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Daily Digest - Apr 5

Sunday, April 5, 2009, 10:11 AM
  • The U6 Measure of Labor Under-utilization is the broadest measure of Unemployment
  • One chart that says it all: Unemployment Rate 1929 vs now
  • A or B? Who is responsible for the crisis? America or America and Britain?
  • History will judge
  • The Bear in Percentage Terms..(Please see charts)
  • Temporary Help Services (Chart)
  • OCC: More Seriously Delinquent Prime Loans than Subprime
  • Bill Moyers & William K. Black (Video, H/T CM)
  • U.S. bank woes just the start, Whitney says (H/T CM)
  • U.S. aims to help firms sidestep bailout rules (H/T CM)
  • Blunt Talk
  • Financial Sense News Site had a virus, haven't heard back from Adam, once I do I'll post broadcast

Economy

The U6 Measure of Labor Under-utilization is the broadest measure of Unemployment

One chart that says it all: Unemployment Rate 1929 vs now

A or B? Who is responsible for the crisis? America or America and Britain?

Nick Robinson: "A question for you both, if I may. The prime minister has repeatedly blamed the United States of America for causing this crisis. France and Germany both blame Britain and America for causing this crisis. Who is right? And isn't the debate about that at the heart of the debate about what to do now?" Brown immediately swivels to leave Obama in pole position. There is a four-second delay before Obama starts speaking [THANKS FOR NOTHING, GORDY BABY. REMIND ME TO HANG YOU OUT TO DRY ONE DAY.] Barack Obama: "I, I, would say that, er ... pause [I HAVEN'T A CLUE] ... if you look at ... pause [WHO IS THIS NICK ROBINSON JERK?] ... the, the sources of this crisis ... pause [JUST KEEP GOING, BUDDY] ... the United States certainly has some accounting to do with respect to . . . pause [I'M IN WAY TOO DEEP HERE] ... a regulatory system that was inadequate to the massive changes that have taken place in the global financial system ... pause, close eyes [THIS IS GOING TO GO DOWN LIKE A CROCK OF **EDITED** BACK HOME. HELP]. I think what is also true is that ... pause [I WANT NICK ROBINSON TO DISAPPEAR] ... here in Great Britain ... pause [**EDITED**, GORDY'S THE HOST, DON'T LAND HIM IN IT] ... here in continental Europe ... pause [DAMN IT, BLAME EVERYONE.] ... around the world. We were seeing the same mismatch between the regulatory regimes that were in place and er ... pause [I'VE LOST MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT AGAIN] ... the highly integrated, er, global capital markets that have emerged ... pause [I'M REALLY WINGING IT NOW]. So at this point, I'm less interested in ... pause [YOU] ... identifying blame than fixing the problem. I think we've taken some very aggressive steps in the United States to do so, not just responding to the immediate crisis, ensuring banks are adequately capitalised, er, dealing with the enormous, er ... pause [WHY DIDN'T I QUIT WHILE I WAS AHEAD?] ... drop-off in demand and contraction that has taken place.

History will judge

If the history books eventually judge the Obama administration a failure, they may have to point to one horrific appointment as the root cause of the misguided policies: The "Smart Guy" who decided to continue the "Dumb Guy's policies.

And that's not very smart at all . . .

The Bear in Percentage Terms..(Please see charts)

First let me say that I believe this current crisis will prove to ultimately be FAR worse than any of the others, especially in REAL dollar terms. Our per capita debt levels are much higher than those of the late 20's just prior to the Great Depression, and we now have derivatives that have flooded the world bringing systemic risk that has yet to be seriously addressed. In fact, despite all the happy feelings of "action" surrounding the G20 meeting, the real problems of debt and derivatives were not even discussed much less a part of their action plan. Oh, excuse me, actually their plan is to further permeate the globe with debt and derivatives, that will make it all better (sarcasm)!

Here's a chart of the DOW during the Great Depression. The selling came in three phases, the initial plunge was the A wave, then there was a 50% B wave retrace that was followed by an orderly stair-step lower C wave into the eventual bottom that was an 89% loss from the high. Note that THE bottom did have a sharp rebound, but even it failed to exceed the prior step. It then flattened for quite some time and was well over a year before the last step's high was exceeded (1955 before new market highs), thus again showing that there is no reason to participate in a buying panic, in fact, had you done that on any of the steps that were not THE bottom, large losses can result unless you are extremely nimble:

Temporary Help Services (Chart)

OCC: More Seriously Delinquent Prime Loans than Subprime

From the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision: OCC and OTS Release Mortgage Metrics Report for Fourth Quarter 2008

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision today jointly released their quarterly report on first lien mortgage performance for the fourth quarter of 2008. The report covers mortgages serviced by nine large banks and four thrifts, constituting approximately two-thirds of all outstanding mortgages in the United States.

The report showed that credit quality continued to decline in the fourth quarter of 2008. At the end of the year, just under 90 percent of mortgages were performing, compared with 93 percent at the end of September 2008. This decline in credit quality was evident in all loan risk categories, with subprime mortgages showing the highest level of serious delinquencies. However, the biggest percentage jump was in prime mortgages, the lowest loan risk category and one that accounts for nearly two-thirds of all mortgages serviced by the reporting institutions. At the end of the fourth quarter, 2.4 percent of prime mortgages were seriously delinquent, more than double the 1.1 percent recorded at the end of March 2008.

(Emphasis added.)

Much of the report focuses on modifications and recidivism (see Housing Wire). But this report also shows - for the first time - more seriously delinquent prime loans than subprime loans (by number, not percentage).

Click on graph for larger image.

Bill Moyers & William K. Black (Video, H/T CM)

April 3, 2009

BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the Journal.

For months now, revelations of the wholesale greed and blatant transgressions of Wall Street have reminded us that "The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One." In fact, the man you're about to meet wrote a book with just that title. It was based upon his experience as a tough regulator during one of the darkest chapters in our financial history: the savings and loan scandal in the late 1980s.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: These numbers as large as they are, vastly understate the problem of fraud.

BILL MOYERS: Bill Black was in New York this week for a conference at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice where scholars and journalists gathered to ask the question, "How do they get away with it?" Well, no one has asked that question more often than Bill Black.

The former Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention now teaches Economics and Law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. During the savings and loan crisis, it was Black who accused then-house speaker Jim Wright and five US Senators, including John Glenn and John McCain, of doing favors for the S&L's in exchange for contributions and other perks. The senators got off with a slap on the wrist, but so enraged was one of those bankers, Charles Keating - after whom the senate's so-called "Keating Five" were named - he sent a memo that read, in part, "get Black - kill him dead." Metaphorically, of course. Of course.

Now Black is focused on an even greater scandal, and he spares no one - not even the President he worked hard to elect, Barack Obama. But his main targets are the Wall Street barons, heirs of an earlier generation whose scandalous rip-offs of wealth back in the 1930s earned them comparison to Al Capone and the mob, and the nickname "banksters."

Bill Black, welcome to the Journal.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Thank you.

BILL MOYERS: I was taken with your candor at the conference here in New York to hear you say that this crisis we're going through, this economic and financial meltdown is driven by fraud. What's your definition of fraud?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Fraud is deceit. And the essence of fraud is, "I create trust in you, and then I betray that trust, and get you to give me something of value." And as a result, there's no more effective acid against trust than fraud, especially fraud by top elites, and that's what we have.

BILL MOYERS: In your book, you make it clear that calculated dishonesty by people in charge is at the heart of most large corporate failures and scandals, including, of course, the S&L, but is that true? Is that what you're saying here, that it was in the boardrooms and the CEO offices where this fraud began?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: How did they do it? What do you mean?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, the way that you do it is to make really bad loans, because they pay better. Then you grow extremely rapidly, in other words, you're a Ponzi-like scheme. And the third thing you do is we call it leverage. That just means borrowing a lot of money, and the combination creates a situation where you have guaranteed record profits in the early years. That makes you rich, through the bonuses that modern executive compensation has produced. It also makes it inevitable that there's going to be a disaster down the road.

(More)

U.S. bank woes just the start, Whitney says (H/T CM)

BRIAN MILNER

Globe and Mail Update

April 3, 2009 at 6:57 PM EDT

Battered U.S. bank stocks enjoyed a healthy rally this week, buoyed by the many billions in taxpayer dollars Washington keeps throwing at them, by signs that the G20 leaders might actually have a plan, and by a change in how financial institutions account for all the sludge clogging up their books.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board, which determines what rules U.S. companies must follow when adding up their numbers, has relaxed requirements that forced financial institutions to account for massive paper losses stemming from possibly temporary damage to assets caused by the credit meltdown. Critics say the easing of mark-to-market rules allows the banks to play fast and loose once again with asset values. Advocates of the reform say it's ludicrous to force institutions to value securities at current distressed market prices if there's no actual market for the stuff.

Whether you believe the new numbers or not, they will immediately show up on balance sheets for the quarter just ended. But if you're thinking this might be the time to load up on crippled U.S. bank stocks, let me introduce you to Meredith Whitney, the most bearish bank analyst never to be fired from a job on Wall Street.

"You have trillions of dollars of loans that were underwritten with bad math assumptions, and those have to work through the system," Ms. Whitney said the other day. "You're going to start seeing banks sell stuff, the way you saw banks purge CDOs [collateralized debt obligations] and mortgage-related assets. And that's going to drive valuations lower. It has to run its course."

U.S. aims to help firms sidestep bailout rules (H/T CM)

The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.

Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.

The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as middlemen, channeling the bailout funds to the firms and, via this two-step process, stripping away the requirement that the restrictions be imposed, according to officials.

Blunt Talk

For instance, everybody thinks he has to go to college, generally wasting four years grazing at the claptrap smorgasbord tended by liberal-arts profs. But with the cost now running $20,000 to $40,000 per year, there are lots ($85 billion) of student loans out. They'll mostly be defaulted on when English majors find there's little market for their opinions on social engineering. Credit card debt will likely be the last crisis.

Even with $950 billion out at 18%, people won't default until the last minute, simply because they have no further source of funds. $2.23 trillion of state and city debt represented by muni bonds is at serious risk because these folks can't print dollars. And their receipts from income, sales, property, and every other kind of tax are going to plummet.

At exactly the same time the demands from citizens skyrocket. The $10 trillion - maybe it's really $15 trillion now - of debt that the government acknowledges it owes is actually dwarfed by another $50 trillion of net liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and such.

A large chunk of the debt that's acknowledged by the issuance of T-bills is held by those nice foreigners who for years sent us Sonys and Mercedes in exchange for paper. That's going to stop. If there's a way ‘they' can get ‘us' out of this mess without totally radical surgery, I simply don't see it.

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22 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Let me be blunt, let me be simple: Seeing this U-6 chart really galvanized my simplistic view of what I can exptect the future to bear (pun intended).

70% of GDP was consumer driven - the other 30% was as cooked as Enron's books. We aren't going to have consumers with unemployment like this. 3-4 million Obama/Geithner/Summers jobs will be a drop in the bucket with respect to the 20 million U-6'rs.

Hearing officials and "economists" say, "We have to get the banks loaning" begs the question from a realist question: To who @$$hole? The U-6'rs? These morons are dreaming. Dreaming with our grandkids money.

It is so fundimental: No jobs = No consumers. No consumers = No economy. No economy = Depression.

u-6-vs-the-great-depression.png

 

affert's picture
affert
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

That chart has two different scales.  Am I supposed to think that 25% = 15%?  Unless there is a VERY good explination why, that chart looks purposely deceptive, which is what Chris has been going after the gov't statisticians for.  Let's not drop to their level.

 

 

edit: typos

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mainecooncat
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Davos and Affert,

I wondered the same thing myself when I saw the chart, especially when it was billed as "One chart that shows it all." Now clearly 15% isn't 25% so I interpreted it to show that the rates of increasing unemployment were the same. And, obviously, rates are important.

However, factually where the chart is probably deceptive is the fact that the stock market crash didn't happen until '08 this time around, so '29 is actually analogous with '08 and not '06. Looking at the data this way indicates that current unemployment is actually higher than it was during the first depression if we use the stock market crash as our point of departure. Furthering this revised comparison, we have to wait until 2011 to see what the rates are then for comparison to '32.

One more note, and John Williams' talks about this a lot, is that another 3-4% additional chunk should be added to U-6 to cover those who have been discouraged for more than a year (I believe that's the distinction) who are no longer counted at all in any metric, except by those of Mr. Williams of course.

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Please see the article for better chart clarification http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2009/04/unemployment-u-6-data-versus-the-great-depression.html

Looks to me like the y axis on the left is circa 1929 and the y axis on the right is today, yes why they did that I don't know.

Frankly though, my take on this is not OMG this is the same but OMG this is just starting.

FSN had a great article on numbers, I haven't heard back from Adam, last I heard is he was working on the virus so I'll spare you the link, but the numbers of u6ers is 22 million. Williams pegs our rate at 19.2 or 19.8 percent, forgot which. If we have another 5+% to go, and at 1 million a month (unadulterated) getting laid off I'm gloom and dooming this well over 25%!

Why? Becuase 1 day a week then was likely well north of 25%. 

Hope that clarifies something. Oh, if you like hockey sticks check out this chart....http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_8rpY5fQK-UQ/SdYDAmbKwXI/AAAAAAAAGXQ/2OyZzvWqNjA/s1600-h/unemp.png

Again, my enphasis on unemployed is that 70% of GDP was consumer dirven. All I'm hearing from the guys flying the economy is we have to get banks loaning. No job = no consumer = no economy. These morons are just making it worse - getting banks to loan isn't the solution.

 

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Great bit on the mind of speachifying Obama Davos - funny if the situation weren't so serious.

There seems to be an emerging consensus here that the world financial system is headed for a cliff with no exit strategy. I believe that there is in fact one and that we will see it take shape fairly soon. It is mentioned at the end of the two video segments posted by Dr Rob yesterday discussing Argentina's cyclic revisiting of monetary crisis:

Point 1: there is too much debt - it is not possible to service this debt even if the world economy returned to a state of steady growth. The near-term "solution" to this has simply been to transfer unserviceable private obligations to the public sector. It will soon be appearant that this is unworkable as tax revenues will continue to shrink and foreign lenders will no longer be able or willing to lend sufficient sums to the Treasury to cover the shortfall.

Point 2: even if we could somehow return to a growing global economy there is not enough oil to sustain such growth. There will be winners and losers in this game and the losers will become increasingly desperate. Since the 1970s the US has described access to oil, a strategic resource, as vital to its interests and has developed a system of bases and military deployments to defend its access. Even in this time of economic crisis the US military budget has been increased. Because of this strategic interest in oil (and the close ties between the oil industry and important government actors) US military planners are fully aware of this pending crisis.

Point 3: because the economies of emerging market countries are tied to the western world through debt the proposed IMF relief strategy (provide more loans) will lead to civil unrest sooner rather than later. As a condition of the loans the receipient governments will be required to slash public sector spending. In already difficult times this loss of public sector funds will prove inflamatory. Some of these countries are in geostrategic positions (Pakistan and Ukraine for instance).

Point 4: The US government will do everything in its power to prevent the veil from being lifted - to prevent a situation where a majority of its citizens identify it a the primary source of their problems. Should a financial clamity occur that led to a bank holiday, for instance, it is likely that civil unrest would begin and perhaps become widespread. Before such a situation occurs action to redirect anxiety elsewhere is highly likely.

Point 5: in fact, given that world economic growth is unsustainable the temptation to pre-emptively rearrange the geopolitical furniture while there is still some hope to exert control will become nearly overwhelming. Wait too long and you lose the advantage and will need to react to events rather than act with forethought.

Its not a pretty picture.

 

paranoid's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

California deemed Ungovernable!

http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13414116

the state has been captured by environmentalists and slow-growth zealots who are stymieing house-building and running down dirty industries like agriculture and manufacturing.

maybe the slow-growth zealots are on the right track!

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

After reading about how Heinberg thinks a financial collapse will happen this summer I got the copy of his book Power Down and its become obvious that a lifeboat strategy is all that's now.

 Actually the collapse of our society will basically mimic that of other older ones, it will be much faster but the reasons will be the same. The bloated bureaucracies become unable to adapt and as things fall apart they try to keep the status quo for themselves at the cost of the peasants (that would be us, or at least me). Eventually even this cannot be maintained and huge population declines result with the survivors making small lifeboat societies.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Protests coming to a federal building near you, April 11th.

Looks like the public citizens are waking up to the looting operation,,,

http://www.anewwayforward.org/demonstrations/

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Davos

My boyfriend, recently laid off from Deutsche Bank, has been saying the same thing about no jobs=no recovery.  Simple and blunt are the only thing I understand much of the time so I appreciate.

For each person who loses a job there are many like me who depended on his/her income and has to adjust. As you said, no jobs=no consumers. In my own practice I am already bartering with my unemployed patients (got a great batch of basil last week in lieu of copayments). Most of my colleagues (in mental health) have told me they are giving fee reductions and in addition have lost many clients to unemployment, so I do not see where healthcare is booming, it must be in a different setting from mine and I am in New York.  I am probably one of the lucky ones who will be able to work through this period as long as I can reduce my fees and accept non money payments which I am prepared to do. I do not have kids to support so it is less scary in that one way. If/when we reach the point of no consumers=no economy=depression, I am still hoping the barter economy will hold up. 

Denise

 

 

 

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

The chart is not so much deceptive as it is AMBIGUOUS.....

 

Obviously, one scale is 1929 unployment whilst the other is today's, trouble is they don't say which is which....  one is obviously  rising much faster, is it today's by any chance?

 Mike

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Davos,

I just had to comment on the statement "For instance, everybody thinks he has to go to college, generally
wasting four years grazing at the claptrap smorgasbord tended by
liberal-arts profs."

I taught biology and chemistry from 1972 to 1982 in a small liberal arts college and I loved teaching. However, after 10 years in the ivory tower, I felt that I was no longer in touch with the real world (whatever that is). When we were told that one of our main functions as faculty was to prepare our students to deal with the "real world," I began to have second thoughts about remaining in academe. I felt that if the faculty were suddenly thown into the streets, half of us would starve to death in about a month.  And we were going to prepare our students to deal with the real world - come on.

I remember hearing some statistics a few years back that stated one-half or more of the incoming class of freshman nationwide was planning on majoring in marketing or communications. My first reaction to these stats was: "OMG, half the country is going to be trying to sell something to the other half."

In a country that graduates around 50,000 engineers and over 250,000 lawyers, we definitely need all these marketing people.

So I am in 100% agreement with the statement quoted in my first paragraph.

Best regards,

Don

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5
Davos wrote:

Hope that clarifies something. Oh, if you like hockey sticks check out this chart....http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_8rpY5fQK-UQ/SdYDAmbKwXI/AAAAAAAAGXQ/2OyZzvWqNjA/s1600-h/unemp.png

That was extremely interesting.

Up til now, I took the official unemployment figures and added 10% to get what I thought was a good ballpark figure that shows real unemployment rates.

But looking at this chart, the uncounted are rising faster than the counted. That means the G3 isn't off merely by degree but still captures trends; it means the G3 is off exponentially.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Here is more of the interview of William K. Black by Bill Moyers:

BILL MOYERS: Yeah. Are you saying that Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, and others in the administration, with the banks, are engaged in a cover up to keep us from knowing what went wrong?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: You are.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Absolutely, because they are scared to death. All right? They're scared to death of a collapse. They're afraid that if they admit the truth, that many of the large banks are insolvent. They think Americans are a bunch of cowards, and that we'll run screaming to the exits. And we won't rely on deposit insurance. And, by the way, you can rely on deposit insurance. And it's foolishness. All right? Now, it may be worse than that. You can impute more cynical motives. But I think they are sincerely just panicked about, "We just can't let the big banks fail." That's wrong.

BILL MOYERS: But what might happen, at this point, if in fact they keep from us the true health of the banks?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, then the banks will, as they did in Japan, either stay enormously weak, or Treasury will be forced to increasingly absurd giveaways of taxpayer money. We've seen how horrific AIG -- and remember, they kept secrets from everyone.

So Black is saying Geithner and the whole administration is covering up to prevent Americans from knowing what went wrong.  Black says it is like we've had a plane crash where rather than investigate the cause of the disaster we don't want to pass blame. See the whole interview at http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/04032009/watch.html

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Here's Peter Schiff's take on the change in mark to market rule.

http://www.europac.net/externalframeset.asp?from=home&id=15884&type=schiff

Quote:

Using the “mark to market” accounting method, mortgage-backed securities were valued relative to the latest prices fetched by the sale of similar assets on the open market. Currently, those bonds are being sold at deep discounts to their original value. By “marking” their unsold bonds down to those prices, the insolvency of our financial institutions had been laid bare. The new accounting changes will allow the nervous owners to assign more “appropriate” (i.e. higher) values. Problem solved.

Quote:

For example, GM bonds that mature 10 years from now currently trade for only 8 to 10 cents on the dollar, despite the fact that GM is current on all interest payments. The 90% discount reflects investor awareness that GM will likely default long before the bonds mature. By the new logic, financial institutions with GM bonds on their balance sheets should be able to ignore the market and value these bonds at par.

Quote:

Simply pretending that all these mortgages will be repaid does not solve the underlying problems. It may keep some banks alive longer, but when they ultimately do fail, the losses will be that much greater. In the meantime, solvent institutions are deprived of capital as more funds are funneled into insolvent “too big to fail” institutions – hiding their toxic assets behind rosy assumptions and phony marks.

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Filling fast: a desert parking lot for the world's idle aircraft

Filling fast: a desert parking lot for the world's idle aircraft
April 6, 2009

http://business.smh.com.au/business/20090405-9taj.html

Most of these planes will return to regular service eventually, writes
Joshua Freed.  (yeah right...  DTM)

OLD jets come to Arizona, empty engine pods shrink-wrapped in white, and
tall red tails fading to pink in the desert sun. More will come soon.
Some will never fly again.

Airlines have announced plans over the past year to take 1700 planes out
of service because fewer people are flying. United Airlines is retiring
all 94 of its Boeing 737s by the end of this year, and Northwest
Airlines has cut its old DC-9 fleet by about a third.

The number of aircraft in storage has jumped 29 per cent in the past
year to 2302, says Ascend Worldwide, an aerospace data firm. That
includes 930 parked by US operators alone.

Eventually, some will be sold, some scrapped, some will sit at desert
facilities in southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico. But at the
moment their number is growing faster than expected. The banking crisis
has made it very difficult to get loans to buy aircraft, and the drop in
commodity prices has gutted their scrap value.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Re: "A vs. B..." article and Moyers/Black interview...

 Being on the right side of the truth (Black) makes it easier to present your case without stammering and stuttering (Obama).

 Hopefully, once/when Obama gets back from his European boondoggle (must have cost the taxpayers at least $20 million) he will sit down, watch the Moyers/Black interview, see the situation clearly and act accordingly.

Ahhhh...The Audacity of Hope. 

Davos's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Hello Matt:

 

I finally had a minute to watch the Black video which was a hat tip from CM. WOW! GD Cesspool. Our elected officials have failed us to no end.

Take care 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

djhester, don't worry about the young people.  I'm an engineer and I host mentoring activities for high school students.

Young people are going to inherit this earth, and I can tell you from first hand experience, they know the future has challenges.  Engineering enrollment is up, and I expect it to climb dramatically inj the coming years.  Green manufacturing is a bright spot, as are efficient building technologies.  Retrofitting older buildings with energy efficient tech is booming right now!

 This country retooled and rethought production to win WWII.  I know that we can do it again.  Sure, we are complacent and somewhat lazy at the moment.  But just you watch the next generation run.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

<blockquote>Most of my colleagues (in mental health) have told me they are giving fee reductions and in addition have lost many clients to unemployment, so I do not see where healthcare is booming,</blockquote>

 It is my understanding that many people are going in for medical procedures now before they lose there jobs or thier benefits are cut. For instance one of my relatives had several tests done while still fully covered. His company is switching to a lower cost medical insurance provider which does not pick on the costs of periodic medical tests. A friend also had some dental work last month (crown replacement) before he loses his job. Of course this boom in healthcare services is just temporary, and probably will wind down this summer.

TechGuy's picture
TechGuy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 13 2008
Posts: 367
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5
bikemonkey wrote:

   This country retooled and rethought production to win WWII.  I know that we can do it again.  Sure, we are complacent and somewhat lazy at the moment.  But just you watch the next generation run.

I don't see it. Manufacturing companies are starting to liquidate assets and ship the machining tools over to Asia. For every new graduating engineer in America, China graduates 120 engineers. Why would any company hire an American engineer when then can hire 10 to 20 engineers in China for the salary of one American engineer? High schools have dumbed down the education system so that most new college students are overwhelmed when they take science classes. If you go to American University more than half of the students taking engineering classes are foreigners or immigrants. American students dominate Liberal arts and business degrees.

 When I am on they train, airport, at a client's business, All of the younger folks are wrapped up in gadgets and electronic games. With thier iPhones, iPods, and portable gaming handhelds. At their desks I see them chatting on on-line browsing gaming, Sports, or other entertainment websites. Americans in general have become spoiled, and have no ambition other than to receive a larger paycheck.

SkylightMT's picture
SkylightMT
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 30 2008
Posts: 125
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5
TechGuy wrote:

<blockquote>Most of my colleagues (in mental health) have told me they are giving fee reductions and in addition have lost many clients to unemployment, so I do not see where healthcare is booming,</blockquote>

 It is my understanding that many people are going in for medical procedures now before they lose there jobs or thier benefits are cut. For instance one of my relatives had several tests done while still fully covered. His company is switching to a lower cost medical insurance provider which does not pick on the costs of periodic medical tests. A friend also had some dental work last month (crown replacement) before he loses his job. Of course this boom in healthcare services is just temporary, and probably will wind down this summer.

Heartbreaking. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/03/60minutes/main4917055.shtml

"Recently thousands of letters went out across Las Vegas telling cancer patients that the only public hospital in the state was closing its outpatient clinic for chemotherapy.

"When the hospital first informed you that the outpatient oncology clinic was closing, what did you think?" Pelley asked Dr. Nick Spiritos, who treats ovarian and uterine cancers.

"How can you do this to cancer patients? They're dying. If we don't provide them care, their outcome is guaranteed. They're going to die," he replied. 
 

"University Medical Center is the safety net for two million people; Las Vegas bets its life on it. UMC is a teaching hospital, the only fully equipped trauma center, the only burn unit, the only transplant unit, and the primary source of charity care in a city that has fallen on the hardest times it has ever seen. 

"Literally overnight, UMC's budget was cut by $21 million. "And we were already scheduled or budgeted to lose $51 million. And so, when you layered on $21 million on top of that, that brought our loss, or anticipated loss, to $72 million," Silver told Pelley. 


 

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2237
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 5

Wow.  I just watched the Bill Moyer - William Black interview and it is incredible.  You know, I knew a lot of this stuff from reading it bits and pieces, here and there.  But to see the banking-gov't fraud which is bringing down our economy presented so straightforwardly -to see someone actually come out and "say" it, and lay it all right out-  is just incredible. 

Thanks CM for the H/T, Hucklejohn for the excerpt, and Davos for the review which got me to watch.

I hope others in journalism have the requisite anatomy to run with this... but I won't "bank on it"! (sorry, I couldn't resist!:)

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