Tuesday, October 4, 2016

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a long story shortened...

the following was written in a microsoft works word processor, hence the uncharacteristic capitalization, which is an automatic feature...i wasnt going to do any "personal" blogging like what follows, but this time im making an exception...

hopefully, what ive been through will give you some thoughts about backing up your PC (if you dont already), because if i hadnt been able to reboot saturday night and back up my files, toolbars and links, i'd still be groping thru the cyber-darkness today...


By way of documenting what ive been through…

My PC crashed about 2 weeks ago and since I believed it was a bad monitor (it just went black) I went out and bought a new one…when I brought it home I tried rebooting one more time before replacing this 75 pound Trinitron picture tube (that im still using because there no place to move it to) and the system came up and seemed to run normally until this Saturday afternoon, when just after I had finished my weekly blog posting it crashed again…since I had managed to get it restarted two weeks prior, I spent two hours repeatedly trying to reboot, but never got past the opening screen that said DELL, which im told comes from the motherboard, hence the rebooting process wasn’t getting to the hard drive…I then used the F2 and F12 keys to reboot using an alternate path successfully, and immediately installed a flash drive which I had bought 4 months ago to back up my files that i had never used…I then spent over two hours moving everything (files, favorites, programs I had downloaded, etc) until I crashed again and further attempts to bring it back up that night were unsuccessful…however, I did get another one hour reprieve Sunday morning when I was able to finish backing up what I could, including screen shots of system elements that I would have difficulty remembering…

This PC I have been using since December was a gift from my nephews son when he upgraded to a better system, and I anticipated that it would eventually have to be replaced, so Sunday morning I went out to our rural Walmart (closest big store in 25 miles) where the selection was sparse; I could either buy an off-brand very similar to what I had (1GB & Windows XP) or upgrade to a 5GB HP pavilion with Vista, and 13 times the hard drive in my old PC (the intermediate step was only $100 less), and I opted for the upgrade…

Since Sunday, then, I have been transferring files from the flash to the new PC and downloading the programs I really need, and well as installing updates to the HP & Windows software that came with the system…I now have this system back to Internet Explorer 8 with five toolbars and even more accelerator add-ons than I had previously, and although ive still got more updates and programs to download (printer, camera, spy ware) I am at least back to functioning with 95% of my previous configuration.

Monday, July 27, 2009

new blogs...

started a new blogspot: http://globalglassonion.blogspot.com/
in connection with my parttime obsession posting on economic & news blogs, notably marketwatch.com
this will separate posting links to news & economic stories from this blogspot, which will remain my anchor blog...

also started a wordpress blog, http://geaugailluminati.wordpress.com/
havent really decided where this will go, but will probably be for more esoteric material...

Monday, July 20, 2009

California Dreaming

i havent been doing much independent writing of my own at this time of year, but there is a story developing with California thats similar to what happened to Chrysler (see sidebar)...the story was probably told better than i could on the urbansurvival blog, but this blog adds new stories daily, & i havent been able to find a way to link to only that one, so im just gonna copy & paste it here, with minor modifications for clarity…
California At the Wall
There is a story in the Christian Science Monitor "Clock's ticking for California budget talks" that is worth reading. Especially if you understand the larger game in play by the PowersThatBe. In case you've forgotten, here's how it works:
· Out of state rich people buy a small handful of California bonds. $50-million maybe, or even $100-million.
· Then through offshore funds, they effectively short California debt hundreds of times over. About 100-offshore funds, or so, is all that need to play. They buy billions in insurance hedge bets.
· Then since the out of state slimeballs control the offshore hedge funds that stand to reap huge payoffs when California defaults, they pour some of their out of state money through various fronts into California to block any meaningful solutions.
· (Which is why there's a groundswell in the PowersThatBe to press for 'super-majority' legislation nationally because who needs a new housing type bubble to burst when there's a whole government with unlimited deep pockets to go after? This is like the crack-addicts wet dream.)
· Then the hedging slime sit back and profit as their bond insurance bets pay off when California defaults and they make billions, which they then dribble back into their US checking accounts as small to medium-sized wire transfers claiming near zero-percent taxable rates from offshore - long term gains, ostensibly, not the high crimes against the people that it really is....
· And then they bitch & moan about maximum income tax rates on long term capital gains they'll tell you should be lowered and "Woe be to us poor bond holders". Ask them to open their books to see how they had hedged that risk, they'll scream bloody frigging murder about 'rights to privacy".

Gotta love it. The Land of the Brave and Home of the Free has become the ultimate financial teat of the uber klassen. What a deal (for them), huh?


ive covered naked credit default swaps in the sidebar, and here’s an article which explains naked shorting; although it talks about shorting corporate stock, the same tactic applies to shorting debt instruments (bonds)

for further clarification, this is a readable introduction to the derivatives market

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

COMMENT HERE

the purpose of this post is to allow for any general comments or suggestions underneath by visitors to this blog...i'd like to make this a little more interactive, so be free with your opinions...(not sure, but you may have to sign into blogger to comment) ....if an answer seems neccessary, ill try to respond...rj

Sunday, March 1, 2009

financial advisory (revised 3/1/09)

the current US treasury debt is now $10.8 trillion & this year's federal budget deficit is expected to be over a trillion dollars… next year's deficit is expected to be worse: $1.75 trillion if the scenario is as rosy as predicted.. where is today's 15 year old going to get $120,000 to pay off his share in 10 or 20 years? the only answer can be is by hyper-inflating the currency, so those government bonds can be paid back to wealthy retirees, foundations, and foreign sovereign wealth funds in worthless dollars… tomorrow's clerks & burger boys will be drawing $1,000,000 annually each, so their $150,000 in taxes can be used to pay down the debt & interest…today's smart money is already moving to hard assets… and the OPEC arabs want to reinstall the gold dinar (one of the 5 pillars of islam) as the world's currency.
3 dozen years ago gasoline was retailing for 19 cents a gallon… after the first OPEC oil spike, the Fed turned on the greenback presses (i.e. loose credit) & inflation went to 20% with 18% interest rates, gold went to $800 from $35 & silver dollars sold for $50 (before falling back), and those same poetry chapbooks which were selling for 50 cents or $1 are now selling for $25 to $250 or more...we therefore recommend investors buy poetry as a hedge against inflation. it has consistently outperformed gold, the stock market & real estate, and has the additional advantage in that in can be an inspirational read, & what One reads becomes internalized; it cannot be taxed or confiscated by the state. furthermore, "Old Masters" mimeo poetry is scarcer than other investments because they ain't making any more of it.
we expect the poetry you buy today for $25 will sell for $500 in a dozen years, at which time you can sell it for a tank-full of gasoline. those who don't own poetry will be unable to afford gasoline & be unable to travel. they will have to park their automobiles and let them rust.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

the human race is almost finished

it appears from here that through our partial knowledge and our inherent faults, we have got so many cataclysmic cycles in motion that we cant help but hit on one of them...all the nations on earth continue to arm for war, and nuclear proliferation continues, while none of the innate characteristics of this species which has its entire history at war have been changed...and as if those nuclear weapons werent enough, the militaries of the "civilized" nations also plan satellite actuated proton particle streams and laser or gamma ray death beams that can be effective mass killers (at the speed of light) from outer space, as well as exotic biological & chemical devices, new genetically engineered ethnic weapons that might well knock off everyone on the planet not preselected and/or properly immunized...meanwhile, the carbon dioxide level of the atmosphere is up more than 25%, and the earths ozone layer is 15% gone, which allows 30% more ultraviolet radiation to get through to the earth's surface (caution: sunlight is now hazardous to your health), and also has caused a significant heating of the stratosphere, with unpredictable side effects at ground level...the planet's electromagnetic & hydrologic cycles are precariously balanced, to say nothing of the carbon, nitrogen, sulfur & phosphorus cycles...ocean ecology is out of whack everywhere, shifting like the sands on the beaches...increasingly acidic rainfall is affecting plant life over the entire northern hemisphere, to say nothing of its effect on stone and metal...the earths air and water are being used as test tubes for admixtures of thousands of man-made chemicals, including over 2000 known carcinogens, and viral mutations are increasing rapidly; meanwhile, introduction of new non-biodegradable heterogenic, mutagenic, tetragenic and carcinogenic substances into the environment continues unabated, & biologically destructive radiation from radar, microwaves & nuclear materials is pushing life ever closer to its instability point and ultimate collapse...the ecological buffers may already be blown & the domino effect may already be underway, & the future may just be an increasingly accelerating collapse to entropy, or we may be stretching those buffers to the point where theyll soon break with a snapping whiplash back on us like an over-extended rubber band...a few years of bad weather breaks or other disruptions in the technology-dependent agricultural nations could lead to enough shortages to precipitate food wars; the planets population doubling every 40 years with no sizable arable areas left unused contributes to the squeeze...many other resources of the planet are almost depleted, and with all cultures demanding more energy per capita, a disruption of oil from the OPEC countries to the industrial and/or agricultural countries would likely precipitate energy wars, and there are enough nuclear-armed countries that a loser in a localized conventional war would likely resort to nuclear weapons...the majority of the worlds people still belong to one of the fanatical religious sects (ie, moslems, christians, communists, capitalists, jews, etc.) or are extremely nationalistic or racist...future major religious or racial wars are not improbable...meanwhile, atomic physicists tampering with the structure of subatomic particles speculate that the possibility of starting an accidental chain reaction ungluing everything existent and non-existent -- matter and anti-matter -- is "unlikely"; and genetic engineers untangling & reassembling lifes chemicals feel that a similar biological accident is also highly unlikely...even with all these and other known possible cataclysms, the one most likely to catch us may still be a sleeper, that we, in our finite & infantile wisdom & tendency to tinker & to tamper with whatever we touch, might well miss seeing completely...
in the face of all this, the governments and planners of the planets most technologically advanced societies offer no solutions; instead they try to postpone or hide the inevitables, or argue whether they can afford the costs of further studying the problems...this points to the underlying folly of leaving the decision making in the hands of the older members of the species, whose prospects of only a few more decades left to live, and whose present interests are just in maintaining their level of creature comforts -- or worse --finding some path to personal immortality at the expense of other life...that their organisms want to survive is to be commended, but their understanding of LIFE and survival leaves something to be desired...in more stable circumstances where wisdom would accrue with age, this “planning by the elders” would be rational for an intelligent species, but our planet & knowledge of it has changed so rapidly that even “science” texts in most fields written as few as a dozen years ago are now obsolete – or worse than that, the information contained in them has often been proven as patently incorrect…yet much of the planet is still being run on the basis of those outmoded realities…
furthermore, the unfortunate fact is that the majority of “mankind” just doesn’t care – living in a limited present & for a promised false future and afraid to try to understand TIME or DEATH, we are childishly self-centered and usually cant be convinced to care; completely sold on the inherent con of looking out for ourselves, we are trying to win at a game where all mortals, by their very nature, are destined to be losers..

so we pose the questions: what are the alternatives to allowing an acceleration towards a cataclysmic accident? what scenarios are those alternatives likely to precipitate? what are current individual positions indicative of and what positions are significant, and can an individual be personally responsible? (we might even ask what is the meaning of Life before we’re through…) we are trying to avoid deceiving or being deceived, realizing that because we are all part of the problem and the problem interacts with us all, any solutions we propose must be usable above our own personal prejudices, considerations or interests…so we must try to understand the planet we live on with the limited information available to us, and propose the best solutions possible while still understanding these limitations…but we realize that in reality, the vision actually comes before the information, and this verbal path to it is being built as an afterthought, as were the preceding questions…

what seems apparent is that biological life is the only active counter-entropic (i.e., generating organization rather than defaulting to randomness) force in our universe, and photosynthesis, using solar energy input, is the essential organizer on our planet…the human element of life has incorporated a more-or-less sophisticated technology into its adjustment and interaction with the planets cycles and its other life systems…but every cycle or system that came to require modification by human technology (and hence by energy not “naturally” occurring on the planet) became an energy sink in the thermodynamics of the planet’s life systems (ie., it continues to need artificially supplied or manipulated energy to maintain the same level of order) …many cycles and systems are being tampered with already in order to support more life and organization; hence the amount of artificially (ie., technologically driven and/or manipulated) energy input into the biosphere has been increasing… meanwhile, its basic life supporting organization had been decreasing (due to pollution, radiation, etc.)…this artificiality has allowed for quantum leaps in the planet’s organizational stasis and human population, but it has adversely impacted the natural balances & in so doing brought the entropic threshold closer…thus to maintain bio-stability now requires a continually input of energy…any attempt to return to a non-manipulative energy input (ie., just natural solar energy) would precipitate a backlash of cascading chaos & thus would result in a reduction of humanity’s numbers & organization (due to lowered living standards, medical services, transportation, agriculture production, etc.) and considering the unlikelihood of voluntary mass suicides, would probably precipitate wars with the remaining accumulated weapons, which could possibly turn nuclear when the going got tough – and as free radiation from atomic weaponry is known to be one of the most potent disorganizers of life, such would further lower the ecological potential of the planet…so it our opinion that our commitment to technology is past the point of no return; that, given the present state of our planet, the can be no significant curtailing of energy & technology without plunging the planet & its population into a severe dark ages or finis…

so, this problem we face thus includes an ever increasing amount of information and a rapidly numbing number of changes in the planet and our interface with it, such as would seem to be overwhelming… no one or no group of humans is capable of getting a handle on even a significant part of it (we are obviously unable to begin to know the best direction); our vision is limited, and our innate ability to integrate what we envision is even more limited…if we werent so close to so many catastrophes, our lack of vision wouldn’t be so appalling…but on the edge of the abyss as we are, the historical accidental & blundering nature of our species is downright terrifying…it appears that if some kind of intelligent life on this planet is to survive, a species of life form that is capable of dealing with these problems better than we are will have to come into being….now that the Human Genome Project has been completed, it appears that the coming technologies of genetic engineering, working from postulated algorithms of possible improvements on a team of parallel processing supercomputers, offers the best outside chance of developing more viable life forms out of the human mold…
(that biological intelligent life should continue is a hypothesis that each one of us confirms our belief in by continuing our own…a counter-hypothesis clearly exists, but is not presentable by a living organism without a contradiction in its own being)

species chauvinism notwithstanding, any argument which could be presented favoring the survival of the human species over a so-called lower life form, such as bacteria, cockroaches, mosquitoes, or rats, can likewise be used to favor the survival of a superior life species rather than our own…we are not about to speculate specifically about what characteristics would constitute superiority, because that would only invite the specific egocentric counter arguments and criticisms that are characteristic of our anthropocentric species but which nonetheless are not the issue here… we, homo sapiens, have had our time on earth & have served our function, but our tribal species is evolutionarily inadequate to further extend life, as is evidenced by the mess weve made, and it now time for us & our tiny treasured thought processes to go the way of the dinosaurs…our “last hurrah” as self-conscious organisms may be to see the fruition of the installation of our replacements, to play god rather than to blindly worship one, and to do so before all life & the chance to do so slips completely into oblivion…

the first priority should be for a project, at least the scope of the Human Genome Project, to identify in an expandable data base accessible to all experimenters and theoreticians all the proteins and enzymes that each of the identified genes codes for, their active sites, and how each interacts with all the molecules and ions in a living human being…this should be a world wide project, as the current local databases only have local & limited usefulness…it would seem this database would have to be organized at the lowest level of life’s component chemicals, even to the extent of including bond angles and strengths…simultaneously, efforts towards making further breakthroughs that will allow for human organisms now existing to use more than the 10% of the brain that they now utilize, including immediate use of known psychoactive and intelligence enhancing chemicals and neurological enzymes should be stepped up; children, especially, should be biochemically enhanced, because it will fall to the next generation to carry on this work…memory reimplantations via RNA transfers, or even brain transplants (which are technically much easier than those of organs with immune response which are now routinely transplanted) should also be considered…we don’t have time for repressive moralizing, outdated ethics, or legal considerations; although for the present maybe only gene splicing (ie, reassembling of specific phenotypes) should be considered, as producing entirely unique and untried genes by nucleic acid recombinant techniques appears to be excessively risky, given our current lack of complete information…

we assume the first significant wave of new organisms to be generated would likely be “supermen” (actually, “superwomen”, as parthenogenic organisms would certainly be more practical, given that this and subsequent generations would likely be from implants of laboratory engineered ovum of multiple parentage); they would be in the human mold but with a number of hopefully well thought out improvements, (ie., auto-nutritive capabilities, larger or more efficient brains, organ regenerative or repair capabilities, or environmental adaptations, such as UV utilizing skin cells) and since test tube incarnations are impossible and will remain difficult, this first new wave would have to be grown “in utero”, and hence a human like form would be necessary until the technical difficulties enforcing this limitation could be overcome…in subsequent generations, the biotechnicians of these rudimentary and humanoid neo-species would have to devise the means and methods of advancing life further forward, to whatever “superthings” could ultimately be generated, such as could supplant “homo sapiens” as the dominant species on the planet…it might well be that amino and nucleic acids bases, although obviously until this time adequate for larval life on earth, may prove to be a chemically inefficient basis for a futuristic species that will ultimately be expected to colonize space…indeed, several life forms, engineered of now unique molecular components, may ultimately become necessary, before any advanced life form can transcend all matter and its limitations and leave the physical universe behind…

in the interim, a reasonable sized “supporting caste” of humans will still be needed for some time and, with our innate tendencies towards serving whatever we envision as a “higher cause”, we should prove no problem to a superior species…if, however, an unenlightened and regressive counter-current seems to develop among the human masses, those older & more prejudiced humans now existent need not be further informed that a superior replacement species had been biogenetically engineered…information leaks can easily be discredited, and as most people are likely to believe only what they want to believe and can easily accept anyways, any speculations that humans are already an inferior species in the process of being replaced can be similarly be dismissed…meanwhile, younger & more malleable elements of humanity can be re-educated to recognize their evolutionary role & taught to obey alien orders…
of course, all these technologies are going to have to get lucky in these next decade, and have to have several major breakthroughs before a big breakdown… so outside of this minor act of faith, we wouldn’t want to make book on any intelligent life surviving more than a century…in addition to all the risks inherent in the technological manipulation of life, we see even more pitfalls possible in the preceding hopeful proposal…
our current reality itself raises the specter of many competing special interests, including those representative of the elements of our species that have gotten us into our current situation (facing accidental or deliberate biocide) all having their own private agendas, in which likeness they would want to see a new life form engineered…among these elements are those now still in power who would divide and isolate, who continue to perpetuate the lie of “survival of the fittest” that we have been taught to apply to our interactions with each other, with other life forms, and with the planet, which in each one’s consciousness can only be translated as survival of oneself at the expense of other selfs…but this interpretation of natural selection disrespects life and denies symbiotic interactivity, and will risk bringing down all life on the planet in the interest of maintaining itself & controlling whatever is left…seeing “survival of the fittest” as competition as an understanding of life may be our greatest folly (as life against life is actually self-defeating…life against entropy is the situation we face)…the fact of natural selection among humans has nothing to do with those that are fittest of esthetically best…the bias is towards breeders, by sheer numbers alone…the disproportionate elements of humanity that survives today are not necessarily descendant of the most intelligent, compassionate, visionary, bravest or strongest…thousands of years of natural selection have selected, by an admixture of arithmetic and accident, primarily for the success in producing offspring (a few random decimators of the population, such as plagues, wars, and starvation may have made for a slight bias towards disease resistance, more cunning warriors, etc, but these historic life reducing events have generally tended to select randomly & wantonly)…hence we are at a point in evolution where the human situation is not survival of the fittest, but instead survival of the horniest…those neurological & hormonal & enzymatic (and hence genetic) characteristics that tend toward fucking and raising brood have selected out (by geometrically increasing against arithmetic population controls) as the dominant characteristics of the population, and now we have a planet full of reproductive-oriented people who are horny all the time when we as a species would really be better off with less reproduction…
further distorting & obscuring our ability to design a viable replacement species may be that some of the behavioral patterns now called criminal or psychopathic
are actually manifestations of neurological traits of the human life form that have allowed for the collective survival of the species up till this point in time…psychotic individuals have been on the vanguard of many of the species frontiers; the meek masses & their leaders may be psychoparasitic, and be unable to change or survive on their own without this vanguard to show the way…it is a delicate symbiotic machinery we will be being tampered with, with many variables and unknowns, but if we felt there was any other way, we would not be advancing this direction…

due to the natural egotistic influence on & interaction of the individuals who will work on this problem, we can expect an imbalance towards their phenotypes & personality characteristics, at least initially, in the first wave of laboratory-generated ultra-life…left to their own doing, the scientists & genetic technicians would tend to create in their own image, hence “improved” scientists and technicians…but these scientists arent powers unto themselves, as they tend to be specialists with a limited range of concerns and interests, and often, unfortunately, dance to the tune of the band that pays their bills…we can imagine that efforts by the chemical & pharmaceutical companies would direct their work towards reconstructing the population to meet their immediate corporate needs…and one doesn’t have to be paranoid to fear whatever might be going on in the fully funded military laboratories…meanwhile, the wealthy oligarchy & politicians, with their monstrous egos to preserve, arent likely to be interested in the life-improving aspects of neo-species genetic engineering; rather theyre more likely to look to this burgeoning science for breakthroughs that will give them some opportunity for immortality, ie.,
the arresting of aging, brain or memory transplants or enhancements, identical copy cloning for replacement parts, etc….outside of being wasteful in devoting far too much energy to preserving individual lives, rather than life itself, these twists in the technology towards individual immortality and cloning tend by their very nature to be changeless: they preserve the status quo of certain genotypes, thus postulate no improvements, and hence are detrimental to advancing life and are an evolutionary dead end...
the likelihood of the other countries who have technical competence in bioengineering all choosing to go off in different independent directions further complicates any attempt at clarifying this situation…whether this variability increases the possibility of a viable breakthrough or decreases it is difficult to say…we can characterize life as those elements which utilize free energy to combine, organize, and extend themselves; thus, in the continuation of a non-cooperating disorganized world effort, we can postulate an anti-life bias…but this may all be speculative conjecture, as there is ample warning against putting all our eggs in one basket, especially if we are anticipating several fallings…

the worst danger we see in all areas where this work on genetically altered ultra-organisms is being done, whether overtly or covertly, is that the direction it will be taking will all be controlled by isolated special interests; and outside of a complete and universal support for one unified direction (which would be completely without precedence for our species), it seems it will be thus organized…in the face of such constrained oversight, our hope seems to rest again with the renegades; hence we can only encourage those technicians working under the auspices of any of the exploitive establishments to affect their own subtle changes in their experimental directions as they themselves deem necessary, disregarding the misdirected manipulators, and keeping the true nature of their work secret from their technologically incompetent supervision & funders…this thus becomes a call for molecular biologists and genetic engineers to consciously break with the establishment and to follow their own conscience and their own respect for life, which they certainly should have developed by the nature of their own interactions with it…the chance for a mistake is not as great as the chance we don’t take…

the economic ponzi scheme 1/21/09

all the talk about bailouts & economic recovery is necessary within the context of the political reality...but the reality of the public debt is over 10 trillion; do the math, thats $100,000 of debt per taxpaying household...and the reality of western capitalism is that its the largest pyramid scheme on earth...those that got in first, & control the reserve currencies, make out because their money & central banks run the scheme...those at the bottom feed those on top...but in the most recent extension of the scheme, china & india were added to the bottom of the pyramid...now the pyramid has run out of people to add to the bottom...so like any ponzi scheme, there wont be any new investors in it to pay off the old investors getting out...and this system will collapse as sure as madoff"s scheme had to eventually...

the government used to fund its operations thru revenues; taxes, tariffs, etc...the first big deficits were WWII, but that was mostly funded by the savings bonds held by citizens...& i think some of that debt was being paid off thru kennedy...then johnson's expansion in vietnam & great society started the govt deficit spending in earnest...but still, most of US debt was held domestically, by foundations, retirement plans, and by banks here & in europe

i first became alarmed when george bush sr called reagan's plan "voodoo economics" during that 1980 primary...as i recall, the highest tax bracket at that time was 78%...then reagan cut taxes in half & the result of that was that instead of taxing the richest americans, the US treasury was borrowing from them & paying them back over time, with interest, which had become nearly 15% on 30 year bonds...and in addition, with our trade deficit, mostly to OPEC, meant that we were also borrowing from those country's banks to fund government operations...maybe you remember the interview with david stockman, head of Reagan's Office of mgmnt & budget, when he admitted "none of us (the reagan team) knew what any of those numbers meant"...& even when the first bush ran on a promise of "no new taxes", he was at least aware enough to know they had to be higher...

the current decade has been a financial debacle, and enuf has already been written about individuals use of credit to live beyond their means, and the real estate bubble that ill avoid comment on that...the biggest problem has been the multi-trillion dollar market in derivatives, in which the money-changers were betting on future prices in stocks, commodities, & mortgage-backed securities, and the investment banks & brokers exposure to credit default swaps, by which they were effectively writing insurance policies on packages of shaky debt (like mortgages)--that they would swap treasuries for that debt if there was a default on it: these, in addition to packages of bad mortgages, are the "toxic assets" on the bank balance sheets...estimates ive seen on the amount of these "swaps" outstanding range from $64 trillion to 530 trillion (put that in perspective: U.S. GDP for 07 was $13.8 trillion)

so the treasury, under paulson, panicked the congress into passing a $700 million bailout for the banks -- similar bailouts were simultaneously being engineered in other big economies, who'd also been caught in the mess of the US mortgage debacle & derivatives therein...congress thought that money was going to be leant to small businesses & homeowners in an attempt to unlock the credit market, but it seems the banks just used most of that bailout money to buy the treasury notes that were issued to bail them out! estimates ive seen of the total amount of imaginary money put into various domestic bailouts ((including FDMC,FNMA,AIG,countrywide,bearsterns,etc) to be $10.4 trillion...most of that is from the federal reserve, which can "print money" (loan to banks), but the treasury deficit looks like it'll be a trillion per year for the foreseeable future, which -do the math --is $10,000 debt per year per taxpaying household. there is no political will to raise the taxes to even balance the budget, much less pay down the debt, much of which is now owed, with interest, to arabs, chinese, russians, japanese, & other countries which are running a surplus in trade or in their treasuries...so in what has become "fiscal child abuse", we are committing future generations to continue paying interest on our debt, till it reaches a point where that interest will will be one of the biggest items in the federal budget

the recent downturn exacerbates the problem...as prices fall in commodities & real estate, the banks "toxic assets" become even worth less...furthermore, unemployment, underemployment, & falling payrolls & personal assets all contribute to decreasing tax collections, thus widening the deficit...if we should fall into a deflationary spiral during this crisis, i cant imagine a way for the current ponzi scheme to survive...the only way to i can imagine of continuing to prop up keynesian economics is by some kind of hyperinflation, increasing the money supply by such multipliers as to make the current dollars of debt to be worthless by comparison, allowing for some future paydown of the debt in future inflated dollars...how to control this to avoid a weimar republic type hyperinflation is beyond me...