Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tea Party co-founder, Denninger, explains how tea party was corrupted....
Denninger makes the point that the movement has been hijacked away from questions of corruption in finance and government, and back to Guns, God, and Gays. Hardly new and hardly effective. I concur...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The moral rot at the center of American life results from a normalization of pathologies--sociopathic and psychopathic states and behaviors are now "normal" or incentivized. Moral behavior is institutionally punished.
The three social classes in America as described by Smith:
The "working class" is programmed to rely on television for most of its "information" about life, and thus they are programmed to:
1. Consume copious quantities of fast foods and convenience foods, and consider indolence a luxury. As a result, they are programmed to become obese/diabetic.
2. The boys are programmed to favor football and basketball in sports, service in the Armed Forces as the only viable choice to low-skill, fitful employment, to drop out of four-year college if pressured to enter, and vocational training, often paid for by the G.I. Bill after military service.
3. Males are programmed to place identity value on their vehicles and real-world "manly" skills (working on vehicles, farm equipment, woodworking, etc.), but their programmed aspirations are aimed at impossibly narrow fields: professional sports, hip-hop and other entertainment, etc. As a result, their real-world skills are generally undeveloped or modest.
In essence, they are programmed to fail in the "knowledge economy" and in real-world practical jobs which are not glorified by the broadcast media. They accept low-level work and are dissatisfied, often turning to drugs to relieve their ennui.
4. Their interests are channeled by the media into extreme sports, mixed martial arts, auto racing, football, etc., but they are programmed to express these interests through passive video games rather than by real-world experience. Programmed to low confidence, they generally give up quickly when faced with arduous training, except when forced by institutions such as the Military.
5. Working class families have few resources to draw upon, and the mobility favored by Corporate America has shredded the social networks which once offered support (church membership, social clubs, neighborhoods, etc.) Family "help" is a sofa to sleep on at a relatives' house.
6. The girls are programmed to have sex and children early, as motherhood has positive identity value, even if they are woefully unprepared for parenting. Career choices tend to be "pink collar" type labor in Corporate America's sickcare system or government jobs; females are programmed to support their children and demand little of the fathers. Dependency on the State /Welfare in one form or another is the norm.
7. Politics holds little interest and most of the working class are programmed not to vote as it "never does any good anyway."
8. There are few books or other reading materials around the house, little to no original decorative art, few musical instruments that can actually be played with any joy or expertise; the lived environment is a cultural desert. The TV and a computer offer distraction and entertainment and little else. If they pursue social media, they are members of My Space and Facebook. They are deeply attached to their cellphones, which are perceived as markers of accessible status. Passports are unknown; foreign travel is experienced through military service only.
The "middle class" aspires to the "upper class" life they see on television and other media, but their aspirations are for the trappings of wealth rather than for the engines of wealth.
1. Though the middle class person clings mightily to various totems of "membership" in the middle class, and experiences tremendous loss of identity and self-esteem when these totems are lost, in reality their wealth is modest and they have few family resources.
2. Though they watch a lot of TV, they also consume massive quantities of other low-value media through the electronic devices they see as emblematic of the "middle class" lifestyle: laptop computers, iPods, etc. Their cellphones and other electronics are key identity markers: the higher the status of the brand, the more valuable the device. Apple products are de riguer "high status."
3. Books and reading materials around the house tend to be best sellers or materials assigned in class; few households receive newspapers or magazines other than National Geographic. If books are read, they are genre books such as mysteries. Dog-eared copies of the Harry Potter series abound. Those households which aspire to "upper class" education may subcribe to a few magazines which are viewed as totems of high-class lifestyles: The New Yorker, Saveur, etc.
4. "Education" is valued but mastery is not; the goal is to obtain the certificate or paper required by gatekeepers in the government or Corporate America, not the actual skillsets. Though education is "valued," few households (regardless of income, which is often high) save religiously enough to fund university educations; borrowing vast sums of student loans is the norm. Adult education is pursued to obtain the same gatekeeper certificates in whatever field the adults toil in. Learning for the pleasure of learning is unknown or deemed a waste of time when "we could be having fun."
"Enrichment" classes are provided to the children, but the purpose is to gain a veneer of respectability as an aspirant to upper-class membership; piano lessons are dutifully offered but nobody plays music in the house for enjoyment, so the lessons are soon dropped. Live performances are also attended occasionally as "enrichment." Foreign travel is experienced via college programs or packaged tours fit into 2-week vacations allowed by Corporate America.
5. Favored sports include soccer and volleyball for the girls, and skateboarding and baseball for the boys. Team sports are favored over individual competition, and adults spend significant time ferrying kids to various after-school sports, which are deemed "character-building."
6. Ownership of status brands is highly important; brand consciousness is acute. Target is favored over Wal-Mart, and designer-luxury brand purses, shoes, autos, etc. are highly desirable "markers" of success and identity. Most of the family income goes to paying for these "markers" of membership.
7. A four-year college degree is the goal, with an MBA or master's degree considered a higher-level enabler of a better career. The cherished goal is acceptance to an elite university which is viewed as a magical ticket to "fast track" advancement in the government or Corporate America. Meritocracy is accepted as the norm. Military service is shunned in favor of attending college right out of high school. Favored social media are related to career/corporate advancement: LinkedIn, etc. Foreign films and chic dining are valued as "markers" of high-class status.
The upper class has the confidence born of the knowledge that the family resources can always bail one out. High-paying jobs will be provided via networks; art-aspirant careers are highly valued, and family resources enable dilletante dabbling in acting, film-making, visual arts, etc.
Entrance to prep schools and family money/connections enable entrance to institutions the middle class must gain entrance to via meritocracy.
Favored careers include venture capital, high-status government positions, management of family businesses, plum slots in NGOs, etc. Noblesse Oblige is served via membership on boards of charities, the local symphony and museum, etc. These networks provide connections to business opportunities unavailable to the middle class.
Children already get passports and foreign travel to exotic locales is standard. Middle-class aspirants are viewed paternalistically or with scorn; they are worker-bees for the Corporate America/State owned or managed by the upper class. The working class is avoided except as servants, who are often immigrants.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
More evidence that the rally is finally over comes from ZeroHedge:
I won't post any excerpts, but you might want to go to the above link and read it. This is feeling in many ways like 2007-2008 all over again...but worse..
Emerging research shows that bacteria have powers to engineer the environment, to communicate and to affect human well-being. They may even think.
A few scientists noticed in the late 1960s that the marine bacteria Vibrio fischeri appeared to coordinate among themselves the production of chemicals that produced bioluminescence, waiting until a certain number of them were in the neighborhood before firing up their light-making machinery. This behavior was eventually dubbed “quorum sensing.” It was one of the first in what has turned out to be a long list of ways in which bacteria talk to each other and to other organisms.
Some populations of V. fischeri put this skill to a remarkable use: They live in the light-sensing organs of the bobtail squid. This squid, a charming nocturnal denizen of shallow Hawaiian waters, relies on V. fischeri to calculate the light shining from above and emit exactly the same amount of light downward, masking the squid from being seen by predators swimming beneath them.
For their lighting services, V. fischeri get a protected environment rich in essential nutrients. Each dawn, the squid evict all their V. fischeri to prevent overpopulation. During the day, the bacteria recolonize the light-sensing organ and detect a fresh quorum, once again ready to camouflage the squid by night.
Monday, October 18, 2010
HOMEECONOMICS FINANCE DATA MARKETS BLOGROLLECONOMIC NEWS RSSE-mail On The Hypocrisy of Voters: The politics of economics redux
The results suggest that Americans’ perceptions of the government as a threat may be less dependent on broader, philosophical views of government power, and instead have more to do with who is wielding that power. Throughout the Bush administration, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to perceive the government as a threat. Now that a Democratic president is in office, the reverse is true.
Since 2003, when the question was first asked, independents’ views have been more consistent, although independents have been somewhat more likely to perceive the government as a threat since 2006 than they were before that year.
What does this tell you? Personally, I find it a bit disturbing. My take: People are hypocrites. People don’t have any defensible philosophical world view that they apply systematically. It depends on who is in power and whether one feels allied to power by part affiliation.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
One way of looking at this piece is that it suggests most real estate in the last 15 years has been securitized, meaning, that proper paperwork has not been filed, and if investigated, much of it doesn't have a clear owner.
This is dynamite, and suggests an eventual total hose up of the real estate industry..
that could last decades.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
The cost to protect Bank of America’s debt for five years climbed for a fourth day, touching yesterday’s record of 205 basis points, according to Phoenix Partners Group. The difference between the swap price and the average of the five largest banks grew yesterday to 41.1 basis points, the most on record.
Citigroup’s swaps rose 3.2 basis points to 177 today and contracts on New York-based Morgan Stanley fell 2.2 basis points to 173, Phoenix data show. In February, Citigroup’s contracts were 94.4 basis points higher than those of Bank of America’s, according to CMA.
“For all of these residential real estate issues that are dominating the headlines today and have significant political implications in the 19 days going into the election, Bank of America sits there more exposed than Citigroup right now,” Nomura’s Havens said.
Prices on Bank of America’s credit-default swaps imply the debt is ranked Ba1 as of Oct. 13, five levels below its actual A2 grade, according to Moody’s Corp.’s capital markets research group. That’s the first time the firm’s swaps have signaled a junk ranking since May 6, the data show.
Don't look now but the dollar is firming and the bond yields are rising...at a time when equities look overextended...
The witch of October is not to be denied...
The chart at the top shows an experimental channel, that as you can see, has held in the past...Let's see if it holds here...
Note also that we're just a whisker past a 1.00 exponential node, another red flag...
(Click on the chart to enlarge it.)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
A .pdf file, some sort of Powerpoint presentation by Chris Whalen of IRA.
predicts the 3 largest US Banks will have to be taken into receivership in the next 6 months
Predicts that BAC, JPM, GMAC foreclosure moratoriums only
the start of the crisis that threatens the financial
foundations of the entire U.S. political economy.
Also this, one comment on one website came up with these references and this final conclusion:
“If this isn’t all being telegraphed, i don’t know what is.
Banking holiday…It is just a matter of time.”
I’m thinking the FDIC is planning one by their statements, as they seem to be setting a time window to end certain levels of insurance guarantees. If that is to be a publicly known event, (and it must be, if the pitchforks are not to come out) then you give people time to remove levels of deposits beyond the coverage they will offer in the future. This invites a bank run, but may be planned to happen in a controlled way, rather than in a panic, and so then they have less to clean up, when these banks actually fail.
My guess, it will happen ahead of schedule. No one will be happy…
For more, see the video below, previous post....
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
(2) How much longer also before we have a "bank holiday" or worse?
Sunday, October 10, 2010
40 State Attorneys General to Investigate Mortgage Fraud; Bank of America Halts Evictions Nationwide; Senator Reid Calls for More Suspensions
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Beyond the Trust Horizon From the Automatic earth - by Stoneleigh
Relationships of trust are the glue that holds societies together. Trust takes a long time to establish, and much less time to destroy, hence societies where trust is wide-spread, particularly for long periods of time, are relatively rare. In contrast, societies where trust does not extend beyond the family, or clan, level are very common in history.
The spread of trust is a characteristic of expansionary times, along with increasing inclusion, and a weakening of the 'Us vs Them' divide. Essentially, the trust horizon expands, both within and between societies. Over time it can encompass higher levels of organization - from family to community to municipality to region to nation and beyond - so long as the expansionary dynamic continues to support it.
Within societies this leads to relatively stable and (at least temporarily) effective institutions, and bolsters the development of the rule of law. The rule of law means that law constrains the powerful (more than usual), and there is a reasonable degree of legal transparency and predictability, so that people are prepared to trust in the fairness and accessibility of justice. Naturally, the ideal is never reached, human nature being what it is, but it can be approached under the most favourable of circumstances.
Within societies, trust also confers political legitimacy (ie a widespread buy-in as to the right of rulers to rule). Where there is legitimacy, there is relatively little need for surveillance and coercion. A high level of trust (all the way up to the level of national institutions) is thus a prerequisite for an open society.
Between societies, an expansion of the trust horizon tends to lead to political accretion. Larger and more disparate groups feel comfortable with closer ties and greater inter-dependence, and are prepared to leave past conflicts behind. The European Union, where 25 countries with a very long history of conflicts have come together, is a prime example.
However, all expansions have a limited lifespan, as do the benefits they confer. They sow the seeds of their own destruction, especially when they morph into a final manic phase and begin to hollow out the substance of social structures. Institutions, whether public or private, retain the same outward form, but cease to operate as they once did. For a while it is possible to maintain the illusion of business as usual (or effectiveness and accountability as usual), but not indefinitely. Everything is subject to receding horizons eventually, and trust is no exception.
Over time institutions become sclerotic, unresponsive, self-serving and hostage to vested interests, at which point they cannot be reformed, as the reform would have to come from those entrenched individuals who have benefited most from the status quo. Institutions become demonstrably less effective, while consuming more and more of society's resources. Corruption, abuses of power, lack of accountability and the loss of the rule of law become increasingly evident, exactly as we have seen with unauthorized wire-tapping, extra-ordinary rendition and many other actions undermining the open society. Once this happens, trust is living on borrowed time. That is very clearly the case in many developed societies today.
Trust in existing organizational structures does not disappear overnight, but ebbs away as institutions decay or the extent of their corruption is revealed. The loss of trust from higher levels of organization undermines the fabric of a society now operating beyond the trust horizon. When trust contracts, socioeconomic contraction is just around the corner. Bank runs are a particularly good example of this. People are currently waking up to the extent of the recklessness, irresponsibility and self-serving short-termism of the banking system, and realizing that reliance on top-down human promises is far riskier than they had supposed. When they cease to trust in those promises, they will are very likely to vote with their feet.
Societies in this position lose a critical pillar of support - the collective acceptance of their people. Governing institutions lose legitimacy, at which point the cost of governance increases significantly, because where there is no trust, resource-intensive surveillance and coercion develop instead. Our societies in the developed world, where institutional decay is well underway, stand on the brink of such a transition.
Where resources are scarce, as they will be soon enough, the diversion of a larger percentage of what remains towards this purpose will aggravate that scarcity considerably. This will further anger people, which is likely to lead to a downward spiral of mutual provocation and recrimination. Most of us have not seen this vicious circle of human sentiment to any great extent, but this is the natural consequence of the collapse of trust.
On the way down, as on the way up, there are effects both within and between societies, as the 'Us vs Them' dynamic sharpens once again. 'Us' becomes ever more tightly defined, and 'Them' becomes an ever more pejorative term. The result is division between disparate groups of people within a society, for instance the unionized and non-unionized, the haves and the have-nots, or different religious or ethnic groups. When there is a paucity of trust, and not enough resources to go meet highly inflated expectations, the risk of conflict is very high. Previously formed political accretions are at a high risk of coming unglued as they will no be longer supported by trust. The European Union should take note.
Between societies, where the existing range of divisive parameters is likely to be much larger, and where there may be a past history of conflict, the risk of conflict flaring up again rises significantly. This is especially likely if societies attempt to deflect blame for the situation they find themselves in towards other nationalities.
