Tuesday, January 31, 2006

65% Worker Dissatisfaction With Jobs And Investors Fearful of Future


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The media trumpets the notion that the economy is doing great but according to Marketwatch, readers fear total catastrophe this year. This contridiction is easily traced. For we have been in debt so long and so deeply, we think it will be the eternal status quo. This is why Congress and the Feds are sleeping at the wheel as we drive off the economic cliff.

From Marketwatch:
Recently we asked readers about 20 possible triggers that could cause "Meltdown '06." We hit a nerve, got 445 responses, read all of them and tallied the scores. Only 2% of you are optimists. The others used colorful terms to describe the network of triggers that makes up our unpredictable economy and markets: Perfect storm, tsunami, avalanche, dominoes, house-of-cards.
Time for me to put together all my economic cartoons illustrating what is really happening, isn't it? Why was Mr. Farrell of Marketwatch surprised to get so many negative responses, indeed, freaked out responses? It isn't due to just my blog.

Rational thinkers know some simple facts. "That which goes up must come down", "The higher they rise, the harder they fall," "Brilliant sunsets are followed by big blows," "Easy come, easy go," "A fool and his money are soon parted," and a host of other chestnuts that never lose their relevance. Going back to before the Roman Empire, there have been plenty of stories told about these same things. Jesus, in the Bible, talked all the time about interest rates, the rich, debts and stewardship. Obviously, 2,000 years ago, people figured out these simple fiscal concepts to the degree that popular preachers could talk about them and be understood.

So why the sudden stupidity here in America? At the top levels?

From the Washington Post:
However, as Sept. 11 illustrated, Greenspan's legacies include a Fed full of battle-tested veterans who helped him calm the markets and steer the U.S. economy through the 1987 stock market crash, the international currency crises of the 1990s and two recessions, according to analysts and other observers.
Greenspan and his band of robbers didn't guide us through anything. 1987, we capitulated to the Japanese and launched the deadly "Japan soaks up excess debts, stabilizes the dollar by removing inflationary dollars from world markets and we will surrender in the trade wars and let Japan have one-way trade with us." What a fricking victory that was.

The currency collapses in the '90s was all Rueben's hard work with Clinton and the Democrats. The Republicans wanted currency collapse!

Ruebens isn't only gone, he is one of the top voices in the wilderness, bewildered by the developing mess.

The Mad Hatter continues his Mad Tea Party. From AP:
President Bush will renew his call for personal accounts within Social Security and ask Congress to renew tax cuts and curb the growth in benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid in his 2007 budget request next week, according to administration officials.
Democrats will fight for more spending and the compromise will be, everyone will spend on everything yet again. This has been the compromise for the last five years. To prevent any pain no matter how slight, everyone has agreed to simply charge more and more debt.

Greenspan's great trick has been a one trick pony: go to China and Japan, hat in hand. Our entire government does this to such a degree, we have ceased to have any Asian policy at all. It is all written in script we can't read.

The working class is getting antsy. Reuters:
Economic growth coupled with increasing employment options have led 65 percent of U.S. workers recently to consider launching some sort of job search, according to a survey released on Monday by salary consulting firm Salary.com.

The survey of 14,000 workers and almost 400 human resources managers also revealed that bosses haven't caught up with the changing mind-set of employees who are enjoying more options.

"The economy getting better has opened a door of opportunity to consideration," Bill Coleman, Salary.com's vice president for compensation, told Reuters.
Isn't this article insane? As always, the media has to prop up things no matter how they teeter on the edge of the cliff. In normal times, people don't look for a different job, they demand pay raises for the jobs they have.

Only they can't! Why? Well, no one is offering higher compensation otherwise why would 80% of America's workers be lagging simple inflation? In good times, wages can drive inflation, workers demand more but because more money is in the system and being spent, sellers can charge more and get it.

This isn't happening at all.

Wages are dropping behind inflation. People are going steeply into debt to make up the difference. Sellers are desperate, cutting prices, cutting labor, cutting corners in a race against time. I don't see people getting better jobs, and the fact that a whopping 65% of workers in this survey are very unhappy and dream of a better paying job is scary. Where are the jobs? If 65% of the jobs are awful enough for workers to want to leave them, are they all going into the 35% good jobs? I doubt that.

Congress is in session. The rush to eat the last dishes of the Great American Post WWII Feast will feature us scrambling over each other to ram more food into our mouths, slithering across the fine china, dispensing with using forks and knives, we cram it all in, fat bulging, and then the table will collapse under our weight.
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Monday, January 30, 2006

Only Once in the Last 100+ Years Have Americans Not Saved Anything At All--1932/1933


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The only time Americans were unable to save any money at all, collectively, was when the entire banking system collapsed around the entire world. This singularily bad event, a cascade of bad credit and defaulting on loans, began during WWI when all the major empires of the world went in debt to the USA to fund that massive kill-fest.

Associated Press:
Americans' personal savings rate dipped into negative territory in 2005, something that hasn't happened since the Great Depression. Consumers depleted their savings to finance the purchases of cars and other big-ticket items.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that the savings rate fell into negative territory at minus 0.5 percent, meaning that Americans not only spent all of their after-tax income last year but had to dip into previous savings or increase borrowing.
Each item, standing alone, doesn't signal disaster but when everything is aimed the same way, it is a disaster. The trade deficit, the savings deficit, the budget deficit all at once.
With employment growth strong now, analysts said that different factors are at play. Americans feel they can spend more, given that the value of their homes, the biggest asset for most families, has been rising sharply in recent years.

But analysts cautioned that this behavior was risky at a time when 78 million Americans are on the verge of retirement.

"Americans seem to have the feeling that it is wimpish to save," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York. "The idea is to put away money for old age and we are just not doing that."
So why aren't we all saving anything? Inflation is raging, it has been raging for quite a while, in the area of necessities. This inflation has hit us all very hard. Inflation in things we can put off buying has been nonexistant because it can still be outsourced. Namely, energy, being at the base of the economic pyramid, the thing that literally powers the higher levels, is a negative force here, it drives inflation, and if we export jobs frantically to cheaper labor venues, the lowers the price, squeezing out the inflation from energy but at the cost of destroying our labor compensation which means, since our personal finances are way below this deflated inflation, it still is running at a rate greater than we earn.

Sigh, this means, simply, there is such great inflation, we can't keep up even when it is reduced to only 3%. For our incomes are -2% or worse! The solution to this was to reduce taxes and reduce other things until we got a situation whereby everyone is on an escalator down while energy is on an elevator shooting up to the 100th floor!

Interest rates, set ridiculously low, below the rate of inflation, meant that aggressive savers like myself, are hammered as the government confiscates my money faster than I can squirrel it away. When they were paying me 1.7% for my hard earned cash when inflation was roaring along at over 3%, this hammered me hard. At least I could keep up with this ridiculous inflation but only by cutting lots of firewood and spurning using any other form of energy to heat my home, for example. And of course, purchasing a gas miser car, my only purchase this year.

People living in the lower 1/3 of the economy are suffering from a 10% inflation rate with virtually nothing to protect them. These are the people paying 23+% in interest rate on unsecurd loans. The general population is paying over 5% loans on their properties which is still, in the lower classes, below the rate of inflation but not enough to make up the steady erosion in income. From the NYT:
Millions of low-income people would have to pay more for health care under a bill worked out by Congress, and some of them would forgo care or drop out of Medicaid because of the higher co-payments and premiums, the Congressional Budget Office says in a new report.

The Senate has already approved the measure, the first major effort to rein in federal benefit programs in eight years, and the House is expected to vote Wednesday, clearing the bill for President Bush.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Mr. Bush plans to recommend a variety of steps to help people obtain health insurance and cope with rising health costs. But the bill, the Deficit Reduction Act, written by Congress over the last year with support from the White House, could reduce coverage and increase the number of uninsured, the budget office said.

Over all, the bill is estimated to save $38.8 billion in the next five years and $99.3 billion from 2006 to 2015, with cuts in student loans, crop subsidies and many other programs, the budget office said. Medicaid and Medicare account for half of the savings, 27 percent and 23 percent over 10 years.
Sigh. With 3% inflation every year, cuts will have to be draconian just to make up the difference. Deflating balloon, meet inflating money machine!

The Great Depression is very misunderstood by people. Money lost value because no one had enough. So everyone had to drop prices to accomodate the lack of sales and to make a profit, had to drop wages over and over again. This proved to be a world deathspiral that was ended by a very nasty war and the confiscation or destruction of about 20 million people's lives and homes (conservatively, actually, the destruction was much greater). Britain was the world-girdling empire which has to confiscate not only all the savings of Britain in order to pay for the moronic mess of WWI, they had to go into debt to the USA. And had so little economic excess left at the end of the war, they had to force Germany to pay "reparations" which Germany got, in the form of loans from the USA.

When Germany defaulted due to the lack of excess income due to persistent inflation which, at one point, shot up to infinity, France and England's currencies collapsed. This then spread across to America, thanks to the bubbles we created, anticipating easy, eternal flow of funds from England to America via Germany.

Back then, the pound was the world's currency and all others were weighed against it.

We are in a similar but maybe worse situation here. We are more and more like Weimar Germany, owing money to anyone and everyone as we try to keep up the fiction that there is no inflation and we can live like kings on pure nothingness. I don't see much hope about this since we are not being told the truth. The fiscal manipulations are keeping the truth at bay, but not for long.

The fact that no one in our government, not a soul, is yelling about us going over the debt limit is like Sherlock Holmes' "The dog that didn't bark" story. Namely, they are all in collusion on this deception. I remember when Ross Perot made a big thing about budget deficits when it was 50% less than today. Now, he is silent, thanks to the huge tax cuts he got.

Bush is going to start the really nasty budget cutting now. There is no more easy credit left. They all know this. Nervously, they sift their shifty eyes back and forth. The budget deficit has to be dropped to $0 really really REALLY fast and they can't do it. They want to drop taxes even more on the rich because even the rich are not keeping ahead of inflation except at the very tippy top of the pinnacle: about 2000 people live in that rarified world. The top people at Exxon which reported a profit of over $10 billion this year, Chevron, all the oil companies, rolling in dough, Bill Gates and who else? I really wonder.

Most, though, are losing ground, thanks to higher and higher oil prices. They want tax cuts, more benefits, more loans, more everything.

It isn't coming anymore. Or, the price will just be too high. One thing that has struck me, is the fiction that the need for loans from China, "off shore banks" (um, wow, Enron loans!) and Japan have already carried a very steep pricetag. It is just, outside my poor blog, no one who understands this are saying a peep.

Time to go skiing at Davos! Whoopee. Note how many Democrats are there, having fun.
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America Is BANKRUPT--Shot Over Debt Ceiling Illegally


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Normally, when we approach the debt ceiling, warnings go out, the press talks about it, Congress debates "Democrats tax and spend" and everyone makes a big hoo-haw. Even under our dictator, Bush, they had this ritual. The Feds had to pull strings to limp along until the new ceiling was passed. Now, dead silence as we sail over the limit and into outerspace.

From Financial Sense University:
In a shocking development, the Treasury Department website is openly stating that as of January 24, 2006 our national debt stood at $8,185.3 billion and on January 26th at $8,190.5 billion.

Yet the US national debt ‘ceiling’, the maximum amount of debt the US government may hold at any one time, stands at $8,184 billion – a full $5.5 billion less. Although called upon by John Snow, Congress has not yet passed an expansion of the debt ceiling and so the US government is now operating in technical default.

You may recall that when last the debt ceiling was approached in the months surrounding the 2004 elections, the Treasury department furiously employed every accounting trick in the book (and then some) to avoid breaching the limit. They even went so far as to take the unprecedented step of borrowing $14 billion from the Federal Financing Bank to cover up the shortfall.
The entire facade of pretending Congress controls the public purse has collapsed. Along with advise and consent on appointments as our dictator unilaterally appoints people to top positions during Congressional snooze fests and presidential "comments" negating implimenting laws passed by a GOP Congress, as Congress prepares to pass a pro-Executive power stooge and Greenspan hands over the Fed to an idiot who is naive at best, we go over the debt limit with zero consequences aside from the Chinese rubbing their hands so hard with glee, they set their palms on fire.

Here are the stats: From the government's own site:

Current Amount

01/26/2006 $8,190,567,748,779.48

Current
Month

01/25/2006 $8,181,906,259,395.82
01/24/2006 $8,185,315,076,347.87
01/23/2006 $8,174,270,999,692.73
01/20/2006 $8,175,743,292,992.87
01/19/2006 $8,176,948,650,558.59
01/18/2006 $8,173,852,299,316.96
01/17/2006 $8,170,524,286,973.93
01/13/2006 $8,158,672,995,833.87
01/12/2006 $8,159,084,910,068.58
01/11/2006 $8,161,933,710,814.20
01/10/2006 $8,165,647,324,627.69
01/09/2006 $8,160,257,013,544.35
01/06/2006 $8,161,507,578,194.35
01/05/2006 $8,160,320,491,591.57
01/04/2006 $8,165,858,995,532.37
01/03/2006 $8,153,881,581,212.99
The flood of red ink has turned into a tsunami. And the tsunami is with a catagory 5 fiscal hurricane.

Many Democrats as well as Republicans were not in DC worrying their silly little pin heads over the Alito appointment. They were in Davos, scheming about world economics, playing games, playing footsie with the real rulers. The Swiss military kept French farmers and Korean workers and German machinists far away. It was terrifically cold, too, so the demonstrators were indoors. Meanwhile, our rulers and our so-called representatives spent most of their time conspiring with each other and the Saudi Royals at how to stop Hamas!

A tiny organization in a non-existent state! A very small people with no army, no navy, no airforce. Locked in a sweltering ghetto built by European and American Zionists. These people have consumed most of the time and energy of the great and powerful at Davos. Why?

Well, the game plan is for the Apocalypse to come and clean the earth of most humans. They will claim, it was accidental. No one knew that a big hurricane would swamp the poor in New Orleans! No one could guess that terrorists would attack the World Trade Center over and over again despite them not only sayng they would do it, but actually doing it more than once!

No one ever expected the Iraqis to resist our invasion. And no one expected the revolutionaries that are crawling out of the woodwork all over the Muslim world to attack oil/gas facilities! And no one expected American debts to shoot through the roof! No one expects the coming World Wide Depression and World Wide War!

This is because humans hate facing reality. Our Ice-age brains built in this mechanism that creates optimism despite the facts on the ground. Unfortunately, it has a very nasty side effect: delusions lead to insane actions that terminate lifeforms.

I will note here, I didn't want to scare people about the asteroid but have changed my mind: you better be terrified of it. Even if it misses, sometimes, they hit and they have hit in the recent past, while humans were very much homo sapiens, walking this earth. They hit continents humans didn't live on, back then. Not now! Gads.

On with the show.
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rich People Now Own 60% of Wealth, Unions Lose More Pay


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Republican Robbing the Hood has already concentrated 60% of the wealth into the hands of 1% of the population! The GOP wants more tax cuts for them and more wage concessions from workers. This will lead to the collapse of the government.

From the New York Times:
In 2003 the top 1 percent of households owned 57.5 percent of corporate wealth, up from 53.4 percent the year before, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the latest income tax data. The top group's share of corporate wealth has grown by half since 1991, when it was 38.7 percent.

In 2003, incomes in the top 1 percent of households ranged from $237,000 to several billion dollars.

For every group below the top 1 percent, shares of corporate wealth have declined since 1991. These declines ranged from 12.7 percent for those on the 96th to 99th rungs on the income ladder to 57 percent for the poorest fifth of Americans, who made less than $16,300 and together owned 0.6 percent of corporate wealth in 2003, down from 1.4 percent in 1991.
This is 100% due to tax cutting and free trade. Right now the very rich are meeting in Davos, trying desperately to extend more free trade so they can freeboot the planet and leave us all in debt and destruction.

This insane program might be interrupted by an asteroid strike or summer of nonstop hurricanes or something.

The deliberate program of extending deceptively cheap loans to the hardpressed middle class then strangling them by reducing income is how the middle class has been killed in the past in many other eras. Namely, after the first flush of imperial wealth, the working class and farmers have to compete more and more with slave labor brought in or used from afar by the ruling elite. If workers protest, they are either killed or lured into the military and used to watch over the slaves for a small remittance or shipped to rebellious colonies far away even as a tidalwave of new slaves are brought in to depress wages even more.

Small farmholds disappear and are replaced by huge estates serviced by slaves toiling for the ruling class.

Our Founding Fathers feared this but their feeble barriers to this collapsed day one thanks to the fact that many of them owned slaves who toiled on huge estates while the masters tried to create a democracy. The tensions leading to the Civil War were fueled partly by rage of the working class trying to compete with slaves. Luckily for the working class, slaves aren't motivated to work hard.

The NYT article doesn't address the vital issue of debts. So here is my second pyramid of power showing what happens if the housing boom, produced by cynical money manipulations between China, Japan and America:

If the cheaper than inflation loans disappear (and they will!), this is the good scenario. The bad one is, the base, already pretty unstable, collapses and the bottom 2/3rds pancakes into extreme poverty. This can happen. That would lead to very explosive political actions not too different from Germany 75 years ago. Already, inflation is eating the lower classes alive, actually, the illness has spread to 80% of America's workers. There is no unrest only because of the super cheap loans extended to homeowners willing to go into hock up to the eyeballs.

In banking collapses, the money saved by thrifty people evaporates, quite literally. Namely, the government seizes it by fiat. They also will seize all valuables in bank vaults "in a national emergency" when they need funds for the IMF or someone. This is where the famous "keeping your money in your matress" comes from. Literally, people who keep money aside at home end up being the only ones with money.

Almost no one is alive today who remembers the "bank holiday" we enjoyed the second year of the Great Depression. Literally, there was no money. Hitherto, one could exchange dollars for gold. This was made illegal, a new currency was launched that was not redeemable for gold and any gold in circulation was squirrelled away in the huge vaults at Fort Knox, under heavy guard.

Thanks to our WWII victory, we relaxed and trusted fiat paper but this collapsed in the Vietnam war failure. Once again, the government began to suction money out of bank accounts. I remember this really well, it really pissed me off and is the sole reason Nixon was driven out of office.

Thus, Bretton Woods I which reestablished the dollar at half its value.

Reagan's tax cuts caused another collapse and Bretton Woods II when we set up the Japanese buying our debts/American dollar keeps value since it flows out and never comes back, the debts being turned over and over.

Clinton started us on the road to solvency which is why Bush was favored by the real rulers who liked the idea of all wealth flowing to them while all debts flow to the working class.

This liberalization effort without a socialist base has caused the financial situation of the working class to collapse. From the New York Times:
The bad news is that the figure stood at 7.8 percent — less than a third of the rate of the early 1970's.

Even worse for labor, the rate of unionization has further to fall, according to most labor economists and experts in industrial relations. "In the immediate future, unions will carry on shriveling in the private sector," said Richard Freeman, a professor of economics at Harvard.

While union leaders attribute the weakness to everything from insufficient organizing vigor to a hostile political environment, unions, in a way, are victims of their own success. They have obtained better wage and benefit packages for workers, and in an increasingly competitive business world, that is working against them. Businesses in some competitive industries cannot afford unions.
So why did we drop our trade barriers---remember, Japan has gigantic trade barriers to this day!---and end up on this treadmill down? Workers love cheap stuff, they feel they can buy more of whatever if it is cheap. So they were conned into dropping trade barriers. Lowering prices didn't last long because the government cut taxes to the rich and immediately cranked out money for them, this caused inflation and the only way to "fix" it is to either cut wages at home or ship industry to cheap labor sites.

Now the spiral is a death spiral. Workers were lured to their deaths by promises of tax cuts which made them feel rich....for a year. As soon as they pocketed their lucky windfalls and happily voted for their tormentors to take over, we now live in a spiral to hell as the workers struggle to make ends meet, going deeper and deeper into debt. Under Bush, debts ballooned, tripling and now quadrupling in size.
Mr. Bryson said that even in the private sector, there were still industries in which competition was modest and corporations could raise prices without fear of losing markets to rivals. On economic grounds, these industries would seem prime candidates for union expansion.

What kind of businesses are we talking about? Hospitals would be one place to look. Energy companies would be another. Or why not an even bigger prize? Perhaps the labor movement should forget about cars and focus instead on a company that has crushed much of its competition: Wal-Mart.
Incredible. Organize hospitals? Hahaha. I remember what happened to any striking nurses.

There is a company that moves strikebreaker nurses from facility to facility. Unlike longshoremen, nurses aren't murderous or have deals with the Mafia to enforce strike picket lines. So every strike, without exception, was brutally broken by the hospitals. So there are no nurses who can wrest concessions from anyone. Indeed, the pressure to lower overhead in the medical field is extremely intense just like it is, everywhere.

Unsurprisingly, Bush's response to all this is totally insane.
The White House said it did not believe that the 2003 tax cuts had much influence on wealth shares. It also said that since wealth is transitory for many people, a more important issue is how incomes and wealth are influenced by the quality of education.

"We want to lift all incomes and wealth," said Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman. "We are starting to see that the income gap is largely an education gap."
Indeed. An education gap.

It certainly is, but not in the way these clowns think! The working class has been hit by a tidal wave of propaganda for 100 years and many can't think their way out of a paper bag at this point which is why the government and the rulers spent billions re-educating everyone to hate socialism and love the very rich. As I have pointed out, the well educated upper middle class lost relative value to the top 1%. And the well educated, too, is very deep in debt and very dependent upon the home value ATM machine cranking out money magically. Once that fails, they, too, will fall into the abyss.
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Saturday, January 28, 2006

At Davos, The Chinese Warn Us Our Credit Is Near Limit


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The Chinese at Davos, the World Economic Forum, warn us the credit limit has been reached and we are in for a world of hurt now. And that Bernanke is not competent. I agree.

From Reuters:
Ben Bernanke is poised to take over at the U.S. Federal Reserve next week just as financial markets are heading into a very volatile period for which he is untested, senior bankers said on Wednesday.

Dealers and investors worry that Bernanke, known as a sophisticated academic and inflation targeter, is more focused on fighting consumer inflation than current dangers of markets awash with cheap cash and a sharp U.S. dollar drop, they said.
I remember when his appointment was announced. Stocks went up, many economy bloggers thought this was Jim Dandy and here I was: Bernanke Will Continue Same Policies Until We Die. Haha. Seems like more than one foreign banker is screaming this today in Davos! Do they read me or what? Like, Cassandra hits again!

Then there was this article: Fed Chief Will Be Foolish Bernanke. Again, the things I pointed out about him seem to be exactly that which is irritating bankers in important places like China.
Zhu Min, executive assistant president of Bank of China, one of China's top four banks, said markets are extremely sensitive to Bernanke's succession. "You have a very, very vulnerable financial economy. I expect to see volatile markets," he said.
translation: "Foreign devils, we have you by your throats and we will now start tormenting you by dumping dollars on international markets when we bid up the price of oil when you bomb our ally, Iran." Of course, he is well trained to be polite and obscure but still threatening.
Zhu said his background left markets uncertain about how Bernanke would respond to the challenges they face.

Masses of cheap credit left in markets despite 19 months of Fed rate tightening -- which now has been joined by other major central banks -- presents a huge vulnerability, he said.

Excess liquidity is the key issue confronting financial markets today, not consumer inflation, he and Roach said.

The concern is that, if the Fed tightening cycle is nearing its peak, what happens if a financial shock occurs and markets do not need the usual Fed response of pumping in more money, given this excess liquidity, Zhu said.

"People have no idea where there is a shock absorber. That is why you will have market volatility," Zhu said.
I am not a people so I happen to know where the shock absorbers are and they ain't here in America, they are over in places like China. And the shock absorber there is rapidly morphing into a shock giver, namely, they aren't going to soak up all the excess currency we crank out forever. The limit is rapidly approaching.
A hallmark of Greenspan's era was to slash interest rates to soften the blow of financial market crises. Mostly recently the Fed cut rates to 1 percent after the 2000-2002 high technology stock crash. Since June 2004, it has tightened rates to 4.25 percent and is signaling that hikes are nearing an end.
All B.S. The interest rates were dropped to Japanese levels with the permission of Japan who got very significant concessions from us, note that their markets have stayed locked shut like there is no such thing as trade while ours gapes wide open! We did the same deal with China, too, and both soaked up an amazing $2 TRILLION in red ink. This is a very significant sum of money. We were able to then party like there was no tomorrow and not pay for our collapsing stockmarket. We even used the credit extended to us to run up huge debts in housing and consumer purchases.

We are utterly addicted to charging these two countries and promising to pay next Tuesday we forgot there is an upper limit. Well, we are getting really near it and there is no sign we are taking it seriously. The Chinese are about satiated and are now turning inwards to resecure their own empire. Meanwhile, Bush is suggesting cutting the National Guard, cuttting all social programs, gutting much of our interior systems, New Orleans isn't gettting rebuilt, no one is preparing for the inevitable huge hurricanes that are lurking in super warm oceans, just waiting for the sun to creep a little more to the north.

This is my earlier cartoon about the new Fed thief chief. A quote from the article:
Professor Barnanke invented the "Global Glut" to explain why hostile foreign governments are offering us seemingly unlimited loans. He thinks they are doing this because America is a good investment. I say, they are setting a trap.
A childish man. Bet he falls for those Nigerian e-mail scams!

From one of my first articles about this guy:
We are all taught that saving is good -- indeed, Americans are often chided for spending too much and saving too little. But what if the problem of today's global economy is that people elsewhere -- in Europe, Asia and Latin America -- are saving too much and spending too little? Former Princeton University economist Ben Bernanke argues that this is precisely the case. He calls it "the global savings glut."

This article is hilarious. The economist who came up with this latest excuse for our irresponsible economics reminds me of small children when they are doing something very naughty. "He MADE me do it," the child whines while pointing to usually a smaller and younger child. Good mothers seldom are impressed with this sort of reasoning.

There is no "global glut in savings". There are many billion and millionaires who squirrel massive amounts of money out of country so it won't be taxed or traced. We see how they operate like at the trial of the CEO of Tyco. he wails, "I didn't know where the money came from or where it went, the kids over there made me lose all that money and bankrupt my company!" Of course, the kids over there were all in his pay and under his supervision.


And then there was this cartoon from last November. I wish America would change course but it is too much fun, shopping until we drop.
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Failing Fiat Currency: Now Middle Eastern Oil Exporters Want Unified Currency Like a Euro


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Using the American dollar as the "fiat" currency of the world off of which all other currencies are measured, is beginning to shake at the base. As we exploited our powerful position just like all previous empires exploited their control over currency matters, we begin to cheat everyone, tempted to cut corners so we can rake in goods with increasingly worthless script. This is why no currency stays on top for more than 100 years no matter how big the empire.

From the Middle East Forex:
The Gulf states hope to reach agreement on the principles of a monetary union next year and press ahead with preparations for a single currency along the lines of the euro, Bahrain Monetary Agency Governor Rasheed Al Maraj said in an interview released yesterday. He told the Financial Times Deutschland in an interview to be published today but released in advance:

"We are in the process of drawing up the convergency criteria. Our aim is to reach agreement on the details by 2006."

As is the case in the euro area, countries wanting to join the single Gulf currency would have to fulfil certain economic conditions.
And so it goes. Iran is opening a bourse where it will trade energy using only euros as the fiat currency. This is because the euro has been more valuable than the dollar. The Japanese keep the yen artificially cheap by buying up much of the excess paper money America merrily prints. This is becoming rapidly more and more difficult to do since paper printing can, as Germany proved in the mid 1920s, easily printed into infinity.

Obviously, the oil selling nations are getting annoyed with our tendency to float our curreny on their oil. Right now, they suckered us into providing them with full military protection from each other and whoever, but this expensive project projecting our power is now pulling us under.

Despite the impending collapse of American fiat supremacy, Wall Street is acting as if we are in the old system whereby the entire planet has to prop us up, financially, if they want to keep our currency valuable so they can use it instead of euros. From Money.CNN:
"The market is ignoring higher oil prices and focusing on the good earnings over the last few days, especially from Microsoft and the other techs," said Peter Cardillo, chief market analyst at S.W. Bach & Co.

Investors may have also taken comfort from a weaker-than-expected gross domestic product growth (GDP) report, in that it played into hopes that the Federal Reserve can end its rate-hiking campaign sooner rather than later.
See? The obviously onimous bad news is good news because we will simply make interest rates way below the rate of inflation. Americans aren't saving anything, anymore, because interest rates are ridiculous, thanks to the world buying up frantically all our red ink in the hope of keeping our paper script with some value! So we imagine this nifty theft of goods will continue, unabated, forever.

I don't know the exact date when this will collapse but the two places to look are the Middle East and China and I see storm clouds over both places.

Thanks to the Japanese, Greenspan could pretend that interest rates are like a gas pedal, you press down and drive them higher, the car slows down (a preverse car!) and if you let up and drop interest rates, the car speeds up! Whoopee! Everyone bought into this ridiculous idea. So, to keep the economy afloat when it was sinking, he set interest rates so the economy could boom...When there was no economic reason to create a boom. This boom will bust us all because it pulled everyone and everything into a vast, gigantic pit of debts that are now nearly impossible to climb out of, like the gravity pool of a black hole.

From Associated Press:
The economy grew at only a 1.1 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter of last year, the slowest pace in three years, amid belt-tightening by consumers facing spiraling energy costs.

Even with the feeble showing from October through December, the economy registered respectable overall growth of 3.5 percent for all of 2005 — a year when business expansion was undermined by devastating Gulf Coast hurricanes.
This "growth" means mostly buying foreign goods. Period. We went on a buying binge which is why our trade deficit shot through the roof, going over $800 billion this year! This is impossible to sustain.

The purchase of energy in particular, isn't good news. That grew, a lot, in dollar denomination. But we didn't use more energy, everyone, absolutely everyone, is frantically trying to cut back and this causes a side boom in energy-efficiency purchases which will peter out as the money runs out for the lower classes can't buy energy efficiency or energy soon enough!

I am so lucky I own an extensive woods and heat my home with it.

Relations with Canada and Mexico, our neighbors and nearest trade partners, deteriorates as our own situation deteriorates. From AP:
It has been a trying week for Mexico-U.S. relations: a tense border confrontation between U.S. agents and apparent drug traffickers, a Mexican group's offer to print maps of the Arizona desert for illegal migrants and an exchange of terse diplomatic notes.

The administration of Mexican President Vicente Fox has its share of quarrels with other countries, but this promised to be one of the trickiest — involving the country's northern neighbor and largest trading partner at a time when the U.S. Congress is debating immigration reform.

For Mexico, migration to the United States is a mainstay of the economy; U.S. officials, on the other hand, see the issue in terms of national security and border safety.
The GOP is getting very nervous about the coming two elections because they just might be run out of office if the Democrats can get their act together (gads!). They know, the average American is very aware that their jobs bring in less and less because bosses can hire illegal aliens under the table and this is undermining wages in many industries such as home construction.

So, just like in the twenties when we shut down immigration from Europe to a great degree and eliminated it from Asia, the race to protect the Homelands will now begin to pick up steam. And we will discover the flat world isn't flat at all, it is very round.
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Thanks to Media Propaganda, Polls Say Americans Believe Both Parties Are Corrupt


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

For the last three weeks, the media whores, K Street enablers, all, have succeeded in muddying the waters so much, most Americans now believe both parties are equally corrupt and equally benefit from this corruption. The graph above clearly shows this is a false belief deliberately created by the GOP and media owners.

From Americablog:
Talk about out of control! The GOP has tripled the number of projects and almost doubled the spending since they took control of the House. I guess when you make so many promises to wealthy donors there's going to be a price and the bill is left with the American taxpayer. I always hear about the fiscal conservatives in the GOP but they sure as hell don't seem to be around.
The bloggers on the left have noticed the bellowing of the beasts working for media owners. As always, when the media wants something, they get it.

The media benefits from all this corruption in several ways. They get to form monopolies, for example, we see this right now as WB and UPN merge, it is becoming a vast, heaving beast, fewer and fewer independently owned anythings left at this point.

This massive beast eats most campaign contributions. So they have a double vested interest in keeping corrupt politicians afloat. This is why they are so lax about the Abramoff story, indeed, openly and cheerfully lying about the facts of the matter. The huge firestorm over the Washington Post's open lying about Democrats getting even one dime from Abramoff forced them to back down on their contention that the Democrats got bribed, too, but they hid this as much as possible from view so all the bloggers know this and our audience knows this but 90% of America hasn't heard a peep about it. The original story was unchanged, they didn't edit it nor mention it on the front page.

The only story that made the news out of this spat was the usual, "Bloggers are rude, they are nasty, they hurt us, we need blogger ethics." Oh, how very clever of the media whores.

Keeping people confused, confounded and corrupt is the sole reason the major media exists. IF and when they tire of Bush, they will suddenly turn on him, all of them, just like Nixon. Right now, they are happy as bugs in one's bed in Manhattan. Slurping up the red juice, smacking their lips and sucking harder. This is why the tidal wave of red ink is now a historic tsunami and everyone stands around, wondering if this is OK, oh, look, the sea is retreating and we can pick up fish instead of using nets! Run out onto the beach, everyone!

From the NYT:
The poll also signaled concern for Republicans as they prepare to defend their control of the House and the Senate in midterm elections this November. Investigations into Congressional corruption are taking a toll as the elections approach: 61 percent of Americans now hold an unfavorable view of Congress, the highest in 10 years.

This finding holds particular peril for Republicans as the party that has been in charge. More than half of the respondents said they believed that most members of Congress would exchange votes for money or favors.

Republicans were seen as more likely to be unduly influenced by lobbyists. And the Republican Party is now viewed unfavorably by 51 percent of the nation, its worst rating since Mr. Bush took office. By contrast, 53 percent said they held a favorable view of Democrats.

The telephone poll was conducted with 1,229 adults, starting Friday and ending Wednesday. Its margin of sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.
The usual still holds: everyone hates Congress but loves their Congress critters because they bring home pork and pork has been ladled out with a vengence under GOP domination. The downside of this pork is totally invisible. Interest rates are still way behind the rate of inflation so one can happily pile on endless debts because it makes more sense than saving. The Chinese and Japanese aren't calling in their chips....To our minds, they really are, but it is carefully hidden from view, as readers of this blog are aware.

The pork continues, the latest rip off is a lunatic scheme to "save money for healthcare." From the NYT:
When it comes to medical benefits, millions of Americans already have a health insurer. Soon, many will also have a debit card and a bank tied to their medical plan.

Banks, credit unions and money management firms are now quietly positioning themselves to become central players in the business of health care, offering 401(k)-type accounts to cover future medical expenses.
This is a scheme to eliminate all health care insurance. Instead, we "save money" for our medical care. Say, you have a heart attack and your account has only $25,000 in it. The operation costs $150,000. So while lying on your stretcher, you sign an IOU for the remainder.

Oh, la,la,la! I just can't wait! If we come to this, well, this is called "the Great Die-off." This is when bankrupt America tells us all to go to hell in a handbasket, only the very rich will get medical care and the rest of us can die young, isn't that sweeeet?

Why do Americans even contemplate such a bizarre, stupid system? We are saving nothing as it is, we are negative savings! And we are going to park $25,000 in health savings accounts? And what if we tap them and then little Mary gets luekemia? Debt time? Sell the house? Sell the car? Kill the kid?

If we fall for this scam, we deserve what happens next. The NYT poll shows 60% support for a full health care system, ie, we all have good health insurance. Support for the single payer plan was impossible when we had 40% unionized labor but now it looks like GM is going under with a $10 billion red ink year, they are demanding no more health insurance for their workers and huge pay cuts so even these people who have been content to watch fellow Americans suffer from lack of insurance are now feeling the cold wind blowing off the glaciers and are beginning to think, maybe national coverage would be a wonderful thing, no?

This would be expensive but still cheaper than the Iraq war. But then, we are supposed to be afraid of all those Iraqi terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. Another Bush/media whore production that has gone totally out of control.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Unions Think Hari-Kari Won't Kill Them...All Unionized INDUSTRIES Are Rapidly Killing Off Labor's Gains


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Unions think the only thing is to keep older members happy, not fighting the Free Trade Death Machine. Clinton betrayed the unions and they betrayed him. Now, no one wants to help unions, not even they, themselves, it seems. No one wants to lead the charge and talk about international worker's alliances like pre-WWI labor organizers recognized as a life and death issue.

From the Chicago Tribune:
This underworld is now the reality, or a disheartening look into the near future, for thousands of workers as the industrial Midwest undergoes the most wrenching economic transformation since the bad old Rust Belt days of the 1970s.

With the forces of globalization leading companies to slash costs, move out of the country or go under, workers who don't bring a clear competitive advantage to work every day are vulnerable to having their pay cut.

At this moment the risk is clearest in the auto parts industry, where Delphi Corp. has filed for bankruptcy court protection, and its chairman, Robert "Steve" Miller, has threatened to cut wages from $27 an hour to as low as $9.50.

But look at any number of industries where American factory hands are competing against the Chinese or the Cambodians, whether in textiles or furniture or appliances, and the fallout is the same: The standard of living for the Americans slips.

"For the United States, it's the end of labor as we once knew it," Stephen Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, wrote recently.
This is a most excellent article. A must-read. It is all so pathetic, too. Reading about all these atomized, small people, desperately trying to cling to the sides of the various liferafts being launched off the sinking American Economic Titanic! And those inside the rafts, beating them off with the oars, fellow workers, hoping to row at least their own carcasses to that far shore, damn everyone else.
A version of this new reality is taking place in Decatur, where Caterpillar Inc. introduced hundreds of new hires last year. Job creation was the good news. The bad news: Starting wages were cut to $10 an hour from $20.

The result is that Caterpillar and Decatur have become a laboratory of sorts for witnessing the impact of wage cuts. Working and living side by side are Caterpillar employees doing the same kind of work for different wages. The lucky ones are paid according to the old scale.
Classic divide and conquer. The "lucky" workers are set in a conspiracy against the newer, more servile, more helpless, workers. Instead of uniting across the globe, we can't even unite within the same work stations.

Workers are trained in America to not blab about pay. Everyone hides their pay stubs from each other as they try to sneak bids past the others, making themselves valuable at the expense of all the others. This is a dog-eat-dog style of capitalism, the kind the bosses love. It is hell for workers. This is why, in old days, workers playing this game were quietly punished by either falling into boiling metal vats or being accidentally run over or other unfortunate "accidents" or failing that, shot dead at home.

For it was a war, a full scale war, fighting for union rights. Every OSHA rule, every union contract was stained with blood. The entire history of labor organizing has been the chronicle of one raging battle after another. Then, most unions won, thanks to the Democrats. We had a brief time of plenty and happiness.

Now, it is near full nightime, the wolves are howling at the door and the remains of the labor movement lean against it to keep the wolf out and yelling, "Eat my weaker co-workers!"

This disgusts me.
Smith doesn't talk about his lifestyle with new hires at work because "I try not to rub their noses in it." He is a reserved person, but he has no hesitation in sharing his thoughts on what's happened at factories like his.
See? He is a privilaged worker, a pet of the boss, he is bitter about this but instead of doing something, he ducks out the door and after licking the bosses' boots, he runs back to his pretty kennel to entertain himself and not think about what is going to happen to his children, all of whom are going to college, hoping to escape the funnel that is sucking down wages across the entire spectrum.


80% of the employed this year lost ground as wages fall behind inflation.

From Seattle PI:
One short test drive and Army Spc. Todd Strange is gushing "Oh, sweet! I love it!"

He's been home from Iraq a little over 30 hours and already he's trading in his little 2001 Dodge Neon for a muscle car - a 2006 Mustang GT, V-8 engine, price tag $26,320.

"I'm buying the car to show off, pretty much," admits Strange, 26, of St. Louis.

Business has been booming in this southeast Georgia town since just after Christmas when thousands of 3rd Infantry Division troops from neighboring Fort Stewart began returning from a yearlong tour in Iraq and finding their bank accounts flush with combat pay, tax breaks and bonuses.
Just like with Nazi Germany, if workers play Russian Roulette, the survivors who don't lose arms, legs or their sanity can go on big shopping sprees when they come home! The public purse is open to them and to only them.

All other workers get steadily stripped of whatever they earn. And the more we indulge our soldiers, the worse all the other things will be. This very expensive war is what is partially fueling record red ink, all of which has to be paid for by allowing our creditors destroy the shredded remains of our industrial base. Sweet, isn't it?

This is a Haloscan patch repair job, the comments work on any new postings but not on this one. Thank you for being patient.
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cowed American Workers Vacate Winchester Factory So It Can Be Shipped Off To Japan


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

How pathetic are we? Well, the right wing, Second Amendment, We are Number One guys at Winchester were told this month, the factory is closing and moving to Japan, sorry, stupid buddies, we don't need no stinking American workers, tough titties, die. Interesting. They just walked home, dejected. Not like the French or Italian workers. They know how to fight. Heck, ditto, Chinese peasants.

From the New York Times:
Come spring, the Winchester rifle, immortalized as the gun that won the West and rode into the sunset with John Wayne, will be made in Portugal and Japan.
*snip*
But workers leaving the factory on Wednesday, resigned to losing their jobs, were bitter about the plant's closing.

"It's depressing, said David Pallanti, 58, who has worked here for 14 years, packing guns. "Who's going to hire someone 58, 60 years old?"

Dressed in blue jumpsuits, with their names emblazoned in red above the breast pocket, Jim Close, 44, and Donald Harris, 39, are metal finishers at the factory. Each man has two children. They have worked here for 6 and 10 years, respectively.

On a break during their shifts, they stood next to the entrance of the plant under a moody, wind-swept sky, near a sign that reads: "Through these gates pass the greatest craftsmen who make the world famous Winchester firearms."

The message left Mr. Harris cold. "That's just a sign now," he said, before heading back in to work where he pours acid on steel to rustproof the guns. "It used to mean something."
Baaaaaa. Mooooooo. Like dumb animals led to the slaughter, the American worker patiently bows to the bosses, as the bosses drive off in their mega limos to their mega jets to fly to Aruba and sail their mega yachts, the American worker is left holding a bag of shit.

As I keep saying, the workers in say, South Korea, go bezerk if anyone messes with them. They will travel to far ends of the earth, even America, to make a point. They will even shed blood.

The peasants of China have resorted to open battle, fighting the rulers, forcing them to change. Here is an example. From Xinhua net:
More than 7,000 officials have withdrawn their investment in mines amid a nationwide crackdown, said Chinese government here Friday.

The Ministry of Land and Resources said that 2,325 people, either government officials or company officials in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have retracted stakes in the non-coal mines, among whom 707 faced criminal liabilities.

Earlier statistics from the Ministry of Supervision showed that nearly 5,000 officials have taken their investment out of the coal mines. Friday's figure brought the total number to more than 7,000.

Forcing officials to withdraw investment in mines is widely regarded as an important step to curb frequent mine accidents. Investigation showed that a large number of accidents occurred because unlawful and unsafe mines were given a green light to operate by local governments after officials obtained stakes in the mines.
As K Street and insider trading in top GOP legislative offices, for example, should be cleaned thusly, too. By fiat. Geeze. We know, the GOP runs America, all they have to do is what Hu and Wen are doing, namely, executing corrupt officials and forcing the others to turn their pockets inside out! Heh.

Yeah. Bring on DeLay!

Anyway, this would have never ever happened if the Chinese people acted like American workers. They actually fought, quite literally, with weapons, like, F-I-G-H-T. Ever go to a football game? Isn't this what cheerleaders scream?

2nd Amendment fiends like to yap that guns make our people powerful. Well, only after we can buy them from the Japanese and Chinese, that is. And then, we can't use them for anything, of course. Power, as Benjamin Franklin knew, grows out of the barrel of the pen, for the pen is mightier than the sword! And American workers penned themselves in by listening to and consuming right wing propaganda set out by rich people who want sheep and cows for workers, not people who can fight, like F-I-G-H-T back.

To fight back, one needs to form alliances and join in other people's battles. This means forming big unions like internationals since unions can't gain power unless they have allies across the planet because of free trade and flat earth and the New World Order which means the mega millions order us around.

Boo.

Well, I believe, even cowed, helpless, pathetic American workers might wake up some fine day and grasp the truth: they are doomed unless the FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT back! Like real time fighting, not WWW fighting, not fake displays of Rambo rot, nope, the real, honest thing.

Gads. Are we men or mice?
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Friday, January 20, 2006

$60 Billion Boost From Feds Finished, Stock Market Super Decline On Bad News


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Unlike the Nikkei, there was no need to shut down trading but the gloomy day at the end of a dangerous week means more trouble next week. Bin Laden only attacks financial or diplomatic centers so Wall Street has lots to be gloomy about. Not to mention all that red ink which is like Lady Macbeth's manicure job.

Marketwatch:
U.S. stocks closed sharply lower Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average turning negative for 2006 and posting its biggest one-day loss since March 2003, after oil prices hit a four-month high and General Electric Co. and Citigroup Inc. disappointed with their fourth-quarter earnings.


10,667.39, -213.32, -2.0%) closed down 213 points at 10,667.39, its lowest level in two months. The blue-chip index is down 50 points from its 2005 close and is 2.7% lower on the week.

The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPQ:

2,247.70, -54.11, -2.4%) slumped 54 points, or 2.4%, to 2,247, the worst one day performance for the tech-rich index since September 2003. The Nasdaq is down 3% on the week.

The S&P 500 Index ($SPX:

1,261.49, -23.55, -1.8%) dropped 23 points to 1,261 and is down 2% on the week.

"The market was overdue for a short term pullback and a combination of rising energy prices and some high profile earnings misses have provided the catalyst," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at Spencer Clarke LLC.
Well, I would assume that Bush yapping about bringing WWIII down upon our heads and then immediately, old blow em up bin Laden joins in along with his number #2 sidekick and about 10,000 #3 side kicking Rockettes, all chiming in that war is an excellent outcome and we should all brace ourselves to howl at the moon. Warrrrooooo.

Well, Bush's Most Excellent Adventure is going to be fun! This is where we yell that we want to shut down a major oil pumping country and thus, disarm them, too. Well, today, the world announced they are ending their subsidizing the American oil monster, to keep us afloat, they gave us their oil reserves so we could motor around in our SUVs, sneering at everyone.

Well, world oil prices are climbing and the oil pumping nations are ceasing their headlong pumping, the Chinese already assured the Saudis that they don't have to drop world oil prices, China has a fricking trillion dollars in petro pennies so they can keep the price up and don't mind it one bit, even. So there!

The Saudis nearly went bankrupt during the nineties and they bought off all the unrest by raising the funds flowing to families there so they don't want to see oil prices collapse, they are afraid commerce will collapse but China assured them today that this won't happen, China is very happy to sign futures contracts covering the cost of oil at a higher price than the cheapskate Americans who want it below $21 a barrel, the Chinese said, the present price is perfectly OK.

Ahem. Our entire culture depends on cheap fossil fuels. Note how we are not struggling to formulate alternatives to this.

I was driving around last week when it was below zero, every house I passed at night, without exception, had no curtains closed over any windows. Windows, no matter what kind, are energy losers. Yet no one wanted to bother keeping out the cold. I have many windows on my passive solar house and you can bet, I have heavy curtains drawn at night in winter!

This la-de-dah attitude is going to be the death of us all. Instead of spending money on fine curtains, etc, we spend money on fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, we cook the books in the Iraqi "elections". From the BBC:
raq's Shia-led United Iraqi Alliance has won the country's parliamentary elections, but failed to obtain an absolute majority.
The alliance took 128 of the 275 seats - 10 short of an outright majority. Kurdish parties have 53 seats and the main Sunni Arab bloc 44.

The Shias will now be expected to form a coalition government.

A number of Sunni politicians have alleged fraud, and international observers criticised irregularities.

Those who do not accept the results will have two days to appeal before they are certified as definitive.
Shades of the USA! Well, we can't complain they got what we don't have!

Obviously, the Shiites won a resounding majority which is why the data wasn't released for over a month! A month! During which the Sunni rioted and raged. So now, the books were cooked so the Shiites have to get an alliance with someone. As if this is going to stop the meltdown which is already raging like a Texas grass fire in winter.

We can't attack Iran unless we stabilize the Iraqi oil supply. Or our fake front stock market will be hammered brutally as well as the American people running around, screaming for Bush to be tarred and feathered over high fuel costs. Already, the grumbling is getting pretty loud. The American Home ATM machines are shutting down, one by one, as interest rates rise, inflation rages and of course, starting yesterday, everyone was getting their new minimum payment credit card bills. Oh my god.

Even the stupids advising people to buy, buy, buy in the stockmarket can't disguise that turkey. It is bigger than the float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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Iran Moves Financial Assets Out of Europe And To China


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Iran moves swiftly to rearrange currency and asset markets in preparation for confrontation with America. We aren't going to win this particular fight.

From the BBC:
Iran has started moving its foreign exchange reserves out of Europe in a bid to shield the country from the threat of sanctions, reports suggest.
Iran's central bank governor said the country had begun withdrawing assets from European banks, the Iranian Students News Agency reported.
Most wars begin as financial rearrangements. In this case, Iran has a very powerful sponsor who is helping them along. The BBC won't say who it is but I know who it most likely is: China.

China is playing a very delicate game of Go, one smart move after another. Here is their busy week so far: From Xinhua net:
Saudi Arabian Ambassador designate to China Saleh Alhegeian said here Friday that King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz's forthcoming China tour will be a visit worth expecting.
*snip*
In 2005, the two-way trade volume rocketed 59 percent year on year to 14.5 billion U.S. dollars, about five times that of 2000.

Saleh said the visit will become a new milestone in developing the friendly relations between China and Saudi Arabia.

As two important nations in the world, China and Saudi Arabia will open new areas of cooperation and continue to strengthen exchanges in diplomacy, economy and trade, said Saleh.

"The closer contacts and cooperation between the two countries will surely exert a great influence on international society," he added.
Note how many Muslims China is killing in the Middle East. Zero.

And China is busy in Europe, as always, too. From Xinhua net:
Chinese President Hu Jintao told visiting Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis Friday that China-Greece relations are in the "best" period of time since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 33 years ago.
*snip*
"We are willing to join hands with Greece to expand bilateral pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and promote further development of Sino-Greek all-round strategic partnership." Hu said.

Noting Greece-China relations progressed quite well, Karamanlis said Greece sticks to the one-China policy and opposes "Taiwan Independence".
Frantically building bridges, the Chinese now roam the planet, plunking down their stones as they move systematically from place to place.

At home, they fret about the monumental task at hand, dealing with a long legacy of poverty in the peasant class, the fruits of capitalism have, like in many other countries, laid waste to the countryside due to pollution, loss of young hands to work the fields and inflation.

From Xinhua net:
China is striving to become a dairy production power in the world in 20 years through larger investment and technology upgrading.

Liu Yanhua, vice minister of Science and Technology, said here Friday, "In the past five years, the country has invested 150 million yuan (18.5 million U.S. dollars) in developing key technologies in the dairy industry."
We had price supports here in America for the small dairy farmer, placed in the Great Depression when money was tight, this has been removed and in my own community, we went from 20 active farms to exactly 1 that is about to fold, too. The flat world model we are adhering to is killing us.

For example, I have bees. The price of honey has collapsed because of imports and worse, diseases from mites are killing hives and to replentish is expensive except last year, when my last hive was long dead, wild bees flew in and recolonized it for free and so far, are doing fine. But I used to get more for my wool, my honey, my eggs. All depressed by imports and this is ravaging all farmers across the planet, it is all so strange to deal with. Like factory workers, we are being chased from pillar to post.

Finally, the old yuan kidding me news. From Xinhua net:
People's Bank of China Assistant Governor Ma Delun said the market is determining the yuan's exchange rate, rejecting U.S. criticism that the government keeps the currency artificially weak to spur exports, the Bloomberg reported.

Ma said currency policy wasn't to blame for the U.S. trade deficit. "Workers' pay in China is 1/33rd of that of a U.S. worker," Ma said in an interview in Shanghai on Jan. 18. "The U.S. has to accept this global reallocation of industries."

Senators Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, are sponsoring legislation in Congress that would impose tariffs on imports from China unless the yuan is allowed to appreciate more rapidly.

The U.S. government estimates the trade deficit with China widened to $185 billion in the first 11 months of 2005, up 25.4 percent from a year earlier. Treasury Secretary John Snow said on Jan. 6 that he's "not at all satisfied" with China's currency policy.

The yuan's value has risen 0.5 percent against the dollar since a decade-old peg ended in July, compared with a 3.4 percent jump in Korea's won and 4.8 percent advance in Thailand's baht.
OK, countries that are not running huge trade surpluses with the world and who don't own lots of American currency and IOUs are rising in value while the two countries running the biggest world surpluses and owning the most American money are declining or barely blipping in value?

HAHAHAHAHA.

This is too funny. The world's top currency can't be the one that is driving deep into debt. This is obvious now that the system is totally broken and is a failure and our attempts at fixing it by going to war against only oil pumping nations is a failure, too, and bin Laden is going to laugh himself to death. Gads.

Pathetic.
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Japan Finds Another Excuse To Lock Out American Beef


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Like the Hime (Japanese for "princess") and the Pea, Japan keeps out foreign trade by being super picky and finding endless reasons why foreign goods can't enter their fortress. This is a direct slap in our faces because we lost WWII and now are owned by the Japanese. At least the Chinese allow some trade!

From Associated Press:
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Friday Japan would halt all imports of U.S. beef after a recent shipment was found to possibly contain material considered at risk for mad cow disease.

"This is a pity given that imports had just resumed," Koizumi told reporters. "I received the agriculture minister's report over the telephone with his recommendation that the imports be halted and I think it is a good idea."

When asked by a reporter if this meant that all U.S. beef imports would be stopped, Koizumi answered, "Yes."
Banzai! The Emperor lives! Die, gaijin! Time to cheer at the war shrine. Grind American faces into the dirt, laughing.

You see, Japanese farmers have great power because Japan's rulers won't redistrict according to population so the rural districts which are very conservative as well as loaded with the elderly who are conservative even more than usual rural populations and on top of this, the need to keep out as much foreign goods as possible is what the Japanese miracle is all about: round earth for them, flat earth for us.

Free trade for us and locked doors for them. And so of course, we run a massive $75+billion trade deficit with them. Since they have graciously decided to collect many of our IOUs and our magic money machine can grind away merrily so long as it is translated into debts sent to Japan, we have zero power over Japan. Zero.

Like, we are rapidly turning into their slaves. This won't be pretty since they are "nice" to us only because it is useful right now but whenever we demand anything, the chain is pulled, our rations are taken away and we are sent back into our dog kennel to rethink our bad behavior.

Bush's stupid visit to Asia which showed the clever Asians exactly how moronic we are, was a massive failure for us. Bush was reduced to saying openly that he hoped Japan would at least buy our beef which is much cheaper than their domestic beef but then sighed that it probably wouldn't happen. Enraged industrialists forced American negotiators to go back to Japan and ask for some token from the Emperor who granted this: he would allow some beef in.

Exaulting in this boon from our masters, we ran home, collected the cows and shipped them over.

As always, the Japanese found some flaws in the delivery and shut their doors. Skiis or shoes, cameras or cows, no matter what one makes, it has fatal flaws for the Japanese who can only have the very best, what a shocker. Of course, the free trade fools ignore all this harsh reality and go around, working for the Japanese, trying to get all world markets opened to Japanese sharks while we get locked out of more and more markets, struggling to sell for less than the Chinese who are busy prying open Japan which is why Japanese troops are working on invasion exercises in San Diego this week.

As I pointed out earlier, the plan is for us to fight the Chinese for the Japanese in the latest round of WWII which will be called "WWIII--the American/Japanese Co-prosperity Sphere Disaster".
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Squeezed Between a Rock and a Hard Place: 80% of America's Workers Fell Behind Inflation This Year


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Nearly every worker below the $100,000 pay level lost ground this year, thanks to inflation as indexed by the government which doesn't cover the real losses since it grossly understates the rising costs of health, food and energy.

From the Baltimore Sun via AP:
The average American worker got squeezed in 2005 between the biggest rise in energy prices in 15 years and wages that failed to keep up with inflation.

As a result, hourly earnings after adjusting for inflation fell by 0.5 percent in December compared with what workers were earning in December 2004, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Workers did see their wages rise last year. It was just that the Consumer Price Index rose at a faster pace - 3.4 percent for the 12 months ending in December, the department said.

The 0.5 percent drop in inflation-adjusted hourly earnings last year followed a 0.7 percent fall in 2004 for the 80 percent of the U.S. work force that is employed by the private sector in nonsupervisory jobs.
Well, just a few days ago, Uncle Scrooge Sam printed up another extra $60 billion for Wall Street making inflation worse and the need to print up an extra $250 billion this year to pay for Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma will set us irreversably upon the path of hyper inflation.

As I note over and over, workers are being forced to absorb all the pain of inflation, every drop of this poison will be purified by their blood and sufferings. And they intend to get blood from rocks, these creeps. They have every intention of cutting still more upper class taxes while imposing the tax burden on the poor and unlucky.

Gov. Pataki, of NY, is, for example, raising taxes on cigarrettes and beer to pay for more tax cuts in income taxes! This is typical for they know the barely sentient population that consumes this stuff and who pay a significant toll in their slender incomes to buy these addictive items, hardly vote and hardly complain even as the screws tighten on their miserable few pleasures.

Sin taxes are very popular with the ruling elite because they already pay a lot for their pleasures and they don't mind this since their happiness lies with megayachts and expensive cars and high class call girl/fashion models. So paying 10% more doesn't bother them in the least.

The GOP keeps trying to pop the VAT, value added tax, instead of taxing income and investments as if investments like property or stocks aren't "value added"! Anyway, they hope to do what the French aristocracy managed to do in 1783: cease paying taxes, drive the government into bankruptcy from meddling in civil wars in the New World and prolific personal spending on luxuries.

What happened next? Heh. I happen to know.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Panic Forces Nikkei To Stop Trading, World Bourses Nervous As Bad Economic News Shoots Higher


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

It isn't just one Backdoor Livedoor action that is roiling world stockmarkets. The futile and dangerous move of pumping an extra $60 billion dollars into the American stockmarket by the fools running the Feds is fueling dangerous currency/trade/market forces. Like a hurricane over warm waters, the forces at work here are ratchetting upwards rapidly.

From Marketwatch:
A plunge in Tokyo so severe that the market had to close early further unsettled investors. The decline is an extension of losses triggered Tuesday by a probe into Japanese Internet company Livedoor. .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU:
10,841.35, -54.97, -0.5%) were just off a morning low of 10,831.32, down 57 points at 10,839.33.

The Nasdaq ($COMPQ:
2,273.50, -29.19, -1.3%) tumbled to a two-week low, sliding 29 points to 2,273, hurt by a broad decline in technology stocks.

The S&P 500 Index ($SPX:
1,274.86, -8.07, -0.6%) dropped nearly 8 points to 1,275.

Wednesday's weak batch of earnings raised questions about what to expect from the bulk of companies still set to report results, according to John Hughes, managing director at Epiphany Equity Research.

"You've haven't really had any good earnings reports just yet and after the big run-up, you're going to have a lot of people questioning whether or not there is valid, fundamental support," he said.
Good hellish grief. I know only a few people bother reading my blog but this is just plain ridiculous.

Panics classically begin when one or three or ten companies are discovered to be Enrons and they tip a tipsy market over the edge into true fatal hysteria only when certain conditions are ripe for a bad fall and if we ain't there yet, we will be very, very soon.

From Marketwatch;
The consumer price index fell a surprising 0.1% in December as energy prices continued to fade from the spike in September, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Read the full report.

The CPI fell 0.6% in November.

Core prices - which exclude food and energy prices - rose 0.2%, as expected, for the third month in a row.

Economists were estimating that the CPI rose 0.2% in December, according to a survey conducted by MarketWatch. See Economic Calendar.

In 2005, the CPI increased 3.4%, not much different from the 3.3% increase in 2004. It was the largest year-over-year gain since the 3.4% increase in 2000.

Core prices rose 2.2% in 2005, matching 2004's gain.

"Inflation seems to have weathered the storm of rising energy prices," said Robert Brusca, president of FAO Economics.
Good hellish grief again. They need to believe this idiotic fairy tale so badly, they repeat it to each other on a daily basis.

Word price of fossil fuels jumped yet again this week based on the coming war in Iran, the war in Iraq that we are losing very badly now, the revolt in Nigeria, and the refusal to conserve oil in America. All this is sending prices through the roof during an extremely warm winter! How's that for bad news? And if anything goes wrong? To the moon, Alice!

I dig through the Japanese news and they have no analysis of what is happening, just describing the woes of only one company. But they are bound to America, they are part of us and the American/Japanese balancing act is a mutal death trip. One trips, the other dies.

The Chinese are beginning a big withdrawal based on the fact they must spend more money at home fixing the peasant base or die, themselves. All their wonderful schemes will fail if 700,000,000 peasants storm their palaces. Being hyper aware that this is a very real possibility, they will no longer feed the American deficit beast and will concentrate on homespending even if this means losing American markets which won't really bother them in the end since our market is nearly tapped out.

And why is that?

Well, the new credit card bills haven't come in the mail until right about...today! It is the second half of the month and the first 4% bills are arriving at 150 million mailboxes in America and 75 million of these letters will give some very hard-pressed people heart attacks. The first effect will be a screeching halt to spending as they frantically thrash about, looking for some solution. Then the howls will begin. If Americans have any guts or spine left, that is. Will we be as loud as the very noisy peasants of China? Dock workers of Europe? South Americans?

Are we mice or men and women?

From NBC:
The White House is refusing to reveal details of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's visits with President George W. Bush's staff.

According to Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Abramoff had "a few" such meetings. But the spokesman won't say when or with whom. Nor will he say which interests Abramoff was representing -- or how he got access to the White House.
Abramoff pleaded guilty two weeks ago to mail fraud and tax evasion charges in an influence-peddling scandal that's involved a dozen-plus members of Congress.

Abramoff was also a top fundraiser for Bush's re-election campaign -- and attended two holiday receptions at the White House.

Earlier McClellan promised a "thorough" report on the lobbyist's meetings with White House staff. But now he says he won't go beyond previous comments.
As usual when markets verge on depressions, the ruling class makes things worse by being venal, corrupt and illegal. And this is no exception. Bush is a corrupt clown, a criminal with a long arrest history, a coward and should be arrested and impeached and thrown in jail.

He had Greenspan throw some money at this developing problem without heeding the fact that the very worst thing one could do when a tornado of inflation is beginning to form is throw in more fake money. If inflation dies it will be because people will be dying, dying for lack of food, medicine, housing, jobs. Strangling this self-created inflation to keep the Wall Street/Housing bubbles inflated will kill lots and lots of living human beings. Make no mistake.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

As We Suspected, Most Bankruptcies Are Impossible To Pay Off


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

The increasingly draconian bankruptcy laws the credit card companies have gotten through Congress aren't giving them the desired results: more loot. Of course, they get money at 2.5% interest and then reloan it for 25-30% interest but we aren't supposed to notice this gigantic profit for them. They want every penny plus a pound of flesh.

From the Washington Post:
The counseling agencies say most debtors are in such deep financial trouble that they cannot qualify for a debt-management plan.

"Typically, consumers are too far gone when they get to us," said Ivan L. Hand Jr., president and chief executive of Money Management International Inc. (MMI), the nation's largest credit-counseling organization.
Well, duh. People usually try and try before giving up. When someone's disability or illness prevents them from crawling forwards, they need some sort of remedy which is why high interest rates are charged in the fricking first place!

In Japan, the stockmarket is down because interest rates to the companies there rose to a whopping 1.4%! So what the heck is going on? Eh?

Any usurous lender charging over 21% interest deserves to get zero help in a court of law. They want to make risky loans, well, the principle us usually covered in just one year! If the interest rate didn't exist. So they might lose some profit but they seldom lose the money they put out and since scofflaws are usually less than 10%, the profits are absolutely stunningly gigantic, so big, they can lavish many millions on lobbying and bribing politicians and huge pay rewards to the executives, etc.

Who do you think are buying those megayachts, anyway?

The vampires and vipers running America told us, through their mealy mouthpiece, Bubble Boy Bush, to go shopping right after 9/11. And even this last winter, in the run up to Xmas, they were screaming at us to go shopping. They wailed that we should go shopping. They got downright nasty anyone daring to call Xmas a fraud, they were so fearful people might stop shopping like crazy.

Now they expect a flood of bankruptcies directly connected with all this shopping they demanded. And so they frown at the victims of this mega-brainwashing that runs 24/7 on TV, on the internet, on radio, on billboards, on every possible medium and surface: go shopping, buy this stuff! They want us to be stern like me and not go shopping, not buy stuff and to pay off all our debts and live virtuous lives shoveling snow and manure and tending the garden and hunting animals in the snow....Heh.

They hate me. Precisely because I am not part of all these little schemes. Whipsawing people and then blaming them for being cut in two: this is the reality of modern corporate (hello, Hillary!) America.
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