This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Three of a Kind

Bruce Krasting's picture





 
.
On the Debt Ceiling

The Treasury Department emailed  its fans a blog entry setting out its position on extending the debt limit. The very fact that the Treasury Department feels the need to post blogs on this topic worries me. They wouldn’t be doing this if they actually thought that passing the ceiling was a slam-dunk.

Dr. Jan Eberly made numerous arguments as to why the debt ceiling should not be an issue at all. Some were valid. As part of the last go around on the debt ceiling there was an agreement to cut spending. The terms of that deal led to $2T of budget cuts. That being done,  there's no valid reason to dispute the matter. At least that is the position of Treasury.

Possibly, the Treasury's own mind-set will trip it up. It acts like it hasn't gotten the memo on what the debt ceiling issue means to most folks. Read what Eberly had to say about the consequences of failing to raise the ceiling:

 

 

Really Jan? I don’t think this is correct. Changes in the trajectory of the debt ceiling would most certainly have a significant effect on revenues, spending, the size of the deficit and the amount of outstanding debt.

I think the debt ceiling will be increased. It’s politically the wrong time for this fight. But in a year from now the gloves will come off. They have to. At some point the Administration will have a tough fight on their hands, and it won't win any arguments pretending that the size of the debt does not directly impact spending. That’s exactly what this debate is all about.



.
.
The Shitty 30


Citizens for Tax Justice has a report out on one of my hot-button topics. Corporate taxes. They produced a list called the Dirty Thirty. The time span covered 2008 – 2010. The results compare 30 companies' actual tax rates and how much they paid to lobbyists. The list:

I don’t think these companies are actually cheating on their taxes. But they are cheating the American public. They are allowed to avoid paying taxes (and getting monstrous refunds to boot) because of the tax code. The problem is that the same folks who run these companies are also creating the tax laws that they greatly benefit from.

The best proof of that is #2 on the list. GE has a negative tax rate of 45% on over $10b of domestic income. Shameful. Yet the boss at GE, Jeff Immelt, is best buds and a senior adviser to the President. Shameful.

 

Not that long ago Bank of America got hit with a shovel from its customers after it tried to jack up fees. BAC was on the nightly news and the blogs. It folded under the pressure. The CEO of BAC (what’s his name) acknowledged today that it was the backlash from consumers that forced the change in policy.

 

It worked perfectly with BAC. Public outrage and customers closing their accounts forced good old what’s-his-name to change direction. I wish it was as easy with the likes of GE. BAC was stealing nickels and dimes. GE is in it for the billions.

.

.


Dead End in Health Care?

An interesting report from the CBO today examines various efforts to contain the costs of delivering healthcare. The report reviews 34 separate programs over a twenty-year period.

The conclusion after this multi-decade, multi-billion dollar effort?

 

The evaluations show that most programs have not reduced Medicare spending

In nearly every program involving disease management and care coordination, spending was either unchanged or increased relative to the spending that would have occurred in the absence of the program

It wouldn’t be fair to blame the caregivers or the administrators for the failures. The patients were suffering from chronic heart/lung diseases and diabetes. There are no “cheap” alternatives in treating these conditions.

The cost of healthcare in general, and Medicare in particular, will eventually sink the country. I don’t see any disagreement on that conclusion.

We will hear plenty on this topic over the next 10 months. Both Reds and Blues will claim that waste and inefficiency are the problem. That “They” have a plan to contain the costs and make the problems go away. Don’t listen to them. The CBO says so.

We need a Plan B. It will not be a very pleasant discussion at all.

 

 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Sun, 01/22/2012 - 22:00 | Link to Comment arg
arg's picture

Gabrielle pomegranate diet pills Giffords, who survived slim pomegranate a gunshot wound to the super slim head a year ago, said super slim diet pills Sunday she would step down super slim green lean body capsule from Congress this week, setting super slim pills off a political scramble in Arizona super slim pomegranate to fill her seat. In a super slim pomegranate diet pills video released on YouTube, the super slim pomegranate pills Democratic congresswoman said she would super slim pomegranate weight loss capsule resign because she had more work to do on her recovery.

Sun, 01/22/2012 - 22:00 | Link to Comment arg
arg's picture

Gabrielle pomegranate diet pills Giffords, who survived slim pomegranate a gunshot wound to the super slim head a year ago, said super slim diet pills Sunday she would step down super slim green lean body capsule from Congress this week, setting super slim pills off a political scramble in Arizona super slim pomegranate to fill her seat. In a super slim pomegranate diet pills video released on YouTube, the super slim pomegranate pills Democratic congresswoman said she would super slim pomegranate weight loss capsule resign because she had more work to do on her recovery.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 20:56 | Link to Comment ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

Everywhere I look I see health care providers saying "We'll fix this with a pill or a ridiculously unnecessary medical procedure!", but none of the patients grasp the adage "prevention is better than the cure". I completely understand that some people NEED these medical treatments because they're unable to prevent their issues, and I also understand that corporate entities in all their forms run businesses that are not in the best interest of the consumer (from fast food manufacturers, to car companies telling you that riding a bike sucks, through to health care companies who want your money, but won't pay on a claim), but if people just tried to stay healthy and active, like we had been less than a century ago, we'd probably be better off.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 14:47 | Link to Comment Orly
Orly's picture

The real deal regarding healthcare in the United States is that the government has for many years- decades, in fact- been cavorting in the system to favour their corporate buddies.  Sound familiar?  It does all tie in together with the dirty thirty and the idea that government-sanctioned corporatism, cronyism (as in the "extended" family of corporate greedsters...) and tax-coded favouritism heighten the playing field for the chosen few.

For example, it is now written into law that in order to receive Medicare reimbursements for an MRI to be performed that the clinic or dispensing establishment, such as a hospital, have "qualified" personnel performing the exam.  So the technologist performing the scan must have a certification in Magnetic Resonance Imaging from a "qualified" (read: government-approved...) body, otherwise no money is paid.  If they catch you doing it without said qualified personnel, they will basically fine you until you shut your clinic down.

"Fine," you say.  "Just go out and get the qualified personnel."  Well, there are not that many registered techs in the world, relative to how many "unqualified" technologists are performing exams now.  What happens?  The more centralised locations with the lowest overhead per patient (i.e., hospitals...) are able to recruit more technologists because they can pay more relative to the mom-and-pop shop at the edge of town- where you happen to live, by the way.  Suddenly, clinics are unable to pay technologists, so they are unable to perform exams, so they eventually roll down the government-sanctioned hill.  Not only will you pay more for your test (at least 30% more than a free-standing clinic...) but you'll also wait two hours past your appointment time and be met by an overworked and overwhelmed tech who couldn't possibly care less about your problems.

Welcome to the VA Hospital, America.  Trust me.  You don't want to go there.

This is just a small example of how the government is using the laws they write on our behalf  to allow their cronies to take over a giant- and growing- portion of our national liabilities.  But they're slick this time.  They are using the buying power of Medicare and the veiled bookkeeping of the insurance companies to go through the back door and take over without your even realising it.  What is your deductible again?  How much did you pay for that colonoscopy, Mr. Birdwell?  Are you sure about that?

But wait!  Ooops.  You didn't go where we told you to go.  You didn't pay with the method (United Healthcare or Aetna, for examples...) that we told you to pay with.  Claim: DENIED.  Looks like you owe us $4,283.15, Mr. B.  Sucks to be you, don't it?

The initial attempt by some enterprising young capitalists (think HCA, the Hospital Corporation of America and Bill Frist, ca. 1990...) basically got them gobbled up and shared off.  The echo-boom has arrived.  Megafied, interstate hospital systems, fully supported by your government, are on the way.

It's gonna suck.

________________________________________-

I regard to the precious Euro, epsecially versus the US Dollar, the charts are finally calming down enough that they are forming more recognisable patterns.  I'm glad about that.  :D  It seems that even what would be considered huge shocks, like the downgrade of France (no, not Joe's Crab Shack...frikkin' France...), have had less and less of a corresponding impact on the forex market.  Traders are getting used to the idea that entire economies are being downgraded en masse.  That's good.  It takes a lot of the "surprise" out of technical analysis.

That having been said, it appears that the EURUSD pair is forming a short, sharp cup with handle formation on the daily charts.  It has characteristics of being a "last stand" ditty for the Euro.  Somebody, somewhere is trying to apply the air-brakes.  It may work.  It may not.

The completion of the back of the cup should occur at ~ the 1.30830-level.  A break and hold above that level on the daily charts would signify a huge breakout to the upside for the Euro...some 500-pips worth.

But, I don't see that happening.  Expect a tight resistance level at the back of the cup and enough to make an upside break very unlikely.  Once a re-test of ~ the 1.25238-level has been smashed, the next downside target would be around 1.19...about 2000-pips.

Sweet!

Best of luck to all you traders out there.

Bruce- as always- thanks for sharing.  You're the bestestest.

:D

P.S.  This next time, buy puts and sell calls.  That'll teach their asses!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

So Dr Eberly says the debt has no effect. Must be a highly qualified doctor.

Or maybe Gummint don't pay no interest on their borrowings.

Maybe they stick the interest in another column, and have never figured out it adds to the total (in which case all $16 trillion is interest ...!?!)

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:16 | Link to Comment Diamond Jim
Diamond Jim's picture

sorry Bruce, couldn't disagree more on raising the debt limit. The time is now, we are at a cross roads. If we wait until 2013 and Prez Owe is in office, it will never happen, he will feel like he has a mandate to spend and ride rough shod over Congress. No more 10 years plans that will later be thrown out by a different Congress off in the future. Draw a line in the sand now, it will be an election problem...people can then choose between limited government and Big Brother/ Euro socilalism. If america chooses the latter, it  makes it that much easier for me to disappear in central Colorado and live off the grid and independently.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:53 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

I said that it would go through this time because of the fallout that happened last summer.

I wasn't taking sides, just hazarding a guess on how this might play out. I think the opposition out there is just about votes. For now.

I've been wrong/surprised a bunch of times before. The problem is that DC doesn't always do the rational/predictable thing. We shall see.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:47 | Link to Comment gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

To increase the "rage" factor of this table, it would have been nice to add columns for CEO compensation, P/E, cash on balance sheet, and campaign contributions.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:59 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

Good point. I'll send this along to the folks at Citizens for Tax Justice. 

BTW H/T CTJ

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:34 | Link to Comment DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

Note how many on this list are power companies with at least local monopolies.  As a guy who lives off the grid I notice things like that - and the reason I'm off the grid isn't to be green - it's because I hate the power those companies exert over one's life.

Here, whenever there's a law that says they have to buy power from you - suddenly they claim electricity is nearly free - and bill it that way - it's all for the wires and system costs and taxes.  So people put in Jacuzzis and so on.  Then as soon as their lobbying efforts pay off, suddenly they don't have to pay for electricity but now it's expensive and the wires are free - so both people like me, and those who fell for the Jacuzzis on sale are hosed.  Again.  Been around this circle 3 times now since about '80 where I live.

Must be nice to have a guaranteed monopoly, a a guaranteed profit via the state corp commision, and then still get the best laws money can buy.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:52 | Link to Comment rlouis
rlouis's picture

PG&E - pretty close to the top of the list, is a company which managed to burndown a whole neighborhood not too long ago becasue of negligent maintenance, for which they had been charging the customers but not doing the maintenance (!).  They have been heavily advertising their on-line real-time energy useage program.

According to an article in the local paper yesterday, on page 3 of the 4 page 'terms of service' agreement is a clause in which users agree to accept the sum of $500 total as damages against PG&E under any theory of liability.  In other words, if PG&E blows up or burns down someone's house who had agreed to the terms of service agreement, $500 would be the most they could get from PG&E.

 

 

 

 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:31 | Link to Comment ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

What will happen a year from now "when the gloves come off" is Obama will come out with some BS 10-year plan that shaves $3 trillion on the debt based on rose-colored-glasses assumptions and will be back-loaded so all the cuts occur at the end of the 10-year period. Republicans will wail and gnash their teeth but in the end vote for it. In other words, same old same old.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:27 | Link to Comment Dan Conway
Dan Conway's picture

Looks like sheer incompetence at FedEx.  They actually paid some taxes and spent a lot on lobbying.  By the way, they are paying less than 15% - where is the rage?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:51 | Link to Comment Burgess Shale
Burgess Shale's picture

Even if the Dirty 30 paid 40% tax during those 3 years (roughly $65 billion), the federal deficit during those years was around 3 trillion, so it really would not have made much difference. 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:41 | Link to Comment b_thunder
b_thunder's picture

There's a very easy Plan B:  Bust up pharma/hmo/doctor monopoly!   We have to bring CAPITALISM and COMPETITION to this corrupt, monopolized industry.

Import the doctors from abroad practice here, but fix the rates that they charge @30% what "our" doctors charge.  The need for billing overhead will decrease, so in real terms they will be getting approx 50% of what "our" docs earn.  Still, it'll be many times more than what they get in other countries.  And reimport drugs and medical equipment too.  Of course there's a mega-lobby that will fight against it, but let's call spade a spade: the entire medical/pharma complex is a cartel that holds gun to your had:  wanan live?  give me your wallet! 

It's time to put them in their proper place!

 

 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:09 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Organize a boycott, yo.  That'll show 'em.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:48 | Link to Comment zero intelligence
zero intelligence's picture

Waste and inefficiency are the problem. Singapore and Hong Kong both provide national health care, regarded as better than U.S. healthcare by the WHO, for 3% of GDP. The U.S. government spends more than 7% right now, without full coverage. We're spending twice the cost of a national healthcare system, but aren't getting the product. Another 10% of GDP is spent by the U.S. private sector.

The system will have to be rebuilt from scratch.

 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:37 | Link to Comment ElvisDog
ElvisDog's picture

And how much of the Medicare budget is lost to fraud and price-gouging? I hear a lot of horror stories, so I have to assume it's a lot.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:09 | Link to Comment whatsinaname
whatsinaname's picture

So are we seeing the effects of the boomer retiree surge on the healthcare spending bills yet ? Or is that a ways away ? I figure as more folks get older they will need more expensive surgeries, treatments & medications ?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:46 | Link to Comment HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

Wait wait wait wait...Treasury has "fans"? Maybe they come from the Dirty Thirty list....

It sure makes it a lot easier to pay your lobbyists when you have a negative tax rate...that's what I'm told at least.

 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:37 | Link to Comment Greenhead
Greenhead's picture

The FED won't keep interest rates this low forever.  As debt increases and rates increase the burden on the economy will have consequences.  We will either use real tax dollars to pay interest or the Treasury and FED will continue to rollover and increase the size of our debt putting more ponzidollars in the system.  Austerity will suck, look at Greece and some of the other European countries.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:32 | Link to Comment raygun
raygun's picture

My favorite Zero Hedge author. 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:29 | Link to Comment Joe Davola
Joe Davola's picture

What are "Tax Subsidies"?  Although I don't agree with the premise, Wells is subsidized because we can't let banks fail?!?!?  But what is up with the $12B Verizon rakes in?  They nickel and dime customers (of whom I'm one) just as bad as BAC.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:25 | Link to Comment Judge Arrow
Judge Arrow's picture

Treasury Man - a blob of protoplasm in a slimy petri dish of govt.

Plan B for Healthcare -  the fairy tale without end does end in < 5 yrs

Corporate Dirty Boys - what gets airborne when the lid gets lifted from the slimy petri dish of govt.

A revolution by ballot, or by force, but it is coming - scattered for now, but when the financial house of cards fails - there will be blood

Bailiff, drinks all around.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:58 | Link to Comment disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

The big bucks are handed out cuz "plan Outsource" is everywhere and always in full swing. Has there been a single good job created in over a decade? Obviously not. And of course GE's stock price reflects what a total moron the GE management team is for pursuing "con gusto" such unsaved policies. The only surprise is "Plan Insolvency" has failed thanks to Ben Bernanke. We'll see if blowing up Iran's economy and restarting the war and adding to it has the desired effect. Have no fear of the rhetoric tho! SPOT PHUCKING ON assholes!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:31 | Link to Comment covert
covert's picture

1 bad event is bad luck,
2 or more bad events are a conincidents
3 or more bad events are a conspiracy
http://expose2.wordpress.com

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:52 | Link to Comment eugene12
eugene12's picture

I agree on health care.  My question is why is military the great sacred cow and, virtually, never talked about.  On and off balance sheet military spending is running well over a trillion a yr which is a massive share of our annual budget.  I understand it is an enormous segment of our GDP and creates one helluva lot of very high paying jobs with fat salaries/benefits which makes it a very difficult subject to talk about.  The reality is, it has to be talked about some day.  I, also, know the discussion will not happen until all benefits to everyone else are long gone.  After all those super sonic jets, massive aircraft carriers, armies marching off to war with banners flying, huge explosions of "perfectly" accurate missiles and, last but not least, those wonderful drones make wonderful TV and stoke the patriotic pride of every true blooded American. 

But it would be nice to see some balance in the "balance the budget" rants. 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:07 | Link to Comment lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

As a physician of 40 years I'd say be careful what you wish for. Those FMGs (foriegn medical grads) can be quite good but there is a fair bit of importance in the cultural and ethical bias of the physician. And language can make a difference too. No doubt things could be more efficient but I'd think this one through one more time.

 

this is a response to b thunder...it got put up here his comment in below

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:15 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Personally, I've been bitching about spending so much on the military for decades. 

Just to play devil's advocate, though, let's get real: the USA fields the most aggressive and interventionist military in the world.  We have been fucking someone up somewhere on the planet for virtually EVERY SINGLE YEAR I have been alive.

That is expensive.

I think if you want to get to the point where we can have a conversation about military spending, we have to start with an honest discussion of US foreign policy. 

Most Americans probably couldn't handle that discussion, so we just don't have it.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:27 | Link to Comment sensei
sensei's picture

I agree that military spending is out of control.  The fact remains that if we completely eliminated the military and every other federal program except Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security we still would be running deficits.  We can still cut the military drastically, but national defense is one of the only valid reasons for having a "nation" in the first place.  

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:21 | Link to Comment Eugend66
Eugend66's picture

Hmmm ....

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:30 | Link to Comment 847328_3527
847328_3527's picture

Bruce, Is it true Wall Street is handing out bonuses in the form of a “special” trip this year instead of the usual boring money…a nice holiday cruise instead to all their top executives?

 

http://titanicmemorialcruise.co.uk/

 

 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:12 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

I don't know, but I wouldn't doubt it.

There was one bad year at Citi many years ago when the bonus pool was cut. It was mostly lower level people who got nothing. But these same people were the oil that kept things running (about 20 were working for me). So I bitched that the folks who worked hard, got dick's hatband.

I had an expense account that was not questioned much. So I bought "things" for the people I thought deserved something. Trips, meals, shows and the like all slipped through the system.

But one older lady, her name was Mae, was only interested in new slipcovers for her couch. So I expensed that. That did not make it through. It bounced at the controllers office. I damn near got fired.

So yeah, there is some stuff going on. But it's not such a big deal. Slipcovers and such...

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:46 | Link to Comment flattrader
flattrader's picture

Bruce,

The Dirty/Shitty 30 only include public companies.  There are huge non-public corps that don't appear.  Koch Industries for example.

It's often hard to get a handle on their numbers.

Occasionally, glimpses are available--

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?id=D000000186

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:49 | Link to Comment Stax Edwards
Stax Edwards's picture

I am with you on Plan B Bruce.  The problem has been identified, people are starting to wake up.  We need some Statesmen who will stand up and volunteer for the challenge.  We need tofigure out how to get a megaphone in a system all too resistant to speaking the truth.  I personally don't think we are going to get there under the red or blue teams, the corruption is entrenched into the source code at this point.  I am of somewhat modest resources but would certainly volunteer time to an effort to root out this corruption and return the country to the citizens.

BTW Bruce, What do you think about Americanselect.org ?  I think from a broad overview they are on the right track, however, I know very little about the backers or if their motives are above board, etc. 

Does anyone know what the backers are all about and if the process is legitimate and transparent?  If it is what it claims to be, this may be the first step out of this morass.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:26 | Link to Comment nickt1y
nickt1y's picture

A tax on the corporations is a tax on the consumers. They just pass the tax along as a cost of production. It may feel good to stick it to them, but it will come back and stick us in the wallet. If not for government these Mega corporations would not exist. Gummint contracts, gummint regulations to protect them from competition, tax beaks the list goes on and on.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:13 | Link to Comment pvzh
pvzh's picture

But currently, they are not taxed at all! Look at the table! Taxes paid are much smaller then subsidies received. NONE has paid net tax (tax - subsidy).

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:00 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yeah, but most of the companies are energy/telecom.

Those two industries have been victims and beneficiaries of HUGE government intervention for at least a hundred years.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to pretend this specific example of idiocy is representative.  A factory that manufactures shower sandals doesn't have to deal with 15,000 pages of fair competition and price-stability legislation.

Just to pick one--Verizon owns the majority of the actual physical telecom infrastructure in the Northeast.  They are required by law to permit their competition to use that infrastructure at a fair price. 

Who the fuck knows what kind of nonsense is going on in the transactions between Verizon and AT&T?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:26 | Link to Comment Da55id
Da55id's picture

Opinions please...what would happen to the economy if all disease and aging were cured?

After thousands of years, famine began to be cured with the invention of food preservation in 1811(ish). So, huge changes can and do happen...

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:09 | Link to Comment Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

Hey you Yankees, look at what is happening in Canada. The Harper Government is  cutting back all Federal spending by 10% and doing so without the drama. ( sarc on ) Can't you guys get your poop together and start running your Country the way it should be run?   (Sarc off ) I know you are having troubles but maybe you do need to get back to basics like Ron Paul suggests....

 

Long the Loonie!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:09 | Link to Comment pvzh
pvzh's picture

But Canada is a monarchy! So, Harper has to worry does he run the country properly? Unlike the voters with attention span of 5 min, monarch is very much interested how the country is run and can actually do very damaging things if the country is not run to the satisfaction of the royal.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:24 | Link to Comment Bindar Dundat
Bindar Dundat's picture

Well actually it is a Parliamentary Democracy !  What Harper does have is a majority Government , which in our system means that on key issues it is more like a benevolent dictatorship.   He more or less calls the political shots; with our courts and police systems working within the laws and able to defeat or overturn Government actions that are not  Constitutional.  The key though is we get action and it is clear action. 

If we do not like where he is heading in 4-5 years we elect another party to run our affairs.  Just another point-- we won the war of 1812 and you got a shiny new White house to prove it.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:54 | Link to Comment KMS
KMS's picture

Cure aging? Know where the fountain of youth is? Can't beat the clock.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:44 | Link to Comment gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

The major causes of aging are becoming well understood, the biochemistry and genetics of the issues are suggesting approaches to interventions, and breakthroughs are cascading on eachother as bioscience is being transformed into an information science.  Keep up with advances at methuselahfoundation.org .

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:16 | Link to Comment Irelevant
Irelevant's picture

This is about GDP growth. You have to expand the currency supply in order to create the illusion of GDP growth. It`s not really the economy that is growing but the currency supply. Currency gets counted, placed on the books, voilà, you have a booming economy. It`s all smoke and mirrors. If all currency is debt, of course you need more debt in order to "generate" GDP growth. Exponential growth we must add. Therefor this will continue until it stops, I have no clue when that is going to be, probably when we will get a major disconnect between currency supply and resources/energy supply, at which point prices will start to go up and paper currency will become eventually worthless.

It must be noted that paper currency is not money, it`s, first of all, a unit of account. That is why it proved useful for trade, its easily divided and counted. However, without a gold standard .gov eventually prints the currency into oblivion. That is the only rule, history teaches us that.

The fact the people of the earth have been brainwashed into believing that a piece of paper, with some dead guys face on it, is a store of value, and can be trusted as such, is a incredible deed. Money is what people believe it is, so fiat currency works until it doesn`t, once you reach critical mass the illusion disappears very quickly. Those will be interesting times. Even more interesting will be seeing all the proud owners of paper gold with JP Morgan requesting delivery of the metal.

As a side note, per Harvey Organ:

The CME reported that we had zero notices filed so the number of delivery notices for the month remain
at 1081 for 108100 oz. To obtain what is left to be served upon, I take the OI standing for January (16) and subtract out today's deliveries (0) which leaves us with 1600 oz left to be served upon.

Thus the total number of gold oz standing in this delivery month is as follows:

108100 (oz served) + 1600 (oz to be served) = 109,700 oz or 3.412 tonnes of gold.

If we were to add the December delivery month with the two non delivery months of January and November
we have the following delivery notices filed in tonnes: 74.092 tonnes against a dealer inventory of 76.54 tonnes or 96.8% of available dealer gold.

So 96.8% is up for delivery, is that gold? Is that paper gold? What are they going to be delivering at the end of the year! Interesting times ahead folks.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!