“The Worst President in My Lifetime”, Howard Davidowitz on Obama

President Obama is having a rough go of things lately. As noted here last week, for the first time in his presidency, more Americans disapprove of Obama (48%) than approve of him (45%), according to the latest WSJ/NBC poll. And 62% say the country is headed in the wrong direction.“The American people are right,” says Howard Davidowitz of Davidowitz & Co. A critic of Obama’s, from the start, Davidowitz refers to him as the “worst” President of his lifetime, even worse than of Jimmy Carter, based on: * — The War in Afghanistan: Davidowitz doesn’t see the point. As far as he can tell, after 7 years, hundreds of billions spent, and thousands of U.S. lives lost, the Afghans still can’t defend against the Taliban. Plus, the Afghan government is stealing billions in aid from the U.S. The WSJ reports, $3 billion in U.S. aid has been loaded onto planes by corrupt officials and flown out of the Kabul airport since 2007. “If they can’t be trained, if they’re stealing all our money, all our soldiers are dying. I don’t understand how any of this is logical,” proclaims Davidowitz. * — Out of Control Spending: Davidowitz thinks Obama has wasted time and taxpayer money pushing ‘Obamacare’ into law at a time when the debt-to-GDP ratio is expected to hit 62% by year’s end. “We’re going broke because of Medicare, Medicaid and everything else. He added another benefit, health-care. Can you explain that to me?” * — BP Oil Spill: “It could destroy the country,” he says. Davidowitz fears the continued loss of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day will drive gas prices higher, further choking and already struggling consumer. Meanwhile, he questions why the President waited 50 days to contact BP executives. Davidowitz recognizes Obama was handed a difficult hand upon entering office, and admits the political system is dysfunctional. Actually, in the many times Davidowitz has appeared on Tech Ticker he’s rarely had a nice thing to say about any politician, regardless of party. What he’d like to see is a return to fiscal responsibility, lacking these days. “Ross Perot did a huge service to this country when he ran because all he talked about was the budget and what was going on and it forced Clinton to deal with it,” Davidowitz says.

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Wave of Debt Payments Facing U.S. Government

NY Times

WASHINGTON — The United States government is financing its more than trillion-dollar-a-year borrowing with i.o.u.’s on terms that seem too good to be true.

But that happy situation, aided by ultralow interest rates, may not last much longer.

Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and interest rates that are sure to climb back to normal as soon as the Federal Reserve decides that the emergency has passed.

Even as Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages. Continue reading

Commercial Real Estate Market – Next Shoe to Drop

Great Dpression Homless Man

Great Depression Homless Man

NYC Commercial Real Estate Wreckage

Here’s the scary thing about the commercial real estate situation:   It’s not even starting to get better, actually — Things are still getting worse faster says Moody’s.

The Moody’s Delinquency Tracker (DQT) measured a 41 basis point increase in the month of September. The DQT now stands at 3.64%. This represents a 310 basis points increase over the same time last year. The DQT is now nearly 350 basis points higher than the low of 0.22% reached in July 2007.

September had the largest monthly basis point change in the history of the tracker. The 41 basis point increase is slightly larger than the increases in May and June earlier this year. The tracker resumed its large monthly growth after a lower than average change in August.

The average rise in delinquency in the past six months is 34 basis points. This compares to a three basis point average increase for the same six month period in 2008 (April through September). In 2009 the delinquency rate has risen 269 basis points, nearly tripling since the beginning of the year.

