Doubling down on debt

I’m afraid that there’s no easy way to stop the debt avalanche now that it has begun.  Trillions have been committed, tens of trillions more of entitlements and other debts stand to hit us during the years to come.  We’re entering a deep, protracted global recession and deficit spending on pork barrel legislation will not have any tangible stimulative effect.  Instead it creates the potential for a depression when US Treasury bonds suffer from a lack of confidence and the government is no longer able to borrow to pay the interest on its ever growing debt.

I’ve done everything I can, writing the media, my elected representatives and trying to stir the minds of those I know with economic discipline.  There is no quick fix for this crisis, it will be difficult for every single hard working American.  Mortgaging the next generation’s future to prop up the corrupt edifice of insolvent banks and bail out home buyers who never should have gambled is a terrible approach to the underlying problem.

Capitalism is not dead, but any company, individual or even government that cannot sustain itself must be allowed to fail.  That is one of the most important and fundamental underpinnings of American capitalism.  Socialism will not be an effective stick save.  It engenders an environment where the most innovative are allowed to fail in favor of those who cannot compete.

America is still a great country and our dollar is still the reserve currency of the world.  In order to keep our economy the global leader we cannot spiral out of control with debt, but instead must reign in spending on all fronts and embrace an era of thrift while we recover our bearings and wealth.

Another leak to end the week

According to CNBC, the White House has claimed Obama will give more details on the mortgage rescue plan in a speech on Wednesday.  This has provided a confidence boost and provided a bid to stocks.  Treasury bonds, however, continue to sell off in a significant way.

Leak before end of day boosts stocks

Yesterday at about 340pm, the US government, through Geithner’s treasury department, leaked a plan that will allegedly help distressed mortgage borrowers lower payments.  The plan boosted the mood, forcing end of day short covering, raising the S&P 500 back to a key resistance level around 835.

Today is the last trading day before a three day weekend.  We could certainly see an increase in volatility as a result.  Mr. Geithner’s department leak seems to have been strategically delivered to stave off another leg down.  Yesterday we were testing the 813 level of support, which looked to be giving up as the S&P traded as low as 810.  After 813, the last major support is 800 before we look at the November ’08 lows in the face again.

Nonetheless, significant technical damage is being done.  The Dow Jones industrial average made a new multiyear low yesterday, the transports continue to sag and the only index with promise, the Nasdaq, seems to be finding less buyers lately.

US dollar index topping?

We may be seeing an interim top on the US dollar index, which is no doubt expected to see pressure from the stimulus plan and the Obama administration’s bank bailout 2.0 that is expected to be revealed in the weeks to come.  The US dollar index appears to be making a descending series of highs.  If the pattern continues this could signal the next wave down.

USD

Watch the foreign exchange markets, as the US dollar could be bound for a correction soon.  Possible trades include going long Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, Swiss francs, Gold, Silver and hedging by shorting the GBP Sterling.

Bye bye Dubai

In the downdraft of oil prices and the global recession taking full grip, a once bustling city in the United Arab Emirates is collapsing at an alarming rate. Dubai’s foreign workers are leaving in droves, their investments are drying up and new problems seem to be arising on a daily basis.

Recent incidents have highlighted the deterioration of competence.  Only a few weeks ago, raw sewage was discovered on tourist beaches.  Apparently being pumped in to the ocean by poorly run industry.  Just a few days ago a tanker collided with a freighter offshore creating a lot of debris and a necessitating more clean ups.

Dubai Towers
Above: The planned Dubai Towers project.  On hold.

I remember only a few years ago I would read that record breaking skyscrapers were being planned and even erected on a seemingly never ending basis. Now that the local economy is collapsing the government has passed a law that forbids talking badly about the city and fines those that would dare to about $250,000.

Tourism has been dropping as other destinations or staycations (staying home on vacation) become more desirable. Certainly many of the lofty projects will be put on hold if not outright abandoned as income dries up in energy and tourism. Many speculate this may be the end of a city that never really reached its planned potential.