Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor

RGE Monitor – Weekly Roundup

Greetings from RGE Monitor!   

Check out all the great contributions that were published during the past week on RGE’s Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor, RGE Analyst’s EconoMonitor, Finance & Markets Monitor, Peterson Institute for International Economics Monitor, Global Macro EconoMonitor, U.S. EconoMonitor, Emerging Markets Monitor, Asia EconoMonitor, Latin America EconoMonitor and Europe EconoMonitor.

On Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor, Nouriel discusses the extent to which the U.S. labor market is struggling as job losses are likely to continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest, and the unemployment rate will most likely peak close to 11% and remain at a very high level for two years or more.  Please read The Worst is yet to Come: Unemployed Americans Should Hunker Down for More Job Losses

Please watch Video of Roubini Speech in Tel Aviv.


On the RGE Analyst’s EconoMonitor, as President Obama met with Chinese leaders this week, external pressure is building on China for currency appreciation. But Chinese officials will be reluctant to undermine the nascent exports recovery, particularly if it seems to be ordered up from overseas. Adam Wolfe and Rachel Ziemba look at the internal and external pressures on the RMB, China’s likely exit strategy from its extremely loose monetary policies and the consequences of such a move. See What is China’s Exit Strategy?

In Obama Tours Asia with a Full Agenda, the RGE Analyst Team examine President Obama’s highly anticipated maiden visit to Asia and provide analysis on many of the looming political questions.

In Obama Sets New Myanmar Policy in Motion, Julie Ginsberg analyzes the implications of the policy shift from isolation to engagement by the Obama administration with respect to relations with Myanmar.

In U.S. Retail Sales Grow in October, But Watch the Holiday Season Christian Menegatti and Prajakta Bhide assess the latest U.S. retail sales data.

In Latin American CDS: Fully Recovered, What are the Risks? Alejandro Rivera, Elisa Parisi-Capone and Bertrand Delgado take a close look at Latin America’s 5yr CDS fundamental and counterparty risk dynamics.  They conclude that counterparty risks explain most of the sharp movement in CDS spreads, both during and after the crisis.  However, they highlight that as we move forward, given the aftermath of the crisis, not only a risk reversal but also some country specific deterioration will likely affect CDS behavior.

In “Deja Vu: Will the U.S. Undergo a Reprise of 1937?“, RGE Analyst Mikka Pineda identifies striking similarities in U.S. inflation attitudes between the mid-1930s, when the U.S. began to show signs of recovery from the Depression, and 2009. The report serves as a qualitative accompaniment to her Comparing Three Crises report published earlier this year. The eerie resemblance in the psychological and economic backdrop of the mid-1930s and 2009 – both historic junctures when recovery was thought to have begun – suggests the U.S. teeters on the edge of a double-dip.


On the Finance & Markets Monitor, Robert Reich distinguishes between an asset-based recovery and a Main Street recovery; the former, while influencing the stock market temporarily, will probably lead to a big stock market correction and a double dip.  Read The Great Disconnect Between Stocks and Jobs .

In Note to Jamie Dimon: Repeating Something Doesn’t Make It True, James Kwak argues against the argument that says big banks serve an important role.

In A Cheaper Dow 10,000 ? Barry Ritholtz considers the overall markets’ valuation and points out that most investors would be better off with an asset allocation strategy rather than traditional stockpiling or even index approaches.

Also on the Finance & Markets Monitor:

Comparing Market Rallies by Barry Ritholtz

Operation Direct Growth by Carlo Resta

Slow Cat, Fast Mouse by James Kwak


On the Peterson Institute for International Economics Monitor, Simon Johnson offers testimony before the Joint Economic Committee hearing on The Impact of the Recovery Act on Economic Growth, and discusses current U.S. issues, comparisons with Japan, and proposals for change.

In Is King Euro Naked? Carlo Bastasin makes the case for why a political government for the euro area would be desirable.


On the Global Macro EconoMonitor, there was much discussion of trade imbalances as a weak dollar and an undervalued renminbi have the U.S. and China engaging in political exercises, but will there be reform?  See the following:

China Slams U.S. for Inflating Global Asset Prices Via Carry Trade by Edward Harrison

Who’s Afraid Of A Falling Dollar? by Simon Johnson

China Lambastes Dollar “Carry Trade,” Diverting Attention from Its Currency Manipulation by Yves Smith

China and the American Jobs Machine by Mark Thoma

As the financial crisis has left many advanced economies with staggering government debt, Carlo Cottarelli discusses how these countries should go about improving their fiscal conditions and implementing their exit strategies.  Read: Post-Crisis: What Should Be the Goal of a Fiscal Exit Strategy? and Balancing Fiscal Support with Fiscal Solvency.


On the U.S. EconoMonitor, Edward Harrison challenges President Obama’s understanding of how the economy works based on the administration’s decision to focus first on reducing the deficit and then on jobs, and offers better solutions.  Read Obama: Debt Could Cause a Double Dip Recession.

In Counting “Jobs Saved” by Obama Fiscal Stimulus, Jeffrey Frankel takes issue with those who don’t believe that the fiscal stimulus is creating jobs.

In Unlike the New Deal, Obama’s Plan does not put People on the Public Payroll, Mark Thoma looks at some at the politics involved in helping people get back to work.

Also on the U.S. EconoMonitor:

An Open Letter to Harry Reid on Controlling Health Care Costs by Robert Reich

News from 17 November 1930: “We Face a Winter of Hunger and Distress” by Edward Harrison


On the Emerging Markets Monitor, Michael Pettis continues to stress that trade imbalances are due to the policies that are in place, which is making China vulnerable because of its dependence on U.S. consumption.  Please read Lecturing Each Other on Trade.


On the Asia EconoMonitor, China Economist is on the side of those who believe there is a dangerous property bubble that is inflating in China and he presents some harrowing pollution pictures.  See: Property: The Bubble that Keeps on Inflating and Pictures of Pollution in China.


On the Latin America EconoMonitor, Alejandro Schtulmann analyzes the implications of the spike in violence in Mexico as the drug cartels push back against law enforcement.  See Drug Violence: Reaching a New Pinnacle.


On the Europe EconoMonitor, Edward Hugh analyzes the economic data to determine Just How Much of a Eurozone Rebound Really Was There in Q3?

In A Mini-Split on the MPC, David Smith reports that there was a little bit of division on quantitative easing from the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee’s November meeting, as well as the cut in the rate on commercial bank reserves at the Bank.

ECB Shows the Exit: Timing and Signposts, Aurelio Maccario considers what to expect from the ECB over the next couple of months.

170 Responses to “RGE Monitor – Weekly Roundup”

GuestNovember 20th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

not so drastic- we were almost there 7 months ago… look around… Tanking Corp earnings, tanking corp revenues, increasing Deficit, Tanking Dollar, increasing unemployment, increasing foreclosures, gold up, up and away, Stimulus totally ineffective, Compnaies continuing layoffs and cost cutting. PE’s tanking…

ChrisLNovember 21st, 2009 at 3:05 am

550 By March ? Which March ? 2010, 2011, or 2012 ?I have little doubt that there will be a new bottom (in constant dollars), but I tend to believe that it will take a much longer time than you think. Remember, all the actions of TPTB are there to delay the collapse for as long as possible. Meanwhile ,the asset bubble can keep on growing and the real economy can keep going downhill.Read my comment below.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 7:09 am

2010- watch the dollar, watch China- there was a reason Obama took his wild pacific tour the past week… he went with hat in hand begging them to keep borrwoing… Problem is, you can ask/beg, but China and others are not stupid… they know the US cannot continue to print… in fact they are ceasing borrwing as we speak and starting to slowly unwind from the dollar…

jason BNovember 20th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

We are about to enter the mother of all financial shitstorms next year. It will make sept 2007 look like childs play. Banks balance sheets are decimated. The stress tests worst case scenarios have already been surpassed. Defaults and foreclosures continue to mount. Unemployment deepens, and the jobs arent coming back. The consumer was 70% of the economy, and those days are gone.

blindmanNovember 20th, 2009 at 7:24 pm

@ pjb,”rectify the affairs d’Homme”…”Sortilege.Sortilege or the casting of lots differs from omens in that it is active and designed to provoke the gods’ answers to specific questions in novel situations. It consists of throwing marked sticks, stones, bones, or beans upon the ground, or picking one out of a group held in a bowl, or tossing such markers in the lap of a tunic until one fell out. Sometimes it was to answer yes or no, at other times to chose one out of a group of men, plots, or alternatives. But this simplicity – even triviality to us – should not blind us from seeing the profound psychological problem involved, as well as appreciating its remarkable historical importance. We are so used to the huge variety of the games of chance, of throwing dice, roulette wheels, etc., all of them vestiges of this ancient practice of divination by lots, that we find it difficult to really appreciate the significance of this practice historically. It is a help here to realize that there was no concept of chance whatever until very recent times. Therefore, the discovery (how odd to think of it as a discovery!) of deciding an issue by throwing sticks or beans on the ground was an extremely momentous one for the future of mankind. For, because there was no chance, the result had to be caused by the gods whose intentions were being divined.”..p.240, The Witness of History.The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of theBicameral Mind. julian jaynes.

AnonymousNovember 20th, 2009 at 9:54 pm

off topic..i hate to say this.. (im not advocating the strange thing / attrocities /violence he’s done nor i support them)listen to his earlier speech before he came into power and you’ll realize that Adolf H was right… (maybe he’s using his speech to influence people to gain power but the contents of his speech were most of the time valid)reason for posting this??beware the sudden occurence of a Saviour..scary

PeterJBNovember 21st, 2009 at 1:41 am

Speaking of good ideas albeit too late:”Some Congressional Democrats, led by Peter DeFazio of Oregon, are starting to jump on the “get rid of Geithner” bandwagon on Wednesday DeFazio called for Geithner’s resignation on MSNBC. Yesterday during Geithner’s blow-smoke-up-our-ass session in front of the Joint Economic Committee, Congressman Kevin Brady point blank asked Geithner to resign: “Mr. Secretary, you are the point person on the economy, and the buck, in effect, stops with you,” Brady said. “For the sake of our jobs, will you step down from your post?” Congressman Michael Burgess followed up with: “I don’t think you should be fired. I thought you never should have been hired.”Comment: Neither did I! – FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2009Random Friday Afternoon Observations….Next comes: Audit the Fed by Ron Paul (Unfortunately that will all go wrong ’cause all them “regulators” will be trying to earn medals so as to deflect the heat from themselves for not doing their jobs in the first place – And, look at Frank; first on one side and then the other: he is so greasy you almost can’t see him slither)Anyway: It’s a start!It’s time for the modern day flood!Ho hum

Jason BNovember 21st, 2009 at 6:50 am

There are three issues that worry me right now – the ‘health’ of banks, the continuing residential and commercial mortgage problem, and the sustainability of government stimulus.Bank blance sheets are in bad shape. The stress test worst case scenario has already been surpassed. There are over 500 banks on the FDIC watch list as having inadequate capital reserves. The FDIC itself is in bad shape, requesting that banks pre-pay their premiums for the next 3 years. The banks have substantial assistance from the FED in the form of funds, regulatory forebearance and the paying of interest on capital reserves, which may offset this weakness.The collapse of the residential mortgage market was the straw that broke the economy’s back in fall 2007. As you can see from the no famous credit suisse graph, a wave of ARM resets is growing for this coming summer. The securitization engine that drove the housing bubble is gone, and the Treasury is now the entire market for RMBS. The Treasury is scheduled to remove itself from this market in Q1 of 2010. As jobs continue to be lost in the economy (7M so far), consumers can no longer pay their mortgages or shop. The loss of retail sales is hurting retailers, and this flows through to retail space and commercial mortgages. This has become a negative feedback loop, where job losses reduce spending, leading to more job losses.Government stimulus is not sustainable. The market for long dated treasuries is drying up, and the US is funding itself with short term debt. A small increase in interest rates will make rolling over this debt much more expensive. In addition to the MBS market and propping up the banks, the government has also become the borrower of last resort. With industrial utilization at its lowest level since after WWII (70%), firms have no incentive to borrow to increase capacity. Consumers have no equity and no credit left. Government has stepped into the void with deficit spending and quantitative easing (buying our own debt with printed dollars). Our lenders (Chinese, Saudis et al) are making arrangements to diversify from the dollar, implying they will be accumulating fewer dollars as a percentage of their foreign reserves. The Chinese have also explicitly stated their concern about the US defict spending and dollar policy. Bilateral trade agreements in currencies other than the dollar are increasing. If the dollar loses de facto reserve currency status, imported goods in the US will become much more expensive, sparking inflation. This could also spark capital flight from the US and a currency crisis. So, the FED and Treasury will have to ride the razor’s edge in policy between stimulating the economy and scaring away foreign creditors.In conclusion, stimulus will have to be reduced at some point, probably in the near to mid term. But the damage to the economy is ongoing: banks balance sheets are in bad shape, jobs loss is in a negative feedback loop, and a new wave of ARM resets is coming. Without the benefit of massive stimulus, these factors may lead to a banking crisis in the 500 banks on the FDIC watch list. It is questionable if the FDIC has the financial resources to wind down these banks. These are the ingredients for a ‘run on the banks’, as depositors lose faith in the banking system and even inthe dollar itself. If the government continues to prop up the banks and stimulate the economy, scaring away foreign creditors.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 7:28 am

If and when the Federal Reserve moves out of the mortgage backed securities field -a move expected in the first quarter of 2010-, will private investors step in? Well, why should they? What profit can they expect to reap? US housing prices have been kept artificially high for at least the past two years (if not the past 70) by the combination of the Fed’s recent $1.25 trillion MBS purchases and the aggressive securitization policies of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA/Ginnie Mae team.But this can’t go on forever. As the Washington Post says, the government has lost its “huge federal gamble on the politically popular cause of homeownership”. And the administration may try to paint rosy and green pictures of an economic recovery, and the stocks markets may seem to be doing relatively well, but none of it means a thing with the housing market in a death spiral.Now that Washington has lost that bet (a crucial admission for the WaPo, by the way), which investors will still be gullible enough in 2010 to buy securities based on grossly overvalued properties?The Wall Street Journal warns of a double dip in housing. Color me blind, but when did the first dip end? President Obama also warns of a double dip, this time of the recession in whole US economy. And this time, color me obstinate, but I don’t buy the numbers that supposedly show an end to the recession, or the first dip of it. I see trillions of dollars in lipstick applied to dead industries.You can’t end recessions or depressions by borrowing money from one neighbor and handing it to the next. That’s not even shoddy accounting, hey it’s not even fraud for that matter, it’s simply nonsense.Perhaps if some if the money would have been used in fields that produce actual products, if it would have provided useful jobs for Americans, then perhaps it would have alleviated some of the misery. Banks, though, do neither, and still they are the sole recipients of bail-out money so far. Yes, even of what went to Detroit or home-buyers, just follow the money.And so, starting January 1st, some 30,000 Americans every day, or 1 million per month, will start losing ALL benefits, even those just agreed on last week by Congress, unless yet another plan is devised. And this will happen against the backdrop of $30+ billion in year end bankers’ bonuses. $10 million for one guy, nothing for the other. Scrooge ain’t dead, he’s alive and well at 85 Broad Street.And no relief in sight. Unemployment keeps seeping upwards, and the other pillar of the economy, housing, looks ever closer to its terminal breath. Oh, someone will always build a home somewhere, but that does not an industry make. The most blatant sign of pain this time around comes from a graph on multi-unit housing starts, a category routinely filed under “commercial real estate”, which shows the lowest number on record since reporting started in 1958.The lowest number on record! In case you hadn’t realized it yet, the US population today is not that far shy of having doubled since the 1950’s. Twice as many people, but less family housing is built.Talking about commercial real estate, it should be obvious who everyone’s betting against today. Regional banks, both big and small, have, in relative terms, much larger exposure to CRE than their national-sized brethren, as this Moody’s graph shows:The FDIC may feel well playing its part in the overall US government opacity (does anyone even remember the promises of greater transparency?), but hundreds of banks that Sheila Bair and co. have refused to tackle until now will be due to meet their makers regardless in the -very- near future.And if you’re still among the faithful believers despite what goes on in employment, housing and commercial real estate, here are a few things you might want to pay attention to.House Rep. Peter Defazio claims a growing consensus among Democrats to call for the head of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. It’s safe to assume that Larry Summers would have to go as well. Geithner’s future may depend on the upcoming December unemployment summit in Washington.Given the fact that the summit is at least one year late, that the public money spread around Wall Street can’t be spent a second time, and that Geithner insists on using the remaining TARP funds for something other than jobs, it could be an interesting meeting. But in view of the control the Obama spin team has exercised so far, hopes for a revolt by their own party may be idle. And besides, what good would it do? Most important posts would still be in Goldman, JPM, Citi and Morgan Stanley hands.More interestingly, perhaps, are two reports this week, in which financial giants Goldman Sachs and Société Générale, separate from each other, reveal that their view of the immediate future is not nearly as fine and benign as you may think. Société Générale singles out private and public debt as the possible instigator for economic collapse, and tells clients that sovereign bonds will get them good returns. Goldman simply bets heavily against financials and against gold!.Where the two diverge is in their view of the dollar: Société Générale sees it plunge further, whereas Goldman Sachs sees the opposite. And as much as it may chagrin us to agree with Goldman on anything at all, we do when it comes to the US dollar. We think of it as sort of the wounded crippled last one standing when the first smoke will begin to clear and the bodies are carried out. We don’t doubt that oil and gold have very good odds for a strong comeback down the line, but they are not the obvious choice in a situation such as the one we see coming short term.What we see is not gold vs. the USD or oil vs. the USD. We see risk versus the US dollar. Investors have not been risk averse the past months. And they still are not (yet). And stocks are up, and gold is up, and so is oil. And the dollar is down.Risk versus the US dollar. If one goes down, the other goes up.We think that right there you can see what will happen when investors and speculators and everybody else except for a few bravehearts will want to get away from risk, lose their appetite. At that point, it’ll be either risk or the dollar. If you think investors will want to take on additional risk, in the face of the numbers on housing and jobs and CRE, a bet against the dollar makes sense. If you don’t, that bet, in our view, makes no sense.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 10:55 am

talk about risk vs dollar is meaningless when FED is doing QE at 0%. dollar itself is a risk. dollar is going down as it should be.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 10:58 am

and where dollar and government bond is backed by confidence and digital print press. equity is backed by production/consumption of real good and service. which is risky and which is safe, take your bet.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 11:11 am

and by printing the dollar out thin air. that is destroying purchase power of your dollar. all suddenly the thing you need or want will have to go higher by competition from multiple money supply source. and the notion of excessive supply? exactly who is doing excessive supply, from domestic? from foreigner? will they stupid enough to exchange their good and service for weakening dollar? time will tell.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 11:03 am

if SP500, Nasdaq, Dow companies were to issue coupons that can redeem good and service among these companies. and they will not print more coupon unless there is excess supply. so coupon value always stable. question, would you want coupon or dollar by USA gov. remember USA gov doesnt produce any good or service other than Trillion and trillion of dollar out of thin air.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Perhaps if some if the money would have been used in fields that produce actual products, if it would have provided useful jobs for Americans, then perhaps it would have alleviated some of the misery.This assumes that there are buyers. Remember: the US “consumer” is the world’s economic engine; there isn’t enough slack in consumption in the rest of the world to warrant increases in production; and, production costs in the US are higher than almost everywhere else.

