Gloom and Doom
The Gloom and Doom thread . . . for those who do not believe all is well in this world. So I will post to this thread, those economic events and articles which may be considered too uncomfortable to read by the citizens residing in "Fantasyland". You know here we are. . . outa site . . . out of mind.
I noticed that I was finding more and more things I wanted to post and discuss and noticed my name was appearing everywhere.
So I am restricting my posting to this thread when I am discussing a Doom and Gloom topic. I sure do not want to ruin other posters day, with my negative view of events happening in this country or agriculture.
This will provide more opportunity for others to post their topics.
Since there is no economic or political section established on this site to discuss current events, my little posts and rants will be here from now on.
It will be much easier just going to one thread to address my concerns . . . or read the rants of others who want to post here regarding such issues. John
Well . . . What is happening in Argentina right now is what awaits us here in this country, we are already seeing the events set forth in this article, taking place in the United States. Enjoy, John
This Is What Textbook Capital Controls Look Like
Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,
Selling snake oil and issuing unbacked paper currency are not so different. They're both wildly successful ploys for the guys pulling the strings. And they're both complete scams that depend solely on the confidence of a willing, ignorant public.
But once the confidence begins to erode, the fraud unravels very, very quickly, and the perpetrators resort to desperate measures in order to keep the party going.
In the case of fiat currency, governments in terminal decline resort to a very limited, highly predictable playbook in which they try to control... everything... imposing capital controls, exchange controls, wage controls, price controls, trade controls, border controls, and sometimes even people controls.
These tactics have been used since the ancient Sumerians. This time is not different.
Today, Argentina presents the most clear-cut example. Here the 'mafiocracy' unites organized crime, big business, and politicians to plunder wealth from Argentine citizens. Just since 2010, President Cristina Fernandez has--
* Nationalized private pensions, plundering the retirement savings of her people.
* Increased tax rates across the board-- income, VAT, import duties, etc. as well as imposed a new wealth tax.
* Inflated Argentina's money supply, printing currency with wanton abandon; M2 money supply has increased 215% in the past three years.
* Driven the value and purchasing power of the currency down by 50%. Street-level inflation is now 30%+ per year.
* Made a mockery of official statistics, comically understating the level of Argentine inflation and unemployment. She even began punishing economists for publishing private estimates of inflation that didn't jive with the government figures.
* Taken over control of one industry after another, most notably the nationalization of Spanish oil firm YPF's Argentine assets.
* Imposed export controls of agriculture products from beef to grains, forcing growers to sell at artificially lower domestic prices.
* Imposed capital controls, reducing her citizens' capability to dump their poorly performing currency and hold gold, dollars, euros, or anything else.
* Imposed a two month 'price freeze' on items in the supermarket, and encouraged retail consumers to rat out any grocer that doesn't abide by the government order.
* Imposed controls over the media, most recently ordered an advertising ban in Argentine newspapers (weakening their financial position).
Cristina's policies here are leading to shortages in everything from food to fuel to electricity. Hardly a month goes by without major strikes and disruptions to public services. The purchasing power of their currency is diminishing rapidly. And most people are completely trapped.
Of course, there were a handful of people who saw the writing on the wall. They learned the important lesson never to trust their government. They moved their savings to stable foreign banks. They purchased property abroad. They bought gold and silver, and stored it overseas. They were prepared when the plundering began.
The developed West is rapidly heading down this path. Europe is beginning to impose capital controls, and the IMF has sanctioned them. The US is rapidly printing its currency into oblivion, and confidence is eroding quickly. Russia just purchased an historic amount of gold, choosing real assets over more US dollar reserves.
It would be foolish to think the same things can't happen in the West. And even if it never happens, would you be any worse off for taking some of these basic steps?
Re: Gloom and Doom#2
The Rights of Man . . . Revisited
Well each day we are being stripped of our Constitutional Rights which up until this time in our history has been preserved by our ancestors and those who believed this country was worth fighting for. We now have professional armies enforcing the wishes of our government and our corporations. The last citizen soldier died in the Vietnam War.
Since that time or defense has been placed into the hands of professional soldiers, and contractors who protect the financial interests of those who own this country. In the past, citizens were drafted in times of War and real threats existed to this country.
Today the Armed Forces exist to fight private little wars orchestrated by those we elect to government office to represent us but whose loyalties lie with monied interests and other countries, at our expense.
We may be in the waning moments of Western Civilizaton and what we once held dear is destroyed by the top 1% in this country. Since the Rule of Law only exists for the 99% in this country anymore, perhaps it might be worthwhile to look back to the French Revolution and review the "Rights of Man and Citizen", which originated in France.
Although our Constitution and Bill of Rights preceeded it, Thomas Paine copied and drew from it to describe what he believed Americian rights and powers should have been.
That said, here is what that document said, or attempted to convey and was the reason the French Revoulution and the American Revolution was fought.
It is my understanding that the original mark up of the Consitution of the United States it contained these words " the right to the persuit life, liberty and property." It is also my understanding that the pursuit of property was later changed to
"happiness" for the final version.
So . . . as we slip into the abyss, it might be worthwhile to read the Rights of Man which reflects the ideals over which most revolutions are still being fought today. Enjoy, John
The Declaration is introduced by a preamble describing the fundamental characteristics of the rights which are qualified as being "natural, unalienable and sacred" and consisting of "simple and incontestable principles" on which citizens could base their demands. In the second article, "the natural and imprescriptible rights of man" are defined as "liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression".
It called for the destruction of aristocratic privileges by proclaiming an end to exemptions from taxation, freedom and equal rights for all human beings (referred to as "Men"), and access to public office based on talent. The monarchy was restricted, and all citizens were to have the right to take part in the legislative process. Freedom of speech and press were declared, and arbitrary arrests outlawed.
"All the citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally admissible to all public dignities, places, and employments, according to their capacity and without distinction other than that of their virtues and of their talents," eliminating the special rights of the nobility and clergy.
- Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
- The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
- The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.
- Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.
- Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
- Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.
- No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. Any one soliciting, transmitting, executing, or causing to be executed, any arbitrary order, shall be punished. But any citizen summoned or arrested in virtue of the law shall submit without delay, as resistance constitutes an offense.
- The law shall provide for such punishments only as are strictly and obviously necessary, and no one shall suffer punishment except it be legally inflicted in virtue of a law passed and promulgated before the commission of the offense.
- As all persons are held innocent until they shall have been declared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed indispensable, all harshness not essential to the securing of the prisoner's person shall be severely repressed by law.
- No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views,
- provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.
- The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.
- The security of the rights of man and of the citizen requires public military forces. These forces are, therefore, established for the good of all and not for the personal advantage of those to whom they shall be entrusted.
- A general tax is indispensable for the maintenance of the public force and for the expenses of administration; it ought to be equally apportioned among all citizens according to their means.
- All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives, as to the necessity of the public contribution; to grant this freely; to know to what uses it is put; and to fix the proportion, the mode of assessment and of collection and the duration of the taxes.
- Society has the right to require of every public agent an account of his administration.
- A society in which the observance of the law is not assured, nor the separation of powers defined, has no constitution at all.
- Property being an inviolable and sacred right, no one can be deprived of it, unless demanded by public necessity, legally constituted, explicitly demands it, and under the condition of a just and prior indemnity.
Re: Gloom and Doom#2
Somebody who is such a right one day, left the next winds up looking a bit enigmatic John.
One day you seem a John Birhcer...today you sound like a OWSer.
Alot of often intersting stuff for us to read though. I'll give you that.
Re: Gloom and Doom#2
Bruce, I agree! But from time to time everyones brain needs food for thought! It is just much easier for me to come to the Gloom and Doom thread and make my little posts. Those who want to explore it can, those who do not want to invade it can bypass it.
I realize most farmers, are only interested in grain, cattle, markets and calling each other names on most sites. I am not into that. I like to know what others think and if I can elicit a response, then I made progress, if I get no response but views then I am still winning, in that at least for a few moments they read something they are not finding elsewhere on this site.
I usually never read good news, only bad news, thus the "glass half empty" comments in my post. You see if you always expect or plan for the worst, you will never get surprised. I an not into the good news game, I see all kinds of opportunity in these times, and from time to time I discuss those opportunities.
It is not my intention to offend anyone, but I will call a spade a spade when I feel strongly about something as others do on this site. Soooooo . . . if you can gain something from this Gloom and Doom thread from time to time, I will have accomplished my objective, if this stuff does not interest you that is fine too.
Fortunately there are a lot of good posts on this site much more intersting than mine if that is where a persons interests lie. My interests primarily are; 1. injustice, 2. life, liberty, and property, 3. pointing out flaws in USDA reports and other marketing matters where it is clear therir is no independence in the report, and providing "how to" information for those who ask something I know alot about, or share experiences that I have lived through so others will not have to get educated like I did.
But I like to discuss a lot of things, I cannot operate in a pigeon hole. Adios Amigo. Thanks for the comment. John
Silver and Gold
So the solution is "They moved their savings to stable foreign banks. They purchased property abroad. They bought gold and silver, and stored it overseas."
I couldn't do any of these things...well maybe one. What I have in a deferred compensation plan constitutes the bulk of my liquid money (savings) and I can't draw it without a huge penalty until I quit my job or retire. I have no other money to invest in foreign banks and what country would be considered safe anyway? That sounds like something for people who have money to do. I don't know how to make a foreign investment.
Purchase property abroad.....well, I have some property here but I would have to sell it before I could buy property somewhere else and then how would I know whether I am buying in a safe place or not and if I couldn't travel there or pay someone to inspect it, how would I know there aren't squatters living all over it or someone logging it and dealing with whatever taxes that nation imposed would be difficult. Sounds like another wealthy person's plan where they can pay people to figure all that stuff out.
Gold and silver I could handle, but I wouldn't have a clue how to store it overseas. In a hole, yeah. The only trouble is that when you go to sell the stuff, they pay you less than the current value, so you have to hold onto it for a while, but probably a good idea overall.
I admire your spirit, but I am not sure this is for the person who earns less than six figures a year (like me...far less). And then you might have to have a few higher numbers notches in those six figures to do this.
If the economic secirity answer is foreign places, why not just move there and take all your assets with you? If it's that important and that likely....
Re: Gloom and Doom#2
In reviewing the "Rights of Man", I find it interesting that we no longer have a "public" Army but a Professional Army no longer occupied by "draftees" aka Citizen Soldiers aka a "public force". So we can strike that element of the declaration. Violation of #3(2nd).
Social distinctions are not allowed. All are equal. Well . . . we can write that one off, we now have a low, middle, and upper class as defined by our government. Violation of #1
The authority "lies with the nation" not an individual or group of individuals. Well . . . I think that concept is dead, we all know that elected officials are owned by the highest bidder, and that is the top 1% Violation of #3.
#6 is probably the among the most important, especially this section . . . "being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their "virtues and talents."
Well . . . that phrase was completely destroyed in America, when skin color was substituted for "abilities", and "virtues and talents". In short with the passage of Equal Opportunity, the basic principles of hard work, merit, and knowledge was swept aside, so that governmental positions could be filled based on a "quota" instead of those standards adopted by those in the "Rights of Man". The violation of this article is the reason our educational system was "dumbed" down to a level, that an allegation of discrimination ceased to exist.
I think a quick read, clearly points out the debasements of our original rights to benefit those who were not a majority but a minority. So everyone in America must lower their expectations and even have them hamstrung by a government that seeks to achieve the standard of mediocrity among all citizens. Adios Amigos. John
Re: Gloom and Doom#2
I was thinkiong something along the same lines.
Anyone who always thinks the same as the right, or always thinks the same as the left, really doesn't think that much.
Re: Gloom and Doom#3
well . . . kinda looks like the great "regrowth" in the housing market, as being squawked by the talking heads on the government media (aka MSNBC,CBS,ABC,NBC,Fox,CNBC and Bloomberg are about to learn what crow tastes like.
It seems what Bomber Ben started in 2008 (buying mortgages, adopting Accountng Rule 150 (where banks could carry mortgages at "book value instead of actual value") is about to implode, as defaulters on these mortgages who received a stay of execution by the FEDS because of bank snafu's have been redefaulting and REO's accounts at banks are growing.
This little article discusses the fraudulent reporting going on by our government and its house organs. A flood of new foreclosures are now waiting to happen, we just do not know when the banks will pull the trigger.
Pass the popcorn and get me another Corona. John
"Boomerang Foreclosures" Are Back As Bernanke's Second Housing Bubble Begins To Pop
Something curious happened in California in January: the foreclosure process virtually ground to a halt. Specifically, as RealtyTrac describes it, "the downward foreclosure trend in California accelerated into hyper speed in January, decisively shifting the balance of power when it comes to the nation’s foreclosure activity", shifting it in favor of homeowners and effectively preventing banks from sending out Notices of Default (NOD) repossessing homes whose owners no longer pay their mortgages. This was the result of the Homeowners Bill of Rights, or legislation which "extends many of the principles in the national mortgage settlement — including a prohibition on so-called dual tracking and requiring a single point of contact for borrowers facing foreclosure — to all mortgage servicers operating in California. In addition the new law imposes fines of up to $7,500 per loan for filing of multiple unverified foreclosure documents." The outcome of this law as it propagates through the market can be seen in the chart below: in January 2013, California foreclosure starts are now down to levels not seen since 2005!