We are already seeing evidence of the growing anger, and the change it will usher in as the trust horizon shrinks. In the US, the Tea Party movement is the most obvious example. All major change comes from the ground-up, where the power of the collective is expressed in ways that either support or undermine the actions and intentions of central authorities. It is the interaction between the power of the collective and central authority that determines where a society will head.
The Tea Party movement is a ground-swell of public anger, very much in the tradition of major transformative grass-roots initiatives. It is exactly what one would expect to see at the brink of a collapse in the trust horizon - a movement grounded in negative emotion that both stems from a loss of trust and in turn acts to aggravate it in a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop. The danger with such a movement manifesting such powerful negative emotions is that it will precipitate a major over-reaction to the downside, commensurate with the irrational exuberance we saw to the upside. The anger is largely unfocused, and where it is specific, it is not fully-informed.
The primary target of the Tea Party is big government, but this ignores a major part of the big picture. The abuses of power we have seen are not purely a manifestation of metastatic public authority, but an expression of corporate fascism - the blending and merging of public and private interests in social control. One look at the revolving door between the banking system (where banking law is written) and the US treasury should be enough to demonstrate this.
The Tea Party movement represents largely (but not solely) the unfocused anger of people who know they have suffered, or are about to suffer, substantial losses, but do not (typically) understand the system well enough to understand why. The movement is casting about for someone to blame, as such movements always do on the verge of a trust collapse. The danger is that someone with facile populist answers will come along, offering a target for the urgent desire to blame someone for what has happened and is happening.
This is already happening, as powerful funding sources and nascent populists circle around and seek to tap into the trend for their own purposes. It is absolutely to be expected that existing top-down power structures, or political opportunists with their own agenda, will seek to hijack bottom-up movements as they develop. My primary concern is that in doing so they will lay the foundation for a society attempting to live far beyond the trust horizon, and where there is no trust, and consequently no political legitimacy, there will be surveillance, coercion and repression instead.
It will be easy for movements grounded in negative emotion to gain a foot-hold in the coming environment, as this is very much where the collective mood will lie in the aftermath of a Ponzi collapse. Blame-games will be very tempting (and populists have their own prejudicial ideas as to who should be blamed). However, this would not be compatible with maintaining the constructive and cooperative mindset we need if we are to have a hope of avoiding an over-reaction to the downside that has the potential to magnify the impact of what is coming enormously.
Personally, I would like to encourage the development of a different kind of grass-roots momentum for change, along the lines of what is being developed (albeit not nearly quickly enough so far) by the Transition Towns movement and other comparable initiatives. The key advantages that this kind of approach has are two-fold - the scope of its component activities, based on relocalization, match where the trust horizon is headed, and its driving force is the desire to build rather than to tear down.
Working within the trust horizon is important, as it means individual small-scale initiatives can benefit from the same kind of social support at a local level that larger-scale ones once did at a societal level, when trust was more broadly inclusive. Local currencies work for exactly this reason. While the task will still be difficult, it has a chance of being achievable, especially where the necessary relationships of trust have been established before hard times set in. It is very much more difficult to build such relationships after the fact, but relationships built beforehand may actually strengthen when put to the test.
Trying to maintain a positive and constructive focus at the local level, where trust has a chance to survive, and perhaps even thrive in hard times, and to avoid being drawn into a blame-game, will be an uphill battle. It is nevertheless something we need to do as a society, if we are to have a chance to preserve as much as possible of who we are through what is coming.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
And an interesting comment from someone reading that article:
The speaker calls himself ‘attempter’:
“I agree, the 2015 date, as bad as it sounds, is just a carrot dangled before the dying workhorse to induce him to stagger on.
This “economy” will never restore livable jobs. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that on the contrary destroying all real jobs has been the intentional policy of close to 40 years now. They’re not going to stop when final victory is in sight.
I hope we see effective general strikes in Europe and elsewhere. They still have the spirit and perhaps the labor infrastructure.
