"A volcano near Anchorage could erupt within *days*! Mount Redoubt has been silent for almost twenty years--until now. It is showing ominous signs of life--rumbling, simmering and having several orgasms earthquakes..."
For those who urged an aggressive response to the crisis -- um, there it is, we've already done it, let's stop and see how things shake out."
Update: This is *real* folks! Not a made-up graph!
Never in the history of the Federal Reserve has there been such an intense effort to inflate the economy out of a recession, and never have any previous efforts failed as spectacularly as this one.
It's broken. Our collective goose is cooked. They broke it, and we can expect to see their efforts to replace it with a new worldwide currency.
And (more ominously) the mode that this new currency will take will not be paper and metal bills and coins, nor credit or debit cards (that can be lost, stolen or forged), but a new implantable microchip, rfid tag or similar device to "safeguard" your financial data and "reduce fraud", and without which it will not be possible to buy or sell anything legally.
Don't kid yourself and don't let anyone lie to you. The day will come when you will be forced to choose between comfort in this world and fidelity to your Lord and Savior. This is the mark of the beast and the primary means of control that will be exercised. Those outside this new system will find themselves destitute and desperate in a very short order, and widely reviled as quasi-criminal.
Expect it and prepare for it mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It's the only way to endure the time to come. And remember that this time will be "shortened for the sake of the elect", so that we can maintain hope. If you continue in denial, the time will come upon you like a thief in the night, and you may fail.
And do not think in your heart, "oh, God will forgive me. He knows how hard it is and how necessary the things of life are. He knows I am weak and will surely overlook this transgression."
Know this: The Lord does not overlook any transgression that is not covered in the blood of Jesus. And how can an act as deliberate as casting your lot with the world and against the kingdom of His Son, be covered in the blood?
No, the scripture says, "choose this day whom you will serve", and this will be the defining moment of these last days. Remember the apostles wrote of a Great Apostasy that must take place prior to the coming of the Lord? Do not allow yourself to be taken captive by the world system for the sake of a few morsels of bread! This is why I encourage all to lay in a supply of necessities for themselves and their families, so that your days of endurance may be less severe.
"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
“ Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”" Revelation 7:9-17
What is in the process of coming upon us will come. But we who have our trust in the One Who sits on the throne have this hope: whatever privations we suffer, whatever torments and evils are inflicted upon us by the powers of this present darkness, we will come THROUGH if we stand firm to the end, even though we may lose our lives on this earth.
My temptation is to crumble in fear when I read and hear. No preparations will be sufficient for the evil that is rapidly approaching. Some preparations will buy a measure of time, and may permit one to be a shelter and refuge for a small handful of others who flee against the storm. But before the last trumpet has sounded, the domination of those who are building the New Tyranny will be exceedingly thorough. And we will be crushed. Some by the "sword", some taken into captivity. For those of us who are of the Hope of Jesus Christ, we must look through this to what awaits us beyond. If we believed His words sufficiently to have cast our lot with him in the previous age, then we must believe His words as they pertain to what is coming.
...carefully tucked below the fold ("read the rest") for you ostriches who really don't want to know.
See? I'm nothing if not considerate. Now you can go on your merry way unmolested by reality.
If you dare.
More Predictions for 2009, by Roger Wiegand
Our new president was inaugurated and we wish him well for the sake of our nation and others throughout the world. We do not want to be cynical but must be realistic. We think this year will be the worst one of this longer recession-depression cycle and our new leader, we suspect is going to take a merciless pounding from a heap of troubles domestically first and foreign later.
Thankfully, the spending of TARP #2 and whatever billions-trillions are added for emphasis, should give us the Obama Market Bounce lasting perhaps 90 days or so. While this economics plan has no chance in our view, the herd psychology of markets should give us a nice relief rally almost across the board. The dollar is flat to down on the intermediate cycle and bonds are the same. We forecast the balance of our favorites to rally along with shares in both the mainstream and precious metals.
However, with spring flowers in April we are expecting a quintuple smash of:
Wave one of commercial real estate foreclosures and loan failures. Some of the biggest of the big buildings will be foreclosed and those planned but not built will never see daylight. Meanwhile, vacancies skyrocket while budgets are busted with dropping rents. One analyst estimated the New York City Financial district buildings will see 66% occupancies with break even budgets being much higher. You will see some major shopping malls shut down. The second wave of residential foreclosures and loan failures arrives dragging down all real estate values both commercial and residential. They will sink like a rock in over-built states and within those regions previously hit the worst. This is related to the next mortgage failure cycle. Some of those formerly upscale, McMansion subdivisions will turn into ghost towns. Wave one of auto loan failures containing billions in bank, credit union and auto finance company loans will smash credit markets. The reaction will be stunning and probably stop most vehicle lending temporarily for weeks paralyzing automakers and those lenders still doing car and truck loans. Wave one of several future waves of credit card failures estimated at $40 billion by bank credit analysts will be an April smash. Normally card failures are in the 1-2% range annually. This larger event opens doors for a historic new number of non-payers and delinquents. This cycle is mostly job loss related but most of it is due to overspending by cardholders. Wave one of the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) will hit markets like a Tsunami. These failures will be so overpowering, those in charge will be stunned and flabbergasted by the numbers. The figures are so large we cannot even imagine the amounts. One analyst said it was estimated between $500 and $750 Trillion dollars! There is no margin or deposit money on these trades.
Most See A Crisis Of Liquidity. We See A Crisis Of Insolvency. Here is the difference: For those in a crisis of liquidity they have a temporary shortage of liquid cash but do have a positive balance sheet with a viable longer term business plan. Insolvency is something entirely different. Those personally or corporately insolvent have both a shortage of cash but worst of all do not have a reasonable and viable plan to grow themselves out of trouble. No matter how many billions are tossed to those insolvents, they will crash anyway while taking billions in TARP and replacement cash down the tubes with them.
An excellent example is the American auto industry. Even with enough cash to get by for say three years, the overwhelming debts and their whacko budgets eliminate any hope of recovery. The automakers are insolvent. When compared with their European and Asian competition, the Big Three continue to operate on the old paradigm with overly generous benefits, wages and perks. Further, the work ethic in America is not the same as with most other auto manufacturers.
There are exceptions of course but the money deck is stacked against the Big Three even having any chance. In addition to out of kilter budgets, the Big Three has an extremely heavy load of legacy costs related to retirees. The Asian companies do not have this burden for the most part. The Big Three are paying big bucks for many more retired workers related to pensions and health care. A comparison might be the U.S. Social Security system. We already have too many retired folks collecting benefits compared to those working and making contributions. This relationship is going the wrong way very quickly. Real worker contributions are not keeping-up with payment demands and further, those worker contributions are deposited to the U.S. Treasury General Fund where they are open to abusive spending for other things. Those contributions should be in a segregated fund and not commingled. We suggest that when the younger workers catch on they will rebel against this idea thinking they are tired of feeding the oldsters and not keeping enough set aside for them selves.
