Daily Digest

Daily Digest - August 15

Saturday, August 15, 2009, 10:50 AM


  • Humor, Jon Stewart and John Oliver (Video)

  • The Next Wave of the Financial Crisis is Coming (And Why)

  • CBO August Oversight

  • 5% Level For Toxic Loans Doom Banks

  • U.S. economic propaganda hits fevered pitch

  • Spending Soars, Receipts Cliff Dive, Treasury Budget Crashes

  • The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese! (Video)

  • RBS Uber-Bear Issues Fresh Alert on Global Stock Markets

  • Paul Mylchreest – Thunder Road Report…(WhitePaper on page, Chris Martenson's PhD work Mentioned)


Economy


Humor, Jon Stewart and John Oliver (Video)


The Next Wave of the Financial Crisis is Coming (And Why)



[More on page, wouldn't miss this, also full report below]


If the troubled assets held by banks prove to be worth less than their balance sheets currently indicate, the banks may be required to raise more capital. If the losses are severe enough, some financial institutions may be forced to cease operations. This means that the future performance of the economy and the performance of the underlying loans, as well as the method of valuation of the assets, are critical to the continued operation of the banks.


...If the economy worsens, especially if unemployment remains elevated or if the commercial real estate market collapses, then defaults will rise and the troubled assets will continue to deteriorate in value. Banks will incur further losses on their troubled assets. The financial system will remain vulnerable to the crisis conditions that TARP was meant to fix.


CBO August Oversight



Fascinating Bloomberg article accompanies the chart above.


“More than 150 publicly traded U.S. lenders own nonperforming loans that equal 5 percent or more of their holdings, a level that former regulators say can wipe out a bank’s equity and threaten its survival.


The number of banks exceeding the threshold more than doubled in the year through June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as real estate and credit-card defaults surged. Almost 300 reported 3 percent or more of their loans were nonperforming, a term for commercial and consumer debt that has stopped collecting interest or will no longer be paid in full.”


All of which means we should expect to see more bank closings later this year . . .[emphasis mine]


5% Level For Toxic Loans Doom Banks


U.S. economic propaganda hits fevered pitch



The propaganda-machine has already promised Americans to expect a “jobless recovery”. This, of course is an obvious non sequitur – especially in a consumer economy dependent on Americans spending more than 100% of their pay-cheques to be sustained. If Americans don't have jobs they can't spend (or pay their mortgages). And if they can't spend, this consumer-economy cannot “recover”. Period.


 Spending Soars, Receipts Cliff Dive, Treasury Budget Crashes (Charts on page)



The shortfall so far for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 totaled $1.27 trillion (actually its $1.43 trillion, but what's $160 billion) compared with a $389 billion year-to-date gap in 2008 (actually $370.1 billion), the Treasury said today in Washington. The excess of spending over revenue for July climbed to $180.7 billion compared with a $102.8 billion gap in July 2008 as the government spent more than in any month in U.S. history.


 The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese! (Video)


RBS uber-bear issues fresh alert on global stock markets



The elephant in the room is the spiralling public debt as private losses are shifted on to the taxpayer, especially in Britain and America. "Ask yourself this: who bails out Government after they have bailed out everyone?"


Paul Mylchreest – Thunder Road Report…(WhitePaper on page, Chris Martenson's, PhD work Mentioned)



This week Paul gives us his take on agriculture and he also weighs in on Treasuries and POMOs. Thanks for the update! I agree that ag has a longer term structural problem with a booming world population; ‘food’ for thought, LOL.

26 Comments

Jasenica's picture
Jasenica
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Hooray - I am first to post today!

I keep telling colleagues and friends that there is a second wave coming but none of them believe me. Maybe it is because I am unable to produce evidence to support my statement (which is difficult to do considering the amount of propaganda being generated). I will instruct them to read the naked capitalism article.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Gawd Davos I blew my lunch after reading about how wonderful it all is going now.  After reading U.S. economic propaganda hits fevered pitch I had to reach for 2 Phenergan & a couple of antidepressants.....(just kidding).

What is CNBC going to sell if all this cheer leading fails & we hit a DOW of 4500 or less in a year? Will anybody ever believe these jokers again? Maybe this is why it is so important to shove the healthcare bill thru before anyone really knows what is going on. Free brainwashing to coax people to take their free antidepressant, anti-anxiety & Antipsychotics to go along with that little twist of end of life counseling LOL. People will not even care if a truck runs over them at that point.

