Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pessimistic. Pessimisticer. Pessimisticest.

Goldman Sachs changes economic forecast from "sucky" to "suckier", warns that perhaps "suckiest" might be more accurate:
[E]conomists at Goldman Sachs last week cut their economic growth forecast for the second time in a month, only to warn a few days later that "we already see downside risk to that estimate."

Goldman now sees the U.S. economy struggling to limp forth at a 3% pace in the second quarter, down from 3.5% just three weeks ago and 4% at the start of the year.
Don't they know that we're in the middle of a great big ol' recovery here? (I mean, we are, right? Right?)

I'm going to continue to keep a strong investment portfolio in canned food and ammunition, personally...


Bram said...

I'm shocked that they are predicting any growth at all. I think we are about to get the 2nd dip. Things are rough out here right now.

perlhaqr said...

Bram: Where by "second dip" you mean "Goldman Sachs is about to get a second dip into the money trough"?

'Cause that's what my financial forecast is. :(

TJIC said...

Your post reminds me of a The Onion article from the (first) tech bubble crash (c. 1996 ?).

The title was "Netscape stock downgraded from "f___-ed" to "bloody shit f___-ed".

...with lots of quotes from Wall Street analysts.

McVee said...

I think if you take away gubmint
spending we are actually pulling negative numbers.
But who cares, dows up!

Unknown said...

Subtract city, county, state and federal deficit spending from GDP and you'll likely think that GoldmanSucks is an optimist...

Bram said...

Lots of companies are reporting profits - because they managed to slash costs faster than their revenue dropped. Firing people, closing locations, drawing down inventories, non-renewing leases, etc... is a business plan that only works short-term.

Lanius said...

Canned food portfolio?

Wouldn't arable grassland somewhere where it's nice, and rainy make more sense? Southern US.

I mean, I'd prefer lording it over landless labouring peasants from the back of a horse to eating stuff out of a tin in a well hidden bunker.

Matt said...

Around here the phrase economic recovery is pretty much an oxymoron. When your biggest industries are housing for the beach-bound huddled masses of DC and Baltimore and the poultry industry, when things go bad they go REALLY bad. I've been looking for work for over 18 months and have been living off my savings since the unemployment ran out. And I'm actually in better shape than most people because I don't have a family to feed and my house and car are paid off.

What makes it even more frustrating is that I've been working full time since I was 17 and this is the first time in my 47 years that I haven't been able to find a job when I needed it. But then again, when no one is building, they don't need draftsman to draw the plans. There are engineering and architectural firms around here that have laid off well over 50% of their staff.

Anonymous said...

Posted on FB this weekend in response to Michael Barone's article:
I remember joking with a friend a couple years ago about maybe engaging in a drinking game while reading articles on the state of the economy. Every time an article uses some form of the word "unexpected", we down one shot of whiskey. We decided against it figuring we would probably be unconscious, dying of liver failure after the first article.

Bubblehead Les. said...

I'd also invest in some plain bleach, just in case you gotta head down to the creek to get some H2O after the Indy Water Dept. raises your rates through the roof. Gotta make sure those Union Thugs keep getting their Paychecks, after all.

RL said...

Meanwhile...Colander sales are up.

theirritablearchitect said...

Second dip?

Thought we'd already seen that one?

Oh well, I'm not sure that keeping track of such things is all that important. Instead, the severity of it all is probably a better defining factor toward the colander-wearing fiasco that awaits us.

Joe in PNG said...

Meanwhile, the dollar keeps losing ground to the PNG Kina...
...As in Papua New Guinea... a freaking third world country... a country so corrupt that no one has any idea where a good majority of the nation's budget went... a place where the roads are so bad it's easier to take a plane than drive on the main highway between two major cities.

Kristophr said...

Goldmann-Sachs will do well regardless.

The last time the Treasury bought all that worthless fed paper they couldn't sell to anyone, the sale was announced in advance to Goldmann-Sachs, giving them time to buy up all that worthless paper, and sell it o the Treasury ( run by a former Goldmann-Sachs person ) for top dollar.

Of course, the proper non-corruptocrat response should have been to thank GS for buying the paper, and then laugh at them for doing it. But then, they wouldn't have bought if they didn't have their boy in place to buy it.

Anonymous said...

I hear there's going to be a building boom in the Mississippi river valley soon.

Ulises from CA

Tam said...


"I mean, I'd prefer lording it over landless labouring peasants from the back of a horse to eating stuff out of a tin in a well hidden bunker."

Enjoy that fantasy. After all, we're all the heroes of our own action movies. ;)

Personally, I'm planning on eating my canned food right here in Roseholme Cottage; no bunker necessary.

Anonymous said...

McVee said...
"I think if you take away gubmint
spending we are actually pulling negative numbers.
But who cares, dows up!"

The DOW is only up because it's measured in the new, improved, half-value dollars.


Brad K. said...


Your money might be better invested in learning leather preparation (beginning with the animal-about-to-meet-its-end).

Or blacksmithing, or gardening, or hand tailoring.

The current "OMG it is all falling to the zombies" epocalyptic collapse that makes sense to me, is that we will get random, unplanned, and intermittent unavailability of various things. Like various food things, from wheat (donuts and bread and spaghetti) and corn (like corn flakes, corn sweetener for sodas and beer, cornstarch for starching clothes and powdering baby and grandpa), and soybeans (like salad oil). Oh, and those companies that haven't sold the next twenty years of all their oil production to either India or China, will stop selling to anyone so that their army can still defend their country (or maybe annex the next neighbor over, or maybe two).

An acquaintance that sells cars tells me that the 1995 Toyota pickup I bought in February for $2k (it needs a timing chain and valve work to the tune of $800, and the front end needs a little care) would now easily bring $3500, in the same condition. It seems that the 26 mpg I get around town is better than what some folks are getting.

Short term - get out from under all debts, get a solid stock of staples. You know the Mormons have held that every member must have a year's supply of food on hand, and have practiced that for many years.

And most importantly -- get to know your neighbors, let then know who you are, and practice selecting your associates by their character. Dodgy sorts will get less shrift when TSHTF; experience working with the people around you, and having a good reputation for character, will make your local neighborhood "community" much more resilient, and more likely to survive whatever.

Do hang onto the boomstick collection; heaven forbid you should ever need it to protect you and yours, but what horrors if you need it and don't have the weapons you need at the time.


Ritchie said...

Or as I once inadvertently said, "pestimistic."

Brad K. said...

If you want to see a really doom way of looking at things, Dmitri Orlov believes much of the Western world, including the US, is on course to implode like the USSR did -- only without the skills to survive without the electric grid, without the grocery stores and McDonalds, since Americans don't, for the most part, know how to cook from scratch, find water without city water working, etc.


Dmitri figures the escalating sequence of local and intermittent outages will accelerate. He figures in 10 years we won't recognize the country, he isn't sure about five years out.

Dmitri doesn't seem to be related, philosophically or otherwise, to the KGB analyst that predicted the US would divide in June 2010 -- starting with California and New York State refusing to turn in collected US tax revenue. But then, I don't think that wag could have foreseen President Obama installing "smart" electric meters so he could turn off the nation to keep the lights on for labor unions and California.

Anonymous said...

@Brad K

+1 on that post


Yea.. it sucks. If Patton had been US president back in 1948, I'h have a bloody trust fund most likely, as two of my great-grandfathers were self-made men. But none of their businesses survived the commie era, so we just collect a little rent here and there. Pocket money mostly.

But hey... I've got their genes, and most of my family is pretty well of due to having decent professional careers in non bullshit occupations like medicine.

I hope I'll do some stuff in life that'd make them proud of me, were they still alive. (is the preceding sentence gramatically correct?)

As to lording over peasants.. who knows. I'm ambitious, aggresive, have mild sociopathic tendencies and if shit ever hits the fan here, you can bet your gun collection I'll be involved in some militia, probably in a command capacity.

Shame about the climate here. I love hot weather..the kind of weather that drives lesser men into AC controlled enviroment. 100 F and 50% humidity are fine strolling conditions for me.

staghounds said...

The dollar and pound lost about a third of their value between 1974 and 1981, no colanders.

The mark lost half its value in 1919, no colanders.

The mark lost ALL its value in 1923, no colanders.

Over the last ten years or so several currencies have collapsed, no colanders.

Things just get seedier.

Stretch said...

Random observations from drive to and from Fla. panhandle. Just returned.
Many billboards on I-95 blank or with number of advertising agency. Didn't get an accurate count but most were full 2 years ago.
Small towns along US 98 in panhandle have 1/4 to 1/2 of main street stores boarded up.