Comments on: Rates of Return http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/ Sharon Astyk's Ruminations on an Ambiguous Future Wed, 29 Apr 2009 19:51:13 +0000 #?v=2.3.2 By: Jerry http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19900 Jerry Sun, 26 Apr 2009 16:43:39 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19900 I too agree with the fact that bailing out banks and GM along with AIG is pure folly. It hasn't dawned on Obama that trying to sustain the unsustainable will not work. We really need to localize food production and rebuild our railways so that we can function in an energy starved world. The average person doesn't have a clue what is in store for him or her when oil is going to either rationed by the Feds or by price. I am definitely cutting more wood for the upcoming winter and planting more potatoes with my brother. This summer's project is to build a root cellar. Henry, I agree with your point of view especially health care and nationalizing the big banks. I say let the banksters all rot and bring all CEO pay back down to earth. I can't believe they make so much money when banks are writing off so many bad loans. I too agree with the fact that bailing out banks and GM along with AIG is pure folly. It hasn’t dawned on Obama that trying to sustain the unsustainable will not work. We really need to localize food production and rebuild our railways so that we can function in an energy starved world.

The average person doesn’t have a clue what is in store for him or her when oil is going to either rationed by the Feds or by price. I am definitely cutting more wood for the upcoming winter and planting more potatoes with my brother. This summer’s project is to build a root cellar.

Henry, I agree with your point of view especially health care and nationalizing the big banks. I say let the banksters all rot and bring all CEO pay back down to earth. I can’t believe they make so much money when banks are writing off so many bad loans.

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By: Pangolin http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19897 Pangolin Sun, 26 Apr 2009 12:09:54 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19897 I think the human race is getting it's occasional lesson in the folly of fiat currency. Our monetary system distorts the distribution of labor, goods and services and far too great a percentage of the worlds resources have spent the last few years chasing phantom dreams. Now that the bubble has popped the people who gained power organizing the dream hunts are reluctant to direct the world to do anything else. They are going to print cash and throw it on the banking bonfire they have created until the populace demands they do something different en masse. The 'free market' hasn't created jobs in years; government action has. The free market runs mergers, fires half the staff and spends the savings gambling on derivitives. We are nowhere near capitulation of the political and financial elites to new realities. Everyone is pretending things will go on as normal. With any luck this swine flu scare will just be a scare. If it truly is a pandemic we're truly deep in the manure pile with a pickle fork. I think the human race is getting it’s occasional lesson in the folly of fiat currency. Our monetary system distorts the distribution of labor, goods and services and far too great a percentage of the worlds resources have spent the last few years chasing phantom dreams.

Now that the bubble has popped the people who gained power organizing the dream hunts are reluctant to direct the world to do anything else. They are going to print cash and throw it on the banking bonfire they have created until the populace demands they do something different en masse.

The ‘free market’ hasn’t created jobs in years; government action has. The free market runs mergers, fires half the staff and spends the savings gambling on derivitives. We are nowhere near capitulation of the political and financial elites to new realities. Everyone is pretending things will go on as normal.

With any luck this swine flu scare will just be a scare. If it truly is a pandemic we’re truly deep in the manure pile with a pickle fork.

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By: Mark N http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19893 Mark N Sat, 25 Apr 2009 23:51:13 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19893 Pandemics...just one of many possible scenarios where we are not attempting to feed 9 billion people. Here's to being fit, healthy, and having a strong immune system...possibly the best rate of return of all. Pandemics…just one of many possible scenarios where we are not attempting to feed 9 billion people.

Here’s to being fit, healthy, and having a strong immune system…possibly the best rate of return of all.

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By: jerah http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19880 jerah Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:00:40 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19880 Swine flu! I've been waiting and waiting to hear a news story on bird flu being transmittable human to human, since that would pretty much mean a pandemic, and silly me, it's not bird flu this time. It's swine flu, just like in 1918. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8018356.stm Heading out to stock the larder (if I can call my apartment's closet a "larder"). Swine flu! I’ve been waiting and waiting to hear a news story on bird flu being transmittable human to human, since that would pretty much mean a pandemic, and silly me, it’s not bird flu this time. It’s swine flu, just like in 1918.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8018356.stm

Heading out to stock the larder (if I can call my apartment’s closet a “larder”).

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By: Kate http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19877 Kate Sat, 25 Apr 2009 17:17:33 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19877 <i>I didn’t love the Bush disbursements, but let me stand up here and say that sending people cash is a heck of a lot wiser than flushing it down the toilet.</i> Sharon, I am so glad to hear someone else saying this too. While it's not a popular view at present, in real terms this is so true. Allow me to explain, When I received last year's stimulus, I was able to pay down some outstanding household debt. Sadly, so far, those funds were the last extra (meaning non-necessary to actual existence) dollars I have seen since. And my situation is by means unique. Many other folks I know used their Bush funds, not to go shopping for big screen televisions or vacations but to get medical/dental care and prescription drugs. Most felt at the time this might be their last opportunity for a while and most have been correct. For an increasing number of adults, the choice of taking care of their health is being edged out by other more pressing demands such as food, shelter and energy. I personally find it ironic that the financial crisis is blamed (in large part) on the massive over-indebtedness by the consumer. Yet, all talk of solutions focus exclusively on encouraging further borrowing. In fact, the consumers ability to pay this debt gets squeezed tighter each passing day. If the problem the banks really face is the specter of massive consumer default, then why (oh why) is not the entire machinery focusing on making sure the consumer can pay down the debt (instead of actively working against this)? Would not this seem to be the best way for ensuring everybody wins? Consumers pay off existing debt, *voila* no loan default crisis. Once no longer over-extended, they will within a couple years be ready to resume major purchases to replace aging merchandise, etc. If the problem the banks really face is that the golden goose cannot lay eggs at ever-increasing speeds, it's certainly no excuse for choking it to death. I didn’t love the Bush disbursements, but let me stand up here and say that sending people cash is a heck of a lot wiser than flushing it down the toilet.

Sharon, I am so glad to hear someone else saying this too. While it’s not a popular view at present, in real terms this is so true. Allow me to explain,

When I received last year’s stimulus, I was able to pay down some outstanding household debt. Sadly, so far, those funds were the last extra (meaning non-necessary to actual existence) dollars I have seen since. And my situation is by means unique.

Many other folks I know used their Bush funds, not to go shopping for big screen televisions or vacations but to get medical/dental care and prescription drugs. Most felt at the time this might be their last opportunity for a while and most have been correct. For an increasing number of adults, the choice of taking care of their health is being edged out by other more pressing demands such as food, shelter and energy.

I personally find it ironic that the financial crisis is blamed (in large part) on the massive over-indebtedness by the consumer. Yet, all talk of solutions focus exclusively on encouraging further borrowing. In fact, the consumers ability to pay this debt gets squeezed tighter each passing day.

If the problem the banks really face is the specter of massive consumer default, then why (oh why) is not the entire machinery focusing on making sure the consumer can pay down the debt (instead of actively working against this)? Would not this seem to be the best way for ensuring everybody wins? Consumers pay off existing debt, *voila* no loan default crisis. Once no longer over-extended, they will within a couple years be ready to resume major purchases to replace aging merchandise, etc.

If the problem the banks really face is that the golden goose cannot lay eggs at ever-increasing speeds, it’s certainly no excuse for choking it to death.

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By: Stephen B. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19869 Stephen B. Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:25:55 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19869 Well, reading the Der Spiegel piece http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,620754,00.html Sharon referenced, of course it already IS very ugly, depending on one's personal situation, not to take away anything from what others have already suffered. Well, reading the Der Spiegel piece http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,620754,00.html Sharon referenced, of course it already IS very ugly, depending on one’s personal situation, not to take away anything from what others have already suffered.

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By: Greg B. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19868 Greg B. Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:24:14 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19868 Darn, the formating in my message above messed up the picture I made with the slashes :( Anybody know how to make and post something like this and defeat the default formatting? Darn, the formating in my message above messed up the picture I made with the slashes :(

Anybody know how to make and post something like this and defeat the default formatting?

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By: Stephen B. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19867 Stephen B. Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:22:59 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19867 Well, I for one think I was growing a bit complacent as things "bottomed out" in the past few weeks. No, I didn't actually think we had reached any kind of bottom, but did actually, for a moment perhaps, in the back of my head, think the free fall had been arrested in some kind of way. But just when you think you've read enough stuff on the Internet to sufficiently numb the brain, you come across something big. There was this piece #node/48731 posted over on Bart's EB a few days ago by Michael Lardelli reminding us once again how energy is simply everything to the world economy. Towards the end, it had this graph: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/images/article-images/Lardelli_09_04_23_6.jpg of EROEI of the various world energy sources and how said EROEI is about to fall off a cliff. Now, this wasn't exactly news to me and I doubt it's news to most here, but somehow I guess I needed a dope-slap-reminder on the subject and that article provided it all too well. Keep at your community and personal preparations folks because it's all gonna get UGLY. There's just no doubt about it. *Sigh* Well, I for one think I was growing a bit complacent as things “bottomed out” in the past few weeks. No, I didn’t actually think we had reached any kind of bottom, but did actually, for a moment perhaps, in the back of my head, think the free fall had been arrested in some kind of way. But just when you think you’ve read enough stuff on the Internet to sufficiently numb the brain, you come across something big.

There was this piece #node/48731 posted over on Bart’s EB a few days ago by Michael Lardelli reminding us once again how energy is simply everything to the world economy. Towards the end, it had this graph: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/images/article-images/Lardelli_09_04_23_6.jpg of EROEI of the various world energy sources and how said EROEI is about to fall off a cliff. Now, this wasn’t exactly news to me and I doubt it’s news to most here, but somehow I guess I needed a dope-slap-reminder on the subject and that article provided it all too well.

Keep at your community and personal preparations folks because it’s all gonna get UGLY. There’s just no doubt about it.

*Sigh*

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By: Greg B. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19866 Greg B. Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:21:18 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19866 You wrote: "...with a very severe, deep and protracted U-shaped recession. Last year’s economic consensus forecast of a V-shaped short and shallow..." Trying to define such big drawn out events with simple shapes like U or V often causes people to get into financial booby traps. It leads people to believe that a turn is THE turn. That the latest bottom is THE bottom, or current top is THE top. The shape is better explained as a distorted W, or even better as a V made with lightning bolts. Like this: \ \/\ \ / \ /\/ \/\ / \/ ...and we are only in the first little bear market rally (seconf line down) Bbut in a month or two you will start seeing news reports about how the "Bull Market" is back and ready to shoot for the sky. That's the booby trap that many will invest into and unfortunaly lose in. You wrote:
“…with a very severe, deep and protracted U-shaped recession. Last year’s economic consensus forecast of a V-shaped short and shallow…”

Trying to define such big drawn out events with simple shapes like U or V often causes people to get into financial booby traps. It leads people to believe that a turn is THE turn. That the latest bottom is THE bottom, or current top is THE top.

The shape is better explained as a distorted W, or even better as a V made with lightning bolts. Like this: \
\/\
\ /
\ /\/
\/\ /
\/
…and we are only in the first little bear market rally (seconf line down) Bbut in a month or two you will start seeing news reports about how the “Bull Market” is back and ready to shoot for the sky. That’s the booby trap that many will invest into and unfortunaly lose in.

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By: Brad K. http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19845 Brad K. Sat, 25 Apr 2009 02:53:16 +0000 http://sharonastyk.com/2009/04/24/rates-of-return/#comment-19845 Vera, Coy Ote, I don't think these people believe that anything has changed. The Clintons grew up around organized crime in Arkansas, Obama comes from Chicago (The governor, the vacant senate seat - does anyone really believe Obama wasn't playing with the Chicago "boys" before he got elected - or since?). They have no conception of anything beyond working the system for immediate gratification, for servicing their ambition, or for general personal aggrandizement. They don't believe anything can fail - their focus is on what they can get out of what can be made available. Ah! The word I was looking for was "corrupt". Situational ethics comes to mind, too. "Don't attribute to evil, what can be explained by sheer ignorance." It can be a simpler way to live. Vera, Coy Ote, I don’t think these people believe that anything has changed.

The Clintons grew up around organized crime in Arkansas, Obama comes from Chicago (The governor, the vacant senate seat - does anyone really believe Obama wasn’t playing with the Chicago “boys” before he got elected - or since?). They have no conception of anything beyond working the system for immediate gratification, for servicing their ambition, or for general personal aggrandizement.

They don’t believe anything can fail - their focus is on what they can get out of what can be made available.

Ah! The word I was looking for was “corrupt”. Situational ethics comes to mind, too.

“Don’t attribute to evil, what can be explained by sheer ignorance.” It can be a simpler way to live.

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