A Nasty Email Says I Don’t “Get It”

By Greg Hunter’s

USAWatchdog.com   

I got this rather nasty email from a reader who identified himself with only an email address.  So, I am going to identify this person with the first part of the address, which is Jdavidm24.  Here is what he had to say about my most recent post called, “Two Stories that Should Scare the Heck Out of You.”     Do you have a degree in economics?  If so, it doesn’t show.

 Do you know anything about liquidity?  If the U.S. government hadn’t stepped in and done what it did when it did you would no longer have a job.  Nor would most Canadians in the finance business.  We would, in fact, be pretty close, if not in, a second Great Depression with unemployment rates rocketing up to at least 15-20%.  The cascading effect of this is fairly unimaginable, but because perhaps you don’t have the faintest clue as to what the Depression was (I do) you don’t really get it.  You would get it when you no longer have an income.

 What is scary is people like you jumping on the arch-conservative band wagon who brainwash the rest of the gullible public that you know what you’re talking about.

 You don’t.

Jdavidm24,

I do not have a degree in economics.  I have been an investigative reporter since 1991.  I did that job for local TV stations and two networks (ABC and CNN.)   You can see samples of my work in the “Bio” section of this site.  I have made a career looking at data and connecting the dots.  As a veteran investigative reporter, the data looks very different to me than it does to you.

You wrote, “If the U.S. government hadn’t stepped in and done what it did when it did you would no longer have a job.”  I did not receive a dime in bailout money.  I started this website with my own capital.   I did not require a bailout or a loan because I did my homework and invested wisely.  When I look at the data, I see reckless and incompetent bankers on Wall Street that were rewarded with a public bailout.  Elizabeth Warren, who chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel, said in November, “We rescued at the top and we left the bottom to kind of fin for itself.” (click here for the complete interview.)  The “finance business” might have been saved in the bailout, but the rest of America is headed for a depression.  The real unemployment rate is already more than 21% (calculated the way the government did it prior to 1994.)  Foreclosures are hitting record amounts month after month.  This is happening despite the fact the government is paying people to buy houses, and providing more than 90% of the mortgage financing in this country.

You wrote, “. . . perhaps you don’t have the faintest clue as to what the Depression was (I do) you don’t really get it.”  So you think you “get it” because you lived through the last depression?  Then, you might remember during that time, two big pluses for America:  the dollar retained its value and the U.S. retained its credit rating.  Because the government “stepped in” two years ago with trillions of dollars in bailout money (and is continuing to do so), the U.S. will be lucky if it retains either.  I bet both the dollar and credit rating of the U.S. will be severely impaired.  By the way, Former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan recently compared the financial problems in the U.S. to Greece.

I believe in honest accounting and honest government.  We have neither at this time.  What we do have is the suspension of FASB 157 (Financial Accounting Standards Board) that allows banks to price “toxic” assets at par value.  I call that government sanctioned accounting fraud.  This makes their balance sheet look like they are solvent and profitable so they can pay themselves fat bonuses for their incompetence and greed.  Last year, Wall Street banks paid themselves $20 billion in bonuses.  Meanwhile, we have a government that is transferring trillions of dollars in banker mistakes to the public via the Fed and Treasury.  Oh, I “get it” alright; I just get it differently than you do.

Comments
  1. Pokerface

    Greg- Obviously this fellow has drunk the kool-aid and when the SHTF will be one of the first to be hauled to the landfill in the back of a dump truck. As one of your regular readers who “Gets it” the same as you let me say how much I appreciate your dedication to this website and the great information you provide. If that pinhead doesn’t like what he sees he needn’t let the screendoor hit him in the ass on his way to CNBS or MSLSD. Please keep up the great work.

  2. Nancy

    Well said! Amazing how he said the current actual unemployment percentage correctly in his doomsday scenario.

    I hear some in the media already calling this the Second Depression.

  3. John Bernard

    Greg
    I would say jdavid is a liberal troll who just found your website. His “analysis” is similar to GWB when he said “I had to destroy the free market system to save it.” Most of the bailout money for banks went to Europe as you know. This character knows about the Great Depression as the progressive educators want him to know. Unemployment in the US is already at 17% and will be rising. There are absolutely no current government policies that engender confidence in a recovery.

    My father, 91, lived through the depression does this correspondent really know anything. Does he know that Canada during the 1930s was relatively not really effected during that time?

    Having an economics degree is no recommendation of superiority just take a look at Krugman and Roemer. Both have changed their tunes.

  4. Stephen Clifton

    Greg,
    It’s so unfortunate that some of the public thinks that companies like Goldman Sachs getting $20 billion from AIG helped to save any jobs in the private sector other than jobs at Goldman Sachs.

    Sadly this person has an inherent trust that the government is noble and is doing things in our best interests. Naive citizen who can’t see that their noble government used a problem to help their “investors” also known as campaign contributors.

    If somebody follows the money they will see very clearly what the bailouts were about. Here’s a hint Mr. JDavidM24. Hank Paulson, Goldman Sachs, AIG.

    Stephen

  5. Hognutz

    I am afraid “Jdavidm24″ is the one who does not get it!

    Greg, keep telling it like it is sir.

    • Greg

      To all who commented on “A Nasty Email Says I don’t “Get It,”
      Wow!! What an outpouring of support. (17 comments just today) Thank you each and every one of you for your comments. I tell my friends that I think I have some of the smartest people in the world reading this site. I am not just sucking up. I really mean it. Plenty of you could have your own site but I am happy you read and comment on mine! Thank you.
      Greg

  6. dan

    Well replied, Greg.

    I would have given the reader’s email a bit more thought had it been more substantial than an emotional “I think you’re wrong”. Maybe a fact or two, or some interesting conjecture, that sort of thing.

    Your response was open, honest, and based on your interpretation of data. Though I don’t think your response will change the reader’s viewpoint, it’s encouraging nonetheless that there are those with differing opinions reading your work. Let them bring on the facts so that we can make it a fair fight…

    -dan

  7. Mountainaires

    The bailout didn’t do anything but enrich the cons who perpetrated it; the very same cons who made it “necessary” in the first place. Personally, I prefer to see the truth, rather than live as a serf in the “state of denial.” So, aside from paying attention to the excellent information discussed at USAWatchdog, here’s a clue for jdavidm24:

    In effect, it’s a Third World/colonial scam on a gigantic scale: plunder the public treasury, then buy the debt which was borrowed and transferred to your pockets. You are buying the country with money you borrowed from its taxpayers. No despot could do better. ~ Charles Hughes Smith, Oftwominds.com

    The Con of the Decade, Part 1

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly10/con-of-decade07-10.html

    The Con of the Decade, Part 2

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjuly10/con-of-decade-pt2-07-10.html

  8. silver rarer than gold

    Greg,

    I find it amazing how gullible the American public still is. I think you wrote an article about this not to long ago with the basic premise being some people just don’t want to get it even if you beat them over the head with the truth.

    They don’t want to know the truth because it is too painful for them to bear.

    Keep up the good work.

    MB

  9. Will

    Way to go Greg – his e-mail is simply full of “sound-bites” but doesn’t even present a defensable arguement for why he supports the actions of the Fed & Gov or why he believes we’re in a better place now than before the bailouts, etc. Simply using the excuse that we’d be in a depression if not for the bailout is bogus. Trillion dollar bailout to get one step ahead of the inevitable is not taking care of the population – especially since I’d say we only got 1/4 step and the banks got the full one. Keep at it – more people are getting it – hopefully in time to prepare themselves cause the gov won’t be able to.

  10. Steve

    I have noticed a very common theme regarding information comming from very intelligent folks in regard to very prized areas that TPTB seem very sensitive about. Artificial things in space is one, and the handover of sovereignty via freely given money by the federal government to bankers is another. Whenever someone seems to get really close factually to calling a spade a spade regarding these prized areas, the drones seem to come out of nowhere attacking with little facts and then just shut down their commentary.

    “If the U.S. government hadn’t stepped in and done what it did when it did you would no longer have a job.”

    Virtually none of the folks who don’t gamble for a living (aka broker dealer finance areas) and then get the ante backed up with taxpayer funds can validate this statement.

    “We would, in fact, be pretty close, if not in, a second Great Depression with unemployment rates rocketing up to at least 15-20%.”

    We’re already there pal. Shadowstats backs this fact up with your own government data. Unemployment is in the 22-23% range “but for” accounting gimmicks to make the conclusory 9.5% number impressive.

    Keep up the good work Greg. I don’t know that I buy the austerity argument, but you are doing a great job putting out information that the critters in the network business kept you from putting on the methodone box. E-mails like this show that you’re getting close to one of the “prized” areas the freakshow doesn’t like discussed.

  11. Tom

    There’s no way that moron lived through the great depression.

  12. tom

    Fu*ken A Greg!

  13. wheedle

    Government has become so intertwined with the economic system we currently have that,if we were to cut spending, the economy would move into a rapid freefall. If you are a police officer, soldier, public school teacher, elected official,federal employee, state employee, city employee,or a retired individual receiving a government pension,then your ‘income’ is taxpayer funded.
    If you receive unemployment benefits, food stamps, WIC, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidized this or that,or any government funded assistance,then you are also receiving a taxpayer funded check or benefit.
    And everyone should be aware by now that the taxpayer has been unable to pay for the fiscal year budgets that Congress and the Whitehouse create for quite some time.Thus requiring massive deficit spending now in the Trillions of Dollars annually.Simply put,you can’t borrow your way out of debt.

    Anyone who thinks the current administration has ‘saved us’ is sadly mistaken.The worst is still yet to come. The only way to fix this boom/bust economy is let it go bust, so that private sector capitalism can reemerge and ‘hopefully’ kickstart new growth to create new jobs.American Jobs.For American Citizens.My two cents.

  14. George

    Well, said Greg. IF he lived thru the Great Depression he missed out that the US Government was running a surplus. IF he understands economics, he knows that about half think that the Great Depression lasted an unprecedented amount of time because of FDR’s monetary and fiscal policy. PS He may also understand that because of FDR, no Prez can serve more than two terms…I know some people worship FDR but they don’t know history…or in this case jack. I hope Jdavidm24 isn’t counting on SSN, if he is he’ll be adjsuting his lifestyle in next five years. Hope he makes it to see that he’s wrong

  15. Daver

    Nice response… Sooner or later everyone will get it. Math does not lie..try these same borrowing strategies and techniques with your household budget and see how long you stay solvent.

  16. Nelson

    Greg, I’m glad you have the capacity to respond with a polite, eloquent, lucid and reasoned argument; I have just about lost my patience as, for most people these days, passion has supplanted reason. I have tried my best, for several years, to make the case for what is now unfolding. Life as a Cassandra can be trying. 

    The problem with most economists, and the public in general, is that they see the economy as a machine with levers to be pulled, buttons to be pushed, and cogs to be greased. Terms like “jump start” the economy or “prime the pump” are indicative of a mindset lost in fantasy; kneeling at the Keynesian altar, their Gods are silent because they do not exist. 

    The economy is not a machine, but an ecology. It’s constituent organisms (you and me) respond to stimuli, but not necessarily in the way you might think. Indeed, at its most base level, economics is the study of human behavior; it is the Holy Grail that eludes the statists.

    You have got to get mad. But in order to get mad you first have to get smart. And if you don’t get mad at the people who are lying to you, then you will wind up as a serf: no rights, no wealth, no freedom, no dignity.

    “Recent events have proved that the paper-money system of this country may be used as an engine to undermine your free institutions, and that those who desire to engross all power in the hands of the few and to govern by corruption or force are aware of its power and prepared to employ it.” – Andrew Jackson, the President that “killed” the Central Bank, Farewell Address

  17. Bob

    Greg You understand just fine. I just think the money troubles can’t be repaired by any idea. We have no government because it’s not base on law. Without law you cannot have civilization. My problem is with thinking buying gold will help stop the hell that is coming down the road.I think the other guy understands just fine to, he is just saying kick the ball down the road. We all want the same thing but you must have rule of law to have anything worth 2 cent’s.

  18. Geofizz

    Yes, I agree w/ Jdavidm24, Greg. You’re not being a good little journalistic tool — that is, following the lead of our PhD-level Keynesian clowns, er I mean economists, and propagating the status quo for the unwashed un-inquisitive masses. You are not with the MOPE program. /sarc off

    In the end, it’s all going to come down to every individual’s capacity to figure out what is reality, and what is spin/propaganda. Those who figure it out will be in a better position to weather the coming storm; those who don’t… Well, hard times are definitely coming, and many of the things we take for granted aren’t going to be there down the road. Good luck to Jdavidm24. Those who are caught up in the partisan conservative vs liberal mud-slinging have the additional challenge of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    Greg, thank you for being a True Journalist; you are providing a huge service to those who are willing to take a good honest look behind the curtains.

  19. MikeD

    Nice rebuttal.

    His comment about the unemployment rate is somewhat amusing. Comparing apples to apples, we’re pretty close to the unemployment rate during the Great Depression.

    So if you connect those dots, you might come to the conclusion that the bailouts didn’t prevent much of anything. Or at least for the majority of us who don’t work for Goldman Sachs and the like.

  20. MikeD

    On a side note about FASB 157, I’d like to chime in on the importance of this (I’m a CPA, albeit a new one).

    From how it was explained to me, FASB 157 wasn’t suspended, it was re-written, more or less. Mortgaged-backed securities can now be valued at the present value of their expected cash flows rather than market value if the market is deemed by the SEC to be in a state of turmoil — forgive my wording on that, I know it’s not the best.

    During the 2008 meltdown, these securities would have been valued at $0, as there was no market for them. That was the rule, and I don’t believe in changing rules during the middle of the game. Nonetheless, the rules were changed anyway.

    In the short-term, the new rules create a problem. The estimates used to value the securities can’t truly be scrutinized until there’s some track record to compare actual versus estimated, which will take a few years. In the meantime, there are other methods which can be used, but historical record is one of the strongest, and the method I would prefer as an auditor.

    With the valuation method being somewhat subjective in the short-term, this would be an area I would consider of high risk as it would give management an incentive to inflate the valuation of some securities. Ultimately it will be the auditor’s job to conduct the substantive testing necessary to substantiate the valuations of any securities or recommend they be adjusted.

    The new rules put auditors in a precarious situation. There’s a reason you see the words “significant estimates made by management” in an unqualified audit opinion. You’ll find estimates of all kinds within financial statements, but the methods used must be substantiated if the numbers are to have any integrity. Outside investors have to assume these numbers are free of material misstatement.

    That’s my 2 cents on why the rules should not have been changed. In the long-term, I believe this will shake itself out. But right now, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the valuation of mortgage-backed securities. It’s too subjective, and I think most auditors would agree that this is a fraud risk factor to consider.

  21. nick

    apparently this fine individual is watching way too much fox news. the bail out was to keep the banks from failing under their own duress; their own reckless behaviour. its like giving a junkie more dope in the vain effort of helping them through their withdrawal. the concept of a central government i believe, is a dead horse. its done nothing to alleviate the suffering of the masses, and its up to the cities and municipalities to enforce their own taxation and commercial interests. but then again, municipal bonds, and state bonds are ready to explode at any moment. so perhaps a general meltdown is necessary to clean the slate and start over.

  22. thomas

    Greg you the Man !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Will

    A calculator has never lied. The calculator states the debt is too large to ever be repaid. No matter how high taxes are raised or by how much dicretionary spending is cut.

    Quantitative Easing to devalue the currency is the only way to repay
    the debt.

    Conclusion? Pain.

  24. Troy

    Having read all the above: question, response, and reader commentary; all I can do is grimmace and shake my head.

    My Country, our Nation in bankruptcy under God, divisable by all the petty factions shouting their strident proclamations with followers willingly lining up behind their banners to be an organizational cog in machinery they cannot begin to comprehend.

    What happened to “I am an American, first, last, and always”?

    We need a ‘Reset’ – may we survive together the circumstances that preclude it.

    • Greg

      Troy,
      A “reset” we will get. Thank you.
      Greg

  25. BRIAN

    Dont worry Greg, some people only have themselves to talk to, and you just cant fix stupid. This guy probably waits till his wife leaves so that he can act like the man of the house. Liquidity??? I cant believe he even said that. GO TO A BANK AND ASK FOR A LOAN IDIOT. THEY WILL LAUGH YOU OUT OF THE BANK!! AHHAHAHHHA….or at least that’s what they did to me…..Damn!!

    • Greg

      Thank you Brian!
      Greg

  26. John

    Greg,
    You do get it. You don’t need fancy degrees to be smart. (look at the Fed reserve. lots of PhD’s and look how well that private cartel which is not part of the government is doing for us. They have been allowed to enslave our children with unbelievable debt)…A positive during the Depression was at least we were a creditor nation and had the gold standard (plus the Govt stole what they could get from private citizens in ’33…but that’s another story). We don’t have that now. Free markets…..lets violate this principle and step in and help the prop up the losers. The banks took the money (all monetized)and now they are foreclosing on many peoples homes.Saved by our tax dollars and they get some homes with it. Great deal. And we have all the fraud in reporting (FASB) and lies in the press…at least I get a straight story from you! Side note…for your shill e-mailer I have 3 degrees sit on two boards and I am set for life.I don’t like rosey smoke blown up my Arse(that chaucer’s spelling). You can’t make plans if you don’t get the truth!Keep up the good work……

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