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ECONOMICS AND ESOTERICA FOR A NEW PARADIGM

Posts Tagged ‘financial destruction

From bad to worse: The economy today, and tomorrow

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by Giordano Bruno
Posted originally in Neithercorp Press
Dec 7, 2010

AT FIRST WE WERE TOLD THE AMERICAN ECONOMY WAS A FREIGHT TRAIN: INVINCIBLE. After the derivatives and mortgage crisis began in 2007-2008, we were told the problem was a mere blip in our financial timeline; nothing to be concerned about. In 2009, we were told that the recession was over, and that “green shoots” were on the way. Later, they said we were “turning the corner”, whatever that means.

In 2010, we were told it was time to get used to the “new normal”, which of course has yet to be clearly defined. Now, at the cusp of 2011, the year which many establishment economists originally claimed would bring a bright new era in U.S. employment and finance, it has become clear to much of the public that we are being deliberately herded with empty words and false promises towards a very dangerous and uncertain future.

We have discovered that there is no “new normal”. The word “normal” denotes a certain consistency, a set of rules to the system which are generally understood, yet we have seen nothing consistent except the continued downward freefall of our fiscal infrastructure and the end of anything remotely resembling stability.

I feel quite a bit of empathy and maybe even a little remorse for those who blindly believed the mainstream nonsense of the past few years. I can’t imagine being so lost and so utterly disappointed on such a regular basis. The only good to come out of this dashing of false hopes is that it has caused many to begin questioning what the hell is really happening. Why have things only become worse? What about all the government legislation and stimulus? When is it finally going to produce the effects that were once guaranteed? In fact, what are the benefits of ANY action the government or the private Federal Reserve has taken so far?

Let’s look at financial conditions across the globe and here at home, and perhaps we can gain a true understanding of the situation before us, and find answers for some of these questions…

Europe: American instability with an accent?

How many times over this summer did we hear about the bailout that “saved” the EU? About as much as we heard about the bailouts that supposedly saved America.

In spring, the MSM was warning of complete disintegration of the European Union. After the Greek bailout, all was suddenly well. The turnaround in rhetoric was enough to give me whiplash. I’m curious now as to where all that candy-coated bubbly adoration for European bonds and the Euro went. When I warned during the “summer of bailout love” that nothing had changed in the EU accept the media’s coverage of the problem, this is what I was talking about…

As we have been pointing out for the past two years, the debt default problems in the EU are not going away, nor are they likely to go away for quite some time. Greece, for instance, is now under review for yet another ratings downgrade by the S&P:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-03/greece-s-credit-rating-may-be-cut-by-s-p-as-eu-rules-threaten-bondholders.html

All the exuberance over the IMF/EU bailout of Greece this spring was for naught, as the country continues to falter with no end to their debt woes in sight. The bailout changed nothing (because bailouts never do). This lesson in Greece has apparently made no impression on mainstream media analysts and international investors, who now applaud a similar bailout of Ireland, and who will probably applaud the bailouts of Portugal, Spain, and Italy, once it finally becomes evident to the public that those countries are in equally terrible financial conditions.

Credit-default swaps for Portugal and Spain have risen to record levels as their debt exposure, which has been ignored by the MSM until this past month, is slowly revealed:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-29/corporate-bond-risk-falls-in-europe-credit-default-swaps-show.html

This means that the cost of insuring Portuguese or Spanish debt securities is becoming untenable. Like a couple of convicted drunk drivers, the risk of insuring them is tremendous. The likelihood of a crash is simply too high.

Italian bank refinancing costs are also exploding due to the unsustainable debt of the government, meaning an expanded credit crisis is looming for Italians (could this signal a coming bank holiday?):
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-02/italian-banks-refinancing-costs-soar-on-contagion-concern-nation-s-debts.html

Ireland and every other EU nation’s response to this disaster will, obviously, be the implementation of austerity measures in order to pay off their IMF creditors. Ireland has already announced a possible 20% cut in overall spending and the simultaneous raising of taxes; a double whammy for Irish citizens who will now lose many government aid programs while at the same time losing valuable income out of their pocket:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-24/ireland-plans-to-reduce-spending-20-raise-taxes-as-rescue-talks-climax.html

Countries that find themselves this indebted to the IMF rarely if ever actually improve conditions enough to pay off their liabilities, and that is not an accident. Global bankers have no intention of ever releasing EU nations from their clutches. The debt cycle must go on forever…

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