Ford Motor Company Is Making Record Profits – By Shipping Our Jobs Overseas

On Tuesday, Ford Motor Company reported a record breaking profit for the third quarter.  Ford earned 1.7 billion dollars during the quarter, which was way up from a profit of $997 million a year ago during the same time period.  Ford CEO Alan Mulally is being hailed as a miracle worker, and investors are giddy about the future of the company.  So is all of this success by Ford translating into good jobs for American workers?  No.  As described in a recent article on MSNBC, Mulally has been “revamping Ford’s U.S. and global manufacturing operation to be cheaper, more efficient and more flexible”.  In other words, Mulally has been getting rid of American workers in droves.  Since Mulally took over as CEO, Ford has slashed its North American work force by nearly half.  Ford has shut down or plans to shut down a dozen U.S. manufacturing facilities.  Today, only about 40 percent of Ford’s 178,000 workers are employed in North America, and a lot of those jobs are in Canada and Mexico.  In fact, the number of Ford cars produced in Mexico continues to grow rapidly.  The truth is that this is yet another example that proves that what is good for Wall Street is not necessarily good for average American workers. (Read More...)

The 2010 Commodity Bubble

Over the past several decades, the world financial system has produced a seemingly endless series of bubbles.  For example, there was the “dot com bubble”, the “housing bubble” and the “yen carry trade”.  So what bubbles are being created currently?  Well, nobody wants much real estate right now and investors are still a bit wary of the stock market.  Instead, money has been flooding into U.S. Treasuries and into commodities.  In 2010, agricultural commodities have been going crazy, precious metals have been setting records and even the price of oil is now starting to move up.  All over the globe, there is a growing lack of trust in paper currencies, and that is helping to fuel the move towards commodities.  Unfortunately, “the 2010 commodity bubble” is going to have a very real impact on American consumers.  As the prices of wheat, corn, pork and oil continue to rise on world markets, it is inevitable that those price increases will be passed on to the rest of us.  (Read More...)

Why The Chinese Monopoly On Rare Earth Elements Is So Incredibly Dangerous

Most Americans have no idea why rare earth elements are important or why the Chinese monopoly on them is so dangerous.  But now that China is enforcing strict new quotas on the export of these metals a lot more people are going to start learning about them.  So just exactly what are they?  Well, “rare earth elements” is a name that has been given to 17 metals from the middle of the Periodic Table with nearly unpronounceable names such as lanthanum, cerium, tantalum, neodymium and europium.  These metals are used in an increasing number of high technology products.  Everything from iPods to wind turbines to missile-guidance systems use these metals.  Unfortunately, today China controls over 90 percent of the world supply of rare earth elements.  This puts China in an incredibly powerful position. (Read More...)

Is This The Dirtiest Election Cycle Of All Time?: The 8 Most Vicious Political Attack Ads Of 2010

With just a few precious days to go until the November elections, politicians across the United States are pulling out all the stops in an effort to get elected.  Vicious attack ads are seemingly everywhere.  In fact, many analysts are already proclaiming that 2010 is the dirtiest election cycle of all time.  When it comes to politics, the truth is that it is a lot easier to communicate one really bad thing about your opponent than it is to communicate a whole bunch of small positive things about yourself.  As the old saying goes, drivers are not going to slow down to look at a pretty sunset, but they certainly will slow down to look at a really bad car wreck.  In the waning weeks of the 2010 election, candidates across the United States are desperately attempting to manufacture those “car wreck moments”.  This has resulted in an absolute flood of vicious political attack ads popping up on television in recent days.  If the Founding Fathers could look back on us now, do you think they would be proud of how we are conducting ourselves?    (Read More...)

Mortgage Investors To Bank Of America: We’re Pissed And We Want Our 47 Billion Dollars Back

Everyone knew that the foreclosure fraud crisis was going to spawn a festival of lawsuits, and now it looks like it is already beginning.  The New York Federal Reserve Bank is part of a consortium of eight large institutional investment firms that has launched an effort to force Bank of America to repurchase $47 billion worth of mortgages packaged into bonds by its Countrywide Financial unit.  It turns out that most mortgage bond contracts explicitly require the repurchase of loans when the quality of the loans falls short of promises made by the sellers.  As most of us know by now, many of these mortgages that were packaged together into “AAA rated” securities were actually a bunch of junk.  But this is just the beginning.  There are going to be hordes of lawsuits stemming from this crisis and it is going to take years and years for this thing to work through the legal system.  All of the big players in the U.S. mortgage industry are going to be paralyzed for an extended period of time by this crisis, and that means that buying a home and achieving the American Dream is going to become a lot harder for millions of Americans.  Not only that, if mortgage lending institutions end up being forced to take back gigantic mountains of bad mortgages it could end up sinking a whole lot of them.  The implications for the U.S. financial system would be staggering.  (Read More...)

Insider Trading Is Legal For Members Of Congress – And They Refuse To Pass A Law That Would Change That

Is insider trading wrong?  Most Americans would say that it is.  In fact, some very wealthy and very prominent Americans (including Martha Stewart) have gone to prison for it.  It just is not right for those with inside information that is not generally available to the public to make huge profits in the stock market by making key trades based on that information.  But there is one group, members of the U.S. Congress, that can do all the insider trading they want and get away with it.  That is because insider trading is perfectly legal for members of Congress.  Yes, you read that correctly.  So how would that work?  Well, for example, a member of Congress may know that a law that is about to be proposed would have a very positive effect on a particular company and could buy up a ton of stock in that company a few days before that law is introduced.  Isn’t that wrong?  Of course.  Is there any law against it?  Not at all.  (Read More...)

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