More for the Holy Crap Files

Sharon September 19th, 2008

Ok, folks, I’m not here.  I know I said I wasn’t going to be online on Fridays anymore, and I’m really not, but I did need to follow the new SEC short selling info, and you need to also!  Because the sudden change of economic rules really could crash the economy harder than before - it may well be that the 10 day ban, and perhaps a subsequent extension on short selling will keep things going until the election - but I’m not holding my breath, and I’m definitely with those who think that this will make the financial situation much more dire. 

Discussion here at the Oil Drum; #node/4549#more

And here at the automatic earth: #2008/09/mayday-martians-have-landed.html

I know most people have no idea what this means, but it is worth taking the time to sort through the articles and their comments, and get a grasp on why this matters.  Because your economic future is being played out here. 

Ok, if you are wondering what you can do about it - not a whole lot.  So you might as well go back to doing the same other stuff - getting your preparations in order, making yourself as secure as you can, helping out your neighbors, getting to know them better.  And if you are still in a planting season, I’d recommend this article by the incomparable novelist/herbalist Susan Wittig Albert, who also writes deliciously fun mysteries about China Bayles and Beatrix Potter (as Robin Paige, with her husband) and might be a good escape from all this crap: http://henandharvest.com/?p=137

Sharon

26 Responses to “More for the Holy Crap Files”

  1. Nettleon 19 Sep 2008 at 9:57 am

    In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, I was still hoping that that this crisis was something that would reverse itself sooner rather than later, that things would continue along as normal - I see read the news, I read the commentary, I pay attention, but there was still this little voice that says, against all reason, “things will be fine! it will all work out, you’ll see!”

    Since I saw the news this morning, that little voice has shut up and is now just quietly saying “holy crap” over and over again.

  2. Nancyon 19 Sep 2008 at 10:01 am

    There is new NPR podcast called Planet Money that it is doing a fantastic job of explaining this stuff. I’m pretty much economy-clueless and I’ve found it very helpful.

    http://www.npr.org/money

  3. Julie Masonon 19 Sep 2008 at 10:11 am

    One thing we can ALL do is call our senators and representatives and tell them not to do this last humungous bailout. Specifically, I called and asked mine to NOT support the creation of a government entity to take on all the bad debt of the financial institutions. They can’t know what we don’t like if we don’t tell them.

    Julie

  4. Frostwolf in Troyon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:26 am

    I like the idea that “Starcade” put out that all debts be forgiven and starting over. Will it happen? Bwahahahahaha!

    If none of you have seen it yet, Ran Prieur’s latest haiku is nice, though I don’t think it’s quite true. There are a lot of people pretending to be Sgt. Schulz from “Hogan’s Heroes”–”I know nussing, I see nussing, I hear nussing!” There was that study about conservatives who, once you show them something ration and honest and objective that goes against what they’re saying that they cling to their “sun-revolves-around-the-earth” theories even moreso. Basically, “Yeah, you and what army? Says you, nya-nya-nyah!” Sums it up. SPRAWK!

    The advice you give though, to get to know your neighbors and continue with whatever preps you need to be making I think hold. I want to be doing more on that front. Working 9 to 5, it’s not easy though.

  5. Lisa Zon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:26 am

    But wait, wait…I thought this “big plan” would help!!! I was just catching my breath this morning. Now I gotta worry again?

    I don’t understand this stuff! (said with only a bit of sarcasm–I really don’t get it)

  6. Lisa Zon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:31 am

    On another note, I have like $150 in cash that isn’t going to bills. The rest of the bills are paid or come due in the next 10 days, before the next paycheck at the end of the month. The savings are all in retirement accounts–stupid, I know, but we’ve just been trying to catch up not get ahead in the last year.

    I still need a few preps. Should I save the cash and put things on the credit card? That would add maybe $150 to the credit card which is now has a balance of $175.00–pretty low. I really don’t want to charge anything, but I also think I better have a bit of cash!

    What to do?

    For more cash, I still don’t think I’m ready to cash out the retirement accounts and pay the 50% penalty. DH and I could probably be talked into it, though. Those accounts are now “guaranteed” and not in stocks, but either way I’m okay with taking the chance on losing it all as long as we can survive the NEXT ten years.

    Lisa

  7. Shambaon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:40 am

    Lisa Z, you’re not the only one who wonders about charging something useful as part of preps and then paying it off later?

    All I’ve done the past few months, is wonder if I should cash in anything and all stuff I don’t have in cash already? I’m becoming veery weary of thinking about all this stuff and feeling lilke I should have know better and done everthing to prep by now!

    Not knwoing what to think anymore and nor sure what to do either ….

    cheers,
    shamba

  8. Lisa Zon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:44 am

    Thanks for the note of empathy, Shamba! Believe me it does help to know we’re not alone in questioning, worrying, wondering, even freaking a bit!

    Anyone else?

    Lisa

  9. Karinon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:54 am

    I just feel like I really need to keep my nose to the grind stone right now. We are going to the common Ground Country Fair this weekend. ( Awsome fair if you ever get to Maine). I plan on raiding the Fedco and Johnnies Seeds tents this weekend to get seed for next year. John Howe is the local Peak oil writer here and he speaks on Saturday. I can not wait to hear what he has to say.

    Prep pre and prep some more. Give me the serenity …

  10. Rebeccaon 19 Sep 2008 at 11:55 am

    Yeah, I’m pretty well freaking out. I keep repeating the Dune mantra and Invictus. I’m made of steel and will be okay no matter what but it is still pretty scary.

    I can’t seem to find anyone who’s hiring. The few jobs I’ve found that I might be able to get keep telling me that I’m either over- or under- qualified. I’m bringing in about $300 a month right now and only have a month of savings left. I’m going to be in deep trouble if something doesn’t change. With this news I figure things are going to get even worse.

  11. Meadowlarkon 19 Sep 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Rebecca, You wouldn’t be the first person who had to “dumb down” a resume to get a job. Whatever it takes. And good luck.

  12. Shambaon 19 Sep 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Rebecca, good thoughts and prayers for you to be hired soon.

    shamba

  13. Veganon 19 Sep 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Sharon, thanks for the post. I’ve been following Ilargi’s posts and comments at The Automatic Earth site for the last few months. This is truly horrendous. It makes me wonder what big plan the corporatists/fascists might have for the next few months. Indeed, this is a transfer of wealth.

  14. Veganon 19 Sep 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Beware of NPR everyone… It’s not what it used to be. A friend appropriately calls NPR National Pentagon Radio!

    It’s better to follow the links Sharon provided above.

  15. […] Casaubon’s Book » Blog Archive » More for the Holy Crap Files Ok, folks, I’m not here. I know I said I wasn’t going to be online on Fridays anymore, and I’m really not, but I did need to follow the new SEC short selling info, and you need to also! Because the sudden change of economic rules really could crash the economy harder than before - it may well be that the 10 day ban, and perhaps a subsequent extension on short selling will keep things going until the election - but I’m not holding my breath, and I’m definitely with those who think that this will make the financial situation much more dire. […]

  16. blondeoverboardon 19 Sep 2008 at 8:07 pm

    sharon,

    just wanted to tell you thanks for everything you write here. i started reading your blog over the summer and for the first time in my life, started to look at things a little differently. urged on by what i’ve read here and a few other places, i learned to can, started storing food and putting up necessities like firewood, cooking fuel and water. for what, i didn’t know.. after all i live in the comfy cozy suburbs of ….. Houston. and then along came Ike and we’re a week without power, cooking outdoors, using food we grew ourselves and feeling tremendously grateful and fortunate for all that we have. because of the things i’ve learned my family is able to help our neighbors. thank you so very much for the information and the education!

    ~debra~

  17. WOW Traineeon 19 Sep 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I try to keep current but find that listening to news media and everyone else repeat and elaborate over and over, my sense of well being evaporates. Plus I feel so angry and powerless. I also experience this great need to do something. What? Well, one thing is continue preparing. With little money, I’m looking at flea markets for useful barter items. I’m also accumulating clothing patterns and such.
    I keep wanting to believe that this situation is similar to the Weather Channel people getting all excited over an approaching winter snow storm. All sorts of people zipping about, interviews with people in the know and people being effected, history reports and updated colorful storm tracks.
    Suddenly a number of people have just become aware of our financial meltdown and possible personal implications. It’s a scarey time and will continue to be. A lot of ineffective and even harmful actions are being taken. Who knows how much debt is out there waiting for U.S. ownership? Our country has already been committed to growing trillions of dollar debt!
    Frightening projections are that we will be fighting Iran before election day, the elections postponed and also that our country will default on our economic debts.
    Defaulting on our obligations won’t be an easy experience. Orlov in his book Reinventing Collapse describes the meltdown of the Soviet economy. If you haven’t read it, this might be the time.

  18. NMon 19 Sep 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Sheesh. Lately every time I look at the news my head starts to hurt.

  19. Fle in TNon 20 Sep 2008 at 12:34 am

    Lisa Z
    I recently did cash out my 401K. The tax liabilities are; whatever federal tax bracket you are in (aprox 23%), the 10% penalty, and “if” you have any state taxes on income. Basically it took almost a month from requesting the closure of the account, getting the check, and the bank to hold the funds for 10 days before I had access to the money. I quit my $*& high stress job which is why I could close out the account, if you are still working then it would be considered a loan from the account. You might look into that, there are even reasons you can withdraw from the account without any penalties. Ask if you qualify.
    My DH still has his 403B and was a bit concerned about my decision but was kinda ok about it until last week now he is glad that I did so. Paid off the car and the piddly amount on the cc on Wednesday, so no debt including the house, only daily expenses and the need for more fruit & nut trees.
    For me it is a relief, even if the stock-market rebounds and the abiogenic oil theory is found to be true.
    Fle

  20. SurvivalTopics.comon 20 Sep 2008 at 6:07 am

    Look at the roller coaster stock market - huge downs, huge ups. Flipping assets has become as much of a bubble as flipping houses.

    Maybe we can return to creating value (as in actually making things) rather than shuffling paperwork for wealth.

  21. Hummingbirdon 20 Sep 2008 at 10:04 am

    It seems that this massive series of bailouts is all about postponing the crash until after the election when this crowd has safely left town with their loot. It will not “solve the problem” or prevent ordinary people from losing their houses, their pensions, their savings or their jobs, even though this is the rationalisation being used to sell the idea.

    I am planning to call my congresspersons on Monday to express my opposition even though I heard Charlie Gasparino say on CNBC that he was told by “congressional leaders” not to worry, no matter how messy the debate gets (with allusions to how ordinary people are being screwed) it will pass in the end. In other words, it is a done deal and nobody is asking us.

    Best listen to Sharon and get ready…

  22. Beckyon 21 Sep 2008 at 12:21 pm

    These “shock and awe” games are getting old.

    Preparing mentally and physically seems to make most sense. Thanks Sharon

  23. Gracieon 21 Sep 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I agree that most likely it will make things worse in the long run. But you know what? I really doubt we have anything to do about it any more. I’ve written to my senators. You know what I get back? A form letter telling me they received my e-mail. Nothing more. They aren’t listening. Anyone who thinks they can influence their congressmen at this point is simply naive. They are doing what they are told to do by people they think they can trust. I truly think most of them are clueless.

    I don’t think we have a choice but to prepare at this point. Although the great majority of us were well on our way to feeling a little more comfortable, this throws a monkey wrench in preps, doesn’t it? It makes it all so real. The wolf is at the door, friends.

  24. Cindyon 21 Sep 2008 at 8:26 pm

    The current bail out is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound! Things are moving closer to the meltdown point sooner than I thought.

  25. Ailsa Ekon 22 Sep 2008 at 3:48 pm

    I called Senator Kennedy’s office today. Might not help much, but who knows? I hear Barney Frank is introducing a more palatable bill in the House, but I don’t know anything more than that. I am pretty sure it’s all hopeless and we’re utterly scrod, but I’m going to at least pretend like there’s something I can do to make a difference.

    In a couple of weeks we are headed up to northern Maine to help my father-in-law cut & split firewood, in return for which we get to take home a trailerful for ourselves. We have a cord here already, more or less, not counting the downed trees in our woods that we haven’t started cutting yet. I’m hoping we can get enough wood that it will make a difference in our heating this winter rather than just being something we do for fun.

    I continue canning, I continue worrying. Who knows what will happen? Not me, that’s for sure.

  26. Cosetteon 22 Sep 2008 at 4:42 pm

    This is my first blog ever. Finally, I don’t feel like a freak for thinking these thoughts. I think I’m socializing with the wrong people. I recently started reading the book “The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It” by John Seymour. There’s another one called “The New Self-Sufficient Gardener.” It seemed pretty complex right out of the gate and I felt a little overwhelmed. Anyone else have an opinion on it? The dichotomy of looking out the window and seeing ‘life as usual’ and then thinking about all the suffering to come makes me feel like I’m in The Twilight Zone…

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