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dimanche 23 mars 2008

Toutes les nouvelles économiques pour mieux comprendre

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Toutes les nouvelles économiques pour mieux comprendre

Raisons du « Watergate » monté par l'administration Bush contre Eliot Spitzer, le Gouverneur de l'État de New York

Global Research, Par F. William Engdahl, le 18 mars 2008

La très bizarre et spectaculaire divulgation du dossier secret des écoutes électroniques du FBI au New York Times, révélant les rendez-vous du Gouverneur de l'État de New York, Eliot Spitzer, le désormais tristement célèbre « Client n° 9, » avec une call-girl de luxe, n'a pas grand-chose à voir avec les grandes valeurs morales que recherche l'administration Bush chez ses fonctionnaires. Le gouverneur Spitzer a probablement été la cible d'une sale combine de la Maison Blanche et de Wall Street, visant à réduire au silence l'un des plus dangereux et bruyant détracteur de leur gestion de l'actuelle crise des marchés financiers.



Photographs of the Great Depression

A preview?

EAT IT & WEEP

Food prices are skyrocketing - and it's enough to make you gag on your milk. That's because milk costs 29 percent more than it did a year ago, and that's not all: Eggs are up 36 percent, and tomatoes 31 percent.

Grocery Store Prices for 14 Items in 1957

Grocery Store Prices for 14 Items in 1957

by the editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Inside This Article

1.

Grocery Store Prices for 14 Items in 1957

2.

Grocery Store Prices in 1957, 7-14

3.

See all Money & Economic Basics articles

It's Not 1929, but It's the Biggest Mess Since

We are only at the beginning of the financial world coming to its senses after the bursting of the biggest credit bubble the world has seen. Everyone seems to acknowledge now that there will be lots of mortgage foreclosures and that house prices will fall nationally for the first time since the Great Depression. Some lenders and hedge funds have failed, while some banks have taken painful write-offs and fired executives. There's even a growing recognition that a recession is over the horizon.

But let me assure you, you ain't seen nothing, yet.

Biggest drop in new homebuilding in 27 years

The prolonged slump in housing pushed construction of new homes in 2007 down by the largest amount in 27 years with the expectation that the downturn has further to go.

A $3 Trillion Bankruptcy Will Now Start To Emerge

ECB warns crashing dollar may stop Fed cuts

Lorenzo Bini-Smaghi, a member of the European Central Bank's executive council, warned that the tumbling dollar may now start to foreclose the option of US rate cuts and force the Fed to keep monetary policy tighter than it would like.

"I would not be so sure about the movements of the Fed. There is a serious problem with the dollar in America. We will see what margins they have for further rate cuts," he told Italy's La Repubblica newspaper.

It is the first time that a top central banker has openly aired concerns that dollar weakness could constrain US economic policy.

Shadow spreads across the US economy

The rot in the US financial system is spreading and becoming more menacing. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who is determined that it not become a self-fulfilling spiral, on Thursday signalled that the Federal Reserve stood ready to supply more aggressive rate cuts if needed.

... which will drop the value of the dollar even more. The fact is that there is nothing that the Federal Reserve can do to save the US economy. Everything they do only spooks the markets more. If they cut rates the dollar plunges. If they raise rates, they trigger the recession. Everything they do now they do for PR sake; to make it look like they are trying to do something.

Bankers throw in the towel over Rock

The Government has all but ruled out a commercial rescue for Northern Rock after conceding that funding for a deal cannot be found.

Subprime lender to file for bankruptcy

Friedman Billings Ramsey Group's mortgage lending arm, First NLC Financial Services, will file for bankruptcy protection and plans to liquidate because demand among investors for home loans has vanished, the investment bank said Monday.

JPMorgan Chase makes $1B-plus on Visa IPO

Thanks to its stake in Visa's initial public offering this week, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has enough money to pay for its Bear Stearns purchase and still have about a billion dollars left over.

The rich get richer. The poor get poorer.

Cleveland Sues 21 Lenders Over Subprime Mortgages

Cleveland is suing 21 of the nation’s largest banks and financial institutions, accusing them of knowingly plunging the city into a financial crisis by flooding the local housing market with subprime mortgage loans to people who could never repay.

Write-down at Merrill Lynch may hit $15 billion

Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost double its original estimate, prompting the firm to raise additional capital from an outside investor.

Goldman Sachs sees recession in 2008

Goldman Sachs on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to drop into recession this year, prompting the Federal Reserve to slash benchmark lending rates to 2.5 percent by the third quarter.

Bad news piles up for British economy

Countrywide Loses Most Since 1987 on Funding Concern.

Countrywide shares lost $2.17, or 28 percent, to $5.47. They sank to the lowest price since July 1996. On so-called Black Monday on Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 23 percent.


The Mystery of the Gold Market - Conclusions on the Selling Pressure

The facts remain the same:

* The Fed will print as much money as is needed and bail out the big names.

* The big Wall Street banks and other institutions still have exposure to third party defaults that have not been declared or acknowledged or are even known about at this time.

* There are plenty of deflationists believing in a financial blow up who will buy gold to protect themselves.

* There are plenty of others believing in inflation who will also buy gold to protect themselves.

* Inflation is in the pipeline and everyone sees it everyday when they buy goods. This is a global phenomenon and will take gold higher in the coming years.

Commodity Prices Head for Biggest Weekly Decline Since 1956

Commodities plunged, heading for the biggest weekly decline in more than 50 years, on speculation a slowing global economy will curb demand for energy, metals and grains.

I question whether demand for gold has really plunged. As the dollar loses value., it makes sense people would turn to precious metals as a hedge against hyper-inflation. My hunch is that precious metal prices are being "messed with" to keep people from pulling out of the equities markets.

Defaults on Insured Mortgages Rise 35% to Record.

Defaults on privately insured U.S. mortgages rose 35 percent in November to a record, an industry report today showed, adding to evidence the U.S. housing slump is deepening.

New Year 2008 may destroy USA’s struggling economy

A forecast made by Denmark-based Saxo Bank, chaos will take a grip on the world in 2008. Oil prices will skyrocket to 175 dollars per barrel, the Chinese market will collapse by 40 percent, whereas the U.S. will suffer a 25-percent setback. All this will happen because of the mortgage crisis in the USA which already slows down the U.S. economy.

See The United States Is In Deep Doodoo!

U.S. Stocks Decline, Poised for Worst Fourth Quarter Since 2000

U.S. stocks fell and were poised for their first fourth-quarter decline since 2000 after government reports on durable goods and unemployment reinforced speculation the housing-market collapse will push the economy into recession.

Top economist says America could plunge into recession

What will we do if big two go bust?

They don't know it, but taxpayers stand to lose billions as the housing bubble bursts. And in a bipartisan effort to "do something" to save the housing market, President Bush and the Democratic Congress appear set to put taxpayers on the hook for billions more.

THE IMPLOSION IS ACCELERATING, PREPARE WHILE YOU CAN

For thirty years, I have been writing, speaking, imploring, and begging others to make rational, concrete plans for a time in life that would offer no quarter, give no mercy, and that would in a word be-------catastrophic. We are coming face to face with that moment. You have so little time left to do anything that will give you a fighting chance. What are you doing?

YouTube - Southern California Shanty Town / Tent City

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmeHiFZUWtE

Here are some videos of a tent city / shanty town that has popped up in the suburbs of Southern California. I've never seen anything like this in America since the great depression.

U.S. loses its status as economic world power

"But we still have really big bombs!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Bush convenes Plunge Protection Team

Bears beware. The New Deal of 2008 is in the works. The US Treasury is about to shower households with rebate cheques to head off a full-blown slump, and save the Bush presidency. On Friday, Mr Bush convened the so-called Plunge Protection Team for its first known meeting in the Oval Office. The black arts unit - officially the President's Working Group on Financial Markets - was created after the 1987 crash.

It appears to have powers to support the markets in a crisis with a host of instruments, mostly by through buying futures contracts on the stock indexes (DOW, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell) and key credit levers. And it has the means to fry "short" traders in the hottest of oils.

'Brace yourselves, taxpayers of America. You're going to help Bank of America finance its $4 billion buyout of Countrywide'

Guess who's helping Bank of America pay for its $4.1 billion purchase of Countrywide Financial? Answer: The taxpayers of the United States.

Credit Crunch vs. Central Banks - You Lose

There is a simple, fundamental truth to a fiat monetary system that you are never taught in school. Every single Federal Reserve note represents BORROWED money from the Federal Reserve, on which is owed interest. The moment that first paper note goes into circulation, more money is owed than actually exists. Sooner or later, when the music stops, someone has to be left without a chair.

Fed Boosts Next Two Special Auctions to $30 Billion

The Federal Reserve will increase the size of two scheduled auctions of emergency loans by 50 percent to $30 billion as part of a global attempt by central bankers to restore faith in the money markets.

This will not work. The problem is not liquidity but solvency. There is plenty of credit, but few ways to repay the loans. Throwing another $30 billion into the market place just contributes to inflation. Manufacturing has been in decline for 30 years and the schools are not turning out a workforce able to compete in the high-tech global market.

The really sick part is that our business leaders all looked at their own bottom line, exported jobs (with government blessing), imported cheap goods, and now that everybody is out of work and unable to make their payments these same leaders stand there scratching their heads and wondering just what went wrong!

US stocks continue drop despite Bush plan

There is only one thing the US Government can do to improve the economy.

Abdicate!

Credit loss could hit $US1trillion

THE US economy could be heading into its blackest year since the Great Depression as estimates of losses from the housing slump and sub-prime mortgage implosion reach unprecedented levels.

Boy, we could really use that $2.3 trillion that went missing at the Pentagon right about now!

Britain announces nationalisation of Northern Rock

Translation: the British people will have to bear the financial brunt of this institution having collapsed.

US woes grow as Sudan warns banks to stay away from weakening dollar

Sudan's central bank is expected to humiliate the once mighty dollar on Tuesday by insisting that it will deal only in the euro and local currency, and will advise local commercial banks to follow its example. Bank governor Sabir Mohamed al–Hassan is concerned that the benefits of Sudan's recent economic boom will be wasted if the currency is tied to the weak US dollar.

The move follows a sell-off of US currency by Japanese traders on Friday following the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. The killing is expected to bring further instability to a key US ally and force oil prices higher.

Unpaid Credit Cards Bedevil Americans

Bush runs the economy into the ground for his war and they blame you and your credit cards for the problems!

Beyond fiscal stimulus, further action is needed

Harvard's Larry Summers Calling for Government (meaning YOU the taxpayer) Bailouts of the Banking Cartel.

We went down this road before during the S&L bailout of the 80s. While we were sold the bailout of the S&Ls as saving widows and orphans, the reality is that the majority of accounts reimbursed through the Resolution Trust Corporation were numbered, brokered corporate investment accounts, some of which were being used for covert money laundering/growing by the CIA's Iran-Contra operation.

The way it worked back then was simple. First, President Bush (elder) increased the maximum insurable deposit limit for S&Ls from $10,000 to $100,000. That set the stage. Cash from the cocaine flowing north along the Iran-Contra pipeline was blended with cash from legitimately owned business like convenience stores, multi-screen cinemas, or any business with a heavy cash flow, and then deposited in a target S&L in numbered brokered accounts of just under $100,000 each.

A front company is formed by the CIA druggies, which buys some worthless land, and either flips it to run up the price, or uses a compromised appraiser to inflate the worth of the land. In the case of Whitewater, the land was appraised based on the claim that Bill Clinton would use the power of the Governor's office to run roads and water mains out to the remote site.

The front company then approaches the target S&L and using the inflated real estate as collateral, borrows back the money they deposited into the numbered accounts. The S&L does not know they are dealing with the same people twice. The proceeds from a loan are non-taxable, and can be sent anywhere in the world, clean and ready for use. During Iran-Contra, much of that money was used to pay covert suppliers for the Contra resupply effort, through "loans" issued by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, loans which were never repaid.

The front company, loan money in hand, vanishes., The loan defaults, and the S&L finds itself holding a chunk of land that is nowhere near worth the money that was borrowed on it. The S&L collapses, and the Resolution Trust Corporation steps in with a checkbook filled with tax dollars to reimburse the depositors. And here is the beauty of the scheme. Those CIA Iran-Contra druggies who have already borrowed back out their own money, are still on the books for their original deposits! So, the RTC writes them a new check, which means that for every million the CIA druggies ran through the scheme, they got roughly $1,800,000 back! All at no risk, without having to send the money outside the US, and all on the backs of the US taxpayers. This is why the RTC wrote checks without taking too close look at the S&L's books, and why those RTC investigators who asked too many questions, like John Parnell Walker, were killed.

"If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched." -- George Bush, cited in the June, 1992 Sarah McClendon Newsletter

So, here we are again, with a lot of over-valued real-estate floating around, used as collateral on a lot of loans, the lenders are in trouble, and once more the taxpayers will be asked to pick up the tab. And somewhere in the darkness, the insiders chuckle that Americans are so stupid as to fall for the same trick twice in a row.

How Wall Street Blew Itself Up

The massive losses by big Wall Street firms, now topping those of the Great Depression in relative terms, have yet to be adequately explained. Wall Street power players are obfuscating and Congress is too embarrassed or frightened to ask, preferring to just throw money at the problem and hope it goes away. But as job losses and foreclosures mount and pensions and 401(k)s shrink, public policy measures to address the economic stresses require a full set of unembellished facts.

The next banking crisis on the way

Write-downs for high-risk, high-yield corporate debt, known as 'junk,' could dwarf losses in the mortgage mess. And that's when this financial crisis will finally hit bottom.

The black box economy

Behind the recent bad news lurks a much deeper concern: The world economy is now being driven by a vast, secretive web of investments that might be out of anyone's control.

Recession in the US 'has arrived'

The feared recession in the US economy has already arrived, according to a report from Merrill Lynch.

It said that Friday's employment report, which sent shares tumbling worldwide, confirmed that the US is in the first month of a recession.

Look who's bailing out Wall Street

This article puts a positive spin on things, but the reality is that our country is being bought out from under us.

Remember this article I wrote 6 years ago?

"Given that the government cannot get out of debt, and is collateralizing more and more land to avoid foreclosure, the day is not long off when the people of the United States will one day wake up and discover they are no longer citizens, but tenants."

Half of gold in central banks gone?

U.S. central banks may have less than half the gold they claim to possess in their vaults, charges a watchdog group in an ad scheduled for publication in the Wall Street Journal this week.

Consumer Debt Grows to $2.52 Trillion

That is about what the Pentagon announced they had "misplaced" back on September 10th, 2001. If we could just find that missing money and return it to the rightful owners (the taxpayers), we could erase that consumer debt. In fact, since the Pentagon misplaced all our money, let's just send them our credit card bills and tell them it's their problem to solve.

Doubts over French bank's version of multi-billion euro scam

Analysts have expressed doubts over Societe Generale's declaration that a single rogue trader was responsible for the fraud that cost it 4.9 billion euros ($7.1 billion).

This is starting to smell like Citi's claim that hacked ATMs were the cause of its inability to fully service cash withdrawals.

CNN Warns Americans A New Great Depression Is Coming

VIDEO

An economy survives and prospers when the money circulates around, creating products that sell to generate more revenue.

In contrast, money taken out of the economy and poured into weapons development is "dead ended." The weapons either sit in storage until they become obsolete and are junked (which costs money to do) or used in war where they are destroyed. In neither case so these expensive devices create products that we can sell to bring more money into the system.

When too much money is dead ended in weapons, too little remains in general circulation to support the society and the infrastructure on which it depends. The economy and that society stutter to a halt, after having suffered through cheapened roads, cheapened schools, cheapened hospitals, etc.

The USSR collapsed when military spending choked the life out of their economy. Why the US Government persists in making the same mistake is a mystery.

Citigroup's Layoffs Could Reach 24,000 This Year

Citigroup plans to announce a writedown of as much as $24 billion and layoffs of up 24,000 due to subprime and credit-related losses, CNBC has learned.

The plans will be unveiled Tuesday by Citigroup's new CEO, Vikram S. Pandit, after the banking giant reports fourth-quarter earnings. At the same time, Citigroup could also announce that it is cutting its dividend payment.

Merrill Lynch targetted in share investigation

The US securities watchdog is looking into whether Merrill Lynch profitted from clients' share trading and takeovers

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch take drastic steps over subprime fallout

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch - two of the largest U.S. financial institutions - announced a series of drastic steps on Tuesday as they dealt with further fallout from the subprime mortgage meltdown.

This article and the next two down should be read together. The first two form the background for the third.

Tears on Wall Street

Examining the nature of the assets being written down suggests that we are not close to the end of Wall Street's bad news. Subprime mortgages and the asset-backed derivatives thereof form a large part of the write-offs, but even in this area we do not appear to be approaching the bottom of the cycle. If, as seems likely, my own August 2006 forecast of a 15-20% decline in house prices and a $1 trillion write-off from the $11 trillion in mortgage debt is close to accurate, Wall Street should still have several hundred billion to go, even in that area - total write-offs so far, including the new Citigroup and Merrill Lynch announcements, only just top $100 billion.

ATMs Hacked: Citibank Limits ATM Cash Withdrawals

I am relinking this story with the added comment that Citibank is likely dealing with cash flow problems and using this hacking story as an excuse to limit withdrawals. The reason I think so is that it has been three days since this story broke and no other banks are reporting hacking problems with their ATMs.

Citigroup Seen Cutting Work Force by 5%-10%

Yep, Citi is in a cash crunch, and that "hacking the ATMs" story was just an excuse to limit withdrawals.

Readers with accounts at Citibank should carefully consider their options.

Analyst: $16 Billion More in Writedowns for Citigroup

I told you the "Our ATM's got hacked" story was just a cover for a cash crunch.

GOT AN ACCOUNT WITH CITIBANK?

Citibank is not alone in this mess. It will probably come down to allowing you to access just enough of YOUR OWN money to buy gas to get to work and buy groceries... then they'll collapse anyway, taking your remaining funds with them.

A journey from haven to hell

The tiny, rich, pristine country of Liechtenstein, one of the world's most notorious tax havens, is threatened with doom. German investigators have robbed it of its most precious commodity - secrecy.

Weak Dollar Fuels China's Buying Spree Of U.S. Firms

In 2007, acquisitions in the United States by foreign ventures hit $407 billion, up 93 percent from the previous year, according to Thomson Financial. The top countries investing were Canada, Britain and Germany; the Middle East and Asia -- especially China -- are quickly catching up.

US Fed releases $200bn as credit crisis hits new depths

The global credit crisis plunged to new depths yesterday as persistent fears over the collapse of a large financial institution caused funding markets to dry up and forced the US Federal Reserve to make available up to $200 billion (£99.3 billion) of emergency financing.

YOU SHOULD BE WARY OF THIS MARKET REBOUND

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see stocks get back on track and the economy make a right turn onto Easy St. as quickly as possible. Who wouldn't?

But I'm not doing my job if I pretend that everything is suddenly alright because some guy in Washington decided to cut interest rates in a frantic move that - at best - won't be felt by the economy for months.

So I won't lie to you.

There's a lot of trouble ahead, starting with next week.

Stocks brake before impact

Wall Street cuts losses, but still ends lower as investors worry about the global economy. Emergency interest rate cut provides little support.

Bernanke may have patched the stock market, but damaged the dollar in the process.

Meanwhile, the DOW is misleading. Look at the tech issues. They took a beating today.

Soros predicts worst recession for 50 years

Amid collapsing stock prices worldwide, the billionaire investor George Soros has told an Austrian daily, the Standard, that the United States is threatened with recession and the world is facing the worst financial crisis in half a century. "The situation is much more serious than any other financial crisis since the end of World War II," Soros was quoted as saying.

Investors lose over $300 bn in six days

MUMBAI: Investors on Dalal Street have lost over $300 billion (Rs 11,85,285 crore) in the last six days with more than half of the loss coming from Monday's fall of the benchmark index Sensex - its biggest ever.

Australian Markets Lose $300 Billion In 21 Days

Horror day for Australian stock market

The rest of the world's markets have to be looking at the DOW and wondering by what black magic the US seems immune from the normal rules of economics.

Sell-off unabated; Tokyo falls 6%, Hong Kong drops 9%

Asian stocks came under relentless selling pressure for the second straight session on Tuesday, a day after fears the U.S. economy could slip into a recession triggered a sell-off that spread to Europe and Latin America.

What Bernanke has done is fought recession with more inflation. But without a "cash sink" to absorb that extra cash pouring into the economy, prices will skyrocket. This may be the start of a hyper-inflation cycle similar to the one that destroyed Germany in 1923.

DOW heading up

I am certain everyone is glad we have not had a market crash today, but most of the world's other stock markets (not to mention myself) are scratching their heads and wondering just how real the rising DOW can be, given the circumstances.

By now the existence of the PPT is pretty well known. Their trick of driving the market up by buying huge blocks of options on the indicator stocks has been around since the Clinton years. Looking at the global markets since Friday, a rising DOW just does not make much sense even with a 3/4% rate cut.

Yes, the indicators are headed up, but the non-indicator issues are still taking a shellacking.

Is the market being "gamed?"

Bank of America net sinks 95 percent

Bank of America Corp said on Tuesday quarterly profit sank 95 percent, hurt by more than $7 billion of losses tied to write-downs, poor trading decisions and mounting credit woes.

Business News">Crash! Biggest fall in shares since September 11

It was the day that the fear factor took over. From Asia to South America, share prices tumbled yesterday as the world's investors gambled that a US recession was now inevitable. In London, the City endured its darkest day since the nadir of 9/11. What Alan Greenspan once called the "irrational exuberance" of traders gambling on rising asset values has gone. In its place, a deep-rooted pessimism has taken hold.

"Helicopter Ben" prevented a major drop in the Dow today with his emergency rate cut, but will that really convince anyone that we have hit the bottom and things are back on the way up?

Russian shares tumble as panic grips world markets

Falling prices in stock markets around the world have sent share prices crashing in Russia. The country's benchmark RTS and Micex indices tumbled more than seven per cent on Monday. Early trading on Tuesday saw another fall, though traders are hopeful prices will stabilise by the end of the day.

Recession in the US 'has arrived'

The feared recession in the US economy has already arrived, according to a report from Merrill Lynch.

Paul blames Federal Reserve for economy's woes

Ron Paul, a long-shot Republican presidential contender and Texas congressman, said Monday that the Federal Reserve is to blame for the country's weakening economy.

Bear Stearns: The Fed Will Cut Rates AGAIN Next Week

The market knows that Bernanke is the ultimate enabler. You want money, he will print it.

World's Largest Bond Insurers Collapsing!

http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/Issues.aspx?NewsletterEntryId=1381

World markets continue skid over U.S. woes

Turbulence roiled world stock markets again Tuesday, with Asian stocks down for a second day on fears of recession in the US. European stocks fell at the opening but then pared their losses in voaltile trading.

Asian market sell-off accelerates

The stock market sell-off in Asia accelerated today, as fears spread of an unavoidable U.S. recession and its effect on the global economy.

ALERT!! Fed Cuts Fed Funds Rate to 3.5%

The Federal Reserve cut its overnight lending rate, the Federal Funds rate, by 75 basis points to 3.50%.

What the Federal Reserve is betting on is that stock market bargain hunters will borrow the money to pick up depressed stocks and slow the market slide., hopefully enough to prevent a full-scale panic.

WALL STREET SET TO PLUNGE DESPITE FED EMERGENCY RATE CUT

AS MARKET STARTS, FEDERAL RESERVE ISSUES EMERGENCY RATE CUT OF 3/4 POINT.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE US STOCKMARKET - PPT failing, panic in Washington...

The PPT was never supposed to be a permanent feature of US fiscal policy. At best such manipulations are a temporary patch, with the downside that the over-valuation of the stock market that caused the crisis is actually INCREASED by the intervention. Every time the PPT intervened, the drop between what stocks sold for and what they were really worth got bigger and bigger. It was inevitable that the over-valuation would eventually reach a point where even intervention would no longer work, and that is where we are right now.

http://news.goldseek.com/CliveMaund/1200953160.php

Wall St execs collect $US33b bonuses

The Wall Street gurus who presided over the subprime mortgage crisis currently shredding global sharemarkets have awarded themselves bonuses totalling $US33.2 billion ($38 billion).

World's Largest Bond Insurers Collapsing!

Ambac and MBIA, the two largest bond insurers in the world, are careening toward collapse.

Asian markets continue down.

Hong Kong down -8.12%.

Just a reminder, when a market drops 10% in a single day, that is the definition of a crash.

Asia Plummets Yet Again - May God help US, they're going to nuke Iran.

Helicopter Ben Bernanke will be forced to go better than 50 basis points on Jan. 29th.

Still won't work.

May God help US, they're going to nuke Iran.

Chinese currency hits new high against U.S. dollar

China's currency, the yuan, hit a new high against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday, breaking the 7.30 mark to reach a central parity rate of 7.2996 yuan to one dollar.

The yuan, also known as the renminbi, went up 50 basis points from Friday, the last trading day in 2007.

Any American who has gone shopping for even the most essential basics at their local grocery store understands completely that everything costs a great deal more than it did even one month ago.

The printing up of fiat money by the Federal Reserve simply increases the amount of currency, but lowers the value of that currency.

US could spark global fall - UN

The apparent US economic slowdown could trigger global recession this year and stymie years of robust growth in Asia and Africa, the UN said.

Long-term joblessness spreads in the middle class

See comments below about enforced impoverishment.

Wisdom From the Past

This was the act which, among other things, authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to steal gold from the American people. The people received the "equivalent" of their gold in paper money, which was later devalued. 75 years later, America is still drowning in inflation, and it's getting worse.

See comments below about enforced impoverishment.

Shall we do the time warp again?

The parallels between today's market and those preceding the 1987 Crash are several -- and disturbing.

Then, the dollar was in a free fall against foreign currencies. Today, as well. And then, as now, the U.S. government showed no signs of being particularly concerned.

The big lie of capitalism is that everyone can be rich. This is just not so. Capitalism cannot function without an imposed wealth differential in which a few people are wealthy, but the vast majority of people are, by design, kept poor so that they must work the thousands of dreary and unpleasant jobs on which our society depends. Capitalism cannot function without an impoverishment mechanism to keep the masses poor and so concerned about their future well being that they cannot spare the time for critical looks at the government. So, taxes are imposed for myriad and sundry reason, with the money squandered away in various "cash sinks." When taxes alone cannot keep the masses at the desired level of poverty, then crashing the economy is a great way to reduce the general population back to squalor. The government will cripple the masses, then sell them a crutch and say, "Without us you could not walk."

Above all, the people can never be allowed to become wealthy and comfortable enough that they can stop working. Hence government in a capitalist system does not work for the general welfare of the people but indeed must become their worst economic enemy in concert with the nation's financial institutions.

And if an economic downturn is not sufficient to return the masses to the desired degree of impoverishment, there is always prolonged war, which exists not only to kill surplus populations, but to destroy their accumulated work product.

World Stock Markets Crash

Global stock markets plunged yesterday, with Tokyo tumbling to its lowest level in more than two years as US President George W. Bush’s tax plan to revive the world’s largest economy disappointed investors.

Stock Markets Plunge Worldwide

U.S. markets were closed for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the downbeat mood from last week's market declines there circled through Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Investors lose Rs 6.6 lakh crore

Black Monday: recession fears spark global share crash

Fears that 2008 will see the looming recession in the US spreading to every other continent triggered a global crash in share prices yesterday, wiping £77bn off the value of the City's blue-chip stocks in the biggest one-day points fall in London's history.

Black Monday as biggest FTSE crash since 9/11 wipes off nearly £60bn in shares

The stock market was in meltdown today as nearly £60billion was wiped off London shares as fears of a US recession sparked a global sell-off.

Tuesday stock market numbers starting to come in for Asia Pacific & Australia

The economic tsunami continues around the globe unabated.

DOW Futures predicting -522 open tomorrow

UPDATE: No sooner had I posted this than the DOW futures shot up into plus territory, +47, then +61 last time I checked. This does not make any sense at all given the market conditions around the world and I suspect this is a stunt by the Plunge Protection Team to once again drive the market up.

Stocks Plummet in Germany, Hong Kong, India, Brazil in Rout

Today's declines follow the worst week for U.S. stocks in five years after President George W. Bush's $150 billion plan to revive the economy and expectations of interest-rate cuts failed to allay recession concerns.

TSX plunges 500 points

The S&P/TSX composite index plummeted more than 500 points in afternoon trading Monday as it joined a worldwide market sell-off prompted by growing fears of a U.S. recession.

By now everyone with an online brokerage is issuing sell orders for tomorrow morning, and in this race, he or she who hesitates is truly screwed.

The problem with an over-valued stock market is that in a crash, the first ones to sell can get most of their money out. But since there is little value supporting the price of a stock (thank you PPT) the sell off will cause the stock price to drop, which means that those who try to sell their stocks later cannot get their money out. That impressive looking number on your brokerage report is just that; an impressive looking number. For the vast majority of small investors, that is all they are left with, because the hard reality of on over-valued stock market is that most investors will not be able to get their money back no matter how fast they move.

Back in 1929, what turned the stock market crash into a national disaster were the small investors all across the nation who purchased stocks on "Margin". This meant that small investors could purchase stocks with just a fraction of the actual price, with the brokerage loaning the investor the balance of the purchase price. In theory the dividend on the stock would more than cover the interest on the brokerage's loan, leaving the investor a profit. But there was a clause in the loan agreement whereby if the price of the stock dropped, the entire loan became due and payable. Small investors not only lost their risk capital, but their homes as well as the brokerages sued for the bad loans.

So, it's bad enough if you have a lot of stocks, but if you bought those stocks on a credit arrangement, you are at high risk.

Exercise the appropriate cautions.

Nikkei plunges on scepticism over Bush plan

The Japanese are clever enough to understand that Bush's "plan" is a temporary band-aid that does not address the real problems in the US economy.

Could This Be "The Mother of All Wakeup Calls"?

Default swaps and derivatives were always a scam if you consider their inability to do what they had contracted to do. No one ever imagined that multiple credit problems could occur simultaneously. That means no one ever did or considered the “What If” in this whole fiasco. All that existed was world class unbridled GREED.

Here come the Derivatives Dominoes!

America fell in love with the idea of making money without making products. Nobody wanted to get dirty making products, everyone wanted to be a middleman, and then when there were no longer products to be middle-men with, the middle-men started treating money like a product, and imagined that if they just moved the money around in circles at a high rate of speed that it would magically grow all by itself and pay for their Mercedes, their multiple mansions filled with hot and cold running mistresses.

Well, it didn't work. In a nation where hardly anybody makes products, the only way for person "A" to get rich is for person "B" to be made poor, usually together with "C", "D", "E", and, well, you get the idea. Without manufacturing, no new money comes into the system, the existing money just gets moved around with the government taking a slice at each transaction.

As the government sank deeper into its own debt, the entire economy started operating on a debt basis. After all, the basic unit of currency, the Federal Reserve Note, is a debt instrument, representing the loan of one dollar from the Federal Reserve to the US Government and repayable with interest.

The problem with a debt-based monetary system (and the reason the Founding Fathers refused to have one when they set the country up) is that from the moment it goes into operation, more money is owed to the issuing bank than is actually in existence. The system is technically insolvent right from the start, but as long as their is enough liquidity to move the debt around, nobody notices it. And, in a nation with strong manufacturing, enough new money comes into the system from outside to cover the shortfall between the money loaned to the US Government by the Federal Reserve, and the money owed to the Federal Reserve by the US Government with the accrued interest.

But when we lost our love of making things, when we started to look down on workers who got their hands dirty making products, our doom was sealed. American business leaders didn't care about the products they made. Because of "Scientific Business Management" and the MBA, creations of Harvard Business School during the post WW2 boom times, we created a generation of managers who didn't know or care about the products the companies they were hired to run manufactured. A mid-level manager at a bakery this week could easily be hired away to work at a pharmaceutical concern the next. It was all GANT charts as far as they were concerned, and so stock performance became the measure of merit, while product quality suffered. "Value Engineering" became the watchword. Managers forgot that it is the beans and not the counting of the beans that makes a company (and the nation) prosper. You cannot operate an economy doing each others' laundry for a fee.

So, for the last 30 years, the United States became a nation that had less and less to sell. At the end of WW2 there were thirty companies in the United States making televisions. Today there are none. Even that icon of Americana, Hollywood, is fading, as production centers grow in Sydney, Bollywood, London, New Zealand, and elsewhere.

Today the United States is a pretty box with glossy labeling and wonderful advertising featuring gorgeous models writhing in skimpy clothing posed around the branding logo, but the reality is that the box is empty, filled with little more than brightly colored foam peanuts and little else.

And nobody is buying that empty box.

Day of reckoning in the US glasshouse

Borrowers were told not to worry about their mounting debt. With prices going up year after year, the more they borrowed, the more they made. What was true was the more they borrowed, the more the mortgage brokers and the banks made. It was, in a sense, an old-fashioned pyramid scheme: prices simply couldn’t go on rising, especially as the real income of most Americans was actually declining. Low interest rates fed the bubble, but that was not enough: the Chairman of the Fed actually encouraged people to take out variable rate mortgages (where payments would go up as interest rates increased), just when interest rates were at an all-time low. They had only one way to go, and that was up.

Then these “toxic mortgages” were sliced and diced, bundled and rebundled, in complex securities. The bankers seemed, for a moment at least, to believe in financial alchemy. Take a bad mortgage, blend it with an A-rated security and the mix got an A rating from the credit agency.

What, one has to ask, were they thinking? They were trying to defy the laws of economics: how could individuals pay more on their mortgages than their income? I, and others, repeatedly pointed out that this simply could not go on. A day of reckoning had to come; it has now arrived.

Stock markets plunge worldwide

Stocks fell sharply worldwide Monday following declines on Wall Street last week amid investor pessimism over the U.S. government's stimulus plan to prevent a recession.

Chinese shares close more than 5% lower

US recession fears wipe £77bn from London shares

About £77 billion was wiped from UK blue chip share values this morning as fears of a US recession reverberated around the globe, sending the FTSE 100 index down to its lowest level in 19 months.

THE TRAGEDY OF THE US STOCKMARKET - PPT failing, panic in Washington...

The PPT was never supposed to be a permanent feature of US fiscal policy. At best such manipulations are a temporary patch, with the downside that the over-valuation of the stock market that caused the crisis is actually INCREASED by the intervention. Every time the PPT intervened, the drop between what stocks sold for and what they were really worth got bigger and bigger. It was inevitable that the over-valuation would eventually reach a point where even intervention would no longer work, and that is where we are right now.

Oil falls below $89 as stock markets plunge

Toronto stock market crashing

Global shares tumble on US fears

Global stock markets have tumbled, with European indexes set for some of their biggest losses in recent years, amid growing fears of a recession in the US.

Nikkei plunges on scepticism over Bush plan

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average nosedived more than 3 per cent Monday as investors remained skeptical over US President George W Bush's stimulus package and shed a wide variety of issues.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunged 466.01 points, or 3.36 per cent, to 13,395.28.

Corporate Default Risk Soars to Record on Ambac Ratings Cut

The risk of European companies defaulting soared to a record on concern credit ratings cuts at bond insurers Ambac Financial Group Inc. and MBIA Inc. may trigger forced asset sales and worsen credit market turmoil.

U.S. stock futures point to major decline on re-open

If futures contracts traded on a day when U.S. stocks weren't even due to open are anything near accurate, then markets will be in for a major decline on Tuesday, with concerns about bond insurers and the health of financial institutions dragging markets lower.

March contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 353 points lower to 11,753.

Toronto stocks plunge 600 points

Plunging Markets

World stocks tumble over recession fears

Global shares tumble on US fears

Global stock markets have tumbled, with European indexes set for some of their biggest losses in recent years, amid growing fears of a recession in the US.

Mortgage Co President kills wife, jumps off bridge

I'll bet we start seeing a lot of this in the coming months.

Data Lost on 650,000 Credit Card Holders

Personal information on about 650,000 customers of J.C. Penney and up to 100 other retailers could be compromised after a computer tape went missing.

October Home Prices Fall by Record 6.7%

Miami homes dropped 12.4%!



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