U.S. Already Bankrupt

March 23, 2009

The stock market has shown 2 consecutive weeks of gains.  Are we beginning to see the greatly anticipated bottom of the market, or is this just the Federal Reserve and the government artificially inflating our economy again?  Unfortunately most of the “pro’s” think that we are still in deep water.   I found the following headlines on CBNC.com stock-market-roller-coaster2

  • US is Already ‘Bankrupt’ Technically

The U.S. is already “bankrupt” because it has a debt that is almost four times the size of its economy, says Puru Saxena, CEO of Puru Saxena Wealth Management. He tells CNBC that the U.S. is at risk of hyperinflation.

  • federal_reserve_board_of_governors1Fed to Buy Treasurys is Not a Good Sign

Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley does not view the Fed’s plan to buy $300 billion worth of long-dated government debt as a constructive sign for prospects going forward.

  • Fed’s Move Unlikely to Help Economy

The Fed pumping money into Treasurys won’t help, says Martin Weiss, president of Weiss Research. He also discusses what can be done to turn the US economy around.

  • The US Stuck in Zero-Rate Mode?

America is arrogant to deny their similarity to Japan’s economy, says Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley. He tells CNBC that the US economy is in a “zero-interest rate” mode, like Japan.

  • Quantitative Easing & the Fed’s Balance Sheet

Thomas Lam, vice president and senior treasury economist at UOB, says the Fed’s latest moves such as to buy long-dated Treasurys will stretch its balance sheet and pump more liquidity into economy.

  • The Fed’s Recent Moves are Right

“This decision to purchase long-term assets, mortgages, long-term treasury securities, is the right thing to do. The Fed would clearly rather err on the side of inflation rather then depression,” said Dennis Gartman from the Gartman Letter. He also touches on the housing market in the US as well as the TALF.

  • Tackling US Economy

Housing problems need to be tackled before the U.S. economy can pick up, according to Adam Carr, senior economist at ICAP.

  • 2010: ‘Real Peak of the Crisis’

“We are going to see real problems in 2010 when the Fed and all the other governments which issued stimulus packages are going to try to reabsorb some of that liquidity,” Nicu Harajchi, CEO & Founder of N1 Asset Management, said Thursday. He considers whether the Fed’s latest move will work.

  • Fed’s Actions Bode Well for Asia china_worker1

The Fed’s bold moves to support the U.S. economy is good news for Asia, believes Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide.

  • Redirecting China’s Foreign Investments

China is unlikely to unload their dollar-denominated reserve as such a move will only hurt themselves at this point, says Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic advisor at MasterCard Worldwide. He tells CNBC how its foreign investment strategy may change.

  • China Needs Internal Demand

China needs to change its structure to an internal demand driven economy, says Stephen Roach, chairman for Asia at Morgan Stanley. He tells CNBC that China is hugely dependent on external demand as a major source of economic growth.

  • ECB in “Splendid Isolation”

The ECB should be out there pumping money into the system, says Paul Donovan, MD & head of global economics at UBS. He tells CNBC that the central bank is sitting in “splendid isolation”.

  • More Pain Ahead for Europe

There is no cause for optimism in the medium term, despite the better-than-expected data from the ZEW survey, says Par Magnusson, senior analyst at Danske Bank.

  • UK Due for Inflation Spike?

inflation1The UK economy is facing higher inflation down the road, Andy Hartwill from Quasar told CNBC, as Britain posted its highest ever budget deficit Thursday.

  • Deflation Will Hit Mid-Year

Deflation is a near-term risk that may hit global economies in the middle of the year, warns Paul Donovan, MD & head of global economics at UBS.

  • Preventing Runaway Inflation

When liquidity floodgates open, global central banks will have to sterilize very aggressively and in time to prevent runaway inflation.

Source:     http://www.cnbc.com/id/29769858


Does Bernie Madoff Deserve Hell?

March 17, 2009

He has become the embodiment of all that is evil.  His image has become the latest “2 minute hate” for all who are loosing money in the stock market.  He is Bernard Madoff.bernard-madoff

There is no doubt about it, Bernie Madoff is guilty, he admits it, and he deserves to go to prison.  He knew what he was doing was wrong and he did it anyway.  He lied to his clients, his family, his friends, and to those who loved him and to those whom he loved.  He’s a liar and a cheat.  He’s a sinner and deserves to go to hell.

With all of that said, please allow me to point out some lessons that we can all take from the Madoff scandal and some, antithetical view points.

The Big Fish Story

This scandal is the atypical story of how a little white lie can grow into a white whale.  I’m sure that when he was in college preparing for his career that he didn’t set out to lie, steal, and cheat his way to riches, and then to prison.  It probably started out as a “one time thing” to earn a little extra money, “just this one time.”  He got away with it once, no one got hurt, and thus he knew how to get away with it time and time again.  Before he knew what happened he had a raging river of deceit on his hands that he could not turn back.

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick

Not only was he getting away with it, but he was being richly rewarded for it as well.  He became the investment guru for many stars and they loved him as they thought they were making them money “hand over fist.”  The pressure that he was under must have been great.  In retrospect it is a wonder that he didn’t die from a heart attack before he was caught.

This is what he said in court, “When I began the Ponzi scheme I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme, however, this proved difficult and ultimately impossible…As the years went by, I realized that my arrest and this day would inevitably come.  I am painfully aware that I have deeply hurt many, many people, including the members of my family, my closest friends, business associates and thousands of clients who gave me their money…I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for what I have done.”

You see that is how Satan works.  He gets you to accept little compromises along the way and before you know it you have compromised everything that you once stood for and believed in.

In Luke 12:3: Jesus says, “Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in the darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

Is anyone else responsible?

As I have been following this story I have not heard anyone name any other responsible parties.  I would like to take the time now and name some other parties that are also responsible for Madoff’s clients loosing their money.

1.         Madoff’s Clients

Aren’t adult people responsible for their own money?  Shouldn’t  they bare some responsibility in knowing where their money was invested and to get some type of proof?  From what I have read, Bernie would at times hand write an amount on a piece of paper and the clients would accept what he wrote as the gospel.  Now that’s faith!  I have also read that some of the clients have said that they have lost everything, their entire life savings.  Have they never heard that you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket?  Lets be honest, they were greedy.  They thought that they had an inside to making big returns on their money because of their stature in their community.  Yes they were victims, but they allowed themselves to be victimized.

2. The Governmentsocial_security

Social Security is a very large Ponzi scheme, nothing more or less.  He probably justified his actions in his own mind by looking at the social security.

3. Wall Street

Investing in the stock market is risky.  You can loose all of your money.  Everyone knows this, yet most people continue to invest their money into the stock market.  When you knowingly put your money into a vehicle where you can loose it all, this is called gambling.  We can give it proper sounding names like mutual fund, but no mater how you slice it, it is gambling. Wall Street facilitates this type of gambling.  It is driven by fear and greed.  The same emotional states of mind that drive the casinos in Las Vegas

Bernard Madoff is a criminal and will probably spend the rest of his life in jail, and deservingly so.  He sinned against his family, his friends, and against God.  You know, when I think about it, so have I, and so have you.  We have all sinned against our family, friends and against God.  We all deserve to go to hell.

“For we have all sinned, and come sort of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Salvation and forgiveness is available to us all through Jesus Christ, even to public enemy number one, Bernard Madoff.