And for the first time since 2006, Florida properties with foreclosure filings surpassed those in California.
As a result of this latest artificial intervention (the first one of course being the Robosigning fiasco which hit in November 2010 and which resulted in the wristslap mortgage settlement whose sole purpose was, again, to give a legitimate reason to boost shadow inventory) preventing underwater properties in the state with the most impaired mortgages and the most "underwater" housing, from hitting the market, the outcome is simple: a direct, explicit subsidy by US banks to prop up the housing market.
As we explained before when we clarified the concept of "foreclosure stuffing", as a result of clogging up the foreclosure pipeline, where millions in homes will not clear the market for years, as even less inventory will enter and exit the foreclosure process, the inventory of available homes declines even more, pushing prices even higher, but not due to a rise in demand, but simply due to a subsidized contraction in supply.
What else happened in January as a result of this latest intervention in the California housing market:
- U.S. foreclosure starts were down 11 percent from the previous month and down 28 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since June 2006 — a 79-month low.
- U.S. bank repossessions (REO) decreased 5 percent from the previous month and were down 24 percent from January 2012 to the lowest level since February 2008.
This is all shown dramatically in the next chart, which demonstrates
that as a result of the latest crunch in California foreclosure
activity, foreclosures at the national level, both starts and
completions, in January plunged some 30% below year ago levels.
Note in the chart above the dramatic contraction in all foreclosure activity starting in November 2010 - the month when the "Linda Green" robosigning scandal so conveniently broke out. Because while the punishment to the banks as a result of the "mortgage (robo)settlement" was laughable, what it did do was provide a perfectly legal cover to reset the foreclosure activity to a new baseline: from 330K per month on average to just 210K currently, and in the process keep some 3.2 million additional properties (using a simple back of the envelope analysis) in the shadow backlog, and thus out of the market supply, resulting in what some still erroneously dub a "housing recovery."
Two other charts that show how exogenous intervention reduces the supply of housing availability for sale, are the charts of foreclosure starts, and completions, both of which have plunged to multi-year lows.
Yet while informative, none of the above, which frequent readers are well aware of, is the focus of this story.
What is, is that as always happens when central planning is involved, when one tries to stop a leak here, two new leaks appear elsewhere. Because while the Homeowners Bill of Rights managed to grind foreclosure activity to a halt in California, what is happening elsewhere is the dreadedBoomerang Foreclosure phenomenon, or, said simply,redefaults.
In other words, those homeowners who tried to take advantage of the most recent housing bubble mania created over the past year by the unholy trinity of the Fed(open-ended liquidity, REO-to-Rent programs, and $40 billion in monthly purchases of MBS), foreign buyers (who launder illicit money courtesy of the NAR's anti-money laundering exemption and park it in ultra luxury US real estate, usually sight-unseen) and of course, the banks, who with the aid of the robosigning fiasco and the Homeowner Bill of Rights, have over the past year subsidized the housing market by keeping non-cash flow generating mortgages on their books in exchange for a wholesale subsidizied rise in housing prices, ran out of cash before they could flip the "hot potato" that is the house they just bought, to a greater fool, and since they had no actual cash to pay the mortgage with, and with no fear of retribution, handed it right back to the bank.
As the chart below shows, while California foreclosure activity is collapsing, things in other places are starting to indicate that the second housing bubble blown by Bernanke in 5 years, is finally starting to crack:
RealtyTrac has more:
- Scheduled foreclosure auctions increased from the previous month in 26 states and the District of Columbia, hitting 12-month or more highs in several key judicial foreclosure states, including Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey,
In other words, ignore the sad and very much artificial reality of California where the real estate market is no longer indicative of what happens in a free market, and instead keep a close eye on those states where all artificial attempts to crush foreclosure starts and completions have been used up, and where reality is about to come back with a bang.
Because for all the propaganda, and all the artificial attempts to juice the market, the sad reality is that the US consumer has less and less disposable cash flow, and when one adds such $1 trillion + debt items as student debt (now greater than all credit card debt combined), has a soaring debt load to add.
The only question is how long until the funding to prop up this latest artificial housing market subsidy runs out, and banks realize that the time to dump all those millions of underwater homes on their books into the market is now.
Because, like with everything else, those who sell first, sell best.
Re: Gloom and Doom#3
Here is a favorite of mine, and relates to those who have taken a risk in their lives, and survived. lol. John
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.