Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ominous Opening to October

I don't want to labor too long over this, but I predicted a crash this month way back when.

Unlike others, I actually liked and paid attention in my history classes. 1929, 1987, 2001, 2008.... they coming a lot quicker and regular now.

Since then, stocks gained after the holiday and I was told China’s economic growth in ‘proper range,’ (is it?) even though China’s economic crisis has local colleges on edge

The Globe is worried economic crisis there will hurt Chinese enrollment that is keeping the schools' heads above water in Bo$ton, as it is "similar to many universities around Boston, the number of international students at BU, especially from China, has grown rapidly in recent years. The school added more than 1,000 Chinese students over the past two years and this year, one-quarter of its freshman are from other countries."

Too bad they couldn't find a better place to live. The next few days would bring tales of Puerto Rican tyranny (you gotta be flexibledeal?), union leader Larry Summers (also a global health advocate!), the worriers of wealth inequality, the shitty state economy, and some brief truth regarding easy money and stock market.

Then a very black date indeed

"The wild swings in prices for exchange-traded funds during the stock market’s Black Monday two weeks ago were even wider than has been generally reported, with more than 100 funds briefly losing more than 30 percent of their value, according to a firm that tracks the business. Investment firms and regulators are scrambling to get a handle on what happened in this $2 trillion sector of the market on Aug. 24, when the Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 1,100 points in minutes. Paradoxically, some of the very rules meant to calm volatile markets instead riled them further on Black Monday."

"LPL agrees to pay $1.8 million for putting investors at risk" by Beth Healy Globe Staff  September 23, 2015

LPL Financial has agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle allegations it sold exchange-traded funds that were unsuitable for many Massachusetts investors, as regulators step up scrutiny of the ETF industry.

The Boston brokerage firm violated securities laws related to the sales and marketing of leveraged ETFs, whose use of complex investments such as derivatives can amplify both profits and lossses, Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement Wednesday.

Because of their risk, leveraged ETFs are typically used by sophisticated institutional investors who are active traders. Healey said it was inappropriate for LPL to sell them to ordinary investors, including some customers who had conservative investment goals.

“Massachusetts families shouldn’t have their hard-earned savings put at risk by unsuitable investments,” Healey said in the statement. “Consumers must be able to place their trust in their financial advisers and feel confident that their money will be invested appropriately.”



They are all back to the same shenanigans and schemes before the last crash.

Well, what goes up....

"Indexes shook off an early stumble to finish with slight gains as traders turned their attention to a key Federal Reserve meeting next week. They headed lower at the opening, as falling oil prices pulled oil and gas companies down. The economic news wasn’t encouraging, either — consumer confidence this month sank to its lowest level since September of last year."

Must be the doldrums associated with the cursed month.

Must be the continued high prices in the face of falling gasoline costs and the lack of a raise as the investors continue to worry (the propaganda pre$$ experts are either in complete or $elf-$erving liars by the end of it, syre.)

At least things are looking up as investors place their bets (makes me feel much better):

"Boston Globe Media Partners LLC on Tuesday laid off a dozen writers and producers at, roughly one-sixth of the website’s staff. Globe Media chief executive Mike Sheehan said the reduction is part of a broader strategy for the site that will take shape over two to three months, though he declined to provide details. The company has sought over the past two years to establish, previously the online home of Boston Globe newspaper content, as a semi-autonomous news and entertainment site with its own identity., with a metered paywall, now hosts all stories and photos from the newspaper. “It’s an evolution,” Sheehan said. “One of the smartest things that was ever done at the Globe was separating from — taking Globe content off the site and then building a very robust digital subscriber base that’s now third in the country for daily newspapers, behind The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.” The layoffs came a day after editor Tim Molloy said he would step down and followed last week’s announcement that general manager Corey Gottlieb was leaving to join the Boston-based fantasy sports company DraftKings Inc. Gottlieb and his successor, Eleanor Cleverly, said the downsizing is “designed to put in a stronger and more sustainable position for growth.” They added that “we would be remiss to overlook the fact that this was also a people decision, one that affects the lives of many who have worked tirelessly to support our operation. We are deeply grateful for that work.”

Didn't want you to mi$$ that.

Maybe they can snare a job as a janitor -- for the holidays at least:

"A cautious Fed holds key interest rate steady; Wants to see more strength in economy" by Megan Woolhouse Globe Staff  September 17, 2015

Seven years after the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve still is not ready to blow the all-clear whistle on the US economy and raise a key short-term interest rate, allowing borrowers to enjoy rock-bottom rates on homes, cars, and other major expenses for a bit longer.

Oh, that wonderful Fed!

In a 9-1 vote Thursday, Fed policy makers, raising concerns about a slowing global economy and its impact on the United States, decided to wait until the labor market further improves, worrisome low inflation rises, and the recent tumult in international markets settles before moving ahead with its first rate increase in nearly a decade. 

