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Grantham Nails It: "The Industry So Much Prefers Bullishness...So Does The Press"

Tyler Durden's picture


In his most recent quarterly letter titled appropriately enough "The Longest Quarterly Letter Ever" GMO's Jeremy Grantham literally kills it. Well, maybe not literally but certainly metaphorically.

Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing cover to cover, but in the meantime here is a choice selection:

Believe in history. In investing Santayana is right: history repeats and repeats, and forget it at your peril. All bubbles break, all investment frenzies pass away. You absolutely must ignore the vested interests of the industry and the inevitable cheerleaders who will assure you that this time it’s a new high plateau or a permanently higher level of productivity, even if that view comes from the Federal Reserve itself. No. Make that, especially if it comes from there. The market is gloriously inefficient and wanders far from fair price but eventually, after breaking your heart and your patience (and, for professionals, those of their clients too), it will go back to fair value. Your task is to survive until that happens. 


Try to contain natural optimism. Optimism has probably been a positive survival characteristic. Our species is optimistic, and successful people are probably more optimistic than average. Some societies are also more optimistic than others: the U.S. and Australia are my two picks. I’m sure (but I’m glad I don’t have to prove it) that it has a lot to do with their economic success. The U.S. in particular encourages risk-taking: failed entrepreneurs are valued, not shunned. While 800 internet start-ups in the U.S. rather than Germany’s more modest 80 are likely to lose a lot more money, a few of those 800 turn out to be today’s Amazons and Facebooks. You don’t have to be better; the laws of averages will look after it for you. But optimism comes with a downside, especially for investors: optimists don’t like to hear bad news. Tell a European you think there’s a housing bubble and you’ll have a reasonable discussion. Tell an Australian and you’ll have World War III. Been there, done that! And in a real stock bubble like that of 2000, bearish news in the U.S. will be greeted like news of the bubonic plague; bearish professionals will be fired just to avoid the dissonance of hearing the bear case, and this is an example where the better the case is made, the more unpleasantness it will elicit. Here again it is easier for an individual to stay cool than it is for a professional who is surrounded by hot news all day long (and sometimes irate clients too). Not easy, but easier.


Resist the crowd: cherish numbers only. We can agree that in real life as opposed to theoretical life, this is the hardest advice to take: the enthusiasm of a crowd is hard to resist. Watching neighbors get rich at the end of a bubble while you sit it out patiently is pure torture. The best way to resist is to do your own simple measurements of value, or find a reliable source (and check their calculations from time to time). Then hero-worship the numbers and try to ignore everything else. Ignore especially short-term news: the ebb and flow of economic and political news is irrelevant. Stock values are based on their entire future value of dividends and earnings going out many decades into the future. Shorter-term economic dips have no appreciable long-term effect on individual companies, let alone the broad asset classes that you should concentrate on. Leave those complexities to the professionals, who will on average lose money trying to decipher them


If you can be patient and ignore the crowd, you will likely win. But to imagine you can, and to then adopt a flawed approach that allows you to be seduced or intimidated by the crowd into jumping in late or getting out early is to guarantee a pure disaster. You must know your pain and patience thresholds accurately and not play over your head. If you cannot resist temptation, you absolutely MUST NOT manage your own money. There are no Investors Anonymous meetings to attend.


On the other hand, if you have patience, a decent pain threshold, an ability to withstand herd mentality, perhaps one credit of college level math, and a reputation for common sense, then go for it. In my opinion, you hold enough cards and will beat most professionals (which is sadly, but realistically, a relatively modest hurdle) and may even do very well indeed.


the current U.S. capitalist system appears to contain some potentially fatal flaws. Therefore, we should ask what it would take for our system to evolve in time to save our bacon. Clearly, a better balance with regulations would be a help. This requires reasonably enlightened regulations, which are unlikely to be produced until big money’s influence in Congress, and particularly in elections, decreases. This would necessitate legal changes all the way up to the Supreme Court. It’s a long haul, but a handful of other democratic countries in northern Europe have been successful, and with the stakes so high we have little alternative but to change our ways.


Karl Marx went on and on about the tendency of capitalism to so fixate on growth that in time it would forget the need to put on a friendly face for society and would drive home too clearly and brutally its advantage over labor. Ironically, in some way he and Engels looked forward to globalization and the supranational company because they argued it would make capitalism even more powerful, over reaching, and eventually reckless. It would, they claimed, offer the capitalists more rope to hang themselves with or, rather, to be hung with, in the workers’ revolution. The rope for the job, they suggested with black humor, would be bought from briskly competing capitalists, eager till the end for a good deal. Well, time marches on and it’s going to be hard to have a workers’ revolution with no workers. Organizing robotic machine tools will not be easy. However, Marx and Engels certainly got the part right about globalization and the supranational company increasing the power of capital at the expense of labor. To interfere with Marx’s apocalyptic vision, we need some enlightened governmental moderation of the new globalized Juggernaut (even slightly enlightened would be encouraging) before capitalism gets so cocky that we have some serious social reaction.


Capitalism, by ignoring the finite nature of resources and by neglecting the long-term well-being of the planet and its potentially crucial biodiversity, threatens our existence. Fifty and one-hundred-year horizons are important despite the “tyranny of the discount rate,” and grandchildren do have value. My conclusion is that capitalism does admittedly do a thousand things better than other systems: it only currently fails in two or three. Unfortunately for us all, even a single one of these failings may bring capitalism down and us with it.


the S&P 500 is materially overpriced, with an imputed return on our 7-year forecast of about 1% real, and because the high quality quarter of the S&P is priced to deliver 5.5% real (about a fair return), the 75% balance of the S&P has a slightly negative return. The rest of the world’s equities were (when I sat down to write this in January) on average slightly cheap at close to 7% real, so that non U.S. equities plus U.S. quality stocks offered a slightly higher average return than normal (a normal mix is about 6.1% real). (Today, after a dazzling rally, the forecast for the same global equity mix has dropped by 1.1%, to very slightly expensive.)


The 800-pound gorilla (the one that prefers bond holders to bamboo) is not in the room yet, but you can hear him thumping his chest up in the hills. He will come eventually, and before he does, you should remember that stocks are underrated inflation hedges. The underlying corporations have real assets, employ real people, and sometime even make real things, although a good idea embedded in a small thing (like an iPad) or a service is just as good. Equities have been tested over and over again in different places and in different decades and they have always been found to be very effective hedges. Serious resources – oil and copper in the ground and forestry and farmland – will almost certainly also be good and very probably much better than broad stocks in the short run. Gold may be good too.... But for stocks to work dependably as inflation hedges one has to have a several-year time horizon: in the short term, rising inflation can hurt stocks badly, for as mentioned last quarter, inflation is usually a powerful negative behavioral input. Investors hate jumps in inflation because they sharply raise the levels of uncertainty.


When I read the 120 contradictory bits of advice in the Financial Times alone, I find myself asking the question: who is an expert? To the extent that anyone has profitably specialized in this type of problem, I suppose it is George Soros. There are also, in my opinion, one or two investment management groups that seem to talk sense (which groups will go nameless for weasely competitive reasons). This is the problem: these probable experts are much more worried than the general market. This fact is giving rise to a new, tentative but definitely uncomfortable theory: perhaps the default assumption when dealing with ignorance or lack of confidence and skill is to assume everything will muddle through okay. Certainly we were amazed by this attitude generally displayed by the world (and most competitors) in the build-up to the 2000 and 2008 bubbles. Now we at GMO are calmly sitting around playing equities by the numbers, which are not too bad, and the market in general seems quite relaxed, while those few who look like experts on this crisis are pulling out their hair in fright. As I said, this is just a theory. But it is scary.

... and the punchline ....

The U.S. market was terrible for the last 10 years, gaining a pathetic 0.5% per year overall, after inflation adjustments and even including dividends. Without dividends, the index itself has not gone up a penny in real terms from mid-1997 to end-2011, or 14½ years. This is getting to be a long time! Are we expected to be bullish out of patriotism? You might think so given the flood of optimistic views for the last 10 years (or is it 100?). The industry so much prefers bullishness. It is much, much better for business. So, in general, does the press, and I do sympathize – optimism really does make for more compelling reading. I’ll tell you what. Try taking it out on the army of well-known bulls who blew the trumpets in 1999 and 2007 and waved everyone into the rather bloody breach. (Did you know that trumpeters were killed out of hand in the Middle Ages because of their pernicious role? How about that for a precedent when we get to the next burst bubble?)

Alas, now it's different.

Full letter (pdf)



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Fri, 02/24/2012 - 22:53 | 2194824 Cursive
Cursive's picture

The U.S. in particular encourages risk-taking: failed entrepreneurs are valued, not shunned. While 800 internet start-ups in the U.S. rather than Germany’s more modest 80 are likely to lose a lot more money, a few of those 800 turn out to be today’s Amazons and Facebooks.


This thinking is why is a new internet juggernaut, right?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:12 | 2194883 Hansel
Hansel's picture

Salesforce lost $11.5 million last year.  They only plan on losing $70 million this year.  Why wouldn't the company be worth $19.5 billion?  Right?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:35 | 2195086 Cursive
Cursive's picture


TM P/E of 9,576x is just screaming, "Get in on the ground floor.  Buy me!"

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:31 | 2195168 Hansel
Hansel's picture

There is no ttm P/E anymore.  With yesterday's report, ttm earnings is $-0.09.  Negative P/E now, whatever that means.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 03:25 | 2195256 A L I E N
A L I E N's picture

Was the intro even written by a real TD?  We currently have nothing close to capitalism.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Grantham was blaming successful capitalist for many of the current problems.  That is so far from reality how can ZH say he killed it?

Perhaps some need a refresher:


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:32 | 2195422 strannick
strannick's picture

I think the market realizes that stocks are not any less risky than government bonds, so go Dow go!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:10 | 2195449 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

'...You absolutely must ignore the vested interests of the industry and the inevitable cheerleaders who will assure you that this time it’s a new high plateau or a permanently higher level of productivity, even if that view comes from the Federal Reserve itself. No. Make that, especially if it comes from there. The market is gloriously inefficient and wanders far from fair price' - Don't you just love this.

There was once a time when fund managers actually needed some skill, when they spent valuable funds (and effort) on trying to procure information ahead of the rest of the market in specialist areas, once. But that was before all information came from the Fed or some other central bank. Easy money. When that happened even those that tried real research were undercut by those other fund managers who simply accepted Fed data as real, Now every fund manager accepts Fed info because they have to, because even if they don't want to they have to charge their fees and cut research to save costs and be competitive with other fund managers.

Now all we have IS Fed data. There is no other source of information but the bullshit spoon fed to us all be people who take our fees under the guise of real research yet spew forth the same shit, and lose the same sums as everyone else. Now the only way they can get ahead is to use what funds they have to buy inside info and hope they can squeeze a few hours, days or even milliseconds to front run and basically defraud those who would pay them for their 'specialist' knowledge.

The whole system fuckin stinks, and the sooner it's gone and I can put my own money to good use without some half-whit cretin with a super computer front running my trades the better. Until then I keep my gold and the world gets to go screw itself.


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:30 | 2195617 rlouis
rlouis's picture

The answer to the credibility gap (gulf/canyon) is reconciled quite easily by answering the question; Why do liars lie? Because they're liars, that's what they do. 

Tue, 02/28/2012 - 06:17 | 2203093 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

nicely put/called Harlequin

the Feds 'Goldilocks economy' is a fuking zombie bitch.. they're making zombies of us all but this'll end 100% guaranteed in a graveyard

..but as you say there's always Gold, although the Fed/fraud cartels are stiffing that market too and how long before the sucker-of-all-life, the US Govt, sticks its jack-boots in that last resting place?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:35 | 2195525 algol_dog
algol_dog's picture

Nice oversight and excellent insights by Peter Schiff ...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:26 | 2195163 caerus
caerus's picture

“hope in reality is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man"

nietzsche had it figured out

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:36 | 2195425 strannick
strannick's picture

thats why I spend my days pulling lint from my bellybutton

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:33 | 2195477 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Nietzsche : awesome critic of enlightenment and age of reason, believer in decadence and spiritual revival by resuscitating mythical supermen heroes. 

Easy to be critical, more difficult to construct a way out; unless you be of school that man is and stays his own fool. Sisyphus.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 05:21 | 2195299 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, they are practically profitable, which is more than Amazon could say in its early days, so they should be worth $100b.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:47 | 2195182 Michael
Michael's picture

The power of positive thinking is bullshit. Causes more trouble than it's worth.


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:40 | 2195232 Michael
Michael's picture

All Bills coming out of the US Legislature should be required to have a price tag for the Taxpayers on how much it's going to cost them.

A breakdown on how the money involved is being shifted around would be nice too to be required.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 03:21 | 2195253 Michael
Michael's picture

Ron Paul "I Don't Think My Son Needs My Help To Get Him A Job"

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:25 | 2195384 snowball777
snowball777's picture

No, but he does need Jessie Benton and StormFront's endorsement.


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 07:25 | 2195355 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"Resist the crowd: cherish numbers only."

Show me some numbers that I can believe and I will cherish them!

What Grantham fails to point out is that the optimists have the means, motive and opportunity to publish any numbers that they wish to be heard by the world.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 13:46 | 2195762 Seer
Seer's picture

But... optimism cannot overcome reality.  Mother Nature is neutral.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 22:44 | 2194830 ultimate warrior
ultimate warrior's picture

This country is in alot of trouble. I was just out to eat at a supper club in WI and had a chat with the owner. This is a nice place great food and they book alot of weddings in the spring and summer. I asked him how everything was going and he said it was ok. He lost about 1/4 of the weddings that he normaly books at this time. There are lots of places closing up shop and I would say bars are almost always empty compared to a few years ago. If people are not spending money on drinking in Wisconsin then you know we are in trouble.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 07:39 | 2195361 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Ultimate Warrior...

Dinner theaters, supper clubs, bars, even house parties, have been in serious trouble since the introduction of 'driving under the influence' laws were introduced. When the DUI laws were introduced there remained latitude for a person to have one or two beers and still drive. Now that has been changed to Zero Tolerance or No Beers.

I'm not saying that this is a bad thing... simply pointing out what I have observed in a Florida beach/party town... or, what used to be a Florida beach party/town. Now the sidewalks are rolled up by 9pm and if you are driving at 11pm the only other vehicles that you are likely to see are police vehicles...and those police vehicles contain bored policemen that are curious about your presence and how you would score on a DUI test.

In truth I don't know how much the nite life business is off due to DUI laws and how much reduction has been caused by a poor economy... probably some of both.


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 07:58 | 2195370 duo
duo's picture

Wisconsin is a different story.  Many small hamlets have a gas station and a bar as the only businesses.  People not drinking in WI is like Floridians not going out in the sun.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:28 | 2195387 Bob
Bob's picture

When you throw the relatively recent No Smoking laws into the mix, partying in "public" just doesn't have the same appeal is used to have.  Even without trip to jail. 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:32 | 2195908 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

+ one for the road.


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:50 | 2195397 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"I'm not saying that this is a bad thing..."

They always start out small...the laws, the regulations. It always comes down to, how much liberty are we willing to give up for safety.

My personal pet peeve is seat belt laws.

Here we have a law that was introduced as nothing more than a "concern". No one would be pulled over for not wearing one. It could not be used as a "reason" to pull one over and usually just a warning would be issued if found to not be wearing one during a traffic stop for another infraction.

What could possibly be the harm?

To those who have watched these things develop all their lives, we knew what would happen with the passage of time.

Now, it's mandatory seat belt laws. They can now pull you over when they see you not wearing one. They can even pull you over for not having it on properly (lap but not over the shoulder).

It is nothing more than another "revenue stream".

For the one millionth time...who do I physically harm by me not wearing a seat belt?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:46 | 2195434 BlankfeinDiamond
BlankfeinDiamond's picture

Amen. And yet in many of these states, it is legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. That makes no sense whatsoever, and I ride.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 13:10 | 2195681 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

From 1986 to 1993 I worked at a trauma center at San Diego. We used to call motorcycle riders w/o a helmet " organ donors" because that was the number one group we harvested. I noticed a definite drop when helmets became the norm. Personally I wish we were all allowed to make our own decision in these matters but more regulation appears to be the norm. My husband calls it the " effeminization" of America .... Well not exactly that but you get my drift.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:46 | 2195436 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

You are harming the insurance agencies by not wearing seat belts. They lobby the g men, laws are passed, the cops get to hassle and intimidate you, and you get to support them all.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:21 | 2195456 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Well, I support very little of it. Been that way all my life.

Continuing with the freedom of movement theme here, same with DUI laws.

Here is another example of fleecing the sheep for their own good where lobbyists for MADD (manipulating peoples emotions) helped pass laws infringing on my and our liberty.

We will start with the blood alcohol level at doesn't matter what X is. 

Every five years or so we will lower X until we get to the point where if someone even uses mouth wash in the morning, they will have to prove on the side of the road or in a court of law they are not intoxicated.

It used to be, someone had to be "observed" driving erratically. Now, they set up little gestapo-like "check points". You are presumed guilty instead of innocent.

I actually rolled up on one of these where they had FDLE, state troopers and county cops (about 15 cars lining the sides of the road) and I asked who were they looking for...some bank robber no escaped mass murdering convict with blood shot eyes & fangs...fucking Bin Laden?

No, just checking for zeee proper paperzzz as he leaned in the window to get a whiff.

I said are you fucking kidding me? He said you better get your ass out of here.

Yes, we pay for this shit in more ways than one.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:31 | 2195473 chubbar
chubbar's picture

Yeah, well have them find a grand in cash that they take due to asset forfeiture laws and see how that tastes? These fuckers get to keep the money and the burden of proof resides on YOUR shoulders to prove it was legally obtained,assuming you even get your day in court. I can't believe the shit that goes on nowadays!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:45 | 2195487 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture



They do these check points all the time in Oklahoma. And they actually catch a lot of people driving without a license, no tags, no insurance, etc. I do not like them, but if it keeps people off the streets that do not have insurance, its a small price to pay.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:05 | 2195509 nmewn
nmewn's picture

But you see that's the issue isn't it?

It doesn't keep them off the streets, they did catch them at a gestapo check point. I'm sure they all walked home and said boy I'll never do that again...thank you kindly gestapo agent.

And in the process of all this, we have to listen to absolute nonsense about how this is all for the public good and keeps all of our insurance rates down as they rise year after year.

Yes, let's make it a crime for the guy next door to eat a cheeseburger because I'm a vegetarian and it will keep my health insurance rates

This is how it's done and most people fall for it hook, line & sinker until a majority decide brussel sprouts contributes to manmade global warming and elarged thyroids.

Well, gosh, we need to pass another law limiting brussel sprout consumption and fund it's enforcement.

Don't laugh, nothing surprises me anymore ;-)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 13:45 | 2195761 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

What's lacking in your argument is the lack of personal responsibility. After working as a clinical microbiologist for 27 years I have come to the realization people don't give a shit any more about themselves and, well,just fuck all of you, I'm going to eat what I want and you're just damn well going to pay for it. About 75 percent of my work is diabetics. Typical patient is 300-400 lb coming through the er with a 400-600 glucose (kid u not!) with a raging MRSA infection in a leg stump ( which had been earlier amputated for said infection). My job is to find I drug that will deal with the infection that has now gone to the blood (bacteria love sugar). Daunting task this day. This patient will be in the hospital for 1-3 weeks and if they make it, will be discharged with a 125-150 glucose with " diabetic" counseling. I will get them again within the month with a greater than 400 glucose and we'll do it all again. They are not getting to this state eating brussel sprouts and broccoli. I guess I have no problem with them living their life as they want. I'm just sick and tired paying for them. Believe me, none of them is taking " die honorably" route!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:42 | 2195921 nmewn
nmewn's picture

So what set you off? The fact I knew what you were going to say before you ever said it?

In your little corner of the world you see a small slice of society and have determined that all of society should live a certain way according to your world view, not theirs, that is, eat more vegetables and less sugar.

You attempt to justify the implications of this draconian moral standard by saying you are "paying for them" (I will suppose by increased health insurance rates) and then end with a veiled admonition for them to end their miserable lives "honorably" so as to not burden you financially.

Poor baby, quite the bedside manner. Small wonder they keep you locked in the lab. Clearly what the world needs are more statists and nosey busy bodies to be given extreme power to stop this assault on your

However, your influence on me is and always will be nil...your sense of self importance, though shocking, doesn't rise to the level of delusional just yet...but try not dwell on it or let my comments upset you so much that you are driven into the arms of a shrink.

You may not like what he has to say either ;-)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 15:27 | 2196006 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Wow, what set you off?? Hit a nerve did I? Don't want to eat your veggies? Frankly fine by me. My expertise in my job has saved hundreds of lives. Infectious disease docs consult with people like me because they'd be flying blind without our knowledge. My having a sweet bedside manner will not help any one. Your comment is confusing. I have shown you my world as it is today. It is a very sad world I see. I did not mean to imply judgement accept where people have not taken responsibility for their actions. 95 percent of diabetes is type 2... Lifesyle caused. Watch biggest loser and see what people can do to reverse it... Amazing even in the most extreme cases. I have not implied that we must do away with all the diabetics in some as you put, draconian manner. Think about this man, I would be out of a job. This is why big Pharm and Food have quite a vested interest in the status quo. No I don't want the veggie police.and if you think some pathetically ignorant comments as yours drive me to a shrink? Oh my god ROTFL...people like you moral pontificators wouldn't last a night working in the Trauma Dept

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 15:52 | 2196058 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Oh yeah nmewn, thanks for the comment. I've been lurking here about a year and been teased unmercessly by my husband for not commenting on anything. He can't call me a wimp any more...I've been Blooded yeah!

Miffed :-)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 16:56 | 2196153 nmewn
nmewn's picture

You have to fight on your first post.

Welcome to Fight Club ;-)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:22 | 2196207 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I'm glad it was you, had always respected your comments on this site (cue humble warrior pose) Looking forward to future exchanges! God I feel so good I could go out and bag me a bankster!

Miffed :-)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:47 | 2196693 satan2liberals
satan2liberals's picture

You don't seem to get it , it's not a lack of personal responsibility that makes you have to pony up for someone else's poor choices. It's the collectivist system that does that. Sadly  you appear to  have bought into the ruse of why legitimately they must regulate all behavior they think needs managing thus far  (since they know best of course).


You seem smart it's not to late to wake up to where the crux of the problem lies/leads.



Sun, 02/26/2012 - 02:00 | 2197173 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

If by collectivist system you mean insurance companies then I agree with your point that I have no power determining what I pay for my healthcare. Yes the system is rigged and an individual has little choice. Yet, I do have power deciding what I do personally with my own health. Where you get the idea I believe there should be more regulation is beyond me. The collective wants me to eat McDs, Tyson foods and cheez whiz. Why don't I? Because I've been 40 lbs over weight and on 4 different asthma medications which I've used every 4 hrs around the clock for 20 years. I once begged my Dr for some way to get of the meds. He looked me in the eye and said that I had a chronic condition and that I should be thankful there is so much research being done so when the meds I'm on quit working there will be more for me to take. Well that was five years ago and I'm off all meds and 30 lbs lighter. I regularly run in 5ks, my labs are like a twenty year old and I have a brand new life at 50. Would I want everyone to follow me? Sure,of course! Not because I want to regulate everyone but I would like for them to share in the joy unhooking themselves from the horrors of modern day medicine which I, unfortunately am apart because of my profession. I did it by lots of research on the Internet,querying many alternative therapies,naturopaths chiropractors. Yes, in my own way I unplugged from the Matrix,yet as Morpheus said,many don't want to be unplugged. I accept that. However that still doesn't prevent me from being angry and sad when I see people dying by slow suicide when there are ways out.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:29 | 2195520 Clay Hill
Clay Hill's picture

So you think giving up the presumption of innocence is a small price to pay ?

