...here in palookaville we drag ourselves forward...
...against the tide...
...the politix have seized the means of production...
...they have used this crisis to implement their own agenda...
...brown and obama plan to entrench social control of the economy...
...more taxes, more regulation, more state control...
tim : ..."In my view, 1982 through 2007 was the golden age of capitalism. No one announced its beginning, and very few people realized its end, but as measured by the pendulum of social and economic change, I believe the generational timespan of that quarter-century embodies the resurgence, and then self-immolation, of American capitalism.
Off the top of my head, those years, we had:
- The great bull markets of 1982-1987 and 1991-2000;
- Lower taxes;
- A more docile IRS;
- A resurgence in Republican strength (think Newt Gingrinch);
- A strong America capable of winning major wars in 72 hours;
- Historic IPOs like Netscape and Google;
- The rise of Silicon Valley from obscurity to the center of the world;
- Economic globalization (think BRIC);
- The collapse of the USSR;
- Hero-worship of the rich (including hedge fund managers);
- Widespread popularity of books about money and assets;
I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
The pendulum has just started to swing the other way, and I don't think it's a little bobble before we return to the above. I seriously think we are in for just as long as period - - and just as deep a change - - as the era above. We'll be stumbling our way back to where things were in the late 1970s..........malaise, weakness, and Billy Beer.
What would people think if, just six months ago, you speculated that Citigroup would be a nationalized institution? Would they laugh at you? Look at you as if you were insane? Cart you off to a rubber room?
That, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. When Obama speaks of a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to change the government, he isn't talking about remodeling the oval office. The "opportunity" is the most dramatic expansion of the government and its instrusions than any of us have seen in our lifetimes.All I'm saying is that the market's 50%+ plunge is signaling the changes to come, and then the market finally bottoms (and my best guess is that this is going to be in the 4000 area on the Dow), we will have been witness to exploited "opportunities" that we can scarcely imagine today." slopeofhope.com
irwin: ..."Some features of the Obama plan make sense. The tax-deductibility of mortgage interest distorts investment flows, directing too much money to housing, as Margaret Thatcher realised. Taxing pollution makes sense, although cap-and-trade is a flawed means of reducing carbon emissions. Profits from the operation of hedge funds more closely resemble income than capital gains, and should be taxed as such. And estate taxes fall on the undeserving winners of the sperm lottery.
...these virtues are more than offset by the more radical features of Obama’s plan: spending at levels previously thought unimaginable, deficits as far ahead as the eye can see, a significant redistribution of the nation’s income from wealth creators to dependants on the state, government takeovers of significant sectors of the economy, more regulation of almost every business...."sunday tim
SHOCK AN AWE III
ambrose : ..."Judging by the latest Merrill Lynch survey of fund managers, investors have a touching faith that China is going to rescue us all and re-ignite the commodity boom. How can this be? Taiwan's exports to China fell 55pc in January, Japan's fell 45pc. These exports are links in the supply chain for China's industry. Manufacturing output in the Shanghai region fell 12pc in January.
My favourite China guru, Michael Pettis from Beijing University, is in despair – as you can see on his blog (http://mpettis.com). The property bubble is bursting. Developers have built more offices in Beijing since 2006 than the entire stock in Manhattan. There is a 14-year supply glut. We have seen this movie before.
Factory output is collapsing at the fastest pace everywhere. The figures for the most recent month available are, year-on-year: Taiwan (-43pc), Ukraine (-34pc), Japan (-30pc), Singapore (-29pc), Hungary (-23pc), Sweden (-20pc), Korea (-19pc), Turkey (-18pc), Russia (-16pc), Spain (-15pc), Poland (-15pc), Brazil (-15pc), Italy (-14pc), Germany (-12pc), France (-11pc), US (-10pc) and Britain (-9pc). Norway sails blissfully on (+4pc). What do they drink up there?
This terrifying fall has been concentrated in the last five months. The job slaughter has barely begun. Social mayhem comes with a 12-month lag. By comparison, industrial output in core-Europe fell 2.8pc in 1930, 5.1pc in 1931 and 3.9pc in 1932, according to RBS.
Stephen Lewis, from Monument Securities, says we have been lulled into a false sense of security by the lack of "soup kitchens". The visual cues from Steinbeck's America are missing. "The temptation for investors is to see this as just another recession, over by the end of the year. But this is not a normal cycle. It is a cataclysmic structural breakdown," he said."...
"Joschka Fischer, Germany's former foreign minister, darkly suggested that we would soon find out whether the eurozone would turn out to be "a disaster", while the German finance ministry is vacillating on whether it would be prepared to bail out insolvent states.
The current thinking is that Germany and France, as the strongest economies in the zone and "lenders of last resort", would have to bail out failing states: the prospect of the eurozone breaking up would bring the future of the EU into question.
But the most startling fact to emerge this week is that the country which is seen as the most vulnerable, and therefore the most likely to ditch the euro, is not Slovenia, or Cyprus, or Greece, but Ireland."