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Commentary Last Updated: Sep 3rd, 2007 - 01:11:36

The march of the two-tone shirts
By Paolo Caruso
Online Journal Guest Writer

Sep 3, 2007, 01:09

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Perhaps only the most observant or fashion conscious would notice a most conspicuous fashion trend of the financial world that appears to have caught on during these precarious financial times.

A not-so-subtle penchant of talking heads and financial experts these days, evidently is to sport a particular colored dress shirt -- typically blue, pink, or pinstriped, but specifically topped with a crisp, bright white collar and white cuffs as well. Some call them "millionaire shirts," which for decades, have gone in and out of style . . . typically following economic cycles.

Often considered an ostentatious fashion 'faux pas,' this style has been revitalized by the likes of Larry Kudlow, the investment icon, who everyday on CNBC proceeds to relentlessly proselytize the Goldie-locks Economy, while proclaiming the virtues of capitalism as �The Great American Success Story� and �The Greatest Story Ever Told.� Two-tone Kudlow is also known for his most hypocritical mantra, �Free market capitalism is the best road to prosperity� . . . while he pleads for the secretive Federal Reserve to print more money and drop interest rates.

Kudlow's followers include other such late-middle-aged pinstripe-suited talking heads and experts -- spouting their two-tone platitudes. Such optimistic, economic propaganda includes: �The economy is going great guns.� �Unemployment is at its lowest.� �The economy has never been stronger.� �We have reached the bottom of the real estate market.� �Real estate is on its way up.� �The surge in Iraq is working.� �Personal income is up. �Consumer spending is delayed due to the weather.� �Business couldn�t be better.� �Just a temporary blip in the market.� �A much needed correction.� �The Fed should cut interest rates.� �The downturn is over.� �The stock market is booming.� �The economy is healthy.� �The economy just grew 4 percent in the second quarter.� �I haven�t seen better fundamentals.� �Inflation is in check.� �Deflation is non-existent.� �The consumer is confident.� �Prices are stable.� Among many others, which include any combination and modification of the above.

No substance and prosperity, its all image and psychology that keeps the Dow breaking records. Suspiciously, situations change dramatically, virtually overnight, to suit their needs. One day, its tech stocks; the very next day, its blue chips. One day, its large caps; the next day, its small caps. Incredibly, housings stocks manage to change from day to day on some spontaneous indicator. Switch to commercial paper, then to bonds � the next day back to equities.

Ben Bernanke smiles and the Dow goes up. George Bush smirks and the Dow goes up. Between smirks, smiles and platitudes, the market drops and the two-tones make money on their short sells. The system is rigged and they never lose, while the two-tones point to the stellar performers, like casinos in Macau, international alcoholic beverage producers, defense contractors, security companies, pharmaceuticals, and the private prison industry . . . all booming and all a frightening portent of where the rest of us are heading.

Meanwhile, the Fed and the PPT (Purge Protection Team) at the White House are frantically controlling the stock market through money infusions and obscure investment buys, to mitigate the downturns. And as they lower the interest rates, bogus companies in the Caymans and London are buying American securities and treasuries with newly printed cash right off the presses. It�s all a house of cards, kept together by greed, coercion, computerized financial manipulation and psychology, pumped up desperately by hucksters in two-tone shirts, assiduously keeping the Ponzi scheme going before it collapses and they have to flee to Switzerland or Tel Aviv.

The march of the two-tones, along with the Federal Reserve, a system of quasi private banks, continue printing money like crazy and injecting it into the economy . . . but now handing it over to their select pals in the mortgage and hedge-funds business through the Fed�s 21 "select agents." Nothing is more mysterious then the mechanism of the Federal Reserve that, recently, a very experienced stockbroker admitted on television that he really didn�t understand how the Fed works. Very few people can in fact explain the abstruse workings of the Federal Reserve -- a system which happens to be the underlying basis of the U.S. economy. With all the network and cable channels, virtually nowhere can one find a program or documentary that truly reveals the Federal Reserve system. And it is no surprise that upon searching the Internet, one finds that almost all the sites relating to the Federal Reserve deal with conspiracies. Regardless, this arcane Fed pours money into the economy, while it has stopped publishing the M-3 figures, which accounts for how much monopoly money it is actually circulating.

But to be sure, the two-tone crowd is not on fixed incomes or pensions, nor do they keep the bulk of their money in banks. These are over-leveraged over-indulgent people who would love to see some inflation kick in by lowering the interest rates and having the Fed print more money.

Unfortunately, the two-tones have gone international in their investments, so the patriotic flag wavers, who have to borrow to install a wheelchair ramp for their War-on-Terror veteran son, are left to feel the wrath of higher prices, trade imbalances, and a huge federal deficit.

Although there are a few Doug Kasses out there, the other major coincidence is that most of the other pundits who share these optimistic proclamations, are Jewish. Not that there is a clear-cut syllogism, wherein all Jewish financial experts wear two-tone shirts, but illustrating the two subsets in a vector diagram, you would certainly find a substantial convergence with Jews who do wear two-tone shirts along with their WASPy cheerleaders.

It is human nature to want to be identified. It�s like wearing a tie-dye T-shirt to a Save the Whales fest. Even Jewish people want other Jews to know they are Jewish. The Spanish and Portuguese Marranos of the times of the inquisitions, had their cryptic signals by taking on surnames that contain a precious metal and gems as they sailed on to the new world in search of just that . . . gold, silver and diamonds. Just like the two-tone shirts who are proclaiming to other capitalists, that they too are unbridled capitalists.

To have the audacity to adorn such a high-brow garment, you best have an impeccable silk suit, Bally shoes, and a relatively new Mercedes Benz . . . otherwise you will look like a pompous ass . . . a wannabe. One should really have the income and the assets to back up this particular fashion choice. The two-tone shirt has become an icon of the hyper-wealthy, like the top hat, the monocle, the cigar smoking fat man in the pinstriped suit -- its all about showing others that you�re making lots of money . . . anywhere, anyway . . . and at the expense of anyone.

If you notice, two-tones avoid talking about trade imbalances, outsourcing, deficits, sub-prime mortgages, savings rates, standard or living, crime, social security and health insurance. Two-tones make money, whether oil prices go up or even when they go down. They have created a financial scam where they cannot lose. Watching CNBC or Bloomberg is like watching WWF wrestling. It's all a scam. The real losers in the stock market are the chumps who follow the rants and ravings on Jim Cramer�s Mad Money show, and those who just took the investment seminar that popped up on their computer screen. And then there are the diehard stock investors who just haven�t accepted the fact that they are out of the loop and the two-tones are five steps ahead of them, having access to a lot more inside information. And if you look closely, you�ll note that these two-tone shirts come with very expensive cufflinks -- typically gold, silver and even diamonds.

Copyright � 2007 Paolo Caruso. All rights reserved.

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