Beware of the Economic Mirage- NEIL SISKIND

You will hear these things on TV and read them in the papers- but they are false profits. The following are presented in the media and by investment advisers and analysts as true or good- but they are either false or bad.

1. There is global synchronized growth

The is entirely false. Europe, the UK, Japan, Italy, are all slowing. Even the US consumer is slowing. Central banks around the world wish to raise rates, but can’t. Instead, quantitative easing and artificial stimuli abound across the world. The US even still has bonds on its balance sheet from years of quantitative easing. Even China is slowing. There is a global synchronized slowing.

2. We have full employment.

This is both false and bad. The employment participation rate is low. To the degree people are employed, wages are forever stagnant (as much as the Fed wishes to blame rate hikes on upward wage pressures). The reason?: Large companies, like Amazon and Home Depot, are growing fast, while they put small retailers out of business. Try to find 2 hardware stores in your town anymore, or 2 bookstores. Large companies are taking over the labor pool, giving better benefits, but lower wages. The idea of local small business in America is all but disappearing, along with income growth.

3.  We will have wage pressures soon.

False. We will not.

4. Housing is strong.

This is completely false. People can’t afford to buy bigger and better homes because they paid so little for their own home in 2010-2013, or have low mortgage rates from these time periods. This includes all the investors who purchased and rent the homes out. So no one sells, and that bottleneck trickles down so that starter homes area unavailable. This is a sign of economic sickness- not health. Prices are up because transactions are down. Supply is low. In a healthy housing market, transactions and prices should align. Prices should rise while transactions rise. It reflects growth and capital flow through an economy.

5. At least prices are low thanks to the Internet and Amazon.

This is bad. We have been trained to trade rising wages for low prices. Large companies get larger and larger at the expense of small business. Their scale allows them to trade margins for volume, so bigger is better- except for labor; and prices stay low while incomes stay low. But the largest companies with the most scale are getting wealthy, while average Americans and small business owners are getting squeezed.

6. Tax cuts will save the day.

Potentially false. Only if capex comes through by businesses en masse will we see job and/or wage growth. If the consumer seems week, businesses will not engage in capex en mass.

7. As long as the yield curve does not invert, we’ll be okay.

Not true. Higher rates will be harmful to businesses and consumers. Higher rates and a slowdown can lead to a “later” flattening and inversion … especially as rates are artificially high due to Government interventions, such as Treasury auctions and quantitative tightening, rather than due to growth.

8. China is strong.

False. Not only is China deleveraging to slowdown its own bubbles, US money borrowed from US banks- or invested directly by US investment banks-  is in China’s real estate market causing the US to have systemic risk.

9. The US is growing.

False. GDP is down, payrolls are down (in some months), consumer spending is down (in some months), pre-tax corporate profits are down, wages are stagnant, the yield curve is flattening.

Is “This” Even Worse For Americans Than A U.S. Bubble?- By NEIL SISKIND

How many American-bank dollars are in Chinese real estate … which is heading downward as China targets its real estate market with higher interest rates? Is there systemic risk for U.S. banks who either made loans and/or directly invested in China real estate over the last 10 years?

Is Something Very, Very Bad Brewing In China?- By NEIL SISKIND

China has a shadow banking problem to the tune of 10 trillion dollars.

China has a real estate bubble which it has been raising rates to tame.

China has financial bubbles that it is trying to regulate and get deleveraged.

How big is the problem? How sophisticated and reliable are the attempted solutions?

Who knows?

Something bad seems to be brewing in China. And any slowdowns in Europe or the U.S. could show how naked China is once the tide goes out.

And- how much U.S. leverage- from U.S. banks- is in Chinese assets?

Term limits for the President have been removed- effectively creating an “emperor” or “king”; and restrictions on free speech are being implemented in China and Hong Kong- the former British Colony.

China’s central bank has been more honest and transparent than ours about an unsustainable real estate bubble. China has admitted it is targeting rampant speculation, while our Fed remains coy, for fear of a panic (who can blame them after 20017, and the aftermath). Bu, when a country like China is honest about financial problems, it has to make one worry about how bad it is that they actually chose a transparent path. Remember, as stated above, this is a country that lacks term limits for its leaders and restricts free speech.

China reminds me of Japan and Russia in the last century. Like Japan, they are acquiring assets around the world as their national debt rises. Like Russia, we are in a cold war (or, a silicon war), where China is trying to outspend us on technology, rather than weaponry, as Russia attempted to do. If you recall, everyone was as sure as they are about China today that these countries would take over the world. Things that we have and value in the U.S. is the difference- free speech, free markets, rule of law, human rights, leadership accountability.


Neil S. Siskind, Esq., President
The Siskind Law Firm
Tel: 646.530.0006

Neil Siskind is the Founder & Chairman of The Fatherhood Assignment
Learn more at:

Neil Siskind is the Conservator of the Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve

The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve is over 7 acres of environmentally-pristine waterfront land in a magnificent setting along New York’s majestic Hudson River. The Preserve includes a variety of species of animal and plant life, and is a precious example of the thoughtful maintenance of New York’s priceless open spaces. The land’s uses are limited to outdoor recreation such as hiking and climbing, and the study of ecology, nature and land use. The Neil S. Siskind Nature Preserve allows for the intelligent contemplation of our valuable natural resources and the most effective ways to maximize them and keep them protected.

Neil Siskind, Founder, “National Fatherhood Day” – March 29th

To encourage recognition of the needs of boys and girls who are living without fathers or father-figures in their lives.

Read about the non-profits and charities whose missions Neil Siskind supports and promotes:
Caring is Free®

You can read what clients and associates say about Neil Siskind at:

Neil Siskind’s Volunteer Work:

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volunteer

– Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, My Fundraiser- Help Neil Siskindhelp children with cancer to be more comfortable:

– Make-A Wish Foundation- Help Neil Siskind make sick children’s wishes come true by creating your own fundraiser: Neil-Siskind/Help-Make-A-Child-Smile.htm

– Donate to one of my needy public classrooms:

– Champion Children– We seek to inspire people through stories of children who have overcome challenges:

Neil Siskind’s Pro Bono

– Saving Senior Citizens- Protecting New York’s senior citizens from fraud and financial abuse

– Senior FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put senior citizens in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy:

– Veteran FreeStart Business– Pro Bono: We seek to help put Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans in the right direction so that they can face the challenges of the modern economy:

– In development: The Neil S. Siskind School of Hope: A free school to teach inner-city youths the skills of entrepreneurship and importance of economic self-sufficiency.

Neil Siskind’s Government Work:

– Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA, 1994, Intern
– Office of Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Newington, CT, 1992, Intern
– Hartford County Department of Probation, Hartford, CT, 1991, Intern

Neil Siskind’s Community Assistance:

Financed & operated a legal clinic providing low-cost legal services to struggling Long Islanders during the recession to help clients resolve debt, organize finances, and launch new businesses.

Neil Siskind’s Professional Curriculum Vitae:

Sponsored Advertisements

Inventors, IP Owners, Manufacturers
Learn How To Bring Products To Market And To Expand Your Distribution Channels
The Complete Guide To The Ways To Manufacture & Sell Your Products



Yelp On 60 Minutes- What Joke

It was interesting to see Yelp on 60 minutes last week complaining about how Google hurts businesses. Yelp has probably done as much, and more, to hurt small businesses in this country, along with their respective hardworking owners, than any other company.

I do not go to Yelp to find warmth and love and generally tender feedback about local businesses. I know no matter what I look up there will be insults and attacks. People use Yelp to degrade and attack their local businesses and their own neighbors who own those businesses … which is one reason, among others, why storefronts sit empty across America, while large corporations steal market share. Large corporations can manage the insults; small businesses suffer way more. All the rudeness on Yelp is helping large corporations take over commerce in this country to the detriment of small businesses and to ourselves- consumers.

Yelp is filled with vicious, negative, hurtful, profane, and often disgusting verbiage and verbal attacks on businesses and individuals. Much of it, untrue, subjective, and merely vindictive. Much of it written by a company’s competition. Among other things, websites like Yelp are rife with teenagers and angry people insulting business owners of many years of hard work and sacrifice using the most offensive of vitriol. The ideas of “my brother’s keeper” and “love thy neighbor” hardly reside on Yelp.

I think Yelp should worry more about how Yelp affects businesses than how Google does.

All of this goes for TripAdvisor, too- pure rudeness.

These companies wear corporate cloaks and speak with technical tongues, but are little more than mere chat rooms for vengeful souls with nothing but time to criticize others, rather than enter the arena, themselves. One would have to assume that most, if not all of the people who have the time to write long and/or multiple reviews on Internet message boards are not, themselves, running and building businesses.

Spread love, not disrespect and anger. Yelp (and its users) are reminded that when you point your finger at others, you have three fingers pointing at yourself.

Low Prices = Low Wages- By NEIL SISKIND

I go into Home Depot and Walmart and can’t believe how cheap the prices are-
even nice things

Then I realize it’s the reason that no one’s wages go up.

We are a society in a race to the bottom.

We want things cheap as can be- and are seemingly willing to make less money to get it.

Amazon, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom rack- we have grown these companies into behemoths in our search for low prices.

The question is: Did companies like these cause this- or are they responding to it?


I’d argue the latter in the case of discount stores and how they have responded to consumers; and the former when it comes to how Amazon has trained consumers.

Here Comes The Wages Apocalypse

How long can a society withstand its wages being stagnant? Income growth, higher living standards, incentive and motivation, ability to afford a nice home- these are cornerstones of America and capitalism.

Gas prices are higher. Interest rates are higher. This hurts consumers … and this hurts businesses. Businesses’ raw material costs have risen. Business borrowing costs have risen. Businesses may put tax cuts towards offsetting these cost increases- for now.  Tax cuts should be used towards wages- or companies will not have consumers- now or later.

Many companies are using tax cuts just to survive, as raw materials costs, interest rates, and competition have risen. Raising wages now, is not an option. Unemployment is low, most likely due ot large companies growing, while their smaller competitors are slowing. So the number of bodies needed are up- but incomes remain stagnant.

The wage problem going on for so long in this country may be coming home to roost. Jobless claims are up, wages are stagnant, consumer spending has been declining … and investors are not recognizing or addressing how stagnant wages combined with bloated housing prices are an destructive economic combination.

Stagnant wages are the canary in the coalmine. The slightest rise in costs or lowering of employment needs could tip the consumer over.

Wage growth slowed in April.