Feb 10, 2009

A Theatre Of Desperation: Leaders At A Loss

A good article on the Crunchreport on where we are and what to expect. Quote: "...The measures in place aim at nothing else then to use the last of our ‘reserves’ (read: credit worthiness) in an attempt to revive the same rotten system that collapsed in front of our eyes. This means that we are left with no second chance. As melodramatic as it sounds, the social fabric as we know it will dissolve with a speed that no one can imagine. Strikes by a frustrated work force, demonstrations, unrest in poor neighbourhoods and the good-old racist clashes (both ways) are emerging all over the world, including China where we suspect that we don’t have a nearly complete picture of what really is going on. Criminality will rise, burglaries and robberies will become a survival mode for many, and kidnappings already prove to be a lucrative business in some unfortunate parts of the world today. International organised crime will confirm its status as a centre of competence on these fields. Squeezed government budgets will increase the gap in the arms race between law enforcement and McMafia. And that all is only the beginning. It is up to every one of us to extrapolate current events and their consequences and draw our own conclusions on how to do some damage control. This time you are completely on your own. If you don’t realise this (in time) you are lost..." Read it here

Ship of Fools - By Paul Craig Roberts

A must read on current US predicament on ICH. Quote: "Obama’s war in Afghanistan is the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. After seven years of conflict, there is still no defined mission or endgame scenario for US forces in Afghanistan. When asked about the mission, a US military official told NBC News, “Frankly, we don’t have one.” NBC reports: “they’re working on it.”

Speaking to House Democrats on February 5, President Obama admitted that the US government does not know what its mission is in Afghanistan and that to avoid “mission creep without clear parameters,” the US “needs a clear mission...” Read it here

William Bowles: Reform or Revolution?

A very good short article from William Bowles, here. It starts with the historical role of Labour and ends with the current crisis of capitalism. Quote: "...These are extremely dangerous times, the capitalist system is teetering on the edge of collapse and as it has done in the past, it will resort to whatever measures it needs to protect the interests of capital including the establishment of a police state. All the necessary legislation is in place to clamp down on any opposition. We have already seen the use of 'anti-terror' laws to clamp down on legitimate protest, this is in spite of all the claims of 'New' Labour that the vast array of laws would not be used to suppress 'legitimate' protest." Read all here

FT: investors buying record amounts of gold

By Javier Blas in London - Published: February 9 2009
"Investors are buying record amounts of gold bars and coins, shunning risky assets for the relative safety of bullion amid renewed fears about the health of the global financial system.
The US Mint sold 92,000 ounces of its popular American Eagle coin last month, almost four times that which it sold a year ago and more than it shipped during the whole of the first half of 2007.

Other countries’ mints have also reported strong sales. “Large purchases of coins are perhaps the ultimate sign of safe-haven gold buying,” said John Reade, a precious metals strategist at UBS.

Inflows into gold-backed exchange traded funds surged in January, pushing their bullion holdings to an all-time high of 1,317 tonnes. Last month’s flows of 105 tonnes were above September’s previous record of 104 tonnes, and absorbed about half the world’s gold mine output for January, said Barclays Capital...." Read all here

More: Big Funds Run to Gold