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Daily Digest - Apr 7

Tuesday, April 7, 2009, 9:51 AM
  • Did the ECB Save COMEX from Gold Default? (H/T Christopher Peters)
  • Altman on the deepression
  • Bill Moyers & William K. Black (Video, H/T CM --- Repost Please Don't Miss This)
  • Uncle Jay Explains the News (Video, Currency)
  • Double Whammy
  • Are Competitive Devaluations Starting?
  • Congressional Oversight Panel to Call for Wiping Out Shareholders, Ouster of Top Brass
  • "From Bubble to Depression?"
  • FSN News Hour April 4,(Haven't listened yet, got an email from Adam P. site is clean)
  • Meredith Whitney: Houses prices to fall another 30% (Video)
  • Delinquent Mortgage Breakdown
  • Seriously Deliquent Mortgages (60 or 60+ days or BK Borrowers past 30 days)
  • The US Treasury requests volunteers for suicide; any takers?

Economy

Did the ECB Save COMEX from Gold Default? (H/T Christopher Peters)

In normal times, very few people do this. Only about 1% or less of gold contracts must be delivered. The lack of delivery demand allows the casino-like world of paper gold futures contracts to operate. Very few short sellers actually expect or intend to deliver real gold. They are, mostly, merely playing with paper. It was amazing, therefore, when March 30, 2009 came and passed, and so many people stood for delivery, refusing to part with their long gold futures positions.

On Tuesday, March 31st, Deutsche Bank (DB) amazed everyone even more, by delivering a massive 850,000 ounces, or 8500 contracts worth of the yellow metal. By the close of business, even after this massive delivery, about 15,050 April contracts, or 1.5 million ounces, still remained to be delivered. Most of these, of course, are unlikely to be the obligations of Deutsche Bank. But, the fact that this particular bank turned out to be one of the biggest short sellers of gold, is a surprise. Most people presumed that the big COMEX gold short sellers are HSBC (HBC) and/or JP Morgan Chase (JPM). That may be true. However, it is abundantly clear that they are not the only game in town.

Closely connected institutions, it seems, do not have to worry about acting irresponsibly, in taking on more obligations than they can fulfill. Mysteriously, on the very same day that gold was due to be delivered to COMEX long buyers, at almost the very same moment that Deutsche Bank was giving notice of its deliveries, the ECB happened to have "sold" 35.5 tons, or a total of 1,141,351 ounces of gold, on March 31, 2009. Convenient, isn't it? Deutsche Bank had to deliver 850,000 ounces of physical gold on that day, and miraculously, the gold appeared out of nowhere.

Altman on the deepression 

... [H]ousehold balance sheets will not be rebuilt soon. Home values will keep falling through mid-2010 and there is no precedent for equity markets, still down 45 per cent from their peak, to make those losses up in just two years. It is illogical, therefore, to expect a full snap-back in the consumer sector in 2010 or 2011. This alone mandates a drawn-out, weak recovery. ... 

Bill Moyers & William K. Black (Video, H/T CM --- Repost Please Don't Miss This)

Uncle Jay Explains the News (Video, Currency)

Double Whammy

In Friday's post, "Darkness Falling on the Twilight Years," I highlighted posts from the Economist.com's Free exchange blog and Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog that suggested an idyllic retirement may be out of reach for many Americans.

But that's not the end of it. The same financial woes that will force many people to keep working well into their golden years are also poised to hit them where it hurts -- in their wallets and pocketbooks -- right now. In "$1T Hit to Pensions Could Cost Taxpayers, Workers," The Associated Press gives us the details

Massive investment losses sustained by public pension funds are pressuring state lawmakers from New Mexico to New York to spend more taxpayer money to shore up their programs, boost the retirement age for newly hired government workers and seek more from employee paychecks.

Pensions need $270 billion in additional contributions over the next four years, and more than $100 billion annually for two decades hence, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

The pension trouble is just one more economic challenge for states. Income and sales tax collections are dropping fast as unemployment rises. Jobless benefits funds are running dry, requiring federal borrowing. And because of substantial budget holes, states are cutting back on a wide range of services, including child care subsidies for low-income families and aid to public schools, and in some cases laying off workers.

Are Competitive Devaluations Starting?

In a world of floating rates, driving the value of one's currency down takes a bit of doing, but as China (since 1994) and Japan (circa 2003) have demonstrated, central banks can lower currency prices. And trashing one's currency is part of the standard program recommended for countries facing deflation.

The preferred method these days appears to be quantitative easing. Futures on the Canadian dollar have fallen 3% on expectations its central bank will move to quantitative easing.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who despite his fondness of apocalyptic pronouncements, has been been for the most part right in calling this downturn, argues the world is moving toward beggar thy neighbor currency debauchment.

Congressional Oversight Panel to Call for Wiping Out Shareholders, Ouster of Top Brass

Yves again. Ahem, Warren is saying these steps should already have been taken. However, Geither no doubt hopes that saying he is in concept willing to get tough with bank executives is as far as he needs to go.

"From Bubble to Depression?"

Steven Gjerstad and Vernon L. Smith argue that the "events of the past 10 years have an eerie similarity to the period leading up to the Great Depression." More specifically, their argument is that contrary to the usual explanation that the troubles in the banking sector during the Great Depression were caused by stock-market speculation and a monetary contraction, they suggest that "both the Great Depression and the current crisis had their origins in excessive consumer debt -- especially mortgage debt":

FSN News Hour April 4,(Haven't listened yet, got an email from Adam P. site is clean)

Meredith Whitney: Houses prices to fall another 30% (Video)

Delinquent Mortgage Breakdown (Chart)

Seriously Deliquent Mortgages (60 or 60+ days or BK Borrowers past 30 days, Chart)

The US Treasury requests volunteers for suicide; any takers?

According to today's Financial Times, "Tim Geithner warned on Sunday that the US government would consider ousting board members at American banks as a condition for giving the institutions "exceptional" assistance in the future."

The next time I teach Econ 101, Economic Principles - Microeconomics, I will use this as a school book example of how not to structure incentives.

When a bank is undercapitalised and new lending and borrowing are encumbered by an overhang of bad, dodgy or toxic assets, the one thing you should not do is offer public financial support to rectify this situation on terms that are very painful for the key decision makers in the banks, painful that is, for those who decide on whether to accept the state's financial aid.

Perhaps you believe that the CEOs, CFOs, COOs, other top executives and board members whose recklessness, incompetence and misfeasance brought the banks they were responsible for (and for which they indeed had a fiduciary duty) to the edge of the precipice (and at times beyond it) are likely to commit personal professional and financial suicide by doing the right thing for the bank and the wider community, accepting public money even when doing so will result in their being fired. If you do, you probably invested all you money with Bernie Madoff.

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31 Comments

Davos's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

 

I have a lot of super hat tips that I am reading now, and will post on the blog of the 8th.

economy37.jpg

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Protesters storm Moldovan parliament

Best,

Paul

 

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Duhhh, which way did he go, which way did he go?

I found the line highlighted in the middle of the text comical given CM's analysis of the housing data a week or so ago.  The MSM stands around and scratching its collective head like it doesn't know its all BS.  The fraud going on in the world has reached epidemic proportions.

Mortgage delinquencies soar in the U.S.

Tue Apr 7, 2009 9:54am EDT

By Helen Chernikoff

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More U.S. consumers are falling behind on their mortgages, an indication that the housing market has yet to hit bottom, a top credit bureau executive told Reuters.

Dann Adams, president of U.S. Information Systems for Equifax Inc, reported that 7 percent of homeowners with mortgages were at least 30 days late on their loans in February, an increase of more than 50 percent from a year earlier.

He also said 39.8 percent of subprime borrowers were at least 30 days behind on their home mortgage loans, up 23.7 percent from last year.

"I'm trying to find optimism in these numbers, but I'm pretty hard pressed to do that," Adams said, despite a recent burst of relatively positive news that has fueled hope that the U.S. housing market has turned a corner.

Late last month the Commerce Department reported that sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes rose to a 337,000 annual pace in February, the highest in 10 months.

Such news has boosted homebuilder shares, which are up about 45 percent since March 6, according to the Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index.

But Adams said the continued increase in mortgage delinquencies revealed in his data foreshadows more foreclosures, short sales and home price declines as homeowners default and banks then repossess the homes to sell them at deep discounts.

LIFELINE OF CREDIT

The Equifax data also reveals the impact of the rise in unemployment, which is at its highest rate since 1983. Employers cut 663,000 jobs in March, sending the national unemployment rate to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department said on Friday.

The rising jobless rate manifests itself in consumers' increasing reliance on credit cards even as lenders try to restrict access to credit, Adams said.

Banks closed 8 million credit card accounts in February, reducing the number of open cards to 400 million from a July 2008 peak of 483 million, according to Equifax data.

Credit limits fell as well, to $3.27 trillion in February from a July 2008 peak of $3.59 trillion.

"Limits are falling because lenders are trying to minimize their losses," Adams said.

The data shows that lenders have good reason to be wary. Bank card delinquency is at its highest level in the past five years. Some 4.5 percent of total balances on bank-issued credit cards were at 60 days past due in February, a 32.7 percent increase from a year earlier.

"Their credit card is their lifeline," he said. (Additional reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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A Microeconomist’s Protest

"The Keynesian worldview seems to have led to increasing stridency
and dogmatism about economic stimulus, which has dominated the
headlines for several months. There used to be a joke that you can
teach a parrot economics—all it needs to say is “supply and demand.”
Now it is even easier to teach a parrot the policy prescription to
prevent a major recession: All it needs to say is “stimulus.” 

Things have gotten so bad that no dissention can be tolerated. The
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was harshly criticized for not going
along, at least to the requisite degree, with the stimulus consensus.
She stood out as “Frau Nein” until she went along with a “moderate”
package."  ....more in the article.

Read the article here.

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George Soros invu, and is anyone else perplexed by FSNs 3rd hour

Someone may have posted this already, in which case I apologize. It's a video clip of Soros on the banking/financial crisis passing, but us being stuck with zombie banks. Soros, like the FSN 3rd hour, seems to imply, the danger of implosion has passed, things are going to start looking up, but not really.

http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/226586/Soros-%22Danger-of-Collapse-Has-Passed%22-But-Stock-Rally-Not-Sustainable?tickers=%5Edji,%5Egspc,xlf?sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=TBD&ccode=TBD

 What's confusing to me about FSN's third hour, and I'm not entirely through it yet, but my attention tends to wander when they repeat their point for the fourth or fifth time (I got it, I got it, there's trailing indicators, coincident indicators and leading indicators!), is that they spend the first half talking repeatedly about economic indicators that, by their own standards, signal a recovery has begun. Say what?! What can a recovery possibly be based on, given everything that's been posted here in recent months? But if they're saying the PMI and other presumably hard-data based leading indicators are rising, I'm assuming that has to be taken seriously, unless I'm missing how those can be "massaged" by the government.

 Then they move on, in their second half, to talk about how the US has it all wrong, you can't solve a problem created by debt and leverage with more debt and leverage. Yes, makes sense. So what does it mean that the risk of financial collapse has passed, that recovery seems imminent, yet things are all wrong?

Can you tell I get cranky when I get confused?

 

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Bill Moyers' Interview with William Black

This is more evidence confirming much of what I have been preaching to my friends....it was all planned. I would go one further to suggest this was all planned so it would fail and the government could then take a bigger role in controling the people.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Sue

Quote:

It's a video clip of Soros on the banking/financial crisis passing, but us being stuck with zombie banks. Soros, like the FSN 3rd hour, seems to imply, the danger of implosion has passed, things are going to start looking up, but not really.

I just heard another interview with Soros.  (He's apparently pushing a revised version of the book that he published last year.)  His position, as I understood what he said, is that the bail outs have basically worked in that they saved the banks, but the banks are still on life support.  The recent upswing in the stock markets he described as a reward for those efforts.  He denied that we are anywhere near a recovery, saying only that our rate of decline has slowed.  He suggested that the banks now have to start earning their way out of the hole.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Hi Sue,

Well, first off, I haven't listened to the particular segment that you are talking about it, but I'm not surprised to hear of such declarations. They are made all the time during crises. In fact, Chris M. compiled a list of them that were uttered during the Great Depression. I think it was Bill Black in the recent Moyers interview who reminded us that in 2007 Paulson proclaimed the US banking industry to be the strongest most resilient system he had ever seen. Davos has also linked to a piece in one of his digests that has a current list, everyone from Bush to McCain to Bernanke to various anonymous experts talking about the strength of this and the resiliency of that -- most quotes are from 2007.

There's also confusion within the mainstream (and even the not so mainstream) of economy watchers because what's been occurring recently defies many age-old models. For example, even the idea of recovery is predicated upon external factors that economists just assume will be there for the taking. I think the whole point of Chris' last report is that economists and world leaders aren't taking into account these external factors that are reality. They just consider models in a fictional world. Whether it's out of arrogance or idiocy we can argue, but the bottom line is they are not considering these things.

As far as FSN goes, a lot of people around here really like it seems to me. But unless you're looking for specific advice as a trader or investor, I haven't found much of value there. Except, that is, the guests themselves. I've also found Jim Puplava to be a "when in Rome" kind of interviewer. So when, say, Gerald Celente or John Williams are one he agrees with them and is much more pessimistic and cynical in his outlook. But when he has more mainstream or moderate or soft-peddling guests on, he'll more or less agree with them. So, sure, FSN has it's place, but I don't think it's some kind of radical truth-telling outfit, indispensable to making sense of what's going on.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Jim Puplava goes which ever way the wind blows resulting in the FSN Hour being worthwhile but not excellent. To attain excellence Jim needs to either express and hold to a position or not. His interviews could be every bit as valid if he never editorialized. His guests are top notch. The positions of his guests range from, this will all go back to normal eventually to run for your lives and take your gold with you. If you are looking for consistent and honest market, economic evaluations you need go no farther than here. Clone C.M.

GM has now amassed sufficient unsecured debt that it now qualifies as a bank. :-)

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Sue,

I too was quite taken aback by both Soros' comments and Puplava's Third Hour, for the same reasons you describe. I am a huge fan of Soros, and also think Puplava is pretty credible. I agree with the comments about his interviews, but this was not an interview. The third hour or "Big Picture" was Jim's own economic analysis, and as I described in another thread, it caught me off guard.

I would have expected both of them to say something like "The meltdown risk in the financial system has now passed, but the fundamentals that drove this are still alive and just as threatening as ever. We appear to have gotten through this round, but the fight is far from over!" Instead, they seem to be saying "the worst is probably over now", which seems completely at odds with what both of them have said elsewhere.

So, in short, I don't get it either! :-)

Erik

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YSE Defaults On Small Gold Bars!

http://ml-implode.com/viewnews/2009-03-31_NYSEDefaultsOnSmallGoldBars.html

YSE Defaults On Small Gold Bars!

2009-03-31 — seekingalpha.com

In summary, there is now so much demand for delivery of the mini-contracts that
the exchange can no longer deliver 1 kg bars. When the wording was changed, a
flurry of complaints resulted. Technically, in my opinion, if you bought a mini
futures contract from an NYSE-Liffe clearing member, prior to December 31st, you
could bind them to their legal contract with you, and force them to either
deliver the 1 kg bar, or pay for you to obtain it on the open spot market. Based
upon the original wording, NYSE-Liffe and its clearing members are legally
obligated to deliver that 1 kg bar per contract, whether they want to or not,
and regardless of the internal rules of the exchange. Whether anyone will force
compliance, however, is an open question.

Absent legal action, clearing members are now being allowed to hand out little
slips of paper, called "warehouse depository receipts" (WDR). These are being
substituted for "vault receipts" (VR). The WDRs, in contrast to the VRs, merely
promise the customer that he owns a 1/3 interest in a 100 ounce bar. The
customer is not allowed to take delivery, unless he can accumulate 3 WDRs, which
equals 1 VR.

And so it begins -- the NYSE has now defaulted (in the expected sleazy, weasely,
lawyerly way) on a key gold futures contract.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

I follow Financial Sense and the 3 hour weekly presentations. I also follow Peter Schiff since he analyzes the current events also, and usually in a much more negative vein. He gives reasons and illustrations for his beliefs, and has proven to be remarkably accurate in his predictions. I found a list of his 'editorials' going back to February of 2005. They make some interesting reading, and the site can be used to track many of his coming blogs.

http://www.321gold.com/archives/archives_authors.php?author=Peter+Schiff

Check out his most recent ones.

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Re: Soros and FSN

Thanks, everyone, for your replies. I find myself much less off-balance after reading them. Interesting insight on FSN. What was throwing me is the idea that these guys are part of the  alternative blogosphere, voices who seem to get it, and how could they call a bottom? But Financial Sense and Minyanville both have a range of voices in their commentary , some of which are quite mainstream (and by that I mean shortsighted and off-target.)

