Archive for March, 2010

Western civilization and the economic crisis

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Full story here from Market Oracle.

The western nations of the world have built their great wealth and societies on the exploitation and plundering of the people and resources of the rest of the world. The wealth, freedom, and structures of our societies have been built on the starvation, robbery, deprivation and murder of millions upon millions of the world’s people, both historically and presently.

It seemed for a time that “Western Civilization” had worked, even if only for the west. We saw the emergence and growth of a vibrant middle class, which has its origins in the Industrial Revolution, out of which we also saw the formation of the “nuclear family.” The middle classes of the west grew in wealth, education, and access. While the great problems of the world, and for the majority of the world’s people, persisted and expanded exponentially, the great purpose of the middle class was siphoned and expanded into facilitating the development of a massive consumerist society. The function of the middle class became that of consuming, not necessarily contributing to determining the direction of society.  (more…)

HAMP to the rescue

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Full story here from Mike Whitney.

Last Friday, the Obama administration announced changes to its Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) The most significant change is “principal reduction”. By reducing the balance on underwater loans, the administration hopes to lower the number of foreclosures which have soared to more than 300,000 per month.  This looks like a plan that could work, since most foreclosures are the result of  negative equity or unemployment. If the banks and other investors agree to the terms of the program (and it looks like they will) then more homeowners will be able to avoid foreclosure, prices will stabilize, and the recovery will gain momentum. There is one drawback, however, which is moral hazard writ large.  The new program rewards the speculators who bet on dodgy investments and who’ll be able to exchange their garbage securitizations for government-guaranteed FHA loans. (more…)

Think quitting the EU will suck for Greece? It’s way better than what Merkel has in mind

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Full story here from Business Insider.

Here’s why the rally’s nearing its end

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Full story here from Business Insider.

Credit crisis, outrage, far from over

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Full story here from The International Forecaster.

Bernanke re-nominated, outrage at banks, insolvency the real state of banks, crime pays when you are at the top, sovereign debt crisis around the world, debt and derivatives products were all just a ponzi scheme, the problem wont go a way when the system is purged, PIMCO Bill Gross warns of inflation, big cutbacks in services… (more…)

Lehman’s desperate housewives

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Full story here from Vanity Fair. If you didn’t already hate Dick Fuld, here are a few more reasons why.

“Lehman Brothers C.E.O. Dick Fuld expected his top executives to get married, and stay married. For their wives, the firm was both fishbowl and shark tank, with unwritten rules about the clothes they wore, the charities they supported, and the hikes they took at the company’s Sun Valley retreats. One and a half years after the firm’s collapse, in an excerpt from her new book, the author sums up the high price—a life of isolation, backstabbing, and hypocrisy—paid by Lehman’s better halves. (more…)

The looming trade war with China

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Full story here from Mike Whitney via CounterPunch. And we’re not even counting the possibility of wielding punishment for China stopping buying Treasuries (and starting to sell them too). Bad China! Bad, naughty China! Go to the corner and think about what you did.

A war of words has broken out between China and the United States and the pundits are predicting that it will end in a  full-blown trade war. The Obama administration thinks that China is manipulating its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage and increase its exports. China’s Premier Wen Jiabao’s adamantly denies the charge.  “I do not think the renminbi is undervalued” he says. “And we are opposed to countries pointing fingers at each other or taking strong measures to force other countries to appreciate their currencies….If the United States uses the exchange rate to start a new trade war, China will be hurt. But the American people and US companies will be hurt even more.” (more…)

The only thing that may save the Euro is a collapse of the US

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Full story here from ZeroHedge.

For once, some actually good insight from a CNBC guest. Philip Manduca, Head of Investment of the ECU Group, discusses Greece and the very severe implications of what the final outcome will look like. “Trichet said the Greeks are crooks, and they’ve been lying about the numbers. There is a deeply embedded corruption within the Eurozone. Combined with the endemic European socialism and there is just no way you are going to get spending cuts and tax raises and maintain a GDP that makes any sense of the percentage aspect of debt to GDP. So the whole show is wrong. This is an intractable situation, this is going to continue on and on. The onle hope for the Eurozone, and the Euro as a currency, is that sameone takes the spotlight soon, and that may be the United States.” Watch the rest as Philip’s perspective is spot on…Not to mention that he sees gold as the only alternative to the fiat bonfire soon to engulf the western world.

What if the stock mkt, housing and economy since ‘70 was just a big bubble?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Full story here from Market Oracle.

One of the things that many people go through their entire lives without ever realizing is that conditions haven’t always been the way they remember them to be. Due to the length of a typical lifetime and the number of those years that individuals are productive, it’s reasonable to think that someone in their mid-60s could retire today and look back at the last 40 years only to conclude that what they just experienced was normal.

But, what if the last 40 years were anything but normal?  (more…)

The impact of bubbles and the future risk

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Full story here from The International Forecaster.

Bubbles of years ago being felt today, why rescue people from their mistakes? Destructive economic processes at work, many countries on the verge of bankruptcy, America now holds debt far beyond its ability to pay back, Debasement the order of the day, Bill Gross of PIMCO looks to developing nations for stability… (more…)