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alstry (< 20)

Boo!!! Ghost Towns....Ghost Malls.....Now Ghost Ships



September 13, 2009 – Comments (17)

 The biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history lies at anchor east of Singapore. Never before photographed, it is bigger than the U.S. and British navies combined but has no crew, no cargo and no destination

Local fisherman Ah Wat, 42, who for more than 20 years has made a living fishing for prawns from his home in Sungai Rengit, says: 'Before, there was nothing out there - just sea. Then the big ships just suddenly came one day, and every day there are more of them.

'Some of them stay for a few weeks and then go away. But most of them just stay. You used to look Christmas from here straight over to Indonesia and see nothing but a few passing boats. Now you can no longer see the horizon.'

The size of the idle fleet becomes more palpable when the ships' lights are switched on after sunset. From the small fishing villages that dot the coastline, a seemingly endless blaze of light stretches from one end of the horizon to another. Standing in the darkness among the palm trees and bamboo huts, as calls to prayer ring out from mosques further inland, is a surreal and strangely disorientating experience. It makes you feel as if you are adrift on a dark sea, staring at a city of light.

Ah Wat says: 'We don't understand why they are here. There are so many ships but no one seems to be on board. When we sail past them in our fishing boats we never see anyone. They are like real ghost ships and some people are scared of them. They believe they may bring a curse with them and that there may be bad spirits on the ships.'

Click on link for a visual.....who you gonna call???   9.09


17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 13, 2009 at 10:07 PM, Seano67 (23.40) wrote:

That was an interesting article, and the pics were fantastic. +1

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#2) On September 13, 2009 at 10:16 PM, JerseyShoreGirl (< 20) wrote:

In Maine, Tensions Over Ailing Lobster Industry

MATINICUS, Me. — This tiny island, 22 miles out at sea, is generally so quiet that it is hard to imagine the chaos that descended one midsummer day.Early that morning, one veteran lobsterman shot and seriously wounded another on the Matinicus wharf, the peak of a dispute over whether the gunman’s son-in-law — a mainlander — could fish in the waters surrounding the island. The feud had been escalating for months, a symptom of the economic crisis battering lobstermen up and down Maine’s coast.

Now the gunman is banned from the island, and the roughly three dozen other lobstermen here are pleading for help. They want the state to carve out a restricted zone where only full-time Matinicus residents can catch lobsters, an extraordinary step that the state is now considering to preserve the local livelihood and the island itself. Such a zone would most likely need legislative approval.

“The idea is to make sure that people who are taking lobsters off this piece of bottom are living here on the island,” said Clayton Philbrook, a lobsterman whose ancestors settled here in the 1820s. “If we lose control, we fold up and die — that’s it.”

The fishing industry is suffering nationally, a victim of depleted stocks, tightening regulations and competition from other countries. But Maine, which produces 80 percent of the nation’s lobster catch and depends more on fishing than most states, is especially hard hit.

Lobstering is as vital as oxygen on Matinicus, which is smaller than Central Park. But the global recession has made an already fragile livelihood all the more so, forcing Maine’s lobster fleet to grapple with the steepest price decline in decades.

Soft-shell lobster was fetching about $2.30 a pound at the docks last week, down from $4.25 in August 2005; the hard-shell variety was going for about $4.50 a pound, down from $6.50. That drop, combined with higher costs for bait, fuel and gear, has made tensions in the industry as thick as Down East fog.

Law enforcement officials blame those tensions for a rash of hostile incidents among lobstermen, including the shooting on Matinicus and the sinking of three boats at the wharf in Owls Head this month. Those attacks and a spate of trap cuttings have led the marine police to increase patrols and have made lobstermen, wary by nature, more anxious than ever.

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#3) On September 13, 2009 at 10:22 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

A TEXAS SIZED taxes problem....

Texas sales tax revenue took its biggest tumble of the year this summer, according to a report released Friday by the comptroller’s office.

The state collected $1.75 billion in revenue in August, 12.5 percent less than in August 2008. The revenue comes from sales made in July, according to the comptroller’s office. Sales tax revenue has dropped in Texas every month this year except January and by a larger amount every month since May.

And economists tell us conditions are improving??????

Remember....a depression is only a 10% decline in GDP.....

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#4) On September 13, 2009 at 10:25 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


Net tax receipts in August were 4.7 percent below certified projections. So far this fiscal year, which began in July, net receipts are 3.2 percent below the certified forecast of $519 million. The certified forecast is set by businesspeople and economic experts in the state using national and state economic data. It sets the baseline for the state budget.

If not certified by should be very cautious.

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#5) On September 13, 2009 at 10:31 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


Maryland tax revenue came in 3 percent lower than expected and 5 percent below the previous year for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

It was only the second time in the past 40 years that tax revenue declined year over year, according to the state’s Bureau of Revenue Estimates. And the decline came in spite of new tax increases. receipts

Even with cash for clunkers...the trend for July and August across the nation is Zombulation.

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#6) On September 13, 2009 at 11:59 PM, Option1307 (30.53) wrote:

Good find Alstry...

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#7) On September 14, 2009 at 12:09 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

As bankers cut off credt...more will save and few will spend....and things will simply continue to shut down forcing even more slowing and rising defaults.

As many as 10,000 retail stores will close nationwide this year, led by clothing stores, electronics and food-and-beverage stores, and department stores, in that order, a study released Tuesday shows.

If the forecast holds, the store closings this year will be nearly double that of last year, when store closings stood at 5,100, said Sandra Reese, a principal at Grant Thornton LLP's offices in Chicago. Last year, the biggest store closings occurred in electronics, followed by home improvement-furnishings stores and in third place, apparel stores.

"It's been amazing to me how, in conversations, everyone from the low-end to the high-end shopper is cutting back on spending and not spending on lavish purchases," Reese said.,CST-NWS-MIXED26.article

No revenues....not jobs

When a nation is zombulated...few are spared unless you are bailed out.

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#8) On September 14, 2009 at 1:33 AM, awallejr (39.43) wrote:

"As bankers cut off credt...more will save and few will spend....and things will simply continue to shut down forcing even more slowing and rising defaults."

Well your headline drew me in.  Your quote basically describes the typical fear during recessions.  Vicious spiraling cycles.  Yet they always seem to break.  The only question is when not if.  Sort of like ice age/global warming, sooner or later something happens to tip the scale the other way.

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#9) On September 14, 2009 at 1:53 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

If you say so....but what if your wrong....what if banks keep tightening....and tightening.....and tightening

Never before has there been this much debt with credit default swaps.....never before have so many worked simply to support consumption....

never before has government consumed so much

what if banks keep tightening as debt keeps defaulting and few can consume.....what if government revenues keep shrinking and shrinking and shrinking......

the evidence right now is things are getting worse,,,,,never before have tax receipts contracted.....and the rate is acellerating...

Never before had skyscrapers fallen  down......never before had the bridge collapsed......things always seem  to be the same,,,,until they are different...

it is what makes a market my friend....and what makes crashes


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#10) On September 14, 2009 at 2:25 AM, awallejr (39.43) wrote:

But that is ALWAYS the fear during recessions, "what if the cycle never breaks."  Darkest before the dawn?  Yet the dawn always comes, well at least until the Sun explodes (implodes).  Of course you can always say "THIS time will be different."  And time will tell. 

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#11) On September 14, 2009 at 2:34 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Tell that to the shareholder of Enron....or Bernie Madoff's clients.....or the countless dotcom shareholders.....the victims of the first nuclear blasts.......there is a sucker born every minute.

We are dealing with Credit Default SWAPS....never have they existed before....Buffett calls them weapons of financial mass destruction......soon you will see why they will eventually shut down our economy.....


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#12) On September 14, 2009 at 2:40 AM, awallejr (39.43) wrote:

Who said suckers aren't continually born?  Your comment is a nonsequitur to whether recessions reverse or not, designed to be, as typical, sensational.

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#13) On September 14, 2009 at 2:43 AM, awallejr (39.43) wrote:

K, time for you to start a new thread.

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#14) On September 14, 2009 at 2:46 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

If you don't understand credit default have no business investing in this environment.....and even if you do undertand them.....the fallout will likely be so devastating that the knowledge may be irrelevant.

The trade wars have begun as revenues to almost every nation  in the world is evaporating.....EVERY NATION.  Most nations are applying temporary financial alchemy to create the illusion of prosperity. 

The troops and military are being built up in practically every country around the world.

As countries become poorer they are going to have to get more aggressive in figuring out ways to feed and occupy their attention to the rising tensions around the world...we have become a global economy and credit default swaps have infected the earth.

There is not a growing fleet of ghost ships out there because trade is improving.

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#15) On September 14, 2009 at 2:54 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

This is relevant from Calculated Risk:

As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what [Minsky] called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

And since the failure of many economists to see the coming crisis is being widely discussed, here is a quote from Minsky on macroeconomics:

“There is nothing wrong with macroeconomics that another depression [won’t] cure." Report this comment
#16) On September 14, 2009 at 3:05 AM, awallejr (39.43) wrote:


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#17) On September 14, 2009 at 10:40 AM, rofgile (99.52) wrote:

The fleet of ships appears if trade is down only 10%.

There are just a huge number of ships currently in use compared to any time in history to move goods between countries.  A small change in world trade causes either huge surpluses of ships or huge demand for new ships to be built (2006-2008 years for example).

Eventually the market will correct itself, Alstry.  India, for example, is currently running low on inventories of coal for their power plants (This is from a presentation by the Eagle Shipping Co. from last week), and likely will be a cause of new shipping demand.  China restarted their buying of coal and iron ore this last couple of months as production restarted there.

In Wisconsin - the Rockwell Automation recently had a rise in orders (NYTimes, Sunday).  This is because manufacturing plants across the midwest are restarting production, and making new orders / investments in machinery.


 All things tend to moderate in time, perhaps even Alstrynomics?


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