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The Reverend, August 18th, 2007....
As I type this the Dow is down another 175 points. Since July 19th when the Dow Index hit 14,121, it has fallen over 1300 points or approximately 9%.
So let's say right around March of 2008 we'll be in a recession. Primarily caused by borrowing huge sums of money with which to gamble.
After yesterday's official announcment, it appears my prediction was off by about 4 months. The experts told us yesterday that the recession actually began in December of 2007.
Today, however, some of these same experts are saying that the recession will probably be over some time in the latter part of 2009.
I really don't fancy being a doom and gloomer....but I don't believe that this recession will be over for a very long time. This recession was needlessly self-inflicted by all those Serious, Experienced Experts in the industries of paper shuffling. These Experts don't produce a product, but they sure as hell can produce misery for many. This recession started at the top and is just now beginning to flow downward to "regular" Americans. The number of workers being laid off is staggering, and yet I'm afraid the unemployment flood has just begun.
The experts say this....
"For 2009, the Fed expects the jobless rate to climb to between 7.1 percent and 7.6 percent."
That would be the same Fed whose former Chairman was an outspoken cheerleader for the very risky mortgages and "investment" scheme vehicles which brought about the collapse in the first place. That would be the same Fed which kept interest rates way too low for way too long during the early 00's, which in turn helped to create the bubble in real estate which is now blowing up the economy. That would be the same Fed whose alert finger was so much on the pulse of our national economy that a rushed, emergency bailout of the powerfully rich just had to be engineered in a couple of weeks or the sky would fall.
I've already predicted that the unemployment rate could go over 9%....and now I think it will even be worse than that. Regular Americans have been setting record foreclosure and bankruptcy numbers......upcoming higher unemployment numbers will make those bankruptcy and foreclosure numbers even worse. The paper shuffling industries who created the problem, now bailed out without oversight, will pull back credit on regular Americans. It's already begun with equity line reductions and credit card cancellations. No one will stop the very industry which created the crisis in the first place from making things even worse.
A withdrawal of credit, a lowering of equity loans will only add to the downward spiral of consumer spending which, in turn, will lead to even more layoffs. It will be difficult to break the cycle.
With the loss of jobs will come the loss of health care, adding to the already pressing problem of Americans without coverage. While this will happen before our very eyes....the conventional wisdom of the "experts" will be that we simply can't afford some universal health coverage program....not now.
And so it will go. Yes, Obama's administration will spend over a trillion dollars seeking to create new jobs other than paper shuffling ones, but the effect of those jobs won't be felt until at least 2010. The nation truly is in a tough situation.
Right now would be the absolute worst time for another terrorist attack inside our country or a series of natural disasters. The aftermath would be unpredictable.
The one thing that will be predictable, however, is the fact that America's corporate main media will never, never allow a full airing of how the very Serious, Wise and Experienced Experts have created the depressed situation we find ourselves in. Just as the corporate media has refused to this day to hold the Bush administration accountable for it's many crimes.....so too, the same corporate media will refuse to expose the culprits of what may be called America's second Great Depression.
Sadly, America has reached a point where those who hold power no longer are held accountable for the consequences of their actions. Corporate media, part of those who hold power, simply refuses, for the most part, to hold anyone of power accountable.....even if numerous crimes have been committed. Presidents (at least Republican presidents) can order torture, rendition, secret prisons and attacks on sovereign countries......bank officials can gamble recklessly while in a frenzied state of greed and make up stories about how everything will be just peachy. The results can make our population less safe and our nation hated throughout the world. The results can leave millions of Americans foreclosed upon and jobless.
But no powerful person is ever held accountable.