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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • Bank Reform: One Central Banker that Gets It? [View article]
    Volcker is old and esteemed. This is his last chance. He needs to tell the truth, strip away the rotten broken shell, and cast it into the garbage can, once and for all. Obama should have been listening to him all along. Now the problem is MUCH worse than back in the late 1970's. In the late 70's we were coming out of Dark Age; today we are going in to one.
    Sep 24 01:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why It's Not 1982 Again, Part 2 [View article]
    1982? 1982 came after 18 years of contraction. Reagan was the re-birith of the capitalist system, which had been devastated during those 18 years, with a lost war in Vietnam, communist victory seeming possible in Nicaragua, Guatamala....communists gaining power in America, Europe, actually everywhere on the globe. The Patriarchy was under attack and reeling. 1982 was a dawn after a long night of American defeats and self-judgment: hippie culture, with its Anti-Americanism, black power, burning cities in race revolts, feminist attack on the patriarchal structure. Growth was a dirty word in 1965-1982....likened to cancer. And developers were scum of the earth, ruining nature and putting up ugly boxes for the rich and famous.

    Cut to 2009. We've had 18 (1983-2001) years + 9 years of Patriarchal Capitalistic excess. Interest rates have been squelched down to nothing. Free money (not free at all, but CHEAP) -- LOTS OF DEPBT! Lots of growth and development. Developers have become gods now for two decades, again, ruining the environment -- but that side of their nature has been all but forgotten. Condo development on a HUGE scale...that would not have been politically acceptable in the night cycle, when Nature was at the top of the ethical pyramid.

    We are spent. The patriarch has ejaculated, and is now limp and tired, gobbling viagra by the handful. Like 1982? Try again. We were coming out of the patriarchy cycle last in 1929 and 1965. We are heading into another period of darkness wherein the masculine reason no longer works to dominate the world. Night terrors are on the rise.
    Sep 24 09:37 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Did the Fed Say Inflation Risks Are Very High? [View article]
    Actually we are in a deflation cycle -- inflation is NOT in sight -- but the Fed wants to reassure us all that the economy is FINE.

    On Sep 24 09:02 AM Dave Wrixon wrote:

    > We keep being told the economy is recoverying yet inflation is fine
    > because of slack demand.
    > Talk about wanting your cake and eat it!
    Sep 24 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Case for a Bull Market [View article]
    Profitability? You are right, Moon. With dollar depreciation, businesses financed with the US dollar are putting stock rally money in one pocket, and taking US dollar depreciation money out of the other pocket.

    US investors are doing the same.

    On Sep 24 06:56 AM Moon Kil Woong wrote:

    > You are right that cheap virtually free money and dollar depreciation
    > are driving this market. I am skeptical regarding increased profitability
    > unless the author means from companies doing business overseas, benefitting
    > from commodities inflation the government is trying to hide, or leeching
    > off the government through one strange program or another.
    > It is true don't fight the government and the Fed has worked the
    > last 6 months and probably the next 6 months. But what happens afterwards
    > when stimulus and QE run dry. Will we really put up with stimulus
    > 4 (Bush Jr. tried one, Obama tried one, and Paulson tried one)? Will
    > the public really be willing to stomach another steep drop in the
    > dollar? Will anyone be left to buy trillions more of our treasuries?
    > The point I'm trying to say is the stock market is already inflated
    > due to government stimulus. Unless more is forthcoming in 2010, the
    > V will end in a W. It is a big risk to jump into the market now.
    > If you are already in this market enjoy the rising tide and be ready
    > to jump into a dingey the second it hits an iceberg.
    Sep 24 07:05 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Baltic Dry Index Tells the Real Economic Story [View article]
    Chinese hoarding accounts for ALL of the bounce up from the bottom. Now China has stopped importing raw materials and the index is toast again.

    On Sep 23 09:02 PM yellowhoard wrote:

    > It would be interesting to know how much of the BDI is accounted
    > for by Chinese hoarding of raw materials as they diversify away from
    > US debt?
    Sep 24 06:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "We simply cannot walk away from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and not do everything in our power to reform the system," Tim Geithner will tell a House committee today. In a strong message to opponents of a proposed consumer financial protection agency, Geithner will say, "Without a strong framework of regulation, banks and other providers compete to take advantage of consumer confusion... This must end." (Geithner's full remarks (.pdf))  [View news story]
    Money doesn't talk, it swears. Prune back the big corporations; get rid of the incumbants in Washington; change laws on elections so that you don't have to be 1) rich; 2) bought by the rich or 3) a lawyer to be elected to congress. No more lobbiests allowed in Washington, with their bags of money. They can write letters to their congressmen like the rest of us.

