April 7, 2010

Makes sense now, don't it?


Anonymous said...

Yes it does. But where are we now on that continuum???

Pay Lay Ale said...

We're a Casey Serin economy. The solution is not to borrow and spend trillions to fund current consumption and chasing after shiny objects.


This illustrates the current structure of our economy. We're a bubble economy and we haven't had a productive capacity growth since the invention of The Innerwebnetz.

By borrowing money for current consumption and not to expand our productive capacity, we're gonna make the next and final crash even worse.

Oh, and Keith you need to stop parroting that $50T unfunded liabilities number. That's old. Try $104T. Add in the national debt of $12.8 and you're at $117 TRILLION.

“According to our calculations at the Dallas Fed, that unfunded debt of Social Security and Medicare combined has now reached $104 trillion — trillion with a “T” — in discounted present value. And while much attention in recent years has been devoted to Social Security, the lion’s share of the total entitlement shortfall (nearly $90 trillion) actually comes from Medicare.”

$117 trillion is an impossible sum of money. That's $384k/capita or $1.5M for a family of four.

Add in muni, state, household, and business debt to the unfunded liabilities and you're at $161T, $528k/capita and $2.1M for a family of four.

That's a lot of damn Ipads for us to sell the world to pay back that debt.

Afterthought said...

I'd say we're at thrill heading to euphoria...

Waiter? Check, please!

Prisoner No. 6 said...

Where d'ya reckon we are on that sine wave these days? I've thought we were into hope last summer, but we kinda backslid a bit (due to the drumbeat of "ARMAGEDDON!!" coming out of Fox and the wingnuts, due to the strange failure of Obama to be able to wave a magic wand and have rainbow-farting unicorns pop out of the ether.

Judging by the mood I see, we're just starting to edge out of depression. All the HR professionals I deal with at the big corporations are scrambling to snarf up top-tier talent, figuring that when the dam finally bursts, people who have been whippped like galley slaves these past 18 months are going to bolt like terrified bunnies out of their positions, in search of some employment situation that does not so closely resemble Hell.

Yeah, employment is a lagging indicator. It may continue to lag. If it goes on too long, it may stall the recovery out before we get any real traction, and then we really do tip into the Dark Place.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to agree with one of your central tenets, which is to pull all the U.S. troops out of foreign countries, most especially Iraq and Afghanistan. We aren't doing a damn bit of good there anyway, and Karzai is a bipolar junkie.

Man, Bush and his crew really took a gigantic shit on this country. It's like we're all in some strange fugue state, where the awful misdeeds of the past decade have been lost to amnesia ...

keith said...

We're at hope.

Still a good amount of depression and fear (just go to a teabagger rally or watch fox news), but in general, we're at hope.

It'll all be about jobs now. Can't move up the ladder without jobs.

Anonymous said...

I think we're in the calm before the ultimate storm. What will the storm bring? I have no idea. But my gut tells me it's not going to be good. And no, I'm not a fear-mongering, Fox news-watching, teabagger.

RobertM said...

You must not be a reader of The Automatic Earth. We continue to kick the can down the road, whistle past the graveyard, whatever metaphor you like, nothing has changed. Nothing. On your chart we're still in denial.

I've adjusted your chart to reflect what I think is happening.

Anonymous said...


In So Cal I still see so much denial it's scary!


VectorzSigma said...

Damn, last time you proved me wrong so I'm keeping an open mind this time around , however, it makes me think perhaps you and your blog have been compromised. Did the govt approach you witha big bag of cash and a pinch of collusion?

Anonymous said...

We are at denial.

I don't know anyone who panicked and sold all stock. As a matter of fact they all just rode it down like I did in 2000-3.

We had Bush on TV panicking to get the Fed to pay off GS and friends. Yet everyone else was out buying and buying.

No panic, no real fear.

We aren't even half way down the slope.

keith said...

Yes, long time readers know I've been saying we've kicked the can down the road - again - with the money bomb.

So it is what it is. Future generations will pay for the recklessness, selfishness and irresponsibility of this generation. The Baby Boomers f*cked America. It can't be denied now.

That said, we've kicked the can. Some (most here) still don't get that. And I'm asking you to get it. For your own benefit.


With 10% unemployment, it still doesn't feel like a recovery (unless you're a stock investor), but it will. Eventually even that number will come down. 8.5% by the election I'd guess. 6% to 7% end of 2011. 5% in 2012, when things will really be rocking (before the presidential election of course)

Good luck out there. Don't be a perma-anything. Understand kicking cans. And understand that graph - the most important graph ever posted here (time and time again it showed you everything you needed to know)

Anonymous said...

We are at Denial.

I never saw panic, except by the bankers to get the gov to bail them out.

Average Joe never panicked.

Bryan said...

Upswing of hope? Must be. Thanks to the wise counsel here and previously at HP, I have been waiting and renting and saving. I took a year of active shopping and waiting for what I wanted* and now the trigger has been released; my wife and I are to be homeown....er, uh, well you know...the credit union originating the loan will replace our current landlord, etc. We have every intent of living in one place for n decades (n > 1), and have an honest to goodness down payment, thus here we go.

* OK, I feel I overpaid a little (~5%); line to stone me forms to the right.

keith said...

If you don't understand Fall of 2008 was panic, the worst since 1929, then frankly you're an idiot.

Dammerung said...

We're in denial. Everything since the crash of '08 has been denial. You can pretend you don't have terminal cancer of the civilization for a long time; keep spending STRIKElike/STRIKE until there's no tomorrow. We have a decade of Hell in front of us, and our government is STILL filling the handbasket.

Pay Lay Ale said...

"With 10% unemployment, it still doesn't feel like a recovery (unless you're a stock investor), but it will. Eventually even that number will come down. 8.5% by the election I'd guess. 6% to 7% end of 2011. 5% in 2012, when things will really be rocking (before the presidential election of course)"

I don't know where all these jobs are going to come from. To get the unemployment rate down to 5% in 2012, you'd have to create about 10 million jobs or 500k/month. That's an impossible task. That would be more than double the rate that the economy created under Clinton or Reagan.

The Soetoro Regime knows that unemployment will remain high.

"Geithner says unemployment likely to remain unacceptably high for a long time"

ADP shows 23,000 net jobs lost in March.

Watch out for Soetoro, AKA Sir Taxalot. The expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2011, the proposed VAT tax, and the proposed carbon taxes will annihilate the economy. Also don't forget about the coming wave of option ARM resets.

Damerung said...

Fact: The regime believes that we can escape this crisis by redoubling the policies that got us into it.

Fact: The regime doesn't care whether you vote Democrat or Republican. It controls both parties in order to prevent a political solution.

Fact: The regime owns you because it possesses a monopoly on two vital forces - violence, and money which is the medium of exchange.

Fact: The regime will continue to bleed you of your wealth, of your labor, of your values as human beings, until you are destroyed. Then they will seek out another victim. When they run out of victims, they will destroy themselves.

Fact: The regime which shows such wanton disregard for the value of human life overseas such as Iraq and Afghanistan, places no value on your life beyond what they can bleed you for. They are already plotting to use the same tools and strategies, which you paid to develop, to destroy you.

Fact: The regime will not cease to operate in this way until it is destroyed.

RipeDurian said...


Big time.

Anonymous said...

Still Denial.

Stimpy said...

It's great to see you back, Keith. I have to disagree on 'kicking the can'. You can't kick peak oil, the baby boomers draining SS & getting sick, or the debt we've incurred on pointless wars starting to raise government interest rates.

We're still Phucked. The best I'm hoping for is a long stagnation.

Still long Gold and short the long bond (nice phrase that...)

Anonymous said...

I am not going to come here and call anyone names. But I am almost 99% sure that Keith is completely wrong on his assumption.

We might have gone full circle and be back in the Denial phase. Let me clarify. Seriously!! Go out and ask anyone. Ask your friends, your cousin, mom, pops, sister, etc.. They all think we are out of this mess. Everyone thinks the economy is getting better. Everyone think its back to BAU. Chug along, nothing happened here.

And all the Fed did was kick the can (the fed can push credit down our throats, but he does not control where it goes – it went to the stock market). Let's be honest Keith!!! Credit aint coming back. Housing aint coming back. The economy aint coming back. JOBS aint coming back. What you don’t understand is that we had a whole mess of bubbles. World wide, not just housing in the US. We are in the final stage of the BIGGEST BUBBLE. The government debt bubble (how do you think they kicked the can??). So to clarify, in terms of economy - we are chugging along in the bottom, in terms of the stock market – we are flying in heaven!!!

So yes, you are probably right, in the little bubble within the BIGGER bubble, we might be in the hope phase (stock market!!!). But in the MUCH bigger bigger bubble we are most likely in the Denial phase. Take your head out of the sand Keith!! I am not a gambler but let’s put a bet and see who wins this one.


Anonymous said...

To the gold bugs. I follow and like gold somewhat, but let's look at reality..

Can someone explain to me how gold went from 250 to 1200?? Are we really sure that it's all because the value of the dollar has tanked??? Come on, let's be honest with ourselves.

What will happen to gold when credit dries up?? When has the retail investor been right about any freaking trade?

Those are the questions I would ask before I put a penny in gold.


Anonymous said...

You always keep coming back to this graph as if this is the end-all and explains it all. Its not and its not even very accurate. For one its curves rise took place in close to a decade while the fall took fewer then 2 years by your postings. We're in no way "hope", contrary most of the country is still in denial and what saved us from depression was the stimulus. But when that's over what will be next another stimulus. At some point you gotta pay the piper. The stimulus bought us months, maybe years, but that's about it. The fall is just going to be that much harder. And when people lose everything and they have nothing left to lose they're going to riot and then its time to be afraid.

YoungExec2B said...

I don't think we're in denial, but I don't think we're at hope, either. The money bomb, all the initiatives to keep people in their homes, it all reeks of desperation to me. The worst is still yet to come.

Notice that the down cycles in the economy are coming faster and more furious now. The can is getting fuller and fuller of shit, and thus getting heavier, so you can't kick it quite as far down the road.

Anonymous said...

Just eavesdropping on my next door neighbor who is trying to sell his house, sounds like he was talking to a friend who's interested in buying the house for "rental income". Seems like "the kid" who has an offer in on the house (asking price, $439K for a 3 bed 1.5 bath on a lot that's 1/8 of an acre on a busy county road, nj suburbs), is having trouble getting financing.

Neighbor's had the house on the market for about 9 months, he was shucking and jiving with his friend, the realtor hive speak - "the tax credit is running out in april, if you are going to go through with this, get in now because i'm sure a lot of last minute offers are gonna come through, there's gonna be a flood of them, no no, i don't think they're gonna extend it anymore, so line up your financing now" blah blah blah.

I hope it falls through. I hope these numbskulls in the burbs (even the tony "two rivers" area i'm in) learn that they can't sell to people who can't buy because they can't afford to live in a house for $3500 a month when they oculd be renting the same for half that.


Anonymous said...

Oh and Keith,

What happened in 2008 was not panic, that was anxiety in the grand scheme of things. Think about it, we thought the end was near, but we didnt die. It's all good now -- DENIAL?????

Now, that makes sense to me. I dont have to tell you what comes when Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Ireland, etc, etc, etc, all go belly up. Domino effect?? Well, why dont you tell us what happens?


patrat said...

I think capitulation was in mid-March of 09. I held on til then getting sicker and more depressed every day until I finally sold right at the bottom of course, as did many others.
I realized my mistake and jumped right back in but too late to make up for it all. The market turned so quickly.
I later learned that the day the market turned around, the mark to market rule was lifted on the banks and they could claim to be solvent with all the garbage still on the books. It was financials that led the market up, remember?
I have no idea what the banks have on their books now. I am sufficiently burned that I have less in the market now, but it does seem that the market is climbing the "wall of worry" and I do have hope. I agree with Keith on that. I'm in the hope stage, for better or for worse.

Banana Republicrat said...

Kudos to you, Keith. And thank you again for saving my kid's college fund! Not withstanding the US's permanent state of denial, I'll have to concur: The mood has turned, "Hope" it is!

...and the whole thing is rigged to blow again in the next 1-3 years. :(

In the meantime, I'm going long popcorn and worry about the Cubbies (talk about Hope!)

Joe said...

We have not even gotten to real panic and capitulation yet. That comes when the USD crashes and takes out the whole of US Empire.

No question about. Watch it happen.

Joe M.

Anonymous said...

That was a good thread dated March 31 titled 'PermaBears...'.
I can't blame the perma-bears if they are under 40. The LTCM debacle, dotbomb bust and the housing bust are all they've known in their adult life. They didn't live through and recover from the S&L crisis, where 8000 institutions went pfffff.
Well, the easy money has been made in this market and you better be a good stock-picker from here on out.
Anton Chiguhr

Another ID-10-T said...

Quote: "If you don't understand Fall of 2008 was panic, the worst since 1929, then frankly you're an idiot."

In the fall of 2008, only a PART of the U.S. was in all out Panic mode. A good 80% of the U.S. will only panic if they lose their job, their house, and/or their government check. They don't understand enough about what is going on around them to panic about anything else.

Probably safest to just assume everyone is an idiot. It explains a lot of human behavior.

Dr. Huxtable said...

Keith, I have to hand it to you.

You called this graph.
You called Housing Panic.
You called green shoots in March 2009.

And you are right now. The can has been kicked. Time to leave the bunker.

Anonymous said...

All of the stock market recovery is financials with fraudulent values spreading around taxpayer-funded bonuses.

They still own all that peak bubble real estate debt.

How will those mortgages be paid?