Gordon T Long

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INNOVATION: America has a Structural Problem

gave President Barrack Obama six months to roll-out his doomed Keynesian policies, twelve months to discover they were flawed and eighteen months to realize that the solution to America’s problems must lie within a different economic framework. I had hoped by the end of twenty-four months to see new policies closer to an Austrian economic philosophy emerge. I was wrong.

 

Though, even the Wall Street Journal recently featured an article on the re-emergence of the Austrian School of Economic philosophy, it would appear that President Obama’s administration still neither gets it, nor I am afraid ever will.

Key defections by his leading economic advisors, talk of the need for QE II and a Stimulus II, and a political collapse in public confidence suggests a growing awareness that Keynesian policies are not working, as many predicted they wouldn’t. Obama's exciting rhetoric of Hope and Change has left myself and the majority of recent polled Americans disillusioned and disappointed. What I see the administration failing to grasp is twofold:

 

I-America has a Structural problem, not a cyclical business cycle problem. Though the cyclical business cycle was greatly worsened by the financial crisis, I would argue that the structural problem facing the US is actually a contributor to what caused the financial crisis.

 

II- America has a Credit demand problem, not a Credit supply problem. It isn’t that the banks won’t lend, but rather that few can any longer afford or qualify (on any reasonably and historically sound basis) to borrow. READ MORE

   

 

PRESERVE & PROTECT: Mapping the Tipping Points

The economic news has turned decidedly negative globally and a sense of ‘quiet before the storm’ permeates the financial headlines. Arcane subjects such as a Hindenburg Omen now make mainline news. The retail investor continues to flee the equity markets and in concert with the institutional players relentlessly pile into the perceived safety of yield instruments, though they are outrageously expensive by any proven measure. Like trying to buy a pump during a storm flood, people are apparently willing to pay any price.  As a sailor it feels like the ominous period where the crew is fastening down the hatches and preparing for the squall that is clearly on the horizon. Few crew mates are talking as everyone is checking preparations for any eventuality. Are you prepared?

 

What if this is not a squall but a tropical storm, or even a hurricane? Unlike sailors the financial markets do not have the forecasting technology to protect it from such a possibility. Good sailors before today’s technology advancements avoided this possibility through the use of almanacs, shrewd observation of the climate and common sense. It appears to this old salt that all three are missing in today’s financial community.

 

Looking through the misty haze though, I can see the following clearly looming on the horizon.

Since President Nixon took the US off the Gold standard in 1971 the increase in global fiat currency has been nothing short of breath taking. It has grown unchecked and inevitably became unhinged from world industrial production and the historical creators of real tangible wealth.  READ MORE


READER ROADMAP -  2010 TIPPING POINTS aid to positioning COMMENTARY

 

 

 

POSTS:  FRIDAY 09-17-10

Last Update: 09/18/2010 03:18 AM

SCHEDULE: 1st Pass: 5:30AM EST, 2nd Pass: 8:00 AM, 3rd Pass 10:30 AM. Last Pass 5:30 PM

ARTICLE SOURCE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
                       
Iran’s Global Ambitions - Part II Yale Global                    
                       
Europe stalked by spectre of mass unemployment Independ. X                  
Greece- Sounding very Lehman-ISH Prag. Capital X                  
Greece planning "diaspora" bonds - finmin Reuters X                  
Zombie Buildings Haunt Spain Recovery WSJ X                  
Portugal Slips Behind Spain, Ireland on Deficit, JPMorgan Says Bloomberg X                  
France's lower house approves raising retirement age to 62 AP X                  
When Japan Collapses Jim Quinn X                  
Bank of Japan riles US with yen move Prichard X                  
Analysis: Japan yen tactic muddles bid to drive yuan up Reuters X                  
Census: U.S. Poverty Rate Jumps to 14.3% Census X                  
Philly Fed Factory Index Shrinks Again in Sept. Reuters X                  
Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell Last Week to 450,000 Bloomberg X                  
Producer Prices in U.S. Climbed in August for a Second Month Bloomberg X                  
Goldman: The ISM Manufacturing Index Will Collapse By 2011 BI X                  
Q2 current account gap widens to $123.3 bln MW X                  
Demand for U.S. Long-Term Financial Assets Increased in July Bloomberg     X              
A Serious Warning About Muni Bonds Comments Feed Personal Liberty     X              
States face fiscal consequences if Bush-era tax cuts expire Stateline       X            
Hungary Minister Says No Need for Austerity: Report Reuters         X          
BASEL III                      
After Basel, the Banks Are Not Safer BW           X        
Global Liquidity Drying Up — Commodities, Stocks and Economies at Risk! M&M             X      
U.S. Home Seizures Reach Record for Third Time in Five Months Bloomberg                 X  
The Great Housing Bamboozle- A Look Behind The Numbers Shows Home Ownership To Be A Horrible Investment Daily Bail                 X  
                       
ARTICLE SOURCE 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
                       
Retirement on Hold: American Workers $6 Trillion Short CNBC X                  
The $6 Trillion 401K Grab Financial Sense X                  
FedEx Profit Disappoints; To Cut 1,700 Jobs AP       X            
Small Business Can't Get Loans From Bailed-Out Banks in U.S. Bloomberg       X            
                       
BP OIL                      
                       
CENTRAL BANKING & MONETARY POLICY                      
Roubini Says Fed Policy Easing Will Be `Too Little, Too Late' Bloomberg                    
GENERAL INTEREST                      
Rosenberg- Small Business Spending Plans Spell Doom In The Next Year BI                    
Real World Solutions To Economic Tyranny Neithercorp                    
43.6 Million Americans Living In Poverty Is The Highest Number Ever Recorded BI                    
FLASH CRASH                      
                       
MARKET WARNINGS                      
                       
MARKET & GOLD MANIPULATION                      
Congressmen Weiner and Waxman Set Gold Hearing Seeking Alpha                    
VIDEO TO WATCH                      
Llink to Pento post-mortem on King World News King                    
                       

Complete Legend to the Right, Top Items below.
Articles with highlights, graphics and any pertinent analysis found below.

1

         

1-SOVEREIGN DEBT

2-EU BANKING CRISIS
3-BOND BUBBLE

4-STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

5-CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
6-BANKING CRISIS II
7-RISK REVERSAL

8-COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

9-RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II
10-EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM
11-PENSION CRISIS

12-CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT

13-GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSUR.
14-CORPORATE BANKRUPTCY

TODAY'S TIPPING POINTS UPDATE

RED ALERT

AMBER ALERT

ACTIVITY

MONITOR

Click to Enlarge





09-17-10

 

GEO-POLITICAL TENSIONS - ISRAEL / KOREA / IRAN

 

IRAN

Iran’s Global Ambitions - Part II YALE Global

ISREAL

KOREA

 

1- SOVEREIGN DEBT & CREDIT CRISIS

 

SOVEREIGNS

 

 

 

Europe stalked by spectre of mass unemployment Independent

GREECE

Greece- Sounding very Lehman-ISH Pragmatic Capitalist

 

Greece planning "diaspora" bonds - finmin Reuters

 

SPAIN

Zombie Buildings Haunt Spain Recovery WSJ

 
Some 1.5 million unfinished, unsold or unwanted residential units stand scattered across Spain products of a still-deflating housing bubble that could undermine the economy for years to come.

 

PORTUGAL

Portugal Slips Behind Spain, Ireland on Deficit, JPMorgan Says BL

 

FRANCE

France's lower house approves raising retirement age to 62 AP

 
JAPAN

When Japan Collapses JimQ

 

 

Bank of Japan riles US with yen move Pritchard


Analysis: Japan yen tactic muddles bid to drive yuan up Reuters

 

USA

 

 

Census: U.S. Poverty Rate Jumps to 14.3% AP Census

Philly Fed Factory Index Shrinks Again in Sept. Reuters  FRBP

Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell Last Week to 450,000 BL

Producer Prices in U.S. Climbed in August for a Second Month BL BLS

Goldman: The ISM Manufacturing Index Will Collapse By 2011 via BInsider

Q2 current account gap widens to $123.3 bln MW

 

 

2- EU BANKING CRISIS

   

 

3- BOND BUBBLE

 

 Demand for U.S. Long-Term Financial Assets Increased in July BL Treasury

 

  A Serious Warning About Muni Bonds Comments Feed Personal Liberty

 

4- STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 

States face fiscal consequences if Bush-era tax cuts expire Stateline


5- CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

 

Hungary Minister Says No Need for Austerity: Report Reuters

6-BANKING CRISIS II

 

BASEL III

 

After Basel, the Banks Are Not Safer BW

 

 

7- RISK REVERSAL

 

Global Liquidity Drying Up — Commodities, Stocks and Economies at Risk! M&M

 

8- COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

 

 

9-RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II

 

U.S. Home Seizures Reach Record for Third Time in Five Months BL

 

“We’re on track for a record year for homes in foreclosure and repossessions.  There is no improvement in the underlying economic conditions.”

