Guest Post: Tossing The Consumer Under The Bus...And Insanely Expecting An Economic Recovery

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by D. Sherman Okst of Financial Sense

Tossing the Consumer Under the Bus...And insanely expecting an economic recovery

I’ve been pouring through the Fed Reserve’s recent release of circa
2005 FOMC meeting transcripts. The most striking observation that one
can make is that the consumer - the very lifeblood that determines
whether our economy will live or die - has been discarded.

Discarded --- as in tossed under the bus.

Ninety-nine
percent of our “economists” today have it entirely ass backwards: They
believe that the economy supports the consumer. In reality, it really
is the other way around. Proof: You can put two or more consumers
together and create an economy but remove the consumers from an economy
and you are left with nothing.

“Jobless recoveries” are Cable News media spin.

The following excerpts will leave you thinking that you are watching some bizarro episode of the “Twilight Zone.”

Toss the consumer under the housing wheel of the bus and laugh about it:

"–I offer one more piece of evidence that I think almost surely suggests that the end is near in this sector. While channel surfing the other night, to the annoyance of my otherwise very patient wife, I came across a new television series on the Discovery Channel entitled “Flip That House.” [Laughter]
As far as I could tell, the gist of the show was that with some
spackling, a few strategically placed azaleas, and access to a bank, you
too could tap into the great real estate wealth machine. It was enough
to put even the most ardent believer in market efficiency into
existential crisis. [Laughter]
~David Stockton, Dec. 13, 2005, economist and Fed comedian.

So
while publicly denying the existence or even the possibility of a
housing bubble --- the Fed was privately laughing about its imminent and
apocalyptic end. Jokes on us. The result of this meltdown is 22%
unemployment, 43 million people on Food Stamps, 1 in 5 kids going to bed
hungry at night, millions of homeless people resulting from
foreclosures, millions of Americans watching as their largest investment
(their home) tanks, local governments who rely on property taxes left struggling and a few failed bond auctions away from shutting down or being “bailed out”.

We are left holding the bag, as this past weeks Financial Sense News with G. Edward Griffin noted, WE - not the Fed - are the lenders of last resort.

The
other day I saw Alan Greenspan say ‘Prove it’ (that he created the
housing meltdown). The reporter gave him a free pass, all he had to do
is ask Greenspan who created the years of cheap money, who muzzled Brookley Born
(the CFTC Commissioner who wanted to regulate Derivatives) and who
helped get rid of the Glass Steagall Act with a 3-2 Fed vote, and who
failed to regulate the banks.

They knew, from the September 20, 2005 meeting:

“I’ll
close with one other thing, the central banker’s anxiety, which is:
“Good times are bad because they could turn out to be bad. Bad times are
bad for obvious reasons.” [Laughter] I think you’ve given us a lesson in why these extremely good times are unlikely to be good for us in the long run.~ Ferguson.

Toss the consumer under the deficit wheel of the bus and laugh about it:

“Tell
me, Sam, is there really any difference between Republicans and
Democrats when it comes to spending?” And Cohen said, “I want to think
about it, do some research, and give you a serious answer.” He called
back the next morning and said, “Yes, George, there is. Democrats enjoy
it more.” [Laughter] “But otherwise there doesn’t appear to be any difference.”~Fisher.

As ZeroHedge pointed out, “...that ratio is already roughly 1 to 2, meaning for every dollar in revenue the US government issues more than one dollar of debt just to fund the deficit.”

While our public debt is about 14 trillion our unfunded liabilities are much larger.

Unfunded (read: looted) Liabilities

Social Security 14.6 trillion

Prescription Drugs 19.2 trillion

Medicare 76 trillion

Total 109,800,000,000,000.00

109.8 trillion + 18 trillion (18 trillion includes GSE off balance sheet debt) = 127.8 trillion dollars.

Perhaps the simplest way to look at it is this: 55%-65% of our income goes to taxes
and fees, we work 8.5 months of the year to pay for this insane mess.
The consumer has then 3.5 months of income with circa 1970s wages to
consume.

How anyone can joke about being the enabler, the debt
pusher to a body of almost 535 fiscally insane debt binging lunatics
when their kids are going to be going through debt detox hell is
anything but something to laugh at. (Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and
a few fiscally responsible leaders excluded). If the Fed wasn’t
monetizing debt the US would be where it should be - in bankruptcy
reorganization.

Overdosing the user only tosses the consumer under the bus, for it is the consumer who pays this tab 8.5 months of the year.

Rob the consumer and then toss them under the currency tire and laugh about it:

“Absent a dollar depreciation that’s now probably on the order of 8, 9, or 10 percent,
the deficit is going to steadily worsen. If the dollar were to start
depreciating, that would slow the rate of deterioration. If the dollar
depreciation that we put into the forecast were to get as high as 8 or 9
percent, that might plateau the deficit”.~Johnson

“One thing we can be sure of is that the value of the dollar will be worth 100 cents.” [Laughter]~Greenspan

There was also discussion where Bernanke talks about a chart showing the dollar depreciating by 10% per year.

All
of this is insane robbery. Since the inception of the Fed our dollar
has been robbed 96% of its purchasing power, 80% since Nixon declared
force majeure in 1971 and took us off the quasi-gold standard. Wages
have been flat since the 1970s, the consumer is saddled with 8.5 months
of governmental debt, to steal 10% per year from the .04 cents he calls a
dollar won’t make him/her a strong consumer.

Think about that
the next time you hand over a dollar, look at that dollar and picture
.04 cents, next year it’ll be closer to .03 cents. Or worse.

They
can only toss people under the bus like this because most people don’t
understand why prices go up. If money was grain they’d
(consumers/people) would get this the first year they transitioned from a
drought where their grain was in high demand to a year there was a
bumper crop and no one wanted the stuff.

Rob the consumer of good wages then toss them under the globalization tire and laugh about it:

“Everyone
I’ve talked to continues to try to figure out ways to exploit
globalization. Each of them, from the IT [information technology] guys
to the big box retailers to the specialty chemical firms to the service
firms, wants to have offshore supply. One of the CEOs said, “We have a
long way to go in exploiting China.” We’ve heard that forever. And one
of my favorites was the comment, “China, India, and Indonesia can make
Italian ceramics better than Italians can now or could 200 years ago.” [Laughter]

Globalization
was an unmitigated disaster. Low wages, high oil prices and trade
deficits all resulted from Globalization. China runs a surplus because
it sells more stuff it makes than it consumes. The year Globalization
kicked into high gear was the last year we saw a surplus. Now we
borrow. We can’t borrow our way to prosperity, we just borrowed our way
to insolvency. We can’t compete against someone making 2 dollars a
day. We can’t expect low oil prices when we just sent our best jobs to
China so they can afford more cars. China now sells more cars than the
US does, as a result, Asia now imports more oil than we do.

The wheels are coming off the economic bus and the drivers are laughing at us as we get tossed under it and run down.

Sad.

The
solution is simple, we are broke since we take in with taxes and
borrowing less then we owe. Our deficit alone ensures default or
Quantitative Easing from now until the wheels come entirely off.

It is time we reissue the currency, tie it temporarily and loosely to gold, get our manufacturing jobs back and move on.

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tellsometruth's picture

TD- yes - thank you for telling some truth!

treasurefish's picture

Check this out!  I just Googled: "David J. Stockton" (you know, the guy laughing his ass off) and came up with the following link:

http://www.muckety.com/David-J-Stockton/155735.muckety

 

Double click on "Securities Investor Protection Corp," and guess whose name appears?

 

"Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities."  Even the dumbest, laziest, CNN-watching American knows what that means, but what, exactly, IS the relationship here, and why IS the Director of Research at the FED more associated with "illegal" Ponzi schemes than the FED itself? - Don't answer that!  I tinks me knows!

Then again, "What Is, is?"  ~ Bill Clinton, former President of the US.

David J. Stockton still has a nice photo proudly posted on the FED's website with his phone and email (http://www.federalreserve.gov/research/staff/stocktondavex.htm), so I don't know what the dotted line is for on muckety.com showing that he is supposedly no longer affiliated with the FED.  Do you know David? Time for an audit of the FED?  Time to END THE FED?  Time for:

The Ron Paul R Ξ √ Ω L U T ↑O N ~ 2012?

This dumb Neanderthal American living off debt thinks so, and so do my bankrupt friends and neighbors!  I'm certainly not accusing anyone of any wrong doing (but the FED, Herbert Hoover, Col. Edward M. House, Bernie Madoff, Adolph Hitler, Karl Marx, Nathan M. Rothchild, Satan, et al).  Just asking questions - what every patriotic American seems to be doing more and more these days.

Here's a suggested answer:  "The FED is committed to reducing unemployment and stabilizing prices."  Thanks for playing (laughter).

MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

(but the FED, Herbert Hoover, Col. Edward M. House, Bernie Madoff, Nathan M. Rothchild, Satan, et al).  

That would be a damn interesting poker game.  Banzai?

dick cheneys ghost's picture

the empire has no clothes!!

goldmiddelfinger's picture

Untrue Dick Cheney's Ghost. All quail hunters wear orange!!!

cunningtrader's picture

Bottom line: Either the US slaps tariffs on all imports that threaten american jobs, or face the consequences. No if's, no buts. Then have a very painful re-adjustment/transition, (better then the alternative that is bearing down at breaknet speed), get rid of the FED, take back the printing presses. Without consumers with decent coin in their pocket(read, no 3 hours a week at Walmart being counted as a "job") there will be no recovery, EVER.

duo's picture

I told this story on Mish's comment section.

We have a customer that has a new medical product that they want  to sell in China.  In order to get license to import or sell in China, they need to give every detail, down to circuit board artwork and mechanical drawings, to the government.  I told them they were crazy to do this (after 10 years of R&D), and that clones would be on the market before their first container of good made it across the ocean.  They replied that their investors think they need the "China market" to make revenue targets.

Free trade my ass.  The US needs to speed up patent issuance, refuse to import counterfeit or infringing goods, or tariffs mean nothing.

goldmiddelfinger's picture

And ya wonder how thay got a stealth fighter.

Canadians used to import Lada's in the Soviet era. The general agreement was that if they built missiles like they built cars..we got nothing to worry about.

serotonindumptruck's picture

The Soviets/Russians have excelled at missile technology, particularly anti-ship weapon systems. Western naval forces have no known defence against Moskit/Yakhont anti-ship missiles. This class of missile is one of the primary reasons why the US/Israel has not attacked Iran yet. The Iranians are armed to the teeth with SS-N-22 Sunburn (Moskit), and quite possibly the SS-N-25 Onyx (Yakhont Chinese variant).

Sophist Economicus's picture

"This class of missile is one of the primary reasons why the US/Israel has not attacked Iran yet"

 

Try again....

nmewn's picture

LOL.

They have the same crap Syria has. The same crap that was guarding the Syrian agriculture outpost in the middle of a desert where that well known industrial giant, North Korea, was exporting "dry cement" to.

The missile batteries were vaporized...by air.

And, by the way, "agriculture samples" were taken by soldiers flown in via choppers.

Deal with it russkie. ;-)

nmewn's picture

The "crap" was used as fertilizer for Operation Orchard...Boris.

serotonindumptruck's picture

I wish I knew some Russians, preferably some Russian chemists who have perfected MDMA synthesis. ;-)

nmewn's picture

Maybe I do...but don't expect me to share ;-)

Meanwhile...my steaks are done, time to chow.

SeeYa

 

Sp00ky's picture

From the www.abundanthope.net link:

"In accordance with a directive from Creator Source Star Fleet now defuses all nuclear weapons."

Hello?  "Creator Source Star Fleet"?

 

serotonindumptruck's picture

Yeah, I know, kinda odd language considering the rest of the page. Let me know when you figure out what this guy is talking about. :-)

nmewn's picture

Young man...you went off on some "ecstasy" filled rant about the superiority of russian missile technology...I simply gave you a "real world" example of it being defeated very recently.

If you have a problem with the way I write (using metaphors & double entendres) just say so...I'll slow down for you next time...I mean, I did have a few things on the grill last night didn't I? ;-) 

serotonindumptruck's picture

I'll allow the comment indentations to be self-explanatory. You replied to a comment directed at another ZH poster, and erroneously thought that perhaps I was still speaking to you. I was not.

No harm, no foul...although your ad hominem responses and other unnecessary logical fallacies would perhaps be more humorous if you responded within the context of the conversation.

 

nmewn's picture

LOL...you got a lot to learn around here sport.

Good luck to you.

The_Dude's picture

Screw selling it in China.  If it is good technology, they will pony up for it later.  You will just have to source through an importer.

 

CulturalEngineer's picture

Our leaders sold out YOUR kids so THEIR kids could have brighter futures...

Unfortunately we've allowed political messaging and the technology behind it to become essentially equivalent to a constant magic trick...

Perpetual distraction while all the cards are disappearing!

 

Common_Cents22's picture

The good ol CCC,  stands for China Compulsory Certification.  The china industrial mark of the beast.    It's for SAFETY, lol, more like financial safety of china.   You must disclose everything about your product in order to do business in China.   You give up all your R&D.  They get it for FREE!  Businesses give it to them for free every single day.  Well played.

 

Unless we stand up to them we get slowly milked dry.

Stuck on Zero's picture

The same trade rules are used throughout the mercantilist nations of Asia.  They will never trade fairly.  They believe in "managed trade".  The concept of "Free Trade", like "free sex", should have faded away in the 60s.

Missiondweller's picture

No not tariffs. Call them "environmental impact fees".

 

If China can produce cheap crap by polluting the world with thousands of coal plants while we regulate our own energy industry, we can at least level the playing field a bit.

robobbob's picture

bingo.

and don't think it'll just be limited to some multinationals imports. after that's established, they will be coming for you

global cap and tax is planned to be the cornerstone of mankinds return to serfdom

http://en.rian.ru/world/20070403/62999935.html

Missiondweller's picture

I'm truly surprised they haven't already done that here in California.

Ubiscious's picture

Blah blah blah. This is such a broken record. In the last 4 years I myself have heard this countless times. Is or has anything been done? No. The politicians, the establishment is NOT going to do what is in the best interest of the American Consumer. It is beyond obvious now. Yet also, parallel to this, the US consumer is not doing anything for him/herself either. Accept talking, blogging (more talking), and talking some more. That is it.

Mark Medinnus's picture

Even the Blah's are becoming ubiquitous, Ubiscious.

BTW, what's an Ubiscious?

Common_Cents22's picture

 

Proof you can boil more than just a frog if you do it slowly.  America voluntarily jumped into the big boiling pot voluntarily, thinking it was a hot tub party.

Spalding_Smailes's picture


Beware government's slow-motion bank robbery by inflation

 

Millions of pensioners and risk-averse savers in fixed interest deposits will be the biggest victims of government-sponsored inflation that amounts to a slow-motion bank robbery.

Now the real value of money – or its purchasing power – is falling at 4.8 per cent, according to the Retail Prices Index (RPI), basic rate taxpayers need a gross return of at least 6 per cent from bank or building society deposits for the net value of their savings to stand still. High earners, paying tax at 40 per cent, need a gross return of 8 per cent to match inflation as measured by RPI. Needless to say, no such risk-free returns are available; other than on ‘teaser accounts’ with strings attached and where only trivial sums can be deposited.

Even on the government’s favoured measure of inflation – the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) at 3.7 per cent, soon to be used for public sector and State pensions – most savers need a gross return of more than 4.6 per cent to match inflation, while high earners need more than 6.1 per cent. While 22 bank accounts, including 19 individual savings accounts (ISAs), can deliver real returns to basic rate taxpayers, according to independent statisticians  Moneyfacts.co.uk , savers with £10,000 in the average bank account have seen the real value of their money fall by nearly £500 since January, 2008.

Louise Holmes, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk, said: “Savers who have been struggling for many months to achieve a competitive return on their funds will be severely disappointed by yet another rise in inflation.

“Over recent weeks some providers have raised easy access rates, but they are still too low to battle the effects of inflation. “Typically, cash ISAs and longer term fixed rate bonds tend to offer the best rates for savers trying to beat inflation. However, with interest rates predicted to rise by the end of the year, many investors are reluctant to lock funds away for a long period of time.”

 

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100009324/beware-governme...

lynnybee's picture

Yup !! that's what I've been trying to tell my best friend.   She simply does not believe that the U.S. $$$ is going to be inflated away & that all the money she saved for her retirement in her savings account will be virtually worthless.   I tried to explain to her (over 200 times) that if she does not take some of her money out of the bank & buy metal that she will find herself poverty-ridden .    Either she doesn't understand the concept or she's in that "normalcy bias."   I tried to tell her that the U.S. Government & criminal banking system is going to steal her credits in the bank account (money) that she has saved for over 40 years & SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE ME !! ..........

I can barely save myself, let alone my friends & family ........... BUT, I'M TRYING !

Spalding_Smailes's picture

It's o.k. lynnybee, this is the U.K. inflation problem - not the USA, we will not see inflation like this uncle ben shalom is very smart and would not let that happen. He can raise rates in " 15 minutes ". 

 

Tell your friend to buy the fucking dip in Bank of America before Friday and ride that pig for 50% until 2012.

traderjoe's picture

B of A will be nationalized in 2012. There will be a banking holiday sometime in 2011 or 2012 with the exchanges and banks closed. Good luck with your AIG, and all your other paper promises then...

I think I need to buy a gun's picture

It may not be a banking holiday it may be a dollar holiday

walküre's picture

Ben can raise rates dramatically in 15 minutes.

He will have about 5 minutes or so to jump on a plane headed for South America where he most likely has stashed his gold and silver away.

This is not the Eighties. Interest rates cannot be raised w/o increasing the speed of inflation even higher.

There is no money. There is no more money to service higher cost of debt. Nobody is buying US debt now, they sure won't buy it with the promise of 10% interest.

Game is up.

 

tgatliff's picture

I agree with you, at least until your last point.. Unfortunately the game is not up (yet).

 

I think realistically the biggest unknown is going to be the budget.  The cynical side is me says that politics are usual will happen, but if this group of new people hold strong to their convictions, I think we have a chance to finally see this thing come apart fast.  No doubt it will be extremely painful, but hopefully from there we can starting building a sustainable system again...

Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

The Wonderous and Mysterious Hu said he is not worried about inflation and can also take care of it easily. My question there would be not what, but Wen.

traderjoe's picture

I've heard you mention a couple of times that no one believes you and they are all abandoning you. Why do you try to explain something to someone 200 times? It's their life. Let them live it. They will prepare or not prepare according to their own desires. No one wants to be around a broken record. 

As I understand it, one of the key principles of Buddhism is to not judge another's path to Enlightenment. 

For me, I'm preparing. It makes me feel safer and calmer. I do not concern myself with the preparations of others. I do not know what will happen. I am not certain. Only preparing. 

breezer1's picture

i get the treatment too. lately i only get strange looks from my wife as she sees my predictions come true. i get my predictions from ZH and bill buckler and others and i forward articles like this one. 

i'm not a doom and gloomer, but when 2+2 = 4 then whats to do but prepare.

God bless us one and all.

 

Hephasteus's picture

Hey lynnybee. Be sure and tell spalding exactly what you think of his advice. It should be good.

fijisailor's picture

You had my attention until Social Security was classified as a liability.  How can something the average taxpayer pays for their entire life be a liability or an "entitlement"?

theopco's picture

It could be considered a liability if they actually spent all the money in the fund, replacing it with non-negotiable markers for treasuries that were as yet unissued.

 

I could see calling that a liability

ATrillionSavedIsATrillionEarned's picture

At least they still consider it a liability!

I would call it an obligation,

even if they manage to steal it.