Tuesday, September 16, 2008

AmeriKa's Fascist Economy

Author's emphasis, not mine.

"America 's Financial Apocalypse Heralds Decade Long Depression

by Mike Stathis

Despite attempts made by Greenspan and Bernanke, there is no way to avert the payback period that has been building for over two decades. Over this stretch, America has consumed much more than it has produced. As a result, both consumer and federal debt have ballooned to record levels. And now, the payback period is upon us. The bailout buffet won't end with Fannie and Freddie. There's a lot more where that came from because the “Fed's food court” remains open, as does that of the U.S. Treasury. In fact, the autos are in the process of being bailed out with $50 billion in “loans.” I expect the airlines to also receive some form of a bailout as well.

But Greenspan and Bernanke have not been alone in what will surely be remembered as America 's Financial Apocalypse - the eventful period ushering in a decade-long depression, as predicted in my 2006 book by the same title. Certainly, President Bush did not create these trends. But his financial irresponsibility has accelerated their magnitude. In less than eight years, he has managed to increase the national debt by 90%. As the data shows, not only has he led the worst recovery since the post-WWII era, he has also positioned his successor with budget shortfalls for many years to come due to Part D Medicare, the Iraq War, and his tax cuts for the wealthy.

Combined with the staggering deficits for Medicare and Social Security , America 's economy will be in the gutter for many years to come even after the banking and real estate troubles cool down. No one else is talking about these issues because they're wrapped up in the daily drama....

Let's take a look at America 's “resilient economy.” Let's see…the entire financial system is in the process of blowing up. Already there have been over $500 billion in bank losses, with over $1 trillion more to come. Over one dozen banks have failed, with hundreds on deck. A handful of large hedge funds have blown up, with hundreds more on the way. Already, over $1 trillion has been transferred from the Fed to the banking cartel. But I estimate another $1.5 trillion will be needed to maintain liquidity as banks de-leverage over the next few years. Unemployment is now over 6% and inflation is over 5%, even with Washington 's manipulation of the data. Virtually every metric in the housing market is at multi-decade lows, except for foreclosures which are hitting new highs.

Taxpayers are now on the hook for billions of dollars of potentially worthless debt held by Fannie and Freddie. It's now official. America 's free market economy is really a socialist system for corporations. One could argue this to be a form of Fascism. My best estimate for losses due to the Fannie and Freddie taxpayer bailout are between $200 to $500 billion. The worst case scenario would be $800 billion. If this economy is resilient, I can't wait to see how it magically bounces back....

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