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.
“How Deep Is Economic Abyss?”
We could find out by electing Her Thighness. Wall Street will plummet.
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. Sounds about right...
Not true. I'm no different. These economic times have had a minor effect on me personally. If nothing else, my family is probably better off than we have ever been. Sure fuel costs are higher, and groceries are a bit more expensive, but I have yet to NOT drive somewhere I was planning on driving because of gasoline prices being higher, and we are continuing to purchase groceries as we aways have.
That about sums it all up. Add Congress to getting involved in market manipulation of housing as well.
I am happy for you and not bitter your doing well. If your wealth was honestly earned and you wish to keep it, you had better get active with knowing all the facts and get ready to get involved in responsible politics, investing in American energy independence or both. Because at the end of the day, you will also feel the pain if you don’t, you and your family will just feel it 3-4 years from now.
This author seems to have forgotten the year 2001.
I agree. And I get the impression that Gary is looking for that rotation to happen. He was one of the first “bears” in the room and was almost alone in there.
He has always said that when the room finally gets crowded wall to wall when everyone is talking about fearing another “Great Depression”, he knows that it’s almost time for him to get out of that room as the market has just about bottomed by then.
I think that if he gets that rotation he’s looking for, he’ll start buying while the others are still holding hands in the bear room. :)
Many of my coworkers drive more than 30 miles to get to work, not untypical in southern California. Gasoline costs are killing their budgets. It’s not journalistic hype out here.
My grandfather...who lived to be a hundred...commented once on the early 1930s, Alabama and the depression. As he said...it came and went...and no one locally noticed much of anything. Those in rural America and on farms...just kept growing and selling. They all found jobs to bring in money and no one starved to death. The few who did leave the area...all went to California...and three decades later...they were all enormously rich.
I suspect that we all have some magic feeling over the word “depression” and think of it as the pit. The only ones who truly suffered out of this period...were wealthy millionaires who gambled big and lost big.
You’re leaving out a large group who are equally responsible: the voters who keep putting these criminals back in office.
I agree with you. Things are going extremely well for me and my family. Furthermore, the company I work for supplies equipment to heavy industry and our business has never been better and that’s saying something for a +70 year old company.
I just can't let this nonsense go unchallenged.
The Great Depression caused enormous suffering throughout America.
Many people had no work and no money. That translated into no food. This was not just among the wealthy or in small pockets of the country. There were soup lines and many able-bodied men "rode the rails" looking for work somewhere.. anywhere.
My own grandmother in rural West Virginia would often see strangers show up offering to do any kind of chores for food because they were hungry.
Many farmers lost everything because they couldn't raise the money to continue paying even their small mortgages.
The Great Depression was a terrible time for millions of Americans.
My 81-year-old father-in-law said he remembers you could buy a bottle of soda pop for a nickel but NOBODY HAD A NICKEL.
America suffered more than 30% unemployment and the political upheaval was tremendous. The psychological devastation and feeling of despair and helplessness of that period affected everyone who experienced it for the rest of their lives.
We cannot face the truth about the future when denying the truth about the past.
Just because one Alabama farmer's recollection of the Great Depression was not painful does not mean the rest of the country did not suffer horribly.
Ah yes, “the look”; no doubt tacit recognition, if only briefly, that you haven’t been sufficiently worked over. I get that a lot. :)
OK, so, just how are we to spend ourselves out of this mess with hyper-stagflation in place and gaining momentum? Just ask those in Kalifornika and the debt the state is running.....looks like all the college education in the world can't provide common sense, integrity and conservative fiscal policy.
Haven't heard any reports of farmers not rotating their growing patterns/exhausting the topsoil. Yet.
“Just ask those in Kalifornika “
Mexifornia is the preferred term out here.
My bad, sorry....libs and illegals... 3/4 of the problems with that state.