When Iceland went bankrupt in A.D. 2008, the news seemed “odd”. Although, technically, Iceland was a western “nation,” it was such a small “nation” that it was hardly a “nation” at all. Compared to the U.S., Iceland was more like a county, a municipality or a village than a “nation”. Therefore, while Iceland’s bankruptcy was “curious,” it couldn’t have any implications for the mighty U.S., right?
Monthly Archives: January 2009
The following email was written by Mark Coker on January 1st, A.D. 2009 for the purpose of describing the plight of Robert Fox—a man who’s been arrested multiple times, compelled to post bail multiple times, at Jacksonville, Texas—for “crimes” that include possession of a controlled substance and possession of dangerous drugs. These dangerous drugs were antibiotics that were left in a vacant dentist’s office in a building where Robert was living and functioning as a caretaker. The dentist owned the building (which covered most of a city block) and is currently in prison for violating a parole agreement after he was convicted of income tax violations.
The January 8th New York Times reported in “Senate Allies Fault Obama on Stimulus,” that:
“President-elect Obama’s economic recovery plan ran into crossfire from his own party in Congress . . . . Senate Democrats complained that major components of his plan were not bold enough and urged more focus on creating jobs and rebuilding the nation’s energy infrastructure rather than cutting taxes.”
NYTimes.com, January 9, 2009, “No Instruction Manual as Stimulus Bill Takes Shape”:
“WASHINGTON — The fresh evidence of the economy’s downward spiral focused even more attention on two questions: Is the stimulus package being pushed by President-elect Obama big enough? And will the component parts being assembled by Congress provide the most bang for the buck?
In “As Vacant Office Space Grows, So Does Lenders’ Crisis,” the January 4th NYTimes reported:
“Vacancy rates in office buildings exceed 10 percent in virtually every major city in the country and are rising rapidly, a sign of economic distress that could lead to yet another wave of problems for troubled lenders. . . . With job cuts rampant and businesses retrenching, more empty space is expected from New York to Chicago to Los Angeles in the coming year. Rental income would then decline and property values would slide further. . . .
Starting in a London coffee house about A.D. 1744, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) has since measured of the price of moving major raw materials (such as coal, iron ore and grain) by sea. Today, that measurement is made daily and almost minute-by-minute.
The demand for shipping varies with the amount of cargo that is being traded or moved in various markets. Thus, the BDI indirectly measures global supply and demand for dry bulk commodities shipped internationally. Because dry bulk primarily consists of materials that function as raw materials in the production of intermediate and finished goods (such as concrete, steel, food, etc.) the BDI is an efficient “leading economic indicator” of future economic growth and production for the global economy.
The average American who invested in the stock market on January 2nd, A.D. 2008, lost 38% of his investment by December 31st, A.D. 2008. In other words, if you’d invested $10,000 in stocks at the beginning of A.D. 2008, by the end, your investment would be worth only $6,200.
On December 12th, Bloomberg.com reported:
“Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa halted payment on foreign bonds he calls “illegal” and “illegitimate,” putting the South American country in default for a second time in a decade. As a result, the $510 million bonds due in 2012 plunged to 23 cents on the dollar from 31 yesterday and 97.5 cents three months ago. President Correa said, “I have given the order that interest payments not be made. The country is in default.”
(I’ve warned since last July that at least 80% of the value of existing paper debt instrument will be repudiated in the near future.)
This is BIG.
According to at least one Supreme Court case, the “right of association” can even trump National Security interests. In other words, if the U.S. Supreme Court is called upon to balance the “right of association” against governmental interests in National Security, the private “right of association” can win. The “right of association” can be more important than National Security. I find that to be astonishing.