Other Events Dragging Down World Economies World trade is in a state of collapse as seen in tumbling Asian manufacturing and export numbers along with ships parked to the extent global docks are nearly silent. Historically when this happens, nations turn inward to save themselves. Asia will stop buying and investing in our crappy paper meaning the U.S. is no longer financed. Further, trade wars and protectionism will appear to protect internal and domestic economies. Nasty tariffs are born and international trade anger rises. Mutual cooperation so necessary to move all the global goods goes very bad.
Unemployment is rising swiftly throughout the world. In the U.S. we see 500,000 jobs per month going down the drain. Those are the losses reported. We would strongly suggest the actual monthly loss is near 1,000,000 per month. If this is true, America will shed 12mm jobs this year as our new administration proudly announces they will create 2-4mm new ones. They will be going backwards at the rate of nearly -80%, which is astounding. Worse yet, any new ones will be make-work government jobs creating a further drain on the treasury. We see next to nothing for new private employment. Obviously with all the joblessness, bills are not paid relative to autos, housing, miscellaneous loans, education, health care, travel, taxes, entertainment, etc. Lost jobs create a cascade of failures across the entire spending-investment spectrum. Further, when fear sets in as in today’s situation, those still working stop spending. Spending losses encourage a Catch-22 and the whole cycle-episode feeds on itself in a downward spiral.
While we remain in a primary deflation mode world-wide, we think inflation followed by hyperinflation is very real and possible in later 2009. The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury are just about at the end of their rope. They are out of rate cut running-room and those moves are mostly ineffectual now anyway. All they have left is a phony game of printing dollars and bonds while moving them around in a circle within our country. Foreign USA paper buyers take less and less at new auctions. We know they are dumping dollars and other papers assets at a furious pace paying bills and investing in honest-to-goodness hard goods with real value. Watch out for big time inflation in the second half of 2009.
As we write this on January 20th, England’s Pound Sterling is taking a historic dive as their central bank has been printing recklessly to fund illiquid-insolvent disasters. One analyst expects the Pound to fail and this monetary crisis to go into a Trustee Receivership with the IMF and Euroland authorities in charge.
We’ve been saying for months the monster U.S. bond short just ahead will be the mother of all bubbles. Others agree and we see more and more discussion relative to this topic. Timing is difficult but more than one analyst suggests using the ET’s for trading this longer term event.
One top analyst from Canada suggests this current economic cycle might resemble the 1873-1896 depression in the U.S. Maybe, but with think its more like 1929-1939 as today is 1938-1939 with stronger negatives. After 1939 only war got the global system on track again. Expect a repeat.
Remember Sir Alan delayed the 2000 event with low interest and free housing money. He has only delayed the inevitable disaster giving it a bunch more nasty power. The overshoot on the downside is already crazy and we have long, long way to go headed down to the lower than low finish line.
Towns, Cities, States And Municipalities Losing Tax Income Pensioners are a dominant investor group in municipal bonds for retirement income. Real estate taxes are the primary driver of cash-in for these groups. With tax values sinking and taxpayers defaulting, your local township, village, county or city is not receiving enough income to pay bond interest. We think there is a distinct possibility California goes bankrupt!
We see a series of rolling defaults. Look at California. The announced they will be mailing income tax refunds late as they are broke. Further, some creditors are either getting or, about to get payments from the State of California in IOUs. This state is $40 Billion short on their budget and realistically have no way to escape. Their lender of last resort will be Uncle Sam. This means other states that behave themselves and pay their bills will have their residents tapped to cover California messes.
In Michigan, the Cities of Highland Park and Flint went broke and Lansing (our capitol) and Detroit are next. We cannot imagine what life will be like in Wayne and Oakland counties in Southeastern, Michigan when our Big Three disappear in bankruptcy. Hundreds of thousands of high pay jobs will vanish-suppliers and associated employment constitute thousands more lost forever.
It has been said that whenever a nation’s debts exceed GDP by over +6%, there is no recovery. The U.S. crossed that threshold last year and is headed for +10% on debts over GDP. There is no turning back and the recovery could be a decade or more away. We are going broke nationally for certain.
Being Poor Is A Hardship. Being Poor In The Middle Of Social Violence Is Untenable. The U.S. has resources to provide enough food and shelter for the poor, and newly jobless with little strain. They won’t do it because the government is always a reactor not an initiator in solving problems. This means there is a social upheaval ahead worse than ten Katrina’s. The sad part is it could be avoided if the authorities would just get busy and get the aid out and delivered. They won’t because they are too stupid and disorganized. Watch the fallout from this mess!
Families, singles, children, and pensioners are going hungry for lack of adequate nourishment many times trading food money for utilities or rent; not being able to afford all necessities. Here we sit with millions of vacate homes and more coming yet we lack adequate housing for the poor.
The food banks are overrun with demands while millions of others throw food in the garbage. The food situation is one of transport and distribution rather than a lack. Governments are not even close to being prepared for the crushing demands of the cold and hungry we see in 2009-2012. Then, to make it all worse, when the US weather warms-up and gets hotter this summer, heat drives out the jobless and they go hunting on the streets. They will be on the prowl for free food, food to steal and committing crimes for other necessary goods they cannot afford.
The terrible, old Los Angeles and Detroit riots and those of other larger urban areas will re-set new records for fires, destruction and mayhem. People read of the billions stolen by crooked bankers and their sleazy associates and anger is swiftly rising. We have no idea how crazy wild this can get but in our view meeting violence with more violence is not the answer. For those with limited resources it’s simply better to just get out of the way. For those with money and an obviously good lifestyle in the city, we expect you will be a daily robbery target. Better think about it.
Back in the 1930s depression, our population simply suffered in silence. While I suppose there was some crime, it was modest compared to what we see on the 2009 horizon. In this spoiled generation of me first-you last, there will be no time for suffering in silence. When an unemployed father needs milk for crying babies, he will get a weapon and go get the milk and food. We get second-hand reports of huge gangs in South Central L.A., and Chicago on both the north and south sides and others. California gangs are reported to outnumber the police 3 to 1 and worst of all they have automatic and heavy weapons. This is not going to be pretty.
Even in the rural parts of the country, there are steady reports of thieves stealing farm equipment, robbing houses and taking fuel. Unattended property is a target. We think living in a small quiet town with good neighbors, being nondescript and blending in will provide a better life. If you can’t move, better make provision for a spot to land if your neighborhood goes bad overnight.
Another ugly part of depression life is a clash of cultures and religions. The have-nots will turn on the haves perceiving them to be part of the reason the poor are poor. Obviously this is ridiculous but that is an easy perception to embrace. Look for new nastiness among those cultures most prone to argue and pick-on each other and targets generally having a good life style with plenty of money.
A new mindset is necessary to curtail higher, former lifestyles. I have friends who spend like they did ten years ago but do not have ten years’ ago resources. Inflation is insidious. It grinds away on your income with no raises or increases being few and far between. It grinds away with taxes, as cost increases constantly slide higher at a gradual but relentless pace. It takes away little pleasures like eating out more often or taking nice vacations. It tightens the belts of kids in high school who want more expensive stuff while school systems offer less and charge more. It bites on us with repairs and on things that break too often and cost too much. Once tiny, annual fees like a dog license or, auto registration keep going higher and higher.
If most people took a real hard look at income and spending I think they would make tighter budgets, curtail old pleasures and get rough with letting a nickel go out the door. Most keep on keeping on, doing the same old stuff relative to spending and wonder why they are broke. Americans probably have the worst savings record in the world. They always spend far beyond their means, for the most part; living from check-to-check. I see it in Michigan in upscale neighborhoods where thirty-somethings living in McMansions have a husband-wife income of $250,000-to-$300,000, being basically broke. They have multiple leased cars and trucks, a house payment that would choke a horse and plenty of extras including private clubs, special training, fancy vacations, private schools, and overdone holidays. Watch how this comes to a screeching halt!
The chickens (vultures) are coming home to roost. Bye-Bye $150,000 per year auto engineer’s salaries, and here comes rising taxes as our esteemed governor takes more and spends more even in these distressed times. She thinks your earned money is her money. She never had a real job or met a payroll in her life. Let them eat cake she says; all is well. Watch where that goes. Taxpayer revolts are born of situations like this one.
I’ve got some bad news for her. The tax income is skidding, big painful state lay-offs are just ahead and when schools begin to close, homeowners send in house keys to the bank and leave our state. There is going to be lots of jingle mail sent to the bankers this spring. Mark my words it’s going to be beyond ugly. Maybe Michigan will revert to the forest emulating Detroit where wildlife abounds and not the kind you think either.
The USA War Machine Will Shrink. We Can’t Pay For It And Most Americans Are Tired Of Feeding Defense Companies To Manufacture Stuff That’s Blown-Up And Wrecked. Global economic calamities redistribute national power. The survivors have independent energy sources or, they steal it from others. The Middle Eastern struggles with Israel and the Arabs will continue we think until it heaven forbid goes nuclear. NATO is going weaker in Europe as Putin closes in for the kill. South America has several newly-bent left-leaning commie countries courtesy of Hugo Chavez. His antics in his country and with neighbors, and Cuba and Mexico tell us this dude is on a rampage to spread big trouble right at the door-step of America in Mexico.
We sincerely hope our new president is a tough guy with the bad guys. They will lend no quarter and are simply lying back in the weeds to take control by force. We suggest if the truth be known, Mexico is far out on the stability ledge as we speak. Our border guards and even the U.S.’s Border States’ National Guard are no match for those criminals in Northern and Central Mexico. New reports tell us they caused more deaths in Mexico last year than were counted in Iraq. This is very serious, indeed.
New Currencies, Bretton Woods And T-Bonds Our New York global trading and investment banks will require constant infusions of new cash to stay afloat. The TARP funding and still more to come is tossing cash into a bottomless pit. One of the world’s bigger banks is going to fail this year and it will be a disaster.
Next, one of the larger insurance companies will go bankrupt and create another shock to the core of our system and that of the world. This insurance company crash will be matched by a monster blue chip American company failing and shocking Wall Street.
The U.S. Bond bubble is the mother of all bubbles and has tragic consequences for the entire world. These markets are 70 times larger than the shares markets and form the lifeblood of capital for global finance. When this one breaks, the reverberations slam the world’s financial systems to the bone.
The old Bretton Woods system of having our USA dollar as the backbone of the world’s currency system could break down. The Asians and those in the Middle East are already forming new currency and trade platforms based upon brand new trading ideas. The U.S. Dollar is headed to .4600 on our forecasts; roughly a -50% haircut. We are all entering a brand new world. The old world is a goner and those who cannot change will wither and fail.
Get with a new program and be busy moving in the right direction. The time is now and the time is short. We think after May, 2009, several chances to implant new trades, investment ideas, personal events and other things will be too late.
Imposition of government capital controls can impede moving your business, cash, funds, and retirement in or, out of the U.S. It might be very expensive and difficult; or impossible.
Survivors and Those Who Win Buy Gold And Silver We think the secret to getting through this is to hunker down, eliminate debts, keep a low profile, trade in gold and silver shares during this first quarter along with futures, and then adjust in April when stocks sell off. Gold topped out near $850 years ago right where our price is today. We forecast 80% of the gold upside is still ahead in these markets. Silver is behind gold for now but will catch-up. They never trade like twins most of the time. We think the worst silver could do is $50; but expect much higher prices.
We look forward with anticipation to some great fun in these markets. If you are not in a position now, hurry-up and get it done. The door is open for all the shares’ markets including our precious metals. Futures traders in gold and silver have been trading this past week in large size. It seems the new trend is established and our long awaited rallies are underway.
In Trader Tracks, we provide weekly guidance and extra e-mail alerts to report our best new trades and offer suggestions for trade management. Visit our web site at WeBeatTheStreet.com for more information on our spectacular futures and commodities trading record.
Whatever you do, make a concerted effort to stay with our trend and hang onto your core holdings of favorite shares, cash, and coins. Physical gold should never be sold or, traded but rather accumulated steadily on a monthly savings plan.
Recent news says you cannot find any [bullion] coins or small bars. We see delays and back-orders but some dealers have goods in hand right now. Go shopping. Should you have difficulty buying physical metals, we suggest placing an order and being patient. Big traders are always ready to buy the dips and normally never sell their gold and silver. You would be amazed how quickly your physical gold and silver will accumulate using this strategy.
Roger Wiegand Editor, Trader Tracks Newsletter & The Rog Blog at WeBeatTheStreet.com
Gerald Celente is the CEO of Trends Research and has a long track record of accurate predictions.
Celente, who successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar, told UPI in November last year that the following year would be known as “The Panic of 2008,” adding that “giants (would) tumble to their deaths,” which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others. He also said that the dollar would eventually be devalued by as much as 90 per cent.
Caution Ostriches: For those of you stubbornly optimistic about the near term, and for those of you Obama-worshippers who don't want to hear that your Messiah will fail, you may wish to skip the stuff below the fold (at "read the rest")
“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said. “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”
“The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”
“It’s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more.”
