Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction. Erich Fromm

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GOTTERDAMMERBANKER!!! The Twilight of the Bankers???

The Twilght of the Gods

In Norse Mythology, the “Gotterdammerung” (The Twilight of The Gods) was a prophesied war of the gods that brings about the end of the world. I guess kind of like Armageddon Wiki says the term Gotterdammerung is occasionally used in English, referring to a disastrous conclusion of events.

Soooo, I guess the Bankers are facing their Twilight, especially in Iceland. How fitting.  As reported at the link below, the Icelanders again say HELL NO to covering the debts of the banks with taxpayer funds.

www.zerohedge.com/article/its-economy-mend-iceland-stuffs-bankers-second-time

The problem for the Bankers is that Iceland will NOT fall off the map if the Bankers get their heads shaved. Oh no, as it shows in the Internet Article above, Iceland is headed UP, while the other Indentured Servant Nations are headed DOWN.  How long before the secret is out??? JUST SAY NO!!!

But there is a difference in the ending between Gotterdammerung and Gotterdammerbanker. I don’t think the Bankers will be taken to Valhalla by Valkyrie where they spend Eternity drowning in Mead and Maidens.  No, I think they are headed in the opposite direction, like this:

CDS Traders Meet The Counterparties

Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

(NOTE: For the linguistically pure reader, YES, I know the correct way to say my new word is Bankerdammerung. But there is just some animal spirit in me that likes the sound of Gotterdammerbanker. The way the word rolls off the tongue just soooo sounds like something you would say to a Banker!!! Plus, I don’t know how to put those two little dotsie thingies over the letters “O” and “A”, which is a German thing.)

Obama and The Magic Beans!!!

The Wizard Explains Derivatives to Jack

Everybody knows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but just in case you don’t,  here’s a brief recap.  Jack lives with his mother, who is a 99er, and has completely run out of money. Jack’s mother unplugs the XBox, and rousts Jack off the couch, to go to market with the only remaining asset,  Buttercup the cow.  Along the way Jack meets a sharp Wall Street derivatives trader who manages to con Jack out of the cow for a handful of magic beans.  When Jack gets back home his mother is distraught, and unable to afford an attorney, throws the silly magic beans out the back window, and hocks Jack’s XBox.

During the night, the magic beans grow into a huge beanstalk, which Jack proceeds to climb. At the top, Jack finds a goose that lays golden eggs, which he steals from its rightful owner.  Jack slides back down the stalk, and chops it down to evade apprehension, and everybody lives happily ever after.  This is probably a mythological reference to finding the Greater Fool, and destroying the document trail, but that is a story for another time.

But what if the beans had not been magic??? What if the beans were just plain beans???  Such is the state of affairs between the Democrats and Obama.

Because Obama,  much like Jack, has taken something good, solid and productive, like a cow, and swapped it in for the magic beans of Birtherism.  Rather than work to stop the Bush tax cuts, or truly rein in Wall Street, Obama has relied on the magic beans of Birtherism to ensure his re-election. Rather than honestly focus in like a laser on jobs, or exorcise the demons of speculation from the price of oil, Obama has bet his bank on the magic beans of Birtherism, assuming that either sympathy or fear will impel his faithful base to the polls in numbers sufficient to guarantee a second term.

Strangely, this bet did not pay off in 2010.  In what was widely regarded as a referendum on Obama, the Republicans won seats in record numbers and  a majority in the House.  Yet, Obama is still in his backyard, with a bottle of Miracle Grow trying to coax the sprouts upwards. His minions are complicit in this, and if you doubt it, simply watch the media response to Donald Trump. There is more coverage on the missing birth certificate than on Trump’s pledge to confront OPEC and end the trade imbalance with China.

And one can not help but wonder at the Obama supporters. Do they really think the Spectre of Obama “coughing up” a long form birth certificate is going to have the same effect as Lyndon Johnson’s Mushroom Cloud??? Do they really think a majority of voters are going to duck and cover in fear and trembling lest the true birth weight of Obama becomes known???

Sadly, for the Democrats, this is the real world.  They have contentedly swapped Buttercup, the cow, for a handful of beans. Truly, they don’t know beans.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Which Dead Russian Atheist Is Hurting America the Most???

Please, Mistress, I Will NEVER Say "TRICKLE UP" Again

This is a short post.  A brief afternoon thought question. Which dead Russian atheist is hurting America the most???

I have a idea,  and have provided a small hint.  But I will wait and see if anybody else agrees with me, first.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Barack Hussein Madoff???

Pork Cheops???

This headline is not as silly as it seems. A look at Bernie Madoff’s recent interview reveals many similarities between the situations encountered by both Madoff and Obama. First, let’s look at Madoff’s recent interview.

http://nymag.com/news/features/berniemadoff-2011-3/

This is when the criminal activity began:

And his stalwart old trading strategy, built on arbitrage, no longer worked as effectively as it had—for one thing, spreads were narrowing, in part as a result of the technology he’d helped introduce. He’d come up with a new trading strategy based on index options. But the new strategy needed volatility to work, and in the early nineties, the recession had settled in. “The market went to sleep,” said Madoff. He had too much of other people’s money and not enough to invest in.

Madoff started borrowing from his investors’ capital to pay out those solid returns. The returns, false though they were, were their own advertisement. New money started pouring in, saving him in the near term. And this was a different sort of money, the kind that came from bankers who wouldn’t have given Madoff the time of day earlier in his career. “The chairman of Banco Santander came down to see me, the chairman of Credit Suisse came down, chairman of UBS came down; I had all of these major banks. You know, Safra coming down and entertaining me and trying [to invest with Madoff]. It is a head trip. [Those people] sitting there, telling you, ‘You can do this.’ It feeds your ego. All of a sudden, these banks which wouldn’t give you the time of day, they’re willing to give you a billion dollars,” he explained. “It wasn’t like I needed the money. It was just that I thought it was a temporary thing, and all of a sudden, everybody is throwing billions of dollars at you. Saying, ‘Listen, if you can do this stuff for us, we’ll be your clients forever.’ ”

So Madoff took the money. While he waited for the market to wake up, he parked their billions in treasuries earning 2 percent a year, while generating statements that maintained they were earning about 15 percent—fantastic money in a slow market. He couldn’t bring himself to tell them that he had failed. “I was too afraid,” he said.

I think Obama (and frankly, Congress, too) are in the same shape.  The country has written checks that it can never cash unless green dollar bills are simply printed off by the railroad car full.  And Obama knows this. But, their egos have been fed as the dollars flew, and now they are afraid to tell us what we really face. Plus, there’s that pesky 2012 election coming up.

These numbers are not exact, but roughly we have a $14 Trillion deficit, a $7 trillion unfunded Social Security liability, and about $60 Trillion in unfunded Medicare and Medicaid.  About $80 Trillion, give or take a few trillion.  This doesn’t count State or Individual debt.

As Mr. Karl Denninger at Market Ticker frequently points out:

The Federal Government has never in the history of the nation managed to collect more than 20% of GDP in taxes. This has been true in times of peace, war, Democrats, Republicans, deficit hawks and doves.  It has been the case with a top marginal tax rate from 90% all the way down to today’s rates.  The reasons for this are complex, but the primary one is that people don’t have to work, and there is a pain threshold beyond which they simply work and get paid less, or at least “paid less” in terms that can be taxed.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=183855

Assuming a $15 Trillion GNP,  and the 20% tax rate, tax receipts would be in the  $3 Trillion per year range, the largest part of which is non-discretionary (Defense and Entitlements). This leaves, on a good day, about $900 Billion (30%) for discretionary spending AND interest payments.  Currently, at 1% Interest Rate, we pay about $200 Billion interest per year. Any Interest Rate increase either cuts into current spending or increases the deficit.A  4% Interest Rate increases that to $800 Billion and wipes out discretionary spending.  At present, $3 Trillion ISN’T coming in,  safety net expenditures are up, and thus we have an even bigger deficit.

