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Archive for July, 2010

The sound of silence

Here’s the song to set the mood

I see the mainstream media, Fox, Forbes, The Economist and Der Spiegel regurgitating the same news stories with extremely minor changes for weeks now and that has been a big signal to me in the past that things are changing, but we peons are not yet privy to it.

So what’s really happening? There is real news out there, but we are not hearing it. We have to go hunting for it. Let’s look for some game-sign.

Economic indicators:

The gap between the USD and the EUR has gotten back to about normal. Why? Has the EUR gotten stronger? No, it hasn’t. Every one of the PIIGS except Italy has been downgraded and that’s because the ratings agencies are just used to Italy being a bad deal. They still aren’t producing anything but governmental debt. So how is it the gap is back to almost normal? It’s because the USD is dropping in value faster than the EUR in relation to the rest of the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is considering not using the USD as the standard currency. The Chinese are considering the same.

Sooo…. despite Obama saying the US is in better shape than it was, there is no evidence of that and there is evidence that the US is tanking. My suspicion that the reason we are not hearing anything about it right now is because the governments are trying to figure out how to do the damage control.

Political Behavior Changes:

A year ago there was lots of talk about various bills about to be presented so that they can be voted on “the old fashioned way”. Now the talk is about what was hidden in those bills that is blatantly dumb or dishonest, and what might be hidden in the new bills that are not expected to be voted on, but rather shoved through the various law making bodies by what is now the minority view.

About the minority view: a year ago the Independents and the Tea Partiers were the “minority view” with the former being a weird group that nobody understands and the latter being a small, but noisy group that has no clue what they want or how to get it. Now the Independents are the voice of reason against massive government spending and the Tea Partiers are heralds calling to attention the independent viewpoint. The liberals are now the minority in the US.

The liberals, like cockroaches, have run for cover now that the light of understanding has finally come on for most Americans. Some liberals, like John McCain, have changed their tune in accordance with the change of the political wind (he was for open borders for years, but is now for closing the border and tries to pretend that this is how it has always been).

My conclusion:

The old power brokers are keeping things quiet so that they can maneuver their people into position to replace the incumbents which the disenchanted masses are eager to remove so that they don’t lose their power holdings in the coming elections.

If there’s anybody listening:

Grill the people running for office in your area and demand extremely simple answers. Be rude – if a politician tries to launch into a long winded response then stop him or her and ask the question again. If they can’t or won’t give straight and personal answers to simple questions about the issues, then that is the wrong person to vote for no matter what they say.

For Example:

Will you repeal the health care bill if you are elected and why?

Good answer:

Yes, because it has far too much special interest legislation thrown in to really be effective.

or

No, because I really believe that private industry is incapable of insuring peoples’ health care.

Either one of these responses are clearly based on principles of some kind. Whichever one you like best – that would be a candidate you can consider.

Bad Answer:

Insurance companies are unwilling to cover the rising costs of health care and too many people will go without basic health care. This bill is designed to address that.

It sounds like a “no”, but it isn’t a definite answer. This is done by unprincipled politicians because they like to keep their options open for as long as possible. If the winds blow way against the bill, then maybe they can change their tune for some equally vague notion, but if not they can continue to go with the flow. Whatever brings in the most donations and camera time is what these politicians will do. DO NOT ACCEPT THIS FROM YOUR POLITICIAN.

Categories: Europe, The USA

PIIGS: All but one have fallen

July 19, 2010 1 comment

I’ve been gone a bit, but I see some excitement has occurred! Here’s the rundown:

  • Portugal: Downgraded
  • Ireland: Downgraded
  • Italy: Not Downgraded <– Why not!?!??
  • Greece: Really Downgraded (junk status)
  • Spain: Downgraded

All that remains is Italy, and that doesn’t make any sense. For starters, Italy is over 118% over-leveraged. To compare – Ireland is only some 65% over-leveraged and it got downgraded. Moody’s apparently thinks Italy is ok because it is always this crappy and doesn’t have the amount of public debt that the others have.

Wait, what? It’s ok because it’s always crappy? That’s like saying a Yugo is ok because it is a crappy car. As if somehow the consistent crappiness is protection from being crappier.

Here’s one bright spot that Italy did well I guess:

Italy weathered the downturn better than other countries, Moody’s said, because “its banking system was less exposed” and it “used fewer public resources to support the financial system and the economy”.

Look at that! They’re in better shape because they DID NOT offer public financed bailouts and didn’t loan money to people that couldn’t pay it back. I guess all those years of blatant corruption has taught them the dangers of being myopic.

Categories: Europe, Politics