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Pompous Prognosticators

Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 3:06 PM

This is a post from last April that I want to bring back to the forefront.


Below, I've liberally excerpted from an article I read a couple years back that always stuck with me.

Since our challenge today is to know whom to trust and which story to believe, I thought I'd bring this one
back to the forefront, because the parallels are so striking between the late 1920's and now.

Below is a graph of the Dow Jones during the years of the 1920's bubble, the stock market crash of 1929, and the onset of the Great Depression. The numbers in bubbles indicate when one or more quotes from a famous expert were captured.

I happen to believe that we are somewhere between points #8 and #18.

I get chills every time I re-read them...

Pompous Prognosticators
Link to original article at Gold-Eagle.com

Number 7:

"The decline is in paper values, not in tangible goods and services...America is now in the eighth year of prosperity as commercially defined. The former great periods of prosperity in America averaged eleven years. On this basis we now have three more years to go before the tailspin."
- Stuart Chase , NY Herald Tribune, November 1, 1929
"Hysteria has now disappeared from Wall Street."
- The Times of London, November 2, 1929

"The Wall Street crash doesn't mean that there will be any general or serious business depression... For six years American business has been diverting a substantial part of its attention, its energies and its resources on the speculative game... Now that irrelevant, alien and hazardous adventure is over. Business has come home again, back to its job, providentially unscathed, sound in wind and limb, financially stronger than ever before."


- Business Week, November 2, 1929

"...despite its severity, we believe that the slump in stock prices will prove an intermediate movement and not the precursor of a business depression such as would entail prolonged further liquidation..."

- Harvard Economic Society (HES), November 2, 1929

Number 8:

"... a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall."

- HES, November 10, 1929

"The end of the decline of the Stock Market will probably not be long, only a few more days at most."

- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics at Yale University, November 14, 1929

"In most of the cities and towns of this country, this Wall Street panic will have no effect."

- Paul Block (Pres. of the Block newspaper chain), editorial, November 15, 1929

"Financial storm definitely passed."

- Bernard Baruch, cablegram to Winston Churchill, November 15, 1929

Number 9:

"I see nothing in the present situation that is either menacing or warrants pessimism... I have every confidence that there will be a revival of activity in the spring, and that during this coming year the country will make steady progress."

- Andrew W. Mellon, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury December 31, 1929

"I am convinced that through these measures we have reestablished confidence."

- Herbert Hoover, December 1929

"[1930 will be] a splendid employment year."

- U.S. Dept. of Labor, New Year's Forecast, December 1929

Number 10:

"For the immediate future, at least, the outlook (stocks) is bright."

- Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in Economics, in early 1930

Number 11:

"...there are indications that the severest phase of the recession is over..."

- Harvard Economic Society (HES) Jan 18, 1930

Number 12:

"There is nothing in the situation to be disturbed about."

- Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon, Feb 1930

Number 13:  

"The spring of 1930 marks the end of a period of grave concern...American business is steadily coming back to a normal level of prosperity."
- Julius Barnes, head of Hoover's National Business Survey Conference, Mar 16, 1930

"... the outlook continues favorable..."
- HES Mar 29, 1930

Number 14: 

"... the outlook is favorable..."
- HES Apr 19, 1930

Number 15: 

"While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed through the worst -- and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There has been no significant bank or industrial failure. That danger, too, is safely behind us."
- Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, May 1, 1930

"...by May or June the spring recovery forecast in our letters of last December and November should clearly be apparent..."
- HES May 17, 1930

"Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over."
- Herbert Hoover, responding to a delegation requesting a public works program to help speed the recovery, June 1930

Number 16:  

"... irregular and conflicting movements of business should soon give way to a sustained recovery..."
- HES June 28, 1930

Number 17:  

"... the present depression has about spent its force..."
- HES, Aug 30, 1930

Number 18:  

"We are now near the end of the declining phase of the depression."
- HES Nov 15, 1930

Number 19:  

"Stabilization at [present] levels is clearly possible."
- HES Oct 31, 1931

Number 20:   

"All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S."
- President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933

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36 Comments

pir8don's picture
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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

So is it serialised Chris?, Do we get the other bits12-20 as they were said then in our real time? The chills are part of the "awareness" process so are the sweats. But I guess you know that. Not to mention the bodily secretions. I'm trying to guess at number 20; "this will never happen again we have learn't our lesson"? Anyone else with some suggestions?

Don

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Hey, don't leave us hanging!  What are the rest of the quotes?

 

Thanks for all you do.

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Nop...

"All safe deposit boxes in banks or financial institutions have been sealed... and may only be opened in the presence of an agent of the I.R.S."
- President F.D. Roosevelt, 1933 

 

I cheated......;-)

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Wow.  

That's why I pretty much ignore most mainstream editorial features about the crisis.  They're clueless parrots.

I recently watched a debate between Peter Schiff and Art Laffer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU6PamCQ6zw) from 2006.  Schiff is saying that the economy is in peril and it's going to go down.  Laffer keeps calling him an idiot (more or less) and implying that Schiff must have missed out on the "new economy" instruction that Laffer and all of his buddies got.

It's just amazing that all of these high paid economists can't understand something that a 12-year old can easily grasp.  Too much spending and borrowing with not enough saving and producing = bankrupt.

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Thanks!

Now....with extra quotes!

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators
Chris...I see the parallels but am still uncertain which you see ahead...inflation or deflation?  As we all know, in the 1929 example it was deflation.  Thanks.
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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Well, that was one heck of a bear market rally.  If it turns out that Chris is correct then we are in the range of #6 heading for a continued rally potentially through the election.  I can't believe I just said rally.  I just sat and started as the market blasted off...

Anyways, what baffels me is that the markets take off into worsening news.   Is it because people felt the market was oversold given the present economic data?  I wonder if the Fed will still lower the interest rate tomorrow... 

This may be just like the Great Depression where we had a big drop a retracement, and then a continuation of the big drop. I don't seeany fundamentals that have changed....  If anything they have worsened.

 

-T

 

After looking through the rest of the quotes Chris just posted (thanks for posing those)... YIKES  

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Yes the markets took off today, including Canada where I am, all of them and I repeat all of them at exactly 2:00pm in the afternoon.

What happened at 2:00pm??? Who did what to whom???

Tom

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Quote of the Day

This quote seams appropriate:

 “A newspaper has three things to do.  One is to amuse, another to entertain and the rest is to mislead.”

Ernest Bevin (1881-1951) British Foreign Minister

At London Conference of Foreign Ministers – February 10, 1946 (quoted in The Barnes Review, volume 5, no. 3, p.29, May 1999)

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

 

As I read this post today, I turned to my copy of The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  I went to his website just now and found this link:

 http://www.fooledbyrandomness.com/imbeciles.htm

A snippet:

Globalization creates interlocking fragility, while reducing volatility and giving the appearance of stability. In other words it creates devastating Black Swans. We have never lived before under the threat of a global collapse. Financial Institutions have been merging into a smaller number of very large banks. Almost all banks are interrelated. So the financial ecology is swelling into gigantic, incestuous, bureaucratic banks – when one fails, they all fall.  The increased concentration among banks seems to have the effect of making financial crises less likely, but when they happen they are more global in scale and hit us very hard. We have moved from a diversified ecology of small banks, with varied lending policies, to a more homogeneous framework of firms that all resemble one another. True, we now have fewer failures, but when they occur ….I shiver at the thought.

Banks hire dull people and train them to be even more dull. If they look conservative, it's only because their loans go bust on rare, very rare occasions. But (...)bankers are not conservative at all. They are just phenomenally skilled at self-deception by burying the possibility of a large, devastating loss under the rug.

<sigh>

Scott

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators
dxd
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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

I had never seen Laffer. What an extraordinary fool!

Also, there is a book entitled Panic on Wall Street, written by Robert Sobel; it's riddled with delusional quotes similar to those Chris posted today; all made throughout the years just prior to and during the 90% DOW decline of the depression. Think Larry Kudlow...

 Thing that scares me: we're in a lot worse shape than we were in the 30's in terms of being able to feed ourselves: every other person was a farmer or rancher at that time. Earth's popluation is so large now, it's like one big organism: part of it fails, it dies.

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Switters:

 

Wow, that was a great watch. 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Well, for something more recent, try THIS!

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/

Wherever I look this morning, Asia, Europe, Wall Street, I see
journalists and analysts claim that bargain hunters are causing the
rising stock prices. They're not. There is something different going
on.

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Back in the sixties when I first had an interest in investing and economics, I only knew a little about the Great Depression from high school. So I went to my library and scanned the microfilm files of the NY Times during those years. I was stunned by the constant barrage of optimistic predictions that always turned out wrong. That set me to study economics on my own.

I struggled to understand Keynes' Theory of Money and Credit. So much of it made no sense. I had Economics 101 in college. Again, it was so abstract, I couldn't relate it to the real world. I had to get through the course by rote learning. Economics came to life when I found the Austrian School of Economics. It's almost a course on human psychology. From there, I knew this would happen decades ago. Hopefully I can continue to stay ahead of events.