As for America, the spirit seems doubtful. And it seems that part of the genius of the atomization of the citizenry, along with ending the draft and greatly lowering taxes (replacing taxation with government debt), has been the dispersal of the labor force. Part of the goal of the destruction of manufacturing and replacing it with a “service economy” was to disperse physical labor concentration even as all economic power became ever more centralized.
In reading Tocqueville recently, I was struck by his observation that at the same historical moment that government and economic power was most centralized in Paris, all industrialization and its related capitalist infrastructure were also physically centralized there.
So when the bourgeoisie and the workers combined against the government, it was literally a stroll down the street, and the job was done. It was almost effortless, the moment they decided to do it.
But how can people combine for any kind of action in physically disintegrated America? In a bizarre way, it’s like asymmetrical warfare, but with the elites as the rapidly moving guerrillas whose power is in general dispersed and unassailable, but who are able to combine and strike with great force at any chosen point, while the lumbering, sprawled-out beast of the people has no idea where it is or how to move.”
Friday, October 1, 2010
Simple minds aren't going to cut it here. Complexity has to be understood.
In other words, it will require a very smart, subtle and focused plan to use our now diminishing resources in the most efficient way possible to get back to our core competency. That is the only long-term solution to our problem — to grow our way out of debt with American workers who are more empowered and educated to compete.
Any Tea Party that says the simple answer is just shrinking government and slashing taxes might be able to tip the midterm elections in its direction. But it can’t tip America in the right direction. There is a Tea Party for that, but it’s still waiting for a leader.
US Second Circuit Judge Pierre Leval
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
In many ways, it's worse, since this is a log scale.
Superimpose on this chart, the Nasdaq bubble, plus the ensuing decline, and you can see problems ahead for a long, long, time.
The crash in population that's coming could last for at least centuries, if I understand what this chart is saying to me...
Below is a log plot of the 1929 crash, the population chart I have above, shows the part represented below by the upward blue arrow to the top. A reasonable fraction of the time going up is taken to bring it back down to whatever level becomes the 'bottom'. This is the downward blue arrow pictured in the chart below. This concept applied to the population chart above could easily give a 'bottom' after a couple of thousand years, give or take...
Monday, September 27, 2010
UN ‘to appoint space ambassador to greet alien visitors’
Former Air Force Officers: UFOs Tampered With Nuclear Missiles
Can’t figure out what the powers that be are trying to pull with this stuff, except maybe fake an alien landing down the road apiece to destroy or discredit most of Earth’s religions to make people more docile.
No Alien in it’s right mind would come here, even if it were technically possible.
Because the Earth is a ghetto.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
I had an experience today in a public place where there was a television set running. Being there by myself, as is my habit, I turned the set off, to gather my thoughts. I regard television as mostly noise.
A young girl about 20 entered the room, and looked up at the TV on the wall. She said “Why is the TV off, is it broken?”
I said, “Yes, and it has been that way for 25 years or more.”
She then said to me “What do you mean?”
She was intrigued and puzzled and disturbed by my remark.
I said “Bread and Circuses” It’s like Rome, keep the people entertained, and they won’t care as you slowly steal everything of value from them. She had heard that before, I could tell this by her response.
Then I paused and said, “It’s worse than that, really. They are stealing our money, and also feeding us genetically modified foods, that will slowly kill us.” I explained quickly the issues there.
Then I said, “When they slaughter cows, they run them back and forth through a wooden pathway, and the cows never can see straight ahead, as that’s where a man with a sledge, drops them as they come through the gate at the end of the wooden pathway. The idea is to keep them distracted, turn them left and right, they never see what their fate is ’till the very end.”
Then I pointed to the TV and said, “You see, that’s your wooden pathway.”
Quietly, very quietly, looking down, she said “I get it.”
I saw her later that day in that same public place, looking down and looking “quite bummed out.” But I knew I had managed to reach one young person, about the deep core of our media soaked, twisted culture.
But I can’t in my own mind tell myself whether what I did was right or not……….
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I got these links from the Financial Sense Site
A guy named Mike Maloney talking straight talk to a bunch of Russian Bankers.
Very good presentation, very clear, and he managed to disturb the Bankers..
Mike says he’s speaking in the ‘belly of the beast’. Russian Bankers are not much different then ours…
This is interesting, amusing and a bit dramatic. Probably why Puplava has it on his site…
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Myth and Madness
Christine O’Donnell is in a fantasy world. Literally.
“We’re rowdy, we’re passionate,” she told the enraptured crowd. “It reminds me of the C. S. Lewis Narnia books, where the little girl asks someone about Aslan the lion, who represents God, and she says with a little concern over such a fearsome lion, ‘Is he safe?’ And her friend says, ‘Safe? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.’ ”
She’s right that there’s an untamed beast rampaging through American politics. But this beast does not seem blessed; rather it has loosed a kind of ugliness and wildness in the land.
We the People in the Ruling Class Elites do think O’Donnell comes across as alarmingly loopy. But maybe she’s smart as a fox in doing a Single-White-Female, Fox anchor makeover to look more like her queen-maker, Sarah Palin.
She’s also smart to think of politics in terms of passion and myth — two elements Barack Obama was able to summon during his campaign that are sorely missing from his presidency.
She might have gone a broom too far, though, when she once told Bill Maher that she had “dabbled into witchcraft” and went on a date with a witch that included “a midnight picnic on a satanic altar.”
Obama’s bloodless rationality has helped spawn the right’s bloodletting of irrationality. His ivory tower approach to the nation’s fears and anxieties about the economy gave rise to a tower of angry babble. Tea Party is basically a big tent for anger.
The president’s struggle to connect and inspire passion is a dispiriting contrast to, as Yeats said, the worst, full of passionate intensity.
The first African-American president, who wrote in his memoir that he trained himself as a young man not to let his anger show in a suspicious white society, now faces anger on an unprecedented scale from a mostly white movement.
He seems weary of crisis management, conveying the attitude of the hero in “The Incredibles” who has to keep saving the world: “Sometimes I just want it to stay saved!”
The president seems put upon and impatient with reality while his foes seem happy to embrace fantasy.
Obama can connect with policy. He just can’t connect with the objects of policy. Empathy seems more like an abstract concept than something to practice.
He has never shaken off that slight patronizing attitude toward the working-class voters he is losing now, the ones he dubbed “bitter” during his campaign. There is no premium in trying to save people’s jobs and lift them up and give them health care if they feel that you can’t relate to them. That’s how Mayor Adrian Fenty lost his job, despite D.C.’s progress on schools and crime.
The insane have achieved political respectability while the sane act too good for it all. The irrational celebrate while the rational act bored and above-it-all.
When Rahm Emanuel leaves to go run for mayor in Chicago, all the blood will drain out of the White House. And Obama can go to Ben’s Chili Bowl for lunch every day and it won’t matter.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
"In my last missive I wrote “Although ‘roll over’ in the futures will continue through the week, a good deal of the volume is already trading in the December contract. The Labor Day vacation period is over. Rosh Hashanah is over. Roll over is essentially over. There are no more excuses to be made by Mr. Market as to why he wants to continue impersonating Rip Van Winkle. The coming weeks should be more lively…”
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Quite dramatic. Good quality film, overall
Britain took a pounding…
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
“Watch the Gold/Oil Ratio, which is poised to rise noticeably. Gold is the commodity king, namely it is money. The worldwide recession will keep the crude oil price subdued until the USTreasury bubble pops. Then, at that time, several major commodity hedges will jump in price, rendering a cost shock to the USEconomy. It is broken to the core, broken at the foundation, broken from grotesque imbalances, broken from vast pervasive insolvency. An inflationary depression lies dead ahead! Notice the recognition of Gold, its distinction as the king of commodities. The usual accepted hedge against the USDollar in Wall Street and London accounts has traditionally been crude oil.”
