Sunday, October 12, 2008

How bad will this economic crisis get?

Karl Denniger (from over at the Market Ticker) isn't holding back and feels this crisis has the potential to be worse than even the hardiest doom and gloomer predictions.

Several excerpts from Karls Silverbear cafe article are posted below, but I highly encourage you to read the entire article - link at end of this post.

Snippets Below:

"Unfortunately what happened the last three days forces me to reset that target to the 2003 lows, and perhaps as low as four hundred on the S&P 500 and 4000 on the DOW."

" This evening we were "treated" to both political candidates shooting their mouths off on matters economic, but saying nothing of substance. Neither candidate was willing to admit the truth - that this "bailout" hadn't worked, that in fact the market had crashed by 15% since it was voted on, and that there is a zero chance of it having any positive impact on one American household. But no, not even the "moderator" was willing to ask those tough questions, nor was anyone present - These "debates" are a sham, a fraud and a gigantic waste of time."

"There is chatter circulating, apparently, that "global equity markets will be closed after the emergency G7 meeting this weekend." That ought to induce confidence - just ask the Russians or Indonesians, both of whom have tried this and it has resulted in an instantaneous crash when they reopened (the Indonesian market was just closed AGAIN this evening, after literally imploding - down by more than 10% - within an hour of starting to trade.)"

"This is no longer a US problem, but the United States continues to refuse to lead. We continue to "trust" the idiot savants Bernanke and Paulson, both of whom have sung the same song since this crisis began more than a year ago, have been wrong 100% of the time, and yet have found an ear in Congress repeatedly willing to listen to and follow their insanity."

" By allowing this action and indeed following the advice of these two each and every one of the 535 members of that body has taken unto themselves the responsibility for the calamity that now faces American investors and the public, as our economic system literally "folds back" and consumes itself. Americans will not be able to retire and have no economic security, and now are losing their jobs in increasing numbers. This will continue."

"The people of this nation have sat on their hands and watched American Idol, now turning into the NFL, while lapping up the slop from Paulson, Bernanke and Bush about how the "economy is fundamentally strong", instead of showing up in Washington DC to protest or flooding the fax and phone lines demanding that Congress act to reign in the fraudsters."

"Let me know how "fundamentally strong" the economy is when you're walking the unemployment line and waiting for your turn at the soup kitchen for something to eat."

"Entitlements? Forget 'em. They're gone. Social Security? Medicare? Done. Not today, but in the not-distant future. China, having gotten its money from the $700 billion "bailout", will ditch our Treasuries and refuse to buy more, as they will no more need to sterilize export dollars as our economy collapses. We in turn will be left to twist. "

"Oil will collapse in price to $20/bbl. Unfortunately nobody will have any money to buy gasoline, or a car, so it won't matter. As in The Depression millions of automobiles will be scrapped after being abandoned by their owners for lack of insurance and registration fee money. Cheap scooters will become the dominant form of transportation for those with jobs, as they will be all most people can afford."

"As credit collapses distribution of food and other essentials will break down. Unable to access credit, trucking companies will be unable to get goods to market. The current distribution system for food requires travel of over 500 miles from production to consumption; this is untenable in a market where stable credit is unavailable. Food distribution will be severely impacted and in some areas may break down below critical levels."

"Unemployment will reach 25% within two years. Median income will fall by 30% nationally. Foreclosures will reach 20 million homes. The government will step in with HOLC-style remediation but it won't matter - the unemployed won't be able to pay irrespective of the price."

"House prices will fall to well under $100,000 nationally on a median basis but with lending all but non-existent you'll need 50% down. A few people will make out like bandits near the bottom, being able to buy up homes for $10,000 each in blocks of 10 at a time - for cash. 60% of America will be renters; nearly half of all homeowners will ultimately lose their homes to foreclosure."

"Civil unrest will break out in major cities when incomes fall but the cost of food and essential services fail to come down materially, leaving millions of Americans hungry, broke and homeless. Unlike in the 1930s America will not quietly stand in soup lines - instead they will riot, loot and burn. The National Guard will be called up but will find it impossible to exert meaningful control without shutting down all commerce in the affected areas. The decision will be made to cordon off the cities and deny entry to anyone who does not live in that specific neighborhood, essentially shutting down commercial activity. GDP will fall by 30%."

"The S&P 500 will fall to 150 and flatline, a 90% loss. CNBC and Bloomberg will cease broadcasting. Volume will fall to 10% of former levels."

Link to the complete Denniger article, as carried by Silverbear Cafe: Time Is Up Congress - And America; Karl Denninger

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