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Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Did ya’ know . . .

 About 27 million people, More than 1 in 10 Americans Are on Suicide-Linked Antidepressants, and Anti-Psychotics Are the Most Common Prescription Drugs in America?

Army Times: At least one in six service members is on some form of psychiatric drug.” . . . as a result The US Military Is Losing More Troops To Suicide Than Combat

Master list of Antidepressant/SSRI Related Violence

Testimonies of People Destroyed by Antidepressants (Source)

Try to get off these drugs before the damage is done [but] you may well be in for symptoms that make heroin withdrawal look like a spa vacation. (Source)

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“What I don’t understand is how a drug could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it.”

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“I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 8 months after stopping Wellbutrin/buproprion. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of “inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to “look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.

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29 amazing stats about America today . . . (Source)

Why worry? Be happy.

#1 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#2 According to the Economic Policy Institute, between 1979 and 2007 income growth for the top 1 percent of all U.S. income earners was an astounding 390 percent.  For the bottom 90 percent, income growth was only 5 percent over that same time period.

#3 According to a joint House and Senate report entitled “Income Inequality and the Great Recession“, the top 1 percent of all income earners in the United States brought in a total of 10.0 percent of all income in 1980, but by the time 2008 had rolled around that figure had skyrocketed to 21.0 percent.

#4 According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 1 percent is the only group that saw its share of our national income increase between 1979 and 2007.

#5 The wealthiest 1 percent of all Americans now own more than a third of all the wealth in the United States.

#6 More than 50 percent of all stocks and bonds are owned by just 1 percent of the population.

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The title says it all.

Want more details? NutraSweet Aspartame

Still not sure? The Deadly Truth About Aspartame & Cancer

(more…)

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US Home prices fall harder than in the Great Depression

Home prices during the troubling five years of 1928 through 1933 saw a decline of 25.9 percent nationwide and this was during the Great Depression.

The latest Case-Shiller data shows that home prices in the 20 City and 10 City composite measures are down by 32 percent from their 2006 peak.  (Source)

Home prices have been falling steadily since the summer of 2010.  The fact that we still have close to 7,000,000 homes in the shadow inventory tells us that we still have a long way to go before any normal housing market is restored.

This by far is the worst housing collapse ever and it is still ongoing.

Pity the owners of this home--marked down to only: $150,000,000

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The economic crisis has lead to many credible warnings of crash-induced unrest:

The sense of outrage at the injustice of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer is a growing global trend.

How, exactly, then are Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein different from Mubarak and Ben Ali? Is it because what they do is legal? That would be too easy; they make the laws. What Mubarak did was perfectly legal in Egypt; he made the laws. Is it because they wear no crowns? (Source)

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Hey, you, middle class people. Get back to sleep.

In the first 19 months of the Obama administration, the federal debt “held by the public” increased by $2.5260 trillion. (Source)

This works out to $22,158 of new federal debt added for each and every US household. How is that calculated?  Lets do the math:

  • $2,526,000,000,000 / 114,000,000 US households = $22,158 per US household

When President Barack Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, the total federal debt held by the public stood at 6.3073 trillion, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department. As of Aug. 20, 2010, after the first nineteen months of President Obama’s term, the total federal debt held by the public had grown to a total of $8.8333 trillion, an increase of $2.5260 trillion.

“Debt held by the public,” includes U.S. government securities owned by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, foreign governments and other entities outside the federal government itself.

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Those familiar with Tony Robbins know that he always goes out of his way to stress the positive, so if even he is openly warning the public about a coming economic nightmare than you know that things are starting to get really, really bad out there.

The video that Tony Robbins published where he gives his economic warning is posted in two parts below.  This is unlike any Tony Robbins video that you have ever seen before and it is absolutely jaw dropping…. (Source)

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An Important Note Of Caution

http://www.metatube.com/en/videos/37911/An-Important-Note-Of-Caution-By-Tony-Robbins/

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Prepper Dad?

Even Robert Kiyosaki Is Warning That an Economic Collapse Is Coming

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Some 95% (or more) of our (U.S.) money supply is credit, and by no means all of it was created by any central bank.

