The Federal Reserve announced a third major round of quantitative easing on Thursday, instantly dubbed QE3. For those of a certain age, “QE” sounds a bit like an ocean liner, and Wall Streeters adept at playing the bond markets will be able to afford another yacht or two in the wake of this week’s events.
Under the new program the Fed will increase its purchases of mortgage-backed securities by $40 billion each month. It will also reinvest principal payments from current holdings, thus increasing the total asset purchase program by roughly $300 billion. This is expected to boost bond prices, thus keeping downward pressure on interest rates, especially in the housing market. The Fed also reiterated its objective to keep short rates near zero until 2015, hoping to dent the stubbornly high national unemployment rate.
Many observers are skeptical. Michael Baron of TheStreet.com reports one particularly bemused response:
RDQ Economics said the action would likely give stocks a temporary boost and expressed some concern about the unintended consequences that could result.
“Our view is that these actions will do little to stimulate growth but will raise inflation expectations (dollar negative and gold and commodity positive),” the firm said. “As for other markets, we think that risk assets will get a short-term sugar rush, which will further support equity prices. What about yields, however, which the Fed is seeking to lower? Our guess is that to the extent the Fed boosts the demand for risk assets, yields will drift higher (as was the experience following the announcement of QE2). Bernanke is marching U.S. monetary policy even further into totally uncharted territory.”
Corporate chief financial officers, who control the capital spending and often the hiring decisions of major companies, don’t seem to be on board either. Duke University’s Global Business Outlook survey indicates that they are not likely to respond to more quantitative easing, even if it drops rates substantially from their already low levels. Matt Egan of FoxBusiness notes that the survey:
showed that 91% of the 1,500 CFOs polled wouldn’t bolster their spending plans even if the Fed’s programs successfully lowered interest rates by one percentage point. And 84% said a hefty two-point reduction in rates wouldn’t change their spending plans either.
“Rates are already at historic lows, so lower rates would not impact our decision,” one survey respondent said. Another CFO said, “We need to see reliable growth before we are willing to invest any further.”
Corporate America seems to be much more concerned with the potential fiscal crisis of rising taxes and spending cuts that will occur if the nation’s lawmakers are unable to pass a credible budget deal late this year. QE3 cannot compensate for such a failure. Is it time to apply the “Three strikes and you’re out!” rule to monetary panaceas?
Editors Note: The Minority Report is pleased to have David From (state director for the Americans for Prosperity-Illinois chapter) lend us his opinion on the Chicago teachers strike and explaining why the Illinois local CTU is doing what’s best for union, not students. -Steve Foley
I certainly didn’t think as the state director of Americans for Prosperity in Illinois, I’d be expressing my solidarity with the Obama-chief-of-staff-Democrat-congressional-leader-Clinton-attack-dog mayor of Chicago any time soon. But, apparently battling the insatiable appetite for tax dollars of government unions and their disdain for accountability makes for strange bedfellows.
The strike by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), led by its caustic leader, Karen Lewis, pits two of Chicago’s top bullies in a struggle for who will chart the future of the nation’s third largest school district. However, it is also a glimpse of the larger problem facing governments run by politicians who for decades have doled out overly generous pay and benefits to their government union benefactors with little regard for performance- there is no longer enough money to satisfy the government union beast. At a time when private sector companies have largely ended defined benefit pensions and automatic salary increases, many state and local governments still provide these generous terms while the very taxpayers paying the salaries and benefits (and ultimately the union dues) are earning less and working longer. This arrangement is unsustainable.
What we are witnessing in the Chicago teachers strike is just one of the larger and higher profile protests by government unions who are not happy that their one-time allies are not readily giving in. Rahm knows that the Chicago Public Schools is in deficit and had to drain its reserve funds just to fill its 2012-13 budget and that he governs some of the highest-taxed residents in America and they cannot pay more. Rahm is smart and recognizes Chicago cannot be the world-class city he envisions without a qualified workforce, but graduating 40% of incoming freshman won’t accomplish that goal. While there is dispute over the salary increase for teachers, Rahm has chosen to make a stand mainly on reforms to teacher evaluations and providing principals the discretion to make hiring decisions. These reforms are where the real friction arises because they would directly diminish the power and size of the union.
In Wisconsin, New Jersey and other places around the nation, we’ve seen strong free market-oriented leaders take steps to curb the power of government unions to the benefit of the taxpayers. The twist in Chicago is we have an executive in Rahm who does not share many of the free market values of leaders like Scott Walker and Chris Christie, yet he is forced to confront government union excesses and demand accountability, or his city will spiral downward. I think we will continue to see this type of scenario play out in traditionally liberal areas throughout America, because in the end taxpayers cannot afford increasingly expensive demands from unaccountable government unions and our leaders may be forced to recognize that reality, albeit reluctantly.
(David From is the state director for the Americans for Prosperity-Illinois chapter.)
Small businesses can save much of their resources by being reasonable and smart with their use of office materials. A lot of small business owners and employees overlook the fact that resources wasted on administrative tasks will come back to hurt them in the future. Printing is one of the most common administrative tasks that rapidly add to the overall operational cost.
Before you click on the ‘Print’ button on the screen, take a moment to consider this — a bottle of Cristal Champagne costs around $300, but if you put black ink on the same 750-ml container for your inkjet printer, the cost is around $1,350. According to a study conducted by IDC, it will be estimated that more than 314 million inkjet cartridges will be used in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in 2013. So whether you use a Dell inkjet ink cartridge for your home office or a laser printer, here are a few tips on how you can save on overall printing cost.
Take advantage of your printer’s economy mode
Not every page of your document needs to be perfect for framing. If you are just cranking a draft of a business presentation or school paper, use your printer’s economy or fast draft mode. Staying true to its name, this setting consumes less ink, resulting to lighter yet readable output. Before hitting the Print button, check your printer’s settings from the Print dialog box. Search for the Draft Mode, Toner Saver, or Economy Mode setting. If you think you can live with these results, consider making it as a default setting, turning to standard mode only for papers that need to look their best.
Purchase separate cartridges
Save on your home office’s printing cost by buying a printer that utilizes separate ink cartridges for every color, rather than a single cartridge that has all colors. If you purchase a printer with combined color cartridge, you end up getting rid of the color cartridge even if only one color is depleted. Find a printer that uses separate color cartridges, and reduce your printing expense in the long run.
Get a laser printer
If your business doesn’t print out photos or images that much but produces more text documents and web receipts, then you can save money by getting an affordable laser printer for routine jobs. While laser printers are still more expensive than inkjets, the toner’s cheaper-per-page expenses can pay for the difference over time.
Beware of any hidden printer costs
Today, you can find software programs that monitor consumable expenses, such as paper and ink. However, small and mid-size businesses need to know about the headache factor. Maintenance, compatibility, installation, and loss productivity during paper jams are among the few headaches that may add up cost over time.
Saving on Ink Cartridges
Do you have a Dell inkjet printer, an HP inkjet printer, or a Lexmark inkjet printer in your home office? Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can save on operational cost by using only the kind of printer ink designed for your printer – so, Dell Inkjet Ink for your Dell printer, and HP ink for your HP printer. Although a lot of people use generic ink to save cash, you actually end up hurting your printer and wasting more ink in the long run.
In addition, even though the printer ink is already protected by a cartridge, it will start to take on air the moment you start using it. Avoid losing ink to air by using it once a week to circulate the printer ink. You can also remove the cartridges from the printer and shake it up at least once a week.
One of the most astonishing technological advancements seen this century is additive manufacturing – what is more commonly known as 3D printing. It is the process of fabricating three dimensional objects from a digital model. These so-called 3D printers are amazing machines that print the objects layer by layer using a specific type of material. As easily as something like Dell Inkjet Ink is used to print a 2D text or image on paper with a printer, so can ceramic powders or titanium alloys be used on a compatible 3D machine to fabricate a solid object from the said material.
3D printing initially emerged around 2003. However, printing such objects was still too expensive at that point in time – largely due to the cost of the printer itself. But after almost a decade, the cost has gone down and the applications have expanded. The technology is now utilized in various fields such as construction, footwear, architecture, aerospace, the dental and medical industries, and many more.
