F Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy

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Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy

While I believe in usefulness of capital markets, it is clear that they are double edge sword and that banks "in a long run" tend to behave like sociopathic individuals. Mr. Capone may have something to say about danger of banks :-).That means that  growth of financial sector represents a direct threat to the stability of the society. Positive feedback loops creates one financial crisis after another with the increasing magnitude leading up to a collapse of financial system like happened in 1927 and 2008.

News Casino Capitalism Recommended Links  Stability is destabilizing: The idea of Minsky moment Corruption of Regulators Quiet coup
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Principal-agent problem Numbers racket Criminal negligence in financial regulation Corruption of FED Invisible Hand Hypothesis
The “Too Big To Fail” Problem In Goldman Sachs we trust Citi - The bank that couldn’t shoot straight JPMorgan AIG collapse Lehman
Free Markets Newspeak as Opium for regulators Derivatives Lobby Corrupts Congress Lobbying and the Financial Crisis Control Fraud
(crisis of corporate governance)
Stock Market with buybacks as a Ponzi scheme Derivatives
Small government smoke screen Financial Bonuses as Money Laundering Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Corporatism   Financial obesity
Webliography of heterodox economists HFT Aleynikov vs. Goldman Sachs Casino Capitalism Dictionary Financial Humor Etc
  "Minsky's financial instability hypothesis depends critically on what amounts to a sociological insight. People change their minds about taking risks. They don't make a one-time rational judgment about debt use and stock market exposure and stick to it. Instead, they change their minds over time. And history is quite clear about how they change their minds. The longer the good times endure, the more people begin to see wisdom in risky strategies."

The Cost of Capitalism: Understanding Market Mayhem and Stabilizing our Economic Future, by Robert Barbera

The flaw with Capitalism is that it creates its own positive feedback loop, snowballing to the point where the accumulation of wealth and power hurts people — eventually even those at the top of the food chain. ”

Uncle Billy Cunctator
In comment to Economic Donkeys

 
  Banks are a clear case of market failure and their employees at the senior level have basically become the biggest bank robbers of all time. As for basing pay on current revenues and not profits over extended periods of time, then that is a clear case of market failure --  
  The banksters have been able to sell the “talent” myth to justify their outsized pay because they are the only ones able to deliver the type of GDP growth the U.S. economy needs in the short term, even if that kills the U.S. economy in the long term. You’ll be gone, I’ll be gone.  
  Unfortunately, many countries go broke pursuing war, if not financially, then morally (are the two different? – this post suggests otherwise).

I occurs to me that the U.S. is also in that flock; interventions justified by grand cause built on fallacy, the alpha and omega of failure. Is the financial apparatchik (or Nomenklatura, a term I like which, as many from the Soviet era, succinctly describes aspects of our situation today) fated also to the trash heap, despite the best efforts of the Man of the hour, Ben Bernanke?

 

Introduction

Financialization is a Damocles sword hanging over the neoliberal society

While I believe in usefulness of capital markets, it is clear that they are double edge sword and that banks "in a long run" tend to behave like sociopathic individuals. Mr. Capone may have something to say about danger of banks :-).That means that growth of financial sector represents a direct threat to the stability of the society (Keynesianism and the Great Recession )

Without adult supervision, as it were, a financial sector that was already inherently unstable went wild. When the subprime assets were found to be toxic since they were based on mortgages on which borrowers had defaulted, highly indebted or leveraged banks that had bought these now valueless securities had little equity to repay their creditors or depositors who now came after them. This quickly led to their bankruptcy, as in the case of Lehman Brothers, or to their being bailed out by government, as was the case with most of the biggest banks. The finance sector froze up, resulting in a recession—a big one—in the real economy.

Neoliberal revolution, or, as Simon Johnson called it after "quite coup" (Atlantic), brought political power to the financial oligarchy deposed after the New Deal. Deregulation naturally followed, with especially big role played by corrupt Clinton administration.  Positive feedback loops creates one financial crisis after another with the increasing magnitude. "Saving and loans" crisis followed by dot-com crisis of  2000, which in turn followed by the collapse of financial system in 2008, which looks somewhat similar to what happened in 1927.  No prominent financial honcho, who was instrumental in creating "subprime crisis" was jailed.  Most remained filthy rich.

Unless the society puts severe limits on their actions like was done during New Deal,  financial firms successfully subvert the regulation mechanisms and take the society hostage.  But periodic purges with relocation of the most active promoters of "freedom for banks" (aka free market fundamentalism) under the smoke screen of "free market" promotion does not solve the problem of positive feedback loops that banks create by mere existence. That's difficult to do while neoliberal ideology and related neoclassical economy dominates the society thinking (via brainwashing), with universities playing especially negative role -- most of economics departments are captured by neoliberals who censor any heretics. So year after year brainwashing students enter the society without understanding real dangers that neoliberalism brought for them.  Including lack of meaningful employment opportunities.

Of course, most of high level officers of leading finance institutions which caused the crisis of 2008-2009 as a psychological type are as close to  gangsters as one can get. But there is something in their actions that does not depend on individual traits (although many of them definitely can be classified as psychopaths), and is more related to their social position.  This situation is somewhat similar to Bolsheviks coup d'état of 1917 which resulted in capturing Russia by this ideological sect.  And in this sense quite coupe of 1980 is also irreversible in the same sense as Bolsheviks revolution was irreversible:  the "occupation" of the country by a fanatical sect lasts until the population rejects the ideology with its (now apparent) utopian claims.

Bolshevism which lasted 75 years, spend in such zombie state the last two decades (if we assume 1991 as the year of death of Bolshevism, its ideology was dead much earlier -- the grave flaws in it were visible from late 60th, if not after the WWII).  But only  when their ideology was destroyed both by inability to raise the standard of living of the population and by the growing neoliberal ideology as an alternative (and a new, more powerful then Marxism high-demand cult) Bolsheviks started to lose the grip on their power in the country. As a result Bolsheviks lost the power only in 1991, or more correctly switched camps and privatized the country. If not inaptness of their last General Secretary, they probably could last more. In any case after the ideology collapsed, the USSR disintegrated (or more correctly turn by national elites, each of which wanted their peace of the pie).

The sad truth is that the mere growth of financial sector creates additional positive feedback loops and increases structural instability within both the financial sector itself and the society at large. Dynamic systems with strong positive feedback loops not compensated by negative feedback loops are unstable. As a result banks and other financial institution periodically generate a deep, devastating crisis. This is the meaning of famous Hyman Minsky phrase "stability is destabilizing".

In other words, financial apparatchiks (or Financial Nomenklatura, a term from the Soviet era, which succinctly describes aspects of our situation today) drive the country off the cliff because they do not have any countervailing forces, by the strength of their political influence and unsaturable greed. Although the following analogy in weaker then analogy with dynamic systems with positive feedback loops, outsized financial sector can be viewed in  biological terms as cancer.

Cancer, known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a broad group of diseases involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invading nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. Not all tumors are cancerous; benign tumors do not invade neighboring tissues and do not spread throughout the body. There are over 200 different known cancers that affect humans.[1]

Like certain types of cancer they depend of weakening "tumor suppressor genes"  (via "Quiet coup" mechanism of acquiring dominant political power) which allow then to engage in uncontrolled growth, destroying healthy cells (and first of all local manufacturing).   

The other suspicion is the unchecked financialization always goes too far and the last N percent of financial activity absorbs much more resources (especially intellectual resources) and creates more potential instability than its additional efficiency-benefits (often zero or negative) can justify. It is hard to imagine that a Hedge Fund Operator of the Year does anything that is even remotely socially useful to justify his enormous (and lightly taxed) compensation. It is pure wealth redistribution up based on political domination of financial oligarchy.  Significant vulnerabilities  within the shadow banking system and derivatives are plain vanilla socially destructive. Yet they persist due to inevitable political power grab by financial oligarchy  (Quiet coup).

Again, I would like to stress that this problem of the oversized financial sector which produces one devastating crisis after another   is closely related to the problem of a positive feedback loops. And the society in which banks are given free hand inevitably degrades into "socialism for banks"  or "casino capitalism" -- a type of neoliberalism with huge inequality and huge criminality of top banking officers.  

Whether we can do without private banks is unclear, but there is sound evidence that unlike growth of manufacturing, private financial sector growth is dangerous for the society health and perverts society goals.  Like cult groups the financial world does a terrific job of "shunning" the principled individuals and suppressing dissent (by capturing and cultivating neoliberal stooges in all major university departments and press),  so self-destructing tendencies after they arise can't be stopped within the framework of neoliberalism. In a way financial firm is like sociopath inevitable produces its  trail of victims (and sociopaths might be useful in battles exactly due to the qualities such as ability to remain cool in dangerous situation, that make them dangerous in the normal course of events).

This tendency of society with unregulated or lightly regulated financial sector toward self-destruction was first formulated as "Minsky instability hypothesis" -- and outstanding intellectual achievement of American economic Hyman Minsky (September 23, 1919 – October 24, 1996). Who BTW was pretty much underappreciated (if not suppressed) during his lifetime because his views were different from  orthodox (and false) neoclassic economic theory which dominates US universities, Like flat Earth theory was enforce by Catholic church before, it is fiercely enforced by an army of well paid neoliberal economics, those Jesuits of modern era. Who prosecute heretics who question flat Earth theory even more efficiently then their medieval counterparts; the only difference is that they do not burn the literally, only figuratively ;-)

Minsky financial instability hypothesis

Former Washington University in St. Louis economics professor Hyman P. Minsky had predicted the Great Recession decades before it happened.  Hyman Minsky was a real student of the Great Depression, while Bernanke who widely is viewed as a scholar who studied the Great Depression, in reality was a charlatan, who just tried to explain the Great Depression from the positions of neo-classical economy. That's a big difference.

Minsky instability hypothesis ("stability is destabilizing" under capitalism) that emerged from his analysis of the Great Depression was based on intellectual heritage of three great thinkers in economics (my presentation is partially based on an outstanding lecture by Steve Keen Lecture 6 on Minsky, Financial Instability, the Great Depression & the Global Financial Crisis). We can talk about three source of influence, there authors writing of which touched the same subject from similar positions and were the base of Hyman Minsky great advance in understanding of mechanics of development of financial crisis under capitalism and the critical role of financial system in it (neoclassical economics ignores the existence of financial system in its analysis): 

  1. Karl Marx influence
  2. Irving Fisher influence
  3. Joseph Schumpeter influence

Karl Marx influence

Minsky didn't follow the conventional version of Marxism  . And it was dangerous for him to do so due to McCarthysm. Even mentioning of Marx might lead to strakism fromthe academy those years.  McCarthy and his followers in academy did not understand the difference between Marx great analysis of capitalism and his utopian vision of the future. Impliedly this witch hunt helped to establish hegemony of neoclassical economy in economic departments in the USA.

While Minsky did not cited Marx in his writings and did use Marx's Labor Theory of Value his thinking was definitely influenced by Marx’s critique of  finance. We now know that he read and admired the Capital. And that not accidental due to the fact that his parents were Mensheviks -- a suppressed after Bolshevik revolution more moderate wing of Russian Social Democratic Party that rejected the idea of launching the socialist revolution in Russia --  in their opinion Russia needed first to became a capitalist country and get rid of remnants of feudalism. They escaped from Soviet Russia when Mensheviks started to be prosecuted by Bolsheviks.

And probably the main influence on Minsky was not Marx's discussion  of finance in Volume I of Capital with a "commodity" model of money, but critical remarks scattered in   Volumes II & III (which were not edited by Marx by compiled posthumously by Engels), where he was really critical of big banks as well as Marx's earlier works (Grundrisse, Theories of Surplus Value) where Marx was scathing about finance:

"A high rate of interest can also indicate, as it did in 1857, that the country is undermined by the roving cavaliers of credit who can afford to pay a high interest because they pay it out of other people's pocket* (whereby, however, they help to determine the rate of interest  for all) and meanwhile they live in grand style on anticipated profits. 

Irving Fisher influence

The second source on which Minsky based his insights was Irving Fisher. Irving Fisher’s reputation destroyed by wrong predictions on stock market prices. In aftermath, developed theory to explain the crash and published it in his book  "The Debt Deflation Theory of Great Depressions". His main points are:

According to Fisher two key disequilibrium forces that push economic into the next economic crisis are debt and subsequent deflation

Joseph Schumpeter influence

Joseph Schumpeter was Joseph Schumpeter has more positive view of capitalism than the other two. He authored the theory of creative destruction as a path by which capitalism achieves higher and higher productivity. He capitalism as necessarily unstable, but for him this was a positive feature -- instability of capitalism the source of its creativity. His view of capitalism was highly dynamic and somewhat resembles the view of Marx (who also thought that capitalism destroys all previous order and create a new one):

Unlike Marx, who thought that the periodic crisis of overproduction  is the source of instability (as well as  gradual absolute impoverishment of workers), Minsky assumed that the key source of that instability of capitalist system is connected with the cycles of business borrowing and fractional bank lending, when "good times" lead to excessive borrowing leading to high leverage and overproduction and thus to eventual debt crisis (The Alternative To Neoliberalism ):

Minsky on capitalism:

The idea of Minsky moment is related to the fact that the fractional reserve banking periodically causes credit collapse when the leveraged credit expansion goes into reverse. And mainstream economists do not want to talk about the fact that increasing confidence breeds increased leverage. So financial stability breeds instability and subsequent financial crisis. All actions to guarantee a market rise, ultimately guarantee it's destruction because greed will always take advantage of a "sure thing" and push it beyond reasonable boundaries.  In other words, marker players are no rational and assume that it would be foolish not to maximize leverage in a market which is going up. So the fractional reserve banking mechanisms ultimately and ironically lead to over lending and guarantee the subsequent crisis and the market's destruction. Stability breed instability.

That means that fractional reserve banking based economic system with private players (aka capitalism) is inherently unstable. And first of all because  fractional reserve banking is debt based. In order to have growth it must create debt. Eventually the pyramid of debt crushes and crisis hit. When the credit expansion fuels asset price bubbles, the dangers for the financial sector and the real economy are substantial because this way the credit boom bubble is inflated which eventually burst. The damage done to the economy by the bursting of credit boom bubbles is significant and long lasting.

Blissex said...

«When credit growth fuels asset price bubbles, the dangers for the financial sector and the real economy are much more substantial.»

So M Minsky 50 years ago and M Pettis 15 years ago (in his "The volatility machine") had it right? Who could have imagined! :-)

«In the past decades, central banks typically have taken a hands-off approach to asset price bubbles and credit booms.»

If only! They have been feeding credit-based asset price bubbles by at the same time weakening regulations to push up allowed capital-leverage ratios, and boosting the quantity of credit as high as possible, but specifically most for leveraged speculation on assets, by allowing vast-overvaluations on those assets.

Central banks have worked hard in most Anglo-American countries to redistribute income and wealth from "inflationary" worker incomes to "non-inflationary" rentier incomes via hyper-subsidizing with endless cheap credit the excesses of financial speculation in driving up asset prices.

Not very hands-off at all.

Steve Keen is probably the most well know researcher who tried to creates model of capitalist economy based on Minsky work (  http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/manifesto/ )

John Kay in his January 5 2010 FT column very aptly explained the systemic instability of financial sector hypothesis: 

The credit crunch of 2007-08 was the third phase of a larger and longer financial crisis. The first phase was the emerging market defaults of the 1990s. The second was the new economy boom and bust at the turn of the century. The third was the collapse of markets for structured debt products, which had grown so rapidly in the five years up to 2007.

The manifestation of the problem in each phase was different – first emerging markets, then stock markets, then debt. But the mechanics were essentially the same. Financial institutions identified a genuine economic change – the assimilation of some poor countries into the global economy, the opportunities offered to business by new information technology, and the development of opportunities to manage risk and maturity mismatch more effectively through markets. Competition to sell products led to wild exaggeration of the pace and scope of these trends. The resulting herd enthusiasm led to mispricing – particularly in asset markets, which yielded large, and largely illusory, profits, of which a substantial fraction was paid to employees.

Eventually, at the end of each phase, reality impinged. The activities that once seemed so profitable – funding the financial systems of emerging economies, promoting start-up internet businesses, trading in structured debt products – turned out, in fact, to have been a source of losses. Lenders had to make write-offs, most of the new economy stocks proved valueless and many structured products became unmarketable. Governments, and particularly the US government, reacted on each occasion by pumping money into the financial system in the hope of staving off wider collapse, with some degree of success. At the end of each phase, regulators and financial institutions declared that lessons had been learnt. While measures were implemented which, if they had been introduced five years earlier, might have prevented the most recent crisis from taking the particular form it did, these responses addressed the particular problem that had just occurred, rather than the underlying generic problems of skewed incentives and dysfunctional institutional structures.

The public support of markets provided on each occasion the fuel needed to stoke the next crisis. Each boom and bust is larger than the last. Since the alleviating action is also larger, the pattern is one of cycles of increasing amplitude.

I do not know what the epicenter of the next crisis will be, except that it is unlikely to involve structured debt products. I do know that unless human nature changes or there is fundamental change in the structure of the financial services industry – equally improbable – there will be another manifestation once again based on naive extrapolation and collective magical thinking. The recent crisis taxed to the full – the word tax is used deliberately – the resources of world governments and their citizens. Even if there is will to respond to the next crisis, the capacity to do so may not be there.

The citizens of that most placid of countries, Iceland, now backed by their president, have found a characteristically polite and restrained way of disputing an obligation to stump up large sums of cash to pay for the arrogance and greed of other people. They are right. We should listen to them before the same message is conveyed in much more violent form, in another place and at another time. But it seems unlikely that we will.

We made a mistake in the closing decades of the 20th century. We removed restrictions that had imposed functional separation on financial institutions. This led to businesses riddled with conflicts of interest and culture, controlled by warring groups of their own senior employees. The scale of resources such businesses commanded enabled them to wield influence to create a – for them – virtuous circle of growing economic and political power. That mistake will not be easily remedied, and that is why I view the new decade with great apprehension. In the name of free markets, we created a monster that threatens to destroy the very free markets we extol.

While Hyman Minsky was the first clearly formulate the financial instability hypothesis, Keynes also understood this dynamic pretty well. He postulated that a world with a large financial sector and an excessive emphasis on the production of investment products creates instability both in terms of output and prices. In other words it automatically tends to generate credit and asset bubbles.  The key driver is the fact that financial professionals generally risk other people’s money and due to this fact have asymmetrical incentives:

This asymmetry is not a new observation of this systemic problem. Andrew Jackson noted it in much more polemic way long ago:

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out.”

This asymmetrical incentives ensure that the financial system is structurally biased toward taking on more risk than what should be taken. In other words it naturally tend to slide to the casino model, the with omnipresent reckless gambling as the primary and the most profitable mode of operation while an opportunities last.  The only way to counter this is to throw sand into the wheels of financial mechanism:  enforce strict regulations, limit money supplies and periodically jail too enthusiastic bankers. The latter is as important or even more important as the other two because bankers tend to abuse "limited liability" status like no other sector.

Asset inflation over the past 10 years and the subsequent catastrophe incurred is a way classic behavior of dynamic system with strong positive feedback loop.  Such behavior does not depends of personalities of bankers or policymakers, but is an immanent property of this class of dynamic systems. And the main driving force here was deregulation. So its important that new regulation has safety feature which make removal of it more complicated and requiring bigger majority like is the case with constitutional issues.

Another fact was the fact that due to perverted incentives, accounting in the banks was fraudulent from the very beginning and it was fraudulent on purpose.  Essentially accounting in banks automatically become as bad as law enforcement permits. This is a classic case of control fraud and from prevention standpoint is make sense to establish huge penalties for auditors, which might hurt healthy institutions but help to ensure that the most fraudulent institution lose these bank charter before affecting the whole system.  With the anti-regulatory zeal of Bush II administration the level of auditing became too superficial, almost non-existent. I remember perverted dances with Sarbanes–Oxley when it was clear from the very beginning that the real goal is not to strengthen accounting but to earn fees and to create as much profitable red tape as possible, in perfect Soviet bureaucracy style.

Deregulation also increases systemic risk by influencing the real goals of financial organizations. At some point of deregulation process the goal of higher remuneration for the top brass becomes self-sustainable trend  and replaces all other goals of the financial organization. This is the essence of  Martin Taylor’s, the former chief executive of Barclays,  article FT.com - Innumerate bankers were ripe for a reckoning in the Financial Times (Dec 15, 2009), which is worth reading in its entirety:

City people have always been paid well relative to others, but megabonuses are quite new. From my own experience, in the mid-1990s no more than four or five employees of Barclays’ then investment bank were paid more than £1m, and no one got near £2m. Around the turn of the millennium across the market things began to take off, and accelerated rapidly – after a pause in 2001-03 – so that exceptionally high remuneration, not just individually, but in total, was paid out between 2004 and 2007.

Observers of financial services saw unbelievable prosperity and apparently immense value added. Yet two years later the whole industry was bankrupt. A simple reason underlies this: any industry that pays out in cash colossal accounting profits that are largely imaginary will go bust quickly. Not only has the industry – and by extension societies that depend on it – been spending money that is no longer there, it has been giving away money that it only imagined it had in the first place. Worse, it seems to want to do it all again.

What were the sources of this imaginary wealth?

In the last two of these the bank was not receiving any income, merely “booking revenues”. How could they pay this non-existent wealth out in cash to their employees? Because they had no measure of cash flow to tell them they were idiots, and because everyone else was doing it. Paying out 50 per cent of revenues to staff had become the rule, even when the “revenues” did not actually consist of money.

In the next phase instability is amplified by the way governments and central banks respond to crises caused by credit bubble: the state has powerful means to end a recession, but the policies it uses give rise to the next phase of instability, the next bubble…. When money is virtually free – or, at least, at 0.5 per cent – traders feel stupid if they don’t leverage up to the hilt. Thus previous bubble and crash become a dress rehearsal for the next.

Resulting self-sustaining "boom-bust" cycle is very close how electronic systems with positive feedback loop behave and   cannot be explained by neo-classical macroeconomic models. Like with electronic devices the financial institution in this mode are unable to provide the services that are needed.

As Minsky noted long ago (sited from Stephen Mihm  Why capitalism fails Boston Globe):

Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

...our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

Minsky’s vision might have been dark, but he was not a fatalist; he believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises. But with a growing number of economists eager to declare the recession over, and the crisis itself apparently behind us, these policies may prove as discomforting as the theories that prompted them in the first place. Indeed, as economists re-embrace Minsky’s prophetic insights, it is far from clear that they’re ready to reckon with the full implications of what he saw.

And he understood the roots of the current credit bubble much better that neoclassical economists like Bernanke: 
As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what [Minsky] called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further.

As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Minsky’s financial instability hypothesis suggests that when optimism is high and ample funds are available for investment, investors tend to migrate from the safe hedge end of the Minsky spectrum to the risky speculative and Ponzi end. Indeed, in the current crisis, investors tried to raise returns by increasing leverage and switching to financing via short-term—sometimes overnight— borrowing (Too late to learn?):

In the church of Friedman, inflation was the ol' devil tempting the good folk; the 1980s seemed to prove that, let loose, it would cause untold havoc on the populace. But, as Barbera notes:

The last five major global cyclical events were the early 1990s recession - largely occasioned by the US Savings & Loan crisis, the collapse of Japan Inc after the stock market crash of 1990, the Asian crisis of the mid-1990s, the fabulous technology boom/bust cycle at the turn of the millennium, and the unprecedented rise and then collapse for US residential real estate in 2007-2008. All five episodes delivered recessions, either global or regional. In no case was there a significant prior acceleration of wages and general prices. In each case, an investment boom and an associated asset market ran to improbable heights and then collapsed. From 1945 to 1985, there was no recession caused by the instability of investment prompted by financial speculation - and since 1985 there has been no recession that has not been caused by these factors.
Thus, meet the devil in Minsky's paradise - "an investment boom and an associated asset market [that] ran to improbable heights and then collapsed".

According the Barbera, "Minsky's financial instability hypothesis depends critically on what amounts to a sociological insight. People change their minds about taking risks. They don't make a one-time rational judgment about debt use and stock market exposure and stick to it. Instead, they change their minds over time. And history is quite clear about how they change their minds. The longer the good times endure, the more people begin to see wisdom in risky strategies."

Current economy state can be called following Paul McCulley a "stable disequilibrium" very similar to a state  a sand pile.  All this pile of  stocks, debt instruments, derivatives, credit default swaps and God know corresponds to a  pile of sand that is on the verse of losing stability. Each financial player works hard to maximize their own personal outcome but the "invisible hand" effect in adding sand to the pile that is increasing systemic instability. According to Minsky, the longer such situation continues the more likely and violent an "avalanche".

The late Hunt Taylor wrote, in 2006:

"Let us start with what we know. First, these markets look nothing like anything I've ever encountered before. Their stunning complexity, the staggering number of tradable instruments and their interconnectedness, the light-speed at which information moves, the degree to which the movement of one instrument triggers nonlinear reactions along chains of related derivatives, and the requisite level of mathematics necessary to price them speak to the reality that we are now sailing in uncharted waters.

"... I've had 30-plus years of learning experiences in markets, all of which tell me that technology and telecommunications will not do away with human greed and ignorance. I think we will drive the car faster and faster until something bad happens. And I think it will come, like a comet, from that part of the night sky where we least expect it."

This is a gold age for bankers as Simon Johnson wrote in New Republic (The Next Financial Crisis ):

Banking was once a dangerous profession. In Britain, for instance, bankers faced “unlimited liability”--that is, if you ran a bank, and the bank couldn’t repay depositors or other creditors, those people had the right to confiscate all your personal assets and income until you repaid. It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century that Britain established limited liability for bank owners. From that point on, British bankers no longer assumed much financial risk themselves.

In the United States, there was great experimentation with banking during the 1800s, but those involved in the enterprise typically made a substantial commitment of their own capital. For example, there was a well-established tradition of “double liability,” in which stockholders were responsible for twice the original value of their shares in a bank. This encouraged stockholders to carefully monitor bank executives and employees. And, in turn, it placed a lot of pressure on those who managed banks. If they fared poorly, they typically faced personal and professional ruin. The idea that a bank executive would retain wealth and social status in the event of a self-induced calamity would have struck everyone--including bank executives themselves--as ludicrous.

Enter, in the early part of the twentieth century, the Federal Reserve. The Fed was founded in 1913, but discussion about whether to create a central bank had swirled for years. “No one can carefully study the experience of the other great commercial nations,” argued Republican Senator Nelson Aldrich in an influential 1909 speech, “without being convinced that disastrous results of recurring financial crises have been successfully prevented by a proper organization of capital and by the adoption of wise methods of banking and of currency”--in other words, a central bank. In November 1910, Aldrich and a small group of top financiers met on an isolated island off the coast of Georgia. There, they hammered out a draft plan to create a strong central bank that would be owned by banks themselves.

What these bankers essentially wanted was a bailout mechanism for the aftermath of speculative crashes -- something more durable than J.P. Morgan, who saved the day in the Panic of 1907 but couldn’t be counted on to live forever. While they sought informal government backing and substantial government financial support for their new venture, the bankers also wanted it to remain free of government interference, oversight, or control.

Another destabilizing fact is so called myth of invisible hand which is closely related to the myth about market self-regulation. The misunderstood argument of Adam Smith [1776], the founder of modern economics, that free markets led to efficient outcomes, “as if by an invisible hand” has played a central role in these debates: it suggested that we could, by and large, rely on markets without government intervention. About "invisible hand" deification, see The Invisible Hand, Trumped by Darwin - NYTimes.com.

The concept of Minsky moment

The moment in the financial system when the quantity of debt turns into quality and produces yet another financial crisis is called Minsky moment. In other words the “Minsky moment” is the time when an unsustainable financial boom turns into uncontrollable collapse of financial markets (aka financial crash). The existence of Minsky moments is one of the most important counterargument against financial market self-regulation.  It also expose free market fundamentalists such as "former Maestro" Greenspan as charlatans. Greenspan actually implicitly admitted that he is and that it was he, who was the "machinist"  who helped to bring the USA economic train off the rails in 2008 via deregulation  and dismantling the New Deal installed safeguards. 

Here how it is explained by Stephen Mihm in Boston Globe in 2009 in the after math of 2008 financial crisis:

“Minsky” was shorthand for Hyman Minsky, an American macroeconomist who died over a decade ago.  He predicted almost exactly the kind of meltdown that recently hammered the global economy. He believed in capitalism, but also believed it had almost a genetic weakness. Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.

In other words, the one person who foresaw the crisis also believed that our whole financial system contains the seeds of its own destruction. “Instability,” he wrote, “is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism.”

Minsky believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises. As economists re-embrace Minsky’s prophetic insights, it is far from clear that they’re ready to reckon with the full implications of what he saw.

Minsky theory was not well received due to powerful orthodoxy, born in the years after World War II, known as the neoclassical synthesis. The older belief in a self-regulating, self-stabilizing free market had selectively absorbed a few insights from John Maynard Keynes, the great economist of the 1930s who wrote extensively of the ways that capitalism might fail to maintain full employment. Most economists still believed that free-market capitalism was a fundamentally stable basis for an economy, though thanks to Keynes, some now acknowledged that government might under certain circumstances play a role in keeping the economy - and employment - on an even keel.

Economists like Paul Samuelson became the public face of the new establishment; he and others at a handful of top universities became deeply influential in Washington. In theory, Minsky could have been an academic star in this new establishment: Like Samuelson, he earned his doctorate in economics at Harvard University, where he studied with legendary Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter, as well as future Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief.

But Minsky was cut from different cloth than many of the other big names. The descendent of immigrants from Minsk, in modern-day Belarus, Minsky was a red-diaper baby, the son of Menshevik socialists. While most economists spent the 1950s and 1960s toiling over mathematical models, Minsky pursued research on poverty, hardly the hottest subfield of economics. With long, wild, white hair, Minsky was closer to the counterculture than to mainstream economics. He was, recalls the economist L. Randall Wray, a former student, a “character.”

So while his colleagues from graduate school went on to win Nobel prizes and rise to the top of academia, Minsky languished. He drifted from Brown to Berkeley and eventually to Washington University. Indeed, many economists weren’t even aware of his work. One assessment of Minsky published in 1997 simply noted that his “work has not had a major influence in the macroeconomic discussions of the last thirty years.”

Yet he was busy. In addition to poverty, Minsky began to delve into the field of finance, which despite its seeming importance had no place in the theories formulated by Samuelson and others. He also began to ask a simple, if disturbing question: “Can ‘it’ happen again?” - where “it” was, like Harry Potter’s nemesis Voldemort, the thing that could not be named: the Great Depression.

In his writings, Minsky looked to his intellectual hero, Keynes, arguably the greatest economist of the 20th century. But where most economists drew a single, simplistic lesson from Keynes - that government could step in and micromanage the economy, smooth out the business cycle, and keep things on an even keel - Minsky had no interest in what he and a handful of other dissident economists came to call “bastard Keynesianism.”

Instead, Minsky drew his own, far darker, lessons from Keynes’s landmark writings, which dealt not only with the problem of unemployment, but with money and banking. Although Keynes had never stated this explicitly, Minsky argued that Keynes’s collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff.

This insight bore the stamp of his advisor Joseph Schumpeter, the noted Austrian economist now famous for documenting capitalism’s ceaseless process of “creative destruction.” But Minsky spent more time thinking about destruction than creation. In doing so, he formulated an intriguing theory: not only was capitalism prone to collapse, he argued, it was precisely its periods of economic stability that would set the stage for monumental crises.

Minsky called his idea the “Financial Instability Hypothesis.” In the wake of a depression, he noted, financial institutions are extraordinarily conservative, as are businesses. With the borrowers and the lenders who fuel the economy all steering clear of high-risk deals, things go smoothly: loans are almost always paid on time, businesses generally succeed, and everyone does well. That success, however, inevitably encourages borrowers and lenders to take on more risk in the reasonable hope of making more money. As Minsky observed, “Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure.”

As people forget that failure is a possibility, a “euphoric economy” eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what he called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called “Ponzi borrowers,” those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.

Once that kind of economy had developed, any panic could wreck the market. The failure of a single firm, for example, or the revelation of a staggering fraud could trigger fear and a sudden, economy-wide attempt to shed debt. This watershed moment - what was later dubbed the “Minsky moment” - would create an environment deeply inhospitable to all borrowers. The speculators and Ponzi borrowers would collapse first, as they lost access to the credit they needed to survive. Even the more stable players might find themselves unable to pay their debt without selling off assets; their forced sales would send asset prices spiraling downward, and inevitably, the entire rickety financial edifice would start to collapse. Businesses would falter, and the crisis would spill over to the “real” economy that depended on the now-collapsing financial system.

From the 1960s onward, Minsky elaborated on this hypothesis. At the time he believed that this shift was already underway: postwar stability, financial innovation, and the receding memory of the Great Depression were gradually setting the stage for a crisis of epic proportions. Most of what he had to say fell on deaf ears. The 1960s were an era of solid growth, and although the economic stagnation of the 1970s was a blow to mainstream neo-Keynesian economics, it did not send policymakers scurrying to Minsky. Instead, a new free market fundamentalism took root: government was the problem, not the solution.

Moreover, the new dogma coincided with a remarkable era of stability. The period from the late 1980s onward has been dubbed the “Great Moderation,” a time of shallow recessions and great resilience among most major industrial economies. Things had never been more stable. The likelihood that “it” could happen again now seemed laughable.

Yet throughout this period, the financial system - not the economy, but finance as an industry - was growing by leaps and bounds. Minsky spent the last years of his life, in the early 1990s, warning of the dangers of securitization and other forms of financial innovation, but few economists listened. Nor did they pay attention to consumers’ and companies’ growing dependence on debt, and the growing use of leverage within the financial system.

