「58」 「サブプライム危機から世界信用不安(世界恐慌)へ」の全体の道筋を示します。 2007.10.8
副島隆彦です。今日は、2007年10月8日です。
この「第2ぼやき」に一ヶ月も、文章を載せなくて申し訳ありません。 ようやく私の頭がまとまり(セットアップ)しました。

7月末からの、まるで大嵐(おおあらし)のようだった、世界の金融・経済の激しい動きを追いかけながら、私は、この3ヶ月をじっくりと「金融とは何か」を、世界の嵐の中で、学びました。私一個にとっては極(きわ)めて有意義な3ヶ月でした。

「サブプライム危機から、世界信用不安(世界恐慌)へ」という言葉で、全体をまとめていいだろうと、思います。そして私たちにも襲い掛かった、この「世界史的」な事態を、どのように考えたらいいのかの、道筋をつけようとして、私なりに、資料を整理しつつあります。

まさしく、「ミネルバの梟(フウロウ)は、夜、飛び立つ」のです。私は、この3ヶ月有余を大変、教訓深く過(すご)しました。 7月末に、例の『ドル覇権の崩壊』(徳間書店刊)を書いて出して、その一ヵ月後に、『守り抜け個人資産 ― 官僚どもによる統制国家が始まる』(祥伝社刊) を出しました。

 私は、『ドル覇権の崩壊』の「まえがき」で、「私、副島隆彦は、今後は予言者になる。この世の中の占い師、呪(まじな)い師になる。経済学とは、近未来予測(きんみらいよそく)の学である。私は、金融のこれからのことをすべて的確に当ててみせる」 と書きました。

そして、私は、どんぴしゃりと当てました。1.金利 、2.為替、 3.株式 、4.国債(債券)、 5.通貨量、6.金(きん)、石油など の 6つの金融の市場の変動ののカテゴリー(6つの分野)で、これからの動きを、すべて的確に当てました。

 それは、『ドル覇権の崩壊』を読んでくださった人すべてが知っていることだ。私は、日本国における自分の独特の位置(いち)を自覚しつつある。世界水準(ワールド・ヴァリューズ)がどこにあり、そこから日本国がどれぐらい遅れているのか、田舎の(いなか)の原住民であるのかを、よく知っている。私が、このことに、他のどんな日本人よりも深く自覚があることが、私を、たかがこの国では、超然(ちょうぜん)とした予言者、占い師の地位に押し上げるのだろう。

「サブプライム危機から世界信用不安へ」という観念(アイデア)で纏(まと)め上げることが出来るようになった、今回の異一連の事態は、すでに早く、今年の6月から予兆され、決定づけられていたのである。その証拠は、以下に載せる、2つの記念碑的な、ワシントンポスト紙に載った、金融の評論記事である。

以下の文章は、早くも、6月14日には、関根君によって、重掲「584」番と「587」番に転載された。このことが、日本国における、私たち学問道場の先駆性、先端性を、証拠立てている。

 以下の2本の、ワシントンポスト紙の2007年6月13日号に載った「チープクレジット(安くで手にはいる資金)の終わり」のロバート・サミュエルソン論文 と、 「テイクーヴァー(乗っ取り)ファンドの手法の終わり、崩壊」 スティーブン・パールスタイン(あるいは、パールステイーン)論文が、記念碑となる。

 そのことを、以下の リチャード・クック(Richard C. Cook
、Global Research)という金融ジャーナリストが書いた。
これが後々(のちのち)の議論の土台と新たな出発点になるのである。 R.クックが、自分の評論記事のタイトルにした、「米国経済の崩壊が始まった」 It's Official: The Crash of the U.S. Economy has begun が、まさしくこの二つの論文が、記念碑であることを確定している。

 マイケル・ハドソン著の「新たなる農奴制への道」という金融本 Michael Hudson, author of an article on the housing bubble titled, “The New Road to Serfdom” が、迫り来る米住宅バブル崩壊の事態を、的確に予測していたようである。

 私、副島隆彦は、このあと、自分が、8月17日の東京の株式の大崩れ(大暴落)の日前後から、(そして、同日、アメリカでFRBが、公定歩合を1%下げる決定をした)、ものすごくたくさんのことを勉強した。それまで私が知らなかった、多くの真実が、世界中の金融情報、市場情報、金融関連の記事として、主要なメディアに載った。

 私は、この3ヶ月余を、まさしく大漁詠(たいりょううた)い込みの要領で、大量に最新の金融知識を入手した。「ああ、そういうことだったのか」「なーるほど、そういう仕組みになっていたのか」「やっぱりなあ。こいつら、もう救(たす)からないな」と、言いながら、どんどんファイルしていった。ですから、副島隆彦は、この2ヶ月、あまり、学問道場に書かなかった。自分の勉強と、収穫作業(取り入れ)で忙しかったからだ。

 こんなに勉強になったのは久しぶりだ。自分が知らなかった金融の仕組みや、業界の裏の動きまでが、現場の専門家たちの筆から、堰(せき)を切ったように流れ出した。それまで、自分の所属する組織や、金融法人や、金融ジャーナリズム業界で、統制され、規制されていた、内情があふれ出すように、どんどん表に出た。それらを読み込みながら、かき集めてファイルするだけで、3ヶ月が過ぎた。実に勉強になった。合計で300本ぐらいの記事と評論文となった。まだまだ集めなくてはならない。

 だからベストセラー・リストにまだ入っている私の『ドル覇権の崩壊』は、内容が古いのです。この国では、まだまだ最先端の情報と知識だが、「サブプライム危機から世界信用不安へ」が実際に、私の予言どおり起きてしまったあとでは、もう、私の本の内容は、古びてゆく。それでもあと、3年分ぐらいの、3年先までの予言と観測は、まだまだ現役で生きている。すべて私の書いたとおり、当ててみせる。

ですから、ここの「第2ぼやき」に、私が収集した重要金融記事や評論文を、次々に載せてゆきます。 副島隆彦拝

(転載貼り付け始め)


● The End Of Cheap Credit?

ワシントン・ポスト紙
ロバート・サミュエルソン筆

By Robert J. Samuelson
Wednesday, June 13, 2007; Page A21

  The most important price in the American economy is not the price of oil, computer chips, wheat or cars. It's the price of money -- interest rates. When rates move, they ultimately affect the price of almost everything else.

  Which poses some intriguing questions. Is the era of low interest rates ending? If so, what's next? The answers will hover over the 2008 election. A shaky economy would help Democrats; a stronger economy, Republicans.

  The economic expansion, both in America and the rest of the world, has rested on a foundation of abundant credit. Low interest rates famously drove the housing boom. In the 1980s, mortgage interest rates averaged 10.9 percent; after inflation, the "real" rate was a hefty 7.2 percent.

  During the decade, home prices rose a meager 1 percent beyond overall inflation. Since then, mortgage rates have dropped sharply. From 2000 to 2006, they averaged 6.5 percent, and after inflation only 4.2 percent. Lower rates meant people could afford to pay more. The result: Existing-home prices rose 29 percent more than overall inflation from 2000 to 2006. (The figures are from a study by economists Jonas D.M. Fisher and Saad Quayyum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.)

 It's not just real estate. Low interest rates have fueled the private equity bonanza. Private equity refers to investment funds that, borrowing massive amounts, buy all the stock of publicly traded companies.

  In 2006, private equity buyouts of U.S. firms totaled $375 billion; some well-known firms "taken private" included Univision (the Spanish language television network) and Harrah's (the casino company). Similarly, low rates enabled governments and companies in developing countries to borrow huge amounts.

  From 2005 to 2007, borrowing will total about $900 billion, reckons the Institute of International Finance. Russia, Turkey and South Korea are all big borrowers.

 But now rates are edging up. There are two ways that credit tightens -- that is, the price of money rises -- and we're seeing both. The first is that government central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the United States, deliberately try to restrict the amount of new credit.

  The second is that private investors and lenders (collectively known as the market) become more stingy and risk-averse. They demand higher rates on bank loans, bonds and mortgages.

 Until last week, many economists and investors thought the Fed would cut rates this year. From June 2004 to June 2006, it had raised the federal funds rate from 1 percent to 5.25 percent. But the latest speech from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke changed views; Bernanke repeated earlier worries about inflation.

  Now, the consensus is that the Fed won't cut rates this year -- and maybe not next. Abroad, the European Central Bank raised its key rate from 3.75 percent to 4 percent. Even the People's Bank of China is tightening credit.

 What central banks do mainly affects rates on short-term loans of a year or less. (For example, rates on Fed funds involve overnight loans between banks.) But "the market" has recently raised long-term rates, too.

  In mid-March, 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds fetched about 4.5 percent; last week, the rates moved decisively above 5 percent. It's not entirely clear why. The higher rates usually spread to riskier corporate bonds and mortgages.

 As the price of money increases, borrowing and the economy might weaken. The deep slump in housing could worsen. We could also discover that the long period of cheap credit has left a nasty residue.

 In this view, bad loans were made as lenders flush with cash poured money into riskier bonds and loans for private equity firms, hedge funds and developing countries. So defaults and losses mount; in effect, the "subprime" mortgage losses of earlier this year are repeated on other types of credit.

  The stock market sags under the weight of higher rates and all the bad news (interest rate fears sent the market down sharply again yesterday; the Dow Jones industrial average is now 3.4 percent below its recent peak).

 But this grim fate is hardly preordained. Judged by historical standards, the increase in interest rates is modest and may reflect a strong economy as much as tighter credit. Indeed, credit is still ample, just less so than a few months ago.

  Aside from subprime mortgages, delinquencies on other bonds and loans remain low. Interest rate "spreads" -- the gap between rates on safe and risky loans -- also remain low.

 Government central banks are attempting to restrain economies enough to prevent higher inflation, though not so much as to cause a recession. It's a delicate maneuver. Perversely, worsening inflation could push interest rates higher as investors strive to recover the eroding value of their money. The drama is technical and mostly invisible. But the outcome will shape the 2008 economy -- and help determine the next president.


● The Takeover Boom, About to Go Bust

「テイク・オーヴァー(乗っ取り)ブームの崩壊」
 スティーブン・パールスタイン筆

ワシントン・ポスト紙

By Steven Pearlstein
Wednesday, June 13, 2007; Page D01

 To understand why there's a credit bubble, how it's inflating the price of stocks and what it will mean for you when it bursts, let's consider the acquisition of Avaya, a large telecommunications equipment maker, announced last week by two private-equity firms, Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners.

 Avaya is expected to post revenue of about $5.4 billion this year. It has virtually no debt and has $825 million in the bank. Operating earnings -- profit before counting things like interest payments, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- are expected to reach $700 million. And if that's correct, it means the price being paid for Avaya, $8.2 billion, is 12 times operating profit, making it one of this season's richest deals.

  What's driving such high valuations is cheap debt, and plenty of it. We don't know yet how the all-cash purchase of Avaya will be financed, but if it follows the pattern of other recent buyouts, the new owners will take on at least $6 billion in debt.

 Given the junk-bond rating that has already been assigned to the deal, that is likely to work out to an average interest rate of about 8 percent, along with the obligation to pay back 1 percent of principal every year. Add it all together, and the new, improved Avaya will have to pay about $540 million more a year in debt service than it does now.

 Can the company handle that? Well, consider that only three years ago, Standard & Poor's calculated that operating profits for companies involved in leveraged buyouts were typically 3.4 times debt service. Last year, the number fell to 2.4. So far this year, it is 1.7.

  And the Avaya deal? It's 1.3 to 1, which, if you think about it, isn't much of a cushion if revenue suddenly falls or expenses rise more than expected. Nor would there be much cash left over for the company to increase its investment in research or pay for new plant and equipment.

  In other words, a deal like this would never get financed in normal times. Bank lenders and bondholders would demand that the new owners use more of their own money and take on less debt. Or they would demand interest rates so high that the company, as presently configured, wouldn't be able to generate enough cash to cover debt service. Either way, the buyers would never have agreed to pay $8.2 billion.

  But these are not normal times, and overpriced and over-leveraged deals like Avaya have been getting financed in record numbers. Back in 2004, about $275 billion in loans were issued for such highly leveraged transactions. By last year, that had risen to $490 billion. And in just the first five months of 2007, that record was broken.

 At some point sanity will be restored, triggered by any number of events. A high-profile acquisition could collapse because the new owners could not secure financing. Or a deal could blow up after it is discovered that there's really not enough cash to meet the debt payments.

  Or interest rates could suddenly rise from their current low level, threatening the viability of recently acquired companies and making it unlikely that the new owners will be able to sell for anything close to what they paid.

 In fact, over the past several weeks, all those things have begun to happen. On the bond market, yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bill have increased from just under 4.5 percent to more than 5.25 percent -- a three-quarters-of-a-point jump without any action by the Federal Reserve.

 And just last week, William Gross, one of the country's leading bond investors, recanted on his prediction that interest rates were headed down, warning instead that yields on 10-year Treasurys could reach 6.5 percent over the next several years.

 Syndicated loans used to finance the recent purchases of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Linens 'n Things and Freescale, a semiconductor maker, are trading at significant discounts only months after the deals were closed, after the companies reported disappointing earnings or cash flow.

 Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported that after a period in which lenders were throwing money at leveraged buyouts with few if any conditions, several private-equity buyers are having more trouble financing their deals. Those include KKR's $26 billion acquisition of First Data and Texas Pacific's purchase of JVC, the struggling consumer electronics giant.

 It is impossible to predict when the magic moment will be reached and everyone finally realizes that the prices being paid for these companies, and the debt taken on to support the acquisitions, are unsustainable. When that happens, it won't be pretty.

  Across the board, stock prices and company valuations will fall. Banks will announce painful write-offs, some hedge funds will close their doors, and private-equity funds will report disappointing returns. Some companies will be forced into bankruptcy or restructuring.

 But the damage won't be limited to Wall Street and its investors. For if we've learned one thing in the past 20 years, it is that what happens on financial markets, in booms and in busts, can have a big impact on the rest of the economy.

 Without the billions of dollars flowing each year to financiers and corporate executives, there will be less money to trickle down to car salesmen, yacht makers, real estate agents, third-home builders and busboys at luxury resorts.

  Falling stock prices will cause companies to reduce their hiring and capital spending while governments will be forced to raise taxes or reduce services, as revenue from capital gains taxes declines. And the combination of reduced wealth and higher interest rates will finally cause consumers to pull back on their debt-financed consumption.

 It happened after the junk-bond and savings-and-loan collapses of the late 1980s. It happened after the tech and telecom bust of the late '90s. And it will happen this time. The recent decline in home prices and the meltdown in the market for subprime mortgages are the first signs that the air is coming out of the credit bubble.

  Already, those factors have shaved half a percentage point off the economic growth rate. And you can be sure that there will be a much larger impact on jobs and incomes from a broad decline in stock and bond prices, a sharp tightening of credit and the turmoil that both of those will create in the murky derivatives markets.

 Steven Pearlstein will host a Web discussion today  at 11 a.m. at washingtonpost.com. He can be reached atpearlsteins@washpost.com.


重掲  [584] 6月13日は米国経済の崩壊を正式に認めた日らしい 投稿者:会員番号1259 投稿日:2007/06/16(Sat) 23:49:53

会員番号1259です。 以下の記事は、米ワシントン・ポスト紙の記事を参考にして書かれたものです。

カナダ「グローバル・リサーチ」から転載します。

(転載開始)

It's Official: The Crash of the U.S. Economy has begun

「米国経済の崩壊が始まった」

by Richard C. Cook

Global Research, June 14, 2007


 It’s official. Mark your calendars. The crash of the U.S. economy has begun.

 It was announced the morning of Wednesday, June 13, 2007, by economic writers Steven Pearlstein and Robert Samuelson in the pages of the Washington Post, one of the foremost house organs of the U.S. monetary elite.

 これは公式なものだ。カレンダーに印を入れてくれ。米国経済の崩壊が始まったのだ。それは2007年6月13日(水)の朝、米ワシントン・ポスト紙の経済記者のスティーブン・パールステインとロバート・サミュエルソンである。

 Pearlstein’s column was titled, “The Takeover Boom, About to Go Bust” and concerned the extraordinary amount of debt vs. operating profits of companies currently subject to leveraged buyouts.

 スティーブン・パールステインのコラム記事の題名は「企業買収ブーム、破滅へ」つまり大規模な赤字 VS. レバレッジド・バイアウトの対象となった会社 の 営業利益に関してである。

 In language remarkably alarmist for the usually ultra-bland pages of the Post, Pearlstein wrote, “It is impossible to predict when the magic moment will be reached and everyone finally realizes that the prices being paid for these companies, and the debt taken on to support the acquisitions, are unsustainable. When that happens, it won't be pretty.

  Across the board, stock prices and company valuations will fall. Banks will announce painful write-offs, some hedge funds will close their doors, and private-equity funds will report disappointing returns. Some companies will be forced into bankruptcy or restructuring.”

 Further, “Falling stock prices will cause companies to reduce their hiring and capital spending while governments will be forced to raise taxes or reduce services, as revenue from capital gains taxes declines.

 And the combination of reduced wealth and higher interest rates will finally cause consumers to pull back on their debt-financed consumption. It happened after the junk-bond and savings-and-loan collapses of the late 1980s. It happened after the tech and telecom bust of the late '90s. And it will happen this time.”

 Samuelson’s column, “The End of Cheap Credit,” left the door slightly ajar in case the collapse is not quite so severe. He wrote of rising interest rates, “As the price of money increases, borrowing and the economy might weaken. The deep slump in housing could worsen. We could also discover that the long period of cheap credit has left a nasty residue.”

 Other writers with less prestigious platforms than the Post have been talking about an approaching financial bust for a couple of years. Among them has been economist

 Michael Hudson, author of an article on the housing bubble titled, “The New Road to Serfdom” in the May 2006 issue of Harper’s.

 Hudson has been speaking in interviews of a “break in the chain” of debt payments leading to a “long, slow economic crash,” with “asset deflation,” “mass defaults on mortgages,” and a “huge asset grab” by the rich who are able to protect their cash through money laundering and hedging with foreign currency bonds.

 Among those poised to profit from the crash is the Carlyle Group, the equity fund that includes the Bush family and other high-profile investors with insider government connections. A January 2007 memorandum to company managers from founding partner William E. Conway, Jr., recently appeared which stated that, when the current “liquidity environment”—i.e., cheap credit—ends, “the buying opportunity will be a once in a lifetime chance.”

 The fact that the crash is now being announced by the Post shows that it is a done deal. The Bilderbergers, or whomever it is that the Post reports to, have decided. It lets everyone know loud and clear that it’s time to batten down the hatches, run for cover, lay in two years of canned food, shield your assets, whatever.

 Those left holding the bag will be the ordinary people whose assets are loaded with debt, such as tens of millions of mortgagees, millions of young people with student loans that can never be written off due to the “reformed” 2005 bankruptcy law, or vast numbers of workers with 401(k)s or other pension plans that are locked into the stock market.

 In other words, it sounds eerily like 2000-2002 except maybe on a much larger scale. Then it was “only” the tenth worse bear market in history, but over a trillion dollars in wealth simply vanished. What makes today’s instance seem particularly unfair is that the preceding recovery that is now ending—the “jobless” one—was so anemic.

 Neither Perlstein nor Samuelson gets to the bottom of the crisis, though they, like Conway of the Carlyle Group, point to the end of cheap credit. But interest rates are set by people who run central banks and financial institutions. They may be influenced by “the market,” but the market is controlled by people with money who want to maximize their profits.

 Key to what is going on is that the Federal Reserve is refusing to follow the pattern set during the long reign of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan in responding to shaky economic trends with lengthy infusions of credit as he did during the dot.com bubble of the 1990s and the housing bubble of 2001-2005.

 This time around, Greenspan’s successor, Ben Bernanke, is sitting tight. With the economy teetering on the brink, the Fed is allowing rates to remain steady. The Fed claims their policy is due to the danger of rising “core inflation.” But this cannot be true.

  The biggest consumer item, houses and real estate, is tanking. Officially, unemployment is low, but mainly due to low-paying service jobs. Commodities have edged up, including food and gasoline, but that’s no reason to allow the entire national economy to be submerged.

 So what is really happening? Actually, it’s simple. The difference today is that China and other large investors from abroad, including Middle Eastern oil magnates, are telling the U.S.

  that if interest rates come down, thereby devaluing their already-sliding dollar portfolios further, they will no longer support with their investments the bloated U.S. trade and fiscal deficits.

 Of course we got ourselves into this quandary by shipping our manufacturing to China and other cheap-labor markets over the last generation. “Dollar hegemony” is backfiring. In fact China is using its American dollars to replace the International Monetary Fund as a lender to developing nations in Africa and elsewhere.

  As an additional insult, China now may be dictating a new generation of economic decline for the American people who are forced to buy their products at Wal-Mart by maxing out what is left of our available credit card debt.

 About a year ago, a former Reagan Treasury official, now a well-known cable TV commentator, said that China had become “America’s bank” and commented approvingly that “it’s cheaper to print money than make cars anymore.” Ha ha.

 It is truly staggering that none of the “mainstream” political candidates from either party has attacked this subject on the campaign trail. All are heavily funded by the financier elite who will profit no matter how bad the U.S. economy suffers.

 Every candidate except Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich treats the Federal Reserve like the fifth graven image on Mount Rushmore. And even the so-called progressives are silent. The weekend before the Perlstein/ Samuelson articles came out, there was a huge progressive conference in Washington, D.C., called “Taming the Corporate Giant.” Not a single session was devoted to financial issues.

 What is likely to happen?  I’d suggest four possible scenarios:

どのような事態が発生するだろうか? 以下に4つの可能性が高いシナリオを想定した。

1. Acceptance by the U.S. population of diminished prosperity and a declining role in the world. Grin and bear it. Live with your parents into your 40s instead of your 30s. Work two or three part-time jobs on the side, if you can find them.

 Die young if you lose your health care. Declare bankruptcy if you can, or just walk away from your debts until they bring back debtor’s prison like they’ve done in Dubai. Meanwhile,

 China buys more and more U.S. properties, homes, and businesses, as economists close to the Federal Reserve have suggested. If you’re an enterprising illegal immigrant, have fun continuing to jack up the underground economy, avoid business licenses and taxes, and rent out group houses to your friends.

2.  Times of economic crisis produce international tension and politicians tend to go to war rather than face the economic music. The classic example is the worldwide depression of the 1930s leading to World War II. Conditions in the coming years could be as bad as they were then.

  We could have a really big war if the U.S. decides once and for all to haul off and let China, or whomever, have it in the chops. If they don’t want our dollars or our debt any more, how about a few nukes?

3.  Maybe we’ll finally have a revolution either from the right or the center involving martial law, suspension of the Bill of Rights, etc., combined with some kind of military or forced-labor dictatorship. We’re halfway there anyway. Forget about a revolution from the left. They wouldn’t want to make anyone mad at them for being too radical.

4.  Could there ever be a real try at reform, maybe even an attempt just to get back to the New Deal? Since the causes of the crisis are monetary, so would be the solutions.

 The first step would be for the Federal Reserve System to be abolished as a bank of issue and a transformation of the nation’s credit system into a genuine public utility by the federal government. This way we could rebuild our manufacturing and public infrastructure and develop an income assurance policy that would benefit everyone.

 The latter is the only sensible solution. There are monetary reformers who know how to do it if anyone gave them half a chance.

 Richard C. Cook is the author of “Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age.” A retired federal analyst, his career included work with the U.S.

 Civil Service Commission,  the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, and NASA, followed by twenty-one years with the U.S. Treasury Department. He is now a Washington, D.C.-based writer and consultant.

 His book “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform,” will be published later this year. His website is at www.richardccook.com. Richard C. Cook is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Richard C. Cook

http://www.globalresearch.ca / index.php?context

(転載終了)

米ワシントン・ポスト紙「The Takeover Boom, About to Go Bust」  スティーブン・パールステイン筆

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article  /2007/06/12/AR2007061201801.html

米ワシントン・ポスト紙 「The End of Cheap Credit」  ロバート・サミュエルソン筆
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/12/AR2007061201671.html

(転載貼り付け終わり)

副島隆彦拝
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