Monday, August 16, 2010

The Wheels Are Coming Off

China Overtakes Japan in 2Q as No. 2 Economy
TOKYO -- Japan lost its place as the world's No. 2 economy to China in the second quarter as receding global growth sapped momentum and stunted a shaky recovery.

Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of just 0.4 percent, the government said Monday, far below the annualized 4.4 percent expansion in the first quarter and adding to evidence the global recovery is facing strong headwinds.

The figures underscore China's emergence as an economic power that is changing everything from the global balance of military and financial power to how cars are designed. It is already the biggest exporter, auto buyer and steel producer, and its global influence is expanding.

China has been a major force behind the world's emergence from deep recession, delivering much-needed juice to the U.S., Japan and Europe. Tokyo's latest numbers, however, suggest that Chinese demand alone may not be enough for Japan or other economic giants.

"Japan is the canary in the goldmine because it depends very much on demand in Asia and China, and this demand is cooling quite a bit," said Martin Schulz, senior economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo. "This is a warning sign for all major economies that just focusing on overseas demand won't be sufficient."

`Mr. Yen' Says Japan Can't Stem Currency's Rise as U.S. Economy Falters
The Japanese yen, the best performer among major currencies this year with a 7.9 percent gain against the dollar, may surge further as concern grows that U.S. efforts to boost economic growth will fail.

“What we are seeing is not appreciation of the yen but weakness of the dollar, reflecting concerns that the U.S. economy may falter,” Eisuke Sakakibara, formerly Japan’s top currency official, said yesterday on the Fuji television network. “There is a chance the yen will reach an all-time high and stay at that level for the time being.”

Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:

Demand for gold has been building markedly for five years, causing the rise of gold's price chart to steepen as the markets restore gold to its traditional role as money, Granville Cooper gold fund manager Henry Smyth writes in a report published last week. Gold buying pressure, Smyth remarks, "is global and now includes every investment player, from central banks to individuals. This buying pressure spans the paper gold markets as well as the physical markets, from the forward, futures, and derivatives markets in New York and London to the gold loops, chains, and bars sold in the bazaars of Dubai, Mumbai and Shanghai."

Smyth concludes: "Some have called for an official revaluation of gold by central banks to alleviate the strain in the global credit markets. I say gold's revaluation has been under way for 10 years through the collective decisions of millions of individuals across every time zone. This will produce profound changes in the geofinancial landscape in ways very few can imagine.

"Smyth's report has a couple of interesting charts, is headlined "The Recent History of the Future of Gold," and can be found at the Granville Cooper Internet site here:

Smyth was interviewed about his report last week by's Alix Steel for Kitco News and you can watch it at the Granville Cooper Internet site here:

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/TreasurerGold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc

U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don't Even Know It
By Laurence Kotlikoff
Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.

What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund released its annual review of U.S. economic policy. Its summary contained these bland words about U.S. fiscal policy: “Directors welcomed the authorities’ commitment to fiscal stabilization, but noted that a larger than budgeted adjustment would be required to stabilize debt-to-GDP.”

But delve deeper, and you will find that the IMF has effectively pronounced the U.S. bankrupt. Section 6 of the July 2010 Selected Issues Paper says: “The U.S. fiscal gap associated with today’s federal fiscal policy is huge for plausible discount rates.” It adds that “closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 percent of U.S. GDP.”
The fiscal gap is the value today (the present value) of the difference between projected spending (including servicing official debt) and projected revenue in all future years.

Gold and U.S. Treasury and Mortgage Bonds Naked Shorts As Liquidity Machine[MUST READ]
By: Jim_Willie_CB

In the Smoking Gun article, the main accusation was cited as widespread counterfeit and hiding vast funds. The sale of USTreasury Bonds in the last two years has exceeded the USGovt debt issuance by $1.5 trillion. It was asked "Where did the money go?" But the more important questions are:

What telltale evidence exists to shed light on the counterfeit? (Failures to Deliver)

Where else is excessive sale of USGovt sponsored securities? (USAgency Bonds)

The answers are easy. The implications are great. The impunity is disturbing. The signs of systemic breakdown are diverse. The road to perdition is clear. The path to a USTreasury default is far more obvious with each passing month. The denial is thick. The mortgage bond fraud, whose climax failure in 2008 was quite visible, went unprosecuted. So Wall Street and the Big US Banks are dead. The kings are dead, but the theft has not ended. A new blatant form of fraud has entered the room. Silence is deafening from the entire cast of enforcers, who have one element in common, a Goldman Sachs pedigree. The impish clowns sitting on the helm at the USFed oversee the fraud. They have often stated their primary objective to aid in the promotion of liquidity to the big banks. Naked short sales of USTreasurys and USAgency Mortgage Bonds accomplishes the mission. Yet another Mission Accomplished on a sordid trail in recent US financial snakepit and cesspool run by a den of thieves.

Failures to Deliver on both types of USGovt-backed bonds are staggering. When a trade takes place, usually two to three days are permitted before the stock or bond must be delivered, so as to complete the trade, and to settle the funds transfer among parties. A year ago, vast sums of USTreasury Bonds were the subject of debate and dispute as the volume of Failures to Deliver was staggering in the months following the autumn 2008. Blame was given to the disorder that ensued from the Lehman Brothers failure, the AIG breakdown, and the Fannie Mae nationalization. No such convenient event can be blamed on the present-day Failures to Deliver. They continue for USTreasurys, and explain well the superfluous $1.5 trillion. They precede the return launch of the QE2, the Quantitative Easing. Suddenly, delivery of bonds might be made easier as the USGovt floods the bond market with new issuance covered in cost by the Printing Pre$$, which USFed Chairman Bernanke claims can be operated at zero cost. The actual cost is the ruin of the USDollar image and the ruin of the USTreasury prestige.

What would be the motive for naked short selling of USTreasurys in such volume? Sure, simple greed is always in the mix. Worse, Wall Street lacks legitimate business volume from which to earn profits. So Wall Street and the Big US Banks are dead. Imagine a dark storefront that used to have a bustle of business and constant flow of customers. Not Wall Street, no more. The dark storefront conceals a vast counterfeit operation inside. They sell debt securities under the cover of darkness, out the back door, and rake in great sums of money. When demanded to produce the USTreasurys, they refuse, they delay, or they defy, since they cannot deliver. Thus, the Failures to Deliver. This explains the ready cash flow of liquidity to the Wall Street banks without much investment banking business. This explains the 90 consecutive days without trading loss for the lead dogs in the corrupt sled. This explains how dead zombie banks continue to operate. So Wall Street and the Big US Banks are dead.

The Obsolescence of Barack Obama[Exquisite Editorial]
Not long ago Barack Obama, for those who were spellbound by him, had the stylishness of JFK and the historic mission of FDR riding to the nation's rescue. Now it is to Lyndon B. Johnson's unhappy presidency that Democratic strategist Robert Shrum compares the stewardship of Mr. Obama. Johnson, wrote Mr. Shrum in the Week magazine last month, never "sustained an emotional link with the American people" and chose to escalate a war that "forced his abdication as president."

A broken link with the public, and a war in Afghanistan he neither embraces and sells to his party nor abandons—this is a time of puzzlement for President Obama. His fall from political grace has been as swift as his rise a handful of years ago. He had been hot political property in 2006 and, of course, in 2008. But now he will campaign for his party's 2010 candidates from afar, holding fund raisers but not hitting the campaign trail in most of the contested races. Those mass rallies of Obama frenzy are surely of the past.

The vaunted Obama economic stimulus, at $862 billion, has failed. The "progressives" want to double down, and were they to have their way, would have pushed for a bigger stimulus still. But the American people are in open rebellion against an economic strategy of public debt, higher taxes and unending deficits. We're not all Keynesians, it turns out. The panic that propelled Mr. Obama to the presidency has waned. There is deep concern, to be sure. But the Obama strategy has lost the consent of the governed.


  1. Canary in the "gold" mine? Nice.

  2. This thing is startin to get a little scary... well maybe a lot scary.

    I am gona start a garden I think.

    Oh boy.

    - Finance Guy

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