The PBS NewsHour took a look at the bearish obsession du jour, the commercial real estate market.  Real estate analyst Bob White took them around to show some of the ugliest cases out there in New York City.

http://www.businessinsider.com/a-guided-tour-of-nyc-commercial-real-estate-wreckage-video-2009-10

Moody’s Delinquency Tracker - Commercial Real Estate

Moody’s Delinquency Tracker - Commercial Real Estate

Jim Rogers Says, Gold Will Hit $2,000 and USA Will Lose Status As The World’s Reserve Currency

Good Time To Buy Gold

Good Time To Buy Gold

Famed investor Jim Rogers is “quite sure gold will go over $2000 per ounce during this bull market.”Rogers’ confidence gold will continue to rally stems from a view the U.S. dollar is on its way to losing status as the world’s reserve currency.”Is it going to happen? Yes,” Rogers says. “I don’t like saying it [and] I’m extremely worried about it but we have to deal with the facts. America is not getting better [and] the dollar is going to be replaced just like pound sterling [was].”Rogers didn’t offer a timetable, and it’s likely gold would exceed $2000 per ounce if the dollar were to lose its reserve status.Still, “I wouldn’t buy gold today,” Rogers says. “I think I’ll make more money in other commodities, which are cheaper,” as discussed in more detail here.Among many others, Rogers is “worried about the fact the U.S. government is printing huge amounts, spending gigantic amounts of money it doesn’t have,” the investor and author says. “People are very worried [and] skeptical about paper money [and] looking for places to protect themselves. The best way is to buy real assets. [That] has always protected one during currency turmoil, and it will again.”

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Jim Rogers Says, Commodities Cycle Won’t Be Over for Years and Food Crisis Looms

Jim Rogers, famed investor and best-selling author, announced the start of a global commodities rally in 1999. It turned out to be a heck of call: Since then, commodities have dramatically outperformed stocks. Just this year, gold has hit record highs above $1000 per ounce, copper has nearly doubled and oil has rallied sharply off its March lows. So does Robers still believe in the commodity boom?You bet. “The story is not over, not for a while,” he tells Tech Ticker in this video clip. “I don’t see any reason it’s going to be over for a few years because no one is bringing new supply on stream.”The chairman of Rogers Holdings still owns gold though it’s not his favorite metal. “Gold is mystical to many people. I think I’ll make money in other commodities that are more useful.”Rogers is far more bullish on agricultural commodities. As he sees it, “most agricultural products are still depressed on a historic basis.”The lack of supply Rogers sees is especially concerning when it comes to agricultural products. “A catastrophe is looming,” he says. “The world is going to have a period when we cannot get food at any price in some parts of the world.”A potential food crisis transcends money, but Rogers warning may still prove to be another great investment lesson. As he told us in parting, “instead of getting an MBA, get yourself a farming degree. You’ll make a lot more money.”

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Peter Schiff says, The Economy Is Getting Worse Not Better

The Fed upgraded its view of the economy Wednesday, declaring: “Economic activity has picked up following its severe downturn.”But forget all the talk about recovery, V-shaped or otherwise. The economy is actually worse today vs. during the depths of the recession, according to Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of Crash Proof 2.0.”Ben Bernanke is keeping his record of perfection intact of never getting anything right. Once again he’s gotten it wrong,” Schiff says. “If the Fed really thought the economy was sound, why does he have it on life support? If he pulls the plug, our sick economy is going to die.”Although the Fed never said the economy is “sound”, Schiff is referring to the FOMC’s renewed pledge that “economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.”Nothing that’s occurred in the past six months has changed Schiff’s view that America’s economy is headed for disaster. In fact, he’s even more convinced a true “currency crisis” awaits, and that China will soon stop enabling our reckless borrowing, the basis our “phony” economy. The coming collapse of the dollar and bursting of the Treasury bubble will have devastating consequences for ordinary Americans, and any investors based in dollars, he says.The economy today is “worse [because] we are much more deeply indebted than in March,” Schiff declares. “We’ve dug ourselves a deeper hole.”

