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Although Egypt is a relatively small presence in the world economy there are a number of important political and financial implications to the upheaval there. Many of these implications have particular relevance to the US economy which is still struggling to recover following the last few years of downturn.
Egypt is not one of the biggest exporters of oil but it does have a key influence on the supply chain coming out of the Middle East. The current government in Egypt under Mubarak is sympathetic to the US and other western countries. A new government could have serious implications to the supply of oil and in turn prices. Whenever there is conflict in the Middle East oil prices soar and this is likely to happen if the situation in Egypt is not calmed soon.
Fluctuating oil prices in turn has a serious impact on the US auto industry. This industry is one of the backbones of the US economy and is still fragile following the recent deprivations of global recession. If oil prices rise again following the upheaval in Egypt this could damage all the headway made in the last few years to build up the auto industry again.
As well as the supply of oil Egypt also occupies a prominent position in the trade route of a wide range of goods coming out of Asia. The Suez Canal is a major link in the global trade chain of many key Asian products including electronic equipment, computers, cars and more. This could push up prices of basic goods which would have to be passed on to consumers. This could be another blow to fragile recovering economies.
It is important to remember that these days all countries are connected through the world economy. No single government can protect their assets against upheaval in other parts of the world as everything has a knock on effect. If a peaceful solution cannot be found soon in Egypt the US and other key economies could be negatively affected.]]>
Goldman Sachs has tap into their private clients to inject new capital into the *most visited website in the world FACEBOOK. With this investment from one of the largest investment companies, it creates an important question that we need to ask:
What is the value of social media?
This is a new and interesting concept. Facebook has not released any financials and now they are valued at $50Billion. They are just recently beginning to build a marketing platform and the expectation is that with over 300 million personal profiles their marketing will be more direct.
If you are looking at this from Facebook’s perspective, it makes more sense to receive private money rather than a public offering. Private money is less expensive and offers more control over the company. Many have suggested that Goldman Sachs is placing themselves in the inside circle of Facebook so that when they take their business to an ipo they will be in position to do the offering.
I find this to be very interesting to the effect that Facebook is creating a new financial market and creating a new factor of evaluation. Social Media!
How do you value social media? Can you value an individual’s social reach?
This is an interesting platform that will begin to take shape, if I have more Facebook friends than you, Am I more valuable than you?
There is definitely a great deal of upside if Facebook would go public with the amount of interest it would command but what do the financials tell us, what is driving the revenue and when and where will we see the return?
SaveTheUSEconomy will continue to provide insight into this financial and marketing shift.]]>
Now my fellow American’s is our time to become ‘Clutch Players’. Our nation is on the line and we need you to come through when our America team needs you the most. November 2, 2010. Tomorrow!!!
I was at dinner the other night with a group of influential business owners in my local area and they had mentioned to me that they were not interested in voting on November 2, due to the fact that they didn’t feel confident in any of the parties. THIS IS LUDICROUS!
A nation that is founded on the freedom of choice and the power of the people and at this critical time we are saying that we’d rather leave it up to Big Government and just let them take control and run our nation.
I know that through my site Save The US Economy.com I have been on and off on my focus and commitment to improving our economy and our nation.
I will make this statement: From this day onward, I will commit to myself and my site to the speaking out, helping and improving our nation by speaking, providing, and activity seeking that which is:
The Principles this Great Nation was founded on.
Focus on benefiting the individuals of this great Nation.
I originally formed SaveTheUSEconomy.com with the intent to provide individuals the tools they needed to improve our economy with information and tools they needed to start their own businesses or improve their businesses.
From now on, SaveTheUSEconomy.com will educate Americans on what Government is doing to our economy. We all need to understand the critical factors of the role of Government on our economy and also how the financial movers shape our economy, and effects you and your family.
SaveTheUSEconomy.com will provide the resources needed to help individuals secure their own financial future.
I desperately urge you, my fellow American’s and good people of this Nation: Research the candidates running for office in our local government, the state government and all the way up to Congress. Let your voice be heard. Vote for those that are honest, caring, and most important, stand for the freedom’s our founders instilled into this great nation.
God Be With & In God We Trust]]>
Is the US Government bound by the Constitution or not? Do those representing our Country understand or even care about the Constitution that holds our Government together?
In a recent posting by on FoxNews.com report we find a shocking story of a Congressman from Illinois publicly stating that the Constitution holds no relevance to the current Health Care Bill. This is Shocking!
Confronted by an angry blogger with a camera Thursday, an Illinois congressman said in front of several constituents that he doesn’t care whether the new health care law violates the Constitution, as some critics have claimed.
Blogger AllahPundit from the conservative Web site HotAir.com asked Rep. Phil Hare which part of the Constitution authorizes the government to mandate that all Americans buy a private product such as health insurance. The Illinois Democrat replied, “I don’t worry about the Constitution on this.”
“Jackpot, brother,” AllahPundit said.
Hare cringed in disgust and said, “Oh please. What I care more about, I care more about the people dying every day who don’t have health care.”
“You care more about that than the U.S. Constitution that you swore to uphold?” AllahPundit shouted back.
“I believe it says we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Hare countered.
When an observer pointed out that those words come from the Declaration of Independence, Hare said, “Doesn’t matter to me. Either one.”
When AllahPundit pressed Hare to answer where in the Constitution government is granted the authority to mandate the purchase of health insurance, Hare said he didn’t know.
“But at the end of the day, I want to bring insurance to every person that lives in this country,” Hare said.
AllahPundit said the law won’t do that.
The confrontation was the latest example of Democrats going off message in their sales pitch to Americans of the virtues of the controversial health care law.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the health care law would address the “maldistribution of income in America.”
“Too often, much of late, the last couple three years, the maldistribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy and the middle income class is left behind,” Baucus said after the Senate passed a “fix it” bill to make changes to the health care law.
“Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America,” he said. “This legislation will have the effect of addressing that maldistribution of income in America.”
I have spoken to a large number of small business owners and individuals that run private businesses. I have spoken to stay at home Mom’s, and every class of American I came in contact with to view their stance on the current Health Care Legislation. NOT ONE PERSON I SPOKE WITH SUPPORTED THE BILL!.
Interesting, I’m sure if you were to ask around you would find a similar result.
This bill was not ‘For the People’ or ‘By the People’ as Abraham Lincoln wished.
If we look past the manditory health care plan you will find several key factors that have devastating effects on the economy and small businesses.
1. Health Care plan will produce a harder economic climate for Small Businesses
The plan states that- It is a requirement that people purchase health insurance. This means that more dollars that were available for other purposes in the past, will now be directed to health care in the future. Unless your small business serves the healthcare industry, these dollars are not headed your way. Also, since nothing in the bill actually reduces heathcare and heath insurance costs, but actually increases them, an additional amount of dollars will flow into healthcare just to meet the rising costs. These are dollars your businesses will not see from your customers because they are required to divert them elsewhere.
President Obama said that they will be providing “SHORT TERM” small business loans to help with this cost.
2. Higher health insurance expenses for Businesses
As noted above, nothing in ObamaCare reduces expenses. The only way to reduce cost is to increase supply or decrease demand. ObamaCare increases the demand for health care while doing nothing to increase the supply of health care. You will see your premiums increase if you provide healthcare to your employees or yourself.
3. Penalties and Fines
For some businesses, you’ll pay a penalty (fine) if you don’t provide health insurance for your employees.
4. Say Goodbye to Part-Time Workers
The penalty for not providing health care to employees is the same for part-time and full-time employees. Since this penalty is part of the overall compensation expense for employing someone, it doesn’t make sense to employ part-timers.
The US Economy was on the verge of bankruptcy before the Health Care bill and now the cost are only going up.]]>
Please make it stop!!!! Please we can’t take it anymore.
As you can tell from the map I created based on the current Labor Department numbers. The unemployment numbers continue to increase. I remember hearing that the U.S. unemployment are at generation highs and can’t go higher. Well they have and there is no end in sight. I hear of far more people losing their jobs then those finding jobs.
Small business owners are being pushed against the wall and they don’t have any room to support their staff to stay in business.
As Ed Morrissey from Hotair.com explains about the current health care bill the future is not promising for the current unemployment numbers.
This change in the parallel bill would have a big impact on small businesses, who already have trouble competing with their larger competitors. It will force businesses into either paying for benefit packages that they can’t afford with their current staff levels, pushing them either into cutting staff to recoup the costs or shutting their doors altogether. It will have a major impact on the part-time labor market, which supports student workers and second earners in families under normal economic conditions.
What does this mean for the American worker, more lost jobs, higher unemployment and policies that destroy our freedoms.
The Chinese can save both themselves and U.S. taxpayers by selling a large portion of their U.S. Treasury holdings this year. In fact, this economic missile may be the only way to save taxpayers in 2010.
Foreigners hold about $3.6 trillion in U.S. Treasuries, and foreign central banks hold two-thirds of that. The good news is that the Chinese and Japanese, combined, hold at least $1.5 trillion, or 12% of Treasury debt outstanding.
The Chinese and Japanese are our friends for two reasons: (1) Their net purchases help keep bond yields low, and (2) Chinese warnings about not buying more Treasuries or in fact selling Treasuries can send shock waves through capital markets.
Congress and the Obama administration don’t seem overly concerned with huge federal deficits. But the administration does understand the crisis that would be created in capital markets were the Chinese to become net Treasury sellers, even for a short period of time.
The Chinese can act as a constraint on the reckless federal spending of Congress and the administration. In fact, the Chinese may be the only realistic constraint in 2010. The administration seems to have ignored the voting results from Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Some analysts say the Chinese won’t be net sellers of Treasuries. What is to prevent the Chinese from shorting the U.S. equity market before they announce they are going to be net sellers of Treasuries?
The Chinese can lecture the administration about excessive federal outlays, but nothing would be more effective than dumping Treasuries, even for a short time. Such action would panic investors, and as a result the administration may well agree to constrain spending to placate the Chinese.
No one wants havoc in the capital markets, but the Chinese can do U.S. taxpayers a major favor by dumping Treasuries just as soon as the Chinese can buy their put options on U.S. equities.
U.S. equities will quickly recover their lost ground and much more if the administration would agree to constrain federal outlays. Excessive federal spending and regulatory involvement in the economy are holding back equity gains.
The sooner the Chinese dump Treasuries, the better. It is a message that all members of Congress, as well as the Obama administration, need to hear. The Chinese needed to take such action during the Bush years, but that is water under the bridge.
The Chinese can see how the Japanese ruined their economy by growing public debt outstanding to over 225% of GDP in 2010 from 68% in 1991, according to IMF data. The U.S. outstanding public debt to GDP ratio was also 68% in 1991. In 2008 it was 70%. At the end of this year it will be about 94%.
The current Congress and administration seem intent on repeating the mistakes of Japan that in the end will also ruin the U.S. economy.
The Chinese need the U.S. economy to thrive and buy the large volume of Chinese exports, thereby sustaining growth in the Chinese economy. A strong U.S. economy is in the interest of the Chinese, who would face major social and political issues should the U.S. economy falter and Chinese unemployment rates increase significantly.
No one wants the U.S. to be the next Greece, and the sooner the Congress and administration are forced to start making cuts in government spending the better. State and local governments need to take the same action.
Large deficits and increases in outstanding public debt in mature economies like the U.S. and Japan only act to slow economic growth as the resulting tax burdens cripple incentives for innovation and expansion.
The Chinese may be our salvation in 2010.
By MIKE COSGROVE]]>
We all have heard of the closed fist methods of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, the socialist president with a thirst for power and oil.
Chavez provides a lesson in history with regard to government intervention and paints a new picture of current health care plan purposed by President Obama. In 1998 Chavez wanted to win the hearts of the majority in his country during the 1998 election. He imposed price controls on hundreds of goods to make food and other essentials more affordable for low-income people. He wanted to make sure those that were struggling could eat. This was a very admirable goal, but with intervention came sever consequences.
An Economic Lesson: The Price of a Product reflects the costs of the transactions and processes required to make it.
The price controls may have given Hugo Chavez a quick political stimulus response but the lasting effects were devastating. The result of the price controls threw the markets for the food products out of whack (and his nation’s economy). Today the only place to obtain food in Venezuela is on the black market and you know what the prices are like on the black market.
As we can observe from this experience, governments have good intentions to provide a good or service to the entire public by stepping into the market to impose their new ideas with the intent of correcting the market. As we have learned with Venezuela, when the government steps in to correct a ‘market failure’, they end up creating a worse market failure, complete chaos.
What can we learn from Venezuela as it relates to the U.S. health care bill? Let the market run its course- government intervention rarely solves economic problems. The solutions to our problems come by innovation in the market, not by trying to appease all with manipulation.
I definitely don’t want to be getting my healthcare off the black market.]]>
The fresh reading on the nation’s economic standing, released by the Commerce Department on Friday, was better than the government’s initial estimate a month ago of 5.7 percent growth. It would mark the strongest showing in six years.
Even so, it didn’t change the expectation of much slower economic activity in the current January-to-March quarter.
Roughly two-thirds of last quarter’s growth came from a burst of manufacturing — but not because consumer demand was especially strong. In fact, consumer spending weakened at the end of the year, even more than the government first thought.
Instead, factories were churning out goods for businesses that had let their stockpiles dwindle to save cash. If consumer spending remains lackluster as expected, that burst of manufacturing — and its contribution to economic activity — will fade.
The signs aren’t hopeful. Consumer confidence took an unexpected dive in February. Unemployment stands at 9.7 percent. Home foreclosures are at record highs. And many Americans are still having trouble getting loans.
Forecasters at the National Association for Business Economics predict the economy will expand at only a 3 percent pace in the first quarter of this year. The next two quarters should log similar growth, they predict.
Unlike past rebounds driven by the spending of shoppers, this one is hinging more on spending by businesses and foreigners.
Stronger spending by businesses and foreigners contributed to the bump-up in economic growth in the fourth quarter. So did the fact that companies stopped slashing their stockpiles of goods. During the worst of the recession, companies cut inventories at record rates.
Businesses boosted spending on equipment and software at a sizzling 18.2 percent pace, the fastest in nine years. Foreigners snapped up U.S.-made goods and services, which propelled exports to grow at 22.4 pace, the most in 13 years.
And the slower drawdown in businesses’ stockpiles accounted for nearly 4 percentage points of the fourth-quarter’s overall growth, even more than the government first estimated.
Consumers, however, lost energy. They increased their spending at a pace of just 1.7 percent. That was weaker than first thought and down from a 2.8 percent growth rate in the third quarter.
Looking ahead, consumer spending is expected to aid the recovery — not lead it. That’s one reason why the recovery is expected to move forward at only a moderate pace of around 3 percent in coming quarters.
In normal times, such growth would be considered respectable. But the nation is emerging from the worst recession since the 1930s. Sizzling growth in the 5 percent range would be needed for an entire year to drive down the unemployment rate, now 9.7 percent, by just 1 percentage point.
For all of this year, the economy is expected to grow 3.1 percent, according to the NABE forecasters. Though modest, that pace would mark a big improvement from 2009, when the economy contracted by 2.4 percent — the worst showing since 1946.
As government stimulus wanes and Federal Reserve economic-support programs end, the economy — especially the fragile housing market — could suffer. Economists say the odds of the economy sliding back into a recession this year are low, but they won’t rule it out.
In appearances on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said record-low interest rates are still needed to make sure the recovery becomes firmly rooted and to help ease high unemployment.
If gains from inventories and exports are taken out, the economy last quarter grew at just a 1.6 percent pace.
And, improvements in the housing market also tailed off at the end of last year — despite massive government support.
There’s worry inside and outside the Fed about how housing will fare once a homebuyer tax credit ends in the spring and the Fed stops a mortgage-securities buying program that has lowered mortgage rates and boosted sales.
Source: AP News / MSNBC]]>