    On Sep 23 08:49 PM doubleguns wrote:

    > If we do not fix the corruption that allowed the too big to fails
    > to continue, it does not matter what size the bank, business, or
    > program.
    > Until we clean up whats wrong with Washington all of these arguments
    > are meaningless.
    > Don't allow yourselves to get distracted from the ROOT of the problem.
    > You are falling for the slight of hand trick.
    > Washington's good at that. Timmy is part of Washington. He knows
    > how to play the game.
    Sep 24 06:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Need to Shrink America's Bloated Finance Sector [View article]
    "Simon Johnson writes at He is among the few mainstream economists who acknowledges Wall Street’s corrupting influence on government. We need more people like him in government. While his pro-stimulus policies aren’t ideal (artificial stimulus is inefficient, in my view), he would be an immeasurable improvement over existing appointees. Getting someone like him in a top government post would be a first step towards meaningful curbing of Wall Street’s ponzi game."

    Simon Johnson should have replaced Bernanke.
    Sep 23 11:51 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "We simply cannot walk away from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and not do everything in our power to reform the system," Tim Geithner will tell a House committee today. In a strong message to opponents of a proposed consumer financial protection agency, Geithner will say, "Without a strong framework of regulation, banks and other providers compete to take advantage of consumer confusion... This must end." (Geithner's full remarks (.pdf))  [View news story]
    Good for Geithner. Someone has to say it.

    I agree with Tony: the first reform is to break them up into manageable units with clear and manageable regulations.
    Sep 23 08:23 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Despite months of scrutiny and some internal changes, a recently departed Moody's (MCO) analyst says ratings firms continue to issue inflated ratings. The whistleblower - Eric Kolchinsky - cites one case in which Moody's gave a complicated debt security a high rating in early 2009, even though it was planning to (and subsequently did) downgrade the underlying assets.  [View news story]
    Either the analysis is too complicated for them -- or they're bought out. What do you think?
    Sep 23 08:20 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Covered Half My Shorts [View article]
    We’re propping up the market with so much liquidity right now that it has no other place to go but up. You can almost throw out the other fundamentals, which tell you the market should be looking overbought. The reality is, the money has to go somewhere.

    - Howard Simons, Bianco Research, quoted in The Wall Street Journal Online, September 22

    The US Dollar usually rises when our stock markets rise. So we are actually making money in a stock rally. Now we have a stock rally and a Dollar collapse, so we are not making anything. We have more dollars in our pocket, but each dollar is worth less. This is a stock rally in name only.

    Bernanke is stalling. But he is also adding trillions to our national debt. He is saving no one but the bankers -- and Obama either doesn't know what is happening, or he has been co-opted by the devil who lives in the banks on Wall Street.
    Sep 23 08:17 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why I Covered Half My Shorts [View article]
    We are just delaying the inevitable -- and going further and further into debt. The medicine is worse than the disease, in that the disease is not cured and the medicine tastes horrible, not today maybe, but down the line. All those trillions that our grandchildren are going to have to pay back because Mr. Bernanke couldn't face the truth, will taste horrible.

    Deflation will win. But it would have been a much easier decline if we had faced the truth of our 'disease' in 2001, instead of thinking we were God and denying reality for eight more years of borrowing, deluding ourselves, borrowing, more delusion, borrowing, borrowing, borrowing -- which is good ONLY FOR THE BANKERS. (Bernnanke IS a banker -- let's not forget this.)I

    On Sep 23 04:48 AM swissfrank wrote:

    > Spot on. For the moment, Bernanke's stimulus is holding its own against
    > the natural forces of asset and credit deflation. This produces crazy-looking
    > financial markets which are difficult to short effectively. How long
    > can he go on printing before his bluff is called? We are definitely
    > already into new bubble territory.
    Sep 23 08:11 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Sources say the FDIC will probably ask banks to prepay future fees in order to replenish its depleted deposit insurance fund. Officials played down recent reports that the FDIC was considering borrowing money from healthy banks. The FDIC had just $10.4B in its fund at the end of June to protect more than $6.2T in deposits.  [View news story]
    " Officials played down recent reports that the FDIC was considering borrowing money from healthy banks. "

