Saturday, September 5, 2009

'God Help Us'

So says Blue Crab Boulevard, surveying the catastrophic effects of Obamanomics. And that was before he learned of The Mother Of All Bailouts.

The O'Biden Happy Talk about the magical wonders of "stimulus" continues to deceive much of the MSM -- it's all unicorns and rainbows and "recovery," as far as they know -- but the financial press can't ignore the evidence of impending crisis.

One thing has focused on is aggregating financial and economic news, which has required me to scour over Google Business News and other sources. Is the DJIA up or down? What about Treasury notes? Gold? Oil? Currencies? Banking? Housing? Employment?

Thursday, the stock market broke a 4-day slide, and gained again on Friday, after the much-anticipated August jobs report showed unemployment had risen to 9.7%. The average person sees these two facts -- jobs down, market up -- and asks, "How on earth is 9.7% unemployment good news?"

Beats me. If I could figure out the stock market, I'd be rich. Instead, I'm a blogger. However, facts are facts. Since peaking at 14,034.39 on Oct. 9, 2007, the DJIA has lost 4,593.12 points. Even though the Dow has bounced up some 3,000 points since bottoming out in March, we're still talking about a net loss of 32.7% in less than two years.

Combine that with the meltdown in housing prices, and it represents a massive devastation of asset-value, an economic cataclysm of historic proportions.

Now, consider that we are less than two years away from 2001, when the oldest of the Baby Boomers, born in early 1946, turn 65. Their retirement funds have been diminished by the stock-market collapse, and if they had planned to cash out the equity in their homes . . . Well, good luck with that plan.

Beginning in 2011, then, an increasing number of Baby Boomers will undergo the transition from taxpayers to tax consumers, eligible for Social Security and MediCare, a fiscal drain on the economy. Only by dipping into what remains of their asset value -- selling their homes or other valuables, spending out their IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement funds -- will this exploding population of retirees be able to live above the minimum level provided by the government.

Without getting into a lot of complicated analysis (e.g., the growth-killing impact of just about anything the federal government might do to meet the looming fiscal crisis), the ordinary person with a minimal level of economic education who looks at this situation can only conclude: We're completely screwed.

Which is why, as I scour the financial news, I keep an eye out for omens and portents of the inevitable apocalypse, such as these items aggregated at the past week:

Are We Facing a Banking Crisis? Is the Gold Price About to Explode?
-- Market Oracle, Aug. 31

"Oil prices fell to near $71 a barrel Monday as China's stock market tumbled and commodities investors questioned whether the U.S. economy can recover strongly in the second half."
-- Associated Press, Aug. 31

"AIG fell 17% after Sanford C. Bernstein dropped the stock to 'underperform,' on concerns that Washington will pull back on financial assistance as AIG recovers. The firm is still on the hook for $80 billion in federal loans . . ."
-- Forbes, Sept. 1

"The American economy will suffer 'a long time' as a result of last year's federal bailout of the financial industry, according to Johan Norberg, author of a new book about the policies that caused the banking meltdown. . . . 'The bailouts . . . the debts -- we won't be able to pay them back. We're going to pay for it for a long time . . .' "
-- The American Spectator, Sept. 2

"FDIC head Sheila Bair told CNBC Tuesday evening that commercial real estate loans remain a "looming problem" for banks' balance sheets and she expects the area to increasingly be a driver for bank failures during the remainder of this year and 2010 . . ."
-- Reuters, Sept. 2

"U.S. banks are holding more than $1 trillion of mortgages backed by commercial property that is fast losing value."
-- Wall Street Journal, Sept. 2

" 'Most participants saw the economy as likely to recover only slowly during the second half of this year, and all saw it as still vulnerable to adverse shocks,' the Fed said in today’s minutes. 'Labor market conditions remained of particular concern to meeting participants . . .' "
-- Bloomberg News, Sept. 2

"Gold prices reached their highest point in nearly three months as the U.S. dollar weakened and participants bought in a flight-to-quality bid based on economic uncertainty and concerns about the stock market . . ."
-- Wall Street Journal, Sept. 2

"Treasurys fell Thursday, sending yields higher, as stocks edged up and the U.S. government said it planned to sell $70 billion in Treasury bonds and notes next week."
-- MarketWatch, Sept. 3

--, Sept. 4

"Tony Crescenzi, a market strategist and portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co., manager of the world’s biggest bond fund, said the U.S. faces a slow recovery because unemployment is persisting . . . 'The key ingredient for a sustainable recovery is still absent,' Crescenzi said today in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. 'We need income growth to produce self-reinforcing expansion. . . . The duration of unemployment will be longer and will put downward pressure on wages.'"
-- Bloomberg News, Sept. 4

"Congress passed the Cash for Clunkers program in order to increase automobile employment and save jobs. . . . The employment report shows that -- despite the Cash for Clunkers craze, and the $2 billion Congress added to the program at the end of July -- motor vehicles and parts manufactures shed 15,000 jobs in August. That erased half of the jobs gained in July and continued the yearlong downward trend . . ."
-- Heritage Foundation, Sept. 4

--, Sept. 5

Given the serious underlying problems of the economy -- "The Fundamentals Still Suck," as I explained in May -- no amount of unicorns-and-rainbows "recovery" talk from the administration and its MSM sock-puppets can avert the inevitable consequences.

So keeps an eye on the economy and readers who appreciate this service -- you can subscribe to the RSS feed in Google, Atom, etc., to get the latest updates -- are invited to support this project by hitting the tip jar.

"The revolution will not be televised, but the apocalypse will be blogged."


  1. The Almighty is certainly helping us. We're all going to
    (a) feel the weight of what we did or did not do in the previous election, and
    (b) have plenty of opportunity to express the Judeo-Christian ethic of loving our neighbor as ourselves, when the entire economy is Tango Uniform.

    Joy is the knowledge of the presence of the Almighty. It is frequently distinct from pleasure.

  2. @smitty1e, yyyup.

    @the ethers, all this devastation is what the cat occupying the White House wants. He is happy as a clam ... make that Cheshire. Things are going swimmingly from the vantage point of 1600 Penn. Ave. just now.

    Marxist Doctrine: the revolution does not occur directly. It's prelude is skillfully induced chaos, disorder, depression, giving up. THEN comes the revolution. We are watching the "skillfully induced" phase. The revolution is ahead ... or so Valerie Jarrett and her clients plan and expect.

  3. @David,
    So, any apparent surprise at the blowback is feigned?