Apart from comments on my article yesterday, I had a few e-mails from annoyed correspondents. Extracts from their criticism:
"You're just trying to blame President Obama and the Democrats for the faults and failings they inherited from past Republican administrations!"
"You're a pessimist. President Obama and Vice-President Biden are optimists. To you, the glass is half-empty. To them, it's half-full. That's the difference between you."
"You're relying on the predictions of a few prophets of doom and naysayers. CNBC and other economic commentators - the vast majority of them - don't agree. What makes you think you, and your doomsaying sources, are right?"
Here are my responses.
1. I'm not blaming President Obama and the Democrats for the present mess. It's certainly the responsibility of both the Democratic and Republican parties, and the Presidents from each, that have held office over the past three to four decades. I've said repeatedly in the past (and I still maintain) that I wouldn't trust the Republicans to do any better in this mess than the Democrats. Both major parties are filled with time-serving lackeys, more interested in party political interests (and feathering their own nests) than with the genuine needs of the country and its people. I'm all in favor of kicking out all of the rascals of both parties, and replacing them with non-professional politicians: businessmen, artisans, working people who understand what the real world is like, and are willing to put in place solutions that mean something.
Where I do blame President Obama and the Democrats is that they've stuck in the same tired old rut as all of their predecessors. As yesterday's article pointed out, by doing so, they're only postponing the inevitable. It's going to come back to bite them one day . . . perhaps sooner than they'd like to think.
2. I'm neither a pessimist nor an optimist - I'm a realist. In every article I've posted here about the economy, I've advanced sources and references for my opinions. They're freely available to cross-check what I've had to say. If you don't like them, that's your privilege. Time will tell who's right.
3. I'm not relying on 'prophets of doom' or 'naysayers'. The experts I trust - Karl Denninger, Peter Schiff, Nouriel Roubini, Mike Shedlock and a few others - all predicted the current economic meltdown months or years before it happened. Their predictions are on the record, and are not subject to contradiction. They've been proven correct by events. That being the case, I trust their ongoing predictions for the future. Those who issued rosy forecasts for the future, who've been proved wrong by events? No, I don't trust them, and I won't base my own financial efforts on their predictions, thank you very much.
I'll add to that. Most of the news media in the USA are deliberately hiding the truth of our financial situation. You won't hear them discuss the fact that most of our major banks are hiding the true value of the assets on their books - because if they disclosed that true value, rather than the inflated values they've arbitrarily assigned to those assets, they'd be seen to be bankrupt, as most of them are in reality. Karl Denninger discussed the point very bluntly in this video clip, which I highly recommend watching.
Right on, Mr. Denninger! Thanks for having the courage to speak the truth. Would that there were more like you, and Mr. Roubini, and Mr. Shedlock, and Mr. Schiff!
Those who wish to listen to other 'authorities', and base their financial planning on their rose-colored predictions, are welcome to do so. For myself, I'll stick with those who've been proven right, time and again. I don't expect to be disappointed or caught unawares by doing so.
Oh - and, just to prove the point I tried to make yesterday, there are two new reports out today that support it. First, the BBC has provided a page of graphics that illustrate the size of the economic problem, the cost of the bailouts, and the legacy of debt they'll leave behind. Also, Nouriel Roubini has confirmed much of what I said in his latest comments on the recovery (such as it is).