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Ghost Dog's DU Journal
Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Fri Dec 09th 2011, 06:04 PM
... Angela Merkel, the central driver of the new regime, appeared sanguine and unbothered by the British veto.

"The breakthrough to a stability union, a fiscal union has been achieved," she said. "Only one country, Great Britain, distanced itself." She added: "I really don't believe David Cameron was ever with us at the table. We're very pleased with the result. (The deal) was no weak compromise for the euro."

But Cameron was scornful of what the summit accomplished. "I don't actually think the world is waiting with bated breath about what was the exact nature of the institutional relationship. I don't believe they're sitting in the trading rooms wondering whether there's going to be a new reverse QMV (qualified majority voting) article on integrated budget setting of blah, blah, blah."

/... http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/0...


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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Fri Dec 09th 2011, 12:00 PM
4.54pm: So after all that, the equity markets haven't really been spooked by the outcome of the EU summit (pace those that believe the real story is in the bond markets - more on them in a moment).

The FTSE 100 has finished 45.44 points higher at 5529.21, with banks making up the top three risers. Lloyds Banking Group is up 6%, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland 5%. It seems incredible we've got so used to the fact the banks see such volatile daily moments...

Over in Europe Germany's Dax is up 2%, France's Cac is 2.4% higher, Spain 2.2%, Portugal 1.6% and Italy up 3.4%. Oh yes, and Wall Street is currently around 160 points higher.

And in the bond market, Italian yields have edged 0.148 points lower to 6.379%, while Spain is 0.034 points lower at 5.79%.

/... http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/de...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Fri Dec 09th 2011, 04:27 AM
Britain was left isolated this morning with just three other countries, Sweden, Hungary and the Czech Republic, as an exultant Nicolas Sarkozy hailed a “historic” breakaway “euro plus” bloc that would pursue fiscal and economic union via a new treaty outside the EU.

The Prime Minister insisted that he had been prepared to support treaty change among all 27 of the EU’s members to allow the 17-strong eurozone to take measures to tackle its debt crisis and to enforce tough new fiscal rules for the single currency. But after 11 hours of bad-tempered talks, Mr Cameron said that he had blocked the changes because France and Germany and refused to agree to a “protocol” giving the City of London protection from a wave of EU financial service regulations related to the eurozone crisis...

... President Sarkozy said that British demands had been “unacceptable”.

“We would have preferred a deal at the level of the 27,” he said. “That wasn't possible taking into account the position of our British friends. In order to accept treaty revision among the 27 EU states, David Cameron asked us - something we all judged unacceptable - for a protocol to be inserted into the treaty granting the United Kingdom a certain number of exonerations on financial services regulations.

"We could not accept this, since we consider, quite on the contrary, that a part of the world's woes stem from the deregulation of the financial sector.”

/... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/...


Is the issue of sensible-regulation vs. insane-deregulation-in-favor-of-the-City-Wall-St-nexus of the financial system worth this split? In the opinion of many: Yes.
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Fri Dec 09th 2011, 04:25 AM
... Under the U.S. Federal Reserve Board's Regulation T and SEC Rule 15c3-3, a prime broker may re-hypothecate assets to the value of 140% of the client's liability to the prime broker. For example, assume a customer has deposited $500 in securities and has a debt deficit of $200, resulting in net equity of $300. The broker-dealer can re-hypothecate up to $280 (140 per cent. x $200) of these assets.

But in the UK, there is absolutely no statutory limit on the amount that can be re-hypothecated. In fact, brokers are free to re-hypothecate all and even more than the assets deposited by clients. Instead it is up to clients to negotiate a limit or prohibition on re-hypothecation. On the above example a UK broker could, and frequently would, re-hypothecate 100% of the pledged securities ($500).

This asymmetry of rules makes exploiting the more lax UK regime incredibly attractive to international brokerage firms such as MF Global or Lehman Brothers which can use European subsidiaries to create pools of funding for their U.S. operations, without the bother of complying with U.S. restrictions.

