June 27, 2008
Elaine Meinel Supkis
People are buying gold again while the brutal bidding war for oil continues as saber rattling wrecks world oil markets. The Concert of Nations after WWII is collapsing rapidly. Our allies are increasingly fearful and agitated that the US will not only stop buying their manufactured goods but also maybe end up like the Soviet Union and leave Europe and Japan alone to face the full fury of Russia and China when we go bankrupt. 'Fix the DOLLAR!' the G7 dwarves shriek at old Grumpy. But he can't fix the dollar. For it is weak because our trade and budget deficits are immensely in the red. Libra is balancing Her scales in preparation for October, the month She usually delivers Very Bad News.
First, we go back in time to the end of August, 2007, a mere year ago:
The stock market hit a record that month. Then it began its wretched collapse. Wall Street was flipping out. Cramer, one of the stupidest pundits on TV for Wall Street's news stories was running about shrieking, 'There will be BLOOD in the streets!' and when the Fed began the hysterical rate drops, this old cartoon of mine expressed Wall Street's true feelings: bratty, nasty, greedy and stupid.
After deliriously rising on the news that the big housing developers managed to sell new houses last month without inquiring as to how they did this deed, the markets are now in danger of fainting away due to the very bad news that existing housing is collapsing in value and sales. And the happiness in Japan will also vanish as they contemplate the possibility their number one chumps, the US, will go under. And everyone wonders if the magician, Bernanke, can pull a hell hound out of his hat instead of a skunk.
I'm angry that the goofs who run our media and our government both adamantly refuse to admit the big boom/bubble built by Greenspan in 2002 with his fake 1% interest rates has collapsed. It fell apart way back in late 2005, for crying out loud! The remaining sectors collapsed one by one over the last 2 years. As the Fed and the investing classes frantically built new financial structures or designed new hedges or new dikes and barriers, they all fell down. So now the bankers and the top officials running the world's economies...oh, leaving out China, of course....are all frantically trying to use backhoes and bulldozers pushing huge mountains, historically huge mountains of money in a frantic attempt to turn the tide.
Now there are stories of various kings and princes trying to order the tide to turn. Even small children know what happens next. Also, the Little Dutch Boy who stopped the ocean from topping the dykes in Holland probably drowned. As a preson who has done lots and lots of drainage work, the nature of bad floods is, they weaken the ground under the dams and then the dam collapses. So shoving more dirt on top does nothing if the rain is coming down harder and harder, the winds are blowing harder and harder and it is a full moon.
The collapse of the unnecessary and stupid Greenspan free money/no money down game is ENDING. Period. There is no trick that can bring this back. None. It is finished because the US no longer saves money and is deep in debt. Going deeper into debt will make things much, much worse. Like trading a Catagory 5 hurricane for a Catagory 9.5 earthquake! Or Yellowstone blowing up.
Back then, all our media and our political leaders except for Ron Paul and Kucinich, were all yelling that all was well. The summer's problems were limited to a handful of fretful home owners unable to pay their bills. No one mentioned the end of the Japanese carry trade. No one mentioned the host of serious imbalances that were now literally forcing their way to the head of the line. All the red ink that flowed over huge debts rang up by America began to clot like blood and the international banking system of the G7 nations EXCEPT for Japan had a collective heart attack.
My blog in 2007:
It is official. Our rulers want inflation. Lots of inflation so long as they get richer. They need inflation so we will get inflation. This is how all dead beats pay off their creditors and our creditors are in Asia and the biggest is this very angry dragon which is nearly totally fed up with us. Great. Also, inflation kills workers and the retirees. Just in time for us baby boomers! Whoopee. Since the Fed lies about inflation already, they will make the lies bigger and like Japan, pretend there is no inflation. This is going to be fun, no? One thing is certain. Our houses will no longer protect us from inflation. But our rulers don't care.
They can't feel OUR pain.
Europe is frantically trying to stop inflation. The US central bankers are focused entirely on creating maximum inflation which they hope will super-burn the world's excess dollars we sent out for so many years as US Treasuries and US trade deficits. This is why Bernanke is fiddling like Nero while Rome burns. This is deliberate and malicious. Congress isn't howling about inflation. They are one of the major causes! They just voted even more military spending, just for example. The purse is still very much wide open. They hope to spend like fiends as inflation burns up the currency. They don't care. The President just handed out $160 billion in 'stimulus' and this is money we don't have, it is new Funny Money™. The TV babblers and the mainstream writers all are saying this is a good thing and not a super-inflationary thing.
Hyper-inflation in the commodities markets is rivaling the US housing collapse and the global banking crisis as the biggest threat to the world economy. Finance ministers from the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Britain, and Russia, have expressed their alarm over the doubling of agricultural, energy, and key raw material prices from a year ago, which is pushing inflation rates around the world, to their highest in three decades.
Sort of like in the movie, Casa Blanca [White House---HAHAHA]: 'I'm SHOCKED, just shocked to find gambling going on in here!' Well, they are all saying, 'Oh my! Where did this inflation come from? Not I!' Each in turn, points to...CHINA! Yes, the darn Chinese, by consuming resources, working hard and manufacturing stuff, they are the cause. Not the guys producing the oceans of red ink. The bankers making money out of thin air are not the cause, there is a global savings GLUT! Yes! Right!
Har. These gnomes are shameless. Also, is Russia expressing alarm over the hikes in energy prices? Are we nuts? They love this! They can barely hide their glee. Germany and France want to kill inflation. But this means driving a golden stake through the hearts of the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan. No one is going to even push a pin there, much less drive a stake. So this outrage is totally fake. And they know it. Look at their faces, listen to their voices. Are they alarmed? Are they threatening a trade war if the US or Japan won't change their banking policies? Do they even talk about these policies? No? NO!
US central bank accused of unleashing an inflation shock that will rock financial markets, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero".
The grim verdict on Ben Bernanke's Fed was underscored by the markets yesterday as the dollar fell against the euro following the bank's dovish policy statement on Wednesday.
Traders said the Fed seemed to be rowing back from rate rises. The effect was to propel oil to $138 a barrel, confirming its role as a sort of "anti-dollar" and as a market reproach to Washington's easy-money policies.
The Fed's stimulus is being transmitted to the 45-odd countries linked to the dollar around world. The result is surging commodity prices. Global inflation has jumped from 3.2pc to 5pc over the last year.
Europe and Japan don't want to kill the dollar. They want to prop up the dollar. The dollar MUST die because the US has too big a trade and budget deficit. It is that simple. And interest rates are much too low. Bad combo. Any other nation doing this would die instantly, long ago. But not the US. Everyone sells to us and intend to keep on selling to us. Eventually, as the US drought horse falls to its knees in the traces and collapses, all the dollars sent about the planet will be worthless. This is the plan, by the way. The fix is in: the dollar will be made worthless and our rulers who don't hold dollars, will have their offshore or Swiss bank accounts filled with paintings by dead masters or jewels or stocks and bonds of other nations as well as oil futures, etc. They will have their wealth and we will be left holding the bag.
Indeed, when I talked with officials about the Chinese plan to buy us out, the common response was, 'So what? We devalue the dollar and declare bankruptcy.' What a plan. It won't hurt them, it will destroy the US middle class, the working class and others, not the top 1%. So this plan is virtuous as far as they are concerned. This is probably why everyone holding US trade and debt dollars are buying up commodity resources across the planet.
By Gabor Steingart in Washington
The United States Federal Reserve Bank, or Fed, seems as much a part of America as Coca-Cola or Pizza Hut. But at least one difference has become apparent in recent days. While the pizza chain and soft-drink maker are likely to expand their scope of influence in the age of globalization, the US central bank is finding that its power is shrinking.
Nowadays purchasing power exceeds purchasing opportunity. Most of all, there is not enough oil, and too few raw materials and food products. These increasingly scarce resources are becoming the focus of disputes among many people and billions of dollars are at stake.
As part of the assessment, the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the major investment banks, mortgage banks and hedge funds will be asked to hand over confidential documents to the IMF team. They will be required to answer the questions they are asked during interviews. Their databases will be subjected to so-called stress tests -- worst-case scenarios designed to simulate the broader effects of failures of other major financial institutions or a continuing decline of the dollar.
Under its bylaws, the IMF is charged with the supervision of the international monetary system. Roughly two-thirds of IMF members -- but never the United States -- have already endured this painful procedure.
For seven years, US President George W. Bush refused to allow the IMF to conduct its assessment. Even now, he has only given the IMF board his consent under one important condition. The review can begin in Bush's last year in office, but it may not be completed until he has left the White House. This is bad news for the Fed chairman.
The US is buying time. The IMF can't see the papers that clearly show we are bankrupt already. Anyone looking at the Federal Reserve FRED graphs can plainly see, we are up to our necks in deep doo-doo already. The IMF knows this. They also know that for years, while the US violated all the rules, the IMF ignored these infractions. While lecturing third world nations about inflation and going into debt and trade deficits, England and the US were allowed to do exactly that, 10X worse. All the bankers who aren't total idiots already know the deal is done. There is little they can do to stop this mess. And they can't admit they desperately want this mess to continue forever.
And so here we are: wanting infinity and unable to accept reality.
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox were ordered by two top senators not to proceed with a deal overseeing Wall Street until consulting with Congress.
``We ask that no action'' be taken before legislators can decide it's in the economy's ``best interests,'' Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd and Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, the Senate Banking Committee's top lawmakers, said in a letter to Bernanke, Cox and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.
Dear Mr. Corrupt Campaign Money Dodd: the economy has not been run in any 'best interest' most of my life. You, dear Herr Senator Dummkopf, are PART OF THE PROBLEM. You, mein Herr, voted again and again and again to run over the budget! You voted endless war money like there is no tomorrow. You didn't stop the Fed when Greenspan dropped rates to 1%. Indeed, in the Senate, some of you were weeping when that evil magician retired. 'We should make a cut out of you and prop it up in the Chairmanship of the Fed so the good times can keep on rolling,' someone sort of said. I can't quite remember. But everyone adored Greenspan except for a few of us outsiders and Ron Paul. You guys loved the cheap lending. Just loved it. In your case, you asked Mozila of Countrywide for a special, low interest deal!
(Reuters) - The London Stock Exchange (LSE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to set up a pan-European, off-bourse trading platform with Lehman Brothers (LEH.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the groups said, to fend off start-up rivals hurting LSE's business.
The joint venture called Baikal would offer access to securities across 14 European countries in a so-called dark liquidity trading pool that also offered algorithmic, or computer-driven, trading functions.
"Baikal aims to address the growing complexity of order execution (...) by allowing (...) participants to trade larger orders in a trusted environment, thereby minimizing market impact," the groups said on Thursday.
The move comes a day after Project Turquoise, an alternative European cash equities trading platform established by a group of big investment banks, said it would go live on August 18.
Rising dissatisfaction from hedge funds with traditional stock exchanges and the European Union's new MiFID market abuse regulation have sparked the birth of an entire generation of alternative trading venues.
Golly. Just what we need. A deep, dark pool of FUNNY MONEY™ that comes from...well, Tokyo. Let's be frank: there are no risky investors dying to dive into dark, uncontrolled pools that they can't see the bottom. So this money will be an effort to find 10% of real money and then go off to Japan for carry trade lending. As the regulators try to stop this terrible flood of lending to speculators, Japan merrily gives them more and more. As hedge funds, investment banks and others are scrutinized by the authorities, the Real Rulers move everything ever deeper into the Cave of Death. Hissing with fury, they fend of real accounting. Hell, they hate accountants! They want people to trust them while they never balance the books. Simply put, money will flow in and then flow into their pockets.
And getting rich by having computers exploit weaknesses inherent within the Floating Currency system? HAHAHA. This is the CAUSE of our banking collapse! Do we need more of this destabilizing magic number crunching done by robots? More sorcerer's apprentices making their brooms carry buckets of water?
An investor has sued a Greenwich hedge fund management firm, accusing its operators of siphoning off money and enriching themselves at the expense of investors.
Westerly Capital sued Windmill Management LLC, manager of SageCrest hedge fund, and operators Alan and Philip Milton and Richard Weyand in Stamford Superior Court earlier this month.
It is demanding an accounting of money that has been lost and accuses the operators of Windmill of overvaluing fund assets "in furtherance of a scheme and/or course of conduct designed to personally enrich themselves even if this proved detrimental to the fund and its investors."
Everyone is going to be sued in the end. Most of these people are outright criminals. Arrest all of them including the corrupt Congress people who destroyed our budget, our President who misspent money on oil wars which caused oil to shoot up in price, arrest the central bankers for lying about inflation. Arrest everyone. We need to use half of Cuba for the prisoners. Aw, just hand them over to the Chinese communists and Castro.
Over the past 20 years, private equity firms have demonstrated the ability to shoulder risk and to improve the efficiency and profitability of the companies they invest in. They are exactly the kind of investors we should attract to the financial-services industry. Restrictions and disincentives, however, dramatically and unnecessarily reduce the pool of capital available to the industry. In addition to increasing the industry's cost of capital, these limitations increase the risk that taxpayers will ultimately be called on to assume some of these burdens.
Recapitalizing troubled financial institutions in times of stress is particularly difficult due to the lack of transparency available to traditional sources of capital – namely, public markets. The financial disclosure available to public investors, while perfectly adequate in normal times, is insufficient to comfort investors in times of stress and price volatility. Furthermore, the extent to which the industry overleveraged in the years leading to this bubble has made it susceptible to rapid and breathtaking deteriorations in value, as was recently the case with Bear Stearns.
This article is totally demented. It is so full of lies, it sank to the bottom of the toilet bowl and got flushed. These pirates and con artists are 'exactly the kind of investors we should attract'???? Like feeding cockroaches or vultures? The author of this mess does admit there is a slight problem about 'disclosures' which is all about deep, dark, dank pools connected to the Outer Darkness and the Cave of Death.
(Bloomberg) -- Fortis, part of the group that bought ABN Amro Holding NV last year in the biggest banking takeover, scrapped a 1.3 billion-euro ($2 billion) cash dividend and will sell shares and assets as the earnings outlook deteriorates.
Fortis dropped as much as 19 percent today in Brussels trading, the most since the company was formed in a merger 18 years ago. The bank said it will raise 8 billion euros of new capital by selling stock and ``non-core'' assets such as real estate, and won't pay the interim dividend for the first time in four years.
All the machines run by these creepy people who use computer robots to run things are crashing faster and faster. I wonder why, snark. As the losses climb, we see more and more clearly the Derivatives Beast. We can't just sit here forever watching this mess unwind without the quadzillion dollar Beast appearing on the horizon and stomping on everything in sight. Godzilla, meet Quadzilla. A marriage made in hell.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Amid soaring prices of crude oil and raw materials, nearly 40 percent of local business leaders believe their regional economies are slowing down or deteriorating, according to a recent Asahi Shimbun survey.
The combined figure of 38 percent--33 percent saying their local economies are moderately slowing and 5 percent saying they are deteriorating--was up by 32 percentage points from 6 percent in the previous survey conducted in November.
Japan's domestic economy will be ravaged as exports begin to fail. This takes us back to the goofy fake depression in Japan. It will become very real now. Not that Toyota cares. They want the status quo back. But the DOW dropped over 600 pts this week. It can't fall this much for more than 10 weeks which takes us to the Autumn Equinox, a time when Libra lifts Her scales and weighs everything in Her balance.