Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Go ask Alice...

Greetings good citizen,

I still have ‘too much’ on my plate but it’s raining, providing a temporarily respite from my outdoors ‘to-do’ list.

The ‘inside’ list is more tolerant of my tendency to procrastinate and I feel the need to create a fresh post while I wait for other things to happen.

Which is more than a little ironic considering the ‘Waiting for Godot’ situation we are all experiencing right now…at least the things I’m waiting for are things I have set in motion and they actually ‘will’ happen, they are not a ‘matter of faith.’

Speaking of faith, we can only wonder who the hell thought this sudden urge towards ‘frugality’ when it comes to government spending is a good idea?

Yes, we need to ‘rein in’ wasteful spending but it is far more important to insure that basic needs are being met. I have no interest in belonging to a society that expects me to off myself so a few can remain be rich…

What is really at stake here, good citizen, is who controls the resources our species needs.

Would you do a better job of it than the incumbents? Chances are you wouldn’t, thus are we faced with the need to remove the ability to ‘profit’ from ‘positions of trust’.

This involves changing both the properties and rules regarding the ‘acquisition’ of money because we can’t proceed using the same rules we have now.

Which brings us to the current situation, a picture perfect example of ‘chaos’ in action. The rules ‘flex’ to accommodate desired outcomes, bizarre case by case ‘exceptions’ where it’s okay for somebody else but it’s not okay for you.

YOU get locked up for being behind on your credit cards but our ‘corporate overlords’ can destroy all life in the Gulf of Mexico and the worst thing that is going to happen to them is they aren’t going to get a dividend check this quarter.

Can you say ‘mis-management’? How long are you willing to tolerate this brand of ‘willful incompetence’?

The longer you put up with it, the worse it gets.

Which brings us to tonight’s offering

SP 500 Futures and Gold at 10:30 AM

The Sept SP 500 Futures daily chart rolled over at big overhead resistance and has now fallen to support, retracing approximately 50% of its advance. Housing sales are falling dramatically according to this morning's economic reports. [Big surprise, huh?]

Why this would surprise anyone is beyond me. Outside of the cheerleading the economy in the US is wooden, zombie-like, dominated by non-productive speculation and wealth transferal. It is becoming a textbook example of policy error for the next school of economic thought to come forward after this epic failure by the neo-liberals and their faux free market hypocrisy.

The SP 500 *could* fall to the bottom of that trading range which would take it down to 1050. However, JPM and Morgan Stanley have been appointed to get a General Motors IPO out into the market over the next week or so, which will help to relieve the US government of its 60+% stake in that company. [It will also relieve the taxpayer of any benefit gained by owning 60% of GM as well. (Not that there is a lot of ‘upside’ in the automobile market, energy scarcity will ‘kill’ that.)] So, while it may decline further, or find a footing here despite the news, I would not expect it to fall apart unless there is a big event or breaking news. They would really like to prop the market until they can get this pig out the door.

Gold was hit again by bear raids today. Make no mistake, this is what it is, and it is as we forecast. If one had hedges in place it did not matter, but it does serve to illustrate the shallow venality of this market, and the lax stewardship of the CFTC.

The economic news this morning was quite dire, and concerns about a 'double dip' will revive as the US enters its 'zombie-like' stagflation which is the natural consequence of policy errors and a failure to reform. [As has been repeated both here and across the web, NOTHING has changed, there has been no ‘reform’ so ‘improvements’ are mostly ‘illusions’…or delusions, take your pick.]

How can a country being run by gamblers, control fraud operators, corrupt politicians, and the idiot sons and shills of decrepit oligarchs (W Bush, Clinton, Obama, Palin for example) possibly turn around without a serious reform and change in regime, and a return to the fundamentals that made it great?

This is what Americans voted for in the last election, and they were cheated, and rightfully feel betrayed and disappointed. Change will still inevitably come, but such changes are historically fraught with risk. Other ways will be sought to further distract a restless public. Change and progress will be resisted with a remarkable intensity by a powerful few, like men possessed. The drums of war are being beaten by those who never fight themselves, but feed their half lives off the misery of others.

And so we go into the future with fear and trembling.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with this statement or not, it is the future and it is coming, definitely the bad and marginally ‘some’ of the good as well.

Why bother to warn the ‘sheep’ they are being herded to slaughter? Because unlike sheep, we do have the ability to fight back…and that’s what the ‘wolves’ fear the most.

Too ‘chicken’ to fight back? When push come to shove you won’t be. You’ll be so pissed you’ll wonder why you put up with this nonsense so long (considering how easy it is to ‘refuse to cooperate’.)

That is perhaps the most damning part of our collective exploitation, it requires our explicit ‘cooperation’.

Ask yourself why you continue to go along with a situation that only holds despair and doom for you and those you profess to love, but lack the courage to protect…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How did we get here?

Greetings good citizen,

As nonsense levels continue to rise these commentaries have taken on a surreal dimension.

The borders of the absurd are no longer clearly defined making contrast increasingly difficult.

As we examine tonight’s first offering we get a glimpse of just how ‘out of control’ the situation has become.

The U.S. Wins the Right to Abduct Innocent People with Impunity
June 15th, 2010

Via: Salon:

The Supreme Court today denied a petition of review from Maher Arar, the Canadian and Syrian citizen who was abducted by the U.S. Government at a stopover at JFK Airport when returning to Canada in 2002, held incommunicado for two weeks, and then rendered to Syria, where he spent the next 10 months being tortured, even though — as everyone acknowledges — he was guilty of absolutely nothing. Arar sued the U.S. Government for what was done to him, and last November, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of his lawsuit on the ground that courts have no right to interfere in these decisions of the Executive Branch. That was the decision which the U.S. Supreme Court let stand today, ending Arar’s attempt to be compensated for what was done to him.

This is the ‘Quality of Justice’ here in the US…if you don’t like it, leave!

Didn’t we fight a revolution to rid ourselves of an absolute dictator? Isn’t the whole point of having participatory elections to place the chief executive ‘under’ the law instead of above it?

Understand, these are W’s crimes although Mr. Obama has done absolutely nothing to ‘rectify’ these injustices. (He’s too busy shilling for BP as if we’re all stupid enough to believe that the Gulf will ever be ‘normal’ again or as good as new…just ask the folks in Prince William sound (where you can still find oil soaked beaches almost 30 years later.) How pristine a job was done…never mind how Exxon screwed most of the fishermen out of the compensation due them through legal wrangling!

But I digress…

Tonight’s second offering give us a look at how this whole steaming pile of ‘you know what’ will probably play out.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Currency Collapse

The title is a reference to the culturally significant film, Dr. Strangelove, a satire on the fear of nuclear war that was so integral to the post war generation in the US.

If one reads this carefully, the BIS [Bank of International Settlements] is really referencing a devaluation of about 22% which is hardly 'a collapse.' Here are some examples of post WW II currency collapses.

It depends on the timeframe, specifically the rate and extent with which the devaluation occurs. Also, it matters about what the devaluation has been against. Is it a relationship primarily to a reference point like the US dollar, largely affecting a narrow band of imports, or is it a true and general devaluation marked by soaring prices and monetary inflation domestically.

As I recall, China devalued the yuan by about 33% in the 1990's, and then pegged to the dollar, while 'persuading' first Bill Clinton (remember the Chinese campaign contributions scandal) and then George W. (whose family has a long history of supporting tyrannies for personal economic preferences) to allow them to maintain favored nation status, with the dispensation of 44% import tariffs, even while maintaining an artificially devalued currency, under full currency controls, and that fixed in a peg to the dollar.

"I am moving, therefore, to de-link human rights from the annual extension of Most Favored Nation trading status for China." --President Bill Clinton, announcing MFN status for China, White House, 5-26-94.

1994, Jan. 1 – China unifies its dual exchange rates by bringing the official and swap centre rates into line, officially devaluing the yuan by 33 percent overnight to 8.7 to the dollar as part of reforms to embrace a “socialist market economy”. [A scheme where ‘management’ holds all of the cards, until workers get tired of busting their butts for nothing, then the strikes begin! Now the chase is on…Global markets will ‘disappear’ as manufactured price advantages evaporate.]

As you may recall, in 1994 Bill Clinton also pushed through the NAFTA agreement which, in his words, would 'level the playing field' for American, Canadian, and Mexican workers. Only a few really understood the inherent danger in leveling the field without a thorough integration. The current Greek dilemma is a good example of a halfway done scheme in which monetary policy does not match up well with fiscal policy and elite national temperament.

When one uses globalization of trade to 'knock down barriers,' among the barriers that are placed at risk are things like the Constitutional safeguards which a free people enjoy in their own domestic method of organization, such as healthcare, the right to organize, freedom from indentured servitude, child labor, individual rights, and so forth. [Naturally, the ‘more for me crowd’ dismissed these concerns by claiming consumers were being cheated out of lower prices by domestic trade unions. Now we live in an economic desert that is almost totally devoid of jobs.]

These are the very barriers against the tyranny and despotism of the few on which the country was founded in a dramatically historical rebellion of the common people against the injustice of autocrats and empires. This was the rationale for the great Wars. Well, the one world government types play the long game, and if at first you do not succeed...

So yes, in this case China was able to export their structural employment problems largely to the US, which gutted its manufacturing sector primarily for the benefit of the Banks, who were able to cash in on the 'strong dollar' and the decline of government protection for its citizens from criminal control fraud. [The ‘Strong Dollar’ is a fraud in itself. You have to have ‘economic viability’ to have a strong currency and that is something the US does not have. The chiselers ‘exported’ it.]

Personally I think that high tariffs on Chinese goods would work much better for the US than a general currency devaluation per se given its position as a net importer, [Not that we have any influence in this decision…] The downside would be that in the short term there would be less of a market for the export driven debts incurred by supporting the development of a non-democratic country engaged in blatant currency manipulation and mercantilism.

But do not fear, enough palms have been crossed so that one would never expect a simple solution to occur. Political and financial fraud dwells in the realms of artificial complexity. And the competitive but managed devaluations of currencies will serve to transfer more wealth from the many to the few quite well, a sort of hidden tax on the mob, while the wealthy continue to benefit. [ And yes, good citizen, it is a ‘frivolous question’ to ask ‘what are YOU going to do about it?’, You’ll do the same thing you always do, the only thing you’re ‘permitted’ to do…nothing. (Before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, I’m guilty of the same crime! At least ‘for now’.)]

But then again, the BIS may just be priming us for a crisis to come, which is consistent with the steady but quiet migration into gold by the wealthy, despite the propaganda they might put out for the masses to hear. As Pliny the Elder observed, "Ruinis inminentibus musculi praemigrant:" When collapse is imminent, the little rodents flee.

As an aside, here is a fairly good example of a man's thinking. Notice how Keynes changed his views of globalization from the euphoria of the British empire expressed the famous passage in "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" in 1920 which sounds like an Ode to the British Empire:

"What an extraordinary episode in the economic progress of man that age was which came to an end in August, 1914! The greater part of the population, it is true, worked hard and lived at a low standard of comfort, yet were, to all appearances, reasonably contented with this lot. But escape was possible, for any man of capacity or character at all exceeding the average, into the middle and upper classes, for whom life offered, at a low cost and with the least trouble, conveniences, comforts, and amenities beyond the compass of the richest and most powerful monarchs of other ages. The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep; he could at the same moment and by the same means adventure his wealth in the natural resources and new enterprises of any quarter of the world, and share, without exertion or even trouble, in their prospective fruits and advantages; or he could decide to couple the security of his fortunes with the good faith of the townspeople of any substantial municipality in any continent that fancy or information might recommend. He could secure forthwith, if he wished it, cheap and comfortable means of transit to any country or climate without passport or other formality, could despatch his servant to the neighboring office of a bank for such supply of the precious metals as might seem convenient, and could then proceed abroad to foreign quarters, without knowledge of their religion, language, or customs, bearing coined wealth upon his person, and would consider himself greatly aggrieved and much surprised at the least interference. But, most important of all, he regarded this state of affairs as normal, certain, and permanent, except in the direction of further improvement, and any deviation from it as aberrant, scandalous, and avoidable. The projects and politics of militarism and imperialism, of racial and cultural rivalries, of monopolies, restrictions, and exclusion, which were to play the serpent to this paradise, were little more than the amusements of his daily newspaper, and appeared to exercise almost no influence at all on the ordinary course of social and economic life, the internationalization of which was nearly complete in practice."

After a period of years we can see his shift in thinking, albeit reluctantly and with many caveats, towards practical National Self-sufficiency in 1933.

"I was brought up, like most Englishmen, to respect free trade not only as an economic doctrine which a rational and instructed person could not doubt, but almost as a part of the moral law. I regarded ordinary departures from it as being at the same time an imbecility and an outrage. I thought England's unshakable free trade convictions, maintained for nearly a hundred years, to be both the explanation before man and the justification before Heaven of her economic supremacy. As lately as 1923 I was writing that free trade was based on fundamental "truths" which, stated with their due qualifications, no one can dispute who is capable of understanding the meaning of the words...It is a long business to shuffle out of the mental habits of the prewar nineteenth-century world. It is astonishing what a bundle of obsolete habiliments one's mind drags round even after the centre of consciousness has been shifted. But to-day at last, one-third of the way through the twentieth century, we are most of us escaping from the nineteenth; and by the time we reach its mid point, it may be that our habits of mind and what we care about will be as different from nineteenth-century methods and values as each other century's has been from its predecessor's...For these strong reasons, therefore, I am inclined to the belief that, after the transition is accomplished, a greater measure of national self-sufficiency and economic isolation among countries than existed in 1914 may tend to serve the cause of peace, rather than otherwise. At any rate, the age of economic internationalism was not particularly successful in avoiding war; and if its friends retort, that the imperfection of its success never gave it a fair chance [Sound familiar?], it is reasonable to point out that a greater success is scarcely probable in the coming years...I sympathize, therefore, with those who would minimize, rather than with those who would maximize, economic entanglement among nations. Ideas, knowledge, science, hospitality, travel--these are the things which should of their nature be international. But let goods be homespun whenever it is reasonably and conveniently possible, and, above all, let finance be primarily national. Yet, at the same time, those who seek to disembarrass a country of its entanglements should be very slow and wary. It should not be a matter of tearing up roots but of slowly training a plant to grow in a different direction." [Should you be afforded the ‘luxury’ of gradual transition, most governments won’t allow their ‘economic base’ to be smashed unopposed…if they hope to remain in power.]

I wonder if he lived today Keynes would agree that globalization leads inevitably towards restraints among nations, and a bias towards one world government. I think he would, and he would not be favorable towards it. Make no mistake, some view this favorably as the final solution to managing the unruly masses, and preventing the wastefulness of war and sub-optimization of individual choice by those who they consider and portray as unfit to rule themselves. The shift in Keynes thought is unmistakable, and I admire the self-knowledge he portrays in analyzing, examining, and understanding his own prejudices. It takes a great mind to rise above oneself and their own age.

Quite frankly I do not expect the Fed and Treasury to ever let go willingly of the reins of the economy, or reigns of power if you will, through their aggressive financial engineering in partnership with the Banks. A return to normal will not be achieved without a significant amount of effort, conflict and most likely, pain. It appears to be unavoidable now. As you may recall, Dr. Strangelove was insane, and his dark vision affected the politicians around him. One has to wonder if Barack, Ben, Tim and Larry have their reservations made for a place in the mineshafts. [Um, I am not as sanguine as dear Jesse, I don’t believe a ‘return to normal’ is possible. Too many members of society have been permanently ‘disposed of’ by a commercial mechanism that no longer has a use for them. This will redefine the term ‘left for dead’.]

The customary price of freedom will be paid, as always. The light of freedom may be extinguished for a time, but like a spark that is cherished in thoughts and hearts of the true, will remain to be revived again on some future day. [In the not too distant future…more ‘months’ than years.]

Currency Collapse May Stimulate Economic Expansion, BIS Says
By Matthew Brown

June 14 (Bloomberg) -- Currency collapses tend to spur a resumption of economic growth rather than fueling a decline in gross domestic product, according to the Bank for International Settlements. [Once again we have a projection that looks backwards, at conditions that no longer exist and has nothing to do with the ‘here and now’.]

Currency collapses are associated with permanent output losses of about 6 percent of GDP, on average, though the drop tends to appear beforehand, the Basel, Switzerland-based BIS said in its quarterly review yesterday.

“This suggests that it may not be the currency collapse that reduces output, but rather the factors that led to the depreciation,” Camilo E. Tovar wrote in the study. “To gain a full understanding of the implications of currency collapses on economic activity it is important to carefully examine the full circle of events surrounding the episode.” (How about the utter destruction of savings and the impoverishment of millions? That has a dampening effect as I recall from the stories that my grandparents told. – Jesse)

The positive effects of a weaker currency on GDP, including making local products cheaper than imported goods, may outweigh the negative ones, such as rising inflation. Currency collapses occur when the annual exchange rate drops by about 22 percent, according to the BIS, which identified 79 such episodes, “more commonly in Africa than in Asia or Latin America,” since 1960, Tovar said.

“They also occurred under all types of currency regimes, except possible floating-exchange-rate regimes, where there are simply too few observations to obtain meaningful estimates,” the BIS said.

Economic Contraction

The euro tumbled about 20 percent against the dollar between Nov. 25, 2009, and last week as investor concern over record budget deficits in countries including Greece spurred speculation the 16-nation currency union may split. The European Union in May crafted a 750 billion-euro ($908 billion) rescue package to stem the crisis.

Greece’s economy will contract 3.9 percent this year and 1.2 percent in 2011, after shrinking 2 percent in 2009, according to the median of eight economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The euro-region will expand by 1.1 percent this year and 1.5 percent in 2011, after falling 4.1 percent last year, median forecasts show.

Hans-Werner Sinn, president of Germany’s Ifo economic institute, said on June 3 that it would be best for Greece to leave the euro instead of implementing an austerity program to reduce its deficit. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou pledged budget cuts worth almost 14 percent of GDP to bring the deficit within the EU limit of 3 percent by the end of 2014.

“The real solution for Greece would be to leave the euro followed by a depreciation” of the new currency, Sinn said in an interview at a conference in Interlaken, Switzerland.

Growth May ‘Dominate’

European Central Bank Executive Board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi said on May 28 that there are “no alternatives” for Greece beyond following the austerity program.

“Before drawing policy conclusions we should emphasize that these results are subject to a number of caveats,” the BIS said in the report. “Most importantly, the analysis does not address the reasons why currency collapses occur in the first place. Our analysis also has little to say about the mechanisms involved after the currency collapse takes place. While we cannot disentangle the various factors, our results do suggest that expansionary mechanisms tend to dominate.”

Posted by Jesse at 2:27 PM
Category: debt slavery, devaluation, globalization, monetary inflation, one world government

First Europe will ‘devalue’ then the US will do likewise…and your ‘purchasing power’ will go right down the shitter!

Naturally, there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it.

Don’t expect the government to protect you (mostly because it’s not YOUR government, it’s theirs!)

How do we reverse this unnatural situation? Should we vote on it? I’ll be waiting for the ballot question to appear. I’ll also be keeping an eye out for the protests that will accompany the unsuccessful effort to call for a new ‘constitutional convention’.

(This is an effort that is already underway, for a couple of years now…but I think they gave up when the issue failed to get necessary traction on Kos.)

Geez, nine pages and you’re still here! Good thing too as this is my last post here on Conceptual Guerilla.

After three years I’m going to take a little time off from the ‘grind’ of putting out daily posts.

You will still find weekly posts over at The ‘new’ site (or Blogger will erase my ass!)

Once things settle down a bit I will resume a ‘normal’ posting schedule…if possible.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,

‘Til next time,


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Suspicious Activity

Greetings good citizen,

With the disaster playing itself out in Gulf of Mexico, we once again encounter, er, ‘evidence of foreknowledge’. Just as there was heavy shorting of both United and Continental Airlines stock immediately prior to 9/11 (and attributed to the ‘terrorists’ themselves) it seems someone had a ‘bad feeling’ about BP right before the Deep Horizons rig blew up…

What we’re left to ponder here is whether or not the most successful investment bank on Wall Street is really ‘that good’ or that ‘lucky’?

Goldman Sachs sold $250 million of BP stock before spill

[This article purloined from Cryptogon ]

By John Byrne
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010 -- 10:12 am

Firm's stock sale nearly twice as large as any other institution; Represented 44 percent of total BP investment. [Makes me wonder if the ‘million’ in the headline shouldn’t be ‘billion’?]

The brokerage firm that's faced the most scrutiny from regulators in the past year over the shorting of mortgage related securities seems to have had good timing when it came to something else: the stock of British oil giant BP.

According to regulatory filings, has found that Goldman Sachs sold 4,680,822 shares of BP in the first quarter of 2010. Goldman's sales were the largest of any firm during that time. Goldman would have pocketed slightly more than $266 million if their holdings were sold at the average price of BP's stock during the quarter.

If Goldman had sold these shares today, their investment would have lost 36 percent its value, or $96 million. The share sales represented 44 percent of Goldman's holdings -- meaning that Goldman's remaining holdings have still lost tens of millions in value. [Well, it would have looked ‘suspicious’ if Goldman had dumped ALL of their BP shares prior to the Deep Horizon’s disaster…and the company has been haunted by a string of, er, minor losses and mishaps over the past year…but divesting itself of nearly 50% of their BP holdings in the weeks before the platform exploded sort of redefines the term ‘lucky’.]

The sale and its size itself isn't unusual for a large asset management firm. Wall Street brokerages routinely buy and sell huge blocks of shares for themselves and their clients. In light of a recent SEC lawsuit arguing that Goldman kept information about a product they sold from their clients, however, the stock sale may raise fresh concern among Goldman's critics. Goldman is also a frequent target of liberals and journalists, including Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, who famously dubbed the firm a "vampire squid."

Two calls placed to Goldman Sachs' media office in New York Wednesday morning after US markets opened were not immediately returned, though Raw Story decided to publish the story quickly after the calls since the stock sale had been already noted online.

Others also sold stock

Other asset management firms also sold huge blocks of BP stock in the first quarter -- but their sales were a fraction of Goldman's. Wachovia, which is owned by Wells Fargo, sold 2,667,419 shares; UBS, the Swiss bank, sold 2,125,566 shares. [Um, I dunno about you bud but those look like some pretty big holdings to me, worth some serious money! BUT, and this is crucial, We have no idea what these firms knew or when they knew it. Still, on its face, it looks suspicious.]

Wachovia and UBS also sold much larger percentages of their BP stock, at 98 percent and 97 percent respectively.

Wachova parent Wells Fargo, however, bought 2.3 million shares in the quarter, largely discounting Wachovia's sales. [Okay, apparently not ‘everybody’ was in on it and yeah, somebody had to be left ‘holding the bag’, there is no mechanism I’m aware of that forces a company to buy back its own stock.]

Those reported buying BP's stock included Wellington Management, a large asset firm, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [You don’t suppose there is a portfolio manager out there looking for a new job, do you?]

BP is struggling to cap a massive oil leak at one of its drill sites in the Gulf of Mexico. The firm's myriad safety violations over the years have come to light in lieu of the Gulf disaster.

BP traded on average at $56.86 in the first quarter, according to GuruFocus, a site that monitors the major trading moves of prominent investors. A list of major institutions' sales of BP stock are available at the market research website Morningstar.

It's certainly unknown as to why the firms sold their holdings. In its analysis of the company in mid-March, Morningstar, the market research site, gave the company an average rating of three out of a possible five stars.

"BP's valuation carries more uncertainty than ExxonMobil's or Shell's because the firm is less integrated, with more of its earnings coming from the [exploration and production] business than from potentially offsetting refining operations," the site's analyst wrote. "Like its peers, a sustained drop in oil and gas prices can hurt upstream earnings. Lower crude-oil feedstock costs could help refining margins, but refined product pricing lags could quickly swing refining profits to losses. BP's global business faces potential disruptions caused by political risks, particularly with its heavy exposure to Russia. Disruptions caused by environmental and operational constraints could further limit earnings potential." [The muckrakers are pointing to a series of ‘cost cutting’ measures that could have directly effected operational safety.]

The transnational oil company, like other energy giants, was hit with lower oil and gas prices in the past year after the price of oil surged in 2008. [What do you suppose that has to do with anything? These guys are pros and they have a much better idea than you or I do about what to expect in the marketplace.]

"BP's fourth quarter marked another quarter of year-over-year production gains, with a 3% increase thanks to new field startups," Morningstar's analyst wrote in another note, after BP turned in better than expected fourth quarter results in February. "BP reported fourth-quarter replacement cost profit of $3.4 billion, up 33% from year-ago earnings of $2.6 billion, as upstream earnings growth was more than enough to offset downstream weakness. For the full year, BP's earnings of $14 billion were 45% below year-ago earnings of $26 billion, in part because of lower oil prices earlier in the year. We're encouraged by BP's sequential earnings gains as new projects and cost-cutting efforts drive upstream results."

The SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and one of its vice presidents in April, asserting that the firm had committed fraud by misrepresenting a mortgage-investment product inherently designed to fail. The company helped a hedge fund trader create a mortgage investment that gained value as mortgage borrowers defaulted en masse.

In response, Goldman said the SEC's charges were “completely unfounded in law and fact” and averred that it would “vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.” [Um, it’s damn difficult to prosper in the ‘confidence’ business if you are a convicted thief…but once again, GS insists they have done nothing ‘illegal’.]

The firm has also faced criticism over giant bonuses paid to staff amidst the US financial crisis. Goldman reduced the sizes of its staff bonuses this year to $16.9 billion, and said it would pay its chief executive $9 million, far less than the previous year.

Goldman also announced it would create a $500 million program to help small businesses. Critics noted that the figure represented just 3% of the bonus pool.

Well, looks like someone has a bone to chew with GS so its hard to determine if the innuendo here has anything behind it.

One thing is certain, the MSM hasn’t gone near this story.

Maybe there’s nothing here…but you never know, do you?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Friday, June 11, 2010


Greetings good citizen,

I don’t commonly attack conservative positions directly but today’s post from one of conservatism’s more ‘moderate’ voices piqued my curiosity.

‘Prune and Grow’? What could he possibly mean? Is this ‘more of the same’, er, BS that conservatives have been preaching for nearly four decades now, that ‘tax cuts pay for themselves’?

With our ‘social safety net’ in tatters and a radical drop in, er, ‘taxable domestic activity’ undercutting the support of longstanding social programs, is bonehead proposing we ‘cut’ these ‘social protections’ in a time when we need them most?

Which points directly to why ‘conservatism’ is widely considered an incurable mental disorder. It’s insistence on doing the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different outcome, is the very definition of insanity!

Well good citizen, are you insane?

Prune and Grow >
Published: June 10, 2010

Sixteen months ago, Congress passed a stimulus package that will end up costing each average taxpayer $7,798. Economists were divided then about whether this spending was worth it, and they are just as divided now. [How ironic is it that the ‘split’ between economists was starkly along ‘party lines’? It doesn’t help that neither of them ‘got it right.’]

The president’s economists ran the numbers through their model and predicted that the stimulus package would create or save at least three million jobs. John F. Cogan and John B. Taylor of Stanford and Tobias Cwik and Volker Wieland of the Goethe-University of Frankfurt argue that the White House methodology is archaic. Their model suggests the stimulus will create about a half-million jobs. [Left open to interpretation here is the definition of the word ‘create’. It is more bizarre that ‘Zippy’ resorts to using analysis by German economists to support his position.]

Edward L. Glaeser of Harvard compared the change in employment in each state to the amount of stimulus money it has received. He found a slight relationship between stimulus dollars and job creation, but none at all if you set aside three states: Alaska and the Dakotas. [What do the land of oil subsidies and banking heaven have to do with stimulus dollars?]

Over all, most economists seem to think the stimulus was a good idea, but there’s a general acknowledgment that we know relatively little about the relationship between fiscal policy and job creation. We are left, as Glaeser put it on The Times’s Economix blog, “wading in ignorance.” [Um, you don’t suppose it would be more accurate to state that these bought and paid for shills were ‘wading in their own massive stupidity’ do you? ‘Stimulus ‘works’ but you can only use it in a ‘closed loop’ if you want ‘reliable’ results. Otherwise you must be prepared to spend ‘insane’ sums for very modest results…as we are currently witnessing.]

If the economists are divided about what just happened, the rest of the world is not divided about what should come next. Voters, business leaders and their bought and paid for political leaders do not seem to think that the stimulus was such a smashing success that we should do it again, even with today’s high unemployment. [Let’s see, the government has spent trillions bailing out the financial sector, never mind the ‘stimulus’ which was less than a single trillion, a frightening number all by itself. So it would appear Mr. Brooks is advocating that government ‘reduce’ spending and let the private sector ‘grow the economy’…which displays a stunning lack of comprehension of how we got where we are today!]

They seem to see the fiscal floodgates wide open and that the private sector still only created a measly 41,000 jobs last month. [Note how ‘conservative math skills’ can turn a 200,000 job deficit into a 41,000 job gain.] That doesn’t inspire confidence. Furthermore, they understand something that is hard to quantify: Deficit spending in the middle of a debt crisis has different psychological effects than deficit spending at other times. [Um, nobody ‘misses the point’ that you can’t solve a debt crisis with more debt…or by cutting income, neither strategy will produce a positive outcome.]

In times like these, deficit spending to pump up the economy doesn’t make consumers feel more confident; it makes them feel more insecure because they see a political system out of control. [Does ‘Mr. Conservative’ want to hazard a guess as to how it got this way?] Deficit spending doesn’t induce small businesspeople to hire and expand. It scares them because they conclude the growth isn’t real and you’d think they know big tax increases are on the horizon. It doesn’t make political leaders feel better either. Lacking faith that they can wisely cut the debt in some magically virtuous future, they see shove their nations careening to fiscal ruin. [This from a ‘borrow and spend’ Conservative? What about the trillions wasted on the Middle East wars of choice? No ‘tax consequences’ there, huh?]

So we are exiting a period of fiscal stimulus and entering a period of fiscal consolidation. Last year, the finance ministers of the G-20 were all for pumping up economic activity. This year, they called on their members to reduce debt. In this country, deficits are now the top concern. [Considering who is ‘handling the reins’ of, er, ‘government’ this constitutes ‘fair warning’ that its time to ‘bend over and grab your ankles!’ courtesy of ‘the conservative party!’]

Some theorists will tell you that if governments shift their emphasis to deficit cutting, they risk sending the world back into recession. There are some reasons to think this is so, but events tell a more complicated story. [Lies are ‘always’ complicated, have you noticed that? Let’s see how they intend to ‘spin’ this bowl of steaming bullshit?]

Alberto Alesina of Harvard has surveyed the history of debt reduction. He’s found that, in many cases, large and decisive deficit reduction policies were followed by increases in growth, not recessions. Countries that reduced debt viewed the future with more confidence. The political leaders who ordered the painful cuts were often returned to office. As Alesina put it in a recent paper, “in several episodes, spending cuts adopted to reduce deficits have been associated with economic expansions rather than recessions.” [This is called ‘Twisted History’ where you bend the data to fit the desired outcome. If we were to look closer we would find ‘deficit reductions closely corresponded with period of high (asset) inflation, the ‘deficits’ were ‘inflated away’.]

This was true in Europe and the U.S. in the 1990s,[When ‘reported inflation’ was said to be ‘non-existent’ while asset prices outstripped income by a factor of four to one!] and in many other cases before. In a separate study, Italian economists Francesco Giavazzi and Marco Pagano looked at the way Ireland and Denmark sharply cut debt in the 1980s. Once again, lower deficits led to higher growth. [I have one thing to say and I’ve already said it…’Liar!’]

So the challenge for the U.S. in the years ahead is to consolidate intelligently.That means reducing deficits while at the same time making the welfare state more efficient, boosting innovation in areas like energy, and spending more money on growth-enhancing sectors like infrastructure. [This is code for the ‘new normal’, what he’s calling for is the economy to continue to exclude an ever larger portion of the population, leaving those caught on the outside looking in to ‘twist in the wind’.]

That’s a tough balancing act. [It has absolutely zero to do with balance, it is the usual conservative stance of ‘Got mine, fuck you!’]

The biggest task will be to reduce middle-class entitlement spending. Alesina found that spending cuts are a more effective way to stabilize debt than tax increases, though we’ll need both.

The second biggest task is to consolidate while addressing another problem: labor market polarization. According to a Hamilton Project/Center for American Progress study by David Autor, high-skill sectors saw no net loss of jobs during the recession. Middle-skill sectors like sales saw an 8 percent employment decline. Blue-collar jobs fell by 16 percent. [Um, what part of ‘Sales drives the boat’ doesn’t Bobo get? Is numbnuts saying we already have a ‘command economy?’]

In other words, the recession exacerbated the inequalities we’ve been seeing for decades. Somehow government has to cut total spending while directing more money to address the trends that threaten to hollow out the middle class. [Can you believe this disingenuous fuck? Tax breaks for the already wealthy AND incentives to move overseas had NOTHING to do with the ‘hollowing out’ of the US, it’s the government’s fault! How angry does Mr. Brooks think people will be when they discover that the government and the corporate sector are one in the same? Never mind that the conservative movement has faithfully and ardently supported them both!

During the period of consolidation, in other words, the government will have to spend less, but target better. That will require enormous dexterity and intelligence from a political system that has recently shown neither.

Um, since Republicans can do no wrong I highly doubt Mr. Brook’s finger is pointing toward a mirror.

We are also meant to ignore the past forty years where, surprise, surprise, capitalists have been tripping all over themselves to bring the world’s largest consumer markets up to speed!

It’s all about ‘numbers’ good citizen, if you don’t ‘get that’ by now you soon will.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Greetings good citizen,

Different parts of the country do things differently…so when I stumbled upon an article that detailed ‘outrageous’ behavior by government officials, I forced myself to calm down and learn more. Although one aspect of this situation does sort of jump up and punch you right in the eye, since when did taxpayer funded services become collection agencies? Which is to ask, why should YOU foot the tab so corporate predators can collect, WITHOUT RE-IMBURSING YOU?

What am I ‘babbling about’ this time? read it an weep good citizen, the corporate police state is here!

[I refer you to yesterday’s post for ‘how’ corporate USA pulled this off…]

In jail for being in debt

You committed no crime, but an officer is knocking on your door. More Minnesotans are surprised to find themselves being locked up over debts.

By CHRIS SERRES and GLENN HOWATT , Star Tribune staff writers

Last update: June 9, 2010 - 7:58 AM

As a sheriff's deputy dumped the contents of Joy Uhlmeyer's purse into a sealed bag, she begged to know why she had just been arrested while driving home to Richfield after an Easter visit with her elderly mother.

No one had an answer. Uhlmeyer spent a sleepless night in a frigid Anoka County holding cell, her hands tucked under her armpits for warmth. Then, handcuffed in a squad car, she was taken to downtown Minneapolis for booking. Finally, after 16 hours in limbo, jail officials fingerprinted Uhlmeyer and explained her offense -- missing a court hearing over an unpaid debt. "They have no right to do this to me," said the 57-year-old patient care advocate, her voice as soft as a whisper. "Not for a stupid credit card."

It's not a crime to owe money, and debtors' prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found. [Most (arrests) are not for ‘big money’ either, so this is ‘heavy-handedness’ plain and simple.]

Not every warrant results in an arrest, but in Minnesota many debtors spend up to 48 hours in cells with criminals. Consumer attorneys say such arrests are increasing in many states, including Arkansas, Arizona and Washington, driven by a bad economy, high consumer debt and a growing industry that buys bad debts and employs every means available to collect. [This is just more ‘wringing the consumer dry’, the retailer who sells the debt to these phirannas, ‘charges it off’ as ‘uncollectable’ from their income at ‘face value’, then they ‘sell’ the debt for fifty cents on the dollar (probably less these days) so between the tax savings and what the sharks fork over, they end up more or less ‘whole’. You on the other hand, will find yourself in jail because these ‘monkeys’ don’t screw around.]

Whether a debtor is locked up depends largely on where the person lives, because enforcement is inconsistent from state to state, and even county to county. [So, just because you haven’t been locked up (yet) doesn’t mean it isn’t going to happen…]

In Illinois and southwest Indiana, some judges jail debtors for missing court-ordered debt payments. In extreme cases, people stay in jail until they raise a minimum payment. In January, a judge sentenced a Kenney, Ill., man "to indefinite incarceration" until he came up with $300 toward a lumber yard debt. [Which begs a different question…how are you supposed to ‘earn’ the money to repay the debt if you’re locked up? Jackass doesn’t care where the money comes from so long as you get it…leaving most people ‘susceptible’ to predatory lenders who charge…er, outrageous interest rates, which solves what, precisely? You couldn’t pay in the first damn place! Adding more debt only makes matters worse!]

"The law enforcement system has unwittingly become a tool of the debt collectors," said Michael Kinkley, an attorney in Spokane, Wash., who has represented arrested debtors. "The debt collectors are abusing the system and intimidating people, and law enforcement is going along with it."

How often are debtors arrested across the country? No one can say. No national statistics are kept, and the practice is largely unnoticed outside legal circles. "My suspicion is the debt collection industry does not want the world to know these arrests are happening, because the practice would be widely condemned," said Robert Hobbs, deputy director of the National Consumer Law Center in Boston. [Interesting ‘source’…and, as a ‘Bostonian’, I am unaware of anyone being jailed in connection with the collection of a debt…in this neck of the woods anyway…]

Debt collectors defend the practice, saying phone calls, letters and legal actions aren't always enough to get people to pay. [This is a bogus argument because the ‘debt’ has already been ‘charged off’ before it was ‘sold’…the ‘buyer’ of the debt is hoping to collect a 50% plus ‘premium’ for their ‘trouble’. This is a ‘fuck you’ to the underpaid, cash strapped consumer.]

"Admittedly, it's a harsh sanction," said Steven Rosso, a partner in the Como Law Firm of St. Paul, which does collections work. "But sometimes, it's the only sanction we have." [Bozo isn’t being honest here, is he? Option one would be not to buy charged off debt in the first place, wouldn’t it?]

Taxpayers foot the bill for arresting and jailing debtors. In many cases, Minnesota judges set bail at the amount owed. [Headline caught my eye, I am quite (pleasantly) surprised to see this point made in print! Makes you wonder what the hell is wrong with the NY Times?]

In Minnesota, judges have issued arrest warrants for people who owe as little as $85 -- less than half the cost of housing an inmate overnight. Debtors targeted for arrest owed a median of $3,512 in 2009, up from $2,201 five years ago. [This still doesn’t answer the question of ‘who’ is footing the tab for this brand of ‘heavy-handedness’…but it’s sure looking like it falls on you! If the fuckers had to absorb the cost it wouldn’t be happening nearly as often! (And it shouldn’t be happening at all. We aren’t talking ‘bad people’ here, were looking at a ‘bad system’.)]

Those jailed for debts may be the least able to pay.

"It's just one more blow for people who are already struggling," said Beverly Yang, a Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation staff attorney who has represented three Illinois debtors arrested in the past two months. "They don't like being in court. They don't have cars. And if they had money to pay these collectors, they would."

The collection machine

The laws allowing for the arrest of someone for an unpaid debt are not new.

What is new is the rise of well-funded, aggressive and centralized collection firms, in many cases run by attorneys, that buy up unpaid debt and use the courts to collect. [‘The laws are there, use them’ is these people’s ‘argument/justification’; which is a pretty fucking bizarre display of lack of judgement considering how both the government and the banking sector have made such a mockery of ‘justice’! People being jailed for a few hundred dollars while bankers walk free after bilking the nation for trillions! Not the signal I’d want to be sending when the public already ‘suspects’ globalization wasn’t all it was cracked up to be…]

Three debt buyers -- Unifund CCR Partners, Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc. and Debt Equities LLC -- accounted for 15 percent of all debt-related arrest warrants issued in Minnesota since 2005, court data show. The debt buyers also file tens of thousands of other collection actions in the state, seeking court orders to make people pay.

The debts -- often five or six years old -- are purchased from companies like cellphone providers and credit card issuers, and cost a few cents on the dollar. Using automated dialing equipment and teams of lawyers, the debt-buyer firms try to collect the debt, plus interest and fees. A firm aims to collect at least twice what it paid for the debt to cover costs. Anything beyond that is profit. [Understand, the original creditor has already ‘charged off’ 100% of the debt against income, that is why lenders aren’t particularly ‘careful’ about extending credit. They ‘win’ if you pay and they ‘win’ if you don’t pay. And we haven’t even taken ‘margins’ into consideration! For some products, margins are 500 to 700% The ‘price’ you are charged often has little to do with how much an item ‘cost’ to produce!]

Portfolio Recovery Associates of Norfolk, Va., a publicly traded debt buyer with the biggest profits and market capitalization, earned $44 million last year on $281 million in revenue -- a 16 percent net margin. Encore Capital Group, another large debt buyer based in San Diego, had a margin last year of 10 percent. By comparison, Wal-Mart's profit margin was 3.5 percent. [Don’t be mis-lead, Wally Mart may be ‘averaging’ three percent but many of the products they sell have considerably higher ‘margins’…they simply don’t sell a lot of ‘high margin’ items. Which is not to be confused with not ‘carrying’ such items…]

Todd Lansky, chief operating officer at Resurgence Financial LLC, a Northbrook, Ill.-based debt buyer, said firms like his operate within the law, which says people who ignore court orders can be arrested for contempt. By the time a warrant is issued, a debtor may have been contacted up to 12 times, he said.

"This is a last-ditch effort to say, 'Look, just show up in court,'" he said. [Nice ‘dodge’ Mr. Lansky. Claim that you’ve exhausted your ‘legal remedies’ while ‘side-stepping’ the legality of buying debt that has already been ‘charged off’…and making the public pay to collect it!]

Go to court -- or jail

At 9:30 a.m. on a recent weekday morning, about a dozen people stood in line at the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis.

Nearly all of them had received court judgments for not paying a delinquent debt. One by one, they stepped forward to fill out a two-page financial disclosure form that gives creditors the information they need to garnish money from their paychecks or bank accounts.

This process happens several times a week in Hennepin County. Those who fail to appear can be held in contempt and an arrest warrant is issued if a collector seeks one. Arrested debtors aren't officially charged with a crime, but their cases are heard in the same courtroom as drug users.

Greg Williams, who is unemployed and living on state benefits, said he made the trip downtown on the advice of his girlfriend who knew someone who had been arrested for missing such a hearing.

"I was surprised that the police would waste time on my petty debts," said Williams, 45, of Minneapolis, who had a $5,773 judgment from a credit card debt. "Don't they have real criminals to catch?"

Few debtors realize they can land in jail simply for ignoring debt-collection legal matters. Debtors also may not recognize the names of companies seeking to collect old debts. Some people are contacted by three or four firms as delinquent debts are bought and sold multiple times after the original creditor writes off the account.

"They may think it's a mistake. They may think it's a scam. They may not realize how important it is to respond," said Mary Spector, a law professor at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law in Dallas.

A year ago, Legal Aid attorneys proposed a change in state law that would have required law enforcement officials to let debtors fill out financial disclosure forms when they are apprehended rather than book them into jail. No legislator introduced the measure.

Joy Uhlmeyer, who was arrested on her way home from spending Easter with her mother, said she defaulted on a $6,200 Chase credit card after a costly divorce in 2006. The firm seeking payment was Resurgence Financial, the Illinois debt buyer. Uhlmeyer said she didn't recognize the name and ignored the notices.

Uhlmeyer walked free after her nephew posted $2,500 bail. It took another $187 to retrieve her car from the city impound lot. Her 86-year-old mother later asked why she didn't call home after leaving Duluth. Not wanting to tell the truth, Uhlmeyer said her car broke down and her cell phone died.

"The really maddening part of the whole experience was the complete lack of information," she said. "I kept thinking, 'If there was a warrant out for my arrest, then why in the world wasn't I told about it?'"

Jailed for $250

Greg Williams, who is unemployed and living on state benefits, said he made the trip downtown on the advice of his girlfriend who knew someone who had been arrested for missing such a hearing.

"I was surprised that the police would waste time on my petty debts," said Williams, 45, of Minneapolis, who had a $5,773 judgment from a credit card debt. "Don't they have real criminals to catch?"

Few debtors realize they can land in jail simply for ignoring debt-collection legal matters. Debtors also may not recognize the names of companies seeking to collect old debts. Some people are contacted by three or four firms as delinquent debts are bought and sold multiple times after the original creditor writes off the account.

"They may think it's a mistake. They may think it's a scam. They may not realize how important it is to respond," said Mary Spector, a law professor at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law in Dallas.

A year ago, Legal Aid attorneys proposed a change in state law that would have required law enforcement officials to let debtors fill out financial disclosure forms when they are apprehended rather than book them into jail. No legislator introduced the measure.

Joy Uhlmeyer, who was arrested on her way home from spending Easter with her mother, said she defaulted on a $6,200 Chase credit card after a costly divorce in 2006. The firm seeking payment was Resurgence Financial, the Illinois debt buyer. Uhlmeyer said she didn't recognize the name and ignored the notices.

Uhlmeyer walked free after her nephew posted $2,500 bail. It took another $187 to retrieve her car from the city impound lot. Her 86-year-old mother later asked why she didn't call home after leaving Duluth. Not wanting to tell the truth, Uhlmeyer said her car broke down and her cell phone died.

"The really maddening part of the whole experience was the complete lack of information," she said. "I kept thinking, 'If there was a warrant out for my arrest, then why in the world wasn't I told about it?'"

Jailed for $250

One afternoon last spring, Deborah Poplawski, 38, of Minneapolis was digging in her purse for coins to feed a downtown parking meter when she saw the flashing lights of a Minneapolis police squad car behind her. Poplawski, a restaurant cook, assumed she had parked illegally. Instead, she was headed to jail over a $250 credit card debt.

Less than a month earlier, she learned by chance from an employment counselor that she had an outstanding warrant. Debt Equities, a Golden Valley debt buyer, had sued her, but she says nobody served her with court documents. Thanks to interest and fees, Poplawski was now on the hook for $1,138.

Though she knew of the warrant and unpaid debt, "I wasn't equating the warrant with going to jail, because there wasn't criminal activity associated with it," she said. "I just thought it was a civil thing."

She spent nearly 25 hours at the Hennepin County jail.

A year later, she still gets angry recounting the experience. A male inmate groped her behind in a crowded elevator, she said. Poplawski also was ordered to change into the standard jail uniform -- gray-white underwear and orange pants, shirt and socks -- in a cubicle the size of a telephone booth. She slept in a room with 12 to 16 women and a toilet with no privacy. One woman offered her drugs, she said.

The next day, Poplawski appeared before a Hennepin County district judge. He told her to fill out the form listing her assets and bank account, and released her. Several weeks later, Debt Equities used this information to seize funds from her bank account. The firm didn't return repeated calls seeking a comment.

"We hear every day about how there's no money for public services," Poplawski said. "But it seems like the collectors have found a way to get the police to do their work."

Threat depends on location

A lot depends on where a debtor lives or is arrested, as Jamie Rodriguez, 41, a bartender from Brooklyn Park, discovered two years ago.

Deputies showed up at his house one evening while he was playing with his 5-year-old daughter, Nicole. They live in Hennepin County, where the Sheriff's Office has enough staff to seek out people with warrants for civil violations.

If Rodriquez lived in neighboring Wright County, he could have simply handed the officers a check or cash for the amount owed. If he lived in Dakota County, it's likely no deputy would have shown up because the Sheriff's Office there says it lacks the staff to pursue civil debt cases.

Knowing that his daughter and wife were watching from the window, Rodriguez politely asked the deputies to drive him around the block, out of sight of his family, before they handcuffed him. The deputies agreed.

"No little girl should have to see her daddy arrested," said Rodriguez, who spent a night in jail.

"If you talk to 15 different counties, you'll find 15 different approaches to handling civil warrants," said Sgt. Robert Shingledecker of the Dakota County Sheriff's Office. "Everything is based on manpower."

Local police also can enforce debt-related warrants, but small towns and some suburbs often don't have enough officers.

The Star Tribune's comparison of warrant and booking data suggests that at least 1 in 6 Minnesota debtors at risk for arrest actually lands in jail, typically for eight hours. The exact number of such arrests isn't known because the government doesn't consistently track what happens to debtor warrants.

"There are no standards here," said Gail Hillebrand, a senior attorney with the Consumers Union in San Francisco. "A borrower who lives on one side of the river can be arrested while another one goes free. It breeds disrespect for the law."

Haekyung Nielsen, 27, of Bloomington, said police showed up at her house on a civil warrant two weeks after she gave birth through Caesarean section. A debt buyer had sent her court papers for an old credit-card debt while she was in the hospital; Nielsen said she did not have time to respond.

Her baby boy, Tyler, lay in the crib as she begged the officer not to take her away.

"Thank God, the police had mercy and left me and my baby alone," said Nielsen, who later paid the debt. "But to send someone to arrest me two weeks after a massive surgery that takes most women eight weeks to recover from was just unbelievable."

The second surprise

Many debtors, like Robert Vee, 36, of Brooklyn Park, get a second surprise after being arrested -- their bail is exactly the amount of money owed.

Hennepin County automatically sets bail at the judgment amount or $2,500, whichever is less. This policy was adopted four years ago in response to the high volume of debtor default cases, say court officials.

Some judges say the practice distorts the purpose of bail, which is to make sure people show up in court.

"It's certainly an efficient way to collect debts, but it's also highly distasteful," said Hennepin County District Judge Jack Nordby. "The amount of bail should have nothing to do with the amount of the debt."

Judge Robert Blaeser, chief of the county court's civil division, said linking bail to debt streamlines the process because judges needn't spend time setting bail.

"It's arbitrary," he conceded. "The bigger question is: Should you be allowed to get an order from a court for someone to be arrested because they owe money? You've got to remember there are people who have the money but just won't pay a single penny."

If friends or family post a debtor's bail, they can expect to kiss the money goodbye, because it often ends up with creditors, who routinely ask judges for the bail payment.

Vee, a highway construction worker, was arrested one afternoon in February while driving his teenage daughter from school to their home in Brooklyn Park. As he was being cuffed, Vee said his daughter, who has severe asthma, started hyperventilating from the stress.

"All I kept thinking about was whether she was all right and if she was using her [asthma] inhaler," he said.

From the Hennepin County jail, he made a collect call to his landlord, who promised to bring the bail. It was $1,875.06, the exact amount of a credit card debt.

Later, Vee was reunited with his distraught daughter at home. "We hugged for a long time, and she was bawling her eyes out," he said.

He still has unpaid medical and credit card bills and owes about $40,000 on an old second mortgage. The sight of a squad car in his rearview mirror is all it takes to set off a fresh wave of anxiety.

"The question always crosses my mind: 'Are the cops going to arrest me again?'" he said. "So long as I've got unpaid bills, the threat is there."

In the vast scheme of things good citizen it is extremely doubtful that ANY of these ‘debts’ are ‘collectable’ never mind ‘legal’.

What isn’t nearly as doubtful is the moral issue here of ‘overcharging’ a customer for that which is free from nature. This is where ‘debt’ is born, it is born of the act of putting an artificially high price on an object and then ‘offering’ the buyer to ‘carry’ the largely inflated cost (for a considerable fee.)

What the market will bear is not necessarily what the market can pay…as the current economic crisis has taught us. In fact, if we were to adhere to a strict ‘market model’, prices would fall considerably to match a much smaller pool of buyers...which would eventually dwindle to zero.

Which brings us to a second, larger issue. Since ‘rarity’ drives price, extreme scarcity eliminates all would be buyers…leaving you where? Is the object ‘priceless’ or is it ‘worthless’?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Captive Government

Greetings good citizen,

Here we are in the third year of the slow motion collapse of the US Empire and we are reminded by no less an authority than the NY Times that our legislators are either totally clueless (or hopelessly corrupt, pick one, or both, it doesn’t matter!)

Recent ‘financial reform legislation’ (that didn’t even ‘suggest’ restoring Glass-Steagal) has had zero impact on the banking industry…but we knew that already BECAUSE it passed! Same thing with Health Care reform, nothing has changed.

Funny, for a guy who ran on ‘change’, nothing has, which is not to say that the steady ‘downhill march’ has even skipped a beat! (That’s the thing Bobo promised to put a stop to…that is what is meant when I say nothing has changed…because those hits just keep on coming!)

This should lead us to ponder what it will take to effect genuine change…or worse, how we/our children will deal with the decidedly negative changes those who have ‘captured’ our government are implementing.

Put the chips on the table good citizen and the ‘answer’ is staring you in the face, we have a ‘bad’ government; that is what needs fixing!

The ‘insidious’ thing about the persistent unemployment situation is that our kids don’t remember a time when it wasn’t ‘always like this’.

But let’s not kid ourselves, good citizen. If not for the ‘information age’ that put all of this data at our fingertips, we’d be as ignorant as our children remain.

By ‘default’ the captive government proves a captive media. (In fact, the capture of the government facilitated the capture [consolidation] of the media.)

Just because you disagree doesn’t make you right. Which is another way of saying what you believe does nothing to alter the truth!

“You can fill a person’s head with a great deal of nonsense and they are still capable of functioning adequately.” Conservatism is proof of this. (That is a ‘semi-famous’ quote but I have no clue as to the ‘true’ source…naturally, sans the ‘conservative bit’ at the end, I added that.)

Um, I keep hammering on this particular topic because all roads lead to this particular junction; make no mistake about it, we HAVE HAD a revolution, actually a ‘bloodless coup’ is a more accurate description: Those the government were supposed to be ‘protecting’ us from have taken over the government. Unfortunately, there is no simple way to ‘dislodge’ the interlopers.

Which leads us back to…ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE?

But first let us proceed with tonight’s offering for another ‘feeble admission’ that our ‘captive government’ isn’t worth the cost of electing our corrupt representatives.

These guys took over on the premise that the government wasn’t ‘the solution’ but ‘the problem’…and they have yet to ‘waste’ an opportunity to prove that point.

The current disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is but one more fine example of ‘What the fuck are you gonna do about it…punk?’

Fed Finding Status Quo in Bank Pay
Published: June 8, 2010

Federal regulators reviewing the compensation policies of major banks are finding that the industry has not adequately adjusted its pay practices to reduce risk-taking. [We are left to wonder what it would take to put an end to reckless/predatory practices if legislation can’t solve the problem?]

The Federal Reserve, six months into a compensation review of the country’s 28 largest financial companies, has found that many of the bonus and incentive programs that economists say contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression remain in place, according to people briefed on the examinations.

"We found that many banks have not modified their practices from what they were before the crisis," said Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman said during a House committee hearing on Wednesday morning. "We will be pushing banks to move as quickly as possible to restructure their compensation packages so that they will not be engendering excessive risk-taking. We will do that very quickly." [Don’t hold your breath good citizen…worse, this makes us wonder why bail-out money was provided with this specific contingency stipulated, complete with a ‘drop-dead’ provision for failure to comply? But let’s not forget whose government this really is…it sure ain’t your’s or mine!]

Officials have found, for example, that risk managers at several of the biggest banks still report to executives who have influence over their year-end bonuses and whose own pay might be constricted by curbing risk. In many cases, risk managers do not have full access to the compensation committee of the banks’ boards.

The review also revealed that banks tend to set similar bonus formulas for broad sets of employees and often do not adjust payouts to account for risks taken by traders or mortgage lending officers. Bank executives and directors, meanwhile, are often in the dark on the pay arrangements of employees whose bets could have a potentially devastating impact on the company.

The Federal Reserve’s examination is focusing on the structure of compensation arrangements, not their amounts, and the results have not been made public. However, some preliminary findings emerged from interviews with government officials and bank executives who have been briefed on the review. [What do you suppose the likelihood is of this information EVER being made public? Slim to none would be a fair estimate!]

Last month, the Fed sent letters to the chief executives of each of the 28 banks detailing officials’ concerns about their institution’s pay practices. The letters ordered them to promptly make changes. [Left unaddressed is the ‘or what’ part of the puzzle. No threat = no change!]

Bank officials are now in negotiations with federal officials over the steps they must take. The Fed is not expected to release its official report until next year, though it may provide new details when it releases a final set of pay guidelines that it has been working on at the same time. Those are expected in coming weeks. [Um, nobody should miss the irony here…how much ‘flexibility’ will ‘guidelines’ have? What (if anything) will be the penalty for non-compliance?]

The Fed’s review is the latest in a flurry of federal efforts to rein in banker pay and is occurring as Congress works to reconcile bills passed by the House and the Senate that will further tighten the government’s grip on the financial industry. Other agencies are also forging ahead with mixed success on compensation initiatives announced earlier this year, when it seemed that everyone in Washington was hoping to turn the politics of pay to their advantage. [Funny how that statement takes on a whole new meaning when viewed from the perspective of who ‘owns’ the government!]

Kenneth R. Feinberg, President Obama’s pay czar for banks bailed out by the government, is combing through the compensation awarded from October 2008 to February 2009 to the 25 highest earners at each company that received bailout money. He plans to publicize the results within the next three weeks. [Mark your calendars good citizen but don’t hold your breath, it’s not going to happen.]

Only about 180 of the 420 companies that accepted bailout money were subject to his review, and Mr. Feinberg has no authority, other than the threat of public embarrassment, to renegotiate compensation arrangements that he finds objectionable. [Why the ‘big void’?]

Other government efforts have run into delays. The Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, proposed a global bank tax, partly based on executive compensation, at several recent meetings with finance ministers from the Group of 20 large economies. But that initiative has failed to attract broad support and faces resistance from Australia and Canada, whose banks generally withstood the crisis. [Which begs a different question: should Timmy boy be tackling ‘global policy’? He is an ‘appointee’, not an elected official and therefore does not answer to the people…but who does since the ‘Reagan Revolution’?]

Separately, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has pushed back a board vote on a controversial plan that would tie a bank’s pay practices to the fees it pays to the agency’s insurance fund. Under the proposal, lenders that use long-term stock to reward employees and those that adopt provisions to claw back compensation would pay less money into the fund, while riskier pay practices could lead to higher assessments.

The banking industry opposes the plan, arguing it could increase compliance costs and conflict with other regulatory efforts on compensation. The F.D.I.C. vote, which was expected to take place at the agency’s June meeting, has been put off until at least late summer, according to people with knowledge of the agency’s plans. [After the destruction of the global economy is assured, it won’t matter what they decide!]

The Federal Reserve’s review started in early November, when senior officials informed the chiefs of the major banks and their compensation committees that they might need to change their pay practices ahead of new rules. The banks were required to respond to a four-page questionnaire, inquiring about policies like the golden parachute payouts for senior executives and the pay scales of lower-level mortgage bankers. [What do you suppose the ‘penalty’ was for non-compliance, a nasty e-mail?]

The Fed, just as it did with the bank stress tests in the spring of 2009, analyzed thousands of pages of answers it received to compare the results and identify patterns.

Um, if this were a ‘personal undertaking’ what do you suppose the ‘odds of success’ for this venture would be? I’d put them at ‘Doomed from the start!’

Even the ‘fake’ policy moves are toothless, rendering them worthless and a waste of time and energy. This is substantially worse than ‘window dressing’, even ‘for show’ policy has ‘imaginary’ teeth.

Sadly, that’s another disturbing truth. All of this crap at one time or another, WAS illegal. Naturally, once you ‘own’ the government, you get to ‘erase’ any inconvenient laws or even to pretend they weren’t violated, creating a huge advantage.

But sadly, once the ‘shit hits the fan’, the ‘let’s pretend’ game becomes more difficult to play…because you’ve screwed so many people!

The down side of playing ‘fuck-fuck’ is most people aren’t willing to accept ‘just kidding’ as an explanation for having their trust violated.

So, yeah… the road is a lot rockier than it appears…

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Greetings good citizen,

So troubling is the ‘economic climate’ out there that several sites have posted ‘shotgun’ articles in an effort to demonstrate the scale of the, er, disaster.

What should astonish the pragmatic observer is the ‘non-reaction’ coming from the general public. The job markets are ‘gone’, the economic desert is expanding rapidly and this is NOT going to ‘go away’.

If there was ever a time to panic, NOW would be it!

Understand good citizen, the ‘signs’ you should be paying attention to are not to be found in the MSM, you will find them in your shopping basket and at the gas pump.

While the fucktards cry ‘deflation’, there is NO DIFFERENCE between prices rising and purchasing power falling, they are effectively THE SAME FUCKING THING! (This is the ‘weasels’ slipping you the bone because they can! And there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it!)

Soon it won’t matter if you have the ‘money’ to afford a given thing, it will become a question of whether or not you have the ‘firepower’ to seize it.

With THAT ‘cheery thought’ let us proceed with our first offering Something we haven’t done in a while, a quick visit to!

No. 301: Money Supply Update Subscription required June 7th, 2010
• 5.9% M3 Annual Decline Deepest Since Early-1930s Banking Crisis
• Post-World War II Record Drop in Inflation-Adjusted M3 Signals Intensifying Business Contraction
• Renewed Recession Will Set Stage for U.S. Solvency Crisis and Severe Inflation Threat More ...

No. 300: May Employment and Unemployment Subscription required June 4th, 2010
• May Nonfarm Payrolls Rose 20,000 Net of 411,000 Temporary Census Hires and Fell by 31,000 after Revisions and Birth-Death Model Shenanigans
• May Household-Survey Employment Fell by 35,000 Irrespective of Census Hires
• Unemployment Rates Were Artificially Low Due to Census Effects: 9.7% (U.3), 16.9% (U.6), 21.7% (SGS)
• M3 Signal for Double-Dip Downturn Intensifies More ...

No. 299: Employment Report Outlook and Some Updates Subscription required June 3rd, 2010
• 420,000 May Census Hires Assure "Strong" Jobs Report
• Consensus Estimates May Be Disappointed
• Continued Data Distortions Generated by Severity of the Economic Downturn More ...

The bullet points speak for themselves, the ‘employment picture’ is not improving, which means the economy itself will not improve, not for you, not for me, not for anybody.

The ‘juggling act’ we’re watching now of rising asset prices and falling currency values is simply theft by those with the power to do so…Understand good citizen, the rich aren’t ‘losing ground’; too bad you can’t make the same claim!

Our next offering asks a question most of us don’t have a good answer for, sadly, neither do the perps!

And there ARE perps!

Why Does it Matter?

Many people seem to think that U.S. markets are jittery because of fears about what developments in Europe might mean for the rest of the world. But even if there was no sovereign debt crisis, I would be hard-pressed to overstate just just how bad things are here at home. While I've posted plenty of articles detailing the dismal state of the U.S. economy from the perspective of the man in the street (not the one on Wall Street, mind you), all you need is Google, an internet connection, and a few moments of time to see that there's plenty more bad news where the rest came from. [This assumes you know what you’re looking at…] After reading the following articles, the first thing that pops into my head is: Why does what is happening overseas even matter? [Short answer, good citizen: shit rolls downhill!]

"In Brutal Job Market, More Than a Million Quit Looking" (

If you think the jobs situation has become pretty hopeless, you're not alone. Roughly 1.1 million workers have given up hope of finding employment.

The staggering level of "discouraged workers" as the government calls them has swelled to historic proportions in 2010, past the million barrier for the first time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking the number.

Though a bit off its all-time high of 1.2 million recorded in February, the metric stands as perhaps the most daunting statistic of last Friday's gloomy jobs report, which showed that almost all the new employment is coming from temporary government Census jobs and not the kind that will sustain an economy.

"The fact that people are sitting down indicates just how bad the market is for some categories of people," says Peter Morici, professor at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business and the former chief economist at the US International Trade Commission. [Um, Time out, good citizen! Let’s begin with the ‘not in the workforce’ designation and how ‘not looking’ gets you dumped there…there are currently 83 MILLION working aged citizens ‘counted’ as ‘not in the workforce’…so the single million listed here isn’t as shocking as the MSM would like you to believe it is! Worse, this figure started at 53 million in 1995, just to give you a hint as to how long this bullshit has been going on and what direction it is headed!]

"Drag on Recovery: Consumer Debt-Cutting" (Wall Street Journal)

Anyone who has struggled with addiction knows recovery is a long, slow process.

So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that the economic rebound is moving at such a gradual pace. [Um, if you were a bit stupid, this statement would make sense. The recovery is ‘creeping’ because there is no investment! Funny how the two are related…you’d think someone on Wall Street would understand that…but apparently not.]

Despite a vigorous bounce-back in corporate earnings and a veritable factory boom, job growth is decidedly sluggish. Gross domestic product is growing at only half of the 7% to 8% pace that typically has been seen after past deep recessions. [Um, once again we see evidence that Wall Street has ‘redefined’ certain terms to conform to standards that are not widely understood by the general public. ‘Vigorous’ on Wall Street is interpreted as stronger players gobbling up the market share left behind by weaker players…and the factory boom thing is right up there with ‘bonuses’, the little ‘something extra’ that Wall Streeters have come to expect if their employers wish to retain their services. Knocking your competitors into a hole and stepping up your production to cover the gap isn’t a genuine ‘increase’ but apparently the fucktards think YOU are STUPID. You’d have to be blind not to see that the economy continues to shrink, not expand!]

One reason: deleveraging. After years of bingeing on debt, U.S. households are paring back. Those not doing so by choice are often being forced, because lending standards remain tight.

The question now, both for consumer spending and growth more broadly, is how much further the process has to go.

The answer is probably a lot. [Here we bump up against that other ‘demon’ known as ‘time’…do the usurers have enough time to juice the public or will civilization crumble as it did when Rome collapsed? The ‘invaders’ were welcomed with open arms by the oppressed Roman citizenry!]

"Employers Lowballing New Hires" (Wall Street Journal)

The job market may be recovering, but some salary offers are still a few years behind. [A ‘few years behind’? Is this ‘Wall Street speak’ for justifying screwing workers? Remember, what they don’t pay you is that much more they can pay themselves!]

Since the labor market began picking up steam, companies hiring for entry-level or administrative spots with pay that would normally range from $40,000 to $50,000 have been offering workers $28,000 to $38,000, says Randy Miller, founder and chief executive of ReadyMinds, a Lyndhurst, N.J., provider of online career counseling and coaching. [Left unsaid here is whether or not ‘Coach Randy’ is cool with this? How much do you want to bet Coach Randy ‘advises’ his clients to ‘suck it up’ at least you’ll have a job!]

.For workers further up the food chain, an offer that might have been $100,000 a few years ago is now coming in at $85,000 or $90,000, he says. [Can you say ‘squeeze play’, good citizen? This is what happens in a ‘buyer’s market’, and it’s not the kind of thing you build a ‘stable civilization’ on. This way leads to slavery! Those who ‘dictate the terms’ will steadily renege, taking away parts of the original deal as your ‘usefulness’ to them diminishes, and there ain’t a fucking thing you can do about it!]

"Companies are more worried these days about margins, profitability, and they are cutting costs across the board. Even though [workers are] qualified and have prior experience, the hiring department has been told to set a budget at a lower range," Mr. Miller says. "Everybody is more price-sensitive these days." [So, what can we expect when this ‘price sensitivity’ inevitably leads to wages you can’t survive on? Understand, this is not their problem but yours! It is definitely a case of ‘stupid is as stupid does’, so don’t BE stupid!]

"Big Increase in Mortgage Foreclosures Predicted for this Year" (Miami Herald)

Real estate experts predicted this week that 3.5 million homes nationally will go into foreclosure this year as risky adjustable-rate mortgages written in 2005 reset and unemployment continues.

That's up from 2.8 million homeowners who faced foreclosure in 2009, and sets a pace that isn't likely to plateau until late 2011, said RealtyTrac Senior Vice President Rick Sharga.

Sharga spoke this week in Austin during the 44th annual National Association of Real Estate Editors conference.

``The second wave of toxic loans is about to hit,'' said Sharga, whose Irvine, Calif.-based company tracks foreclosure filings. [What will banks do considering we have already ‘surrendered’ twice the value of the housing market to, er, ‘shore up’ the banking system. Will the ‘little banks’ be ‘allowed to fail’ (which is to ask will they be ‘scooped up’ by the ‘Too big to fail’ banks?)

Sharga's panel of speakers, which included a Bank of America representative and Arizona-based mortgage modification executive, painted a bleak picture for anyone who thought the worst of the real estate meltdown is over.

"CFOs Signal Worsening Job Market" (

More bad news on the hiring front.

CFOs say they are less likely to hire people now than they were three months ago.

According to the latest quarterly Robert Half Financial Hiring Index, six percent of chief financial officers said they plan to hire full-time accounting and finance employees during the third quarter of 2010.

In the prior survey conducted three months ago, seven percent of CFOs indicated they planned to add full-time accounting and finance employees during the second quarter. At the time, the folks at Robert Half celebrated the fact this was the highest hiring forecast since the first quarter of 2009.

Well, that party was short-lived.

Meanwhile, in the latest survey, nine percent of CFOs said they anticipate staff reductions. This is up from eight percent in the prior quarterly survey.

Add it up, and CFOs are more pessimistic now than they were three months ago. Not a recipe for bringing down the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate. [Considering NOTHING has been done to stem the massive ‘outflow’ of domestic jobs, this should surprise no one. Welcome to the ‘Desert’, Amigo’s!]

"More than 40m Now Use Food Stamps" (Boston Globe)

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans receiving food stamps in March topped 40 million for the first time as the jobless rate hovered near a 26-year high.

Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases totaled 40.2 million, up 21 percent from a year earlier and 1.2 percent more than in February, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday in a statement on its website. The number of recipients has set records for 16 straight months. [I ask you good citizen, is this a sign of a ‘healthy’ society?]

"Food Pantries Fear the Future" (Times Herald-Record)

Less assistance, more demand strain resources

KINGSTON — With donations drying up, state money cut and demand skyrocketing, food pantries and soup kitchens in the Hudson Valley are struggling to stay afloat.

"We're doing so much more with fewer resources," said Diane Reeder, executive director of Queens Galley in Kingston. "Even our regular fundraisers aren't pulling in the kind of money we're used to seeing."

For instance, Reeder and the soup kitchen — which serves about 9,000 meals a month — usually raise at least $5,000 by selling food at the Hudson Valley Mayfaire.

But this year, the organization walked away from the May event with only $600.

"We're going into our biggest season with no money and no help," she said.

The financial problems are widespread.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York expects to receive a cut of $100,000, to roughly $3.2 million, from the state's Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program for the grant year that begins July 1, said Executive Director Mark Quandt.

The Florida Community Food Pantry these days runs almost entirely on that money.

The pantry exhausted its grant two months ago and has been dipping into reserves to fund operations. For the first time in 15 years, Florida pantry Director Denise Thibault has to eye the bank statements very closely.

"I think everyone is feeling the pinch," she said. "My concern is, I want to make sure that we don't get into a position where we can't supply food."

Money isn't the only problem.

With the school year nearly over, many kitchens and pantries are bracing for increased demand from families whose children rely on the schools for meals nine months of the year.

You have to back up considerably to find the real issue here good citizen, does the ‘good of the many’ outweigh the good of the few or the one?

What we’re witnessing is probably the most blatant example of ‘gross mis-management’ seen since the uprisings against the ‘Royals’; but that’s not what’s being reported.

Small wonder there, eh? Guess who ‘owns’ the ‘public’ information services? It sure isn’t you or me…or even ‘we’ for that matter. Our ‘corporate sponsors’ control all of the ‘commercial content’ you can absorb and then some.

In what direction does sanity lie in a world that makes no sense?

There is but one source good citizen and that is your own internal compass…if there were ever a recipe for ‘chaos’, there it is!

Fortunately, you are NOT on your own. Countless other ‘compasses’ point in the same general direction that yours indicates. The trick is not to get too hung up on the specifics, we all ‘generally’ want the same thing.

Which leads us to the bizarre, ‘largely imaginary’ differences the Noise Machine keeps jumping on, united we are ‘invincible’ thus they strive to keep us ‘divided’.

Can you turn your head enough to join in?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


Monday, June 7, 2010

The Great Recession

Greetings good citizen,

Apparently the blogosphere has given up the so-called ‘recovery’ as a bad job, as noted by the resumption of calling the current financial crisis ‘The Great Recession’, which, truth be told, is far more severe than its, er, ‘predecessor’, The Great Depression.

Worse, the incumbent administration makes the Hoover administration look like a dynamo by comparison! As has been lamented many times, this guy is no FDR!

If we were to put this in perspective, it’s ‘too late’ for words, the only thing that can save our collective asses now are deeds! (Starting with widespread prosecutions for crimes against society!)

How sad is it that no ‘consensus’ exists as to what needs to be done?

More chilling is how many, er, ‘mis-informed’ people will lay down their lives defending a system that preys upon them… a system perceived by many Christians to be ‘god given’ (like God would condone the way capitalists/politicians treat their ‘employees/customers’.)

Still, we can’t ‘escape’ because nobody knows what direction to lead the charge in! Ironically, the answer to that question is staggering. The ‘new broom’ would have to sweep up all past and present politicians/corporate chiefs, but were left wondering what is an ‘appropriate punishment’ for destroying civilization itself?

Something all past and present ‘leaders’ would protest that civilization is not ‘destroyed’…but it was precisely this kind of quibbling that got us here in the first place!

Just because collapse has not yet occurred doesn’t mean it’s not eminent! You can’t bust a society down into 20% ‘haves’ and 80% ‘have-nots’. Just because this ‘works’ in Banana Republics doesn’t mean it will work here. They have to sleep sometime.

Anyway, let us proceed to tonight’s offering for a look at a ‘typical’ post in the wake of Friday’s ‘puffed up’ employment numbers…

The Great Recession

Employment figures clearly show that this is much more than a cyclical recession. It is the breaking of an historic credit bubble, made worse by the Fed's policy responses and recommendations on banking regulation since 1994.

You cannot kick-start something that is broken. So any stimulus to the economy or subsidies to the banks are essentially wasted, unless the system is significantly reformed. Worse than wasted really, because it robs future governments to engage in constructive action. Like a third world country, the pigmen are at the trucks stealing the aid for the public and hoarding it. [This is a very apt analogy!]

If you look closely at the chart below, you will see that if you subtract the temporary government hiring for the Census, there is no recovery in employment. It is flat. With all the trillions spent so far, why is there such a weak response?

Stimulus. Reform. What we have seen so far from the Congress, the Fed, and Wall Street is simply white collar looting in a crisis which they caused.

“Many people believe Goldman Sachs, which goes around the Chinese market slurping gold and sucking silver, may have, using all kinds of deals, created even bigger losses for Chinese companies and investors than it did with its fraudulent actions in the US.” China Youth Daily

As I have pointed to repeatedly, the current crisis is no ‘accident’ nor is it the end result of ‘incompetence’. What we have here is a viscous plot to take advantage a captive government so thieves can plunder the treasury and escape prosecution!

This is highly ‘counter-intuitive’ unless a hitting of the ‘reset button’ is the desired end result.

Left unspoken is what ‘conditions’ will be placed upon this planned ‘reset’? Will it restore debtor prisons as a thinly disguised way of legitimizing slavery?

At what price does the ‘looting’ of civilization come? As matters stand, it’s looking like the end result will be a state of perpetual war. A war of the tyrannical ‘haves’ against the multitude of ‘have nots’.

What remains to be seen is how vigorously ‘freedom’ will be defended? (Especially after the masses are informed that they don’t ‘deserve’ freedom!)

Thanks for letting me inside your head,