Friday, July 30, 2010
New Financial Reform Turns SEC Into Orwellian Big Brother? Political Parties And Their Corporate Masters Have Officially Killed Democracy.
Link to a follow on story in the post.
Link to original story at Fox along with the particular piece of the reform bill in question.
A friend sent me this when it first hit the newswire at Faux News. I'm not a big fan of the mainstream media nor of Fox, which is a propagandist's delight. But this does appear to be a very newsworthy story. The evidence to the SEC's behavior seems unconfirmed on some level so I held off on posting it. We still don't have a public statement from the SEC but it seems reasonably apparent our government has now become one of secrecy across the board. Secrecy is a precursor to an end of democracy.
If this story is true, democracy is officially dead and it is up to the American people to resuscitate it by voting out the political idiots of both parties. Transparency is necessary for a functioning democracy as is common sense, has been taught by history lessons and is often remarked of by advocates of democracy including many of our Presidents. How can a nation be of self-rule if it has no idea what its government is doing? This SEC change is the work of crooked politicians and treasonist financial lobbyists.
It's time to bust up the political party monopolies. We wrote on here some time ago that Thomas Jefferson did not wish to allow political parties in our system of government. How prescient that was. How prescient many of the founding fathers ideas were. Because they lived through the tyranny of a far off centralized authority mandating their will upon a people. Just as we witness Washington consolidating its powers over states and citizens in the largest power grab in our history. An anti-democratic power grab.
Dummycrat and Republikaaner party members take an oath to obey their leadership just as Nazi party members took an oath to their fuhrer and not the country of Germany. To some degree the dynamic creates the same outcomes. ie, The oath to Republican and Democrat party fuhrers seemingly supersedes their oath to our Constitution and to our commonwealth, to We the People, to the common good. Political parties control who is elected to our government by controlling elections with massive sums of corporate money. The national election process is generally controlled by private entities - the political parties. Something very few Americans really understand. That's because the parties don't want you to understand. (And a discussion of this book and the rigged, corrupt, anti-democratic scam perpetuated by both parties at DemocracyNow! at this link.) That control coupled with an ability to outspend independents and decent people (using corporate donations) who want to serve the common good, creates a false sense of choice. Instead we end up having a choice of dumb or dumber. Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne.
Generally the only way to get elected as a Democrat or Republican in national elections is to be supported by the national political party. (similar to the Nazi party) Seldom does a candidate not endorsed by the national party ever get elected. And by seldom, I mean just about never. That support from the national party requires candidates agree to be a stooge for their fuhrers or party leaders and fall in line. Dissent is not tolerated. When their national leaders tell them to jump, they jump. How is that self-rule? How is that democracy? The process is controlled by corporate money and party stooges in a process that rivals rigged elections in corrupt third world countries and the former Soviet Union.
Political parties are anti-democratic by nature. They subvert public discourse of opposing views needed to hone the blade of excellence. A process necessary to a thriving democracy and a thriving economy. We instead have two false views of the world. Dummycrat and Republikaaner idiots. What type of person would agree to run for office where their free thought is subverted in exchange for party ideology? Generally, nonthinking idiots consumed with power. Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid. Are you kidding me? These people are outwardly incompetent beyond words. In fact the words out of their mouths are often beyond ignorant and border on surreal. I'd literally feel more comfortable throwing darts to decide our national policies than to turn it over to these idiots. And I am completely serious. Sarah Palin is more qualified to lead our country than these completely incompetent boobs. Because she speaks her mind, whether it is a thoughtful mind or not, she is a threat to the stooge factory we call Washington. And I am not a fan of Sarah Palin for the same reason. She seeks her own personal glory. Glory-seekers of any ilk are seldom true leadership material or true public servants. Yet I'd vote for her before any of these four stooges. In this time of crisis, we need to nominate people to office who seek no glory for they will more likely advocate for and protect the interests of We the People.
How many people would choose a life of public service to serve the common good but don't fit the profile of unthinking, conforming Orwellian bureaucrat required for endorsement in a national party election? How many people would like to make a difference in this world by serving a country they love but who are sickened by the thought of selling their souls to the anti-christ - the ideologically anti-democratic political parties? In choosing leadership today, we have no choice. Our choice is limited to the stooges picked by the fuhrers of each party. A false choice indeed.
A Quick Look At SEC Headlines This Week - Corruption And Fraud Is The Rule And Not The Exception
Citigroup Said to Pay $75 Million to Settle SEC Subprime Case
SEC Charges Wylys In $550M Insider Trading Case
Ex-Hedge Fund Manager Paul Greenwood Settles Securities Claims With SEC
GE to settle SEC charges of foreign bribery
Thursday, July 29, 2010
One of the first quotes I put up in the margin when creating this blog was
"A leader is best when people barely know he exits. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'." - Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu, or the mythic figure of Lao Tzu, is one of history's great geniuses. Our President could learn a thing or two about leadership from him. In fact, throw away all of the business books and theories on great leadership. Lao Tzu said everything you need to know about leadership and great management in a few sentences more than two thousand years ago.
I'm trained as a business coach. Maybe the President would like to hire me. As a quasi-expert, I can assure you, Mr. President, you don't need political advisors. You need a coach. Or you need to learn to coach yourself.
In other words, your empty rhetoric and endless diatribe while accomplishing nothing to solve this economic crisis is grating on Americans whether they voted for you or not.
Unemployment amongst young people has hit an all-time record. The President was elected on the backs of young voters. The polls also show that within a margin of error, most Americans don't think President Obama is doing any better job than President Bush. A fact sure to draw the ire of liberal idiots who somehow believe this is an insult to their superior intelligence. ie, Their view that Bush is an idiot and Obama went to Harvard. And all we needed was another brainwashed Harvard graduate in the White House and the world would be all better. Hint hint. Washington already has the highest concentration of brainwashed Harvard graduates. Adding one more just creates more problems. Frankly, President Obama is President Bush with a better delivery. His policies speak for themselves. He's a corporatist politician beholden to the corrupt Washington process just like George W. Bush.
Pssst. It's the economy, stupid. And that doesn't mean we want you to spend other people's money to give us all government jobs either. That means we want you to fix what you were elected to fix - the corruption in Washington killing economic opportunity. The corruption in Washington has the jack boot of tyranny on the intellectual capital of our country. Be as Lao Tzu and empower the American people and you will be see our economy roar. And with it your poll numbers and your legacy. Lead by having faith in the ability of our citizens and letting go rather than by controlling. Take a step to empower Americans. And do so with the faith that they will reward that act with their ingenuity and industriousness. Be as Lao Tzu. Of course, it's too late for that.
France's Finance Minister Takes Another Hit From Her Crack Pipe And Calls For A Significant Pickup In World Growth
Christine, where did you learn about finance? Harvard? Or did you learn about finance the same way as Treasury Secretary Geithner learned about it? By kissing Henry Kissinger's ass as a minion in Kissinger Associates. How is Henry Kissinger able to advise clients about investments? I guarantee you he knows less about finance than anyone reading this blog. Well, I'm glad you asked. Because he lobbies governments to get special favors for his clients. Favors that are most likely detrimental to citizens of those countries.
Lagarde believes chances of default in the Euro area are very low because we have countries putting their sovereignty on the shelf and political idiots like Lagarde committing citizens of one country to pay off the debts of another country. All because political idiots "promised" to help each other. Aww. That is so special. I am about to shed a tear.
I wonder what the sovereign people of Europe think about that. Well, I suspect I know what they think from the responses we see because about a year and a half ago we wrote:
Germany has the wherewithal to weather a substantial economic decline were that the only issue before it. But at some point in time the demands placed on the people of Germany by the European Union and German bureaucrats will cross paths with the substantial collapse in global demand for Germany's economic output, its substantial ongoing costs of reunification and its highly leveraged social safety nets. This has not yet developed. It will. And, that means any calls for EU bailouts to be backed primarily by the balance sheets of France and Germany will clash against the sovereign needs of domestic economies. Therein lies a serious risk and future tipping point in the making.
The EU and German bureaucrats pushing EU unification are elitists who wish to return the people's sovereignty to the Europe of old where cronyism - lords - determine the fate of a feudal society through knuckle-dragging policies of rhetoric and tyranny. Maybe not consciously so in today's environment. But by implementing policies crafted to benefit a very few rather than by or for the sovereign of Germany or any other EU country. Unfortunately, this inbred elitism has never been vanquished from European culture. Oddly enough, this elitism remains a primary driver for the success of America as it has for the past three hundred years. Though now we also see this same level of cronyism building to a systemic level in Washington over the last handful of decades. Regardless, I'm quite confident the American people are going to take care business. And, I'm actually becoming more confident many in Europe are finally going to do the same.
Throw in the political concerns of sovereign countries yielding to demands by France or Germany or the EU in exchange for possible financial aid and you have a healthy brewing cauldron of future volatility. One that the European Central Bank and European Union arrogantly believes it has under control. Of course, they also thought they had the situation well under control in, say, 1789. At that time it was also generally believed that it was good to be the king. As we enter the depths of a brave new world, is it once again good to be the king? Let's ask the EU leaders as this crisis gathers momentum. I suspect the answer is it "was" good to be the king.
The EU bailouts are really about one thing. Enslaving the peoples of Europe to save the French and German banks from their complete and utterly stupid mistakes. Countries should default on their foreign debt for it served only the very few and corrupt political idiots and a small number of corporate elites.
Do you want to pay the taxes for people in China or Canada? That's exactly what the EU leaders like Lagarde are doing by forcing citizens to yield sovereignty to the debt of other countries. I think they call that debt prison. The same prison American politicians are trying to put us in by forcing us to bail out crooked Wall Street treasonists, mobsters, thugs and goons.
The world is enslaved by political idiots and their corporate masters. Christine, watch and learn like all of the other political idiots.
Peut-être que nous devrions mettre tous les politiciens en prison. Oui?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
California Attorney General Launches Investigation Into Public Officials Bilking Taxpayers Of Millions
Are We Following The 2008 Equity Market Crash Pattern?
Annual patterns are influenced by the same cyclical forces experienced year after year. Obviously, amongst other measurable outcomes, we see this in seasonal, weather and financial market patterns. There is always the addition of dissimilar exogenous, one-time and longer term cyclical forces as well that makes each year unique.
2009 was obviously dissimilar to 2008 as political idiots across the world spent unprecedented sums of other people's money in an act of desperation to stave off the imminent collapse of globalization. Now that stimulus is effectively gone. Therefore, it might be possible that 2010 would again follow the same annual pattern as 2008 given nothing has really changed without massive political stimulus. Not necessarily likely but possible.
As it pertains to economics, 2010 differs from 2008 in one main regard. That is, the world is horrifically in much worse economic shape this year. In 2008 everyone, and I do mean everyone, thought there was either nothing wrong with the global economy or the only issue facing the global economy was an American subprime housing bubble. (That seems hilarious now but the same people, both bulls and bears, who thought this crisis was a subprime housing bubble or an issue of confidence are recommending the same ridiculous remedies.) In 2010 the world economy is now on the precipice of a global depression led by the two biggest respective bubbles in history: Wall Street's financial bubble and China's capital bubble.
Absolutely nothing has been fixed. Zilch. Nada. The marching morons that are our politicians are leading us down the path of self destruction and global volatility.
S&P 500 - 2010 year to date
S&P 500 - 2008 year to date
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The Massive Tax That Is The Health Care Bill - The President And Democratic Congressional Leaders Are Caught In A 2,500 Page Health Care Lie
I have no problem paying a tax to a nonprofit or even government-directed health care system such as Medicare. So then why didn't we get a 20 page bill outlining the options for Americans to opt-in to Medicare and what the costs would be instead of a 2,500 massive string of bureaucracy? Most Americans polled want this bill to be revised rather than repealed. That is because most Americans are still in the dark about what's in this bill. That is by no means a coincidence. There would need to be a lot of revision given the enormity of this bill. It would be easier to repeal this bill and add a twenty page bill offering an opt-in for Medicare at cost. Actually there are better solutions but at least this would offer affordable health care to those who don't have it. We don't need a 2,500 page bill to accomplish this.
Why should I have to pay a 38% increase in my health insurance so some corrupt executive at a for-profit insurance company can line his pockets with my money then attempt to deny my claims with a legion of attorneys? Because that is what just happened to me. And rates are likely going even higher this fall as provisions for this health care bill kick in. For-profit health insurers make their profits and massive compensation packages by denying claims, rigging the system and perpetuating the misery of innocent people. Our health care system was not always for-profit. We can thank the Republicans for that. Why does it remain for-profit? Obviously because our corporate masters wish it to be this way.
From the article:
While Congress was working on the health care legislation, Mr. Obama refused to accept the argument that a mandate to buy insurance, enforced by financial penalties, was equivalent to a tax.
“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said last September, in a spirited exchange with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program “This Week.”
When Mr. Stephanopoulos said the penalty appeared to fit the dictionary definition of a tax, Mr. Obama replied, “I absolutely reject that notion.”
The law describes the levy on the uninsured as a “penalty” rather than a tax. The Justice Department brushes aside the distinction, saying “the statutory label” does not matter.
Now that the White House is using this defense in court, our President might want to come before the American people and admit his health care bill is a massive tax on society. Including on those who can ill-afford one at this time. And that he was either misinformed or outright lied to the American people to manipulate this bill's passage. It has to be one or the other. Given he is a constitutional scholar, I would suppose he knew what he was doing. And if he is comfortable with it being a tax, telling us that he has no problem taxing the tens of millions of Americans on food stamps so that the private for-profit insurance industry can line its pockets with our money.
I guess the President has been receiving advice from Bill Clinton. Most specifically, "It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is.". In other words, how to parse words so that he isn't caught in a lie.
"History has tried hard to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn't be wise."
-- Mark Twain
Monday, July 26, 2010
Former Goldman Sachs And TARP Program Mental Midget Calls For Cuts To Grandma's Social Security So We Can Fund Bailouts For Crooked Corporations
I agree with Neel completely! Let's cut the entitlement mentality of Wall Street treasonists, crooks, thugs and goons. Little old grandma living on $12,000 a year has had to pay her share of the trillions upon trillions of dollars used to bail out the entitled Wall Street crooks making tens and often hundreds of millions of dollars for absolutely unprecedented incompetence and for blowing up our economy. That includes the likes of Treasury Secretary Paulson and Neel Kashkari who really should give their earnings back to society since they actually cost society trillions of dollars, and therefore it is completely defendable they never earned their pay.
So, let's end the trillions upon trillions upon trillions of dollars spent over the last few decades on Wall Street's entitlement, the war machine's entitlement, socialist corporation entitlements and allow little old grandma to keep her $12,000 a year Social Security so she isn't sleeping under a bridge. By the way, unlike the corporate crooks, grandma paid in to Social Security as an insurance policy. Compare this to the extortionary terrorist tactics used by Wall Street to steal grandma's money. Maybe it's high time we prosecute Wall Street under the Patriot Act.
They are coming for your Social Security.
If Our Monetary System Is So Robust As Its Cheerleaders Proclaim, Why Does It Need To Rely On Public Ignorance? Where Is The Federal Reserve Audit?
Sunday, July 25, 2010
All throughout last year when everyone had said Wall Street had won, we were literally the only voice this side of the planet Jupiter who continued to write numerous times that Goldman Sachs was in serious trouble and without a major transformation of their business model, they could actually fail at some point. Goldman's business model is a poster child for everything that is wrong with our economy. That's really no surprise since our economy has been shaped over the decades by the legalized bribery of our federal government; primarily by Wall Street treasonists, mobsters, crooks, dunces and thugs.
While Goldman is still profitable and could obviously weather substantial quarterly losses for some time in a normal economic environment, remember we said well before the 2008 collapse that markets would move well too fast for people to respond. That call was and will remain accurate. Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch and Lehman were minting record profits from Frankenstein finance until they weren't. And that change happened literally within days. Wall Street is still in serious trouble on a multitude of fronts; Frankenstein finance being one of them. Whatever happens, eventually the "market" that Wall Street worships yet will do anything not to compete in, will take care of what morally-ambiguous politicians won't.
What do you do if you are Goldman Sachs and all of the markets your lobbying efforts have rigged aren't providing you the wealth transfer you used to get? Well, of course, you fire up the lobbying engine again to rig new markets and new schemes. And that is exactly what is happening.
By the way, lobbying spending across the board is now being highly under-reported now that lobbyists and firms seeking favor from the court of the imperial government of the United States are aware that their efforts are under increasing public scrutiny. Many corporations and lobbyist firms are employing new schemes to keep their lobbying efforts out of the public eye. The Sunlight Foundation has highlighted some of these new rigged schemes and shell games over the past few years. So now just like all of the other dirty deals and smarmy secrets in Washington, we really have no idea how much is being spent to whore out our people's government to socialist corporations, foreign entities and special interests living off the backs of unemployed Americans.
It's good to be the king. Not much longer though.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
S&P 100 - The Repudiation Of The Status Quo's Drivel About An Economic Recovery. Is Appeasement's Day Of Reckoning Nigh?
We showed the S&P 100 chart a little less than two months ago. That post focused on the short term. Let's look at the last fifteen years off of a key data point we haven't talked about since the before the crash of 2008. That would be the very important 1995 price pivot.
The price band we mentioned in the last S&P 100 post is shown in the lower red horizontal line. At the time we remarked of that price band as very important. In this post we have stretched the price band back more than a decade. This band has since been broken to the down side. The green boxes highlight the enormous price congestion around this key price level.
We temporarily regained this price level over the last week but lost it again on Friday. I am extremely pessimistic we will regain and hold this level. Instead markets often break then rally to the break point before breaking again. One of many reasons I am very concerned is because my advance-decline data is rapidly closing in on the March 2009 lows yet price has not followed. Yet. This is telling us more and more "up" days are being driven by derivatives such as futures, options and leveraged ETFs. Hold that thought because it is very important.
Back in the days when the world's greatest traders roamed the earth, including the likes of W.D. Gann and Jesse Livermore, there were a few select men who had an ability to read the tape and decipher what the market was telling them. With the advent of Frankenstein finance and the rise of the machines (computers), tape reading has become a lost art. While I am not one of the greatest traders of all time, I actually do read the tape and combine it with a depth of understanding of markets, monetary policy and economic fundamentals that is substantially more fact-based than those who rely on opinions, theory and ideology.
Remember, as we have written numerous times, market technicals or quantitative analysis is really nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy of fundamentals. This is why technicals and quantitative analysis often fails or data unexpectedly starts reacting with different results. In other words most quantitative analysts don't have a strong grasp of changing fundamentals. And, in fact, it is really the qualitative ability of the individual to interpret that is best able to determine reality.
Financial markets are deteriorating because the economy continues to deteriorate. Remember the incessant blather about green shoots? As we have said countless times, there is no recovery. There is no economic double dip. There is only a continuation of the crisis. The data that truly matters to an economic recovery has not once pointed to an end to this crisis. Mathematics don't lie. Only people do.
We wrote quite a few times since the March of 2009 lows that the equity market would eventually consist of a handful of firms batting shares back and forth as fundamentals and Wall Street's Frankenstein merge to drive more and more counterparties and liquidity out of the market. And because the remaining players would be employing the same strategies, the equity market would become one indistinguishable risk pool. In other words, there truly would be no counterparty for Wall Street's Frankenstein just as there was no counterparty during the 2008 crash. What we saw in that dynamic was the only eventual counterparty for Wall Street's stupidity was We the People, as society had to bail out another of the endlessly corrupt Wall Street schemes.
No one else has written of this market dynamic, especially not our financial overlord Timmy Geithner, but it is indeed very real and unavoidable unless fundamentals change. The Federal Reserve and the government are killing the economy with their policies. Policies we are told will help us weather this storm. There are answers to this crisis but as we wrote years ago, the Federal Reserve and the government are engaged in the wrong policies. As is almost always the case, the generals are fighting the last war. (Interestingly, or should I say hilariously, the new financial reform bill gives Geithner and a panel of equally incompetent bureaucrats new powers to act on our behalf when they see possible risks in our financial system. You know, like Timmy was supposed to do before the 2008 collapse in his prior role as chief regulator of Wall Street.)
The dynamic of more and more counterparties being forced out of the market, as described above, is starting to show its hand in the action in today's equity markets. The Wall Street Journal just remarked days ago that the stock market is more closely correlated to the S&P 500 than at any time since the crash of 1987. This high correlation to the S&P is exactly the type of measurable outcome we would expect from the dynamic we described as an eventuality back in 2009. Wall Street's Frankenstein is essentially the lone remaining liquidity of any relevance as economic factors and trading mechanics usurp liquidity. That's a far cry from the lies perpetuated on Wall Street that their Frankenstein monster actually increases liquidity. (ie, As we written many times, trading is a zero sum game and in this type of economic and market environment, losers (counterparties) must eventually fold as in a game of poker. Without the capital of counterparties being replinished, the pot (liquidity) becomes smaller and smaller as do the number of players (counterparties) as more and more are forced out of the game.)
Because the vast majority of Wall Street's equity market liquidity products (derivatives) are S&P 500 based, this high market correlation is telling us that almost all buying is now being driven by S&P 500-based derivatives; ETFs, levered ETFs, futures contracts, options, etc. ie, The dynamic we wrote of where a handful of firms would be batting shares back and forth is now becoming a reality. And that means the vast majority of liquidity is taking the same trade because Wall Street firms all employ the same basic algorithms. In other words, the equity market has likely become or is in the process of becoming an indistinguishable risk pool.
Because of these factors, I believe it is highly plausible, if not a near certainty, that will we experience another outright equity market crash yet this year. Forget about the new circuit breakers. Ask the Russians how that worked out for them. Forget about endless money with zero interest rate policies. It isn't working and if Bernanke understood what was wrong with the economy, he would understand why it isn't working. What we are most likely witnessing is the continual drop off of counterparties with a concentration of participants on the same side of the trade and this may be the gasoline necessary to cause another serious financial market crises. We have seen this dynamic before, be that mortgage-backed securities, the crash of 1987, the Great Depression, the collapse of China's equity markets and on and on. And if stocks crash, so too will bonds and gold. (Again) While it may seem improbable to anticipate market activity more than a year in advance of it happening, (As remarked above, we first wrote of this in 2009) we did do exactly that more than a year in advance of the 2008 crash where we laid out the dynamics which would drive the crisis in the posts on The Game. We shall have to watch to see how events unfold again this time. ie, If we will witness another crash by the end of the year.
We wrote last year that the Federal Reserve's endless free liquidity was not going to save the markets. Even with zero interest rate policies. Wall Street and other true believers misunderstand the Fed's monetary response and current economics. That led Wall Street clowns to once again take incredible risks without understanding any legitimate risk management practices.
Wouldn't all of this be more than ironic given our posts comparing the President's appeasement-driven hand-waving of financial reform to Chamberlain's appeasement-driven hand-waving in his signing of the Munich Treaty with Nazi Germany? And another stock market crash soon after the signing of a corrupt financial reform bill would be the exact same corollary to the start of World War II after Chamberlain assured Britain and the world that everything was going to be A-OK. Today our President has proclaimed financial reform a success, a corollary to Chamberlain's remarks of peace in our time. The timeless lesson being when dealing with right or wrong, of virtue or vice, of morality or corruption, of good or evil, there is absolutely no place for appeasement.
"Any appeasement of tyranny is treason to this republic and to the democratic ideal."
--William Allen White
We've banged out some pretty prescient calls on here over the years. Some additional calls have yet to come to pass but they will. People are well too focused on the here and now. There is a time component to this crisis and it is highly unpredictable because events unfold and the status quo reacts. When Citigroup hit 99 cents a share, we said we were no longer bearish on bank stocks because exogenous circumstances would determine their fate. Those exogenous events turned out to be a massive bailout and endless free money to speculate. But, we never, ever said that the financial crisis in the United States had passed. Ever. To the contrary, we wrote just the opposite. And over the last year while we heard incessant babbling that the world was in recovery and yet others were concerned that Wall Street had won, we clearly articulated that neither had the global economy recovered nor had Wall Street won anything. In fact Wall Street had lost the war but that time was needed for that to become evident.
Yes, Wall Street has stolen untold trillions of our money but as we have written dozens of times since 2009's low, the crisis has not passed. Wall Street won the early battles because of the element of surprise. (And these are indeed battles because Wall Street crooksters don't care one iota about the American people.) Wall Street caught their opponent (We the People) off guard in their early successes at extorting money out of us. But just as with Hitler's non-aggression pact with Poland, its subsequent promises not to invade Poland and its ultimate blitzkrieg, Germany won early battles through the element of surprise. But once the mighty arsenal of democracy, the United States and We the People, got its engines turning, it was but a matter of time before Germany would lose. This exact same dynamic is what we have witnessed with our crooked banking system. But, in fact, there is absolutely no way to go back. The game is over. It's time to rebuild a new economic America based on democratic principles.
The future is going to look very different than the past. Those attempting (mostly the status quo) to draw linearity from the past to the future, be it employment, earnings, economic leadership, our banking system, globalization, global finance, our political system or whatnot, are going to be severely caught off guard. Volatility precedes unpredictability for the status quo. That is why we see the endless remarks that no one saw this coming. Well, that is surely true for the incompetent bureaucrats who created this crisis. There are many people who had varying levels of understanding of the doom to come. It's just that they didn't have the microphone. And when they did, they were marginalized as charlatans by the corporatocracy.
This is a seminal moment in history and time is the only missing element. And you are a part of it whether you want to lead, follow or hide in a bunker. This moment in time is literally so profound that I believe they will write of it in history books. Maybe with such vigor as to rival the American Revolution.
I view most of these daily machinations in Washington, including this horrendously corrupt financial reform bill, as a distraction. The financial reform bill, as an example, is a bureaucratic agreement no different than the Munich Agreement, the Poland non-aggression pact or thousands of other examples throughout history. Frankly, they are all political bullshit. They are nothing more than documents of appeasement meant to paper over reality. Similarly, this financial reform bill will more than likely be tossed out in the future as were other documents of appeasement.
Finally, let's back up and take a look at the chart above to close out this post. The chart is confirming many key points we have made on here over the years.
The vast majority of capitalization of American equities is contained within the S&P 100 as are a disproportionate amount of the profits. Before the 2008 crash, the S&P 100 represented about $12 trillion in market capitalization, nearly the same as U.S. GDP. In other words, one hundred companies represent the majority of the capitalization of the all U.S. equities while the other remaining thousands upon thousands of publicly-traded companies are comparatively irrelevant. (Comparatively, not completely.) The global economy and the American economy aren't going anywhere without 100 of the largest companies in the world yet the index has continued to make lower highs and lower lows since the U.S.'s economic collapse sent the market tumbling in 2000. In other words, the top companies in the U.S. have been and continue to be in what has now become a fifteen year bear market as defined by 2009 prices retesting 1996 levels. And now the S&P 100 has been substantially rejected off of the trendline going back to the 1995 price pivot we have discussed on here quite often; an ominous development towards retaking the 1995 pivot's pricing.
We have made remark of the U.S.'s economic collapse post 2000 numerous times even the status quo and many financial commenteurs believes to the contrary given the NBER only recorded a minor recession post 2000. ie, Thinking with your eyes and accepting the endless pablum of the status quo. Additionally, the S&P 100 has already collapsed well below the 2003 market low and is now struggling to stay above it. This is not constructive and it repudiates anyone who believes we are repeating the 1970s and a "flat" market for the next decade. There is nothing flat about the horrific economic events unfolding around the world today. Or of the S&P 100's pricing action.
What Have We Become? In a world of greed and power, our supposed leaders lost their way. Has the beacon of American democracy and freedom vanished? Or has it simply vanished from our leadership? It is time the American people reclaim our freedoms from the ruling elite. Regardless of our political views, our bond is our freedom. We the People are once again charged with restoring America to the mantle of nobility as we have done time and time again. And doing so after the timelessly crooked and incompetent ruling elite have made a complete mockery of democracy and our economy.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Well, it would not be on the back of a single man. The President could have reached beyond Washington politics to engage the American people in reform. There are 300 million Americans and maybe some number of 10 million or whatever (I suspect well less than that) are wedded to an ideology of the status quo.
If the President's policies would have empowered the American people in lieu of Congress or his crony staff or his failed ideological notions, ie embraced democracy and a self-determined people, it would not have been on the back of a single man. He would have instead engaged countless Americans in the political process and that would have put enormous pressure on the Congress. Just as Roosevelt did. There are countless necessary economic and political reforms which could turn our economy around that are not ideological nor are they representative of either of the corrupt parties in Washington. Obama could have easily declawed the Republikaaners and the useful idiots who support them. Ditto with the nutty Dummycrats. Change would have been on the back of hundreds of millions of engaged Americans if the President were to have played his bully pulpit properly.
Instead, The Fall of Obama is a result of the same old Washington stupidity of two completely vacuous and morally-bankrupt political parties. The Fall of Obama is a result of a President who outwardly lacks any leadership skills and instead is a President of appeasement of corruption and a political engine without any moral clarity. Of a President who supports the corporatocracy like the horrendous political leaders before him.
The article comments that Obama has reached out to former President Clinton for advice. Well that's a winner. Clinton is the godfather of the corporatocracy. Possibly the worst President in our history. We are actually still in the process of defining our history over the past few decades. Nothing has been written in stone yet. By the time this is all finished and sanity returns to our country, history books will start a new monument to go side by side with Mount Rushmore. It will be the Monument of the Three Stooges; Clinton, Bush and Reagan.
Not Only Do We Have An Oil Spill But Thanks To The Government We Also Have a Massive Chemical Dispersant Spill
I'm sure most people are familiar with food tasters. They are typically used by people concerned about being poisoned. I think I have found a new opportunity for politicians. Since they are allowing BP to continue to use these poisonous chemical dispersants that are known to have serious health effects, we should have them be our food tasters for Gulf seafood. What do you think?
Friday, July 16, 2010
President Obama Flouts His Harvard Education And Hails Michigan Battery Plant Which Cost $500,000 Of Taxpayer Money For Each Permanent Job Created
I guess someone didn't inform the President that hybrid vehicles have a substantially more negative impact on the environment than gasoline powered cars. Maybe he should have talked to America's top scientist and inventor of the Internet, Algore, before deciding to fund this factory. Not only do they have a larger carbon footprint but they are more unreliable and given that they have two powertrains (internal combustion plus electric) they are too expensive for most Americans to buy. We may have some type of electric cars in the future and they may or may not be powered by the batteries being produced in this plant or current battery technology in general. (Highly unlikely) But, we won't have hybrid vehicles in ten years. Of that I am quite certain.
But here is the best part about our brand new factory. First off the taxpayer money went to a foreign firm. I'm more than fine with foreign investment but not so fine with taxpayer money funding it. It gets much better. For every permanent job it creates, the government spent $500,000 of your money. Those jobs will probably pay about $50,000 per year on average. So the taxes collected annually by the federal government would be what? I suspect about $5,000. So that means the government's return on invested capital would be about 1oo years. Don't get excited yet. It gets even better. So we could re-employ all of the unemployed and underemployed people in this country if our President would raise our taxes by $17 trillion a year. That's on top of the $3 trillion in spending they already account for. So, all you need to do is work for free, live in a cardboard box, have no money to eat and spend your free time foraging for bugs.
Hey, what can I say? I wanted to spread some cheer going into the weekend and improve the President's approval ratings. It's quite obvious why he is a politician and not the founder of Intel. His business and economic acumen needs a little fine tuning. But then he's simply listening to his economics team. Maybe they are the ones who should be out foraging for bugs. At least they would learn something about economics in the process.
Federal Reserve Forecasts Recovery To Take 5 To 6 Years Yet It Hasn't Shown Any Ability To Forecast Beyond Next Month.
Let's remember one thing. The Federal Reserve has never forecast any systemic or major event accurately. Ever. During a cycle of volatility, you can throw forecasting out the window. Curve fitting and linearity of thought are dead until we end this cycle. Yet this is exactly what the Federal Reserve is attempting to do through their statement. An estimated recovery of 5 to 6 years is really telling us they have absolutely no clue when the jobs market will recover. (It never will without a change in economic policy.) Even in the best of times, how many people can forecast six years into the future? Nobody. Period. People may be able to guess but we've seen what guessing at the Federal Reserve buys us; complete incompetence.
Dylan Ratigan Goes To War Against Corrupt Congress
Ratigan is simply expressing (constructively might I add) his anger and frustration at the fraud of our government that most Americans feel. It's those who can't express their anger constructively that we need to worry about because this is a perfect environment for sane people to lose their marbles as we have already seen. If you ever feel like doing something stupid, reach out and talk to someone before you regret it.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
The Chamber Of Commerce's Neoliberal Corporatist Agenda For Jobs - Cut Salaries, Benefits, Regulations, Social Programs And Of Course Corporate Taxes
Gee, this will work. Right after we get to 50% unemployment because of these recommendations. This corporatist agenda is a rehash of the same old bullshit we've been living through for the last few decades. As we have said numerous times before, on this blog we are NOT pro business as the fascist corporatocracy is. We are pro markets because a self-determined people operating in a working market is what made our country the economic engine of the world. It was not corporations, politicians and surely not the Chamber of Commerce that made America the economic engine of the world. We are also not pro corporate capitalism, state capitalism or European capitalism. We are also pro American capitalism that we defined on here many times.
I have a better idea than the corporatocracy's plan. How about restoring defined benefit pensions, saving Social Security, making affordable health care available to all Americans (affordable, not free), providing a living wage for all Americans willing to work, cutting the income tax to zero, closing the loopholes to corporate tax breaks, restoring sound yet simple regulation and creating 15-20 million jobs in a handful of years? And doing so in using economics proven by mathematical gaming theory? Would most Americans support a democratic, merit-based plan if it would work? And it would without any doubt.
The Chamber of Commerce knows little, if anything, about economics. Even less about how to build a working market and the mathematics behind such an endeavor. They are self-serving corporatist lobbyists with a self-serving corporatist agenda.
As I have said before, you'll have to wait on my plan. I'm working on my submission for a Nobel Prize in economics. If economists can't seem to ever get anything right and even repudiate their Nobel Prize-winning work at a later date as Myron Scholes did, and if Al Gore can win a Nobel Prize for making shit up and President Obama can win a Nobel Peace Prize for continuing to blow up half the world, why can't I win a cookie? Pretty please with a cherry on top?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Did BP Lobby To Have A Terrorist Released In Exchange For Libyan Oil? If So, Should They Be Tried For Treason?
BP has either been misrepresenting our outright lying about the scope of the spill in the Gulf. They have been using unsafe chemical dispersants in the Gulf which are banned in their home country. They are still using them because the Coast Guard is allowing wavers even though there is some evidence something is ending up in our rain as far north as the upper midwest U.S. They have the worst safety record of any oil firm operating in the United States. They had no viable plan to deal with a crisis. They may be criminally liable for countless deaths. And now they are involved in dealing with terrorists? The list is endless but we can stop there. We need corporations but they have gained more power than the people and are creating a fascist society, not just in the U.S. but in many countries. China is more fascist than communist in many regards. Britain is well worse than the United States. And whether we see the stories or not, if we knew all of the bribing, criminal activity, polluting and exploitation of major corporations around the world today, most people would be aghast. Stories of this type come across the ticker constantly but they don't garner mainstream media attention.
Wait till the British politicians who would sell their mothers into prostitution are outed for their involvement in this mess. Who the hell do these politicians think they are? They are stewards we elect to keep our system of self-rule operating while society goes about creating the wealth necessary to provide opportunity and economic freedoms for our society. And to pay these bureaucrat's salaries and lavish health care benefits. We don't yield our rights of sovereignty or democracy or the rule of law to politicians or anyone else. They are protected by a written Constitution. Politicians don't exist to sell out our country for their political expediency or personal profits. Many are nothing more than common hoodlums who believe they are our kings and queens.
I wasn't going to post this but since this story has come up, it's more than appropriate. If this story on Democracy Now is accurate, BP was substantially responsible for radicalizing Iran by playing a part in the overthrow of Iranian democracy. And if true, they did so because the people of Iran were attempting to stop BP's endless exploitation of the sovereignty of Iran. Re Napolitano's book "Lies the Government Tells You: Myth, Power and Deception in American History" and his highlighted remarks yesterday, there weren't too many politicians telling the American people that Iran was radicalized because the CIA was involved in the overthrow of a peaceful democracy and inserted our hand-picked police-state thug as their leader and the people eventually revolted against its tyranny and the U.S. meddling in their country. And that power vacuum let radical religious fanatics take over. And now to deal with it, we need to spend even more on our military because the beast we created is a threat to stability in the region.
I can still picture our Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson remarking of how the world had achieved unprecedented cooperation and peace in our time. More so than at any time in his career. (Paraphrasing) Before Paulson's silly remarks we contrarily wrote, "This is the biggest bubble the world has ever seen. The world will literally shudder and shake when this cycle ends.". All in due time.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Constitutional Law Professor And Judge Anthony Napolitano Discusses "Lies The Government Told You" With Ralph Nader. His Shocking Conclusion.........
Monday, July 12, 2010
Bureaucrats At IMF Meddle In Sovereign Issues Of The United States. Cut Social Security, Education, Public Research, Aid To Injured Veterans.....
WTF is an international institution without any accountability to the American people telling us how to run our country? Our elected public servants accountable to the American people are the only bureaucrats with any authority in our sovereignty. I have one comment for the IMF. Flip off. Anyone who knows how the world works, realizes that the IMF is controlled by the United States. It's headquarters are in Washington D.C. I could care less that other countries have voting rights. As long as the dollar is the world's reserve currency, Bulgaria could run the IMF and the policies would have to be U.S. dollar centric.
I can only imagine political stooges in Washington are trying to build cover for cutting domestic services to our country while we continue to bail out crooked, corrupt and criminal banksters and fund endless aid to corrupt countries and fight war after war after war. I have said before that Greece should default on its debt. I still have a post I need to get up on this topic but the United States should also monetize its debt or default on it. Services to the people of this country are more important than bailing out banksters and pissing away money on international meddling. While we are defaulting, let's take the opportunity to move to a public banking system that supports democracy and economic development of all Americans.
Federal Government Gives Exxon Mobil Go Ahead For Takeover Bid. Once Again Bureaucrats Flout The Antitrust Rule Of Law.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Comparatively, Andrew Grove has a PhD in engineering, numerous patents to his name which led to the creation of wealth and has personally led the creation of hundreds of thousands of productive wealth-creating jobs. In other words, toady politicians and corrupt banksters live on the dole that productive people like Andrew Grove create. Without the likes of Grove creating society's wealth, politicians, economists and banksters - bureaucrats - would more likely be managing the local Taco Bell franchise. Not that managing a Taco Bell is a bad job, but it's a more accurate representation of the skills of a bureaucrat who freeloads off of the productive resources and productive people in our society.
Who would be more likely to have some idea what they are talking about when it comes to creating jobs and wealth? Barack Obama, Timmy Geithner and Lloyd "Jesus" Blankfein or Andrew Grove? (I just assumed Lloyd might be Jesus since he is doing God's work.)
The worm continues to turn.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
In the overall scheme of the U.S. housing crisis, subprime mortgages have almost become irrelevant. Corelogic's assumptions that the well-to-do are defaulting for grins and giggles is a dubious conclusion not backed up by substantially more rigorous data analysis. Corelogic's data point ties in directly with the squawking that insider selling through this stock market rally were because smart money knew the rally was a sham. That's also preposterous as we have noted countless times. The stock market roared over the past year yet insiders sold very early on into the rally and continued to sell as it unfolded. The same insiders (dumb money) who were buying before the 2008 crash.
The actuality of what both of these data points is telling us is what we have written on here numerous times. That is, those who benefited most from this economic model are unwinding. Are some upper middle class and wealthy people defaulting even though they aren't forced to? Sure. But most are defaulting because they bought into the fantasy that good times were here forever and are now being severely impacted financially. These are the aspirational consumers we long ago said were doomed. This whole mainstream perspective that frugal is now in vogue is really rather preposterous. The 40 million people on food stamps and the 30 million people who are chronically under-employed have been living a frugal life for the last thirty years. This isn't some new dynamic for them. What is really happening is the upper-middle class aspirational consumer is now being forced to join those who have been economically underprivileged for decades. The uber rich will always be rich. They may no longer have, say $500 million of net worth. Maybe it's $300 million. But they aren't going to sell their house because they lost two hundred million in net worth. It's the people who are marginally well off or marginal millionaires on paper who have generally overextended themselves by believing in this fantasy that good times were here forever. And the aspirational consumer is substantially invested in stocks while the more financially conservative uber rich are substantially invested in bonds. Or as the uber rich typically understand, gentlemen prefer bonds.
Unlike the neoliberal trickle down bulloney that defined the global economy over the last handful of decades, this economic virus trickles up as more and more in society are economically punished for their belief in an absolutely asinine economic ideology and the political apparatus that created it.
Friday, July 09, 2010
What is the definition of terrorism? The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
The political idiots of our country are literally shitting all over our Constitution and the inalienable rights of We the People.
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Is This Your Brain On God?
I saw this on NPR some time ago - Is This Your Brain on God and decided to build a post around it. The human mind is the most amazing "thing" within our known universe. I say "thing" because I really don't know what it is. And neither do you nor does any scientist. The human mind interests me more than any other topic. That interest extends well beyond the obvious to the esoteric and unknown. Mind you, there is much more unknown than is known on this topic regardless of what science believes. I don't really talk about this topic on here except for wise cracks about Buddha or seeking truth because that's not the intent of this blog. But it is an incredibly fascinating topic.
The altered state of consciousness of dreaming and the associated creativity are key elements to innovation and technological advancement. Dreaming and altered states of consciousness feed the curiosity of science. But because something is dreamed doesn't mean a scientific breakthrough is just around the corner. So, let's side track a moment here into the world of the bizarre. Is dreaming really dreaming per se as defined by humanity? Of imagining what isn't so? Or does dreaming, an altered state of consciousness, open ourselves up to recoverable knowledge that the human mind has always known? Potentially even before our physical manifestation here on earth? If there is really no real concept of time as Einstein suspected, in other words, there was no beginning and there will be no end, has human consciousness existed beyond our physical manifestation here on earth? Is this the secret behind the musical savant or Einstein's dreams or the great advances created by great human minds? That people are tapping altered states of consciousness to retrieve existing human knowledge? And, if so, what unlocks our abilities to probe into alternative levels of consciousness? And even beyond that, does the recovery of human knowledge possibly mean that our future is really a recovery of our past? A self-fulfilling prophecy that is predetermined on some level? Many of these concepts and others are consistent with many forms of religion that have existed for thousands of years.
I know the topic of AI has been debated amongst many scientists but there is absolutely no way we shall see any type of intelligent (comparative to the human mind) man-made life out of anything on the horizon of today's conscious human knowledge. We aren't close to being overrun by Terminators. We need an exponential and enormous leap in knowledge that may never develop. Our grasp of the universe is ignorantly simple at this point in time. Although it is expanding rapidly from one grain of sand to two and then three. The human mind, creativity, intelligence and consciousness are vastly more complicated than anyone claiming imminent success at human-comparable artificial intelligence could ever comprehend. And the more we learn about nature and the universe, the more awe-inspiring its ability, complexity and elegance truly are. In other words, the forces that shape the universe and life are nearly unimaginable. Well, in fact they are unimaginable because as humans we still have not and can not imagine them.
Great advances in human knowledge were always unlocked beyond the level of existing consciousness of the crowd, of society, of humanity as a whole. And it was always accomplished within the mind of a single individual. One who was often heckled and ostracized. An individual able to reach into their altered state of consciousness to create something profoundly new. Our country is great because we have allowed people to lead self-determined lives. It is that dynamic which creates the never-ending ingenuity of Americans.
We should do anything and everything to encourage this type of dynamic within the constructs of democracy. We were not made great by sitting in the corner office of a corporation doing mindless office work or slaving away on rote college coursework, or spending our time worrying about the fact that millions of Americans don't have health insurance. These are but distractions to the self-determined mind.
Self-determination is best accomplished by creating a social and economic structure which meets the basic needs of humanity. For example, of providing for Maslow's hierarchy of human needs: pensions, affordable health care, stable work conditions, a stable community and extended emotional support structure, etc. all within the constructs of personal responsibility and self-determination. In fact, the concept of money and capitalism isn't even necessary under such a construct. Our society needs neither money nor capitalism to be a free and prosperous democracy. These are the dynamics which create a self-determined society and foster the self-esteem, self-actualization and creativity needed to build a dynamic economy and enriched society. For a dynamic economy and enriched society is created by a dynamic mind. In order to have a dynamic mind, our human needs must be met.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
A Declaration Of Independence From The Dichotomy Defining Despotic Debauchery And Debilitating Despair In The District Of Columbia
On this 4th of July, we look at the declaration of independence from the timeless corruption of anyone seeking power; specifically politicians. Let's start by making one thing clear. Widespread poverty is almost exclusively a function of government corruption. In a country such as the United States with its great democratic institutions, vast resources and incredible inventiveness, widespread poverty is without any doubt a result of government corruption. Period. Instead we often hear endless political lies attempting to lay blame on large segments of the population as being lazy or other inflammatory hate-speech perpetuated by small-minded or ignorant ideologues. These remarks are almost always a result of deep-seeded hatred, bigotry or racism. If people knew we could have an incentive-based democratic economy where poverty was nearly nonexistent, we had low taxes, individuals could lead a highly self-determined life and we could afford social programs to compassionately assist our elderly and mentally disabled, everyone but the corrupt would demand change tomorrow. Instead people remain uneducated to the realities of the world not because they are incapable, but because the status quo wants them to remain uneducated. An educated society is an empowered society; an uncontrollable society; a free society. (I'm not talking about academic education either. I'm talking about education on the issues. Too often, they are mutually exclusive.)
Wall Street, corporate lobbyists and beholden politicians, surely headed to Hell if there is such a place, feed at Dante's troughs of deadly sins while countless Americans are denied access to our democratic institutions, resources and society's own capital. Capital which is supposed to be available to a democratic society to create a better place for all Americans. To allow self-determination within the construct of We the People and A More Perfect Union. Alternatively, completely incompetent Wall Street con artists, private equity socialists and other pigmen monopolize trillions of dollars of society's wealth via fraudulent cronyism to completely blow up our economy with their endless self-serving scams while then literally stealing trillions of dollars of our money as return payment for their endless corruption and incompetence.
Will our children and grandchildren tell their children that you helped change the world through peaceful activism? Activism to restore a great nation to its people or will they live in a repressive society run by crooks because we chose to do nothing? To instead view our problems as too large for us to impact individually? The vast majority of people throughout the vast majority of history have lived under tyranny of some form. A future guaranteed to be democratic will only happen if we make it democratic. What type of world will our children inherit? It is completely up to you just as it was to those who founded this country two hundred years ago with their Declaration of Independence. Today, we must make that same declaration of independence. A declaration of independence from the timeless corruption of power and politicians.
"The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything." — Albert Einstein
Friday, July 02, 2010
The vast majority of Americans want the country headed in the right direction and they'll recognize it when they see it. But that isn't the direction of Washington elitists from either party. The President has the right idea on some topics but his aloof and ineffective management style and the cronyism in his cabinet has replaced any attempt at real reform with hapless, corrupt legislation. In fact, hapless is pretty much a perfect description of his administration and that of most political administrations which is the reason economic sovereignty or individual freedoms should never be ceded to political stooges. And mind you, except for the infrequent leader or idealistic and altruist servant who lands in public office, they are all stooges.
My goal over the last week has been to put up posts which help crystallize the importance of the upcoming 4th of July holiday. And this is one of them. We'll finish it off on the 4th with our final post.
It's quite obvious to me we live in a police state. We didn't write about this in a lengthy post some time ago for grins and giggles. Or remark countless times of fascism and the state. Mind you, I don't carry guns, I don't belong to a militia, I'm not a fringe element of society, I abhor violence and I have very inclusive mainstream political views of We the People. Is our police state as frightening as communist China? Well of course not. But without the American people's reassertion of dominance over the political process and the state, the future of democracy is not guaranteed. Hope is not a strategy. Our police departments are armed more like military paratroopers than the neighborly Ward and June Cleaver portrayed half a century ago. Don't be naive. They aren't here to protect you. They are here to control you. Even the ACLU is now drawing that conclusion.
The ACLU has issued a report that highlights the United States as a police state intent on trampling your constitutional rights and individual freedoms granted by our creator.
Mr. President, we are not headed in the right direction. And as a supposed constitutional attorney, you should clearly recognize this.