Now, AT&T, the once proud flagship of American commerce uses outright fraud to boost earnings

Despite the choice of forum in the title above, we know it's not only energy, oil and communication addicted to fraud to make up for a sagging profit margin since our national motto is now Lie,cheat and steal. Revealed to us through this bit from Reuters -

Business | Mon Aug 8, 2016 1:59pm EDT

AT&T to pay $7.75 million for allowing sham directory-assistance calls

WASHINGTON | By David Shepardson

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-fcc-idUSKCN10J1TX

"AT&T Inc will pay $7.75 million in refunds and fines after federal investigators found it allowed unauthorized third-party charges related to phony directory-assistance service on its customers' telephone bills, U.S. regulators said on Monday.

The fraud was uncovered by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration while investigating two Ohio companies for drug-related crimes and money laundering, the Federal Communications Commission said."

Who else is engaged in the tactic?

"AT&T, the Dallas-based telecommunications giant, allowed "scammers to charge customers approximately $9 per month for a sham directory assistance service," the FCC said. AT&T received a fee from the companies for each charge AT&T placed on its customers’ bills, the FCC added.

The settlement includes $6.8 million in refunds and a $950,000 federal fine, the FCC said."

Locally, our water supplier, the county, recently had a sudden drop in monthly charges. From prices that vascillated between $65 and $78 per month, unannounced, my following month's bill was $48! In casual conversation with neighbors, I was informed the county was involved in a scandal - they'd been adding on false charges to our bills, no one knew how much or how long and no additional information was to be found. no word on whether charges were launched against the county or whether restitution would be made.

Since the revisitation to John Eliot Cairns' 1875 sortie into the logic of Political Economy, I've noticed some of my older news and tech articles - set aside for future consideration - deal with corporate profits and financial ratios. Normally these are accountant concerns and if the government does not receive its cut or the hue and cry is not running rampant through the masses, not much comes of the disocvery of improprieties. The elected politicians set these events aside as "persuasions" when the next round of campaign contributions are due - in that bag along with the collection of other unabashed ammunition come November.

Principle among these accounting ratios are: Profit margin ratios - gross, operating and net profit margins - the accountant's interest of course leads us to bond and equity trading and leads to the Negative interest rate that was suggested as the ultimate policy goal of the Fed back in 2009 in the tsunami thread, starting at messages #14 and #15. If one's mind opoerates on the scam basis, raiding investments in government bonds by devaluing currency already committed to banks and commercial entities is the first resort - much easier than going out putting the bite on the unsuspecting for new funds and then being forced to explain the mechanisms - an explanation that on occasion can lead to embarrassment.

Coupled with this was the O&G suggestion of timeframes for resolution of our problems which eventually led to the ultimate 2034 date beyond which O&G was reluctant to pass. But, just a few days ago, the projection has been extended to "five decades" by younger and more fearless economists on the basis of the low interest bonds now in circulation. The economics trade has surpassed the reckless imagination of a more dottering speculator with little ground to support his opinion other than reason and exposure to history and some training from one-time experts who are no longer read due to the ticking of the clock and obselescence.

Perhaps it is time to begin considering the effect of profit margins. Such a project is in mind. . . . And, what do we find in the reportage these days

No less a guru than Jeremy Grantham has been issuing assessments - such as "From health care, to politics, to education, to the economy, the US is far from a standout, he says," (from an article by Luke Kawa on Bloomberg December 10th last). Bolstering this opinion, Grantham provides five charts: stagnant US wages; Inefficient health care; Plutocratic politics; children subject to inferior education; and misperception of our foreign aid profligacy", The aricle closes with the promise of addtional elucidation with "Watch Next: U.S. Economic Growth outlook: "Perhaps, eventually." More Grantham prognostication.

Whether anyone has stumbled over tha same literature O&G has - such as - From Reuters last Wednesday "The 'What if" spooking markets: Policy success". Which means if the Fed does have its way and inflation does rise, what happens to the bond holders whose numbers are increasing in case anyone has been watching the anemic volumes on stock markets hovering in the vicinity of 3.5 billion. Even as it rises!! . . barely enough to cover the HFT activity. But, then a penny or two at a time and eventually, the pumping will entice some innocent souls to expose their funds and enter the equity market with hopes of riding it up a few notches and dumping in time for the inevitable drop.

Then, there is the biggie showing just where commerce is headed - from back in July - Revised August 1st - Amid stories of oil via a review of Conoco-Phillips's loss of $1.1 billion, Electronics (Sony) earnings per share off 76% on an 11% decline in sales. Mitsui OSK lInes Jpan's second largest shipping company off 89%, General Motors being strained by the Brexit tangle and its disaapointments in expanding its business in Eurpoe. This, filed under the subheading of "Margin Decay" is part of the story which is not thoroughly convincing to some like Jim Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management, who points to this year's rebound with hopes or confidence for more rebound.

Strange thing about those fall-offs and rebounds: we had fall-offs entering the new millennium - from figures in the negatves which then under control by the optimists climbed into the mid-2000s with astonishing positive multiples showing improvement - just before the bottom opened and everything tanked and we started off on this search for honest improvement supposed to lead us to security that never happened and we now look forward to the next spare five decades before relief arrives. In the meantime the local counties can cheat on their billing to make up for short-fall in taxes and fees and capital management firms can overlook poor profit margins and look forward to bigger and better rebounds.

There's just so much one can tend to inthe effort to keep up with the changes under way - like the massive non-government databank which contains a profile of every adult American at the ready for private investigators - for a fee. Those chips on the charge cards are coming in handy - they cn tell what you had for dinner tonight if you ate out.

Speaking of which. . .

Relocation for easier access. . .

Larry Summers Financial Times column

Submitted by saldeck on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 04:41.

Larry Summers has a Financial Times column. He is saying loud and clear: you are not paying enough attention to growth, and growth ought be at the center of the party, and the new Administration's, economic plans.

America you get what you deserve, Economic Growth is the salvation of your country. For Republicans that might translate into more fossil fuels and keep out immigrants who will take away jobs from citizens. For Democrats that might mean let in more immigrants who will boost the economy by working for minimum wages. They have slightly differen slants on the main issues, but ultimately they believe in the same madness.

Here in Europe and there in America the politics we are witnessing is our damn faults. This is what we deserve for being so stupid and greedy. Everyone is to blame here. There are very few members of our society who can be counted as faultless. Many people see the absurdity of the current situation. But will they make a difference?

Economic Growth is the salvation of the country. Oh you growth-heads. One day when the Earth is completely scorched, you will eat your growth.

The politicians are unable to take action from the next crash. When we decide that we are less afraid of the State than of living on a planet without trees, without drinkable water, without arable land, without a hint of justice.

Sssshhhhh....silence your cell phones, silence the noise in your head...and just listen, listen carefully...can you hear it? It is a cry from the future, a mournful plea beggins us to capture this moment, Can you hear it? Listen again, listen closer. This is our last chance.
80% of the world's forest and 90% of the large fish in the ocean are already gone.

Sssshhh... silence the sirens of archaic archetypes, open mind to new configurations and heed the call of the future.
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Growth. . .

Submitted by Old and Gray on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 08:18.

[Copied and moved to top of this thread for easier access.]

In essence, economists, Larry Summers among them, consider expansion of money in circulation as a sign of growth if not growth itself. If we consider an increase of money in circulation, also ready for the extraction, credit and debt may be leading the way to the next collapse again. According to all definitions of the debt cycle known to O&G, included is a release of an unmetered additional currency into circulation. What follows are two reactions: first instinct is to spend the additional money that falls within consumer hands during expansion, (not invest, spend!) often incurring more debt as if there were no end to the bulge; and the second hammer is retraction of circulating money when debts are paid off, bank accounts are balanced and the circulating money retired when loans are paid off, made easier by the convenient inflationary growth of paper money to replace the inadequate supply of specie, the precious metals. Additional debt is incurred when the banks attempt to balance books with insufficient funds. The disparity is covered by authorities in government and central banks which are tied together through treasuries dealing with the “independent” central banks. The resulting deficit is then thrust onto taxpayers.

Remember J.B. Say's admonition that there had not been an
entity with the power to produce fiat currency who had not abused the right. And. that was an earlier point in history by two hundred years!

Imbalance occurs because some of the population (the well-to-do or at least the upper echelon) is involved in accumulating what is excess supply of money in their personal and business accounts which is then put aside as additional personal wealth, - and taken out of circulation! So that when the debts are repaid, there is a short-fall and banks have trouble recovering the currency they put in circulation temporarily to begin the distribution and "growth". Some diagnosticians can find a number of reasons behind the credit expansion, none of them to do with credit in their explanations - such as technological development, the compact, heavy investment required in production property in the new post-agricultural economies, and yet others maintain sunspots still have an effect on economies, others hold that plant facilities as compared to land ownerhip (in which acreage really spreads out over a great deal of territory in a hurry but produces little currency value so wealth is a slowly growing process – in time, another “creeping unprofitability” situation) so that the few acres surrounding a Roman villa or German "Hof"stead took on enormous impact only when it extended over several counties, etc.

Thus, emerging from feudalism and its agricultural base into the Industrial Revolution brought with it the more wide-spread diseases of redistribution of holdings and the more rapid accumulation which suddenly, due to high entry requirements, deprived the majority of people of the opportunity to participate, even though the concentration and accessibility of money made it easier for a privileged segment of population the opportunity to "save". The emerging middle class then turned to investing in abodes which became attractive to the wealthy only through the advance into large numbers of abodes, each of small value. Once it had the the attentionof the wealthy, banks and lending took on new importance giving the wealthy convenient new concentrated targets.

All of which developed into the mad scramble to entice the less well endowed nouveau riche into investment schemes and scams, dealing again with home and real estate in general. The scams that followed led to the monstrous collapses such as the Great Depression and the Great Recession and such overlooked events as the ten year late eighties undying recession, the succession of recessions in the first decade of the twentieth century and thereafter.. So, we experienced the madness of stock activity in the twenties based on credit and speculation which gave us that historic decade of suffering and the next millennium's derivative scams at the end of the twentieth century which gave us the collapse attributable to the derivative scams of the current millennium which now appears set to stretch into five decades of eclipse. . . but, bear in mind one saving grace, it has not yet been declared a depression! That lies ahead.

Now, in a search for a replacement deception with another name, the monied interests attempt to create another debt-oriented device for easy exploitation. Through those expansive windows in the board rooms, bankers notice that the landscape once covered with farmland has been dissected into households, also displacing the production facilities that have been shuttered since they no longer generate profit at a satisfactory level - hence, the "creeping unprofitability " paralysis syndrome resurfaces.

And bankers are returning to viewing private homes as the sure thing, the single largest concentration of "savings" or "investments". Unbelievable investment in land and houses, enticing beyond belief, begging to be tapped.
Our financial culture has overworked raw mortgages (that was part of the Credit cycle lead-in to the Great Depression) and we've done the derivative diversion, gambling off-shoots of available mortgages per se which were used to allow banks to forget their reserve requirements, and, so on to the-introduction of reverse mortgages, an introduction of another means of promoting debt and playing the game of dysfunctional monetary disequilibrium - deduct the mortgaged portion of investments in the homestead and attack the investment/equity portion. A practical application due for certain success after handicapping home owners through impoverishment.

The danger in this, the equity in the homes is not supported by additional reserves set aside, cash on hand, along with the diminished opportunity for stabilizing gainful employment which is all disappearing through negative interest rates and underpaid job opportunities, which for a while yet will be accepted as par for the course until the majority of prevailed upon wage earners conclude that they are being unfairly treated.

Carryover results to the future? Any hope that excess equity built into the family estate could be set aside to help finance the higher costs successive generation will be saddled with will be compromised. They will certainly experience diffculty in starting up a homestead of their own and acquiring a family residence – made more difficult by the constant increase in living expenses atributable to the inflation-based addictive deception we've developed (to further promote "growth") Parents may now, in good conscience - since it is part of “a law President Reagan signed into law 25 years ago”, - leave the progeny loaded with debt instead of paid off assets. The new debt loaded economic vista will then be an inherited curse instead of the helpful "nest-egg" they might have expected.

But, then, if not for the reverse mortgage device, some other, more effective, more deadly device could easily be developed and refined. All in the line of debt being used to strip people of reserves and resources. . . even before they have the opportunity to get their hands on what might have been left over as capital to fuel real growth for the next generation if they had been so carefully prepared.

They follow the latest cultural trend, latest TV commercials have grandma and grandpa going out and buying themsevles twin mortorcycles to have a ball in a new nomadic, spendthrift life as they enter their staid eighties and nineties. It's on the TV screen now. Live it up, go reverse mortgage!

.

If nothing else, this surely will give Larry Summers something else to add to his ever-growing definition of Secstag, and free the well-educated Economics trade from the ignominy of misleading us into a bleak future by way of fading macro-economics. Spendthrift Grandparents! Appealing to the general tendency to not see debt, but to see money waiting to be spent and opportunity wasted.

Shades of Nero and a burning Rome, Act nn, scene v!

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Illusions of progress

Submitted by neoh on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 11:29.

A tremendous amount of energy is being wasted on a narrow definition of growth. Recently, there is a growing consensus among small groups that the msm definition of growth may be distorted.

I tend to agree with saldeck and her example of wild fish populations. Inventing a more efficient factory ship that is able to harvest more of a rapidly depleting supply of the remaining fish is not growth in the long term sense.

The only consequence of the more efficient factory ship is a temporary (very temporary) reduction in the price of fish. Growth, if our species to survive, must not be measured solely by the old method of how much product is harvested per unit of labor.

Western forestry department realized this long ago by requiring saplings to be planted in forested areas that had been harvested. This would more accurately define progress. Unfortunately, this is not as diligently done today. Harvesting simply switches to a different land where replenishment is not required, or in the case of the USA and Canada, the replacement trees are of a lower quality, basically clones of the same species, that are susceptible to disease.

Similar foolishness is seen in construction of buildings and bridges. While less concrete is required when using steel rebar, Thereby reducing initial cost, the structure will only last a fraction of the time when compared to Greek and especially Roman era structures. This is not progress since modern structures can last longer, and still be built to great vertical height, by using corrosion resistant reinforcement bar.

There are many more examples that can be mentioned but all of the above have one thing in common. Mankind, as a whole, is no longer interested in long term progress. V_L has often mentioned that modern shoes and clothing suffer from the same malady. He also has mentioned the constant annoying bombardment of advertisers intruding into every aspect of our lives. The msm calls this technological progress.

I'm amazed by how many older people have fallen for the nonsense of older people riding motorcycles on the beach at 80 yrs old (see above post by Old and Gray). Obviously there isn't much emotional and maturity progress among those that think happiness will be realized by devoting their remaining years to such self centered foolishness. I guess that explains why the younger generation has taken instant gratification even further since we are demonstrating such behavior.

Economic progress is today measured by the closing number of the stock exchange. Employment, trade, fundamentals do not matter at this time. When central banks are able to purchase both government and private bonds at any asking price using "money" that can simply be invented by pushing a few computer keys, then the value of "money" and bonds has been irreparably damaged. Central banks have also quite brazenly admitted that they are also buying equities directly while also supporting, or forcing, private institutions and individuals to do the same. They call this monetary progress.

Individual that believe such nonsense also overpaid for staying at a Holiday Inn Express. It didn't make them smarter but it makes them feel smarter....a feeling that is going to vanish a very short time from now. Checkout time is coming.

The Cramming Scam

What I find interesting, sir, is that the scam was not uncovered by the FCC. Instead it was the DEA's investigation of two Cleveland-are companies that brought the scam to the surface.

I agree with neoh: The acceptance of a corrupted morality is the real problem we face.

But, then, . . .

. . . since the early days,the study of wealth is hampered by morality so morality is dropped as relavant to the study.

John Eliot Cairns (1875) gave the most lasting and damning condemnation of morality and "common sense" in pointing out its incompatibility with Economics:

". . .What is called the common sense of practical men - another name for the crude guesses of unmethodized experience. . ."
Eighth paragraph into "The Character and Logical Method of Political methodology".

So, there you have the kiss of death. Nothing has changed in 140 years to moderate that outlook. [O&G]

The Slide Nothing Can Hide...

Are the cities that banned LYFT and UBER faring well? Yes. LYFT is now soliciting Apple and UBER to buy them out. What comprises a techno-enterprise? Some software with licensing. Its like buying a section of trail along some way... it is yours by legalese but the world will walk on it regardless of you and take another way if you raise any barriers.

The average Wealth Class alumni has $4.1 million in assets. Up from $2 million 9 years ago. The average wealth monger is life-helpless. They do not possess core attributes beyond the structure they live in now. The average Other Class (majority) is growing more and more detached from that structure... reliant on components that are insulated from exploitation.

At $50/barrel... we could easily see $3.50/gallon gas prices in October. If you pair that inflation to a number of other essentials for this nation, the average consumer will need to see a minimum of $12,000 in additional income to stay afloat before year-end. It should interest readers to know that Back-To-School retail is abysmal this year (it was bad last year and just topped that failure). Given the lack of active sales versus the cost to do and stay in business... we could easily see major retailers shuttering stores after Christmas. While actual tangible data appears to be fleeting, most Big Retail chains are closing up fringe stores. That means-- that sprawl is retreating to suburbia but both urban and suburban markets remain reeling from a lack of income and cash flow.

It pays to draw our current landscape to analyze it... there are NO thriving markets in America... but there are more millionaires and billionaires than ever and those folks now control three-quarters of all assets. The assets are-- non-performing by sensible standards. The government refuses to Audit the Federal Reserve and all of our banks failed to achieve Loan Loss Reserves mandated by the FASB. If you drew that picture... it should look like an overripe... pimple.

Robert Reich: Countervailing Entities Disappearing

I agree. It has been decades since union officials went after "big" road-level personnel RIGHTS creating unionization to counter oppression. Farmer cooperatives are almost completely dissolved. Every group type that once gave ordinary people collective bargaining or protection is gone or has become something else.

For America to have a horrifically powerful National Rifle Association, but not a National Guns Kill and Gun Owners Do The Killing Association... is a problem.

Why isn't there a Big Chain Retail Grunt Worker Union instead of feeble attempts to strike for wages and benefits that are (based on comparable economic attributes) sub-standard to those prevailing when unions were formed in the 20th Century?

Why do we have contracts providing "big" with dominance in every pseudo Capitalistic supply chain? WHY is there not an anonymous demand portal where the highest bidder gets the best and big chains get the rest and are forced to advertise that they refuse to pay for quality?

WHY isn't there a United States of America Free Enterprise National Association supporting businesses run by individuals over platforms run by administrators who founded nothing and have no enterprise acumen, just phony degrees and legalese?

What is happening America? Perhaps social causes and concerns need a giant HEAVE off American Soil to favor salvaging what's left of the place our forefathers struggled to land on and made great by really WORKING instead of pecking on keys and allowing the same oppressors they fled from, to again bring us to our knees.

About Cooperatives, Trust And Happiness

Italy - Cooperatives

Emilia Romagna, a region with nearly 4.5 million people whose capital is the medieval university city of Bologna, has one of the densest cooperative economies in the world. About two out of every three inhabitants are co-op members. Together producing around 30% of the region's GDP. Doing business through co-ops is one of the clearest ways to democratize our economic institutions.
Under the Marcora Law, the money due to workers as unemployment insurance can be used as capital to cooperatize their workplace instead.With the help of the law more than 9,000 workers who would otherwise been out of a job, have instead created 257 new worker-owned businesses in the past 30 years, like WBO Italcables in Naples, a steel factory cooperatized after its multinational owners shuttered the plant.
Italy's retail sector is awe-inspiring. Coop is the largest retail chain in Italy, with its supermarkets claiming close to 20% of market share and the whole enterprise is owned by its 7.4 million members across the country.

In Italy, social coops are on the rise as a way to more effectively deliver social services. In Bologna, as much as 85% of city's social services are provided through social co-ops.
With all of this cooperative energy you might make the mistake that the Italian economy is doing well. It is not. But as confidence in the current system continues to erode, cooperatives can be a part of alternative.

Bavaria - Trust

I spent my four-days weekend (Assumption Day) in Bavaria.
Our room keys were stored in an unlocked cabinet in a quiet corridor, along with the keys of every guest in the place. It made me wonder why anyone was bothering with keys in the first place. Nevertheless, our belongings were not stolen and we paid our bill when we left. The trust had been justified.
Since Germany is one of the most successful economies in the world and Bavaria is one of the most successful economies in Germany, the thought did cross my mind that trust might be one of the secrets of economic success. Without trust there is not prospect of economic development.
But designing such a system is problematic. If e-Bay and Airbnb work, it is not because of the brillance of the online reputation system, but because most people are not crooks, any Bavarian hotelier would understand.
And trust has never been fairly distribuited. Trust is as unfairly granted in Bavaria as anywhere else.
While browsing for shades in Gamisch-Partenkirchen, a friend of ours warned his young son not to play with the marchandise: a sign forbade children to touch the sunglasses. The shopkeeper bustled over and reassured our friend that the rule did not apply to his son: " it is for the Arab kids, they just drop the sunglasses on the floor."
Ah. Our friend's son is adorably blond but he is capable of snapping a pair of sunglasses as any other four-year-old.

Iceland. Exemplary nation in a troubled world.

- Socioeconomics: Iceland stands very positively on income inequality, employment, poverty level, and homelessness.
- Health and Health care services: Iceland has universal single payer health insurance.
-Environmental: Iceland, thanks partly to its geothermal energy supply, is the least pollutted of all nations.
- Law enforcement: Iceland jails it scofflaw bankers. Iceland abolished capital punishment.
- Military and foreign relations: Iceland has no standing army and her military budget is minuscule. Other than the cod wars with the UK over fishing rights, Iceland has never been at real war in modern times.
- Happiness: this may just be the most important dimension of life.
- The elderly: in Iceland the elderly are respected and protected.
Reflect on this, you IMF's gravediggers!

Natural and Unnatural Disasters

Sad news from Italy on the earthquake there... a whole town leveled and the death toll keep rising. One also happened in Myanmar too.

The unnatural disaster continues to be the global economy with it's epicenter on Wall Street. All we see is bailing and no jailing. There isn't a single state or entity conducting business normally, it is all reliant on fake printed money. The majority in America are failing to keep up. An article today described living with inflation. What planet did the author arrive from?

The Clintons graciously donated $1 million to charity last year. It turns out the charity was the Clinton Foundation and the lion's share of the donation paid Chelsea Clinton's $900,000 annual salary. Ah, crime. Where is the punishment?

The World Breaks

This is a world tour of actual disasters, where nature's fury and man's folly often combine to provoke acts of stunning courage and resilience. Unfortunately, many practices of prevention for a safer future were not deployed natural and unnatural post-disaster.

Eminent Collapse

Well put... "the world tour of actual (natural) disasters". Hurricanes bearing down on America's Atlantic coast, severe rains, flooding, tornadoes and earthquakes... and governments reacting slowly, if it all, so caught up in their own self-inflicted disasters.

I know NEOH can only post his rail and logistics reports as they exist, but I'd like to impress on all of us that retail is fully dead. Big boxes like Wal-Mart are not doing well in their brick-and-mortar stores and buying Jet.com isn't a boon, it's just another dead-appendage going forward. For a fact, retailers are not seeing enough sales anywhere and at any margin to cover costs. Consumers are no different. There simply isn't any economy. Just stock markets. If you are looking at financial-anything as a safe harbor, bellwether or survival venue... you are staring at your failure, not your savior.

Janet Yellen stymies Wall Street by more-than-hinting that she will raise the bank rate. Various members of her Board and committees have told us that they all know full-well that everything done so far has the taste of cancer and wasn't the answer. Can the Federal Reserve "claw-back" quadrillions in toxic money by collapsing stock markets or is it more prudent to flip a stock certificate into a debt note and require it to be paid back at some outrageous interest rate? There actually are NO VALID data sources for the debt-load on consumers. I personally would estimate that more than 80% of what people owe is unmatched by an Ability to Pay it back. You know... every credit contract requires that aspect. When the portfolio does not contain solvency, it is a catastrophe.

September remains my speculative month. Opposition has not yielded one single swinging voter away from Trump, while Gary Johnson appears to be gaining considerably over Hillary Clinton. I challenge those in poll positions to validate her numbers. She has "staff" working propaganda portals and they are getting illuminated. Each time swings voters away from her. While all that smoke clouds the mirrors reflecting vision away from the world's greatest financial tyrannical crisis in Man's History... sheer component failure is allowing commonsense to see clearly. Job screening is still preventing the competent from a living and the lack there-of is caving in all the bastions.

It's almost as if there is one person- somewhere- who needs a permanent vacation in order for the rest of the world to get back to living. I ponder... who.

I think it already has

The collapse has been occurring for quite a few years now. Many people don't recognize it because we've had several decades of illusions that were only credit bubbles and other financial manipulation.
V_L recognized it when credit and banking standards were radically changed to the worse. I recognized it when when manufacturing from our common region collapsed. The msm, central banks, and politicos have invented many "catch phrase" words over the years to placate the masses. We all know them...."service economy", "globalization", "New World Order", "Great Moderation" and many others that I can't think of at the moment.
There were active debates in 2008 blaming it on a variety of systems. Some blamed unions but that argument vanished when trade and manufacturing unions allowed themselves to be neutered. Some (including me) blamed countries, China for example, of not complying with trade rules. That argument was soundly dismissed when it was discovered that our own politicos, business "leaders", Federal Reserve, and even the majority of our own consumers were complicit.
Retail is dead. Ohio recently had a sales tax holiday weekend which was meant to encourage shopping for back to school. The rules were very lax this year and most retailers simply didn't charge tax for anything. Long story short, the sale was a dud regardless of how it was portrayed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and their crony journalists (I use the the term journalist sarcastically) portrayed it. I was out and about that weekend to specifically observe and that Saturday and Sunday weren't any different than any other.
As V_L has mentioned above, society in general is insolvent. The consumer barely can make their monthly bills let alone go on a "shop to you drop" credit spree. The young people that had no business going to university are now stuck with useless, or soon to be worthless degrees and are crushed with five and six figure student loan debt so the traditional growth associated with building a family has to a great extent been crushed.
Social Security is insolvent (although those over 50yo are in denial), Life Insurance companies will be proven to be insolvent since central bank policy of perpetual zirp and nirp have forced those firms into riskier investments. An ironic ponzi scheme, the first to die are most likely to collect. Pensions, self directed retirement accounts, 401k's will be obliterated regardless of whether the participants are in "safe harbor" or diversified systems.
Indeed, most people don't realize that the war on cash (as mentioned in a previous thread) is at this very time thriving. Again, those "in charge" justify this with various simplistic feel good catch phrases, "going green". "war on drugs", preventing tax evasion. Rules have already been enacted that make it difficult for a grandmother from Kansas to withdraw more than a few thousand dollars from her account because she might be a narco or terrorist. Indeed, the local bank branch may turn you away by saying they don't have the cash on hand. The new security chip credit cards are an extension of this. Big brother knows everything you buy, when you bought it, and allows the banks to release the information to retailers.
The slow motion train wreck, or eminent collapse is occurring. Those that are looking at equities, the stock market, for a sign may be mistaken. Price discovery has been destroyed. Central Banks can literally buy anything without actually having to pay anything for it. Invent some money by pressing a few keys, buy some stock that was also invented by pressing a few keys. So with a combination of HFT trading machines and the enormous buying capability of Central Banks being able to buy something for nothing, we can expects results to be nothing for nothing.
When will this be obvious to the world? I don't know. Right now they are frogs happily splashing around in a pan of water that is being increased in temperature at a degree F/hr. The same can be said for biodiversity of the planet.

Eminent Collapse Is Occurring

"When will this be obvious to the world?"

The discussion about the recent earthquake in Italy raised up some comments on my Italian blog, one of which I found especially silly.. Summarizing it, it said, " If earthquakes cannot be predicted how can you pretend to predict climate change, economic crises? We should just wait and see." "If you can't predict exactly what is going to happen, then we should just sit and watch."
Obviously, nobody would even dream to raise such an objection against reinforcing buildings against earthquakes. Nor, anyone would mantain that you shouldn't wear seat belts in your car because you can't predict exactly when an accident will occurr.

The rising temperatures may create plenty of sudden catastrophes. Just think of the effect of a sudden increase in the sea levels on the world's economy, largely based on marine transportation. And think the effect on agricolture.
But the most worrisome sudden transition related to greenhouse warming is known as the "runaway greenhouse" or the " Venus catastrophe", the planetary equivalent of a major earthquake something like what happened to the city of Amatrice, in Italy, completely razed down a few days ago.

In the end, the main proplem of this story is that we don't know how to convince people about the risks related to earthquakes, climate change and economic crises. Should we emphazise the risk? That has the unwanted effect that people tend to run away plugging their ears and singing "la-la-la". Or should we sweeten the pill and tell them that there is nothing to be really worried about: just a few minor adjustamets and everything will be fine. That has the effect that nobody is doing anything, surely not enough. Will we ever find the right strategy?

Indifference and Surfacing

A book I am reading right now declares most rifts in communication are due to two conditions. Indifference is the professional term for a "whatever" problem within your brain. Simply, if you cannot comprehend and aren't motivated to, you respond "whatever" and people stop talking to you. You stop the learning and absorption of knowledge process in your brain. Add an i-Phone addiction and your whatever brain is-- mush. Surfacing... it's when a healthy albeit tense discussion or debate (exchange of position) is going on and it is hijacked by complete distraction. An example-- two people discussing the cancerous component of American politics and another intrudes with... "who wants coffee"?

The greatest weapon of mass destruction is the one that impedes human critical thinking and displays of it in open conversation. While Class Distinction by Wealth seems to be the 600 pound gorilla in the room today, the fact that people are losing their ability to critically think, be empowered to make decisions and act individually is the smoke filling the room about to suffocate everyone in it.

A noteworthy to Saldeck... all of the primary shadow characters in the American Savings and Loan debacle are mostly alive, seeing their mortality sputter and are the primary stockholders in Federal Reserve member banks today. In 1994, Fannie Mae deduced that less than 40% of Americans still qualified for their programs based on written criteria for eligibility. Banks dominated that loan sector. The new construction loan succumbed to Big Builder. Banks had dominated that sector and George W. Bush gave Big Builders a $25 billion bail-out at the onset of our collapse (2008). Less than 25% of Americans have a bank account and fewer than that still cash their paycheck in one. T.A.R.P., Operation Twist and QE all benefited the shareholders of banks and the banksters who run them (now, into the ground). The Fate of banks rests now on Clinton getting elected. Trump has no love for banks, bankers or banksters.

We are in the failure now. September is traditionally a bad month for stock markets and we have Yellen more than hinting of a bank rate hike. If you are getting the hint... it won't be Bitcoins, but its for certain that major banks likely won't be intact by Election Day.

When all else fails...lie

I've been reducing my posts about American railroads to just a monthly post because they have been trending down consistently for many quarters with all of 2016 being below 2015 (2015 being less than 2014) and even less than 2013.
The following article, by Wolf Richter, demonstrates that China is also fudging its gdp numbers using rail volumes. China is similar to the US concerning rail volume because a large percentage of their "economy" tends to land up on a rail car. I've "cherry picked" a few points. A link is posted at the bottom for the full article:
-"Economic Math In The Red Ponzi: 2016 GDP Up 7%, Rail Freight Down 7%"
-"The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Monday that rail freight volume in July dropped 5.8% from a year ago, to 263 million tons of cargo. For the first seven months, rail freight volume plunged 7.3% year-over-year."
-"But 2015 was already a terrible year."

-"Volume of rail freight traffic, as measured by metric tons of cargo transported and the distance traveled in kilometers, had plunged 13.4% from 2014, to 2.38 trillion ton-kilometers, according to Statista. And in 2014, rail freight volume had fallen 5.8% from 2013"
-" With 2015 freight volume down nearly to the level of 2007, freight volume for 2016 is shaping up to be considerably lower still – and has a chance of setting a decade low."

So we've become accustomed to politicians, central banks, big business being less, well, way less than truthful with us. But the larger problem is that the entire msm has become complicit. It wasn't too many decades ago that Hillary would have been completely discredited as being a viable candidate for potus. But when your benefactors own and control the media then I guess we can't expect quality journalism.
There are of course more important events occurring in the world at this time. We may in hindsight find that our current economic woes are insignificant when compared the prospect that a new geological era has been proposed beginning about 1950 based on the amount of nuclear material that is now found in sedimentary layers starting about that time. There are other criteria that SHOULD provide some anxiety like the predicted extinction of ~75% of the worlds fauna and flora over the the next two centuries (a process well underway). There is of course a chance the damage could be worse if we decide to unleash the stockpiles of wmd's that the "developed" nations possess. Especially when you consider the character of those leaders of those developed nations.
I'm glad God loves us. I would have wiped the slate clean and started over.

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/economic-math-in-the-red-ponzi-201...

09-02-2016: edit test 1

Industrial Civilazation Is Destroying The World

We all know that money will be worthless soon, yes? U.S. national debt is over 19 trillion and counting, gaining approximately one trillion dollars per year.
Uber is losing money. Even in the United States, its most developed market. But dispite these horrific results, Uber's market valutation is nearly $70 billion. And now that Google has entered the ride-sharing business at prices that are far cheaper than Uber, it is hard to imagine either one of them turning a profit anytime soon. How could deeply unprofitable companies that are burning through records amounts of cash be worth so much money?
How is it possible that the bonds of bankrupt governments in Europe and Japan have negative yields? How is it possible that some banks are charging negative interest rates to their best customers?
Because central banks have printed too much money. When money is simply conjured out of thin air and so easily abundant in the financial system, it has not value. And when money has no value, the people who control so much of it tend to make stupid decisions.
Providing a no-money-down loan to a borrower with bad credit is not much different than paying thousands of dollars for a tulip.

We all know that U.S. government alongside NATO and Israel are fighting and conducting operations in 134 countries.
We all know that the top ten commercial seed companies control 73% of world seed sales. Or that the biggest six agrichemical companies produce over 50.000 types of pesticides, And that at least 25 million farmers experiencing symptoms of pesticide poisoning.

The truth is that industrial civilization is destroying the world.
We can all agree that it is land and the accompaying natural resources that we live off of, and not cash bills or electronic bank accounts, right? And that war only leads to more violence, phisically and spiritually. And that the only way to save crops and topsoil, ecosystems and plant and animal diversity, and conserve oceans and watersheds, is to actually protect them, right?
The world cannot continue to get richer as the earth becomes poorer.

Is this site failing?

Saldeck posted the above a couple of days ago yet the "recent comments" bar says 4hrs 42 min ago.
If so. Good luck my friends. May God be with you. I am deeply privileged to have had the opportunity to correspond with you. A truly once in a lifetime experience.
Thank You Duffminster for allowing us to use this site. You are truly generous.

Nothing Mysterious

Hi, Neoh...nothing mysterious. I added some words 5 hours ago to my two days ago comment.
I am sorry to have confused you.
Don't let this site fail.

Agreed.

I would love to hear more about street-level Europe, Saldeck. A reminder that our American Media heavily censors what people get as news.

Thanks Saldeck

I might be getting a little anxiety lately.

The Eye of the Pimple

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-hidden-risk-to-the-economy-in...

I once asked my father-- why hasn't the Mafia just taken over the whole world? He replied- because then they would have to feed, clothe and shelter us. It cuts into their profits.

A funny thing about our extremely lopsided wealth mongering today... it is absolute and anything absolute is a- Pimple worth popping. I am less and less worried about how long I can last in this anti-society and more and anxious about who fails first. A reminder that in 1905... it was the Loan Sharks that sought out bankruptcy protection and the big eastern banks that cried wolf to the US Treasury and got bailed. Once it was done, the mainstream got a Small Loan Act and an awful lot of useless corruption went up in smoke as fire starter.

When you consider that the posted article puts the lion's share of tangible cash in the coffers of virtual giants... you realize quickly that there is a Coming of Christ move ahead that leaves algorithms in a pile of floor pus and a nation picking up the pieces of free enterprise through organized efforts to utilize surplus while rebuilding a viable supply-demand economy sans the wealth who are not Founders, just lifeless financial tyrants.

Steadily The Real Picture Emerges...

American business platforms are growing in debt. Those with upward-trending cash resources are big technology although no one really knows for sure how Google (Alphabet) makes money. Amazon stock has never been higher and the need to end it for anti-trust violations has never been more dire. Apple has cash, no ideas and users aren't buying color changes and rounded corners as innovations. Both Linked-In and Twitter are not growing users, neither is Salesforce. It appears that fake money authorized by the corrupt Federal Reserve ends up in big tech, and somehow-- the data indicates this to be good for America? Most notably... tens of thousands of businesses are collectively compromised by a lack of business and a boat-load of debt. Much of it comes due starting this September. Default rates on balance transfer offers jumped to 24% recently. Lenders generating such offers off credit reporting data have signatures, not any collateral in backing. If the user isn't generating income, the lender cannot by-Law go after assets. The general Public has seen a 70% uptick in credit usage since January.

The United States is the major backer of the IMF. The IMF admits that the Federal Reserve has not made a good course for economic recovery. The IMF ranks 4th as a gold monger but has no nation. The USA, Russia and Germany possess more gold than the IMF. China is 5th. Of the G20 nations... NOT ONE has a functioning thriving economy. China and Germany enjoy what is recognized as Number 2 privilege. The USA does the work and takes the cost hit, these two nations tweak the course and benefit more from the path forged.

Home sales are down. Car sales are down. Clothing sales are down. Sears has less than $300 million in cash reserves and owes most of that in rent to November. Rail and Freight cartage is way down and there is no logic in it increasing while sales are stagnant. The average Senior in America has more income in a month than two working families or up to ten individuals over 55 years old.

This wasn't the change I hoped to believe in and America hasn't heard SQUAT from any of it's 3 branch government in months.

When You Are Too Big, You Fail

Something interesting to observe... E-Bay was the original e-commerce site and most agree that Amazon took that successful business model, infused Bezos greed and began corrupting all things enterprise. With the emergence of Alibaba... the two Too Bigs began down the road toward self destruction of both market and merchandising.

There are wanna-bees like wayfair, ubid and a myriad of others but essentially... a tapped consumer will go with Amazon online or Wal-Mart physical store believing they are getting the lowest price. Enter- Jet, an e-commerce site with college-campus-sarcasm-humor for marketing and relatively no new ideas, just ones stolen from other sites and the same old inventory. The CEO of Wal-Mart... freaking out because his share of online sales is only a tenth of what Amazon yields... buys Jet for $3 BILLION (yep... with a 'b').

You realize that websites are made of nothing and worth less. Neither Amazon or Jet actually make money selling stuff online, they make it off idiots buying their stock and from ad revenue. Meanwhile... John G. Public continues to death spiral and there is less and less currency active anywhere on Earth. Jet saw Wal-Mart and walked away from useless enterprise all the $3 billion better for it.

I'm still thinking September is our Point of no Return... the stupid is starting to seep out of the box and do desperate things. History is repeating.

The Complete Collapse of Civilization As We Knew It...

A sign nailed to a telephone pole... TUDORING... call (number). Post: Based on the GH in enouGH and the O sound in wOman and the TI in naTIon... the word GHOTI would sound like FISH in American. Sadly, those who "get" both examples are dwindling... few, if any, have recent college degrees.

We paid a ton on money to Iran recently... http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/us-paid-dollar13-billion-to-iran-two-da.... America couldn't afford to AND it could would should have spent it more wisely on bailing any of the 100 million victims of mass termination and the Obama economy. Iran acknowledged the payment by speeding ships across the bows of US warships... http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/iran-vessels-make-high-speed-interce.... Elsewhere but nearby, a massacre at the American University in Afghanistan claims 12 lives with dozens more victims... http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/police-gun-bomb-attack-on-american-u....

HELP to American citizens on American Soil who worked whole lifetimes only to be cheated out of stability by a financial genocide... ZERO.

Meanwhile... the grossly overpriced Tesla car battery now runs 3.5 hours on a charge, at least for the year or so it works before needing replacement. Meanwhile... the Wal-Mart Hail Mary business plan team says it is working, but most of Wal-Mart's customers are not. We have to love Robert Reich for all the propaganda he spews as an Economist. Essentially... we began an accelerated downward slide once there was a profligate spew in "Economists" that never manage to produce any actual economy.

Question of the day... do we think Ivy League and Big Ten degrees will burn brighter than traditional EARNED pigskins? A reminder that nothing was EVER done once news leaked out that 60% of Harvard degrees were obtained by cheating (among actual attendees) and of the other 40%, many never attended at all. A nation based on corruption is certainly headed for cataclysmic destruction.

We aren't better for the kind of "change" we got and most assuredly, we aren't going to get better if we continue to put social perceptions ahead of commonsense. The Federal Reserve must be mandating the fake printing of at least $1 Trillion daily to cover all the holes our existence is leaking out of. We cannot sustain with literally zero currency flow now and no tangible economy.

Living More Simply

Most of us have been conditioned by corporate media and economics education, to accept the pervasive but false claims that money is wealth and a growing GDP improves the lives of all. But awareness of system failure is widespread. We see it in millions of defectors from consumerism, who by choice or necessity are living more simply.

The ultimate goal. . . An absurdity

If money were not involved in any activity, sport, education, government, just picture how quickly that actvity would become a matter of least concern.

And if people by the droves were to drop out of the consumerism community, penalties would be quickly imposed on the practice. Predicatably, dedication to Freedom and Liberty would soon dissipate by any measure: government intrusion or control, by law or moral rule, could be expected and that activity or non-actvity would quickly become a crime and the cost of government through new rules, regulations and enforcement would rise.

This is an enlargement of the concept behind such books as 1984 and Farenheit 451- Someone will develop the idea soon enough.

Millennials Are Saying No Thanks To Consumerism

I am a millennial. Anyone born between 1981 and 2000 has been thrust into that category, and I was born in 1983.
The average economoc profile of a millennial does not match that of his or her's elders. Born into economic crisis and nourished by the bitter milk of disillusion, the millennial generation is building a completely opposite system of values from those that, until the 21st century, were taken as dogma.
Young people, today, value experience above material prizes, choosing travel and leisure over a fancy car or a plasma screen. And slowly but surely, they are creating a new economic model.

According to a recent survey only 34% of millennials across the world claim to have enough money left at the end of the month to put towards savings. The remaining 66% may be following an increasingly popular life philosophy: YOLO.
Similarly another report tells us that only 15% of the millennials say they are tempted to buy a new car or television: external symbols of wealth since the advente of the mass consumption society. Apparently, there is nothing better than a good festival to forget your lack of job prospects.

Are millennials creating havoc in economy?
Nope. It is aging population. The IMF is concerned about aging population in Europe that insists on working and living instead of set sail and go meet their creator - thus relief to pensions funds and the public health care system. The population in Europe is aging and
this is going to create havoc in economy and sharp productivity slowdown.

I am sure, the IMF staff does not bother to mention the mass migration of young labor force due to the economic conditions the same IMF has created.

We have to be careful

Hi there young-un :). Just kidding.
I have 4 children. Some are like yourself and don't chase materialistic goals. One of them is very materialistic, similar in temperament of the new generation running Wall St.
I would be classified as a boomer. Many of us are shunning materialistic, self gratifying materialistic goals. We've learned that those type of goals don't bring happiness. We've learned the difference between pleasure, which is always temporary, and happiness which is more permanent.
That being said, there are a sizable number of us that determine personal success by being able to move to a retirement community in Florida (I'd rather eat crushed glass) or being the poster child of old farts riding motorcycles on the beach.
As the current system collapses, the selfish ones will attempt to hold onto what they don't deserve by causing strife. It will be poor against middle class, young against old, Christian vs Moslem, etc, etc. Basically, anything to keep the heat off them. We (and me) must be careful not fall for it.

By Some Standards... I Am Old... er

Regarding retirements... too many singularly believe their pensions and other mass-bubble cash funds are safe. Everything from your basic Money Market savings on up is to some degree-- toxic. The key now is the end of the social network jerk generation (experiences beat-- experience... yea right). The two biggest failures ahead are their toys and their parent's materialism. Undoubtedly, classic cars won't go too much further, Harleys will by had be the bunch, a law is ahead banning the silver long-hair Fumanchu mustache look especially with sunglasses and a pot belly. The most interesting aspect is the "trigger" that moves on this constant bailing of dead or complacent nothingness and it outright instantly collapses.

The pendulum swings now... the bill for Big Oil is coming due.

I see a more humble future and a fairly large group of psychopaths unable to deal with it.

They're back

Credit card balance transfers. 0% for 18 months. I thought that wouldn't ever be back.
The only difference is that instead of getting a call from a Delaware call center, the call center is offshore today.
A very disturbing article from PBS. Chastising young people for not using credit cards in 2009 yet the same article says they are trapped in other debt:

"Despite an overall rise in Americans’ credit cards use and household debt, the percentage of credit card debt among millennials under age 35 is at its lowest since 1989.

An analysis by The New York Times reported that millennials are taking on fewer mortgage and auto loans than previous generations, and as a result, they use credit cards less than people did at their age in the past.

To explain why, the explanations vary. It’s important to note the rise of student loan debt among college graduates. The average American under 35 hold 182 percent more college loans than students graduating in 1995 did, according to Federal Reserve data.

“The large and sustained increase in student loan balances over the past decade or so has raised concerns that student loan borrowers are incurring debt burdens that will be difficult to repay and will hinder their ability to achieve life goals such as purchasing homes, starting families, investing in small businesses, or retiring from the workforce,” according to a 2015 Federal Reserve study.

New laws passed after the financial crisis of 2008 also made it harder for millennials over age 21 to obtain credit cards unless consumers could prove they have the money to pay banks.

Since the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the number of card agreements declined from 1,045 to 617. The total number of cardholders for college affinity cards, a credit agreement offered to college students in agreement with their university, declined by 40 percent.

Currently, only 17 states require high school students take classes in personal finance and only 22 states offer such a course. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, just 24 percent of millennials demonstrate basic financial knowledge, showing little understanding of risk diversification and the relationship between interest rates and bonds.

David Weliver, founder of the Money Under 30 website, told PBS NewsHour earlier this year that many millennials don’t have credit yet.

“A lot of people were in their early 20s and in college during Great Recession and thought they were being smart by avoiding credit,” Weliver said.

The market will remain challenging for hopeful homebuyers without substantial credit history.

In January, PBS NewsHour explained why millennials are turning to payday loans and pawn shops to put cash in the bank. One factor is desperation, as many millennials don’t have any savings to fall back on.

Helaine Olen, co-author of “The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated,” pointed out that alternative financial services are used when you need cash that day.

“They’re coming in with massive student loan debt, they’re having a horrific time getting a foothold in the workplace and starting salaries aren’t what they once were,” Olen told NewsHour. About two-thirds of those unbanked, people with no checking or savings accounts, report using alternative financial services including money order, pawn shop loan, auto title loan, paycheck advance, or payday loan, according to Federal Reserve data.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/arent-millennials-racking-credit-car...

Fees and Penalties versus Zero Sum Income

I think the growing and glaring infection stems from the lack of income. There are jobs out here and many no longer require the heavy degree credential, but... the resume is dead and HR connections are essential for a position placement. Think about that... Obama's 4.8% unemployment rate is a shrinking pool of fools who have dozens of job jumps and no trail of actual commitment or competence. With many jobs... there is a hazard aspect. Teachers are tied to test score results. Managers are connected to software expertise or who they know. Meanwhile... a PhD in Chemistry might be recommending your fertilizer mix at Home Depot or floor-planning new stock at Macy's. The system under Obama is a total failure.

That said-- the rackets are huge and hollow. Such a condition married to incredible transfer shift in the growing consumer debt that motivates those 0% for a fee offers is not waning. At one point- a conundrum exists... what happens when the inevitable rise in consumer debt caused by global secular stagnation and a lack of economic movement collides with the Giant Complacency that is technology-operated corporatism?

Recent non-manipulated "data" suggests just 52 million Americans are working in family-sustaining career roles. There is an estimated 340 million people in America today. 200 million are too young or old to be earning their way. That leaves some 160 million caught in the stagnation. The odds do not favor a viable exit from the conundrum.

merry christmas

So far, although I don't know for how much longer, transportation data has not been severely manipulated.
August, September, and October are usually the railroads top performing months. Railroad freight volume for the first two weeks of August are down ~7% when compared to August 2015. While this might not mean much to many casual observers, it is a disaster since freight volumes for August 2015 were down when compared to August 2014, a trend that started in May 2015.
The fact is, rail volumes for the first 7 months of 2016 fave been less than 2013.
There have been many debates for the past 15 months that the drop was mainly due to declining coal and oil shipments but that argument can no longer be made since intermodal volume has been down for six months and autos are down for 3 months.
Yes Obama is a total failure. Rail volumes have never matched or exceeded the years preceding 2009. I'll post a link to the bar graph for freight volumes by month from 2013 as published by The Association of American Railroads.
Oceanic shipping is also a disaster. Countries that dumped free money into their shipbuilding industries are now suffering. Orders for new vessels for both bulk and container ships have fallen off a cliff. The situation for ship owners and their employees is dire. While the average age of a scrapped saltwater vessel was approximately 25-30 yrs a few years ago, owners are now scrapping ships that have an average age of 15-18 yrs and are not replacing them. A scrapped vessel used to provide greater than 20% for the cost of a new similar vessel. Today, scrap prices are very low and the demand for salvaged refurbished ship parts is low. The result, scrap value today is only worth about 10% of the cost of a new vessel.
China is not growing. They are in contraction and have been for some time. When both imports and exports have been down for months both in dollar and tonnage, then it's pretty safe to conclude that their real economy is not growing at 6%-7%.
Manufacturers of large trucks (all kinds that haul "stuff") and construction equipment are reducing staff. World wide sales volume are not plateaued, they are still declining.
I do not mean for the above to sound dire or alarmist. I am beginning to accept that this temporary painful process may be what is required to begin a realistic change that allows an expanding planetary population to thrive without destroying the planet.

rail chart:
https://www.aar.org/Pages/Freight-Rail-Traffic-Data.aspx#monthlyrailtraffic

Merry Christmas-- Addendum

We just looped the Midwest. Notables... Outlet Malls are mainly vacant. Plenty of stores have more floor than goods. The staff are friendly in a panicky way.

Wal-Mart bought Jet.com for $3 billion. A few 17-year olds could build a better online retail site. There is genuine FEAR. I am impressed with certain enterprises working hard in sub-economic potential. There is a real awakening ahead.

Even worse. . .

Every three to seven years the majority of businessmen refuses to recognize that our flaws lead us to repeated failure and, as Grantham's observations highlight, we refuse to learn (or even believe) something can be done to improve our situation or bring us the benefits of an enlightened future because, "That's the way it's always been."

The anti-socials, who lead us into turmoil a least every seven years, need learn their lesson once and that is: Go ahead and do as you please, accumulate all you can; there is no retribution, the go-gooders will do nothing to stop us or change in their attitudes of faith in an eventual Utopia evolving. Do-gooders themselves are busy re-learning the same disappointments all over again - every three to seven years. That's a minimum of seven times in a "productive" lifetime. And they never learn how to devise "punishment that fits the crime." While the anti-socials insist without end that they need not fear punishment for accomplishing their objective. . their raison d'étre.

Which of these two sectors knows the short-cut to a personal goal and will realize the satisfaction of "mission accomplished"? And with each cycle gain more confidence, hastening the ultimate collapse?

The social crime is buried in the acceptance of the repetition probably on the basis that, "It's always been this way." Until the ebb and flow builds into a tidal wave that swamps us all. And, that may be Robert Gordon's One Big Wave which cycles once every hundred to two hundred and fifty years at which time we face another Dark Age. Odds favor that none of those Dark periods will ever happen within the limits of our short lifespans -

So, why worry? Let them deal with it when it occurs. . . But, then. . That didn't stop our historic messengers, the Bastiats, Minskys, Kindlebergers, or Veblens along with our less incendiary messengers – Malthus, J.S. Mill, Marshall, Mitchell along with several lesser lights from carrying the torch in between.

Existential Threats

I should like to pick up on this point.

In spite of this overall dementia at so many levels of society, larger numbers throught the world are beginning to understand that at not time in human history has it been more important to search for solutions. Pope Francis' Laudato Is in 2015 is illustration.
Now comes the hard part. Can we expect those in power throughout the world to change? For the powerful and priviliged "they" it is they who comes first. Wealth and power comes first. We know from revolutions in past history how difficult change can be.
And we will not be given the time we had during tha last big change, beginning five hundred years ago - followed by the Industrial Revolution. We do not have five hundred years. We may only have one hundred. Our planet is right now caving in upon us.

An Anti-Money Event Awaits Us...

I believe we have set ourselves up for a lesson only catastrophic occurrence can render.

Consider what ails us... we are beholden to fanatical control associated with fossil fuels, legalese, fake printed money, techno-manipulation in employment and suppression of enterprise. The average person has no ways or means of survival in the socio-culture inflicted. Youth has a power wrought from device, but not the wisdom or intelligence to bring forth a sustainable society using it. Geezer is stuck on bad devices born out of exploitation. The entire middle of everything known is stagnant.

The natural counters to this are: a flaw in the serum keeping ancient people vigorous enough to continue ruling the century they exploited... or a cancer inflicted on device users that renders them unable to function. Either way... the dust settles and reveals a world without the means to continue without change that actually matters.

I watched a commercial today on Energy Independence- achievable IF energy prices rise and hold by 2020. They cannot rise OR hold without sustainable jobs that pay family-stabilizing wages. The ONLY way this is possible is by wiping out corporations and business platforms and restoring enterprise over e-commerce.

The future is the past. I see often on social media-- quips about us returning to the Stone Age. What of it? WHEN we do (because technology abuse has tee'd up its own demise) it could take a generation or more to revive simple survival. Pecking text on a phone is not a skill set. Grammar falls away and can take the entire advancement of Man in Civilization with it. A bank holding millions of repossessed and vacant homes is-- insolvent. Another holding tons of financial contracts that do no perform is- busted. When businesses cannot find talent and won't hire the skilled personnel mass terminated, fake money is going to run out and force these platforms to shutter. What then?

Few consider their own Plan B today. Most need to.

Another factual ratio from indexQ.org

Indexq furnishes a quick overview of the state of business. . . NOW!. Not five minutes hence or what might occur at some future date when events are propitious or if authorities or "experts" guess right in their games which are little more than childish play-acting in deadly serious business.

The significance of ratios mentioned in the seed suggestion (those profit margin ratios is the health of a business, or even all commerce) - just as the strength of currency is a measure of the faith of partners in commerce. Ratios are simple- about the level that management can grasp without the advanced math which is a retreat from reality - an attempt to hide behind a screen hoping events change and the sun begins to shine through some miracle or other. Ratios are revenue minus costs, divided by total revenue, sometimes including, often without interest or taxes. Obviously someone losing 11% sales - or experiencing a temporary 89% loss - when their profit ratio is in the single digit range is a loser with little hope for improvement under current market conditions - at which point we begin to look for signs of improvement, not for hope in negative rates which are disappointments, that transparent early giveaway of just how hopeful we were (not) at the start of our realization that margin ratios were too low to encourage hope. It's at such times that a business casts about in desperation turning to out and out illegality for the sake of survival.

Add in the environmental "factuals" of a currency suffering loss to 26 of 27 other major currencies tracked as you can see in indexQ's reporting this AM (USD vs. 26 other prominent currencies) before stock market opening and the ocnfidence level of investors is somewhere in the 4% range - that's how sure they are their money is safe. Give them evidence that interest rates are still too high at zero return by turning to negative rates and any hope of encouraging attempts to revive the economy are close to evaporating for the foreseeable future. Or are bankers depending on the srong will of the suffering masses to carry them through this struggle?

To add to V_L's mention of a commercial that betrays the emptiness behind it, there is AAG featuring staid, reliable Tom Selleck as a spokesman in an attempt to preach encouragement that reverse mortgages, are not a blatant way to put people in debt to banks and lenders by assuring potential clients that banks are not in search of another way to take houses away from clients.

One might think the mere mention of such a thought might be poison in today's climate, but they put it right out there in front for everyone to see as if banks' appetites are weak enough to be satisfied with single digit percentage returns. How feasible is that as a recovery strategy?

Recall IMF's claim of just a few years ago that nothing short of continued 7 1/2% efforts for extended periods will bail the US out of the situation in which we found ourselves entangled. Today, while European nations join the orientals in devaluing their currency and values, desperately undermining their wealth in the process, we're looking at single digit return on assets below that level, feeble return on equity, return on the feeble capital available to return to action serving its intended purpose, the rest has been withdrawn in order to help protect the threatened accumulated wealth which remains inactive today and will remain inactive for years yet. Such ads are indicative of desperation not recovery and glad times on the way back. Put desperate people in debt in order to protect BIG's existence. Is that sustainable? Somebody must support BIG in the market's and the suggestion is that further debt of the masses is the only way out.

Shades of "Nobody's gonna touch my money! Let's use yours."

If that's Plan B, it's abysmally weak.

It's already happening

" Odds favor that none of those Dark periods will ever happen within the limits of our short lifespans "
I believe it has already started and is accelerating. Some areas are experiencing it more than others. You are correct that none of us will be alive to see the end of it since these major super-cycle waves tend to exceed a length of time that is more than several lifetimes.

"And we will not be given the time we had during tha last big change, beginning five hundred years ago - followed by the Industrial Revolution. We do not have five hundred years. We may only have one hundred. Our planet is right now caving in upon us."
I tend to agree saldeck. As James Kunstler puts it in his dry humorous writings:
"Here’s the catch: the “growth economy” of which they chatter is done. You can stick a fork in it. The techno-industrial fantasia is drawing to a close. We are heading into a long term contraction of activity, productivity, and population and the salient question is how disorderly will the long emergency of the journey be to that new disposition of things?.....
"...Nobody in power can come to grips with the reality of our situation. We have to salvage what we can and get smaller, becoming a more modest presence here, or the planet itself is going to hit the delete button on us. It rubs against the current religion of progress, which has replaced the other old cultic practices. The choice now is between time-out or game over, and the debate over these things is absent from the arena....

"I believe we have set ourselves up for a lesson only catastrophic occurrence can render."
Agreed V_L. Too bad Adam Ferguson is no longer with us. Perhaps he could write a sequel called "When All Money Dies All at the Same Time".

Money. What Is Money?

Economics says that money comes from extraction, manufacturing, buying and selling. This can create wealth.
But few people in a tiny minority are accumulating vast material possession in this system, while billions of people are living in abject poverty at the edges of large degraded ecosystems.
The need for negative external costs to be built into every decision that will damage the Biosphere is not to be a part of the decision process. Maximizing the return is. There is no interest in saving the planet. Becoming more efficient in raping it, yes, but not in saving it.

If we say that money comes from ecological function instead from extraction, manufacturing buying and selling, then we have a system in which all human efforts go toward, restoring, protecting and preserving ecological function.
We could have growth, not from stuff, but growth from more functionality. If we value that higher than things, we will survive.

All Will Remember September 2016

First... thank you ALL for continuing to post and thank you to my significant one for your grace with me!

I found it fascinating today that news releases were including Macy's as a stalwart positive in earnings. While I believe it will survive in some state, I do not believe ANY major store will survive online. Its a FACT that Amazon is now WAY too BIG and must be divested to prevent catastrophic failure. That said, we just saw e-Bay reporting wonderful profits that don't exist because it just wiped out millions of stores. Bizarrely... this exists: the publicly-traded entity reports a profit over estimates but cannot validate the source of it in real time in-store commerce. The boxes are tombs. Smaller websites cannot be found in direct searches, much less by-product seek. The first page is nearly any "seek" are junk sites employing forms of techno-interference that puts them first-- no matter what the keywords. Do we read billboards? Do we listen to TV commercials? Do we read online ads? NO. The fanatical insistence of marketing shoved down our throats or being Too Intrusive For Tolerance is ending the venue.

A call that the Online Fantasia is ending is self-inflicted. If I cannot trust it, cannot participate in it, cannot surf with ease, do as I please and not be phished, scammed, gamed, hacked to my knees, then I don't continue using it. What is the world without technology? Manual. Labor. Faith. Hope. Love. Music. Art. Literature. Innovation. Invention. Integrity.

I'm pretty sure technology and finance got married much the same way a Playboy Magazine stolen by a too young youth and secreted to a closet with a flashlight did. The result... blinds.

Right now... major fund groups are putting ordinary people's savings into obsolete useless offshore oil equipment no one else wants. Gas consumption is down and as Summer blends give weigh to cheaper fuels- the price at the pump will come down. The anomaly of lower retail prices without consumption lift is a direct hit to costs. The energy sector has been insolvent for years and the crux of nearly 100% of our national and entity debt. Banks are insolvent and all the major ones have failed to generate assets for loss reserves. Real estate is fizzling in all the hipster markets and weak in suburbs nationwide. With a lack of so-called talented people (useless peckers without ethics morals or character) to fill career positions once held by the mass terminated... business platforms are on the brink of collapse, indebted well-beyond asset values and prioritized to liquidate-fund derivatives ahead of stocks. Those who hold those contracts face ubiquitous rage globe-wide... so the windfalls are toxic at best.

Who wins? You do. I do. Anyone who took the time to struggle... wins. Throughout history, our weakest have aspired to Global Economic Domination of one kind or another. Failure is inevitable because there is a natural element (cyclical change) that cannot be controlled. What comes after is-- Peace. Not a flower children peace... an earn-your-keep peace. No cell phones needed or tolerated.

Larry Summers Financial Times column

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Larry Summers has a Financial Times column. He is saying loud and clear: you are not paying enough attention to growth, and growth ought be at the center of the party, and the new Administration's, economic plans.
America you get what you deserve, Economic Growth is the salvation of your country. For Republicans that might translate into more fossil fuels and keep out immigrants who will take away jobs from citizens. For Democrats that might mean let in more immigrants who will boost the economy by working for minimum wages. They have slightly differen slants on the main issues, but ultimately they believe in the same madness.

Here in Europe and there in America the politics we are witnessing is our damn faults. This is what we deserve for being so stupid and greedy. Everyone is to blame here. There are very few members of our society who can be counted as faultless. Many people see the absurdity of the current situation. But will they make a difference?

Economic Growth is the salvation of the country. Oh you growth-heads. One day when the Earth is completely scorched, you will eat your growth.

The politicians are unable to take action from the next crash. When we decide that we are less afraid of the State than of living on a planet without trees, without drinkable water, without arable land, without a hint of justice.

Sssshhhhh....silence your cell phones, silence the noise in your head...and just listen, listen carefully...can you hear it? It is a cry from the future, a mournful plea beggins us to capture this moment, Can you hear it? Listen again, listen closer. This is our last chance.
80% of the world's forest and 90% of the large fish in the ocean are already gone.
Sssshhh... silence the sirens of archaic archetypes, open mind to new configurations and heed the call of the future.

Growth. . .

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Growth. . .

Submitted by Old and Gray on Fri, 08/12/2016 - 08:18.

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In essence, economists, Larry Summers among them, consider expansion of money in circulation as a sign of growth if not growth itself. If we consider an increase of money in circulation, also ready for the extraction, credit and debt may be leading the way to the next collapse again. According to all definitions of the debt cycle known to O&G, included is a release of an unmetered additional currency into circulation. What follows are two reactions: first instinct is to spend the additional money that falls within consumer hands during expansion, (not invest, spend!) often incurring more debt as if there were no end to the bulge; and the second hammer is retraction of circulating money when debts are paid off, bank accounts are balanced and the circulating money retired when loans are paid off, made easier by the convenient inflationary growth of paper money to replace the inadequate supply of specie, the precious metals. Additional debt is incurred when the banks attempt to balance books with insufficient funds. The disparity is covered by authorities in government and central banks which are tied together through treasuries dealing with the “independent” central banks. The resulting deficit is then thrust onto taxpayers.

Remember J.B. Say's admonition that there had not been an
entity with the power to produce fiat currency who had not abused the right. And. that was an earlier point in history by two hundred years!

Imbalance occurs because some of the population (the well-to-do or at least the upper echelon) is involved in accumulating what is excess supply of money in their personal and business accounts which is then put aside as additional personal wealth, - and taken out of circulation! So that when the debts are repaid, there is a short-fall and banks have trouble recovering the currency they put in circulation temporarily to begin the distribution and "growth". Some diagnosticians can find a number of reasons behind the credit expansion, none of them to do with credit in their explanations - such as technological development, the compact, heavy investment required in production property in the new post-agricultural economies, and yet others maintain sunspots still have an effect on economies, others hold that plant facilities as compared to land ownerhip (in which acreage really spreads out over a great deal of territory in a hurry but produces little currency value so wealth is a slowly growing process – in time, another “creeping unprofitability” situation) so that the few acres surrounding a Roman villa or German "Hof"stead took on enormous impact only when it extended over several counties, etc.

Thus, emerging from feudalism and its agricultural base into the Industrial Revolution brought with it the more wide-spread diseases of redistribution of holdings and the more rapid accumulation which suddenly, due to high entry requirements, deprived the majority of people of the opportunity to participate, even though the concentration and accessibility of money made it easier for a privileged segment of population the opportunity to "save". The emerging middle class then turned to investing in abodes which became attractive to the wealthy only through the advance into large numbers of abodes, each of small value. Once it had the the attentionof the wealthy, banks and lending took on new importance giving the wealthy convenient new concentrated targets.

All of which developed into the mad scramble to entice the less well endowed nouveau riche into investment schemes and scams, dealing again with home and real estate in general. The scams that followed led to the monstrous collapses such as the Great Depression and the Great Recession and such overlooked events as the ten year late eighties undying recession, the succession of recessions in the first decade of the twentieth century and thereafter.. So, we experienced the madness of stock activity in the twenties based on credit and speculation which gave us that historic decade of suffering and the next millennium's derivative scams at the end of the twentieth century which gave us the collapse attributable to the derivative scams of the current millennium which now appears set to stretch into five decades of eclipse. . . but, bear in mind one saving grace, it has not yet been declared a depression! That lies ahead.

Now, in a search for a replacement deception with another name, the monied interests attempt to create another debt-oriented device for easy exploitation. Through those expansive windows in the board rooms, bankers notice that the landscape once covered with farmland has been dissected into households, also displacing the production facilities that have been shuttered since they no longer generate profit at a satisfactory level - hence, the "creeping unprofitability " paralysis syndrome resurfaces.

And bankers are returning to viewing private homes as the sure thing, the single largest concentration of "savings" or "investments". Unbelievable investment in land and houses, enticing beyond belief, begging to be tapped.
Our financial culture has overworked raw mortgages (that was part of the Credit cycle lead-in to the Great Depression) and we've done the derivative diversion, gambling off-shoots of available mortgages per se which were used to allow banks to forget their reserve requirements, and, so on to the-introductions reverse mortgages and introduction of another means of promoting debt and playing the game of dysfunctional monetary disequilibrium - deduct the mortgaged portion of investments in the homestead and attack the investment/equity portion. A practical application due for certain success after handicapping home owners through impoverishment.

The danger in this, the equity in the homes is not supported by additional reserves set aside, cash on hand, along with the diminished opportunity for stabilizing gainful employment is ll disappearing through negative interest rates and underpaid job opportunities, which for a while yet will be accepted as par for the course until the majority of prevailed upon wage earners conclude that they are being unfairly treated.

Carryover resuts to the future? Any hope that excess equity built into the family estate could be set aside to help finance the higher costs successive generation will be saddled with will be compromised. They will certainly experience diffculty in starting up a homestead of their own and acquiring a family residence – made more difficult by the constant increase in living expenses atributable to the inflation-based addictive deception we've developed (to further promote "growth") Parents may now, in good conscience since it is part of “a law President Reagan signed into law 25 years ago”, leave the progeny loaded with debt instead of paid off assets. The new debt loaded economic vista will then be an inherited curse instead of the helpful "nest-egg" they might have expected.

But, then, if not for the reverse mortgage device, some other, more effective, more deadly device could easily be developed and refined. All in the line of debt being used to strip people of reserves and resources. . . even before they have the opportunity to get their hands on what might have been left over as capital to fuel real growth for the next generation if they had been so carefully prepared.

They follow the latest cultural trend, latest TV commercials have grandma and grandpa going out and buying themsevles twin mortorcycles to have a ball in a new nomadic, spendthrift life as they enter their staid eighties and nineties. It's on the TV screen now. Live it up, go reverse mortgage!

.

If nothing else, this surely will give Larry Summers something else to add to his ever-growing definition of Secstag, and free the well-educated Economics trade from the ignominy of misleading us into a bleak future by way of fading macro-economics. Spendthrift Grandparents! Appealing to the general tendency to not see debt, but to see money waiting to be spent and opportunity wasted.

Shades of Nero and a burning Rome, Act nn, scene v!

The Illusion Of Progress

Forced to narrow my comment because of the persistent 403 error.

Economics is a subject taught without any consideration of its most fundamental component-ecology. Hence we have a profession that can measure the value of 100 bushels of wheat coming off a farm but which has no way of facturing in the amount of topsoil eroded or poisoned in the process, the damage to the surrounding ecosystem or the enormous environmental costs of mass-production artificial fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides and high-tech farm machinery.

Anyway, there it is: the imperative growth, consumption and exploitation of resources. That is what makes up the heart of capitalism.
We don't believe that we are headed for an apocalypse. That is just fiction. Our belief in the techno-fix is solid and beyond challenge.

Illusions of progress

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A tremendous amount of energy is being wasted on a narrow definition of growth. Recently, there is a growing consensus among small groups that the msm definition of growth may be distorted.
I tend to agree with saldeck and her example of wild fish populations. Inventing a more efficient factory ship that is able to harvest more of a rapidly depleting supply of the remaining fish is not growth in the long term sense. The only consequence of the more efficient factory ship is a temporary (very temporary) reduction in the price of fish. Growth, if our species to survive, must not be measured solely by the old method of how much product is harvested per unit of labor.
Western forestry department realized this long ago by requiring saplings to be planted in forested areas that had been harvested. This would more accurately define progress. Unfortunately, this is not as diligently done today. Harvesting simply switches to a different land where replenishment is not required, or in the case of the USA and Canada, the replacement trees are of a lower quality, basically clones of the same species, that are susceptible to disease.
Similar foolishness is seen in construction of buildings and bridges. While less concrete is required when using steel rebar, Thereby reducing initial cost, the structure will only last a fraction of the time when compared to Greek and especially Roman era structures. This is not progress since modern structures can last longer, and still be built to great vertical height, by using corrosion resistant reinforcement bar.
There are many more examples that can be mentioned but all of the above have one thing in common. Mankind, as a whole, is no longer interested in long term progress. V_L has often mentioned that modern shoes and clothing suffer from the same malady. He also has mentioned the constant annoying bombardment of advertisers intruding into every aspect of our lives. The msm calls this technological progress.
I'm amazed by how many older people have fallen for the nonsense of older people riding motorcycles on the beach at 80 yrs old (see above post by Old and Gray). Obviously there isn't much emotional and maturity progress among those that think happiness will be realized by devoting their remaining years to such self centered foolishness. I guess that explains why the younger generation has taken instant gratification even further since we are demonstrating such behavior.
Economic progress is today measured by the closing number of the stock exchange. Employment, trade, fundamentals do not matter at this time. When central banks are able to purchase both government and private bonds at any asking price using "money" that can simply be invented by pushing a few computer keys, then the value of "money" and bonds has been irreparably damaged. Central banks have also quite brazenly admitted that they are also buying equities directly while also supporting, or forcing, private institutions and individuals to do the same. They call this monetary progress.
Individual that believe such nonsense also overpaid for staying at a Holiday Inn Express. It didn't make them smarter but it makes them feel smarter....a feeling that is going to vanish a very short time from now. Checkout time is coming.

When You Know You Are On Death Row...

Let's be honest. Germany's use of negative interest rates is now a quantum-leap failure on top of all the other financial-manipulation failures. Corporativism in the USA is also a failure. So is all wealth and all the BIG-building done this century.

The tie-in to NeOH's posts is-- addiction is the alternative to growing a backbone and standing up for one or more reasons. We are engaged in a cyclical end. Haunting as it may be... you can look at some and see the dead in their eyes. They believe this is their last tour. Bizarrely, a simple prayer-- asking for a willingness to progress... can lead a lost life out of that death spiral. That said... off the Row to-- what?

A post read elsewhere today... there has never been more media-steerage in play ever- before today. All the bells, whistles, sirens, fireworks going... petty criminals in full bloom... lives illuminated to the hilt by corruption... why? Because those doing the financial manipulation realized FIRST that their lives were on Death Row. This has been an immoral game of musical chairs trying to put everyone else ahead of the damned. They are the Damned for good reason.

No changes... we are heading faster now toward something massive in September.

Bad Moon Rising

"Despite the choice of forum in the title above, we know it's not only energy, oil and communication addicted to fraud to make up for a sagging profit margin since our national motto is now Lie,cheat and steal. Revealed to us through this bit from Reuters"

Lieing and cheating has always been but I find it disturbing that it is now accepted as normal.
When I bring your post, or other similar posts, to someones attention, I find that the too often reply is "It's always been like this, what's the big deal".
Our current Democrat and Republican candidates are perfect examples.
Everybody knows that Hillary and "The Donald" are unethical people as demonstrated by their past/current actions. But one of these two will represent us. Sad.

"I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
I see those bad times today.

Don't go around tonight,
Well it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

I hear hurricanes a blowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.

Well don't go around tonight,
Well it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

Hope you got your things together.
Hope you are quite prepared to die.
Looks like we're in for nasty weather.
One eye is taken for an eye.

Well don't go around tonight,
Well it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise.

Don't come around tonight,
Well it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise"...