RGE Wednesday Note – The Economics of Copenhagen
As global leaders begin meeting in Copenhagen to craft a new climate change deal, we take a look at what sort of deal might emerge, what different countries are bringing to the table and the likely economic costs of such a deal. This piece is excerpted from a longer piece, “The Economics of Copenhagen,” available in full to RGE clients.
Despite lowered expectations for the meeting, climate change mitigation, emissions reductions and clean technology have already benefited from more political firepower and government incentives than at any time in the past. In part, this reflects a growing acceptance of the economic and financial benefits of technological change and energy efficiency as countries seek out the next sources of growth. The thorniest issues at Copenhagen concern who will finance the transition to a lower carbon economy.
Expectations for a grand climate bargain were brought to earth in mid-November, when leaders meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) suggested that a grand bargain seemed out of reach in 2009. Global leaders are now pushing for a two-step process including a non-binding “political” Copenhagen deal for 2009, which would include a new financing structure that would be followed by an agreement with legally-binding provisions in 2010. This would give national governments enough time to ratify the agreement before the Kyoto protocol expires in 2012. The “nonbinding political agreement” activists hope will be brokered at Copenhagen would set a goal for reducing global emissions by aggregating national and multilateral targets and allocating funds to developing countries for mitigation efforts.
It’s no surprise that divisions abound when 192 countries are at the table. Even including some of the larger blocks, the current negotiating platforms are difficult to compare, with countries using different base years and setting a range of intermediate and long-term goals. Concerns include the scale and scope of cuts; the mechanisms that would test whether or not cuts have been made; the approval of offsets; and, most importantly, the means of financing. Despite the renewed interest in and enthusiasm for clean technologies and stopping climate change, the domestic economic benefits from carbon-intensive industries suggest that a politically-binding deal will be difficult to broker. These challenges seem likely to linger into 2010, particularly if the global economic recovery is sluggish and staggered, and trade protectionism rises.
There are two major areas of debate: the distribution of emissions cuts around the world to meet a global target, and the allocation of the cost of these measures. Financing the transition to a lower carbon economy is Copenhagen’s make-or-break issue and without an agreement on how the bill will be paid, an agreement on emissions targets is unlikely. In the days leading up to December 7, most major economies presented new and improved emission-reduction plans to strengthen their bargaining positions. However, these plans are not necessarily comparable to each other. Nor are there agreed-upon monitoring systems that will assess whether countries are in compliance. Moreover, the developed economies expected to pick up the tab for mitigation and adaption efforts are still recovering from severe recessions and are wary of any deals that could disproportionately benefit trading partners.
Many developing economies are reluctant to commit to emissions targets that would restrain their economic growth, preferring instead to commit to reducing the carbon intensity of growth. Doing so should lead to lower emissions than if no changes were made, but the pace of emissions growth could still be substantial. Given the pace of development and the still-low car use per capita, hydrocarbon use is set to increase. At the same time, countries like the U.S. are worried that higher emissions standards would further encourage the outsourcing of goods production to countries where carbon-emission regulations are not as stringent.
Yet the rising long-term costs of carbon-based energy are prompting governments and companies to look for new systems of production. Even unilateral programs like carbon taxes, government support and Cap-and-Trade systems are helping businesses plan for future costs. For governments acting unilaterally or in concert, consistency of policy will be necessary.
Emission Targets a Sticking Point
Countries have been at loggerheads over an agreeable emissions target for some time. On average, developing countries expect a greater reduction from developed countries (at least 40% from 1990 levels by 2020). Developing countries, which are themselves quite different in terms of economic and emissions growth, contend that global caps on emissions pose a risk to economic growth. Countries like India and China point out that already-industrialized economies were able to freely pollute during comparable points in their development. Yet domestic pressures within these countries, and from other emerging markets, particularly those most vulnerable to rising sea levels, are prompting policy changes.
The Copenhagen talks come right as the global economy emerges from recession, underscoring the mixed links between the economic and financial crises and climate change mitigation. On one hand, the sharp fall in industrial production around the world has reduced emissions sharply in 2009, making it easier to meet long-term goals. Additionally, governments seized opportunities to support new industries, and provided incentives to increase energy efficiency with fiscal stimulus projects. The effects of these “green stimulus” measures were mixed, with few jobs created, but they did, especially in the U.S., partly offset a reduction of private capital to clean technology ventures. However, with government budgets deteriorating sharply, particularly in the G7, allocating funds to reducing carbon emissions abroad will be a tough sell.
124 Responses to “RGE Wednesday Note – The Economics of Copenhagen”
just more proof, most mainstream pundits, news orgs, govt mouths, govt economists have NO CLUE! how in the world can you be off 3.5%- its alomst comical….its all about now and delivery…. Tell everyone something good now and deal with the facts that disprove it in later months…The PTB truly are becoming more and more arrogant and have no issue telling 300 Million Average Joe Americans “you are going to take it and like it”!Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s economy expanded less than a third of the pace initially reported in the three months to September as companies slashed spending.Gross domestic product rose an annualized 1.3 percent, slower than the 4.8 percent reported last month, the Cabinet Office said today in Tokyo. The revision, which was deeper than the predictions of all but one of the 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, also showed that price declines accelerated.
think about this and what it implies… The British Govt knows thier Average Joe Limes are pissed..that and they are an insolvent gov’t… this will soon be coming to to the US.Britain To Tax Banker Bonuses At 50%, Will US Bankers Now Drop Market Preemptively To Show Who Is In Charge?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/09/2009 09:04 -0500Excess Profits TaxIn his pre-budget report, British Chancellor Alistair Darling said that he will now levy a 50% tax on banker bonuses. The new tax will be effective from today until April 5.The tax will hit virtually all financial companies, including subsidiaries of foreign banks . Thus a Goldman banker working in London will suddenly be faced with a much higher marginal tax rate that his associate in New York. This will either generate much transatlantic resentment, or expect a comparable move to the replicated by the IRS with the President’s blessing, who has already lost control of the unemployment picture, so the last thing he can do to regain some popularity is to take Main Street’s outcry direct to the southern tip of Manhattan.Yet even as the likelihood of a copycat tax in the U.S. is increasing, the question is do the domestic trading desks now drop the market and show the administration who is really in charge? Because even the President’s working group can not survive a concerted attack from every single financial entity in the world. And bankers are nothing if not efficient at marking their territory in the protection of take home pay. If that requires a 200 point drop in the S&P, so be it.
As I have been saying for months: State, Local and Federal Revenues are tanking… it does not take a rocket scientist to see the correlation to NO JOBS continuing to get worse…Its a year later and it’s Christmas and we are far worse off then we were last Christmas… Obama has no clue and is guided by idiots… His total lack of experiance is like a bright shining star this holiday season…By my estimates we are now at 32 million plus U6 unemployment… Someone has to to keep counting all the folks they wont count…Collapse In Tax Withholdings Refutes Improvements In Either Unemployment Or Corporate ProfitabilitySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/08/2009 12:40 -0500Even as the BLS and the administration are trying to cover up the real state of unemployment affairs using assorted semantic gimmicks of just what it means to be unemployed, and as companies provide adjusted EPS numbers, while actual earnings continue to collapse, the true barometer of spending, provided by the Financial Management Service, tax withholdings (net of refunds), continues to paint the truest picture of just what is really happening with both America’s consumer and the corporate world. And it ain’t pretty. On a rolling 12 month basis, individual tax withheld has dropped by nearly 8% YoY, from $1.42 trillion to $1.31 trillion, while company witholdings are down a whalloping 64%, from $274 billion to just under $100 billion! This is money that will never be used to pay down the skyrocketing US deficit, because both the US consumer and average US company are simply not collecting the required cash to line the Treasury’s pockets with the one traditional way to pad the deficit: taxes. Expect much, much, much more debt issuance in America’s short, medium and long-term future.Reader Michael provides some perspective on the above data:A perspective on the level of US unemployment is not whether someone is employed or partly employed (and varying obtuse definitions) but the level of wages being generated by the consumers. Only wages pay the bills (and generate economic activity), not employment definitions. An insight into National wages is the daily (cash) tax collections published by the Financial Management Service. The rolling 12 months figures show a consistent decline, with Nov 2009 showing a 7.6% decline from Nov 2008. Drilling down into actual monthly figures does not indicate any trend change. The rolling 12 Month Company tax payments shows a 63.95% decline to Nov 2009. Monthly net collections again show no change in trend, with the month to 4th December showing a further refund of $14 Billion.And even though we missed the President in his daily address to the nation earlier, we hope this a topic he will bring up tomorrow or later this afternoon, whichever comes earliest in his next scheduled TV appearance
The Science is not settled when >31k scientists don’t concur with the wisdom being reported by the Lamestream Media …http://www.petitionproject.orghttp://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/commentaries_essays/science_isnt_settled.htmlThe Forecasts should, at a minimum, be taken with a grain of salt rather than used as a serious basis for planning the lives of nearly 7 billion people …Copenhagen climate summit concerns not justified by scientific forecastingThere is ample evidence that the underlying data has been, to be polite, manipulated and that the conclusions to which the world has jumped are a fraud ….http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/commentaries_essays/worst_scandal.htmlFinally, if it were such a serious issue of such urgency, why didn’t our rockstar leaders meet via telecon or the internet to kick off the brave new world with the brave new technologies that will be required???Follow your leaders, sheep!
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Geithner-bailout-program-apf-3043495812.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=let me remind you all, no exit strategy period!!! Obafoon, helicopter Ben, tax cheat Geithner, crazy Pelosi dont want exit strategy, happy cheap funny money forever!!!!
News Flash to CNN- most of us think this is the beginning of a DEPRESSION or we are laready in one…That will last yearsWhat recovery? Most still see recessionCNN survey finds 84% believe the economy is still in a recession, and that pessimism is growing despite improved economic readings.See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close) By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writerLast Updated: December 8, 2009: 10:10 PM ETAre things really getting better?Last quarter, the economy grew by the largest amount since the summer of 2007, but there are signs that things are still getting worse.NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Economists are in broad agreement that the Great Recession is over. The American public strongly disagrees.In a poll of more than 1,000 Americans conducted late last week by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, 84% of those surveyed believe that the economy is still in recession.That’s a slight improvement from the 87% who believed there was still a recession in the September survey, but it is almost the opposite view of the nation’s economists.An official declaration of an end to the recession that started in December 2007 won’t be made until next year at the earliest by the National Bureau of Economic Research. But recent economic readings and surveys of economists all point to a U.S. economy that is growing again.The economy grew at a 2.8% annual rate in the three months ending in September, according to the latest reading on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation’s economic activity.While the economy continues to lose jobs, the number of jobs lost in November fell to 11,000, the smallest amount of any month since the start of 2008, while the unemployment rate improved to 10% from 10.2%. And a survey of 43 top economists by the National Association of Business Economists in October found 81% agreed that the recession was over.0:00 /4:42Ten years for job recoveryThe survey was taken ahead of that latest jobs reading. It comes as President Obama announced Tuesday that he wants Congress to redirect a certain portion of leftover Wall Street bailout funds toward new job creation measures, including building roads and bridges, “weatherizing” homes to reduce energy bills and lending to small businesses.Recovery ‘only an economist can love’But even economists understand why the general public doesn’t share economists’ view of current conditions. Mark Vitner, senior economist with Wells Fargo Securities, said this has so far been a recovery that only an economist can love, given continued job losses and tight credit conditions.”I think the end of the recession and beginning of the recovery is very difficult for Main Street America to see,” he said. “The bad news isn’t coming out as frequently, but there really hasn’t been much good news. We’re stuck in some sort of economic purgatory.”Vitner said part of the disagreement between economists and the public view of the economy is a difference in how recession and recovery are defined. Economists believe a recession is over and a recovery begins when the economy has hit bottom.”If you fall into a hole, the time that you’re falling is the recession. Once you hit the bottom, the recession is over. But you’re still in the hole,” said Vitner. “Most non-economists think the recovery doesn’t begin until you’re out of the hole.”In fact the survey backs up that disconnect between economists’ and the public’s views.It found 46% of those surveyed believe that conditions have stabilized and are not getting any worse. But that plurality also believes that means the economy is still in recession.Economic conditions of those answering the poll also affect the results.”The recession has hit blue-collar families the hardest,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “More than half of whites who never attended college say economic conditions are still in a downturn. Most whites who attended college say things have stabilized or are starting to get better.”Few gains seen, more worries aheadVitner said that any improvement in the economy so far has produced very modest gains for the average household, as well as the broader economic measures. So people are likely to feel like there’s a recession for quite some time.”The hole is a very big hole this time and the recovery is very modest so it might take us a number of years to get out of the hole,” he said.While economists are typically getting more optimistic, the poll found evidence the public is getting more pessimistic.The poll found only 15% believe the economy is starting to recover from the problems it faced in the past year or so, down from 17% who saw improvement in the previous poll in September. And it found 39% believe the economy is still in a downturn and conditions are continuing to worsen, up from 36% who believed things were getting worse in September.And many Americans are still worried things could get a lot worse.Asked about a risk of another depression, the poll found 43% believing that was somewhat or very likely, a bit worse than the 41% who thought that in a survey in the middle of summer, although well below the 59% who feared another depression when asked in early October of 2008.The survey described a depression as a period when roughly one out of four workers were unemployed, banks fail across the country and millions of ordinary Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.Asked in general terms how well things are going in the country today, the outlook is more negative than the previous reading for the first time since President Obama took office in January, with 66% saying things are pretty or very bad, up from 63% among those asked that question on Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. Still, that is better than the 79% who believed things were pretty or very bad a year ago.– CNN Wires and CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report
Average Jor American fighting back a little at least now, albeit msot are forced to do so…New underground economyAvoidance of bank accountsBy Richard W. RahnThe underground or “black” economy is rapidly rising, and the fault is mainly due to government policies.Here is the evidence. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) released a report last week concluding that 7.7 percent of U.S. households, containing at least 17 million adults, are unbanked (i.e. those who do not have bank accounts), and an “estimated 17.9 percent of U.S. households, roughly 21 million, are underbanked” (i.e., those who rely heavily on nonbank institutions, such as check cashing and money transmitting services). As an economy becomes richer and incomes rise, the normal expectation is that the proportion of the unbanked population falls and does not rise as is now happening in the United States.Tax revenues are falling far more rapidly at the federal, state and local level than would be expected by the small drop in real gross domestic product (GDP) and changes in tax law that have occurred since the recession began. The currency in circulation outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve banks and the vaults of depository institutions – that is, the currency held by individuals and businesses – has grown by 13.3 percent in the last two years, while real nominal (not inflation-adjusted) GDP has not grown at all, and real (inflation-adjusted) GDP incomes have fallen by more than 3 percent. With the growth of electronic means of payment and financial service providers, it would be expected that the currency component of GDP would fall, not rise.The underground economy refers to both legal activities, such as often found in construction and services industries where taxes are not withheld and paid, and illegal activities, such as drug dealing and prostitution.Countries such as the United States, Switzerland and Japan historically have had relatively small, nonreporting and/or illegal sectors, a typical estimate being 13 percent of GDP.Most European countries have had somewhat larger underground sectors (typically 20 percent or so) in part because of the desire to escape higher tax rates. Italy and some of the other Southern European countries are believed to have underground sectors that account for 30 percent or more of all economic activity.I recall an Italian finance minister telling a few of us at a meeting a couple of decades ago that, for policy purposes, he assumed that “the economy was 40 percent larger than what was reported.” In some developing countries and/or highly corrupt countries, underground or “off the books” activities are estimated to be as high as 70 percent of all economic activity.The FDIC report about the size of the unbanked or underbanked sector in the U.S. should be of concern because those who do not use the banking system often have to pay higher fees to cash checks, pay bills (e.g., money orders, etc.), or transmit funds.People who keep their savings in cash at home rather than in banks make themselves easier prey for criminals and are more likely to lose their money to fire, flood, or just neglect. Not surprisingly, a majority (71 percent) of the unbanked have household incomes of less than $30,000 per year.There are many reasons people do not have bank accounts. Banks, because of the “know your customer” and other anti-money laundering regulations, make it difficult for nonestablished people, such as the young and transient, as well as legal and illegal immigrants, to open bank accounts.Also, many of these same regulations are responsible for the rise in bank fees, which are a particular burden for low-income people. You can be sure that every time Congress passes some new law or the IRS implements some new regulation to “get tax cheats,” much of the real burden of these compliance costs will fall on those least able to afford it, while those intent on finding their way around it will do so.People also avoid having bank accounts because they are vulnerable to asset seizure, judgments, levies, etc. Increasingly, bankers and others who provide financial services are forced by governments to spy and snitch on their own customers, and this is a real turnoff for many people, which causes them to find other ways of maintaining financial privacy.Many studies have shown that when people believe the taxes they are required to pay are reasonable and the political leaders tend to spend their tax dollars wisely, tax compliance rises, and vice versa. In the United States, there is increased evidence that many tax dollars are not being spent wisely and are often used to pay off political cronies.Over the past year in particular, the public has become aware that many in Washington who advocate higher taxes and argue that everyone has a responsibility to pay taxes are themselves not complying with the tax laws and regulations.When you have a secretary of the Treasury and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (the tax writing committee) accused of cheating on their taxes, it greatly undermines the moral authority of the tax collectors, making the common citizens feel like chumps and, hence, much more willing to try to legally avoid or illegally evade taxes themselves.The evidence is unambiguous; governments cannot increase tax compliance and decrease the size of the underground economy by ever increasing and more onerous regulations.It is no accident that those governments that allow their citizens a high degree of personal and financial liberty, including financial privacy, and spend taxpayer dollars wisely, honestly and competently, have much smaller underground sectors than corrupt and oppressive governments. Washington, take note.Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.
So here we go agian, staring at a 2 Trillion Dollar deficit for 2010… What ahs been fixed? Wait until spring and tax season and all the states fall off the cliff with their lack of revenue…U.S. already $292 bln in the red this year – CBOWed, Nov 18 2009WASHINGTON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. government racked up a gaping shortfall in the first two months of this fiscal year after posting a record budget deficit last year, congressional analysts said on Friday.BondsIn October and November, the government spent $292 billion more than it took in, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said.That was even worse than the same period last year, when the government was on its way to posting a record $1.4 trillion deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.The federal budget has been battered by the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, as tax revenues have plunged and spending on safety-net programs like unemployment insurance have skyrocketed.The budget deficit was $176.4 billion in October, according to Treasury Department records, and the CBO estimated the deficit for November will have come in at $115 billion.The CBO gave its figures in billions of dollars and said numbers may not add up to the totals because of rounding.Receipts totaled $132 billion in November, the CBO estimated, down 9 percent from the same month last year. That was partly due to new legislation that gives increased tax write-offs to corporations.Outlays were down $23 billion from a year earlier, the CBO estimated, as the government spent less on federal programs to stem the financial crisis. (Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by John O’Callaghan) Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))
This correlates to approx 15 million totally unemployed using avg family size. Throw in 17 million under-unemployed and this could easily grow to 60-70 million in 2010/11. I suppose the PTB looks at it as, “better feed them to keep them from marching and rioting”Food Stamps Go to a Record 37.2 Million, USDA Says (Update2)Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — A record 37.2 million people, or about one out of every eight Americans, received food stamps in September, as the recession drove a surging jobless rate, according to a government report.Recipients of the subsidy for retail-food purchases climbed 18 percent from a year earlier, according to a statement posted today on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Web site. Participation has set records for 10 straight months.The government boosted food aid as unemployment soared, heading to a 26-year high of 10.2 percent in October. The jobless rate cooled to 10 percent last month, the Labor Department said on Dec. 4.“We’ve been working to get that money out the door” to families that need assistance, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said last week in an interview.Nevada had the biggest increase in food-stamp participation rates from a year earlier, surging 54 percent, followed by a 46.5 percent jump in Utah, according to the USDA. Texas had the most recipients at 3.1 million, followed by California with 2.9 million and New York with 2.6 million.Recipients increased in every state and the District of Columbia, except Louisiana. Because of a sharp rise after Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008, the number of people in Louisiana getting food stamps fell 65 percent in September from a year earlier. Gains of more than 30 percent from 2008 were reported in 18 states.35 Million BudgetedAbout 35 million people are expected to receive food stamps each month through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, according to the budget that President Barack Obama sent to Congress in May.“In this economic time, SNAP has been essential,” Merrigan said. The participation rate of state residents who are eligible for food stamps varies widely, the USDA said last month in a report based on 2007 data.In Missouri, about 100 percent who were eligible that year took advantage of the program, the highest rate in the nation, followed by residents of Maine and Michigan, at 91 percent and 89 percent, respectively, the USDA said. Wyoming’s participation rate of 47 percent was the lowest in fiscal 2007, followed by California and Idaho at 48 percent and 50 percent, according to the study.Nationwide, participation in the food-stamp program was 66 percent of those eligible for the aid in 2007, the USDA said. The department has budgeted for a rate of 68 percent in the current 2010 fiscal year.“We know of a lot of people who are SNAP-eligible who are not participating in the program,” Merrigan said. “We are working with states to improve participation.”
MM, as I stated yesterday the food stamp usage is growing at ~750K per month. It is also funny that it took them roughly 80 days to report Q3 numbers.In California the unemployment payments are now up to 92 weeks!Recession my A$$!
And budgets should be balanced, water should be saved, electricity generation should go green, and gasoline use should be reduced…as long as it doesn’t affect you and your hot tub still works. So be it…
The credit crisis is taking an interesting turn. Dubai, Greece, Spain. Who will be next?Stocks Drop Worldwide a Fifth Day as Spain’s Outlook Is Reducedhttp://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a3G.M4KZuQX4&pos=4
Reminds me of MW’s assessment on consumers at the bottom of the heap, yesterday on bubble TV.
Japan is heavy in the mix. They are #2 in GDP production world wide. And things do not look good with their debt at 200% of GDP!Greece is one thing … Japan defaulting is a completely different issue.
Today, I doubled on TWM and added SRS to my list of shorts. Also, I bought a good chunk of MRK just to get the dividend (it gos ex-dividend on 12/11) Hopefully, the market will not nosedive on my trade:-). See my posts in the previous thread for more details.
Anyone has a xmas shopping season update?
The theory says, the price of MRK should go down appx. by the (divident amount)*(1-dividend tax rate) on 12/11, everything else being equal
In terms of gloom, this latest post is virtuallly impossible to beat! U wanna give it a try?:-)
Have some fun follow the links through the slide presentations all the way to gold.
print digital dollar, print print print!!!
IMO, datz not a good one. Take a look at the underlying index. I am long a lot of the stuff in the largest holdings. Sure market goes down it will go down but you may get more bang out of TWM (not investment advice). Last year, in theory the russell 2000 should have broken a lot sooner than the sp500 and that wasn’t the case
I think you where actually thinking about SCC. That may be slightly better but I would short that one either.http://www.proshares.com/funds/scc.htmlhttp://www.proshares.com/funds/scc_index.html
A good one from Kass.
MMs are working hard at keeping the indices up. Have got to have a Merry Xmas:-). At some point in time this morning when I bought MRK at market I got a nice bunch of 100 shares orders to make up the trade. It looks like the big guys ain’t selling [yet].Additional perspective is most welcomed. I am not a trader; I don’t have a Bloomberg terminal. Is total volume as slow as it has been lately.It would be nice to see Mr. Market take in on the chin diz December, but I hold no false hopes. December has traditionally being a strong month. If it turns out to be otherwise a lot of Wallsties [Wall ST types - just made that up] will be in for a big surprise!
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/albert-edwards-here-comes-next-leg-bear-marketLook at the last chart (LEI and and ECRI’s WLI) seem ready to start nosediving. I started speaking about diz almost a month ago… However, the evidence is not conlcusive yet.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601015&sid=aH3yEQQU6WdAmy god, cheap and funny muni money project to rise 7.9%!!!!
Obviously you are an anthropogenic climate change skeptic…. You can’t even check your OWN sources…never mind those that actually UNDERSTAND the subject.Let me help you:Petition Project, by OISMScience and Public Policy InstituteAnd forecastingprinciples.com was founded by J Scott Armstrong
Look out below:”Look at the drop off in retail sales as reported by both the International Council of Shopping Centers and Johnson Redbook Research in the week following the Thanksgiving weekend.Here is the ICSC’s seasonally adjusted index going back to June of 2008. It shows the Lehman-related drop off, a recovery, and now it looks to be rolling over again”http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/its-all-greek-to-me/
US Oct freight index lowest for Oct since 1996Wed Dec 9, 2009 11:30am ESTWASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. Freight Transportation Index fell in October to its lowest level for October since 1996, as industry shipments decreased for two months in a row.Shipments suffered their biggest October year-on-year decline, falling 10.5 percent, since the department began calculating the index 20 years ago.The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then combined into one index.The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.
i tell ya’all 2012 is the real deal hehe http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8404991.stm?lshttp://www.altaposten.no/lokalt/nyheter/article316411.ece
Shortly after Jones’s remarks, we could read in the Wall Street Journal: “Hunted by U.S. drones, beset by money problems and finding it tougher to lure young Arabs to the bleak mountains of Pakistan, al-Qaida is seeing its role shrink there and in Afghanistan, according to intelligence reports and Pakistan and U.S. officials. … For Arab youths who are al-Qaida’s primary recruits, ‘it’s not romantic to be cold and hungry and hiding,’ said a senior U.S. official in South Asia.” From all of the above is it not reasonable to conclude that the United States is willing and able to live with the Taliban, as repulsive as their social philosophy is? Perhaps even a Taliban state which would go across the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which has been talked about in some quarters. What then is Washington fighting for? What moves the president of the United States to sacrifice so much American blood and treasure? In past years, US leaders have spoken of bringing democracy to Afghanistan, liberating Afghan women, or modernizing a backward country. President Obama made no mention of any of these previous supposed vital goals in his December 1 speech. He spoke only of the attacks of September 11, al Qaeda, the Taliban, terrorists, extremists, and such, symbols guaranteed to fire up an American audience. Yet, the president himself declared at one point: “Al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe havens along the border.” Ah yes, the terrorist danger … always, everywhere, forever, particularly when it seems the weakest.How many of the West Point cadets, how many Americans, give thought to the fact that Afghanistan is surrounded by the immense oil reserves of the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea regions? Or that Afghanistan is ideally situated for oil and gas pipelines to serve much of Europe and south Asia, lines that can deliberately bypass non-allies of the empire, Iran and Russia? If only the Taliban will not attack the lines. “One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south …”, said Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs in 2007. Afghanistan would also serve as the home of American military bases, the better to watch and pressure next-door Iran and the rest of Eurasia. And NATO … struggling to find a raison d’être since the end of the Cold War. If the alliance is forced to pull out of Afghanistan without clear accomplishments after eight years will its future be even more in doubt?So, for the present at least, the American War on Terror in Afghanistan continues and regularly and routinely creates new anti-American terrorists, as it has done in Iraq. This is not in dispute even at the Pentagon or the CIA. God Bless America.http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16470
There is sufficient uncertainty on both sides of this issue. The role of solar forcing may or may not be more significant than anthropogenic activity. There has been insufficient attention given to volcanism in current models. We don’t even have a good handle on termite flatulence as a source of methane.The real questions are: What would happen if we do nothing and we are wrong, vs. what would happen if we intervene aggressively and we are wrong?In the latter case, we would find ways to use less carbon based fuel, sequester CO2, become more energy efficient,increased employment, etc. Not a bad result for a world that was wrong about global warming.In the former case, all the havoc predicted by the global warming scenario would occur. In the face of these uncertainties, it would seem our course should be clear. We should worry less about the monetary costs of carbon abatement and go forward as if the global warming predictions are engraved in stone. In the final analysis, the costs will be seen as an investment that bears a sustainable return for the long term.
Sorry for the block of text. For some reason, my paragraph indentations never seem to make it to the blog site.Wild Bill
Speaking of Global Warming and pseudo (paid-for)science:http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/03/climate-science-gore-intelligent-technology-sutton.html?mnPersonally, I think that the vital signs of our environment do suggest a coming Ice Age… er, but I am not sure when.Ho hum
The US needs Central Asia to remain destabilised.If there were peace in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan then oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia would deliver cheap energy to India and other Asian countries.All potential pipeline projects in the region are being blocked by the US.USA is ready to pay with blood for access to ‘cheap’ oil and gas. We can’t let oil flow in the other direction.
Today I added Enzyte to my portfolio, thereby hoping to add something long to my shorts. I now long for less shorts in my shorts and more long.
We would condemn future generations to a lower standard of living? Think of DDT and the millions of people who have died because it is no longer used.Thanks, BTW Guest, for putting more rigour into my links than I did. I was in a hurry … something about climate change that does that to people.
Doesn’t matter what the States’ revenues are. TARP, etc. seem to be the fungible pot of money that will be used to fix whatever political problems that arise between now and the next election.
Nonsense. Oil will flow to the highest bidder. What you don’t need is China or India marching in and taking it, and that is why you will see a large US presence in the region for years. Terrorism is just the pretext.
Doesn’t matter. We will be hit by a large asteroid in 2039, which will be the mother of all climate change, and we will be able to do nothing about it because our heavy-lift space launch capacity will be deemed to be environmentally unfriendly and hugely expensive and will be shelved to fund social programs.
California Debt May Be Half a Trillion DollarsLook Out Below
1. Carbon Dioxide can trap the sun’s heat in the atmosphere. Human burning of fossil fuels does produce carbon dioxide. Does this mean that numan burning of fossil fuels is raising the Earth’s temperature? Well, there are many factors that contribute to the temperature of the Earth, including solar activity and other greenhouse gasses (water vapor, methane, etc). The fossil record of pollen preserved in bogs, which a professior of mine studied (paleobiology), shows that the Earths climate has changed dramatically and quickly in the past, without changes in CO22. We are past peak oil, so we won’t be burning so much fossil suel anyway.
http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5354.shtmlRamping up Afghanistan war to control Caspian oil and gas transport routesBy Jerry MazzaOnline Journal Associate EditorDec 8, 2009, 00:28The 800-pound gorilla standing in the auditorium at West Point is still waiting for an answer to why Obama made his surge-speech for 30,000 more troops and $30 billion to pay for them. That gorilla wonders “why” Obama pitched so hard for the US to stay and surge through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The reasons given were that the Afghanistan Taliban and Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden were the people that attacked us on 9/11, which was an iteration of George W. Bush’s reasons for the War on Terror. They are as phony now as the day Bush promised to smoke out Bin Laden.But, here are Obama’s actual words, pointed out by Christopher Bollyn on page 2 of his article, Why Afghanistan?……Additionally the infamous Blackwater, now called Xe, is at work for the CIA, which is spearheading the covert Pakistan war, and this all costs money, big money. So, fortunately, the agency still has the opium crop to cover the shortfalls in budget or cash, and the so-called 2010-11 pull-out mandate is already up in smoke, according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Thus, the real reasons for this surge have to be McChrystal clear even to a blind man or Congress. The hope is that seeing-eye dogs like Bollyn, now living in writer’s exile, and Craig Murray, the UK’s former ambassador to Uzbekistan, and even my humble self and other writers, can be of assistance…….http://www.rebelnews.org/opinion/war/118650=why-afghanistan.Why Afghanistan?By Christopher BollynEvery war results from the struggle for markets and spheres of influence, and every war is sold to the public by professional liars and totally sincere religious maniacs, as a Holy Crusade to save God and Goodness from Satan and Evil. – Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007)The discovery of pieces of an extremely explosive form of super-Thermite in the dust of the World Trade Center is of profound importance because it is evidence of the actual nano-Thermite used to demolish and pulverize the Twin Towers. The red-gray chips found in the dust by Dr. Steven E. Jones of Brigham Young University disprove the government claims about what caused the destruction of the three towers on 9-11. Fragments of the nano-composite explosive were analyzed by an international team of nine scientists and the evidence presented in a peer-reviewed paper in March 2009….
In fact, cause and effect may be completely reversed: Increased warming by non-human activity will raise ocean temperatures, which then can result in increased release of CO2, and not the other way around.Earth’s climate changes before the industrial age are well documented.In fact we can’t be sure if the average temperature of the earth is entering a cooling phase, based on a sampling of random points.
A la Dec 7, 1941 as a planted catalyst for US entry into WWII, according to the conspiracy theorists (which I have paid no attention to) it seems that the US knew an attack on the Trade Center was forthcoming, could have had super Thermite implanted well in advance, to be detonated at a “convenient” time (when the terrorists actually got around to pulling off their attack) to enhance the effects.Who conveniently/inexplicably did not show up for work at the Trade Center that day, or who was conveniently on assignment or vacation that week? It would be interesting to see the details.Same way in WWII, the carriers were conveniently out to sea and not at Pearl. The US certainly was aware that the attack was forthcoming, and would sacrifice battleships and destroyers and other “non-essentials” , but not the aircraft carriers, which would be vital to the actual defense of the US.I used to think such a theory was too far fetched, but now I wonder.
Misleading Mainstreet: The Keys to the Phony RecoveryBy Bill Bonner12/08/09 Johannesburg, South Africa – The Dow stayed in the same place yesterday. The correction in the gold market continued, with a $5 loss in the gold price.The employment news on Friday was better than a poke in the eye with a stick. But how much better? Better enough to justify higher prices on Wall Street? Better enough to sell your gold because you believe that it will be clear sailing from here on out?Uh…we wouldn’t advise it.Maybe Main Street has been misled – again – by Wall Street and the feds. Spread around enough hot money and it begins to look like there’s a real recovery going on. Employers – as well as consumers – are duped. Business owners, for example, are likely to think that the recession is over and halt the layoffs.More likely, Friday’s announcement that unemployment has bottomed out is bogus. A single swallow doesn’t make a spring. Nor does a single month’s worth of jobless numbers tell us much about the underlying trend.Jobless rates…like other financial numbers…bounce around. One month is insignificant. We’ll have to wait to see what happens next, just like everyone else. But there are probably a million or so more job cuts to come before the bottom is finally reached.Don’t blame businessmen for being confused. The press reports make it sound like it’s back to business-as-usual. And for the banking industry, it DOES seem as though nothing has changed. They’re lending to cockeyed private equity deals…aiding and abetting speculators in the carry trade…and handing out billions in bonuses. Just like old times.They’re enjoying the bliss of the spotless mind…that is, the mind that has no memory…no regrets…and no sense.But something has changed. It’s not the same world that it used to be. We don’t know much, here at The Daily Reckoning mobile headquarters in Johannesburg. But we know this: there is NO WAY that today’s economy is going back to what it was pre-2007. Business as usual? Not at all.The bubble of the pre-2007 period was pumped up by consumer spending financed by housing debt. Ain’t no way that can happen any time again soon. Housing may or may not have stabilized – at 30% below pre-crash prices. That leaves millions of homeowners underwater…and practically all homeowners with no access to housing credit.Out in the real economy, where these people live, the picture is bleak. First, one in ten is officially unemployed. Six hundred thousand jobs were lost in the last 3 months, bringing the total to 7.2 million lost since the recession began. And if you add in all the part-time workers…and workers who’ve given up the job search… the total is said to be more like 1 in 5 of the labor force.Now ask yourself: how can things get back to normal with so many people out of a job?And many of these jobs will never come back. Many of them were housing-related. And housing will never go back to the bubble pace of 2005-2007. Not in our lifetimes. And then too, many of the service and retail jobs that existed thanks to the revenues of the housing industry have disappeared too. They won’t come back either…not until something comes along that is able to replace the housing income.It will happen…but not for many years.In the meantime, we’re in a depression…and in a depression we will stay, until these mistakes and imbalances are worked out.
Could it be this is their last gasp to get thier hands on as much as possible before they all go under?they will never get naother bailout, so are they throwing in the towel?Either way the are one GReedy Industry and all at the expense of Average Joe american. IMO they are not americans, they are Crimminal thieves!Bailout Refund Is All About Pay, Pay, Pay ANDREW ROSS SORKINPublished: December 7, 2009Strike up the band!Davis Turner/Bloomberg NewsBank of America is looking for a replacement for Ken Lewis, its chief executive, and is paying back $45 billion in bailout money.Bank of America is paying back $45 billion in taxpayer-provided bailout money, and the government now says it expects to get back $200 billion in those funds faster than it imagined. The banks are getting back on their feet, the markets have stabilized, even unemployment isn’t as bad as many feared.Great news, right?Sorry for a little rain on this parade, but take a moment to consider why Bank of America was really in such a rush to pay back the money it borrowed from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.Sure, its business had improved, somewhat. But there was another reason why the bank locked horns with Sheila C. Bair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, who was against the plan because she did not think the firm was healthy enough, according to people briefed on the conversations.Bank of America was simply desperate to get out from under the thumb of government, and rid itself of the scarlet letter tainting its public image.With Bank of America trying to recruit a new chief executive to replace retiring Ken Lewis, the firm needed to repay the bailout money to offer a competitive compensation package.Indeed, people inside the Treasury told me that the No. 1 reason offered by the firm during weeks of back-and-forth — even when it was discussed indirectly — was compensation. Bank of America was so desperate, in fact, that it diluted its own shareholders by selling new shares worth $18.8 billion to replace some of the funds it is returning.Just read the notes from research analysts the day that Bank of America announced the $45 billion payment.Virtually none of them focused on the idea that there was a sign of strength at the firm; instead they focused, as Morgan Stanley did, on how “it eliminates the competitive disadvantage relative to peers who had already repaid TARP.” External candidates may be “more likely to talk” now that the bank is no longer restricted by the pay czar.That may be all well and good, but what about the health of the bank — and any continuing risks to the system? Wasn’t the purpose of the bailout program to put the financial system on a much steadier foundation? And wasn’t repayment supposed to be based, at least in part, on banks beginning to lend again?Joseph Tibman, author of “The Murder of Lehman Brothers” noted on his blog that at Bank of America, its loans fell from $942 billion to $914 billion from the second to the third quarter. It also lost $1 billion in its third quarter. That’s not to say it isn’t healthier than it used to be — it’s all relative.The rules for repayment seem to be squishy, and worse, are likely to create a two-tier system. While most of the biggest banks have been able to repay their bailout money — with the notable exceptions of Citigroup and Wells Fargo many community banks, holding bad commercial real estate loans, are still carrying the taint of being obligated to the government.They will likely now press to return the money as quickly as possible too, perhaps too quickly.“Financial markets demand clarity and certainty,” said David Nason, a former Treasury staff member who created the Troubled Asset Relief Program under President George W. Bush, and who is now a managing director at Promontory Financial Group. “Until they have that, there will be a drumbeat of questions as to what TARP repayments mean for the strength of particular institutions and of the banking system in general.”Just seven months ago, Treasury officials would have probably laughed if you told them banks would be rushing to repay. Remember those stress tests that had all of Wall Street stressed out for months about whether they’d pass and what it would all mean? By the way, what do all these repayments say about Treasury’s ability to make reliable forecasts? Just asking.Standard & Poor’s, the ratings agency that didn’t exactly cover itself with glory with its prognostications, recently wrote a remarkably candid research note that suggested the $45 billion repayment didn’t really matter, because if the bank got in trouble again, taxpayers would be there with another bailout.“We consider BofA to be highly systemically important and therefore continue to believe that BofA would receive extraordinary government support if necessary,” it said. But, it added, “we do not believe such support will be needed.”Let’s hope S.& P. is right this time around.
NO JOBS!Initial Jobless Claims Rise UnexpectedlyVince Veneziani|Dec. 10, 2009, 8:50 AMNew jobless claims are up, but the good news is that they remain below 500,000, which is seen as a crucial level.So we’ll call a wash.AP: The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits likely rose last week, after dropping for five straight weeks.A Labor Department report is expected to show new unemployment insurance claims rose by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 460,000, according to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters.Economists closely monitor initial claims, which are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies’ willingness to hire new workers.A recent, rapid drop in claims has given hope to many analysts that job cuts are slowing and hiring may even improve as soon as January or February. Claims have dropped by 75,000, or 14 percent, since late October.Last week’s report said 457,000 people filed first-time claims, the lowest total since the week of Sept. 6, 2008. Thursday’s report is due at 8:30 a.m. EST.Despite the recent improvement, claims likely have to fall to about 425,000 for several weeks to signal the economy is actually adding jobs, according to many analysts.Last week, the Labor Department said employers shed a net total of 11,000 jobs in November, down from the 111,000 lost in October and a much better figure than analysts expected. The unemployment rate fell to 10 percent from 10.2 percent.The number of people continuing to claim benefits, meanwhile, is expected to drop by about 25,000 to 5.4 million for the week ending Nov. 28. Those figures lag initial claims by a week.But the so-called continuing claims do not include millions of people that have used up the regular 26 weeks of benefits typically provided by states, and are receiving extended benefits for up to 73 additional weeks, paid for by the federal government.About 4.5 million people were receiving extended benefits in the week ended Nov. 14, the latest data available. That’s an increase of about 300,000 from the previous week, and reflects an extension of benefits that Congress enacted last month.The economy grew at a 2.8 percent pace in the July-September quarter and analysts say it is likely growing at a similar pace in the current quarter. But that is much slower than the average 6 percent rate in previous economic recoveries. As a result, most economists expect the unemployment rate to rise in coming months and remain above 9 percent through the end of next year.Some employers are continuing to lay off workers. Consol Energy said Tuesday that it will lay off nearly 500 workers and idle a mountaintop removal mining operation near Bickmore, W.Va. The Pittsburgh-based company blamed an environmental lawsuit.The Los Angeles School Board on Tuesday approved a budget plan that would cut 5,000 jobs, including about 1,400 teachers.
Does anyone actually think they have a chance a decent life the next 50 years living in the US! think again if you do with stuff like this below…Last-Minute Ammendment To Reform Bill Is A Huge Subsidy To Big BanksWilliam Greider|Dec. 10, 2009, 9:23 AM | 61 |(This guest post originally appeared at NewDeal2.0)The sales pitch for financial-reform legislation pending in the House claims it would put a stop to “too big to fail” bailouts for the leading banks. The reality is the opposite. The federal government would instead be granted unlimited authority to spend whatever it takes to prop up the big boys when they get in trouble. Only in the next crisis, Congress won’t have to be asked for the money. The financial rescues will be funded by the secretive Federal Reserve, not the Treasury, with money the Fed itself creates.And the emergency lending could be pumped into any financial institution in trouble–not just behemoth commercial banks but investment houses like Goldman Sachs, insurance companies, hedge funds or any other pools of private capital whose failure regulators believe would threaten the system.This sounds nutty and it is. A permanent security blanket for big boys of finance will further inflame public opinion. Only the public isn’t likely to know. The crucial terms for Fed financing are set by an innocuous-sounding amendment offered by Representative Brad Miller of North Carolina. Any financial holding company designated as a “systemic risk” and subject to stricter regulatory standards “shall have the same access to the discount window lending of an appropriate Federal Reserve Bank as is available to a member bank of each Federal Reserve bank.”This last-minute amendment, if included on final passage, solves a huge problem for the Obama administration–how to pay for the next bailout if another financial calamity unfolds. In the House banking committee, the administration’s legislation originally sought unlimited authority for the Treasury and the president. But committee members choked on the implications after Representative Brad Sherman of California denounced it as “TARP on steroids.” TARP was the original $700 billion bailout jammed through Congress last year. Citizens are still angry and some members of Congress who voted for TARP are likely to lose their seats.Solution? Let the Fed do it behind closed doors. The Federal Reserve’s discount lending to commercial banks is normally not disclosed to the public since it might signal the bank is in trouble and undermine investor confidence. That secrecy can hardly be sustained in another crisis, however, since financial markets will swiftly figure out which financial firms are the lucky winners in the Fed’s fail-or-flourish lottery.The so-called reform legislation has many other problems–too many to clean up at this stage in the legislative process–but somebody should start right now to raise a righteous stink about the core provisions. As I have been writing for months, putting the Federal Reserve in charge as super-regulator is the path that leads to the corporate state. A limited circle of privileged players would enjoy a permanent line of credit from Washington, while their competitors in business and finance would struggle at great disadvantage. This top-down economy would combine the worst qualities of both socialism and capitalism. Unfortunately, the hybrid nature of the monstrosity may not become clear, even to members of Congress, until the next crisis, when it will be too late.
Yeah, one of the key graphs cited as evidence of global warming had the lines re-labeled so that CO2 and Temperatures were reversed. That led to temperatures lagging CO2 increases, and that lag was cited as a key reason for the hypothesis (don’t you just love that word … not quite a theory, but they act as if it is) that CO2 variations were causing temperature variations, when in fact the CO2 variations were found to be lagging temperature. This would support your assertion that cause and effect are reversed.As to Earth’s climate changes being well documented, they were indeed, and they were completely ignored in the case of the ancient history and were “corrected” in the case of the more recent history (the Medieval warming was completely corrected away).The data were also smoothed to some extent to give the impression of a trend, where the underlying data was far more random and therefore could not yield a statistically significant trend.
Probably peer reviewed by the same people who peer reviewed the papers on climate change.Look, conspiracy theories are often easier to follow and often far more interesting than the truth. What you suggest with the last blurb is that there is a whole lot of evil in our government over the last decade.I will buy it that there is a lot of stupidity and some evil, but for the entire system to be so rotten that 3000 of our own were butchered and covered up is just a bit too much to fathom.If that were indeed the case, then we have a bigger problem than Afghanistan.
I’m all for repayment, but to simply repay the amount borrowed completely ignores the value of the option they had to call on the backing of the government. That was worth several hundred billion more to BoA than the actual money borrowed. Real finance people never lose sight of embedded options like that, which is why it seems to be clear that real financial people don’t work in government or media.So Vaya con Dios, BoA … Don’t let the door hit you in the A, and we’ll take the price of that option you had in Gold, please.
This would actually lead to the next crisis. We are doomed.
So they plan to go to over 14 Trillion for 2010… anyone get the idea we are out of money?Dems to lift debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion, fear 2010 backlashDemocrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections.“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring’s budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.
NO JOBS- check the last sentence out and it tells you all you need to know. Also approx 8 million have now exhausted all benefits and are totally unemployed with no income from anywhere. How long before they become a big problem for local, state and fed govt’s, not to mention thier impact on local law enforcement agencies…. So we now have almost 16 million totally unemployed (which affects about 42 Million Americans using avg household size). Thats 42 million people bascially not spending, not paying taxes… add the other 15 million plus of underemployed and you get about 85 million people basically not spending. By my math thats about 28% of all americans. That would jive with the 25-35% decrease most local, state and fed govt is seeing in reduced revenues. The entire thing is goign to collapse, just a question fo when?Emergency Jobless Insurance Claims Surge By Most Ever In Prior WeekSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/10/2009 09:16 -0500AdministrationCompensationContinuing ClaimsDOLEmergency Unemployment CompensationInitial ClaimsJobsUnemploymentThe number you won’t hear mentioned anywhere in the Mainstream Media: 327,729. That is how many people shifted to Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs in the last week alone, hitting an all time record high of 4.2 million! So as everyone is focused on the benign picture of initial claims in the last week which was “only” 474,000, the number of people rolling off continuing benefits has exploded and is now a stunning 592,579 only in the last two week. Look for this number to keep going into the stratosphere as the 6 month continuing claims cliff keeps getting hit by more and more people who are unemployed and keep looking not only for believable change, but actual jobs to go with it.And here is the chart that the administration would love to keep under lock and seal: the cumulative number of people on Emergency Insurance. At this rate those collecting EUC will surpass those on continuing claims (5.5 million) within a month.http://www.zerohedge.com/article/emergency-jobless-claims-surge-most-ever-prior-week
The lack of trust in equities just refuses to budge. Even as the market keeps going up courtesy of assorted low volume buy programs, short squeezes and the occasional 33 Liberty intervention, not only insiders but equity holders in mutual funds are taking every opportunity they get to shift out of speculative “cap gains” products and move into safer fixed investments. Since August 12 there has not been one positive fund flow into domestic equities, with the cumulative outflows now totalling $44 billion and rising, according to ICI.http://www.zerohedge.com
this is funny, but bascially true of how Average Joe American pays for the PTB to have it all…How To Make The World’s Easiest $1 BillionHenry Blodget|Dec. 10, 2009, 11:02 AM | 473 |4With all the banks paying back the TARP money, some folks are assuming that the great Wall Street bailout is finally coming to an end.But of course it isn’t!Taxpayers are still guaranteeing all big bank bonds (Too Big To Fail) and subsidizing huge bank earnings and bonuses with absurdly low interest rates.But instead of bellyaching about it, you might as well just smile and cash in. After all, that’s what Wall Street’s doing.So here’s how to make the world’s easiest $1 billion:STEP 1: Form a bank.STEP 2: Round up a bunch of unemployed friends to be “bankers.”STEP 3: Raise $1 billion of equity. (This is the only tricky step. And it’s not that tricky. See below.*)STEP 4: Borrow $9 billion from the Fed at an annual cost of 0.25%.STEP 5: Buy $10 billion of 30-year Treasuries paying 4.45%STEP 6: Sit back and watch the cash flow in.At this spread, you should be earning at least 4% per year on your $10 billion of capital, or $400 million. Sure, there’s some risk that the Fed will grow a backbone and raise short rates, but there’s not much risk. (They have an economy to fix and banks to secretly recapitalize). And in any event, if the Fed raises short rates, making your $1 billion will just take a bit longer. (And if they REALLY raise rates, causing you to actually lose money, it will be someone else’s problem.)You’ll have made $400 million in a single year! So pay yourself a fat salary for all your hard work. And pay your “bankers” fat salaries for all their hard work (But don’t worry–your bankers won’t actually have to do anything. You’ll just need one of them to borrow the money from the Fed and buy the Treasuries, which he will be able to do part-time.) At the end of the year, celebrate. It’s bonus time!Don’t be greedy. Pay yourself and your bankers the industry-standard compensation ratio of 50% of revenue. Your revenue was $400 million, so that creates a $200 million bonus pool. Pay each of your unemployed friends bankers, say, $1 million. And give yourself the rest for being such a smart entrepreneur and creating all the jobs and value.Now, you’ve already made at least $150 million, so it doesn’t really matter what happens next. But you’re in this for the world’s easiest $1 billion, right?So proceed to Step 7.STEP 7: Go public. After bonuses, your bank will be earning about $200 million a year, your capital ratio will be super-strong (10% equity-to-debt!), and your balance sheet will be clean as a whistle (all risk-free Treasuries!). So you ought to be able to persuade investors to pay you at least 20-times earnings, or a valuation of $4 billion. Sell 25% of the company for $1 billion.STEP 8: Use your $1 billion of new equity to borrow another $9 billion at 0.25% from the Fed. Buy another $9 billion of Treasuries. Collect another $400 million a year. Pay yourself and your team bonuses that are twice as large as last year’s. You deserve it! And you’re now about $500 million to the good.STEP 9: Wait for your stock to double or triple, which won’t take long given your amazing growth trajectory and clean balance sheet. When your market cap hits $10 billion, sell another 10% of the company for $1 billion. Now you’re really ready to grow.STEP 10: If you want to get fancy and get nice profiles written about you in business magazines, start buying branch networks from defunct banks (the FDIC will pay you to take them) and start making actual loans. Also, start hiring trading desks to gamble on things more exotic than Treasuries. Yes, all this sounds risky, but just remember–the risk isn’t yours, and you’re already $500 million to the good.STEP 11: Sell $500 million of your stock to a “strategic investor” and let the rest ride. Don’t worry, if your traders and loan officers turn out to be idiots or the Fed suddenly raises rates, the taxpayers will handle it. And you’ve already made your $1 billion.So, congratulations, you’re now a billionaire! Now all there is left to do is celebrate!——————————————————————————–* If you’ve been paying attention, you will note that the only potentially tricky step in this process is the “raise $1 billion of equity.” Where, exactly, are you going to get $1 billion of equity? Well, you will have to do some selling there.Basically, you’ll have to tell a few investors about your awesome new business plan (see above) that will earn them returns of at least 20% on their equity from Day 1. A 20% return on equity is a lot, especially when the return is largely risk free. So you should have no problem raising that $1 billion of equity.Given the government’s desperate desire to get banks to start lending again, you might also want to try to hit up the government for some funds. The pitch will be simple: Old banks aren’t lending because they’re hiding embedded losses and need to protect their balance sheets. You don’t have that problem. You’ll use the equity to LEND. (And you will use it to lend! You don’t have to say that you’re going to lend it to the US government. None of the other banks are saying that.)
America and the World Are in Energy Use Reduction DenialOr else mad as Hades that we don’t return back to our our past excess oil use sins?Bloggers, world oil use is already down 44% this year from 2006, we solved global warming this year and we won’t admit it…LOL
Solar variations are one factor effecting climate. As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and a negative trend more recently), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends. The difference between the solar minimum and solar maximum over the 11-year solar cycle is 10 times smaller than the effect of greenhouse gases over the same interval.Volcanoes emit around 0.3 Gigatonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around 26.4 Gigatonnes per year.As for sequestration, the technology is essentially “vaporware” and there is a problem with access to carbon fuels as we progress…The western lifestyle is coming to a close…
Please post source of data or link.
“Goldman Sachs Puts Bonuses In Restricted Stock, Not Cash”finally something that at least makes a little bit of sense…
I guess that’s the long and the short of it, to make a long story short.
Your numbers on volcanos are fine but the models don’t allow for sufficient radiation blocking caused by volcanic particulates. I also soaw no mention of temperature variations inconsistant with current climate models.
MM CA,As always I lover you post and keep em coming!! But you mentioned you are a writer?? Occasionally I copy and paste you comments and send to others. I spell check and catch a few mistakes. Maybe you could write in another program, spell check it and copy and paste at RGE??? Just a thought!! Stay Strong, Keep the Faith(trying these days) and keep the comments coming.You are a great Watch Dog!!
After reading my post maybe I should heed my own advice??
Volcanoes emit sulfate aerosols which reflect incoming sunlight, cooling the planet. A large volcanic eruption can have a global cooling effect of up to about 0.3°C for several years. Relatively frequent volcanic activity in the late 20th century may have masked some of the warming caused by CO2.The models do not predict specific temperatures at given locations and times, only trends. The trend predicted is warming due to increased anthropogenic emissions and the data reflects this trend. If you take arbitrary start and end points (rather than ONLY 1998 as your start point) you will see in the vast majority of cases there is a definite increase.
And we just continue to lie to ourselves, as taught by the corporately-controlled educational system and government.The deniers either are direct profiteers or, perhaps, the result of poor past judgment (or both?), like exposure to DDT…Be that as it may, in the end the earth will recycle us all in one big glacial tilling.
Yeah, life has become one big Disneyland! But when Mickey’s costume finally rots and falls off we’ll see the reality- nothing but naked rats orchestrating it all.
Thanks for the request, my blog above had a bit of an admin error [Update above, 42% decrease, not 44%]…you’re right, it pays to see it writing.DEPOPULATION CURES GLOBAL WARMINGYE OF LITTLE FAITH: So you don’t trust ole softie’s gut feel projections.Here’s the 2006 oil barrels per day data  and it hit $100/barrel that year:http://www.dawn.com/2006/03/27/ebr7.htmCompare that to the 2009 projection URL of 85 at $70/barrel, and golly gee willerkers….we’re using 42% less projected oil today in 2009 than 2006………no wonder them darn freeways seem empty….LOLMaybe we don’t need all them hybrids and smart cars after all? All we needed was the equivalent of depopulation to solve global warming, a good ole fashion economic crisis? LOLThe rest of the URL:http://overpopulation-softwarengineer.blogspot.com/
Economists are in broad agreement that the Great Recession is over.One should immediately run! I suspect that just “Economists are in broad agreement” should be enough of an alarm to indicate a contrarian’s position is in order.It’s like a deadhead -a submerged item, usually a log, whose bulk is below the surface and only a small amount above the water line- that’s bobbing up and down, occasionally rising to break the surface of the water. The ever-brilliant economic society, the same one that, collectively, didn’t see the current bubble bursts (always in denial that growth cannot be sustained), see the deadhead rise above the water’s surface and declare that all is fine!New flash! Deadheads NEVER achieve full floation above the water’s surface (unless they wash upon the shore); they only continue to get more and more water-logged.The rising tide isn’t going to lift all boats. And now it looks like it’s going to sink them all.
Thanks again, I reread the backup and its 146 million bbls/day projected world use for 2006.That makes the 85 million bbl/day for this year a 41% estimated drop in consumption….I’ll correct my blog record.
Of course the CATO Institute is going to blame government!This still misses the point that it was the very corporate mentality that CATO caters to that’s goaded government into the corner that it’s now painted in to.All large government (nation states) are going to fall/fail. We’re now seeing the beginning of this. But, to think that the absence of governments (which I’m for) will mean that things will magically become more corporate friendly is pure lunacy. Just about anything worked going up, but going down is another story, and given that corporations are capitalistic and genetically geared/programmed for growth, well, their future failure is just as predictable. Corporations stretched un-sustainability to the max on the backs of governments; and we all accepted it; now we get to pay for lying to ourselves…
Turning private debt into public debt. Was there ever any doubt that it would be any other way?
WTF? World consumption has NEVER been 146 million barrels per day! You are misreading or reading a false statement…http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/00/Oil_consumption_per_day_by_region_from_1980_to_2006.svg
From a failed rocket launch… But, enough failures and economic disaster, which will lead to societal collapse, brings the same result
Oil will flow to the highest bidder.Not always so. And that’s why this all started. The highest bid wasn’t enough for the Taliban, so, the bombs came: look it up; Taliban negotiating as late as summer of 2001 (Al-Qaida monitored U.S. negotiations with Taliban over oil pipeline); their asking price was too steep in which case they were threatened to be blown back into the stone age (ha ha! they’ve got more experience with it that Western countries who are hooked on oil and will find that survival in the stone age won’t be possible- the Taliban will outlast the oil seekers).Not everything is monetary…
Wasn’t it minds like yours telling us back in the 50s that today we’d all have flying cars?Pure escapism. Rather than learning to live here on this planet we’re going to trash it so that we can go elsewhere, which could never happen.Do you feel lucky?
And speaking of PAID for Enron-style distortions…That an “ice age” will occur there is no doubt. Inter-glacial periods are proven to average between 10,000 and 12,000 years. I think that we’re pushing 12,000 in the current cycle. If you can accept this fact then it shouldn’t be any real problem to accept that it could be global over-heating that is the trigger to the next glacial period (earth’s built-in, read “physics,” reaction to over-heating).I’m now wondering whether this 10,000 – 12,000 year cycle is what those Creationist types are talking about when they say that the earth is only this old? In a way they’d be right, in that earth as we know it -habitable to humans- is this old. NOTE: yes, humans have been around for a lot longer, but since these weren’t likely “god fearing” types they, and their period, isn’t recognized.
Or manufactured by Enron types?If you’d stop waving the flag long enough perhaps you could do some research into why this isn’t as preposterous as you’d like to Think that it is.On your side of the debate is less than a dozen box-cutter-wielding cave-dwellers taking down the entire USA security apparatus.On the other side lies government documents such as Operations Northwoods (scuttled for the Bay of Pigs fiasco instead). There’s Tonkin; and, Pearl Harbor wasn’t so squeaky clean. We don’t have any problem believing that other governments fabricate panic within their citizenry in order to justify control/change (speaking of- there’s PNAC’s famous document): Germany’s Reichstag fire. Why the US government should be the only government exempt from greed and corruption is beyond reason.Yes, it’s much bigger than Afghanistan, though it’s not an Afghanistan problem, it’s a US and and western society’s problem, namely the dwindling of oil reserves (which is why world growth is stalling).Unlike the lunatic minds of the Vietnam era, the actions of the US government over the last decade-plus (depends on how far back you want to reach on the oil issue), it all makes perfect sense. It really is that big of an issue such that people are willing to undertake what would otherwise be totally insane actions. Consider what the US would look like if everyone, all those armed with those millions of personal weapons, discovered that the “American Way of Life” was at an end: rather than risk internal revolt you create an external enemy (eventually, however, this facade wears out). All empires end. We can either concede this fact, or we can continue to make up stories as to how good we are (as we justify slaughtering people around the globe).
And, why were there NORAD exercises going on the day that had all the response aircraft out of the area?All I want to know is how WTC building 7 came down. Forget that John O’Neill, the FBI’s top counter-terrorism person, and most knowledgeable person on Al Qaida got pressured out of his job (FBI had several beads on these folks but were handcuffed at every turn by unknown personnel/agencies), and, ironically, became head of security for WTC, Sep. 11, 2001 was his first day on the job…
I have an idea! Let’s just walk away from all these bozos, leave them to scribble on paper and exchange it between themselves and let them feel good about it.The majority of stuff that big business does is, or will be, worthless, just like the USD.
“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,”What? This isn’t payment, it’s IOUs!
Perhaps the best comprehensive summation of the entire situation yet!The Devil and Mr. Obama(don’t let the target audience dissuade you from reading the whole thing!)
Warning Warning: Stupid Alert! The stupids are here, they are, they are!Speaking about the end of the World, that necessary human cull as decreed necessary by the “Great Ones” (All roll yours eyes now), aliens, global warming and that moron George W Bush:With deep emotional anguish and in the final moments before meeting our destiny (man made)in terms of our ultimate hard fate, as the rogue ice-berg, a Jewish conspiracy, sinks Australia and all its (wee’s) taxpayers er, convicts cum inmates as punishment for just too much CO2 production (which is Governments read: the wardens, fault but they have all already immigrated to Norway) leaving only the cows and their fartings to remind us of them), and our (we) over-population tenacities (we total now around 23m give or take a kangaroo or two) – thus bringing Steinbeck’s “On the Beach” to yet another dimension. Oh how insolent we are… Sinners all! Repent!And the blue rays from the Alien’s Mother Ship hums its beacon call over Norway, to all its little creatures (read: leadership and Great Ones) that have injected the lethal dark matter (CO2) into Earth’s atmosphere to prepare us for eating prior to moving on as the Universal Black Hole gobbles galaxy after galaxy in its endless pursuit of the stupid; green is their colour an economics be their game. (Oh LOooOrdy… wobble the sound and all drool)The royal moron, George Dubya is being called back to leadership over the now revealed satanic fluff of the messianic flop already to rise after his Nobel (noble?) Peace Prize celebrated by the Cry to War so that ALL NATIONS can follow the standards and values of the U…………….S……………..A… I pledge allegiance to the … puke as,he just took too damned long to get death and destruction back into the mainstream.So Ben the Nephilim is elevated to the throne of Pope of the fattening feastees and Timothy the Next in Line serve time as the Sheriff of Nottinham (complete with rubber backbone and leaking bladder)’All rise… and present yourself only when your number is called, and continue pretending that you care, keep up the oozing niceties while attending to self (read: the fattening; you belong to us!), keep electing the erectilables (us), the popular ones that will always sell you for food (and you can take that to the bank!) and whatever you do, above all, don’t think! Er, Leave that to us!Now all sing after the bouncing ball: Lambs to Slaughter, little lambs to slaughter, Oh Praise the Lord, us little lambs to slaughter do we….Remember now: don’t think; just sing! And damn it: roll those eyesHo hum
Maybe he meant that forecasts were for 146 million bbls/day? I seem to recall an overly optimistic (read “unrealistic”) projection like this for 2030.
Yeah, pay no attention to the man/men behind the curtain. Just fiddle with your Blackberries, Ipods, drive like there’s no tomorrow and drink Coke (or Pepsi).
My hedge is working like a charm. My dividend stocks moving up nicely and the ultra shorts behaving well, specially, TWM. I have to fine-tune my holdings. Will likely replace SDS and QID by TWM (Ultra short Russell 2000 which is breaking down dramatically). In retrospect shorting the S&P500 and the Nasdaq 100 was kind of dumb as the stocks there are high caps. It looks like for a while it is gonna by like in the 70s :nifty-fifties time! Market action doesn’t look good at all.
You are exactly right, but the corporatist who run Amerika now do not understand that.Many of the older soldiers do, and when you combine an extreme value system (you don’t have to agree with it) with a fiercely independent native population, those soldiers know there is no politically acceptable way to “win”. All you can do is try to stay alive if you are among the fighting forces, and pray your government returns to sanity…before your next deployment.Some are heading out now for their 4th one. Give that a little thought as the holidays approach and you settle in before a warm & cozy fire. Think about what it means to face possible death everyday for a year as the days, weeks, and months tick by. Lonely, homesick, bitter, frustrated, and scared as life passes you by in the “world” at home. Then think about doing it again for another year, and again for another one. We are breaking the military, and using them in a manner that should be criminal.Independent Contractor
IMHO, we will see increased layoffs starting in January, when shoppers slam their wallets shut after Christmas and the realization sinks in that things simply are not getting better for middle America. Hope I am wrong.Independent Contractor
Are bankers not subject to the laws of nature, do they think that they are invincible?So, regulators will be better able to perform their jobs by loosening up the standards? I know, let’s just get rid of any oversight and let them all go off on extended vacations because we know that the bankers, with less oversight, will know what’s best!Board to Propose More Flexible Accounting Rules for Banks
failed “BULAVA” rocket launch which by the way is able to carry MIRV (multiple nuclear warhead)across 6-10k KM range.WOW what a RELIEF…
i like this mancan we deport him to USPete Jb are you proud of him??Joyce’s Armageddon warninghttp://www.theage.com.au/national/joyces-armageddon-warning-20091210-km90.htmlexcerpt:-TONY Abbott’s new finance spokesman, Barnaby Joyce, believes the American Government may default on its debt, triggering an ”economic Armageddon” that will make the recent global financial crisis pale into insignificance.In an interview with The Age, Senator Joyce said he did not want to alarm the public, but there needed to be a debate about Australia’s ”contingency plan” for a sovereign debt default by the US or even by an Australian state government.”A default by the US means complete economic collapse around the world and the question we have got to ask ourselves is where are we in that?” he said.He said the chances of a US debt default were distant but real, and politicians were not doing the electorate a favour by refusing to acknowledge the risk.Senator Joyce first warned of America defaulting at a Senate estimates hearing in October where he asked Treasury secretary Ken Henry for his views.Dr Henry warned then that public figures had to be careful about discussing ”hypotheticals that are that extreme” because such discussions could be misinterpreted in the community.Rather than tempering his language since his promotion, Senator Joyce has stepped up the rhetoric, saying he also had concerns that some states would have trouble repaying their borrowings.”The first thing you tell a new client is exactly where they are. We have to tell the Australian people precisely where they are,” said the former accountant from the Queensland town of St George.”The Federal Government has $115.7 billion in debt, Australian government securities, notes and bonds on issue, and the states have another $170 billion in debt,” Senator Joyce said.”We have to ask whether the states have the capacity to repay that. I would say in some instances they do not – particularly Queensland.”Senator Joyce said that if the US recovered, global funds would flow back into North America. He said the only way Australia could keep capital flowing into the country would be to increase interest rates.”That is the first scenario, which is extremely bad for Australia.”The worse scenario is where the United States doesn’t repay their debt – the $US2 trillion in debt they owe to the Chinese, the $US1 trillion in debt they have to the Japanese and the $US1 trillion in debt to others – and then we are really nailed.” That would result in a shift from the US dollar to the yuan, ”and China becomes an immensely powerful player overnight”.”If America collapses there will be no more sale of Chinese products to America and therefore very little purchase of Australian resources by China.””The whole pulse of trade is compromised because people say, ‘Why would I trade with the US when it might not pay its debt back?’ ”He said this ”real financial crisis will mean this preamble we have just had pales into insignificance”.Asked what sort of contingency plan he would advocate, Senator Joyce said it was like trying to prepare for a tidal wave, but the local economy should have more self-reliance.”Things you look for in that economic Armageddon are the capacity to feed ourselves, the capacity to provide the fundamentals in medicines and basic fundamental requirements for our nation.”His comments about the banks were made later in the day on Sky TV. He said the Government had stood back and watched the centralisation of the sector, resulting in interest rates being hiked ”under the cover of darkness”.
i WOULD NOT bet on itHAhahahahaha
Now now! Just be quiet and get back to helping those corporations loot the public…A clear demonstration of one key collapse element that I learned by reading Jared Diamond’s Collapse: collapse due to the loss of a key trading partner.Just as we can’t magically make more energy appear, we can’t make risk disappear. I see the chickens coming now…
But at least the recession is over. This, according to Obama’s monetary point man, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. For British readers unfamiliar with the US system, the Federal Reserve is not a government agency, despite its agency like name. “The Fed” is an offshore private banking cartel that decides just how much bogus currency can be printed and circulated profitably for bankers without wrecking their Ponzi schemes. And the chairman of that august body has announced that the recession is over. Well halleluja! We can quit rolling our own cigs and buy ready mades, and run recklessly through the Dollar Store scooping up dented canned goods and cheap Chinese tube socks.That makes us luckier than the three and a half million Americans, most of whom led normal lives a few of years ago, who are now homeless. That includes one million school children sleeping in tents, shelters and other makeshift arrangements, and trying to look presentable each morning at schools that have not even the mercy to let them use the school showers. By the administration’s own calculation, the number of homeless and people out of work will continue to escalate at least into the next year. Home foreclosures, and therefore homelessness, “has not topped out yet,” says Obama.But Bernanke has announced that the recession is over. So there you have it. A grateful nation breathes a sigh of relief. And besides, he is right about it being over. The recession is over for the most important members of a capitalist society, the oligarchs and banksters, who have made fortunes off this recession, thanks to our unique economic system, and may now return to their standard garden variety usury.Economic systems are merely belief systems. I didn’t say that. Keynes said that. For instance, if the early Assyrians believed a shekel was worth a jar of wheat, then it was worth a jar of wheat. American style capitalism eventually stretched belief to the absolute limits of fantasy to the snapping point, as regards general credulity. Nobody abroad still believes the dollar is worth folding up and sticking in a wallet, certainly not worth exchanging for a good old fashioned shekel. However, be it shekels or dollars or euros, there is no economic system at all if there is no production. And there is no production if there are no jobs. Hence the obsession with unemployment rates.The U.S. Ministry of Truth has announced that our unemployment rate is at 10%. I’ve yet to meet an American who does not know the official unemployment rate is a complete fiction. One half of the unemployed — the half that has been unemployed for more than one year — are simply erased from the official count. Poof! The real rate is somewhere around 20%. But if we acknowledged that, we’d have to admit to being on par with Europe’s unemployment rate. And by diddle damned we can never do that. Every American fully understands that the purpose of life is to hang onto one meaningless job or another, two of them if possible. And by the state’s official numbers more Americans have a white knuckled grip on life’s purpose than any of those pussy socialist European nations with their free healthcare, low infant mortality rates and ridiculously long vacations.But the bad news, which the Obama administration openly acknowledges, is this: Unemployment will in all likelihood go higher. And nobody on earth knows how to reduce it (although no one in the administration is about to acknowledge that). The factories are all but gone and they are not coming back. Not unless American workers are willing to work 13 hours a day for two Chinese yuan an hour, which is about 31 cents. What US factories remain are laying workers off due to high interest rates, and waiting for a lower interest rate policy before deciding if it is feasible to call any workers back into production.During their wait they can watch hell freeze over. Banks know a fatter hog when they see it. And that hog is the consumer credit business (nobody has figured out yet that consumers need paychecks before they can consume anything, on credit or otherwise ). To that end the Federal Reserve has logically set a low interest rate policy. And in true accordance with banking logic, the banks took the Fed’s money, then raised the annual percentage rate (APR) on credit card purchases and cash advances and on balances that have a penalty rate because of late payment. Next they raised the late fee. What the hell? If Americans are on the ropes, struggling to make their payments on time, then the logical thing to do is to stick it to them. Bleed ‘em for all they’re worth. It’s an American free market tradition. We the people do not complain. We expect no mercy. America is a business and the American concept of business is pure ruthlessness.A Deutsche Bank analyst tells me a near term worst is yet to come. Bank failures and home foreclosures have not peaked. A commercial real estate bust is coming down the pike. He says that, while there will be some minor periodic upswings, the fraudulent value of the dollar is now evident as it falls against every other currency, even the Russian ruble (13%), except those unlucky enough to be pegged to the US dollar. As former Assistant Secretary of Treasury Paul Craig Roberts says: “What sort of recovery is it when the safest investment an American can make is to bet against the US dollar?” My Deutsche Bank friend, who is younger and has a family to think about, has taken what he considers more appropriate action. He’s buying gold and moving to an undeveloped Central American country.But Mr. Bernanke assures us that the worst is indeed over. Despite the outside world’s serious doubts, but Bernanke’s announcement just might fly in the U.S. We believe whatever our Ministry of Truth tells us. We believed that debt was wealth, didn’t we? And we believed in WMDs, and have come to believe warfare is a prerequisite to peace.
The US began default on its debt when Nixon abandoned the gold standard 1971.From here it is a relative race to the bottom… whose currency is the least likely to be worthless? As long as we have our carrier groups, fuel for our planes and tanks, and protected geographically by the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans, then does our “might” make (our money) right?
Joyce is correct of course, but the Liberals knew that when they turned over to the Labour Party; it’s is Labour that were told but just didn’t have the intellect to believe what was coming and Comrade KRudd just needed to write his book.Now under new opposition (paid) “leadership” the shift is in to rip into Labour as there is a new erection period around the corner. so their timing is excellent and Joyce who has been effectively a total wet rag and limp dick to date, lunges out at Labour like an enraged anaconda.So what you see is politics and to preside over total and utter failure is just as attractive as residing over a growth period arising to its Zenith.So what? There is no doubt that the USA will collapse and Europe and the UK and all that are attached thereto – of course speaking demographically – and as usual it will be up to the unwashed to fix it and get it going again. Of course, the credit will go to the political brotherhood of moronic fools and a priori liars (etc.).The Cause of all these peaks and troughs, or better, ups and downs, or better again, successes and great failures is “leadership” and their sordid politics, bul&^%t, deception, ineptitude, stupidity as we could quite easily provide for same and ‘ride the waves’; after all, socio-economics is merely a focussed energy transformation of human behaviours and endeavours.Unfortunately I don’t see, unsurprisingly, any potential “leadership” of merit on the horizon so I assume that we all have to ride out the coming personal Dark Ages by ourselves and hopefully learn our lesson so that we can begin again.Nothing is over and the destructive dynamic is coming in waves faster and faster; wait for the crescendo and then the after shocks. Then I will ask you if you believe your “leadership”?As far as Joyce is concerned you can have him – no problem – but I think that you have enough morons of your own? Be careful what you ask for.Ho hum
Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.”Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it’s not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.Then he got elected.What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy.What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.How could Obama let this happen? Is he just a rookie in the political big leagues, hoodwinked by Beltway old-timers? Or is the vacillating, ineffectual servant of banking interests we’ve been seeing on TV this fall who Obama really is?Whatever the president’s real motives are, the extensive series of loophole-rich financial “reforms” that the Democrats are currently pushing may ultimately do more harm than good. In fact, some parts of the new reforms border on insanity, threatening to vastly amplify Wall Street’s political power by institutionalizing the taxpayer’s role as a welfare provider for the financial-services industry. At one point in the debate, Obama’s top economic advisers demanded the power to award future bailouts without even going to Congress for approval — and without providing taxpayers a single dime in equity on the deals.How did we get here? It started just moments after the election — and almost nobody noticed.’Just look at the timeline of the Citigroup deal,” says one leading Democratic consultant. “Just look at it. It’s fucking amazing. Amazing! And nobody said a thing about it.”Barack Obama was still just the president-elect when it happened, but the revolting and inexcusable $306 billion bailout that Citigroup received was the first major act of his presidency. In order to grasp the full horror of what took place, however, one needs to go back a few weeks before the actual bailout — to November 5th, 2008, the day after Obama’s election.That was the day the jubilant Obama campaign announced its transition team. Though many of the names were familiar — former Bill Clinton chief of staff John Podesta, long-time Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett — the list was most notable for who was not on it, especially on the economic side. Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist who had served as one of Obama’s chief advisers during the campaign, didn’t make the cut. Neither did Karen Kornbluh, who had served as Obama’s policy director and was instrumental in crafting the Democratic Party’s platform. Both had emphasized populist themes during the campaign: Kornbluh was known for pushing Democrats to focus on the plight of the poor and middle class, while Goolsbee was an aggressive critic of Wall Street, declaring that AIG executives should receive “a Nobel Prize — for evil.”But come November 5th, both were banished from Obama’s inner circle — and replaced with a group of Wall Street bankers. Leading the search for the president’s new economic team was his close friend and Harvard Law classmate Michael Froman, a high-ranking executive at Citigroup. During the campaign, Froman had emerged as one of Obama’s biggest fundraisers, bundling $200,000 in contributions and introducing the candidate to a host of heavy hitters — chief among them his mentor Bob Rubin, the former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs who served as Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. Froman had served as chief of staff to Rubin at Treasury, and had followed his boss when Rubin left the Clinton administration to serve as a senior counselor to Citigroup (a massive new financial conglomerate created by deregulatory moves pushed through by Rubin himself).Incredibly, Froman did not resign from the bank when he went to work for Obama: He remained in the employ of Citigroup for two more months, even as he helped appoint the very people who would shape the future of his own firm. And to help him pick Obama’s economic team, Froman brought in none other than Jamie Rubin, a former Clinton diplomat who happens to be Bob Rubin’s son. At the time, Jamie’s dad was still earning roughly $15 million a year working for Citigroup, which was in the midst of a collapse brought on in part because Rubin had pushed the bank to invest heavily in mortgage-backed CDOs and other risky instruments.Now here’s where it gets really interesting. It’s three weeks after the election. You have a lame-duck president in George W. Bush — still nominally in charge, but in reality already halfway to the golf-and-O’Doul’s portion of his career and more than happy to vacate the scene. Left to deal with the still-reeling economy are lame-duck Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, a former head of Goldman Sachs, and New York Fed chief Timothy Geithner, who served under Bob Rubin in the Clinton White House. Running Obama’s economic team are a still-employed Citigroup executive and the son of another Citigroup executive, who himself joined Obama’s transition team that same month.So on November 23rd, 2008, a deal is announced in which the government will bail out Rubin’s messes at Citigroup with a massive buffet of taxpayer-funded cash and guarantees. It is a terrible deal for the government, almost universally panned by all serious economists, an outrage to anyone who pays taxes. Under the deal, the bank gets $20 billion in cash, on top of the $25 billion it had already received just weeks before as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. But that’s just the appetizer. The government also agrees to charge taxpayers for up to $277 billion in losses on troubled Citi assets, many of them those toxic CDOs that Rubin had pushed Citi to invest in. No Citi executives are replaced, and few restrictions are placed on their compensation. It’s the sweetheart deal of the century, putting generations of working-stiff taxpayers on the hook to pay off Bob Rubin’s fuck-up-rich tenure at Citi. “If you had any doubts at all about the primacy of Wall Street over Main Street,” former labor secretary Robert Reich declares when the bailout is announced, “your doubts should be laid to rest.”It is bad enough that one of Bob Rubin’s former protégés from the Clinton years, the New York Fed chief Geithner, is intimately involved in the negotiations, which unsurprisingly leave the Federal Reserve massively exposed to future Citi losses. But the real stunner comes only hours after the bailout deal is struck, when the Obama transition team makes a cheerful announcement: Timothy Geithner is going to be Barack Obama’s Treasury secretary!Geithner, in other words, is hired to head the U.S. Treasury by an executive from Citigroup — Michael Froman — before the ink is even dry on a massive government giveaway to Citigroup that Geithner himself was instrumental in delivering. In the annals of brazen political swindles, this one has to go in the all-time Fuck-the-Optics Hall of Fame.Wall Street loved the Citi bailout and the Geithner nomination so much that the Dow immediately posted its biggest two-day jump since 1987, rising 11.8 percent. Citi shares jumped 58 percent in a single day, and JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley soared more than 20 percent, as Wall Street embraced the news that the government’s bailout generosity would not die with George W. Bush and Hank Paulson. “Geithner assures a smooth transition between the Bush administration and that of Obama, because he’s already co-managing what’s happening now,” observed Stephen Leeb, president of Leeb Capital Management.Left unnoticed, however, was the fact that Geithner had been hired by a sitting Citigroup executive who still had a big bonus coming despite his proximity to Obama. In January 2009, just over a month after the bailout, Citigroup paid Froman a year-end bonus of $2.25 million. But as outrageous as it was, that payoff would prove to be chump change for the banker crowd, who were about to get everything they wanted — and more — from the new president.The irony of Bob Rubin: He’s an unapologetic arch-capitalist demagogue whose very career is proof that a free-market meritocracy is a myth. Much like Alan Greenspan, a staggeringly incompetent economic forecaster who was worshipped by four decades of politicians because he once dated Barbara Walters, Rubin has been held in awe by the American political elite for nearly 20 years despite having fucked up virtually every project he ever got his hands on. He went from running Goldman Sachs (1990-1992) to the Clinton White House (1993-1999) to Citigroup (1999-2009), leaving behind a trail of historic gaffes that somehow boosted his stature every step of the way.As Treasury secretary under Clinton, Rubin was the driving force behind two monstrous deregulatory actions that would be primary causes of last year’s financial crisis: the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (passed specifically to legalize the Citigroup megamerger) and the deregulation of the derivatives market. Having set that time bomb, Rubin left government to join Citi, which promptly expressed its gratitude by giving him $126 million in compensation over the next eight years (they don’t call it bribery in this country when they give you the money post factum). After urging management to amp up its risky investments in toxic vehicles, a strategy that very nearly destroyed the company, Rubin blamed Citi’s board for his screw-ups and complained that he had been underpaid to boot. “I bet there’s not a single year where I couldn’t have gone somewhere else and made more,” he said.Despite being perhaps more responsible for last year’s crash than any other single living person — his colossally stupid decisions at both the highest levels of government and the management of a private financial superpower make him unique — Rubin was the man Barack Obama chose to build his White House around.There are four main ways to be connected to Bob Rubin: through Goldman Sachs, the Clinton administration, Citigroup and, finally, the Hamilton Project, a think tank Rubin spearheaded under the auspices of the Brookings Institute to promote his philosophy of balanced budgets, free trade and financial deregulation. The team Obama put in place to run his economic policy after his inauguration was dominated by people who boasted connections to at least one of these four institutions — so much so that the White House now looks like a backstage party for an episode of Bob Rubin, This Is Your Life!At Treasury, there is Geithner, who worked under Rubin in the Clinton years. Serving as Geithner’s “counselor” — a made-up post not subject to Senate confirmation — is Lewis Alexander, the former chief economist of Citigroup, who advised Citi back in 2007 that the upcoming housing crash was nothing to worry about. Two other top Geithner “counselors” — Gene Sperling and Lael Brainard — worked under Rubin at the National Economic Council, the key group that coordinates all economic policymaking for the White House.As director of the NEC, meanwhile, Obama installed economic czar Larry Summers, who had served as Rubin’s protégé at Treasury. Just below Summers is Jason Furman, who worked for Rubin in the Clinton White House and was one of the first directors of Rubin’s Hamilton Project. The appointment of Furman — a persistent advocate of free-trade agreements like NAFTA and the author of droolingly pro-globalization reports with titles like “Walmart: A Progressive Success Story” — provided one of the first clues that Obama had only been posturing when he promised crowds of struggling Midwesterners during the campaign that he would renegotiate NAFTA, which facilitated the flight of blue-collar jobs to other countries. “NAFTA’s shortcomings were evident when signed, and we must now amend the agreement to fix them,” Obama declared.A few months after hiring Furman to help shape its economic policy, however, the White House quietly quashed any talk of renegotiating the trade deal. “The president has said we will look at all of our options, but I think they can be addressed without having to reopen the agreement,” U.S. Trade Representative Ronald Kirk told reporters in a little-publicized conference call last April.The announcement was not so surprising, given who Obama hired to serve alongside Furman at the NEC: management consultant Diana Farrell, who worked under Rubin at Goldman Sachs. In 2003, Farrell was the author of an infamous paper in which she argued that sending American jobs overseas might be “as beneficial to the U.S. as to the destination country, probably more so.”Joining Summers, Furman and Farrell at the NEC is Froman, who by then had been formally appointed to a unique position: He is not only Obama’s international finance adviser at the National Economic Council, he simultaneously serves as deputy national security adviser at the National Security Council. The twin posts give Froman a direct line to the president, putting him in a position to coordinate Obama’s international economic policy during a crisis. He’ll have help from David Lipton, another joint appointee to the economics and security councils who worked with Rubin at Treasury and Citigroup, and from Jacob Lew, a former Citi colleague of Rubin’s whom Obama named as deputy director at the State Department to focus on international finance.Over at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is supposed to regulate derivatives trading, Obama appointed Gary Gensler, a former Goldman banker who worked under Rubin in the Clinton White House. Gensler had been instrumental in helping to pass the infamous Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which prevented deregulation of derivative instruments like CDOs and credit-default swaps that played such a big role in cratering the economy last year. And as head of the powerful Office of Management and Budget, Obama named Peter Orszag, who served as the first director of Rubin’s Hamilton Project. Orszag once succinctly summed up the project’s ideology as a sort of liberal spin on trickle-down Reaganomics: “Market competition and globalization generate significant economic benefits.”Taken together, the rash of appointments with ties to Bob Rubin may well represent the most sweeping influence by a single Wall Street insider in the history of government. “Rather than having a team of rivals, they’ve got a team of Rubins,” says Steven Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. “You see that in policy choices that have resuscitated — but not reformed — Wall Street.”While Rubin’s allies and acolytes got all the important jobs in the Obama administration, the