Daily Digest

Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must 'Insulate' Economy from Investment Banks, Real Cost of Offshoring

Sunday, January 23, 2011, 11:00 AM
  • U.S. Stocks Decline, S&P 500 Ends Longest Weekly Winning Streak Since 2007
  • Clegg Says U.K. Must ‘Insulate’ Economy From Investment Banks
  • The Real Cost Of Offshoring
  • For Older, Out-Of-Work Residents, The Future Looks Grim
  • Don't Bank on It
  • Accounting Tweak Could Save Fed From Losses
  • Microcredit: 
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

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Economy

U.S. Stocks Decline, S&P 500 Ends Longest Weekly Winning Streak Since 2007



The S&P 500 declined 0.8 percent to 1,283.35 this week, the first drop after seven straight weeks of gains. It retreated 1 percent on Jan. 19, the biggest one-day drop since November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 84.46 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,871.84. The indexes hadn’t moved in opposite directions since October. Stock exchanges were closed on Jan. 17 for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Clegg Says U.K. Must ‘Insulate’ Economy From Investment Banks



The Independent Commission on Banking, sponsored by Prime Minister David Cameron’s coalition government of Conservatives and Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, said yesterday it’s looking at “ring-fencing” banking activities even if a full breakup of institutions is unlikely. Clegg said today that those comments were “very interesting.”

The Real Cost Of Offshoring (phil)



The underlying problem is located in an obscure statistic: the import price data published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Because of it, many of the cost cuts and product innovations being made overseas by global companies and foreign suppliers aren't being counted properly. And that spells trouble because, surprisingly, the government uses the erroneous import price data directly and indirectly as part of its calculation for many other major economic statistics, including productivity, the output of the manufacturing sector, and real gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to be the inflation-adjusted value of all the goods and services produced inside the U.S. (For a detailed explanation of how import price data are calculated and why the methodology is suspect, see page 34.)

For Older, Out-Of-Work Residents, The Future Looks Grim



A burgeoning group of older, jobless people — here and nationwide — have found everything they worked for over the decades snatched away by the sharp downturn and slow recovery. Laid-off workers in their 50s, 60s and older are facing grim prospects of finding a new job, the worst for any age group in at least five recessions, at a time when hardly anyone is finding re-employment easy or quick. That has left these residents in a precarious state.

Don't Bank on It



Banks enjoy guarantees not to fail unless the U.S. government goes down with them. They remain more or less free from regulations that might significantly curb their reckless risk-taking. And they continue to pay their executives better than rock stars or baseball players. Yet given all these advantages, a spotty financial performance is the best they can do? We jacked the national debt to almost $14 trillion to avert a Great Depression that the banks nearly caused.

Accounting Tweak Could Save Fed From Losses (david)



"Could the Fed go broke? The answer to this question was 'Yes,' but is now 'No,'" said Raymond Stone, managing director at Stone & McCarthy in Princeton, New Jersey. "An accounting methodology change at the central bank will allow the Fed to incur losses, even substantial losses, without eroding its capital." The change essentially allows the Fed to denote losses by the various regional reserve banks that make up the Fed system as a liability to the Treasury rather than a hit to its capital. It would then simply direct future profits from Fed operations toward that liability.

Microcredit: 
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly



If the microlender meets its profit projections, this creates claims by the foreign investors on India’s foreign exchange reserves potentially many times the amount of the original investment. To fulfill this obligation, India must produce goods and service for sale abroad or sell or mortgage additional assets to foreigners, which creates still greater claims against future foreign exchange earnings. The community in which the borrowers reside will be dealing only in rupees, but faces a similar external drain on its resources to meet the borrowers’ obligations to the lending organization. Say the microlending supported an increase in village food production. Rather than improving the diets of the workers who produce it, however, a portion of their additional production must be sold to outsiders to generate the rupees to repay their debts.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

19 Comments

DavidC's picture
DavidC
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Re: Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must ...

