One of the queerest things is how all bubbles are exactly the same and all depressions following bubbles are reproductions of previous depressions. Every bubble features people saying, ‘We are in a new economy now, one with no risk!’ while every depression has experts like Bernanke who say, ‘My measures prevented a Great Depression this time.’ But for some bizarre reason, each event stubbornly plays out nearly exactly the same.
FUNimation Videos > Video Details: From Slayers Evolution R which broadcast in Japan this fall:
President Obama pledges to scour world for terror cells – Times Online: due to a lack of analysis of Osama bin Laden’s strategy means the US will blunder into every single trap set by him. Dead or alive, the strategy set off by bin Laden continues relentlessly. Unlike the Palestinians who did ‘terrorism’ as a means of trying to force the world to do something about their specific situation, the terrorists launched by bin Laden have no obvious agenda.
Which is why we must heed the words of bin Laden who said, this is not a battle with the US for something specific to the US but rather, a battle for Mecca. That is, to overthrow the Saudi Arabia government and destroy the West’s military power so he and his followers can take over the leadership of Islam. This, incidentally, includes increasing the ancient battles between Sunni and Shiites. Which is why Saudi Arabia supports the US attempts at getting Iran isolated over the nuclear issue.
And of course, this is all about End of Times death cults of various sorts clashing with each other very violently. The US cannot afford to ‘scour the world for terror cells’ at all. We are going bankrupt. And bin Laden’s strategy has always been to bankrupt the US exactly as Russia was bankrupted trying to control vast, restive populations while running an increasingly disordered economy. These little flea bites designed to distract and lure the US into more quagmires has to be ignored as we concentrate on the real problems.
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Note that the real problem ceases to be ‘global climate change’ just as suddenly as it was all about ‘we are doomed!’ when the agenda was to get governments to launch an international carbon derivatives market based on taxes on energy failed. I love logic. If the logic of the ‘we are doomed by global warming’ people is true, then we cannot invade all of the planet to squash a tiny handful of individuals who hate the West and want to overthrow the Saudis. For this eats up immense amounts of fossil fuels provided by these same Saudis who are the #1 exporter of fossil fuels…and the CO2 produced by the military and hanger-ons in corporate America will be immense.
Ergo: if global warming is going to kill all of us as the End of Times climate fanatics will have it, then we must stop fighting bin Laden and rejoice that is is more dangerous to fly on jets since jets are a major CO2 producer which happens to do this in the higher stratosphere which is the sector that worries global warming believers so much! Ergo: bin Laden’s attacks on jets is good because it will finally force people to stop polluting the earth with CO2 gases in the stratosphere!
Ah, isn’t true logic wonderful? Of course, people pushing the End of Times ideology of global warming have zero intention of stopping using jets to fly all over kingdom come. Even when it is painfully obvious that this has to stop, they won’t stop. So we may as well sit back and watch these various End of Times cultists in religion and science screw up while Mother Nature sharpens her claws.
At the bottom of all this is energy. The global depression was not just launched by the collapse of a global credit bubble which began when Japan allowed its ZIRP banking system to be the basis of ‘the Japanese carry trade’ whereby borrowers would get money from Japan and then leverage it to infinity due to ‘no risk’ insurance sold by AIG in the derivatives market which then expanded from $10 billion to $66 trillion (or $600 trillion depending on which part of this monster we view).
The present collapse is very much tied to the surge in oil prices caused by the US invasion of Iraq. Since 2001, oil has gone from extremely cheap to very dear by 2008. This redirected wealth across the planet and when oil shot up to over $100 a barrel in the summer of 2008, the biggest oil consumer, the US, nearly ground to a halt due to this very high energy cost. Even as the price of oil fell, the ripples caused by the oil high prices continued and since last winter, the price of oil has crawled back up to over $70 a barrel.
Tanker Glut Signals 25% Drop on 26-Mile Line of Ships (Update2) – Bloomberg.com
A 26-mile-long line of idled oil tankers, enough to blockade the English Channel, may signal a 25 percent slump in freight rates next year.
The ships will unload 26 percent of the crude and oil products they are storing in six months, adding to vessel supply and pushing rates for supertankers down to an average of $30,000 a day next year, compared with $40,212 now, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 15 analysts, traders and shipbrokers. That’s below what Frontline Ltd., the biggest operator of the ships, says it needs to break even.
Not only does last year’s oil price bubble continue to warp today’s oil markets, the destruction this is causing continues to rise relentlessly. Since the oil brokers and gamblers are now stuck with oil contracts being fulfilled that have to wait, physically for prices to rise or the dealers will lose money on the oil they bought last summer. This, in turn, is bankrupting all the oil shipping companies as it drives down the price of shipping. This, in turn, will cause a falling domino effect in all transportation systems.
The bubble in all systems whether energy or real estate, continues to destroy stability. The immense bail outs performed by Western central banks has altered nothing fundamental. This just kept reckless lenders from going bankrupt faster. And bailed out the world’s biggest creators and holders of the entire CDO credit risk markets.
Nov oil imports down for 14th straight month › Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion
Japanese crude oil imports dropped 4.5% in November from a year earlier to 110.20 million barrels for the 14th straight monthly fall, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said Monday. Oil shipments from the Middle East accounted for 90% of the total imports, up 3.1 percentage points, the agency within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a preliminary report.
Saudi Arabia stayed the biggest supplier to Japan, exporting 38.37 million barrels, up 13%. The United Arab Emirates came second with the export of 23.02 million barrels, down 10.5%, followed by Qatar, which supplied 12.08 million barrels, down 13.3%.
The natural response to high oil costs is to reduce oil consumption. Japan has fallen to #3 in world economic rankings as China continues its surge upwards. Japan’s working class had barely crawled out of a decade-long depression when they were knocked back down again. Cutting wages and reducing the workforce continues and has grown even worse in Japan. A very peculiar sort of End of Times ideology has Japan in its grip as anyone can see in Japanese anime.
Oil Trades Near Five-Week High on Iran Tensions, Cold Weather – Bloomberg.com: this shows us that the bitter cold that has gripped a great deal of the Northern Hemisphere this winter has economic effects. Imagine if we imposed a carbon tax on top of all of this! The bitter fury of northern populations forced to pay through the nose above and beyond the costs of high fuel prices which rose due to both increasing use and wars, would be unimaginable.
Contrary to the beliefs of mostly the leftist global warming End of Time believers, they will not be thanked for saving everyone from doom but rather, the backlash, if we continue to have colder winters and the carbon tax hammers everyone, this will cause a tremendous backlash. The left, if it embraces this business, will be eliminated as a political reality. The severe cold that grips the north is nothing to sniff at. It is daylight here and only 7º F. Amazingly cold! And not even January yet. And this has been one of the coldest Decembers I have ever witnessed up here in NY state!
When energy costs rise, we get two things: inflation and recessions. We never, ever have ‘good times’ when energy costs rise. This always either kills economic growth or worse, does this while causing inflation. This is what ‘stagflation’ is all about. And the US is rapidly heading towards inflationary times when it comes to fundamental stuff we need to stay alive like heating our homes during extreme cold waves like the present one that is hammering us.
Senate Democrats to W.H.: Drop cap-and-trade – – POLITICO.com: look, even the Democrats are worried that this stupid cap and trade business will destroy the economy! Embracing the ideology that the only cure for global warming is to tax energy users and of course, transfer all our industries to warmer climates while leaving the working population of the north to fend for itself a la Detroit…this is suicidal for the Democratic party. It is ridiculous and it is destroying the entire liberal left as we can see here on my own blog with liberals getting increasingly furious with me because I explain the flaws in these goofy plans to fix global warming.
Here is a story from Xmas week about how all of these things intersect and hammer the working class in the US. A major US trucking corporation suddenly went bankrupt right before Xmas and left all the workers stranded. I want to look deeper into this story to show how things are going at the bottom of the US economic system:
Arrow Trucking: Is this any way to lay off workers? / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com
The Tulsa, Okla., trucking company stopped payment on the gas cards of its drivers, leaving some of them stranded Tuesday around the United States, miles from home. No explanation on the website. No one at the company answering phones.
The 200 or so employees at Arrow Trucking’s headquarters were told to pack up their belongings and go home Tuesday morning, according to the Tulsa World.
The only acknowledgement was a brief recorded message on the company’s main phone number, asking drivers of its Freightliner and Kenworth trucks to turn their rigs in to the nearest dealer and to call a special hotline to arrange for a bus ticket home. Drivers of the company’s Navistar trucks were told to call back for more information.
The screen shot above is from Google cached. The main website has been terminated and so all the artwork is now gone. Note the main page of this company boasting about how financially sound they are! Of course, like all the other defunct businesses that have vanished during this massive depression, as things spiraled out of control, instead of focusing on preparing for a global downturn, everyone continued business as usual, meaning, the top people continued to pay themselves as if they were profitable while downsizing or crushing the wages of the workforce.
With everyone at the top doing the same thing, that is, continuing to live high off the hog while crushing the workforce, the basis of the economy collapsed all over the place leaving even the bosses crushed, too. Here is a screenshot of their employment page:
Using Google, I found a webpage for truckers and looked at the thread chats about the end of Arrow Trucking: End Of The Road: Former Arrow Trucker Loses Job, Home – Topix
Office staff get shafted too in these bankruptcies. Thanks to reducing government controls over business, bankruptcies are now very disordered. This is why Arrow’s executives could continue lying to the workforce and then suddenly dump everyone, even people on the road, into the pit of hell and run off to do whatever. This spreads social chaos as well as endangering lives. Evidently, just before the holidays, all of the pay checks bounced of the workers for Arrow as well as anyone doing business with Arrow. So the financial destruction is not just confined to the corporation that went down in flames.
Also, all the loads being carried by a thousand trucks was abandoned without reaching their destinations. The side effects of all of this will continue, too. Other businesses on the brink will now fail.
Arrow truck drivers needed help, and they got it | Trucking Straight Talk
It’s one thing for a deep-pocketed company to offer help, it’s another when total strangers pitch in. That’s what happened on a Facebook group that formed. With nearly 6,000 fans of the page, other drivers posted their routes, offering to pick up stranded Arrow drivers along the way. In some cases, “chains” were created where some drivers provided rides part of the way before another driver took the Arrow employee home.
The page has also served as an unofficial jobs board with companies posting openings they have. Maybe some of the affected drivers will be able to quickly find work. I sure hope so. I encourage everyone to visit the Facebook page, located here, and offer help if you can.
Another angle that is being pursued is a lawsuit by Attorney Charles Ercole of the Philadelphia-based firm Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP. His contention is Arrow violated the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The act stipulates that a company with a certain number of employees (I’m not sure off-hand of the actual number, but based on my knowledge, Arrow would certainly qualify) must by law notify employees of any potential shutdown at least 60 days in advance.
Based on all the stories we’ve heard of drivers learning of the company’s fate when they tried to fuel their rigs, that certainly didn’t happen in this case. In fact, Ercole told me “we have information from employees that their last couple of paychecks bounced.” Arrow employed about 1,400.
The kindness of fellow workers never cease to amaze me. The truckers saved by their own tells us something important here: this can swiftly turn to rage. The conversations these truckers had with each other must have been interesting indeed. Recently, the GOP tried to shaft them all by allowing Mexican truckers to invade US markets via NAFTA. Of course, the Mexican truckers would be cheaper and thus, drive out of business the US companies. Heeding danger signs from below, the GOP dropped this particular scheme.
But truckers, like many American workers, can’t go to the liberal base for help since the liberal base is more interested in helping polar bears (who happen to eat humans when available although these predators prefer seals). England, like the US, let in endless imports and brought in foreign labor to undercut wages of native labor and now is going bankrupt somewhat ahead of the US.
Pound may fall below parity with euro, economists warn – Times Online
The pound is trading at 1.10 against the euro after hitting a low of 1.02 a year ago. However, currency markets are reflecting the expectation of a win for the Conservatives in next year’s election, raising hopes of tougher action to tackle the deficit. Any signs of Labour closing the gap ahead of the election would result in the pound plunging, according to the cebr….
…The warning follows comments from a number of leading economists in a letter to The Sunday Times yesterday that attacked the Government for its “irresponsible” failure to set out a convincing plan to reduce Britain’s budget deficit. Economists including Tim Congdon, Patrick Minford and Gordon Pepper said that there was a “heightened risk” of a downgrade of Britain’s sovereign debt rating.
Britain is deep in debt. To fix this, taxes have to go up. Taxes are already going up and people are scared so they hate Labour but guess what? Tories will raise taxes, too! Neither political party is representing the workers. This means other choices are the only choices: fascism or communism will rise to the fore as the traditional, middle parties fail to do anything for the workers except exploit or destroy them.
VAT rise will mean months of stagflation – Telegraph: This stagflation means the price of essential things will shoot upwards while wages and assets decline in value. A terrible trap. One that will lead to great political turmoil. When the US had this happen in the seventies, we chose Reaganism as the solution and we were allowed to run everything in the red while giving ourselves the illusion of rising wealth when it was really rising debt….thanks to our trade rivals who happily lent us money and let us run in the red on every level.
Podcast: Anthony Bolton – Times Online
Fidelity’s Anthony Bolton has been one of the UK’s most successful fund managers of the past 30 years.. Here he tells Mark Atherton why he is returning to the investment frontline – and why he has chosen to run a China fund.
The British fund managers who were all bailed out by the British taxpayers are now moving onwards to where the money is: Asia. And of course, they all hope to latch onto China and exploit that place in exactly the same way they used Britain. Only one problem with this plan: the Chinese have no intention of having British overlords run things. They have a total focus on using these managers and experts and then either destroying them or crippling their powers.
Mortgage Anxieties Mean Limbo for Fannie and Freddie (Update2) – Bloomberg.com
Rather than beginning to extricate itself from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it is with other bailed-out businesses, the Treasury Department on Christmas Eve removed a $200 billion limit on aid to each of the companies and promised to cover their losses through 2012. Earlier, the Federal Reserve extended a mortgage-bond purchase program by three months, through March.
The approaching withdrawal of Fed support in the form of the mortgage-bond purchases risks “a very, very scary situation,” said Meredith Whitney, founder of Meredith Whitney Advisory Group LLC in New York. Mortgage rates would soar, endangering the economic recovery, if private buyers failed to step in to buy the companies’ debt, she said.
Mortgage Fraud – The Root of America’s Economic Malaise — Seeking Alpha is a good review of the statistics behind the US housing bubble. Around 20% of the mortgage market was fraud. That is, people conspired with brokers and agents to lie about their incomes and other important matters. And across the country, people including BERNANKE bought their homes for less than 20% down and many of them including BERNANKE borrowed via second loans, the money for the downpayment on their houses. Downpayments were required in the past as proof one could save money and also force people to have some stake in the house so they wouldn’t just walk away from debts.
States’ jobless funds are being drained in recession – washingtonpost.com: As everyone is dragged into this maelstrom, all systems for support are failing, one by one. The US can easily fix this failure in state jobless funds by handing out more money like the Fed and Treasury did for the the international bankers who created this mess. This bipartisan bail out is another bit of proof that our government, like in the UK, no longer even pretends to be interested in saving the working class.
Morgan Stanley Sees 5.5% Note as U.S. Faces Deficits (Update2) – Bloomberg.com: we can see very clearly that inflation will return due to our government trying to fix these credit messes with money printing. History is crystal clear about this: printing up money always leads to the currency collapsing. Of course, this will fix our trade deficit! HAHAHA. Like any form of suicide, we can stop the red ink by killing our economy. This stupid solution is the one bankers prefer. Even better is perpetual government debt sold by or to the bankers. But only so long as there are no taxes on wealth, of course. And this is the rub: it is impossible to run a system this way. It always fails.
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37 responses to “Great Depression II Continues Its Course”
12/28/09 Baltimore, Maryland – Say what you want about the U.S. Treasury, but this much is true: They give damn good Christmas presents.
Just ask Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If you haven’t heard – which many people haven’t, since the Treasury quietly pushed this through on Christmas Eve – Fannie and Freddie now have access to unlimited government funding. Seriously, limitless.
I read the Times peice too, it disturbed me. I don’t really think the money markets are waiting for the outcome of the election to know if england is going to default. I think the traiders already know that whether it’s Alisdair Darling or (lord) George Osbourne at the helm of the treasury next year there’ll be problems, nor will either of those so two obviously corrupt politicans will do anything but for themselves (Darling where are the WMD from iraq you harped on about when you where forrien sectary!? and even worse Osbourne-who-hollidays-on-the-Rosthchilds-personal-yacht-while-helping-them-manipulate-elections-in-russia-and-elswhere?) I believe that what’s really going on is The Times (i.e. Rupert Murdock) is trying to raise fear and hysteria by continually printing stories of the type: the whole world will boycott our goods and repudiate our debt unless you vote for my servants in the Tory party come spring. In reality it won’t matter a dam who we vote for. Murdock is getting very angry now because as much as the british public hates Gordon Brown – nobody hates him as much as they hate the Tories. People on the ground are also getting tired of the Murdock press and Viscount Rothermere’s loathsome DailyMail (a tax cheat, by the way) trying to decide this election for us. Murdock clumsy attempts to smear Brown by manipulating greving war widows only backfired on him; increasing brown’s ratings. I susupect his fearmongering “the world will boycott us, the bank of england will self distruct (big loss) and France will invade us if you vote Labour again” will backfire as well.
HAHAHA….France invading. On the other hand, France did invade Russia once upon a time and learned the harsh lesson about warm empires invading freezing cold empires. A lesson Europe has had to learn over and over again, by the way.
I would think that the City boyz would be loathe to traid in China, the latter having executed a British subject yesterday in spite of strong and strenuous objections from the foreign office.
‘Since the oil brokers and gamblers are now stuck with oil contracts being fulfilled that have to wait, physically for prices to rise or the dealers will lose money on the oil they bought last summer. ‘
Not exactly. I have been pointing out the pile on in the natural gas contract that has now caught a triple for the best traiders. What da boyz intend to give up in oil, a somewhat flexible demand commodity, they mean to take back in nat gas, which is not flexible at all and is largely consumed by utilities and industrial production.
The drop in crude is not hard to predict. I had commented when KSP reported their quarter in early November that there is no demand from refiners to ship crude from the gulf. The run to eighty is a little thank you from the Fed to the taxpayer. While I was forced to withhold my commentary, Valero closed another quarter million of refining capacity next to Sun in Jersey. Yes I had been talking about the destruction of our petrochemical industry by imported refined product. Also surprised that UAE gave the nukular contract to S. KOrea. If I was the Secretary of Commerce, I would have a chat with the Korean embassy and explain to that since GE can’t build the plant, we can’t afford to import, KIA, Daewoo or Hyundai, or defend their northern border either.
Colin, ‘traiders’ – good one! No correlation between the pound sterling and the fifty percent markdown in the price of citizenship yesterday courtesy of the People’s Republic?
Jefferson wrote, “The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold on us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.”
If Jefferson is right, it is far too
late to save America by fighting corruption. America is lost! It shall suffer the fate predicted by Amos Bronson Alcott when he wrote, “A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon
falls by its own corruption and decay.”
As I keep pointing out, the Chinese have rather harsh penalties of all sorts. By the way, executing people is a fun thing in the ‘red’ states in the US so we certainly can’t beef about this, especially if one is from Texas.
The definition of hubris?
Hmmm, this sounds like a veiled reference to military power/nuclear capability.
What do think Elaine? What else could Geinther be talking about?
If so that should be filed under the heading, live by the sword, die by the sword.
Why don’t these lame reporters ask follow-up questions like “to what ‘capacity’ exactly are you referring, Mr. Secretary?”
It sucks having lying, greedy idiots running the joint.
The world is so corrupt I can barely function.
Sorry, france invading is an old joke. From, Yes Minister: any time civil servants wanted a bumbling politican to do something they’d tell him ‘But minister France will invade if you don’t !’
ELAINE: 🙂 I loved that show! The state funeral where the minister seats everyone by alphabet, for example. ‘Iran and Iraq’s leaders sitting together? And with Israel???’
Jefferson was right. Alas, few can see the danger approaching until it is too late. Those that can see it approaching cannot persuade others to act diligently.
In America, and I suppose elsewhere, nothing really changes until there is a terrible tragedy or a murder or catastrophe.
Then, everyone screams for new laws and safeguards, but no one enforces them or pays for them, so nothing really changes other than the perception that things have changed. This is the illusion of written laws. Without action, they are meaningless.
The most primitive tribal taboo is far more effective than the most eloquently written law.
The refinery in Delaware City has been closed. They’re threatening to dismantle it. It was the dirtiest refinery in the U.S. Every time the toothless DEnRec (DE’s environmental agency) made things too uncomfortable (too many public hearings), they would change their name/ownership, and the whole cat-and-mouse would start all over again. They, like the Sun refinery in Marcus Hook, PA specialized in high-sulfur crude (incidendally, this refinery had it’s flare stack in DE, so the pollution would ‘go out of state’. Same with DuPont in Deepwater, NJ, whose discharge line goes into the Delaware River, owned by DE at that point). This could be a stab a Hugo Chavez, as well as a move to dimish refining capacity to create shortages of gasoline/diesel.
“This country is headed toward a single and splendid government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and monied corporations, and if this tendency continues it will be the end of freedom and democracy; the few will be ruling and riding over the plundered plowman and the beggar.”
Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.
Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
A short history of Government
Chinese car sales
just like detroit… israel should look around and start figuring regardless of US superstardom… like will the sunis give israel every oportunity to be a good neighbor forever… like should israel be its own nation builder or rely on the US to do all the work for them forever
nothing about the world is predictable, unless bernanke says its true or merk maybe
so i would like israel to make a deal for peace that is not a narcissistic relief of its own penitentiary… cuz to be honest we dont need the politics of the middle east as US citizens thank you very much
our war may be the last good war to come for a long time to come you beggars israel
and as for detroit… was it the unions… or the government… im not remarkably impressed by any of the 3 partys hunger for a modern society… and their media crews suck 364 days a year… even the spin whacks corporate governance, executive, legislative, oversight, and pay… as it misdirects blame from its own
when we have riches of bullshit capitol… WE HAVE BAD MANAGEMENT AND MALIVESTMENT… its simple math… we invest in things that destroy productivity and want it to go away…
but you dont get ‘rich’ by killing your neighbors
Geithner is total smoke and mirrors.
A true Lizard.
Codex Alimentarius kicks in December 31, 2009.
Thereafter, the Lizards plan to vanish a few billion “useless eaters” with altered livestock, food, and water.
The UK NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) program currently accounts for 1 of 3 dead Brits.
The US IMAB (Independent Medicare Advisory Board) in the Obama Health Care Bill should be equally successful.
ELAINE: I hope you realize your own folk remedies are extremely dangerous? I am amazed you are still alive.
much as the statist elites would love to create a nineteen-eighty-four style computer controlled prison for us all, they are fast running out of the funds necessary to implement it.
its a prison just as long as you own it… hehehe… imagine us taxpayers are looking justified to larger portions of government and corporate interests much as we are billed to stay a proxy
we can win this thing
@Nah, the Western elite is already dead, they just haven’t caught up with reality just yet. Stuck in ego.
China to build Naval
base in Gulf of Aden
ELAINE: I read that story and then lost it and forgot it. So I am very pleased you were so kind to put it up here in the comments. Thanks a million! I knew this would happen eventually since the Chinese basically don’t care who runs Jerusalem so they are safer allies than the US and Europeans who are very biased as to who gets the Holy Lands.
“The kindness of fellow workers never cease to amaze me. The truckers saved by their own ”
This is a stunning comment coming from a totalitarian socialist. FREEDOM WORKS!!! The people can take care of themselves Elaine. They don’t need despotic government or large corporations to feed and clothe them. Government is a drag on the economy and the ingenuity of people to take care of themselves!!!
No, they need UNIONS. The individuals who were saved didn’t have increased job protection NOR political power. They were rendered helpless.
I have been an over the road trucker since ’92 and this is the worst freight recession I have ever experienced. Every trucking company is under stress due to a soft freight environment which is causing gross revenue’s to fall. Most trucking companies never make more than 5% even during boom times and only large capitalized non-union companies will be able to survive if this recession continues into 2011. Trucking companies face high operating costs w/huge liabilities and equipment outlays. I predict the largest unionized carrier “YRC-Yellow Roadway” will be in liquidation mode shortly after it declares bankruptcy by the end of 2010. The “driver shortage” of the last 20 years is history-most of those Arrow drivers will not find employment in trucking. By now most carriers have cut driver pay/benefits this past years as freight revenue have fallen in some markets by over 20%. Oddly, in a strange disconnect from reality the DJIA Transport’s Index is up ’09 signalling a broader economic recovery is on the way. I don’t buy it-look for the monetary reflation trade to ebb in domestic equity markets next year as reality bites! From the front lines I see no improvement-there is too much capacity. Many carriers are holding their cards at the moment in hopes the “other guy” will go bust first. The only area of job growth in trucking right now is in owner operators-good luck! The wild card are fuel prices. I have been reading alot of odd articles online from various wire services about Iran attempting to purchase enriched uranium from some unnamed central asian country the last few days. The first article I read contained no names for the source or even the country involved? Today I learn it is Khazakistan(I believe) and they have denied selling any uranium to Iran. This latest news about Iran’s nukes is causing oil prices to rise yet again. Last year when crude topped $140+ trucking companies were able to ratchet up their fuel surcharge to shippers and this prevented many marginal operators from going broke. This allowed too many to remain on the road as the recession deepened. As shippers began to experience the full force of this recession they too began cutting back of the fuel surcharge paid out. You can figure out what this will lead to….
Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank: David Reilly
Perhaps you should read the book “The Good Old Days — They were Terrible!”
It shows what life was like for workers during the Golden Age before unions were formed. You can pretend that workers were “free” and whatever, but that does not change the truth at all. They were slaves.
Yes, the former truckers got home with help from other truckers. “Freedom works!”
Oh, and one more thing, Ralph.
Applying simple logic to this event shows the following:
1) Truckers who had signed contracts of employment in the “free market” were left high and dry by free market capitalists thousands of miles from their homes.
2) Truckers who had no contractual obligations and no financial incentives and no orders from their employers, to whom they owed a contractual duty to deliver their goods before anything else, banded together to create a transportation network using their employer’s vehicles to rescue the stranded truckers and bring them home.
3) This was a violation of their contracts and their fiduciary duties to their employers under free market principles.
4) Banding together for nonmonetary reasons to perform charitable acts for others using equipment and capital belonging to free market capitalists is a form of communism, or “totalitarian socialism”, as you like to put it.
5) Ergo: truckers stranded and left for dead by the free market were rescued by communist pinko truckers who basically told their employers to “drop dead”.
Logic is so liberating!
Dear Itrucker: I used to hitchhike all over the country with truckers in my youth. I found them all to be very fascinating. Literally, my job (these were all independent guys) was to keep them awake, telling amusing stories and joking with them. Kills the inevitable tedium (this is before radios and phones in vehicles, few trucks even had AM radios back in 1967).
It is a hard haul indeed. Cross winds, bad weather, drivers playing dodgeball with giant truck loads, people suddenly cutting off access to entrances or exits, jack knife events on ice, tornadoes—oh god, once I was hitching from New Mexico to Kansas and in the Texas panhandle outside Amarillo, we spotted a twister that took out some fencing and part of a gas station!
Yes, an interesting life and one that is being crushed deliberately because the people bankrolling truck hauling want cheaper labor (thus, the desire for a flood of NAFTA truckers).
I take alot of trip on the east-coast interstates and I’ve noticed a marked decrease in the number of trucks on the road. On Dec 26 I went 200 miles south on I-81 through VA and saw 5 trucks. Returning on the 27th, I saw a good many more, but not as many as 10 years ago. I used to get passed by dozens of trucks going toward Boston at 4am, nowadays not so many. One of the delivery folks stopping at my work told us Yellow was on the out 6 months ago; I’m glad they’re still afloat. An old friend of mine drove for Prime for years,. He didn’t makle enough to pay off a $60K mortgage in the Ozarks. Good luck!
The truck traffic on the NY state Thruway is down compared to the bubble days, that is certain.
Keep on keepin’ on, Elaine. You’re one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.
@ELAINE: “I hope you realize your own folk remedies are extremely dangerous? I am amazed you are still alive.”
So much for open debate.
“Ergo: bin Laden’s attacks on jets is good because it will finally force people to stop polluting the earth with CO2 gases in the stratosphere!”
That was a shameless strawman you know?
Maybe what we should do is develop zeppelin technology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeppelin I wonder if it uses less fuel than jets. It seems like it would.
Steve, I was being thoroughly sarcastic.
Oh, and Dr. Who last year had a wonderful Cyberman story using zeppelins. The rich and powerful lived in Zeppelins while the masses struggled with robots down below.
i didn’t like this post. america is not yes wasted…
Suck on this you Obama voters. BTW, Bush and his Daddy make me even sicker. Only Bill Mahr and Alan Dershowitz are lower than the Bush boys in my book!
“Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers “at the expense of hardworking Americans.”…What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.
Then he got elected.
What’s taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.
How could Obama let this happen?…
Whatever the president’s real motives are, the extensive series of loophole-rich financial “reforms” that the Democrats are currently pushing may ultimately do more harm than good. In fact, some parts of the new reforms border on insanity, threatening to vastly amplify Wall Street’s political power by institutionalizing the taxpayer’s role as a welfare provider for the financial-services industry. At one point in the debate, Obama’s top economic advisers demanded the power to award future bailouts without even going to Congress for approval — and without providing taxpayers a single dime in equity on the deals.”
“Obama’s Big Sellout:The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway”
Matt Taibbi, Rollingstone.com, 12/9/09
Yes, we are bailing out the gnomes who own Congress and the Presidency. A number of whom also bankroll AIPAC.