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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The big Euro Bank bailout.. why today?


In the previous post, we explain how all the central banks of the world came together to bailout Europe's banks, or at least extend the can-kicking a little further while Germany and France figure how to turn an economic union into a political union, usurping national autonomies and re-writing basic EU tenets to save their precious currency, the euro.

TheStreet.com put it this way, "What’s great for the banks isn’t so good for everyone else, though. Investment strategists already are noting the desperation of the move, adding that flooding the banking system with liquidity doesn’t do anything to solve the real problem of ballooning, unmanageable debt levels."

Ok.  Still, one question needs to be asked-- why today?

Why not do this last week, yesterday or tomorrow?

Perhaps Forbes.com can best explain:  "It appears that a big European bank got close to failure last night.  European banks, especially French banks, rely heavily on funding in the wholesale money markets.  It appears that a major bank was having difficulty funding its immediate liquidity needs. The cavalry was called in and has come to the successful rescue."

And that's how it works- Problems continually ignored and when collapse of some kind is evident, all the major power brokers work frantically behind the scenes to pull a 11:59p solution out of thin air (or their collective arses)

~ Doc, when I die, I donate my heart and brains to the Eurozone; my kidneys & liver specifically to Ireland"

Remember- the US has a national debt of over $15 Trillion dollars and recently 3Q GDP was downdraded to only 2.3% which is just barely above anemic.  Britain declared they will be entering officially a 2nd recession in Jan. 2012, and its finance ministers have ordered up a new bunch of Quantitative Easing to try to stimulate its economy.  Switzerland's currency was so "strong" due to the weakening of the other currencies that it was forced to peg its franc to the euro to purposely weaken it to help Nestle and other Swiss corporations.   Lastly Japan, has been in economic malaise since 1986 and on two separate occasions has had to appeal to the Fed Reserve and European central banks to help it devalue its yen.

And all these pathetic buffoons with economies barely breathing, are uniting to preserve the Rot which is the Euro??

And the worst part of all this.. we the people are completely, utterly powerless to stop it.  That's the influence and force of the Fed.  No Congressperson or Senator to write to.  No protest movement to join.  And if Ben Bernanke was abducted by anal-probe loving space aliens from a distant planet in a far away galaxy, nothing would change on planet Earth- the President would just appoint another Yes Man (or Woman) for the power-elite to control.

Remember when former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was wrongly arrested and accused of rape?  Two to three weeks later,  another US friendly European head Christine Lagarde takes the helm...Business as usual & not a beat skipped...

 The Fed- it just does as it wishes and the few who understand the economic destruction in its wake can only bellow and moan, or  join the ignorant masses focused on the mundane and the trivial.

These are the choices left to us in 2011

When Investors smile, you shouldn't

Happy Happy.. Joy Joy!.. whoo hoo... Yippee-Dippee-Doo~

Big Big news which made all the soulless Investors so Happy today and cause a 400+ pt market spike:


Stocks Soar After Central Banks Act Globally (AP) -- "Stocks surged on Wednesday as major central banks around the world acted jointly to add liquidity to the global financial system, sparking a rally in risk assets such as equities and commodities"

OK.. let's stop one second to analyze- what does that sentence really say & mean?  It means the major central bank of the US (The Fed which is providing the VAST majority of the funds), Canada (eh~ .. a small amount), Switzerland (an even smaller amount) and Japan (a completely bankrupt nation right now) are taking precious money which should be used on their own populaces since its taxpayer money that is being used, and giving away, um, I mean "lending" to Europe.

And what is this movement doing?  Why its sparking a rally.. yay! --  in Risk assets like commodities causing them to go up n' up.  And what are commodities again?  Oh they're things like oil, corn, wheat, cotton, electricity..  you know- all the non-essentials no one on earth needs to live and survive. Thank goodness the rise in commodity prices don't translate to what we pay in utilities or at the grocery, right?  Whew~

Look how happy those Investors are eating those marbles.. 'nom' 'nom'..

