Mark McHugh

The Muppet Show (Elmo Strikes Back)

In Open Thread on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:04 am

You know things are grim when CNBC has to tap the godfather of pseudo-capitalism.

Senility must be awesome.   You get to talk “Straight from the gut” because everyone knows your brains are tapioca pudding.   You can point out the obvious (“Greece is broke”), while completely ignoring the more obvious (with more than $1.6 million in debt  per employee, GE is broke-er).  You get to bitch about the government giving $500M to Elizabeth Warren’s consumer protection agency, forgetting GE got $3.1B government dollars last year, and was saved from bankcruptcy by a $139B FDIC-INSURED line of credit in 2008 (which is just one reason those of us with still-functioning grey matter feel the need for such an agency).  You get to talk like a know-it-all capitalist, oblivious to the fact that that the house that Jack built has vaporized more than $400B in share-holder wealth since 2000, while racking up more than $550B in debt (and yes, I realize that GE’s balance sheet says more than $75B of that debt has been retired, and is now “cash,” but until somebody from GE swears under oath that GE is not using Repo 105 or some other gimmick….).  No one’s ever going to bring up that your “enterprise” pays more in fines than it does taxes.  Nope, the poor excuses for journalists that are your legacy will sit there and pretend you’re spitting out the wisdom of Solomon.

But Elmo don’t play that. 

A muppet of few words, Elmo sums up the recent perplexing moves in just a couple graphics.

Whenever the US dollar staggers a few steps away from the fiat currency graveyard, it has a dramatic effect on prices of everything.  So the only question is how often do you expect to see the US dollar surge 7% in less than a month?

Here Elmo compares gold (GLD), silver (SLV) S&P 500 (GSPC) and the US dollar (UUP), on a more than 48-hour basis.

Get in touch with your own inner muppet.


To expand on this a little, I urge you to re-examine charts from 2008.  There was a highly-touted “commodities crash” mid-2008 (here’s the corn chart, for example).  That collapse was characterized by a remarkably strong US dollar, which continued to be strong through the Lehman crisis, TARP etc.  This is deja-vu all over again, except this time around the Fed will have no other option but to run the printing press full tilt (read dollar collapse). 

  1. Inner muppet.. LOL. we should all print this article and have our kids bring it to school for current events.

  2. Nice post, though I hate to think of what it is doing to his career… Elmo that is.

    Everyone has their own billion-dollar broken promise to bitch about.
    So much cloudy distracting noise.

  3. I love when you use Elmo… My 4 year old grandson likes it to, even though he does not know what it means.

  4. Hey Gomp,

    I am often tempted to use Elmo more. It just fits. This stuff is so simple, but we make it so complicated because we refuse to face simple truths. We all know we’re on an unsustainable path that will end badly (like how in the hell can government spending be 43% of GDP?).

    That’s what finding your inner muppet’s all about.

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