Thursday, June 10, 2021

Briefly Noted: Money Woes

It's another medical morning. I wasn't sure what to name this post, but the common denominator is money, so ...

First we have an update from a comment--I think it was Ray So-Cal who pointed this out, sorry if I'm wrong. Axios or ZeroHedge owes Ray (or someone) a h/t. It shows a largely dysfunctional US, which I guess is not news:

Half Of Pandemic Unemployment Funds May Have Been Stolen: Axios

As much as half of the unemployment benefits paid by the US government over the past year may have been stolen through fraud, with the bulk ultimately ending up outside the country - likely into the hands of foreign crime syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere, according to Axios' Felix Salmon.

According to some estimates, unemployment fraud during the pandemic could 'easily reach $400 billion,' as states weren't prepared for the unprecedented wave of unemployment claims

Source: Bloomberg, April 09, 2020

States knew that fraud was inevitable, but opted to rush money out to people with minimal oversight, as opposed to laboriously vetting each application.

According to Blake Hall, CEO of - a fraud prevention service, America has lost over $400 billion to fraudulent claims, with as much as 50% of all unemployment payments possibly being stolen.

Of that, up to 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country according to Haywood Talcove, CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, who ways "These groups are definitely backed by the state."

The rest of the money was likely stolen by street gangs domestically, who have made up a greater share of the fraud in recent months.

Just one more thing wrong with the insane lockdowns.

Don Surber notes an industry that made out very well during the Covid Panic: plexiglas manufacturers. Another non-science based phenomenon, to go with all the other false claims related to Covid--its prevention and treatment and risk and you name it. I include it because most of my encounters with the Plexiglas Wall have been in retail stores:

ITEM 7: Crain's New York reported, "Sales of plexiglass tripled to roughly $750 million in the U.S. after the pandemic hit, as offices, schools, restaurants and retail stores sought protection from droplets that health authorities suspected were spreading the coronavirus.

"There is just one hitch: Not a single study has shown that the clear plastic barriers actually stop the spread of the virus, said Joseph Allen of Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health."

There was no study that showed masks or social distancing worked.

HCQ worked.

The FDA banned it.

You can read about inflation--the news is not good--here and here:

Core Consumer Prices Surge At Fastest Rate Since 1992

The New Inflation Numbers Are Absolutely Horrific and Not a Mean Tweet in Sight

BTW, the WaPo opines that "The most recent inflation figures are unlikely to rattle the Biden administration or Federal Reserve."

Me? I'm rattled, and I'll bet I'm not alone. A few months ago in TJ's an older Korean checker was explaining what the new inflation would mean to a younger W/F employee--too young to remember the late 70s. Young people are in for an awakening. They won't like this Wokeness.

Commenter Frank on a related note (edited):

More destruction of the middle class - changing home-owners to forever renters.
"Blackrock is buying every single family house they can find, paying 20-50% above asking price and outbidding normal home buyers. Why are corporations, pension funds and property investment groups buying entire neighborhoods out from under the middle class? Lets take a look. Homes are popping up on MLS and going under contract within a few hours. Blackrock, among others, are buying up thousands of new homes and entire neighborhoods."
"So who is Blackrock? Only the worlds largest asset manager and the leading proponent of The Great Reset. They're looking to redistribute -get this- $120 trillion dollars. The entire wealth of the worlds middle class and poor combined several times over."

The Great Reset. Some call it Socialism. Others call it the Great Wealth Grab. One thing we can all agree on--the target is the middle classes. As usual. Why the Orange Man was bad and had to go.

A political note.

This comes on the heels of a Pew Research poll showing world favorability opinions of the US up sharply because Zhou. Zhou is in the UK, prepping to take on Vlad by going a few rounds with Boris:

Joe Biden backs down: White House desperately rows back from claims president rebuked Boris Johnson for 'inflaming tensions' in Northern Ireland through 'sausage war' spat with EU - as furious Brexiteers brand US leader 'senile'

  • Joe Biden accused Boris Johnson of 'inflaming tensions' in Northern Ireland over its EU sausage war
  • When he meets the Prime Minister on Thursday, he is tipped to set up a new 'Atlantic Charter'
  • But the US President has ordered his officials to issue a rare diplomatic rebuke to the British Government
  • Yael Lempert, charge d'affaires at US Embassy in London said UK's stance was imperiling the peace process
  • Rebuke came as crunch talks between Britain and Brussels over sausage imports failed to make breakthrough

And an anonymous Tory MP told Politico:  'America should remember who their allies are... unfortunately he's (Biden) so senile that he probably won't remember what we tell him anyway. 

'Unless an aide is listening I'm not sure he's going to remember for very long.'   

Ah yes, the Euro Sausage controversy! I remember it well.


  1. Favorability up? ...because zhou is such a nice guy?

    1. No because he is such a putz that they can pull anything on him and his mal-administration. - Spartacus

  2. The Euro Sausage is back?!!! This calls for Jim Hacker; he'll defend the British Sausage!!!

  3. Not me on the Zerohedge link. I just read it before coming over here. Amazing. And it was mentioned in another article that Ca is trying to hide the evidence of fraud by claiming they can’t produce financial information.

    And in LA another article mentioned the Soros backed DA looks like fraud was used to get him elected.

    I’ve been hearing similar rumors on corporates buying houses to turn them into rentals. The idea being assets are a hedge against inflation, and people always need a place to live. For housing prices you got 150% of the demand, with 50% of the supply per a housing forecaster in Ca. Multi family has not seen this exuberance in pricing. It seems we are headed for a period of inflation / stagflation. Basically inflation (increases in prices), with little growth.

    1. Right. They also need land to grow food on. Oh, wait, who's buying up farmland?

    2. Don’t know where you are, Ray, but in our part of SoCal multifamily is going crazy, too. Older condos that sold for far less a few years ago are selling in less than a week on the market for more than their $800,000+ listing prices, which indicates a bidding war.

    3. We sold out of SF Bay Area in Mar for exactly 10x what we paid in 1987. If you believe Zillow, our AZ home is up 12.4% in four months. This is all ridiculous and feels an awful lot like 2006-2007 for both housing and the markets. This time I don't really care. No mortgage and no stocks or bonds. Something isn't right.

  4. In other news, according to NADA my 2018 Ford F350 is worth $4k more than when I bought it. Pickup trucks appreciating in value. Rumor is due to the chip shortage.

  5. "BTW, the WaPo opines that 'The most recent inflation figures are unlikely to rattle the Biden administration or Federal Reserve.' "

    Maybe that's because, in part, serious inflation will seriously erode the value of the $7 trillion in US government debt held by foreign nations, over $1 trillion of which is held by China. Bad for creditors (China), good for debtors (us).

    Of course, this may mean that creditors may sell their securities, weakening the dollar even further...leading to higher prices and...more inflation?

    I do not pretend to know where this will lead, but I doubt Biden does either.

    1. Perhaps Edith has thought it all through.

    2. 75% of US Gov debt is held domestically, so that inflation is terrible, even if it hurts China abit

    3. You're right that inflation will hurt US creditors, just as it will bail out US dollar-denominated debtors, of which there are plenty.

      Too many other consequences to catalog.