“If you speak the truth, have one foot in the stirrup!” – Sid Meyer, Civilization IV.
Yesterday offered us a spectacle of why Clusterstock.com is so aptly and humorously named. Yes, the bullish traders and frenetic market-makers got an up-close view of what it was like to be an Angle or a Saxon in 1067. The Dow took a 367 point high colonic and the outhouses from Shanghai to Shreveport did royally stink. But it really wasn’t quite like William the Bastard had just trundled ashore.
A better and more constructive way to look at this is that we just got a data point. That’s what the closing number of the DJIA is. It’s feedback, which the wiser heads among us understand is a gift. “Welcome to the dessert of the real.” Said Morpheus to Neo.
Thus, I’ll go ahead and be the Grinch. I’ll be even worse and blog like an E-VIL KONSERVATIVE KRACKER. Heck, I’ll even kick back and enjoy it.
Why enjoy this carnage? Do I also kick puppies at the neighbor’s soccer goal as well? Not while clean, dry and sober. And the ugliest, most thread-bare truth is always more beautiful than a lie.
The reason I enjoy this is because this is the sound of reality. This is the world as the world actually is. I don’t enjoy the fact that that world is no more beautiful and happy than a blighted, abandoned, urban neighborhood in the perpetually unemployed section of Detroit. I am, however, more hopeful because that reality is no longer cloaked in some conjuror’s illusion.
We can watch CNBC and actually see the honest portrayal of the vast and ineluctable kfuctitude that is the current American economy. We can now see how bad things are. As any former heroin junkie who ever sucked it up and got clean can tell you, that’s step one out of twelve. When the Dow started taking water like the bombed-out USS Arizona, America took a small step towards recovery and a brighter future.
I haven’t logged in and checked my TSP this morning. I don’t want to. I really don’t want to. I’ll be the first to admit that today doesn’t feel like step one to a brighter and more glorious American future. For many, far closer to retirement than I, it feels like the day after a long, and comprehensive cancer-removal surgery. Anyone not hurting hasn’t had the morphine wear off yet.
Therein lies a problem that will continue to prevent us from doing what is necessary to get well again and once more be a great economic superpower. People will always sell us more drugs to kill the pain, not kill the disease. There will always be some shyster hawking a new “jobs bill” or a new “stimulus package.” It will always be an “emergency” or a “crisis” and they will always be the rescue squad. At least until people wake the kfuc up and realize that nobody is even close to getting saved by all this crap.
And when German bond vigilantes and short sellers ply their trade, we shoot them. They are speculators and we hate them! Why? Because they reveal the cold, hard ugly truth. They punish the stupid and we’ve all had days where we abundantly qualified for just that sort of a beat-down.
What else do these iniquitous speculators do? They make it plainly obvious where capital has been misallocated. They rip through the games that corporate honchos and self-serving political aristocrats play with the national fisc. Enron could take private jet rides with Vice-President Gore until the Ozone Layer ceased to exist. Jim Chanos could care less when it was time to short them and reveal to the world they were nothing but a colossal fraud.
German banks could surreptitiously prop up their corrupt Greek brethren and then attempt to socialize the losses thereby taken on the backs of Germany’s Lumpenproletariat. However, they couldn’t take that (decency edit) into the paint against the speculators, shorting their bonds the way Dwight Howard envelopes a lame attempt at a lay up.
This trade action revealed the grotesque inadequacy of their capital structures. German markets were telling the German people that they were already on the hook for all the stupid and dishonest games financiers in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and every other smaller European nation had played with German financial credibility. Even worse, they were being told that on the bottom line just days before a big provincial election.
So recently, Chancellor Angie got her own opportunity to experience reality and the bountiful gift that is feedback. There’s now a whole section of Germany that her party and its coalition partners represent a whole lot less of now. It had to be somebody’s fault. With the proximate common sense shown by Morrisey when he demanded that people “Hang the DJ”, Chancellor Angie blames the Speculators.
She has banned short-selling and ordered that there be a moratorium on truth. If the news is bad, legislate it out of existence. The iniquitous Yanks never had to build Euro Disney. The EU has just done it for us. The German rulers have just stuck their fingers in their ears and said “LALALALALA! Mr. Market, we can’t hear you!”
Well, Angie Dawlin’, the world is interconnected. Also, the German parliament has inconveniently forgotten to ban long sales of securities. Several of those took place all over the world yesterday.
A market without short sales is a market analogous to a taxi-driver who consumed a fifth of Jack Daniels and still showed up at the airport to take on fares. These jack-asses now haven’t a clue as to whether large sums of capital have been allocated intelligently or not. If I had serious bankroll to manage, I wouldn’t be managing it in Europe right now.
This market also should reveal reality to Americans. It should tell us we cannot recreate the bubble economy. We tossed in $800B in stimulus and all that accomplished was a two-year stock of working capital for state and local government. Don’t get me wrong. As an American all in favor of getting my paycheck every two weeks, working capital has its good points.
Regrettably, it also has its limits. It keeps the lights and water on, pays people and buys spare parts. That’s all Economic Obamacare has accomplished. It does not pave roads, does not build buildings and neither saves nor creates jobs. The only thing shovel-ready here is Vice President Biden’s inane and risible propaganda otherwise.
Unfortunately, it buys spare parts for antiquated and useless machinery. It pays people to perform takes not Pareto Optimal to America’s wounded commonweal. It puts toothpaste in the holes of our national infrastructure, but does nothing to prevent the ceiling from springing a leak. It will fail. It will cost us money we do not have and it will fail. That is all.
So what do we do instead? We hunker down. We accept the heartbreak that accompanies a temporary national failure. We rebuild, we purge we eliminate the wasteful and reallocate the potentially effective.
It hurts. Jokes about E-VIL KONSERVATIVE KRACKERS aside, I’ve been unemployed, hungry and demoralized. I totally empathize with the people getting their turn on the wheel of pain this morning. Being unnecessary to the land that I love sucked my soul.
But there really isn’t any viable alternative left to us now beyond the “Darwinian Flush” prescribed by J. Kyle Bash when this entire economic catastrophe began to unfold. We have to hit “Reset” and try our damndest not to be deleted. That’s all we have left – our final, grim recourse before buying the isolated land, canned food and bullets. We suck it up now and fix this, or that’s what it really could come down to.
So why would I feel somewhat happy about this? Because it takes a certain fortitude and strength of character to accept that message from reality. We could just ban accurate market prices like Germany. We haven’t yet. We’re taking the bad-tasting cough medicine the way we have to. Have hope, America. The markets, unlike the President or Goldman Sachs, are telling you the sordid truth.
X-Posted At: THE MINORITY REPORT