Thursday, April 29, 2010

"I Fought the Fed, and the Fed Won."

"I fought the Fed, and the Fed won. I fought the Fed, and the Fed WON."

Those lyrics will be taped to the front of my computer for the REST OF MY LIFE.

I am a battered and worn deflationist. I was CERTAIN that the Fed could not re-inflate to the extent they have... there is an old maxim on Wall Street: "Do not fight the Fed."



I am not sure which is worse: The hypocrisy of age or the arrogance of youth. Since I am right in the middle I expect I show a touch of each...

I received this in an email today, it is going around the Web fairly briskly:

YOU WANT TO GET MAD? We had eight years of Bush and Cheney, but now you get mad! You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President. You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy. You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got ousted. You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.. You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us. You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war. You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq. You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people. You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans. You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden. You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed. You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city drown. You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich. You didn’t get mad when, using reconciliation; a trillion dollars of our tax dollars were redirected to insurance companies for Medicare Advantage which cost over 20 percent more for basically the same services that Medicare provides. You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark, and our debt hit the thirteen trillion dollar mark. You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans… oh hell no. AND NOW YOU’RE MAD?
I have been a stone cold capitalist and registered Republican all of my life, even moved from Pro-Choice to Pro Life sometime in early adulthood. That does not mean I cannot recognize some legitimate criticism when I see it (not that there aren't a number of issues that were bi-partisan efforts within the aforementioned). People on both sides really, really, really need to recognize when their political leaders are FOS. BTW, note to Lefties... not every Republican/Conservative/Libertarian - whatever you want to call us - supported the illegal and immoral War in Iraq or an intractable War in Afghanistan against some truly, truly bad people that have probably worn out their welcome on this earth (but what's that got to do with War?). Not every one of us believes that the Military budget of the U.S. should equal 50% of the total military expenditures on the planet. Not every one of us wants to continue the "War on Drugs".

There are quite a few of us that want all of us to accept personal responsibility, shrink government (including the military and law enforcement/prison industrial complex budgets... not just the social programs), and firmly believe that the Right to Life should extend to fetuses, Bedouin tribesmen, Iraqi goat herders, Israelis, and American Service Personnel, and people working in the Twin Towers on 9/11. This is not to say that criminals should not be brought to justice, but it is to say that a cost/benefit analysis brought to bear long ago would have yielded fantastic dividends. Unfortunately, we do not have a Department of Cost/Benefit Analysis (though we really should).

What we have is an unending manipulation of the American people by special interest groups and their contacts in the media. Let me give you a couple of examples:

We've all heard that the folks at the SEC were watching PORN when they should have been policing Wall Street, right? Is there any difference, as far as their not doing their duty, if they were watching "Little Oral Annie" or "Little House on the Prairie"? Believe me, there were plenty of folks at the SEC, and every other government agency, using their computers to access the Home Shopping Network, YouTube, Ebay, The American Energy Crisis... (hell, a urologist I know told me that men my age should watch Porn to up their testosterone and keep their prostate from going Chernobyl.... just saying.) What's the difference?

When the war mongering jag offs want to do something really dumb, and they can't get the populace to go along with sending their sons off to death and dismemberment they trot out the "rape story". It worked in Afghanistan , Iraq, Somalia.... and if you watch closely, "they" will use it again. Sometimes they call it "subjugation of women". I wonder how it is that an American mom goes from being unwilling to lose her son in some pointless conflict to being willing to do so over an alleged crime half a world away.

You saw it when the Feds raided that FLDS compound in Arizona a couple of years back. Yep. "RAPE"!!! Cried the authorities, and so 500 families had to be seized and broken up. I watched as my wife cursed the TV... it worked on her. Have you heard anything about those "Rapes!" since? No, they needed to cover their goose-stepping, invasion of Poland style storm trooping. The retraction was on page 17 in very small type right under the ads for "used microwaves"..., and never mind that if you took ANY random 500 family sampling in the US you would likely find far more child abuse at first blush than these jag-offs found by taking the entire community hostage.

When the government needs an excuse to engage in immoral or unpopular wars, or to crush an unpopular church, out comes the tried and true "Rape"!

I am sure that I would be outraged at the way the Afghani's treat their women - does that mean my son has to go to war to right the world's wrongs? What about the "collateral damage" folks? I'll pass, thanks.

