Monday, December 12, 2005

A Wicked Storm Surely Comes Our Way.

For a few years I was a New York City commodity futures broker. This was back in the eighties when I still had the energy such a job requires. Working 12 hours a day, mostly on the phones, trying, often quite successfully, to seperate the suckers, oops, I mean the investors, from their money, takes a lot out of a guy.

After a while I finally figured out that my job was really simple. All I had to do to please the boss and earn nice fat bonuses was to keep the money flowing one way. I didn't get paid to worry about what happened after the money arrived in the Big Apple.

In fact no one at the brokerage house seemed to worry too much about that. Everyone was too busy fishing for the next big client. It takes a lot of fishing and money to fill a damn big black hole.

Hey, it's expensive to live in the Big City.

If the rubes money is converted into commissions or lost to the market ASAP, so be it. Any fool eager to send his money off to someone he has never met to be "invested" in something that he doesn't understand, deserves to pick up the tab for his brokers' travels in the NYC fast lane. OK or not, at that time that was the prevailing sentiment from the NYC brokers' community.

I doubt if the altitude is much different today.

If a sucker decided that he wanted to take what was left of his money back I quickly did the smart thing and turned him over to the retention specialist. What an optimistic fellow this twenty something kid was. By the time he finished with the client the greedy fellow was more likely to throw more money into the pot than salvage what was left. You see painting an optimistic picture usually pays. For the one painting the picture, that is.

I kid you not.

Which brings me to the wicked storm part. As a super storm brews we trusting and optimistic Americans are being turned over to the retention specialists.

An entire team of them in fact. The Presidents new main job, and the job of his faithful and loyal hard hitting hardball first team, is to convince the lumps that all is OK. Deficits no longer matter. We can spend more than we take in forever. No problem we are told.

The rest of the world saves too much money. They are happy to lend it to us so that we can spend it for them. After all, this is America. Our economy is strong. It is the strongest, most flexible in the world. Stay the course, all will be fine. The Iraqis want to be just like us. Democracy will save Iraq, then the region, then the world. Yadda, Yadda, Yadda.

Sound familiar? Are the retention specialists doing a great job or what? Damn they are good. And always so optimistic. Who wants to jump ship and try to salvage whatever little remains of the United States of America when all is going so well in expanding the Empire? A new world order must be created even if more than a few countries seem to be happy having their own unique cultures and don't want to convert to McDonaldism. What's wrong with them, anyhow?

Can't they see that our American culture is far superior? Just look at all of the SUV's on our roads.

Wait a second. Please. With Gold soaring well above $500 an oz, something out of the ordinary must be brewing. Is it possible that the rest of the world is growing alarmed at our appetite for their money? The US is currently consuming about 80% of the worlds savings just to stay afloat. And with the debt service grinding away at us it takes more money flowing into the US every day just to stay where we are. No problem?

The Damn Naked Blogger thinks it's just about wicked storm time.

When the first nation is brave enough to ask for it's money back an every man for himself unruly stampede is likely to follow. Things could get very messy faster than an American shopper can spend money at a Wal-Mart sale. If communist China decides to stop lending us huge amounts of money everyday to support our late stage capitialism spending habits we will be in deep do-do.

The Damn Naked Blogger says, "damn! a wicked storm surely comes our way. There is just no f***ing way that current trends in debt creation and spending more than we make can be maintained. Buy gold and prepare for the worst. Bettter stock up on some survival gear as well. On second thought food might soon become more valuable than gold. Better buy both."

In New York when all of the poor clients' money was consumed by the market and commission beasts the retention specialist had a problem. Optimistic forecasts suddenly weren't enough to sastify. Bitter sounds could be heard coming from the retention specialists' office. His face turned beet red as he shouted into the phone. Sweat ran down his forehead and dripped from his nose. He obviously was under a bit of stress.

No matter how good you are it's hard to sell another dose of optimisim when the client finally realizes that the account is down to zero. Even a lump has some intelligence. And even a mild mannered man can turn violent.

Threats of law suits and threats of bodily harm had to be taken seriously. Especially the threats of bodily harm.

Like "I'm going to kill you."

Remember the day trader in Atlanta who gunned down a high percentage of the unlucky folks working in his brokerage house office once he realized all of his money had vaporized? He was a better shot than a trader. Something his broker didn't know until too late.

If present trends continue for much longer perhaps President Bush, the ultimate retention man, God help him, should bring at least a few troops back from Iraq and position them around The White House. Just in case the voters finally realize that they have been sold an unrealistic dream of Empire. But dreams usually don't come true. And the Bush dream is fatally flawed. When enought folks wake up things could get very messy very fast.

God help us all, underserving as we may be. We are going to need divine assistance to escape the mismanagement of the past five years without a world of pain.

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