    They looked; and they couldn't find any healthy banks.
    Sep 23 08:04 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Do the Schizophrenic Markets Want? [View article]
    I wanted to reply with pictures -- so I did an instablog with my response on BestBuy. I consider BBY a HOLD at the moment. I discuss it more in detail at:

    On Sep 23 07:12 AM lucky lenny wrote:

    > Michael,
    > Of the recommended stocks on this post, BestBuy does look the most
    > attractive. BestBuy has upped earnings guidance to $2.70 to $3.00/share.
    > On a personal level, I think places such as BestBuy & the former
    > Circuit City are excellent; compared to Walmart. At BestBuy, they
    > have tons of turnover, so they can always offer the most current
    > models at the same or lower prices than Walmart. On a mixed note,
    > I can never understand why BestBuy has so many sales reps hanging
    > out on the floor. In summary, with the stock price under $39; and
    > former Circuit City’s customers such as myself taking our business
    > to BestBuy, I do think BestBuy looks very attractive. And your take
    > on BestBuy is what?
    Sep 23 08:02 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Do the Schizophrenic Markets Want? [View article]
    I didn't really attempt to answer the author's question: 'What Do Schizophrenic Markets Want?" (What do markets (and investors and market participants practicing denial) really want?)

    They want free money from Ben Bernanke to keep flowing in their direction. That's simple. Once the Fed backs off of its sponsorship of new bubbles in stocks and (attempts to re-bubble real estate) then bonds fall, interest rates rise, stocks fall, the market in denial becomes the market of angry investors and market participants, gold rises, the dollar attempts to rise but has trouble rising because it is no longer really as 'safe haven' as it once seemed, and deflation really sets in as the 'V' turns into a 'W', I guess paying homage to George W. Bush one last time. Anger in the country -- at having to die -- is unleashed and many ugly things begin to happen -- scapegoats get blamed, America becomes more polarized, bankers get attacked, some may get lynched on the streets, stocks collapse, demonstrations of unemployed become riots when police seek to restore order (destroy ardor for 'real change')....then, eventually, we are lucky to enter the bargaining stage. At this stage we try to bargain with God (who no longer looks anything like Ben Bernanke, who has meanwhile been arrested and is standing trial for corruption and being held in protective custody for his own safety), promising God we will never again cheat or steal or blow financial bubbles for the sake of debt accumulation and massive profits for banks if God will only relent and not make us go into the dark wood by ourselves without parental guidance. But it is when passing through doubt, fear and depression that we get a glimpse of who and what we really are as a nation, so that, when the alarm clock (the reverse alarm clock, changing contraction into expansion) goes off, we will have a more pure picture of who we should be as a nation, in contrast to the dark picture of corruption and selifishness we now have.

    This vision comes to us only as we enter the stage of acceptance of our own death; and then sink into depression. When the depressive state is at its deepest and darkest, a tiny light is born, a light illuminating the new life we will become. But that is not the end of anything. We will need to pass out of the darkness. And standing at the edge of darkness will be a Dark Giant wanting to destroy us. The hero, to achieve rebirth, must confront and defeat the force of the Storm-God, Darkness, which wants to kill the new life before it is born. (Remember Herod seeking to kill Christ? That was a Christian emblem of the same reality.)

    This is the pattern of understanding that mythology offers us at least. I know this won't appeal to everyone. But knowledge is embedded in mythology -- modern man has just forgotten how to find this knowledge, since it is not a rational, causal, one-foot before the next-foot kind of understanding.
    Sep 23 07:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What Do the Schizophrenic Markets Want? [View article]
    I'm taking it you own BestBuy.

    On Sep 23 05:25 AM lucky lenny wrote:

    > Obama’s deficit spending is great for companies such as BestBuy which
    > is consistently making profits. Although $2 trillion of debt in one
    > year is insane. As I don’t want the US$ going the way of the Argentine
    > Peso and Turkish Lira. Having said that, I think companies such as
    > BestBuy, which is profitable and receives spending by consumers,
    > w/ benefit tremendously. All that money flooding into the stock &
    > bond markets; combined with all of BestBuy’s selling advantages,
    > i don’t think BestBuy could ask for a better scenario.
    Sep 23 06:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment