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Fed Refuses to Disclose Recipients of $2 Trillion in Lending

Friday, December 12, 2008, 9:50 PM

In a foxhole there are no atheists. But well before the praying begins, you find out what people are really made of. Perhaps the big, muscled kid who was unstoppable in basic training goes all to pieces while the skinny guy with the thick glasses saves everyone’s bacon. Or vice versa. The point being that prior to a crisis everything rests on appearances. During a crisis it is actions that matter. That’s when we find out what people, and institutions, are really made of.

Today the Federal Reserve effectively freaked out in the foxhole and declared the spirit of democracy, if not the rule of law, to be disposable conveniences of better times.


Daily Digest - Dec 12

Friday, December 12, 2008, 6:16 AM

Jim Rogers calls us "bankrupt", Bank of America to cut up to 35,000 positions, chart of unemployment claims vs recessions, auto bailout dies in the senate, growth in base money supply outpaced by credit destruction.


Households pay down debts for first time

Thursday, December 11, 2008, 4:03 PM

Mayday! Mayday!

This next story outlines a dire condition for a debt-based monetary system:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Stung by the loss of $2.81 trillion in their net wealth, U.S. households paid down their debts in the third quarter for the first time since at least 1952, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday.

As of Sept. 30, households' total outstanding debt shrank at an annual rate of 0.8% from $13.94 trillion to $13.91 trillion, the Fed said in its quarterly flow of funds report. It's the first decline in household debt ever recorded in the report.

Consumer debt actually reversed.   This strange behavior has never before been observed in this data series and it goes back to 1952.


Daily Digest - Dec 11

Thursday, December 11, 2008, 2:03 PM

"F-Bills" - the Fed weighs issuing its own debt, Treasuries fall (finally), trouble in Greece equals trouble in the Eurozone,  The Clapper (humor), foreclosures by state, Tobin's Q, Fannie and Freddie waive appraisals, freight haulers slam on the brakes, and unemployment claims surge. 


"November blew away even the most pessimistic estimates"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 6:36 PM

Amidst all of the Fuzzy Numbers offered up, there are two that I trust implicitly because they cannot be gamed, massaged, seasonally adjusted, imputed, or hedonically inflated.

They are taxes and gaming revenues.

Today there were a couple of mind-blowing numbers. Think about these next two articles as if you were a government budget official trying to make plans or a social scientist attempting to assess the current social mood.


Daily Digest - Dec 10

Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 4:03 PM

Oracles of doom, consumer credit decreases, world's hungry near 1 billion, the financial "experts" speak, and hotels in for some rough sailing.


Floating on air: Treasury bills go negative

Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 5:30 PM

Separating truth from fiction, especially when listening to politicians and Fed officials talking about the positive aspects they see in our economy, is never easy.

However, separating words from actions is as easy as pie.

Today, something so unusual happened in the world of bonds that I have to tell you about it. (All quotes below from this one article).


Daily Digest - Dec 9

Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 7:56 AM

Demise of the middle class,  CSFB forecasts more than 8 million foreclosures, November job losses analyzed, pending home sales expected to drop, Big Three nationalized, Chicago workers continue their sit-in.


Daily Digest - Dec 8

Monday, December 8, 2008, 1:11 PM

Fred Thompson on the economy (video), Time & Co. to borrow against flagship building, Hard Numbers by Kevin Phillips, Paul Volker is back, Nassim Talib on bystanders....


DVD .ISO Master Files available on BitTorrent

Sunday, December 7, 2008, 11:18 PM

If you are located in North America, the best way to get the Crash Course on DVD is to place an order for as many copies as you need at As described in an earlier post, they are very inexpensive in quantity and will begin shipping on Monday Dec. 8th.

If you need the PAL version of the DVD (which works in Europe, Africa, and much of Asia), or if you prefer to download and burn your own NTSC version (which works in North America, western South America, Japan, South Korea, etc.), you can use BitTorrent to download the master file for the DVD (called a .ISO file) and make your own DVD using your computer's DVD burner. Instructions follow: