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Author: Subject: Hope?

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 10/23/2011 at 08:36 PM
Quite an optimistic tone in this article. I'm sure we all hope it comes true...

quote:
World power swings back to America

The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus.


Assumptions that the Great Republic must inevitably spiral into economic and strategic decline - so like the chatter of the late 1980s, when Japan was in vogue - will seem wildly off the mark by then.

Telegraph readers already know about the "shale gas revolution" that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing - breaking rocks with jets of water - will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

"The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d)," said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.

"The implications of this shift are very large for geopolitics, energy security, historical military alliances and economic activity. As US reliance on the Middle East continues to drop, Europe is turning more dependent and will likely become more exposed to rent-seeking behaviour from oligopolistic players," said Mr Blanch.

Meanwhile, the China-US seesaw is about to swing the other way. Offshoring is out, 're-inshoring' is the new fashion.

"Made in America, Again" - a report this month by Boston Consulting Group - said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the "default location" for cheap plants supplying the US.

A "tipping point" is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

"A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back," said BCG's Harold Sirkin.

The gap in "productivity-adjusted wages" will narrow from 22pc of US levels in 2005 to 43pc (61pc for the US South) by 2015. Add in shipping costs, reliability woes, technology piracy, and the advantage shifts back to the US.

The list of "repatriates" is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Philadelphia Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is "very competitive" at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed's zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton's Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China's wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.

Foreign exchange effects are subtle. They take a long to time play out as old plant slowly runs down, and fresh investment goes elsewhere. Yet you can see the damage to Europe from an over-strong euro in foreign direct investment (FDI) data.

Flows into the EU collapsed by 63p from 2007 to 2010 (UNCTAD data), and fell by 77pc in Italy. Flows into the US rose by 5pc.

Volkswagen is investing $4bn in America, led by its Chattanooga Passat plant. Korea's Samsung has begun a $20bn US investment blitz. Meanwhile, Intel, GM, and Caterpillar and other US firms are opting to stay at home rather than invest abroad.

Europe has only itself to blame for the current “hollowing out” of its industrial base. It craved its own reserve currency, without understanding how costly this “exorbitant burden” might prove to be.

China and the rising reserve powers have rotated a large chunk of their $10 trillion stash into EMU bonds to reduce their dollar weighting. The result is a euro too strong for half of EMU.

The European Central Bank has since made matters worse (for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France) by keeping rates above those of the US, UK, and Japan. That has been a deliberate policy choice. It let real M1 deposits in Italy contract at a 7pc annual rate over the summer. May it live with the consequences.

The trade-weighted dollar has been sliding for a decade, falling 37pc since 2001. This roughly replicates the post-Plaza slide in the late 1980s, which was followed - with a lag - by 3pc of GDP shrinkage in the current account deficit. The US had a surplus by 1991.

Charles Dumas and Diana Choyleva from Lombard Street Research argue that this may happen again in their new book "The American Phoenix".

The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0 - and therefore the ability to outgrow debt - in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Europe's EMU soap opera has shown why it matters that America is a genuine nation, forged by shared language and the ancestral chords of memory over two centuries, with institutions that ultimately work and a real central bank able to back-stop the system.

The 21st Century may be American after all, just like the last.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8844646/W orld-power-swings-back-to-America.html


 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 10/23/2011 at 09:58 PM
And now for the other side of the coin...

quote:
EU bank failures will crash Wall Street — again

Commentary: 8 warnings for Washington and Occupiers

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Worst-case scenario’s closing fast: Occupy Wall Street growing. But no political power or allies yet. Feared yes, attacked by GOP proxy tea party. Soon the Occupation will explode into a new American Revolution.


When? A string of European bank collapses is dead ahead. And like the Arab Spring, they will trigger an economic disaster for American banks.

Yes, coming soon says Martin Weiss in his “7 Major Advance Warnings,” which is “bound to have a life-changing impact on nearly all investors in the U.S. and around the globe.” His new Weiss Ratings warnings are the “most important” in a 40-year career. The stress on Wall Street banks will force them back to Congress for more bailouts.

Warning eight: No new bailouts. That will push the economy into a deep recession.

Then what? New Glass-Steagall? Not enough. Tax the rich? Not enough. Perp walks? Not enough. Presidential commission? Useless promises. Occupy Wall Street will fail without a fundamental constitutional change. No compromise. Or Wall Street wins, again. We go back to the same free market, deregulated, too-greedy to-fail, conservative Reaganomics policies that have been destroying democracy for a generation.

All this was so obvious, so predictable. America is at a crossroads. Occupy Wall Street buildup has emerged as America’s last great hope to restore democracy. Last week when USA Today called the Occupiers a “ragtag assortment of college kids, labor unionists, conspiracy theorists and others” hinting they’re a flash-in-the-pan “devoid of remedies,” I smiled, reminded of that famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware on Christmas 1776, leading what historians also called a “ragtag” Continental Army, surprising the British, and winning the Battle of Trenton.

America’s collective conscience wants true democracy restored

Yes, USA Today sees a “ragtag” army: No mission, no goals, no organization, no agenda, no leaders, and no staying power. Wrong. Look deeper: The Occupiers are the voice of America’s collective conscience demanding a return to our 1776 roots, to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Our collective inner voice knows America’s moral compass is broken. We’ve become a government “of, by and for” special interests, the wealthiest 1%, Wall Street insiders, CEOs and Forbes-400 billionaires. It happened fast: In one generation the Super Rich grabbed “absolute power,” killing the middle class American dream.

Wall Street banks are already dismissing the Occupiers … planning bigger bonuses this year… lifting limits on their license to gamble Main Street deposits in the $600 trillion global derivatives casino … they already spend hundreds of millions lobbying every year … they’re convinced they can defeat the Occupiers with campaign donations in the back rooms of Congress … writing off the fight as another business expense … ultimately expecting the Occupiers will vanish into the cold winter months.

One citizen. One dollar. One vote. Anything less is failure

Warning: Don’t be fooled. Occupy Wall Street knows exactly want it wants. The tea party, GOP’s proxy, isn’t fooled. They feel threatened, counter-attacking, worried their role will be lost in the 2012 elections, fearful they’ll lose sway over Republicans, so they’ve got a smear campaign against Occupy Wall Street. Won’t work:

Amid all the noise surrounding Occupy Wall Street we hear their “one simple demand.” Missed by most outsiders, that demand echoes down through American history, first heard in 1776 in the Declaration of Independence. Earlier the Occupiers voiced their one simple demand:

“We demand that integrity be restored to our elections. One citizen. One dollar. One vote. Only citizens should make campaign contributions. Campaign contributions by citizens should not exceed $1 to any political candidate or party. Help us reclaim democracy.”

Yes, one simple demand: “Stop the monied corruption at the heart of our democracy.” That one simple demand echoed over and over. And no compromise when dealing with so fundamental a principle of democracy. Compromises the last generation surrendered America to Wall Street and the Super Rich. Compromise this principle again, and we all lose, destroy America. No compromise. Period.

Phase 2: EU bank collapse gives Occupiers new political power

The Occupiers Revolution enters a new phase soon: First Arab Spring rippled into American Fall. Next, EU bank collapses will ripple through Wall Street. For a long time we’ve been warning the 2008 meltdown never ran its course, foiled by mega-bailouts … bankers never shared the sacrifice … fought all reforms … are back to business-as-usual … learned no lessons … now even more delusional, expecting bigger bonuses … trapped in denial for three years … cannot see what’s ahead … a perfect setup for a bigger crash.

That’s why my eye locked on Martin Weiss’ “7 Major Advance Warnings.” Weiss has been a champion of the little guy for 40 years, author of “The Ultimate Money Guide for Bubbles, Busts, Recession and Depression.” Weiss Ratings of domestic and foreign debt markets downgraded U.S. debt before the S&P.

Both of us were warning well in advance of the 2008 crash. It was so predictable: Weiss warned of “failure of Bear Stearns Lehman, Washington Mutual, near-failure of Citigroup and the demise of Fannie Mae years before it collapsed.”

So listen closely to his “7 Major Advance Warnings,” which are “the most important in the 40-year history of my company.” Many will dismiss them, distracted by today’s campaign noise. Others will dismiss them as “over there,” problems for Europeans. Weiss warns: EU banks problems are “bound to have a life-changing impact on nearly all investors in the U.S. and around the globe.”

So listen and discount what Wall Street is selling you. Protect your portfolio. Here are edited highlights:

1. Greece will default very soon ...
”Banks must bite the bullet and take some big hits in their Greek loans. … Whether banks accept this ‘solution’ voluntarily or not, it will mean Greece is in default.”

2. The contagion of fear will spread …
Global investors know “if one major Western government can default, so can others.” They will refuse to lend “to highly indebted governments” or “demand outrageously high yields.”

3. European megabanks will collapse …
Some of the “largest banks will collapse under the weight of defaulting sovereign debts and … mass withdrawals … Spain … French banks” … the impact will ripple across “J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup … All three are in danger.”

4. EU governments suffer new credit rating downgrades ...
”France and Germany, will scramble to rescue their failing banks.” But “bank bailouts are seriously flawed” as “governments gut their own fiscal balance … suffer big downgrades,” or pay “far higher interest rates.”

5. Spain and Italy next to face default on their massive debts ...
With “$3.4 trillion in debt, or about 10 times more than Greece” they too risk default.

6. Global debt markets will suffer a critical meltdown ...
Anticipating “default by a country as large as Spain or Italy, nearly all debt markets in the world will freeze.” Withdrawals, panic “not only crush the borrowing power of the PIIGS” but threaten meltdowns in “France, Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.”

7. Vicious cycle: sovereign defaults, bank failures, global depression ...
Government defaults trigger more bank failures, “cut off the flow of credit to businesses and households, sink the global economy into a depression, and perpetuate the vicious cycle.”

Warning to investors: No bank bailouts, power to Occupation

History inevitably repeats itself: Arab Spring triggered Wall Street Fall. Next, the raging European monetary collapse will ripple through America’s banking system, completing the 2008 meltdown that never ended because Wall Street fought all reforms.

But now, a bigger meltdown as history repeats a dangerous cycle like the 1929 Crash and Great Depression.

History will also deal a fatal blow to Wall Street. Weiss adds a key warning: No bank bailouts. America’s banking system is bankrupt, structurally and morally. Washington is broken. And thanks to the Occupiers Revolution the masses will never accept new bank bailouts. Never. They’ll toss politicians and overthrow government first.

No new bailouts will be the stake in the heart of Wall Street, ending the “greed is good” power of America’s “bloodsucking vampire squid,” handing the Occupiers new political power in Washington.

Weiss’s worst-case scenario highlights everything we’ve both been warning investors about for a long time. The 2008 meltdown never ended, lessons never learned. But now the end game is accelerating.

Listen closely: Weiss final warning to all investors: “Get all or most of your money out of danger immediately … above all, stay safe!” Prepare for the coming bank collapse. And discover how this historic scenario will empower the Occupiers message to get money out of elections: “One citizen. One dollar. One vote.”

Compromise on that principle and Wall Street wins, again.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eu-bank-failures-will-crash-wall-street-ag ain-2011-10-18



 

____________________
Obamacare: To insure the uninsured, we first make the insured

uninsured and then make them pay more to be insured again,

so the original uninsured can be insured for free.

 

Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/24/2011 at 11:54 AM
occupiers--get a job!

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 10/24/2011 at 12:00 PM
Thanks for posting these articles, Fuij. One concern about the resurgence in American manufacturing is the lack of skilled labor needed in order to sustain the resurgence. As an engineer I think you'd agree we have a major problem on our hands already when far more students are enrolling in post-secondary majors like humanities, arts, liberal arts, etc. and not enough are enrolling in engineering and physical science programs.

Even now manufacturers are complaining that they can't find enough skilled labor in certain manufacturing sectors. It's a problem that's only going to get worse as the effects of a for too long now crumbling education system are fully realized. And I think immigrant worker programs will only fill the gaps for so long.

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/26/2011 at 11:23 AM
quote:
Thanks for posting these articles, Fuij. One concern about the resurgence in American manufacturing is the lack of skilled labor needed in order to sustain the resurgence. As an engineer I think you'd agree we have a major problem on our hands already when far more students are enrolling in post-secondary majors like humanities, arts, liberal arts, etc. and not enough are enrolling in engineering and physical science programs.

Even now manufacturers are complaining that they can't find enough skilled labor in certain manufacturing sectors. It's a problem that's only going to get worse as the effects of a for too long now crumbling education system are fully realized. And I think immigrant worker programs will only fill the gaps for so long.


I see a lot of that, from my own personal experience, as a direct result of the lack of jobs and the negative morale concerning jobs in manufacturing etc.

Believe me, around here there are plenty of people with the skill, but the jobs are not there and the companies can't afford to pay them what they are worth.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 10/26/2011 at 08:17 PM
quote:
quote:
Thanks for posting these articles, Fuij. One concern about the resurgence in American manufacturing is the lack of skilled labor needed in order to sustain the resurgence. As an engineer I think you'd agree we have a major problem on our hands already when far more students are enrolling in post-secondary majors like humanities, arts, liberal arts, etc. and not enough are enrolling in engineering and physical science programs.

Even now manufacturers are complaining that they can't find enough skilled labor in certain manufacturing sectors. It's a problem that's only going to get worse as the effects of a for too long now crumbling education system are fully realized. And I think immigrant worker programs will only fill the gaps for so long.


I see a lot of that, from my own personal experience, as a direct result of the lack of jobs and the negative morale concerning jobs in manufacturing etc.

Believe me, around here there are plenty of people with the skill, but the jobs are not there and the companies can't afford to pay them what they are worth.


Or can but simply refuse to.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 10/26/2011 at 08:42 PM
I tend to think it's more a case of 'won't' than 'can't'.

 

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  posted on 10/27/2011 at 02:11 AM
Regardless, if something positive doesn't happen soon, I think it it going to be too late for the majority of what was once the middle class. It doesn't exist anymore, at least not here in this part of NC. We have the owners of all things, the workers who work 2, maybe 3 jobs and are still at or below poverty, and the homeless. I hope to God I'm wrong, and this is only my opinion, but in 5 years the people who need help now won't exist. Again, just my thinking, and I hope I'm seriously wrong.

 

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"Troops be awful quiet tonight, is it early or what? Too high. Me too." Duane Allman

Life Aint what it seems, its a Boulevard of Broken Dreams

 
 


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