Archive for September, 2009

Europe: Boycott America (Sept. 28, 2009)

Posted in Boycott Series, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Economics, Europe, Kleptocracy on September 28, 2009 by

How enlightened Europe could get suckered by and sucked into the Great American Meltdown is bewildering.  Those with some distance and perspective should have seen that the American economy was hollow and vacant as early as 2005 if not earlier.  Countries such as Iceland and Ireland – good people all – and cities, towns, and villages throughout Europe largely brought it on themselves because they bought the lies and the poison from America.  The financial products exported from America had to look suspicious at the time.

Europe should boycott America.  Really.  In a rational and purposeful way.  Purchasing and holding dollars may make economic sense in the future.  If so, buy bucks.  The decision may get more problematic when the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency.

Holding American bonds may make economic sense in the future.  If so, investigate them with care and acquire them.  Keep in mind that American municipalities and other political subdivisions can file bankruptcy.

However, the financial sector in America is corrupt to the core.  O’Bama is trying to clean up the mess, yet he cannot surmount the entrenched financial community.  Only powerful financial/economic/political market forces will compel change in the American financial markets.  The pressure may need to come from overseas.

Bumper sticker of the week (sported on a red Renault convertible sports car):

USA:  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

So Many Words, So Few Ideas (Sept. 21, 2009)

Posted in Bernanke, English Language, Journalism, Recession, Society on September 21, 2009 by

Too many books published today are distended essays on steroids.  Too many essays are too wordy and not too woody.  Writers are not paid by the word, yet they write as if they were.  Writers should write less; editors should edit more.

Nonetheless, there are far more well-written pieces than one can savor before the candle goes out.

(“The recession is very likely over at this point.”  Ben Bernanke, September 15, 2009 in a speech at the Brookings Institution, one year to the date after Senator McCain proclaimed on September 15, 2008:  “The fundamentals of our economy are sound.”)

Bumper sticker of the week:

The Six-Word Memoir is America’s Haiku


“During his lifetime, he penned over 418 books, 1279 essays, 3065 monographs, . . . received seven Pulitzer Prizes and three Nobel Prizes . . . and is known for one cleverly crafted original phrase propounded in 1985.”

The Meltdown Continues, Subtly (Sept. 14, 2009)

Posted in Bailout/Bribe, Bernanke, Economics, Federal Reserve on September 14, 2009 by

We mark 9/15 tomorrow as the day Lehman Bros. failed.  By then, America had failed.  Senator McCain had proclaimed the fundamentals of the economy to be sound, although they were fundamentally unsound.  A “red-letter day” marks the day when America did something to stay “in the black,” albeit a small step, by not doing something.  Lehman failed and was allowed to go the way of all flesh in a capitalist system; Lehman was allowed to die and file a petition in bankruptcy.  One wonders if Lehman received this “special treatment” because of a personality dispute between its then president Fuld and then Secretary of Treasury Paulson.  America would have been better off with more such personality disputes.

Bribing the perpetrators of other failed financial institutions was not the appropriate strategy to purge the poison in the financial system.  Bush, Paulson and Bernanke should have done nothing prior to and after Lehman.  Only the market could flush the filth out of a broken financial system.

Doing nothing would have had immediate and negative economic and thus political consequences.  Doing something will have much greater and much graver economic consequences for a generation or more.

The appropriate decision is part economic and part moral.  Future (and present, subtly) generations were jettisoned to keep a failed financial system limping along today and to delay the day of reckoning until someone else’s watch.

The Economic Terrorists own Congress and control O’Bama lock, stock and sinker.  There is not much hope of change.

Bumper sticker of the week:

America:  California Writ Large

Outsourcing Pensions? (Sept. 7, 2009)

Posted in Pensions on September 7, 2009 by

The government is outsourcing more traditional government activities to private sector entities that may never pay their pension and health care obligations to their employees.  Outsourcing is alleged to be cheaper, although in the long run it will be much more costly to the country.

Some employers promise a “defined benefit plan” to their employees that promises to pay a certain amount of money on a defined schedule.  This is a traditional retirement program. However, the promise is hollow if there is little or nothing to fund the obligation.  The programs are likely to be underfunded or unfunded because they rely on a growing economy and disciplined investing.  The private sector entities can simply dump the entity (“Fly By Night Government Services, LLC”) into bankruptcy and use section 365 to extinguish any pension and health care obligations without any civil or criminal consequences of any kind whatsoever to the entity or the individual owners.

Most employees and unions oppose a transition to a “defined contribution plan” that provides sums directly to or for the benefit of the employee to be invested by the employee pursuant to a “401(k)” or other program.  The virtue is that the funds are within one’s control; the vice is that the funds are within one’s control.  Only a small number of employees are talented or lucky enough to manage and grow the funds.

Many citizens are likely to discover that there is nothing waiting for them at the “end of the day.”  Trillions in unfunded obligations will overwhelm the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

[See the “e-ssay” dated April 14, 2008 entitled “Pensions and Other Entitlements:  Pt. 1” and the one dated April 28, 2008 entitled “Pensions and Other Entitlements:  Pt. 2” under the Category “Pensions.”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“Promises of payment/Are neither food nor raiment”

What is a trophy wife?  A woman with vested Tier I state benefits.