Showing posts with label sovereign debt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sovereign debt. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I Can Haz Debt Ceiling?

This whole thing has played out in a fairly silly fashion. Well it would be silly except there is the potential for it to go really bad. The Democrats seem to have claimed and thanks to their shills the mainstream media held the moral high ground though by a thin margin. The idea that the other side should give all of their leverage before having a conversation about what they wish to get in return seems like a hard one for anybody to seriously swallow. The Republicans seem more energized than they have in awhile but quite possibly unable to choose realistic goals, function as a cohesive voting block and of course manage their public relations/IO.

It looks like they have agreed to stop fighting long enough to avoid drowning in the water they are currently fighting in. Maybe we can get beyond talking points to have a real discussion about our government debt.

So do you think something seriously dangerous is on the horizon, and if so what, or that it's just another political theater?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ruminating Thoughts On The Coming Year

The Sun will continue to rise and set. Basically I expect a slightly worse version of this year.

Taxes- Taxes will go up. Part of this will be strait forward rate increases but most of it will be increases in 'fees', eliminations of various loopholes and such. The bottom line is that more money will flow from your pocket to multiple levels of government.

The Economy- I am not sure about our economy. My initial thought is that the lost decade our current jobless, non housing inflation and cheap money fueled recovery will continue. In this regard I expect a bit worse version of 2012. Then again who knows.

The European Sovereign Debt issue could well reemerge. With China's unsustainable growth rates turning to inflation and the economy slowing the US may well be one of the better looking horses in the glue factory this coming year.

I suspect artificial manipulation of gold and silver prices to continue. Silver will probably continue to be a pretty good buy over the coming year. Once our food storage goals are met we will put away some more PM's for sure.

Inflation- Hidden inflation will continue. The current CPI calculation seems manipulated to suit political aims inaccurate on how inflation affects normal folks. Most of this inflation will be covered up by smaller packages, less food by weight and the usual tricks. Expect your income to purchase fewer goods and services than before. 

Gun Control- I think that gun control could go many ways.  Were I forced to take a guess something will probably happen next year. The Dem's will do something, potentially via executive order if needed, to get a symbolic victory. It could be as benign as mandatory reporting of certain behaviors by medical professionals and maybe import limitations on certain guns like Siaga 12 shotguns and AK's or could be worse.

Crime- It ain't gonna get better. The flat lined economy will push some marginal folks towards crime. Also as state and county agencies try to make budgets work they are going to continue or increase prisoner releases. Yes these folks will generally have been arrested for nonviolent offenses but that is just what they were caught for. Plenty of violent criminals are incarcerated for various minor offenses and some of them will inevitably be released.

Down here in the South West I think the Reconquista downward spiral of drug/ cartel violence and unchecked illegal immigration will continue.

I wish that it wasn't my opinion that the partisan nature of politics in the US will get worse. Identity politics and hate mongering to suit various agendas will continue. There is potential for short flashes of localized violence being orchestrated to suit specific purposes. Think twitter flash mobs against political opponents.

Afghanistan- It isn't going to get better. The writing is on the wall that we are leaving. Expect limited conflict to support political goals. Think 'Nam in about 1971.

Wellthose are, for whatever they are worth, my thoughts on what is coming in 2013. Hopefully they give you something to think about. Again in closing I expect it to be a lot like last year but a bit worse.  Good luck,

What are your thoughts on the coming year?

Ryan




Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Family Edition


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fed: Recession kicked median household wealth to 1992 level

Here is the article. This is not suprising but still sort of depressing. What they fail to mention is that a buck is worth considerably less today than back in 1992.

I look at who benefited from this, the classic cui bono if you will. It is pretty clear to me. Big bankers and financiers made a killing. Politicians did well on campaign contributions from those folks as well as using the money flowing into their coffers to buy votes. Personally they also made a killing on insider trading their consistently and consistently lucky investment choices. Some normal folks did well, if just for awhile. Nobody was complaining when their homes went up in value 20, 30 or even 40%. Nobody was complaining when the construction industry was booming.

I realized in writing this that I have sort of looked at bankers in the wrong way. I think a bit too locally. The assistant manager of West lake Trust in Peduke, Iowa population 50,000 didn't wreck out economy. That guy gives people loans they come to the bank looking for. Now the big bosses at Citibank, B of A, WAMU, etc all on the other hand had to knew what was really going on. That is why they got rid of these loans like a kid playing hot potato. They made money hand over fist for years. When the game was up they dumped all the junk onto the public in a variety of ways both above and below board. After that we loaned them cheap money which they used to buy up the competion which was slightly worse off or couldn't get easy money friend loans.

Between politicians making laws, setting conditions (keeping interest rates artificially low for years) and supporting their friends in banking and finance a lot of the blame goes to our wonderful elected officials. Banksters knowingly gave bad loans which they repackaged to unrecognizability then sold as rock solid. They bought politicians to do them favors and provide mafia like protection. These two groups royally screwed normal everyday Americans out of tons of money.

I cannot however totaly absolve people of the choices they made or the situations those choices caused. Lots of folks used electronic/ paper gains in their homes to finance vacations, new cars or home improvements and such. Some of them are mad now because they are "underwater" and have to pay back the money they so prudently cashed out during the boom. Lots of normal folks made poor choices thinking that somehow the good times would never end and ended up in a bad spot. Others tried to get in on the game and lost too, by the time normal folks get into the game the smart money is already on it's way out. Normal folks are standing when the music stops in the proverbial game of musical chairs.

Today I may be more disenchanted, with the establishment for lack of a better word, than I have been since the height of this mess in 2008 or so. Not exactly sure what if anything I will do about it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is What Happens When You Turn The News Off

I seem to go into a sort of cycle with the news. Right now I am about sick of it. I still check out the drudge daily and if things get boring cruise the BBC. Instead of listening to the news at work I have been using a comedy show as background. I keep up enough to have a clue what is going on but really am having a hard time pretending to care.

The issues of police abuses has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind lately. Over a short time (since my being able to pay attention to these things at a relatively adult level) the changes which have occured are widespread and universally negative. Right now I do not have any additional thoughts on this topic which I am willing to share in a public venue.

Gang/ Mob attacks seem to be on the rise. The perpetrators, victims and area demographics seem to be quite consistent. The only thing that concerns me more than this is the total ambivalence of law enforcement about these crimes. The widespread efforts of government and media to conceal these events does not weigh positively into the mix either. I am not personally concerned about this. I do not frequent the kind of areas where this sort of thing has been happening. Also my life patterns, like being home at 7 to put the kid to bed, drops the odds even further. In any case it is still troubling.

Greece getting out of the Euro may almost be a foregone conclusion at this point. The idea of Euro bonds is laughable. Like cosigning for a loan your deadbeat brother in law/ whatever to get a loan it would require Germany be on the hook for things in the end. Like cosigning in general it is just a terrible idea. Banks or private markets are far better judges of who is a worthwhile risk than friends and family. I get what is in it for everybody but Germany, who actually has their financial house in order.

Also to complicate things there is significant risk to the Euro itself. As Tam put it "So Greece's profligate habits are threatening to drag the Euro under. Germany, the only wino at the bar keeping a squinty eye on the tab, is urging some restraint on Greece's part, which makes the Jerries the no-fun bad guy of the story."

The biggest way this inconveniences me is that it means I am not going to Greece which sucks. It was definitely on our short list before the mess of the last few months. Now the risk of getting stuck somewhere with a toddler in tow makes it a no travel zone for us. I guess it is a significant global risk, blah blah blah but I don't care about that.

So what did I do today?

After getting off work I came home for some quiet family time. For no clear reason I decided to make home made pizza. I had never done this but with some help from Wifey utter disaster was averted. I learned to do something new and we had a pretty good dinner. It was a nice quiet evening and I got something out of it.

It is worth noting that Dave Duffy wrote an article that inspired this one but was much better.

Anyway I hope you all have a nice quiet evening.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday Randomness

So France elected a Socialist president. I am pretty ambivalent about this as I do not live there or have any meaningful ties to the place. This could be interesting because it would push back against Germany's austerity measures when it comes to their broke, dysfunctional and still running a deficit southern neighbor Greece as well as not far behind Portugal and Spain. Right now Germany is the only one that can really try to bankroll continued enabling temporary aid. As their smaller, poorer, weaker and generally far less masculine next largest European partner France has really helped this be a united front instead of mean old Germany. This could be fun to watch.

The thing that lots of folks don't seem to get is for governments spending  and income as measured by taxes or growth as measured by GDP are related. Spending affects the economy through jobs, buying things, etc. Increasing revenues via taxes can also hurt the economy. The typical IMF style austerity plan is really a downward spiral. Imagine a company deciding to save by cutting out the advertising that brings in customers or in a more extreme case a dairy farmer cutting expenses by feeding his cows less. Obviously not a good plan. I don't know the answer is. You can tell the debtors to shove it (if you owe the bank 10k they own you but if you owe them 10 billion then you own them) which Greece is not big enough to do; or to not get into the situation in the first place.

Mexico is still a mess. Their government can't or won't stop the cartels from acting with total impunity and doing things like hanging a bunch of bodies from bridges or decapitating people. If there is anything good in the future there I am not aware of it and in fact the place seems to be in a downward spiral. I would not be suprised if I get a paid vacation there at some point in the next few years.
Metals are down a bit but I am not sure it is buying time. I feel a dip coming.

I have been trimming up some lately. I switched to light beer and have been paying more attention to what I eat as well as to portion sized. It seems to be working. Nothing huge really but I didn't need a massive course correction anyway. Hopefully in the next few days I finally kick this bug and can get back to doing some good PT. Don't worry I am still lifting heavy things in order to continue to be awesome. I don't believe in big changes in routines (powerlift for 3 months to "bulk" then do cardio and bodyweight to "tone" or whatever) but running, rucking and biking or whatever more during the spring and summer then hitting the gym a bit more in the winter when it is nasty outside seems like a pretty natural rhythm.
Anyway I hope you all have a decent Monday. Mine was pretty chill and I got to hit the gym so I will call it a win.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Stuff From The Interwebz

How to live in your car

A very nice minimalist chest rig for an AK. I think they also make a 4 mag model. I will probably pick up one of these when I get around to filling out my whole AK setup.

A gal talks about how to carry a gun and a baby. I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for women who carry handguns that are not a) subcompact/ cracker jack box sized or b) in a diminutive caliber like .32 or .380. She is not a big lady or wearing a "I have a gun vest" or a parka.

Highlight, quote and understatement of the day "if your child can get to the trigger that is bad." My .02 cents on that topic. First put on your gun then grab the kid. Kid doesn't go where the gun is because it wouldn't be comfortable for everybody involved. I carry appendix inside waist band slightly to the right. Kiddo either goes on the left hip if he is just riding or in my chest area if I am doing the comforting screaming baby thing. Since we are talking about kids and guns it is worth rehashing my core belief on this topic. Simply put guns are secured or under the physical control of an adult. In other words lock it up or carry it.

Today I have been intrigued by Iceland's reaction to the whole great recession/ economic collapse thing. 1, 2, 3.

Also I stumbled into a new blog Jerking the Trigger andreceived an email about the Open Garden project.

Hope that stuff gives you something to read and enjoy or at least think about. Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Stabilize the Debt: An Online Exercise in Hard Choices

Play The Debt Reduction Game. I did it and found it pretty interesting. Well worth looking at. The rather obvious conclusion I came to is that there is not one silver bullet solution to this problem and that lots of painfull cuts are going to have to be spread around.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

US Debt Downgraded

This morning I went in to work half asleep as usual. I am able to get moving quicker than most folks but am still not quite myself until I've been up for a half hour and or had a cup of coffee. Someone said in passing "US Debt was downgraded" and it caught my attention enough to walk over and ask if he was serious. He was and gave me the one sentence summary of it then moved on to something else. This part was kind of interesting.

Remember the scene in Snatch (if you haven't seen it you really should) where the two black guys who run the pawn shop and their friend walk into the office and find Brick Top (an old crazy english gangster with funny glasses) sitting on the couch? Well it got the two guys attention because there was an old, odd looking man sitting on the couch in their supposedly locked office. The third knew who Brick Top was and what his presence there meant, that it was very bad. This was kind of like that. Certainly it will get everybodies attention, if just for a second, but only some who keep track of these sort of things know how really bad it is.

For a lot of reasons I have been somewhat complacent recently but this definitely changed that. While not a suprise parse I didn't think anything like this would happen so soon. It definitely made me take stock of things.

On the bright side I am really happy Wifey and Walker are at home with family. It would be nice if I was around, both for psychological and functional (healthy young men with military training are useful) reasons, they are in the best possible place they could be. This makes me very glad we made that choice.

I had been (maybe mistakenly) waiting for PM's to take a hard dip before buying again. That plan is out the window. I made a big, for us, purchase and feel better knowing that a little bit more of our buying power is now not dollar denominated. Also I am looking at filling a few gaps that have been present for awhile. I HAD planned to just stash cash and do a good round of buying when I get back but that plan is now out the window. Also I have a few more ideas and need to do some more thinking and talk with the Wife about them.

Get your house in order while it is still possible and reasonably affordable. I don't mean to tell you that the world is ending and you should put every dime into beans and bullets or anything like that. However if there is something you have been meaning to do, or a purchase you have been meaning to make and can reasonably afford them it is time to do it. Could be food, training, PM's, guns, ammo, whatever. There may well be some bad stuff coming so if you want something and can (please don't use credit or spend irresponsibly) afford it them it's time to get it.

If our nation does not get it's economic house in order sooner instead of later we may have some very ugly times ahead.

Popular Posts