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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • Imagine a 17% Unemployment Rate? We're There [View article]
    No one wants to start telling us the truth about unemployment. 17% is a reason to clamor for a revolution. 9.5% is a reason to shout about the government and have another drink.
    Oct 4, 2009. 07:02 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • On the Nikkei's Break Below Key Negative Levels [View article]
    Clive: I agree, the Nikkei looks terrible. The Housing Index (HGX) and the Utility Index (UTY) are also breaking through support. Charts attached below:
    Oct 4, 2009. 06:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "They're treating taxpayers as if they're infants. Human infants in the early months of their life figure out that if you throw a blanket over something, it doesn't really disappear," cash flow analyst Janet Tavakoli tells Max Kaiser (video, 10 min.). "Our meltdown risk today is greater than it was in 2007." (via)  [View news story]
    Confidence? Confidence? I think confidence will never return until we clean house of the present set of incompetents and crooks and start all over again with a fresh set of ethics.
    Oct 4, 2009. 05:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Economic Recovery That Isn't [View article]
    "To really recuperate, the government must allow market forces to restructure our economy. The government and individuals must rein in their spending; we must replenish our stock of savings, allow interest rates to rise, asset prices to adjust to economic reality, insolvent businesses to fail, and wages to reflect productivity. To accomplish these goals, subsidies that distort market forces must be removed and regulations that undermine our competitiveness must be repealed.

    None of this can be accomplished without a degree of short-term economic pain. However, if we endure it, the payback will be a real recovery with plenty of new jobs that don't rely on government stimulus money. If we refuse to allow the economy to experience a real recession, we will never have the benefit of a real recovery. Instead, we get the "jobless recovery," a veneer of apparently positive indicators that merely obscures the underlying rot."

    This is wisdom. More debt is the last thing we need.
    Oct 4, 2009. 04:12 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Banking Sector: Worst Is Yet to Come [View article]
    Reggie: I appreciate your expertise in these matters. I always look forward to reading your posts.
    Oct 4, 2009. 02:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bernie and the Bull [View instapost]
    Very funny. Turn off the music....maybe Be(r)ny will stop moving. No one I'd rather see get gored by a stray bull's horn. Although I'd also like to see Paulson bootstrapped by some wild animal also.
    Oct 4, 2009. 02:41 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Link Between Bankruptcies and Health Care Reform [View article]
    "The biggest single cause of personal bankruptcy is medical bills, and many if not most of these people have insurance. There is a common misperception that people without insurance can simply go to the emergency room to get treated. They can, but that does not mean it is free to them. The hospital can and will bill you, and turn over the bill to collection agencies to hound you if you don’t pay up. Yes, you will live, but you will live in a financial hell.

    Serious health care reform would probably be the biggest single step toward reducing the number of bankruptcies in this country. Well, maybe getting unemployment back down would help more, but that is not going to happen anytime soon. The same Senators who love the idea of rich people being able to hold onto their ski chalets when they run into financial difficulty, but not letting those who get sick stay in the modest home that they have been living in for years, are the ones who are doing everything they can to undermine health care reform."

    I appreciate your writing this. I've been writing about this for some time now. Our current health-care system is shameful and is bankrupting us as a nation, not only individuals but businesses also. Those who cling to the illusion that everything America does is Number One need to open their eyes a bit and stop defending the status quo as though the Founding Fathers opposed any change at all over time.
    Oct 4, 2009. 02:19 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deflation: U.S. Government Will Do Everything to Make Sure it Doesn't Happen [View article]
    Actually, think big during an expansion. Think small in a deflation. The Force of Deflation shrinks everything back into the seed. Start thinking big again around 2019.

    On Oct 02 01:49 PM Tony Daltorio wrote:

    > I agree with you - think big! The deflationists think too small.
    > I think Uncle Sam will step in and print up a whole bunch of money
    > and pay off a lot of debts for US consumers directly - from the Fed
    > directly to the credit card companies,etc.
    Oct 3, 2009. 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who else can share the blame for the housing bubble? How about urban planners? Differences in growth management may explain why California and Florida bubbled, but Georgia and Texas didn't - and may point the way to preventing the next one.  [View news story]
    I don't think the problem is entirely the creation of bubbles; but the FED is supposed to be on the lookout for bubbles, and neutralize them. Our FED leaders actually actively created bubbles, and was proud of what they were doing. Their insight into nature, human nature, and physics was paltry at best, and perhaps criminal in its intent.

    How do you deflate an asset bubble: you raise interest rates.

    On Oct 02 06:32 PM stockferret wrote:

    > The only thing more amazing than the fact that someone gets paid
    > to write this idiocy is that people believe it. I suppose the answer
    > to eliminating all bubbles is to never produce anything of value.
    > That way the price can't possibly go up because no one will be willing
    > to pay for it. Millions of houses in the middle of nowhere that
    > will never appreciate in value because you can easily build another
    > exactly like it anywhere you want. Of course, the house will never
    > be sellable either since it is easier and cheaper to build a new
    > one. But hey! No bubble!
    Oct 3, 2009. 08:27 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Who else can share the blame for the housing bubble? How about urban planners? Differences in growth management may explain why California and Florida bubbled, but Georgia and Texas didn't - and may point the way to preventing the next one.  [View news story]
    I agree, Mr. Ed. Blaming urban planners for the housing bubble is like blaming pretty women for gonorrhea. Urban planners may try to help create an urge, but with the funding there is no point of contact.

    On Oct 03 02:33 AM Mr. Ed, Jr. wrote:

    > Urban planners did not cause the housing bubble, but might well have
    > aggravated the problems in some areas-- AFTER the frenzy was well
    > underway.
    > The housing bubble starts slowly enough.... the local media begins
    > to do more and more stories on how prices are rising x % per year...then
    > per month...and as the prices keep rising, greed and fear-- fear
    > of being left behind-- take over.
    > But it would not matter much that home prices were rising if access
    > to buying a home was limited to only those with 20% downpayment,
    > decent credit and a job with enough income to pay the mortgage (or,
    > perhaps at least one of those), because there would not be enough
    > qualified buyers to create or support a frenzy.
    > Nobody was getting turned down for a home loan, no matter how ridiculous
    > their credit risk. That was the fuel that launched the insanity into
    > orbit, not urban planning, which could only, at some point in some
    > areas, exacerbate a localized problem. The housing bubble was blown
    > in many areas that did not have particularly restrictive planning,
    > because it was all about buying houses-- any houses.
    > There will be many more theorists who come along to tell us that
    > extremely loose credit was not the cause-- that it was (fill in the
    > blank). But they will be wrong. There were many contributing factors,
    > but without the ridiculous lending, there could be no frenzied, house-buying
    > insanity.
    > Now, all we have to do to find the culprits is trace back to where
    > those idiotic lending standards originated. There are plenty of criminals'
    > fingerprints all over this mess, and in November, 2010, you will
    > find their names on your ballot, identified as "incumbent" .
    Oct 3, 2009. 08:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Employment in Crisis [View article]
    The odd thing about the 1982-83 comparison is that that recession was brought on by high (very high) interest rates, as Paul Volcker sought to choke inflation out of the system.

    The depression we have today is already this deep and we have not even started raising interest rates. LOOK OUT BELOW!
    Oct 3, 2009. 07:37 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deflation: U.S. Government Will Do Everything to Make Sure it Doesn't Happen [View article]
    Ok, let's look at the problems in a different light. The job of the government during a Night-Cycle is NOT to re-inflate the bubble, but to provide social support systems for citizens to make it through the Night. This may involve public work projects, but, ultimately, at the end of the Night-Cycle, the power to create jobs is to be given back to the private spectrum, with government stepping back to allow business expansion.

