Skip to comments.US Ponders: How Deep Is Economic Abyss?
Posted on 03/23/2008 7:09:53 PM PDT by oblomov
NEW YORK (AP) -- For months, Americans have been subjected to a sort of economic water torture -- a maddening drip of bad news about jobs, gas prices, sagging home values, creeping inflation, the slouching dollar and a stock market in bumpy descent.
Then came Bear Stearns. One of the five largest U.S. investment banks nearly collapsed in a single day before the government propped it up by backing emergency loans and a rival stepped in to buy it for a paltry $2 per share.
To the drumbeat of signs that seemed to foretell a traditional recession, this added a nightmarish specter -- an old-style run on the bank, customers clamoring to pull their cash, a stately Wall Street firm brought to its knees.
The combination has forced the economy to the forefront of the national conversation in a way it has not been since the go-go 1990s, and for entirely opposite reasons.
As economists and Wall Street types grope for historical perspective -- which is another way of saying a road map out of this mess -- Americans are nervously wondering about retirement savings, interest rates, jobs that had seemed safe.
They are surveying the economic landscape and asking: Just how bad is it?
They are peering over the edge and asking: How far down?
And the scariest part of all? No one can say for sure.
Even before the crippling of Bear Stearns, the U.S. economy was acting as a slowly tightening vise -- an interconnected web of factors combining to squeeze Americans from all sides.
Take Jaci Rae of Salinas, Calif. She runs a company, Luco Sport, that sells golf bags and accessories. The merchandise is made with foam, which is based on petroleum, so record oil prices have taken a heavy toll.
(Excerpt) Read more at biz.yahoo.com ...
No one can say for sure. .
but if you vote Democrat in November, we can bring an end to all of your anxiety MSM
It’s as deep as the oil is burried. Want someone to blame? Blame Congress. They stopped the Nuclear plants, they stopped the drilling, they stopped the refineries. Then they all got in bed with the oil princes in the Gulf and sold the Americans down the river for $100 dollars a barrel when it costs .50 cents a barrel to bring it up.
“How deep is the abyss?”
Until a Democrat is elected, only Democrats paying non-producer’s bills with someone else’s money will do.
Gary Kaltbaum http://www.garyk.com/
Links to his latest commentary here:
Major League Rotation By Gary Kaltbaum
March 20, 2008 10:00 AM ET
There is a very good chance the last of the bull market sectors have now entered their own private bear market... at least for the near term. These are the sectors I have been writing about as holding up during the carnage. This includes GOLD/SILVER, OIL, COMMODITIES, FERTILIZERS and AGRICULTURE. They have been the only game in town thus a lot of late money and a lot of momentum money flooded in. That cuts both ways as momentum is twice as quick to get out... thus the recent yonking. I do believe there is a longer term bull market in the COMMODITIES but there was no way they could keep the rate of ascent they have been experiencing.
That leads me to the potential good side of the equation. I am a big believer in inter-market work. That simply means if OIL goes down, what benefits? If COMMODITIES drop, what benefits? I believe there is a good chance that we are going to see rotation into areas that have been dead in the water... how about RETAIL, RESTAURANTS, TRAVEL , TRANSPORTS and the like.
You get where I am going with this. If we do not get rotation into these areas... look out as the market will break. If we do get rotation, I expect the market to hold.
BIS (Bank of International Settlements) reports about $600 TRILLION of notional obligations which could come due at any given moment. Apparently BS was going under because of this (14 trillion) which was beginning to unwind. Given to Morgan-Chase (who had about 70 trillion). Notional value becomes actual value upon demand performance by the purchacer of the derivitive. If performance is impossible, then those in line become victims. This is very dangerous gambling. Totally irresponsible.
The Abyss is large because the debt was sold, the collateral is overseas in their banks.
The out of control gov’t spending has nothing to do eith it, right? Throw the bums out!
A woman I work with mentioned a “recession coming up” a few months back. I asked her if she was doing worse economically, or anything of the sort and she said “no”. I then asked her what she was personally concerned about, and she couldn’t give me an answer, she just gave me an add look, as if I was crazy for asking such a question. I think with most people, the media ‘announces’ there is a recession, and the sheeple just fall in line and behave like there is one.
It’s a “media created crisis”.
I agree with Kaltbaum. I think we will see a big pullback in commodities here. Commodities have been a leveraged trade for a lot of hedge funds, and now the financial system is being de-leveraged.
a result no doubt of economic global warming.
Bear-Stearns at $2 a share us not media created. A quick series of interest rate cuts is not media created. A foolish stimulus package hastily assembled is not media created. $111 dollar a barrel oil is not media created. We are in for a serious ride. And it was mostly caused by our policies in the domestic production of energy. Our environmental, tax, and social regulations have produced the business environment we now endure. It is not looking good. No matter how you try to explain away the enormous increase in the expense of oil, that increase will have an effect. It is happening now.
Each of them should that voted for such must be hanged ,drawn and quartered. Then buried in unmarked graves in Mexico.
“I asked her if she was doing worse economically, or anything of the sort and she said no.”
Maybe she doesn’t buy gas and grows her own food.
Last figures I saw for JP Morgan was a $97.3 trillion exposure to derivatives.
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