Friday, December 5, 2008

What is wrong with the car you have now?

It's Friday, so it's a good time to take a breath and look around at what is happening:

1. Home Prices - The Case/Shiller Homes price index registered at 17.4% decline in September and that number continues to pick up speed. Home prices continue to plummet as we continue to deal with the subprime problems. Up next will be the Alt-A loan tsunami followed by the last stage of the housing meltdown which will be people walking away from homes that are not underwater. Why?

2. Job Loss - The unemployment numbers came out this morning and they were horrifying. Over 530,000 jobs lost last month, going by the governments rosy picture estimates. This was the worst month since 1974 and unemployment continues to grow.

3. Economy Indicators - The Empire State, Philly Fed, Richmond Fed, ISM manufacturing and service indicators are not indicating a recession or even a depression. They are indicating a full blown economic collapse. These numbers will pick up speed to the downside as we continue forward.

4. Consumer Sentiment - The consumer sentiment is so low right now there is nothing even to compare it to. People are walking around like zombies right now trying to understand what is happening to our economy. Many are worried, most are afraid.

So what does that mean?

I talk about things like depression and economic collapse, and I want to put that in context. What that means is the American standard of living is going to be reduced dramatically.

That means that when people want to buy something they are going to have to save for it. But let's stop right there for a second. If Americans were not allowed to buy anything new for the next two years, would it really be that terrible?

Do we all need new cars, and homes, and furniture, and clothes, and washing machines, and computers? Couldn't we just use the ones that we already have? People wouldn't be living in poverty, they just wouldn't be living in la la land.

When I say economic collapse, I don't mean we're going to have dirt roads, and bicycles, and shacks. We're just going to have a drastically lowered standard of living from what we have now.

There are benefits to this. People are going to get a lot closer to their family and friends. They'll have to stop for a second when the free gifts are taken away and think about the important things in life. We're going to have to come together as a country and try to rebuild it. We're going to have to start to work hard, save money, and produce goods.

I'm looking forward to the collapse of the stock market, bond market, our currency, and our bubble economy. I can't wait for the day when I can get excited about investing in the United States, and I can look people in the eye when I tell them it is a strong investment to own a home in our country.

People say that talking bad about your economy means you're not a patriot. I disagree. I think speaking up against people destroying the country is like yelling at your kids if they take drugs. It feels good to print $8 Trillion dollars and run $2 Trillion deficits, but for every cause there is an effect. The effect is on its way, and it is exactly what this country needs to sober itself up.

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