Tuesday, January 06, 2009
If you have an iota of interest in why the Empire of Sorrows and the rest of the world are in the financial predicament that has sprung up, you simply must read these two pieces (here and here) by Michael Lewis and David Einhorn, financial insiders, appearing in Sunday's paper of record. How rare it is to read truth these days; here is some. It may also make you quite ill...
Monday, January 05, 2009
If yesterday's weren't enough for you, try these...first, James Howard Kunstler, who has, well, a terrible track record (he just has to speed things up that go slowly, and extrapolates linearly), and Karl Denninger, who has a great record, at least for last year. If you absolutely must read something hopeful, try this one; it makes about as much sense as anything coming out of Washington, Wall Street, or CNBC these days.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Well, two days late, and many dollars short, here are Chaos' predictions for 2009. Let us hasten to add that these should not be surprising, to those who take the time to follow what's been happening in 2008, and 2007, and 2006, etc., because, of course, what's happening now has been building up for quite some time. Chaos is referring in this instance to the asset and credit bubble, which peaked sometime in the last year or so and is now in the process of a spectacular crash. And crash it will, most surely and certainly. Pay no attention to those in the MSM who attempt to "call the bottom," and forecast a "recovery" or some other version of business as usual in the latter half of the upcoming year. Ain't gonna happen, folks. The bubble has burst and 2009 will be marked by many many businesses of all kinds becoming insolvent, despite the best efforts by government and other elites to bail them out. Chaos' prediction here: the weakest go first. Those who were having trouble already in the bubble years are now revealed as naked as the tide is now out (this actually describes quite a large portion of the US public, as many of them live paycheck to paycheck, just one health issue away from bankruptcy), and these and others who have taken on debts that come due, are going to disappear, taking enormous numbers of jobs with them. Second will mark the gradual disappearance of many businesses involved in activities that are, shall we say, not vital to humans basic needs. By this we mean such establishments as restaurants, nail salons, gyms, jewelry stores, coffee shops, pet hospitals, recreational vehicle dealers and a seemingly endless variety of goods and services which have proliferated in the hothouse atmosphere of supercharged credit. The auto industry is a special case. Because of its deemed importance to the US economy, it will not be allowed to fail (this is not a prediction; it has already occurred a couple of days ago, but still...), but will limp along, swallowing ever more taxpayer dollars as it gradually winds down in the face of declining demand (there seems to be no possible way for the automakers collectively to sell anywhere near the vehicles they require to stay solvent). At any rate, the misery of lost jobs the loss of all these businesses will produce will be astounding to behold...yes, we are referencing the Great Depression here, and 2009 has the potential to be much worse. Unfortunately, the government's response to this has been ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst. By needlessly tossing money to failed businesses, insolvent banking and investment houses, and businesses which would have failed of their own incompetence and malinvestment, the Empire of Sorrows has sealed its own eventual fate, although this will not occur in 2009. Already bankrupt, the US will propose and implement more of the same (spending money it does not have). The reason for this is simple: the US public lacks the character to be told the truth, and like children, must be pandered to and flattered. Some have already pointed out the loss of legitimacy of a government which cannot provide basic necessities (i.e., food, clean water, air, health care, and the like) to a majority of its citizens, and this trend, already obvious, will become more evident in the year 2009. We'll see more individuals opting out of the system in various ways, whether by local action, or relocation to more favorable venues (Chaos' preferred choice). State and local governments will also be under major budgetary pressures, depending somewhat on the wisdom of their investments, but also from the lack of tax revenues--people without jobs and homes have trouble paying taxes, you see. Where this downward spiral will end is not knowable, but bet on it not reaching bottom in 2009. The aversion to short term pain will cause a much longer and more miserable crash than is necessary. More broadly, the use of credit to finance well, just about anything, is pretty much over. The US public is going to have to relearn all it thought it knew about buying stuff, whether houses, vehicles, or cheap Chinese junk. Thrift is in, and will become more so. Growing one's own food is making a comeback, and fixing things rather than replacing them will be "hot." Already luxury goods are becoming passe, and conspicuous consumption will fall away to a large extent. Once again, these changes in attitudes will not come voluntarily, or easily, being purchased with the misery of lost jobs, foreclosed houses, and business failures. Along with these, should come the death of the optimistic idea that the killer apes of this planet will voluntarily restrain their worst impulses and smoothly and painlessly adjust to a world of declining resources. If you must feel sad about events, this is the one to respond to. Chaos wishes you well in this most fascinating year of 2009. Namaste!