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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • Housing Starts vs. Skeptics [View article]
    Stabilization, what does that mean? Consolidation?

    Prices often stabilize before they make another leg down. The charts the offer shows are really pretty negative charts for housing. If those were stock charts, I would get ready to short these stocks.
    Jan 21, 2010. 08:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volcker Makes His Move [View article]
    Obama is finally listening to Volcker? Better late than never.

    Obama tried to be a peacemaker. That did not work. Now we will see what class polarization looks like.
    Jan 21, 2010. 08:54 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Implications of Scott Brown's Victory on Obama’s Economic Policy [View article]
    Speaking only for myself, I voted for Obama. I have lost enthusiasm for Obama, not because of his health-care plan, but because of his volunteering to become the lackey of the Big-Money in Wall Street banks.

    If he wants MY VOTE back he's going to need to make war on the Wall Street banks.
    Jan 21, 2010. 08:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Implications of Scott Brown's Victory on Obama’s Economic Policy [View article]
    I wonder. I haven't seen the exit polls. Massachusetts is the land of liberal health-care support. It's the land of Ted Kennedy, who pushed health-care reform all his life.

    I think democrats are upset with Obama BECAUSE OF his bank support. Republicans hate the health-care plan. Democrats don't hate the health-care plan -- Obama won the election because of his health-care plan. But Obama has lost his own party's support because of his coziness with banks.

    That all ends today. Class polarization is the real winner in the Scott Brown election victory. Class Polarization, coming to neighborhoods near you.
    Jan 21, 2010. 08:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Starts vs. Skeptics [View article]
    Housing is cheap if you can still get get liar loans and cheater loans and guaranteed future-default loans....but these loans are the reason that the current price structure for housing cannot be sustained.

    Housing costs need to come down another 50% so that housing is affordable WITHOUT liar loans, cheater loans and guaranteed future-default loans. Either that or salaries need to go up dramatically. Oh, yes, salaries are going down. How many million have lost their jobs? Those still with jobs are having their salaries cut.

    This is bullish for a housing recovery?

    Housing appreciates annually 3% AT THE MOST per year and between 2003-2007 housing in some regions appreciated by 200%. If these stocks pull back 30% -- well, that's not nearly enough.

    Example: A $180,000 house that appreciated 200% from 2003 to 2007 would be valued at $540,000 in 2007. A decline of 30% (a pretty steep decline) would bring the price down to $378,00, a loss of $162,000.

    But, considering that the house 'should' have been selling (by historical norms) at $201,000 in 2007, instead of $540,000, that is a discrepancy of $339,000 NOT $162,000. This house, in fact, needs to decline $177,000 more.

    Yes, you can argue about interest rates being low. But that's a pretty insignificant consideration when you are looking at a house that is $177,000 overpriced.
    Jan 21, 2010. 05:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Starts vs. Skeptics [View article]
    Good. Lets hope the sharks kill themselves through their greed and bad judgment.
    Jan 21, 2010. 05:24 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Banks to Face New Trading Restrictions [View article]
    As Massachusetts showed us: Obama's coddling of bankers will result in his political defeat. His only hope to recoup power is for Obama to wage a populist war against the banks. I can't believe he's been so blind up to this point. Now, the war begins for real. If not, Obama is doomed to a one-term presidency and to a rupture of the democratic party into pro-Bank and anti-Bank factions.
    Jan 21, 2010. 05:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Implications of Scott Brown's Victory on Obama’s Economic Policy [View article]
    I think it is now clear: Obama must open up all guns on the banks. I'd be very scared if I were the bankers. Brown won 'because voters thought Obama was on the side of the bankers'. So, the only way for Obama to turn this around is a full-scale war on the banks.

    Either Obama turns on the banks, or the demos split into two parties: Obama's Pro-Banking Party; or a new demos Anti-Banking Party.

    It's hard to tell if this was a victory for the Republicans as much as it was a defeat for Obama's pro-bank policy.

    Time to fire Geither and ask Bernanke to resign.
    Jan 21, 2010. 05:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • No Way Out for Japan [View article]


    Some hedge funds are starting to wager on painful times ahead for Japan, the world's second-largest economy.

    These investors, including some who made successful bets against risky mortgages and financial companies in recent years, anticipate trouble for Japan's financial system. Their concern: Government borrowing continues to climb while demand for the nation's debt could taper off.

    A collapse of the Japanese government-bond market "is going to happen; it's a question of when," said Kyle Bass, head of Hayman Advisors LP, a Dallas hedge fund, who has placed wagers on that outcome. He and others, such as David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital Inc. and a fund run by Daniel Arbess of Perella Weinberg Partners LP, have been buying a variety of investments that could pay off if the Japanese bond market crumbles.

    Betting against the debt of various nations such as Greece and Ireland has proved a popular move during the past several months as worries have mounted over deteriorating government finances in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

    But a selloff in Japan's bonds would be much more worrisome than woes in some other countries, because of the size of Japan's bond market, 694.3 trillion yen, or about $7.543 trillion, and the role Japan plays in the global economy.

    "In Japan, the mist has subsided and you see this huge mountain of debt," said Tom Byrne, a sovereign-credit analyst for Asia for Moody's Investors Service. That has raised concerns among some that "this could blow," although Mr. Byrne doesn't believe that will happen.

    A spokesman for Japan's Ministry of Finance declined to comment.
    Jan 21, 2010. 04:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Three Empires [View instapost]
    Remember that Rome conquered Greece, a culture that it admired and considered more sophisticated than itself. It hesitated to destroy and enslave Greece, because Rome admired Greece -- lived in Greece's shadow culturally, much as America lives in the shadow of Europe's culture.

    In defeating Greece, Rome enslaved the Greek citizens and brought many back to Rome. In Rome, the educated Greeks (slaves) became the instructors of the Romans. The Greek slaves in Rome had a great deal of power since the Romans respected their learning and artistic culture.

    We have defeated European powers in many wars. We have embraced European culture (American intellectuals tend to worship European culture and dismiss American culture as barbaric or gauche, as the Roman intellectuals viewed Greece vs their own culture)...but I'm not sure we have brought such 'slaves' home to instruct us.

    IF the Muslims ARE the Goths of this era, then they will overrun Europe before they will overrun America. As the Muslim Goths bring war to Europe, many Europeans will escape to America -- perhaps even the Catholic Church in Rome will re-locate to America, if it survives the attack of the Goths....

    Grist for the mill.
    Jan 21, 2010. 04:39 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Three Empires [View instapost]
    Ok, since you bring up the provocative terms 'sunset' and 'rise of''s some open speculation for ridicule and discussion.

    Do empires travel around the earth the same direction that the Sun travels around the earth, moving from east to west? This might explain the movement of empires from China to Europe to America...back to Asia? This mimics the Sun's daily movement east-to-west.

    One might also suspect that there is a movement that mimics the Sun's annual movement, North and South. This would suggest empire moving from south (Africa) to the Middle East north to Europe.

    This movement appears in diagram like a four-petaled flower, with the center of the flower being Jerusalem of Mecca or somewhere in the Middle East perhaps. Remember the old idea of the 'womb' or the 'navel' of the world being in the Middle East?

    Now, I admit, this is 'medieval thinking'...i.e., moving from universals to particulars. (In my thinking there are two middle-ages in the life of a human culture: the Dawn (Spring) when the culture rises out of the darkness of the Gothic Night -- the Renaissance Age -- which is a balance between Religion and Science, non-adversarial, with the culture leaving behind the (Night) rule of Religion and moving toward the rule of Science.

    And the Dusk (Autumn), when the culture sinks out of the light of Empiricism Daylight -- the Romantic Age -- which is a balance between Religion and Science, the culture leaving behind the (Day) rule of Science and moving toward the rule, again, of Religion.

    The two poles Noon (Summer) and Midnight (Winter) is an imbalance, first, of Science, Reason, Empiricism, the second an imbalance of Religion, Superstition, Primitivism. The Night Pole is fundamentalist, tribal and close to the earth: 'fundamental' comes from the root 'fundament' meaning basis, foundation, buttocks, and also manure. In a very real (metaphorical) sense, the Night Pole is the rural seed-bed of cultural development. The civilization (empire) rises out of the Night Pole, the soil, and is/becomes a tree growing to fulfillment at the Day Pole, the Light, culminating in the Noon (the light casts no shadow), then giving off its fruit (the intelligent creations of individuals living in the cities, the bodies of civilization), then falling into chaos and decay.

    The Night (Midnight) Pole is rural, as I have said. The Dawn's body is the City-State. The Noon-Pole's body is the megalopolis (the Heavenly City). The Dusk's body is, again, the small city...remember the Autumn is romantic, anti-urban...'a return to Nature' (remember the 'Back to Nature Movement' in the 1960's -- this is a 'replica' of the abandonment of the urban reality and the idealization of Nature which exemplifies the Romantic Autumn -- a culture moving away from Science back toward Religion.

    The empire than falls (Noon-Pole) will be replace by a nascent empire rising up out of the Water, the Night-Cycle (Midnight-Pole).
    Jan 21, 2010. 04:22 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Three Empires [View instapost]
    The costs of empire are also rather staggering. A war of empire is becoming so expensive now that it is really almost not worth the effort and the destruction.
    Jan 21, 2010. 03:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Three Empires [View instapost]
    I'm not sure that the rise of an empire is the result of careful thought as much as it is the organic rise of an irresistible will. More like the way a plant or a tree grows, forcing out those adversarial plants that are in its way, than like an architect drawing up plans at his drafting table.
    Jan 21, 2010. 03:48 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Three Empires [View instapost]
    You have a point there.
    Jan 21, 2010. 03:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Tale of Three Empires [View instapost]
    China = ancient Germany? Not so sure. I would think Ancient Germany most closely resembles Arabia, with the religious culture of Germany being raw and fundamental much as Arabia (in Islam) is today.

    Rome was modern. The German tribes were anti-modern. I don't see much anti-modernism in China at the moment, all cell phones, cars and houses, houses, houses.

    Fundamentalist Arabia (think Iran, for instance, with the rise of Khomeini) is more akin to the force of the Dark Gothic Culture (Night) that appeared to turn out Rome's light.

    Rome represented the Day Cycle. The force that defeats America will represent the Night Cycle, will be tribal in structure, and will be religious fundamentalists, as the Goths did for Rome.
    Jan 21, 2010. 03:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment