Sunday Talks, Cohn and Brennan Talk Gleefully About the Return of the Service Driven Economy Under Biden, Happy with No Wage Growth

Posted originally on the CTH on February 5, 2023 | Sundance

This is one of those interviews where you don’t have to take my word for what is being said, Gary Cohn and Margaret Brennan are gleeful about the January jobs report and the overall return of the U.S. economy to a service driven system with low wages.   Seriously, this is them celebrating out loud.

In order to calm the Wall Street apoplexy about his election victory, President Trump selected Gary Cohn to be an economic advisor early in the administration.  However, it was also no surprise that President Trump did not follow Cohn’s advice, and quickly dispatched him after Cohn protested.  In this interview the worldview of Cohn is typically globalist, multinational and Wall St centric.

Talking about the January jobs report, Cohn literally gets everything wrong from the position of Main Street USA.  Cohn also celebrates what he calls the “renormalization of the new economy.”  Continuing with his thought process Cohn states, “A lot of the jobs that we saw were jobs in the service industry, the service, the industries coming back very strong because we’re starting to see the economy go back to what we historically think of the economy,” he said.  This is exactly how Wall Street, and the multinationals look at the U.S. economy.

The next part that both Cohn and Margaret Brennan celebrate is even more sunlight. “The interesting thing about last month’s unemployment numbers is we brought people back to work, but we did not have to entice them with pay,” Cohn stated. “So, the monthly, the month over month number in wage gains was 30 basis points. The prior month was 40 basis points. So, we’re seeing we’re getting people back into the labor force for a lower wage than we were prior to this,” he said.   With higher prices (inflation) crushing the middle-class and service workers, the multinationals Cohn represents are celebrating that they don’t have to pay workers higher wages.  WATCH:

[Transcript] – MARGARET BRENNAN: So 517,000 new jobs, but a lot of companies, particularly in tech, are announcing layoffs. So exactly where’s the economy headed?

GARY COHN: So, it’s interesting. We did see the 500,000 plus new jobs, which was quite surprising, I think, to many of us. But I think what we’re actually seeing here is a renormalization of the new economy. A lot of the jobs that we saw were jobs in the service industry, the service, the industries coming back very strong because we’re starting to see the economy go back to what we historically think of the economy. For the first time, we’ve seen occupancy rates in offices in major cities over 50%. When you see occupancy rates go up, you need the service sector to work. Think about people going back into the office. They need parking attendants. They need people to work in the buildings. They need security. They need people to clean the buildings. People stop for coffee when they go into the buildings. They go out to lunch. They go to bars. For the- for that to happen, you need the service sectors to come back to work. So the 120,000 service sector employees that came back to work, that 100% correlates with people going back to what is the new normal. It may not be five days a week in the office, but it’s enough days in the week in the office where you need the service sector to come back to work. The interesting thing about last month’s unemployment numbers is we brought people back to work, but we did not have to entice them with pay. So the monthly, the month over month number in wage gains was 30 basis points. The prior month was 40 basis points. So we’re seeing we’re getting people back into the labor force for a lower wage than we were prior to this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And that’s a little bit hopeful for you on the inflation front.

GARY COHN: Yeah, and I think this is natural. I think what we’ve seen is, after all the stimulus that was put in the system over the last three months, people are running out of the stimulus money. We saw that in the fourth quarter of last year. We saw consumer spending slow down. We saw debit balances on credit cards go up. We started to see delinquencies go up. And you know what happened? People actually did the right thing and they went back to work. They’re engaged and they reenter the workforce. And I think we saw a lot of that in the January numbers.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So these more positive signs have led Bank of America, for example, to say recession still in the cards, but not until after March. I wonder what your thoughts are on that. And as CEOs warned about borrowing costs going up as a result of the Fed hiking. They are tightening belts. So how far off is this recession?

GARY COHN: Well, we’ve got a couple of phenomena going on. Interest rates have been going up, so borrowing costs have been going up for companies. On the flip side, the dollar has been weakening. So the multinational corporations in the United States who repatriate earnings from offshore, those repatriated earnings have become more valuable. I think the people that have been really worried about a recession in the first and second quarter of this year, I think after what we’ve seen this week with both Chairman Powell’s announcements and the data in unemployment, I think that recession is off the table for Q and one in Q2 of this year. You know, we’re going to get another employment report before the next Fed meeting and we’ll see where the economy’s going. But it does feel like we’re in relatively good shape here. The question is going to be how does the Federal Reserve handle what’s going on in the economy? Are we going to continue to have to increase wages to draw people back in the labor force, or are people coming back in the labor force because they need to? And we’re not going to have wage inflation if that happens. The Federal Reserve is actually in a very good place.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me ask you about something the Fed chair said this week. He said Congress has to lift this debt ceiling. I’m throwing one of the things that could screw up your- your rosy prediction at you. He said no one should assume that the Fed can protect the economy from the consequences of failing to act in a timely manner. He’s warning he’s not making plans for a default. You’re on your own if it happens.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Should there be a plan for the Fed to step in? I mean, I know legally it’s in question here, but I talk to people on Capitol Hill who say Wall Street is not taking this seriously enough. The politics are really bad around the debt ceiling.

GARY COHN: The politics are very bad. You know, the one thing is every American, every American is holding the US government to raise the debt ceiling. The full faith and credit of the US dollar and the US dollar being the reserve currency is imperative to our economic well-being as a country. We ultimately have to get the debt ceiling raised. That said, what’s going on here is not something out of the ordinary. If you look at debt ceiling raises over the last 40 or 50 years, no matter which party is in the minority, about 50% of the time, debt ceiling raises come with some amendments attached- attached to them from the other party. So this is quite an. Normal, the process that we’re going through.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You don’t sound overly concerned.

GARY COHN: Like I’m always concerned when we’re dealing with debt ceiling, but I have a feeling that we will get there in the end when we have no other choice. You had this- you had the speaker here last week and he felt confident that we would get there when we had no other choice. The speaker met with the president of the United States this week. The two of them came out of the meeting relatively confident. I feel they both understand there is no choice. In the end of the day, we have to raise the debt ceiling. The question is, can the Republicans get something in the legislation, attach the debt ceiling legislation that they want that they feel like is a win and the Democrats are willing to give it to? Historically, that is what’s happened numerous times.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  Yeah. And the risk there is real. I want to ask you as well about China. Mark Warner was here with us last week and he said technology competition with China is the biggest issue of our time. He’s worried about things that- like your company does IBM, in terms of quantum computing. Is enough being done to keep America competitive on that front?

GARY COHN: Well, we’re starting you know, if you look at where we’ve been this year, you know, we passed the CHIPS Act in the United States, which, you know, is- is- is something that’s not a normal motion for us in the United States for the federal government to pick and choose–


GARY COHN: –an industry, and and to subsidize. It really is not a normal action- is an action that, you know, historically I probably not would have been have supportive. I was extremely supportive of the CHIPS Act, we at IBM was extremely supportive of the CHIPS Act. If we learned nothing else from the pandemic, we learned that there are certain goods that are necessity goods for this country to have, and we are overly reliant on places like China. And if we don’t find ways to change the manufacturing system in the supply chain and move it back to the United States where we can take care of ourselves, we have made a catastrophic miscalculation. Chips are one of those areas where we cannot depend on the rest of the world and run our manufacturing business and continue to grow our economy. Pharmaceuticals is another area where we really have to move that industry and that manufacturing back to the United States. So I think we really have to evaluate what are the most crucial and sensitive businesses or industries that we cannot live within the United States. And we’re going to have to make real investments in those here in this country.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And we’ll keep talking about it with legislators. Have to figure out how to pass some of those laws. We’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’ll be talking with four members of the freshman class and the 118th Congress.