What does Presidential candidate Ron Paul, the only relatively sane person running in the Republican primaries, think about what happened today?

"Rather than calming markets, these arrangements should indicate just how frightened governments around the world are about the European financial crisis.  Central banks are grasping at straws, hoping that flooding the world with money created out of thin air will somehow resolve a crisis caused by uncontrolled government spending and irresponsible debt issuance.  Congress should not permit this type of open-ended commitment on the part of the Fed, a commitment which could easily run into the trillions of dollars.  These dollar swaps are purely inflationary and will harm American consumers as much as any form of quantitative easing."

Paul summarized it pretty well.

You and I are alive now this very moment, to witness and experience first-hand the Ultimate con job played upon humanity by the banking and financial systems of globe.  One that will ultimately destroy hundreds of years of social and economic progress when it all comes crashing, and forcing billions of people worldwide to be in a state of ultimate shock and reversion to base primal survival instincts.

The thing is, most really aren't aware or don't care.  .

Certainly you care or you wouldn't read this blog or other like-minded sites.  But the vast majority of people here and around the globe truly do not have any concern.  They know bad things are occurring, their lives getting more difficult and financial struggles increasing, but they have no clue why, and no curiosity or interest to investigate the 'who' or 'what' is destroying their lives.

I've had this discussion with a few people in my inner circle on this lately- how few people really know who is responsible most for the mess we're in.  They think its Bush or Obama because they're easy, public targets who open themselves to scorn because both, like all other politicians are nothing more than vote panderers.

The real criminals who've wrecked the US economy are men like Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, and yet ask yourself, do most Americans have the slightest clue who these people are??  On Saturday Night Live, Letterman, Leno, etc.. have you ever heard either man truly attacked or skewed??  No.  Instead of explaining to the public who these evil men are and eviscerating them, instead, the late night jesters save their daggers for sex scandals and Kardashian fodder.

And the masses become increasingly dumber and easier to rule over...

Just as the system wishes it

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday black lies

There's been a lot of Happy Happy! Joy Joy! optimism and excitement by those horrid, lying little monsters known to all as the print and visual media over the success of Black Friday.  Without taking anytime to research the validity of the statistics which come from retail trade groups, they proudly bluster "Black Friday sales up 7% over 2010" (USA Today) and "Black Friday weekend: Record $52.4 billion spent" (CNN/Money)

There is of course a method to the madness; in plain speak-- an agenda.  The more optimistic you feel about the US economy (even if that hopefulness that things are getting better is complete bunk) the more it will psychologically trigger you to spend more (and charge more onto your credit cards), which helps corporations increase their profits... which encourages more advertising spending... which benefits the print and visual media... which allows the talking meatsticks on your local newscasts to continue receiving six-figure paychecks to continue false-smiling into the camera and telling you how bustling the holiday shopping season is.

It's called a symbiotic relationship or "I scratch your back & you scratch mine"

Here's how to think of Black Friday: let's say a new movie comes out that the viewing public is wanting to see.  Opening weekend box-office numbers are strong- they break records.  Yay!  But, most of the people who were going to see the film, did so in the first weekend and are not returning.  So the following weekend, the film's box office drops by 85% and is a distant memory by week 3, already pulled from the movie theater.

Remember, the advertising and media perception is this will be a continual top-grossing film based on what?  Nods...  Based on just opening weekend- nothing more.

Well basically, Black Friday is no different; your shopping nest egg or 'canteen' mostly spent up within 1 day and that's basically the end of the retail 'boost'; an artificially created frenzy to get people to spend money they don't have on things they don't need.

Forbes Magazine explains the Black Friday statistical distortions best:  "Surveys done by America’s Research Group, a tracker of shopper behavior, found that 76% of customers said they didn’t expect to find any better deals after the Black Friday door busters... 12.6% of store goers report they’ve already finished all their Christmas shopping , the highest percentage since 2004..."

"Separately, 68% said they’d completed “most” of their shopping by Friday, up from 61.4% a year ago. In other words, the big opening splash retailers created through huge, well-publicized Black Friday deals may have simply shifted spending to the front of the weekend, not increased it."

Its really no different than when the government set up those ridiculous rebates such as 'Cash for Clunkers" and First time Homeowner rebates to try to stimulate the economy without actually directly having to help those with the most need.  And they were both trumpeted as huge successes with the time frames extended to meet demand.

But what happened afterward?  Statistics showed a dramatic drop off in car and home purchases.  Why?  Because all the rebates did was encourage all those considering purchase of an auto or home over a 6 month period to do so within a limited window of time, drawing away sales from future months.

Here's more from Forbes:  "Another data tracking firm, Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group, notes that more than half (56%) of consumers that shopped Thursday night or Friday said they had no plans to shop the rest of the weekend. NPD’s statement from chief analyst Marshal Cohen: “Black Friday may have come in with a roar, but it’s going out with a whimper.” "

Hmmm, I didn't hear my local newscaster say anything like That?!

Gee...

The lesson to take from Black Friday?  Tell us Forbes:  "Black Friday did great because the deals were great. Just don’t use it to forecast the next four weeks."

How amazing.. I happen to agree.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Things always end up worse than you think..

OK.. its 4:30p and everyone in the financial media is happy as syphilitic monkeys that the market spiked 294pts to close at 11,523. Of course this based on absolutely nothing but a bunch of soulless, vile cockroach investors who got tired of seeing the market drop n' drop on Real news and felt today was a good buying opportunity.

Always Buy on the Dip..  the Global Investor motto...

But let's look beyond this insignificant market move to the real news of the day.  Actually there were two pieces of important news that might have been missed amid the clutter of how wonderful Black Friday sales were and Department Store winners/losers.

The first is that the American-owned & controlled IMF is expected to bail Italy out for just about $800 Billion US dollars, 17.7% of which comes from the American taxpayer who will get absolutely Nothing of benefit in return for that money...

http://ants-and-grasshoppers.blogspot.com/2011/11/whats-few-billion-dollars-among-friends.html

And here's the second important piece of news:  It seems that deeply treasonous bastard, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke was secretly bailing out banks to the cost of Trillions of dollars which was never disclosed until only recently because Bloomberg sued the Fed to disclose this information and won in court...

"The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.  The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates...

"Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year...  Bankers didn’t disclose the extent of their borrowing. On Nov. 26, 2008, then-Bank of America (BAC) Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth D. Lewis wrote to shareholders that he headed “one of the strongest and most stable major banks in the world.” He didn’t say that his Charlotte, North Carolina-based firm owed the central bank $86 billion that day...

"The six biggest U.S. banks, which received $160 billion of TARP funds, borrowed as much as $460 billion from the Fed.  (Add the two figures-- that's $620 Billion)...  Judd Gregg, a former New Hampshire senator who was a lead Republican negotiator on TARP, and Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who chaired the House Financial Services Committee, both say they were kept in the dark. “We didn’t know the specifics,” says Gregg, who’s now an adviser to Goldman Sachs. "

~ Funny how Goldman Sachs scum enter political life and politicians enter Goldman..  like a revolving door, but that's been addressed often enough here.

Full Bloomberg article found here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html

Here's the truth as plain as one can write or verbalize it.   The US Govt is corrupt to the core.  Put aside the left-right political bullshit that always springs up.. That is a charade.  In a crisis, any true checks and balances is put aside for the supposed 'good of the nation' and whoever has power will do whatever he or she wishes, and if questioned later, will say it was done out of necessity.


Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is a criminal...  Period.  Sentence.. Paragraph.

In the grand scheme of financial corruption and ponzi, Bernie Madoff's was the equivalent of a jaywalker  in comparison.  Bernanke's actions; his dogged determination to save the global banking system at all costs has cost everyday people trillions of dollars, loss of home, loss of job, triggered riots and revolution throughout Northern Africa due to QE encouraging speculation in commodities like corn and wheat prices.

Bernanke's actions in concert with the other financial heads of state around the world have caused the global economy to be far worse today than 2008, in spite of media statements to the contrary.  And you can spend your time bitching about the Democrats or the Republicans or Tea Party or Occupy Movement.. or this or that.. but the True Evil which infects this nation and is causing its demise doesn't acquire power through popular election and the Fed, unlike a political party does not concern itself with how its policy affects the populace.

If you are "mad as hell", venting is good and healthy but its good to know who specifically to aim the vitriol and anger at...

What's a few billion dollars among friends?

This may get a little confusing folks but trust me, when you use a currency calculator, you will see the numbers work out correctly....

First, the headline:

IMF drawing up £517bn package to save Italy, Spain and the euro (Telegraph UK) -- "Reports in Italy suggested that the IMF is drawing up plans for a £517 billion assistance package for the country. Spain may be offered access to IMF credit, rather than a rescue package, to avoid it being “picked off” by the markets in the coming weeks."

Now £517 billion =  €600 billion (that's Euros for unfamiliar) ...

And €600 billion = a little over $798 Billion US dollars.

OK..  Now..

Remember, this would be coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is pretty much run by the US and 17.7% of its funds come from US taxpayers...

So..  $798 Billion x 17.7% equals...

$141.25 Billion US Taxpayer dollars will be used to bailout just ONE European nation.. Italy.

Not only are Americans the Policemen of the World, but we also get to be Financial Backstop for the globe as well.

Good thing the US economy is strong and thriving, yes?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday fear-mongering & EU Economic Scorecard

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, its time to get back to the real world and all the real problems the various leaders and finance heads are collectively causing the billions of people who make up the collective global populace.

But a brief comment on Black Friday first.  If you were to have glanced at Drudge Report and judged the day by its selective headers, you would have naively and ignorantly assumed it was a bloodbath with everyone killing each other to get a low priced HDTV, computer or save 50 cents on a bag of chocolates.

Here's some Drudge headlines today:

-  Man Dies Shopping on Black Friday -- Unfazed shoppers walk around, step-over body

-  'Woman pepper sprays other Black Friday shoppers 'to gain an upper hand'...

-  'Girls Punching Each Other' Over Yoga Pants Sale at Victoria's Secret...

I live in a major metropolitan area & I was involved in the supposed "madness" from 1a till about 4a- I visited Target, Best Buy & Wal-Mart (What can I say-- I'm a sucker for bargain priced Blu-Rays) and I can report I saw no one get maced, punched, kicked, cattle-prodded, roughed up, raped, shot or tasered.  I also saw no instance of 'bad behavior' by anyone- shoppers or police, and saw no effort by anyone outside or inside the stores to disrupt anything.

~ Hmm.. nothing newsworthy at this store...

Just another example of media being exaggeratedly negative to heighten fear in people to alter their normal behaviors and activities.

The incompetent, lazy media figure its more "fun" to report news oddities then to talk about something truly terrible which effects us all, and which we as a people seem powerless to stop-- the complete downward spiral of the world's economies, particularly in Europe and the US.

Here's the scorecard of the EU care of TAE.com as of 11/26/11 (** Bond yield means how much interest a nation has to pay back Investors to entice them to lend money i.e. purchasing of government debt):

    *  Greece: Will be broke in 3 weeks unless it receives the €8 billion next bailout tranche. It will get this only if the main opposition party signs a letter declaring its support for the EU/CB/IMF troika's austerity measures and budget cuts, supported by new technocrat (and Goldman Sachs loyalist) PM Papademos. Opposition leader Samaras has so far refused to sign.
   
    10-year bond yields 29.87%.


    * Portugal: Downgraded by Fitch to junk status. 2012 GDP expected to fall 3%. Portugal expected to need the same level of bailout as Greece, though a 50% debt writedown has been ruled out by the Greece deal.
   
     10-year bond yields 12.32%.




    * Ireland: Nominal gross national product (GNP) has already contracted by 22%. Public wages have fallen 12% on average. There are likely to be further wage cuts in the December budget.
   
      10-year bond yields 8.21%


    * Italy: Paid 6.5% this morning for 6 month loan, 2-year is over 8%. Mario Monti (another Goldman Sachs technocrat) needs to speed things up, or else...
   
      10-year bond yields 7.33%.


    * Spain: Enormous pressure on the banking system.
   
      10-year bond yields 6.7%.

    * Belgium: The Dexia (bank) bailout deal struck with France recently is rumored to be falling apart; Belgium can't afford the terms of the deal (a €4 billion price tag and a €51 billion guarantee) . It wants France to pick up a larger piece of the pie; which France in turn can't afford to do, for fear of being downgraded.  S&P just downgraded Belgium this past week.
   
       10-year bond yields 5.84%.


    * France: Has been threatened with a downgrade by Moody's. Analysts have claimed losing its AAA status would be the end of President Sarkozy's career. Eurozone chief Jean-Claude Juncker has said it would also threaten the credit rating of Europe's bailout fund, the EFSF.
   
       10-year bond yields 3.67%.


    * Austria: Will almost certainly lose its AAA status; Eastern European loans (Hungary) are the main culprit.
   
       10-year bond yields 3.80%.


    * Hungary: Downgraded to junk status.  Officially declared last week it would need to borrow money from the IMF to survive
   
       10-year bond yields 8.83%.


    * Germany: Had a disastrous bond auction (it could not sell about 50% of its treasuries), and its bond yields are creeping up. Has a number of banks with high exposure to PIIGS debt.
   
       10-year bond yields 2.23%.


    * Netherlands: Germany's little brother, but with an impending housing bust.
      10-year bond yields 2.72%.


    * UK: No downgrade threat announced to date. Still a Bank of England expert said this week that its housing market will NEVER recover. Govt' officials believe only solution to economic problems is Quantitative Easing.  Also it was announced this past week that Britain will "officially" be in a 2nd recession by beginning of 2012.

      10-year bond yields 2.27%.


In addition there are at least 20 European banks with debt exposure to the PIIGS nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) at between 175% and 4,666% of Common Equity, with the absolute worst bank exposure being Allied Irish Banks (Ireland) with a staggering 33,352% exposure!

No matter what magic solutions or other grandiose bullshit is concocted by Europe's leaders in the coming weeks to soothe and appease Investors' fragile, delicate nerves, things are not getting better in any meaningful way.

And when Europe's financial situation teeters off its axis officially, it will affect the US because among other things, many US banks are exposed to the PIIGS debtload via derivatives and credit-default-swaps with those same debt-ridden Euro-banks.

That is where we stand today in global finance--  Now aren't you glad I didn't write this on Thursday?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble Gobble

Well Wednesday's come & gone and its just about midnight into hopefully a delightful Thursday..  So much gloomy news particularly from US banks and Eurozone-- information that readers of this blog know all too well.  But because its approaching Thanksgiving, I just didn't feel like writing something of a disheartening or dispiriting nature.

My focus Wednesday instead had been on preparing for the Thanksgiving meal; cooking some side dishes and other early prep-work.  I love this time of year.. an opportunity to sit back and be appreciative of all the things big and small; the comforts and joys in one's life which get taken for granted.  And I will sit at the dinner table and feel grateful for those also gathered and think with joy and kindness at those unable to attend who may be miles away but still part of the festiveness of hearth and home even in spirit.

So instead of typical financial chatter clatter for Thursdat,  I decided to repost the history of the holiday Thanksgiving as celebrated in the United States which I wrote last year.  I believe it makes for an interesting read.

Happy Thanksgiving to all & hope you don't go too nutty on Black Friday...
_______________________________________________________________


Since today is Thanksgiving, I thought I'd take a moment to focus on a holiday that second to Christmas, I love most, and give a brief history of the day and how its evolved through American history...

December 4, 1619-- 38 English settlers arrived at Berkely Hundred which comprised about 8,000 acres on the north bank of the James River, about 20 miles upstream from Jamestown, Virginia where the first permanent settlement had been established in 1607.  The group's charter required that the day of arrival be observed yearly as a "day of thanksgiving" to God.  During the Indian Massacre of 1622, nine of the settlers at Berkeley Hundreds were killed, as well as about a third of the entire population of the Virginia Colony. The remaining colonists withdrew to Jamestown and other more secure points.


1621--  The modern Thanksgiving holiday traces its origins from a celebration at the Plymouth Plantation, where the Plymouth settlers held a harvest feast after a successful growing season. This was continued in later years, first as an impromptu religious observance, and later as a civil tradition. The Pilgrims were taught by the Indians how to catch eel and grow corn. Additionally the Wampanoag Indian leader Massasoithad caused food stores to be donated to the fledgling colony during the first winter when supplies brought from England were insufficient. The Pilgrims set apart a day to celebrate at Plymouth immediately after their first harvest.


 1630-- Massachusetts Bay Colony (consisting mainly of Puritan Christians) celebrated Thanksgiving for the first time, and frequently thereafter until about 1680, when it became an annual festival in that colony; and Connecticut as early as 1639 and annually after 1647, except in 1675. Charlestown, Mass, held the first recorded Thanksgiving observance June 29, 1671 by proclamation of the town's governing council.


1777-- The First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was given by the Continental Congress commemorating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Battle of Saratoga. During the 18th century individual colonies commonly observed days of thanksgiving throughout each year. We might not recognize a traditional Thanksgiving Day from that period, as it was not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is today's custom, but rather a day set aside for prayer and fasting.


October 3, 1789-- George Washington created the first Thanksgiving Day designated by the national government of the United States, and again proclaimed a Thanksgiving in 1795. President John Adamsdeclared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799. No Thanksgiving proclamations were issued by Thomas Jefferson but James Madison, the 4th President, renewed the tradition in 1814, in response to resolutions of Congress, at the close of the War of 1812. Madison also declared the holiday twice in 1815; however, none of these were celebrated in autumn.

 ~ "Thanksgiving In Camp"- Winslow Homer

November, 1863-- In the middle of the Civil War, Lincoln prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863 and since then, has been observed annually in the United States.

During the second half of the 19th century, Thanksgiving traditions in America varied from region to region. A traditional New England Thanksgiving, for example, consisted of a raffle held on Thanksgiving eve (in which the prizes were mainly geese or turkeys), a shooting match on Thanksgiving morning (in which  turkeys and chickens were used as targets), church services, and then the traditional feast which consisted of some familiar Thanksgiving staples such as turkey and pumpkin pie, and some not-so-familiar dishes such as pigeon pie. In New York City, people would dress up in fanciful masks and costumes and roam the streets in merry-making mobs. By the end of the century these mobs had morphed into "ragamuffin parades" comprised mostly of costumed children, and by the 20th century the tradition had mostly vanished.

1939--  Lincoln's successors as president followed his example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, FDR broke with this tradition. November had five Thursdays that year (instead of the usual four), and Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one.


With the country still in the midst of Great Depression,  Roosevelt thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas. Increasing profits and spending during this period, Roosevelt hoped, would help bring the country out of the Depression. At the time, advertising goods for Christmas before Thanksgiving was considered inappropriate. Fred Lazarus, Jr, founder of the Federated Department Stores (later Macy's & also currently Bloomingdales), is credited with convincing Roosevelt to push Thanksgiving back a week to expand the shopping season.


Republicans decried the change, calling it an affront to the memory of Lincoln. People began referring to Nov. 30 as the "Republican Thanksgiving" and Nov. 23 as the "Democratic Thanksgiving" or "Franksgiving." Many localities had made a tradition of celebrating on the last Thursday, and many football teams had a tradition of playing their final games of the season on Thanksgiving; with their schedules set well in advance, they could not change. Since a presidential declaration of Thanksgiving Day was not legally binding, Roosevelt's change was widely disregarded. Twenty-three states went along with Roosevelt's recommendation, 22 did not, and some, like Texas could not decide and took both days as government holidays.


 October 6, 1941-- Congress passed a joint resolution in 1941 fixing the traditional last-Thursday date for the holiday beginning in 1942.  In '40 and '41, years in which November had four Thursdays, Roosevelt had declared the third one as Thanksgiving and as in 1939, some states went along with the change while others retained the traditional last-Thursday date.  After 1941, Thanksgiving became a matter of federal law.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yelling at the TV (or Internet)

Ever scream at the TV?  You watch something, particularly something on cable news and it frustrates and irritates you but you just can't bring yourself to change channels.  So instead you end up watching but yelling out contradiction opinion and profanities...

Many would admit they do this.  Now I am not sure if I am part of the majority, minority or the only one in the history of the universe, but I find myself doing the same when I read articles in the internet that infuriate me.  Of course, the expressions are more audibly muted but basically its the same intensity.

Thought I'd share one.. This is from Yahoo Finance and with the exception of comments by me which will be in parenthesis and blue font, the original article is un-modified)

"Like any investor, Bob Doll  (Who??  BTW, nice name- Something you are or something you do?)  is growing tired of the prolonged uncertainty and contagion risk (Aww, poor baby) that continues to flow out of Europe.  While the U.S. economy's ability to avoid getting sucked into a recession is heartening (hard to get sucked 'Into' a recession when you never left one), the frustrating part for him is that the European crisis is solvable. (Everything is solvable to a global Investor- throw more money and increase austerity on populace at same time- just do what you must so 'I' can make more profit)

" "It's not a matter of economics and how many Euros it will take to solve the problem, it's 'Is there the political will to do it?'" (See, told ya-- just get the ECB to print more Euros to devalue currency to keep up with US and China).  He believes the longer leaders in Germany and the European Central Bank (otherwise known as Goldman Sachs' European branch) wait, the harder and more costly the ultimate fix will be. (More costly to whom?  If its to investors, then let it drag..)

"Along those lines, he thinks the ECB, and its new chief, need to do a lot of things and do them now.  "It's a bunch of things that need to be tried," Doll says... "Back in late 2008, early 2009, Congress threw a bunch of things at the wall to see what would stick. I think that's what we are going to go through here." (Yes you idiot, that really worked-- the US Govt didn't just play doctor with an ailing economy, they played House M.D., throwing any and all shit against the wall to try to save the 'patient' that would have improved eventually on its own without intervention. Now 3 years later its left on life support i.e. Quantitative Easing, yet in worse shape in other areas before it was treated and the bill is 4 Trillion dollars and counting)

"Ultimately he'd like to see the ECB increase purchases of sovereign bonds, expand its balance sheet and lower interest rates further. (This is called Quantitative Easing folks- devalues currency while provoking a rise in inflation because more euros are needed to buy the same loaf of bread or litre of petrol as before) And the pain of recession (really Europe is still in recession as well as the US) and market forces will force Europe's hand. Doll believes if markets and rates don't begin to normalize, a re-visitation of the hard fought 50% reduction in Greek debt i.e. 'haircut' might happen. (If Greece's leaders weren't corrupt to the core and morally bankrupt, they would have defaulted last year- now Goldman Sachs' owned number-crunching technocrats run the show in Athens)


"Interestingly, Doll was unmoved by recent headlines about China's warning on a global slowdown, saying it "wasn't anything we don't already know, they just verbalized it." (Doll is quite a smug, pompous prick isn't he?)  In the meantime, this strategist with over a trillion dollars (~ sings "Hey Big Spender!!...") under his purview, 60% of which is in domestic stocks, is in no mood to take a lot of risk. " You're better off in safe havens," says Doll." (Or I don't know, perhaps not to invest at all-- take your trillion, shove up your bum bum and learn to re-prioritize your life-- damn Yuppie)

~ Wheww..  Not "professional" perhaps but gotta admit that was fun...

Monday, November 21, 2011

This Joke is Not Funny Anymore

Actually when it comes to the markets and the hows, whats and whys of its ups and downs, its never been even remotely 'fun', but I love the music group The Smiths and the header is also one of their great song titles, so I get to pay homage and stay on topic.. win-win...

Anyways.. onto the drivel which is the market--

The Dow is down -215 at 11,580 as of 3:40p ..  boo hoo..

Why is the market down?  Well the "Super Committee" made up of Dem and Rep politicians who are anything but super, can't seem to agree how to gut open the Federal Budget.  Both sides agree there will be a lot of pain from all the slashing and burning of social safety nets and other beneficial programs (elitists call them the snooty word 'entitlements')  Its just the Reps want to slash and burn more pronounced than the Dems- they want the poor to really Feel it when the Knife is jammed in deep... And oh yes, they want tax cuts for themselves and corporations.

'Right', you say.. but why is the market down so much?

Well all these supposed smart people who went to business school and got MBAs in greed and selfishness seem quite startled to find that Washington is gridlocked.  They were all so assured everyone at the table would band together for the greater good of Investors ~cough~  I mean the nation and cut everything in the budget (except military) to the bone.


So now Investors are unhappy..  ~wahh wahh~   They just don't know where to make profit.  Do they invest in Japan where their economy has been in a two decade malaise and only 7 months ago suffered a tsunami that at the time generated pee-in-pants excitement from all the know-it-alls like Jim Cramer & Larry Kudlow of CNBC, declaring it "an excellent buying investment opportunity"?  For the record, economy recovery in Japan is still meandering in a stagnant holding pattern.

Do the cockroach Investors dare to invest in Europe where the Eurozone looks to explode or implode depending on which way the wind blows, and what direction the sucking of national treasury from Goldman Sachs backed technocrats is coming from?

And now America's leaders can't agree on anything--surprise..  and it looks like among other things, the US credit rating will be downgraded again in due course, which causes eventual downgrade for the zombie banks and other financial institutions.. on n' on like a rolling stone..

Investors are getting frustrated..  Must make money... Must invest..

So today they're trying to send the Super Committee a message; to scare them into action and agreement by Wed since they like everyone else in the world focuses economic policy for the sole benefit and pleasure of the Investor class.  No one seems to want to make a global investor unhappy.

~  "Can't make profit and there's no rainbow jimmies on my cookies.. pfft"

So expect magic by Wed; some deal that pleases Investors while approximately 300 mill Americans (the bottom 99%) groan and bellow.  Then the market will spike.. the media will trumpet it... millions of stupid people will cheer and everyone will prepare for Friday shopping  (I think there's some holiday on Thursday about giving thanks or something but I need to re-check the Target ad to be sure)

Now it would be refreshing to be wrong-- to see no magic solution on Wed night; the Committee disbands without a solution and Investors end up deeply unhappy.. but I just don't feel That lucky.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How is it different?.. follow up

This is a very brief posting..  things like this just make me so Rrrrr...

From AP News:

"Egyptian soldiers and police set fire to protest tents in Cairo's Tahrir Square and fired tear gas and rubber bullets in a major assault Sunday to drive out thousands..."

Substitute NYPD officers for Egyptian soldiers, Zuccotti Park for Tahrir Square and change the date from today to Thursday 11/17, and you have the exact same news article and event.

So how is America's response to demonstrations and protest different than Egypt.. or Greece or Portugal or Spain or Britain...  All use heavily armed thugs with batons and gas canisters to disperse crowds with messages the authorities disagree with...

Really... how is it different?

Photos: Really, What's the difference?

Why is this throng of masses celebrated in the media...



And this throng of masses scorned and vilified?



And why did the US media treat these Egyptians as Patriots..


And treat these Americans as agitators and anarchists...


And ultimately, what's the difference between this (Egypt)...



And this (New York City) ...