did you know that people who end up in prison for a variety of different reasons have a very good chance of being charged a fee for every day that they stay behind bars as if they were voluntarily staying at a hotel?
According to a new ACLU report, this is exactly what is happening all across the United States, in select prisons where these policies have been enacted. The BBC reported that roughly 10 million people in the United States owe a combined total of over $10 billion in “pay-to-stay” prison debt.
Obviously, these fees can make a bad situation even worse for people who are serving time for petty crimes, especially considering that most of the people who do end up behind bars come from lives of poverty to begin with. Now, when many of these inmates are released from prison they are unable to get back on their feet due to this crippling debt.
Some people who have been arrested for petty offenses, many drug-related, are released from jail with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt that make it near impossible for them to rebuild their lives.
David Mahoney, for example, is a former inmate who is now $21,000 in debt after being in and out of jail for most of his life. Now that he has cleaned up his act, he is still haunted from the fees for his stay in prison.
“Obviously, it’s my fault I’m in the situation I am in. I’m trying to start over. People that end up in jail are usually down on their luck anyway. They’re going through some trials and tribulations in life. Why focus on the people who are already struggling?” he said.
This week, the ACLU has released one of the first comprehensive reports on the “pay-to-stay” policies that have been implemented at prisons around the country.
Mike Brickner of the ACLU told the BBC that these policies are destructive to people who come from lives of poverty, and to make matters worse they don’t even work.
“We’re hearing from people who are claiming this is going on their credit scores and preventing them from doing all sorts of things.
They simply don’t work. People are coming out of jail with hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of debt, and if you are a returning citizen, having that is just another albatross around your neck. It’s a program that maybe feels good to people who have a tough on crime mentality, but, in fact, it’s sort of a fruitless exercise,” Brickner said.
Even supporters of the program have admitted that it doesn’t bring in enough money to justify its existence.
Dale Osborne, a jail administrator from the state of Ohio where 40 out of 75 jails have pay-to-stay policies, has defended the program, but admits that it is a failure and that he would not really miss it.
“It offsets the expenses that the taxpayers are required to have. The more revenue I can generate within a facility, the less the taxpayers have to pay,” he said, adding that “If we lost the ability to have a pay-for-stay program here I’m not going to have any huge heartache over the loss of it.”
While it may not be a huge advantage to the prisons, this program is a massive disadvantage for former prisoners who are attempting to re-enter society.
Article by John Vibes, from The Free Thought Project. John is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website

Why The Job Recovery Was And Still is a Farce Illustrated in Charts.

by Smaulgld

The Labor Force Participation Rate is lower than the rate during the Great Recession for all age groups except those 55 years and older.

The percentage of women attached to the labor force continues to decline.

In February of this year we noted that the job recovery was a farce. We reviewed the job market through the lens of the overall labor force participation rate and that rate by age group.
Last week the Bureau of Labor statistics released its non farm payroll (NFP) report for October. The report showed 271,000 new jobs created surpassing expectations by about 90,000. The unemployment rate was reported to be at just 5%.
Reuters called the October NFP report “blow out jobs growth”
The main stream financial media and wall street traders (and algos) only look at the headline NFP and unemployment numbers, rather than also looking at what type of jobs were supposedly created and who got or lost them.
Many critize the NFP report in that it is not a measure of actual jobs created but rather relies on a survey that uses assumptions that some believe are faulty (the numbers are based on birth/death assumptions with no proof that any jobs were actually created). This leads to charges that the NFP numbers can easily be manipulated.
The unemployment rate is also criticized for how it is calculated. If one is not considered in the labor force, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not include them as “unemployed”. Therefore, if the laor force participation rate drops, the unemployment rate can also drop.
The analysis below assumes that even if the NFP numbers are extremely accurate, the job market is still poor. As a result of a poor jobs market, the real estate market, as measured by existing and new home sales, is also sub par.
Non Farm Payroll Three Month Average Lowest of the Year/Lower Than Last Year
The last two months NFP numbers (August and September) were low and only revised slightly higher in the October NFP report. The three month average NFP reports covering August-September 2015 is about 187,000 new jobs created, lower than any three month period of this year and lower than the comparable three month period of last year.
Type of Jobs Created in October
The jobs that the NFP October report showed were mostly all part time and low paying jobs.
Education and Health: +57K
Professional Business Services/Temp Help: +54K
Retail Trade: +44K
Leisure and Hospitality: +41K
Temp Help: +25K
Manufacturing workers: +0
Mining lost workers