MCC, I remember the chart Chris posted with the quotes from Depression Era media and policymakers vividly. Thanks for making the connection to it for me! 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/04/report-stress-test-results-delayed.html

I haven't had a second to listen to FSN or Soros. I like Erik am a huge Soros fan. I think a lot of Puplava, I do think he lets his guest talk freely. I post stuff that I don't alway agree with in full but sometimes there are nuggets within everything.

Back to the link above, I'll put it of course on the blog tomorrow, but I have yet to see anything fundamental to indicate we are out of the woods. For a stress test which was merely no treadmill just the question do you have a pulse I don't think this is a good sign.

Personally, I'd be amazed if we get out of this unscathed. Even with some new technology to take us off fuel overnight, our debt is banana republic and I am convinced that unless there is a crash our politicians are debtaholics and will spend until they OD.

Take care

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

There is still a lot of debt deflation to occur before the money printing starts to over take. The tell tale economic indicator will still be unemployment. I'd be watching that like a hawk from multiple sources if possible too, not just governmnet spin.

 

- Ernie.

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Amen. Funny, last week maybe 3 weeks ago on the 2nd hour of FSN they had John Williams on, he pegged it at 1 million a month... With no workers I see essential goods and services only, toss in a run on a bank and all bets could be off.

 THis is on tomorrows blog, I skimmed it and am reading the content, but the charts knocked me off my seat.

World Economy Falling Faster Than in 1929-1930 (I wouldn't miss these charts) 

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The Obama Deception

Spells it all out.

"It's not about Left or Right: it's about a One World
Government."
Watch before judging by the title:

Summary:

The Obama Deception is a hard-hitting film that completely
destroys the myth that Barack Obama is working for the best interests
of the American people.

The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully
crafted by the captains of the New World Order. He is being pushed as
savior in an attempt to con the American people into accepting global
slavery.

We have reached a critical juncture in the New World
Order's plans. It's not about Left or Right: it's about a One World
Government. The international banks plan to loot the people of the
United States and turn them into slaves on a Global Plantation.

Covered
in this film: who Obama works for, what lies he has told, and his real
agenda. If you want to know the facts and cut through all the hype,
this is the film for you.

Watch the Obama Deception and learn how:

-
Obama is continuing the process of transforming America into something
that resembles Nazi Germany, with forced National Service, domestic
civilian spies, warrantless wiretaps, the destruction of the Second
Amendment, FEMA camps and Martial Law.

- Obama's handlers are
openly announcing the creation of a new Bank of the World that will
dominate every nation on earth through carbon taxes and military force.

-
International bankers purposefully engineered the worldwide financial
meltdown to bankrupt the nations of the planet and bring in World
Government.

- Obama plans to loot the middle class, destroy
pensions and federalize the states so that the population is completely
dependent on the Central Government.

- The Elite are using Obama
to pacify the public so they can usher in the North American Union by
stealth, launch a new Cold War and continue the occupation of Iraq and
Afghanistan.

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Is it reasonable to think that there will be a kind of hard crash or will it be a constant grind down?

I can't imagine those derivative bubbles will just magically solve themselves, but I don't know what a hard crash would look like.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Hello FireJack:

This tells me that we are in uncharted seas. World Economy Falling Faster Than in 1929-1930 (I wouldn't miss these charts) and like you mention - there were no derivatives in 29'.

One thing, and I haven't studdied the charts yet, but their freefall is meeting less resistance now vs. then.

Take care 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

It seems reasonable to think that the public-private partnership plan is a gift to the banks and hedge funds, and it's certainly reasonable to believe that politicians around the world, but especially in the U.S. are in thrall to the notion that we must get "lending going again" - that the best way to recover from past errors is to reinflate the bubble and continue committing the same mistakes, even with "tighter standards" in place.

 The latter idea is nuts. But it's just as nutty and dangerous to be talking revolution - like glenn beck and whoever made or believes the film about the "obama deception."

Let's have a REAL challenge to the banks. Reduce your payments to them, and get others to do the same, by the same amount as they've received from you as a taxpayer. Just write off your portion. Make this a mass movement. Refuse to let your government (it is YOUR government, regardless of what conspiracy theorists say) give your money to banks that made insane leverage calculations and then want you to pay them again.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

It's funny over at the Market Ticker Denninger writes this:

The obvious question is this:

Given that we're two years into this mess, how come we're still arguing over what losses "might be"?