 

The Great Housing Bamboozle- A Look Behind The Numbers Shows Home Ownership To Be A Horrible Investment  Daily Bail

 

Without question, the best way to make people love you politically is to throw Tootsie rolls into the crowd. In lieu of sugary treats, making an impassioned plea for education is a close second. No one wants to see their kid grow up to be a potato head, right?

Today we’ll be exploring the mathematics behind the US housing market over the last thirty years to determine how smart we really want our kids to be. If you can successfully complete (or at least understand) the accompanying quiz you’ll have a more thorough understanding of economic realities than every Ivy League professor (including Nobel Laureates) active in government and mainstream media.

Question #1 – Joe and Mary Twelvepack, an average American couple, buy the average American home in 1980. They pay the average American price ($76,400) and take out the average American mortgage. 29 years later, they sell the home to another couple for the 2009 average American price of $270,900. How much did they profit from the sale (assume the mortgage has been paid in full)?

 A: If you said $194,500 ride the pony, big guy.

Author’s note: If you only aspire to be as intelligent as Uncle Sam wants you to be, STOP HERE. 

Question #2 – According to the BLS, cumulative inflation from 1980 to 2009 was 160.36%.  a)What is the simple inflation adjusted value of the house?  b)How much of the Twelvepack’s profit was the result of inflation and  c)how much was their profit after inflation? 

a) $198,915.04 ($76,400 * 2.6036)

b) $122,515.04 ($198,915.04 – 76,400)

c) $ 71,984.96 ($270,900 – $198,915.04)

C’mon, chin-up buckaroo. The Twelvepacks still made money. Beating inflation is the name of the game, right?

Well, there is one other factor we should probably consider: The effect interest rates had on the value of the Twelvepack’s “investment”. After all, re-fiing the house at ever lower interest rates is how they paid for Mary’s boob job, Joe’s rehab, that boat in the driveway, and the kids’ braces. God knows it wasn’t their ability to earn more.

Question #3 –The average 1980 mortgage was 14.005% APR (13.74% w/ 1.8 pts.) and the couple that bought it, the Fourpacks, got 5.1015% APR (5.04% w/ 0.7 pts plus cool cash from Uncle Sam) Their 30-year fixed mortgage payments are $1471.10. a)How big of a mortgage would that payment get if interest rates were the same as in 1980? b)How much of the Twelvepack’s “profit” can be directly attributed to the change in interest rates?

a) $124,206 (you’ll need Excel to calculate this if you’re not Korean)

b) $146,694 ($270,900 – $124,206)

 Question #4 –So there you have it. 74% of the Twelvepack’s gain can be attributed to the 9% drop in interest rate. When you strip out the interest rate effect, the house underperformed inflation by more than 60% over 30 years (and that’s excluding all other costs associated with the American dream), which of course means this wasn’t actually an investment at all. How many Americans understand this?

 A: Not many.

 Somehow the mathematical realities of the US housing market have completely escaped the education-loving American public as they continue to assume that the next thirty years will yield results similar to the last thirty. Utterly freaking impossible. We can’t drop mortgage interest rates 9% again (currently 4.4%), but we should expect houses to continue to underperform inflation.

Despite our perception, the earth turns. That’s what makes day and night, and that’s why it seems like the sun travels through our sky. It took human beings more than 2,000 years to fully embrace that truth. Teaching your children that houses are good investments (‘cuz look how it worked out for you) and they’re lucky to have such low mortgage interest rates is about as enlightened as sacrificing them to Moloch so the Sun will continue to rise.

 Right now, the powers that be are bazooka-ing tootsie rolls into the crowd at an unprecedented rate. So if your child asks you, “Who’s gonna pay for all this?” maybe you should just say, “Shut-up and eat your paint chips, kid.”

 

 

10- EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM

 

 

11- PENSION & ENTITLEMENTS CRISIS


Retirement on Hold: American Workers $6 Trillion Short CNBC

The $6 Trillion 401K Grab Financial Sense

The actual debt numbers are insane. Public Debt is over $13,433,000,000,000.00 (13.4 trillion). Add the GSE (Freddie/Fannie) debt to that and we are over 18 trillion. Pile on the unfunded liabilities hidden on the government’s off balance sheet ledgers: Social Security (14.6 trillion), Prescription Drugs (19.2 trillion), Medicare (76 trillion) and we come up with 128 trillion dollars.

128 trillion dollars of debt is why workers toil 227 days just for Uncle Scam and have no money to save. Stealing their savings and blowing it like they blew social security will not fix anything.

Like Doug Casey says; “giving politicians the ability to borrow is like giving a teenager a bottle of whiskey and the keys to a Corvette.” Great words but “giving politicians” needs to be replaced with “letting politicians steal”.



12- CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT



13- GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSURANCE

 

 

14- CORPORATE BANKRUPTCIES

 

FedEx Profit Disappoints; To Cut 1,700 Jobs AP


Small Business Can't Get Loans From Bailed-Out Banks in U.S. BL

 

17- CHINA BUBBLE



19- PUBLIC POLICY MISCUES



 


OTHER TIPPING POINT CATEGORIES NOT LISTED ABOVE

 

19-US PUBLIC POLICY MISCUES

 

 

24-RETAIL SALES

 

 

26-GLOBAL OUTPUT GAP

 

 

31-FOOD PRICE PRESSURES

 

 

32-US STOCK MARKET VALUATIONS

 




BP - British Petroleum

SULTANS OF SWAP: BP Potentially More Devastating then Lehman!

------------

 






   

CENTRAL BANKING MONETARY POLICIES, ACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

------------

 

Roubini Says Fed Policy Easing Will Be `Too Little, Too Late' BL




 

 GENERAL INTEREST

 

Rosenberg- Small Business Spending Plans Spell Doom In The Next Year  BI

 

David Rosenberg warns:

The National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) capital spending intentions index dipped to 16 in August from 18 in July and is now down three straight months after peaking out at the beginning of the year. This index leads industrial production growth by six months, and at a time when there has been a record divergence between the two data series. In the name of Bob Farrell’s Rule #2, as it pertains to mean reversion, either NFIB surges from here or ... look out below with regard to the growth rate in industrial activity.

 

 

Real World Solutions To Economic Tyranny  Neithercorp

 

43.6 Million Americans Living In Poverty Is The Highest Number Ever Recorded  BI

 

FLASH CRASH - HFT - DARK POOLS

 

MARKET WARNINGS

 

MARKET & GOLD MANIPULATION

Congressmen Weiner and Waxman Set Gold Hearing Seeking Alpha

 

AUDIO / VIDEO

 

Llink to Pento post-mortem on King World News

 

Zero Hedge Commentary on CNBC Interview: For some, this week's incident on CNBC where Michael Pento was kicked off CNBC for daring to question the basic assumption that his host Erin Burnett presented as fact, was perplexing (to others, who are well aware of the modus operandi of the TV station is, not so much). In a follow up interview that was uninterrupted by commercial breaks and octoboxes, with King World News, Michael Pento gives a post-mortem of just what transpired: "I looked at it 4 times and I don't when I went off the rails, I thought it was a bit unwarranted. All I was doing was being very passionate about an issue I feel very strongly about." The core of the disagreement of course, is the underlying assumption which CNBC takes as gospel, which is that no matter what, interest rates will not, are not allowed to rise (which together with a failed treasury auction, will be the key indicators of the "beginning of the end"). And Pento is completely right to question this as the underlying "factual basis" of any rhetorical question: "We as Americans have no right to believe that interest rates on the 10 year, which are far below their historic 49 year average, 7.31%, are now on 2.7%, so the onus is not on me that interest rates will rise. The onus is on other people to convince me and the investing public that the US bond market will always be in a perpetual bubble that will never burst. And if you look at the data, it shows that this can not be a sustainable situation." Pento then goes on to highlight all the facts that certainly make his case, but that ultimately all collapse into one thing: that the Fed will be able to continue to control, and frankly, manipulate the rate market for perpetuity. This is a flawed assumption and sooner or later Ben Bernanke will lose control as with every system which is in disequilibrium, the snapback to a sustainable balance will occur, and the longer it is kept away from its natural state, the more violent the snapback will be.

