Tuesday, 16 September 2008

America 's Financial Apocalypse Heralds Decade Long Depression

Despite attempts made by Greenspan and Bernanke, there is no way to avert the payback period that has been building for over two decades. Over this stretch, America has consumed much more than it has produced. As a result, both consumer and federal debt have ballooned to record levels. And now, the payback period is upon us. The bailout buffet won't end with Fannie and Freddie. There's a lot more where that came from because the “Fed's food court” remains open, as does that of the U.S. Treasury. In fact, the autos are in the process of being bailed out with $50 billion in “loans.” I expect the airlines to also receive some form of a bailout as well.
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Altogether, we have had eight years of no gains in real median wages, flat stock market returns, and minimal net new jobs. Despite what you have heard, after adjusting for debt spending, population growth and realistic adjustments to the GDP deflator, there have only been 3 or 4 quarters of GDP growth since 2005. If you adjust for military, government and minimum wage positions – i.e. jobs funded by tax payers and jobs that don't pay anything - there have been absolutely no net new jobs. Bush's largest gains have been with inflation, oil and food prices, debt, trade deficits, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and healthcare costs. If an assembly of the world's leading economic strategists were to design the most destructive economic disaster possible, they could not match the results of Bush's tenure. Even the most loyal Bush supporters will admit he has been an absolute disaster – that is if they're being honest. America is now more dependent on foreign nations than ever – not only for oil, but also credit and manufactured goods.
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Taxpayers are now on the hook for billions of dollars of potentially worthless debt held by Fannie and Freddie. It's now official. America 's free market economy is really a socialist system for corporations. One could argue this to be a form of Fascism. My best estimate for losses due to the Fannie and Freddie taxpayer bailout are between $200 to $500 billion. The worst case scenario would be $800 billion. If this economy is resilient, I can't wait to see how it magically bounces back. When Superman fails to show up, Washington might consider giving David Copperfield a call. But this would be one illusion he won't be able to pull off. Get the popcorn ready.

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article6256.html

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, September 16th, 2008.]

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