EconoMonitor

Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor

RGE’s Weekly Roundup

Check out all of the RGE Analysis and EconoMonitor contributions that were published this past week at roubini.com.

RGE Analysis:

U.S.-China Tensions: Co-Dependency Pains by Rachel Ziemba and Adam Wolfe

The fault lines in the U.S.-China relationship have been increasingly exposed in recent weeks, with rhetorical barbs exchanged on trade, the treatment of foreign companies in China, strategic issues such as U.S. support of Taiwan and Tibet’s Dalai Lama, responses to Iran’s nuclear ambitions and especially exchange rates. Domestic pressure in the U.S. congress on the need for action with regard to the pegged renminbi (RMB) is growing. Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao, have recently hit back at the U.S. for what they characterize as interference in China’s security and economic affairs and U.S. economic mismangement. 

German Data Points to ‘u’, but Doppel Dipping Still a Risk by Katharina Jungen

In early 2010, a string of weak German economic data and disappointing business survey results suggests a loss of momentum in the economic recovery which started in Q2 2009. Not only did German GDP growth fail to accelerate in Q4 2009, but worse, the economy only narrowly escaped a further quarterly contraction. The disappointing Q4 data is fueling fears of a double-dip recession not only in Germany, but also in the eurozone, given that the German economy makes up roughly 30% of the monetary union’s GDP.

LatAm: Do Brazil’s Numbers Add up to a March Hike? by Bertrand Delgado and Juan Lorenzo Maldonado

The Central Bank of Brazil’s latest Focus report shows that price dynamics and outlook continued deteriorating last week, boosting the chances of an interest rate hike on March 17. Meanwhile, Mexico’s industrial production figure came in lower than expected, though positive growth dynamics persist, and Argentina’s inflation and inflation expectations continue to worsen. At legislative elections, Colombia’s electorate sent a clear message that it desires policy continuity. As for Peru, lower-than-expected economic growth in January reinforces our view that the central bank may stay on hold until mid-year.

LatAm: All Eyes on the Central Banks by Bertrand Delgado and Juan Lorenzo Maldonado

This week the markets will be waiting for monetary policy decisions from Brazil, Mexico and Chile, which RGE expects to result in all three central banks staying on hold. For Brazil, however, the possibility of a rate hike is not negligible. Investors will also keep a close eye on Brazil’s labor dynamics and fiscal revenues for February, as well as on mid-March inflation and inflation expectations. Meanwhile, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru will disclose economic activity data for Q4 2009 and for the beginning of 2010, which RGE expects to point to recovering dynamics. Chile and Argentina will also disclose current account balances for Q4 2009. Argentina’s fiscal account figures for February should show a continual deterioration in the primary fiscal surplus.

Scandinavian Currencies: New Safe Havens? by Mary Stokes and Mikko Forss

The Swedish krona (SEK) and the Norwegian krone (NOK) have staged a dramatic comeback, gaining 11% and 18%, respectively, against the euro for the year to March 1. Both are top performers relative to most other advanced economies’ currencies, and RGE sees further strengthening ahead in 2010 given Norway and Sweden’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals. But are these currencies evolving into safe havens?

After Hike, Malaysia Central Bank Plays Waiting Game by Arpitha Bykere

Malaysia’s 25-basis-point rate hike in March 2010 was well-timed to anchor inflation expectations and ease concern over credit bubbles. With an exit from fiscal stimulus already underway, the exit from monetary stimulus in 2010 should be cautious, timely and gradual. The economy is not out of the woods yet, given that downside risks to growth in H2 2010 and 2011 from potential slowdowns in the EU and U.S. far outweigh risks of inflation and asset bubbles.

Will Lead Take the Lead Among Base Metals? by Mikka Pineda

In a break from historical trends, lead surpassed other base metals—even copper—in capital gains in H2 2009. Copper retook the lead in Q1 2010, but lead continues to vie with the red metal, leaving other base metals in the dust. In 2009, strong fundamentals brought lead to the fore, but the rally has since plateaued. Lead prices will coast through this year at more moderate levels, rather than doubling like they did in 2009. This report supplements RGE’s Q1 2010 Commodity Outlook.

 

On Nouriel Roubini’s Global EconoMonitor, Nouriel argues that unsustainable private-debt problems must be resolved by defaults, debt reductions, and conversion of debt into equity and warns that, if instead, private debts are excessively socialized, the advanced economies will face a grim future.  Please read States of Risk.

Don’t miss Roubini NBR Interview on 0 Percent Interest Rate.

 

On the RGE Analyst’s EconoMonitor, Adam Wolf and Rachiel Ziemba examine the new quest for the new normal between the world’s largest creditor and debtor.  Please read U.S.-China Tensions: Co-Dependency Pains.

In Is Africa Back? Kavitha Cherian responds to IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and notes that African economies will make a modest rebound in 2010, but the challenge will be continuing to develop sound policy frameworks, attracting foreign direct investment and channeling funds to productivity enhancing infrastructure.

In ADIA Parts the Curtain… A Tiny Bit, Rachel Ziemba takes a look at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s first annual report.

Also on the RGE Analyst’s EconoMonitor:

Energy Sector Royalty Changes in Alberta by Rachel Ziemba

Still Buying Treasurys… by Rachel Ziemba

Kuwait Finally Going the Whole Nine Yards? by Ayah El Said and Rachel Ziemba

Fox Business Interview with RGE’s Rachel Ziemba Discussing China’s Bubbles by Rachel Ziemba

 

On the Finance & Markets Monitor, Simon Johnson looks into whether big banks broke the law during our recent global debt-fuelled boom and notes that too-big-to-fail often also means too-big-to-sue successfully.  Please see Enron and Merrill, Greece and Goldman.

Earlier in the week, Senator Dodd introduced his financial reform bill to the Senate Banking Committee.  Please read the following reactions to the bill:

Does Meaningful Financial Reform Have Any Chance? by Simon Johnson

Dodd Offers Improvement, But Not Finality by Joseph Mason

Also on the Finance & Markets Monitor:

The Currency Play – Act 1, Scene I by Rebecca Wilder

Questions and Answers about the Financial Crisis by Mark Thoma

 

On the Peterson Institute for International Economics Monitor, Steve Weisman sits down with Joseph E. Gagnon who argues that despite fears that China might dump US dollars, doing so would hurt China and could even help the US recovery.  See China’s Dollar Leverage Is an Exaggerated Threat.

 

On the Global Macro EconoMonitor, there was much talk about how to deal with global imbalances.  Don’t miss:

RMB Politics Boiling Over by Rachel Ziemba

How Will an RMB Revaluation Affect China, the US, and the World? By Michael Pettis

Can External Pressure Precipitate Change in a Command Economy Like China? by Edward Harrison

Martin Wolf: China, Germany Committing World to Deflation by Yves Smith

Also on the On the Global Macro EconoMonitor:

Shiller: A Crisis of Understanding by Mark Thoma

Crude Prices Stagnate Amid Doubts About Global Demand by Darrell Delamaide

 

On the U.S. EconoMonitor, Rebecca Wilder says “the deficit hysteria is appropriate, but very much misallocated intertemporally toward the short-term outlook.”  Please read O.K., Let’s Just Think About This Budget Thing for a While, Part I.

In The Mindset Will Not Change; a Depressionary Relapse May Be Coming, Edward Harrison doesn’t think the Obama administration will be able to prevent a double-dip.

In The  End of Gradualism Models & Agents considers the gradualist approach to monetary policy.

Also on the U.S. EconoMonitor:

We Might Default on Our Government’s Debt in the Future.  Do You Know How Often We’ve Done So in the Past? by Fabius Maximus

It’s Always a Good Time to Buy a House! by Barry Ritholtz

Will Consumer Demand Falter in Q2 by Barry Ritholtz

 

On the Emerging Markets Monitor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn explains why he believes South Africa will meet its challenges.  Read Something New Out of Africa: A Global Player.

In Damage Done by Nigeria’s Contentious Oil Bill May Be Tough to Undo, Fawzia Sheikh considers Nigeria’s controversial oil industry bill.

 

On the Latin America EconoMonitor, Walter Molano considers the Colombian elections and the Santos Administration looming close on the horizon.  Please read Colombia: Setting the Stage.

 

On the Europe EconoMonitor, Edward Hugh argues that the eurozone economies are all roped together via the system of current account deficits and surpluses and thus fiscal adjustment alone won’t work.  Please read Serious Problems Emerge for the F-UK-De Group of Countries.