So, the Fed can’t raise interest rates or the government is adversely affected and either spending goes down or deficits go up.  The Fed can’t let the monetization continue at this rate or inflation and prices go up, and poor and middle class people will starve and go homeless.  Which increases the need for safety net expenditures.

And at some point, lenders will key into the $80 Trillion in unfunded liabilities and either refuse to lend or demand a higher interest rate. Obama is where Madoff was when it became obvious that his pyramid scheme had gotten out of hand:

Through the nineties, Madoff dreamed of climbing out of the hole he’d dug. “I kept telling myself that some miracle was going to happen or that I was going to be able to work my way out of it. I just didn’t know when that was.” By around 2002, he realized this was a fantasy. “By then, the number was so astronomical I didn’t know what I was hoping for, quite frankly.”

It was a nightmare. Imagine going home every night not being able to tell your wife, living with this ax over your head, not telling your sons, my brother, seeing them every day.

Astronomical numbers. No solution in sight. A nightmare.  Afraid to tell the truth. Madoff and Obama surely have much in common. Maybe a good movie would help. Might I suggest Disney’s Jungle Book. I am sure they will both empathize with Baloo the Bear, when he had hold of the tail of Shere Khan, the tiger,  and said, ” I can’t let go! There’s teeth in the other end!!!”

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Ayn Rand WASN’T Even An Economist!!!

Note: Being a Rail Advocate Does NOT Make You An Economist!!!

I looked up this Ayn Rand person I keep seeing about , and she wasn’t even a Economist!

Wiki says she was “was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher,[2] playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand emigrated to the United States in 1926. She worked as a screenwriter in Hollywood and had a play produced on Broadway in 1935–1936. She first achieved fame in 1943 with her novel The Fountainhead, which in 1957 was followed by her best-known work, the philosophical novel Atlas Shrugged.”

So this is just a person who just wrote novels???? And made movies in Hollywood??? And people think she knows something about financial systems??? Did she ever write anything about history and economy??? Or do any research into this stuff???

Oh this is funny, because a lot of people seem to think she knows what she is talking about on Economy stuff! Was she even good at math??? Wiki doesn’t say.

OH, Tee Hee! Tee Hee!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

Corporations and Communism -the Same Fatal Flaw!!!

Luckily, we live in a world where Communism, as a world power is pretty well subdued. The Russians busted up into various separate countries. Cuba is about where Fidel Castro is healthwise, old, creaky, and on its last legs. North Korea is more of a lunatic asylum, than a country, although their acquisition of nuclear weapons and missiles means they will be humored by all.

China is some kind of weird hermaphrodite with a Communist government, and mostly capitalistic economy. If China, was a hooker, and hanging out on a corner under a red light, he/she/it would have something to offer everybody. And at a lower price than the competition. Soooo, what happened to “communism” particularly the kind where I read about peasants happily hoeing potatoes beneath a huge statute of Joseph Stalin while singing Meadowlands or Way Down Beside the Volga River???

I don’t think it was the masses yearning for freedom, although that is a good thing. Let’s face it, most of the human race has lived under some kind of tyranny since the beginnings of civilization. And sometimes, living pretty well as long as the ruling class kept their manias, klepto and otherwise, under some kind of control.  Benevolent despots seemed to work pretty well as I remember from my history classes. If the royalty in England had kept its power, I suspect Modern England would look pretty much like Modern England.

Some people think it was the gross economic inefficiency which destroyed the Soviet Union. The Soviets just could not keep up providing its citizens the goodies that were so common in the West.  There were even food shortages in a country which was capable of putting men into space. The problem was, there was just no personal responsibility or personal culpability anywhere along the line.  No one was personally responsible for getting potatoes from wherever in the Soviet Union to the Soviet dinner table. Railroad commissars lived like commissars whether the spuds survived or sprouted on the sides of the tracks. And, they got to shop at special stores befitting their status. Because they were TCTF. (Too Connected To Fail.) It was like the Soviet Union was run for the benefit of the 1% or 2% of the country who were members of the Communist Party.

The farmers might grow plenty of spuds, but the collective responsible for running the trains did not depend on revenue from the farmers to keep running their trains. No, the rewards, as meager as they might be, were divorced from both performance and responsibility. Animal Farm by George Orwell is illustrative. When everybody owns something, then nobody owns anything.  But I think this same fatal flaw has infected America’s Big Corporations.

A corporation is an artificial entity, owned by it stockholders,  run by managers, and supposedly overseen by a Board of Directors.  Ownership of Big Corporations is very spread out.  The law says that ownership of as little as 10% of a company’s stock makes you a “insider”, and effective control of a corporation can occur with far less than 51% of a corporation’s stock. What I am saying is that this has led to the same problems faced by the Communists. Where everybody (or a whole lot of people) own something, then nobody owns it. And personal responsibility flies out the window.  The system begins to run the same way the Soviet Union did, for the top 1% or 2%, and everybody else eats moldy potatoes. Our corporate CEO’s are about the same as Soviet Commissars. Connected, overpaid, and not personally responsible for long term performance or results.

Doubt it???

1) Approximately 9 percent of net corporate profits went to the top five executives in major corporations in the ten years up to 2004 according to Harvard professor Lucian Bebchuk—twice what it was in the mid 1990s. All this was approved by boards.

2) Boards effectively nominate and re-nominate themselves. It is extremely difficult for outsiders to influence this process. One cannot vote “against” a director after he or she is nominated. One can only “withhold” votes. Thus, in theory, one vote for a director will outweigh a million withhold-votes. Almost every election has as many candidates as there are open positions.

3) Losses to shareholders from failed company leadership:

* Merrill Lynch–over $60 billion
* General Motors–over $52 billion
* Lehman Brothers–over $45 billion
* Fannie Mae–over $90 billion
* Bear Stearns–over $20 billion
* Citigroup—over $200 billion
* Countrywide—over $22 billion

These examples are from:

http://content.moneyfornothingthebook.com/search/label/outrage

But it is not the purpose of this Internet Article to prove these allegations. That has already been done by others, and we are all of us living through a depression caused in large part by the breakdown of the system. I recommend Econned by Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism blog to any who disagree.

My purpose is to get people to thinking the same way about the problems with Big Corporations, as they used to think about the Soviet Union. If a lack of personal responsibility there caused that collapse, can we expect a different result??? And we go one step further than the old Soviets — our failed commissars have Golden Parachutes to ease the transition.

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter

The Great G. Gordon Liddy Gold Paradox!!!

The More Things Change

There is a person named G. Gordon Liddy who has commercials on television for Rosland Capital, about how really smart people should invest in GOLD. According to him, PAPER money like dollars, will just not have much value and if you are smart and want to be safe, you will buy some GOLD!!! (Which has never been worth nothing!)

There is another lady on television who works for some place called Monex, who has a commercial where she is sitting there with $50,000 worth of GOLD and $50,000 worth of PAPER DOLLARS and asks you which you would rather have in five years???

But here is the paradox. What is it they are both wanting to get from you in order to give you their wonderful GOLD??? They are wanting your PAPER  DOLLAR bills!!! Yes, in the very commercials where they are telling you how WORTHLESS PAPER DOLLARS are and how wonderful GOLD is, they want you to send them your PAPER DOLLARS and they will send you their wonderful GOLD.

Sooo, does this make any sense??? Because if I believed that GOLD was great, and PAPER DOLLARS sucked, I would just sell enough GOLD to pay for food and utilities and keep the rest. I sure wouldn’t make it my business to go swapping out this wonderful GOLD I had, for this lousy PAPER DOLLARS.

Sooo, the next time you see G. Gordon Liddy trying to get your PAPER DOLLARS, just ask yourself what is going on. And ask yourself what it is the Monex people would rather have five from years from now — it is your PAPER DOLLARS!!!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter