I was in the biggest mall in Albany, the Crossgates Mall, to return my broken computer.  I watched workmen removing the names of defunct stores and except for the groups of elderly who use the mall to exercise in the morning, the place was deserted except for people seeking repairs at the Apple Store. This is the death of the Consumer Economy.  We have no second plan.  We just want more credit to flow.  Of course, the army of con men running an incredible number of ponzi schemes have drained a great deal of future wealth.

I can’t wait for my computer replacement!  Typing on this old one is a nightmare.  Assembling a story is annoying me to death!  I do not like severe recessions or depressions because I like earning money and I like innovation.  Only in recent years, have they come up with computers that respond to my typing speed!  


The US economy shrank almost as fast as Japan’s economy.  When the world’s #1 destination of world trade shrinks, all other economies will shrink, too.  Do not think for a minute that Japan and China don’t want to lend to us!  But they are worried that the money Congress is going to spend in the next year won’t translate into greater wealth for the Asian export giants.  They are already very upset with the ‘Made in America’ promises. Worldwide

U.S. Economy: GDP Shrinks 6.2%, More Than Estimated 

The U.S. economic contraction in the fourth quarter was deeper than the government first estimated, with other reports today signaling little prospect of relief until at least the middle of 2009.

Gross domestic product shrank at a 6.2 percent annual pace from October through December, the most since 1982, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Separate figures showed consumer sentiment and business activity dropped this month.

“There has been no evidence that the pace of decline is slowing at all,” Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services Inc. in Boston, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package will “kick in”

in mid-2009 at the earliest, he said.

This is so very much like the Great Depression.  And the most sensible thing to do now is to legalize fun stuff.  And here it is, Obama had to have it snuck into the news but the internet is happy about this and so am I:


YouTube – US Attorney General Eric Holder: Ending Medical Marijuana Raids now US Policy


About time!  The expensive war on drugs was really a confiscation effort and like the judges in Pennsylvania who were bribed to sentence children to detention camps so the camp owners could make money off of innocent people, so it is, 1,000% worse with pot users.  Actually, smoking it is the worst way to consume it.  Eating it is much better. I am already getting arthritis.  The last thing I want is for me to have to take heavy narcotics to kill the pain!  And I can grow my own, too, in my own garden. 


Where is the profit motive if things are this easy to do?  What will our massive industries do if they can’t leech off of our illnesses? Worldwide

 Citi Gets Third Rescue as U.S. Plans to Raise Stake

 The U.S. government ratcheted up its effort to saveCitigroup Inc., agreeing to a third rescue attempt that will cut existing shareholders’ stake in the company by 74 percent. The stock fell 39 percent.

The Treasury Department said it would convert as much as $25 billion of preferred shares into common stock provided private holders agree to the same terms, the government said in a statement today. The conversion would give the U.S. a 36 percent stake in the New York-based company.

Talking about  leeches!  Citigroup is leech#1 right now, right next to the AIG leeches.  Citigroup is now penny stock.  Literally.  I don’t know why it is still listed.  Usually, when something tanks this bad, it is dumped.  This way, the Dow Jones people can boast that over time, the stock market makes money.  They don’t mention all the stocks that get ditched over the years. Worldwide

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. set a U.S. record for the most shares traded in a single day, beating the mark set by WorldCom Inc. in 2002, according to the New York Stock Exchange.

Citigroup volume was 1.87 billion as of 4:15 p.m. in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The U.S. government agreed to a third rescue attempt today that would cut existing shareholders’

stake in the New York-based bank by 74 percent. Citigroup shares fell 39 percent to $1.50, the lowest closing price since November 1990.


U.S. stock futures tumble on Citi deal, GDP data – MarketWatch

U.S. stocks moved lower on Thursday, as health-sector stocks dropped in wake of President Obama’s move toward health-care reform, which helped offset advances in the banking sector….
The stock price drop for drug stocks “reminds me of the knee-jerk reaction seen in the early days of the Clinton administration when they started talking about universal healthcare and coming down hard on branded drug margins,” said Edmund Shing, a strategist at BNP Paribas….
The dollar dropped sharply vs. the Japanese yen, and gold futures rallied $21 an ounce. Oil futures fell $2.57 a barrel.

I suppose the Dow will dump Citigroup since it is hurting their stats.  About health care in America: it is the world’s most expensive and covers the fewest people.  It makes our hard industries non-competitive with the rest of the world.  We have no choice but to make it work like France, Germany or Canada.  Right now, all the unions are losing their health insurance so maybe they will NOT fight off reforms this time! Now, off to Japan!


Among weighty issues of the day, Shinkansen ranks high – English

It turns out that North Korea and the global financial crisis were not the only topics on Prime Minister Taro Aso’s mind during summit talks Tuesday in Washington with President Barack Obama.

He also tried to sell the U.S. leader on Shinkansen technology; Obama’s reaction to the pitch was also keenly awaited back in Japan.

The government and the private sector, eager to expand the export of bullet train technology, are teaming up to promote the idea worldwide.

With growing focus on the environment, as exemplified by Obama’s “Green New Deal” proposals, railway companies hope that 2009 will be the “Year of the Shinkansen.”

Germany, France, China and Japan have cornered this market.  We need these trains, very badly.  But we can make a deal with them!  They build some of the factories here and we can learn the technology from them.  And if we have  nationalized healthcare, we can compete with them, too!  How about that!


Japanese poverty god beats economic woes, stress | U.S. | Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) – Lost your job and looking for someone to punch up for causing the global financial crisis? A Japanese shrine offers down-on-their-luck visitors a chance to shake off the doldrums by hitting the “God of Poverty.”

The Bimbo Gami shrine is home to a wooden statue believed to be the poverty deity, a thin and filthy man who brings misfortune and impoverishment to the house it haunts….

Although the shrine master and his wife Haruko, 68, had been involved in several failed several business projects before founding the shrine, the god of poverty seems to have proven lucky for the elderly couple.

They now live off a fairly stable income generated from selling good luck charms to visitors.

German, French and Chinese workers know who to beat with a stick!  Not statues, they go for the real controllers.  But not the Japanese.  This is bad for them but good for us if we imitate the Chinese and Germans and use our own sticks on the appropriate places.  


Nikkei Net Interactive – Japan Business News Online

U.S. Giant Prudential To Buy Failed Insurer Yamato
TOKYO (Nikkei)–U.S. life insurer Prudential will buy the failed Yamato Life Insurance Co. with support from a safety net for the Japanese insurance industry, The Nikkei learned Friday.

 Nikkei Commodity Index Records Steepest Drop In 23 Years
TOKYO (Nikkei)–Reflecting the deepening recession, the Nikkei Commodity Index recorded its sharpest year-on-year decline in 23 years, falling 22.7% from the end of February 2008 to 139.699 on Friday. 

Japanese life insurers have no future if Japanese people have fewer and fewer children.  Also, Japanese are NOT saving money at all.  They have been seeing reduced incomes just like we are seeing now.  The illusion of ‘savings’ is due to paying down debts, not saving any money for the future.  As we saw in today’s earlier story, our own savings are vanishing as fast as our housing equity.





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  1. Pingback: US GDP SHRINKING LIKE A CHEAP DRESS « Culture of Life News

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