Friday, May 8, 2009

Green Shoots or Greatest Depression?

Kingston, NY, 7 May 2009 -- The financial fields replete with sprouting "green shoots" should be viewed with suspicion, if not alarm, warns Gerald Celente, The Trends Research Institute Director. "They are not a mirage, but they are ephemeral."

Field Marshall Ben Bernanke and his Green Shoot Brigade have fertilized the economic landscape with trillions of sweat equity dollars extorted from today's public and the public of generations to come. Regardless of how depleted the land, heavy doses of dollars spread so thickly over the financial and government territories, will force "green shoots" to grow. But the fundamentals of the economy remain unsound. They will not be corrected by forced fertilizing barren acreage.

"'Green shoots' may sprout," said Celente, "but they will not flower. The economy cannot be coerced back into growth with tons of money manure." As the ancient parable puts it:

"A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." -- Luke 8:4-8

Now here this: it is inconceivable that the "green shoots" are signs of sustained economic recovery.

Celente said no one could have forecast that the government would not only intervene in the markets by pouring unprecedented trillions into bailout schemes, but that they would commandeer the whole free enterprise system.

"The 800-pound gorilla has ridden the elephant into the Oval Office, and are there for all to see. But few will call a spade a spade," declared Celente. "Benito Mussolini described Fascism as 'The merger of state and corporate power.' He suggested that, more appropriately, it should be called 'Corporatism.' By whatever name, Corporatism or Fascism, what it's not is Free Market Capitalism, much less Democracy," Celente said.

"Green shoots" can only be brought to harvest through real productivity. Pumping gigantic sums of money into too-big-to-fail financial institutions to jump-start the lending/borrowing cycle is to perpetuate a failed economic model. (See "The Greatest Depression," Trends Journal, Winter 2009.)

"We can extrapolate creatively from data, but cannot prophesize wild cards, such as acts of God, acts of nature, or acts of man that can only be described as 'schemes undreamed of.' While there have been warnings since the founding of the United States, no one, but no one, could have predicted the mega-merger of Wall Street and Washington that is now a fait accompli,"
said The Trends Research Institute Director.

Trendpost: With so much money being dumped into the system, there will be money to made ... and lost. The agile and the knowledgeable may be able to reap "green shoots" while they're sprouted. But beware!

"The Greatest Depression" -- that we forecast would begin to set in by the end of this year -- may have been postponed, but it has not been averted. When it does set in, it will do so with enhanced intensity and at a pace accelerated by complex financial finagling ... all under the guise of nation-saving action. Rather than let the failing industries fail and the failed banks go bankrupt, the government is deliberately bankrupting the nation.

The lesson to be learned from the financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007, is that nothing succeeds like failure. The greater their failure, the bolder they become. The more they lose, the more they take. The greater the chaos, the more control they exact. The bigger they fail, the harder we fall.

No act is too unthinkable or measure too draconian for the Washington-Wall Street Mob to concoct in order to maintain power, make money and cover their losses. While it is impossible to second-guess what the government will do next, it is absolutely certain that they will stop at nothing.

The "green shoots" will wither and conditions will deteriorate. Those who are prepared for the worst will not have been taken by surprise.

© MMIX The Trends Research Institute®

Global Crisis ‘Vastly Worse’ Than 1930s

By Shiyin Chen and Liza Lin

May 7 (Bloomberg) -- The current global crisis is “vastly worse” than the 1930s because financial systems and economies worldwide have become more interdependent, “Black Swan” author Nassim Nicholas Taleb said.

“This is the most difficult period of humanity that we’re going through today because governments have no control,” Taleb, 49, told a conference in Singapore today. “Navigating the world is much harder than in the 1930s.”

The International Monetary Fund last month slashed its world economic growth forecasts and said the global recession will be deeper than previously predicted as financial markets take longer to stabilize. Nouriel Roubini, 51, the New York University professor who predicted the crisis, told Bloomberg News yesterday that analysts expecting the U.S. economy to rebound in the third and fourth quarter were “too optimistic.” (more)

Why you should be worried about the bond market

By Dominic Frisby May 06, 2009
Dominic Frisby
Bank of England

A lot of people have been asking me: 'What's next?'

Sentiment everywhere is improving. In fact, I was astonished to hear such bullish talk from the likes of Anthony Bolton and Crispin Odey this last week. Their records and experience dwarf mine, but I see an intermediate top coming in the stock markets more or less now. In fact, I think we may have made it on Monday.

What's more, I am observing a worrying trend in the bond market, both for US Long Bond (the 30-year US Treasury) and for UK gilts. Even now, after months of attention due to the Bank of England's quantitative easing plans, I suspect that few people – or politicians for that matter - are really that interested in government bonds. But, believe me, the last thing we need right now is a collapse in the bond market. (more)

'Goldman Conspiracy:' Bogle's 'pathological mutation?'

Machinations on Wall Street, in government give rise to 13-episode TV plot
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Prediction: The new movie "Public Enemies" will be a mega-blockbuster. Not because everybody loves "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, star of "Terminator: Salvation" and "Dark Knight."
No, it'll be a blockbuster because we get a chance to cheer for a new dark antihero, the infamous Depression era gangster, machine-gun-toting John Dillinger: Cheer because this new Dillinger is doing what we all secretly want to do -- rip off our corrupt banking system, turn the tables on the guys who have been ripping us off for too long.
Dillinger must be the guy former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt had in mind when he told Fortune: "America's investors have been ripped off as massively as a bank being held up by a guy with a gun and a mask." That was the last recession. Today, it's a heck of a lot worse in the "Great Recession:" Bad banks, financial weapons of mass destruction, AK-47 derivatives.
Yes, this time the banks are the gangsters. They're robbing Main Street's Treasury. And it's an inside job. Hank Paulson, the "Goldman Conspiracy's" Trojan Horse, plays a "Dillinger," leading a much bigger conspiracy, the "Happy Conspiracy," that robbed America's 300 million citizens and taxpayers. They made off with trillions, while our "guards," a clueless Congress, laid down their guns and surrendered the keys to the vault. See previous Paul B. Farrell.
The "Happy Conspiracy?" Yes, that's what Vanguard founder Jack Bogle calls Wall Street in his bestseller, "The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism." He sees Wall Street as a "pathological mutation" of capitalism. Adam Smith's "invisible hand" no longer drives "capitalism in a healthy, positive direction." Instead, Bogle sees the invisible hands of this elite "Happy Conspiracy" running capitalism to serve its own selfish, greedy agenda: (more)

Business Week May 18, 2009

FREE PDF download click here