I was told months ago we were insulated.

Most Fed officials still expect the rate to rise before the end of the year, according to forecasts released by the central bank. But the timing remains unclear.

I won't be holding my breath.


Much of the debate over the Fed’s next move centered on the strength of the labor market. Despite the decline in joblessness, many analysts argued that the official unemployment rate is masking weaker conditions. Of particular concern is the slow growth of wages, a sign that the supply of workers still outstrips the demand.

William Dickens, chairman of the economics department at Northeastern University, said he remains concerned about the millions of Americans who dropped out of the workforce during the recession who have not returned to jobs. These workers — and those taking part-time jobs because they can’t get full-time work — are not included in the official unemployment rate.

The "job market just demonstrated that it may be nearing full health, but the share of adults working has fallen to 59.3 percent, the lowest level in 31 years."

It's constant lies, readers!

Memories of the financial crisis and subsequent economic free fall also remain fresh, inviting caution, analysts said. By the time the Fed had lowered the federal funds rate to near zero in December 2008, some 2 million American jobs had already vanished, the housing market had collapsed, and the government was rescuing major banks from insolvency.

Allen Sinai, chief global economist at Decision Economics Inc. in New York, said those days are over and the Fed needs to recognize it and begin to raise rates. One good gauge of the economy, he said, is the skyline and the construction projects underway in Boston and other cities across the country.

Fed chair Janet Yellen said at a news conference following the announcement [that] policy makers remain concerned about inflation that is running well below the Fed’s target of 2 percent. When inflation is too low, it raises the risk of a destructive spiral of falling prices, production cuts, and layoffs. The Great Depression is an extreme example of a deflationary economy.

We are in one now (unless you are part of the 1% and at the top of the pyramid). History will record it as the Grand Depression and the beginning of the end for the AmeriKan Empire.

Yellen said she believes the conditions leading to low inflation — falling energy prices, a stronger dollar, and heightened uncertainty in the global economy — are temporary problems....


RelatedAt UMass, Janet Yellen says rates likely to rise this year

"Fed Refuses To Comment On Yellen's Health"  "How Long Will Janet Yellen Last as Fed Chair? Fed Declines to Comment on Her Health, I Will"  The American television networks all need to have a neurologist on staff to analyze if and when American public officials are having a stroke.  With the obvious and speedy American decline, we shouldn't be surprised that both Yellen and Clinton are suffering from obvious problems, and the emperor has new clothes (i.e., we mustn't talk about it, as it would breach their 'privacy', which is much more important than having brain-damaged leaders).  The United States is a country having a stroke.

Is she toast(h/t)?

Interest rates hold steady, but stocks still slip

The answer is to keep printing money, Fed, ECB, Japan, whoever. 

Turn those printing pre$$es back on!

Stocks close lower after Fed keeps interest rates low
Stocks recoup some losses from sell-off
US stocks fall on oil, China worries
Staples shares fall

All China's fault:

"More evidence that global economic growth is slowing pushed the US stock market down for a third straight day. The market fell sharply at the open, pushing stocks close to their lowest levels of the month, before rebounding during afternoon trading to close with only slight losses. Caterpillar fell sharply after cutting its sales outlook and announcing it would eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs. Caterpillar was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500, down 6.3 percent. The government reported that orders for long-lasting US manufactured goods dropped in August. A key category that tracks business investment plans was especially weak. ‘‘We’re looking for that good news and we’re not getting any,’’ said John Toohey, at USAA. The market has been in a funk for a month as investors worry that slowing growth overseas, particularly in China, will hurt US companies. "

Don't worry; government will come back and revise all those numbers up later as we inch along:

"Wall Street seemed underwhelmed by Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen’s statement that higher interest rates are coming. In a speech Thursday evening at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Janet Yellen expressed a rosier view of the economy than the one just a week earlier. Yellen’s comments were seen as positive across the globe, clearing up questions around the Fed’s direction and indicating that America’s central bankers believe the US economy is strong. “Despite headwinds from overseas — China in part — the US economy and job market remain strong,’’ said Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics. “I take it as a positive sign that the economy is in good enough shape to begin raising interest rates.” On Friday The US Bureau of Economic Analysis again revised upward its estimate of how fast the nation’s economy grew in the second quarter, to 3.9 percent from 3.7 percent. That marked a strong rebound from far slower growth of 0.6 percent in the first quarter."

The first quarter was actually a contraction (due to harsh winter, we were told) and it went from a 0.6% contraction as cited by banks to a 0.1% contraction according to government, and now we grew 0.6%. Yup.

"The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed little changed, with the benchmark declining for a second straight week, as a selloff in biotechnology stocks thwarted a rally led by Nike Inc. A rebound in US stocks, fueled by reassuring statements from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and Nike’s better-then-expected earnings, was eventually undermined Friday by a snowballing drop in biotechs. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index fell into a bear market amid its worst weekly decline in four years. Banks, meanwhile, had their best day in more than two weeks, rising along with bond yields. “Health care was kind of the stalwart and we’re starting to see cracks in leaders,” said Channing Smith, a managing director at Capital Advisors Inc. “When you see that, it’s one more reason to step back and be cautious.”

Oh, good. I was getting worried there.

"Ongoing worries about China’s economy and another big sell-off in drug makers’ stocks pushed the market back toward its lowest level of 2015. ‘‘Whenever the market is down, the first place to look these days is China,’’ said John Manley, at Wells Fargo Fund Management. ‘‘Right now, we need evidence that China is not slowing that much and that profits are still going to be OK.’’ Monday’s slump put the S&P 500 back in a ‘‘correction,’’ a Wall Street term meaning a drop of 10 percent or more from a recent peak. Some analysts expressed surprise at the ferocity of Monday’s sell-off, given the relative strength of the US economy. ‘‘There’s no reason that this selling pressure should be as severe as it has been,’’ said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth."

But take seriously what you read in the Globe bu$ine$$ section!

Time to shut down the mill (only 40 employees, and you can get a job here I'm sure) and make Whole Foods cuts and outsource the work to inmates (only briefly, and that's worse than employing illegals!) before sounding the alarm bell:

"The head of the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that global growth will probably be weaker this year. Citing a host of issues, including the refugee crisis in Europe, an economic slowdown in China, and a pending rise in US interest rates, managing director Christine Lagarde (right) predicted a moderate rebound in growth in advanced economies such as those in the United States, Europe, and Japan. But emerging economies will experience a fifth consecutive year of slowing activity, she said. She said growth is being held back by low productivity, aging populations, and lingering problems from the 2008 financial crisis, such as high debt levels. She said it will be critical to properly manage the transition in China to consumer-led growth and the pending move by the Federal Reserve to higher interest rates. Currently, Lagarde said, global growth is ‘‘disappointing and uneven.’’ She said the IMF would release updated forecasts next week. While she did not reveal specific figures, she said growth was expected to be weaker this year than last year, with a modest acceleration expected in 2016. The global economy expanded 3.4 percent in 2014. The IMF’s previous forecast was for growth of 3.3 percent this year."

"IMF says high-yield bonds raise red flags" by Landon Thomas Jr. New York Times  September 30, 2015

NEW YORK — The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday of the large positions that mutual funds in the United States have built in high-yielding bonds issued by risky companies here and in emerging markets around the world.


The warning comes at a time of increased nervousness about China and other emerging markets such as Brazil.

Haven't seen a whole lot about the Brazilian component of the crisis.

And it highlights a growing concern on the part of regulators and economists that mutual funds, in their hunger to load up on high-risk, high-yield securities in a low-interest-rate environment, will be hard pressed to sell them during a market reversal.

And those who warned about and were dismissed as kooks??

Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates fund companies, proposed regulations intended to bolster the practices of mutual and exchange-traded funds when it comes to returning cash to investors.

The reports were part of a broader research overview that the IMF was presenting ahead of its fall meetings in Lima starting next week.

In particular, the IMF said the bountiful amounts of cash that have moved around the marketplace in this era of extraordinary central bank activism had given many investors a false sense of security in terms of their ability to sell assets on demand.

The aforementioned printing presses which can never be halted and it soon will not matter. Thus the rush for a WWIII.

You do know that the ancient town of Megiddo was once part of Syria, right, and with the Russians and U.S. flying planes near each other now.... how long until, you know?

“Even seemingly plentiful market liquidity can suddenly evaporate and lead to systemic financial disruptions,” the report concluded.

2008 was a walk in the park compared to the meltdown coming.

As it has in the past, the IMF said that the tendency of many US mutual funds to hold large concentrated positions in the securities of hard-to-trade emerging market companies posed a risk for financial markets.

Most large investment banks no longer actively trade these securities, increasing the danger that a contagious bout of selling could spread through the financial marketplace, the Washington-based organization’s economists noted.

Although the language of the IMF’s experts was muted, their words of caution highlight increased investor unease about the slowdown in large emerging markets.

Skittish US investors have pulled nearly $100 billion from global bond and equity funds this year, according to the data provider EPFR, with institutions that focus on global bonds such as Franklin Templeton and Pimco suffering the most acute outflows.

Underpinning the IMF’s worries has been the tremendous increase in bonds issued by a range of large, emerging-market corporations, including energy companies in Latin America and steel companies in Southeast Asia.

China and Turkey were highlighted in the fund’s study on emerging market debts. Their economies experienced the largest increases in corporate debt since 2007, with China’s company debt up 27 percent and Turkey’s up around 24 percent.

Corporate debt in emerging markets soared from $4 trillion in 2004 to $18 trillion last year. Bonds issued in dollars have been the fastest-growing subsection of this category, increasing to $855 billion last year from $163 billion in 2003, the IMF calculated.

And all those nations are now stuck in five-year slowdowns if not outright contractions, making that debt much harder to pay.

Mutual funds in the United States have been the most aggressive buyers of these securities, and the fear is that, as these economies slow and their currencies tumble, the companies will default and it will be the US mutual fund investor who will be left with the bill. 

And then the U.S. government will -- on behalf of Wall Street -- bail them out to the tune of billions and trillions like 7 years ago. And then the student loan bubble will pop, trillions more. And then an emergency decree will be declared and martial law will be needed.

Although the IMF and others have been highlighting this concern for some time, there has been little evidence of mutual funds being unable to sell their bonds when asked to do so by investors.

Have they? Not in my Globe (until now)!

And mutual fund companies have vigorously defended their policies in terms of providing liquidity to investors. Many have taken extra precautions such as arranging for credit lines from banks and increasing levels of cash or securities that are easy to sell.

But analysts say these steps may not be enough, especially if investors head for the exits in unison.

“There have been a lot of people going into these types of illiquid investments,” said Stephen Tu, an expert on market liquidity at Moody’s Investors Service. “If we have a real liquidation event, solutions such as credit lines are going to be inadequate.”


Better get those stocks up:

"US stocks rose across the board following big gains in Asia and Europe, a buoyant end to the worst quarter in four years. Stocks have been hit with one blow after another in the past three months. But on Wednesday, investors were in the mood to buy, especially stocks that have been battered. Energy companies and raw material suppliers, the quarter’s big losers, rose more than 2 percent. Investors also found courage to buy biotech shares, breaking an eight-day streak of declines. The Nasdaq Biotechnology index, down 24 percent since July, rose 4.5 percent. Fashion company Ralph Lauren jumped 13.6 percent on news a new CEO will take over from the founder. The US rally followed even bigger gains overseas. Indexes in France, Germany, Britain, and Japan climbed more than 2 percent. The last quarter began with fears over Greece’s debt then moved to worries about slow growth in China and plunging currencies in developing countries. The S&P 500 fell more than 10 percent from its May high, a so-called correction. ‘‘It’s been ugly,’’ said John Canally, at LPL Financial. ‘‘We hadn’t had a 10 percent pullback since 2011, and people forget how to act.’’

That brings us to those millennials:

"Millennials face always changing job market" by Hattie Bernstein Globe Correspondent  September 26, 2015

The labor market is as bright as it has been in years for young workers, whether recent college graduates looking to break into their first job or those a few years removed from campus advancing to their next one.

Did you go to the job fair?

Last I read you were old news.

But as millennials, born roughly from 1981 to 1996, climb the career ladder, they will have to contend with an employment market different than the one their parents negotiated, requiring a blend of old and new job-hunting skills, techniques, and outlooks to get ahead, career specialists and economists said.

They can expect a labor market that is more mobile and competitive, where the boundaries between personal and professional life, already blurring, will grow increasingly fluid. They will need to continuously update skills and education. And they will need early on to consider retirement plans in the calculus of job offers, given the disappearance of traditional pensions that previous generations counted on.

Paul Harrington, director of the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said the average worker today changes jobs 11 times between the ages of 18 and 45, and millennials are likely to make those changes — whether voluntarily or involuntarily — even more frequently.

AmeriKa's corporations and bui$ine$$es should have a mass of slave labor, donchathink?

The average millennial will switch jobs every two years, Harrington said, meaning that every 24 months or so, he or she will jump back into a crowded pool of job seekers.

Curious as to what that will do to their stre$$ levels.

So what’s a millennial to do?

First, the good news. Economists and recruiters say the job market is the best since before the recession, and by all indications, it is going to get better. Companies are hiring....

So glad the Globe is looking out for you!



"Members of the millennial generation, most in their 20s and 30s now, are wading into the real estate market, chasing the same dream of homeownership as their parents and grandparents. But weighed down by debt — particularly student loans — paying sky-high rents that make it difficult to save, and facing limited housing stock that is pushing prices to record levels in some communities, many are finding only frustration. So, should they give up hope? Not necessarily. But for many millennials, becoming homeowners will require time, planning, patience, and, as Richard Caughey, a 28-year-old school teacher who looked at homes for nearly a year, shows, compromises. Homeownership is viewed as a key step in adulthood and a way to build wealth, but it is a step that has become harder for millennials to take." 

Look at them Horn(ing their own) blower.

