May 302014
 May 30, 2014  Posted by at 2:10 pm Finance 4 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 30 2014:  The Pretty Girl and the US Economy

Dorothea Lange Broke, baby sick, car trouble, Missouri family, Highway 99, CA February 1937 There’s a persistent story that says (though I don’t think I can confirm it) that a pretty girl prefers to surround herself with less pretty girls – all in the eye of the beholder – in order to look prettier. After seeing yesterday’s -1% (-2% if you include Obamacare) US GDP ungrowth number, a fair segment of the financial press and punditry took a page out

May 292014
 May 29, 2014  Posted by at 2:53 pm Finance Tagged with: , ,  5 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 29 2014: The New Normal is Negative

Arthur Rothstein President Roosevelt tours drought area, Bismarck, North Dakota August 1936 No, the nonsense will not stop, and neither will the torture. At least 5 years into the alleged recovery, US GDP contracted by -1% in Q1 2014, down from last month’s estimate of a 0.1% growth. Why? It’s still the weather, say the “experts”. But worry not, because now the sun will shine and we will reach the promised land our deity and his high priests laid out

May 282014
 May 28, 2014  Posted by at 6:35 pm Finance 11 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 28 2014: Everything You Think You Own Has Been Borrowed

Esther Bubley Soldier treats his date to a coke, Idaho Hall, Arlington Farms, VA June 1943 Let’s take another look at debt. We’ve probably all gotten so used to huge debt numbers that we’re losing sight of what they actually mean. In the following article, Tyler Durden made me rethink both the debt issue and the perverse consequences of 7 years of zero interest policies (ZIRP) and/or ultra low interest rates. The destruction to society is far greater than anyone

May 272014
 May 27, 2014  Posted by at 3:53 pm Finance Tagged with: , , ,  5 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 27 2014: Are You Sure You Want To Go To War?

Timothy H. O’Sullivan Gettysburg Campaign Army of the Potomac at Fairfax Court House, Virginia June 1863 Ukraine has a new president, or at least someone, Petro Poroshenko, who claims to be. One of the first things to come out of his mouth was that he doesn’t recognize Crimea as being a part of Russia. Still, the good listener knows there were no Ukraine presidential elections in Crimea either on Sunday. So Crimea is supposedly still a part of Ukraine, despite

May 262014
 May 26, 2014  Posted by at 3:29 pm Finance Tagged with: , ,  3 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 26 2014: The Absurd Bizarro That is Europe

Arthur Rothstein Texas Panhandle dust bowl Summer 1936 The headlines speak of an earthquake. But just about absolutely everyone who’s been shaken manages to declare victory, including incumbents who have lost, which is the majority of them, in some cases painfully. And European stocks are rising too, in some cases to all time highs. It all adds up to a perfect illustration of the absurd bizarro Europe has become. Despite the huge surge in anti-EU sentiments, Brussels claims that because

May 242014
 May 24, 2014  Posted by at 2:56 pm Finance Tagged with: , , ,  11 Responses »
A Picture of the New America

Marion Post Wolcott Farmer’s son making sorghum molasses, Racine, West Virginia Sep 1938 Yesterday, we saw that despite a tepid rebound in new home sales, the underlying numbers are far from promising. In particular, prices, which had been holding up despite sagging sales, are down YoY. We also saw that some big investors are now -openly – betting against housing. We saw that the Fed is as a rule so far off in its official forecasts that one needs to

May 232014
 May 23, 2014  Posted by at 7:46 pm Finance Tagged with: , ,  2 Responses »
Debt Rattle 23 2014: See The Lonely Boy Out On The Weekend

Arthur Rothstein Mooo, Ropesville Farms, Texas April 1936 We’re going into another weekend, and this one’s Memorial. It may also be memorable, since there are elections in both the EU and Ukraine. And fireworks may well be part of both, during and after. In the Netherlands, where they were early, just 35% of people voted, which makes you want to look up the word democracy in the thesaurus, while in also-early-ran Britain UKIP won big. Nobody cares about Europe, or

May 222014
 May 22, 2014  Posted by at 10:49 am Earth Tagged with: , , ,  14 Responses »
Physical Limits to Food Security: Water and Climate

Dorothea Lange Sons of Negro tenant farmer, Granville County, North Carolina July 1939 This is the second installment of Nicole’s series on food security. Nicole Foss: In part one of this series, we looked at finance as a major causal factor in the development of food insecurity. The boom and bust cycles that result from over-financialization are, however, only one aspect of a food crisis already present for many, and looming for many more in the years to come. Finance

May 212014
 May 21, 2014  Posted by at 1:25 pm Finance Tagged with: , ,  27 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 21 2014: Drowning in the American Dream

Toni Frissell Fashion model in dolphin tank, Marineland, Florida 1939 According to a new Zillow report, 40% of all US mortgage holders can’t afford to sell their homes. That is 20 million Americans homeowners, 10 million who are downright underwater and another 10 million who are so close to being there that they don’t have the money to cover the cost of selling. And those are still numbers across the spectrum; things are far towards the bottom. ‘30% of homes

May 202014
 May 20, 2014  Posted by at 7:26 pm Finance Tagged with: , ,  8 Responses »
Debt Rattle May 20 2014: May The Rate Rise With You

Maurice Terrell Sinatra in gambling scene from “Guys and Dolls” July 1955 If global financial markets cannot set interest rates, they are distorted and dysfunctional by definition. Of course one may argue that they have long been distorted regardless, and there’s plenty merit to that, but without being able to determine interest rates, it is impossible for markets to become functional again, other than through a collapse so severe nobody wants to be seen dead with any paper ‘assets’ anymore.