By the end of the 20th century, the financial system that Minsky had warned about had materialized, complete with speculative borrowers, Ponzi borrowers, and precious few of the conservative borrowers who were the bedrock of a truly stable economy. Over decades, we really had forgotten the meaning of risk. When storied financial firms started to fall, sending shockwaves through the “real” economy, his predictions started to look a lot like a road map.

“This wasn’t a Minsky moment,” explains Randall Wray. “It was a Minsky half-century.”

Minsky is now all the rage. A year ago, an influential Financial Times columnist confided to readers that rereading Minsky’s 1986 “masterpiece” - “Stabilizing an Unstable Economy” - “helped clear my mind on this crisis.” Others joined the chorus. Earlier this year, two economic heavyweights - Paul Krugman and Brad DeLong - both tipped their hats to him in public forums. Indeed, the Nobel Prize-winning Krugman titled one of the Robbins lectures at the London School of Economics “The Night They Re-read Minsky.”

Today most economists, it’s safe to say, are probably reading Minsky for the first time, trying to fit his unconventional insights into the theoretical scaffolding of their profession. If Minsky were alive today, he would no doubt applaud this belated acknowledgment, even if it has come at a terrible cost. As he once wryly observed, “There is nothing wrong with macroeconomics that another depression [won’t] cure.”

But does Minsky’s work offer us any practical help? If capitalism is inherently self-destructive and unstable - never mind that it produces inequality and unemployment, as Keynes had observed - now what?

After spending his life warning of the perils of the complacency that comes with stability - and having it fall on deaf ears - Minsky was understandably pessimistic about the ability to short-circuit the tragic cycle of boom and bust. But he did believe that much could be done to ameliorate the damage.

To prevent the Minsky moment from becoming a national calamity, part of his solution (which was shared with other economists) was to have the Federal Reserve - what he liked to call the “Big Bank” - step into the breach and act as a lender of last resort to firms under siege. By throwing lines of liquidity to foundering firms, the Federal Reserve could break the cycle and stabilize the financial system. It failed to do so during the Great Depression, when it stood by and let a banking crisis spiral out of control. This time, under the leadership of Ben Bernanke - like Minsky, a scholar of the Depression - it took a very different approach, becoming a lender of last resort to everything from hedge funds to investment banks to money market funds.

Minsky’s other solution, however, was considerably more radical and less palatable politically. The preferred mainstream tactic for pulling the economy out of a crisis was - and is - based on the Keynesian notion of “priming the pump” by sending money that will employ lots of high-skilled, unionized labor - by building a new high-speed train line, for example.

Minsky, however, argued for a “bubble-up” approach, sending money to the poor and unskilled first. The government - or what he liked to call “Big Government” - should become the “employer of last resort,” he said, offering a job to anyone who wanted one at a set minimum wage. It would be paid to workers who would supply child care, clean streets, and provide services that would give taxpayers a visible return on their dollars. In being available to everyone, it would be even more ambitious than the New Deal, sharply reducing the welfare rolls by guaranteeing a job for anyone who was able to work. Such a program would not only help the poor and unskilled, he believed, but would put a floor beneath everyone else’s wages too, preventing salaries of more skilled workers from falling too precipitously, and sending benefits up the socioeconomic ladder.

While economists may be acknowledging some of Minsky’s points on financial instability, it’s safe to say that even liberal policymakers are still a long way from thinking about such an expanded role for the American government. If nothing else, an expensive full-employment program would veer far too close to socialism for the comfort of politicians. For his part, Wray thinks that the critics are apt to misunderstand Minsky. “He saw these ideas as perfectly consistent with capitalism,” says Wray. “They would make capitalism better.”

But not perfect. Indeed, if there’s anything to be drawn from Minsky’s collected work, it’s that perfection, like stability and equilibrium, are mirages. Minsky did not share his profession’s quaint belief that everything could be reduced to a tidy model, or a pat theory. His was a kind of existential economics: capitalism, like life itself, is difficult, even tragic. “There is no simple answer to the problems of our capitalism,” wrote Minsky. “There is no solution that can be transformed into a catchy phrase and carried on banners.”

It’s a sentiment that may limit the extent to which Minsky becomes part of any new orthodoxy. But that’s probably how he would have preferred it, believes liberal economist James Galbraith. “I think he would resist being domesticated,” says Galbraith. “He spent his career in professional isolation.”

Stephen Mihm is a history professor at the University of Georgia and author of “A Nation of Counterfeiters” (Harvard, 2007). © Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.

 

Some important albeit random (and overlapping) points about instability of financial system

The first thing to understand is that attempt to weaken positive feedback looks via regulation, approach that can be called  “regulation as a Swiss knife” does not work without law enforcement and criminal liability for bankers, as there is an obvious problem of corruption of regulators. In this sense the mechanism of purges might be the only one that realistically can work.

In other words it’s unclear who and how can prevents the capture of regulators as financial sector by definition has means to undermine any such efforts. One way this influence work is via lobbing for appointment of pro-financial sector people in key positions. If such "finance-sector-selected" Fed chairman does not like part of Fed mandate related to regulation it can simply ignore it as long as he is sure that he will be reappointed. That happened with Greenspan.  After such process started it became irreversible and only after a significant, dramatic shock to the system any meaningful changes can be instituted and as soon as the lessons are forgotten work on undermining them resumes.

In essence, the Fed is a political organization and Fed Chairman is as close to a real vice-president of the USA as one can get.  As such Fed Chairman serves the elite which rules that country, whether you call them financial oligarchy or some other name. Actually Fed Chairman is the most powerful unelected official in the USA. If you compare this position to the role of the Chairman of the Politburo  in the USSR you’ll might find some interesting similarities.

In other words it is impossible to prevent appointment of another Greenspan by another Reagan without changes in political power balance.  And the transition to banana republic that follows such appointment is irreversible even if the next administration water boards former Fed Chairman to help him to write his memoirs.  That means that you need to far-reaching reform of political system to be able to regulate financial industry and you need to understand that the measures adopted need vigilant protection as soon as the current crisis is a distant history.

Additional reading

Several other source of financial instability were pointed out by others:

There are some outstanding lectures and presentation on YouTube on this topic. Among them:

See an expended list at Webliography of heterodox economists

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov


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[In casino capitalism] financial institutions make a living screwing over their customers so their biggest concern is how to avoid losing lawsuits when they get sued

Why Wall Street Ignores Real Risk
And Why History Will Repeat Itself

[Mar 28, 2020] Just imagine the French hoity toity now not having to put up with the yellow vests in the streets. Must be such a comforting relief.

Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Old and Grumpy , says: Show Comment

[Mar 28, 2020] One common flavour of modern idiotism: I've heard doctors and pharmacists complain that patients will get offended when prescribed a cheaper, older drug. They want the best and newest, they need and deserve it!

Highly recommended!
Mar 28, 2020 | www.unz.com

Redneck farmer , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 10:09 am GMT

There is also a tendency to think newer=better. I've heard doctors and pharmacists complain that patients will get offended when prescribed a cheaper, older drug. They want the best and newest, they need and deserve it!
Jake , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
@Redneck farmer That is because advertising works. Drug companies being allowed to advertise guaranteed that predators, such as the Sacklers, would want to own drug companies.
Oracle , says: Show Comment March 27, 2020 at 2:43 pm GMT
More activity on the dark, unethical side of capitalism. There's an entire history of it, opium wars, Atlantic slave trade, pornography, control of political agents through pedophilia. The list does go on and strangely enough it's usually the same actors.

[Mar 27, 2020] We have to beg for hand sanitizer? It's almost like we are one of the nations under strct USA sanction

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 26 2020 23:56 utc | 90

Just one of many important anecdotal observations :

"We have to beg for hand sanitizer? It's almost like we are one of the nations we sanction."

[Mar 27, 2020] Coronavirus vs Boris Johnson 1:0

Video with Johnson statements about coronavirus as they "evolved" over time. Some of them in retrospect simply hilarious. Must watch.
Boris Johnson has assured people he won't stop shaking people's hands during the coronavirus outbreak. 03/03/2020 By Reuters - SBS
Mar 27, 2020 | twitter.com

Shamil Esq , Bring on 2020! @Shamils18 · 5h Replying to @BorisJohnson

Not wishing Covid-19 on anyone.

Here you're saying you were shaking hands with a few Covid-19 patients on the 3rd March!

How many people did you infect since? Will you publicly apologise for the herd immunity strategy now?

Will you get tests out asap?

1:07 From JOE

the real guigsy.... @franMcguigan20 · 5h Replying to @BorisJohnson

How did you get tested before NHS staff....

Mike P Williams @Mike_P_Williams · 5h Replying to @BorisJohnson

Tested positive for being an irresponsible dickhead too

[Mar 27, 2020] Trump was tested for Corona. The result was absolutely beautifully tremendously perfectly so unique negative

See video of this parody inside. It is absolutely brilliant.
Mar 27, 2020 | twitter.com

Wall St Shouldn't Govern - End the Creditocracy ‏ 6:03 AM - 26 Mar 2020

More Copy link to Tweet Embed Tweet Replying to @ HalaJaber @ ejmalrai

Oh, he's definitely a textbook case.... in narcissism. Insecurity is the flip side of that coin.

Ich bin dumm, du auch ‏ 6:25 AM - 26 Mar 2020

@ wanderadoyo ona hii

[Mar 27, 2020] Exactly when did behaviour of neoliberals become a bunch of out-takes from Catch-22?"

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 27 2020 1:17 utc | 98

johnbrewster@77
Here's a story from today's Toronto Star. It's a neoliberalism story and goes well with Pepe Escobar's piece in Asia Times (see above for link)
Basically the Province of Ontario stockpiled everything need for the pandemic that SARs warned them was bound to come.

Then, a couple of years ago, they destroyed the stockpiles including 55 million facemasks.

Now there are no face masks to be found and medical staff, inter alia, are having to take totally unnecessary risks.

Why did this happen? Because neo-liberalism is all about profits and fiscal austerity: as soon as the masks got beyond their 'best before' date they were destroyed - so the manufacturers could have another bite at the cherry and sell another 55 million masks. But then, austerity, the need to finance tax cuts for the wealthy, stepped in so the orders were not renewed. And people will die, horrible deaths, as a result.


https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2020/03/25/province-stockpiled-55-million-face-masks-then-destroyed-them.html

[Mar 27, 2020] Looks like the USA and the Soviet Union traded jerseys after the wall fell.

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

steve , Mar 26 2020 22:46 utc | 75

For me the USA and the Soviet Union traded jerseys after the wall fell. The USA took victory way to seriously.

[Mar 27, 2020] Larry Summers should have a drink named after him

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 26 2020 19:46 utc | 22

karlof1 #10

Larry Summers should have a drink named after him.
Ofshore double hoarder
Safebreaker with tonic
Gin and plunder scammer


Thanks b,I bought last roll of narrow elastic yesterday and will cut up some old silk shirts today.

[Mar 27, 2020] Trump's about as innocent in the coronavirus fiasco as jack the ripper

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Miss Lacy , Mar 26 2020 20:32 utc | 35

PS to vk # 1. Please think again. Trump has been in a trade war with China for what? a couple of years? AND, he specifically banned imports of medical supplies from China. Other posters wave supplied links for this idiocy.

Trump's about as innocent as jack the ripper. You may just be seeing things relatively, as ghouls like Elliot Abrahms and disgusting Pomposity make Trump seen like an amateur.

[Mar 27, 2020] Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China's Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus.

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Mar 26 2020 21:56 utc | 66

Is the troop deployment along the Canadian border is to stop anyone interfering in the coming chaos?

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 26 2020 20:34 utc | 36

You have a point there --the coming chaos after the COVID-19 Health crisis.

Wondering if Trudeau knows about the fences that were erected this morning?

Maybe I missed Trump's tweet on his declaration of War.

- He has imposed more sanctions on Iranians.
- Indicted Maduro of Venezuela on narco trafficking, sponsor of terrorism; placed a $15 million bounty on his head --straight from the Panama playbook.

and this beauty - continues his trade war on China because -----

Exclusive: U.S. prepares crackdown on Huawei's global chip supply - sources

(Reuters) - Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China's Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus.

The move comes as ties between Washington and Beijing grow more strained, with both sides trading barbs over who is to blame for the spread of the disease and an escalating tit-for-tat over the expulsion of journalists from both countries.

Under the proposed rule change, foreign companies that use U.S. chipmaking equipment would be required to obtain a U.S. license before supplying certain chips to Huawei. The Chinese telecoms company was blacklisted last year, limiting the company's suppliers.[.]
"This is going to have a far more negative impact on U.S. companies than it will on Huawei, because Huawei will develop their own supply chain," trade lawyer Doug Jacobson said. "Ultimately, Huawei will find alternatives."[.]

Huawei has been doing just that - finding alternatives. Trade wars have been proven to end badly. They end up going hot.

[Mar 24, 2020] With the neocon foreign policy of "full Spectrum Dominance" the USA seems well trapped in its rail tracks

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Daniel Chieh , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 1:21 pm GMT

@Divine Right American conflicts with Russia are based partly on self-serving fictions of the military industrial complex that need an enemy for their continued existence, as well as some more realistic conflicts involving Eastern Europe and rival interests over oil prices. The US need for hegemony, which is highly tied to the value of the dollar as a reserve currency, further thrusts this forward and center(and indeed, into conflict with China as well). This all is intermingled with a [fake and hypocritical] generalized rejection of "authoritarian" governments.

China, on the other hand, has no real current conflicts with Russia – most conflicts involve sales of weaponry and political influence over central Asian states, nothing of vast importance at least compared to being their the target of an enormous world-spanning sanctions order or a dedicated trade war.

Your argument has the weird self-contradiction that the CCP both is supposedly the mind-controlling alien brain of all Asians, while at the same time, not actually benefiting from any specific conflict with Russia. This also ignores the fact that Asians tend to assimilate the highest by any population(at nearly 40% intermarriage in some segments, that Chinese students in particularly no longer tend to stay in the US( only 20% by 2017 ), and that a overwhelming part of the demographic increase by immigration is Indian with long historical and cultural rivalries with China. And far more than Chinese Americans, who often engage in racial masochism(witness Gordan Chang ), Indian Americans are vastly more active and influential in American politics both due to cultural reasons as well as higher verbal IQ. This isn't even hypothetical: Indian American political writers dominate National Interest articles stressing for more hawkish Chinese attitudes and were directly contributory to renaming the South China Seas conflict to the "Indo-Pacific region."

I do agree that the US has long since crippled its resource base. But there's no evidence that Trump, or anyone else, is demonstrating the barest inkling of trying to resolve it(or that it is even possible, given the bueaucratic overload and red tape of regulations). Gould once described evolution as a "drunkard's walk" between complexity, where organisms sometimes fall trapped inside rail tracks, unable to stumble out.

The US seems well trapped in its rail tracks.

Blinky Bill , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm GMT
@Daniel Chieh

Indian American political writers dominate National Interest articles stressing for more hawkish Chinese attitudes and were directly contributory to renaming the South China Seas conflict to the "Indo-Pacific region."

Prime example Saagar Enjeti.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vkqq74knVXM?feature=oembed

neutral , says: Show Comment March 24, 2020 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Blinky Bill This is just further proof that there is a growing Indian problem in America.

[Mar 24, 2020] Many Italians in Northern Italy sold their leather goods and textiles companies to China. Italy then allowed 100,000 Chinese from Wuhan/Wenzhou to move to Italy to work in these factories, with direct Wuhan flights. Result: Northern Italy is Europe's hotspot for Wuhan Coronavirus

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Felix Keverich , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin There is apparently a large colony (100.000) of Chinese workers in Lombardy, with direct flights between Lombardy and Wuhan, so this Italian outbreak is not a coincidence.

Many Italians in Northern Italy sold their leather goods and textiles companies to China. Italy then allowed 100,000 Chinese from Wuhan/Wenzhou to move to Italy to work in these factories, with direct Wuhan flights. Result: Northern Italy is Europe's hotspot for Wuhan Coronavirus

-- George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) March 18, 2020

UK had a "herd immunity" strategy from the beginning. They made no real effort at containment. British government allowed their people to become infected, and only began to change course after public outrage.

Europe Europa , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich The large Chinese population in Italy has been completely ignored by the media, in fact China itself seems to have been let completely off the hook. The focus is now on how terrible Britain and the native British people are.

Someone even posted a Tweet above by a Vietnamese person trying to claim that BRITAIN of all countries is responsible for the outbreak in Vietnam, I mean what kind of ridiculous logic is that? Vietnam bloody BORDERS China, the origin and epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak, and the Vietnamese are trying to say Britain is the cause? It beggars belief.

[Mar 24, 2020] Manufacturing in cheap Third World countries and rewarding the local compradors with a permission to migrate to the West as contributing factor to the coronavirus epidemic

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 6:56 pm GMT

@AP

less globalization outside North America/Europe/Japan/Australia

You are missing the point of globalization: manufacturing in cheap Third World countries and rewarding the local compradors with a permission to migrate to the West. That's the deal, that's what globalization is.

With NA-Europe-Japan all you get is tourism and travel. I would be surprised if we can at this point convince Chinese and the other cheap labor countries to do the work and forgo the hope of migration. It was a Faustian deal and those as we know end in hell.

utu , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@AP Calm down, man and stop the stupid blaming game. It seems that your Banderite spin also includes bashing Chinese which, on the second thought, should not be surprising as there is only one paymaster. Perhaps you should specialize in Ukraine only and leave China to more competent haters.

Compare Canada and Italy on Chinese residents: Canada has 5 times more Chinese than Italy but 62 times less infection cases and 539 times less fatalities than Italy (as of March 16). Furthermore France and UK have more Chinese than Italy.

What about tourists: In Canada 0.75 mil Chinese tourist but in Italy 3.5 mil Chinese tourists. So it must be the tourists, right?

So compare Japan with Italy on Chinese tourists: 8.4 mil Chinese tourist in Japan vs. 3.5 mil Chinese tourists in Italy. How many cases in Japan?

So what I am trying to convey is that the expression of the epidemic in different countries is not congruent with the number of Chinese residents or Chinese tourist.

We will never know where the patients zero (yes plural, there are many patients zero) really came from. For various political reasons we will not be told and what we will be told we must be skeptical about. I found interesting data about the first infected in British Columbia that has huge rather affluent Chinese population. There were as many Iranians as non-Iranians on the list.

In British Columbia cases 1 to 5 were from China though it does not appear they infected others while cases 6, 7, , 12 and 14, 15, 19 were traced to Iran. Then the case 22 was from Iran and also case 31. Case 32 was from Italy, case 35 was from Egypt and case 37 was from Germany. So out of first 37 cases over 50% were people came form Iran, Egypt, Germany and Italy. My point is that while Canada has huge Chinese population (1.7 mil) and gets 700,000 Chinese visitors per year it does not look like China was the main vector. In BC it is Iran and Europe.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/covid-19-coronavirus-canadian-cases

One should consider a possibility whether virus introduction to Iran and the Middle East did precede its introduction in China.

Now let's return to Italy. Most Chinese tourists go to Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities were not affected as much as Lombardy where there is not that many tourists. So we are told that Chinese workers could carry the virus. So look at Prato (in Tuscany near Florence) which has the highest density of Chinese population in Italy. Wiki lists 11,882 (6.32%) for Prato while the highest absolute number is Milan 18,918 (1.43%). The numbers are probably outdated as most likely they do not include illegal residents.

On March 11 Italy had 12,246 cases.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

So I checked what Prato had on March 11:

https://iltirreno.gelocal.it/prato/cronaca/2020/03/11/news/coronavirus-casi-triplicati-a-prato-e-il-giorno-piu-nero-1.38580402
Coronavirus, casi triplicati a Prato: è il giorno più nero

"In a single day the positive cases of coronavirus in the province of Prato have tripled: from 7 to 21 . It is the darkest day since the outbreak began. According to what was announced in the afternoon of today, March 11, by the bulletin of the regional council "

"Therefore, 314 patients are currently positive in Tuscany. This is the subdivision by signaling areas: 71 Florence, 32 Pistoia, 21 Prato (total Asl center: 124), 43 Lucca, 40 Massa Carrara, 34 Pisa, 16 Livorno (total North West Asl: 133), 12 Grosseto, 37 Siena , 14 Arezzo (total Asl southeast: 63)."

So clearly the 2nd largest Chinese community in Italy (and first in density) with 21 cases (out of 12,246 cases in Italy) did not contribute a lot to the corona virus outbreak in Italy.

utu , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:01 pm GMT
@AP Calm down, man and stop the stupid blaming game. It seems that your Banderite spin also includes bashing Chinese which, on the second thought, should not be surprising as there is only one paymaster. Perhaps you should specialize in Ukraine only and leave China to more competent haters.

Compare Canada and Italy on Chinese residents: Canada has 5 times more Chinese than Italy but 62 times less infection cases and 539 times less fatalities than Italy (as of March 16). Furthermore France and UK have more Chinese than Italy.

What about tourists: In Canada 0.75 mil Chinese tourist but in Italy 3.5 mil Chinese tourists. So it must be the tourists, right?

So compare Japan with Italy on Chinese tourists: 8.4 mil Chinese tourist in Japan vs. 3.5 mil Chinese tourists in Italy. How many cases in Japan?

So what I am trying to convey is that the expression of the epidemic in different countries is not congruent with the number of Chinese residents or Chinese tourist.

We will never know where the patients zero (yes plural, there are many patients zero) really came from. For various political reasons we will not be told and what we will be told we must be skeptical about. I found interesting data about the first infected in British Columbia that has huge rather affluent Chinese population. There were as many Iranians as non-Iranians on the list.

In British Columbia cases 1 to 5 were from China though it does not appear they infected others while cases 6, 7, , 12 and 14, 15, 19 were traced to Iran. Then the case 22 was from Iran and also case 31. Case 32 was from Italy, case 35 was from Egypt and case 37 was from Germany. So out of first 37 cases over 50% were people came form Iran, Egypt, Germany and Italy. My point is that while Canada has huge Chinese population (1.7 mil) and gets 700,000 Chinese visitors per year it does not look like China was the main vector. In BC it is Iran and Europe.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/covid-19-coronavirus-canadian-cases

One should consider a possibility whether virus introduction to Iran and the Middle East did precede its introduction in China.

Now let's return to Italy. Most Chinese tourists go to Rome, Florence and Venice. These cities were not affected as much as Lombardy where there is not that many tourists. So we are told that Chinese workers could carry the virus. So look at Prato (in Tuscany near Florence) which has the highest density of Chinese population in Italy. Wiki lists 11,882 (6.32%) for Prato while the highest absolute number is Milan 18,918 (1.43%). The numbers are probably outdated as most likely they do not include illegal residents.

On March 11 Italy had 12,246 cases.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/

So I checked what Prato had on March 11:

https://iltirreno.gelocal.it/prato/cronaca/2020/03/11/news/coronavirus-casi-triplicati-a-prato-e-il-giorno-piu-nero-1.38580402
Coronavirus, casi triplicati a Prato: è il giorno più nero

"In a single day the positive cases of coronavirus in the province of Prato have tripled: from 7 to 21 . It is the darkest day since the outbreak began. According to what was announced in the afternoon of today, March 11, by the bulletin of the regional council "

"Therefore, 314 patients are currently positive in Tuscany. This is the subdivision by signaling areas: 71 Florence, 32 Pistoia, 21 Prato (total Asl center: 124), 43 Lucca, 40 Massa Carrara, 34 Pisa, 16 Livorno (total North West Asl: 133), 12 Grosseto, 37 Siena , 14 Arezzo (total Asl southeast: 63)."

So clearly the 2nd largest Chinese community in Italy (and first in density) with 21 cases (out of 12,246 cases in Italy) did not contribute a lot to the corona virus outbreak in Italy.

Daniel Chieh , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm GMT
@AP

If this started in the USA and spread elsewhere the world would have good cause to condemn the USA and to judge any subsequent efforts by Americans to help others as "the least they could do."

Chinese shipments of medical goods are actually to the risk of the own population, where hospitals are still recovering. While in some ways it is a blatant PR play, its quite a significant cost amd self-risk that goes beyond "the least they could do."

[Mar 24, 2020] Chinese settlers in northern Italy.

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

AP , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm GMT

@TheTotallyAnonymous

The Chinese are showing an unprecedented amount of humanity, morality and basic decency by giving medical aid to more than half the world in genuinely useful forms despite almost everyone shitting on them by calling this a "Chinese virus" and other garbage.

... ... ...

Here is an article about them in the New York Times. Written soon before the onset of the plague. It would not be written now – there's too obvious a connection between open borders, multiculturalism, and death:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/business/italy-china-far-right.html

As Prato's factories went dark, people began arriving from China to exploit an opportunity.

Most were from Wenzhou, a coastal city famed for its entrepreneurial spirit. They took over failed workshops and built new factories. They imported fabric from China, sewing it into clothing. They cannily imitated the styles of Italian fashion brands, while affixing a valuable label to their creations -- "Made in Italy."

Chinese groceries and restaurants have emerged to serve the local population. On the outskirts of the city, Chinese-owned warehouses overflow with racks of clothing destined for street markets in Florence and Paris.

Among Italian textile workers who have veered to the right, the arrival of the Chinese tends to get lumped together with African migration as an indignity that has turned Prato into a city they no longer recognize.

"I don't think it's fair that they come to take jobs away from Italians," says Ms. Travaglini, the laid-off textile worker. She claims that Chinese companies don't pay taxes and violate wage laws, reducing pay for everyone.

Since losing her job at a textile factory nearly three years ago, Ms. Travaglini has survived by fixing clothes for people in her neighborhood. "There are no jobs, not even for young people," she says.

Chinese-owned factories have jobs, she acknowledges, but she will not apply. "That's all Chinese people," she says, with evident distaste. "I don't feel at ease."

:::::::::::

Lots of Ukrainians there also. They don't bring such a virus to Italy, but they bring the virus back to Ukraine.

::::::::::

So nice PR move after killing lots of European old people. One of the sacrificed in Milan to this virus, Vittorio Gregotti, was an architect who helped build the city. Killed by the Chinese virus. A symbol of native Italy replaced by migration.

[Mar 24, 2020] The Chinese have internal natural resources and have been vigorously working world wide to obtain rights to, develop, and extract mineral and energy resources in order to keep production going

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Alfa158 , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 3:25 pm GMT

@Kim The Chinese have internal natural resources and have been vigorously working world wide to obtain rights to, develop, and extract mineral and energy resources in order to keep production going. See the documentary Empire of Dust about Chinese getting the rights to African resources and developing the infrastructure to extract them. Also following the supposed "war for oil" in Iraq the oil contracts went almost entirely to China. China has a lot of the mines for the rare earths needed in modern technological products. The largest single mine used to be in California. A Chinese company bought and re-opened it.

In effect they already own or have contracts for what they need and are much less leveraged than we are.

As to whether their customers can continue to pay for it, that is a different kettle of fish. The rest of us have been running up our credit card with them. We have been paying it off by selling off our countries piece by piece through Chinese purchases of real estate, businesses, port facilities etc. As China has grown economically they have been developing their internal market to reduce dependence on Wal-Mart so that might reduce the impact of poorer foreign markets.

In any event they own a huge infrastructure in plants tooling and human expertise for making things. Our leaders have deliberately hollowed ours out for profits and cheaper consumer goods.

[Mar 19, 2020] Much of the US elite is sinecured in the media, foreign policy, and national security state establishments

Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [252] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm GMT

@Sean

Here was me thinking the Western elites wanted to continue making money on Chinese growth.

Much of the US elite is sinecured in the media, foreign policy, and national security state establishments, whose status depends on the relative power and prestige of the US state. The relative power and prestige of the US state is jeopardized by the continued growth of China.

If you follow US coverage of China in the US, you'll find that this US elite is generally critical of China, although style and presentation vary. The liberal "China watchers" among the US elite in the media and foreign policy establishment tend to focus on human rights, democracy promotion, and liberalism as vectors to attack the Chinese state. They tend to be polished and more subtle rather than explicitly hostile.

The US elite in the national security establishment tend to be more overt about military containment and or confrontation with China, and on developing an anti-China coalition in the Pacific.

[Mar 15, 2020] Our Neo-Feudal System Is on the Verge of Collapse by Michael Hudson

Mar 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

Michael Hudson: [00:00:00] There's recognition that commercial banking has become dysfunctional and that most loans by commercial banks are either against assets – in which case the lending inflates the prices of real estate, stocks and bonds – or for corporate takeover loans.

The economy's low-income brackets have not been helped by today's financial system. Here in New York City, red lining and a visceral class hatred by high finance toward the poor characterized the major banks. From the very top to the bottom, they were very clear they were not going to lend to places with racial minorities like the Lower East Side. The Chase Manhattan Bank told me that the reason was explicitly ethnic, and they didn't want to deal with poor people.

A lot of people in these neighborhoods used to have savings banks. There were 135 mutual savings banks in New York City with names like the Bowery Savings Banks, the Dime Savings Bank, the Immigrant Savings Bank. As their names show, they were specifically to serve the low-income neighborhoods. But in the 1980s the commercial banks convinced the mutual savings banks to let themselves be raided. Their capital reserves of the savings banks, was just looted by Wall Street. The depositors' equity was stripped away (leaving their deposits, to be sure). Sheila Bair, former head of the FDIC, told me that the commercial banks' cover story was that they were large enough to provide more capital reserves to lend for low-income neighborhoods. The reality was that instead, they simply extracted revenue from these neighborhoods. Large parts of the largest cities in America, from Chicago and New York to others, are underbanked because of the transformation of commercial banks from providers of mortgages to emptiers-out, just revenue collectors. That leaves the main recourse in these neighborhoods to pay-day lenders at usurious interest rates. These lenders have become major new customers for Wall Street bankers, not the poor who have no comparable access to credit.

Apart from the savings banks, of course, you had the post office banks. When I went to work on Wall Street in the 1960s, 3 percent of U.S. savings were in the form of post office savings. The advantage, of course, is that post offices were in every neighborhood. So you actually had either a local community banking like savings banks – not like today's community banks, which are commercial banks, lending largely to real estate speculators to capitalize rental apartments into heavily mortgaged co-ops with much higher financial carrying charges – or you had post offices. You now have a deprivation of basic bank services in much of the economy, combined with an increasingly dysfunctional and predatory commercial banking system.

The question is, what's going to happen next time there's a bank crash? Sheila Bair wrote about after the 2008 crash that the most corrupt bank was Citibank – not only corrupt, but incompetent. She had wanted to take it over. But Obama and his Secretary of the Treasury, Tim Geithner, acted as lobbyists for Citibank from the beginning, protecting it from being taken over. But imagine what would have happened if Citibank would have been become a public bank – or other banks that are about to have negative equity if there is a downturn in the stock and bond and real estate market. Imagine what will happen if they were turned into public banks. They would be able to provide the kind of credit that the commercial banking system has refused to provide – credit to blacks, Hispanics and poor people that have just been red-lined in what is becoming a financially polarized dual economy, one for the wealthy and one for everyone else.

Walt McRee: [00:04:10] Well, power in that realm, of course, lies with the banking cartel. They look at public banks as a threat. They hate competition of any sort, it seems.

Michael Hudson: [00:04:18] Of course it is a threat.

Walt McRee: [00:04:22] And even when we say, Michael, that we're not going after the business you're already doing because you aren't lending to small, medium enterprises and so forth – we want to take on the infrastructure that you don't want to fund, but they still are pushing back. How will we be able to get past that?

Michael Hudson: [00:04:40] I think you should say that of course you're not going to take business away from them, because the public community bank or government-owned bank would not make corporate takeover loans or speculative derivative bets. It would not create the dysfunctional credit and debt overhead that has been expanding ever since 1999 when the Clinton administration changed the banking rules.

The problem is that the big commercial banks don't want the productive kind of loans that public banking would make. For instance, the reason they didn't want to extend credit to the Lower East Side or the Hudson Yards west side of New York was they wanted to sort of drive out their residents and gentrify it, by providing the money to the big developers who socially bulldoze these neighborhoods. Their policy is to kick out as many low-income renters or owners as they can, and replace them by raising rents from like $50 a month to $5,000 a month. That's what's happened on the Lower East Side from the time I first lived there to what rents are today.

There is a fight of the economy's unproductive sector against people who want to use credit in a productive way that actually helps the economy. I think it's a fight between good and evil, at least between the productive and unproductive economy, between economics for the people and economics for the One Percent.

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Ellen Brown: [00:06:14] I wonder, though, if the Fed is going to even allow the banks to collapse again, with what they just did with the repo market. They can step in at any time to save anybody. I don't know that Congress, even has a say in it. What do you think?

Michael Hudson: [00:06:30] I think that's right. I've talked to Paul Craig Roberts and we discuss whether they can just keep on keeping these zombie banks alive. Can they keep the over-indebted zombie economy alive by the Federal Reserve manipulating the forward stock and bond markets to support prices? It doesn't actually have to buy stocks and bonds beyond the $4 trillion it's already put into Quantitative Easing. It can simply make manipulate the forward market. That doesn't really cost any money until the big crash comes. So I think one should have a discussion over what President Trump says is a boom that that he's created, with the stock market going up. Does that mean that the economy is getting richer? Are we fine with commercial banking the way it is, so that we don't need public banking?

I think you have to expose the fact that what's happened is artificial state intervention. What we have in the name of free market support of the banks is not a free market at all. It's a highly centralized market to support the predatory financial sector's wealth against the rest of the economy. The financial sector's wealth takes the form of credit to the rest of the economy, extracting interest and amortization, while making loans simply to increase asset prices for real estate and financial securities, not put new means of production in place to employ labor. So you have to go beyond the public banking issue as such, and look at the political context. Ultimately, the way that you defend public banking is to show how the economy works and how public banking could play a positive role in the economy as it should work.

Ellen Brown: [00:08:14] Can you explain what you meant by forward lending? I mean, they don't have to

Michael Hudson: [00:08:19] It's not forward lending, it's buying long. For the stock market's Dow Jones average, they'll contract to buy all its stocks or those in the S&P 500 in one month, or one week or whatever the timeframe is, for X amount – say, 2% over what they're selling today. Well, once the plunge protection team issues a guarantee to buy, the market is going to raise the bid prices for these stocks up to what the Fed and the Treasury have promised to pay for them. By the time the prices go up, the Fed doesn't actually have to buy these stocks, because everybody's anticipated that the Fed would buy them at this 2 percent gain. So it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. We're dealing with a government run by the banks and the creditor powers to artificially raise asset prices, on credit. This has kept alive a system that represents itself as creating prosperity. But it's not creating prosperity for the 99 Percent. Public banking would aim at prosperity for the 99 Percent, not just for the One Percent.

Ellen Brown: [00:09:46] I'm writing about Mexico's AMLO, who is now who has just announced in January that he will be building 2,700 branches of a public bank in the next two years. He's expecting 13,000 branches ultimately, so it will be the largest bank in the country. His reasoning is just what you're saying, that the banks have failed and have not serviced the poor. His mandate is to help the poor, and he can't do that if they don't have banking services.

Michael Hudson: [00:10:17] Is that national?

Ellen Brown: [00:10:18] Yes, all across the country.

Walt McRee: [00:10:22] "Loprabrador", AMLO. So we know that a public monetary source is a public utility. Our vision is to create a network of local and state public banks. That leads us to the view that what we really need to be targeting is the Federal Reserve, to ultimately turn it into a publicly-owned entity. Is that folly or

Michael Hudson: [00:10:55] I think the way to get people to support this is if they understand how the Federal Reserve was created. A few years ago I published an article in an Indian economic journal (I think it's on my website), about how the Federal Reserve was created. [1] "How the U.S. Treasury avoided Chronic Deflation by Relinquishing Monetary Control to Wall Street," Economic & Political Weekly (India), May 7, 2016. Available on Naked Capitalism an michael-hudson.com. There was a fight by Wall Street led by J.P. Morgan. America had a central bank until 1913 – the Treasury. Until 1913 the Treasury was doing everything that the Federal Reserve began to do. The idea of creating the Federal Reserve was to take power away from the Treasury. The Treasury wasn't even allowed to be on the board as an owner of Federal Reserve stock. The idea was to take decision-making away from Washington, away from democratic politics, and insulate the financial system from the democratic political system by turning control over to the corporate financial centers -- Wall Street, Chicago, and the other Federal Reserve districts. They were the same districts as those that the Treasury already had divided the country into. Remember, these were the decades leading up to World War I when there was a social democratic revolution from Europe to the United States. A guiding idea was to democratize banking.

Wall Street very quickly developed a counter strategy to this. And the counter strategy was the Federal Reserve. You're welcome to republish my article on your site. You and I both aim to reverse the counterrevolution mounted against classical economics and social democracy. The entity you're talking about would probably be under the aegis of the Treasury. You'd be putting the economy back in the direction that the world was moving before World War I derailed these efforts.

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You talk of nationalizing the Fed. I know people don't like the word nationalizing. How about thing de-privatizing or de-Thatcherizing the Fed? You have to represent the Fed as having stolen economic and financial policy away from the public domain. It became part of the neoliberal project taking form in Austria in the 1930s. You're trying to restore the classical economic vision of productive versus unproductive credit, productive versus unproductive labor, and public money as opposed to private money. These distinctions were erased by the censorial neoliberal counter-revolution.

It's not that you're radical, that these people had a radical revolution to carve away the financial system from democracy. And you're restoring the classical vision of democratizing, re-democratizing finance and banking.

Walt McRee: [00:14:12] I want to thank you for saying that, Michael, because de-privatizing the Federal Reserve is so much more accurate and powerful. You'll recall that we kind of exchanged a phrase when I said "institutionalized deception.". I think that's really important. But let's say that prior to that, Stephanie Kelton gets in there, or somebody from the MMT crowd gets into a new administration prior to de-privatizing the Fed. Does MMT have a place to play or to emerge in that environment?

Michael Hudson: [00:14:55] Of course, and here's the role: You can leave the commercial banks to do what they're doing, but you're not going to provide Federal Reserve credit for them to load down the economy with unproductive debt. The question is, if you're going to create real community banking via a public banking sector, where will it get the money to lend out? How do we provide money to the red-lined areas of the economy to actually finance tangible capital investment and people's living needs, not just predatory lending? The way that MMT comes in is much like the Chicago plan for one hundred percent reserves. These community banks will need Treasury-created depository credit beyond the deposits they raise in their local areas.

They need more money. MMT will provide credit to these banks in exchange for their loan originations of a productive character, on terms that borrowers can afford, with realistic mortgages also to build public housing. The new Fed that we're talking about will be a major depositor and will provider of the capital deposits and reserves to the banks. Right now, it has provided $4 trillion of Quantitative Easing credit to the banks, not to put into the economy but only to inflate the stock and bond market and make housing more expensive. Wouldn't it be much better to provide credit to community banks that actually would make credit available for productive economic purposes – and not for takeover loans, stock buybacks and asset speculation?

Productive credit was what everybody expected banking to develop in the late 19th century. Germany and Central Europe were leading the way. It was called Middle Europa banking, as opposed to Anglo-American banking. (I discuss this contrast in Killing the Host .) That was essentially following the classical model, as everybody expected banking to evolve prior to World War I.

Ellen Brown: [00:17:29] Cool. That's totally what I also wrote about in my latest book. The Federal Reserve is where you should be getting credit, so you don't have to borrow it from somewhere else. Everybody thinks this whole repo thing is so contrived. It's re-hypothecated. One party owns the collateral at night, the other party owns it during the day. It's all just bluff to make it look like they borrowed something that wasn't really there. So let's just acknowledge that all money is just credit. And like you say, if you have a good loan, a good project to be monetized, that's the whole point of a bank. It will turn your future productivity into something you can spend in the marketplace. And the central bank is there to provide the credit.

Michael Hudson: [00:18:21] That's right.

Ellen Brown: [00:18:22] Turn it into dollars.

Michael Hudson: [00:18:24] That's right. My way of describing it is to look at history, to show that this is not a utopian idea. It is what made German and Central European banking so much more productive in the decades leading up to World War I. So we actually have historical examples of good banking versus bad banking. But the predators won in the end.

Ellen Brown: [00:18:53] Well, regarding this whole repo thing, one big problem we have with our public banks is the 110 percent collateralization requirement in California. How is a bank supposed to make loans if it has to use its deposits to buy securities – something safe and yielding low interest to back the deposits? It seems to me that what the big banks do – and I think we could do it, too – is to take those deposits and buy federal securities at 1.5 percent, and then they turn around and use the securities as collateral in the repo market, where they pay 1.5 percent. In other words, they earn 1.5 percent and they pay 1.5 percent. So it's a wash. They get their money for free. I think we could do that, too. Or are only certain players allowed to play that game, and we can't jump in?

Michael Hudson: [00:19:50] Well, you're the lawyer. Of course they could do it. I think one of the things that you and other progressives have recommended is that the Fed should stop paying money to the banks for their reserve deposits. Stop giving them the free giveaway. If you want to say, "We're against the largest welfare recipients in the country. They're not the people you think. They're the Wall Street banks. These hypocrites want to cut back Social Security to balance the budget. They want to cut back medical care and social services, and make themselves the only welfare recipients."

Ellen Brown: [00:20:30] Right, agreed. But if we just stand on our high horse and say this has to change, nothing will happen. We could do it ourselves and just show what you're doing in contrast to what they're doing

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Michael Hudson: [00:20:44] You're asking for symmetry. They're making us carry a big load on our back, that they don't have to carry. They're loading the dice in their own favor. You want to unload the dice and stop the insider favoritism. You correctly represent the banks as being insiders. You have to say, "Look, these insiders are trying to keep a monopoly." You could use the anti-monopoly legislation that's been on the books since Teddy Roosevelt's time. You have a lot of legal power to break up the big banks. You could treat them like I think they could treat the pharmaceutical companies if Bernie gets in.

Walt McRee: [00:21:44] Monopolies are being challenged by the shadow banking industry. New forms of payment exchange technologies seem to be eating away at that singular source of credit. What's your prognosis for how that's going to evolve? Will the big banks find a way to clamp down on that ultimately?

Michael Hudson: [00:22:05] Are we talking about cryptocurrency?

Walt McRee: [00:22:07] That would be one example, yes.

Michael Hudson: [00:22:10] Well,. you can't stop people from gambling. People think that buying a cryptocurrency is like buying an Andy Warhol etching. Maybe it'll go up in price if a large number of people want it. But basically, it's junk. It's very speculative. It's certainly not stable. It goes up and down. One day there may be a solar flare that's going to wipe out all the bank records for these things. But there is no way to stop people from doing something that seems to be silly or gambling. You certainly will not insure them. So you will not give them any protection against loss. You also will want to insulate the economy from having any transactions in crypto, in these alternative money things that pose a big threat of loss. They are not real money, because the government will not accept payment of cryptocurrencies as taxes or for public goods and services. The government will only accept specified forms of money. You can create any kind of swap or bet. If you want to create the equivalent of a racetrack on horses. You can do it, but that's a financial racetrack. I think there may be taxes on racetracks. They were unregulated for a long time. But Hollywood movies showed that there's a lot of criminalization going on there.

Walt McRee: [00:23:59] We were all amused, well, maybe a little wondering about Max Kaiser. Ellen and I and Tyson Slokum had some time with him over there just before you were at his Brooklyn studio, but Max is into Bitcoin in a big way, and he sees it as the new gold.

Michael Hudson: [00:24:20] He told me that a lot of people watch his show because they're gold bugs or they are interested in Bitcoin. I think he's tried to take a neutral view of it, certainly in our personal conversations. He's not a gold bug and he's not a Bitcoin or other bug. But he said that a lot of people want to find out about it, so he has guests on his show telling people, "Here it is, take your choice." It's part of the new speculative financial landscape, just like swamps are part of landscape for Florida real estate. So he's going to cover the whole spectrum. Reuters produces his shows, and the audience wants to hear about this. So he talks about what they want to hear.

Ellen Brown: [00:25:20] I think he actually does promote Bitcoin. He's heavily invested in it and he was one of the originals, so he's obviously made a lot of money on it.

Michael Hudson: [00:25:29] Okay.

Ellen Brown: [00:25:29] I think he agrees that it can't be a national currency. It's too slow, too expensive, and too environmentally unfriendly. But like you say, it has been a good investment, just like fine art or something that, if people want it, the value goes up. Plus, there's a big black market for it, for trading and things that you don't want the government to know about.

Michael Hudson: [00:25:57] It's a real phenomenon. I know people who benefited from Andy Warhol. So he saw the phenomenon and he seems to have made money, but when Steve Keen and I and others got together with him for a couple of days two months ago, the topic never came up in discussion.

But gold did. I wonder where the gold of Libya went, for instance. Apparently it was all taken and I understand the US gave it to ISIS. Hillary said it had to go to ISIS to act as our Foreign Legion. We gave them Libya's weapons. Some of the gold must have just been taken by the CIA and State Department for dirty tricks for its black operations. Certainly, America wants to prevent any other country or large gold possessor from having enough gold to try to reinstate it as a means of settling balance-of-payments deficits. America runs a large military deficit, so at a certain point, the more money it spends abroad for its 800 military bases, the more gold it would lose. Just like in General de Gaulle's time during the Vietnam War, although actually Germany was taking more gold than France. So America wants to keep the dollar at the center of the world financial system. That really was why it went to war with Libya, because Libya was one of the first countries to de-dollarize and move its currency toward gold. So you're having a group of countries – Russia, China, Iran and others – add gold to their reserves instead of dollars. You're having a de-dollarization move throughout the world to break free from the US ability to do what it did do Iran.

When Iran borrowed in dollars under the Shah, it used Chase Manhattan Bank as its paying agent. It put enough money into the account to pay its foreign debts service. But then the State Department told Chase to screw Iran and refuse to turn over the payment. Now that the Shah wasn't running Iran, once Chase refused to turn over the payment and froze Iran's account, that meant that Iran went into default on the entire dollarized foreign debt. It was liable for a huge amount of capital.

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That was a warning for the rest of the world that no government could safely put its money in an American bank or an American bank branch, or in a British branch that would act as a subsidiary of the Pentagon. Because if you do, the bank can simply force you into default at any time, just like the US CIA can come in and use electronic weaponry to destroy your bank payment-clearing system. That's why the threat of cutting Russia and China and other countries off from the Swift Interbank Clearing System led Russia to develop its own clearing system. With a flick of a switch it can begin to work anytime United States tries to cut Russia off from the SWIFT payments system. So you're having the whole world de-dollarize very quickly. And right now the question is what Europe will choose. Are Germany and other countries going to become part of the de-dollarized system, or remain part of the dollar area?

This is part of the fight against using the IT chips and the communications chips from Huawei. Huawei did not put US spyware into the system. The United States says that if it can't have a phone system and communications system that it can control by spyware and use to blow up your economy, your public utilities, your electrical systems, then you're our enemy, because we feel insecure without this control. When President Trump said that Huawei was a threat to US national security, he meant that we don't feel secure unless we have the power to destroy any economy that acts in any way that is independent of the United States – because you might do something we don't like. This is the most aggressive concept of security that one could imagine. So of course the rest of the world is seeing its own national security as having a financial dimension. The financial dimension is to create a monetary and financial system that minimizes connections to the dollar except to the extent of having to buy and sell dollars to stabilize foreign exchange rate.

Ellen Brown: [00:31:31] There's a lot of talk, even among central bankers, that we need to get off the dollar as a global reserve currency. But it seems to me that gold is also manipulatable. I mean, it's not the ideal I had envisioned a system where instead of reserves being a thing, like dollars or gold that you can actually trade, it would just be a measure, like a yardstick. You would be able to compare one currency to another according to what you could buy with it. Like you'd have a whole basket of things that everybody uses in every country. And now that they report that kind of stuff, it wouldn't be all that hard to get the figures and, you know, just compare and say, well, your dollar will be worth so many pesos in Mexico or whatever. That was my idea, but what do you think?

Michael Hudson: [00:32:27] That would meet one of the criteria of money, which is as a measure of value, but it would not do at all for international money. You have to have some means of constraint. In other words, suppose the United States continued to run another military budget deficit like it did in the Vietnam War. There is no way that you could use the balance of payments as a constraint on the policy of deficit countries, which are usually the military aggressors. The whole idea of going off gold was that under the gold standard no country can afford to make war, because if you go to war your currency collapses. In 1976, Herman Kahn and I went to the Treasury and – this is to answer your question. He put up a map of the world and said, "These are the countries – Scandinavia, Western Europe, the United States – that don't believe in gold. They're all politically stable social democratic countries. They have faith in government. No look at these others here's the rest of the world – India, South America, Africa and most of Asia. these are people that believe in gold. Why do they believe in gold, but not the Protestant cultural area? Well, they don't have faith in government. They don't trust governments. They want some option that is independent of government. Gold is not only to bribe the border guards if they're escaping from somewhere. They want to be free of governments that have been captured by anti-democratic, predatory forces."

He said if you tried to think of what you would make that is an alternative to the dollar that people could understand, well, for thousands of years, people have decided that gold and silver. (I'm sure that you could add platinum and palladium.) So they have been the ultimate means of settlement, and hence of international monetary constraint.

Gold isn't to be used as money. It's not to be used as a normal means of payment. What it is to be used for is as a balance-of-payments constraint on the ability of countries to run up chronic deficits that are mainly military in character. So I called our presentation "Gold: the Peaceful Metal." Well, needless to say, the Treasury didn't go for that, because they said that we had just explained how super-imperialism works via the dollar. So they didn't go back to gold. We lost that argument.

Ellen Brown: [00:35:34] Isn't the reason we went off gold standard, though, that there simply isn't enough gold and that we wound up leveraging it, and

Michael Hudson: [00:35:42] No, there's plenty of gold. There wasn't enough gold to pay for the military deficit. Every month the dollars we spent in Vietnam would be turned over to the banks in Indo-China. They were French. They'd turn the dollars over to Paris and General de Gaulle would turn in these dollars for gold. We had to pay in gold for the military deficit, which was the entire source of the US balance-of-payments deficits in the 50s, 60s and into the 70s. America went off gold so that it could afford to wage war without the constraint of losing its control over the international monetary system.

Ellen Brown: [00:36:29] We went after gold domestically because it didn't work. I mean, you had to use fractional reserve lending

Michael Hudson: [00:36:35] Yes, of course gold doesn't work domestically. It's certainly not an appropriate domestic money supply. I'm only talking about it for settlements among central banks internationally.

Ellen Brown: [00:36:49] But you said it's not to be traded. But if you don't, how do you settle your balance of payments?

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: [00:36:53] It can be traded. There is a market. And you began by saying, quite correctly, that gold prices are manipulated. Well, right now the US and the central banks are manipulating its price to keep it low, in the same way that they're manipulating the stock and bond market by buying forward. Except in the case of gold, they're selling forward. If they keep agreeing to sell gold at a very low price, people will see that if they can buy gold at this low price, why should they buy it at a higher price today, as the price will fall and be driven down. So, yes, gold is manipulated downwards today by the U.S. – essentially the plunge protection team acting internationally to keep the price of gold down to discourage other countries and populations from buying it is protection against collapse of the financial system.

So we're back to the fact that the financial system is dysfunctional. In a functional financial system, you wouldn't need domestic reference to gold. You'd have a domestic financial system that works fine without gold. Gold is what you have when the financial system becomes dysfunctional and there's a breakdown.

Ellen Brown: [00:38:21] Well, it almost seems like you need some sort of global regulator. But that's like a one-world government, which we all freak out about.

Michael Hudson: [00:38:28] You certainly don't want a one world government. Right now all the plans for world government are neoliberal. They aim essentially to limit, to break up democratic government regulation of corporate business, mining and monopolies. The idea of a one-world government is to destroy any democratic government's ability to make its own laws in the interests of labor or society. You would have a parallel government of wealth, government of property. It's what the University of Chicago calls the Law and Economics regime. And this is, this is fascism on an international scale. And there is a wonderful book by Quinn Slobodian in 2008, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Nationalism , showing how these plans were developed by fascists in the 1930s and by the fascist promoters at the University of Chicago. The fascist promoters were people like Hayek and von Mises and the Geneva economists around the League of Nations. So when they say they're anti-government, they're really anti-democracy. They're for an iron-fisted government by big business, big mining and big oil – and most of all, by big banks. That is the reason why people don't trust an international government. It would be an international iron fist of fascism, the way the current maneuvering of the financial classes and the rentier classes and the neocons have arranged things.

Ellen Brown: [00:39:56] Well, I totally agree. It's quite frightening. We want sovereignty for all our little nations, and even our little cities, states and so forth. But it seems to me, how do you get everybody to work together? For example, Venezuela has the debt problem that any country has that's heavily in debt to foreigners, or to vulture funds or whatever. There's not a universally recognized court that you can go to. And, you know, everybody agrees. It does seem like on some level we need some sort of collaborative effort where we all agree on the rules.

Michael Hudson: [00:40:33] Absolutely right. Now, of course, the United States would not recognize any international court. So, again, you'd have all the rest of the world belonging to the court, and the United States as the outlier. It's like you're the healthy body and we want to parasitize you. And it will not recognize the court. My Super-Imperialism reviews the history of this policy.

But you're right: There should be a court that would recognize such things as odious debt for governments. Venezuela's problem is that under the dictators that the Americans had installed by assassination and force, Venezuela had pledged its oil reserves as collateral for its international bonds. That gives a vested interest in the creditors to make it default and grab its oil reserves and its investments in the United States, the oil distributors it bought. So, yes, you do need a set of international rules for writing down bad debts. That means an alternative to the IMF. You need an anti-IMF. Instead of acting on behalf of the creditors imposing austerity on countries, you should create an organization representing society. And s the interest of society is to grow. Instead of promoting austerity like the IMF does, it would promote prosperity. Instead of financing the US government dollarization and giving US control, it would be part of the de-dollarization group.

So you'd have a pro-growth group of nations – of the world economy – using finance for growth and development with productive credit. You'd also have the United States providing predatory credit, austerity, cutting back Social Security, cutting back Medicare and having a polarizing economy that is shrinking and will end up looking like Greece or Argentina. The rest of the world would follow more productive and less oligarchic financial policies. That should ultimately be our global dream. But there's been little preparation for that. The financial sector's neoliberals have o put together an almost conspiratorial Law and Economics lobbying group to promote the Trans-Pacific Partnership and World Trade Organization rules blocking governments from imposing anti-pollution fines or regulating monopolies or closing tax havens. If you fine an oil company for polluting, the government is obliged under this international law to pay the oil companies what they would have earned if they would have continued to poison the environment. This is

Ellen Brown: [00:43:41] Shocking.

Michael Hudson: [00:43:41] Definitely. This is an international deathwish.

Ellen Brown: [00:43:45] Agreed. Totally agreed.

Walt McRee: [00:43:47] We've been speaking with economist Michael Hudson. Our thanks to him for being on this program again. And you'll be hearing more from Michael on future editions of It's Our Money.

Walt McRee: [00:43:59] Well, that's it for this edition of It's Our Money with Ellen Brown. Thanks to our guests or sponsors, Public Banking Associates, and to you for listening. Be sure to check out Ellen's latest writings on the economy and the changing world of money by visiting ellenbrown.com. And for more information on public banking, visit PublicBankingInstitute.org. For information on how local and state governments can obtain professional insight and council about public banks from key national experts, visit PublicBankingAssociates.com. I'm Walt McRee. See you next time on It's our Money with Ellen Brown.

Notes

[1] "How the U.S. Treasury avoided Chronic Deflation by Relinquishing Monetary Control to Wall Street," Economic & Political Weekly (India), May 7, 2016. Available on Naked Capitalism an michael-hudson.com.

animalogic , says: Show Comment March 13, 2020 at 8:51 am GMT

@dc.sunsets "This is why those who promise to "Plan" economic prosperity are liars and fools, for they have the PRETENSE of knowledge, nothing more. "
Of course, this point is true -- but its posed as an absolute. No government can "plan" an entire economy -- we know this from the failings of the USSR etc. But nor can economies be totally unplanned. The US is not an unplanned economy: its an economy planned by the 1% for the 1%.
Modern economies are "mixed". There is coordinated planning between the public & private sector.
Sadly the US Gov' has renounced its responsibilities to "plan". Had the US Gov "planned" it would never have allowed key industries, knowledge & talent to be off shored to China. Such off shoring was a private plan by the 1% for the 1%. Worked well -- for them.
Robert White , says: Show Comment March 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm GMT
Adding complexity to an already far too complex system merely hastens blow out of distributions that are skewed fat tails and stressed to a breaking point of systemic failure. Greenspan purposely built a complex financial empire of asset inflation to replace Volcker's fiscal prudence & macroprudential professionalism system wide.

Once Greenspan has locked in the asset inflation regime & deregulated Glass-Steagall Act it was off to the races on a credit card for the largest parasite in the financial empire governing by force.

On September 10th 2001 Donald Rumsfeld announced to the world that the ever incompetent Pentagon had misplaced $1.3 trillion USD of taxpayer money. On September 11th 2001 Donald Rumsfeld took part in a clandestine covert US Military operation to assassinate all of the principle investigators & forensic Chartered Accountants that were about to uncover the crimes taking place under Donald Rumsfeld's directorship as Pentagon executive.

The USA has always been a system of fraud by stealth of US Military force thugsterism & all out fascist behaviour.

Great synthesis by Hudson IMHO.

[Mar 10, 2020] Welcome to America, haven for the Gangs of New York and Grifters about town.

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Mar 9 2020 22:12 utc | 62

New York Federal Reserve Bank announced Monday it will increase its daily injections of cash into financial markets by $50 billion to $150 billion as a protective step amid #coronavirus epidemic.

https://twitter.com/PDChina/status/1237020467652935680

I see your tangible assets bet and raise another $50 billion per day of presto digitizer created out of thin air fiat.

Because I CAN!

Now what are you going to do about it huh?

If you crash our ponzi scheme, who are you going to sell your oil and gas to?


That said, in periods of past extreme economic turmoil folks like Steve Mnuchin, with the trophy British wife, aka The King of Foreclosure, made out like bandits. He's now duce Trump's Secretary of the Treasury. The prior Republican standard bearer, the Mitt, was also a Vulture who participated in the hollowing out of the American Industrial Heartland, for profit.

A life long con man and grifter coupled up with a Jewish vulture capitalist leading a phony charge to Make America Great Again...?

A script that writes itself.

Sadly..the supposed opposition are also beholding to AIPAC, and it's dictates.

Chuck Schumer says he was appointed by God to be the Guardian of Israel. It's true, and confirmation is available on the web.

Is he an American or an Israeli? No one should be allowed to be both, should they? Am I right or wrong?


Why just look at the good ole boys Netanyahu's very good friend , Tabloid Star and huckster about town the donald to see who is really the Bossman of Murika's gun toting Patriots.

Pretty sad really when you think about it. A Country that ravaged it's indigenous people to break the land open for settlers of European descent, only to have it fall into the clutches of a tiny tribe of foreigners who never put skin the game and came in with their gangsterism and were always about accumulation of wealth and power for themselves.

Welcome to America, haven for the Gangs of New York and Grifters about town.

[Mar 09, 2020] COVID-19 burst the asset price bubble. In a new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

Mar 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

CitizenX , Mar 9 2020 2:58 utc | 57

"Perhaps this will finally burst the out-of-control asset price bubble and drop-kick the Outlaw US Empire's economy into the sewer as the much lower price will rapidly slow the recycling of what remains of the petrodollar. Looks like Trump's reelection push just fell into a massive sinkhole as the economy will tank."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 1:29 utc | 49
....

Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.

Don't worry...just continue to go shopping and take those selfies.


vk , Mar 9 2020 3:37 utc | 60

Pompeo accuses China of giving "imperfect data" on COVID-19, blame it for US failure in containing the virus:

In new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

It will be hard for the American people to swallow that one. From day 1 I've read a lot of "articles" and "papers" from know-it-all Western doctors and researchers from commenters here in this blog, all of them claiming to have very precise and definitive data on what was happening. A lot of bombastic conclusions I've read here (including one that claimed R0 was through the roof - it's funny how the R0 is being played down after it begun to infect the West; suddenly, it's all just a stronger cold...).

And that's just here, in MoA's comment section. Imagine what was being published in the Western MSM. I wouldn't be surprised there was a lot of rednecks popping their beers celebrating the fall of China already.

--//--

China to back global virus fight with production boost

Since China allegedly had a lot of idle industrial capacity - that is, if we take the Western MSM theories seriously (including the fabled "ghost towns" stories) - then boosting production wouldn't be a problem to China.

Disclaimer: it's normal for any kind of economy - socialist or capitalist - to have a certain percentage of idle capacity. That's necessary in order to insure the economy against unexpected oscillations in demand and to give space of maneuvre for future technological progress. Indeed, that was one of the USSR's mistakes with its economy: they instinctly thought unemployment should be zero, and waste should also be zero, so they planned in a way all the factories always sought to operate at 100% capacity. That became a problem when better machines and better methods were invented, since the factory manager wouldn't want to stop production so that his factory would fall behind the other factories in the five-year plan's goals. So, yes, China indeed has idle capacity - but it is mainly proposital, not a failure of its socialist planning.

--//--

... ... ...

vk , Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61
This is important. The only reason I didn't comment about it is I hadn't the data:

Follow the money: Understanding China's battle against COVID-19

By the latest count, in addition to yuan loans worth 113 billion U.S. dollars granted by financial institutions and more than 70 billion U.S. dollars paid out by insurance companies, the Chinese government has allocated about 13 billion U.S. dollars to counter fallout from the outbreak.

The numbers could look abstract. However, breaking the data down reveals how the money is being carefully targeted. The government is allocating the money based on a thorough evaluation of the system's strengths.

...

Local governments are equipped with more local knowledge that allows them to surgically support key manufacturers or producers that are struggling.

Together, they have borne the bulk of the financial responsibility with an allocation of equivalently more than nine billion U.S. dollars. It is carefully targeted, divided into hundreds of thousands of individual grants that are tailor-made by and for each county, town, city and business.

This is the mark of a socialist system.

The affected capitalist countries will simply use monetary devices (so the private sector can offset the losses) and burn their own reserves with non-profitable palliatives such as masks, tests, other quarantine infrastructure etc.

Pft , Mar 9 2020 4:44 utc | 64
Sounds like US socialism. Basically corporate socialism. Loans are just dollars created out of thin air, same as in US. Insurance payouts come from premiums, nothing socialist about that, pure capitalism. Government hand outs to provinces, cities, state owned corporations,well all of these are run by the party elite, its called pork. US handed out a lot of pork during the last financial crisis. None of it trickled down to the little people. I doubt it does in China either.

All crisis are opportunities for the elite to get richer. Those Biolake firms in Wuhan will make out like bandits. Chinese firms will double the price of API's sold to India and US. China will knock out the small farmer in the wake of concurrent chicken and swine flu so the big enterprises take over, a mimicry of the US practice over the last century. China tech firms will double up on surveillance apps, censoring tools, surveillance and toughen up social credit restrictions. 5G will allow China to experiment with nanobots to monitor citizens health from afar (thanks to Harvards Dr Leiber).

Oh yes, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a technocratic capitalists dream. Thats why the West has never imposed sanctions on China since welcoming them to the global elites club. Sanctions are reserved for those with true socialism, especially those who preach equality and god forbid, democracy.

uncle tungsten , Mar 9 2020 8:35 utc | 83

CitizenX #57

Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.


Don't forget the Russians.. They have to be to blame. See they just kept the price of oil low so now the rest of the world gets gas cheaper than the USA. The USA motorist now has to bail out the dopey frackers and shale oil ponzis.

Global envy will eat murica. Maybe they will just pull out all their troops and go home. ;)

[Mar 06, 2020] Over eighty percent of the medicines used in the United States are manufactured in China

Mar 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

Anon 2 , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 5:39 am GMT

As far as I know, no one here has mentioned that because of the globalization drive by Clinton, Bush, and Obama, 85% of the medicines used in the United States are manufactured in China. Even U.S. troops depend on medicines from China! China could bring the entire health system in the U.S. to a stop in a matter of months. This is what our inept elites have done to America – they gave away the shop. People are beginning to realize that manufacturing our own medicines is a matter of national security but it'll take years to bring the factories back to the U.S. So much for globalization.

Rod Dreher's blog IMHO is the best source for quick info on the coronavirus because he is in touch with American M.D.'s who are married to women from China who in turn are in contact with relatives at home and the Chinese media. Of course, Rod himself can be hysterical at times but, apparently, that's what it takes to have a successful blog. The M.D.'s are reporting that the U.S. is already beginning to run out of certain medications, and recommend stocking up on the basic necessities, i.e., recommend assuming the mental framework of the survivalists – have plenty of canned goods, etc and refill your prescriptions ASAP. This is what many people here seem to forget – the coronavirus's indirect effects due to having no access to medications may be much worse than the direct pathogenic effects.

[Mar 05, 2020] What is Globalism? Globalism is Neoliberalism which is Corporatism

Mar 05, 2020 | www.reddit.com

The term Globalism has been around from at least the 1960's but its origins come from Cecil Rhodes Round Tables which were set up around 1900 as a mechanism for Rhodes and his allies from the British and South African Oligarchs to take over the world. Globalism is another term for Neoliberalism, which is another term for Corporatism. It is principally pushed by Fake Liberals who pretend to be lefties, but are actually Corporatists or Corporate Fascists.

Globalism

The aim of Globalism is to transfer all power and wealth from ordinary people to a handful of Banking Elites, Oligarchs and major Corporate CEO's. The ultimate aim is to set up an anti democratic, authoritarian one world government where ordinary people are effectively serfs and have no say, in a system of Neo-Feudalism. We are very nearly already there.

This is being constantly carried out by transferring ever increasing powers from elected local governments to massive governmental Super States, such as the EU or the Federal government in Washington DC.

A great example of a Globalist policy was Obama's Corporate Power Grab TPP and TTIP, Corporate protectionist deals, which transferred power from elected legislatures to transnational tribunals staffed by Corporate lawyers acting as Judge and Jury.

TPP, TISA and TTIP agreements are massive Corporate power grabs dressed up as trade deals http://ian56.blogspot.com/2015/11/tpp-tisa-and-ttip-agreements-are.html

"Neo-libs" are NOT Centrists. They are extremist supporters of Perpetual War, Corruption, Corporatism, Authoritarianism & the Transfer of all wealth & power from ordinary ppl to the Oligarchs & CEOs in the top 0.01%.

What is Globalism? Clue: Its NOT what the Corporate Establishment tells you it is http://ian56.blogspot.com/2017/11/what-is-globalism.html

Neoliberalism. The ideology that dare not speak its name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/index.shtml

[Mar 04, 2020] Why Are We Being Charged? Surprise Bills From Coronavirus Testing Spark Calls for Government to Cover All Costs by Jake Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notes of disaster capitalism in action...
Notable quotes:
"... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not billing patients for coronavirus testing, according to Business Insider . "But there are other charges you might have to pay, depending on your insurance plan, or lack thereof," Business Insider noted. "A hospital stay in itself could be costly and you would likely have to pay for tests for other viruses or conditions." ..."
"... Congress needs to immediately pass a bill appropriating funding to cover 100% of the cost of all coronavirus testing & care within the United States. We will not have a chance at containing it otherwise. @tedlieu - as my rep, can you please ensure this is brought up? ..."
"... In the case of the Wucinskis, Kliff reported that "the ambulance company that transported [them] charged the family $2,598 for taking them to the hospital." ..."
"... Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Osmel Martinez Azcue "received a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270" after he visited a local hospital fearing that he contracted coronavirus during a work trip to China. ..."
"... Did anyone expect the unconscionable greed of capitalism to cease when a public health crisis emerges? This is just testing for the virus, wait until a vaccine has been developed so expensive that the majority of the US populace can not afford it at all and people are dropping like flies. Wall Street, never-the-less, will continue to have its heydays ..."
"... The very idea that the defense and "Homeland" security budgets are bloated and additional funding approved year after year but the citizens of this country are not afforded 100% health coverage In a time of global health crisis that could become a pandemic. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

"Huge surprise medical bills [are] going to make sure people with symptoms don't get tested. That is bad for everyone." by Jake Johnson, staff writer Public health advocates, experts, and others are demanding that the federal government cover coronavirus testing and all related costs after several reports detailed how Americans in recent weeks have been saddled with exorbitant bills following medical evaluations.

Sarah Kliff of the New York Times reported Saturday that Pennsylvania native Frank Wucinski "found a pile of medical bills" totaling $3,918 waiting for him and his three-year-old daughter after they were released from government-mandated quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California.

"My question is why are we being charged for these stays, if they were mandatory and we had no choice in the matter?" asked Wucinski, who was evacuated by the U.S. government last month from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

"I assumed it was all being paid for," Wucinski told the Times . "We didn't have a choice. When the bills showed up, it was just a pit in my stomach, like, 'How do I pay for this?'"

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not billing patients for coronavirus testing, according to Business Insider . "But there are other charges you might have to pay, depending on your insurance plan, or lack thereof," Business Insider noted. "A hospital stay in itself could be costly and you would likely have to pay for tests for other viruses or conditions."

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told the Times that

"the most important rule of public health is to gain the cooperation of the population."

"There are legal, moral, and public health reasons not to charge the patients,"

Gostin said.

Congress needs to immediately pass a bill appropriating funding to cover 100% of the cost of all coronavirus testing & care within the United States. We will not have a chance at containing it otherwise. @tedlieu - as my rep, can you please ensure this is brought up?

-- William LeGate (@williamlegate) March 2, 2020

In the case of the Wucinskis, Kliff reported that "the ambulance company that transported [them] charged the family $2,598 for taking them to the hospital."

"An additional $90 in charges came from radiologists who read the patients' X-ray scans and do not work for the hospital," Kliff noted.

The CDC declined to respond when Kliff asked whether the federal government would cover the costs for patients like the Wucinskis.

The Intercept 's Robert Mackey wrote last Friday that the Wucinskis' situation spotlights "how the American government's response to a public health emergency, like trying to contain a potential coronavirus epidemic, could be handicapped by relying on a system built around private hospitals and for-profit health insurance providers."

We should be doing everything we can to encourage people with #COVIDー19 symptoms to come forward. Huge surprise medical bills is going to make sure people with symptoms don't get tested. That is bad for everyone, regardless of if you are insured. https://t.co/KOUKTSFVzD

-- Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 1, 2020

Play this tape to the end and you find people not going to the hospital even if they're really sick. The federal government needs to announce that they'll pay for all of these bills https://t.co/HfyBFBXhja

Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Osmel Martinez Azcue "received a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270" after he visited a local hospital fearing that he contracted coronavirus during a work trip to China.

"He went to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he said he was placed in a closed-off room," according to the Herald . "Nurses in protective white suits sprayed some kind of disinfectant smoke under the door before entering, Azcue said. Then hospital staff members told him he'd need a CT scan to screen for coronavirus, but Azcue said he asked for a flu test first."

Azcue tested positive for the flu and was discharged. "Azcue's experience shows the potential cost of testing for a disease that epidemiologists fear may develop into a public health crisis in the U.S.," the Herald noted.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, highlighted Azcue's case in a tweet last Friday.

"The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together," Sanders wrote. "We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills. Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet -- as a matter of justice and public health."

Last week, as Common Dreams reported , Sanders argued that the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates the urgent need for Medicare for All.

The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together. We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills.

Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet -- as a matter of justice and public health. https://t.co/c4WQMDESHU

-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 28, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged by more than two dozen over the weekend, bringing the total to 89 as the Trump administration continues to publicly downplay the severity of the outbreak.

Dr. Matt McCarthy, a staff physician at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, said in an appearance on CNBC 's "Squawk Box" Monday morning that testing for the coronavirus is still not widely available.

"Before I came here this morning, I was in the emergency room seeing patients," McCarthy said. "I still do not have a rapid diagnostic test available to me."

"I'm here to tell you, right now, at one of the busiest hospitals in the country, I don't have it at my finger tips," added McCarthy. "I still have to make my case, plead to test people. This is not good. We know that there are 88 cases in the United States. There are going to be hundreds by middle of week. There's going to be thousands by next week. And this is a testing issue."

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.


Harry_Pjotr 13h

Did anyone expect the unconscionable greed of capitalism to cease when a public health crisis emerges? This is just testing for the virus, wait until a vaccine has been developed so expensive that the majority of the US populace can not afford it at all and people are dropping like flies. Wall Street, never-the-less, will continue to have its heydays

Smerl fern 12h

A wall street bank or private predator may own your emergency room. A surprise bill may await your emergency treatment above insurance payments or in some instances all of the bill.

An effort was made recently in congress to stop surprise billings but enough dems joined repubs to kill it. More important to keep campaign dollars flowing than keep people alive. fern Smerl 12h I know emergency rooms are being purchased by organizations like Tenet (because they are some of the most expensive levels of care) and M.D.s provided by large agencies. I'm not as up on this as I should be but a friend of mine tells me that some of this is illegal. I have received bills that were later discharged by challenge. This is worth investigating further. Atlas oldie 11h Hmmmm A virus that overwhelmingly kills the elderly and/or those with pre-exisitng conditions.

Sounds like a medical insurance companies wet dream. As well as .gov social security/medicare wet dream.

Just sayin'

Ticki 11h

The very idea that the defense and "Homeland" security budgets are bloated and additional funding approved year after year but the citizens of this country are not afforded 100% health coverage In a time of global health crisis that could become a pandemic. And as has been stated, the unconscionable idea suggested that a possible vaccine (a long way away or perhaps not developed at all) might not be affordable to the workers who pay the taxes that fund the government? That's insane.

leftonadoorstep 11h

Another example of "American Exceptionalism." China doesn't charge its coronavirus patients, neither does South Korea. I guess they are simply backward countries.

Barton 11h

I own my own home after years of hard work paying it off. It's the only thing of value, besides my old truck, that I have. If I get the virus, I will stay home and try to treat it the best I can. I can't afford to go to the hospital and pay thousands in medical bills, with the chance that they'll come after my possessions. America, the land of the _______. Fill in the blank. (Hint: it's no longer free).

fern 1 Barton 11h

There are other ways to protect your home. Homesteading or living trust. I'm not good at this but I know there are ways to do it. Hopefully, it would never come to that but outcomes are not certain even with treatment in this case.

Giovanna-Lepore oldie 11h

As someone who lost a mother at 5 years old I can sympathize with your grief in losing a daughter-in-law and especially seeing her four children orphaned. However, I think you miss the point here: This is about we becoming a society invested in each others welfare and not a company town that commodifies everything including the health and well being of us all.

fern 1 Giovanna-Lepore 11h

I'm going by: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1129/text

As a revision it is better but flawed. It is a cost containment bill based on the same research as the republican plan with global budgets and block grants.

Edited: I encourage you to read this:
-ttps://www.rand.org/blog/2018/10/misconceptions-about-medicare-for-all.html Giovanna-Lepore 10h oldie:

Part D

Higher education is not free but they do need to become free for the students and payed by us as a society.

Part D is a scam, a Republican scam also supported by corporate democrats because of its profit motive and its privatization

Medicare only covers 80% and does not cover eye and dental care and older folks especially need these services. Medicaid helps but there are limits and one cannot necessarily use it where one needs to go. Expanded, Improved Medicare For All is a vast improvement. because it covers everyone in one big pool and, therefore, much more dignified than the rob Paul to pay peter system we have.

Social Security too can be improved. Why should it simply be based on the income of the person which means that a person working in a low paying job in a capitalist system gone wild with greed will often work until they die.

Pell grants can be eliminated when we have what the French have: publicly supported education for everyone.

The demise of unions certainly did not help but it was part of the long strategy of the Right to privatize everything to the enrichment of the few.

Yunzer SuspiraDeProfundis 10h

Thank goodness for the "/s". Poe's Law you know

The overall competence that Canada is handling this outbreak, compared to the USA, is stark. First world (Canada) versus third-world (USA). Testing is practically available for free, to any suspect person, sick or not, as Toronto alone can run 1000 tests a day and have results in 4 hours. That is far more than all the US's capacity for 330 million people.

I wonder how long before Canada closes its borders to USAns? Me and my wife (both in a vulnerable age/medical group) should seriously consider fleeing to my brother's place in Toronto as the first announced cases in Pittsburgh are probably only days away. What about our poor cat though? We could try to smuggle her across the border, but she is a loud and talkative kitty

Greenwich 10h

Don't want to discourage anyone from any protective measures – but the "low down" from my veggie store today was that a lot of health professionals shop there and they think it's being hyped by media. Did get this from my NJ Sen. Menendez –

Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • For more information : htps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
  • How it spreads : The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. [Read more.]
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html )
  • Symptoms : For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Seeker 9h Greenwich:

Don't want to discourage anyone from any protective measures – but the "low down" from my veggie store today was that a lot of health professionals shop there and they think it's being hyped by media.

I agree it is being hyped by the media to the point of being fear mongering. At the same time it is being ignored by the administration to such an extent that really little almost nothing is being done. At some point the two together will create an even bigger problem.

It is like the old adage: "Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you." Each over/under reach in considering the reality of the situation has its own problem, which multiply when combined. Every morning when I wake up I say a little atheistic prayer to myself before I get out of bed: "Another day and for better or worse...".

Seeker 8h

Well, two reported here in Florida tonight. One in my county, one in the county next door. And more of the "we already knew, but told you late". One person checked into the hospital on Wednesday. We hear it Monday night. Both were ignored far a long time it seems, and 84 in particular are being watched (roommates, friends, hospital workers not alerted for several days, the usual). But no one knows every place they had been since becoming infected.

Oh, and they have tested a handful of people. No worry?

I can't see anyway that this level of incompetency is an accident. Spring break is just starting usually a 100's of thousand tourist bonanza.

So the question is do they want to kill us, or just keep us in fear?

I think the later. But the end result is a crap shoot. So once again, it is a gamble with our lives.

Archie1954 7h

The business of America is business. Sometimes that can go too far and this is one of those times. Making money from the loss, distress, harm and suffering of others is perverse beyond belief.

[Mar 02, 2020] Why the Coming Economic Collapse Will NOT be Caused by Corona Virus by Matthew Ehret

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... With Glass-Steagall now removed, legitimate capital such as pension funds could be used to start a hedge to end all hedges. Billions were now poured into mortgage-backed securities (MBS), a market which had been artificially plunged to record-breaking interest rate lows of 1-2% for over a year by the US Federal Reserve making borrowing easy, and the returns on the investments into the MBSs obscene. ..."
"... This is the system which died in 2008. Contrary to popular belief, nothing was actually resolved. For all the talk of an "FDR revival" under Obama, speculation wasn't actually regulated under the Dodd-Frank Act or the Volker Rule of 2010. No productive credit was created to grow the real economy under a national mission as was the case in 1933-1938. ..."
"... Banks were not broken up while derivatives GREW by 40% with the new bubble concentrated in the corporate/household debt sector now collapsing. During this time, nation states continued to be stripped, as austerity was rammed down the throats of nations. ..."
"... It should be no surprise that in the midst of this despair, a creative alliance was consolidated in defense of the interests of sovereign nation states and humanity at large led by the leadership of Russia and China. ..."
"... The Eurasian nations are already firmly committed to this new system, and if the west is to qualify morally to take part in this new epoch, then the first step will be a return to a Glass-Steagall. ..."
"... Joe Kennedy was tasked by FDR with creating the regulations to reform Wall Street, thus earning him their undying enmity. ..."
"... Joe Kennedy has therefore had a hard press and been accused of the Corbyn disease of anti-semitisms, and I imagine the same old experts will be lining up to give him another kicking ..."
"... I would venture that the coronavirus rollocks is all a cover for the inevitable economic collapse. ..."
"... At last. Sanity. A brilliantly truthful article. Almost totally agree with this history of how the fuck the fucking bankers got their hands on almost fucking everything. ..."
"... Interesting article, but the conclusions are off. That solution (i.e. return to Glass-Steagall) would have worked 20 , maybe 10 years ago. We are way to passed that point. The looters are now part of the system– no one will embrace Glass-Steal. The system is on life support. ..."
Mar 02, 2020 | off-guardian.org

(Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

With last Monday's 1000 point stock market plunge the internet has been set ablaze with discussion of a new crash looming on the horizon. The fact that such a chain reaction collapse was only kept at bay due to massive liquidity injections by the Federal Reserve's overnight repo loans should not be ignored.

These injections which began in September 2019, have grown to over $100 billion per night all that to support the largest financial bubble in human history with global derivatives estimated at $1.2 quadrillion (20 times the global GDP!).

Sadly economic illiteracy is so pervasive among today's modern economists that the real reasons for this crisis have been entirely misdiagnosed with financial experts from CNN, to Forbes blaming the volatility on the spread of the Corona virus!

Not the Corona Virus: The real cause of the oncoming Financial collapse.

As refreshing as it is to hear candid criticisms of the system's failure and even support for the restoration of Glass-Steagall bank separation from presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard or even the lame Elisabeth Warren we find that in each case, those candidates are on record supporting policies cooked up by the very same oligarchs they appear to despise in the form of the Green New Deal.

In spite of what many of its progressive proponents would wish, such a global green reform would not only impose Malthusian depopulation upon nation states globally were it accepted, but would establish a the supranational authority of a technocratic managerial elite as enforcers of a "de-carbonization agenda".

Due to the rampant lack of comprehension of how this crisis was created such that such idiotic proposals as "green new deals" are now seriously being suggested as remedies to our current ills, a bit of history is in order.

Some necessary background

"The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, first Inaugural Address 1933

Knowing that the "money changers" had only been able to create the great bubbles of the 1920s via their access to the deposits of the commercial banks, Franklin Roosevelt made the core of his battle against the abuses of Wall Street centre around a 1933 legislation entitled "Glass-Steagall", named after the two federally elected officials who led the reform with FDR.

This was a bill which forced the absolute separation of productive from speculative banking, guaranteeing via the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) only those commercial banking assets associated with the productive economy, but forcing any speculative losses arising from investment banking to be suffered by the gambler. The striking success of this law inspired other countries around the world to establish similar bank separation.

Alongside principles of capital budgeting, public credit, parity pricing and a commitment to scientific and technological development, a dynamic had been created that would express the greatest hope for the world, and the greatest fear for the financial empire occupying the City of London and Wall Street.

The death of John F. Kennedy ushered in a new age of pessimism and cultural irrationalism from which our society has never recovered. The destruction of a long term vision as exemplified by the space program, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the New Deal projects had resulted in a tendency within the population to increasingly look upon present pleasures as the only reality, and future goods as the mystical expression of the sum of present pleasures.

In this new philosophical setting, so alien in previous epochs, money was permitted to act as a power unto itself for short term gains instead of serving the investments into the real productive wealth of society. With this new paradigm shift into the "now", a new economic model was adopted to replace the industrial economic model which had proven itself in the years preceding and following World War II.

The name for this system was "post-industrial monetarism". This would be a system ushered in by Richard Nixon's announcement of the destruction of the fixed-exchange rate Bretton Woods system and its replacement by the "floating rate" system of post 1971 fame.

During that same fateful year of 1971, another ominous event took place: the formation of the Rothschild Inter-Alpha Group of banks under the umbrella of the Royal Bank of Scotland, which today controls upwards of 70% of the global financial system.

The stated intention of this Group would be found in the 1983 speech by Lord Jacob Rothschild:

"two broad types of giant institutions, the worldwide financial service company and the international commercial bank with a global trading competence, may converge to form the ultimate, all-powerful, many-headed financial conglomerate."

This policy demanded the destruction of the sovereign nation-state system and the imposition of a new feudal structure of world governance through the age-old scheme of controlling the money system on the one side, and playing on the vices of credulous fools who, by allowing their nations to be ruled by the belief that hedonistic market forces govern the world, would seal their own children's doom.

All the while, geopolitical structures foreign to the United States constitutional traditions were imposed by nests of Oxford-trained Rhodes Scholars and Fabians who converted America into a global "dumb giant" enforcing a neo colonial program under a "Anglo-US Special Relationship". The Dulles brothers, McGeorge Bundy, Kissinger, and Bush all represent names that advanced this British directed plan throughout the 20th century.

London's 'Big Bang'

The great "liberalization" of world commerce began with a series of waves through the 1970s, and moved into high gear with the interest rate hikes of Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker in 1980-82, the effects of which both annihilated much of the small and medium sized entrepreneurs, opened the speculative gates into the "Savings and Loan" debacle and also helped cartelize mineral, food, and financial institutions into ever greater behemoths.

Volcker himself described this process as the "controlled disintegration of the US economy" upon becoming Fed Chairman in 1978. The raising of interest rates to 20-21% not only shut down the life blood of much of the US economic base, but also threw the third world into greater debt slavery, as nations now had to pay usurious interest on US loans.

In 1986, the City of London announced the beginning of a new era of economic irrationalism with Margaret Thatcher's "Big Bang" deregulation. This wave of liberalization took the world by storm as it swept aside the separation of commercial, deposit and investment banking which had been the post-world war cornerstone in ensuring that the will of private finance would never again hold more sway than the power of sovereign nation-states.

After decades of chipping away at the structure of regulation that FDR's bold intervention into history had built, the "Big Bang" set a precedent for similar financial de-regulation into the "Universal Banking" model in other parts of the western world.

The Derivative Time Bomb is Set

In September 1987, the 20-year foray into speculation resulted in a 23% collapse of the Dow Jones on October 19, 1987. Within hours of this crash, international emergency meetings had been convened with former JP Morgan tool Alan Greenspan introducing a "solution" which would have the future echoes of hyperinflation and fascism written all over it.

"Creative financial instruments" was the Orwellian name given to the new financial asset popularized by Greenspan, but otherwise known as "derivatives".

New supercomputing technologies were increasingly used in this new venture, not as the support for higher nation building practices, and space exploration programs as their NASA origins intended, but would rather become perverted to accommodate the creation of new complex formulas which could associate values to price differentials on securities and insured debts that could then be "hedged" on those very spot and futures markets made possible via the destruction of the Bretton Woods system in 1971.

So while an exponentially self-generating monster was created that could end nowhere but in a meltdown, "market confidence" rallied back in force with the new flux of easy money. The physical potential to sustain human life continued to plummet.

NAFTA, the Euro and the End of History

It is no coincidence that within this period, another deadly treaty was passed called the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). With this Agreement made law, protective programs that had kept North American factories in the U.S and Canada were struck down, allowing for the export of the lifeblood of highly skilled industrial workforce to Mexico where skills were low, technologies lower, and salaries lower still.

With a stripping of its productive assets, North America became increasingly reliant on exporting cheap resources and services for its means of existence.

Again, the physically productive powers of society would collapse, yet monetary profits in the ephemeral "now" would skyrocket. This was replicated in Europe with the creation of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 establishing the Euro by 1994 while the "liberalization" process of Perestroika replicated this agenda in the former Soviet Union. While some personalities gave this agenda the name "End of History" and others "the New World Order", the effect was the same.

Universal Banking, NAFTA, Euro integration and the creation of the derivative economy in a space of just several years would induce a cartelization of finance through newly legalized mergers and acquisitions at a rate never before seen. The multitude of financial institutions that had existed in the early 1980s were absorbed into each other at great speed through the 1990s in true "survival of the fittest" fashion. No matter what level of regulation were attempted under this new structure, the degree of conflict of interest, and private political power was uncontrollable, as evidenced in the United States, by the shutdown of any attempt by Securities and Exchange Commission head Brooksley Born to fight the derivative cancer at its early stages.

By 1999 a politically castrated Bill Clinton found himself signing into law a treaty authored by then Treasury Secretary Larry Summers known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which would be the final nail in the coffin for the Glass-Steagall separation of commercial and investment banking in the United States.

The new age of unregulated trading and creation of over-the-counter derivatives caused these strange financial instruments to grow from $60 trillion in 2000 to $600 trillion by 2008.

The 2000-2008 Frenzy

With Glass-Steagall now removed, legitimate capital such as pension funds could be used to start a hedge to end all hedges. Billions were now poured into mortgage-backed securities (MBS), a market which had been artificially plunged to record-breaking interest rate lows of 1-2% for over a year by the US Federal Reserve making borrowing easy, and the returns on the investments into the MBSs obscene.

The obscenity swelled as the values of the houses skyrocketed far beyond the real values to the tune of one hundred thousand dollar homes selling for 5-6 times that price within the span of several years.

As long as no one assumed this growth was ab-normal, and the unpayable nature of the capital underlying the leveraged assets locked up in the now infamous "sub-primes" and other illegitimate debt obligations was ignored, then profits were supposed to just continue infinitely. Anyone who questioned this logic was considered a heretic by the latter-day priesthood.

The stunning "success" of securitizing housing debts immediately induced a wave of sovereign wealth funds to come into prominence applying the same model that had been used in the case of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO) to the debts of entire nations.

The securitizing of bundled packages of sovereign debts that could then be infinitely leveraged on the de-regulated world markets would no longer be considered an act of national treason, but the key to easy money.

Conclusion

This is the system which died in 2008. Contrary to popular belief, nothing was actually resolved. For all the talk of an "FDR revival" under Obama, speculation wasn't actually regulated under the Dodd-Frank Act or the Volker Rule of 2010. No productive credit was created to grow the real economy under a national mission as was the case in 1933-1938.

Banks were not broken up while derivatives GREW by 40% with the new bubble concentrated in the corporate/household debt sector now collapsing. During this time, nation states continued to be stripped, as austerity was rammed down the throats of nations.

It should be no surprise that in the midst of this despair, a creative alliance was consolidated in defense of the interests of sovereign nation states and humanity at large led by the leadership of Russia and China.

This leadership took the form of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative which has grown to embrace over 130 countries today and looking more and more like an Asian-led version of the New Deal of the 1930s.

Indeed, China's capacity to unleash long term credit for thousands of international long term infrastructure projects was made possible by the fact that it was the only country on the globe which had not given up the principles of bank separation which were destroyed in every other nation.

Very few western figures stood up to this self-induced destruction over the decades, but one notable exception here worth mentioning is the figure of the late American economist Lyndon LaRouche (1922-2019) who not only resisted this process for over four decades , but fought alongside the Schiller Institute to promote New Silk Road as early as 1996 .

With the 2016 Brexit and election of President Trump, a new wave of nationalist spirit has become a fire which the technocrats have lost their capacity to snuff out.

Increasingly, the idea that nation-states have a power over the private banking system has become revived and discussion for reforming the now dead Trans-Atlantic system is increasingly shaped not by the calls for a "New World Order" as Sir Kissinger would have liked, but rather for a New Silk Road and a true New Deal.

The Eurasian nations are already firmly committed to this new system, and if the west is to qualify morally to take part in this new epoch, then the first step will be a return to a Glass-Steagall.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk , and has authored 3 volumes of 'Untold History of Canada' book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation and can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

Hugh O'Neill ,

Excellent article which I could almost understand (my eyes glaze over at any mention of filthy lucre). The author makes clear that the world took a different trajectory after the convenient death of JFK. As I recall from a biography of his father, Ambassador Joe, was that Joe Kennedy was tasked by FDR with creating the regulations to reform Wall Street, thus earning him their undying enmity.

Joe Kennedy has therefore had a hard press and been accused of the Corbyn disease of anti-semitisms, and I imagine the same old experts will be lining up to give him another kicking

Spinky ,

A New Deal? A Green New Deal or a true New Deal? After revealing all of this incredible amount of manipulation of banking without going the final step to the ultimate controllers of the deep state, and you suggest another New Deal? What the world needs now is for the control systems to fail, not to be re supported again with handouts from the corporatocracy to the workers. We need to reclaim our communities with local food security via non corporate food systems based on living soils. We need to reclaim any kind of semblance of currency sanity with local currencies and supports. We need health care based on food as medicine, food that is not GMO and chemical based, but based on healthy local ecosystems, not transportation systems spanning the globe, controlled by central planners of any ideological stripe. Only if we focus on our own local regions can we ever hope to have any semblance of sanity again. We need to realize that the corporatocracy, the deep state, doesn't concern itself with ideologies other than as tools to control us with. All they care about is control, like all neurotics. After going through that entire article outlining the insanity of regulation and control and deregulation and infinity of financial flows and the obvious insanity of all of it, you surely must see that the ones with the money making the systems work are totally gonzo and the best the rest of us can do is focus on what we can do locally, like they have done in Greece. We can't control trillionaires with logical arguments. It ain't gonna happen. Bernie Sanders can become president and he still isn't going to stop the trillionaires and their insane efforts to control the planet. He will just be a different type of puppet with different types of handouts and control mechanisms. Voting is pointless and so are efforts at regulation. At this point, the best we can do is abandon the system, focus on our communities and self sufficiency locally, and try to avoid the system collapse when it falls around us.

RobG ,

It looks like they're rolling out the police state in the UK https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51708550 but we'll have to wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) to get a better idea of what the psychopaths are trying to foist on us.

I would venture that the coronavirus rollocks is all a cover for the inevitable economic collapse.

Dungroanin ,

At last. Sanity. A brilliantly truthful article. Almost totally agree with this history of how the fuck the fucking bankers got their hands on almost fucking everything.

The first quibble is that starting history at FDR ignores the period of the creation of the Fed all the way back to it's prototype the BoE.

The second is about the creation of the Euro which ignores the political economic security desire of the evolving EU – the EMU and it's years of alignment of the EC preceding Maastricht and the bastardisation of the original vision by the rapid enrollment of countries and economies for Geopolitical (and even anti-EU) reasons. The EU being more likely to implement a 'Glass-Steagle' type of alignment through the level-playing-field ever-closet-union. That chalice being liberally poisoned by the global Banker interests.

Torontonian,

Interesting article, but the conclusions are off. That solution (i.e. return to Glass-Steagall) would have worked 20 , maybe 10 years ago. We are way to passed that point. The looters are now part of the system– no one will embrace Glass-Steal. The system is on life support.

[Feb 29, 2020] A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. ..."
"... The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not. ..."
Feb 29, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 29, 2020 7:38 pm

A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvILLCbOFo4

I think this would be very informative for anybody seriously interested in the USA foreign policy. Listening to him is so sad to realize that instead of person of his caliber we have Pompous Pompeo, who forever is frozen on the level of a tank repair mechanical engineer, as the Secretary of State.

Published on Feb 24, 2020

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior.

The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.

He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

He is the author of several books including the most recent

Interesting times: China, America, and the shifting balance of prestige (2013)

[Feb 24, 2020] The fatal flaw of neoliberalism: it's bad economics by Dani Rodrik

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberalism and its usual prescriptions – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. ..."
"... The term is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation or fiscal austerity. Today it is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas and practices that have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, led to the loss of our political values and ideals, and even precipitated our current populist backlash. ..."
"... The use of the term "neoliberal" exploded in the 1990s, when it became closely associated with two developments, neither of which Peters's article had mentioned. One of these was financial deregulation, which would culminate in the 2008 financial crash and in the still-lingering euro debacle . The second was economic globalisation, which accelerated thanks to free flows of finance and to a new, more ambitious type of trade agreement. Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today's world. ..."
"... That neoliberalism is a slippery, shifting concept, with no explicit lobby of defenders, does not mean that it is irrelevant or unreal. Who can deny that the world has experienced a decisive shift toward markets from the 1980s on? Or that centre-left politicians – Democrats in the US, socialists and social democrats in Europe – enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism, such as deregulation, privatisation, financial liberalisation and individual enterprise? Much of our contemporary policy discussion remains infused with principles supposedly grounded in the concept of homo economicus , the perfectly rational human being, found in many economic theories, who always pursues his own self-interest. ..."
Nov 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Neoliberalism and its usual prescriptions – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics.

As even its harshest critics concede, neoliberalism is hard to pin down. In broad terms, it denotes a preference for markets over government, economic incentives over cultural norms, and private entrepreneurship over collective action. It has been used to describe a wide range of phenomena – from Augusto Pinochet to Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, from the Clinton Democrats and the UK's New Labour to the economic opening in China and the reform of the welfare state in Sweden.

The term is used as a catchall for anything that smacks of deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation or fiscal austerity. Today it is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas and practices that have produced growing economic insecurity and inequality, led to the loss of our political values and ideals, and even precipitated our current populist backlash.

We live in the age of neoliberalism, apparently. But who are neoliberalism's adherents and disseminators – the neoliberals themselves? Oddly, you have to go back a long time to find anyone explicitly embracing neoliberalism. In 1982, Charles Peters, the longtime editor of the political magazine Washington Monthly, published an essay titled A Neo-Liberal's Manifesto . It makes for interesting reading 35 years later, since the neoliberalism it describes bears little resemblance to today's target of derision. The politicians Peters names as exemplifying the movement are not the likes of Thatcher and Reagan, but rather liberals – in the US sense of the word – who have become disillusioned with unions and big government and dropped their prejudices against markets and the military.

The use of the term "neoliberal" exploded in the 1990s, when it became closely associated with two developments, neither of which Peters's article had mentioned. One of these was financial deregulation, which would culminate in the 2008 financial crash and in the still-lingering euro debacle . The second was economic globalisation, which accelerated thanks to free flows of finance and to a new, more ambitious type of trade agreement. Financialisation and globalisation have become the most overt manifestations of neoliberalism in today's world.

That neoliberalism is a slippery, shifting concept, with no explicit lobby of defenders, does not mean that it is irrelevant or unreal. Who can deny that the world has experienced a decisive shift toward markets from the 1980s on? Or that centre-left politicians – Democrats in the US, socialists and social democrats in Europe – enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism, such as deregulation, privatisation, financial liberalisation and individual enterprise? Much of our contemporary policy discussion remains infused with principles supposedly grounded in the concept of homo economicus , the perfectly rational human being, found in many economic theories, who always pursues his own self-interest.

But the looseness of the term neoliberalism also means that criticism of it often misses the mark. There is nothing wrong with markets, private entrepreneurship or incentives – when deployed appropriately. Their creative use lies behind the most significant economic achievements of our time. As we heap scorn on neoliberalism, we risk throwing out some of neoliberalism's useful ideas.

The real trouble is that mainstream economics shades too easily into ideology, constraining the choices that we appear to have and providing cookie-cutter solutions. A proper understanding of the economics that lie behind neoliberalism would allow us to identify – and to reject – ideology when it masquerades as economic science. Most importantly, it would help us to develop the institutional imagination we badly need to redesign capitalism for the 21st century.


N eoliberalism is typically understood as being based on key tenets of mainstream economic science. To see those tenets without the ideology, consider this thought experiment. A well-known and highly regarded economist lands in a country he has never visited and knows nothing about. He is brought to a meeting with the country's leading policymakers. "Our country is in trouble," they tell him. "The economy is stagnant, investment is low, and there is no growth in sight." They turn to him expectantly: "Please tell us what we should do to make our economy grow."

The economist pleads ignorance and explains that he knows too little about the country to make any recommendations. He would need to study the history of the economy, to analyse the statistics, and to travel around the country before he could say anything.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tony Blair and Bill Clinton: centre-left politicians who enthusiastically adopted some of the central creeds of Thatcherism and Reaganism. Photograph: Reuters

But his hosts are insistent. "We understand your reticence, and we wish you had the time for all that," they tell him. "But isn't economics a science, and aren't you one of its most distinguished practitioners? Even though you do not know much about our economy, surely there are some general theories and prescriptions you can share with us to guide our economic policies and reforms."

The economist is now in a bind. He does not want to emulate those economic gurus he has long criticised for peddling their favourite policy advice. But he feels challenged by the question. Are there universal truths in economics? Can he say anything valid or useful?

So he begins. The efficiency with which an economy's resources are allocated is a critical determinant of the economy's performance, he says. Efficiency, in turn, requires aligning the incentives of households and businesses with social costs and benefits. The incentives faced by entrepreneurs, investors and producers are particularly important when it comes to economic growth. Growth needs a system of property rights and contract enforcement that will ensure those who invest can retain the returns on their investments. And the economy must be open to ideas and innovations from the rest of the world.

But economies can be derailed by macroeconomic instability, he goes on. Governments must therefore pursue a sound monetary policy , which means restricting the growth of liquidity to the increase in nominal money demand at reasonable inflation. They must ensure fiscal sustainability, so that the increase in public debt does not outpace national income. And they must carry out prudential regulation of banks and other financial institutions to prevent the financial system from taking excessive risk.

Now he is warming to his task. Economics is not just about efficiency and growth, he adds. Economic principles also carry over to equity and social policy. Economics has little to say about how much redistribution a society should seek. But it does tell us that the tax base should be as broad as possible, and that social programmes should be designed in a way that does not encourage workers to drop out of the labour market.

By the time the economist stops, it appears as if he has laid out a fully fledged neoliberal agenda. A critic in the audience will have heard all the code words: efficiency, incentives, property rights, sound money, fiscal prudence. And yet the universal principles that the economist describes are in fact quite open-ended. They presume a capitalist economy – one in which investment decisions are made by private individuals and firms – but not much beyond that. They allow for – indeed, they require – a surprising variety of institutional arrangements.

So has the economist just delivered a neoliberal screed? We would be mistaken to think so, and our mistake would consist of associating each abstract term – incentives, property rights, sound money – with a particular institutional counterpart. And therein lies the central conceit, and the fatal flaw, of neoliberalism: the belief that first-order economic principles map on to a unique set of policies, approximated by a Thatcher/Reagan-style agenda.

Consider property rights. They matter insofar as they allocate returns on investments. An optimal system would distribute property rights to those who would make the best use of an asset, and afford protection against those most likely to expropriate the returns. Property rights are good when they protect innovators from free riders, but they are bad when they protect them from competition. Depending on the context, a legal regime that provides the appropriate incentives can look quite different from the standard US-style regime of private property rights.

This may seem like a semantic point with little practical import; but China's phenomenal economic success is largely due to its orthodoxy-defying institutional tinkering. China turned to markets, but did not copy western practices in property rights. Its reforms produced market-based incentives through a series of unusual institutional arrangements that were better adapted to the local context. Rather than move directly from state to private ownership, for example, which would have been stymied by the weakness of the prevailing legal structures, the country relied on mixed forms of ownership that provided more effective property rights for entrepreneurs in practice. Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs), which spearheaded Chinese economic growth during the 1980s, were collectives owned and controlled by local governments. Even though TVEs were publicly owned, entrepreneurs received the protection they needed against expropriation. Local governments had a direct stake in the profits of the firms, and hence did not want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

China relied on a range of such innovations, each delivering the economist's higher-order economic principles in unfamiliar institutional arrangements. For instance, it shielded its large state sector from global competition, establishing special economic zones where foreign firms could operate with different rules than in the rest of the economy. In view of such departures from orthodox blueprints, describing China's economic reforms as neoliberal – as critics are inclined to do – distorts more than it reveals. If we are to call this neoliberalism, we must surely look more kindly on the ideas behind the most dramatic poverty reduction in history.

One might protest that China's institutional innovations were purely transitional. Perhaps it will have to converge on western-style institutions to sustain its economic progress. But this common line of thinking overlooks the diversity of capitalist arrangements that still prevails among advanced economies, despite the considerable homogenisation of our policy discourse.

What, after all, are western institutions? The size of the public sector in OECD countries varies, from a third of the economy in Korea to nearly 60% in Finland. In Iceland, 86% of workers are members of a trade union; the comparable number in Switzerland is just 16%. In the US, firms can fire workers almost at will; French labour laws have historically required employers to jump through many hoops first. Stock markets have grown to a total value of nearly one-and-a-half times GDP in the US; in Germany, they are only a third as large, equivalent to just 50% of GDP.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'China turned to markets, but did not copy western practices ... ' Photograph: AFP/Getty

The idea that any one of these models of taxation, labour relations or financial organisation is inherently superior to the others is belied by the varying economic fortunes that each of these economies have experienced over recent decades. The US has gone through successive periods of angst in which its economic institutions were judged inferior to those in Germany, Japan, China, and now possibly Germany again. Certainly, comparable levels of wealth and productivity can be produced under very different models of capitalism. We might even go a step further: today's prevailing models probably come nowhere near exhausting the range of what might be possible, and desirable, in the future.

The visiting economist in our thought experiment knows all this, and recognises that the principles he has enunciated need to be filled in with institutional detail before they become operational. Property rights? Yes, but how? Sound money? Of course, but how? It would perhaps be easier to criticise his list of principles for being vacuous than to denounce it as a neoliberal screed.

Still, these principles are not entirely content-free. China, and indeed all countries that managed to develop rapidly, demonstrate the utility of those principles once they are properly adapted to local context. Conversely, too many economies have been driven to ruin courtesy of political leaders who chose to violate them. We need look no further than Latin American populists or eastern European communist regimes to appreciate the practical significance of sound money, fiscal sustainability and private incentives.


O f course, economics goes beyond a list of abstract, largely common-sense principles. Much of the work of economists consists of developing stylised models of how economies work and then confronting those models with evidence. Economists tend to think of what they do as progressively refining their understanding of the world: their models are supposed to get better and better as they are tested and revised over time. But progress in economics happens differently.

Economists study a social reality that is unlike the physical universe. It is completely manmade, highly malleable and operates according to different rules across time and space. Economics advances not by settling on the right model or theory to answer such questions, but by improving our understanding of the diversity of causal relationships. Neoliberalism and its customary remedies – always more markets, always less government – are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. Good economists know that the correct answer to any question in economics is: it depends.

Does an increase in the minimum wage depress employment? Yes, if the labour market is really competitive and employers have no control over the wage they must pay to attract workers; but not necessarily otherwise. Does trade liberalisation increase economic growth? Yes, if it increases the profitability of industries where the bulk of investment and innovation takes place; but not otherwise. Does more government spending increase employment? Yes, if there is slack in the economy and wages do not rise; but not otherwise. Does monopoly harm innovation? Yes and no, depending on a whole host of market circumstances.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Today [neoliberalism] is routinely reviled as a shorthand for the ideas that have produced growing economic inequality and precipitated our current populist backlash' Trump signing an order to take the US out of the TPP trade pact. Photograph: AFP/Getty

In economics, new models rarely supplant older models. The basic competitive-markets model dating back to Adam Smith has been modified over time by the inclusion, in rough historical order, of monopoly, externalities, scale economies, incomplete and asymmetric information, irrational behaviour and many other real-world features. But the older models remain as useful as ever. Understanding how real markets operate necessitates using different lenses at different times.

Perhaps maps offer the best analogy. Just like economic models, maps are highly stylised representations of reality . They are useful precisely because they abstract from many real-world details that would get in the way. But abstraction also implies that we need a different map depending on the nature of our journey. If we are travelling by bike, we need a map of bike trails. If we are to go on foot, we need a map of footpaths. If a new subway is constructed, we will need a subway map – but we wouldn't throw out the older maps.

Economists tend to be very good at making maps, but not good enough at choosing the one most suited to the task at hand. When confronted with policy questions of the type our visiting economist faces, too many of them resort to "benchmark" models that favour the laissez-faire approach. Kneejerk solutions and hubris replace the richness and humility of the discussion in the seminar room. John Maynard Keynes once defined economics as the "science of thinking in terms of models, joined to the art of choosing models which are relevant". Economists typically have trouble with the "art" part.

This, too, can be illustrated with a parable. A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. "What do you mean by 'good'?" he responds. "And good for whom?" The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: "So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's wellbeing." If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's longterm growth rate is not clear either, and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.

This professor is rather different from the one the journalist encountered previously. On the record, he exudes self-confidence, not reticence, about the appropriate policy. There is one and only one model, at least as far as the public conversation is concerned, and there is a single correct answer, regardless of context. Strangely, the professor deems the knowledge that he imparts to his advanced students to be inappropriate (or dangerous) for the general public. Why?

The roots of such behaviour lie deep in the culture of the economics profession. But one important motive is the zeal to display the profession's crown jewels – market efficiency, the invisible hand, comparative advantage – in untarnished form, and to shield them from attack by self-interested barbarians, namely the protectionists . Unfortunately, these economists typically ignore the barbarians on the other side of the issue – financiers and multinational corporations whose motives are no purer and who are all too ready to hijack these ideas for their own benefit.

As a result, economists' contributions to public debate are often biased in one direction, in favour of more trade, more finance and less government. That is why economists have developed a reputation as cheerleaders for neoliberalism, even if mainstream economics is very far from a paean to laissez-faire. The economists who let their enthusiasm for free markets run wild are in fact not being true to their own discipline.


H ow then should we think about globalisation in order to liberate it from the grip of neoliberal practices? We must begin by understanding the positive potential of global markets. Access to world markets in goods, technologies and capital has played an important role in virtually all of the economic miracles of our time. China is the most recent and powerful reminder of this historical truth, but it is not the only case. Before China, similar miracles were performed by South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and a few non-Asian countries such as Mauritius . All of these countries embraced globalisation rather than turn their backs on it, and they benefited handsomely.

Defenders of the existing economic order will quickly point to these examples when globalisation comes into question. What they will fail to say is that almost all of these countries joined the world economy by violating neoliberal strictures. South Korea and Taiwan, for instance, heavily subsidised their exporters, the former through the financial system and the latter through tax incentives. All of them eventually removed most of their import restrictions, long after economic growth had taken off.

But none, with the sole exception of Chile in the 1980s under Pinochet, followed the neoliberal recommendation of a rapid opening-up to imports. Chile's neoliberal experiment eventually produced the worst economic crisis in all of Latin America. While the details differ across countries, in all cases governments played an active role in restructuring the economy and buffering it against a volatile external environment. Industrial policies, restrictions on capital flows and currency controls – all prohibited in the neoliberal playbook – were rampant.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Protest against Nafta in Mexico City in 2008: since the reforms of the mid-90s, the country's economy has underperformed. Photograph: EPA

By contrast, countries that stuck closest to the neoliberal model of globalisation were sorely disappointed. Mexico provides a particularly sad example. Following a series of macroeconomic crises in the mid-1990s, Mexico embraced macroeconomic orthodoxy, extensively liberalised its economy, freed up the financial system, sharply reduced import restrictions and signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta). These policies did produce macroeconomic stability and a significant rise in foreign trade and internal investment. But where it counts – in overall productivity and economic growth – the experiment failed . Since undertaking the reforms, overall productivity in Mexico has stagnated, and the economy has underperformed even by the undemanding standards of Latin America.

These outcomes are not a surprise from the perspective of sound economics. They are yet another manifestation of the need for economic policies to be attuned to the failures to which markets are prone, and to be tailored to the specific circumstances of each country. No single blueprint fits all.


A s Peters's 1982 manifesto attests, the meaning of neoliberalism has changed considerably over time as the label has acquired harder-line connotations with respect to deregulation, financialisation and globalisation. But there is one thread that connects all versions of neoliberalism, and that is the emphasis on economic growth . Peters wrote in 1982 that the emphasis was warranted because growth is essential to all our social and political ends – community, democracy, prosperity. Entrepreneurship, private investment and removing obstacles that stand in the way (such as excessive regulation) were all instruments for achieving economic growth. If a similar neoliberal manifesto were penned today, it would no doubt make the same point.

Critics often point out that this emphasis on economics debases and sacrifices other important values such as equality, social inclusion, democratic deliberation and justice. Those political and social objectives obviously matter enormously, and in some contexts they matter the most. They cannot always, or even often, be achieved by means of technocratic economic policies; politics must play a central role.

Still, neoliberals are not wrong when they argue that our most cherished ideals are more likely to be attained when our economy is vibrant, strong and growing. Where they are wrong is in believing that there is a unique and universal recipe for improving economic performance, to which they have access. The fatal flaw of neoliberalism is that it does not even get the economics right. It must be rejected on its own terms for the simple reason that it is bad economics.

A version of this article first appeared in Boston Review

[Feb 20, 2020] China denounces US lies at the Munich Security Conference by Peter Symonds

Feb 19, 2020 | www.wsws.org

In unusually blunt statements, top Chinese officials hit back during last weekend's Munich Security Conference at Washington's confrontational stance toward Beijing on a range of issues, including the Chinese tech giant Huawei and China's response to the coronavirus.

Trump administration officials, supported to the hilt by top Democrats, took a particularly aggressive attitude at the conference, warning European powers that intelligence sharing could end if Huawei equipment were used in building 5G telecommunications networks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo branded "Huawei and other Chinese state-backed tech companies" as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence." In his speech, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper accused Beijing of carrying out a "nefarious strategy" through Huawei.

In a bid to intensify its pressure on its European allies, the US last week announced new charges of racketeering and theft of trade secrets against Huawei. These follow the arrest of the company's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada last year after the US filed charges of fraud and sanctions evasion, and sought her extradition.

Esper made clear that the US attack on China was across the board. He declared that under President Xi Jinping's rule, "the Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction -- more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture."

Asked about the speeches by Pompeo and Esper, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi did not mince words, branding the US allegations as "lies." He said their remarks were part of "a common scenario" everywhere they went. "I don't want to waste our time responding to each and every thing they've said. The thing I want to say is that all these accusations against China are lies and not based on facts."

Wang pointed to the driving force behind the confrontation -- the US drive to ensure its continued global domination by every available means. "The root cause of all these problems and issues is that the US does not want to see the rapid development and rejuvenation of China, still less would they want to accept the success of a socialist country, but that is not fair, China has the right to develop."

China, with its burgeoning markets, stock exchanges, billionaires and deep social divide, is not a socialist country. In fact, Huawei, as Wang said in countering US criticism, is a privately-owned company: the world's largest telecommunications equipment provider with nearly 200,000 employees.

Wang described the US attack on Huawei as "immoral" and asked: "Why can't America accept that other countries' companies can also display their talent in the economy, in technology? Perhaps deep down, it doesn't hope to see other countries develop." He accused the US of resorting to rumours to defame Huawei and declared there was no credible evidence that the company has a so-called back door that harms US security.

The US accusations against China and Huawei are utterly hypocritical. The revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden demonstrated that the US routinely spies electronically on the world's population, including governments and government leaders, allies and rivals alike, as well as its own citizens.

The US intelligence establishment has long relied on electronic "back doors" provided by American tech corporations to gather intelligence. The use of Huawei equipment not only threatens the economic position of US companies, but could undermine US spying operations.

China's forthright push back against heavy US criticism in Munich stems firstly from the relentless campaign by Washington, not only in propaganda, but through trade war measures and a huge military build-up in Asia against Beijing. Secondly, the Chinese regime is seeking support from the European powers. Wang's comments gained traction in Munich amid deepening conflicts between the US and its erstwhile European allies.

Britain has given the go-ahead for the inclusion of Huawei components in non-core aspects of its 5G rollout, while Germany and France have signaled they will do the same. The European decisions are largely driven by technical and economic factors, as Huawei is a leader in 5G technology and produces at a lower cost.

Washington's threats to end intelligence-sharing arrangements with the European powers could end up affecting US spying operations as much as those of its European rivals. The New York Times

The US has sought to exploit the coronavirus outbreak in China to add to the barrage of criticism against Beijing. Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow last week complained about the lack of Chinese transparency over the disease. He declared that Washington was disappointed that American health experts had not been allowed into China, and questioned Chinese statistics.

A considerable portion of Wang's speech to the Munich Security Conference was devoted to defending China's handling of the outbreak. He said the coronavirus largely had been confined to the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province, and the number of cases outside China was a small percentage of the total. Wang said this was the outcome of the rapid development of a test for the virus, the dispatch of 20,000 health workers to the area and the building of new health facilities.

Wang said: "In the spirit of openness and transparency, we promptly notified the world about the outbreak and shared the genetic sequence of the virus. We have been working closely with WHO [World Health Organisation], invited international experts to join our ranks, and provided assistance and facilitation to foreign nationals in China."

In comments to Reuters, the Chinese foreign minister effectively criticised the harsh travel restrictions imposed by the US on any foreign nationals coming from China. "Some countries have stepped up measures, including quarantine measures, which are reasonable and understandable, but for some countries they have overreacted which has triggered unnecessary panic," he said.

If Washington expected European support on the issue, its hopes were dashed. Conference chairman Wolfgang Ischinger praised China's response to the epidemic and declared it was "not getting a very fair deal I think China deserves a little bit of compassion and cooperation, and encouragement rather than only criticism."

China's reaction to the US criticisms in Munich underscores again the sharpening geo-political rivalries and break-up of longstanding alliances being fueled by worsening global economic conditions. Far from responding to the lack of support from Europe against China by moderating its confrontation, the US will intensify its provocative campaign, not just against Beijing, but any threat to its global position, including from its European allies.

[Feb 16, 2020] Psychologist Explains Why Economists -- and Liberals -- Get Human Nature Wrong by Lynn Parramore

Feb 12, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Lynn Parramore, Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

For a fictional character, homo economicus has had a pretty good run . Since the 1950s, this mono-motivated, self-seeking figure has stalked the pages of economics textbooks, busy deciding each action according to a rational calculus of personal loss and gain. But more recently his territory has shrunk as experts on human nature have demonstrated what any decent novelist could have told them: our real selves are nothing like this.

Unfortunately, many economists still plug this flawed view of people into computer models that determine all kinds of things that impact our lives, from how much workers get paid to how we value life or common goods, such as a clean environment. The results can be disastrous.

Typically, economists aren't that keen on admitting that their work is deeply connected to morality -- never mind that Adam Smith himself was a moral philosopher. But if you ask a question as simple as how to price a used car, you quickly find that moral concerns and economic activity happen together all the time.

In his 2012 book, The Righteous Mind , New York University social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explored why so many perfectly intelligent people have misread human nature– and not just economists, but plenty of psychologists and even (shocker!) people who identify as politically liberal. For him, the key to getting to know ourselves properly lies with moral psychology, a newish strain that pulls together evolutionary, neurological, and social-psychological research on moral emotions and intuitions.

As Haidt sees it, we are creatures driven by moral intuition and attuned to both our personal interests as well as what's good for the groups with which we identify. He points out that in order to thrive, we have to appreciate our complex, interactive natures and see each other more clearly and empathetically – an observation that may be especially useful at a time when threats like climate change and the concentration of money and power threatens all of us, no matter who we are or what groups we belong to. At the moment, we aren't doing such a good job of this.

The Rider and the Elephant

Morality, Haidt argues, doesn't arise from reason, and besides, humans aren't winning any prizes for rationality. Heaps of studies show how factors beyond conscious awareness influence how we think and act, from judges giving out more lenient sentences after lunch to bottles of hand sanitizer making people more feel more conservative .

In Haidt's view, the conscious mind is like a press secretary spewing after-the-fact justifications for decisions already made. Thinkers like David Hume and Sigmund Freud were certainly hip to this idea, but somehow a lot of economists missed the memo, as did psychologists following dominant rationalist models in the 1980s and '90s.

Haidt invites us to consider ourselves as a rider (our analytical, rational part) and an elephant (our emotional, intuitive part). The rider holds the reins, but the beast below is in charge, urged on by the complex interaction of genetic influence, neural wiring, and social conditioning. The rider can advise the elephant, but the elephant calls most of the shots.

Fortunately, the elephant is quite intelligent and equipped with all sorts of intuitions that are good for conscious reasoning. But elephants get very stubborn when threatened and like to stick to what's familiar. The rider, for her part, is not exactly a reliable character. She's not really searching for truth, but mostly for ways to justify what the elephant wants.

That's why a rebel economist challenging conventional thinking about subjects like human nature faces a heavy lift. Experts have to see a lot of evidence accumulating across many studies before they reach a point where they are finally forced to think differently. Scientific studies are even less helpful in persuading the general public.

When I asked Haidt how the mavericks could help their cause, he noted that humans are social creatures more influenced by people than by ideas. So, it matters who says something as much as what they say. It also makes a difference how they say it: elephants don't like to be insulted, and they lean towards arguments made by people they like and admire. Not very rational, perhaps, but likely true.

Homo Duplex

The notion that human beings are social creatures is another strike against homo economicus. We are selfish much of the time, but we are also "groupish," as Haidt puts it, and perhaps better described as "homo duplex" operating on two levels. Here he offers another animal analogy, suggesting that we're 90% chimp and 10% bee, meaning that from an evolutionary perspective, we are selfish primates with a more recently developed a "hivish" overlay that lets us occasionally devote ourselves to helping others, or our groups.

This helps explain why you can't predict how someone is going to vote based on their narrow self-interest. Political opinions are like badges of social membership. We don't just ask what's in it for us, but also what it means to our groups. Having a kid in public school doesn't tell you that a person will support aid to public schools, probably because there are group interests in play. What unifies us in groups, Haidt argues, are certain moral foundations that allow us to share emotionally compelling worldviews that we can easily justify and defend against any attack by outsiders who don't share them. And we can get pretty nasty about those outsiders.

This begins to sound like ugly tribalism, the kind of stuff that leads to war. But Haidt reminds us that this propensity also prepares us to get along within our groups and even to cooperate on a large scale -- our human superpower. We differ from other primates because we exhibit shared intentionality: we're able to plan things together and work together towards a common goal. You never see two chimps carrying a log – they just don't act in concert that way. We do, and in our groups we've developed mechanisms to suppress cheaters and free riders and reap the benefit of division of labor. Groups of early humans may well have triumphed over other hominids not because they smashed them with clubs , but because they out-cooperated them.

To better understand how we operate in political groups, which have lately become more antagonistic, Haidt created a map of our moral landscape called Moral Foundations Theory which delineates multiple "foundations" we presumably use when making moral decisions, including care/harm, fairness/cheating, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, sanctity/degradation, and liberty/oppression. (Some scholars have challenged his system, offering alternative maps). His research indicates that liberals and conservatives differ in the emphasis they place on each of these foundations, with conservatives tending to value all six domains equally and liberals valuing the first two much more than the other three.

Haidt argues that liberals tend to home in on care and fairness when they talk about policy issues, which can put them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis conservatives, who tend to activate the whole range of foundations. Republicans are thus better able to talk to elephants than Democrats because they possess more ways to go for the gut, as it were. If Democrats want to win, Haidt warns, they need to think of morality as more than just care and fairness and to try to better understand that foundations more important to conservatives, like deference to authority or a reverence for sacredness, are not pathological, but aspects human social evolution that have helped us survive in many situations.

When he wrote The Righteous Mind , Haidt noted that Democrats had espoused a moral vision that did not resonate with many working class and rural voters. In the current presidential race, he sees some progress on economic populism from the Bernie Sanders wing, in part because Occupy Wall Street got people attuned to issues of fairness and the oppression of the 1%. When politicians talk about the abuse of political and economic power, they can activate not only care and fairness concerns, but also the liberty/oppression foundation which people respond to across the political spectrum.

But this line is also tricky because, as Haidt pointed out to me, "Americans don't really hate their rich." (One recent study suggested only 25% of Americans have a negative view of the rich, though a majority said they should be taxed more).

Haidt also worries that many Democrats, particularly elites, are currently engaging with cultural issues by embracing a what he called a "common enemy" form of identity politics which "demonizes people at the intersectional point of evil (white men)" rather than focusing on a "common humanity" story which "draws a larger circle around everyone. (Haidt plunged into controversial territory with his 2018 book, The Coddling of the American Mind , which argues that college campuses are shutting down useful debate through "safetyism" that protects students from ideas considered harmful or offensive).

He observed to me that while the polarizing Donald Trump may have turned off the younger generation "for the next few decades," Democrats may be failing "to look seriously at the ways that their social policies -- and their messengers -- alienate many moderates." Newly "woke" white elites, for example, who see racism as the driver of nearly every phenomenon, may be having an unintended negative effect in his view. When they ascribe Trump's victory to racial resentment and ignore the concerns of those who fear sliding down the economic ladder, for example, they may turn off potential allies. Call a person or a group racist and you won't be able to convince them to support your view on anything. Their elephants aren't listening.

Haidt acknowledges that our moral matrices are not written in stone; they can and do evolve, sometimes quite rapidly within a couple of generations. Economic forces surely act to shift attunement to moral foundations, making people more susceptible, for example, to anti-immigration arguments. If you fail to consider the economic influence on this kind of moral activation, you'll be less equipped to address problems like ethnic conflict. Being able to step outside our own moral matrix is essential to persuasion. We not only have to talk to the elephant, but see the beehive.

We also have to remember the truth is not likely to be something held by any one individual, but rather something that emerges as a large number of flawed and limited minds exchange views on a given subject. Our smarts and flexibility are increased by our ability to cooperate and share information. Economists, for example, improve their understanding of human nature by opening up to other social sciences and the humanities for insight.

There is evidence that economists are paying attention to moral psychology. In their book Identity Economics , Nobel laurate George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton argue that people identify with "social categories," and that each category, whether it be Christian, mother, or neighbor, has associated norms or ideals to which people want to aspire. Sam Bowles' The Moral Economy shows that monetary incentives don't work in many situations and that policies targeting our selfish instincts can actually weaken the institutions which depend on our more selfless impulses– including financial markets. At the Institute of New Economic Thinking (INET), the connection between economics and morality has been explored by INET president Rob Johnson and political philosopher Michael Sandel as well as thinkers like economic historian Robert Skidelsky and economist Darrick Hamilton .

All of this rather bad news for homo economicus. But pretty good news for humanity.


Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 1:37 am

we're 90% chimp and 10% bee, meaning that from an evolutionary perspective, we are selfish primates with a more recently developed a "hivish" overlay that lets us occasionally devote ourselves to helping others, or our groups.

Well if one wants to take an "evolutionary perspective" (works for me) then obviously our instincts are shaped to promote survival of the species and not just the individual. And if that's true then the Randian/economics version of rational isn't rational at all. Perhaps it would be clearer to talk about this problem in terms of rational versus irrational rather than appealing to some "altruism gene" that will supposedly save us. IMO only that rational, intelligent, creative aspect of humans will save us from that irrational side that is indeed totally instinctive. Somehow we've gotten this far–despite everything–"by the skin of our teeth." Here's hoping those minds will find a path.

eg , February 12, 2020 at 2:30 pm

I believe that a huge controversy continues to rage in Biology around "group selection"

erik , February 13, 2020 at 12:53 am

Over what? Carol's point about the sociology of Ayn Rand?

In point of fact, Carol, altruism is always secondary (where it appears) in nature. Selfishness ensures the fittest genes survive to carry on the species. Only in the face of catastrophe does altruism at
the individual level become more valuable than selfishness. So, indeed it is because of our selfishness, because we've struggled by the skin of our teeth, that we as a species have survived and prospered.

Susan the other , February 13, 2020 at 2:41 pm

but, but erik, that leaves out all the energy saving advantage we get from a cohesive group which is also determined to survive and carry on centuries of knowledge on just how to do so .

H. Alexander Ivey , February 12, 2020 at 2:01 am

Just a quick jab: why does Haidt, and others, assume that feelings are inferior to logic and intellect? Seems to me they are inter-twined, separate-able, but equal in value, if not dimension.

It could be a three way set-up instead of a two way (like markets, which are commonly spoken of as two: buyer and seller, but are three: buyer, seller, and banker /money man). Man's consciousness could be 1) feelings, 2) logic /intellect, and 3) the decider (call out to ex-prez W, so got political jab in too!).

But all that rather kicks Haidt's argument

eg , February 12, 2020 at 2:34 pm

In fairness to Haidt, I think he's more nuanced than "rationality good; feelings bad"

I have encountered more of that rather rigid approach among those who have read "Thinking Fast and Slow" perhaps because that book doesn't do as good a job of outlining as crucial the capacity to recognize which situations favor System 1 thinking and those which favor System 2 -- a problem compounded by the emphasis in the book on the rather narrow range of circumstances in which System 2 is clearly superior.

vlade , February 12, 2020 at 3:00 am

Social scientists can't add:
"value all six domains equally [ ] valuing the first two much more than the other three."

More seriously, yes. Years ago, Heinlein wrote "Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal".

somecallmetim , February 12, 2020 at 8:56 pm

Jeez – I spent years getting an Econ degree in the homo economus/monetarist era (dark times), when I should've been making my way through my D&D Dungeon Master's sci fi collection!

Dell , February 13, 2020 at 2:53 pm

I always thought that the Professors who thought up homo economus never went with their wives (as it was back then) to the grocery store.

The rational choice, always, was the store brand. DelMonte and all other such brands owed their very existence to non-rational, emotional choices–by tons of people.

But the implications of that never sunk in.

erik , February 13, 2020 at 1:04 am

'Rational' just means 'consistently following an internally sound logic.' A machine does that – following the logic of its mechanics. A computer does that – following the logic of code. An animal does that – following the logic dictated by emotion. And an animal certainly does that better than we humans whose behaviors become muddled by ideas. Truly, by this measure animals are better machines than humans – more mechanical, more emotional, more logical, more rational.

Hayek's Heelbiter , February 12, 2020 at 5:28 am

That's why a rebel economist challenging conventional thinking about subjects like human nature faces a heavy lift. Experts have to see a lot of evidence accumulating across many studies before they reach a point where they are finally forced to think differently.

As an ex-organic chemist, I was astonished to find that more than a few scientists cling to outdated paradigms with a tenacity that would shame the most rigid religious fundamentalist. Cf. heliobacter, continental drift, even the heliocentric solar system.

divadab , February 12, 2020 at 11:02 am

Huh? Heliocentric solar system is an outdated paradigm? Are you talking about this planet or are you coming from another solar system?

vlade , February 12, 2020 at 11:50 am

same for continental drift – pretty much no one in geology challenges plate tectonics, as it explains way more than any other theory on offer.

Anon , February 12, 2020 at 12:06 pm

While "continental" drift was first proposed in about 1600 AD it was not completely wrong. Like many initial geologic theories it was partially correct. It is now known that it is not the "continents" that move across the earth, but tectonic plates, on which the continents are located, that is creating movement. The convection of the earths interior magma is thought to be the movement vector for the plates.

Henry Moon Pie , February 12, 2020 at 6:04 am

"this propensity also prepares us to get along within our groups and even to cooperate on a large scale -- our human superpower"

Yuval Harari's central point revolves around this. Humans, like other primates, engage in "grooming" activities to maintain group cohesion. With the development of language, this "grooming" went from picking lice out of each other's hair (fun!) to gossiping about each other. But this behavior seems to be unable to maintain a group size larger than 150 individuals, not surprising considering the person-to-person contact necessary.

To gather a larger group around common goals requires myth, Harari says. Early myths involved gods, often imagined as living in a separate world with structures parallel to our own. In a polytheistic society, the head god related to the lesser gods as a king related to his human subjects. In the henotheistic Ancient Near East, nations like Babylon, Assyria and even the southern Israelite kingdom of Judah envisioned a parallel war occurring in "heaven" between the national gods when two countries went to war. These days, there are new, completely secular myths like what Harari calls "Money" that orient our world around materialism, competition and power.

eg , February 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm

William H. McNeill also noted the almost universal human behaviours of mass marching/dancing (which requires and reinforces cooperation) as indicative of a social behaviour rooted in a biological need

We also have "mirror neurons" for a reason -- one that baffles the proponents of "homo economicus"

Eric , February 12, 2020 at 7:20 am

I was more interested in this article from the political perspective; i.e. what liberals get wrong.

Like many who read this site, I'm interested in the primary elections and want Bernie to win.

But Bernie's message could be better by being more attuned to some of the "Moral Foundation" issues Haidt raises.

Take Medicare for All which, by most accounts, is the leading issue to most voters:

Talking more about Medicare being a simple and successful 50+ year program appeals to authority. Medicare Advantage plans can be framed as subversion. Or loyalty / betrayal. Also consider sanctity / degradation.

Talking more about the 80/20 aspect of coverage addresses fairness / cheating and "free stuff"

Not talking about eliminating private insurance shows concern for liberty / oppression. I would actually make a joke about people who would still want private insurance after M4A becomes available

Just food for thought in terms of how the ideas contained in the article could be applied.

And the next time some nefarious reporter asks how we will pay for this or that; I wish someone will just say "Mexico will pay for it".

deplorado , February 13, 2020 at 1:20 am

This!
Share it with the campaign on twitter – please!

LowellHighlander , February 12, 2020 at 7:24 am

As an economist (M.A. in Econ), I am elated to see Jonathan Haidt's work receive this kind of attention from serious thinkers. In addition to the reasons cited by Lynn Parramore, I believe Professor Haidt's work validates, by building on, the work of Humanistic Economics by Professor Mark Lutz (Ph.D. UC-Berkeley) and Dr. Kenneth Lux. Moreover, Professor Haidt's work appears, to me, to further validate the astute criticisms of Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot for neoclassical Marxists' use of "Rational Economic Man" in their paradigm's modls (no "e"). Having obtained my degree about 25 years ago, basically in humanistic economics, I am sure that adoption of such thinking by grad students in economics can help rescue humanity from its current barbaric state. I just hope there's still time left.

Jeremy Grimm , February 12, 2020 at 1:03 pm

But economics without homo economicus? Does that not mess-up a lot of beautiful economic proofs and their beautiful mathematics?

eg , February 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Let them have their toys -- just don't let them near anything like policy

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 7:30 am

On hate and having negative view on the rich : this article mentions that "only" 25% of Americans have a negative or very negative view of the rich". Only is the proper word? I would say that is a lot of bad feelings. Hate is not a sane feeling and we are inclined to hate in stressful situations. So, if 25% of Americans, have these negative feelings (8% very negative) about the rich this spells quite a lot of despair/stress. It would be interesting a comparison with other countries to evaluate if this is normal by international standards.

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 7:52 am

I mention this because stress & despair might explain, at least partially, the relative low turnout in general elections in the US compared with other OECD countries. Does anybody here know the evolution of electoral turnout in the US since 1950? Has turnout declined with time?

Dirk77 , February 12, 2020 at 5:13 pm

There is a Wikipedia article under the title Voter Turnout in the US Presidential Elections fwiw.

John Wright , February 12, 2020 at 9:46 am

I remembered an old David Brooks column mentioning that Americans vote their aspirations.

I'm not a fan of Brooks, but this 20 year old column may explain some USA citizens' current attitudes..