academics and progressives got banished to semi-meaningless, even comical roles. Kornbluh was rewarded for being the chief policy architect of Obama’s meteoric rise by being outfitted with a pith helmet and booted across the ocean to Paris, where she now serves as America’s never-again-to-be-seen-on-TV ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Goolsbee, meanwhile, was appointed as staff director of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, a kind of dumping ground for Wall Street critics who had assisted Obama during the campaign; one top Democrat calls the panel “Siberia.”Joining Goolsbee as chairman of the PERAB gulag is former Fed chief Paul Volcker, who back in March 2008 helped candidate Obama write a speech declaring that the deregulatory efforts of the Eighties and Nineties had “excused and even embraced an ethic of greed, corner-cutting, insider dealing, things that have always threatened the long-term stability of our economic system.” That speech met with rapturous applause, but the commission Obama gave Volcker to manage is so toothless that it didn’t even meet for the first time until last May. The lone progressive in the White House, economist Jared Bernstein, holds the impressive-sounding title of chief economist and national policy adviser — except that the man he is advising is Joe Biden, who seems more interested in foreign policy than financial reform.The significance of all of these appointments isn’t that the Wall Street types are now in a position to provide direct favors to their former employers. It’s that, with one or two exceptions, they collectively offer a microcosm of what the Democratic Party has come to stand for in the 21st century. Virtually all of the Rubinites brought in to manage the economy under Obama share the same fundamental political philosophy carefully articulated for years by the Hamilton Project: Expand the safety net to protect the poor, but let Wall Street do whatever it wants. “Bob Rubin, these guys, they’re classic limousine liberals,” says David Sirota, a former Democratic strategist. “These are basically people who have made shitloads of money in the speculative economy, but they want to call themselves good Democrats because they’re willing to give a little more to the poor. That’s the model for this Democratic Party: Let the rich do their thing, but give a fraction more to everyone else.”Even the members of Obama’s economic team who have spent most of their lives in public office have managed to make small fortunes on Wall Street. The president’s economic czar, Larry Summers, was paid more than $5.2 million in 2008 alone as a managing director of the hedge fund D.E. Shaw, and pocketed an additional $2.7 million in speaking fees from a smorgasbord of future bailout recipients, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. At Treasury, Geithner’s aide Gene Sperling earned a staggering $887,727 from Goldman Sachs last year for performing the punch-line-worthy service of “advice on charitable giving.” Sperling’s fellow Treasury appointee, Mark Patterson, received $637,492 as a full-time lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, and another top Geithner aide, Lee Sachs, made more than $3 million working for a New York hedge fund called Mariner Investment Group. The list goes on and on. Even Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who has been out of government for only 30 months of his adult life, managed to collect $18 million during his private-sector stint with a Wall Street firm called Wasserstein-Perella.The point is that an economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-assholes has absolutely zero interest in reforming the gamed system that made them rich in the first place. “You can’t expect these people to do anything other than protect Wall Street,” says Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Republican from Florida. That thinking was clear from Obama’s first address to Congress, when he stressed the importance of getting Americans to borrow like crazy again. “Credit is the lifeblood of the economy,” he declared, pledging “the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money.”http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16488
WASHINGTON – Private security guards working for Blackwater USA participated in clandestine CIA raids against suspected insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, The New York Times reported Thursday.Blackwater’s role points to a much deeper connection between the company and the spy agency than has been previously disclosed and raises concerns over the legalities of involving contractors in the most sensitive operations conducted by the U.S. government.The “snatch and grab” raids took place regularly between 2004 and 2006, the Times reported, when the insurgency in Iraq was escalating and security throughout the country was deteriorating.A U.S. official confirmed to The Associated Press that Blackwater provided security and moved around with CIA teams on missions in war zones, but he denied they performed CIA missions. CIA Director Leon Panetta ordered a review several months ago of the company’s contracts to be sure its guards only perform security-related work, the official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity becsause he was not authorized to comment publicly.http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091211/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_cia_blackwaterAmong the team’s targets, according to a source familiar with the program, was Mamoun Darkazanli, an al-Qaeda financier living in Hamburg who had been on the agency’s radar for years because of his ties to three of the 9/11 hijackers and to operatives convicted of the 1998 bombings of U.S. Embassies in East Africa. The C.I.A. team supposedly went in “dark,” meaning they did not notify their own station—much less the German government—of their presence; they then followed Darkazanli for weeks and worked through the logistics of how and where they would take him down. Another target, the source says, was A. Q. Khan, the rogue Pakistani scientist who shared nuclear know-how with Iran, Libya, and North Korea. The C.I.A. team supposedly tracked him in Dubai. In both cases, the source insists, the authorities in Washington chose not to pull the trigger. Khan’s inclusion on the target list, however, would suggest that the assassination effort was broader than has previously been acknowledged. (Says agency spokesman Gimigliano, “[The] C.I.A. hasn’t discussed—despite some mischaracterizations that have appeared in the public domain—the substance of this effort or earlier ones.”)The source familiar with the Darkazanli and Khan missions bristles at public comments that current and former C.I.A. officials have made: “They say the program didn’t move forward because [they] didn’t have the right skill set or because of inadequate cover. That’s untrue. [The operation continued] for a very long time in some places without ever being discovered. This program died because of a lack of political will.”http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2010/01/blackwater-201001?currentPage=4
And importantly, WFCs?
The CIA regularly uses contractors for many reasons, especially the ‘wet work’. This is hardly news. They also routinely have hit squads on various targets that are just waiting for the word to pull the trigger. Or crash the car, or bring down the plane.
Economic consensus is by definition an oxymoron. You would be very correct to run.
Just to be clear, Enron was fully on board the Global Warming bandwagon, and were planning to actively create and trade the cap & trade markets and derivatives that would be used to assuage liberal guilt.On the second point, I have a great book from years ago called “Science Made Stupid” in which they settle the creationist paradox (Adam & Eve only had sons, so how did humanity spring from that?). Two sons of the creationist pair mate with shapely females of a near human species already here thus the story makes sense. It was not serious, but it as just as plausible as any other hypotheses out there.
No, that’s not it. The “debt” & “bills” Hoyer mentions are the promises they have made to various constituencies. The Public Debt that they are authorising is simply the means to raise the cash to deliver on those promises.
It’s kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. Actually, when you think about it, the Goldman Sachs share is more likely to maintain purchasing power than the USD
It’s a black hole from our friends at CERN. We just don’t know we’re finished because we’re too close to the event horizon and essentially living out our reality while outside the system we are surely destroyed. It must have been global warming that did us in while we were being sucked into the black hole.
Civic Collateral Damage… a jobless recovery. Hundreds of thousands of Americans cannot find work and no sight of work on the horizon. Soup lines and tent cities of the 30′s replaced by food stamps, relative’s homes and charitable shelters in 2009. Wall Street doing better thank you. Job Done by the Fed/President/Congress. I think not! Blood in the streets I say…. political blood come elections next year. Failure was not an option. All are guilty by association to the immoral imbalance of power for the financial community. It’s about jobs, damn it! JOBS! See Paul Krugman’s article from 12/10.
Recovery my butt… as most here have been saying, there is no recovery… anyone thats going to 70% off is fighting to stave off going out of business in early 2010!Stores’ Dilemma: To Deploy Discounts Now or Hold the Line .ArticleComments (11)By ELIZABETH HOLMESWho will blink first: retailers or shoppers? Chain-stores are holding bigger markdowns in reserve trying to gauge how long shoppers will wait for better deals to emerge.The standoff, which experts say could be decided in favor of shoppers as soon as this weekend, could help determine whether or not this holiday season marks the second year in a row of sales declines.View Full ImagePolarisStore visits are declining as customers wait for price cuts. A lone shopper walks through a Memphis department store late last month..Nine of 10 people waiting to finish their holiday shopping are doing so to get discounts of at least 50%, according to a survey released Thursday by UBS and market researcher America’s Research Group Ltd. A third of respondents said they are holding out for a 70% discount.Retailers are reluctant to hit the panic button. So far, they have avoided drastic price cuts by hewing to carefully planned promotions and limiting inventories. But if shoppers aren’t out in force this weekend, many mall-based clothing retailers have arranged contingency plans for additional sales and markdowns.”If we don’t have to do it, believe me, we’re not going to do it,” said Kay Krill, chief executive of women’s clothing chain AnnTaylor Stores Corp. Its Ann Taylor and its Loft outlets have discount banners “ready to go” should consumers need an incentive to shop, she said.The first week of December, typically a lackluster time in the wake of Black Friday, was particularly slow. Sales for the week ended Dec. 5 fell 18% from the prior-week period, which included Black Friday, according to market researcher ShopperTrak RCT Corp. Last year, when the recession was in full force, sales fell a lesser 14%, according to the firm, which compiles shopping traffic at malls and uses sales statistics, as well as Commerce Department figures, for its estimate.”After solid traffic the first couple of days, it looks like the middle of August out there,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for retail watcher NPD Group.Sales this season got off to a slow start in November, inching up just 0.7% over the prior-year period, according to market researcher Retail Metrics Inc. November mall traffic fell 6.1% over the year-ago period, according to ShopperTrak. Experts report similar trends for December..Many of the promotions offered in the mall during the past week were carried over from Black Friday. High-priced teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. gave shoppers who spent $100 or more $25 gift cards, which expire at the end of January, the end of the retailer’s fiscal fourth quarter.Gap Inc.’s namesake stores offered buy-one, get-one free sweaters on Black Friday. Last weekend, it expanded to all tops from sweaters.Sluggish sales in the first week of December have some experts saying that inflection point is near. This weekend, one of just two before Christmas, “is going to be a key weekend,” said Roxanne Meyer, a UBS retail analyst. “If we don’t see a nice pickup after this weekend, you could start to see them pull the trigger.”Waiting for discounts is a lesson consumers learned well last year, when a sharp drop in spending and a glut of inventory forced retailers to dramatically mark down their wares. Heinz Titze, a father of three from Rolling Meadows, Ill., shopped three days before Christmas last year for his wife and found plenty of bargains at women’s clothing stores in the mall. He plans to do the same this year.”If I can get a whole outfit for $50 next week compared to $100 this week, I’ll definitely take advantage of it,” Mr. Titze says. “Why wouldn’t I?”During Black Friday, Aeropostale Inc. offered 50% to 70% off all of its merchandise. Last weekend, the teen retailer switched to an item-specific promotion. But on Thursday, it reinstated the blanket discount.A Gap spokeswoman called its expanded discounts “strong calls to action.” Last month, Chief Executive Glenn Murphy said the company wouldn’t sit on its hands. “We’ve now built good contingency plans to make sure we react to the customer,” he said on a call with analysts
There was and is no recovery except in the minds of the PTB, mainstream useless press, Obama and his minions and wall street…. all thier lies, hope and prayers are not working…The Recovery Is FalteringJoe Weisenthal|Dec. 11, 2009, 6:32 AM | 6,147 |9As the summer was turning into a fall, there was a really brief period when it was super-cool to believe in the V-shaped recovery.There were all kinds of op-eds written about this bravely optimistic idea.But something happened.The data from October and November has not been particularly strong.The V-shaped recovery is beginning to look more U-shaped or – gasp – W-shaped.See the evidence for yourself >>http://www.businessinsider.com/something-bad-happened-between-october-in-november-2009-12
Thanks for the FeedbackI started looking more close at the world’s oil consumption data from a variety of sites and agree with you….world oil consumptions does appear at 84-86 million barrels/day, not 146.I imagine if we took the artificial and short-term American/Chinese/European stimulus debt out of the picture, a reduction of oil consumption to approx 55 million barrels/day with no stimulus debt is a better way to look at the effect of the economic downturn worldwide. The stimulus money has likely kept oil consumtion artificially too high, very similar to enlarging population density, when we could have reduced it.Thanks for correcting me, I’ll update my web and clarify my takes in the future.
Update: 84-86 million barrels/day from 2004-2009
No, something simple, just plain old corporate greed that did us in…
And think about what it means to be civilians over there. Far more of Them have died; plus, almost everyone is living with the loss of a loved one.
Yes, as I’ve been noting, not matter what (truth or fiction) people will look to make money off of something.Behind the attacks on science is the Discover Institute, which has also backed rapid mass transit in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s an IOU, a promise that future generations will pay for today’s bankster party…
Isn’t expecting leadership to save oneself a bit like tossing off one’s own responsibility?The ONLY leadership should come from the spiritual, otherwise it’s domination: and sometimes I think that people who clamor for better leadership just mean that they want leadership that will do their personal bidding.
WRONG! Obama was never “the people’s” candidate. If one were to go back and listen to what he was saying during elections they’d see that he provided NO programs for fighting corporate lobbyists (defense, pharmaceutical, insurance and others).