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Daily Digest - Jan 4

Sunday, January 4, 2009, 1:21 PM
  • 2008 Job Losses Probably Worst Since 1945: U.S.
  • Barons Video: Stay Away from Treasury Bonds
  • Upgrading The US Energy Grid: A Trillion Dollar Problem?
  • Paulson says crisis sown by imbalance
  • Commercial real estate in for tough 2009  

Daily Digest - Jan 3

Friday, January 2, 2009, 9:15 PM
  • I.O.U.S.A. Four Deficits: Budget, Savings, Trade & Leadership (Warms up @ the 25 minute point)
  • Less than a week to read the $1 trillion bill before voting?
  • Steel industry hopes for big stimulus shot 
  • Homes For the Holidays
  • How David Rosenberg foresaw the crash 
  • NotSince the '30s (Chart S&P)
  • Why We're Still Happy
  • Paradigm lost

Daily Digest - Jan 2

Friday, January 2, 2009, 12:29 PM
  • China factories cut output at record pace:
  • Manufacturing Index Hits Lowest Level Since 1980
  • As Recession Deepens, So Does Milk Surplus
  • Average Annual Unemployment Rate - Then and Now (Chart)
  • Unemployment Rate (Shadow Stats Chart)
  • The Year in Markets (Interactive Chart)
  • Selling gold jewelry
  • Russia cuts off gas deliveries to Ukraine
  • Report: Toyota developing solar powered green car 

Financial recommendations - a brief look back at 2008

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 6:26 PM

Eleven months ago, in February 2008, I led a conference at Rowe (MA) along with Becca Martenson and Alejandro Levins. At that time, the current financial crisis was not even on the radar screen for most journalists and investment houses.

We made these financial recommendations:

  • Reduce exposure to equities
  • 10-50% of “Nest Egg” in Gold
  • Watch the markets carefully! Know what to look for.
  • 3 months’ expenses “out of the bank” and in cash (and remaining money in SAFER banks)

The year starts out on a good note

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 5:01 PM

We received a kind offer from a woman (who wishes to remain anonymous) to donate a 3-month subscription to someone in need.

We’ve had a number of requests for assistance that we’ve collected over the past few months, we put all these names into a hat and had our daughter Grace (age 8) select a name at random.

The lucky winner was Sharon Sotis who wrote in saying:

I have watched the crash course and come to your site just about daily to
keep up to date on the economy and read the forums. I have started to
prepare myself and my 6 year old daughter to be more self sufficient,
cutting back on expenses etc. I have been telling others to watch and
trying to enlighten as many as I can. At times I feel like Noah before the
flood. :)

I would love to become a subscriber to your site, but as a widow living on
social security, who stays home so I can homeschool my daughter, the cost
is prohibitive to me. I know you need to charge to help offset the cost of
the site, but wonder if you ever offer subscription free of charge to those
who are willing, but just not able to pay?

Happy New Year Sharon and congratulations!

And Happy New Year to everone else!



Daily Digest - Jan 1

Thursday, January 1, 2009, 1:24 PM
  • Americans Under 70 May Find 2008 Was Their Least Favorite Year
  • US stocks suffer worst year since Great Depression
  • Piggy banks fly off shelves in freshly frugal U.S.
  • The Wave of the Future?
  • Chief justice: Inflation outpacing pay for judges
  • Deregulator Looks Back, Unswayed
  • Mortgage 'Cram-Downs' Loom as Foreclosures Mount
  • Mortgage rates hit fresh 37-year low
  • Stop the Presses...
  • Government aid could save U.S. newspapers, spark debate 

What's the plan?

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 3:56 PM

A Summary

Many people have asked us, "Where are the large-scale solutions to all these problems you have described?" and  "What should we do as a nation to avoid the seemingly inevitable consequences of this fiat money system?"

The lack of promotion of a large-scale solution set reflects a deliberate act of strategy rather than negligence. We believe we must reach a critical mass of individuals who have an understanding of the ideas presented in the Crash Course, before any national or global solutions will even be possible.

Because we are still quite far from this tipping point of understanding, this website continues to focus primarily on educating people and helping them move from denial, to awareness, to understanding, and then towards actions rooted in a sense of personal responsibility.

Once we have achieved a critical mass of people who understand the issues and have taken responsible actions as a result, solutions will find more fertile ground in which to take root.  Many people have already reached this place of understanding and assumed personal responsibility for their futures, but this site is organized around the principle that most have not.


Daily Digest - Dec 31

Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 10:42 AM
  • Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation
  • Breaking Up Is Harder to Do After Housing Fall
  • Plan B for the Not So Wealthy
  • [Updated] Air-Pocket Watch: November Hotel Occupancy
  • GMAC to loosen criteria for loans upon bail-out
  • The governments of China and Japan are the only support for the dollar

Real business is hard work

Monday, December 29, 2008, 11:13 PM

Here's a very interesting observation put out by the great writer and very observant economic and social commentator Charles Hughes Smith.

Productive and Unproductive Capital
Honestly, it's much easier to sit at a desk at home and gather long-term capital gains (which may or may not be productively invested) or tax-free earnings than put up with the guff of real business. And if this is the case, then who's going to risk everything to hire people and "get America working again"?

This is why I predict 30 million formal jobs will be lost in this Depression; it's no longer worth it in terms of risk/return to start businesses when everyone is sucking real businesses dry and leaving rentier capital lightly taxed and lightly regulated.

The above is the summary of an essay which points out that over time we've structured our economy and society such that non-productive capital (passive bond and financial investments) are treated with kid gloves by our rules sets and tax codes while using the same capital to run a real business exposes one to all sorts of headaches and additional taxes that do not apply to "rentier capital".

So why bother?

I can tell you from my experience, this rings true.  The amount of paperwork and forms and rules and taxes that my state of Massachusetts applies to my simple business are extraordinary compared to squaring up my investment and trading accounts at the end of the year.

Some of the rules are baffling and maddening as if designed to be cruel and arbitrary.


Daily Digest - Dec 30

Monday, December 29, 2008, 8:18 PM
  • Video, Jim Rogers: "Prepared for the Worst"
  • 200+ Homes for under $1,000.00
  • US consumer confidence plummets
  • Market Wrap Week Ending 12/26/08
  • Energy dispute over Rockies riches
  • Holiday Sales Drop to Force Bankruptcies, Closings
  • "When", not "If"
  • GMAC to Get $6 Billion Aid Deal
  • Case-Shiller Index Shows Sharpest Home-Price Declines in Sun Belt
  • Case-Shiller Price Index (October)
  • Banking Industry Sinking Faster Than Government Can Bail?
  • Information Warfare and the Wall Street Journal's Demise