Here is a sample quote (about a proposed Al Gore estate tax):

"The most telling polling result from the 2000 election was from a Time magazine survey that asked people if they are in the top 1 percent of earners. Nineteen percent of Americans say they are in the richest 1 percent and a further 20 percent expect to be someday. So right away you have 39 percent of Americans who thought that when Mr. Gore savaged a plan that favored the top 1 percent, he was taking a direct shot at them."

https://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/12/opinion/the-triumph-of-hope-over-self-interest.html

While it has been 20 years since this was published, one might suspect American "I'll be rich" aspirations have taken a beating during this interval.

The economics profession has ridden the hydrocarbon energy spend of the last 100+ years as hydrocarbon energy has been pulled from the ground and converted into "economic growth".

It will be interesting to see how the profession responds to future events with climate change, peak human population and peak energy inexorably (in my view) arriving.

Susan the other , February 12, 2020 at 10:38 am

Yes, after all corvid-19 only has a mortality rate of 2.5% . are viruses comparable to hate?

Donald , February 12, 2020 at 7:49 am

One thing that has happened is that over the past several decades so- called liberals have agreed with conservatives that the market represents freedom and efficiency and the government represents the opposite. Some younger people are rebelling, but older voters have been hearing this their whole lives without challenge until Sanders came along.

I just read a description of a Trump rally at the NYT and I think it was accurate. The reporters just repeated what ordinary people said there. One guy claimed the Democrats have just swung so far left he can't support them anymore, yet on economics this simply isn't the case. Sanders just represents what Democrats used to be on economic issues.

gsinbe , February 12, 2020 at 7:57 am

I enjoyed the article, and agree with the main ideas, but he was a little rough on our primate cousins. Chimps may not cooperate by "carrying logs", but, like a lot of social animals, they work together when, say, hunting other primates. And most social animals have a pretty well-developed sense of fairness (watch what happens if you give one of your dogs a treat and ignore the other one).

a different chris , February 12, 2020 at 8:59 am

Yes I am trying to think about what chimps would actually need to transport a log for. That famous jocular saying by one of the researchers "we were beginning to think the difference between us was merely cultural".

Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 9:26 am

Is that a sense of fairness or a sense of competition or perhaps a sense of both? Each dog would prefer being the favorite but will accept being the equal.

Dogs are an interesting analogy because in my observation they are, as social animals, so much like us. Perhaps the main takeaway from the above article is the belief that there is such a thing as "human nature" and that we have a kinship with the other species. Needless to say such a view was once anathema in an intellectual climate dominated by religion and a human centric world view. Even now people like Pence are "dominionists" and believe that humans have been given dominion over the planet and all its other species because of what it says in the Bible. Power always needs to justify itself–perhaps because of that innate sense of fairness/competition that you mention.

Susan the other , February 12, 2020 at 10:54 am

Haidt got me thinking about language too. His thesis could be talking about the evolution of language itself. The evolution of rationalization. Since he seems to premise his insights on human intuition and a certain bedrock of morality that all animals seem to have. Pre language. Can we attribute the morality of animals to a lack of rationalization? They do seem to lack immorality. If we were mute, but very intuitive as we are, what effect would our intuition have on our communication skills and our actions? Raising the question here, Is language the emotional middleman that is always (duplex) less than rational and causing all this confusion? Sort of thinking here about someone giving an over-the-top sermon, like an economics professor claiming that we are all homo-economicus.

Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Morality traditionally implies conscious choice so I'm not sure that's relevant to the animal world. Guess what I'm saying is that we are similar to certain animals in our instincts, not our intelligence.

However the language of economic profs is deceptive since they should be saying "irrational self interest" rather than "rational self interest." Pure selfishness usually ends up being bad even for the selfish.

Susan the other , February 13, 2020 at 2:56 pm

Also on this very subject, last night on Nova, the one about dogs, their domestication (or ours?) and their amazing ability to relate – communicate. They attribute a dog's ability to communicate to oxytocin – because they thrive on love and friendship. I do believe that because I've only had one aloof dog and he was very wolf-like. A throwback. Indicating that evolution tends toward love – not to be too corny. Maybe Oxytocin will save us ;-)

Susan the other , February 12, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Maybe we could develop a more finely-tuned consciousness.

eg , February 12, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Um, pack animals have hierarchies -- period

And we are biologically pack animals, mercifully moderated by culture

Carolinian , February 12, 2020 at 4:25 pm

If by "pack animals" you mean species that live in societies I never said they didn't. But obviously there is also cooperation on some level and social bonding. I do think this is a very complicated subject and not easily reduced to simplifications by yours truly–not a biologist–or the above article. But arguably the above is correct in asserting that economists themselves are ignoring the complications.

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 8:16 am

And for those interested, here is a paper published in 2008 that empirically demonstrates that the "Homo economicus" approach in this case disguised in the form of "median-voter model" is bullshit regarding inequality, redistribution and public opinion, though they regard it as intelectually compelling. Economists!

John Wright , February 12, 2020 at 10:19 am

Your link did not work for me.

But this did work (after google searching for "mwm006.pdf") that was buried in your link

https://academic.oup.com/ser/article-pdf/6/1/35/4761357/mwm006.pdf

Ignacio , February 12, 2020 at 11:10 am

Thank you. That was the paper.

a different chris , February 12, 2020 at 8:56 am

>Experts have to see a lot of evidence accumulating across many studies before they reach a point where they are finally forced to think differently.

Ummm, the whole, underlying maybe, point of the rest of the article is that the dominant economic thought of our age has nothing to do with evidence. Yet they overthrew Keynes. "Trust us, We're Experts" or something like that right?

DJG , February 12, 2020 at 8:58 am

I just finished slogging through The Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist, which harmonizes with this article. Instead of the rider on an elephant, McGilchrist writes of the functions of the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which are significantly different. The left brain is verbal, analytical, and task oriented. It likes straight lines. (This strikes me as a description of the pseudo-accuracy and busyness of economics.) The right brain sees a larger picture, is less talky, and is generally better at perceiving the world around us. It is the hemisphere that can attain greater knowledge even if it is not as adept at expressing such knowledge in words. (The "bee" part of the brain–and more than 10 percent.)

McGilchrist's book is good, but way too long, which is an irony given that he asserts that the left brain, the emissary, is trying to subvert the master, the part of the brain less likely to go on and on and on in words.

But this era of too many easy paradigms (economics, "free markets"), too much flimsy analysis (critical studies, queer studies, economics, New York Times op-ed columnists), and too much talk (social media) is very much left-brained. I think that what is wearing all of us out is the endless tsunami of word salad. Economics, with its insistance on rationality rather than reasonableness (left brain rather than right brain), fell into the salad bowl a long time ago.

Mel , February 12, 2020 at 10:12 am

Yes. I, too, think this is a very important book. Being retired, I don't think it's too long. I revel in how much stuff I got for only thirty bucks (or whatever it was -- something like that.)
The neurological case is complete after 94 very dense pages. (535 citations. Pleasantly readable prose, though, and that bizarre experiment that "proves" that porcupines are monkeys.) After that he traces the effects and footprints of the two independent modes of thought through philosophy, art, music, and, generally, the working of our societies from ancient to post-modern.
There's a strong parallel to Daniel Kahneman's Fast and Slow thinking, the right hemisphere being the fast one. The one wrinkle is that language is the province of the left hemisphere, but Kahnemann finds that fast thinking is perfectly adept at small-talk, as long as it doesn't get too abstract.
Worst for me is that now that I've read it, I've got to go back into Heidegger, all the other modern Germans, John Dryden, classical and modern painting, religion

The Rev Kev , February 12, 2020 at 9:27 am

So how would homo economicus work out in anything other than a modern industrial system? In earlier times, I would say that at the least they would be shunned as a danger to the community or maybe even thrown out altogether as being incapable of working in a close-knit community. Want a modern example instead? How about the fact that you cannot have a military based on the idea of homo economicus unless you are talking about a band of mercenaries. This whole stupid idea is why every relationship these days whether for work, employment, government, etc is defined by contracts. In short, it is a cookie-cutter idea that come in only one shape.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 12, 2020 at 9:31 am

"Since the 1950s, this mono-motivated, self-seeking figure has stalked the pages of economics textbooks, busy deciding each action according to a rational calculus of personal loss and gain."

Advertising gave up with that sort of approach years ago.
Advertisers appeal to deep seated wants and desires and this works really well, so they haven't looked back.
Are the wealthy much more rational?
Let's have a look at adverts targeted at wealthy people.
Are they a long list of specifications and comparisons saying why these products are better?
No.
An advert for a Sunseeker luxury yacht conveys luxury, elegance, being able to get away from it all and there is usually a young woman in the back in a bikini; the less said about that the better.

What about PR and propoganda?
How do they work?
The same as advertising really, and it's got nothing to do with appealing to rational human beings.
It works; they are not going to be doing it differently anytime soon.

Economics seems to be the odd man out.

Mel , February 12, 2020 at 11:32 am

A propos of nothing, long, long ago there was an ad during the Superbowl placed by Cadillac. It was all about authority, power, celebrity, and it hardly mentioned cars at all, if it even did. Blog commenters had to work very hard to explain how this was selling Cadillacs. IMHO, it didn't sell Cadillacs. It told the top Cadillac executives all the things about themselves that they most longed to hear. It didn't sell cars to wealthy people, it sold the ad itself to the Cadillac C-suite. It worked like a charm.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 12, 2020 at 9:56 am

Inequality exists on two axes:

Y-axis – top to bottom
X-axis – Across genders, races, etc ..

As long as the Democrats wealthy donors keep them focussed on identity politics and the X-axis, the donors should be able to keep making progress in the reverse direction on the Y-axis.

Rob Chametzky , February 12, 2020 at 11:33 am

Samuel Bowles has examined these issues recently in "The moral
economy":

https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300163803/moral-economy

and he's MUCH better than Haidt. I recommend this book and lots
of his earlier work, much of it done with Herbert Gintis.

Their 1976 "Schooling in capitalist America" is no less necessary
reading now than it was then, and their 1986 "Democracy & capitalism"
is maybe even more relevant now (Milanovic credits it as a forerunner
to his current "Capitalism, alone", which it is–and much more than that).
More recent stuff is referenced in "The moral economy" and pretty
much always worthwhile.

–Rob Chametzky

Tim , February 12, 2020 at 2:41 pm

Morality is a big part of decision making, but I'll argue that is secondary to our cognitive biases that exist at an even lower level of consciousness to enable us to retain function and decision making in the face of an overwhelming number of variables.

The opposite of cognitive bias or perhaps the antidote is critical thinking, which must be taught/learned, so yeah it is preposterous to assume people use solid reasoning that could only come about with the use of critical thinking, which vasts swaths of society almost never exercise.

flora , February 12, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Thanks for this post. Homo economicus was/is always and only about the 'one'.

Whereas the basis of moral philosophy is about 'the one and the many' in equal importance, imo.

Thanks for this post and to the commentors recommending more writings in this field.

Dirk77 , February 12, 2020 at 6:10 pm

The article to me is all over the place, which builds on Haidt's views that seem all over the place too. Interesting though. Comments too. The experimental data about Haidt's classifications of moral decision making elements, and where self-described liberals and conservatives rank them in importance was interesting. I suppose the liberals regarding only two of the six as important could be due to their college educations. As a math professor I had once observed about a smart student in his class: "he learned his subject too well". Or to paraphrase Othello: "One that learned not wisely but too well".

greensachs , February 12, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Nuff sd

"It's Armageddon Time for the Democratic Party"
https://theintercept.com/2020/02/12/its-armageddon-time-for-the-democratic-party/

TG , February 12, 2020 at 6:43 pm

Hmm yes but

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must ship our industrial base to China so that the rich can make more money.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must allow big companies to merge and quash competition and raise prices.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must allow "surprise medical billing" when insured people go to the emergency room.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must do nothing to stop the use of slave labor in peeling shrimp for export in Southeast Asia.

Humans are rational economic agents! Therefore we must bail out and subsidize Wall Street and big finance with tens of trillions of taxpayer dollars.

Perhaps the "humans are rational economic agents!" argument is not really an argument, as such

deplorado , February 13, 2020 at 2:29 am

The most important takeaway from this is that we should not let economists guide the economy. Not the economists believing in homo economicus anyway (and, while we are at it, believing in equilibrium as well). The reason for existence of such a concept is clearly to replace ethics and morality as a guiding principle of human economic activity with a pseudo- "natural law" (humans by nature are "economicus" – i.e. self-interested and materialistic – phew!), which once entrenched, relieves those in power from moral obligations because it safely explains away almost any economic outcome as result of "natural" forces – i.e. no one to blame (globalization=natural force). It's a great tool for them. Down with it.

Dick Swenson , February 14, 2020 at 4:25 pm

The asumption of rationality has been defeated by many economists, as well as psychologists, sociologists, etc.. Carrying on about this is unncessary. Assuming that humans worry about "care and fairness' is true. The "12" prophets of the Tanakh (Old Testament") raised this concern numerous times, and one can find it as a major issue in the Synoptic Gospels. Smith also worried about this in his first book on economocs, "The Theory of Moral Sentiments." The only reason for any further consideration of "rationality" in economics is due to the attemprt by economists to treat economics as a "science" like physics. There are also numerous misguided attempts to mathemaize economics.

But one insidious reason to pretend that economics is a "science" is to justify the idea of a "Nobel Prize" in economics, or to give a "halo" to economists that win the "Swedish Central Bank Prize in Economic Scholarship in Memory of Alfred Nobel."

Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg have written a good book about the creation of this prize, "The Nobel Factor." Please note, the words "Nobel Prize" do not seem to appear on either the certificates or medal awarded.

Daniel Kahneman who won the prize (justifiably, (and John Nash a famous mathematicin who won many real prizes) notd that giving labels often transfers a false aura to those being labeled. Offer and Söderberg noted that this is true of the label "winner of the Nobel Prize." Given that there is no decent encompasssing theory of economics similar to Newton's Laws and how often the prizes are awarded to economists who don't produce anything like such a theory, we should once and for all abandone the pretense that economis is a science. It is an attempt to describe social behaviour in a very restricted context. Leaving it to psychologists, sociologists and others has produce better undertandings of human behaviour.

[Feb 15, 2020] Global supply chains are cost-efficient but not resilient

Feb 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

So here we are, with a global economy that's very cost-efficient but not resilient. It's wonderful that Walmart has worked out how to order a new tube of toothpaste from China the second one is pulled off a shelf in Topeka, KS. But that means there is no deep storage to draw upon in times of disruption to the status quo. No warehouses stocked with 12 months of future goods. Just a brilliantly-complicated supply chain thousands of miles long that has to work perfectly for things to keep running.

As an example that drives home this point: we learned during the 2011 earthquake in Japan that there was just one single factory making a necessary polymer gel for the odd-shaped lithium batteries used in smartphones and iPods. There was no backup factory.

We watched closely during that enormous crisis (which also spawned the Fukushima nuclear disaster) as electronics companies scrambled to triage their remaining supplies and attempt to find new sources. It was very touch and go. Vast portions of the battery-fueled electronic industry came within a whisker of simply shutting down production -- all for want of an esoteric polymer gel.

Yes, the most cost-effective way to make that gel was to house it all in a single plant. But it made no sense from a redundancy and resilience standpoint.

And did 'we' learn from that experience? Nope.

Supply Chain Armageddon

The global economy is more interdependent than ever. Its supply chains are built on a huge network of dependencies with many 'single points of failure' strung along its many branches.

Can anybody predict what will happen next? No.

But we're already seeing early failures as Chinese plants, factories and ports sit idle from the country's massive quarantine efforts:

China set to lose out on production of 1M vehicles as coronavirus closes car plants

China exports about $70 billion worth of car parts and accessories globally, with roughly 20 percent going to the U.S.

Feb. 5, 2020, 4:32 PM EST

By Paul A. Eisenstein

China could suffer the loss of a million vehicles worth of production as factories in its crucial automotive industry remain shuttered until at least next week -- and likely longer in Wuhan, the "motor city" at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.

With more than 24,000 people infected, the impact of the highly contagious disease is also beginning to be felt by automakers in other parts of the world. Hyundai is suspending production in its South Korean plants because of a shortage of Chinese-made parts, and even European car manufacturers could be hit: Volkswagen and BMW could see a dip of 5 percent in their earnings for the first half of 2020, according to research firm Bernstein.

( Source – NBC )

We're predicting that these auto shutdowns are just beginning. All it takes is a single component to be unavailable and the entire line has to be shut down.

Is China the sole source for many critical components in the auto industry? Absolutely.

Here's an inside view:

On Monday, Steve Banker and I had the opportunity to speak with Razat Gaurav, CEO of Llamasoft. Razat had some interesting takes on the outbreak, especially as it relates to the automotive and pharmaceutical supply chains. On average it takes 30,000 parts to make a finished automobile.

Due to the virus, production facilities have already indicated that they will have lower than normal parts volumes. This has left companies scrambling to make contingency plans. During my conversation with Razat, he mentioned that inventories for most of these automotive parts are managed on a lean just-in-time basis.

This means that, on average, companies have anywhere between two and twelve weeks of buffer inventory on-hand for automotive parts. As production volumes are decreasing, this has the potential to cause quite the global shortage of parts. The buffer inventory will only last so long, and once the pre-holiday supply runs dry, the industry is going to be in serious trouble. According to Gaurav: " Most OEMs single source components for new vehicles and China is a large supplier of those."

( Source – Logistics Viewpoints )

"Single sourcing" is exactly what it implies. There's a single factory somewhere churning out a single component that is absolutely vital to make a motorized vehicle. If that factory goes away for any length of time, a new source has to be identified or – worse, from a time and cost standpoint – built from scratch.

But this vulnerability to China-dependent supply chains is by no means unique to the auto industry:

Last month, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a hearing on the United States' growing reliance on China's pharmaceutical products. The topic reminded me of a spirited discussion described in Bob Woodward's book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

In the discussion, Gary Cohn, then chief economic advisor to President Trump, argued against a trade war with China by invoking a Department of Commerce study that found that 97 percent of all antibiotics in the United States came from China.

( Source – CFR )

That's as close to a 'sole source' as you can get.

And to put the cherry on top: guess the name of the region in China responsible for producing all if these antibiotics? Yep, Hubei province. With Wuhan its most important production hub.

Can we find another source for our generic drugs and antibiotics? India, possibly. But here again we run into the same global interdependency issue:

Another industry that is feeling the impact of the coronavirus is the pharmaceutical industry. The average buffer inventory for the pharmaceutical industry is between three and six months. However, this does not tell the full story. Gaurav mentioned that China is responsible for producing 40 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for the pharmaceutical world.

Additionally, China supplies 80 percent of key starting materials (KSM's), which are the chemicals in APIs, to India . Put together, this represents 70 percent of all APIs across the world.

( Source – Logistics Viewpoints )

India's production is directly tied to uninterrupted supply from China:

Indian generic drugmakers may face supply shortages from China if coronavirus drags on

Feb 13 (Reuters) – Shortages and potential price increases of generic drugs from India loom if the coronavirus outbreak disrupts suppliers of pharmaceutical ingredients in China past April , according to industry experts.

An important supplier of generic drugs to the world, Indian companies procure almost 70% of the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for their medicines from China.

India's generic drugmakers say they currently have enough API supplies from China to cover their operations for up to about three months.

"We are comfortably placed with eight to 10 weeks of key inventory in place," said Debabrata Chakravorty, head of global sourcing and supply chain for Lupin Ltd, adding that the company does have some local suppliers for ingredients.

Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd said it has sufficient inventory of API and raw materials for the short term and has not seen any major disruption in supplies at the moment.

The Indian drugmaker, however, said supply has been impacted for a few API products and the company is closely monitoring the situation. It did not identify the products.

India supplies nearly a third of medicines sold in the United States , the world's largest and most lucrative healthcare market.

( Source )

Is this a huge concern? Of course it is.

If you're dependent in any way on prescription drugs, it would be entirely rational to chase down whether those come from China or India and, if they are, begin talks with your doctor about alternatives or what to do if supplies get pinched.

A Fast-Moving Situation

Look, we entirely get why the authorities and media are downplaying the covid-19 pandemic. We really do. They feel the need to manage the crisis, which means managing the public narrative.

But c'mon. Does it make any sense for Apple's stock price to be up while its main Foxconn manufacturing facility is all but completely shuttered?

Fewer iPhones and Airpods being made should equate with lower future earnings and thus a lower stock price. But no, AAPL is up handily over the past month:

And this is even crazier. Does it make ANY sense for Boeing's stock to be up $12 over the past month? As it reported its first year (2019) of NEGATIVE orders and a completely order-free January (2020)? No, of course not.

But those are the sorts of 'signals' that the officials believe have to be sent in order to keep the masses from catching on that something really concerning is happening.

Unfortunately, such signals work on the masses. Higher stock prices send a powerful comforting message that "all is well".

But prudent critical thinkers, which defines those in the Peak Prosperity tribe, can readily see through the ruse and get busy preparing themselves for what's coming.

It's Time For Action

The situation with covid-19 is fluid, and fast-moving. Staying on top of the breaking developments and making sense of them for you is our primary job.

But information without informed action is useless.

After all, knowing something concerning but then doing nothing about it is merely cause for anxiety if not alarm.

The only ways to remain calm and protect your loved ones from the threat of this pandemic are rooted in taking smart action.

Yes, we can all hope this blows over. We sincerely wish the macro-planners all the best in shaping the narrative and keeping the macro economy somehow functioning and glued together.

But we're going to prepare as best we can, here at our micro level because that's our duty to ourselves, to our families, and to our communities.

Creating A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus

This is a huge moment in history. The first global pandemic at a time when the world economy is sole-sourced and completely interdependent.

Nobody can predict what will happen next. Autos, drugs who knows what the next industry to stumble will be?

Given the ridiculously high rate of infectivity of covid-19 there's really no chance of stopping its spread. The rate is now just a equation of time, luck, and official actions to aggressively isolate and quarantine infected individuals and communities.

Our position affords us many experienced contacts with experts throughout the world, and those we know with deep medical training are preparing the most aggressively right now. This outbreak has their full attention; and that informs us that it should have ours, too.

Which is why our advice is to get busy preparing yourself now.

Last week we issued the guide How We're Personally Preparing For The Coronavirus to our premium subscribers. It's a great resource providing specific recommendations for prevention and treatment.

Today, we're releasing an expanded companion guide A Resilient Defense Against The Coronavirus , again for our premium members.

Particularly useful for those who have recently found their way to PeakProsperity.com, it offers both a valuable framework to use in preparing for any disaster (including pandemics) and then details out specific action steps to take today across all aspects of your life (i.e., not just health & hygiene) against a coronavirus outbreak in your local area.

Click here to read this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

[Feb 14, 2020] Bullshit Earnings: Charlie Munger Slams using Adjusted EBITDA To Report Earnings

Feb 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

xxx 43 minutes ago

Charlie looks pretty good for a 96 year old billionaire, compare him to 89 year old George Soros who looks like a goblin from hell.

[Feb 14, 2020] US Warms Up Its Own Old Spy Stories To Bash Putative Chinese Espionage

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

That such cynicism was wholly justified became evident when Edward Snowden revealed the NSA machinations. Soon thereafter Juniper Networks, a provider of large backbone equipment, was found to have at least two NSA backdoors in its operation system. Other 'western' telecommunication equipment companies were similarly manipulated :

Even neutral countries firms are not off-limits to NSA manipulations. A former Crypto AG employee confirmed that high-level US officials approached neutral European countries and argued that their cooperation was essential to the Cold War struggle against the Soviets. The NSA allegedly received support from cryptographic companies Crypto AG and Gretag AG in Switzerland, Transvertex in Sweden, Nokia in Finland, and even newly-privatized firms in post-Communist Hungary. In 1970, according to a secret German BND intelligence paper, supplied to the author, the Germans planned to "fuse" the operations of three cryptographic firms-Crypto AG, Grattner AG (another Swiss cipher firm), and Ericsson of Sweden.

So why was the allegedly secret CIA history of an already known story leaked right now? And why was it also leaked to a German TV station?

Sanho Tree points to the likely reason:

If you want to understand why the US intelligence community is so freaked out about Huawei, it's because they've been playing the same game for decades.

The WaPo story itself also makes that connection :

There are also echoes of Crypto in the suspicions swirling around modern companies with alleged links to foreign governments, including the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky , a texting app tied to the United Arab Emirates and the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei .

The warmed up Crypto AG story is a subtle smear piece against Huawei and Kapersky.

The U.S. wants to convince European countries to not buy Huawei products for their 5G networks. It wants to remind them that telecommunication products can be manipulated. It wants to instill fear that China would use Huawei to spy on foreign countries just like the U.S. used Crypto AG.

This is also the reason for this recent misleading Reuters headline which the story itself debunked:

Germany has proof that Huawei worked with Chinese intelligence: Handelsblatt

"At the end of 2019, intelligence was passed to us by the U.S., according to which Huawei is proven to have been cooperating with China's security authorities," the newspaper quoted a confidential foreign ministry document as saying.

'U.S. intelligence' that is handed over to manipulate someone is of course not 'proof' for anything.

The U.S. is pressing its allies on a very high level:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Chinese Communist Party "the central threat of our times" on Thursday, even as he sought to talk up the prospects of a United States trade deal with Britain, which rebuffed American pressure to ban a Chinese company from future telecommunications infrastructure.

The scathing criticism of the Chinese government was the strongest language Mr. Pompeo has used as the Trump administration seeks to convince American allies of the risks posed by using equipment from Huawei, a Chinese technology giant.

A week after Pompeo's panic message Trump took to the phone to convince Boris Johnson who was not impressed :

Donald Trump's previously close relationship with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks close to collapse, following new revelations that the president slammed down the phone on him.

Trump's behaviour during last week's call was described by officials as „apoplectic," and Johnson has now reportedly shelved plans for an imminent visit to Washington.
...
The call, which one source described to the Financial Times as „very difficult," came after Johnson defied Trump and allowed Chinese telecoms company Huawei the rights to develop the UK's 5G network.

Trump's fury was triggered by Johnson backing Huawei despite multiple threats by Trump and his allies that the United States would withdraw security co-operation with the UK if the deal went ahead.

Trump's threats reportedly „irritated" the UK government, with Johnson frustrated at the president's failure to suggest any alternatives to the deal.

Huawei products are pretty good, relatively cheap and readily available. They are just as buggy as the products of other equipment providers. The real reason why the U.S. does not want anyone to buy Huawei products is that it is the one large network company the U.S. can not convince to provide it with backdoors.

European countries do not fear China or even Chinese spying. They know that the U.S. is doing similar on a much larger scale. Europeans do not see China as a threat and they do not want to get involved in the escalating U.S.-China spat:

"Whose side should your country take in a conflict between the US and China?"

Source - bigger

The U.S. just indicted four Chinese military officers for the 2017 hacking of Equifax during which millions of addresses and financial data were stolen. The former CIA Director General Michael Hayden had defended such pilfering as "honorable espionage" and Equifax had made it laughably easy to get into its systems :

[J]ust five days after Equifax went public with its breach -- KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that the administrative account for a separate Equifax dispute resolution portal catering to consumers in Argentina was wide open, protected by perhaps the most easy-to-guess password combination ever: "admin/admin."

To indict foreign military officers for spying when they simply pilfered barely protected servers is seen as offensive. What will the U.S. do when China does likewise?

Every nation spies. It is one of the oldest trades in this world. That the U.S. is making such a fuss about putative Chinese spying when it itself is the biggest sinner is unbecoming.

Posted by b on February 11, 2020 at 18:52 UTC | Permalink

[Feb 14, 2020] Why the USA is fighting Huawei without offering any super alternative

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Feb 11 2020 20:13 utc | 13

thanks b...no shortage of hypocrisy in all this...

regarding @ 4 mike r which @8 ian2 linked properly to, i enjoyed the last paragraph which i think sums it up well.. here it is..

"I continue to believe that the United States cannot effectively restrict the spread of a technology under Chinese leadership without offering a superior product of its own. The fact that the United States has attempted to suppress Huawei's market leadership in the absence of any American competitor in this field is one of the oddest occurrences in the history of US foreign policy. If the US were to announce something like a Manhattan Project for 5G broadband and solicit the cooperation of its European and Asian allies, it probably would get an enthusiastic response. As matters stand, America's efforts to stop Huawei have become an embarrassment."


Petri Krohn , Feb 11 2020 20:38 utc | 16

The reason European customers trust Huawei is because Huawei uses open-source software or at least makes their code available for inspection by customers.

Closed-source software cannot provide secrecy or security. This was vividly demonstrated last month when NSA revealed a critical vulnerability in Windows 10 that rendered any cryptographic security worthless.

Critical Windows 10 vulnerability used to Rickroll the NSA and Github

Rashid's simulated attack exploits CVE-2020-0601, the critical vulnerability that Microsoft patched on Tuesday after receiving a private tipoff from the NSA. As Ars reported, the flaw can completely break certificate validation for websites, software updates, VPNs, and other security-critical computer uses. It affects Windows 10 systems, including server versions Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019. Other versions of Windows are unaffected.

The flaw involves the way the new versions of Windows check the validity of certificates that use elliptic-curve cryptography. While the vulnerable Windows versions check three ECC parameters, they fail to verify a fourth, crucial one, which is known as a base point generator and is often represented in algorithms as 'G.' This failure is a result of Microsoft's implementation of ECC rather than any flaw or weakness in the ECC algorithms themselves.

The attacker examines the specific ECC algorithm used to generate the root-certificate public key and proceeds to craft a private key that copies all of the certificate parameters for that algorithm except for the point generator. Because vulnerable Windows versions fail to check that parameter, they accept the private key as valid. With that, the attacker has spoofed a Windows-trusted root certificate that can be used to mint any individual certificate used for authentication of websites, software, and other sensitive properties.

I do not believe this vulnerability was a bug. It is more likely a backdoor intentionally left in the code for NSA to utilize. Whatever the case, NSA must have known about it for years. Why did they reveal it now? Most likely someone else had discovered the back door and may have been about to publish it.

(I commented on these same issues on Sputnik a few weeks ago.)

Piotr Berman , Feb 11 2020 23:04 utc | 25
The other possible US objection is that Huawei will only let their customers spy, not third countries.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Feb 11 2020 21:57 utc | 24

It reminds me a joke about Emperor Napoleon arriving in a town. The population, the notables and the mayor are greeting him, and the Emperor says "No gun salute, hm?". Mayor replies "Sire, we have twenty reasons. Fist, we have canons", "Enough", replied Napoleon.

Isn't the "other possible US objection" exactly "Enough"? Of course, USA is not a mere "third country", USA is the rule maker of rule based international order.

[Feb 14, 2020] Last year I was so mad at USA bulling Huawei and ZTE, decided to buy a Huawei Honor View V20 PCT-L29 Smartphone.

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

JC , Feb 13 2020 0:11 utc | 90

Last year I was so mad at USA bulling Huawei and ZTE, decided to buy a Huawei Honor View V20 PCT-L29 Smartphone. Global version on T-Mobile network . Still fumbling at the setting. This smartphone installed GPS and BeiDou (BDS). I never used Google searches but instead DuckDuckGo long ago

[Feb 14, 2020] I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ash Naz , Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc | 32

I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

What is going on?

I could understand if this was DNC/CIA-MI6 passing orders down the line (a la Skripal) to upset Trump but the US Intel Community has no interest in such a snub from the UK Govt.

Obviously this isn't the UK Govt asserting their independence from US instruction because such a thing has never happened in my lifetime.

Wierd.

Anyway, too bad I won't be able to read the thread on my phone tomorrow as Bruce has just broken the thread with his million-character link. :-(


Piotr Berman , Feb 12 2020 3:11 utc | 33

I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

What is going on?

Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc | 39

However I cringe and the obedient vassals, and Boris who may well be the Chief Poodle, given that exceedingly cute Justin is from another breed, Newtrumplander. But even poodles have privacy concerns, you know? What you web surf, what you buy, whom do you send gifts and WHAT gifts (dominatrix set?). However you trust NSA to use all that info solely for good causes, well, you know, not everyone is an exhibitionist...

Laguerre , Feb 12 2020 9:23 utc | 49
I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc | 32

The reason is said to be that they've already bought and installed a lot of the Huawei equipment, and the new decision is just a fake, to justify the position.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/28/huawei-security-boris-johnson

Ash Naz , Feb 12 2020 13:17 utc | 52

@Laguerre:

The reason is said to be that they've already bought and installed a lot of the Huawei equipment, and the new decision is just a fake, to justify the position.

The financial angle makes sense, but what is the price of disobedience?

@Piotr Berman:

But even poodles have privacy concerns

The preventing blackmail angle makes sense too

And how useful to be able to use blackmail to get allies to jump when ordered? It's often said that Washington has no real friends, just obedient vassals.

Jon_in_AU , Feb 12 2020 14:50 utc | 54

Ash Naz|Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc|32 & Posted by: Laguerre|Feb 12 2020 9:23 utc|47

It would appear to me that the UK, by allowing Huawei (limited) access to their market, are achieving several advantageous outcomes.

1) They are preventing potential for a duopoly of Eriksson & Nokia on the hardware by allowing a third player into the market.
2) By only allowing a maximum of 35% of the market share, they prevent Huawei from quickly out-competing the others on price and capturing a monopoly.
3) They are only allowing access to the network comm's market, and not the core of the system, which may or may not protect against unwanted data capture and intrusion (by exactly whom remains the question - as per the article above).
4) It allows the four main network providers (especially EE, owned by BT) and the accompanying state surveillance apparatus the ability to familiarise themselves with Huawei tech/code/vulnerabilities which may be invaluable going forward. On this point alone, the USA (and Australia, among others) are doing themselves a great disservice by missing out on a learning experience from arguably the world leader in this technology.

