A Summary of the Stock Market in 2011 (and beyond?)…in One Image

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Yes, 2011 has been a crazy year for the stock market…the European yo-yo has sure created thrills and chills, with market swings that defy the imagination.  And, lest we forget the mind-numbing brinkmanship in Washington, D.C………

Will 2012 be any better?  I’m not betting on it!

So, the graphic below will continue to serve as my “motto”…as the market re-opens on January 3, 2012.

No comment, it’s self-explanatory!

Good trading to all, and to all a good night!

Source: this graphic came in an email and I really can’t source it. Whoever did it…love it, thanks!

Ireland: Jim Corr Stands Up to the Bankers Who are Controlling the Production of Money and the Fate of Countries (“Message to the People of Ireland”…and Beyond)

~~InsightAnalytical-GRL

We’ve written about currency wars, the demise of the U.S. dollar , Goldman Sachs, etc. over the past year  (see March 2009 for several pieces on China, plans to dump the dollar, etc.).

But this video says it all.  It’s a passionate plea for people to WAKE UP and recognize what is happening in Europe and what is going to befall the U.S.  We have been handed over to the big bankers and are more concerned about watching a lot of reality TV shows and dancing fools, rather than paying attention as our economic security goes down the drain.

The brutal truth is that the the same bunch (IMF, World Bank) that has impoverished many developing countries with their “loans” and harsh demands has its sights on Europe. Iceland was the first to suffer.  Ireland is now losing its sovereignty.  Portugal? SPAIN??  Then what??

And all  meant to pad the pockets of the elite with the hard-earned money of the little people and for them to garner complete control over our lives…. It’s not just about Ireland, it’s about US, too!

Nobody voted for these people…as Corr says, this is about the privatization of money…our money…it is about theft.

He warns about many things….listen, if you have been fearing about “crackdowns.”

Visit Jim Corr’s website for more info on the current sad state of affairs…which goes beyond Irish shores.

http://www.jimcorr.com/

“Hope and Change, Change and Despair” as Costa Rica Gets Crossed Off My List of Possible Escape Routes…

By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Costa Rican Cloud Forest...Paradise Lost?

I haven’t posted in awhile…Life does get in the way sometimes.  And, quite frankly, I’m pretty turned off by what’s going on in this country.  Hope and Change got us Republican Lite;  now, we’re probably going to Change and Despair as the Republicans run on some sort of platform to “fix” what they had a large part of creating in terms of the bleak economic outlook for this country.

So, what’s person to do?  During the Bush years I longed to get the hell out of here.  During the Obama years, with debt crises all over the globe, there are few places that are worth looking at that would truly be considered “an escape.”  In the latest surge of desire to get out of this political hellhole of a country corporate  state (with way too many religious nutcases running around in D.C. and the military), I took the next step–I subscribed to International Living magazine after getting their dreamy free e-mail newsletter for years.

The folks over at IL actually discover places that are ripe for development that can lure Americans to the good life overseas.  One of the hottest places has been Costa Rica, which is now going  to be developed in the northern part of the country, complete with highway and airport, to facilitate the influx of ex-pats.

Costa Rica’s selling points are many:  lots of ecological areas preserved for eco-tourism; varied terrain, from beaches to mountains, temperate climate to tropical jungles; excellent healthcare (one facility has a direct link to Johns Hopkins back in the States), a commitment to renewable energy and a pacifist society which hasn’t used its resources to maintain a standing army.

Perfect!!!  HOWEVER, it seems the Mexican drug cartels are on the march in Costa Rica and….guess who may be offering “help”??

I haven’t gotten a mailing for ages from Truthout.org, but one popped in my box today with the story:

What the Heck Are US Marines Doing in Costa Rica? Obama’s Tilt to the Right on Latin America

Friday 06 August 2010

by: Nikolas Kozloff, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis

SNIP

Perhaps, Costa Rica’s drug problem could be addressed through a combination of poverty alleviation and coastal interdiction. Indeed, for some time, Costa Rica has collaborated with the US Coast Guard. However, under the new arrangement, other branches of the American armed services are to be deployed. The US force which is called for is massive: a virtual flotilla of 46 warships accompanied by 7,000 Marines and five planes. Take a look at this footage of the USS Makin, and consider whether this huge aircraft carrier is best suited to combat drug trafficking or perhaps some other end.

According to the Navy’s own web site, the fearsome vessel “will also have secondary missions of sea control and power projection by helicopter and fixed-wing vertical short take-off and landing aircraft.” The euphemism “power projection” caught my attention in this instance. To be sure, the cartels are a menace, but there is also an increasingly inflammatory geopolitical context to consider. In light of military developments in Costa Rica, it’s perfectly reasonable to wonder whether the US might have some kind of ulterior agenda.

The author has suspicions about the Obama Adminstration’s policies in Central America that echo what has happened in Latin America:

Moves to bring the US Navy to Costa Rica have sparked widespread suspicions that Washington is looking for a justification to remilitarize the Central American region.

“Power projection.” Doesn’t sound good to me…

Things are shifting down south…

For a brief moment, it might have looked like South America’s Pink Tide would sweep through Central America, propelling significant social and political change in the process. But with the South American left now facing its own significant challenges and internal problems, it’s unclear whether Central America’s social movements will get much of a long-term boost. Meanwhile, whatever Oliver Stone might claim about Obama’s true intentions, the US continues to play its same age-old game in Central America.

Sensing weakness, the pro-business right wing has made significant electoral inroads in Panama, Honduras and, now, Costa Rica. Allied to the military old guard and the US, this resurgent right poses a thorny problem for the left. You don’t need to tell that to Central American social movements, who recently met in the Nicaraguan capitol of Managua. There, activists denounced the “silent invasion” of US troops in Costa Rica, declared their opposition to worker repression in Panama and criticized the Lobo government in Honduras for its clampdown on the opposition.

So the question becomes, when does the “silent invasion” become something else? And Panama…well, that’s another haven that I seem to have to cross off my list…

Hey, I’m not a pot smoker, but if California does legalize marijuana use, I may have to move there and become one…it may be the only feasible way to escape!

Hope and Change; Change and Despair….seems to be all over the place these days…

***

Related Info:

U.S. Department of State section on Costa Rica

The Real Costa Rica (Blog by an ex-pat)

Costa Rica Photos from TrekEarth (gallery)

Health Justice Predicts the Future of Healthcare…"Goodbye"

image

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Yesterday (Friday, March 19) I sent in my check for my Medicare Supplement insurance, a nice hefty sum well over $4,000.

Just to rub salt into the wound, the full-court press on the Obama Health Insurance Protection Act is in full swing and will be voted on this weekend.

It’s a pile of crap.

For many months I’ve been subscribed to the Health Justice newsletter and have sent my share of emails and faxes in support of a single-payer system.

Yesterday’s missive was entited “Goodbye“; it predicts the future path of health care in this country. Even if half comes true, it’s still disheartening to think about.

Visit Health Justice at the link below for moral support and lots of good material to cry over…

image

http://www.1payer.net/

Here’s the email:

Dear ……,

This is a requiem for the idea that all Health Care in America is a Human Right.  The likely passage of Obama’s health reform joke will mean that health care and money are powerfully bound together.  From now on, having money means being healthy and having less money means being less healthy and having no means — well, you get the idea.

You can also say goodbye to America as the world’s greatest power.  We won’t have the money to pay off our debts to the Chinese and we won’t be able to make the money because no one will be brave enough to go it alone — no job will equal no health care.

You can also say goodbye to the power of the vote.  From this point on, it will be received wisdom that money can buy anything, including the White House and the entire Congress.

So folks, say Goodbye.  Don’t look for a brighter future for your American-born kids.  It won’t happen.

What Will Happen to Health Care?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As even the more “liberal” Republicans recognize, the health insurance industry is dying.  There is no way that a family making 100,000 dollars in 2014 can pay a 25,000 premium for health insurance with a 25,000 deductible and a 30% copay.  So the health insurance industry will contract, indeed has even begun to do so.  Insurers will shed their individual policies and compete fiercely only for the largest and most well-heeled companies who can afford to stiff their workers on pay in return for providing what everyone wants but can’t have — health insurance.

At the same time, those who are younger or healthier or bolder will go without health insurance and pay the fine (or not), then will sign up for an expensive policy when they get sick.  Insurers will try every way possible to avoid signing these people up — usually by claiming that they were defrauded when the newly insured person didn’t include a cold that he had ten years before he applied.

As the price rises for health insurance, fewer and fewer people will buy it and more and more will take the bolder approach.  The price will rise faster.  The insurers will consolidate because only the biggest will survive.  Eventually there will be three health insurers nationwide who will only insure people that work for Microsoft or Google and will have figured out a way to avoid insuring anyone else.

Those on Medicare or Medicaid will not be able to find a specialist, although there will be plenty of impecunious pediatricians, internists and family practice docs who are trying to scrape by on the measly payments by Medicare and Medicaid, which have cut year by year to pay the insurers to insure the middle-class employed person at ever higher prices.

Eventually, this will cut into the hospitals’ and the high-paid specialists’ bottom line and they will gradually start to see fewer and fewer patients, limiting their patients to those who can pay by some guaranteed manner.  Only the most infected and infested practices will be left for those who cannot guarantee payment.

And through all of this, Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans will be telling Americans that everything will be fine if they just eat right and exercise more.

But by that time (prediction: 2020), the Chinese will have essentially foreclosed on their loans to the US and will own most of our industrial base.

Another prediction:  buy Wellpoint/Anthem — it will own one-third of the market by 2015.  But wait to buy until the stock hits bottom after the Obamination passes.

image

HealthJustice | 57 W. 200 South, Suite 101 | Salt Lake City | UT | 84101

The Next Shoe to Drop: IRA Grab Being Set Up NOW–Heads Up! (UPDATE 1X)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Over the last couple of days I’ve received a couple of regular newsletters from pretty reputable places mentioning an article in Business Week about the growing buzz about plans to get people to shift their IRAs and 401Ks into “income streams/annuities” under the auspices of the crowd in Washington, D.C.  Following the link from both emails resulted in a link that went to a weird Business Week page that looks like a sitemap , but NOT the article in question…a very unique way of scrubbing? (*see rediscovered link with title change, Update below)

Here’s part of what one of the newsletters quoted from the missing article:

Jan 8th:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-08/americans-oppose-initiatives-limiting-401-k-choices-ici-says.html

4th paragraph down reads:

“The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.”

I don’t have time to poke around as much as I would want now, but I wanted to direct you to a blog which is on top of this and has provided links to various other articles that have appeared in recent months, including those from Bloomberg, as well as analysis from Karl Denninger.

Please check out this post dated January 13, 2010 from the Finance Blog:

Converting 401k and IRA Funds Into “Steady Payment Streams”

Part of the post quotes the January 8 story from Bloomberg.com, which is still available. It seems the Business Week article picked up the story from Bloomberg, since the snippet from the newsletter reads the same.

Retiree Annuities May Be Promoted by Obama Aides (Update2)

By Theo Francis

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged.

The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.

Guess who’s involved looking out for all of us??   Starts with an A…

Annuities generally guarantee income until the retiree’s death, and often that of a surviving spouse as well. They are designed to protect against the risk that retirees outlive their savings, a danger made clear by market losses suffered by older Americans over the last year, David Certner, legislative counsel for AARP, said in an interview.

“There’s a real desire on a lot of people’s parts to try to encourage something other than just rolling over a lump sum, to make sure this money will actually last a lifetime,” said Certner, legislative counsel for Washington-based AARP, the biggest U.S. advocacy group for retirees.

Oh, yeah and guess who else is taking their piece?

Promoting annuities may benefit companies that provide them through employers, including ING Groep NV and Prudential Financial Inc., or sell them directly to individuals, such as American International Group Inc., the insurer that has received $182.3 billion in government aid.

MAY BENEFIT????   You have to be kidding…And, AIG, AGAIN???

The article continues discussing how people just aren’t putting much money into annuities so they have to be “encouraged.”

There’s a bit of concern being raise, however:

Asset managers are concerned the government may go too far in encouraging annuities, said Mike McNamee, a spokesman for the Investment Company Institute. Seven in 10 U.S. households would object to a requirement that retirees convert part of their savings into annuities, according to a survey the group released today.

“Households’ views on policy changes revealed a preference to preserve retirement account features and flexibility,” the institute said in a report.

But there’s puzzlement, too:

The institute also said annuities have received support from academic research and “it is unclear why individuals usually forego the annuity option” even when it is available. The survey didn’t ask about potential efforts by the government to encourage voluntary use of annuities.

Of course, in the next sentence, the question is answered:

Annuity sales to individuals have come under regulatory scrutiny in recent years over the size of sales commissions and whether some varieties are suitable for older investors.

So, who’s pushing this idea?

One proposal raised by Iwry as co-author of a paper while at the Retirement Security Project, before joining the administration, has reached Congress. A bill requiring employers to report 401(k) savings both as an account balance and as a stream of income based on an annuity was introduced on Dec. 3 by Senators Jeff Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, and Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat.

WOW, bipartisanship!!

And, this crap may not be a product of the Obama crowd alone…Chuck Butler, President of EverBank, and the author of the Daily Pfenning newsletter (one of the two newsletters I received that are discussing this) writes:

Well… A reader sent me a report from May of 2008, where a Washington Think Tank came up with this idea of taking a piece of our pie…

I can’t vouch for this information so I will try to track it down.  But if it’s true, then the idea was around during Bushco…and, if so, then it means this is another example of the continuity into Obama World.

In the meantime, also check out the analysis of Karl Denninger at Market Ticker in a post entitled “401k/IRA Screw Job Coming?” He mentions CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s belief that this is all about forcing money into the Treasury market and then he concludes:

Let me tell you what this is – it is an attempt to prevent the collapse of the Treasury market!

And he goes on to discuss the risks all this portends for the future.

Read it and weep…

****

UPDATE

*One of the newsletters just popped into my mailbox and they’ve discovered the missing Business Week link, complete with a title change, by the way…from

“Americans Oppose initiatives limiting 401 k choices ICI says”

to:

“Retiree Annuities May Be Promoted by Obama Aides”

Notice the change of emphasis??????

Here’s the story:

Retiree Annuities May Be Promoted by Obama Aides

http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jan2010/pi2010018_130737.htm

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