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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • Markets Aren't as Benign as They Look [View article]
    I think so. We shout in the chat-rooms instead of in Washington. I'm not sure the Federal Government knows the kind of turmoil we're feeling in this country. I think Goldman Sachs does understand that they are probably the most hated institution in the world -- and they're a bit nervous about it. Hard to tell what Obama is really thinking.

    On Aug 21 04:13 PM chap08 wrote:

    > In a way, I can understand the greed, the short termism, the mistakes
    > etc. What I really can't understand, is why we now don't see radical
    > reform. Are we partly to blame for not shouting loudly enough?
    Aug 23 03:25 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Didn't Caterpillar Say Things Were Improving? [View article]
    I don't think any of us say he is lying. He is spinning the ball. It's called 'public relations' -- and everyone does it.

    On Aug 20 10:33 PM ferd wrote:

    > I know Jim Owens personally, and I can tell you his (and Caterpillar's)
    > values and professionalism preclude any sense of improprietary, implied
    > or otherwise. I will take him at his word.
    Aug 21 05:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ups and Downs of Deflation [View article]
    Actually, the Black Hole will eat the world -- and then it will spit out a new version of the world. That's what happened after World War II. World War II was the Black Hole. And the Black Hole spit out a new world.

    Throwing money into the Black Hole just gets us more in debt.

    On Aug 20 03:51 PM Vox Rationalis wrote:

    > On Aug 20 02:13 PM Michael Clark wrote:
    Aug 20 11:49 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Ups and Downs of Deflation [View article]
    What happens when matter approaches a black hole. The matter disintegrates. FDR threw matter at the Black Hole of deflation in the 1930's, and the matter inflation.

    The Hindus believe that God inflates the world during the Day of Brahma and deflates the world during the Night of Brahma. If you throw money at the Black Hole when the world is deflating, the Black Hole just eats the money.
    Aug 20 02:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Didn't Caterpillar Say Things Were Improving? [View article]
    No one is going to listen to a CEO or corporate leader who says: "We are in deep TROUBLE.' You have to read between the lines. The CAT boss said he expects a loss next quarter; and he's never seen such a tough market since the 1930's. Then he says essentially: "But we are not quitting, we are going to continue to fight and try to see the bright side.'

    People who see this as positive are afraid to see the truth I think. Hear no evil, see no evl, speak no evil
    Aug 20 01:59 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Evidence of Deflation [View article]
    Dis-topia or dystopia is a wonderful word. Spelled with a 'dis' is connects the Greek myth of Pluto, the god of death or the underworld.

    Dis Pater ( "rich father') was originally a god of wealth, of fertility, and of underground mineral plenty. Later he became Pluto, a god of darkness and distance.

    Anyway, back to some form of reality. FDR tried to spend, spend, spend his way out of deflation -- and failed. Only the war saved us -- because there is a spiritual dimension to what we are going through that is not addressed by monetary policy. Depression/deflation is a kind of castration of the Male Principle, the generator, the builder. The Man gets wounded, falls, loses his confidence. And what allows the Man to regain his confidence? War, conflict, conflict man-to-man. Which should tell us about our own future.

    Here are some quotes from the 1930's (mixed with current quotes), the first one is precious, since Keynes is the dead philosopher we have been following to try to get through the darkness. In 1927 Keyes could not even see two years in front of him.

    The Linear Chronology of an Economic Depression Illustrated Through Historical Quotes

    "We will not have any more crashes in our time." - John Maynard Keynes, 1927

    ''We've never had a decline in housing prices on a nationwide basis.'' - Ben Bernanke, 2005

    "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." - Irving Fisher, Yale Ph.D. in economics, Oct. 17, 1929

    "I am convinced that through these measures we have reestablished confidence." - Herbert Hoover, December 1929

    “The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create 3 to 4 million jobs” - Barack Obama, 2009

    "Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over." - Herbert Hoover, 1930

    "...there are indications that the severest phase of the recession is over..." - Harvard Economic Society (HES) Jan 18, 1930

    Our approximate present location within the Depression

    "We are now near the end of the declining phase of the depression." - HES Nov 15, 1930

    "Stabilization at [present] levels is clearly possible." - HES Oct 31, 1931

    "The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." - Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932

    "We shall tax and tax, and spend and spend, and elect and elect." - FDR aide Harry Hopkins, 1933

    “If all employers in each competitive group agree to pay their workers the same wages... and require the same hours... then higher wages and shorter hours will hurt no employer. Moreover, such action is better for the employer than unemployment and low wages, because it makes more buyers for his product.” - President Roosevelt, 1933, Explaining the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)

    “We have tried spending money… We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work… After eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started.” - Henry Morgenthau, Jr., FDR’s Treasury Secretary, 1939

