Monday, August 31, 2009

Comments made in the year 1955

Sent to me by my father - yes dad, I read your damned emails ;>)

My 2 cents: After reading the comments below made 54 years ago, think for a moment - why has everything become so expensive since then? Answer: The Gvt has a planned agenda to devalue your money slowly over time (inflation).

Why would the government want to devalue your money? Well, all money in circulation today was actually borrowed into existence and it has to be paid back with interest. Problem is, that interest also has to be borrowed into existence. Realize however, that when it's the government doing all this borrowing, the debt never gets paid back, it merely gets rolled over into larger and larger loans over time (allowing our politicians to spend like drunken soldiers for their pet projects - in order to satisfy their financial backers and constituents who help them get reelected - but I digress) - thus all this borrowing creates higher quantities of currency (electronic or paper) - devaluing those dollars already in existance (more dollars chasing the same number of goods and services).

My main point and your take-away: The inflation rates you surmise from below, though seemingly high when looked at in hindsight - from todays lens - will pale in comparison to what we are likely to experience in the not so distant future - when the real inflation wave hits (due to a loss of faith in our currency and leadership) and the ensuing currency collapse will cause a hyperinflationary event that will bring us to our knees... for a period of time anyway - until a new currency (Amero?) is found and used to replace our worthless dollar.

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." -- Henry Ford

Comments made in the year 1955 - enjoy!

'I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.00.

'Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one.

'If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. 25 cents a pack is ridiculous.

'Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 10 cents just to mail a letter

'If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

'When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

'I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.

'I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas.

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.

'I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.

'It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.

'It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

'I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.

'Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to government.

'The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nasty weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

'There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.

'No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a day in the hospital, it's too rich for my blood.'

'If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it.'

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Debt Slave

This video (especially the beginning) is quite disturbing and is not for the faint of heart (you've been warned). It is however very powerful in making it's point - that we've all been programmed, lied to and bamboozled throughout our lives - programmed to be ignorant of the real issues that matter; to think like a herd of sheep and wrap our lives around materialism and debt - to feed the commercialistic profit making mechanisms (the industries, corporations and banks) who own and control our government through their puppet master strings.

We as humans basically just want to be happy - but we wrongly believe it can be achieved through materialistic purchases - thinking: "if I only had that new car or big house I would be happy and fulfilled, like all those smiling people in the commercial"; "if only I had that three karat ring I would be the talk of the office, the girls would be jealous and I would look accomplished"; "that new 650 quad runner certainly would make me content and I'd be a man's-man to boot" (as it sits in the garage quickly depreciating after a couple months of use).

Face it people: Materialism doesn't bring long-term happiness and buyer's remorse is typically the end result after the novelty wears off. Are the many years of debt service and a stretched family budget really worth the purchase? Are you really any happier now that you live in a big house? Are you really any more successful or smarter because you now drive a Mercedes? Is that $1,500 brand-name suit really any better than a $300 suit.

We as a society have been programmed to chase each other through an impossible dream of material happiness, yet we're blind to the fact that the "everyone else" that we aspire to be are merely just sheeple - brainwashed people not in control of their thoughts or lives and mindlessly following each other (like sheep) to a debt-slaved destiny and slaughter - think about it!

Please don't immediately discredit this information without trying to think outside the box for a few minutes. Allow yourself to ponder the message and if you have any inkling that it's factual, make an attempt to free yourself from the mainstream thought controlling tentacles of our corporate owned programming medium - television (turn the damned thing off) - and try to then think outside the box regarding other issues and areas of your life. Know that your mind is free - question everything, think for yourself, read daily and nourish your head with truth - do not be nor follow the sheeple to a debt slave prison!

Related post: Brains filled with mush while our nation crumbles

Best regards


Friday, August 28, 2009

Comedy relief - you're going to love this one!

Get ready for a few belly laughs everyone - all the more hysterical because it's based on the surreal reality we're living today!

Tim Hawkins absolutely slammed it out of the park with this one... Tim, you sir are my new hero - well done!

Who can do anything? Of course - the government can!

Hat tip to Iconoclast and Justin for sharing! (recieved the link from both today)

Looking for another laugh? Try either or both of these:

Should the Government Stop Throwing money into a giant hole?

Real Estate Downfall - A Hitler Perspective

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Open Forum

Please use this forum to post up interesting links, hold a discussion, etc.

Snapshot: Las Vegas Commercial Real Estate

US News & World report

The worst of the housing bust might finally be over, but another real estate tsunami is about to swamp many American cities. This time, it will be office buildings and retail space going vacant and facing foreclosure.

Like housing, commercial real estate goes through booms and busts, and the coming wipeout is likely to be a doozy. Commercial developers went on their own spending spree earlier this decade, racing to cash in on the hot economy with new office towers, hotel complexes, and retail projects. Banks supplied hundreds of billions of dollars in loans, often assuming that rents paid by tenants would keep going up. "The assumption was that the good times would go on forever," says Victor Calanog, director of research for REIS, a real-estate-research firm.

Commercial rents have begun to plunge as companies downsize, warehouses empty, merchants go out of business, and huge retailers like Starbucks and Macy's close underperforming stores and demand rent reductions. Office and retail vacancy rates are near record levels and going higher, and developers are about to face crunch time as billions in loans come due for repayment or refinancing over the next three years. Like homeowners who are "under water" on their mortgages, many of those developers owe more than their buildings are now worth.

Las Vegas: What happens in Vegas depends on the rest of the American economy, and until Americans start to feel wealthy again, travel (and gambling) budgets will remain crimped. Southern Nevada already suffers from one of the worst housing busts in the nation and a 12.3 percent unemployment rate. Vegas had a hot hand earlier this decade, which led to lots of commercial construction. But nearly one fifth of Sin City's commercial space will stay vacant until tourists, conventioneers, and their cash start to return.

Las Vegas Sun

A tsunami of commercial real estate foreclosures is on the horizon and is threatening banks and undermining developers who are already struggling with high vacancy rates

New York-based Real Capital Analytics’ recent report ranked Las Vegas second behind New York and ahead of Los Angeles when it comes to troubled commercial properties. The value of troubled loans has grown from $4.7 billion in early 2008 to $6.4 billion, said Jessica Ruderman, a senior market analyst with the firm.

That’s 26 percent of the commercial market either in default or that has been foreclosed upon. That includes office, industrial, retail, hotels, casinos, condominiums and apartments, Ruderman said.

Brokerages are reporting record office vacancy rates as high as 20 percent to 25 percent, when including subleases. Retail vacancy is approaching 10 percent and in some cases has doubled over the past year. One brokerage reported industrial vacancies have surpassed 11 percent.

Consulting firm Applied Analysis reported a vacancy rate of 65 percent of offices opened in the past year, many in the southwest valley.

“We have seen it occur in the residential market, but we have yet to fully face it in the commercial,” said Jeremy Aguero, a principal at Applied Analysis.

Las Vegas Sun

Unemployment and the recession are taking a toll on Las Vegas’ commercial real estate, driving up vacancies and prompting landlords to trim lease rates.

Three brokerages agree that the office vacancy rate passed 20 percent at the end of the second quarter.

Retail and industrial vacancies, although much lower than office, are rising sharply as well, according to the firms.

CB Richard Ellis reported a retail vacancy rate as high as 12.6 percent in the second quarter.

“Given that we are losing jobs right now, we are probably going to continue to see occupancy decrease through the rest of this year,” said Stater, who added, “we are dealing with more than just the problem of the recession ... We have a lot of issues to work through in Las Vegas. It will probably be two to three years before we have any major new development.”

The problem with commercial real estate is too much supply, Stater said. There is a supply of 3.3 years of industrial, 7.9 years of office and 2.7 years of retail space. A normal level would be eight to 10 months, he said.

There is an excess of 6 million square feet of industrial, 4.7 million square feet of office and 2 million square feet of retail space, Stater said.

There are 850,000 square feet of distressed anchored retail space that increases to 2.2 million square feet when malls and other specialty space are added, Stater said. There are 900,000 square feet of distressed office space of which 450,000 square feet are owned by banks or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

This distressed space will be sold at low prices and when it comes on line, that will push down rents, Stater said.

Las Vegas Sun

Analyst: LV keeps spot at top of list of distressed properties.

The number of commercial properties facing foreclosure tapered off over the summer, but that hasn’t prevented Las Vegas from holding onto its No. 1 ranking for distressed buildings and development.

In its August report that tracks the market through the end of June, New York-based Real Capital Analytics said Las Vegas had 168 troubled assets valued at $9.2 billion. That is down from $9.4 billion in its July report and $9.7 billion in its June report.

The slowdown comes after distressed properties rose 52 percent during the spring.

“It has been consistent, but I still think it gets worse before it gets better,” said Jessica Ruderman, a senior analyst at Real Capital Analytics.

Of the distressed properties, about $1 billion or less than 10 percent have been resolved, Ruderman said. Resolving them means they have been sold, refinanced or a new tenant has been found, she said.

John Restrepo, principal of Restrepo Consulting, said he has heard reports about lenders trying to work with developers and property owners because they know there are no buyers for those properties.

“If they take the properties, they have to manage and maintain them and get them leased up or finished if they are under construction,” Restrepo said. “They are finding it’s better to work with an established good developer.”

Restrepo said that may not last. As the job market worsens, vacancy rates are likely to increase and banks will face more pressure from federal regulators to dispose of underperforming assets. He said the market won’t know until 2010 how big the commercial foreclosure wave is.

“All bets are off if the economy worsens,” he said.

Las Vegas’ No. 1 ranking from Real Capital Analytics is based on the percentage of commercial property in distress rather than raw numbers. Detroit was No. 2.

In its August report, the firm breaks down the $9.2 billion in distressed properties to $6.5 billion in commercial properties that are “troubled,” $692 million are having loans restructured or extended and $2 billion in properties foreclosed by lenders.

Development properties fared the worst with $4.6 billion in distress. That was followed by $1.8 billion in retail properties and $1.5 billion in hotels. Retail distressed properties have grown by about $100 million to 6.7 million square feet, up from 5.8 million in the last report.

Other distressed properties include 37 apartment complexes at $907 million; $51 million in industrial and $72 million in miscellaneous commercial.


I recall a post - back in Feb 2006 (LINK)- where I stated that this bubble too would one day pop

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

FDIC is broke - Bank Holiday?

Agency that insures bank deposits may need help

NEW YORK — The government agency that guarantees you won't lose your money in a bank failure may need a lifeline of its own.

The coffers of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. have been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that analysts warn it could sink into the red by the end of this year.

That has happened only once before — during the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s, when the FDIC was forced to borrow $15 billion from the Treasury and repay it later with interest.

On Thursday, the agency reveals how much is left in its reserves. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair may also use the quarterly briefing to say how the agency plans to shore up its accounts.

Small and midsize banks across the country have been hurt by rising loan defaults in the recession. When they fail, the FDIC is responsible for making sure depositors don't lose a cent.

It has two options to replenish its insurance fund in the short run: It can charge banks higher fees or it can take the more radical step of borrowing from the U.S. Treasury (my 2cents - it already baked in the cake).

None of this means bank customers have anything to worry about. The FDIC is fully backed by the government, which means depositors' accounts are guaranteed up to $250,000 per account. And it still has billions in loss reserves apart from the insurance fund.

On Thursday, Bair will also update the number of banks on the FDIC's list of troubled institutions. That number shot up to 305 in the first quarter — the highest since 1994 and up from 252 late last year.

Because of the surging bank failures, the FDIC's board voted Wednesday to make it easier for private investors to buy failed financial institutions.

Private equity funds have been criticized for taking too many risks and paying managers too much. But these days fewer healthy banks are willing to buy ailing banks, and the depth of the banking crisis appears to have softened the FDIC's resistance to private buyers.

Under the new rules, a buyer would need to maintain the failed bank's reserves at levels equal to 10 percent of its assets. An earlier proposal set the requirement at 15 percent.

The new policy also eases the rules on when private investors must maintain minimum levels of capital that might be needed to bolster banks they own.

But the FDIC sought to guard against private equity funds that might want to quickly buy and sell at a profit: It required the investors to maintain a bank's minimum capital levels for three years.

At least in theory, allowing private investors to buy failing banks would mean the FDIC could charge a higher price, shrinking the amount of losses the agency would have to cover.

Bair has not ruled out hiking premiums on banks for the second time this year or asking the Treasury for a short-term loan. She has said taking the longer-term step of drawing on the Treasury credit line is only for emergencies.

So far this year, 81 banks have failed (here is the list of failed banks if interested: link), compared with just 25 last year — and only three in 2007. Hundreds more banks are expected to fall in coming years because of souring loans for commercial real estate. That threatens to deplete the FDIC's fund.

"I think the public should expect the fund to go negative at some point," said Gerard Cassidy, a banking analyst at RBC Capital Markets, which has predicted that up to 1,000 banks — or one in eight — could disappear within three years.

Either lifeline for the FDIC carries risks. Borrowing from the Treasury could be seen as another taxpayer bailout. But charging more in premiums would shrink profits at healthy banks, squeeze troubled ones and make lending even tighter.

"The more you levy these assessments on banks, the less money they have to lend to the general population," said Camden Fine, president of the Independent Community Bankers of America, an industry group that represents 5,000 banks.

Last week's failure of Guaranty Bank in Texas, the second-largest this year, is expected to cost the FDIC $3 billion. The FDIC recorded more than $19 billion in losses just through March.

The agency figures it will need $70 billion to cover bank failures through 2013, more than five times the $13 billion that was in the fund in March. The last time it was that low was during the S&L crisis in 1992, when the fund was down to $178 million.

Some critics say regulators have taken too long to shut down troubled banks. Chicago's Corus Bankshares, for example, has staggered for weeks under the weight of bad real estate loans.

FDIC spokesman Andrew Gray said the agency seeks to strike a balance between helping troubled banks work through their problems "so there's zero cost to the deposit fund," and intervening quickly if there are no other options.

Bank Holiday in the fall - Dollar Devaluation - Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

US Dollar Articles

Returned home from work late this evening, found several of these in my in-box (Hat tip FOFOA and Justin) and felt I should share with a wider audience - hope you enjoy.

Why the dollar is doomed - Moneyweek

Snippets: And that's scary. Because what's unfolding now is the same response that followed every bubble under Greenspan's regime and the pattern is clear. Create a bubble. Deny the bubble exists. Then, when it pops, argue that your only responsibility is to clean up the mess. You do this by making money ever cheaper, encouraging careless lending and inflating another bubble.

You might have thought the system had hit breaking point this time. But it seems not. An unfettered financial sector, fuelled by a never-ending supply of free money, seems once again to be our chosen route out of this bust and on to the next bubble.

China has already spent large quantities of recycled dollars on upgrading its infrastructure (the country already has nearly as many miles of motorway as the US does) and cornering the market in various commodities (rare earth metals, for example). In the meantime, it has managed to manoeuvre itself into a position where it holds the fate of its biggest rival's currency in the palm of its hand.

The end of the dollar's status as reserve currency may be a long time coming. But I suspect it will arrive more quickly and with more upheaval, than anyone realises.

As Budget Deficit Grows, So Do Doubts on Dollar - WSJ

Snippets: "There has been a lot of disappointment with the way the U.S. credit crisis was handled," says Claire Dissaux, managing director of global economics and strategy for Millennium Global Investments Ltd., a London investment firm specializing in currencies. "The dollar's loss of influence is a steady and long-term trend."

On Tuesday, the Obama administration added fuel to concerns about the dollar, saying the U.S. will run a cumulative budget deficit of $9 trillion over the next 10 years, $2 trillion more than it had previously projected.

"That's going to be negative for the dollar," says Adam Boyton, a currency analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in New York. President Barack Obama also reappointed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose efforts to rescue the economy have won praise, but have also entailed pumping large amounts of freshly created dollars into the financial system.

Now, though, major investors like Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett and bond investment firm Pimco fear the government's fiscal and monetary stimulus programs could end up fueling inflation in coming years and hammering the dollar.

Investors are also growing more comfortable with the idea of emerging economies like China, Russia and Brazil playing a bigger role in shaping international finance. Some analysts, including Pimco portfolio manager Curtis Mewbourne, say emerging economies have a unique opportunity to use the crisis to reduce their reliance on the U.S. dollar., which tends to account for the lion's share of their foreign-exchange reserves.

IMF adopts irrigation plan during a flood - Asia Times discussion on Reserve currency, IMF, SDR's and gold!

Snippets: Money creation out of nothing by central banks and the IMF could intensify inflationary pressure and accelerate the depreciation of reserve currencies. It could later abort economic recovery. Inflationary episodes following rapid money printing have been numerous, with startling experiences that included the French assignats, the German hyperinflation, and the recent Zimbabwe inflation. The US dollar has already depreciated at an annual rate of 10% relative to gold since 1971.

As in many inflationary episodes of the past, non-reserve central banks would have no choice except to hold gold as a safe asset against reserve currency depreciation. A rush toward gold and other tangible assets could accelerate the depreciation of reserve currencies, and impede world trade.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Washington Town hall with a Marine Vet

An excellent video - representative of the changing times in America. The silent majority are becoming vocal and are demanding that their elected representatives listen... This is not about Republican vs Democrat - this is about right and wrong, about the future of our red, white and blue; it's about being a good American regardless of political affiliation.

These truly are tectonic times folks. As I stated to my father in an email earlier today:
"We are no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. We are a government that is controlled, bought and paid for by corporations, banks and special interests groups - but I don’t think these elected leaders will really wake up until they see a few of their brethren hanging from lamp-posts. Now I don’t condone this action, but I do anticipate we will see it in the not too distant future, as I smell a revolution brewing."

With that said, enjoy the video below - where a disabled Marine vet tears his congressman (Brian Baird, 3rd District, Washington) a new one...

Better listen up dear elected leaders - you swore to defend the Constitution and your constituents plan to ensure that you do!

Comments below from the young Marine vet posted on his youtube video page:

I, David William Hedrick, a member of the silent majority, decided that I was not going to be silent anymore. So, I let U.S. Congressman Brian Baird have it. I was one questioner out of 38, that was called at random from an audience that started at 3,000 earlier in the evening. Not expecting to be called on, I quickly scratched what I wanted to say on a borrowed piece of paper and with a pen that I borrowed from someone else in the audience minutes before I spoke. So much for the planned talking points of the right wing conspiracy.

Well done David - Semper Fi! (translation for those uninitiated: "always faithful")

And to all my readers, please remember: Your freedom is anything but free!

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Weekend Funnies - 23 Aug 09

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hundreds of NY dealers pull out of clunker program

NEW YORK (AP) - Hundreds of auto dealers in the New York area have withdrawn from the government's Cash for Clunkers program, citing delays in getting reimbursed by the government, a dealership group said Wednesday.

The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which represents dealerships in the New York metro area, said about half its 425 members have left the program because they cannot afford to offer more rebates. They're also worried about getting repaid.

"(The government) needs to move the system forward and they need to start paying these dealers," said Mark Schienberg, the group's president. "This is a cash-dependent business."

The program offers up to $4,500 to shoppers who trade in vehicles getting 18 mpg or less for a more fuel-efficient car or truck. Dealers pay the rebates out of pocket, then must wait to be reimbursed by the government. But administrative snags and heavy paperwork have created a backlog of unpaid claims.

Schienberg said the group's dealers have been repaid for only about 2 percent of the clunkers deals they've made so far.

Many dealers have said they are worried they won't get repaid at all, while others have waited so long to get reimbursed they don't have the cash to fund any more rebates, Schienberg said.

NY dealers pull out of clunkers program

After reading the AP report above, I can only surmise that this "slow/non-payment" issue is likely affecting dealers nationwide - a mere 2% NY repayment rate - Wow! I would say unbelievable, but nothing really shocks me anymore...

Hat tip Justin for link!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Will US Banking System Collapse 2009?

I don't know if it will collapse, but I do feel that we're still in the early stages of this crisis and believe it's much better to be a prepared alarmist than an unprepared victim. While I don't agree with all the viewpoints and terminology presented in this video (controversial to say the least) some valid points are made. So, watch the video and come to your own conclusion.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


It's official, trillion is the new billion. No longer is government spending talked about in terms of a mere ten digits. With the recent flurry of government spending and bailouts another three zeros is required to pay all the rapidly increasing bills.

One trillion dollars is a number that few people can comprehend, let alone the $11.8 trillion dollar US National Debt (running debt clock below)...

The National Debt:

Or how about our Government's Unfunded liabilities, which is > $100 trillion today - according to "Social Security and Medicare Projections: 2009," National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No. 662, June 11, 2009 (link)

Ok, so how much is one trillion dollars?

Bottom line and takeaway from this post:

My friends, there is absolutely no way the American Gvt can pay for these obligations (bailouts, national debt, unfunded liabilities, etc) aside from a hyperinflationary blowout. This country is quietly/quickly being sent into receivership by the architects of the New World Order and over the next several years, Americans will suffer a collapse in their standard of living - caused by a collapse in the value of their currency (Dollar: Faltering Foundation of US Economic Strength).

Unless something is immediately done to drastically cut government spending and end the Federal Reserve system of unlimited credit, our future looks bleak.

3rd World America

Social Consequences of an economic meltdown