It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bohemian Bankruptcy - A tragedy by Drag Queen

This was posted by Barry Ritholtz's Big Picture blog. I had to add it to mine. Cheers

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Politics of Deception

There was a terrific article written by Yves Smith at Washington's Blog . The upshot is we are all being deceived by governments that tell us, "The kids are alright. That everything is fine," when in reality the whole of what we are being told is completely false. He makes 1984-Orwellian parallels between communist and fascist past efforts to control group-think, and today.
Some would even suggest that Nobel Prize winning President, Barrack H. Obama, was the perfect shill for the New Normal; the Black JFK, the Harvard trained ghetto worker from Chicago's South Side. There are some who would even suggest the left/right paradigm is like coke/pepsi - where two entities slug it out for market dominance - only to wake up and discover both products are manufactured in the same plant, that the stockholders for both are owned by one equity fund.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Brooksley Born - A sacrificial ewe at the altar of greed.

Women have made huge strides climbing to the penthouses of power. But all too often, when they get there, they still face incredible opposition. To endure the cultural misogyny of university, corporate culture, and politics to aspire to the top displays a depth of character and selflessness non-existent in their male counterparts. A woman rises on individual strength: Men in power rise on the strength of their associations and allegiances to the club of men.
One such woman is Brooksley Born. Selected by Bill Clinton to head up the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Born fought a lonely battle in the 90's to curb the unregulated derivatives market that threatened the economy. In the end she was bullied, slandered, and ostracised by the brethren for daring to question the status quo. This PBS documentary goes in-depth to expose the legacy of shame that rests on the shoulders of Summers, Rubin, Geithner, Greenspan, and many others, in the destruction of a good human being.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Paradise Lost

It's clear that the global strategy of central governments is to deal with the economic crisis by pretending it is over. Nobel prizes, H5N1 flu, Health Insurance Reform, Afghanistan, and DOW 10,000 rally caps are all subterfuge to keep us from looking too deeply at what has been the largest PONZI scheme in history; a time when trillions of dollars of assets were funneled to people living in the capstone of the pyramid. Naked Capitalism has compiled a great post detailing the extent of the fraud.
Industrial activity and manufacturing have been usurped by financial engineering on an unimagined scale - the new credo "Greed is Good" has become doctrine instead of a catch-phrase. But as Roger Bootle writes in the Telegraph, "Greed is not good, It's dangerous".
And for all the happy fizz-bangs coming from resource-rich countries, the Chinese, Australian and Canadian economies have similar asset bubbles waiting to be burst. Flush with capital, China has been on a commodities buying binge. At the same time, the dragon has been on their own real estate spree inflating the cost of land, housing, and commercial real estate. This has been documented by John Mauldin, a founder of the site: Thoughts from the Frontline Mauldin references The China Files when he writes:
The real estate market in China, particularly the residential side, is a burgeoning bubble that is growing bigger and more breakable by the day. Land and housing prices were already rising steadily when Beijing's stimulus package hit the sector in early 2009. Now prices are surging, with developers, bureaucrats and investors cashing in while urban Chinese - once encouraged to invest in home ownership by the central government - become less and less able to buy.
c/o John F. Mauldin
This Youtube video provides a glimpse of China's foray in commercial real estate.

The planet suddenly seems much smaller. The US has become a very large stopper in a sea of global debt. Any belief that emerging economies - like China, have the capacity to backstop the freefall of capitalism are founded on a vague hope. When the New World Order takes shape it is clear that those of us born in the '50s will chronicle a lifestyle that will seem mythical to our grandchildren.
The whimsical nature of our changing world is found in Judith Warner's Op-Ed piece in the New York Times To me it captures a feeling of disconnect between reality and our hopes for our children. All of us who remain silent are complicit in the legacy of debt we leave our children. Josh, a fellow blogger, quote Robert F. Kennedy:
"All it takes for evil to prosper, is for good men to do nothing"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Obama - Return of the King

Let's see... inaugurated January 20th...... nominations close for Nobel Peace Prize February 1st.
Blogsite Club Orlov likens it to the Nobel Prize Gorbachev received while the Russian economy dissolved around him: A sort of consolation prize.

Less than two weeks in office and he wins the Nobel Prize. Is there something wrong with this? Or is it just me? And who nominated him, LLoyd Blankfein? Nobel Committee defend their ground.

Reading List

* Peggy Noonan's excellent essay on our economic times. c/o John Mauldin

* "Dead Peasants Insurance" - Is your boss insuring your life - and hoping?

* Tarp and Lobbying - a great return on their investment. c/o Open Secrets

Sunday, October 11, 2009