    On Aug 19 11:29 PM Moon Kil Woong wrote:

    > Things are confusing because we have half of our economy divorced
    > from reality experiencing increasing budgets and lazzie Faire business
    > even in the face of their own massive losses. That of course is government
    > and the financial sector. This of course is inflationary. The rest
    > of the US is experiencing wage deterioration, job loss, and asset
    > depreciation mostly through home property values.
    > What is perplexing to the rest of America is why this isn't translating
    > into any break in terms of lower prices as demand slacks off. That's
    > because the inflationary price of government printing and spending
    > money with no net increase in goods and services is largely canceling
    > the deflationary pressure of the rest of the economy. In addition,
    > the slide in the dollar is also aiding to offetting price depriciation.
    > So simply put, because most of America is forced to try to support
    > the part of the economy living in a fake wonderland of eternal milk
    > and honey we don't have deflation. And, of course, that is considered
    > good by the people who live in that wonderland.
    > Now I would like to ask you, do you feel the same way? Because, as
    > long as this tyrade goes on, there won't be a recovery for those
    > who aren't already benefitting from this strange dystopia.
    Aug 20 03:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Evidence of Deflation [View article]
    The things we need to buy: copper, metal, oil, lumber... Actually, we don't NEED TO BUY these things at the level we were buying them in 2007. That's why we have deflation in the prices of commodities also. The economy was expanding -- and commodity prices expanded with these. But now demand for all these things we need to buy is shrinking, especially now that China is apprently through stockpiling.

    Gold is a precious metal -- people buy it for protection from a disintegrating currency. Gold did very well in the 1930's deflation. But we're not going to need to buy commodities if people stop buying new cars, new machinery, new technology. Are people going to continue buying every new game and piece of technology that hits the market? No. They will if the future looks unlimited. But now the future looks very limited. There is a PROFOUND PSYCHOLOGICAL transition from confidence to fear that occurred when the bubble popped. We are falling; and we have a long way to fall before we start climbing again.

    On Aug 19 03:26 PM Mad Hedge Fund Trader wrote:

    > The data are fake. The World Gold Council has put out its Trends
    > for Q2 report, giving heart to investors in all precious metals.
    > Overall net demand fell 9% YOY, with jewelry demand plunging by 22%
    > as engagements are stretched our and relationships are downsized.
    > But it is the long term structural changes that are most encouraging.
    > Investment demand has rocketed by 46%, and we know this will grow.
    > While the CPI shows that we are still in the grips of deflation,
    > everyone knows these government numbers are bogus. The things we
    > need to buy, like oil, copper, lumber, and steel, have doubled since
    > the beginning of this year, showing us the true trend. Also, consumer
    > demand for the barbaric relic in China never did fall off, another
    > area where rising standards of living insure that the growth will
    > be big. While European Central Bank selling has been weighing on
    > the market since the advent of the euro in 1998, this is now being
    > offset by emerging market central bank buying, such as from Russia
    > and China, leaving the overall net liquidations at a 20 year low.
    > This all tells me I should be using the next dip to buy the gold
    > ETF (, or the unhedged producer
    > Goldcorp. (
    Aug 20 03:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Vietnam on the Dip [View instapost]
    I'd do some serious investigation before investing in any foreign country, especially one with such a mixed record on respect for private property. Investment 'experts' make money getting investors to spend their money. I live in Vietnam. It's stock market was the worst in the world last year. And has been the best in the world this year. My wife and I watch television most nights here and nearly all the locally produced movies are about the corrupt influence of capitalism -- how it is perverting the traditional customs of the country -- and about how much corruption there is, how businesses are just shams to steal money. Anecdotes on corruption are rampant among the Vietnamese: one friend told us that Vietnamese taken to a hospital, once they have paid up front to be treated, then must pay bribes to the administering nurse so that she will be able to find the vein when inserting an I.V. A lot of misses and wounds on the arm led the nurse to ask our friend: "Don't you get it?"

    There are a lot of good things about Vietnam. But Vietnamese don't tell foriegners anythng. Everything is the smile and the good face. But there is a world of complexity under the surface that foreigners never get near.

    I'd be very suspicious of ANY foreigner telling me what Vietnam is really like.

    Remember: salesmen want your money. That's it.
    Aug 20 03:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Q109 Brought the Greatest Credit Collapse Ever [View article]
    This is the equivalent of an earthquake that is hitting the world financial system. All the structures are being shaken to the ground. When the dust clears we are going to have ro re-create the entire system -- and we are going to have to have a social structure that helps people survive (food, healthcare, et.) until we re-build the destroyed world. Why does everything collapse so easily when the earth begins to quake? Because the corruption has rotten the health of the timber we used to build the structures.
    Aug 19 12:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More Evidence of Deflation [View article]
    I agree with the author. We've inflated the economy for the last 18 years. When the bubble pops, it DEFLATES. We are now throwing money into a black hole: matter is being annihilated. There is no inflation on the horizon. We are sinking in to the black hole, unwinding debt, heading into the absolute disintegration of the global market. The Fed is desperate to inflate a bubble -- but it can't.

    The only 'velocity' we have now is in deflation of credit, not in the expansion of credit.
    Aug 19 12:09 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. No Longer Looking Toward China? [View article]
    Yes. We made our own problems. We can fix our own problems. But not be pretending they are already fixed.

    On Aug 19 06:24 AM Moon Kil Woong wrote:

    > With Europe seeing light at the end of the tunnel and asia including
    > Japan benefiting from US continued trade losses (face it that's what
    > they are) along with mass deficit spending the US will find itself
    > being left in the dust unless it starts looking at its systemic problems.
    > Principally those are 1) uncontrolled government spending 2) persistently
    > low interest rates discouraging domestic savings and encouraging
    > overconsumption 3) lax lending rules and no control on risk taking
    > accross all financial institutions, 4) a tax system that discourages
    > domestic production and encourages overseas outsourcing 5) a tax
    > system that is not logical and allows telecoms and other corporations
    > to outsource their profits overseas to avoid corporate taxation 6)
    > A medical system that eats up more total GNP than any other developed
    > nation yet ranks below every other major developed country in neutral
    > metrics like infant mortality, life expectancy, death from complications,
    > etc. 7) An educational system that is becoming over regulated and
    > under funded and is also falling rapidly behind every other developed
    > nation. 8) and finally a government system that intervenes in the
    > free market creating moral hazard and rewarding risk taking and bad
    > business ethics and practices.
    > China is not dragging our economy up or down, we are. Fortunately
    > all these things can be fixed right here in America. Unfortunately,
    > they aren't.
    Aug 19 10:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Clarifying America's No-Win Economic Dilemma [View article]
    America needs a revolution in the way it thinks about living. We have many resources, many human resources. We have been living without discipline, spoiling ourselves and our children -- but that is rather natural during consumer climaxes and periods of vast accumulation of wealth.

    We need to help create the next stage of the world cycle...and this includes cleaner energies and industries. But it also includes more realism about what an independent nation needs, in terms of industry and natural resources, in order to be relatively self-sufficient.

    The Earth is both a unified marketplace for the exchange of goods AND a network of independent nations with independent political agendas and histories. Globalism is part of the picture, but not the whole picture. It is a paradox: every nature is a part of the whole unit; but each culture is separate and grows a separate history.

    America has an allegiance to the Earth, to the whole entity of Earth as an organism, of which each nation is a cell in the Earth's body. America also has an allegiance to herself. Spending too much time in one dimension -- the outer dimension, in this case -- usually leads to a diminishment of the inner dimension, and a weakening of the core, which also needs periodical refreshment and revitalization.

    America needs to update and revitalize its inner world.

    On Aug 19 12:08 AM realold wrote:

    > I believe that alternative energies are an important part of our
    > future. However, I also believe that using what you already have
    > is the most prudent course. Natural gas, coal, nuclear all exist
    > today. NG cars exist today. Coal to gas exists today. We own MOST
    > of the coal and a large part of the NG in the world. We own a large
    > portion of fertile farm land and relatively clean water. Use it
    > or starve to death breathing smog floating over from China and India.
    Aug 19 08:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Caterpillar's Earnings Boosted by China, But Don't Get Excited [View article]
    CAT cut costs by laying off 20,000 workers. These are not continuing gains. I believe Owens said he expected to lose money next quarter -- and that he hadn't seen things thins bad since the 1930's. It took us 18 years to get over the thirties. I don't see this stock turning around for a while now, especially with protectionist pressures expected to rise. A 40% gain in the stock was more of the 'green shoots' psychology, wherein earnings mattered less than how the earnings compared with street expectations, often expectations lower 2 or 3 times during the course of the quarter. The correction has started now -- so we will get to see if this is a Bull Market or it was a Bear Trap.
    Aug 19 07:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • As Market Drops, It's Time to Buy [View article]
    If the market drops in a Bull Market, then it's time to buy. If the market drops in a Bear Market, then it's time to short stock. Is this a Bull Market or a Bear Market. We'll know more if a couple of weeks.
    Aug 19 06:42 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • As Market Drops, It's Time to Buy [View article]
    Haven't drugs and childish drama been big hits for some time now? I was hoping things were going to change.

    On Aug 19 05:45 AM Hephasteus wrote:

    > So you're saying drugs and childish drama are going to be big hits
    > in the future?
    Aug 19 06:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment