Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Open Forum

Starting a new one here. Please feel free to post up your comments, links, use for open discussion, etc.


Tim said...

Went out and bought some more 12 gauge buckshot for my Mossberg 500 and some canned food today. If nothing severe happens, then I get to go to the gun range and practice, and I've got more food for a camping trip. However, if things do sour and people start acting irrationally, I'll be prepared.

Justin_n_IL said...

It's an awfully surreal feeling right now as everything hangs by a thread dangling from a cliff.

Randy said...


That quite a fine gun. I have one of my own (short barrel 6 shot) for home defense. Nothing like the international sound of a pumping shotgun to put the fear of God into someone - hope I never have to use it for its intended purpose.

Justin - Agree: Asian markets are tanking right now and US equity futures look bad for tomorrow's open. DOW futures are currently down 180. We might even dip into the 9,000 range tomorrow - yes the range I predicted we'd see year - back when we were at the 14,000 double top.


Anonymous said...

(final entry in the log book of the SS Easy Credit)

"Capt. to all crew:

Secure loose credit and brace for collision impact. All crew not on damage control duty, report to the lifeboats.

This is not a drill. Repeat"

(no further entries)

Anonymous said...

As of Friday, we now have the OFFICE OF FINANCIAL STABILITY.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the Act) passed by Congress on Oct. 3, 2008 authorizes the establishment of a new federal program in response to the nation’s current economic issues.

"The Secretary of the Treasury (the Secretary), through a newly created Office of Financial Stability, is authorized to establish the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to purchase in a graduated structure up to $700 billion in “troubled assets” (residential or commercial mortgages, and any securities or obligations based on such mortgages) from financial institutions as well as a program to insure the payment of principal and interest on such troubled assets to financial institutions. (continued . . )"


Ellen said...

I still respectfully disagree that inflation is our concern. Yes, there is a lot of money being injected into the system, but the de-leveraging at banks (from a high of 20X to perhaps 12X) will have a profound deflationary effect.

Yes the monetary base is up significantly in recent months due to all the injections by the Fed and the bailout bill will add to that, but the money multiplier is collapsing and measures of broad money are not growing.

Here's an article from Bloomberg on this subject

Deflation May Be Next Threat as Commodities, Asset Markets Sink
By John Fraher

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his global colleagues fight the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, one danger is looming larger by the day: deflation.

With asset markets tumbling, commodity prices plunging the most in 50 years and banks keeping a tighter grip on credit, the ingredients for a sustained period of falling prices are coalescing. While inflation is still a concern for many policy makers only months after oil and food prices peaked, the risk is their patchwork of rescue and stimulus packages will fail, and prices will start to fall throughout the broader economy.

``The ghost of deflation could be dragged out of the closet again in coming months,'' says Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank AG in London.

A global recession is already looking more likely, with the credit freeze stirring memories of Japan's decade-long struggle with deflation in the 1990s. So European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King may be forced to follow Bernanke, whose Fed has chopped its benchmark rate by 3.25 percentage points since August 2007 to 2 percent -- its most aggressive round of easing in two decades.

The deflation scenario might go like this: Banks worldwide, stung by $588 billion in writedowns related to toxic assets -- especially mortgage-related securities -- will further reduce the flow of credit, strangling growth. That will push house prices lower, forcing additional losses and making banks even more reluctant to lend. As the credit crisis worsens, businesses will find it almost impossible to raise prices.

A `Vicious' Cycle

``A vicious deflationary cycle'' could then ensue, says Tony Tan, deputy chairman of Government of Singapore Investment Corp., a sovereign-wealth fund that oversees more than $100 billion.

Prices are already falling in parts of the world economy. Home values dropped more than 10 percent in the U.K. and in the U.S. in the past year. Oil, copper and corn drove commodities toward their biggest weekly decline since at least 1956 on Oct. 3, with the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 raw materials tumbling 10.4 percent. The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of commodity shipping costs, has dropped 75 percent since May.

``We are certainly more worried about deflation than inflation,'' says David Owen, chief European economist at Dresdner Kleinwort Group Ltd. in London. Central bankers need to ``get rates down and keep them there for quite some time,'' he says.

Aggressive Easing

Trichet said Oct. 2 that European policy makers have considered reversing their decision in July to raise their benchmark rate by a quarter point to 4.25 percent. Forty-six of the 61 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News expect the Bank of England to cut its key rate by at least a quarter point Oct. 9 from 5 percent.

The Fed has already responded to one deflationary scare this decade. With inflation approaching 1 percent in 2003, then- Chairman Alan Greenspan slashed its rate to a 45-year low of 1 percent and kept it there for a year, which its critics say helped fuel the property and credit boom that is now unraveling.

This time, the crisis is an increasingly dysfunctional banking system that may not be able to continue making loans that grease economic activity. Such a pullback, combined with slowing growth and falling asset and commodity prices, makes deflation more of a threat, Owen says.

Restricting Credit

Spooked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and other institutions, banks are restricting access to credit. The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, they charge each other for three-month loans in dollars rose to 4.33 percent on Oct, 3, the highest since January.

Not all economists share Owen's gloomy outlook. Some say Bernanke and other central bankers have learned the lessons of Japan and the Great Depression so well they will do everything necessary to head off trouble.

Former Fed Governor Lyle Gramley says that while deflation is a risk ``if we were to go into a very, very prolonged recession and nobody did anything about it,'' he is ``not worried,'' because he's confident the Fed will act ``very, very, very aggressively.''

Bernanke, who has studied the Great Depression since he was a graduate student, has said that one key reason the U.S. stock- market crash of 1929 had such severe consequences was that lenders were forced to close and the banking system was deprived of liquidity.

`Lost Decade'

He has also studied Japan's ``lost decade '' of deflation, which was partly caused by a banking crisis, and has argued that its policy makers waited too long to respond to a stock-and- property price crash at the start of the 1990s. In a 2002 speech that earned him the nickname ``Helicopter Ben,'' he said governments and central banks must respond immediately to such a deflationary shock by dropping money into the banking system.

The caution of Japan's leaders -- who waited until 1999 before using taxpayers' money to bail out the banks -- cost their economy dearly. Lending shrank, unemployment more than doubled to 5.5 percent, and Japan experienced three recessions between 1990 and 2002. From 1997 to 2007, consumer prices dropped 2.2 percent. In the U.S., prices climbed 29 percent in the same period.

When credit markets started seizing up in August 2007, Bernanke set up $1.4 trillion in emergency borrowing for financial institutions. The ECB, the Bank of Japan and other central banks have set up similar lifelines. On Oct. 3, President George W. Bush signed into law Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's $700 billion bank-rescue plan.

`Last Resort'

Commerzbank's Kraemer says the Fed might also consider further easing collateral requirements or purchases of government bonds ``as a last resort.''

Kraemer says he thinks a slowdown in inflation is more likely than deflation. The surge in commodity prices earlier this year drove inflation in the U.S., Europe and Asia to the strongest pace in at least a decade. Strategists have pointed to Paulson's rescue plan as an additional risk.

Japanese core consumer prices, which exclude fresh food, climbed 2.4 percent in August from August 2007. The U.S. core rate, which strips out food and energy, rose 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

Still, deflationary forces are mounting in the U.S. and other parts of the world economy. In Britain, the Nationwide Building Society says house prices have dropped 12.4 percent in the past year as banks restrict the supply of mortgages, putting the economy on course for its first recession since the early 1990s.

Deflationary Consequences

``The risk we must be careful not to underestimate is the deflationary consequences of the credit crisis,'' Bank of England Deputy Governor John Gieve said last month.

In the U.S., prices manufacturers paid for materials last month plunged the most since at least 1948, with the Institute for Supply Management's index dropping 23.5 points to 53.5 points.

The breakeven rate on U.S. 10-year Treasuries, a measure of price expectations, dropped to 1.5 percent from 2.6 percent in July. Japan is the only country whose bond market implies a lower inflation rate than the U.S.

All this is likely to make the Fed resume rate cuts, says Robert Dye, a senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

``If we're going over a cliff, we're not going to go over a cliff with a 2 percent federal funds rate,'' he says. ``What's the point of holding back?''

To contact the reporter on this story: John Fraher in London at

Randy said...

LIBOR jumped to 6.88% this AM - 7th consecutive day of making new highs - fed will pump in $900 Billion in new TAF auctions to calm markets as I type this quick note - Guess the Massive pork ladened bailout plan was not the magic bullet that many expected.

Make your preparations quickly folks!


Anonymous said...

Regards from Sweden.

sux2bme said...

I've always been puzzled by:

"... the international sound of a pumping shotgun to put the fear of God into someone ..."

I prefer to chamber silently apriori and slide a fresh one into the tube for a full magazine.

I think it was the Apache who taught their braves that the first one to make noise was the first one to die.

Trying to get the drop on an interloper in anything but Condition 0 will get you killed first.

Mamaof2 said...

What do you think the likelihood of the banks shutting down for a limited amount of time is? How much cash do you think we need to have on hand?

Justin_n_IL said...

Food for thought.

Justin_n_IL said...

This is a good article.

jerry said...

Bada Bing Bernanke may have been a paper expert on the Depression of 1931, but managing one is another story. The trouble with these bureaucrats tend to go by the book instead of logic. They also tend to go by how much money is flashed in their direction. But, the Depression was an industrial age, nevertheless, building up a war machine, among other things. Today our economy has been fueled by debt creation, and not real asset creation. The idea that these swaps will take down the economy is a reasonable conclusion. The Domino Effect will push many down into bankruptcy. There is no escaping this collapse. The only way to expose the fraud and corruption is proceed with what many have said and stop the bailout. Let the fraudsters meet their fate, and do what is necessary to support the economy through creative solutions, as written by Dean Baker, and other non-establishment type economists.

Matt said...

Cramer's out

Justin_n_IL said...

I wonder if Cramer will flee the country...

Randy said...


Good point but only time will tell. This is not the first bailout, nor will it be the last. Additionally, in the future, we will see massive NEW-DEAL type infrastructure programs to spur employment and help pull us out of the bowels of the massive depression - where will this money come from?

Lastly, when foreigners stop buying our gvt debt and then run to the exits to cash their $6 Trillion in Dollar denominated holdings, the dollar will fall through the floor.

When you combine dollar dumping with the massive printing to pay for new bailouts and infrastructure programs, hyperinflation (hyperinflationary depression) will be the end result felt by the masses.


Randy said...

sux2beme - very good point. I recant my statement and will follow your advice

Randy said...


Yes, I think it's quite likely and probably before the very painful, yet quickly approaching, Xmas season. Keep enough on hand to get you through (at least) a couple of weeks. Thats is with an already stocked pantry and tank full of gas.


Randy said...

Matt, Jerry & Justin,

Thanks for the links/comments. Haven't yet had time to read the links but will.



Justin_n_IL said...

FOFOA said...

If you missed 60 Minutes on Sunday, be sure to watch this short piece here! It really hit the nail on the head: A Look At Wall Street's Shadow Market

Anonymous said...

What do you think the full meaning of "directly strengthen balance sheets" means below:

The new legislation adds broad, flexible authorities to allow Treasury to buy troubled assets and provide guarantees, and address capital raising. The new legislation also enables Treasury to directly strengthen the balance sheet of individual institutions. These authorities allow Treasury to act to remove some of the uncertainty regarding financial strength, and provide financial institutions with greater operating flexibility and enhance their ability to raise additional capital in the private marketplace.

This from Oct 6th Treasury Release:


Randy said...

"directly strengthen balance sheets" means to improve capital ratios.

Because many of them are actually insolvent and need to shore up capital requirements... A bank or financial institution's capital, also known as equity, is the margin by which creditors are covered if their assets were liquidated. A measure of their financial health is its capital/asset ratio, which is required to be above a prescribed minimum...

Well, due to the mortgage crisis, falling home values, foreclosures and the like - and all the bad securitized paper that was sold to investors and held by banks/institutions - many of these financial institutions have had to come to grips with huge writedowns - writedowns that have impaired capital requirements - driving them below prescribed minimums.

Now, the only way to restore capital requirements above the minimums is to raise cash, which many times leads to borrowing. The problem is: No one is lending anymore and the Federal Reserve window has become one of the only cash spigots available!!!

Therefore, the fed will provide the necessary cash to strengthen their balance sheets.

Hope this helps


Anonymous said...

This is WAY better than a roller coaster!

On a roller coaster, the only people on it are the people who want to be on it.

This way we get to watch the terror of hapless people who bought a ticket for the ride without even knowing it.


Justin_n_IL said...

The plot thickens

Justin_n_IL said...

"Pressure also is growing on the Fed to reverse course and order a deep reduction in its key interest rate, now at 2 percent. Such a move would be aimed at reviving the moribund economy by encouraging consumers and businesses to boost their spending."

The utter insanity of it!!! The imminent collapse of the economic/monetary apparatus cannot be stopped. I believe that it can and will be delayed for a while longer. People who are well informed can tell you that the entire thing is doomed. It is fundamentally flawed and will never work especially to the advantage of Middle America.

Is it not ironic that debt is the blood covered sword and yet it is to even more debt they turn? Are the powers that be really so dumb that they believe the system can be saved and prosper for them yet again? Maybe the powers that be have turned into funeral home directors? Maybe all of their unconstitutional tampering is merely the administering of embalming fluid? Randy did a nice Weekend at Bernies analogy but maybe it's now later in the ball game. Maybe now they will admit death and put all their attention on disguising the brutality of her death? Would the powers that be have a vested interest in such a thing?

I had a couple of friends who tragically died in a wreck about 9 years ago. They pulled out in front of a train. I'll never forget how battered she was. Had I not known it was her I would have never known that it was her I was now looking upon during the funeral. The local funeral home director is known for being a master of his craft. Yet, in this instance the mastery of his craft was humbled .

Maybe the powers that be are ultimately in the same position as the local funeral home director was with my friend. I'm sure they will keep slapping on the makeup. Of course the powers that be are anything but local funeral home directors. I mean after all, they are "THE POWERS THAT BE".

I've never been a fan of fiction so I lack knowledge therein. But surely what we are seeing unfold in our days on the grand stage that is the world is second to no work of fiction. A thriller that is in real time with real consequences...YIKES


Ramanand said...

This is very much what lies ahead around the globe. Countries that built their economies exporting goods and services to the US will receive a rude awakening.
These economies could not have mushroomed without the overconsumption in the US. Now, as americans cut back on needless expenditure, these export based economies will collapse.
To top it all, if now the dollar falls even a mere 15% against some of these countries currencies, entire industries could become unviable overnight.

Jean Lamb said...

Seeing the Big Pill in the cartoon reminds me of why there needed to be so much greasy pork in that bill--given the way we're screwed over, the least they can do is to use some lube!

Randy said...


That Counterpunch Article was Awesome - thanks!

Here it is again for those who haven't read it:

Paul Craig Roberts - A Futile Bailout as Darkness Falls on America

FoFoa - as you can see, you're video was used on main page - Excellent! Thanks


Justin_n_IL said...

You are welcome. Have you read this one from May of 2007?

"As the decade-long US consumption collapses from exhaustion, a secular bear market arises in which the bullish rebounds are smaller and do not wipe out the losses of the previous bear market. Because Asia's growth has been driven by low-wage exports, it will not be ready fill in as the global growth engine in time to prevent a global crash. China is just beginning to change its development model to boost worker income and household consumption and may take as long as a decade to see the full effects of the new policy. China's only option is to insulate itself from a global meltdown by resisting US pressure to speed up the opening of its financial markets. China's purchasing power is too weak to save the global economy from a deflationary depression.

A global financial crisis is inevitable. So much investment has been sunk into increasing commodity production that a commodity-market bust, while having the effect of a sudden tax cut for the consuming economies, will cause bankruptcies that will wipe out massive amounts of global capital.

A financial crisis could trigger a global economic hard landing. Global financial markets look suspiciously like a pyramid game in this overextended secular bull market. The proliferation of complex derivative products catering to short-term trading strategies that aim to get the biggest bang for the buck creates massive uncertainty surrounding leverage in the global financial system. A commodity burst could cause correlation trades to unwind in other markets, which could snowball quickly into a massive financial crisis."

