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  • How Banks Actually Make More from Bad Credit [View article]
    Thanbks for your analysis. Undoubtedly this type of stuff goes on. Obviously usery is illegal not because it doesn't make money but because it makes too much and is parasitic to those who get caught up in it. Bank's 30% interest and fees clearly fits into the usery segment in my book. Even people taking out micro-loans in Africa with no capital get better rates than this. It is all rather sickening.

    Credit card companies will counter that they can't say no to anyone which is a load of trash. They simply don't want to say no to anyone.
    Dec 2, 2009. 02:13 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Chronicle of an Economic Death Foretold [View article]
    For some reason the people dealing with debt seem to often miss the item of due dilligence. Dubai World has had debt problems for quite a long time. Their Las Vegas Venture was put on hold because they couldn't put up the cash a year ago. As far as I'm concerned they got what was coming to them. I have very little sympathy to those that lend at high rates and don't expect default. I think most of us feel the same way.
    Dec 1, 2009. 03:18 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks Set to Decline in 2010 - Morgan Stanley [View article]
    People will lick up the cream until they taste the bitter coffee underneath. MS has very valid points about QE winding down. QE and backstops have provided more stimulus than all the legitimate forms of monetary expansion and government spending (those that are done by elected people in a transparent forum called the legislature).

    When they wind down they can easily pull out more cash out of the system than people may like to think. After all this stimulus is a great contributor as to to why we have a +14% drop in the dollar this year. Undoubtedly, the markets won't like it. But I doubt the US can keep it's bond rates as is if they decide a 10% drop in their currency should be the expected norm.
    Dec 1, 2009. 03:14 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Staples Beats Estimates on Lower Sales [View article]
    As we can see once again, well run companies like Staples have cut cost as revenue declined and done well. So is it logical for the government to say they should spend. All arrows point out healthy companies remain profitable by adjusting for economic conditions not following catastrophic stimulus after stimulus like the auto industry.

    Staples is a very well run company but I don't consider it reflective of the economy at large. Thus a market run up on their earnings is once again making any excuse to mask what's really going on. The dollar falls the market rises. It has been like thes for months on end.
    Dec 1, 2009. 03:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zombie Capitalism: Bernanke 'Marching Ignorantly Forward' [View article]
    Bernanke did it again today by offering a credit facility from the Fed that allows AIG to transfer more of it's garbage to the taxpayer via the Federal Reserve's altruistic behavior with the taxpayers credit and $. Gamblers of AIG stock (considering it's worthless junk except greater fool theorists and people believing that the government will let crooks get free $ forever) naturally bid the stock up, the dollar fell again as people say Dubai World will be able to raise a measly 20 some odd billion in newly monted bonds with undoubtedly newly minted fiat money.

    Until Bernanke gets out of the Fed don't expect anyone to ever give you a decent return on your savings. Accouding to Bernanke you are like an economic greedy thieves for saving and not spending. Shame on us!
    Dec 1, 2009. 03:02 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Consumer-Driven Deflation? Not Even Close [View article]
    Generally I would agree with his analysis of the Fed and government. Keep rates low print $ negates deflationary pressure at the cost of destroyingthe value of a currency. If it happens in a downturn it can easily destroy the prosperity of the country. Sure you can combat deflation with money printing. But hope springs eternal that we won't do it to the degree that we will break our economic system.

    If such a case occurs we most likely will be looking at austerity sometime in our lives when the downturn becomes unbearable. If we refuse to face our perchant to ask government to spend that which doesn't exist that time will come? I personally would prefer to see deflation and a correctiomn that fixes the systemic imbalances then persist with them until we fall off an economic cliff.
    Dec 1, 2009. 02:54 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Right Reform for the Fed [View article]
    Sorry, regarding who should do the US debt auctions (gee US Treasury auctions sound so much nicer). The Government could probably find a cheaper more efficient method than the Federal Reserve using competitive bidding. Why should the Fed have a monopoly on it? Especially if it's guaranteed profit.

    What about rate setting? Letting the Federal Reserve set rates using its misguided system has given us one economic catastrophe after another. Their assurances that they have it right and are better than anyone else is laughable. Let irt float free.

    And thus, you have no need for the Fed. If you want oversight make a regulatory agency. A real one, accountable and transparent to the people as the Constitution would have it done.
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:35 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Right Reform for the Fed [View article]
    The Federal Reserve is not independent. Disband it and be gone with the charade. If they want a Federal Reserve just go to the banker's club. Why should the public pay for it's parties?
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:29 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is a Deficit-Neutral Stimulus Possible? [View article]
    Yes you can. You can cut all the porkus and fat salaries and benefits and commit it to infrastructure spending for one. You can also slash ridiculous pet projects and entitlements. If government was a transfer of wealth, it is a terribly skewed one with little benefits to show for it's cost.

    If the Federal budget empoyed just people at $40,000 per head it could pay to employ 75 million people give or take a few. Take that as an embarassing example of a jobs oriented employment bill. And buttons to nothing I bet it would produce more for the public than it does now.
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:26 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How to Fix the Fed - A Lesson from AIG [View article]
    The Fed still hasn't learned and is at it again. For instance, today AIG rose as it closed a pact with the New York Federal Reserve Bank that slashes its debt under a credit facility by more than half. This is once again transferring intransparent losses and liabilities from AIG to the public in full. I don't see the shareholders of AIG willing to commit their own funds to god's work. What makes them so free handed in commiting public backed funds. Oh sorry, the Fed's independend right; and my brain is a seperate entity from my body.

