I hope you are.
Today (August 22, 2011) proved one thing – oversold doesn’t mean jack. The ~20 handle pop into the open was sold into immediately, despite the market’s severely-oversold condition.
A condition that is worse than during the height of the 08/09 crash.
Drill that into your head folks: The government doesn’t get it, exactly as they didn’t get it in early 2008. They are, right now, squandering the opportunity to take effective action. I know this for a fact because the Republican Caucus has refused to address the issue and I know they’re aware of it.
This weekend I listened to McCain with his condescending bullcrap on talk TV. Let me remind you, this is the same Senator McCain who I sent this letter to in 2008 predicting what was going to happen in the election if he did not act. He did not, and he lost. In fact, today he still claims that he couldn’t see it coming. Not only did he see it coming, his campaign manager was in receipt of that letter and Governor Ridge personally told me at that campaign event that they knew full well it was all driven from greed and scams. In short, not only did he lie about what he knew at the time he’s still lying.
This is the GOP. This is what it has done and is doing. The GOP is proving time and time again that it will not get in front of these issues because doing so means kneecapping the banksters that have trashed our economy and continue to do so today.
Not that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are any better, of course.
The GOP doesn’t care, the Democrats don’t care, and you’re going to get creamed.
There is no way to avoid what’s coming. We have added roughly $4.5 trillion in debt to the Federal balance sheet trying to paper it over and have failed. Even the “good” banks like JP Morgan and Goldman are failing to make progress. The poorer ones such as Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are seeing their market prices collapse. The XLF, the composite of the large banks, is back to where it was in the summer of 2009. Should it break below these levels it is likely going for the spring 2009 lows.
All the fraudulent accounting games, shifting Granny’s earnings on her CDs to the banks through zero-interest rates and money printing have been used up as policy tools. There are few if any weapons left in the arsenal to combat what is coming.
This is where we are, and where we’re going.
I’m sure this will be scoffed at. We’ll see. Go have a look at 2000 if you’d like. It’s pretty similar. Through the mid-bolinger on the monthly, a bounce back, often off or near the lower bolinger, then a collapse that loses half or more of the market’s value. Twice, and now we’re setting up for it again. It’s as clear as day and the reasons for it are just as clear now as they were before.
The time in that chart is probably not quite to scale, but I bet the price move is.
Impossible? Oh no it’s not. The Nikkei stood at 40,000 before it collapsed. It now trades under 10,000 – a 75% loss – decades later. It has not recovered and neither will we because we refuse as a nation and as a government to force recognition of bogus debt that cannot be paid while destroying capital formation and interest margins with zero interest rates.
400 is roughly where the S&P was before the “great bull market of fraud” began in 1995. To think we can’t return there when the fraud collapses is utter folly. We not only can, we probably will.
But instead of putting a stop to the games we choose to allow crazy derivative schemes, balance sheets that do not reflect reality and the repeated asset-stripping from savers and productive members of society, all to protect the “gilded ones” on Wall Street from the just consequences of their own 30-year old foibles and scams.
Now let me explain what happens “down there”, because it is my unbroken opinion, going back to 2007, that’s where we’re headed irrespective of attempts to stop it (and we’ve already seen how fast those attempts unwind when they fail, haven’t we?)
- Every pension fund blows up. All of them. Many doubled into the decline and will be utterly destroyed. Chief among them will be big municipal funds like CALPERs. If you have a pension of some sort, ask the pension administrator what happens to your pension if the S&P goes to 400 and stays there. He’ll poo-poo your question – but I bet he won’t answer it.
- Annuities and insurance companies blow up. You don’t think they can pay when they’re figuring on an 8% annualized return, do you? Well, no they can’t. Oh yeah, your state insurance on those is $100,000 in most states – the rest of your principal is “at risk.” This, of course, assumes the State has the $100,000 too. Did you know this in advance or are you learning it now (let’s not hope the latter is true!)
- The FDIC has no prayer of covering it. The good news is that if they act now they can shut the banks that are exposed and cram down debt to equity. The bad news is that they have a horrible record in doing that in a timely manner and of late the losses have been anywhere from 20-40% of assets, which is both a violation of the law (“Prompt Corrective Action” is supposed to prevent this from happening) and they have no way to cover it should it become a widespread problem. It will. Oh yeah, you can’t sue the government either. Have a nice day.
- The government Ponzi blows up. Unemployment will reach 20% or more. Tax receipts will get cut in half. Deficit spending will be impossible. Instead of a 40% “draconian” cut in government spending we will have to cut spending by 60% or more. Entitlements will be decimated; retirement entitlements will go last, but go they will. Food stamps, Section 8, Medicaid, all gone. Bet on it.
- All the other things that depend on the government Ponzi blow up. Medical care as we know it, education, state programs, all gone. We will return to a simpler time whether we like it or not, and we won’t like it. That much I’m sure of.
- Best guess on whether civil order is lost. In some places I’m sure things will be fine in that regard, likely in places where self-defense is recognized as the unalienable right that it is. In others? Not so much. If you live in a big city – or an “unfriendly” place in regards to self-defense, you need to be thinking about this quite-seriously. Yesterday would have been a good time to consider it and figure out what you’re going to do about it.
- Short-term and minor to moderate disruptions in what would be considered “essential” goods and services are likely. Go down the list and figure out what you must have and what you can do without. Be realistic. Most people won’t be, which will put you one step in front of them.
- The world will recognize the Depression we have tried to cover up. This is not a US-centric story. The Eurozone will get the unemployment and tax consequences too. Germany will be forced to choose between propping up the entire rest of the Euro (which it can’t) and detonating it and going back to the Deutsche Mark (which it will be forced to.) There is a very high probability of war that comes out of this, although the exact trigger is not something I can forecast. War is the classical solution to these problems, and it is unlikely to be different this time.
This is going to be a rough time folks. Our government has refused to deal with the basic mathematical constructs that underlay all economies and debt. It’s not a matter of competing theoretical ideas – it’s a matter of basic mathematical laws. We are now running into the end game where entire nations are coming unglued along with their various patrons and parasites, as the cold, hard mathematical facts run into the fantasy conjurations of people like Bernanke, Geithner and Obama, along with the chortling harpies on Wall Street.
If they manage to “sticksave” things once again, and you can bet they’ll try, you’ve lost nothing by being prepared. But even if they do pull another rabbit from the hat, instead of a burning stick of dynamite, there are a limited number of rabbits, there are sticks of dynamite in the hat, one will eventually be inadvertently selected and the games will end.
The only real choice is whether that option will take place voluntarily and now, or involuntarily and later.
Either way it’s going to suck, but a voluntary acceptance of reality will both suck less and be over sooner, along with being able to be mitigated. An uncontrolled event – which is what we’re headed for at the present time – will be most unpleasant.
PS: Yes, this is an update to the “What’s Broken” ticker…. The last time they reached into the hat they got a rabbit – and made the problem worse. How many more pulls do you think they’ll get before the burning stick of dynamite pops out?