Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Half lies and half good signs

The Swedish ‘Statistics Sweden’, a government agency meant to supply statistics for decision making, debate and research, announced today that Swedes total fortune have increased. Among other things the report includes numbers that say that at the end of June 2009 households' wealth in shares was worth SEK 412 billion - an increase of SEK 77 billion since the end of last year. And, during the second quarter, households' financial assets increased by SEK 348 billion and amounted to SEK 4 996 billion. The statement says that; the positive development on the stock market contributed to the increased value of, among other things, households' holdings of shares, equity funds and insurance. Households’ financial savings amounted to SEK 28 billion in the second quarter of 2009. This is a somewhat higher figure than the second quarter of last year when the corresponding figure was SEK 25 billion. Households had slightly positive net savings in shares, that is, they purchased more shares than they sold. Households' debts increased by SEK 57 billion during the second quarter. This a lower increase of debt than the same quarter of last year when the figure was SEK 62 billion, but it is the highest figure since then. In the three quarters in between, the increase in debt was between SEK 33 and 36 billion, which is a lower figure than others in the last four years. As usual, loans in housing finance institutions and banks comprise the largest part of the increase in debts; loans with these two creditors amounted to SEK 55 billion.

Now, this is highly interesting in several ways.

If we break down these numbers we have a couple of positive things, a couple of negative ones and a couple of very valuable advice to hand out. Although nothing of this says who actually got richer and which ones really have benefited - I would guess, among other things, that financial institutes are some of the main winners – but I also suspect many common people have some winnings to collect.

On the positive side we have higher levels of savings, which is great. Even despite very low interest rates many people have realised that they need to save for a rainy day. To bad the central bank baboons convey lower intellect then the populace and scheme to try to get people to borrow and spend. The higher value of the stock market is, properly handled, also a good thing, and here is were one advice comes in. Collect your winnings, now. Don’t wait. I’m absolutely sure that the stock market will continue to go up and down for several months more, so you could probably stay and collect more winnings, but that is risky business. If you really feel the urge to continue with this very volatile affair, invest in commodities like food - which will have an increase in prices in the near future. Gold and silver are still great buys; don’t believe in that crap about precious metals having reached their peak, they haven’t. I would also recommend oil. The next time oil prices dip down a bit, buy. Within a year the dollar will in all likelihood collapse which will throw oil-prices up towards $200 a barrel or even higher. But the best advice is really to sell, pay of any mortgage or loan, buy Gold and sit tight. The crash will, according to me, probably not happen until February/Mars next year, but better to be safe then sorry.

On the negative side we have higher levels of borrowing, mainly curtsey of the central banks idiocy. If you have borrowed to buy stocks or real-estate you are utterly fucked if you don’t sell very soon. If you have just spent the money on useless items then you’re an idiot, and you will be one of the main losers in the future. Prepare to beg for food, standing in line at the soup-kitchen and roam the countryside without any hope.
Since most of you seemingly have borrowed from housing finance institutions I hope you did so early on in this depression so you now can sell at a higher price. Having large chunks of money in assets like real-estate or housing is not really a good idea; there is a boom right now. If you really need to, at least make sure you have your mortgages at fixed interest rates, they are still low, so go do that if you haven’t already. I would also recommend buying seeds to grow your own crops and stock up on oil and similar commodities that will come with a higher price and be scarcer in the future. Banks should be avoided as much as possible. If you want to stay with a regular big banking institution, change to Handelsbanken that seems to have at least some economists with a working brain.

All in all, it depends what you do now. Advices aside, please go and check numbers and all the facts floating around out there. There is enough information and the math doesn’t lie. 1+1=2 and 2-1=1, always. So do not believe in me, or anyone else, find it out for yourself. Don't let any cornflake economist or politician dictate your decisions.

I might be wrong about the timing, but I’m not wrong about the end result. There is a very bumpy road in front of us and around a turn, just up ahead, is a deep chasm of depression-stupidity, please do not jump down the abyss. Well, for my amusement, please do, but for your own and your families safety; don’t.

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