The Current Crisis

BigRed32771

Expert Expediter
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Financial "experts" tell us that about 2 weeks ago the economy nearly seized up and shut down. The Secretary of the Treasury and the head of the Fed ran to the President in a panic warning of immanent collapse if emergency measures weren't taken. Since that time the government pumped $85 billion of our money into bailing out AIG, oversaw the acquisition of a major bank by another and allowed another bank to fail. Over the weekend yet another major bank was acquired by a huge financial conglomerate (which if memory serves correctly had itself earlier been the recipient of government assistance) and Congress has worked out the details of a Wall Street bailout which is reported to be $700 billion more of our money, but which some experts say is only the beginning of the cost.

Do I believe that the economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. Yes, though I still believe it could go either way. While I base this on a lot of listening to so-called experts and conversation with knowledgeable friends, I also pay attention to the anecdotal information which supports the idea that there is a growing crisis of confidence in the populace. People are scared about what is coming down the road. In talking with drivers recently I perceived that a shudder ran through the transportation industry at the time the market started to seize. It was small, but to me at least, notable. My daughter reports that the dental office she worked in until recently has experienced a significant number of appointment cancellations from people deciding to postpone dental work. My former mother-in-law has started stockpiling groceries and talking about a depression. I and a couple of my friends have fielded an increased number of calls and conversations from people trying to get a handle on what is going on. Even my own mother, who never pays attention to things political or especially economic, has talked to me about how things are going and that she just hopes for the best.

How have things gotten to this point? We were told that the economy was supposed to be stable and that with the steady hand of the government and the Federal Reserve (remember Alan Greenspan?) things would just cruise into a prosperous future. Instead, the nation weathered a significant downturn when the "tech-bubble" of the Clinton years collapsed just before the 2000 elections. During the last several years we experienced a "housing-bubble" which has now collapsed and is potentially going to take down the economy to drastic levels. Again, how have things gotten to this point?

One answer, and it's not "the free market run amok."

Take a look at this video: YouTube - Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

It gives a clear explanation of who and what are responsible for the current crisis.
Think about it. Pass it on.

Doug Simmons

"Vote Anti-Incumbant! It's time to remind them they're the hired help!"
 

dhalltoyo

Veteran Expediter
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Vote.

Yes.

I believe if more of us would get on our faces before God and pray for this nation...it would help!

The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing."

Timothy writes in 2 Timothy 2:8 "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting."

God is still on the throne.

This situation did not take him by surprise.

Pray daily...pray often.
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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I went to look at the video and got the message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Warner Music Group."

Bringing the topic closer to home, I'd be interested in hearing what, if anything, expediters are worrying about in the current economic environment; and what, if anything, they are doing different because of it?

To answer my own question, Diane and I are worrying about the freight. We are running a good load now to a good area. Normally, we would be upbeat and optimistic about the next run. Now, we worry that shippers may pull back and freight will not be as abundant.

We have had a good year so far (as good as can be expected given all the time off we have taken). We worry that 2009 will not be as good.

It feels different. In years past, we worried little that there would be less freight to haul. Now, hearing about companies that say they may not be able to make payroll, seeing housing prices fall, and seeing vacant commercial space open up in downtown, suburban and industrial areas, we no longer take a loaded truck for granted.

What are we doing different?

Nothing.

We continue to take loads that pay and decline those that don't. We continue to maintain the truck and ourselves so as to be available and able to do the job. As always, we manage our money and stand ready to weather slow times. And we do so hoping the freighrt will stay strong.

If the expedite market contracts in a severe recession, we expect the number of trucks will also contract. Having prepared for slow times, we do not expect to be one of the teams that leaves the industry. We expect that the trucks leaving the industry will leave the available freight behind for us to haul.

If freight slows to a crawl, the RV half of our truck makes easy to deal with that. But we would very much prefer to keep the wheels rolling with profitable freight on board.

Longer term, we expect the industry to rebound and us to achieve all of our financial goals. A recession stands between us and our future. We will work through it as best we can.
 
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EASYTRADER

Expert Expediter
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Sen. McCain,

I am a small business owner, former series 3 licensed broker, I have worked in the mortgage industry as a retail and wholesale loan officer, I also mange my own retirement funds.

As someone who is WELL informed on securities issues, and reasonably informed on the current crises let me tell you, the Republicans are about to sink the ship. In 1929 it was the Republicans who created the depression, Pres. Hoover as I’m sure you know was, a Republican. I am a Republican, I am so right wing I make John Birch look like a liberal. I am telling you the failure to pass Paulsons bill as presented is going to KILL the middle class in this country.

Let me walk you through a probable scenario of what is to come if you, as the leader of the party FAIL to wrangle these knuckleheads in line.

All aspects of our daily lives depend on the speedy transportation of goods, using trucks. Trucking companies, pick up and deliver goods on a 90 day promises to pay.

Trucking companies routinely front:

1. Fuel
2. Driver Salaries
3. Equipment Payments

40% of most freight bills goes to fuel. Trucking companies must pay for fuel in advance, there is no 90 day billing at the fuel island.

Trucking companies routinely SELL their invoices as short term commercial paper into the credit markets. This is known as factoring. Trucking companies must factor invoices because fuel is such a high cost to thier businesses they can’t operate on the standard 90 day billing cycle.

Credit markets are freezing, rightly are wrongly, they are freezing. According to CNBC 4 of the largest money market funds have imploded in the last 30 days. Short term commercial paper is funded in the money markets.

All of the US investment banks have failed or switched operations. They were another source of short term commercial paper.

If you guys don’t stop the bullcrap bickering and pass Paulsons plan. Trucking companies won’t be able to factor invoices.

Trucking companies will run out of fuel money! Trucks will stop moving!

I’m not talking about little companies here either. I mean the big ones. Swift transportation spends 4 million dollars a day on fuel, at that burn rate unfactored invoices, and unpaid invoices will put them under in 60 days or less.

If the factoring system dries up due to panic, smaller trucking companies will disappear within 5 days of not being able to sell their invoices.

This is no joke!!!

If congress doesn’t buy up these mortgages and free up capitol, you’ll find empty groceries stores in this country.

It will happen fast.

Trucking companies won’t be the only causalities, just the most visible.


Sincerely Scared,
 

ATeam

Senior Member
Retired Expediter
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If factoring dries up as you suggest, would that not be good news for those who lease paid-for trucks to large, non-asset based carriers and have enough money to purchase fuel more than one load at a time?

I confess an ignorance of what happens to the run paperwork and billing after we send it in. All I have ever had to know is we send it in and get paid for the load via electronic deposit a few days later. If needed, we can collect an advance against the load the instant the load is on the truck.

The very little bit I know about invoice factoring I learned a few minutes ago by reading this web page.
 
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EASYTRADER

Expert Expediter
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not all comppanies factor invoices just a significant portion of them. Yes for well capitalised the disatster might be a winfall.

However if short term commercial paper dries up. Shippers won't be able to sell invoices either which means there won't be any frieght to begin with.

Most companies have a significant portion of there revenue tied up in recievables. With strong capitol markets recievables are good.

However when capitol markets seize recievable become worthless because they don't get
paid.

Hank Paulson and Ben Bernacke aren't playing chicken little. The
potential for the disaster scenario
is real. The most people have no idea how the economy works especially congress. Well Bernacke and Paulson know the idea that congress is treating these guys like a couple of hacks is infuriating.

Bernackes Doctoral Thesis was on the causes and possible cures of the Last Great depression. If anyone has a CLUE he does.

Nobody thought Bear Stearns would disapear in eight business
days the went from solvent to non existant.

anyway I used the trucking industry as an example because many of us factor. Remember a significant portion of businesses operate in this manner.
 
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