Saturday, June 19, 2010

Made my sixth payment to pay down the public debt of the U.S. government

I just made my sixth monthly payment to pay down the public debt of the U.S. government. Not much, just another $25, but it is a matter of principle, albeit mostly symbolic. It may take me another 43 billion years to pay it all down all by myself at this rate, but, as I said, it is matter of principle.

According to the U.S. Treasury web site, the total public debt outstanding was $13,038,877,263,966.78, as of June 17, 2010. It was $12,853,100,126,888.44, as of April 29, 2010, for an increase of about $186 billion over a seven-week period, about $3.8 billion a day.

What I wrote back in January when I made my first donation/gift/contribution/payment:

Everybody is whining and complaining about the ballooning debt of the U.S. government, but who is actually doing anything about it? Well, for starters, ME! Yes, that's right, I, Jack Krupansky, just did something to reduce the U.S. government debt. Really. No kidding. I actually paid down a small slice of this debt. Granted, it was a rather small slice, but a slice nonetheless. Okay, sure, it was only $20, but the point is that at least I am one of the very few people willing to stand up and DO something about the problem, rather than be one of the whiners and complainers who refuse to acknowledge that it is their debt and their problem, not just the fault of mindless politicians in Washington, D.C. After all, every politician ultimately answers to voters and most of the so-called wasteful spending of the U.S. government is simply politicians responding to the demands of their consistituents (voters.) Maybe my one small contribution to paying down the debt won't really make any difference to any of those whiners and complainers, but for me it is a matter of principle. I consciously choose action rather than the inaction and lack of responsibility of the whiners and complainers.

If you have any sense of principle, you too can pay down a slice of the U.S. government debt yourself at You can pay via credit card or debit transfer from a bank account.

So do the right thing and show all those whiners and complainers (including so-called "tax protesters") how mindless and spineless they really are. PAY DOWN THE DEBT! And that has to start at the grass roots with us individuals before politicians will ever pick up the lead.

For the record, the only real way out of the deficit is not to merely cut expenditures or raise taxes or some combination of the two, but through economic growth, which includes a healthy amount of immigration. Sure, we need to manage the federal budget more carefully as well, but the big focus has to be on achieving sustainable economic growth.

-- Jack Krupansky

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oops, one of my Lending Club investment loans has missed a payment

It had to happen eventually, but for a year now I have managed to avoid any of my Lending Club investment loans ("notes") getting hit with a missed payment or default. Sometime over the past week one of the loans went into "Late (16-30 days)" status. No big deal yet and that loan share is less than 2% of my portfolio, but I had gotten so used to a perfect record for so long. There is no action for me to take, other than to simple watch the loan from a distance to see whether or when the borrower makes up for the missed payment. Lending Club takes care of all of the communication with the borrower. The good news is that if the borrower does catch up, they will have to pay a late fee, which will increase my return. This loan was rated E2, which is moderately risky and has a nominal interest rate of 16%.

-- Jack Krupansky

Friday, June 04, 2010

Private sector employment rose by over 700,000 last month

Despite all the wringing of hands on Wall Street, the labor market did not have as bad a month as traders and speculators have claimed. The headline number was for a private sector gain of only 41,000, but that is the adjusted number. The actual, unadjusted (still only an estimate) was for a gain of 710,000 jobs. Sure the adjustment does mean something, but it is based on a fully healthy economy and ours is still a relatively weak but recovering economy, still in the early stages of recovery.

Total (unadjusted) nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.09 million last month.

Unadjusted household employment rose by 195,000.

Unadjusted unemployment fell by 240,000.

U-6, the broadest official measure of unemployment that includes part-time workers wanting full-time work, discouraged workers, etc. declined from 17.1% in April to 16.6% in May. That is significant progress, even though we are still far from getting out of the woods on the labor front.

Remember: the so-called "professionals" on Wall Street are not your friends; they are seeking to take as much of your money as possible; DO NOT listen to Wall Street; read as much real data as you can and talk to as many real people with real information on the real economy as you can and make up your own mind before making investment decisions based on economic data. Wall Street WILL NOT give you a realistic picture. Do not look to Wall Street for investment advice.

-- Jack Krupansky