blindmanNovember 21st, 2009 at 8:17 am

speaking of heads, games of chance and thingsto watch out for……with the advent of the notion of “chance” thelottery would emerge. the key element to theconcept of a lottery is that any participant hasa chance to win. some participants may believe thata god may intervene in their favor but others maymay not and may be satisfied to take their chances.the form of the lottery may vary widely and grotesquely but the core of the lottery remains the same. the winner is rewarded for being present and “lucky” and nothing more. “you have to be in it to win it” as they say.and then there are crooked lotteries where the outcome is other than a gruesome variety……” Since that time, La Française des Jeux (government owned) has had a monopoly on most of the games in France, including the lotteries. There have also been reports of lotteries regarding the mass guillotine executions in France. It has been said that a number was attached to the head of each person to be executed and then after all the executions, the executioner would pull out one head and the people with the number that matched the one on the head were awarded prizes (usually small ones); each number was 3-to-5 digits long.”..a testament to what people will tolerate to drownout the voices of their gods and enjoy a game of chance.? or was it interpreted as justice andthe expression of a newly liberated / empowered free spirit? and a vehicle to reestablish the capacity to hear those voices? appears from the wiki link above that history isreplete with instances of lotteries helpingto finance many public works projects. the integrityof the lottery is important as is the honestly stated purpose of the funds use.what we have today is the perversion of the financialsystem into a lottery by the cavaliers of credit whereonly they are in the lottery, everyone else is taxedto support their entrance fees, etc…or something like that.

blindmanNovember 21st, 2009 at 8:33 am Lotteries.( the golden octopus )…”Although lotteries continued to be popular after the Revolution, by the late 19th century they became known for mismanagement and scandals and started to be banned in many states. The Louisiana State Lottery (1868-1892) became the most notorious state lottery and was known as the “Golden Octopus” as it reached into every American home. The Louisiana lottery especially was a breeding ground of corruption having bribed the legislators into a fraudulent deal, during a time when other states were viewing lotteries and gambling with suspicion. In July of 1890 President Harrison sent a message to Congress insisting that “severe and effective legislation” be enacted against lotteries. Congress agreed and banned US mails from carrying lottery tickets almost immediately and in 1892 upheld a law to put a complete halt to all lotteries in the US by 1900.”..comment:looks like an octopus, swims like an octopus….

P1AQLNovember 21st, 2009 at 9:34 am

I think we should add to the list that simple folks in Ohio are finally questioning the lipstick makers about the quality of the lipstick that they put on the pigs.Best,P1AQL.

blindmanNovember 21st, 2009 at 9:52 am Reserve ActSection 9A. Participation in Lotteries Prohibited(a) A State member bank may not–1. deal in lottery tickets;2. deal in bets used as a means or substitute for participation in a lottery;3. announce, advertise, or publicize the existence of any lottery;4. announce, advertise, or publicize the existence or identity of any participant or winner, as such, in a lottery.(b) A State member bank may not permit–1. the use of any part of any of its banking offices by any person for any purpose forbidden to the bank under subsection (a), or2. direct access by the public from any of its banking offices to any premises used by any person for any purpose forbidden to the bank under subsection (a).(c) As used in this section–1. The term “deal in” includes making, taking, buying, selling, redeeming, or collecting.2. The term “lottery” includes any arrangement whereby three or more persons (the “participants”) advance money or credit to another in exchange for the possibility or expectation that one or more but not all of the participants (the “winners”) will receive by reason of their advances more than the amounts they have advanced, the identity of the winners being determined by any means which includes–1. a random selection;2. a game, race, or contest; or3. any record or tabulation of the result of one or more events in which any participant has no interest except for its bearing upon the possibility that he may become a winner.[ credit default swap ? ]3. The term “lottery ticket” includes any right, privilege, or possibility (and any ticket, receipt, record, or other evidence of any such right, privilege, or possibility) of becoming a winner in a lottery.(d) Nothing contained in this section prohibits a State member bank from accepting deposits or cashing or otherwise handling checks or other negotiable instruments, or performing other lawful banking services for a State operating a lottery, or for an officer or employee of that State who is charged with the administration of the lottery.(e) The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to the strict enforcement of this section and the prevention of evasions thereof.[12 USC 339. As added by act of Dec. 15, 1967 (81 Stat. 609) effective April 1, 1968. Corresponding prohibitions are contained in section 5136B of the Revised Statutes, section 20 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, and section 410 of the National Housing Act with respect to national banks, nonmember insured banks, and institutions insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, respectively.]

Jason BNovember 21st, 2009 at 6:05 pm

holy shit, blindman! Great Job!!!!!!! Member banks cannot deal in credit default swaps or derivatives!!!!!!!Someone call Alan Greyson’s office!!!!!!!!!!Never mind, I’ll do it myself.

Jason BNovember 22nd, 2009 at 4:54 am

Honest to god, Blindman, I am totally serious. I already filled in the comment form on Graysons webpage. I humbly request that everyones else on this blog do the same, especially if Grayson is your congressman. I live in NY, and Schumer, Gillebrand et al don’t do me much good. Grayson is the only one (besides Paul) with the balls to take on the FED.Honestly, great great job, blindman. Hopefully Grayson will take this and run with it.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Yes! I think that a lawsuit is in order! A big class-action one!I see this as being similar to the cases in which the courts are challenging mortgage holders to produce the actual mortgage documents! Just when it looked like all the small people were going to get squashed, had no hope, wham! a reversal of monumental scale!

blindmanNovember 21st, 2009 at 10:37 am Keen’s DebtWatch No 31 February 2009: “The Roving Cavaliers of Credit””Thus rather than credit money being created with a lag after government money, the data shows that credit money is created first, up to a year before there are changes in base money. This contradicts the money multiplier model of how credit and debt are created: rather than fiat money being needed to “seed” the credit creation process, credit is created first and then after that, base money changes.It doesn’t take sophisticated statistics to show that the second prediction is wrong—all you have to do is look at the ratio of private debt to money. The theoretical prediction has never been right—rather than the money stock exceeding debt, debt has always exceeded the money supply—and the degree of divergence has grown over time.(there are attenuating factors that might affect the prediction—the public hoarding cash should make the ratio less than shown here, while non-banks would make it larger—but the gap between prediction and reality is just too large for the theory to be taken seriously).”…so the credit / debt created is potentially unlimited.for the fed/res to intervene with QE to sustain these credits/debts and their influence on prices in the real economy is to pervert the fiat currency and the entire financial system to the instruments of the financial system where no prohibition against lottery type instruments exists. [ cds ].since not all of this prematurely ejaculated credit/debt can be substantiated by fiat printinga method of discernment needs be employed. whichbogus debts to support / honor? perhaps they willneed to throw sticks or bones? or have a lottery ontop of the lottery type instruments that put us in this mess in the first participating in a lottery, perhaps Red InkSquid rather than Golden Octopus.thank you for your patience.

blindmanNovember 21st, 2009 at 12:55 pm

g,thanks for trying. think about it. theheart of the real financial system is notencumbered by any government or monetarysystem. that is what keen is telling law, no limit other than what that systemcan persuade representatives of “legal”,sovereign, actual sytems to honor. hence shadow,opaque, resulting in Red Ink Squid economics..if i agree to owe you one trillion dollars in ourfantasy hokey economy will the fed/res interveneto make my debt to you good? maybe. if it isdeemed to be systemically bankers, being systemically important (?) canproceed creating financial instruments with anyfictitious value they want, creating their owncredit money. when it fails they pay off all the”regulators” etc. and have their credit moneyreplaced with fiat money from the treasury. itis a form of counterfeiting and a lottery becauseit is unknown which counterfeit instruments willor won’t be made good. i hope this clears someof this mess up. ?.what it means is we are fools for letting creditmoney exist independent of, yet supported in timesof contraction, by “our” fiat money. orwe are like dogs who beg under the table for scrapsof grizzle while our rouge cavaliers of creditreceive interest payments on our accounts.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 12:18 pm

“Each month, the U.S. Credit system and economy become only more vulnerable to a rise in yields (mortgage and Treasury borrowing costs, in particular). Imagine the U.S. housing market in an environment of much higher mortgage rates and then ponder the scope of the Fannie/Freddie/FHLB/FHA bailouts in the event of a spike in yields. Picture the dilemma faced by Treasury if its borrowing costs jump significantly. How about the fiscal position of state and local governments? Could our frail banking system handle a surprise rise in rates? And imagine the corner policymakers would find themselves boxed into when the Fed loses control over market yields.It is not clear to me whether it will unfold over months or years. But I do expect a more complete Paradigm shift to foster waning influence of the Fed over global market yields commensurate with fading U.S. economic dominance. Unless global reflationary forces dissipate, this implies a future adjustment period for U.S. interest-rate and risk asset markets. And when the Fed eventually loses command over market yields, the risks associated with today’s policy course will likely manifest into a very problematic financial and economic crisis.”

ChrisLNovember 21st, 2009 at 12:37 pm

For those interested, excellent overview by Don, a zerohedge reader, on where Fed printing stands, how much is left, what the pace of purchases is, and when the program will stop : here“In other words, 2 months from now, things could get awfully interesting…”We know rates are going to remain at zero for most of 2010, but who thinks Bernanke will stop in Q1 2010 with its debt monetization programmes or extend the experiment further ?Forget trying to value asset markets based on fundamentals, the previous question is the only one that counts for the time being for those who might want to continue gambling in those casinos.

PeteCANovember 21st, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Surely not all markets, right? I think we all expect that this huge wave of liquidity from the Fed is going to blow some big bubbles in the global economy. And the subsequent collapse of these bubbles is going to be enormously destructive. But there is a limit to how high they can pump $INDU (Dow), since it’s already far above any level that could possibly be justified by earnings expectations. Even Bernanke stated clearly that he expects a “weak recovery”. So $INDU is highly susceptible to a strong correction … even if you adopt a bullish perspective. Of course, no-one knows the exact timing.PeteCA

Pecos BankerNovember 22nd, 2009 at 3:22 am

PeteCA, I thought this blowing of enormous bubbles was being accomplished by the dollar carry trade. Please correct me if I’m not seeing the whole picture of what you are saying.

PeteCANovember 21st, 2009 at 2:26 pm

What’s been noticeable lately … is that the USA is having a much harder time getting the rest of the world to cooperate with our foreign policies. Washington DC is having a very hard time making any progress in putting together a new round of sanctions on Iran. Obama’s trip to China fizzled out, without any real (or helpful) commitments by the Chinese leadership. America’s peace initiatives in the Middle East seem to be on-the-ropes … no real progress anywhere.Quite obviously the world sees that our economic plight (spiralling Gov’t debts) is taking the USA out of the drivers seat when it comes to setting international policies. Likewise, the fact that we are entangled in two foreign wars, without clearly defined policies of engagement and success, leads people to see us as being caught in a quagmire.Obama is now facing a policy challenge that is quite unlike that experienced by any former presidents (Carter, Reagan, Clinton & Bush).

HubbsNovember 21st, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I know this sounds like economic heresy against the mantra of the necessity to preserve free trade, but…What about this scenario?Trade barriers are erected, and the US goes back to becoming more self sufficient, with the return of domestic manufacturing. Where do we get the oil? I am making the assumption we have enough coal and natural gas to bridge the transition, if there is political and oil company cooperation.But what about our debt? Repay it with printed inflated dollars and be done with it. I don’t think the rest of the world is going to like us anyhow. What is China going to do? Attack us? (This would be the war Marc Faber is talking about when the economic system collapses.)What about the new isolationist United States then issuing a new domestic currency?With everyone talking about impending economic disaster, what will emerge as the new reality?

Pecos BankerNovember 22nd, 2009 at 3:38 am

An interesting comment on the ability of the Chinese to suddenly pull the plug on the US economy by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard as cited in the article by Yves Smith above. By the way, Yves Smith is a great read.” It is fashionable to talk of America as the supplicant. That misreads the strategic balance. Washington can bring China to its knees at any time by shutting markets. There is no symmetry here. Any move by Beijing to liquidate its holdings of US Treasuries could be neutralized – in extremis – by capital controls. Well-armed sovereign states can do whatever they want.If provoked, the US has the economic depth to retreat into near autarky (with NAFTA) and retool its industries behind tariff walls – as Britain did in the 1930s under Imperial Preference. In such circumstances, China would collapse. Mao statues would be toppled by street riots.”

VladNovember 23rd, 2009 at 8:33 pm

This is just a wishful thinking and patting each other on the back. And it’s very dangerous. Once the United States renege on its debt obligations, the Chinese will confiscate all US property in China, which include tens of thousands of factories (only Walmart has 800 factories in China). In other words, the Chinese will have everything necessary to produce things, we won’t. And this will be only the beginning of our troubles. The race war will start in this country as soon as the dollar collapses and Mao’s statues will rise proudly tenfold because the tiger will have revealed himself for what he is, that is made of paper. With the start of the race war (don’t forget about 200 million pieces of weaponry in the hands of US citizens and counting) the US army will have quickly collapsed or worse — will join the war on both sides. The military high-tech will deteriorate rapidly without costly maintenance. “Well-armed sovereign states” can do NOTHING if they cannot produce everything necessary for reproducing themselves. Neither US nor Britain are capable of this. On the other hand, the Chinese have nuclear capacities modest in size but smartly deployed and quite sufficient to wipe out a quarter of this country. One thing we can be certain of – the nations of the world will crowd together against the Anglo-Saxon states if they try to save themselves by drowning the rest of the world. And that will be the end of it. So no fascist Rambos or just redneck elements like macains and the likes of them should be allowed to influence decision making in this country during a crisis of such proportions.

11b40November 24th, 2009 at 8:23 am

What a bunch if gibberish. What race war are you talking about? America handles racial differences better than any large nation on earth. If you want to talk about racial problems in a worldwide financial collapse, there are plenty of other places to look, but the biggest divides will be social/class, not race. China may take over factories, but so what. Right now, they are busy building stuff that lacks a home when it rolls off the production line – plus, they are building more production lines.Good luck with that when the West Coast harbors close. Let them eat factories.Independent Contractor

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 12:59 pm

The US has some of the largest reserves of all fossil fuels. If you consider that it was one of the Forbes’ clan who stated back in the 70s that the US would be well advised to, in essence, drain others’ reserves before its own, then it all makes sense.The ONLY path forward will be to pull back from world trade, resort to conservation, and, to claim bankruptcy (or hyper-inflate to wipe the foreign debt slate).Global trade is going to diminish as energy and resources become too precious to export. The world is going to return to being round again, much to the dismay of Thomas Friedman.

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 7:56 pm

What “commitments” did you expect from the Chinese leadership ?America’s peace initiatives in the Middle East ? Which ones ?

PeteCANovember 22nd, 2009 at 11:33 am

So here’s what I’m saying. Clearly Obama came into power thinking he could change things. Maybe he sees himself as a “progressive Democrat”. Obama’s team came into power with a lot of idealism that they really COULD change a lot of trends in America.I think Obama will end his term in office with some deep frustration that he COULDN’T change many of the things he hoped. He will have some positives. But very likely he will be stalemated on many of the vital problems facing America today. “Stalemate” was not part of the agenda that the Obama team were hoping for – or even planning.PeteCA

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Pete, you’re assuming that he really was wanting change… Remember: George W. Bush when running the first time stated that he wasn’t into nation building (well, one could take this to mean that he had no confidence in his own abilities to do this, which is now more than clear to see).I’m not an Obama basher, but one’s track record really is an indicator of one’s tendencies, and Obama’s track record really doesn’t align with what his campaign promises were about (it was that people were so tired of Bush’s crap that they were willing to accept anything out of the mouth of anyone else).

PeterJBNovember 21st, 2009 at 6:55 pm

That moment when you should realize that you have no more integrity left and that you are just blowing bubbles and they are all blanks:”Detailed questions.””Boilerplate assurances that America won’t default on its debt or inflate the shortfall away are apparently not cutting it.””Yes, and will Ron Paul play Noah?”@ FEDup on 2009-11-21 06:53:57″Noah” represents a reversal or that moment when one realizes that one needs to separate from consensuality and make one’s own decisions based on facts. IOW dump “leadership” and all that hangs/drips off them and step onto the path of Manhood; er, grow up! Call it the differentiation or maturity moment; remember Minsky?Anyone can play Noah as it is really only basic physics ! And, btw, the flood has arrived.Ho hum

GuestNovember 21st, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Long post, but it’s worth every word…This is a fictional account of a currency collapse, but reasonably detailedand plausible scenario. For even more plausibility, let’s use the tungsten goldbars as trigger of no-confidence in the Dollar… was less than an hour from home in Minnesota after dropping his load off in Fargo but knew he needed to top his tank off this Sunday evening to insure his rig would make it home. He pulled into the Petro Truck Stop just outside of Fargo and hopped out of the cab into the bitter twenty below temperatures which he could not believe had already hit at ten o’clock at night. He slid his fuel card into the pump waiting for the next prompt when the “SEE ATTENDANT” message flashed in the screen. He blustered, figured it was another card problem and whipped out his Master Card and slid it in after the pump reset and again the “SEE ATTENDANT” message flashed up. “What the hell is going on?” he thought to himself as he wandered into the long line of drivers boisterously yelling at managers and clerks alike.Tom finished up his shift on the docks at the Nestle warehouse in Hampton, Georgia at exactly 11 o’clock at night and decided that because of the scuttlebutt he had been reading on the message boards, it may not be a bad idea to pick up a few cans of food and some toilet paper at the local WalMart Super center. Even though it was a Sunday night, they were always stocked and it was just five minutes out of the way to his home. As he walked inside the store, his mouth dropped. It looked like the day after Thanksgiving sale with every register open and ten plus people deep at 11:30 p.m. “Oh my God!” he gasped as he walked in grabbing the last shopping cart with the wheel that was half locked up. As he walked as fast as he could to the aisle with the paper goods, he looked at all the shelves then noticed the clerk who looked stunned himself. “How in the SAM HELL does WalMart sell out of Toilet Paper son?” he screamed at the eighteen year old kid. “Sir, I don’t know what is going on. Is the world ending? I’m a little freaked out!” the clerk stammered. Tom realized that he was not to blame and as he calmed down said to the kid “Son, I don’t know what is going on either. It must be an ice storm on the way. Are you folks getting another truck soon?” The clerk said in a very low voice “Sir, I think there are two coming at 2 a.m. I would wait here if I were you.” With that information Tom slinked outside to his car and called his wife at home just before midnight to tell her he would be staying to wait on the WalMart trucks.1730 ET…February 21, 2010It was a typical Sunday night in my household, a tremendous dinner, nice weather in Florida and of course a chance to chat with my friends online about the events of the world. The big news was that on Friday, February 19, 2010 the US Dollar Index closed at 69.07 far below any level in history and of course shattering all known technical support. As I grabbed a glass of Port and settled in front of my computer at 5 p.m. Eastern to watch the Asian fireworks and watch Bloomberg and CNBC-Asia on my computer, I noticed the Middle Eastern markets closed in horrid shape. The Israeli market closed three hours after the open and down 22% for the session. The Saudi markets closed after one hour and down 41%. Other regional markets did not open or were shut down due to national emergency declarations. As I tuned in expecting the usual repeat on Bloomberg, it was live with a somewhat excited news babe reading information from a blog reporting “rumors” that the CEO’s of Citigroup and Bank of America were in meetings since 11 a.m. with the New York Fed. At that point, it was time to put the port up and break out the hard stuff.Gold had closed at a record high again, up some $37 to finish Friday’s session up at $1289 and change so I figured it would be jumping again with all of this worldly instability on display. I searched the boards and feeds like mad, looking for anything on an Iranian attack or outbreak of war elsewhere in the world but nothing was found at all. As 6 p.m. Eastern flipped up on my watch, CNBC interrupted their programming with a live update from New York instead of Australia or Tokyo about the meeting at the NY Fed. Bloomberg also broke from their Asian coverage with a brief story but no details as to why there was a meeting today or who else was there. As the New Zealand markets opened, the prices went nuts but shockingly to the upside. Their markets shot up 11% on the open to break over the 3900 price level but that was not the story. As the futures opened in Chicago for the evening session, no matter where you were in the world that day or night, you printed that screen at 6:04 p.m. Eastern time as the prints were staggering:Gold UP $212.15 to $1501.15Silver UP $39.13 to $81.06US DOLLAR INDEX DOWN 9.5869 or just over 14% to 59.4830US S&P FUTURES DOWN 49.13US DOW FUTURES DOWN 472NASDAQ FUTURES DOWN 135Holy Smokes! This was an absurd way to start the night and my phone started ringing along with text messages and emails out my wazoo. The sense of panic was evident on Bernie Lo’s face as he came on to the air discussing what was happening in the futures market and fortunately he announced that Jim Rogers would be joining him after the next break. As the commercial started at 6:09 p.m. Eastern the scroll at the bottom of the screen was bright red with the headline:ALL U.S. EQUITY FUTURES ARE LOCK LIMIT DOWN…..TRADING SUSPENDED UNTIL 0900 ET MONDAY FEB 22….US DOLLAR BEING SOLD ACROSS THE BOARDBy 6:15 the Euro was trading at $1.92, the Kiwi (New Zealand Dollar) at $1.26, the Aussie Dollar well beyond par at $1.39 and the Canadian Loonie rocketing past par to $1.33. The U.S. Dollar was in a full fledged collapse and the world was putting money anywhere they could to escape the carnage. As the New Zealand equity markets struggled to handle the order flow an announcement emerged at 6:27 p.m. Eastern time that they would no longer accept U.S. dollars within their nation for the next 72 hours until the United States Federal Reserve Bank introduced stability measures. That instantly turned a huge move to the upside to down 17% in less than three minutes and soon thereafter, trading was suspended by 7 p.m. Eastern time. Instead of waiting to see what was next, I left at 6:51 p.m. to run down the street and take $500 from the local grocery store ATM, returning just in time for the top of the hour news.1900 ETThe Australian markets attempted to open but due to order imbalances they were delayed twenty-seven minutes. It was a buying frenzy in Australia also as the Aussie Dollar was skyrocketing higher and gold continued to gain, now up $273.20 per ounce in less than two hours of trading. The Chicago board was going to make a statement at 8 p.m. ET and the world was holding its collective breath because something bad was happening again in the United States and everyone wanted to buy into foreign markets to escape the American disaster on the horizon. After a brief opening, the Australian government followed suit with the New Zealand announcement and suspended acceptance of the U.S. Dollar for commerce until further notice. The Japanese were very quiet in the mean time as they announced at 7 p.m. they would keep their markets closed but the huge move in the Yen caused massive concerns as noted by the central bank. The yen appreciated from a close of 79.8213 on Friday the 19th to an opening of 48.7326 in less than an hour of trading. Nobody wanted dollars and even fewer people it was discovered wanted the British Pound. The Pound for the first time in its history was worth less than 100 yen and it was well on its way to joining the US Dollar in a death spiral.2000 ETThe internet is crawling. Message boards were lit up with record numbers of participants. Rumors swirled about declarations of martial law, bank holidays, secret wars and other crazy things. Yet my phone messages, conversations, texts and emails told me there was something very very wrong. Two of my friends called me to tell me the consequences of the failed 30 year bond auction last Thursday came home to roost over the weekend. Citi and BoA were rumored to have a huge CDS obligation due to the interest rates being blown outside of the norm and the 6.05% yield from the auction cost the banks an estimated $400 billion each if they were forced to settle open swap contracts and derivative issues by Monday or the end of the month. The swaps and derivatives which were to prevent the collapse may actually have finally started it but nobody could verify anything that was happening as the NY Fed looked like a war zone with hundreds of cameras around the building and reporters speculating endlessly on every cable channel.2100 ETI did not know who to believe but when Bloomberg played the excerpt from Jim Rogers’ interview just after the top of the hour where he said “this is what a currency collapse looks like and if you were not prepared, you were wiped out” really resonated with everyone on the Bloomberg set and throughout the news worldwide. The Chicago Futures were closed by order of the CFTC and SEC and that was the big announcement but it was assumed anyways because there was no way the COMEX or anyone else could possibly have kept up with the demand for precious metals as the last print had gold over $1579 per ounce and worse, the base metals closing at obscene prices like $6.79 per lb. for copper! The Shanghai markets were ordered open for domestic participants only and no overseas selling was allowed nor trading in US Dollars thus allowing the communists to manage their banking situation without outside influence. Unfortunately a rumor was confirmed on FNC later in the hour that Chinese troops were deployed to all U.S. and British bank branches inside their nation. That only permeated the panic already felt on the internet and in the air. The news at the top of the hour was even more shocking.2200 ETCNN led the hour off with coverage of the “FINANCIAL CRISIS OF 2010″ with breaking news about two hedge fund managers committing suicide in their offices in New York. That did not help the confidence level nor did the statement from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at 10:09 p.m. Eastern that the “government was in full control of the situation and that the panic world wide was unwarranted.” When he finished the statement assuring that the financial markets would probably open on time in the morning, the snicker from CNBC’s team of Gasparino and Griffith spoke volumes about what was really occurring.2300 ETSomehow a picture of Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon entering the New York Federal Reserve building was leaked out and broadcast on cable news and financial news outlets causing more discussions and a genuine sense of panic to grip everyone. Reports about credit cards not working for the last two hours nationwide were swamping the newsrooms but no comments from VISA, Master Charge or anyone else was forthcoming.0000 ET February 22, 2010It was officially a panic. Reports on local news stations about grocery store shelves being cleaned out and ATM machines running out of money hours ago and not being refilled were broadcast nationwide. Even my local station had a story about accessing the reporter’s bank account online and all they got was a very scary message as they attempted to reach his bank’s web page:404-NOT FOUND0100 ETWWOR and WCBS started reporting that gas stations in the New York City and northern New Jersey areas were running out of gas even though credit cards did not work. The cable news stations and financial news networks just recycled earlier news with updates at the top of the hour. The world markets were closed and everyone was holding their breath to see what happened the next morning.0200 ETAs I struggled to stay awake, NY Federal Reserve President Denis Hughes came to the microphones with Dimon, Blankfein and shockingly Ben Bernanke. Hughes immediately deferred to Bernanke who said that the President would address the nation at 7 a.m. Eastern Time and that he felt the crisis was averted for the moment and that everyone should have faith in the United State’s policy of a strong currency and banking system. After that statement was concluded, Bloomberg switched to a banking analyst from Singapore who said that the U.S. was now a hulking smoking black hole in the ground and the only thing it was good for was to return those worthless dollars back to “THAT” nation so “THEY” could burn them to stay warm this winter.0300 ETSomeone on the message board posted a story from WTOP that military police were seen setting up roadblocks throughout Washington, D.C. There was no video or other confirmation within that hour. I had to make double strength coffee at that point in time but instead set my alarm for 0500 to try to grab a nap. I was not about to miss what was going to be a day to remember in American history.0509 ETSo sue me! I hit my snooze button then realized I fell asleep with the computer and television on and the news was flying. In big bold red at the top of CNBC’s screen was the announcement COUNTDOWN TO SPEECH and a counter moving towards 0700 Eastern. As I flipped the channels half awake, I noticed a BREAKING NEWS announcement on CNN and there was a feed from WSB in Atlanta, GA with their helicopter video of the Georgia State Patrol closing off all streets within three blocks of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta and also around the Federal Home Loan Bank. That sent a chill down my spine as I flipped back on to the computer to see over two hundred unread emails and message upon message about shortages, internet outages, credit card problems and worst of all, gas stations running out of fuel. The other shocker was the suspension of international flights in many U.S. cities as the suppliers put every airline on C.O.D. effective immediately at 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time and that suspended a ton of flights inside the United States and worldwide. The cascading effects were stunning, even to those of us who were warning about it.0530 ETSeveral European markets attempted to open in coordination with Middle Eastern markets but the declines were so severe that within ten minutes of trading the authorities shut them all down within a half hour:Russia -35%Saudi Arabia -43%Israel -22%Switzerland -17%Germany’s DAX -41%CAC 40 – 29%FTSE 100 – 32%The Euro was up another 10% against the dollar and the Swiss Franc was now worth over $1.40 U.S. As the discussions about the problems with the U.S. dollar accelerated, banks were being shut down in Europe in nation after nation to prevent runs. Sadly for the Brits, the Sterling was now trading so poorly in Europe that it was worth just 1/3 of a Euro at some trading desks. By the top of the hour, video of riots in front of banks in Frankfurt and Glasgow were broadcast nationwide. At 5:55 a.m. Eastern the news took a dark turn with this BREAKING NEWS headline:OBAMA AND BERNANKE TO SPEAK TO THE NATION AT 6 A.M. EST0600 ETThe speech was low key, solemn and to the point. Obama announced a one week bank holiday. All credit card transactions and all collection actions of any sort were hereby suspended for seven days. All financial markets were closed until further notice. All mortgage and bill payment due dates were suspended for thirty days and no past due notices nor penalties were to be allowed by Federal Law. All schools were closed for seventy-two hours be they public or private. The city of Washington, D.C. was hereby declared to be under a state of martial law and all citizens were ordered to observe a curfew from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily. Just as that sunk in, Ben Bernanke stepped up to the microphone to announce that President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner and all of the Federal Reserve Presidents along with himself were going to depart for Geneva for an emergency meeting of the G-20, IMF, World Bank and United Nations Financial Stability Working Group. Bernanke also announced that Citigroup, N.A. and Bank of America were hereby nationalized and placed under control of the United States Treasury under the auspices of the FDIC and that Sheila Bair would have an announcement at 8 a.m. Eastern. As he finished the announcement, an obviously exhausted Federal Reserve Chairman concluded by assuring the citizens of the nation that a stable currency was their only goal from this meeting of world financial leaders. I noted he did not say what currency though he was referring to.0800 ETBy now, CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg were knee deep in wall to wall coverage but so were the broadcast and cable networks. America was on the brink was the preaching and screaming and the “bulls” were being gored by the permabears every time they uttered any statements about “how we’ve been through worse” etc., etc.The announcement of the seizure by the FDIC of two of the largest banks in the world was pretty standard and short. The follow up statement by Ms. Barr though is what caused every newsroom to take pause when she stated that “further consolidations will be announced in the next seventy-two hours.”The Bubblemedia was stunned and even shocked when Canada announced that they would attempt to open their financial markets for two hours of trading and that their banks would be open for normal domestic customers and business from 10 a.m. until noon Eastern time. Everyone on television looked at each other and just asked “How?”0900 ETI had forgotten to call in sick to work but then again the phone call from the company owner was pretty much a “well now what” as we laughed in a gallows humor discussion. He understood why I was home and he had already told the employees that he was closing at noon and would reopen when we could actually collect real money on what we sold and leased out. I told him I would call him at home later or meet him with a bottle on the golf course in the morning, weather permitting.The chilling video of the Federal Reserve heads, Geithner and Obama boarding Air Force One to leave for Geneva from Washington, D.C. really had an impact on me.1000 ETThe Canadian markets opened up 10% in ten minutes then rolled over down 31% by 10:30. The scary part was that the Canadian dollar kept on rising even though commodity trading was suspended and everyone was wondering just what gold would be priced at if the markets were allowed to trade.As the day wore on, it was a blur of shocking story after shocking story. The President and his entourage arrived in Switzerland along with other world leaders but little was discussed or disclosed. The reports of banks being fire bombed by nuts throughout parts of the U.S. made the international news and caused all of us to feel somewhat uncomfortable as to what was next. The 8 p.m. interruption of normal prime time programming with a FEMA NEWS ALERT which lasted ten minutes and was repeated at the top of every hour with little if any information caused even more panic in the masses. Today I watched our dollar die in a matter of hours even though I knew how it was killed months if not years ago. I just wondered how bad the announcement out of Geneva was going to be as our bankers and politicians sold our souls out to save their rear ends.I also wondered if I would ever sleep again.===============“Ah, Lincoln Avenue exit, Thank You Lord for getting me home!” an exhausted driver named Mike exhaled as he saw the ramp approach. Had had just over a half tank of fuel and could keep the rig running during the icy nights in Minnesota but was more aggravated after today’s events that no one in his office would answer the phone or the Qualcomm communications he had sent. Mike spent seven hours to get fuel in Fargo as the tanks were empty and the last tanker truck the Petro would send did not arrive until three hours ago. As a result, Mike sent a nasty message to his dispatcher about ice, cold and where it needed to be located up his dispatcher’s torso in Atlanta. Here it was six o’clock in the morning on I-94 and the roads were packed with truckers as usual but the CB radio screeching with chattering rumors about bank failures and economic collapse. “Good thing I have The Highway channel on my Sirius” he thought to himself as he cruised home to some classic Johnny Cash.As he started down shifting on to the ramp he noticed that at just after 6 a.m. one of his neighbors, Deputy Monckton was at the bottom of the ramp with his lights flashing and flares across the bottom of the ramp. Mike rolled to a stop and cranked the window down and asked “Hi Jack! What the heck has you out here freezing your tail off this early in the morning?” The Deputy unsnapped the cover from his parka over his face, took a sip of coffee and then spit out some chew to reply, “Mike, you are not going to believe this, I’ve been ordered to close this exit. Locals are the only ones allowed in for the next ten days per the Sheriff and Mayor Hilldegest. We’re supposed to turn everyone away here and off the old Highway 52 and 210 exits. I hope you’re going home, there’s some wild stories circulating out there!” Mike grabbed a huge gulp of coffee and wiped the over flow off his now frozen beard in the negative 21 degree temps to tell the Deputy “I’m going home and locking and loading. I’ve got a about a third of a load of pork from IBP to deliver tomorrow in Duluth, but now, we might just need it here. Call me if you need my help on the patrols, I’m locking this sucker up.” The deputy said “thanks” gave a half-hearted salute and moved his car to let Mike through. Little did Mike know that the little town of Fergus Falls would get very, very busy before the week was over.Meanwhile, back in Hampton, Georgia….February 22, 2010 0315 A.M. ETTom finally had the joy of handing a clerk $72.00 to pay for 30 bucks worth of toilet paper and a bunch of canned goods. Amazingly when Tom arrived home a half hour later his wife greeted him at the door. “Well, was it worth it getting all that toilet paper?” Sandy asked. As Tom looked uncomfortably at his lovely wife of twenty years, he started to speak when she interrupted and said “uh, I don’t see any of this magic toilet paper? Where is it sparky?” Tom looked down as he set the first load of bags of canned food down and a full two cases of Saltine crackers and started the story, “Well, uh, honey, you see there was this guy in the parking lot and uh, well, you see, he uh, well, gave me $10 a package for toilet paper I paid $5.99 per package for! He’s such an idiot!!!!” Sandy was not impressed. She said in a stern and disgusted voice “And if we run out because the stores are closed, will you let me use all that money you just earned to wipe my butt?”“Uh” was all Tom said as he looked down and meandered back to the car for another bag full of canned veggies and Ravioli in the middle of the night.February 23, 2010 1:41 A.M.Crap, I forgot to turn off the computer. Look at all the emails and nasty messages. Maybe it is just a bad dream or the bourbon but I swear that even at this time of night the “Day After” as the media was calling it seemed like it was prime time as thousands of people were on my favorite message boards, many pleading for help about their investments or what to do to survive. After finishing up my business in the bathroom, I figured I might as well turn on the idiot box and see if the mainstream had figured out just how severe this historical event was or if our morons who helped make this mess had the nerve to utter any statements from Geneva yet.As I flipped through I wondered if slugs like Cramer and Kudlow would ever show their face on television again. I had managed to convince the wife that I needed at least three televisions but that didn’t fly so two would have to do along with a split screen on my monitor as I used when I formerly day traded. She was wonderfully tolerant but knew that I had a clue this might be happening so understood and enjoyed a bottle of wine with me as we talked on the patio before retiring for the evening. Unfortunately my office beckoned and when I saw the insanity on my screen my head almost exploded.There it was, live at eight minutes until 2 a.m. a repeat of a special “Fast Money” segment on Bubblevision proclaiming and pushing the “Best Stocks to Buy” when the market re-opened next week. The best stocks to buy? These morons are acting as if this was just eating some bad undercooked chicken from a local Chinese choke and puke and once you purge it, you can chow down some more, just add more soy sauce! At 2 a.m. the mood returned to my more somber dark outlook as the Bloomberg network began live coverage from Switzerland and their attitude was 180 degrees from the propagandists on other channels.The interview they had with the Swiss Finance Minister Merz was pretty much to the point. He looked into the camera and sternly proclaimed “We will not sacrifice Europe nor our economy to save America and their illogical banking structure. We will issue a statement tonight after President Obama speaks at 6 o’clock Geneva time.” I figured that might give me time to squeeze in eighteen holes and enhance my hangover if I could get back to sleep but that would mean convincing my boss to tee off at 7:30 a.m. instead of 9:30.05:09 A.M. ETThe snooze button felt good but sleep was not an option. I left my wife’s warmth and comfort to sleep on the guest bed and kept the television volume on low just in case the EAS decided to activate because the ChiComs got sick and tired of the excuses from Obama and Bernanke in Geneva. Of course my paranoid self got the best of me and made me get up, shave, shower and listen intently to the local station which broadcasts the Bloomberg Radio Network exclusively in the early morning. What was unusual about this mornings program, as I smelled the coffee cranking up from my automatic Mr. Coffee (Dunkin Donuts, fresh ground if you’re curious) was the appearance of the morning team of Tom and Ken a full two hours plus before they normally come on the air. Bloomberg “Surveillance” was on at 5 a.m. and that meant either big news was breaking or there was some serious concern on the behalf of the big money crowd. The first interview they had was with a New York City Councilman who worriedly professed that the longer the markets were closed and the more dangerous the projected actions, the worse the city would be hit. I found that interesting because locally, nothing much of anything beyond the international fiasco was really going on. The bank closings and gas stations running out of gas was just taken in stride by the masses and that’s why I was hurriedly shaving and then putting toilet paper on the fresh cut when Tom Keene said that the projected Dow opening if it were to open today was down thirty percent if it were allowed to trade according to some experts.06:00 A.M. ETAs I finished my shower the sounds of Bloomberg Radio faded as I turned it down to turn up Bloomberg television and hear the big announcement from the new President of the EU Van Rumpoy state the following:“The United States Dollar in its current form is no longer an acceptable medium for a reserve currency or international trade with members of the European Union. We have expressed our policy on this matter to the other world leaders and President Obama at the morning meeting. The resolution of the matter will be completed soon and the announcement of our final policy decision will be enunciated at 6 o’clock European Central Time.”Stunned, I reached for the half full glass of now somewhat warm wine and chugged it. While the sheeple as I affectionately nicknamed them might have slept through this announcement, it was Armageddon for our country. Screw it. I’m going to play golf one more time before it hits the fan. This is absurd.06:25 A.M. ETThe ‘DING’ on my toaster oven went off faithfully with my last ‘Everything’ bagel and the cream cheese tasted extra rich this morning. It was almost if enjoying life without work was better but instead of retirement it was more of a resigned “now what” attitude. As I walked back into my home office with my bagel on my plate, the beautiful wife was awake and asking what my plan was. I reminded her that there was no work today so go back to bed but she insisted on going into her office, I guessed to answer phones that were not going to ring and hoping someone would help her figure out what was next for her state contracts. I told her that I’m playing golf with my boss so I have my excuse for playing hookie from reality. Just as she was going to reply in a rather rude outburst I asked her to be quiet as Prime Minister Brown from the UK began to speak:“Fellow citizens of the world, America and the United Kingdom have long enjoyed a special relationship. The matters being discussed within the halls of this meeting in Geneva will not benefit the citizens of the crown nor the free world. The United Kingdom has elected to depart this meeting and recognize the United States Dollar as the primary reserve currency for trading purposes and we fully expect and accept that the Americans will make good on all debts past and present that are owed to our nation as we too shall be strong and persevere in the face of this unwarranted attack on our sovereignty. The crown and eagle shall stand together, alone if we must. We will not abandon the ally which helped us survive World War Two and the Cold War. Thus the meetings here in Geneva, from the perspective of the United Kingdom and our financial agencies, are now concluded. Effective at midnight tonight, the United Kingdom shall withdraw from our participation in and investments of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Good day and God Save the Queen.”06:37 A.M. ETI walked into my bathroom and got quite ill to my stomach.07:oo A.M. ETAs I tossed my golf bag into the back of my pick up truck the cell phone rang and of course it was my boss. He said that he had lined us up at the country club but only for 9 holes because he wanted to see what President Obama and the rest of the G20 said at noon today. After signing in and the usual pleasantries, we headed out to the practice green to attempt to warm up a bit. Thankfully, it was a nice Florida morning where global warming had cooled the tee off temp to a robust 49 degrees and as I tried to find my stroke I muttered under my breath an obscenity (or four) about Al Gore’s family tree and dumped a little Irish Whiskey into my coffee to warm it up.We walked to the first tee from our golf cart and the Marshal said cheerfully “Have a good time gentlemen, it may not matter tomorrow!” With that I figured it was time to fire up a Diamond Crown #7 and enjoy the scent of a Pyramid Maduro as my golf game was not going to be so hot today. My boss said jokingly “I’ll take one on the second hole if you have one, I’ll be out of business soon anyways” and as he chuckled proceeded to hit a nice drive about two hundred and seventy yards down the right side of the fairway. I reached into my bag and handed him my last cigar and told him to enjoy today because tomorrow was going to really suck. He replied, “Yup. As soon as the courts open, I’m filing Chapter Seven.”That made for a nice shank about seventy yards behind his ball and in the tall grass leaving me a mountain to climb. But the best part was getting away from the Marshal who was acting as a starter today to work off tips (of course we gave him $10) as now we could talk and drink like Kamikazes on their final mission. The truth about our local situation was about to come out.09:17 A.M. ETThe Par 5 sixth hole was a monster today with the tees set back in the dew laden grass some 547 yards from the pin. The inhalation of my cigar helped but adding a cocktail to the mix did not hurt. My boss, a normally reserved sixty three year old self-made millionaire was chugging drinks like a mad man and telling all. He told me how the local banks were all insolvent criminal enterprises, as if I did not know that already. He told me that fifty percent of the commercial real estate was already delinquent or ready to be foreclosed upon. He even told me that half of the private jets at our Sarasota airport would be repossessed if any damned fool would buy them for 30 cents on the dollar! As he hit his second shot off the fairway, I took a swig straight up. The hangover I had this morning was nothing compared to what was coming for America.11:00 A.M. ETThe approach to the 9th hole was one of both a glazed over look of relief and horror as we knew that once were settled down to watch President Obama’s speech at noon, our lives and our nation would change forever. My boss laughed as I birdied the hole, giving me a scorching score of 49 on the front nine and he finished up to whip me by ten strokes yet again. Knowing full well that our relationship as employer and employee was practically over, I looked at him half serious and said “You know if you actually gave me a fair schedule for time off, I would hit the ball as well as you do.” He let out a huge belly laugh and said that he was buying the first round and not to worry, he was giving every employee one month’s salary on Thursday with the cash he had on hand and more when the banks opened to insure everyone survived before he filed for bankruptcy.“Dear God” I thought to myself. He’s either fleeing the nation or ending it all. The local news was chocked full of reported and rumored suicides around our community as of yet the names were unconfirmed this morning. The blaring of sirens out to Longboat Key and helicopters flying to our local hospital disturbed the normally quiet winter evening, yet it seemed surreal to everyone who lived in our community. The bartender at the country club looked us in the eye and asked “Are you staying for the big one?” My boss, being the the guy with the attitude now of “whatever” replied, “You mean they are showing a repeat of the Bucs game today again?” The bartender laughed and replied, “No, you know, President Obama and the bankers are going to screw all of us retirees in forty-five minutes! We don’t matter any more, so we figure we’re toast.”My boss, saddened, looked at him and handed him a $100 bill to my astonishment and said “Old man, this may not be worth anything today, tomorrow or ever again, but take it for what it is worth now. A thank you for helping our nation make it this far.”I started to get a little misty eyed at that point.11:55 A.M. ETCNBC interrupted with news that a WalMart Super Center was in the midst of a riot as it was closed due to running out of stock on the north side of Lexington, KY. As footage rolled in, the scroll said “6 dead, 15 injured” and just as the reporter was getting ready to speak….11:59 A.M. ETAttention all broadcast, cable and satellite outlets, this special emergency broadcast from Geneva, Switzerland and the President of the United States begins in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5………..===================“Citizens of the United States, citizens of the world, I wish to bring you a message tonight of hope and dreams and most of all assurance. Decades ago one of my heroes uttered those famous words of ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself’ and to that theme, I too, like Franklin Delano Roosevelt call now on the citizens not just of the United States but of the world to begin a move to restoration, beyond the call to change our ethics and to begin to undertake an immediate and drastic course of action to preserve and enhance the future for billions of people.We have assembled in Geneva to initiate a practical and realistic course of action to correct the errors of previous administrations, of prior nationalist xenophobic ideals, and to end the cursed reality of a system of capitalism which has failed because the participants within the economy refused to shoulder the responsibilities inherent with the great power and wealth the people granted them. The expansion of our ideals was fruitful, beneficial and helpful to establishing a global expansion far greater than any in the history of mankind, yet my powers and those of our central banking system were immediately tested one year ago as this very expansion collapsed as the illusion of wealth isolated within the purview of the few deprived the necessary capital to continue economic growth. This shall no longer stand. The governments of the world can no longer stand idly by and allow the minority the great responsibility of the engine of growth to become restricted opportunities for their own benefit at the expense of the citizens of the free world. Tough decisions have been made in these meetings; decisions which will impact every man, woman and child for a generation forward and impose great stresses on those unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to preserve our nation, our freedom, and our participation as the leading light of freedom in the governance of our planet.There are those in my nation which will demand immediate redress and accuse my administration and the Federal Reserve of abandoning our principles, our ideals and our Constitution. The future for the United States demands that the decisions here to be implemented immediately and when I depart Switzerland today, the process of legal acceptance of the World Currency Treaty of Geneva will be immediately implemented via Executive Order and those aspects requiring the U.S. Senate’s approval sent immediately to Majority Leader Harry Reid. Failure to pass and execute every aspect of this treaty is not an option. The divisions our decisions will create will not receive an immediate embrace by the American business community but that is a price we must pay for the errors of our way. In my capacity as leader of the United States and free peoples of the world, I shall do what I must to preserve the Republic and to insure we survive as a nation united.For I have been to the fields of Gettysburg and seen what division, distrust and dissolution can do to a nation, and I wish to be remembered as a modern day Lincoln, doing what must be done in the name of God, Country and the World to preserve our nation and insure that the intentional community is not shattered by our malfeasance. The American people and our economic might will make good on all of the debts owed to the world. The American people and our economic will shall control spending and abide by the demands of the international community. The American people and our corporate citizens will absorb the necessary oversight by all world bodies agreed to in this meeting and that of the November 2007 G20 Cape Town Accords and the November 2008 G20 Washington Financial Systems Accords. Charmain Bernanke will issue a paper on Wednesday, February 24th at precisely 6 p.m. Eastern Time to outline the changes to the domestic financial system and prepare for the re-opening of our financial markets at a later date.In the interim, we will proceed with actions to preserve the health, safety and national welfare of our citizens while initiating the undertaking of these agreements. To quote another hero of mine, Martin Luther King Junior:‘And another reason that I’m happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn’t force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them.’Under the leadership of our Legislative branches, our people and my administration, this time and once and for all I assure the people of the United States and the free world that we shall overcome.Good night and God Bless America and the World.”February 23, 2010 12:21 P.M. ETAs the bartender at the country club turned the television off then smashed the remote against the wall, his next words were not the revolutionary explosion in patriotism nor compliance President Obama probably would have expected:“Free Drinks until we run dry!”Alas, it was not Patrick Henry nor Ben Franklin but considering that everyone in the room, including some of Obama’s supporters, all felt like we were just sold out, it was only a matter of time until anarchy began to reign supreme. The club my boss was a member of was quite exclusive but not isolated from the reality of our community. The sirens were blaring constantly in the area towards I-75 and the helicopter that serviced Sarasota Memorial Hospital seemed extraordinarily busy the entire time we were playing but this brief vacation from reality ended with President Obama’s words.“John”, my boss spoke softly, “here’s a toast to you and your family. May you survive this nightmare and thrive on the chaos which follows.” He raised his glass, drank a shot of bourbon, poured another one from the bottle the bartender dropped off at our table then handed me two one hundred dollar bills and left with the bottle in his hands. “Uh, I don’t think you should try to drive sir, I mean I appreciate all of this but…” and before I could finish he cut me off and yelled back into the silent room “Who cares? What are they going to do, FINE ME WITH THE DEAD MONEY? The hell with everyone and this government.”He walked out the door and barked the tires on his Cadillac Escalade out of the parking lot and away forever.I went back inside, gave the barkeep one of the Benjamins, thanked him and he handed me a bottle of wine saying “Your wife might need this.” I nodded, headed to my car and proceeded to look for a gas station that was open. I figured I had best top things off while I still had some cash on hand because who would know what was the consequence of today’s speech outside of D.C.February 23, 2010 1:13 P.M. ETThe Sunoco station on U.S. 41 had all of the pumps covered with bags but the store, amazingly enough was open. I elected to go on inside, buy a six pack of misery juice and converse with the young man who I had come to know since he bought the station five years after emigrating from Pakistan. Tran, as he liked to be called was somewhat nervous but also enjoying a banner day of sales being one of the few stores to be open and gambling by making manual credit card slips and accepting cash of course. I noticed the empt shelves everywhere and asked him just how he made it. “Easy,” he said, “I held inventory off site a month ago waiting for a hurricane or a day like this.” I had to laugh but then it hit me to ask him, “Does that include gasoline?”Tran nodded and said something fascinating, “John, for you I do this. It will cost you $5 per gallon which is the new minimum legal price but I can sell it to you. You have to accept this paper and keep it in your truck until you get home.” He scribbled my name on one line and checked a box titled “Civilian Emergency Services” and then shoved it over to me asking me to sign it. The FEMA moniker at the top of the page looked almost false but the date and title froze me in my tracks:FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCYFEBRUARY 22, 2010EFFECTIVE FOR 14 DAYS FROM DATE OF ISSUEPERMIT FOR EMERGENCY PURCHASE OF GASOLINE, DIESEL OR OTHER FUEL PRODUCTS FOR APPROVED DOMESTIC AVIATION, AGRICULTURAL, COMMERCIAL OR EMERGENCY CIVILIAN USAGEMaximum Purchase Limit: 20 GallonsCERTIFICATE NUMBER: 5FL399303134231STATION ID: 1137756-34231Without hesitation nor caring about the repercussions, I signed it with an illegible signature, handed him the other one hundred dollar bill that my now apparently former boss handed me and went to the pump he directed me to so I could get that 20 gallons in my pick up and go home. As I put the handle back on the pump and covered it back up with the bag as instructed, an ill feeling started to sink in to me; this document was issued on a Sunday and since when could they get this out to so many stations so fast unless this plan was already in place!February 23, 2010 2:30 P.M. ETI walked in the door of my home, dropped my golf clubs, found my wife and gave her a long tight hug with a tear in my eye. She asked me “What’s wrong honey?” and the story of this day was told. But this day was far from over.Fort Fergus Falls“Break 9, break 9, is there anyone out there. This is John Donaldson of Whittaker Trucking out of Des Moines, IA and my rig is being shot at by unknown attackers at mile marker 56 on I-94 southbound. Anyone in Fergus Falls out there? Help please, help, I am being attacked. For God Sakes is anyone out there?”The citizens band radio rang out again with a call for help. Mike had only been home for what seemed like a few hours and his base station was ringing with calls for help. He bypassed calling 911 and called his old pal Deputy Monckton directly on his personal cell phone. “Jack, do you have your CB on?” Mike asked before the deputy could even say hello. The deputy politely replied that he did not and Mike got somewhat excited and told him what he had heard. “I’m on it” the deputy replied and as the deputy put the phone down he could hear him calling for backup before he hung up. Mike was exhausted but now was not the time to sleep in his mind. He put his winter gear on, grabbed some chains and locks, wrapped them around the doors on his trailer and then backed the truck up against the wall of his home so the doors could not be opened.His wife, looking at him like he was insane heard Mike snap like the old Sarge he used to be in Vietnam “Sal, you start finding anything that can hold water and start filling it up. Use totes, buckets, I don’t care and I don’t care if we put it in the garage and it freezes up. We’re going to need it!” Mike then grabbed a pistol, loaded it, put it in his pocket and went out into his barn to start chopping wood.He didn’t stop until six o’clock that night, tears streaming down this tough vet’s face as he finished tying off each bundle.Take Your Pork and Beans and Stick it MisterTom sat in front of his television after the Obama speech from Geneva in stunned silence. Sandy looked at him and said “See, I told you they had a plan and we would be fine. Here you are buying all kinds of fatty crappy foods we’ll never need to eat and end up donating to some food bank and the President has it all under control. You’re an idiot honey and if you think I’m going to sit around drinking bottled water and pork n’ beans all night you can stick it mister!”Tom was not exactly what many would call a “Type A” personality but he had hit his limit with the lack of sleep. “Woman,” Tom yelled, “I was just trying to take care of this family and protect you from the unknown. If you think this is over, then why in the Sam Hell is your beloved QVC and Oprah still off the air?” Sandy had heard enough, uttered some very terse curse words and went to the bedroom slamming the door and locking it while screaming all of the way. Tom slinked back to his chair after putting the cans up in the pantry in a somewhat organized manner and returned to the television to see what was new. By now it was 3 p.m. Eastern Time and that meant the start of the new hourly news and information reports from FEMA and the Voice of America Domestic Services. “It beats MSNBC” he thought to himself, as he drifted off to sleep to the melodic sounds of Yankee Doodle in the background.

MedicNovember 22nd, 2009 at 8:02 am

Well, at least one guy got one more round of golf in before the world went to shit.Who could ask for more?What a wonderfully spun upper-middle class-centric tale. Does this version of the future come with a free copy of Palin’s book?A growing number of our population are already living without credit cards, debit cards and banks. Millions live hand to mouth in this country every day – for those who have not noticed.

GuestNovember 22nd, 2009 at 8:58 am

Yes, but for those who have nothing, the situation can’t possibly get worse. It’s the hundred million middle class households who risk to loose everything when the shit hits the fan.

MM CANovember 22nd, 2009 at 9:15 am

With OVER 30 Million people unemployed/underemployed and taking that out to the families affected using 2.8 per household, that is roughly 85 million US men, woman and children living as you said. throw in another potential 15 million losing jobs over the next 2 years and you wil have approx 130 Million people living this way, almost 42% of the population. and lest anyone think that those still working will not be sh.tting in thier pants wondering if they are next, save for the few hundred thousand Wall street rich folks.Watch the below slide show to see how NO JOBS is destroying this country. takes 20 seconds to watch.

MM CANovember 22nd, 2009 at 9:02 am

Remember we were literally hours from this scenario twice in the fall of 2008. it took hundred of billions of dollars injected into our Financail system to stop this from happening at those times. As time has passed and As we now approach the 10 trillion mark of “help”, “injections” “loans”, “stimulus”, “liquidity”, the rest of the world as well as US citizins are starting to see we are broke and cannot pay our debts. Obama, The PTB and all the other “rich” minions are hoping for a Santa Claus XMAS miracle to happen, meaning that the US consumer will somehow go on a Holiday Shopping spree and save the country and the world. Rememebr the us consumer is 70% of US GDP. When it becomes clear towards the end of January and into the spring that this did not occur, sales did not increase, Tax incomes did not increase, the Home industry did not recover, the Auto industry did not recover and now people are not or cannot pay thier taxes or they have no taxes to pay, we will then head down the path above. I suspect it will not be as fast as the above, but more of controlled, slow decent with new laws and regualtions implemented over time to the US citizin.Bottom line is we are broke, The Banks are Insolvent, There are NO JOBS and Real Estate is still falling off a cliff.It will be a very painful and unnerving time for the US over the next 20 years, but i have no doubt we will fix it all, it will just take 20 years. It took 30-40 years to make the mess.

MorbidNovember 23rd, 2009 at 1:16 pm

MM CA,I always remember the wilderness experience the Jews endured in the desert after their release from Egyptian slavery – they wandered for 40 years. Can we hope for better?

MM CANovember 22nd, 2009 at 8:31 am

the Ultimate example of how politicians are and thier votes are bought and sold… What a shame we have turned into this…How The Democrats Bought A Key Healthcare Vote For $100 MillionJoe Weisenthal|Nov. 21, 2009, 11:04 AM | 1,519 |28An epic overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system comes down to a single vote.POLITICO: Two Saturdays ago, Pelosi passed health reform on a squeaker of a House vote. Today, Reid can’t spare a single Democrat as the Senate decides whether to start debate. If not, President Barack Obama’s reform hopes suffer immeasurable harm.That said, things were looking good at daybreak, as Reid can be reasonably confident of 59 votes, with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) a yes vote and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) leaning yes. The holdout: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who has been a fan of reform generally but faces a tough 2010 re-election fight.So it’s all down to Lincoln, but getting Landrieu (pictured) to comit to a “yes” is fascinating.Basically, the Senate bought her vote for $100 million.ABCNews: On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.”The section spends two pages defining which “states” would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that “during the preceding 7 fiscal years” have been declared a “major disaster area.”I am told the section applies to exactly one state: Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.Read the whole thing >

MM CANovember 22nd, 2009 at 9:19 am

Schiff: Roubini Doesn’t Get Why Gold Is SoaringJoe Weisenthal|Nov. 21, 2009, 12:28 PM | 1,760 |14In a new video, one noted doomsayer, Peter Schiff, takes on another one, Nouriel Roubini, on the subject of gold. Nouriel Roubini believes every asset, including gold, is over-inflated due to the dollar carry trade. Schiff disagrees, and says Roubini doesn’t understand the fundamentals behind gold — that it’s going to keep heading higher as a result of government action

MichelleNovember 22nd, 2009 at 9:51 am

I noticed the divergence between gold and global markets on both Thursday and Friday last week. Clearly we are starting to see the formation of a bubble and it’s just starting. How high will gold reach before the bubble bursts? As always, it’s a function of liquidity, and once liquidity dries up the gold price will plunge. Getting close to a triple on my holdings and I said I’d sell once it triples. But I may hold off because it may be a 5-bagger.

GuestNovember 22nd, 2009 at 10:08 am

Go for it, but does it matter if and when you cash out that those dollars (cash) is vitrually worthless? Coming infaltion will make double, triple, 5x bets look like mince meat.

MichelleNovember 22nd, 2009 at 10:39 am

You’re expecting inflation to get way out of hand and personally I doubt that will happen as we have too many deflationary headwinds in our path. If you believe inflation is going by way of Zimbabwe, then you’d better buy gold and swap those “worthless” dollars for it and follow the herd over the cliff.

GuestNovember 22nd, 2009 at 10:55 am

Not the way of Zimbabwe, but solid good old inflation that will last for years. Research neccessary staples, like food, water, Energy, gas and you will see inflation that is and has been pretty solid the past 2 years. Then look at all the taxes and fess we all pay that have gone up the past 2 years. Gold is worthless to average American consumer, all 300 Million of us. Gold, just like equities is one big bubble. look at the price of gasoline exactly 1 year ago and now. how about 35% or so more expensive, look at food. The only delfation occuring is in salaries/wages and housing/real estate. Oh and stocks too…I’m not ridiculing your investments, just pointing out no one is safe anyhwere right now.

MichelleNovember 22nd, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Look at gasoline at $4/gal vs now at under $3. Deflationary.Interesting that our politicians continually want to preserve and protect the U.S. financial industry and are even discussing taxing derivatives rather than banning them. I think they see that we no longer produce anything tangible and allowing another country to take over as a financial superpower would be devastating to our economy and the ultimate death of the USD, so protecting this industry is essential to avoiding our potential demise. How much more screwed up can we be.

ChrisLNovember 22nd, 2009 at 2:51 pm

I don’t think there will be any inflation for a long time : two main reasons, labour income is falling, and private credit demand is falling. So, as households are forced to deleverage (and the fact that the treasury piles on more debt only exacerbates private credit deflation) combined with less income means more and more overcapicity, more inventories, and prices of goods and services will certainly not increase in this environement. And this despite inflationary forces ($ decline due to o% rates and QE, and commodities rising).Having said this, I do believe there is a possibility that deflation begets hyperinflation, which is a completely different beast from inflation or even high inflation.A likely scenario is that as deflation takes its toll, the Govt keeps increasing its fiscal stimulus, whilst tax revenues decrease. As foreigners are gradually decreasing their exposure to US Govt debt, the only buyer for the excess treasuries and agency debt will be the Fed, who will pay for them by printing more $ (nothing new here). But there is a high risk that the fall in the $ will not be linear, but that one reaches a discontinuity, a run on the $. Nobody knows what is the limit to QE beyond which a run on the dollar becomes a reality. Not even Bernanke.But will Bernanke test that limit ? The only reason I’m buying Gold (about 15% of my savings by now) is because I believe there is a chance that he does. Not to make a profit but to have something left in case he does.So why only 15% in Gold and not all my savings you might ask ? That’s currently the probablity that I give to the Armaggeddon scenario of a run on the dollar.We’ll see what happens after February 2010 when the FED will have completed its agency/MBS/Treasuries monetization programme. If it extends it, I’ll increase my Gold exposure.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Is that the ONLY way a fiat currency can die?I keep hearing that it’s a matter of “confidence.” We all know that the USD is junk. As global trade contracts (a certainty, as dwindling physical/natural resources diminish) external currencies become less meaningful.Gold is only a step down the path. It’s not an end, it’s not the next new currency. But, it IS widely recognized, much more so than could be any world currency (which would take so long to implement that this notion can pretty much be pitched out the window; and besides, it would be just as prone to corruption and manipulation as any exiting fiat currency).

PeteCANovember 22nd, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Anecdotes* One of our relatives got frustrated this week after the balance on their credit cards started to increase again in an uncontrolled way – when they had just paid them off. That person got mad and chopped up all their cards.* The large church we attend just reported that voluntary giving in October 2009 fell much more than expected. In fact, giving during October was the lowest in 7 years.* I spoke to a businesswoman in our town this week. Her business is very dependent on large cash flows – because she tends to do big projects. She told me that 20% of her expected income is likely to vanish because one major customer is going bankrupt. I asked her whether she checked credit scores on potential customers. She told me that she does – but the person going bankrupt was a well-known and wealthy person in town. Secretly this person had accumulated a 7-figure debt to the IRS. The IRS now wants it all back – and it’s likely that all other creditors won’t get paid. The losses now spread out throughout the community.It looks to me like the Pyramid of Wealth in America is really a big pile of Swiss cheese … there are all kinds of holes in the system. There are many forms of dishonesty and distorted valuations that are built into the system – and these are all slowly but surely collapsing. In a credit-based system this corresponds to deflation (i.e. deflation of asset values and credit capability).Does this sound like a country that is going to start “borrowing its way to happiness” again?PeteCA

GuestNovember 22nd, 2009 at 4:31 pm

all your non-sense doesnt explain why trade deficit is heading up again. if you are right, trade deficit should be going down as people consume less. but it is not, people still consumming, USA still consumming more than it export or produce. so you talk is crap.

PeteCANovember 22nd, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Every anecdote is factual.The trade deficit is increasing because the price of oil has been increasing.PeteCA

Turtle49November 23rd, 2009 at 2:41 pm

There ought to be a concept called the “core deficit.” The core deficit would exclude imports of oil, other energy items, and food. That might give our economy better numbers. Does this sound familiar?

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:16 pm

The trade deficit is widening because the US exports are decreasing, AND, because the USD is losing value! Keep in mind that the bulk of US import costs is from oil, something that is not easy to cut back on: the US is paying out about 2 1/2 times what it did not that long ago when the entire bubble machine was running at its peak (read “economy was based on $30/bbl oil”).

GuestNovember 22nd, 2009 at 4:31 pm

all your non-sense doesnt explain why trade deficit is heading up again. if you are right, trade deficit should be going down as people consume less. but it is not, people still consumming, USA still consumming more than it export or produce. so you talk is crap.

SoftwarengineerNovember 22nd, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Apples and OrangesMonth to month changes during a 2-3 yr long economic collapse mean nothing.Compare the current trade deficit to 2006….then your theory looks like a complete joke. The world has reduced oil consumption 44% this year compared to 2006….where’s your trade deficit? Where’s a need for Cap and Trade anymore?

GuestNovember 22nd, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Bullard, Blinder and Schiff???Bullard Says Fed Independence Vital to Stable Prices November 22 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard, Alan Blinder, a former Fed vice chairman who is now a professor at Princeton University, and Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital Inc., speak about the U.S. economy, the dollar’s performance and financial industry regulation. suggest trying to stay awake through James Bullard and Alan Blinder, Schiff starts at around 44 minutes in. They just don’t get it IMO.hlowe

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 3:00 am

Gee, those who’ve been pushing Americans over the cliff have been the powers in charge for the last three decades, republicans, democrats, Fed, financial institutions and mega corporations, who have decreased the savings rate from a healthy 8% of GDP to 0, have increased the total debt (private and public) at a rate of 10% per annum in order to artificially pump an economy and grow at a third of that rate, have continuously increased the current account deficit to a whopping 6% of GDP by 2006, and have continuously increased the inequality index (GINI) from the lowest its ever been to as high as that of a Banana republic.Guest, your partisan rethoric is laughable.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 3:04 am

The present fallout can be summarized in simple terms:Should a bankrupt country (the US) be allowed to use money created out of thin air to pay for goods produced with the sweat and tears of hardworking citizens of exporting countries? Adding insult to injury, the same dollars are now purchasing a lot less than before. So what is the use of being paid in a currency that is losing rapidly its value?On the other hand, the US is telling the whole world, especially the Chinese that if they are not happy with the status quo, there is nothing to stop them from selling to the other countries and accepting their currencies. But if they want to sell to the mighty USA, they must accept US toilet paper reserve currency and its right to create monies out of thin air!This is the ultimate poker game and whosoever blinks first loses and will suffer irreparable financial consequences. But who has the winning hand?The US does not have the winning hand. Neither has China the winning hand.This state of affairs cannot continue for long, for whatever cards the US or China may be contemplating to throw at the table to gain strategic advantage, any short term gains will be pyrrhic, for it will not be able to address the underlying antagonistic contradictions.When the survival of the system is dependent on the availability of credit (i.e. accumulating more debts) it is only a matter of time before both the debtor and creditor come to the inevitable conclusion that the debt will never be paid. And unless the creditor is willing to write off the debt, resorting to drastic means to collect the outstanding debt is inevitable.It would be naïve to think that the US would quietly allow itself to be foreclosed! When we reach that stage, war will be inevitable. It will be the US-UK-Israel Axis against the rest of the world.The Prelude to the End GameThe US economy will be spiraling out of control in the coming months and will reach critical point by the end of the 1st quarter 2010 and implode by the 2nd quarter.The massive US$ trillions of dollars stimulus has failed to turn the economy around. The massive blood transfusion may have kept the patient alive, but there are numerous signs of multi-organ failure.There will be another wave of foreclosures of residential and more importantly commercial properties by end December and early 2010. And the foreclosed properties in 2009 will lead to depressed prices once they come through the pipeline. Home and commercial property values will plunge. Banks’ balance sheets will turn ugly and whatever “record profits” in the last two quarters of 2009 will not cover the additional red ink.Given the above situation, will the Fed continue to buy mortgage-backed securities to prop up the markets? The Fed has already spent trillions buying Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages with no potential substitute buyer in sight. Therefore, the Fed’s balance sheet is as toxic as the “too big to fail” banks that it rescued.In the circumstances, it makes no sense for anyone to assert that the worst is over and that the global economy is on the road to recovery.And the surest sign that all is not well with the big banks is the recent speech by the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, William Dudley at Princeton, New Jersey when he said that the Fed would curtail the risk of future liquidity crisis by providing a “backstop” to solvent firms with sufficient collateral.This warning and assurance deserves further consideration. Firstly, it is a contradiction to state that a solvent firm with sufficient collateral would in fact encounter a liquidity crisis to warrant the need for a fall back on the Fed. It is in fact an admission that banks are not sufficiently capitalized and when the second wave of the tsunami hits them again, confidence will be sorely lacking.Dudley actually said that, “the central bank could commit to being the lender of last resort… [and this would reduce] the risk of panics sparked by uncertainty among lenders about what other creditors think”.To put it bluntly what he is saying is that the Fed will endeavour to avoid the repeat of the collapse of Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros and AIG. It is also an indication that the remaining big banks are in trouble.It is interesting to note that a Bloomberg report in early November revealed that Citigroup Inc and JP Morgan Chase have been hoarding cash. The former has almost doubled its cash holdings to US$244.2 billion. In the case of the latter, the cash hoard amounted to US$453.6 billion. Yet, given this hoarding by the leading banks, the New York Federal Reserve Bank had to reassure the financial community that it is ready to inject massive liquidity to prop up the system.It should come as no surprise that the value of the dollar is heading south.When currencies are being debased, volatility in the stock market increases. But the gains are not worth the risks and if anyone is still in the market, they will be wiped out by the 1st quarter of 2010. The S&P may have shot up since the beginning of the year by over 25 per cent but it has been out-performed by gold. The gains have also lagged behind the official US inflation rate. It has in fact delivered a total return after inflation of approximately minus 25 per cent. When Meredith Whitney remarked that, “I don’t know what’s going on in the market right now, because it makes no sense to me”, it is time to get out of the market fast.In a report to its clients, Société Générale warned that public debt would be massive in the next two years – 105 per cent of GDP in the UK, 125 per cent in the US and in Europe and 270 per cent in Japan. Global debt would reach US$45 trillion.At some point in time, all these debts must be repaid. How will these debts be repaid?If we go by what Bernanke has been preaching and practising, it means more toilet paper currency will be created to repay the debts.As a result, debasement of currencies will continue and this will further aggravate existing tensions between the competing economies. And when creditors have enough of this toiletpaper scam, expect violent reactions!

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:37 am

“debt will never be paid” “US-UK-Israel Axis against the rest of the world”What else is new? USA is a bankrupt evil empire killing innocent people and causing instability, war, and misery around the world. Shame shame shame.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:39 am

What you said verified what I said all along. QE at 0% forever. no exit strategy for FED or federal/state/local government forever!!! And no one believes me.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:22 pm

Who the heck is “me?” Anyone who uses the word “forever” should be highly suspect, just the same as anyone who believe that we can grow indefinitely.Anyway… the only saving grace to the USD is that everyone else’s currencies are pretty much screwed too. But of course, this is all the logical conclusion to contraction, which is being driven by the fact that future growth is no longer possible (we are seeing that our children can not possibly support us!).

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 5:44 am

Anybody wants to guess when the dollar carry trade will reverse itself and the stocks, bonds, commodities bubble is going to burst ?First :The FED’s $1.425 Agency/MBS program is about $1.18T finished, while purchases continue at a slightly slackened pace of approximately $90B per month. At this rate, the program will be effectively over and done with by the middle of February 2010. More details hereSo thinking it will be over soon ? Think again ! Now we have St. Louis Federal Reserve bank James Bullard saying today that the FED should keep its MBS programme active longer.And Gold hits $1166 today…

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:59 am

Guest, I’ve already said it many times : it can’t possibly go on forever. There is a limit beyond which the resulting fall in the $ goes parabolic and there is a run on the $.It took the Fed close to a hundred years to print its first trillion $. It took them less than a year to print the second.The third ? Well, there might come a moment when they decide to go for it and the resulting loss of confidence around the world in the US’s ability to pay back its obligations without devaluing the value of the dollar becomes so grand that everybody suddenly wants to get out of it.Then the third trillion $ will have to be printed in a month instead of a year. And the fourth will have to be printed in a day when it costs a $1000 to buy a Gallon of gas. And then its 10 trillions a day,… And it doesn’t take long until the whole experiment comes to an end, bankrupting hundreds of millions in the country and throughout the world.There is a limit to QE, or more precisely the speed at which a central bank, even the US central bank, can increase its balance sheet or print new dollars to make good the country’s obligations throughout the world.Nobody knows where that limit is. There is no economic theory that models what happens when the speed of printing increases. Because we cannot model the human psychology and the resulting fear and loss of confidence.Will there be a run on the dollar if the FED tries to print a third trillion dollars next year ? Nobody knows. It’s never been tested. There has never been a run on the world’s main reserve currency before in history. We don’t even know what the geopolitical and social consequences of such a mega black swan event might be. It tend to think it might be very scary.So maybe good ol’ Bernanke will try to find out. That’s going to be an “interesting” experiment. But one thing is sure, QE can’t go on forever.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:41 am

Aha, but you said, we can have 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th… Xth QE run. stop at where, hehe, sky or perhaps space is the limit!! cheers QE at 0% close to forever.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:31 am

I said QE at 0% forever, and no one believes me. No exit strategy forever, get it??? Agency/MBS will be extended forever. Stimulus will be extended forever. now there is talk federal aid to state/local budget. How to pay it? Hahaha, but of course digital print press. Cheap digital dollar forever!!!

FEDupNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:06 am

While QE certainly can’t last forever, you do raise an interesting point. For example, how long has the rally in stocks continued even though most experts never imagined it to last more than a few months or 4-5% increase? We have been functioning for years with ridiculous levels of debt and imbalances without any severe repercussions. Why, how? Could it be because the US is the biggest and strongest bully on the block with the greatest military, control of the oil market (via Saudi Arabia and occupation of Iraq, etc)and last but not least-the ONLY reserve currency on the planet?! Every other country and its investors (financial elite) is DEPENDENT on the US system for sustenance and since there is “no other game in town”, this is where all the action will continue-until the ELITES find a “better game”. Of course, the rest of us will be the last to know, cannot do a thing about it and will be given the wrong reasons for the change. So, yes, QE can continue a very long time, much longer than anyone’s reasonable, logical expectation especially when you’re the biggest, baddest and smartest guy on the block.

11b40November 23rd, 2009 at 6:46 am

So, ChrisL, if your math is correct & the market is a forward looking beast, why is it still moving higher 90 days ahead of calamity? As I sit here, the DOW is up almost 100 points this morning’s pre-market action. Must not have been enough people watching Saturday Night Live this weekend ;~)Independent Contrator

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:14 am

I tell you why IC, for a very simple reason : human psychology : everybody thinks the same thing right now : I’ll have time to get out.“I’ll get out as soon as I see signs that the FED is really going to take away the punch bowl.”So who says we are 90 days ahead of calamity ? For the moment, it’s too early to say if the FED is going to stop its high speed money printing operations come Q1 next year. So why sell now ?And in any case, why sell stocks or commodities right now, which are tangible assets (yes stocks are partly tangible assets) when you don’t know what the paper currency might be worth in the near future ?

11b40November 23rd, 2009 at 8:08 am

Sounds like a perfect contrarian scenario. Anytime everybody thinks the same thing, complacency sets in and markets tend to reverse course.Logic is long gone, so obviously psychology rules. I guess the question is how high is up? Having already passed the point of price to earnings making any sense at all, it seems we are in one of those roadrunner cartoons where the coyote runs off the cliff and hangs in thin air for a few moments. Eventually, reality sets in. The danger of staying in the market at these levels seems much more risky than cash to me. Of course, I sold out my gold (with a nice profit) at 1050, so what do I know? As the DOW & Gold pull away from the S&P 500 & NASDAQ, I become much more cautious & have a hard time believing I am alone. The money driving this market is fast money, and it will be gone in a flash when the turn comes. Unless you are watching screens all day, profits could vanish faster than you could react without good stops – and stops are not foolproof. This is a trader’s market and when the Elephants dance, the mice should stay clear.Independent Contractor

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 8:37 am

I don’t think it’s safe to have one’s savings 100% in cash right now. Whatever the currency.If you think there is a growing risk of a major currency crisis next year, you should have a growing chunk of your savings in tangible assets, Gold, Oil, Grain, and shares of companies that own large tangible assets. Whatever the price right now.

blindmanNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:33 am

antal e. fekete said somewherethat the digital currency willcollapse and then paper currencywill be king in a deflationaryspiral, or something like this.all currency representing debt thatis by systemic design unpayable, atthe moment of recognition of systemicdis integration. ( no integrity )..what is the ratio of digital currency, debt, topaper currency?

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 8:49 am

Well, in the US for example, base money is about $2 trillion and total credit about $60 trillion.So I’d say the ratio is about 30 to 1.

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:53 am

The only way the FED (and other central banks of the world’s (over)developped economies) have found to maintain bond rates artificially low and keep the economy from tanking further in the abyss is by printing more dollars to pay for a big chunk of those bonds.By doing this they are keeping the world’s entire credit markets from tanking. But now they’re in a trap, they are slowly starting to realise that they can’t possibly stop the high speed money printing operations, because otherwise private investors will demand much higher yields to absorb the excess debt and bond rates will go through the roof, despite having base rates at zero. And the more they continue with it, the faster they’ll need to print new dollars in order to avoid the collapse.Methinks this thing is not going to have a happy ending.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:31 am

Meaning of Fed and federal/state/local gov: We really dont want to talk about exit strategy. We dont want exit strategy.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Of course not! This is the SYSTEM. An exit strategy would imply the end of the SYSTEM. But Mother Nature could care less about our childish antics, forever is going to come to an end: we will think that it’s because of OUR inability to “co-operate,” but in reality it’ll be because we can no longer operate based on the absurd notion that infinite (“forever”) growth can happen.

FEDupNovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:24 am

Resales of U.S. homes increased 10.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.10 million as the National Association ofro Business Economics announced “The Great Recession is over. The good news is that this deep and long recession appears to be over and with improving credit markets, the U.S. economy can return to solid growth next year without worry about rising inflation.” Will the masses blindly follow the economic spin and decide it’s time to go buy a home or a new car and continue to accumulate debt?

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:59 am

Improving credit markets ? Why then is the FED still obliged to buy more than $ 100 billion worth of debt every month and pay for it with freshly printed dollars ? How high would rates be if the FED stopped this ?No need to worry about rising inflation, but what about the risk of a currency crisis then ?Why are there so few economists who talk about the rising risk of a run on the dollar and other major currencies ?Those NABE economists are completely blind, they all seem to believe in miracles…Here’s Taleb talking about the rising risk of hyperinflation : video (especially from 14:30 onwards).Why isn’t even Prof. Roubini talking about the rising risk of hyperinflation ?They all seem to think we’re out of the woods and the only discussion is about the shape of the recovery.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 am

Listening to the link provided above (By Guest on 2009-11-22 22:45:12) It seems clear that smart people (Bullard, Blinder) from Ivy League schools lack much common sense. But I’m sure they write well.Remember these folks didn’t see most (if any) of the problems coming, so don’t count on them being accurate in the future. I suggest you listen to them talk, even if you fast forward through some of it until you get to Schiff. Then listen to all of the rest.hlowe

FEDupNovember 23rd, 2009 at 11:22 am

WOW! Great Taleb video. The man is many levels above most if not all economists and especially the buffoons in Washington!

ChrisLNovember 23rd, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I love Taleb’s analogy :The FED trying to create inflation in this deflationary environement with massive runs of the printing press is like trying to squeeze some Ketchup out of a bottle.You shake it ounce, you get nothing. Twice, nothing. And then finally, you got Ketchup all over your table.It’s the story of non linearity…

SoftwarengineerNovember 23rd, 2009 at 1:58 pm

LOL….Home Sales UpAnd what homes are selling for what price? Article in part:”….The recovery is being driven by lower prices combined with federal programs to lower mortgage rates and bring more buyers into the market. The median sales price was $173,100, down 7 percent from a year earlier and off roughly 2 percent from September….”the rest of the URL: Gee Fedup, home prices are chronically collapsing, better sell your house fast this year before its worthless in the future? LOL

FEDupNovember 23rd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

agree! Homes are now acting like cars-as soon as you purchase them and get the keys, they start going down in value! This will just put people futher in debt and may eventually re-ignite the foreclosure market to new heights especially if taxes increase (a certainty), wages decrease (a certainty) and job losses continue (a high probability).

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:31 am

Meaning of Fed and federal/state/local gov: We really dont want to talk about exit strategy. We dont want exit strategy.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Of course not! This is the SYSTEM. An exit strategy would imply the end of the SYSTEM. But Mother Nature could care less about our childish antics, forever is going to come to an end: we will think that it’s because of OUR inability to “co-operate,” but in reality it’ll be because we can no longer operate based on the absurd notion that infinite (“forever”) growth can happen.

11b40November 23rd, 2009 at 3:04 pm

…because there is no viable exit strategy that is politically acceptable.They will run this right off the cliff at full speed, then say they tried everything they could to prevent it. No one wants to have the blame for turning the lights out at the party.Independent Contractor

AnonymousNovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:39 am

Why govt of the world continue with the charade??easy… we just had WW2 60 yrs ago(60 years in human history is like fraction of a second)they know where this will lead to..on the other hand, here is the dilemma…IMF warns second bailout would ‘threaten democracy’ Strauss-Kahn told the CBI annual conference of business leaders that another huge call on public finances by the financial services sector would not be tolerated by the “man in the street” and could even threaten democracy.”Most advanced economies will not accept any more [bailouts]…The political reaction will be very strong, putting some democracies at risk,” he told delegates————————————————————————————-maybe the future has been written..

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I see it as threatening “non-democracy!” What has been happening is anything but democratic! The oligarchs are really worried, as they should be, as should everyone, but stating that this threatens “democracy” is downright Orwellian!

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 10:09 am

FED will not do the right thing!!! You see Europe do right thing. You see Australia do right thing. But FED? NO, FED will not do right thing. It has no exit strategy to soap up anything. FED and Treasury pee more QE on top of massive QE and debt we already have.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:36 pm

Is Europe and Australia (PeterJB, where are you?) really doing the “right thing?” Won’t we only know this when the books are closed? And when might that/this be?Given that Europe and Australia also operate on a grow-or-die basis I hardly think that they could do the “right thing.”

MorbidNovember 23rd, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Sub-Optimal Solutions

New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman is worried that America is producing “sub-optimal solutions” to big problems like global warming, an education system in decline and a weak economy.The author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded appeared on The Charlie Rose Show on Friday night (20 Nov. 2009) to discuss President Obama’s recent trip to Asia, and more specifically China. Friedman lamented the failure of US governance and the “forces of paralysis” that surround President Obama. He is worried that China’s streamlined, one-party system (authoritarian) will be in a better place to implement solutions to large global problems more quickly than the US.Holding us back, Friedman argues, is a political system too closely connected with money and well-funded interests. Gerrymandering on the part of politicians makes it so that our leaders practically pick us, not the other way around. Friedman also thinks cable news television distorts the truth and that the internet (at its worst) can be a terrible thing for our nation’s politics. He also says American businesses have gone AWOL, and hover over America, participating only when it suits their industry’s needs.Friedman says that better citizens (those not wanting the welfare state)–not politicians–can solve our nation’s problems.Look at California – it is just the off-Broadway version of what is coming to Washington. California is becoming a failed state – the first failed state. The forces of paralysis are not being overcome.

Watch the following 6 minute video…

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Flat-earth Friedman is an idiot. He believes that technology (which is a PROCESS, not a resource) can save us. Never mind that he cannot possibly address how it would do so in the grow-or-die paradigm (that he supports).

MorbidNovember 23rd, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Yes, sustainability is the key. I liked his CA comment and how the criminal elite have a death grip on everything.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Technology will lead the way in solving climate change? Technology IS the reason for climate change (well, it would happen by default, but it’s technology that’s responsible for speeding up the change- refer to Jevons Paradox).I guess that I’m not getting what he really means by the forces of paralysis? Did this force help create the fiasco known as Enron? Or, is this paralysis WHY Enron came to be?He’s talking “sub-optimal,” yet it was the likes of Enron, Lehmans et al and their “innovation” that are largely responsible for the predicament that we’re in.Friedman is correct in that CA handcuffed themselves by passing restrictive tax measures; however, what would things have been like if the state hadn’t been so harnessed?To me this is all rather irrelevant, as the true problem is one of exhausting resources (and rising [and aging] populations): creating a debt load that is/will be impossible for our children to repay (while they experience a standard of living far down from what we now know).

Pecos BankerNovember 23rd, 2009 at 1:58 pm

As long as people refuse to put the military front and center in any economic discussion, we are never going to emerge from this depression. JMHO

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I’m hoping that a depression will be the end of the military (as pertains to the empire’s global military force). I’ve tried advocating peace, I now believe that it’s better to encourage the eventual outcome that will be suicide by militarism… the sooner that this stinking hulk can cease its current trajectory the better.

Crash866November 23rd, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Hey ass—–s,Is this the same military you speak of that protects you and your families freedom? There would be no USA without it. Try again with a more plausable argument dipshits! Banish the military??? Yeah that will fix everything.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Kiss my you know what. I’m a former Marine- I’ve done my time.There would be no USA without it. And there will not be one if you and your militaristic BS continue! Stop waving the flag (and driving around a Hummer) and read up on history and see how this movie plays out.Over-extending one’s resources, and slaughtering people all around the globe (and creating tons of enemies), yeah, let me know how THAT works out!

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Face it, Fed and Treasury declare dollar debasing war. Who can beat what they want to get, when they the one own digital dollar print button. One press more QE pee into monetary system.

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:40 pm

Yes, I see your point (clearly- and have for a long time now)! Sooner or later, however, no one will be buying QE pee: when 2/3 of the world’s population lives on the equivalent of $3/day of less does anyone really think that these people care? such ambivalence will spread as more and more people are no longer employed by the system, and then the entire game is up (hopefully, to use one of your favorite words- “forever!”).

blindmanNovember 23rd, 2009 at 5:45 pm

@jason b,thank you.and….. here… bill moyers plays tapes from 1964 , 1965 lyndon johnson andhis phone calls resulting in lots of dead people, “profits” etc….quagmire, vietnam and lessons yet to be learned with other peoples lives and deaths, making moneyand pawning the thing off as “integrity” or stupidity aswe here have not differentiated the two.we don’t know the difference between the cart and the horse,so to speak, never mind which comes first.second chance, afganistan. doesn’t look good as moremoney is involved and we have become stupider. or morestupid or we have expanded the boundaries of the playingfield into greater worsity, and few have noticed………………………………………….… gary null interviews john perkins ( shape shifting economic hit man )don’t hold it against him, he knows that of which he speaks.. Show About Nothing: The Placeholder Presidency of Barack Obamaby David Michael Green.”Here’s one more indicative (and quite real) headline to add to the list above. No offense to my amigos south of the border, but you can file this puppy under “Y”, for “You Know The Show Is Over When…””Money Starts to Trickle North as Mexicans Help Out Relatives” .”…………………………………………………………..and here a history conversation and information about the “healthcare debate”, ie nothing to do with health or care, all aboutmoney, which never is defined, and those relationships. and so it goes….. November 23, 2009 3:00pmPublic Affairs, Talk Back..

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Blind-one, thought you could appreciate this:Intelligentsia against intelligence

In the parlance of our times, the term “Idiocracy” means a nation run by idiots — and the term “idiot” is defined by the dictionary as “an utterly foolish or senseless person” who exhibits “a mental age of less than 3 years old.”There are obvious reasons to believe America is becoming an Idiocracy — a series of horrendous government and business decisions strongly suggest that we’ve seen the ascension of utterly foolish, senseless people, many with the mental age of infants (yes, W., I’m looking at you). And if there remained any flicker of hope that we aren’t turning into a full-on slobbering Idiocracy, that hope was snuffed out last week by two of the Washington intelligentsia’s most respected voices.First came a now-famous column about Afghanistan by the Washington Post’s David Broder. The “dean” of the press corps attacked President Barack Obama not for choosing any particular policy, but for simply taking time to meticulously consider his options in the Central Asian quagmire. “The urgent necessity,” Broder asserted, “is to make a decision — whether or not it is right.”

blindmanNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:59 pm

g,that is frightening. mr. broder should be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law not excluding beheading, if applicable, following due process of course. and then there is this….predation…and recent history. Capitalism, Corruption and Militarism: What Lies Ahead in An Age of Neocon Rule?by Stephen Lendman.”A Look Back to Find Direction AheadA look back to an important anniversary just reached should have been duly noted and reflected on in the major media, but it passed nearly unnoticed. It was the December 15 anniversary of the Bill of Rights of 1791 to the Constitution framed in 1787. It gave us unimaginable freedoms up to that time written into the law of the land that overall was a great democratic experiment never tried before outside of ancient Athens for a few decades before it ended. It gave people the rights of free expression, religion and peaceable assembly; protection from illegal searches and seizure; the right of due process, against double jeopardy and to remain silent if accused; to a speedy trial by jury if charged with the right to counsel and to be able to call witnesses; protection from any cruel and unusual punishment and more.Most of the credit for this historic achievement goes to James Madison who drafted the first 10 amendments and with his perseverance got the other Framers to go along. He then managed to get the needed two-thirds vote from both Houses of Congress and ratification by the required three-fourths of the states in 1791 to have them become the law of the land – a major landmark achievement today being defiled by those in power who have contempt for the freedoms the Founders gave us.” …..”It’s also based on might making right but not the way Abe Lincoln meant it when he said in his February, 1860 Cooper Union speech prior to his July presidential nomination that year: “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” He later expressed a spirit of reconciliation with the South and kind of humanity George Bush has contempt for in his second inaugural address in March, 1865 when he spoke of “malice toward none (and) charity for all” only weeks before his life was taken by an assassin’s bullet. Imagining that language from George Bush, and meaning it, would be to imagine the unimaginable from a man who likely doesn’t even understand it.What is imaginable in the year ahead and thenceforth is a world without George Bush and his neocon extremist administration leading the nation on a path to hell. Those wanting justice demand the Congress act to impeach him and the vice-president and then remove them from office allowing for the chance charges will be brought against them both and others in their administration so they’ll be held to account in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague or another judicial venue where officials may be prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. They committed them all and more against the people of Iraq, at least two of the three in Afghanistan, and a legion of others against the people of the United States and its Constitution.It’ll only happen if it comes from the bottom up, from enough public outrage bubbling to the surface vocally demanding justice be served and the rule of law restored and again respected. No one at any level in public or private life should ever be allowed to get away with the kind of reckless and gross criminality that’s been rampant and out-of-control in Washington for the past six years under Republican neocon rule.It’s long past time to put an end to this criminal class of rogues in charge, running the country like their private fiefdom in a culture of galling corruption and scorn for the law that exceeds anything here ever preceding their tenure.” …………………………………………………………….. this summary you will learn* How brilliant Wall Street outsider Michael Milken started a revolution in the market for low-quality, high-yield bonds* How he used junk bonds to finance famous hostile takeovers of marquee companies* How his junk-bond empire collapsedWhy you should read The Predators’ BallToday the phrase “securities fraud” evokes Enron, WorldCom and Tyco. Two decades ago, it evoked Drexel Burnham Lambert, the investment bank that ruled the junk-bond realm and helped fund some of the most audacious corporate takeovers of the 1980s. Enthroned at the center of Drexel Burnham was the king of junk, Michael Milken. Was he a financial genius who found ever more clever ways to make markets more efficient? Or was he a swindler running the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme? New Yorker writer Connie Bruck sets out to answer those questions in this cautionary tale of Drexel’s rise and fall. getAbstract recommends this fascinating, highly detailed financial history. However, the flaw in Bruck’s narrative is the absence of a third act: She inexplicably ends the book before Milken’s trial and sentencing. While its ending is weak, this provocative story makes one thing clear: Uneasy lies the head that wears a leveraged crown.”.”Uneasy lies the head that wears a leveraged crown.” that is a good one…………………………………………………..steve keen, “get out of debt”. another good one..Talk one: the causes – Global Financial Crisis Event : Dr. Steve Keen. yes, too little too late.? so it goes..nov 30, march for peace. coming up!

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Lest anyone think that raising taxes in such an environment is only something that liberals or Democrats do/would consider:Goldman’s Leme Calls Mexico Downgrade ‘Unnecessary’

Leme said Fitch’s decision overlooked tax increases passed this month by congress as part of the 2010 budget. Lawmakers boosted the value-added tax one percentage point after rejecting a new 2 percent consumption tax proposed by President Felipe Calderon which aimed to broaden the tax base.

NOTE: I don’t endorse ANY government action unless it is associated with disbandment.

CitizenNovember 23rd, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) — The most accurate dollar forecasters predict the world’s reserve currency will continue sliding even when the Federal Reserve begins to raise interest rates, which policy makers say is an “extended period” away.Standard Chartered Plc, Aletti Gestielle SGR, HSBC Holdings Plc and Scotia Capital Inc. say the dollar will depreciate as much as 6.4 percent versus the euro. About $12 trillion of fiscal and monetary stimulus, the world’s lowest borrowing costs and a record $4 trillion of government bond sales between 2009 and 2010 will weigh on the currency, they said. So will the nation’s 10.2 percent unemployment rate and signs that the economic recovery may falter, they said.“History tells us the dollar shouldn’t start rising on a sustained basis until 12 months after the Fed starts to lift rates,” said Callum Henderson, the Singapore-based global head of foreign-exchange strategy for Standard Chartered.The best forecaster of the dollar against the euro in the six quarters ended June 30 in Bloomberg’s ranking of 46 firms last month predicts the greenback will weaken 5.3 percent to $1.58 per euro in 2010, from $1.4970 today.“It’ll take time to drain the oversupply of dollars from the market,” Henderson said. “The dollar will remain weak until the Fed’s rates rise above the competitors’.”Group of 10The U.S. will be one of five economies represented in the Group of 10 to wait until after mid-2010 to raise benchmark rates, according to median predictions in Bloomberg surveys of as many as 60 economists. The Fed, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank will increase borrowing costs in the third quarter and the Bank of Japan will remain at 0.10 percent at least through March 2011, the surveys show.By the end of 2010, only Japan will have lower borrowing costs, and those will be higher when adjusted for inflation, the forecasts show. The Fed’s target for overnight loans between banks will be 1 percent, compared with the ECB’s 1.5 percent benchmark.U.S. borrowing costs will make dollar-based assets less attractive, said Camilla Sutton, the foreign-exchange strategy director at Scotia Capital in Toronto. The Bank of Nova Scotia unit, the most-accurate forecaster of the dollar versus the Swiss franc in Bloomberg’s rankings, predicts 2010 will end with the greenback weaker at $1.60 per euro.“The dollar will lose the near-term race for interest rate increases and then lose the long-term race,” Sutton said.History LessonOnce the Fed raises its target, the dollar’s performance likely will mimic the pattern that followed the central bank’s past three rounds of increases, Sutton and Henderson said.After policy makers started boosting borrowing costs in July 2004, the Dollar Index tumbled 10 percent and didn’t get back to where it had been before the first increase and stay there for more than a month until November 2005.Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s dollar gauge fell 6 percent and took seven months to recover after the Fed began lifting borrowing costs in July 1999. It dropped 16 percent following the Fed’s 1994 move without regaining lost ground until 1997.The top forecasters are in the minority, with median predictions in Bloomberg surveys of as many as 43 strategists showing the dollar gaining against the euro, pound, yen, Swiss franc and Swedish krona by Sept. 30. The other currency measured by the Dollar Index, Canada’s dollar, will outperform the greenback by 0.7 percent by the end of the third quarter, the projections show.Limiting LiquidityTwenty-four of 37 predictions for the end of next year have the U.S. dollar strengthening against the euro. The median is $1.46, up 2.5 percent. Twenty-seven of 31 strategists see the yen also getting beaten. The U.S. currency will gain 15 percent to 102 yen, from 88.85 today, the median shows.“The dollar will gain support as soon as the Fed starts to rein in liquidity,” said Lee Hardman, an analyst in London at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Japan’s biggest lender by market value. The dollar will strengthen 9.8 percent to $1.35 per euro by the end of 2010, the bank predicts.The stock rally that pushed the MSCI World Index up almost 70 percent since March 9 will grind to a halt as the global recovery slows, spurring demand for the perceived safety of the dollar, according to Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, which scored highest overall in Bloomberg’s rankings with a 5.6 margin of error for all currencies.Global Growth“Financial markets and equity markets have been too optimistic concerning economic growth next year,” said Gernot Griebling, the Stuttgart bank’s head of bond and economic research. “Risk aversion should rise again,” strengthening the U.S. currency to $1.37 per euro by Sept. 30, he said.For now, the global recovery is on track, with the Paris- based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development doubling its 2010 growth forecast for leading developed economies to 1.9 percent and predicting a 2.5 percent expansion for 2011. The recovery is fueling investments in higher-yielding currencies funded by selling dollars.The Dollar Index has fallen 16 percent since March 5, a steeper drop than in any eight calendar months in 23 years. The decline began four days before the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of stocks started its strongest rally since the 1930s, gaining 60 percent.Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said on Nov. 16 that “significant economic challenges remain” in the U.S. and reiterated the Federal Open Market Committee will keep borrowing costs low for an “extended period.”WaitingPolicy makers may not change course until 2012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said Nov 18.“If you look at the last two recessions, in each case the FOMC waited 2 1/2 to three years” after they ended to raise rates, Bullard said.What happened after those moves convinces Standard Chartered’s Henderson and Scotia Capital’s Sutton that the dollar will keep sliding. HSBC, the top pound-dollar forecaster, and Aletti Gestielle, the best on the dollar versus the yen, also say the greenback will depreciate, to $1.50 and $1.60 per euro by mid-year, respectively.The dollar will weaken “as investors worry about its status as a reserve currency and the public deficits,” said Sutton, a former Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System money manager.Budget DeficitThe U.S. budget deficit reached a record $1.4 trillion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Its debt amounted to 9.9 percent of the economy, up from 2004’s average of 3.5 percent.Central banks that disclose which currencies they hold put 63 percent of their new cash into euros and yen in April, May and June, the highest percentage for any quarter when global reserves grew more than $80 billion, Barclays Capital data show.Henderson sees similarities to 2004, when the Fed had lowered its overnight target below the ECB’s.The 2001 recession, induced by the crash of technology stocks, prompted the U.S. to cut rates by 5.5 percentage points to 1 percent in June 2003, a point below the euro region. The Fed stayed there until June 2004, more than two years after the recession ended. The dollar started rallying after the rate surpassed the ECB’s 2 percent that December.“If the apex of the crises were in 2001 and 2008, then dollar weakness will last into 2011,” said Henderson.‘Being Dovish’The dollar didn’t start rallying after the Fed’s June 1999 increase until the ECB began raising its rates that November.“When the Fed shifts from being dovish to the early stages of the tightening, the dollar continues to trade weak,” said Ray Farris, global head of foreign exchange research at Credit Suisse Group AG in London, the third-best euro-dollar forecaster. “It’s really only in the late stages of a Fed tightening when U.S. interest rates are high relative to everybody else that the dollar stabilizes and then recovers.”The dollar plunged to a record low $1.6038 in July 2008 as seven Fed cuts opened up a 2.25 percentage gap to the ECB, making Europe’s securities more attractive. It rallied later in the year as the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September froze credit markets and sent investors to the safety of U.S. assets and the greenback.“There’s nothing in the cards from a monetary policy angle that could persuade me from being a dollar bear in 2010,” said Jens Nordvig, a managing director and head of G-10 currency strategy at Nomura International Plc in New York, Japan’s largest brokerage firm, which bought Lehman Brothers’ European, Asian and Middle Eastern assets in 2008.To contact the reporter on this story: Bo Nielsen in Copenhagen at

MorbidNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Health Care & Unemployment SolutionSo you’re a citizen and the government says no health care or employment for you. What do you do?The State of Jefferson plan gives anyone 18 years or older a gun and ammo. Commit a non-violent armed robbery – let yourself be caught. Of Course, this means you will be sent to prison.There you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, and all the health care you need! New teeth, no problem. Need glasses, great. New hip, knees, kidney, lungs, heart? All covered.And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you that health care is unaffordable. Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don’t have to pay any income taxes anymore.IS THIS A GREAT COUNTRY OR WHAT?!

GuestNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:42 pm

This is allowed because it is highly lucrative: the penal-injustice complex. TPTB make loads of money while controlling us (we get a different justice system) while subjecting our children to future servitude.

blindmanNovember 23rd, 2009 at 7:42 pm

m,yes, but you may have to drive a truck and make deliveries.something i always wanted to do, the brighter side of slavery.

MM CANovember 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Well, just got our open enrollemnt Health care and option forms and prices for 2010… and you guessed it, health care contibtuion for employees went up 40% in one year. Now over $6000.00 a year for my family… 26 years same company, a Fortune 100 company…reason – their costs went up and they arent paying anymore and will just pass it on to the employees in years to come. Current cost of plan is now 17K year… Oh and if Obamas crazy health plan passes We’ll all get taxed on the compnay paid piece of 11K… so thats another 2.5k to 3.5 k in federal income taxes coming our way…Wage and income deflation/destruction in full speed ahead…. Shit like this will do nothing to help the country recover…. this is an unmitigated disaster unfolding right before 300 Million eyes…

MM CANovember 23rd, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I’ll add too, that because of good health on all 5 people covered by this plan, we are lucky if we spend/use 2k a year on all costs…been this way for last 10 plus years. in 2003 our employee contribution was just under 500.00 annually.No one much talks about the insurance companies (life and health), but most of big 10 are also also Inslovent…just like the banks…BTW- Dental plan is joke…. Does any company anywhere offer a decent dental plan?They want almost 800.00 a year in employee contributuions for just 2000.00 a year in coverage. Still debating whether to can that, after I check all 5 mouths…so lets see 30 Million with NO JOBS, 40 Million on Food stamps, 50 Million without health insurcance, 100 Million without Dental coverage, 15-25% of all cars on the road without insurance now (depending on who is polling)… 200 plus Million people without life insurance…..We cant feed, we cant get our teeth fixed, we drive legally, we cant pay mortages, we cant find JOBS, We are so Screwed as a country!

FEDupNovember 23rd, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Just in time for the holidays! Welcome to more taxes and fees, lower wages and a lower standard of living. If people do not severely cut back on spending, they are crazy and will suffer the consequences of drowning in debt next year. BTW, I cannot believe how much tuition at universities and colleges has increased over the last few years; there’s no way students and their families can absorb these rate hikes-something has got to give!

Pecos BankerNovember 24th, 2009 at 2:30 am

Does anyone have a clue as to what the premiums will be for Obamacare? I have heard figures upwards of $20,000 per year for individuals, or you can pay the fine of $2,000 (?) per year. Will you be obliged to pay the fine if you have health insurance in another country? Why all the silence on premiums?

Pecos BankerNovember 24th, 2009 at 2:20 am

From Michael Pettis Nov 18 blog–an interesting view on Chinese-American trade relations and their surrounding issues. Quote from a certain professor Hung in this article that I found intriguing:”Unless there is a fundamental political realignment that shifts the balance of power from the coastal urban elite to forces that represent rural grassroots interests, China is likely to continue leading other Asian exporters in diligently serving—and being held hostage by—the US. The Anglo-Saxon establishment has recently become more respectful towards its Asian partners, inviting China to become a ‘stakeholder’ in a ‘ChiAmerican’ global order, or ‘G2’. What they mean is that China should not rock the boat, but should continue to help maintain American economic dominance (in return, perhaps, for more consideration of Beijing’s concerns over Tibet and Taiwan). This would enable Washington to buy precious time to secure its command over emergent sectors of the world economy through debt-financed government investment in green technology and other innovations, and hence remake its ailing supremacy into a green hegemony. This seems to be exactly what the Obama administration is betting on as its long-term response to the global crisis and declining American power.”

FEDupNovember 24th, 2009 at 7:05 am

interesting quote-key phrases: “buy precious time, secure its command over emergent sectors of the world economy, govt debt-financed green technology, remake its ailling supremacy into a green hegemony, long-term response to declining American power”. But at what cost to the American people? How much of a lower standard of living will people tolerate? Do Americans have a voice in which direction our country is headed? Do the ends always justify the means?

11b40November 24th, 2009 at 8:53 am

Our future directions depend on which new markets the financial masters decide to tee up and plunder next.Independent Contractor

MM CANovember 24th, 2009 at 9:55 am

What has this country become…? EVERY Top Bank and financial firm operates just liek this these days! When are Americans going to say enough with these people and companies.Former Providian Exec Reveals Loan Shark Tactics Of Credit Card CompaniesFormer banking executive Shailesh Mehta, who helped run Providian bank into the ground, has gone on the record with Frontline to detail just how he operated his business.Hint: it involves targeting low-income demographics for maximum profitability:Buffalo News: Mehta tells how the game is played to entice lower-and middle-income people with low rates that can quickly rise to loan-shark levels if a payment is missed or if a bank just decides it wants to raise rates.Mehta tosses around terms like “stealth pricing” and “the unbanked” to illustrate how easy it is to destroy vulnerable Americans who are a job loss or a medical issue away from financial ruin. The stories of several credit card victims are told, serving as cautionary tales for viewers.Mehta’s arrogance is the stuff of legends as he eggs on both consumers and regulators:“Because none of you are smart enough,” concludes Mehta. “You make the stupid laws and I’ll comply and I’ll make money. . . . There are always some desperate people who will take the product. Lending money to people is never a difficult exercise. OK? People will take money if you’re willing to give it to them.”Below, an excerpt of the Frontline program “The Card Game” with Mehta:

MM CANovember 24th, 2009 at 9:59 am

When the real revised number come sout DEC 22 it will be down to 2.3 – 2.5% 3rd qtr GDP. and all of that will have been form Stimulus spending, Cash for clunkers and home housing credit… THERE WAS NO REAL GROWTH, in fact it was negative upwards of 2% and now everyone including OBAMA is realizing we are in DEEP TAR!Krugman: We’ll Never Get Back To Full Employment At This RateJohn Carney|Nov. 24, 2009, 9:56 AM | 437 |3While lots of us were expressing relief that the slip dowward in the revised economic growth numbers out from the government was not worse than expected, Paul Krugman came in with a reality check. The revised number is so low that it means the unemployment rate will remain elevated…forever.The problem is that with growth at just 2.8%, we’re not really doing anything to take up the slack in the economy. Our under-utilized productive capacity won’t come online.For Krugman, the key measure of economic health is the size of the output gap–which is a measure of the difference between what the economy would be producing if it kept growing at its historical pace and the actual growth (or decline) in the economy. (Incidentally, how come nobody ever talks out an inverse output gap during booms?) Krugman says that at these growth levels we’re not really doing anything to close the output gap.Krugman writes:When the 3.5% advance number came out, I took to warning people that even if the economy continued to grow at that rate, we wouldn’t see anything like full employment until late in Sarah Palin’s second term. Given the latest number, the date at which we can expect to see a return to full employment is … never.Actually, the situation may be even grimmer. The odds are good that growth will slow next year as the inventory bounce fades and the stimulus turns from pushing to dragging the economy. Still zombified banks may continue to trap capital and at least some of the business investment from the past year will turn out to be zero-interest rate driven malinvestment.

MM CANovember 24th, 2009 at 10:03 am

its almost laughable these days what the mainstream press and TV report. One day housing is recovered the next it is worse than exepcted. this has been a pattern for over 2 months now….No ownder no one truly knows whats happening, expcet for Average Joe American who jsut wakes up and looks at the country with his own eyes and can see for himslef…. We are in the beginning satge of long, hard DEPRESSSION!Case-Shiller: Home Price Recovery Stumbles, Results Worse Than ExpectedJoe Weisenthal|Nov. 24, 2009, 9:03 AM | 1,220 |9Home prices fell 9.4% in September, according to the widely-respected S&P/Case-Shiller housing index. Analysts had been looking for a 9.1% decline, so this is a bit worse than expected.On a sequential basis, home prices rose .3%, again, a bit worse than the .8% analysts had been looking for. The market is now back to where it was in Fall 2003.The housing market is creeping back, but at a pace disappointing to the bulls.Speaking on CNBC S&P’s David Blitzer said the report showed clear signs that the strong momentum seen over the summer is starting to crack.

GuestNovember 24th, 2009 at 10:05 am

The Critical Unraveling of U.S. SocietyBy David DeGrawThe Public RecordNov 19th, 2009Report Contents:———————I: U.S. Societal Breakdown———————II: Environmental Crisis———————III: The Obama Myth———————IV: Economic Coup – Theft of Trillions———————V: National EmergencyDownload Full Report in PDF formatThe economic elite have launched an attack on the U.S.public and society is unraveling at an increased rate.I: U.S. Societal BreakdownYou may have missed it in the mainstream news media, but statistical societal indicators are reading red across the board. Before exposing the root causes of this breakdown, let’s look at some vital statistics and facts:* The inequality of wealth in the United States is soaring to an unprecedented level. The US already had the highest inequality of wealth in the industrialized world prior to the financial crisis. Since the crisis, which has hit the middle class and poor much harder than the top one percent, the gap between the top one percent and the remaining 99% of the US population has grown to a record high.* As the stock market went over the 10,000 mark and just surged to a 13-month high, the three big banks that took taxpayer money and benefit the most from the government bailout have just set a new global economic record by issuing $30 billion in annual bonuses this year, “up 60 percent from last year.” Bloomberg reported: “Goldman Sachs, the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history, had a record profit in the first nine months of this year and set aside $16.7 billion for compensation expenses.” Goldman Sachs is on pace for the best year in the firm’s history, they are also benefiting by only paying 1% in taxes.* The profits of the economic elite are “now underwritten by taxpayers with $23.7 trillion worth of national wealth.”As the looting is occurring at the top, the US middle class is just beginning to collapse.* Workers between the age of 55 – 60, who have worked for 20 – 29 years, have lost an average of 25 percent off their 401k. During the same time period, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans went up by $30 billion, bringing their total combined wealth to $1.57 trillion.* Home foreclosure filings “hit a record high in the third quarter [of 2009]… They were the worst three months of all time… 937,840 homes received a foreclosure letter” in this three month period. “3.4 million homes are expected to enter foreclosure by year’s end, with some experts estimating that next year will be even worse.”President Obama has enacted a $75 billion taxpayer funded program that has been a spectacular failure in stemming the foreclosure crisis and has proven to be another massive waste of billions of taxpayer dollars.* 25 Million people are unemployed or underemployed.This means we have 25 million people who urgently need to increase their income, and they’re quickly running out of options. The unemployment rate is expected to rise further and remain high for several years. “The president’s chief economic adviser warned that the nation’s unemployment rate could stay ‘unacceptably high’ for years to come.”The NY Times reports: “Americans now confront a job market that is bleaker than ever in the current recession, and employment prospects are still getting worse. Job seekers now outnumber openings six to one, the worst ratio since the government began tracking…” As this ratio continues to grow, it will lead to a further reduction in wages – average worker wages have seen a sharp decline over the past year.Economist Nouriel Roubini, a man who accurately predicted our current crisis, just reported on unemployment stating: “Think the worst is over? Wrong. Conditions in the U.S. labor markets are awful and worsening…. So we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down. All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back.”* As the few elite banks thrive, there have been 123 US bank failures thus far this year. Recently, three banks that the government declared “healthy” and gave taxpayer money to have folded. The Wall Street Journal reports: “U.S. regulators have seized or threatened at least 27 banks that got capital infusions from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, including some lenders government officials knew were troubled when they awarded the money. The troubles put taxpayers at risk of losing as much as $5.1 billion invested in the banks since TARP was launched in October 2008.”* As bankruptcies surge across the board, 10 US states are on the verge of bankruptcy, with several ready to declare a financial state of emergency. California, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin are all “barreling toward economic disaster, raising the likelihood of higher taxes, more government layoffs and deep cuts in services.”This is occurring at a time when the “federal budget deficit for the fiscal year that just ended was $1.4 trillion, nearly a trillion dollars greater than the year before.” In total, “US public debt topped 12 trillion dollars for the first time in history… The public debt topped 10 trillion dollars in September 2008. The debt is quickly approaching the statutory limit of 12.104 trillion dollars, meaning Congress would have to raise the ceiling to prevent a shutdown of government operations.”Economist Dean Baker explains the risk of running such a large deficit: “The debt limit must be increased at regular intervals in order to allow the government to function normally because the government is currently operating at a deficit. If the debt limit is not passed, then at some point the government will not be able to pay workers and contractors. It won’t be able to send out Social Security checks or make payments for Medicaid and unemployment insurance to state governments. And, it will not be able to make interest payments on government bonds, effectively defaulting on the national debt.”Needless to say, all of this will make life drastically more difficult for citizens of the US. As the middle class continues on the path of economic decline, the number of citizens living in poverty has already hit an all time high.* Although the government’s official figure tries to low-ball the number, 47.4 Million US citizens live in poverty, and the US poverty rate is the highest in the industrialized world.Predictably, homelessness is rising at an increased rate as well. “The US government does not tally the numbers but interested organisations say that more than 3 million people were homeless at some point over the past year…. The fastest growing segment of the homeless population is families with children.”Children have been hit especially hard by the economic crisis:* 50% of US children, one out of every two children, will need to use food stamps to eat.One out of every two children in the United States of America will need to use a food stamp… to EAT!If you didn’t think starvation was a serious threat in the US, just read this new Washington Post report: “The nation’s economic crisis has catapulted the number of Americans who lack enough food to the highest level since the government has been keeping track, according to a new federal report, which shows that nearly 50 million people — including almost one child in four — struggled last year to get enough to eat… Several independent advocates and policy experts on hunger said that they had been bracing for the latest report to show deepening shortages, but that they were nevertheless astonished by how much the problem has worsened. ‘This is unthinkable. It’s like we are living in a Third World country,’ said Vicki Escarra, president of Feeding America.”The United States Department of Agriculture released these findings in a study that was completed in December 2008, which means these numbers don’t take into account the millions more unemployed throughout 2009. The numbers of people living in poverty and struggling to eat has seen a significant increase since then.This a national tragedy. But it gets much worse.* In 2008, according to the Census Bureau, the number of US citizens without healthcare grew to a record 46.3 million. “The new figures, however, understate the severity of the economic downturn because a large portion of nation’s job losses and unemployment rate increases occurred after the Census survey data was collected in March as part of the annual Current Population Survey.”* Lack of health Insurance has caused 45,000 preventable U.S. citizen deaths in the past year. The American Journal of Medicine recently released a study that stated “Nearly two out of three bankruptcies stem from medical bills, and even people with health insurance face financial disaster if they experience a serious illness.”A Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study reported that 17,000 children have died due to lack of healthcare. You can also add in a recent report that revealed that 2,266 US Veterans have died in 2008 due to lack of insurance.The 50 million now uninsured and the 45,000 preventable deaths per year statistics are expected to drastically rise over the next few years. As the Senate continues to strip meaningful amendments from a healthcare bill that wouldn’t even take effect until 2013, it has become clear that, despite the media hype, the healthcare bill is going to fall far short of meaningful reform and continue to rig the game in favor of large insurance company profits at the expense of the US population. With the highest cost healthcare in the world, current trends will continue and much needed change is not on the horizon.Never before has the United States had so many citizens with so little means, little to no income and heavy debt. Debt and costs of living have now shackled US citizens just as it has shackled people throughout the world. The economic hit men have now hit the US as well and millions of US citizens are now effectively sentenced to a slow death.Economic Imperial blowback has hit the mainland.And the clock is ticking louder by the day…Here’s another fact for you:* The gun and ammunition manufacturing industry in the United States has over 200 companies producing billions of dollars in annual revenues. This huge manufacturing base cannot fulfill demand quickly enough. The demand for guns and ammunition has hit a record high and the gun industry cannot produce enough bullets to keep up with orders.American’s are arming themselves to the teeth!* In the past year, 100 new armed militia groups have been formed, as militia members have doubled in numbers. Federal authorities are gravely concerned about the “uptick in militia activities.” One federal authority recently said, “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”So let’s breakdown these numbers.You have a population of 50 million people who are in desperate need of money, they most likely have no health insurance and can’t afford to get healthcare or help of any kind. Part of this population probably also has loved ones who can’t get life sustaining medical treatments, or loved ones that have already died due to lack of costly medical treatment. The clock is ticking loud for these people and they are running out of options fast, and time delayed is time closer to death.While the richest one percent have never had it so good, a significant percentage of the US population now has firsthand experience in this. Millions upon millions of Americans are poor, broke, struggling, starving, desperate… and armed.We are sitting on a powder keg!We are now witnessing the critical unraveling of US society.- – – – – – – – – – – -II: Environmental CrisisAdd to this picture an environmental crisis the likes of which humanity has never faced.Considering our current economy, what will happen when another extreme weather event like Hurricane Katrina hits a major US city? What will happen when storms, droughts and fires continue to spread with increasing intensity? How many have to die before even modest actions are taken to prevent environmental catastrophe?Extreme weather events are pounding the globe, it is as if the environment has declared war on us as a species. Humanity has become a polluting cancer in the environmental system, and if we don’t urgently act to stop the bleeding, things are going to get drastically worse in a pace faster than anticipated. And this is not an opinion; it is happening now, there is plenty of empirical evidence that anyone can see before their own eyes, if they care to look.US public opinion on the climate crisis has been distorted by the mainstream US media in stunning fashion. A recent Pew Research study revealed that only 36 percent of the US population thinks the climate crisis is a result of human activity.Regardless of your beliefs, due to climate change, we are on the verge of experiencing major water shortages spreading “across the country. Sooner rather than later…” California has already been hit by extreme drought and water is in very short supply. As the Arctic continues to melt, California will continue to experience extreme drought. A new study revealed: “when Arctic sea ice disappears, the jet stream—high-altitude winds with a profound influence on climate—shifts north, moving precipitation away from California.” A recent “sweeping water-reform bill” in California temporarily eased public outcry, but the problem remains. The U.S. is confronted by a serious water crisis.For a global example, there is currently an extreme drought in East Africa as well, which has 23 million people on the verge of dying from starvation. Due to the drought, crops have been killed in unprecedented fashion. Events of this nature are happening all over the globe.Of the worldwide record one billion people going hungry, the leading cause is destroyed agriculture due to extreme weather.As a significant percentage of humanity faces death due to climate change, we are in the midst of our planet’s sixth great extinction. Over 17,000 species are threatened with extinction, “more than one in five of all known mammals, over a quarter of reptiles and 70 percent of plants are under threat.”For those of you unaware, the earth’s ecosystem is a very delicate balance. Being in the midst of the earth’s sixth great extinction is not a matter to be ignored.The upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen was considered by leaders throughout the world to be the most critical environmental summit in the history of civilization. International headlines read: “We only have months, not years, to save civilization from climate change.”However, the United States and the head of the United Nations just announced that no legally binding treaties are expected to come out of the summit. This is devastating news!The reason why no deal will be reached at the summit: the United States is refusing to take necessary action.In a PR move to calm criticism in advance of the summit, the US and Japan announced a vague agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions… in 2012. However, the “agreement on this ambitious reduction target could not be reached during the APEC summit, and so was dropped from the draft statement.”It would be smart of the public relations department to at least get one photo op with Obama actually at the climate summit. Instead of being at the most important summit, perhaps in the history of civilization, it appears Obama will be blowing it off to give his speech on how it feels to win the Nobel Peace Prize… H E L L O.We are living in an insane asylum.The Goldman Sachs PR guy is out giving speeches on how cool it is to cast the illusion of peace and hope, while the earth burns.- – – – – – – – – – – -III: The Obama MythI don’t mean to dismiss the Obama myth, his words, the change we need is real, its just his actions don’t even come close to measuring up. Just read the legal documents he has signed his name to. Read them. His actions are most often the opposite of what he says. I venture to say a 10 year old can recognize that after doing a school day’s worth of research.Obama is a national tragedy. He is a symbol of the times. He is not a leader, just a symbol. He projects the change we need. He was our shortcut to correcting our diseased political system, a way to rid it of corruption. He symbolized the change millions so desperately need. People came out in the millions for the first time “hoping” if they could work and organize to put him in office, we would have some representation to defend against the economic elite that have put the overwhelming majority of US politicians on the payroll and brought humanity to a breaking point.People just need to research how the Obama myth was hatched. Goldman Sachs saw Obama early on and said, “He’s our guy!” When Obama became THE MAN in Iowa, he was on the Goldman Sachs pay roll. Goldman financed the psychological operation that is the Obama myth, the Illusion of HOPE – something to keep a suffering nation pacified just a little bit longer. Obama is truly a national tragedy. His failure and inaction has disillusioned millions upon millions of desperate citizens who turned to him as their best chance for justice.As further evidence of Obama’s duplicity — beyond repeatedly signing his name to documents covering up the Bush Adminstration’s highest crimes and increasing an already bloated military budget — in one of his very first moves as President he put Goldman Sachs’ criminal mastermind Tim Geitner in charge of the treasury.A new report from the TARP Inspector General further exposes Tim Geithner’s role “in overpayments that put billions of extra tax dollars in the coffers of major Wall Street firms, most notably Goldman Sachs.”Which brings us to the ultimate theft of wealth in history, and to the root cause of our current crisis.- – – – – – – – – – – -IV: Economic Coup – Theft of TrillionsURGENT NATIONAL EMERGENCY: TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PUBLIC WEALTH HAS BEEN STOLENThis crime makes Bernie Madoff’s look like an elementary school lunch money stickup. No, I’m not talking about the hundreds of billions in the housing crisis scam cooked up by JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs that left millions homeless and investors suckered the world over, or even the $2.75 trillion oil futures market scam that has siphoned 50% of all our spending on gas and fuel.These huge scams are just diversions from the ultimate crime.Trillions of dollars, trillions of our money, of our tax money — the money that comes out of your paycheck every week of your working life, all the thousands upon thousands that have been taken away from you and your family and are supposed to fund our government and keep our society functioning — have been handed over to the economic elite, to the Llyod Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world.Hank Paulson and his confidant Tim Geitner, the Goldman Sachs wonder twins, have looted the US treasury. There has been an economic coup in the United States!Trillions of our dollars have vanished! You need to understand this!We have just witnessed the greatest theft of wealth in history, the greatest transfer of wealth from the working class to the economic elite ever. An organized banking cartel has seized the US treasury and they are making up the “laws” and the rules to this rigged game. The covert economy has grown at a staggering rate due to taxpayer-funded injections. As a result of this, economic shackles are just beginning to fall upon the American public like never before. 99% of our nation is now sentenced to a slow death.Just as economic hit men have done to governments throughout the globe, they have gained complete control of the US government and have now shackled US citizens as well. The economic elite do not want to deal with “spoiled Americans” anymore, that’s how they see it. To them the middle class was always an annoying nuisance to be tolerated so the economy could keep functioning well enough to allow their scams to perpetuate. But once their scam known as the US stock market came crashing down, and they were threatened with losing their ultimate power, they turned to the US middle class and opened fire. “Enough with you, we are taking over your government and stealing your tax money!”This is exactly what happened!The economic elite are operating under the belief that the world is theirs, they own it, and to hell with everyone else. They also take the view that as the environment grows more destructive, they don’t want us around to compete for resources.This is self-evident after some research into policy actions that have been carried out. Research it for yourself!Recent investigations into the illegal practices of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have revealed the US economy and stock market to be a fraud. As more of the world becomes aware of this, the dollar will continue to plummet and the U.S. public will pay a devastating price – things are just beginning to unravel.The US economy has been hit by a deathblow, it lay in ruins naked and exposed to “Too Big Too Fail” thieves who have raped and pillaged, who are looting public wealth in unprecedented fashion.The economic elite are vultures feeding off the carcass that is the US economy. The whole political structure has been gutted by corruption. Democracy was the façade that this house of cards was built on – a pyramid scheme that was built on the illusion of law and freedom.Historians will look back at this time as a period in which corrupt despots ruled the masses with utter short-sighted greed and casted an illusion over the base population to keep the scam rolling along, until the end of the American empire, until the public driven economy came crashing down in a thunderous economic cloud of greed and corruption.The smoke is still in our eyes, but the masses are beginning to see, to realize.- – – – – – – – – – – -V: National EmergencyMany middle class US citizens don’t realize all of this yet, I understand their lack of action and confusion because I have also been bred as a middle class American in the propaganda system known as the US mainstream media, but I’m writing this to let you know…Our survival instinct has to quickly override our conditioned naiveté and passivity that has been bred into us. We are threatened as a country and a species at the same time.We, as a nation, must overcome heavy doses of propaganda administered by the mainstream media for hours a day, every day of our existence. Shake off your conditioned naiveté and passivity. This is a brutal world we live in, and we are now at war…The American dream state is over. It’s time to get real, time to sound the alarm.I am of the sincere hope that we will be able to rise up as a counterweight to the economic elite. In the overall scheme of things, history has placed us in a pivotal position. We are a vital countervailing force to the economic elite and must immediately start exercising our rights of redress.People throughout the world understand that the US middle class has to serve as a counterweight to an economic cartel that has brought humanity to a breaking point.The economic elite also understand this, this is why they have launched a war on us.Now that our existence is directly threatened as well, people are awaking from a propagandized existence and realizing the gravity of our crisis.We must sound the alarm and discard our illusions.It is time to evolve from a state of “Hope” to a state of “Action.”We desperately need intelligent leadership, free from the shackles of the banking cartel.We, as a nation, cannot continue to settle for the politics of corruption. We must begin by addressing the root cause of our troubles and hold accountable those directly responsible for the greatest theft of wealth in history.We must flood the halls of Congress; we must engage our House of Representatives and begin to rein in the economic elite.This Is A… NATIONAL EMERGENCY…Economic justice is possible, it may be hard to believe here in the US, but a nation of law is still possible. It is possible only if YOU begin to act.We are 99% of the population, they are only 1%.The outcome is not assured; we must start organizing on a mass scale.Take your plight to your representative. SOUND THE ALARM!We must understand “the fierce urgency of now!”David DeGraw is the founder and editor of and director of You can reach him at report was originally published on

MM CANovember 24th, 2009 at 10:10 am

Well worth the read at the link below.Show Me Economic Expansion, Chairman Bernanke 48 commentsby: Steven Hansen November 22, 2009When Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks, I listen. The Federal Reserve oversees the American economy, and it is insightful on how the Fed views our economic conditions.In an address this week, not only did Chairman Bernanke provide little new insight – this is the first time I have felt he was misleading in some of his points.Excerpts from Bernanke’s speech this week at the New York Economic Club:

MM CANovember 24th, 2009 at 10:27 am

do the math…. 11% this past quarter. 17% the previous quarter… If im correct msot state reveues are generated from sales tax, personnal income taxes, Corporates taxes, some real estate taxes, use fees and licenenses… there is no recovery and a consumer led recovery is a pipe dream. the only consumer spending is on basic staples.. do not be fooled by XMAS shopping, msot of the itmes will be needed staple items…. people may by cell phones but they’ll cancel thier regular phone lines, they may buy TV’s but they’ll cancell thier cable and stalite subscriptions, they may by Cheap PC’s because they plain just need a new one to look for jobs, they may by video games for thier kids, but thats all they’ll get for XMAS.U.S. State Tax Revenue Fell 11 Percent in Fourth Quarterly DropShare Business ExchangeTwitterFacebook| Email | Print | A A A By Michael QuintNov. 23 (Bloomberg) — U.S. states tax collections fell for the fourth consecutive quarter as job losses and the economic recession cut revenue from income and sales levies, according to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.The decline of 10.7 percent in the period that ended in September, compared with a year earlier, was less than the previous quarter’s 16.6 percent drop, which was the biggest since 1963, the Albany, New York-based institute said today. The report covered 44 states for which comparable data was available.“Despite indications that the national recession may be over, the revenue situation remained gloomy in virtually every state in the third quarter,” according to the report. A number of states are collecting less than they projected, and “further revenue shortfalls and more spending cuts are most likely on the way for many,” the institute said.State budget deficits will exceed $350 billion in the next two years, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in a report earlier this month. At least 42 states have cut spending, with 28 reducing outlays for health care, and 26 for schools. More than 30 states increased taxes or fees this year, the Washington-based center said.To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Quint in Albany, New York, at

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