As md|Feb 12 2020 8:29 utc|44 alluded to, they are claiming to allow clintele access to all code (and the freedom to modify it as desired). So denying them access to a particular market only hinders the technical understanding of the technology and its implementation, leaving such states behind.

The USA (and its' vassal client states) once again shoot themselves in the foot in a vain attempt to create and re-create the archetypal "boogeyman" for the populace to wring their hands over and keep them up at night. Fools.

Ps. Thank you B for another illuminating read.

[Feb 14, 2020] Trump and US has a horrible hand to play regarding Huawei. It's desperation time!

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

daffyDuct , Feb 12 2020 3:51 utc | 35


Trump and US has a horrible hand to play regarding Huawei. It's desperation time!

Mike Pence tries to link UK/US trade deal with Trump Huawei ban.

https://www.politicshome.com/news/world/united-states/donald-trump/news/109751/mike-pence-hints-us-uk-trade-deal-risk-because


Among Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, looks like Nokia's way behind.

https://www.itnews.com.au/news/fearing-huawei-curbs-deutsche-telekom-tells-nokia-to-shape-up-537710

U.S. to review new curbs on Huawei, China in Feb. meeting: sources (The Commerce Dept is keeping their potential "rules" vague to buy time)

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-huawei-tech-meeting/u-s-to-review-new-curbs-on-huawei-china-in-feb-meeting-sources-idUKKBN1ZZ01H?rpc=401&

Pentagon Cites Supply Chain Sustainability For Opposing Huawei Sanctions

https://wccftech.com/pentagon-huawe-sanctions-supply-chain/


Barr scoffs at White House's anti-Huawei 5G approach
https://www.axios.com/barr-scoffs-at-white-houses-anti-huawei-5g-proposal-e3afb2c2-7f21-4609-a02e-ae3753f514f5.html

To counter Huawei, U.S. could take 'controlling stake' in Ericsson, Nokia: attorney general

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-espionage/to-counter-huawei-u-s-could-take-controlling-stake-in-ericsson-nokia-attorney-general-idUSKBN2001DL

(Jan 2018) Scoop: Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network
https://www.axios.com/trump-team-debates-nationalizing-5g-network-f1e92a49-60f2-4e3e-acd4-f3eb03d910ff.html

I enjoy David Goldman (Spengler) article at Asia Times. He accurately notes the vast lead Huawei/China has and then provides "but we can do something" bromides. What do mean "we", kimosabe?


daffyDuct , Feb 12 2020 3:55 utc | 36

Per a quote from Newt Gingrich's book ""Trump vs. China: Facing America's Greatest Threat", quoted recently by David Goldman. Gingrich didn't say who was the greatest threat, Trump or China.

"It is not China's fault that in 2017, 89% of Baltimore eighth graders couldn't pass their math exam

"It is not China's fault that too few Americans in K-12 and in college study math and science to fill the graduate schools with future American scientists

"It is not China's fault that, faced with a dramatic increase in Chinese graduate students in science, the government has not been able to revive programs like the 1958 National Defense Education Act

"It is not China's fault the way our defense bureaucracy functions serves to create exactly the 'military-industrial complex' that President Dwight Eisenhower warned about

"It is not China's fault that NASA has been so bureaucratic and its funding so erratic that there is every reason to believe that China is catching up rapidly and may outpace us. This is because of us not because of them

"It is not China's fault that the old, bureaucratic, entrenched American telecommunications companies failed to develop a global strategy for 5G over the 11 years that the Chinese company Huawei has been working to become a world leader "

farm ecologist , Feb 12 2020 3:59 utc | 37
I feel less uncomfortable about the possibility of being spied on by the Chinese than I do about the probability of being spied on by the US.
ak74 , Feb 12 2020 6:09 utc | 42
Here is another Orwellian irony that has been forgotten down the MemoryHole.

Way back in 2014, Edward Snowden revealed that the Americans (and the NSA in particular) were spying on Huawei dating back to at least 2007.

This American spying occurred before the current national security hysterics about Huawei, indeed, before most people in the USA had even heard of the company itself.

As this article states,

"In the final analysis, the NSA spying campaign against Huawei has two fundamental purposes. First, Huawei (unlike the American telecommunications companies) does not allow the NSA free access to its infrastructure to conduct spying on its products' users. Accordingly, as part of its mission of spying on the entire world's population, the NSA hacked into Huawei's systems in order to gather information traveling through its infrastructure.

Second, the spying campaign against Huawei is part of broader efforts to protect the profits and interests of American telecommunications companies at the expense of Huawei. This is the purpose of the NSA's particular interest in Huawei's executives and their 'leadership plans and intentions.'"

Edward Snowden exposes NSA spying against Chinese telecom firm Huawei
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/24/huaw-m24.html?view=print

md , Feb 12 2020 8:29 utc | 46
The other possible US objection is that Huawei will only let their customers spy, not third countries.
Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Feb 11 2020 21:57 utc | 20

So it seems. In the words of Ren Zhengfei 'When we transfer the tech, they can modify code on top of my tech, once that's through, it's not only shielded from me, it's shielded from everyone else in the world US 5G will be their own thing, there's no security concern, the only concern will be the U.S. keeping American companies (which bought it) in check.'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUUwK3DxGlA&feature=youtu.be

[Feb 07, 2020] The Consequence Of Globalism Is World Instability by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Yes, more complex systems are less stable.
Notable quotes:
"... The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism. ..."
"... Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence. ..."
Feb 07, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

If the coronavirus proves to be serious, as it does not appear to be at the present time, many economies could be adversely affected. China is the source of many parts supplied to producers in other countries, and China is the source of the finished products of many US firms such as Apple. If shipments cannot be made, sales and production outside of China are affected. Without revenues, employees cannot be paid. Unlike the financial crisis of 2008, this would be an unemployment crisis and bankruptcy of large manufacturing and marketing corporations.

This is the danger to which globalism makes us vulnerable. If US corporations produced in the US the products that they market in the US and the world, an epidemic in China would affect only their Chinese sales, not threaten the companies' revenues.

The thoughtless people who constructed " globalism " overlooked that interdependence is dangerous and can have massive unintended consequences . With or without an epidemic, supplies can be cut off for a number of reasons. For example, strikes, political instability, natural catastrophes, sanctions and other hostilities such as wars, and so forth. Clearly, these dangers to the system are not justified by the lower labor cost and consequent capital gains to shareholders and bonuses to corporate executives. Only the one percent benefits from globalism.

Globalism was constructed by people motivated by short-term greed. None of the promises of globalism have been delivered. Globalism is a massive mistake. Yet, almost everywhere political leaders and economists are protective of globalism. So much for human intelligence.

At this point of time, it is difficult to understand the hysteria over coronavirus and predictions of global pandemic. In China there are about 24,000 infections and 500 deaths in a population of 1.3 billion people. This is an inconsequential illness. Compared to the ordinary seasonal flu that infects millions of people worldwide and kills 600,000, the coronavirus so far amounts to nothing. Infections outside of China are miniscule and appear to be limited to Chinese people. It is difficult to know for certain, because of the reluctance to identify people by race.

Yet China has huge areas in quarantine, and travel to and from the country is restricted. Nothing like these precautions are taken against seasonal flu. So far this flu season in the US alone 19 million people have been sickened, 180,000 hospitalized, and 10,000 have died. The latest report is that 16 people in the US (possibly all Chinese) have come down with coronavirus, and none have died.

Perhaps the coronavirus is just warming up and much worse is to come. If so, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will take a hit. Quarantines prevent work. Finished products and parts cannot be made and shipped. Sales cannot take place without products to sell. Without revenues companies cannot pay employees and other expenses. Incomes decline across the world. Companies go bankrupt.

You can take it from here.

If a deadly coronavirus pandemic or some other one does erupt and there is a world depression, we should be very clear in our mind that globalism was the cause. Countries whose governments are so thoughtless or corrupt as to make their populations vulnerable to disruptive events abroad are medically, economically, socially, and politically unstable.

The consequence of globalism is world instability.


yerfej , 47 minutes ago link

It makes sense for rich countries elites to leverage poor backwards shithole countries to manufacture the things they need because the elites then don't have to worry about anyone but themselves. Globalism is wonder as it bypasses all that crazy western nonsense like jobs and wages and society and hope and such.

Coram Justice , 1 hour ago link

"Bolshevism is globalism according to Lenin."
Prof. V. G. Liulevicius, Utopia & Terror in the 20th Century

Street Chief Martin , 2 hours ago link

Globalism is nothing more than the major central banks finding ways to dump off their inflation which is the deflation of an ever increasing number countries which the major cb's used to deflate their currencies. The older the cb you are the worse off yo are. From a since A.D. perspective only the Sterling is what you have to worry. From my last fiat currency perspective its the Venisthaler that is un doing everything.

To get more zero's you have to add more nine's. They can not be added as nausem like people think zero's are. The compensation pool has been shrinking for centuries on end now. Globalism is an attempt to keep the pool growing at all cost which results relentless asset appreciation. We are out of nine's. The end result of that is hyper deflation for the man and hyper reflation for the people. Easily provable at a store named Vons owned by the treasury retired.

That ladies and gents is your simplified street fed explanation. I am not trying to even remotely write out the longer technical version.

Having said that meet me at what is known as the small walmart around here, which is the home of what does MU do, what does MU do at walmart it never gets old fame for a real life walk thru of what globalism is and looks like. We will then progress to the "Big Walmart" not even a mile away and I will show you what an out of control system looks like.

So we are clear of what I just said. I live in the only place in the world where when a tourist ask you where Wal Mart is, you get your choice of size. Whats the difference you ask??? The small Wal Mart has one main entrance, the big one has three. The lady almost smacked the **** out of the guy I got that from when she asked what the difference was. The hand came up. You really had to be there.

rtb61 , 2 hours ago link

Regional trade blocks with relatively balanced resource and production capabilities make more sense. Globalisation just lead to one country seeking to 'DOMINATE' in every sphere of global activity, raising the threats of economic and military conflict, as clearly demonstrated and this with the aim of global enslavement to multinational corporations, the aim of Globalism, really sick psychopathic stuff.

Regional trade blocks relatively balanced for resource and production, provide stability within each block and lesson competition for outside resource and commercial competitiveness, and represents a far more long term stable structure.

Within each trade block, as it is economic rather than socio-political the original identities of each distinct region can be preserved for the long term, so that future generations can enjoy and share in the different cultures. Race ******** is race ********, there is only one race and all of it's people are free to share in which ever culture they choose or combinations there of. Whether you get to move to those regions and enjoy those cultures will be done to your personal worth, character and ability to contribute to those societies, just the way it will be.

Some economic blocks will be far more preferable to others and will attract higher worth individuals (character and ability to contribute to society), the least and most desirable will become more so as higher worth individuals move to the most preferable away from the least preferable and make the most preferable more preferable by their active presence.

I would tip the Japan Australia one to be the most preferable for this century, the next hard to tell (there are real deep problems in the Americas caused by the USA, the EU had an bad immigrant problem as in they let in too many bad unvetted immigrants, Africa will be what Africa will be corrupt and Russia China it depends upon how quickly the modernise and socially advance, the middle of the middles south east to mid east it depends how long it takes them to come together and religion is a real problem for them).

free corn , 2 hours ago link

Competing MAD capable nations need communication/cooperation to keep the world somewat stable, that's one reason for Globalism. Author sucks.

headless blogger , 4 hours ago link

I've been wondering if this might be some kind of Globalist Drill. It doesn't make sense, although there is always the potential it could become worse than it is.

uhland62 , 3 hours ago link

I thought so, too. Strangely enough, Wuhan Chinese are now repatriated from Bali back to Wuhan?!

Instability is a necessary condition to get more conflicts and then wars going. Weapons production must be kept up; peace and stability would make make weapons production an expensive hobby.

Shifter_X , 4 hours ago link

Globalism is the shredding of nations, peoples, traditions, culture and religion.

It is failing and will continue to fail for two reasons:

1. Good fences make good neighbors

2. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

People are not going to stand for these destructive invasions any more. Bottom-of-the-barrel wages, crap jobs, high crime -- it's coming to a head.

I hope every nation in the EU exits.

Every idiot in Congress who supports this ridiculous bill that would make illegal immigration legal, require that the US NOT deport criminals and that we taxpayers pay to bring CRIMINALS we've deported, back to the USA, should be stripped of citizenship and kicked off the planet.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5383/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22chamberActionDateCode%3A%5C%222019-12-10%7C116%7C1000%5C%22+AND+billIsReserved%3A%5C%22N%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=10&s=4

Have you SEEN this **** pending in Congress???

surf@jm , 5 hours ago link

Globalism was outlawed forever at the Tower of Babel.....

That law has never been revoked....

[Feb 03, 2020] Numerical illiteracy of the modern world

The Western MSM is relentlessly trying to sell this coronavirus epidemic as a China failure
Feb 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jeff Harrison , Feb 2 2020 17:24 utc | 9
This corona virus panic is interesting. RT has an interesting piece that points out that corona virus has been officially recognized in some 8,000 odd people and 200 odd people have died from it, we need a sense of perspective. World wide seasonal flu, kills between 350,000 and 600,000 people each year. Tuberculosis kills over 1,000,000 people each year. Malaria kills a similar number. AIDS killed over 500,000 last year. And we're panicking about 200 or so?

TJ , Feb 2 2020 19:11 utc | 23

Just had an email from a company I deal with in China, the relevant passages-

2. The company has been following instructions from the Chinese government to postpone the Spring Festival holiday to Feb. 9th, 2020 if not any further postpone. But, we believe most of our services should be provided as usual since then.

5. We also would like your attention that there's yet no evidence or cases to support the transmission of the novel coronavirus through packages or imported goods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. The National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China advises that coronavirus is spread most often by respiratory droplets from one person to another, regular packages from Wuhan can be received as usual. Reference links are attached as the footnote below for your references.[1]
6. The Company will take proactive measures like ultraviolet light to ensure a safe and healthy environment of its warehouse. Disinfection work will be conducted before each delivery.

[Feb 01, 2020] Stragulation of nations with petty laws in EU: the "regulatory ecosystem" that the EU has evolved is unsound

Feb 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jerry , Jan 31 2020 19:51 utc | 24

I like Moon aka Bernard or whatever but he says the EU needs slightly less regulation. This stupid giant politically correct police state has like 66,000 laws and they pass 5,000 new ones a year. Nanny police state fascism and all they do is steal money from the taxpayers of Europe. It is a Central Bank ponzi scheme that is going to implode.

Most recent joke today is the EU Army which has pretty much no working tanks, planes or ships. Who are they going to fight anyway? The Russians? God help Europe - maybe Russians and Putin might reinstate Christianity in Europe and throw off the yoke of the CIA/MIC/Operation Gladio-Mockingbird from USA.


SteveK9 , Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94

vk , Feb 1 2020 13:35 utc | 95
The impression I'm getting from comments here is that there are still many Europeans (in the broad sense, both EU and British) in complete denial.

Europe is in decline, not in ascension. The numbers just came out yesterday: 0.1% for the EU (with France and Italy in recession); UK's number for Q4 are still one month away, but Q3 was also pathetic.

World trade (globalization) has grown to a halt. It's all maxed out already, there are no more free trade deals to be made.

Germany is in de facto recession. Most worryingly, its industrial output is plummeting - with only its services sector keeping the whole thing afloat. And we know that's not how the German economy should work.

The UK is still a capitalist economy - free from the EU or not. It will not invest in those fabled renewable energy sources from tide, wind etc. etc. if the profit rates are not high enough. And they are not high enough. The only way, then, for those investments to happen is if energy prices spike up - very bad news for the British people (which, fair to say, could happen in or out of the EU, so this is not a Brexit question).

Many countries in Europe tried to invest in those renewable, but apart from insignificant micro-nations such as Denmark, most failed to supplant the old sources. It was reduced to a complementary source.

The only reason to think the European Peninsula can rise from the ashes is that it rose from the ashes before (post-war miracle). But the post-war miracle was a very exceptional historical period, where a lot of improbable variables aligned. It will certainly not happen again.

The European peoples should stop with their dellusions of grandeur and accept a treaty of Eurasian integration, with a subordinate status to Russia and China. You did it before with the USA in 1945, you can do it again now with Russia/China. That is unexceptional in European History, and can certainly happen again.

Likklemore , Feb 1 2020 14:06 utc | 96
Posted by: Patroklos | Feb 1 2020 7:35 utc | 83

The Commonwealth long since ceased to have any meaning for the UK other than as a vestige of an expropriative empire, which has been a caricature since 1942[.]
If you think that the land mass of the Commonwealth represents a kind of control comparable to the EU then you need to study the last century[.]

In that comment you have attracted Her Majesty's displeasure. Suggest a read up of the 53 Commonwealth countries' property ownership in common law - in fee simple>radical title > The Crown's underlying title in common law. Oh, add the thirteen colonies prior to the American revolution found unpalatable.

Bubbles , Feb 1 2020 14:09 utc | 97
Fun read from George Galloway @RT. Lot's of things independent minded folk can agree with but pay particular attention to the conclusion / ending and give it a 1 to 10 reality rating.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/479595-brexit-eu-uk-future/

Eloquent words of inspiration and Hopium are so nice to read in the morning.

Nemesiscalling , Feb 1 2020 14:30 utc | 98
@89 LuBa

No, I don't think so.

Think of the absolutely absurd straight line that separates Canada from the U.S. West of the great lakes.

Now think of that artificially imposed boundary and ask yourself, "What a stupid line, surely that line wouldn't be able to instill any cultural differences between two artificial constructs (nations)?"

(Anecdotally, I live in the Pac NW and every time I have ever crossed the border into Canada it literally feels like you are entering a retiring, European state.)

And then ask yourself how it is possible one country has a national healthcare system while the other abhors the idea. Or why the U.S. has the worst gun violence in the First World while Canada has a 1/10th of that number.

Face it, regardless of lines on a map, a national identity still gives a people the choice to galvanize and develop independently.

Bubbles , Feb 1 2020 14:35 utc | 99
Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 1 2020 12:49 utc | 94

Apologies to Steve as I didn't see you had already posted the link to Galloway's story and should have referenced your post.

Russianasset , Feb 1 2020 15:08 utc | 100
I think the EU is in for more trouble in the future than the UK. By the end of this decade, several central and eastern European countries economies will have grown sufficiently that their EU yearly subsidies will now become EU payments. In other words, the EU cash cow will suddenly become a cash drain for some countries. In the meantime, France and Germany will have the pick up the financial slack caused by Brexit. Put it all together and it seems to me some trouble ahead for the EU.
English Outsider , Feb 1 2020 15:17 utc | 101
A User @ 58

I believe you have stated the underlying facts here -

"b is correct tho that the tendency of politicians pretending to be technocrats to centralise in order to build a trade-able power base must be halted. otherwise the national devolution movements become superseded by a Brussels top down pyramid management structure where citizens are too removed from decision makers and the decision makers are too removed from the results of their decisions."

That's the reason we have to leave the EU.

The next question is how.

The central fact here is that on a key point Brussels is absolutely in the right. Frictionless access to the Single Market - what we have now - can only go with Dynamic Alignment - continuing adherence to EU regulations. This fact was obscured during the vacillations of the May Premiership and may still be being obscured.

Me, I think the "regulatory ecosystem" that the EU has evolved is unsound. It also goes well beyond the technical setting of standards (most of which are set outside the EU in any case) and affects matters far removed from the purely technical. But it's what they have and it's not for us to attempt to change it.

Much of the hostility from the EU derives from the belief that as we leave we are trying to change their system, and for our own benefit. All the fears of "Cherry picking" and the rest. But it's not that they won't change. They can't, not without an entire recasting of that regulatory ecosystem. That would cause chaos if they attempted to do it. Engrenage is their watchword, the gradual accumulation of regulation and prescription, not demolition or radical rebuilding.

In short, for the reasons you have given above, we have to leave. When we consider the "how", we see that there is no magic solution that allows us to leave while continuing trading as if we have not left. Out really does mean out.

So where's the problem?

We've built up a good many trade links with the 27, the EU countries. They are vulnerable links, particularly the JIT links. It's going to take time to run down these links and replace them with new. We have other links as well - through the agencies - that will also take time to replace.

Such changes could take several years. If Brussels insists on that process happening overnight the result is serious disruption. On the principle that the EU is so much larger the calculation is that that disruption would hurt the UK much more than the EU. That is Brussels' bargaining counter.

Whether Brussels is using that counter for punitive reasons or whether it is using it in order to retain at least some control over the UK is irrelevant. The threat is there, however you look at it.

Some think we should face the threat down. I do - I think it is bluff. Others think we should not face it down - they fear it is not bluff. We wait to see which course the Johnson administration will adopt, not forgetting that the previous UK administration, and certainly the previous Parliament, didn't much like Brexit anyway - they wanted to stay in or close - and we're not yet sure what Johnson's position is.

.


(Note - engrenage as it works in practice explained here)

http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=76804

[Feb 01, 2020] Quotes of former and current neoliberals suggest that globalization is an essential part of neoliberal doctrine

Notable quotes:
"... In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology ..."
Feb 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In this sense the current backlash is a sign of collapse of this ideology

General Titus , 22 minutes ago link

"The affirmative task we have now is to actually create a new world order."

-- Vice President Joe Biden, April 5, 2013

"Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective -- a new world order -- can emerge."

-- President George H. W. Bush, September 11, 1990

"We saw deterioration where there should have been positive movement toward a new world order."

-- Mikhail Gorbachev, October 19, 2011

"I think that his [Obama's] task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period, when really a 'new world order' can be created. It's a great opportunity."

-- Henry Kissinger, January 5, 2009

https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/15036-joe-biden-on-creating-a-new-world-order

RoboFascist 1st , 1 hour ago link

Remember it was the British that basically established political Zionism as a state back in Palestine.

It was Trump that declared Jerusalem as the 'eternal capital' of anti-Christ Judaism.

Boris Johnson is a 'passionate Zionist' by his own proclamation.

This is about a realignment of Zionist interest in the English speaking world.

The EU wasn't going to play ball on the terms of American (and British) Zionism.

The English (KJV) world of eschatology demands a pseudo-Christianity to bow down to the interests of anti-Christ Jewish nationalism. (It is why the U.S. Senate has passed legislation making it illegal to criticize 'Israel' as 'anti-Semitic')

American evangelicals are being misrepresented by heretics like John Hagee and a pseudo-Christianity that cares not for Jesus Christ at all but rather maintains a focus only on 'Israel'. A dual covenant theology mixed with heresies galore served up in a controlled media that doesn't allow for the recognition of Christianity as the real Israel against a history of the destruction of ancient Israel because of their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

The New Testament Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen is Jesus foretelling and giving clear reason for the destruction of anti-Christ Judaism in 70 AD.

The heresies of John Darby and Cyrus Scofield (again nearly exclusively in English) have created everything from British Israelism to fear and anxiety hustling crapola such as Hal Lindsey and The Late Great Planet Earth end of the world heresies.

On the basis of Christian heresy has emerged anti-Christ political Zionism and its vast adherents in the English speaking world now realigning.

[Jan 26, 2020] The Collapse of Neoliberalism by Ganesh Sitaraman

Highly recommended!
From the book The Great Democracy by Ganesh Sitaraman.
This is a very valuable article, probably the best written in 2019 on the topic, that discusses several important aspects of neoliberalism better then its predecessors...
Notable quotes:
"... For some, and especially for those in the millennial generation, the Great Recession and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan started a process of reflection on what the neoliberal era had delivered. ..."
"... neoliberal policies had already wreaked havoc around the world ..."
"... "excessively rapid financial and capital market liberalization was probably the single most important cause of the crisis"; he also notes that after the crisis, the International Monetary Fund's policies "exacerbated the downturns." ..."
"... In study after study, political scientists have shown that the U.S. government is highly responsive to the policy preferences of the wealthiest people, corporations, and trade associations -- and that it is largely unresponsive to the views of ordinary people. The wealthiest people, corporations, and their interest groups participate more in politics, spend more on politics, and lobby governments more. Leading political scientists have declared that the U.S. is no longer best characterized as a democracy or a republic but as an oligarchy -- a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. ..."
"... Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism. ..."
"... neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. ..."
"... Demagogues rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. ..."
"... In spite of these failures, most policymakers did not have a new ideology or different worldview through which to comprehend the problems of this time. So, by and large, the collective response was not to abandon neoliberalism. After the Great Crash of 2008, neoliberals chafed at attempts to push forward aggressive Keynesian spending programs to spark demand. President Barack Obama's advisers shrank the size of the post-crash stimulus package for fear it would seem too large to the neoliberal consensus of the era -- and on top of that, they compromised on its content. ..."
"... When it came to affirmative, forward-looking policy, the neoliberal framework also remained dominant. ..."
"... It is worth emphasizing that Obamacare's central feature is a private marketplace in which people can buy their own health care, with subsidies for individuals who are near the poverty line ..."
"... Fearful of losing their seats, centrists extracted these concessions from progressives. Little good it did them. The president's party almost always loses seats in midterm elections, and this time was no different. For their caution, centrists both lost their seats and gave Americans fewer and worse health care choices. ..."
"... The Republican Party platform in 2012, for example, called for weaker Wall Street, environmental, and worker safety regulations; lower taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals; and further liberalization of trade. It called for abolishing federal student loans, in addition to privatizing rail, western lands, airport security, and the post office. Republicans also continued their support for cutting health care and retirement security. After 40 years moving in this direction -- and with it failing at every turn -- you might think they would change their views. But Republicans didn't, and many still haven't. ..."
"... Although neoliberalism had little to offer, in the absence of a new ideological framework, it hung over the Obama presidency -- but now in a new form. Many on the center-left adopted what we might call the "technocratic ideology," a rebranded version of the policy minimalism of the 1990s that replaced minimalism's tactical and pragmatic foundations with scientific ones. The term itself is somewhat oxymoronic, as technocrats seem like the opposite of ideologues. ..."
"... The technocratic ideology preserves the status quo with a variety of tactics. We might call the first the "complexity canard." ..."
"... The most frequent uses of this tactic are in sectors that economists have come to dominate -- international trade, antitrust, and financial regulation, for example. The result of this mind-set is that bold, structural reforms are pushed aside and highly technical changes adopted instead. Financial regulation provides a particularly good case, given the 2008 crash and the Great Recession. When it came time to establish a new regulatory regime for the financial sector, there wasn't a massive restructuring, despite the biggest crash in 70 years. ..."
"... Instead, for the most part, the Dodd-Frank Act was classically technocratic. It kept the sector basically the same, with a few tweaks here and there. There was no attempt to restructure the financial sector completely. ..."
"... The Volcker Rule, for example, sought to ban banks from proprietary trading. But instead of doing that through a simple, clean breakup rule (like the one enacted under the old Glass-Steagall regime), the Volcker Rule was subject to a multitude of exceptions and carve-outs -- measures that federal regulators were then required to explain and implement with hundreds of pages of technical regulations ..."
"... Dodd-Frank also illustrates a second tenet of the technocratic ideology: The failures of technocracy can be solved by more technocracy. ..."
"... Dodd-Frank created the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a government body tasked with what is called macroprudential regulation. What this means is that government regulators are supposed to monitor the entire economy and turn the dials of regulation up and down a little bit to keep the economy from another crash. But ask yourself this: Why would we ever believe they could do such a thing? We know those very same regulators failed to identify, warn about, or act on the 2008 crisis. ..."
"... In the first stage, neoliberalism gained traction in response to the crises of the 1970s. It is easy to think of Thatcherism and Reaganism as emerging fully formed, springing from Zeus's head like the goddess Athena. ..."
"... Early leaders were not as ideologically bold as later mythmakers think. In the second stage, neoliberalism became normalized. It persisted beyond the founding personalities -- and, partly because of its longevity in power, grew so dominant that the other side adopted it. ..."
"... Eventually, however, the neoliberal ideology extended its tentacles into every area of policy and even social life, and in its third stage, overextended. The result in economic policy was the Great Crash of 2008, economic stagnation, and inequality at century-high levels. In foreign policy, it was the disastrous Iraq War and ongoing chaos and uncertainty in the Middle East. ..."
"... The fourth and final stage is collapse, irrelevance, and a wandering search for the future. With the world in crisis, neoliberalism no longer has even plausible solutions to today's problems. ..."
"... The solutions of the neoliberal era offer no serious ideas for how to restitch the fraying social fabric, in which people are increasingly tribal, divided, and disconnected from civic community ..."
Dec 23, 2019 | newrepublic.com
Welcome to the Decade From Hell , our look back at an arbitrary 10-year period that began with a great outpouring of hope and ended in a cavalcade of despair. The long-dominant ideology brought us forever wars, the Great Recession, and extreme inequality. Good riddance.

With the 2008 financial crash and the Great Recession, the ideology of neoliberalism lost its force. The approach to politics, global trade, and social philosophy that defined an era led not to never-ending prosperity but utter disaster. "Laissez-faire is finished," declared French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan admitted in testimony before Congress that his ideology was flawed. In an extraordinary statement, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declared that the crash "called into question the prevailing neoliberal economic orthodoxy of the past 30 years -- the orthodoxy that has underpinned the national and global regulatory frameworks that have so spectacularly failed to prevent the economic mayhem which has been visited upon us."

... ... ...

[Jan 26, 2020] How (Not) to Criticize Karl Polanyi by Steven Klein

Notable quotes:
"... Steven Klein is a political theorist who is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He writes and teaches about democracy, the welfare state, and European political thought. ..."
Jun 05, 2017 | democracyjournal.org

A recent critique of Karl Polanyi reveals more about the limits of our current political debates than anything about the man himself.

Globalization has not been doing so well lately. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the idea that unfettered free markets bring unadulterated benefits to society has lost its sheen. Trump's election demolished Republican Party catechisms around free trade. The irony of our current moment is that the center-left politicians, traditionally wary of markets, have become the great defenders of global openness, while the opponents of globalization are gravitating to the nationalist right.

Once a relatively obscure Hungarian academic, Karl Polanyi has posthumously become one of the central figures in debates about globalization. This recent interest in his thought has occasioned an unsympathetic treatment by Jeremy Adelman in the Boston Review . Adelman, a Princeton professor, has scores to settle with Polanyi. But his article ends up revealing more about the limits of our current political debates than anything about the man himself.

Polanyi's classic book, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time , published in 1944, argued that the utopian obsession with self-adjusting markets had wreaked havoc in nineteenth-century European society, eventually laying the groundwork for the rise of fascism. His once unfashionable views have witnessed a remarkable revival of late. His name is frequently invoked when describing the dangers that global market integration poses to democracy. Polanyi has now moved one step closer to intellectual canonization with the publication of Gareth Dale's excellent biography, Karl Polanyi: A Life on the Left (2016), the impetus of Adelman's article.

First, there are aspects of Polanyi's thought worth criticizing. His historical account of the origins of the market society is murky. He neglects gender, race, and colonialism, although he was a supporter of anti-colonial struggles. Yet, instead, Adelman returns to a well-worn and wrong-headed criticism of Polanyi: that his thought represents a romantic revolt against markets in favor of a warm communalism, a stance that inevitably leads to violent nationalism and tyrannical "collectivism."

More troubling still is Adelman's explanation for why Polanyi was supposedly attracted to romantic attacks on liberalism. In Adelman's telling, Polanyi, who was born into an assimilated Jewish family but converted to Christianity, suffered from a sort of intellectual Stockholm Syndrome: Excluded from European society, he romanticized his murderous oppressors. He longed for the communal belonging that was denied to him as a Jew. And so Polanyi, Adelman declares, wanted to "merge into the national Volk ." This desire explains his "blind spot for reactionary nationalism," which "would only grow with time" as he looked to the passions of nationalist belonging "as a way to restore a sense of fraternal community." Polanyi's rejection of liberalism was thus a rejection of his own Judaism. He attacked market liberalism and excused reactionary nationalism because of his unfulfillable desire to belong in a Europe defined by ethnic unity and anti-Semitism.

Now, there is much to be said about Polanyi's social circumstances and life story, beautifully recounted in Dale's biography. The complex identity of assimilated Jewish elites in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Polanyi's lifelong attraction to Christianity certainly informed his thinking. There is also a larger story here about the attraction of interwar Jewish intellectuals to various strains of Christianity. Perhaps this fascination reflected a degree of self-loathing for highly educated Jews, caught in the double binds of Jewish identity: either too assimilated and therefore incapable of authenticity, or else clinging to their primitive roots. Or perhaps a radical interpretation of aspects of Christianity provided such Jews with a standpoint to criticize Europe without having their criticisms dismissed on account of their Judaism. These are all interesting and worthy questions.

For Adelman, though, Polanyi's conversion to Christianity is a bludgeon with which to attack him, a crude device to explain Polanyi's (again supposed) hatred for European liberalism. But the idea that Polanyi, who was forced to flee Europe, is some sort of apologist for nationalism is just plain wrong. Indeed, he viewed European liberalism's attachment to market fundamentalism as the barrier to an alliance between democratically inclined liberals and the working masses. The worst that could be said of him on this account is that he underestimates nationalism as a source of opposition to markets, although he certainly was aware of the fascist threat. But his central point was always that, if we want to avoid an authoritarian reaction to the ravages of the market, we need to develop a democratic alternative to pro-market liberalism.

To tar Polanyi with the brush of reactionary nationalism, Adelman makes some strange claims. For instance, he argues that Polanyi affiliates Judaism with liberalism, both of which he then views as stepping stones to Christianity and socialism, respectively. The only problem is that Polanyi explicitly associated Christianity , and not Judaism, with liberalism -- Christianity revealed the principle of individual freedom that is the core of liberalism -- and, for him, both Christianity and liberalism stood in need of a revision that would push them toward democratic socialism. Of course, deeply internalized anti-Semitism could be more important than Polanyi's actual statements. The problem with such psychological arguments, though, is their pointillist quality: They cohere better from afar than up close.

