All that Glitters: Gold hits $1600 an Ounce as People Lose Faith in the Western Governments and Western Currencies

As the socialist democrats play chicken with the debt crisis in Washington DC and as the governments of Europe split on how to deal with their debt fiasco its becoming increasingly clear that our western governments have failed in dealing with the financial crisis. As much as the rest of the world is loath to admit it; our western financial mess will tank the world economy when we reach critical mass and sovereign debt begins to be defaulted on. In America, a two party system, it’s a fact that one of the two party’s is entirely dependent on providing ever more extravagant social programs and so if you take spending away from the socialist democrats they have no party left. Democrats have abandoned their principles years ago in favor of a strictly “bring home the bacon” world view and their politics of division means that they now view patriotism and any good feeling about this country as “republican propaganda.” Democrats maintain their supplicants by dividing the nation into controllable voting groups, convincing them that they are a persecuted minority; con their leaders into accepting Democrat legislative protection and then they harvest the vote while never actually solving the problems.

This works great until you have a problem, like the financial crisis, that actually needs a real solution. We need the spending spigot to be turned off, now, and for the foreseeable future. The socialist governments of Europe don’t have the money to pay for their lavish social benefits and are facing default on their ever increasing debt and here in America we’re doing our best to pretend that we don’t have a spending problem at all. The sane people, who remain, around the world, are looking at our government’s failure to solve the financial crisis and they’re turning increasingly to Gold because neither the Euro nor the Dollar seems to be worth much these days. As Western Governments are increasingly revealed as too weak to fix the financial woes of the world: it’s only natural that the world’s wealth will find its way into units of value that are not dependent on government to maintain that value. Hence we’re seeing Gold take off like a rocket, again, as faith in our politicians craters once again. Our elected representatives are unable to take unpopular but necessary actions for the good of the country but instead while away the hours figuring out how to fix the blame on the other party.

The Debt Crisis is like Marley’s Ghost, with chains clanking, and the unearthly groans of the utterly dammed, trying in vain to get our attention. At least Ebenezer Scrooge opened a dialog with the Ghost; he faced the apparition and worked the problem to the salvation of his soul. Our Ghost is, in fact, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Ghost who now wears the crazy Marxist programs he forged in life; as he watches the nation he lead come apart at the seams because it’s no longer administering the social programs——- the social programs are governing us. As Marley and Scrooge sold their soles to the quest for profit; the Marxist Democrats have sold their soul to redistribution of wealth as a means of maintaining power and extending control over the people. As the Ghost of Roosevelt stands in the center of the Oval Office groaning and clanking its chains while the cancerous programs it spawned threatens to kill the United States: Obama sits in the oval office, oblivious to the cancerous spending, unwilling to compromise with evil capitalists, ghosts of presidents past, or anyone else, because he’s too engrossed on planning yet another vacation.

Sixteen Hundred Dollars for an Ounce of Gold! As the Congress abdicates is responsibility for love of the cowardly McConnel plan and as Obama lays the foundation for blaming the Republicans when the debt talks fail and as the hapless Germans stand alone in Europe for fiscal sanity gold is on a tare. As our governments continue to fail us look for more and more people and organization around the world to turn to gold for wealth preservation. Sixteen Hundred Bucks an ounce with no end in sight! For more on Gold consider this article from Bloomberg.com:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-18/gold-rallies-to-record-in-best-run-since-1980.html

What No Foreign Army Could Do: Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Lead the Assault on American Sovereignty

The Obama Administration is being whipsawed by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s over the loss of the nations AAA credit rating. In the event the rating is lost the interest costs to finance our suicidal debt would rise as faith in our financial system falls; as determined by rating agencies. There seems to be a whiff of panic in the air as Obama refuses clear cut spending reductions and the Republicans refuse to raise taxes in the worst economy since the Great Depression. Given the extra “pressure” of the ratings agencies threat to our credit rating; our brave politicians are dealing with their discomfiture by beginning to rally around the so called McConnell plan. What is the McConnell plan? It’s a craven, abject capitulation, designed to give Obama the sole authority to order a debt limit increase on his own authority; while providing congress a fig leaf to cover its naked abdication to control the nation’s finances. Like Pontius Pilot, the quaking marshmallow McConnell would wash his hands, and those of fellow Republicans, of the “blame” for the torrent of additional Obama spending without any cuts at all. What’s another couple of Trillion Dollars of debt before Election Day? The fact that these two rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, can make Country Club, Big Government, “Republicans” like Mitch McConnell fall down and grovel at their feet with no spending cuts to show for this fiasco, makes you wonder who is really in charge in Washington.

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are just the vanguard of the forces that are displacing our hapless elected officials from conducting the nations business as increasingly they are forced to cede our sovereignty to credit rating agencies, the International Monetary Fund, and The Federal Reserve as they determine American policy. Look for this trend to continue and for examples of these financial entities to be increasingly brazen about telling our wobbly-kneed-politicians exactly what to do. No Foreign Army could have concurred the USA in the last century but giant money cartels like the Nefarious Federal Reserve and global financial organizations like the IMF have taken effective control of this country as congress abdicates its responsibility, and Obama grows the imperial presidency into a true puppet of global dictatorship. This coalition of financial Napoleons never fired a shot: they just replaced democrats with socialists, encouraged dependence on the big government crack pipe, and waited sixty year while systematically taking over education and media. The USA never even knew it had been vanquished. Big money has made our elections a joke as the sums involved to be elected to any national office are so huge that candidates of both parties are beholden to big money to mount a campaign. Ever wonder why it doesn’t seem to matter what party is elected because the policy stays the same?

What have our new masters, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s done by their threat to downgrade our credit rating? Besides annoying Prince Obama and causing the cowardly old men of the Senate to soil themselves; what does this threat from Moody’s and S&P do? Once again the McConnell plan gives sole authority to Obama to spend another two Trillion Dollars with no spending cuts at all. Why? The gutless McConnell will tell you it’s to insure that Obama gets the blame for his economy: thus positioning Republicans to triumph in the next election. Is it really about the politics? Or is it about trillions of dollars and the increased control the global Financial/Intelligence/Military complex gains over our country? Is letting us know that all this money we’ve borrowed will soon be costing us a lot more the equivalent of a fisherman setting the hook on a prized fish? We’re already at the point where it’s impossible to pay off our debts but when the rates go up—and Obama is allowed to borrow TRILLIONS more—– the chains will go on us all: and we’ll never be off the hook of this debt. Not ever.

Having become somewhat cynical in my old age I suspect that the real purpose is to spend that extra couple of trillion, that even now can probably never be repaid, so as to increase the control over the US Government by the crack dealing czars of the global Industrial Military Complex, and New World Order Financial and Intelligence cartels. In the twenty-first century, standing armies are obsolete having been replaced by financial control and absolute mastery of information technology. The military has its place, but the true control of the world lies in the manipulation of the information & intelligence infrastructure and an iron grip on global finances. The power to create money, to grant and to absolve debt is morphing into direct control of the daily governance of the crumbling Western World. Just ask Greece……. And maybe even Senator McConnell if you catch him in a candid mood. Maybe you had better just ask Greece….

The Affirmative Action President: How Barak Obama has brought the USA to the Brink of Disaster

In the final analysis, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it’s abundantly clear that Professor Obama has no clue how to be President of the United States. His incompetence has been on display from day one but now it an undeniable sick feeling in the guts of every thinking American. America, led by the Baby Boomers, wanted to be the ones who ended racism and so they elected an articulate black man to the presidency in spite of his have no qualifications to hold that office. Neo-Marxist Democrats saw a black “leader” who could speak Standard English, have an appealing smile, and who can say anything without being challenged by the press; and they thought their chance to vote in a messiah had come.
It turns out that being President is about being truthful, more than reading a teleprompter flawlessly; it’s about love of America more than being a citizen of the world or a lover of “Social Justice” and it’s about being an honorable man more than being a party man. Professor Obama is clear that he feels the Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties” and in his term as president he’s never let the constitution stop him from pursuing a Marxist College Professors agenda. He rammed through Obama Care, stimulus legislation and a spending spree that may well be the death warrant of the US Dollar as well as doing permanent damage to our national dialog with his highhanded arrogance.
Obama is the living personification of a failed idea—– that big government can be anything other than absolutely corrupt.

Big Government serves itself, not the people, as the empty trust funds of our entitlements and our bankrupt, looted, state pensions eloquently testify. Obama represents a party that created Social Security and Medicare and a vast array of social programs: only to themselves, loot those same programs, and now the money is gone and the bill is due. The money is gone and we have no way to pay what was promised by the Democrats. The Democrats and their grab bag of goodies is revealed to be a cruel hoax and those who believed the democrats will sooner or later understand that they have been played for a fool. To be a Democrat is to be a Mark. Bernie Madoff will look like a saint when the history of the Marxist Democrats is written because their con game has not only destroyed our economy and destroyed our dreams; they may destroy the world economy as a consequence of our national folly. Is Obama a man who can understand this and find a way forward for us all? Increasingly the answer is: NO.
As state government lay-offs begin in earnest, as our creditors threaten our credit rating, as unemployment lingers and as inflation grows; our “affirmative action president” is revealed as a total incompetent who’s now playing chicken with a planetary depression and a world financial crisis with ramifications too horrible to contemplate. The USA has no ability to pass a vote of no confidence and create new elections, which is too bad, because our angry black president would rather destroy the financial world, and all our dreams, rather than admit that the spending has to stop and the national debt be paid. As it becomes clear that the modern Democrat Party is a stealth European Socialist Party; who if any of them will admit that their theory of government is a total failure? A Democrat who can’t spend, can’t survive, and it’s now clear that the spending must stop or the United States of America won’t survive. Who will Obama pick, his party or aby Boomershis country, whom will he save?
Like it or not we’re all about to find out the hard way. I don’t think we’re going to like his choice.

Obama Plays Judas: America Betrays Eastern European Allies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               In a stunning reversal of US Policy, the Obama Administration scraped the Eastern European Missile Shield to appease the Russian Strongman; Vladimir Putin.  Obama has stabbed Poland and the Czechoslovakia in the back in a transparent move to appease the Russians in advance of his upcoming meeting with President Medvedev.  During the Russian war of aggression against Georgia during the Olympics the Poles and the Czechs bravely agreed to allow the placement of a new missile defense system on their territory.  The Russians immediately placed both countries on their enemies list and unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse on both nations even while continuing to intimidate the Ukraine and beat up the Georgians. 

At the time, it was stated that the missile shield was necessary to protect against rogue nations like Iran, but everyone knew that it was to counter the growing Russian belligerence in the region. Russia goes ballistic whenever its formerly subjugated states indicate they would rather risk their existence as a people, and a nation, to join NATO rather than continue under Russian tyranny. 

Poland is already in NATO but they were told any such installation on Polish soil would be target number one for Russian Nuclear Weapons in the event of war. 

Nations such as the Ukraine and Georgia risk their freedom to try and join NATO because the Russians are quite willing to use force to keep them in their zone of terror.  The Polish President refused to accept a call from Obama, and later refused to accept a call from the senate confirmed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  I’ve seen no public reports as to whether the Poles talked to the “Foreign Policy Czar” or the “Polish Czar” or the “Betrayal Czar” (We have so many Czars it’s difficult to know who’s really running the show in any given arena of policy since the cabinet, like the constitution and the congress,  is just for show these days.) 

            In essence Obama has ceded all of Eastern Europe to Russia’s dream of reconstituting the old Soviet Empire. Imagine a criminal thug-ocracy of a new and economically improved Russia taking over the Soviet Empire of satellite states and “spheres of influence” consisting of puppet states run by and for the Kremlin. 

Not since Yalta has the world seen such a foolhardy betrayal and sacrifice of a vast section of eastern Europeans; who believe in freedom and democracy far more than the current President of the United States.  At Yalta, Roosevelt was exhausted from the Great Depression, World War II, and having been elected for 4 terms as president.  It begs the question: What’s Obama’s Excuse for this stunning and incompetent display of weakness and appeasement before a wanabe dictator like Putin?

Barak Husain Obama has just dashed the hopes of freedom for all for all of Eastern Europe and has clearly demonstrated that, not only won’t we fight for them; we won’t lift a finger for them.  With friends like the United States, and NATO:  the Eastern Europeans would be well advised to make the best deal they can with Putin and end resistance to Russian demands. This action serves to underline what Obama proved with his earlier betrayal of Israel in the face of the Iranian threat:  The United State under the Obama Administration can’t be believed or counted on and all of our allies are now very much on their own.  The Lights are on in the White House but there’s nobody home.

Obama seems so preoccupied with remaking the United States into a Socialist State that he can’t be bothered with foreign policy until it becomes a crisis. The world has long accepted the view that if Hitler had been stopped at Munich and not appeased by the world powers then World War II may well have been avoided.  Obama’s shameful betrayal of Easter Europe is the “Munich” of our times and it’s quite likely we will see the same results. 

Putin must be overjoyed by now…..

Obama’s Trade War: When the Economy Breaks in Earnest It May be Over Something as Stupid as Tires

Barak Obama is playing with fire at the behest of his Union masters.

In a blatant act of protectionism the Obama Administration is imposing additional tariffs on Chinese Tires, and risking a trade war with the Chinese. Once the tariffs and sanctions start to be imposed they are matched by counter tariffs and sanctions by the aggrieved government. At best relations with the largest buyer of US debt will sour relations a bit while at worst a general trade war can tear the economy apart as protection of our 7000 factory workers leads to losing the Chinese market in a mindless, and ill advised, game of tit for tat. From some of the most humble beginnings, like this carping over Chinese tires for example, a super destructive trade war can develop that has the power to topple a superpower from its perch.

No one really wins a trade war: it’s a bloody war of economic attrition, much like World War I was an ongoing mindless slaughter of troops to advance the front line a few hundred yards, became the poster child for wars of attrition. The combatants dig in and the mindless slaughter ensues until it becomes unsustainable. Even the eventual winner, is a loser, because of the mindless and senseless waste of recourses.

In a global economy, such as ours, with an enmeshed and ailing financial system, the law of unintended consequences could rear its ugly head, repeatedly, as a twenty first century trade war between the US and China causes untold damage on the planetary economy.

When the last economic straw comes, that crushes the American Economy for generations, it could well come from something as innocuous as this foolhardy tempest with the Chinese. Mr. Obama is, by his words a capitalist, but by his actions, a committed Marxist and a stealthy Black Nationalist, but we need a real president to hold the line on trade wars: not a “community organizer” whose been bought and paid for by big labor.

Consider the following article from the Financial Times: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f67c6fe6-a024-11de-b9ef-00144feabdc0.html

US tyre duties spark clash By Geoff Dyer in Shanghai and Tom Braithwaite in Washington Published: September 13 2009 06:53 | Last updated: September 13 2009 19:23

A full-blown trade row erupted on Sunday night between the US and China after Beijing accused Washington of “rampant protectionism” for imposing heavy duties on imported Chinese tyres and threatened action against imports of US poultry and vehicles.

Trade relations between two of the world’s biggest economies deteriorated after Barack Obama, US president, signed an order late on Friday to impose a new duty of 35 per cent on Chinese tyre imports on top of an existing 4 per cent tariff.

In his first big test on world trade since taking office in January, Mr Obama sided with America’s trade unions, which have complained that a “surge” in imports of Chinese-made tyres had caused 7,000 job losses among US factory workers.

Chen Deming, China’s minister of commerce, condemned the decision, saying that it “sends the wrong signal to the world” at a time when Washington and Beijing should be co-operating to deal with the worst economic and financial crisis in decades.

“This is a grave act of trade protectionism,” Mr Chen said in a statement. “Not only does it violate WTO rules, it contravenes commitments the United States government made at the [April] G20 financial summit.”

China said it would now investigate imports of US poultry and vehicles, responding to complaints from domestic companies.

The US warned Beijing against taking retaliatory action. “Retaliation would be inappropriate, as the United States acted entirely within the bounds of trade laws and within the safeguard provision that China itself agreed to upon accession to the World Trade Organisation,” said an official from the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The official said that enforcing trade agreements and laws was “critical” to maintaining free markets. Another official said the US had “negotiated to the end with the Chinese to come up with something we could all agree to”.

US officials said they were scrutinising the export of poultry and vehicles, but said any action in retaliation by China could result in a complaint by the US to the WTO.

The dispute comes less than a fortnight before Mr Obama is due to host world leaders at a summit of G20 nations in Pittsburgh and ahead of his planned visit to China in November.

The decision to impose extra tyre tariffs followed a petition by the United Steelworkers union, which represents workers at many US tyre factories. Official figures show an increase in imports from 14.6m in 2004 to 46m in 2008.

Eswar Prasad, professor of trade economics at Cornell University, warned that the disagreement could escalate.

“These protectionist measures, some of which amount to domestic political posturing rather than substantive restraints on trade, could easily ratchet up into a full-blown trade war and inflict serious economic damage on both countries,” he said.

Preparing for War: Middle East War Coming Soon

 

 

This is the kind of deal making and last ditch diplomatic moves before a major conflict begins.  The Jerusalem Post has confirmed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken a clandestine trip to Russia according to a Kremlin spokesman.  Nothing is known of the subject matter, or of the officials involved but the probability is that it involved the situation in Iran and perhaps Syria.  It was staged without knowledge of, nor coverage of the press corps, and without the trappings of an official state visit.  A leased Jet supposedly took the prime minister on this cloak and dagger mission and no information of any meaningful nature has been released by either government to a hoodwinked press corp.

You need not be Einstein to conclude that time is rapidly running out on Middle East peace.  If Middle East Oil is interdicted or facilities destroyed by a regional war the economic effects could be catastrophic throughout the world.  Israel has no option at all and must attack or be destroyed by an Iranian Nuclear Bomb and the fact that hush-hush meetings are taking place between Russia and the Prime Minister of Israel can only mean that the day of reckoning is close at hand.

 

Kremlin official confirms PM’s trip

Sep. 9, 2009
Herb Keinon and jpost staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

A senior Kremlin official confirmed Wednesday to the Russian paper Kommersant that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did indeed make a clandestine trip to Russia on Monday.

Commenting on the visit, the official said that “this kind of development could only be related to new and threatening information on Iran’s nuclear program.”

The Russian newspaper quoted experts speculating that such a trip would only be justified under extraordinary circumstances, “for example, in the case of Israel planning to attack Iran.”

The report comes despite a statement Wednesday from the Kremlin press service that “nothing is known” about reports of the visit. Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also said he had no information, the Interfax news agency reported.

Nevertheless, there was never any official denial of the report from Moscow.

On Wednesday night, the Prime Minister’s Office appeared to stick to its original version of events: that Netanyahu was occupied with “secret and classified activities” during his unexplained absence of over 12 hours.

The PMO announced that Military Secretary to the Prime Minister Lt.-Gen. Meir Kalifi was not in contact with the prime minister.

According to the announcement, Kalifi undertook an independent initiative to safeguard these activities, and National Security Adviser Uzi Arad had no part in the affair.

Earlier Wednesday, the office neither explicitly confirmed nor denied a story that appeared in Yediot Aharonot claiming that Netanyahu had flown to Russia to talk about planned Russian arms sales to Iran.

Instead, Netanyahu’s spokesmen referred reporters back to the statement issued Monday evening amid a swirl of rumors that Netanyahu had gone abroad.

That statement, oddly released in the name of Kalifi and not in the name of spokesman Nir Hefetz, said, “The prime minister is visiting a security installation in Israel today.”

Asked explicitly if Netanyahu had left the country, another Netanyahu spokesman, Mark Regev, referred back to that statement.

That statement, however, did not rule out the possibility of a trip abroad, since after briefly visiting a security installation, Netanyahu could very well have flown overseas.

Faced with anger from the Israeli press that the Prime Minister’s Office had lied about Netanyahu’s whereabouts, Channel 2 reported Kalifi saying Wednesday night that, “in matters of national security, I take the prerogative of not saying the whole truth.”

Hefetz reportedly refused to issue Monday evening’s statement in his name because he was unable to confirm its veracity.

The whole mysterious episode has focused the spotlight on a reported fissure inside the Prime Minister’s Office, with Kalifi and Arad on one side, and Hefetz and Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser on the other.

According to various new reports on Wednesday, Netanyahu – who was reportedly accompanied by Kalifi and Arad on the reported trip – leased a private jet from Merhav, a company owned by Israeli mogul Yossi Maiman, one of the shareholders of Channel 10 and EMG, an Egyptian company supplying gas to the Israel Electric Corp.

This was apparently done to make the trip as discrete as possible, since using an Israel Air Force jet – it was apparently thought – would have raised the suspicions of the Israeli media.

Maiman was reportedly not directly involved in leasing the jet, as this was done through a company he owns.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials, meanwhile, denied any knowledge of the trip, saying that Israel’s envoy in Moscow was also not appraised of it.

What is almost as mysterious as whether the trip took place, is what might have been discussed, with speculation focused on Iran, possible Russian arms deals to Iran and Syria, or the disappearance of the Arctic Sea cargo ship – suspected of carrying Russian made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles bound for Iran – that went missing last month.

The trip, if indeed it took place, would not have been the result of an impromptu, emergency decision, since there was already talk among Netanyahu’s inner circle during his visit to London and Berlin two weeks ago about a possible visit to Russia ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting at the end of the month.

Interestingly, almost exactly two years ago, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert paid a lightning visit to Moscow to meet with then-Russian president Vladimir Putin, a day after the Russian leader returned from a trip to Teheran in which he warned outside powers not to attack Iran and said there was no evidence it was developing nuclear arms.

Back then, the Prime Minister’s Office tried to dissociate Olmert’s trip from Putin’s statements in Iran, but it was clear from the snap manner in which that meeting at the Kremlin was organized and announced that the Iranian nuclear issue would dominate the discussion.

At that time, however, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement a day ahead of the trip, informing the media of the visit, even though they were not invited to cover it.

This article can also be read at http://www.jpost.com /servlet/Satellite?cid=1251804532464&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
[

The Financial Crisis Revisited: The Bad Economic Slide is About to Begin Again

 

 

 

Are you ready for another perilous slide into banking and real estate hell?  Well there’s an ever growing concern about America’s banking industry again and once again the real estate sector both commercial and residential is about to voyage to the bottom of the toilet.  We’ve had a brief but welcomed respite from failing banks and sharply devaluing real estate but the road ahead is not looking good.  We’ve had a terror-free summer in terms of our banks failing but more and more Americans are wake up to the possibility that we have a committed Marxist in the White House in President Barak Husain Obama. 

As conditions deteriorate in the financial world again, perhaps spurred on by insane government spending, the transition to a socialist or communist economy, and the realization that our government has become our enemy: our political crisis means that there will be nobody home to deal with the next economic crisis.  Clearly the Obama administration is thrilled each and every time something fails because the ensuing crisis becomes an excuse to clamp down on the reins of power even harder.  It would seem that Obama doesn’t care about a finical crisis rearing its ugly head again because the worse such a crisis becomes…. the more dependant we become on the government.  If more banks fail and real estate tanks again Obama will blame it on Bush and create more massive and costly government intervention that won’t solve our problems but will make his hold on power unbreakable.

It’s much harder now to infer the state of the economy from the performance of the stock market because the crazy government intervention in the free market has distorted market reality beyond reason.  This much government interference in the economy means that the stock market is about as predictive of economic conditions as a weather forecaster trying to tell you what it’ll be like outside three months from today.  Nevertheless, I find it fascinating that the finance and mortgage giants like Fannie Mae are leading the current negative trend in today’s stock market news.

I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.

Consider this story from Bloomberg (and look for the economic crisis part II that most analysts say will be coming our way in the fall!)

 

Banks Lead Decline in U.S. Stocks on Concern Over More Losses

 

By Lynn Thomasson

the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since June, as concern banks will post more losses overshadowed manufacturing and housing data that topped estimates.

Wells Fargo & Co., the San Francisco-based bank that received $25 billion in government bailout funds, slid the most in two weeks. Bank of America Corp., American Express Co. and Citigroup Inc. declined more than 3 percent to lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average lower. American International Group Inc. tumbled 16 percent and MetLife Inc. plummeted 5.5 percent after analysts said the insurers’ shares have risen too far, too fast. Europe’s benchmark index retreated 1.8 percent.

The S&P 500 lost 1.8 percent to 1,002.32 at 2:07 p.m. in New York, its steepest intraday decline since Aug. 17. The Dow industrials fell 157.12 points, or 1.7 percent, to 9,339.16.

“The future for the banks is not as muddy as it was two quarters ago, but it’s still not clear,” said Don Wordell, the Orlando, Florida-based manager of the RidgeWorth Mid-Cap Value Equity Fund that has outperformed 94 percent of rivals in the past five years. “The market can’t sustain these huge moves.”

Financial companies have led the S&P 500’s 48 percent rally since March 9, gaining 126 percent. September is historically the worst month for U.S. stocks, with the benchmark index losing 1.3 percent on average since 1928, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Economy

U.S. stocks fell even after the Institute for Supply Management said manufacturing expanded in August for the first time in 19 months and the National Association of Realtors said contracts to buy pending homes increased more than forecast in July. The gauge of factories climbed to 52.9 in August, the ISM said today, topping the average economist estimate of 50.5.

Valuations for U.S. stocks look “marginally stretched” compared with other developed markets, Credit Suisse Group AG said in a research report. Strategist Andrew Garthwaite cut his recommended allocation of American equities and predicted they will underperform when the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index is above 50 and rising.

The surge in the S&P 500 made the index valued at about 19 times the profits of its companies as of the end of last week, the most expensive level since June 2004.

The benchmark index for U.S. stock options headed for its highest close since July 10. The VIX, as the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index is known, increased 9.7 percent to 28.54. The gauge, which measures the cost of using options as insurance against declines in the S&P 500, reached a record of 80.86 in November. The index is sill above the average over its 19-year history of 20.

Wells Fargo Slides

Wells Fargo dropped 3.2 percent to $26.65. Trading in the options market showed speculators were betting Wells Fargo shares will extend their decline. Trading of bearish Wells Fargo put options, which give the right to sell the stock, climbed to 162,000 contracts, triple the four-week average. More than four puts traded for each call option, which give the right to buy.

The most-active contracts were October $24 puts, which rose 67 percent to $1.25 and accounted for a quarter of today’s put trading. The shares haven’t closed below $24, or 13 percent less than yesterday’s closing price, since July 24.

AIG fell the most in the S&P 500, sliding 16 percent to $38.23. The insurer bailed out by the U.S. government was cut to “underperform” from “market perform” at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., which said the government may reduce its support for the firm once AIG is no longer deemed a risk to the financial system. AIG surged 245 percent last month.

‘Dose of Reality’

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance companies under federal control, both tumbled more than 13 percent.

“Given the run that we’ve seen, where people could clearly care less about the fundamentals of the companies that were bid up, any dose of reality has to have a very chilling effect,” said Brad Golding, the New York-based managing director at Christofferson Robb & Co., which oversees $1.5 billion. “The financials have run so far, so much that they’ve gotten to levels that cannot be sustained in a choppy economy.”

MetLife dropped 5.5 percent to $35.68. The biggest U.S. life insurer was downgraded at Raymond James Financial Inc., after the company tripled in six months of New York trading.

Bank of America lost 4.5 percent to $16.80. American Express declined 3.8 percent to $32.54. Citigroup slumped 6.2 percent to $4.69.

Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp., Clarium Capital Management LLC and Horseman Capital Management Ltd. are among funds betting that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley got it wrong in declaring the start of an economic recovery. The firms oversee a combined $15 billion in so-called macro funds, which seek to profit from economic trends by trading stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities.