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Jim Cook

 

RUNAWAY SOCIAL SYMPATHY

Every once in a while I switch the TV channel from Fox to CNBC to see what the liberals are saying.  After listening awhile I get a deep sense of hopelessness and foreboding for our country.  The most important thing for the left is giving money to people.  They are happy to see the growth of food stamps, disability payments, housing subsidies, free healthcare and all the other welfare benefits.  They utterly fail to see the damage it is doing to the recipients.  Whole cities that once flourished have deteriorated into rotting eyesores populated with shambling hulks of chemically dependent drones.  These people are no longer employable.  They have become incompetent and helpless and the liberals can’t see that it’s their doing.

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The Best of Jim Cook Archive

 
Best of Doug Noland
September 3, 2008
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The private mortgage marketplace self-destructed, and now the entire "prime" mortgage/housing market is dependent upon ongoing cheap mortgage finance available only through American taxpayer backing and subsidies. The private sector simply cannot today – or at any time in the foreseeable future - provide the hundreds of billions of cheap ongoing new mortgage Credit necessary to forestall a systemic housing/economic/financial collapse. There will be no happy "recapitalize and privatize" ending to this saga. The bill to the taxpayer is now growing rapidly – along with GSE exposure – and will balloon into the trillions over the coming years and decades. And for how long the holders of GSE debt and MBS will be allowed such handsome returns at taxpayer expense is a quite intriguing question.

I also read and hear too much about the continued need for "Keynesian" stimulus. Regrettably, the system has been in non-stop government (fiscal and monetary) stimulus mode for years now. It may have been indirect at the time, but it is now apparent that GSE obligations should be included today right along with debt owed directly by the Treasury. And before all is said and done, the taxpayer will also be on the hook for enormous losses from various federal guarantees of deposits, student loans, pensions, and the like. The bottom line is that a whole range of direct and indirect federal guarantees – especially since the 2001/02 recession – have played an integral role in spurring Credit and Economic Bubbles. "Keynesian" ammunition - fired way too early and freely in order to sustain multiple Bubbles – has definitely buoyed the U.S. Bubble Economy, although such measures will have only limited effect down the road when they’re sorely needed.

Doug Noland is a market strategist at Prudent Bear Funds. Their website is www.prudentbear.com.