In fact, by 2007, re-hypothecation had grown so large that it accounted for half of the activity of the shadow banking system. Prior to Lehman Brothers collapse, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated that U.S. banks were receiving $4 trillion worth of funding by re-hypothecation, much of which was sourced from the UK. With assets being re-hypothecated many times over (known as “churn”), the original collateral being used may have been as little as $1 trillion – a quarter of the financial footprint created through re-hypothecation.

BEWARE THE BRITS: CIRCUMVENTING U.S. RULES

Keen to get in on the action, U.S. prime brokers have been making judicious use of European subsidiaries. Because re-hypothecation is so profitable for prime brokers, many prime brokerage agreements provide for a U.S. client’s assets to be transferred to the prime broker’s UK subsidiary to circumvent U.S. rehypothecation rules...

/... http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/S... /


And from the first link (essential reading):

... it was not only the repo market, but the far broader and massively unregulated shadow banking system in Europe that was becoming thoroughly unhinged, and was manifesting itself in a complete "lock up in interbank liquidity" and which, we speculated, is pressuring the Bundesbank, which is well aware of what is going on behind the scenes, to slowly back away from what will soon be an "apocalyptic" event (not our words... read on). ...

... a symptom of two things: i) the lax London-based unregulated and unsupervised system which has allowed such unprecedented, leveraged monsters as AIG, Lehman and now as it turns out MF Global, to flourish until they end up imploding and threatening the world's entire financial system, and ii) an implicit construct embedded within the shadow banking model which permitted the heaping of leverage upon leverage upon leverage, probably more so than any structured finance product in the past (up to and including synthetic CDO cubeds), and certainly on par with the AIG cataclysm which saw $2.7 trillion of CDS notional sold with virtually zero margin. Simply said: when one truly digs in, MF Global exposes the 2011 equivalent of the 2008 AIG: virtually unlimited leverage via the shadow banking system, in which there are practically no hard assets backing the infinite layers of debt created above, and which when finally unwound, will create a cataclysmic collapse of all financial institutions, where every bank is daisy-chained to each other courtesy of multiple layers of "hypothecation, and re-hypothecation." ...

/... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/why-uk-trail...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Thu Dec 08th 2011, 04:04 PM
(Reuters) - The European Central Bank doused hopes on Thursday it will ramp up its bond-buying program to fight the bloc's debt crisis, unnerving markets hours before a high-stakes EU summit they had hoped would produce a 'grand bargain' to end the turmoil...

... "One step forward, two steps back," said Alan Clarke, economist at Scotia Capital. "The ECB thought it was helping out by cutting interest rates and providing longer term liquidity measures. So far so good.

"But then to dash any hopes that the ECB might fire its bazooka (and engage in QE) has meant that the ECB's actions have backfired ... The euro zone leaders might as well not bother. Pack their bags, go home, enjoy the weekend and do their Christmas shopping."...

/... http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/08/...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Editorials & Other Articles
Sun Dec 04th 2011, 12:08 PM
... As the issuer of the euro, only the European Central Bank is in the position of backstopping the eurozone nation’s bond markets, which allows these countries to fund themselves without paying the usurious rates of interest now being demanded for countries such as Greece. The problem is that the ECB is only willing to do so for countries willing to submit themselves to harsh austerity measures as a quid pro quo. This strategy might well save the euro, as it will diminish the markets’ concerns about national solvency. But the cost is likely to be yet even more depressed economic activity, higher unemployment, lower tax revenues, higher social welfare expenditures and, consequently, even higher public deficits. And isn’t that precisely what the Germans in particular most fear?...

... But wait! Germany’s large manufacturers originally bought into the currency union because they felt it would prevent the likes of chronic currency devaluers to use this expedient to grab a higher share of world trade at Germany’s expense. In fact, it is doubly ironic that Germany chastises its neighbors for their “profligacy” but relies on their “living beyond their means” to produce a trade surplus that allow its government to run smaller budget deficits. The truth is that Germany is structurally reliant on indebtedness and borrowing in other parts of the eurozone in order to grow at all. Over-spending of southern states is the only thing that has allowed Germany’s economy to prosper. It is mindless for Germans to be advocating harsh austerity for the southern states and hacking into their spending potential and not think that it won’t reverberate back onto Germany...

... Now, of course, German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not consciously know all of these things. But it's clear to me that the political quid pro quo for greater ECB involvement in dealing with Europe's national solvency crisis is German control over the overall fiscal conduct of countries like Greece, Italy, etc. ECB head Mario Draghi is Italian, but he is playing a German game of chicken: he is embracing exactly the strategy that Angela Merkel's political director, Klaus Schuler, laid out to me two weeks ago: holding out for fiscal union commitments from the weaker "Med" countries, in return for turning the ECB into a lender of last resort. It's high stakes poker, and questions that affect the whole future shape of Europe need to be resolved in a week or so. Obviously this is one reason the Germans felt so comfortable in naming an Italian to the ECB. Trojan horses apparently don’t just come in Greek form these days. A Europe where countries such as Italy and Greece become client states provides a very effective outcome for Germany.

My base view remains that Europe is headed to a blood in the streets outcome. There is no plan B. The game is to just keep raising taxes and cutting spending even as those actions work to cause deficits to go higher rather than lower. So while the solvency and funding issue is likely to be resolved, the relief rally won't last long as the funding will continue to be conditional to ongoing austerity and negative growth. And the austerity looks likely to not only continue but also to intensify, even as the eurozone has already slipped into recession. From what I can see, there's no chance that the ECB would fund and at the same time mandate the higher deficts needed for a recovery, because the Germans will never allow it. In which case the only thing that will end the austerity is blood on the streets in sufficient quantity to trigger chaos and a change in governance.

/Thought provoking... http://www.alternet.org/story/153297/euroz...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Wed Nov 23rd 2011, 07:12 AM
LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - World stocks hit their lowest in six weeks on Wednesday and oil prices fell after China's November factory activity shrank at its sharpest pace in 32 months, reviving fears of an abrupt slowdown for the world's second largest economy.

Adding to global growth concerns, manufacturing in European heavyweight Germany contracted for a second straight month, and at a faster rate, as export demand slumped.

...

"The souffle we hoped we were going to eat is collapsing in front of us. We had hoped for a soft landing in China, better figures out of the United States and progress in Europe," Justin Urquhart Stewart, director at Seven Investment Management, said.

The evidence of weakening in China, whose rapid growth has provided a major prop for the world economy, came a day after the United States cut its third quarter growth figure.

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/23/m...


European shares hit 7-week lows; miners fall

LONDON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - European shares fell on Wednesday, after muted demand for a German bond auction heightened worries about the euro zone crisis, and weak data from China intensified concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Germany sold 3.65 billion euros of new 10-year government bonds on Tuesday, in an auction which was technically uncovered after Berlin offered the lowest coupon on record for this maturity.

Banks, exposed to euro zone peripheral debt, were among the fallers. The STOXX Europe 600 Banking Index fell 0.7 percent.

Miners were also among the biggest fallers, as any slowdown in China, the world's biggest consumer of metals, is likely to hurt demand.

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/23/m...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Sun Nov 20th 2011, 02:36 PM
organize a Constitutional Conference.
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Health
Sun Nov 20th 2011, 01:00 PM
Sunday, July 17th, 2011

... Researchers from Australia have presented preliminary data in Paris, France at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference that shows a cheap and simple eye test could help in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s dementia...

... The retinal scans were used to measure both arterial and venous diameters and then calculate the arterio-venous ratio (AVR). The preliminary results have shown that the AVR correlated with beta amyloid plaque burden in the brain as determined by PET imaging studies of the participants. The differences in the AVRs are primarily due to retinal venous thickness which becomes thinner in Alzheimer’s dementia with an indirect correlation with the beta amyloid plaque burden in the brain. Of particular importance was the fact that even in cognitively normal participants, the AVR correlated with beta amyloid plaque burden in the brain. This implies that this simple and cheap eye test can identify individuals who have beta amyloid plaque in the brain before the onset of cognitive deficits. This inexpensive and noninvasive test would not be a definitive, stand alone diagnostic procedure but could be used for screening patients before employing more expensive and complex diagnostic modalities.

Read more: http://drsamgirgis.com/tag/eye-test/#ixzz1...


Also:

... Earlier work by Dr. Lee Goldstein of Boston University showed that amyloid, the protein that makes up Alzheimer's brain plaque, can be measured in the lens of the eyes of some people with the disease, particularly Down syndrome patients who often are prone to Alzheimer's.

A company he holds stock in, Neuroptix, is testing a laser eye scanner to measure amyloid in the eyes. Goldstein praised the work by the Australian scientists. "It's a small study" but "suggestive and encouraging," he said. "My hat's off to them for looking outside the brain for other areas where we might see other evidence of this disease."

Eye doctors often are the first to see patients with signs of Alzheimer's, which can start with vision changes, not just the memory problems the disease is most known for, said Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic dementia expert with no role in the new studies...


/... http://www.mail.com/int/scitech/health/566...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Nov 19th 2011, 11:51 AM
to this article, for those watching Europe:

The Uk should be worried looking at the huge debt it has compared to other countries, some 100k per person and owing Spain 316 billion euros which is most of Spain's actual bond debt. Yet the markets stay off the Uk and attack Spain, Why? Because the Bond market is attacking from the UK and doesn't want the battle focussing on the UK.

Germany knows this of course and uses it as leverage to annoy Cameron. The UK is a lot more in the shit than they let on. Hence the big dash for some cash from Northern Rock.

Cameron's harping on about treaty changes etc. will only act as a smoke screen for a while. The Autumn budget will have to hide as much of the truth to the public as possible.


Response


Not exactly true. The bond market has no allegiance to any country, it simply makes its judgments on the basis of risk.

UK gilt yields are kept low because...

(a) the BoE can buy them up if demand is low - kind of like the ECB purchases of Spanish debt, but the BoE has the advantage of being able to crank out as much funny money as it likes and buy as much as is necessary,

(b) the UK is a zero default risk - as a sovereign power we can, in extremis, crank out as much fresh currency as we like to repay our debts. If it ever came to such a dire situation then the payments would be severely devalued and the inflationary cost to the country would be dreadful, but at least the investors would get something back, and

(c) because of our ability to devalue we don't risk being trapped in the same kind of debt-deflation spiral as the peripheral Euro states, which are lumbered with an overvalued currency and no control over their interest rates, so we have a better chance of recovery in the medium term

This doesn't mean that the UK is safe. Very far from it. Everything depends, of course, on what happens next in the Euro debt crisis. If things continue to deteriorate and France falls then we're probably the next domino after them. If France manages to stay standing, either through her own efforts or through being rescued by Germany, then the long-awaited firewall will have come into being and we may continue to benefit from low yields indefinitely.

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Posted by Ghost Dog in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Nov 19th 2011, 07:48 AM
... Even if it could get around treaty provisions and challenges in the German courts, making the European Central Bank a lender of last resort or a backstop for the bloc's bailout fund still seems to be a gamble Germany is reluctant to take. Germany is the biggest contributor to the ECB's capital and the Bundesbank the biggest of a network of central banks which conduct most of its business. If Italian and Spanish bonds were written down in the way Greek ones were (the ECB already holds 20% of Greek, Portuguese and Irish debt), German taxpayers could have to recapitalise the bank. The implicit promise made to Germany when it abandoned its currency was that the new bank would never be used to bail out overindebted nations. Mr Cameron's resistance to a tax which targets investment banking, one of the few British industries left standing (85% of the yield would come from the City of London), is just as instinctive. Which British leader – let alone one who heads a eurosceptic party – would risk headlines like "Cameron sacrifices City to save Greece".

And yet without a resolution to this crisis, the contagion of panic will merely spread higher up the food chain. Take Spain's position. It has already taken the austerity pill: civil service pay has been cut, the age of retirement has risen. It was on course to meet its deficit target. And then the markets struck again, pushing the price of 10-year bonds to 6.97%. While Spain has a lower debt to GDP ratio than the eurozone average, its banks are still full of toxic assets – the loans to builders and developers in Spain's broken property boom, whose projects are now being written down. 700,000 new homes remain unsold. The economy has probably already slipped back into recession, so Spain is now trapped in a downward spiral of private debt, austerity, high unemployment and threats to banking solvency...

... Time is running out. Europe's leaders can not defer the solution indefinitely. Beijing will not bail them out, nor will the IMF. However it is formed, the euro is likely to need a fiscal fund, or something that functions very much like one. You cannot have a single currency without a treasury, or a fully empowered central bank behind it. Ms Merkel's policy of doing just enough, just in time, is looking unfit for purpose. This is no longer a debt crisis, restricted to Europe's southern periphery, but an economic crisis affecting the whole of Europe. Britain must do more to hasten the solution than yell incoherent encouragement from the terraces. If European banks stop lending to each other, as looks likely, the City will find itself caught in a second credit crunch...

/... http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/no...


Of course, the line "Cameron sacrifices City to save Greece" could read "Cameron cleans up City and contributes to EU stability." It all depends on the way the Media spins it, because thus do most of the politicos' voters (unthinkingly) think.
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Wed Nov 16th 2011, 03:26 PM
(not copyright)

As we come to the end of the second half of 2011, it is evident that 15,000 billion in ghost assets have gone up in smoke since last July, just as was anticipated by LEAP/E2020 (GEAB N°56 ). And, according to our team, this process figures to continue at the same rate throughout the year to come. Indeed we estimate that, with the introduction of a 50% discount on Greek government debt, the global systemic crisis has entered a new phase: that of the generalized discount on Western public debt and its corollary, the fragmentation of the global financial markets. Our team believes that 2012 will bring an average discount of 30% of total Western public debt (1), plus an equivalent amount in loss of assets from the balance sheets of worldwide financial institutions. Specifically, LEAP/E2020 anticipates the loss of 30,000 billion ghost assets by early 2013 (2), with an acceleration in 2012 of the partitioning process of the global financial market (3) into three increasingly disconnected currency areas: Dollar, Euro, and Yuan. These two phenomena feed into each other. They will also be the cause of a sharp decline of 30% on the part of US currency in 2012 (4), as we announced last April (GEAB N°54 ), which will occur amidst a sharp reduction in demand for the US dollar and the worsening of the US governmental debt crisis. The end of 2011 will therefore see, as anticipated, the trigger of the European debt crisis detonating a US bomb.

...

With a government of national unity finally in place in Greece (11), a modern state must literally be built from the ground up, with a proper land registry and an effective administration enabling the Greeks to become “normal” members of Euroland, not subjects of a feudal system where prominent families and the church share the wealth and power. Thirty years after its unconditional integration into the European Community, Greece must go through a five or ten year transitional phase similar to that of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe before their EU accession: painful, but inevitable.

Italy, meanwhile, has managed to rid itself of a leader altogether typical of the world before the crisis, characterized by his “bling”, his racketeering, his unscrupulous acquisition of money, his unfounded self-satisfaction, his hold on the media, his constant Euro-criticism and junk nationalism (12), not to mention his overflowing libido. The scenes of joy in the streets of Italy show not all is wrong with this global systemic crisis! As we indicated in the previous GEAB, we believe that 2012 will for Euroland be a year of transition on the road to building the world after the crisis, instead of just suffering the woes of the collapsing system.

At the same time the United Kingdom has basically been kicked out of the Euroland meetings (13). EU members outside the Eurozone have backed Euroland in refusing to support the British proposal concerning the right of the 27 to veto Euroland decisions. The United Kingdom’s drift has been boosted by the efforts of British Eurosceptics (generally the foot soldiers of the City) (14) to try to sever as quickly as possible the strongest ties with continental Europe (15). Far from being proof of their policy’s success, it is rather an admission of complete failure (16). After twenty years of continuous efforts, they failed to disrupt the European integration process, which has been revived by the pressures of the crisis. So they are now “dropping hawsers” out of a fear – well founded, by the way (17) – of seeing the UK absorbed into Euroland by the end of this decade (18).

All told, it is a desperate march forward which, as pointed out by Will Hutton in a remarkably lucid article in the Guardian on 30/10/2011, can only lead the UK towards a break with a Scotland seeking to recover not only its independence (19) but also its European anchorage, and towards the socio-economic condition of an off-shore financial market without social protection (20) or an industrial base (21): in sum, a Dis-United Kingdom adrift (22).

And with its US ally in dire straits itself, that drift may drag on for years, to the great misfortune of a British people growing increasingly discontented with the City. Even veterans are beginning to join the Occupy the City movement (23); obviously, on this point, there is a convergence between the views of the British people and those of Euroland!

...

Speaking of public debt, it is time to turn to the United States. The coming weeks figure to remind the world that it is this country, not Greece, that is at the epicenter of the global systemic crisis. In one week’s time, on November 23, the Congressional “Supercommittee” in charge of reducing the US federal deficit will admit its failure to find 1,500 billion US dollars in savings over ten years. Each side is already crafting arguments that will blame the other side (25). As for Barack Obama, apart from his televised simpering with Nicolas Sarkozy, he now contemplates the situation passively, while noting that Congress has torn into pieces his grand jobs project introduced only 2 months ago (26). And it is not the utterly unrealistic announcement of a new Pacific Customs Union (excluding China) (27) on the eve of an APEC summit where Chinese and Americans are expected to confront one another harshly, which will enhance his stature as head of state, let alone his chances for reelection.

The predictable failure of the “Supercommittee”, which reflects the overall paralysis of the US federal political system, will have an immediate and drastic consequence: a new series of credit ratings deteriorations. The Chinese agency Dagon has opened fire, confirming that it would once again lower the rating upon the failure of the “Supercommittee” (28). S&P will probably lower one more time the US rating, and Moody’s and Fitch will have then no other choice but to get on board, having given the US a reprieve until the end of the year under condition of effective results in terms of public deficit reduction. Incidentally, in order to dilute the flow of negative information in this regard, it is likely that there will be an attempt to reinforce the public debt crisis in Europe (29) by lowering France’s rating in order to weaken the European Financial Stability Fund (30).

All of this makes for an eventful season for the financial and monetary markets, casting severe blows on Western banking systems and, beyond that, on all US T-Bond holders. But beyond the failure of the “Supercommittee” to reduce the federal deficit, the entire US pyramid of debt will be thoroughly examined, in a context of global – and of course US – recession : falling tax revenues, unemployment increases, increases in the number of unemployed no longer receiving benefits (31), further drops in home values, etc.

...

We announced in the previous GEAB that we have entered a phase involving the decimation of Western banks. This phase is truly in swing, and customers of all financial operators (banks, insurance companies, investment funds, pension funds) (39) are now questioning the soundness of these institutions. As is evident from the Corzine affair, they should not assume that these institutions are a priori stronger than others just because they or their leaders are famous or enjoying a strong reputation (40). It is not knowledge of the rules of the financial game of yesterday, which formed those reputations, that now counts; but rather it is the understanding that the rules have changed that has become crucial.

/more... http://www.leap2020.eu/GEAB-N-59-is-availa...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Fri Nov 04th 2011, 05:16 PM
Perhaps I should set up a rapid-service editing business online.

"If Greece has been irresponsible, so were the German banks that happily loaned out the money."

The above, written by Drum, is very true. Some lenders were surely stretching the 'irresponsible' into the delusional or even fraudulent realms, though, via various derivatives and other so-called hedges and their leverage.

Definitely worth a read.

"The only reason “all the debts” must be paid off is because the rich demand it. They don’t want to take their losses. This is what should have been done in the US. It is what should be done in Europe. It is what our lords and masters refuse to do at all costs, because the people who own them, or they themselves, or their friends, or their lovers, are the ones who will take the bath."

No question.
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Tue Aug 23rd 2011, 07:53 AM
...After the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee announced it would keep borrowing costs near zero through mid-2013, it is unlikely that Bernanke will be announcing any plans involving rates on Friday. Instead he may focus on the Fed’s balance sheet, which allows for various measures, each with its own risk and reward. But a third round of quantitative easing seems unlikely.

The last session of quantitative easing, dubbed QE2, resulted in the Fed purchasing $600 billion in bonds , and was the Fed’s response to historically low inflation that threatened falling prices, consumption, and investment. Now U.S. inflation is higher, as is core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices. The concern now is slowing growth, with U.S. financial markets taking a beating as Europe’s sovereign debt woes continue, and the unemployment rate in the U.S. remaining high.

So on Friday, Bernanke could commit to keeping the Fed’s balance sheet at $2.8 trillion, well above the pre-crisis level of around $900 billion, for an extended period of time, or he could put downward pressure on medium to long-term interest rates. According to Deutsche Bank economist Carl Riccadonna, “If the fed does move toward additional accommodation, it may first try to extend the average maturity of its portfolio rather than further expand its asset holdings.”

Buying more bonds will likely be off the table, though the Fed could do so while simultaneously making efforts to slow inflation by draining bank reserves, which would push down long-term interest rates while removing risk and duration from credit markets. Critics say bond buying would drive down the dollar , in turn driving up commodity prices, but the Fed has historically acted independently, and has a reputation of taking the steps it sees necessary in spite of any opposition, political or otherwise.

/... http://finance.yahoo.com/news/What-Will-Be...
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Posted by Ghost Dog in Latest Breaking News
Thu Aug 18th 2011, 03:38 AM
Paul B. Farrell, July 19, 2011, 12:01 a.m. EDT
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-buys-5-...

...That’s the clear message we get from Gary Shilling, one of the world’s foremost economic forecasters, long-time Forbes columnist and author of “The Age of Deleveraging,” where you’ll find tips and warnings: The American economy is facing a huge shortfall in the 2011-2020 decade. We need real GDP growth of at least 3.3% just to keep unemployment stable.

But that’s impossible. America will be lucky to get an average 2% real growth, says Shilling. In fact, it’s worse: America faces the possibility of 10 long years of no growth. Or, more accurately, a decade of less-than-zero growth. Plus high-stress chronic unemployment. Plus accelerating global unrest, regional conflicts, increasing Pentagon budgets...

...Shilling summarizes the 9 reasons investors had better prepare for “Slow Global Growth in Future Years.” Not just for a temporary, double-dip recession in 2012, but a deeper depression-era slow growth likely till the election of 2020. So start by committing Shilling’s “9 Causes of Slow Global Growth” to memory, plus the 10th one we added:

· More and more consumers are shifting from a 25-year borrowing-and-spending binge to a saving spree. This trend will spread across the globe. Why? Because American consumers will import less from developed and emerging nations that are dependent on exports for economic growth.

· Financial deleveraging is already reversing economic trends that financed much of the world’s new growth in recent years...

...

...Comments on this story
324 Comments « ‹ 6 7 8 9 10 › » Oldest comments listed first

marketbuyer 28 days ago +3 Votes

This is total gibberish and nonsense. Who pays these people to write this fiction.
Is this a screenplay or an economic forecast? What brand crystal ball did Shilling use?

I don't need a financial prognosticator to know how bad things already are. I just look out my window and if I still see obamma in the white house, I know things are bad and are going to get worse.
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