[Transcript link]

Conversation with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. | How The Powerful Captured The Public During The Pandemic

Kim Iversen Posted originally on Rumble on: Feb 3, 6:00 pm EST

Gallup Poll – Gov’t is Our Greatest Problem

Armstrong Economics Blog/Uncategorized Re-Posted Feb 1, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

Gallup has just confirmed what our computer has been forecasting especially since 2011. The majority of Americans now say that a lack of leadership from President Biden and Congress is the country’s biggest problem and that means the entire world. Perhaps aliens should have a right to vote for the decisions of the Biden Administration are destroying lives around the world.

The Gallup Poll shows that it is the collapse of confidence in a government that is now viewed as the greatest threat even more so than inflation, ​the immigration crisis, and the state of the economy. Despite Americans suffering economically with higher taxes and inflation reducing the standard of living, they have cited that “the government/poor leadership” is now in the No. 1 spot taking that place from inflation over the past year. Gallup has reported that 21% of Americans name our incompetent government as the “most important problem facing this country today​” compared to the 15% who said so last year, a Gallup Poll found.

​Inflation and the economy ​came in last year as the top two issues — tied at 16% each — followed by the government (15%), immigration (8%), and unifying the country (6%). ​However, over the past year, Americans’ concerns with the economy fell 6% to 10%, with ​inflation falling one point to 15%, and immigration rose 3 points to 11%.

Just wait until they realize that the Biden Administration is so incompetent, it has allowed the Neocons to wage World War III on two fronts – China and Russia. These people will destroy Western Civilization and that is what 2032 is all about.

Fox News – “ominous Great Depression warning”

Armstrong Economics Blog/Economics Re-Posted Feb 1, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

Fox Business is reporting that economic conditions are much worse than you are being told.  Unfortunately, this is the conclusion when you have ZERO understanding of the historical trends and economic conditions. It is true that the shortages of COVID have caused prices to rise faster than economic growth and most incomes.  Therefore, they conclude that our standard of living has been rapidly declining.  The number reveals that more than one-third of all U.S. young adults are being supported in part by their parents. Thanks to COVID, this disrupted society far greater than anyone is reporting. In addition to the shortages because of the lockdowns, by the end of 2020, more than half of young adults in America were living with one or both parents. That statistic actually exceeded the record high of the Great Depression.

Here is the worst part of this analysis. Many are jumping on the bandwagon claiming that the decline in real disposable income has been the largest since 1932 and therefore, this is a warning sign of a Great Depression is coming. They seem to be focused on the fact that the GDP report showed a significant decline in real disposable income, which fell over $1 trillion in 2022. Now let’s look closer!

First of all, the entire reason why unemployment rise to 25% during the latter part of the Great Depression was the Dust Bowl. Why? At that time, about 40% of the civil workforce was still agrarian. The Dust Bowl meant job loss. If you could not even plant crops, there was no need for people to pick crops.

Service during the Great Depression accounted for 17% of the workforce compared to 44%+ today. Government, federal, state, and local, was 22% of the civil workforce during the Great Depression compared to 33% by 1980. Things have continued to evolve and by 2019, services represent 79.41%. Agriculture is now a tiny fraction of what it once was – 1.41%.

In the USA, at the state level, their share of the civil workforce varies greatly. Florida is at about 11.3% compared to New Mexico which is 22.5% – a government employee’s paradise. The lowest is Michigan at 10.1%.

During the Great Depression, the entire reason for the collapse in disposable income was the collapse in agriculture which created a collapse in income due to massive unemployment. That is totally different from the crisis we have today.

Here we have rising prices due to shortages and then central banks raising interest rates in a fool’s quest to stop inflation when it is not based on speculation. Moreover, the biggest borrower is the government, and rising interest rates will only increase their exposure to keep rolling over the debt. Therefore, governments have been borrowing year after year. What happens when the public no longer buys their debt? Real disposable income has been collapsing for completely different reasons since 1932. Here we have the costs of everything rising and then these people want war with Russia and China. Every war since the start of recorded history has resulted in inflation. Add to this, the total insanity of trying to end climate change by outlawing fossil fuels at a time when the climate is prone to getting colder.