Simple answer: The lies have not yet stopped.

When the lying stops we will be able to actually read
balance sheets and figure out what exposures are.  From there we can
figure out the damage to the economy, and from there
we can craft a reasonable set of expectations for what lies ahead, how
much contraction in lending will be required, how much contraction in
GDP will occur, and what the economy will look like in a couple of
years.

We cannot do that until the lying stops.

We cannot get an accurate read on balance sheets today
because of the intentional obfuscation of both corporate and government
officials.

 

We have no idea what going on in the backround. I'm reminded again most of our economy is based off cooked books  while the real economy is dropping like a rock. Every one of those charts (except the money supply chart) is dropping like a rock.I guess I will have to accept that the newspapers etc will report any of this.

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Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Sorry Lucius.... not good enough! Reducing payments is just another bandaid. Debts must be canceled. Totally. 100%. My gut feeling is that it WILL happen. I just do not know how soon... After all, the money they lent out was just monopoly money, worthless pieces of paper, AND, what's more, they cannot and will never be repaid as the the ability to produce the resources the growth economy relies on for growth cannot and will not be produced fast enough to meet the demands of all the hockey sticks.....

We don't need 'more stuff'..... we already have everything we could ever need, we just have to simplify lifestyles. Zero or even the current negative growth means the end of the debt economy.

It's all over Rover..

Mike

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The Crash of '09, The Collapse of '10

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22369.htm

The Crash of '09, The Collapse of '10

By By Humayun Gauhar

April 07, 2009 "

The Nation" --- Many
American analysts are saying that America's real economic collapse
could come by the end of this year. "It will come to be known as 'The
Crash of 09', they say. Others, especially a Russian political analyst,
are predicting its physical collapse too. There's no doubt that the
country is up the dirtiest of imaginable creeks without a paddle. But
what's amazing is that America remains mired in stunning denial,
continuing to make bad situations worse with useless bailout plans and
messing around with the world instead of facing up to the reality that
its time as a hyper-power is up, that's its economic system has failed
and that its only recourse is to end its adversarial doctrine and get
out of its lost wars as painlessly and honourably as possible. There's
no point in going on flogging dead horses. The only sensible thing that
survival demands is to craft a new moral economic and financial system
and a moral foreign policy.

The deep recession verging on
depression that we have seen so far was caused by the crash in the US
housing market. Since other developed industrialised nations,
especially of Europe, were aping the shenanigans of unchecked and
poorly regulated American bankers and financiers, the collapse of their
markets, banks and economies followed like dominoes. Iceland was the
first to officially declare bankruptcy. Its GDP is only about $6.5
billion but its banks had lent something like $65 billion while its
regulators were asleep on the wheel. Britain has not declared
bankruptcy officially but we all know that it is bankrupt for all
intents and purposes and none of its banks and financial institutions
has any legs left.

However, this is only the aperitif. Wait for
the crash of US commercial real estate, which analysts think will
happen by autumn this year. Shops are closing down and there's no one
to rent them. Companies are retrenching and freeing up a lot of office
space or closing down entirely and vacating even more precious office
space with no one to rent it again. Huge skyscrapers are becoming
ghost-scrapers. All this expensive commercial real estate is
mortgaged to the hilt. With no rental income coming in, the loans
against them will become difficult to service and there will be
fearsome default. There's insurance and re-insurance here also and the
amounts involved are mind-boggling. No bailout plan would come even
close to coping. When the commercial real estate collapse comes, all
hell will break loose. And if multinationals like General Motors and
Ford call it a day, it won't just be thousands upon thousands of people
unemployed (though its heartless to use the word 'just' here). Two
entire towns will be become ghost towns. That's terrible. If you count
the number of people - wives, children and parents - who are dependent
on those incomes, it becomes worse than terrible. It becomes absolutely
and totally unconscionable, while corrupt and greedy bankers and
the likes of Bernie Madoff have made off with billions - perhaps
trillions - of dollars and are still doing so because "our contracts
say so."

Then there is Professor Igor Nikolavich Panarin whom I
came across in a December 2008 article by Andrew Osborne of the Wall
Street Journal no less, not some fly-by-night rag. If he has got it
right, next year will come to be known as 'The Collapse of 2010' for
that is when the USA will disintegrate into six separate entities.
Those six entities, says Prof Panarin, are The California Republic, The
Central North American Republic, Atlantic America, The Texas Republic,
Hawaii and Alaska going back to Russia.

With millions of Chinese
living on America's eastern seaboard (The People's Daily's circulation
there alone is over five million) The California Republic, Prof Panarin
thinks, will either be part of China or come under Chinese influence.
The Central North American Republic will be part of Canada or under
Canadian influence, Atlantic America may join the European Union, The
Texas Republic will be part of Mexico or under Mexican influence and
Hawaii will go either to Japan or China.

Prof Panarin is a
former KGB analyst and a Russian professor of political science, Dean
of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs Diplomatic Academy in Moscow and
author of several books on geopolitics. Thus one can hardly call him a
fruitcake. Actually, he first made this prediction not after the
economic meltdown that started last year but in Linz, Austria, in
September 1998 in front of 400 delegates at a conference devoted to
information warfare and the use of data to get an edge over a rival. Of
course it was received with consternation. "When I pushed the button on
my computer and the map of the United States disintegrated, hundreds of
people cried out in surprise," he says. Later, many delegates asked him
to sign copies of the map. Its like when the French political scientist
Emmanuel Todd made his famous forecast in 1976 about the collapse of
the Soviet Union 15 years before it actually did and many people
laughed. But Todd had the last laugh.

Prof Panarin doesn't say
that America's collapse is a forgone conclusion. "There's a 55-45
percent chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. But
if it comes it will be driven by three factors - "mass immigration,
economic decline and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next
fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or
early July, he says, the US will break into six pieces...He predicts
that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a
political and social crisis in the US. When the going gets tough, he
says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government
and effectively secede from the Union. Social unrest up to and
including a civil war will follow. The US will then split along ethnic
lines, and foreign powers will move in." All we Pakistanis thus have to
do is hang in there and soon America will not be meddling in our
affairs any more, what to talk of General Patraeus's adviser David
Kilcullen saying that Pakistan could fall apart in five or six months.

It's
not easy to comprehend the collapse of an empire or a superpower. When
termites are eating away at their vitals for years one cannot see it.
People are too much in thrall of their power, wealth and panoply. Thus
when the collapse comes it seems sudden, and takes people by surprise.
"I went to sleep last night and when I woke up next morning the Soviet
Union was gone." The most powerful war machine ever built couldn't save
it. Remember the British Empire on which "the sun would never set"? It
set so firmly that only six decades later Britain is not only bankrupt,
it has become America's appendage, a third rate power and could itself
disintegrate soon with Scotland seceding. The history of the world is
replete with the demise of civilisations, empires and superpowers. The
graveyards of nations are full of their bones.

That there may be
something to what Prof Panarin says is borne out by the fact that the
late Bush Administration made contingency plans to impose martial law
in case of economic collapse or massive and violent social unrest with
blood on the streets. His predictions seem plausible, even probable, if
all the dire scenarios come right, as they have thus far. According to
Rand Clifford the US has already made plans to "round up insurgent US
citizens" and detain them in what are called "Rex 84" camps. Plus they
have made "safe facilities" for members of Congress and their families.
A report by the Phoenix Business Journal says: "A new report by the US
Army and War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources
and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest,
such as protests against businesses and government or runs on
beleaguered banks." The Journal's story quote from the War College
report: "Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force
the defence establishment to reorient priorities in extremist to defend
basic domestic order and human security." It needs saying that the
military regularly makes plans for the most dire of situations, however
seemingly unlikely.

Let Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National
Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and an early supporter of
Barack Obama have the last word. The US is "going to have millions and
millions of unemployed people really facing dire straits. And we're
going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully
improve. And at the same time there's public awareness of this
extraordinary wealth that was transferred to a few individuals at
levels without historical precedent in America...hell there could even
be riots."

The writer is a senior political analyst - E-mail:[email protected]

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/technologynews/5105519/Internet-records-to-be-stored-for-a-year.html

Internet records to be stored for a year

Details of every
email sent and website visited by people in Britain are to be stored
for use by the state from tomorrow as part of what campaigners claim is
a massive assault on privacy.

By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 3:20PM BST 05 Apr 2009

A European Union directive, which
Britain was instrumental in devising, comes into force which will
require all internet service providers to retain information on email
traffic, visits to web sites and telephone calls made over the
internet, for 12 months.

Police and the security services will be able to access the information to combat crime and terrorism.

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 18 2008
Posts: 731
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

I like to warn my friends and patients when they are feeling too free with text, emails, etc...

friends come and go, but email goes on forever.....

Regads

Denise

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LuciusQuintius
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 7 2009
Posts: 5
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Fair enough. But getting debts cancelled is different from refusing to pay, and my point was that with the banks still lying about their solvency, we have no obligation to give them further money. A debtors' revolt is preferable to a taxpayers' revolt, if only for reasons of maintaining a semblance of social order.

 That Moyer interview with William Black is frightening. 

cwixom's picture
cwixom
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 17 2008
Posts: 44
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

(moved to April 8)

maveri's picture
maveri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 20 2008
Posts: 159
Re: The Obama Deception
RedShift wrote:

Spells it all out.

"It's not about Left or Right: it's about a One World
Government."
Watch before judging by the title:

 

...

Thanks for this - much appreciated

I ignored the title and watched the video and I'm glad I did (on both counts)

Today in talking with someone today (who thinks Obama can do no wrong) whilst out walking, I happened to state that I was concerned that he seems to be saying one thing and then doing another.

I then said that I was getting concerned that he was in fact following many of the tactics that Hitler employed (the person to who I was talking to has in fact studied Hitler). The drawing of all power to oneself under the mandate of a crisis etc seems all to familiar.

This film was the icing on the cake. I will be giving it to that person to watch.

In summary I said to the person with whom I was out walking with is that there is only one way to stop the rise of a Tyrant and that was to make sure that laws etc were in place to ensure that it could never happen. It's pointless arguing over wether they could or might abuse their given powers, that is all too late IMO - you can stop it happening by ensuring the laws etc are in place and cannot be circumvented no-matter what and making sure they never get the power in the first place.

That film was quite well done - thanks.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

Any time I hear someone compared to Hitler, I immediately discount anything else that individual says.  I am sick to death of people who wish to demonize others drawing parallels to Hitler.  They are almost always complete BS and shed no light on the subject.  If you want me to pay attention (no reason you should) don't bring up Hitler unless he is actually germane to the conversation.

Doug's picture
Doug
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 1 2008
Posts: 3125
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7

 I thought his rant had a familiar ring to it.  Any associate of Lyndon LaRouche is a whack job in my book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webster_Tarpley 

Quote:

In 1986 Tarpley attempted to run on the platform of Lyndon LaRouche in the New York State Democratic Party primary for the U.S. Senate, but was ruled off the ballot because of a defect in his nominating petitions.[2] He was a frequent host of "The LaRouche Connection", which its producer, LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review News Service,[3][4] describes as "a news and information cable television program".[5] 

maveri's picture
maveri
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 20 2008
Posts: 159
Re: Daily Digest - Apr 7
Doug wrote:

Any time I hear someone compared to Hitler, I immediately discount anything else that individual says.  I am sick to death of people who wish to demonize others drawing parallels to Hitler.  They are almost always complete BS and shed no light on the subject.  If you want me to pay attention (no reason you should) don't bring up Hitler unless he is actually germane to the conversation.

Just because you seem to have an issue with the name Hitler, doesn't mean you should not consider what's being said.

Would you prefer that I use Stalin perhaps? Pick any tyrannt you like, I really don't care, just as long as their tactics match I'm happy either way.

To issue the name doesn't mean one has to then phrase every single point to try and prove a point - for example, if I desribe the characteristics of something I then don't have to explain the bleeding obviously surely? One of the elements Hitler was known for was his deceptive tactics which parallels to Obama quite nicely - that is, say one thing to the public and behind closed doors, do another all whilst working towards an alterior motive.

If your expecting me to list every single characterists in an attempt to prove it to you, then you'll be waiting a long time as it just aint going to happen. The comment for comparison goes to those who already have a working knowledge of his tactics, but if you don't, I'm happy to suggest a number of good books that cover his history quite well.

Frankly, I'm not that worried wether you pay attention or not (you obviously did because you took the time to respond!) - that's entirely your prerogative, same as mine is to dismiss your calls asking me not to draw parallels if I want to gain your attention.

Now - onto the important issue and the crux of why I posted. Did you watch the video? What did you think of it? What insight and feedback of value can you give on it?

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