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B4 The Bell Tuezelday September 14


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#1 Hiding Bear

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 07:11 AM

:D Welcome to B4 The Bell! :D

Promises, Promises:

The expansive agenda President Bush laid out at the Republican National Convention was missing a price tag, but administration figures show the total is likely to be well in excess of $3 trillion over a decade.

A staple of Bush's stump speech is his claim that his Democratic challenger, John F. Kerry, has proposed $2 trillion in long-term spending, a figure the Massachusetts senator's campaign calls exaggerated. But the cost of the new tax breaks and spending outlined by Bush at the GOP convention far eclipses that of the Kerry plan.

Bush's pledge to make permanent his tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of 2010 or before, would reduce government revenue by about $1 trillion over 10 years, according to administration estimates. His proposed changes in Social Security to allow younger workers to invest part of their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds could cost the government $2 trillion over the coming decade, according to the calculations of independent domestic policy experts.

And Bush's agenda has many costs the administration has not publicly estimated. For instance, Bush said in his speech that he would continue to try to stabilize Iraq and wage war on terrorism. The war in Iraq alone costs $4 billion a month, but the president's annual budget does not reflect that cost.


http://www.washingto...-2004Sep13.html

Grim outlook for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp:

t has been a struggle for some, but most big companies are coming up with enough cash to keep their pension funds legally sound, after three years of extraordinary losses. Not so their government backstop. Slowly but surely, the federal agency that insures pensions is running out of money.

An independent analysis of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, made available to The New York Times, suggests that the agency will go broke in 2020 if current financial conditions persist. Even if things improve, so that fewer pension funds fail than in recent years, the agency is still expected to run out of money by 2023.

"Any private insurance company under those circumstances would be shut down," said Douglas J. Elliott, the president of the Center on Federal Financial Institutions and the author of the new study.

If the pension agency goes broke, one of two things would happen: the retirees who rely on it would stop getting their checks, or the taxpayers would have to bail the agency out. The agency currently pays benefits to more than a million people whose pension plans have collapsed. It also guarantees benefits promised to 43 million more people.


http://www.nytimes.c.../14pension.html


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More background on the $50 trillion in US government liabilities that Machinehead mentioned yesterday:

Traditional budget measures used by politicians and the press give what Walker and many others call a highly misleading view of the U.S. debt. These focus on publicly held debt already incurred, now at $4.5 trillion, or 10-year budget forecasts like the one released last week by the Congressional Budget Office showing a record $422 billion deficit this year and a $2.3 trillion 10- year deficit.

'Fiscal gap' in the trillions

But these figures, worrisome enough, are deceptive because they ignore future liabilities such as Social Security and Medicare payments to the Baby Boomers. An array of government and private anal cysts put the actual U.S. "fiscal gap," which means all future receipts minus all future obligations, at $40 trillion (Government Accountability Office) to $72 trillion (Social Security Board of Trustees).

These are not sums, but present-value figures, heavily discounted to show in today's dollars what it would cost to pay off the debt immediately. The International Monetary Fund estimates the gap at $47 trillion, the Brookings Institution at $60 trillion.

"To give you idea how big the problem is," said Laurence Kotlikoff, economics chairman at Boston University, who has written extensively on the subject, to close a $51 trillion fiscal gap, "you'd have to have an immediate and permanent 78 percent hike in the federal income tax."


http://www.sfgate.co...MNG2S8NOI21.DTL

Global warming and hurricanes:

Scientists are claiming that the unprecedented ferocity and frequency of the hurricanes that have battered the Caribbean this year can be blamed on one factor: the unexpectedly warm water that has been building up in the Atlantic over the past year.
But some leading US meteorologists reject the idea that this heating is in turn directly linked to global warming. The real villain is the great ocean conveyor belt that ferries warm water from the Equator to the poles, they say. Man-made climate change is a peripheral issue.


http://www.guardian....1302849,00.html

#2 DrStool

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 07:40 AM

Getting There, Step By Step

Huge Move Coming

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#3 thesun

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 07:53 AM

Ivan has turned north as it passed Cuba. Do not think for a second that Cuba is still not feeling some effect now.

Here in Arcadia, FL we are beginning to get some rain from Ivan. We do not
expect much effect other than rain. Just step outside and you can tell something is up. My heart is to that part of the nation that will get Ivan's eye.

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/browsh.html

The people of Arcadia have FEAR in their eyes, The word is, "Hey, have you seen what is behind Ivan. Just look at the link above. Things are far from normal here. In fact, things will never be normal here. Thing will just be different. And a new normal will come about. People talk to you, but you know what they are saying can change by the day. So the only planning MOST people are doing is the day to day event.

I sure do not want to see this goverment make up some bull sh-t great productivity number for this month. Millions of people have moved north, than back south, than back north, than back south. This does not seem to me to be productive. Like making bombs, these storms are creating jobs, but very little new production will come out of this work.

Doc, think carefully about when you will want to remove the plywood. I for one will just keep paying the higher light bill.

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:07 AM

Check out the Caymans:

http://seattlepi.nws.....the Hurricane

#5 machinehead

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:09 AM

Let me quote another portion of the NY Times article that Hiding Bear linked above:

In addition to charging companies premiums, the [PBGC] takes over the assets of pension funds when companies default, invests them, and uses the income to pay retirees. That means that every time a pension fund collapses, the agency gets an immediate infusion of money.

It also gets an even bigger burden of debt, but the debt is paid over the long term. Until the debts start coming due in large numbers, the tide of new money coming in gives the deceptive appearance that the agency is getting healthier every time another pension fund fails.

"It's the ultimate Ponzi scheme," said Mr. Ippolito, the agency's former chief economist. "That's what a Ponzi scheme is, by the way. It's when you're cash-flow solvent, but you're completely bankrupt as an organization. And what you need to keep going is to keep getting more suckers to come in to the pool every year."

The longer a Ponzi scheme keeps going, however, the more unsustainable it becomes.

"Sooner or later you run out of luck and the game is over, which is like all Ponzi schemes," Mr. Ippolito said. "You just can't put it off any more. But now, you're in worse shape than ever, because in the meantime, you've taken all these additional claims in."


So the PBGC is, in miniature, exactly like the larger Social Security and Medicare programs.

Under the Oxley-Sarbanes law, if the managers of a publicly-traded corporation grossly mispresented its financial position by claiming it was healthy on a cash basis (though bankrupt under GAAP accrual accounting), they would certainly go to prison. It's an open-and-shut case.

The "double standard" for the US govt -- which is many times larger than any multinational megacorp -- endangers the very foundations of society.

I marvel -- the average person today has probably eight years more formal education than in the early 20th century. But those relatively unschooled pre-1913 folks knew that gold is money, and the govt should balance it books.

Today -- four years AFTER Enron -- the govt is engaging in a vast "Enron accounting" scheme right in front of our eyes. Nothing happens. Nobody cares.

Help me, I'm going to SCREAM ... :shocked :shocked :shocked
"GOLD -- it's not just for misers anymore."

"Dollahs -- fire-starters for the K-wave winter." - Drano

"Three humps and a dump." - anotherone, 21 SEP 2004

"No gold was harmed in the making of this movie." - Bizarro Greenspan

[i]"Da Track. Da place where Morons bet on Animals Controlled by Criminals."
- our jickiss

#6 Hiding Bear

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:09 AM

Getting There, Step By Step

Huge Move Coming

Tanks! :) Good to see you back.

#7 Hiding Bear

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:17 AM

I marvel -- the average person today has probably eight years more formal education than in the early 20th century. But those relatively unschooled pre-1913 folks knew that gold is money, and the govt should balance it books.

Today -- four years AFTER Enron -- the govt is engaging in a vast "Enron accounting" scheme right in front of our eyes. Nothing happens. Nobody cares.

Help me, I'm going to SCREAM ... :shocked :shocked :shocked

As we see in the first story, our government wants to accelerate the giveaway aspect to SS ponzi scheme. The $1.3 trillion 'dollar pool' (foreign central banks buying $s) may have floated the economy for a few years but it will never provide the $50 trillion in retirement money needed over the next 20 years.

#8 Bearman

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:21 AM

thesun not the same= word! here in the woods outside g-ville

just came in from chainsaw work ,cloth wet with sweat and months
of work ahead.what dont kill you makes you stronger!

does that apply to my back?

#9 Guest_bullseatshitndie_*

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:24 AM

moments away from spx 1134-36 on a bogus retail sales #

#10 Bearman

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:32 AM

moments away from spx 1134-36 on a bogus retail sales #

that would be a gift to sell imo

when did you turn into a bull? :P

#11 Bearman

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:38 AM

fwiw the Bears are running scared :o

fall is just around the corner :o

a bull in every pot :P

#12 Guest_bullseatshitndie_*

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:39 AM

moments away from spx 1134-36 on a bogus retail sales #

that would be a gift to sell imo

when did you turn into a bull? :P

bull, no way, thanks for the insult :D
just tongue in cheek banter. yes, 1134 would be a great sell.
once 1122-23 gets broken, should see some downside.

#13 purdymouth

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:39 AM

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Retail sales slipped in August, falling more than expected under the weight of weaker auto demand. Retail sales decreased 0.3% last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales in July rose 0.8%, revised up from a previously reported 0.7% advance.

A 1.9% drop in motor vehicles and parts demand acted to push overall sales lower in August. July auto sales had gone up 2.2% Without the auto component, retail sales would have gone up 0.2% - a rather small increase as demand also fell for furniture, clothing and general merchandise.

Wall Street was expecting a smaller decrease in August retail sales. A Dow Jones Newswires-Crapvision survey of 21 economists had forecast a 0.1% dip in overall sales; anal cysts, however, did project a 0.2% advance excluding auto. The retail sales report is a key indicator of spending by Americans. Consumer spending makes up about two-thirds of gross domestic product and is closely watched by those trying to gauge economic performance.

Tuesday's data showed gasoline station sales increased 0.3% in August after falling 0.4% in July.

Demand rose 0.6% at food and beverage stores, 0.1% at electronic stores, 1.7% at non-store retailers, 0.4% at building materials and garden stores and 1.0% at health and personal care stores.

Sales fell 0.9% at furniture stores, 0.3% at restaurants, 0.4% at general merchandise stores, and 1.4% at clothing stores.

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:44 AM

Gold up $2...could get interesting today

#15 Hiding Bear

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 08:47 AM

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Retail sales slipped in August, falling more than expected under the weight of weaker auto demand. Retail sales decreased 0.3% last month, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales in July rose 0.8%, revised up from a previously reported 0.7% advance.

Where's the economy that 'gained some traction' that AG and other Wall Street economists see? :blink:

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