In A Little EMFathy with Greece, Emre Delaveli considers why a European Monetary Fund would be difficult to realize.

Don’t miss:

“Greek Crisis Is Over, Region Safe,” Prodi Says – I Say Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! By Reggie Middleton

Waiting for Something to Turn up: Europe’s Looming Pensions-based Sovereign Debt Crisis by Edward Hugh


All rights reserved, Roubini Global Economics, LLC. Opinions expressed on RGE EconoMonitors are those of individual analysts and may or may not express RGE’s own consensus view. RGE is not a certified investment advisory service and aims to create an intellectual framework for informed financial decisions by its clients.

16 Responses to “RGE’s Weekly Roundup”

GuestMarch 19th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

i'll think of one in a minute....March 19th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

ok.speaking of laughin heart….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmWZOsVtqR0&NR=1.you see, no one thought the dark ages could beso profitable or funny.(or did they know?) i can hardly imaginethe terrible joy to unfold, there must be a wayto turn it into fortunes for seven generations out,in flames. but i would probably need the rightfinancial advisers and connections, maybe someseed bailout money as proper skin to play..meanwhile, the sidewalks need to be watered andthe air fresheners in all the toy cars needreplacing. good business..i guess anyone with any money to speak of isbusy right about now buyin’ up human flesh and organson the open market. do we reALLy need regulation?.”do you want to screw up the works?” c.b..and speaking of dogs from hell…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71zQRxGdLC4&NR=1.Bukowski – love is a dog from hell.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmPmnepmZv8&feature=related.”..we couldn’t answer her..”and..”.., the day has truly begun.”.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSo9_iVc9Cs&feature=related.To the Whore Who Took My Poems ~ Charles Bukowski….”there will always be money and whores and drunkardsdown to the last bomb; but as god said, crossing hislegs, “I see where i have made plenty of poets but not, sovery much, poetry.” c.b..

blindmanMarch 20th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

unsolicited, invariably, public service message from the “edge of doom” w.s.,near the source yet far from the most obvious initial impact zone/s.http://www.swarmusa.com/vb4/content.php/282-THE-Most-Important-Chart-of-the-CENTURY.THE Most Important Chart of the CENTURYby NatePublished on 03-20-2010 02:24 PM.”The latest U.S. Treasury Z1 Flow of Funds report was released on March 11, 2010, bringing the data current through the end of 2009. What follows is the most important chart of your lifetime. It relegates almost all modern economists and economic theory to the dustbin of history. Any economic theory, formula, or relationship that does not consider this non-linear relationship of DEBT and phase transition is destined to fail.It explains the “jobless” recoveries of the past and how each recent economic cycle produces higher money figures, yet lower employment. It explains why we are seeing debt driven events that circle the globe. It explains the psychological uneasiness that underpins this point in history, the elephant in the room that nobody sees or can describe.” …..This is a very simple chart. It takes the change in GDP and divides it by the change in Debt. What it shows is how much productivity is gained by infusing $1 of debt into our debt backed money system.Back in the early 1960s a dollar of new debt added almost a dollar to the nation’s output of goods and services. As more debt enters the system the productivity gained by new debt diminishes. This produced a path that was following a diminishing line targeting ZERO in the year 2015. This meant that we could expect that each new dollar of debt added in the year 2015 would add NOTHING to our productivity.Then a funny thing happened along the way. Macroeconomic DEBT SATURATION occurred causing a phase transition with our debt relationship. This is because total income can no longer support total debt. In the third quarter of 2009 each dollar of debt added produced NEGATIVE 15 cents of productivity, and at the end of 2009, each dollar of new debt now SUBTRACTS 45 cents from GDP!This is mathematical PROOF that debt saturation has occurred. Continuing to add debt into a saturated system, where all money is debt, leads only to future defaults and to higher unemployment.This is the dilemma created by our top down debt backed money structure. Because all money is backed by a liability, and carries interest, it guarantees mathematically that there will be losers and that the system will eventually reach the natural limits, the ability of incomes to service debt.The data for the diminishing productivity of debt chart comes from the U.S. Treasury’s latest Z1 data, the complete report is posted below:On page two of that report is the following table showing the Growth of Non Financial Debt:I included Financial debt onto the end of the table, that data comes from page 14 of the Z1 report.This table makes clear what is happening. Business, household, and financial debt is trying to cleanse itself, to bring the level of debt back within the ability of incomes to support it. Our governments, armed with people who cannot explain the common sense behind debt saturation, are attempting to compensate by producing prolific amounts of Governmental debt.They feel they must do this because if they do not, then debt and money – since debt backs our money – would both decrease and that would cause the economy to slow. But by adding money, and debt, they have created a sovereign issue where our nation’s income cannot possibly service our nation’s debt. In just the month of February, for example, our nation took in $107 billion, but spent $328 billion, a $221 billion shortfall. That one month shortfall exceeds all the combined shortfalls of the entire Nixon Administration – one month.This is like an individual earning $5,000 but spending $15,000 a month. Would you lend your money to such an individual?Last year we spent just under $400 billion on interest on our current debt, plus we spend another $1.5 Trillion buying down rates via Freddie, Fannie, and Quantitative Easing. That’s $1.9 Trillion spent on interest, most of which wound up in the hands of the central banks and their surrogates. Compared to our $2.2 Trillion in income, interest expense last year nearly took it all. That means that nearly all your productive effort used to pay Federal taxes last year were transferred to the central banks.Modern monetary theory does not understand, nor does it correctly describe the debt backed money world in which we live. Velocity, for example, slows as debt saturation occurs. This is only common sense, and yet the formulas do not account for the bad math of debt, nor its non linear function. Velocity is blamed partially on the psychology of “consumers.” What nonsense. It is as mechanical as the engine in your car, it was designed that way. Once people, businesses, and governments become