Daily Digest

Daily Digest - July 4

Saturday, July 4, 2009, 9:50 AM
  • More Gerald Celente (Video)
  • The Meaning of Enough
  • Savings Grace - By the Charts...
  • Michael Covel on CNBC’s Maria [NO SHOW] Bartiromo (Video)
  • The Country that Punishes Savers: Americans Saving 7 percent of Income Putting nearly $800 Billion Annual Rate on the Sidelines. Banks offering 0 to 0.10 Percent to Borrow Your Money.
  • More Fed Lawlessness: AIG
  • Credit Card Addicted Nation
  • The World’s Riskiest Sovereign Debt (Chart)
  • ALL BUSINESS: Cash is king for investors
  • India Joins Russia, China in Questioning the Kings Dominance (U.S. Dollar)

Economy

More Gerald Celente (Video)

The Meaning of Enough

I was going to write about the markets, but it's Father's Day so I want to share something with you my dad gave me, a Newsweek article by Peter Peterson, Why I'm Giving Away $1 Billion:
In 2007 the company I cofounded, the Blackstone Group, held a most successful public offering. I found myself, at 81, an instant billionaire. I wish I could've called my father, a Greek immigrant who had spent most of his life running a 24-hour diner in Kearney, Neb. The news might have pleased him as much as my being the first Greek cabinet officer, which he never hesitated to tell perfect strangers. In the 1930s, when I was growing up, there was all this talk about millionaires like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Now I was a millionaire 1,000 times over.

But immediately I began wondering: what do I do with $1 billion? The idea of trying to make the money grow felt empty to me. For my father, who saved or gave away so much of his modest income, the ultimate pejorative was "big spender." So buying a yacht was out of the question. I was also struggling over what to do with myself. I would be retiring from Blackstone, but my mind was still sharp and my energy was good.

As my work commitments diminished, the phones gradually stopped ringing. The e-mails slowed. My schedule had too many blank spots. I was liberated. I was free. But I was joyless. I found my new life to be a kind of metaphor for my declining years—one might say a slow dying. I missed the frequent interactions with people I respected and enjoyed. I missed being needed. So I started looking at the lives of other billionaires. Almost all the ones I most admired were major philanthropists: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mike Bloomberg, George Soros, Eli Broad—each with a passion to do good, each getting so much pleasure from giving their money away. I decided that's what I wanted to do. But to which worthy cause would I direct my money?

For the first time in my memory, the majority of the American people join me in believing that, on our current course, our children will not do as well as we have. For years, I have been saying that the American government, and America itself, has to change its spending and borrowing policies: the tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded entitlements and promises, the dangerous dependence on foreign capital, our pitiful level of savings, the metastasizing health-care costs, our energy gluttony. These structural deficits are unsustainable. Herb Stein, who served alongside me in the Nixon White House as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, once drily observed, "If your horse dies, I suggest you dismount." And yet, we keep trying to ride this horse.

Underlying these challenges is our broken political system. Our representatives, unlike our Founding Fathers, see politics as a career. As a result, they are focused not on the next generation, but on the next election. When the long-term problems are large and real, they anesthetize us, mislead us, divert us—anything to keep us from giving up something or having to pay for it. Too often, our political leaders are just enablers, co-conspirators in a disingenuous and greedy silence. Our children are unrepresented. The future is unrepresented. The moment is long overdue for us to become moral and worthy ancestors. So I decided to set up a different kind of foundation, one that would focus on America's key fiscal-sustainability challenges. The fact is, for most of these challenges, there are workable solutions. Our problem is not a lack of such options. It is a lack of will to do something about them.

Ultimately, I decided to commit $1 billion to the Peter G. Peterson foundation—the vast majority of my net proceeds from Blackstone. Why so much? Kurt Vonnegut once told a story about seeing Joseph Heller at a wealthy hedge-fund manager's party at a beach house in the Hamptons. Casting his eye around the luxurious setting, Vonnegut said, "Joe, doesn't it bother you that this guy makes more in a day than you ever made from Catch-22?" "No, not really," Heller said. "I have something that he doesn't have: I know the meaning of enough." I have far more than enough.

Peterson's memoir, The Education Of An American Dreamer, will be published by Twelve this month.

Having met many hedge fund and private equity fund managers, I can tell you Joseph Heller is absolutely right, you can't put a price on the "meaning of enough" and most of these super rich individuals do not have a clue about the real meaning of life.

I never met Pete Peterson but I have an autographed copy of his previous book, Running on Empty, which a senior private equity manager at a large public pension fund was kind enough to give me.

Finally, let me share with you this amazing YouTube video below of the real story of a inspirational love between a father and a son. Dick and Rick Hoyt - Team Hoyt - teach us that that there is never enough love for those we truly care about.

Happy Father's Day to all fathers and to my father whom I love deeply for all that he has done for me.

Savings Grace - By the Charts...

Video: Top 1000 world banks 2009

Boom Time: Personal Bankruptcies in SoCal

From the LA Times: Personal bankruptcies surge in Southern California

Going legally broke has made a big comeback -- especially in the Los Angeles area -- despite a mid-decade revision to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code intended to curb filings.

The number of Southern Californians seeking bankruptcy protection nearly doubled in 2008 from 2007 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's seven-county California Central District, by far the biggest increase in the nation.

Bankruptcy is still booming. Personal filings from January through April, the most recent month available, rose 75% in the Central District compared with the year-earlier period.

Michael Covel on CNBC’s Maria [NO SHOW] Bartiromo (Video)

The Country that Punishes Savers: Americans Saving 7 percent of Income Putting nearly $800 Billion Annual Rate on the Sidelines. Banks offering 0 to 0.10 Percent to Borrow Your Money.

We have never seen such a rapid change in the savings rate. Of course, going from zero anything would be an improvement. The current seasonally adjusted annual rate has not been seen since 1993 but as the chart above shows, the percent of change is unmatched with 50 years of data. What is occurring here? I’ve seen a few articles talking about the new found frugality that Americans are now embracing. This is something I hesitate to agree with because it presupposes that Americans are electing to save as a choice rather than being forced by external circumstances. I do believe many Americans are becoming more frugal by choice but the vast majority are simply responding to the horrific economy that has evaporated $13.8 trillion in American household wealth.

But who are the big winners here? Banks. The Fed shows that deposits at many banks now stands at $7.5 trillion showing the largest increase for the year. These banks are getting insanely cheap deposits from the government and now you to help mend their broken balance sheets. Call it double dipping. Look at how much money is being put into savings:

More Fed Lawlessness: AIG

See what happens when Congress refuses to enforce The Federal Reserve Act's provisions that require that equity ownership be taken only in instruments that have the full faith and credit of the US Government behind them?

Under the agreement, AIG will split off AIA and Alico into separate company-owned entities called "special purpose vehicles," or SPVs. The New York Fed will receive preferred shares now valued at $25 billion -- $16 billion in AIA and $9 billion in Alico -- and in exchange will forgive an equal amount of AIG debt.

So now The Federal Reserve (actually the NY Fed) partially owns an insurance company through more off-balance-sheet Frankenstein monsters.

This is blatantly in violation of The Federal Reserve Act but nobody in Congress seems to care.

The FRA was written as it stands to explicitly preclude this sort of transaction. If we are to take an equity ownership position in AIG linked to the taxpayer it has to be done through an appropriation passed by and overseen by Congress, not through an administrative action by The Federal Reserve or one of its districts!

The New York Fed said in a statement that the agreements "further the goals of enabling AIG to fully repay the assistance that it has received from U.S. taxpayers and advancing the company's global restructuring process. The exchange of senior secured debt for preferred equity interests reduces AIG's financial leverage and facilitates the independence of these two key subsidiaries."

And who authorized The New York Fed to engage in that transaction? Where is the explicit legislative authorization permitting the creation of an SPV that amounts to EQUITY OWNERSHIP of an insurance company?

The NY Fed just nationalized an insurance company without a bill proffered in Congress and signed by The President!

WHERE ARE THE DAMN COPS?

Credit Card Addicted Nation

Credit cards were developed as a form of convenience and not another stream of household income. The first major use in the United States started in the 1920s when it was used for the purposes of fueling the expanding auto owner population. Bank of America created the BankAmericard in 1958 which later became the Visa system. If we rewind to the start of the decade, let us use January 2000 as the date, Americans had $614 billion in credit card debt. Today that number now stands at $931 billion. Now this wouldn’t be such an issue if real wages and savings had increased over this timeframe but the reality is, Americans used over $300 billion in credit card debt to maintain a lifestyle beyond their means. Much of this came in conjunctions with the housing bubble which took three decades to expand.

The World’s Riskiest Sovereign Debt (Chart)

ALL BUSINESS: Cash is king for investors

This ratio jumped to an almost-unheard of level of more than 60 percent on March 9, almost triple the median level in the early years of this decade, for two reasons. Money market fund totals have surged 30 percent since the stock market peaked in October 2007, and by early March the S&P 500's market cap had plunged 57 percent from its high point in 2007.
Today, that ratio has narrowed to about 45 percent, primarily because of a recent rebound in stocks. There is $3.7 trillion sitting in money market mutual funds right now, and the market cap of the S&P 500 is about $8 trillion, up from a March low of $5.9 trillion.

India Joins Russia, China in Questioning the Kings Dominance (U.S. Dollar)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has repeatedly called for creating a mix of regional reserve currencies as part of the drive to address the global financial crisis, while questioning the dollar’s future as a global reserve currency. Russia’s proposals for the Group of 20 major developed and developing nations summit in London in April included the creation of a supranational currency.

“We will resume” talks on the supranational currency proposal at the G-8 summit in L’Aquila on July 8-10, Medvedev aide Sergei Prikhodko told reporters in Moscow yesterday.

Singh adviser Tendulkar said that big dollar holders face a “prisoner’s dilemma” in terms of managing their holdings. “That’s why I’m telling them to do this,” he said.

He also said that world currencies need to adjust to help unwind trade imbalances that have contributed to the global financial crisis.

“The major imbalances which led to the current situation, the current account surpluses and deficits, have to be addressed,” he said. “Currency adjustment is one thing that suggests itself.”

Emerging-Market Dependence

20 Comments

Bookrat's picture
Bookrat
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Re: the 'More Fed Lawlessness - AIG' article. Your link is to Denninger's main page, but that article is more than a week old. Denninger updates his site as many as six times a day (when he really gets into a high dudgeon) so that one has long since gone off the main page. (His current lead story, on his predictions from six months ago and how he's doing with them, is pretty good, though.)

Here's the direct link. http://market-ticker.org/archives/1166-More-Fed-Lawlessness-AIG.html

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

 Hello Bookrat: Thanks, for some reason the last few weeks have been a deluge of data.

I wound up creating the Daily Digest each day and filling it up in minutes and just began creating new Daily Digests and some stuff became a bit dated, we are back down to 1-4 days forward. Appreciate the heads up, take care

PS To the reader who had trouble on The Coming Depression Blog, I got your email, you don't accept emails back, I tried it in IE 7 and 8 and Firefox and Chrome and had no issues with any of them. I'm reluctant not to use his site as opposed to the source because I don't think that is good edicate. I think the crash of your browser has to do with your plug in, his debt clock is likely the culprit. Take care

Bookrat's picture
Bookrat
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Apologies if the comment sounded like an implied criticism; no slur intended. I just wanted people to be able to get to the article if they so chose. I started reading Denninger because of a link you posted in one of your daily round-ups, and it has become somewhere I go regularly now. Denninger's focus is mostly on stocks and not life as a whole, and he is focused much more near-term than long-term, yet I feel that he and CM are kindred souls in that they both sift the actual data for information, share what they see with anyone who has sense to listen, and don't sugar-coat things just to be popular.

I understand what you mean about the updates taking longer; I have in my life committed to do regularly jobs that I once did for fun; this commitment can quickly suck the enjoyment out of it. Nonetheless, I hope you realize that I and many others appreciate your daily compendium. You add one more reason to come back to the site regularly, and I often find articles that I wouldn't see otherwise.

I will ask, though, why did you even post the article on "World's Riskiest Sovereign Debt?" I can't see the relevance. I assumed that it was because the USA had made it on to the chart or somesuch... imagine my surprise when I instead found the USA ranked #5 on the opposing list of the world's SAFEST sovereign debt! (http://www.aleablog.com/the-world%e2%80%99s-safest-sovereign-debt-update/) Quite a different picture than what the people reading here have as a consensus.

Happy July 4th to all you USAians from a northern neighbor!

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jpitre
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4 - Top 1000 Banks

I nearly choked when I read that JP Morgan/Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo & Citigroup made the top of the list for largest capital reserves (with the inference that they are the strongest banks in the world) I think I must have fallen into some kind of warp that transported me to the anti-truth world or something like that.

How is it possible for these supposedly respectable documenters of truth to come out with this stuff and infer that the banking world is back on track to health and prosperity? Is it just me off the rails or am I looking at this more or less correctly ?

Jim Pitre

DavidC's picture
DavidC
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Just a bit of fun, but Celente's predictions for 2012 tie in quite nicely with end of the Mayan Calendar's Great Cycle, which some have predicted as being the end of the World!

DavidC

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

When we have people as stupid as this, it's no wonder the powers that be can get away with what they are doing...(999 is the UK's equivalent of 911)

news.uk.msn.com/odd-news/article.aspx

DavidC

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

 Hello Bookrat:

Absolutly no offense was taken, I appreciate all comments, especially ones about busted or bad links!

Why did I post that article? POLAND. IMHO if there is a currency crisis it could very well start in Poland/Latvia (?sp) and spread like cancer....

On another note, I thought this was a super read, will post it on the 6th

Speech By Dr. David Bronner CEO Alabama Retirement Systems

1) Next month (July) California hits the wall financially, that will send a ripple effect across the US economy, AND over the next two years one state after the other will fall to it's knees financially as the federal government stimulus package ends by 2011. It has helped various states at different levels comparative to their economic condition. He says the stimulus package is what's been keeping the states alive for now...except for California which was in such terrible shape the stimulus package wasn't enough to really help them. "They go first" he said. Alabama would hit the wall in February of 2011, late in the game as Alabama is in better shape than other states. Bronner says Alabama might dodge the bullet if the economy revives enough by then. But, he doesn't really think things will improve enough by then to avoid a crisis. "It will be the largest economic crisis in the history of the State of Alabama." Bronner says Alabama will experience such significant shortfalls by 2011 that taxes will have to be raised substantially to avoid collapse...probably on property. And that practically all states will face a similar fate.

2) Within 120 to 150 days from now the commercial real estate market nationally begins to collapse as stores, malls, and shopping strips, and industrial plant have enough closures (store and plant) and loss of rental revenue to make them unable to pay their mortgages. They will start going into foreclosure unable to pay their mortgages in a significant way at that time creating a second wave of economic disaster starting three to four months from now.

3) Unless oil stays above $70 a barrel Russian and Mexican economics will begin to unravel as countries ("socio-economic collapse) economies require that much from oil to have an adequate revenue stream to feed their people and economies. AND, the only other big revenue stream for Mexico is illegal drugs sold in the US...so their economy will intensify their focus on selling drugs in America as a result in order to survive if oil doesn't stay above $70...he said $90 would be better for them.

4) The US economy (according to Bronner) is today like a patient in the emergency room in the process of having a heart attack....

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Hey Davos,

Just some thoughts on an early summer afternoon before I commit a few hours to the garden -- it's our first legitimate summer day here in southern Maine for what feels like a month. I'm specifically addressing you because it's a topic that's your bread-and-butter, or at least I see it that way.

It seems like it's conventional wisdom that while, yes, the USD is in deep doo-doo, it really doesn't matter somehow because there's no where else for foreign investors to go. Just to note, many express (not all, of course, but still many) this idea with a fair amount of bravado or even arrogance (as frequently seen on financial news outlets such as CNBC), scoffing at the idea that the USD would ever be abandoned. In a way, they almost seem satisfied that other countries are so enmeshed in the finances of the US, that they are incapable of turning away from an obviously terrible investment.

This particular piece of CW can be stated in another way: China, etc. can't turn away from the dollar because they'll destroy themselves in the process.

But I'm starting to see things from another angle now. In light of the article you posted the other day by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the UK Telegraph (one of my favorite British economic writers), who claims that China's bank are on the brink, many of these countries -- China, Japan, Russia -- may quickly be entering a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't irreversible situation.

It's like there's several rowboats at sea (representing the various countries), all sinking yet all close enough to one another so that the sailors can switch boats. China or Japan supposedly can't get of the US' boat because, the logic goes, their boat is sinking too.

It is this thinking and this metaphor, which I feel I haven't expressed that clearly, that makes the above-referenced CW seem moot to me.

If everyone's boat is sinking, it's simply a matter of deciding whose boat you want to go down in!

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Hello mainecooncat,

I agree with your points. It's the issue of relative value that determines which way a currency pair will go. I raised this question in a forum the other day (no responses yet) as the dollar still seems to be the 'safe haven' currency - the other day the ECB kept its rates on hold (at 1%) and yet the Euro fell as the S&P fell following the jobless figures. To me, at least, logic would seem to have suggested the Euro would have gained (higher interest rate and still NOT pumping the system full of currency for all it's worth as the US is doing).

I have no axe to grind one way or the other, but if I were a foreign Government I would be finding it very difficult to want to hold dollar denominated assets if I could go to another country or region that seemed to offer more certainty as far as its currency is concerned or where potential inflation of the dollar would devalue my holdings  - or maybe we just aren't at that point yet and it's to come following deflation.

DavidC

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4 - Celente video

...."we'll need something big, something along the lines of fire, or the wheel......"

best.quote.ever...

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Hello MaineCoonCat:

I watched Soros the other day. He said much of the same. I'm paraphrasing; our dollar s*cks but everyone else's s*cks worse. China would like to secretly divest, doing so after declaration would devalue [even more] the [2 trillion] USDs they hold.

Then he said something that got my attention, China is buying commodities.

I may be wrong but all commodity contracts are settled in the USDs and if I'm not mistaken can be paid with USTs.

Secretly divesting?

Enjoy gardening. We live in "Vermont Virginia" (the mountains of VA which are, I swear like Maine and Vermont) so we to have had an unusually cold summer, with two frosts in late May.

Take care 

mainecooncat's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4 - Celente video
yoshhash wrote:

...."we'll need something big, something along the lines of fire, or the wheel......"

best.quote.ever...

Hi Yoshhash,

Glad you picked up on that one. I couldn't agree more.

It's long been in my quiver of Celente gems.

mainecooncat's picture
mainecooncat
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Davos,

Wanted to add: What I didn't end up saying in my original post is that the real take-away from all this is not that the dollar is somehow saved because of this fact, but that it's doomed either way.  

Soros' has also recently speculated that the reason oil has moved up is that China is quickly moving into "things."

By the way, it's dumping rain here now.

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Hello MaineCoonCat:

Hope it clears up, happy 4th.

You wrote:

Wanted to add: What I didn't end up saying in my original post is that the real take-away from all this is not that the dollar is somehow saved because of this fact, but that it's doomed either way. 

I think you are correct. Take care

PS I agree with Yashish, barring some EV car that runs forever or some breakthrough in solar (and I am seeing promise in parabolic solar and some new stuff Infrared solar) I don't see anyway they can or will bubble their way out of this short of demolition of the dollar.

Which by they way, I couldn't have picked a better economic team for that, these people seem [email protected] bent on this, maybe they thought Vockler would move early but aside from him this team is a bull in a China shop (pun intended). Cap-N-TradeTax, Health Care, I'm afraid to listen to what multi trillion dollar program will be next- all if it is will equate to dollar demolition.

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

I agree with Celente on something big in the form of a new energy discovery that will save the situation of economics anyway. But would this really save the USA form it's big Power Govt ways or its dumbed down population of entitlement mentality?

Me thinks I better buckle up just encase.

Creature from Jekyll Island (this should be better than Lunesta)
 
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Doug's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

I just want to put in my $.02 on the $1.00.  I remain skeptical about the collapse of the USD.  I think some degree of devaluation is inevitable, but collapse?  One factor that I've mentioned a couple times before, but that no one has responded to, is the size of the US economy.  It is still three times larger than the nearest competitor.  That gives it and the USD inertia.  To return to the boat metaphor, ours is three times bigger than anyone else's.  It will take longer to bring it to a stop and we can take on survivors from other boats sinking longer than others will be able to return the favor.  The larger the boat, the more stable it is.

Second, China is heavily invested in the USD.  They don't want to see it collapse and will work mightilly to see that is doesn't.  Also, China is heavily dependent on the US market for its exports.  A devalued dollar means less money flowing into China.

China's current build up of commodities is another factor that may not mean what people think it means.  As I understand it, much of motivation for buying up commodities is to keep people employed.  However, they are quickly running out of places to store the stuff and with diminished exports, have no immediate use for it.  I guess the argument is that these stored commodities will benefit China when the world economy turns around.  But that presupposes the world economy will turn around, or that it will return to its former robustness.  I don't think that's going to happen. And, in a world of peak this and that how much of a cushion will those stored commodities actually give them?  A few months maybe, a few years doubtful.

None of this is to say that we won't experience a world economic downturn right along with everyone else, only that the USD and US economy are not as subject to sudden collapses as the most strident doomsayers would have us believe.

But, I'm not an economic expert and am more than willing to listen to those who are.  Unfortunately, the "experts" are all over the map on these questions.

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Hi Doug,

I agree with your viewpoints on the dollar. I think all the talk about hyperinflation/currency crisis in the senior currency is not only inaccurate but extremely foolish from a trader's mindset. Hyperinflation has never happened in a country with a credit market, and the fact is that the Fed is not physically printing dollars, they are creating electronic book entries for credit. Everyone assumes that the Fed can create inflation at will, and I think this grossly overestimates the power of this inept organization. 

Case in point, see: Bernanke's Deflation Preventing Scorecard

Also, China is the "dumb money" of international trade, if they are buying commodities, expect the market to turn down soon. 

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

If we can't pay our debt and we have to counterfiet money what does inertia have to do with anything?

While I'd like agree and while I'd like to believe all will be good and corrected without major pain and while I respect your view, I have to be honest with you and say I don't think we are going to get off this easy.

We are insolvent and IMHO I think China is ditching it's dollars for commodities. Maybe they got the diea from Jom Rogers.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

Davos

I'm not suggesting we won't experience some pain.  I'm just saying I don't think it's going to be a total collapse.

Our money isn't counterfeit.  It is the official US currency, and the world still thinks it's worth quite a lot.  Despite conventional wisdom last fall to the contrary, the USD has held up quite well to this point.  Until someone comes up with better reserve currency, the USD is it.  And, I don't think that's right around the corner.  I think the USD will lose strength over time, but it will take a while.  In all likelihood China is hedging it's huge bets on the USD, but they aren't abandoning it.  They can't afford to and inertia has a lot to do with it.

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Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - July 4

 Doug wrote:

Our money isn't counterfeit.  It is the official US currency, and the world still thinks it's worth quite a lot.  Despite conventional wisdom last fall to the contrary, the USD has held up quite well to this point.  Until someone comes up with better reserve currency, the USD is it.  And, I don't think that's right around the corner.  I think the USD will lose strength over time, but it will take a while.  In all likelihood China is hedging it's huge bets on the USD, but they aren't abandoning it.  They can't afford to and inertia has a lot to do with it.

Hello Doug:

I pray you are right - and I am wrong!

I disagree, the bond sales are anemic, when the Fed buys bonds with money it prints that IMHO is counterfeit. IMHO reserve notes are counterfeit, the Constitution says coins of silver and gold and I believe they wrote this in there with and for good reason. Inflation of the money supply which yields diminished buying power. The Constitution lists only 2 crimes by name, treason and counterfeit. Again, I think that is for a reason. I think it emphasizes the severity and harmfulness of both.

A few hundred billion for a deficit was bad but a can they could and did kick down the road. We can honestly look at the 80 trillion in debt - but even if we put blinders to that I myself can't put blinders to the current deficits even without cap-and-tax or health care (both I expect to be added). We are looking at 2 trillion this year (likely more).

Doug, I don't think we are any longer the only show in town. I for see a basket of currencies emerging as the reserve and if that were to happen (and I think it will) I certainly for see a quick collapse.

Just my take on this. When they borrow trillions it is one mess. When they print trillions it becomes Monopoly money. Again, I could be wrong and I truly hope I am! Take care.

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