Guest Post: It’s Time To Be Very Concerned About What’s Going On Behind The Scenes

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

It’s time to be very concerned about what’s going on behind the scenes

Ancient Greek mythology tells the tale of Odysseus, the heroic king of Ithaca whose 10-year journey home after the Trojan War became one of the world’s most famous epics.

At one point in the journey, his ship was heading straight for two deadly hazards– on one side was Scylla, a six-headed monster disguised as a giant rock, and on the other side was Charybdis, a sinister whirlpool born from the sea god Poseidon.

The perils were close enough to pose an inescapable threat to ships passing through, forcing the captain to choose between the two evils. A Latin proverb from this story, “incidit in scyllam cupiens vitare charybdim” (he runs on Scylla, wishing to avoid Charybdis), is now “between a rock and a hard place” in modern English.

This is exactly where the entire world finds itself right now. With confidence vanishing, markets panicking, and entire nations going bankrupt, ultimately there are no good solutions… and thinking people need to understand some simple truths about the situation:

1) America’s credit rating was punished by S&P because US politicians failed to reach an adequate solution to the country’s massive debt woes which are nearing 100% of GDP. Investors reacted by buying the Japanese yen– a country whose sovereign debt rating is two steps below the US, and at 220% of GDP, over twice as indebted!

Not to mention, Japan has burned through 4 prime ministers and 8 finance ministers just in the last four years. This is not exactly a country whose government has a successful track record of dealing with its problems.

How does this make any sense? That’s like firing an employee who gets drunk on the job and replacing him with a gun-toting heroin addict. Yet faced with a universe of bad choices, investors will pick the one which appears to be the ‘least worse’.

This approach is sure to create even more gross misallocations of capital down the road.

2) World governments have gone on the offensive against S&P, slamming the rating agency and trying to discredit the firm’s financial calculations without acknowledging the underlying premise– that America lacks a credible plan to deal with its crisis.

Leaders from countries as diverse as France, South Korea, and even Russia have all shrugged off the downgrade and publicly reiterated their confidence in the United States.

(They even rolled out Warren Buffet who said that the US deserves “a quadruple-A” credit rating.)

You know that old adage– how do you know that a politician is lying? Because his lips are moving. When so many world leaders are expressing nearly unanimous support for the dollar and the US government, it’s time to be very concerned about what’s going on behind the scenes.

3) G7 finance ministers have pledged to take any steps necessary to calm markets and “avert collapse in world confidence.”

Here’s the thing: All governments can do is print, borrow, or steal from taxpayers. These are exactly the policies that created a loss of confidence to begin with, and now they are pledging to restore confidence by doing the exact same things.

If they take action, the situation will only get worse. If they don’t take action, the markets will panic and the situation will only get worse. Rock. Hard place.

4) Trillions of dollars are sloshing around in the financial system right now desperately seeking some modicum of safety. With the wave of downgrades and money creation that’s coming, few asset classes look stable… so that little hunk of yellow metal is starting to look awfully attractive to a lot of investors.

5) Governments will do whatever it takes to keep the party going and maintain the status quo, whether it’s printing money into oblivion and sticking consumers with massive inflation, or sending police out into the streets to beat everyone into submission.

I really want to urge you to think rationally about your situation and ask yourself a simple question– do you feel secure having the entirety of your assets and livelihood under the control of a single bankrupt nation in the midst of a financial collapse?

If not, it’s time to let go of the excuses and take action.

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SilverRhino's picture

All governments can do is print, borrow, or steal from taxpayers.

Says it all right there.

brew's picture

qe3 will officially announce the jig is up...

TomJoad's picture

print = steal from taxpayers

borrow = steal from taxpayers

steal from taxpayers = steal from taxpayers


One trick pony.

par4's picture

Try printing your own.

zorba THE GREEK's picture

Odysseus was king of Ithaca. He was hero in The Odyssey.

Achaeans fought in Trojan War against City of Troy.

That story is called The Iliad. Two different stories.

The Iliad gave us the expression: The face that launched a 1000 ships.

Zorba is very old. He hung out with Homer who wrote both stories.

He used to call him ' Homey'

Michael's picture

I want to personally thank the Democrats who are hell bent on maximizing economic devastation that will befall the United States of America.

It has been statistically proven with mathematical certainty there will be a complete and total economic collapse of the USA given our current economic situation.

Thank you Democrats for wanting to maximize the economic devastation and kicking the can down the road for my viewing pleasure.

I also want to thank the Republicans for doing the same, paying for silly wars chasing the bogyman all over the planet and spending trillions of dollars on it.

Thank you both very very much for the Schadenfreude you are giving me out of the kindness of your hearts. 

NumNutt's picture

At what point do we wait to declare our day of rage like Egypt, and demand that this administration be thrown out of office. I cannot believe that Obama is trying to continue with the same plan that has gotten us to this point. Thanks to ZH my money is safe, but I have a feeling things are only going from bad to worse from here.

rwe2late's picture

All governments can do is print, borrow, or steal from taxpayers.

NOT QUITE TRUE.  That may be all the present governments will do,


A decent, presumably democratic government could refuse to hand over public funds to the TBTFs, could take control of its currency back from the central bank, could downsize its needless miltary spending, could invest in rehabilitating a crumbling infrastructure, could end its wasteful attempt at neo-Prohibition (on drugs), could change its wasteful health care system, ... there's more, but the point is a proper government could do a lot better.

Dick Fitz's picture

Government is not able to do any of the things you mention, because they are fundamentally corrupt and under the influence of powerful special interest groups. All of the functions provided by DC need to be devolved back to the state/local level. DC is a cancer that is killing us, and poisoning the world.

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

All of the functions provided by DC need to be devolved back to the state/local level.

There are very few things any government does well; ergo, there are very few things government should do.

Devolving power without curtailing it serves only to multiply the number of despots.  There needs to be a serious reduction in the scope of force applied to human affairs (i.e., in the scope of government at all levels).

Pay Day Today's picture

Society needs to be organised. It might be at an anarchistic local level, at a state gov level or at a Federal level. Nevertheless, people get quite annoyed when roads and traffic lights, basic utilities, schools and social security payments stop working.

rwe2late's picture

Dick Fitz,

 Downsized government(s) will be even less able to resist the special interests and corruption from global corporations, war merchants, environmental despoilers, and criminal syndicates.  Perhaps you should consider that it is mega corporations and an influential wealthy elite that needs to be curtailed, at least as much as government, if not much more so.

mynhair's picture

Hope the flash crash doesn't happen behind the scenes.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If not, it’s time to let go of the excuses and take action.

Not enough pain yet to compel action my friend. But getter closer.

WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

We are on fire and they are drinking champaigne!

Advoc8tr's picture

By the time the pain is felt the injury is already done .... They will arc up when the financial institution handling their nest egg declares bankruptcy out of the blue or when they get their annual statement next year .... by which time it will of course be too late.

Can't help those who won't help themselves .... and should we anyway?  It is akin to permanent welfare which is bad for everybody involved.

If life has a purpose I believe it is to learn, grow, evolve.  Treating people as children for the entirety of their lives is counter-productive to their long term development.

kito's picture


Spitzer's picture

Have you ever left the US ?

There is many places around the world that are utopia compared to N Ameirca. Everything is dirt cheap, the people are laid back, the government cant afford to fuck you. You can bribe cops out of traffic offences. Hot babes are a dime a dozen.

Check it out some time....

pazmaker's picture

Governments exist in all countries my friend....

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Santiago is lovely. It's definitely in my top 10.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Cashed out last Monday, yeah I missed the top.  However, until accoutability is brought back, cash is king and that king is walking down a yellow brick road.  Soon they will be one and the same again - HOORAY!

PaperBugsBurn's picture

SDR bitchez!



slewie the pi-rat's picture

single nation no good

many nations heap better

trust-um me

Deepskyy's picture

Race to the bottom bitchez.  I got beer in the fridge with one in the freezer watching the carnage.

Official Bear by Friday?


Doyle Hargraves's picture

Dow Solidly below 11,000-check

S&P 500 below 1130 and falling quickly-check

BAC about to give up the ghost $6.70 and falling-check

Tradition at $1721+-check

Smells like VICTORY!

HungrySeagull's picture

Well, the Gravity of the situation has taken hold finally.

They can only hold the markets from taking nature's course for so long. It's like a river wide it will find a way through.


Silver is being dumped for Gold with pricing already into the 2500's ASK

DosZap's picture

HungrySeagull, @14:35


Silver is being dumped for Gold with pricing already into the 2500's ASK


Where ,pray tell is Gold at $2,500.00 ASK?.

Pls advise...................cause your paying way too much...........LOL

Eagle Keeper's picture

G7 finance ministers have pledged to take any steps necessary to calm markets and “avert collapse in world confidence.”


Confidence must be earned, not bought or demanded. And once lost is even harder to restore. 

The only way to lead is by example. Governments don't understand this.....

newstreet's picture

Carthago delenda est.

Ignatius J Reilly's picture

I love this site.  rock and a hard place.  Salt the earth.


Man, I wish I could drink a beer with you people.  You're my kinda people.

Ignatius J Reilly's picture

Oh, and just for clarity.  I truly mean that.  

BigJim's picture

I agree. I think Tyler(s) should buy a medium-sized greek island and set up a ZH resort/commune/base. I'd visit!

mick_richfield's picture

I keep wear my ZH hat, hoping to someday see someone else wearing the Sign of the Theta.  Hasn't happened yet.

VyseLegendaire's picture

What else is new.  

Chip's picture

Big money and the Pirates are running this show today.

JW n FL's picture

1) America’s credit rating was punished by S&P because US politicians failed to reach an adequate solution to the country’s massive debt woes which are nearing 100% of GDP. Investors reacted by buying the Japanese yen– a country whose sovereign debt rating is two steps below the US, and at 220% of GDP, over twice as indebted!




S & P down graded the U.S. becuase they got raided in Italy and for no other reason than to protect themselves offshore from litigation!


now becuase of this unforseen event have the markets been shaken to the point of breaking..

do you see Bernake cutting down the trees in your back yard? so that he can print money??

then there is your answer!

I dont like it! but it dont make it any less true.

a 25% drop is what is needed for QE-3.. are people jumping the gun or did the S & P bullshit enhance the effects.. maybe but once again.. is Bernake out back with an axe cutting down the trees in your yard to print money?

well then, there you go!

baby_BLYTHE's picture

When is Benocide going to wake up and realize ZIRP has been a total failure? Prudent savers have been stolen from to the tune of trillions of dollars since the policy's implementation. Negative real-interest rates over a long period of time discourage capital formation and change the overall economic behavior of individuals.

People might say that it benefits those in debted with mortgage payments and such, but with ZIRP + QE prices for everything increase which destroys the purchasing power of the poorest of the poor (Who have seen declining wages for years and years).

ZIRP was supposed to benefit the big banks, but as we see now they are all collapsing again. Another FAIL for the Money Printer!

Seriously. Bernanke needs to be disposed, as Marc Faber said one day might be the case

Dr. Engali's picture

They have a simple solution to that....make the banks bigger/sarc. It's all about transfering as much wealth from the middle class as possible. When they do qe3 that will be it. Those closest to the money will get the benefit, everybody else will find misery.

falak pema's picture

My favorite story of ancient times : Charybdis and Scylla. In today's world Charybdis is the whirlpool of government deficit spending and Scylla is the hard rock of Oligarchic greedy hubristic ponzi play. We are there today. 

So pick your sides unless you be Ulysses and know how to  sail the narrow passage. The shills of WS don't and they'll pay the price. 

NickyG's picture

Wow that's new! Last week I read that Putin said that the US was a leech sucking of

High Plains Drifter's picture

greek mythology? when it doubt ask the experts.........

cream 1968 tales of brave ulysses

American Dreams's picture

Many thanks HPD!  Classic rock lives here fo sho.

know your enemy


zorba THE GREEK's picture

HPD-I am so glad you are expert...

You would think Zorba would know about Greek mythology, but alas Zorba

didn't even know Greeks fought war over condoms ( Trojan War )

But FYI; Odysseos (mis-spelled) was in story called the odessy (also mis-spelled)

story of Trojan war called the Illiad. Battle for city of Troy.

Two completely different stories.

High Plains Drifter's picture

bythe keeps hammering on silver to try and mess with gold.........same old game, same old way. they are running out of rope........

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Well, when your nation is being run by 533 part-time moronic amateurs who take their marching orders along with a fat check from multi-million dollar lobbying organizations, this is what you get and it ain't pretty...

Downtoolong's picture

America’s credit rating was punished by S&P …. Investors reacted by buying the Japanese yen.

It’s crazier than this; they’re buying more U.S. Treasuries with both hands today.

Peter K's picture

The US got downgraded because we have a redistributionist Marxist, masquarading as a Keynsian wrapped in free market linquistics. He and his DemoCommiNazis doubled the national debt after they took over congress in 2006, and having run up agianst the debt ceiling, they waited til the last minute in order to create a crisis (remember, not letting one go to waiste) in order to roll the Republicans and the Tea Party in order crush their credibility with the American public. And having failed to raise taxes on the billionaires and trillionaires, which wouldn't make a drop in the ocean's differnce the way the OBAMACOMMINAZI's are spending, they got the OBAMADowngraded. And like the little petulant, narcissistic pre-adolescents that OBAMA and Co. are, all that is left to do is whine and cry.

But really folks, what is the real problem?

Treasury takes in 180b per month

Debt service is 35b per month.

The OBAMACOMMIENAZI's spend 300b per month.

So the real issue is: The Bamster has a spending problem. It just that simple. And all the bullshit in the world ain't gonna change that one bit.

Just to be clear, I say again:The uncontrolled spending is the ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. And that's the fact JACK.