Thursday, February 25, 2010

What the heck are they smokin'?

Greetings good citizen,

Yesterday the markets picked up what they dropped the prior day…and today they dropped it again!

Which is the ‘same old, same old’…who cares, right?

Naturally, ‘market performance’ isn’t ‘where the news is’…

Tonight’s offering (brief as it may be) points directly to a phenomenon that has puzzled ‘rational people’ since before the crisis began. How can the markets continue to rise when the news is so negative?

Do they know something the rest of us don’t?

Or do they really think we are that STUPID?

Let’s have a look see: [Purloined from: The Automatic Earth]

February 24 2010: Bumping along the bottom of the credit cycle

Ilargi: "Without growth, we cannot begin the process of restoring fiscal responsibility," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today to the House Budget Committee. And ".... before the federal government can begin attacking soaring deficits and a massive national debt, it needs to increase jobs and ensure economic growth." [Here’s the part they cut out: “With that goal firmly in mind, I wave my magic wand and recite the magic word…SHAZAM!]

That’s just about all you need to know, isn't it? It's the my way or the highway idea, put everything on red and pray for a miracle.[or magic, your choice!] There is no way Geithner can be sure that more spending of public funds will actually produce growth, but it's all he can think of (or at least all he talks about). And it’s also of course mighty easy to focus on spending if and when it’s not your own money you’re throwing at the proverbial black hole in the wall. [Is it a coincidence that the ‘black hole’ referred to here is physically located in the off-shore tax havens that happen to share space with The Bermuda Triangle?]

But illusions persist and the markets are up [This was posted yesterday, when the markets were indeed ‘up’] in the face of today’s what comes close to being the worst series of data on the economy emerging in the press to date. And I’m thinking: what on earth are you guys smoking? [So, how IS that ‘recovery thing’ working out for you?]

Sheila Bair’s report on the banks is abysmal. Lending in the private sector is falling off a cliff while public lending is running off that same cliff. In that quote above Geithner just told us that there are no plans to quit adding to the debt before spending gives birth to growth in some fictional fairy tale of immaculate financial conception. But it’s beyond foolish not to ask what happens if no such fairy tale ending exists, if only simply because the risk that pervades the entire endeavor is as palpable as it is terrifying.

The taxpayer funds presently spent on the thus far evasive dream of recovery and growth resumption could be spent on programs to soften the blow of possibility number two, where growth never resumes, or doesn’t do so for many years to come. It’s one thing for everyone to want growth, it's quite another to actually get what you wish for. [Worse, the wildcard here is ‘time’, today’s ‘wizards’ don’t have ‘forever’ to accomplish their task of restoring the global economy to growth. How ironic is it that the only viable solution lies in socialism?]

And if you watch the procedures from a distance, how can you not ask yourself what is wrong with a system in which a bunch of so-called experts acquire the right for a given society to spend many times more per person than what each person earns annually on a notion for which there is no pre-existing evidence that it could even possibly succeed? [Um, the people who got to decide are ‘we-todd-did’?]

It’s as if every single day you hand over the contents of your wallet plus the deed to your home plus the rights to your pension plans, to that smart nephew twice removed who says he's got a sure-fire way to game the house, the table and the dice. Pardon me, but I don't see that as very clever nor as a way toward longer term prosperity, and neither do I see it as a way to organize and legislate a society if you want it to have any chance of survival. It seems to me to be more of an expression of a massive society-wide neuron deficiency than anything else. Or is that a gambling addiction, or is that the same to begin with?

Still, I dare you to elect the politician who says he'll raise your taxes and start you off on a program of austerity rather than vote for his opponent who promises growth and prosperity if only you let him spend your future tax revenues now. Tim Geithner is a doofus, and Ben Bernanke is a douchebag, but they wouldn’t be where they are if you wouldn't let them.

And none of that means that they can deliver anything they promise; it just and only means that you like one prospect better than the other. Well, dream on if you must, but I solemnly promise that you have a whole bunch of nasty surprises coming. And when these surprises arrive, Geithner, Bernanke and Obama will have either entirely vanished from view, or perhaps even step up their public persona a notch to loudly and proudly proclaim that things happened that no-one could have foreseen. And at least if you read this, you know that will be a blatant lie.

Um, in case you haven’t heard, Mr. Greenspan declared today that the current financial crisis is indeed ‘the worst in history’.

Why this took him two years to figure out is unknown…just understand that this guy was ‘knighted’ not too long ago for ‘saving the world’.

Too bad it didn’t stay ‘saved’!

Oh, ‘would that it were’ ‘The great moderation’ was more than an accounting trick! Guess that’s what you have to watch out for; tricks that only work until they don’t!

Which brings us to the single most disturbing aspect of this whole disaster…it never should have happened.

The ‘Doe eyed’ innocents among you can brush this off as ‘shameless profiteering’ but that doesn’t explain the ultimate collapse of our civilization (worldwide, that nobody is acting to prevent) does it?

Sorry if that is a bit ‘mis-leading’…I’m not inferring an ‘extinction level event’ here, it will only wipe out 99% of us if things go ‘as planned’.

How else do you ‘stretch out’ a planet’s resources if not by radically (in this instance) reducing the number of end users?

That ‘class war’ we’ve been ignoring for the past forty years…it’s almost over…guess who won?

Oh, don’t worry! Some of you ‘working class’ paycheck paupers will survive…the ‘good people’ still aren’t planning on doing their own ‘heavy lifting’, they’ve magnanimously decided to ‘spare’ some deserving ‘brown people’. (This is decidedly bad news if you are not personally ‘brown’ and intent on living…)

Um, I only mention this because the time to decide that you should fight isn’t when you are too weak from lack of food to run more than a hundred feet.

Thanks for letting (my demented mind) inside your head!


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