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Comments

Greg

Vote 1 John "the maniac" McCain!!!

He'll bring more jobs, weapons manufacturing, cannon fodder foot soldiers, bodybag makers, artificial limb designers,headstone designers!!!

Woot!!!!

Im going to the land of Azeroth for a while at least I know exactly who is good and evil in there!!!

Elaine Supkis

McCain loves tentacled monsters who galoomph in the darkness before dawn.

Jim Smith

Gold bubble? Measured by what?

Jim B

I read that article about Celente and I don't think his newfound rejection bothered him in the slightest, why should it? He's better than them.

CEO Nutcracker

Japan will go down along with US consumerism. Japan's support of our dollar, and defilement of its yen, will not increase consumerism here. What else are they exporting besides Toyota's that China dosen't export? It appears the collapse of the carry trade and free trade is imminent. At what point will China and Japan realize comsumerism is dead in the US, and look to greener pastures? At what point will we admit it?

Propping up a worthless dollar and defibrillating the stock market with $30B FED Auction jolts every few weeks is a bizarre way to deal with a bankrupt government and economy.

Why not drop oil prices and other commodities, like food and stop the global f'n warmongering, for starters.

Sidenote: Has anyone noticed the FED times these $30 Billion dollar infusions ahead of Helicopter Ben's rate cuts, and his delirious psychobabble? Or maybe the banks have just used up the last injection? In any case, Bernanke promises to keep doing this as long as it takes to build confidence. Is this being paid back to the FED (Taxpayer's)? Or is it a gift from us?

EEngineer

Elaine, this article is double posted. Does typepad do that when you go back to make a correction or something?

Elaine Supkis

Typepad normally doesn't do this but they were unstable last night, I sent them an email. I didn't notice the double, though.

Thanks.

CK

Ah health care, everybody's favourite whipping boy. Let us consider the supply of health care providers i.e doctors. Elementary economics suggests that a thing that is artificially held in short supply will have an artificially high price. Reality suggests that the more people who demand a time consuming thing ( health care ) in an environment where the suppliers of the thing are artificially limited in number. The less time and the less quality of service the demanders will receive. The number of doctors is artificially capped by the AMA, through its control of the medical school accreditation boards. Somewhere I read that the most expensive part of health care for most people is that part spent on the last week of a human's life.
Noticed in passing, the next "surge" in government theft will be to force all americans to have health insurance whether or not we want it. With penalties if we refuse to sign on with whoever is on the preferred vendors list. The healthy, the careful, the diet conscious, required again to subsidize other folks. ( It's for the children of course or the boomers or some deserving claimant at the public trough ).
Noticed ( finally ) in passing, along with requiring us to buy health insurance we do not need or want, the government has decided that we must upgrade our televisions for some reason. Fearing that there may be some resistance to upgrading something the content of which has deteriorated from vast wasteland to utter tripe and treyf, your government is now giving away COUPONS.
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/dtvcoupon/
https://www.dtv2009.gov/
I wonder if there will be a secondary market for these coupons.
These coupons are for converter boxes so those to poor to buy a flat screen HDTV can still stay glued to their old boxes when the old analog method of signal transmission ends a year from now.
Your tax dollars at work yet again. Benefitting the japanese manufacturers of these boxes, the japanese manufacturers of TV sets and the american media monopoly.
( or you could just try to buy a taiwan or PRC made DTV card for your computer and watch crap on your monitors.)

Elaine Supkis

Actually, Korea and Taiwan have beaten the Japanese in the rush for new flat-screen TVs! Thanks to cheaper labor.


Walmart's sales has been very good considering the utter lack of normal customers due entirely and totally to the sale of these hi-def TVs. If you go into their stores, you will see huge displays advertising price cutting for these monsters. What is so sad is, the TVs are awful.

Look at the screen! Everything is squashed flat to fit the perimeters. This makes everyone and everything look like fat dwarves. I am an artist and it makes my head hurt, looking at these things. I am very sensitive to such distortions.

Most people's brains will mold themselves to view the real world in this distorted way, too, thanks to this. Yuck.

OC

Elaine,

It's due to proportion; LCD TVs for Asians have different proportions and quality as compared to LCD TVs for America and Europe.

Being an artist makes u more aware of the distortions.

Elaine Supkis

Correct, OC.

I watch Asian TV online. It isn't distorted, either. But American TV online IS distorted in the same way as on the new TV screens!

How stupid is that?!

CK

Here I thought it was just the aftereffect of forcing movies filmed in a 16 to 9 ratio to fit onto older tvs that display in a 4 to 3 ratio. or conversely expanding bad tv shows shot in a 4 to 3 ratio to fit into the widescreen 16 to 9 ratio. Although some of the people on american tv do benefit from the Rubenesque expansion.

CK

About gold.
people who buy gold, the metal, as a long term store of wealth do not watch the gold futures market every minute of the day. People who buy paper that represents future expectations on gold prices, watch the trading market every minute of every day. When I buy an ingot I have to pay for the whole thing, at once, with whatever fiat currency I am using that day. If I were to play the paper, it would be as all commodity futures trades are, on margin. On margins, a 10% change can wipe one out.
Folks accepted gold notes and silver certifs because buying and selling is more convenient with those than with actual metal.
How large would a $20 gold piece be today?
Answer=approx 1/50 of an oz. Very tiny thing. Smaller than a piece of pocket lint.
Oh well, I have been buying the stuff since 1969, a little bit here a little bit there.
Never bothered to sell any of it yet, never bothered to increase my purchases when it took a momentary or even a decades long slide. Gold and walnut trees two very good long term holdings.
When I buy stocks, I take physical possession of the certificates too. After all if you leave them with the broker and the broker goes poof so does your stock holding. Life becomes easier when you put no credence in the full faith and credit of theives or other government functionaries.

Pluto

Elain writes: "We drop interest rates to banks that attract no savings! So they can write loans to people who have no savings! And this will drive savers away in droves.

Perhaps the banks might start giving away toasers and electric frying pans to savers, again. Green Stamps, too. Maybe they should bring back the Christmans Club accounts.

Ah...the world moves on.

Elaine Supkis

Dear CK: hate to warn you but CERTIFICATES are paper. And can see their value go 'poof' while you possess them. I have old ones that became worthless in the Great Depression.

Holding physical gold is OK but you must prepare yourself to be unable to translate it into 'wealth' if the government is prowling around, seeking out and seizing gold. They do this. I have lived through this in the past overseas!

Trust me on this one.

Pluto, back in the 1970's I had a friend who was tortured by the KGB but was released in exchange for some spies in this big double exchange arranged by Kissinger.

He made a killing and got launched in his new career as an actor here making the famous Greenpoint Bank [dead bank, by the way] commercials where he is a KGB agent and walks into a bank, filled with suspicion. He asks about opening an account and the clerk hands him a toaster. The camera did a close-up as he said, 'ONLY IN AMERIKA!'


He told me the KGB wore Italian shoes with pointed toes so they could kick you better in a corner.

CK

Elaine, I have some Bethlehem Steel certifs inherited from my dad. They went poof while he was alive but too ill to do shit.
My point is that if the brokerage goes poof, your ownership goes poof even if the company you supposedly own has not yet gone poof.
As I said, all government is theft. I expect the government to attempt to steal whatever they can see hear smell or taste.
The US government has done it several times already, I expect them to do it again; soon if a dem is elected, a wee bit later if a repub is.

Frederick N. Chase

Concerning CK's comment about physical posession of paper stock certificates.
It's not so much holding a paper stock certificate that gives one more security in turbulent times.
Rather, it's that this often eliminates a financial intermediary.
My older sister intuitively understood this when I first started mumbling about it after having seen Jim Sinclair advise it.
Sinclair is a very sound thinker, and honest, but his writing leaves a lot to be desired.
So I've been trying to restate this notion succinctly. So far, I've failed.
However the following 2 'cases' of stock ownership and ownership transfer probably get the idea across.
Case 1.
Say I have a certificate for some shares of ExxonMobil.
I arrange to sell these shares to a friend down the street.
We effect the transfer of ownership by sending my unsigned stock certificate and paperwork (a stock power signed by me) to
ExxonMobil Shareholder Services (ExxonMobil has outsourced its transfer agent function.)
c/o Computershare
P.O. Box 43008
Providence, RI 02940-3008
with the new owner's address, etc. We do or don't request a paper certificate for the new shareholder.
(Note: According to my sister, ExxonMobil in Dec 2007 will let you ask its transfer agent to give you a paper stock certificate.
However AT&T apparently will not, since 2002, allow this.)

Case 2.
Say I have an account at my stock broker, Fidelity, and execute a trade online so that I 'have' some shares of ExxonMobil.
These shares are in an unallocated pool of ExxonMobil shares owned by Fidelity. They are in Fidelity's name (its street name ).
But for capital gains purposes, for receiving dividends, etc they are “really” owned by me.
More generally they are owned by any of these entities:
--- individual client accounts like mine
--- Fidelity's own account or
--- a mutual fund Fidelity manages
--- possibly other entities
Fidelity may have loaned some ExxonMobil shares from its pool to any of these entities so that the entity could sell the stock without owning it (sell it short).
Clearly Fidelity needs good bookkeeping to keep this all straight, and they do have it.
Also, it is up to Fidelity to make sure that they keep enough shares so that the sum of those owned for all of these entities matches what they have in their pool very closely, and they can do that.
If Fidelity goes bankrupt these entities “really” owning shares of ExxonMobil still really own the shares.
But if Fidelity somehow does not have these shares, then ............!!!!!

Bottom line: It's avoidance of a bankruptcy-capable intermediary , your online stockbroker for example, that is being advocated.
If Fidelity (I probably should have used Merrill Lynch or E-Trade as the example!) should go bankrupt, it could be months, even years, between when you ask for your stock and when you get it – if you get it.
“You're a little safer if you get a stock certificate” is an easy and generally-accurate way to tell your friends who have and keep stocks to do this.
None of this, of course, keeps your ExxonMobil or your Enron from going bankrupt!

Elaine Supkis

Good analogy, Fred.

People buy Fidelity shares because the organization makes good deals, SUPPOSEDLY.

I wrote about Fidelity in the past here. Note that I am not exactly a friend of theirs. Far from it So far, they haven't threatened to sue me.

Group deals are very sink/swim. In other words, RISKY. Bigger returns in good times and total poison in bad times.

doug

elaine,
i enjoy your observations and although i think, politically, we may be from different worlds, i would like to support your efforts. how does one do that? is there a po box to which i can send a gift/donation? you are like a post graduate course. thank you.
cheers,
doug

Elaine Supkis

Doug, you can help me a lot by sending a check to

Elaine Supkis
209 Greenhollow Road
Petersburgh, NY 12138

Or click on the tip jar at the top of the page under my picture. Either way is OK.

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