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Is America in Financial Decline?

 
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02/12/2007 05:56 PM
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Is America in Financial Decline?
The turn of the year saw a rapid decline in the value of the American dollar as international confidence in the United States and its currency declined. What is the meaning of this for Americans, and what does it portend for the future?

by Melvin Rhodes

Americans have long thought that they are the wealthiest nation on earth. Individually, Americans believe they are better off than they would be anywhere else.

But is this the case?

I have five brothers living in England. Four of them annually visit other countries, something that few Americans can afford to do. Three of them have visited the United States.

Additionally, they have all had HDTVs for some time, a quality of picture still lacking in my home. They and their families all eat out as much as people do on this side of the Atlantic. They also all seem to have the latest vehicles, albeit usually smaller than those in the United States, perhaps reflecting the fact that parking spaces are few and far between!

It's not difficult to see why they are doing so well. Just take a look at the currency markets: The dollar has fallen over 15 percent in a few weeks. It now takes two U.S. dollars to buy one British pound. In fact, with commission and charges, it will cost you more than that to convert greenbacks into British notes in any bank.

So now, in dollar terms, my brothers are getting almost twice as much value for their pounds as they did 20 years ago when the pound and the dollar were almost at par.

Inflation in real estate

Another reason they are doing well is real estate inflation. With a much higher population density than the United States, and with limited space, house prices in the United Kingdom have shot up, so that now any British homeowner is among the richest people in the Western world.

We visited a couple of friends in London a couple of years ago. Their home was then worth 540,000 British pounds, at the time almost $1 million. Yet it was a small dwelling with very cramped rooms and no garage. Also, the home was a terraced house, meaning it was in a street full of homes with no gaps (or garages) between them. Parking was a constant nightmare as everybody had to park on the street. Sometimes they had to park on another street! (No wonder people have smaller cars!) If this couple sold their home in London, they could move to the U.S. Midwest, buy a bigger home for $150,000 and deposit the balance in the bank, living off the interest for the rest of their lives!

In 1984 my wife and I were living in the United Kingdom. We bought a home there for 38,000 pounds. At the time the pound was worth $1.04, so the house cost $39,500. I've recently been told that the home is now worth 400,000 British pounds, an increase of over 1,000 percent in 20 years. That's 1,000 percent in British pounds. In dollars, it's gone up twice as much, 2,000 percent or $800,000! Unfortunately, we sold it less than a year after we bought it, when we were transferred.

It's not surprising that when British people retire, they sell their homes and often move to cheaper countries, living off the nontaxable proceeds!

The dollar's decline in value is one of the most significant developments of our time, yet goes barely reported in the United States. Most Americans remain oblivious. Television programs and newspaper articles will boast that the U.S. economy is growing at a greater rate than many other countries, but if the currency is falling, America is still going backwards financially.

If, for example, in 2005, an American's salary was $50,000 and, in 2006, he or she received a 5 percent increase, the salary would be $52,500. However, a year ago that $50,000 was worth 27,700 British pounds. Today, with the 5 percent increase, the salary has actually gone down to 26,250 pounds, courtesy of the dollar's decline. In comparison to the euro, the value has decreased even more.

This is also happening to the U.S. national economy. An annual growth rate of 5 percent means roughly 10 percent negative growth, because the dollar has declined internationally by 15 percent.

Does the dollar's decline matter?

Clearly, if this is nonnews to most people in the media, it's not having much of an effect upon Americans. So should Americans worry?

The reason a decline in the value of the U.S. currency is having little effect at this time is due to two things that work in America's favor. The first is that the United States produces most of its own food, which keeps the price of food stable.

Secondly, oil and most commodities are priced in dollars—for now. There was a time when most commodities were priced in sterling, the British currency. But as sterling weakened and became an unpredictable currency (meaning it might not hold its value), individuals and nations switched to U.S. dollars.

Now they are gradually switching to euros, arguably today the world's most sought-after currency.

Does it matter?

The primary reason a currency falls in value against other currencies is a lack of confidence. Central bankers and eventually ordinary people will get rid of their dollars because they fear its value will decline. As more and more banks divest themselves of their dollar assets, even more people will want to get rid of theirs. This will drive the value down, in the same way that a glut of tomatoes will drive down the price.

There are a number of reasons international confidence in the U.S. currency has declined, some political and some financial.

[link to biz.yahoo.com]
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all." -- Thomas Jefferson
Anonymous Coward
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02/12/2007 05:57 PM
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Re: Is America in Financial Decline?
No.
Anonymous Coward
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02/12/2007 05:58 PM
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The US is dead in the water. Has been for ages. The final signs just haven't trickled down to the bottom yet.
antilib  (OP)

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02/12/2007 05:59 PM
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Re: Is America in Financial Decline?
Dollars to euros

Amid growing talk of a U.S. defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, confidence in the United States is declining. Robert J. Samuelson summed this up well: "With hindsight we may see 2006 as the end of Pax Americana. Ever since World War II, the United States has used its military and economic superiority to promote a stable world order that has, on the whole, kept the peace and spread prosperity. But the United States increasingly lacks both the power and the will to play this role" ("Farewell to Pax Americana," Washington Post, Dec. 14, 2006). Americans are increasingly turning inward, focusing on their internal problems, of which there are many.

Financially, the biggest global concern is of America's deficits, a record both in the United States and internationally. No other nation in history has ever accumulated so much debt.

There's the rapidly growing federal budget deficit, which the media frequently highlights if only to make political gains. But there's also the trade deficit as America buys more from the rest of the world than it is able to sell.

Most countries could not do this, as they must have dollars, euros or pounds to buy foreign goods. Because the United States, long the world's strongest economy, prints the dollars, other countries have taken the U.S. currency as payment for goods, without question.

That may change as the dollar declines. It could eventually become a "soft" currency, like most of the currencies in the world. A soft currency is one that is not easily convertible into other currencies. Nations with soft currencies must sell goods to receive "hard" (convertible) currencies before they can buy goods, including oil, from others. This could happen to the United States, meaning that the country would need euros to buy oil.

This would greatly impact the United States, as it would mean that it could not purchase anything from overseas unless it had the euros to make the purchase. The only way to come by those euros is to sell goods to Europeans, but U.S. manufacturing has declined greatly in recent years, which means that few euros are coming in.

The big crisis will come if oil is priced in euros (first crisis) and only euros are accepted (second and much bigger crisis). Some oil-producing nations have already called for this. Others have diversified their foreign currency holdings, preferring to hold more euros in the bank than dollars. The United Arab Emirates, a major oil producer in the Persian Gulf, became the latest nation to announce diversification just before the end of the year.

Initially, if oil is priced in euros, price fluctuations at the pump will be even greater than they are now. Right now, those price changes reflect supply and demand on the international oil markets. If oil is priced in euros, currency fluctuations will also impact the price of gas at the American pump. As the dollar seems set for further decline, this would mean continuing significant price increases.

But the real crisis would come if the dollar is no longer accepted in international trade, something that hasn't happened since the American Civil War, when the country's future was uncertain. Most currencies are not accepted outside their own borders. Some are not even wanted within their own borders as they are deemed worthless. Reckless overspending and increased debt could result in the dollar suffering the same fate given time.

If this happened, the United States would have to earn the euros to buy the oil! America's leading role in the world would come rapidly to a close and Americans would be reduced to living a third world existence!

Is this possible? Certainly, it is. No nation can go on overspending as the United States has. Reckless overspending, increasing debt and expensive overseas military commitments have been three factors in the decline and fall of most of the major powers throughout history. The United States is simply repeating a pattern that goes back millennia.

Seismic shift in global economy

In Daniel 2:21 we learn that God is behind the rise and fall of nations: "He removes kings and raises up kings."

We also see in the same chapter that one more superpower is going to dominate the world before the return of Jesus Christ (verse 44). This superpower will be a revival of the Roman Empire, the "fourth beast" mentioned in verse 40. It will be a union of 10 European nations, symbolized in this passage by "ten toes."

In Revelation 17 these 10 toes are "ten horns which...are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast" (verses 12-13). This short-lived revival of the Roman Empire will be overthrown by the Kingdom of God: "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings" (verse 14).

Before this great military power can come together, the world must move from a U.S.-dominated economic system to one centered on Europe. This is what is now happening with the dollar's decline and the increasing role of the euro, although it could still be some time before the euro fully replaces the U.S. dollar.

Revelation chapter 18 is a prophecy about the fall of the mighty economic system that lies behind the revived Roman Empire. Contrary to what some believe, it is not a prophecy about America's fall, as the United States has not been responsible for the "blood of prophets and saints" (verse 24). This responsibility lies with the Roman Empire and its successors, both secular and spiritual, throughout history.


[link to money.inquirer.net]
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02/12/2007 06:06 PM
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sherlock
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02/12/2007 06:12 PM
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Another reason they are doing well is real estate inflation. With a much higher population density than the United States, and with limited space, house prices in the United Kingdom have shot up, so that now any British homeowner is among the richest people in the Western world.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward


That is a crock. Unless you sell your house and move to another country with a much weaker currency and lower cost of housing you are NOT wealthy. This is the illusion they have created to lure suckers into the overpriced real estate market.

With the exception of China and its satellites, most of the world is in financial decline. As soon as the American consumer goes belly up (or already has) there will be no body to buy all of that cheap Chinese plastic crap.

We have been supporting the worlds economy since WWII and that racket is about to come to a crashing halt.
Unforgiven

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05/27/2008 08:13 PM
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hiding
Looks like it just might be going down that way after all...
Children of tomorrow live in the tears that fall today
Will the sunrise of tomorrow bring in peace in any way
Must the world live in the shadow of atomic fear
Can they win the fight for peace or will they disappear?
Arcaneshift
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05/27/2008 08:15 PM
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Yes as is the better part of Europe
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2008 08:18 PM
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Thats like asking if Ellen DeGeneres is gay
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2008 11:00 PM
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do bears shit in the woods ?
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2008 11:14 PM
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chuckle

as america becomes more like your average mexican/ african nation it becomes more like your average mexican/ african nation
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2008 11:20 PM
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But the real crisis would come if the dollar is no longer accepted in international trade, something that hasn't happened since the American Civil War, when the country's future was uncertain.

If this happened, the United States would have to earn the euros to buy the oil! America's leading role in the world would come rapidly to a close and Americans would be reduced to living a third world existence!
 Quoting: antilib


Guess that would mean USA would have to increase amount of export of crops needed by other countries. We send food, they give us Euros. We buy oil with those Euros.

Back to the basics as it should be.
Writing is on the Wall
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05/27/2008 11:44 PM
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YES! The American people and their assets have been completely looted ... sold down the river = betrayed & deceived 100%! But there will be a divine retribution coming about so keep up faith, hope, and steadfastness!

The US goobermint is having to print up about $75 Billion every week or so now (since December) so to parcel cash out to banks; they must do this so to keep the sheoples from stampeding when they realize that all the banks are insolvent = the banksters & politicos either stole or gambled all the deposits and now the money is all gone bye-bye!

It is not by accident either - nosireee!

This is all being done *DELIBERATELY* including the sudden spike in gas prices and so-called shortfall in oil reserves, along with global food crisis, disasters increasing in every way - etc etc.

There is a GRAND PLAN [aka NWO Agenda] being implemented in phases by the evil dark forces [= Illuminati/fallen angel demons + their ptb puppets]. All these maneuvers are signs of their desperate attempts to quickly impoverish and devalue the worth of every sovereign human being on this planet. The sinister goal was to disempower and destabilize the American people first - then the rest of globe would supposedly quickly fall like dominoes in a row.

~~~ Do not despair ... their evil efforts will be thwarted as there are opposing forces of vast & mighty power now rising in opposition ~~~ Be of good faith and live simple & practical; be of common sense, since and humble heart willing to be in service to others deserving of such acts as kindness, mercy, and compassion ... these things are the most essential elements at this critical juncture of time/ space dis-inte-gration (on every level including quantum etheric glue that holds fabric of false reality Matrix).

Regarding the OP's topic re failing of finances into decline - well writing is on the wall if one simply bothers to look!

BE AWARE - BE ALERT - BE INFORMED:

See these links below - especially #1 with the charts from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank ---> these are just 2 examples of the smoking gun, folks!

# 1 -- study this one posted by Omega on May 13th:

"Take a peek at these two charts released from the FED today and tell me what you see"

Thread: Take a peek at these two charts released from the FED today and tell me what you see.

===================

#2 -- read this article from mms about how tptb are having to print billions to hand out on a regular schedule so banks don't close doors (this $ is what's being printed and does not include additional billions borrowed from foreign countries nor "bail-outs" by banks such as JP Morgan & Barclays of London in mega-billion deals such as Bear-Stearns recently:

<QUOTE>

Fed loans another $75 billion to struggling banks

[link to ydr.inyork.com]

By JEANNINE AVERSA
AP Economics Writer

Article Last Updated: 05/20/2008 12:51:44 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — Working to relieve stressed credit markets, the Federal Reserve has auctioned another $75 billion in loans to squeezed banks, bringing the total to $510 billion since December.

The central bank on Tuesday announced the results of its most recent auction—the 12th—since the program to help banks overcome credit problems started in December.

It's part of an ongoing effort by the Fed to help ease the credit crunch, which erupted last August and hit a crisis point in March with the near collapse and forced sale of Bear Stearns, the nation's fifth-largest investment house, to JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Housing, credit and financial problems have weighed heavily on the economy, sharply slowing its growth.

In the latest auction, commercial bank paid an interest rate of 2.100 percent for the short-term loans. There were 75 bidders for the slice of the $75 billion in 28-day loans. The Fed received bids for $84.4 billion worth of the loans. The auction was conducted on Monday with the results released on Tuesday.

In mid-December the Fed announced it was creating an auction program that would give banks a new way to get short-term loans from the central bank and to help them over the credit hump. A global credit crunch has made banks reluctant to lend to each other, which has crimped lending to individuals and businesses.

// End -- rest @ link
Anonymous Coward
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05/27/2008 11:51 PM
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Didn't you see that the stock market was up today? Yes, according to Associated Press, the market is responding positively to the drop in oil prices (Below $130 !!! Yea!!) and to the positive new home sales numbers!!

[link to biz.yahoo.com]

It's amazing how quickly they forgot that home PRICES fell 14.1 percent FOR THE QUARTER!!!!!

Here's the spin:

"However, the drop (14.1%) was expected by most investors -- and the government's report on new home sales was considered more important because it is the most recent gauge on the industry."

You spin me right 'round baby, right 'round.
Like a record baby,
Lalalalalala

/sarcasm
Michael
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05/28/2008 12:33 AM
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Didn't you see that the stock market was up today? Yes, according to Associated Press, the market is responding positively to the drop in oil prices (Below $130 !!! Yea!!) and to the positive new home sales numbers!!

[link to biz.yahoo.com]

It's amazing how quickly they forgot that home PRICES fell 14.1 percent FOR THE QUARTER!!!!!

Here's the spin:

"However, the drop (14.1%) was expected by most investors -- and the government's report on new home sales was considered more important because it is the most recent gauge on the industry."

You spin me right 'round baby, right 'round.
Like a record baby,
Lalalalalala

/sarcasm
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 429601



You know what I find pathetic? You come off a week where the DOW lost nearly 500 pts, and the day after a holiday it gains 60whatever. And these people consider it some big rally.....Let's not forget we're still down nearly 2000pts from OCT. 07 high.....
Anonymous Coward
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05/28/2008 12:34 AM
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Hello..?? We have been sold down the river...!!
.Ajax.

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05/28/2008 12:37 AM
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America is in a state of financial define.
What do you value on your life?
Anonymous Coward
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05/28/2008 01:01 AM
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Amid growing talk of a U.S. defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan, confidence in the United States is declining. Robert J. Samuelson summed this up well: "With hindsight we may see 2006 as the end of Pax Americana.

Financially, the biggest global concern is of America's deficits, a record both in the United States and internationally. No other nation in history has ever accumulated so much debt.

[snip]

No nation can go on overspending as the United States has. Reckless overspending, increasing debt and expensive overseas military commitments have been three factors in the decline and fall of most of the major powers throughout history. The United States is simply repeating a pattern that goes back millennia.
 Quoting: antilib

Finally, a few kernels of truth from antilib.

Hey antilib, who's responsible for most of this reckless overspending, massive debt and foolish trillion dollar wars?

Before BushCo and his merry band of murderers and thieves arrived, there were no wars or massive budget deficits.

Get ready to pay the price for the most disastrous administration in U.S. history:

International experts foresee collapse of U.S. economy

Harry Koza in the Globe and Mail quotes Bernard Connelly, the global strategist at Banque AIG in London, who claims that the likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day.

Martin Wolf, celebrated columnist of the U.K.-based Financial Times, cites Dr. Nouriel Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of Business, who, in 12 steps, outlines how the losses of the American financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion - that's one million times $1 million. That amount is equal to all the assets of all American banks.

Every day now, thousands of people all over the U.S. and Great Britain are walking away from their homes - simply mailing their house keys to the banks - as housing bailout plans fail.

With unemployment growing, the next phase will hit commercial real estate making the financial institutions the unwilling owners not only of quickly depreciating houses, but also of empty strip malls and even larger shopping centres.

The next domino to fall will be credit card defaults, and after that... who knows? There are so many exotic funds out there, with trillions of dollars in paper - or rather computer-screen money - all carrying assorted acronyms, and all about to disintegrate into nothingness. Over the next couple of years, scores of banks that have thrived on these devices, based on quickly disappearing equities, will fail.

The most frightening forecast so far comes from the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB), available for 200 euros - about $300 - for 16 issues annually. Its prediction is quite specific.

Where my warnings never spelled out an exact date, this think tank has it pegged precisely. Here are its very words:

"The end of the third quarter of 2008 (thus late September, a mere seven months from now) will be marked by a new tipping point in the unfolding of the global systemic crisis.

"At that time indeed, the cumulated impact of the various sequences of the crisis will reach its maximum strength and affect decisively the very heart of the systems concerned, on the front line of which (is) the United States, epicentre of the current crisis.

"In the United States, this new tipping point will translate into - get this - a collapse of the real economy, (the) final socio-economic stage of the serial bursting of the housing and financial bubbles and of the pursuance of the U.S. dollar fall. The collapse of U.S. real economy means the virtual freeze of the American economic machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large numbers, companies and public services closing down."

The report goes on to say that we are entering a period for which there is no historic precedent. Any comparisons with previous situations in our modern economy are invalid.

We are not experiencing a "remake" of the 1929 crisis nor a repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market crisis.

What we will have, instead, is truly a global momentous threat - a true turning point affecting the entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the international system upon which the world was organized in the last decades.

The report emphasizes that it is, first and foremost, in the United States where this historic happening is taking an unprecedented shape (the authors call it "Very Great U.S. Depression").

It continues to predict that, although this crucial event is global, it will be the beginning of an economic 'decoupling' between the U.S. and the rest of the world. However, non 'decoupled' economies will be dragged down the U.S. negative spiral.

Concerning stock markets, the GEAB anticipates that international stocks would plummet by 40 to 80 per cent depending where in the world they are located, all affected in the course of the year 2008 by the collapse of the real economy in the U.S. by the end of summer.

The European authors of this report - it appears simultaneously in French, German and English - state that they simply and without prejudice try to describe in advance the consequences of the ominous trends at play in this 21st-century world, and to share these with their readers, so that they can take the proper means to protect themselves from the most negative effects.





GLP