2011 December 27 | timiacono.com

End of the Road

Before stumbling upon the trailer, I hadn’t heard anything about the upcoming documentary End of the Road by Tim Delmastro, but, it appears to have real potential, what with the growing realization that all the bailout efforts from a few years ago simply kicked the can down the road and that, someday, that road will come to an end.

The film is basically a compilation of interviews with eleven individuals, most of the names being familiar to readers of this blog including G Edward Griffin
, Jim Puplava, James Turk, Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff, Eric Sprott, and Bill Murphy.

My guess is that the Federal Reserve, fiat money, and gold come up quite frequently.

And the Politicians Get Wealthier…

Though quite different than in parts of China where, in this New York Times story yesterday, it was learned that the benefits of holding office can be so attractive that one candidate for Laojiaotou village committee chairman spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars for a position that pays less than $50 a month, elected officials in the U.S are doing quite well these days, entering office wealthier than ever before, as detailed in this report at the Washington Post today, and adding to that wealth over time.

Between 1984 and 2009, the median net worth of a member of the House more than doubled, according to the analysis of financial disclosures, from $280,000 to $725,000 in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars, excluding home ­equity.

Over the same period, the wealth of an American family has declined slightly, with the comparable median figure sliding from $20,600 to $20,500, according to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from the University of Michigan.

The growing disparity between representatives and the represented means there is a greater distance between the economic experience of Americans and those of lawmakers.

The report chronicles the differences between former Pennsylvania Representative Gary Myers, who was elected to office in 1974 and served only two terms, and another Republican from the same district, Mike Kelly, who won office for the first time last year.

Of course, this is part of the growing income inequality problem that has been festering in the U.S. over the years and that has come to a head after the housing bubble burst (i.e., after most people realized they were only “temporarily” wealthy).

Also see Peter Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out – How Politicians and their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism that Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison.

Case-Shiller Home Price Declines Accelerate

Standard & Poor’s reported(.pdf) that the Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index fell 1.2 percent from September to October, its sharpest decline in a year, while the 10-City index fell 1.1 percent. Seasonally adjusted data was slightly better, the two indexes falling 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

On a year-over-year basis, the 20-City index is now down 3.4 percent and the 10-City index has fallen 3.0 percent, however, due to price increases earlier in the year, these are both an improvement from the annual rate of decline reported last month.

Nineteen of the 20 cities saw price declines in October with drops of 1.0 percent or more in 11 cities paced by a plunge of 5.0 percent in Atlanta and 3.3 percent in Detroit. Even home values in Washington D.C. fell, down 0.3 percent for the month, but this area continues to lead all others since the housing bubble burst with an annual gain now at 1.3 percent.

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Tuesday Morning Links

MUST READS
ECB reports record cash deposits from banks – BBC
UK Treasury outlines plans for eurozone failure – Telegraph
Italian Bonds Slide Before Debt Auctions – BusinessWeek
Banks Scramble To Redeposit “Free Carry” Cash With ECB – Zero Hedge
Growing wealth divide between lawmakers and constituents – Washington Post
How Politics Came to Dominate Payroll Tax Debate – NY Times
Payroll Tax Deal Is Middle Class Tax Hike – Implode-O-Meter Blog
Obama Wins Most Demand for Debt Since 1995 – Bloomberg
Randall Forsyth Demolishes Meredith Whitney – Reformed Broker
Will Obama be reelected? Just watch the stock market – Sober Outlook
Nine signs the world will end in 2012 – Fortune
2012 – Things that will happen – Krasting
On Stratfor – Pastebin

MARKETS/INVESTING
Oil hovers below $100 amid low holiday volume – AP
Gold hovers around $1,600; US data, Europe eyed – Reuters
Hedge-Fund Managers Miss Biggest Rally in 10 Weeks – Bloomberg
2012: Stocks up 10% — or Doomsday scenario? – MarketWatch
Ron Paul’s investment strategy: Prepare for doomsday – Washington Post
Five money moves one China bubble-buster is making – MarketWatch
Overpriced PSLV Is a Negative Portent for Silver’s Price – Daily Capitalist
The coming gold mania and the structure of bubbles – Commodity Online
China clamps down on gold trading frenzy – Reuters
On Europe, Inflation, And Gold. – Zero Hedge

ECONOMY/WORLD/HOUSING/BANKING
Sears to close 100 to 120 Kmart, Sears stores – AP
Job Creation Is Price for New U.S. Health Law – Bloomberg
China to ease bank reserves soon, analysts say – MarketWatch
Canadians make debt defying race to the stores – Globe & Mail
Italy Retailers in Worst Christmas in 10 Years – Bloomberg
Greek retail sees worst Christmas sales in decades – Reuters
Japan drops ban on military exports – Guardian
U.S. rental demand lifts housing sector – Reuters
Homes Values to Lose Nearly $700B in 2011 – Zillow Blog
Who Is Really Responsible for the Housing Crisis? – Atlantic
Slowing Inflation Cheers Fed – WSJ

 
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