As Weiss Research financial analyst Mike Larson says in the latest Safe Money Report:
Despite all the siren songs by Washington politicians and Wall Street fat cats, the facts most Americans can see with their own eyes paint a very different, much darker, picture
- The housing slump has returned with a vengeance ...
- Unemployment is sky-high ...
- Consumers -- 70% of the economy -- are slashing their spending ...
- Despite the Fed's efforts to keep interest rates low, it's actually getting harder to borrow money!
Time after time, you have to wonder WHY there's such a glaring discrepancy between what you see with your own eyes and what everyone is telling you. And the answer is that Washington and Wall Street are lying through their teeth. The bald fact is that nearly everyone we trust to lead the economy or manage our money has serious conflicts of interest -- powerful incentives to make sure you do not know the truth:
- Politicians and bureaucrats need you to believe they're saving the day or they could lose their jobs ...
- Financial fat cats and CEOs need you to believe it's OK to buy their stocks again or their own shares in their companies will crash in value, and
- Rating agencies like S&P, Moody's, and Fitch need you to believe their ratings are reliable or the companies they rate will stop paying them for their ratings, and the agencies themselves will go belly-up.
The fact is, these rating agencies gave the most notorious flops of this crisis their highest ratings, right up until the bitter end: AIG ... Bear Stearns ... Citigroup ... Fannie Mae ... Freddie Mac ... Lehman Brothers ... Wachovia ... Washington Mutual and others all were rated highly.
And because "the customer is always right" ... and their paying customers are the very companies they rate ... you can bet your bottom dollar that nearly all the other ratings they've issued -- especially for the biggest companies that still pay the biggest fees -- are also deeply conflicted.
The disturbing truth behind the hype and happy talk
If the economy is recovering ...WHY ARE BANKRUPTCIES EXPLODING?!
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, the number of U.S. companies filing for bankruptcy each year has TRIPLED since 2006 and is setting new records this year. PLUS, the number of personal bankruptcy filings is soaring -- up as much as 35% per month so far in 2010!
No need to sugar coat the facts: The worst of this recession is NOT behind us, and the recovery is a sham -- a temporary respite bought and paid for by Washington. According to U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the government's own watchdog agency, Washington has spent on the bailout a staggering $3.7 trillion so far. But now that bailout money is running out, and America's financial judgment day is near.
I'm talking about an economic catastrophe that will:
- Erase what little home equity Americans have left, wiping out up to 100% of the nation's #1 source of retirement money, sentencing millions to poverty and driving foreclosure rates through the roof.
- Push banks like Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, US Bankcorp, SunTrust, Capital One, and many others back to the edge of the precipice.
- Greatly diminish the U.S. dollar's buying power and end the greenback's reign as the world's reserve currency.
- Kill what little consumer spending is left in the economy, slash corporate earnings and leave the stock market a smoking ruin.
What follows next is a synopsis of a great article by political science professor David Michael Green:
In the 1930s, the only thing we had to fear was fear, itself. Today, the main thing we have to fear is us, ourselves.
We live in a country -- nay, an empire! -- that insists on destroying itself. We're part of the generation of self-induced decline. Our people are the fools who perfected the fine art of committing suicide by stupidity. It's an astonishing phenomenon, and one of wide participation.
The Republican Party was once a moderately conservative, pro-business outfit -- until it was highjacked by the oligarchy and turned into a full-on predatory machine, hiding behind the facade of hate, mobilizing issues like bogus overseas threats abroad and uppity brown people and demanding women at home. Basically, any way that middle class white males could be distracted from their sinking economic status -- through the diversion of a sense of superiority over others, or the supposed threat to that superior status -- was employed to cover for a party whose true agenda was to quietly produce the greatest transfer of wealth in all of human history.
Having succeeded dramatically, they are back at it again. It is now transparent, for anyone who cares to look, that the ugly tea party movement in America is an invention of the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Dick Armey and their sick ilk, once again mobilizing a boatload of fools who are angry, but too stupid to know quite why. This explains their endless rhetoric about the evils of the federal government, and their simultaneous desire to keep their Social Security and Medicare benies. It also explains their unmatched idiocy in serving as tools for their own destruction. If they succeed, they fail. If they get their champions elected, they lose their government-provided goodies. Brilliant.