December 29, 2014

Bits Bucket for December 29, 2014

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 04:24:43

Pass the bubbly.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 04:37:27

The bubble that lurks in 2015
By Shawn Langlois
Published: Dec 29, 2014 5:43 a.m. ET
Critical intelligence before the U.S. market opens
AFP/Getty Images

Just when we get to the point where Ebola is about as scary as granola here in the States, the mere mention of a man being tested for the virus in Tokyo triggers a swift reversal in Japanese stocks. That’s the way it goes on slow-news and light-volume days. It doesn’t take all that much to rattle markets, a truism both at home and abroad during periods like this.

Of course, investors placing their bets on the Land of the Rising Sun don’t really need another reason to be fearful. Abenomics seems to be doing the trick all on its own.

Foreign investors threw record amounts of cash at Japan last year but haven’t done much of anything this year. In fact, inflows are down 94%, according to Bloomberg, which puts them on pace for their lowest total since the 2008 financial crisis.

Meanwhile, U.S. markets are in a deep slumber, volume-wise. Michael O’Rourke of Jones Trading pointed out that the last time a full day of trading registered lower volume than Friday was back on Dec. 26, 2008. “One would expect volume to pick up modestly into year end, but it will be surprising if the acceleration is material, as Wall Street remains in holiday mode,” he said.

A dearth of action didn’t keep new highs from being knocked out, however, with the blue chips ending last week at their 52nd record of the year. But if you think we’re in a bubble, you ain’t seen nothing yet, warns Gary Savage. The real bubble is just getting started (more on that below).

In the meantime, expect a mostly hushed atmosphere heading into “the worst” holiday of the year, as John Oliver so accurately puts it. “It’s like the death of a pet,” he says. “You know it’s going to happen, but somehow you’re never really prepared for how truly awful it is.”

Same with the death of a bull market.

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 06:45:14

No one is paying attention to anything until after New Years day. Most of the financial and journalistic classes that tell you what to beleive are off for the last two weeks of the year. This is why the oil crash isn’t getting bigger play. Once they come back to work and it sinks in what it is going to mean for 2015 then the panic begins.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 07:05:20

home and stock prices have had a nice run over the past 6 years havent they?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 07:25:54

I’d exit but I can’t find a buyer for this run down shack.

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Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 07:27:50

6 years? Maybe 3 for houses. 6 years ago they were crashing.

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Comment by rms
2014-12-29 08:32:26

“No one is paying attention to anything until after New Years day.”

+1 That’s right. Go shopping, and please don’t wear it and return it.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 11:48:29

I can’t go shopping because the aisles are blocked up by people who are too fat to take up less space than one half of an aisle. And don’t even get me started on that guy who said “excuse me” when I was trying to pick a chicken, and then proceeded to stand there and check out the chickens, trying to pick one while I waited behind him and couldn’t see!

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Comment by Avocado
2014-12-29 17:20:01

Misfits and morons, 70% of the USA. Stay strong.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-29 11:48:39
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Comment by rms
2014-12-29 13:16:39

+1 The faux middle-class.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 04:41:01

What we need is a new conflict in the Middle East to get oil prices back up again.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 05:48:12

There are already multiple conflicts there and the net result is cratering crude.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 06:49:26

“Good debt is money you borrow to purchase an asset, such as a home you can afford. History shows that home values generally rise in step with the inflation rate, so a mortgage is good debt. Student loans are, too, because they’re an investment in the future. Census data pegs the average lifetime earnings of a high school graduate at a million dollars below that of someone with a bachelor’s degree.”

suze orman

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 07:06:03

There is never “good debt” Poet. Debt is toxic.

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Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 07:30:30

Why buy a house today when you can wait a few months or more and save tens or hundreds of thousands?

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Comment by butters
2014-12-29 11:27:42

If you have to borrow, can you really AFFORD?

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 11:51:13

Then you should pay a million bucks for a degree.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 06:52:23

Oil Rises Amid Reports of Clashes in Libya
Libya’s Production Recovery Has Been One Reason for Oil’s Glut
Pipes at the El Sharara oilfield in Libya’s southern Sahara. According to PVM Consultancy, the country’s output is down to 230,00 (SIC) barrels a day. Reuters
By Georgi Kantchev
Updated Dec. 29, 2014 7:24 a.m. ET

LONDON—Oil rallied on Monday amid reports of escalating clashes in Libya, a key crude producer.

Oil prices have slumped since the summer on fears of a global oversupply coupled with tepid demand for the commodity. Libya’s oil production recovery after the country’s civil war, along with booming U.S. shale production, has been one of the main reasons for the oil glut.

Brent crude for February delivery rose 1.3% to $60.25 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, front-month WTI futures traded at $55.50 a barrel, up $0.76 from the previous session.

On Monday, reports of a fire at a Libyan oil terminal added to the fear of renewed turbulence in the country that started earlier in December. Libya declared force majeure on two key oil ports on Dec. 14 as armed clashes between Islamist militias and the government disrupted about half of the country’s crude export capacity.

According to PVM Consultancy, Lybian oil output is down to 230,000 barrels a day, a sharp drop from the country’s export capacity of 1.3 million barrels a day.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 07:18:41

I’m driving all over town today looking for the cheapest gas. 2.27 is the best I can find on gasbuddy

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 07:28:21

It will be cheaper tomorrow. Wait.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 08:29:51

We have it below $1.80 here in my parents’ nabe.

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Comment by Jingle Male
2014-12-30 02:38:19

Wow, I didn’t know you were Arabian, Whac!

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-29 11:50:22

“Oil rallied on Monday amid reports of escalating clashes in Libya, a key crude producer.”


Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-29 11:22:51

What we need is a new conflict in the Middle East to get oil prices back up again.

The conflict needs to be one that affects production. There are already conflicts, but they are contained (so far) so as to not affect oil production. ISIS could potentially shut down Iraqi production, but that wouldn’t be enough. Now, shut down Saudi production and that will get noticed. But that would be a very tall order.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-12-29 04:41:32

Why Germans Pay Cash for Almost Everything

“One explanation is that, as researchers have found, memories of hyperinflation have quite a bit of staying power. People in countries that suffered banking crises quite sensibly often prefer to save in cash—though typically in foreign currencies such as US dollars—rather than put money in the bank. (Federal Reserve Bank of New York economists found that demand for US dollars rises for at least a generation in countries after they suffer a searing experience with high inflation.) And countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, which have recent histories of currency instability and financial crises, also are quite heavy users of cash.

But the real point isn’t that Germans love cash. It’s that—for the same historical reasons—they loathe debt. (Armchair anthropologists have also long noted that German word for debt—Schulden—comes from the word for guilt, Schuld.)”

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-29 08:11:21

It’s that—for the same historical reasons—they loathe debt.

That doesn’t make much sense; hyperinflation is the debtor’s best friend, as their debts get inflated away to nothing—assuming that they still have an income with which to make the payment, of course.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-12-29 08:30:37

I know, that part makes little sense. They never really answer the question of why Germans prefer cash:

” Roughly 80% of all transactions in Germany are conducted in cash. (In the US, it’s less than 50%.) And cash is the dominant form of payment there even for large transactions.”

They suggest either “cash makes it easier to keep track of their money and spending” or that they prefer the privacy of cash, but they can’t explain why Germans should have those preferences more than others.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-29 11:55:18

“But the real point isn’t that Germans love cash. It’s that—for the same historical reasons—they loathe debt.

Seems I’ve got a lot in common with Germans in that regard. I have zero debt, and don’t foresee a scenario when I ever take on any again. I’m even considering dropping Directv and internet again, and just using my cell phone as a tether. I just don’t watch enough TV, and the internet provider and Directv just informed me of some new rate hikes. Sorry, not interested. Buh-bye.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-29 16:02:27

The Germans may have memories of hyperinflation, yet they vote in the globalist cow Frau Merkel who has made them a vassal state to the banksters and put German taxpayers on the hook for endless bailouts of the PIIGS. Stupid is as stupid does. Kind of like another group of voters I could name.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 04:46:02

Is China’s economy heading for deflation?

If so, what’s to stop it?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 06:55:03

ft dot com
December 24, 2014 11:29 am
Causes and consequences of China’s contagious case of deflation
George Magnus
Monetary policy might not be enough and governments may be forced to step in, writes George Magnus

The 50 per cent fall in oil prices this year is self-evidently good news for all but oil-producing states, regions and companies. It also reminds us that the world economy is deflation-prone — both because of deficient demand in Europe, Japan and several big emerging markets and because China’s deflation, rooted in excess capacity, is structural and of growing significance.

A persistent and as yet unfinished slowdown in the country’s economic growth has been accompanied by the emergence of substantial overcapacity, a significant rise in non-financial corporate debt and a big drop in inflation. Between 2011 and November 2014, Chinese producer prices fell by 10 per cent — the annual change has been negative for 33 months — and the annual rate of consumer price inflation has fallen from 6 per cent to 1.4 per cent over the same period.

The ratio of output to capacity in many sectors — for example, steel, plate glass, construction materials, chemicals and fertilisers, aluminium, shipbuilding, and solar panel and wind turbine manufacturing — has fallen sharply. Last year it was about 70-72 per cent, and it is likely to have dropped further since. Property was the main beneficiary of the post-2008 investment and credit surge, accounting for about 16 per cent of China’s gross domestic product directly; it is now in a secular downturn. Inventories of unsold homes in many cities outside Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen have risen sharply to between 25 and 40 months of supply.

China’s nominal GDP growth has roughly halved since 2011 to 8 per cent this year, and the aggregate debt to GDP ratio has risen by 80 percentage points to 250 per cent. The increased burden of debt has been exacerbated by passive tightening from the rise in real interest rates. These have doubled to 4 per cent, deflated by consumer prices; and surged from zero to 8 per cent, using producer prices. The share of interest payments in GDP has doubled to about 15 per cent. Although credit expansion is slowing, it is still running at almost twice the rate of nominal GDP, and much is probably sustaining excess capacity to avoid shutdowns and job losses.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-12-29 04:57:09

Some good charts here.

Most Germans don’t buy their homes, they rent. Here’s why

“It’s just a fact. Many Germans can’t be bothered to buy a house.
The country’s homeownership rate ranks among the lowest in the developed world, and nearly dead last in Europe, though the Swiss rent even more.

This may seem strange. Isn’t home ownership a crucial cog to any healthy economy? Well, as Germany shows—and Gershwin wrote—it ain’t necessarily so.

In Spain, around 80% of people live in owner-occupied housing. (Yay!) But unemployment is nearly 27%, thanks to the burst of a giant housing bubble. (Ooof.)

Only 43% own their home in Germany, where unemployment is 5.2%.

German people clearly like how their system of housing works. According to the OECD, more than 93% of German respondents tell pollsters they’re satisfied with their current housing situation. That’s one of the highest rates of any nation”

Comment by oxide
2014-12-29 07:29:38

“The data below show Germans actually pay more for housing—as a percentage of disposable income—than housing-crazed countries like the US, Spain and Ireland.”

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 07:40:51

How do they calculate the disposable income for the 27% of unemployed Spaniards?

Comment by rms
2014-12-29 08:43:38

“German people clearly like how their system of housing works. According to the OECD, more than 93% of German respondents tell pollsters they’re satisfied with their current housing situation. That’s one of the highest rates of any nation”

Clearly they need some Christian Zionist meddling to improve their situation, e.g., empty homes rotting and homeless encampments.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 19:59:14

I’m guessing Germany doesn’t have nearly as many homeless encampments as the U.S. has. There certainly are downsides to bubble pricing of homes!

Comment by Dman
2014-12-29 08:44:32

Renting = Happiness. I already knew that, but’s it’s nice to see that others do too.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 09:09:33

It’s certainly less costly considering I can rent the same square footage for roughly 50% less/month.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 20:00:23

Why would anyone in their right mind pay 100% extra for “pride of ownership”? Are we witnessing an instance of mass insanity?

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Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-29 17:47:15

You forgot the second part of the last quote, which diminishes the meaningfulness of the 93%.

“And German people clearly like how their system of housing works. According to the OECD, more than 93% of German respondents tell pollsters they’re satisfied with their current housing situation. That’s one of the highest rates of any nation the rich-country think tank surveyed. Then again, the Irish and the Spanish—where homeownership is much more widely spread—seem just as happy.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-12-29 05:26:43

The old conflicts work fine.

Comment by palmetto
2014-12-29 06:52:54

Exactly. The Islam thing hasn’t worked out so well. That’s why there’s been a “Pivot to Putin”.

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 07:41:53

He’s so hot right now.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 07:11:26

sky wizards gonna wiz, dannyboy

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 06:41:49

The shack, the debt and a boatload of tears. There’s nothing else for you to do except hang the sign. Go ahead now….. Hang the sign. You already hung yourself.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 07:13:29

“The Economic Consequences of Global Oil Deflation”

“a more rapid appreciation of the US dollar, and the corresponding relative decline in the currencies of a number of emerging market economies (EMEs) — in particular those dependent on commodity exports and especially those for whom oil exports make up a significant percent of total exports. There is a long, historical and documented relationship between falling oil prices and a rising US dollar. So global oil deflation means a rising US dollar.

I love my rising dollars. An increasingly valuable dollar is good for the economy and very patriotic.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-12-29 07:31:52

Not if you are a US company trying to sell on the world market.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 07:39:01

None of us are. The size of our wallets is more important.

Capitalism Dan capitalism!

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 12:34:13

Then how do you explain why the US middle class was so much better off when we had a strong dollar coupled with protective tariffs?

Comment by Dudgeon Bludgeon
2014-12-29 20:22:59

There are very few “US” companies these days. They are global and do business in local currencies and rarely re-patriot/move profits.
There are always some transfers but they’re all done very carefully with an eye on taxes and rates and laws.

Comment by Dman
2014-12-29 08:50:27

A rising dollar makes it easier for everybody else to sell their stuff to us, and harder for us to sell things to them. If you like to buy foreign made products, a rising dollar is good. If you make things that compete with those products, you may be out of a job soon.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 08:55:16

A rising dollar makes everything less costly. I like lower prices. The entire country likes lower prices. And you do too.

Comment by Dman
2014-12-29 14:00:34

Only those things made overseas are less costly because of a rising dollar. A rising dollar doesn’t affect the cost of making a product in this country, unless some of the materials used are purchased overseas.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 15:50:35

Which frees up discretionary income to buy products in this country.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 12:32:45

My dollars are buff.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 07:29:29

Why buy today for what you can buy tomorrow for less?

Comment by Jingle Male
2014-12-30 04:05:16

How often does that happen? Not often.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 09:32:54

Exactly Jingle_Fraud. That’s there is no better time to hold onto every dollar you’ve got. It’s a long way down.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 07:33:03

Subscriber article preview

Housing affordability challenges loom in metro Denver

Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-29 07:49:57

Once again, the conspiracy theorists are running amok over Air Asia.

One picture says a thousand words.

Like the one that one of the news agencies generated, overlaying the flight track onto a weather satellite picture taken at the same time. Shows the airplane flying right into the middle of a giant thunderstorm.

The aircrew has access to satellite and radar weather, assuming there is any ground radar coverage out there. Other than that, they try to use the radar to divert around the heaviest rain/storms. The problem is, radar can be misinterpreted.

For one thing, a storm can generate so much rain that it literally puts up a wall in the return, making it look like the storm with the heaviest rain is actually a thin band of intense stuff, with clear air on the other side.

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 07:55:35

I like to read about or view shows about exceedingly rare events over and over. It makes them seem more common. Hands up.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-12-29 07:59:49

I heard they asked permission to climb 6 thousand (?) feet, ostensibly to go above the storm, and were denied because of traffic, in their last radio transmission. Maybe they flew straight into the storm, “obeying orders”?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-29 08:34:06

Maybe they flew straight into the storm, “obeying orders”?

Yep, there is a risk of this in any culture that values conformity and obedience too highly.

But ATC instructions are not “orders”. The pilot-in-command has the authority and the responsibility to decline any ATC instructions that endanger his aircraft, crew, or passengers. “Unable” is the preferred wording for communicating that you are unable to safely comply with instruction from ATC.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-29 11:21:50

The short version……

Any pilot with half a brain will give a thunderstorm that tops out at 40-50K feet a wide berth.

(according to one news report, these things were topping out above 50K)

-A lightning strike will cause problems, especially if it kills all of your flight guidance systems even temporarily, if you are flying in clouds.

-So will heavy rain. Enough will literally drown the engines

-And don’t forget hail…… they get hail with monsoon rains in SE Asia?

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Comment by Ben Jones
2014-12-29 07:59:43

‘Soon after two cops were gunned down in Brooklyn, I called Springfield Police Officer Mike Evans. Mike heads the union that represents most Springfield cops. He’s been in law enforcement for 20 years. I assumed he, along with every officer in the country, took the killings very personally.’

‘Here is my conversation with Mike, edited for clarity:

‘Me: “Well, I’m just calling about those two officers who were killed in New York. There seems to be, across the country, a growing anti-police sentiment. Maybe even hostility. I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to assume the killing of those cops is somehow connected.”

Mike: “We were just talking about that.”

Me: “Are Springfield officers experiencing more hostility from folks they interact with?”

Mike: “Our guys are noticing it. Honestly, we saw it building before the Ferguson shooting. I don’t know if Ferguson was the tipping point. It’s been kind of a growing thing. When I first came on the job, it was: ‘yes sir, no sir,’ now it’s more ‘go F yourself.’”

Me: “Why do you think that is?”

Mike: “That’s a complex question. There aren’t simple answers. It seems there is a change in people, in general. Look at a lot of our role models. There are rap stars, rapping about shooting people, selling drugs. Our most popular video games are point-of-view shooters. What are we, as a society, doing to ourselves? I think Americans have become more violent.”

Me: “Interesting. You have also mentioned poverty. You also think that has something to do with it?”

Mike: “I think it absolutely does. We’ve seen more anger over the last several years — at least since the housing bubble. The income gap between the top 1 percent and the other 99 percent is at its highest level since before World War II. You see that gap increasing. There’s something to that. People manifest their anger toward government, and who is the most visible part of government?”

Me: “The police?”

Mike: “The police. Us. We should be talking about ‘how do we deal with poverty as a nation,’ but it’s all so politicized. I’ve been disappointed. There are some underlying issues that have to be addressed. There are some race problems — historic problems that I’m not trying to ignore. Some minorities don’t trust the police — but that’s been the case for decades.”

Me: “But, for you, it’s more of a poverty issue.”

Mike: “Absolutely. That increased hostility we are seeing toward law enforcement in Springfield, we see that across all races.”

Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-29 08:26:30

“Mike: “The police. Us. We should be talking about ‘how do we deal with poverty as a nation,’ but it’s all so politicized. I’ve been disappointed.”"

How many trillions have we thrown away during the so called “war on poverty”? Over one trillion dollars per year goes to non-ss non-medicare assistance to the poor, now we are going to double down on that by legalizing up to 30 million more of the world poorest people who will in large numbers require financial assistance.


Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 08:31:34

” #ClowardAndPiven”

I read all of Michael Savage’s new book yesterday, first time I’d seen their names mentioned in print before.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-12-29 10:34:33

Over one trillion dollars per year goes to non-ss non-medicare assistance to the poor

Does Medicaid make up a big chunk of that amount?

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-29 11:46:36

now we are going to double down on that by legalizing up to 30 million more of the world

I saw an article the other day that documented the “Amnesty” from illegals’ point of view. Long story short: they are not pleased.

Apparently they were expecting to at least get Green Cards (many were expecting automatic citizenship). They hate the temporary visas they’ve been offered, because in their words “the government will now know where we live and will deport us when the visas expire”.

There was a town hall meeting described in the article where an immigration activist explained the proposed amnesty to the assembled throngs of illegals and they howled their disapproval when they learned they were not being awarded permanent residency.

From the sound of it, many, if not most, will shun the “offer” and demand Green Cards.

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-29 18:59:17

Don’t beleive that propaganda someone is trying to sell you that they aren’t happy. They want to work legally. This will allow it. There will also be benefits through the courts whether the law allows it or not.

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Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 08:29:04

Los Angeles Times - LAPD calls off search for gunman who fired on patrol car in South L.A.

“The search for a gunman believed to be involved in the ambush of two police officers in South Los Angeles on Sunday night has been called off, officials said.

The search was called off just before 6 a.m. Monday, some nine hours after two men armed with rifles opened fire on a police patrol car driving southbound on Hoover Street near 62nd Street.”

Is it “Go Time” yet?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-29 08:39:09

Me: “But, for you, it’s more of a poverty issue.”

I concur with this. I believe that the riots and protests (triggered by completely false statements from so-called eyewitnesses) are primarily a symptom of poverty.

Poverty makes people pissed off; not feeling like you have a stake in the system inclines people not to play by the system’s rules.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-29 09:02:35

You also have to wonder about the role of these “community organizers”…I mean, what exactly are they organizing? Is Al Sharpton considered a community organizer? If so, I guess I answered my own question.

Does anyone reading here today have people organizing their community? Seems the only organizing being done is how to shake down the taxpayers, stir up anger and create chaos. I wonder how much local, state and federal moneys are being funneled to these agitators?


Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-29 10:24:50

“Does anyone reading here today have people organizing their community?”

Obama Group To Train 10,000 Community Organizers In Search For Next ‘Organizer-In-Chief’

Patrick Howley
Political Reporter
10:02 PM 12/28/2014

President Obama’s nonprofit advocacy group Organizing for Action plans to train 10,000 new community organizers in 2015 in a search for the next “organizer-in-chief.”

The OFA Fellows Program set a goal of training 10,000 new organizers to follow in the footsteps of Obama, according to a fundraising email the group sent out Sunday with the subject line “The next Barack Obama.”

“We take pride in the fact that the President of the United States got his start organizing the families affected by closed steel mills on Chicago’s South Side,” the OFA email stated. “This work isn’t just playing the long game, though — the whole idea is that these 10,000 folks will be working their tails off on the issue organizing we’re doing today.”

“And years from now, these are the same people who will be progressive leaders in their communities. Some will be elected officials, and — yeah — one may even go on to be the organizer-in-chief.”…/ - 100k -

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Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-29 10:40:26

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-29 10:24:50

Obama Group To Train 10,000 Community Organizers In Search For Next ‘Organizer-In-Chief’

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-29 16:07:20

Taxpayer funded, I bet.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-29 18:08:14

“the whole idea is that these 10,000 folks will be working their tails off on the issue organizing we’re doing today.”

This is code for communism I guess, because I have no idea what that statement means.


Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-29 11:26:19

Yeah, and it could be that police are seeing more hostility because they are just being dicks a lot more than they used to be.

This cop attitude of “Be courteous, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet” was around for a long time before Ferguson.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-29 12:14:27

I thought that, too. What’s their accountability? When police are disrespectful and condescending, why would you be pleasant in return (except in fear)?

WeAreChange recently got the opportunity to meet and Interview Joe Lozito, the selfless hero who put his life on the line to stop a serial killer. The story is only magnified when Joe finds out, that while being stabbed by the serial killer, the NYPD was standing by watching everything unfold from the safety of the conductors door. Currently in a legal suit, the NYPD and City of NY is arguing that the NYPD has NO duty to protect its own citizens.

Amazing Serial Killer Survival Story
(taped in 2013, incident from 2011)

No one wants them to die or sacrifice themselves, but this story was ridiculous. BTW, he lost his case.

I have also seen articles about police training teaching that nothing matters except them “get(ing) home safe.” They even had printed t-shirts with that slogan on it.

An aside: my mother keeps telling me to scrape the Ron Paul stickers off my car lest they irritate the cops.

Comment by spook
2014-12-29 12:51:46

Police are no substitute for law abiding citizens.

Its like when you go apply for a job and they have that big sign displayed stating ” We are an equal opportunity bla, bla, bla…”

You know theres some racism up in there.

Lots of lawyers is a bad sign too.

Its like going places where they search you for weapons to get in.

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Comment by jane
2014-12-29 20:28:24

We’ve reached the tipping point.

Cops are deliberately disqualified from joining the force on the basis of having high IQ. There was a case in CT which the disqualified applicant, an educated citizen of a shore town, was denied admission on the basis of IQ. Must be 20 years ago.

Since then, we have watered down any concept of responsibility and accountability for public safety, making it all about the cops’ safety.

The predictable result is a combination of ignorance and arrogance which will not be erased in our lifetime.

The next step in this sequence: ignorance coupled with arrogance (the belief that you are above the rules, so are entitled to spoils) leads to corruption on an epic scale.

If the American citizenry were a tad more literate and numerate, they might have the capability to wonder why they would want to pay $100K pensions to piggish law enforcement officers, who hold them in contempt as they chow down on the donuts.

“Tough day at work, hon?” “Yeah, had to wait half the shift till they got the Boston Crèam-filled delivery”.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 12:47:07

Luckily (knocking on wood), I do not live in poverty. I am not going to kill a couple of random cops because that would be murder. However, I feel hostile toward the police because almost every interaction I have ever had or seen with a cop has been unnecessarily escalated into a bad scene (by the cop).

Comment by palmetto
2014-12-29 14:37:47

Yeah, I had one of those back in 2005. Really unnecessary. And kinda scary. Coupla dickheads throwing their weight around.

The head sheriff for the county north of mine was on the news last night. He’s actually a halfway decent guy, but he was all upset about an attempt on one of his deputies and was asking what the heck was wrong with society these days. Sigh. He doesn’t get it.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-29 18:13:28

“I feel hostile toward the police because almost every interaction I have ever had or seen with a cop has been unnecessarily escalated into a bad scene (by the cop).”

I hear what you are saying, but just watch a dozen or so episodes of the show cops and ask yourself if you would like to be out there responding to those calls and confronting those people. I am still glad people volunteer for law enforcement.

A Flagstaff AZ rookie was just shot in the face and killed by a suicidal clown during a domestic dispute. They have to respond to those calls.


Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-29 20:37:27

Also think about who is passing all of these laws on behavior, like no smoking in bars and pool halls. Cops have to break away from patrols and real crime to enforce joe six pack lighting up a camel in the corner tavern.


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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-29 16:05:35

Of course the changing attitudes towards cops has nothing to do with legalized theft like civil forfeiture and jacking citizens for all manner of “infractions” that yield lucrative fines, or just plain loutish behavior on the part of so many law enforcement officers.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-29 16:42:58

I’ll say it again we dont have a race problem in America we have a huge Functional illiteracy one.

And most of the criminals are functionally illiterate going into jail and coming out so we need to break that chain. Hence my War on Ebonics.

Solve that and the race issue become moot.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-29 08:55:47

The 2.6 Billion Dollar Welfare Payment That The U.S. Government Gives To Wal-Mart

by Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse | December 29, 2014

Should the federal government be spending billions of dollars to pump up Wal-Mart’s profits? I know that question sounds really bizarre, but unfortunately this is essentially what is happening. Because Wal-Mart does not pay them enough money, hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart employees enroll in Medicaid, food stamps and other social welfare programs. Even though Wal-Mart makes enormous profits, they refuse to properly take care of their employees so the federal government has to do it. And of course this is not just a Wal-Mart problem. There are hundreds of other major corporations doing exactly the same thing. And they will keep on doing it as long as they can because relying on the federal government to take care of their employees allows them to make much larger profits. This gives these companies an enormous competitive advantage and it distorts the marketplace. If you love the free enterprise system, you should be aghast at this. Our big corporations have become the biggest “welfare queens” of all, and Wal-Mart is near the top of that list.

Does your local Wal-Mart store seem like it needs help from the federal government?

Of course not.

Wal-Marts all over the nation were absolutely packed this holiday season, but according to a recent Bloomberg article, the average amount of welfare that Wal-Mart employees receive from the government each year breaks down to about $420,000 per store…

Wal-Mart’s low wages have led to full-time employees seeking public assistance. These are not the 47 percent, lazy, unmotivated bums. Rather, these are people working physical, often difficult jobs. They receive $2.66 billion in government help each year (including $1 billion in healthcare assistance). That works out to about $5,815 per worker. And about $420,000 per store.

Does that make you angry?

It should.

Today, Wal-Mart employs approximately 1.2 million people in the United States, and it makes a yearly profit of about 17 billion dollars.

So why does it need 2.6 billion dollars of help from the U.S. government?

Wal-Mart is a colossal money-making behemoth. Just consider the following numbers…

The size of Wal-Mart is sometimes difficult to visualize. To put it into some context, consider the following: 100 million U.S. shoppers patronize Wal-Mart stores every week. Wal-Mart has twice the number employees of the U.S. Postal Service, a larger global computer network than the Pentagon, and the world’s largest fleet of trucks. Americans spend about $36 million dollars per hour at the stores. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other company in the world, capturing one of every four dollars spent on food in the U.S. The average American family of four spends over $4,000 a year there. Each week, it has 200 million customers at more than 10,400 stores in 27 countries. If the company were an independent country, it would be the 25th largest economy in the world.

Wal-Mart does well enough to be able to pay their workers a livable wage.

And yet they refuse to do it.

Shame on them.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-29 10:38:16

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-29 08:55:47

The 2.6 Billion Dollar Welfare Payment That The U.S. Government Gives To Wal-Mart

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 13:14:31

Abby Joseph Cohen 1999: “This is an economy that is doing quite well and we think will support an increase in stock prices.”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 13:06:51

Wal*Mart needs assistance; it’s for the children.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 09:13:36

Because the kidz don’t want to work somewhere with a shitty walkscore

Suburbia is for the fats and poors and dumbs and olds

What’s your walkscore?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-12-29 10:38:48

If you divide America up in urban, suburban and rural areas, you’d probably find that the suburbs have the lowest poverty rate.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-29 11:58:39

Suburbia is for the fats and poors and dumbs and olds

I would never come to that conclusion in places like Broomfield or anywhere in Douglas County.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 13:09:36

Suburbs are for katz.

Comment by Muggy
2014-12-29 15:22:35

I grew up in the ‘burbs, and have since lived in every iteration imaginable. It really depends on what type of ‘burbs you have. I spent a lot of time roaming the woods and hills and farmlands as a kid. That was great, but if you live in Tampa-type burbs with every developed and/or off limits/fenced, those aren’t so great.

I really enjoyed living in Hoboken, car-free. That was really nice. I think any place can be awesome, and any place can suck.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 10:02:28

…. and up through the ground comes a’ craterin’ crude!

…. cheap oil that is… vast pools….. mega barges…

Comment by oxide
2014-12-29 10:24:46

Amy Hoaks’ daily pimp, this time for a home office:

It’s not really worth pasting any text. Main upshot: reno an attic or basement somewhere to make a home office to make the house more attractive to buyers.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 10:55:32

Throw more good money after bad? For what?

Comment by oxide
2014-12-29 11:58:20

Not much, HA. They are pimping for a $28K home office and expect a 45% return on resale. That’s insane.

But the article contains a link to a link to a much better resource: cost vs. return value for various remodels:

Most ROI are for replacing doors and adding a wooden deck.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 14:33:47

And more throwing good money after bad.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-29 23:23:57

cost vs. return value for various remodels:

Don’t believe those figures; it’s simple pimping by the REIC.

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Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 11:11:40

oil is back to its cratering ways today. Stocks next?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 20:03:59

No, no, no…the stock market always goes up. Don’t forget it!

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 11:34:25

Why is oil still going down? I thought Bring-a-Crayon Dan had that locked in at $75/barrel.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 11:39:18


Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-29 12:00:01

There’s now talk of $20/barrel. Could $1 gas be on the horizon?

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 12:14:46

“The story here is not Oil; it’s about a massive bubble in risk assets fueled by borrowed Dollars blowing up. The last time around it was a housing bubble. This time it’s an EVERYTHING bubble. And Oil is just the canary in the coalmine.”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 13:18:10

I bought some oil at $60/bbl because I think it will eventually be much higher, but I am also hoping that it goes much lower in the meanwhile so I can buy more.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 13:23:34

smart move

I am dollar cost averaging into sds

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 14:02:04

What is sds?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-29 14:06:53

Oh, you are shorting the stock market. I tried that last year, but it did not work. “They” ruined it for me.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 15:50:39

you went all in didnt you? As it get cheaper I buy more. If it goes up well hey I have made some money.

Comment by Avocado
2014-12-29 17:17:53

I shorted China in 2013, worst play I ever made. Still waiting for the crash.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-29 17:46:34

You play you pay. You should know that by now Lolacado.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 12:24:20

“Borrowing US Dollars is the equivalent of shorting the US DOLLAR. If the US Dollar rallies, then your debt becomes more and more expensive to finance on a relative basis.”

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-29 23:28:24

“Borrowing US Dollars is the equivalent of shorting the US DOLLAR.


If the dollar strengthens, but your income is denominated in dollars, and your debt is denominated in dollars, why would you care? Your payment is the same.

Similarly, if the dollar weakens, but your income is denominated in dollars, and your debt is denominated in dollars, why would you care? Your payment is the same.

In either case, you are unaffected.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 12:56:04

President Barack Obama.

Comment by rms
2014-12-29 13:29:35

“President Barack Obama.”

The Savior

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-29 14:58:03

But……ahhhh….but…..ahhh…You didn’t build that - therefore you can’t have a wedding that .uh…..gets in the way of my…..uh…..what is it there Moochelle?…uh….oh yea - my golf game!!!
The Emporer

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-29 12:57:07

Brazil’s Economy Just Imploded

The latest Keynesian success story

by Zero Hedge | December 29, 2014

China may have mastered the art of fabricating economic data to a level unmatched by anyone except the US Department of Labor, but its derivative countries have much to learn. And none other more so than one of China’s favorite sources of commodities over the past decade: Brazil. It is here that things are going from worse to catastrophic, as disclosed in today’s update of Brazil’s fiscal picture.

Here are the disturbing facts showing that behind the world’s propaganda growth facade, it is all hollow: Brazil’s consolidated public sector primary fiscal balance, which posted a significantly worse than expected R$8.1bn primary deficit in November driven by the R$6.7bn deficit of the Central Government,dipped into negative territory: -0.18% of GDP, driven by the significant deterioration of the Central Government finances.

To summarize, in Goldman’s words

The fiscal picture has deteriorated very significantly since 2011 at both the flow (fiscal deficit) and stock (gross public debt) levels.

President Rousseff and Finance Minister designate Levy will face, among other things, the very significant challenge of repairing the severely deteriorated fiscal picture.

The steady erosion of the fiscal stance pushed net and gross public debt up. Furthermore, fiscal and quasi-fiscal activism undermined the effectiveness of monetary policy, contributed to inflation very high and drove the current account deficit to a very high level despite weak growth.

In other words, after Japan, this is merely the latest Keynesian success story. And now BTFATH in the S&P 500 because the US will, any minute now, decouple from the entire world.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 13:17:52

“I don’t think of it [stock market] anymore as risk, or myself as a risk taker for investing.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 20:05:39

BRICs are falling now!

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 13:11:25

“John Kenneth Galbraith: “There are far more people in the market, including mutual funds, than there is intelligence to go around.”


Comment by real journalists
2014-12-29 14:11:30

Minus 7F tonight and high 3F tomorrow in Region VIII, wonder if all the homeless kidz who moved here for legal weed are beginning to regret that decision…

Comment by rms
2014-12-29 22:45:15

“Minus 7F tonight and high 3F tomorrow…”

Yep, the mercury is falling. It is 14-degrees F wind chill right now, single digits later tonight, and dropping further tomorrow night here in Region X. Hey, no dumpster divers or pan handlers. :)

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-29 15:13:55

Hmmmm……wonder if obozo thought this one through?

Comment by Muggy
2014-12-29 15:25:15

I want a cheap house and I don’t care if people lose jobs to make it happen.

Right on.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 15:48:49

I want to pay more so people have good jobs!

Comment by Muggy
2014-12-29 17:00:15

Life was better for everyone when housing was cheaper.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 18:42:34

that could be very true

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Comment by tresho
2014-12-29 15:43:15

Opinion: Piggish bankers went whole hog, again
the 2014 edition of my Piggy Bank Awards for Dubious Achievements in Consumer Finance or, for short, “The Piggies.”
— what a year of very dubious achievements it was. Loan servicers continued to stick it to mortgage clients, except when the servicers turned out to be sticking it to student loan borrowers. The big mortgage banks that caused the Great Recession continued to buy their way out of trouble. Top law enforcement officials continued to collect hundreds of thousands of (mostly tax-deductible) dollars in fines for criminal activity by banks, while remaining unable to find even one actual banker who committed all those criminal acts.

Naturally, bank customers will end up paying those fines in the end, thanks to ever-higher bank fees on customer accounts.

So, to quote Dickens, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times” — except for that whole “best of times” part.

— Best Piggy in a Supporting Role: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who continued to let big, repeat offenders off the hook. Bank after bank agreed to pay criminal fines worth up to billions of dollars for mortgage fraud and other illegal acts. But not one single banker is behind bars for committing any of those criminal frauds

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 15:59:20

why did christmas sales fall off a cliff this year?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-29 16:09:33

Don’t look now, but the Russian ruble is tanking again. Another black swan takes wing….

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 00:46:45

“Don’t look now, but the Russian ruble is tanking again.”

I’ll take two (2) mail order brides!

Comment by Avocado
2014-12-29 16:27:21

happy new years Obama Nation!

“Goodbye to one of the best years in history
It might not feel like it, but we are safer, richer and healthier than at any time on record”

Comment by Avocado
2014-12-29 16:55:38

Bet against O: Sheldon Adelson, the gambling mogul who controls Las Vegas Sands Corp., the world’s largest casino company, lost $8.7 billion in 2014.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., was up $9.1 billion during the year. The 59-year-old remains the world’s richest person with a $87.6 billion fortune.

Bet on the liberals! Otherwise you get Bush War, Bush Depression.

Jeb 2016!

Comment by azdude
2014-12-29 17:10:47

“Crude oil is not the only commodity that is crashing. Iron ore is on a similar trajectory and for a common reason. Namely, the two-decade-long economic boom fueled by the money printing rampage of the world’s central banks is beginning to cool rapidly. What the old-time Austrians called “malinvestment” and what Warren Buffet once referred to as the “naked swimmers” exposed by a receding tide is now becoming all too apparent.”

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 00:49:24

“Namely, the two-decade-long economic boom fueled by the money printing rampage of the world’s central banks is beginning to cool rapidly.”

Not to worry ’cause the toner cartridges are being replaced.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 21:13:36

Considering it’s a recovery year, it’s pretty surprising to see long-term Treasury yields imploding again.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 21:53:53

Stocks barely budge as Treasurys rally, oil falls
Dec 29 2014, 16:15 ET | By: Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor
[Contact this editor with comments or a news tip]

NEWS TIP: CRATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* U.S. markets closed the day nearly where they started, brushing off a Greek vote that spells a snap election, as well as a December Dallas Fed print that fell well short of consensus.

* Treasurys, on the other hand, rallied with the help of a European flight to safety. The 10-year yield is down to 2.22%.

* Oil continued its descent, with WTI and Brent crude each making new 5-year lows in spite of fresh Libyan turmoil. Gold and silver, two other commodities wrapping up less-than-memorable years, declined as well.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 21:22:22

It’s great to finally have the Greek economic turmoil behind us.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 21:24:25

Isn’t it?

U.S. Yields Fall Most in 2 Weeks as Greek Turmoil Stokes Demand
By Susanne Walker
Dec 29, 2014 4:15 PM CT

Treasuries advanced, with the 10-year note yield falling the most in almost two weeks, as a renewal of political turmoil in Greece burnishes the refuge appeal of U.S. government securities.

The benchmark note’s yield advantage over its Group of Seven peers approached the most in eight years, fueling demand on concern a Greek election next month may reawaken the nation’s sovereign-debt crisis. Treasuries fell last week when data showed the U.S. economy grew the fastest in 11 years, and Wall Street forecasters said bonds will drop further next year. The rate on three-month Treasury bills reached a 15-month low.

“It’s a sympathy uptrade with what’s going on in Europe,” said Ian Lyngen, a government-bond strategist at CRT Capital Group LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “It’s thematically consistent with the reach for yield from overseas buyers.”

U.S. 10-year yields sank five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, to 2.20 percent at 5 p.m. New York time. They slid as much as six basis points, the most since Dec. 16, after touching a two-week high of 2.30 percent on Dec. 24. The price of the 2.25 percent note due in November 2024 gained 13/32, or $4.06 per $1,000 face amount, to 100 13/32.

German 10-year (GDBR10) yields dropped five basis points to 0.544 percent and reached a record-low 0.541 percent. U.S. 10-year debt yielded as much as 100 basis points more than the average of its Group of Seven peers. The gap reached 101 basis points Dec. 23, the widest since November 2006.

U.S. three-month rates touched negative 0.0101 percent, matching a September 2013 low, before trading at zero.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-12-29 21:28:41

Argh! After more than 25 years of my nagging of sisters to save money, today one finally sent me a post of an alarmist (I’ve seen it for weeks) about CIA being quiet about Fed Reserve and we will go bankrupt.

She saved diddly. Was I supposed to make her really panic? No. But her situation is grave. I advised her to buy a one ounce silver dollar per month. I gave her as a site. It’s about $20 or so. I advised her that when she gets 20 of those coins then get a safe deposit box.

I told her the bankruptcy won’t happen tomorrow or next month. It will happen in a few years. That would turn my hair white if I had zero bucks.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-12-29 21:38:36

Tonight she is buying a 1 ounce silver American eagle. Good idea. Through apmex. I also told her to make small moves. That precious metals is not an investment. It’s insurance. $20 per month is small but it’s something away from the dollar.

Comment by drumminj
2014-12-29 21:58:20

Curious to hear your thoughts on this, Bill…

If your goal is to diversify away from the dollar, why buy american PM coins, rather than some other foreign currency? If you’re buying coins rather than straight bullion, the coin has a face value, so why not doubly protect yourself by buying maple leafs, or kangaroos, or pandas, etc….

Personally I’ve bounced around in my thinking. Because Eagles have face value in USD, one can argue it’s “currency” and thus argue against confiscation, justify carrying it, etc. But if I ever had to use such an argument, I think it’d be quite flimsy. So I prefer maple leafs over eagles as they tend to be cheaper, and I have a $50CAD face value coin rather than $50 USD.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 21:39:24

“…we will go bankrupt…”

It’s happened previously over the course of U.S. history. Life goes on.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-12-29 21:55:58

Yeah I know. It’s sad that at age 57 she is finally concerned. Really tears my heart out tonight. I sense it’s more emotion than long term observation. perhaps my primarily libertarian posts on FB struck a nerve to make her not trust the Federal Reserve. No we should not trust the Federal reserve. But I’m not all the way out of the USD. I told her I really don’t know which way we will go (deflation, inflation) but it makes sense to diversify.

Life goes on for many. But there were a few who during the GD probably severely suffered to their ultimate peril because they could not afford shelter.

For her sake she has social security to collect starting in 9 or 10 years for full collection. But that’s it. If I only had SS, I would certainly be investing or having insurance in an equally opposite asset.

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 00:52:11

Sounds like the James Rickards clip. :)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-29 22:05:30

Oil is still imploding, and no amount of jawboning by I’ll be quirky Dan or anyone else can stop it.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 01:31:18

Don’t look now, but despite renewed Libya tensions, oil has retraced to May 2009 levels, near the onset of the Fed’s quantitative easing program.

Here’s to hoping for a similar retracement of rents going forward, as I am quite sure many working American families have been pushed to the brink of financial collapse by artificial inflation of fuel and shelter costs over the past six years.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 08:47:54

phony scandals

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 09:43:49

anyone check in?

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