Maybe this CNBC crowd will be right & they know something we don't. Maybe they see stocks shoot the moon because inflation will push them that direction (I dunno). http://seekingalpha.com/article/96723-what-effect-will-hyperinflation-have 

We can rationally expect that the US dollar will lose about 75% of its value, within 2-3 years. Cash in the form of government and/or corporate bonds, money in CDs and other bank accounts, will be hit the hardest. General index fund type of investments, such as DIA, SPY, QQQ, and the like will also be very bad investments. Stocks, in general, do not do well in a highly inflationary environment. However, if the Weimar experience is any guide, stocks will do much better than bonds or cash. Financial and retail stocks, however, will be the worst investments of all equities sectors. The best investments, in contrast, will be gold, silver, shares of companies whose assets consist of modern plant & equipment, productive lands, and other hard assets that will retain value.

On a side note 90 plus percent of the people I work with or deal with daily could care less or have any clue about the economy at all. It doesn't appear our public education taught even the basics of economics?? All I see everybody focus on is live for this second & how can I get something for the least monthly payment with nothing down.

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Ignignokt
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Re: 5% Level For Toxic Loans Doom Banks

On July 16th CNBC reported "the amount set aside for bad loans in the quarter more than doubled from a year earlier, to $9.7 billion."  http://www.cnbc.com/id/31928620/

As of June 30th they had 278.5 Billion in housing loans.

IF 5% are non performing loans they would need 13.295 Billion, minus the value of the home at resale, assuming that the bank is in possession of the property.  This only covers current non-performing loans, not the upcoming ones!

In July, Wells Fargo sold a big package of under-performing loans at 35 cents on the dollar.  What would non-performing loans go for?  10-15 cents?  If that's the current market price of these things and banks have kept them on the books with "inflated" values, doesn't it stand to reason that when more become non-performing the banks will suffer huge losses because of mark to market accounting has allowed them to keep the values of the assets artificially high?

Maybe someone can address this better. 

Another question is if an asset that is used in a leveraged transaction (borrow money against it at 32:1 ratios, you know they don't hedge at those ratios), if the value of the asset is proved to be lower by say 50% or 75%, at the price point discovery (sale of the asset) wouldn't the losses on paper be exacerbated by the leveraging...or am I missing something.  Probably slept through that class in accounting.

 

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15
idoctor wrote:

On a side note 90 plus percent of the people I work with or deal with daily could care less or have any clue about the economy at all. It doesn't appear our public education taught even the basics of economics?? 

Hello iDoctor:

That is one very vivid observation.

Wish I could put my finger on it but Chris said something to the effect that his MBA in I think from Cornell and in Finance didn't cover what money is.

I would stronlgy advocate: It is that which holds the explanation to the vivid observation that you make.

It, IMHO anyway explains why economist missed this - and everything else, and wll continue to miss it until the banks close, the dollar is re-denominated and the market tanks.

I'm sure the Enronesque off balance accounting and statistics is a contributing factor.

But I'd argue, quite vehemently in fact, that the economy is based on money, and economists and people aren't taught what money is and therefore they don't stand a chance when it comes to understanding the economy because they don't know what it is made of.

Greenspan said it best:

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.

A simple hypothesis I have is that: If deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth then bigger deficits will equate to greater confiscation, and where we are at histirically will destroy all wealth.

I came up with that when I read Minsky's fine work on ponzi debt, and when Soro's (who made 12% in 2008) said, "This is a period of wealth destruction." Let you know if it's right this year, next or soon after.

Take care!

PS I think the 1 quadrillion dollar question is going to be how a Constitution that states gold and advocates the protection of property got convulted by Congress almost 100 years ago.

 

hucklejohn's picture
hucklejohn
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Davos:  Thanks again for all you do.  I have a question.  I need someone to connect the dots for me regarding "deficits are a scheme for the confiscation of wealth."  I get the idea that deficits are associated with inflation.  Inflation refers to an increase in the money supply.  And the result is dollars are worth less and less.  Is that it?  Am I missing something obvious?  (I am thankful we can ask "dumb" questions in this forum!)  Thanks in advance! 