    The bubble cannot be re-inflated during the Night-Cycle. The focus needs to change from 'mastering the universe' during the Day to 'helping the citizenry survive' during the Night, with the clear understanding that a different cycle requires a different approach.
    Oct 3, 2009. 05:54 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Problems with Brad DeLong's Keynesian Stimulus Proposals [View article]
    That's clearly the plan. But the plan seems to be faltering. The illusion is that your can CONTROL all the factors in an economy. When the economy is expanding it's easy to control the factors, because the force of expansion does all the work for you. When the Forces of Deflation take over, it's like wrestling with Hydra. It ain't going to do what you want it to.

    In the last Night-Cycle (1965-1983), the government tried everything and ultimately mad a horrendous mess of everything, deflation and inflation at the same time. ALWAYS, the Night-Cycle calls for higher interest rates (slowly).... In the last Night-Cycle, the higher interest rates were finally applied by Volcker at the eleventh hour, after a lot of unnecessary thrashing and weeping.

    On Oct 03 04:54 AM Clive Corcoran wrote:

    > Bringing Keynesianism into this discussion (i.e. what he did or
    > did not say) is actually not very helpful and avoids the underlying
    > issue which the article raises.
    > Just supplying further stimulus without dealing with the broad based
    > structural problems of the US economy (or the UK economy for that
    > matter) will not create a sustainable basis for broad income growth
    > and job creation which is the only way to halt the growing crisis
    > in the public finances.
    > What Mr Bernanke and other central bankers are hoping is that if
    > they allow impaired assets like real estate to recover in an extended
    > period of cosy convalescence (with public sector guarantees holding
    > the system together), eventually a new property based bubble will
    > emerge. This will provide the framework to allow consumption economy
    > punters to feel sufficiently "rich" again to go on another borrowing
    > binge creating further prosperity for the emerging market, production
    > based, economies.
    Oct 3, 2009. 05:13 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Recession Is Over; Depression Has Just Begun [View article]
    I don't agree with the 23-26 years. 18 years. 2001-2019. But I fully agree with the Global Warming myth. Now, if we want to be honest and talk about clean air and clean water, then I'm all for it. But we don't need this Global Warming scam discussion. Global warming is just another strategy to confiscate tax money for personal treasuries. No wonder Goldman Sachs is excited about the Carbon Trade buisness. If GS is FOR something, I'm against it, out of principle.

    On Oct 03 02:59 AM samlaunch wrote:

    > Taking a line from Martin Armstrong: "Stock Market corrections are
    > measured in months, while, Depressions are measured in years (23-26-years)."
    > Taking the low end of 23-years we can add that to 2009 to say that
    > we will emerge from this current Depression in the year 2032. Adding
    > in the subtracted birth/death model numbers to U6 unemployment gives
    > us a current real unemployment rate of 21.4-percent in the United
    > States. The current lie of 9.8-percent is a joke and misrepresentation
    > of the facts. One more thing, there is no Global Warming. Sun Spot
    > activity is decreasing and the planet is entering a mini-Ice Age.
    > Notice the polar ice caps growing at a rate of 200,000 square miles
    > a year since 2007. We have one lie after another from the Federal
    > Reserve. Just the facts maam! Anyway, great article. One of the best.
    > Better that Roubini that's for sure.
    Oct 3, 2009. 03:14 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Alan Greenspan Has Learned Nothing [View article]
    Greenspan was and is no genius. During the expansion phase of the markets (the blowing up of the balloon with expanding credit), nothing can really go wrong. Even the Market Crash of 1987 could not derail an expansion phase (Day Cycle). It's like being in a boat on the ocean as the tide rises -- and taking credit for the water rising.

    When the Day-Cycle ends, however, that is when a real genius is needed -- one who is will and able to contract the money supply, in the face of political opposition. We haven't seen that kind of genius and strength in a while from our egocentric superstars of finance.
    Oct 2, 2009. 03:03 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment