Daily Digest

Daily Digest - August 18

Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 9:40 AM
  • Two Beers With Steve - Unsustainable Trends Eventually End with Nathan Martin
  • True Green Shoots: New battery could change world, one house at a time (H/T JoeManC)
  • Zimbabwe Bus Fare is 3 Trillion Dollars
  • Bond Guru Bill Gross Living Large in California (Video on page)
  • Anemic Foreign Bond Sales: Foreigners’ Cumulative 12-Month Net Purchases-Sales of U.S. Assets (Chart)
  • Americans Had to Work from January 1 to August 12 This Year Just to Cover Cost of Government (Repost, H/T DrKurbyLuv)
  • China to Buy $2 Billion Worth of US Mortgages (H/T PineCarr)
  • Why "Normal" WILL NOT Return (Video, Repost)
  • "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt" - Mark Twain
  • Barney Frank Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (Video)
  • Faber Video: Big Crisis Ahead
  • WSJ: Loss Rates for FDIC higher than during S&L Crisis
  • Labor Day to Halloween Fright Show
  • “Self-Preservation” Bodes Ill for U.S. Economy

Economy

Two Beers With Steve - Unsustainable Trends Eventually End with Nathan Martin

We talk with Nathan Martin of the website 'Nathans Economic Edge', one of the many excellent blogs on the internet trumpeting the problems in our financial system and how the problems still persist despite all the government intervention.

During our one hour talk we try to look back on the events that led us down the road to our national insolvency. We also explored many of the problems that still exist and will exist unless something... 'happens'. It was an excellent conversation with Nathan and we look forward to talking with again in the future.

True Green Shoots: New battery could change world, one house at a time (H/T JoeManC)

In a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.

The prize is the culmination of 10 years of research and testing -- a new generation of deep-storage battery that's small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America's antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

Former energy secretary Bill Richardson once disparaged the U.S. electrical grid as "third world," and he was painfully close to the mark. It's an inefficient, aging relic of a century-old approach to energy and a weak link in national security in an age of terrorism.

Taking a load off the grid through electricity production and storage at home would extend the life of the system and avoid the expenditure of tens, or even hundreds, of billions to make it "smart."

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices. It promises to reduce dependence on the dinosaur by hooking up with the latest generation of personalized power plants that draw from the sun.

Zimbabwe Bus fare is 3 Trillion Dollars (From The Coming Depression Blog)

HARARE, Zimbabwe – A woman pays her bus fare with 3 trillion in old Zimbabwe dollars — the equivalent of 50 U.S. cents.

Bond Guru Bill Gross Living Large in California (Video on page)

Its amazing what you can buy when you offer to work for the government for free!

Anemic Foreign Bond Sales: Foreigners’ Cumulative 12-Month Net Purchases-Sales of U.S. Assets (Chart)

Americans Had to Work from January 1 to August 12 This Year Just to Cover Cost of Government (Repost, H/T DrKurbyLuv)

Washington (CNSNews.com) – Americans had to work from January 1 until August 12 this year just to cover the cost of government. That is 26 days more than they had to work last year to cover the cost of government.

“Cost of Government Day” this year fell on Wednesday, August 12, according to Americans for Tax Reform, the conservative group that calculates when the day occurs. Cost of Government Day is the day in the year when the American people have earned enough income to pay the total cost of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state, and local level.

The August 12 date is 26 days later than Cost of Government Day came last year, when it fell on July 16.

In fact, this is the first time the day has fallen in August. Until this year, July 20 was the latest date marking Cost of Government Day. That happened in 1982.

China to Buy $2 Billion Worth of US Mortgages (H/T PineCarr)

China Investment Corp, the country's $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, is set to pour up to $2 billion soon into the U.S. mortgage system by hiring mandates under the U.S. Treasury-backed Public-Private Investment Plan (PPIP), sources told Reuters.

Why "Normal" WILL NOT Return (Video)

"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt" -Mark Twain

House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 10, 2003:

Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): I worry, frankly, that there's a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. . . .

Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), speaking to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez:

Secretary Martinez, if it ain't broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals?

Barney Frank Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (Video)

Faber Video: Big Crisis Ahead

WSJ: Loss Rates for FDIC higher than during S&L Crisis

For the 102 banks that have collapsed in the past two years, the FDIC's estimated cost averaged 34%. That is sharply higher than the 24% rate between 1989 and 1995, when 747 financial institutions were closed by regulators ... At three of the five banks that failed Friday, increasing the total to 77 so far this year, the financial hit to the agency's deposit-insurance fund is expected by the FDIC to be about 50% of their assets.

The numbers for the Community Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada are amazing. From the FDIC on Friday:

As of June 30, 2009, Community Bank of Nevada had total assets of $1.52 billion ... The cost to the FDIC's Deposit Insurance Fund is estimated to be $781.5 million.

The question is: Why is the FDIC waiting so long on banks like Community Bank of Nevada?

Labor Day to Halloween Fright Show

And no one knows why.

“Self-Preservation” Bodes Ill for U.S. Economy

Thanks to Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, U.S. governments, businesses and citizens were totally unprepared for the current economic collapse. It was Bernanke who first told Americans that he and the other banksters had created a “Goldilocks economy” where stock and home prices would always go up and never go down, and jobs would be plentiful.

Then, when the magnitude of the U.S. housing “bubble” grew large enough for all to see, Bernanke promised America a “soft landing” - vowing that when the largest asset-bubble in history burst that it would have virtually no impact on the U.S. economy.

36 Comments

dcm's picture
dcm
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Re: Why Normal Will Not Return

As a criminal law attorney,

William Black's presentation blows my mind

Something's very wrong when the guy

who investigated the S&L crisis

says the whole thing is corrupt

and will fall apart 

at a scale never seen before

 

 how many folks jailed over S&L?

How many over this?

How much bigger is this ?

 

 

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Why Normal Will Not Return
dcm wrote:

As a criminal law attorney,

William Black's presentation blows my mind

Something's very wrong when the guy

who investigated the S&L crisis

says the whole thing is corrupt

and will fall apart 

at a scale never seen before

 

 how many folks jailed over S&L?

How many over this?

How much bigger is this ?

 

 

Wink +1

In the number of closings: To date it is smaller.

In the cash outlays for the closings to date: Larger

Overall, IM never so HO the overall closings will be unprecidented - as in massive failure, as in close to thripple digit percentage. They blew it by not regulating. Minsky describes the credit is ponzi debt as:

For Ponzi units, the cash flows from operations are not sufficient to fulfill either the repayment of principal or the interest due on outstanding debts by their cash flows from operations. 

...

In particular, over a protracted period of good times, capitalist economies tend to move from a financial structure dominated by hedge finance units to a structure in which there is large weight to units engaged in speculative and Ponzi finance. [my words - housing bubble] Furthermore, if an economy with a sizeable body of speculative financial units is in an inflationary state, and the authorities attempt to exorcise inflation by monetary constraint, then speculative units will become Ponzi units and the net worth of previously Ponzi units will quickly evaporate. Consequently, units with cash flow shortfalls will be forced to try to make position by selling out position. This is likely to lead to a collapse of asset values.”

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

WOW.....just heard on CNBC about some people discovering the value of their burial plot. Selling them to raise some cash......what kind of a recover is that??

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Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18
idoctor wrote:

WOW.....just heard on CNBC about some people discovering the value of their burial plot. Selling them to raise some cash......what kind of a recover is that??

Like to see Dennis Kneale and my other idols overthere Cramer and Maria spin that.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Hello Davos,

Like to see Dennis Kneale and my other idols overthere Cramer and Maria spin that.

Davos what had me on the floor was that the tone on CNBC was as if this was a great idea to help stimulate things??? They spin everything these days LOL.

PS sold 1/2 my shorts at the close yesterday & the rest at the opening bell.......now when to slap them back on? Going with the flow....in a market I totally don't believe in!

