All you need to read and some more.
Concluding last night's post on the PBS Frontline "Money, Power, & Wall Street" mini-series, the remaining two episodes below take us from the market lows to the current euphoric highs. From Obama's decision for more of the same on his economic team to the Stress Tests, from Larry Summers cavorting arrogance to the Public's rising anger, these two 'post-crisis' episodes seem to have less revisionism than the first two and proceed beyond the US to Europe's 'hiding of the truth' and whether the system can ever be truly reformed - not a pretty picture (especially with the mutually assured destruction argument already being played by the banks in their discussions with the Fed on Dodd-Frank today). No Blythe Masters' pool-side this time but Larry Summers is always happy to please.
Over the weekend, just because apparently someone really needed content at any cost (in this case zero), we got a new intellectual stillborn from none other than the man who more than anyone is responsible for the global economic collapse the world has been in for the past 4 years, and from which it is nowhere even close in escaping. The man of course is Larry Summers, who first crushed global finance, then Harvard, and finally Obama's economic platform, whom the FT saw fit to give the chance to pontificate on such concepts at growth and austerity, because apparently, growth through austerity, whereby banking sector debt is written down in parallel is not growth, but there is some subsegment of "growth", heretofore unknown, that Europe has not tried before, and will instead focus on that going forward. To paraphrase Lewis Black: don't think about that sentence too hard, or blood will shoot out of your nose.
Let’s be clear: financial misdeeds ruin lives. If a Madoff takes your money and uses it to pay off other investors in a ponzi scheme, you won’t be able to get it back. If a Blankfein underling issues you with misleading advice, and then bets against you (creaming himself a nice profit), you won’t be able to get it back. If a Corzine steals your money and uses it to bet on the European sovereign debt market, you might not be able to get it back. You might end up in poverty or worse. You might lose your children’s college money, your retirement money, or capital you needed for your business. You might lose your home. So shouldn’t we take a tough line against financial misdeeds? Shouldn’t tricking and stealing from investors, tricking and stealing from the public, tricking and stealing from clients carry a heavy disincentive, like death? Would a corrupt banker not think twice about their misdeeds if they knew that apprehension would mean a noose around their neck and a kicked bucket? A lot of commentators — like for example, Max Keiser — seem to think so. And in China financial crimes are treated with a gravity far beyond a cushy minimum security cell, and home visits on the weekends. Financial criminals in China are often executed.
Last week, Bernanke's first (of four) lecture at George Washington University was entirely dedicated to attempting to discredit gold and all that sound money stands for. The propaganda machine was so transparent that it hardly merited a response: those away from the MSM know the truth (which, simply said, is the "creation" of over $100 trillion in derivatives in just the first six months of 2011 to a record $707 trillion - how does one spell stability?), while those who rely on mainstream media for the news would never see an alternative perspective - financial firms are not among the top three sources of advertising dollars for legacy media for nothing. Still, for those who feel like the Chairman's word need to be challenged, the following extensive and annotated reply by QBAMCO's Paul Brodsky makes a mockery of the Fed's full on assault on gold, and any attempts by the subservient media to defend it. To wit: "Has anyone asked why so many powerful people are going out of their way to discredit an inert rock? We think it comes down to maintaining power and control over commercial economies. After professionally watching Fed chairmen cajole, threaten, persuade and manage sentiment in the markets since 1982, we argue this latest permutation is understandable, predictable and, for those willing to bet on the Fed’s ultimate success in saving the banking system (as we are), quite exciting.... Gold is no longer being ignored and gold holders are no longer being laughed at. “The Powers That Be” seem to have begun a campaign to discredit gold."
Anyone Who Thinks that War Is Good For the Economy Has One Eye Covered ... And Is Only Looking At Half the Picture ...
Call it the economists’ Truman Show.
At least he knows where the bathroom is.
My thoughts on the coming year.
Watch Rosenberg And Krugman Debate Larry Summers and Ian Bremmer On Whether The US Is Turning Into JapanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/14/2011 22:54 -0400
Minutes ago, the always delightful Munk Debate on the American economy concluded, which pitted two skeptics: David Rosenberg and (yes, he is a skeptic when it comes to his belief in the "proper" implementation of Keynesianism) Paul Krugman on the one hand defending the null motion of the debate, against Larry "Warren (watch the clip)" Summers, best known for destroying capitalism, and Ian Bremmer. The core debate topic was as follows: "North America faces a Japan style era of high unemployment and slow growth an accurate forecast of the future." Naturally, as Krugman immediately explained, by North America the organizers mean the US, simply because Canada is too small and hasn't screwed up enough (we would add that the screw up has not been perceived yet: everyone has screwed up, but luckily we have enough distractions for the time being). Either way, the progression of the debate should not come as a surprise to most, neither how each particular economist will perform: that Rosie sees Japan in every aspect of the US should not surprise anyone; that Krugman does too unless the politicians agree to being invaded by aliens, is also to be expected. On the other side, "Warren" Summers' argument can be simplified to his fallback motto of Keynesianism and Central Planning 101 in which he believes that the printing of money and job creation are sufficient to fix all US problems. No surprise there either: after all this is the man who three weeks ago said: "The central irony of financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing and lending and too much spending, it can only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing and lending, and more spending."
Nobel Prize-Winning Economist: “War Is Widely Thought To Be Linked To Economic Good Times … NONSENSE”Submitted by George Washington on 11/01/2011 03:48 -0400
A no brainer ...
Presented without commentary:
"The central irony of financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing and lending and too much spending, it can only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing and lending, and more spending." -
Larry Summers, source
Where does Larry Summers get off giving Americans advice on how to fix the continuing housing crisis? And where does this political opportunist find the unmitigated gall to instruct us not to “finger point” and thereby identify culprits in Washington who helped enable the housing mess?
Next, Comes The Impeachment: Republicans Seek All White House Communication On Solyndra Since Obama InaugurationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/05/2011 17:31 -0400
This can not be good news for a president already mired in 20% real unemployment and 98.9% Debt to GDP: “Nearly eight months into our investigation, documents provided to the Committee last Friday confirm those closest to the President - top advisors like Valerie Jarrett, Larry Summers, and Ron Klain - had direct involvement in the Solyndra mess. In addition to the cast of West Wing characters with access to the Oval Office, documents reveal a startlingly cozy relationship between wealthy donors and the President’s confidantes, especially in matters related to Solyndra. While the President claims ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ and the loan went ‘through the regular review process,’ the facts tell a much different story with some of the loudest alarm bells on Solyndra’s viability coming from within his very own administration.” Next up: "please define the term 'crony venture capital taxpayer funded loan." Also, stories like this can not help.
Millions of middle class citizens in the U.S. sink deeper into despair every day. Day by day hope is being lost that the future for our children will be better than our past. The political, financial, and corporate leaders of our country are intellectually and morally bankrupt. The major Wall Street banks are bankrupt. Social Security is bankrupt. Medicare is bankrupt. The whole damned world is bankrupt. Anyone with an unbiased view of our planet would conclude that we are in unfathomable danger. The list of impending catastrophic issues that will blow up the world for millions in the U.S. and across the globe is virtually endless... When I started to detail the issues facing our country today, I expected to come up with 10 to 20 bullet points of key concerns. As I methodically worked through the categories of challenges facing the American Empire, the total reached 76 bullet points. The facts as presented above paint a picture of impending doom for America. The slogans and vapid “solutions” proposed by political candidates and entrenched Washington politicians do not even scratch the surface of what would need to be done to save this country from economic collapse. Many of these problems took decades to create and are not solvable in a reasonable time frame. With the country still delusion, overleveraged, and underemployed, it seems like the existing economic and social structure will need to be blown up to restore hope in this country.