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Stimulus Bill Causes Hope to Fade

Saturday, January 31, 2009, 1:45 PM

The subtitle to this article is Bringing a Hose to a Flood

I’ll be honest, I was equal parts hopeful and doubtful that anything new would come out of Washington because, well, I’ve been watching the situation for a long time and nothing really “new” comes out of there very often.

For now, I must content myself to sit back and watch, and wait, knowing that sooner or later reality will force itself back onto the radar screens of our leaders. For now, they remain hopelessly out of touch. For example, check out this well-meaning statement:


Daily Digest - Jan 31

Friday, January 30, 2009, 8:46 PM
  • Davos 2009, Are We Headed for a Great Depression? (Video)
  • Seriously alarmed (Hat Tip DamTheMatrix)
  • Bank Closures # 4, 5, & 6
  • GDP (Chart)
  • Worst January on Record for Stocks
  • Option ARMs See Rising Defaults 
  • Mayor's Plan Calls For 23,000 Fewer City Jobs
  • Layoffs for January 2009 at America's 500 largest public companies 162,962
  • Layoff Daily 
  • Chinese Premier Blames Recession on U.S. Actions (Video, Davos Keynote)
  • Russians to U.S.: Give us the Fed (Hat Tip PineCarr)
  • growing difficulty for britain 
  • US set for ‘big bang' financial clean-up 
  • Glenn Beck, Inconvenient Debt (Hat Tip Trad) (Video)
  • H.R.1
  • H.R.1 Tables
  • Getting with the Program 

Daily Digest - Jan 30

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 9:23 PM
  • New Record, Fed, Activity Declined in Every State (Dec. 2008, Charts)  
  • Layoff Daily (Website, Hat Tip CM)
  • US-China currency war eclipses Davos, and threatens the world (Hat Tip PineCarr)
  • Russia, China Blame Woes on Capitalism 
  • Russian Ruble Trouble (Chart)
  • New Home Sale, Monthly, NSA (Chart) 
  • Why Your Bank Is Broke  
  • Bank Bailout Could Cost Up to $4 Trillion: Economists 
  • Initial and Continued Unemployment Claims (Chart)
  • 10-Year Treasury yield reaches key juncture (Chart in article) 
  • NYC Budget Axe To Carve Out $1 Billion 
  • Soros at Davos 2009 (Video)
  • Union leaders condemn delegates on crisis response

Welcome, Glenn Beck viewers!

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 7:50 PM

Welcome to the home of the Crash Course.

My name is Chris Martenson (about) and I spent four years of my life developing the Crash Course with the goal of helping you understand what is going on with the economy and why the next twenty years are going to be completely unlike the last twenty years.

I ask very little of you.  You can watch the Crash Course for free here.  While I survive on subscriptions, I am not trying to sell you anything. My most deeply held concern is that you watch the entire Crash Course.  It is the most important 3.5 hours you can possibly spend in this day and age. 

While you could watch it alone, it's even better if you watch it with family, friends, and neighbors.  

I do ask that you not try and watch it all at once.  There is a lot of material in there, and while I did my level best to make it easily accessible, it's still quite a bit.  Give yourself some breathing room and watch it in 3 or 4 viewings.

And I do not want you to make any immediate decisions or changes to your life as a result.

I ask that you read this short piece to understand why the Crash Course is presented in the way that it is and why I request that you give yourself time to sit with this material before coming to any conclusions about what you need to do, if anything.

And I have designed this site with the intention of saving you time in your important quest to understand what is going on.  The very best articles I have found are located here, the best books here, the best internet sources here.

While these are almost certainly incomplete as sources for a complete economic education, they are also compact and digestible.

Lastly, sometimes a physical DVD is better than an Internet link.  If you want to share this work with someone who may not necessarily open a URL and watch a 3.5 hour program, you could always hand them a DVD, which I am providing at barely the cost of production when ordered in quantity.  

Again, I care about my country, I care about the globe, and it is my mission to help you and yours make the best possible decisions to prepare for an uncertain future.

Chris Martenson


Government offers to buy impaired 401k assets

Thursday, January 29, 2009, 7:53 AM

In a stunning move today, the government offered to buy any and all bad investments out of the 401k portfolios of private citizens in an effort to “make them whole.” The idea, apparently, is that these bad investments are dragging down the economy by making individuals feel poorer and thereby perpetuating the financial crisis. The government is exploring ways to create a “bad portfolio” and exchange freshly borrowed cash for these troubled assets.

While losses may run into the trillions, the government has strong bipartisan support for quickly passing the necessary legislation, bending rules along the way if necessary, to accomplish the goal of taking bad assets off of the hands of private citizens.

Wait...What’s that, you say? I have the story wrong?

Let me check here.

Oops. I do have it wrong. My bad. It turns out the government isn't going to buy your troubled 401k assets. 

Here’s the actual story.


Daily Digest - Jan 29

Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 5:08 PM
  • The game changer By George Soros
  • The Nation's Unemployed: Map of States (December)
  • Boeing plans to slash 10,000 jobs as the economy weakens
  • Plan for Banks' Toxic Debt May Be Unveiled Next Week
  • Seven Suggestions for Dealing with the Banking Crisis (Hat Tip Christopher Peters)
  • Fed Shift Complicates Job for Experts, Central Bank  (Hat Tip Trad)
  • Used Car Value Index (Chart)
  • CBOT Paul Ryan Letter
  • WWII Veteran Freezes To Death In Own Home
  • Flood of foreclosures: It's worse than you think 
  • Hamptons Prices Fall as Recession Hits Wall Street (Update1)
  • New York City fears return to 1970s 
  • AIG (AIG) To Pass Out Another $450 Million To Keep Workers 
  • Turning Japanese - The audacity of reality
  • History of Home Values (Chart From Quinn Article)
  • Foreign Holders of US Treasury Securities (Chart From Quinn Article) 

Daily Digest - Jan 28

Monday, January 26, 2009, 10:50 PM
  • World economy leads to currency instability and strong gold
  • In U.S., the new frugality has unintended consequences (Hat Tip CM)
  • The Great Experiment (Hat Tip CM)
  • Dr. Doom Video, 6 Million More Jobs Will Be Lost In 2009
  • S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index Declines by 18.2% in November 
  • Video Housing (Hat Tip VanityFox451)
  • Commentary: How to rescue the bank bailout (Hat Tip Christopher Peters)
  • New York Fed Names William C.

Daily Digest - Jan 27

Monday, January 26, 2009, 10:23 PM
  • Population growth is the biggest economic and environmental problem
  • How the Government Dealt With Past Recessions (2001 Audio)
  • 82,000
    Job Losses 
  • Job Losses (Chart)
  • Existing Home Sales (Chart Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate)
  • Home Inventory (Chart)
  • Fannie to Tap U.S. for as Much as $16 Billion in Aid 
  • Fed looks like one more shaky bank (Hat tip CM) 
  • Just 'plane' despicable; rescued Citi buying $50M jet 
  • Downturn Accelerates As It Circles The Globe (Hat Tip CM)
  • U.K. Economy Shrinks Most Since 1980, in Recession (Hat Tip CM)
  • 2009 Country stock market performance - things already aren't pretty(Table in article) 
  • Panel Discusses the Stimulus Package

New Martenson Report ready for subscribers

Monday, January 26, 2009, 4:05 PM

This will also be sent out as a newsletter in the next hour.

Link to:  Biting the Hand that Feeds


In this report I explore a troubling (to me) set of statements made by Treasury Secretary nominee Timothy Geithner about China being a currency manipulator" and the possible impacts of adopting that stance.

I think the worst is yet to come. I think we are only steps away from a major currency and banking crisis. I think that your opportunities to position yourself for that outcome are shrinking rapidly. I say much of this based on the alert I sent out earlier that focused on the troubling stock price performance of the biggest banks that head up the list of those institutions holding the largest derivative positions.


Daily Digest - Jan 26

Monday, January 26, 2009, 7:08 AM
  • Country Default Risk Continues to Rise
  • Nationalization Gets a New, Serious Look
  • Summers Says Economy Entering a ‘Difficult' Time
  • Office of the Special Inspector General Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP)/Congressman Bachus (Letter)
  • Lending Less (Table of the biggest recipients of U.S. capital saw loan volumes decline in Q4)
  • Roach: Worst is Ahead for the US (Video)
  • Another Lay-off Shock: Caterpillar (CAT) To Cut 20,000
  • Report: Birth Rates Fall In Tough Economy
  • Six Errors on the Path to the Financial Crisis
  • Gold Bubble Could Be Quite A Bubble, If It Takes Off (Hat Tip Jeff Borsuk)
  • Wasting Time At Davos
  • Governors seek concessions from public workers
  • No New News: Banks Won't Lend Money 
  • Did Americans think the US economy had bottomed in 1933? 
  • Tax law changes and banking
  • The "Wells Fargo Ruling"
  • (Letter) From FAF (Financial Accounting Foundation) to Barney Frank
  • SEC Altering the Rules
  • (Fast Track) FASB Amends Fair Value Measurements
  • (Fast Track) SEC Begins Mark-to-Market Study
  • (Fast Track) FASB Speeds up Fair Value Advice
  • (Financial
    Opinionators Say) By Relaxing "Mark-to-Market" Rules, Has the U.S.
    Switched Off its Financial Crisis Early Warning System?
  • (Recent News) Does Fair Value Accounting + Credit Default Swaps = Global Deflation?
  • Time to Unravel the Knot of Credit-Default Swaps