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

The US government purchased stock today in many banks. This was part of the bailout plan. Could this have caused the large rally?

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Look at the talking heads celebrate! I can understand their need (their jobs are on the line), but I can't forgive them.

Here's an interesting thought: With the continuing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few, is it possible that average Joe will become completely irrelevant in the level of the stock market? That is to say, once the rich have the substantial majority of the money, they can own everything: every company; all the means of production; etc...

We're much further toward that destination than we were ten years ago. What would that world look like?

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Interesting synchronicity Chris, I penned the following letter on 'trust' today...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Exponential Dead-Mans-Hand Vote-Riddle: Vote for Debt Slavery; or Liberty!!

Copy of Email:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Exponential Dead-Mans-Hand Vote-Riddle: Vote for Debt Slavery; or Liberty!!

Mr. Michael Shaw,
President
FreedomAdvocates.Org

28 October 2008

CC: FranklyTJMcVeigh, FranklyRoubini (FranklyI'mMadInJihad), NewsWithViews [Copy at guerrylla-phd.co.nr]

Mr. Shaw,

RE: Liberty or Sustainable Development? Part 10, NewsWithViews

ONE:
I read your article. I was writing to find out, whether you included within your analysis* the exponential function results for the exponential factors of population, energy, water and arable land resources, etc; and in which section you inform and educate your readers, of these exponential factor issues?

[* analysis definition as per: "It is important to understand the distinction between information and intelligence. Information is an assimilation of data that has been gathered, but not fully correlated, analyzed, or interpreted. Intelligence, on the other hand, is the transformation of information into knowledge and insight." ~ Intelligence; Speech, Joint Military Intelligence College, Admiral J. Boorda]

I look forwardto hearing from you.

NEO Gabriel Martin

TWO: Elsewhere Feedback:

In the spirit of my favourite Persian 'Geeks' "FRANKLY" when it comes to political ideologies, and the myriad of fundamentalists peddling their fundamentalist brand of ideology; it is my opinion "The Final Warning: The History of the New World Order, by David Allen Rivera is definitive proof that political ideologies are nothing more than smoke and mirrors to occupy and distract the masses, while the "elite" follow the pure and undiluted ideology of pure money. Read The Final Warning and forget Left, Right or Centre in any political considerations, and see how society has been hijacked to such an extent that the only possible solution is to dismantle the system and start all over again."

My efforts are directed towards encouraging the possibility of dismantling the system and starting all over again, and it is my opinion, the more Persian 'Geek's we have dispensing blunt 'FRANKLY', as opposed to ideological smoke and mirrors, the more likely we are of clear, articulate and accurate communication, which -- strangely enough is what TRUST is based upon.

Frankly, in my humble Persian Geek Opinion, an exponential growth of very, very blunt, 'Frankly's are the only thing that can renew REAL TRUST, BASED ON INTEGRITY AND HONOUR BETWEEN DEBTORS AND CREDITORS.

That is ASSUMING the Political Internationalist Investment Bankers (or 'Frankly': Incompetent High Priests of Debt Slaves and Disaster Corporate Fascism Cannon Fodder Breeding Slavery Exchanges) have the remotest sincere interest in ever renewing REAL TRUST, BASED ON INTEGRITY AND HONOUR BETWEEN DEBTORS AND CREDITORS, which is arguable considering their addiction to dispensing their Debt Slave Armies of 'Shit between their Ears' Ph.D.'s to prosletyze and peddle their 'Debt Slavery Economic Growth' Fascism of Corporate Welfare masquerading under the Orwellian headlines of 'Capitalism'.

Alternatively, should we conclude that their intention is (I) NOT for any remote future possibility of encouraging a new economic and financial system based on real trust, and accordingly FRANK INTEGRITY AND HONOUR BETWEEN DEBTORS AND CREDITORS, I.E. 'CAPITALISM'; and (II) to implement, as they have so far done with excellent Trillions of Disaster 'Corporate Fascism Profits from decades of Debt Slavery, their final little Coup D'Etat Putsch and Bon Voyage to the Distant Memory of Capitalism, as per:

"Lenin is to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency ... By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens ... As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless..."

According to none other than Lenin, Capitalism, namely a relationship of trust between debtors and creditors, was at the very least destroyed, by NONE OTHER THAN THE REPRESENTATIVES AND PRESIDENT OF THOSE CALLING THEMSELVES 'CAPITALISTS', on December 23, 1913, with the adoption of the Federal Reserve Act.

Only those in denial, would imagine that you could establish a system of real trust, on malicious lies, innuendo, ambiguous plausible deniability and outright deception.

It remains to be seen whether enough shall be capable of unplugging from the Dollar Worship and Debt Slavery Matrix, not only financially, but emotionally, psychologically, ideologically and spiritually; to demand a return to an economic system based upon real trust, integrity and honour between debtors and creditors.

Vote for Liberty!!!!!!!,

Vote for a Republic!!!!!!!;

Vote for America!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Respectfully,

Lara 'Esther' Braveheart
JAG-IA 07-146

--
"A democracy is dangerous because it is a one-vote system as opposed to a Republic, which is a three-vote system. Three votes to check tyranny, not just one. Citizens have not been informed of their other two votes."
~ Guerrylla Law for Patriots ~

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators
[quote=lundsta]

The US government purchased stock today in many banks. This was part of the bailout plan. Could this have caused the large rally?

 

[/quote]

Yep, today was one of the upticks on the graph Chris posted above.  Rallies are common during a collapse.  We can expect a lot of volatility in the near future.  The Dow has been going up and down like a yo-yo, and will probably continue to do so. People are desperate and panicked; they'll latch onto any piece of potentially good news in a misguided fit of euphoria and wishful thinking, then turn around and fall apart at the first sign of more bad news.  That's the anatomy of a crash.

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Re: The Ghost of Maynard Keynes

"I struggled to understand Keynes' Theory of Money and Credit. So much of it made no sense." -- hewittr

Funny, others have said the same thing. One commentator called Theory of Money and Credit  "an intricate fallacy."

I read a few pages of it in the stacks at the library, and couldn't make heads nor tails of it. But then, I'm no economist. Whereas Alan Greenspan probably kept the dense tome under his pillow (or maybe hugged it at night, since he didn't have no girlfriend back then).

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators (Rally at 2)

 tjerrard (Wed, 10/29/2008 - 11:24 #8)

Yes the markets took off today, including Canada where I am, all of them and I repeat all of them at exactly 2:00pm in the afternoon.
What happened at 2:00pm??? Who did what to whom???

Tom

Tom, If what you say is true; and IF IT WAS INTENTIONAL; then your answer lies here:

FREEDOM ICE-AGE SLAVERY The Two aims of the Party are: .. To conQuer the whole surface of the Earth, and To extinguish once and for all... The possibility of Yndependent thoughT. .. There are therefore Two great problems which the DEmockerY Party is concerned to solve. .. One is how to discover, against its will, what another 'human being' is thinking, and the other is how to kill several hundred million people in a few seconds with-OWT giving warning beforehand.

Before discarding aforementioned, may I suggest you apply the Crypto-RCMP principle of: "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." ~ Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia (1891) ~

JMCSwan

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, famous economist and author of "The Black Swan" and Dr. Mandelbrot, professor of Mathematics. Both say that the present economy more serious than the Great Depression, and the economy during the American Revolution:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3zZ6qNWeGw

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I love how Chris concentrates on the Great Depression
Because conditions leading up to what we are about to go through now will make the Great Depression look like a happier time, LOL.
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Re: The Ghost of Maynard Keynes

Machinead

Keynes great fallacy is that he claimed to have found weaknesses in Says Law which states that consumption precedes production. This is why politicians are so obsessed with getting people to borrow and spend. It's obviously false in the siimple way I'm stating it. His obscure language disguises its absurdity.

Henry Hazlitt took Theory of Money and Credit apart in Failure of the New Economics in clear language.

For serious students of the Hoover Era, the best is MurrayRothbard's America's Great Depression. Contrary to the myth that Hoover was a laissez-faire president, he was just the opposite. In fact, Hoover laid the groundwork for the New Deal. Rothbard shows how expansion and contraction of the money supply caused the crash. Hoover's interventions made matters worse. Consumer prices were stable for other reasons not related to the money supply.

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Switters:

 Wow, another good watch, thank you!

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators - Interview with Nassim Taleb

Switters,

Thanks you SO much for sharing this.   When I took a computer graphics class as an undergrad, I learned about fractal theory by Mendelbrot, but did not know he was still around!  It seems a very insightful interview touching the heart of the issues we are dealing with currently.

Yesterday, I came across this 60 minutes segment on credit default swaps and thought it was the best explanation I have read so far.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/26/60minutes/main4546199.shtml?source=RSSattr=60Minutes_4546199 

 Regards

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators
Dr. Martenson, you'd better watch out. Switters here seems to be digging up some good content :P
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Phantom Short Selling Reversed with Gambling

This was a disaster when it was passed, but sadly not too many people in Congress really knew what it meant. Do you want to know how to get rich? Study everything that is going on Congress with a microscope right before a holiday, a short session, or a session that is not fully attended. That's when all the tricky stuff gets approved. That's been the pattern since the Federal Reserve was enacted, and they keep playing this same old trick to sneak BS through. It might be boring, but that's why they make watching or following it boring, so you don't. 

Also, Greenspan knew EXACTLY what this was. He may be one of our greatest minds, but he's a crook to let this one get through as well as countless other BS. I just love how he is playing all this stuff down when it was done on his watch.

Invest wisely, they did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

That's DR. Switters PhD, LOL

 

 

 

 

 

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Sleeping well

Thanks Switters. I bet there aren't too many of us here doing that. Perhaps the optimist (singular).

Don

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

What a great video - thanks for the link!

 

Oh - and thanks for the rest of the quotes!

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

PresentMoment:

Thank you for that video link. It was, very good. The Comedity Exchange Modernization Act passed by Congress 8 years ago, as mentioned in this video is sick.

Congress should pay personally. The majority of these idiots are, well a picture says a thousand words.

More like a bunch of Robin-hoods stealing from the poor and giving to the rich so the resources of the planet can be decimated and sold for profit while the middle class are converted into slaves.

Until Congress is replaced, lock stock and barrel, (Okay Ron Paul can stay) we are going to be along for a nightmarish ride.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/kirby/2008/1029.html

 

Just gets better and better. I haven't read the entire article I stopped here.

 

Plumbing the Depths of Depravity

by Rob Kirby | October 29, 2008

Print

First, for a bit of historical context, a little bit of fact-finding pertaining to Henry Paulson, complements of my friend, Jesse:
“I didn't know he was a member of the Nixon White House as his first 'real job.'

In 1970, fresh from the Masters program of the Harvard Business School, Paulson entered the Nixon administration, working first as staff assistant to the assistant secretary of defense. 

In 1972-73, Paulson worked as office assistant to John Erlichman, assistant to the president for domestic affairs. Erlichman was one of the key figures involved in organizing President Richard Nixon’s notorious "plumbers" unit that carried out illegal covert operations against the president’s political opponents, including espionage, blackmail, and revenge. Erlichman resigned in 1973, and in 1975 he was convicted of obstruction of justice, perjury, and conspiracy, and was imprisoned for 18 months.

Utilizing his connections, Paulson went to work for Goldman Sachs in 1974. In a 2007 feature, the British newspaper the Guardian wrote, "Not only was he well connected enough to get the job [in the Nixon White House], but well connected enough to resign in the thick of the Watergate scandal without ever getting caught up in the fallout. He went straight to Goldman back home in Illinois."

Birds of a Feather Fly Together: The Plumbers Live On in Infamy 

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

[quote]It's just amazing that all of these high paid economists can't understand something that a 12-year old can easily grasp.  Too much spending and borrowing with not enough saving and producing = bankrupt.[/quote]

 

I Totally agree with this.

 

The higher up the ladder you go in the company i work for the less they understand about the current situation.

They are very gung-ho when the government inject a few billion and just assume this will get people spending which will fix the problem !!!

sorry but it won't i say, "what do you know your on the shop floor" they say with a smirk on face.

The small surges in the markets will keep happening but the falls will still be steeper and steeper until meltdown day dawns.

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Re: Pompous Prognosticators

Quote:
It's just amazing that all of these high paid economists can't understand something that a 12-year old can easily grasp. Too much spending and borrowing with not enough saving and producing = bankrupt.

I also agree. After reading  http://www.2000wave.com/article.asp?id=mwo103108

of which Chris referred to in another post, it looks like what "we" spend or what goes into GDP is or a lot of it was borrowed from the homeATM... Now that 1/5th or 7 million homeowners are underwater/upside down http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/30/real_estate/underwater_borrowers/index.htm and credit card companies/banks are slashing limits this should melt down really quickly. Even if they do another stimulus it won't be enough or fast. 

I see a big snowball coming down the mountain!$!$!$ 

 

waldendad's picture
waldendad
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 1 2009
Posts: 4
Re: Pompous Prognosticators: Marketing Tip

We're missing out on a lot of free traffic using social engines. I know there's a share this link, but you kind of have to dig to make anything happen.

Suggestion:

1. Have a row of social bookmark links so people can recognize their site of choice- mine is Digg.

2. For voting sites like Digg, have someone start out each post in the system, so it's easy for readers to just click and make it happen.

Here's the link to the Digg article to get things rolling: http://digg.com/business_finance/Pompous_Prognosticators_Think_the_end_is_in_sight_Ha

My thought is that with maybe 20-30 minutes of work for each story by some admin, you'll be getting a lot more viral/social traffic than before. 

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