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Everything posted by thefinalbear

  1. WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after unexpected existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke shocked Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just a meaningless and intangible social construct. What began as a routine report before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday ended with Bernanke passionately disavowing the entire concept of currency, and negating in an instant the very foundation of the world's largest economy. "Though raising interest rates is unlikely at the moment, the Fed will of course act appropriately if we…if we…" said Bernanke, who then paused for a moment, looked down at his prepared statement, and shook his head in utter disbelief. "You know what? It doesn't matter. None of this—this so-called 'money'—really matters at all." "It's just an illusion," a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. "Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless." According to witnesses, Finance Committee members sat in thunderstruck silence for several moments until Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) finally shouted out, "Oh my God, he's right. It's all a mirage. All of it—the money, our whole economy—it's all a lie!" Screams then filled the Senate Chamber as lawmakers and members of the press ran for the exits, leaving in their wake aisles littered with the remains of torn currency. As news of the nation's collectively held delusion spread, the economy ground a halt, with dumbfounded citizens everywhere walking out on their jobs as they contemplated the little green drawings of buildings and dead white men they once used to measure their adequacy and importance as human beings. At the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday morning's opening bell echoed across a silent floor as the few traders who arrived for work out of habit looked up blankly at the meaningless scrolling numbers on the flashing screens above. "I've spent 25 years in this room yelling 'Buy, buy! Sell, sell!' and for what?" longtime trader Michael Palermo said. "All I've done is move arbitrary designations of wealth from one column to another, wasting my life chasing this unattainable hallucination of wealth." "What a cruel cosmic joke," he added. "I'm going home to hug my daughter." Sources at the White House said President Obama was "still trying to get his head around all this" and was in seclusion with his coin collection, muttering "it's just metal, it's just metal" over and over again. "The president will be making a statement very soon," press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters. "At the moment, though, his mind is just too blown to comment." A few U.S. banks have remained open, though most teller windows are unmanned due to a lack of interest in transactions involving mere scraps of paper or, worse, decimal points and computer data signifying mere scraps of paper. At a Bank of America branch in Spokane, WA, curious former customers wandered aimlessly through a large empty vault, while several would-be robbers of a Chase bank in Columbus, OH reportedly put their guns down and exited the building hand in hand with security guards, laughing over the inherent absurdity of the idea of $100 bills. Likewise, the real estate industry has all but vanished, with mortgage lenders seeing no reason to stop people from reclaiming their foreclosed-upon homes. "I don't even know what we were thinking in the first place," said former banker Nathan Collins of Brandon, MS, as he jimmyed open a door to allow a single mother and her five children to move back into their house. "A bunch of people sign a bunch of papers, and now this family has no place to live? That's just plain ludicrous." The realization that money is nothing more than an elaborate head game seems to have penetrated the entire country: In Wilmington, DE, for instance, a collection agent reportedly broke down in joyful sobs when he informed a woman on the other end of the phone that he had absolutely no reason to harass her anymore, as her Discover Card debt was no longer comprehensible. For some Americans, the fog of disbelief surrounding the nation's epiphany has begun to lift, with many building new lives free from the illusion of money. "It's back to basics for me," Bernard Polk of Waverly, OH said. "I'm going to till the soil for my own sustenance and get anything else I need by bartering. If I want milk, I'll pay for it in tomatoes. If need a new hoe, I'll pay for it in lettuce." When asked, hypothetically, how he would pay for complicated life-saving surgery for a loved one, Polk seemed uncertain. "That's a lot of vegetables, isn't it?" he said. Link
  2. Ahh the Economist.......as always its answer to everything is..........another tax.
  3. Ha ha, He'd be right. The amount of people who are starting conversations every day along similar lines if definately increasing. I would say that a lot of people are starting to question things now in a way they wouldn't have even a year ago.
  4. The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland said today broadcasters will no longer be required to give equal airtime to the opposing sides in the forthcoming Lisbon Treaty campaign. Following the first Lisbon Treaty some broadcasters had complained they were “strait-jacketed†by the BCI rules. Today’s BCI statement says there is "no requirement to allocate an absolute equality of airtime to opposing sides of the referendum debate during editorial coverageâ€. However, it notes that the proportion of airtime allocated to opposing sides “must be fair to all interests and undertaken in a transparent mannerâ€. It also states the requirement to ensure the total time allocated to political party broadcasts "will result in equal airtime being afforded to parties that support the referendum proposals and those that oppose themâ€. The vote on the Lisbon Treaty referendum will be held on October 2nd. The guidelines take effect from this Friday. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaki.../breaking50.htm
  5. This is so funny it makes me weep. HMRC can hardly fuction properly at the moment. Year after year they have brought in consultants (Accenture I looking at you) who have got rid of experienced workers and practices (which worked), then hired kids and put in place production line processes. If they moev everything to India then I reckon the whole thing will just grind to a halt.
  6. Sorry if this story has already been posted..........its just terrifying. As an ex-Brit, I’m well aware of the authorities’ love of surveillance and snooping, but even I, a pessimistic cynic, am amazed by the governments latest plan: to install Orwell’s telescreens in 20,000 homes. £400 million ($668 million) will be spend on installing and monitoring CCTV cameras in the homes of private citizens. Why? To make sure the kids are doing their homework, going to bed early and eating their vegetables. The scheme has, astonishingly, already been running in 2,000 family homes. The government’s “children’s secretary†Ed Balls is behind the plan, which is aimed at problem, antisocial families. The idea is that, if a child has a more stable home life, he or she will be less likely to stray into crime and drugs. It gets worse. The government is also maintaining a private army, incredibly not called “Thought Policeâ€, which will “be sent round to carry out home checks,†according to the Sunday Express. And in a scheme which firmly cements the nation’s reputation as a “nanny stateâ€, the kids and their families will be forced to sign “behavior contracts†which will “set out parents’ duties to ensure children behave and do their homework.†And remember, this is the left-wing government. The Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling, batting for the conservatives, thinks these plans are “too little, and too late,†implying that even more obtrusive work needs to be done. Rumors that a new detention center, named Room 101, is being constructed inside the Ministry of Love are unconfirmed. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/08/bri...-private-homes/
  7. You know how you keep reading taht inflation is 'going down' or 'stable' but you can't shake the feeling that you are getting less for your money each month? This transscript of an earnings call last June give you some insight into what goes on.........(if quite funny as well) from: Wall Street analysts. Some applauded the move, upgrading the stock from "Earnest" to "Sneaky", while other Wall Street analysts found the whole thing confusing. Minyanville obtained a transcript from a portion of that previous analyst call. Analyst: So let me see if I understand this. The price of your cereal is going up? General Mills Spokesperson: That's correct. Analyst: But the price per box is actually going down? General Mills Spokesperson: Correct. Analyst: So then how is the price going up? General Mills Spokesperson: Because we're making the box smaller. Analyst: Ok, but you just said the price of each box is going to be less. General Mills Spokesperson: Yes, that's true. Analyst: So then you're actually lowering prices. General Mills Spokesperson: No, we're raising prices. Analyst: How? General Mills Spokesperson: Look, you're an analyst, you work with numbers. Analyst: Right. Ok. I got it. General Mills Spokesperson: Next question. Analyst: Uh, actually, I don't get it. How can you raise the price by lowering the price? General Mills Spokesperson: Because we're decreasing the size of the box. Analyst: Ok, but you're charging less for each box. General Mills Spokesperson: Yes. Because we're decreasing the size. Analyst: Ah, I get it. So then the price is really the same, you're just making the box smaller which makes the price look lower. General Mills Spokesperson: No, no, no! Listen. We're raising the price of our cereal. Analyst: But - General Mills Spokesperson: Shut up! Now listen, we're raising the price of our cereal. Analyst: (Silence). General Mills Spokesperson: Say it. Analyst: We're raising the price of our cereal. General Mills Spokesperson: Good. We're raising the price of our cereal... while simultaneously making the box smaller. Go on, say it. Analyst: While simultaneously making the box smaller... General Mills Spokesperson: But... and this is the important part... but we're raising the price more than we're decreasing the size of the box... go on... Analyst: But we're raising the price more than we're decreasing the size of the box. General Mills Spokesperson: So... Analyst: So... General Mills Spokesperson: That... Analyst: That... General Mills Spokesperson: Come on... Analyst: Come - General Mills Spokesperson: No, I mean, come on and follow the thought. So that... Analyst: Oh. So that... General Mills Spokesperson: The... Analyst: The... price is lower? General Mills Spokesperson: No! So that the customer... Analyst: So that the customer... General Mills Spokesperson: Will. Analyst: Will. General Mills Spokesperson: Oh good Lord. So that the customer will think the price has gone down when it's really gone up! Analyst: Oh. General Mills Spokesperson: See? Price increase. Smaller box. Larger price increase than smaller box. Analyst: Right. I still don't get it. General Mills Spokesperson: You know what? Just forget it. Analyst: I'm going to have to downgrade your stock, you know. General Mills Spokesperson: Good. Good. You do that. Analyst: I will. General Mills Spokesperson: I don't even want you to rate our stock positive. Analyst: Good, because I won't. General Mills Spokesperson: It would be an insult to the company for you to rate it positive. Analyst: I'm downgrading your stock to "Mean
  8. anything of limited supply, easy to store, universally acceptable....... thats undervalued..............
  9. There is more here: http://www.dollarcollapse.com/iNP/view.asp?ID=102
  10. and skipping forward to stage 12........12. Global New Currencies introduced http://www.plata.com.mx/mplata/articulos/a...fiidarticulo=96 and this firm had an add on the front page of the FT today..(bottom right, full colour) Sterling Off
  11. If I was a bank what I would do is massively increase bank charges and then wait until the bank account holder eventaully defaults to the tune of thousands of pounds on their overdraft and then sell the bad debt bank account to the Bank Of England...............oh wait.....this is what they have been doing.
  12. Dissipated Youth: I bought your avatar as a poster the other day.
  13. Plan 'C' http://www.mybudget360.com/the-doctrine-of...will-be-paying/ The Doctrine of Preemptive Bailouts and the Biggest Bailout you haven�€™t Heard About: The U.S. Treasury Plan C and the $3.5 Trillion You will be Paying. Posted by mybudget360 in bailout, banks, debt, economy, government, us treasury 0 Comments ..Last week a story which gained very little traction hit the financial newswires. The U.S. Treasury is working on an internal project informally called �€�"Plan C�€� which seeks to deal with further problems in the economy before they occur. The anonymous report came out stating the administration is reluctant to commit any additional money especially to the level mentioned in the report. However this is a disturbing new development in our bailout nation since this is one of the first times that the U.S. Treasury will try to preemptively deal with a financial problem. The issues with this Plan C is that it is setup to be a buffer on further deterioration in various loan categories but the big one is commercial real estate. The commercial real estate market is gigantic and many of those loans are still active: Some $3.5 trillion in commercial real estate loans are out in the market. The problem is complicated because commercial real estate holders simply rollover their debt into new loans. That of course has changed since the economy and credit markets have shutdown and many of these properties are now severely underwater. Take a look at how many loans will be turning over: *Source: ZeroHedge The amount of maturing loans in commercial real estate will double in 2010 and will continue upward into 2010. The chart is very clear and this is only for debt in CMBS and not held by regional banks which is over $2 trillion. This is the next multi-trillion dollar bailout you have yet to hear about. In fact, while many are discussing a second half recovery higher up officials are already planning a bailout for the commercial real estate industry. The challenge with this bailout is you are asking a public with 26,000,000 unemployed and underemployed Americans to shoulder the debt of largely speculative plays. To many it is palatable to bailout the residential real estate market because the public can understand that (even if it may be wrong) or bailing out the 2 large U.S. automakers. Yet bailing out the commercial real estate market is going to be a political nightmare. Of course the U.S. Treasury would like you to believe this is merely a precaution but most of the last precautions we have heard about have turned out to be trillions and trillions in full on commitments shouldered by the American public: �€�"(WaPo) We are continually examining different scenarios going forward; that�€™s just prudent planning,�€� Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams said. The officials in charge of Plan C �€†named to allude to a last line of defense �€†face a particular challenge in addressing the breakdown of commercial real estate lending. Banks and other firms that provided such loans in the past have sharply curtailed lending. That has left many developers and construction companies out in the cold. Over the next few years, these groups face a tidal wave of commercial real estate debt �€†some estimates peg the total at more than $3 trillion �€†that they will need to refinance. These loans were issued during this decade�€™s construction boom with the mistaken expectation that they would be refinanced on the same generous terms after a few years. The credit crisis changed all of that. Now few developers can find anyone to refinance their debt, endangering healthy and distressed properties.�€� The end of the road has been reached for commercial real estate. Many regional banks jumped into the commercial real estate market since they had little chance of competing with big subprime and Alt-A mortgage factories like WaMu or Countrywide. Many regional banks saw this as a way to stay competitive in local regions across the country. This is a much more diverse problem and the tentacles of the commercial real estate bust will be felt in every state. These loans were made on strip malls, doctor�€™s offices, and drive-through restaurants for communities that are hurting from the recession. This is an enormous amount of debt that is out there that will surely default since there is no way to refinance this debt since many of these projects are literally underwater. Take a look at the composition of over 8,000 banks and thrifts across the country: Factoring in construction and commercial loans you arrive at a stunning 26 percent of all loans in FDIC banks and thrifts. This is a staggering figure and the U.S. Treasury is well aware of this. The question isn�€™t whether there will be major defaults here but who will shoulder the cost? So far, each consecutive bailout has largely been taken up by the U.S. taxpayer. The problem of course is the cost of all these bailouts will eventually catch up through a tanking dollar and possibly the long-term viability of our economy. Plan C is a preemptive bailout on an entire industry. The reason the government is devising a plan is that these loans will start going bad in large amounts and they are gearing up on a process of dumping this large mess on the American people. Yet it is going to be a politically hard sell for many to bailout a strip-mall from some large developer. And make no mistake, the market for commercial loans is all but closed: You are reading the above graph correctly. In the 1st quarter commercial loans fell by a stunning 50 percent on a quarterly basis. And the amount of bad loans is only growing: If you haven�€™t heard of Plan C you soon will. The commercial real estate bailout is the next ploy from Wall Street and the U.S. Treasury.
  14. Companies are alwys getting into legal battles with each other over the terms of contracts. No one raises an eyebrow over this behaviour (indeed it is applauded as 'good business'). I don't see the difference in an individual doing it.
  15. I'm afraid I have to disagree. If the banks drew up contracts that turn out to be leaglly uninforceable then they deserve whats coming to them. Its not as if they don't have the resourses to obtain decent legal advice. The real reason the banks are fighting this is that they will be forced to write off the debt and remove it from their books. Currently they are better off holding it (even if people are not paying) and pretending that people will start paying them again. Either way - the net effect is the same. No one is going to be paying these debts back. The banks would prefer to play make believe though.
  16. I used to post here quite a lot. Recently I've seen quite a lot of posts here and in the press with all this 'green shoots' nonesense. Here are10 short reasons why house prices going down, down, down. 1. Bank lending. The wolesale market is finished compared to its previous form and is unlikely to come back in the same way. 2. Interest Rates: Currently below their long term trend. This will change. 3. Council Tax. Above inflation increse year after year puts another squeeze on affordability. We gotta pay those council pensions somehow. 4. Utility Bills. Seriously - How high can they go? Don't you love deregulation of monopoly services? 5. Student Loans: The young (e.g under 30's) have less income than previous generations to service mortgage debt. Equivilent to an additional 5% tax rate. This generation already have the highest tax burden. Wonder what'll hppen when they all start voting? 6. Unsecured Personal Debt - The first time buyers who bought did so. The rest of the generation are in piles of debt. They are not going to be a new wave of borrowers. 7. Other oppertunites: Banks, investors etc will have more attractive oppertunites to invest in than mortgage debt going forwward. 8. Unemployment: No wage , no mortgage, no HPI. 9. Higher food prices: Also squeeze income previously available for debt service. 10. Globalisation and offshoreing: What Henery Ford did for the car productioon lines we are now doing for customer service, IT etc....Lower wages and less jobs. There are still more.....but you get the idea........add your own.
  17. Read these quotes. Then decide if you want to buy. http://www.investmentrarities.com/famousquotes.html
  18. This post is enough. Plenty of stuff appears here just days before it hist the papers.
  19. Have just been speaking to a friend. Apparently all Royal Bank of Scatlnd staff in the Manchester office who don't currently work on the phones (back office etc) are having their jobs moved to India withinthe next 2 months. Lots of tears etc....quite a few have RBS mortgages as well! They also have to help train the new Indian company. All of them have bene told not to speak to the press, and are apparently being berated for 'not having a positive attitude' Kind of sucks when the taxpayer is proping RBS up and they get to move jobs abroad.
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