Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Get the Hell out of Dodge!

Greetings good citizen,

After yesterday’s, er, ‘stellar’ performance, today’s markets couldn’t get out of their own way…which isn’t particularly surprising.

You see, I’m not the only one who has serious misgivings about the, er, ‘soundness’ of today’s financial markets. As I have stated before, only a fool would risk their own money in today’s extremely, er, ‘gamed/rigged’ markets.

Worse good citizen…what we’re seeing…what’s being ‘passed off’ as market activity is actually nothing more than the ‘remote control’ machinations of the big trading desks, playing with public funds.

Why isn’t anyone raising a stink? Well, technically, this isn’t illegal.

Um, once again this is another ‘unsettling’ instance of Ilargi and I ‘channeling’ one another…

[Hattip: The Automatic Earth]

January 4 2010: Get the hell out of Dodge

Ilargi: Right, Americans and their economy. Well, it's an ideal situation, isn’t it? Every marketeer’s wet dream. That is, through appealing to people's need and desire for hope and good tidings, you succeed in making them believe that they will benefit from the very things that hurt them more than anything else in the world. You have them convinced that black is white. This is what the US government, media, and big industry are pulling off, and since they do it so well, nary a soul is any the wiser for it. You use their very own cash to deceive them, by boosting markets for a while, which makes them believe the future is rosy, and you can use the resulting economic lull to take as much of their wealth as you can possibly carry.

All it takes to convey the positive message and image are rising stock markets and still bad but slightly less awful unemployment and housing numbers. That’s how desperate people are for their hope. They’ll believe just about anything. They don’t even want to know that these somewhat positive numbers have been bought with their own money. That banks haven't tumbled yet simply and only because their losses have been transferred to public accounts.

And you've got to give it to the marketeers: it's not yet 100% sure that the US economy will crash, and all hope asks for is a 1% window. At least theoretically, the US can still get out from underneath its debt yoke. It would probably have to grow its economy by over 10% or so for the next three decades or so, which is, to put it mildly, not bleeding likely, but it's not 100% impossible. Play your story line the right way, hand them some words they can believe in who are so eager to believe, and the people will let you rob them blind in broad daylight. And give you an encouraging smile and pat on the back for working so hard while you're at it.

There is no better way to summarize the year we just left behind, 2009, nor the way 2010 has started. And it's brilliant.

It's of course nothing new that once inside the government, you can get to play with lots of other people's money, but still, for those that run these games and marketing campaigns it must have been a profound Aha-Erlebnis, a Eureka moment, when they realized there really wasn't any restriction that would force them to stop when the average US citizen's balance sheet read zero. That that was just the beginning, and taking control of the government effectively means you can push the average US citizens' balance sheet into breathtakingly deep negative territory, nobody has even pointed out a limit yet, so deep that you can plunge Americans into far greater debt than they will ever be able to pay off in their entire lives, just by assuming control of the government. America as a bottomless pit. As long as they don't notice it, or don’t recognize it for what it is, and as long as you tell them it’s for their own good, you can keep at it for quite a while. Need a higher debt ceiling? Congress will never vote you down, because the show must go on. And if you can't be bothered with Congress, there's always Christmas Eve.

And whether it’s the fact that about one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card (on top of the many millions who get only a $200-$300 monthly unemployment benefit), or whether it's the Christmas Eve move to free Fannie and Freddie from all monetary constraints, or the recent measures to prevent an apparently expected and feared run on money market funds from materializing, all of it fits one and the same playbook. If you choose to not understand that, and instead focus on another fleeting high on Wall Street, I would by now be mighty tempted to say that you are welcome to what you got coming.

You can sell a president through an effective marketing campaign. You can also sell his policies the same way. Neither the man nor the measures need truthfully be anything like the image you paint of them, no more than a car or a detergent need anything but a feel-good recognition factor. Both the person and the acts only need to resemble as much as possible what people would like them to be. The best liar wins. The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing…if you can fake that, you've got it made, said Groucho. That’s not some sort of accident, it's what the country was built on.

And they only need to do it for as long as it takes to move all gambling debt magically off the books of the players and onto the national public balance sheet. Then when the loot has been loaded into the get-away planes, trains and automobiles, they will get the hell out of Dodge and slip away like so many thieves in the night as literally as they can. Après ça, le deluge.

Hopefully it is clear how Ilargi ‘echoes’ the sentiments I voiced in last night’s piece. We, the public, are being systematically ‘ripped off’ because the safeguards against such an unlikely event have been defeated.

Uh, here we enter the world of speculation…because we are left to wrestle with the idea of what can be gained by robbing a bankrupt nation?

Then we have the other side of the same blade…that which was stolen can easily be ‘de-monetized’, negating the loss. This move will definitely, er, ‘rile up’ our creditors but if the choice is ‘half a loaf vs. nothing’ they should be willing to be reasonable.

So, in order for the ‘rip-off’ to be successful (even temporarily) SOMEONE has to stay behind to insure that what has been stolen remains ‘money good’ until it can be converted into an asset that can’t be (easily) ‘de-monetized’.

At the end of the day it’s all about ‘the greater fool’ and it will ultimately hinge upon ‘retribution’.

Will ‘society’ pay the price or will the perps get punished? Interestingly enough, the answer is likely a mixed bag. The ‘disruption’ of the financial network will inflict huge losses upon the fabric of society, which in turn will punish those responsible through the law of unintended consequences.

Which is to say the foolish perps will lose far more than they gain…but so will everyone else.

Share the pain…it’s not nearly as ‘amusing’ as it seems…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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