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Daily Digest - March 12

Thursday, March 12, 2009, 11:25 AM
  • U.S. Weighs Further Steps for Citi
  • Freddie Mac: $23.9 Billion Loss, Asks for $30.8 billion in funding
  • A conversation with Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary
  • Geithner flying solo
  • Obama, Geithner Get Low Grades From Economists
  • Global Credit Ranking
  • ‘Difficult' Americans hamper G20 efforts to secure a global deal
  • China February Auto Sales Rise 25% After Tax Cuts
  • Marc Faber (Massive Deficits)
  • 50%? (repost)
  • Obermann (Phil Gramm)
  • South Carolina's Sanford to become first governor to reject funds
  • U.S. banks may pay dearly for government aid
  • Get Long Torches & Pitchforks: A Growth Industry once the taxpayers wake-up Ritholtz Says
  • Adults Wanted
  • State Unemployment Rate (+10% BLS Michigan, SC RI and CA)
  • Budget deficit widens 10% as receipts fall to 14-year low
  • You Don't Have to Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here
  • Congrats Blogger Barry Ritholtz (McGraw Hill Saga)
  • Jamie Dimon CNBC Video
  • Will Mexico suffer contagion? 

Economy 

U.S. Weighs Further Steps for Citi 

Barely a week after the third rescue of Citigroup Inc., U.S. officials are examining what fresh steps they might need to take to stabilize the bank if its problems mount, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Citigroup shares surge more than 25%, guiding battered financials higher after CEO Vikram Pandit says the firm was profitable during the first two months of the year. Bank of America, J.P. Morgan & Chase also gain.

Federal officials describe the discussions, which are wide-ranging and preliminary, as "contingency planning." Regulators are trying to ensure that they are prepared if Citigroup takes a sudden turn for the worse, which they aren't expecting, these people say.

Citi executives said they haven't detected signs of corporate clients or trading partners withdrawing their business, even though the New York company's shares are hovering near $1 apiece -- closing Monday at $1.05 on the New York Stock Exchange. Citigroup says it has a strong liquidity position and that its capital levels are among the highest in the banking industry.

The Citigroup discussions come as U.S. officials are conducting "stress tests" on the largest banks to determine their long-term viability under tough economic scenarios.

Banking regulators and Treasury officials called Citigroup executives over the weekend amid rumors about the discussions, according to people familiar with the matter. They said the talks were geared toward future planning and that no new rescue was imminent.

Pandit Memo Cites Citi's 'Strengths'

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit issued a memo to employees Monday as the company's shares hovered above $1, arguing the current price does not reflect the company's capital position and earnings power. Read the memo. | More on the memo.

The discussions include the Treasury Department, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC backs many of Citigroup's deposits in the U.S., as well as a large amount of new debt issued by the firm.

Freddie Mac: $23.9 Billion Loss, Asks for $30.8 billion in funding 

Fourth quarter 2008 results were driven primarily by net mark-to-market losses of $13.3 billion on the company's derivative portfolio, guarantee asset and trading securities due to the impacts of spread widening and declines in interest rates. In addition, the company recorded $7.2 billion in credit-related expenses related to the continued deterioration in economic conditions during the fourth quarter, including a rapid deterioration in labor markets, steeper declines in home prices, and a drop in consumer confidence to record lows. Results were also impacted by security impairments on the company's available-for-sale securities of $7.5 billion primarily due to sustained deterioration in the performance of the underlying collateral on the company's non-agency mortgage-related securities. 

A conversation with Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary

Geithner flying solo 

They're going to run him out before anyone else even gets in. Per the FT:

It also emerged that Gordon Brown, UK prime minister, was struggling to organise the [upcoming G20 London] summit. Britain's most senior civil servant claimed it was hard to find anyone to speak to at the US Treasury. Sir Gus O'Donnell, cabinet secretary, blamed the "absolute madness" of the US system where a new administration had to hire new officials from scratch, leaving a decision-making vacuum.

"There is nobody there. You cannot believe how difficult it is," he told a conference of civil servants.

Trying to manage the onset of a depression and the most massive debt issuance in American history without a treasury department? What a country! Why not try blindfolded in a straitjacket dangling over a shark tank from a burning rope?

Obama, Geithner Get Low Grades From Economists

U.S. President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received failing grades for their efforts to revive the economy from participants in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

In striking contrast to President Obama's popularity with the public, a new Wall Street Journal survey of economists gives the president and his treasury secretary failing grades. WSJ's Phil Izzo and Kelly Evans discuss.

The economists' assessment stands in stark contrast with Mr. Obama's popularity with the public, with a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll giving him a 60% approval rating. A majority of the 49 economists polled said they were dissatisfied with the administration's economic policies.

On average, they gave the president a grade of 59 out of 100, and although there was a broad range of marks, 42% of respondents rated Mr. Obama below 60. Mr. Geithner received an average grade of 51. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scored better, with an average 71.

Global Credit Ranking

‘Difficult' Americans hamper G20 efforts to secure a global deal

Mr. Summers's plea was attacked by Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg Prime Minister, who heads the eurogroup of single currency countries. He declared: "The 16 euro-area ministers agreed that recent American appeals insisting that the Europeans make an additional budgetary effort to combat the effects of the crisis was not to our liking."

China February Auto Sales Rise 25% After Tax Cuts

Sales of passenger cars, buses and trucks climbed to 827,600, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said today in Beijing. The tally in the first two months rose 2.7 percent to 1.56 million, compared with a 39 percent decline to 1.35 million in the U.S.

China has halved retail taxes on small cars and drawn up plans to give out vehicle subsidies in rural areas to revive demand after auto sales rose at the slowest pace in a decade last year. Combined with the country's wider 4 trillion yuan ($585 billion) economic stimulus package, the policies have caused General Motors Corp. to roughly double its forecast for China's nationwide auto market growth this year.

Marc Faber (Massive Deficits)

50%? (repost)

Obermann (Phil Gramm)

South Carolina's Sanford to become first governor to reject funds

"Our objections to the so-called stimulus bill have been well-chronicled for the way it spends money that we don't have and for the way this printing of money could ultimately devalue the American dollar," Sanford said on Tuesday, even as he acknowledged that he'll accept some.

"Those of us opposed to this package lost the debate on these merits, and I now think it is important we look for creative ways to apply and use these monies in accordance with the long-term interests of our state," he said.

U.S. banks may pay dearly for government aid

C.R. Cloutier, the president of MidSouth Bank of Lafayette, Louisiana, and a survivor of the savings and loan debacle, said that his institution accepted $20 million from the rescue fund because he and his board believed it was patriotic and would help them offer loans during a recession. But faced with what he says is an unwarranted stigma of participating in the program, as well as the new restrictions that are imposed on banks taking the money, he is now considering whether to return the money, as other institutions have sought to do.

"Two things you learn in the banking business," Cloutier said. "The first is concentration is bad. We now have 64 percent of deposits in eight institutions. The second rule is your first loss is your best loss. Get it over with. Don't pump water in a dead fish."

Get Long Torches & Pitchforks: A Growth Industry once the taxpayers wake-up Ritholtz Says

Adults Wanted

Paul Brodsky & Lee Quaintance run QB Partners, a private macro-oriented investment fund based in New York:

This month we identify the nexus of the current economic problems and propose a solution to fix them. We discuss why we think our proposal would work, why some policy makers probably already know it, why it will ultimately be adopted in spite of their intentions not to (whether or not they know it yet), and why we think we will profit from it.

~~~

Leading up to the great bust in 2007, homeowners, consumers and investors owned highly encumbered assets. Balance sheets were terribly mismatched; most assets including real estate and stock portfolios were market-priced and subject to potentially volatile price swings while liabilities like mortgage and auto loans were mostly longer-term and had fixed obligations. It has recently become apparent to all that homeowners, consumers and investors generally mistook their expanded balance sheets for wealth.

As the liabilities on their balance sheets overwhelmed the available dollars needed to repay them, it was inevitable that: a) the Fed would ultimately have to manufacture those dollars and/or b) the asset prices at which their liabilities were valued would have to decline. Both dynamics have been playing out over the last two years and they currently seem to be accelerating. Our years-long (Fed-sponsored) hedonistic foray has passed and we are left now with a terrible burning sensation that just won't go away.

The creation of trillions in new money and credit currently underway is being done to pay down these nagging obligations. It will work; indeed it has to work because there is no legal limit to how much money and credit the Fed may create from thin air and because the Fed has openly expressed its intention to pursue this path. It seems unanimous - everyone wants the pain to stop quickly and doesn't care what must be done to accomplish this goal. We care deeply, but we are not letting our idealism get in the way of pursuing profits.

State Unemployment Rate (+10% BLS Michigan, SC RI and CA)

Budget deficit widens 10% as receipts fall to 14-year low

U.S. federal government budget widened to $192.8 billion in February ... the second largest monthly deficit on record ... receipts dropped 17% to $87.3 billion, the lowest since February 1995.

In February, individual income taxes fell 64% to just $8.7 billion. That's the lowest monthly total for individual income taxes since May 1985.

You Don't Have to Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here (Charts in article)

Note: The annual "quit rate" is the number of quits during the entire year as a percent of annual average employment, while the annual "layoff rate" is the number of layoffs and discharges during the entire year as a percent of annual average employment.

First. lets take a look at the quit rate by industry. For anyone who ever worked in the food services business (me) it isn't a surprise that leads the way, while those in the durable goods industry rarely leave (they tend to be paid quite well as compared to other opportunities of their education attainment) and stay put.

Congrats Blogger Barry Ritholtz "Bailout Nation"(McGraw Hill Saga)

Jamie Dimon CNBC Video

Will Mexico suffer contagion?

The greatest risk likely lies in external private sector debt. According to Finance Ministry data, there is US$27.7 billion in non-financial private sector and an additional US$7.7 billion in financial sector foreign currency obligations coming due this year. Of the non-financial private sector obligations, US$10 billion are in trade financing, which we expect to be fully rolled over. Indeed, there have been no significant problems with trade financing so far; moreover, the US$30 billion Fed swap line more than covers trade financing lines and is ideally suited to support any trade financing difficulties. Although the Fed swap line currently expires in October, we expect that the line will be renewed (or substituted with another instrument) for as long as the current turmoil represents a potential balance of payments threat to Mexico. The remaining US$17.7 billion is split between US$2.1 billion in bonded debt, US$11.8 billion in bank debt and US$3.8 billion in other debt obligations. So far, however, nearly US$6 billion of the bank debt has already been rolled over. As a conservative assumption, we assume no further rollover for the bonded debt or the rest of the bank debt. We further assume that 50% of other non-financial debt is rolled over and there is a 75% rollover of the US$7.7 billion in financial sector obligations, given the relative strength of Mexican banks. The net impact is that the private sector generates an outflow of US$11.7 billion.

Even under very conservative assumptions for net foreign investment, the potential stress on the capital account remains limited...

Bottom Line:

Mexico faces a series of long-term structural challenges that need to be addressed. The near-term cyclical challenges in 2009 and into 2010, however, are unlikely to be as severe as they might appear at first glance. Mexico is a small, open economy and relies heavily on trade with the US for manufacturing employment. A prolonged downturn in the US is likely to pose significant risks to Mexico's labor markets and, in turn, the growth dynamic for the economy. But the narrower question of a balance of payments shortfall that could have an impact on currency markets appears to be limited. Neither Mexico's balance of payments challenge nor its fiscal challenge appear to justify a significant weakening of the Mexican peso from here. Of course, our fundamental analysis provides little guidance as to how the Mexican peso will trade in the near term. It does suggest, however, that the extreme stress being experienced by the Mexican peso today likely represents an opportunity for reversal, rather than a step to a permanently weaker level.

My take on this is: while everyone seems to be shedding assets, Citigroup included, BBVA seems to be doing relatively well. If they are as strong financially as they indicate despite Spain's crashing economy, antitrust concerns aside, Banamex would be a good target for increasing their North American footprint.

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18 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

chart.jpg

Yesterday's news was lets plug Enron numbers into a depressionary metric and say this isn't a depression.

Today I found the news was more schizophrenic then normal. And I'm not talking about the usual dispeity between the best blogs and Cramer.

I listened to a smart man, who has made a LOT more money than I have say that if securities fell to 50% they'd be a good buy.Well, Buffett was saying they were a good buy in October of 2008 so I suppose 50% is a better buy.

50%? Schizophrenic to the "Gloom Doom and Boom's" name - ugh, what about the other 50% that many of us invision this thing falling beyond. Soyry Marc, I think you pulled 50% out of a hat like I pulled 90% out of mine.

Geithner's interview was schizophrenic, IMHO. 

  • Anchors to fiscal responsibility. For every dollar that comes home .68 cents to deficit and .32 cents to me? 
  • Schizophrenic: adding trillions to some 80 trillion in debt and obligations is reprehensible NOT responsible.
  • Schizophrenic: Fixing the banks to loan money when we have six figure layoffs each month? Fix them NOT to loan so we don't wind up with 6 figure layoffs, we weren't rich we were maxed out on debt and LOOKED rich. Soros is wrong,it was [preceived] wealth destruction.
  • Schizophrenic: Are consumers really going to run out and tap their HELOC to spend 9 billion bucks at Starbucks again? Nooooo.
  • Schizophrenic: Then in almost the same breath he says we have to live with in our means. Timmy, borrowing and spending is NOT living within ones means. 80 trillion in debt isn't within our means, or our kids, or their kids means. What I am hearing is borrow, just don't borrow quite as much. You know, buy the latte instead of the super grand frappe mocha what ever they call it and pay .30 cents of it with cash. Come on.

Call me a pessimist - but I'd argue I'm a realist. Consumers accounted for 70% of GDP, with 20+ million out of work or underemployed I'm not holding my breath for that to come back, with or without 100 credit card offers along with 50 HELOC offers in the mail.

David Walker said if we cut the government by a huge percentage (either 40% or 60%, I can't recall) and raise taxes (I think by one of those amounts) then eventually we could pay this monster off.I don't even see that as it would only equate to more jobs down the drain.

Until the massive debt goes away, and I'm talking government, industry and consumer debt, I just don't see any of this. 

Thats my rant or take on what I read todayWink , take care. 

Steve in Ohio's picture
Steve in Ohio
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Posts: 13
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Right on, Davos.

 Andy Grove wrote a WashPo piece yesterday begging Obama to cut down on the chaos. I think there is a concerted effort here by the main stream media to pull a "Nothing to see here. Move along --- back to the malls", as well as draw in as many people as they can into the suckers rally that is going on in the markets right now.

The only benefit of the doubt I can give to Faber is that he is a trader, not a buy and hold. So... yes, a lot of technically oriented analysts think that, here we are, 50% down, there should be a counter-trend action which offers a trading opportunity. Buy now, but get out once it gets back to 8000 before the next whoosh down to 5000 occurs. Sorry... I have no stomach for that. He can have that trade. Probablyone of the (many) reasons he is a lot wealthier than I am.

grl's picture
grl
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Posts: 188
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Here's a bit more schizophrenia for you Davos. (Peter Schiff pointed this out and I think it's an interesting take.) Consider Warren Buffet's present support for the government's fiscal and monetary policies, as demonstrated in his most recent interview on CNBC, and then consider the article he wrote for Fortune back in 2003. Either Mr. Buffet has had an epiphany or he decided being a cheerleader would make him popular with the in crowd. Whatever the case may be, Mr. Buffet's 2003 essay is an interesting read.

 Squanderville versus Thriftville by Warren Buffet

Warren Buffet
October 2003 FORTUNE

I’m about to deliver a warning regarding the U.S. trade deficit and also suggest a remedy for the problem. But first I need to mention two reasons you might want to be skeptical about what I say. To begin, my forecasting record with respect to macroeconomics is far from inspiring. For example, over the past two decades I was excessively fearful of inflation. More to the point at hand, I started way back in 1987 to publicly worry about our mounting trade deficits — and, as you know, we’ve not only survived but also thrived. So on the trade front, score at least one “wolf” for me. Nevertheless, I am crying wolf again and this time backing it with Berkshire Hathaway’s money. Through the spring of 2002, I had lived nearly 72 years without purchasing a foreign currency. Since then Berkshire has made significant investments in — and today holds — several currencies. I won’t give you particulars; in fact, it is largely irrelevant which currencies they are. What does matter is the underlying point: To hold other currencies is to believe that the dollar will decline.

 Read the entire essay here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1053684/posts

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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Posts: 305
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Davos, I'm picking up the same weird vibe too. I wanted Faber to explain *why* the pace of negative economic news would slow down now. Gimme some details about what you see changing in the global economic landscape that leads you to  believe that we're going to get less bad news for a while, else you just sound like a cheerleader to me.

Maybe it means we're just due for a break, that we collectively sense one of the upticks that you see in the Depression-era Dow chart, the retracement before the new low.

DH, who spends pretty much no time actually following economic news, came home yesterday and said apropos of nothing, "I think we're gonna pull through this and it's not gonna crash." Like a good wife, I said, "Really, what makes you say that?"

"Nothing, actually."

Taking a line from my parenting goals and striving not to directly contradict (my daughter, I've noticed has quickly picked up that tendency in me and is heading towards a fabulous career as trial lawyer, though she's only 10), I said, "Well, things could certainly smooth out for a while. We're probably due for a breather."

Then I had to add that I didn't see all this going away, but that we probably wouldn't fall apart completely as a culture and civilization. Yeesh, that's the most optimistic thing I can find to honestly say.

 

FireJack's picture
FireJack
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Posts: 156
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

 

Right during june you can see how low it goes. Then I don't know how this second larger wave will hit us. 

The subprime collapse caused big problems, the alt-a option arm resets will cause even bigger ones. 

dickey45's picture
dickey45
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Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Pitchforks and torches link here:

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/03/get-long-torches-pitchforks/

kemosavvy's picture
kemosavvy
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Posts: 254
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Davos, the reference to david walkers numbers come from the January updated GAO's Long term fiscal outlook 2008. buried around page 8 is the chart that shows the "amount of change needed to prevent a debt explosion" (GAO's actual words).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08591r.pdf

"baseline" figures are the trend based off of historical figures (charted from the past) and "alternative" figures are based on the effect of policies that have been recently introduced (ex. TARP, stimulus package). the alternative figures are the most accurate.

so considering the alternative figures we have to increase govt revenues by 37.7%, or increase individual income taxes by 82.5%, or decrease non-interest spending by 37.3%. or we could implement a cocktail of all three.

the most interesting statement is "the fiscal gap is too large to simply grow out of the problem" pg. 8, just below chart.

 

fujisan's picture
fujisan
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Re: Daily Digest - March 12

FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » Nouriel Roubini is a Ponzi

[quote=Nouriel Roubini]

A reporter contacted me today with the following question:

“I am a reporter  and I am doing a story on Bernard Madoff’s life after pleading guiltyAs part of this I was wondering if you could comment on what significance he will have in the history of this period. Will he represent more than a scamster who stole a lot of money from a lot of people? As Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay came to embody corporate greed and deceit, what will Madoff symbolize? I would really appreciate your insights on this”.

