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The Fed’s Artificially Low Interest Rates Are Eating Away At Social Security

The Fed’s Artificially Low Interest Rates Are Eating Away At Social Security

Via SchiffGold.com,

The Federal Reserve has held interest rates artificially low for decades. This causes all kinds of distortions and misallocations in the economy

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The Fed's Artificially Low Interest Rates Are Eating Away At Social Security

Via SchiffGold.com,

The Federal Reserve has held interest rates artificially low for decades. This causes all kinds of distortions and misallocations in the economy.

And it’s creating quite a problem for the Social Security Administration.

The Social Security Trust Fund, also known as the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, closed fiscal 2021 with a balance of $2.76 trillion. That was down by 2.0% from a year earlier. It was the second annual decline of Trust Fun since 1990. The first occurred in 2018.

The fund balance had strong growth through the 1990s and early 2000s, but began to plateau after the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession.

So, what is causing this dropoff in funding?

OASI invests exclusively in US Treasury securities. It primarily holds what are known as interest-bearing long-term special-issue Treasury securities. The Trust Fund purchases these instruments at face value, and the US Treasury redeems them at face value. The interest from these investments, along with Social Security taxes, funds OASI.

The trust fund is being hit with a double-whammy.

Payroll taxes are down. According to the 2021 Trustees Report, 55 million people drew Social Security retirement benefits at the end of 2020. That same year, 175 million people paid into Social Security via payroll taxes. That was down by 3 million from 2019. Changing demographics will likely continue to shrink payroll taxes unless Congress raises rates.

But the drop in payroll taxes is just one part of the problem.

The other issue is Fed interest rate suppression. OASI’s investment in Treasury securities isn’t kicking out enough interest to keep up with the fund’s outflows.

According to WolfStreet, the weighted average interest rate earned on the securities in the Trust Fund dropped to 2.40% in September. Before the 2008 Financial Crisis, the Fund was earning over 5%.

In fact, the average interest earned by the trust fund has been dropping since the 1990s. Cooling inflation in the 80s naturally pushed rates lower. But things really got hinky when the Fed started artificially driving down interest rates to “stimulate” the economy. In the midst of a mild recession in the early 90s, Alan Greenspan began cutting interest rates. This ultimately blew up the dot-com bubble. When it burst, the Fed cut rates again. With each subsequent crisis, the central bank pushed rates lower and during each recovery, rates failed returned to the previous level. After pushing rates to zero in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, “normalization” only managed to raise rates to 2.5% — hardly “normal.”  The central bank began cutting rates in 2019, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

In effect, we have a downward ratchet effect on interest rates, and that is steadily eroding away interest income for OASI.

According to WolfStreet, despite the 13% growth of the Trust Fund assets since 2010, annual interest income has dropped by 35%, from $108.5 billion in 2010 to $70.5 billion in 2021. And the latest round of interest rate suppression is just starting to enter the pipeline.

The Fed’s interest rate repression since March 2020 is just starting to be reflected in the Trust Fund’s average interest rate and will hound it for years to come, even if long-term interest rates rise.”

As interest income continues to decline, at some point Congres will have to raise Social Security taxes, or benefits will get trimmed, or both.

The Social Security fund is in trouble. It was always inevitable that it would be. Ponzi schemes are unsustainable by their very nature. But the Fed’s artificially low interest rates are exacerbating the problem. A normal interest rate environment wouldn’t likely fix Social Security, but it would help stem the bleeding.

Tyler Durden Fri, 11/19/2021 - 11:05

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Spread & Containment

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory..

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TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory after the results showed that 89% of respondents oppose compulsory shots.

Yes, really.

Good Morning Britain, which often tries to set the news agenda, posted the poll which asked the public, “With Omicron cases doubling every two days, is it time to make vaccines mandatory?”

The last screenshots Twitter users were able to obtain before the poll was wiped showed 89% oppose mandatory vaccinations, with just 11% in favor after a total of over 42,000 votes.

People demanded to know why the poll had been pulled, although it wasn’t exactly hard to guess.

Why did you delete this poll, is it because you were asked? Or because it shows the people don’t support this s**t, this tyrannical future your colleagues seem to want. We see you,” commented one respondent.

“Guess that wasn’t the answer they were looking for,” remarked another.

Good Morning Britain has failed to explain why it removed the poll.

However, it’s unsurprising given that the broadcast has been a vehicle for pushing pro-lockdown messaging since the start of the pandemic.

For most of that time, it was hosted by Piers Morgan, an aggressive proponent of lockdowns, mandatory vaccines and face masks.

The show also regularly features Dr. Hillary Jones, someone who at the start of the pandemic warned that face masks could make the spread of the virus worse, before getting the memo and doing a complete 180.

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Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 03:30

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Science

Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end.

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Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms have announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end. Here’s a look.

Novavax to Expand Maryland Campus

Novavax, on the cusp of getting its COVID-19 vaccine authorized in numerous countries around the world, is expanding its footprint in Gaithersburg, Md., where it is headquartered. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to authorize the company’s vaccine soon, and so is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Czechia has already ordered 370,000 doses, with deliveries expected at the beginning of 2022. The company also has a deal with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture millions of doses of the Novavax vaccines at its facilities in Billingham, U.K., with a £400 million investment in expansion.

Four Corners Acquired 150,000-Square-Foot Complex in Belmont, Calif.

Four Corners Properties acquired a 150,000-square-foot office building in Belmont, Calif., called the Shoreway Innovation Center. The seller was Westlake Group. Westlake bought it in 2016 for $61 million. The company plans to expand its use for life sciences, noting that 82% of it is currently leased to a mix of tenants with an average of less than three years lease term remaining.

“Shoreway Innovation Center offers the opportunity to bring office and life sciences space to a market where tenant demand is far outpacing available supply,” said Mike Taquino, executive vice president of CBRE’s Northern California Capital Markets team.

Genentech Leases Building Under Construction in South San Francisco

Source: BioSpace

Boston Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities are leasing a building under construction in South San Francisco to Genentech. It will be the first phase of a life sciences campus. The building is at 751 Gateway and is 229,000 square feet. The campus will be called Gateway Commons and is a joint venture between the two real estate firms. They expect initial occupancy toward the end of 2024. Genentech has been headquartered in South San Francisco for forty years, with a large corporate headquarters made up of 4.7 million square feet of five neighborhood hubs. The new site is about one mile’s distance from their main campus.

Mispro Biotech to Open New Facility in North Carolina in Early 2022

Mispro Biotech Services plans to open a new facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C., in early 2022. Mispro is a leading contract vivarium organization (CVO). The new facility, a full-service vivarium research facility, will be central to one of RTP’s biopark campuses.

“Since we first opened our doors here in 2013, we have seen incredible growth in the RTP cluster,” said Philippe Lamarre, chief executive officer of Mispro. “The time was right to expand into a new facility with more space and modern amenities where we can support the influx of biotechs who are seeking in vivo lab space.”

Laura Gunter, president of NCBIO, representing the life sciences industry in North Carolina, noted, “Mispro has become a cornerstone of the Triangle ecosystem as contract research and support companies are finding increased favor. Biotechs of all sizes and therapeutic disciplines are focusing more on their core competencies, which is opening the door to innovation like Mispro’s contract vivarium option. We are pleased to see their decision to expand here and support more North Carolina companies.”

BioSpace source:

https://www.biospace.com/article/life-science-companies-announce-expansion-plans-as-they-wrap-up-2021

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Government

Over 170 companies delisted from major U.S. stock exchanges in 12 months

  Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies….

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Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies.

According to data acquired by Finbold, a total of 179 companies have been delisted from the major United States exchanges between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, the number of companies on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 6,000, dropping 2.89% from last year’s figure of 6,179. In 2019, the listed companies stood at 5,454.

NYSE recorded the highest delisting with companies on the platform, dropping 15.28% year-over-year from 2,873 to 2,434. Elsewhere, Nasdaq listed companies grew 7.86% from 3,306 to 3,566. Data on the number of listed companies on NASDAQ and NYSE is provided by The World Federation of Exchanges.

The delisting of the companies is potentially guided by basic factors such as violating listing regulations and failing to meet minimum financial standards like the inability to maintain a minimum share price, financial ratios, and sales levels. Additionally, some companies might opt for voluntary delisting motivated by the desire to trade on other exchanges.

Furthermore, the delisting on U.S. major exchanges might be due to the emergence of new alternative markets, especially in Asia. China and Hong Kong markets have become more appealing, with regulators making local listings more attractive. Over the years, exchanges in the region have strived to emerge as key players amid dominance by U.S. equity markets. As per a previous report, the U.S. controls 56% of the global stock market value.

A significant portion of the delisted companies also stems from the regulatory perspective pitting U.S. agencies and their Chinese counterparts. For instance, China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom, and China Telecom Corp announced their delisting from NYSE, citing investment restrictions dating from 2020.

Worth noting is that the delisting of firms was initiated due to strict measures put in place by the Trump administration. The current administration has left the regulations in place while proposing additional regulations. For instance, a recent regulation update by the Securities Exchange Commission requiring US-listed Chinese companies to disclose their ownership structure has led to the exit of cab-hailing company Didi from the NYSE.

Impact of pandemic on the listing of companies

The delisting also comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in economic turmoil. With the shutdown of the economy, most companies entered into bankruptcies as the stock market crashed to historical lows.

Lower stock prices translate to less wealth for businesses, pension funds, and individual investors, and listed companies could not get the much-needed funding for their normal operations.

At the same time, the focus on more companies going public over the last year can be highlighted by firms on the Nasdaq exchange. Worth noting is that in 2020, there was tremendous growth in special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), mainly driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With the uncertainty of raising money through the traditional means, SPACs found a perfect role to inject more funds into capital-starving companies to go public.

From the data, foreign companies listing in the United States have grown steadily, with the business aiming to leverage the benefits of operating in the country. Notably, listing on U.S. exchanges guarantees companies liquidity and high potential to raise capital. Furthermore, listing on either NYSE or Nasdaq comes with the needed credibility to attract more investors. The companies are generally viewed as a home for established, respected, and successful global companies.

In general, over the past year, factors like the pandemic have altered the face of stock exchanges to some point threatening the continued dominance of major U.S. exchanges. Tensions between the US and China are contributing to the crisis which will eventually impact the number of listed companies.

 

Courtesy of Finbold.

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