Reason #2 - The second leg down in real estate is about to happen.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This unprecedented move allows the guilty to scurry away in front of the impending tidal wave which will be brought on by the failure of Lehman. This may be IT folks!
As I have been saying for the past 4 years, "Here come da judge."
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Masturbation 'cuts cancer risk'
Men could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer through regular masturbation, researchers suggest. They say cancer-causing chemicals could build up in the prostate if men do not ejaculate regularly.
And they say sexual intercourse may not have the same protective effect because of the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, which could increase men's cancer risk.
Australian researchers questioned over 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer and 1,250 who had not about their sexual habits.
This is a plausible theory
Dr Chris Hiley, Prostate Cancer Charity
They found those who had ejaculated the most between the ages of 20 and 50 were the least likely to develop the cancer.
The protective effect was greatest while the men were in their 20s.
Men who ejaculated more than five times a week were a third less likely to develop prostate cancer later in life.
Previous research has suggested that a high number of sexual partners or a high level of sexual activity increased a man's risk of developing prostate cancer by up to 40%.
But the Australian researchers who carried out this study suggest the early work missed the protective effect of ejaculation because it focussed on sexual intercourse, with its associated risk of STIs.
Graham Giles, of the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, who led the research team, told New Scientist: "Had we been able to remove ejaculations associated with sexual intercourse, there should have been an even stronger protective effect of ejaculations."
The researchers suggest that ejaculating may prevent carcinogens accumulating in the prostate gland.
The prostate provides a fluid into semen during ejaculation that activates sperm and prevents them sticking together.
The fluid has high concentrations of substances including potassium, zinc, fructose and citric acid, which are drawn from the bloodstream.
But animal studies have shown carcinogens such as 3-methylchloranthrene, found in cigarette smoke, are also concentrated in the prostate.
Dr Giles said fewer ejaculations may mean the carcinogens build up.
"It's a prostatic stagnation hypothesis. The more you flush the ducts out, the less there is to hang around and damage the cells that line them."
A similar connection has been found between breast cancer and breastfeeding, where lactating appeared to "flush out" carcinogens, reduce a woman's risk of the disease, New Scientist reports.
Another theory put forward by the researchers is that ejaculation may induce prostate glands to mature fully, making them less susceptible to carcinogens.
Dr Chris Hiley, head of policy and research at the UK's Prostate Cancer Charity, told BBC News Online: "This is a plausible theory."
She added: "In the same way the human papillomavirus has been linked to cervical cancer, there is a suggestion that bits of prostate cancer may be related to a sexually transmitted infection earlier in life."
Anthony Smith, deputy director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said the research could affect the kind of lifestyle advice doctors give to patients.
"Masturbation is part of people's sexual repertoire.
"If these findings hold up, then it's perfectly reasonable that men should be encouraged to masturbate," he said.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
By Eric J. Fry
Never in the history of the vibrant US economy have so many owed so much in so many different ways. So now that credit is fleeing from the U.S. economy like finance CEOs from responsibility, the economy is certain to struggle. Slumping home values won't help.
Get ready for the "Era of De-Leveraging."
The U.S. economy is leveraged...too leveraged, which is not a good thing to be when credit becomes scarce. Without fresh access to borrowed capital, a leveraged entity will struggle to survive...and often perish. (Bear Stearns illustrates the point).
Leverage is a bipolar financial creature. During boom times, it provides delicious pleasures. But when economic activity contracts, leverage breaks out a whip and doles out misery. Here in the 50 States of America, the whip-cracking/misery stage has arrived...and the U.S. economy is ill-prepared for the abuse. The US economy, led by its imprudent financial sector, is over-leveraged...painfully over-leveraged.
Even using generous assumptions about the value of assets on bank balance sheets, the leaders of the US financial sector owe $40 for every dollar of assets they own. And let's not forget WHAT they own: bad loans, impaired derivatives, and a "Love Canal" of complex financial assets that carry mark-to-imagination pricing. And let's not forget either that even after all the Fed's regulation-bending bailouts and desperate rate cuts and backroom M&A deals, the US financial sector is still carrying about twice the leverage it carried three years ago and about triple the leverage it carried one decade ago.
So what's the point? Just this: All bubbles deflate... and America's credit bubble will be no different.
The "Era of Excess Leverage" perished sometime last summer; the Era of De-leveraging has arrived. This new era will be much less fun than its predecessor. During the last five years, American finance companies and individuals embarked on a frenzied borrowing binge. They levered-up big time. The banks and brokerage companies leveraged themselves to better fulfill their corporate mandate: maximizing returns to management. And individuals leveraged themselves to add square footage, leased SUVs and Himalayan yoga retreats to the standard-issue American dream.
That was lots of fun.
But now, home prices are falling, which means that the prices of the mortgage-backed exotica littering bank balance sheets are also falling. Therefore, leveraged banks and individuals must now de-lever, which will be no fun at all.
As America de-levers, the American economy will certainly stumble. Banks will sell whatever they can sell – including parts of themselves – to raise cash. Individuals will sell whatever they can sell – including the roofs over their heads – to raise cash. The weakest members of both contingents will go bankrupt, which will further depress prices of the assets that the leveraged survivors will still be trying to sell.
Best case, dear investor, asset values will continue grinding lower. More likely, asset values will drop rapidly, as credit drains from the economy. This process of credit contraction is almost certain to hobble economic growth and to imperil the survival of every leveraged financial institution and individual.
Contracting credit annihilated Bear Stearns in less than one week. Contracting credit will invite similar hardships upon the entire US economy, notwithstanding the Federal Reserve's desperate maneuvers to prevent them. No doubt, the Fed will continue combating the credit contraction with an endless barrage of rate cuts, bailouts and "temporary" loans. But immediate victory seems improbable. The forces of deleveraging are simply too large and too powerful...and these forces have already gathered considerable momentum.
Therefore, in the new era that has just begun, many investments will struggle. But do not despair; the Federal Reserve has wrapped a bow around the commodity sector. Ben Bernanke's gift to investors will be an unimaginably robust and durable commodity rally. Yes, there will be large, severe selloffs in this sector, but the Fed's frenetic efforts to "save the markets" have set in motion an inflationary storm surge that seems likely to drown the US dollar, while whisking commodity prices to much higher ground.
Oil is the new dollar. By extension, so is wheat...and cocoa...and aluminum. "I have the growing sense that paper money - any paper money - isn't a good store of value," observes Dan Denning, editor of the Australian Daily Reckoning. "I think investors are realizing that they can't move their wealth from one currency to another and preserve it...so they are doing the next best thing...trading paper wealth for claims on tangible assets."
Meanwhile, demand for commodities continues to swamp supply. So the commodity sector looks like a pretty friendly place for investors, despite the ever-present risk of severe selloffs. But the investor who tries to avoid these short-term selloffs could easily miss a very long-term bull market. In other words, today's commodity markets might resemble the S&P 500 of August 1987, but probably not the S&P of March 2000.
I don't "know" anything, of course. I'm just guessing that commodities are still a "buy." Therefore, my historical frame of reference for today's commodity market is not the S&P 500 of 1987 or of 2000; it is the S&P of 1994.
In February 1994, the S&P 500 had more than doubled off of its 1987 lows and seemed very richly priced at about 25 times earnings, especially considering the fact that Greenspan had just initiated a new tightening cycle. Over the next 12 months, the Fed Funds rate DOUBLED from 3% to 6%.
So what happened next?
The stock market sold off just like it was "supposed to"...for about 9 months. The S&P slumped about 10%. But then the market spent the next six years skyrocketing. From its 1994 peak to its 2000 peak, the S&P would TRIPLE. The Nasdaq would soar 7-fold over the same timeframe.
In other words, I think it's too early to be a seller of commodities. Sell the financials and buy commodities...once more with feeling.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Gasoline - Sheryl Crow
Way back in the year of 2017
The sun was growing hotter
And oil was way beyond its peak
When crazy Hector Johnson broke into a refinery
And the black gold started flowing
Just like Boston tea
It was the summer of the riots
And London sat in sweltering heat
And the gangs of Mini Coopers
Took the battle to the streets
But when the creed was handed down
For no more trucks and no more cars
They threw cans of petrol through the windows at Scotland Yard
Will be free, will be free
Will be free, will be free
When the Mounties stormed the palace of the Saudi family
They held them up for ransom
Without disturbing their high tea
But their getaway was shaky
They stalled in the Riyadh streets
Cause you can't make it very far
When your tank is on empty
The final can of gasoline was loaded on a truck
And driven through the streets of Agra to the palace aquaduct
You see, all the majesty of worship that once adorned these fatal halls
Was just a target to the angry
As they blew up the Taj Mahal
Will be free, will be free
Will be free, will be free
Gary ran a market way down in Tennessee
Where all the farmers got together and talked about this great country
But when the government turned its back on farming
Man, what I hear
They dragged the pumps out of the ground
With a big vintage John Deere
I've got soldiers on my payroll
Standing guard on my front drive
Snipers on the roof poised at those
Who don't want me alive
Cause they audited my taxes
My family under threat
Cause I've got a message and a megaphone
And I'll scream it to the death
Will be free, will be free
Will be free, will be free
You got the farms in Argentina
Making fuel from sugar cane
You got the bastards in Washington
Afraid of popping the greed vain
Cause the money's in the pipeline
And pipeline's running dry
And we'll be the last to recognize
Where there's shit there's always flies
Saturday, January 26, 2008
In The Financial Times today the inside headline is "Markets ask if the Fed was duped?" It seems that a rogue trader (interesting how a lone trader who loses a lot of bank money is always a rogue) lost Societe Generale $7.1 million (4.9 million euros). Seems he knew how to override the risk control systems, had other employees' passwords, and built up a massive long position which was down about $2.2 billion by the time SocGen management found out. He produced the losses in just a few weeks. SocGen started selling everything to cover the loss on Monday morning, and the markets moved away from them, growing the loss to the $7.1. That constitutes a bad day at the trading desk. (As an aside, I have worked with SocGen from time to time over the years, and have always been impressed.)
Some suggest that it was the very selling by SocGen, which was 10% of the market trades, which caused the downside volatility. It seems the European Central Bank knew early on about the problems at SocGen, but the Fed got caught by surprise. The Fed holds an emergency FOMC meeting ahead of the scheduled meeting this week, and makes a shock and awe 75-basis-point cut. I can tell you that shocked a lot of very sophisticated traders and managers that I talked with here in Europe.
Everywhere I went I was asked, "Why an inter-meeting cut?" The Financial Times wrote, "The question being asked now by some in the markets is: was the Fed duped into a clumsy and panicked move by the clean-up operation for Jerome Kerviel's [AKA rogue trader at SocGen] mammoth losses for the French bank?"
My very good friend Barry Ritholtz seems to agree with that position. He was on CNBC with Steve Lissman and Rick Santoli and they suggested that the Fed responded to the volatility in the stock markets with the rate cut and that the Fed is now responding to the traders in the S&P futures pit.
Let's read Barry's take when he finds out that the volatility may have been the result of our rogue trader, in a blog entitled "Fed's Folly: Fooled by Flawed Futures?": "Was it a misunderstanding of their mandate, inexperience, or just plain hubris? Regardless, it took only 2 days to learn just how ill-considered the Fed's emergency market rescue plan was: To wit, a fraudulent series of losses led to a major European bank unwinding a huge trade: Societe Generale Reports EU4.9 Billion Trading Loss.
SG's $7.1Billion dollar unwinding led to panicked futures selling on Monday and Tuesday. "Hence, we quickly learn what sheer folly and utter irresponsibility it is for the Fed to use its limited ammunition to intervene in equity prices. Their panicky rate cut was not to insure the smooth functioning of the markets, but rather, to guarantee prices.
As we have been saying for the past two days, this is not the Fed's charge. They are supposed to be maintaining price stability (fighting inflation) and maximizing employment (supporting growth) -- NOT guaranteeing stock prices.
"I guess the European Central Bank has it easier: Their only charge is to fight inflation: 'maintain price stability, safeguarding the value of the euro.' Tuesday's panicked 75 basis cut will prove to be an historical embarrassment, a blot on the Fed for all its days. Failing to understand what their responsibilities are is bad enough; allowing themselves to be bossed around by futures traders is inexcusable.
And, having been rewarded for their past tantrums, the market will now be screaming for another 75 bps next week. As Rick Santelli appropriately observed, the Pavlonian training is now complete."
I don't agree with that assessment, and Barry is not so thin-skinned that he will worry about my having a different view. So, let me throw out another scenario.
First, for years one of my central premises has been that we have to remember that when a normal human being is elected to the board of the Fed, he is taken into a secret room where his DNA is altered. Certain characteristics are imprinted. Now, he does not like inflation and hates deflation even more. He sees his role as making sure the financial market functions smoothly. He does not care about stock prices when thinking about rate cuts.
Then what was the reason for the cut if not stock prices? Why an inter-meeting cut much larger than the market was expecting next week, just seven days later? What was so urgent that we needed a shock and awe rate cut a week early?
I am not sure if panic is the right word, but I think very deep concern is also a little understated. It has to be something serious for an inter-meeting cut. Looking around for problems I came up with the following thoughts that I shared with investors and managers while here in Europe.
What Does the Fed Really Know? I believe the monoline insurance companies like Ambac and MBIA are in worse shape than most realize, the counter-party risk in the $45 trillion Credit Default Swap market is much worse than we realize, and the exposure by various banks to their problems is much larger than currently understood. The Fed understands this, and realizes that they have been behind the curve but need to catch up. Let's go back and look at this quote from my letter just last week: "If you are a bank or regulated entity, and you have mortgage-backed securities that have been written by a AAA monocline company, you can carry that debt on your books as AAA. But as the companies get downgraded, you have to write down the potential loss. Quoting from a recent note from Michael Lewitt:
" 'MBIA's total exposure to bonds backed by mortgages and CDOs was disclosed to be $30.6 billion, including $8.14 billion of holdings of CDO-squareds (CDOs that own other CDOs, or mortgages piled on top of mortgages, or, to quote Jeff Goldblum's character in Jurassic Park again, 'a big pile of s&*^'). MBIA was being priced as a weak CCC-rated credit when it issued its bonds last week; it is now being priced for a bankruptcy. MBIA's stock, which traded just under $68 per share last October, dropped another $3.50 this morning to under $10.00 per share. " 'The bond insurers' business model is irreparably broken. In HCM's view, it will be all but impossible for these companies to raise capital at economic levels for the foreseeable future and certainly in enough time to work out of their current difficulties. The performance of MBIA's 14 percent bond issue will prove to have been the death knell for this business. The market needs to come to the realization that the so-called insurance that these companies were offering is not going to be there if it is needed. The fact that these companies were rated AAA in the first place will remain one of the great puzzles of modern finance for years to come.' "You can bet that the $8 billion in CDO-squareds is gone. It is a matter of time. MBIA's market cap is about $1 billion [it is now at $1.74]. Current shareholders will be lucky if they only get diluted 75%."
Think this through. MBIA is still rated AAA. Ratings downgrades are just a matter of time. Banks that raised $72 billion to shore up capital depleted by subprime-related losses may require another $143 billion should credit rating firms downgrade bond insurers, according to analysts at Barclays Capital.
(to read the rest of the article, click here - you have to register your email address but then you'll get the word directly.)
John Mauldin, Best-Selling author and recognized financial expert, is also editor of the free Thoughts From the Frontline that goes to over 1 million readers each week. For more information on John or his FREE weekly economic letter go to: http://www.frontlinethoughts.com/learnmore
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The Panic Starts
Author: Jim Sinclair
Thursday, January 17, 2008, 5:45:00 PM EST
There is no doubt the Fed and the PPT are meeting right now. A drop of over 300 points on the Dow after the Chairman of the Federal Reserve speaks publicly presages a 1000 point break in the Dow Jones Industrial Average coming quite quickly, if not tomorrow.
Unless the equity markets can be calmed, a panic is about to happen, making the statement "This is it" a horrible reality.
If the equity markets cannot be calmed then:
- Recognize this is the Formula happening like everything else much sooner and much bigger in its implications than anticipated.
- Gold will rise to $1650 as an almost immediate effect of what will be done to attempt to fend off a total panic starting to take place in general equities, therein threatening to be followed by all credit markets of all kinds.
- The funds and hotshot short term traders in gold shares will be killed by the upward explosion of the gold price about to occur.
- The PPT and the Fed will step out of gold’s way because gold is one of the tools used in 1930 by Roosevelt and in 2000 by Bush. It will be used again now on the upside.
- Gold is the only insurance there is against what all this means because a panic in equities will blow the financial system, already coming apart, to smithereens.
- All country funds would shut down on any further investments in "at the wall" financial institutions.
- The rollover in credit and default derivatives would exceed the entire foreign debt of the USA.
- The rest of the $450 trillion dollar mountain of derivatives would start a disintegration like nothing you have every seen in your lifetime.
- Consumer demand would slam shut.
- The auto industry might as well go into liquidation this coming Monday, avoiding the June 2008 rush.
- The US dollar would burn a hole in the floor going directly to .5200 or lower.
- As the dollar disintegrates gold would rocket to and through $1650 in days.
- The markets for general equities would all have to institute total trading halts every 100 points on the downside for 30 minutes each.
- All commercial call loans would be called.
- All debtors one day late on any payment, lacking grace period, would be liquidated. All debtors over one day of the grace period would be liquidated.
- It is clearly visible to anyone with eyes or a mind to think that the PPT has lost all semblance of control in the equity markets and will soon in all remaining markets.
- The commercial paper credit market which is almost dead will die totally.
- Should no emergency action take place soon, you will see an old fashioned panic of the 1929 variety.
- Just as emotional fools sell gold and gold shares, be assured that more emotional general equity fools will unload and bring the averages down more than ever in history in one day.
- Recognize this is the Formula happening like everything else much sooner and much bigger in its implications than anticipated.
- Emergency action will be all splash and theatrics but truthfully the cat is out of the bag. It buys some time but corrects nothing. It makes the Formula 100% correct.
- There now must be EMERGENCY ACTION because the Chairman of the Fed has BOMBED OUT PUBLICLY and a PANIC is about to occur. Expect EMERGENCY ACTION in days, not weeks.
If you have not protected yourself, you may only have days to do so now.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Monday, December 31, 2007
Pat Robertson and I-35
George Carlin - This is hilarious
Watch NO END IN SIGHT - Must See
The Wave - True Story
Saturday, December 15, 2007
In thinking about what our world will be like after the coming economic collapse, I have wondered what will become of our current paper as its value goes down. If you've ever shopped in Mexico, you may have suffered peso shock when the grocery bill was 500. Will we see that? Speculation has it that an new Amero will be foisted upon us, along with Canada and Mexico, as we build the North American Union. (I prefer, and wrote about in 1975, the United States of North America, USNA. 100 States in all.)
In the article below, Edgar J. Steele reveales a old-new possibility, he calls it the above-ground economy. What if we started using our old silver coins again. They are still legal tender, but much increased over face value.
Say you went to buy a new car, and with gold at $700 an ounce, you pay the dealer 50 Gold Eagles face value $2500 US Dollars. He accepts them because he knows that they are worth $35,000. (Expect a little shaving here.) The sale is recorded at $2500 and the license and tax ramifications are obvious.
Would you be happy accepting $200 per week for your services is you were paid with four US Gold Eagles (face value $50 each) worth $700 each? Income - $10,400 per year. Not bad as that will buy $72,800 worth of stuff.
Hey, it's like reverseing inflation. Now we can stick to them.
Can this be stopped? Read the article.
If you've been singing along with this blog and developed an interest in gold, silver, and the falling dollar, I urge you to read it. It's long and very lively. No pie in the sky. The change will be all about change!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I do, however, have other interests, for example podcasting. Although not a regular podcaster myself, I've been working with Dr. Dave over at www.shrinkrapradio.com for the past two years. I'm mostly been providing feedback, and in the process Dave and I have renewed our friendship over the Internet with the generous help of Skype, the Internet phone, which seems to lend itself to this sort of thing. I don't know if it's the headset, the fact that you can call any phone in the U.S. for a flat fee of $14.95 per year, or what, but it works well for us, and we are sure having fun.
Now Dave, always the entrepreneur, has branched into Internet talk radio. It's available live for call in or real-time chat Sundays at 10:00 am Pacific time. He asked me to participate in the first show which you can listen to here:
Spontaneous and unrehearsed as they say. But with a psychology/spirituality theme. Check us out and call in this Sunday if you have comments or questions.
Live, from the "bleeding" edge.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Time for Patrick Fitzgerald to get a new grand jury and go for the throat. Subpoena the lot. His investigation was never closed. Crank it up!
Update: Talking heads afraid to make the call. Questioning whether or not Scottie really meant what he said. Oh, come on.