As readers have surely heard, the Dow Jones Industrials Average went over 10,000 this last week. This prompted many establishment “cheer leaders” in the media to declare that the “recession is over.” Is it really? The answer is “no,” but those whose entire world consists of the corridors of Wall Street might be forgiven if their myopic viewpoint can’t see what is happening “out here” in the real world.
Let’s do a little fact-checking on some statistics which actually matter on Main Street (roughly that part of the USA that does not have a Manhattan zip code or one in the wealthy suburbs where the denizens of Wall Street live). The first link below reports that weekly average wages (a critical issue for those who live in the real world) “have fallen 1.4% this year for private-sector workers through September…the biggest annual decline in real wages since 1991.” The report adds that “Hourly wages are stagnant or declining too.” This means that the vast majority of American consumers are making less money; therefore, they inevitably have less money to spend in the consumer economy. This does not bode well for any end to the recession. If the recession was ending, wages would be steadily moving upward.
The second link reports that home foreclosures are “up nearly 23% from 2008,” and that this “rapid-fire pace…may accelerate in 2010.” The article add that “a sizable second wave of foreclosures” might be imminent as “A large number of adjustable-rate loans are slated to reset.” It cites a RealtyTrac spokesman as saying a peak in foreclosures is not likely until “the end of 2010.” In other words, the foreclosure peak may be hitting just as the 2010 Congressional elections are taking place. That ought to be lots of fun for many Congressional incumbents. If the recession was really ending, the foreclosure rates would be dropping steadily, home prices would be rising and more and more homeowners would no longer be “under water” in their mortgages. None of these positive things are happening so there is no end to the recession on Main Street.
Other reports confirm unemployment is still rising in the USA. If the recession were really ending, the unemployment rate would be steadily dropping and factories would be calling people back to work by the hundreds of thousands each month. We all know this isn’t happening either. Indeed, U.S. companies have foolishly exported so much of America’s industrial base to China and other foreign nations that one wonders if there are enough manufacturing employers left in the USA to call enough workers back to real jobs in real factories located in the USA so it is possible for the recession to ever end?
How are the national finances doing? It’s best you don’t ask. The U.S. federal budget deficit is now so obscenely high that the U.S. Government is essentially funding its spending with what amounts to “monopoly money” created by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board to finance the budgetary black holes being created under President Obama. Obama, of course, is not wholly to blame for these deficits. For decades, presidents and Congresses from both political parties have been steadily ruining the nation’s finances with “fantasy-land” spending and accounting. Obama has the bad fortune of becoming president just as the federal deficit has reached the point of going parabolic in all measuring methodologies. Various reputable Cassandras have predicted for decades that the financial mismanagement of the federal budget had reached “unsustainable” levels. Guess what? We’re there now. Serious consequences await us in the future. The third link refers to the “rudderless U.S. fiscal policy” as being “the biggest long-term risk to the U.S. economy.” Need we point out that American fiscal policy is “rudderless” under President Obama’s “leadership?” Obama just won the Nobel Peace Prize without doing anything to earn it (by his own admission according to some media reports). Maybe Obama will also receive the Nobel Economics Prize for doing a marvelous job in actively demonstrating how his “rudderless” policies can drive a superpower right off an economic cliff.
The U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board have thrown trillions of dollars of stimulus money and special loans at the big Wall Street banks and corporations. Given the immense stimulus handed to Wall Street, it is hardly surprising that the Dow reached 10,000. However, all the very bad news which continues to emanate from the real world on Main Street indicates the Wall Street numbers are a “bubble,” not a real recovery.
The fourth link reports that the SEC is beginning to show a pulse in terms of actually acting in the public interest to restrain criminality on Wall Street. The SEC was the federal agency which went out of its way to ignore Bernie Madoff’s mega-ponzi scheme even though the SEC was given all the evidence needed to arrest Madoff (as various media reports have documented). Perhaps embarrassed by how close it was to Wall Street crooks, the SEC was recently involved with U.S. Attorneys in arresting a group of Wall Street insiders in “the biggest insider trading scheme ever involving a hedge fund.” According to this article, this crime involved not only a Hedge Fund Manager, but also “a senior official at IBM…executives of Intel…two former Bear Stearns employees,” etc. What is remarkable in this case is that an unnamed insider helped authorities by arranging for wire taps to be used in gathering evidence against the ones arrested.
Given the many media reports of extensive corruption and insider schemes within Wall Street, there may be a large number of “unnamed insiders” now working with federal and state law enforcement agencies to place wiretaps on the phone lines and in the board rooms of their bosses and associates at the big Wall Street Banks, Hedge Funds, etc. Who knows how many other wiretaps have been quietly gathering evidence against many other well-placed insiders on Wall Street during the last year or so? Many more crooked insiders on Wall Street may be arrested in future months as hitherto-unknown wiretaps bring more arrests of prominent insiders and managers involved with Wall Street’s recent orgy of financial sins. I think only the naive would believe that these reported wiretaps were the only ones gathering evidence on Wall Street.
The mismanagement of the U.S. federal budget has become so vast it is actually comical. As I was reading the October 17, 2009 issue of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune yesterday, I read a tongue-in-cheek article indicating that the financial problems of the U.S. federal government are so huge that they cannot be managed or solved by any honest means. It admits by seriously stating that “the dollar is at a breaking point,” and then proceeds to humorously propose that U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner go to the now-imprisoned Bernie Madoff to seek the “assistance” of a convicted but skilled crook in managing the federal government’s current “ponzi scheme” financing of its own budget and currency. It includes a theoretical “conversation” between Madoff and Geithner about the sad state of the U.S. federal budget and how to keep world markets duped as to how bad things really are. I suggest you read it for a humorous “take” on the current financing of the federal government.
So is the recession over? Take a look at the raw data in the links below and decide for yourself.
Revelation 17 and 18 prophecy that the global financial/commercial/monetary system of Babylon the Great, an interlocking, self-dealing alliance of the “merchants of the earth” (the global multinational corporations) and the “kings of the earth” (the complicit political leaders of the world’s governments) will experience a spectacular collapse in the latter days. The sins of “Babylon the Great” are many. God is arranging events to ensure that it “reaps what it has sown.” The tremendous stresses building up in global monetary, commercial and financial systems indicate that collapse is drawing nearer, but again I offer no dates or predictions when this will happen. It will happen when God chooses to make it happen.
Now I have a final surprise for all good conservative readers of this blog, I recommend that you see the latest Michael Moore movie, “Capitalism–A Love Story” if you have the chance. I saw it recently, and while I strongly disagree with some of Michael Moore’s personal politics, he hits a “home run” with this movie. Mr. Moore was, in my viewpoint, deeply wrong in his previous anti-gun movie which I refused to watch. However, if you take some of Mr. Moore’s liberalism with a grain of salt, he unveils a core of solid truth in his current movie which all Americans should see and realize. I think his movie could have been named: “Babylon the Great–A Love Story,” as it so aptly describes the modern, corrupted capitalist system called “Babylon the Great” in Revelation 17 and 18. If you see this movie, you will realize why God has prophesied that his Divine judgment will come down very hard on our current global economic system at some point in the years ahead of us.