Yeah, it's a worker's paradise here:

"Incomes rise, but many Mass. families still in need; Mass. poverty rate is same as costs go up; For some, economy’s gains of little help" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  September 17, 2015

Median household income rose slightly in Massachusetts between 2013 and 2014, while the poverty level remained essentially unchanged, according to census data to be released Thursday. But the need among low-income families is growing in many parts of the state, social service agencies say — in some cases exceeding levels seen during the recession.

Then there has been no recovery for the masses.

Many factors contribute to this apparent discrepancy. Housing and heating costs continue to rise in Massachusetts as hourly wages stagnate, putting more families on the margins, even if they are not considered poor by federal standards, according to public policy researchers. In addition, rising household income is not being distributed evenly, with the largest share going to the highest-income households.

There is a discrepancy there:

Heating oil prices at their lowest since 2009

Eversource, National Grid to lower natural gas prices for winter

This after they gouged you last year before kicking back chump change this spring.

Tough times, no easy answers for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

That's how low energy prices are right now. 

This reporter is either a flat-out liar, complete ignoramus, or both.

Overall, however, Massachusetts fared better than the country as a whole, according to 2014 American Community Survey data from the Census.

We are always told that, too. It's all lies to excuse the wealth being sucked up into elites cirlces in Bo$ton (for whom this paper is of and for).


Though the Massachusetts economy has moved in the right direction, with higher employment rates, lower levels of cash assistance, and stable food stamp usage, the state has become less affordable for some people, largely because of rising housing costs, said Mark Melnik, acting director of the Economic & Public Policy Research group at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

The federal poverty level is the same for every state — $24,250 for a family of four — and does not accurately capture the numbers of families living on the edge in a high-cost state like Massachusetts, Melnik said: “You might not technically be in poverty, but you’re in need.”

As long as the small fraction of wealthy elite in this state are happy, I'm fine.

The things you could do with all that money.

And the need is growing in many communities, including many outside the Boston metropolitan area, according to social service agencies.

The Salvation Army, which has 32 centers across the state offering food and heating assistance, served more than 59,000 families last year, a 58 percent jump since 2009.

In North Adams, the number of meals served at Salvation Army soup kitchens doubled between 2013 and 2014 — possibly a result of people moving there in search of affordable housing, but struggling to find work, said Salvation Army spokesman Drew Forster.

In Athol and Pittsfield, the Salvation Army centers have had significant increases in people visiting food pantries and seeking help paying heating bills. In the past, many of the needy were individuals and elderly on government assistance. But in recent years, more and more families are showing up for meals, said Captain Elliott Higgins, who recently became commanding officer in Pittsfield after overseeing the Athol center for the past five years.

“Positions that are available are minimum wage to $12 an hour,” Higgins said. “If you’ve got two parents, three or four children, that just doesn’t cover the expenses.”

All this stuff is out my way were costs are supposedly a lot less.

Housing assistance is in great demand across the state, according to antipoverty advocates. In Lowell, 12,000 people are on the waiting list for Section 8 housing subsidies, said Peggy Shepard, grant director at Community Teamwork, which also operates two family homeless shelters. The average wait for a voucher: 10 years.

“The need is ever-growing, unfortunately,” Shepard said.

But the economy is recovering, the state is doing better than the nation, blah, blah, blah!!!!!!!!!!!

The numbers of people in need has remained steady on the Cape and Islands, said Frederic Presbrey, president of the Housing Assistance Corporation on Cape Cod, but their situations are more dire: more people struggling with addiction, fewer with the education and skills to succeed in today’s economy.

“They come with us with nothing by way of ability to support themselves,” he said.

Across Boston, the story is similar. The number of people served annually by the antipoverty agency Action for Boston Community Development has grown to a projected 108,000 clients this fiscal year from fewer than 95,000 in 2010. John Drew, ABCD’s chief executive, said the gap between haves and have-nots has become more “startling” over the years, with pockets of intense poverty around the city.

Indeed, the only segment of wage earners in Massachusetts that experienced statistically significant growth in income between 2013 and 2014 were households earning more than $200,000 a year, growing by nearly one percentage point, according to the census data.

How much you makin'?

“We haven’t changed really any of our real structures that will help alleviate poverty and child poverty,” Drew said. “We’re triaging it, we’re doing our best to make people not fall off the map, we’re doing our best to make sure they don’t freeze in the winter and don’t starve.”

But, he said, “We’re not solving problems.” 

I know; that is not for what the $y$tem is devised. It is doing what it is supposed to do. 


Oh, about your pay:

"Most jobs added in Boston since recession called low-paying" by Katie Johnston Globe Staff  September 22, 2015

The city of Boston has recovered all the jobs it lost since the most recent recession, but the vast majority of those that have been added are low-paying jobs, according to a report set to be released Tuesday by the Boston Foundation.

More than 85 percent of the positions added since 2009 pay less than $38,000 a year, according to the study, which analyzed quarterly job reports from the state and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many of the job gains have come in low-paying sectors such as food service, home health care, and janitorial services, while higher-paying fields such as information services, have not grown as rapidly.

OMG, we have been lied to all this time!!!


This proliferation of low-paying jobs in Boston provides a stark contrast to economic growth statewide. The Massachusetts economy grew 2.3 percent last year, according to the Commerce Department, ranking it 15th among 50 states for growth.

We are being lied to on a fabulous scale. If low-pay is the result in Bo$ton, then the state as whole can't be better! 

It's all from their own mouths, both sides!

The recovery has largely been attributed to the state’s strong technology and life sciences industries.

Which isn't as good as thought!

At the same time, the cost of living has risen more sharply in the Boston area than nationwide, according to the Boston Foundation study.

It comes with the gentrification and serving of luxury to wealth.

Rising income inequality is a national issue, but it is striking in Boston because there are so many opportunities for educated workers with high-level skills, said Paul Grogan, president of the Boston Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit group.

“It is particularly acute here, ironically, because of our success. The innovation economy rewards educational attainment,” Grogan said. “If you have those credentials, you’ll be handsomely rewarded, but if you don’t, you’re harshly punished.”

Don't you love the Ma$$achu$etts economy! 



Even seemingly well-paid sectors that are thriving in Boston, such as health care, contain a wide range of occupations, some of which don’t pay particularly well. Only about half of the jobs in the health care and social assistance sector are actually health-related, according to the Commonwealth Corporation, a quasi-governmental organization, while the other half includes lower-paying positions such as food service workers, janitors, and secretaries.

It’s not surprising that many new jobs in Boston are on the lower end of the income scale, because people in need tend to flock to major cities’ superior social services, affordable housing, and public transportation, said Edward Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard University.


Bo$ton is full of slums, the MBTA is a pos, and services are being cut!

“Cities have always disproportionately attracted the poor,” he said.


Because it is such a "good deal," huh?

But the fact that many jobs accessible to people without a college degree or high-level skills don’t provide enough income for people to live on is “deeply troubling,” he said.

“America has not figured out ways to make middle-income workers more productive and higher- paid,” he said. “Our economy is humming again as a whole, but we’re not doing a great job for Americans in the middle of the income distribution.”

Now if you will excuse him he has a dinner buffet to attend.


Did you train your replacement yet?

"Is manufacturing in the US becoming a better deal?" by Scott Kirsner, 09/11/2015

Many of the dynamics that influence those decisions are changing. The cost of making things in low-cost countries like China and India are rising. The risks of having products copied and sold as knock-offs by overseas factories remain a concern. And keeping production closer to home can make it easier to update and change products in a trend-obsessed market.

There’s a growing movement, born in Boston in 2012, to shine a spotlight on companies that make stuff in the United States. The American Field expo, taking place this weekend in South Boston, has spread to Atlanta, New York, and Washington. Organizers expect about 80 made-in-America companies to exhibit at the 2015 Boston edition, up from 30 in the first year.

You might need to shift some things around to make it.

Somerville-based Formlabs makes one of the most sophisticated 3-D printers in the world; designers use it to create working prototypes made of a hardened resin.

“We didn’t set out to manufacture in the US [just] because it’s the US,” chief executive Max Lobovsky explains. But easy communication was important to the startup — “culture, not just language,” Lobovsky says — as was the six-hour flight from Boston to San Diego, where it is made by a contract manufacturer. (Compare that to 20-plus hours to fly to Shenzhen, China, a hub for electronics manufacturing.)

But another technology executive, Steve Chambers of the robotics company Jibo, says he evaluated nine contract manufacturing firms and spoke to a handful of consultancies in trying to figure out where the company should make its product. He found that Mexico was about 1.75 times the cost of China, and the United States was 2.25 times. Chambers says that US manufacturers argued that, “We may be more costly, but your team will be closer during the prototype phases,” and shipping to customers would be cheaper.

“That’s true,” says Chambers, “but nowhere near a gap-closer.”

Jibo plans to sell a kind of robotic concierge for the home, which can manage schedules and facilitate videoconferences, aiming for a retail price around $750. Chambers says that a price twice that “was untenable.” The company chose China, as did CyPhy Works, a Danvers company that plans to begin selling an easy-to-fly drone next year.

CyPhy spokesman Kevin Phelan says that the company feels $500 is an important psychological threshold for consumers who are purchasing a gadget, rather than something essential. (Other CyPhy Works products — pricier unmanned aircraft sold to police and the military — are made in the United States.)

I'll deal with the drones on the way home.

Even entrepreneurs who choose to make products in the United States say it can require more work on their part. David Laituri runs a Wayland company called Onehundred, which designs products like knives and birdhouses that are made within 100 miles of its office. Unlike the site Alibaba, which provides a Google-like index of contract manufacturers all around Asia, Laituri says that there is nothing comparable for American producers. (Sites like Maker’s Row and are trying to compete.)

“The shops we work with do no marketing at all,” says Laituri. “They seem to ride on repeat business or whatever walks through the door.” He says it is “very different from the eagerness in China to land your business.”


Ministry of Supply co-founder Aman Advani says that the Boston apparel maker produced all of its men’s clothing in the United States through 2013 — and may make products here again in the future. But when Advani asked US factories to invest in new equipment that Ministry needed to make its apparel, “they said, ‘We’d be happy to consider using it if you buy it and send it to us,’” while plants in China were happy to invest in new machines in order get Ministry’s business.

The company now does much of its manufacturing at a factory in Fuzhou, China.

But other makers of apparel and accessories tout that they haven’t moved production off-shore. Rancourt & Co. employs 50 people who make shoes and boots in Lewiston, Maine. “It’s becoming obvious that more and more people are willing to pay more money for goods made in the USA,” says Kyle Rancourt, vice president of sales and marketing. “On top of that, we are able to source the majority of our raw materials in the United States, which drastically reduces our freight costs.”

Those that can buy, anyway, and no worry about global emissions when it comes to corporate trade.

Mark Bollman, the founder of the American Field expo and also Boston apparel company Ball & Buck, says that when he attended industry trade shows five years ago, “one out of a thousand brands were made in the USA. Now, there are entire sections within the show, where you’ll have 20 or 30 brands all positioned together.”

“Your clothes are your billboard, the cover of your book,” says Bollman. “People want to say, ‘I’m wearing something I believe in. I know the owner of this company.’” And even though lots of electronics product are made in China, Bollman notes that Apple last year began producing small quantities of laptops at a facility in Texas.

For Greycork, a furniture maker, the response to its first three products was disappointing — “We did about $30,000 in revenue,” says John Humphrey, whose family has been in the lumber and millwork business in New England since the 1880s — but it didn’t cause the company to rethink where it would make its products. Humphrey says he grew up sweeping the floor and working on the assembly lines of his family’s millwork business, which makes things like doors, cabinetry, and high-end staircases.

“It would’ve been strange for me to produce stuff in Thailand or Mexico,” he says. Part of the motivation behind starting Greycork, he adds, was to help his family’s factory in Somerset bring back jobs lost in the last recession.

“It absolutely is more work” to find a production facility in this country, says Humphrey, who will be participating in the American Field show this weekend. “But there are still plenty of them, located in small towns right down the road.”

Greycork redesigned its product line, simplifying it so that the furniture could fit into a flat box, and be assembled without tools. It now offers a $125 coffee table and $180 bookshelf. On the funding site Indiegogo, shoppers have already pre-ordered nearly $140,000 worth of merchandise.

And while Humphrey hasn’t yet chosen the factory that will make the new line, he is certain of one thing: It will be in Massachusetts.


"Manufacturing summit to look at region, supply chain" Associated Press  September 20, 2015

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The author of a manufacturing study in New England and the director of supply chain operations for Raytheon will headline the 13th annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing and High Technology Summit next month.

The Center of New Hampshire in Manchester event brings together more than 200 manufacturing plant and high-tech company representatives on Oct. 9.

Alison Land is coauthor of the New England Council Advanced to Advantageous report, which said the region enjoys a competitive position stemming from an intricate network of relationships in industry, government, and education.

Neil Perry of Raytheon will speak about supply chain transformation. Raytheon, he says, uses ‘‘data analytics, collaborative technology, and partnership on initiatives with our suppliers’’ to reduce costs.

Workshops will take a look at the challenges in manufacturing — workforce development, implementing and using lean principles, and embracing change.

‘‘Manufacturing is alive and well in New Hampshire,’’ said commissioner Jeffrey Rose of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, who noted the industry employs some 68,000 people. ‘‘This annual conference brings together hundreds of people who work hard to ensure manufacturing remains healthy and robust.’


RelatedFinding new opportunities in bricks and mortar

As the tech sector is slowing down

Time to stop droning on:

FAA vows to be tough on drone violations

Plan seeks to rein in private drones

Controllers reveal risk that could cause plane collisions

Air marshals from Chicago linked to prostitutes

I can see that.

Airports testing use of unmanned towers

I don't know about that:

"American Airlines flights to Dallas, Chicago, and Miami were briefly stopped on Thursday by a computer problem that prevented passengers from checking in. Airline officials said they fixed the computer systems after less than two hours but were still trying to determine the exact cause of the interruption. American spokesman Casey Norton said there was no indication the airline’s computers had been hacked."

Did you get your luggage checked?

"Ex-Logan Airport worker goes on trial in drug-cash smuggling case" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  September 22, 2015

To prosecutors, he was a willing accomplice in a drug trafficking ring: A Delta Air Lines employee at Logan International Airport who agreed to smuggle what he believed to be drug proceeds on a flight to Florida.

But lawyers for Dino Dunkley implemented an aggressive defense in the first day of his trial Monday, alleging it was government witnesses who set the 32-year-old Dunkley up in a sting, thereby entrapping him.

That is 100% believable these days!

“This case is not about what happened, it’s about why, and how. How did Dino Dunkley find himself in such a precarious situation?” one of his lawyers, Samir Zaganjori, told jurors in the opening statements of Dunkley’s trial Monday.

Four of the five airport employees who were charged in September 2014 with smuggling more than $400,000 in cash past security check points have pleaded guilty. One of them is awaiting sentencing, and the others are serving prison terms ranging from a year to two years in prison.

But Dunkley, of Boston, is the only one to challenge the government’s accusations in a trial, and his lawyers argue that — while they agree he transported what he believed were drug proceeds — he did so only after being ensnared in a government-manufactured conspiracy.

And we all know there are none of those, right?

“He didn’t go looking for trouble, trouble showed up at his door,” Zaganjori told jurors.

That would be authority, yeah.

The investigation into wrongdoing by airport employees began in 2012. A former baggage handler who was convicted in a separate drug trafficking ring agreed to cooperate with authorities and reveal the conspiracy by airport employees in exchange for avoiding his deportation to his native Dominican Republic.

Throw that testimony out.

The baggage handler, Edwin Canelo, worked as an informant for authorities and led them to other airport employees who had been smuggling cash for drug traffickers.


The investigation then expanded to other employees, including Dunkley, a customer service ramp agent at Delta who used his security clearance to smuggle $50,000 on two separate occasions in early 2014, allegedly believing he was working for Canelo and drug traffickers. Authorities had been monitoring his conversations all along.

“It ain’t my first rodeo,” Dunkley had said, Assistant US Attorney Maxim Grinberg told jurors.

Zaganjori told jurors that the comments were only the bravado of a nervous man who thought he was speaking to real drug dealers. By then, Zaganjori said, Dunkley was desperate: He and his wife were facing eviction proceedings, her car was repossessed, and they were struggling to pay child support.

That's no excu$e, right?

“I’d suggest to you that the evidence is going to show entrapment, because Dino Dunkley reached his breaking point,” Zaganjori said.

I vote not guilty.

A Delta spokesperson has said that the airline cooperated in the investigation. The case is slated to resume Tuesday.


Also see: Logan $muggling Ring 

That's crazy!

Got your ticket?

"Fees are OK with flyers if they’re bundled together" by Martha C. White New York Times   September 22, 2015

NEW YORK — As add-on fees make up a growing percentage of airlines’ profits, more carriers are introducing bundles of features on top of their base fares — and travelers are embracing them.

I'd say I've now heard it all but the whine of the engines is drowning me out.

After years of consumer backlash, airlines have found a way for passengers to see value in add-ons, even if not so long ago they were included in the price of the ticket, said Jay Sorensen, president of the airline consulting firm IdeaWorksCompany.

“It’s on the rise because it works, it generates more revenue per passenger, and it seems to generate fewer complaints, as well,” Sorensen said.


A Delta spokesman, Anthony Black, said via e-mail that Comfort Plus was developed to give travelers an option between first class and main cabin tickets.

Overall, the industry earned more than $38 billion from ancillary revenue last year, an IdeaWorksCompany report noted, although it did not break out how much was earned from branded fares....

That's where the record profits came from.


It's called “first-class light.”

Ah, home, $weet home:

"Rising home values drove a modest increase in Americans’ household wealth to a new high of $85.7 trillion in the April-June quarter. The Federal Reserve said Friday that Americans’ stock portfolios climbed $61 billion in value, while housing wealth increased $499 billion. Total household wealth is up from $85 trillion in the first quarter. Rising household wealth can help boost growth by making consumers feel wealthier and more likely to spend. Economists estimate that consumer spending rises 3 to 5 cents for every dollar increase in wealth. Household spending drives about two-thirds of the economy. Yet greater wealth doesn’t necessarily benefit the typical family. The stock market has more than doubled since the recession ended in June 2009, which mainly benefits richer households. Approximately 10 percent of the wealthiest Americans own 80 percent of stocks, according to research by Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University." 

We know. Keep those pre$$es running.

Yup, home sales are surging to record peaks!!

And now comes word that a hurricane is coming this way:

"More heavy rain is possible Thursday and Friday, forecasters said, in addition to moderate coastal flooding. Still more stormy weather could follow, depending on the whims of Hurricane Joaquin. Wednesday’s storms came in from the west in two rounds, causing damage and flooding. The National Weather Service fielded a report of 5.6 inches of rain in Greenfield."


Rains soak coast ahead of Joaquin

US stocks end little changed

Manufacturing slips again in China

Just in case you missed it.