Me talking here:
The key words here are “inflationary depression”.
This is the final nail in the coffin. The bond bubble bursting implies higher interest rates and (much)higher prices for energy and other imported necessities. Employment, and the tax base collapses. Sovereign debt crisis for America rapidly becomes a currency crisis. With employment collapsing, money scarce, and the purchasing power of the money collapsing as well, all social and political structures collapse.
Similar events at varying magnitudes will occur across the West.
My thinking, this could all happen within a year of the first real recognition that the bubble has “burst”.
There is an earlier technical signal that would confirm a bond bubble bust then the upper trendline failure I have been mentioning. The 5 and 10 year yield curves have a sort of double bottom in place, or forming, as I have mentioned. The high point between the double bottoms, is at a yield of 2.8% on the 5 year, and 4% on the ten year notes. Those levels, when exceeded, will suggest to a lot of Bond technicians that the moment of truth has arrived.
If investors hear these concerned raised by the technicians, it may precipitate the crisis.
I would encourage all of you out there to examine these bond charts and familiarize yourself with the patterns I am pointing to...
Looking at the charts themselves, it is entirely possible that this point of recognition could be less than a year, or as little as some months out, depending on the way the charts develop...
Take steps to protect yourself..buy some physical precious metals...
Chart symbols :$TNX and $FVX referenced to Bigcharts.
Monday, September 6, 2010
A bit long but a 'must read' interview, How the Peak oil crisis interacts with the financial crisis.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Looks like it. I got knocked out of the bus going north, but it looks like I may be able to ride one going the other way, soon. The candlesticks showing up look like tops, and look at the Russell $VIX below, the volatility index is in the bands, and oversold. The chart at top shows the $SPX nearly at a high trendline, offering resistance.
Students are returning to school this week. But they’re not heading back to class — they’re walking straight into a war zone. Our kids have become cannon fodder for two rival ideologies battling to control America’s future.
In one camp are conservative Christians and their champion, the Texas State Board of Education; in the other are politically radical multiculturalists and their de facto champion, President Barack Obama. The two competing visions couldn’t be more different. And the stakes couldn’t be higher. Unfortunately, whichever side wins — your kid ends up losing.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Just sold my longs for a loss about $200...market weaker than anticipated..
No project is more interesting at the moment than a curious project in one of the world’s most remote spots, Svalbard. Bill Gates is investing millions in a seed bank on the Barents Sea near the Arctic Ocean, some 1,100 kilometers from the North Pole. Svalbard is a barren piece of rock claimed by Norway and ceded in 1925 by international treaty (see map).
On this God-forsaken island Bill Gates is investing tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in what is called the ‘doomsday seed bank.’ Officially the project is named the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group.
From Jackson Hole, Today August 28th on Reuter’s Main News Page.
“Fiscal “alchemy” must mimic monetary science”
If I read this correctly, they are saying that Congress is inept (and by extension, also are the people who voted them in), and for the sake of professionalism, the central bankers must endeavor to ‘influence’ fiscal policy.
“Central bankers are likely to have to pay more attention to taxation and budgeting in the future as the stresses from the financial obligations of retirement programs increase, he said.
Since there is general agreement that central bank decisions should be made without political meddling, financial markets can be reasonably confident of policy makers’ responses to a slowdown in economic growth or a rise in inflation, Leeper said.
However, no such predictability exists for fiscal policy, which can shift with political winds.”
So they want to extend the Central bank’s mandate beyond printing money and creating ponzi schemes, to full governance, taking on taxation and spending, i.e. usurping the constitutional role of Congress.
They make some comments about retirement programs and Social Security, about the debate over reducing benefits or raising taxes.
Don’t we want Central Banks to handle these things too?
Also, isn’t it great, as per the title of the article, that what they do they call “monetary science”!
What a joke!