Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You've got to laugh...

This just tickled me

From the CIA World Fact Book - National current account balances for 2006 ranked by size...

The Top 10 -

It's from the CIA so it must be true


then 143 other countries


I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
V

Then the bottom 10 -

...and it's a bronze medal for the UK


Ha ha ha. How we laughed ...

and then we went out and bought some more crap

-

edit:

eight hundred and sixty two billion dollars...

fuck me

.

21 comments:

paul said...

I think its admirable that we stand shoulder to shoulder with our oldest ally.
If they're ready to crater their economy in the interests of their military and financial elite, sorry, democracy and peace, then so should we.
Not because it makes any sense, but because, with our hands on our hearts, we think its right.

Recall ex carlyle europe chairman john major's rumination:

Condemn a Little More, Understand a Little Less

He was talking about crime, but the genius of our departing prime minister was to fashion an entire philosophy out of it. You can apply it to science, economics,war, it works for everything!

Apprentice said...

Jeeeez! I knew it was big, but....... !!

Fantastic. Now, what does it take to cause it all to crumble?

And btw, I am in Nodnol again this w/e. Please give me a buzz, I will be free all day on Friday so I would love to buy you a pint and listen to you talk about national debt and crevice plottage, in person.

Wolfie said...

It really pisses me off with all these obsequious eulogies for the Blair reign when you look at the figures its been a bloody disaster. Lord above the British people are stupid and the press are a bunch of ignorant toadies.

Stef said...

The fact that three out of the bottom four countries are the three countries most vigorously pursuing the War on Terror in far off lands is, I'm sure, entirely coincidental

Sophia said...

I am really impressed. This is piraterie at its worst, invading a rich oil country to steal and at the same time to silence discontent at home from failing economic policies...
At least, the CIA is still useful...

Stef said...

@apprentice - I have never been known to refuse free beer, you're on

Stef said...

@sophia

I think it's more about using the occasional display of brute force to remind other countries what happens if they don't accept worthless dollars in payment for their produce.

The oil is just a bonus

Stef said...

Condemn a Little More, Understand a Little Less

/new personal mantra

Joe Black said...

Thats just the fucking Dome.

Jon Doy said...

cor lummie guv, gotta love, absolutely adore that FRACTIONAL RESERVE LENDING...yup, for every pound in the bank, the bank (with the full backing of the Bank of England who make the money out of your misery) says "please, lend out ten, and pay us interest on the money you create"...wtf ? so they just magic the money in my wallet out of thin air ? you say ?...yes, yes they DO

every one of the murdered US presidents tried to kill this system, as well as the bloke who was saved by two misfiring pistols

"freedom ! freedom ! no to slavery and fraud found outside of western democracy" they say...earning interest for money you've forged youself as a bank, and coaxing people into borrowing money then later pulling the plug DELIBERATELY - on the other hand, is freedom baby !

you can learn more about this delightful game by spending a most informative three and a half hours watching this: http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=7757684583209015812 ...and the presenter even has the solution, as did 'a few' assassinated el presedentos

i highly recommend watching the above film Money Masters, it covers everything in a way nothing else does...i think it's a safe bet that the rabbit hole goes about this deep and no' much further

of course, it would be the thinking of some mad eyed ultraloon to believe for one solitary moment that an ever spiraling - never possible to pay off - debt is a bad thing, right ?

good news is, that if enough people come to understand just how crooked the money system is, it CAN BE CHANGED, as it has been before

by the way Stef, love the blog

Apprentice said...

jon doy wrote:
"every one of the murdered US presidents tried to kill this system"

Nice to know!

Stef - where??? I am thinking 2pm somewhere we can drink beer that isn't full of smoke where we can peoplewatch and in the sunshine would be nice too.

Are you awake yet? ;)) Will be heading orff out soon, so unless it's in the next half hour, you'll have to text or phone me. I've got an Oysterstalk card, too. Go me.

I love the blog too. My favourite daily read.

Stef said...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Stef said...

@apprentice

Yes

All US Presidents who were assassinated had attempted to kill the debt-money system

However, not all Presidents who have attempted to kill the debt-money system were assassinated.

One of them managed to dodge the bullet

If I were awake I'd remember which one

Stef said...

@jd

thank you

I know the Money Masters of old. Good info and better than Russo's film but a little old now and very, very long. On top of that once you start noticing Bill Still's habit of constantly twiddling with a pen it gets under your skin after a while ;)

Jon Doy said...
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Jon Doy said...

yes, the pen...i had hoped that by the end of the first hour the thing would have worn down thanks to wind erosion alone, but Mr 'Still' obviously didn't try hard enough

mightier than the sword indeed :)

Naj said...

OhLALA ... good one!

Anonymous said...

Here's Spain's excuse -

"Spain Is in Big Trouble
By Tom Dyson

In the last two months, Spain has dumped 80 tons of gold onto world markets. It has also flogged huge quantities of U.S. Treasuries, British gilts, and other similar reserve investments at a similar rate.

Why?

According to an article in London's Daily Telegraph, the Spanish government is running out of money. The Banco de Espana now has less than $17 billion in foreign currency and gold reserves left. This is enough for just 12 days of imports.

The euro is the problem. European interest-rate policy applies to every country that uses the euro as its currency. Problem is, the European countries are all different and their economies move at totally different speeds. Interest rates are the politicians' most important tool for managing the economy. By joining the euro, you're giving up that power.

An example: In the early 2000s, Ireland was struggling with inflation but had to accept interest-rate cuts because – at the same time – Germany was fighting a recession.
Interest rates are set to German considerations. Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and the euro is basically just a new name for the mark. Look at the chart we call the "Euro Convergence Trade." It shows how bond yields in Spain, Italy, Poland, and Greece all converged on German rates when they joined the euro.

The Convergence Trade

Interest rates fall dramatically as soon as it's clear
you're giving up your currency and joining the euro

Anyway, Spain has a notorious problem with inflation. And German interest rates weren't appropriate. You guessed it, the ultra-low rates of the last three years have made the Spanish economy overheat. It's a bit like forcing the Mexicans to use the Fed's interest rate policy. Imagine how bad inflation would be in Mexico right now after two years of interest rates at 1%!

The results are amazing. For one, Spain has the largest current account deficit in the industrial world after the United States. This is astonishing for a country with only 40 million people and that until recently was still considered a third-world country. Spain's current account deficit is now 10% of GDP. Household debt has risen to 133% of disposable income... the highest level in the world. (The U.S. ratio has just reached 110%, its own personal best.)

Second, Spain has the largest property bubble in the world. More than 800,000 homes were built last year in Spain, beating France, Germany, and Italy combined. House prices have risen 270% over the past decade. A real bubble in housing construction formed last year. One builder – called Astroc – listed in June 2006. It's stock rose tenfold in the last nine months. Construction now represents 16% of total Spanish GDP.

Now the interest-rate problem is hurting Spain again – but this time its in the opposite direction. You see, the Germans have decided to raise interest rates on the euro. They've risen seven times since December 2005 to 3.75%.

"Spanish housing is about to implode," says Charles Dumas, chief economist at Lombard Street Research.

In Spain, 96% of mortgages use floating rates, but in Germany, most people have fixed-rate mortgages. In other words, the Germans are causing a property crash in Spain.

On April 25, a panic swept through the construction sector of the Spanish stock market. Spain's biggest property group, Sacyr, fell 8.15%, while developers Colonial and Inmocaral plunged more than 11%. And Astroc? Its stock crashed 60%.

What does it all mean? Big trouble for Spain, I think. If the property market goes into a tailspin, it'll lead to a banking crisis and a recession. But the Spanish authorities won't have any power to deal with it as their policy is tied to the euro. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank won't help either. It's forbidden from bailing out member states.

Bernard Connolly, global strategist for Banque AIG and former head of economic research for the European Commission, says, "Spain is going to face the very direst of economic circumstances: a cycle of recession, deflation, and widespread private sector default – a depression in fact. This stock market slide is not just a 'correction'. It has a very, very, long way to go."

You could short sell the Spanish stock market... using the Spain ETF. The Spanish stock market will struggle when the higher European interest rates begin to kick in to those adjustable rate mortgages.

Buy gold is my second suggestion. To me, Spain's problems are the first signs of cracks in the euro's flawed design. Apparently, Greece and Portugal have seen a drop in reserves of foreign currencies just like Spain's. Greece and Portugal also have historical problems with inflation and overheating. Maybe they'll follow Spain down the hole, too? Either way, a huge euro-fiasco can only strengthen gold's case.

Good investing,
Tom"

jon doy said...
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jon doy said...

G Edward Griffin on Money as Debt:

http://www.freedomforceinternatio
nal.org/freedomcontent.cfm?fuseac
tion=money_as_debt&refpage=issues

(needs a tiny url - sorry)

nice find from Muncher

something of a rebuttal to Money Masters and Money as Debt:

Griffin makes a strong argument for his case against money backed by nothing, but Still does cover Griffin's biggest reason to be against such money by stating that the supply should only be increased strictly in line with population growth, however, Griffin's concerns about trustworthiness of government are of course entirely legitimate

i have often pondered the gold issue, thinking about all the gold jewellery in circulation, it must count for something, but the fact that the centralised bankers have stockpiled so much of the stuff does suggest, that they might be pre-defensively doing so incase precious metal backed currency makes a comeback, or perhaps they want it to ? then their massive reserve of the stuff will allow them to quickly return to the business they are currently engaged in of creating boom and bust by manipulating the money supply

i'm as confused as i ever was about which way is preferable, but it seems that one thing everyone does agree on is that the current system is totally wrong

Stef said...

I haven't watched the vid yet but I will

Gold has the advantage over bits of paper or digits on a computer in that it has inherent worth as it can be used for something )not just jewelery) but there's no doubt the forces that control the paper money supply also control the gold supply

Personally I don't care what money is backed by, as long as the supply is only allowed to grow in line with increases in population/ productivity

...and anyone caught lending and charging interest on money they don't have should get locked away the same as any other thief

fundamentally, it's not a complicated issue