That was a small portion of it.
Liquidity boom and looming crisis

Justin_n_IL said...

For those who haven't seen it Panzner's Oct. 7th article is a good read(concerning dollar rally)

jerry said...

It is 1:30 A.M. in Pittsburgh, and there is an Asian market meltdown. Paulson just doesn't know which way to go. He is like the unfortunate wagon trail being surrounded by hostile fire. There is no leadership anywhere. It is like he is roller skating on ice. He cannot find a direction and lacks any skills to figure it out. Congress gave the fool his gold key to the Treasury, but he cannot find where it goes.

I love the quote by Henry Liu, "Unlike real physical assets, virtual financial mirages that arise out of thin air can evaporate again into thin air without warning. As inflation picks up, the liquidity boom and asset inflation will draw to a close, leaving a hollowed economy devoid of substance...A global financial crisis is inevitable."

The United States really has no more assets that we can claim as our own. We have been hollowed out and all that is left is debt.

The FDIC stated that they can take up to 10 years to pay off bank depositor claims. The safest place to put one's money is actually under one's mattress!

Justin_n_IL said...

There is a lot of chatter about the Amero being sprung on us. Reports that China has already been shipped 800 billion Ameros. What have you guys heard about this? Here are some links concerning this.

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Anonymous said...

$800B Amero article was posted on earlier in the week - was hypothetical in nature.

So no. Don't believe the rumor

jerry said...

Here is an article about the Amero.

If it was a possibility, it would have to occur with the next president. The time has run out for Bush, in regards to such a significant change. Bush has never made a methodical decision, over time. He is a bulldozer plowing his way into an action. The war was his most drastic and hasty decision

The Amero would consider two other sovereign nations. I cannot see the Canadians going for it. They love their sovereignty and are nationalistic about their Loonie.

Too many open discussions, and negotiations would have to occur. Bush has run out of time for anything other that drastic decisions.

Justin_n_IL said...

Remember Naomi Wolf?

Justin_n_IL said...

Use of the heavy hand is coming. While it can be argued that the hand has been getting heavy for a long time it is blatantly obvious that the hand has gotten much bigger in size over the past 7 yrs. or so. Adding to the size thereof is something contained in the bailout bill.

IRS undercover operations:

Privacy invasion?
The bailout bill also gives the Internal Revenue Service new authority to conduct undercover operations. It would immunize the IRS from a passel of federal laws, including permitting IRS agents to run businesses for an extended sting operation, to open their own personal bank accounts with U.S. tax dollars, and so on. (Think IRS agents posing as accountants or tax preparers and saying, "I'm not sure if that deduction is entirely legal, but it'll save you $1,000. Want to take it?") That section had expired as of January 1, 2008, and would now be renewed.

Starting with the so-called Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1988, the IRS has possessed this authority temporarily, with occasional multiple-year lapses. A 1999 internal report said the IRS had 126 "trained undercover agents" working in field offices at the time. This is the first time that such undercover authority would be made permanent.

Sens. Max Baucus (D) and Chuck Grassley (R) have been pushing to make it permanent for a while, claiming (PDF) in April that: "Undercover operations are an integral part of IRS efforts to detect and prove noncompliance. The temporary status of this provision creates uncertainty, as the IRS plans its undercover efforts from year to year."

There's another section of the bailout bill worth noting. It lets the IRS give information from individual tax returns to any federal law enforcement agency investigating suspected "terrorist" activity, which can, in turn, share it with local and state police. Intelligence agencies such as the CIA and the National Security Agency can also receive that information.

The information that can be shared includes "a taxpayer's identity, the nature, source, or amount of his income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax withheld, deficiencies, overassessments, or tax payments, whether the taxpayer's return was, is being, or will be examined or subject to other investigation or processing, or any other data received by, recorded by, prepared by, furnished to, or collected by the Secretary with respect to a return."

That provision had already existed in federal law and automatically expired on January 1, 2008.

What's a little odd is that there's been little to no discussion of the IRS sections of the bailout bill, even though they raise privacy concerns. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said this week: "I will continue to work with congressional leaders to find a way forward to pass a comprehensive plan to stabilize our financial system and protect the American people by limiting the prospects of further deterioration in our economy." He never mentioned the necessity of additional IRS undercover operations.

