Check out what urbanist James Howard Kunstler has to say about the realities facing in the incoming Obama Administration….
December 8, 2008
People Get Ready
In the twilight of the Bush days, in the twilight of the twilight season, a consensus has formed that we are headed into a long, dark passage leading we know not where. Even CNBC’s Lawrence Kudlow has been reduced to searching for stray “mustard seeds” of hope on hands and knees in a bleak and tortured financial landscape. Half the enterprises in the land are lined up for some kind of relief bailout and a blizzard of pink slips has cut economic visibility to zero.
The broad American public voted for “change” but they thought that meant a “changing of the guard.” Out with the feckless Bush; in with the charismatic Obama… and may this American life now continue just as it ever was. The change actually coming will be much more than they bargained for, namely our transition from a wealthy society to a hardship society. The sharp break is a product of our years-long failure to reckon with the energy realities of our time. We’re still confused about that, but it’s hard, otherwise, to ignore the massive disappearance of capital, asset values, livelihoods, domiciles, comforts, and necessities.
Posted here is the text of Dr. Nouriel Roubini’s Financial Times article “How to Avoid the Horrors of ‘Stag-Deflation'” written for the December 2, 2008 edition…. Comments to follow in the next posting.
How to avoid the horrors of ‘stag-deflation’
By Nouriel Roubini
Published: December 2 2008 19:53 | Last updated: December 2 2008 19:53
The US and the global economy are at risk of a severe stag-deflation, a deadly combination of economic stagnation/recession and deflation.
A severe global recession will lead to deflationary pressures. Falling demand will lead to lower inflation as companies cut prices to reduce excess inventory. Slack in labour markets from rising unemployment will control labour costs and wage growth. Further slack in commodity markets as prices fall will lead to sharply lower inflation. Thus inflation in advanced economies will fall towards the 1 per cent level that leads to concerns about deflation.
Checking the BBC News for interesting insight into the ongoing credit crunch affecting the world economy at the moment, I stumbled across an excellent opinion piece penned by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild discussing why the U.S., the U.K., and the E.U. have so spectacularly fallen off the reservation financially. This 2008 credit crunch, on the heels of the 2007 super-spike in food, fuel, mineral, and commodity prices, has signaled a final death knell to the free market euphoria hedge fund manager George Soros dubbed “market fundamentalism.” The rate of credit in the economy has expanded much faster than the real economy. The end result has been a glut of worthless financial instruments invented in the midst of the sheer folly of the speculative mood.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, scion of one of the oldest banking families in Europe, offers some well-considered perspective on the worsening crisis. I will go through and re-post his words in italics, and then make some of my own comments.
My name is Nick Dahlheim, and this is my new blog. I will be writing about many of the overarching issues that concern me—global affairs, politics, religion, culture, art, the environment, and the destiny of humanity. I have one of the most lucid minds anyone can hope to encounter, and I look forward to expanding that mind by sharing it with the collective intelligence of my fellow bloggers out there.
This is a great time to be blogging. The world has never been more connected than it is now to one another. Humanity is awakening to its shared interdependence, and much is to be learned from communicating with one another. The Internet is an extension of the human consciousness that is congealing into one whole, and to be alive in this age is really to “live in interesting times.”
-Finish reading below…
Below is a link to New School political philosopher Simon Critchley’s September 2008 lecture entitled “Branding Democracy: Barack Obama and the American Void.”
My reflections on this talk will be published later.
-But, wait, there’s more
Just recently, America elected its first black President in former Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Compared to most American Presidents who have occupied the Oval Office, Barack Obama rises to the Presidency as something of a real neophyte. Barely three years into his first term as a U.S. Senator, Barack Obama announces a run for the U.S. Presidency. His campaign upstages Democratic Party star NY Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and then he trounces veteran Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona. Barack Obama ran the first winning presidential campaign that took full advantage of the Internet, and his support from the blogosphere and his use of mobile electronic communication brought him into contact with more youthful voters than ever before.
-Read below for more