Short Credit Crunch Story in 1:30; Clusterf__k Nation's Jim Kunstler on "The Party That Wrecked America", China, MCD, Oil, Russia and
I AM in 5TH PLACE in Points!
Short Credit Crunch Story
If you get tired of dwot, alstry and I Blogging bearish Comments about the market, you can take a step up to the Major Leagues with Clusterf__k Nation by Jim Kunstler.
Kunstler writes like no one else. He is the author of the Long Emergency about Peak Oil and the effect on the US. He is extremely intelligent and BEARISH. Even if you do not buy into Peak Oil etc.... I think it is worth your time to understand the position and have a FIRM understanding of the arguement due to the fundamental significance to the impact here and abroad.
Read the entire Blog and the Comments are worth read also:Shoulder Season
This sort of euphoria is actually an alarming pre-crash symptom, in this case of a patient (the US) entering the terminal phase of sclerosis. Our society and all its playerz -- especially the appointed communicators -- just can't fathom the reality of the threats we face, which are 1.) the loss of primary energy resources, 2.) the loss of technological potency, and 3.) the loss of a comfortable standard of living.
On Russia and Georgia:
The US might talk tough about this threat to the status quo, but what is it going to do? Pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan to mount a land war against Russia in a landlocked region of its own neighborhood? Fuggeddabowdit. Notice, the Europeans are not making so much as a peep -- because when the time comes that Russia does control that pipeline, the Europeans will do anything to keep the contents flowing toward them. Europe may be organized as a trade-and-currency confederation, but not as a military power. NATO is strictly a US auxiliary, not a power unto itself. The result of all this will be that Russia, already the world's leading oil producer, even as it has entered depletion, will now possess a potent geopolitical-and-financial weapon with control of that pipeline. A collateral effect will be Europe's inclination to bid more desperately for Middle East oil -- the oil that comes via the Suez Canal -- which can't help but boost the price-per-barrel that the US is forced to pay.
On Credit Crisis
With Wall Street on vacation at its various beaches, the idea has taken hold that the so-called credit crisis is mostly over. In fact, we're still in the first quarter of that classic. The big move before the investment bankers packed their snorkels and baggies was Merrill Lynch selling off a batch of its fraudulent securitized debt bundles for roughly five cents on the dollar. That pretty much marked-to-market the similar garbage that every other big bank or pension fund or hedge fund has hidden in its closet. My guess is that some of them will just declare "game over" without even bothering to haul their garbage out and hang a "for sale" sign on it. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are essentially there now.
On China GM, and MCD,
It was fascinating to watch a CNBC report Sunday night about the progress of General Motors and McDonalds Hamburgers in China. It sure makes one wonder about the current mood of Sino-triumphalism -- the favorite car of the Chinese elite is... the Buick, a product that even demented old ladies in Columbus, Ohio, will not touch with a stick. It appears that China has succeeded in turning Peking and Shanghai into simulacrums of Atlanta and Dallas, complete with glass office towers and all the on-and-off-ramps they'll ever need -- a pretty stupid project when you consider how little oil of its own China actually has. One can only say, with a shudder, that they got into the Happy Motoring game a bit late, and wish them "good luck."
The Mickey-D phenomenon appears to be a mere fad, a toy that Chinese trade officials tossed to its people in the euphoria of ramping up the world's last manufacturing economy. For starters, China doesn't have enough groundwater or grain to feed the necessary steers (and hogs) that McDonald's uses for it's "meat products" there.
The most amusing part of the CNBC segment was the deportment of the smarmy American executives representing those companies: Rick Waggoner of GM, who was depicted in the full flower of a campaign to hose his Chinese "partners," blowing smoke up their asses as if he were some kind of a human walking-talking bong, and the two necktied creeps from McDonalds' Asian office scheming on camera about opening tens of thousands of so-called "restaurants" across the ancient kingdom. These were all perfect representatives of people stuck in a paradigm already bygone. When the Olympic mania ends, China will find itself in a new reality, too. Its single advantage, as far as I can see, is that it holds a lot of US dollars in various formats, and I don't know that this is much of an advantage given the imminent tanking of American finance. Yes, China has become the world's factory. But if the world's leading shopper is shopped-out and busted, this might not be much of an advantage. Beyond that, as suggested above, they face huge problems with oil, water, and food, not to mention over-population and environmental degradation at a scale we can barely imagine here.
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