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18
idoctor wrote:

Hello Davos,

Like to see Dennis Kneale and my other idols overthere Cramer and Maria spin that.

Davos what had me on the floor was that the tone on CNBC was as if this was a great idea to help stimulate things??? They spin everything these days LOL.

PS sold 1/2 my shorts at the close yesterday & the rest at the opening bell.......now when to slap them back on? Going with the flow....in a market I totally don't believe in!

Wow. Always spinning.

I'm going to sing up for gamblers anonymous or some such organization. I'm not trend following this one. I'm not listening to the advice of those who I consider to be the best of the best. I've increased my bets on what now is a long shot. I'm going with my gut. It isn't a lot but it feels good.

Even knowing the odds.

Stories like cemetery plots being sold and seeing the Drudge shocked that city folk are raising chickens and reading on how the banks are doing their books makes me convinced that this thing will collapse.

See you at the tracks when you get back in!Cool

Take care

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Karl Denninger is a bit hot under the collar today.....

 

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1344-Will-It-All-Come-Tumbli...

 

"Have we really turned into Prozac Nation?  Is American Idol really that powerful?  Have we become so immune to being ripped off over ........ we're willing to simply bend over the table, place a stick between our teeth and take it, then ask "please Sir, may I have another?""

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18
gyrogearloose wrote:

Karl Denninger is a bit hot under the collar today.....

 

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1344-Will-It-All-Come-Tumbli...

 

"Have we really turned into Prozac Nation?  Is American Idol really that powerful?  Have we become so immune to being ripped off over ........ we're willing to simply bend over the table, place a stick between our teeth and take it, then ask "please Sir, may I have another?""

Feel the same exact way.

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Have we really turned into Prozac Nation?  Is American Idol really that powerful? 

Sorry to say but the answer is YES at this moment.......it will take time & lots of suffering for people to wake up IMHO.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

I've just seen on the BBC evening news here tonight that the IMF economists have declared the recession is over (with what is now becoming a cliche, 'but with slow growth').

I remember thinking through the late 1990s 'How long can this balloon continue being blown up without letting SOME air out?. Well, it was eventually 2004. I'm now thinking the same, but with what I percieve as a completely scuppered underlying structure.

Am I missing something?

DavidC

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idoctor
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Gyrogerloose

http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archi... this was a good read & so many truths to it thanks.

Makes one think about the masses.....Hitler said this:

"All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction."

"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out." ~ Adolph Hitler

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

iDoctor:

Makes me want to get TV, Dish and Prozac and watch American Idol (whatever that is) and just be fat medicated and happy.

Take care

FireJack's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

The oil drum posted this article today: The Most Important Aspect that most Economists and Analysts fail to Recognize

 

Cutler Cleveland of Boston University has reported that the EROI of oil and gas extraction in the United States has declined from 100:1 in 1930 to 30:1 in 1970, down to 11:1 in 2000.[1]

 

In my opinion, EROI will prove to be one of the most important aspects in understanding where we are headed in this global economy.  As the EROI ratio declines in the future it will put a severe strain on mining, manufacturing and production in the world.  EROI will affect precious metals, industrial metals, agriculture, real estate, the US Dollar, all fiat currencies, stocks, bonds and just about everything else one could imagine.

 

Economists and analysts talking about green shoots, a bottom in the recession, and a return to the good old days are totally incompetent. The continued blabbering never ceases to amaze me.  The huge debts attached to the public and private sector in the United States will never be paid back; they are nothing more than a huge Ponzi scheme.  Printing US Dollars might allow the grand economic iIlusion to continue for a brief period longer, but the ultimate extinguisher of debt won’t be gold, as Mr. Antal Fekete reminds us, but rather the lowering of the EROI ratio.

 

Some very nice graphs in there too.

Another reminder I should just stop reading news alltogether and just concentrate on preparing. Rather than worry about exactly when or how I just want to be as prepared as I can when it happens.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Hi FireJack,

 

I read it earlier as well.  Quite interesting.  There was an another article in  the drum, I dare say even better,  "is industrial society worth saving" about our collective industrial society being so far gone over the edge we have no hope in turning it around.  Latter on it got into a pissing match between the author and allegedly his friend about the merits of trying to save our souls vs. just letting it disintegrate which it certainly seems like it will.  It was really quite fascinating and entertaining.

 

lately it seems this site has been focusing on the US financial melt down exclusively (no criticism intended Davos) but up here in Canada I am more worried about Peak Oil, water scarcity and diminishing EROEI of our energy supplies.

 

E

 

 

Davos's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Hello EbRiesling:

Yup. My take, when it hits it will create shortages on fuel, water food and everything else - if the banks go. And it sure is starting to look like it will.

I'm reading a little on solar, wind, EV cars, even thinking of converting our old Sabaru from gas to Electric with a DC Diesel generator.

But yeah, I've been very focused on the health care situation, cap and trade and the economy and not much else. Only so much time in the day. Please feel free to post stuff here, I can always put it on the DG if it looks good. Take care

JAG's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Steve (Kemosavy),

Your podcast ROCKS. It was great hearing from Nate, and I look forward to the afterhours segment from that show as well.

Keep up the great work!

Jeff

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Guys

As you may know I work in mental health.  While we are ranking on prozac can we mention that pot and alcohol (both used abundantly) play a big role in the armamentarium of the self anesthetized?  When I decided to go into psychiatry there was no prozac (I am that old...). Back then I think drugs (illicit) were the perceived answer.

How to get people to look at things they don't want to see.   Hopefully a sharper approach and a few more shocks will wake everyone up. Still, if people are really sick meds can help.  I am not being critical, I just have an obligation to speak up for anyone on a medication that they may actually need to function.  

Sorry for getting political. You all are great and I will go back to reading.   Maybe I will find myself a cute post modern animal avatar....

 

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Headless
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Re: Dying Slogans and the Soon-To-Be Dead...

idoctor offered:

"...all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out."

`Hitler (Really? Is it from Mein Kampf?)

And what of Wall Street's slogan: "Buy and hold"? A slogan which may eventually bring about as much evil as the Hitler regime. Will  the names "Wall Street" and "Goldman Sachs" evoke similar disgust, and take their proper places in history if such an outcome obtains?  

On Mein Kampf:

,

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Headless
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Here's one for the "heathcare" debate:

idoctor's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Headless thanks for the link.

Here's one for the "heathcare" debate:

Really sad...everyday I deal with many frustrations with similar overtones. It is not going to be pretty in healthcare any which way it goes IMHO since there is not enough money for what everybody wants. I hate dealing with all the hoops & loops in these insurance companies.....it gets insane at times.

In this youtube clip the mother of course has a serious problem with her child (I feel for her)& someone needs to help. But people do not help themselves either. The mother could lose  at least 100 lbs so she doesn't compound problems for herself. Most people from my experience don't want to make that much effort. They rather have the doc fix it with a pill.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18
idoctor wrote:

 They rather have the doc fix it with a pill.

Not to get off topic, but even Viagra/Stimulus for the economy seems to be what is collectively prescribed and wanted - instead of a painful but effective fix. 

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German PPI in free fall

This is amazing:  German PPI down 7.8% for July.    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f9ad308c-8ca7-11de-a540-00144feabdc0.html

 

German data fuel deflation fears

By Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt

Published: August 19 2009 11:32 | Last updated: August 19 2009 11:32

The larger-than-expected drop, which compared with a fall of 4.6 per cent in June, could heighten fears that deflationary forces are building in Europe’s largest economy. Eurozone annual inflation fell in July to minus 0.7 per cent – the lowest record since the launch of the euro in 1999.

German producer prices have recorded their largest year-on-year fall since the second world war, highlighting the weakness of inflationary pressures across Europe.

Prices of industrial products were 7.8 per cent lower in July than 12 months earlier, the steepest such fall since records began in 1949, the German federal statistics office reported.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Don't know if anyone has seen this: http://www.cnbc.com/id/32473352

Warren Buffett, though a supporter of the stimulation packages, is now warning us that it will take great political will to pull the money back in. He quotes the same J.M. Keynes quote that Chris uses in the Crash Course to warn of the wealth confiscation that results from money printing...

 

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Buffet is wearing very thin on my respect and patience.  He was all for the stimulus and supported Obama early on.  What, he just now learned about inflation?  Please. 

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Headless
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Farmer Brown said:

"Buffet is wearing very thin on my respect and patience.  He was all for the stimulus and supported Obama early on.  What, he just now learned about inflation?  Please."

+1 raised to nth power!

It's a zerosum game; what Buffet gains comes from others--mostly others who had no intention of involving themselves in a gambling endeavor, as they simply thought they were saving for their retirements. (Yes, I know. They're not all pure as driven snow, but for the most part, people are out their living their lives while Wall Street is stealing their futures. The wage slaves should not bear the additional burden of staying up late at night trying to peer into the nefarious black box known as Wall Street, trying to figure out how they will be raped next...)

What a monumental failure of government this "republic" has proven it can devolve into. Model broken. Next.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Great find on the German PPI FB,

But yet, so many still believe that a deflationary spiral is impossible in this country. What was it that Hugh Hendry said, historians will look back at this time period and say that Bernanke did too little to fight deflation? Its hard to believe he has done too little, but perhaps we have just seen the tip of the deflation iceberg at this point.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

I'm not attempting to re-proclaim Buffett as the "Oracle." But I do think there's something to be said that one of the wealthiest men and most successful investors in the world is warning us about this. And I do think it is significant that he is recognizing the dangers of stimluation and not wholeheartedly cheerleading it with no discussion of the risks. He still has clout, even if it is diminishing. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any other significant stimulus supporters that also recognize the inflationary danger. Perhaps this is hypocrisy at its greatest, I don't know. But a good chunk of the wealth in America just spoke concerns about inflation. I won't hold my breath to wait for the government to catch on.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

I'd be a bit cautios about the deflationary spiral.

Everything non-essential is losing value.

Commodities and essentials are not. I'd advocate that China is laundering it's Bernanke Bonds/IOUs for hard assets. There is no way out for the dollar or our debt/obligations. The dollar will go.

idoctor's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

I am not that good with economics so bear with me.... hasn't most of this money out of thin air just gone to the banksters & not made it in the common mans hands? If so job loses keep mounting along with home losses, won't this keep deflation on the rise? Don't we have to have real jobs & real housing price support to stop deflation?

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Another Celente Interview

Boy, is Celente making the rounds on the interview circuit lately or what? I guess all this talk of a recovery is hurting his newsletter subscription bottomline. Anyways, here is yet another audio interview with him.

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Can't Comment on Aug 19th Daily Digest

Anyone else notice that they are unable to post comments to the Aug 19th Daily Digest?

Thanks in advanced.

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Karl Deninger's observations on what the big boys (Primary Dealers) are doing.  More evidence a big "correction" is coming.  I prefer the term, "slamdown".    JAG & Davos:  I wanted to post this on today's digest, but as JAG pointed out, it's not working today.

 

Whistling Past The Graveyard?

PS: If that doesn't look like a bunch of guys running away from a big jug that has a lit fuse leading into it you're certifiably insane.  You can bet this won't get mentioned on ToutTV either.

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becky
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Re: Can't Comment on Aug 19th Daily Digest
JAG wrote:

Anyone else notice that they are unable to post comments to the Aug 19th Daily Digest?

I see it, too Jeff.  There's no comment section at all for the Aug 19 Daily Digest.  (To quote Luke Skywalker,  "It's been totally blown away" -- of course, I'm sure the Death Star is not involved this time -- just a glitch in the system)

becky

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Re: Daily Digest - August 18

Ability to comment was just turned off by accident.  They are available now.

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