One point that Pento discusses that bears further attention, is his argument that governmental investment in the economy should decline and the private sector should be encouraged to pick up the slack. Of course, with the Balance of Payments equation which is now on the forefront of public attention, this means that unless the Current Account goes positive, the private sector is unlikely to be able to pick up the slack from a collapse in endless governmental stimulus (and thus constant debt creation). Which goes to the crux of the Keynesian-Austrian debate. Many would say here that instead of having funded the government apparatus, which as even Mort Zuckerman points out is beyond unwieldy and has grown excessively, the government should have instead have focused on making the US competitive from an international trade standpoint, a topic even Warren Buffett lamented in his non-corrupt days, when he was actually a voice of reason, and not just unbridled, government captured greed. Alas, that would mean a total break from the current Chinese trade surplus hegemony and realigning the US economy in a way that would result in a dramatic shock to millions of people who realize they are simply uncompetitive in the global picture (and thus redundant in the job market) but which would serve as another much needed reset to get America off on a way to long-lost prosperity with an attempt to reincarnate the American manufacturing sector while gradually phasing out the service sector (and especially its "financial innovation" component) . Yet as Gorgon T. Long also pointed out a few days ago, America is now dead set on repeating the destructive Keynesian mistakes of the past, and will continue to fund a broken model until one day, as Michael Pento all too correctly points out, it all snaps, and the "shocking" death of Keynesianism, as described a month ago by Eric Sprott, catches all so many completely unaware.

Of course to explain all this to Erin Burnett, who still believes that the government has done a great job with the "fastest" recovery in the past 20 years, which would be correct if one could eliminate those little pesky things known as "facts", is beyond folly. All those who are invited to CNBC, and dare to explain the truth: you have been warned.

 

 

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

 

“The great enemy of the truth,” John F. Kennedy declared in a 1962 commencement address at Yale University, “is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”


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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, he recommends that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.ont>

 

© Copyright 2010 Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which Mr. Long believes reliable, but he does not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that Mr. Long may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Mr. Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from him.

 

         

TODAY'S NEWS

FRIDAY

09-17-10

SEPTEMBER
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TIPPING POINTS

1-SOVEREIGN DEBT & CREDIT CRISIS

2-EU BANKING CRISIS
3-BOND BUBBLE

4-STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

5-CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE
6-BANKING CRISIS II
7-RISK REVERSAL

8-COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

9-RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II
10-EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM
11-PENSION CRISIS

12-CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT

13-GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSUR.
14-CORPORATE BANKRUPTCY
 

15-CREDIT CONTRACTION II

16-US FISCAL IMBALANCES
17-CHINA BUBBLE
18-INTEREST PAYMENTS
19-US PUBLIC POLICY MISCUES
20-JAPAN DEBT DEFLATION SPIRAL
21-US RESERVE CURRENCY.
22-SHRINKING REVENUE GROWTH RATE
23-FINANCE & INSURANCE WRITE-DOWNS
24-RETAIL SALES
25-US DOLLAR WEAKNESS
26-GLOBAL OUTPUT GAP
27-CONFIDENCE - SOCIAL UNREST
28-ENTITLEMENT CRISIS
29-IRAN NUCLEAR THREAT
30-OIL PRICE PRESSURES
31-FOOD PRICE PRESSURES
32-US STOCK MARKET VALUATIONS
33-PANDEMIC
34-S$ RESERVE CURRENCY
35-TERRORIST EVENT
36-NATURAL DISASTER

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review- Five Thumbs Up for Steve Greenhut's Plunder!  Mish

 

 

   

 

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Gordon T Long is not a registered advisor and does not give investment advice. His comments are an expression of opinion only and should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as recommendations to buy or sell a stock, option, future, bond, commodity or any other financial instrument at any time. While he believes his statements to be true, they always depend on the reliability of his own credible sources. Of course, we recommend that you consult with a qualified investment advisor, one licensed by appropriate regulatory agencies in your legal jurisdiction, before making any investment decisions, and barring that, we encourage you confirm the facts on your own before making important investment commitments.

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© Copyright 2010, Gordon T Long. The information herein was obtained from sources which the Gordon T Long. believes reliable, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. None of the information, advertisements, website links, or any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation of the purchase or sale of any securities or commodities. Please note that the Gordon T Long. or its principals may already have invested or may from time to time invest in securities that are recommended or otherwise covered on this website. Gordon T Long does not intend to disclose the extent of any current holdings or future transactions with respect to any particular security. You should consider this possibility before investing in any security based upon statements and information contained in any report, post, comment or recommendation you receive from us.