Millions of middle class citizens in the U.S. sink deeper into despair every day. Day by day hope is being lost that the future for our children will be better than our past. The political, financial, and corporate leaders of our country are intellectually and morally bankrupt. The major Wall Street banks are bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. The whole damned world is bankrupt. Anyone with an unbiased view of our planet would conclude that we are in unfathomable danger. The list of impending catastrophic issues that will blow up the world for millions in the U.S. and across the globe is virtually endless... When I started to detail the issues facing our country today, I expected to come up with 10 to 20 bullet points of key concerns. As I methodically worked through the categories of challenges facing the American Empire, the total reached 76 bullet points. The facts as presented above paint a picture of impending doom for America. The slogans and vapid “solutions” proposed by political candidates and entrenched Washington politicians do not even scratch the surface of what would need to be done to save this country from economic collapse. Many of these problems took decades to create and are not solvable in a reasonable time frame. With the country still delusion, overleveraged, and underemployed, it seems like the existing economic and social structure will need to be blown up to restore hope in this country.
Go no further than the Der Spiegel piece, Why Europe Is Right and Obama Is Wrong, to understand the fundamental differences between American and German thinking on fiscal and monetary stimulus. Michael Sauga, the author, writes: "American economists, central bankers and fiscal policy makers have reinterpreted British economist John Maynard Keynes’s clever idea that government spending is the best way to counteract a serious economic downturn — and have turned it into a permanent prescription. In their version of the Keynesian theory, declining growth or tumbling stock prices should prompt central banks to lower interest rates and governments to come to the rescue with economic stimulus programs. US economists call this “kick-starting” the economy...The only problem is that this method of encouraging growth has not stimulated the US economy in recent years, but in fact has put it on a crash course. From the Asian economic crisis to the Internet and subprime mortgage bubbles, economic stimulus programs by monetary and fiscal policy makers have regularly laid the groundwork for the next crash instead of encouraging sustainable growth. In the last decade, the volume of lending in the United States grew five times as fast as the real economy....The real problem, though, is a different one. The US economy doesn’t lack money. Rather, it lacks products that can compete in the global marketplace. The country has a deep trade deficit, yet the Obama administration is borrowing money at the same rate as near-bankrupt Greece."
Deflation phobia has broken out again, and Japan's "deflation spiral" is held up as sheer horror. So here is my experience with that horror. Alas, in one category, deflationistas have been right.
Denial. Denial is safe. Comforting. Religiously and relentlessly abused by politicians who don't want nor can face reality. A word synonymous with "muddle through." Ah yes, that "muddle through" which so many C-grade economists and pundits believe is the long-term status quo for the US and the world just because it worked for Japan for the past three decades, or, said otherwise, "just because." Well, too bad. As the following absolutely must read report, which comes not from some trader of dubious credibility interviewed by BBC, nor even from an impassioned executive from a doomed Italian bank, but from consultancy powerhouse Boston Consulting Group confirms, the "muddle through" is dead. And now it is time to face the facts. What facts? The facts which state that between household, corporate and government debt, the developed world has $20 trillion in debt over and above the sustainable threshold by the definition of "stable" debt to GDP of 180%. The facts according to which all attempts to eliminate the excess debt have failed, and for now even the Fed's relentless pursuit of inflating our way out this insurmountable debt load have been for nothing. The facts which state that the only way to resolve the massive debt load is through a global coordinated debt restructuring (which would, among other things, push all global banks into bankruptcy) which, when all is said and done, will have to be funded by the world's financial asset holders: the middle- and upper-class, which, if BCS is right, have a ~30% one-time tax on all their assets to look forward to as the great mean reversion finally arrives and the world is set back on a viable path. But not before the biggest episode of "transitory" pain, misery and suffering in the history of mankind. Good luck, politicians and holders of financial assets, you will need it because after Denial comes Anger, and only long after does Acceptance finally arrive.
The Japanese quagmire has been getting deeper and more perilous for years, but now the unique factors that supported its catastrophic indebtedness have reversed. The endgame has started.
GATA's Chris Powell speaks: "The speaker following me, George Clooney, will be able to tell you what it's like to be handsome, talented, rich, and famous. I could tell you what it's like not to be. But instead the conference has asked me to talk about gold, which at least might make you rich, or help you preserve some of whatever you've got. This opportunity is full of risk, because the gold market long has been manipulated by Western central banks to restrain the gold price. The Western central banks are slowly losing control of the market but they are not giving up easily. Why do Western central banks manipulate the gold market? The gold market is manipulated because, despite Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's insistence to Congress a few weeks ago that gold is not money, just "tradition," gold is indeed a currency that competes brutally with government-issued currencies and helps determine not only the value of those currencies but also interest rates and the value of government bonds...."
Europe’s fiscal and debt crises have dominated the financial news for months, and with good reason: the fate of the European Union and its common currency, the euro, hang in the balance. As the world’s largest trading bloc, Europe holds sway over the global economy: if it sinks into recession or devolves, it will drag the rest of the world with it. As investors, we are not just observers, we are participants in the global economy, and what transpires in Europe will present risks and opportunities for investors around the world. The issue boils down to this: is the European Union and the euro salvageable, or is it doomed for structural reasons? The flaws are now painfully apparent, but not necessarily well-understood. The fear gripping Status Quo analysts and leaders is so strong that even discussing the euro’s demise is taboo, as if even acknowledging the possibility might spark a global loss of faith. As a result, few analysts are willing to acknowledge the fatal weaknesses built into the European Union and its single currency, the euro. In the first part of this series, we’ll examine the structural flaws built into the euro, and in the second part, we’ll consider the investment consequences of its demise.
Following up his earlier note laying out expectations (translated as: "you better or else") for the outcome of the FOMC meeting tomorrow, Goldman's chief economist Jan Hatzius produces another 'concerning' research note tonight providing just enough evidence for a growing downside risk to the firm's 2% GDP growth estimate for 2012. We assume the failure of the market to hold onto dramatic losses (easier to justify more easing) or dramatic gains (can't disappoint a Pavlovian public waiting for the FOMC bell to ring) in the last few days prompted the 'nudge' from the policy-makers-elect. It appears weak stocks, a strengthening dollar, and the European crisis were not what the doctor ordered.
The Biggest EURUSD Bull, Goldman's Thomas Stolper, Throws In The Towel, Cuts His Forecast Across The BoardSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/14/2011 13:17 -0500
Three things are sure in life: death, taxes, and betting against the calls of Goldman's Thomas Stolper. Sure enough:
- We lower our EUR/$ forecast path slightly but keep the same upward-sloping trajectory.
- Our new EUR/$ trajectory is 1.40, 1.45 and 1.50 in 3, 6 and 12 months, from 1.45, 1.50, 1.55 previously.
- The recent increase in the Euro area’s fiscal risk premium is likely to persist.
- Very large short EUR/$ positioning is likely to last in the near future.
- But the underlying Dollar downtrend should drive EUR/$ higher over time.
- We discuss the CHF and safe-haven currencies after the SNB’s commitment to intervene.
- Our new EUR/CHF forecasts are 1.21 flat in 3, 6 and 12 months.
Poor Ben Bernanke. The greatest financial train wreck in history is going to happen on his watch, and it will be mostly his predecessor’s doing. But not the work of Alan Greenspan alone. The Washington elite and their compulsively clever counterparts around the world have set the US (and global) economy up for a currency crisis of gargantuan proportions.
Your one stop, comprehensive summary of the past week's key positive and negative events.
Incredible that a Democrat would propose that our Social Security system should be gutted starting immediately to get an up-tick in GDP, illusory as it may turn out to be, just before the election. But President Obama's proposal to cut payroll taxes in half will do just that.