We have EARNED our Entitlements -- it's time to Raise the Ceiling

ENTITLEMENTS: Social Security and Medicare Programs

they used to call the "3rd Rail of Politic" --

Touch it and your Political career was dead!

I would assert NOW is the perfect time to Reframe those tired old Talking Points, since Congress and all the Media Pundits, all seem to be in such a "charitable" mood lately.

Freddie Mac hit the Brakes, on the Easy Credit Party

great collection of data, again, by jamess. Originally posted 2008-10-10 13:58:16 -bumped, cho

These guys were perfectly happy to get you into that New Home, "No Matter what it takes," during the hay-days of the Ownership Society.

Dire Warning from Nouriel Roubini

When I got a newsletter today with a new article by Nouriel Roubini in my inbox, I nearly had a heart attack. Inside was an absolutely urgent warning.

In February of this year, Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business, presented a paper The Risk of a Systemic Financial Meltdown: 12 Steps to a Financial Disaster.

Roubini's list of 12 steps has consistently nailed each stage of the economic crisis unfolding day after day in front of our eyes. Frankly, it's frightening how accurate Roubini has been to date. Known as Dr. Doom, he presented his ideas to the IMF in September of 2006. At the time, he outlined a series of devastating events:

homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt.

In 2006, his presentation was largely dismissed. By February 2008, people were starting to listen.

In today's article, Roubini spells it out in no uncertain terms. This is it.

THIS weekend is the LAST CHANCE to try and divert the crisis.

Glen Beck is a Soup Salad Sandwich

Glen Beck's thought process is a freakin' mess:

While interviewing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) on his CNN Headline News show last night, right-wing talker Glenn Beck declared that there’s “nobody in Washington that anybody trusts anymore.” Saying that he’d “like oversight” of the money Congress is allocating for the bailout of the financial system, Beck suggested Gen. David Petraeus would be the perfect person to provide the oversight:

The Next Financial Mess!!

Originally published 2008-09-25 05:41:19 -1000. Promoted by Roxy.

Dealing in Debt!!

Everyone, almost, is in a complete Rage at what is happening, and has been allowed to happen by not only soft regulation but the ease on any regulation in the Banking Industry, Morgage Industry, Wall Street, and in a Rage you should be.

But want a better picture of the who got us here any why, leave your computer and go to the nearest mirror and take a Good Hard Long Look at the reflection coming back, Yep Folks, it's most of you, and the rest of the shit hasn't yet hit the fan, but it's quickly coming!

Remember the clowns you hire to represent you in Washington, and local and state, are your clowns, you pay them.

Open Thread -- In for a Penny, In for a Pound Crazy Naked Man Edition

A "crazy naked man" fell ten feet from a ledge in Brooklyn and died from head trauma after a police officer tasered him on Wednesday. The man -- Inman Morales, 35 -- previously worked in the financial industry and had stopped taking his medication. The article doesn't go into what kind of medication or condition Mr. Morales suffered from, but when a neighbor had found him in the hallway acting a bit strangely she called 911; emergency services chased him onto a balcony, then to a fire escape.


City Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, said in a telephone interview that the situation could have been handled better by the police.

"My first take is that while I’m sure there are no experts out there on how to handle a crazy naked man with a weapon on top of a ledge, I’m also sure this wasn’t the right way," Mr. Vallone said on Wednesday evening.

Er, yeah -- understandably, there aren't too many experts on crazy naked people waving weapons from atop ledges.

Meanwhile, as officials begin to investigate the incident further to determine just what the proper way to address crazy naked people atop ledges should be, two relatively unrelated items of no particular import also bubbled to the top of random news for the morning:

  1. An Exxon official said that the recovery effort and time from Hurricane Ike could take weeks, and
  2. John McCain announced that he was suspending his campaign in order to head right back to Washington, DC in order to address the financial crisis.

Happily, the world continues to turn, even as the economy -- and those who helped to deregulate it and thus helped bring this fiscal folly to fruition -- craters and burns around us. In the midst of this, the Democrats announce a breakthrough to the bailout crisis and Warren Buffet's timebomb goes off on Wall Street, while Jack Welch says the US faces a deep downturn.

...come to think of it, there may just be a new market niche opening for folks who are able to counsel crazy naked people on ledges, which may soon become a new national phenomena as the rosy financial forecasts continue.

This is an Open Thread.

Working Poor Unready to Revolt

Once upon a time when governments no longer served most of their citizens it was the most economically disadvantaged that could be counted on to rebel against tyranny and injustice. Times have changed, for the worse, despite the spread of democracy.

Debt Deflation

Irving Fisher wrote a paper in 1933 that analyzed the Depression, specifically, what created the bubble that resulted in a crash - what Fisher refers to as the Debt Deflation Theory. It's a chilling read and not for the faint-hearted.

When over-indebtedness stands alone, that is, does not lead to a fall in prices, in other words, when its tendency to do so is counteracted by inflationary forces (whether by accident or design), the resulting "cycle" will be far milder and far more regular. Likewise, when a deflation occurs from other debt causes and without any great volume of debt, the resulting evils are much less. It is the combination of both - the debt disease coming first, then precipitating the dollar disease - which wreaks greatest havoc.

The paper is available online through a regular contributor to Nouriel Roubini's blog, RGE Monitor. The contributor is London Banker, a former central banker and a market regulator. London Banker writes:

The credit crunch today is not destroying capital but recognising that capital was destroyed by misallocation in the years [before] of irrational exuberance. If that is so, then we are entering a spiral of debt deflation that will play out slowly for years to come.

Nick Benton's Corner: The Next Shoe to Drop

Posted by permission of Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press

The Next Shoe to Drop
by Nicholas Benton

The past week's 20-point drop in the market price of oil is primarily attributable to forceful declarations by key Democrats in Congress, including Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, that they'll investigate the role of dubious speculation in driving the price to its recent peak of $147 a barrel.

Hedge funds and others working on the margins of speculation do not like to operate in sunlight. Like cockroaches scurrying when uncovered beneath a household appliance, the speculators have begun ducking for cover.

If you are looking for a correlation to explain the sudden drop in oil, you can find it there.

Nick Benton's Corner: Bernanke’s Good Advice

posted by permission of Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press Benton anticipates today's headlines on Wachovia in his latest Op Ed.

Bernanke's Good Advice

For those who blame Sen. Chuck Schumer for the failure of the IndyMac Bank in California last weekend, alleging his identification of the bank's troubles triggered a run, what are they saying now about the prominent front page headline and story in yesterday's Washington Post baring Wachovia Bank's dirty laundry? What are they saying about the fact the FBI has now launched an investigation into IndyMac?

Those who urge us to "shoot the messenger" divert attention from the realities of the unraveling U.S. economy, including the role of predator lending in it, and are appealing to those incapable or unwilling to accept things as they actually are.

So it was with President Bush's lame attempt on national TV Tuesday to blame the nation's economic woes on "psychology." This, of course, comes from the man who sold us "weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," "we don't use torture," and other bald-faced lies.

European Is Planning to Crackdown on Credit Markets, Countering Fed Moves

The website, Eurointelligence has a report EU Commission cracks down on credit markets of a set of banking restrictions that seem to be rejecting moves to expand Bernacke's bailout efforts by limiting the securitization of mortgages. etc.:

Well, Well, A Bright Shining Light in Banking Troubles

This is a Good one, and what with the way our so called Capitalist Economy has been running for years now, I'm gonna enjoy reading this list, Really Enjoy!

Super Rich Tax Cheats Outed by Bank Clerk
Technician in Liechtenstein Turns Over Names of Americans With Secret Bank Accounts

What we could do with a few more honest disgruntled bank employee's

Open Thread: Stimulating Alternatives

Talking about "stimulus plans" for the economy, for alternative energy development and the national infrastructure is, well, stimulating. Check out the following article from TruthOut -- t r u t h o u t >> Green Stimulus: Let's Try Again by Dean Baker, Truthout | Perspective, published Tuesday 27 May 2008. Good points, good suggestions -- here's an excerpt:


These are good forms of stimuli that can increase demand while addressing immediate needs, but we should also think of the long-term. Specifically, we should find forms of stimuli that can get the economy on a more energy-efficient path.


We should also begin to lay the infrastructure for an energy-efficient economy. This will mean more efficient power plants and transmission lines, increased used of trains and mass transit, and, of course, promoting alternative energy sources. [...snip...] a good stimulus package will not only provide a temporary boost to the economy, it can also help set us on this course toward an energy-efficient economy.


What's your take?

This is an Open Thread.

Poisonous Plutocracy Pushes Economic Inequality

Poisonous Plutocracy Pushes Economic Inequality

Joel S. Hirschhorn

The biggest political issue receiving no attention by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates is the powerful plutocracy that has captured the government to produce rising economic inequality.