Here we go again!
The Market Ticker
Thanks for the heads-up to Karl's latest barn burner. I really have to stop starting my day with this stuff, though!
My first thoughts were, how exactly does Bond Armageddon unfold and what does an appropriate "duck and cover" strategy look like? (Actually, my first thought was, oh lord, yet another complicated arena within finance and economics that seems utterly unpenetrable to me -- why couldn't we have had a civilization-gutting crisis in some easier to understand aspect of life?) I guess I'll ponder liquidating the IRA further and buying more PMs, which thankfully, have retreated in price a bit in recent days.
In search of something slightly more hopeful, I visited Sharon Astyk's blog, where she serendipitously went on a hilarious tear that takes the edge of the catastrophizing for a bit. http://sharonastyk.com/
Anyone have any idea how this collapse will affect Canada? I am getting the feeling that we are not going to silently witness the sinking of the U.S. but are going to be dragged down. I see waves of americans crossing the border to get away from the crime and violence only to bring it here.
Anyone have a good argument against this? Would be nice if we didn't have expact a collapse so soon.
Excellent article. Thanks for posting it.
Firejack, If we promise to come peacefully and bearing maple leafs and laying chickens, will you let us in? DH is handy, I can garden, and the kids are (mostly) quiet.
What happened to immigration to Canada during the Great Depression? I'm assuming that could be a jumping off point for speculation on this topic. Even Denninger, for all his apocalyptic (and colorful) language, seems to be indicating that a bond market implosion would trigger the second leg down that took the US into the depths of the Great Depression.
How are the Treasury auctions today (5yr) and tomorrow (7yr) going to be affected? The Fed is supposed to be buying. Today's results will be out at 1PM. Should be interesting.
How about we bring all the people fleeing the gang warfare across the Mexican border with us to Canada. Pretty soon the whole population of North America will be in Canada! Wait, I don't think I have the right clothes for Canada, oh well.
Can't forget Europe and the Muslim influx.
Gert Wilders is living proof that the European's have sacrificed freedom for pacifying a non-indigneous group.
The social dynamics of our entire planet are on the verge of change if theocracy of any sort takes over... and populations within these groups continue to overpopulate, while other groups continue to die off.
Don't take this as a slam against a group of people or ethos, it just simply is.
Realistically I don't think immigrating to canada would help much but were you guys really thinking of immigrating here if tshtf?
Gail posted another article on the oil drum Where we are headed: Peak oil and the financial crisis
He again points out that a crash in the financial markets will likely cause a huge crash in oil produciton. No oil production= no mechanized farming = die off. I imagine if people had to go back to live off local food through manual labour they would go south as winters will be hard. In the initial chaos having 7 months where you can't grow anything will be a bit of a detterent for most unless you are very organized.
I can see people immigrating here to try and get away from the states then realizing how much winter sucks here then heading back south. I think the old joke went "There are 2 seasons in Canada. Winter and preparing for winter."
It's Geert Wilders, Aaron. His PVV (party for freedom) is gaining popularity. According to the polls, if an election was held right now, he would get 20% of the votes, which means 30 out of the 150 seats in the parliament.
Thanks for catching the spelling error.
I'll be sure to double check in the future.
Lets hope they gain support before their legislative branch is neutered by "special interests".
I'm not so sure that having Wilders in the government is a good idea. This is from his party website (www.pvv.nl):
- Immigration stop non western foreigners (Moroccon and Turkish) for 5 years.
- New Article 1 of the constitution: Christian/Jewish/humanist culture must remain dominant in the Netherlands.
- Moratorium of 5 years on construction of new mosks and Islamic schools
- Turkey in the EU then the Netherlands out.
- Close radical mosques, deport radical imams
PS - I want to clarify I have nothing against Islam. Nor any other religion.
This is a valid, living threat to western society, and our policy of abhoring xenophobia is going to allow more invasive cultures to destroy western societies.
Personally, I hate theocracy, and do not want religion influencing politics.
That said, I do not want to turn this into another thread about religions. I apologize for the brief hi-jack.
I urge you to read this article:
While Strauss-Kahn did not specify what he meant by the danger of war, his remarks came in the midst of hardening conflicts between the major powers over economic policy in the run-up to the G-20 summit meeting of major economies in London next month.
On Tuesday, German President and former IMF chief Hörst Koehler echoed some of Straus-Kahn's concerns and urged the countries participating in the G-20 summit to come up with a common plan for restructuring the world financial order. "I stand by my suggestion of organising a Bretton Woods II under the auspices of the United Nations to push forward a fundamental reform of the international economic and financial system," Koehler said. He warned that the outcome is "test for democracy as a whole. Many citizens are unsettled. The coming months will be very tough."
In the back of the minds of many heads of state and figures such as Strauss-Kahn is no doubt the last time world leaders gathered in London to discuss a financial crisis. At the 1933 London conference, the major powers failed to come up with any coordinated agreement to respond to the Great Depression. The breakdown of the conference accelerated protectionist and beggar-thy-neighbor policies, which intensified the slump and exacerbated national antagonisms, culminating in the eruption of World War II.
As in 1933, world leaders are today proclaiming the need for international coordination, even as they fiercely defend the national interests of their respective financial and corporate elites.
In a column published in many world newspapers on Tuesday, US President Barack Obama asserted that "the leaders of the Group of 20 have a responsibility to take bold, comprehensive and coordinated action that not only jump-starts recovery, but also launches a new era of economic engagement to prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again."
The US continues to insist that European countries implement expanded stimulus packages, while Europe—particularly France and Germany—are insisting that the summit focus on new international financial regulations. While making vague reference to new regulations, Obama wrote that the efforts of the major powers "must begin with swift action to stimulate growth" and that fiscal stimulus "should be robust and sustained until demand is restored."
