Monday, December 18, 2006

Stoke up the furnaces!

Today, I wouldn’t hold anything except anti-dollar (GLD, FXE, PMPIX – down short term, up long term) and/or high div payers and/or big EPS surprisers. That’s about it – and just remember there’s a big reckoning coming at the first real hint of a slowdown (GDP, PMI, capacity utilization, etc.) so you’d better be ready to pull that trigger faster than the guys that do it for a living. Per CNBC, the hope is that 4Q GDP will surprise to the upside. But then others suspect that hope may finally have run out…

Because, as the article above states, sales tax receipts (and Wal Mart’s same store sales) are showing a marked drop-off in consumption (consumption = 70% of U.S. economy). Fallen how far and how fast? Well that’s why they play the games isn’t it? (Saints LOSE; Cowboys WIN -- and spit too; Bears SQUEAK Tampa Bay!?).

The other HUGE issue as I’ve said many times before is THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT which at present pace ($865B) will be $1T in a year or two. Think of how much money those Japanese, Chinese and Saudi bond holders must pump, year after year after year, into U.S. Treasuries to keep this leaky, rusty, old (USA economy) battleship afloat. The Chinese already hold $1T of U.S. debt. Do you think they want another $1T and another… and another? Already the Chinese govt. has stated publicly there will likely be a shortfall of new jobs in 2007 (some part below the 2,500,000 they need to prevent rioting in the streets – I’m not kidding).

Then you have Paulson and Bernake, the “I’ve got mine, now go fuck yourself” twins of American govt. (or is it Armageddon?) finance. They keep harping that China must “float” its currency… Translation: the U.S. dollar must diminish in real value by at least another 30-40%. The fact it’s depreciated 98% since we stopped gold pegging in 1972 just isn’t enough apparently! BUT note that the decline must be orderly, precipitated by myriad speeches about how great the economy is; how low unemployment is, because we can all work for $12/hr and work until we fall over dead from old age, with no health benefits, and a bankrupt Medicare system; and how we can simply “grow” (or is it inflate?) our way out of all our problems, if only we cut taxes a bit more (for Paulson and Bernake), depreciate a bit more, offshore a bit more, and of course elect another generation of profligate Republican earmarkers -- orderly, of course, so Wall Street has ample time to adjust – so the only suckers holding the bag are YOU and ME.

So keep buying those stocks Goldilocks! It’s only paper. “All the numbers are so much bigger now! Gee, that means we’re all richer, right?” Yes, that’ what they said in the Weimar Republic, and we all know how that turned out – meet your new leader, Adolph! So from my vantage, this (impending) disaster is not too big, not too small, but just about right! So stoke up the furnaces because somebody’s going to have to burn for this one. Probably them terr’ist liberals… it was them what dun it!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

POY: TIME got it right this year.

TIME magazine recently announced its annual Person Of the Year. Surprise! It's you, I, me, we.

And despite the fact I'm talking about a mass media corporation, this time TIME got it right -- even if it's not sure exactly why.

For this was the year of net neutrality. And so, expanding on that theme, let this year mark the end of ism and the rise of ize. The end of status quo, hegemony nouns and the rise of decentralizing, anarchistic verbs.

Terrorism, elitism, nationalism, globalism, institutionalism: these ism nouns exhibit one common principle -- banding together to exploit and marginalize others -- the historic ability of the powerful, the status quo to perpetuate unfairness in the face of all rational opposition.

But for once, this was a year of we and not of us versus them.

This year:

We are finally united in opposition to the immorality and failure of the Iraq War.

We are against the blatant corruption of our governments, corporations and the status quo in general.

We want a rational energy policy that can support a sustainable world.

We believe that open source Linux, not proprietary, malware hosting, corporate symobolizing Windows, represents the future of computing.

We believe that the most important human ideal, as America's founding fathers stated so eloquently more than 200 years ago, is the right of every human being on this planet to pursue her destiny unencumbered by superstition, manipulation, misinformation, lies, or violence.

We believe that a world where the only choice the powerless have is murder-suicide is a world destined to end in a mushroom cloud. Life with fairness or death through hegemony is not a choice. We choose life!

So here's to you TIME, and here's to us, to we. May we continue to realize, incentivize, democratize, self-actualize, and most importantly decentralize power and hegemony on this planet, for the benefit of all and not just a few.

They are the past but we are the future.

Power to the people!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Probably, I am an Anarchist

I now realize I am less a socialist than an anarchist.


I still admire, or perhaps even love, the idea of socialism, first because it eschews private property/capital (collectivism) but mostly because it favors the utter destruction (nihilism) of the ruling class (rich), which clearly is most responsible for the unhappy and precarious state of this planet. Surely no one could blame it on the poor.

An Introduction to Anarchism

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/inourtime.shtml and click Listen Now – unfortunately it requires Real Player, at least under Firefox (though I think you can download it as an mp3).

Favorite quote “if voting could make any difference, then they would surely abolish it…” Heaven, to me, is quite simply the just and righteous end of them – in every shape and every guise. I have therefore concluded that at my core (and it has probably always been so): I despise groups. I despise governments. I despise authority. I despise everything that subverts my true will, ability and opportunity to understand myself and to search for meaning in this life. I desire, can, and do feel love. But I know it is impossible for a human to love unconditionally, much as at this moment it seems impossible to imagine how people can coalesce (organize) without simply compounding the damage.

At any rate, one must admit that anarchy has a far more likely future than socialism. For example, Jesus was a socialist, and look at the state of George Bush Christianity today. I also agree with the BBC speakers that there seems a pathology at work on this planet -- and it is clearly and inevitably leading to decentralization through the eventual collapse and failure – of every pathetic system (Meet the new boss… Same as the old boss…) based largely on one group (strong) exploiting another (weak) – And that the only sustainable human future not ending in a mushroom cloud requires finding the means to survive and even to thrive in precarity as opposed to pledging allegiance to one rotted or rotting ideology after another. I guess one might argue that anarchism is the political equivalent of the second law of thermodynamics, but where ideally the breakdown or dissolution of Hobbes’ Leviathan is disciplined, self-determined, intelligent, rigorously self-examined -- in a word: thoughtful.

People join herds because we are weak and pathetic. And the more pathetic we are, the more likely we are to join. You may quote me on this.

Monday, December 11, 2006

3rd World 2.0

If you find yourself working for small company, don’t invest in its 401K unless there’s a trustee/outside investment firm managing the funds. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-retire10dec10,0,5286541.story?coll=la-headlines-business

Just another fact (Iraq, Katrina, Pensions, Social Security Trust Fund, Medicare, 401Ks) supporting my claim that the U.S. has become a new generation 3rd world country -- with a great PR campaign and a far too large, unsustainable, good-for-nothing ruling class.

When every promise is replaced by an advertisement and every law is undermined by exceptions, exemptions, greed and fraud, then we live in a 3rd world country, and I will not be surprised to see every street resemble those of New Orleans (lucky) or Baghdad (unlucky) in my lifetime. I call it 3rd World 2.0 – when the tired, bloated, aged and previously deluded nations throw up their hands and admit there was never anything (but a lie/dream) holding it all together anyway.

At that point, it's next stop -- anarchy.