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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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    Thanks for your reply. I've never seen such a manipulated market in my life. I think we'll look back some day and truly the HORRIFIED by the manipulation at the highest levels of the government/business community to save personal fortunes and public institutions. The government is terrorized by the picture of rioting in the streets; the private business world is terrorized by the picture of them losing their international empire. And they've turned all the decision-making over to Ben Bernanke who has promised them all a calm sea and a 'nothing has changed' reality.

    Why does the dollar rally? The banks are trying to offload all their poison loans to the government -- and the government is trying to buy these loans. Why? The government wants to save the banks so it can get downgraded as a 'sovereign capital risk', unable to pay its own debts? It would have been quite simple to let the banks fail, one by one, and use government money to clean up the pieces. Instead, it is now increasing the national debt an astonishing amount each day, adding to its unimaginable debt load, as tax receipts decline.... This does not make the dollar very attractive. And the most powerful man in the world ("The Man of the Year") has lashed his ship to a weaker dollar, seeing his judgment by history dependent upon his destiny as the 'man who believed in eternal inflation'...

    The Euro's no better. Euro states will begin to fall, and the Eurozone will swing into national interests. How long are the Germans going to be willing to pay Spain's bills, Latvia's bills, Estonia's bills...? Not a nice picture.

    So there is not currency better than the dollar -- but the dollar ain't so great either. Which is why I think gold continues to climb. I wanted to attach a graphic to show gold's behavior during deflationary periods -- I don't believe gold is hurt by deflationary pressures, which are almost always accompanied by social chaos, sometimes civil war, sometimes international conflict, which events usually embellish the value of gold -- but I needed to publish a whole new instablog to post the graphic, and I got carried away about mythological structure...the link is below

    Take away Bernanke's agenda, and the markets begin to correct the imbalance between buyers and sellers in the markets (who wants to SELL now, since the government is GUARANTEEING the rally continues, at least until after 2010 elections -- is that right?), as well as treasury yields which now are hopelessly out of whack. The steep yield curve usually portends a rally out of recession -- but Ben has one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake, and the engine's ready to burn out.

    I agree that the dollar will strengthen if we remove the Fed from the equation -- or, miraculously, if Volcker (or a Volcker clone) is drafted to replace Ben the Spender.

    I expect Europe to deteriorate further politically as economic reality sets in. Americans are willing to help pay for their state's defaults (grudgingly) but do Europeans think of themselves as European more strongly than Germans and Italians and Spaniards so much that Germans are going to willingly drain their bank accounts to pay for excesses of the Spanish mortgage industry? I doubt it. Their leaders might be willing to do this. But if the working poor in Europe take to the streets to protest against globalism, watch out, everything might come down.

    On Dec 26 05:07 PM Northern Dancer wrote:

    > Hi Michael. I always like reading what you have to say, that's why
    > I follow. Generally speaking you and I are in agreement in a whole
    > lot of areas. In fact, it was one of your previous comments that
    > got me thinking in an entirely different direction and I thank you
    > for that. Not necessarily in a new direction, but with a broader
    > view about what the economy was like 15-20 years ago vs. what it's
    > like today, and the implications the two different situations have
    > for various relationships. Thanks to your ideas, a lot of the pieces
    > started to fall into place for me. Until then, I was perplexed. At
    > least more perplexed than I am now, because I'm still perplexed about
    > where things are headed. I know where we're headed, but I don't know
    > exactly how we're going to get there. Which dark path will it be?
    Dec 29, 2009. 01:44 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Chicago Fed: Why We Are Still in Recession [View article]
    I agree with most of these posts: once Bennie starts raising rates we'll know he really believes we're coming out of the black hole. But, as physics tells us, it's pretty hard for matter to climb back out of a black hole. In fact, the black hole has to annihilate matter, reconstitute matter, transfer it to the white hole portion of its configuration, and spew it back out...that all takes time. White hole construction hasn't even begun yet (if I'm to believe my galactic spies.)
    Dec 29, 2009. 12:10 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A one-page proposal to bring back the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial and investment banking is picking up steam in Congress. The impact of its revival on Wall Street would be severe.  [View news story]
    Get it done.
    Dec 28, 2009. 11:10 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage Fraud - The Root of America's Economic Malaise [View article]
    Thank you for writing this, Tom. FRAUD is what caused our crash. Anyone who doesn't recognize this is living in a dream.

    FRAUD is what powered our expansion, and what crippled it. And the banks are the center of this FRAUD.

    Do we need more regulation? I would think so.
    Dec 28, 2009. 01:27 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage Fraud - The Root of America's Economic Malaise [View article]
    Every human character is corruptable, American, Russian, French, Swiss...Zimbabwaean. The difference is that we build a shrine to wealth of the individual and success in the world -- we don't very often talk about moral success, spiritual success. We talk about things: houses, cars, planes, beautiful women, the high life. If you have to cheat to get ahead -- oh, well, everyone cheats.

    We are actually living the devil's life. The devil offers worldly success. All you have to do is give up your soul.

    As long as we see life (only) as a quest for material success we will be corrupted and criminalized as a people. And no institutions are so corrupt as the churches, the evangelists more than most, living in wealth while preaching religion. If Jesus does return, religions are going to catch hell.

    On Dec 27 11:36 AM Windsun33 wrote:

    > This statement is not true: "the American character has become corrupt.
    > The moral backbone of the country has turned to jelly. Anything goes,
    > there is no more right or wrong, the dollar is the only measure of
    > success in life."
    > Or perhaps more accurately, it has always been true - since long
    > before the caveman stepped out of his cave. The difference over the
    > past decade has been that government has made it so easy to defraud
    > - in many cases actually encouraging it.
    > And they not only encouraged it, they then turned around and blamed
    > "all the usual suspects" - which is anyone but their constituents.
    > Even now, in the face of massive fraud evidence, the government continues
    > to ignore it - and perpetuate it with yet more schemes such as huge
    > tax breaks. Mortgage fraud has become so common because there are
    > no consequences anymore.
    Dec 28, 2009. 01:24 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fannie / Freddie - What Does Treasury Know? [View article]
    By my calculations, American housing prices will get back to their 2007 highs in 2046. At this point the American government will be able to roughly break even on all the toxic mortgages its taken on from the originators of the poison. I think it's only fair that congress pass an annual 'Toxic Mortgage Tax' on the banks that covers the annual interest we are paying on this poison until 2046.
    Dec 26, 2009. 12:32 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Permits to spew carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere fell by $3.30 between the first day of the Copenhagen climate summit and the day after its disappointing conclusion. The decline suggests that despite years of diplomatic efforts, the real world still operates as if people can spew carbon more or less at will.  [View news story]
    I like this idea. Get Goldman Sachs on the phone today!

    On Dec 26 09:46 AM ebworthen wrote:

    > Carbon credits / European Climate Exchange
    > Oh brother.
    > Lets start a "hope and dream" exchange where people can sell their
    > fantasies and delusions. Then - any bad mental vapours or unwholesome
    > fantasies or delusions can be "bought" from the person so they don't
    > harm the human environment.
    > That will work.
    Dec 26, 2009. 12:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Permits to spew carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere fell by $3.30 between the first day of the Copenhagen climate summit and the day after its disappointing conclusion. The decline suggests that despite years of diplomatic efforts, the real world still operates as if people can spew carbon more or less at will.  [View news story]
    I agree with much of what you say about government and politicians. But Obama represents American citizens and American citizens don't believe in the 'we have to save the planet' ideology and 'time is running out'.

    Everything in nature ebbs and flows, expands and contracts, heats and cools. Are we panicking because we can't control this fact -- this variability of Nature? Are we 'control freaks' panicking because nature is breathing, and not checking with us to make sure it's ok first? There was a huge amount of carbon in the atmosphere 25,000 years ago. No humans; no industrial production of carbon. The carbon level is higher now, true. But can't we assume carbon levels in the atmosphere will rise and fall -- that's what we see in studying the polar ice samples for the change in the earth's atmosphere: carbon levels rise and fall.

    The Earth seems to swing between extremes of heat and cold -- this is certainly clear on an annual basis of change from Summer to Winter. Isn't that the real model of Earth's behavior, rather than human society is bad and killing Mother Earth -- and we are a freight train running at max thrust into a steel wall of our own building?

    We get Ice Ages at one pole; and we get Heat Ages at the other. Are we heading in to the Heat Age? That isn't clear. For 15 years the whole Solar System was heating up. Now apparently it's not. But I'm pretty sure that human carbon creation on Earth had nothing to do with the heating of Mars and Mercury and Pluto. I'd bet the Sun has more to do with the Ice Ages and the Heat Ages than humans on Earth do.

    Don't be so afraid of the future. It will get bad and then it will get worse and then it will get intolerable and then (by the magic of a built-in balancing system of nature) is will get better -- until it doesn't. Humans are just passing through in this form. Everything changes. Some day the human form will also be gone. You can't prevent extinctions. Extinctions are a part of Nature's mechanism.

    By the way, I agree that we need to pursue nuclear energy options.

    On Dec 26 08:35 AM davidbdc wrote:

    > Well, yes they can. Any time the "will" of government officials
    > is put in the public spotlight, people realize just how weak some
    > of our leaders really are.
    > If we were serious about this, President Obama would have landed
    > in Copenhagen and announced a plan to build 50 nuclear power plants
    > (symbolically one for every state). Of course, he would have done
    > this when they did the "stimulus" bill........of course, he would
    > have said he'd do this when he was running for
    > get the picture.
    > JFK stood up and told his country they were going to the moon and
    > mobilized the nation behind that. What are we mobililzed behind?
    > Its really unbelievable that the USA isn't dead set on having no
    > imported oil by 2010, 2012, 2015, you name the year........we the
    > people need to throw the bums out (both Rep and Dem alike) in 2010
    > as we are quickly running out of time to turn this around.
    Dec 26, 2009. 12:17 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Hartford Courant with a synopsis of 2009 - a year of payback for having lived beyond our means.  [View news story]
    That's always the case. If 'Life is a Party', it's the drunks who get to drive the society. And this almost always ends pretty close to the cliff. Or worse.

    On Dec 26 11:52 AM mc2406 wrote:

    > Unfortunately those of us who HAVEN't lived beyond our means are
    > being required to payback those who did.
    Dec 26, 2009. 12:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Charles Hugh Smith says interest rates, artifically suppressed by the Fed and by China, are about to start rising, and will continue rising for a generation.  [View news story]
    Interest rates SHOULD have been raised from 2001 through 2019. Then the next stage of expansion SHOULD have begun 2019-2038.

    Fear of deflation made monetary perverts out of Greeenspan and Bernanke.

    Yes, rates will rise for about a generation. We've inflated the economy from 1983-the end of Bernanke. Inflation is part of the process; but it needed to end in 2001. The Fed didn't do its job. It panicked. And now we are stuck with another disaster.
    Dec 26, 2009. 12:04 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Barack Obama A Racist? [View instapost]
    Interesting article. Yes, blacks can clearly be racist. American history gives blacks a lot of ammunition for anti-white racism -- and the Law of Karma is about abusing people when you are filled with egoism, with hubris, and with believing yourself when you cry out: "I am the Master of the Universe'.

    We know that too much extremism on the White end of the spectrum, or the Black end of the spectrum, will result in self-destruction. (Idi Amin is an example of black fascism just as terrifying as Adolph Hitler's white fascism.)

    Suggesting that Obama and Hitler are linked in some way forgets (conveniently) that Hitler's dogma proclaimed that Whites were 'Masters of the Universe'. To conveniently make Hitler suddenly black is a pretty amazing act of magicianship. Hitler murdered non-whites -- this was, again, the act of hubris and egoism that necessitates retribution (another word for karma, one I like better because it is not tinged with New Age jibberish).

    I'd compare Obama to FDR until he starts opening military camps for 'Obama Youth' and begins to call for a rearmament of the Shenandoah Valley. Remember, Germany had no military when Hitler came to power; had no economy; and had no self respect. America has the most powerful military in the world, if not in the history of the world (at least in terms of technology); America still has the strongest economy in the world. If America is going to get a Hitler, he will look more like Ronald Reagan and he will appear on the other side of the Great Depression probably, not on this side, attempting to stitch together a picture of peace and harmony and prosperity while we sink into decline, a decline that will probably still be more affluent than the world's decline.

    Whites have messianic movements also, but they don't see it that way. Reagan was a messiah figure, bringing power back to the Whites in America, after a long night of equality (or even black predominance). It's a good thing for the world that Reagan loved money more than real world conquest. Love of money and hubris and egoism and retribution are, in truth, intimately connected. Money is a form of the body; and sins are committed by the body; retribution comes when the body is lost, and the sinners have lost their 'physical' strength.

