Guest Post: The Worst Advice I’ve Seen In Years

Tyler Durden's picture

From Simon Black of Sovereign Man

The Worst Advice I’ve Seen In Years


When I woke up this morning and scanned through my usual digest–
boots on the ground reports from overseas contacts, market summaries
from Asian and European bankers, commentary from friends still in the
intelligence community– a couple of things caught my eye that I want to
tell you about.

Dagong Global Credit Rating Co is China’s leading credit rating
agency. Credit rating agencies are the firms who are responsible, among
other things, for scoring the credit risk of a particular asset or
sovereign nation.

When they rate a security as “AAA”, premium safety, investors pile in. They’re an integral part of the financial system.

You undoubtedly remember that the world’s leading agencies– Fitch,
Moody’s, and S&P, were all complicit in slapping AAA premium ratings
on so many toxic mortgage-backed securities… and maintaining sound
ratings for far too long on bankrupt nations like Greece and Portugal.

The entire industry lacks credibility at this point, and China’s Dagong agency aims to do something about that.

This morning I read Dagong president Guan Jianzhong’s remarks at a
recent conference of Asian rating agency CEOs held in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia (one of my favorite cities).

In his speech, Guan called for the establishment of a global rating
agency that follows clearly outlined international standards,
effectively putting an end to the cowardly analysis that dominates the
industry now and replacing it with a healthy dose of reality.

Putting its money where its mouth is, Dagong has a long-standing,
negative outlook on US debt that doesn’t pull any punches. From its
November 2010 report:

“In essence the depreciation of the U.S. dollar adopted by the U.S.
government indicates that its solvency is on the brink of collapse,
therefore it wants to cut its debt through the act of devaluation with
the national will; such a move has severely harmed the interests of

Following suit, S&P stunned financial markets this morning by
revising its US outlook to ‘negative’, citing politicians’ inability to
address medium-term and long-term challenges.

In total contrast, US News and World Report published an article a few days ago entitled Why you should buy U.S. Treasuries,” which amounts to the worst advice I’ve seen in years.

FE DA 081124geithner The worst advice Ive seen in years

"Trust me. I'm good for it."

The article is devoid of any clear analysis which could support
loaning our hard-earned savings to the most indebted nation in the
history of the world in a rapidly depreciating currency at rates which
have little chance of keeping up with inflation; instead, the author
relies solely on patriotism:

“It has always been a bad idea to bet against America and our ability
to prosper even against overwhelming difficulties. America will cut
back its spending, innovate, and pay off its debts. We will earn our way
out. It’s just how we do it…”

A more accurate statement would have been, “that’s how we used to do
it…” Fact is, America’s economic problems are deep-seeded and neither
political party can put forth a viable strategy for righting the ship.
Even S&P is starting to realize this.

Even worse, it’s not just the politicians that don’t get it. From
top to bottom, the culture in government service is an entrenched “me
first [at the expense of taxpayers...]” attitude which encourages
shortsighted decision making, and in some cases, even fraud.

If you’re still betting on America to come out on top, you’re taking a
big risk. America first emerged as a major economic power, not because
of government policies or political leadership, but because of the
strong incentive that individual Americans had to work hard, take risks,
and create value for others.

The incentive isn’t about patriotism… it’s about the benefit of their families and loved ones.

Americans like this still exist, and their desire to see their
families and loved ones flourish through enterprise and value creation
is as strong as ever. As the economic situation worsens with each
passing day, more and more of these value creators look to greener
pastures outside of America.

Maybe you should consider the same.

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I think I need to buy a gun's picture

i have a lot from mainstream media during this crisis....i won 't be listening in the future

66Sexy's picture

US News and World Report


'nuff said. Insert ridicule here.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

I searched for info on their top holdings, returns, and portfolio manager bios, but couldn't find anyhting.  Must be an offshore house?

Don Birnam's picture

Editor-in-Chief of U.S. News and World Report:

Council on Foreign Relations and JP Morgan National Advisory Board member Mortimer "I Helped Write One of Obama's Speeches" Zuckerman.

Enough said indeed.  

sdmjake's picture

"The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers... [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper."
- Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785.

Lost My Shorts's picture

Funny thing is, treasurys are up today.

US sovereign on negative watch --> fear --> flight to safety --> buy US treasurys.

Agent P's picture

Greece is the word.  USTs are still the flight to quality play...for now at least.

uno's picture

looks like the real flight to safety/quality went into PSLV today, up 5.3% today, premium at record

Clueless Economist's picture


I resent this story.  It is well known that my advice is the worst.  We need 3 Trillion $ stimulus to create 10 million shovel ready jobs.

Sincerely Paul

redpill's picture

Look at those little beady eyes, get thee behind me satan!!

SheepDog-One's picture

LOL, well I hope a bunch of US Snooze and World Raport readers did pile into Treasuries last week.

BTW I'll help the author a bit, its not a debate over whether the US comes out on top, or political posturing the entire plan IS the takedown of america, planned demolition and confirmed total bankruptcy, and rise from the ashes into Orwellian 1 world govt. Thats all.

ivars's picture

Hear the next president of the USA as current parties will continue to do nothing about the debt-which will lead to the USA default in 2013-2014:


Treasury bubble is about to bust. That should mean no QE3.

King_of_simpletons's picture

HA HA HA ! Interesting headline:


More downgrades to come, but stocks to stay strong: PHIL DOW.



66Sexy's picture

Stocks rise on Japan disaster, middle eastern turmoil, and skyrocketing oil prices

King_of_simpletons's picture

That is exactly what wall street and their lackies want you to think. The stocks have risen due to QE2... not due to some bogus rational about rebuilding in Japan, democrazy in Middle East and Oil prices.

whatsinaname's picture

Yahoo finance has really become the de-facto platform for the boiler room stock pumpers to the sheeple ?

jal's picture


If you are an investor that didn’t know about the USA financial debt problem, then you shouldn’t be an investor.


IMF said it before now S & P said it.


The interesting points are:


1. The big market movers, PIMCO and Goldman had their statements already prepared for release. 

2. The markets all move down.

3. Although Canada was declared by S & P as not being in trouble, and being great, the Canadian markets, and the $C is down, with gold going up.

4. The G20 finished their meeting.

5. None of those points are related. hahahaha!


Its all market manipulation by the banksters.




SheepDog-One's picture

Thats right, Ive been saying for months I wont feel a bit of sympathy for any of the Unicorn Dew Enema crowd in the markets chirping all day to 'BTFD', when the markets do suddenly implode one day.

cxl9's picture

Pile into Treasuries now, or pile in later. It really doesn't matter. Eventually the government will seize private retirement accounts and roll them into Treasuries, for your own protection of course. What other big pools of wealth are left for them to steal at this point?

SheepDog-One's picture

I see, so we'll have a 3rd world banana republic with all wealth removed and zero production at all, but a vibrant Treasury collection. Yes I see now.

Long-John-Silver's picture

Yep! It's going to happen right after the next crash. The President will come on TV and tell everyone that he's taking all your 401(k)'s and IRA's and putting them into the Social Security lock box 'at the before crash level'. You can then get your money at (the) retirement time (we specify). Everyone will jump for joy and thank TPTB for "saving their retirement".

MachoMan's picture

Obama doesn't have the balls...  but that's not to say his successor won't...  enter B9K9's strong man.

BrobamaReds's picture


onlooker's picture
Tepco Cancels Plan To Build 2 New Reactors At Fukushima ----today Nikkei news.---- look at what S&P done went and did
whatsinaname's picture

There was an extremely interesting discussion on NPR this morning with the Areva USA CEO, a really smart prof from UCB (who grilled the nuke guys really hard) and made some fantastic points the most important one related to the fact that we are the only developed country using nuke power that DOES NOT have a spent fuel policy. No wonder the Japs (masters of duplication) took that one step further at Fukushima.

DonnieD's picture

Patriotism - Lending money to country to finance war with enemy that wants to kill you.

Stupidity - Lending money to country to give to bankers.

whatsinaname's picture

Your definition of patriotism needs further analysis.

DonnieD's picture

I didn't have that much time or energy but I'm sure you get the drift.

velobabe's picture

patriot day, isn't it in boston?

full moon again. i want to go some where south---------->

Bob's picture

Damn, I was brought nearly to tears by this sniveling-bitch-by-the-hair entreaty to TPTB to "be gentle to me."  Best of times, worst of times I guess. 

dracos_ghost's picture

Ok, US is in trouble. No arguments.

But Dagong Credit Agency?!!

From their website:

It expresses its national allegiance by boosting the credit rating industry in China,  and bringing the "made-in-China" concept into the international rating market.

I'd rather hear f&*^king Chuck E Cheese's input.

China is in bigger trouble than the US.



defencev's picture

That is precisely the point. How anybody can take seriously what Simon Black writes when

it is absolutely clear that he has an Anti-American bias. The whole idea is to fear-monger

" a bunch of stupid Gringos" to buy into their so-called products (which is in reality

BS). Why Chinese government agency is more objective than the other ones?

And are not they under total government control? US is definitely in position to meet its government obligations but first commies should be removed from White House..

In the end of the day people like Simon Black thrive on new US government regulations

that makes it more and more difficult for Americans to preserve their assets in Foreign Financial Institutions. It simaltaneously allows people like Simon Black to sell e.g.  the names of offshore brokerages who still accept US customers. What will happen, when all these accounts will be closed in near future due to "fat cat act" is, of course, not Mr Black business after the sale is completed. In fact, it may increase popularity of his

other"products" like second, third (up to infinity) passports...

AR15AU's picture

US News and World Reports is a propaganda arm of the Statist regimes. Its bile is regularly spewed across the pages of Yahoo finance. Each article a more pathetic example than the last.

glenlloyd's picture

I would agree, USN&WR is propaganda, but most MSM is at this point. NBR does nothing but deliver a dumbed-down version of the same old nothings every night, it just delivers what everyone else yacks about without any thought. People making an income for talking.

This country will be unable to solve its problems because those charged with the mission do not have the ability to solve anything, and because their place in DC is hinged upon providing something to their constituents, namely transfer payments.

I'm still of the opinion that nothing will be done, QE3 will come and we will continue down this destructive path all ends.

monopoly's picture

Good post. When the masses "march on Washington", then, it may change. Not before. Next!

Confucious 222's picture

We haven't heard much from "Anonymous" lately, have we?

Maybe they're too busy making test patterns and synthesized voices for their next internet video about how they really mean it this time. 

Bob's picture

Them boyz has earned a hard kick in the fucking head of their reputation at this point.  Hackerz seem to be m.i.a thez dayz.  Fiqurz.  fuckin i.t. bitchez. 

j0nx's picture

Sheeeit. If football goes on strike, the hops to make beer become scarce or they take Glee/AI/DWTS off the air then you MIGHT get j6p to wake up and smell the coffee and march on DC. Until then fughet about it. 21st century bread and circus.

KevinH's picture

I bet the British made the same argument before they lost their position of global hegemony.

trav7777's picture

we had a credible army and navy then

michigan independant's picture

The argument for free trade is based on the idea that market forces are self regulating and that any attempt at interference will just damage the economy. There is also the argument that free trade leads to improved relations between different countries.

The argument against free trade doesn’t tend to be so trusting of market forces to create the best deals for people. If a foreign entity can come in and undercut local businesses then this could easily destroy these businesses. It could also suck a lot of money out of a country as imports start to rise higher than exports. There is also the persuasive argument that the reason why some countries are able to produce things more cheaply is that they have unfair labor laws.

The Consumer is a ruthless arbiter.

Government’s only having their short term survival in mind and nothing else.  

What is the division of labor?

Do you sign the front of the Check?

It is ok to kill you since you do not believe.

Paddle your own canoe since they will figure it out sooner than later they need to trade since the tailor will figure out the baker has the advantage. This statement made me an anarchist.


trav7777's picture

enough about fucking Dagong...where the hell are their downgrades to Chinese fraud companies that are uncovered DAILY around here?

Arius's picture

"In total contrast, US News and World Report published an article a few days ago entitled Why you should buy U.S. Treasuries,” which amounts to the worst advice I’ve seen in years."

Now, i understand what they mean about a bubble...front page, articles and all that...yeah well...even i get it much for being able to solve ZH math question...

Bam_Man's picture

"Bang Dagong,

Get it on,

Bang Dagong."

slewie the pi-rat's picture

ok!  dagong-show now in!  t.y., simon_B!!!  still, the data is old.  the party is flexing its muscles a bit V. the fabulous casino action in asia, and perhaps dagong will be told to stop dissing the US for some reason.  by its party overlords.  who knows?