"Accounting Tweak Could Save Fed From Losses"

I'm amazed that this hasn't been picked up on by anyone yet. Basically (and unless I'm misunderstanding something), the Fed has changed the rules and any losses by the Federal Reserve banks can be denoted as liabilities on THE TREASURY!

Once again, the taxpayer is going to be on the hook. Unbelievable, how can they be getting away with this?

DavidC

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Marteen
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Accounting Tweak Could Save Fed From Losses

DavidC,

All publications or comments from all banks are completely useless as long they have send their accountants to the bahama's. There is no "accountability" anymore.

I am not worried anylonger about all these speculations of double dip, dollar or euro collapse. I am transferring my life to farming without being in dept. This is for me very meaningfull with plenty enjoyment.  Have a minimum on savings and access is going into stocks like potash and phiscal silver/gold. We are moving to switzerland as my wife is north african. In france they allready deported the first batch of strangers (roma gipsies)and that is very very very scary. 

Marteen

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cmartenson
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Re: Accounting Tweak Could Save Fed From Losses
Marteen wrote:

DavidC,

All publications or comments from all banks are completely useless as long they have send their accountants to the bahama's. There is no "accountability" anymore.

I am not worried anylonger about all these speculations of double dip, dollar or euro collapse. I am transferring my life to farming without being in dept. This is for me very meaningfull with plenty enjoyment.  Have a minimum on savings and access is going into stocks like potash and phiscal silver/gold. We are moving to switzerland as my wife is north african. In france they allready deported the first batch of strangers (roma gipsies)and that is very very very scary. 

Marteen

That last part in bold is the prime reason I decided to stay in my home country rather than try somewhere else.  When push comes to shove, it really, really helps to be a member of the local tribe, whatever that may be.  History is rather complete on the subject.

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saxplayer00o1
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pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Posts: 2237
Laest on Irish Government Collapse...

Here are some new headlines associated with the collapse of the Irish Government.

Per ZH, "Ireland Government Crumbles As Green Party Pulls Out Of Ruling Coalition", at http://www.zerohedge.com/article/ireland-government-crumbles-green-party-pulls-out-ruling-coalition .

ZH wrote:

It has been a while since we had one of those "before Asia opens" kind of Sundays. Today just may be one. BBC has just reported that the Irish Green party has pulled out of the ruling coalition with Fianna Fail which is "expected to bring forward the general election from 11 March." In other words suddenly the entire Irish "rescue", taken for granted for over a month, will have to be reexamined, once the new ruling party, which will certainly be from the current opposition reevaluates the terms. Elections are now expected to come some time in mid-February. Look for peripheral bond spreads to go whooosh tomorrow.

Per the Telegraph, "Irish Government in chaos as Greens quit Coalition", at  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ireland/8277048/Irish-Government-in-chaos-as-Greens-quit-Coalition.html . 

The Telegraph wrote:

The Irish Government was plunged into chaos as the junior coalition Green Party pulled out of Government over the dramatic resignation of Taoiseach Brian Cowen as leader of the ruling Fianna Fail party.

And one more from Bloomberg, "Irish Green Party Pulls Out of Government, to Support Budget in Opposition",  @ http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-23/irish-green-party-pulls-out-of-government-to-support-budget-in-opposition.html

Quote:

Ireland’s Green Party said it will support the passage of the nation’s budget from the opposition benches after it withdrew from Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s coalition government.

“Our patience has reached an end” because of doubts about the leadership of Cowen’s Fianna Fail party, a “lack of communication and the breakdown in trust,” Green’s leader John Gormley said at a press conference in Dublin today. “We have decided that we can no longer continue in government.”

Thoughts?  I'm wondering what ramifications this may have.