We are under constant manipulation by the MSM, and if you find my thoughts have any basis in fact, it would seem that the MSM is being manipulated pretty effectively, too.

Oh, and I don't want to pay government workers to do ANYTHING but work when they are at work. I don't care if its Porn or Christian Outreach... do it on your own time.


So... prosecutors are investigating Goldman Sachs... what a surprise. I am not suggesting that there is not a good chance that some laws might have been broken - just not what you might think or where you might think. Besides, what the U.S. needs is a revamped banking system. The current system has been dominated by the same old/same old, group think cronyism B.S., for so long this was the completely expected outcome. I mean, come one... anybody notice the one school that nearly every top exec of the bailed out firms had in common? You mean there are no smart people anywhere else?

More on this and the real issue... the reason Credit Default Swaps REALLY exist... coming soon.


Anonymous said...

Nice rant, well said, and thoughtful as well. Nearly all my friends are Republicans, and we argue if we discus politics--since I'm more of a libertarian and they often totally disregard their own hypocrisy.

Some have become enthralled with G. Beck and his cohorts, who although correct on some things--mostly just do more appeals to emotionality and incense people's biases. Confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance are alive and well, at least you seem to be able to keep two differing thoughts in your head to compare without immediately become so emotional like my bud's that their rants end up sounding like inane talking points--and often truly hypocritical. I forgot about the Uni-brow sect in UT, good point, guilty to proven innocent just like our reduced civil liberties--of course to 'protect us'.

bureaucrat said...

All of the computers in my (Federal) agency make it very tough to do the porn thing as you cannot erase the "history of websites visited", so anytime they want to do a little "audit", it can be done easily.

Maybe the SEC had a lot of time to porn-surf cause the White House and their appointees tied both the hands of the Federal regulators and state regulators (Bush sued the states for even trying to investigate financial wrongdoing .. Spitzer verified that.)

Plus if you are wondering why there is no anger this time around, you'll notice that the Army will never again "draft" anyone, except in true national emergencies. With drafts, you have people directly being forced to do what they don't want to do. Goes a long way to explain the lack of anger in this country now. No skin in the game.

Dextred1 said...
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Dextred1 said...

The Recount was stupid and petty. The race was won by Bush. When the state recount in Florida was conducted he won 3 times. Gore wanted the recount for just a few counties’.

Patriot Act had Bi-partisan support. I hated it then and I hate it now. Who is he talking to? Obama still uses its intelligence gaining abilities.

10 billion lost in Iraq. Hahahah chump change

What does he mean by Illegal? I was against the war on grounds that we could never change a culture that did not want to change. Not to mention that they had nothing to do with 9-11. But it was not illegal. We are a sovereign nation, we can go to war if it is in are interests. They broke tons of U.N. sanctions and got their ass handed to them. Get over it. I was against it then and I am against it now. But F**k the U.N. We more than pay half the budget and have to patrol ever hotspots on earth because of it.

Hate the wire tapping and the torturing thing. I wrote a twenty page paper on using torture in terrorism and was surprised but there was very solid legal basis for the torture they were doing. The way the law works is different than gotcha phrases. They were not soldiers and thus did not have protections under Geneva conventions (they were enemy combatants). They did not receive habeas corpus because they are not citizens. Now I don’t agree, but to spout off like an imbecile does not help you argument. Change the law!!!!

The federal Government has no right to step into Louisiana. The federal government cannot force a state to take national troops for help. When the governor asked for troops that day they were heading in. Who the hell could have predicted that mess? Is Obama doing better in Haiti? We our humans. Sometimes things are bigger than us. As the saying goes “shit happens”. The feds put tons of money out to rebuild a city 12-20 ft under sea level. They should have bulldozed the place and moved it across Lake Ponchatrain. GOVERNMENTS CAN NOT SAVE YOU IF YOU ARE NOT PREPARED!!! Do you really think you or me or the neighbor would have done better? The people could have left, but choose to stay because they did not think it was that bad. This happens in Florida to. I was there for Hurricane Charley. I did not leave and could not blame someone else when I chose to stay.

600 Billion For the war and 780 billion for stimulus. Cannot afford either. Obama would have had a lot more leeway if he did not blow 800 billion on bullshit. He did and hears shit for it. Should not have wasted that money. It takes 3 ½ of bush’s biggest yrs to equal just this yrs budget deficit.

900 billion is a false number. The money was spent and circulated and taxes were paid at many different stages. The problem was not the tax cuts. They earned the money. The problem was the lack of resolve to cut spending in proportion to tax cuts. This is just Saul Alinsky class warfare garbage. I want more government money; all they did is work for it. The rich pay the taxes period.

About sums it up. Just because you say something and act like a raving lunatic does not make your opinion right. By the way a service cannot be a right. Rights are given from a creator not from the work of other men’s hands.

Ken said...

Awesome - Good job today! Hey, I'm a government worker and I learned the importance of inefficiency in the Military - you need something to do tomorrow, so just do half today. But, seriously, it's not the workers - It's the complete lack of common sense! Shorting? What the hell is shorting - you're going to "borrow" my stock, to drive the price down, then make money - bullshit. I'm going to take out insurance on your house then burn it to the ground! Why on earth is that legal!!! No common sense!

Ken said...

Oh, yea I forgot to say, I absolutely agree with the Rape thing. It was comical during Desert Storm, Penthouse/Playboy one of them had a huge article on what "they" did to their women - clitectomies. It was propaganda at it's finest. And, that UT sect thing really pissed me off too, however I did read (who really knows if it's true) that they have many more girls than boys, because the boys "are gotten rid of" I'm not sure what that exactly means, but if they are "selecting" for girls then absoultely I support taking them down! If there just doing there thing, I don't have a problem with that.

Dextred1 said...

The war jerk offs are just that. About five yrs ago (24 yrs old) I had enlisted in the army. I got a Ranger contract with a nice 42,000bonus for payment after boot camp. They entice young, athletic and naive people with money and amazing workout facilities (it really was a big draw for me and my friends, they act you are a sports star without the rich part) then say it is an all volunteer force. Oh it is okay they died, they wanted to be the attitude. Bur is right; there is no skin in the game because of volunteer force. Another reason is the ability to borrow money to pay for social programs and the war at the same time. If they had to pay for the war it would have cut a lot more money from discretionary budget spending. The point is that wars do not improve the economy, do not efficiently distribute capital, kill young workers and do not produce new goods to grow the economy. The product of labor is wasted. Like digging holes and filling them back in.

Anyways, I fell off a trailer getting a machine and broke my arm backwards. I threw my arm out to catch myself on the concrete. I could not pass a physical after a yr and was kicked out of delayed entry program (DEP is a program that allows you stay home and work until slot opens at Boot camp, rip and ranger school for my MOS) My arm will still only bend 3/4 of its old range. Why do I say this? I met my wife just after this and now I have a daughter and she is five months pregnant with my son (found out it was a boy last night).  I thank God every day I did not get sent over to either hell hole and miss out on this amazing thing called family. I have several friends that have come back in body bags and damn I wish they would not have joined. A lot of us went in together.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

THere is no theme music playing in the background of real combat operations.

Dextred1 said...

Amen Jeffers

They don't tell you that at the recruiters though :)

Anonymous said...


It is too early to abandon the deflation outlook. The debt bomb has been temporarily stabilized but not defused and is still ticking loudly.

The burning fuse of the Eurozone is winding it's way around. And the big bomb is the UK/USA.

Meanwhile govt has shot most of its bullets and will be unable to respond when deflation accelerates. Note that unemployment benefits are NOT being renewed. GS predicts 400,000 per month being cut off of all support as we go forward.

Just IMHO.

Regards, Marshall

Anonymous said...

Those 400k / month falling off of unemployment will start finding jobs, whatever they can get. It will be a net economic plus. They will be quickly replaced by laid-off state and municipal employees come July, when the new budgets kick in.


Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Coal Guy's point is one that they mentioned in the MSM, but has become silent of late--so the good news parade can continue. But the estimated half trillion dollar budget gap for the states, is a big issues, not just in CA.

In PA the non-profit sector got no money for 101 days b/c of budget bickering, and is looking to take another hit. Some of this included food pantry money, with food pantries/food stamps breaking all kinds of records here.

I know a few people who never have been unemployed and had to suck up their pride take part-time jobs and min. wage convenient stores and go on food stamps with their teenage kids.

Clearly, layoffs of state employees will be the next shoe to drop. The country will print money, since everyone is a big fan of Keyne's and deficits don't matter---maybe they will give us a Jubilee in a few years and start a new US currency eh? -Meiyo

bureaucrat said...

With the 10-year yield unable right now to get under 4%, there is no sign of inflation anywhere. Deflation is still in play, especially since we are grossly oversupplied of everything. The businesses have zero pricing power .. for now.

Dan said...

There was nothing stupid or petty about the recount. When we have recounts here (not-Florida) the vote spreads never change by more than a few votes; but the county being recount is essentially split 50/50 so that is what one would expect to see. However, the vote totals WILL change based on the standard used in the recount. Under a liberal standard both candidates will gain votes. However, in Broward County the vote was not 50/50 so one would expect to see an increase in votes in direct proportion to the existing ratio, e.g. Gore would gain a higher proportion of votes. If the split was 80/20 the Gore would get 80% of the “miscounted” votes to Bush’s 20% which is why the recount started there. When the recount was mandated state wide the Gore campaign changed tack and fought to let counties pick the standard. In a county that chose a more conservative standard both candidates would lose votes, again in direct proportion to the existing ratio. Now which counties would pick which standard?

N.b. I don’t recall what the split in Broward County was.

bureaucrat said...

Excuse me .. OVER 4% :)

Dextred1 said...
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Dextred1 said...
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Dextred1 said...

Not actually talking about recount, but the self-righteousness indignation of bringing it up the way the author of email did. It was a highly emotional and partisan event. EITHER SIDE WOULD HAVE BEEN PISSED IF THEY LOST!!!! The main point is that it did not add anything to email. The country was split 50/50 and if his side had won he would have told republicans to go f**k off.

By the way the president was never supposed to have the powers that they do now. Executive orders, signing statements, naming Americans unlawful enemy combatants, the suppression of posse Comitatus, etc… These would have been much better things to bring up. But as a typical left wing ideologue he goes to emotions. Might as well said dems are the only ones that care about dear grandma and her dentures. She needs help and the republicans want to kill her. Back to point!! If it is not clear by now that the executive branch has overstepped its constitutional derived powers when will it be. Congress essentially plays follow the leader. The house has the power of the purse strings and does not effectively use their ability to withdraw funds. Why would they though? The president is from their party.

Was just about to go to bed and did not phrase it right last night.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


I said I was a batter and bruised deflationist, not an inflationist. Only morons and bloggers insist they are right no matter what the markets tell them or do to them.

THANKFULLY, I did not lose money being wrong... but I do this for a living! I have investors to answer to, and performance record... Relative to the markets I hit it out of the park in 2008, and embarrassed myself by missing the equity rally in 2009....

If Mish wants to say silly things like "I want nothing to do with this rally"... that's his business. Me? I made a bad call, stayed in cash and treasuries, and missed a big move.

Now, heeeeeereeees the trick! I forgive myself, regroup, and get back at them... recognizing fully that it is a free market and I have to be right, or my investors will find another fund manager.

By the way, I am long/short equities at the moment, and long Nat Gas futures next year delivery.

bureaucrat said...

Jeffers, stop blaming yourself for "missing" the 16-month stock rally. It is based on nothing but carry-trade zero-interest stock buying and trillions of dollars in stimulus for banks to play with. The rules are all different now. It is not growth, it is survival with what we have. It is not 1985-2007 buy S&P 500 and hold, but finding other themes (commodities in my case) and working them.

To suggest you could have capitalized on this stock run-up would be the same as saying "just because I always thought the Earth was flat, and yesterday they figured out it was round, I should still be able to sail my boat the same way." The rules of the game are changing. Worldwide excessive debt can't be ignored.

Stephen B. said...

I concur with Bureaucrat. I've been mainly cash (excepting some 403b stuff I don't directly control) for the past year because I could see that all legitimacy left this market some time ago.

The only thing we missed was participating in the funny money market rally.

I happen to know some people that have done pretty well over the past 16 months or so on the long side. The thing is, I don't think they really have a clue as to what's going on, but they lucked out. I really HATE to ever use the work "luck" on these things, but I think it applies to them.

The whole economic world was crumbling in 2008/9. It was and is quite amazing that the Fed keep it all inflated this long.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


AGHAGHAGGHH!!! 16 months! Why do you have to rub it in???!!! I am going to slit my wrists...!!!!

Clearly, you guys are not traders.

In any event... I intend to have a good 2010.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

WHen it comes to trading the ONLY thing I care about is being on the RIGHT SIDE OF THE TRADE!

I don't care if its unpopular, or if it un PC, if my mother doesn't approve...

OK. Enough. I forgive myself. I forgive myself. I forgive myself. I forgive myself. I forgive myself.......