11 July 2009

Rough Waters Ahead for Economy, Society

Controversial futurist Gerald Celente does not have a high opinion of President Obama's competence as leader of the world's largest economy. In the following video, Celente describes some of the problems resulting from electing a president who is not quite up to the task. Unfortunately for the US, it does seem that virtually every policy decision of Obama's that involves the economy, is wrong.
Gerald Celente on YouTube

Gerald Celente's Trends Research Institute


H/T Neil Craig

Nouriel Roubini looks at the US government's dishonest jobs numbers and sees reason to expect things to get worse. Again.

Top Morgan Stanley economist sees economic and financial instability

Economic indicators from international shipping data send ominous signal

Inflation vs. deflation

H/T Survival Blog

One of the most ominous signposts for the future is the rapid growth of government employment and government spending in the face of rapid contraction in the private sector. The government employee pension fiasco is already becoming the focus of widespread discontent that could easily morph into societal discord. Deep fault lines between persons tied to the public sector and persons invested in the private sector could deepen and lurch violently in the near future. Public perception is growing that the new outfit in Washington is stripping the private sector like a junked automobile, for the benefit of Obama's financial backers and political allies.

Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best. In that order.

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Blogger neil craig said...

I should have H/T'd that I got it from Jerry Pournelle.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Blogger SwampWoman said...

I was just reading Nouriel Roubini this morning and was thinking about doing an article about the dishonesty in the unemployment rates, but I see that you beat me to it. I had already concluded that the government was putting out dishonest statistics (we call it "lyin' their asses off" here).

I'm currently watching the Fox business programs and am amused to see the liberal talking heads pushing the Obama agenda trot out the eeevil "greed*" label just like good little Marxists.

*Greed = acting in your best self interest. You damn right I'm greedy.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Neil: I fixed the link to your page. Thanks for the information. Sorry for the mixup.

SW: Right. That seems to be the talking point. Blame capitalism and deregulation for the mistakes of government and hyper-regulation.

Obama zombies are persons who both voted for the clown and continue to support him in spite of all the contrary evidence. These zombies do not want to see the world as it is, so they don't. They intend to hold onto their tiny internalised glimmer-worlds to the bitter end.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it does seem that virtually every policy decision of Obama's that involves the economy, is wrong.

Wrong by what standard?

All of O's decisions fit a pattern and clearly are pointing to one of two conclusions:

1. Obama wants to destroy the US and its foreign dependents. This goes hand in hand with enslaving the productive part of the population to pay for his social programs, waste, and cronyism.

2. Obama thinks that socialism is a better way.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot to finish. You are judging Obama by your standards, not his. I doubt Obama is a libertarian leaning atheist that considers America's influence in the world beneficial.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Actually, I think we are hitting bottom now. The money supply is being goosed handsomely. The real federal deficit spending is yet to come.
Don't get me wrong--there is tons I would change if I could. No more income taxes, and only consumption taxes etc.
Still, what is, is. No recession lasts forever, even with mediocre leadership. Really, I think the Obama team will do as well as the Clinton team, and the 1990s were boom-times with federal surpluses.
Again, there is lots I would change, and I think Obama's energy program is worse than no program. Additionally, we are still wasting money in Iarq, Afghanie and Pakistan. And every waa-waa group in America wants money and will get a little.
Plenty of bad stuff to go around.
But remember, output per worker hour seems to relentlessly climb, and the advances in energy are astonishing.
We will pull out of this, and may have already.

Saturday, 11 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No recession lasts forever

The Dark Ages lasted a thousand years.

Sunday, 12 July, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Benjamin: If Obama had done nothing, we might have hit bottom by now, perhaps a couple of months ago.

Sadly, Bonnie Prince Barry has embarked upon a grand voyage of radical re-structuring the larger parts of the US economy. All at the same time, for a hefty multi-trillion dollar price tag. All in the middle of a debt crisis that has yet to hit its maximum impact.

It is a grandiose scheme doomed from inception. The effect will be the acceleration of an entitlement explosion / skilled demographic implosion which was not due to hit until the 2020s.

US employment is down, down, down. How productive can an unemployed workforce be?

It is a public sector vs. private sector Obama World. You have the favoured winners and the out of favour losers, depending upon their connection to Obama and the Obama World scheme. In the short term. In the long term, Celente's dark vision comes into play unless . . . . things change.

Sunday, 12 July, 2009  
Blogger read it said...

I mentioned this at Audacious Epigone. The CPI was recalculated under Clinton to depress gov't payouts and improve the appearance of the GDP.

Check out shadowstats.com.

Monday, 13 July, 2009  
Blogger SteveH said...

Finally Celente has made his last prediction. This is the big one that will not come true and will trash his reputation. Thank god we'll be rid of this kook.

Monday, 13 July, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

Steve: As soon as you have established a reliable track record, friend, perhaps people will take you seriously. Until then, they are likely to see you as whistling past the graveyard.

SG: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Never trust anything you see in the media -- especially if it comes from government sources.

Sunday, 19 July, 2009  
Blogger SteveH said...

Al, I'll say it again Celente is a nut. He's gone on record saying that there will be riots and kidnappings that the dollar will no longer be the world's reserve currency and that people will be living in self-storage units and that food shortages will induce people to plant gardens and that the reduction in nominal GDP will rival the great depression. This is a no-brainer. None of these predictions will come to pass. Our civilization has been built up on a series of stratified layers that make it remarkably robust and resilient. My forecast is for a gradual economic rebound this year and an improving employment picture in the second quarter of 2010. The babyboom retirement surge will be slightly postponed and aggregate demand will remain strong. Starting around 2015 the demographic wave of falling aggregate demand from the babyboom retirement surge will slightly depress growth but because of some postponement of retirement and the next wave of consumers will enter their spending years and will cushion the blow. Also, more immigration will ameliorate the demographic problem of babyboom retirement.

Your distrust of government statistics seems to be knee jerk and not based on reason. Please show where government stats are deceiving and I will see if I can set you straight. BTW the fool on shadowstats uses a fixed market basket which is an imaginary market basket that consumers no longer use because of substitution. This guy thinks that because a consumer substitutes chicken for steak that they are less well off. When we substituted kerosene for whale oil were we worse off? Just laughable.

Sunday, 19 July, 2009  
Blogger neil craig said...

I don't know about the living in storage units & stronly doubt food shortages but the world deciding not to risk using the dollar as main reserve currency doesn't strike me as at all improbable. Indeed the Chinese are clearly already pretty nervous about the money they invested in US bonds.

Monday, 20 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and that the reduction in nominal GDP will rival the great depression.

Karl Denninger has been predicting an approximately 30% contraction of GDP. Right now the US has a GDP of $14t and in 2000 we had a GDP of $10t, so just going back to where were in 2000 would be 30% and a further drop would bring us close to 50%.

I think Al-fin is predicting that a second drop will occur, bringing us to the 50% level that this man predicts, around $7t. Maybe prices will be lower when this happens, making the drop in our standard of living more bearable.

Monday, 20 July, 2009  
Blogger SteveH said...


Giving an example from Denninger, who just said that Barofsky said that the TARP has exposed the US Taxpayer to a $23 trillion liability when Barofsky simply said gross exposure not net exposure, is not good for credibility. Net is what matters and net exposure could turn out to be zero. Denninger has reading comprehension problems.

What model says that there will be a 50% contraction in nominal GDP? Even a 10% contraction in nominal GDP would be a catastrophe and I have not seen a single forecast that shows the path the economy takes to get there. Hand waving by Al Fin or Denninger will not get you any points with me.


The replacement of the dollar as the world's reserve currency requires the backing of trillions of dollar equilavent currencies. There is not another currency or hybrid vehicle that can do that. If and when the dollar does lose reserve currency status look for manufacturing to return to these shores. In any event the process would take several decades to unwind.

Monday, 20 July, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coal hauled by the railroad CSX is down and is continuing to decline. Freight moved through the
port of Long Beach is down a little short of 30%.

Denninger has been predicting a 30% contraction, which would take us back to 2000. Den has also been citing evidence to back up his hypothesis.

Tuesday, 21 July, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

The economy is a chaotic phenomenon that cannot be accurately predected -- like the climate.

Celente's predictions are just educated guesses. If not for the election of the clown president Obama, Celente would predict a less gloomy picture.

Optimistic recovery scenarios appear less and less credible as the Obama agenda unfolds.

Most doomsday scenarios are silly scaremongering -- such as the faddish peak oil doomsdays, Y2K, the Club of Rome failed predictions, and global warming catastrophe.

Government caused disasters on the other hand, are all too plausible.

Thursday, 23 July, 2009  

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