The Labor Force Participation Rate

The Song Remains the Same
The labor force participation rate identifies those people who have jobs as a percentage of the population. Since February of 2015, when we last examined the state of the jobs market, the labor force participation rate has not improved, despite the “robust” job reports.

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate

The general labor force participation rate in October 2015 was unchanged from February 2015 and at levels last seen in 1978 when women had not full entered the labor force.
The persistently low labor force participation rate is not a function of retiring baby boomers leaving the labor force. (see labor force participation rates of those 55+ years and older and 65+ year and older below)

Labor Force Participation Rates 1978 – 2015

October 62.5% February 62.5%
May 1978 62.6% July 1997 68.1%
Labor Force Participation Rate 1978-2015
Source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate [LNU01300000], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 6, 2015.

Labor Force Participation Rate 2008-2015 Among 16-19 Year Olds

Up slightly since Feb
October 32.5% February 31.8%
July 1978 71.8% January 2014 30.4%

Slightly less than a third of those aged 16-19 were working in October 2015. In the summer of 1978, nearly three quarters of those aged 16-19 were working. In 2000 more than 50% of those aged 16-19 were attached to the labor force.
In October 2015, the percentage of those aged 16-19 attached to the labor force declined to levels lower than those at the height of the Great Recession.
Labor Force Participation Rate 1948-2015 Among 16-19 Year Olds
Source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 16 to 19 years [LNU01300012], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 6, 2015.

Labor Force Participation Rate 2008-2015 Among 20-24 Year Olds

Up slightly since February
October 70.7 February 70.0%
July 1989 83.8% January 1954 58.5%
Labor Force Participation Rate 1948-2015 Among 20-24 Year Olds
Source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 20 to 24 years [LNS11300036], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis November 6, 2015.

Labor Force Participation Rate 2008-2015 Among 25-54 Year Olds

October 80.9% February 80.9%
May 1978 76.7% March 2000 84.5%

Labor Force Participation Rate 1978-2015 Among 25-54 Year Olds
Source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 25 to 54 years [LNU01300060], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 6, 2015.

The Myth of Retiring Baby Boomers

Labor Force Participation Rate 2008-2015 Among Those 55 Years and Older

UP since Feb
October 40.0 % February 39.9%
May 1956 44.0% July 1993 28.9%
Early retirement started to die around 1990
Labor Force Participation Rate 1948-2015 Among Those 55 Years and Older
Souce: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 55 years and over [LNU01324230], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 6, 2015.

Labor Force Participation Rate 2008-2015 Among Those Aged 65 and Older Without Disabilities

UP since Feb
fewer working at height of recession, near the highest since they started keeping stats
October 24.3% February 23.9%
December 2008 21.4% May 2013 24.4

No data prior to 2008- assumption by that age nearly all were retired or had died
Source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: With No Disability, 65 years and over [LNU01375379], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 8, 2015.
Labor Force Participation Rate 2008-2015 Women
October 2015 56.7% February 2015 56.6%
Jan 2008 59.2% June/July 1999 59.9%
July 97/June 97 60.4%
January 1948 30.7%
Labor Force Participation Rate 1948-2015 Women
Source: US. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: Women [LNU01300002], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, November 6, 2015.
The result
proofthatQE ZIPR monetary policy worked
Confirmatry data- they wil raise rates but only so they can lower them again-Janet Yellen Negative interest rates, cashless society
three legged propaganda stool