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Daily Digest - Dec 26

Friday, December 26, 2008, 10:29 AM
  • 10 worst real-estate markets for 2009 
  • Real Personal Consumption Expenditure by Category (Chat)
  • Home prices may rise on mortgage refinancing boom 
  • In spite of stricter laws, metro-east bankruptcy filings rise
  • Wall St Santa rally small comfort after grim year
  • Worst predictions of 2008
  • Retail sales plummet (worst on record)   
Blog

Daily Digest - Dec 25

Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 8:10 PM
  • What happened to the American Dream?
Blog

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah (and a very off topic post)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 5:54 PM

Seasons greetings.

It is Christmas Eve and I am not really in the mood to post anything about the Three Es.

Searching around, I thought I would share a family tradition of mine.  Long ago I chafed at the extremely dry family letters that we would receive during the holidays and decided to write ours in a very different style.

What started as a lampoon of others' letters became an important tradition in our own household, and I am told that many people look forward to receiving and reading our yearly missive. One family saves it for a read aloud at the dinner table.

In the spirit of the holidays, I offer you this fragment from last year's letter.  I would offer this year's, but not everybody has received it yet and nothing beats real mail.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.

Sincerely,

Chris Martenson

P.S. - The site will not be updated by me on Christmas Day.

Blog

Daily Digest - Dec 24

Wednesday, December 24, 2008, 8:08 AM
  • Japan Should Scrap U.S. Debt; Dollar May Plummet, Mikuni Says
  • Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble across the world 
  • MIT's Thesis Advisor to Bernanke Take
  • States set to impose bevy of new taxes 
  • Feinberg Despised in Wisconsin Where Cerberus Lives Up to Name
  • U.S. falls deeper into recession
  • Legitimacy Dwindles
  • "Mean Markets and Lizard Brains" FSN Newshour Book Interview
  • Laissez-Faire Capitalism Should Be as Dead as Soviet Communism 
  • U.S. Home Resales Fall; Prices Drop by Record 13.2% 
Blog

Daily Digest - Dec 23

Monday, December 22, 2008, 9:40 PM
  • Where'd the bailout money go? Shhhh, it's a secret
  • Bill Sharon ChrisMartenson Interview
  • Ron Paul & Peter Schiff Video
  • Financial Sense Newshour 3rd Hour
  • Banking Regulator Played Advocate Over Enforcer ensuring failure
  • Official says Calif. could be broke in 2 months
  • Recession Slows Migration in U.S.
  • Statement by the Press Secretary on Irresponsible Reporting by New York Times
  • A problem that almost no one saw as it was happening [Monday, April 04, 2005]
  • Federal Reserve is damned either way as it battles debt and deflation
  • OCC and OTS Mortgage Metrics Report, Disclosure of National Bank and Federal Thrift Mortgage Loan Data
  • Why the Auto Bailout's a Dead End
  • Developers Ask U.S. for Bailout as Massive Debt Looms
  • Increased shoplifting is another sign of bad times
  • Cramer Gets One Right - Social Security IS the Biggest Ponzi Scheme
  • Mortgage activity surges at US banks
  • Will the Financial Bailout Undermine the US Defined Benefit Pension System?
  • Department of the Treasury, 2008 Financial Report all 194 pages
Blog

Stall Speed

Monday, December 22, 2008, 4:58 PM

The problem with a deflationary collapse of a credit bubble is that everything that worked for you on the way up works against you on the way down. It's sort of like Judo gone wrong.

  • Where rising levels of credit masked poor business decisions and models, shrinking credit will expose them.
  • Where credit led to more credit, defaults will lead to more defaults.
  • Where optimism fueled the ride up, pessimism will drag it back down.

The difficulty for the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department (and soon, Obama) is that all the big solutions with the big numbers being thrown at the big problems are insufficient. The stimulus is not reaching the right places – it’s getting stuck in the big institutions.

So even as prodigious amounts of money are being created and applied to “the problem,” the evidence suggests that their efforts are not working down on Main Street.

The reason for this is very simple – it is not possible to solve a crisis of solvency with liquidity. It is not possible to fix a crisis of malinvestment with the purchase of bad debts.

Here’s one example. Take retail store space. On the ride up, malls were developed at a furious pace. By every definition or comparison, the US overbuilt capacity in this sector by a very large amount. Given this, what’s going to happen next when this malinvestment is exposed? Well, we don’t have to wait to find out the opening notes of this symphony.

Blog

Daily Digest - Dec 22

Sunday, December 21, 2008, 9:50 PM

I'm trying out a new look to make the summary a little bit easier to read.

  • Bank of Spain chief warns of total financial meltdown
  • The IMF chief warns that 2009 may be even darker
  • Money market funds unable to cope with 0% interest rates
  • Shutdown in Silicon Valley
  • Nationalization of the mortgage sector
  • Protectionist dominoes tumble
  • Questioning the Fed
  • Japan exports plunge
  • Cutting labor costs (without resorting to layoffs).
Blog

Daily Digest - Dec 21

Sunday, December 21, 2008, 8:37 AM

Second wave of foreclosures makes prime time news, "How did we get here?", Mortgage fraud allowed to flourish, Americans staying put, Athens still burning, FSN broadcast (juggling dynamite).

Blog

Daily Digest - Dec 20

Saturday, December 20, 2008, 8:11 AM

A long and detailed look at the housing crisis, Schiff vs. Krugman, mall vacancies grow, unpaid leave for CA workers, congress gets a raise,  state tax revenues (chart), Biden says economy in worse shape than thought, second half of TARP requested, CSFB pays bonuses using illiquid assets, hedge funds gain access to public money, immigration, and municipal property tax financing.

Blog

Albert Bartlett on Growth

Friday, December 19, 2008, 4:33 PM

Albert Barlett is a man I hold in very high esteem.

First, for his ability to speak in clear, concise language, which is the hallmark of someone who has mastered their material.

Second, because he sees the obvious and dares to point it out.  Let me reframe that:  He sees things that are incredibly obvious to others once he points them out.  But because these things are most often "hidden in plain view," they are actually noticed by very few.

His work on growth and population deserves the widest attention possible.

Recently, I had a nice email exchange with Dr. Bartlett, and he closed with this: