Charting The WTF Economy

Tyler Durden's picture

America's WTF (certainly not to be confused with Winning The Future) economy summarized in one easy chart.

Conclusion: go long the WTF economy by shorting BAC which is a proud sponsor (courtesy of not having received one cash payment for hundreds of billions in inversely overwater mortgages) of the WTF spread.

h/t John Lohman

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FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

Retail sales, more lies... to be revised later. What was Q1 GDP revised to in the end...?

America = Fascism No 1.

Let the festering fascist stink hole crumble.

Popo's picture

Retail sales includes gasoline and cars.   The latter are bought almost entirely on credit.   The former is partially inelastic and a rise in the price per gallon results in a rise in retail sales.   Take those two elements out, and retail sales are down.


TruthInSunshine's picture

The Bernank says: "I can get growth by doubling or tripling the price of goods, because as distressed and increasingly unemployed/underemployed consumers cut back consumption by 15%, 25% or more, I'm still wringing out growth in expenditures."

This is highly sustainable, won't catch up with even large businesses in terms of margin compression (wait until consumption drops off the cliff), and carries with it no 'unvirtuous circle' boomerang (lined with a razor blade) affects.


The Bernank is smart, did well on standardized testing, went to Hahhhvad & MIT, got very good grades, taught at Princeton, studied the causes of Great Depression I (even as he now is sowing the seeds for Great Depression II) and will save the economy and world financial markets.



flacon's picture

Thanks. Not much difference in those charts. 

Cursive's picture


And don't forget that consumer spending is NOT adjusted for price canges, i.e. Inflation. Truly WTF.

JW n FL's picture

Uploaded by on Aug 12, 2011

Unveiling a new 6-Step pathway to free ourselves from the shackles of the national debt system.

11b40's picture

Excellent video, JW. 

I had never heard Bill Still, but this one of the clearest, best sumations of a very complicated subject that I have ever heard.  The fact that he also offers solutions and a pathway, all in about 5 minutes, is icing on the cake.  This video should go viral.

Cursive's picture


You never heard of Bill Still? Check out Google video of "The Money Masters" or his more recent "The Secret of Oz." Excellent works. Thanks, JW, for the link.

JW n FL's picture

I posted Bill Still here for the first time over a year ago..

I am glad he is begining to catch on..

common sense is not so common!

heres a new story! YOU! ALL WILL LOVE THIS ONE!!


Amidst a financial and economic crisis, Congress has reached its summer recess and many representatives are going to Israel.


Altogether, 81 Congressmen and women have announced their one-week trips, paid for by the American Israel Education Fund, a non-profit affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

gall batter's picture

I received an email from a friend who wanted people to call their Congressmen and women to find out if they are going to Israel.  She wanted all to let these "reps" KNOW that they should be staying here to listen to their constituents.  I wrote and told her that our Congress's constituents live in Israel.  

DeathCabfoKulaks's picture

We have to Kill the Kulaks at some point and Congress is going to get their marching orders.,7340,L-3342999,00.html

JW n FL's picture

AIPAC Sends 81 Members of the US Congress on Vacation!

1/5th of Congress! is going to Israel the Largest single recipient of US AID!!

Forr many years the American media said that “Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid” or that “Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid.” Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies—true lies.

Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that “Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid.” That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

Reese Bobby's picture

An equation even an anti-Semite like you might understand:

Islam = Satan.

Israel = #1 Islam enemy.

Satan = Enemy.

#1 Satan Enemy = Friend.

Israel = Friend.


If you lived in a country the size of New Jersey with your back to the sea and surrounded by unwitting Satanists dedicated to your "elimination" would you be as patient and measured as Israel?  I think not.


Not Jewish.  Not Imperialist.  Just Reese Bobby.

Reese Bobby's picture

Life becomes clearer once you understand pure evil, e.g. Satan.  Until then you are a little happy sissy boy, but I can't hope you live your whole life that way because you will end up lost.  Good Journey.  God Bless.

tip e. canoe's picture

life became clearer for me once i realized i was lost, for that is the day i truly noticed the bees and the trees, but that's me.  we all have our own journeys, yes?   please accept my apologies for trampling on yours in the quest for a cheap joke.   godspeed to you as well friend.

11b40's picture

Thanks for the other video suggestions, Cursive. 

Just to be clear, I have heard "of" Bill Still, just never bothered to watch one of his videos.  Finding the time to skim through ZH is difficult; chasing auxillary links is something I rarely do.  This one was very well worth the few minutes invested.  He delivers his message with such clarity that the average Joe can start to get it.

Jimmy Carter was right's picture

The thing I don't get with Bill Still is he says that when the Banksters shout for the return to the gold standard, that is the time they mean to take total control.  While people like Ron Paul want a gold standard to prevent total control.  Which is it?  Like most people here I'm into PM's.  Can anyone dissect the gold standard/Bill Still/ Ron Paul positions?  (I'm on my 3rd beer)

Cursive's picture

@Jimmy Carter was right


You can boil Bill Still's position down to this simple maxim, "Whoever controls the money supply controls the economy (and by extension, the government and the people)."  As we've seen since the creation of the FRB in 1913, prosperity is not dependent on what backs a currency, but on the quantity of that currency.  So, it could be anything, including debt, that backs a currency.  A common mistake made on this site and other sites is that the FRN is fiat.  If it were only so.  Fiat (or nothing) would be preferable to debt, for debt-backed money tends to create a nation of debt slaves.  The most recent example of a true fiat currency was the Greenback issued by the U.S. during the War Betweeen the States.

The main problem with FRN's is that the quantity is exclusively controlled by the FRB, i.e. a group of unelected, unaccountable private bankers who are thereby allowed to control the global economy.  The main problem with gold is that it is a limited resource and the vast majority of it is not held by private individuals, thus making it easy to manipulate the gold price, which would cause many of the same problems that we encounter with debt backed money.  I agree with Bill Still about the ability to manipulate gold prices, but there are clearly problems with a strictly fiat currency controlled by a government body (although still preferable to our current debt-backed FRN's).

The beauty of Ron Paul's position is that he advocates a dual standard or multi-standard where currencies are allowed to trade alongside each other and it would not be illegal to accept currency other than FRN's or for private individuals or institutions to issue their own currency.  So, under Ron Paul's way, a gold-backed currency would be one way to keep a fiat-based currency honest.  If the UST were printing to many fiatscos, consumers and investors could seek safety in the alternate gold-backed currency.  Conversely, a fiat-based currency controlled by elected representatives rather thanprivate bankers would give citizens more power over the money supply and, thus, the economy.  I know many will say that would be a nightmare, but I prefer my current existence to that of a medieval surf and I appreciate the freedoms I've reaped from historical movements for individual liberty.

MsCreant's picture

I have not heard the debt based vs. fiat argument. I will need to let that percolate for a bit, not sure I buy it. All currencies including gold are fiat if you take it far enough.


Edit: Still percolating. Debt backed = counterparty risk, WILL default eventually (printing or no pay). Gold, it is there or it is not, same with a basket of goods. What is fiat then? By decree, but we declare what we declare, is that dependent on what we claim backs it? Or is the difference "stuff" vs. "good faith?"

Cursive's picture



Haven't talked to you in awhile.  I hope things are good with the home and all.  First, any discussion of money is going to lead to problems with any "solution."  It's somewhat like the quote on Democracy - it sucks but it's the best alternative.  You are right, debt-backed money brings with it the responsibility to pay back.  More importantly, actually servicing the debt is nigh impossible without a major contraction in GDP and that doesn't even contemplate that we ever pay the principal down (thus, the Ponzi argument for our current predicament).  Fiat is different from debt-backed in that it is completely based on "good faith."

There are some examples of pure fiat, the Greenback being one of them and early American Continental Scrip another.  The Greenback allowed the U.S. to finance and win it's war against the CSA.  Hard money advocates revile both of these examples and I understand the argument against, but it is preferable to debt-backed currency.  Ron Paul's dual money or multi-money system would be a great check on potential abuses of fiat money.  I would just caution anyone who wants a pure return to a gold, silver or bi-metal backing to look at the major deflation that wreaked havoc on the agrarian and undeveloped parts of the U.S. (mainly everywhere except the Northeastern money centers) after the War Between the States.  That probelm eventually created the conditions for the creation of the Federal Reserve.

MsCreant's picture



The real problem is that we want a formula (democracy, a republic, gold backed, or basket, etc) and then we want to go on auto pilot. What is becoming abundantly clear is that we have all become so specialized in the knowledges that we each posess, that we are too overwhelmed too stay mindful of what is going on with the system itself. We trust auto pilot when we should not. The founding fathers were always, first and foremost, about vigilance.

Thanks for your answer, hope mine makes you feel like you communicated you point!!!

Cursive's picture


A tenet of the new fiat currency board would be to fix the growth of the current money supply to the population growth.  Population growth up 1%, money supply up 1%.  That would be a good standard, but we'd have to be vigilant to keep that standard.

11b40's picture

Are you drinking Billy Beer?  What time zone are you in?  I'm on second cup of coffee.

Cursive's picture


LOL.  Second cup here, too.  About to head out for the day.

cranky-old-geezer's picture

Bill Still advocades the very same thing Ron Paul and others advocate, getting rid of the Fed and their FRNs, going back to currency issued by the federal government.

Of course this will never happen.  The banking & Wall Street oligarchy won't allow it.

He advocates states controlling the money supply, giving Congress what the states feel Congress needs.

This will never happen.  The banking & Wall Street oligarchy won't allow it.

He advocates paying off the existing national debt by creating enough currency to pay it off.

This will never happen.  Same reason.  The banking & Wall Street oligarchy won't allow another currency besides FRNs.

It should be clear by now that no real solution(s) will be allowed.  The banking & Wall Street oligarchy won't give up any control.

The only solution is for America to collapse into anarchy where geogrphical regions throw off federal government control (seceede from the union).   Nothing short of that will work.

FEDbuster's picture

Reality is a bitch!

Hasten the Collapse, OBAMA 2012

JW n FL's picture

I think the republicans will fuck with social security and push austerity measures..

I am voting for them!

lets get the fires going!

 the sooner the fires start the sooner we can rebuild and get our country in order again!

Fuck the Banker Owners!

sun tzu's picture

Austerity is coming whether the republicans push for them or not. It's just a question of when. 

JW n FL's picture

continuing austerity for the Poor..

and then more Austerity for the Poor..

ALL THE WHILE! the Job Creators! get Trillions More Dollars that "We the People" back stop.

Corporate America will get Trillions from Red Team or Blue Team.. there is NO! Difference between the two, NONE!

The Lobby OWNS America! thats not true! the Lobby OWNS Washington DC!

The Lobby OWNS both the Red Team and the Blue Team!

Thusly! the Lobby Dollars, The Tax Breaks for the Rich (who already dont pay any fucking Taxes) and the Subsidies for the Rich! and EVERY Other kind of Corporate Welfare and Hand Out! that those blood sucking leeches can Dream Up! to help Their Lobby Pimps!


I want Republicans in!

I want more Tax Breaks for the Rich!

I want more Austerity for the Poor!

I want the Fires to get fucking burning! so we can throw these Bums Out!

Fuck Washington DC Lobby Whores!


JW n FL's picture


Lets Cut Grandma's Social Seciruty so that the Rich dont have to pay their fair share!

Fuckin Bring that shit on!!

Lets GO!



JW n FL's picture

and lets NOT Forget the Democrats had control of the House and the Senate and DID NOT DO A FUCKING THING! to Help Grandma!

Social Security is going to get cut!

What Wall Street wants! Wall Street gets!

It will not happen soon enough for me!

Slow Boil My ASS!

Zero Govt's picture

Cranky Old Geezer

"The only solution is for America to collapse into anarchy where geogrphical regions throw off federal government control (seceede from the union).   Nothing short of that will work."

I agree with you Mr Still doesn't 'get it' but neither do you. Replacing a national monopoly (US Govt) with State-by-State Govt is the same idiocy as Ron Paul and the Tea Parties solution: making Govt smaller

I suggest you look at local State Govt, and indeed Town Council Govt. They all display all the exact same problems as National Govt (over-spending, over-indebted, absolutely incompetent, riddled with parasites and extremist groups trying to ratchet their delusions over society and totally corrupt). That's because they are all monopolies (of authority).

Mr. Still also believes in the voting system, "democracy". But elections can be rigged because they are a monopoly authroity system. This authroity also defines the question to be voted on which can (will) be corrupted. And elections are also every 4 years or so. In a free market competition distributes power every day to society versus a monopoly market which hoards power for 4 years between elections.

And has Mr Still (or anyone!) got any evidence whatsoever people that vote make wise decisions? I think the proof is throughout every voting system in history the people who vote are deranged. The sane ones are the people that do not vote "because it doesn't change anything". They are absolutely right of course. Why would any ingratiated system (Depts like the Judiciary etc) allow people to change their system?

Society does not work by 'democracy' or majority vote. It works best when one or a handful of people have a bright idea, then fringe groups like it and pick it up and then the rest of the herd follows. That's has the new latest best thing developes in business, technology, engineering, science, music, fashion, you name it.

The majority of people just want to get on with their lives, not become 'experts' in money or science or the latest fashion. They prefer to follow others leads (risk takers on the edge of society) once it is proven a success. That's the way nature also works change and the way free (competitive) markets work best too

The problem with the world is problem solving. Govt (monopoly power) is no way to go about it. The 'Democracy' of mass voting is also no way to go about it.

So monoplising authority, including money, in society is a dumb failed idea. And majority voting systems are also a dumb failed idea.

But I offer a simple solution: Zero Govt. Bin the monoply authority of Govt and bin voting and bin the 1 solution Mr Still wants. Leave it to a free society with free (competitive) markets in money. Because what history shows is nobody has got 1 answer on anything, there is no '1 Right' answer. Human history (like nature) shows the only constant is change and Mr Still doesn't want change, he wants a new monopoly to to replace an old monopoly

But as you detail the powerbrokers and vested interests will not let this happen (more wishful thinking by Mr Still) throught he democratic voting process. So my solution is even more simple: Zero Tax.

'Vote' by Stop Paying Your Taxes ...that bypasses Govt and power systems and Govt will very quickly implode (take-down the monopoly system the parasites have control of). When Govt implodes all the monopolists very quickly run out of their money because their protection racket (Govt) is funded by your money

With Govt gone a free society and free markets will work their miracles, eat alive monopolists and big bankrupt banks, and come up with many solutions for money. All 'powerless' you need do is to Stop Paying Your Taxes. Pretty simple solution don't you agree? 

Absinthe Minded's picture

"Stop paying your taxes."

They lie about all other statistics, what's to keep them from lying about what our actual tax receipts are and just printing what they want? I believe the computer has ruined our society. Yeah, I know, why don't I throw mine in the trash. Think about it, since computers have come into existence everything has gone into overdrive. Stock markets, video games, news. The instant gratification crowd has never been more hungry for more. When you click on a link if it takes more than a second to load you're looking at the page saying WTF. Worst of all, it's allowed the creation of electronic money, voting systems, weapons systems, you name it. They can all be manipulated or hacked. If we, I should say when we have a major loss of life event, I would bet that it will have to do with a system being hacked rather than a natural disaster.

RockyRacoon's picture

A computer is merely a tool, not the spawn of the devil.  I can poke my eye out with a screwdriver but that's not its highest and best use.   I can do that with a stick... if that's my goal.

Absinthe Minded's picture

Yes, but a computer does things so much faster. Imagine that screwdriver in a giant sewing machine plunging in and out of your skull.

John_Coltrane's picture

The problem with your argument is I could say the same thing about the invention of the power drill, circular saw, or car to replace the horse etc.  These are simply tools to leverage human labor.  Would I rather access a database on my computer for my research or go to the library and find the right source book and photocopy the relevent pages, or download a .pdf or .tif file for immediate use?  I can find every research article in my field in a couple hours, for example.  Which is the better use of my time-drilling holes for my deck by hand or using my rechargable dril?  Well I voted with my wallet for the power drill years ago.

GFKjunior's picture

Excellent! Total elimination of the state should be the next step for humanity.

11b40's picture

I don't pretend to know what will work or what can or cannot happen, and try to steer clear of such big words as never, always, etc. 

I also understand the arguments for and against the FED, and good cases can be made by well intentioned people on both sides of the issue.

What is glaringly obvious is that what's happening now is not working very well, and there is no leadership on either side of the aisle seriously challenging the status quo.  This leads me to assume there won't be - until voters start demanding some very SPECIFIC changes.  Simply to call for or to offer up some vague concept of "change" is a fool's game.  In fact, it's come to the point where the word scares me, as most the changes I have seen for the past several decades have been negative ones.

The point I want to make regarding that little Bill Still video is that he lays it out in layman's terms.  It is the kind of thing you could show to your wife, brother, or friends and they might actually get it.  He may not have all the answers, but he does offer up some stimulating ideas to build upon. 

This article is about our WTF economy.  For every 100 people who watched this video, some factor of 'x' just might have their personal WTF moment.  It is only when there are enough people who have come to understand these basic concepts that any honest debate will be possible.  What Wall St. and the Oligarch's will or will not allow depends on what the people demand.  After all, the financial reforms put in place in the 30's served us well for about 50 years.....until they were repealed over the past 30 years.  Gradually at first, then the floodgates opened starting with the repeal of Glass-Stegall.



gall batter's picture

But Still says call your Congressman.  Call Congress.  Well, I have.  And I've signed peititions.  Nothing changes because I'm powerless.  I'm not a multinational corporation with a huge donation to offer as a bribe.  

RockyRacoon's picture

Unveiling a new 6-Step pathway to free ourselves from the shackles of the national debt system.

Yeah, give Congress the power to create this "legislative reform".  That's using the same system that created the mess to clean up the mess.   Sorry.   Try again.

Manthong's picture

"I can get growth by doubling or tripling the price of goods,"

Did he really say that?

Revolutions have happened for less offensive things.


A Lunatic's picture

This is nothing that a giant (thing really fucking big here) vat of Blue Bonnet Margarine can't fix.

JeffB's picture

"Did he really say that?"


If he did, I'm sure it was behind closed doors. Even he's not a big enough idiot to say that in public.