    Obama is going to have his hands full trying to deal with a full-scale contraction of global and American dreams, ambitions and material comfort and power. His job is to ease the fall, to provide comfort for those who have fallen into the abyss. American military ambitions will probably contract over the next decade, as money becomes scarcer -- and social programs become more necessary if the society hopes to avoid open civil war. The arrogance of the wealthy class in damning 'socialist' theft patently ignores the fact that a healthy dose of socialism forestalls a revolution that would destroy the society from within. If the wealthy want a chance to expand again, chase money and dreams again (rebirth at dawn), they need to be generous with their wealth during the Night a the society passes (together, as a group) through the valley of the shadow of Death. Day is about Individual Will and Ambition and Destiny; the Night is about a community of souls huddled together as Death passes over.

    In all honesty, I don't see the Obama/Hitler connection. I do see the black anger at white America, and I think that is something we will have to deal with for some time now. It cuts both ways. Many white Americans hated black Americans during the long period of persecution of an 'inferior race' -- the bible says it's so. What you give you get.

    And the sins of the Father are visited on the son for seven generations. Let's hope we don't add more Retribution to the scales in our coming attempts (beginning again in 2019) to again become 'masters of the universe'.

    The Patriarch of the Old Testament rule over the Day world: an 'eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth'. Jesus Christ and the New Testament said 'love thy neighbor as thyself'. Jesus said: "I did not come to overthrow the Father, I came to complete him." Jesus rules the Night; and he is the ethic for survival during the Night.

    Choose your poison. Clearly we all get to drink a poison of some kind -- none of us gets out of here alive.

    The hero has two sides, the bright side which he sees as himself; and the shadow side, which he sees as evil and threatening and which he defeats for the sake of survival. When the hero wakes from this dream of conquest of evil, he often awakes to realize what he has done is both good and bad. He has already experienced the good side, the side in the light; and he is now about to experience (having awakened with a different perspective) the shadow-side, the sinful side, of his heroism which he did not realize existed until just now. When this happens, think of Saul, the Roman Legionairre who tortured Christians for a living, one gets struck by a lighting bolt of remorse that can change his life for ever.

    We get to live in both the light world and the dark world. By traveling into both of these worlds, we often get to see that we are really our own worst enemy.
    Dec 26, 2009. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Housing Market Remains Oversupplied by 860,000 Units [View article]
    Excellent article, Michael. Again. Thanks for posting.
    Dec 26, 2009. 05:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is There a Goldman CDO Scandal? [View article]
    Nice, Freefall. The Goldmen fill their sachs with gold, saching the town through the agency of Paul's son who waves a brown hanky. O bummer. A bush is burning. A green span of darkening light builds a bridge over the abyss, showing the way from heaven to hades.

    On Dec 24 07:58 PM Freefalling wrote:

    > All properly planed crimes are carefully constructed. Always a fall
    > guy. Always a setup. The suicide rate in the world would fall precipitously
    > if there were no murders contructed to look that way. The Gold men
    > have total control over government and business and truly answer
    > to no man. Yes, they are the evil empire, but they've got it locked
    > up. Just get ready for poverty. It's not enough for these guys
    > to be insanely wealthy. They take sport in destroying everyone and
    > everything else. Believe it or not, they are decendents of Genghis
    > Kahn and the Mongols. Wreaking havok on others is sport to them.
    > Think that's crazy? Do a little research, or a lot. And their methods
    > are quite successful. Imagine if they focused their incredible talents
    > for actually doing 'God's Work' rather than being chefs in Hell's
    > kitchen...
    Dec 26, 2009. 04:01 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Andrew S. Ross wonders if things can go back to the way they were: "I don't know whether buying less, saving more, 'value-based retail,' 'just-in-time employment' are features of a generational shift - a new Age of Less, if you like - or whether old habits die harder than prognosticators think."  [View news story]
    I think the 'Age of Less' is based in less jobs, less credit, less fantasies about 'everyone is a millionaire in the American Dream'.

    No expansion of the economy for another decade. 'Less' is here to stay at least until then. If we get a Jesus figure juxtaposed to our New Rome figure, then the 'Age of Less' could last for a thousand years or more. The Dark Ages are an 'Age of Less': less light, less civilization, less food, less education, less life-span.
    Dec 26, 2009. 12:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • China revises 2008 GDP higher:
    - Gross GDP +4.5% to 31.4T yuan
    - Real growth of 9.6% vs. previous 9%
    - Used 5.2% less energy per 10,000 yuan
    - Services were 41.8% of GDP vs. 40.1%
    (Source: NBS, ETFs: PGJ, FXI)  [View news story]
    GDP up; energy use down? Efficiency? Or conflicting data?
    Dec 25, 2009. 06:13 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment