Home > Daily Reading on the Financial Markets, Financial Ponzi, investing, Stock Market > Daily Reading on the Financial Markets: 9/29/11

Daily Reading on the Financial Markets: 9/29/11

Chris Martenson says the U.S. economy is on the ropes and going down (editor’s note: I agree).

Chris Kimble points out that high yields, which are typically a good lead indicator for the market and economy, are once again breaking support and heading lower.

Jeff Harding from the Daily Capitalist on the increasing lag between GDP recovery and employment recovery over the last two decades.

That video from the other day went kind of viral.  Here is more backstory on the guy and part of an interview he did on CNN.

Turns out Europe isn’t the only risk.  According to The Hill, a guy was arrested in a plot to blow up the Capitol and Pentagon.

Desmond Lachman of the American Enterprise Institute says it’s a matter of time until Greece defaults.

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  1. Ao
    September 29, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Great blog. Two things I thought I should mention:

    – Chris Martenson basically doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’ve been following his stuff for a couple of years to verify it for myself, and I’ve found he’s very good at writing things vaguely enough that he never gets called on it. I’ve also heard many interviews with him where he gets all but the basic facts wrong about energy or finance or what have you. He knows how to jump on bandwagons and ride them for all they’re worth.

    – The GDP-employment lag may or may not get worse, but what is likely is that GDP recovery after each subsequent recession will get worse as oil increasingly becomes a bottleneck. Check out:

    http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2009/04/consequences_of.html

    http://www.odac-info.org/newsletter/2011/09/16

    http://www.postcarbon.org/end-of-growth-chapters/

  2. September 30, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Thanks for checking out the blog, Ao, and thanks for commenting. I tend to agree with you about the GDP-employment lag. I’m curious about your take on Martenson. I agree with most of the stuff I remember reading from him, and it seems like your links agree with one of his primary premises: Peak Oil, as a reality. You said he gets a few of the key “basics” facts wrong. If you have the time and inclination, can you give me some examples?

  3. Ao
    September 30, 2011 at 1:05 am

    Hmm…I don’t know if I can give you good examples about Martenson. I mean, partly it’s a combination of presenting himself as an expert on subjects he has no expertise in (he just knows the basics and the buzzwords, and covers for his poor knowledge with vagueness), and partly it’s his poor analytical ability. Here’s a random example that comes to mind: he was doing an interview with some radio station, and was being asked by the interviewer about oil back in the day, and the interviewer asked him about Spindletop and wasn’t it in California? Martenson agreed emphatically and went on talking (making up stuff) about Spindletop. Even I, as a non-expert, know that Spindletop was the famous oil well in Beaumont, Texas that was at the leading edge of the oil boom. (The fact itself is irrelevant – it’s that he pretended that he knew what he was talking about that bothers me.) More recently, I remember seeing some analysis from him – within the last couple of weeks – where he did a really poor job of technical analysis on some charts and came to a really wrong conclusion. Again, even as a non-expert I could have done far better. Sure anyone could make such a mistake, but people shouldn’t look to him for knowledge…

    • September 30, 2011 at 1:22 am

      Thanks for examples, Ao. I can understand why those kinds of things would be irritating, or even discredit him in your mind. I haven’t had that experience with him (yet). What I do know is that I agree with the premise that Peak Oil is real, and the consequences of increasingly more unattainable oil (whether because of excess cost or production capacity limits) will slower economic growth. I buy that premise. And I believe its consequences are far reaching – more far reaching than is commonly accepted. He is one of a number who push that Malthusian notion, and I for one agree with it. Now, he may not be the best spokesman for the cause, as you suggest, I don’t know his stuff well enough to disagree.

  4. Ao
    September 30, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I think he gets the basics right on peak oil, but that’s as far as he goes. For better understanding I find that people like Richard Heinberg, Chris Skrebowski, John Michael Greer, Gail Tverberg, Ugo Bardi, and others like them impart real knowledge. Actually, I think Martenson is a great spokesman for the cause – and it’s why I think he’s gotten popular – because he’s good at explaining the basics in a, well, basic way. I guess my problem is that he’s not capable of going beyond those basics but he tries to fake it anyway…

    • September 30, 2011 at 1:50 am

      That’s probably a very fair assessment. I am very familiar with Gail Tverberg’s writing, but not the others. I don’t mind imperfect knowledge or understanding on his part – it’s something we all have in common with him. Though I can see why it’s annoying coming from an “expert.” My own view is that there’s no such thing as an expert, so it never really troubles me much when an “expert” is exposed as flawed and incorrect. I assume it’s a matter of time. We have our limited human perception and our limited human reasoning to contend with, and they preclude us from every truly understanding the world around us. But we try. And we act like we understand it, because, from our own perspective, it sure seems like we do. I believe I’ve just rambled. Sorry about that…

  5. Ao
    September 30, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Fair enough. I guess since I don’t learn anything useful from him, and he sells himself as an “expert” (which is more annoying than anything else) there’s no reason for me to look to him for any information.

    • September 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

      Exactly. I agree with you that he generally works on the surface – looking to convert those who are unaware or disbelieving of ideas like Peak Oil and resource constraint. I agree that, once you’ve done your research on those subjects, he doesn’t bring a whole lot of new depth to the discussion. Though as I think you pointed out, that’s not really his game. He’s more of an evangelist than someone who will help guide you to a deep understanding.

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