Frightening!

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Category: Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

138 Responses to “US Debt Clock”

  1. cvienne says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I swear BR…I’m going to make that my new HOMEPAGE on my browser (kicking YOU, my friend, into 2nd place)…

    Thanks for sharing that…That’s great!

  2. franklin411 says:

    What’s truly frightening is that the largest budget item on that list–wars–is a GDP depressant. Why aren’t the things that grow GDP–education, science and infrastructure—our largest expenditure?

  3. dead hobo says:

    Of the US national debt, how much has been monetized? Roughly 1/4 is held by foreign countries. Some is in hedge funds. What part is printing press based?

  4. Tom K says:

    The MSM missed the makings of the real estate and financial industry meltdown. Now they’re missing the end game of the debt bubble.

    The MSM and the big government political parties have successfully convinced the majority of Americans they’re entitled to “rights” that are to be largely subsidized by others. These “rights” include entitlements to retirement, education, healthcare, food, housing, transportation, jobs, clothing, abortions…the list goes on.

    The bursting of the U.S. debt bubble will make the current recession look like a walk in the park.

  5. Christopher says:

    I don’t see any green shoots there….maybe I need my grad school goggles….

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_oMcG2wGAAgQ/R4eRcx0i0fI/AAAAAAAAAUI/FcmYl_6ZY24/s400/green+scientist.jpg

  6. ben22 says:

    franklin,

    you must know, I know that you do: wars are more than just a little profitable for the right businesses.

  7. Wes Schott says:

    Tom K @ 2:48

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/03/21/GR2009032100104.html

    9 trillion in debt/US bonds over the next decade!

    nobody is going to buy ‘em

  8. franklin411 says:

    @Christopher:
    I’d rather have grad school goggles than permabear blinders!

    http://revkpd.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/blinders1.jpg

    @ben
    Yes, they are profitable for some companies, but overall they’re a net negative for the nation. Education is a vastly superior investment for everyone involved.

  9. cvienne says:

    @Franklin

    …and Franklin, help us to quantify your calculations on GDP (vis-a-vis ben22 @2:49), the notion of underwriting the entire financial system to about the tune of 100-1 so they can go out and place BETS in equity & bond markets and “trade” themselves out of this crisis VERSUS actual spending on your beloved education, science, & infrastructure?

  10. Outlier says:

    come on f411, I hate military spending as much as you do, but this just isn’t grounded in reality. The military industrial complex is a huge generator of innovation, jobs and more. Not to mention it funnels lots of money into universities (who do you think funds all the research at MIT, Caltech and the like…) For instance this internet thing we are using to communicate? Military developed…

  11. davecjohnson says:

    This chart uses NET interest and calls it “interest on debt”, which is incorrect.

    The interest on debt was over $451 billion in 2008, not $100.6 billion as the chart claims. See http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm

  12. franklin411 says:

    @Outlier,
    I have nothing against the military, and I certainly agree with you that many technological innovations were developed as a result of military expenditures (jet engines, radar, computers, and GPS come to mind). However, I don’t believe military spending should be our primary expenditure when spending on science, education and infrastructure is so microscopic (forgive the pun!) that it doesn’t even register on the scale. We gain more than we invest when we develop technology, regardless of whether we’re building new tanks or new cars. However, we gain very little when the expenditure is for “dumb” bombs, carbine ammunition, and the like. I may be wrong on this point, but IIRC oil was the #1 expenditure for the Iraq war last summer. There’s nothing positive about that, unless you’re Hugo Chavez, Vladamir Putin and Mahmood Amenidijad.

  13. Outlier,

    he has no rational response to that.

    and, “provide for the Common Defense” is, actually, contra to the S**** he is espousing, in the Constitution.
    The Constitution of the United States of America
    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.preamble.html

  14. I-Man says:

    Some cool shit right there… the app, not the data.

  15. davecjohnson says:

    Oops, another one — the military budget is $651.2 billion not $309 billion as the chart indicates. Where else is it wrong?

