How Severely Will Asia Be Affected By the Global Recession?

The prognosis for Asia’s financial sector in 2009 is relatively better compared to other emerging economies and also compared to the region’s own experience in 1997-98. Even so, further GDP contractions and asset market corrections are likely as the external environment continues to deteriorate and domestic demand falters.

Asian economies do have fewer mismatches in external debt, lower imbalances in the government, corporate and banking sector balance sheets than their counterparts in emerging Europe, and as a whole used less leverage. Fortunately, ample foreign exchange reserves held by most countries in the region – even before the introduction of Fed swap lines and the IMF’s short-term liquidity facility – fully cover short-term debt and minimize the threat of a financial crisis. Intra-Asia swap agreements are helping provide liquidity to Asian countries with less ample reserves.

However, given the exposure of Asian economies to exports and to global liquidity, Asia is unlikely to lead the global economic recovery, being reliant instead on resumption of demand from the U.S. Even so, solid macro fundamentals and a greater capacity to take fiscal and monetary measures will help Asian emerging economies recover faster and stronger, as compared to others. Those countries able to take on more aggressive fiscal and monetary responses, will outperform – but some of the recent responses including those of China risk exacerbating, not reducing overcapacities and domestic imbalances.

There are five critical areas of risk for Asia’s financial markets in the coming months:

1. Asset Markets Will Witness Further Corrections:

·         Equities: Corporate earnings are yet to fully reflect the slowing sales in domestic and foreign markets and financing issues faced by firms. This implies equity market valuations are less appealing than they seem. Markets heavy on exports, commodities, banking, real estate and consumer durables stocks are being most affected.

·         Real estate exposure is the soft spot for Asia. With financing shortages and slowing domestic demand, further correction in real estate prices is expected in 2009. Commercial real estate is only now coming under significant pressure, especially in Asia’s financial centers but with the retrenchment of corporations further declines are likely, having a knock-on effect on construction.

·         Currencies: Deleveraging and easing capital flows will continue to take its toll on Asian currencies even as the export contraction weighs on the external balances of many and constrains countries from allowing currencies to appreciate. The deterioration of the global economy and need for dollar liquidity in Asia and globally will continue to support  the dollar in the near-term.

·         With both equity and property markets yet to hit a bottom, banks will face rising delinquencies and non-performing loans.

2. Government Debt Will Continue to Grow:

·         Fiscal stimulus spending and lower tax revenues are narrowing fiscal balances, pushing up government debt and financing needs. Bond issues have already been increased in the Philippines, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

·         While rising bond issues make yields attractive, investor interest in Asian bond markets might remain low in 2009 given the risk of domestic growth slowdown, credit crunch and rising bond issues in developed countries (considered a ‘safer-haven’).

·         Credit ratings of India and Taiwan have been downgraded on growing fiscal vulnerabilities while ratings remain ‘on watch’ for South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. Risk of sovereign default in Asia remains extremely low even in the case of Pakistan, where the IMF may step-up its rescue. In the case of Indonesia, the ADB may join in offering guarantees on bonds.

3.  External Debt Will Remain a Risk:

·         Currency and maturity balance sheet mismatches among firms and banks have declined since the 1997-98 crises. However, South Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam’s corporate and banking sectors remain vulnerable to short-term and foreign-currency external debt.

·         South Korea scores the lowest in the region on financial sector health. It has the highest loan-to-GDP ratio in Asia (of over of over 130%) with foreign-currency mismatches from bridge financing, and close to US$24.5 billion of foreign-currency short-term debt maturing in 2009, of which over half is held by branches of foreign banks. Currency swap lines with U.S., Japan and China only provide a band-aid. Asset quality is deteriorating rapidly as NPLs doubled in 2008 to 1.11% of total loans while delinquencies grew 46% y/y in December 2008, leading banks to curtail credit growth. Net interest margins (NIMs) are falling as the increase in long-term, high-rate bank funding via time deposits and bonds offset the Bank of Korea’s policy rate cuts. A government-backed bank recapitalization fund may provide some relief when it begins capital injections in March. But this may be offset by Japanese fiscal year-end repatriations, which could have Japanese investors refusing to rollover the US$1.98 billion of Korean short-term foreign-currency debt due in March.

·         Depreciating currencies pose additional risk to roll-over debt in South Korea, Indonesia and Pakistan. But swap lines with the Fed and with Asian central banks, as well as funds from multilateral agencies reduce the risk of default.

4.  Easing External Balances:

·         Contraction in exports in Asia through most of 2009 will be far greater than during 1998 or 2001, putting pressure on trade and current account balances. Export recovery in 2010 will be slow as deleveraging in the West will occur at a sluggish and prolonged pace.


0 Responses to "How Severely Will Asia Be Affected By the Global Recession?"

  1. Evelyn Guzman   March 7, 2009 at 7:03 am

    US economy is really the backbone of the world’s financial health. When US sneezes, the whole world gets a cold. And who is most vulnerable than the Asian countries that need the US market consumption of their goods? But with the lower US consumption, the Asian countries will have less revenues and so will have to rely on their own domestic market.Evelyn Guzman (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm

      Pre-Copernicus, it was believed that the sun revolved around the earth.

      • Cahill   March 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm

        I think the point is that right now, for the last 75 years or so it has been true that the US is the backbone of the worlds financial health. Before that it was Great Britain, before that probably France and Spain, and the list goes on and on back in time. When the time is up for the US someone else will fill the void. It’s the nature of man and nations.

    • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 9:02 pm

      “When the US sneezes, the world gets a cold.” Have you got anything less hackneyed? It’s not like we haven’t heard that before about six times (or more….what an understatement), and really…it only takes once.

  2. Gloomy   March 8, 2009 at 11:34 am

    “Trends research analyst Gerald Celente, who has risen in prominence on the back of his deadly accurate economic predictions, says that the collapse of financial markets heralds the start of ‘The Greatest Depression’.”In his latest Trend Alert bulletin, Celente attacks mainstream pundits who falsely predicted a market bottom and the start of a recovery, noting that conventional analysts have been proven ‘dead wrong’ again and that, ‘There will be no turn around in the second quarter of 2009 or 2010 or 2011.'”‘The global financial system, built on endless supplies of cheap money, rampant speculation, fraud, greed, and delusion is terminally ill and will not be coaxed into remission by stimulus packages nor restored to health by government buyouts and bailouts,’ writes Celente.”The most positive prediction that Celente makes is that the Dow will not reach zero, a tongue in cheek reaction to yesterday’s record plunge which saw the Dow rolled back to 1997 levels well below 7,000.”Celente warns that the first signs of real panic are starting to set in, unrest that will cause governments to ‘take draconian measures to prevent total economic collapse and public panic’.”‘Expect massive bank failures, runs on banks, and bank holidays,’ writes Celente. ‘Even if deposits are FDIC insured, quick access to money is by no means assured. At minimum, have reserves on hand for emergencies,’ he forecasts.”Celente cites gold as one of the few investments that will continue to rise in value, eventually reaching $2,000 an ounce and beyond.”Celente’s dire forecasts were initially scoffed at by the media but as the crisis has worsened, his credibility has soared.”Celente, who successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the US dollar, told UPI in November 2007 that the following year would be known as ‘The Panic of 2008′, adding that ‘giants (would) tumble to their deaths’, which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others.”

    • Anonymous   March 8, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      It’s commendable that Mr. Celente has had such success in forecasting catastrophes and it is unfortunate that many were not before better acquainted so as to avoid them.Erin

    • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

      Celente? Never heard of him (her?). Who cares? Try to get your head around this: if it’s worse than the great depression, where stocks went down 87%, the Dow will go further down than 2934. Don’t pretend you have your head around the problem if you “expert” has gold only at $2000–it may be worth MUCH more than that…….if…..the feds don’t outlaw its ownership. Not possible? Study your history. It was illegal for US citizen to own gold from 1935 through 1971.If the Dow goes below 2934, the only question then will be (as it is now): is this the bottom? You’ll be pissed if you’ve been in cash til then and the Dow drops another 1500…’ll then have lost half your wealth anyway.The point is: it’s really hard to get your head around how bad this could actually get. Be sober. Keep Obama-Democrats feet to the fire. We don’t need a meltdown, a panic at their “crisis,” just to get everyone sucking up their big government bail-out agenda.Do not let the government do anything more.

      • Mark   March 8, 2009 at 11:48 pm

        Also keep in mind that in all previous instances there’s been a rebound. This isn’t assured! It’s quite possible that the world’s growth has stalled and will never exceed recent levels.Mark

      • Anonymous   March 9, 2009 at 1:32 pm

        “Do not let the government do anything more.” Well, I would argue that most of today’s issues are the result of long years of deregulation and privatization. Lacking any true oversight, the negative aspects of the free market seem to have overtaken the positive ones. True, free markets operate efficiently, and everyone benefits from that. But on the down side, in an absolutely free market, you’ll never have an even playing field. The powerful and rich will always take advantage of everyone else, and that seems to be what has happened here. Those how knew how to do it misled the public about the value of practically everything and caused bubble after bubble after bubble. At the center of it all was Fannie and Freddie — who had become for profit institutions rather than government watchdogs. To the extent that the world financial crisis is tied to run up in home prices, I would say, it was lack of true government involvement in the completely unregulated mortgage industry that got us where we are now. Not everything the Government’s going to do will be right, or right for YOU, but in general, I don’t think there’s anywhere to go now, except to act collectively through the Government. Certainly, private enterprise on its own isn’t going to lead the way. If the government just let every business fail, we’d have 20% unemployment in a matter of a month or two, panic and riots in the streets a month or two later. It may come to that anyway, as it is already in Austria.

  3. Gloomy   March 8, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Gary Shilling Says U.S. Getting ‘Close’ to Depression

  4. PeteCA   March 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Here’s an interesting post about CDS … Scholes is one of the original researchers who figured out the way to price options. The Black-Scholes model (if I remember correctly). He received a Nobel Prize for his work in economics.He is now calling for the USA to essentially tear up all the existing CDS derivatives contracts – by resolving them at mid-market prices. See the article for specific details.Easier said than done … but it’s interesting that Scholes is calling for this move. We have speculated before on this blog that such a move might be contemplated sooner or later.Scholes also made another call that I think has a lot of merit. He suggested moving all the OTC derivatives out of the hands of the banks and putting them into a publicly traded exchange. What this would effectively do – is cause all these contracts to become transparent and to be priced at fair market prices. That would be a major move to transparency, if it occurred.Any chance of this actually happening? Not a snowballs chance in h***, if you ask me. It’s not likely the banks are going to expose this OTC debacle to public scrutiny at this stage. The losses could be enormous!But this is the kind of thing that Obama should have contemplated seriously – instead of the concoction of expensive rescue plans and stimulus bills currently under way.PeteCA

    • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

      Pete,Your comments are generally well-received, but unfortunately impractical; interesting as hell, educational and all, but devoid of insight into the end game. OK, well fair enough, none of us can predict the future, certainly I can’t. My question to you is this: have you REALLY gotten your head around this meltdown in the financial system yet? If so, what’s your wisdom about investments, given what you see as the endgame?

      • Mark   March 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

        Pete’s comments are NOT impractical. His comments are generally timely and relevant. For the few times that he states his own calls he has been fairly accurate. But, I don’t see that he throws out wild forecasts. He’s got a pretty good idea what all this means, if I may speak for him :-)This will all end up like the Soviet Collapse, only there will be no outside investment that will cycle things back around. We’re going back to reality, and a more sane world…Mark

      • Jason B   March 9, 2009 at 5:08 am

        Dude, settle down and read Pete CA. You might learn something. Don’t try to play with the big dogs yet, grasshopper.

        • jugglingcdos   March 9, 2009 at 9:29 pm

          aaahh someone is learning chinese proverbsi see youre prepared JB to bow down to your new mastermuaahahahaha

      • MM CA   March 9, 2009 at 1:29 pm

        after this stupid statement there wont be many people looking for your comments…..

        • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:04 pm

          He’s working his way through the regulars on the board. I stopped paying attention after he attacked PJB multiple times one evening.

  5. wawawa   March 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Karl Denninger’s letter to Obama..

    • Pecos Banker   March 9, 2009 at 7:19 am

      It’s very discouraging to read this, not because of the depressing message about what happens if fraud is not punished, etc, but rather because, as London Banker, pointed out, Obama is simply an American Tony Blair who is turning his back on the people who voted for him, and Geithner, it turns out, engineered the Indonesian debacle while working for the IMF and, is basically there to protect Goldman Sachs. There is basically no hope. Remember, folks, it was the pessimistic Jews who saw the writing on the wall with Hitler and escaped Nazi Germany before it was too late. It’s useful to read what should be done, but the fact that it will not be done practically shouts “Sauve qui peut!”

  6. PeteCA   March 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Chinese Yuan-Dollar Peg – Deliberate Strategy ??There has been a lot of debate over the years about the currency peg that the Chinese maintain on the yuan. The peg means that the exchange ratio between the yuan (renminbi) and the US dollar essentially remains fixed. Actually, the Chinese were allowing a small amount of flexibility in the peg. But lately it has become fixed again. To accomplish this goal the Chinese are effectively forced to spend excess dollars going into China – by recycling them back into the US economy (usually as Chinese purchases of Gov’t debt). If the Chinese suspended all purchases of US debt, they would be forced to allow their own currency to rise in value.The standard economic thinking has been that the yuan-dollar peg needs to be broken at some time … as China becomes wealthier it’s currency should rise against the American dollar. Likewise, “normal” thinking is that the Chinese do not want to take this step because it could involve some further de-stabilization of their economy e.g. more factories out of business and higher unemployment.Let me suggest a bold alternative theory. It could be quite wrong. But it’s worth mulling over.What if the yuan-dollar peg is in fact a very deliberate strategy by the Chinese to collapse the US economy? In essence, the strategy is no different than the popular martial art of Judo. In judo, you seek to destabilize your opponent by making his body tumble about a pivot point … a point that causes the opponent to lose his balance and control. That is what is happening to the USA right now. The US economy is plunging towards a depression because America cannot re-gain competitiveness against Asia (due to many factors, but the currency adjustment would certainly help alleviate that strain).So you cannot dismiss the point of view that the Chinese may have a very definite plan to crash the US economy, by keeping the yuan-dollar exchange rate fixed. The Chinese may be willing to tolerate some dislocation in their own economy, if the gain is that they bring America to its knees.PeteCA

    • crgordon   March 8, 2009 at 12:49 pm

      It would seem this potential strategy you float has as an outcome of a serious decline in the value of USG-backed assets held by the Chinese. Not a rational approach, IMHO.And there are better minds than mine to step back through thousands of years of Chinese thoughts and actions to support/disprove the Chinese view of the world as it relates to their inclination to bring a foreign power “to its knees” via its economic ties. That strategy seems to be more in line with colonial powers and I am unfamiliar with China’s colonial past although quite familiar with America’s colonial past including the use of economics to stabilize/destabilize its friends and foes. One could turn your argument around and suggest the US is willing to dislocate its economy in order to gain ultimate economic dominance over the world.I frankly believe either hypothesis is somewhat fringe thinking but great for the conspiracists to wrap their minds around and feed into their paranoias.Although normally aligned with your posts, this idea seems unbelievable.

      • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm

        You say you are “ unfamiliar with China’s colonial past.” Then why not get in touch with China’s post-colonial here and now.Who wants to understand criminals? There is hardly a man alive who does not remember the inhumane dictatorship of Mainland China, with her sacrifice of 65 million lives to redistribute the wealth; who does not remember how the “people’s revolutions in China, Russia and Cuba and other communist countries brought about extreme inequality , where the “race for power” began and the “abler men” were those “strong enough to dominate the state and rewrite or interpret the law.” (Will Durant)Surely, you would not, with even a rudimentary understanding of America’s colonial past where the only objective was to be free in a country where every inhabitant would have the equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, surely you would not sell that birthright for enlightened totalitarianism. Would it not be better to defend that gift of freedom against its abusers, for have we not been warned “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance”?As Emerson wrote: “In nature, nothing can be given all must be sold.”Have you looked at the price tag of totalitarianism–at home, or abroad?

        • crgordon   March 8, 2009 at 4:26 pm

          Dear g,Your strong biases as to China and the US is evident – China=Bad, US=Good. Living outside the US, it is much less evident of what defines Good/Bad and especially in the context of the US and China.In much of the world the US has been seen as a bully and bad player – no wonder so when ex-President Bush remarked that the US Constitution was only “a g*ddamn piece of paper”. Sounds more like a totalitarian who doesn’t understand the underlying concepts of the document.Meanwhile, the last eight years of Bush/Cheney have moved the US considerably closer to the totalitarian side of the ledger. So, permit the rest of us who are not residing in the US to be confused as to the intentions of the US. I find no threat from China where I live in Latin America but I do find consistent attempts by the US to bully the region.There is no schadenfreude in witnessing the demise of the US. At some time though, a little humulity from the US would be apprecated for precipitating the financial mess originating in the land of the free.

          • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:08 pm

            So, because of Bush and Cheney and Obama and Clinton we should throw out American freedom and totally extinguish the light of freedom, and trash this land of opportunity? Americans should just give up and go back to the dark ages of slavery and poverty? It’s so easy and simplistic, isn’t it, to accuse the Shepard of what the sheep do? You flippantly say, ignoring the silent screams and anguish of the oppressed throughout the years, if the US is gone, I’m sure we can work with China. How can people who value freedom talk with someone like you?Will the Palestinians ever be allowed to be free, or you, if this American superpower is allowed to remain in the hands of the people whose aims are similar to those of the Chinese?A totalitarian regime means total control. In China they can come and get you and take you and kill you and nothing ever happens. It has not come to that, yet, in the USA, but that doesn’t mean anything to you. One is as good as the other to you.At the moment, with all the abuses, the US still has the potential as a free beacon in the world. There are enough good men left in America that value her liberties who will not allow a few to blot out the memories and experiences of her past. ‘We…would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

        • rohelio   March 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

          Whew!’America’s colonial past…. only objective was to be free in a country where every inhabitant would have the equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’Guess you haven’t seen ‘War on Domocracy’or ‘Hearts and Minds’ or ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ or ‘War Profiteers’etc etc. Perhaps you don’t recognize that the current bailout thievery and our powerlessness to realize rational solution is the new totalitarianism (at home and abroad).

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 1:48 pm

      Would you rather be in a position to lose all your reserves or have absolutely none to begin with? China will suffer but we will weep.

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm

      “Chinese do not want to take this step because it could involve some further de-stabilization of their economy e.g. more factories out of business and higher unemployment.””If the Chinese suspended all purchases of US debt, they would be forced to allow their own currency to rise in value.”———How about, after they close more factories and see higher unemployment, they may realize it makes since that they allow their currency to rise and support internal consumption.One would need to be naive to not consider your/my hypotheses of the long term plans that may or may not be motivating the Chinese.hlowe

    • Wolf in the Wilds   March 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm

      The question is what excess dollars. With the destruction of demand from the global markets, China will not have continue to build reserves because they are not getting more USD. Look at Japan. That is another example where previous surpluses are becoming deficits. When the requirement for raw material go higher due to the fiscal infrastructure spending, China is going to see the same thing. Watch the current account and financial reserves number in the next few quarters in China. It is going to be interesting.

    • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 9:44 pm

      OK, so if this is a Chinese strategy, what is their wisdom? It’s one thing to speculate on their strategy, but unless you understand their wisdom on this issue (and indeed, unless it is truly wise), your conjectures are merely that, conjectures. Do you have any special knowledge to share about their thinking? Make it make sense to me. Personally, I don’t think the Chinese have a say in it at all. They are ruled by a cruel military dictatorship, not all that much unlike Cuba in philosophy, and we all know how successful that economic system has been. My point is: don’t invest in “Chinese” thinking (or, for that matter, their economy) until/unless you can understand it well enough to explain it to your grandmother.

      • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:36 pm

        Now there is a valid point not to be taken lightly–“don’t invest in ‘Chinese’ thinking until/unless you can understand it well enough to explain it to your grandmother.”Dorothy Gilman wrote in 1966 in “The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax”–The Chinese are very patient, they build for the future. They are not taken seriously yet as a major power, but see what they have already accomplished. They have fought and won a small slice of India. They have their finger in a dozen pies in southeast Asia. They are proving extremely successful in infiltrating Latin America–every Communist party there has its Mao-ist wing. They now have trade relations with most of Western Europe and with Canada, Australia and Japan. They have exploded a primitive atom bomb… The Chinese have arrived in Europe.As for the Chinese–they look ahead. (Copyright 1966)

    • Anonymous   March 9, 2009 at 1:42 am

      Just like export subsidy or import tariff, the undervalued yuan benefits the chinese producers and the u.s. consumers. I guess the economic pie would be bigger if the chinese government allow yuan to float freely(appreciate). But then the chinese will probably get a smaller slice of the pie. I don’t think there is some conspiracy on the chinese side to wreck the u.s. with peg.

    • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 7:19 am

      Hi Pete, I live in China and have for about 6 years now. I have often thought that China has played the currency hand poorly. They have accumulated way too many dollars and now have difficulty as to how to dispose of them. If they sell en masse, they destroy the value of the remainder. If they hold they face a slow depreciation.Kind of the theory, If I owe you 10 dollars, I have a problem. If I owe you a million dollars, you have a problem.

    • PhilW   March 9, 2009 at 8:19 am

      I dont see that the Chinese would have any interest in doing this. They are not communist any more and they are overtaking the US anyway along the capitalist road.Now if you suggested fundamentalist Saudis……Who have the wealth, the oil, and the religious motive……Would make Bin Laden look pretty primitive..

      • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 10:04 am


  7. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    A weekend debate has evolved between advocates of the economic system bequeathed the Nation by the Founders and the advocates of neo-socialism. America’s economic system, rooted in freedom and free enterprise, has systematically been torn out these many years by a ruling banker plutocracy using “force.” It now is morphing rapidly into a system whereby the State picks the favorites, Stalinism. Here is but one of the bitter fruits along this “road to serfdom”:CHAPTER 19 (excerpt)“THE COMMUNIST THREAT IS ALL IN OUR MINDS”Using aggression domestically creates a foreign enemy here at home.Creating PovertyBecause of this win-lose belief, most of the wealth in Communist countries is taken from its creators at gunpoint, if necessary ,and is distributed by a handful of government officials. People who create more wealth than others seldom benefit by having more for themselves or their loved ones. Aggression has disrupted the marketplace ecosystem so much that the Wealth Pie is just a fraction of what it otherwise would be.How much difference does aggression make in the size of the Wealth Pie? In the late 1980s, Soviets were allowed to keep the wealth they created by raising vegetables on their garden plots. Although these plots composed only about 2% of the agricultural lands in the Soviet Union, they produced 25% of the food! (1) When Soviets kept the wealth they created, they produced almost 16 times more than when it was taken from them at gunpoint, if necessary! (2)In 1913, under Czar Nicholas II, Russia was the world’s largest food exporter. In 1989, it was the world’s largest food importer. (3) Clearly, the creation of wealth in Russia has been dampened tremendously by communism, even compared with a czarist regime that could hardly be considered free from aggression.A small Wealth Pie means fewer goods and services. In 1987, less than three-fourths of the Soviet housing had hot water; 15% of the population had no bathrooms. (4) Twenty percent of the urban residents breathed air that was dangerously polluted. (5) One out of three Soviet hospitals had no indoor toilets; some didn’t even have running water. (3) Needles for intra-venous injections were used over and over again, spreading hepatitis and AIDS. (3) Most hospitals had no elevators; the ill had to drag themselves up several flights of stairs. (6) While the life expectancy in Western nations has risen, that of the Soviet population has declined. (8) Alcoholism runs rampant as people try to forget their plight. (9) Poverty has been the bitter fruit of aggression.“…violence is the cornerstone of socialism’s existence as an institution.”- Hans-Herman Hoppe, A THEORY OF SOCIALISM AND CAPITALISM

    • weedy seadragon   March 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm

      g,i see socialism as both a political and economicsystem while capitalism is purely an economic requiring a political partner to do it’s enforcement. fascism ( one option )is capitalism with control of the powers of enforcement through the state in the hands of the individuals profiting from the capital generatedby the corporations and the either case the solution is the same.enlightened defiance and resistance and correctiveadjustment or overhaul etc.violence is the cornerstone of 90% of written history.

      • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 9:49 pm

        good grief, you’re so weedy you can’t be understood

        • weedy seadragon   March 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm

          c,sounds pretty straight forward to me?

    • Mark   March 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm

      At the barrel of a gun… Here in the US it’s done through laws, laws of course, which one does not adhere to, results in the guns being brought out (except for those who steal LOTS of money).I detest piousness.Mark

  8. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm“We will continue to forcefully deploy all the tools at our disposal as long as necessary to support the restoration of financial stability and the resumption of healthy economic growth.” Chairman Ben BernankeBig News Flash: Bernanke is going to use force to fix his financial system. So what’s new? The Fed bankers have been applying maximum force for years. Just like a Bataan Death March, we have been marching with bayonets at our backs till we’re now nearing the cemeteries.

    • PeteCA   March 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm

      “So what’s new?” … Precisely. The market is fast reaching the point where it doesn’t care at all what the Fed says, or what tools Mr Bernanke thinks he still has “in his toolbox”. Very likely, the Fed could be dismissed as not relevant to the market going forwards. Some commentators, such as Prof. Hussman, have often argued that point anyway.PeteCA

      • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 10:00 pm

        If this is an accurate quote from Bernanke, someone should inform him that his words would become more “forceful” if he would use the English language properly. You’re never supposed to split an infinitive. You don’t say “to forcefully deploy” anything. You say “to deploy forcefully,” or “forcefully to deploy,” etc. The word “to” preceeding a verb (in this case “deploy”) is not to be separated (split) by an adverb (“forcefully”). To do, to come, to ejaculate—these are infinitives in the English language. They are not to be split. When you hear someone split an infinitive, and especially if they WRITE a split infinitive, you can believe they are a lightweight; and whatever they have to say can be taken with a grain of salt.

        • Jason B   March 9, 2009 at 5:15 am

          A split infinitive is an example of hyberbaton. Hyperbaton is a figure of speech in which words that naturally belong together are separated from each other for emphasis or effect. I believe it is appropriate in this instance.

      • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 10:41 pm

        MOG,you are not exclusively a techno-ignoramus.

  9. blindman   March 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    don’t even bother trying to post before i am…without ideology! forgiving the first axiom ofmy faithless heart…” the great way has no gate..etc.”AND herebyFIRST sol. vibrating to the duality of oureverlasting predicament. ongoing….informed by the one, affected by the other,stilll.. FIRST.

    • I confess   March 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm

      a, b, c, d, e, f, g…

      • blindman   March 8, 2009 at 8:26 pm

        i,i beg you elaborate! to no avail?

        • Mum of   March 8, 2009 at 10:49 pm

          that was me, sweet blindman: Mom of God. I just lovelovelove the book of fish and especially am struck with awe at the bit where he confesses: the alphabet.the wee post was just a ‘covert hello’ to you, really. didn’t mean to mess with yr head. (and i hope mama’s frypan is light aluminum and not cast iron, tee hee) exhausted now. see u soon-ish.

  10. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    California State Senator Tony Strickland told KGO radio’s Brian Sussman that 42% percent of Californians don’t pay income taxes. That’s why an interesting tidbit in this morning’s San Francisco column from Willie Brown, state Democrat strongman, really hits home.It concerns Republican Senator Abel Maldonado, the ‘republican” who turned on his fellow party members to cast the deciding vote against his party’s “hold the line” stand and, instead, joined the Democrats to put through one of the largest tax increase budgets in California’s history.Writes Willie, after Maldonado came to see him:“I was telling him what a good name he has, because no one can figue out if it is Spanish, Italian or Portuguese.“He proceeded to tell me that when he was running for state controller in 2006, he commissioned a poll to gauge the feelings of Republican voters in Orange County.“The poll came back showing him losing to the Democrat by almost 2-1.“’This is impossible,’ Maldonado said. ‘Orange County is loaded with Republicans.’“They did the poll again and the results were the same – the Democrat won.So Maldonado ran a little test. He had the pollster go back and give voters the same information as before – his age, that he’s a rancher and the like – but this time, he said, tell them the candidate’s name is Smith.“The result: Smith came out ahead.“So he ran another poll, a Republican named Garcia vs. a Democrat name Smith.“Smith won again, even among Republicans.“At that point, Maldonado said, ‘We’re not spending another nickel – there ain’t no way that anyone with a Spanish name is going to win anything in a Republican primary in this state.’“He was right, in his case at least – he lost the primary to Tony Strickland.“And that is why Maldonado insisted on an open primary in return for voting for the budget.”

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm

      Maldonado is a hypocrite who uses “racism” as a weapon as justification for socialist confiscation in a state that has served him well, where Hispanics numbered 13,074,156 (35.9%) and Whites 15,722,701 (43.1%) out of an estimated population of 36,457,549 in 2006.Maldonado was graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, the son of immigrant farm workers. His family now owns a 6,000-acre coastal California strawberry farm, employing 250 people, with produce shipped around the world. He is a former mayor of Santa Maria. At the age of 31, Mayor Maldonado was elected to the California State Assembly with 60% of the vote in the 33rd District, representing San Luis Obispo and western Santa Barbara counties. Maldonado was reelected in 2000 with 65% of the vote and in 2002 with 63% of the vote.In 2004, Maldonado was elected to the California State Senate by a margin of 53% to 43% in a gerrymandered district spaning San Luis Obispo County, most of Monterey County, eastern Santa Cruz County, portions of northwestern Santa Barbara County, and portions of southwestern Santa Clara County.In 2005, he declared his candidacy for the office of California State Controller and was defeated in the Republican primary by Tony Strickland.Following his “loss,” Maldonado publicly tarred Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with the racist brush for not supporting his campaign more forcefully, suggesting that Schwarzenegger doesn’t care about Hispanics, when he told the Los Angeles Times that “[w]hen [Schwarzenegger] needs Latinos, Latinos are always there for him. When Latinos need him, the answer’s been no.”Well, Maldonado certainly was “there” for Schwarzenegger and the Democrats, and Schwarzenegger certainly was “there” for the Hispanics — when it came to taxing the racist 58%.Reference:

  11. Morbid   March 8, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Hayes Mark-To-Market post from previous threadCould we have some discussion on the following – a what-if kind of discussion. For example if such a thing is implemented does this add Gloom to Gloomy’s gold bets? And so on…Could the Professor also weigh in on this issue.

