From Aljazeera: Real Money Matters (Re: Quantitative Easing) - Since November 2008, the Fed has pumped roughly $3 trillion into the economy, and two-thirds of it is sitting in the Federal System earning interest for big banks. The majority of the funds created by QE are gathering dust in the Federal Reserve System as excess reserves over and above what commercial banks are required to hold to protect against loan defaults. Excess Reserves of Depository Institutions have exploded from $267 billion in October 2008 to $2.2 trillion in September 2013. Banks aren’t willing to lend the money out or because there simply isn’t the demand for the loans that could be created. Either way, the banks don’t have to lend excess reserves to realize a return because the Federal Reserve pays 0.25% interest on them.
From the Wall Street Journal and Andrew Huszar: Confessions of a Quantitative Easer:
"I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time."
Other Tid Bits...
New York Times: The Minimum We Can Do: A very good article making the case for raising the minimum wage. "The idea of fairness has been at the heart of wage standards since their inception." (* The author should have added: "Now it's become a matter of survival.")
Recent research (going back to Harry S. Truman's second term in office in 1949) comparing Democratic presidents and Republican presidents, shows that under a Democrat, the economy usually fared much better...but then the searchers at VOX concludes, it was mostly because of luck.
And speaking of "luck", one economist writes that most rich people are only rich because they were more lucky; and later concludes: "I suspect that pretty much all the differences between our incomes are due to luck; even a capacity for hard work is also a matter for luck. We do not "deserve" our economic fate, and only the most witlessly narcissistic libertoon could claim otherwise. What it does mean is that the rich and successful should be more humble."
And then there's this...
just Launched its 1st Moon Lander & Rover Mission
Cuts to NASA Budget Spark Bitter Debate in Congress
- U.S. Vs. China: Battle To Be The Largest Economy In The World
- Proposed Cuts to Military Pay, Retirements, and Veteran's Benefits
I guess that about says it all for The State of the Union; it looks more like The Decline of the American Empire. So what do we do? Give away more free money to the big banks and continue to offshore jobs, while at the same time, keep wages stagnate at home --- all while under-taxing the corporations and the very rich?