Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Celebrating Failures

The world tumbles into 2013 to the sound of uncertain cheers. Stock markets rally! The fiscal "cliff" has been "averted". No one in our "developed world" has any idea how the hell to get growth back but hey, at least we averted the major looming problem right?

Well maybe not...

Congress's messy fiscal cliff vote sets stage for showdown over debt ceiling

Sound like anything was averted to you? Of course, you'll have to go to the U.K. or other countries to read about how nothing was actually averted as over here, we won, and you're meant to believe we won, you're meant to keep your confidence in the failed system. Zerohedge has a great picture if you'd prefer to visualise the grand failure everyone is ignoring.

NOTHING HAS BEEN AVERTED PEOPLE! The U.S. jumped off that cliff, and they're going to hit every rock on the long way down. Their implementation of a complete surveillance state is well under way.

When it comes to the global power struggle, the U.S. isn't winning, in fact they are fast becoming the rest of the world's bitch. The U.S. lost big with this fiscal cliff "deal", and they didn't even address the core issues which created it in the first place meaning that in 2 months we play this game again, and again, and again, forever.

Add to these problems the fact that the U.S. experiments in "extreme energy" continue costing more and more money.
LOS ANGELES — US Coast Guard vowed Wednesday to prevent fuel from leaking from a Shell oil rig that grounded in Alaska after breaking free from tugboats towing it in heavy seas.
The Kalluk mobile drilling unit was being towed to Seattle when it broke free on New Year's Eve and washed ashore near Kodiak Island, some 300 miles (480 km) southwest of Anchorage.
The rig has some 150,000 gallons of ultra-low sulphur diesel and roughly 12,000 gallons of oil and hydraulic fluid, according to the far northwestern US state's KTUU television station.
There is no sign of leaks, but further checks were being made as authorities considered how to salvage the structure, the Coast Guard said after US senator Lisa Murkowski visited a Command Center set up for the incident Tuesday.
Make no mistake on this, the U.S. went over the fiscal cliff head first and we are going to feel the results here in Canada, of course. The U.S. is deteriorating fast and I don't believe our government is on schedule in realigning our economy with the "emerging economies". "Consumer confidence" can really only go so far, and it's reached it's limit here in Canada as well:
Economists have been dialing down their forecasts for 2013, with many predicting growth for the year below 2 per cent. And Canada could be plunged back into a recession if U.S. President Barack Obama is unable to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the economically damaging divisions between him and the Congress.
Even if that calamity can be dodged, Canada’s annual economic performance appears mired for the foreseeable future in the lower 2-per cent range, considerably below the robust 2.9-per cent growth recorded the year before the Conservatives came to power.

Unemployment, which was 6.6 per cent when Flaherty was sworn in as finance minister, now stands at 7.2 per cent, with 1.3 million out of work. And significant improvement in the jobs picture is expected to be years away.

Turbulent economic times have also played havoc with the Harper government’s financial accounting.
Flaherty seldom makes a speech without stressing the need for spending restraint. Yet the Conservatives, after inheriting a $13-billion budget surplus from the Liberals in early 2006, were running a deficit within three years. In the four years since then, mainly as a result of the stimulus spending rolled out to combat the global recession, Flaherty has run up budget deficits totalling about $140 billion.

He missed his deficit-reduction target in 2011, and his projection in the Nov. 13 budget update that the Conservatives would not balance Ottawa’s books until 2016 caused a political uproar.
So how do we celebrate this failure?
And Flaherty himself goes further, saying he plans to stick it out at Finance until the Conservatives balance Ottawa’s books by eliminating the $26-billion budget deficit several years from now.

“I’m the only finance minister our government has had,” he pointed out recently. “We have a long-term economic plan . . . to get to balanced budgets in the medium term during the course of this Parliament and I intend to see my way through to the end until we are balanced. So I intend to stay.”
Flaherty! Lots-o-Flaherty! The plan hasn't been working, which isn't exactly unexpected since their "budget" significantly underestimated the global risks to begin with alongside completely overestimating resource revenues and not bothering to estimate the effect of running an economy purely based on "consumer spending" (aka banks loans). The finance minister which praises private enterprise as some sort of efficiency demi-god doesn't seem to feel that the typical response from private enterprise to failure should apply here. No, he's going to just "keep trying until it's done".

Expect this year: lots of downgrades, lots of missed expectations, and lots of confusion. Happy new year!

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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