Friday, February 12, 2010

The Debt Remains

With all the Greece news on the wires, it got me thinking. Usually this gets me into trouble but I was concerned with the debt to GDP numbers that so many bandy about. As is usual Barry Ritholz was all over this at his sight The Big Picture with the post Indebtedness of Various Sovereigns where I came across the graph below.

Take special note of the grey "Enronesque" bars, to the right, which represents 'unofficial' off balance sheet items. That is code for things we like to kinda ignore for arguments sake. Items like social security, medicare, medicaid,Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Medicare part D (drugs) etc, etc. You get the picture.

By the way Ireland, which is not included in the above graph, has a gray bar that is somewhere around 1200%. I have no numbers on Portugal but lets assume it looks similar to the others.

On this side of the pond there is plenty of blame to go around so lets not blame this on the Democrats alone. I think the nation had Republicans in charge for 8 years, 8 years in which they managed to make Bill Clinton look the most conservative Bundesbanker ever!

Quite the fiscal conservatives those republicans are now aren't they? What was it former Pres. Bush said regarding the bail outs? Oh yeah, I remember it now:

"I've abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system,"

Yes all 'born again' so to speak. Pathetic the lot of them. A sad sight to watch the eunuch Newt Gingrich preach now that he has found fiscal religion. Funny how he couldn't spell the word when he was the speaker of the house.

And poor Sarah Palin attempting to hi-jack the Tea Party movement for the Republican party hacks.

I am anxious for anyone to disprove my theory that politics in this country has become a reality version of WWF Wresting. Just one big charade.

I came across an excellent cartoon out of the Miami Herald by Jim Morin (who does awesome work !) which you can see below, regarding our current political state.

Absolutely spot on Jim. We could have quite the debate arguing which is worse the taxing or the borrowing.

Mike Shedlock had an excellent post on his blog the other day entitled Conversation with my 14 year Old Son. The post surrounded a reader's discussion with his son on the subject of our debt:

I had an interesting moment with my 14 year old son the other day. I had gone to the US Debt Clock website and was taking a minute to just watch the numbers roll up and down in the various amounts. The site breaks down the debt into a per person amounts. It is quite depressing. My 14 year old son walked by and I had him take a look at it all, explaining that someday my son, all this will be yours. His first words were "Why the hell should I have to pay that back?" I found that comment interesting in that he does have a point. It's not like the money that has been borrowed in the past has been used to create world class infrastructures or world class anything. The vast majority of all the money borrowed by the government decade after decade has been just thrown down every conceivable rathole. Imagine if his entire generation comes to the same conclusion someday.

Yes, nothing to show for it but the interest payments due. How pathetic. You would think we could have a least bought a decpreciating asset like a car or a boat or a flatscreen TV. Oh wait, thats precisely what we did.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. We bought votes with the money. Lots and lots of votes. Now tie in potential view the 14yr old has with the video in my earlier post Loss Leader.

Might the Chinese be already expecting/planning for this scenario? Seems logical.

Good speculating to you all and please remember to never forget that "an investor is a speculator who made a mistake and will not admit it".

Open Positions:
Long 1 unit Direxion Large Cap 3X Bear ticker BGZ @ $19.34
Long 2 units Direxion Small Cap 3X Bear ticker TZA @ $12.06
Long 1 unit Direxion Emerging Mkts 3X Bear ticker EDZ @ $6.05
Long 2 units Direxion Financial 3X Bear ticker FAZ @ $19.65
Long 2 units Ultrashort Xinhua China ticker FXP @ $8.49
Long 1 unit Ultrashort Real Estate ticker SRS @ $9.82
Long 2 units Direxion Tech 3X Bear ticker TYP @ $10.52
Long 1 unit US Dollar Bull ticker UUP @ $22.52 stop @ $21.97
Long 2 units Barclays 20yr bond ticker TLT @ $91.40 stop $89.33

Short 1 unit Daimler ticker DAI @ $52.23 stop @ $52.23
Short 1 unit CurrncyShr Aus Dlr ticker FXA @ $89.65 stop @ $91.71

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