September 5, 2009

Is the worst over?


Anonymous said...

The worst has not even started it has simply been delayed by all the ridiculous so called stimulus packages . Cash for refrigerators next. Obama is an arrogant fool if he thinks we can spend our way out of this . Idiots the lot of them
By the way your moronic cash for clunkers program might have made a more positive change if it applied to American made cars only but that would make sense and we no longer use common sense . or so it seems .

JAWS said...

Heavens no.

Anonymous said...

Greg Swann says so:

"If you’re a first-time home-buyer, jump. If you’re not under contract by October 15th, you’ll probably miss out on the tax credit — and houses are not easy to get"

Anonymous said...


science teacher said...

Keith - have you gone mad or just sending up a balloon?

This crisis is in the just the 2nd or 3rd innings.

All hell is about to break loose.

ps. Google squalene before you get your mandatory flu shot. No kidding!

Thanks for all you do.

keith said...

I saw green shoots in march, 95% of you disagreed. And then stocks went on their best run since the 30's.

Now everyone in the MSM seems to be seeing green shoots.

I see weeds.

Especially in reported bank balance sheets. And I think the Fed is out of sugar.

I haven't been this nervous since 2007.

Talk me out of it.

Miss Goldbug said...

Gold is rising, knocking on the door of $1000 oz. Does this mean anything? Or is it more hipe to get folks to load-up before the crash?

Anonymous said...

not even close. more job losses, unemployment running out and more houses in foreclosure. The only strong area is the stock market, which will correct when the smoke and mirrors are taken away. what are the experts on this site doing with their money?

D in Snottsdale said...

Keith, nothing to talk you out of. Everythings just fine. What derivitives bomb? What S.S. bomb? Everythings gonna be just great. Stocks are up ... Kool Aid still tastes great. Don't worry about it.

Prisoner No. 6 said...

The rumblings about price deflation reached the front page of the LA Times today, which means that in the back rooms, where the real action is, there are Depends Diapers filled to the brim.

For the Anonymous troll-the stim package is the only thing keeping us from utter price collapse right now. Trillions disappeared from the economy. Under strict Chicago School of Economics theory (aka the John Galt Genuflect Before the Invisible Hand religion), we would have let the market forces run unbridled.

The effect of that would have been much like what happened when we let market forces run free in Somalia & Mogadishu, only writ large, on a global scale.

What the Fed is doing is replacing all the phantom money that disappeared up Mozilo & Casey Serin's housing fantasy world, with more money into the economy. If this works, the engine will gag for a couple more months, then start running again.

If it doesn't - well, we're where we would have been 8 months ago w/out the stim package.

Read the NY Times about the effects of the blind arrogance of the "Free Market"/Reagan worshippers.

Banana Republicrat said...

If by "the worst" you mean the Neoliberal Consumerist sociology experiment that we've been calling "American culture" for the past fifty years, then yup --the worst is over!

Anonymous said...

I am with you Keith, is getting
Scary. Not sure why but I have bad feeling about this !!!

Anonymous said...

Keith, I wish you would elaborate on your post. I'm asking you if the idea is to make the banks strong so people will have inflows towards the US economy again which will trickle down down into investment $$$?

Angry Leprechaun said...

Congrats Keith! Do you need another green shooy fix. Are you a junkie now? Keep rooting for your candy man Obama.

"He fixed it. He saved us!" These are your words a few months back. "He got us out of the Great Depression 2.0."

You awake yet Keith?

Tomas said...

I wish I could talk you out of it,but the worst appears to be around the corner. I wish I had credible evidence to the contrary.I'll share it if I find some.

gmt said...

True enough, you certainly did call "green shoots" earlier this year, and most disagreed, but c'mon Keith! Even you would admit "the stock market" casino is not "the economy" and, my recollection anyway, is that you did not suggest the market was about to "take off."

More important, those of us who saw weeds earlier this year, still see the same weeds now. Indeed, maybe it is YOU who has finally seen what we've all been seeing ...

gmt said...

p.s. Glad to have yo back amigo.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Keith said:

Talk me out of it.

Why should we talk you out of the truth? That's the corporate media's job.

They say the worst is over. They tell lies to prevent a worldwide run on the banks (which would reveal to people that THERE'S NO MONEY IN THERE!). They don't show the relevant statistics. They want everyone to keep whistling past the graveyard, as one by one, we fall into the burial plots.

Anonymous said...

The stock market rallied ! That is because people are gullible and believe the MSM clowns like cramer , Norman and a dozen other pundits after all they are on tv they must know what they are talking about. Lets see who else is on TV every night hmmm our attention whore president that's who . Like i said people are just plain gullible and they will pay dearly for listening to to MSM they will be further fleeced in the market and they will have buyers remorse and shame for being duped by mouth flapping Obama not that either party offered anything better

Wind Farmer said...

Some hedge fund described what's happening as a "ski jump recession"

I looked at some olympic ski jump videos for a while and came away shaken.

Don't jump, Keith.

Anonymous said...




They keep putting Band-aids on massive wounds...and the bleeding continues!


Anonymous said...

absolutely not

Interest rates too low for to long,
what the heck rate are you getting?

Taxes (i.e.gas guzzler taxes)

Where is the incentive to start a new business, hire people??

Just look at the unemployment rate almost 10% national avg,
12% in Calif almost 24% in Mich

Iceberg dead ahead!

Anonymous said...

It's the great unwinding.

How could it be over?

All men will be slaves and all women will be whores.

keith said...

Without getting into details, here's a few things that make me nervous. Please add to this:

1) record insider selling
2) banks secretly holding back hundreds of billions of foreclosures
3) fed may have to expose their lending, and potentially their balance sheet
4) restriction in flash trading
5) aig, fnm, fre and c games
6) it's been 8 years. time for a terrorist attack
7) rise in hate and right wing kooks
8) traders who want to take their gains of the past 6 months and happily walk away
9) commercial real estate meltdown not even close to being over
10) october

Anonymous said...

I'm not even hurting yet.

Anonymous said...

Noodles123-What if everything we thought was true wasn't and every government stat not only a lil bit off but completely wrong?

Like some Matrix movie where everything is based on perception but the truth is all economies, large companies and governments are technically insolvent?

All the numbers used to base estimates are based on people who take 2 forms of numbers that we KNOW are cooked...Those from the major corporations which either hide their debt and assets as they see fit and the government's which we know are completely wrong and slanted to fit the agenda.

I hate to sound like some kook...But my tin foil hat is getting tight...Looking beyond the money issue do you people understand that when there is no real money system all production, transportation, civilian employment, medical care stops?

The stuff that would make horror movies...Because in the end when times get real weird and tough it's no longer about Prime rates, 401k, Capital Gains etc etc...It's about food, water, shelter, safety.

(On a side note all rice, barely, wheat reserves for the US are gone from government warehouses...We burned through the last of it back in May...As for what other reserves in the US who knows???)

Anonymous said...

So far, so good!

Anonymous said...

"...Please add to this:..."

Another half-Trillion in residential resets 2010-2011.

Dr. Huxtable said...

The reality of the economy has always been discussed and exposed on this blog. Without this blog I began to only hear the cheerleading of CNBC and other networks. But now that the volume is on here again, I realize we are indeed at some point going to see the smoke screen clear and the reality we all know take hold.

Anonymous said...

On your list of 10 items,
the half that clearly hit the economy were pretty much the same in the spring... why did you change your mind on their effect...
I think flash trading can amplify a crash, so I dunno if ending it is such a bad thing...
other random thoughts -
do you support FRB secrecy? that should be a separate thread...

Bukko_in_Australia said...

In addition to your list of nervous-makers, don't forget the creeping big things like global warming, peak oil, resource depletion, eating up all the fish in the ocean, etc. The human race is truly f@cked. Enjoy what you've got while you can. Be glad for every day you have food, shelter, warmth and an absence of pain. It will give you good memories to look back on if these things go.

Keith, do you read The Automatic Earth? I don't see it on your blogroll. It's my favourite econoblog. I like it better than Mish, who's getting tiresome with his doctrinaire "screw the workers" economic libertarianism.

Automatic Earth compiles all sorts of business-related articles with the hard stats and analysis about what's going on. They reinforce my deflationist viewpoint. I read your blog for the shits 'n' giggles of having pissing matches with anonymous ding-dongs. But I read TAE for real info.

Apt604 said...

Keith, one thing you could add to your list, depending on how it continues to play out in the courts, is the recent ruling in the fraud lawsuit against Moody's and S & P.

David Einhorn called it a "landmark" decision. That's a bit premature, because it has to be upheld. But if it is, it could be huge.

Andrew from Russia said...

11) absence of fundamental changes. What normalcy are we getting back to? Consumerism and real estate "investment"? Stupid business decisions having no consequences this time? A painless, magic reorientation toward sustainability?
No, a boom like that needs a long unwinding, perhaps with a profound change in attitudes when the eventual bottom is approached. I even expect the neoliberal growth story to be discredited ultimately - having seen the damage it has incurred, it deserves to. So I'm all for a double-dip, triple-dip, and dip-until-we-learn-from-mistakes type of hangover.
/* Asset allocation atm: USD 75.75%, RUB 10.63%, short stocks 7.77%, silver "pool account" 5.85% */

Anonymous said...

Things I see happening.

1. Faith in Obama drops. Liberals see us escalating in Afghanistan and no prayer of single-payer health care. A lot of his campaign promises become completely impossible due to lack of funding. This causes what hope some people had to die and morale in this country is worse than the 70's.

2. Suspicion about US Dollar becomes more and more mainstream. Inflation/Deflation whatever. We aren't going to pay the debt, we can't pay the debt. The dollar is doomed.

3. Viscious cycle of government shortfalls due to lack of revenue leading to higher taxes kicks into high gear. Accounting games played by state governments come back to haunt them as the schemes can't continue forever.

4. Overpriced boomtowns like Phoenix continue to go downhill. Again, there are viscious cycles at play here. The local economy is bad, so people leave. People leave, so the economy gets worse.

5. The standard of living in this country will decline severely for at least 15 years. People's dollars will be worth less, their wages will be lower, and government services will be cut. Charitable giving will decrease so the great things provided by charity will also decrease.

Sadly, people will turn to government more and more to fix the problems and they will just keep shuffling more money to big corporate interests.

The only possible positive is that as we all that our realize financial gains are going nowhere, we might focus on more important things.

keith said...

In March I saw a massive worldwide wave of trillions and trillions in easy money, that would jack the world economy up on a sugar high.

So, did you enjoy it?

Because now comes the come-down.

They shot their bullets. Not sure there's another round in the gun.

And I sure as heck don't see clear and clean audited bank balance sheets.

Wind Farmer said...

I'd add to the list...

Underfunded/underwater public and private pension's curtains when the stock market plunges again.

State borrowing increases substantially to fund unemployment benefits...unemployment funding will have to be extended

Looming FDIC insolvency...upcoming borrowing of billions from the FED

Eventual court rejection of Bloomberg's FOI requests

keith said...

I'm also wondering how long the FDIC can keep the illusion going that they're funded to cover all the coming bank failures.

Not even close.

Not even close.

And then there's the FHLB - the idiots that were funneling billions into Countrywide and Indymac etc when it was obvious they were going down. How much longer until that scandal (and bailout) breaks?

And I keep hearing stories around the country of people sitting in their houses, making no payments for 1 year or more, and there's no foreclosure. So the banks are holding the ones that have already foreclosed, and they're not foreclosing on the ones that have stopped making payments.

In other words, we still have no idea on the true extent of the problem.

And finally, unemployment is going to break 10% in a few weeks. That's a big number.

Got popcorn.

Dr. Huxtable said...

Regarding the 'hidden foreclosures" that banks are sitting on:

Homes that have actually had lis pendens filed and that are foreclosed on and go back to the bank after the failed auction and become REO are hitting the market; these homes do not appear to be held by the banks.

But as Keith said, and I agree with, I believe that the banks are simply not foreclosing on many defaulted loans out there. People are living in the houses 1-2 years without making a payment, and not being foreclosed on. Maybe they get a loan modification and then default on again never making a single payment.

Also, think of the stimulus effect the economy is receiving via a 'homeowner' that does not pay their mortgage/taxes/insurance/hoa for 1-2 years. That can be easily anywhere from $2,500 to 6,500 per month of disposable income that this individual does not pay to their mortgage obligation but instead pockets (if they have). This money can then be spent on goods and services. Without this free rent via banks, that would be another chunk of consumer spending taken off the table.

The entire system appears to be insolvent. I do not see any possible way other than fiction that we can go from such excesses of the historic credit/housing bubble and consumer spending binge that we have witnessed, to a mere 2-3 years of slow economy and then off to the races again.

bunana said...

Keith said:
“7) rise in hate and right wing kooks”

Me not too worried about this one, we have NPR and the BBC who have been staunch defenders and supporters of ‘Arab hate and right wing kooks’ what makes you think they will not support and defend other hate and right wing kooks..

But but but yesterday you said that one mans terrorist is another’s freedom fighter..

Ya can’t have both ways!

Devestment said...

People have a way of not remembering my accurate predictions.

I figure they just want to anger me so that I substantiate my new claims with data and fundamentals.

I am still talking to people who are buying gold and stocks because they don’t like cash.

I am still talking to people who think the sub-prime crisis is over. I am just starting to hear people complain about sales in consumer luxury goods.

I cant wait to see another herd of sheeple loose their skins to the pros.

I was telling someone a few weeks ago that I am out of gold long term and that even though it may go up as high as $1500, I think it is risky and dangerous. I take my profits on physical the day that I buy so as to not loose to the market.

They told me yesterday that my prediction was that gold would go down and that since it was up, my prediction was wrong.

I am beginning to think that it is more fun to not discuss my opinions with these folks and instead make sharp comments when they loose their asses to crush their spirits.

Once their spirits are crushed, I can purchase their chattels for pennies on the dollar.

Anonymous said...

Worst still coming.

National Healthcare: I have insurance, I pay $1400 per month for family. Son has minor accident goes to emergency, they see insurance and throw the expensive/unneccessary test... book at him.

$99 Ibuprofin, no shit! I get bill for $3486.23 after insurance pays. Anyone who thinks our healthcare system is NOT broken just has not been a victim of it yet.

Should people be upset over the speech Obama wants to give our kids? If he had not lied to us to get elected maybe we would not be so suspiciuos of what he wants to tell our kids?????

Stay away from our kids you lieing fucker. Give your banker buds a speech instead.

Multi-million dollar banker/Wall street bonuses still going big. Hopefully the worst is still coming for them in a big way.

GT Charlie

Anonymous said...

11) Fucked up healthcare even for those with insurance.

12) Most of the "hope for change" from Obama fading into banker bonus fog. What little we had to be hopeful for in Gov. is gone.

les said...

The jobs that we are losing are jobs that will never come back.

Many stores are pining their future on Christmas sales. This Christmas will definitely be worse than last Christmas. Anticipate more store closures afterwards.

State governments will start laying off people this fall, usually October.

Bad unemployment numbers in October, will lead to a stock market downturn. Dow 6000, S&P 650.

slim jim in CO said...

Here are a few observations from my tiny corner of the real world. The economy is a set of contradictions, high unemployment, but crowded bars and restaurants. Crazy levels of debt, but autos and cheap houses selling well.

Now a couple of anecdotes:

1) Went to a real estate auction for a house on 5 acres originally offered at $1.25M. The property is REO and the bank's rules stated that they reserved the right to accept or reject any bid. The final bid was $615K, but after five weeks the place is still vacant and it looks like the bank bailed and is still sitting on it. They are carrying an asset that is obviously "impaired", but as long as it doesn't close, who's to know?

2) Our local Wal-Mart is remodeling its super-center. The "new" decor seems straight out of the 1950s with dark-colored peg-board shelving, fewer choices in groceries, and reduced lighting levels. It looks to me like the world's largest retailer sees a more austere future for its customers in the USA.

I can't make sense of what is happening, but I do agree with Keith that something doesn't feel right about this "recovery".

Anonymous said...

Wise words Keith, so good to have you back.

Here in CA I know many who did/are living for 18 months free. You are can that end well?

And as another poster noted, what will become of the economy when the squatters have to start paying rent instead of stimulating PF's Changs and Macy's?

In my little area there are 6 bank owned homes, empty for over a year (three at 2 years), banks won't sell them though. Most people who drive by them everyday don't know they are empty, banks send people out to mow the lawns, keep porch lights on and neighbors park cars in the drives.

If you search out the "shadow inventory" you'll be scared.

Bankers are going to end up with our tax money AND owning a lot of the infrastructure.

GT Charlie

Anonymous said...

There is something up with China. I think it will be the key to start the second downfall.

Some things to ponder over...

1. China derivatives market.(Big disaster waiting to happen)
2. China's stock (bubble) market decline.
3. Hong Kong pulling all it's gold out of London.
4. China buying and storing (hoarding) all commodities.
5. China raising foreign investment limit from 800M to 1B. (Maybe a pump and dump scheme).

Think about it. Something could happen as early as tonight, since the U.S. market is closed on Monday.

JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs could be negatively effected by the China derivatives players.

Maybe a conspiracy theory, maybe not. You decide.

ContraryRiches said...

Keith, I am torn about where the "crash" is likely to rehappen. I was not a strong bull in March but thought that things were beaten down too far not to bounce back up. At the moment, I think there is a battle between bulls and bears that is still a struggle, so I think the market will churn on in a range of 200 points up, 200 points down from today.

So here are a few bull points:
1) A lot of RE investors are buying REO homes
2) The RE 8000 dollar tax credit is causing more people to buy homes, which gooses state tax revenue, does result in better spending, etc
3) The government will likely extend that tax credit out
4) Nothing is getting done in Congress (gridlock is good for the markets)
5) Over 80% of the stimulus bill has yet to even leave Washington DC.
6)Everyone who did the "sell in May and go away" refrain lost money big time in this summer's bullish market. So why shouldn't the old belief of Oct being a bad market month be true? Maybe the market tumbles in December

Doug Kass has advice for some who may be bearish in their thinking:


ContraryRiches said...

One more thing for ya, keith and others...Wall Street is already cooking up its next bubble..and its vicious and evil in the worst possible way:

Anonymous said...

I am starting accounting school this week. I'm gonna get to the bottom of this mess, dammit.

Your worry-makers are interesting Keith. Esp. the terrorist attack specter.. but do the Dems want to take the hit for that happening on their watch? That would kill them in the next election, "look what they let happen", etc

I could see some sort of shit going down which sends the .gov into lockdown mode and it could be used as an excuse to default on national debt too...

Of all the worry makers, I am wondering the most about the US defaulting, as a ploy to save the dollar somehow... anyone making odds?

- msNJ

Anonymous said...


You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are NOT frightened, for those things 'must' take place, but this is not yet the end.

Matt 24:6


Banana Republicrat said...

Keith, The tax revenues for '09 (#11?) will be the yellow weed that breaks the camel's back. The US = all hat & no cattle.

@ Andrew from RU: My man!

Anonymous said...

"...reduced lighting levels..."

Heh. Seen the same thing at two local Vons groceries/San Diego. Also articles about municipalities turning off their streetlights.

"...Anyone who thinks our healthcare system is NOT broken just has not been a victim of it yet..."

All the hullaballoo over Death Panels is well-justified.

Unfortunately, the Rubes ignore who really runs them.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing with us what you read.

I remember you from months back before Keith rode away on his horse. (Prepared for his Senate Run if you believe that he and Schiff are the same dude like I do sometimes LOL).

I think your comments are very insightful and I look forward to reading your comments on the topics that have been posted here lately.

I think we should all learn from each other and that's what makes a great blogshere!

Thanks bro!!!


euonymous said...

Bukko said:

"I read your blog for the shits 'n' giggles of having pissing matches with anonymous ding-dongs. But I read TAE for real info."

Damn, Bukko... I was just starting to respect you, and even almost posted a little note of congratulations re: moving to B.C., etc.


So, did you write the above "shits 'n' giggles" crap because you just had a bad day, or are you confirmed BPD?

Apt604 said...

"Wise words Keith, so good to have you back."

I second that emotion.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

euonymous, "shits 'n' giggles" is not a negative term. It denotes slinging shit, like a poo-flinging monkey, mainly for larfs.

I don't take the commentary on Keith's blog seriously. What I write is true, and it represents what I believe. But ultimately, it's all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

It's like a bar full of drunks, all yelling in slurred voices. Only since it's teh Internets tubez, nobody's gonna get punched or shot. To me, this is all just amusing "My dick is bigger than your dick" bullshit, thus giving me "shits 'n' giggles." I would hope it's the same to you. A meaningless, obnoxious debating society.

As for moving to B.C., I am not pleased. I'm too old for this moving-across-the-ocean stuff, and it's going to cost upwards of $10K Australian, even after the $5K Canadian my new employer will comp me. And it's cold in Canada.

Canadians are nice people, and I'll have a good union job. But compared to these loveable, drunken, silly Aussies, Canucks are boring. However, if I refuse to move, Mrs. Bukko divorces me and goes back to the U.S. And there goes half the money! F@ck that. Bukko knows when to stay on Easy Street. Even if I have to work hard to stay there.

Afterthought said...

In the words of Monty Python:

"Is this some kind of joke?"

Big_J said...


Keep posting a-hole! If you go away again I will have to beat you down!!!!


But really, hope business is booming wherever you are.


AC said...

Back in March, I was getting that feeling, "man this Market has to turn"...then boom.

Now, I am getting the same feeling again, just on the opposite end of the spectrum...the market has to turn down...I agree with Keith. I think it is just matter of days...

Maybe 09/09/09? That's only 2 days away.

Anonymous said...


Can you coment on your opinion of why the Banks are not releasing the Foreclosure to the for sale market and are holding on to all these homes? I would love your input. I've been scratching my head over this one for a bit.

Mort Gage said...

Looks like alot of paranoia going on here. C'mon unemployment is going down not up monthly, the stock market is for suckers but always has been, it's the same with commodities and gold. I happen to believe in people like Warren Buffet who said...yes we're in trouble but don't bet against America. Six months from now you may all look like fools calling for more DOOM coming, and then six months from then when it doesn't transpire it will be another six months from then. We're certainly in for a rough ride because of the last 8 years of the biiggest wankers to ever govern the U.S. But all will be just fine don't bet against America-Inc.

Psycho said...

11. July consumer credit falls a record $21.6 billion. Consumer spending, accounts for 70% of gross domestic product.

Anonymous said...

The pain will be worth it so that the Libertarian New World Order can be born.

Anonymous said...

How many of these Asians took out an Option ARM loans or speculated on more then one home.

Asians, many of them living in foreclosure-ravaged California, suffered the sharpest drop in homeownership last year, eclipsing declines felt by whites, blacks and Hispanics, according to new Census data.

In the five-county San Francisco area, option ARMs average about $584,000 and were used to buy homes averaging $823,000, according to an analysis of First American data.

Of the 10 metro areas nationwide with the most option ARMs, three are in the Bay Area, according to Fitch Ratings

Together, these areas account for the second-most option ARMs in the country, although they are still far behind the greater Los Angeles area