Economics and Investing:

Bill N. sent this very observant piece: Gold, Spam, and Ruger vs the S&P 500.Bill notes “This is an interesting article, it even has a graph at the end comparing the S&P 500, gold, Hormel (makers of Spam), and Ruger Firearms for the last year.”

Insurance giant AIG (now 80% US government owned, thanks to a $125 billion bailout with taxpayer funds) is not out of the woods yet. Asset values are continuing to decline, creating more credit default swap (CDS) derivatives counterparty risk. $300 billion in assets have already been affected. For some details, see this Wall Street Journal article Top U.S., European Banks Got $50 Billion in AIG Aid

Robert B. mentioned this piece by Richard Daughty (aka The Mogambo Guru): Golden Butter on Inflation Toasted Dollars. Robert notes: “Recent comments in the media note that the current DJIA is at its lowest since 1997. But it’s worse than that. Mogambo Guru quotes Bob Chapman: … “since 1997, real inflation, as opposed to ridiculously understated official inflation, has raged at a minimum of 8% annually, and has soared as high as 14-16%. This means that you have lost a minimum of two thirds of your 1997 purchasing power”,…. It seems to me then, that the current DJIA is actually only one-third the level of 1997. In a word, “Yikes!”

DS spotted this: Gandhara is Latest [Hedge] Fund to Die. Since October of 1997, I’ve been predicting that there will be successive quarterly waves of hedge fund failures and redemption suspensions. I stand by that prediction. There are many more to come!

Items from The Economatrix:

Hedge Fund Hotel Yields Up Secrets

Corporate America Giants Crumbling

Worst is Yet to Come in Job Market

The Truth Behind the Headline Unemployment Numbers

The Bottom for Stocks is a Long Way Off

The Markets Go Cliff Diving Again

Financial and Economic Crisis Entering Panic Phase

Martin Weiss: Beginning Now–The Panic Phase of the Economic Collapse

When the Economy Bottoms Out, How Will We Know?

Tent City Has Returned to Haunt America

Recession Crime Wave Hits Britain, US Next

“Run On UK” Show Foreign Investors Pull $1 Trillion Out

IMF: 20% of UK GDP Spent on Bailouts

Argentina: This is What a Collapse Looks Like

G7 Outlook Worsens