Thoughts on our economy

We’re fucked.

Link one.

Yesterday, Halliburton announced that it would be moving its corporate headquarters from Houston to Dubai. Reincorporating in Dubai would mean that Halliburton — which earned $2.3 billion in profits last year — “will be paying less taxes to the U.S. Treasury, even as it collects billions from government contracts.”

Link Two

The article is called “Cheney’s betting on bad news” and provides an account of where Cheney has socked away more than $25 million. While the figures may be estimates, the investments are not. According to Tom Blackburn of the Palm Beach Post, Cheney has invested heavily in “a fund that specializes in short-term municipal bonds, a tax-exempt money market fund and an inflation protected securities fund. The first two hold up if interest rates rise with inflation. The third is protected against inflation.”

Cheney has dumped another (estimated) $10 to $25 million in a European bond fund which tells us that he is counting on a steadily weakening dollar. So, while working class Americans are loosing ground to inflation and rising energy costs, Darth Cheney will be enhancing his wealth in “Old Europe”. As Blackburn sagely notes, “Not all ‘bad news’ is bad for everybody.”

This should put to rest once and for all the foolish notion that the “Bush Economic Plan” is anything more than a scam aimed at looting the public till. The whole deal is intended to shift the nation’s wealth from one class to another. It’s also clear that Bush-Cheney couldn’t have carried this off without the tacit approval of the thieves at the Federal Reserve who engineered the low-interest rate boondoggle to put the American people to sleep while they picked their pockets.

And a good little ditty.

While chiding Democrats such as Senator Hillary Clinton for proposing a $1 billion federal bailout fund for homeowners at risk of default and foreclosure, the Journal goes on to channel Barbara Bush’s flash of morality when speaking of homeless Katrina victims — “No one wants to see someone lose his home to foreclosure. But many of those most at risk bought their homes with little or no money down, and so have very little at stake economically. Bringing in the feds to bail them out would send precisely the wrong message — that risky or overly aggressive borrowing will be rewarded by the government rather than punished in the marketplace. To the extent that bad loans were made, the market needs to clear, not be propped up by federal-aid programs.”

Unfortunately, despite what the Journal and the endlessly bleating “Money Heads” on TV would have you believe, millions of Americans are in deep trouble. CNBC’s Jim Cramer “flipped out” last week in a torrent of truth about the current economic situation.

Walrath agrees, and says if we continue in the direction we’re headed, Bush’s “boom” will make the Savings and Loan bail-out look like a Girl Scout Cookie Sale.

If you want to watch Cramer really lose his nut, watch that video. It’s so fucking crazy. The comments are worth a look as well.

—bikepunk

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About bikepunk

“Cuts, scrapes, bruises… all in a day’s riding. Then it’s off for some good german beer in a local biergarten.” Munich, Germany

36 thoughts on “Thoughts on our economy

  1. As far as Cramer goes…Won’t lowering the rate just motivate the lenders to write more shit loans to these deadbeats who have no business buying a home (right now)? Home “ownership” is an achievement, not a right

    We have this dead real estate market because the banks all made money really cheap to borrow (Fuck, I have a 5.25% FIXED loan on mine!). They gave it to literally everyone. This put the real estate market through the fucking roof. Then the rates start to climb (and they are STILL cheap, comparative to past periods) and the market dies. The rates climb higher and these people who never had any business owning a home are suddenly fucked with the ARMs they bought.

    Instead of begging the federal government to rescue the morons and the predatory lenders that suckered them into this mess, Cramer should be instead begging congress to pass some legislation limiting what kinds of loans can be sold to people at which levels of creditworthiness.

    I’d rather rescue people from themselves (and predators) before they get a chance to get into this shit…But once they are in it, I say let the market play itself out and settle itself.

  2. And another thing…If you were a guy with good credit and you were buying a home in 1987, you’d be lucky to have a loan as good as 12% offered to you.

    By offering ridiculously cheap rates to people, and by artificially expanding the market to those not ordinarily “qualified” to play (subprime loans), the housing market was artificially pushed way beyond where it should have grown to. Want an example? Try and sell your house today. No one wants to buy one. Why? Because they think paying 6.75% for a home loan is fucking expensive. So they are holding out for better deals to come down the pike. Lenders are taking a BEATING on the sub-prime shit they wrote, so do not expect them to make the lending criteria any easier in the near future.

    The market is going to have to fucking wait. Do not expect someone to further enable the writing of bad loans right now.

  3. My neighborhood is filled with houses for sale. And I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

    Cheap money and a real estate market that somehow comes in at 20% a year for three years in a row?

    Yeah, something had to break.

  4. The plan of this administration was never to win the ‘game’ but to change how the rules would work, while the ‘game’ was being played out. This particular ‘game’ being these two administrative terms.

    Even the average American can NOW look, point a finger & say, “hey, you guys are wasting lives & money, the economy is kinda shaky if you examine its real foundations & you’re making us paranoid w/ supposed threats against our “ways of freedom”.

    The damage has been done & the new cornerstones have been set. This ‘admin’ has constantly given us enough outrageous details to rant & rail over, & thus most people have missed the BIG picture.

    A stake has been driven through the ‘heart’ of the constitution & its peoples, & barbed wire was wrapped around the remains. This administration has fundamentally changed how this country will be governed for the next millennium.

  5. OK, ok, enough with the Republican conspiracy shit. If you have not noticed, all of these fucking administrations are the SAME.

    Clinton opened up China. What did it get you? WalMarts filled with shit made in China. It got you $150 dual-suspension mountain bikes.

    I’m not talking democrat versus republican here. You think its a Bush problem, but it is not. Our government is designed to be plundered by greed no matter who is sitting in the big chair.

    You think it’s “Democrats good, republicans evil”…You think there are these two diametrically opposed parties fighting for the ability to control the power structure in this country.

    There is only one political party in the USA. It’s the MONEY party. If you think Al Gore would have been any more benevolent, think again. He’d just be helping different people plunder in different ways.

  6. “Cheap money and a real estate market that somehow comes in at 20% a year for three years in a row?

    Yeah, something had to break.”

    I came out of college to see a booming job and stock market. “This is great!” (I thought). I was a dot.commer. I was destined to make millions withina few years. BOOM. CRASH. Turns out it was an anomaly.

    Then I leave my booming internet career and come to Arizona during the insane housing market. Heck, I even made a shitload on my house back east. BOOM. CRASH. Turns out it was an anomaly. Thankfully, I predicted this anomaly and did not get carried away by it. But SHIT, this shit is getting crazy, man.

    When will I get to see some “normal” economic shit? When do I get what my parents had? Will I ever get that?

  7. From the article:

    ~~Those caught with the homes they bought for flipping purposes are not going to be able to find buyers. They are going to lose whatever they have invested, plus whatever mortgage payments they make. It may be cheaper for them just to walk away.

    Cue tiny violin.

  8. Thank you Patrick. Thank you. A voice of reason that’s pissed off for a reason. Some people are blind to the fact that this has been going on for a looooong time.

    I’m in manufacturing…you want to talk about Clinton giving China “most-favored nation” status…see what that did to my industry! Things were heading downhill in a big way even before 9-11.

  9. Giving China most-favored nation status is perhaps the best proof that no current political party is going to deliver you a better life, or a life you can be more proud of living.

    Ralph Nader was once quoted as asking his father: “Dad, why don”t we have three political parties instead of two” His answer: “Son, I’d be satisfied with two”.

    Before you can combat corrupt Republicans, you’re going to have to topple the system that allows lobbyists to sell America out to borg-like public companies that are merely seeking to increase their own stock prices. These lobbyists can (equally) buy both Democrats and Republicans, and they do.

    The sad part is that Ross Perot was 100% right way back in 1992. he predicted this “giant sucking sound” with NAFTA as the manufacturing swooshed down into Mexico. But with China, the consequence happened so quickly, there was no time for a sucking-sound. So far, we have thousands of dead dogs (thanks to Chinese pet food), kids who are sucking on lead paint (on their Chinese-made Mattel toys) and if you check the label of your Trader Joe’s food, you’ll find that that excellent frozen fish you picked-up came from China as well. Organic vegetables too!

    In a very small period, we literally tossed our economy away. We threw it out the window. And it was not a Republican or a Democrat that did it. It was greed combined with complacency.

  10. Patrick, if your “conspiracy theory” comment was directed @ moi, read between my lines. I never mentioned republicans, democrats or singing toads for that matter. The two parties only affect how fast or slow, forwards or back the wheels turn. The course has already been set behind the scenes.

    This world is run by big money ‘families’ who’ve always had their own agenda. Their co-operation is simple. Its about control of big money & thus, they define overall status quo for the planet. It’s not a theory, its a fact.

    I mention this administration because the bush family has utilized first grandpa, then senior, & now ‘dumb ol’ george’ to process & align itself for “our” best interests. One point i was making is that d.o.g. & cronies have railroaded so many irreparable changes, so quickly, into the system, that even wealthy dems & repubs are choking over his audacious conceit.

    ‘dumb ol’ george’ ain’t so dumb that he couldn’t be pointed in the right direction to accomplish what they wanted done. Remember a simple fact. This republic is not only relatively new, its a upstart nation. ‘Old World’, big money wants to see the co-operation they need. Thats been recognized, by American politicos for years. If not, we could be economically buried on the world stage. bush family/cronies don’t call it New World Order for nothing. We, you & i, might not condone or appreciate it, but we don’t count.

    A statement was made on this site recently that, somewhat unfortunately, rings true. Along the lines of “stop complaining, just go out & make your own money”. I guess a lot of us grew up thinking there’s more to life than just the almighty dollar but, hey, $$$ are the G’s bottom line.

    Your fundamental constitutional freedoms have been & will continue to be affected & no, Patrick, i don’t think H.Clinton, Edwards, young Obama or singing toads can change a fuckin’ thing.

  11. I read a story online that the head of the Chinese factory responsible for churning out all those fucked up toys killed himself. In the factory. Patrick, if I may paraphrase you, I wholeheartedly agree in that the example of giving China “Most Favored Nation Status” is a clear example that nobody is above suspicion of ulterior motives. It is grossly unfair to say that the Republican Party is responsible for all the bullshit we are going through, although certainly the policies they have put into place will have a gross degree of impact as well. Bush is too fucking stupid to know true evil if it were sitting right next to him.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have added a “Bubba” patois to political bullshit in ethical and political scandals, some of which have had roots well before Slick Willie was in the Oval Office. One of the interesting aspects to China’s perceived foreign policy right now is that they’re especially careful not to piss off people because of the upcoming Beijing Olympics. No matter how much they espouse to be communists, those fuckers are motivated by the same factor as what drives us: greed.

    Probably one of the most mature things to do is to accept that we are all bastards, and that any solution is not bloody well likely to be an easy or quick one. Instead of trying to point the finger at someone else or the “other political party.” If you want to bring this or any other debate down to a level of name-calling, remember – some of us have post-graduate degrees and an appreciation for liberal arts. If you want to insult someone before you get to know them or their politics, you better goddamned be ready in case that person can lay into you like an extinction level event.

  12. Oops – I meant: “Instead of trying to point the finger at somebody else or “the other political party,” cop to your own bullshit, take a deep breath, and try to figure out what can be done. This is not gonna be fun, and it’s likely to piss off loads of people, but it’s a start, and cleaning up has to begin somewhere.

  13. Preach on, Seoul Brother. I’m not a Rep or a Dem, just a realist…a dying breed in this world, unfortunately.

  14. bikesgonewild,

    I guess I picked up on one key term you used: “This administration”. Perhaps I took that to mean an attack on Bush and Republicans. I hear that a lot from people who like bikes. I guess I just needed to vent, because I still hear people in their thirties (and above) still subscribing to the notion that partisan politics have the ability to make our lives better. It drives me fucking insane now.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Bush is horrible (and I even voted for the guy). I apologize if I offended you. It was not intentional. Your writing is very eloquent and entertaining to read.

    We can always expect Republicans to have “business friendly” policy on their agenda. It is part of their stated philosophy. Bush and crew? I think it could very well be that they actually had a serious plan to concoct policies that benefited themselves and their friends.

  15. “Probably one of the most mature things to do is to accept that we are all bastards”

    Agreed. Thanks for the advice.

  16. “I read a story online that the head of the Chinese factory responsible for churning out all those fucked up toys killed himself.”

    I read the same. And I would not put it beyond the Chinese government to “off” the guy for the greater good of protecting the reputation of Chinese manufacturing integrity. My wife spent many years working for Proctor and Gamble, and spent some time in China. In the media, we see all of these nice contemporary factories, and hear tales of the new buying power that the workers now have. How they are buying cars, yada, yada.

    In considering one Chinese contract manufacturer, my wife innocently asked to see the living dormitories of the factory workers. She had no idea about the slave like conditions that these workers live in during their employment. Needless to say, her request was refused. Apparently it is considered bad business to even ask such things of the Chinese manufacturers. Americans just want cheap shit. They deliver the cheap shit. That’s all we apparently need to know.

    By the way, of the last 3 massive lead-paint recalls, my son and daughter were sucking on toys from two of them. I’m a bit sensitive to it.

  17. No apologies needed patrick. I think most on this site can appreciate points being made by others. seoul brother, seems to think (& i might be wrong)we’re in a scalpel fight here, but thats not the ‘take’ i get.

    As was stated by some august gentleman, smarter than i,” I may disagree w/ your politics, sir, but I would defend, to the death, your right to them.”
    ” ain’t that America ” — john c melloncamp

    big jonny’s ‘Drunk Cyclist’ is an open forum for knowledge, wisdom, insight, facts, figures, fun, humor & good ol’ downright bullshit.
    Plato stated, ” Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools speak because they have to say something.”

    Thank you, big jon, for giving this fool room to ramble on !

  18. The problem with the Chinese recalls builds on the fact that either we didn’t question the incredibly appealing profit margin due to the low cost of labor & parts on any number of products. China mahy have received “Most Favored Nation”status on Clinton’s watch, but we were profiting from China’s policies since Nixon opened up the doors.

    It’s kind of like we’ve been rocking the white horse for decades and all of a sudden we realize that we have to give up smack cold turkey. It’s gonna suck, but we have to do it. The same could be said about threats to the environment. Rather than waste time arguing about when did we start ass-raping the environment, and more importantly – when did we stop giving a damn, we need to realize that problems exist, and that we have to fix them toot fucking sweet.

    If you want to run around in circles bitching about the democrats, the republicans, or whatever elected official is pissing you off, you might as well bitch at yourself for not fighting harder to insure that they do not get into office. I genuinely don’t think that the current administration is motivated by adherence to the party line. Quite frankly, I’m amazed that Dubya can manage to walk upright without shitting his pants. These ratfucks are motivated by nothing more than greed. You don’t have to be a political historian or even mildly competent to want more. We are going to be fucked for a very long time after next November, and if Bush, Cheney and dingleberries like Gonzalez are guilty of crimes, I hope the suffer to the fullest extent of the law.

    I think it is absolutely possible to be a Republican and sitll have enough of a moral compass. Jack Kemp was proof of that. I would have liked to believe that Clinton was the best Democratic candidate running for the ’92 election, but he was always came off as the guy who would bang your wife and your daughter when you weren’t looking. Paul Tsongas was the man, but we wanted someone flashier. I’m tired of this shit, and I’m going to fight for something better.

  19. Seoul Brother,

    I voted for Ross Perot in 1992. I’m sure he was probably in bed with plenty of people too, but I just admired his stance against NAFTA when it would have been political suicide for a Dem or Rep to do the same.

  20. I don’t remember who coined the phrase way back when, but it sure was telling. It might have heard it from Jim Hightower. Anyway, it went like this:

    NAFTA is going to SHAFTA a lot of people!

  21. Those Mexican factory workers would kill to be able to get that work back from China. But how can a $1.50 per hour employee compete with someone who makes 40¢ per hour?

  22. sb –ya, yer right, it is about money, cuz: MONEY = CONTROL.
    i’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, with that equation.

    So, while these “ratfucks ARE motivated” by greed, there is much bigger money, & thus control, behind the scenes. The money that buys into the ‘Old World’ order of control.

    bush, cheney, rumsfuck got pats on the head, were allowed to make (or steal) their millions, but told,” don’t mess up the historical agenda, boys.”
    Quick aside: the heavy million$ these limp dicks are walking away with, while it seems huge to you & i, is basically peanuts on the world stage, so it’s, ‘no problem, gentlemen, thank you for your time’.

    America’s willingness to police the world for so many years has been like an ‘entry fee’ into that ‘Old World’ order control. Our turn to pay the bills. Our willingness to subscribe.

    Who do you think financed the different wars throughout Europe for hundreds of years? Who paid for the American Revolution? Wars are fucking expensive & historically “good for economics”. ‘Old World’ big money, tried & true. The payback might ultimately be way down the road but it’s always there.

    I’d bet when bush senior started talking too loudly about, ‘New World Order’ he was told to ‘cease & desist’& ‘when ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise, so just shut the fuck up & let the great unwashed wallow in their day to day.’

    So yes, choosing good candidates, whether Repubs or Dems definitely has an affect on how “fast or slow, forwards or back the wheels turn,” or when we reach & how we deal w/ certain bumps in the road.(example; Katrina aftermath, “fuck you, Mr.Cheney!” indeed)

    There is a bigger historical perspective & agenda, but ya, bottom line, its still about the money.

  23. …and bikepunk, i’m so tired of ranting on this political shit, i’m ready to go out & lick a singing toad !!

    Gimme a good cycling dope scandal, any day.

  24. While mentioning greed and hands grasping for that “old-world money” (a pretense I haven’t though much about, but one definately worth considering)…let’s not forget the word KENNEDY. Just trying to throw a little balance in…not starting anything…

    And to echo something mentioned earlier…I too really enjoy the discourse that goes on in here. I love an intelligent arguement, I love it when people can stand behind thier own views rather than rehashing a soundbite from some cable news show. Though I lean a bit to the right of most of you guys, I am ALWAYS willing to listen to the counterpoint.

  25. ‘KENNEDY’ IS defintely a good word to look into. Two down & Teddy’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ years ago certainly slowed those political aspirations down to a local level. The ‘Beacon Hillers’ in that town love to bandy that family name about.

    I’m not compu-savvy enough to know how to add contact links but
    I seriously double-dog dare ya to go to;- http://www.newamericancentury.org/bushco/bush_crime_tree_family

    Entertaining reading if ya like TRUE stories. The young ‘princes’ of American business w/ their insidious list of contacts & alignments. These are not accusations, these are recorded facts.

    Read ‘em & (you should) weep !

  26. I remember visiting a buddy after work in Tribeca, and we walked past John F. Kennedy jr’s building after the dumbfuck died. You’d think that we walked past Graceland the night after The King died on the throne. It was friggin’ pathetic, and I said to my friend that twats like these make Trekkies like me and my buddy look well adjusted. The Kennedy clan is for the better part flawed and a waste of time.

    The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, is one of the best examples of a flawed, yet passionately dedicated politician with a stunning list of accomplishments. He freely admits his adultery, but progressive doesn’t even begin to describe him. I’m looking forward to following his career.

    The mayor of New York City is also someone I’m gonna watch, because I have a feeling that he’ll make a bid for the Oval Office soon enough.

    Patrick, sometimes it takes a nutty sumbitch like Perot to be the voice of reason. I respect any man who is going to go to the lengths that Perot did to protect his employees. Remember what he did for his EDS employees in the Middle East? And there’s a great list of just some of the reasons why China is a heinous clusterfuck of lies on. We have to ask ourselves which is cheaper – low production costs now and shitloads of recalls, class action lawsuits, and tons of negative publicity later, or paying more for more dependable labor closer to home?

    Bikesgonewild & Sommerfliesby, I’m with you on the better parts of what y’all have said. Hold these motherfuckers accountable for every goddamned step they take. We owe it to ourselves and more importantly, we owe it to those that will come after us. I’m sure as shit not going to leave tis world worse than I found it.

  27. THAT one worked.

    If it’s examples of a “system” or a “man” or a “MACHINE” completely fucking people you are after, just ask! I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and am still here (just moved to another county other than Cook). I’ve got GREAT stories!

    I smell your air biscuit, and raise you a Snicker bar.

  28. And I grew up in Bethesda when we got to hear about some nutty jackass named Marion Barry as the mayor of DC. Remember him? That man flipped the bird on live tv, got a hummer in a public visitation area in prison, did coke with a buddy at a hotel (while police were an ass hair away from busting in on them – the raid was aborted at the last minute), took a female reporter on a tour of DC’s finest strip clubs during an interview, and of course, smoked crack on video and claimed, “the bitch set me up.”

    Sommerfliesby, I see your Snickers bar, and I raise with a brown trout.

  29. I am sure you have been told this ahead of, but damn you’ve got a really good website! I’m jealous and hope I can create anything as great as you. I’m positive you have been told that just before, but seriously lol. Good job and I am going to undoubtedly be back once more.