    I'm sorry but the Fed's actions are in self interest to the banker's club they are from. There is no altuistic bone in their body.
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:20 PM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Positive Signs for the U.S. Labor Market, But Struggles Remain [View article]
    If I'm not mistaken the 496k mark was after a seasonal adjustment of about 50k do it was technically higher than November. Either way, it is pretty grinchy if you ask me.

    Regarding the Fed's predictions considering they revise them unceasingly, it's a wonder they aren't 100% in line. /In fact, the Fed is almost always wrong and is 100% wrong on their initial assumptions. So I guess we musrt figure out where on the scale of wrong they are. Is this the beginning of their correcting for their errors or after they fudged the numbers.

    They remind me of a kid trying to find an item blindfolded with someone (this case being reality) saying you're getting hotter or colder every month. Should we congratulate them on their 10th try?
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Best Buy, The Carry Trade and U.S. Debt [View article]
    Krugman sounds more and more like a snake oil salesman. The US can't afford to let interest rates rise or it will quash any recovery and lay bare his cost of debt. In the end, printing more dollars leads to dollar depreciation and inflation without increasing goods and services. The government is a verey poor conduit to making goods otr services let alone allocating the increased production to the right places.

    In order to make his argument sound he has top make an argument that government can and should run the US as a command economy. We know where that led with the USSR, Cambodia, North Korea, and Dubai. It has some success in Singapore, Japan, and China but those were for emerging markets. Japan can no longer make it a success as we can see through their decades of economic stagnation. Anyway, regardless of the nuances of these countries specifics, the question is, does Krugman really want to go there with his argument? That is where it leads. I'm thinking his argument when discussing the details will trail off into mad musing about theory and not about application.

    Perhaps I should muse back to him, "They said communism was great in theory..."
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:24 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Driving Miss Dollar [View article]
    Why when it comes to international monetary games everyone seems self interested for their own long term benefit even at the cost of their trading partners except the US which is enamored with short term low priced product in which to obtain by amassing massive sums of debt. Even Rome in it's lead pipe filled insanity would recognize this as an insane path to take.

    If you believe Krugman, then it's all ok. We get product for useless green paper. The problem is that the world runs on obligation and trust. When that paper becomes worthless our ability to conduct any business ceases. Needless to say, although we don't need junk we do need oil and other products. Mass deficits and dollar depriciation do matter.

    It is fine to run a defcit for long term benefit or for useful meaningful services. But is giving someone 100% + down on a 3.5% FHA loan for a $200,000 home they can walk away if the price drops really what the US needs? Cash for clunkers, buying out AIG and paying all bondholders 100% so they take no losses as do those who insured them for massive amounts of money, TARP, etc. etc. Is this the type of spending that helps us?

    The problem with Krugman's argument is that the government spends. And when it comes to the government allocating money it never goes towards what we need. It always goes to what special interest wants and to the pork the politicians need to get re-elected. Until he addresses this fact all his eloquent arguments for government investing for our future and saving us from economic nightmare are for naught. The Federal Reserve and government got us into the housing mess. To expect them to get us out will just lead us into yet another mess.

    Sad to say, if the US acted in it's best long term interest and encouraged people to save the rest of the world would be begging to sell oil at under $20 again.
    Dec 1, 2009. 01:12 AM | 12 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Charts Breakdown, But How Serious Is it? [View article]
    I think most people are resigned to the fact the Fed will do nothing to support the dollar. The fact that the buck went up Friday was a bit of a shocker. Yet it is weakening again. Great for the stock market, crappy for America and holders of US currency and assets.

    Everyone is now wondering will the Fed let the dollar slip over 10% next year. If so, owning US Treasuries that pay 1-4.5% look like a very raw deal. Thus, I expect the Fed to attempt to tow the line the beggining of 2010. That means no free dollar depreciation sugar highs for commodities and stocks 2010.

    Of course this is conjecture. We sit around waiting for Fed and government action today rather than fundamental news. That's how manipulated our economy is now. Our capitalism is now hopelessly entwined with government and quasi-governmental manipulation. Unlike mixing our choclate with their peanut butter and getting a new candy, we are getting something that's brown and smelly out the mix.
    Dec 1, 2009. 12:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Another Look at GDP [View article]
    Commercial properties, especially hotels will see a very tough year yet again as many are struggling and are delaying if not failing to pay their debt and bills. Food services and accomodations will, if we look positively, stay flat at best.

    Import exports despite dollar devaluation is starting to diverge against us yet again thans to trade barriers by Europe et al and US dollar pegging by China and others.

    The only real recovery we can see is realy just due to government and Federal Reserve meddling. Although it shows positive signs for GDP while the government dumps a boatload of money and rthe Fed devalues the dollar, this certainly isn't what we can call long term or sustainable even if they keep it going long term. Thus businesses remain wary of expanding.

    As a rule of thumb, what the government givith they take away twice of.
    Dec 1, 2009. 12:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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