Deflation

There have been numerous engines of credit expansion during the mania years – fractional reserve banking, the whittling away of reserve requirements, lack of attention paid to credit-worthiness, securitization, derivatives, the development of the shadow banking system, conflict-of-interest at the ratings agencies, fraud etc.

Credit expansion creates multiple and mutually-exclusive claims to the same pieces of underlying wealth-pie, thereby creating a fictitious wealth that will implode once people realize its existence and reality. Deflation is the chaotic elimination of excess claims to underlying real wealth – the collapse of a money supply that has come to be dominated by ephemeral credit and debt.

At some point we will see investors trying to sell distressed assets, and then we will realize what they are actually worth (i.e. what someone will actually pay for them). When we see that they are worth pennies on the dollar, and that whole asset classes need to be repriced overnight, we will see the reality of deflation. That, almost at a stroke, will mark the destruction of the virtual wealth created during the long expansion years. (Source)

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Falling confidence that debts will be repaid has consequences . . .

Exerpted from TAE: http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/06/june-14-2010-trickles-floods-and.html

There are many things that -still- function today, but once a trickle becomes a flood, will cease to function. Bank runs are the most obvious example – as soon as more than a handful of people withdraw their deposits, banks close their doors. Those who expect to be bailed out by deposit insurance are in for a nasty surprise, as deposit insurance won’t be worth the paper it’s written on in a systemic banking crisis.

Pension funds are chasing yield, buying the financial equivalent of ‘land-filling toxic waste’. Many pension fund assets will be worth pennies on the dollar as soon as extend and pretend can no longer be maintained and there is a serious price discovery event.

The structure of the credit default swap market virtually guarantees that such an event will take place in the next phase of the credit crunch.

In short, pension funds are in serious trouble. As a result, we are already seeing moves towards preventing early withdrawals, ostensibly to ‘prevent people from impairing their retirement’. In actual fact such moves are meant to cover up the lack of funding for as long as possible. As with bank runs, the first few to make withdrawals may get their money, but, again, once a trickle becomes a flood, the door will close.

Another such problem area is the consequences of indebtedness. Presently bankruptcy is relatively civilized in comparison with earlier eras. However, such a situation is highly unlikely to persist. Expect less civilized methods of dealing with debt to resurface. In fact, they already are. See for instance this article from the Minnesota-St.Paul Star Tribune:

In Jail for Being in Debt:

It’s not a crime to owe money, and debtors’ prisons were abolished in the United States in the 19th century. But people are routinely being thrown in jail for failing to pay debts. In Minnesota, which has some of the most creditor-friendly laws in the country, the use of arrest warrants against debtors has jumped 60 percent over the past four years, with 845 cases in 2009, a Star Tribune analysis of state court data has found.

As the article goes on to discuss, debts which are at risk of non-payment are often sold on to those lower down the financial foodchain. Debts can be sold on multiple times, to operators prepared to use harder and harder tactics, until the debt can end up in the hands of ‘Vinny the Knee-Capper’, or equivalent.

It doesn’t appear to matter that debt is not a criminal matter. We are seeing the early stages of the return of debtors’ prisons and other less palatable consequences. Debtors beware.

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A March survey from Pew shows just how broad the pain has been.

Pew Research: A majority now says that someone in their household has been without a job or looking for work (54%).

Chart

Pew Research, March 2010

Fully 70% of American households experienced one of the serious financial problems above.

Basically, the vast majority of American households have been hit.

(Source)

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McDonalds’ sad vision for your future:

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Alan Greenspan

Greenspan just said that the current current credit crunch is “by far the greatest financial crisis, globally, ever” — including the 1930s Great Depression.

On Wednesday (2/24) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned Congress  that the United States could soon face a debt crisis like the one in Greece, and declared that the central bank will not help legislators by printing money to pay for the ballooning federal debt. “It’s not something that is 10 years away. It affects the markets currently,” he told the House Financial Services Committee. “It is possible that bond markets will become worried about the sustainability [of yearly deficits over $1 trillion], and we may find ourselves facing higher interest rates even today.” (Source)

Follow the links: The following experts have now said that the economic crisis is or could be worse than the Great Depression: (Source)

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Unfortunately, virtually everything the American government has done since the crisis started has been counterproductive. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this. The same is true of most government actions. (Source)

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Meanwhile . . .

Moody (credit rating services): Moody’s – having blessed them when they were new – now says losses on sub-prime backed securities will amount to 19% on the 2005 vintage, growing to 48% write-offs for the 2007 vintage.  Alt-A securities will do a tad better, with only a 14% loss on the 2005′s growing to a 35% write-off on the 2007′s. (Source)

Man the Lifeboats: Illinois is approaching bankruptcy, with a $13 billion shortfall on a $28 billion budget.  Their libraries are closing, 20% of buses no longer run, schools prepare to lay off teachers they can no longer pay – even Sheriff’s patrol cars have been repossessed.  California cut teachers pay by 5%, and on it goes . Desperate measures are also being taken in the Baltics, Balkans, Hungary, Latvia and Ukraine.   Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Great Britain all face enormous reductions in state spending.  The US needs to run a 4.3% of GDP surplus for a decade to stabilize debt at tolerable levels, and yet the administration predicts enormous deficits nearly forever – not the required surpluses.  Any country that cuts spending to trim deficits will be cutting its own throat, killing the economy and lowering tax revenues and accomplishing nothing. What’s on TV tonight? (Source)

Peak Oil The era of sustainable capacity from Saudi Arabia’s vertically drilled oil wells ended about 1990.  The era of sustainable production from their horizontal wells ended in 1997… In 2003, Saudi Aramco switched to Maximum-Reservoir-Contact wells.  Now the MRC’s are out and the Saudis are pumping CO2 into the reservoirs to force out the last dregs. (Source)

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Out of every $1 in income gain made in the last decade, 65 cents went to one guy, while 90 other folks fought over 12 cents.  The rich have won. (Source)

The top 1% get almost 90% of the gains during 2002-2007

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What a time to be an oligarch! Folks, there is no way we can have economic prosperity in this country when the top 1% has all of the money. The middle class is basically being destroyed right in front of our very eyes. Consumption economies die when the consumers have no money to consume! Here is the reality that America has realized: If you are not part of the 1% club in this country you are nothing but a victimized pawn as the elite continue to line their pockets with our nation’s income. (Source)

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“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt.” — John Adams

It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99 percent of the U.S. population no longer has political representation. The U.S. economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us. (Source)

  • Many states are running record deficits and barreling toward economic disaster, raising the likelihood of higher taxes, more government layoffs and deep cuts in services
  • In 2000, American families paid 7% of our income on food and fuel. We now pay 20%
  • We have over 50 million people who need to use food stamps to eat, and about 50 percent of U.S. children will use food stamps to eat at some point in their childhoods
  • If we include “involuntary part-time” and “discouraged workers” — the unemployment rate is over 20%
  • Personal bankruptcies are up 32% in 2009 from 2008, medical bankruptcies are responsible for over 60% of them, and over 75% of the medical bankruptcies filed are from people who have health care insurance
  • 25% of current mortgages underwater (i.e., the home is worth less than the mortgage) and 13 million U.S. families, or about 11% of all US households, are expected to lose their home by 2014. [Deutsche Bank's forecast is even worse: "The percentage of 'underwater' loans may rise to 48 percent, or 25 million homes"]
  • 2009 was a record-breaking year for Wall Street bonuses, as firms issued $150 billion to their executives (i.e., a gift of over $1000 from every US household)–these bonuses are a direct result of our tax dollars
  • The economic top one percent of the population now owns over 70% of all financial assets, an all time record.

From: The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class (Source)

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Increased taxes, reduced benefits: U.S. state and local governments, in terms of their share of the economy, are more than 50% larger than the federal government. Local government has a huge impact on the overall economy. Since state governments can’t run operational deficits, we’ll see tremendous fiscal tightening, and that restraint — whether it’s tax increases or civil servants being furloughed or services being cut — will slow growth. It will also significantly offset the policy stimulus measures coming out of Washington. (Source)

What will State budget cuts in social services mean to the middle class? Here’s an example:

911, What Credit Card Will You Be Using? In Tracy, CA, the first thing the 911 operator wants to know is your 911 account number (a $48 annual fee lets you have unlimited medical emergency calls) or how you are going to pay the $300 fee it takes to get the emergency service on a one-time basis. (Source)

Watch & Learn: Moody’s has joined S&P in warning Greece that if it does not drastically reduce its budget deficits by cutting social services, public payrolls and pension costs,  it will suffer a multi-step cut in its bond ratings, making the bankers ever richer at the country’s expense.  Of course this sort of banker blackmail would never work in the USA. (Source)

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Hmmm

Lol! Even casino gambling is crashing: “The state Gaming Control Board today released its “Gaming Abstract” for fiscal year 2009, which ended June 30, showing a net loss of $6.7 billion among the 260 major casinos in Nevada.” (Source)

Maybe Americans now have less money to throw away.

Who could have known?

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U.S. deficit tops record 1.56 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2010

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama sent Congress a 3.83-trillion-dollar budget in fiscal year 2011 on Monday to boost the fragile economic recovery, with a record- breaking 1.56-trillion-dollar deficit in fiscal year 2010 ending in September. The budget shortfall in 2010 would equal an unsustainable 10.6 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the basic measure of a country’s overall economic output. (Source)

C K Michaelson notes:

Next year I expect to earn $100,000, spend $170,000 and forge my granddaughter’s name to the IOU. That’s the effect of the deficit ($1.6 trillion) in Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget. (Source)

Here’s the chart to contemplate.

White House Office of Management and Budget

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Besides $150 Billion dollar bonuses for Wall St, where’s all this deficit money going to go? Here’s a clue — and it isn’t for you and me.

Stimulating the real economy to create jobs, right?

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The intelligent minority of this nation lacks the one thing that animates intelligence in the service of reality, and that is the courage to tell the truth. (Source)

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Update 1/26/2011: Google Foreclosure Maps–gone! Google has announced that they will be removing all real estate listings from their Google Maps platform on February 10th of this year (2011). Searches for real estate foreclosures on Google Maps are now being censored no longer possible.

In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we’ve decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps on February 10, 2011. (Source)

Some people ask if Google might have somehow removed foreclosure maps as part of a supposed “cover up” of the accelerating real estate crash in the U.S. (eg., Another Flood of Foreclosures on the Way).

Silly question.

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Foreclosure Nation . . .

US foreclosure map - each red dot represents a cluster of homes in foreclosure

As of December 1st, 2009, more than 13% of US homeowners were either delinquent or in foreclosure. (Source) UPDATE: As of 10/29/2010 an incredible one in seven or 14% of the nearly 54 million first liens in the country are now either delinquent or in default. (Source)

You can use Google Maps to watch the spreading toxic red dots of real estate foreclosures and defaults multiplying across America. [Google's "foreclosure" mapping feature may not be available outside of the U.S.]

Here’s how:

Select Real Estate -> Foreclosures

Google Maps search feature shows both houses in foreclosure or in default (missed at least one 1st mortgage payment).

  • Go to maps.google.com.
  • Click on the “More” box (located on the map itself in the top right of the Google map).
  • A pull down menu will appear.  Click on “Real Estate”.
  • Now, in the selection box on the left, check “Foreclosure” to select it, and remove the check in “For sale” to unselect it (just click on the check box).
  • Now, the map will show foreclosures. Search for any city or zip code in the search box, or zoom in on any area of interest.
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NOTE: If you don’t see Google Map’s  “Real Estate” check box, then try this:

  1. Click on Google Map’s “Show search options” (located to the right of the “Search Maps” button at the top of the Google Map page)
  2. Click on the drop down menu and select “Real Estate”
  3. Enter your city and state and click on “Search Maps”
The foreclosures will show up as red dots on the map that results. Depending on your map’s scale, each red dot may represent one or more homes with mortgages in default or in foreclosure.
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For example, here is a fairly sobering graphic. The map shows ONE ZIP CODE on Chicago’s South West Side, 60629.
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Chicago - foreclosures

This neighborhood has been gutted. The red dots represent all of the properties in that zip code that are either in pre-foreclosure or are already bank owned. They are each individual tragedies. Take another look at this map for a moment.

Consider the words of Fr. Stan Rataj, Pastor of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, located in the center of this community: “If several hundred families lost their homes to a fire or a tornado, we would rush to help them,” said Fr. Stan. “This tragedy is just as serious, yet people feel that they have to face it by themselves”. (Source)

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See also:

Another Flood of Foreclosures on the Way, and

Home Owners Can Level the Foreclosure Playing Field–by using the poison pill that lenders fear — legal strategy to “encourage” foreclosing lenders to negotiate in good faith.

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Here’s a few other cities . . .

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Washington DC - foreclosures

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Miami, Fl - foreclosures

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Nashville, Tn - foreclosures

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Los Angeles, Ca - foreclosures

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Zoom in to see individual properties in foreclosure

. . . or use Street View to see foreclosures

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Here’s some foreclosure maps as of Jan. 2011 (just before Google maps removed the feature):

Boise, Idaho — 1 in 21 homes in foreclosure (The red dots show foreclosures)

Boise, Idaho -- 1 in 21 homes in foreclosure (The red dots show foreclosures)

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Sarasota, Fla. — 1 in 21 homes in foreclosure

Sarasota, Fla. -- 1 in 21 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Lakeland, Fla. — 1 in 21 homes in foreclosure

Lakeland, Fla. -- 1 in 21 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Tampa, Fla. — 1 in 20 homes in foreclosure

Tampa, Fla. -- 1 in 20 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Port St. Lucie, Fla. — 1 in 19 homes in foreclosure

Port St. Lucie, Fla. -- 1 in 19 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Sacramento, Calif. — 1 in 19 homes in foreclosure

Sacramento, Calif. -- 1 in 19 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Naples, Fla. — 1 in 18 homes in foreclosure

Naples, Fla. -- 1 in 18 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Deltona, Fla. — 1 in 17 homes in foreclosure

Deltona, Fla. -- 1 in 17 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Bakersfield, Calif. — 1 in 17 homes in foreclosure

Bakersfield, Calif. -- 1 in 17 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Reno, Nev. — 1 in 16 homes in foreclosure

Reno, Nev. -- 1 in 16 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Vallejo, Calif. — 1 in 16 homes in foreclosure

Vallejo, Calif. -- 1 in 16 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Orlando — 1 in 15 homes in foreclosure

Orlando -- 1 in 15 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Merced, Calif. — 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Merced, Calif. -- 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Stockton, Calif. — 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Stockton, Calif. -- 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Riverside, Calif. — 1 of 14 homes in foreclosure

Riverside, Calif. -- 1 of 14 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Miami — 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Miami -- 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Phoenix — 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Phoenix -- 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Modesto, Calif. — 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Modesto, Calif. -- 1 in 14 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Cape Coral, Fla. — 1 in 12 homes in foreclosure

Cape Coral, Fla. -- 1 in 12 homes in foreclosure

Image: Courtesy of Google Maps

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

Las Vegas — 1 in 9 homes in foreclosure

Las Vegas -- 1 in 9 homes in foreclosure

Note: The red dots shows homes currently in foreclosure. The slide title describes the fraction of homes that received foreclosure filings in 2010.

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The US unemployment “crisis” is being addressed by the Obama administration. As just one example, the FDIC is  set to hire over 1600 new employees as the FDIC gears up for ever more bank failures in 2010:

In conjunction with its approval of the 2010 operating budget, the Board [of FDIC] also approved an authorized 2010 staffing level of 8,653 employees, up from 7,010 in 2009 [up 23%]. (Source)

See? There’s plenty of jobs out there!

Who could have known?

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California is particularly blessed in the bankruptcy sector:

The latest data show [California] small-business bankruptcies up 81% in the state for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, compared with the previous year. Filings nationwide were up 44%, according to the credit analysis firm Equifax Inc. (Source)

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The combined percentage of loans in foreclosure or at least one payment past due was 14.41% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the highest ever recorded in the MBA delinquency survey. (Source.)

  • Fasten your seatbelts

    Last year, only one in 10 were behind. Two years ago, the number was just 7.3%.

     

  • California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada continue to account for the lion’s share of the foreclosure problem; the four represented 44% of all homes beginning the foreclosure process during the quarter.
  • In California, 28.8% of all prime ARM loans were delinquent. Many of those were option ARMs. Nationally, 26.6% of all prime ARMs were in foreclosure. That compared with 25.2% of all subprime ARMs and was the first time ever that a prime loan category performed worse than a subprime loan category, according to Brinkmann.

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Increasing budget gap

(Source: Nov. 18, Bloomberg) — California’s budget deficit may widen to almost $21 billion by next fiscal year as the most populous U.S. state’s economy continues reeling from the global recession, its top fiscal analyst said in a report today. Since February 2009, Schwarzenegger and lawmakers have already slashed $32 billion from spending, cutting into funding for schools, universities and welfare programs. They also raised taxes by $12.5 billion to balance the current $85 billion spending plan Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed July 28, 2009.

This additional $21 Bln shortfall is 24.7% of the current $85 Bln California State budget.
More red ink for the state means Californians could see another round of spending cuts and tax increases. The state’s Democratic controller, John Chiang, said on Wednesday that California could have trouble making payments as early as spring 2010 if tax revenue remains below forecasts, among other reasons. (Source.)

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Close to 50 million Americans struggle to get enough to eat

Hungry in America

More than 49 million Americans — one in seven — struggled to get enough to eat in 2008, the highest total in 14 years of a federal survey on “food insecurity,” the U.S. government said Monday. While Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said programs such as food stamps softened the impact of an economic recession, anti-hunger groups pointed to the huge increase from the preceding year when 36.2 million people had trouble getting enough food and a third of them occasionally went hungry.

About 14.6 percent of U.S. households, equal to 49.1 million people, “had difficulty obtaining food for all their members due to a lack of resources” during 2008, up  from 2007 when 11.1 percent of households were classified as food insecure.

President Barack Obama called the USDA report “unsettling” and vowed to reverse the trend of rising hunger.

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Hawaii schools to move to four-day week in state cost-cutting measure

School's out, now what?

School's out, now what?

• All 256 public schools in state to close for ‘furlough Fridays’
• Up to 171,000 children to be affected

(Source)

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Stoneleigh’s stance – the future’s not what it used to be. Given her insightful predictions about the economy so far these 40 theses should be read carefully.

June 17 2009: 40 ways to lose your future

    (Source.)


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    Two leading economic historians, Barry Eichengreen and Kevin H. Rourke, have written an article “A Tale of Two Depressions” which has been widely circulated on the Internet. It illustrates (with graphs) how the global economy is plummeting faster now than during the 1930s.
    http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3421

    By nearly every objective standard, the present downturn is worse than the Great Depression. Manufacturing, industrial production, foreign trade, capital flows, consumer confidence, housing, and even stocks are falling faster today than after the crash of 1929. According to Merrill Lynch’s economist David Rosenberg (as of April, 2009):

    “It would take over three years to achieve price stability (in housing) The problem is that prices do not begin to stabilize until we break below eight months’ supply – and they tend to deflate 3% per quarter until that happens. So as impressive as it is that the builders have taken single-family starts below underlying sales, their efforts are just not sufficient to prevent real estate prices from falling further. In fact, even if the builders were to declare a moratorium immediately, that is, taking starts to zero, demand is so weak and the unsold inventory so intractable that it would now take over three years to achieve the holy grail of price stability in the residential real estate market.” (Source.)

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    Here is an excerpt from Dan W’s “Ashes Ashes” well-reasoned update and forecast for the US economy: http://ashizashiz.blogspot.com/2009/03/no-matter-what-else-happens.html

    U.S. GDP over the past several years has not only been driven by outrageous levels of consumer spending, but the majority of that spending has been pure debt, leverage, no capital foundation. Also:

    1. The gap between real wages and the cost of consumer goods continues to widen. In other words, it is becoming increasingly difficult for a family of four to make ends meet—just the basics!— on the wages of two median-income wage earners.
    2. The Import-Export economy has collapsed. Not only can people not afford to purchase the luxury items that just recently comprised much of their spending, but such items are becoming increasingly scarce as overseas production grinds to a near halt.
    3. An extraordinarily FEW individuals are still willing to seek financing for such things as new cars, new homes, etc. AND, what we’re beginning to see is that many who are able to secure such financing are defaulting on their loans without making so much as one payment in service of their loan.

    We have simply run-up, as a society, far too much debt. We have run-up so much debt in fact, that even under the best circumstances and with the best policies in place we would need to experience a deep recession in order to bring spending and production and debt back into line. But the circumstances are grim, and the monetary and fiscal policies of our government are insane, and as such we are lurching our way toward the deepest and quite possibly the longest economic DEPRESSION in the brief history of our troubled nation. Such an end has become entirely unavoidable:

    1. The FED’s efforts to stimulate growth and ease possible deflation through the strategy of Quantitative Easing will only serve to (1) artificially prop up certain sectors of the economy for a finite amount of time, and to (2) bring us closer to conflict with the rest of the world over our policy of currency devaluation and our status as a nation whose debt-service cannot be counted upon.
    2. Consumer spending is going to continue to collapse. Despite federal reports to the contrary, as more and more people lose their jobs and as more and more people try desperately to pay down their debt, consumer spending on the types of goods & services that once spurred “growth” will plummet. As such, GDP will continue to contract at an extraordinary rate.
    3. There is a feeling out there in the world of the ordinary person that debt has become a very dirty word. I hear it all of the time. People are saying, “never again”. Never again will I run-up my credit card debt or buy something on financing. People are coming to see the system of ‘money-as-debt’ as fraudulent and unctuous, and the Obama obsession with getting credit flowing again is falling upon deaf ears and unwilling minds.
    4. The velocity of money—real money—is going to slow to a virtual standstill over the next few years. ANY money that people can hold, they will. ANY money that people are able to scrounge and save will NOT circulate. Just wait until this spring and summer—and the next—when the barter economy robs the federal government of tens of billions of dollars in tax revenues and when banks see a precipitous drop in deposits and reserves.
    5. There remains TRILLIONS upon TRILLIONS of dollars of debt in the system that need to be cleared. And not only consumer debt, but corporate and sovereign debt as well. And until that debt is destroyed, any manner of GDP growth will remain impossible.
    6. Any new regulation of trading in derivatives, etc., should it succeed, would suppress the market and as such would lead to further retrenchment and contraction. Don’t get me wrong here: I support the idea of honest regulation. I am simply recognizing that mandatory reserve limits and elimination of “naked” trading would further contract GDP because less “profits” would mean less spending of said profits (and converting the supposed capital into investments). And thus the collateralization of said debt through spending is reflected in GDP. And yes I am cognizant of the fact that much of the profligacy in the derivatives market is nothing more than leverage, but this DEBT spending, regardless of its future harm to the overall economy, is still calculated as part of the overall picture of GDP because the debt is used to purchase goods and services.

    The days of 4%, 3%, even 2% GDP growth are over. We’re looking at several years of falling GDP, several years of negative growth.

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    UK, the next Iceland? part 2

    Britain is showing signs of heading towards 1930s-style depression, the Bank of England says today for the first time. (Source.)

    Personal debt in the UK, £1.5trillion, is larger than the country’s GDP. British corporate borrowing adds up to another £2 trillion. By next year the government will owe over £4 trillion. Total UK public debt and obligations come to a staggering 282% of annual GDP. British house prices could fall by another 55%, and there is a non-negligible chance that the whole country will go broke. (Source.)

    [The UK is] now running a deficit that touches 10 per cent of GDP, an almost unbelievable figure – more than Pakistan, more than Hungary; countries where the IMF has already been called in. Everyone knows that Britain is worse off than any other country as we go into these hard times. The IMF has said so. The European Commission has said so. The markets say so, which is why the pound has lost a third of its value. (Source.) (See the video here.)

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    Downsized: Global financial assets (stocks, bonds, used bikes…) lost at least $50 trillion in 2008, an amount equal to an entire year’s global output in goods and services.

    Thought Experiment: The current economic crisis seems intractable, with no easy solution in view. Think how much harder solving the economic crisis will be after the global food system collapses; for food is but petroleum converted to carbohydrates, protein and fat through the catalytic application of credit.

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    What’s Dead (Short Answer: All Of It)

    • All pension funds, private and public, are done. If you are receiving one, you won’t be. If you think you will in the future, you won’t be. PBGC will fail as well. Pension funds will be forced to start eating their “seed corn” within the next 12 months and once that begins there is no way to recover.
    • All annuities will be defaulted to the state insurance protection (if any) on them. The state insurance funds will be bankrupted and unable to be replenished. Essentially, all annuities are toast. Expect zero, be ecstatic if you do better. All insurance companies with material exposure to these obligations will go bankrupt, without exception. Some of these firms are dangerously close to this happening right here and now; the rest will die within the next 6-12 months. If you have other insured interests with these firms, be prepared to pay a LOT more with a new company that can’t earn anything off investments, and if you have a claim in process at the time it happens, it won’t get paid. The probability of you getting “boned” on any transaction with an insurance company is extremely high – I rate this risk in excess of 90%.
    • The FDIC will be unable to cover bank failure obligations. They will attempt to do more of what they’re doing now (raising insurance rates and doing special assessments) but will fail; the current path has no chance of success. Congress will backstop them (because they must lest shotguns come out) with disastrous results. In short, FDIC backstops will take precedence even over Social Security and Medicare.
    • Government debt costs will ramp. This warning has already been issued and is being ignored by President Obama. When (not if) it happens debt-based Federal Funding will disappear. This leads to….
    • Tax receipts are cratering and will continue to. I expect total tax receipts to fall to under $1 trillion within the next 12 months. Combined with the impossibility of continued debt issue (rollover will only remain possible at the short duration Treasury has committed to over the last ten years if they cease new issue) a 66% cut in the Federal Budget will become necessary. This will require a complete repudiation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, a 50% cut in the military budget and a 50% across-the-board cut in all other federal programs. That will likely get close.
    • Tax-deferred accounts will be seized to fund rollovers of Treasury debt at essentially zero coupon (interest). If you have a 401k, or what’s left of it, or an IRA, consider it locked up in Treasuries; it’s not yours any more. Count on this happening – it is essentially a certainty.
    • Any firm with debt outstanding is currently presumed dead as the street presumption is that they have lied in some way. Expect at least 20% of the S&P 500 to fail within 12 months as a consequence of the complete and total lockup of all credit markets which The Fed will be unable to unlock or backstop. This will in turn lead to….
    • The unemployed will have 5-10 million in direct layoffs added within the next 12 months. Collateral damage (suppliers, customers, etc) will add at least another 5-10 million workers to that, perhaps double that many. U-3 (official unemployment rate) will go beyond 15%, U-6 (broad form) will reach 30%.
    • Civil unrest will break out before the end of the year. The Military and Guard will be called up to try to stop it. They won’t be able to. Big cities are at risk of becoming a free-fire death zone. If you live in one, figure out how you can get out and live somewhere else if you detect signs that yours is starting to go “feral”; witness New Orleans after Katrina for how fast, and how bad, it can get.

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    Microcosm: Citing the state’s economic problems, Florida politicians are rushing to gut environmental laws and growth-management regulations in favor of re-inflating the economy.

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    If you can get into a cushy government job, you’ll be on easy street through this depression while your poor neighbors in the private sector really struggle. Here’s the ideal positioning for the depression. Obviously, not everyone will be able to achieve all of these, but work toward as many as you can (Source):

    * Government job
    * Own a home with a 30-year-fixed mortgage (because those dollars will be worthless by the time you pay them back
    * 12+ months of expenses saved, equally split between cash and gold
    * Canned and dry bulk food stockpiled
    * Guns and ammo stockpiled

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