2011 – CATCH-22 YEAR IN REVIEW

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Posted on 30th December 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” - Mark Twain

 

I published my predictions for 2011 on January 3, 2011 in my article 2011 – The Year of Catch-22. Humans evidently enjoy being embarrassed by how pitiful they are at predicting the future, because we continue to do it year after year. The mainstream media pundits don’t dare look back at their predictions or the predictions of the Wall Street shills that parade on CNBC and get quoted in the Wall Street Journal, eternally predicting 10% to 15% stock market gains. The multi-millionaire Wall Street strategists like the spawn of the squid, Abbey Joseph Cohen, have used all of their Ivy League brain power to predict at least a 10% stock price gain every year since 1999. The S&P 500 stood at 1,272 on January 6, 1999. As of this writing it currently stands at 1,261. ZERO appreciation over the last twelve years.

The Wall Street mantra of stocks for the long run is beginning to get a little stale. If Abbey Joseph Cohen had been right for the last twelve years, the S&P 500 would be 4,000. For this level of accuracy, she is paid millions. Her 2011 prediction of 1,500 only missed by16%. The S&P 500 began the year at 1,258 and hasn’t budged. The lowest prediction from the Wall Street shysters at the outset of the year was 1,333, with the majority between 1,400 and 1,500.

The same Wall Street clowns are now being quoted in the mainstream media predicting a 10% to 15% increase in stock prices in 2012, despite the fact we are headed back into recession, China’s property bubble has burst, and Europe teeters on the brink of dissolution. They lie on behalf of their Too Big To Tell the Truth employers by declaring stocks undervalued, when honest analysts such as Jeremy Grantham, John Hussman and Robert Shiller truthfully report that stocks are overvalued and will provide pitiful returns over the next year and the next decade.

I will take my chances with a few predictions for 2012 after reviewing my lack of foresight regarding 2011. I declared 2011 the year of Catch-22 because no matter what happened, it would not translate into a positive result for the American people. This was my thesis:

The United States and its leaders are stuck in their own Catch 22. They need the economy to improve in order to generate jobs, but the economy can only improve if people have jobs. They need the economy to recover in order to improve our deficit situation, but if the economy really recovers long term interest rates will increase, further depressing the housing market and increasing the interest expense burden for the US, therefore increasing the deficit. A recovering economy would result in more production and consumption, which would result in more oil consumption driving the price above $100 per barrel, therefore depressing the economy. Americans must save for their retirements as 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day, but if the savings rate goes back to 10%, the economy will collapse due to lack of consumption. Consumer expenditures account for 71% of GDP and need to revert back to 65% for the US to have a balanced sustainable economy, but a reduction in consumer spending will push the US back into recession, reducing tax revenues and increasing deficits. You can see why Catch 22 is the theme for 2011.

My predictions for 2011 were as follows:

  • The first half of 2011 is guaranteed to give the appearance of recovery. The lame-duck Congress ”compromise” will pump hundreds of billions of borrowed dollars into the economy. The continuation of unemployment benefits for 99 weeks (supposedly to help employment) and the 2% payroll tax cut will goose consumer spending. Ben Bernanke and his QE2 stimulus for poor Wall Street bankers is pumping $75 billion per month ($3 to $4 billion per day) directly into the stock market. Since Ben gave Wall Street the all clear signal in late August, the NASDAQ has soared 25%. Despite the fact that there are 362,000 less Americans employed than were employed in August 2010, the mainstream media will continue to tout the jobs recovery. The goal of all these efforts is to boost confidence and spending. Everything being done by those in power has the seeds of its own destruction built in. The Catch 22 will assert itself in the 2nd half of 2011.

The payroll tax cut, extension of unemployment benefits and Bernanke’s gift to Wall Street criminal banks did nothing to help real Americans in the real world. The government manipulated GDP has languished between 0.4% and 1.8% in the first three quarters of 2011. Using a true measure of inflation, as detailed by John Williams at www.shadowstats.com, GDP has remained at a recessionary level of -2% to -3%.

 

Easy Ben accomplished his goal of pumping up the stock market with his QE2 gift to Wall Street bankers during the first six months of 2011, with the S&P 500 peaking at 1,364 in late April. The market began to fall the second Ben stopped handing Jamie Dimon and his friends $4 billion per day, with the market dropping 18% in three months. The market has risen back near the breakeven level for the year based on Ben’s promise to keep interest rates at zero forever and the hope of QE3.

  • A new perfect storm is brewing for housing in 2011 and will not subside until late 2012. You may have thought those bad mortgages had been all written off. You would be wrong. There will be in excess of $200 billion of adjustable rate mortgages that reset between 2011 and 2012, with in excess of $125 billion being the dreaded Alt-A mortgages. This is a recipe for millions of new foreclosures.

The brainless twits on CNBC will dutifully report the number of completed foreclosure sales plunged by 24% in 2011, giving the impression to their non-critical thinking viewership that all is well on the housing front. What they will fail to point out is that the number of foreclosures in process went up in 2011 and now stands 59% ABOVE the level in 2009 at the height of our recession. The reason that completed foreclosures have fallen is twofold. The criminal Wall Street banks can’t prove they hold the mortgage notes on hundreds of thousands of homes and they have a few legal issues related to the massive robo-signing fraud they committed. Kicking old ladies and Iraq War veterans out into the street using fraudulent documentation has caused the Wall Street Too Evil To Believe Banks some public relations issues. Secondly, the Wall Street Plutocrats have these mortgage loans valued at 100% on their balance sheets due to the FASB gift of mark to fantasy accounting rules. Foreclosing actually reveals their assets to be overvalued by at least 50%. This may explain why millions of Americans are still in their homes after not making a mortgage payment for two years, as detailed by economist Tom Lawler:

Given the number of loans either seriously delinquent or in the process of foreclosure at the beginning of the year, the number of completed foreclosure sales in 2011 is almost absurdly low, reflecting the complete screw-up of the mortgage servicing industry, and the resulting dramatic slowdown in foreclosure resolutions. As of the end of October, 2011 LPS estimated that there were 1.759 million seriously delinquent loans with the average number of days delinquent at 388 (compared to 192 days in January 2008), and there were 2.210 million loans in the foreclosure process that had been on average delinquent for 631 days.

Completed Foreclosure Sales And Short Sales/DILs (thousands, estimates)
  2008 2009 2010 2011(E)
Completed Foreclosure Sales 914 949 1,070 815
Owner-occupied N.A. N.A. 785 608
Non-owner-occupied N.A. N.A. 285 207
Short Sales/DILs 105 270 354 380
Foreclosures plus Short Sales/DILs 1,019 1,219 1,424 1,195
Outstanding first liens: Jan-08 Jan-09 Jan-10 Jan-11
Seriously Delinquent (90+) 1,016 1,983 3,061 2,168
In Process of Foreclosure 860 1,386 2,110 2,203
 
The concerted effort to not complete foreclosures did nothing to slow the continued descent in home prices. As you can see in the chart below from http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/, real home prices will have fallen another 5% in 2011. Obama and his minions threw $50 billion of your tax dollars at the housing market in 2009 – 2010 with tax credits, loan modification programs, homebuilder tax loss carry-backs, and a myriad of other Keynesian claptrap solutions. They succeeded in pissing your tax dollars down the toilet as prices have declined another 12% in the last 18 months. Prices have fallen 42% nationally since 2006. I wonder who missed the boat on that development?
 
“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit.” – Ben Bernanke – July 2005
 
 

There are approximately 48.5 million homes with mortgages in the United States and 10.7 million of them have negative equity. Another 2.4 million have less than 5% equity. Considering it costs more than 5% in closing costs to sell a house that means 27% of home occupiers with a mortgage are trapped like rats in a cage. With 2.2 million foreclosures still in the pipeline and a looming recession, home prices will continue to fall another 10% to 20% over the next two years and one third of all home occupiers will be underwater. That sounds like a recipe for 10% to 15% stock market gains.

  • Quantitative easing has benefited only Wall Street bankers and the 1% wealthiest Americans. The $1.4 trillion of toxic mortgage backed securities on The Fed’s balance sheet are worth less than $700 billion. How will they unload this toxic waste? The Treasuries they have bought drop in value as interest rates rise. Quantitative easing’s Catch 22 is that it can never be unwound without destroying the Fed and the US economy.

Bennie and his Inkjets did a bang up job in 2011. He was able to expand his balance sheet from $2.47 trillion to $2.95 trillion in twelve short months. According to Ben and his Federal Reserve friends, increasing your balance sheet by $480 billion isn’t really printing money out of thin air and handing it to their Wall Street owners for free, so they can prop up the stock market and enrich their executives. Ben is now leveraged 57 to 1. He should move to Europe, where this level of leverage is commonplace. In comparison, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns were leveraged 40 to 1 when they went belly up.

There is absolutely no way that Ben Bernanke could ever reduce the Federal Reserve balance sheet to the pre-crisis level without destroying the U.S. economy. He knows that and will never sell off those toxic mortgage assets. Not only won’t he reduce the Fed balance sheet, but by mid-2012 he will institute QE3 and buy another $600 billion of mortgage debt. His hubris knows no bounds, as his reckless illegal actions thus far have not driven interest rates sky high – YET. He has only destroyed the finances of senior citizens, savers and people who eat food and use gasoline. He will surely go down in history, but not the way he envisions.

  • The rise in oil to $91 a barrel will not be a top. The Catch-22 of a declining dollar is that prices of all imported goods go up. If the dollar falls another 10%, the price of oil will rise above $120 a barrel and push the economy back into recession.

As Bernanke printed like a drunken sailor during the first six months of 2011, the USD fell by 9% and the price of oil did exactly as expected, rising to a peak above $125. The NATO “intervention” in Libya also added a few bucks to the price of a barrel of sweet crude.

                  DXY

One-Year Chart for DOLLAR INDEX SPOT (DXY:IND)

The complete implosion of Europe and the ensuing weakness of the Euro have given the false impression that the U.S. dollar is a safe haven. The USD has regained its losses and will end the year exactly as it started versus a Euro heavy basket of world currencies. With annual deficits equaling 10% of GDP, a national debt now exceeding 100% of GDP, and Ben Bernanke in perpetual printing mode, the USD is destined to reach its intrinsic value of zero. With Brent crude still above $108 a barrel, employment still weak, and double digit food and energy inflation slowing consumer spending, the ECRI knows a recession during 2012 is baked in the cake.  

 

  • The imminent collapse of the European Union as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are effectively bankrupt. Spain is the size of the other three countries combined and has a 20% unemployment rate. The Germans are losing patience with these spendthrift countries. Debt does matter.

It seems I was wrong about Europe. It turned out to be much worse than anyone envisioned, with Italy now the likely fuse that blows the whole thing sky high. The ECB has made Ben Bernanke look like a lightweight by increasing their balance sheet by 44% to over $3.5 trillion in a futile effort to solve a debt crisis with more debt. It seems central bankers are programmed to print until the very end (see Weimar). The European Union will not survive 2012. Too many countries, too much government debt, too many zombie banks, too many bureaucrats, too much austerity rammed down the throats of citizens, and not enough honesty or reality based solutions.

  • State and local governments were able to put off hard choices for another year, as Washington DC handed out hundreds of billions in pork. California will have a $19 billion budget deficit; Illinois will have a $17 billion budget deficit; New Jersey will have a $10.5 billion budget deficit; New York will have a $9 billion budget deficit. A US Congress filled with Tea Party newcomers will refuse to bailout these spendthrift states. Substantial government employee layoffs are a lock.

State and local governments have laid off 535,000 workers since 2008. With borrowed Federal government stimulus handouts evaporating into thin air during 2011 – 2012, this total will reach 800,000 by the end of the next year. The U.S. Postal Service will do their part by cutting 28,000 jobs in 2012, even though they need to cut 100,000. States and municipalities based their budgets on the revenues produced by the fake debt driven housing boom from 2003 – 2007. The tax revenue dried up, but the union jobs added are a gift that keeps on costing taxpayers billions. States and localities can’t print, so layoffs will continue.   

 

  • There is a growing probability that China will experience a hard landing as their own quantitative easing has resulted in inflation surging to a 28 month high of 5.1%, with food inflation skyrocketing to 11.7%. Poor families spend up to half of their income on food. Rapidly rising prices severely burden poor people and can spark civil unrest if too many of them can’t afford food.

According to official government statistics China’s economy continued to boom in 2011. But, of course Chinese government reports make the BLS look honest. The fact is the Chinese stock market has fallen 28% since April as the property bubble deflates. If their economy has truly grown at an annual rate of 8% to 10% over the last five years, why is their stock market down 62% from its 2007 high?

   SHANGHAI INDEX

One-Year Chart for Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index (SHCOMP:IND)

The price inflation in food and energy prices, along with the property bubble bursting has led to breakouts of civil unrest across China. China’s two biggest markets – Europe & the United States – are in or near recession and are buying less of their crap. They can only build so many vacant cities and shopping malls to create the appearance of growth. The hard landing is about to get harder in 2012.

  • The Tea Party members of Congress are likely to cause as much trouble for Republicans as Democrats. If they decide to make a stand on raising the debt ceiling early in 2011, all hell could break loose in the debt and stock markets. 

It seems I got the timing wrong on this prediction, but the August showdown was a doozy. The threat of a government shutdown resulted in the stock market collapsing by 18% in a matter of weeks in August. Our beloved politicians then came up with another bullshit non-solution by creating a commission which, after months of negotiations, failed to do anything. The $1.2 trillion of automatic spending cuts will never happen. The slime that inhabit the hallowed halls of Congress will pretend to cut, while actually increasing spending. And so it goes. The stock market has risen from its October low based on Easy Ben’s assurances to keep interest rates at zero forever and the anticipation of QE3 in the new year.

  • Will the consensus forecast of a growing economy, rising corporate profits, 10% to 15% stock market gains, 2 million new jobs, and a housing recovery come true in 2011? No it will not. By mid-year confidence in Ben’s master plan will wane.

Corporate profits did rise, mostly due to Ben Bernanke providing free money to the Wall Street Mega-Banks so they could generate risk free profits on the backs of senior citizens getting .15% on their savings. It also helps when the same Wall Street banks can make accounting entries declaring that future loan losses will be minimal and the toxic mortgages on their books aren’t really worthless. Who knew accountants could do so much for America? Abbey Joseph Cohen only missed her stock market projection by a smidgeon. The S&P 500 is essentially unchanged for the year, while the NASDAQ and Russell 2000 will finish in the red.

The country did not add 2 million new jobs. It added 1.4 to 1.5 new jobs. Too bad the working age population went up by 1.7 million people. But our friends at the BLS, when they aren’t manipulating away the inflation that real people in the real world experience every day, have the gall to declare the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.8% to 8.6% in the last twelve months. How could this be you might ask, since the working age population went up by more than the number of people who found jobs. Easy if you are a BLS government drone. Everyone knows that things are so good out in the real world that 1.8 million Americans decided to kick back and enjoy the good life by leaving the workforce. It wasn’t because they gave up looking for the jobs that were shipped to the Far East by the mega-corporations making record profits and paying record bonuses to their executives. It’s just a rumor that those long lines at food banks around the country have a few of these “lucky” non-members of the workforce in them.

The housing recovery is just around the corner. Larry Yun, chief liar for the National Association of Realtors, assures us that it’s the best time to buy. We all know that the NAR is a bastion of honesty and truth. Just because they reported 3 MILLION more home sales than actually occurred between 2007 and 2010, you can’t scorn, ignore and treat everything they say as a bald faced lie. If Larry says the housing recovery has arrived, it must be true.

  Revised Previous % Change
2007 5,022,000 5,652,000 -11.1%
2008 4,124,000 4,913,000 -16.1%
2009 4,334,000 5,156,000 -15.9%
2010 4,182,000 4,907,000 -14.8%

When the pundits on CNBC sum up the year, they will not be touting the fact that gasoline prices went up 10% in the past year and the average price for a gallon of gas was the highest in U.S. history. They will not be proclaiming that even the government manipulated CPI shows food prices up 6% and clothing prices up 5% in the last year. I’m sure glad Ben Bernanke doesn’t see any inflation on his radar. Maybe he should ask his chauffer about his inflation. Lastly, the stocks for the long run crowd will not be yakking about the fact that gold finished up 10% for the year and has been up for TEN consecutive years. I wonder whether the numbskulls on CNBC can look at the chart below and figure out why gold is up ten years in a row. The national debt reaching $20 trillion by 2015 is a given. I wonder whether the price of gold will be higher. Maybe I’ll give Abbey Joseph Cohen a call and ask for her prediction.

Overall, my assessment of what would happen in 2011 wasn’t too far off. But, it was the things that I and virtually everyone on the planet missed that will reverberate in 2012 and for the next ten years. Our 20 year Crisis deepened, became more violent, and clearly revealed that the establishment will use all their power to put down protests and crush opposition to their corrupt crony capitalistic policies. The major developments I missed regarding 2011 included:

  • The self-immolation of a young Tunisian man set off revolutions around the globe, toppling U.S. supported dictators in Tunisia and Egypt. Dictators attempted to retain power by killing citizens by the thousands. The self-immolation of a man in New Hampshire in front of a courthouse was completely ignored by the mainstream media. I wonder why.
  • The Arab Spring has resulted in revolutions in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Libya. Depending upon how much oil was at stake, the U.S. has supported the dictator or the people whenever it suited them. This is called democratic principles.
  • Young people across the U.S. were inspired by the Arab Spring and began to Occupy Wall Street and many other streets in 97 other U.S. cities this past Fall. The spirit of these protests was against Wall Street criminality, Washington corruption, and corporate malfeasance. Peaceful civil disobedience by citizens of this country was met with beatings, tear gas, mass arrests and bulldozing their encampments. Students were maced while sitting in front of a college building. Ultimately a Department of Homeland Security coordinated attack on all the protests squashed the movement. The American people were too distracted by Dancing With the Stars and the latest iGadget to notice. The corporate media did their part by spewing misinformation and propaganda about the Occupy Movement, while the Wall Street Elite giggled with delight from their NYC penthouse suites.
  • Shockingly, no bankers were prosecuted despite clear unequivocal evidence of the greatest financial fraud in world history. The former head of Goldman Sachs, U.S. Senator, and NJ Governor continues to eat caviar and drink champagne in his glorious mansion after stealing $1.2 billion directly from customers’ accounts. These funds now reside in the pocket of Jamie Dimon and his upstanding JP Morgan institution.
  • The Federal government methodically moved closer to a totalitarian regime by passing legislation that will enable them to imprison U.S. citizens without charges. The only remaining area that has allowed critical thinking Americans to find the truth – the Internet – is on the verge of being locked down by the Feds. Pending legislation will allow them to shut down any website that may inconvenience their agenda. We inch ever closer to Orwell’s vision of the future.
  • No one in the MSM or government anticipated that the only truthful, honest, forthright politician in Washington D.C. – Ron Paul – could possibly win the Iowa caucus. His message of freedom, liberty, self reliance, and non-interventionism has struck a chord with young people and those capable of distinguishing between MSM propaganda and reality. The establishment is terrified of Ron Paul and is now on a mission to destroy him. What they don’t realize is their time is coming to an end. The existing social order will be swept away in a violent manner. The youth of this country will lead the charge. 2012 should be a real doozy.

