Friday, June 26, 2009

Is China Preparing to Buy Gold? -- Seeking Alpha

Is China Preparing to Buy Gold? -- Seeking Alpha: "China should buy more gold because the U.S. dollar is poised for a fall and the metal is needed to support the greater international role envisaged for the yuan, a senior researcher with the ruling Communist Party said on Thursday."

Most alarming three words of the week

Gold, Green and the Fate of the Dollar -- Seeking Alpha: "So my strategy is, spread it around: BUY SOME FARMLAND, high-quality oil stocks, and of course, precious metals."

Gold, Green and the Fate of the Dollar -- Seeking Alpha

Gold, Green and the Fate of the Dollar -- Seeking Alpha: "Well, basically, the scenario we envisioned back in 2004 involved a few stages. The first stage is that [The United States] would borrow immense amounts of money, more than we could ever hope to pay off, which is what we did from the 1970s through 2007. Then that load of debt would cause a financial crisis, in which the banks got wiped out, mortgages defaulted on an unprecedented scale and people went bankrupt. That too happened. Then the next step is that world governments would open the floodgates: In order to avoid a 1930s-style Great Depression, they print as much new paper currency as it takes. And that's what's happening now."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How Many People Should the Earth Support?

EcoFuture (TM) Population and Sustainability - How Many People <I>Should</I> the Earth Support?: "Conclusions

Of course the point of this exercise is to point out that if we wish to grow the world population to the UN projection of about 12 billion near the middle of the next century, such growth will have to come at the expense of many things, not the least of which is compassion for people less fortunate than we in the U.S.

It also shows somewhat clearly what I have been saying for over 30 years, that increasing population density is inextricably linked to loss of freedom and losses of choice. In the worst of the above scenarios, we can forget the Bill of Rights. This was pointed out recently by M. Boyd Wilcox in his article, 'March 27, 1999: On the anniversary of the Rockefeller Report, Overpopulation Dilutes Democracy,' which appeared in the March/April issue of Population Press(8). A quote from that article: 'One need not pander to Malthusian or apocalyptic thinking to ask in all seriousness whether the biosphere can survive another century like this one. Arguably, it is not biological survival of the human species that is in danger so much as it is the moral or spiritual survival of what it means to be human and to be part of a complex living community. We cannot count the ways in which human identity, imagination, and esthetic appreciation depe"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Calculated Risk: New Home Sales: Record Low for May

Calculated Risk: New Home Sales: Record Low for May:
"The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 342 thousand. This is essentially the same as the revised rate of 344 thousand in April."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Calculated Risk: Misleading House Price Data

"The Freddie and Fannie portfolios accounted for 56% of all mortgages in Dec 2008, but only 20% of the seriously delinquent loans. So the FHFA index is based on some of the better performing loans. Case-Shiller (to be released next Tuesday) includes these other loans."

VIP Airport Screening Company Closes Lanes | Epicenter |

It's June 2009, and I relize some of my friends still think, like they did a year ago, that the recession will - poof! - go away in a month, and expensive workshops and vacations will be here again. This view is fully consistently supported by mainstream media Polyannish attitude, only ocassionaly interrupted by news of 11% unemployment or a too-big-to-believe bailout.

Why people are not paying $200/year for faster airport screening, even if they did so 2 years ago? Wired answers: "because the TSA got better at keeping lines moving in the last few years", and also, maybe, because of another detail mentioned in the two last words in the quote.

flyclearTravelers who paid $200 a year to cut in airport security lines now have to queue up with everyone else, as Clear, the leading Registered Traveler program, went out of business on Monday night.


In 2006, the TSA and airports set up a generalized system called Registered Traveler to make the program competitive, but Brill’s Clear, which started at one airport in Florida, remained the market leader.

But as the TSA got better at keeping lines moving in the last few years, Clear’s benefits became less clear. Clear continued to ink deals with the nation’s largest airports and even partnering with football teams to get fans in the door faster, but evidently those strategies did not fare well in a down economy."
Is it the economy? It's just one man's brilliance, or lack of:
But if Brill can’t get enough corporate travelers to pay for airport convenience, it’s not clear how he thinks he’ll get enough people to pony up online news subscriptions to save online journalism.

Complete story from Epicenter |

Monday, June 22, 2009

YouTube - Tim Geitner Lies : Flip Flops On New World Currency

Opportinity: Gold falls to six-week low on crude, dollar

Gold falls to six-week low on crude, dollar - MarketWatch

"Crude oil slumped nearly 4% to the lowest level in two weeks, after the World Bank predicted that the global economy will shrink 2.9% this year, a steeper fall than the 1.7% contraction it predicted in March." See World Bank story. See Futures Movers.

Again, interesting that crude isn't really affected by Iranian turmoil, more by the state of the dollar. Long term, is the dollar ready to strengthen? What exactly have changed? We have seen over recent weeks a stream of politically motivated fudged numbers that were spread as the background to Geitner's outrageous plan. The idea that the Dollar strengthen after the Fed gets more power is evidence to the power of the propaganda machine and group think, not to real improvement. The only real action so far is pouring freshly minted money intn the banking system and major industrial losers. Now, printing money to cover debt may be an actuary solution, but it does very little to strengthen the real value your currency can actually buy (even if you ignore the inflationary risk). GM fell because you and I did not see value in its products - pouring money into it can adjust its balance sheet but will not make its products more valuable to us.

Note to self: considering buying more. Readjust stop points.