Thursday, October 29, 2009

Amazing Grace...

Greetings good citizen,

Proving that they still possess an iron grip on the ‘Stupidity markets’, the Dow tacked on nearly 200 points today on…wait for it…’better than expected’ GDP numbers!

Why else did ‘Government Sachs’ put out a ‘lowball’ number yesterday if not to distract attention from the totally bogus number that was actually announced?

Um, few openly doubted ‘green shoots’ even though nobody could actually point to one. With that being the case, who will call BS on the announced 3.5% GDP declaration , which involves more ‘slight of hand’ (and accounting tricks) than when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear!

3.5% is one highly gimmicked number good citizen and the Obama administration shares that shame if they fail to denounce this falsehood which was authored by the financial sector! (P.S. by the way, don’t hold your breath waiting for that condemnation…it ain’t gonna happen!)

Oh, apparently there’s a new kid in the business section of the NY Times, when I copied tonight’s offering this morning it still carried the ‘anonymous’ AP attribution but the latest update has the new kid’s handle attached to it.

Markets Rise After Upbeat U.S. Growth Report

Published: October 29, 2009

Investors heartened by news of a stronger-than-expected economy went back into the stock market after a four-day slide. [Notice there is no mention of how moronic this looks to the ‘unwashed rabble’…]

The Commerce Department’s report Thursday that the gross domestic product rose at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter gave the surest sign yet that the recession has ended and that the economy is healing, although problems remain. [Sadly, the fact these figures are fabricated out of whole cloth happens to be one of them…]

The reassurance weakened demand for safe-havens like Treasuries. That, in turn, gave a boost to stocks. A drop in the dollar pushed commodity prices higher, which helped materials and energy stocks. [How can these idiots even PRETEND this is a GOOD THING? Unless we’re back to last night’s ‘class war’ admission that ‘paychecks are for peasants’…]

The G.D.P. increase was faster than the 3.3 percent increase predicted by economists polled by Thomson Reuters. The growth was the best in two years and stops four consecutive quarters of declines that had pushed the economy into its worst recession since the Great Depression. [Too bad the entire figure is an accounting trick coupled with the ‘imaginary effects’ of pushing electrons around…which is to say there wasn’t enough ‘verifiable’ positive economic activity to fill a thimble!]

The economy was bolstered by government stimulus programs, including the popular “Cash for Clunkers” auto program and tax credits for first-time home buyers. Those programs did raise some questions in the market about the sustainability of the G.D.P. increase.

In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 78.14, or 0.80 percent, to 9,840.83. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 11.47, or 1.10 percent, to 1,054.10, while the Nasdaq composite index was at 2,085.85, up 26.24, or 1.27 percent. [Left unsaid here is what kind of ‘volume’ accompanied these market moves? The ‘problem’ with the six-month rally back to the 10,000-point level has been the consistent low volume of shares being traded.]

Mitch Schlesinger, a managing partner at FBB Capital Partners in Bethesda, Md., said that because of government support, fourth-quarter G.D.P should provide a better picture of how much the economy has recovered.

”Some of the artificial goosing of the numbers will come out and we’ll get a better picture,” Mr. Schlesinger said. He added that the economy will probably grow in the fourth quarter, but probably not at as fast a pace as the third quarter. [That’s his guess, mine would be that the economy will collapse in the 4th quarter…who do you think stands a better chance of being right?]

In the interim, however, investors will welcome the better-than-expected third-quarter report, he said.

Not all the news was upbeat. The number of people claiming jobless benefits for the first time dropped less than expected last week. The Labor Department said workers filing first-time claims for unemployment dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 530,000 last week. Economists expected a larger decline to 521,000.

However, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits on a continuing basis dropped sharply by 148,000 to 5.8 million, below economists’ expectations. [Which is a fucking disaster good citizen, these people went from ‘next to no money to no money period’…and in case you didn’t notice, winter is right around the corner…]

Investors were also watching testimony by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to the House Financial Services Committee. Mr. Geithner told lawmakers the government was not looking to bail out struggling financial companies, and said legislation being considered by the committee would ensure that firms of any size could fail without risking a collapse of the financial markets. [Yet, bizarrely enough, Timmy and Benber are doing everything they can to avoid re-enacting Glass-Stegall…go figure?]

Meanwhile, bond prices fell, which pushed yields higher. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.47 percent from 3.42 percent late Wednesday.

The dollar mostly fell against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Crude oil rose $1.09 to $78.55 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 197.9 million shares compared with 178.1 million shares traded at the same point Wednesday. [This is wicked low volume…on a normal day, billions of shares change hands.]

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 7.53, or 1.3 percent, to 573.89.

Overseas, Japan’s Nikkei stock average fell 1.8 percent. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.7 percent, Germany’s DAX index gained 1.2 percent, and France’s CAC-40 jumped 1.2 percent.

So yesterday it looked like we were staring at the beginning of what will turn out to be a serious market correction…which is still on its way but the gimmicked GDP data provided cover for more insider selling today (because you KNOW something’s rotten in Denmark…)

Think about it good citizen, the economy is bleeding jobs, wholesale yet we are expected to believe that GDP is advancing…somehow?

Naturally, we have choices…either the economy is getting ‘stronger’ relative to what it has been or we are getting our chains jerked in an effort to make things appear better than they actually are. This is being done so we don’t take the bad economy out on either our corporate leaders OR their bought and paid for representatives…who are merely following orders! (From their corporate overlords, not you, silly!)

Which brings us to the crux of the problem, doesn’t it…do you want to be lied to and told everything will be just fine or are you sick of this blatant manipulation to the point where you want to see some of these lying bastards swing for their crimes?

If we’re going with ‘majority rules’ here good citizen, I’m betting on the latter rather than the former.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fear is rising....

Greetings good citizen,

What a difference a day makes-- it seems like only yesterday the media was making a case for a ‘recovery’ in housing. Oddly, nobody paid much attention to today’s spike in ‘durable goods’ orders because the whole increase is accounted for in just two niches, heavy machinery and military aircraft…not exactly a ‘sweeping uptick’ across the entire durable goods sector, is it?

What’s more interesting is today makes the second ‘down’ day for the markets in a row…not that it actually means anything…being the last week of October and all.

Let us proceed to tonight’s offering

Weak Home Sales Trump Strength in Durable Goods
[Especially when ‘A’ has absolutely nothing to do with ‘B’…]

Published: October 28, 2009

Stocks fell on Wednesday as investors digested gloomy numbers on sales of new homes and were unmoved by a report that showed a rise in United States durable goods orders. [Um, gee, ya don’t think stocks fell because they’re ‘overvalued’, do you?]

New one-family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 402,000 in September, the Commerce Department said, falling short of the 440,000 projected by economists. [Show of hands…who is surprised to see that economists were wrong again?] That was a 3.6 percent decrease from the revised rate for August and the first drop since March. Analysts had expected new-home sales to increase 2.6 percent, encouraged in part by a popular $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. [ While the ‘month over month’ sales figures have been improving, the ‘year over year’ figures are still miserable…given the rapidly dwindling number of ‘qualified’ homebuyers, this month’s ‘drop-off’ could be the forerunner of a broader, long term trend…]

Sales of new homes have implications for construction jobs as well as consumer spending on items like furniture and appliances.

Stocks were down all day, but selling accelerated in the final hours of trading. Stocks in energy companies and in companies producing materials like metals and paper goods drove the decreases.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 119.48 points, or 1.21 percent, to close at 9,762.69. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index declined 20.78 points, or 1.95 percent, to 1,042.63, while the Nasdaq composite index dropped 56.48 points, or 2.67 percent, to 2,059.61.

Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist for MFR, a financial advisory firm, said the housing data showed that the recovery would be slow and that housing prices might fall again. [Odd, that isn’t what he was selling yesterday…oh, that’s right, the NY Times deleted those links to the articles I posted last night!]

“It’s still a very dicey environment,” he said. “There’s still a lot of looming supply out there, particularly in the upper and middle price range.”

The government said orders for durable goods rose 1 percent in September — the second increase in the last three months. But while the increase was in line with expectations, orders were down 24.1 percent from a year earlier.

Durable goods, which include items like refrigerators and planes, offer a window into the health of our virtually non-existent manufacturing sector and are an indicator of how busy foreign factories will be in the months ahead. Increases in durable goods orders can lead to more jobs overseas and are considered central to the growth of the global economy.

Some analysts discounted the importance of the durable-goods numbers, saying the increase was largely anticipated. But Cliff Waldman, an economist for the Manufacturers Alliance, an economic research group, said the data suggested manufacturing would be slow to take off again. [Why do you suppose Cliff would say something like that? Could it be because the entire manufacturing sector is a quarter of the size it was thirty years ago while the nation’s population has nearly doubled? Worse, there hasn’t been any real growth in our labor markets over the past twenty years…what has jumped by leaps and bounds is the number of working aged citizens counted as not in the workforce!]

“It paints a clear picture of a weak-kneed recovery,” he said. “There’s no aggressive, entrepreneurial, animal-spirits kind of investment.” [How true…there’s no investment here because our treasonous owner class has farmed out all of the jobs overseas, no longer providing US workers with living wages…or health benefits…or retirement funds. Now they stuff all of those ‘lost wages’ into their own off-shore ‘retirement funds’.]

Financial stocks were down slightly as news spread that GMAC Financial Services was seeking a third round of bailout financing from the United States government. [It must be nice!]

At the close of Wednesday trading, the price of crude oil had fallen to $77.46 a barrel, from $79.55 on Tuesday. [Notice how the pricks imply that this is somehow a ‘bad thing’…what the hell is wrong with these people? Oh, I forgot…paychecks are for ‘peasants’…not investors!]

Traders may have been looking ahead to the government’s gross domestic product figures, which are scheduled for release on Thursday. Wall Street analysts are expecting an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent, although on Wednesday, Goldman Sachs reduced its projection to 2.7 percent, from 3 percent. [Well if Government Sachs says it’s 2.7 then it’s 2.7! It doesn’t matter nobody is shipping shit and payrolls are plummeting like a rock! No, none of that matters if Government Sachs says the economy is growing…you don’t need to see it, who the hell are you to question Government Sachs?]

Overseas, the Nikkei stock average in Japan closed down 1.35 percent at 10,075.05. European markets also tumbled, with the FTSE 100 in Britain shedding 2.32 percent, the DAX in Germany falling 2.46 percent and the CAC 40 in France dropping 2.14 percent.

Finishing that last paragraph, markets around the globe sank today. To cut to the chase, it would be quicker to point out that the only market to close in positive territory today was Shanghi.

Actually, why would the average individual care if all of the markets flat-lined at the end of the week/month?

For most of us it would be (personally) no biggie…although that dog still has teeth if you follow what I’m saying. You may not own stock but the people that own the company you work for probably do.

Let’s suppose you’re one of the lucky ones and you work for an outfit that is too small to be capitalized by the market so the stock market tanking doesn’t affect your boss or your job…oh but wait a minute, how about your bosses customers?

Isn’t it funny (as in peculiar, not ha-ha) that most small businesses feed off of larger ones…so if the center of your bosses ‘cookie’ takes a hit, the company isn’t long for this world. Most small ventures aren’t capable of replacing their ‘primary customer’ on short notice.

And that’s the sad fact of life we don’t talk about…how foolish it is to put most of our eggs in so few baskets…so a few can be rich.

It is extremely rare for a vendor to have more than one primary customer (mostly due to it being very capital intensive, never mind the risk!)

This is why I point to a collapse of the supply chain, because it has become so frail thanks to idiotic accounting rules.

Which raises another issue altogether about how the lack of funds are totally unrelated to the scarcity of a given input.

What’s really weird about this whole line of thought would be that now is the time to have a conversation about what would happen if the stock markets, er, collapsed (for lack of a better term) than once it has actually happened.

There will be too much shit going on (like general and very widespread panic) to discuss much after the fact.

Worse, once she’s done, there won’t be much to talk about.


Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Housing, Consumer confidence, Dollar rally...

Greetings good citizen,

As was is considered ‘newsworthy’ morphs over the course of the day, I find capturing little ‘snapshots’ such as these somewhat entertaining.

What makes them more entertaining is the sole survivor of today’s news cycle is the first offering of tonight’s '3-fer' (we haven’t done that in a while, have we?)

Nearly as interesting is how the story hasn’t been updated at all (at least according to the time stamp) so, what you find here should be the same thing you’ll read at the link.

US Home Prices Continue to Stabilize

Published: October 27, 2009

Home prices continued to increase in August, according to data released Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, a widely watched measure of 20 metropolitan areas, rose a seasonally adjusted 1 percent in August from the previous month.

“So far, so good,” said Maureen Maitland, vice president for index services at Standard & Poor’s. “There’s nothing negative in these numbers.”

S.&P. said it was approximately the seventh month in a row in which the year-over-year decline in home prices had eased. The composite index is down 11.3 percent from last August. [Well, cock-a-doodle-doo, little rooster? Why all this crowing about numbers that are down more than ten percent from last year? What we’re seeing here is borderline illegal. If our Justice department didn’t have its head up its ass, they’d be prosecuting this sort of shit!]

“There is little doubt the housing market is improving,” Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak, wrote in a research note. “Prices are improving, the inventory picture continues to get better, and government support for the sector remains in place, for now.” [There are so many distortions here one doesn’t know where to begin. Yes, prices are improving but that’s due to the government hand-outs which only benefits Wall Street and the rest of the ‘usual suspects’, bankers and their middle-men. Saying that inventory is improving is an outright lie, (unless they mean ‘more is better’, while implying the opposite…) just as claiming the overall housing market is getting better is little more than ‘wishful thinking’.]

The recovery, however, is both modest and tentative when measured against the preceding plunge. Prices have fallen nearly a third from their peak. They are where they were in the fall of 2003. In most places, it is as if the housing boom had never happened. Some cities have been pushed even further back to the past: Cleveland prices are at 2001 levels, Detroit at 1995. [There was a recent news item which noted how poorly property auctions in the greater Detroit area have performed…something to do with that ‘economic desert’ I keep squawking about. You can buy a home for a buck, but you’d better bring your own job because nobody is hiring out there in ‘no man’s land’.]

Sixteen of the 20 cities in the index rose in August, including San Francisco, up 2.6 percent, and Minneapolis, which rose 2.3 percent. The four cities that fell were Charlotte, Cleveland, Seattle and, as has become routine, Las Vegas. New York was up 0.3 percent. [What’s this 20 cities shit! Talk about ‘massaging’ your data; that’s fucking ‘cherry picking!’ I mean WTF! How the hell do you declare that housing is in ‘recovery’ by only measuring 20 (cherry picked) cities?]

Last winter, all of the Case-Shiller cities dropped for months in a row. Joshua Shapiro, chief United States economist for MFR Inc., said the current numbers represented a correction from that bleak period rather than a true shift in long-term trends. He expects “mild” declines to reassert themselves as the winter begins.

“A rapidly rising unemployment rate is creating problems for many formerly creditworthy homeowners,” Mr. Shapiro wrote in a note to clients. “While much of the impact of the subprime disaster on prices at the bottom end of the market may well be behind us, there is likely plenty of pain yet to come further up the price spectrum.”

The Case-Shiller numbers lag behind the National Association of Realtors’ report on existing home sales, which have been issued for September. While that number also showed improvement, much of the strength was probably because of the $8,000 first-time buyers’ tax credit, which is pulling forward sales from next year. [Many people are screaming for this program to end, the public can’t afford it…even though some clueless legislators have proposed doubling the amount! There’s serious fraud now but these chuckle-heads want to double it! WTF?]

Discussion over whether to extend the controversial credit, which expires Nov. 30, is continuing in Washington. One probable plan: it will be phased out.

Another factor likely to impede the market in the coming months is a rise in interest rates, as the Federal Reserve ceases its buying mortgage-backed securities.

“Everything is up for grabs this winter,” Ms. Maitland said.

So, I suspect nobody is surprised that the above bit of ‘shameless cheerleading’ turns out to be the sole survivor of tonight’s ‘3-fer’ which should only serve to make the next offering that much more interesting…

Consumer Confidence Declines in U.S.

Published: October 27, 2009 [Yet another tale so unloved that nobody on the NY Times Staff claimed it as their own…]

Consumers’ confidence about the United States economy fell unexpectedly in October as job prospects remained bleak, a private research group said Tuesday, fueling speculation that an already gloomy holiday shopping forecast could worsen. [There it is again…’unexpectedly’…when nothing could be further from reality! What the hell is wrong with these people?]

The Consumer Confidence Index, released by The Conference Board, sank unexpectedly to 47.7 in October — its second-lowest recording since May.

Wall Street analysts [who have been wrong about everything since this crisis began] predicted a reading of 53.1. [I wonder who is ‘surprised’ by this ‘unexpected’ turn of events? I’m pretty sure it’s not the vast majority of the public who still have more than one synapse in communication with the rest of their brain!]

A reading above 90 means the economy is on solid footing. Above 100 signals strong growth.

The index has seesawed since reaching a historic low of 25.3 in February and climbed to 53.4 in September. [Um, since most people are unaware of the screwy way this index is calibrated…most would think a reading over 50 would be a good thing…and they’d be laboring under a false impression.]

Shoppers have a grim outlook for the future, The Conference Board said, expecting a worsening business climate, fewer jobs and lower salaries. That is particularly bad news for retailers who depend on the holiday shopping season for a hefty share of their annual revenue.

“Consumers also remain quite pessimistic about their future earnings, a sentiment that will likely constrain spending during the holidays,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board’s Consumer Research Center. [Between the firings and the take-backs, what would you expect the average consumer to think? Ironically, there are some idiot capitalists out there who think Christmas has come six months early! People who have ‘taken advantage’ of the tight labor markets to slash and hack to their hearts content (Only to sequester themselves away with their advisors after the fact to plan how they are going to convert the new-found ‘cost savings’ into bonuses for themselves…]

Economists expect holiday sales to be at best flat from a year ago, which saw the biggest declines since at least 1967 when the Commerce Department started collecting the data.

The Consumer Confidence Index survey, which was sent to 5,000 households, had a cutoff date of Oct. 21.

I guess it’s pretty easy to see why that little ‘stink blossom’ got the ‘deep six’, who the hell has been pushing up the stock market for the past six months with consumer sentiment numbers like that? Naturally, I’ve never seen one of these ‘consumer confidence surveys’…do you first have to make the Forbes 400 list to get one sent to you or does it have something to do with your zip code? Because you can rest assured they aren’t asking ‘working people’ what they think of the economy…or anything else for that matter.

And so we arrive at tonight’s final offering where we are left to wonder, given the market’s ‘mixed’ close (only the Dow posted a gain and it was a slight one at that…) why this piece was cut from the list…

U.S. Stocks Drift on Mixed Economic Data

Published: October 27, 2009

Stocks fluctuated in early Wall Street trading on Tuesday as investors grappled with grimmer-than-expected data on consumer confidence, despite signs of hope in the housing market. [Apparently, ‘mass dementia’ is assumed by the investor class…]

At 10:15 a.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was at 9,876.20, up 8.24 points or 0.08 percent. The Nasdaq was down 0.6 percent at 2,130.17, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 0.2 percent at 1,065.31. On Monday, the major United States stock averages dropped by significant margins. [They mean yesterday, in case you’re wondering…]

The consumer confidence index, released by the Conference Board, provided insight into sentiment about the overall economy and the state of the job market. The index, which is based on a 5,000-person survey, hit 47.7 in October, six points lower than economists had predicted and a sharp decrease from September. [Contrast that statement with the explanation of how the index is scored in the piece above…47.7 is hellacious, just as 75 would be!] That number seemed to worry investors, who view the index as a good predictor of how much consumers will spend. The report on housing prices, known as the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, showed that prices across the nation continued to improve [extremely modestly] in August, beating analyst expectations and [purposefully] feeding [mis-placed] optimism that the housing market was on track to recovery. But prices fell in four of the 20 [cherry picked] major metropolitan areas that the index measures.

Overseas, the Nikkei average in Japan closed 1.45 percent lower. In afternoon European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent to 5,215.48, Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent to 5,655.26 and France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.4 percent to 3,760.88. [Apparently these markets took a beating in ‘after hours’ trading as they are all (except the FTSE) down as of 9:00 PM EST.]

In London, BP PLC, Europe’s second largest oil company, gained 4 percent after reporting a 34 percent decline in third-quarter profit to $5.3 billion, a result of falling oil and gas prices. [Could this be the work of the falling dollar as well?]

BP’s earnings fell short of an $8.0 billion profit in the third quarter of 2008, but were an improvement from $4.4 billion in the second quarter and exceeded analysts’ forecasts.

Two other oil stocks, Total and Shell, added 2.1 percent and 1.4 percent respectively, partly offsetting a weakness in financial stocks.

In Asia, stocks fell after the strengthening dollar helped lead to drops in American markets on Tuesday.

So there you have it good citizen, our first ‘3-fer’ in quite some time. You may ask yourself what this exercise accomplished and you’d be correct to surmise not a hell of a lot.

We did, by chance, catch a ‘blue-bird’ as the two ‘deleted’ articles both reference the consumer confidence index and one of them even explained how the index works…making the above article look somewhat inaccurate, thereby explaining its departure from the line up of today’s posts on the NY Times.

You can bet your boots that somebody caught the ‘discrepancy’…they just caught it a little late. Which didn’t prevent them from yanking the offending content ALONG WITH the piece that provides the explanation of how the index works!

Be prepared good citizen to see future articles crowing about consumer sentiment being over 50%…now that you know anything less than 90 is no good at all!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Monday, October 26, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

I am such a slouch, leaving you high and dry all weekend…but you know, ‘shit happens.’

While I follow the stock market…I don’t ‘study’ it so I was a bit surprised to see that the markets took a nose dive this morning for, you guessed it…no discernable reason.

So we arrive at tonight’s offering which attempts to ‘gloss over’ the inexplicable, because you know what they say, if you can’t ‘dazzle ‘em with brilliance…baffle ‘em with…well, you know the rest.

Wall Street Gives Up Early Gains

Published: October 26, 2009 [There it is again! For some reason nobody at the NY Times want’s their name attached to, er, ‘less than glorious’ reporting…]

Stocks gave up early gains Monday as a rising dollar stalled a rally in commodities and financial stocks fell. [which is bizarre all by itself…why would financial stocks fall on news of a ‘stronger’ dollar…unless US financial institutions are heavily invested in non-dollar assets! And considering there is no such thing as a US financial institution that ISN’T taxpayer supported, exactly how happy does this news leave you?]

A drop in the dollar initially gave a boost to stocks Monday, but a strengthening in the currency short-circuited the market’s advance. Oil is down $1.16 to $79.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A gain in the dollar makes commodities more expensive for overseas buyers. [This naturally leads one to think the US actually makes export goods, which couldn’t be further from the truth! Our entire ‘export sector’ is identical to that of a Third World nation and consists solely of raw materials and food.]

At midday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 97.64, or 1 percent, to about 9874.54. [At around 3:00 PM the markets were still ‘loitering’ in the same general vicinity.]

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 10.81 points, or 1 percent, to about 1,068.79, while the Nasdaq composite index was down 12.10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2142.37 .

David Hefty, chief executive at Cornerstone Wealth Management, said the market’s recent gains — major indexes hit their highs for the year last week — will give investors pause.

“Anytime you’re flirting with the top, it’s hard to push through,” Mr. Hefty said. He added that with little economic data due out early in the week, a quiet start to trading is likely. [What strikes me as curious is how the media is always quoting people you’ve never heard of before and likely will never hear from again as everyday they pull someone new out of their backside to make us ask ‘Who is this clown and why should I care?”]

However, trading will probably pick up throughout the week ahead of the Commerce Department’s report on third-quarter gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy’s health. Economists predict the economy grew at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters. That would mark the first quarter of growth after four straight declines. [GDP at 3.2% when unemployment is off the charts and the only reason ANYONE is posting a profit is due to the massive slashing of both payrolls and headcount? Are they stupid or do they simply believe we are? Down is Up and Black is White indeed!]

Investors have been hunting for definitive signs of growth in recent weeks and the G.D.P. report, due out Thursday, would provide the clearest sign yet of how far the economy has bounced back from its depths earlier in the year. [Um, ironically, this part of the article has been deleted from the ‘updated’ version currently on display…]

Earnings reports released throughout the week should also provide the insight traders crave. The health of the consumer will be analyzed through the results of companies like Kellogg, Procter & Gamble and Visa. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity. [Um, if the consumer dies, do you think they will tell us? (survey says: Hell No!)]

The energy and insurance sectors will also take center stage throughout the week with ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil as well as Aetna and MetLife scheduled to release quarterly results.

Meanwhile, bond prices dipped slightly as the government is set to auction more than $120 billion in new debt. [So…how long will it be before confetti is worth more than the cash in your pocket (because confetti is rarer!)]

Demand for the new debt will be closely watched for signs that investors are still willing to buy up Treasuries, Mr. Hefty said. Strong demand shows there is confidence in the nation’s economy and markets, he said. [Um, not to be mean but it looks like the unspecified writer is having a conversation with a certain brand of garbage bag…just saying, you know?]

On Friday, American shares faltered as investors dumped stocks and locked in profits after the glow of a week full of strong earnings reports faded. [Hmmn…dumped stocks and locked in profits. Seems as though the wise move would be not to go there in the first place..]

But markets in Asia found new impetus Monday after South Korea’s central bank said economic growth accelerated to 2.9 percent in the third quarter from the previous quarter — the fastest rate of growth since the first quarter of 2002.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been bolstered by government stimulus spending, low interest rates, and a falling won which bolsters exports. Huge stimulus spending also played a part in China’s economic growth accelerating in the third quarter, according to official figures last week. [Before we get carried away with all of this ‘Happy Talk’ it is wise to remember that the only governments less transparent than our own just happen to be the Asians…]

“It’s a full-fledged recovery in Korea,” said David Cohen, chief of Asian forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore. He described as “dramatic” the economy’s turnaround from the depths it hit late last year as the financial crisis unfolded. [Oh really? Who the hell is buying their output if things are so wonderful? Bet ya dickhead doesn’t have an answer for that one! We can suppose the answer is China…the stumper would be ‘prove it!’]

Meanwhile, trade in Europe was subdued with little corporate news to digest. In afternoon trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.5 percent to 5,267.14 points, Germany’s DAX was up 0.6 percent to 5,776.89 and France’s CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 3,828.69. [Um, all of these markets closed ‘down’ for the day, only the Asian markets had an ‘up’ day.]

“There is not a great deal of direction in the market,” said Keith Bowman, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, [Hello? Who is this and why should I care? (again!)]

Oil companies edged higher, helped by the price of crude. Although down slightly on the day, it was still not far off last week’s 2009 high of $82 a barrel. Total rose 0.6 percent, while Shell and BP both advanced 0.7 percent. [As of this afternoon oil was down $ 4 a barrel to $ 78.]

A big loser across Europe was ING Groep , one of the world’s largest financial services companies. Its stock plummeted 9 percent after it announced it would split itself in two, spinning off its insurance arm to simplify its business and issuing 7.5 billion euros ($11.3 billion) in new shares to repay state bailout money. [Good luck with that! If they keep this sort of crap up, people will stop buying insurance of all types because they are sick of being swindled!]

Earlier, in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average rose 0.8 percent to 10,362.62 and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1 percent to 1,657.11. Hong Kong’s market was closed for a holiday.

China’s Shanghai benchmark gained 0.1 percent in choppy trade as investors worried the government might temper its stimulus policies following the acceleration in third quarter growth. Taiwan’s market rose 0.3 percent, Singapore’s index gained 0.2 percent, and India’s Sensex was up 0.6 percent.

Australia bucked the trend with the S.& P./ASX 200 index falling 0.6 percent. In Sydney trading, the coal miner Felix Resources jumped 4 percent after the government approved a takeover by the Yanzhou Mining Company of China.

Oil prices slipped to near $80 a barrel in Europe after last week’s jump to a 2009 high. Benchmark crude for December delivery fell 15 cents, to $80.35 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 69 cents a barrel to settle at $80.50 on Friday

US markets closed down today 104 points as only the Brazilian market snuck back into positive territory during the last possible moments of trading (You should see it, the line is literally straight up and down, talk about ‘painting the tape’.) As I commented earlier, this particular ‘version’ of this article is the article as it was originally posted…as the day wore on, they cut more and more out of it. Which makes it a rather interesting example of ‘manipulative journalism’.

The current ‘spot price’ of oil is $ 78 a barrel but then again gold slid a dozen bucks today too.

Not that a single day tells you much by any stretch of the imagination. Other sources say the US markets are ‘overvalued’ by 40%…I’d put this figure considerably higher but were talking ‘subjective valuations’ here and it isn’t my assessment they are using to make the evaluation, so there it is.

Although at the end of the day this is where the real ‘bogeyman’ lies…how high is up?

Or more to the point, what constitutes a fair days wages for a day’s labor?

Not only does that answer come out in the wash but we can see precisely who makes out in the deal, can’t we.

There aren’t any (zip, zero, zilch, none) rich men working for a paycheck. Some of the wealthiest men in our predatory capitalist society don’t draw paychecks at all…so what’s this bull shit about all of the hard work they keep claiming they do?

These guys don’t even cut your paycheck although they do (sometimes) ‘authorize’ its signing (because they don’t actually ‘do’ that either.)

You bust your hump and they walk away with all of the, er, ‘reward’…because they are the ones ‘taking their chances’ You get a paycheck (you can barely live on) every week (until you don’t) oh yeah…and when the paychecks dry up…you’re on your own. Snickerdoodle ‘cashed in’ for a thousand times more than you’ll make for the rest of your natural days and all you’ve got to show for your years of sacrifice is an exhausted unemployment compensation account.

And conservative fucktards have the chutzpah to call you bitter-- like you don’t have every reason in the world to be Class A homicidal maniac!

Hard to believe ‘We the People’ put up with this nonsense…but we didn’t ask for this deal, we inherited it. Worse…it’s the only game in town.

That’s the coffee you need to get a good wiff of!

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Friday, October 23, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

For what I believe makes the third time this week, the ‘stupidity index’ opened a hundred points lower than it closed the previous day. Yes good citizen, I actually watched that bad boy ‘re-cross’ the sacred 10,000 mark around mid-morning despite the fact the bad news just kept on coming!

Which begs a self-incriminating question…just how stupid do you have to be to pay attention to this idiotic economic indicator? To which I would respond that one’s intelligence is no factor in this decision as an alternative indicator doesn’t exist! Which brings us full circle to the same question…’How stupid is that?’

Ironically there are a lot of ways of measuring economic performance than tracking how rich the rich people are getting (which is what the stock market measures, it is in no way a measure of economic health…)

But enough of that noise. tonight’s offering comes to us from ‘south of the border’ where being an ex-pat only provides this renowned author with a sharper focus on the turmoil facing his former home turf.

Raising up dead horses
By Joe Bageant
Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

[Hat tip: The Automatic Earth ]

When Barack Obama took office it seemed to some of us that his first job was to get the national silverware out of the pawn shop. Or at least maintain the world's confidence that it was possible for us to get out of debt. America is dead broke, the easy credit, phantom "growth" economy has been exposed for what it was. A credit scam. Even Hillary Clinton and Obama's best efforts have not coaxed much more dough out of foreign friends. But at least we again have a few friends abroad.

So now we must jackleg ourselves back into something resembling a productive activity. No matter how you cut it, things will not be as much fun as shopping and speculative "investing" were.

The fiesta is over, the economy as we knew it is dead.

The national money shamans have danced around the carcass of our dead horse economy, chanted the recovery chant and burned fiat currency like Indian sage, enshrouding the carcass in the sacred smoke of burning cash. And indeed, they have managed to prop up the carcass to appear life-like from a distance, if you squint through the smoke just right. But it still stinks here from the inside. Clearly at some point we must find a new horse to ride, and sure as god made little green apples one is broaching the horizon. And it looks exactly like the old horse.

Then too, what else did we expect? His economic team of free market billionaires and financial hotwires includes most of those who helped Bill Clinton sell the theory that Americans didn't need jobs. Actual labor, if you will remember, was for Asian sweatshops and Latin maquiladoras. We, as a nation one third of whose population is functionally illiterate, were going to transmute ourselves into an information and transactional economy. Ain't gonna sweat no mo' no mo' -- just drink wine and sing about Jesus all day.

Along with these economic hotwires came literally hundreds of K Street and Democratic lobbyists. Supposedly, every president is forced to hire these guys because no one else seems to have the connections or knows how to get a bill through Congress. Consequently, the current regime's definition of a recovery is more of the same as ever. A return of the mortgage market and credit to its former level -- the level that blew us out of the water in the first place. Ah, but we're gonna manage it better this time. There is no one-trick pony on earth equal to capitalism.

Somewhere in the smoking wreckage lie the solutions. The solutions we aren't allowed to discuss: adoption of a Wall Street securities speculation tax; repeal of the Taft-Hartley anti-union laws; ending corporate personhood; cutting the bloated vampire bleeding the economy, the military budget; full single payer health care insurance, not some "public option" that is neither fish nor fowl; taxation instead of credits for carbon pollution; reversal of inflammatory U.S. policy in the Middle East (as in, get the hell out, begin kicking the oil addiction and quit backing the spoiled murderous brat that is Israel.

Meanwhile we may all feel free to row ourselves to hell in the same hand basket. Except of course the elites, the top five percent or so among us. But 95 percent is close enough to be called democratic, so what the hell. The trivialized media, having internalized the system's values, will continue to act as rowing captain calling out the strokes. News gathering in America is its own special hell, and reduces its practitioners to banality and elite sycophancy. But Big Money calls the shots.

With luck we will see at least some reverse of the Bush regime's assault on habeas corpus, due process, privacy. Changing such laws doesn't much affect that one percent whose income is equal to the combined bottom 50 percent of Americans.

Beyond that, the big money is constitutionally protected. Our Constitution is first and foremost a property document protecting their money. In actual practice, our constitutional civil liberties, inspiring as they are in concept to people around the world, are mainly side action to make the institutionalization of the owning class more palatable. You can argue that may not have been the intent of the slave owning, rent collecting, upper class founding fathers. But you would be full of shit. We can keep on pretending to be independent, free to keep on living in those houses on which we still owe $300,000. But they own and control the money that comes through our hands. And they plan to keep on owning it and charging us to use it.

On the positive side, there has probably been no more fertile opportunity to improve U.S. international relations since post World War II. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bolton were about as endearing as pederasts at a baby shower. And now that we have shot up half the planet, certainly there is no more globally attractive person to patch up the bullet holes than Barack Obama (yes, I know Bill Clinton's feelings are hurt by that). Awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize (again Bill Clinton's feeling are sorely wounded) was an invitation to rejoin the human race.

Of course, there are a significant number of Americans still who could not give a rat's ass about world opinion of the good ole USA. Nearly every damned one of my neighbors back in Virginia, in fact.

The sharks are still running the only game in town and they have never had it better. To be sure, with the economic collapse some of the financial lords won't pile quite up as many millions this year. Others will however have a record year. All are still squatting in the tall cotton.

Their grandfathers who so hated FDR's reforms must be chugging cognac in hell celebrating today's America. America's unions have been neutered and taught to beg. At long last we have established a permanent underclass and deindustrialized the country in favor of low wage service industries here and dirt cheap labor from abroad. We've managed to harden the education and income gap into something an American oligarch can take pride in. Hell, my bank card is issued by Prescott Bush's Union Bank and my most recent mortgage was held by J. P. Morgan's creation. My electricity is generated by Rockefeller's coal and energy holdings and my Exxon gasoline credit card is issued by a successor to Standard oil. The breakfast I eat comes from Archer Daniels Midland. So did my dog's breakfast. We are the very products and property of these people and their institutions.

With peak oil, population pressure, vanishing world resources and global warming, we can never again be what we once were -- a civilization occupying a relative material paradise through a danse macabre of planetarily unsustainable growth. But no presidential candidate is going to run on the promise that "If we do everything just right, pull in our belts and sacrifice, we can at best be a second world nation in fifty years, providing we don't mind the lack of oxygen and a few cancers here and there." Better to hawk the myth of profitable pollution through carbon credits. Which Obama is doing.

We burn the grain supplies of starving nations in our vehicles. Skilled American construction workers now unemployed drive their big trucks into town and knock at my door asking to rake my leaves for ten bucks. There is nothing ironic in this to their minds. "Middle class" people making $150,000 a year will get a new tax break (as if we were all earning 150K). Energy prices are predicted to stabilize because we intend to burn the state of West Virginia in our power plants. The corpses of our young people are still being unloaded from cargo planes at Dover Delaware, but from two fronts now. Mortgage foreclosures are expected to double before they slacken. I cannot imagine debtors not getting at least temporary relief, if not decent jobs or affordable health care. Surely we will see more "change."

But never under any conditions will we be allowed to touch the real money, or get anywhere near it, much less redistribute it. Because, as a bookie friend once told me, "You got your common man living on hope, lottery tickets, or the dogs or the ponies, and you got operators. People who can see the whole game in play. They set the rules. Because they hold the money. That ain't never gonna change."

On the other hand national opinion changes almost hourly. But if the starting gate bell rang right now for the next presidential race, I'd have to put ten bucks on Obama to place. We cannot assume the Republican party will remain stupid. Assumptions don't work at all.

Remember what happened when we assumed the Democrats were capable of courage and leadership?

Kept my damn comments to myself on this one as well as resisted the urge to put the whole damn thing in bold-italics…some people can see it and JB certainly is one of them.

Posts such as this one are like steaming hot bowls of chicken soup; they have amazing healing properties, sort of does the soul good to see that you aren’t the only one troubled by a nation riding on the fast track to hell.

A phenomenon that threatens to become my new mantra, the warning that the life you’ve always known is gone for good. You may not recognize your new life yet because you can still obtain most of your familiar comforts. Soon you won’t be able to get your hands on half of them and not long after that, you’ll be hard pressed to even see someone else enjoying them…so you’ll know they’re still around.

Bizarrely, that last part is the real kick in the head…it’s one thing to have to give up your pleasures because you can no longer afford them and quite another to have those pleasures ‘disappear’. No longer seeing the things you love deprives you of the mental comfort that the enjoyment can still be had, even if you can’t indulge them at the moment.

Philosophically, it is what it is, so there’s no sense fretting over it…but there’s no denying the ‘anguish’ these losses will inflict upon your psyche.

Yes, good citizen, everyday brings change. My point, whether you care to entertain it or not, is that soon things will change so radically it will seem like you have been magically transported to a bleak and unfamiliar land, a place where the struggle for survival will be much more intense than what you’re used to.

How did that old song go…’I’ve seen the future, I can’t afford it!’

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unemployment 'disappoints to the upside'...

Greetings good citizen,

The ‘stupidity index’ closed up 131 points, once again breaching the sacred 10,000 mark…on ‘worse than expected’ unemployment figures! Not too bizarrely tonight’s offering has ‘disappeared’ from the story line-up.

I was a bit flustered the first time I encountered this phenomenon but I’m used to it now…it does make one lament the demise of printed newspapers…

Er, at last glance, today’s upswing is being credited to Amazon (You know, the company that has never turned a profit) 62% earnings increase…go friggin’ figure!

New Jobless Claims Rise Higher Than Expected

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS [Again we see that nobody, er, ‘took credit’ for this story…]
Published: October 22, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of newly laid-off workers filing claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week, after falling in five of the last six weeks, as employers remained reluctant to hire even with the economy showing imaginary signs of recovery. The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 531,000 last week from an upwardly revised 520,000 the previous week. Wall Street economists had expected only a slight increase, according to Thomson Reuters.

Economists closely watch initial claims, which are considered a gauge of layoffs and an indication of companies’ willingness to hire new workers. [So isn’t it bizarre that the BLS ignores this ‘hard data’ in favor of a highly gamed ‘survey’? At issue here is the truth good citizen and your right to know how your elected representatives are protecting your interests…]

The four-week average of claims, which smoothes out fluctuations, fell slightly to 532,250, the lowest since mid-January and about 125,000 below the peak for the recession, reached this spring. But claims remain well above the 325,000 that economists say is consistent with a healthy economy. [I don’t know about you good citizen but a ‘churn rate’ of 325,000 A WEEK doesn’t strike me as anything even remotely approaching a ‘healthy’ economy. It’s beginning to look like these guys wouldn’t know a ‘healthy economy’ if it bit them on the backside!]

The number of people continuing to claim benefits declined for the fifth straight week to 5.9 million, from just over 6 million. The figures on continuing claims lag initial claims by a week. [There are still no jobs in the paper so this ‘reduction’ we’re seeing is actually people who have exhausted their claim…what does that say about our worthless capitalist model? Works real good for the capitalist but it sucks for everyone else!]

Many recipients are moving onto extended benefit programs approved by Congress in response to the recession, which began in December 2007 and is the worst since the 1930s. Those extensions add up to 53 weeks of benefits on top of the 26 typically provided by the states. [Sadly, since the latest Depression is already two years old, most people are exhausting claims they established more than a year ago. Maybe it was the next paragraph that got this unattributed AP piece removed from the story index…]

When those programs are included, the total number of recipients fell to 8.8 million in the week ending Oct. 3, the latest data available, down about 50,000 from the previous week. That decline is likely a result of recipients having run out of benefits, rather than finding jobs, economists say.

Many analysts believe the economy grew as much as 3 percent in the July-September quarter, but employers are reluctant to hire as they wait to see if such growth can be maintained. [Sadly good citizen, they could claim the economy grew 30% in the last three months and there’s no way we could prove otherwise…You can prove ‘shrinkage’ easier than you can disprove expansion…]

The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September from 9.7 percent, the department said earlier this month, as employers cut 263,000 jobs. The recession has eliminated a net total of 7.2 million jobs. [Naturally, even these ‘revised figures’ are subject to further revision…there is always a chance that the truth will ‘accidentally’ surface so the government is very careful with its lies…]

More job cuts were announced this week. Sun Microsystems said it plans to eliminate up to 3,000 jobs, or 10 percent of its worldwide work force, as it awaits a takeover by the Oracle Corporation, a deal being held up by antitrust regulators in Europe.

Among the states, Florida had the largest increase in claims, with 9,976, which were attributed to layoffs in the construction, service, manufacturing and agriculture industries. New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Arkansas had the next largest increases. The state data lag initial claims by one week. [A little nod to CG’s home turf as the days grow shorter up here in the frozen North…]

California reported the largest drop in claims, down 7,062, which were attributed to fewer layoffs in the construction, service, and manufacturing industries. Tennessee, Maine and Nebraska also reported decreases.

Um, if the link doesn’t work good citizen, you may be able to find this story on the AP web site…that said, I’m sure I’m not the only one whose attention was captured by this bit of news.

So, how about that…four out of fifty states actually enjoyed a ‘drop’ in unemployment. We’re left to wonder if the number of claimants dropped or if some of these lucky dogs actually found some kind of employment…like today’s other ‘outrageous’ news item where 500 people turned up to apply for one slot that only paid $13 an hour…

How sad is that?

It makes you want to know [exactly] what this sort of crap means…it most certainly doesn’t bode well for what will eventually become of us and the life we used to know…

All so a few can be rich…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Head for the Hills!

Greetings good citizen,

The ‘stupidity index’ dropped another 94 points today, closing below the 10,000 mark, thereby providing the dandies on Wall Street with the opportunity to ‘shoot the moon’ again!

Like a lot of economic mechanisms during these bizarre times, the dollar has only recently returned to its ‘normal’ behavior. For the past several months the dollar has been climbing in tandem with equity/commodity prices, it normally moves in the opposite direction.

Take today’s headline for example.

As the Dollar Sinks, Oil Skyrockets

Published: October 21, 2009

HOUSTON — Crude oil soared to close above $80 a barrel on Wednesday, breaking that psychological barrier for the first time this year, despite weak global economic conditions. [One need never look too far to find evidence that the ‘green shoots’ crowd is staring a little too wistfully at the content of their stashes…]

Prices have been up in 9 of the last 10 trading days, owing at least in part to the slide of the dollar. Many oil analysts predicted that prices would continue to rise in coming weeks and could reach $100 a barrel by early next year. [I mean what the hell, it’s another 12 months until the midterm elections, and elections appear to be the only time force powerful enough to make energy prices fall…]

“Oil is just flying,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at PFGBest Research, a futures trading firm. “It’s off to the races.”

Analysts said rising oil prices reflected confidence that the economy was beginning to rebound from a deep recession, as well as higher demand from refineries for superior grades of oil that were cheaper to refine.

But they say the most important factor is the falling value of the dollar, which is encouraging traders, institutions and foreign countries to invest their cash in hard assets like oil and gold. Oil is priced in dollars on global markets, and a falling dollar almost always puts upward pressure on oil. [This spells ‘trouble’ in so many ways it is difficult to pick a place to begin…BUT, let it suffice to say that the rising price of energy has the power to crush this most feeble ‘recovery’ before it escapes the lurid imaginations of the perma-bulls.]

The rise in the price of crude oil is being accompanied by an increase in gasoline prices, a potential threat to retailers that hope consumers will be able to spend their cash at the mall this holiday season and not at the gas station. The national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline rose by 2 cents on Wednesday from the day before, to $2.60, according to AAA, the automobile club.

That was nearly 12 cents above the price of only a week ago. But it is still about 30 cents below the pump price of a year ago, and well below the $4 mark crossed in the summer of 2008. [Which should have us all wondering why this is? Demand is way down…so why has the price of gas been rising steadily for the past six months…in fact, the price of gas has been rising in tandem with the first mention of ‘green shoots’…coincidence?]

The price rise is a reminder of a time just over a year ago when companies up and down the energy pipeline were rushing oil to market, struggling to keep up with demand. [This time there is no need to ‘waste words’ when a simple ‘Bull Shit’ says it all. This time last year was just prior to the elections, which tells you where the price of gas was…]

That boom ended with the financial panic of late last year. Economic conditions are still weak, leading oil companies to cut their investments in new drilling and production projects and close refineries. [Um, sadly, this clown has his years mixed up! Which makes the loss of ‘fact check’ in journalism that much more tragic…]

Demand for oil products in the United States and other industrialized countries remains sluggish. Imports have been declining and are now at the lowest levels since mid-August, while inventories are rising. [Uh, is it me or is this piece contradicting itself left and right?]

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service, said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was producing 800,000 barrels a day more than the world market could consume, despite attempts to curtail production. [Yet the price of energy continues to rise…even though consumption has fallen off a cliff…which tells us what?]

“You have to be looking through magenta-colored glasses at this point to see demand outstripping supply any time in the next six months,” Mr. Kloza said. “This is a minibubble that is dollar-related, and related to financial flows wanting to be long oil as a leverage against a weak dollar.”

T. Boone Pickens, the Texas oil man, said that he thought the price reflected oil’s role as a “finite resource” that could potentially rise to $100 again next year. “Get used to it,” he said, referring to high oil prices. “You’re going to have to live with it.” [Isn’t it ironic that energy isn’t expensive at all…if you’re a billionaire!]

Traders drove the spot price of oil up $2.25, to $81.37 a barrel on Wednesday, and the price briefly hit $82 before easing. [Funny word, ‘trader’ which is also interchangeable with the words ‘gambler’ and ‘speculator’…]

Wild price swings, reflecting an unstable market, have become almost normal in recent years. The price of a barrel of oil swelled from just below $100 in January 2008 to nearly $150 that July before collapsing to less than $35 last December. The price has more than doubled since then, and few analysts see the price moving below $75 any time soon. [Notice how nobody is connecting some very obvious dots here. If energy rises, employment will fall because of the overall increase in ‘the cost of doing business’. What do you suppose this is going to do to the non-existent ‘recovery’? Simply put good citizen, you can’t crush a recovery that didn’t exist in the first place, can you…]

Oil executives expressed optimism that higher prices would encourage more drilling in the United States, which had fallen sharply since last year along with oil prices. But they said they were worried that the continuing zigzags would make future investment decisions difficult.

“We all recognize that last year’s too high a price hurt the consumer and the industry itself because the prices were unsustainable,” said Glenn M. Darden, president and chief executive of Quicksilver Resources, an oil and gas company in Fort Worth. He said he hoped for “stabilized prices,” adding, “at least $80 oil is a lot different from $140 oil.”

Uh, $80 oil sure as hell ain’t $35 oil…so what is fucktard trying to say? Perhaps more perplexing is how energy prices are increasingly being manipulated as a political force in support of the neo-con economic agenda.

Worse is what has happened to energy prices over the last eight years with a conservative administration in charge. President moves into the White House and fuel prices start to creep up with various excuses being presented to the public…and then the next thing you know, the new conservative president invades the Middle East! Which causes panic in the energy markets…although the US gets most of its energy from Canada/Mexico/South America…go figure!

Anyway…the ‘world price’ of energy is what it is even if most of the ‘threat’ to Middle Eastern oil posed by the ‘War on Terra’ has no direct effect on our energy supply, per se. Our suppliers COULD sell their output to those nations whose supply IS endangered by war in the Middle East.

Left unexplained is why we are forced to pay more for something that isn’t, in fact, in ‘short supply’?

How are your ‘perfect markets’ looking now?

What we have here is capitalism at its finest…this is why governments exist, to prevent this variety of ‘fuck you, pay me!’ capitalism from pulling civilization under the mud, leaving nothing but chaos in its wake. (Notice I didn’t misuse the word ‘anarchy’, which is in no way related to the word chaos.) Anarchy is a capitalist’s worst nightmare…think about it.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

The ‘Stupidity Index’ dropped 50 points today but still managed to close above the 10,000 mark before all was said and done. If I don’t miss my guess that means the Dow (through intra-day movement) ‘re-crossed’ the 10,000-point mark in both directions today!

Maybe they’re going to keep crossing it…just because they can (and the dudes on Wall Street are weird that way…)

Understand good citizen the opening paragraphs of tonight’s offering not only read differently now but don’t reflect the huge drop the market took shortly after opening this morning. When I first saw it, the Dow was at 9,985, this is what I mean about the Dow crossing the 10,000 mark for the second time in as many days…and guess what? The fucktards are still using the ‘beat expectations’ ploy as an indicator of economic strength!

What’s wrong with these people? We all know the only way these assholes are showing profits is due to lay-offs and paycuts, they sure as shit aren’t selling more because the overall economy continues to shrink!

It’s one thing to lie to the public and quite another to lie on a daily basis, expecting to be believed…

US Stocks Falter on Economic Data

Published: October 20, 2009

Wall Street swung lower on Tuesday after weaker wholesale prices and a tepid report on new-home construction cast light on the economy’s lingering travails. [Left unmentioned is an event that caused quite a stir earlier today when energy prices spiked over $ 80 a barrel in mid afternoon…um, once again it is not so much the demand for oil but the weakness of the dollar that is driving the price of energy beyond affordability.]

Stocks fell slightly at the opening, but the sell-off deepened in the afternoon and wiped away some of the market’s gains from a day earlier.

After rising nearly 100 points on Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average was down about 60 points at 3 p.m., and the wider Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Nasdaq were off about 0.7 percent.

The backslide came even after a string of bellwether companies including Apple, the drug maker Pfizer and Caterpillar, which manufactures industrial equipment, reported strong profits.

Since the aluminum maker Alcoa kicked off earnings season by reporting a profit, more than half of companies reporting have beaten analysts’ expectations, raising hopes that companies were past their worst financial troubles, according to Howard Silverblatt of Standard & Poor’s. [There’s a name you can trust!]

Earnings per share are coming in nearly 12 percent ahead of expectations, and companies’ sales figures are also beating estimates. The higher sales figures could offer a balm to investors worried that companies had only been generating profits through aggressive cost-cutting, and not by increasing revenues. [Latest word is the P/E ratio of the S&P 500 is still at 140 (15 is normal) so you can only wonder what ‘beating’ means. Once again, we aren’t talking robust sales, we’re talking about beating ‘estimates’ here and as history has shown us, the pricks ‘low-ball’ like mad so when the numbers come in, even a poor number will look like a ‘near miss’. (Did I just use a bunch of words when a simple ‘Bull Shit!’ would have sufficed?)]

So far, the earnings have bolstered investors on Wall Street. The major indexes are up about 3 percent for the month, their eighth straight month of gains, and shares of Apple are close to their all-time highs. [Oddly, Apple hasn’t come out with a ‘new’ product lately…do we need to add this to the inexplicable rise in oil prices while demand continues to fall? When market mechanisms cease to function, the theft has gotten out of hand.]

“This is a broad-based rally,” said William Rhodes, chief investment strategist of Rhodes Analytics. “I did not find anything in the market this week that I could go out and short.” But on Tuesday, investors seemed preoccupied by signals that the housing market remained sluggish and by signs that some industries are still hamstrung by lower prices. [What a fucktard…NOBODY has ‘pricing power’ in a market like this so what’s this ‘some industries’ crap; like it’s an ‘isolated problem’ due to straighten itself out at any moment? (WTF!)]

“The bulls need to see the quality of earnings improve,” Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities, wrote in a note to clients. “The market is so far ahead of the economy that unless the quality of earnings improves the broad market is due for a consolidation.” [Another ‘idiot statement’, the entire rally is composed of fumes, vapors and more than a little wishful thinking! Um, one is inclined to cut the market pros a little slack, it’s their job to sell this shit whether it’s any good or not.]

Shares of basic-materials producers, utilities and energy companies fell the farthest, as prices of commodities like oil, copper and coffee receded. Crude oil futures fell $1.42 to $78.19 a barrel in New York, but were still near their highest levels of the year. [This particular ‘version’ of this story precedes this afternoon’s spike in oil prices…I dunno if the current version has been updated/corrected.]

Investors were wary of home-building companies like Brookfield Homes and Pulte Homes after the government’s latest report on housing starts and building permits. The Commerce Department reported that new-home construction edged up slightly in September, but the increase fell short of economists’ predictions. [Looks like those damn Ivory Towers don’t afford economists an accurate view of the world…although we could be facing that bizarre phenomenon where a man professes to believe what he’s paid to believe, right, wrong or indifferent…]

And even after months of tentative gains, the rate of housing starts was still 28 percent lower than a year ago, reflecting low demand and continuing turmoil in markets for construction loans.

Weakness in stocks reinvigorated the dollar for a day, and set off demand for safer investments like Treasury bonds. The interest rate on the Treasury’s benchmark 10-year note slipped to 3.34 percent from 3.39 percent late Monday.

What a steaming load of tripe! For every positive statement made in this article you can find four stories refuting that claim. Which in itself is problematic because it displays how ardently the thieves want you to believe everything is just fine…when you can see with your own eyes things are FUBAR!

Imagine if you will that Howard Beal is going off the deep end every night, and every night Howard gets arrested…and you never hear a word. Which is why Howard goes off the deep end every night, telling everyone that will listen he’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore!

But it won’t be until sharpshooters pick off Howard somewhere and even then you’re never going to hear about it. When he is picked off, it won’t be Howard’s frustration that makes the headlines but the fact that Howard was terrorizing his neighbors when the police were called in.

Everything is just wonderful good citizen, nothing to see here, move along!

Which begs the question as to whether or not we can ignore what’s going on right under our noses? We could lash out but the targets are either too well protected or too well hidden for direct action. You can’t say they haven’t learned from the lessons of history, they have.

Not that the difficulty of the task at hand makes it permissible to stand idle and do nothing. If we don’t fight back things will only get worse.

In the mean time, try not to step in any Kool-Aid…


Monday, October 19, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

Um, the ‘stupidity index’ blasted past the ten thousand mark again today for what must be the 28th time…(someone’s actually been keeping track!) Maybe it’s only the 27th--but you get the point.

Which begs the question as to whether or not investors bother to read the papers so they can keep up with what’s going on in the world? (Or is that only important to us non-investor types?)

If you read the headlines this morning then YOU know the top headline was about the huge number of homes with mortgages in default that the banks AREN’T foreclosing on! I’m sure you saw that story…it was on the front page of the NY Times (Which is the same city the ‘stupidity index’ calls home!) which is not to infer that all investors are New Yorkers…

But, ironically, it seems as though ‘cluelessness’ is fairly pervasive throughout the upper reaches of the financial markets, as evidenced by today’s declaration from the chairman of the Federal Reserve…

Which reflects rather poorly on the competence/mental stability of anyone who applauded Mr. Obama’s decision to re-appoint this fool to another term.

Fed Chief Cites Role of Trade Imbalances in Crisis

Published: October 19, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said on Monday that global trade imbalances played a central role in the global economic crisis and warned that both the United States and fast-growing Asian nations needed to do more to prevent them from recurring. [Sadly, this is as close as any of these treasonous bastards will ever get to admitting they sold our economy out from under us so they could be richer…]

“We were smug,” Mr. Bernanke said of the United States in a question and answer session following his speech. [Ya think? Sure looks like a prime candidate for the ‘understatement of the century’ right there! Left to our imagination is the ‘context’ of ‘who’ was smug and why? They’re pretty smug because they’ve gotten away with it so far…but that race isn’t over yet.]

In answer to another question, he said the American financial regulatory system was “inadequate” at managing the immense inflows of cheap money from China and other countries that had huge trade surpluses. [It’s a bit bizarre to be making statements like that when he himself is responsible for not lifting a finger to correct those same ‘inadequacies’! This is like clucking his tongue at the ‘stupidity’ of the US public…will he still be clucking his tongue at us as we slip the noose around his neck? (Because that’s what you do to traitors, you hang them.)]

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Bernanke acknowledged that trade imbalances had declined sharply as a result of the crisis, mainly because trade itself plunged, but he warned that American foreign indebtedness would aggravate the imbalances once again unless the United States reduced its soaring federal budget deficit. [Um, gee…what did he expect to happen when everybody max’ed out credit they couldn’t afford? And this guy is the head of the central bank because of what?]

“The United States must increase its national saving rate,” he said. [A little tough to do when most of us owe more than we make…] “The most effective way to accomplish this goal is by establishing a sustainable fiscal trajectory, anchored by a clear commitment to substantially reduce federal deficits over time.” [He’s the one pissing your future tax dollars out the door faster than they can be collected! Worse, his handing that money to people who already have more than they know what to do with…so the assholes, clueless as they are, simply ‘park’ the money! Doing nobody any good!]

The federal deficit for the 2009 fiscal year soared to $1.4 trillion, almost triple the deficit in 2008, and budget analysts predict that budget deficits will average almost $1 trillion a year over the next decade.

By the same token, he said, Asian countries needed to rely less on exports and more on their consumption at home for their economic growth. One way to increase Asian household consumption, he said, would be for countries like China to increase social insurance programs and reduce the uncertainty that currently hangs over many consumers. [Understand, ‘BenBer’ is a Republican who’d rather chew his own hand off at the wrist than permit one destitute US citizen to be comforted at the taxpayer’s expense. BenBer and his cronies have been extremely busy draining the Treasury and dismantling the safety net so US taxpayers won’t be, er, ‘inconvenienced’ by social safety nets we can no longer afford because these chiseling fucks dropped all of the tarrifs protecting US workers, then had the balls to move their production facilities overseas too!]

Speaking at a conference of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Mr. Bernanke said Asian countries had bounced back from the global recession faster than the rest of the world and had become the engine of the global economic recovery. [Which is yet another blatant lie…no customers here means no customers there either!]

“By and large, countries in Asia came into the crisis with fairly strong macroeconomic fundamentals,” Mr. Bernanke said, and noted that countries like China, Japan and Korea had fought the downturn with aggressive stimulus programs. [To head off what would have been massive civil unrest.]

With the Asian economy expanding at an annualized rate of 9 percent in the second quarter of this year, and China’s economy expanding at rates of more than 10 percent, Mr. Bernanke said, “Asia appears to be leading the global recovery.” [Is the operative word here ‘appears’? The only bureaucracy more ‘opaque’ than the US government is the Chinese government…]

But the Fed chairman warned that the United States-led crisis was fueled in large part by huge inflows of cheap money to the United States from countries like China that were trying to recycle dollars from their huge trade surpluses. [As has been stated repeatedly, they ‘recycled’ their dollars to keep the Yuan competitive…which has produced some very bizarre, er, ‘side effects’.]

The Fed chairman noted that global trade and financial imbalances had narrowed considerably since the crisis began, largely because the volume of international trade contracted by 20 percent from its peak before the crisis. [What Mr. Andrews fails to mention here is that 20% is gone for good. The money that paid for that extra slice of market share has left the building, never to return.]

But he cautioned that the imbalances could widen out again as economic growth revives. While the United States has to tighten its belt by saving more and consuming less, China and other Asian countries need to increase their consumer spending to promote faster domestic economic growth. [It is easy to foresee a time when if it isn’t made here, there won’t be any market for it here, the US public is so angry over having their economy sold out from underneath them…so the rich could get richer!]

Mr. Bernanke avoided what was in many ways the elephant in the room: the value of the United States dollar. The dollar has dropped sharply in recent weeks against the euro and the Japanese yen, which has helped increase American exports by making them cheaper in some foreign markets. But the dollar has not budged in more than a year against China’s renminbi, which the Chinese continue to tightly manage and which many economists say remains greatly undervalued.

If we keep that last statement rolling, we are also faced with um, ‘total inaction’ over this blatant ‘currency manipulation’ by the Chinese.

Wave a little money under the nose of a capitalist and you can use his front yard as your personal cesspool…he won’t care, hell, he won’t even complain because as far as he’s concerned he’s getting the better deal!

Strangely, in twelve more months the ‘mid-term’ elections will be upon us. What slaps one in the face because it is so shocking is that the ballot box has produced zero change in the conservative hijacking of our society.

If we want it back, you know what has to be done…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Sunday, October 18, 2009


Greetings good citizen,

Being an ‘apologist for the very rich’ takes a pretty special individual, in fact it takes a pretty clueless one as well; who else would come up with this ‘Limbaughesque’ line: “To revile the rich is to revile the American dream,”

I believe the late George Carlin provided us with most accurate description of that cherished conservative value… “They call it ‘The Dream’ because you have to be asleep to believe it!”

Perhaps more interesting is the twisted way they project their own values onto others…and revile them for it!

You can’t help but read this piece and come away stunned at the sentiments revealed not by the wealthy themselves…but by those who…er, feed off of them, their ‘advisers’.

Without further adieu we commence tonight’s offering

Wealth Matters
All This Anger Against the Rich May Be Unhealthy

Published: October 16, 2009

BEATING up on the wealthy seems to be the order of day. I suspected that. But a recent Wealth Matters column touched a particularly raw nerve. It looked at how even people with sizable fortunes were concerned about money in this recession and the impact that could have on the rest of us.

Robert Clarfeld, a financial adviser, bought a Jaguar XKR before the financial collapse, a point he makes on its vanity plate.

Readers rejected the attempt to understand the concerns of the rich. [This isn’t nearly as amazing as how he ends up sneering at this total ‘lack of empathy’…]

“That’s so stupid that you ought to be slapped for it,” one woman wrote. My favorite began: “Bowties and Reaganomics are for losers. You can cry for the rich all you want, the rest of us will be happy to see them get taxed.” [What do you suppose happens next? What else…he turns around and accuses these people of harboring a ‘double standard’…like there’s even a remote possibility any of us will ever find ourselves ‘swapping places’ with the ‘well born’ and ‘politically connected’.]

The vehemence in these e-mail messages made me wonder why so many people were furious at those who had more than they did. And why are the rich shouldering the blame for a collective run of bad decision-making? [Um, since the rich get to make those decisions, who the hell else should take the heat? Those of us who had no say?] After all, many of the rich got there through hard work. [Ha! If you have to work for your money, you ain’t even remotely ‘rich’]And plenty of not-so-rich people bought homes, cars and electronics they could not afford and then defaulted on the debt, contributing to the crash last year. [And who loaned those ‘not so rich’ people the money to buy all of that stuff they couldn’t afford? The same assholes that were making 30% interest on the loan!]

But in this recession, anger flows one way. Eric Dammann, a Manhattan psychoanalyst, theorizes that a lot of people are angry that the rules of the game seem to have changed. [These people are right to be angry, the rules have changed and the law has been suborned!]

“There’s always been envy and hatred toward the rich, but there was also a strong undercurrent of admiration that was holding these people up as a goal,” Mr. Dammann said. “This time it’s different because it feels like it’s a closed club and the rich have an unfair advantage.” [There’s nothing ‘different’ about this time and the way things went a thousand years ago; it IS a ‘closed club’ and they DO have an unfair advantage. But you don’t suppose the guy who is careful NOT to include the prefix ‘Dr’ in front of his name shrinks the heads of ‘normal’ people…do you?]

What is troubling is that the anger has hardened for some into a suspicion that all wealthy people are motivated purely by self-interest, said Brad Klontz, a financial psychologist in Hawaii and a co-author of the forthcoming book, “Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health” (Random House). [Some phrases are just too rich…like the term ‘financial psychologist’ accompanied a place name synonymous with wealth…Hawaii. Simply put, if you weren’t born there and you have a residence there, it only stands to reason you are, by default, rich! Do you suppose Bradley denies the wealthy are motivated by their own self-interest in his ‘forthcoming’ book?]

“The script goes like this: Money is bad, rich people are shallow and greedy, and people become rich by taking advantage of others,” Mr. Klontz said. “But the same people who say money is bad say money is connected to their self-worth — they wished they had it and you didn’t.” [It’s hard to find a cleaner case of ‘projection’. They’re out there all right but this bad boy is pretty damn clean cut…]

In boom or bust, envy is natural, and the desire for a level playing field is understandable. But so too is the desire to do better financially, to the point where it seems at times to be hardwired into our national psyche. “To revile the rich is to revile the American dream,” said Robert Clarfeld, president of the wealth management firm Clarfeld Financial Advisors. [Now you know where our ‘opening quote’ came from and um, isn’t Mr. Sullivan starting to ‘foam at the mouth?’]

This resentment was so palpable, I started to wonder if it was having any effect — were the wealthy aware of it, and if they were, did they care?

TAX AND GIVE A big concern among the wealthy right now, their advisers say, is not populist anger but how it might translate into tax-the-rich legislation on the federal and state levels. Their concern is twofold. [Naturally, Mr. Clueless displays zero concern for what will happen if we don’t succeed at ‘leveling the playing field’…of course, it may be too late to avoid that outcome already.]

The first is that any tax increase has a direct impact on the income they withdraw from their portfolios. More money going to the government means less to live on. “They’re very concerned about taxes going up,” said William Woodson, managing director at the Family Wealth Management group at Credit Suisse. “The percent that goes to taxes is significant if it’s a 15 percent capital gains vs. 25 percent capital gains. It makes a big difference.” [Um, did I mention ‘clueless’? What percentage of US citizens are affected by the capital gains tax rate? Maybe the top 5%, but it’s actually a lot closer to the top 1%…and far more applicable to the top 1% of that 1%! The problem is boys like ‘Slick Willy’ here think we’re stupid…while we don’t pay ‘capital gains’ they ‘infer’ we might someday. Like any of us are going to make a profit on a house we’re madly overpaying for…which would be a capital gain and, for most of us, a ‘one time’ event.]

The second concern may be disheartening for those who are angry at the rich but like the museum exhibitions or scholarships they pay for: increased taxes could cut into donations. While there is not a direct correlation between tax deductibility and personal donations, there is a correlation between increased taxes in a continued weak economy and charitable giving. [Um, sorry good citizen but stealing from your employees and your customers to make tax deductible ‘donations’ for shit that should be publicly funded anyway is one of the things that make me crazy…but nobody looks at this reprehensible practice in the ‘proper context’.]

“I’ve not heard anything from anybody about the economy impacting the desire to do it,” said Lyle LaMothe, head of wealth management in the United States at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. “It’s the ability to do it.” [And that ‘ability’ it directly tied to just how ‘larcenous’ these miserable weasels believe they can get away with.]

Mr. Woodson noted that in the last year foundations reduced their giving in line with the economic downturn, yet individuals tended to give the same or more, if they could.

THE ANGRY RICH For the wealthy, their public image is a secondary concern since so many of them seek to live anonymously.

“They feel mis-characterized,” Mr. LaMothe said. “They know the time and effort they contribute. They fund scholarships and all the things they do routinely, and then to be characterized as not doing their fair share begins to wear on them.” [Understand, no actual rich people were inconvenienced by providing their point of view for this article, so far all we’ve read are the ‘opinions’ of their advisers (who may erroneously consider themselves rich…)]

From the outside, the wealthy seem to be one big money-minting group. But how they came upon their wealth differs greatly. And those who did not make their fortunes in finance seem just as angry as everyone else about what Wall Street has wrought. [I’m not sure you are up for another ‘intellectual exercise’ good citizen but I’ll hazard it just the same…what makes rich people rich? Or more succinctly, what makes up the ‘bulk’ of most personal fortunes?
Well hot damn…it’s stocks! Sure, there are some people with vast holdings of ‘hard assets’ but those hard assets are usually ‘represented’ as stocks. Mr. Buffet’s ‘preferred’ shares of Berkshire Hathaway’ are a prime example of this.]

“They want the problem to be fixed for their own personal benefit but also for the broader benefit of the community,” Mr. Woodson said. “They tie their wealth interests to the broader health of the economy.”

Mr. Clarfeld, who manages $3 billion largely for financial services executives, takes exception to lumping all of Wall Street together. He said his clients felt that they had worked hard and honestly for their money and were now being unjustly judged alongside those who did not.

He is counseling clients to live their lives largely as they’ve done in the past, though in a slightly toned-down form. Mr. Clarfeld said he had taken his own advice to heart. He bought his dream car, a Jaguar XKR, before the market crash but then felt uncomfortable about it. “I didn’t like the way it made me feel but not enough that I was going to get rid of the car,” he said. So he made light of it with a vanity plate to recall better times: “PRE LEHM.” [Nobody DARED display ‘conspicuous wealth’ in the ‘egalitarian’ period right after WWII, those who made millions supplying the war effort knew returning GI’s who actually fought in the war wouldn’t like that wealth flaunted in their faces. The war was over and it would hurt business to antagonize your peacetime customers…so these guys hide their wealth…for a while. Usually until their kids inherited it, then ‘humility and pretense’ went out the window. With the return of ‘Great Depression’ like conditions, the rich are going to go into hiding once more.]

WIDER IMPACT: The line from my last column that prompted the most responses was about how the wealthy weren’t sleeping well either. The vitriol in the e-mail showed just how deep the anger against the rich is.

Yet put simply, this is not healthy. After all, if you’re wealthy and no one likes you, you still have lots of money. But if you spend your free time obsessing about the rich, you could end up in worse shape emotionally, personally and financially.

“People who get caught up in this paranoia spend all night reading these blogs, and six months later they haven’t done anything to better themselves,” Dr. Dammann said. “Even if they’re right, there is a lot of wasted energy put into this. They need to look at the mistakes they’ve made in their life.” [Um, does anyone else see the ‘party line’ being toed here? If you’re not rich it’s your fault! Or better, ‘The reason you aren’t rich is you spend too much time criticizing them and not enough time being like them!’ As if we could all be rich! What a dumbass!]

Mr. Klontz is even more concerned that this obsession with money and blame will affect children. He said the risk is creating a generation that distrusts investing and associates wealth with greed. [Would that it were! None of the idiots of this generation are even interested in investing in the USA, in fact, these imbeciles would discourage them if any did!]

“People in their 20s have watched their parents lose their money and now they think, ‘You can’t trust banks, you can’t trust anyone,’ ” he said. “We need to do work around that. That association between money and being bad can be extremely intense.” [Considering money is an extremely flimsy legal construct, how does Bobo propose we ‘work around’ this issue?]

The trouble, Mr. Klontz said, is the people we surround ourselves with often reinforce our beliefs, even when they are unhealthy. “What we don’t see are the wealthy families with modest lifestyles who are raising responsible kids,” he said.

Uh, good luck trying to sell that one Mr. Klontz!

It never ceases to amaze me that these idiots are so fixated on the idea of ‘wealth for a few’ that they fail to see the reality that we’re all in this together.

Civilization has ‘crashed’ countless times in the past due to the failure to learn this one simple lesson. Oddly, it is the same concept used to establish civilizations but for some strange reason the shit weasels keep clubbing the honest people into submission.

Which sucks…

There is a better way but that better way isn’t going to wish itself into existence, you gotta want it.

Until next time good citizen, thanks for letting me inside your head,


Friday, October 16, 2009

Dow 10,000...again

Greetings good citizen,

This morning the Dow dropped over 100 points on poor earnings reports from BOA & GE…so apparently the entire banking sector, despite trillions of taxpayer dollars, is not the ‘picture of health’ the pundits would have you believe…

Of course, there could be another explanation as to why this bizarre market is selling off and some pundits even pointed to this on TV…it could be ‘profit taking’. Which begs a rather bizarre question; if the rise in equity prices is, er, ‘imaginary’, are there any profits to take?

Sadly, there are…and the people who ‘pay’ this imaginary ‘win’ happens to be the people who didn’t exit fast enough. This is usually people who weren’t aware they were even in the game in the first place (like the US taxpayer,) so it never occurs to them to run for cover…

Left for debate here is whether or not this is ‘fleecing of the public’ is actually a crime…I would posit it is but I’m not the one who gets to decide such things.

Worse, some claim the government is ‘complicit’ in the ‘funneling’ of taxpayer funds into the stock market to boost ‘consumer confidence’ in the economy…so prosecuting this type of theft could prove ‘problematic’ to say the least…especially when the guilty can claim they were only doing their ‘patriotic duty’. The fact that the strategy failed (despite making them richer) had nothing to do with it, they were only ‘trying to help!’

Without further adieu, we proceed to tonight’s offering (one of four posts offered by [Hat tip: Financial ]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why the Dow Broke 10,000, and Why You Should Still Watch Your Wallet

How did the Dow break 10,000 when the rest of the economy is in the toilet?

1. Corporate earnings are up -- mainly because companies have been cutting costs. Payrolls comprise 70 percent of most companies' costs, which means companies have been slashing jobs. In the end, this is a self-defeating strategy. If workers don't have jobs or are afraid of losing them, they won't buy, and company profits will disappear.

2. Federal borrowing has filled the gap that consumers and businesses created when the latter began to reduce their debt. Federal debt, in other words, has kept the economy from tanking. Can't keep up forever, though.

3. With such horrid employment numbers, Wall Street figures the Fed will keep interest rates low for some time, and continue to flood the economy with money. That's good news for the Street because it means money stays cheap -- and with cheap money the Street can make lots of bets on almost everything under the sun and moon. As a result, the Street's earnings are way up. But this, too, is temporary. At some point the Fed is going to worry about inflation and a falling dollar.

4. Investors of all stripes want to get in early and ride the wave. Pension funds, mutual funds, and other institutional investors figure the bull market has more oomph in it because, well, other investors will jump in. Think Ponzi scheme. Nice for now, but watch out if you're one of the last in. [It’s far worse if you’re one of the last ones out!]

In other words, this is all temporary fluff, folks. Anyone who hasn't learned by now that there's almost no relationship between the Dow and the real economy deserves to lose his or her shirt in the Wall Street casino.

posted by Robert Reich | 5:21 PM

Sadly, it isn’t John or Jane Doe who is getting taken to the cleaners by this fake market…it’s you. You and your kids will pay for this fiasco for a real long time…IF, by some evil twist of fate, the corrupt weasels manage to stay in power and prevent (or kill off most of the surplus population) before it collapses over the next fifty or hundred years.

To be honest with you good citizen, I don’t think ‘saving the dollar’ is part of the plan. The people who are throwing the rest of us into our own cesspool already have everything they want, they don’t give a crap about how you will survive on 10% of your 401k account.

How do I know this? Well, in case you weren’t paying attention, the same folks being paid the huge bonuses (that are pissing everyone off) ‘looted’ YOUR retirement account LAST YEAR by convincing YOUR FUND MANAGER to buy their WORTHLESS DERIVATIVES in exchange for the CASH you deposited!

Okay…relax and take a deep breath, that was then and this is now…although you know nobody was (nor will be) prosecuted for robbing you blind, virtually guaranteeing what passes for your (shockingly brief) retirement will be spent in abject poverty.

Not to rub salt in an open wound, good citizen, but these are the same ‘patriots’ who are robbing your children of their heritage in a feeble, quixotic attempt to ‘save’ the economy they themselves sold out from underneath us…

There’s no ‘candy coating’ this one no matter how hard you try…we’re talking about the most colossal cases of ‘treason’ ever committed in history, one that will cost millions if not billions (which is what the treasonous bastards are shooting for) of lives!

Sorry if this seems over the top (although regular readers know this isn’t the first time I’ve taken you here) but you’d have to be seriously deluded not to see what’s going on.

Worse, out of four ‘sources’ denouncing the so-called ‘economic recovery’ heralded by the Dow returning to the 10,000 mark, none of them got it right.

I find it a bit daunting to have arrived at a conclusion so distant from that of my peers but that doesn’t alter the facts as I see them.

It also doesn’t make me 100% correct, there’s still plenty of room for error in my assessments and I’m one of the first to hope to hell I’m wrong…I hope I’m wildly, way out in left field wrong. But it’s not looking that way.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,