    Given that the markets are tanking and the solutions proposed to date have had minimal impact it may well be that the Financial Services Committee recommends a suspension of Mark to Market.It is my guess that the markets will anticipate this and a substantial rally could take place this week e.g. 2000++ points on the Dow. I am seriously considering moving into finanicals / broader S&P Monday in a big way with the intent of selling into the announcement (this is not advice).Personally I think that suspending Mark to Market is an act of desperation and the final confirmation that the financial system is done. It will take some time for that realization to sink in but when it does the markets will tank. Of course if they do the right thing and go along with the December 30 recommendation the market will not react kindly.Wednesday, 4 Mar 2009These Stocks Could Skyrocket 100%, Says Jon Najarian”If that meeting results in the government relaxing mark-to-market rules, Najarian thinks the stock market could explode. “ guess it depends on what he means by “explode”Hayes

    • PeteCA   March 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

      If you look at the statistics, we are long overdue for a bear market rally. Such a rally, when it does occur, will probably be a sharp, steep climb in the Dow. That’s simply because a lot of people will (temporarily) drop their PUTS or their investments in inverse ETF’s. If you want to try to play it … good luck. If you are nimble you could make some good money. But timing it is tricky. It’s far from clear when such a bear market rally will really start. In the end, in the grand scheme of things it’s meaningless in my opinion. Wherever this economic decline is going, we are nowhere near the bottom of consumer demand yet.PeteCA

      • Hubbs   March 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

        I know this comment may sound like a well, “Duh!” remark, but the longer we go without a bear market rally, the more dire the situation becomes for a steady or even accelerating decline in the stock market. The absence of even a small bear market rally would suggest that everyone, from the private investor to the hedgies, knows that the game is up, no matter how much jawboning the administration does. Talk, like the printing money, is cheap.

    • Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 3:42 pm

      relevant links from my post in the prior thread plus some additional links FASB157 ( the Mark to Market rule ). Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 note Section 132 and 133, which give SEC the authority to suspend Mark to Market. SEC rejects M to M in 12/30/08 press release full SEC report Page 7 contains the rationale for not suspending M to M:

      – Fair value and mark-to-market accounting hasbeen in place for years and abruptly removing itwould erode investor confidence in financialstatements.-Fair value and mark-to-market accounting donot appear to be the “cause” of bank and otherfinancial institution failures.- Mark-to-market accounting is generally limitedto investments held for trading purposes and forcertain derivative instruments; for manyfinancial institutions, these represent a minorityof their total investment portfolio.-Over 90% of investments marked-to-market arevalued based on observable inputs, such asmarket quotes obtained from active markets.-Investors generally agree that fair valueaccounting provides meaningful and transparentfinancial information, though improvements aredesirable.

      Thursday March 12 at 10am The House Financial Services Committee will conduct a hearing on M to Mthe following are Chairman Kanjorski’s (D-PA) comments on that hearing and may provide some clues to its outcome:

      “Illiquid markets have resulted in great difficulty in valuing sizable assets. Some have therefore complained about fair value accounting and sought to eliminate it. While companies need stability, investors still need accurate information. We therefore cannot allow for fantasy accounting that wishes away bad assets by merely concealing them,” said Chairman Kanjorski. “As a result, we will seek at this hearing to engage in a constructive, thoughtful conversation with a diverse range of viewpoints aimed at identifying fair-minded, incremental, and achievable fixes to this problem. In short, I want to find a way – within the existing independent standard-setting structure – to still provide investors with the information needed to make effective decisions without continuing to impose undue burdens on financial institutions. Each of our anticipated witnesses will have the opportunity to contribute as we all pursue consensus solutions together to this thorny, contentious issue.”

      WaPo article on M to M a good article from the WSJ last October on M to M

    • Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 5:13 pm

      The following is an excerpt from Mary Schapiro’s testimony at her January 9 confirmation hearing for Chair of the SEC.10. The SEC recently issued a report supporting the existing mark-to-market valuation rules, but recommending some improvements. What is your view of the current mark-to-market valuation rules?Response: We know that certain banks were not presenting investors with the full picture of their financial health, utilizing off-balance sheet vehicles and other accounting methods. This was a disservice to investors as the integrity of the numbers is critical to their making smart investment decisions and to the smooth functioning of our markets. While there are a lot of different views on whether mark-to-market accounting contributed to this crisis, my personal view is that it was not a significant factor. As Chair, I will read the recent SEC report on this matter fully, talk with other regulators, and get their views as we move forward.

      • Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 5:20 pm

        for what it is worth here is Turbo’s perspective during his hearings:25) The SEC recently issued a report supporting the existing mark-to-market valuation rules, but recommending some improvements. What is your view of the current mark-to-market valuation rules?The role of accounting and reporting standards is to help provide investors and the capital markets with sound, unbiased financial information. Mark-to-market accounting and reporting helps protect investors, promote transparency and market integrity and act as a risk management tool.26) Do you believe U.S. banks have fully applied mark-to-market valuations to the structured finance transactions on their books, including asset-backed securities, credit default swaps, and CDOs? Do you believe inaccurate valuations are currently impeding U.S. credit markets? If confirmed, what actions would you take to insure accurate book valuations for U.S. banks?I believe bank regulators could be part of the solution in helping institutions ensure that they help all employees and officers fully comply with all applicable accounting rules. Inaccurate asset valuations have contributed to investor distrust about the information available to them in making investment decisions.

    • Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

      here is a blogger with an interesting perspective/strategy

  12. Gloomy   March 8, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    THE ROAD TO COLLAPSE OF FIAT CURRENCYEnormous supplies of treasuries are starting to be brought to market, yet the treasury market stays afloat as money comes out of stocks and “flees to safety”. This support will fall away when the market bottoms (a long way down from here) when there is little money left in the stock market to flee to “safety”. This point will mark the inflection when treausuries start to fall of a cliff and aggressive government purchases of treasuries begin. This point will also mark the beginning of the end for fiat currencies as confidence collapses in them and panic ensues.

    • Hubbs   March 8, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      Good thought Gloomy. In addition to the four bears chart, I think it would be nice if we, or rather PeteCA, could locate a chart for readers (the simpler the better), if there is one, which plots the declining net asset value of the broad stock market index, say the Wilshire, vs the nominal value of outstanding treasury debt, and the projected increase in treasury debt issuance.

      • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 8:14 pm

        There are two top video picks today on Bloomberg predicting “recovery” by the end of 2009: “Joy Says U.S. Economy to Recover in Second Half of 2009” and “Maki Expects ‘Modest’ Economic Growth by End of 2009.” But, often, what is good for the stock market is not always good for the economy, and vice versa.Throughout history and until recently, investing in the stock market was considered a form of gambling, which of course, it is – it’s placing a bet on the future. To me, it’s like a poker game. When the game’s over, at the end of the evening some of the players leave without any chips. The question to ask is, in a “recovery who is it that recovers and who doesn’t? There are some who say that the reason there eventually will be a market upswing is because there is always a bottom. But there can be elongated bottoms. This crisis is somewhat different and it’s just possible that for once, the American people aren’t going to be the losers and the financial power brokers the winners. In other words, if there is a recovery, this time it may be the people who recover and not the bankers. This time, the economy may trump the stock market’s powers that be.Alphonso Caponi, who spent lavishly on his own pleasures in the 1920s, dropped more than $10,000,000 into the bookies’ tills at the race-tracks (he always bet for a win, and he usually lost), and was also addicted to craps and roulette. “But he studiously avoided the stock market, denouncing Wall Street as a ‘crooked game.’” (Al Capone: Mary Letts)It has always disturbed me that politicians writing laws to benefit Wall Street have forced so much 401(k) money that people can’t afford to lose, into the stock market.

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 9:07 pm

      Gloomy, Warren Buffett refers to the Treasury bond bubble that, it would appear, is bound to pop when interest rates finally are forced up to combat the “onslaught of inflation” Buffett mentions. This from page 15 of 22 of Buff’s “Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letter to Shareholders 2008” issued February 27, 2009:The investment world has gone from underpricing risk to overpricing it. This change has not been minor; the pendulum has covered an extraordinary arc. A few years ago, it would have seemed unthinkable that yields like today’s could have been obtained on good-grade municipal or corporate bonds even while risk-free governments offered near-zero returns on short-term bonds and no better than a pittance on long-terms. When the financial history of this decade is written, it will surely speak of the Internet bubble of the late 1990s and the housing bubble of the early 2000s. But the U.S. Treasury bond bubble of late 2008 may be regarded as almost equally extraordinary.Clinging to cash equivalents or long-term government bonds at present yields is almost certainly a terrible policy if continued for long. Holders of these instruments, of course, have felt increasingly comfortable – in fact, almost smug – in following this policy as financial turmoil has mounted. They regard their judgment confirmed when they hear commentators proclaim “cash is king,” even though that wonderful cash is earning close to nothing and will surely find its purchasing power eroded over time.And this from page 2:This debilitating spiral has spurred our government to take massive action. In poker terms, the Treasury and the Fed have gone “all in.” Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel. These once-unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome after effects. Their precise nature is anyone’s guess, though one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.Moreover, major industries have become dependent on Federal assistance, and they will be followed by cities and states bearing mind-boggling requests. Weaning these entities from the public teat will be a political challenge. They won’t leave willingly. comments and subheads are taken from the March 6 article “Motley Fool Is Dead”:The Next Great BubbleAnd then there’s Buffett’s prediction of the next bubble, the US Treasury bond bubble of late 2008, a time when briefly, investors were effectively paying the US Treasury to hold their money. Yes – yields or short-dated US bonds were negative.Today, the returns are not much better, with 2-year US Treasuries yielding 0.9%, and the 10-years yielding 2.8%. The yields are effectively saying there won’t be any meaningful inflation over the next 10-years…Look Out Zimbabwe…Here Comes The United Kingdom…Manoj Ladwa…says printing money may lead to hyperinflation. He is not alone.Writing about the government and central banking strategies, in his annual letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett said “…one likely consequence is an onslaught of inflation.” Buffett’s letter was published a week ago. Nothing much has changed since.Send More MoneyHe said the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 and probably well beyond. No change there. He said that conclusion does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall. No change there, except this week, it has chosen to fall rather than rise. He said America’s best days lie ahead. No change there.The gilt and Treasury bubble is in full swing, aided and abetted by central banks, including our own Bank Of England…Bubbles Go PopBut that’s the thing with bubbles. You don’t realise you’re in one until it’s too late. Take the internet bubble… The same goes for oil…This bubble will be no different. It will probably carry on for a little longer, as most bubbles tend to, but burst it will. As Buffett said less than a week ago…”Clinging to cash equivalents or long-term government bonds at present yields is almost certainly a terrible policy if continued for long.”Just Say NoSoon, people will start saying no to 2% savings accounts. They’ll look for another place to park their money…

  13. A regular guest   March 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Dear MoG,I have a few observations and a suggestion for you, if that’s all right? Unfortunately, I’m not exactly sure how to order my thoughts, so I hope you’ll bear with me.I’ve been coming to this blog for about 14 or 15 months now, off and on. Mainly, I come to read through the comments, because there are some very helpful, smart people who visit and provide links and news stories and opinion pieces from other sites, not to mention offering their own thoughts and observations. Regrettably, I haven’t been involved in following these subjects for most of my life, so I’ve come to depend on the folks who post here to help keep me abreast of what’s going on. The appreciation that I have towards the professor for providing this forum, and the people who post here, is not something that I can adequately express.Occasionally, there are people who take things a little further than merely commenting on the blog post or the subsequent comments. Sometimes people are okay with that, sometimes not. Yesterday, in my opinion, you took things a little further.It is obvious to all here that you are a very concerned person with extremely well thought out opinions and theories regarding the current state of the nation, and the world for that matter. We, possibly better than most, understand your desire to wake everyone up and guide us all towards the light, so to speak. I respect you a great deal, not only for giving the matter such consideration and thought, but for sticking with it even when it appears that nobody is paying you any mind.However, and perhaps I am only speaking for myself here, I feel that it is not right for anyone to use the platform and forum of someone else (who has spent a lot of time and effort in building up a site with content and readers) as a platform and forum for one’s own ideas. And I don’t mean in a few comments, because all of use share our own ideas whenever we post anywhere. I mean to the length and extent that you displayed yesterday.If you truly want to get your ideas out there, and this is the suggestion part, why not start a blog of your own? Continue to frequent and post at this forum and any others you visit, but keep your comments somewhat briefer, and include a link to your blog, noting that you will discuss these subjects in greater depth there and invite others to comment. The added benefit is that you will have all of your comments, opinions, and discussions in one place. You can direct anyone to it at any time, and refer back to it easily when you wish to find any of your prior writings.I know that you’re aware of the popular saying “you can lead a horse to water”, and I hope you understand where I’m coming from when I say that your posts yesterday made me feel as though you were trying to force the horses to drink.In closing, I hope that I have not upset or offended you or made you feel attacked in any way, as that was not my intention. Actually, I agree with some of what you have to say, but I felt myself balking at the insistent manner in which it was recently posted. Please continue to comment here, though.And of course, you’re welcome to ignore all of this, as it is only one person’s opinion and suggestion.Respectfully,A regular guest

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm

      I agree totally.

    • Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm

      I enjoy the diversity of this board

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 7:07 pm

      I enjoy the diversity too, which is part of the reason whyI object to reading over a dozen posts nearly in a row fromthe same person, each one becoming progressively longer. I’mtempted to go somewhere else for the content, except that Ihaven’t found another site or blog yet that has a more informedfollowing. Oh well.

    • Mother of God   March 8, 2009 at 7:28 pm

      I don’t understand – do you think I have magic power to prevent others posting?? Would the person whose head I held a gun to please step forward?Someone very frustrated (and I certainly know why) had actually called for death to libertarians – that’s why I posted, that’s why I thought my posts were needed and would be extremely helpful. We are trying to keep people from getting killed – at least EYE AM. So, take out the emotive, replace with rational argument – that was my whole and sincere intent. Yet, no one objected to the call for death for others – they just object to my rational observations.It is to me truly bizarre how people refuse to engage the big-picture message, and without disputing a bit of it they feel free to advise me on style, tactic, blah blah blah! People are not being serious, they are not seeing reality. I get responses ranging from infantile to silence.Please stop and think rationally, and please give me credit where credit is earned. I consciously and actively tried to respect the community by waiting until the weekend to post a careful and thoughtful analysis of the right-libertarian *mess-o-no-think* that has proliferated here, I purposefully chose the time when traders are not trying to communicate timely information that may or may not affect their actual personal wealth: you know – their money – that stuff I insist is vital to survival since it is everyone’s food, medicine, etc. My belief in not interfering with anyone getting their own self-earned wealth is not just talk – it’s my walk. Are there people in here who are going after and getting so much they are in the top 1% of the world’s wealth-holders? I very seriously doubt that, but anyway, am I not concerned and caring in my plan for their best interests just as much as for everybody else’s? I am nobody’s enemy. Who else besides me says let them poor uberrich come down from their perilous, unhappy heights- stop calling for their heads on a plate and do the rational thing: don’t allow overfortunes to form – they are bad for the overfortunated as they are for those who are robbed! Who else says to them: you can be a million times happier – you can be welcomed back into the arms of your fellows – sit down – have a beer – how’s your wife and kids? Shall we throw on some great music and shoot some pool?Who here caught up so unhappily in this crisis still does not see the crucial necessity of vigorously pursuing the errors in our thinking and misconceptions in our fundamentals?If my posts appeared back to back it’s not because of anything I did – it’s because – write this down – nobody else was posting at the time, which means I cannot rationally be thought of as interfering with the blog or others’ rights in any way – doesn’t it? And I’m taking the liberty to say here that whereas I strive for all of my posts to meet the tests of ‘does this bring light instead of heat’ and ‘how does this help move us along toward peace and justice’, and still I am fair game for harsh treatment, posts from others which demonstrate a lack of rigorous thought, lack of honest, unbiased discussion, lack of light and fellowship…those are ok posts. If my posts appeared back to back it’s because I withheld rebuttals of mis-thinking that had appeared for many many days to stay out of the way. Why is a trickle of partially-stated-partially-presented responses deemed preferable in your view, to my using a true lull (it must be luff?) to present you the option of reading a little well-reasoned big-picture perspective?I could not in a million years contort myself into all the various forms it would take to please everyone’s various fancies, and I’m sorry but there simply is no soundbite or paragraph that can contain the tremendous good sense of what I have been showing you.Take me out of the picture – now talk to what was said. Everything I’ve said is trying to show you that it’s just you and reality – you being supremely threatened by reality.Lastly, the only people with the right to kick me out of here are Dr. Roubini and his moderators, and in order to see me leave all they would have to do is ask me to stop posting. I would thank them for their rare forum, for their utterly fair and democratic treatment, for the privilege and gift of having been allowed to post here. I would give them my sincere compliments for running the most uncensored, fair-minded blog forum I have personally ever seen, I would tell them their integrity and honorable actions are priceless to this poster – and then I would get out of their hair, giving them sincere good word of mouth gladly. I would hope they would remember me as one who bothered to come to their defense whenever I saw them unfairly criticized. I couldn’t leave without finally apologizing to them for having once suspected they might boot me off for putting up chapter 6. I have always felt ashamed that I so underestimated their integrity. Perhaps they will understand that it was because other places have lower standards than theirs and I expected this site might be the same until I came to know it better. I was wrong – happily- and gratefully.Also I would thank the good Nouriel Roubini for his hard work before I left. What a brilliant intellect you were gifted with, Doctor – and you certainly made the most of the chances you had to get yourself a good education. And you use your brawny brain to help us all understand and navigate (and I even caught you finally say the words ‘inequality of wealth’ last weekend in our mail update, didn’t I – or did I dream that?).Doc, I’ll never forget when you testified in front of congress last fall and one of the critters asking you a question said, when you finished (your rational, comprehensive, straightforward answer): “I guess there’s an answer in there somewhere.” Doc? I actually spit soda I was drinking, it was too hilarious. But it was tragic, too: the dumb-dumbs-in-charge of running the biggest superpower ever, ignorant even to the fact of having a master-understander before them, giving them the straight dope. I wonder to this day what went through your head when he said that. The icing on the cake for me was the congress critters coming up to you after the testimony to get your business card. Too funny.Whatever, people. Happy Sunday night to yiz and I hope our gracious host finds rest and restoration after all his far-flung travels. My heart skipped a most respectful beat when I read his words the other day: “I am worried about every part of the world”.

      • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 7:42 pm

        All of your posting yesterday was merely in objection to someone else’s prejudice? Wow, I never picked up on that. Maybe a lot of your points are getting lost in the amount that you post. And are you saying that you’re leaving the blog? I didn’t see anyone telling you to leave, or did I miss something?

        • Mother of God   March 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm

          My posts were not ‘merely’ ‘an objection’. They were good analysis of accepted error and were chock full of essential truths derived by careful observation and critical thinking and using logic and sound reasoning. Point out the part that isn’t, or it isn’t there. My posts are not philosophy hanging in the air tied to nothing, they are always grounded in the observable facts of reality. The above post does not say I am leaving because some objectors would prefer it – it says the opposite.

          • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm

            Whoa, hey, I’m just saying that you’re using a whole lot of text to get your messages across. As for leaving, my mistake — it looked like you were implying that people were trying to get you to leave, and sounded like you might. Looks like I wasn’t the only one to get that impression, eh? Carry on, and you have a good sunday eve too!

      • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 7:46 pm

        Did you ever think that we are not interested in reading all of your mindless blather

        • Mother of God   March 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm

          If you can’t point to the “mindless blather” part IT ISN’T THERE. QUOTE ME AND LET’S DISCUSS IT.

      • A regular guest   March 8, 2009 at 7:53 pm

        MoG,I am sorry for hurting your feelings. Please accept my apologies. I don’t want to be responsible for your leaving. I only thought that it would help your cause to have your own site where you could expound upon your subject to your heart’s content, attracting those who agree with you and are intrigued by your theories. Again, I apologize to you, and to the board for mishandling the situation.Respectfully,A regular guest

        • Mother of God   March 8, 2009 at 8:10 pm

          I am not upset with you in the least. You have not driven me off. I do find it odd that people take the time and paragraph to focus on me instead of on the mother of all messages. I am resigned to whatever treatment I receive here – it does not matter what happens to me, only the message that can save the humans and planet matters.I am a techno-ignoramous, know zero about making a blog. I post a couple places and meet with people in person to teach the principles of pay justice. It takes ALL my time.

          • A regular guest   March 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm

            Thank you, I’m glad that you will still be around. I must have misunderstood what you were trying to say.As to the blog-making, I truly believe that it would be a great thing for you to try out. You really need a place where you can stretch out, so to speak, as your ideas are far bigger than a comment section can contain. If you have the time to post these long comments at this site, then surely you have the time to post them to a personal blog first, and then simply copy over a few paragraphs to comment sections of other blogs like this one, and link up to your own blog?Try WordPress ( or Blogger ( They are extremely easy and user-friendly, I assure you.Respectfully,A regular guest

          • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm

            MOG,You are not exclusively a techno-ignoramus.

      • Jason B   March 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm

        Try limiting your comments to the topic at hand, and to 250 words or less.If you have your own topics (ie: pay justice), or want to engage in verbosity, start your own blog. Then you can decide on the topics and write as much as you want. Hijacking others blogs is poor internet manners.

        • Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 9:12 pm

          I think MOG would be happy to do that – perhaps someone here can assist in helping to set up a MOG Blog – as for the topic at hand – in my experience these threads stray far and wide from the original article – skipping over long posts is not a huge burden – but as always balance is generally a good thingAs most here know our economic crisis is rapidly morphing into something much more severe – London Banker’s post that was referenced in the previous thread speaks to that.

          • A regular guest   March 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm

            The MoG BlogWhat a great name, Hayes, I really like it.MoG, if you experience any difficulty in signing up and using a blog account at either of the sites I mentioned (that is, should you decide to create one), I would be happy to help you with it. Please let me know if you’re interested. I feel badly for how I handled this and would like to make it up to you if I can.Resp,A regular guest

        • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:21 pm

          I concur. Only fair to the professor.srv

      • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm

        I meant Death to the Libertarians but of course not in the literal sense. Their belief system is fatally flawed and should die especially after what our society has all been through with the Rush Limbaugh poisonous brain washing religion. The Libertarians are starting to gain a lot of grass roots momentum and I want people to be very aware as to how flawed, fanatical and religious like their belief system is. It was every bit my intention to rile up people like MOG who is a powerful thinker. There are a lot of common people feeling disenfranchised turning to Ron Paul and a lot of what he represents is plain o’l cooky. It needs to be exposed for the dangerous religion it is. MOG don’t listen to the posters who are threatened by your heart felt honesty and profound intelligence. It’s no different than if you were to tell a conservative christian to prove the Mother Mary was a virgin, besides starting a huge fight they would ultimately resort to it says so in my bible the same thing Libertarians are forced to do when you ask difficult questions they instantly reach for their bible of economics-all debate and future thought is road blocked they know it all. So take all the time you need in your post and the hell with anyone who’s got a problem!

        • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 12:28 am

          Are you the person who, on the previous thread, equated libertarians with neo-conservatives?Would you please define neo-conservativism? I have done extensive searching on the subject this evening, and can find at least a half dozen definitions. It would seem that nobody can agree on exactly what it means, other than that it was often used by people to differentiate themselves from those whom they strongly disagreed with.I know many libertarians, and I would never have thought to apply any of the descriptions I found in my search to them. Certainly, I would never in a million years classify any of them as being “cooky”, dangerously religious, or any of the other over-the-top descriptions that you used. Maybe those whom you’ve come in contact with are different where you live?I’m still interested in how you define a neo-conservative, though.

          • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

            It means a lot of things but around here since this is an economics forum it’s generally associated with their well known reputation for being Laissez Faire capitalists beside believing in war as a deterrent of future wars the cornerstone of their belief system is to shrink the government so small you can drowned it in the bathtub. Libertarians are known for being even more anti regulatory/Laissex Faire capitalists. The Libertarians don’t seem to understand or completely ignore the fact that private ownership can easily circumvent democracy, in that corporation and powerful elitists rule like quasi monarchies like we’re all seeing now with how beholden our government is to big banks and too big to fail corporations. Power left unchecked grows until it stomps out all competition and creates slave labor. Libertarians completely ignore any of Marx’s concerns about the real threat of private ownership. What’s made this country so great the last 50 years was a government who countered big business and excessive private ownership with slanted taxation and vigilant regulation, anti-monopoly laws etc.

          • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:24 pm

            Ok, ignoring all of your other conceptions for just a moment (incidentally, I asked how you defined neo-conservatism, not how you think the board would in terms of economics), I’d like to concentrate on just one. You said that “Libertarians don’t seem to understand or completely ignore the fact that private ownership can easily circumvent democracy, in that corporation and powerful elitists rule like quasi monarchies like we’re all seeing now with how beholden our government is to big banks and too big to fail corporations.” And then you went on to say “What’s made this country so great the last 50 years was a government who countered big business and excessive private ownership with slanted taxation and vigilant regulation, anti-monopoly laws etc.”So let me get this straight. We’ve never had libertarians in major control of government, and yet, we’re exactly where you feel we would be if libertarians were in control. I seriously don’t get it. Our government is bigger with more powers than ever before–we do have excessive private ownership, slanted taxation, did have vigilant regulation (until the Fed artificially mucked with the interest rates and the government encouraged Freddie & Fannie to have a monopoly on questionable mortgages, etc., etc.), and I won’t even touch the anti-monopoly laws while we’re living in a world of Microsoft and Walmart. And yet somehow, in the face of all of this, you feel that we should have even more government? Have you completely gone round the bend?No need to answer that last question. It was rhetorical.

          • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:44 pm

            While I’m at it, as long as we’re on the subject of vigilant regulation and big business, how about that new CPSIA law? It’s allegedly designed to keep kids safe from harmful things in toys and clothing, but the side effects are that only large well-established companies and manufacturers can play the game now, as only they can afford the testing involved. Smaller companies and businesses, individual toymakers and clothing manufacturers (even on home business sites, like etsy and ebay), secondhand stores (goodwill, salvation army, etc.), and consignment shops must decimate their offerings and/or completely go out of business.How exactly does something like that support your idea that more government is better government? How does that take away from big business and support anti-monopolies, when in fact, it seems to do the exact opposite?

      • End The Fed   March 8, 2009 at 9:47 pm

        Often times the issue is not what is said, it is the manner of delivery. Verbosity combined with the certainty that yours is the “mother of all messages” is a turn off. Be careful not to come across as a megalomaniac. We are interested in your ideas, but we don’t want to be bludgeoned by them. You could establish your own forum for that.Just my two cents, intended with respect.

        • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:23 pm

          Listen I’ll admit my verbiage was a little over done but I’m witnessing the collapse of my country and the worlds economies and it was largely caused (as the Prof. repeats like a mantra) by a Laissez Faire economic ideology and now the Libertarians who are even more extreme Laissez Faire capitalists are trying to take us even further down that same road with an almost condescending an absolute authoritative delivery of message. Now given the fact my family may soon be suffering as a result of economic chaos an equally convincing counter may in fact be due. While the intellects were busy drinking tea with their cookies Rush Limbaugh was successfully brain washing the masses with emotionally charged overly simplified deception, I will fight with strong language if need be to help prevent the same thing from occurring again.

          • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

            And yes un-apologetically I am right too.

          • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:38 pm

            “–with an almost condescending an absolute authoritative delivery of message–“Interesting choice of words.

          • Mom   March 8, 2009 at 11:17 pm

            You won’t hear an argument from me, Guest – no, not even against your strong statement. As i said, i totally understand it – and sought to give the ‘whys behind’ the errors in right-libertarian dogma. You are so correct that Dr. Roubini’s advice is always struggling to get past the noise made by these wingnut thugs and they are indeed putting us all in the way of diabolic harm – and they need to be countered, their insanity needs to be exposed, they need to be hoisted on their own petards – by exposing their irrationality. We would be stupid to bring plastic cutlery to their knifefight – we have every right and duty to be heard, to stop their lunacy if we can. They do not have any right to take us to armageddon with them – to the armageddon they would create if let.These quotes are for you, Guest:”I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there no cause for severity? I will be harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present.I am in earnest. I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat an inch – AND I WILL BE HEARD. The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and to hasten the resurrection of the dead.The party or sect that will suffer by the triumph of justice cannot exist with safety to mankind. The state that cannot tolerate universal freedom must be despotic; and no valid reason can be given why despotism should not at once be hurled to the dust.The apologist for oppression becomes himself the oppressor. To palliate crime is to be guilty of its perpetration. To ask for a postponement of the case, till a more convenient season, is to call for a suspension of the moral law, and to assume that it is right to do wrong under present circumstances.Nothing can take precedence of the question of liberty. No interest is so momentous as that which involves “the life of the soul”; no object so glorious as the restoration of a man to himself.Has not the experience of two centuries shown that gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice? Is there an instance, in the history of the world, where slaves have been educated for freedom by their taskmasters?With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost.”-William Lloyd Garrison 1805 – 1879proud company to keep!

  14. Cahill   March 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Sorry to bump from yesterday’s post:Pure ignoarance. What you just wrote and believe is my GREATEST fear. Your theory of pay injustice is fine, and makes great sense. Your attack of a belief is completely unacceptable. Because libertarians believe that the money they earn lawfully is theres they are evil? You should narrow your attack to those that earn it unlawfully or immorally and not attach it to every hard worker who thinks they are entitled to keep their own money. You include MANY who are not wealthy by any definition that believe this. Narrow your manifesto to the super rich who are truly the beneficiaries of pay injustice. Peoples own selfishness and greed create pay injustice. There have been thousands of opportunities to shut out the walmarts and bank of america’s of the world. People could have used their local bankers and forgone an additional quarter of percent interest. Townspeople could have paid an additional dollar for milk rather than flock to walmart to save 10% till they drove the local competition into the dirt. WE THE PEOPLE could have taken our stand many years ago but instead sold our birthright for cheaply made chinese and malaysian shit. Blame all of us, republican, democrat, libertarians and another group you can think of for we are ALL GUILTY of allowing this to occur. Not teaching our children right from wrong, not caring for others as we do ourselves, for believing everything is acceptable as long as it makes us feel good. Our founding fathers would be sick if they saw this society. I know it makes me sick and for our greed, pride and selfishness we will all now suffer the consequences that come.Hide replies Reply to this comment By Cahill on 2009-03-08 01:47:02Couldn’t agree more!MarkReply to this comment By Mark on 2009-03-08 03:54:28 Cahill,You are an honest man. Thank you for saying the above. We all need to hear it at so many levels until it sinks in. WE ARE THE EVIL in so many ways it is hard to count them all. Our level of consciousness taken to so many areas of the outer as well as the inner world is severely lacking. We are failing as a species to adapt which does not bode well for our survival. I guess we will go the way of the Neanderthals and Nature will conduct further experiments since all I can see looming in the near future is WWW III as nations compete for resources and with nukes in the mix, well… Further,Where is She? Where is the BLACK SWAN event that surely must pile onto this dung heap of misery we have brought on ourselves.The world is headed for a collective JOB experience. Read Jung’s Answer To Job if you want to get an inclining of what the archetype of the Apocalypse has in store for humanity.Hide reply Reply to this comment By Morbid on 2009-03-08 07:30:46Job’s travails and tribulations were a test of his spiritual faith, and in the end, it was his spiritual faith that gave him the strength to survive the painful losses imposed by that test and ultimately prosper again.SWKReply to this comment By kilgores on 2009-03-08 08:25:55 It’s both laughable and pathetic that you describe what I wrote as pure ignorance. It is your view that ignores the bits of reality it pleases you to ignore. My view is of the big-picture reality, which is what it is no matter what either of us thinks of it. You are providing positive proof that I have it right – because your view illustrates the insistence on blindly believing that what is lawful is just – and no more thinking allowed. You deny that legal theft occurs. You are blind. It is just as I said: libertarian thought stuck in everyone’s head is precisely what enables wealthpower giants to exist and to determine what history will be.And again, go ahead and attack the messenger: I will die soon, but the reality will still be there and it will keep biting you.Hide reply Reply to this comment By Mother of God on 2009-03-08 08:44:58What are you talking about? I never said law was just. Trust me I am sick of our “laws” where the guilty are protected and the innocent have no justice. No trust me, if it was up to me, every murderer, rapist, and child molester would be put down permanently. Bernie Madoff would burn in the middle of wall street for all to see and many many injustices done in the name of the “law” would be undone. Your ignorance is in targeting one belief system (if it really even is a belief system) and not expanding the guilt to all of us. I agree with your big picture view of pay injustice, did I not state that in the above? But how does your theory of libertarianism apply to people like teachers, or pastors, or social workers or any number of people who make less than $75,000 combined married that still believe in libertarianism for themselves? Why do they want to give their money to the government. And I will tell you to go look for statistics, you will see that it is blue collar america that believes in libertarianism. I absolutely admit that legal theft occurs, and I HATE it. But your attack on one system is assinine.Reply to this comment By Cahill on 2009-03-08 15:59:15

    • Cahill   March 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      Morbid,I spent yesterday at home with my wife and 18 month old son. It was a beautiful day and he and I were in the back yard playing with his ball and the dog and just enjoying life. For months I’ve been worried about what I can do to prepare my family for what is coming and I think i’ve done all i can though I know it will not be enough. So yesterday I just played, I let go, I quit worrying and I enjoyed every second of the leizure we had in the warm sun and soaked every bit of in. I only hope that my son will remember those times when things change.

      • Chignos   March 8, 2009 at 10:52 pm

        Good for you Cahill. No one can predict the future….no one. You’ll be very wise to enjoy your young son. No one can predict that it won’t be a much more wonderful future than we can envision, so…..why plan for the worst? Why not plan for the best?

  15. pa   March 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    i)what really is cash on a balance sheet?ii) Is the sec less enthusiastic about adopting IFRS?

  16. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    This sounds like agitprop, i.e., promotion of political propaganda by the bureau of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union of American States in charge of agitation and propaganda. What else would identify the actions of persons fighting to survive a predatory state as “betting” ?Consumers Find Betting on Gas Prices Brings Heating-Bill HazardMarch 6 (Bloomberg) — The 70 percent freefall in natural- gas prices since July hasn’t helped Louis Huguelet, a widower who shares his five-bedroom house in Oak Forest, Illinois, with two daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren.That’s because 17 months ago, fearful of soaring heating bills, the 62-year-old crane operator locked in his gas price for five years with U.S. Energy Savings Corp., a retail marketer. As a result, Huguelet’s January gas bill was about $50 higher than it would have been under the regulated rate charged by local utility Nicor Gas, based on a comparison of bills.Half of U.S. residential gas customers, some 35 million households, are in states that allow them to shop for the best gas price. Trying to lock in a cheap gas price is usually a losing bet, consumer advocates said.“We don’t know anywhere in the country where it is working for consumers,” said David Kolata, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of Illinois, which estimates that 91 percent of all gas-purchasing plans offered in the state lost money for consumers. “You have people paying far more than they should for an essential commodity.”Allowing consumers to price-shop for their gas is the result of a decade-long effort to open the retail market to competition, according to the Energy Department in Washington.Enrollment in such programs rose 11 percent to 4.6 million in 2007, the department said. The number of New York households placing bets on gas surged 14 percent in the 12 months through November as prices were rising, according to state data…

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 7:20 pm

      Government leaders not only collect money from the citizens and spend it wherever they want, they pay people to think up names for all their programs, policies and administrative units. “War Department” becomes “Department of Defense,” earmarks aren’t pork they’re ‘infrastructure projects,” and tax and spend is better known as “revenue enhancement.”The government can’t handle all the name changing and image building by itself, however. So there’s the Washington Press Corps to lend a hand and sympathetic journalists sprinkled throughout American society. And, of course, there’s the financial media, i.e., Bloomberg.

  17. Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    an interesting article from Henry BlodgetHow Low Can The Market Go?

  18. Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Global Economy to Shrink First Time Since WWII, World Bank Says

    March 8 (Bloomberg) — The global economy is likely to shrink for the first time since World War II, and trade will decline by the most in 80 years, the World Bank said today.The World Bank’s assessment is more pessimistic than an International Monetary Fund report in January predicting 0.5 percent global growth this year. The Washington-based World Bank didn’t provide a specific estimate in its report.World growth will be 5 percent below its potential, the bank said. Developing nations will bear the brunt of the contraction. They will face a shortfall of between $270 billion and $700 billion to pay for imports and service debts, the bank said.“We need to react in real time to a growing crisis that is hurting people in developing countries,” said World Bank President Robert Zoellick in a statement. Action is needed by governments and multilateral lenders “to avoid social and political unrest.”East Asia will be hit the hardest by the decline in global commerce, the bank said. Global industrial production is expected to be as much as 15 percent lower than in 2008.The World Bank said that a surge of debt issuance by rich nations risks “crowding out many developing country borrowers, both private and public.” Emerging nations that can access capital markets will be forced to pay higher rates of interest.The report said that 94 out of 116 developing countries had experienced a slowdown in economic growth, with poverty increasing in 43. The result, the bank said, would be growing dependence on foreign aid.Justin Lin, the bank’s chief economist, said that developed nations should funnel part of their stimulus spending to poorer countries where it would be more effective at boosting demand. Channeling infrastructure investment to the developing world can have a “bigger bang for the buck,” he said.

  19. Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Lots of good charts from dshort

  20. Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    I must be alone hear this evening – notwithstanding, I suggest a visit to Drudge – I’ve never seen him so negative – and as you know the MSM gets a lot of their news bites from the Drudge Reoprt

    • PeteCA   March 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm

      Hayes: I decided to take a look. Have not visited this site before. Frankly, the layout is a bit confusing. Where are the comments on the economy?PeteCA

      • Hayes   March 9, 2009 at 9:39 am

        Pete – Drudge is early Web 1.0 (actually more like 0.1) a true anomaly – he basically posts links and in some cases gets fed rumors that he also posts – the traffic stats on are awesome:VISITS TO DRUDGE 3/09/09018,313,679 IN PAST 24 HOURS718,904,071 IN PAST 31 DAYS7,688,846,283 IN PAST YEARhere is a wikipedia link that discusses Drudge

    • Guest   March 8, 2009 at 9:17 pm

      Hey, Hayes. I’m here. Two’s company. But I’m getting ready to visit Drudge–I always follow up your tips. :)

  21. blindman   March 8, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    mog,not to interfere with the serious economicsof the thread, i would just like you to knowthat i love you too, but, slightly resent thatyou deem me unfit to father competent or should i say exceptional offspring would be insulted and my wife wouldmost likely just laugh, after she hit me from behind with her favorite frying pan.anyway, you can keep trying to educate me and the rest of the ignorant world as you see fit, yourheart is stunning, even i can see that all the way from where ever it is that i am?peas. grow some peas.

    • Mom   March 8, 2009 at 11:28 pm

      sugar snaps, like always. can’t wait for garden season! i’m doubling the size of mine this year (after doubling it last year!) you and yours are invited for a feast any time, b. (and now i’m really going to bed – g’nite)

  22. Hayes   March 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    some good reading from Setser’s latest offering:The shadow financial system – as illustrated in three new papers that cut through the London fog

  23. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Karl DenningerMar 9, 2009Just so you have a short list of what’s at stake if Washington DC doesn’t change policy here and now (which means before the collapse in equities comes, which couldstart as soon as today, if the indicators I watch have any validity at all. For what its worth, those indicators are painting a picture of the Apocalypse that I simply can’t believe, and they’re showing it as an imminent event – like perhaps today imminent

  24. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Karl DenningerMar 9, 2009Just so you have a short list of what’s at stake if Washington DC doesn’t change policy here and now (which means before the collapse in equities comes, which couldstart as soon as today, if the indicators I watch have any validity at all. For what its worth, those indicators are painting a picture of the Apocalypse that I simply can’t believe, and they’re showing it as an imminent event – like perhaps today imminent

  25. Guest   March 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Obama Picks: Krueger, Cohen, WallaceTOP REPUBLICANS SAY BANKS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO FAIL | International Herald Tribune (global edition of the NYTimesNEW YORK (March 8): John McCain and Richard Shelby, two high-profile Republican senators, said Sunday that the government should allow a number of the biggest U.S. banks to fail.”Close them down, get them out of business,” Shelby, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said on the ABC television program “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “If they’re dead, they ought to be buried.”While the Alabama senator did not say which banks should shut down, he suggested that Citigroup might be on that list, saying the bank has “always been a problem child.”McCain, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” echoed that sentiment without identifying banks. McCain…accused the Treasury Department of avoiding the “hard decision” to let “these banks fail.”The department made its own news Sunday, filling three of the top positions under Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Alan Krueger was named assistant secretary for economic policy; Davis Cohen was chosen as assistant secretary in the office of terrorism and financial intelligence, and Kim Wallace was named assistant secretary for legislative affairs…The withdrawal last week of Annette Nazareth, Geithner’s prospective deputy and a former commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission, touched off questions about whether staffing problems might be slowing the administration’s response to the economic crisis…Obama made clear in an interview published Sunday in The New York Times that he did not want big banks to fail, saying his administration “would take more significant action to deal with those institutions…””We should give it some time to work,” Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said of the $787 billion stimulus package…Krueger, a longtime Princeton economics professor, was chief economist at the Labor Department under President Bill Clinton. Krueger wrote a column on economics for The New York Times from 2000 to 2006… Cohen was until recently a partner in the law firm of WilmerHale… Wallace was previously a managing director at Barclays Capital. From 1989 to 1994 he served as a legislative aide to George Mitchell, who was then Senate majority leader.

    • PeteCA   March 9, 2009 at 12:19 am

      Also true for most members of the Finance and Banking Committee. There’s plenty of blame to go around. But things are starting to get a bit nasty now, aren’t they?PeteCA

  26. Pecos Banker   March 9, 2009 at 5:37 am

    Pete and others–this concerns a post by a guest who got sick eating non-organic food. I posted it on the wrong thread this morning.Pete,Guest probably got sick because of GM food. Unlike Europeans, we Americans are not given a choice about eating GM food. Which foods are GM and which are not is not disclosed to us. I’ve seen estimates of 80% of the vegetables we eat are GM. So far the label ‘certified organic’ means the food is not GM. This could change.What is wrong with GM food? Essentially, the pesticide is inside the plant and is generated by the plant itself. Another type of GM food is ‘Roundup Ready’. These plants, such as soybeans are engineered so that they can be sprayed with three times the amount of Roundup without dying. Meanwhile, the ground around them is virtually sterilized. This is not how GM was originally advertized. It was claimed that GM would create enhanced nutrition with more vitamins, etc. Instead we get more profit for chemical companies and possibly greater risk of cancer for people. Each time I return from Europe, I get sick on American food. This happens every single time. Whereas, when I eat European vegetables, my digestive problems disappear. I’m convinced the difference is due to GM vs non-GM foods.Reply to this comment By Pecos Banker on 2009-03-09 05:25:35

    • PeteCA   March 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

      Pecos BankerI was wondering if guest got sick because he/she had some sort of blood sugar issue. A disruption to daily diet, which subsequently changed the blood sugar pattern, could certainly cause a bad reaction if the person was somewhat hypoglycemic.I didn’t think about the GM food issue. Your comments about switching between European food and US food are very interesting.Personally, I have long wondered if the issue of pesticides in food is causing a lot of problems to Americans (incl. cancer). Pesticides are some of the most lethal chemicals ever invented. The supposed “safe levels” may in fact not be safe at all, esp. for some people. I think a lot more research is needed on this topic personally. Where possible, my family also tries to eat organics, esp. because we have kids. But i agree with the poster – organics are getting much more expensive!PeteCA

  27. Jason B   March 9, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Its become obvious that MOG is a troll. A wordy troll, but a troll.Dont feed the troll.

    • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:44 am

      It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jason B is a control freak. Hey if you don’t like powerful enlightening messages being delivered by the most honest and intelligent people then aim to take away their platform. Jason you’re stupidity is now desperate.

    • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

      Or a blog parasite looking for a blog host.

      • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 10:16 am

        What the hec is that supposed to mean? Someone can’t post and must do so in a regulated manner because they’re accused of being a parasite? It sounds no different than a “red scare” tactic. Round up the parasites their message is threatening, when all it really does is expose the insecurities and flawed rational of the poster calling for censorship. Maybe you’re the parasite?

        • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm

          mog was originally saying that she was objecting to someone’s death-to-libertarians rant, then turned around and agreed with the same person’s further ranting about alleged fanatic near-religious-zealot libertarian-neocons, and you think that other peoples’ supposition that this person might be a possible troll or parasite is a “red scare tactic”? um, ok, sure, whatever you say.

          • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 7:26 pm

            That’s a complete lie the original guest who is I may have concerned MOG with my over the top rant but was also perhaps the inspiration for her to passionately elaborate in great detail on what I was expressing in frustration. She merely said she was surprised how everyone jumped her when it was I who was calling for the death of a political group(though not literally) to prove a point. She basically was pointing out how stupid all the objectors were to jump all over her instead of me and quite frankly I agree it does indicate a certain level of ignorance.

          • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:52 pm

            Look, she’s the one who said she was being the only person on the board to object to the “death threat” (yes, I’m paraphrasing), so I would think that she would also object to the further ranting if she was not in agreement with it. However, what she said was “You won’t hear an argument from me, Guest – no, not even against your strong statement. As i said, i totally understand it – and sought to give the ‘whys behind’ the errors in right-libertarian dogma.” You won’t hear an argument from me, Guest – no, not even against your strong statement. Tell me how that is not agreeing with the ranting? And she was “jumped” (your word) because she kept going on and on. People usually ignore one or two troll-like outbursts, but they tend to jump on board when it becomes more than a dozen.

    • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

      I wouldn’t necessarily say troll in the traditional sense, but definitely someone who craves attention and ego-fulfillment moreso than the average person.

      • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 7:27 pm

        If you got it flaunt it baby!

  28. Jason B   March 9, 2009 at 6:06 am

    May I also recommend that the administrators of the blog enforce a maximum post size, and block flooding (serial posting)

  29. Octavio Richetta   March 9, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I believe I have not posted for almost two weeks now. I went away to Patagonia for a short vacation while WW equity markets continued their steady nosedive. I haven’t done any analysis to confirm this, but the cliff diving we have witnessed YTD, and in particular after February 5, is unprecedented. It reminds me of the relentless vertical move in the other direction (vertically up in late 98/early 99) which wasn’t resolved until 2000. So the million dollar question now is whether even though stocks may be somehow undervalued, they may still go lower and stay there for quite a while.I don’t keep track of my posts but right before the first Obi housing plan came out, I said hat if that didn’t do the trick the next stop would be S&P500 @ 600. It looks like I might be right on that one.Where I have not been right is in my investing. The only trade I have done since my last post on the subject has been selling GLL at an 8.5% gain. I wish the rest of my portfolio was doing that well.YTD, I am 11% down, 14% down if you take the low volume leap positions in my portfolio at the closing bid for the last day of trading instead of the last trade, which Fidelity uses to price portfolios conservatively.Even though it is true that one can not time markets to the day, Obviously I have done MANY things wrongly. I will enumerate some of them here so that people may learn from them:1. Not sticking to my call late last year that 2009 will be a year when cash would be king king.2. Not sticking to my strategy of only jumping into equities when the ECRI people (i.e., Achutan’s WLI) gave the “all clear” signal.3. Jumping in long too quickly when the SP500 started trading around 800-850 instead of slowly dollar-cost averaging in (To put it simple, greed).4. Over confidence from my great “lucky trade” in financial late last year (this oen should be #1)In terms of the economy, there isn’t much to add to the great analysis here (I haven’t has the time keep up with reading the threads lately). I am now working on my 2009 taxes and will start posting more frequently once I am done with that.

    • OR   March 9, 2009 at 8:18 am

      2008 taxes:-)

      • Hayes   March 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

        you’ll like this

    • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 10:15 am

      I enjoy watching the stock market from your portfolio — it is very helpful and insightful. Incidentally, my stash dropped like a rock a week ago — on BAC and GE. I know, I know…

  30. Hayes   March 9, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Depression Dynamic Takes Hold as Markets, Banks Revisit 1930sMarch 9 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. economy’s vital signs may not confirm a diagnosis of depression. The symptoms increasingly point to one.As in the Great Depression, world trade is collapsing, wealth is evaporating and the banking system is broken. Deflation is a growing threat as companies slash production, pay and prices. And leaders worldwide are having difficulty making headway in halting the self-perpetuating decline.“We are tracking 1929-1930,” says Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley.The result: This contraction may leave …

  31. Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:26 am

    What would you do if you lost your job today?

    • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:44 am

      Why? Did you loose your job?

      • Guest   March 9, 2009 at 8:58 am

        More like taken then lost.

  32. PeteCA   March 9, 2009 at 9:36 am

    News today …”OMAHA, Neb. – Billionaire Warren Buffett said unemployment will likely climb a lot higher depending upon how effective the nation’s policies are, but he remains optimistic over the long term.Buffett said the nation’s leaders need to support President Barack Obama’s efforts to repair the economy because fear is dominating Americans’ behavior and the economy has basically followed the worst-case scenario he envisioned.”It’s fallen off a cliff,” Buffett said Monday during a live appearance on CNBC. “Not only has the economy slowed down a lot, but people have really changed their habits like I haven’t seen.”Looks like I’ve found something that I can agree with regarding Warren Buffet. US unemployment is definitely going a lot higher, and there is a fundamental change in American buying habits that has not been seen before.PeteCA

    • MM CA   March 9, 2009 at 9:45 am

      Really though, as honest as Buffet comes across I don’t think he is too worried because he and his are safe forever…. he has way too much personnal wealth to be overly worreid. he does care, but his reality and those of the other 300 million americans is different. I agree unemployment will go higher and I predict 15% by the time it levels off. U6 rate will be 23-30%.We dont make make or porduce anyhting anymore and you cant have 75 million people/workers staring at computers pretending to make anyhting.

  33. Guest   March 9, 2009 at 9:52 am