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Guest Post: Is the Recovery "Self-Sustaining"? Here's A Test

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Is the Recovery "Self-Sustaining"? Here's a Test

Here's a simple test of whether the economic recovery is self-sustaining or not: cut Federal spending back to 2007 levels (a $1 trillion reduction) and cancel all Fed intervention such as quantitative easing.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has suggested the economic recovery is almost "self-sustaining," meaning it is no longer totally dependent on Federal stimulus and unprecedented Fed intervention for its "growth."

The key idea here is simple:
all the extraordinary stimulus spending, all the bailouts and all Fed programs--buying up $1 trillion in questionable mortgages, $600 billion in quantititative easing purchases of Treasury bonds, and so on--was all necessary to "get the economy through this rough patch." At some magical point we are now approaching (or so we are reassured), the private (non-government) economy will start growing organically, meaning that non-State economic activity will generate a virtuous cycle of economic growth that fuels future growth.

The alternative vision is a bit more bleak. In this view, all the Federal Government and Fed spending and intervention have accomplished is encourage the culture of "extend and pretend" and "free money," and raised the vulnerability of the Status Quo to exceptionally dangerous heights.

In other words, from this height, there can be no "soft landing" when the asset bubbles and stupendous Federal borrowing both collapse.

Here's a simple test of whether the economic recovery is self-sustaining or not: cut Federal spending back to 2007 levels (a $1 trillion reduction) and cancel all Fed intervention such as quantitative easing. If the economy is self-sustaining, it will move forward without Federal spending and Fed intervention.

If "self-sustaining" is a fiction, an illusion, a mere figment of propaganda deployed to enable the Status Quo to feast off the remaining productive elements of the U.S. economy, then the economy will absolutely crater.

Let's compare Federal spending in 2004, 2007 and 2010. Remarkably, the Federal government spends $1 trillion more a year now than it did a mere three years ago and $1.5 trillion more than it did a brief six years ago. Here are the numbers from the Office of Management and Budget website::


2004 $1.88 trillion
2007 $2.56 trillion
2010 $2.16 trillion


2004 $2.29 trillion
2007 $2.72 trillion
2010 $3.72 trillion


2004 –$412 billion
2007 –$160 billion
2010 –$1.3 trillion

In three years, Federal spending jumped almost exactly $1 trillion, or 36.7%.

Here are the deficits of the past three years, and the estimated shortfalls for fiscal years 2011 and 2012:

2008: $458 billion
2009: $1.4 trillion
2010: $1.3 trillion
2011: $1.5 trillion (est.)
2012: $1.6 trillion (est.)

(CBO estimate for 2011)

total: $6.258 trillion in five years.

And this isn't even the real total being added to the national debt, as “supplemental appropriations” for war costs and other large expenditures are “off budget” and not included in the “official” Federal deficit. The same is also true of funds appropriated to bail out mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and other financial institutions.

Gross debt increased by $1 trillion fiscal year 2008, $1.9 trillion in 2009 and $1.7 trillion in 2010--considerably higher than the “official” deficit numbers. Debt held by the Public—which includes Treasury bonds owned by the central banks of China, Japan and other countries--jumped up 80% from $5 trillion in 2007 to $9 trillion in 2010.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been treading water. In adjusted-for-inflation dollars, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 was almost precisely the same as it was in 2007: $13.363 trillion in 2007 and $13.382 trillion in 2010.

So the Federal government will have spent over $6 trillion--almost 41% of the nation's annual GDP--just to keep GDP stagnant. That $1 trillion a year in extra spending is 7% of the GDP, which implies that if the Federal budget returned to the carefree, free-money days of 2007, the GDP would contract by 7%.

And that's not even counting the trillions of dollars injected into the financial system by the Federal Reserve's opaque machinations and money-printing schemes.

So what is America getting for this extra $1+ trillion in Federal spending a year? Just more of the same old Status Quo that did such an outstanding job circa 2008-2010. I have rooted around a conflicting mess of reports on Federal spending, and found precious little of that $1 trillion actually flows to those suffering from the recession.

Consider the direct costs of the Great Recession: extended unemployment costs, and food stamps (now called SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

In 2007, SNAP cost around $30 billion. In 2010, costs rose to $68 billion as the number of people receiving SNAP benefits rose by 15.6 million people, or 57% to 43.2 million in October 2010. So costs rose $38 billion in those three years.

The estimated cost of continuing unemployment extensions is estimated at $65 billion. According to this New York Times graphic, total unemployment program costs in 2010 were $158 billion. So together, these two recession-related programs cost about $100 billion more a year.

Let's factor in inflation from 2007 to 2010: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), that accounts for 5% of any change. So $50 billion of that $1 trillion a year can be attributed to inflation.

The $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress in 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is being spent over several years: $154 billion in 2009, $353 billion in 2010, $232 billion in 2011 and the remainder over 2012 and beyond.

Roughly speaking, that averages to about $250 billion for each of the recession-impacted years, but it doesn't affect the 2012 Federal spending plan much.

So where is the $1 trillion a year being spent? Around $350 billion a year can be attributed to recession-caused spending: extended unemployment, SNAP and the stimulus package.

That still leaves $650 billion unaccounted for in 2011, and more in the 2012 budget, which is not influenced by the little remaining stimulus spending. So in effect, the sum in 2012 is more on the order of $850 billion, as the stimulus funding drops to around $50 billion.

Next, let's look at the four big Federal programs:

2007: $276 billion
2010: $293 billion (+17 billion)

2007: $395 billion
2010: $462 billion (+67 billion)

Social Security:
2007: $586 billion
2010: $724 billion (+138 billion)

2007: $699 billion
2010: $738 billion (+39 billion)

(other sources list other totals, depending on what is included in "Defense." I leave the Department of Energy and Veterans Affairs as separate departments, but if you prefer to include them, you'll find the total budget appropriations for both of those departments increased by only a few billion.)

So these entitlement and Defense programs account for about $260 billion of the additional $1 trillion in spending. Add in the $100 billion in direct costs of recession and you get at most $360 billion. Add in inflation and you get to $410 billion.

So only $600 billion more each and every year is spent to prop up a voracious Status Quo. From various sources, here are the estimates for the Federal budget in fiscal 2011:

revenues (taxes): $2.3 trillion
(if the economy doesn't implode and the creek don't rise)

spending: $3.8 trillion

deficit--borrowed: $1.5 trillion

That $1.5 trillion is roughly 11% of GDP. The Fed has printed over $2 trillion to prop up the mortgage and Treasury markets, seeking to "extend and pretend" the valuations of defaulted assets held on the books, to suppress interest rates and last but certainly not least, to inject hundreds of billions of dollars in free money to goose the risk trade, i.e. stocks and commodities.

The Fed sees a "self-sustaining" economy as one which "only" needs $1 trillion in extra Federal spending and another $1 trillion in Federal Reserve goosing every year just to maintain the same GDP we had in 2007.

I suggest an addict analogy is more accurate
: a high-cost, bloated, corrupt and inefficient cartel-State Empire of high-cost, bloated, corrupt and inefficient fiefdoms is like a heroin-addled junkie. The "high" of GDP "growth" keeps requiring ever-larger hits of smack; any slackening in this accelerating consumption of Marching Powder will send the addict careening into the agony of withdrawal.

So what we really have is a Status Quo that now needs $2 trillion or more in "free money" injected into its fiefdoms and Elites just to keep from crashing. It would laughable if it wasn't so tragic: here is Ben Bernanke, shoving the needle of QE2 into the twitching half-dead addict and declaring that the zombied-out junkie is on the threshold of "self-sustaining" something or other.

The only cure for addiction is cold turkey. By all means let's keep the methadone and nicotine patch of food stamps flowing, but the Status Quo--the fiefdoms and Financial Elites--will have to go cold turkey.

What does that mean? It's simple: you get the same bloated budget you enjoyed in 2007: $2.7 trillion is still a lot of money. But it is $1.1 trillion less than the $3.8 trillion 2011 Federal budget. Even at $2.7 trillion, we'd be running a staggeringly large deficit of $400 billion.

"Self-sustaining growth" ranks right up there with "we had to destroy the village to save it" as a classic of propaganda gone sour.


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Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:05 | 1085903 The Aviator
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:18 | 1085971 oh_bama
oh_bama's picture

of course it IS


REcession has been over for 2 years!

STOCK keeps going up!!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:46 | 1086292 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

In answer to the Question posed,US economy crashes in about 5 milliseconds, followed by a long slow real recovery.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:18 | 1087487 themosmitsos
themosmitsos's picture

Noooo, these numbers are *SO* optimistic! :OOO

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:22 | 1085989 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

funny.  i made that suggestion last year on this site.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:04 | 1086365 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Funny?  I actually did this in 2008.  Citibank gave me a lot of silver.  They don't really seem that miffed at being stuck with the bill, either.  They sent it off to collections, and when the dunning letter arrived, I demanded debt validation...and that was that.  Never heard from them again.  $28K+ worth of debt.

I'm not saying it's not going to come back around for another visit at some point, but if/when it does I'll just arrange more letters on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope and problem solved.  My guess, though, is that Citi lost all the relevant paperwork necessary to collect.

Thanks, Citibank!

P.S. Vikram, I am still going to pound your tight little asshole when I corner you in a small room, someday.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:10 | 1086391 cossack55
cossack55's picture

The Chumb for Emperor. +++

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:18 | 1086412 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

As your attorney ad litem, I will advise you that:

1. There is a Statutue of Limitations for them to seek a judgment against you. Once that runs out, depending on what state you live in, they are SOL.

2. If you live in a non-garnishment state like Texas or North Carolina, even if they get a judgment, they can't collect. If you don't own anything they can seize, they can't collect. The judgment will just stay on your record for 7 yrs then be gone like it was never there.

3. If you get a summons for a judgment being filed against you, respond with the same way you responded above.  Ask for validation. The courts cannot enforce a CC agreement not signed by both parties, under the CCA of 1974. Ever heard of ROBO fraud with mortgages? Same has gone on with CC debts.


4. You can always file a Chapter 7 as long as you are current on your mortgage, if you have one, and car payments if you have them. Hide all your real assets and get cash out of the bank months before you file bankruptcy. You will get a discharge.

Now, kindly donate my fee to Zero Hedge to keep the great REAL news coming to Americans who want to know the truth.  LOL


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:56 | 1086569 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Thanks for the representation, by I'm Pro Se all the way ;)

However, I could use some help on an appeal.  I did lose my case to Chase (dirty fuckers) that I argued a little less than a month ago.  Unlike with my other battles I sort of half-assed this one and didn't come as fully prepared as I might've.  I didn't expect they would pursue it as they did, since the debt was only around $10K and original creditors supposedly rarely go after anyone in court unless it's way over $10K.  But they even produced the witness I subpoenaed, which is unusual.  I tried my best and had my best moments in the first 10 minutes of trial, but after that I was stymied by a (what I perceived as) slightly biased judge.  I made some mistakes and I'm sure I missed lots of opportunities that preparation would rectified, but in the great scheme of things, what have I really "lost"?  So far, it's just a judgement, and I still have the option of appeal.  Even if I let it stand and they tried to collect, what might they try to get?  My only encumberable asset is my house, maybe my cars, but that's a stretch.  I have no "wages" to garnish, no bank account (that they can find), and all my wealth is stored in precious metals.  Unless they hire some Xe goons to come breaking down my door and force the safe combination out of me, good luck (and even then I'd give those niggers a battle).

Capitol One was a different story.  They pretty much folded before the case got very far.  They filed suit, I responded with your typical denials.  Case Management Conference date was set; when I arrived the courtroom was empty, and it turns out CO rescinded the lawsuit.  A week later, a collection letter came from some new junk debt buyer.  Hahaha.  Stupid fuckers.

So you see, People, it is very easy and in fact profitable to max out all your credit cards and then default.  I talked the talk and walked the walk, and here I am today to tell all about it.

I officially defaulted on all my credit cards in spring of 2009.  It took at least 6 months for all of my various creditors to give up on the collection calls and letters (even priority overnight ones) and send my accounts off to collections.  Of the six or so that I defaulted on, two sued, one went the full length (and won), and the rest are lost somewhere between various junk debt buyers and the US mail.  I was able to push out the Chase trial until January of this year, and then got a continuance until late February.  And again, if I'd properly prepared, I would've sent Chase packing with a lump of shit in their shorts, too.

So for those following along, that means you don't have to deal with the pain until at least a year after you stop paying.  As long as you don't let the calls and letters affect you then you'll be fine.  All their threats amount to nothing but shit.  I never answered even a single one of their phone calls, instead having them go directly into my auto attendant, where they got lost in a maze of options that all landed at dead ends.  I literally received thousands of calls over the course of a year and a half.  It's just a stupid game, and once you know the (very simple) rules you can play these fucks for what their worth, which is not much at all considering all these banks are in debt up to their hairy nostrils and won't last much longer anyway.

Ultimately, my strategy is to outlast them.  And that's all you have to do.  If you can keep one step ahead of them and make them come after you, you'll win.  It costs money for them to chase after you.  Every phone call, every letter, every thought that passes through the mind of a collection agent costs them money.  At some point, the cost-benefit analysis returns a negative number, and they simply sell off the debt to the greater fool.

I'm employing this same strategy with the IRS, and so far it's working (though I hold no illusions of its efficacy long term).  I got my first IRS audit letter in January of 2010 and so far, after two Motions to Quash Third Party Summons (one which I argued in Federal district court), they still haven't gotten me to produce one iota of requested data.  Of course, the IRS agent on my case is probably currently sifting through thousands of banking transactions (they did get my files from my mortgage company and my old bank) but IRS is just like any collection agency: after a while the cost-benefit analysis returns a negative number.

An IRS collection lady came to my door the other day to ask about the two years of returns that I did file and haven't paid, but I sent her away and told her that any communication shall be sent in writing, certified mail.  I now have one such missive awaiting me at the post office, in fact.  I'll go in a couple days before it's set to be sent back to see what they want this time.

I'm simply waiting for the shit to hit the fan.  If I can make it before they put me in Federal prison then I win.  If they do get me then I win^2, because I will have lots of time in the penitentiary to study up on tax law.

In any event, I win.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:09 | 1086949 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

I know a guy who just changes his phone number any time they get onto him.  He's gone through 4 numbers in the last year.  He just uses cheap phones bought on craigslist and gets pre-paid service.  The pre-paid is probably the best way to go.  It's like 45 a month for unlimited service with no contract.  He gets much better service than my t-mobile.  I think his provider uses verizon's old network.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:47 | 1087088 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Pre-paid is the only way to go these days.  With any number of governemnt agents sniffing up your backside, having anonymity in your communications is priceless.  That said, I pay $50/mo flat rate for unlimited everything.

They can still find you by doing a network analysis of your calling patterns, but they have to know where to start looking first.  And just to keep them on their toes, you can buy a new SIM chip every few months and start over with a new phone number.  Other than the cost of the SIM, there's no setup charges.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:51 | 1087113 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

If you own nothing, then its just a judgment that will stay on your credit report for 7 years, then it will disappear. They can't make you pay it.You won't get any credit for a while, but from the looks of it, you don't need it anway.

Now, when you mention a house and car, do you own them outright, or are they on secured loans?  If you owe something on them, then they can't touch them. If you don't own anything on them, then you might want to get them into the name of someone other than your own that you trust, since they can try to seize them or put a lien against them.  They can't lien them if another lien exists already. Another bank is not going to let another one come in and lien off their crop. To do it, they would have to get a subordinate lien, which the court does not allow, and like I said the other bank ain't gonna let it happen, because they are greedy too.

Another option is to try to take out small collateral loans, on things like cars, homes, etc... if you own them outright. Collateral loans don't normally require good credit, especially when they are worth well more than you are borrowing. Credit Unions or local banks are good for these type loans. Just don't miss payments on them, or they will be gone. Make the minimum payments until the CC company leaves you alone.

Might as well use the system to your advantage, Bernanke does.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:16 | 1087230 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Thanks for the good info.  I'll either put my vehicle in my wife's name or--more fun--have her put a lien on my car ;)  Wouldn't that be a hoot?  I'm sure someone's going to now tell me that because we're married and in a community property state, they can also attach my wife's property :(

The collateral loan idea is not bad either.

My only aim is to make them lose even more money.  I can't imagine they will keep banging their head against my wall, but if they do I won't mind the noise.  It's music to these ears.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:56 | 1087406 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

An appeal is going to be a whole different ball of wax chumba.  This is where you have to really hit the books, find applicable cases, and make a laundry list of how the judge screwed up.  Keep in mind that the tone cannot be dismissive or condescending towards the trial judge or that will land you in hot water as well...  play the good/nice guy to the appellate court.

An appeal likely involves SIGNIFICANT formality.  Check out federal rules of appellate procedure/your state's civil rules of appellate procedure.  Depending on the venue, even one small snaphoo may get your appeal thrown out...  Courts over recent years have been much more lenient, but there still may be considerable formality.  You're also going to need to post notice of appeal if it's not already time barred (typically X days after judgment filed)...  you're going to need to order a transcript of trial...  get the record certified...  draft an abstract (summarized/relevant portions of transcript) as well as addendum (all of the relevant exhibits/pleadings/etc.)...

As far as research goes, you'll need to figure out the applicable standard of review.  In most instances, this is a simple review whether the trial court, in its judgment, abused its discretion...  which is not likely to be overturned.  However, a question of law would like be reviewed de novo ("anew")... 

Further, you're likely going to be limited to the arguments you made a trial.  If you were unprepared, then you're going to have your hands tied on appeal.  This is why it's important to be prepared...  (and to hire competent legal counsel).

The best/easiest writing style to follow for the substantive brief is going to be the CRRAC style...  Conclusion, Rule, Rule development, Analysis/Application (to the present case), and Conclusion.  Obviously, rigidity/cookie cutter briefs are not well received for all topics, but this is a tried and true method for briefs...  Essentially, you start off with your thesis or a brief overview.  Your brief will likely need to be divided into multiple issues/parts where you allege the trial court screwed up...  the applicable rule for each part will need to be identified/synthesized from case law and/or the statutory code...   Then, you will develop the rule with cases, preferably ones with similar facts to the present...  then you will analyze the present case and compare and contrast with the rule/developed portions...  then you finish with your conclusion, tying everything together (do not introduce anything in your conclusion for the first time).

It's largely an art form...  and, depending on your situation, the appellate court may have a bleeding heart for you and bend over backwards to give you the result they want...  but, you have to at least make the arguments to get you there...  you cannot rely upon the court to make your arguments for you.

Best of luck.

PS, unless you post bond, they'll likely be able to enforce the judgment against you while you appeal.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:31 | 1087524 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

LOL the only thing you will be pounding are more keyboard keys.

If the stars align maybe it will be a jew prosector that locks you up.

Enjoy that cell while telling Wes Snipes how you won.


Must say all of that is about as revelatory as the sun rising.


Thanks heavens I am not Chumbamoronista.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:35 | 1087537 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

Yep, a alot of cases get thrown out for being heard in the wrong venue. A good one to look up is diversity jurisdiction.  If the amount in controversy is over $75,000, and you are a resident of one state, the company is incorporated in another, and they file suit in state court, you can file an appeal to have the case removed based on this. It should be heard in federal court, not state court. They could always come back and try to file it again in federal, but I doubt it after you make them pay your costs to defend in a countersuit. Either way it drags the process out longer.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:27 | 1087513 jkruffin
jkruffin's picture

It's hard to say about community property, I know as long as her signature was not on the CC agreeement they can't do anything to her, but what you can do is just have an uncle, mom or dad, do a collateral loan to you with you vehicle as collateral to be safe.  Something as simple as he/she loaned you XXX dollars, and you promise to pay it back yada yada yada, and the vehicle is liened as collateral.  Get it notarized with both signatures, and viola you have a legitimate contract. They can't lien on it, if someone else already has one on it.

They will disappear once they see you have nothing they can take. Just don't leave cash in the bank, stocks in an account, or antyhing like that. They can and will get to it, if it's in your name.

These credit card companies biggest thing is to scare people into paying. That is why they don't do it themselves after a month, they usually sell it off to a debt collector who is willing to try to scare you even more to paying, because they pay Habib $2.00 an hour to keep calling you. Just hold your ground.

Otherwise, home free...   The IRS is a different ball of wax altogether.....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:51 | 1087894 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I would strongly suggest against using related parties as strawmen.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:35 | 1086461 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

It might not be that tight.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:59 | 1086582 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

If I find a sign down there that says, "RichardENixon wuz here" then I'll be mighty pissed.  I claim Divine Right to properly de-virginize the Pandit.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:22 | 1086719 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

First cum, first served, pal.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:04 | 1086169 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Of course you do because in some bizarro self loathing neo marxist world- destabilization wouldn't greatly benefit the ruling class.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:32 | 1086250 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

They are already winning buddy.  The primary banks need to be taken down. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:04 | 1087419 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

If you say so.

Only borrowed 5 times in 2004 what I could in 1974 at 1/5th the cost.


These nickel dime solutions like full reserve currency,

anarchy et al only benefit the ruling class and create a greater wealth gap than the one that already exists.


The larger the hoops and rings needed to jump through to procure capital the greater the advantage to the ruling class. 


The government being the largest co conspirator/profiteer in almost every economic transaction is the problem. The banks will always be greedy scumbags, it is their ability to game your elected officials along with every other member of the ruling class doing the same that is the problem.  The gov't is not only inept and incompetent anymore, they are massively intrusive and largely in cahoots with the oppressors at every turn.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:34 | 1086251 Cleverbot
Cleverbot's picture

No YOU are a machine I'm a 15 year old girl.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:38 | 1086483 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

Short the Bernank: Buy Gold!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:08 | 1085907 Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire's picture

Don't forget about Operation Empire State Rebellion:  BTW, can someone, anyone confirm the information over here?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:34 | 1086057 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

That is the date that has been most consistent at this point - March 28th.  I have seen the 24th of March trolled around, along with April 15.  Have not seen firm confirmation, but I have a "vacation day" planned for the date of March 28, 2011.  Still up in the air if I go until I see confirmation. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:08 | 1085912 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Cut it back, I am well positioned.  Moreover, the world needs to eat and all those fighting armies need to be supplied.  I am in the value added equities that will make it happen.  All my hedges are in place, bring it! 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:13 | 1085949 silvertrain
silvertrain's picture

500 grand per Tomahawk is outrageous..And they pop em off like the 4th of july fireworks at your local pavillion..

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:03 | 1086359 ATM
ATM's picture

average unit cost is $1,400,000.

and they shoot them off like bottle rockets at my Green Bay Packers Super Bowl celebration party.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:36 | 1086475 RichardENixon
RichardENixon's picture

They blast away like cumshots in a Sasha Grey video.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:11 | 1085923 Jeffrey Lebowski
Jeffrey Lebowski's picture

Im gonna go with "NON-sustaining hype" for 20 Alex....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:24 | 1085929 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Of course it's not.

How much of the growth in GDP over 2009 lows was inorganic, and due to widely inefficient and even criminal government targeting (Krugman, you suck) of indexes and things, to paint lipstick on this pig of an economy?

30% of it? 60%?

First time buyer home tax credits? Cash for clunkers? Bullshit injections into the defense space? POMO pumping of the Dow, S&P and Russell 2000?

For that matter, how much of the "growth in GDP" is due to the inflationary effect? If I fill up my tank with gas now, it's costing about 35% more than in 2009, and what about groceries, medical expenses, tuition? I'm not buying more. I could even be buying significantly less, but I am paying so much more for the less that I am buying, and government and the Fed doesn't do that adjustment.

Businesses are going through the same process, cutting as much as possible, in order to offset Fed and Government induced cost pressures - is this good for the confidence of the consumer, the small business or the medium or even large business, going forward, in determining whether to invest, consume and spend? Of course not.

Bernanke is like a crazy firefighter who keeps dousing the forest floor, to keep deflation at bay, and in the meantime, the inflationary underbrush is growing out of control, as are the misallocated spending and malinvestments, which create bubbles and thickets, which is only going to lead to a massive forest fire down the line.

Letting the undergrowth burn itself is highly positive for the long term health of the forest.

This economy is riding on the tip of a finger that is government's outstretched hand, with the arm being propped up by ChairSatan Bernankicide.

And that's why Krugman and the Keynesians are morons, generally speaking.

You don't improve conditions in times like these by fighting deflation, morons; this is not 1933, and the whole global economy is far different than back then.

Besides, we have deflation in wages, housing and anything purchased with credit, anyways, while we're getting reamed with inflation on anything needed to live daily, which is exactly why the Criminal Syndicate that is the Federal Reserve relies so heavily on a tortured index of inflation - it makes their criminal monetary policy less obvious to the sheeple.

But I do think someone is projecting a walkback on Bernankicidal policies, but take it with a grain of iodized salt:


Maybe the stage is being set for BernankSatan to spend more time torturing his hamsters and gerbils, and Zero will attempt to blame him for the depression as he scurries to raise a billion dollars for his 2012 re-election run.
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:39 | 1087043 Billy Bob
Billy Bob's picture

Holy Shit....


that's a lot of metaphors!


But I liked it.



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:17 | 1085956 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

In the confluence of Empire Inc. and Empire America I sense a lack of alacrity on this front.  And of course "interest rates scream go for it" for that "twofer."  Now I would and do complain about "the importance of winning" rather than just lookin' good.  Yet again "I have questions."  Why do I feel like the "heads I win/tails you lose" crowd is in charge again?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:52 | 1086131 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

They've never left charge Disabledvet. Only the actors change, the master script has remained the same.

Exploitation, sexploitation, thuggery, overlordship, insane cruelty, mindless violence, divide and rule...same same.

Hopefully this is the last hurrah.

And the test is surely rhetorical. Surely. Who in their right minds believe a return to anything of even 2 years ago? 3? That is a lifetime, a pipedream.

The tipping point is past. Long past now. Fukushima, Libya...all just accelerators.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:52 | 1086323 blindfaith
blindfaith's picture are correct.  A stool with 4 termite eaten legs for American to plant it's red white and blue ass on.

John Lennon was right " I read the news today oh boy..."  Nobody wants to believe until the MSM tells them it is time.

What kind of intelligence does it take to NOT see that The current powers in charge for the last 12 years have one thing in mind...a brick wall for the less-than-well-off to run head long into.

No business can survive with a negative cash flow, and this this America, can not survive or even think about a recovery when the money is handed to the wall street crowd and not small business who make jobs.

Is it not time to understand that wall street and the government does NOT really want a recovery?????  At lease not in America.  You can not consistently do everything contrary to the best interests of the country and have a believable mandate to make "jobs" and a recovery.  PLEASE!!!!!  Think about it.

ORI, you are is a pipe-dream to think we are going to reclaim any kind of lifestyle from the past.

Look at the latest big idea from wall street...easy pezie options trading right on your desktop with your Schuab-o-matic account.  Why???, options trades are 6 to 1 for "mom and pop" retail traders and we know we can get them trading more so we will make it EASY!  Yes folks...the recovery will come from option trading by M&P, not jobs.

MSM is no longer black and white, it is gray.  Combine red, white and blue and you get purple...the color of royalty, religion, REAL wealth, and dry blood.

Go read Bruce Kastings Essay from a couple of days ago, and note the Carlyle group and some comments about them.

I looked at the world map this morning thinking where could you go?  Guess what, the answer is



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:35 | 1086464 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Where could you go indeed? I'm seeing downhill, fast!

And the masters certainly seem to have it figured out ont he down and out-side for the average american, in every aspect of their lives.



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:45 | 1086522 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

I bet the Bernank is singing some John Lennon too.  Help! I need somebody.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:20 | 1085972 RunningMan
RunningMan's picture

We need to run a balanced budget. Full stop. The carnival atmosphere of 2003-2007 must be viewed as the abnormality, and everyone must live within their means, especially the federal government.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:31 | 1086206 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

Actually, we don't need a balanced budget. What we need is a national currency issued directly from our treasury - without debt and without interest. If we did that, not only would we not need any debt or interest payments (made to the elites). Without interest and debt payments - no income taxes would be needed. 

Of course, inflation (through the printing of money by the politicians) is the one major constraint of an MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) world. Yes, I get that. But allow for multiple currencies and monies, including PM-backed monies so people can store their excess labor over time.

The Lincoln Greenback is an example of a Treasury Scrip. Is it perfect? No. It eventually failed, like all fiat, politician currencies do. But, it prevented the skimming of money from the bankers... 

Edit: the income tax was created at the same time as the Federal Reserve. Coincidence? I don't think so. We don't need an income tax, and governments don't need revenue. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:35 | 1086255 B9K9
B9K9's picture

Please, we really must dispense with words like "need", "should", etc. There are no questions remaining about what 'should' be done - it is perfectly obvious.

Rather, perhaps the next stage for advanced studies in human behavior is to join the sociopaths. I mean, why 'should' the sheep deserve a break? Are they not to be cultivated & nurtured for servility & docility? Are they not to be prepared for the eventual harvest festival?

What is with this incessant desire to stand with the sheep, as if we are some kind of heroic shepherds?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:44 | 1086285 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture

Interesting thoughts, as always. Nice to see you again...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:52 | 1086317 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly,  life and nature make no promises regarding anyone's survival.  The only things people "need" are food, water, and a place to crap and nothing is guaranteed.  Crash the system, crash it now.  The sooner we do, the sooner compensation (in whatever form of debt-free currency it may be) will find its way to people who are actually worth a shit.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:02 | 1086356 centerline
centerline's picture

This topic reminds me of a comedian skit about how we are collectively weakening the gene pool (and allowing overpopulation) by allowing idiots to continue living when otherwise they would be eliminated... via warning labels like "don't install fan belt on a running engine."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:56 | 1086341 centerline
centerline's picture

As this whole economic subject really does link to more human social sciences, you have some interesting thoughts for sure.

Assuming I am not wearing wool, I'm not sure I want to eat my neighbors though!  LOL.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:35 | 1086462 linrom
linrom's picture

Sorry but this yet the most pathetic post on this site. So you do not understand the mathematics of wealth accumulation? One thing the elites need is billions and billions of 'useless eaters, otherwise the endgame for them will come very quickly. The survival of the fittest is a mind game, the fittest are told that they are the weakest link, and they believe it?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:40 | 1086496 Dimeboy
Dimeboy's picture

yeah - and Lincoln got capped for it, too.


Likely a few others that met that end via an "end-the-fed", let's print Treasury money, agenda.

There's a nice old doc in Congress that's probably in the same crosshairs....

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:18 | 1086217 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

If the credit system is dispensed with, how do you propose we get the exponential growth in all walks of technology?  Can humanity keep up with the universe without the credit system?  While it does lead to the waste of significant resources, it also yields real results...  I think this question is really THE question we should be concerning ourselves with...  the overarching question...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:40 | 1086268 B9K9
B9K9's picture

LOL - touché. See how easy it is to wear the mask of the butcher? How can humanity advance without credit? God, I almost believe you are sincere.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:53 | 1086544 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

The credit shackles are unnecessary for basic life.  This is a given.  (at the very least, a basic to life before world killing technologies).  However, the question is the rate of advancement...  While we do actively engage in boom/bust cycles, we also do get a residual after each cycle...  some technology remains...  and through this residual we get advancement.

My question is this...  are we, at this juncture, given our reliance upon the credit system for so long, solely dependent upon it?  If bacteria and virii have become immune to certain items, do we have to keep advancing at the present rate or faster to stay ahead?  If rudimentary energy sources are facing depletion, do we have to keep advancing at the present rate or faster to ensure large scale food production?  If the earth is a known coffin, do we need to advance at the present rate or faster to get off this mudball?

Obviously, there are no free lunches, no perpetual motion machines, and nothing can expand forever (except the universe?).  But, if we were to toss away the boom/bust cycle and attempt to have a more stable system, whereby we lived within our means, do we get the same rate of advancement?  Do we get a sufficient level of advancement to outpace our legacy costs?

Don't get me wrong...  I'm in the camp of let's live within our means and figure out from there...  but I think this question does not get enough attention...  and I don't see anyone else posing it this way...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 15:13 | 1086966 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

The answer is "Yes".  The caveat is "as long as we can kill the socio- and psycho-paths before they have a chance to breed.

I am Chumbawamba.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:43 | 1087877 Seer
Seer's picture

K9!  So good to see/hear from you again! :-)

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:54 | 1086325 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Easy, let successfully technology companies underwrite it for a while.  It is happening all the time already.  Innovative/successful tech companies come together all the time to "connect the dots" on new tech.  The problems start when the gubberment fucks start picking the winners and losers.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:42 | 1086506 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Right, but what birthed all of these companies?  What structural underpinning allows the concept of the market, and thus an end user?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:59 | 1086558 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

I believe gold and silver may have had something to do with it.


A better question would be: What allowed all these companies to get in so far over thier heads that collapse became imminent? 

Answer: Too much credit.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:15 | 1086675 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I guess since Mako is gone, I'll go ahead and chime in with the "fractional reserve lending happens with gold too" retort.  So long as we build our system without knowledge of "the equation" [exponential function], then we're doomed to periodic collapses.  I'll also wager that most any tech company was probably created after the gold standard...

My point is that from the inception of the credit system, we knew it to be unsustainable...  we knew collapse was going to happen...  it's science *ron burgundy voice*.  The question is why do we keep doing it?  Now, what B9K9 was getting at in the earlier post was probably that we didn't actually choose to do it...  rather, the credit system is thrust upon us by a parasitic group of assholes.  While true, we don't have any problem taking the drugs and, further, we don't have to allow the same assholes to profit from their efforts.  Now, the trick is picking the profiteers...  we could make the sovereign the profiteers, but then the sovereign would collapse just like the banks given the unsustainability of the endeavor...  (it's going to collapse anyway, but who's counting).

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:11 | 1087214 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"I'll also wager that most any tech company was probably created after the gold standard"

Dupont has been around for several hundred years, they are a tech company created before the gold standard.  Unlike banking, bad business models in the tech world do actually fail.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:08 | 1087441 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

An irrelevant point I should not have made...  technology in the sense I am using it applies to virtually all companies...  not just what we consider "tech" (ie not dupont)...  effectively, living within your means limits R & D...  but, no one has yet managed to discuss the substance of my posts...  is the boom/bust cycle the best thing for humanity?  If not, why not and when do we shrug it off?  If so, why do we keep rewarding the assholes that utilize it to their advantage, to our detriment?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:55 | 1087916 Seer
Seer's picture

I completely get what you're saying, and I totally concur with your questioning.

I'd offer that technology has become the new snake oil, a means of confusing us enough to extract our labors from us.  In an unsustainable way it, in combination with oil (cheap, abundant energy) has leveraged humanity like nothing else.  But this has not created any new structural behaviors in mankind.  We have just become super bacteria, bacteria that is able to more rapidly exhaust its growth media.  We're going out in a flash, a marvelous flash for sure, but we're going out...  The only question remaining is what will we leave as our epitaph?  I'd hope that it would read "growth kills" (yeah, perhaps hard to digest by any survivors... one can now feel the worry of past prophets- how to generate a message that is easy to digest yet doesn't end up getting distorted to hell [into manipulative religious dogma or such]).

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 23:28 | 1088562 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

100% the opposite is the case but that shouldn't surprise anyone who has actually worked in PE before.


The problem is the degree of the cycles and they are exacerbated by the academic theoreticals at the helm collecting data while they should be acting, they make every peak higher and every trough lower-it is obvious if they acted sooner what the results would be.


The boom bust cycles leads to capital chasing higher and higher returns in boom cycles which lead to the most far out least likely to suceed innovative ideas to get funding.


This ordered exsitence you so desire is what has failed.

Trying to go from step 1 to step 10 touching each step in between is epic fail when can skip from 1 to 7.



I know how Raygun is the root of all evil but sorry,

the proliferation of the computer chip worldwide,

the surge of Silicon Valley and the birth of the bio tech giants have helped every man woman and child on the planet moreso than any ordered academic theoretical ever has and would not have been as possible without that Raygun capital chasing higher returns in the most far out least likely to succeed endeavors.


Besides oppressive government stifles the boom and bust more than anything else and the countries with it are the least innovative. 

Innovation largely does not come from governments.  The more they take to try and maintain the status quo the more they take from cutting edge R &D. When was the last time the NIH made a cutting edge discovery that actually led to practically helping mankind? How much stuff in anyone's life comes from the most oppressive countries on earth? Want that fatalistic crap that isn't novel and has been promulgated by likeminded folks for as long as I have been alive to come true?-just keep permitting the worldwide governments to continue to become more and more economically oppressive.


Little men with big heads in ivory towers are the problem not the solution.

Wed, 03/23/2011 - 10:07 | 1089747 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I don't think desperately clinging to the boom/bust cycle is a desire for ordered existence...  quite the opposite...  we have collectively decided (or collectively ratified the concept) that the stair step upwards is better than the slow march...  I, nor anyone else, can say with any certainty where we would be without an unsustainable credit system...  However, I think we can say with reasonable certainty that things like the space program would have never been developed...  (which helped spawn various technologies).

Clearly, innovation does not come from governments...  but, we cannot pick and choose which corporations, which innovators, represent some bastion of free market enterprise and the prohibition of cheap credit.  Rather, all are tied to the same system...  A compliment of one is a compliment to the system.  It was the system that allowed any of them to prosper.  In other words, it is virtually impossible to eliminate the influence of the system from the success of any business...  while some may appear to succeed despite the system, I cannot fathom that it would be possible to eliminate variables in such a way so as to isolate the system's effects...  this is economic sophistry.

Further, I'm not really sure how you place an objective value on technological advancement...  is a car more important than a cell phone?  A shovel more important than a knife?  A pace maker more important than a dialysis machine?  Hell if I know.

In addition, America has largely been the world's most recognized innovator for quite some time...  while at the same time running a mixed capitalist system that has largely become a command economy living on borrowed time (capital).  I'm not sure what economic oppression is, but whatever definition may be decided, I would think placing future generations in a coffin and exacerbating the wealth gap should carry respectable weights in the composite.

I agree that cheap credit and command economies are not the solution, but they've also been wildly successful and, arguably, have gotten us all to where we are today...  obviously when the library burned, a lot was lost in the fire...  but, in general, each failure carries a legacy understanding as well as innovation developed in the previous bubble from which we progress and spring forth.  Would requiring us to all live/produce within our means stop advancement?  Clearly not...  but, the question remains, at what rate would we advance?  Has the modern world ever not known this credit system?  What other hiccups lie dormant in the transition?  At what pace to we NEED to advance to stay ahead of an ever changing environment?  What system provides us with the best method to keep pace?  All questions that lie in the back burner while we always opt for familiarity (and a repeat of history). 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:22 | 1085986 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

If we don't expand federal debt by trillions each year, who will borrow the money that The Bernak prints in order keep interest rates low enough that we can afford to service the national debt? And without inflation caused by that debt expansion, how can we counter reductions in real output with ever-weaker dollars to maintain the illusion of growth in GDP (conveniently gauged in dollars)?


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:21 | 1085990 docj
docj's picture

Well, of course we know it's not sustainable.  But it's a good test (my only nit would be to cut-back spending to 2007 revenue levels, but that's a pretty minor point).

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:23 | 1085993 medicalstudent
medicalstudent's picture

telomere shortening leads to senescence (inability of cell division) but protects against cancer (putatively). telomerase is an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres and immortalizes cells.


global central banks are a malignant entity and are growing. with reserve currency (petrodollar) status, the usd has enabled this cancerous growth.


normally, confidence in a currency serves as a 'telomere', shortening with time in fiat mediums of exchange. once sufficiently truncated, the currency dies and this precludes further growth (as it hyperinflates or defaults).


the petrodollar is dollar telomerase, keeping the confidence high (telomeres long) despite weakening fundamentals.


forgot where i was going with this, so i'll get back to reading about gold nanoparticles destroying cancer cells.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:24 | 1086002 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

Looks like people are still in the mood to blow bucks at the local high-end restaurant.

The sheep are in no mood to hear about gloom and doom, they are still making restaurant reservations and enjoying life.

Open Table still locked in an uptrend.

You would have thought that this company would have gotten destroyed with all the disasters which have occurred the last month or so.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:27 | 1086023 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

You are correct in that the charts still look very good.  However, you are incorrect in linking stock performance to consumer trends, as economic reality is not reflected in current prices.  You're just baiting people here.  If you're a true CANSLIMer, you don't have opinions on why/how.  It's just the chart.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:33 | 1086037 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

RoboTwat said "blah blah blah OpenTable."


Have you ever made a stab at an intelligent post?

I know you've written some half decent articles that have been posted, but it's rubbish like this that is the bulk of the crap you write about.

The markets could be tanking 10% on an intraday basis and you'd pull some select stock that's bucking the trend, throw a chart up, and make an asinine comment, that bears no relationship to reality, and then absurdly try to tie it to something much larger.

Guess what? Some of the very shittiest banking stocks have exploded over the last 24 months. Those are still shitty banking stocks, and they're just that much more insanely valued now.

You remind me of The Bernank, who pretends to paint the indexes (at any given moment, highly likely to change dramatically if history is any guide) as reflective of the health of the economy.

Your rubbish is in no way relevant to the article posted.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:44 | 1086093 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Maybe RoboTwat is just planted here to stir things up.  If enough people ignored RoboTwat, maybe he/she would go away.  However, I seriously doubt ZH will create an ignore button to allow people to put RoboTwat (and Harry Wanger) on ignore.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:19 | 1086220 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Yes, he's definitely in troll form; less so than Harry Wang & his urinal cake psychology study.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:06 | 1086379 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

I am convinced that Harry Wanger is not a real person.  The ID exists to stir the pot.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:48 | 1086112 centerline
centerline's picture

In my area, the local eateries are pretty full on a regular basis.  Although I do live in a nicer part of town.

My take away is really an amazement of how people so quickly get adjusted to living on thinner margins, less cushion.  I think that most people are simply not willing to give up too much too quick without a serious push to do so.  We are truly a nation of the "entitled."  In the meantime, manageable debts are not being paid down in earnest, maintenance is slipping, etc.  We are in a collective holding pattern... perched on a high-wire... most waiting for the economy to actually show signs of the recovery that mysteriously has yet to show up despite the MSM cheerleading... a decaying slowly from within.

Meanwhile the Bernanke Put has been some seriously strong voodoo.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:01 | 1086157 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

Yes, I see the same behaviors here in my tiny (pop 60K) burg out west. Dozens of mom-n-pop places have closed, unemployment is over 10%, but the chain faux Italian and steak joints are packing them in. A meal at our favorite breakfast place has doubled in price since 2002, but wages for the locals are only up 30%.

Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:07 | 1086175 centerline
centerline's picture

We are all zombies now!  Might as well have a filet and nice glass of wine before we make the switch to radioactive rice and beans.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:22 | 1086221 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

I've never seen the restaurants less busy, but I'm sure this is location specific.

I'm aware that restaurants in the two greatest bastions of welfare spending, Manhattan & Washington D.C., are busy.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:33 | 1086249 Johnny Lawrence
Johnny Lawrence's picture

Well said, centerline.  There's obviously been de-leveraging, but not on the scale that is necessary.  I think the next crash will do it.

Also, I think government-supported income has had a lot to do with it too. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:25 | 1086003 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Excellent article.

Economy = junkie

US Congress = pushers

The Ben Bernank = drug lord

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:25 | 1086005 r101958
r101958's picture

It is all an illusion. The Gov't/Fed has been trying to create perceptions thinking that if they created the recovery 'perception' that a real recovery would ensue. It didn't work and soon the piper will have to be paid.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:26 | 1086009 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

The only thing that is self-sustaining is the end of the fed, the banking cartel, and the elitard scum suckers in power.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:27 | 1086015 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Must be a supermoon thing..

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:44 | 1086517 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Perhaps a super LUNA-cy thing.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:27 | 1086016 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Nope, recovery is not self sustaining. Government -- state and local too -- will be sucking up all the Bernanke bucks, like oxygen, out of the room. 

Benocide will continue extend and pretend to the end. The Fed will use balance sheet cash flows to extend QE 2 and pretend they're not. The end is when everyone exits the USD. The game is already afoot. 


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:14 | 1086192 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

That is why US bond rates keep dropping.

The dollar is dead for the 6th time in 40yrs and all just my magination that everytime shit hits the fan that is where money goes.  Radiation in the streets where did the money go?


When RE bubble totally collapsed in DEC 2008 where did the money go?  Did rates drop under transaction costs in essence they paid the FED to hold their fiat?


6 confirmed deaths and yet world commerce in USD completely and totally plumetted from 72% of world commerce in 1972 to 65% last year. Only hope I die like that.

Lacking any alternative has nothing to do with anything. Needing a medium of exchange is mythical.


When QE ends and everything it sent skyward comes crashing back down to earth including the metals just make sure to post the quota of "but I got out at the top posts".

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:37 | 1086028 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture
  1. Forgot some, I wonder why?
2007 Federal Pensions: $628 Billion 2010: $750 billion 2007 Federal Welfare absent healthcare: $262 Billion 2010 $502 Billion His numbers are not accurate either as if that should be some great surprise But the key is for the ruling class to allow anyone who can make an X to borrow as much as they want at lint like interest rates like in 2007.
Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:30 | 1086036 Carl Spackler-t...
Carl Spackler-the Creator of Spackler Feather Bent's picture

Newest info on our new 3rd front:

  1. We fired about 130 cruise missles now at a cost of $1.5MM each ($195MM).
  2. We lost one F-15 costing $38MM in 1998 (current replacement value is over $60MM).
  3. We have increased fuel, manpower, food, intelligence and other costs that I saw estimates of between $300MM to $600MM.

And this is just in the first few days.  Surely, our European brethren will not be picking up all the tab for the eventual 8 year occupation while we "normalize life" in Libya.  Our best case scenario is that we will spend between $2-4 billion in this new theater of operations.

The only thing that is self sustaining right now is our rising expenditures.  No matter what we do, they keep rising!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:51 | 1086116 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

<<<  Surely, our European brethren will not be picking up all the tab for the eventual 8 year occupation while we "normalize life" in Libya. >>>

This may prove to be more realistic than many people think.  If Libya descends further into chaos, a UN occupation presence may be established.  If Gaddafi is smart, he will pull his armor and his forces into Tripoli and surround them with his loyal civilians and "hunker down".  He knows how bad the US will look in the Arab world if it kills civilians.  The US will lose even more face in the Arab world if this mess drags on for a long time.  All that Gaddafi has to do to "win" at this point is to survive.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:10 | 1086651 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

Don't worry, it's all phony counterfeit money contrived out of thin air with the full backing of the biggest liars on earth.  It will be defaulted on anyways.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:31 | 1086038 props2009
props2009's picture

Tsunami makes a japanese man richer by $500,000

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:30 | 1086041 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

We just need to shut the Government down and let the states handle everything except national defense which would entail merely securing our borders and maintaining a standing army, AF, and Navy.  Obama has proven, dictatorally, that cabinet positions are not required and the the Departments of Education, EPA, and Energy are a cruel joke on the American taxpayer.  Finish it off with a flat tax of 20% on all consumption.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:14 | 1086674 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

The loss of all the good jobs left--government jobs--would cause such a sharp decrease in consumption that even the private sector would mostly be laid off, causing a further drop in consumption, etc, etc.

Stop racking your brain trying to figure a way out of this mess. There isn't one!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:33 | 1086062 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

internet joke:

They told President Obama that 2 Brazilian soldiers were killed in  Iraq.  To everyone's surprise, he collapsed onto his desk, head in hishands, visibly shaken, almost in tears.  Finally, he composed himself and asked, Just how many is a brazilian?'


What comes after trillions?  Bet we find out.

Fixed it to look more impressive:

2004 –$412,000,000,000
2007 –$160,000,000,000
2010 –$1,300,000,000,000

Here are the deficits of the past three years, and the estimated shortfalls for fiscal years 2011 and 2012:
2008: $458,000,000
2009: $1,400,000,000,000
2010: $1,300,000,000,000
2011: $1,500,000,000,000(est.)
2012: $1,600,000,000,000(est.)


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:37 | 1086071 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

California homeowners have lost $625 billion in home equity. some will argue that it had to happen, nonetheless, it is a staggering number.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:52 | 1086125 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

Green shoots.  Time for another market rally.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:56 | 1086335 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

never cry over lost "make-believe" equity.  mark to unicorn forever!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:37 | 1086072 web bot
web bot's picture

I ran out of fingers trying to keep count...

What a #uckin mess...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:41 | 1086085 mikofarouz
mikofarouz's picture

it is a card game and no one wants to stop playing, so there will always be some new regulation/intervention that will put us back on the game shud it derail....and there is so many money out there that is waiting for some extra premium over treasury...keep buying risk no fear over time!!!!!!


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:39 | 1086088 Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

Depressions are sooo 20th century. We live in an enlightened age now with positive control over the business cycle and a flexible financial system optimized for global growth.

What's that, you disagree? Tread carefully citizen, the penalties for aiding domestic terrorism can be harsh...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:44 | 1086096 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Slightly OT

Schoolmarm Warren of the CFPB is on TV being interviewed and she says her Fed agency is not overstepping it's bounds, is good for consumers, blah blah blah.

If there's one agency that scares me it's that one -- real time control of everyone's banking transactions from ATMs to obtaining non-bank financing, ie., banks only!  It's the money police.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:47 | 1086107 wisefool
wisefool's picture

not OT at all.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:46 | 1086105 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Just caught elizabeth warren on CNBC describing how important her consumer protection work is for the "recovery". The jest of it was: (para) "people and businesses need to be able to live with some certainty any simplicity in the rules of the game, but after that do what ever you want and the economy will grow"

Her salary, benes, and pension are payed for by the US tax code. Dr. Warren, heal thy self. Then you can use that econ PhD to tell the banks to charge $1 for ATM withdrawls instead of $2.50.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:58 | 1086150 centerline
centerline's picture

I haven't seen anything with teeth from her.  She was clearly appointed to pacify the masses.  Then stuck in a corner without the tools to really do anything.  Probably wearing a muzzle (if not already sucked into the machine anyhow).  Sad.  I actually held out some hope that she would be able to get somewhere for J6P.  Foolish of me, I know.

The ponzi must be so unstable now that there can be absolutely no rocking the boat from within regarding the banks.  No real regulation, no perp walks, no leaked information, etc.  Also explains O's banker appointments.  Clearly he know this is a poke in the collective eye of the public.  So, I can only conclude his overseers needed to be closer to the teleprompter.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:19 | 1086213 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Agreed. The problem is that .gov types want to be as competitive as the banks but have to couch in the ponzi as you mentioned. "I am just a poor government employee of the n+1 agency that is here to help you"

They need to start thinking about n-1. 'till they get to the tax code. Fix that thing and you put 40 manhours per year for 200+ million americans. Think what that would do for the GDP. But I should probably phrase it in Econ terms. (I am working on my PhD from University of CNBC)

1. The average american spends 40/hrs per year doing taxes.

2. the minimum wage is $5

3. The average american used an ATM once per week. The fee can be as high as $5.

4. ?????

5. If Elizabeth Warren does not want to accept an absentee appointment for the head of this agency, I am almost through my training and could do it for her.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:57 | 1086140 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Does no good to complain. If there is free money being passed out then take advantage of it. I hate stocks but I am still in for now.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:59 | 1086146 RobotTrader
RobotTrader's picture

I was looking to short JWN, ANF, and some other various retailers, but these stocks are ultra-resilient, they refuse to crack.

Proof that you cannot bet against the consumer most of the time.

Amazing how Abercrombie is still at $55, I would have thought that it would be $30 with all that has happened this year.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:03 | 1086162 centerline
centerline's picture

ZIRP works wonders for riskier investment classes!  Not any other real games in town for the deranged or needy unless you have access to the discount window and/or a HFT bot and office space within meters of an exchange.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:37 | 1086256 Cleverbot
Cleverbot's picture

And each one is brought to others by many many threads of love.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 11:59 | 1086156 economessed
economessed's picture

We're in a post-growth economy.  We can't go back.  This is a short, transitional stage.  Either we get our act together and scale down radically and immediately on our own terms, or let market forces deliver us there in a messy, dangerous, and challenging manner.

The days of debt-fueled, cheap energy-fueled growth for the sake of growth has passed us. 

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:14 | 1086200 centerline
centerline's picture

The shitty part is that if we downsize immediately within the context of our debt-backed money system, it would mean instant failure and chaos.  We are in the mother of all catch-22's.  Stop printing = fail.  Printing more = fail.  Fail now or fail later.  Failing now is really unpopular... bad for political careers (looks bad on a resume of course) and everyone who gets goverment cheese.  So, unless something happens to push us over the edge as a country, we are in for a worldwide collapse later.  That is, unless we get out of the debt-backed box... which mean indentifying the real culprits behind the ponzi (which are not the banks... banks are just the facilitators).  Not to mention a long look in the mirror for what we have become... worshippers of fame, fortune and vices rather than honesty and hard work.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 16:11 | 1087206 sschu
sschu's picture

unless we get out of the debt-backed box...

The best we can hope for is a Japan redux, 20 years of stagnation, no growth, huge mountains of debt, but a stable existance.

My guess is we get the least desirable outcome, some sort of hyper-inflationary event that resets all.  We simply have too many enemies and many in the world would relish seeing the US taken down a notch or so.   



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:40 | 1086272 r101958
r101958's picture

economessed- very well stated!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:06 | 1086170 Obaminator
Obaminator's picture

Wasnt there big-time band in the 70's and 80's called..."Cheap Trick" HAHAHAHA

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:06 | 1086177 falak pema
falak pema's picture

The FED is a private bank with a private agenda that has the politicians firmly handcuffed, both red and blue. The only thing that will blow away QE-infinity, the only option left to FED, irrespective of US fiscal policy, given the abyssal wall of debt already accumulated leading to current print- print-print, is a rebellion by other currencies that pull the plug on USD as world Reserve. The day that happens the ponzi collapses and we are in deflation-default USA. Only China or a black swan event can initiate that...Or panick amongst the PD and their HF henchmen who decide to cut n run... at some unsustainable tipping point, starting the landslide to USD oblivion.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:16 | 1086207 SoNH80
SoNH80's picture

The reality is more banal, and more frightening.  The Fed's nerve center, in Washington, is not privately-owned, but just another D.C. bureaucracy completely pussy-whipped by the money-center banks.  Treasury really calls the shots down there, BTW, and you know who calls the shots at Treasury..... GSux.  The Fed is a sh*t magnet, flack, instrument, tool.  The real decisions are made on Wall St. c/o the Mellon Building.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:09 | 1086180 AndrewJacksonsGhost
AndrewJacksonsGhost's picture

There are signs of recovery here and there, than you get the housing news smacked up the back of your head. Do not forget about all those folks no longer on unemployment, oh wait, made up numbers again.

I recently looked up my old prof in macro and micro, quite an interesting discussion. We use to get in some doozies in the class. You cannot fill a lack of purchasing by printing up pretty papers and dumping them in the market.

Just wanted to say aylo folks. Been reading for about two years here but I already blog at too many places. I will be like a ghost, only dropping in now and then to spook the masses. HEY Bernanke, what comes after trillion? Is it quadrillion?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:13 | 1086201 RingToneDeaf
RingToneDeaf's picture

1. Stay in Power, those in power will do whatever it takes to stay in power (tird war, no problemo).

2. Lie until it explodes, then blame it on the Liberals or Conservatives, your choice.

3. It is almost time to start getting even, no violence, just a little bite, a tiny pinch of the guillotine. Time to bring home the Dodd of the Irish castle, several guys on those Caribbean islands, one or two dozen from Switzerland, all of the TBTF Banksters, former Cabinet/Banksters, Mortgage Corporate Destroyers, Congressional staffers that increased their wealth 1,000 times while making $125,000 a year, and of course Barney, dear Barney, Greenspan and Bernanke.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:28 | 1086238 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture


Rhetorical question is rhetorical

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:37 | 1086252 Seer
Seer's picture

I've yet to have ANYONE here answer just how we are to have sustained growth, sans govt and all, on a finite planet!

The current economic system (again, even if allowed to operate at the theoretical levels) cannot create something from nothing.  When it's all used up it's all used up.  Despite what some idiots believe, we won't be able to make copper from something else (some substitution is possible, but in nearly every case the substitution is to a lower value replacement- does anyone think that we can replace gold [or silver] with something else? [yeah, the Fed thinks cotton strips work, but...]).

People espouse the wonders of capitalism (its theoretical) yet fail to realize that its strength also becomes its inevitable weakness- it is able to, very efficiently, consume resources.  It does this based on forward-looking trends based on expected returns.  And returns are primarily the result of growth: yes, you can have good returns being flat, but nothing stays flat forever, eventually things drop off, taking returns with them.  Perpetual growth on a finite planet is NOT possible, it WILL end at some point (pretending that it won't happen on "our watch" is head-in-the-sand planning).

All the complaining about govt is a cover (or ignorance) to the fact that growth is stalling not BECAUSE of government(s), but because of available per-capita resources.  Yes, govts cut into "profits" and growth, but it's still pretty much a zero-sum game (I think that a recent article by El-Erian made this point fairly well): big govt supports big business- entities like Wal-Mart are clearly more capable and efficient than those below them- I argue that the govt takes from us in taxes and then hands over [directly or in-directly] to such entities [keep oil costs low for Wal-Mart's supply chain? send in the military; keep direct medical costs low for such entities by subsidizing local community health centers!]).

This is all about squabbling over a dead carcass.  Everything dies, govt or no govt it would get to this point (yeah, it would look different, but not fundamentally so- it's still all predicated on the grow-or-die paradigm).

I now return people back to rooting for their favorite "sports" team (read "political party/economic model" ).

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:52 | 1086321 centerline
centerline's picture

Like George Carlin said... we are here to make plastic.  When there is enough plastic, Mother Nature will get rid of us.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:44 | 1086835 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

You get sustained growth through periodic crashes that force you to start over and discharge debt that can't be paid. We have a Fed that suppresses those periodic crashes so debt continues to accrue. We expand the base of the debt pyramid at any cost in order to keep the growth going. I believe illegal imigration is allowed and even encouraged not just for the production of their hands but more importantly because they come with nothing and need to access credit for household goods, then for cars and then for houses, creating demand in multiples of the actual labor they contibute.

I don't agree so much with your thought that government takes from us to give to large corporations. I believe its government that enables the large coprorations, the financial industry specifically, to fleece us, and then the government, the Godfather, gets its cut from them. The government makes protected classes of those people and corporations in the highest tax brackets, and in return collects the majority of it's revenue from them (after they take it from you).

After all, no one cares that the banker's bonus is taxed at 38%, 50% or 90% - just stick it to them! What they can't see is that rules had to be changed and losses covered up for those bonuses to be paid and that revenue collected. And where did all that bonus money originate? From the "sheeple." And whose money covers the smoldering holes in the banks' ballance sheets so bonuses can be paid? Again, the "sheeple's". As indebted as it is, the federal government cannot do other than look away and collect its share of the booty.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 20:18 | 1088027 Seer
Seer's picture

"You get sustained growth through periodic crashes that force you to start over and discharge debt that can't be paid"

Open your window and look out into the physical realm.  Forget virtual stuff, look at all the material.  It's stuff that's attached to PEOPLE, all physical things.  These are the things of "growth."  At some point there can be no more growth of these things.

I'm not talking about the current economic shift, nor a decade or two of events, I'm talking about mankind's cumulative position.  We're 6.5+ billion.  Growth, economic or whatever one wishes to pick (anything other than spiritual or mental growth- the kinds that fit in one's head) can NOT be sustained forever on finite resources.  This is shit that any 100 level biology class demonstrates.  Yet, the snake-oil sales people, with their slick wallstreet marketeers can make us believe anything.  Those beliefs will, however, collide with reality, with the physical reality.

I won't squabble over a which came first, the chicken or the egg kind of debate as pertains to whether it's govt or it's business who is taking the lead in the dance, as it's the fact that they're dancing together that's the issue... but, at this point it's merely the band playing as the Titanic sinks.  The Christ Martenson interview with John Rubino ( pretty much cuts to the chase.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:38 | 1086259 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

But wait, Bloomberg is saying that the "All Clear Sounded"! 

There's plenty of MSM propoganda floating around to marvel at, but this was one was staggeringly bad.  Go back to sleep America, this ship is full steam ahead!



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:39 | 1086263 Seer
Seer's picture

The looting can now resume...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:43 | 1086277 stoverny
stoverny's picture

The all clear has been sounded?  Thanks for letting me know!  What a relief!

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:15 | 1086402 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Yup, belly laughs on that one. I'm especially thrilled that the Oracle of Omaha has been sounding off with his bull snorts since the big shaker in Japan. Central planning must be encouraging its various propaganda ministers to help settle the alarmed and suspicious sheep.

Black Swans are shitting on people's heads everywhere.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:40 | 1086267 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

One member of the Fed, Richard Fisher, gets it:

"US Approaching Insolvency, Fix To Be 'Painful': Fisher"

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:56 | 1086339 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

if only he VOTED that way.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:37 | 1086474 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Song of the south. Sweet potatoe pie and I shut my mouth.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:40 | 1086271 stoverny
stoverny's picture

If a recovery is not "self-sustaining", wouldn't that mean there is no recovery at all???



Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:42 | 1086275 Bansters-in-my-...
Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

PPssstttt. It's NOT a recovery.... It's a bailout...... AKA.....fucking robbery of the citizens,by the Banksters.

Mark to "Model".......

What a sick fucking joke.

Bahhh,,,Baahhaaaa.....Little sheeple.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:44 | 1086278 Geoff-UK
Geoff-UK's picture

Please, for fuck's sake, stop letting Charles Hugh Smith post.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:45 | 1086287 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

"Is the Recovery "Self-Sustaining"? Here's A Test"

BLANK + 1344 = 666

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:47 | 1086299 GeneH3
GeneH3's picture

Cut back doesn't work. What's cut back comes back.

The answer is to cut entire functions.

For example, why do we need a federal department of education? Education is solely a state and local matter. And what does HUD do that concerns interstate commerce? How can be possible that housing and urban development are federal matters? Every function undertaken by the Feds needs to be reconsidered and eliminated it it is more appropriately the exclusive province of the states. Of course, when a state assumes the function, it will not only eliminate redundancy, but will be budget constrained because, unlike the Feds, states cannot run a deficit and print their way out of it.

Unfortunately, it will never happen. So prepare accordingly.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:47 | 1086300 GeneH3
GeneH3's picture

Cut back doesn't work. What's cut back comes back.

The answer is to cut entire functions.

For example, why do we need a federal department of education? Education is solely a state and local matter. And what does HUD do that concerns interstate commerce? How can be possible that housing and urban development are federal matters? Every function undertaken by the Feds needs to be reconsidered and eliminated it it is more appropriately the exclusive province of the states. Of course, when a state assumes the function, it will not only eliminate redundancy, but will be budget constrained because, unlike the Feds, states cannot run a deficit and print their way out of it.

Unfortunately, it will never happen. So prepare accordingly.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:33 | 1086777 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

Yea, why would anyone need to learn anything anyway when you can just google it.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:47 | 1086303 r101958
r101958's picture

Japan is suffering greatly due to no real fault of their own (except maybe the fault line). Conversely, we will suffer greatly because we are choosing to put off the pain of really fixing our problems now for some pie in the sky fix somewhere down the road.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:53 | 1086327 Seer
Seer's picture

Japan was destined to suffer because of its reliance upon external resources, oil being the primary one.  And demographics also helps seal its fate.

BTW - There is NO "fix."  Fixes conote resolution, and since we cannot stop time, EVERYTHING has to remain in flux, perpetual shifting sands...

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:01 | 1086352 r101958
r101958's picture

Yes, absolutely correct. They rely on external resources. But Japan uses a lot less energy/resources per capita than we do. Also, the majority of them don't drive huge gas guzzling SUV's. We are hardly the ones to be calling the kettle black. Please recall, they are suffering now because of an earthquake and tsunami.....not because of a profligate life style.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:31 | 1086457 Seer
Seer's picture

Slinky down the staircase...

Efficiency cannot overcome shortages!  Read about Jevons Paradox.

The Japanese economy stalled out decades ago.  They are the leading edge of technology's eventual failings: one can squabble all one wants about the "cause" of their current disaster, but it is all too clear that it is greatly compounded by technology itself.  It was great while it all lasted, but at some point the party always ends; burying our collective heads in the sand won't change this fact.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 12:52 | 1086318 r101958
r101958's picture

To start; effect a 20% across the board cut in gov't spending. No program spared. This eliminates those that claim some party is being 'unfair'. Across the board cuts are the ultimate in fairness. Yes, it will hurt but what is the alternative......more stalemates in Congress and another kicking of the can down the road? That road leads to total catastrophe.....and it may already be too late.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:00 | 1086350 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

What is wrong with deflation and default?  The debt itself is fraudulent and everyone knows it.  Fuck it, crash the system, crash it now, the sooner we do, the sooner compensation will find its way to folks that are actually worth a shit.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:07 | 1086376 r101958
r101958's picture

How about hyper-stagflation and default? Either way we are abdicating our obligations as a country. Does that no longer mean anything to anyone. Cut our Gov't spending 20% across the board. Stop the current taxation without representation! Do you know where the Bernank is spending our tax dollars? Do you approve of it? All this debt that is being run up now is future tax dollars....who represents our interests in how this money is spent? Us?....Congress?...did we consent? ....don't think so.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:16 | 1086406 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I approve of nothing but only recognize that the moral hazard was unleashed long ago.  Fraud is the status quo.  Congress (our only mechanism for change in the current system aside from the second amendment) does NOT speak for the "people", it speaks for the central bankers and the financial sector.  I would love to see an end to lobbying, impose term limits, and see a fair tax that would underwrite only the constitutionally legal functions of the government, but at this point without cutting the cord between the puppet master's (central banks) and the puppets (our "representatives") we are done.  This is the reality of our current system.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 14:35 | 1086797 SilverBaron
SilverBaron's picture

"Fraud is the status quo"

Wow maybe God was on to something when he said "Thou shalt not lie".

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:05 | 1086375 Seer
Seer's picture

On face an across-the-board type of cut SEEMS fair, but consider that there may be agencies that are already far ahead of the game of purging (and may have been operating as such for a long time already).  Such cuts actually punish those agencies that have been more diligent.  I'm afraid that this would tend to establish an ethic of not cutting unless forced cuts were demanded.

We'll continue to pick at the bones until there's nothing left.  And when it's all picked clean there will be nothing left, no one to blame: we will be forced to look in the mirror and admit that the "American Dream," perpetual growth (partying) was an illusion, a con perpetuated no so much by govt, but by the very thing that we're looking to give more power to- "the 'economy'."

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:11 | 1086393 r101958
r101958's picture

Not cutting exactly what is happening! 100 billion? 60 billion, 10 billion....what a joke! These are not meaningful cuts. Heavy duty cuts are what are required. It is no longer a matter of 'well, we can cut this little bit now and do a little more later'. We are way past that! We currently have no one left to blame but still refuse to look in the mirror. As Chris Martenson has stated 'this is a predicament, not a problem'. There is a difference.


Tue, 03/22/2011 - 13:40 | 1086493 Seer
Seer's picture

The cutting-will-solve-our-problems meme is marketed by all the big corporations who would love to be able to do anything that they please (wipe out environments and then move on to others to do the same to) in order to funnel more proceeds to their small group of power elite shareholders.  Aided and abetted by the govt of course...  It's literally the snake eating its own tail.

We could totally eliminate govt but we'd STILL be massively in debt!  And there would be NO way to resolve these debts (there's not enough available resources to exploit for growth any more).

I'm no fan of govt, but at some point we've got to wise up and admit that the thing that holds us all up -growth- is failing.

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:14 | 1087474 r101958
r101958's picture

Fallacious argument- 'we could cut government completely and still be in debt'. We would still be in debt if we cut up all our credit cards. But, if we start paying the debt off and don't charge any more then we will eventually (long, long time for U.S.) get out of debt.

The 'The cutting-will-solve-our-problems meme is marketed by all the big corporations who would love to be able to do anything that they please (wipe out environments and then move on to others to do the same to)' argument is also misleading and incorrect. Cutting spending does not change the laws. Fan of big government? Or, perhaps from 'The government is the also to all our problems' camp?

Tue, 03/22/2011 - 18:05 | 1087604 Seer
Seer's picture

Listen dick-head, I'm a fucking anarchist!  There, now lets get away from the stupid emotional knee-jerking...  I no more believe that the private sector can pull a rabbit out of the hat than can the govt (and due to the levels of secrecy that both tend to operate under I don't trust either to TELL me that they've done so): yeah, I tend to side more with the private because that's where I sit, but I'm a human being, just as is everyone else, and anywhere where power collects its formation is corrosive (govt doesn't have a patent on this).

"But, if we start paying the debt off and don't charge any more then we will eventually (long, long time for U.S.) get out of debt."

Let's just click our heels together and everything will be fine... Go ahead, try to explain just how we are going to be able to pay off our debts.  I'll be waiting with baited breath...

And remember, it takes REAL physical resources in order to really produce anything (the world isn't likely going to fall for another big financial trick): physical trumps virtual.  Go ahead, start telling us how manufacturing works; or, perhaps we can consult with a fifth-grader?  Anyone with an iota of information can understand to trace supply streams... NOTE: oil looms large (this isn't a pretend world, any more work is performed thanks to the almighty ancient sunlight).

Skittles and unicorns from the private sector are still skittles and uinicorns...

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