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon argued on Monday that France had already committed sufficient resources to stimulus and that it was necessary to "avoid creating a bubble of public debt." The major European powers have opposed further stimulus packages, in part over concern over inflation and the stability of the euro.
Whatever Obama's talk of "coordinated action," the US is implementing a policy that approaches the financial equivalent of preemptive war. The government has committed trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street and US banks. Capitalizing on the still privileged position of the US dollar, the American ruling class is intent on funding these bailouts through the sale of massive volumes of debt on world markets, sucking up available financing and making it more difficult and expensive for other countries to get funding for their own programs.
The United States has initiated a policy of printing vast quantities of money—in part to finance the very debt that it is creating to bail out its banks. This potentially inflationary policy has generated an extremely nervous reaction from other powers, most noticeably China, which has over $1 trillion in dollar-denominated assets. These assets would plunge in value in the event of a major decline in the value of the dollar.
The head of the Chinese central bank argued on Monday for a new international currency to replace the dollar as the world reserve currency. On Tuesday, Li Xiangyang of the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences called the Fed's new policy of purchasing US Treasuries "irresponsible." He said that China would likely ask for "specific measures" on the part of the US to ensure the value of Chinese holdings.
Behind these policy differences are competing interests. The financial stakes are considerable. Tens of trillions of dollars in paper wealth have been destroyed on world markets since the crisis began. The combined wealth of the world's billionaires has declined by almost a half. How will these losses be allocated?
Whatever the hopes of Strauss-Kahn and Koehler for a more coordinated policy that will help head off social conflict, there is an inexorable logic to the class interests involved. On the one hand, the ruling class in every country will work ruthlessly to impose the burden of the economic crisis on the backs of working people. This is already taking place through massive job- and wage-cutting and attacks on social programs. On the other hand, the economic crisis will exacerbate the struggle over resources between the major powers—a struggle that, within the capitalist system, can ultimately be resolved only through war.
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Liquid war: Welcome to Pipelineistan
By Pepe Escobar
What happens on the immense battlefield for the control of Eurasia will provide the ultimate plot line in the tumultuous rush towards a new, polycentric world order, also known as the New Great Game.
Our good ol' friend the nonsensical "global war on terror", which the Pentagon has slyly rebranded "the Long War", sports a far more important, if half-hidden, twin - a global energy war. I like to think of it as the Liquid War, because its bloodstream is the pipelines that crisscross the potential imperial battlefields of the planet. Put another way, if its crucial embattled frontier these days is the Caspian Basin, the whole of Eurasia is its chessboard. Think of it, geographically, as Pipelineistan. ........
The US and GB are bankrupt and the Japanese are sinking toward depression. Europe is dependent on imported energy, China, also dependent, is seeking to extend its reach for new resources. Russia has energy resources and is seeking to control their delivery to Europe (and so control the price).
What is the traditional solution for a bankrupt great military power to stave off financial reckoning and loss of its favored (controling) position? War of course. It will need to be arranged that the US is attacked (likely terrorism) by a suitable enemy to initiate a general conflict by which the one remaining ace can be used to change the rules of the game. This is a dangerous time approaching.
Earth Policy Institute (EPI) we often receive requests for a visual
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aim in producing this presentation is to provide a brief but engaging
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Arthus-Bertrand (www.yannarthusbertrand.com/v2/yab_us.htm), eminent French photographer and friend of EPI, whose works appear within.
To reach the download page, direct your Web browser to http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/presentation.htm. Please note that the presentation is a large file (6 MB), so it may take a moment to download.
you find this tool useful, please let us know how you are using it in
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Reah Janise Kauffman
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E-mail: rjk (at) earthpolicy.org
Tel: (202) 496-9290 x 14
E-mail: jlarsen (at) earthpolicy.org
Earth Policy Institute
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Washington, DC 20036
Mike, that's a great slideshow and suggests (I think correctly) that we, as a society, have the means to address many of our most pressing problems in hand.... But the rub is always generating a sufficiently powerful consensus - finding the will - to change a deeply entrenched status quo. Power and wealth is very concentrated in the world today and cooperation seems most often to take the form of "cooperate with me on enacting my agenda" and sacrifice means "please sacrifice your welfare to help me"
Frankly I don't see such an agenda gaining traction unless the current system completely collapses/fails so that a new structure is required for survival. Too much momentum, people still cling to what they know/have known, the powerful wish to retain their power at any cost.
As I posted above, I see conflict more likely than cooperation. The US elite wishes to retain their monopoly position in the world - both financial and military. There was a complaint aired yesterday that Chinese military developments in space and satellite technology threatened US dominance and was therefore "destabilizing" and the Chinese should be more transparent in revealing their military expenditures. I am sure the Chinese will be willing to comply with such a reasonable request - don't you think?
They may not have a choice.
Who else is going to buy their petro-chemical junk wares?
Their economy is depending on our consumerism.
If we tank, they won't really have a choice but to follow. I can't see the Europeans shopping at Wal-Marts.
They're going to be in a de facto state of war with fascism in 20 years anyway.
Aaron, if a sufficient block of nations see it in their interest to oppose the US - and this is what we are seeing with the current noise about the need for a new reserve currency - then the nature of the game will change. The US is in imminent danger of financial collapse - if this is allowed to proceed on its present course then loss of military dominance will follow. This must be clear to those in power everywhere - thus the situation is dangerous, possibly explosive...
Interesting perspective CB, thanks for the insight.
Even so, will a changing currency fill the vacuum that China's economy will experience if we collapse?
Thanks, and cheers!
Wow, This is getting serious. People are really getting fed up.
Caution: Adult language
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