saturated with debt, new money/ debt when introduced can only be used to service prior existing debt.Thus money creation at the saturation point stops adding to productive efforts and becomes a roll-over affair with only the financial services industry profiting via interest and fees. In other words, money goes out and circles right back around to the banks instead of rippling through a healthy non saturated economy. If you cannot follow that most simple logic, then going to Harvard will not help you.Below is a chart of the Gross Federal Debt, it is now $12.6 Trillion dollars and headed straight up, a classic parabolic rise:.Clearly this is not sustainable and that means that change to our monetary system is rapidly approaching. No, it will not be left to your children or your grandchildren. It is an immediate problem and fortunately there is an immediate solution. That solution is called “Freedom’s Vision.” It can be found at SwarmUSA.com.That chart of diminishing returns is the window to understanding why humankind is trapped in a central banker debt backed money box. No money for NASA manned space flight – NASA’s total budget a puny $18 billion in comparison to the $1.9 Trillion that went to service the bankers last year. One half the schools closing in Kansas City, states whose debts and budget deficits seem insurmountable all pale in comparison to how much money went to service the use of our own money system.It doesn’t have to be like that, in fact it’s a ridiculous notion that the people of the United States, or any country, should pay private individuals for the use of their money system. Ridiculous!It’s difficult to see this from inside the box, so let’s look at what happened to Iceland to illustrate. The central banks of the world created financial engineered products and brought them to the banks of Iceland. These products created a boom in the amount of credit. Prices of everything rose, and the people of Iceland then had no choice but to go along for the bubble ride. Then with incomes no longer able to service the bubble debt, the bubble collapsed.To “save the day,” the IMF and central bankers around the world rushed in to “rescue” the people, banks, and government of Iceland. They did this by offering loans… documents that create money simply by signing a contract of debt servitude. That contract demanded ownership of Iceland’s infrastructure such as their geothermal electrical generating plants. It also demanded the future productivity of the people of Iceland in that they should work and pay high taxes for decades to pay back this “debt.” Debt that they did not create or agree to service in the first place!There were some wise people who saw through this central banker game and started a movement. They DEMANDED that the President of Iceland put the debt servitude to a vote and the people wisely said, “Central Bankers Pound Sand!”Thus they now control their own destiny, their future productive efforts still belong to them.It’s easy to see from the outside looking in, but it’s not so easy to see that it’s EXACTLY the same thing occurring in the United States and no one is rising up to stop it. No one, that is, except the movement of people at SwarmUSA.com.To all the naysayers who think the people do not have the power to make the change, I say take a look at history and how humankind has overcome its obstacles to progress with each new step. Mankind is now teetering between the brink and the dawn of a new renaissance. A new renaissance is coming because mankind is about to free itself from the chains of needless debt that are holding humanity back…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDK1Kc70O30&feature=related.”the tragedy of the lea fs” c.b..” i awaken to dryness and the ferns were deadthe potted plants as yellow as cornmy women was gone and the empty bottleslike bled corpsessurrounded me with their uselessness.the sun was still good thoughand my landlady’s note crackledin fine undemanding yellowness.what was needed now was a good comedianancient style, a jester with jokes uponabsurd pain.pain is absurd because it existsnothing more.i shave carefully with an old razorthe man who had once been youngand said to have geniusbut thus, tragedy of the leafsthe dead fern, the dead plants.i walked into the dark hallwaywhere the landlady stood, execrating and final.sending me to hell , waving her fat sweaty armsand screaming, screaming for the rentbecause the world had failedus both. “.Charles Bukowski interview part 13.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vtAaAK5uS8&feature=related.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cECiIoBGLSI&feature=related.”someone has to kick the mickey mouse out of our heads.”.” he despised mickey mouse. i think he has three fingers.”….but here is an interesting one, too..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQxXpXP6Q_cin the spirit of debasement and inspiration. decantingand deflation of the dellusion.

blinded manMarch 21st, 2010 at 11:03 am

man searching for god? no more! look to the fed!.the whole thing, the system itself, gods run riot..http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/bernanke20100210a.htm#fn9(last sentence on page) final incantation..The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system..via.http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/03/german-central-bank-admits-that-credit.html.”imposed costs”. someone needs to kick mickey mouse out our heads..http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/03/german-central-bank-admits-that-credit.html…..@g, that translation.(sheesh) when an elucidation is patently incomprehensibleit should be revealing (ie a tip off of a rip off). as s. connerysaid … ” if that is a confession my ass is a banjo.” ?…..the fine line between genius and psychopathy?clarity? accuracy? charm? persuasiveness?proximity to power? whatever that might….mean.it is sad that the truly sick among us frequently appear slightlymore intelligent than most of us!the fed has crossed over into the realm of thesociopath, as have others in that sphere.people have great value to the universe.that is why the universe made them / us.”power” is in direct opposition as this theyhave failed to learn or discovered to serve themdirectly.note: fascists do not recognize themselvesas such in the mirror. and .. they cannot.it is prohibited, an ego thing. a being “good”thing, a belonging to the group, popularity,being adjusted and intelligent thing. a conforming thing…they think very big, which is good, but havenot maintained a perspective concerning thehuman. the small, the individual, the source.replaced the source with a symbol and a narrative of ambiguous but powerful import.humanity sacrificed in theprocess of identification with the process, thegaming of the process. they have taken up theprospect of actually implementing the new worldreligion based on credit creation and set themselves up as the gods. the fiat gods ofdigital credit. they have the weapons and faithful warriors to enforce adherence to their arbitrary and fiat law. they reserve the right to create or destroy credit or law at will..this power they claim is within their grasp,as it is within the grasp of the individual, also. it is the essence of man, humanity, to create his world as he sees fit, extend himself or his credit as he believes, speculates, thinks, wishes, dreams, needs etc.. . it’s nature and natural. required, but……there are real consequences for everyone andeverything. effects. causes manifest. and thechain going backward in time and forward in thought to comprehension, an intellectual process resulting in consciousness. of ( )..rule one, broken. when you extend credit andit fails, you lose out. you don’t get to extendsomeone Else’s credit. but if you do and this also fails you don’t get to then repeat the thing at exponential powers. and when that fails you don’tget to remain as authority of credit and then do it again. this time with no reserves. ? are we really having this discussion?.so they are proposing a faith based, public is prepared?, system of no reserve credit extension. as religion has preached to the true believers and “good” followers as the proper attitude and posture before god. and that is the thermite that willdestroy the pillars, has destroyed, of the individual. the constitution, law, government,the family, community, etc…all to be slaves / dependent for the power tostand on their own two feet on someone Else’s earth under someone Else’s sky with total allegiance to the flag of the bank..it is the source of destruction also, destruction being by design, required, atthis stage of construction. a naked power grabwith opportunity for further grabs as “god” sees fit..all that is required is that men do nothing..coin. who could have imagined that man kindwould jeopardize his survival, the survival ofall know life in the universe, over this simple”convenience”. yes, anyone can extend whatevercredit they wish with nothing in reserve. and under such circumstances this usually results in a grin and a polite “thank you anyway”..and now this simple joke is to be the foundational doctrine of the money system?it could work if all people were of perfectintegrity and honesty but then we wouldn’t needcredit at all. again, when the fed pisses on your legit is called “raining”..and if they drink too much it is called “drowning”..so we will have to learn to swim in piss and call it”living”. people can adapt to anything ? a quality ora flaw? and there are degrees and varying life expectanciesand questions of quality but you don’t need to worry aboutany of that as the fed will tell you on a need to know basis.just shut up and do your job!.as has been said they used fraud and will move onto force.or have abused math and will move onto magic. have faith??faith in generals and bankers and delusional oligarchs?.coin. exchangeable stores of value. word. words. contracts. fiat money as a non bindingcontract! lawless and lovely in the magical house of finance. wonderland in the emerald city..doom and cake. call it “fortune”. at whose misfortune? we will see. the train has left the track brother and the marines are recruiting thechildren with cries of … “motivate” and “boo ra”..it seems man will be continually directed and led to sacrifice his soul as a precondition to becomethe executioner for his master, the gods of finance, in the land of doom and cake. by design. fractional / no reserve indeed. pure arbitrary power. like black magic wielded nearly unconsciously..a friend told me this shit today is scarier thanwhen he was sitting in the jungle in vietnamwondering if he would live through the night..then, at least, there was a conception of a place one mightcall “home”. with people there, real respectable people. simple. now,zombies push the buttons. they call it progress. digital progress,virtually effortless..http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18232Rampant Unemployment across America: 35 Cities Suffer Unemployment Above 15%by Ben Rooney.and the thing about iran and natural gas……..and the weather is fine. spring has sprung.see “inglorious bastards”. last frames of movie.

blindmen manMarch 22nd, 2010 at 8:46 pm

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_571­4­.­s­h­t­m­l.Policing thought in America: Why can’t we discuss the events of 9/11?By Jim FetzerOnline Journal Guest WriterMar 22, 2010, 00:25….”Does this look remotely like a “pancake collapse” to you? A set of 9/11 photos were recently released which, when they are temporally sequenced, provide a glimpse of what was actually going on, which was no “pancake collapse.” Every American deserves to see that the “official account” cannot even accommodate the gross appearance of the Twin Towers as they were destroyed even below ground level.”…comment: revealing and almost no one can see. so?where are the pancakes? dust. vaporized pancakes, overcooked.”what do you see”???????????????????????????????????????????????.it matters.

GuestMarch 23rd, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Chris Hedges’ ColumnsThe Health Care Hindenburg Has LandedMar 22, 2010AP / Charles DharapakRep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, accompanies President Barack Obama as they arrive at Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport before the congressman decided to switch his vote and help pass a health care reform bill he had staunchly opposed.By Chris HedgesRep. Dennis Kucinich’s decision to vote “yes” in Sunday’s House action on the health care bill, although he had sworn to oppose the legislation unless there was a public option, is a perfect example of why I would never be a politician. I respect Kucinich. As politicians go, he is about as good as they get, but he is still a politician. He has to run for office. He has to raise money. He has to placate the Democratic machine or risk retaliation and defeat. And so he signed on to a bill that will do nothing to ameliorate the suffering of many Americans, will force tens of millions of people to fork over a lot of money for a defective product and, in the end, will add to the ranks of our uninsured.The claims made by the proponents of the bill are the usual deceptive corporate advertising. The bill will not expand coverage to 30 million uninsured, especially since government subsidies will not take effect until 2014. Families who cannot pay the high premiums, deductibles and co-payments, estimated to be between 15 and 18 percent of most family incomes, will have to default, increasing the number of uninsured. Insurance companies can unilaterally raise prices without ceilings or caps and monopolize local markets to shut out competitors. The $1.055 trillion spent over the next decade will add new layers of bureaucratic red tape to what is an unmanageable and ultimately unsustainable system.The mendacity of the Democratic leadership in the face of this reality is staggering. Howard Dean, who is a doctor, said recently: “This is a vote about one thing: Are you for the insurance companies or are you for the American people?” Here is a man who once championed the public option and now has sold his soul. What is the point in supporting him or any of the other Democrats? How much more craven can they get?Take a look at the health care debacle in Massachusetts, a model for what we will get nationwide. One in six people there who have the mandated insurance say they cannot afford care, and tens of thousands of people have been evicted from the state program because of budget cuts. The 45,000 Americans who die each year because they cannot afford coverage will not be saved under the federal legislation. Half of all personal bankruptcies will still be caused by an inability to pay astronomical medical bills. The only good news is that health care stocks and bonuses for the heads of these corporations are shooting upward. Chalk this up as yet another victory for our feudal overlords and a defeat for the serfs.The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care—$7,129 per capita—although 45.7 million Americans remain without health coverage and millions more are inadequately covered, meaning that if they get seriously ill they are not covered. Fourteen thousand Americans a day are now losing their health coverage. A report in the journal Health Affairs estimates that, if the system is left unchanged, one of every five dollars spent by Americans in 2017 will go to health coverage. Private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume 31 cents of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year, enough, Physicians for a National Health Plan points out, to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans. Check out http://www.healthcare-now.org. It has some of the best analysis.AdvertisementThis bill is not about fiscal responsibility or the common good. The bill is about increasing corporate profit at taxpayer expense. It is the health care industry’s version of the Wall Street bailout. It lavishes hundreds of billions in government subsidies on insurance and drug companies. The some 3,000 health care lobbyists in Washington, whose dirty little hands are all over the bill, have once more betrayed the American people for money. The bill is another example of why change will never come from within the Democratic Party. The party is owned and managed by corporations. The five largest private health insurers and their trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, spent more than $6 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2009. Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug maker, spent more than $9 million during the last quarter of 2008 and the first three months of 2009. The Washington Post reported that up to 30 members of Congress from both parties who hold key committee memberships have major investments in health care companies totaling between $11 million and $27 million. President Barack Obama’s director of health care policy, who will not discuss single payer as an option, has served on the boards of several health care corporations. And as salaries for most Americans have stagnated or declined during the past decade, health insurance profits have risen by 480 percent.Obama and the congressional leadership have consciously shut out advocates of single payer from the debate. The press, including papers such as The New York Times, treats single payer as a fringe movement. The television networks rarely mention it. And yet between 45 and 60 percent of doctors favor single payer. Between 40 and 62 percent of the American people, including 80 percent of registered Democrats, want universal, single-payer not-for-profit health care for all Americans. The ability of the corporations to discredit and silence voices that represent at least half of the population is another sad testament to the power of our corporate state to frame all discussions.Change will come only by building movements that stand in fierce and uncompromising opposition to the Democrats and the Republicans. If they can herd Kucinich and John Conyers, the sponsors of House Resolution 676, a bill that would create a publicly funded National Health Program by eliminating private health insurers, onto the House floor to vote for this corporate theft, what is the point in pretending there is any room left for us in the party? And why should we waste our time with gutless liberal groups such as Moveon.org, which felt the need to collect more than $1 million to pressure House Democrats who had voted “no” on the original bill to recant? What was this purportedly anti-war group doing anyway serving as an obsequious recruiting arm of the Obama election campaign? The longer we tie ourselves to the Democrats and these bankrupt liberal organizations the more ridiculous and impotent we appear.“I’m ready to listen to the White House, if the White House is ready to listen to the concerns about putting a public option in this bill,” the old Kucinich said on the “Democracy Now!” radio and television program before he flipped. “I mean, they can do that. You know, they’re still cutting last-minute deals. Put the public option back in. Make it a robust public option. Give the people a chance to really negotiate rates with the insurance companies … from the standpoint of having a public option. But don’t just tell the people that you’re going to call this health care reform, when you’re giving insurance companies an even more powerful monopoly status in our economy.”

blindmanMarch 23rd, 2010 at 8:02 pm

speaking of listening to ….always back to, the voices.the narrative.’9/11 panel was warned not to probe too deeply’Thu, 18 Mar 2010 02:57:39 GMT.Leaked info shows the 9/11 Commission was warned against crossing the lines in its probes.Leaked confidential documents have revealed that senior officials from the former US administration had warned a 9/11 investigation panel against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks……http://orlingrabbe.com/homepage.html.