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Guest Post: Our Peculiar State Of Suspended Animation

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Our Peculiar State of Suspended Animation

Three long years of extend and pretend have left the nation in a state of suspended animation, frozen in a moment of crisis.

The U.S. is in a peculiar state of suspended animation: nothing is actually moving, we're all frozen in an extended moment of disbelief, denial and crisis, waiting for something to finally break loose.

We know the present isn't sustainable, but we go through the motions of phony "reforms" and "trimming the deficit" as if another 1,000 pages of "reforms" will fix what's broken in the economy or that trimming $50 billion from $1.7 trillion annual deficits will actually matter.

The wheels visibly fell off the bubble-debt-fraud economy four years ago in mid-2007. It's worth recalling that the U.S. won a global war (World War II) in less than four years, yet now we are pleased to borrow and and squander an extra $1 trillion a year just to keep our fragile state of suspended animation from being disrupted by unpleaseant reality.

In a nutshell, here's the reality: the entire "prosperity" of the past decade was a false prosperity, constructed entirely of money borrowed by the private sector based on the rising value of McMansions and strip-malls that made no sense except as speculations based on the Federal Reserve's credit-bubble policies and Wall Street's systemic financialization of that debt based on fraud and misrepresentation of risk.

The private sector borrowed and spent an extra $1 trillion a year in the "boom years" of the bubble decade. This debt-based stimulus vanished with the implosion of Wall Street's fraud machine (CDOs, mortgage-backed securities, etc.) and the collapse of bubble-era housing valuations.

As overleveraged households and businesses found they could no longer borrow $1 trillion extra a year to spend, then the Federal government stepped in and borrowed and spent $1 trillion a year to replace the private borrowing which had dried up.

This $1 trillion is incredibly obvious. Federal spending rose by exactly $1 trillion from 2007 to 2010, while revenues fell by $400 billion:

2007 $2.72 trillion
2010 $3.72 trillion

2007 $2.56 trillion
2010 $2.16 trillion

2007 –$160 billion
2010 –$1.56 trillion

This is how you get an annual structural deficit of $1.5 trillion. This sum will never go down, it will only go up, as the estimated deficits for 2011 and 2012 show:

2011: $1.5 trillion (est.)

2012: $1.6 trillion (est.)

This doesn't even count off-budget borrowing for bailing out our Moral Hazard Twins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for additional war expenses.

Add off-budget borrowing and the structural deficit is 12.5% of GDP. This is only one comparable period of Federal borrowing and deficit spending: World War II, which ended in less than 4 years (December 1941 to August 1945).

Here we are, borrowing 12% of GDP every year for four years, with no end in sight. All we're doing is propping up the Status Quo.

The private economy cannot support an additional $1 trillion in borrowing and spending every year. Housing assets and household earnings continue to decline even as basic household expenses for energy, food education and healthcare continue to rise.

Housing is still overvalued, ( Housing Losses Are a Financial Disaster) a reality that will become abundantly clear once interest rates begin their inevitable rise. Household earnings will continue to stagnate or decline ( Capital Exploits Labor: the U.S.-China Trade and Beyond).

Households cannot borrow an extra $1 trillion a year, and that will not change in the foreseeable future. This is not the warm and fuzzy stagflation of the 1970s, when wages and interest income rose along with prices: in this Fed-engineered stagflation, wages remain flat-to-down and savers earn nothing for their capital, while taxes and costs for essentials steadily rise. The primary asset for 2/3 of the nation's households, housing, continues to fall. The rising stock market increases the wealth of the top 10% of households, but does little to nothing for the bottom 90%.

The Fed's policy of a top-down "wealth effect" is widening an already unprecedented gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" in the nation. This widening divide is no secret; it is simply another feature of our suspended animation.

Simply put: the present set of policies is a recipe for household and national insolvency.


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Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:17 | 1280201 wang
wang's picture

Somewhat OT and not to disagree with Mr. Smith but there is a real economy outside the world of bankster make beleive and crime.  A true titan of the real business world, French Fry King Wallace McCain passed away on the weekend. He and many like him represent the real economy. His story is worth reading:


Wallace McCain Tribute


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:17 | 1280241 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Would you want Freedom fries with your order?

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:26 | 1280271 TheTmfreak
TheTmfreak's picture

I forgot all about that.... hah. (The whole freedom instead of French)

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 19:49 | 1281092 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Obama offers surprise face time to Memphis high school seniors

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:23 | 1280257 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

nice link/story. thanks!


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:30 | 1280296 wang
wang's picture

It is an amazing story, this guy and his brother created a multi billion dollar global company (still private) from a little village just across the Maine border. When he and his brother had a falling out he moved to Toronto Canada and built another mult-billion dollar company. If you read some of the comments you get a unique insight into the style of a true entrepreneur. This is the antithesis of the fake bankster economy.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:47 | 1280342 Herman Strandsc...
Herman Strandschnecke's picture

Well said, I agree.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:15 | 1280220 oogs66
oogs66's picture

It finally feels like its all catching up with us...maybe we kick that proverbial can down the road one more time, but the web of debt and bailouts is starting to unravel

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:19 | 1280253 john39
john39's picture

the can is a rigged IED this time.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:17 | 1280243 Mad Max
Mad Max's picture

Isn't the main question just who's going to be left holding the bag?

Will it be China, Japan and other creditors?  J6P and Main Street?  Or, in a bizarroworld where there is justice, could it actually be the TBTF banks and other guilty parties?

Only the first of those options would let us keep some portion of our false prosperity, of course, and then only if it somehow doesn't lead to war.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:20 | 1280256 john39
john39's picture

how about everyone outside the banker class criminal power cult?

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:45 | 1280337 Holodomor2012
Holodomor2012's picture

The Merchant of Venice will have his pound of flesh. 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 22:32 | 1281642 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Might be suspended animation this week, but people are feeling the pinch. I am. Increasing gas prices from 2.58 to 4.00, a 35% increase - a 2 car family spending $328 per month is now spending $508, a decrease to disposable income of $180. Increasing food prices...have you seen the price per pound of ground chuck lately? Many items are very expensive...a package of Lorna Doones, the small package is now 4.59. The cereal boxes are substantially smaller for higher prices, same with laundry detergent.

Clothing prices are higher. Money is getting less available for the poor and the middle class.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:21 | 1280258 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

So far, buying of U.S. Treasuries remains voracious.


Bill Gross continues to get "Waterboarded".....

Only a matter of time before he has to close that trade.

And then he'll have to use his $90 billion in cash to "catch up" by chasing equities...


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:29 | 1280286 Boston
Boston's picture

He might have to use some of those billions to chase Treasuries......after he reaches max pain, of course.


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:05 | 1280422 rocker
rocker's picture

The reason they are buying treasuries is because they are bailing on the stock market. Plain and simple. 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:33 | 1280306 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

care to update us on your jcp call of the day? or tzoo? or zlc? stick to utility stocks. you'll save yourself money.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 23:37 | 1281822 suldog
suldog's picture

Careful with your mocking of Bill Gross.  

In 2007, he dumped his subprime holdings saying something to the effect that they were "dressed up in red lipstick, wearing pump shoes, hanging in the red-light district".

He was content to have TRF in the middle of the pack for a quarter or two.  After that, he was #1 versus his peer universe, and finished near the top for the year.

He is not often wrong with big bets, and he cares not about being early.  Which is a good thing, because with a fund that size, he has to be early.  So he might as well talk his book.


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:21 | 1280260 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Suspended animation?  Look, possession has always been nine tenths of the law.  Once all the fiat burns, it will be 100% of the law.  Got physical?  "Mark to unicorn" accounting is fantasy and will die when people demand their unicorns back.  None of this ends well, so hedge accordingly and by that I really mean prepare accordingly.  Every choice you make is technically a "hedge" in one form or another.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:09 | 1280439 rocker
rocker's picture

Apmex introducing fractional silver coins that memic old liberty head dimes.  What do they see in the future.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:38 | 1280932 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

The premiums over spot are obscene on this APMEX project.  Also, what is the difference from what they are doing with these and what Von NotHaus is probably going to jail for?

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 00:42 | 1281974 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

Seriously. Buy a sack of 90% silver quarters.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:25 | 1280264 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

The system is unsustainable, and no matter how much extend and pretend they do. It will implode in on itself. We are moving back to a more stable system. Come Hell or High water.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:24 | 1280276 chistletoe
chistletoe's picture

Here's the whole history, starting with WWII:

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:03 | 1280673 honestann
honestann's picture

Oh, that is so funny... and true.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:29 | 1280287 JustPrintMoreDuh
JustPrintMoreDuh's picture

Lets just have a worldwide happy all debts are forgiven day.  That or WW3.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:33 | 1280309 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

"This is not the warm and fuzzy stagflation of the 1970s..."


Using the term 'stagflation' to describe our current situation glosses over the present situation. We had 'stagflation' in the 70's and having lived through that, what we have now is far more onerous.


We need to come up with a new name that reflects where we really are.



Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:43 | 1280339 JohnG
JohnG's picture


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:51 | 1280375 Herman Strandsc...
Herman Strandschnecke's picture

'Bankrupt'. (Pre-post Banksubservience)

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:52 | 1280357 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture















Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:12 | 1280450 rocker
rocker's picture

+1           LMFAO

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:23 | 1280897 blindman
blindman's picture

very nice, i would add

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 19:58 | 1281130 ctlaltDEL
ctlaltDEL's picture

Indeed, inflation everywhere in everything ..... except for copious amounts of DSK deflation, and no printing press in the world can help that prick.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:53 | 1280372 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture


speaking of which, a video just popped up on my screen :  "you know that when you use Lysol at home, you'll know you're a part of something bigger..."

don't watch any tv, so guess i'm not used to this, but wow, they're really starting to pile it on.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:10 | 1280441 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Masturflation.  It's the only gratification we'll be getting.

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 01:33 | 1282059 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture


Just use the abreviated term, Bob-n-Fred.

Congress: "Oh God, we've been Bob-n-Fred'd by the Crentral Banks!"

The Bernank: "This is not the Bob-n-Fred-er you're looking for".

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:33 | 1280310 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture


It's only a matter of TIME!!!!


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:35 | 1280314 lieutenantjohnchard
lieutenantjohnchard's picture

i agree with his thinking. it ought to be obvious to most everybody.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:39 | 1280322 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

Well said. 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:44 | 1280345 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

This is what it's like in the center of a singularity...

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:52 | 1280378 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

...mirrors reflecting mirrors reflecting mirrors...

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:48 | 1280350 lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

I've had a feeling of suspeded animation too for a couple of years. It is like I'm watching a movie of a tidal wave of disasters heading for shore in slow motion. For the last 6 months though it seems like the movie is speeding up. When it reaches full speed the wave will be upon us.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:32 | 1280521 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Kinda reminds me of this:  [Monty Python - Lancelot running]

It just seems to take forever - until. . . .

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:54 | 1280382 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

Excellent post Tyler - but it does not matter.

The great majority do not know of what you speak, nor understand the powerful words you have written.

We are in the eye of the hurricane. Everything is calm until it is not. The tipping point has not been hit. The masses especially those who have not been affected by unemployment in the last 4 years do not understand any of this.

Like an attempt to jump the Grand Canyon, we have left solid ground and are presently temporarily suspended in mid air, looking at a clear blue sky. What awaits us below is not visible nor measurable in speed of descent nor final outcome.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:26 | 1280498 Ferrari
Ferrari's picture

As far as the "great majority" is concerned, I work in a company of 34 people in New England. With our accountant today I used the word "austerity" to describe the belt tightening we've been doing here and she stopped me to say she didn't know the term.

I find the ignorance of our fellow Americans guarantees our political & economic doom. Nothing else. Our true bogie man is not the banker, or imam, ChiCom, Frenchman, liberal or conservative; it is the boobus Americanus, the great majority you speak of.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:30 | 1280528 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

Sounds like you need a new accountant.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:46 | 1280603 Ferrari
Ferrari's picture

She's very good at what she does, and like so many others around me, has no idea of what is happening beyond her two screens.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:52 | 1280622 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

I know what you mean. I was in a continuing education class with a bunch of CPAs back when AIG was bailed out, and when I started talking about how outrageous is was that Geithner was in the room during the "negotiations" they had no idea what I was talking about, nor did they care.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 20:56 | 1281294 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

Geitherner was simply doing his job: making sure TPTB got their way. He works for them, not us. 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:08 | 1280681 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture

"In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird."

George Orwell, 1984

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:51 | 1280813 Screwball
Screwball's picture


Daily I am reminded how little our population understands about what's going on.  It amazes me how little the same population understands even simple math.  It's hard to be optomistic going forward.  That quote says it all.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 21:01 | 1281302 Ned Zeppelin
Ned Zeppelin's picture

I figure the cosmological constant for the human race is 51% good, 49% evil.  If evil tipped up 200 basis points we'd have been done around the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Hank "The Traitor" Paulson and Timmah Geethner are on the worng side of that constant by the way. 

But you knew that. 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 21:19 | 1281368 Screwball
Screwball's picture

I'm trying to be optomistic Ned, but it's a hard sell.  Everyday I see more things that convince me otherwise.

And I agree on those two criminals. Shame is, we have a bunch more too.

Peace bro, from one long time ZH'er to another.  This place is even getting depressing. :-(


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 23:49 | 1281850 suldog
suldog's picture

Hang tough, Screwy.  

When it hits the fan, we will all be much needed guides.

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 09:38 | 1282621 Screwball
Screwball's picture

Good point suldog.  I'll do what I can.  I'm old but not dead.  :-)

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 23:26 | 1281795 SokPOTUS
SokPOTUS's picture


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:58 | 1280386 straightershooter
straightershooter's picture

The spurious arguments of Keynesian-Economists,

The ledgerdemain treatment of  monetary policy de-ciders,

The incorrigible behavior of head-less- politicians, and

The banal of pueril, clueless  sheeps..............

Welcome to the cataclysm demoncratic, played everywhere in proximity to your home.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 15:58 | 1280396 Lndmvr
Lndmvr's picture

How many out there thinking of 1st and 2nd amendments and scratching thier heads. I wasn't born last night, were you?  Many of us learned this. Something is deffinetly gonna break.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:03 | 1280404 Marty Rothbard
Marty Rothbard's picture

Suspended animation my ass.  We are zombies.  Every last dollar holding one of us.  To "save" the too big too fails, they sucked the life out of the rest of the country, leaving nothing but estinkin undead zombies.  The only things with life left in them are GOLD, and SILVER BITCHEZ!

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:01 | 1280407 Marty Rothbard
Marty Rothbard's picture

Suspended animation my ass.  We are zombies.  Every last dollar holding one of us.  To "save" the too big too fails, they sucked the life out of the rest of the country, leaving nothing but estinkin undead zombies.  The only things with life left in them are GOLD, and SILVER BITCHEZ!

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:12 | 1280436 bid the soldier...
bid the soldiers shoot's picture

You know what?

There must be something called "Too big not to fail."

Roll it around in your cerebellum for a while.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:42 | 1280940 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

With no brain resident in the cranial cavity that should be easy.  Plenty of space to do the rolling.   Perhaps we should say a no-brainer.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:21 | 1280476 mkkby
mkkby's picture

"... the U.S. won a global war (World War II) in less than four years."

That's the official line according to our government-provided education system.  But the brunt of the war was fought and won by the Russians.  We got there at the very end and helped brush aside what was left of the German troops.  We did defeat Japan largely alone, but they were vastly over rated in terms of assets and weapons quality.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:38 | 1280551 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

The Germans would probably have whipped the Russians if they only had to deal with them. The Germans had to do a ton of prep prior to 1944 to prepare for the inevitable attack from the west, not to mention the resources they had to devote to North Africa. And I think you understate the quality of the Japanese military in WW2, a lot of military historians believe they turned out to be a lot tougher than anyone anticipated. And don't forget that the Brits wiped out the Luftwaffe. So the Russians had a lot of help.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:13 | 1280695 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

hehe. You're stating an old 'party' line. The stark reality at Stalingrad hit the Germans square in the face at the peak of their power: they were unprepared, overextended and ill-equiped. Worst of all, they were running out of oil. That's why they were there in the first place. Stalingrad is the gateway to the Black Sea oil fields. Hitler diverted forces to the region because the situation was becoming critical: they were running out of horses which they were using to haul military supplies (!) And the synthetic oil production experiment could not be scaled up enough to meet demands. US engagement of the Germans only began 1 month before the battle of Stalingrad. 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:24 | 1280490 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

Well, the past decade was not an illusion... it was a calculated transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top:

90% of the population was told to measure their wealth by how much debt they owed, the other 10% measured their wealth in the $millions and $billions they were able to extract from 'consumers' (a.k.a. cattle, sheeple, ...).

Unfortunately, contrary to everything Americans held sacred in economics, there was no trickle down ... just more debt and even more bulshit!

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:51 | 1280616 Ferrari
Ferrari's picture

"90% of the population was told to measure their wealth by how much debt they owed" That's the best insight I've read in a long time.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:01 | 1280664 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:29 | 1280523 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

BiCh-Flation, BiCheZ!

slewie is tetrahydracannabinoidally now predicting the FED goes "broken arrow" and starts paying us to borrow.  give me 3% a year and i'll see what i can come up with, ok?

free money + tax credits! 

where are my shades? 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:39 | 1280560 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

Summer  +- of '07 will alway's stick in my mind at how unreal thing's had become. I tried to envision this 'Fed overnight fund's window' thing I had heard about on the radio,trying to square it with what my own eye's were seeing. I could'nt understand how people were getting these huge mort's and heloc's for crappily built monster house's in crappy location's. I was making the most money than I had ever made in my life,yet I would'nt touch one of these deal's with a ten foot pole.I remember eating my meager lunch sitting at the Pulitzer fountain watching the endless steam's of people pouring into the new Apple cube store and so heavily laden with shopping bag's that they could not keep themselve's properly hydrated as evidenced by the profligate consumtion of 3 dollar bottle's of water. Deep down I marveled at how fast and loose thing's had become,on the surface it seemed to be working O.K.,but my mind kept nagging me. I might have jumped off the train (literally and figuratively) a bit early,but in hindsight it has been a fortuitous time for reflection and re-adjustment. I did'nt know it then,but my deer in the headlight's moment was nearly 4 year's ago,somehow I reacted and jumped out of the way of the carfull of joyrider's merrily on their way to the inevitable crash. Saywhat you want,ride the bull,whatever-big change's are coming . You cannot suspend people's need's and when those need's are unmet due to the big broken promises and endless big lie's and theft you will see animation. The world has taken a deep breath and is (just for now) holding it in

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:11 | 1280655 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

@whoopsing: well said. 

The whole experience of watching the economy of the last decade felt like everything "Was On Steroids". Of course that was the running tagline/joke that everyone was repeating all the time. But sadly it turned out to be true!

We had athletes on steroids (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire) and they were suddenly all sprouting arms the size of tree trunks and setting all time records out of nowhere. In other words, they were cheating and their "records" mean nothing and should be retracted. 

We had houses on steroids (McMansions) and cars on steroids (giant gas guzzling SUVs when we should have been conserving oil) and food on steroids (SUperSIzeME!). The latter famously became the subject of the namesake documentary film by Morgan Spurlock which dared to discuss the dark side of "too much". We even had a war on steroids that became two wars and a surge and for a moment it looked like maybe we should just keep going. 

There was an insanity to the pace and level of economic expectations. It pervaded everything. But make no mistake, it was hiding a very deep and very serious anxiety. It was taboo to discuss but there was a pervasive fear. And yes, reasonable people living within their means were ridiculed by those drinking the steroid kool aid 

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:28 | 1280913 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

well said as well.  supersize debt for supersize appetites.

eastern mythologies have a name for this : hungry ghosts.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:48 | 1280812 nowhereman
nowhereman's picture

Yes, I remember the times all too well, but for me, the epiphany came in 2003.  Nothing made sense.  What I was witnessing had nothing to do with reality.  Because of the ephemeral nature of the feelings, and my inability to get my   thoughts across, I was unable to get my wife of 30 years to understand what I saw coming.  I tried to get her to see that you don't own your "stuff", your "stuff" owns you.  We were both working at jobs we hated, just to pay the upkeep on our "stuff".

We owned two houses outright, no mortgages and a summer house on the lake, also paid for.  I spent my life working to pay for these places, and all my spare time doing maintenance and upkeep.

I tried to get my wife to think about retirement, we had accummulating this "stuff" and were trapped by the maintainance and upkeep, never really being able to enjoy it.  (except in the fact that we could show our acquaintences how "well off" we were).  But the wife could not give it up.  I guess it had become a part of how she defined herself. 

To make a long story short, I gave her all the "stuff" and left.  Last I heard she is still working to keep it up.  Me, I have been "retired" for the last 8 years.  I have a small pension that barely suffices to meet my needs, but I have never been happier.

And now I watch as the financial world implodes and thank my luck stars that I am not connected.  Now as real-estate approaches it's comupance, I laugh to think, that had my ex heeded my warning, we would have been a lot better of then than she is now.

Oh, and I loved that Jackson Brown, Running on Empty reference.  Very precient indeed.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 23:20 | 1281778 zelator
zelator's picture


I hear ya man! Exactly my own experience 

Been there, done that.

(pardon the cliches)

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:37 | 1280563 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Everyone I know, everywhere I go
People need some reason to believe
I don't know about anyone but me
If it takes all night, that'll be all right
If I can get you to smile before I leave
Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too

Running on-running on empty
Running on-running blind
Running on-running into the sun
But I'm running behind

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:48 | 1280611 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

Those that lent the debt and are holders of the debt must take haircuts..the problems become very managebale afterwards..but they have bought the congress and government to avoid that..which brings us to where we are today

apres moi le deluge

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:43 | 1280573 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

After forcing the parent into huge debt, courtesy of the illusion of ever-growing home equity, now they're pulling the same trick on the children through college loans ... after parents and children will be in debt, they will go after the future generations ...

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:07 | 1280687 newworldorder
newworldorder's picture

They have gone after future generations already.

What percent of the youth population ages 22 to 40 have jobs of sufficient income to marry and raise a family?

Excluding the top 1% and the young boomers who will inherit from the Koren/Viet Nam generation - What wealth will be left to the rest of the middle class population after the housing ATM has been destroyed?

At the individual level - unpayable debt is slavery. This is our legacy of the last 20 years.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 16:46 | 1280589 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

Order my book now: "Front Running The Fed For Life!" 

Supplies limited (well, not REally!)

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:18 | 1280712 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Simply put: the present set of policies is a recipe for household and national insolvency."


Yes, enter the global currency.  The new "world" currency will be forced upon the masses or they will fight to the death for the entertainment of the world banking cartel.  OR we independently decide to trade and deal in a currency of our own choosing.  Got physical?

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:16 | 1280714 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

It's like staring at a hammer dropped from an airplane all the way until it hits us in the forhead.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:29 | 1280764 Hugh_Jorgan
Hugh_Jorgan's picture

The author seems to still be puzzed as to the motives of our government and banking system. The idiotic actions are either criminal incompetence, or they are quite intentional. I believe that it is the latter.

America must be destroyed both economically, as well as intellectually (the idea that man can rule himself). You are witnessing it right now. Don't let your normalcy bias keep this possiblity off the table. Well-moneyed and powerful people would like to put all of us under one central, socialist government so they can play elevate their narcissistic selves to the rank of humanist god. It is a liberal wet-dream that that Soros and company are trying to make a reality. Learn about Soros, learn your (real) history, or it WILL mean the end of freedom for mankind for a long time...

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:40 | 1280795 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

Socialism .... I wouldn't know .... all I know is that we are enjoying the fruits of reverse-socialism ... suck the middle class dry ... move the wealth to the top ... expatriate the wealth possibly evading taxes ...

so let's see .... how's THAT socialism working for you?

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 17:57 | 1280831 kwiebe
kwiebe's picture


Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:25 | 1280903 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

They know that the US economy is dead the way it is, all the govt. and others are doing is trying to decide how it should die without causing pain to themselves.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:29 | 1280906 blindman
blindman's picture

we have reached the tipping point
that will blow / open the mind of amerika.
the 4 day work week !
let the games begin.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 18:59 | 1280972 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

"In a nutshell, here's the reality: the entire "prosperity" of the past decade was a false prosperity, constructed entirely of money borrowed by the private sector based on the rising value of McMansions and strip-malls that made no sense except as speculations based on the Federal Reserve's credit-bubble policies and Wall Street's systemic financialization of that debt based on fraud and misrepresentation of risk."

Well any alien over the age of two eons would have known this long ago. Must have been the plan he would have figured ,or that the nutbars were running the asylum.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 19:12 | 1281010 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

"It's worth recalling that the U.S. won a global war (World War II) in less than four years, yet now we are pleased to borrow"

 Well....oh..well... If memory serves me in my old age,I am pretty sure that the U.S had allies,and it was a TEAM effort.

But hey,what do I know.

The U.S sure acts like THEY won the world war II.

Mon, 05/16/2011 - 20:39 | 1281224 Charles Wilson
Charles Wilson's picture

Minor Detail:  The "Strip Mall Explosion" came about because of a "Provision" placed into Tax Law that gave a tax break for the building of these strip malls.



Tue, 05/17/2011 - 00:19 | 1281921 NIRee
NIRee's picture

Doesnt take brains to figure out where u guys are headed. They always have a reason for what they are doing. Kennedy or perhaps the USS Liberty. Death does not matter to them.

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 04:09 | 1282201 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Suspended Animation is a fitting description given that the FED is trying to do everything in its power to keep to velocity of the money it has created at zero.  An object that large overcoming inertia in the form of a monetary avalanche will not be a pretty sight as interest rates flee to higher ground.  

Tue, 05/17/2011 - 06:11 | 1282243 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The only guy really feeling suspended animation today is that ex- oligarch DSK in his prison cell. He is now very much in his own self-written scenario of the TV serial 'Damages'...whatever the final's a twister.

Funny how reality has its way of biting back and making fiction look like a pale copy... I'll take reality any day over fiction when the script is so well written! 

Go, go, history! and put suspended animation into active motion, make limbo into slapstick, a three stooges comedy... or the macabre sequel to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of the world banking  sector collapse. Shades of Fukushima calling...those wicked sons of Jekyll Island...

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