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jumblies
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Posts: 244
Palestine Papers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/23/palestine-papers-israel-conflict-wikileaks-documents-released_n_812776.html

Today, Al Jazeera and the Guardian released the first of more than 1,600 documents related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The document dump comes just hours after The Associated Press reported that Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is drafting plans for a provisional Palestine. Palestinian leaders have rejected the notion as a "publicity stunt."

Expect a s**t storm over this one.

 

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nickbert
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Staying Close to Home, and the possibility of xenophobia
cmartenson wrote:
Marteen wrote:

DavidC,

All publications or comments from all banks are completely useless as long they have send their accountants to the bahama's. There is no "accountability" anymore.

I am not worried anylonger about all these speculations of double dip, dollar or euro collapse. I am transferring my life to farming without being in dept. This is for me very meaningfull with plenty enjoyment.  Have a minimum on savings and access is going into stocks like potash and phiscal silver/gold. We are moving to switzerland as my wife is north african. In france they allready deported the first batch of strangers (roma gipsies)and that is very very very scary. 

Marteen

That last part in bold is the prime reason I decided to stay in my home country rather than try somewhere else.  When push comes to shove, it really, really helps to be a member of the local tribe, whatever that may be.  History is rather complete on the subject.

What Marteen mentioned about France strikes an uncomfortable chord with me.... here in the US, my wife is the immigrant or outsider and has a noticeable accent.  Over in her native country, I would be the immigrant and even more of an outsider (the people are very friendly generally, but it's much less of a melting pot and I stick out big time there).  If things truly 'get hairy', I'm concerned about the possibility of growing xenophobic social trends in either country.  We already see some signs of it in the US.  My wife wants to get her citizenship ASAP, as we're expecting there may be more restrictions regarding permanent resident status or applications for citizenship in the years to come.

For the time being we're focusing on spending more time in her country to take advantage of certain opportunities, and so our son gets the chance to be more familiar with his other country and language (I need to become more fluent too).  But we realize in the long term we will likely have to choose one or the other, and I don't think that'll be easy for any of us.  Either way we'll be leaving family behind, and either way one of us will be at risk of being targeted for being a foreigner.

- Nickbert

Poet's picture
Poet
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Surviving As A Minority
cmartenson wrote:
Marteen wrote:

We are moving to switzerland as my wife is north african. In france they allready deported the first batch of strangers (roma gipsies)and that is very very very scary. 

Marteen

That last part in bold is the prime reason I decided to stay in my home country rather than try somewhere else.  When push comes to shove, it really, really helps to be a member of the local tribe, whatever that may be.  History is rather complete on the subject.

Chris:

Thank you. I've written about the issue before in this community. As someone who is a minority in this country, there is an extra layer of worry to deal with on top of trying to survive and prep for what may come.

Minority Survival In A Post-Collapse America
November 23, 2010
http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/95115#comment-95115

Poet wrote:

I subscribe to the idea that most people are apathetic and bad people act with impunity when they don't think there are any consequences to suffer.

With a breakdown of law and order, ugly people can afford to get uglier.
http://www.brazzil.com/articles/188-february-2008/10042.html

Especially if they think they can get away with it. I've had a lot of experience in that regard.

If you are one of a few minorities (whether by race or religion) in an area, you are more likely to be targeted because:

1. There are fewer of you to spread the risk of an attacker. There is safety in numbers and in diversity, whether you are gay, Wiccan, Bangladeshi, or whatever.
2. The vast majority are likely to be ignorant of, and unsympathetic to, you and your culture. There are fewer people likely to have friends of your minority group and a stake in your group's outcome because there are fewer of you.
3. Those who wish to act against you have less fear of facing consequences. Social disapproval of their actions is also more likely to be muted.

In an area where there are more of your minority group in an area with a diverse mixing of racial and religious groups:

1. There are more of you to spread the risk.
2. There are enough of you that you can form community groups, interest groups, watch groups.
3. The vast majority interact with you on a daily basis, likely have close friends or have intermarried or have relatives of your minority (race or religion).
4. Those who wish to act against you have greater fear of facing consequences. Social disapproval of their actions is also more likely to be heightened.

While race riots may occur and can be devastating, the outcome is less likely to be one-sided if the minority is well-armed and organized than if they are not.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosewood_massacre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_armed_resistance_in_the_Los_Angeles_...
http://jpfo.org/

Sure some may wax philosophical about how most people are good people and we shouldn't stereotype or avoid living in certain parts of this country. Sure, during economic good times, racial and religious tensions tend to recede to the background, but when times are bad or there are foreign relations tensions or glocal conflicts, minorities are scapegoated and persecuted. Whatever. To those who complain, I ask again: "If you trust your own people, why are you storing guns and ammo?"

Hate is still alive, folks. When law and order breaks down, it will free up hate to act...

Poet

Poet

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Poet
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Re: Staying Close to Home, and the possibility of xenophobia
nickbert wrote:

What Marteen mentioned about France strikes an uncomfortable chord with me.... here in the US, my wife is the immigrant or outsider and has a noticeable accent.  Over in her native country, I would be the immigrant and even more of an outsider (the people are very friendly generally, but it's much less of a melting pot and I stick out big time there).  If things truly 'get hairy', I'm concerned about the possibility of growing xenophobic social trends in either country.  We already see some signs of it in the US.  My wife wants to get her citizenship ASAP, as we're expecting there may be more restrictions regarding permanent resident status or applications for citizenship in the years to come.

For the time being we're focusing on spending more time in her country to take advantage of certain opportunities, and so our son gets the chance to be more familiar with his other country and language (I need to become more fluent too).  But we realize in the long term we will likely have to choose one or the other, and I don't think that'll be easy for any of us.  Either way we'll be leaving family behind, and either way one of us will be at risk of being targeted for being a foreigner.

- Nickbert

Nickbert

Even as a minority, I think the staying in United States makes the most sense.

Over a third of people in America are minorities (mostly Hispanic and African-American). Depending on the area of the country that you live in, the numbers may be higher. California, for example, is closing in on 50% now. The New York City metropolitan area has very high concentrations of minorities.

Just for comparison: In 1933, Germany had 522,000 Jews out of a total population of 66 million - that's less than one percent! By the onset of WWII, there were only 214,000 left in Germany. (Those who could, got out - hopefully to places that didn't get conquered by the Germans later.)

Poet

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ao
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Re: Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must ...

Poet,

The safer aspect of America is that minorities are the majority.  It is curious though how some minorities seem to run into discrimination issues while others seem not to.  For example, most of us are familiar with the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire (which obviously is about as severe as discrimination can get) yet I'm not aware of any Armenian discrimination in this country and doubt if there would be any, even if TSHTF.  I'm just curious as to which minority groups you think are most likely to be targeted in this country if TSHTF?  Certainly, even if one is a so-called majority (if that even exists), being so in a minority area could definitely pose a safety risk for a majority group individual (i.e. being in the wrong place at the wrong time).  I wonder if the risk is actually being a minority or not being integrated into the social fabric to the same extent as most others.  Or might the risk even be more basic than that?  I would imagine that a minority member who is beloved in a community is far less likely to be discriminated again than a majority member who is a jerk.           

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Google: Buy a Gun Queries at all time high

Interesting article on Zero Hedge: "Buy a Gun" Google Queries Hit All Time HIgh

The articles talks about "off grid" indicators that may have a bit more value than the manipulated BLS and "happy days" propaganda from the MSM.

 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must ...

<http://www.commondreams.org/video/2011/01/23-0>

Published on Sunday, January 23, 2011 by The Nation

Nicole Foss: We Need Freedom of Action To Confront Peak Oil

In the third video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth productions, co-editor of The Automatic Earth, Nicole M. Foss, explains how energy relates to the economy and what our impending energy crisis will look like. Foss discusses the issues associated with peak oil in financial rather than environmental terms, because she finds that peak oil has much more to do with finance than it does with climate change.

Foss talks about what she calls a “false positive feedback loop,” which involves optimism leading to “caution being thrown to the wind.” When this happens, Foss believes that people become angry. Succumbing to fear and anger might lead to engagement in destructive behavior, which would make it harder for society to confront peak oil and climate change.

Reacting to former vice president Dick Cheney, who once said "the American way of life is not negotiable," Foss says, "That's true because reality is not going to negotiate with you."

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green_achers
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Re: Accounting Tweak Could Save Fed From Losses
cmartenson wrote:
Marteen wrote:

DavidC,

All publications or comments from all banks are completely useless as long they have send their accountants to the bahama's. There is no "accountability" anymore.

I am not worried anylonger about all these speculations of double dip, dollar or euro collapse. I am transferring my life to farming without being in dept. This is for me very meaningfull with plenty enjoyment.  Have a minimum on savings and access is going into stocks like potash and phiscal silver/gold. We are moving to switzerland as my wife is north african. In france they allready deported the first batch of strangers (roma gipsies)and that is very very very scary. 

Marteen

That last part in bold is the prime reason I decided to stay in my home country rather than try somewhere else.  When push comes to shove, it really, really helps to be a member of the local tribe, whatever that may be.  History is rather complete on the subject.

For some reason, that made me think of this old quote:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists ,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

- Pastor Martin Niemoller

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Re: Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must ...

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Re: Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must ...
ao wrote:

 I'm just curious as to which minority groups you think are most likely to be targeted in this country if TSHTF?

The weak and powerless and this may actually represent a majority.

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Re: Surviving As A Minority

Beware the www.brazzil.com article referenced in Poet's #8 post.  My antivirus warned that the site was trying to download a virus/trojan.

Re: the topic as a whole, I think the key is to integrate yourself into whichever community you live in, whether native or not.  If you embrace the national culture, show yourself to be a useful member of the community, help people out whenever you can, it's unlikely that the community will turn on you when TSHTF. Equally, if you're unhelpful, withdrawn, etc etc, when trouble strikes, you're unlikely to get any help. 

A story comes to mind of a farmer who lived locally, was born and bred in the area, who was an unpleasant piece of work, was deliberately unhelpful, unpleasant to deal with, and when his house went on fire, there was no rush to help him from his put-upon neighbours.  A cautionary tale indeed!

 

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Poet
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Re: Daily Digest 1/23 - U.S. Stocks Decline, U.K. Must ...
ao wrote:

Poet,

The safer aspect of America is that minorities are the majority.  It is curious though how some minorities seem to run into discrimination issues while others seem not to.  For example, most of us are familiar with the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire (which obviously is about as severe as discrimination can get) yet I'm not aware of any Armenian discrimination in this country and doubt if there would be any, even if TSHTF.  I'm just curious as to which minority groups you think are most likely to be targeted in this country if TSHTF?  Certainly, even if one is a so-called majority (if that even exists), being so in a minority area could definitely pose a safety risk for a majority group individual (i.e. being in the wrong place at the wrong time).  I wonder if the risk is actually being a minority or not being integrated into the social fabric to the same extent as most others.  Or might the risk even be more basic than that?  I would imagine that a minority member who is beloved in a community is far less likely to be discriminated again than a majority member who is a jerk.           

Ao

We minorities aren't the majority - except in some areas. In some states, minorities are only 10% of the population or less. Individual minority groups make up even smaller segments.

I suspect the places where racial violence might be visited upon people, would more likely be areas where minorities don't exist in great enough numbers to be a strong enough force to be reckoned with. With all this talk about China and Mexico "taking our jobs" (somehow CEOs of multinational corporations and landscapers/contractors aren't to blame, of course) , that Asians and Hispanics may be targeted in an economic collapse - rather than the Fed or the big business. And sadly enough, sympathetic juries might just let the accused go with slaps on the wrist.

Poet

 

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nickbert
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Re: Staying Close to Home, and the possibility of xenophobia
Poet wrote:
nickbert wrote:

What Marteen mentioned about France strikes an uncomfortable chord with me.... here in the US, my wife is the immigrant or outsider and has a noticeable accent.  Over in her native country, I would be the immigrant and even more of an outsider (the people are very friendly generally, but it's much less of a melting pot and I stick out big time there).  If things truly 'get hairy', I'm concerned about the possibility of growing xenophobic social trends in either country.  We already see some signs of it in the US.  My wife wants to get her citizenship ASAP, as we're expecting there may be more restrictions regarding permanent resident status or applications for citizenship in the years to come.

For the time being we're focusing on spending more time in her country to take advantage of certain opportunities, and so our son gets the chance to be more familiar with his other country and language (I need to become more fluent too).  But we realize in the long term we will likely have to choose one or the other, and I don't think that'll be easy for any of us.  Either way we'll be leaving family behind, and either way one of us will be at risk of being targeted for being a foreigner.

- Nickbert

Nickbert

Even as a minority, I think the staying in United States makes the most sense.

Over a third of people in America are minorities (mostly Hispanic and African-American). Depending on the area of the country that you live in, the numbers may be higher. California, for example, is closing in on 50% now. The New York City metropolitan area has very high concentrations of minorities.

Just for comparison: In 1933, Germany had 522,000 Jews out of a total population of 66 million - that's less than one percent! By the onset of WWII, there were only 214,000 left in Germany. (Those who could, got out - hopefully to places that didn't get conquered by the Germans later.)

Poet

Poet-

(Sorry for the delayed reply)

My concern isn't so much that one or the other of us would be a minority, it's to what degree we're considered outsiders (which is sometimes but not always the same thing).  While I think being in a minority may turn out to be more of an ordeal in the crazy future ahead, I think it may be secondary to the perceived 'local or foreign status' of a person, at least in America, Canada, and much of Europe.  Now of course we could see perceptions of local/foreign status gradually morph over time into hostile attitudes towards a specific minority (like Americans of Japanese lineage during WWII or hispanics in the US in the past decade or two), but I still expect foreigners (perceived or real) to get the brunt of it.  The economic wars going underway are likely to give way to protectionism, nationalism, and some xenophobia if history is any guide, and if it comes down to outbreak of war (ok, MORE war Cry) or another major "cold war" it'll be even worse.

We don't know what the future will hold, but IF there are major tensions or war (direct or proxy) between the US and any other countries, I expect the biggest contenders would be China, Pakistan, or Iran.  So depending which it is, anyone from or perceived as being from said country (based on physical appearance, name, or accent) may have a rather hard time.  

On the bright side, I'm betting the difficulties encountered won't be impossible to overcome or necessarily involve worst case scenarios (violence).  It may involve nothing more than an occasional odd look or some rudeness (or in my case in my wife's country, having some merchants bump up their initial asking prices Tongue out), and I think bonds formed and time spent in any community will help immensely in overcoming such barriers.  I like what ao said... a minority who is part of the community may have a much easier time than a 'majority' who behaves like a douchebag.  But if you leave that community or have to interact with those outside of the community, you may be back to square one.  Personally speaking for my family, here in the US I am more concerned about government actions or policies than our relationships with individuals or local communities.  I would say it's well established that the US government (Homeland Security, IRS, INS... take your pick) can make anyone's life a living hell on mere suspicion alone, and I see non-citizens, even those who are permanent residents, being prime targets of opportunity in an increasingly xenophobic authoritarian state.  Especially those who have some assets to sieze but not "connected" or wealthy enough to win protracted legal battles with the government.  I consider it a low likelihood (currently) / high impact risk, but the current trends make me less certain about that low likelihood in the short-to-medium term future. 

- Nickbert

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