What Do the Commonwealth Club and the U.N. Have in Common? The Great Chris Martenson…

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

As you may or may not know, I’ve been a big fan of Chris Martenson, so much so that I’ve posted the link to his site under the economic links section to the right and have quoted him in in previous posts.  

Chris has put together “The Crash Course” which I blogged about last year (Saturday, July 11, 2009: One Year Anniversary of “Peak Oil Day” Makes it a MUST to Watch “The Crash Course”).  At that time, you could hear zip about some of the topics he has woven together.  Now, I’m beginning to see others mention things like “peak oil” and “sustainability” when I flip through the channels…rarely, but it’s a start.

Well, it seems like things have picked up a notch.  Last Thursday (January 28)  in Sonora, California, Chris spoke to 400 people and people had to be turned away. Tomorrow (February 2), Chris will be speaking at the U.N. on the topic “After Copenhagen: Understanding the Energy Trap for Policymakers.”  Along the way, Chris has lectured at colleges, meetings, been interviewed on smaller radio stations…but it seems the venues are getting to be more high profile.

For example, on January 26, Chris delivered a talk at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.  I thought I’d share some of it with you.

Big Ideas at the Commonwealth Club (Transcript)

Tonight I want to examine the obstacles that stand way of a full and lasting economic recovery and to illuminate the connection between economic growth and energy.

But before we delve into the details and explore the possibilities for alternative outcomes, let me share a little bit about myself and how this information has radically altered my life, and the life of my family.

Six years ago as a married, 42 year old professional with three young children, I lived in a suburban, five-bathroom house on the coast of Connecticut, had a secure position as a corporate Vice president with a very large company, and a twin-engine fishing boat in a slip.

I loved that boat.

Today I live in house that is less than half the size of my prior one, now located in a semi-rural location, I have a strong local community, and a kayak.

A small one.

Perhaps I could summarize my journey that way; I went from twin engines to a double paddle.

Yep, that about sums it up.

Now, why did I do that?

For the past 6 years I have been combining information and trends in the Economy, Energy and the Environment into a single comprehensive story.

Instead of delving deeply into any one of these subjects, I discovered that there’s immense value in looking across all three at once.

Instead of being like a blind man trying to describe one part of an elephant, I chose to be like a blind man examining the whole elephant.

Okay, this took me a few years, I’ll admit, it was a big elephant, but it was worth it.

This exploration altered my investments, my work, where I live, who I know, what I value and the things I choose to do.

The results of this exploration were put into video form which I made freely available to everyone on the internet about a year and a half ago.

It is called “The Crash Course” and has been viewed more than a million and half times and translated into numerous languages.

I have to say that I’ve made some changes as a result of watching “The Crash Course.”  The biggest is a mental change…a fierce desire to break away from “the system” as much as possible in terms of protecting my assets.  For example, I’m not listening to the financial crowd that, once again, is back to the old “buy and hold” mantra.  No, it’s time to take more control of my money and to that end, I’m in the midst of studying technical aspects of the market.  I want to make money, not get if siphoned off by handing over control to the “experts.”  I’ve also yanked money out of the “big banks” and it sits now in the local banks where I’ve known the folks who run them for years.

I’ve stored some food and started using a solar oven for some of my basic cooking.  The thing costs nothing to run and can purify water and dehydrate fruits as well as baking the most fantastic sweet potatoes you’ll ever taste!  I figure I save cooking gas that way and don’t heat up the kitchen and then have to run the A/C as much, either!

I keep up with my vegetable garden and have planted two more grape vines. I plan to plant a couple of more fruit trees.

In short, in my small way, I’m trying to be more self-sufficient!

Chris continues:

Here’s an example of how I connected the dots for the current economic crisis at a very high level.

While the entire narrative of this crisis is riddled with strange acronyms, unfathomable derivatives, and complicated regulatory lapses, my view is that these were just elements of the story.

The main plot line can be summed up in just three words; “Too Much Debt.

The big picture view of our difficulties is nothing more complicated than the fact that from 2000 to 2008, eight short years, the total amount of debt in this country doubled.

You heard me right, it doubled.

Meanwhile no net jobs were created and median incomes actually went backwards.

When it comes to owing a debt your options are to either pay it back or default on it, and I don’t care if you are an individual, a family, a town, a state government or a corporation, the same basic rules apply.

As we all know, in order to pay your debts back you’ve got to have earnings and cash flow. If debts are growing but earnings are not, then sooner or later a debt crisis will result.

Which is exactly what happened, and was utterly predictable.

I’d love to take credit for having had a keen insight here but I really don’t consider this extraordinary.

It was common sense.

Common sense. Gee, how creative!

So, where are we?

A very large credit bubble developed right before our eyes and it was completely obvious to anyone who cared to see it for what it was.

My view is that we’ll be living with it for some time yet because I do not believe that it is possible to “solve” a crisis rooted in ‘too much debt’; by going deeper into debt.

And that is exactly what we are doing.

I think it’s like trying to cure an economic heart attack by feeding the patient a few more tubs of greasy debt.

So my assessment is that we’ll face an even bigger fiscal and maybe monetary crisis in the future.

We are compounding our mistakes.

But you know what? We’ve faced economic problems before as a nation and solved them, and if this were the only problem we faced, we’d solve this one as well.

However, even as we’re attempting to recover from our self-inflicted economic wounds several vital facts stand in the way of a full and lasting recovery.

Let’s discuss a few of those facts:

Fact #1: There are 70 million more people on the surface of the planet this year than last year.

Fact #2: Each of these new humans consumes some amount of resources such as food, oil, air, soil, water, copper, coal, or timber.

Fact #3: Someday, perhaps already, maybe a little later, the global flow rate of oil coming out of the ground will peak and then decline inexorably thereafter.

Fact #4: Every dollar in circulation was loaned into existence, with interest. We’re going to get back to this one in a minute.

Fact #5: During the industrial revolution, humans have consumed vastly more energy each decade. During the lifetime of a 22-year-old, humans will have burned more than half of all the oil ever consumed throughout history.

Fact #6: Oceanic fish stocks, ancient aquifers, and topsoil are all being depleted at unsustainable rates.

When I review these facts I come to this opinion – within our lifetime and that of our children, these disparate facts will coalesce into the greatest economic and physical challenge ever faced by our country, if not humanity.

Then, Chris takes you on an imaginary journey:

Let’s get back to those pesky facts.

Each one was tied to all the others by a single common feature.

In each case the thing being described was tied to exponential growth in some way.

Now I know that most of us aren’t accustomed to thinking about exponential growth, so before you start counting the ceiling tiles, let me see if I can bring the dynamic of exponential growth to life.

Suppose I had a magic eyedropper that could dispense a drop of water with a most unusual trait – this drop of water will double in size every minute – and I place a drop of water in your hand.

At first you’d just have a lonely drop of water sitting there, but after one minute it would double in size, and after six minutes you’d have a blob of water that could fill a thimble.

Do you have a sense of that growth?

Good. Let’s go to a Major League Baseball Park and start over.

To make this interesting, let’s assume that the park is water-tight, and that I’ve handcuffed you to the highest row of bleacher seats.

Now imagine that it’s tomorrow at twelve O’clock noon, you are manacled to a bleacher seat and, way down there, on the pitcher’s mound, you see me bend over to plop down a magic drop of water so small you could not possibly see it from where you are sitting, and it begins to double.

My question to you is, at what date and at what time would the park be completely filled? That is, how long do you have to escape from your handcuffs? Do you have days? Weeks? Months? Years?

The answer is this: in only 49 minutes the park is completely filled.

You have only 49 minutes to escape from your handcuffs.

Now let me ask you this, at what time do you suppose that the park is still 97% empty space (and how many of you will appreciate the seriousness of your predicament)?

The answer is that at 12:44 pm the park is still 97% unfilled. The first forty four minutes filled just three percent of the park, while the last five minutes filled the remaining ninety-seven percent.

It took from all of human history until 1960 to reach a population of three billion people; but only forty years to add the next three billion.

Forty four minutes for the first three percent, five minutes for the final ninety-seven percent.

And because we are surrounded by exponential growth we need to appreciate it.

For quite a while, everything seems just fine, but a few minutes later your park is overflowing.

MMM …do you feel wet yet?

The next section of the talk addresses our future path that exists if we don’t start making adjustments to our lives:

An energy crisis rooted in resource limits will quickly translate into an economic crisis unlike any other.

What follows next will be a disappointing string of associated crises starting with a food crisis, progressing through a profound fiscal crisis that could even result in a dollar collapse, before proceeding to a population crisis.

But you know what? If we choose, we can avoid that future.

Feeling overwhelmed?  Chris Martenson has decided our challenges should be met with a sense of optimism and adventure. But, there IS a sense of urgency, too.

In the past, with extremely abundant resources at hand, we had the luxury of making bad choices without really suffering any significant consequences.

But the stadium is now mostly filled, the water is rushing up the stairs, and our margin for error has shrunk considerably.

The longer we fiddle around the more our options shrink.

Today our wrong choices will be magnified many fold by virtue of where we are in our resource depletion curves.

And so will the good choices.

We must be intelligent and creative stewards of what remains.

The best news? I know we can do this.

We need our bright and shiny kids in the next generations to know that they’ve got an important role and that we’ve got their backs as they wrestle with the challenges now laid at their feet.

Change is not easy, but sometimes it is necessary and we find ourselves in a time of need.

How the future turns out is up to us. We have this responsibility at this time.

I don’t have all the answers and I can barely conceive of all the things that need to be done, let alone imagine their details.

But I do know that the first step begins with a proper understanding of the issues and that we are now in an era where it is the very largest picture that will serve us best.

There’s an elephant in the room, and we need to put our hands on it and describe it fully and accurately.

The alternative is to somehow miss seeing the next most predictable crisis in all of history coming towards us.

In closing, I am not all depressed by what I see coming, or exhausted by the thought of all the work laid out before us.

Truth be told, I am excited to be alive at this time – to be in the game when the entire trajectory of humanity may shift course.

You really can’t ask for more than that.

I have a proposal: Together, let’s create a world worth inheriting.

I again enthusiastically refer readers to ChrisMartenson.com. Check out the great community for the latest REAL news and the forums that discuss many of the ideas and suggestions that Chris has proposed.

And start taking control!  Every little bit each of us does is part of reinventing our world…

As China (And Other Countries, Too) Makes Non-dollar Trade Deals Around the World, Maybe Americans Should Seek Safety in the Reincarnation Bank

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Over at Investment Watch, a fine blog about the economy, this recent piece summarizes very nicely the forces working against the value of the U.S. dollar, notably the recent actions by China and other countries. The list of countries doing non-dollar deals is growing.

China is making non-dollar trade deals around the world. Other nations too..

Argentina and Brazil have reached a non-dollar deal and 4 other S.A. nations will join in non-dollar trade.

China has reached a non-dollar deal with both of those nations, 4 or 5 other nations and is working on one with Malaysia. Other Asian nations are reaching their own non-dollar trade deals.

All of this reduces the number of dollars they need to get rid of. They are also buying with dollars, copper, iron, oil mines, lending dollars to help nations develop new resource finds on the condition that China gets the resource at market prices.

At the same time, IMF bonds are being bought instead of U.S. bonds.  China, Russia, Brazil and India are involved:

China, Russia, Brazil, and India are buying IMF bonds instead of U.S. bonds in small quantities with China making the largest purchase of about 50 billion but, that is still $50 billion they can’t lend us then.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates is contemplating a new oil currency.

The author comments that:

The biggest problem China has is that there isn’t enough money in the world to lend the U.S for what it wants to spend. That means the dollar will go down whether China wants it to or not and they know it. That is why they are trying to spend as much as they can without dropping the dollar faster.

Also, recall that Iran has already given up the dollar for its oil deals. Iran’s international news network, PressTV, reported in December 2007 that Iran had dropped the dollar:

Iran has halted all its oil deals in dollars following the recent OPEC proposal to trade crude in non-dollar currencies.

“The dollar is no longer a reliable currency, considering its devaluation and the resulting loss suffered by oil exporters,” said Iranian Oil Minister Gholam-Hossein Nozari.

The post at Investment Watch goes on to discuss the the ramifications of devaluation and possible collapse of the dollar.

So, what’s the average American supposed to do?

Well, since the current financial system is a mess, maybe we should look to the future. Ever hear of the ReincarnationBank?

According to the bank’s website, ReincarnationBank offers “a safe and secure management system for its clients – a place they can leave behind their assets and commodities for their return into the next life.”

How will they know it’s YOU when you come back and want your money?

As in this life, in the next you will have memories of previous lives. One of these recollections will be of your arrangement with Reincarnation Bank. Whatever version of the internet or data retrieval mechanisms in use at the time of your return, you will renew your contact with Reincarnation Bank and through regression you will recall the details/instructions that you left at the time of making your deposit. A custodian of Reincarnation Bank will open your letter privately in your presence and will ask you to repeat the details contained therein (whilst in regression). Once this has been satisfactorily achieved, funds/property will be handed back to you and the account closed.

Of course, in some ways the bank is similar to banks operating in the present:

An indication of interest rates cannot be given at this stage because we cannot forecast how long we will be away. But $1000 or $10,000 invested now will have an added value upon our return.

MMM…

Heck,I have enough trouble remembering my PIN now…I don’t know if I’ll remember it if I’ve been spending some time as a gerbil…

What if my memory fails me during regression and I forget my former name?? I lose all my cash?

Well, with the way the present-day financial system is operating, maybe I should take a closer look anyway…and learn some tricks to improve my memory!

***

RELATED POSTS

HEADS UP! It’s HERE! The New World Currency Design, Presented to the G-8 Delegations (With Pics)

Money Matters: “Banker to the Poor” In Impoverished Countries Now Lending in U.S.; “Money Goddess” Advises Obama Administration; IMF Bonds Update

Russia-China Proposals; “Rebalancing” Global Currency Reserves: Why the U.S. Can’t Take Anything for Granted Re: the Dollar

The Scanner–International Edition, March 24, 2009: Say Goodbye to the Dollar? China, Russia Proposing a New World Currency for “Non-Credit” Based Economies, Echo G-20 Agenda of Expanding IMF; China Will “Consider” Buying IMF Bonds; 10th China Develpment Forum Underway (UPDATE 1X–Geithner Supports China Proposal??)

The Past Week: July 19-25, 2009 (The Journalism School Named after Walter Cronkite; Poor Economy, Cash-Strapped Families = Unclaimed Bodies of Loved Ones)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

The passing of Walter Cronkite resulted in lots of solemn eulogies in TeeVee-land, and I have to say that woman I saw one afternoon on CNN exclaiming that he “wasn’t just a newsreader” made me chortle…she obviously thought SHE wasn’t a newsreader and spoke with some authority on the matter as she conversed with somebody who was reminiscing about Cronkite’s tremendous experience.  What a joke!  This young chippy chit-chatted her way through the “news” as if she were doing an infomercial…

Cronkite, of course, was the man everyone watched during the moon landing back in 1969.  And, I’m also old enough to remember his reporting on the Kennedy assassination (and Dan Rather, who was local in Dallas back then.) By accident, while noodling around the web during the moon landing anniversary, I came across the website of the Cronkite School New Media Academy | The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication which is at Arizona State University.

It produced Aaron Brown, among others. But who knows if it is really living up to the expectations espoused in the “Welcome” message. For example, the connection to ABC news doesn’t exactly inspire.  And where do really good journalism students go lately even IF they do get a decent education in journalism? (And that’s a big IF, to assume any really good journalists are coming out of journalism schools these days.)  Do they go MSBNC? CNN? NBC? FOX? etc., etc.

Don’t think so…

***

Signs of the times… From the Los Angeles Times:

More bodies go unclaimed as families can’t afford funeral costs

According to the story, “The poor economy is taking a toll even on the dead, with an increasing number of bodies in Los Angeles County going unclaimed by families who cannot afford to bury or cremate their loved ones.”

The victims of homicide and suspicious deaths are being cremated at taxpayer expense because people can’t afford services, so are leaving bodies of loved ones unclaimed.

And the L.A. county  is so much busier that they are no longer accepting bodies from the coroner. That office is now contracting private crematories to handle the load.

Apparently the situation in L.A. isn’t unique:

Coroners and funeral directors around the country say they are seeing the same trend as cash-strapped families cope with funeral costs. Just claiming a body from the L.A. County coroner costs $200. Once a body is claimed, private cremations usually run close to $1,000, Smith said. Funeral homes charge an average of $7,300 to transport and bury a body in a simple grave, according to the National Funeral Home Directors Assn.

…Can’t even rest in peace these days…

THE PAST WEEK

*By KenoshaMarge

*VOTING IN LOCKSTEP IS NOW A GOOD THING? (Not According to SOME Democrats in Congress…)

Chicago Suburb Hosts Hizb ut-Tahrir Conference; Organization Aims to Re-Establish an International Islamic State (Caliphate), Supports Jihad

The Past Week: July 12-18, 2009 (Energy-Saving Porch Project; “Full Plates Full Lives” Food Campaign; JFK, Jr.)

The Past Week: July 12-18, 2009 (Energy-Saving Porch Project; “Full Plates Full Lives” Food Campaign; JFK, Jr.)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We’ve been busy for the last week or so having our back porch enclosed. It’s costing some bucks, but we figure we get an extra room out of it and eliminate the dust and dealing with the wind, which has made the area virtually unusable, except to pile up a lot of junk!  It’s unheated, but we bought E-366 doors and windows and have insulted the walls with above spec insulation. Here in southern New Mexico this means that we will have a delightful place to hang out during the winter and also in the cool mornings and evenings during most of the warmer months. Even all closed up now the temperatures are no more than what’s going on outside, which means our choice of the E-366 glass and the insulation is really paying off already!  Our AC isn’t working any harder, so we’re very pleased!

Here’s what the room looks like before caulking and final finishing. By next week I’ll be able to show you the entire room painted and in all its glory!

Porch Enclosure in Progress...

Porch Enclosure in Progress...

Unfortunately, the dogs aren’t getting out into the backyard very much because of all the mayhem.  But Slick, in particular is enjoying the gated area at the front of the house:

Slilck hangs out...

Slilck hangs out...

As we prepare to write a large check for this project (which is being done by neighbor who teaches but has a contractor’s license, too), it seems we’ve been musing a lot about money and the economy this past week. Here’s something in particular that is something to consider supporting:

Full Plates Full Lives

U.S. Foodservice, a 150 year old company that supplies food and related products to “restaurants, hospitals, hotels, schools and governmental operations” is running a “STEMulous Drive” now through October 15, 2009.  They’re organizing neighborhood drives, selling a cookbook, etc. all with the aim of feeding families who need help during these tough economic times. “Operation STEMulous” is specifically aimed at getting fresh fruits and vegetables to needy families.

***

Speaking of vegetables…this porch project has really cut into my gardening time…I’m barely able to water everyday, but as of last night the patio outside the new room is finally cleared of lumber!

***

And finally, this:

Jul 16, 2009 10:25 am US/Eastern

10th Anniversary Of JFK Jr.’s Death Passes Quietly

NEW YORK (CBS) ― The tenth anniversary of the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., in a small plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard passed with relatively little notice Thursday, overshadowed by attention paid to the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon mission.

I remember that night clearly…It was a sultry evening in New Jersey and after hearing the initial reports I stood outside on our back patio and gazed up at the sky for a long time and prayed it wasn’t true…but it was.

***

THE PAST WEEK

CNBC (Among Others) Caught in the Act “Reporting” Nouriel Roubini’s Comments on the Economy…He Responds

HEADS UP! It’s HERE! The New World Currency Design, Presented to the G-8 Delegations (With Pics)

The Past Week: July 4-11, 2009 (Where We Are Now re: The Economy-Robert Reich, Nouriel Roubini, Robert Shiller, Chris Martenson)

CNBC (Among Others) Caught in the Act “Reporting” Nouriel Roubini’s Comments on the Economy…He Responds

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Yesterday morning (Thursday, July 16), I tuned into CNBC with my usual jaded eyes and ears and was amply rewarded by the total misrepresentation of Nouriel Roubini’s comments on the economy.

The talking heads were almost giddy as the “news” flashed across the bottom of the screen almost non-stop:

“Roubini says the worst is if over for the financial (sector) and the economy.”(sic)

The  talking heads opined that the gains in the market were because of this comment.

Something didn’t sound right, not right at all. I had just seen a video of a Bloomberg panel featuring Roubin and Robert Shiller (who forecasts the housing market, among other things).  The panel discussion was on July 9. Here’s the story with the video which is up at Roubini’s RGE Monitor site,under the title “Roubini Says U.S. Recession Will Last Six More Months.”  Roubini also said that whatever recovery occurs will be “shallow.”  And, he added more grim analysis of the economy and our present state of affairs as the discussion progressed.

So, now it seems that Roubini has issued a statement to counter the reporting of his views:

Roubini: Views on Economy Unchanged Despite Reports

Published: Thursday, 16 Jul 2009 | 5:51 PM ET

By: CNBC.com

Nouriel Roubini, the economist whose dire forecasts earned him the nickname “Doctor Doom,” said after markets closed Thursday that earlier reports claiming he sees an end to the recession this year were “taken out of context.”

Nouriel Roubini

cnbc.com


“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook,” Roubini said in a prepared statement. “Despite those reports … my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.”

Several business news outlets, picking up on a report initially from Reuters, earlier Thursday cited Roubini as saying that the worst of the economic financial crisis may be over.

(MORE)

Yeah, “several business news outlets” means YOU, CNBC!

Roubini’s unfiltered statement is up now at his site.

Roubini Statement on the U.S. Economic Outlook

Nouriel Roubini | Jul 16, 2009

“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over ‘this year’ and that I have ‘improved’ my economic outlook. Despite those reports – however – my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.

“I have said on numerous occasions that the recession would last roughly 24 months. Therefore, we are 19months into that recession. If, as I predicted, the recession is over by year end, it will have lasted 24 months with a recovery only beginning in 2010.  Simply put I am not forecasting economic growth before year’s end.

“Indeed, last year I argued that this will be a long and deep and protracted U-shaped recession that would last 24 months. Meanwhile, the consensus argued that this would be a short and shallow V-shaped 8 months long recession (like those in 1990-91 and 2001). That debate is over today as we are in the 19th month of a severe recession; so the V is out the window and we are in a deep U-shaped recession. If that recession were to be over by year end – as I have consistently predicted – it would have lasted 24 months and thus been three times longer than the previous two and five times deeper – in terms of cumulative GDP contraction – than the previous two. So, there is nothing new in my remarks today about the recession being over at the end of this year.

And then he gets to the real core issue:

“Also, as I fleshed out in detail in recent remarks the labor market is still very weak. I predict a peak unemployment rate of close to 11% in 2010. Such a large unemployment rate will have negative effects on labor income and consumption growth; will postpone the bottoming out of the housing sector; will lead to larger defaults and losses on bank loans (residential and commercial mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, leveraged loans); will increase the size of the budget deficit (even before any additional stimulus is implemented); and will increase protectionist pressures.

“So, yes there is light at the end of the tunnel for the US and the global economy. But as I have consistently argued, the recession will continue through the end of the year, and the recovery will be weak and at risk of a double-dip, as the challenge of getting right the timing and size of the exit strategy for monetary and fiscal policy easing will be daunting.

That sounds a whole lot less open and shut than the message being broadcast by CNBC, doesn’t it?

The Past Week: July 4-11, 2009 (Where We Are Now re: The Economy-Robert Reich, Nouriel Roubini, Robert Shiller, Chris Martenson)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, we’ve managed to actually post enough this week to have a formal “Past Week” column!

Money has been on my mind as I unwound a few positions in the stock market this week as things are stalling before what might be a plunge.  This is quite a relief…my stress level dropped immediately! These were mostly mutual funds we bought 10+ years ago, so we still came out ahead in spite of the huge drop in March.

However, we have to be vigilant about the future. Preservation of what we all have, hedging against inflation and a collapsing dollar…you know the drill!

So here are a couple of things on the subject of the economy that I came across this week. The first is by Robert Reich; next is a video from Bloomberg.com.

If you’re wondering what Robert Reich is thinking lately, check out his personal blog.  (Reich is a staunch supporter of  a public healthcare option and  urges supporters to get active to get  Obama  to “do the right things” in a recent post titled “What Can I Do?“).

Here’s his latest post about the state of the economy:

When Will The Recovery Begin? Never.

The so-called “green shoots” of recovery are turning brown in the scorching summer sun. In fact, the whole debate about when and how a recovery will begin is wrongly framed. On one side are the V-shapers who look back at prior recessions and conclude that the faster an economy drops, the faster it gets back on track. And because this economy fell off a cliff late last fall, they expect it to roar to life early next year. Hence the V shape.

snip

The reason is asset values at bottom are so low that investor confidence returns only gradually.
That’s where the more sober U-shapers come in. They predict a more gradual recovery, as investors slowly tiptoe back into the market.

But Reich doesn’t belong to either camp:

In a recession this deep, recovery doesn’t depend on investors. It depends on consumers who, after all, are 70 percent of the U.S. economy. And this time consumers got really whacked. Until consumers start spending again, you can forget any recovery, V or U shaped.

Reich forsees a “new economy”:

My prediction, then? Not a V, not a U. But an X. This economy can’t get back on track because the track we were on for years — featuring flat or declining median wages, mounting consumer debt, and widening insecurity, not to mention increasing carbon in the atmosphere — simply cannot be sustained.

The X marks a brand new track — a new economy. What will it look like? Nobody knows. All we know is the current economy can’t “recover” because it can’t go back to where it was before the crash. So instead of asking when the recovery will start, we should be asking when and how the new economy will begin. More on this to come.

Then there is this video from Bloomberg on the subject of “Where We are Now,” which features Robert Shiller (his website here), the economist’/housing forecaster from Yale and New York University’s Nouriel Roubini.

At Roubini’s site, RGE Monitor, there is also a link to the video and a breakdown of key sections with their time.  The discussion is titled:

Roubini on a Bloomberg Panel: Recession will Last Another Six Months and the Recovery will be Shallow

The key points I jotted down from Roubini  are that in the short term (1.5 years) there will be deflation and by the end of 2010 we’ll be seeing inflation. Frankly, I thought the discussion was more pessimistic than the title suggests!

Of course, over at ChrisMartenson.com, there is continuing analysis of all this plus a longer term view of the direction we’re going in presented in The Crash Course and what we can do about it.

***

THE PAST WEEK

*By Kenosha Marge

Saturday, July 11, 2009: One Year Anniversary of “Peak Oil Day” Makes it a MUST to Watch “The Crash Course”

*NOW, NOW…THERE, THERE…LITTLE VOTER

200,000 Hits!…Some of the Stories that Made it Happen: Obama’s Handwriting; Nation of Nincompoops, Obama’s Associates; Sharia Finance; The Fed; Reality Check from Chicago

July 4, 2009: Tea Party in New Mexico Shares Day with Muddy “Rainbow Gathering”

About Sarah Palin…

200,000 Hits!…Some of the Stories that Made it Happen: Obama’s Handwriting; Nation of Nincompoops, Obama’s Associates; Sharia Finance; The Fed; Reality Check from Chicago

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I knew we were close to 200,000 hits but we blew past that mark a lot sooner than I had anticipated.

A few days ago I came up with the idea of doing “Our Greatest Hits” as a way of marking the occasion. I emailed the troops to see if they had any preferences about which of their stories should be given a second look.  Well, they decided to defer to ME!   GRRR!!  So, at the risk of missing their best, here goes!

Of course, if, Kenosha Marge, Grail Guardian, American Lassie or Chicago Correspondent Leslie have other ideas, they can post the links of anything they find in the archives that they want to highlight. It’s not too late!!  LOL~

First, I’ll start with something I wrote. It has to be:

Obama–A Look at the Personality Behind the Handwriting

Believe it or not, I actually received an email from an aide to one of the authors whom I cited at the end of the piece. This author really like the article and requested a copy!

Kenosha Marge was the first on board as a contributor and she has written some marvelous rants!  Which to choose?  This one if from a couple of months ago and seems to cover a lot of bases:

A Nation of Nincompoops

Grail Guardian arrived a bit later and has written some amazing pieces, both personal and political.  But this is the one that immediately came to mind. Actually, there were two separate posts which we combined into one for easy reference:

Parts 1 & 2–The Lineup: A Who’s Who of The Associates of Barack Obama

American Lassie hopped on board and has been digging around money and Shariah issues. Here’s another recent post that seems to warrant another look:

Sharia Finance: Rapidly Increasing Inroads Via American Banks…With the Help of Our Treasury Department

And this one:

Eustace Mullins’ “Secrets of the Federal Reserve”: Read About what Ezra Pound Called “The Great Betrayal”

Last, but definitely not least, Chicago Correspondent Leslie has dropped little nuggets our way on a regular basis. Nearly every “Past Week” post in the archives has something from Leslie.  But here’s something she emailed to me which merited an entire post!

Reality Check from Our Chicago Correspondent: University of Chicago & Its Hospital “Terminating” Jobs Like Crazy (Michelle O., Guess Shuffling All Those Indigent Patients Elswhere Didn’t Help the Bottom Line That Much? Your “Plum” Job is Going, Too!)

These last two pretty much sum up the craziness we’re in these days:

Williamette, Oregon Weekly’s HILARIOUS/Scary Portrayal of Obama (UPDATED 3x and Now Just Plain SCARY)

and the first part of this post:

BREAKING: El Paso Man Commits Suicide, Leaves Note to Obama “Take Care of My Family”; Other NM News–VOTING Problems, Giuliani in So. NM Tonight (Saturday)

We’ve covered a lot of ground these last 14 months and have written on a wide variety of topics, from politics, to international news, to health and animals and pets.  Not to mention the media and manipulation…

So, although we’re posting a little less frequently these days, if you mosey around the archives you’re sure to find some interesting background info and even some stories that are off the radar of most blogs…hey, what’s that about that 3rd largest port in Mexico and Citicorp?