Friday, November 1, 2013

The Road to Serfdom and Obamacare

Like many of my posts, this one was originally written on Karl Denninger's site market-ticker.org. 
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=225621&page=2#new


I decided to search the mises.org site to see if they posted the Hayek book, The Road to Serfdom. It is there. I had bought it in paperback a few years ago, but I would suspect I have gained more perspective, watching the NAZI's in power and reading other stuff. If you haven't read the book, or have and it has been awhile, this is the book to read now and turn onto your friends. I put it on Facebook, which is about all I do on Facebook. That is post stuff I hope others will read.

hayek page 47 wrote..
Nobody saw more clearly than the great political thinker de
Tocqueville that democracy stands in an irreconcilable conflict
with socialism: Democracy extends the sphere of individual
freedom, he said. Democracy attaches all possible value to each
man, he said in 1848, while socialism makes each man a mere
agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in
common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while
democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in
restraint and servitude.



hayek page 49-50 wrote..
Democratic assemblies cannot function as planning agencies.
They cannot produce agreement on everything the whole direction
of the resources of the nation for the number of possible
courses of action will be legion. Even if a congress could, by
proceeding step by step and compromising at each point, agree on
some scheme, it would certainly in the end satisfy nobody.
To draw up an economic plan in this fashion is even less
possible than, for instance, successfully to plan a military
campaign by democratic procedure. As in strategy, it would
become inevitable to delegate the task to experts. And even if,
by this expedient, a democracy should succeed in planning every
sector of economic activity, it would still have to face the problem
of integrating these separate plans into a unitary whole. There
will be a stronger and stronger demand that some board or some
single individual should be given powers to act on their own
responsibility. The cry for an economic dictator is a characteristic
stage in the movement toward planning.

Thus the legislative body will be reduced to choosing the
persons who are to have practically absolute power. The whole
system will tend toward that kind of dictatorship in which the
head of government is from time to time confi rmed in his position
by popular vote, but where he has all the power at his command to
make certain that the vote will go in the direction that he desires.



hayek page 53-54 wrote..
Advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends
largely on a willingness to do immoral things. The principle
that the end justifi es the means, which in individualist ethics is
regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes
necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the
consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves the
good of the whole, because that is to him the only criterion of
what ought to be done.
Once you admit that the individual is merely a means to
serve the ends of the higher entity called society or the nation,
most of those features of totalitarianism which horrify us follow
of necessity. From the collectivist standpoint intolerance and
brutal suppression of dissent, deception and spying, the complete
disregard of the life and happiness of the individual are essential
and unavoidable. Acts which revolt all our feelings, such as the
shooting of hostages or the killing of the old or sick, are treated
as mere matters of expediency; the compulsory uprooting and
transportation of hundreds of thousands becomes an instrument
of policy approved by almost everybody except the victims.

To be a useful assistant in the running of a totalitarian state,
therefore, a man must be prepared to break every moral rule he
has ever known if this seems necessary to achieve the end set for
him. In the totalitarian machine there will be special opportunities
for the ruthless and unscrupulous. Neither the Gestapo nor
the administration of a concentration camp, neither the Ministry
of Propaganda nor the SA or SS (or their Russian counterparts)
are suitable places for the exercise of humanitarian feelings. Yet it
is through such positions that the road to the highest positions in
the totalitarian state leads.


http://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/file....

Any legitimate American can't read this and look at the current administration and not see the Road to Serfdom being paved by the NAZI's in power. When confronted with their lies, the administration tells more lies. They go right from telling people they can keep their insurance coverage, to writing rules that force insurers to cancel policies because they are against the law to blaming the insurance companies. Who is writing the business under Obamacare? The insurance companies, of course. So, the new idea will be to get rid of the insurance companies and institute new taxes to run the system. All decisions dealing with health care, treatments, who will live, etc., will be done by the regime. Dissenters will be fined or imprisoned. Or be pursued by the IRS.

Health insurance really isn't anything more than a means of financing health emergencies. You pay in advance for what you might need. Now, where are we? Everyone that has had insurance that has had an illness since being insured is now impaired as an insurable life. Remember, health insurance is life insurance. You can't buy life insurance when you are dead and you can't buy it when you are likely to die, at least at a premium most people would be willing to pay. But, if you are terminal, they can't cancel you. Not even on a term policy where the fixed term is up, you can still pay the renewal to 95 rate and you can sell your policy and let someone else pay it.

But, with health insurance, if the pool is cancelled, those that are uninsurable are fucked. They had insurance and now they don't. I have never sold health insurance, because between the noise you hear from the socialists and my misunderstanding of various payment clauses in the policies (I have never used a health insurance policy in my adult life), I never felt competent to discuss such coverage. I have had contracts to sell insurance though and there was always a guarantee you had coverage in a new pool, if the pool you were in was discontinued. I guess the only out the insurance company had was to quit doing business in your state. The bullshit you hear from the mouths of the defenders of this current mess is just that, bullshit.

I posted the Hayek link, because I think every American should read this book and examine what we are seeing now. I get a lot of argument from people I know about this NAZI stuff I rant. Mainly, because they are clueless as to how the Hitler's happen. This is how they happen. Good intentions or not, a group sets the stage and another group comes in and takes over. It is already clear that the Obama administration has absolutely no morals. The entire group lie. They intend to use force at some point. They spy on the people. I can go on and on. It might not be Obama that turns this into a totalitarian dictatorship, but it is apparent we are well on our way. There will be more adherents to socialized medicine, as the system comes out of this totally fucked up. We are really looking at a situation which would be not unlike Japan, where instead of 2 bombs, we flew over the same cities and dropped another on each and then put a couple on Tokyo to boot. Some will say you can't fuck up what is already fucked up. Any of us that have been through difficulties know that is not true, as it can always get more screwed up.

What if the news Karl posted above had come out when the data was available? The whole government shutdown mess would have been a mute point. At the worst, we would have had a case for postponing the Unaffordable Care Act for a year, that the American people would have probably demanded. As it is now, the genie is out of the bottle. I don't think they get the genie back in the bottle at this point. We have seen the nuclear option used on the healthcare system of the United States. The only way to save the village was to destroy it.

There is only one way we come out of this in one piece. That is to allow the free market to work. There have been examples posted here and acting-man.com wrote about a couple of MD's running no insurance operations, one a GP and the other a surgeon. Anyone with credit can afford to get a surgery under the free market system. The payments would probably be less than those on a health care policy and there would be no coinsurance.

I am sure that if any free market plan comes to fruition, the NAZI's will step in to stop it. I am not sure that such a restraint of trade and freedom would pass court muster, but this day and time, you never know. as the legal system has been steered in a fascist direction as well. If enough people dropped their health insurance and bought policies that covered cancer, heart problems and accidents and paid the rest out of pocket, American health care would be revolutionized. If you think we would see the current cash pricing in pharmacies continue without insurance, you are missing the boat. But, the can of worms is open and the totalitarian solution Hayek diagrams is likely to be used. NAZI's cannot afford to have their authority questioned.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Is It Time for an Anti Party?

I have thrown this idea around on various posts on Karl Denninger's Market Ticker.  I can't say how many people have thought it a good idea or failed to recognize how it would work.  But, we have reached a fork in the road where the United States is headed to financial doom, the politico's represent themselves and a few constituents and the Executive branch is now structured to control the lives of the masses through personal regulation and spy networks that do little to further the lives of these people nor protect the real security of the nation. 

The idea is an Anti Party.  I figure, if a group could control 15% of the vote, they could restructure Congress, swing the election of Presidents and clean out government.  All they would need to do is work to vote in the primary running against the incumbent, for a candidate of their own.  The Tea Party has succeeded in do this in the Republican Party, but in effect it has merely divided one Party between Freedom fighters and corporate interests.  This action has left the Democratic Party totally in the hands of the corporate statists and done little to fix the Federal government to be of interest in the middle class.

One must look at what the Tea Party really is.  It is far from the guns, God and small government group the establishment has painted it to be.  These are free market, anti control people, who are rebelling against the status quo of soaking the middle for the benefit of Wall Street, the poor and the rich in general.  They are also not necessarily soak the rich people, nor starve the poor people either.  Though they tend to be anti Fed and anti socialism. 

Through this anti idea adopted by the Tea Party, they have been able to elect several candidates on the Republican ticket.  This has the establishment Republicans in a tizzy, namely because these people are not for what the National Republican party is operated to achieve, which is more along the same goals as the behind the scenes Democrats, to strip power from the middle and play both ends of the political spectrum against the middle.  All government revenue is levied against productive enterprise, which is the primary reason the USA has been in decline since the Great Society began and fantastic wealth has been cornered in the top 1% of the population.  Those who have been able to assemble idle capital have done well in the trickle up economics of LBJ, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, not to mention the Bush's and to some extent Reagan. 

What the Tea Party really represents is the Democratic Party of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.  These people were pushed out of the Democratic Party through the actions of the party, progressively since the late 1800's, with an acceleration occurring after Jimmy Carter, where they no longer had a place in the fascist Democratic Party of Carter and Mondale.  They are not corporate Republicans, but generally middle to upper middle class workers, small business owners and middle management.  They are painted by the national media as yokels and idiots, but likely the average Tea Party member possesses a better idea of economics and how the American government is supposed to work than the mainstream groups which are primarily voting to have government force others to pay their way. 

The problem the Tea Party has is they have no say in the Democratic Party and the National Republicans, with their media machine, don't want them.  The current demonizing of Ted Cruz is a clear point to demonstrate this reasoning.  If John Boehner was a Democrat, we wouldn't ever know the difference, as he represents a different ideology than Cruz or most of the non traditional people who have joined the Republican party merely because they can't stomach the Democrats and their government control socialism.  But, it isn't only the Democratic socialism they can't stomach, but the repeated wars of both parties, the watering down of civil liberties due to security issues created by the waging of these wars, the debts associated with wars and socialism and the general corruption involved at the top of both parties.  The Tea Party is the current anti party in operation. 

Cruz, like him or not, stood up against a real issue.  It isn't that Obamacare is necessarily good or bad, but that it involves massive regulation, implied force to comply and makes a mess of the entire landscape of American medicine.  American's aren't going to like Obamacare, not the middle class, which it is designed to coerce into paying the bill for others.  It will create a guaranteed cash flow for the elites, which control the title of nobility drug business, the bankers who derive massive cash flow from the financing of medical facilities and the poor, which will be subsidized by the productive people of society.  Someone must be blamed for the continued inaction of the US Senate, why not the guy who stood up and spoke up on an issue where preferred constituents have received a bye in compliance?

The sort of anti party I mention has little to do with philosophy, other than the philosophy of the party.  It won't run candidates in any specific party, but attack named incumbents and attempt to nominate and elect candidates in the opposing party.  Most elections are won by spreads of 55-45 or lower in the House and few ever go over 60-40.  If we had 15% of the vote to vote as a block, against the mess we have in Congress, regardless of party, we could clean out Congress until we found one that worked.  Forget you are a Democrat or Republican.  If you are among the forgotten middle class, you can band together with other like minded people, nominate a candidate in the opposing party and whether he wins or not, vote for the candidate of the party out of power.  If the rule of thumb is these 15% are split 5/10 Democrat to Republican, the 5% going over to the Republican side will swing a lot of seats that way and on the contrary, would pretty much wipe out the Republicans as we know them.  I would suspect that 25% of the Democratic vote and half the Republican vote technically belongs in the anti party.

It isn't against the law for the Democratic Party to have a Tea Party, which will also refuse to toe the national line.  Remember, the National Republican leadership treats the Tea Party as if they were the nutty aunt locked up stairs.  So would the Democrats, but remember there are members of both parties that would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for the other party.  I will also note that primaries nominate the candidates and a significant minority of voters participate on those elections.  The first thing that must be done to change things is to get at least one non-establishment candidate on the ballot.  Which party means absolutely nothing. 

Why should there only be Tea Party Republicans, when we can have Tea Party Democrats?  The Tea Party or whatever Anti Party we need to develop, should be concerned with who runs on the ticket opposite the incumbent, unless the incumbent is one of theirs and is in danger of losing his spot.  A 70% participation of 15% of the likely voting public in either party primary would enable them to nominate the entire slate of candidates.  Eventually, they could have influence on the leadership of both parties and instead of being the nutty aunt locked up stairs, they would become king makers in both parties, directing candidates to pare back the Federal government and its regulations on us, not to mention the destructive theft of services our government has come to represent. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

When the market calls a spade a spade

I posted this on Karl Denninger's Market Ticker on this date. 

There are some stupid questions asked in regard to money, no offense intended.

For one thing, the banks would remove every spare dime from the Fed. Depositors would remove every dollar they could stand to hide themselves from the banking system and hold it in cash. They can't turn your currency into 99 cents from one dollar and issue 99 dollar bills in place of $100's. Banks would be devoid of currency and cease to function.

In a sense, the central bank is already carrying on a negative interest rate policy. The interest rate, which is basically zero, up to 1/2%, if you take into consideration what the Fed is paying on excess reserves. A real interest rate encompasses at least the inflation rate and should encompass a return in excess of that. The rate is near zero because Benny has put so much money in the system the banks don't need money to clear their imbalances.

There is a big joke out there the Fed can tomorrow declare the interest rate to be 1%. Benny has ass fucked himself with all his QE. He has to create enough of a shortage to create a bid for bank funds. Remember, Fed money has to do with the transition of bank liabilities and has little to do with our accounts. The banking system pays interest on the cash we hold, at least indirectly. In truth it is paid by the government, but is forfeited by the banks, in that they hold non-interest bearing Federal Reserve liabilities in lieu of interest bearing treasury debt.

Maybe in the long run, things are the way we think they are, but in the short run, the system works entirely different than the vast majority of us were taught. It is the function of a credit system, which is really a debit and credit system. The cash available at any given time to those outside the bank consists of credits or bank liabilities and currency held by the public. Few, if any businesses, outside of retailers and illegal businesses hold any significant balances of currency outside the banks. Retailers hold only enough to make change for what comes into their trade and the vast majority of other cash is held by businesses that cash checks.

The actual print has been around $1 billion a week, from figures I see Doug Noland publish on his weekly report on money supply. The remaining $80 billion plus is ending up, largely on the debit side of the bank ledger, plus whatever is being financed directly by government flows. It is these government flows, money that it is implied by decades of action as money that will never be paid back and backed by compound interest that is the true long term push on inflation. KD's example of borrowing against future demand is the counter balance of private money expansion. Thus, out of the banks assets (ie: bonds you and I sell that are funded by the Fed, along with those bought from pension funds and other institutions) make up the bulk of credit creation by the Fed. Credit creation implies there is a credit entry creating a cash liability on the bank ledger.

I think the primary effect of QE is more and more, a greater and greater percentage of the bank assets are represented by Fed money. This is in effect, a forced deleveraging of the various banks balance sheets. A creation of a mass of idle capital and an unwinding of the long term leveraging of debits the banking system has accomplished over decades. There may or may not be a countering credit liability, other than bank capital that represents this increase. For years, banks have been creating credits on a very minimal increase in bank cash, literally their entire portfolio being represented by loans and various income producing assets, against a small slice of capital.

Bank credits can be extinguished by the repayment of debt that extinguishes bank debits. Such an action on Fed funds can only be exercised by a resale of assets by the Fed, picking up cash or payment of interest to the Fed. This interest generally cycles back through the Federal government and paid back out into the banking system, producing a wash. Thus, the only thing that can carry this cash is private capital. It can't go anywhere, except to be used to leverage more credit, which is actually leveraged against bank capital, be withdrawn from the bank for cash hoards or lie there in the banks. Very little bank lending is used to create a hoard of currency, but instead is used to move to credits in the bank issuing the credit or in other banks in other entities accounts.

It is what is happening to the cash, once it is created that presents the current picture. The debt levels and the structure of the US economy is now that money might flow to entitlements, but the money spent by those drawing entitlements circulates mainly to accounts where it isn't being spent again through the economy. Any flow merely creates a cash balance somewhere else. Corporate profits are now around 1/8th the economy, up from a long term average of 1/16th, so in short it takes money only 8 cycles to belong totally to the corporate world, as opposed to 16 times years ago. Much money is being used to pay interest on prior debt, thus accruing to accounts that reinvest the money. Unlike the average Joe, these entities don't spend their entire cash hoard every 2 weeks, but buy assets with it instead. Money instead is being used for speculation instead of consumption. Some is being used to replace worn out capital goods, but little is being used for expansion, because demand has been pulled forward.

Japan is an interesting study, in that everything that would be assumed to happen, hasn't happened. The US is on QEIII. Japan is on QE a whole lot more. Their government carries a massive debt, I would suspect largely monetized by the Bank of Japan. The banking system in Japan is so full of cash, the people of Japan, having received next to zero on their funds are holding hoards of printed yen, in lieu of the banking system and still little pulse. At best, one can speculate on wide swings in the Nikkei index and hope to beat the game. The fact Japan hasn't blown up YET, is evidence this game works. The fact Japan's economy has stagnated, their birth rate has collapsed and their debt is massive, is evidence trouble is still ahead of us. Abe is going to prove the point one way or another.

The fiat on US currency reads "This Note is Legal Tender for all Debts, Public and Private". The currency is a unit of debt, valued only in its capacity to satisfy debt obligations. This is why the dollar has international value. The fact the dollar once had intrinsic domestic value, that it was part of the international gold exchange system and represented stored capital, made it a means of transferring capital and debt between countries. It is through the international banking system that trade is generally transacted and international debt is created. The dollar has value internationally, not because the US prints it, but because massive banking and other debts are denominated in dollars. It is also the means of access to the United States capital markets, the deepest in the world. It is the unit of trade, not due to decree, but due to its position in debt in capital markets around the world. Regardless of whether a country would issue gold back currency, gold itself or choose another currency, the fact is that the fiat of tender for debts around the world give rise to its value and not much of anything else.

In the position of debt and in the position of credit in banking around the world, the value of the dollar is also the problem with the dollar. This along with the fact that principal and interest in banking can only be satisfied with the creation of more dollars, not on the banks ledger, but in the accounts of those that owe dollars in the form of principal and interest to the banks. The banking system creates every actual dollar in existence. Dollars are loaned through other entities, but they are only created through borrowing from commercial banks and monetization of sovereign debt.

If you do the math, we get back to what Karl wrote above. I buy a car with cash from my account, the cash goes to another entity and I get the car. Once I move from paying cash to creating a debt instrument, either a bank creates the cash or the cash is acquired from the banking system as a loan or from an account and placed into another account. I no longer own my car until it is paid off and to get another one, I either have to take out a new loan or save the money while I am paying off the car I have to buy another at cost beyond the equity I have in the car I own. This problem began to assert itself back in the 1970s, when terms on auto loans was extended beyond the 36 month terms that were usual then. I think they now have auto loans of 7 years and maybe longer and leases where no equity is acquired. People roll larger and larger balances to the next auto, to the point they no longer can trade cars. Of course, in order to continue to lengthen the term of loans, automakers had to make better cars. When I was a kid, a car with 100,000 miles was considered an exceptional auto that was worn out and had little trade value. Today, if I bought a car that wouldn't go 200,000 miles, I would consider it a lemon. I am now at 93,000 miles on a truck I bought used 6 years ago, a total of 173,000 miles. I recall in the 1980's, a 6 year old auto was a pile of junk. Mine will be 14 model years on and I expect to drive it 2 more years. You couldn't do that in 1980, nor could a lender expect to have a car worth much more than scrap at the end of a 5 year loan. Autos are one thing that I can about guarantee you they don't make them like they used to and thank God they don't.

Credit cards are another matter. I would suspect a person who has required debt service on credit cards in excess of 10% of their income are credit impaired. They are also debt slaves. In order to extinguish credit card debt, a persons spending must not only decline the amount it exceeded income while the debt was being incurred, but a like amount, plus interest must be dedicated to paying down the debt. Thus, if a person paid interest only on their $10,000 line of credit over 50 months of building up the debt, their cost during that time was the interest. Their incurring of debt was $200 a month, spending they did in excess of income minus interest. Going from spending $200 a month more than someone makes to spending $200 a month less is a $400 swing. It is either do that, pay on the debt forever or default. Bankruptcy solves a lot of these problems, as long as the system is set up to absorb the losses.

One persons money debt is another persons or institutions money asset. The impact of default, on a wide scale basis, is loss in many areas, including banking. I don't believe there is any purpose for what the Fed has been doing other than to cover up insolvency in banks, pension funds and strangled leveraged plays. As we go forward, more supposed wealth accrues in these areas,, until the markets catch up and once again declared a spade a spade.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Has Government Painted Us into a Corner? The Use of Emergency Laws and the Rules Associated with them

The Patriot Act and all executive orders associated with it should be repealed and replaced with something more limiting.  I recall listening to a lawyer from Virginia on Coast to Coast AM.  Now I know Art Bell and company had a lot of characters on their show, but this guy was speaking on Executive Orders.  I want to say this was back in 1999.  I taped it, but I doubt I could find that tape, as it was in my car for a few years and probably was ruined. 

In any case, the guy argued about how the President didn't need mother may I from Congress to do anything, merely pass executive orders associated with some problem and they would usually stand.  The 2 that didn't were the Youngstown Steel case during the late 1940's, when Truman tried to nationalize the Youngstown Steel Company and some end run the Clintons tried to do on health care when they came into office in 1993.  Clinton passed some orders on wetlands (the story was they could declare almost the entire country wetlands and rule over us with an iron fist, destroying farming and limiting construction on a sizable amount of the country.  Around that time, a friend of mine told me he was arrested once for urinating on a public watershed, because they deemed where he stopped along the side of the road as such and there wasn't a lake or river within site).  The guy said that had been challenged by a few in Congress, including Helen Chenowith of Idaho.  The court ruled they had no standing to challenge, because they were in Congress. 

The real point here is the guy brought up the most recent executive order at the time.  Clinton had declared a state of emergency on something Bin Laden's group had done, I believe in Thailand and basically declared war on him.  The fucker had been around for awhile.  It might have been the embassy in Africa.  I have no way of knowing what the administration might have done there. 
In any case, since Pearl Harbor, there hasn't been an official declaration of war by the US Congress.  Yet we spent a decade in Viet Nam, several years at war in Korea, where the threat of war has been continual for longer than I have been alive, 2 invasions of Iraq (one partial and one full), Afghanistan, and smaller police actions in various countries around Africa and Europe.  Congress hasn't declared war, but they evidently agree to these war under some other kind of nonsense.  I have yet to see Congress get us out of one of these conflicts or refuse to fund them, no matter how popular or unpopular the conflict might be.  Are we stuck once these actions start?

It is my understanding that Abraham Lincoln issued the first executive order, basically prosecuting the Civil War without Congress.  To the thinking of the South and most likely most, if not all of the States at the time, they were sovereign states and were acting within their rights.  I would have thought there would have been more orders of that sort issued prior, like in the War of 1812, which was a real emergency and a war I understand to have been declared by Congress.  Lincoln took actions to silence dissent that developed over the time the war was going on.  Texas was let into the union under a Constitution that allowed the people to dissolve their government and wasn't annexed, because John Q. Adams ruled that a sovereign state couldn't be annexed.  It was brought in under a joint resolution of Congress, akin to the declaration it is National Secretaries Day, with the understanding Texas would fulfill various requirements, one of which was to enact an approvable Constitution.  By popular vote, Texas withdrew from the Union under that Constitution.  I know nothing about the other States.  I do know Texas and Alabama were the last given full representation back into the union, I believe in 1878. 

KD mentioned the draft and registering for the draft in the last ticker on this subject.  Mohammed Ali, aka Cassius Clay, successfully avoided the draft, under the term conscientious objector.  I would suspect you can refuse to volunteer, but is not the filing of a draft card offering to volunteer?  If it is, why are there penalties for not filing?  The fact that there hasn't been a draft since the early 1970's (I missed the war and the draft), doesn't outweigh the requirement to register. 

The point here is there any greater act of terrorism than to require people to go to war for some action the government chooses to get involved.  The US screwed up World War I, getting in to lend money to Britain and France, actions which created great resentment when we actually wanted our money back.  They took the tact they fought the war for us, which was a bunch of bullshit.  National Security was never an issue in World War I.  FDR staged our entry into WWII.  Should we have been in that war?  There were some bad actors, notably the Germans, Russians and to some extent the Japanese.  My suspicion is that Hitler opened a can of worms when he attacked Russia, thus exposing Europe to eventual occupation by the communists.  This is a coin flip call, but there were more Americans killed in that war than the terrorist have killed to date.  Ditto Viet Nam and Korea. 

Then there is the refused for reasons of National Security.  I have heard enough stories and seen enough official letters on this subject to realize that the main security they are concerned with is covering up the crimes of various government agencies.  Here is one such paper that was covered up by national security for decades, in the files of Georgetown University.  It was a plan to incite a war against Cuba after Castro took over, staging events to appear we were attacked by Cuba.  This was in the 1960's.  Think the power grab of the US government has gone backwards over the past 50 years? 

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20010430/doc1.pdf

What is the response to the release of the news that our communications are being tracked?  The government is denying its use and they are charging the guy who released the news with a crime, likely violating National Security.  The government is waging war against us, so how is the disclosure of a war against us a breach of national security?  Obama is merely the end of a long line of lying bastards we call Presidents.  How much of the national security restrictions apply to dirty deeds run under executive order? 

It is much preferable, in my opinion, to be conquered from without than to be conquered from within.  The current government is too interested in making us do something, like buy health care, what would appear to be a good cause, enforced by NAZI tactics, than letting us be free.  Sure someone getting sick without insurance affects all of us.  So does the appropriation of our labor under force of law.  I think in the past, this was called slavery.  Maybe we should us 18USC1581 as an attack, when this is enforced.  They are also interested in raising a revenue against the population.  This was one of the main protests in the founding protest documents of the nation.

There is no justification for the gathering of information about the general population.  As Karl states, this is a clear violation of the Bill of Rights, not just 4 & 5, but all 10 and some of the others.  Theses amendments stand together or they hang separately.  99% of the phones in the USA can probably be linked into a chain of calls that touch the phone of a terrorist.  Think the terrorist is going to use a phone registered in his name?  Think we aren't going to have to provide passport, birth certificate, Drivers license and other ID to get a phone soon? 

There is an authorizing act in Congress that is vague or broad enough that allows these bastards to do anything they wish.  Note the administration pretty much refused to say they wouldn't kill Americans with drones.  Think they are going to get impeached when they do?  No, they will hide behind national security.  I recall the basis and purpose statement on the Patriot Act that I saw read, for defense against terrorism and other purposes (paraphrased).  What are other purposes?  What are terrorists?

America had better get a handle on the concept of executive order.  Obama supposedly has or will attempt to enforce his gun laws through executive order.  Whether you believe it or not, the government will attempt to act under these orders, until challenged.  I believe they become effective 30 days after publishing.  It matters not what Hitler did was against the law.  He did it anyhow.  I do know that executive orders will cite an authority, usually a statute. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

You can't turn fiction into reality for more than brief periods of time

Yeah, we are going to fix this stuff?  Obama has his Mydol out, crying of cramps yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. Any idiot that had $100 last year, $100 this year and was given an extra $6 out of thin air, could spend $104 instead of $106. Not these mothers. The whole fucking government is going to collapse? They could just not send checks out for a week and solve the whole mess, kicking the expenses to next year and they could do that over a period of months, delaying for an hour a day, the remitting of money. Instead they tell us that a 2 cent reduction in spending what is being borrowed or stolen from us in the first place is going to force them to shut down their meat inspectors? MAKES YOU WONDER WHERE THEIR PRIORITIES ARE, IF THE FIRST THING THEY WOULD CUT IN A MILD REDUCTION IS A PRIMARY PUBLIC SAFETY ITEM? Do any of you see where these fuckers priorities are? The officials, elected or not that made those statements should have their teeth busted out with claw hammers so they can't speak so well, as they are either lying or fronting criminal enterprises that have other ideas of how to steal our money rather than providing the true government services.

Here is the problem Karl. Exponential is linked. Wipe out the mortgages, need to wipe out the assets on the other side of the ledger. Wipe out the assets on the other side of the ledger, there goes the retirement and pension plans. This means prices must fall, which endangers more debt, which endangers more paper assets and we have a downward spiral. We know it needs to happen, but who is going to throw their retirement, their nest egg, their wealth on the pile first? And, when they do, are others going to follow or merely say old Mannfm11 did a noble act, but boy was he stupid.

We have people going to rent to own stores and buying luxury items that can't buy their own cereal for their hungry children. A lot of them. We have kids on their third iphone complaining about the student loans they are racking up. The bull market needs this nonsense to continue or stocks and the related pensions go to a new low level and stay there.

If there was a solution, they failed to exercise it in 2009. They did what the Japanese did, except they had been doing what the Japanese did in the 1980's to get there the prior 15 plus years, goose the economy with money over and over again. This is what they did in the 1920's. Bernanke's model is in solving the Great Depression, but he hasn't allowed it to start, so he is pissing up a rope. Feeding the monster. So is Obama, who has now loaded onto the working class the most punative tax ever passed.

The world has bought a ticket on a losing horse and is holding on because the race hasn't been run yet. Only a very few bet on the favorite and they keep delaying the race, hoping the only horse that can win dies first. That horse is now breeding champions and is out of mind for a lot of people. But, the world can't understand why their horse, which looked so good in the warmups keeps limping worse. They keep pumping more monetary antibiotics into their picks, not understanding that after the first dose, which seemed to work, the medicine is now poisoning their steeds.

How can you continue to put more coins in the fusebox when the wiring is shorting out. Some slots have 5 coins in them now, when 1 was enough.

Government derives every dime out of the real economy. This works well when government does its job, which is provide infrastructure common to all. It doesn't do any good to build something in place of something that already works fine, like tear out a 20 year old sewer system in good shape and replace it. That is flushing your meal down the toilet, thinking you can save a step by putting the shit in the pot ahead of time.

We had the Federal Reserve in 1913, because bankers didn't want to be liable on their own notes. Then FDR took up the gold, so we could have flexible money, leaving it for international trade. Then Nixon debased and defaulted on gold, making the US credit system the standard of world finance. Now the credit system is out of power and we have turned to QE, a system of defrauding everyone involved. In order to continue QE, we need paper, so the government keeps spending and they have to keep spending, because there are tens, if not hundreds of trillions of derivatives dependent on having available 10 year notes. They have built a bomb of epic proportions that is now too unstable to defuse.

I am not saying Greenspan should have let LTCM fail, but instead of loosening credit, he should have liquidated the bubble right then and there. Stocks were at least 100% overvalued in 1998 and letting the market fall back to 1995 or 1996 levels would have not done much damage. Now, we are going to see the market fall to that level, once this nonsense is all done, wiping out 2 decades of gains in a matter of a couple of years. They won't get this up next time. Look at Japan. We will be looking at charts in a few years that have the SPX in territory from 20 years back. It is now getting close to 30 years back for Japan and the yen has been devalued as well. You can't turn fiction into reality for more than brief periods of time. 
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=217892&findnew#new

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The corruption of a country

There is supposed to be a housing revival.  Like Karl, Doug Noland takes apart the z-1 or what ever that quarterly report is called.  He noted that mortgage debt fell considerably.  What hasn't fallen is the money we are on the line for in the GSE's, the federal deficit, which was on a borrowing basis over $1 trillion again and so forth. 

It is kind of like farting in a room and leaving.  The air is clear until the fart drifts to where someone can smell it.  Politicians are the same way, in that we don't smell their farts until time has passed.  We hear this shit about Clinton and high tax rates in the 1990's producing a boom.  The credit bubble and stock market mania produced a boom.  Clinton had the Republicans, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin shoveling coal into a downhill train.  2000, we were left with a hangover, which was solved by more booze, a housing bubble. 

The fart in the room today is the Federal defict and the politicians that are still there need to do something about it.  They need the Wall Streeters to shovel coal for them and the lunatics at the Fed, the delusional students of revisionist history, to provide the money.  More and more debt on less and less worth.  Keep the stock market inflated, so it appears we can still pay. 

I was either listening to or reading Kyle Bass.  The Japanese national debt is now greater than the net worth of the households in Japan is what I understood him to say.  Solution?  It appears they are going to try to pump air into a new bubble in Japan.  Problem is, there isn't anyone over there with enough wind to blow one.  They never fixed the holes in the old one.  Neither have we, the Europeans nor anyone else.  The China bubble rests on unsound banking practices that make the subprime mess look tame.  Think we have mark to fantasy? 

We are about to see the worst bear market in history.  Doug mentioned one of the unintended consequences of Bernanke's shennanigans, the fact that regardless of how low mortgage rates are, they are massively higher than what the banksters are paying on your savings.  You have $100K in the bank and a mortgage, you are giving up $3000 a year.  Forget the tax deduction, which only starts after you have paid several thousand in taxes and interest on your house in most cases.  Getting statements on $100K money market and CD's and seeing the $20 or less they credit to you for interest is stunning.  Rates are about 1/20th what they should be and the system forces someone to hold the cash. 

This is what is missing in this bank money era, the fact that someone is tied up in cash.  It isn't a societal choice, as someone has to hold it.  It isn't so much inflationary as it is deflationary, as either more and more resources are tied up in cash or, should it decline in value, the purchasing power in the economy falls, not increases.  More than anything, I sense this is what has hamstrung Japan for 2 decades, excessive bank credit inflation that is used, not for internal expansion, but international arbitrage finance.

So, the politicians need some loaded ammunition.  This is why it isn't fixed.  The politicians are in the shitter and the bankers have the toilet paper.  The only solution is to make the problem worse, as to not do so would mean the fart gets out while the politician is still there.  We are now going to war and the ammo boxes are filled with more and more spent casings.  National debt is a spent casing.  Bank money credit is a spent casing.  It can only be recycled to factories that reload it and immediately fire it and send out reloaded casings that are already spent.  This is what the debt bubble and the expanding national debt are, fired casings. 

Look what is going on?  Intel borrowed $6 billion last week.  Why?  Their dividend payments were yielding higher than the interest rate on the debt, so why not load up and buy some of their own stock?  We are going to find out why not in the future.  This makes INTC the ultimate short in the next slowdown, which will be worse than the last slowdown, because the ammo box has been spent.  INTC could reduce its dividend in a cash crunch, but they won't be able to reduce the interest on this debt, nor evade its payment.  INTC isn't in the catbirds seat it was before, because so much of what is computers has moved to phones and they aren't on this sailing ship.  I have read they are going to attempt to become blow buddies with AAPL, as AAPL is waging war with its supplier, Samsung.  The price wars are coming in the phone business, as they have in the PC business.  What happens to AAPL if margin shrinks? 

Speaking of which, the 4th quarter results of AAPL show 26.028 million phone units, producing 16.245 billion in revenue.  This is right at $625 per unit wholesale.  Each dollar less margin produces $26 million less gross.  These items will be commodities in a matter of a few years and to annualize these figures, multiply by 4.  I'm sure the Chinese in the rice paddies are going to be lining up to buy these items at $1000 retail to use in places there isn't broadband capacity.  I'm also sure that when Samsung and other foreign competitors decide to really get competitive, there will be charges of dumping on the US market.  But, can we really get too upset by loss of revenue by a company that for the most part employs Chinese slave labor?  History shows a complete round trip on mania stocks like AAPL.  I'm sure their cash balances will be discussed when the market price of the stock is nearby.  Remember, in 1998, everyone had to own DELL.

I was nearly out of high school when the hand held calculator hit the market.  TI is 8 miles down the road and half the town worked for them at the time.  A kid brought one to chemistry class.  He probably wouldn't have owned one save for the fact his old man was in TI management.  Half the class copied his homework and of course, couldn't work the problems when the test came out.  While in college, the HP brand was AAPL.  To get one of the fancy HP calculators, it was $300 to $400.  By the mid 1980's, the 12C, what I consider to be a marvelous tool, was about $120.  The last one I bought was $40.  My sister's was run over by a car, as she had dropped it in the parking lot.  It still worked. 

From Doug Nolands Credit Bubble Bulletin, December 7, 2012

I’ve essentially ignored the (stagnant) banking system in my “flow of funds” analyses over recent quarters.  Total Bank Assets grew only $66bn during Q3 to $14.762 TN – and were up only $197bn (1.4%) over the past year.  Yet I would be remiss for not noting the 9.7% y-o-y increase in business loans (to $2.174 TN) or the 8.3% y-o-y increase in government securities holdings (to $2.231 TN).  Meanwhile, Corporate Bond holdings were down 4.1% y-o-y (to $776bn), mortgage loans contracted 2.0% (to $4.334 TN) and Misc. Assets fell 11.0% y-o-y (to $1.267 TN).  On the Bank Liability side, Total Deposits were up $495bn, or 4.9%, y-o-y to $10.532 TN. 
With federal government liabilities now locked in an historic inflationary cycle, there’s at this point a significantly reduced need for the traditional workings of the U.S. financial sector.  The vast majority of system Credit growth remains governmental.  In stark contrast to the mortgage finance Bubble, this Credit for the most part need not be intermediated (transformed from risky Credit to perceived safe instruments) through the banking system, or through asset-backed (ABS) and mortgage-backed (MBS) securitization.  It is also worth noting that, at $7.544 TN, total GSE Securities (debt and MBS) were little changed during the quarter and declined only 0.5% over the past year.  And while Total Home Mortgage Credit has contracted $660bn over the past two years, GSE securities have declined only $54bn.  Despite talk of “winding down” Fannie and Freddie, total GSE securities are about where they were in early 2008.  It is worth noting that GSE securities began year-2000 at $1.723 TN.

Monitoring the financial sector for signs of rejuvenation remains less than fruitful.  Finance Companies were stagnant for the quarter and year.  Securities Broker/Dealer assets were down slightly during the quarter (assets up $70bn, or 3.5% y-o-y, to $2.051 TN). The ABS market continues to contract (down $216bn y-o-y to $1.824 TN).  Money Market Funds expanded $39bn during the quarter to $2.507 TN, reducing the year-over-year contraction to $170bn.  Fed Funds and Repo increased $32bn y-o-y, or 2.9%, to $1.134 TN.  Funding Corps increased $70bn y-o-y, or 3.6%, to $2.256 TN.  Credit Union Assets did see year-over-year growth of 5.5% to $897bn.  Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) Liabilities jumped $67bn to $792bn, with one-year growth of $172bn, or 28%.

From my analytical perspective, the SAAR $299bn contraction of Home Mortgage Credit was the biggest surprise for the quarter.  This compares to Q2’s $214bn contraction and Q3 2011’s $200bn decline.  With mortgage borrowing costs having taken another leg down to historic lows – and all the talk of an unfolding housing recovery – I was anticipating a return to positive mortgage Credit growth in Q3 or Q4.  But, then again, with negative real returns on savings and such highly uncertain policy, market and economic backdrops, it remains perfectly rational to pay down mortgages and other borrowings.   That extreme fiscal and monetary policy measures foster extraordinary uncertainty – thus incentivizing a cautious approach for many individuals and businesses - reminds one of the Law of Unintended Consequences.  And a “fiscal cliff” compromise, while perhaps spurring the markets’ speculative reflexes, would do little to resolve ongoing uncertainties.

[url http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php/creditbubblebulletinview?art_id=10735]

Read between the lines and you might understand what is happening.  The households, in general aren't taking the bait.  But, there is more.  Look at the GSE debt figures and the explosion that occurred between 2000 and 2008.  Look back in Doug's archives, which can be found on safehaven.com's website to 2001.  You will note a similar growth rate in the 1990's, money which fueled the stock market bubble. 

Why no prosecution?  Some of you might recall the 2008 Presidential election.  Who were Obama's financial advisors?  I recall seeing them listed as Robert Rubin (talk about a fart in the room), Larry Summers (the actual turd?), Paul Volker (the legitimate voice brought along to legitimize the nonsense that I am certain he disagrees with) and Franklin Raines.  Who is Franklin Raines?  A black man from Wall Street who worked in the Clinton Adminstration, I believe in HUD.  He is also the guy who ran FNMA during this disaster.  He also financed the black congressional caucus and Obama's rise to prominence.  Could there be a connection?

[url http://www.safehaven.com/article/209/franklin-d-raines-director-of-central-planning]

There have been 4 years of tickers here I have read.  I venture 20% of them have dealt with the thin layer of dirt overlying the massive pile of shit known as the mortgage securitization market.  The whole pile likely leads to Raines and maybe Rubin.  Raines was the leader of the band in the mortgage business.  Any uncovering of this massive stench puts this guy and all his cronies in prison.  But, he has Obama, HUD and Eric "Place" Holder between him and broad striped outfits.  Raines goes, Obama goes with him, as he will be wrapped around Obama's neck like an anvil around the neck of a man in deep water.  Bought and paid for.  Banker capitalists don't care what are the means as long as the ends are achieved, to the point of historically putting communists and fascists in power.  Anyone kicks off a little dirt, the administration quickly covers up the bare spots. 
Corruption in bubbles has almost always centered around stocks and real estate loans.  We had the swampland deals in the 1920's.  The stock market manipulations between the trusts.  All were designed to leave others holding the bag.  Now we have the greatest scam, leaving the people of the US holding the bag and the elected officials arranging it. 

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=214681&ord=3085694#3085694

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Off the Cliff? From Freedom to Serfdom?

I wrote this post in response and in support of Karl Denningers post linked at the bottom of this page.  I rarely post directly to this site, but copy some stuff I put a lot of thought into writing.  As Blackie Sherrod, an old Dallas Sportswriters used to say, this is scattershooting at my best. 



Here is my two cents and I have been pretty good at figuring a lot of this stuff out over the years. Not how to fix it, because we are a mature society with a 2 year old mentality and fixing it would require it collapsing first. No one wants to give up their candy. A lot of us have a good idea how to fix it, but that requires breaking what is there. A good start would be ending a Federal program and firing all the associated workers each month. Spending cuts in DC means you are going to get a 6 ounce steak this year, a 7 ounce one next year, but we are going to cut it down to 6.8 ounces and grade up to 9 ounces instead of 10 ounces. The Democrats made up this bullshit during the first term of Reagan, when the press echoed the cruel spending cut rhetoric. The cruel spending cuts were merely a doubling over 8 years instead of 4 or whatever. If the rest of us could only be so lucky.

In any case, you should have never left tickercon 1 Karl. Hope everyone is short, because they have the ultimate fuck going on right now. NYC is on its ass. The liars are suddenly admitting that all of Europe is going in the ditch. A run over dog could have figured that one out a year ago. The US is being propped by layers of fraud. I wouldn't be shocked if that big AAPL trade wasn't a day trade. 1.5 million share, a $2 loss wipes out the capital. Settle at the end of the day. Get the toilet paper ready and hope the next open is up so you can get out. It is always a rogue trader who pulls what the internal control should make impossible. Bet it was an order from the top. AAPL always goes up doesn't it? The models are used because reason says they usually work. When they don't, the result is disasterous, because the whole boat is always full of outfits trading outside the rules with insufficient capital. They always fail to work at some point, usually when it is considered they always work. I recall skipping empty cheap champagne bottles across the parking lot as a kid. I dropped one at a party on carpet once and it broke like an egg.

The government spending component of GDP is bullshit and when it is deficit spending, even though there might be a time lag, the end component (x-i) shrinks on a net basis. If the USA wanted to solve their trade deficit, the first thing that would be required would be for banks to quit financing government deficits. Being a country saturated in debt, the deficit would disappear overnight. So would the Chinese economy, but they are likely our highest potential foe in the next big war, so why not. Things would get cheap too, wiping out leverage.

How do you fix the government and its finances? I'm not sure it is trashing welfare or unemployment insurance. It sure isn't propping prices or taxing the hell out of success, though I would consider raising taxes on rents and other financial gains, as the current structure serves to perpetuate the mathematical divide between possibility and impossibility. Large financial pools of stagnant capital, such as my family's rental properties, save on a grander scale collect rents out of the middle class and government and compound the returns into more rents. One way or another, the end gains on these investments are going to be altered downward. Capital gains? Index to inflation and raise the rate. No one should pay tax on what isn't a real gain, due to government and banker devaluation of money, but those that benefit from acquiring money ahead of the curve should pay a real tax, if we are going to have an income tax. Romney would have won the election had Bain paid a business tax instead of a capital gain tax that was totally derived out of speculation and favorable borrowing terms. He would likely have been much poorer and maybe not have ever been in the asset stripping business in the first place.

Romney was crucified by the idea to cut public TV subsidies. You have to start somewhere. If I was President, I would propose such a plan. Don't laugh until you think it out. Start with public TV. Next month, do away with something else. Each month go after something bigger. Maybe at a year or 18 months, close the department of education, giving states the time to either come up with their own programs or do nothing. Close the department of energy or put it on the fast track to do what Karl proposes with energy. They have been playing with their dicks up there for over 30 years now. Get rid of the DEA. I would get rid of the BATF as well and put what is necessary for both operations in the FBI. Might as well get rid of the SEC as well, as they do next to nothing, other than train evasion officers for Wall Street.

180 degrees from Obama, I would repeal any law that supported closed unions, where employees were forced to join. Think this multi-billion dollar slush fund didn't buy Obama the election? Unions are business enterprises that make their money out of extortion and crony politics. If a union is truly effective, people will pay their dues. Otherwise, the system is set up to unionize and enforce dues. Don't think for one minute the $700 billion Obama stimulus didn't go to protect and enhance union jobs. The GM rescue was nothing more than a $50 billion gift to the UAW. GM will be broke again.

The medical industry needs to be reformed and this starts with insurance coverage. Every insurance plan in the US, including the government ones presents nothing but a free pool of money to grab. More and more creative ways are found to grab the money, which is why the costs are out of control. I would start with making all insurance catestrophic, maybe $25,000 or $50,000 starting points. I would ban prescription plans, which I see as a front to scam the public. You only need go to Walgreens or CVS with your next cash prescription then go to Costco and see what kind of system we have. Criminal.

With a limit of $25,000 or $50,000 to be paid out, the insurance or plans for basic coverage could be styled as monthly expenses or for many people, they could merely do without and create a sinking fund. With most medicine unprotected, I think you would see a competitive system. We could see a return of the charity hospital system. If there were drug plans, I would set them up where there was a minimum $1500 deductible and insurance companies reimbursed the customers. There isn't much to setting up a plan that goes to an online account. The point being, the pharmacies don't need to know if you have insurance or not. You can bet there would be a more competitive pricing system and we wouldn't see the dual pricing we see today. These are observations from the outside looking in.

Lastly, KD grouped Libertarians in with Republicans and Democrats. The problem here is what appears in the Libertarian party aren't libertarians at all, but one or 2 topic people attracted by these causes. When someone joins a cause because they want to smoke dope, but they also want the government to enforce bullshit against other people, they aren't libertarian, they are potheads. When women vote Democratic because the government will mind their business for them, but they want privacy in other matters and want the government to mind their business, they are hypocrites. This is an anti-Libertarian stance. It takes a lot of education to become a true Libertarian, because we have had a lot of brainwashing all our lives to the contrary. True Libertarianism is a complex group of ideas, most Laissez Faire, but some redistributive if the benefits to an individual or group stemmed from an endowment from the State. Large land grants of various governments around the world were very anti-libertarian. Jefferson was likely one of the originals. Compound debt against productive people is the most anti-libertarian of all issues. Government ordering us around in our every day lives is another. The endowment of financial privileges is anti-libertarian and it is clear to me a bank charter in the current system is nothing more than a "Title of Nobility". Libertarian and political social fascism that prevails in the western world today are polar opposites of each other. If you ask the typical person on the street if they support fascism, they would feel insulted. But if they went to the polls yesterday, likely the voted to choose between 2 of them. There are several paths to take to get from point A to point B and we are stuck with a choice of paths, not destination.

 http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=213610