I’ll take another shot at predicting the unpredictable with my next article:  2012 – The Year of Living Dangerously.

41 Comments
  1. Hope@ZeroKelvin says:

    Great review, Jim, ***sound of clapping****

    The only places you were “wrong” is: 1) not being pessimistic enough about the economy, jobs and housing, but you get a pass given all the lying toadies and lickspittles in the MSM and fed.gov,

    2) missing the Black Swans that everybody else missed (Arab Spring, Fukushima), but nobody ever sees these things except retrospectively, so there,

    3) not accounting for the true depth and breadth of corruption in the banksters and their butt buddies in the he fed.gov, although honestly, one would have to have the heart and mind of Satan himself to do so.

    I think your next article needs to be titled “2012- When I Learned to Love the Collapse and Embrace the Doom”.

    :)

    30th December 2011 at 4:11 pm

  2. Denny says:

    Good piece. You got close, very close. Some humble suggestions.

    1. Stop buying corporate whenever possible. Their most revered goal is the bottom line. Affect that and they will suddenly become more reasonable. Resist.

    2. Get to know your neighbors better until trust is achieved. Resist.

    3. Bring your family closer. Soon, for many of us, family will be the only thing we will be consistently able to rely upon. Global corporatists are actively trying to isolate us further. They’ve managed to deeply affect the extended family and now the nuclear family is in their sights. They firmly believe the more isolated an individual is, the more products they can sell. They also firmly believe that breaking up families makes human beings more vulnerable and easier to manipulate. They’re correct. Resist.

    4. Address your psychology, i.e., the psychology of consumption. We are not ‘consumers’, but citizens entitled to the rights of human beings everywhere. More is not necessarily better. ‘Stuff’ does not provide happiness. If the elites with all their ‘stuff’ were happy then they wouldn’t be waging war on the rest of us. Resist.

    5. Prepare to live with less, earn less and use less. To engage this is actually a blessing. It is an art form, a spiritual approach to being a soulful human being. It WILL make us stronger, less prone to the corruptions exemplified in the behavior of the elites and in the end – invincible. Resist.

    6. We do not understand our own power. Look around you. Almost everything you see was not only made, but created by people like yourselves. Most of the horrors existing on earth were engendered by the elites, WITH OUR CO-OPERATION. Without our consent, most of the terrifying situations existing in our world will cease to exist. Resist. It certainly may be difficult initially, but it grows easier moment by moment.

    Think of your loved ones when thinking about changing your life. Let’s work to have a sane and healthy planet to pass on to our children. Expect things to grow tougher. The elites are growing desperate and are entering panic mode. A larger war is on the horizon. Tighter and more vicious ‘security’ measures here at home and the economics of it all will grow more barren. Remember – The elites want it all and will do anything to get it. Resist!

    Resist! Resist! You are not alone!

    30th December 2011 at 4:38 pm

  3. Novista says:

    2011 in retrospect — prediction and outcomes. Nice, Jim. Will you expect to see any such analysis from the experts of the MSM? Oh, that’s right … “look forward, not backward” …

    GDP, what a joke. “71% is” … ~they~ say it like a law of nature when the reality is the 6% was due to the Home ATM et al. But that’s just one flaw in the methodology. I always wondered what kind of product was spending money you don’t have and that goes for the Keynesian stimulus. In the good times, the government is spending money it only has from the taxpayer; in the lean years, it’s due to the ‘kindness of strangers’, aided by the flight to safety to the world reserve currency, soon to be extinct.

    I was amusing myself with what GDP really stood for — an acronym should be explicit, my first thought:
    Government Distortion Poop. Surely someone can improve and branch out to BLS. CPI etc.

    30th December 2011 at 6:03 pm

  4. Kill Bill says:

    Imagine going to a pawn shop with your toxic assets, getting a loan with that as collateral, then being able to keep your toxic asset when you leave.

    Then you go to another pawn shop and do the same thing over and over.

    This cant end well.

    30th December 2011 at 7:13 pm

  5. llpoh says:

    Admin – it is impossible to accurately predict when the fuckers are so adept at kicking the can down the road. We all know the can will eventually explode. Bt the when is tough to determine given how adept they are at kicking it.

    I just read where in additionn to the actual deficit of 1.6 trillion or whatever, there was an additional two or three trillion of liabilities accumulated in the year – SS/Medicare/ govt pensions, etc. So really the total deficit was some 3 or 4 trillion approx.when those are considered. A 4 trillion deficit – sure we can overcome that. We are truly fucked – the problem is knowing exactly when. Today? Tomorrow? I do not know exactly – but it will be soon.

    30th December 2011 at 7:32 pm

  6. Administrator says:

    llpoh

    I have a feeling 2012 will be an epic year in world history.

    30th December 2011 at 7:38 pm

  7. llpoh says:

    Epic means good? In teenage speak it does. But I do not think it does in accountant speak. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. Sure am glad we have such good leaders to guide us through it all. Without them I am sure it would be even worse. Not.

    30th December 2011 at 7:45 pm

  8. Administrator says:

    EPIC = FUCKED in Administrator speak.

    30th December 2011 at 7:51 pm

  9. howard in nyc says:

    nice analysis one year ago, dude. well-called.

    30th December 2011 at 8:07 pm

  10. AWD says:

    It’s hard to believe they (banksters, criminal politicians, Wall Street, the 1%) can get away with this world-ending fraud, theft, immorality, corruption, graft, spending, debt, bribery, and all the rest of the crimes against humanity. It’s all going to collapse for the criminals; you can’t keep printing money, stealing money, committing crimes, and breaking the laws of God and humanity forever. The only thing the criminals running everything are doing is creating more “flush” buttons to be pushed. It’ll only take one flush (Europe, loss of dollar as reserve currency, hike in interest rates, war with Iran, trade war with China, all the above and many more) and everything will go down, including all the wealth of the criminals.

    The sands are disappearing right under their feat. Whether they realize it or not is another story. FEMA created gulags and detention camps will be packed before long. They can arrest and imprison as many people as they want, but they have sown the seeds of their own destruction already. The only problem is they are going to take everyone down with them. The government is $15 trillion in debt, in a depression for many people, those awake are scared, and Obama is on vacation in Hawaii enjoying life, like the rest of the 1%. Their day will come. The protests are going to be much different this spring and summer, and not in a good way. The protestors are going to finally realize what they are up against, and they will either have the courage to finally fight it, or they will roll over. If we all roll over, the end is near. People will finally wake up someday, when they have no other choice. 2012 is not going to be pretty. Obama should stay in Hawaii and resign. He’s the figurehead of all that is wrong with this country. The mighty will fall, and from the looks of things (all all of Admin’s excellent writing and charts) it won’t be long to wait.

    30th December 2011 at 8:10 pm

  11. SSS says:

    @ Denny

    I damn near gave you a “thumbs up” until I read your comment, “Let’s work to have a sane and healthy planet to pass on to our children.”

    What is your vision of a sane and healthy planet?

    30th December 2011 at 8:23 pm

  12. Kaboom says:

    Nice article, Jim!

    Happy (or at least “Relatively Pain-Free”) New Year to you and yours.

    Cheers, Kaboom.

    30th December 2011 at 8:39 pm

  13. llpoh says:

    SSS – if we get rid if all the poor the world will be safer and healthier. Poor people are a blight.

    30th December 2011 at 8:52 pm

  14. llpoh says:

    Especially poor injuns, coons and spics.

    30th December 2011 at 8:54 pm

  15. llpoh says:

    SSS – oops, sorry. I thought you said safer not saner. To be saner we need to get rid of politicians, lawyers and banksters.

    30th December 2011 at 9:00 pm

  16. AKAnon says:

    SSS – llpoh(?) beat me to it: “To be saner we need to get rid of politicians, lawyers and banksters.” The planet would be a hell of a lot healthier without those bastards, too. BTW-I gave Denny a thumbs up-I just had to read my definition of “saner & healthier” into his post.

    30th December 2011 at 9:57 pm

  17. Bruce says:

    The New National Anthem all the kids to sing.

    We’re doomed and we know it, yes we are
    We’re doomed and we know it, yes we are
    We’re doomed and we know it
    All the numbers even show it
    We’re doomed and we know it, yes we are

    30th December 2011 at 10:08 pm

  18. 2011: Catch-22 Year in Review | ContraryInvestorCafe says:

    […] Continue Reading […]

    30th December 2011 at 11:57 pm

  19. Anonymous says:

    Go long on Atlatls

    31st December 2011 at 4:02 am

  20. Novista says:

    I already watched New Years slouch into NZ and ours is 2:20 away.

    Wishing TBPers good luck in 2012 — I predict ‘interesting times’!

    31st December 2011 at 6:41 am

  21. Administrator says:

    Novista

    A healthy and happy New Year to you. Thanks for all your kind words over the last three years.

    31st December 2011 at 9:30 am

  22. 2011 – CATCH-22 YEAR IN REVIEW » The Original N-D-N's Blog says:

    […] Source: The Burning Platform […]

    31st December 2011 at 12:53 pm

  23. ron says:

    I just continue to be amazed at the total denial by everyone. Well not TBP.

    31st December 2011 at 1:14 pm

  24. Colma Rising says:

    The jubilee will be spectacular in its implications…

    Oooh this is going to be a fun year.

    Pass the gravy, fluff that biscuit. Savor the memory when you’re chewing on boiled leather.

    31st December 2011 at 1:37 pm

  25. Forecasters see bumpy ride, but better 2012 | Hot Business News says:

    […] Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform […]

    31st December 2011 at 5:45 pm

  26. End of Year Links and Musings says:

    […] The Burning Platform – 2011 Catch-22 Year in Review […]

    31st December 2011 at 6:07 pm

  27. llpoh says:

    Admin – notice you didn’t thank me for all my kind fucking words. Go figure. Now you have hurt my feelings.

    But being the bigger man – happy new year to you and to all TBPers!

    31st December 2011 at 6:59 pm

  28. Muck About says:

    I hope 2012 will be a better year for all of TBP’s informed readers. At least, when the bumps and craters show up (which they will) and when the black swans come swooping in to cause mayhem and disaster, TBP’s readers will, at a minimum, understand what’s going on and what to to do to minimize the personal impact to self and family that they will cause.

    I wish you all a more pleasant 2012. All I get out of tomorrow is being one year older. And I’m beginning to feel each one that comes along a little bit more. But, as I remind myself when the side effects of age push to the surface, there are a lot of people not as lucky as I am to reach such an advanced age and I just tough it out and keep on trucking.

    My forecasts for 2012:

    1. The failure of all or a significant part of the European Union.
    2. With QE3 now in progress under cover of “swap lines” of credit to European banks, more and more pressure will come on interest rates in the USA.
    3. When that pressure becomes too large, QE4 (if one qe doesn’t fix anything, four of them surely will, right?) will start to collapse demand for the U.S. dollar, and the Fed will loose control over long term interest rates.
    4. Inflation rates (true inflation, not the crap put out by the government) will progress to 15% plus with food leading the way. There will be more resistance to food price increases world wide with super markets trashed and in the USA, violence will surface as more and more people simply cannot afford food.
    5. Homelessness will double or more, bringing great pressure on charities and law enforcement to control the inevitable lawlessness and low grade thievery that accompanies homelessness and despair.
    6. The stock market will have a wonderful year as people flee paper currency world wide. Winners will be hard to pick as the economies of the world make picking winners difficult. But almost any stock will beat a depreciating currency and the search for safety continues to accelerate.
    7. Gold will end the year at $2,000 plus with much volatility on the way. Silver will be $50 plus with even worse volatility.
    8. Unemployment will increase in _real_ numbers to 25% in Europe and the USA. The BIS, FED and other providers of data will be completely disgraced and ignored.
    9. Obama will be a one term President and who ever replaces him will make things worse. If he is elected, there will be panic in the streets as things continue to go from bad to worse as far as government/state/local debt is concerned.
    10 If Ron Paul is elected President, he will set off the equivalent of a nuke inside the beltway, issuing Executive Orders to eliminate the TSA, Dept. of Education, Dept. of Energy, HHS, cutting the budget to the Dept of Defense 50% all foreign aid and all the other “Departments” not specifically authorized under the Constitution. In the process, that will invoke a total revolt inside the beltway by all those assholes who benefit from tax dollars and do nothing productive in return. Congress will attempt to impeach him within 6 months of his election. The Supreme Court will get involved, causing a Constitutional Crises that may well rip the Republic apart.
    11. 2012 will go down in history as “The most interesting times we have lived in since the Civil War.”

    I look forward to watching it all happen.

    MA

    31st December 2011 at 7:31 pm

  29. 2011 – Catch-22 Year In Review | Old Right Conservative says:

    […]    Two Lectures On The History Of Austrian Economics » 2011 – Catch-22 Year In Review Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform […]

    31st December 2011 at 7:44 pm

  30. el Gallinazo says:

    This is directed to Jim Quinn. Were you the author of the comments under your article IDed as “Jim Quinn” on Zero Hedge? Or are they from an impersonator? They seem very out of character and style with this article and previous ones written by you.

    31st December 2011 at 7:54 pm

  31. RUSS, CALIFORNIA says:

    Hi!, US Citizens Of What’s Left Rlight?:

    There are absolutey NO professioal politicans that can reconstruct our nation nor our national currency, according to Article 1; section 10 of our downtrodden US Constitution which calls for only gold and silver coins placed for FREE by the US Treasury Dept. into every citizens pockets. This Constitutional order puts all the political office runnes into perspective, because non of them including Ron Paul will be placing gold and silver coins into our pockets either before or after the November 2012 elections Constitutionally speaking for FREE. If accomplished though, we the people could circumvent the Federal Reserve instantly pus stop the deficit spending that now is killing the purchasing power of our currency and there would no longer be need for an audit of any gold in Fort Knox either instantly. We the people, regardless of any professinal politicians nor bankers worldwide, would hold the hedgemony of our country in our own personal pockets where the US Constitution requires it!

    RUSS SMITH, CALIFORNA
    [email protected]

    31st December 2011 at 11:51 pm

  32. Ed_B says:

    “We all know the can will eventually explode.”

    Yes, we do. We know this because we know some things that the politicians do not know. We know that it is not a can. We know that it is instead a grenade. We also know that after much kicking, the pin WILL fall out. BOOM! Game over, dude, GAME OVER!

    Thought for the day: Greatness resides in the doing of small things in life well, not in the doing of great things badly.

    1st January 2012 at 1:40 am

  33. Administrator says:

    el Gallinazo

    They were my comments. David Pierre is a lowlife troll and I refuse to put up with his bullshit.

    1st January 2012 at 10:47 am

  34. Bruce says:

    I’m afraid 2012 will be another year of watching the incompetent, the insane, and the wicked continue on with the bazaar world wide Keystone Clusterfuck. By the end of 2102 we will still be looking for the moment that will put the last nail in the nations coffin, turn the worldwide box upside down world and reset civilization. The day the mass of red and blue morons stand gaping in horror and shock like stunned cows and crossed eye tasered sheep will be yet to come. With a new or re-elected President (Unless he is Ron Paul) we will also have another four years of hopium smoking and denial foisted upon us by the media and the politicians as we deal with crisis after crisis while plunging to greater depths of despair and authoritarianism. We will all be given the good news of continued economic recovery, more patriotic rationalizations for war greater oppression and centralization accompanied by delusional cheer’s of flag waving freedom extolling the greatness of democracy. In the unlikely event anyone develops a spine and picks up their rifles in 2012 it will probably be the Neocon section of the hijacked Tea Party and the stupid bastards will point them at all the wrong people in unwitting service of the PTB. 2012 will be like 2011 only more shitty. Having run off the cliff during the rein of Bush and the Crusaders we will still be suspended in mid air like Loonytoon Coyotes held aloft by great pillows of thin air fantasy paper, enormous amounts of contortionist gravity defying BS, and roaring flames of hot air. Near the end of 2012 the PTB media will proclaim that 2013 will be the year we see great improvements, new growth, and strong recovery and the those of us here will make our case for everything to breakdown in a hellish meltdown. Then 2013 will be a repeat of 2012 only worse and the whole shit cycle will continue to spin.

    If you are still waiting you will be waiting a long time and get boiled with the rest of the frogs who are waiting. The Shit has already hit the fan, it’s just covered over by copious amounts of paper, but we all can smell it. Constitutional government, independence justice and liberty has long been lost and we are only free at the discretion of some government official. The nation and its people are broke and hopelessly in debt and we all know it. We are not going to be doomed, we already are doomed.

    So here’s my simple 100% accurate prediction for 2012.You can count on it and act as you feel best to protect and take care your family, friends and property. Everything will be worse, what ever you earn will be worth less, what ever you need will cost more and you will still have your constitutional rights unless some bureaucrat or official says you don’t.

    Happy New Year One and All.

    1st January 2012 at 12:01 pm

  35. Guest Post: 2011 – Catch-22 Year In Review » A Taoistmonk's Life says:

    […] Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform […]

    1st January 2012 at 12:11 pm

  36. Forecasters see bumpy ride, but better 2012 | says:

    […] Forecasters see bumpy ride, but better 2012 admin Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform […]

    1st January 2012 at 4:41 pm

  37. Bill says:

    Do not leave prfane crap without disclaimer.

    2nd January 2012 at 1:04 pm

  38. Bill Quato Jr. says:

    Excellent article Jim. As always, your plain truth delivery is the best.

    For the rest of the folks reading and commenting here, The Beast is Out and his true colors are being seen. Or to coin another quote, “The Tide is rapidly going out and there are a lot of naked criminals being exposed”. Not a lot has been done yet to coral these bastards but they are well known now and and in the light. The country is waking up thanks to likes of the real corruption thanks to Mr. Quinn and others like him who present the facts as they really are. In addition, I am quite pleased to see the younger generation backing Ron Paul . They understand the slim prospects for their futures and they know who is responsible. I believe they see Mr. Paul as a chance to bring them back a chance. Since the Beast has really just started slowly showing his ugly face in our society, I fear it will be a while before we make it through this delima if we make it through at all still standing as a country. If ever there has been an Apocolyptic stage set, (see Mayans Predictions), it is set now in our country and in our world.

    3rd January 2012 at 4:45 pm

  39. michaelj007 says:

    Great Article Jim! The majority of working middle class Americans are becoming privy to the notion that a DEFICIT (not having enough) AND GROWTH (having more than before) cannot coexist, let alone the notion of the former producing the latter (ie- QE creates Green Shoots!).

    I like how this article confronts the statements of the recent past with the reality of the present… and recent past. It is absolutely astounding how completely full of shit our political leaders, media and Wall Streeters have become. When I’m being sold a wagon of BS by some pundit or host on the TV I often find myself asking- Do they know their lying? or do the just not care? But the real question I suppose should be- why should they care?

    5th January 2012 at 5:20 pm

  40. teenspirit says:

    For 2012 you should add a reply button so I can tell the guy who wants poor people to die that if that happened there would be no more fast food, movies, gas stations and many other places and things poor people are responsible for. There called the working poor and pretty soon things will get so bad they’ll be the new standard for middle class.

    8th January 2012 at 1:16 am

  41. teenspirit says:

    Movies as in going to a theater and having the guy sell you popcorn. Or going into a place and renting a dvd. That doesn’t happen anymore, I know, the guy who rented you that dvd cost to much and was replaced by a box.

    8th January 2012 at 1:20 am

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