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15
hucklejohn wrote:

Davos:  Thanks again for all you do.  I have a question.  I need someone to connect the dots for me regarding "deficits are a scheme for the confiscation of wealth."  I get the idea that deficits are associated with inflation.  Inflation refers to an increase in the money supply.  And the result is dollars are worth less and less.  Is that it?  Am I missing something obvious?  (I am thankful we can ask "dumb" questions in this forum!)  Thanks in advance! 

Hello HuckleJohn:

I think only unasked questions are dumb. Reminds me when I got my flight instructors license - learned how to fly by teaching others how to fly. Same when I did a year teaching computer science to high school kids, those kids taught me how to program and fix boxes.

Questions bring clarity and often peoples comments bring new answers and explanations.

Short answer: My take is you got it wired. Inflation is too much money

Long answer: Inflation is too much money. Gold is, or was, or can be used as an anchor to the size of the money supply and it can only be  inflated by only about 2% per year through mining.

I look at it as if we had no money or gold.

Just wheat.

We'd trade wheat for land, houses, cars and so on. Bad year --- wheat isn't abundant and it is worth a lot.

Good year --- wheat is abundant and isn't' worth as much.

Point: The value of what wheat can purchase is directly effected by the total supply of wheat.

Wheat is a store of value. (And so is money).

Value that can be eaten, fed to livestock or people or traded for other goods or services.

Now someone says, hey transferring 50,000 bushels of grain is costly, can't be done electronically so lets back this wheat by a digital dollar, checks and paper money to the amount of wheat out there. Money still has value. It's value is say one dollar buys 1 bushel of wheat.

Then the bankers loan money, but more than they have invested in the institution. Loans are fine as long as they are the result of money invested with an institution. Or Visa says I'm good for 5,000 bushels even though I have only 1,000.

Boom. In an instant there is more money than wheat.

To determine the value of the money one divides money by actual wheat.

Take that one notch up the ladder: Divide the money and credit loaned by the wheat in existence. Suddenly money becomes Worth less or with todays shadow banking I should instead say worthless.

And, it is even uglier, our money is backed by our taxes and anchored by nothing.

Enter Ben Bernanke and Congress. We make less than we spend. In a better world we would make more than we consume and sell the stuff we can't consume and put that money in a bank or investment.

Not us.

We instead borrowed from Grandma and Grandpa, mother and father and anyone else on Social Security. Then from China and every other country.

We are the largest debtor in the world.

We could NEVER ever pay off our debt.

Ever. Unless we say old dollar is out and the new dollar is in and worth like 1/1000th of the old one.

Anyway, we are on the hook for the difference we borrow and what we make, aka the deficit.

So in addition to these folks inflating the dollar supply [through deficits, loaning more money than they have], robbing our savings and hourly wage value we are getting hit with paying for the deficit they amass vis-a-vis taxes. Just the interest we pay out on trillion dollar deficits is a massive tax burden. 

Don't get me wrong, I've gone into debt - to make money in real estate before the pop. Debt is and should be only used as a lever. Going in debt to increase benefits is @ssine, it creates only more debt. It winds up being a lever that clobbers you in the head.

In summary: We have been robbed blind by the Federal Reserve and Congress. Through stupidity Congress has let this [email protected] go on for almost 100 years. Congress and the Federal Reserve is why we are in this mess.

308,000,000 people have allowed this  --- thanks to a school system that has failed.

Failed miserably!

Take care

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15 - Greenspan

Davos -- no disrespect intended, however ..............

In my opinion, anything Greenspan either says or said is suspect. Clearly his view of the economic world is/was warped. Even when he was pontificating years ago, I cringed even though I really didn't know why or how bad the outcome of his policies might be.

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.

I do think that here are ways to protect wealth that don't necessarily require a gold standard however that is a long discussion for another time. The idea that the holding of gold would have to be illegal to be able to have safe store of value seems nonsensical to me. We were on the gold standard for years while it was legal to own gold as was most of the world. Canadians owned gold during the period Americans couldn't (except the very wealthy in off shore holdings) and it certainly didn't affect the Canadian monetary/banking system. It is likely that the interconnected world economy has outgrown the concept of a gold standard anyway, however we must replace what we currently have with a more stable, tamperproof system

Somehow tying the whole thing to the "welfare state" is only to do with his fixation on the likes of Ayn Rand. While we do have a welfare state it is not the kind normally thought of when discussed, but rather a Corporate Welfare State which is the natural conclusion of the  de-regulated, so called free market system concocted by the corporate heads in collusion with our politicians. I agree that deficit spending is the confiscation of wealth, however the recipients of late are the few corporations in control of the system  -- who are determined to stop the average American protecting their wealth -- or for that matter even getting off the treadmill. They have tapped into our saving and pensions as well as set up the system so that we have to pay their health care fees to even have reasonable access to the medical system. They own the majority of the means of producing food and make it next to impossible for the small producer to even survive.