“We’re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It’s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It’s going to come as a shock and with it, there’s going to be a lot of crime. And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression, people’s minds weren’t wrecked on all these modern drugs – over-the-counter drugs, or crystal meth or whatever it might be. So, you have a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody’s comprehension.”
Are you ready? What are you doing to *get* ready? How long will you wait?
Quit standing there frozen with fear and indecision! It's already way past the time you should have started with basic measures. There are gobs of good resources I've linked over the last few years. I've written as much as I am comfortable writing about my own preparations. And there is no end of good information a Google search away.
At LEAST you need to buy and store a few weeks to a few months of basic staple foods. Beans. Rice. Wheat. And learn how to prepare meals with these staples (google "cooking with storage foods"). Today these are *cheap*! You can feed yourself a survival ration for a month on twenty dollars worth. There's no excuse for 99% of you for not adding a bag of pinto beans or an extra ten pounds of rice, or a few extra cans of tuna (when it is on sale) to your cart, stuffing it in a 5-gal bucket with a lid, and storing it in the back of your closet. Do it every time you shop, and you will be ahead of 99% of the rest of the people when the food riots start.
And don't tell anyone, or they're likely to show up on your doorstep when crunch time comes. But do evangelize this message to everyone! Our survival as a nation may depend upon enough people being prepared to serve as a bulwark against total chaos.
Our intern Asok, introduced me to a new online music service that is Teh Cats Miau! Pandora Radio
Rather than selecting from a preset list of music stations, hoping to find someone else's playlist that matches your own tastes, you enter the name of a song or an artist, and Pandora selects that artist and similar artists to start your own personalized playlist. You can "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" the similar selections to help fine tune your likes, and add additional artists or songs to help direct the selection of the specific style you're after.
And when you change moods, create a new station and seed it with the type of music you want to listen to in that mood! When you sign up (free) your stations and preferences are saved, and you can access them from any computer anywhere in the US.
The best feature of this service is the discovery of new artists. You know you like the sound of artist X, but who else makes similar music? The browser window displays a little blurb about the artist and links to more info about them. And of course a handy link to buy the album you're listening to. (Psst. Do it once in a while. That's how this service stays free.)
There's no special software to download--it runs in a browser window. Good sound quality--I haven't seen the stats anywhere, but it sounds like at least 128 kbps.
What a great concept!
Clickity and give it a spin. I have a permanent link over on my right sidebar under "Listen".
Iowahawk is lurking elsewhere again, depositing this masterful gem at a place called "Big Hollywood". I'm excerpting here from the portion that finally broke my demeanor, forcing me to cough and snork in a vain attempt to forego a most intemperate LOL! Iowahawk--The Idiossey
Book the Sixth: The Rage of Hildusa
In Senatus, Obamacles laid beside the reflecting pool while a coterie of Media fed him grapes. Again the Oracle appeared to him, this time in the form of a bowl of arugula; it said,
“You have done well, hale Obamacles, but your torments are not yet complete. The toughest test of all awaits, and may the gods have mercy on your soul.”
“Do your worst, arugula,” he laughed, “for I am Obamacles, Lord of Illinus, who single handedly conquered the LSATs and disarmed the Chicagomon. What task would you possibly fear me with?”
“You are to led the Demos back to the White Temple, by vanquishing Hildusa.”
At the sound of Hildusa’s name even brave Obamacles was driven to wet his toga, For Hildusa, cuckolder of Bubba, was the mightiest of all the gorgons. From her head grew a writhing nest of asps, and the mere sight of her cankles Would turn a man to stone. Some said she came from Lesbos But others said her only pleasure was torment and sucking the marrow from her victim’s bones. Around her at all times was a phalanx guard of mincing eunuchs, led by Ickis, Wolfsonis, Blumenthalis and Pennis. At her side, an angry force of menopausal PUMAs ready to strike on her command — for the children."
I am at home now, and I am working on my ongoing project at my place of employ. I asked whether I could get remote access to my work desktop, and my boss readily said "yes"!
Hey, now I can make up for worktime wasted blogging!
No, not really. The file I am working on is huge and ungainly and often I wait 30 seconds to a minute while it finishes some operation as simple as a drawing regeneration. In the mean time I have a browser window open in the background that I switch to, and read whatever news story or blog post I last had open. Then when the drawing is done regenerating I go back to work. I only take short work breaks when I actually want to write something.
But I'm behind schedule on this project, and it feels nice to now be able to make productive time of some of my late evening hours to keep it moving forward. Daisycat is asleep and I would otherwise be wasting time surfing blogs or news sites this time of the evening (which I can *still* do in between drawing regenerations).
What I *didn't* tell my boss (not yet anyway) is that this is my first step toward requesting one or two telecommuting days per week during those times when my primary duties are design (not construction management). When I get the farm computer set up with internet access, I hope to work from out there.
All in the name of saving Gaia and reducing my carbon footprint, of course. ;)
Well well! So you can have jam on toast and call it a health food. And the hillsides around our farm are covered with prickly pear fruit in season.
Of course Arizona has some screwy laws against harvesting natural foods on public lands, but in a crunch situation, who will be enforcing them? For normal times, Momcat is already planning to get a prickly pear plantation established on our property, where we can pick whatever we want. In addition to the fruit, the young pads can be harvested and cooked as a vegetable--called nopalitos in Spanish.
I wasn't planning on bringing another cat to the farm last weekend. I was just carting out another load of junk and checking on the two cats I brought out the weekend before.
I headed out late Sunday after spending part of the afternoon loading the trailer. I also needed to gather up some records for taxes, so I spent Monday morning sifting through boxes of statements.
Daisycat called about noon, worried that she hadn't seen Max either Sunday evening or Monday morning. I left her a message telling her to call the animal control office.
Sunday afternoon I began unloading the trailer. I had the trailer open several times as I moved it from place to place unloading stuff where it goes. Late in the afternoon she left another message saying he wasn't at the animal control facility.
It wasn't until early evening that I got to the stuff way in the back of the trailer. And then I did a double-triple take! Max! What are YOU doing back there?!
He was pretty well traumatized, and hadn't moved from his hidey hole all day. I brought him out and into the house. By the time I had to leave, he was slowly beginning to thaw out and taking a greater interest in this new place he found himself in.
If I'd had the option I would have wanted to spend a day there with him, helping him adjust and get comfortable with the new place. But then if I'd had the option he wouldn't have spent a fifty mile trip in a rickety old box trailer, with the last ten miles on a bumpy dirt road either!
But he has Bob and Tucker there to show him the ropes, and this is Cool-Hand Max, after all. He will be back to normal by next weekend I am sure.
Here he is hiding behind Tucker, shortly before I headed out Monday night.
After eight years of deranged shrieking, feces flinging and smearing of themselves and others, The Left magically and overnight has discovered the concept of "maturity". To be applied pretty much exclusively to the right, of course. (OOH! Look at ALL those fingers pointing BACK! That can't be right...)
No. No, you won't be denying us our joy so easily.
We intend to be the loyal OPPOSITION, and that includes all manner of heckling, ridicule, castigation, excoriation, and such modalities of felicitous and jocular expression too numerous to enumerate. Not to mention schadenfreude, as appropriate.
Sit back. Get used to it.
We're not going away.
Update: And then I browse over to Velociman and I see that he has taken this theme to a whole new dimension. I am in awe.
Truly, one thing that I have learned during my blogging career is that there is always someone who is so far above me in their literacy, that I must simply resort to pointing and saying "What He Said!"
Why I Will Not "fall in line and get along" Anytime In the Next Four Years
I'm not even going to watch this video yet. I know what's in it. There are a few hippyish co-workers just a bit too nearby me at the moment, and I'm afraid I would not be responsible for what would happen if I were to watch it just now.
I will need an extra blood-pressure tablet, perhaps a double-margarita and some breakable, but disposable objects nearby.
And a sledgehammer. Maybe a decrepit Volvo wagon with lefty stickers plastered all over it.
Two captured terrorists interviewed by Maariv/NRG say that Hamas was not expecting Israel’s response to the escalation in missile attacks on Israeli targets that preceded Operation Cast Lead. One of them, a 52-year-old victim of a premature detonation who had already done time in an Israeli jail, said, “Hamas took a gamble. We thought, at worst Israel will come and do something from the air - something superficial. They’ll come in and go out. We never thought that we would reach the point where fear will swallow the heart and the feet will want to flee. You [Israel] are fighting like you fought in ‘48. What got into you all of a sudden?”
"Premature detonation"...sort of like premature ejaculation?
Bush commuted the 11-year prison sentence of Ignacio Ramos and the 12-year sentence of Jose Alonso Compean, who were tried for shooting an unarmed Mexican drug smuggler in the buttocks in a case in Texas that drew widespread attention.
Their 2006 conviction drew an outcry from supporters who said the agents had been treated too harshly and were just doing their jobs. Under the commutation, their prison sentences will expire on March 20.
Waiting and wondering, and he did indeed come through in the end.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Muslim political action group Al Qaeda will petition the new U.S. president, Barack Obama, for a bailout. The organization, which advocates for social justice and rights for Muslims, says it is in need of $5 billion to keep its doors opened. 'We still have a lot to do and the international financial crisis has made quite an impact on our ability to meet our operation costs,' said spokesman Mohammed Al-Kartamhi. An aide for Obama said, 'We're not ready to commit any finacial assistance to Al Qaeda, but the Obama administration looks forward to meeting with and helping any group that is committed to helping their communities, no matter where they are on the globe.'"
It is in everyone's interest -- including the Arabs -- to let Israel finish the job in Gaza. The U.N. Security Council decreed that the arsonist should remain free to pile incendiaries next to his neighbor's house. The arsonist insisted he would continue to try to set ablaze the house. This was the illogic of last week's non-binding Security Council Resolution 1860, calling for "immediate" ceasefire in Gaza without demanding an immediate halt of Iran's supplying missiles.
Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan said on al-Arabiya TV that the group "is not interested because it does not meet the demands of our movement." Those demands include destruction of Israel in accordance with Hamas' Charter, unrestricted firing of rockets at Israeli civilians and continued smuggling of arms. Israel rejected the resolution as "unworkable" because it would not stop arms smuggling.
What Hamas calls its "CNN strategy" must be thwarted. Professor Alan Dershowitz reminds: "The number of civilians killed by Israel is almost always exaggerated. By any objective account, the number of genuinely innocent civilians killed by the Israeli Air Force is lower than the collateral deaths cause by any nation in a comparable situation." While every death is regrettable, Hamas rockets only Israeli civilians while firing from schoolyards and hiding explosives in mosques and hospitals, thus using Gaza civilians as human shields. Israeli Intelligence Chief Yuval Diskin reports that Hamas' leadership is headquartered beneath Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest. Dershowitz concludes that the "government of Gaza declared war against Israel" and that under self-defense provisions of the U.N. Charter "Israel is entitled to take whatever military action is necessary to repel that attack and stop the rockets."
What *you* can do is to stop watching CNN, in any venue. Turn it off or switch to alternate news sources. If it's on in a public place, request that the channel be changed.
CNN enables these terrorists and butchers (such as Saddam Hussein), and they in turn are enabled by advertising dollars. It is also reasonable to boycott CNN advertisers and write them letters explaining why.
No, I don't see eye-to-eye with her on all things, but more often than not I find myself in agreement with her, because she tolerates no bullshit and says it as she sees it with as much clarity as anyone with a strong opinion.
TOKYO/NEW YORK, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Citigroup (C.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N) faced new doubts over their ability to fund their massive losses as their shares sank, while U.S. and Japanese data pointed to a deepening global recession.
The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates for the fourth month running as the outlook for the 16-country euro zone continues to worsen, with biggest member Germany braced for the worst year for its economy since World War Two. ... "You'd think the news on banks is baked in, but there's still a lot of headwinds," said Rich Parker, head of trading at Stanford Group in New York. ... More bad news was expected from Citigroup on Friday, when it plans to report quarterly results, six days ahead of schedule, and analysts are looking for a fifth straight multibillion-dollar loss. The bank was also widely expected to provide details of a comprehensive downsizing designed to ensure its survival.
Bank of America Corp is close to receiving billions of dollars of support from the U.S. government, a source familiar with the matter said, as it tries to digest Merrill Lynch & Co Inc, the investment bank and brokerage it bought on Jan. 1.
Merrill has billions in troubled assets -- ranging from commercial real estate to subprime mortgages -- that suffered during a brutal fourth quarter.
My view? Burn baby, burn!
What? No. It's better they burn to the ground so that healthy new institutions can rise up and take their place. Bailouts do NOTHING but reward failure.
This is from Survivalblog.com, but I'm copying it here in it's entirety for those of you disinclined to click over there to read it. I believe it is important enough to hear this perspective from a law enforcement officer regarding the ability of the police and/or National Guard units to maintain order when TSHTF in earnest. (Update: Moved to "read the rest" in the interests of brevity. Please clock below to read:
The Thin Blue Line, by Deputy W.
The “Thin Blue Line”. It describes something much greater than the title of a second rate movie. It describes the thin blue line of civilian law enforcement officers that is the only thing that separates America from utter chaos. It is not too difficult to imagine what would happen if that thin blue line were to disappear or become overwhelmed. A scary thought indeed, but one that you are already thinking about since you are reading SurvivalBlog.
Yet, we are alarmingly close to just such a scenario. As most readers of SurvivalBlog know, our modern Western society is extremely complex, interwoven, and most of all, vulnerable. We are facing the most serious economic situation since the Great Depression, but discussion of the current economic crisis and the innumerable other threats to our society is beyond the scope of this essay. Rather, I hope to explain to you, from a rural law enforcement officer’s perspective, what we could be in for in the event of a cataclysmic societal event.
I have been in a law enforcement career for 10 years. I have worked in a jail, I have worked road patrol, and I have been an investigator. Through my career, I have become a student of human nature. I have seen the evil that man is capable of perpetrating against his fellow man. There is one general rule to remember about all of humanity: it is at the core of our sinful nature to do that which is best for ourselves, regardless of what effect that may have on other people. We are a murderous and self seeking race, and it is my hope that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to set you free from this sin. . But facts are facts. The Bible tells us that there will be many more souls that will be lost than there will be souls that will be saved in the end times. So we must prepare ourselves spiritually and physically, with the assumption that we will soon be facing unimaginable evil, and it will be in the form of a human face. As disturbing as it may be to you, you must be prepared to do whatever it takes to defend yourself and your family. You must be willing and able to deliver a lethal recourse if it becomes absolutely necessary. I will extrapolate on those thoughts.
The average petty criminal has a simple mind set. He operates from much lower moral standard than most other people. He is concerned about only one thing: himself. He is typically lazy and self serving. He doesn’t see a reason to go to work every day. Working people are chumps to him, but he likes having them around because they earn plenty of things for him to steal. It is no coincidence that burglaries are primarily daytime affairs. He knows that most people will not be home when he chooses to burglarize. He doesn’t want to hurt anybody, but he carries a knife or a gun in case somebody tries to interfere with his plans The only thing that keeps him from being more brazen is the threat of enforcement action against him. He doesn’t really want to go to jail, because it really is an unpleasant place to be. After all, if jail were so great, why do so many criminals flee capture?
Then consider the more malicious type of criminal. He has absolutely no morals, with the exception of honor among criminals. Even that is very questionable if it comes to a point where he can save his own skin. He has been raised on violence, and it is all he knows. He has no empathy for you, your family, or for anyone else. He doesn’t care if he causes you pain, and he probably even enjoys it. He will give no more thought to killing you than you would give to killing a housefly. He sees people like you as an annoyance to be dealt with. He sees you as an inanimate object, put on this earth only to provide him with gratification. He sees you, your family, and your possessions as a means to an end to self gratification. He will do whatever he wants to do in order to be gratified, unless and until you are willing to do whatever it takes to defend yourself. Otherwise, it is very likely that you and your family will perish horribly.
You see both types of these criminals all over America. You see them in the big cities and in the small towns. The only reason they are kept in check is because we have an established system to adjudicate and punish criminals. Even that is not usually enough to keep them from committing dastardly acts. All that we can hope for as a law enforcement officer is to catch the criminal after the act punish him. Then we hope that this acts as a deterrent to future criminal acts. Honestly, I’m not sure that it does. Some men are just plain wicked and that’s the way it is.
Criminals are the minority under normal circumstances. Most citizens are decent and hard working people. But it would not take much to destabilize our society. There are a lot of threats to our way of life. Proceed with me through the following scenario. A major economic collapse occurs in America. Millions are unemployed and have no way to earn honest money. The rest of the citizenry is crippled by inflation. Through various economic events, the entire economy grinds to a halt. Trucks and trains stop moving, which means that coal is not delivered to power plants, and food is not delivered to stores.
Things quickly grow desperate. The average family realizes all too late that they have only a few days worth of food in their cupboard, with no available means to acquire more. Hundreds of millions converge on supermarkets within a matter of a week or two, and riots and looting erupts. Martial Law is declared and the National Guard is called up, but is completely inadequate to maintain order. Not only do the aforementioned criminals become free from constraint and begin to run amok, but millions of regular people realize that the only way their kids will be fed is if they go and take supplies from someone else. Hungry people with weapons will have no reservation about doing unspeakable evil on others if it means their own family will survive a little longer. Do not doubt that the sinful nature will turn normally docile people into voracious killers. It has been written into our DNA since the Fall of man.
Now to the big point I’m making. Here’s where it gets really scary, and the vulnerability of the thin blue line becomes apparent. I am employed in a county with a population of 40,000 people. We have a city of 25,000 as a county seat. At most, the agencies in my area could muster about 50 officers. This means that there would be an 800 to 1 ratio of citizens to police officers in our area. It would be impossible to maintain order with this ratio. We would be lucky to be able to hold a few buildings, let alone provide law enforcement service to 1,000 square miles of rural area.
Now imagine this happening in every city in town in America, all at the same time. The number of law enforcement officers, National Guard, and [Reserve Component and active duty] soldiers would be wholly inadequate to even make a small dent in widespread civil disorder. There are many Friday and Saturday nights when our local law enforcement agencies have to stack service calls for two hours due to high call volume, and this is during normal times. If law enforcement agencies can’t answer calls in a timely manner during normal times, how could a reasonable person expect law enforcement to be there during a societal collapse?I also urge you to consider this. There is no way that I, even as a police officer, can abandon my God-given responsibility to care for and protect my own family. There are times when retreat is the better part of valor, and if that terrible time comes, the vast majority of officers will not be able to justify in their own minds fighting a lost cause. They will retreat and take care of their family, which is what the brotherhood of the thin blue line is all about. Don’t misunderstand. The huge majority of law enforcement officers perform a very dangerous profession honorably and to the very best of their ability. But drastic times will call for drastic measures from everyone, and the preparedness minded person can’t assume that the thin blue line will always remain intact.
Thus, it quickly becomes apparent that each citizen will be responsible for his own family’s safety and security during these perilous times. To assume that there will always be police there to protect you will most likely be fatal. Please don’t make that mistake. Do what you must do. If you own a gun, learn how to use it proficiently. Take firearms training courses, and know the laws in your area. Most importantly, be ready for the unexpected, and don’t rely upon the government to take care of you. That’s your responsibility. - Deputy W. in Missouri
...(W)e expect Senator-designee Burris to be sworn in and formally seated later this week,' said a joint statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin.
Two weeks ago:"Under these circumstances, anyone appointed by Gov. Blagojevich cannot be an effective representative of the people of Illinois and, as we have said, will not be seated by the Democratic Caucus."
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. recession gathered steam in December as employers shed another 524,000 jobs, the unemployment rate leapt half a percentage point to 7.2 percent, the length of the average workweek fell to a record low and job losses were spread widely across almost all sectors of the economy, the government said Friday.
December's unemployment rate was the highest since January 1993, and was up by much more than expected over November's rate of 6.7 percent, according to the Labor Department. The December job losses brought the full-year total to more than 2.6 million.
There was little to cheer in the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the December job losses were just a touch higher than the consensus forecast, many analysts think that they'll be revised next month. Several state employment offices saw their computer systems crash in December with the soaring number of people who were seeking jobless benefits, and this may have resulted in a number lower than it really is.
Fun, fun kids. Going to hell in a handbasket we are.
Just a few months ago, we were being told that this is a period of stark, unprecedented and unfolding food crisis, with looming shortages and huge global imbalances between demand and supply. Everyone who matters - from officials in international organisations to leaders of rich and poor countries - warned us of the terrible social, political and nutritional consequences of doing nothing, of the millions who would go hungry and the riots that would occur if the imbalances persisted or increased.
But now the whole problem has disappeared from the international radar, relegated to the inside pages of newspapers and perfunctory afterthoughts in politicians' speeches. So what happened? Was it not such a problem, after all?
No, the "silent tsunami" has simply been overwhelmed in public awareness by the much noisier tsunami in the world of international finance, with the giant sucking sounds of possible bank collapses and enormous bail-outs grabbing all the attention. Yet the global food crisis is far from over, and is even likely to intensify in the near future.
2009 - That Was The Year That Was: Anorak’s diary for the upcoming 12 months…
Barack Obama makes history as the first African-American sworn in as President of the United States; Invoking legacy of Franklin Roosevelt, promises America “nine years of economic depression, four years of world war, eventual nuking of Japan”
Obama supporters left disappointed as oceans remain at static levels, planet fails to heal self, Dow drops below zero
Stocks cautiously rebound on strong earning reports from Sterno, GunMart, American Hobo Supply
World Earth Day celebrations in Canada and Scandinavia cancelled by unseasonably cool weather, advancing glaciers; “Damn you, global warming,” says beloved scientist Al Gore
First carbon-neutral Indianapolis 500 nearly canceled by unseasonably cool temperatures; winner Todd Palin coasts to victory despite husky blowout on final turn
Mideast unrest erupts; Experts cite “completely fucked up religious shitheads who really, really need to get laid”
US currency printing presses unable to keep pace with bailout demands, Chinese green ink embargo; Obama encourages Americans to print off dollars on home computers; “We are the bailout we’ve been waiting for,” says Prez
U.S. Government officially bankrupt after gambling $15 trillion on Chicago Cubs to win baseball World Series; “after 100 years it seemed like they were finally due,” shrugs Obama
Chinese foreclose, U.S. Government moves to strip mall in Glendale, Arizona; evicted after numerous complaints of noise, smell, blocking the entrance to Safeway
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces stunning new edible iPhone at MacWorld to boffo reviews; “perfectly timed for the mass starvation consumer market,” raves ScavengingForEdibles.com
In response to national firewood and ignitable peat crisis, Obama offers American families 20 pounds of free paper recycled from government global warming studies; “please remember to wear your sweater if you haven’t already eaten it,” urges president
Consumers buoyed by news of reappearance of wooly mammoth in Alaska; Sarah Palin wins landslide special election as “She-Ra, Bringer of Meat”
...and when The "Stuff" Hits The Fan. TEOTWAWKI. TSHTF. Well-known acronyms to those of us who think about preparedness issues.
How many of us have made the paradigm shift? This is no longer future-tense. It has been reality since about August 2006 when the spark reached the end of the fuse and the housing market began to go "boom".
The trouble is, we've all been conditioned to think that things like this would happen all of a sudden--Y2K would render our computer-dependent systems useless overnight, or the H-bombs would begin dropping one fateful spring morning, wiping out civilization in one fell-swoop a la "The Day After", or the financial meltdown would progress as rapidly as in the novel "Patriots", seizing up the machinery of civilization in a matter of days and short weeks.
This is not progressing quite so rapidly. And yet there is an explosion in progress nonetheless. The flame front is expanding slowly enough that a large majority of people are still trying to convince themselves that this is just a short-term setback--it's not so different from the recessions prior to the 1990s expansion, and it will be all back to normal in a couple of years. I have a coworker who has a house across the country that he's choosing to hang onto rather than sell short because, he tells me, the housing values will bounce back in just a few years.** And the people who bought my rental house were certain they had bought at the "bottom" of the market. Today, less than a year later, their house is worth at least 20% less than when they bought it from me. Even I discuss with my co-workers the supposed security of our jobs, being that we work in the utility industry, and people will keep paying for essential services for as long as possible.
But this is not the world we knew even just a few short years ago, and it is already on schedule to eclipse the 1981 recession. There is a huge load of second shoes that have yet to drop in the derivatives market. The Credit Default Swap bomb has yet to fully ignite. The puppetmasters managed to stave off a full scale meltdown in October, but the ship is held together with duct-tape and baling wire, and they're all out of duct tape. Even The Messiah, the Caller of Unicorns is talking about a disaster that could last for years (if we don't DOOO something now!)
The slow-motion bomb is still going off. And the scale of the looming CDS disaster overshadows even The Messiah's most grandiose Bailout Plan by a factor of about a hundred. You might as well be trying to put out Kilauea with a bucket of water there 'Bama, and that's if what you're proposing was not actually fuel for the fires! The "Stuff" is Hitting The Fan, and the world will be neck deep in horse"stuff" in short order.
The world as we knew it has ended.
Welcome to the final chapter.
**Historically housing prices increase on the order of 2-3% per year over the long run. Housing prices in my little corner of the world are off by almost half from their peak and still heading lower. Therefore at best, housing prices would need to double from the "bottom" prices to return to their former levels. How many years would it take to accomplish this at the historic rate?
I don't have my economic analysis textbook handy that has the charts in back to quickly calculate this. But using 3% and neglecting compounding, we're talking about over 30 years! Do you *really* want to hold on to an asset that is worth half of what you owe on it, and when you finally pay it off in thirty years is *still* worth less than what you paid for it? *Especially* when it costs you the lion's share of your paycheck each month?! *Especially* since the market isn't done crashing yet and will go much lower before it's done?!
Ditch it!! Those of you who have "purchase money" loans (that is, you didn't refinance to pay off other debts, etc.) have no excuse. The gain that would otherwise be taxable on any debt forgiveness is exempt from taxes in your case. That's a 2007 tax code change if I recall correctly. People like me are screwed either way, because Uncle Sugar is gonna come looking for me with buggery in his eyes if I manage to escape the clutches of the bankers. You on the other hand, can move into an apartment while your credit is still good, turn over the house keys to the bank, and take the credit hit. It will be enough years before things shake out that you can repair your credit and save your pennies well before you'll be ready to buy again.
Update: And for those of you now rolling your eyes, please do be my guest and enjoy your last remaining days and weeks of blissful ignorance. Maybe it's better if you have no idea what just hit you, when reality finally intrudes upon your Unicorntopia.
And as Vox said, that explains the Red State/Blue State and more particularly the Red County/Blue County voting patterns.
It's also why I tend to flourish when I am at my country estate*, despite the plants in my cubicle and my garden backyard in the city. More than a little bit of nature and growing things, it is an absence of the psychic pressure that concentrated masses of people produce. There is a Stillness, that is only partly the absence of noise.
*That would be HILLBILLY estate for those of you paying attention, complete with a mobile home on stilts, an old Dodge van up on blocks, and chickens in the yard. F*in' Yee Haw!!
We think we now have enough data from both the fundamentals and technicals to make some serious forecasts and predictions for 2009. While 2008 was a nasty year when lots of things imploded, they are far from being repaired. Treasury Secretary Paulson told us this week there are no more surprises, which tells me we haven't even discovered but a small portion of this monster derivative mess. His ripping-off of the taxpayers to the tune of $700 billion is only a warm-up. However, the larger question for traders and investors is what could happen next and when. In the following report we take the key global economic points and suggest the outcome for 2009.
The most important news for 2008 was the destruction of the big global banks' net worth and their badly wounded ability to conduct normal business and make market-moving loans. Ben & Hank's bailout only helped the bad-boy banks reliquify themselves to remain somewhat solvent and stay in business. They are doing nothing to extend credit to any business enhancing western or global economies. The 2009 result will be no significant banker lending, taking more bailout money and sweeping additional bad loans of all stripes under the banker's rug and hiding the rest in back rooms.
The largest surprise in our view was the massive disaster at insurance giant AIG. Despite numerous injections of bailout billions, AIG remains in very serious trouble hanging on by their proverbial fingernails. The 2009 result will be a surprise crash and failure of AIG frightening the world at large causing ripples of failures throughout western and Asian nations unable to conduct business without mandatory insurance policies. Most folks have no comprehension as to the monster fallout this will create. It is in our view literally immeasurable, and this is why Paulson handed them so much money. Our new president is determined to hand out $860 Billion to One Trillion dollars in a Herculean effort to literally buy a new economic recovery. While some of his ideas are noble indeed the overall plan will have little effect and Great Depression II shall take hold in 2009 with crashing stock markets in May and September-October 2009. We think the worst of the worst hits in later September 2009.
During the spring of next year we see: (1) A second larger wave of residential housing mortgage failures; (2) The first big wave of auto loan failures and repossessions; (3) Over $40 billion in credit card defaults, smashing the bank lenders; (4) The first wave of commercial mortgage failures and foreclosures on shopping malls, office buildings and other commercials; (5) And finally, the grand smashing finale of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) originated with no margin money or down payments! We heard today the total is $500 trillion! I cannot even fathom that number. These five converging train wrecks could take the Dow from a dead cat bounce of 10400-10800 back to 7250, or even 6600, or 5600.
Shares traders and investors have one more solid quarter, in our view to regain some stock market losses on the forthcoming Obama Trillion Dollar handouts. We think the rising share markets will help most all sectors gain some recovery and provide the illusion the bottoms are in and new bases found. The stark reality hits home after shares peak in April or early May taking an unprecedented selling high dive scaring the wits out of Americans and the watching world.
Even with these events and rising unemployment and social problems, economic observers and analysts could continue to plead the worst is over, the bottoms are in and a fine, new, shiny world of trading and investing in our bright economy lies just ahead for the fall of 2009. Then, in later September and early October, the New York, London, Tokyo and Asian markets take a monster crash. How low is low and how bad can it get? We think the Dow could end-up on November 1st, 2009 anywhere from 5,600 to a low of 3,000 or even 1,500. One guideline will be a falling overshoot of PE's on our largest, so-called international corporations posting lows of 4 to7. Today, many of them are near 18. What does this tell us about the severity of our projections? Unemployment nationally in the USA is now touching 16%. The officially posted number is somewhere near half of that. By the fall of 2009, American REAL UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE NEAR THE ALLTIME 1930'S DEPRESSION HIGH OF 25% UNEMPLOYED. SADLY, THAT IS NOT THE WORST AS IT GETS MORE DIRE. WE PREDICT REAL, USA UNEMPLOYMENT REACHES 30-40%. IN THE RUST BELT STATES OF MICHIGAN AND OHIO, WHILE 40% IS NOT UNREALISTIC.
Several European nations have larger, more established social safety nets for the unemployed. In the USA, local, regional and national authorities are not nearly as prepared. The American federal government departments for food stamps and the job of providing welfare provisions will be overwhelmed. This will be a Katrina event for the hungry citizens of the United States. Urban areas will see skyrocketing crime and in parts of some cities, life could become totally uninhabitable.
The last report we've seen on those receiving food handouts and related welfare amounted to 11 million USA citizens with 700,000 children going hungry each day. We suspect the true amount of those needing food help will rise to 35,000,000 with an untold tragic number of them being little, defenseless children. Governments remain in denial and are not prepared for this national emergency whatsoever. As things worsen, food riots and others with violence aimed at the "haves' are common.
The number of bank failures over the next three years will be in the thousands. In addition, the US Dollar's valuation could break recent lows near 70.00 on the index, dropping to 46.00 by 2011 or 2012. Inflation or potentially hyperinflation is quite real as the Federal Reserve and US Treasury strain to print and circulate cash to prod our stalled economy. It is simply not working even with the dramatically lower interest rates of late. Benny Bernanke is out of rate cut running room.
Consumers are broke and going broker. Households of interrelated families are doubling and tripling up even with several employed members being under one roof. Basic costs of rent, mortgage payments, health care, food, utilities and taxes are too much to bear on stagnant and in some cases falling wages. In some areas of America, there are entire subdivisions of homes totally abandoned or existing with only a hand full of occupants. The millions thrown at lenders for new mortgages are not getting through to buyers, as there are fewer of them. We are witnessing system breakdown.
Municipalities and states are sinking into a spending, debt-ridden morass. It was reported today that 22 of 50 USA states are in serious budgetary trouble. California is one of those in terrible condition and Michigan is already technically broke as are many of her cities. Detroit will file bankruptcy in 2009 and there will many other surprises as well. There will be a cascade of bond defaults and the outcome will cap the ability of these cities, states and counties to borrow ever more.
The shining light through all of this is the faster we find the bottom the faster we can recover. Sadly, the recovery process will take years. Futures and commodities traders should continue to earn steady profits as the stock markets slide into oblivion for years. We see no recovery until 2015.
Frequent commenter/stalker Darrel over at LMA made the assertion in regard to my clarion call over the last couple of years that a stopped clock is right twice a day. Sorry Bub. This clock has been right on time since 2004, when I first caught whiff of the coming catastrophe. And as for Roger Wiegand, he's pretty much on target as I see it.
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