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Friday, March 14, 2008

“…so fucked you do not even know what is coming…”

posted by on March 14 at 20:40 PM

After today’s financial meltdown “[y]ou have to go back to the banking crisis of the Great Depression to find a moment when the financial system as a whole seemed so close to the precipice.”

A bit of commentary from the Exile, an alt-weekly for American ex-pats in Russia:

Everything about Bear Stearns collapse and bailout is a deja vu of collapse of Yeltsin-era banking system

In Russia under Yeltsin, when a bank was close to collapse they always assured the public that everything was fine and they blamed “rumors” for causing problems; this week, the CEO of Bear Stearns and all the American journalists on Bear Stearns payroll blamed “rumors” and “irrational psychology” for causing a run on Bear Stearns’ money during the week. The purpose of these lies is that it allows the insiders to cash out their money while the rest of the trusting American fools keep their money in, only to lose it later. Then after the insiders cash out, comes the supposed “panic” and “sudden” collapse, best to take place on a Friday of course. The “sudden collapse” and “panic” gives cover for the next even bigger transaction: the connected Bear Stearns banker calls the Central Bank Chief Bernanke, just as Khodorkovsky would call Dubinin or whoever was Central Bank chief then, and naturally Bernanke gives to Bear Stearns as many billions as the CEO asks for, and everyone thinks it’s okay because the billions were necessary in this atmosphere of alleged “sudden panic,” as if Bear Stearns and Bernanke had not been speaking to each other like phone sex addicts every day 24/7 the entire week.

It is sad to see Americans imitating the very worst Russians 10 years late, what incredible fucking losers you are! And meanwhile the American masses have no fucking idea, free press or no free press, they just stand around like retarded jackasses with a sign on their backs that reads “ASS-FUCK ME”, because they trust their leaders. Americans don’t know anything about Iraq anymore except that they’re winning, they don’t know hundreds of billions being stolen in front of their fat stupid faces, they don’t know anything except where to find a bargain on hamburger buns. I almost cannot blame Bush and the bankers for stealing from American fools, it’s just too easy! Let the bloodthirsty corrupt elite steal from the bloodthirsty retarded masses, it will hasten the final collapse of this cruel and shameful empire called “America.”

RSS icon Comments


Well, at least it has a point of view.

Posted by johnnie | March 14, 2008 8:59 PM

Don't hold back, now. Tell me how you really feel.

Posted by Dee in SF | March 14, 2008 8:59 PM

The hamburger buns line is a good one.

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2008 9:05 PM

Well, if you don't like it here, then leave . . . oh, yeah.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 14, 2008 9:07 PM

How to Survive a Depression

1. Have a good job that won't fire you.

2. Have a "secondary" skill that you can trade for things (ie. food, rent). Typically something necessary (like repair, or haircutting, or alcohol manufacture, or, well, prostitution.. something that people will want regardless of the economy).

3. Stock up on essentials. Canned food (plus spare can opener...), cat/dog food, bog rolls (toilet papier), warm clothes, water, candles. Basic emergency kit, times 6-24 weeks.

4. Start a Victory Garden. Get your soil tested for lead or toxic chemicals first. Learn how to compost.

5. Meet your neighbors.

6. Acquire useful, non-money, transferable items. Jewels, silver coins, gold teeth, cigarettes. Small things are easier to exchange than large, expensive things. Consider what people will want.

7. Keep a set of nice clothes. If you look good, you might talk your way into a good situation.

8. Keep your documents in order: passport, Drivers Lic., birth cert., green card, work visa, some pay stubs, etc. etc. You never know.

If we go down, Canada and other places are going down too, so running for the border won't help much. Better to rock your community and work it out.

Good Luck.

Posted by treacle | March 14, 2008 9:22 PM

ahhh - the bitter drunk ex-pats....

Posted by hong kong | March 14, 2008 9:34 PM

Just because something happened during a bad time that is happening now does not mean that now is the same as said bad time. the great Depression was largely caused by a deflationary economy due to a partial gold standard hampering the feds ability to inject money into the economy. Essentially the economy was to big for the amount of money. That took a normal recession and prevented any meaningful recovery resulting in a depression.

What is happening now is more similar to the S&L debacle or if things do not improve, the stagflation of the 70's. We are not there yet, but the Fed will not allow deflation and will pump enough money in to keep things moving even if it causes pretty severe inflation. Which will bad, would at least have the effect of making our debts much less.

Posted by Giffy | March 14, 2008 9:40 PM

i don't care what these idiots say, i'll still take my chances in the states over russia. nice comment treacle

Posted by bjank | March 14, 2008 9:56 PM

" I almost cannot blame Bush and the bankers for stealing from American fools, itís just too easy!"

i have to admit this exact sentiment occurred to me recently, too.

Posted by ellarosa | March 14, 2008 10:02 PM

Let's see, banking deregulation followed by a pattern of irresponsible lending followed by a meltdown followed by hundreds of billions of dollars disappearing, never to be heard from again, into the private offshore accounts of the very same people who caused the crisis in the first place -- it kinda sounds like the S&L Crisis. Now, let's see, who was the president when that happened again? Damnit, it's a familiar name, and it's right on the tip of my tongue...

Posted by flamingbanjo | March 14, 2008 10:09 PM

god, I love the eXile.

Posted by gnossos | March 14, 2008 10:18 PM

A number of people on the Washington Post blogs were recommending we start shooting CEOs.

Not a bad idea, when you think about it ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 14, 2008 11:13 PM

You and me both, gnossos.

As much a staple as this rag.

Nothing beats War Nerd, though.

Posted by Max Bell | March 14, 2008 11:15 PM

You do that, Will. Of course, you'll have to find them first. And don't expect any of your "number of people" to stand your bail.

Posted by Fnarf | March 14, 2008 11:16 PM


Posted by kid icarus | March 15, 2008 12:35 AM

War Nerd!! Yes!

@12: Hey go get busy Will. By all means, what with that sniper training and all. Have at it.

Posted by gnossos | March 15, 2008 12:38 AM

The crises is real.

The extent of the problems is massive and the solutions are mean.

Because of bad loans and shrinking real estate equity - US and International banks are sitting on over 10 trillion dollars of bad commercial paper.

No buyers, lots of wellers.

No liquidity.

Solution: massive bank failures, panic intenationally which mens capital flight from US money systems, Stock crash, and many more problems.

In the mean, those with cash from outside the US will buy the USA at 10 cents on the very weak dollar. Because of oil revenue, many nations are filthy rich.

Canada among them.

Get ready, learn to be very frugal, keep liquid, consider doubling up to share expenses, and talk to the old timers who survived the Great Depression.

By the way, Bush has done little so far.

Clinton could handle it.... Obama no.

Posted by Adam | March 15, 2008 1:55 AM

Some form of major system failures and panics and bank runs are at the door. Foreign investment is fleeing the US by the hundreds of billions daily. The capital is taking refuge in the Euro and other strong currency and oil rich countries. "Rats leaving the sinking ship" - the US economy.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae - two giant quasi public money pools - are both nearly at the end of the line.

The govt created them about 30 years ago to bond/secure home lending and create money flow to home lending - the treasury/fed and MUST step in to rescue since they have always been under treasury guarantee. The cost for these two alone will be trillions. Just two.

Explain it better, Prof. Fnarf.

Posted by Kenneth | March 15, 2008 2:07 AM

The chimp dances, the VP loots - and the economy is tanking.

If there is no market for commercial paper, it is worthless.

If you hold a billion dollars of bad real estate loan paper and you cannot convert it to cash, even at horrific discount, you are not just hurting, you are bankrupt.

Bankss can take back the house, but it might take years to get money out of the real estate, and then at steep discounts to face value. Homes in Las Vegas have declined 20-30 percent in the last year. Banks have thousands of them in default.
Want free rent, go to Vegas and house sit for banks in empty homes they are swamped with.

Now repeat that scene in 40 American markets - the problem is astonishing.

The next default will be the middle class as they realize the loan on the house is $100.000. more than it is worth at declining current market. They will take the credit hit and walk away. Second wave of major default is coming... more empty houses that are "no sale" in the slump.

Posted by Barry | March 15, 2008 2:20 AM

Thanks America! By having your economy and currency in the bottom of the shitter, I living and working out of the country can buy dollars and get a 20% DISCOUNT ON MY UNIVERSITY LOANS! YES! THANKS

Posted by robot2501 | March 15, 2008 4:40 AM

the sky is falling!

Posted by chicken little | March 15, 2008 6:17 AM

Clinton could handle it.... Obama no.

LOL! That's the funniest thing I ever read. Neither could handle it, its out of their hands, but I don't think either one would make it worse (like Bush). At best, what we could get from Obama is some FDR style fireside chats and someone who actually makes us feel good about our country for a change. Hillary? Not so much....that baggage is too heavy.

Posted by Herbert_Hoover_FDR | March 15, 2008 7:14 AM

What, like I should pay attention to people who are so bedrock stupid that they live in fucking RUSSIA -- by CHOICE?

My grandparents, who got the hell out of there 100 years ago, piss on these guys from their graves.

Posted by ivan | March 15, 2008 7:50 AM

@17 and 18,

Nobody is fleeing, they are just holding back in safer investments until the market bottoms out, which its possibly going to in the next couple months. In fact far from being worthless many of the MBS are undervalued at this point. Remember at the bottom of all this are actual properties securing the debt and while a few are upside down, most have more equity in them.

Its pretty unlikely that we would see a total collapse of the real estate market nationally as there is just too much cash floating around for that too happen. People will swoop into to buy at that point. Now is unemployment were at 15%, wages were plummeting, and banks out of money, then yeah time to panic, but so far non of that has happened.

Posted by Giffy | March 15, 2008 8:42 AM

@23, When you have to a big festival to get people to fuck so your population doesn't continue to plummet you know your Country has got to be a pretty big shit hole.

Posted by Giffy | March 15, 2008 8:49 AM

@17: You almost had me until that last line. Clinton's only financial strength is her totemic significance as the wife of the president during a period of economic prosperity he may or may not have actually been responsible for.

I do tend to give his policies some credit but there are arguments on both sides for how much was Bill Clinton and how much was essentially chance.

Posted by Dawgson | March 15, 2008 9:23 AM

Seattle is a bubble right now - we do not have the Vegas scene with hundreds and hundreds of new homes vacant.

Nor the same no jobs problems.

As far as where is the bottom, Wa Mu has lost 70 percent of its market value in a year. Wall street says its bonds will son be rated JUNK .... is that the time to buy?

My feeling is that Hilary would do better. First she has a stronger plan to freeze foreclosure and delay interest rate increases.

In this era, the executive power of the White House in un contested. By ex. order, almost dictatorial. Who said what can the president do?

Ohio, Pa. and all the big states are going to react to the economy. And more so as this continues. Maybe time and shifting events are on Hilary side. Ah, the fates of history.

Obama is rookie. She is the fighter. Either is better than Mc War - the saga continues.... and I think Clinton will benefit from the sour economy. Sorry Obama folk, fate is ficle.

New Russia is haded to be one of the richest nations on earth. All the mineral resources abound, oil and natural gas gushing. And the EU ready and willing to partner. India and China to buy.

They fear America and are rearming rapidly. Their version of SAC is back in the air.Nest they will refurbish the nuke subs and build new ones.

They know Mc Cain is nuts and scary.

Posted by Barry | March 15, 2008 10:08 AM

Which reminds me, Safeway has a good two for one deal on hamburger bugs this week.

Posted by Todd | March 15, 2008 11:03 AM

Hahaha, all you chicken littles fearing the forthcoming recession because you can't handle any real hardship whatsoever.

I've been living on a shoestring for years. This will have a slight effect on me. Meanwhile, this will ruin so many of your pampered, spoiled lives.

Posted by Gomez | March 15, 2008 11:25 AM

It's sweet of you, Gomez, to adapt that optimistic american view that somehow the poor will do better in all this than the rich. If things get worse for everyone, the poor are the first to get fucked. I've got a great recipe for boiled shoestring.

Posted by me | March 15, 2008 11:40 AM

Now Obama is going to have to go in front of the cameras and distance himself from The Exile. Would you all please stop telling the truth. It makes people nervous.

Posted by Paul In SF | March 15, 2008 1:16 PM

@29 I've got to agree with you. The only difference this is going to make is that America is no longer the richest country in the world-and much like the Roman Empire, the British Empire, etc., we were just on top for too long. This was bound to happen sooner or later, and the most it will cost is that people might not get to have 2 houses anymore or live in total financial security. We might have to stop paying Hollywood and athletes thousands of dollars for entertainment purposes. We might have to buy 24 inch screen instead of that brand new flat panel.

Geeeez guys, let's keep our heads and not overact. just think we've been spoiled with the economy over the past 20 years, and something that is understandable (economies go through growth spurts and valleys) is suddenly blow out of proportion because we can't be AS RICH as all fuck.

Also, much like China decrying the United States for its "human rights violations" and then turning around and killing 100+ Tibetan protestors, who are the Russians to criticize us? Also, wouldn't they just LOVE to take any small chink in America's armor and blow it out of proportion so they don't have to stare their own problems in the face? Why are we so quick to assume that anyone foreign has a clear-minded view on the US, free of bias?

And the Obama/Clinton comment just made me think of my college pol. sci. professor, who bemoaned that most Americans seem to think the president has a big lever in his office that switches from "Recession" to "Prosperity" at whim.

Posted by Marty | March 15, 2008 2:32 PM

I'm taking this time to stock up on the essentials: espresso machine detergent, bicycle chain grease, and Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage On A Stick.

Posted by nbc | March 15, 2008 5:40 PM

Ten Ways to Survive a Depression:

Canned Goods

Andrew Sisters

Little Orphan Annie



Cloche hats

Flagpole Sitting

Dish Night

Rent parties

Dago Red

Posted by It's not stupider than the other list..... | March 16, 2008 8:28 PM

great list nbc, although couldn't you squeeze #3 to get #2, in a pinch?

Cosmic catnip is also a necessity.

Posted by wbrproductions | March 16, 2008 11:00 PM

If people in Russia think this is bad, we're FUCKED.

Posted by Greg | March 17, 2008 9:43 AM

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