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Marc Faber Is “Highly Confident” the Future Will Be Very Bleak: See Video on Tech Ticker – Yahoo! Finance

“The future will be a total disaster, with a collapse of our capitalistic system as we know it today, wars, massive government debt defaults and the impoverishment of large segments of Western society,” Marc Faber writes in the September issue of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.A statement like that pretty much speaks for itself, but it’s a bit more complicated than appears on first blush.Faber has been bullish — especially on commodities and emerging market stocks — for some time now and believes the current global recovery trade will last another two-to-three years, as discussed in more detail in a forthcoming clip. But he has major long-term concerns about the dollar’s long-term viability given rising U.S. deficits, massive unfunded mandates and the fact “we have a money-printer at the Fed.”This combination will eventually lead to runaway inflation, wholesale debasement of the dollar, and a major lowering of living standards for most Americans and many Europeans as well, says Faber, who is “highly confident” in this grim prediction.

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Buy Stocks Because U.S. Dollars Will Be “Worthless” Says Marc Faber

Marc Faber, editor of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report is, by his own account, “ultra-bearish” on the long-term fundamentals of the U.S. market. (Discussed in detail in this clip.)However, in the near term, Faber sees plenty of money-making opportunities in stocks. Sure, prices aren’t as cheap as they were in March, yet he’s confident, “in this environment cash will become worthless.” As a result, he says investors are, “better off being in equities,” for the next two to three years.Faber is most bullish on mining and energy companies. He recommends: * Newmont Mining and FreeportMcMoran as relative inexpensive. He also mentions Nova Gold, as another, more speculative buy. * In a contrarian call, on natural gas, he says Chesapeake Energy will be a winner when prices eventually rebound. * Oil giant ExxonMobil is another stock he thinks offer good value.Outside of that, Faber says buying large-cap pharmaceuticals like Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson offer good defensive options.Finally, he suggests U.S. airlines are poised for a rebound. If that happens, international airlines will follow and Thai Airways stock could double.

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Marc Faber – Emerging Market Economies Will Challenge and Surpass the West

Marc Faber has an informal rule never to spend more than 10 days in a country before rushing to the next one. In addition to lots of frequent-flyer miles, this gives him the chance to see firsthand how lots of the world is doing.So how’s it doing?Better than the U.S., says Faber, the editor of the The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report.In the U.S. we have a “structural unemployment” problem. We have a debt problem. We have an economy-propped-up-by-frantic-government-spending problem. And, by in large, while the rich get richer, the middle class does not benefit, especially during the boom days earlier this decade.The rest of the world has problems, too, of course, Faber says, but they’re not as bad as ours. He’s observed businesses in emerging markets in Asia are less vulnerable to market fluctuations because they tend to be cash rich, and therefore less reliant on debt and leverage. He also says there’s a hunger and competition, in countries like China and India, that’s missing in the U.S.So go ahead and enjoy the “v-shaped” recovery while it lasts, says Faber, who has already fled to Hong Kong.

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Marc Faber – America Already Has Way Too Much Debt

Ken Fisher’s argument that America is “under indebted” and that more debt will be a global phenomenon in the next 10-20 years raised a lot of eyebrows last week – and quite a few catcalls in our comments section.Fisher may be technically right — that there’s appetite for more U.S. debt, but Marc Faber, editor of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, scoffs at the idea that it would be healthy or smart.More debt “comes at the expense of a falling dollar…and much higher inflation rates in the future,” says Faber, who notes the U.S. has total debt-to-GDP ratio of 375%, “excluding contingent liabilities from Medicare and Medicaid.”Perhaps more important than absolute debt levels, Faber says much of America’s debt has gone to pay for unproductive things like golf courses and big houses and investments with Bernie Madoff.Meanwhile, emerging market economies, in Asia particularly, have much lower debt levels and have used leverage to pay for modernization of factories and educated workers when they’ve used debt, Faber says.”The Western world is overleveraged,” he says. “We’ve mortgaged the future and our children will have to pay for that somehow.”It is for these and related reasons that Faber is “ultra-bearish” on the dollar and much more optimistic about emerging market economies, as discussed in these earlier segments:

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