Here is my answer fleshed out in full:

Americans lived in a Made-off and Ponzi bubble economy for a decade or even longer. Madoff is the mirror of the American economy and of its overleveraged agents: a house of cards of leverage over leverage by households, financial firms and corporations that has now gone bust.

...

Madoff may now spend the rest of his life in prison. The US household and financial and non financial firms and government may spend the next generation in debtor’s prison having to tighten their belts to pay for the losses inflicted by a decade or more of reckless leverage, over consumption and risk taking.

Americans, let us look at ourselves in the mirror: Madoff is us and Mr. Ponzi is us!

reistr's picture
reistr
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Re: Daily Digest - March 12
suesullivan wrote:

  

DH, who spends pretty much no time actually following economic news, came home yesterday and said apropos of nothing, "I think we're gonna pull through this and it's not gonna crash." Like a good wife, I said, "Really, what makes you say that?"

"Nothing, actually."

It's spring, time for renewal, the pheromones are in the air, the Sun shines brighter, every thing will be better now...

Can't help but remember the article Davos posted about living through the Depression, and what people atitudes were like - Hey, it was exactly the same thing, no real reason to think that there was a change coming, but people still believed.

I'm an optimist. My family is fairly well prepared, and even if things get really bad I don't believe social order will crumble (OK, maybe in LA, but there it doesn't take much...). But, on the other hand there are no fundamental economic reasons to think that the economy will turn around any time soon.

The ONLY good thing I've seen on fundamentals so far has been that the Baltic DRY index bottomed out and is now stable. But that just means that we reached our "survival" amount of trade, not that we are boucing back.

I want to see unemployment stop increasing on a monthly base before I call it a bottom.

The stock market is pretend money. The fact that enough traders feel fear or greed makes it go up and down (in the short term). It doesn't, however, mean that those traders will go out and buy a new GM car...

I don't subscribe to any of all the theories about what actually really cured the Great Depression. My thought is that it was time, just time, nothing else. Time for the massive debts to be written off and time for people to accumulate some savings, so they felt comfortable with splurging on that Frappucino once again.

The president who happens to be in power when we reach that point will be in the history books as the savior and the future academics, will write books explaining his great plans that saved us all. It's just a rool of the dice, but we will all feel better because we will know exactly what to do "next time"... But that's another topic entirely.

cwixom's picture
cwixom
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Re: Daily Digest - March 12
Quote:

Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit issued a memo to employees Monday as the
company's shares hovered above $1, arguing the current price does not
reflect the company's capital position and earnings power.

Do you think Pandit borrowed the text of the memo from the Enron folks who told their employees that there was sunshine everywhere just before they imploded and destroyed their retirement funds? 

grl's picture
grl
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Posts: 188
Re: Daily Digest - March 12
fujisan wrote:

FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » Nouriel Roubini is a Ponzi

[quote=Nouriel Roubini]

A reporter contacted me today with the following question:

“I am a reporter  and I am doing a story on Bernard Madoff’s life after pleading guiltyAs part of this I was wondering if you could comment on what significance he will have in the history of this period. Will he represent more than a scamster who stole a lot of money from a lot of people? As Bernie Ebbers and Ken Lay came to embody corporate greed and deceit, what will Madoff symbolize? I would really appreciate your insights on this”.

Here is my answer fleshed out in full:

Americans lived in a Made-off and Ponzi bubble economy for a decade or even longer. Madoff is the mirror of the American economy and of its overleveraged agents: a house of cards of leverage over leverage by households, financial firms and corporations that has now gone bust.

...

Madoff may now spend the rest of his life in prison. The US household and financial and non financial firms and government may spend the next generation in debtor’s prison having to tighten their belts to pay for the losses inflicted by a decade or more of reckless leverage, over consumption and risk taking.

Americans, let us look at ourselves in the mirror: Madoff is us and Mr. Ponzi is us!

Wow that was quite a tirade. But correct me if I am wrong because I don't have time to research it right now - I know Roubini has been warning that our economy is on a collision course with destiny but hasn't he also been advocating the stimulus and bailout packages, and hasn't he been calling for the nationalization of the bad banks? If memory serves me correct, he has and that doesn't seem to comport with how he answered the reporter.

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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Posts: 305
Re: Daily Digest - March 12
reistr wrote:

Can't help but remember the article Davos posted about living through the Depression, and what people atitudes were like - Hey, it was exactly the same thing, no real reason to think that there was a change coming, but people still believed.

 

That book review struck me so much, I bought a book at the local coffee shop I'd had my eye on for a bit. "Little Heathens" is about the author's experience growing up on an Iowa farm during the Great Depression. Fascinating, amusing, on-the-ground reporting of what it's like to live through that time. I'm reading it aloud to my kids and my daughter and I agree that how they lived back then, saving the same scrap of wax paper from the package of a rare store-bought cereal box to wrap their school lunch sandwich in day after day, sounds eminently reasonable to us. (A few years ago, I would have thought it borderline insane.)  It helps me to read how people get through such lean times, while still managing to thoroughly enjoy life. Gives me confidence I can do the same.

kiwidave's picture
kiwidave
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Posts: 37
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Governments are aware of what's going on, they just choose to ignore their own intelligence. WHY?

I picked up this from a comment by 'J Swan' on the Daily Reckoning meesage board.

Sometimes you may wonder: Why are nations so committed to economic growth at nearly any cost? Why do central banks continue to pump in so much money long after they recognize the inevitability of its inflationary consequences? Why has GDP growth become the supreme icon of most governments, businesses and investors? When debts and deficits run amuck, why dont our leaders just slow down, take a breather, and focus on finding a more stable path? “Your answers may be varied. But if you trace back through the chain of cause and effect, you will always return to one single, overriding factor: The population explosion colliding with finite resources. More mouths to feed. More demand. More pressure to perpetuate growth. More inflation.”
~ US Naval Services Long-Term Study: Global Tipping Points on Food, Water, Energy, Pollution, Population & Natural Resources & The Population Explosion ~

Cheers,

David. N.Z.

ceci1ia's picture
ceci1ia
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Posts: 79
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

I loved Little Heathens so much, and will be trying the recipes. I
recommend this book as it vividly reminds me that the end of money is
not the end of life or enjoyment or sunsets or fun.

Sue, you may
be interested in some youtube cooking demos of recipes from the
depression era. It's basically a woman who lived through that time is
interviewed and walks us through some recipes from her youth. It
reminds me of the author of Little Heathens. 

suesullivan's picture
suesullivan
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Posts: 305
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Ceci, yes, I'm planning on copying many recipes out too. I'd love to know how to find the you tube demos, if you know what keywords they're tagged with. Thanks for the heads up!

 

Nime's picture
Nime
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Posts: 88
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

An interesting article on what can be derrived from processing data about people and their behaviour that gets accumulated by cellular networks.

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
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Posts: 1024
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

EXCLUSIVE: China stocks up on bargain oil

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/12/china-stocks-up-on-bargain-oil/

BEIJING| -- China is forging ahead with an overseas spending splurge, snapping up resources especially oil at bargain prices and strengthening its long-term prospects for growth before Western economies can bounce back.

Greg

ceci1ia's picture
ceci1ia
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 7 2009
Posts: 79
Re: Daily Digest - March 12

Sue, I can't remember what I searched on to get to this, but if you
search on depression cooking or recipes, you may come up with
interesting results. Here is Great Depression Cooking with Clara,
episode 1:

Over
on the right are more videos in this series and they are cute and
informative. I recommend everyone browse among these episodes. 

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