Let's just forego the trial by jury then, I'll save the taxpayers some money by just driving over to Raiford State and strapping myself to the gurney now.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:03 | 2195505 ISEEIT
ISEEIT's picture

Well said nmewn.

Couple of links I'd like to share. The first is really for the ZH crowd, it would fly right over the heads of a sheep.

The second is just a tool that I've used recently when fighting off the progressivite hoards who love to spew their wisdom regarding 'propaganda and filthy lies', CORPORATE greed and anything conservative or GASP Libertarian.


The cute part is they seem genuinely baffled that North Korea is a real place and that the citizens can actually be so cleverly duped!

Astonishing but true.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:11 | 2195514 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I've always been amazed how easily people submit or even advocate for still more law.

My thought has always been, if someone proposes a new law, they have to propose ten to get rid of, before it will even be considered.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:22 | 2195462 falak pema
falak pema's picture

your wife, kids, mistresses, golf buddy, your employees. Not counting your banker. F him!


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 13:28 | 2195723 Shock and Aweful
Shock and Aweful's picture

I have a feeling that the seat belt laws were passed...due in part to alot of pressure put on the states / federal government by the insurance industry.

it is no secret that wearing a selt-belt saves lives...and by extension, saves auto / health / life insurance companies ALOT of money.

We are talking about 100's of thousands of accidents a year in the US....and 10's of thousands of serious injuries and deaths.


While I agree that the state and Fed govt's overreach on just about everything....I would posite that just about every one of the shitty laws that gets passed in this country (and states, and local gov'ts) is due to, in no small part, influence and lobbying by a corporation or private party / organization who has a financail motivation or hope of one)

If you are actually so ignorant to think that laws are passed by govt'...because they like to fuck with you ...then you might want to study up onwhere the ideas for new legislation comes from, how it gains support of enough members to come to make it out of comittee, and how it ends up coming to the floor for a full vote.....there is a MASSIVE amount of influence exerted by corporations and orgnaizations....and I would say that just about every last bill that is passed...a seat belt law, the SOPA bullshit, the medicare drug act, the Obama care law, citizen's united...hell, even the patriot act and the NDEA laws.....every last one of them would not have been possible had it not been for the support, influence and pressure exerted by private corporations and NGO's on and over your elected representative  - 

It has ALWAYS been this way...but it has NOT always been as bad as it is now.  

What you don't understand is that you are actually getting fucked more by private corporations than anyone or anything else  -  the government is really nothing more than the enforcement arm for the wishes and demands of the corporation  ( i think there is a term that describes a government that operates that way....)

So...the next time one of you guys sits down to write a blistering opinion piece on the evils of the "gub-mint"...maybe you should spend a little time thinking about the powers lurking in the shadows.

I could believe in the idea of a government that fucks things up because they are incompetent....but only if they only fucked up shit everyonce in a while. However, the amount oflaws and regulations that are passed by our federal and state governments...that end up hurting our nation / state and people can, in no way be attributed to an accident or to incompetence.   The disaster that is our government  is by design.  So, that makes me ask....who's design? 

I know many people like to say that the people in government pass laws because they like power...and because they are "socialists" or "Facsists"...(or whatever the popular term is these days)...but when you stop and think about it rationally, the people who sit in Washington are not there for ever (most are there too long....but even new members vote the same way as old ones) is not as thought they are kings or monarchs who rule until they die, and then turn the power over to their children. 

And they honestly do not receive any lasting power out of being a representative.  It is true that they make connections that benefit them financially later in life...(but only if they are the type of represntative that goes along with what is required of them) -   So, if these people are not passing these laws out of incompotence or out of a direct benefit to themselves...then why do they continue to systematically weaken, damage or outright destroy the constitution?  Who is benefitting from this?    My point in all of this is that you can claim that government is the problem...but that is only addressing the symptom of what is killing us.....the real infection...the real cancer are those who benefit directly from these laws being passed...from a 140000 page tax code....from a military /  industrial / congressional complex and from a two-party system that does not allow for dissent against their corporate masters.  

So, continue to bitch about the governement...about seat belt laws...about birth control and obama care...and about social security and medicare.....but until you cut off the head of this monster, the nightmare is going to not only continue, but it will consolidate more and more and more power, wealth and influence, until all that is left is a nation of completely indentured servants, governed by a corporation, to which you will be a non-voting share holder.

I am not drecting this towards any one person in particular - No offense meant to the poster above.

Sorry for rambling....I just get sick of hearing the "government this...and government that" shit..

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:10 | 2195849 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

Bulls ear! 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:51 | 2196697 satan2liberals
satan2liberals's picture

Seat belt laws save lives but it's not cheaper the last time I studied it.

Dead people don't reqiure much emergency care or rehab for that matter.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 13:51 | 2195774 Seer
Seer's picture

Is it govt, or is it the insurance companies?  I suspect both: but, I also tend to believe that it's the insurance companies who are the ultimate drivers (they're the ones that can funnel money to campaigns).

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 22:51 | 2194834 Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Fleetwood Mac - Second Hand News (2:59)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:35 | 2195095 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@ Goldilocks

One of the greatest under-rated songs of all time.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 22:52 | 2194839 Fortunes Favor
Fortunes Favor's picture

How about this story for some reality...

Stalking The Bear: Trouble In Transports

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:50 | 2195115 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

So, how's that cut-n-paste doing for you?

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:04 | 2194868 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Didn't you guys hear? Obamanopoly! is the new game in town.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:13 | 2194892 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

There's an idea.

With WBz7 leading and with collective input, a game of great political satire could be fashioned.

eg: "Avoid Jail for Free" cards with bankster icons ... etc.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:54 | 2195009 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Cards? Deck of Most Wanted Cards and 500 rounds in one's choice of caliber for a donation. PBS/Jerry Lewis ain't got shit on that.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:38 | 2195103 non_anon
non_anon's picture

yeah, all the banksters have a "get out of jail free" card

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:13 | 2195863 rayduh4life
rayduh4life's picture

"Get out of jail free card" ?   Banksters have gone one better than that.  They are financing the jails to boot.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:11 | 2194882 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

"everything in life is fixed,... from inception to death - our path has been stayed as that of a fresh stream flowing into a winding river with many tributaries posing trivial mortal daunting undercurrents of anxiety and helplessness, but, we all settle in deep still water pools, drowning in a predestined choreographed grand finale, giving joy to our master being all but unknown - having sensed from birth his gift of eternal life which is all but given freely, only to know ye who has given light"  

unknown musing  

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:29 | 2194939 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

+1 For that enduring tune!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:54 | 2195195 caerus
caerus's picture


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 07:31 | 2195357 s2man
s2man's picture

Hoo yeah!  The original rock video.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:21 | 2194913 devo
devo's picture

This isn't Capitalism.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:55 | 2195011 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Correct.  This is called Fascism.

Gerald Celente on the SGT report:

Part 1

Part 2

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:31 | 2195092 devo
devo's picture

I like Celente and all, but serious question: why did the guy have his money with MF Global?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:42 | 2195104 sitenine
sitenine's picture

He didn't.  He was invested in gold future contracts through Lind-Waldock, a commodities futures brokerage that was owned by MF Global.  And even if it was with MF Global directly, so what?  This BS has never happened before, and even so, the CME is supposed to insure these contracts.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:05 | 2195140 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

So was Celente "standing for delivery" or not?  

The guy would have been better off dollar-cost-averaging purchases of GLD into his e-Trade account.

Serves him right.  He's a con artist who got conned.  It's Larry Craig-level irony and it's fantastic.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:13 | 2195152 sitenine
sitenine's picture

A con artist?  Holy shit you've got balls, but no phyz, which makes you a pussy.  You have no idea what you're saying, so jog on Vic.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:25 | 2195161 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

The difference between me - and probably you - as compared to Gerald C is that we have never asked someone for their credit card number because we can see the future.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:11 | 2195212 sitenine
sitenine's picture

I had to think about this for a while.  I don't understand exactly why any of us should disparage a fellow for making bold predictions - predictions that are based on fact and pretty accurate no less.  I personally value any information that I can get from knowledgeable scholars who dare to look into the future.  Many do so, and we celebrate them here often - people like Reggie Middleton, Chris Martenson, Mish, and Mr Celente.  Even Tyler dips his toe into the trend analysis pool from time to time, and we all enjoy the commentary and appreciate the insight.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:22 | 2195224 Seer
Seer's picture

Celente and Martenson are in a different league than the others: I'd say that they're in a FAR more Big Picture league; the others are just technologists (strapped in front of a screen).

Nothing bold about Celente or Martenson though.  Bold only in that it's in severe contrast to what TPTB attempt to program everyone with.  Their positions/views are very easy to come to if you look behind the projector.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 03:34 | 2195261 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Well Seer I kinda want to call you the smartest cat to ever post on ZH.  And while that may be true, saying that would be a tremendous disservice to many other ZH commenters.

So why keep on that topic?  Let's keep it low-brow:

-Reggie: nice guy but he writes about mundane topics; he might as well be screeching about JC Penny's overstocked inventory of mock turtlenecks

-Martenson: a tool's tool.  I hope he comes back in the next life as a poor black child.

-Mish: he's banged less chicks than I've banged guys.

-Mr C: the gateway drug to doomerism. 

Anyhow, I ask this to any spacemonkey out there: how does one get the "good guys" (or is it good goys for some of you...LOL) on the same page?  

I mean - here we are commenting on Gerald C's legitmacy while the pigmen keep reaching for their one true motivation -- greed.  Seems like greed wins, while all of our discussions are academic.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 06:07 | 2195321 AUD
AUD's picture

Forget those guys & Grantham.

Doug Noland has a better grasp of credit than anyone.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:07 | 2195839 Seer
Seer's picture

WTF is "credit" in the face of the fundamental error in premise that is "infinite growth on a finite planet?"

I like Doug as well, but, and I admit that I don't hang out looking to read everything he writes, where does he identify this fundamental error?  Because Grantham GETS IT I'll give Grantham the nod.

I suppose it depends on what your objectives are.  If you're looking to make "virtual money" or whether you're looking at long-term survival (with mankind).

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:19 | 2195458 falak pema
falak pema's picture

nothing academic about a bang. Until afterwards.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:04 | 2195822 Seer
Seer's picture

Problem is... as soon as you start to steer everyone in one direction then you have the problem of tunnel-vision/thought.  Mother Nature works via diversity.

"Greed" is human nature.  Not going to eliminate it.  BUT... you CAN limit the damage by reducing/eliminating power centers.  Of course, this won't be done willingly.  Good news, however, is that the Big Contraction will FORCE this to occur- fragmentation will reduce the BIGNESS of things.

Rather than paste lables on people I try to identify their base logic.  If they are grounded in physics and the real world then I tend to choose their words over the the words of those who are un-grounded.  "Doomerism," as you call it, is just that- what YOU call it.  I can just as easily call our current plight Doomerism, in that it's a SURE path to total failure (premise of infinite growth on a finite planet).

Martenson, when you leave out the economic pieces (PMs etc, though I'm not against That, just that my tests are more primordial), is the closest to having a true clue.  Grantham, as I mention elsewhere, also seems to acknowledge the primordial- I give kudos for this.

Just because someone doesn't like the message that doesn't mean that the message is wrong (or that one should dismiss it, without possible peril that is).

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:28 | 2195162 devo
devo's picture

I guess, but doesn't he tell people if you don't hold it you don't own it? I know I've heard him say that before he got swindled, so I'm sure wondering why the heck he didn't go on APMEX or a local pawn shop and just buy physical instead of messing around with counter-party risk and futures.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:38 | 2195169 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Buying a future contract (which CME is supposed to insure) and settling with delivery at maturity IS buying physical.  I'm sorry, WAS buying physical.  You are right, but only in hindsight.  Up until the moment Corzine MFed his customers, this method was as safe as buying from a coin store.  The rules upon which farmers and manufacturers rely on to procure materials have changed because the trust has 'evaporated' from the system.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:52 | 2195190 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Seems like a fine point.  You get a greenie from me.

But your bold implies passion, passion for something that does not reflect reality.   

Trust in the pigmen and you get burned.  Same story, different day.

So what's it going to be?  Are the good guys going to take down the Morgue b/c they stood for delivery?  Or are our offspring going to be here in 40 years, bitching about Sasha Obama's policies as head of the World Bank?  It has to be one or the other, right?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:53 | 2195194 sitenine
sitenine's picture

My vote is for a take down.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:00 | 2195204 devo
devo's picture

If the people are going to take it down, they need to start organizing and stop interneting. We're all talk around here because it's easy and we like the comfort. We're all guilty of it. It's why they're allowed to do what they're doing.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:25 | 2195420 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Vic - Outside of awareness, What should be done about Washington being bought? Pain wakes up the majority and is the catalyst of evolution. It might not merely be a question of what to do about it but when.

Bold men are not a typical part of American society anymore. It went from Rambo to Watch What You Say to Women - Or Else. The lesson with Washington is be careful what wish for, you'll probably get it.

The pigmen were all too happy to promote women's liberation for dual income and promote family law that was destructive for family formation. But this is a side issue.

Cause and effect tell me Washington is bought and the increasing corruption stems from that source. The solution I believe is three-fold:

1) Make the process of bribing a politician punishable by jail time.
2) Increase the aggregate number of representatives as the Founders envisioned.
3) Two term limits

The economy is landing at a place (ditch) where these things can happen. But not this election cycle. We'll get our country back after an awful lot of raiding, it's looking more 3rd world by the day. But I'll take liberty and self-determination anyday over this nanny state crap that is going nowhere but the ditch.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 00:00 | 2196957 falun bong
falun bong's picture

I call bullshit on Vic Vinegar. Did you get pepper-sprayed at OWS? Did you handcuff yourself to a post outside the Fed? I doubt it. A few snarky comments, then back to your job with the pigmen.

Don't know how old you are, but I do know what my generation did. We stopped a war. We kicked a crook president out of office. We changed the whole of society. My friend's older brother took over Columbia University with my help. I marched and protested and even threw some Molotovs. But hippies like me all knew the first thing that had to happen was to raise people's consciousness. Make them aware. That's what happens here on ZH.

The change will come if enough people understand the game being played against them, and then do something about it. If not, our kids get Chelsea Clinton for World Bank prez. Our own fault.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:55 | 2195196 devo
devo's picture

I understand. I just think GC, as a guy who speaks out against counter-party risk, should have been more savvy and followed his own advice. I like the guy and all, but just saying...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:56 | 2195198 caerus
caerus's picture


Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:24 | 2194922 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 I saw this SHIT, when Carter was the "4 year",  {Progressive A-Hole)   

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:34 | 2194950 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

Discretionary income is falling; margin compression has reached its limits in many sectors; $5 gas will be the death knell.  What's next but empty highways and stores in middle America, and 2/3 of the population on some sort of government largesse.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:53 | 2195121 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

FEMA camps, brought to you by your good friends at Haliburton and KDY, the makers of concertina wire.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:35 | 2194958 illyia
illyia's picture

This is why I read Zero Hedge.

Thanks TD et al.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:53 | 2195008 Rogier
Rogier's picture

Just sell puts /put spreads on a volatility spike. It doesn't get more complicated than that.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:26 | 2195466 ATM
ATM's picture

Until your counter parties decide they can't pay, or won't pay. Options are just paper after all.

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 23:59 | 2195024 Running on Empty
Running on Empty's picture

Everybody is Greece.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:11 | 2195046 Rogier
Rogier's picture

'You are all individuals.

'We are all individuals!'

'I'm not...'

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 00:17 | 2195057 adr
adr's picture

Although it is said in that very good read a little more eloquently than I put it earlier. The industry prefers bullishness because it is much easier to make money on optimism vs making money on the back of reality.
Ignoring perils to focus on future prospects that may never materialize isn't a good long term stratedgy. We are to ignore loss, and margin compression and focus on a 10 year growth plan based on optomistic projections? When we find the projections are wrong are those that told people of that fact rewarded? No. Because you were going against the happy train. You aren't supposed to make people feel bad.

That seems to be the common thread. Optimism, even completely misguided, is preferable to honest conversation. You are not allowed to make people feel bad. If you brought up the fact that at the rate of appreciation in 2006 there wouldn't be a person alive that could afford any home by 2012, you were labeled insane. How could you trample on the ideal of becoming wealthy with no labor involved. The ultimate dream. Misguided optimism, all will be wealthy and none will be poor.

Along with misplaced optimism we also have the elimination of failure. You don't actually fail, you just weren't given the right amount of time or resources to suceed. A CEO who ran three $200 million corporations into the ground will probably be given higher billing than the CEO of a $20 million company who has kept the company profitable and stable for the last ten years. Why is that?

Well the $200 million CEO probably grew each company faster and made a lot of people a lot of money taking each on public. Even though the growth wasn't sustainable and there may have not been a valid business plan all along, he is a successs because of the growth. He didn't ever fail, he generated $600 million which means he can do it again. Misguided optimism, he pretty much guarantees failure but people want a piece of his publicly traded pie. That $20 million CEO is a loser who can't generate the rapid growth expected in today's business world.

A guy that starts 20 dotcoms that all crashed and burned, losing investors millions, will be given chance after chance because what if he invents the next google or facebook. It worth losing millions for the chance to be right once and make billions. I call that insanity, the street call that business.

I built a company from 0 to $30 million in four years. It is private with no intention of going public. Growth has been stableand demand is strong but not overhyped. But to massive public traded retail, we are somwhat of a failure. We should have hit $200 million by now, where was our parabolic growth. I lost shelf space to a faster growing competitor with a few big time investors. I created the makret, the copycats wnated to bank on my success. The competitor was on the fast track IPO bandwagon, so the buyers were given instructions to load up inventory to help that cause. The problem was the demand never materialized and sales went from a brisk pace on lower inentory to being down 85%. My sales held steady at 15% growth. The compeitor bit the dust bankrupted by the debt they built up promoting the brand , spending $140 million in one year on sales of $40 million. The planned IPO was supposed to fix that little cash flow problem.

My problem is the massive flameout tarnished the category I helped to create. Buyers lost a ton of money when they had to mark down millions in invetory of the banrupt competitor.Money lost that could have gone to purchasing my product. My company is not talked about as the success it is, the conversation still centers around what could have been if my competitor went public, the lost money that could have been made. The misguied optimism that perpetual groth is possible if you just will it so. Fundamentals like demand are unimportant, if there is the will to look past today and focus on the fuIture that may never be.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:45 | 2195183 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

That was a good POST! DON"T GET A BIG HEAD!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:47 | 2195187 grid-b-gone
grid-b-gone's picture

+1, but you're kidding, right? Your company is growing at about the same rate as McDonald's, revenue is up $4.5 mil in the worst economy since The Great Depression, and your largest competitor just went under confirming yours was the better business model. 

Just continue to keep customers happy. Covet only the market segment you can serve with the standards that got you to this level. Happy, solvent customers are precious during all market conditions.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:51 | 2195440 resurger
resurger's picture

slowly but surely ... good luck adr +1

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:15 | 2195867 Seer
Seer's picture

"Although it is said in that very good read a little more eloquently than I put it earlier. The industry prefers bullishness because it is much easier to make money on optimism vs making money on the back of reality."

It ain't called the "American DREAM" for nothing!  Hard to dream without a healthy dose of bullishness: it's the fuel of "dreams."

Snake-oil (iCrap) salesmen, politicians... we hate reality so we flock to their "Dreams."

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:08 | 2195145 Caviar Emptor
Caviar Emptor's picture

It's a collective self-zombification of the US and the developed world. 

Governments are too happy to oblige a docile public willing to be zombified, at least for now

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:33 | 2195171 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

tHINK  People,  I love my ZO-6 and   599gto.

   Hyundai is killin Toyotq

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:41 | 2195179 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 IT's well know.n I own Ferrari's. Porche afficinatoes, welcome?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:47 | 2195186 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Hell I'm going Warren Buffet on YA!

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 01:57 | 2195199 resurger
resurger's picture

Loved this read...

Am a Proud Bear

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:16 | 2195217 Seer
Seer's picture

Capitalism, by ignoring the finite nature of resources and by neglecting the long-term well-being of the planet and its potentially crucial biodiversity, threatens our existence.

Somebody FINALLY fucking comes close to identifying THE PROBLEM/ISSUE!

Of course, however, it's not capitalism that is to blame any more than science is to blame for Fukushima (etc.).  It's human nature that is to blame.  Capitalism and science are just tools.  Our less-than-pure motives turn agnostic tools into the freaks that they now appear to be.

There are really only two ways forward (other than the one that we know is leading to a cliff):

1) Seeking out some unified human mindset (NWO);

2) Elimination of large powers (ending up with social structures more closely resembling tribes).

"Solution" #1 is the path given by the "enlightened ones," those who believe that it's their responsibility to "solve" all of this.  Expect massive resistance from all sorts of groups, lots of bloodshed.  And because TPTB will have to present "enticements" it will inevitably be about promises of "growth" (sharing wealth that really isn't there), no different than the way it is now (that's what governments DO).  NOTE: This really isn't all that different from what most major religions propose, though in each's eyes only one religion is to be THE one.

"Solution" #2 is basically a kitchen sink result, anarchistic.  TPTB are going to ensure that this direction be filled with blood.  Long-term results will show continued friction, though due to limited powers the ability to inflict widespread death and destruction will be greatly reduced.

Well, I suppose that "God" or space aliens could come and intervene.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:33 | 2195227 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Quit being a pussy, and get your worthless ass out of bed. I'll back your ass!    

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:38 | 2195231 caerus
caerus's picture

human progress and progress in general is a lie

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:46 | 2195435 resurger
resurger's picture

fuck the NWO and the enlightened SEER, the world is filled with smart people who cant take advantage of them..

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:22 | 2195880 Seer
Seer's picture

"Smart" by what measure?  Smarter than Mother Nature, as Monsanto tries to push itself as?

Energy and matter exists without minds.  Minds cannot exist without energy and matter.

I'm stating facts, not lobbying for any "pet" future: game-playing out risks based on reality (which includes all of human history).

Not sure how you figure I would support an NWO: apparently at an 8 week gestation period you haven't been around long enough to be able to identify my true positions; always a good point to test the water before jumping in; but hey! you're free to make yourself out as an ass, it's a free country (I think).

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:58 | 2195573 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I agree... the author of the article gets spades with a cherry on top...

And your take is spot on as well....

A  lowish technology agrarian tribal/anarchist society beckons if we decide that we cannot accept the limitations of the planet...

Pretty sad when you think of what could have been....

And if there was a God, he would have given up on this trial run on Terra and moved elsewhere, afterall the Universe is bound to offer better possibilities elsewhere.... 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 15:59 | 2196067 Seer
Seer's picture

Flak, bothers me to see you with a single down arrow and NO counter argument.  WTF is the problem that people have?  Is it that they don't believe that we're actuall on a planet (flat earth that just goes on forever), and that it's being so means that it IS finite in scope (size and "resources")?  OR, is it that people don't believe that we'd return to the historical norm of tribalism?  I'd like to hear people's reasons against these.  Please note that I'm not asking for agreement or disagreement, I'm asking for viable/tangible reasons, not some simple vote of "oh, I LIKE that picture/view" or "it's fucked, it's wrong because I don't want it to be that way [regardless of whether the responder's view is that it could and or would be that way]).

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:39 | 2196197 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Remember in Animal Farm, that pony who had a pretty ribbon in her mane? Her name escapes me at the moment but I think you get my drift....

As I see it, the downfall of Western civilization was the suppression of the meme related to the sacrifice of material pleasure for  spiritual or intellectual enlightenment...  Less can be more, in other words...

The Stoics knew it, moderation and self-examination are key to a purposeful and content life...

Ironically, the teachings of Jesus have it but something was lost in translation and over time the underlying message of Christianity has been twisted beyond recognition...If anything hiding behind Jesus has become the ultimate cop-out...

It could well be that the meme is there, there is good reason why the survivors of the Depression became the "Greatest Generation". When "Greed is good" became *the* mantra and the sheeple were fooled, the path to wisdom was lost...

Where are the enlightened erudite leaders that despite their wealth knew instinctively how to put a limit on their insatiable needs for the betterment of society?? They once existed....the last American one was RFK, and believe it or not, Reagan, but he was intellectually naive and thus blind to the underlying nature of socio-paths who twisted his vision...


There that should be good for a few junks from the Boetians...  ;-)

PS I always enjoy your musings....

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:49 | 2196926 jimmyjames
jimmyjames's picture

It could well be that the meme is there, there is good reason why the survivors of the Depression became the "Greatest Generation". When "Greed is good" became *the* mantra and the sheeple were fooled, the path to wisdom was lost...


It all has to do with the availability of the money supply and the physiological influence on people in mass-

The first generation you speak of above-had a very scarce money supply-

The other had it thrown at them-

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:38 | 2195230 jimmyjames
jimmyjames's picture

the current U.S. capitalist system appears to contain some potentially fatal flaws. Therefore, we should ask what it would take for our system to evolve in time to save our bacon. Clearly, a better balance with regulations would be a help. This requires reasonably enlightened regulations, which are unlikely to be produced until big money’s influence in Congress, and particularly in elections, decreases. This would necessitate legal changes all the way up to the Supreme Court.


This is wrong-regulations never work because they're implemented by politicians and the legal framework can always be manipulated-

There is one thing that can bring about honesty and it has a way of self regulating everything and politicians cannot bribe voters with their own money and that is a locked money supply-preferably locked to gold and silver and no fractional reserve banking-at least not in the sense that bankers can manipulate the reserve limits-

Everything including people must adjust to and revolve around the limited and locked supply of money/credit-

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:25 | 2195888 Seer
Seer's picture

You really think that these flaws are only manifest in entities that call themselves governments?

It's the byproduct of BIGNESS.  Power will do whatever it takes to maintain itself, it will appear in different forms, it's not a condition solely reserved for governments.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 23:27 | 2196879 jimmyjames
jimmyjames's picture

You really think that these flaws are only manifest in entities that call themselves governments?

It's the byproduct of BIGNESS.  Power will do whatever it takes to maintain itself, it will appear in different forms, it's not a condition solely reserved for governments.


I fully understand about "bigness" and their influence in today's paper money world-

Try learning about the stern discipline of gold and then what i said will make sense-

Gold is more of a Political/Corporate/Banker vs People metal than anything else-

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 02:58 | 2195241 Newager23
Newager23's picture

Rose colored glasses optimism seems to be the norm today. No one wants to look at the facts, and would rather just use faith. My mom used to say (she is no longer with us) that she was an optimist. Nothing could change her attitude. She believed the future would be better than the past. I think most Americans are like her.

Me personally, I tend to analyze the facts and make my projections of the future. And the facts are downright ugly today. In fact, in my opinion, I think America is done. All we have left is a countdown for the economy to breakdown and then we start over. And I do not think the next society we build will look anything like today. 

Simply put, there is not enough cheap energy for us to continue our growth focused economic system. We are going to be forced to create something much simplier and more efficient. This new system will not be based on growth. And will arise out of necessity as our current system implodes.

I think a time is quickly approaching (my guess is before 2015), where the country begins to breakup. Texas will likely lead the way, and be the first state to secede. Then several more in the West will follow. The federal govt will be broke soon, and unable to borrow any more money. You can imagine the repercussions.

So people, we are in a countdown to a new way of life. Enjoy our affluence and prosperity while is lasts, because it will not last much longer. Who knows, we may only have a few more months before the worm turns. But I don't think it will be long now. 

In the meantime, insure your finances by buying gold and silver. You wouldn't think of not having home owners or health insurance. But yet you don't think you need financial insurance. You do. And it's called gold. If you buy it and it goes down and stays down, be happy. That means the global economy did not implode, and you probably still have a job.

Only one thing can make gold go down in value and that is economic growth. However, anyone who thinks the business cycle is overdue to roar back to life is not doing the right analysis. Never before in history have we experienced both a global debt crisis and a global energy crisis. Both of which are getting worse. Why else do you think central banks are printing money like banshees and gold is approaching $2,000?

Gold and Silver stock investors (


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:09 | 2195512 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

i agree

“its time to break up the USA!

there is nothing united about the united states - 1860 - there may have been a reason to fight for unity - today there is none! - the only time this country was united in the last 75 years was WWII other than that it is insanity dejour

create two or more new countries - NEWCO #1 - NY/NJ/Conn/Mass/ RI/ CA/Wash / Oregon and Miami Beach

leave the "rest" of them to do what ever they want - run around the world and kill whoever they want and discriminate against whatever group that appeals to them

smart women who can recognize and object to discrimination and second class citizenship.......who will be refugees from the "rest of the states" - are always welcome to Newco #1 - without any border controls or green card !”

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:28 | 2195901 Seer
Seer's picture

I think that perhaps it's more about a lack of "negative feedback loops" than optimism.  We're inundated with "positive feedback loops."  For me, personally, I'm OPTIMISTIC that negative feedback loops will start to correct our over-abundance of positive feedback loops.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 03:24 | 2195255 caerus
caerus's picture

the average investor cannot or will not short because of margin reqs or ignorance...the industry sells pernicious hope...if money is lost the professionals say that the market is a complicated thing

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:22 | 2195521 samcontrol
samcontrol's picture

i'm a very average investor , i have lost my ignorance , i am shorting , i am losing money. Blind men making it.


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 04:23 | 2195275 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Look things are soo f'd that you have Mohamed El-Erian making statements as if he were Yoda speaking while under the influence of ecstacy or maybe that was Chauncy Gardener.

"investors who combine a deep understanding of the destination with an agile handling of the journey stand to benefit most."

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:15 | 2195377 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

The fact that he gets people to pay him the big bucks for uttering that crap is proof that he deserves the big bucks.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:10 | 2195450 Snidley Whipsnae
Snidley Whipsnae's picture

"investors who combine a deep understanding of the destination with an agile handling of the journey stand to benefit most."

El Arian is trying to speak Greenspanese but isn't close. El Arian's comment = "state the obvious in such a way that it sounds profound"

Greenspanese, on the other hand, would require a non existing decryption machine to determine that it contained absolutely no intelligible words that formed a comprehensible sentence.

El Arian has a ways to go...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 04:40 | 2195282 Peter K
Peter K's picture

The read was interesting until I got to this part:

"It’s a long haul, but a handful of other democratic countries in northern Europe have been successful, and with the stakes so high we have little alternative but to change our ways."

And I started wondering what changes is this guy referring to. Scandinavia might be a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. And then it came to me that Northern European is an euphemism for this guys vision of economic utopia. But if it is so good in Northern Europe, why isn't it flooded with huddled worker masses, kind of like the Cuban flotillas to Miami?

But I guess if life isn't all that it's cracked up to be, living in your parents basement, you just might go for this crap:)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:14 | 2195375 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Actually, despite it's distance and forbidding climate, Northern Europe has its own problem with the teeming masses from the south. Not unlike the US, too many expect to go on the dole ... Unlike the US they are not as likely to be encouraged to get it, though too many still end up on the dole. And even more unlike the US, even though many immigrants were admitted out of a sense of guilt or a false belief that necessary asylum was being provided, the Northern Europeans do not have a vast army of bureaucrats and a major political party bending over backwards to import these people as a source of future voters.

You really are deluding yourself, dude.

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 03:58 | 2197270 Peter K
Peter K's picture

The immigrants that go to Northern Europe, go there to get on the dole almost without exception. And even if they try initially, they soon give up. The system is set up to take care of there own. And the armies of bureaucrats are there to keep the status quo alive and well. Until it collapses because it's broke that is...., and the third world won't bail them out. (BTW How funny is that?)

As to the US, yes the DemoClowns need immigrants to win elections. However, the large difference is that in the US, the possibilities still exits to advance oneself if one so chooses. The Bumster and his army of basement revolutionaries still haven't crushed it. Whereas in Northern socialist Europe, that opportunity just isn't there. The lunatics run that asylum. And that's why the flotillas will keep on coming across the Florida Straits and not the Baltic Sea.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:30 | 2195421 snowlywhite
snowlywhite's picture

to be not so nice, as someone who thinks of moving over there:


1. those that consider emigrating in that region can usually pay for their plane ticket without much sweat. We don't need wodden flotillas, k? ;)


2. coming from a normal country, the prospect of that climate is really daunting. I didn't hear too many northern Europeans happy with it either. You plan to live there, not stay 6 months; might work up on you.


3. the population, while obviously better educated than the average, aint' exactly party animals. I'm not a party animal either, but still... gettin' drunk in an orderly fashion ain't the most exciting thing in the world...


4. things are expansive; what represented a good amount in your country, might not be that much over there...

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:15 | 2195378 surf0766
surf0766's picture

When I see a salesperson using the word optimistic I know a few things. They probably have not idea what they are talking about and use key words and phrases to cover up their lack of real knowledge. There is a fine line between being optimistic and selling sham wow's. Most optimistic people cross that line to show their peers what great LEADERS they are.



Sat, 02/25/2012 - 08:30 | 2195388 Implicit simplicit
Implicit simplicit's picture

The power of positive delusional thinking is underestimated. Ultimately, we are hard drive implanted  to remain hopeful in the face of the inevitable end for us all-death.

Learning to understand the harsh realities of the of the banking cartel run economy does not allow many the tranquility derived from hopium that  everything will be ok, simply because it has to; the saviour state will work its magic.

See, the economy is getting better. Just look at the numbers being released by the oligarchy. Lets sing the national anthem together, It will make us feel good while we march to the banker's pipe.

Try to enjoy yourself as you watch the "wheels go round and round" (Lennon). You don't have to play their game the way they want you to.

Therefore, I wmust remain hopeful.....

" after every failure, we are obliged to strive agin for success, and when faced with the end of one thing, we must build something new and better upon the ashes, just as from pain and grief, we must weave hope, for each of us is a thread critical to the very survival- of the human tapestry. Every hour in every life contains such often-unrecognized potential to affect the world that the great days for which we, in our dissatisfaction, so often yearn are already with us; all great days and thrilling possibilities are combined always in this momentous day.” Koentz

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 09:38 | 2195427 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

When greed and force take precedence over intelligence and compassion they lead to destruction. This is true for the individual and for society wether the macro approach is capitalism or communism or any othe 'ism. At bottom greed springs from fear and fear springs from a lack of understanding. Lack of understanding springs from not integrating the individual with the whole, which effort is essential. When the innate moral compass is repeatedly thwarted and ignored, like any faculty it will atrophy, which is the greatest tragedy that can befall the individual or society, because from that follow the evils we witness.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:04 | 2195468 Mercury
Mercury's picture

However, Marx and Engels certainly got the part right about globalization and the supranational company increasing the power of capital at the expense of labor. To interfere with Marx’s apocalyptic vision, we need some enlightened governmental moderation of the new globalized Juggernaut (even slightly enlightened would be encouraging) before capitalism gets so cocky that we have some serious social reaction....My conclusion is that capitalism does admittedly do a thousand things better than other systems: it only currently fails in two or three. Unfortunately for us all, even a single one of these failings may bring capitalism down and us with it.

Lots of good insights in Grantham's letter but this kind of thing gets tiresome after a while.

Trying to agree upfront what the quasi-Marxist term "capitalism" even means is messy and ultimately frustrating - which often seems to be the whole point in instances like these.

Stop hiding behind the fog of "-isms" please and make your case, if you must, against free enterprise, the rule of law and specific, unimpeachable rights that the individual has against government and entities more powerful than themselves.

Free enterprise isn't an "-ism" with a bunch of rules and theories, it's a natural human impulse like shelter seeking, food gathering and sex drive that is both critical and mutually benficial to the human condition.

It's fairly obvious at this point how various forces have recently thwarted these important, tested principals and forced people into economic and political relationships that severely restrict their personal liberty and future prospects.  Direct your voice and your various and substantial forms of capital that-a-ways please Mr. Grantham.  If Marx's "capitalism" is so powerful and successful and we are so helpless against it, why does it need to cheat and enlist the aid of the state to strip us of life, liberty and property?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 12:28 | 2195611 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Do you agree that we are reaching the point where a smaller and smaller fraction of the worlds population is required to utilize the existing supply of resources to meet the material needs of the world??

Please explain how you address this issue...

We are all ears...

Sun, 02/26/2012 - 10:02 | 2197521 Mercury
Mercury's picture

If that's the case why does government need to get bigger and bigger?

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:49 | 2196328 SKY85hawk
SKY85hawk's picture

If mr grantham was truly on the client's side (us!) he would have said something to help us cope with the volumetric vicissitudes of HFT and the side stepping of the Great-ones (ya kno, who 'r exempt from insider trading rules and naked short selling).   All I hear is some cleverly phrased pumps for buy_hold_wait(PRAY).

Thanks for speaking UP!


Sat, 02/25/2012 - 10:30 | 2195472 Winisk
Winisk's picture

I find that my feelings toward anything out of my control have little bearing on the outcome and have no predictive value.  I do however need to be optimistic that my garden will produce or that my hunt will be successful, otherwise I will be less inclined to invest the necessary work to make it happen.  I think this is where the optimistic trait evolves from.  The pessimists die off due to inaction.  Today optimism has mutated into sitting on our ass speculating that our hope in whatever will improve our condition. 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 11:08 | 2195511 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Optimistic is the NYC realtor who cheerily penned that the pre-war UES co-op she was selling was sunny and worth the six flights of stairs you had to walk up to it. It might have gone better if she had added that you save a ton on a gym membership. That is optomistic.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 14:33 | 2195910 Seer
Seer's picture

It's like a bar's "Happy Hour," it depends on whose Happy Hour it is.  For the real estate agent it's he/she who is optimistic that they'll make a sale: buyers only sense the optimism, not realizing that it's the real estate agent's optimism that will be stoked.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 17:43 | 2196245 Pejorative Requiem
Pejorative Requiem's picture

Nails what? Ok, GMO did well, but what's here besides a sales pitch and a "look how great we are note" - please don't push you're quarterly on us as insight and advice. There's nothing new here; no new insights, no bold positions. A mention to Santayana, a quote from Marx, and........ egad...... even a passage from Shakespeare, and Viola! Nailed it!. Know when to hold'em, know when to fold 'em? Kenny Rogers said it better. A nod to socialism, a wink to enviornmentalism. Grandchildren have value? Tell it to the Iron Curtain East Germans - Marxist ideals were all about the protection of resources there - right Uncle Polonius? A furtive glance towards capitalism is all we get from Grantham's departing ship: "You're only hope is to beahve youselves!" Blimey.

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:01 | 2196269 DOGGONE
DOGGONE's picture

“Condemn venal journalism for severely fooling the people” at 

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 21:20 | 2196637 LooseLee
LooseLee's picture

Damn! A complete definition and total explanation of FACISM!!!!!

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