What do Fleck, Fortis, RBS and Barclays Have in Common?

Posted on June 28th, 2008 in Daily Stock Market / Economic News - The Real Story

What they have in common is all have recently predicted a massive unraveling of the US financial ‘system’ within a few weeks. It is not as if this prediction or being on the verge of a meltdown is something new. The financial system has come apart several times in the past year but the Fed has always stepped in with something that has caused the markets to calm down (on the surface) and stocks to rally. Bonds, however, have never responded in quite the manner of stock market participants who each time in the past have become irrationally exuberant when Bernanke says that ‘all is good’ or decides to throw money around such as the couple of hundred billion to the investment banks in March. In my mind having to create facilities like the TAF in the first place meant the situation was dire.

In the past few weeks fear has come back in full force complete with blown out credit spreads and crashing financial sector stocks. However, this time around the Fed does not have the fire power nor the market confidence behind them because every measure they have taken thus far has only drained their reserves, delayed the inevitable, caused other problems elsewhere for the US and global economies and has not fixed the problem.

From day one the banks, Government and talking heads on bubblevision have been in denial or resorted to outright lying, in an orchestrated attempt to talk the markets into healing instead of doing what needs to be done, which is admitting there is a problem and taking necessary measures and lumps. Oppenheimer’s Meredith Whitney has been preaching this for a year about the banks in particular. In March she said she had downgraded bank’s earnings estimates 22 times in three months and coming out of the closet is the first step to balance sheet repair.

When this many get together and say the exact same thing, I listen. However, on Monday morning I am sure bubblevision and a little loud bald man will tell you ‘the glass is half full’ and ‘BUY BUY BUY’. – Best Mr Mortgage

My good friend Bill Fleckensteinof Fleckenstein Capital wrote in his daily commentary on Thursday:

…”I received a phone call from the Lord of the Dark Matter, who began the conversation: “It’s about to blow!” He then repeated himself.
He went on to say that behind the scenes, many parts of the credit/mortgage market were “offered only.” He said it had nothing to do with month-end or quarter-end. Instead, he believed it had to do with the enormous amount of inventory that would be looking for a home in the next quarter. He believed that the equity market was “miles behind what was occurring in the mortgage-backed/credit markets.” Though he noted that he’d said it before, he repeated: “It’s never been this bad.” That, combined with what I’ve seen on the equity screens, caused me to believe that today could be quite ugly, and I continued to press shorts.”

Then today, Fortis’ Chairman was quoted as saying:

American ‘Meltdown’ Reason for Capital Raising – Fortis
28th of June, 9:10
De Financiële Telegraaf

BRUSSELS/AMSTERDAM – Fortis expects a complete collapse of the US financial markets within a few weeks. That explains, according to Fortis, the series of actions by the bank of last Thursday to raise €8 billion. “We have been saved just in time. The situation in the US is much worse than we had thought”, says Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens. Fortis expects bankruptcies amongst 6000 American banks which have a small coverage currently. But also with Citigroup, General Motors, a complete meltdown in the US is beginning.”

Amerikaanse ’meltdown’ reden geldinjectie Fortis – De Financiele Telegraaf

Royal Bank of Scotland has a similar view as reported by FT:

“The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.

“A very nasty period is soon to be upon us – be prepared,” said Bob Janjuah, the bank’s credit strategist.

A report by the bank’s research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as “all the chickens come home to roost” from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets.

“The Fed is in panic mode. The massive credibility chasms down which the Fed and maybe even the ECB will plummet when they fail to hike rates in the face of higher inflation will combine to give us a big sell-off in risky assets,” he said.”

Barclays thoughts on the matter do not vary much as reported by FT:

US central bank accused of unleashing an inflation shock that will rock financial markets, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall “below zero”.

“We’re in a nasty environment,” said Tim Bond, the bank’s chief equity strategist. “There is an inflation shock underway. This is going to be very negative for financial assets. We are going into tortoise mood and are retreating into our shell. Investors will do well if they can preserve their wealth.”

“This is the first test for central banks in 30 years and they have fluffed it. They have zero credibility, and the Fed is negative if that’s possible. It has lost all credibility,” said Mr Bond.

The bank said the full damage from the global banking crisis would take another year to unfold.

Finally, Ticker Forum member Sharon found this enlightening little piece:

“In a few weeks time (after the next G8- and other organisations-meetings have taken place), when it will be confirmed that there is no way to stabilise the US currency (not to mention the eccentric idea of pushing it up) because the US economy is sinking always deeper into the recession and because the world is already filled with US Dollars no one knows what to do with, then the global financial system will burst out in various sub-systems trying to survive as much as they can before a new global financial equilibrium is found (4). As he is embarking on this road to nowhere, consciously or not, voluntarily or not, Ben Bernanke is signing the end of the current financial system”

49 Responses to “What do Fleck, Fortis, RBS and Barclays Have in Common?”

  1. […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

  2. If as predicted that massive US bank failures and B/Ks happen soon enough, what happens to the funds deposited in these (US)banks? Will FDIC or FHLOC be overwhelmed and un-able to pay the depositors? If this is the case, where do you park your cash “safely”? Any ideas?

  3. […] admin wrote an interesting post today on What do Fleck, Fortis, RBS and Barclays Have in Common?. Here’s a quick excerpt: […]

  4. Three of these four comments are from European entities that got their collective butts caught in the wringer when they invested in, and recommended to their clients, CDOs backed by American mortgages. They realize that their own survival is on the line if the ECB keeps rates high. There is a lot of “book talking”, and finger pointing to lay the blame for their failures to manage risk. Not to mention the pain of having our inflation exported to their economies.

    Yes, there will be more pain to come in the credit markets. And the pain will be intense. I like pain. Where there is pain, there is opportunity. However, the idea that there will be a complete collapse of the US financial markets in a few weeks, and that 6000 banks will fail is just silly.

    By the way best practices in the blogesphere require a “$$” to be placed in a link to another site that requires a subscription (Bill Fleckenstein). -Regards

  5. All of my sources have been saying the BIG ONE is coming, and they all point toward July.

    I don’t expect 6000 Banks to fail, but DO expect some to, –It is all such a house of cards, and even the FED is pretty powerless over this Tsunami.

  6. Dave,
    How about the ol’ mattress like our grandparents did? It is very distrubing indeed. I cannot see how FDIC, etc, can handle a crisis of that magnitude. Will we see a little bank holiday, who knows?, and Toby has point – 6,000 banks does seem kind of high, and “book talking” is a distict possiblity….but if “the big one” is coming – is it best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best?, I think so, but what exactly to do? I’m open to any ideas 🙂

  7. One doesn’t need to run the Fortis item through Google Translator – meltdown is meltdown in any language. At 60, I have been an investor through the 87 crash, the mini-98 “crash” and stagflation of the 70’s. . .this time I feel is the “end-game.”

    I read an item a few weeks ago that made comparisons between the collapse of the old Soviet Union and that of the US today – pretty scary stuff. . .their war in Afganistan was just the straw that broke the camels back. . .if the US had a balanced budget, the Iraq war would not be a problem, but combined with the huge deficit and government programs it is a budget buster. Will not blame Bush alone – the credit problem has its roots going back 30 years, so lots of blame to go around.

    I agree, Fed is now powerless to do much – raising rates .25 on Monday would at least put a floor under the dollar and bring oil down about $20.

  8. I read where the FDIC can only currently cover about 1% of bank deposits and that is why they are urging the banks to raise capital.

  9. I generally do not position myself for financial armageddon. If people want to do that, that’s fine. Many of us have been worrying about the US financial system for years. So the serious nature and structure of the current problem is not lost on me. I do think the outlook is a bit grim for the USA, largely owing to an energy shock that is coming down on top of a housing bubble. California, with its post-war growth and buildout almost totally geared for the auto and cheap gasoline is probably going to have its deepest recession in decades.

    Naked Capitalist has a pretty good post up today on the RE market:
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2008/06/grim-update-on-real-estate-market.html

  10. This is going to be something that people are not going to be able fathom. It will be worse than what your parents or grandparents went through in the 30’s. THERE WILL BE NO public works that will be able to bring us out of this because the country’s infrastructure is already built. The sad part is you could walk down the street and ask a hundred people if the banking system is in trouble and the vast majority would have no clue. They will be blindsided by the upcoming events.

  11. Will the washington thugs try to restart the economy with a war with Iran as they seem to think that WW2 restarted the US after the 1930’s meltdown and bankers have been known to like the profits to be made in war

  12. Gina yes. Maybe on our soil this time. Then we would have to rebuild,but that is wild speculation.

  13. I’m glad I don’t have any assets to speak of. So I’m not in a panic. When I did have money I was always worried about losing it or it being stolen. Not a nice way to live. In fear.

  14. what if worse case scenario transpires and many of our large-named financial instis do collapse. There would be panic and a run on all other banks. They would not allow withdrawls. People would be put on allowance. Cash, gold or what was deemed as a cash-equivalent would be king.

    About a year ago I stocked up on disaster supplies, which includes a 15kw generator, 2500 water tank, food, etc. Most people are not prepared for things like this and it is about time you get prepared just in case.

  15. Back in the winter Bernanke proposed that the banks adjust mortgages down by 10%, 15% maybe 20%. I don’t remember the exact number. The point of the suggestion was to make the homes more affordable and less likely to fall into foreclosure.

    But the bond holders of these mortgages have contracts. They simply cannot be “adjusted” down as Bernanke suggested.

    How could someone, so smart, so accomplished, so sophisticated as bernanke make such a lame brained suggestion? Disparate!! He is so desperate. Desperate men do and say desperate things. There are simply no solutions to this mess. Good luck to all!!

  16. Let’s be pessimistic but with moderation. The situation is horrible and terrible. But you have these real stupid foreigners with all these US dollars that will save your ass in the USA. You can say God bless China, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, etc…. If shit hits the fan, I figure that they will be footing the bill much more that the US.

    You know the old saying. “Owe 100,000$ to the bank and it’s you that is in trouble, owe 1 trillion to the bank and it’s the bank that is in trouble.” Stupid foreigners with a mega tons of dollars are the bank and the USA is the borrower. Yes it’s a problem but for whom ? Think about it. Now imagine Japan stuck with 2 trillion US dollars that are worthless. Same thing for all the others. Banking system will survive but don’t count on seing Citigroup and the others going up for a long long time. A lot of them will finish as small outfits with huge huge share floats, small staff, less bonuses for the New-York and London bastards, and oh yes foreign ownership.

  17. Dear admin,

    Thanks for the excellent suggestion for stocking up diaster supplies. I live in coastal southern California so it had never occured to me to stock up any diaster supplies except for the upcoming “Big One” (earthquake, that is). Stocking up sufficient emergency cash or cash equivalent as reserve is also a really great idea. Thanks.

  18. Stock up on a lot of “no nonsense” too. The climate continues to be crazy in the Mid-West and now in California. Naturally there is no climatic change. You can stock up if you want, but your supplies must be in a safe place. If the building is flooded or falls down on your head, supplies are useless. Soo everybody on this site is expecting the end of the world and an Argentina or Indonesia type run on the banks ? Or a Turkish stock and bank holiday for a month ? Geez ! What’s next ? A civil war between East and West and South and North ?

  19. I am uncertain as to the speed of these collapses in real time. In retrospect we say it took such and such a time and it was obvious.

    1929, as I read it, developed quite slowly and even by 1933 there was still some optimistic action going on.

    Bear has been a few months now. Citi. more, GM and GMAC are still staggering along.

    The advantage of having Money created and living in a computer means that a Physical count is impossible and computer programs can be changed. They knew what they were doing when they abandoned the Gold standard.

    As mentioned, no foreigners dare to call in their bets or everybody loses. I personally believe that the “Stock market” is so far removed from the “value” of what it represents that even when the system has totally collapsed the shares will still be high and getting a Buy, Buy, Buy.

    Frankly, I feel we need to use another badly run country as our model of how to survive from day to day, namely Zimbabwe. They have been bankrupt for many years now, ( I have some cheap property in Bulawayo for sale if anybody needs some) but the people in the street have never been told, so they just struggle along. That is how we will plod along.

  20. The reason the government is “rehiring” accountants from the savings and loan scandal is to handle the upcoming unravelling fiasco. Cash is king, but smart money will avail themselves of opportunities that will percolate to the top. Don’t just bury your head in the sand and wait for things to settle. This will be the last great investment time of your life. As usual, when to ante up is the major puzzle…no one says this will be an easy option.

  21. Marc Authier made a good point about foreign ownership of US paper – treasuries, etc. they will be forced in one way or another to keep us from a total collapse – otherwise their loss too. . .what seems to be happening is a slow “decoupling” with the US economy over a two to three year time frame. They are likely getting rid of US paper as fast as they can without collapsing the system – what to keep an eye on is the value of the dollar – a slow but orderly decline. This would give a lot of us some time frame to buy foreign currency – Euros, Canadian $, Swiss Francs, etc. Hey in SoCal, the Mexican Peso is starting to look good. . .at least they have oil!

  22. GM will end up chineese owned and Ford indian owned. Morgan Stanley will become a small subsidiary of a russian bank controlled by an ex KGB boss. Lehman Brothers will be bough by a investment arm of Quatar. Citigroup will integrated by the Saoud mafia of Saudi Arabia. Probable the same thing will happen in the UK and Spain. 🙂 Enjoy. It’s the end of American independance. I feel it in my bones. That’s the way the crisis will be resolved. That’s what happens usually to a country that lives behond its own mean and ridicously overborrows and overspends.

  23. Your collapse is their collapse. Always has been the case. Sovereign funds will be taking control of Wall street firms. Maybe it won’t be bad thing. Some of these investment firms desserve to lose their independance. And their management need a good kick in the ass and prison. This would be damn good lesson to these arrogant cow-boy capitalist in New-York, London and Zurich. This crisis makes me think a lot like Japan in the 90’s. Except luckily, the pain will be shared. Japan was alone with the problem and did a horrible job at fixing it. Expect massive foreign investment, massive dilution of banking shares and change of ownership, specially in the banking sector. It’s the least of two evils. It will be that, or probably a 1929 depression. I’d take the first option.

  24. july 4th that is…

  25. Uninformed foreigners ? Linguistically challenged foreigners ? A little bit naive foreigners ? The game is quite simple. It’s an old judoka strategy. Use the power of your adversary to put him down to the ground.

    I think the strategy of the linguistically challenged foreigners will backfire. I always ask myself why all this mess ? And then I think of the the eternal Zero interest rate in Japan.

    We today are all in this mess for two reasons; the FED yes, but also the Bank of Japan. Excessive creation emanating from the eternal carry trade play in Japan, and the stupid currency sterilization exchange rate attempts always lead to dramas. Paying for 20 years of hysterical policies in the US but also in Japan, in a 12 months time span. Uneducated or informed ? Is it more neutral ?

  26. Seems to me Bill Clinton left office with peace, prosperity, $5.4 TRILLION in projected surpluses, and such a bright future for the USA that we were worried about not having any Treasury Bonds to sell – because we wouldn’t need the money.

    Maybe another Bill Clinton will come along.

  27. One Armageddon at a time. That’s why I love the shiny barbaric relic despised by Lord Maynard Keynes. AIG is one horrible example of the dangers of playing and falling in love with financial arms of mass destruction. We will have to get used to not trusting banks like in South-America, Asia, Lebannon, Turkey, Russia, Indonesia, Africa, Malaysia, Argentina, Mexico. One Armageddon at a time. Hey a banking crisis in the rest of the world is as common as tornado. It would not be the first time in US history that there is total meltdown. There will be always be a tomorrow. It’s just paper, and digits on a hard disk after all. 🙂

  28. China A Shares once broke through many years low 2700 to once HIT 2694!!!!
    Meanwhile Chinese Dollar keeps heading north and breaks through 1:6.86 support for the first time in 18years.

    ———–

    Avoid U.S. Dollar, Buy Commodities, Jim Rogers Says (Update1)

    By Zhang Shidong

    June 30 (Bloomberg) — Investors should avoid the dollar while commodities are the “best investment” for this year, said Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.

    Rogers, who in April 2006 correctly predicted oil would reach $100 a barrel and gold $1,000 an ounce, made the comments in a speech in Shanghai today.

    The dollar has slipped 6.7 percent against the euro and 5.2 percent versus the yen this year as the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to stave off a U.S. economic recession. Oil prices in New York have doubled in the past 12 months, while gold futures jumped 41 percent.

    Avoid the dollar “at all costs,” Rogers said. “The best investments in 2008 are commodities and natural resources. Agricultural prices have much higher to go over the next decade. We have a shortage of everything including seeds.”

    To contact the reporter on this story:

  29. You know why Feng ? Because ultimately commodities are real things, useful things, palpable things, vital things, much more vital than urban real estate or a piece uncultivated raw land. It’s a vote of no confidence to capital markets. Seriously, can anybody reading this fantastic blog can today take seriously what was going around, and what is going around ?

    I must admit that I am stocking up on food stuff, not because I am expecting the end of the world. I am just disgusted by anything related to paper or a digit on a computer.

    Who was listening to Jim Rogers 10 years ago ? Nobody. As a result even the Chineese or India, didn’t take care of their agriculture and these oh soo precious real estate things called farms, good farming land and water. Arable land in the ex-USSR, Europe, Canada, China, India, Africa, is still today going way way down. The only exception is Brazil, and Brazil is booming today. Corn is going to explode this week. China intends buying massively.

  30. Looka here ! And who is the big bad boys speculatin’ with their own money and probably the funds given by the FED wiht the TAF ? Lookie hera !!!!! It’s not very funny. I wouldn’t be surprised that this journalist is right on. All the New-York investment bank are massively speculating in oil because they expect a war with Iran and want one, even if it bankrupts the USA and the European. How to recuperate all the losses in the subprime and Alt-A loans. Blow up another bubble by bombing Teheran.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=5aIvcpf7J6w&eurl=http://www.karmabanqueradio.com/

  31. It will soon be high time to be Eternally Optimistic, Old Scratch! During America’s (and then Humanity’s) darkest hour, the Light will suddenly appear! 🙂

    Remember that gold is hard to digest (it will be confiscated). Same for silver.

    Remember that the banks will close (get your $$$ out of banks).

    Remember that the markets will crash (liquidate your investments NOW).

    Remember WHO DID IT (Zionists and their stooges). The new slogan will be: NEVER AGAIN!

    Most of all, “Remember your God – before the silver cord is loosed”. He is the ONLY One Who can save you!

  32. I DON’T BELIEVE THIS FOR A SECOND!!!!!!!!!

  33. Mike Miller:

    You will be cured of your unbelief for Eternity – it’s just a matter of (just a little more) Time! 😉

  34. EternalOptimist. You have the Gods all wrong. They are human. They will not come to your rescue. You have been duped by erroneous teachings, aka Fools Gold.

  35. J,GM:

    Please stay ‘on topic’!

    But since you’re here – how did you come by this ‘interesting’ opinion? Did you, perhaps, have a ‘close encounter of the 3rd kind’ with one (or more) of these ‘human gods’? When you look out through the bars of your cell window, can you spot the flying cuckoo?

  36. EO, never you mind. just keep swallowing your cults erroneous teachings and keep blaming ‘zionists’ for all the worlds ills.

    That will no doubt get you what you want.

  37. J,GM et al:

    A ‘human god’ is an oxymoron. The God I believe in has left His signature on His universe and in His Word – Holy Scripture. Click on the link below and discover something truly awesome!:

    http://tinyurl.com/3ncque

  38. Hey, L,GM – I believe that you’re seriously straying ‘off topic’ now! This is a Blog about the mortgage mess and broader economic issues – only touching on spiritual matters where appropriate. If you want to engage in a long-winded discussion about your ‘human gods’ and related matters, post a Comment on my Blog:

    http://sol-godsend.blogs[pot.com

  39. Please could some smart guy tell me what is going to happen to me? I own a home that was worth $600,000 and owed $100,000 on it in a home equity loan.

    What is going to happen to me? Will I lose my home? I can’t find employment because everything is shutting down.

    I can’t sell my home because the market has gone under.

    I can’t just leave a home that we have built up for 30 years to a crummy bank.

    What will happen to us?

  40. Well I can pray for you. You have seen the employment situation for june in the US ? It’s not government stats and lies by the Labor Department. It’s data from the private sector, Horrendous. -79,000 in one single month. As for a solution ?

    I am not that bright. Bankers and politicians blow up bubbles and after that, it’s your problem not theirs. Can you get another job in another region ? Reading you, I really have the impression that it’s 1929 all over again or even worse.

    Hang on to what is important, you health your wife your family. Maybe let go of the house ? Try to sublet it or having renters in one part of the house ? Try to obtain a modification ?

  41. Whoops! Looks like the Fortis article was a hoax!

    http://ml-implode.com/staticnews/2008-07-02_FortisCollapsePredictionAHoax.html

  42. But a nice hoax. It’s about the way it will happen when the shit hits the fan. Rush to the exit doors all at the same time and everybody trampled to death. Petdot.con, WORLDCON, ENRON and PARMALAT, NORTEL Networks, Bre-X, Bear Stearns, were hoaxes too and it lasted years and years. The 500 billion NINJA or liar loans were hoaxes. Countrywide was a hoax. Mozilo pay wasn’t.

    Al Quaida who knows ?, is maybe just a fantastic hoax fabricated and financed by Haliburton and the arms dealers. Saddam Hussein arm’s of mass destruction was a hoax but not the 330 billion of oil under his feet. You see. Hoaxes are everywhere. This hoax is fantastic one and like I said, it’s the way it will happen. No joke.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpDgrvYd36k&eurl=http://www.itulip.com/

    This was not a hoaxe. It was on Bloomberg Asia on Sunday night. 53 trillion debts. I think the interviewed manager is dutch. Maybe it’s him ? 🙂

  43. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwH7NHU_KkM&NR=1

    The biggest hoax. The hoax of the century is the Labor Department phoney and corrupted statistics.
    The Bush and the Clinton administration, all both controlled by Goldman Sachs, loved and cultivated hoaxes in grand scale.

    http://www.shadowstats.com/

    Fortis or Labor Department trash ? No real difference.

    We are going to experience a hyperinflationnary depression, an energy crisis, massive bankruptcies and another stupid oil war with Iran.

    Oh did I mention it, the end (good riddance !) of the dollar-standard and the return to the stability of the gold-standard. Oil is going to 200$ or 300$ with Iran.

  44. Bad time for stocks.
    Bab time for bonds.
    Bad time for anything related to financials.
    Increased bank failures.

    You forgot John Williams.
    Stagflation ? Hyperinflation ? Yes. It will happen when foreigners finally get tired of the paper burning their pockets.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV110mMvnUY&NR=1

    ———————————————————-
    A little bit of history

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPitcRcIT7U&feature=related

  45. The Fortis hoax is not a hoax. I am Dutch, and I found the original article on the Financiële Telegraaf:
    http://www.telegraaf.nl/dft/bedrijven/fortis/4339542/Amerikaanse__rsquo_meltdown_rsquo__reden_geldinjectie_Fortis.html

    The translation in English is correct.

  46. Très sages ces Hollandaises et très belles. My first girlfriend was a cute redhead from Holland. 🙂 If you say so it must be true. So Fortis was not joking ? The problem with the US, is that the rest of the world think that these things don’t happen in the US.

    Know thy US of A history. It would not be the first time it happens. US independance debts to France 48 million dollars, were never paid back to Louis XV. The fiasco of the Continental. The Conferate Bank worthless bank bills and the civil war hyperinflation. Yes Virginia. These things happened even in the US of A. A long time ago, but it can still happen.

  47. this is true Here are the links

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/25451427

    http://www.forbes.com/afxnewslimited/feeds/afx/2008/06/30/afx5166111.html

    This is real. The global economy is going to implode

  48. we just have to Wait to see what happens

  49. One person above was savvy enough to flag the Bank of Japan as a prime mover in this global inflationary mess. Bravo! Their selfish win the trade war at all costs plan of action has led us to this mess; their reckless currency devaluation has been accomplished by flooding the world with yen, which has really been at the root of all the other fiat currency explosions. Yes, the Chinese are doing it too but really, they’re just following Japan’s lead. Remember, this is the same megalomaniacal bunch who gave us the lovely slogan “business is war.”

    But since the US is the goose laying toyota Motor’s golden eggs, they don’t dare do anything that would harm us. Besides, we protect them from the Chinese – for free, I might add with a scowl.

    From where I’m standing, the biggest danger is this: a world war against the US would cost the Chinese much more that the value of their current US debt holdings, and China doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anyone but themselves, when all is said and done. I can easily see the Chinese dumping their US debt, destroying the US economy – and with it, the US war machine – and taking their long-desired place as the world’s only global superpower. Remember, they believe in all that “Middle Kingdom” crapola. They’re better than everyone else, and if you ask them, they’ll tell you all about it.

    Stocking up on food and so forth is a dandy idea. But the best idea is paying off every last bit of your debt ASAP. Our government is totally bought and paid for by the money caste, and when this all hits the fan, the laws will swiftly be changed to give the money caste any excuse they can get to come take all your stuff away from you. Houses, cars, credit cards: pay ’em all off. Quick, fast and in a hurry.

    Alarmism? No. A pragmatic and realistic view of what human beings are all about.

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