Thursday, March 26, 2009

US: Irony of living in the richest country

The News:

FEATURE - Hidden homeless emerge as U.S. economy worsens

Fri, Mar 27 09:03 AM

Emergency shelters brimming with homeless people in California's capital are quietly turning away more than 200 women and children a night in a sign of the deteriorating U.S. economy.

The displaced individuals on waiting lists at St. John's Shelter and other facilities often turn instead to relatives or friends for temporary living quarters, perhaps moving into a spare room, garage or trailer. The less fortunate might sleep in their cars or a vacant storage unit.

They are the hidden homeless. And their ranks appear to be growing as rising joblessness and mortgage foreclosures take their toll in Sacramento and other U.S. cities, experts say.

U.S. President Barack Obama recognized the trend in his televised news conference this week, saying, "the homeless problem was bad even when the economy was good," and he vowed to bring greater government resources to bear to deal with it.

"It is not acceptable for children and families to be without a roof over their heads in a country as wealthy as ours," he said.

A "tent city" of up to 200 homeless in Sacramento was thrust into the media spotlight last month as a symbol of the battered U.S. economy. California authorities said this week they would shut down the illegal settlement and find other shelter for its residents, most of them chronically homeless.

My Views:

This is what happens when manipulated fiat money lifts prices of assets way beyond their actual value. What Greenspan did in the earlier part of this decade resulted in such stories. His reckless act of lowering interest rates to near zero for too long created this and now imagine what Bernake's acts can do.

The poors will remain poor forever if fiat money is to be trusted and those who earned money with hard work will be robbed by this artificial money.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Russia announces rearmament plan

The News: (Source:

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Moscow will begin a comprehensive military rearmament from 2011.

Mr Medvedev said the primary task would be to "increase the combat readiness of [Russia's] forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces".

Explaining the move, he cited concerns over Nato expansion near Russia's borders and regional conflicts.

My Views:

This announcement by Medvedev is not surprising given how Russia has re-emerged as a force since Putin took charge. Russians want their influence intact and the plans by NATO to expand into Russian influence territory has not gone well into their throats. Recent Georgia event was an open announcement by Russia that they will not tolerate NATO moving inwards towards nations under its influence.

The Americans definitely are not happy with it but they are helpless at best. They can not directly counter Russia for several reasons ranging from strategical to economic hurdles. American forces are engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan and are short on resources to meaningfully counter Russia. To add to the problem is non-cooperation by European members of NATO given their dependence on Russian energy supplies as well as their geographic location which would make those countries suffer more consequences as they don't enjoy being on the right side of the Atlantic ocean as does US of A.

The situation is complex but what I see here is more rhetorics by both camps than any real danger of re-emergence of cold war. I know this news may become hot topic for few days in global media but most of these things are worthless to even consider. The only threat is if the economic conditions weaken so bad that govts need to enter into conflicts (inspired by WWII).