Justin_n_IL said...

Riots in Hong Kong after heavy stock losses

Nikko said...


How about that global financial meltdown, eh.

Last month, I was a goldbug survivalist nut.

This week I'm a financial genius.

heh :)

Justin_n_IL said...

Now even the masses are starting to awaken to the jig being just that. The jig that's been paraded all over the world. One big jig and everybody (globalization) is drunk. Hatred will run rough shod across the landscape of man. A lot of pent up anger will soon turn into destructive motion. Such destructive motion will trample many under foot.

Doomer and gloomer? Ever heard of a realist? All of my views are coupled with my spiritual perception. I'm glad that they are, otherwise I would be absolutely terrified. Those of us who dare to peel back the mask of propaganda come face to face with a stark reality. An honest look at the nature/history of "man" yields an ugly story. We are still in the same world that played host to mass carnage during two world wars less than 100 years ago. This time the stakes will be even higher and the accompanying energy will be the likes of which "man" has never seen.

But hey, what do I know. I'll leave with the following quote from a song.

"When the future's architectured by a carnival of idiots on show....You'd better lie low"

Next Dimensions said...

I just want to thank Randy again for having this blog, and for everyone posting links and sharing information.

Let's continue to pool our efforts as all of this unfolds and remember to stay out of the way of the idiots who are going to be panicking/acting out when all of this hits them.

"Luck favors the prepared mind."

Justin_n_IL said...

Past and present.

Justin_n_IL said...

I'm seeing a lot of chatter pertaining to this. Just starting to delve into it myself. If this is accurate it's pretty freegin crazy. Yet it would be the kind of thing we should be expecting.

"The most painful part of HR3997 is the shift in the final bill. What was the shift? Unbeknownst to the American people, however, is that since September 20th, the $700 billion bailout bill signed into law by their President yesterday was expanded from its original 3 pages to a 451 page virtual novel of new laws virtually enslaving them to the foreign holders of their debt.

In addition, there are reports circulating in the Kremlin today are stating that the first deployment of Chinas elite People’s Armed Police (PAP) under an agreement signed between the United States and China, and US Homeowners Soon To Be Evicted By Chinese Police Under New Law HR3997.

Even more disturbing, these reports continue, are that these new laws not only give Chinese and European banks control over the mortgage debt of the American people, they now include their credit card balances, and which virtually the entire US populace have indebtedness to.

To how utterly chilling this new US law for the American people, titled the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Russian legal experts point out in these reports that:

Section 101 (a)(1) establishes what is termed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to which substantial portions of what the American people currently owe to their banks and financial institutions is to be turned over the US Government for redistribution to foreign banks.

Section 101(c)(3) Designates for the first time in American history these foreign banks as financial agents of Federal Government with full law enforcement authority over the citizens in the US.

Section 3 (b) allows the US Secretary of the Treasury to put any kind of debt, including credit card, home loans, personal loans, automobile loans, etc., into the TARP programme.

Section 112 allows the US Secretary of the Treasury to astoundingly extend financing to foreign banks to purchase the debt of the American people.

Section 112 (1)(a) allows the US Government to hold stocks in companies for the first time in their history and which completely destroys the capitalist economy of their Nation.

Section 119 (2)(a) gives the US Secretary of the Treasury dictatorial powers not reviewable by courts making this position the most powerful one in America.

Section 122 increases the US public debt to the incredible amount of $11,315,000,000,000 (Trillion)

Section 204 puts the United States under emergency economic rule and states, “all provisions of this Act are designated as an emergency requirement and necessary to meet emergency needs."

Louisa said...

A very interesting article in to the Alan Greenspan led Federal Reserve:

Anonymous said...

Jim Willie put out another dandy article.


Anonymous said...

When will the 15+ yr. impact of outsourcing (and its drive-down of real wages in the U.S.) factor in to the dialogue? The mortage melt down is not just a result of ARM's and Mortgage Securitization (per Fannie & Freddie). It's also a result of declining real earnings by many employees that are being outsourced. Indeed, our labor markets are under siege. Why isn't this being addressed? See: