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The Emperor Has No Credit

Interest-Rates / Global Debt Crisis Jul 14, 2010 - 12:16 PM GMT

By: Justice_Litle

Interest-Rates

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAs political leaders forsake the few shreds of credibility they have left, at least one observer is willing to state the obvious: If credit is clothing, the emperor goes bare.

As the global financial crisis marches on, the world's leaders face a growing problem: The utter loss of not just credit, but credibility.


With each passing day, our political leaders look less like "leaders" and more like bumbling circus clowns. It would be quite amusing were it not so tragic. (Come to think of it, it's pretty amusing anyway. Sometimes, you simply have to laugh at this stuff.)

To give a recent example, consider this latest WSJ headline: "The Submarine Deals that Helped Sink Greece."

The article reads like a piece of satire. Even as Greece finds itself roiled in the depths of financial crisis, seeking any way possible to claw its way out from under a crushing mountain of debt, the Greek government is spending billions of euros' worth of precious capital on – wait for it – F-16 fighter jets and submarines.

Greece, according to the WSJ, is shelling out €1.5 billion for U.S.-made fighter planes... and another €1 billion or more on submarines from Germany.

No matter how you slice it, €2.5 billion is some serious dough – close to 1% of Greek GDP. And the Greek army (just try to say "Greek army" without snickering) already has eight submarines. Eight.

Now they need two more submarines? Plus fighter jets?

Who do they think is going to attack them? Sparta?

"I Bought a Boat"

There is a comedy troupe sketch that opens with a frazzled-looking young woman going through kitchen cupboards. Each cupboard is completely empty. The woman's expression grows slightly more desperate with each cupboard she opens. There is no food in the house – not a single scrap.

Then the poor woman turns and sees her husband, grinning like a damn fool in the doorway. She gives him a hollow gaze, stretched nearly to the breaking point by stress. He looks back, grinning with manic glee. "I bought a boat," he says.

What was once just a comedy sketch – a wry commentary on the insane idiocy of some people's financial decisions – has been made real in Greece's actions. With the fiscal cupboards bone-dry, they "bought a boat."

The stupidity of it is mind-boggling. It makes you wonder whether man is actually the smartest creature on the planet... or the absolute dumbest. One wonders if politicians should be allowed to eat chocolate pudding, for fear they might injure themselves with the spoon.

Nor can other Western world citizens (Europeans, Americans et al.) criticize with impunity. When we point a finger at Greece, there are three more fingers pointing back at us.

The key point is that, not only are our political leaders failing us, they are failing us so spectacularly badly that a random assortment of average Joes pulled off the street could hardly do a worse job. As we head into the depths of the most challenging economic times in history – or at least in any of our lifetimes – the folks driving the bus have proven their worth to be less than zero.

Calling Out the Emperor

Not everyone is blind to the human folly that passes for leadership. Some in China, for example, have their eyes wide open.

"China's leading credit rating agency," the U.K. Telegraph reports, "has stripped America, Britain, Germany and France of their AAA ratings, accusing Anglo-Saxon competitors of ideological bias in [favor] of the West."

It was not that long ago that Turbo Timmy Geithner, the Wall Street sycophant currently occupying the post of U.S. Treasury Secretary, confidently swore that the United States would never lose its vaunted triple-A credit rating.

Well guess what, Timmy. We've already lost it. The big Western ratings agencies may still maintain triple-A status for Uncle Sam, but that's because they are more compromised than lung cancer researchers funded by Big Tobacco.

It has taken a relative outsider – the Dagong Global Credit Rating Company – to be the first to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

Destroyers of Wealth

According to the old joke, one of the scariest phrases in the English language is: "We're from the government, and we're here to help."

One might now revise that phrase as, "We're from the government, and we're here to destroy you. We want you to put your faith in blind institutions and false promises... to let your hard-earned savings be ravaged by the locusts of inflation and the weasels of Wall Street... and if by any chance you have anything left when we're done with you, we want to tax the tatters of your nest egg into oblivion."

It's funny in some ways, but unfortunately no joke. We have seen with great clarity these past few years how the entire Western financial system is geared towards aiding and comforting the megabanks – a natural thing, given how money cozies up to power – at the direct blood expense of the rest of the nation.

We have watched how Wall Street bankers, in cahoots with politically supported lenders, blew up the U.S. financial system, bled taxpayers dry to rescue themselves, and are now in the process of making themselves whole through backdoor asset inflation that ravages the system with ruthless efficiency. Our political leaders may be collectively dumb as fence posts, but the string pullers behind the scenes most certainly are not.

Fighting Back

At this point it's hard to know how the global financial system can be saved from itself. It's like a grand and stately old mansion riddled with termites. The foundation-eaters are so numerous, and buried so deep in the wood, there is no real way to get them out without razing the structure itself. Better to let the rotten thing totter and collapse than shed too many tears.

But the good news is, you CAN protect your own financial structure. You CAN guard and grow your own nest egg. Even if all around you goes to chaos, you do not have to become one of the plundered.

This topic, in essence, is what I will be talking about – along with my fellow editors and members of the Taipan brain trust – at the upcoming 2010 Global Opportunities Summit in Las Vegas, Nev.

From Sept. 23-25, at the beautiful Venetian Hotel, I'll be sharing my thoughts on how government intervention, both explicit and implicit – those damn politicians again – has become a greater market factor now than ever before, and what you can do to survive and thrive in such an environment.

As I mentioned to group publisher Erin Beale a few weeks ago, "It has never been more important that investors and traders alike gain a sense of the 'big picture' as the global economy sails into uncharted waters. The Taipan conference will be a can't-miss chance to accrue vital navigational skill in light of the rough seas and raging economic storms ahead."

You can find out more about the 2010 Taipan Global Opportunities Summit – including how to sign up – by following this link.

And by all means, whether I see you in Las Vegas or not... think seriously about how to prepare yourself for what's coming. Don't let the destroyers of wealth take what's yours. We'll need strong hands for rebuilding on the other side.

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in financial market news, investment commentary and exclusive special promotions.

Source :http://www.taipanpublishinggroup.com/tpg/taipan-daily/taipan-daily-071410.html

By Justice Litle
http://www.taipanpublishinggroup.com/

Justice Litle is the Editorial Director of Taipan Publishing Group, Editor of Justice Litle’s Macro Trader and Managing Editor to the free investing and trading e-letter Taipan Daily. Justice began his career by pursuing a Ph.D. in literature and philosophy at Oxford University in England, and continued his education at Pulacki University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Aside from his career in the financial industry, Justice enjoys playing chess and poker; he enjoys scuba diving, snowboarding, hiking and traveling. The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland and Fox Glacier in New Zealand are two of his favorite places in the world, especially for hiking. What he loves most about traveling is the scenery and the friendly locals.

Copyright © 2010, Taipan Publishing Group

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Comments

Jimmy
15 Jul 10, 02:44
How to do it

Its not stupidity, its corruption, would you admit to mugging the majority of people off with a debt slavery system that destroys the environment?

Heres how it will play

Another oil shock, or a push from China or Russia will tip the U.S off the edge, taking western europe with it. Any government or corporate dreams of total domination will evaporate pretty quickly when 2 million people show up in washington, armed and wanting blood. Same for any of the major european nations. Too corrupt. Too slow.

the best way to cope with this is to ensure you can grow your own food locally, and obtain clean water indefinitely. If you take control of your own life essentials, you are in control of what happens to you.


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