I have no respect or patience with the Greenspans of the world who have led us down this path

Jim

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Long read but worth the trip:

 

http://mises.org/story/3480

Davos's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

 Hello Jim:

I think this is a welfare state. Our Constitution was to protect our rights and property. Allowing our property to be de-valued vis-a-vis massive deficits and printing money out of thin air making it worthless is akin to Counterfeiting, one of the only two crimes listed by name in the Constitution.

Greenspan still believes in what he wrote. It is in total contradiction to the mess he helped create.

None the less, what he wrote in 1966 is 100% accurate.

We are living proof of it right now. We are a welfare state and our dollar is worthless and soon will be absolutly worthless.

The only thing I see eye to eye with you is that there are now several types of welfare. Corporate welfare in addition to social welfare, and we pay both tabs with a destoyed dollar and insane taxes.

Its ALL about the dollar. You can't have bubbles without counterfeiting money. And that is exactly what they have done and continue to do.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

 Very good read on Nate's blog today: 

http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2009/08/week-in-charts-buckle-heck-up.html

The Week in Charts – Buckle the Heck Up!

 
No, I’m not being over-dramatic. It is time to buckle the heck up. The resonant disconnect between reality and the pumping that is going on in the media and among supposed “experts” is at an all time historic, never been here before, Economic Mass Psychosis, HIGH.

To Quote John Kenneth Galbraith, “The majority is always wrong.” Right now the majority believe we are exiting the crisis. They are just plain old fashioned WRONG – again.

To prove my point, I’m going to show you the week in charts courtesy of the St. Louis Fed. This week, however, I’m issuing a WARNING. The evidence in these charts points to the beginning of a DEFLATIONARY SPIRAL

Robinson's picture
Robinson
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

The best way to learn about money is the course "Money as debt"

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JAG
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

 Farmer,

Thanks for the link to Nate's most recent. I can't get enough of him. Notice how he never writes about gold? I emailed him to inquire about it and he emphatically stated he is not a gold bug. I like that, because it doesn't cloud his judgement. I did notice that he recommended upping the emergency PM allocation from 10% to 20% recently, however.

Now off to Nate's house I go...thanks

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Broke: Chicago City Government Closed For Business On Monday

The City of Chicago will basically be closed for business on Aug. 17, a reduced-service day in which most city employees are off without pay, according to a release from the Office of Budget and Management. City Hall, public libraries, health clinics and most city offices will be closed.

Emergency service providers including police, firefighters and paramedics will be working at full strength, but most services not directly related to public safety, including street sweeping, will not be provided, the release said. 

 

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Ignignokt
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

 

 Very good read on Nate's blog today: 

http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2009/08...

The Week in Charts – Buckle the Heck Up!

  No, I’m not being over-dramatic. It is time to buckle the heck up. The resonant disconnect between reality and the pumping that is going on in the media and among supposed “experts” is at an all time historic, never been here before, Economic Mass Psychosis, HIGH.

To Quote John Kenneth Galbraith, “The majority is always wrong.” Right now the majority believe we are exiting the crisis. They are just plain old fashioned WRONG – again.

To prove my point, I’m going to show you the week in charts courtesy of the St. Louis Fed. This week, however, I’m issuing a WARNING. The evidence in these charts points to the beginning of a DEFLATIONARY SPIRAL

Excellent find!  Excellent read!  Proof positive that we are in the middle of a deflationary spiral.  What will happen is lower demand for goods and services will equate to lower prices..on to lower profit on to higher unemployment onto lower demand back to lower prices and so forth until the market finds it's bottom and moves forward.  All of this quantitative easing BS is just going to exacerbate the situation to make our recovery prolonged!!!

Why are the investments that our elected officials are making not for the good of the American people?  Job growth stimulation occurs at the small to mid size companies....always has.  Why?  They have the capacity for growth, giant corporations have no desire to grow, just maximize profits and hoard money!  The JP Morgan's of the world should be dead!!!  Instead here we begin the first step towards the black hole of a deflationary spiral out of control. 

With what little total credit that we could muster up, on a national level (yes borrowing more), any future stimulus plans must directly impact JOB GROWTH....none of this BS of "job-less recoveries"...what the hell is that???  Who believes this garbage?  How can a consumer based economy grow when consumers don't and can't consume?  This whole mess should of been settled in bankruptcy court, bottom line....They all failed us!

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15
Ignignokt wrote:

 This whole mess should of been settled in bankruptcy court, bottom line....They all failed us!

+1! And I know there was a lot of Enronesque accounting and statistic keeping that kept us in the dark, but the bottom line is ignorance has kept 308,000,000 in the dark. But you are 100% correct, failures should have been let fail. They will still fail. They are parasites on the middle class right now, weakening the middle class.

I mailed Greenspan my letter, I'm now working on one to Bernanke. I truly want to know if he is stupid and believes what he is doing or if he is privy to this demise and massive transfer of wealth. There are going to be two classes. Mega rich and the impoverished.

BTW I sincerely doubt the deflation cycle will NOT end without serious inflation. Also, not everything is deflating - oil and commodity prices show their ugly head in food.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

fyi

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idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Thanks Farmer Brown for that link. Those charts look like some real trouble ahead......the US economy looks to be full of hot air & gas like your cow. What a mess when she lets her rip LOL. Someone needs to hand these little blips on the radar screen to Cramer.......I can here him now...BUY<BUY<BUY!

Peter Schiff 8-14-09

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

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gyrogearloose
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

So right on both counts!

Best article on money and and the FRB I have read.

Thank you.

Cheers Hamish

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rowmat
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Was Elizabeth Warren's TARP speech broadcast on the MSM??
fujisan wrote:

I have a question...

Was this broadcast simultaneously on ALL MSM news channels in the United States and if not, why not?

Ignignokt's picture
Ignignokt
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

What I love about Elizabeth Warren, she's straight to the facts.  She does a great job of not trying to overstep her role and offend people by asking for too much.  If we had the two things she asks for, well wouldn't we all be able to make more informed decisions?

Sure the first request is a cream puff, doesn't matter anyways request...so she could have that one granted.  The second one ain't so easy...Maybe there'll be enough pressure from Congress.   Oh that's a good one, I almost wet myself.  Well here's to hope, and clean underwear.

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Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

When you get right down to it, I think the fact is this: Most American's think our debt is about 11.6 trillion. If they (the average Joe) knew it was approaching 1 quadrillion I think Congress would be the ones wetting themselves - and not due to laughter.

Our debt will likely remain a well hidden secret and since they need the Fed to allow this horse and pony bread and circus show that they claim is a "Democracy" (Republic) to continue. It will likely be business as normal for the empire.

200 years ago these "people" would have been given a quick trial for acts of treason and taken down to the town square. All empires fail. What I think we are seeing today is an empire that is failing.

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Ignignokt
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

I understand the empire collapsing theory, yes many signs point in that direction and New Zealand looks mighty nice. But I'm of the opinion that there are not enough checks and balanaces in the current system.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as the quote goes.  Two recent instances that I can see this applying to.

The Fed chairman's ability to oversee a monetary system and the unquestionable ability to manipulate it as he (along with others) see fit.  Artificially low interest rates began this whole mess, thank you Greenspan. This went unchecked by any other form of government. No single entity should have this type unchecked authority.

Why is the Judicial branch not brought into crisis situations? With a government system in place to address business failures, because when you get right down to it this is just businesses failing, and that being the bankruptcy system. How is it that two branches of the government were able to not allow the third to do it's function?   Didn't anyone point that fact out during these "secret meetings".

I've asked my representatives these questions....many times.  Their secretaries know me by name now, I don't get through anymore.  But when I'm unemployed and have nothing else to do they'll get to see me every day :)

 

 

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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

I've asked my representatives these questions....many times.  Their secretaries know me by name now, I don't get through anymore.

I guess their NOT your representatives. Know the feeling.

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Jeff Borsuk
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Re: Daily Digest - August 15

Thanks Farmer Brown!

Jeff

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