Sunday, January 10, 2010

Big investment companies finally start warning investors of Washington corruption, insane spending and deficits

Investment Outlook
Let’s Get Fisical
(Pimco Investment) -- By Bill Gross

...Question: What has become of the American nation? Conceived with the vision of liberty and justice for all, we have descended in the clutches of corporate and other special interests to a second world state defined by K Street instead of Independence Square. Our government doesn’t work anymore, or perhaps more accurately, when it does, it works for special interests and not the American people. Washington consistently stoops to legislate 10,000-page perversions of healthcare, regulatory reform, defense, and budgetary mandates overflowing with earmarks that serve a monied minority as opposed to an all-too-silent majority. You don’t have to be Don Quixote to believe that legislators – and Presidents – often do not work for the benefit of their constituents: A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported that over 65% of Americans trust their government to do the right thing “only some of the time” and a stunning 19% said “never.” What most politicians apparently are working for is to perpetuate their power – first via district gerrymandering, and then second by around-the-clock campaigning financed by special interest groups. If, by chance, they’re ever voted out of office, they have a home just down the street – at K Street – with six-figure incomes as a starting wage.

What amazes me most of all is that politicians can be bought so cheaply. Public records show that combined labor, insurance, big pharma and related corporate interests spent just under $500 million last year on healthcare lobbying (not much of which went to politicians) for what is likely to be a $50-100 billion annual return. The fact is that American citizens have never been as divorced from their representatives – and if that description fits the Democratic Congress now in control – then it applies to Republicans as well – past and present. So you watch Fox, or is it MSNBC? O’Reilly or Olbermann? It doesn’t matter. You’re just being conned into rooting for a team that basically runs the same plays called by lookalike coaches on different sidelines. A “ballot box” pox on all their houses – Senators, Representatives and Presidents alike. There has been no change, there will be no change, until we the American people decide to publicly finance all national and local elections and ban the writing of even a $1 check for our favorite candidates. Undemocratic? Hardly. Get on the internet, use Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter to campaign for your choice. That’s the new democracy. When special interests, even singular citizens write a check, it represents a perversion of democracy not the exercise of the First Amendment. Any chance that any of this will happen? Not one ghost of a chance. Forward Don Quixote, the windmills are in sight...

Here’s the problem that the U.S. Fed’s “exit” poses in simple English: Our fiscal 2009 deficit totaled nearly 12% of GDP and required over $1.5 trillion of new debt to finance it. The Chinese bought a little ($100 billion) of that, other sovereign wealth funds bought some more, but as shown in Chart 2, foreign investors as a group bought only 20% of the total – perhaps $300 billion or so. The balance over the past 12 months was substantially purchased by the Federal Reserve. Of course they purchased more 30-year Agency mortgages than Treasuries, but PIMCO and others sold them those mortgages and bought – you guessed it – Treasuries with the proceeds. The conclusion of this fairytale is that the government got to run up a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit, didn’t have to sell much of it to private investors, and lived happily ever – ever – well, not ever after, but certainly in 2009. Now, however, the Fed tells us that they’re “fed up,” or that they think the economy is strong enough for them to gracefully “exit,” or that they’re confident that private investors are capable of absorbing the balance. Not likely. Various studies by the IMF, the Fed itself, and one in particular by Thomas Laubach, a former Fed economist, suggest that increases in budget deficits ultimately have interest rate consequences and that those countries with the highest current and projected deficits as a percentage of GDP will suffer the highest increases – perhaps as much as 25 basis points per 1% increase in projected deficits five years forward...MORE...LINK
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Chris Moore comments:

According to Wikipedia, the author of this article, Bill Gross, is the co-founder of The Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (PIMCO), an investment company "that runs the Total Return fund, the world’s largest bond fund."..."On May 16, 2007, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was hired as a special consultant by PIMCO and he will participate in PIMCO’s quarterly economic forums and speak privately with the bond manager about Fed interest rate policy."

So even Greenspan-connected money powers are sounding the alarm about how out of control our plutocratic socialist, Big Government/Big Business system has gotten. What Gross is essentially saying in this article is that our country has been corrupted to the point of malfunction, and the attitude of the politicians and the "elite" running it, who are are supposed to be protecting its integrity, is: Every man for himself; let's plunder what we can while we still can.

"So you watch Fox, or is it MSNBC? O’Reilly or Olbermann? It doesn’t matter. You’re just being conned into rooting for a team that basically runs the same plays called by lookalike coaches on different sidelines," writes Gross.

Isn't that what "conspiracy theorists" have been warning for years? But "you don't have to be Don Quixote" to understand and acknowledge the system is corrupt, assures Gross.

Well, gee. Thanks. Now if only the money powers had demonstrated a little integrity and conscience before the horses had left the barn, we might have been able to save the Golden Goose before the country bought the farm. Now, its going to require radical political upheaval in the libertarian-populist vein and years of work to dig ourselves out.

Where was Gross when Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan were warning us about this entire process ten years ago? Twenty years ago? Probably sneering and jeering right along with the rest of the know-nothings, jackals, money powers and Marxists that he is complaining about today.

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