Friday, December 17, 2004

US trade deficit hits record high

The United States has posted a record third quarter trade deficit of $US164.7 billion ($210 billion).

The increase in imports in the third quarter reflected strong demand for crude oil as well as industrial supplies, materials and capital goods.

The latest snapshot of the US trade situation, though, was actually better than economists had anticipated.

However, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has warned the bloated current account deficit could threaten the economy by killing off the foreign appetite for investment in the US.

Some private economists believe the falling value of the US dollar is already reflecting those investor fears.

US trade representative Clayton Yuetter says the trade deficit will continue to put downward pressure on the US dollar.

"We're still under some stress with a large current account deficit," he said.

Traders said there was a "relief rally" today for the US dollar after yesterday's sharp sell-off. Last month capital inflows into the US were well short of funding its current account deficit.

Economic Future Predicted 2003

Change Rapidly But Not Cataclysmically [288]

That the old economic order is destroying itself, and taking the whole world towards a replay of the Argentinean crisis on a global scale, is no secret in financial circles. It's just not featured on the 6 o'clock news or the pages of the mass-media newspapers. The following excerpt from the August 12, 2004, edition of the Dow Theory Letters, a financial newsletter by Richard Russell in the USA, captures what the people inside the economic and financial sectors know and accept. It's scary and it's true.

* "... In the end, the US is fated to drown in liabilities, and in the end the dollar will fall to the point where it will no longer be accepted as the world's reserve currency. But until then, the world, really the Asians, will "play the game" in which they will continue to accept and accumulate dollars.

Why are they doing this? they're continuing to accept dollars because this process allows them to continue to sell their products to the US. Yes, it's a game. Yes, it can't go on forever. Yes, the US and the dollar will finally drown in liabilities. Yes, this is ultimately what the bear market is all about. And yes, there really seems to be nothing that will reverse this process."

* "The whole system is obviously doomed, but the world's politicians don't think in terms of "doom." Doom is in the future, and politicians are concerned with "now," and the next election.

There is no need for anyone to overthrow the old order based on capitalism. The societal flaws and lethal memes that are associated with takerism and capitalism are already well on the way to destroying the empires of the industrial age, New knowledge, new technology, and new thinking are helping to accelerate the process. Time is running out for the old order.

Our concern, as leaver-givers, needs to be with the world beyond the demise of capitalism. We need to have a social and economic logic, and a system of transition, in place well before the looming meltdown. We must have the rudiments of a new civilization and a new society ready for people to join when their old world fails them.

This is the most important work and thinking that we can ever do on behalf of our fellow beings.

Go forward in peace. And always remember the line from Gravity's Rainbow:

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."

Lethal Notions of Capitalism [282]

Wealth creation and economic prosperity are, under capitalism, based on principles of competition and survival of the fittest. The phenomenon of capitalism, which is scarcely two hundred years old, it is grounded in these dominant ideas. The notions are not strictly memes, because they are not ingrained in all members of the society, but they are potentially lethal. Not only can corporations fail because they can't adapt to discontinuous change and economic abundance; whole nations can be impoverished unnecessarily and societies can wither and die of anger, recriminations and blame for corporate and other institutional misdeeds and collapses.

September, 2003 posted 2004

By John Shovelan & Lothar posted by Gregory Kable 17 December 04

Violence never the answer, Pope says
Pope John Paul II has condemned [the Coalition of the Killing, NATO, and UN complicity] man's readiness to use violence to impose [resource wars] peace, and denounced what he called the unfolding drama in Iraq which had led to "uncertainty and insecurity" for the whole world.

Government selling us out!
The Federal Opposition says it now has proof the Government has been "playing politics" with the US free trade agreement (FTA), after the Trade Minister Mark Vaile admitted the future of the deal will not be affected by a change in government.

Nothing will save us from gullibility and greedy self-interest
A small book turned up last week entitled How to Kill a Country. It was written by three Sydney academics about our "free trade" deal with the United States.

How to Kill a Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews
Australia's devastating trade deal with the United States