MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

February 21, 2010

Is It Time To Panic Yet? (Part 2)

In a previous article MasterPo explored the idea of being panicked about current events. And more recently it was discussed how today's events are not relatable to the Great Depression .

Yet still bad news and more bad news keeps coming.

Let MasterPo be clear (to borrow a phrase from our great leader President Obama): At any point in time – no matter how good things may be going at the moment - you can always find a gloom and doom article, someone saying the end of everything is just around the corner, or a conspiracy theory who/why/how events are being manipulated by a handful of people.

MasterPo used to enjoy watching the Louis Rukeyser show "Wall Street Week in Review". One of Lou's favorite market 'elves' was the late Martin Zweig. No matter how good the market was doing he was a perpetual bear. Every week he constantly said that all his indicators were pointing downward. Never a positive comment. Yet the market trudged onward.

And of course the now infamous Elaine Garzarelli made the call on Black Monday, yet hasn't been right since. Timing is everything apparently.

Call the end of the world often enough and sooner or later it will happen, though having insight about it can't be said. The boy who cried "Wolf!" was eventually right. Even Chicken Little will be right eventually too.

But is now that time?

Greece is in financial turmoil. Whatever bailout the EU is planning is a band aid at best. And many other EU nations like Spain and Italy aren't too far behind Greece either.

China is tightening its belt. Many pundits believe it too is in the throws a deep recession, just the totalitarian government is carefully hiding it. Pretty easy to do when the government is the only source of official data.

Russia isn't doing well either. And they trade heavily with China and the EU as well.

No need to go into the disaster that is the American Federal budget. And the U6 unemployment numbers are around 17% ( by way of Yahoo Finance has a good article about how the U1 thru U6 employment/unemployment numbers are computed). Not to mention President Obama just signed legislation increasing the government's debt ceiling (and the same day China released new requirements for borrowers – MasterPo does not believe in coincidence!).

There are also the unverifiable (or at least difficult to verify) articles and stories on blogs and websites about people buying gold and silver at record paces regardless of price or possible asset bubbles. And recently a responder on a certain financial blog stated that hedge fund managers in New York City, Boston and DC are buying up mid-west farms and farm land at frantic rates presumably (if true) as survival shelters when the economic collapse leads to social collapse.

Take that for what it's worth.

Then there is the constant commentary stream of darkness from sources like Beck, Limbaugh, Levine, O'Reilly et. al. Entertainers all (and good at their role, can't deny that) but factually wrong? MasterPo has looked into some of the statistics and figures these commentators have sighted and can't find any errors. The issue is the conclusions they draw from it.

Panic feeds on itself and snowballs. But truth is truth too. 1+1 still equals 2. It is part of the human condition to deny reality when that reality is horrible to our sensibilities. And no one wants to be seen as a panic stricken hot head yelling about the end of the world.

But MasterPo can say this: Economic turmoil usually happens fast! (ex: Enron collapsed in a matter of days) Extreme political change follows very quickly (ex: the fall of the USSR and the East/West German wall) and violent social upheaval that often follows also usually happen fast.

By the time the reality sets in for you it has probably already set in for all your neighbors and preparation and/or escape will be impossible as thousands, if not millions, of others will be thinking the same thing. But at the same time you can't live like a wacko hermit expecting everyday to be the last of life as you have known it to be.

MasterPo doesn't have the answers.

MasterPo is still trying to work this all out too and decided what is likely and what is just theoretical possibility (anything is possible but what is likely to happen can be totally different).

We are still living in interesting times and will be for a long long long period to come.

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