  16. davecjohnson says:

    The $651 billion doesn’t include the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans, nukes, and several other things, by the way.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

  17. cvienne says:

    @davecjohnson

    Eh…FACTS-SCHMATCS…

    whats a few hundred billion here or there…Isn’t that the Mo these days?

  18. DL says:

    franklin411 @ 2:42

    The state of California spends quite a bit (per pupil) on education, yet the test scores are not particularly high compared to the national averages. The teachers end up getting most of the money, with little benefit to the students.

  19. cvienne says:

    @davecjohnson

    Don’t worry though…a PRESS CONFERENCE will be announced on the occasion that they come up with a plan to SAVE a hundred eighty five THOUSAND on a new heat pump for the White House…

  20. DL says:

    Don’t worry…. The wealthiest 1% is going to pay it all off.

  21. cvienne says:

    @DL

    NOW I finally see the plan…We shovel all our money into the hands of ‘ol Lloyd, and on his deathbed, he pays all our bills…

    Got it!

  22. km4 says:

    Great aggregation site….the biggest wow is at the bottom with $57 Trillion in unfunded liabilities or almost $200K per person

    No wonder the Fed is trying to hide $9 trillion in Fed off-balance sheet transactions over the past 8 months.

    Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy was with debt @ 850 percent of G.D.P.

    no wonder former GAO Comptroller General David Walker ( who was one of the good guys ) quit last year:

    “If the federal government was a private corporation and the same report came out this morning, our stock would be dropping and some people would be talking about whether the company’s management directors needed a major shake-up”.

    “The federal government’s total liabilities,” Walker explained, “translates into a de facto mortgage of about $455,000 for every American household and there’s no house to back that mortgage. In other words, our government has made a whole lot of promises that, in the long run, it cannot possibly keep without huge tax increases.”

    Now with Obama giving trillions away it’s probably more like $650,000 for every American household which equates to math on $200K liabilities per person at avg family size of 3.25.

    As The Triumph of the Banking Oligarchs continues at huge taxpayer expense perhaps most Americans should look forward to being a much BIGGER version of Argentina or Mexico in the near future !

    Unless Obama steps up to the plate to break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform 98% of Americans had better get a new dream and fast !

  23. Cursive says:

    These numbers are beyond comoprehension. In other news, look at the battle into the close!

  24. Wes Schott says:

    …who’s going to buy the debt?

    interest rates go up

    even Helicopter Ben can’t do enough QE to keep the rates down

    Debt Bubble bursts

    USD is toast

    China is really pissed

  25. ben22 says:

    DL,

    You are so right. We can’t just say: spend more on education because it’s better than spending on war long term.

    Here is an example. The public school system in DE is a nightmare. Most parents are forced to send kids to private schools as the average 10th grader in the public schools here reads on a 5th grade level.

    The largest school district, Christiana School District, revealed almost two years ago that they are over 200 million in the hole, yet the superintendant of the school makes almost 200k per year.

    I’m not an expert on the education system at all but it seems pretty clear to me that before we just say “spend more on education to rebuild the nation” we have to come to grips with the fact that there are terrible problems with the current education system.

    I don’t think this problem is isolated to my area either.

  26. Marcus Aurelius says:

    The two biggest wastes on the list are Military/Wars and Interest on the debt. SS and Medicare/Medicaid are entitlements paid for (at gunpoint, I might add) by the beneficiaries.

    I have to agree with Franklin, here. A well fed, well educated, healthy population will provide better security to a culture than any behemoth military.

    Outlier:

    The Military/Industrial complex generates dick. I’ve worked with these people, and the waste, fraud and abuse of the contract vehicles and processes is second to none in any sector of our economy, public or private. Jobs? Bullshit. The military and it’s contractors are about the perpetuation of bureaucracies for the enrichment of management — nothing more.

    As for the wars, it’s like Ron Paul says, who cares what anyone thinks of these wars — we can’t afford them.

    Answer me this: Why are these wars costing us so much if we already fully finance our military? Contractors? Unforeseen expenses? WTF?

    While ARAPnet may have been financed through the military, the military had no hand in its actual development. As you say, UCLA and Stanford U., among other public and private interests, were the actual developers of this technology. Had the internet been financed by a civilian agency or agencies, we probably would have had it sooner and at less cost. As it currently exists, the internet is one of the biggest threats to secure military communications on the planet. Besides, why should the military be funneling “lots of money” to anyone?

    As for other examples of the inability of the military to run science and infrastructure, NASA had a great track record as the civilian space agency of the US, until Reagan militarized it. As soon as he did, the freekin’ wings fell off and shit started blowing up.

    Then, we have the Army Corps of Engineers, who are still trying to figure out how to return the rivers in Florida to their original channels (before we irrevocably fuck-up that biosystem), and who also designed the fail-proof levy system around NOLA.

    The Military/Industrial complex is the biggest of Big Government programs gone awry. They’ve run the fuck amok. Why do you think Eisenhower warned us against letting them get a toe hold?

  27. ben22 says:

    Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy was with debt @ 850 percent of G.D.P.

    Yeah, and last I had seen, we were at roughly 370% of GDP, and that was using 15T as the GDP number, clearly that is lower now.

    Funny, still people talking about green shoots.

    But it’s the United States………….

  28. flibby says:

    How utterly fantastic that at the bottom of the page is a loan and mortgage calculators! I see a huge page of debt and I’m thinking to myself, how can I get me some of that!

  29. AndrewShaw says:

    That’s scary.

    Glad that page had a funny and humorous element. At the bottom is a friggen LOAN CALCULATOR!!

    Nothing could be truly more American than being exposed to all that information and then wondering what the payment would be on a new set of bedroom furniture.

  30. cvienne says:

    @ben22 (3:49)

    To further your point…

    Who even cares if a 10th grader learns to read on a 5th grade level?

    In the end…They all “think” like 1st graders…

    If we’re going to TEACH them…teach them to THINK!

  31. Cursive says:

    @DL

    I’m not sure when so many people bought into the platitude that almost everything can be solved by education. We’d live in Utopia if we only had more education. I think, though, much of it has to do with the powerful teacher’s unions. We need less “education” in this country and more learning. Those two concepts can be mutually exclusive. Look, Chuck Prince or Vikram Pandit may be smart SOB’s, but doesn’t change the fact that they are also greedy, arrogant SOB’s, too.

  32. Wes Schott says:

    cv@3:57

    You are right on.

    Not sure how you do it – teach people to think.

    Let me think about that for a minute or two.

  33. ben22 says:

    flibby,

    I also noticed that. Typical though. Obama does it himself all of the time:

    We spent money we didn’t have….

    We need to get credit flowing again….

    Those two lines seem a staple of every speech on the economy. They are often spread far enough apart that most people don’t notice, or don’t care to notice.

    He should know, take a look at his own mortgage habits.

  34. franklin411 says:

    @DL
    Actually, the state of California is ranked below the national average in education spending by a wide variety of measures, including teacher pay. However, we do spend 20% more than the national average on prisons. Interesting how that works, isn’t it?

    http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us/Articles/article.asp?title=California%20comparison

  35. KC says:

    That’s a fun game! I don’t really know which number to root for, so I’m just rooting them all on.

    As for all of you that yesterday said today would be a boring, low volume, slightly up day…HA! It was a boring, low volume, slightly DOWN day! I love it when you all are forced to wallow around in your wrongness : )

  36. cvienne says:

    @Wes

    Take the whole weekend my friend :-)

    And remember to honor those who gave their lives to defend our right as a nation to do so…

    I will be doing so and am otherwise “over and out” for the weekend…

    Have a pleasant weekend all :-)

    CV

  37. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Our educational system doesn’t work because we don’t allow for the fact that different kids have different aptitudes, and that some of them are just plain stupid. By the time a kid is 10, we already know if they’ll ever be a rocket scientist, writer, lawyer, rock star, auto mechanic, or plumber, or village idiot, but we keep on giving them general, as opposed to specific, education. General education should only extend to reading, writing, and ciphering (as it always has), and extend for no more than 5 years (to beat some basic skills into the hard to teach). After that, specific education should target specific aptitudes. Want your kid, who can’t pass a basic math class, to be an engineer. Okay – as long as you pay for it. The public should pay for him to learn a trade.

    Unfortunately, this mind set extends to the upper reaches of our University system, resulting in utter morons holding advanced degrees and a pile o’ debt.

  38. km4 says:

    @ ben22
    Yup the corporate controlled American MSM only does happy talk or completely obfuscates things.

    “If I wanted to destroy a nation,” he wrote in 1966, “I would give it too much and I would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick.”
    - John Steinbeck

    Prescient….YES !

    Grapes of Wrath, a classic for today?
    http://bit.ly/14qX7O

  39. DMR says:

    So, essentially what the chart is saying is that all of our tax dollars are going (in decreasing order) to:

    1) Unproductive old people’s social security and health care.
    2) Unproductive red necks who like to fight wars
    3) Unproductive interest payments to debtors.

    It’s a good thing our kids’ math scores are so abysmally low. If only they could understand how much their parents’ generation is looking out for them.

  40. Marcus Aurelius says:

    DMR:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    I agree with your 2nd and 3rd points

    Your 1st point, unproductive old people, doesn’t fit. These people paid for the benefits they get. The money (plus additional funds that we didn’t have, and on which were paying interest) was used by Congress to fund #2.

  41. AndrewShaw says:

    Well in the time since BR did the screenshot, the debt per person has only gone up one dollar, so that doesn’t seem so bad after all. Those other numbers spin a lot but the per person average is remarkably stable.

    But then again, maybe I’m under-learned and over-educated.

    Have a great weekend all. The weather is here, wish you were beautiful.

  42. Cursive says:

    @DMR 4:12

    “Unproductive red necks”

    BR’s blog is a refreshing intellectual reprieve from the other nastiness that pervades the Internet and the blogoshpere. Let’s keep it civil, OK?

  43. ben22 says:

    @km4,

    I also find these quotes fitting these days:

    A weak currency is the sign of a weak economy, and a weak economy leads to a weak nation.

    The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

    and as the rally moves forward:

    The average man desires to be told specifically which particular stock to buy or sell. He wants to get something for nothing. He does not wish to work.

    A market is the combined behavior of thousands of people responding to information, misinformation and whim.

  44. ben22 says:

    @cvienne,

    No thinking allowed here. When I first started my job, I remember a manager saying to me:

    “don’t think, just get new clients”

    I went back to my office and had a laugh.

    That manager lost his job two years later. Wonder what he was thinking then.

  45. Cursive says:

    @MA 4:17

    Social security was a Ponzi scheme. Those people may have paid into the system, but they are reaping rewards far greater than what they paid.

  46. Wes Schott says:

    @cv – it was a non-sequitur – have a good’n

  47. km4 says:

    @ben22
    The average does not wish to work.

    Well that wish is looking more and more true for many Americans.

    US unemployment about to surpass that of the EU?
    http://bit.ly/K9B52

    In 2007, 51% of college students graduated with a job. In 2009, it’s 19.7%
    http://bit.ly/i17tW

  48. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Cursive:

    It’s insurance – if the premium equalled the pay-out, it would be an interest-free savings plan. This money is supposed to be invested on behalf of the policy holders — instead, it’s used as part of the General Fund. And they laughed at Al Gore when he talked about the “lock box.”

    It’s not like SS recipients get a stipend they can actually live on. What do you think a society without pensions would look like? What’s your alternative?

  49. Andy T says:

    Not sure why this is such a big deal….when you can easily default on all those obligations over next several years……

    We should act like any other good serial debtor….

    Rollup as much private debt onto the National account as you can at these cheap rates. “You want to lend me a Trillion Dollars at 4% for the next 30 years? Thanks.” Just borrow 20 trillion bucks….retire the private debts….then just default, and start over.

  50. Wes Schott says:

    Marcus Aurelius

    @3:50, agreeing with Franklin (Hobo admittedly sounded like F411 this morning) – you seem passionate about these issues

    @4:11, what you describes kinda sorta sounds like the UK educational system

  51. ben22 says:

    km4,

    Here is a story someone told me yesterday.

    My friend just lost her job and is on unemployment. She got offered another job but realized that after paying for gas her monthly pay check would be a little lower than unemployment so she just decided to not go back to work. She’s having a lot of fun just hanging out at the house right now and watching tv, plus she gets to sleep in every day.

    It was told to me as if it was a really good idea this persons friend had.

  52. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Wes:

    Not passionate, just angry. We were warned by a guy who was formed by the very system he warned us against. I’m sick of paying for our enforcers.

    Smedley Butler – who won two Congressional medals of Honor, said it best:

    “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
    ____________

    I was thinking of the German system. Not perfect, but they don’t promote fools.

  53. franklin411 says:

    Green shoots, comrades. Green shoots.

    U.S. state labor markets “less dreadful” in April
    Fri May 22, 2009 2:53pm EDT
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than 20 U.S. states registered decreases in their unemployment rates in April, and another 11 had no changes, according to data released by the Labor Department on Friday, a reversal of the trend in recent months.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2238169620090522

  54. Bruce in Tn says:

    Hey guys. Long day. I guess the thing that impresses me most here is the continuing rise in treasury rates…it just seems like Bernanke’s bluff has been called.

    I also thought it was interesting that on the day before the holiday on light volume that we ended down…you’d think that if this were the start of a new bull market that on light trading days, we’d finish positive…

    Franklin…many of our Ph.D. programs are unfilled by US graduates as it is…especially in the programs with math as a core. Even if we spend more on those programs there is no guarantee we’ll fill them with US students.

  55. Cursive says:

    @MA 4:34

    Agreed that SS income is a relative pittance. I laughed at Al Gore becuase he said there was a lock box. He was, as we say on the farm, lying through his teeth. A society without pensions would be a much freer, open and productive society than that which we currently have. The idea of retirment is a relatively new concept. What are you retiring to? What’s wrong with being active, even at to a lesser exent than your “prime” earning years, until you die?

  56. Bruce in Tn says:

    Ben 22:

    Any ideas about the next few months? General thoughts?

  57. DL says:

    Andy T @ 4:35

    “You want to lend me a Trillion Dollars at 4% for the next 30 years? …. Just borrow 20 trillion bucks…. then just default, and start over”

    One of the problems is that a high percentage of the debt is in maturities of 5 years or less. Even apart from the issue of default, there’s the matter of inflation…. If we have to roll over trillions of dollars of debt when the CRB index is at a level of 1000 or 2000, that would be inconvenient, to say the least.

  58. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Bruce:

    The dollar bears out your comment. Big correction coming. This is what happens when you fertilize poison ivy with BS.

  59. swilber1579 says:

    Why does it say US GDP is 5.5 trillion? Isn’t it 14+ trillion?

  60. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Gore said that there was no lock box, but that he would make one.

  61. DL says:

    Cursive @ 4:48

    “A society without pensions would be a much freer, open and productive society…”

    The problem is that if we had large numbers of elderly people with no pensions, and no savings, they would be a very powerful political block. They could effectively extract the money out of everyone else.

  62. Wes Schott says:

    Marcus Aurelius @4:45

    Now I better understand where you’re coming from.

    The military-industrial-media-financial complex – now getting even more integrated with the Government

    Have you read Confessions of an Economic Hitman?

    German educational system could be a good model.

  63. Cursive says:

    @BnT

    I also thought it was interesting that on the day before the holiday on light volume that we ended down…you’d think that if this were the start of a new bull market that on light trading days, we’d finish positive…

    I posted the same thing on the compensation thread. And the XLF and RIFIN were negative divergences to the SPX today. Should make next week interesting.

  64. call me ahab says:

    Cursive-

    I think you mean SS is a Ponzi scheme

    franklin-

    I think we hashed out your education mantra before- however- please enlighten me- what do we need to do- exactly- outside of course just spending money- what does it mean to spend more on education- to what resources and to what ends will this money be used- how will it help- who will it help- how does it get to the student/faculty/school- what will be taught- how will it be taught- why will it work

    explain yourself- use your teaching skills and make me understand what you mean- not that I’ll agree but at least I’ll know you have thought it out and aren’t regurgitating a campaign slogan

  65. Bruce in Tn says:

    http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=950320&lang=eng_news&cate_img=35.jpg&cate_rss=news_Business

    Lula: Brazil, China should not use dollar to trade

    Marcus:

    You probably saw this, but not only China and others have made pacts to bypass the dollar but new pacts like Brazil and Argentina to use something other than the dollar. I don’t think Bernanke realizes how much other countries dislike not having control of the medium of exchange. I think rates go higher from here with or without inflation. It appears to me to be a momentum snowball against the dollar…

  66. Bruce in Tn says:

    @Cursive: My dad always said I was smarter than I looked…I bet your dad had similar thoughts…(about you, I mean…)

    :)

  67. Cursive says:

    @DL 4:53

    What do you think the AARP voting block has been doing for the last 30 years? But, once the SHTF, they can’t keep it up. Whether they participated in SS or a publice or private pension, the future does not look so bright for those who did not set aside their own funds. Watch very closely how the Obama administration handles the non-TARP bondholders. Contracts and promises were made to be broken.

  68. Bruce in Tn says:

    I would agree that the government’s stewardship of SS is a ponzi scheme..

  69. Wes Schott says:

    Where do you think Madoff got the idea?

    Remember that cartoon?

  70. Cursive says:

    @BnT 4:29

    You got me chuckling. Dad was from Avoyelles Parish and, if you know anybody from there, they are very colorful. The things he would say to me….

  71. Wes Schott says:

    btw, I saw recently where USG tax revenues are way down – no surprise.

    The projected Come to Jesus dates for SS and Medicare are moving forward dramatically

  72. Cursive says:

    @ ahab

    Yes, “is.” Thanks for clarification. I’ve just never expected it, so I think of it in the past tense. I encourage everyone to do the same. It will prevent much heartache.

  73. Bruce in Tn says:

    You know cursive, when I moved to New Orleans to do my plastic surgery residency, my wife and I found a tv station broadcasting in Lafayette in French…I thought “What in the world have I gotten into?”

    Headed out tonight…Mexican and margaritas….hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

  74. Cursive says:

    @MA

    “Gore said that there was no lock box, but that he would make one.”

    My apologies. You are right. My concern was that it would never be fully funded and it would, over time, have to borrow from the general fund. Effectively, it would be just like Fannie and Freddie. The idea of a lock box was, to me, disingenuious becuase it didn’t solve the long-term problem of solvency. But, my statement was wrong and I apologize.

  75. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Cursive Says:

    “Whether they participated in SS or a publice or private pension, the future does not look so bright for those who did not set aside their own funds.”
    ________

    Other than the past 20 years, or so (and the past 20 years have been financed by credit, not productivity), I don’t recall many people having excess money to put away. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you have only the credit economy as a frame of reference. Reality will suck once we pay in cash again. SS will seem like a great idea.

  76. Cursive says:

    @BnT

    KLFY, Channel 10 in Lafayette. Morning rosary is still said in French. Enjoy the evening and the company….

  77. Marcus Aurelius says:

    Cursive:

    No problem, and no apology needed. The entire system is a scam, anyway. A circle-jerk caught up in a clusterF*.

  78. ben22 says:

    Bruce,

    Haven’t really changed my stance much from what I’ve been saying for a while now, though I have been more wrong in the short term as I’ve been calling for a more serious pullback than anything we have seen. I’m basically neutral in my own accounts right now as I was really heavy in stock early this year. I don’t have a single short position on but I’m looking at things like SRS, FXP, simple SH and some individual names to short in certain things I think are overdone (retail, for example) I still refuse to play around with any banks. Don’t think I have an advantage either long or short there. I’m content to listen to the stories on here of people trading them.

    In general here is what I’m still thinking:

    1. I’m pretty firmly planted in the credit deflation camp at this point so my central investment objectives revolve around that idea over the next 12 months.

    2. I still think the rally moves us all the way up to the 965-1k area on the SPX, dragging people in as it goes along. As a countertrend rally to 17 months of down markets, that saw the indexes take an absolute pounding, I had expected this rally to last for a while (several months). For a lot of reasons I just don’t think the rally is over. My plan is to exit all longs before we reach the top end of my target, though I really like some of my stocks so I may just buy puts on them. In the very short term there are one of two ways I think we get up there. A: a move to lower prices next week that put in an intermediate low on the way up or B: the whole move down from May 8 is over and we are already on our way there. I think A is more probable but again, in the last two weeks I’ve been dead wrong with that call so only time will tell. Karen seems to have an excellent bead on price action lately… but what else is new.

    Every year I play this seasonal trend in my own accounts. The Almanac “best six months strategy” works very well and it is simple.

    3. As we would expect, opposite what the Fed wants, the long bonds yields still move higher. I would look for the 30 year to target a high up around the 4.6-4.7% area. I may actually look to take a long position in TLT at that point but I’m not sure of that just yet.

    4. As for the $US. As others have already noted, two straight days now and both the dollar and the indexes moved down (though I’m thinking 1/2 of the traders took most of today off) which maybe means that easy negative correlation we were able to see is going away (that’s dollar down, stocks up). Like a few others here I see a stronger dollar in the coming months to a year but this might be a shaky view. This has much to do with my view of credit deflation, which I think we’ve already got. The RSI on the dollar looks oversold to me. The dollar index has ended down 4 of the last 5 weeks. It might not be THE bottom just yet but I’m thinking we are getting really close.

    Now I’m off home to fire up the grill and have a few beers on the back porch. Looking forward to the Cavs game.

  79. Marcus Aurelius says:

    ben22:

    The USD has been dropping for a couple of months.

    http://quotes.ino.com/chart/?s=NYBOT_DX&v=d3

  80. Whammer says:

    I’m thinking that some of the discrepancies that folks are noticing here — specifically regarding defense spending and GDP, relate to the idea that this is a “clock”, so it is giving a running total on those, where defense and GDP started at “zero” at the beginning of the year.

  81. Wes Schott says:

    Marcus Aurelius @5:26

    USD back to the ol’ 80 level.

    Wasn’t that major resistance previously?

    Does it now become support or does it plow right through?

    Ben22 must be thinking support.

  82. ben22 says:

    @MA,

    yep, that’s true. Did I say somewhere that it hadn’t? Sorry if I implied that, didn’t mean to, I even said above there was a clear pattern going there, dollar down, stocks up.

    If we really want to get technical on the dollar close today was very close to a .786 retracement of the rally from from 12/18 (77.69) to 3/4 high of 89.62 though you can’t see this on the chart you posted.

    As I said above, might not be THE bottom, but I think we are close. Trade it how you see it.

  83. call me ahab says:

    B22 Says-

    “Like a few others here I see a stronger dollar in the coming months to a year but this might be a shaky view. This has much to do with my view of credit deflation, which I think we’ve already got. The RSI on the dollar looks oversold to me. The dollar index has ended down 4 of the last 5 weeks. It might not be THE bottom just yet but I’m thinking we are getting really close.”

    I understand the unwinding process and demand for USD- however- what about a loss of confidence in the $- player or players on the int’l scene forcing the issue- China floating their currency- or- countries using some other means to account for trade- all could happen- maybe with the intent of $ destruction- or maybe not-

    a lower dollar seems like destiny to me- and possibly sooner that anyone imagined

  84. Wes Schott says:

    @ahab – 5:47

    ….just a matter of time….-)

    Russia has adjusted their foreign currency reserves to favor euro over USD

    You know China is working the problem, and there more pissed the MA today ;-)

  85. Pete from CA says:

    @franklin411 4:45 pm

    The very next paragraph of that article reads:

    “However, jobless rates were higher in all 50 states and the District of Columbia than in April 2008.”

    So unemployment rates were lower, jobless rates were higher. Is that still a “double-pluss good”? Or just “better than expected”..?

  86. nenmoonia says:

    this chart is completely misleading because of the “clock” setup

    the US GDP is much higher

  87. call me ahab says:

    doubleplusgood- hmmm- where have i heard that before

  88. call me ahab says:

    Wes-

    an orderly devaluation is in order- for sure- but I think there could be a chaotic crash if certain events occured- even China saying they were “considering” floating their currency- or an effort amongst other nations to forge some other payment arrangements- instead of USD

    it would be ugly

  89. Wes Schott says:

    ahab@6:08

    agreed.

    you prepared?

  90. Pete from CA says:

    @ahab 6:08pm

    China seems to be moving in the other direction for now:

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/27/china-yuan-dollar-markets-currency-pegging.html

    Article is 2 months old, FWIW.

  91. Pat G. says:

    The plan is simple; debase the currency and repudiate the debt. Different types of deflation will have no effect on the plan as none of them are actually money.

  92. Cursive says:

    Does this clock include the $4B Obama just gave GM. BTW, GM says they need an additional $2.6B by June 1st.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GM-borrows-additional-4-apf-15333743.html?sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

    We all know GM is going bankrupt. How the hell is this not illegal? Shouldn’t this be an impeachable offense?

  93. Wes Schott says:

    Cursive, dude – “impeachable offense” who O or Lloyd?

  94. Wes Schott says:

    We are the Banksters

    sung to tune of We are the Champions

    remember Banker’s indignation – “What are we automakers”?

  95. call me ahab says:

    @ cursive-

    I saw that article about the 4 B- it’s getting to the point where nothing is shocking and we are in this surreal world of make believe and play money- because we know the $ being given isn’t there in the first place-

    the USG should have let GM go into BK months ago- before they gave them any money- outside of possible DIP financing- but that’s it- what a fucking joke-

    I am of the belief that the USA should pick up its marbles and go home- close bases around the world- re-evaluate who we are as a country-

    what a disorganized mess we have become

  96. Wes Schott says:

    ahab,

    ain’t gonna happen

    it is not about political parties, it is about the system

    and, after thinking about it a bit – “It’s good to be king” – world’s reserve currency – you can jerk a lot of chain

  97. Bruce in Tn says:

    Thanks, Ben22 and others.

    Great meal. I may watch a little roundball myself tonight, waiting on the world’s greatest daughter (and, yes, her husband) to come hike with us over Mem. Day.

  98. Bruce in Tn says:

    Franklin:

    Homework. Now get to it.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-will-the-growth-come-from

    Where will the growth come from?

    “By almost all accounts, the recovery from the worst recession in several generations will be sluggish for the next year or two or three, with the economy firing on just one cylinder – the Bernanke-Obama stimulus.

    Even the most optimistic analysts believe it will be a tough slog for the economy.”

  99. call me ahab says:

    Wes-

    I posted this on another thread- but-

    “I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire.”

    Churchill

    get use to it- because that is the near future- not a bad thing- just a different thing

  100. Wes Schott says:

    we may need to go east, far east

    who has the “money” makes the rules

    which shell is the pea under?