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More Things Change, More They Stay the Same

Posted by Larry Doyle on September 7, 2011 11:05 AM |

Having traversed a wide part of the country over the last three weeks, I would have hoped that my first post back here at Sense on Cents would encompass a sense of vim and vigor that may electrify those reading this.

Sorry to disappoint but the simple fact is the recent developments along our economic and market landscape do not strike me as energizing or as anything new.

The daily swings in the markets may be unnerving but they strike me as merely a reflection of the fact that the “walking pneumonia” which defines our domestic economy—and many parts of the global economy as well—is settling ever deeper into our lungs. 

Is that a sense of despair, resignation, or a combination of the two that is wafting over our land? This reality is to be expected when a steady stream of misrepresentations—if not outright lies—is delivered by pols, analysts, and financial executives with little remorse. The misrepresentations may be delivered in the hopes of “keeping the game going” but little appreciation is given to the fact that a betrayal of truth, transparency, and integrity comes with very real costs. We are paying those bills now and will be for the foreseeable future.

What about the economy? A languishing labor market is regrettable but not surprising in light of the ongoing debt which crushes the demand for credit which drives growth and jobs. No surprise or anything new there as well.

What about housing and the massive suit brought by Uncle Sam against 17 major financial institutions? Does anybody doubt there was real fraud ongoing for a protracted period in the origination, underwriting, and securitization of large parts of our mortgage market. I have written previously that these activities likely constituted a violation of the Racketeering Act.

Are we supposed to totally look the other way when our basic rules of capitalism are abused so heinously because our banks, markets, and economy may suffer in the process. Are you kidding me? Burying the truth does not help reconstruct an economic foundation that is fundamentally broken.

How about the Federal Reserve? Are there any tricks left in Ben’s bag? The Fed may think it can implement a “twist” in the management of its balance sheet but I ask you just how much has QE1 and QE2 done to promote growth and jobs. Not much, right!! Ben and team are running out of ammo.

Yes, regrettably we have not seen much good news over the last three weeks. I do not foresee it getting any better over the next weeks, months, or year either. Our ‘walking pneumonia economy’ will be with us for a while. We need to adapt as best we can. The more that the markets are manipulated, the longer will our pain last.

Very simply, we continue to suffer from many economic, financial, and political ills of our past. These ills, which collectively encompass and define our “walking pneumonia economy”, are not easily remedied. While our recovery period will likely be long and painful, I can assure you what will not help. What is that?

The diatribe and vile spewed forth by labor leader Jimmy Hoffa this past Monday. Class warfare is NOT the answer. In fact, class warfare of the kind promoted by Hoffa and seemingly welcomed by our President will only further embolden those on the other side of the aisle.

What is THE answer? A consistent and persistent pursuit of our prized virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity which define the essence of ‘sense on cents’.

I hope you are all well.

Navigate accordingly.

Larry Doyle

Isn’t it time to  subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitteror Facebook? Do your friends, family, and colleagues a favor and get them to do the same. Thanks!!

I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.



  • Joe in Phoenix

    I remember my father chuckling to himself one Christmas Eve while trying to assemble a particular toy for my sister. He was befuddled with the complexity of the parts and clearly had it all wrong. Finally, he resorted to the manual included in the packaging. He read out loud “when all else fails, read the instructions”. What followed was immediate and successful results. Our Constitution is the only manual our country has ever had. I suggest our leaders return to this incredible document, and that they strictly adhere to it as written, not as interpreted to suit ideology. Is that not what they vowed to uphold?

    • Cate


      Great analogy!

      I always say our Founding Fathers gave us not only a more perfect union but the operating instructions to make sure it keeps working.

      It is sad and unfortunate that the ruling elites and corporate oligarchs have no clue what that means.


  • Cate

    Welcome back Larry! Hope you are well after your travels.

    Hoffa’s statement is assault in my book, and a clear threat to the Tea Party that they can expect union strong arming in an attempt to squash them.

    Knowing the Tea Party, this will only serve to steel their resolve to push forward and rid our great nation of the parasites and a return to the truth, integrity and transparancy in our government that you so diligently push forward.

    Thanks for all you do!


  • LD: Recommended

    Somebody else is calling for The Whole Truth and Nothing But ….

  • Nora

    Welcome back Larry, I hope you and your family had fun and enjoyed the scenery.

    You are right about the fact that things haven’t changed much except for the fact that they may have gotten a bit more worse. It’s hard to believe what all is happening in our country, and I understand that we all have to bend with the wind and go with the flow, but there’s no way of fixing what’s broken.

    A complete overhaul is due, because so long as we keep the same people running things with the same routine nothing will change. We don’t know anymore who is running our country, the government or the banks, and who is regulating whom.

    We the people should not have to shoulder the burden of their crimes and keep paying for their mistakes with all that we have. We have been defrauded and molested and stripped of our wealth and dignity, and we still have to endure more and wait some more and give some more! We are no longer sitting on pins and needles till the truth comes out, because it never will!

    The banks want amnesty, well they are trying to buy the officials with what’s left of the TARP money, so they can live happily ever after and not pay for their crimes. And they are all suing each other because that seems like fingers have to point elsewhere, LOL, give me a break!

  • fred

    Welcome back LD,

    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, IT’S A DUCK!

    Pres Obama doesn’t get it, he is spitting in the face of the mid-term election mandate. Once again, he is pushing his re-election spending plan, the only difference being he’s calling it a Jobs Plan.

    I guess he doesn’t read Sense on Sense, parenthesis mine,’increasing debt, (or raising taxes by increasing rates/elimination of tax preferences), reduces demand for credit which drives growth and jobs’. The Obama tradeoff, short term gains for long term pains.

    What’s needed is a long term national employment policy that doesn’t rely on gov’t spending or revenue increases (ex GDP growth) for job creation. I wonder if all those Wall Street growth projections, based on the President’s plan, consider that people may choose to pay down debt or hoard cash(in uncertain times), rather than spend.

  • coe

    Great to have you back in the mix, LD…having completed my own tour of the country recently, I can report that our banks are really struggling with the uncertainties in the global for the FHFA suit, don’t you find it a bit perverse that many of the charged originators/intermediaries that were participants in the securitization efforts over these many years are the same companies that are being asked to lend more, relax u/w standards, and get the securitization factory back and working again…it seems to me that the President has also hit bottom in terms of his rhetorical magic, even as the Fed turns to the “twist” yet again – all of us are out of tricks, I’m afraid – it really is way past time to get back to fundamentals…unemployment remains naggingly infectious and intractable, there doesn’t really seem to be much confidence in business leadership or in the consumer, the Euro zone is on the brink, and fires, floods, winds, and other natural woes plague much of the country…was it really ten years ago we were struggling with the unthinkable horror of 9/11 – and what has all the rancor and war done for civilization in these last ten years…both fiscal and monetary policy have hit the wall it seems…the prescription for some healing calls for leadership and a “brand” specific medicine – not for generics – oh, I forgot, in the new healthcare era, our insurance only covers generics…good thing we have the distraction of the new NFL season to take our minds off of things! welcome back, LD..

  • Beth
  • Huckleberry

    Where you at, LD?

  • Mike

    Yes, Larry, Where are you???????

    We need you!

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