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04 May 2009

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William R. Cumming

I agree with your comments and found their clarity to be the best of the lot. I do think how the US leadership reacts to the economic crisis and reacts to changes in the world economy will either facilitate future US economic growth or decline. AS the Chinese character indicates--change as well as opportunity. Unfortunately, few indications that the political leadership of the US is ready to make some of the leaps of policy and imagination that I think an articulate leader could get full backing on from the citizenry of the US! Instead of promoting collaboration and cooperation the US still "thinks" is holds all the solutions for the world. Tragic when hubris and ego so far exceed competence and capability.

charlottemom

I too agree with your assessment that we will have a much lower standard of living and will need to make do with less access to credit.

What's amazing to me is the strength of denial of this premise by those in the banking, RE, insurance sector. Many are convinced that this wrecked Humpty Dumpty FIRE economy of ours can be put together again. That we are not going back to this overleveraged, unsustainable consumption economy is a tough pill to swallow for those who benefited the most from it.

There is still much deleveraging and/or defaulting that needs to happen. Can you believe speculators are still flipping houses (albeit formerly foreclosed properties!) Traders/investors jumping in at the TV- declared "bottoms" to buy equities. Until we're at complete capitulation, I'm not sure we have not yet hit THE bottom.

Duncan Kinder

Referring to the "ancient quarrel between poets and philosophers" that Plato discusses in his Republic, through the intermediate period, the poets shall prevail over the philosophers.

Reason: in human society artistic excellence and technical performance rarely coincide. The Glory that was Greece as as brilliant as it was unstable. The Grandeur that was Rome was as uniform as it was secure. The Italians are intensely cultivated but can hardly muster a government; the British eat steak and kidney pie. The great period of Chinese philosophy was the Waring States Period; the great period of Chinese poetry was the catastrophic An Lu-shan Rebellion.

Why? "Necessity is the mother of invention." Whether it is a mother rescuing her child by lifting an automobile or some great invention, stressful times demand and can get performances that ordinarily lie dormant. Moreover, artists can be "mad, bad, and dangerous to know," so whenever they get in charge for whatever reason, things are apt to go haywire.

Conversely, stable times ignore and can even repress creativity. Read Dickens. Worse yet, read any random legal decision you might find on the internet.

Stated otherwise, now is a time when Dionysus shall prevail over Apollo. Or, with apologies to T.S. Eliot, now is a time to murder and create.

Buzz Meeks

I don't think we are anywhere close to bottom. As I had mentioned during the election run up many people would vote for a black because of how he expressed an economic vision for the middle and lower class. That has so far turned out to be the biggest shuck going (unless Obomba is a great chess master and is giving the banks enough rope to hang themselves with- anyway, that's my idea of Hope™). People are not going to forget it or the treason being run each and every day by AIPAC.

Continued bankster theft of the Treasury and the tired old chestnuts of how a recovery will let suburban and exurbian “development” continue to destroy productive farmland in many parts of the country. That along with the exorbitant amount of debt service used to create the mega-mergers that didn’t create anything except broker and legal fees coupled to the derivative swaps will cripple any attempt of economic salvage. I thought FDR’s first One Hundred days would have been Obomba’s role model- null and void the debt; he knew what was coming. There won’t be any investment confidence in a continuation in the current dishonest and opaque crony capitalism.I won't go into the just-in-time delivery or food shortages, Kunstler does that every Monday.

Geopolitical will still come down to what happens with oil and other dino based combustibles for China, Japan and India v. the West. I don’t think the Chinese are going to back off securing oil to even try and maintain what they now have much less anticipate more growth.
Seeing Petraeus in the wings for 2012, Obomba could quite possibly be the last elected president of this country if he doesn’t make some major changes in his polices and soon.

Buzz Meeks

optimax

As William Burroughs said,"Suffering makes great copy." In the "Third Man" Harry Lyme said basically the same thing to Holly Martin, as they disembarked from Vienna's Big Ferris Wheel.

William R. Cumming

In a book I am reading found an interesting quote from President Andrew Jackson stating "It is not the job of the government to make men rich."

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