Caught On Tape: What Happens In China When You Don't "Exceed Expectations"
by Tyler Durden - Jun 19, 2016 9:50 PM
In exceptional America's new normal, there is no consequence for under-performance. In China, however, as this shocking clip shows, for Rural Commercial Bank employees that do not "exceed themselves" there is one punishment... Public Spanking!
As China People's Daily reports, a bank manager spanks employees at a Rural Commercial Bank for not "exceeding themselves" in Changzhi, Northern China...
Don't Believe the Fed's Stress Tests
June 20, 2016 7:00 AM EDT
Mark Whitehouse Bloomberg.com
This week, the Federal Reserve plans to announce the results of stress tests aimed at ensuring that the largest U.S. banks could weather a major crisis. With the exercise in its sixth year, it's worth asking whether the banks are really better prepared.
The answer, according to an alternative measure of systemic risk: not so much.
For all the Fed's laudable efforts to make the stress tests credible, the exercise still doesn’t bear much relation to what actually happens in a crisis. For one, it assumes that banks could get by with very little equity capital. Also, it looks primarily at how each institution fares in isolation, and not enough at how distress at some banks can affect others. Hence, a passing grade doesn’t mean that a bank is prepared for the worst.
A group of economists at New York University has taken a different approach. Instead of trying to parse banks' myriad holdings and simulate a financial crisis in all its complexity, they built a simpler model. Drawing on the relationship between banks' stock prices and the market as a whole, it estimates how much banks stand to lose in a rout similar to that of 2008 -- and how much added equity capital they would have to raise to avoid distress.
The result isn't comforting. As of June 10, the NYU model estimated that the six largest U.S. banks would face a capital shortfall of more than $350 billion in the event of a 40 percent decline in the stock market. That's better than the $430 billion estimated shortfall of six years ago, but worse than last year's $213 billion. The sharp increase during the past year probably stems from concerns about plunging oil prices and faltering global growth, which have driven down bank stocks and boosted their volatility.
Of course, no risk measure is perfect. Still, the evidence suggests that the Fed's stress tests have a long way to go.
15 Facts About The Imploding U.S. Economy That The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Want You To See
ZeroHedge.com Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,
You are about to see undeniable evidence that the U.S. economy has been slowing down for quite some time. And it is vital that we focus on the facts, because all over the Internet you are going to find lots and lots of people that have opinions about what is going on with the economy. And of course the mainstream media is always trying to spin things to make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton look good, because those that work in the mainstream media are far more liberal than the American population as a whole. It is true that I also have my own opinions, but as an attorney I learned that opinions are not any good unless you have facts to back them up. So please allow me a few moments to share with you evidence that clearly demonstrates that we have already entered a major economic slowdown. The following are 15 facts about the imploding U.S. economy that the mainstream media doesn’t want you to see…
1. Industrial production has now declined for nine months in a row. We have never seen this happen outside of a recession in all of U.S. history.
2. U.S. commercial bankruptcies have risen on a year over year basis for seven months in a row and are now up 51 percent since September.
3. The delinquency rate on commercial and industrial loans has been rising since January 2015.
4. Total business sales in the United States have been steadily dropping since the middle of 2014. No, I did not say 2015. Total business sales have been in decline for nearly two years now, and we just found out that they dropped again…
Total business sales in the US did in April what they’ve been doing since July 2014: they dropped: -2.9% from a year ago, to $1.28 trillion (not adjusted for seasonal differences and price changes), the Censuses Bureau reported on Tuesday. That’s where sales had been in April 2013!
5. U.S. factory orders have been dropping for 18 months in a row.
6. The Cass Shipping Index has been falling on a year over year basis for 14 consecutive months.
7. U.S. coal production has dropped to the lowest level in 35 years.
8. Goldman Sachs has its own internal tracker of the U.S. economy, and it has fallen to the lowest level since the last recession.
9. JPMorgan’s “recession indicators” have risen to the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.
10. Federal tax receipts and state tax receipts usually both start to fall as we enter a new recession, and that is precisely what is taking place right now.
11. The Federal Reserve’s Labor Market Conditions Index has been falling for five months in a row.
12. The employment numbers that the government released for last month were the worst that we have seen in six years.
13. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, layoff announcements at major firms are running 24 percent higher this year than they were at this time last year.
14. Online job postings on the business networking site LinkedIn have been declining steadily since February after 73 months in a row of growth.
15. The number of temporary workers in the United States peaked and started falling precipitously before the recession of 2001 even started. The exact same thing happened just prior to the beginning of the 2008 recession. So would it surprise you to learn that the number of temporary workers in the United States peaked in December and has fallen dramatically since then?
Earlier today, we learned that two of our biggest corporations will be laying off even more workers. Bank of America, which is holding more of our money than any other bank in the country, has announced that it is going to be cutting about 8,000 more workers…
Irate McHenry County residents use $1 bills to pay property taxes
Amanda Marrazzo Chicago Tribune
Two McHenry County (Illinois) residents this week had a single statement to make about rising property tax bills.
Jeff McGrath and Dan Aylward paid thousands of dollars of real estate taxes with $1 bills at the county treasurer's office and vowed to do so again in September and every due date afterward until the taxes stop increasing.
McGrath, who lives in Woodstock, where he also owns an automotive business, marched into the treasurer's office Monday, the due date to pay the first installment of 2015 real estate taxes. He carried in two clear plastic bags. One, he said, was filled with $9,995.66 in singles (and some coins) along with a check for $1,456 to pay his business real estate tax bill of $11,451.
The second bag was filled with $5,757.44 in singles and coins to pay his residential tax, he said.
He said he did that and will do it again Sept. 13 when the second installment is due to make one "plain and simple point."
"We are fed up with getting nickeled and dimed," McGrath said.
Aylward, 67, of McHenry, also arrived Monday with neatly bundled packages of singles stacked inside a black suitcase — along with two dimes — to pay a bill of $5,734.18.
He noted that he paid the county more than owed. "I gave them the two cents for my opinion," he said with a laugh.
Aylward said he paid a $4,500 tax bill the same way about 20 years ago.
Fed up with a 26% tax hike, Jeff McGrath, a Woodstock resident and business owner, explains why he used sixteen thousand one-dollar bills to pay his property and business taxes in McHenry County. Two other residents did the same earlier this week.
It was then that he met Bob Anderson of Wonder Lake, a barber, school board member and political activist. Anderson help Aylward arrange this year's "property real estate tax protest."
Anderson dedicates his life to eliminating big government. "Otherwise, how can there be tax relief?" he said.
McGrath didn't know Aylward and Anderson, but McGrath and Aylward were aware through others that each was paying his bill the same way.
McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller said that as a county taxpayer herself, she understands the frustration but asks that residents understand she runs an office of 13 employees, including herself, who deal with more than 138,500 tax bills. Coming into her office to pay with loads of cash only hurts her employees, and they are not at fault, she said.
McGrath said his residential tax bill has grown from $2,500 when he first built his ranch home in 1999. This year alone, he said, his tax bill jumped 26 percent, from $9,100 to more than $11,600, and he has heard no good explanation why.
Taxes on his business when he built it in 2003 were about $7,000, and that cost has risen to $23,000, he said.
"It's out of control," he said. "I can't stay here and continue to do business. I don't see an end in sight here."
McGrath said he budgets 5 percent a year for tax increases for each property. However, this year alone the house jumped 26 percent "and nobody can say why or tell me who is at fault," he said.
He said he already owns land in Wisconsin, where he plans on moving his home and business once he can sell the Woodstock properties, which is hindered because of the increasing taxes, he said.
McGrath said with the soaring real estate taxes, not only does the county and the state lose residents but businesses such as his. And if he shuts down his business, his seven employees will be out of work, further compounding a loss to the county.
By bringing the tax payment in cash, he said, he wanted the county to feel some discomfort, as he does when paying taxes. His loot was so much that it had to be taken to a local bank, accompanied by a county employee and sheriff's deputy, to be counted. The county's money counter jammed when trying to count the bills.
Aylward has lived in his McHenry home since 1984, when he bought it from his mother, who could not afford the taxes any longer. The home was built on a wooded lot along the Fox River by his great uncle as a summer home in 1911.
Today he fears he may lose it because of climbing taxes.
Both men say there is too much government and way too much being paid to school administrators. Both men say though the market value of their homes may not be considered pricey, their properties won't sell because the taxes are too high.
Like McGrath, Aylward said he will continue to pay his taxes in cash until his message is received and he finds some relief.
"The American Dream is to own a home," Aylward said. "(My home) is more than the American Dream. To me it's part of my family. When I leave this driveway (because) I'm forced to sell it because I can't afford to pay the taxes anymore, I will cry. ... I will fight with every breath that I take."
Treasurer Miller asks residents to understand that property was reassessed in 2015, which affected property values.
She said the last time she saw someone try to pay taxes in cash was when she was deputy treasurer in the late 1990s. A man attempted to pay thousands of dollars in real estate taxes with pennies. He was sent to the bank.
"I understand your grief, but I don't know what you are going to prove by putting more burden on my staff in processing your payment," she said.