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New Podcast Ready for Subscribers

Sunday, January 11, 2009, 9:12 AM

The next podcast is up and ready for subscribers.  This second podcast went better than the first from a production standpoint, although I already have a raft of ideas for how to improve the third.

In this one, Becca Martenson joins me as the co-host.

As always, keep your questions coming!  They are the best part.


In this podcast entitled The Last Great Bubble, Chris discusses market activity for the past week,  employment and unemployment data, and the possibility of another great bubble in bonds hiding in plain sight before addressing subscriber questions.

If a last great bubble lurks in our near future,  then an enormous advantage exists for those that can either step aside or take temporary advantage of its bursting.


Daily Digest - Jan 10

Friday, January 9, 2009, 9:05 PM
  • Janet Tavakoli, Author, Video Interview (Wall Street's Financial Meth Labs & Ponzi Schemes)
  • Cheney Says Nobody Saw Economic Crisis Coming
  • Bush Prepares to Ask for Second Tranche of Bailout Funds
  • Unemployment Way Worse than 7.2% Due to Birth / Death Adjustment (2 Charts)
  • Part-time jobs
  • Unemployment Rate vs. Broader Total Unemployed (Chart)
  • Boeing Cuts 4,500 Commercial Jobs as Economy Weakens 
  • More Layoffs Coming in the Oil Patch
  • Roubini forecasts recession will last 2 years
  • SNL Morgan Stanley Parody Video (Humor)
  • Change in US Consumer Credit and Mortgage Debt Relative to GDP (Chart)
  • Peter Schiff Audio Fox News Talk
  • Financial company default risk
  • Japan Economy Watch
  • British Airways credit card is UK's most expensive - after hiking interest charge to 46%
  • Office Vacancy Forecast Chart (U.S.)
  • Macy's Goodwill Writedown May Speed Stock's Spiral
  • Rubin Out At Citi (C)


Federal Debt beginning to "go vertical"

Friday, January 9, 2009, 8:42 PM

In the magazine The Economist, they recently reported this interesting bit of news:

Federal Debt could go to 400% of GDP

On January 7th the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan outfit, released projections that show the financial crash and the resulting recession are already wreaking havoc with America’s finances. It reckons that the budget deficit will soar from $455 billion in fiscal 2008 (which ended last September 30th) to an astonishing $1.2 trillion in the current year. At 8.3% that would be the most as a share of gross domestic product since the second world war.

But the underlying picture is worse for several reasons. First, it does not include any estimate of the cost of Mr Obama’s planned fiscal stimulus, which he will seek from Congress soon after being inaugurated. Second, the CBO assumes all of George Bush’s tax cuts will expire as scheduled at the end of next year and that the Alternative Minimum Tax, a parallel levy aimed at the wealthy, is allowed to ensnare a growing share of the middle class each year.

One thing to understand about even the horrendous sounding “8.3% of GDP deficit” is that it is vastly understated. First, as they note in the article, not everything is being counted, such as the cost of the stimulus plan.

But second, even if such excluded costs were counted, it’s important to note that the way the government reports its fiscal condition would be illegal for any public company.


Daily Digest - Jan 9

Thursday, January 8, 2009, 7:59 PM
  • Obama taps spending watchdog, eyes Social Security
  • Obama calls for a whole new approach to end crisis
  • Obama warns of dire consequences without stimulus
  • The end of the financial world as we know it (hat tip Luke)
  • Obama assembles powerful west wing (Where is Chris Martenson?)
  • TARP wiped out by downgrades
  • Huge mortgage rally...
  • Same stores sales... down, but not out
  • MBA says commercial real estate market coming under pressure
  • Commercial property loses shelter
  • Flight to safety in 09, USD, gold, Euro, Yen
  • Paulson speaks (video)
  • Joseph Stiglitz and Martin Feldstein discuss stimulus (Charlie Rose video)

Daily Digest - Jan 8

Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 10:13 PM
  • CBO projects $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 
  • Congressional Budget Office The Budget and Economic Outlook
  • Obama: Financial Markets Face 'Substantial Overhaul'
  • Paulson Says GSEs Should Become Public Utility-Like Firms 
  • Fed faces tough task ending emergency support
  • The Fate of Paper Money 
  • U.S. debt is losing its appeal in China  
  • Government Panic Could Herald Dollar Panic 
  • Detroit School Lacks Toilet Paper, Light Bulbs 
  • FACTBOX-U.S. economic report shows poor hit hard 
  • Budget gloom will toughen resistance to stimulus 
  • CNN to Air Timely Documentary and Discussion About U.S. Economic Challenges 
  • Real-Estate Executive Found Dead in Apparent Suicide 
  • U.S. companies face $409 billion pension deficit: study 
  • Italian Pensions Sapped by Private Funds Bush Backed
  • Gold Demand (Chart) 

Daily Digest - Jan 7

Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 9:40 PM
  • Metal loses its mettle: Alcoa (AA) cuts like crazy even though it is profitable
  • More observations on the economy, and none of them good
  • Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee December 15-16, 2008 
  • German billionaire Merckle takes his life amidst financial crisis 
  • Economic slump weakens pending home sales 
  • A sign that credit is going to flow (chart)?
  • The very flawed weekly mortgage applications survey
  • Auto sales (chart)

Analyzing the Obama Plan

Monday, January 5, 2009, 11:20 PM

One of my chief concerns is that our leaders in DC do not really understand the nature of this crisis and are therefore going to either perform ineffective actions or, worse, harmful ones.

I have been silently crossing my fingers beneath the table, hoping that Obama’s team would figure out that this crisis is unique and will require some non-status-quo solutions.

Although I titled this "Analyzing the Obama Plan," this is neither a partisan nor political posting, and not even as much a critique of Obama himself as it is an examination of how the DC machinery currently operates.  No one person controls much more than a sliver of the overall process and results that emanate from DC.

Now that there’s finally some meat on the plan which we can react to, let’s parse the numbers.


Daily Digest - Jan 6

Monday, January 5, 2009, 9:59 PM
  • U.S. auto sales continue to skid 
  • November 2008 construction at $1,078.4 billion annual rate
  • Office vacancies soaring, rents falling in major cities 
  • Preview: pending home sales to fall for third straight month 
  • Hoteliers see too much room at the inn 
  • The problem of "Burn Rate" hits mainstream companies 
  • New York Fed begins MBS purchase program 
  • By the numbers - How 2008 shakes out  
  • Obama says economy 'getting worse' 
  • Gold Wars (Audio)

First-ever Crash Concepts podcast on Financial Myths is ready

Monday, January 5, 2009, 12:59 PM

Well, as always, I let my need for quality get in the way of punctuality, but the podcast recorded on Friday is now ready for subscribers.

Ron had to make significant upgrades to the site to enable the podcast to be played right from the page (plus other serious fixes regarding file management, but that's already too much information).

The podcasts will be easier and smoother to produce from here on out and I am very much looking forward to enhancing and perfecting this additional means of communicating with the supporters of this site.

You can access podcast via the drop down menu at the top of the page under "Stay Current".

Or you can follow this link.


More information on the upcoming Rowe conference

Monday, January 5, 2009, 12:05 PM

There are still a few spots available at Rowe.  We know, it's neither in a particularly warm nor accessible place  (especially in Feb!), but it's a unique place and we had a very powerful experience there last year.  This year will be even better.

Many of you have been looking for some more information regarding the content of the Rowe Seminar (Feb 6-8, Rowe MA). Quite a few of you have wondered whether there will be anything you don’t already know from having already watched the Crash Course.

This post will hopefully answer your questions.