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Mermaid
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #75 on: 2008-10-11 21:18:18 »
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for information:

i think the dealers are also discouraged re the sale of canadian maple leaf. its all very interesting.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_10567128

US Mint suspends sale of 24-karat gold coins
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writer
Article Launched: 09/26/2008 11:58:22 AM PDT

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Mint is temporarily halting sales of its popular American Buffalo 24-karat gold coins because it can't keep up with soaring demand as investors seek the safety of gold amid economic turbulence.

Mint spokesman Michael White said Friday that the sales were being suspended because demand for the coins, which were first introduced in 2006, has exceeded supply and the Mint's inventory of the coins has been depleted.

The Mint had to temporarily suspend sales of its American Eagle one-ounce gold coins on Aug. 15 and then later that month announced sales of the American Eagle coins would resume under an allocation program to designated dealers.

White said the Mint expected to soon start distributing available Buffalo gold coins through a similar allocation program.

Through Thursday, the day the Mint suspended sales of the American Buffalo, the Mint had sold 164,000 of the coins this year, up 54 percent from the same period a year ago.

"People are scared. Gold has become a safe haven," said Michael Maroney, a vice president of sales at gold dealer Monex Precious Metals in Newport Beach, Calif.

Maroney said that demand for the one-ounce American Eagle coins was "through the roof." He said Monex still had American Buffalos available Friday because the company had recently stocked up on them.

With the financial crisis gripping markets in recent weeks, investors have rushed to safe havens such as gold and Treasury
Advertisement
securities. Demand for three-month Treasury bills last week pushed their yields down sharply to levels not seen in decades.

Investment advisers, however, caution that the volatility often seen in gold prices could make investments in this area more of a risky decision if gold prices suddenly begin to fall sharply.

As the financial crisis unfolded in the past few weeks, American Gold Exchange Inc. saw demand for coins go up about 50 percent, according to Bill Musgrave, a vice president of the Austin, Texas-based gold dealer.

The Mint introduced the American Buffalo gold coin, the country's first 24-karat gold coin, in 2006. Congress authorized production of the coin in an effort to capture a portion of the global market for pure gold coins, competing with such coins as the Canadian Maple Leaf.


Quote from: Hermit on 2008-10-10 00:11:31   

[Mermaid] where does one move assets at this time of crisis...the whole world is sitting on top of a ticking shitbomb.

[Hermit] If not rhetorical:
Assets: Coins. Small gold and silver coins would be best. Liquidity rules. Gold wire is also good. It is easy to conceal and easy to measure out a given length. Having a good jewelers scale and scope as well as larger scales may be useful too. Traders can profit in any situation by intermediating needs.

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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #76 on: 2008-10-13 06:34:00 »
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[Blunderov] Lenin Discusses the famous "invisible hand" of Adam Smith. Bottom line; that was then but this is now.

Lenin's Tomb

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A breviary on socialist planning  posted by lenin

Markets, if not an expression of aspirations implicit in human nature, are supposedly indispensable to any happy human prospect. Free market ideology has it that markets are the most efficient delivery system for goods; that competition will drive innovation and flexibility; that consumer-led demand will ensure that people get what they want (within their means); and that waged labour will incentivize hard work and thus produce growth. This fabular conception advises the most rudimentary assumptions of policymakers (who then go on to violate their own assumptions in practise) and a great majority of the intelligentsia. And, within its own terms, it has a certain allure. It is not obviously utopian, and doesn't assume basic human goodness. In fact, it states quite bluntly that what humans had often considered the main source of evil, the accumulation of wealth, was the progenerator of unprecedented good. Adam Smith thus famously argued: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own neccessities but of their advantages." Moreover, in the context in which the classical liberal economists were writing, it made a great deal of sense. The absence of that context makes any attempt to apply such precepts to today's reality absurd.

For, we are hardly living in an economy characterised overwhelmingly by small producers, responding to consumer-led demand in a largely anarchic, unplanned, and highly competitive fashion, in which the main impediment to growth is the appropriative practises of largely parasitic feudal remnants. We are familiar with a high degree of capital concentration and centralisation, with systemic pressures toward price-fixing, the concealment of vital knowledge, the suppression of competitors, lobbying against potentially ruinous innovations, bribery, and so on. We are long inured to an economy based on the production and shaping of demand by corporations, in the form of advertising, and in which consumer-led demand is increasingly marginal to economic growth. We are used to planned obsolescence and to corporations transferring massive externalities to people in their capacity as workers, consumers and residents. And we are more than acquainted with the way that the purveyors of killer products, from pollutants to carcinogens, act covertly to seduce us into seeing their cause as one of freedom and enlightenment versus ignorance, censorship and nannying regulation. Of course, one would like to think that by appealing to the self-interest of the capitalist class, we could ultimately get what we want. (This would vindicate over a century of reformist socialism). And we would like to think that our tastes and preferences are ultimately registered and transmitted through price signals, though anyone who has worked in the music industry can tell you that the next sensation has already been decided on two years in advance (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not enough of an exaggeration to vitiate the point that it is often the corporation's productive activities that dictate our tastes rather than the other way around). Enlightened self-interest is, however, no longer a plausible alibi - we just know too much. And, as a matter of fact, bourgeois ideology often tells us bluntly that the alibi is a fraud - as when game theorists concocted the "prisoners' dilemma" and proved that social solidarity of some sort could be far more effective in delivering a net good than a narrowly conceived self-interest.

Paradoxically, the capitalist economy is both a highly planned environment and a highly chaotic one. Significant resources are devoted to planning within corporations, and it can work due to a certain amount of predictability in, and manipulability of, demand. The demand for core goods such as bread is relatively stable, and inelastic. In contrast, the demand for iPods isn't so stable, and is liable to fall off if they don't come up with something better than the 120GB classic - hence, the need to shape demand, and to stage the introduction of better models in a process of planned obsolescence. But this substantial economic planning takes place in a context that is highly unstable, not to mention obviously undemocratic on account of the class relations embedded in production, and in a way that ensures large amounts of waste (hundreds of billions invested in PR, advertising, market research, lobbying etc). Overseeing this process is the state, whose enormous productive activities are equally planned, in a way that is slightly more democratic to the extent that it registers demands for social justice, and more stable to the extent that its access to knowledge is greater, its scope larger than any single corporation operating in its domain (this is true at least of advanced capitalist economies), and its functions insulated from the profit imperative. Planning is very much a part of the system, and it would be chaotic without it. And we now have a situation where right-wing newspapers like the Telegraph, who have hated the state precisely on account of its limited democratic potential, are carrying articles arguing for the nationalisation of the banks as a prudential response to the crisis. They want massive state planning, in other words.

So, it is no secret that planning is already with us, that substantial sectors of the economy that work quite efficiently are exempt from the profit motive, and that markets working in hypothetically good conditions produce largely negative social results. It is because of the fact that planning has been confined to individual units of capital, and conducted in the interests of a minority ruling class, that socialist planning has been proposed as a corrective. It involves, not the complete suppression of markets, but their active supercession. Markets are to be subordinated to imperatives arrived at democratically and implemented democratically. And because the limitations of representative democracy in the liberal capitalist state are obvious, because it can all too easily assume the regnant functions of capital (often simply by hiring capitalist managers and placing them in charge of recently nationalised institutions), socialist planning requires a different kind of polity. It has been called "workers' democracy" because it takes planning from the boardroom to the shop floor - elected workers' councils, deliberating under the advice of technical advisers who were previously subordinate to capital, take decisions in place of cabals of appointed executives and shareholders. Moreover, democratic organs built in each particular workplace are aggregated into local, regional and national structures, in which delegates are subject to instant recall. In such a scenario, there is a direct and continuous line of authority that exerts itself from the bottom up rather than the top down. For this reason, it has also been called 'direct democracy'. And because it aims to undermine the logic of 'scarcity' - so crucial to market economics - it is necessary to create such a superabundance of goods that some kinds of commodities would be treated more or less as if free, and thus delivered essentially as free services. This is quite distinct from the logic of a market economy in which goods are regularly destroyed or dumped in order to maintain the necessary scarcity of goods and ensure that they remain profitable to produce and sell.

Socialist planning is a remarkably simple idea, therefore. Its propositions do not depend on theoretical arcanum. It just happens to be the most radical extension of the democratic idea available. We now have a situation where we feel powerless, where a crisis driven by factors seemingly beyond our control, imposed on us as if by a natural force that we have yet to understand or master, threatens to destroy millions of livelihoods. We are the mercy of those whom we know don't share our interests. That could not be the case if the decisions about production, its character, conditions, and rate, were under our direct command. We would still face all kinds of problems, and conflicts, but we would do so as the rulers of our own society with the werewithal to manage it. But such an idea, though simple, has only been asserted in revolutionary conditions: in Russia and much of Europe during the interim after WWI, for example, as well as in France after 1936, in Chile after 1970, and Iran during 1978-9. It is impossible to imagine such a transformation, though simple and obviously just, taking place in a normal political situation. It is just as impossible to see it happening unless based on a powerful experience of solidarity and collective action. As a start, then, the experience of grassroots democracy would need to be routinised in workplaces across the country, in order to offset the pressures of competition, careerism and atomisation. Such is one of the many uses of trade unionism and rank-and-file organisation. The collective defense of jobs and living conditions against the inevitable attempts to force us to bear the costs of this crisis can be the basis for establishing such solidarity. Defying the logic of capital and the priorities of those who presently rule may be one crucial step in preparing us unruly natives for authentic self-government.


Labels: 'free markets', capitalism, neoliberalism, planning, socialism


« Last Edit: 2008-10-13 06:35:56 by Blunderov » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #77 on: 2008-10-13 08:18:40 »
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[letheomaniac] Finally, the truth. I knew those banker bastards had an ulterior motive and here it is...
Source: http://axisoflogic.com/
Author: F. William Engdahl
Dated: 10/10/2008

Must read: Behind the Panic: Financial Warfare and the Future of Global Bank Power

What’s clear from the behavior of European financial markets over the past two weeks is that the dramatic stories of financial meltdown and panic are deliberately being used by certain influential factions in and outside the EU to shape the future face of global banking in the wake of the US sub-prime and Asset-Backed Security (ABS) debacle. The most interesting development in recent days has been the unified and strong position of the German Chancellor, Finance Minister, Bundesbank and coalition Government, all opposing an American-style EU Superfund bank bailout. Meanwhile Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson pursues his Crony Capitalism to the detriment of the nation and benefit of his cronies in the financial world. It’s an explosive cocktail that need not have been.

Stock market falls of 7 to 10% a day make for dramatic news headlines and serve to foster a broad sense of unease bordering on panic among ordinary citizens. The events of the last two weeks among EU banks since the dramatic state rescues of Hypo Real Estate, Dexia and Fortis banks, and the announcement by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling of a radical shift in policy in dealing with troubled UK banks, have begun to reveal the outline of a distinctly different European response to what in effect is a crisis ‘Made in USA.’

There is serious ground to believe that US Goldman Sachs ex CEO Henry Paulson, as Treasury Secretary, is not stupid. There is also serious ground to believe that he is actually moving according to a well-thought-out long-term strategy. Events as they are now unfolding in the EU tend to confirm that. As one senior European banker put it to me in private discussion, ‘There is an all-out war going on between the United States and the EU to define the future face of European banking.’

In this banker’s view, the ongoing attempt of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and France’s Nicholas Sarkosy to get an EU common ‘fund’, with perhaps upwards of $300 billion to rescue troubled banks, would de facto play directly into Paulson and the US establishment’s long-term strategy, by in effect weakening the banks and repaying US-originated Asset Backed Securities held by EU banks.

Using panic to centralize power

As I document in my forthcoming book, Power of Money: The Rise and Decline of the American Century, in every major US financial panic since at least the Panic of 1835, the titans of Wall Street—most especially until 1929, the House of JP Morgan—have deliberately triggered bank panics behind the scenes in order to consolidate their grip on US banking. The private banks used the panics to control Washington policy including the exact definition of the private ownership of the new Federal Reserve in 1913, and to consolidate their control over industry such as US Steel, Caterpillar, Westinghouse and the like. They are, in short, old hands at such financial warfare to increase their power.

Now they must do something similar on a global scale to be able to continue to dominate global finance, the heart of the power of the American Century.

That process of using panics to centralize their private power created an extremely powerful, concentration of financial and economic power in a few private hands, the same hands which created the influential US foreign policy think-tank, the New York Council on Foreign Relations in 1919 to guide the ascent of the American Century, as Time founder Henry Luce called it in a pivotal 1941 essay.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people like Henry Paulson, who by the way was one of the most aggressive practitioners of the ABS revolution on Wall Street before becoming Treasury Secretary, are operating on motives beyond their over-proportional sense of greed. Paulson’s own background is interesting in that context. Back in the early 1970’s Paulson started his career working for a rather notorious man named John Erlichman, Nixon’s ruthless adviser who created the Plumbers’ Unit during the Watergate era to silence opponents of the President, and was left by Nixon to ‘twist in the wind’ for it in prison.

Paulson seems to have learned from his White House mentor. As co-chairman of Goldman Sachs according to a New York Times account, in 1998 he forced out his co-chairman, Jon Corzine ‘in what amounted to a coup’ according to the Times.

Paulson, and his friends at Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, had a strategy it is becoming clear, as did the Godfather of Asset Backed Securitization and deregulated banking, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, as I have detailed in my earlier series here, Financial Tsunami, Parts I-V.

Knowing that at a certain juncture the pyramid of trillions of dollars of dubious sub-prime and other high risk home mortgage-based securities would come falling down, they apparently determined to spread the so-called ‘toxic waste’ ABS securities as globally as possible, in order to seduce the big global banks of the world, most especially of the EU, into their honey trap.

They had help. In recent testimony under oath by Mr Lynn Turner, Chief Accountant of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) testified that the SEC Office of Risk Management which had oversight responsibility for the Credit Default Swap market, an exotic market worth nominally some $62 trillions, was cut in Administration ‘budget cuts’ from a staff of one hundred down to one person. Yes, that was not a typo. That’s one as in ‘Uno.’

Vermont Democratic Congressman Peter Welsh queried Turner, ‘... was there a systematic depopulating of the regulatory force so that it was impossible actually for regulation to occur if you have one person in that office? ...and then I understand that 146 people were cut from the enforcement division of the SEC, is that what you also testified to?’ Mr. Turner, in Congressional testimony replied, ‘Yes…I think there has been a systematic gutting, or whatever you want to call it, of the agency and it's capability through cutting back of staff.’

Was that just ideological budget cutting fervor, or was it deliberate? Was former Goldman Sachs man, the man who convinced the President to hire Paulson, Bush’s former Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Joshua Bolten, now the President’s Chief of Staff, responsible for insuring there was no effective government oversight on the exploding securitization of mortgage assets?

These are perhaps some questions which the good Congressmen in both parties ought to be asking people like Henry Paulson and Josh Bolten, and not such red herring questions as how large Richard Fuld’s bonus pay at Lehman was. Are Mr Bolten’s fingerprints on the corpse here? And why is no one questioning the role of Paulson as CEO of Goldman Sachs, then the most aggressive promoter of exotic and other Asset Backed Securitization products on Wall Street?

Why did Henry Paulson single out one Wall Street firm, a bitter rival of his when he was CEO of Goldman Sachs according to market reports, and let it, as his mentor Erlichman was fond of saying, ‘to twist in the wind.’ It is the Lehman Bros. unwinding and its huge portfolio of Credit Default Swaps which is reportedly leading hedge funds and banks around the globe into panic selloffs.

It now would appear that the Paulson strategy was to use a crisis—a crisis that was pre-programmed and predictable as far back as 2003 when Josh Bolten became head of OMB—when it exploded, to panic the more conservative European Union governments into rushing to the rescue of US toxic waste assets.

Were that to have happened, it would in the process destroy what was left of sound EU banking and financial institutions, bringing the world one step closer to a global money market controlled by Paulson’s cronies—US-style Crony Capitalism. Crony Capitalism is certainly appropriate here. Paulson’s predecessor at both Goldman Sachs and at Treasury, Robert Rubin, liked to accuse the Asian bankers of Thailand, Indonesia and other lands hit with the speculative attacks of US-financed hedge funds in 1997 of ‘crony capitalism,’ leaving the impression the crisis was home grown in Asia and not the result of a deliberate executed attack by US-financed financial institutions to eliminate the Asia Tiger model among other goals, and turn Asia into the funder of US debt.

Interesting to note is that Rubin is now a Director of Citigroup, obviously one of Paulson’s crony bank ‘survivors,’ and the bank which to date has had to write off the largest sum in toxic waste securitized assets.

If the allegation of pre-planned panic, a la the Panic of 1907 is accurate, and it is a big if, then the plan worked…up to a point. That point came over the weekend of October 3, coincidentally the national unification holiday of Germany.

Germany breaks with US model

In closed door talks well into the evening of Sunday October 5, Alex Weber the hard-nosed head of the Bundesbank, BaFin head Jochen Sanio and representatives of the Berlin coalition Government of Chancellor Merkel came up with a rescue package for Hypo Real Estate of a nominal €50 billion. However, behind the dramatic headline number, as Weber pointed out in a September 29 letter to Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück that has been made public, not only did the private German banks have to come up with 60% of that figure, the state with 40%. But also, given the careful manner in which the Government in cooperation with the Bundesbank and BaFin, structured the rescue credit agreement, the maximum possible loss, in a worst case scenario, to the state would be limited to €5.7 billion, not €30 billion as many believed. It’s still real money but not the blank check for $700 billion that a US Congress under duress and a few days of falling stock market prices agreed to give Paulson.

The swift action by Finance Minister Steinbrück to fire the head of HRE, in stark contrast to Wall Street where the same criminal fraudsters remain at their desks reaping huge bonuses, indicates as well a different approach. But that does not cut to the heart of the issue. The situation of HRE arose as noted previously, from excesses in a wholly-owned daughter bank of HRE subsidiary DEPFA in Ireland, an EU country known for its liberal loose regulation and low tax regime.

A British policy shift

In the UK, after the costly and foolish bailout of Northern Rock earlier in the year, the Government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just announced a dramatic change in policy in the direction of Germany’s position. Britain's banks will get an unprecedented 50 billion-pound (€64 billion) government lifeline and emergency loans from the Bank of England.

The government will buy preference shares from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Barclays Plc and at least six other banks, and provide about 250 billion pounds of loan guarantees to refinance debt, the Treasury said. The Bank of England will make at least 200 billion pounds available. The plan doesn't specify how much each bank will get.

That means the UK Government will at least partially nationalize its most important international banks, rather than buy their bad loans as under the unworkable Paulson plan. Under such an approach, costs to UK taxpayers once the crisis abates and business returns to more normal conditions, the Government can sell the state shares back to a healthy bank at perhaps a nice profit to the Treasury. The Brown Government has apparently realized that the blanket guarantees it gave to Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley merely opened the floodgates of government costs without changing the problem.

The new nationalization policy is a dramatic contrast to the Paulson ideological ‘free market’ approach of buying the worthless bonds held by the select banks Paulson chooses to save, rather than recapitalize those banks to allow them to continue to function.

The battle lines drawn

What has emerged are the outlines of two opposite approaches to the unfolding crisis. The Paulson plan is now clearly part of a project to create three colossal global financial giants—Citigroup, JP MorganChase and, of course, Paulson’s own Goldman Sachs, now conveniently enough a bank. Having successfully used fear and panic to wrestle a $700 billion bailout from the US taxpayers, now the big three will try to use their unprecedented muscle to ravage European banks in the years ahead. So long as the world’s largest financial credit rating agencies—Moody’s and Standard & Poors—are untouched by the scandals and Congressional hearings, the reorganized US financial power of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase could potentially regroup and advance their global agenda over the coming several years, walking over the ashes of a bankrupt American economy made bankrupt by their follies.

By agreeing on a strategy of nationalizing what EU finance ministers deem are ‘EU banks too systemically strategic to fail,’ while guaranteeing bank deposits, the largest EU governments, Germany and the UK, in contrast to the US, have opted for what will in the longer run allow European banking giants to withstand the anticipated financial attacks from the likes of Goldman or Citigroup.

The dramatic selloff of stocks across European bourses and across Asia is in reality a secondary and far less critical issue. According to market reports, the selloff is being driven mainly by US hedge funds desperate to raise cash as they realize the US economy is going into economic depression, that they are exposed and that the Paulson Plan does nothing to address that.

A functioning solvent banking and interbank system is far the more strategic issue. The ABS debacle was ‘Made in New York.’ Nonetheless, its effects have to be isolated and viable EU banks defended in the public interest, not just the interest of Paulson’s banking cronies as in the US. Unregulated offshore vehicles such as hedge funds, unregulated banking, unregulated insurance all went into building the $80 trillion ABS Tsunami as I have called it. Certain more conservative EU hands are not about to buy the remedy being offered by Washington.

The coordinated interest rate cut by the ECB and other European central banks while grabbing headlines, in effect do little to address the real problem: banks fear to lend to each other until their solvency is assured.

By initiating state partial nationalizations across the EU, and rejecting the Berlusconi/Sarkozy bailout scheme, the governments of the EU, interestingly enough this time led by the German, are laying a more sound foundation to emerge from the crisis.

Stay tuned, it’s far from over. This is a fight for the survival of the American Century which has been bvuilt since 1939 on the twin pillars of American financial dominance and American military dominance—Full Spectrum, Dominance.

Asian banks, badly burned by Wall Street’s manipulated 1997-98 Asia Crisis, are apparently very little exposed to the US problem. European banks are exposed in different ways, but none so serious as in the US banking world.
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #78 on: 2008-10-16 13:56:46 »
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not to keep harping on this...but gold closed at 835.xx/ounce yesterday. its falling and its baffling.

crude oil is also falling, i'd assume. baffling. whats happening out there?


Quote from: Mermaid on 2008-10-11 21:18:18   

for information:

i think the dealers are also discouraged re the sale of canadian maple leaf. its all very interesting.

http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_10567128

US Mint suspends sale of 24-karat gold coins
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writer
Article Launched: 09/26/2008 11:58:22 AM PDT

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Mint is temporarily halting sales of its popular American Buffalo 24-karat gold coins because it can't keep up with soaring demand as investors seek the safety of gold amid economic turbulence.

Mint spokesman Michael White said Friday that the sales were being suspended because demand for the coins, which were first introduced in 2006, has exceeded supply and the Mint's inventory of the coins has been depleted.

The Mint had to temporarily suspend sales of its American Eagle one-ounce gold coins on Aug. 15 and then later that month announced sales of the American Eagle coins would resume under an allocation program to designated dealers.

White said the Mint expected to soon start distributing available Buffalo gold coins through a similar allocation program.

Through Thursday, the day the Mint suspended sales of the American Buffalo, the Mint had sold 164,000 of the coins this year, up 54 percent from the same period a year ago.

"People are scared. Gold has become a safe haven," said Michael Maroney, a vice president of sales at gold dealer Monex Precious Metals in Newport Beach, Calif.

Maroney said that demand for the one-ounce American Eagle coins was "through the roof." He said Monex still had American Buffalos available Friday because the company had recently stocked up on them.

With the financial crisis gripping markets in recent weeks, investors have rushed to safe havens such as gold and Treasury
Advertisement
securities. Demand for three-month Treasury bills last week pushed their yields down sharply to levels not seen in decades.

Investment advisers, however, caution that the volatility often seen in gold prices could make investments in this area more of a risky decision if gold prices suddenly begin to fall sharply.

As the financial crisis unfolded in the past few weeks, American Gold Exchange Inc. saw demand for coins go up about 50 percent, according to Bill Musgrave, a vice president of the Austin, Texas-based gold dealer.

The Mint introduced the American Buffalo gold coin, the country's first 24-karat gold coin, in 2006. Congress authorized production of the coin in an effort to capture a portion of the global market for pure gold coins, competing with such coins as the Canadian Maple Leaf.


Quote from: Hermit on 2008-10-10 00:11:31   

[Mermaid] where does one move assets at this time of crisis...the whole world is sitting on top of a ticking shitbomb.

[Hermit] If not rhetorical:
Assets: Coins. Small gold and silver coins would be best. Liquidity rules. Gold wire is also good. It is easy to conceal and easy to measure out a given length. Having a good jewelers scale and scope as well as larger scales may be useful too. Traders can profit in any situation by intermediating needs.

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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #79 on: 2008-10-16 22:30:57 »
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[Fritz]It would seem that the info not mentioned could have serious repercussions. A cult in the area, with a devotion to an extremist leader would seem to have walked of with several tons of explosives, is the buzz (aka rumor) and Canada and US get most of their Natural Gas from Alberta. If this converges with the economic problems it will be unpleasant. Lets hope  the RCMP sort it out first; but in the mean time rigs all over the area are on alert or in a holding pattern

Community on edge as RCMP terror unit investigates B.C. pipeline bombings
Source: Canadian Press
Date: 2006.10.16 42 minutes ago

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — The RCMP's national terrorism unit is investigating a second explosion along a sour gas pipeline in northern B.C., a "deliberate" act that has residents and workers in the region's growing oilpatch fearing more attacks.

"It's very disturbing," said Curtis York, a manager at Gerry's Well Service in Dawson Creek, B.C., a company that services the oil and gas industry

"If they are opposed to the oilfield, this is a very, very horrible, horrendous way of expressing their disarray. People's lives could be at risk."

RCMP said the latest attack appeared linked to a bombing on the weekend and a threatening letter sent to local media last week.

Both bombs were detonated along sour gas pipelines near Dawson Creek, B.C., located 1,200 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, the first last weekend and the second overnight Wednesday.

No one was injured but the bombings have raised fears that more could be coming.

"The explosion appears to be a deliberate act," RCMP Sgt. Tim Shields said in a statement Thursday. "This is the second similar incident this week in the same area and it appears the two events are related."

The first attack came a day after local media outlets received a letter calling oil and gas companies "terrorists" and demanding an immediate stop to operations in the area.

"There's some fear, for sure," said Paul Gevatkoff, a city councillor who has lived in the community of about 12,000 people for more than 30 years.

"I don't think that people are scared to the point where they would want to see the industry shut down, but the fear is that somebody is going to get hurt. There's a fear that it will continue."

Dawson Creek resident Renee Sicotte, whose husband works at a nearby gas well, said she's concerned every time he goes out and the explosions are one more thing to worry about.

"I'm going to cross my fingers that it does not happen again," said Sicotte.

The latest blast was discovered by workers Thursday morning along a pipeline off Highway 2, about half a kilometre from the Alberta boundary.

The owner, EnCana (TSX:ECA), said the explosion caused a small leak that was quickly contained. Sour gas is natural gas that contains hydrogen sulphide, a toxic substance that can be fatal if inhaled.

EnCana said it has increased security in the area but declined to elaborate. The pipeline, which has a capacity of 40 to 50 million cubic feet of natural gas, has been shut down.

The case evoked images of vandalism that plagued Alberta's oilpatch in the 1990s, and ended with the conviction of Wiebo Ludwig.

There were more than 150 incidents at oil and natural gas facilities in northwestern Alberta between 1996 and 1998, ranging from nails strewn along lease roads to shootings.

The Alberta farmer, who blamed the energy industry and sour gas emissions for harming his land, livestock and family, was eventually convicted of several charges and spent nearly two years in prison.

EnCana and local police have said there hadn't been any other acts of vandalism in northeastern B.C.

It's not clear what motivated the recent attacks but both bombings targeted pipelines carrying sour gas. Sour gas projects are often met with controversy as critics argue the poisonous gas poses a danger to the public.

Chris Severson-Baker of the Pembina Institute said sour gas can be extremely toxic and while regulation and safety has improved, he said some residents still feel they're being exposed to unnecessary risk.

"These highly concentrated sour gas reservoirs or a pipeline, if it had a leak, could release a large quantity of this highly toxic gas very quickly and it could kill people," Severson-Baker said from Calgary.

"And they're asking themselves, 'Why am I being asked to take this risk so that the company can extract oil and gas from the ground?"'

But EnCana has said its operations are well-regulated and safe, and that leaks are very rare.

EnCana spokesman Alan Boras said the company has good relations with the communities in northern B.C.

"From time to time we do have concerns, but we work very hard at maintaining favourable relations," Boras said Thursday at a news conference in Calgary.

"These are the places where our people live and work. They are part of the community."

Premier Gordon Campbell condemned the attacks and said he has full confidence in the RCMP.

"I just thank God that no one's been hurt yet and no substantial damage has been done," he told reporters in Vancouver.

"It's something that's very dangerous. We're taking it extremely seriously."
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #80 on: 2008-10-17 01:13:07 »
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[Mermaid] not to keep harping on this...but gold closed at 835.xx/ounce yesterday. its falling and its baffling.

crude oil is also falling, i'd assume. baffling. whats happening out there?




Gold: Gold is a monetary metal even if the lemmings continue to try to treat it like a commodity. People sell it when they think that insurance against a collapse is no longer required, and of course, the lemmings have been told that everything is going to be allright(Think Brad reassuring Janet in RHPS) - so private buying has dropped. Meanwhile technical traders are moving out of gold to have cash on hand to take advantage of the microbubble caused by the floods of taxpayers largesse currently available and about to be distributed. For anybody more interested in capital preservation and having a value holding buffer, low mass gold and silver coins remain a good option, and of course short term trades on the futures market, even short trades on the futures market, can go a long way towards paying for the purchases in a market with trends as clear as they currently are.

Oil: The price is dropping for a number of reasons. Principally that anyone working the market on fundamentals has a very strong idea of the extent and prognosis for the depression - and what this is going to mean for medium term demand; but also producers are flooding the market to maximize income while they are still being paid.

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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #81 on: 2008-10-17 16:14:40 »
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[Fritz]So will there still be a buy up and consolidation of the resource sector in Canada as predicted for this down turn?

China backs off asset buys Appetite stalls, must digest past resource gain
Source: FP
Author: Duncan Mavin, Financial Post
Date: Friday, October 17, 2008

HONG KONG - Chinese resource companies have been snapping up assets around the world for the past couple of years, but don't expect them to add to their haul any time soon.

Investment bankers in Asia say China's appetite for splurging on overseas resource businesses, including Canadian assets, has almost completely dried up in recent weeks. The Chinese are now unlikely to be in the chase for mining and commodities companies, even though shares in the sector are now commanding low valuations around the world.

"The Chinese are much less active in the international resource-acquisition market," said Warren Gilman, head of Asia Pacific for CIBC World Markets.

"The impression we get from our Chinese resource sector clients is that they are largely in a period of digesting recent [overseas] acquisitions," Mr. Gilman said.

The dearth of interest in foreign deals coming out of China follows an 18-month shopping spree when the country's major resource companies spent billions picking up mineral and energy assets from Australia to Africa. Such companies as Aluminum Corp. of China and China Minmetals Corp. trawled the planet as they looked to secure commodities needed to fuel economic growth that had averaged more than 10% for five years leading up to the end of 2007.

But China's appetite for buying more resource assets has stalled just as its export driven economy is slowing amid fears of a global recession. China's power output grew by only 3% in September -- the lowest rise in eight years -- and economic growth is expected to fall to about 8% in 2009.

Chinese resource companies have also had problems integrating some of the recent acquisitions, and foreign bankers believe Beijing is putting pressure on China's commodities companies to get their existing operations in order before they splash out on anything else. In fact, rather than looking to buy more overseas assets, many Chinese companies are actively looking for foreign partners to help them run the overseas projects they already own, Mr. Gilman said.

Another likely factor is that China's state-owned companies have lost billions of dollars on recent investments overseas as stock markets around the world are hit with record losses.

The most spectacular reverses have been incurred on financial-sector stocks, but acquisitions in other industries have also been hit hard.

If Chinese companies continue to sit on the sidelines, investors from other Asian nations, such as Japan or South Korea, are likely to step up and fill the void, said a Hong Kong-based investment banker. M&A bankers are "literally flocking to Tokyo," where there is ready capital and also a strong demand for raw materials, he added.

Japanese companies are buoyed by a strong yen, and are willing to come out on to the global scene after years of conservatively paying down debt and stockpiling cash following Japan's financial crisis in the early 1990s.

Meanwhile, the weakening of Chinese demand for raw materials has been largely blamed for a sharp decline in the price of many commodities -- aluminum prices have fallen 33% from their peak, and steel prices in China are down 37% from their highs.

Resource company stocks have also been pummelled. Industry giants BHP Billiton Ltd. had its shares plummet 13% on the Sydney stock exchange yesterday, while Rio Tinto Ltd. shares fell 16%.

Smaller resource companies have also seen their share prices tumble.

Also, on Wednesday, Rio Tinto chief executive Tom Albanese said the company is "reviewing its timeline" for the planned sale of US$10-billion of assets because of "challenging financial markets."

Still, China's thirst for resources will continue to be a dominant factor affecting the sector, said Ken Courtis, who formerly headed Goldman Sachs in Asia.

"Mid-and long term, China is and will continue to be a major investor in natural resources around the world," said Mr. Courtis, who is one of the leading investment bankers in Asia.

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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #82 on: 2008-10-20 12:52:35 »
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its time to dust the history books again...decline and fall of the roman empire..deja vu!!
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #83 on: 2008-10-27 13:53:45 »
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The following - and other articles at the same site, might answer a lot of questions:


Act 2: From the Wilderness' Peak Oil Blog

With the arrival of Peak Oil, the curtain has closed on Act 1 of the drama Petroleum Man. What will happen in Act 2? Chekhov said, "If there's a gun on the wall at the beginning of the play, by the end it must go off." In the world's nuclear arsenal are many guns on the wall. If life copies art, will there be an Act 3 in which the players, having learned their lesson the hard way, live sustainably? To explore these and other questions... FTW's Act 2 Blog. Read, comment, take heart! Orkin

THE HIDDEN GOLD PREMIUM -- Congratulations to Jamey Hecht

Source: From the Wilderness
Authors: MCR
Dated: 2008-10-26

Last night a whole lot became clear about what's going on with gold prices. Not everything is explained but much more of the map has been filled in.

I was at the wedding of former FTW writer Jamey Hecht who also edited"Rubicon" for me. He and his new wife Sava were just beautiful together and the ceremony, at a time of great fear, was a welcome relief for all of us. It was probably the most beautiful wedding I've ever attended and I know we all send Jamey and Sava Hecht our best wishes. They are an amazing pair.

Seated at my table was an executive for a precious metals company. What he told me was something I have seen suggestions of, but nothing made it as clear as his explanation.

1. There's virtually no gold out there to ship, at any price.
2. Major dealers are paying some serious premiums to actually get physical gold. I was told that currently the major vendors are paying a $70 an ounce premium over spot price when they order lots of 5,000 or more ounces. Order fewer than 5,000 ounces and the premiums are much higher and even then there's no guarantee of delivery. So what's being charged small retail customers who just want an ounce or two? The best answer I could come up with is "whatever the markets will bear". So the so-called posted spot price is now meaningless and I smell a possible (I emphasize "possible") embryonic black market for gold emerging. That is something I hadn't expected for a couple of years yet.
3. Even with the premiums there is so little actual gold available to ship that half the big companies have stopped writing orders because they don't know if they'll ever be able to deliver. The other half are still writing orders on the hopes that they will get some gold --sometime.
4. The credit crash has made it difficult for large vendors to get float loans to finance purchases and expensive delivery and insurance costs. The only gold out there is dealer-to-dealer or whatever is being sold by private holders.

The problem appears to be global.

That means that I could take one of my Maple Leaves, add maybe $100 to the spot price, then add the standard Maple Leaf premium of say $10 anounce and then go out and demand an even higher price based on which dealer needed the coin the most. I can easily add $120 an ounce over spot to arrive at a reasonable market price. The executive's words were "Nobody is paying attention to the spot price anymore. It doesn'tmean anything."

That means that gold is being hoarded and kept off the market. There's only one reason for that IMO. Sure, one could argue that the hoarding is intended to drive up prices. But is that happening? Nope. Prices are low. What this says to me is that some with insider access are holding gold off the market pending a large breakout. When I suggested this the executive agreed instantly. It would have been like selling Iraqi oil at $40 a barrel instead of leaving it in the ground to sell at $80 or $100. Of course, that brings us smack dab into collision with the fact that plummeting oil prices are doing nothing to increase demand. TPTB and the economy itself have no choice but to unwind completely now. The plug was pulled too hard when oil hit $147. Whether that was inadvertent or intended we have yet to see but anyone hoping that falling oil prices will stabilize things is drinking some real bad Kool Aid.

Gold's breakout will be much different than what's happening with oil.

So we have opium/heroin/cocaine and gold being withheld from the markets at a time when cash is in short supply and credit is virtually non-existent. That confirms my position -- a position shared by many economic experts -- that the worst economic news is yet to come. The executive agreed that a major breakout in gold prices is imminent.

Yes, as one poster observed on the blog, things are happening very quickly. This next week is likely to be very tough. When I saw theWells Fargo chairman suggesting no bottom for six months I wondered how it could possibly take that long at the rate things are going."What'll be left in six months?", I asked myself. It's hard to say. I shared my analogy with the exec about how it seemed like the markets had dysentery and were on the verge of evacuating and he loved it."That's exactly it", he responded. "Very little is making sense anywhere and almost no one understands where they really stand. People are trying to redefine their positions at a time when there's nothing solid to stand on."

By definition then, we're a long way from the bottom. Because when the bottom is reached, everyone knows exactly where they stand... on the floor.

Right now all I'm focused on is getting through an election and an inauguration. I don't see any possible chance that anything remotely looking like a bottom -- with capitulation -- will happen before Bush and Cheney leave office. That's at least three months. It will be interesting to see if a strong psychological rally begins on November 5th. It will be a hollow rally and another round of folks going back to the bar after the Titanic has already been hit by the iceberg. In the meantime, those who get it are busy building lifeboats.

Stay low and stay dry. Make yourselves economically "small" in terms of exposure. I really believe the scariest part of this ride is yet tocome.

Oh, and for the person who yelled out that they wanted me to talk about ROOT CAUSES... That's all I have ever talked about. I wrote one book on them and published a newsletter that did nothing but talk about them for eight and a half years. You'll have a new book that talks more about them early next year. It will also more fully address the infinite growth paradigm.

Until you change the way money works, you change nothing. Money is still trying to work the way it has for more than a century -- but it's finding the resistance to that increasing as one paradigm ends and a new one begins. Let's pray that Alan Greenspan has an epiphany and suddenly remembers and understands what he did to help create this. I wonder if it will make him sleep better. Somehow I think he's sleeping pretty soundly. He did what he intended to do.

******************

JO wrote:

Some bullion now comes (if it comes at all) with a delivery period of up to three months and a hefty disclaimer: If they can't get a hold of the gold, you have the option of waiting another month or getting your money back; either the current price of the gold or the price when you bought it, whichever is higher.

What this means, of course, is that the dealers expect the price to remain suppressed for at least another three months, til the inauguration.

The schizoid disconnect between the suppressed price and the scarcity, even the unavailability of gold has been covered by GATA, the Gold Anti-Trust Association whose website, for those who might be new to this game, is http://www.gata.org/.

PS: Sixty Minutes did a report this evening on Credit Default Swaps in which they asserted that, "Nobody knew how many there were."

Perhaps they should read another GATA-affiliated website, http://www.lemetropolecafe.com which provides the following on derivatives:

"as of December, 2007 there were:

$9 trillion Commodities Contracts (excluding gold) outstanding
$56 trillion Foreign Exchange Contracts outstanding
$393 trillion Interest Rate Market Contracts, outstanding

http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/chien_du_cafe.cfm

And as regular readers here know, this number is dwarfed by the BIS' $600 Trillion at mid 2008, with half uncovered and uncoverable.
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #84 on: 2008-10-28 12:59:46 »
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The Depression: A Long-Term View

[ Hermit : And a major conventional economist agrees with us. ]

Source: email
Authors: Immanuel Wallerstein
Dated: 2008-10-15

Immanuel Wallerstein, Senior Research Scholar at Yale University, is the author of "The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World" (New Press).

The depression has started. Journalists are still coyly enquiring of economists whether or not we may be entering a mere recession. Don't believe it for a minute. We are already at the beginning of a full-blown worldwide depression with extensive unemployment almost everywhere. It may take the form of a classic nominal de-flation, with all its negative consequences for ordinary people. Or it might take  the form, a bit less likely, of a run-away inflation, which is simply another way in which values de-flate, and which is even worse for ordinary people.

Of course everyone is asking what has triggered this depression. Is it the derivatives, which Warren Buffett called "financial weapons of mass destruction"? Or is it the subprime mortgages? Or is it oil speculators? This is a blame game, and of no real importance. This is to concentrate on the dust, as Fernand Braudel called it, of short-term events. If we want to understand what is going on, we need to look at two other temporalities, which are far more re-vealing. One is that of medium-term cyclical swings. And one is that of the long-term structural trends.

The capitalist world-economy has had, for several hundred years at least, two major forms of cyclical swings. One is the so-called Kondratieff cycles that historically were 50-60 years in length. And the other is the hegemonic cycles which are much longer. In terms of the hegemonic cycles, the United States was a rising contender for hegemony as of 1873, achieved full hegemonic dominance in 1945, and has been slowly declining since the 1970s.  And as of now, we are past any semblance of U.S. hegemony. We have entered, as normally happens, a multipolar world. The United States remains a strong power, perhaps still the strongest, but it will continue to decline relative to other powers in the decades to come. There is not much that anyone can do to change this. The Kondratieff cycles have a different timing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratieff_Cycles.

The world came out of the last Kondratieff B-phase in 1945, and then had the strongest A-phase upturn in the history of the modern world-system. It reached its height circa 1967-73, and started on its downturn. This B-phase has gone on much longer than previous B-phases and we are still in it.

The characteristics of a Kondratieff B-phase are well-known and match what the world-economy has been experiencing since the 1970s. Profit rates from productive activities go down, especially in those types of  production that have been most profitable. Consequently, capitalists who wish to make really high levels of profit turn to the financial arena, engaging in what is basically speculation. Productive activities, in order not to become too unprofitable, tend to move from core
zones to other parts of the world-system, trading lower transactions costs for lower personnel costs. This is why jobs have been disappearing from Detroit, Essen, and Nagoya and factories have been expanding in China, India, and Brazil.

As for the speculative bubbles, some people always make a lot of money in them. But speculative bubbles always burst, sooner or later. If one asks why this Kondratieff B-phase has lasted so long, it is because the powers that be -- the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and their collaborators in western Europe and Japan -- have intervened in the market regularly and importantly -- 1987 (stock market plunge), 1989 (savings-and-loan collapse), 1997 (East Asian financial fall), 1998 (Long Term Capital Management mismanagement), 2001-2002 (Enron) -- to shore up the world-economy. They learned the lessons of previous Kondratieff B-phases, and the powers that be thought they could beat the system. But there are intrinsic limits to doing this. And we have now reached them, as Henry
Paulson and Ben Bernanke are learning to their chagrin and probably amazement. This time, it will not be so easy, probably impossible, to avert the worst.

In the past, once a depression wreaked its havoc, the world-economy picked up again, on the basis of innovations that could be quasi-monopolized for a while. So, when people say that the stock market will rise again, this is what they are thinking will happen, this time as in the past, after all the damage has been done to the world's populations. And maybe it will, in a few years or so.

There is however something new that may interfere with this nice cyclical pattern that has sustained the capitalist system for some 500 years. The structural trends may interfere with the cyclical patterns. The basic structural features of capitalism as a world-system operate by certain rules that can be drawn on a chart as a moving upward  equilibrium. The problem, as with all structural equilibria of all systems, is that over time the curves tend to move far from equilibrium and it becomes impossible to bring them back to equilibrium.

What has made the system move so far from equilibrium? In very brief, it is because over 500 years the three basic costs of capitalist production -- personnel, inputs, and taxation -- have steadily risen  as a percentage of possible sales price, such that today they make it impossible to obtain the large profits from quasi-monopolized production that have always been the basis of significant capital accumulation. It is not because capitalism is failing at what it does best. It is precisely because it has been doing it so well that it has finally undermined the basis of future accumulation.

What happens when we reach such a point is that the system bifurcates (in the language of complexity studies). The immediate consequence is high chaotic turbulence, which our world-system is experiencing at the  moment and will continue to experience for perhaps another 20-50 years. As everyone pushes in whatever direction they think immediately best for each of them, a new order will emerge out of the chaos along one of two alternate and very different paths.

We can assert with confidence that the present system cannot survive. What we cannot predict is which new order will be chosen to replace it, because it will be the result of an infinity of individual pressures. But sooner or later, a new system will be installed. This will not be a capitalist system but it may be far worse (even more polarizing and hierarchical) or much better (relatively democratic and relatively egalitarian) than such a system. The choice of a new system is the major worldwide political struggle of our times.

As for our immediate short-run ad interim prospects, it is clear what is happening everywhere. We have been moving into a protectionist world (forget about so-called globalization). We have been moving into  a much larger direct role of government in production. Even the United States and Great Britain are partially nationalizing the banks and the dying big industries. We are moving into populist government-led redistribution, which can take left-of-center social-democratic forms  or far right authoritarian forms. And we are moving into acute social conflict within states, as everyone competes over the smaller pie. In the short-run, it is not, by and large, a pretty picture.[/b][/color]
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #85 on: 2008-10-31 22:11:53 »
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[Fritz]A back story worthy of note ....Letter from Greenberg to Willumstad before it went pair shaped.

Source: Wikileaks

.
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #86 on: 2008-12-17 02:34:26 »
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[Blunderov] The so called "bailout" amounts to throwing good money after bad if you ask me. And it is almost feudal in its complete contempt for the plight and penury of America's prole de jeure "Joe the Plumber". It will fail in the end. But there are clues to the solution - not that they will be noticed - for example: "violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite". A good way of doing this is having the workers own the means of production. Marx has come along way now that his principles are being cited by the IMF.

(En passant, this piece adds piquancy to recent news from the USA of the cancellation of the  Posse Comitatus Act * and the simultaneous training of large numbers of soldiers for riot control**. Writing on the wall?)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=BAL20081216&articleId=11417

IMF chief issues stark warning on economic crisis

by Angela Balakrishnan

Global Research, December 16, 2008

Guardian 

Tuesday 16 December 2008 09.24 GMT. The head of the International Monetary Fund urged governments to step up action to stem the global economic crisis or risk delaying a recovery and sparking violent unrest on the streets.

Using a speech last night in Madrid to issue his stark warning, Dominique Strauss-Kahn argued that government efforts to tackle the economic downturn so far have been uncertain and largely insufficient, which could lead to severe consequences. He singled out the eurozone nations as he attacked the inadequate global response.

His hard-hitting coments came as fears of a prolonged slumped intensified after China showed signs that its economy could be in more trouble than initially expected next year. Factory output in the rapidly growing economy registered the weakest growth in almost a decade last month.

The IMF's managing director said such news signalled that a world recovery may not take place until late next year or into 2010 unless swift action is taken.

"A lot remains to be done, and if this work is not done it will be difficult to avoid a long-lasting crisis that everyone wants to avoid," he said.

Governments in leading economies have been called upon by the IMF to commit a combined 2% of global GDP, equivalent to £1.075bn, to try combat the dangers of a global recession. But the IMF chief blamed governments, saying they were unwilling or unable to use more public funds to jump-start economic activity.

"If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries - including advanced economies," Strauss-Kahn said.

He added that violent protests could break out in countries worldwide if the financial system was not restructured to benefit everyone rather than a small elite.

Revealing his concerns of a deeper economic slowdown, he said that the IMF would probably cut world growth next year from its current forecast of 2.2%. He also predicted that China's once red-hot economy will rapidly run out of steam.

"We started with China at 11% growth ... China will probably grow at 5 or 6% [next year]," he said. "The possibility of a global recession is real. We realise something must be done."

Strauss-Kahn's comments were in sharp contrast to Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, who yesterday told European leaders they should stick to EU's controversial Stability and Growth Pact, which limits government borrowing and total debt. But Strauss-Kahn said that existing rules should be scrapped to allow governments to deliver essential economic stimulus packages.

"We are facing an unprecedented decline in output and we have evidence of substantial uncertainty limiting the effectiveness of some fiscal policy measures," he said, "What was decided by Brussels ... 1.5% of GDP in the form of stimulus, is a bit below what we need."

His views reflect the continued clashes between European governments on how they should react to the crisis.

Germany has been uncertain about injecting large amounts of public money into economies to encourage growth and resisted pressures to join in with a more coordinated EU effort.



* thecitizen.com : Why 20,000 troops in U.S. could be our disaster


**[Bl.] Of course they say that these troops won't be used for policing but I wouldn't mind knowing how much the US military has earmarked to spend on Tasers. Lets ask them and see if they want that information to be disclosed why don't we?
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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #87 on: 2008-12-23 17:37:29 »
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[Blunderov] The War College voices its concern regarding the public order. It's clear that those in the know are extremely concerned about the possibility of the complete collapse of the American economy. A worst case scenario obviously but the financial crisis does not seem to be pulling out of its nosedive as far as I can see ...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20081222&articleId=11473

War College warns military must prepare for unrest; IMF warns of economic riots

Global Research, December 22, 2008

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks. “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report. The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S. U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law.... Gov. Janet Napolitano’s office declined comment on emergency planning and possible civil unrest. Napolitano is president-elect Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of Homeland Security that oversees airport security, disaster response, border security, customs and anti-terrorism efforts. As governor, Napolitano sent National Guard troops to Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in 2003 in response to terrorism threats [SIC].

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment....

The economy is in recession. Consumer spending is down, foreclosures are up and a host of businesses are laying off workers and struggling with tight credit and the troubled housing and financial markets. The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Treasury Department have pumped more than $8.5 trillion into the economy via equity purchases of bank stocks, liquidity infusions, Wall Street and bank bailouts and taxpayer rebates. U.S. automakers are seeking more than $14 billion in federal loans with fears they could fall into bankruptcy without a bailout. The U.S.... recession also has hit economies in Europe, Japan and China....

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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #88 on: 2008-12-23 22:08:02 »
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after xmas and new year..just in time for obama's presidency, the shit is going to hit the fans. the full extent of the madoff scandal will be revealed...i suspect it will be more than 50 billion. its going to be a difficult 3...maybe 5 years.

meanwhile..and again thanks to limbic's blog..

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0812/gallery.market_gurus.fortune/index.html


Quote from: Blunderov on 2008-12-23 17:37:29   

[Blunderov] The War College voices its concern regarding the public order. It's clear that those in the know are extremely concerned about the possibility of the complete collapse of the American economy. A worst case scenario obviously but the financial crisis does not seem to be pulling out of its nosedive as far as I can see ...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20081222&articleId=11473

War College warns military must prepare for unrest; IMF warns of economic riots

Global Research, December 22, 2008

A new report by the U.S. Army War College talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks. “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the War College report. The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S. U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law.... Gov. Janet Napolitano’s office declined comment on emergency planning and possible civil unrest. Napolitano is president-elect Barack Obama’s pick for secretary of Homeland Security that oversees airport security, disaster response, border security, customs and anti-terrorism efforts. As governor, Napolitano sent National Guard troops to Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in 2003 in response to terrorism threats [SIC].

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment....

The economy is in recession. Consumer spending is down, foreclosures are up and a host of businesses are laying off workers and struggling with tight credit and the troubled housing and financial markets. The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and U.S. Treasury Department have pumped more than $8.5 trillion into the economy via equity purchases of bank stocks, liquidity infusions, Wall Street and bank bailouts and taxpayer rebates. U.S. automakers are seeking more than $14 billion in federal loans with fears they could fall into bankruptcy without a bailout. The U.S.... recession also has hit economies in Europe, Japan and China....


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Re:We're Fucked - The Coming Economic Crisis
« Reply #89 on: 2008-12-30 21:34:21 »
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As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

In Moscow, Igor Panarin's Forecasts Are All the Rage; America 'Disintegrates' in 2010

[ Hermit : Worth noting that Panarin is far from isolated in considering this likely. Kunstler and I think it is probable although I would stretch the window a little, to as late as 2012 to 2016. Faster if widespread water shortages, gas shutdowns or interruptions in food supplies happen before this, later if it leads to a protracted civil war or extended civil disobedience .]

Source: [WSJ
Authors: Andrew Osborn
Dated: 2008-12-29

For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.

In recent weeks, he's been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. "It's a record," says Prof. Panarin. "But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger."

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry's academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it's his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. [ Hermit : Of course, this is not an unfair apportionment of blame... ] Mr. Panarin's views also fit neatly with the Kremlin's narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories.

A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

In addition to increasing coverage in state media, which are tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Mr. Panarin's ideas are now being widely discussed among local experts. He presented his theory at a recent roundtable discussion at the Foreign Ministry. The country's top international relations school has hosted him as a keynote speaker. During an appearance on the state TV channel Rossiya, the station cut between his comments and TV footage of lines at soup kitchens and crowds of homeless people in the U.S. The professor has also been featured on the Kremlin's English-language propaganda channel, Russia Today.

Mr. Panarin's apocalyptic vision "reflects a very pronounced degree of anti-Americanism in Russia today," says Vladimir Pozner, a prominent TV journalist in Russia. "It's much stronger than it was in the Soviet Union." [ Hermit : I don't think this is an accurate or fair characterization, and am sure that this is quite irrelevant. What he is saying is inherently analytic and the conclusions are independent of his emotional opinion of America. In addition, Russia's current negative perception of America is a judgement on the Bush Administrations mealy mouthed hypocrisy and actual anti-Russian/anti-human  actions widely shared by people around the world including the USA. ][/b][/color] 

Mr. Pozner and other Russian commentators and experts on the U.S. dismiss Mr. Panarin's predictions. "Crazy ideas are not usually discussed by serious people," says Sergei Rogov, director of the government-run Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, who thinks Mr. Panarin's theories don't hold water.

Mr. Panarin's résumé includes many years in the Soviet KGB, an experience shared by other top Russian officials. His office, in downtown Moscow, shows his national pride, with pennants on the wall bearing the emblem of the FSB, the KGB's successor agency. It is also full of statuettes of eagles; a double-headed eagle was the symbol of czarist Russia.

The professor says he began his career in the KGB in 1976. In post-Soviet Russia, he got a doctorate in political science, studied U.S. economics, and worked for FAPSI, then the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency. He says he did strategy forecasts for then-President Boris Yeltsin, adding that the details are "classified."

In September 1998, he attended a conference in Linz, Austria, devoted to information warfare, the use of data to get an edge over a rival. It was there, in front of 400 fellow delegates, that he first presented his theory about the collapse of the U.S. in 2010.

"When I pushed the button on my computer and the map of the United States disintegrated, hundreds of people cried out in surprise," he remembers. He says most in the audience were skeptical. "They didn't believe me."

At the end of the presentation, he says many delegates asked him to autograph copies of the map showing a dismembered U.S.

He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in. [i] [ Hermit : I find this scenario much more compelling, particularly when viewed in the light of resource depletion and potential climate related pressures, than the "mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation" above which I read as a a conservative perspective (recognizably similar to that expressed by neocons like our least favorite troll) seeking a "moral justification" for the coming catastrophes. ]


California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

"It would be reasonable for Russia to lay claim to Alaska; it was part of the Russian Empire for a long time." A framed satellite image of the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russia like a thread hangs from his office wall. "It's not there for no reason," he says with a sly grin.

Interest in his forecast revived this fall when he published an article in Izvestia, one of Russia's biggest national dailies. In it, he reiterated his theory, called U.S. foreign debt "a pyramid scheme," and predicted China and Russia would usurp Washington's role as a global financial regulator.

Americans hope President-elect Barack Obama "can work miracles," he wrote. "But when spring comes, it will be clear that there are no miracles." [ Hermit : I tend to agree that the full extent of the  economic crises will only become apparent between February to July 2009.]

The article prompted a question about the White House's reaction to Prof. Panarin's forecast at a December news conference. "I'll have to decline to comment," spokeswoman Dana Perino said amid much laughter.

For Prof. Panarin, Ms. Perino's response was significant. "The way the answer was phrased was an indication that my views are being listened to very carefully," he says.

The professor says he's convinced that people are taking his theory more seriously. People like him have forecast similar cataclysms before, he says, and been right. He cites French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union -- 15 years beforehand. "When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him," says Prof. Panarin. [ Hermit : This is both true and irrelevant. How other theories on other subjects and from other people at other times were viewed does not affect the validity or otherwise of his theories. ]

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