The type of materials used for 3D printing include alloy metal, metal powders, thermoplastics, ceramic powders, photopolymer, paper, foil, plastic film, titanium alloy, and plaster. The difference in the type of printer used is not just distinguished from the material resource, but also in the way the layers are built to fabricate the object. Methods for printing involve laying the liquid layers before curing or melting the materials before producing the layers.
What makes 3D printing unique from a normal fabrication machine is that the object is reproduced exactly with the most intricate details from the digital model. Aside from creating detailed figurines or objects with moving parts, the most useful applications are those that are used for medical purposes. 3D printers have been used to produce precise prosthetic limbs or exact jaw replicas to assist those who need to replace specific parts of their body.
At the moment, 3D printers are still unable to print complex moving objects. But in the near future, scientists are predicting the use of more complex materials such as organic materials or human cells that can replicate organs needed for transplant. Instead of just making iPhone cases, maybe the mobile phone itself can be printed. The possibilities are staggering, but we all know that the human imagination combined with ingenuity has never ceased to amaze us.
Most of us only fuel our cars approximately once per week. When can we expect to get the same mileage from our laptops? Imagine charging your laptop once on a Sunday, and having it last a 40-hour work week without ever needing more juice. With ever more efficient hardware and processors, we can see that sort of performance on the horizon. So when exactly will it happen?
Despite claims made by ABC in its stories about lean finely textured beef, the USDA has approved the product which kills E Coli and President Obama’s Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack defends BPI.
False and Disparaging Statements about Lean Finely Textured Beef Cause More Than 700 Americans to Lose Jobs, Three Facilities to Close and More Than $1 Billion in Claimed Damages
DAKOTA DUNES, SD (Sept. 13, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — BPI Technology, Inc., Beef Products, Inc., and Freezing Machines, Inc. (collectively, “BPI”) filed a suit against the American Broadcast Companies, Inc. (ABC), ABC News, Inc., three ABC News reporters, and others for knowingly and intentionally publishing false and disparaging statements regarding BPI and its product, lean finely textured beef (LFTB). BPI alleges that ABC and others launched a concerted disinformation campaign against the companies, which had a significant adverse affect on BPI’s reputation, as well as a significant negative financial impact on the companies.
“For more than 30 years, our family has built and operated companies that are committed to providing consumers with wholesome, safe and nutritious lean beef. We’ve created thousands of good jobs for Americans and our lean finely textured beef has made the leaner ground beef that consumers desire more affordable,” said Eldon Roth, founder and CEO of BPI. “The blatantly false and disparaging statements made about our lean beef have done more than hurt my family and our companies; they have jeopardized the future of our employees and their families.”
In their complaint, filed Thursday in Circuit Court in Union County, South Dakota, BPI alleges that ABC and the individuals named in the suit knowingly made false, defamatory and disparaging statements regarding BPI and LFTB during a disinformation campaign this spring. These statements were made even after BPI and others sent ABC factual information about LFTB, including conclusions from USDA, FDA, food safety organizations and numerous beef industry experts that LFTB is a safe, nutritious lean beef. As a result of the disinformation campaign, BPI sales declined from approximately five million pounds of LFTB per week to less than two million pounds per week, three BPI facilities closed and more than 700 employees lost their jobs.
“Through nearly 200 false, misleading and defamatory statements, repeated continuously during a month-long disinformation campaign, ABC and other individuals knowingly misled consumers into believing that LFTB was not beef and not safe for public consumption, which is completely false,” said Dan Webb, Chairman, Winston & Strawn LLP. “BPI has filed suit because their business has been severely damaged by this conduct. As a result, we will be asking a jury to award BPI more than $1 billion in compensatory and statutory damages, plus punitive damages.” BPI seeks to recover damages for defamation, product and food disparagement, and tortious interference with business relationships.
BPI continues their ongoing efforts to correct the disinformation published about its companies and LFTB and to share factual information about LFTB. A copy of the complaint and facts about LFTB are available at www.beefisbeef.com.
About BPI: Headquartered in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, BPI is a family-owned set of companies that were founded beginning in 1976 by Eldon Roth and his wife, Regina. For more than 30 years, BPI has provided consumers with safe, wholesome, and nutritious lean beef – some of the leanest beef in the market. BPI’s lean beef has been a part of ground beef sold in the United States since 1993.
Since their inception, BPI has been recognized as a meat industry leader for food safety innovations and their commitment to making the highest-quality lean beef. The International Association for Food Protection honored BPI with its most prestigious award, the Black Pearl Award, for BPI’s efforts in advancing food safety and quality through consumer programs, employee relations, educational activities and adherence to standards. BPI was also recognized with the National Cattlemen’s Foundation’s Beef Industry Vision Award, the National Meat Association’s E. Floyd Forbes Award and the Food Quality Award.
This simply boggles the mind and another in a log list of reason why you can’t trust Obama’s rhetoric to match his actions!
From the Washington Free Beacon: REPORTS: No Live Ammo for Marines
U.S. Marines defending the American embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition, limiting their ability to respond to attacks like those this week on the U.S. consulate in Cairo.
Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson “did not permit U.S. Marine guards to carry live ammunition,” according to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs spotted by Nightwatch. “She neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.”
U.S. officials have yet to confirm or comment on the reports. Time magazine’s Battleland blog reported Thursday “Senior U.S. officials late Wednesday declined to discuss in detail the security at either Cairo or Benghazi, so answers may be slow in coming.”
If true, the reports indicate that Patterson shirked her obligation to protect U.S. interests, Nightwatch states.
“She did not defend U.S. sovereign territory and betrayed her oath of office,” the report states. “She neutered the Marines posted to defend the embassy, trusting the Egyptians over the Marines.”
While Marines are typically relied on to defend U.S. territory abroad, such as embassies, these reports indicate that the Obama administration was relying on Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-backed government to ensure American security, a move observers are questioning as violence in Cairo continues to rage.
This past Tuesday, September 11, 2012, as our nation solemnly remembered the brutal Islamist attack on our nation eleven years ago, our U.S. Ambassador to Libya was assassinated and our embassy in Cairo was stormed by violent Islamists. Even though both countries have now spoken out against the attacks, their silence during the violence made them passively complicit in the abhorrent actions by their people. In particular, Egyptian President Morsi’s lengthy delay in condemning the attack on our embassy was completely unacceptable.
What was the “excuse” for the violence? A movie about the Prophet Mohammed.
Even worse, the initial response by our own nation to the Cairo attack was an apology by the U.S. Embassy. It read in part: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” (Note: We were going to include a link to the full original statement here, but it’s mysteriously no longer available!)
This is shameful. The American people know better, and so should those who speak for us.
In fact, the response by our embassy was SO appalling, that the White House was forced to issue a disavowal stating, “The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.” See HERE for more on the issue.
It is CRITICAL that we speak with ONE VOICE to let the Administration and the U.S. Congress know that we will no longer tolerate sending our tax dollars to Egypt and Libya until this latest attack is addressed to the satisfaction of our nation and until the regimes in both countries can prove that they will not use the funds to further jihadist causes. Though the leaders have now condemned the attacks in their countries, we don’t find those responses to be strong enough or timely enough to warrant the gift of hard-earned taxpayer money.
Enough is enough!
These recent violent incidents are reminiscent of the 1979 Iranian attacks on our embassy, and of the Muslim violence resulting from Danish cartoonists’ depictions of Mohammed.
Further, the attacks in Egypt and Libya are taking place at the same time that Egyptian President (Muslim Brotherhood candidate), Mohammed Morsi is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. and meet with President Obama. They are occurring at the same time our own State Department is assisting efforts to curtail free speech through their participation in the Istanbul Process and U.N. Resolution 16/18 (more on that issue in future e-mails).
And of all dates—these most recent attacks on our embassies took place on September 11th. The symbolism couldn’t be any more blatant.
The important question, though, is this: What kind of response will come from the American citizenry? Will we be silent—or will we speak up?
A 1-minute phone call by you about this matter—magnified by 240,000 other ACT! for America activists will make a tremendous noise that the U.S. Congress will have NO OPTION but to hear. Will you join us?
Our federal leaders need to clearly understand that the American people will hold them accountable—especially at the voting booths this November—if they reward the reprehensible behavior within these two countries by giving them your hard-earned tax dollars.
** URGENT ACTION ITEM **
Please take a moment today to call the numbers listed below. If the line is busy, keep trying! If you get an answering machine, leave your message on it!
Tell these members of our national leadership respectfully, but firmly, that you are opposed to ANY military funding for Egypt or Libya at this time, and that you will be watching to see if they receive it.
|Speaker John Boehner||Speaker’s Office: 202-225-0600
Personal Office: 202-225-6205
|Majority Leader Eric Cantor||202-225-2815|
|Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy||202-225-2915|
|Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi||202-225-0100|
|Minority Whip Steny Hoyer||202-225-4131|
|Majority Leader Harry Reid||202-224-3542|
|Majority Whip Richard Durbin||Leadership Office: 202-224-9447
Personal Office: 202-224-2152
|Minority Leader Mitch McConnell||Leadership Office: 202-224-3135
Personal Office: 202-224-2541
|Minority Whip Jon Kyl||Leadership Office: 202-224-2708
Personal Office: 202-224-4521
REMEMBER, YOUR VOICE COUNTS!
IF EACH OF US DOES JUST A LITTLE, TOGETHER WE CAN
ACCOMPLISH A LOT!
Thanks to Act For America for this post.
Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for PersonalLiberty.com. I have a major political announcement: the biggest one of my life. Before I tell you about the most important decision of my political life and a little about my personal story that led to this decision, let me first cut to the chase.
If Obama is re-elected on Nov. 6, America and capitalism both face grave danger. I believe America as we know it and love it, the America of our Founding Fathers, the America that embraces capitalism and offers the famous American Dream, the America represented by the U.S. Constitution, the America of freedom, the America that allows the pursuit of happiness — that America is finished. Gone. In the rearview mirror. I don’t believe we ever recover from another four years of Barack Obama.
As Obama’s college classmate at Columbia University, I’ve reported for four years now on his plan to overwhelm the U.S. economy and wipe out capitalism. It’s based on the strategy of two Columbia University professors, Cloward and Piven. Obama is following it to perfection. But he has only just begun. He’s actually tried to be reasonable for his first four years because his goal was to be re-elected, so he could finish the job. So he had to be moderate to hold his powder. To hold back from his true radical self.
Read More @ Personal Liberty
No Better Way to Mark the $16 Trillion Debt Than to Indulge in Some Free Cupcakes
Arlington, Va.— Today Bankrupting America will be giving away 500 cupcakes on Capitol Hill to commemorate the special moment our national debt surpassed the sweet $16 trillion mark, an unprecedented sum amounting to more than $50,900 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. The “Cupcake Joy” truck will be located at Union Station from 12:00-1:00 p.m. and Federal Center from 1:15-2:00 p.m. handing out free debt-reduction cupcakes.
“Bankrupting America’s goal is to highlight our staggering $16 trillion national debt and urge members of Congress to work together and make debt reduction a priority,” said Public Notice Policy Director Lenwood Brooks. “Washington spending is like a sugar high – it may feel good right now, but it does nothing to create long-term, sustainable growth. Americans are rightfully worried that we’re just digging ourselves deeper into a hole, so why isn’t Washington?”
A recent Public Notice poll conducted by the Tarrance Group found that behind jobs and the economy (37 percent), wasteful government spending and federal deficits (17 percent) are the top issues on voters’ minds heading into the election. Additionally, a strong majority of voters see an impact from the rising federal debt, with a majority (67 percent) saying that the economy has been impacted and 53 percent say they/their own family has been impacted by the debt.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, America has been in the red for 45 of the last 46 months. The goal of today’s campaign is to underscore that $16 trillion in debt is nothing to celebrate, and if we continue to punt on tough decisions and put off confronting our spending crisis, our nation will be well on its way to a $17 trillion debt in 2013.
Bankrupting America infographic showing how we got to $16 trillion.