We are already witnessing riots around the world BECAUSE of inflation. During the Great Depression, people were suffering from DEFLATION. So comparing just that statistic of a decline in personal income and projecting we now face a Great Depression, does not even qualify to be classified as analysis. That is no different from someone warning that carrots must be lethal because everyone who has ever eaten a carrot has obviously died.

Rut Roh, USDA Approves First Vaccine for Honeybees

Posted originally on the CTH on January 8, 2023 | Sundance

Um, I’m not saying that introducing a genetically modifying vaccine into the human population through the use of the pollinizing process in agriculture via honeybees was a plot line for an X-Files movie, except it actually was. Now this:

(New York Times) – A biotech company in Georgia has received conditional approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first vaccine for honeybees, a move scientists say could help pave the way for controlling a range of viruses and pests that have decimated the global population. It is the first vaccine approved for any insect in the United States.

The company, Dalan Animal Health, which is based in Athens, Ga., developed a prophylactic vaccine that protects honeybees from American foulbrood, an aggressive bacterium that can spread quickly from hive to hive.

[…]  The vaccine is incorporated into royal jelly, a sugar feed given to queen bees. Once they ingest it, the vaccine is then deposited in their ovaries, giving developing larvae immunity as they hatch.

[…] In 2015, she and two other researchers identified the specific protein that prompts an immune response in the offspring and realized they could cultivate immunity in a bee population with a single queen. 

[…] The introduction of a vaccine comes at a critical moment for honeybees, which are vital to the world’s food system. […]  honeybees pollinate about one-third of the food crops in the United States and help produce an estimated $15 billion worth of crops in the United States each year. Many beekeepers lease their hives across the country to assist in pollination of almonds, pears, cherries, apples and other types of produce.  (read more)

Wait,… wasn’t there some weird story about some vaccine promoting guy buying up a bunch of farmland in the United States for some unknown reason?…

“Gates is the largest private owner of farmland in America after quietly amassing some 270,000 acres across dozens of states, according to last year’s edition of the Land Report 100, an annual survey of the nation’s largest landowners.” (link)

I’m sure there is nothing to worry about.  I mean it’s not an mRNA vaccine…

… yet.

18th Century Copper Riots & Private Money

Armstrong Economics Blog/Civil Unrest Re-Posted Jan 6, 2023 by Martin Armstrong

During the reign of King George III (1760–1820) the first issue of halfpennies actually was not issued until 10 years after his accession to the throne in 1770. Consequently, the vast number of halfpennies in circulation were actually all counterfeits. Indeed, counterfeiting became rampant at first because there was a coin shortage. In 1771, it was declared that counterfeiting copper coins were to be a serious crime. Nevertheless, this really made no difference. Over the course of the next twenty years, the majority of copper coins in circulation were forgeries. Even in the American Colonies, a favorite pastime was to counterfeit British halfpennies.

Coppers of this type are thought to have been minted from mid-1787 through 1788 and probably into 1789. Interestingly, it appears Thomas Machin first produced halfpence dated to the contemporary year as well as examples backdated to 1778. As the mints in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Vermont failed, their equipment ended up at Machin’s Mills. Along with imitation British halfpence, Machin’s Mills also produced illegal Connecticut coppers and some legal Vermont Coppers, with most of their Vermont coins being struck over counterfeit Irish halfpence. The illegal coining operation continued at Machin’s Mills until around early 1790, which was longer than any of the legal mints in New England.

John Adams wrote to John Jay on April 10. 1787

“There is a vast sum in Circulation here of base Copper: to the amount of Several hundreds of thousands of Pounds. very lately these half Pence are refused every where: I suppose in Consequence of some Concerted Scheme. and it is supposed that they will be all purchased for a trifle and Sent to the United States where they will pass for good metal, and consequently our Simple Country men be cheated of an immense sum.2 The Board of Treasury, may be ordered with out the avowed Interposition of Congress, to give the alarm to our Citizens. and the seperate States would do well to prohibit this false Money from being paid or received.3

There was religious tension in Britain that still lingers to this day against Catholics. The Gordon Riots of 1780 took place over several days instigated by the anti-Catholic sentiment that again erupted with the passage of the Papists Act of 1778. That was an attempt to reduce official discrimination against British Catholics with the first legislation of the Popery Act of 1698. At the time, Lord George Gordon was the head of the Protestant Association. He argued that the law would enable Catholics to join the British Army and once in they would then use the army to plot treason. The protest became the excuse to burn people’s possessions, engaged in widespread rioting and looting, and they even used the opportunity to attack both Newgate Prison and the Bank of England. This was by far the most destructive riot in the history of London.


From the mid-1600s, the world money supply was increased largely with copper coins. Russia, in particular, began to overvalue the copper coins. Money is always fiat for its value is typically dictated by the government. Overvaluing copper as in the 17th and 18th centuries, led to the same trend of overvaluing silver during the 19th century. The result of this monetary manipulation by the Russian government led to what became known as the Copper Riots of 1662.

The Russian government began producing copper coins and monetizing them to be of equal value to silver Kopek currency with an average weight of about half of a gram to meet expenses during the mini-Ice Age. The effort failed and silver vanished from circulation as people began hoarding them causing the entire economy to collapse. The copper money was naturally devalued in purchasing power and then there were widespread counterfeiting operations since the official value of the copper coinage became far in excess of the cost of production. The economy collapsed into a deflationary black hole as businesses shut down and unemployment rose dramatically. This erupted into what has become known as the Copper Riots of 1662.

The German bankers, the Fuggers, emerged as the leading Augsburg merchant-banker, who then provided loans to local rulers secured with the silver produce of their mines. The discovery of vast silver mines eventually led to the development in 1525 of the one-ounce silver coin that was the thaler from which we derive the name “dollar” as the alternative to the British pound after the American Revolution. The Joachimsthaler of the Kingdom of Bohemia was therefore the first thaler ideally with a weight of 31 grams or one troy ounce.


As the silver mines were declining, the decline in the supply of silver led to the rise of copper coinage during the next century. This was not an isolated incident confined to Russia. There was a shortage of precious metals going into 1662. It was most profound in Russia. Nevertheless, the price of gold rose sharply from the low of 1655 in a 7-year bull market. This also reflected the deflationary atmosphere that was emerging thanks also to the mini-Ice Age which was peaking during the 17th century yet would last well into the mid-19th century.

It was Spain’s silver mine known as the great red Cerro Rico or ‘Rich Hill’ that towered over the city of Potosí in Bolivia. It had been mined since 1545 by drafted armies of natives. The great silver boom of c1575-1635 was when Potosí alone produced nearly half the world’s silver. But the mine’s yield was starting to decline. By 1678, native workers became scarce and the output of the mines began to dwindle. This was the royal mint that produced vast amounts of ‘pieces of eight’, which became the precursor of the American dollar. The shortage of labor ended up being augmented by purchasing African slaves from the Dutch who were buying them under the pretense that they were the spoils of war, which had been the justification for slaves from ancient times.

As the quantity of new silver in the world monetary system was declining, we begin to see the rise of copper coinage make its first appearance under James I of England (1603-1625). Due to a shortage of small coins, James I authorized John Harrington to issue tin-coated bronze farthings in 1613, and three main types were minted – the last being a slightly larger copper farthing without the tin coating. The first halfpenny was introduced in 1672 by Charles II (1660-1685). Charles II issued some copper halfpennies and farthings in 1672 for a single year but issued farthings again in 1873. The next issue of a farthing was struck in a tin but during 1684 and 1685.

However, in 1694 the Bank of England was established to raise money for King William III’s war against France. The Bank started to issue notes in return for deposits. Therefore, the money supply for the first time began to include paper currency. By 1695 the first fraud took place. The authorities prosecuted Daniel Perrismore for forging sixty £100 notes. This incident caused the Bank of England to introduce a watermark in the paper to prevent such fraud. This was further enhanced by making counterfeiting subjected to the death penalty as a felony resulting in the confiscation of all your wealth and throwing your family out of the street as well. Pictured here, is a protest imitation note. The law was being prosecuted on the mere possession of a forged note. The complaint here was that these one-pound notes were easily forged and innocent people were duped, thereby committing a felony by mere possession. They were being hanged with no proof that they created the forgery – merely that they possessed one. This was creating an incentive not to even accept the notes in transactions.

George I, II, and III all issued copper halfpennies. George III’s halfpennies were dated 1770 to 1772. The economic hard times no doubt contributed to the riots of 1780. After those events, at Newgate Prison in March 1782 a female alleged counterfeiter of halfpennies was hanged. She was then fixed to a stake and burned before the debtor’s door at Newgate prison in London as a further example of not to counterfeit.

In a letter to Lord Hawkesbury on April 14th, 1789, Matthew Boulton, who is considered the Grandfather of modern coinage,  commented

“In the course of my journeys, I observe that I receive upon average two-thirds counterfeit halfpence for change at toll-gates, etc., and I believe the evil is daily increasing, as the spurious money is carried into circulation by the lowest class of manufacturers, who pay with it the principal part of the wages of the poor people they employ”.

Boulton’s contract in 1797 to produce the Cartwheel pennies and twopences, thwarting the counterfeiters, did not extend to producing the halfpenny, though Boulton had expected that it would, and had prepared patterns of the appropriate size and weight in accordance with his ideas on the intrinsic value of copper coins. The reason the government gave for the omission of the denomination from the contract was that a large number of de facto halfpennies (including tokens and fakes) would be driven out of circulation and Boulton would be unable to produce enough coins to meet the demand that would ensue.

To avoid being hung for counterfeiting and burned at the stake, there was a multitude of halfpenny tokens. Many were of a political nature as this one complaining about the cost of bread. The government yielded to the private halfpenny tokens which became the majority of the small change. The overall public demand for legal halfpennies soon forced the government to change its mind, and in 1798 a contract was issued to Boulton for him to produce halfpennies and farthings dated 1799.

Interestingly, it was also at this time when inflation sent the price of copper rising, and consequently, the weight of the coins was reduced slightly, which resulted in them not being as popular as expected. In 1806 a further 427.5 tons of copper was struck into halfpennies by Boulton, but the price of copper had risen again and the weight was even less than the 1799 issue. This time, however, there was no unfavorable reaction from the public, so perhaps the national obsession with “intrinsic value” had run its course.

This was a very curious period where private money dominated the money supply for halfpennies. There are other periods where this has emerged in history primarily due to the shortage of real official money. One of the earliest such periods was during the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius (14-37AD).

Tiberius was legendary to be a frugal emperor. His deliberate contraction in creating new money led to the Financial Panic of 33AD. As far as Quantitative Easing, that too was nothing new. Tiberius offered loans INTEREST-FREE, but they had a limitation of three years. This was to prevent people from being forced to sell their estates further depressing land values.

There was a major earthquake in Asia, modern Turkey, and this was so devastating, he issued coins stating they were for the relief of Asia. He also waived all taxes in the region for 5 years – something our modern-day politicians would never dream of.

The lesson from history reveals that at times there emerges the acceptance of private money. During the 1870s, we also see private tokens circulating as money in the United States. Collectors call them the Hard Times Tokens. The very same thing took place during the American Civil War.

During the Great Depression, the shortage of money led to more than 200 cities issuing their own paper currency. As long as everyone in town accepted it, these Depressions Scrips enable people to work and to be paid locally when there was simply not enough federal money to go around.

During the Hyperinflation in Germany of the 1920s, there again we see private currency being printed known as NOTGELD. Therefore, in the end, when the confidence in government declines, society is compelled to return to a barter-based society and that is when we begin to see private forms of money take hold.