We’ve Had It Worse - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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We’ve Had It Worse

Even a steep recession doesn’t compare with the events that have made for America’s worst years, and I should point out have made us stronger.

How sour is the public mood? An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found about half of people believe 2008 was one of the worst years in American history. At times, Abraham Lincoln’s lament has seemed apt, “We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.”

But think about these times:

1798: France sought — and failed — to sway the election of 1796 and punished us by attacking our shipping. The conflict exacerbated a poisonous partisan environment, fraught with suggestions of treason. The Federalists saw the pro-French Republicans as would-be Jacobins, and the Republicans saw the pro-English Federalists as would-be monarchists. The Federalists passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, a rank violation of civil liberties. In response, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison drafted the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions stipulating such unconstitutional acts could be nullified by the states, a dangerous concept (for its poisoned fruit, see 1862).

1837: In a real-estate bubble, people borrowed paper money to speculate in Western land. According to John Steele Gordon’s book An Empire of Wealth, land sales by the federal government were $2.5 million in 1832 and $25 million by 1836. President Andrew Jackson determined to prick the bubble by accepting only gold or silver as payment and succeeded all too well. Banks failed, Wall Street crashed, the price of cotton fell by half and 90 percent of the country’s factories closed. “The country suffered,” Gordon writes, “the longest economic depression in the nation’s history. It didn’t reach bottom until February 1843, fully seventy-two months after it began.”

1862: Any year of the Civil War qualifies as one of the country’s worst, but in June 1862, Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate army defending Richmond, Va., and pushed back the Union army. At Fredericksburg at the end of the year, Gen. Burnside hurled his Union troops at Marye’s Heights, although warned that doing so would constitute “murder, not warfare.” The Union lost more than 12,000 men. England seemed close to recognizing the Confederacy, and state and congressional elections went poorly for Lincoln’s Republicans. “If there is a worse place than hell,” President Lincoln said, “I am in it.”

1940: The economy was still limping, with unemployment at 14.6 percent (it had hit 19 percent in 1938 during “the depression within the depression”). Adolf Hitler marched into the Netherlands, Belgium and France, overrunning them in weeks. The American public was divided about how to respond, and the country’s defenses were unprepared. The army had fewer soldiers than Yugoslavia, and troops often had to train using broomsticks. Western democracy seemed on the verge of eclipse.

1968: Assassinations, urban riots, a losing war in Vietnam — it was the year of the great American nervous break-down.

...

We’ve Had It Worse by Rich Lowry on National Review Online

Don't believe everything you think
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
Even a steep recession doesn’t compare with the events that have made for America’s worst years, and I should point out have made us stronger.
There's an angle... Bush visited all this destruction upon America to make us stronger!

Hey Jay... how long did the Great Depression last?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 07:53 PM
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I dunno about the Great Depression, but Alger Hiss lived for 92 years and was wrong the whole fucking time........
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jayhawk View Post
Even a steep recession doesn’t compare with the events that have made for America’s worst years, and I should point out have made us stronger.

1968: Assassinations, urban riots, a losing war in Vietnam — it was the year of the great American nervous break-down.

While mostly a BS article, the 1968 parallels might just be closer than we think. With unemployment rising monthly, a year long recession already in the books and no manufacturing base to pull us out like from 1968, the view might be even worse.

Remember, 1968 started the path of higher inflation rates [we hit the 6% rates a few times in 1970 and then started spiking past 10% in 1974]. We also started our investment in the National Debt and experiment in Trickle Down Economics. Corporate and Political Corruption have been in the news since about that time also. And remember, according to this Right Wing author, "it made us stronger".

McBear,
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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:55 PM
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FWIW Dept.

Cumulative Oil Gold Housing Dow Inflation
--------------------------------------------------------------------
1969 -1.10% 0.70% 0.47% -24.71% 5.50%
1970 -4.69% -17.53% 2.75% -40.30% 11.20%
1971 -2.89% -8.41% 6.18% -20.40% 15.60%
1972 -6.09% 30.94% 10.64% -22.45% 18.80%
1973 19.65% 92.07% 12.68% -34.43% 25.00%
1974 105.49% 144.72% 12.41% -80.94% 36.00%
1975 126.98% 136.72% 14.05% -62.69% 45.10%
1976 128.47% 108.45% 13.26% -39.73% 50.90%
1977 131.89% 120.27% 16.16% -51.87% 57.40%
1978 128.11% 143.48% 22.05% -56.09% 65.00%
1979 184.71% 190.90% 25.85% -65.38% 76.30%
1980 220.29% 277.14% 21.65% -65.80% 89.80%
1981 205.53% 241.94% 17.07% -80.32% 100.10%
1982 188.36% 217.41% 15.62% -79.95% 106.30%
1983 176.52% 227.16% 14.96% -44.93% 109.50%
1984 171.09% 207.81% 14.40% -52.65% 113.80%
1985 161.12% 192.22% 15.87% -41.11% 117.40%
1986 112.86% 206.21% 20.49% -12.31% 119.30%
1987 132.18% 224.04% 24.50% 19.32% 122.90%
1988 111.86% 217.81% 27.88% -2.01% 127.00%
1989 130.33% 200.31% 31.72% 28.39% 131.80%
1990 151.44% 195.45% 30.67% 5.07% 137.20%
1991 134.35% 159.60% 23.63% 22.76% 141.40%
1992 126.65% 187.77% 21.81% 26.17% 144.40%
1993 110.66% 189.41% 19.03% 39.52% 147.40%
1994 101.55% 193.54% 19.11% 33.44% 150.00%
1995 105.71% 190.79% 17.99% 56.39% 152.80%
1996 124.86% 188.72% 17.39% 68.75% 155.80%
1997 113.66% 171.79% 17.87% 103.74% 158.10%
1998 75.96% 159.08% 21.02% 97.86% 159.70%
1999 112.80% 151.66% 26.25% 118.01% 161.90%
2000 174.80% 148.34% 31.46% 120.45% 165.30%
2001 155.97% 142.65% 37.93% 99.26% 168.10%
2002 153.55% 155.32% 44.31% 86.25% 169.70%
2003 172.64% 170.35% 52.59% 103.52% 172.00%
2004 205.95% 180.40% 61.98% 113.69% 174.70%
2005 235.42% 185.55% 74.26% 124.56% 178.10%
2006 248.73% 218.03% 82.57% 131.88% 181.30%
2007 256.05% 230.47% 78.04% 146.06% 184.10%
2008 303.66% 254.08% 58.82% 124.48% 189.10%

-------------------------------------------------

Posted by someone on MarketWatch, I didn't check it out.

Clearly it stopped midyear, otherwise Column 1 (oil) would have fallen behind Column 2 (gold) imho. Interesting nonetheless. Most investments are worthless in the face of structural inflation.

All the more reason to buy neat old cars
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:56 PM
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As some of you know I buy Gold in Singapore in certificates. As I plan a trip to Singapore later this month I checked the bank rates for the yellow stuff. The prices are about right but the spreads have increased dramatically compared to a couple of years ago when I bought last and even last year when I was updating myself with it.

1 troy oz. physical bars there use to be a spread of about 50 Singapore Dollars between buy and sell. Now there is a 150 SGD spread between buy and sell. Same with the 1 kilo certificates, the spread use to be 1,000 SGD, now it is 3,000 SGD.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:59 PM
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Something similar here; the markup on bullion coins (e.g. Maple Leafs, American Eagles, etc) which are the most dependable and fungible form imho, has increased dramatically. Used to be a few percent over spot, now it's 10-15 for gold and sometimes 30-40% for silver. Market economics

What do you mean by certificates? Do they store physical for you or are you just taking shares?
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 10:09 PM
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Something similar here; the markup on bullion coins (e.g. Maple Leafs, American Eagles, etc) which are the most dependable and fungible form imho, has increased dramatically. Used to be a few percent over spot, now it's 10-15 for gold and sometimes 30-40% for silver. Market economics

What do you mean by certificates? Do they store physical for you or are you just taking shares?

Yes they are the biggest and safest bank in Singapore, loaded to the gills and did not get hurt at all by any of the financial meltdowns by the big boys. So I have no problem in them storing it although I was thinking about possibly physically picking up couple of bars this time around just so I don't get caught short.

The spread is on the lower end. They are charging about the same rate as the international price but the buy back for the certificates and the physical is where they are really doing the hosing.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 10:14 PM
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A few more Madoffs and AIGs and people are going to start wanting more and more physical imho. And remember that Madoff & AIG and most everything else happened only because falling prices and attempted redemptions exposed their "leverage". So it can easily get worse.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 10:25 PM
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A few more Madoffs and AIGs and people are going to start wanting more and more physical imho. And remember that Madoff & AIG and most everything else happened only because falling prices and attempted redemptions exposed their "leverage". So it can easily get worse.

Yeah I know, that is why I was checking out the prices and such. If I remember correctly this spread jump has only taken place in the last 2 or 3 months. But I guess they have to make money on something. In the past they have been great in giving us good interest rates on time deposits but last week they offered 0% interest for 1 month for one TD with about 70k USD we had rolling over and 0.05% for a 2 month rollover. This week they are offering 0.0625% for a 1 month and 0.5% for 2 months. On another 80k that rolled over this week I told them to just roll both TD's at 1 week intervals, earning no interest but at least flexible to do something else with......
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