Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SAR #10041

Only the richest and the poorest breed indiscriminately.

Ticket To Ride:  Some add up all the debts the US has and will have and conclude that US Treasuries should be rated as junk bonds.  True enough, but that ignores the rather serious observation that even though the US will eventually inflate away its debt, it is the only game in town.  Gamblers gotta gamble – they all know the game is rigged against them.

Growth Industry:  Folks have figured out that Fannie and Freddie (and Ginnie and FHA) are actually in the foreclosure avoidance business, and business is booming.  The only way to prevent foreclosures is to prop up the price of houses – so they're assured a steady stream of work for years.

Foreign Aid: One third of every dollar in US aid to Haiti goes to pay US military expenses in delivering aid to Haiti.

Too Much Doom:  Predicting imminent doom has become such a popular  cottage  industry I'm thinking of switching sides and becoming a booster.   But they've gotta change the flavor of the Kool Aide first, I can't stomach the current flavor.

Be More Afraid:  Al Qaeda has made attacking the US by July a high priority.  Doesn't mean they're going to, just that they'd like to.  So says Dennis Blair, our Director of National Intelligence.

Away” Found: There have been several international attempts to slow the trashing of the oceans.  They have failed.  The net effect has only been the warm and fuzzy feeling generated by fooling ourselves.  Our oceans have become vast garbage dumps.

Explicate:  "They're not knowin' what are we gonna do if we don't have Tea Party support."  Winning submission will be sent to Ms. Palin.

Chorus:  Richard Branson has become the latest to suggest that the world's economies might just want to do a bit of preparation before the oil crunch arrives, an event he sees descending on the world by 2015 and making the current credit crunch look like an appetizer.

Lowest Common:  Two Democrats have joined the Republicans in trying to prevent a fair civilain trial for the kidnapped, abused and tortured 'suspects' held at Guantánamo.  Why Republicans fear a public civilian trial – other than the possibility of not-guilty verdicts – remains unclear.

Blood in the Water:

How they got there doesn't matter, the PIIGS do have unbalanced budgets and high debt/GDP ratios.  So does the US, for that matter. That’s not the point – the point is vulnerability.   And certainly Greece, with the population of LA and the area of Kentucky – isn't worth all the noise. Its total governmental debt (300 billion Euros) is pocket change, and discovering it once again exceeded EMU budgetary guidelines is hardly shocking.

Sooner or later the EMU, Germany and France, the IMF or some deus ex machina – will bail out Greece.  Probably not until the Euro falls to a level Germany wants, but eventually.  Ditto with Portugal. And the bailouts will come with draconian conditions.

And that's the teaching point the banksters of the world are out to make. Conditions?  Go re-read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. The PIIGS have the one thing the big money boys are after – the money that goes to their extensive social programs, so wages will be wrenched downward, pensions diluted and the retirement age extended, public services will be curtailed, social programs gutted and as much as possible sold off.

The object is to divert as much money as possible from the workers and social programs to the bankers. Once that's accomplished and the example set with Greece and Portugal, then the bankers can go after other social democratic states. - ckm3


Rolandovich said...

Thanks again, CKM!

I read Shock Doctrine in 2007, and am taking a break from current events with this one:

Demetrius said...

Oil Drum had a good post today on the energy deficit in the PIGS and in US States whose situation is parallel.

Anonymous said...

Growth Industry:

Since there are no effective audits of these GSEs, one can only imagine what goes on. I would think there is tremendous political interference, for example, congressfolk getting relatives', friends' and constituents' mortgages modified, or even, depending on the strength and level of influence, disappeared.

This is a perfect example of how the Crime Wave spreads and increase as the lack of Prosecution becomes non-existent. The Crime will only accelerate until the Day of Reckoning.
It truly is amazing that no Crime Experts have written about this in detail: the fingeprints are all over the place.

Vitus Capital said...

"even though the US will eventually inflate away its debt, it is the only game in town."

Of course, Faber argues that the other game is (grandly stated) "emerging markets".

The prudent will choose the US. The adventurous will do EM's. Many of the latter will loose shirts. Some will win stupendously.

Ain't that always the case?