From a March forecast on currency exchange:
Trigger Unprecedented Responses
Over the past three months, the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented measures to restore stability to the U.S. financial system. The collapse of Bear Stearns, which was once the nation’s fifth-largest investment bank, put the 2007 – 2008 financial crisis into the history books. This was the first time since the Great Depression that a major U.S. bank has failed. In response to this groundbreaking crisis, the Federal Reserve invoked an emergency provision allowing the central bank to loan directly to investment banks. This provision was added to the Federal Reserve Act during the Great Depression and has not been used since then. However, the collapse of a major U.S. bank and tight credit markets are making the Federal Reserve’s job exceptionally difficult. Cutting interest rates alone has not worked, and as a result, the U.S. Central Bank has introduced an alphabet soup of new measures, including the Term Auction Facility and the Term Securities Lending Facility, to inject liquidity into the financial system. They are even willing to accept less liquid and dubious mortgage-backed securities for the Fed’s highly liquid and rock solid U.S. Treasuries.
Although these efforts have prevented a collapse in the equity markets, it has not prevented a continual deterioration of the U.S. economy. With foreclosures on the rise and the median price of existing homes falling by the largest amount on record in February, the housing market shows no signs of stabilization. Layoffs are on the rise and consumer spending is contracting, which has forced the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates by 200bp in the first quarter, the most that the central bank has cut in one quarter since 1984. The combination of a deteriorating outlook for the U.S. economy, lower interest rates, and desperate measures by the Federal Reserve are the main reasons why the U.S. dollar hit a record low in March.
I don't claim to be a some kind of financial expert but I do know what it means when "desperate measures by the Federal Reserve" are needed, And I do know that everyone I talk to is either in or on their way to serious financial problems. I also know that looking around at the banking and mortgage failures, and knowing that there are likely still more failures on up the road...
This is the worst economy I have seen in my lifetime.
Most people barely have the money to buy the necessities - if they aren't already choosing between buying food or paying the utility bills or rent - and they have to be looking at all of this happy talk coming out of the McCain campaign and wondering what planet he lives on.
Remember that McCain is a kept that can't keep track of how many mansions he owns, and couldn't tell the press the price of gas when asked because someone else pumps his limousine's gas for him.
In a telephone interview with the Orange County Register earlier this week, John McCain acknowledged he was unaware of the price of gas. The OC Register’s Martin Wicksol reports:
MCCAIN: Oh, I don’t remember. Now there’s Secret Service protection. But I’ve done it for many, many years. I don’t recall and frankly, I don’t see how it matters.
I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of town hall meetings, many as short a time ago as yesterday. I communicate with the people and they communicate with me very effectively.
McCain’s cluelessness about gas prices is compounded by the fact that he is clueless about what to do about it. He is promoting a gas tax holiday for drivers because he claims to understand “Americans are hurting.” It will provide “a little psychological boost,” McCain said of his plan.In reality, his gas tax holiday would be worth a mere 60 cents a day for Americans and would be a boon for oil companies and foreign oil-producing nations.
John McCain will never understand what the average American worker is going through right now.
And McCain will beg you to ignore the reality of your dwindling bank account and buying power and the fact that his campaign is run by lobbyists for the very corporations that have written the GOP's irresponsible fiscal policy that is failing you right now, and John McCain will continue to run this economy into the ground unless someone else puts the breaks on continued bush failures.
Some late August brew from New Milford:
I was well out ahead of the curve on this one...
Special Edition of John McCain and his
seveneight houses. Do not swim with sharks while you cut your own jugular. See what happens when you do:
McCain said that he wasn't sure of how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own
In nearly every speech in recent days, he has argued that McCain doesn’t get what ordinary American are facing, reminding people of McCain advisor Phil Gramm’s comment about America being a "nation of whiners" and about McCain’s Saddleback quip defining rich as an income of $5 million.
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign pounded Sen. John McCain for his failure to answer a question about how many homes he owns
Barack Obama was handed a gift-wrapped package from John McCain on Thursday.
Hours after a report that the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting didn't know how many homes he and his multimillionaire wife own, ...
The Danger of McCain's 'Seven Houses' Slip (Newsweek)
Asked yesterday in an interview with the Politico how many houses he owns with his wife Cindy, a beer heiress, John McCain was, well, not quite sure.
Does McCain have a Kerry problem? (KC Star)
Democrats Thursday ridiculed Republican John McCain for saying he couldn't recall how many homes he and his wealthy wife own
McCain not sure how many houses he owns (LA Times)
File this under "Problems most of us will never have" --
As part of an increasingly aggressive effort to redefine his opponent, Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday morning seized on ...
It's true; McCain has seven homes in five cities and three states (Chicago Sun-Times)
In an interview with Adam Nagourney of the New York Times, Obama strategist David Axelrod suggested McCain's campaign can't succeed by portraying Obama as out-of-touch because it reeks of hypocrisy.
Ouch. If this were a prize fight, the ref would call it. But it's politics, so he'll just keep bleeding.
From Robert Greenwald's BraveNewFilms:
Let's just say that I know how this feels. Brewed here on my own Blog in May, 2008:This video is also available on .Most working families today do not have homes that have anywhere near 10 rooms. John McCain has 10 houses. Many working people in America have to work two and three jobs to provide for their families and pay their car loans. John McCain hops on a private jet. Is it any wonder why McCain champions a George Bush agenda of cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, helping oil companies turn record profits, and leaving working families to fend for themselves? McCain's velvet world leaves him utterly unprepared to make the tough choices we need to restore the middle class and ensure that everyone in America has quality, affordable health insurance.John McCain is soaring to new heights of hypocrisy on his wife's personal jet. He flies around the country bent on duping the public into believing he's "one of them," a regular guy who can empathize with Americans facing an overwhelming economic crush. What's more, he disparages those who oppose his ridiculous policy proposals as "elitist." But who's the real elitist?
-Andy Stern, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
The REAL McCain is a multimillionaire who owns ten luxurious homes. The REAL McCain backs President Bush's tax cuts for big corporations. The REAL McCain empathizes only with the interests of our nation's wealthy minority, not its money-strapped majority. But far too many are buying into McCain's deceit because the corporate press won't present the whole picture, so we created this video to educate the public about the REAL McCain.
Together, you have been a force in making sure The REAL McCain videos have been seen by nearly 6.5 million people. But as Frank Rich noted in his NY Times column yesterday, 40% of Americans hear too little about McCain from the mainstream media, meaning "the public doesn't know who on earth John McCain is." That's why it's crucial you ensure this video is seen by as many as possible, and that we use each and every tool at our disposal to get the word out. Send this on to five friends and family members, and tell them to send it to five people they know. Get it to your local news outlets and blogs and networking sites like Digg. Raise hell about McCain's economic duplicity!
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney summed it up best when he said McCain "simply doesn't understand the challenges America's working families are facing because he isn't remotely affected by them." It's up to us to tell people who McCain really is, a personal jet-setting elitist more concerned with corporate lobbyists than hard-working Americans.
I have written plenty on Countrywide, the mortgage crisis and a myriad of other political and social issues since then. This problem is growing exponentially under the Bush administration's incompetent economic policies. The same failed economic madness that politicians like John McCain and Chris Shays want to continue follow.
Many of you already knew that we were probably losing our home in the first wave of foreclosures hitting this state and the country. I have been sort of busy the last couple of weeks with this issue and (some of) you may have noticed that my Blog has been dormant because I have been so busy.
The bad news? We have given up trying to save our home.
The good news? Unlike the many American families that are, right now, living in tent cities (from the morgtage crisis, floods and also from hurricane Katrina) we have been fortunate enough to find a house to rent. And we will not have to move from New Milford, either. The kids are happy about that second part. They have made friends and like living here.
Finding a place to live has not been easy. Being in the first wave of foreclosures, many landlords refused to rent to us. This issue will likely resolve itself for others later on as more and more people with foreclosures and bankruptcies on their credit reports will flood the renters market. For now it is still an issue. An issue we that we kind of lucked our way around.
Lemons Meet Lemonade
The house we are renting? It is a little bit smaller than the home we loved but it does have some serious plusses that make this a better place for us. First, it has a nice little wood stove in the living room to curl up in front of on those chilly New England nights. It will also save us money on oil. Second, it has a nice, big and sunny room that I plan on turning into my media room that will look right out over the back yard. Third, it is not on a main street so the kids and the dog will be a little safer playing outside. Fourth, we will be saving hundreds compared to what our original mortgage payment started at, never mind how much our ARM was by the time it doubled.
As for the luck part? Well, we are renting the house from someone that was on the verge of losing it all, as well. She pretty much knows our situtation and, because of her own situtation, was a little more forgiving on our credit check. The lady who owns the house is where we were in the foreclosure process about 9 months ago. She did not have "ARM" or sub-prime issues, but employment/relocation issues. As the real estate agent that helped us find a place said, this is a win/win situation for everyone here. She won't be crushed financially like we were and we will have a roof over our heads.
I'll have more to write on this later but, for now, don't be surpised if my Blogging particiaption is a little bit irregular.
[update] The NY Times Caucus Blog:
Labor, Film Co. Paint McCain as the ‘Real Elitist’
The A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the Service Employees International Union have feuded plenty in recent years, but they have banded together to help distribute and publicize a new online video that characterizes Senator John McCain as elitist and out of touch.
The four-minute video, produced by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films, is called “McCain’s Mansions: the Real Elitist” and showcases various McCain homes and condominiums in Arizona, California and Virginia, with one valued at $4.66 million.
Get back to me later on today to see what the media will be talking about tomorrow... If you want a good idea of what the pundits will be talking about today just look in my archives for the past week or so. lol jk