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PRESERVE & PROTECT: The Jaws of Death

 

The United States is facing both a structural and demand problem - it is not the cyclical recessionary business cycle or the fallout of a credit supply crisis which the Washington spin would have you believe.

 

It is my opinion that the Washington political machine is being forced to take this position, because it simply does not know what to do about the real dilemma associated with the implications of the massive structural debt and deficits facing the US.  This is a politically dangerous predicament because the reality is we are on the cusp of an imminent and significant collapse in the standard of living for most Americans.

 

The politicos’ proven tool of stimulus spending, which has been the silver bullet solution for decades to everything that has even hinted of being a problem, is clearly no longer working. Monetary and Fiscal policy are presently no match for the collapse of the Shadow Banking System. A $2.1 Trillion YTD drop in Shadow Banking Liabilities has become an insurmountable problem for the Federal Reserve without a further and dramatic increase in Quantitative Easing. The fallout from this action will be an intractable problem which we will face for the next five to eight years, resulting in the “Jaws of Death” for the American public.  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:  MONDAY 09-20-10

Last Update: 09/20/2010 10:08 PM

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
                       
El-Erian: Europe’s debt crisis and the global configuration of currencies returning to the for FT Alphaville X                  
The IMF itself has become the problem as Europe's woes return Prichard X                  
Greek bank stress tests delayed FT X                  
Steinbrück sees Greece rescheduling FT X                  
Britain's Former Treasury Chief Blames The Germans For Sovereign Debt Chaos BI X                  
U.K. to Examine Bank Sector WSJ X                  
UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First HMRC X                  
Irish Bank Bailout May Cost $52 Billion, Ex-NTMA Head Somers Tells Times Bloomberg X                  
Ireland IMF bail-out rumours spook markets Telegraph X                  
Cash Is King for Japan Households as Pessimism Threatens Japan's Recovery Bloomberg X                  
Japan Intervenes (last week) In Foreign Exchange Market-Chart BCAR X                  
U.S. recession ended in June 2009, NBER finds MW X                  
ECB considers action on ‘addicted’ banks FT   X                
BayernLB and WestLB in merger talks FT   X                
Bond Surge Driven by Supply and Demand WSJ     X              
Junk bond prices hit pre-crisis levels FT     X              
The Dangers of Debt-Driven Economic Growth BJ Review     X              
Mortgage Bonds in Canada Lure Yield Starved U.S. Investors Bloomberg     X              
Six Banks Fail as Georgia Lender Community & Southern Acquires Three Bloomberg           X        
The Layoffs Begin- Bank Of America Will Cut 5% Of Capital Markets Employees Before Bonus Season BI           X        
How Underwater Mortgages Can Float the Economy Hubbard                 X  
Defaults Account for Most of Pared Down Debt WSJ                 X  
                       
ARTICLE SOURCE 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
                       
Pension Funds Gap Looms Larger WSJ X                  
The Illusion of Pension Savings NJT X                  
The Stagnant Labor Market Roosevelt Institute   X                
Why High Unemployment Is Much Worse This Time Than Ever Before BI   X                
                       
BP OIL                      
BP and Government Representatives Still Keeping Scientists and Reporters Away from Areas Impacted by Oil ZH                    
CENTRAL BANKING & MONETARY POLICY                      
Why Ben Bernanke Should Completely Ignore The Commodity Inflation All Around Him BI                    
Competitive Monetization Nolan                    
Central Banks Embrace Risky Currency Gambit Forsyth                    
Fed Will Retain Policy on Assets, Low-Rate Pledge, Survey Shows Bloomberg                    
GENERAL INTEREST                      
DEFLATION- Who Are They Kidding- Commodities Prices Are Going Through The Roof BI                    
The Chances of a Double Dip Mauldin                    
In Great Recession, Other Nations Have Suffered More NYT                    
Currencies behaving badly: Why conventional practices can fail G&M                    
FLASH CRASH                      
                       
MARKET WARNINGS                      
Wall Street 'casino' spooks small American investors AFP                    
BofA's Head Technician Calls For Market Correction ZH                    
MARKET & GOLD MANIPULATION                      
                       
VIDEO TO WATCH                      
                       
                       

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

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09-20-10

 

GEO-POLITICAL TENSIONS - ISRAEL / KOREA / IRAN

 

IRAN

ISREAL

KOREA

 

1- SOVEREIGN DEBT & CREDIT CRISIS

 

SOVEREIGNS

 

 

El-Erian: Europe’s debt crisis and the global configuration of currencies returning to the for FTA

 

The IMF itself has become the problem as Europe's woes return Pritchard

GREECE

Greek bank stress tests delayed  FT

Athens to raise more money on capital markets

 

Steinbrück sees Greece rescheduling  FT

 

SPAIN

 

GERMANY

Britain's Former Treasury Chief Blames The Germans For Sovereign Debt Chaos  BI

 

FRANCE

 

UK

U.K. to Examine Bank Sector WSJ

 

UK Proposes All Paychecks Go to the State First HMRC

(Source:  proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) )

 

IRELAND

Irish Bank Bailout May Cost $52 Billion, Ex-NTMA Head Somers Tells Times BL


Ireland IMF bail-out rumours spook markets Telegraph


JAPAN

Cash Is King for Japan Households as Pessimism Threatens Japan's Recovery BL

 

Japan Intervenes (last week) In Foreign Exchange Market-Chart BCAR

 
Despite the Bank of Japan’s efforts last week to weaken the yen, without an accompanying change in monetary policy, those efforts are unlikely to succeed in reversing the yen’s primary uptrend versus the U.S. dollar.

The Japanese yen fell earlier last week as the Bank of Japan (BoJ) intervened in the foreign exchange market to sell the currency for the first time since 2004. Prior to the intervention, the yen was perched at a 15 year high against the U.S. dollar. While there is speculation that the monetary authorities will leave the intervention unsterilized, the size of the action is unlikely to change the underlying upward trend in the yen. Indeed, our Foreign Exchange Strategy service cautioned a few weeks ago that [in the event of intervention] “USD/JPY will almost certainly spike higher. However, for currency intervention to have a long run impact, it must occur with a change in monetary policy.” In any case, there is little chance that the BoJ will ramp up its quantitative easing measures sufficiently to make a difference. The Fed is purportedly considering the purchase of an additional $1 trillion of assets, or about 7% of U.S. nominal GDP. An equivalent amount relative to the size of the Japanese economy is ¥33 trillion. In our opinion, it is very unlikely that the BoJ will pursue such a bold policy. Furthermore, comments by a top Japanese government official following the intervention will likely invite further speculation on the yen: Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku was quoted as saying that the Ministry of Finance (MoF) “seems to think” 82 yen per dollar needs to be defended. By drawing a ‘line in the sand’ the MoF is only persuading currency traders to test the BoJ’s resolve. The bottom line is that investors should continue to hold strategic long positions in the yen versus the dollar.  

 

 

USA

 

 

U.S. recession ended in June 2009, NBER finds MW NBER

 

 

 

2- EU BANKING CRISIS

   

ECB considers action on ‘addicted’ banks FT

 

Overall lending by the ECB has fallen to about €600bn ($780bn) compared with peaks of up to €900bn. But the amounts have stabilised at high levels in those countries worst hit by this year’s crisis over public finances. Greek, Spain, Portugal and Ireland account for 61 per cent of the total, despite comprising only 18 per cent of eurozone gross domestic product

 

BayernLB and WestLB in merger talks  FT

 

Tie-up would create Germany’s third-biggest bank

 

3- BOND BUBBLE

 

Bond Surge Driven by Supply and Demand  WSJ

 
Lost in the debate over whether the bond market is in a bubble is the concept of supply and demand. Overall borrowing in the U.S. remains down, so investors seeking safe returns are competing for a limited supply of debt.

 

Junk bond prices hit pre-crisis levels  FT

 
More sub-investment grade debt sold this year than in all 2009

 

The Dangers of Debt-Driven Economic Growth BJ Review

 

Mortgage Bonds in Canada Lure Yield Starved U.S. Investors BL

 

 

4- STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 


5- CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE

 


6-BANKING CRISIS II

Six Banks Fail as Georgia Lender Community & Southern Acquires Three BL

The Layoffs Begin- Bank Of America Will Cut 5% Of Capital Markets Employees Before Bonus Season BI

7- RISK REVERSAL

 

 

8- COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

 

 

9-RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE - PHASE II

 

How Underwater Mortgages Can Float the Economy  Hubbard NYT Op-Ed

 

Defaults Account for Most of Pared Down Debt WSJ

 

Over the two years ending June 2010, the total value of home-mortgage debt and consumer credit outstanding has fallen by about $610 billion, to $12.6 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s an annualized decline of about 2.3%, which is pretty impressive given the fact that such debts grew at an annualized rate in excess of 10% over the previous decade.

There are two ways, though, that the debts can decline: People can pay off existing loans, or they can renege on the loans, forcing the lender to charge them off. As it happens, the latter accounted for almost all the decline. Our own analysis of data from the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggests that over the two years ending June 2010, banks and other lenders charged off a total of about $588 billion in mortgage and consumer loans.

That means consumers managed to shave off only $22 billion in debt through the kind of belt-tightening we typically envision. In other words, in the absence of defaults, they would have achieved an annualized decline of only 0.08%.

 

 

 

10- EXPIRATION FINANCIAL CRISIS PROGRAM

 

 

11- PENSION & ENTITLEMENTS CRISIS


Pension Funds Gap Looms Larger WSJ
Funds Stick to 'Unrealistic' Return Assumptions, Threatening Bigger Shortfalls

The Illusion of Pension Savings NYT

12- CHRONIC UNEMPLOYMENT


The Stagnant Labor Market  Roosevelt Institute





Below is a commentary on the Roosevelt Paper (.pdf above)

Why High Unemployment Is Much Worse This Time Than Ever Before  BI


13- GOVERNMENT BACKSTOP INSURANCE

 

 

14- CORPORATE BANKRUPTCIES

 

 

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!

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

 


BP and Government Representatives Still Keeping Scientists and Reporters Away from Areas Impacted by Oil  ZH



   

CENTRAL BANKING MONETARY POLICIES, ACTIONS & ACTIVITIES

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

 

Why Ben Bernanke Should Completely Ignore The Commodity Inflation All Around Him  BI

There's no doubt that commodity inflation is happening all around the world, as our colleague Henry Blodget noted earlier. Soft commodities, hard commodities, and precious metals have made impressive moves in recent months, helped in large part -- it's believed -- by ongoing robust demand in much of the semi-developed world (China, the rest of Asia, India, Brazil), and of course the "growth" in US and Europe. So when the FOMC meets in the coming week, it should take into account this inflation, right? Absolutely not.

What Bernanke and the rest of the FOMC should be concerned with is domestic inflation -- inflation that was the result of there being a lack of slack in the US economy. So, for example, if domestic rents, wages, and home prices were back on the march higher, then there's a good chance that added monetary stimulus would merely serve to push prices higher, rather than help stimulate demand. Sure, added US demand would also have a further inflationary effect on global commodity markets, but that's a separate issue from the one facing the FOMC. Commodity inflation is confusing, but it's not a monetary phenomenon, and it's not one that need to distract the FOMC.

This is an important point, because in the summer 2008 (post- Bear Stearns!), the ECB made a classic policy blunder -- as the world was careening towards a financial crisis, the ECB raised interest rates in part due to surging oil prices. Obviously, this was soon proven foolish, as the bank eventually backtracked during the crisis, but because of commodity inflation, the ECB took its eye of the ball.The inflation gauge that actually matters in the US -- for all its faults, the CPI -- indicates that there really is none out there (and the CPI is probably overstating the inflation, since the full extent of the housing plunge isn't being captured).


Competitive Monetization Noland

Central Banks Embrace Risky Currency Gambit Forsyth

Fed Will Retain Policy on Assets, Low-Rate Pledge, Survey Shows BL

 

 GENERAL INTEREST

 

DEFLATION- Who Are They Kidding- Commodities Prices Are Going Through The Roof  BI

 

A few weeks ago, everyone began to agree that the US was headed for a decade of Japan-style deflation. The banks weren't lending, consumers weren't borrowing, the Fed's desperate attempts to create inflation weren't working, the country was awash in excess manufacturing and labor capacity, and so on.

And most of those things are true.  In the United States.

But the world's not just about the United States anymore.

Several billion people in China and India and elsewhere have recently discovered the joys of capitalism, and, as a result, they're getting richer by the day.  They're also not up to their eyeballs in debt, the way Americans are.  And their economies are humming along, so there are plenty of jobs.  And the jobs are making them richer.  And as they get richer, they buy more stuff. And as they buy stuff, the price of that stuff--and the raw materials used to make it--goes up.

In other words, now that the global economy isn't collapsing anymore, the rest of the world is buying more stuff.

And that demand is driving the price of raw materials sky-high. (See chart below).

Will the the soaring prices of raw materials eventually lead to real inflation in the United States, even with our crappy economy, comatose banks, deleveraging consumers, enormous unemployment, and excess capacity?

Actually, it might.

Because as their input prices go up, companies will try to pass those cost increases through to consumers to preserve their profit margins.  And consumers might pay the higher prices, at least some of them.  Even if they have to borrow more to do it.

Alternatively, consumers will have to swallow the commodity price increases, which will result in lower profit margins.  This will lead to stagflation. And it won't be good for the stock market.

In any event, as the chart from CRB below illustrates, commodity prices are inflating rapidly. So be VERY skeptical about the sudden consensus that we're headed for deflation.  If this trend continues, we're likely headed for stagflation...or a stock-market collapse and a lower standard of living.

The chart was forwarded by reader David Jensen, who adds the following:

The onset (return) of inflation in raw materials in the CRB Spot Index is visible in the graph below. 

The bovine scatology re. “deflation” and that Fed policy is not inflationary because the banks aren’t lending or monetary velocity is low is just that.  Note that many components of the spot index are non-futures traded and thus paradoxically less vulnerable to price manipulation.

 

 

The Chances of a Double Dip   Mauldin


In Great Recession, Other Nations Have Suffered More NYT

 

Currencies behaving badly: Why conventional practices can fail G&M

 

After Japan intervened and weakened the yen, economists argue that Canada should consider doing the same

FLASH CRASH - HFT - DARK POOLS

 

MARKET WARNINGS

 

Wall Street 'casino' spooks small American investors AFP

 

BofA's Head Technician Calls For Market Correction  ZH

 


MARKET & GOLD MANIPULATION

 

AUDIO / VIDEO

 

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

MONDAY

09-20-10

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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.