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lunar 30.12.2008 11:26

GMAC: Its Good to Be a Bank

"The bondage of fifteenth century serfdom has become the catalyst for causing the middle-class to grovel for survival. They mistakenly assumed that the business and political leaders would maintain a minimum concern for those whom they serve or lead." Warren B. Eller, 1931

“This country is governed for the richest, for the corporations, the bankers, the land speculators, and for the exploiters of labor.” Helen Keller

Without banking reforms and an equitable median hourly wage, the development of new variations of debt creation for the people to support the corporate status quo is futile, if not cruel.

Treasury to Buy $5 Billion GMAC Stake, Expand GM Loan
By Rebecca Christie and Hugh Son

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury said it will purchase a $5 billion stake in GMAC LLC, the financing arm of General Motors Corp.

Treasury will also lend an additional $1 billion to GM so the automaker can participate in a rights offering at GMAC to support the lender’s reorganization as a bank holding company, the Treasury announced today. The loan is in addition to $13.4 billion the Treasury agreed earlier this month to lend to GM and Chrysler LLC. ............

Slow Sales

With GM selling cars at the slowest pace in 26 years and the country in its worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, GMAC and its Residential Capital LLC unit have no way to revive their own revenue and have been shut out of credit markets. GMAC has $540 million of bonds due this month and another $11.6 billion that mature in 2009 and previously said it would cancel plans to become a bank if the debt swap failed.

The Fed has since granted approval before the swap was finished....
Posted by Jesse at 9:33 PM wimmelt von "Banken" :rolleyes

lunar 30.12.2008 11:30

29 December 2008

Dancing on a Precipice: The Tenuous Balance in Global Finance

“If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem.” Jean Paul Getty
We imagine J. Paul Getty would probably like to update that quotation to billions if he were still alive. We knew some people who subscribed to this notion that you keep borrowing until you gain a measure of control over your banks, since your default would be so painful to them. It is a tool of financial engineering roughly related to a passive form of extortion, a long con.

Here is an extended quote from a 29 December 2008 essay by Brad Setser titled The collapse of financial globalization...
"Both private capital inflows to the US and private capital outflows from the US have fallen sharply. They have gone from a peak of around 15% of US GDP to around zero in a remarkably short period of time …

Direct investment flows have continued. Other financial flows though have largely gone in reverse, with investors selling what they previously bought. In the third quarter foreign investors sold about $90b of US securities (excluding Treasuries) and Americans sold about $85 billion of foreign securities. And the reversal in bank flows on both sides (as past loans have been called) has been absolutely brutal.

This sharp fall has bearing on the bigger debate over the role global capital, global savings and foreign central banks played in helping to to create the conditions that allowed US households to sustain a large deficit for so long — and whether American and other policy makers should have paid more attention to the risks that came with the surge in foreign demand for US financial assets earlier this decade...

I think we now more or less know that the strong increase in gross capital inflows and outflows after 2004 (gross inflows and outflows basically doubled from late 2004 to mid 2007) was tied to the expansion of the shadow banking system.

It was a largely unregulated system. And it was largely offshore, at least legally. SIVs and the like were set up in London. They borrowed short-term from US banks and money market funds to buyer longer-term assets, generating a lot of cross border flows but little net financing. European banks that had a large dollar book seem to have been doing much the same thing. The growth of the shadow banking system consequently resulted in a big increase in gross private capital outflows and gross private capital inflows... (Hence the subsequent spike in the value of the dollar from the eurodollar short squeeze we have recently seen - Jesse)

Why didn’t the total collapse in private flows lead financing for the US current account deficit to dry up? That, after all, is what happened in places like Iceland — and Ukraine.

My explanation is pretty straightforward.

Central banks were the main source of financing for the US deficit all along. Setting Japan aside, the big current account surplus countries were all building up their official reserves and sovereign funds — and they were the key vector providing financing to the deficit countries."
The implications of this are rather profound. The much touted notion that the US is the preferred destination for private wealth, thus sustaining an out of balance trade deficit through a financial services economy, is rubbish at best, and propaganda at worst. It is rooted in the Dick Cheney nostrum that "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."

What we have today is a very lopsided vendor financing arrangement, wherein the US is largely supported by China and Japan whose industrial policy currently recommends their support of a US debt that is increasingly unpayable.

If and when China and Japan are no longer able to support the continued growth of US deficit financing, the dollar and the bonds will contract (decrease) in value, and perhaps precipitously, like a house of cards. It is much worse than we had imagined, and more concentrated on these two countries, along with Saudi Arabia, than we had thought.

For now the balance is maintained because of self-interest and fear. But we cannot stress enough the highly artificial nature of the arrangement, and its inherent instability, now that the charade of sustained private investment flow is shown for what it is. There is no economic theory to support this model other than a distorted form of neo-colonial parasitism. Substitute US paper dollars for opium and you get the idea.

Japan and Saudi Arabia are understandable as virtual client states under US military protection, but we struggle with how China was taken into this arrangement which is so potentially destabilizing of their internal political and economic stability.

This is why the world has not developed a sound replacement for the dollar hegemony. It is because if they do, they must navigate around the probability, not possibility, of a collapse of their dollar reserves, and a dislocation of their own export driven economies, much worse than we might have imagined. It is not a matter of economic inventiveness; it has become a matter of will.

Who will be the first to flinch? History shows it is rarely a conscious decision, but rather some incident, an accident, some trigger event, even one so small, that it creates astonishment at the size of the avalanche it unleashes.

To make it clear and simple, this is the first evidence we have seen to suggest that hyperinflation is in fact possible in the US. As you know, we have been strongly adverse to the extremes in outcomes, both in terms of a sustained deflation and a significant hyperinflation.

That has now changed. The dollar is a Ponzi scheme, the waters of debt are overflowing the dam of artificial support, and only a few countries, two of them somewhat unstable, are holding back the deluge.

Posted by Jesse at 10:00 PM :verbeug

lunar 30.12.2008 12:14

Newsletter of the year? Harry Schultz. Really.

Commentary: His prescient call of the 'financial tsunami' is the reason why

By Peter Brimelow, MarketWatch Last Update: 11:14 PM ET Dec 28, 2008 NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- My choice for investment letter of the year: The International Harry Shultz Letter.

I usually say that my selection method is highly scientific (I choose whoever I feel like). And I have to say it particularly loudly this year.

Schultz was Letter of the Year in 2005. See Dec. 29, 2005 column, which explains his nuanced gold-bug philosophy in more detail

But over the past 12 months through November, Schultz is down a heart-stopping 76.05% by Hulbert Financial Digest count, vs. negative 36.68% for the dividend-reinvested Dow Jones Wilshire 5000......

full story:{03B23D71-21A4-4974-B442-ABE26C9DF2EA}

lunar 30.12.2008 18:52

'This is economic war!' Jarislowsky warns

Wisdom series

Financial Post Published: Monday, December 29, 2008

Christinne Muschi for National Post

In his 83 years, Stephen Jarislowsky has survived - and thrived - through more economic cycles than most wealth managers. Born in Berlin, he spent his boyhood in France during the Depression years, the Second World War and the Nazi invasion. His family moved to the United States in 1941, where Mr. Jarislowsky graduated from Cornell University and spent time in counter-intelligence for the U.S. Army in post-war Japan. Armed with an MBA from Harvard University, he moved to Montreal in 1949 and six years later founded Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., an independent investment-counselling firm. Over the years, as his firm made clients rich by investing in high-quality growth stocks - Jarislowsky's company manages about $52-billion in assets for pension funds, institutions and private customers - he became a billionaire in his own right. Along the way, the frugal son of a wealthy industrialist and financier became a feisty advocate for shareholder rights - he co-founded the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance in 2002 - and gained a reputation as a straight talker. Mr. Jarislowsky spoke with Theresa Tedesco, chief business correspondent, from his office in Montreal about what he described as "economic war" and the way to battle through it "correctly."......

....Q How would you fix it?

A This is not curable the way a normal recession is curable; 1929 wasn't. It's a balance-sheet recession, not a temporary lowering in demand or the inflation recession of the 1970s. The inflation recession got rid of the debt. If you attack this the way you would a normal recession, that's exactly the wrong way.

Q Are you saying we need to fight the crisis with inflation?

A Unfortunately, you have to create inflation to get rid of the debt. The only way to get housing to go up again is through inflation, by reducing the value of the mortgages. The only way to get the consumer back purchasing things is to get rid of their debts and that can only be done through inflation. I'm not somebody who believes in inflation. I think it's an awful thing, but there's no alternative......

full story:

got gold ;)

lunar 30.12.2008 20:35

30 December 2008

Madoffed: Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

New York Magazine
Madoff’s Latest Victims: Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
12/30/08 at 10:15 AM

...We'd heard that along with Hollywood boldfacers Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, Bacon and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, lost money in Madoff's devastating $50 billion Ponzi scheme, and Bacon's rep, Allen Eichorn, confirmed it for us.

"Unfortunately, your report is true," he wrote. He wouldn't elaborate on whether, as we'd heard, they'd lost everything except for their checking accounts and the land they own. "I can confirm that they had investments with Mr. Madoff — no further specifics or comment beyond that," he said, adding: "Please, let's not speculate or rely on hearsay."

But we can't help but speculate! Just think about it: Footloose money: gone. Wild Things residuals: gone. The Singles stash: obliterated. If there's anyone in Hollywood who didn't deserve this, it's Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. Those two have worked. It sincerely pains us. At least they have The Closer to fall back on.

Posted by Jesse at 1:50 PM :verbeug

...hier ein früheres Interview (ich kenne die beiden nicht):

lunar 30.12.2008 21:53

Tue 30 Dec 2008

Sounds Almost Plausible

Posted by Jason under fail
[4] Comments

The devil didn’t make him do it, mind-control aliens didn’t trick him, and he’s not pure evil. No, Bernie Madoff is crazy * Or so his defense lawyers are planning to claim.
“Bernie’s family and his attorneys may argue that, somewhere along the line, he had a mental break,” says a Madoff acquaintance. “They may even say he has a multiple personality disorder.”

See, Sybil Madoff is really two people. There is Bernard, a responsible and respected investment manager, a man you can trust with all your money. Then there is Bernie, a conniving Ponzi bandit who will take all your money, set it on fire, and then sell the ashes to someone else for more flammable money. Bernard has not been heard from in many years.
“He seems really out of it,” says a source, who believes Madoff’s family fears he’ll follow the example of Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villehuchet, the Madoff client who slit his wrists last week. “He has a very low affect. Bernie barely speaks. His wife, Ruth, and his sons, Andrew and Mark, do most of the talking for him.”

One might expect a person who lost $50b in other people’s money to be out of it. It’s the least they can do, really. Were I in his shoes, I would be too hopped up on antidepressants and horse tranquilizers to keep the drool inside my mouth. That he is even ambulatory these days shows just what a trouper he is. A dirty, rotten, no-good trouper for whom jail is too good.
[Madoff's attorney Ira Lee Sorkin] could argue that Madoff committed the fraud during manic, euphoric periods and that he never found the equilibrium to correct his crime. Or that he was so delusional that he convinced himself the investment returns were real. You might also plead that he was incapacitated by some character disorder, like a malignant narcissism stemming from an early-life trauma.

Get ready for it: the “I was molested as a child” defense. Of course, since he told his sons he knew he was running a giant Ponzi scheme, and even used the words “Ponzi scheme”, it might be tricky for even the best lawyer to successfully argue that Madoff was too incapacitated by his crazy to know that what he was doing was so very, terribly wrong. Lesson learned: when you someday find yourself running your own multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme (as most of us will), don’t call it that. Call it “really good totally legal money management fund” or something.


lunar 30.12.2008 22:49

1 Anhang/Anhänge
8:34 AM ET

Monday, 29 Dec 2008
Dr. Doom: Short Treasurys, Buy Hard Assets
Posted By: Andrew Fisher
Topics:Nasdaq | NYSE | Stock Market | Stock Options | Stock Picks
Companies:Freeport-Mcmoran Copper & Gold Inc | BHP Billiton Limited

The editor and publisher of the "Gloom, Boom, and Doom Report" says the best place for investments these days is in hard assets, but he has some suggestions for stock-market investors, too.

"You want to be in gold, silver, platinum, and also oil," Marc Faber told CNBC. "If you believe in a recovery of asset prices as a result of money printing, you should be in hard assets, particularly precious metals."

He said he sees the money that has been locked up in Treasurys starting to rush out during the coming year. (See his full comments in the video).....

video and full story:

lunar 31.12.2008 11:29

...uf schwiezerdütsch ;)

Börsen-Talk: Der Astrologe zur Börsenzukunft

30.12.08, 16:00

Der Rückblick, der in die Zukunft schaut: Das Börsenjahr 2008 hat tiefe Verunsicherungen ausgelöst. Finanzastrologe Claude Weiss zu den Konstellationen, die im neuen Jahr die Finanzmärkte beeinflussen. mehr »

Claude Weiss übersetzt auch (und arbeitet wohl auch mit ihm zusammen) die Merriman Prognosen

lunar 31.12.2008 11:45

Original geschrieben von Vanescent

Für alle, die über Sylvester/Neujahr noch Zeit zum Lesen haben (leider in englisch, aber mit superschönen Fotos):

2012 Nexus Event –
Unknown Form Of Energy
Comes Our Way

(im PDF Format, kann mit Rechtsklick und „Ziel speichern unter“ kostenlos runtergeladen werden)

Wenigstens der Titel (fast) in deutsch:

2012 Nexus Event-
Unbekannte Energieform ist auf dem Weg zu uns.

Ein Werk über 330 Seiten! Es ist aus der Diskussion im Camelot Forum (runter scrollen) entstanden.
Ich hab’s noch nicht gelesen, werde es mir aber nächstens zu Gemüte führen.
Dann wird’s sich weisen, ob nicht nur die Fotos schön sind, sondern auch der Inhalt brauchbar ist.


merci und weil's so schön ist

lunar 31.12.2008 15:50

Original geschrieben von Vanescent


Deinen Eindruck kann ich nachvollziehen. Habe den ersten Teil gelesen (bis etwas über Seite 100) und es geht (ab Seite 50) stark ins esoterische und unbeweisbare.
Skepsis ist da angebracht, da gerade bei Desinformation Wahrheit mit Halbwahrheit gemischt wird.
Solche Texte sind nur analysierbar, wenn selbst über Erkenntnisse verfügt wird, die ein Erkennen der Halbwahrheiten erlaubt.
Grundsätzlich sollten immer, wenn Angst verbreitet wird, die Alarmglocken läuten.
Denn das ist die Taktik der NWO um die Schafe gefügig zu machen.
Werde trotzdem noch weiterlesen, weil mich die Beschreibungen zu Clairvoyance und Remote viewing interessieren.
Aber was von hohler Erde und von Kornkreisen zu halten ist, keine Ahnung, da mir persönliche Erfahrungen darüber fehlen.

Immerhin, es hat wirklich schöne Bilder....

:schwitz also doch nicht so ganz :rolleyes ich hab noch nix gelesen ;)

lunar 31.12.2008 18:17

* * * * * *

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lunar 01.01.2009 13:57

Zockerzicki :verbeug
Erfahrener Benutzer

Registriert seit: 21.02.2005
Beiträge: 16.156


lunar 01.01.2009 14:15

Nachzügler - merci Jesse :verbeug

31 December 2008

2008 Was the Third Worst Year for US Stocks Since 1896

1931 was the worst, but notice that 1930 was not far behind.

Posted by Jesse at 8:20 PM

Ten Things We Might Expect to See in 2009

Posted by Jesse at 4:24 PM

lunar 01.01.2009 14:34


lunar 01.01.2009 17:34

Thu 1 Jan 2009

Hey, Look Who Beat The S&P 500

Posted by alyx under markets

Warren Buffett, who is a value guy and doesn’t even care about something so micro as one year’s returns, beat the S&P 500 by nearly +7% this year. That’s still a 32% drop, but it’s certainly better than losing 38.5% or worse then waking up today and looking at your funds and seeing that your fund manager has shuffled it all into Treasuries and MCD stock, as if you’re not gonna notice the whole lipstick-on-a-pig thing.

This year, Buffett used the market decline to cut sweetheart deals with Goldman Sachs and GE, bought up ConocoPhillips, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo and railroads, and took an investment in the Dow Chemical/Rohm and Haas deal which is now underwater. But see, he doesn’t care *
The stock plunge “doesn’t make any difference,” Buffett told Fox Business Network Nov. 21.

“It’s happened to me three other times,” Buffett said. “It happened when it went from 90 to 40 back in 1974, and it happened in 1987. It went down 50 percent in 1998-to-2000. I mean, I hope I live long enough so it happens a couple more times.”

Still, playing the market in 2008 was the kind of game where most of the “winners” are looking at negative returns that just happen to not be as bad as the S&P and thus, are not going to want a bucket of Gatorade (or, in Buffett’s case, KO-owned Powerade) dumped over their heads, and will instead be looking for a crying towel.

*.......“Buffett has the opportunity to do what he does best, which is acquire new companies at prices that have him licking his lips,”:lick:rolleyes said Frank Betz, a partner at Warren, New Jersey-based Carret Zane Capital Management, which holds Berkshire shares. “I don’t think Mr. Buffett is bummed out at all.” Jackie Wilson, a spokesman for Berkshire, didn’t return a call seeking comment.......

lunar 02.01.2009 15:05

The Crisis in 10 Points

Daily Article by Robert Stewart | Posted on 12/31/2008 12:00:00 AM

The 2007–2008 financial crisis had its genesis in the United States housing markets, but it rapidly spread to other economies, first to the United Kingdom, but then almost everywhere else, including such unlikely spots as Iceland whose banking system collapsed.[1] Because events in the United States triggered the crisis, this essay will concentrate on the US causes although they had their many counterparts elsewhere.

There are at least three long-standing background influences that contributed to the financial debacle that dominated the US economy in 2008............

full story:

lunar 02.01.2009 15:11

Fri 2 Jan 2009

The Fed Is Buying MBSes? O RLY?

Posted by alyx under bailout , subprime
No Comments

Interesting piece at Karl Denninger’s Market Ticker forums on the legitimacy of the Fed’s decision to purchase mortgage-backed securities. It’s highly technical, so I will try to give it a summary with bullet points and stuff because I have a short attention span so I know how it is - a teaser will probably make you more likely to actually click on that link and give it a read:

  • Fed says they’re buying mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.
  • Fed has authority under section 14(b) of the Federal Reserve Act to purchase (under FOMC direction) “any obligation which is a direct obligation of, or fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by, any agency of the United States.”
  • Fannie and Freddie prospectuses say, on their face, that they are not guaranteed.
Hmmm. Emphasis Denninger’s, but I co-sign:
Fannie and Freddie, even in conservatorship, are still publicly traded companies. Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury, has been asked multiple times if these securities have been “converted” to “Full Faith and Credit” and he has refused to answer in the affirmative.

Soooo… you only have authority to buy debts backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, and that doesn’t apply to Fannie and Freddie, but you’re gonna buy ‘em anyway.

Do we really need to send Eric Cartman into the Federal Reserve to whack some hands and be all like “RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH?” On its face, this move looks like, if it happens, it is a violation of the Federal Reserve Act, and with the price tag Denninger puts on actually converting Fannie and Freddie debt to “Full Faith and Credit” - $5 trillion, and if you think that’s off please say so - I don’t think that is going to happen.

lunar 02.01.2009 15:18

1 Anhang/Anhänge
....falls noch nicht gehört --->

auf schwiezerdütsch - aber sehr deutlich ;):supi

lunar 02.01.2009 17:08

my hero.

Filed under: Chatreefster @ 10:26 am

lunar 03.01.2009 00:01

01 January 2009

Closing the Books on the First Year at Le Café Américain

Opened for business in December 2007, and added a statistical counter in the beginning of February 2008.

This seems to be the 'run rate.'

Thanks for stopping by throughout the year, and a special thanks for those who were kind enough to drop a note to say 'hello.' It is always good to make your acquaintance.

Posted by Jesse at 12:09 AM :supi

lunar 03.01.2009 00:02

02 January 2009

Money Supply: A Primer

You walk into a Merchant and a sign says, "All Items on Sale Today for Cash Only No Credit."

You are interested in purchasing an item. The Merchant, being a crafty sort asks "How much money do you have to spend(in US dollars)?"

How would you answer that if you are being truthful?

You might start by looking into your wallet and pockets, and counting all the cash and coins you have with you at that moment.

M0: Monetary Base

This is equivalent to the monetary base, or M0. It is money you have that is immediately available requiring no change or conversion. There is very little risk to the merchant, unless it happens to be counterfeit which is easily verified.

"Not enough" says the Merchant. "I am sorry, but do you have more?"


Then you remember that in addition to cash, you have your checkbook with a current balance in it, and a debit card to an account you maintain in a local bank, but with no overdraft or lines of credit provisions.

That plus the currency in your pockets is M1. See the difference? You do not have ALL your money in your pockets for immediate presentation, but with a little transactional effort the money is readily available and it is inherently your money, it belongs to you. It is just being held elsewhere besides your pockets and wallet. The merchant assumes a little more risk, but he can quickly call your bank to verify that the funds are available for the check, and the debit card is even more mechanized. More risk, a little more delay, but almost as 'good as cash.'

"I am sorry sir," says the Merchant, "but this is still not enough to exchange for such a valuable object as I have for sale here."


You think about it, and remember that you have a savings account across the street at the bank, and a money market fund at your brokerage office next door, that have more of your money on deposit. You have no cards for those accounts, but it would be an easy thing to walk next door or across the street and obtain the cash.

This is M2. There is a more complex transaction involved, since the transfer is not electronic as in the case of a debit card, and you must leave the store to obtain the money in the form of currency unless they bring it over to you. But it is your money that is available to you on demand. There is a small amount of risk of your bank not being solvent when you need the money, but these are slight inconveniences compared to the safety of not carrying around large sums of money that earn no interest in the form of cash.

"I am so sorry," says the Merchant. "But this item is far too valuable to part with for such a sum as you have offered."


You think about it, and remember that you have a large Certificate of Deposit at the bank across the street that matures in one year. There is a small penalty if you redeem it today to receive your money since you promised it to them for a time in exchange for a specific return, and you must fill out some paperwork, but it is still your money. It involves no sale of an asset or conversion.

That is M3. It involves money that is still yours without borrowing, but has additional conditions set up on it for its retrieval.

One could make the case, and perhaps appropriately so, that while certificates of deposit with a term contract that might effect their value are money, they are not readily available money since the terms of the CD's may differ greatly. They are not 'liquid' and the value before maturity is not always certain due to a penalty.


If one takes all the things we describe as M2, but takes out the time deposits or certificates of deposit, and includes ALL money market funds, that is what the Fed considers to be the broadest measure of liquid money, or Money of Zero Maturity (MZM). "Zero maturity" means that the money is not tied up for a period of time to mature to its full value.

Are credit cards or loans Money? No,those are all forms of borrowing something that is not yours that you promise to return with conditions. You are receiving money that was not yours.

Credit Is Not Money.

Credit, or debt, is the 'potential' for money, a way of receiving it.

Whether water is held in a canteen, a well, a cistern, or a private lake, it is still water and it is yours if you own it. So too money is still money if it is yours, no matter under what conditions you hold it or save it for your use.

The cloud of credit, or debt depending on your perspective, is the potential for money as it is defined in our economy. It is a source of money. At a given point in time, you either have the money as your property or you do not.

But the source is not the money itself, and the source can be different and can change over time. In our society borrowing is so common and so technologically convenient that there is little difference in most people's mind between credit and money.

But the difference is that if you spend real money, you incur no obligation for it in the future. You receive no payment request from another at the end of the month.

That is what money is, at least in our economy, and the various measure of money as it is held and shifts through the economy and a variety of transactions, where it flows and rest in pools, and moves again. A measure of the money supply is a snapshot in time.

How money increases or decreases, and how it is stored or held, is a significant indicator of economic activity for those who study such things. It is also significantly affected by custom, technology, and the prevailing mood and perception of the public.

The best and broadest measures of money supply are either MZM, or M2, now that M3 is no longer being reported by the Fed. This can easily be seen from the illustrations.

As springs feed into brooks, and brooks streams, and streams into rivers, and rivers into lakes, so the money supply components change in size and shape over time as money flows from its various sources. The speed of the flow is the 'velocity of money' and as one can easily understand that flow will have a different force and speed depending on when you measure it, and whether you are measuring one of the streams or a major river.

People often prefer to jump into discussions and turn them into debates (arguments) with hair-splitting definitions (what is 'control' of the money supply) and red herrings (why does a dollar cross the road?) before defining any terms or facts and setting some boundaries for the analysis, because their goal too often is not understanding, but to promote some theory or point of view. 'Winning the argument' is their objective, not a search for the truth.

Money is the instrument of the official economy. This gives money a certain arbitrariness over time because, after all, it is the product of a committee. Official money is the creation of government, managed by its agents, validated by the people who use it.

Official money rises and falls from favor to disfavor, as do governments. What if you were a citizen of Zimbabwe? Or the US in the 1860's? Or Germany in 1922? How would you feel about your official money then? Why is it different for you now? What would change your opinion?

What is the 'natural growth rate' of the money supply? Zero?

The discussion of how money supply increases, and who or what determines the supply, and what an appropriate level of growth would be is a matter for discussion on another day. So too is the strange phenomenon of 'natural forms of money' that keep turning up in every era and nearly every society.

But for now at least you have the means to understand what money supply is and how it is measured, and how it is different from potential money, or credit, the representations of money, and asset stores of wealth.

Posted by Jesse at 1:01 PM :verbeug

lunar 03.01.2009 00:22

Fri 2 Jan 2009

GM Gets Bailout Dollars, Chrysler Waits

Posted by alyx under bailout
[4] Comments

GM picks up the first of their checks from the TARP today * while Chrysler is still waiting at the altar. Don’t worry, Bob, you’ll get your check soon.

Also, it’s worth noting that now that the TARP trough is open to the auto industry, the guidelines for consideration are much broader, now allowing anyone who might have a role in manufacturing or financing a car, or perhaps even anyone who knows what a car looks like, to be considered for funds. Bring us your nuts, your bolts, your huddled fenders yearning to drive free…

*....WASHINGTON (CNN) -- General Motors got the first $4 billion of a series of emergency loans from the U.S. Treasury Wednesday, but fellow struggling automaker Chrysler was still waiting as the new year rapidly approached.General Motors had said it needed the loan by the end of the month to continue operations; privately-held Chrysler said it will need $4 billion or it will also run out of cash early in 2009....

lunar 03.01.2009 00:24


Ein Moralist, nicht nur als Autor

Sein Roman "Der Stoff, aus dem die Träume sind" gehört zu den Bestsellern des 20. Jahrhunderts: Der Schriftsteller Johannes Mario Simmel ist tot. Er starb bereits am Neujahrstag im Alter von 84 Jahren in Luzern. mehr...

lunar 03.01.2009 00:32

A gas storage and transit point in Boyarka, just outside Kiev. (Sergei Chuzavkov/The Associated Press) [Enlarge this image]

Russia cuts off gas deliveries to Ukraine

By Andrew E. Kramer
Published: January 2, 2009

In the face of mounting economic troubles, Russia cut off deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine on Thursday after Ukraine rejected the Kremlin's demands for a sharp increase in gas prices.

A similar reduction in supplies to Ukraine in 2006 caused a drop in pressure throughout Europe's integrated natural gas pipeline system and led to shortages in countries as far away as Italy and France.....

full story:

lunar 03.01.2009 00:33


lunar 03.01.2009 00:36



lunar 03.01.2009 00:41

What's The Value
Of Admiration?

lunar 03.01.2009 11:50

02 January 2009

US Equities Are Short Term Overbought - Watch Treasuries and VIX for a 'Tell'

With the McClellan Oscillator, although the reading is now at an extreme high, it will be the character of the decline from the extreme that will tell us if we are going to get a sideways consolidation or a serious decline for the first month of the new year.

The Bullish Percent is running in neutral, although the SP is at a high reading in its channel. IF the indicators turn lower and break down then we will see a correction lower, and perhaps a major decline.

There is an abnormally large amount of money hiding in Treasuries. If this starts coming out of the safe havens and into stocks we may see follow through. Keep an eye on the yield curve, especially the longer end.

Corporate profit forecasts have not fully discounted the severity of the recession. On the bullish side, the Fed is pouring money into the economy, as noted in the Adjusted Monetary Base.

If they do manage to trigger a sustained rally it may be sharp. There was a significant rally after the Crash of 1929. However, we don't expect this until later in the first quarter, and it will be met with waves of selling and a new low unless the Fed can do something truly exceptional.

We like ot use the January Indicator if its a down month, because the correlation to a predictable result is higher.

Posted by Jesse at 9:38 PM :verbeug

lunar 03.01.2009 12:15

Zitat von lunar

...ein ganz laaanger Beitrag ;) (hab ihn noch nicht gelesen :rolleyes)

January 3, 2009

Moron of the Year Awards…by Adrian Douglas from Midas

Filed under: ChatFGC @ 12:30 am
By Adrian Douglas
As 2008 winds down it is time to announce the runners-up and the winner of the coveted “Moron of the Year” (MOTY) Award. The whirlwind financial crisis that has unfolded this year has exposed many in the financial media for the morons that they truly are as none of them could see it coming. GATA had been forecasting this financial meltdown for ten years and has amassed huge amounts of evidence that the financial system was using unprecedented leverage and dubious or illegal accounting practices to give the appearance the US economy was performing well. This was only possible because the alarm system was disconnected which was achieved through suppression of the gold price. It was a catastrophe waiting to happen. GATA even published, at great expense, a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal on January 31, 2008 as the ultimate warning. The response from the financial media? ZIP! ZERO!......

In Tenth Place: Christopher Cox, Chairman of the SEC

In Ninth Place: Alan Schwartz, President and CEO of Bear Stearns

In Eighth Place: John Thain, CEO of Merrill Lynch

In Seventh Place: Christopher Dodd, Chair, Senate Banking Committee

In Sixth Place: Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman

In Fifth Place: Senator Phil Gramm

In Fourth Place: Goldman Sachs

In Third Place: Jeff Christian, Managing Director of CPM Group

In Second Place: Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst, Kitco

And…drum roll please, the 2008 MOTY goes to ………….DENNIS GARTMAN!

lunar 03.01.2009 12:23



Blindflug durch die Welt

Von Harald Welzer

Die Finanzkrise als Epochenwandel :supi

Kurz bevor die Investmentbank Lehman Brothers pleiteging, ließ Josef Ackermann verlauten, dass das Gröbste überstanden sei. Als sich nach den ersten heftigen Eruptionen am Finanzmarkt eine Wirtschaftskrise gigantischen Ausmaßes abzeichnete, teilten die Wirtschaftsforschungsinstitute mit, dass es Ende 2009 wieder aufwärtsginge. Und punktgenau zum großen Crash erschien das Buch des CDU-Finanzexperten Friedrich Merz mit dem wahrhaft visionären Titel "Mehr Kapitalismus wagen". In den hektischen Wochen seither überbieten sich Politiker und Experten darin, Konsumanreize zu erfinden, als wäre der Kapitalismus ein Perpetuum mobile, das man durch Antippen in eine Kreisbewegung endloser Wertschöpfung versetzen könne.....

ganzer Artikel:,1518,598716,00.html

lunar 03.01.2009 14:04

Utopische Zukunft wirkt heute retro
Der Weg der Technik in die Zukunft ist mit Innovationsflops gepflastert. Der Zukunftsforscher Matthias Horx ist überzeugt, dass nur feminine und nicht Macho-Technik weiter führt.
Matthias Horx* sprach Walter Jggi
Jules Verne hat 1888 ein Bchlein geschrieben, wie sich im Jahr 2890 das Leben eines Journalisten in Amerika abspielen werde. Wenn ich Sie, Matthias Horx, heute bitte, 1000 Jahre vorauszuschauen:
Wie lebt ein Journalist 3009?
Ich glaube kaum, dass es dann nochJournalistengibt, vielleicht heissen sie dann*Codiereroder*Mind Sampler*, oder *Sensationswürmer* und leben eher in virtuellen Welten. Im Ernst, 1000 Jahre in die Zukunft zu schauen, ist doch ein bisschen zu ehrgeizig, und es interessiert auch niemanden wirklich, was in so langen Zeitrumen passieren wird. Verne war ja eher ein Salon-Dichter. Damals war der technische Fortschritt am Beginn einer Ära. Heute, nach all den tollen Sci-Fi-Romanen der letzten 40 Jahre, ist die Zukunft gewissermassen abgegrast: Man kennt schon alles. Utopische Zukunft wirkt heute regelrecht retro.
Verne sagt eine Art Rohrpost-Schnellbahn unter dem Atlantik voraus. Als Nutzen davon sieht er, dass sich Damen aus Paris mal kurz in New York einen Hut kaufen gehen – was man sich heute schwer vorstellen kann. Sind technische Errungenschaften leichter abzuschätzen als gesellschaftliche und modische Entwicklungen?
Das, was ich im meinem Buch*Technolution *versuche, ist ein Prognose-Modell, das technologische und soziale Evolution als eine Art symbiotischen Prozess denkt. Menschliche Bedrfnisse fungieren für Technologien wie eine Umwelt für biologische Spezies. Technologien mssen sich an menschliche Bedrfnisse anpassen, oder es geht ihnen wie vielen Arten: Sie sterben aus. Humane Wnsche und Ängste funktionieren wie Antriebskrfte, aber auch wie Bremsen für Technik. Ich glaube, das man auf diese Weise Technik viel besser in ihrem Wesen verstehen und ihren Zukunftspfad beschreiben kann als mit den wilden Spekulationen von früher.....

lunar 03.01.2009 14:05

International: 3. Januar 2009, 10:25
Israel bombardiert zwei Dutzend Ziele im Gazastreifen

Zweite Woche der Offensive gegen die Hamas

Zu Beginn der zweiten Woche seiner Gaza-Offensive hat Israel am Samstag mehr als zwei Dutzend Ziele angegriffen. Kampfjets bombardierten mehrere mutmassliche Einrichtungen der Hamas in Gaza-Stadt. Ein Wachmann einer Schule wurde getötet. Vier weitere Personen, darunter ein Hamas-Kommandant, erlagen nach palästinensischen Angaben Verletzungen von früheren Angriffen. ...
Israel: Lehnt Waffenstillstand ab
Hamas: Wichtiger Führer in Gaza getötet

lunar 03.01.2009 15:43


Chinesen planen größtes Solarkraftwerk der Welt

Es ist ein ambitionierter Plan: Im Nordwesten Chinas soll eine gigantische Solarfarm entstehen. Das Kraftwerk könnte bis zu einem Gigawatt Strom liefern - und hätte damit doppelt so viel Leistung wie die bisher größte angekündigte Photovoltaik-Anlage in Kalifornien. mehr...

lunar 03.01.2009 15:58

..... wieder mal was Hübscheres für Zwischendurch ;)

lunar 03.01.2009 22:32


Israelische Truppen marschieren in Gaza ein - Regierung mobilisiert Zehntausende Reservisten

zur Fotostrecke

Die Boden-Offensive hat begonnen: Im Norden des Gaza-Streifens haben israelische Streitkräfte nach Angaben eines Militärsprechers die Grenze passiert. Für die Hamas wird es damit ernst - die Regierung lässt bereits Zehntausende Reservisten in die Kasernen rufen, um die Truppen zu verstärken. mehr... [ Forum ] :(

lunar 03.01.2009 22:35

December 31, 2008, 7:18 am Take My Economy … Please!

By Catherine Rampell Over the weekend Liz Alderman had a piece on solving (or at least salving) your economic woes with laughter. In that spirit, here are a few 2008 financial-and-economic humor round-ups that are making the rounds.

*’s 21 Dumbest Moments in Business 2008: This includes Henry M. Paulson’s “bazooka” comment, Phil Gramm’s “nation of whiners” catchphrase, the rage against the oil speculators, the iPhone’s I-Am-Rich application and of course Bernard Madoff, among other highlights.

*’s The Best Financial Jokes of 2008: These are taken from e-mail messages that have made the rounds throughout the year. The one-liners include: “The problem with investment bank balance sheets is that on the left side nothing is right and on the right side nothing is left.”

*LOLFed: We’ve linked to this site before, but it’s worth checking out again, particularly if you enjoy absurdist/LOLCat humor.

*New Yorker financial cartoons: A collection of financial cartoons from an October issue of The New Yorker.

*Econosseur’s collection of economics jokes and cartoons: These are not all 2008-related, but the items nearer the top are more current.

*Businessweek’s Worst Predictions About 2008: These were not originally intended to be humorous, but it’s hard not to chuckle at a prediction about A.I.G.’s “huge gains in the second quarter.”

lunar 04.01.2009 13:18



Der Weltwirtschaft steht das Schlimmste noch bevor

Von Sebastian Dullien

Weltweit kämpfen Staaten gegen die Wirtschaftskrise. Die bangen Blicke von Managern, Politikern und Ökonomen richten sich jetzt auf 2009, in der Hoffnung, dass das kommende Jahr wieder besser wird. Dafür gibt es allerdings kaum Anzeichen - im Gegenteil.


ganzer Artikel:,1518,597864,00.html

lunar 04.01.2009 13:25

lunar 04.01.2009 13:37

Nachzügler ;)

January 02, 2009 Pictures of the Week
Confetti fills the sky at the New Year’s Eve festivities in Times Square, New York (Stephen Chernin/AP Photo)

January 02, 2009 Pictures of the Week
Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann takes part in the second stage of the Four Hills FIS ski jumping championship, (Vierschanzentournee), in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany (Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images)

January 02, 2009 Pictures of the Week
Sunset in San Cristobal, Cuba, which this week celebrates the 50th anniversary of the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power on January 1, 1959 (Javier Galeano/AP)

January 02, 2009 Pictures of the Week
South Korean Army cobra helicopters in Namyangju, northeast of Seoul (Kim Do-yun/Yonhap/Reuters)

lunar 04.01.2009 18:59


Israel lehnt Waffenruhe ab

Israels Offensive im Gaza-Streifen ist in vollem Gang - jetzt will die EU das Leiden der palästinensischen Bevölkerung mit einem Notprogramm lindern und verlangt einen Korridor für Hilfstransporte. Doch auf eine baldige Waffenruhe ist nicht zu hoffen - das machte Präsident Peres klar. mehr... [ Forum ]


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