Markets

After six straight months of gains in consumer spending the April numbers showed no change from March, according to the Commerce Department. This was a surprise to some who have been tracking such things as the University of Michigan’s index of consumer confidence (higher), consumers’ expectations on the economy over the next 12 months (higher), moderate real job creation (higher), savings rate (higher) and manufacturing activity (higher). 

More than a dozen top American banks were involved in a conspiracy to swindle taxpayers by rigging auctions in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market, according to an indictment filed by the Department of Justice and multiple lawsuits across the country.

The day after the “flash crash” in the stock market on May 6th, Richard Russell, the octogenarian author of the Dow Theory Letters, said:

The banking cartel’s manipulation of supposedly “free” markets is coming under increasing fire as a broad coalition of activists, legislators, and non-profit groups target the Federal Reserve System with lawsuits, investigations, criminal complaints, and federal transparency legislation. Now whistleblowers, and even some government officials, are also taking aim at “irregularities” in the precious-metals market being orchestrated by the banking cartel and its government allies.

"Congress is to be applauded for tackling financial regulatory reform," wrote U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas J. Donahue in an op-ed piece published yesterday by the D.C. political journal, The Hill. But for most of the piece, Donahue appeared to be applauding with one hand, using the other to point to what the Chamber regards as a severe overreach in the regulatory bill now before the Senate.

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