Reading Polanyi is admittedly a frustrating experience. He mixes high theory, historical narrative, and overheated journalistic polemic into a distinct mélange. Yet at the center of his thinking is a brilliant idea: that the three core "inputs" of the economy -- labor, land, and money -- are what he calls "fictitious" commodities. By this, Polanyi means that, try as we might, workers are never going to move at a moment's notice to wherever markets dictate, markets aren't going to replenish rivers and fields, and governments will bail out banks to keep money flowing. To take one not-exactly-random example: Since land, to Polanyi, is more than just a resource for market exchange, so too will housing only ever be a partial commodity. Access to housing is a vital interest, and so democracies will face pressure to introduce a variety of regulations that "distort" housing markets. So, it is hardly surprising that the financial crisis was centered on mortgages -- try as we might, we will never get housing markets to be the smooth, frictionless edifices imagined by economists. A house cannot be moved like a bushel of wheat. Adelman misses the significance of these arguments because he reduces Polanyi's thinking to the binary of morality or markets. But the central opposition, for Polanyi, is democracy or markets. Democratic demands for social protection conflict with the dictates of the market, a fact that is ever more apparent in our era of financial capitalism.

Adelman boils this down to a simplistic rejection of the market as such, an inability to see how markets can function as engines of wealth-creation and need-satisfaction. But here Polanyi fully agrees with Adelman about the remarkable potential of markets. Polanyi's attack on market liberalism is not that it impoverishes the masses in favor of the rich. The problem with markets, for him, is that they are so good at producing efficiencies that they tend to override all other considerations. To unlock their full potential, markets require the subordination of all individual, social, and political institutions to their dictates.

Polanyi expresses this as the tension between habitation and improvement: We cannot live off the land while we improve the land. This is a lesson that the Greeks and other Europeans are currently learning first-hand, as the search for long-term competitiveness through "structural reforms" leads to massive unemployment. Polanyi thinks this hunt is politically unrealistic and potentially explosive. Societies create moral expectations around fairness, rewards for effort, and stability that markets, by their nature, cannot meet. What is efficient from a market perspective can be profoundly harmful from a human perspective -- Polanyi learned this as a teenager, when his father went through a traumatic bankruptcy.

If Polanyi's argument was just that markets were immiserating and destroyed communal integration, we should certainly consign him to the dustbin of failed moral economists. Fortunately, that was not his view. But Adelman's line of attack reveals more about our contemporary moment than it does about Polanyi. It speaks to a growing rift between liberalism and the left. Liberals want globalization with a human face, while leftists echo Polanyi in fundamentally questioning the undemocratic political infrastructure of our current market era. The unexpected strength of Sanders in the United States, Mélenchon in France, and now Corbyn in the UK shows that old political dogmas are dying.

Adelman's read of Polanyi reinforces the liberal view that globalization is a done deal and left anti-globalization rests on a romantic fantasy, one that cannot but appease the racism and nationalism of the "losers" of the market. Just as, if you squint hard enough, you can persuade yourself that Polanyi is a sort of self-hating, pseudo-nationalist reactionary, despite his professed socialism, so too, if you work at it, can you merge Sanders and Trump, Mélenchon and Le Pen into one anti-globalization, anti-liberal morass.

Yet Polanyi provides a vital avenue out of this paralyzing deadlock between pro-globalization liberalism and nationalist populism. Our contemporary market order is in crisis not because of fuzzy-headed leftists, adorned in too many buttons, who refuse to get with the program. Nor is the crisis one last revolt from the losers of globalization, animated by the fever dreams of white Americans and "native" Europeans. Our order is in crisis because it has failed to deliver on its own promise of widely distributed, real growth. For Polanyi, the central problem was how to channel the reaction to such inevitable failures in a democratic rather than authoritarian direction. Polanyi saw many different avenues toward this goal, including Roosevelt's New Deal. Today, of course, we face different political conditions, but many similar problems: a massively exploitative consumer credit "marketplace," the degraded power of workers, and flows of speculative capital that undermine democracy. Tackling these issues, though, will require a more foundational rethink of a global institutional order that facilitates market exchange above all else.

One last thought: Adelman takes capitalism's revival after World War II as an embarrassment for Polanyi. To be sure, Polanyi failed to foresee the remarkable resiliency of capitalism, produced in part by the ability of elites to absorb the undercurrents of his own teaching and construct a form of embedded, organized capitalism. The flipside of post-war capitalism, though, was the creation of an environmental crisis the full scope of which has only now become apparent. If Polanyi failed to predict the persistence of our market society, he was certainly prescient about the destructive environmental implications of unconstrained growth. In this respect, as in many others, we should heed his warnings and learn from his thought, as today the stakes could hardly be higher.

Read more about Globalization Karl Polanyi Liberalism nationalism socialism

Steven Klein is a political theorist who is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He writes and teaches about democracy, the welfare state, and European political thought.

[Jan 21, 2020] How a Hidden Parliamentary Session Revealed Trump's True Motives in Iraq by Whitney Webb

Notable quotes:
"... The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They have refused to finish building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for Iraq giving up 50% of oil imports. So, I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it. Today, Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement. ..."
"... After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement." ..."
"... It could also explain why President Trump is so concerned about China's growing foothold in Iraq, since it risks causing not only the end of the U.S. military hegemony in the country but could also lead to major trouble for the petrodollar system and the U.S.' position as a global financial power. Trump's policy aimed at stopping China and Iraq's growing ties is clearly having the opposite effect, showing that this administration's "gangster diplomacy" only serves to make the alternatives offered by countries like China and Russia all the more attractive. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

After the feed was cut, MPs who were present wrote down Abdul-Mahdi's remarks, which were then given to the Arabic news outlet Ida'at . Per that transcript , Abdul-Mahdi stated that:

The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They have refused to finish building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for Iraq giving up 50% of oil imports. So, I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it. Today, Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement. "

Abdul-Mahdi continued his remarks, noting that pressure from the Trump administration over his negotiations and subsequent dealings with China grew substantially over time, even resulting in death threats to himself and his defense minister:

After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement."

"I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement. When the defense minister said that those killing the demonstrators was a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened myself and the defense minister in the event that there was more talk about this third party."

Very few English language outlets reported on Abdul-Mahdi's comments. Tom Luongo, a Florida-based Independent Analyst and publisher of The Gold Goats 'n Guns Newsletter, told MintPress that the likely reasons for the "surprising" media silence over Abdul-Mahdi's claims were because "It never really made it out into official channels " due to the cutting of the video feed during Iraq's Parliamentary session and due to the fact that "it's very inconvenient and the media -- since Trump is doing what they want him to do, be belligerent with Iran, protected Israel's interests there."

"They aren't going to contradict him on that if he's playing ball," Luongo added, before continuing that the media would nonetheless "hold onto it for future reference .If this comes out for real, they'll use it against him later if he tries to leave Iraq." "Everything in Washington is used as leverage," he added.

Given the lack of media coverage and the cutting of the video feed of Abdul-Mahdi's full remarks, it is worth pointing out that the narrative he laid out in his censored speech not only fits with the timeline of recent events he discusses but also the tactics known to have been employed behind closed doors by the Trump administration, particularly after Mike Pompeo left the CIA to become Secretary of State.

For instance, Abdul-Mahdi's delegation to China ended on September 24, with the protests against his government that Trump reportedly threatened to start on October 1. Reports of a "third side" firing on Iraqi protesters were picked up by major media outlets at the time, such as in this BBC report which stated:

Reports say the security forces opened fire, but another account says unknown gunmen were responsible .a source in Karbala told the BBC that one of the dead was a guard at a nearby Shia shrine who happened to be passing by. The source also said the origin of the gunfire was unknown and it had targeted both the protesters and security forces . (emphasis added)"

U.S.-backed protests in other countries, such as in Ukraine in 2014, also saw evidence of a " third side " shooting both protesters and security forces alike.

After six weeks of intense protests , Abdul-Mahdi submitted his resignation on November 29, just a few days after Iraq's Foreign Minister praised the new deals, including the "oil for reconstruction" deal, that had been signed with China. Abdul-Mahdi has since stayed on as Prime Minister in a caretaker role until Parliament decides on his replacement.

Abdul-Mahdi's claims of the covert pressure by the Trump administration are buttressed by the use of similar tactics against Ecuador, where, in July 2018, a U.S. delegation at the United Nations threatened the nation with punitive trade measures and the withdrawal of military aid if Ecuador moved forward with the introduction of a UN resolution to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding."

The New York Times reported at the time that the U.S. delegation was seeking to promote the interests of infant formula manufacturers. If the U.S. delegation is willing to use such pressure on nations for promoting breastfeeding over infant formula, it goes without saying that such behind-closed-doors pressure would be significantly more intense if a much more lucrative resource, e.g. oil, were involved.

Regarding Abdul-Mahdi's claims, Luongo told MintPress that it is also worth considering that it could have been anyone in the Trump administration making threats to Abdul-Mahdi, not necessarily Trump himself. "What I won't say directly is that I don't know it was Trump at the other end of the phone calls. Mahdi, it is to his best advantage politically to blame everything on Trump. It could have been Mike Pompeo or Gina Haspel talking to Abdul-Mahdi It could have been anyone, it most likely would be someone with plausible deniability .This [Mahdi's claims] sounds credible I firmly believe Trump is capable of making these threats but I don't think Trump would make those threats directly like that, but it would absolutely be consistent with U.S. policy."

Luongo also argued that the current tensions between U.S. and Iraqi leadership preceded the oil deal between Iraq and China by several weeks, "All of this starts with Prime Minister Mahdi starting the process of opening up the Iraq-Syria border crossing and that was announced in August. Then, the Israeli air attacks happened in September to try and stop that from happening, attacks on PMU forces on the border crossing along with the ammo dump attacks near Baghdad This drew the Iraqis' ire Mahdi then tried to close the air space over Iraq, but how much of that he can enforce is a big question."

As to why it would be to Mahdi's advantage to blame Trump, Luongo stated that Mahdi "can make edicts all day long, but, in reality, how much can he actually restrain the U.S. or the Israelis from doing anything? Except for shame, diplomatic shame To me, it [Mahdi's claims] seems perfectly credible because, during all of this, Trump is probably or someone else is shaking him [Mahdi] down for the reconstruction of the oil fields [in Iraq] Trump has explicitly stated "we want the oil."'

As Luongo noted, Trump's interest in the U.S. obtaining a significant share of Iraqi oil revenue is hardly a secret. Just last March, Trump asked Abdul-Mahdi "How about the oil?" at the end of a meeting at the White House, prompting Abdul-Mahdi to ask "What do you mean?" To which Trump responded "Well, we did a lot, we did a lot over there, we spent trillions over there, and a lot of people have been talking about the oil," which was widely interpreted as Trump asking for part of Iraq's oil revenue in exchange for the steep costs of the U.S.' continuing its now unwelcome military presence in Iraq.

With Abdul-Mahdi having rejected Trump's "oil for reconstruction" proposal in favor of China's, it seems likely that the Trump administration would default to so-called "gangster diplomacy" tactics to pressure Iraq's government into accepting Trump's deal, especially given the fact that China's deal was a much better offer. While Trump demanded half of Iraq's oil revenue in exchange for completing reconstruction projects (according to Abdul-Mahdi), the deal that was signed between Iraq and China would see around 20 percen t of Iraq's oil revenue go to China in exchange for reconstruction. Aside from the potential loss in Iraq's oil revenue, there are many reasons for the Trump administration to feel threatened by China's recent dealings in Iraq.

The Iraq-China oil deal – a prelude to something more?

When Abdul-Mahdi's delegation traveled to Beijing last September, the "oil for reconstruction" deal was only one of eight total agreements that were established. These agreements cover a range of areas, including financial, commercial, security, reconstruction, communication, culture, education and foreign affairs in addition to oil. Yet, the oil deal is by far the most significant.

Per the agreement, Chinese firms will work on various reconstruction projects in exchange for roughly 20 percent of Iraq's oil exports, approximately 100,00 barrels per day, for a period of 20 years. According to Al-Monitor , Abdul-Mahdi had the following to say about the deal: "We agreed [with Beijing] to set up a joint investment fund, which the oil money will finance," adding that the agreement prohibits China from monopolizing projects inside Iraq, forcing Bejing to work in cooperation with international firms.

The agreement is similar to one negotiated between Iraq and China in 2015 when Abdul-Mahdi was serving as Iraq's oil minister. That year, Iraq joined China's Belt and Road Initiative in a deal that also involved exchanging oil for investment, development and construction projects and saw China awarded several projects as a result. In a notable similarity to recent events, that deal was put on hold due to "political and security tensions" caused by unrest and the surge of ISIS in Iraq, that is until Abdul-Mahdi saw Iraq rejoin the initiative again late last year through the agreements his government signed with China last September.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, center left, meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, center right, in Beijing, Sept. 23, 2019. Lintao Zhang | AP

Notably, after recent tensions between the U.S. and Iraq over the assassination of Soleimani and the U.S.' subsequent refusal to remove its troops from Iraq despite parliament's demands, Iraq quietly announced that it would dramatically increase its oil exports to China to triple the amount established in the deal signed in September. Given Abdul-Mahdi's recent claims about the true forces behind Iraq's recent protests and Trump's threats against him being directly related to his dealings with China, the move appears to be a not-so-veiled signal from Abdul-Mahdi to Washington that he plans to deepen Iraq's partnership with China, at least for as long as he remains in his caretaker role.

Iraq's decision to dramatically increase its oil exports to China came just one day after the U.S. government threatened to cut off Iraq's access to its central bank account, currently held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, an account that currently holds $35 billion in Iraqi oil revenue. The account was set up after the U.S. invaded and began occupying Iraq in 2003 and Iraq currently removes between $1-2 billion per month to cover essential government expenses. Losing access to its oil revenue stored in that account would lead to the " collapse " of Iraq's government, according to Iraqi government officials who spoke to AFP .

Though Trump publicly promised to rebuke Iraq for the expulsion of U.S. troops via sanctions, the threat to cut off Iraq's access to its account at the NY Federal Reserve Bank was delivered privately and directly to the Prime Minister, adding further credibility to Abdul-Mahdi's claims that Trump's most aggressive attempts at pressuring Iraq's government are made in private and directed towards the country's Prime Minister.

Though Trump's push this time was about preventing the expulsion of U.S. troops from Iraq, his reasons for doing so may also be related to concerns about China's growing foothold in the region. Indeed, while Trump has now lost his desired share of Iraqi oil revenue (50 percent) to China's counteroffer of 20 percent, the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq may see American troops replaced with their Chinese counterparts as well, according to Tom Luongo.

"All of this is about the U.S. maintaining the fiction that it needs to stay in Iraq So, China moving in there is the moment where they get their toe hold for the Belt and Road [Initiative]," Luongo argued. "That helps to strengthen the economic relationship between Iraq, Iran and China and obviating the need for the Americans to stay there. At some point, China will have assets on the ground that they are going to want to defend militarily in the event of any major crisis. This brings us to the next thing we know, that Mahdi and the Chinese ambassador discussed that very thing in the wake of the Soleimani killing."

Indeed, according to news reports, Zhang Yao -- China's ambassador to Iraq -- " conveyed Beijing's readiness to provide military assistance" should Iraq's government request it soon after Soleimani's assassination. Yao made the offer a day after Iraq's parliament voted to expel American troops from the country. Though it is currently unknown how Abdul-Mahdi responded to the offer, the timing likely caused no shortage of concern among the Trump administration about its rapidly waning influence in Iraq. "You can see what's coming here," Luongo told MintPress of the recent Chinese offer to Iraq, "China, Russia and Iran are trying to cleave Iraq away from the United States and the U.S. is feeling very threatened by this."

Russia is also playing a role in the current scenario as Iraq initiated talks with Moscow regarding the possible purchase of one of its air defense systems last September, the same month that Iraq signed eight deals, including the oil deal with China. Then, in the wake of Soleimani's death, Russia again offered the air defense systems to Iraq to allow them to better defend their air space. In the past, the U.S. has threatened allied countries with sanctions and other measures if they purchase Russian air defense systems as opposed to those manufactured by U.S. companies.

The U.S.' efforts to curb China's growing influence and presence in Iraq amid these new strategic partnerships and agreements are limited, however, as the U.S. is increasingly relying on China as part of its Iran policy, specifically in its goal of reducing Iranian oil export to zero. China remains Iran's main crude oil and condensate importer, even after it reduced its imports of Iranian oil significantly following U.S. pressure last year. Yet, the U.S. is now attempting to pressure China to stop buying Iranian oil completely or face sanctions while also attempting to privately sabotage the China-Iraq oil deal. It is highly unlikely China will concede to the U.S. on both, if any, of those fronts, meaning the U.S. may be forced to choose which policy front (Iran "containment" vs. Iraq's oil dealings with China) it values more in the coming weeks and months.

Furthermore, the recent signing of the "phase one" trade deal with China revealed another potential facet of the U.S.' increasingly complicated relationship with Iraq's oil sector given that the trade deal involves selling U.S. oil and gas to China at very low cost , suggesting that the Trump administration may also see the Iraq-China oil deal result in Iraq emerging as a potential competitor for the U.S. in selling cheap oil to China, the world's top oil importer.

The Petrodollar and the Phantom of the Petroyuan

In his televised statements last week following Iran's military response to the U.S. assassination of General Soleimani, Trump insisted that the U.S.' Middle East policy is no longer being directed by America's vast oil requirements. He stated specifically that:

Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence. These historic accomplishments changed our strategic priorities. These are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible. And options in the Middle East became available. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil . (emphasis added)"

Yet, given the centrality of the recent Iraq-China oil deal in guiding some of the Trump administration's recent Middle East policy moves, this appears not to be the case. The distinction may lie in the fact that, while the U.S. may now be less dependent on oil imports from the Middle East, it still very much needs to continue to dominate how oil is traded and sold on international markets in order to maintain its status as both a global military and financial superpower.

Indeed, even if the U.S. is importing less Middle Eastern oil, the petrodollar system -- first forged in the 1970s -- requires that the U.S. maintains enough control over the global oil trade so that the world's largest oil exporters, Iraq among them, continue to sell their oil in dollars. Were Iraq to sell oil in another currency, or trade oil for services, as it plans to do with China per the recently inked deal, a significant portion of Iraqi oil would cease to generate a demand for dollars, violating the key tenet of the petrodollar system.

Chinese representatives speak to defense personnel during a weapons expo organized by the Iraqi defense ministry in Baghdad, March, 2017. Karim Kadim | AP

As Kei Pritsker and Cale Holmes noted in an article last year for MintPress :

The takeaway from the petrodollar phenomenon is that as long as countries need oil, they will need the dollar. As long as countries demand dollars, the U.S. can continue to go into massive amounts of debt to fund its network of global military bases, Wall Street bailouts, nuclear missiles, and tax cuts for the rich."

Thus, the use of the petrodollar has created a system whereby U.S. control of oil sales of the largest oil exporters is necessary, not just to buttress the dollar, but also to support its global military presence. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the issue of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq and the issue of Iraq's push for oil independence against U.S. wishes have become intertwined. Notably, one of the architects of the petrodollar system and the man who infamously described U.S. soldiers as "dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy", former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, has been advising Trump and informing his China policy since 2016.

This take was also expressed by economist Michael Hudson, who recently noted that U.S. access to oil, dollarization and U.S. military strategy are intricately interwoven and that Trump's recent Iraq policy is intended "to escalate America's presence in Iraq to keep control of the region's oil reserves," and, as Hudson says, "to back Saudi Arabia's Wahabi troops (ISIS, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America's foreign legion) to support U.S. control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress of the U.S. dollar."

Hudson further asserts that it was Qassem Soleimani's efforts to promote Iraq's oil independence at the expense of U.S. imperial ambitions that served one of the key motives behind his assassination.

America opposed General Suleimani above all because he was fighting against ISIS and other U.S.-backed terrorists in their attempt to break up Syria and replace Assad's regime with a set of U.S.-compliant local leaders – the old British "divide and conquer" ploy. On occasion, Suleimani had cooperated with U.S. troops in fighting ISIS groups that got "out of line" meaning the U.S. party line. But every indication is that he was in Iraq to work with that government seeking to regain control of the oil fields that President Trump has bragged so loudly about grabbing. (emphasis added)"

Hudson adds that " U.S. neocons feared Suleimani's plan to help Iraq assert control of its oil and withstand the terrorist attacks supported by U.S. and Saudi's on Iraq. That is what made his assassination an immediate drive."

While other factors -- such as pressure from U.S. allies such as Israel -- also played a factor in the decision to kill Soleimani, the decision to assassinate him on Iraqi soil just hours before he was set to meet with Abdul-Mahdi in a diplomatic role suggests that the underlying tensions caused by Iraq's push for oil independence and its oil deal with China did play a factor in the timing of his assassination. It also served as a threat to Abdul-Mahdi, who has claimed that the U.S. threatened to kill both him and his defense minister just weeks prior over tensions directly related to the push for independence of Iraq's oil sector from the U.S.

It appears that the ever-present role of the petrodollar in guiding U.S. policy in the Middle East remains unchanged. The petrodollar has long been a driving factor behind the U.S.' policy towards Iraq specifically, as one of the key triggers for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was Saddam Hussein's decision to sell Iraqi oil in Euros opposed to dollars beginning in the year 2000. Just weeks before the invasion began, Hussein boasted that Iraq's Euro-based oil revenue account was earning a higher interest rate than it would have been if it had continued to sell its oil in dollars, an apparent signal to other oil exporters that the petrodollar system was only really benefiting the United States at their own expense.

Beyond current efforts to stave off Iraq's oil independence and keep its oil trade aligned with the U.S., the fact that the U.S. is now seeking to limit China's ever-growing role in Iraq's oil sector is also directly related to China's publicly known efforts to create its own direct competitor to the petrodollar, the petroyuan.

Since 2017, China has made its plans for the petroyuan -- a direct competitor to the petrodollar -- no secret, particularly after China eclipsed the U.S. as the world's largest importer of oil.

As CNBC noted at the time:

The new strategy is to enlist the energy markets' help: Beijing may introduce a new way to price oil in coming months -- but unlike the contracts based on the U.S. dollar that currently dominate global markets, this benchmark would use China's own currency. If there's widespread adoption, as the Chinese hope, then that will mark a step toward challenging the greenback's status as the world's most powerful currency .The plan is to price oil in yuan using a gold-backed futures contract in Shanghai, but the road will be long and arduous."

If the U.S. continues on its current path and pushes Iraq further into the arms of China and other U.S. rival states, it goes without saying that Iraq -- now a part of China's Belt and Road Initiative -- may soon favor a petroyuan system over a petrodollar system, particularly as the current U.S. administration threatens to hold Iraq's central bank account hostage for pursuing policies Washington finds unfavorable.

It could also explain why President Trump is so concerned about China's growing foothold in Iraq, since it risks causing not only the end of the U.S. military hegemony in the country but could also lead to major trouble for the petrodollar system and the U.S.' position as a global financial power. Trump's policy aimed at stopping China and Iraq's growing ties is clearly having the opposite effect, showing that this administration's "gangster diplomacy" only serves to make the alternatives offered by countries like China and Russia all the more attractive.

anonymous [331] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 5:54 am GMT

One can see how all these recent wars and military actions have a financial motive at their core. Yet the mass of gullible Americans actually believe the reasons given, to "spread democracy" and other wonderful things. Only a small number can see things for what they really are. It's very frustrating to deal with the stupidity of the average person on a daily basis.

This is not Trump's policy, it is American policy and the variation is in how he implements it. Any other person would have fallen in line with it as well. US policy has it's own inner momentum that can't change course. The US depends upon continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Were that to be lost the US likely would descend into chaos without end. When the USSR came apart it was eventually able to downsize into the Russian state. We don't have that here; there is no core ethnicity with it's own territory left anymore, it's just a jumble. For the US it's a matter of survival.

John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT
Yes, but we also have this

It is reported this morning (CNN) that Trump bragged about the killing to a crowd at a big fundraising dinner.

Just sick, official state murder for campaign donations.

That's what America is reduced to.

[Jan 21, 2020] Trump Is Pulling the Wool Over Voters' Eyes About What Is in the China Deal

Return to quote-based trade means total bankruptcy of neoliberalism ideology and practice. Another nail in the coffin so to speak.
Jan 21, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

The Chinese, for now, are not contradicting the Trump administration on the promise of Chinese mega-purchases, because when Trump is more amicable their interests align. If an empty promise that wasn't even made means the trade war de-escalation goes on, that is fine with them. They would like to calm the markets as much as Trump would, and in this way they have added leverage on Trump. Should they change their minds they can always explode the fiction later on and injure Trump, perhaps strategically right around October.


Now that the dust has settled on the US-China trade deal and analysts have had some time to pore over its 90+ pages, various chapters and (non-binding) terms that comprise the body of the agreement, one high-level observation noted by Rabobank, is that the agreement foresees the total amount of goods exports from the US to China to reach above $ 290BN by end-2021.

The implication of this is that the chart for US exports to China should basically look like this for the next two years:

As Rabobank's senior economist Bjorn Giesbergen writes, t here are probably very few economists that would deem such a trajectory feasible (except for the perpetually cheerful economics team at Goldman , of course), seeing that it took the US more than 15 years to raise exports from around USD16bn in 2000 to USD 130bn in 2017.

Moreover, the Chinese purchases of goods are beneficial to US companies, but at the cost of other countries, and the agreement is only for two years. If China will buy more aircraft from the US, that could be to the detriment of the EU.

According to the document "the parties project that the trajectory of increases will continue in calendar years 2020 through 2025." But "to project" does not sound as firm as "shall ensure." So, as the Rabo economist asks, "are we going to see a repetition of the 2019 turmoil caused by the phase 1 trade negotiations after those two years? Or is this supposed to be solved in the phase 2 deal that is very unlikely to be made? What's more, while the remaining tariffs provide leverage for US trade negotiators, they are still a tax on US importers and US consumers of Chinese goods."

But before we even get there, going back to the chart shown above, Bloomberg today points out something we have pointed out in the past, namely that China's $200 billion, two-year spending spree negotiated with the Trump administration appears increasingly difficult to deliver, and now a $50 billion "hole" appears to have opened up : that is the amount of U.S. exports annually left out and many American businesses still uncertain about just what the expectations are.

Some background: while Trump officials stressed the reforms aimed at curbing intellectual-property theft and currency manipulation that China has agreed to in the "phase one" trade deal signed Wednesday, the Chinese pledge to buy more American exports has become an emblem of the deal to critics and supporters alike.

The administration has said those new exports in manufactured goods, energy, farm shipments and services will come over two years on top of the $130 billion in goods and $57.6 billion in services that the U.S. sent to China in 2017 -- the year before the trade war started and exports were hit by Beijing's retaliatory measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs.

And while Goldman said it is certainly feasible that China can ramp up its purchases of US goods , going so far as providing a matrix "scenario" of what such purchases could look like

that now appears virtually impossible, because as Bloomberg notes, the list of goods categories in the agreement covers a narrower group of exports to China that added up to $78.8 billion in 2017, or $51.6 billion less than the overall goods exports to the Asian nation that year. The goods trade commitment makes up $162.1 billion of the $200 billion total, with $37.9 billion to come from a boost in services trade such as travel and insurance.

Here, the math gets even more ridiculous:

The target for the first year that the deal takes effect is to add $63.9 billion in manufactured goods, agriculture and energy exports. According to Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin's analysis, that would be an increase of 81% over the 2017 baseline. In year two, the agreement calls for $98.2 billion surge in Chinese imports, which would require a 125% increase over 2017.

Importantly for China, the deal requires those purchases to be "made at market prices based on commercial considerations," a caveat which spooked commodities traders, and led to a sharp drop in ags in the day following the deal's announcement.

Can China pull this off? Yes, if Beijing tears up existing trade deals and supply chains and imposes explicit procurement targets and demands on China's local business. As Bloomberg notes, "critics argue that such pre-ordained demand amounts to a slide into the sort of government-managed trade that U.S. presidents abandoned decades ago" and the very sort of act of central planning that U.S. officials have , paradoxically, spent years trying to convince China to walk away from.

This may also explain why a key part of the trade deal will remain secret: the purchase plan is based on what the administration insists is a specific – if classified – annex of Chinese commitments. "The 20-page public version of that annex lists hundreds of products and services from nuclear reactors to aircraft, printed circuits, pig iron, soybeans, crude oil and computer services but no figures for purchases."

Going back to the critics, it is this convoluted mechanism that has them arguing that China's stated targets will likely never be met: "This is ambitious and it will create some stresses within the supply system," said Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

That's not all: as Allen said, among the outstanding questions was whether China would lift its retaliatory duties on American products as the US keeps its tariffs on some $360 billion in imports from China as Trump seeks to maintain leverage for the second phase of negotiations.

Allen also made clear the overall purchase schedule left many U.S. companies uncomfortable even as they saw benefits in other parts of the deal. "The vast majority of our members are looking for no more than a level playing field in China," Allen said. "We are not looking for quotas or special treatment."

As a result, for many manufacturers what is actually changing -- and what China has committed to instead of given a "best efforts" promise to achieve -- remains unclear.

Major exporters such as Boeing Co., whose CEO Dave Calhoun attended Wednesday's signing ceremony, have stayed mum about what exactly the deal will mean for their business with China. In an attempt to "clarify", Trump tweeted that the deal includes a Chinese commitment to buy $16 billion to $20 billion in Boeing planes. It was unclear if he meant 737 MAX planes which nobody in the world will ever voluntarily fly inside again.

Finally, prompting the latest round of cronyism allegations, Trump's new China pact also includes plans for exports of American iron and steel , "a potential gain for an industry close to the president that has benefited from his tariffs and complained about Chinese production and overcapacity for years." As Bloomberg adds, the text of the agreement lists iron and steel products ranging from pig iron to stainless steel wire and railway tracks, but steel industry sources said they had been caught by surprise and not been given any additional details on China's purchase commitments.

It is unclear why Beijing would need US product s: after all, in its scramble to erect ghost cities and hit a goalseeked GDP print, China produces more than 50% of the world's steel, drawning criticism from around the world – if not Greta Thunberg – for the massive coal-derived pollution that comes from flooding global markets with cheap steel.

[Jan 19, 2020] Has US overplayed its tech advantage

Jan 19, 2020 | www.asiatimes.com

This partly explains why the US is taking its battle on 5G technology with the Chinese so seriously. As a faltering global leader, the Americans do not take it kindly when China tries to snatch a lunch right from under their nose. As such, the US-China trade war goes beyond economics and ideology. It is about global domination across every conceivable technology that consumers and governments worldwide are addicted to these days.

Metaphorically, technology is the new opium that rakes in money, power and control. Take a look at the way consumers across the world are utilizing technologies. From smartphones to mobile apps, from cloud-computing to cybersecurity, trillions of dollars are being spent by consumers and their governments. The Americans were laughing their way to the bank until the Chinese came along and upset their game.

As greed has no boundary or limit, every challenger or opposition to the consumption of this "new opium" means a loss in revenue, power and control for the US and its preferred allies. Sharing the spoils with others is looking like an inconceivable option for them at this stage.

To call the tension between the US and China a trade war undermines this greater reality. From unilateral sanctions to outright destruction of economies, it is starting to look as if the US is using technology to regain global domination at all costs.

[Jan 19, 2020] The US-China "Trade Deal" by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China's part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase. ..."
Jan 18, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The first thing to understand is that it is not a trade deal. It is Trump backing off his tariffs when he discovered that the tarrifs fall on US goods and American consumers, not on China. Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China's part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase.

The purpose of tariffs is to protect domestic producers from foreign competition by raising the price of imported goods. What Trump, his administration, and the financial press did not understand is that at least half of the US trade deficit with China is the offshored goods produced in China by such corporations as Apple, Nike, and Levi. The offshored production of US global corporations counts as imports when they are brought into the US to be sold to Americans. Thus, the cost of the tariffs were falling on US corporations and US consumers.

Tariffs are not an effective way to bring offshored US manufacturing home. If Trump or any US government wants to bring US manufacturing back to the US from its offshored locations, the way to achieve this result is to change the way the US taxes corporations. The rule would be: If a US corporation produces in the US with US labor for US markets, the firm's profits are taxed at a low rate. If the corporation produces products for the US market abroad with foreign labor, the tax rate will be high enough to more than wipe out the labor cost savings.

As I have emphasized for years, the offshoring of US manufacturing has inflicted massive external costs on the United States. Middle class jobs have been lost, careers ended, living standards of former US manufacturing workers and families have dropped. The tax base of cities and states has shrunk, causing cutbacks in public services and undermining municipal and state pension funds. You can add to this list. These costs are the true cost of the increased profits from the lower foreign labor and compliance costs. A relatively few executives and shareholders benefitted at the expense of a vast number of Americans.

This is the problem that needs to be addressed and corrected.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West , How America Was Lost , and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order . Donate and support Dr, Roberts Work.

[Jan 18, 2020] The US China Phase 1 Deal Interpeted: Break Thing, Claim to Fix Thing, Repeat

Highly recommended!
Jan 18, 2020 | econbrowser.com

...if nothing had happened in the US-China trade war. Well, me might have gotten to where we are supposed to be with the deal

..a honest question. In terms of the environment and global climate, is it a good thing that farmers will be producing more monoculture grains, dairy, beef and pork for export?

[Jan 18, 2020] The US-China Nothing Burger Trade Deal by Barkley Rosser

Jan 18, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

There has been much hype about the signing of Phase One (and probably only) US-China trade deal. However based on a front page story in today's Washington Post, there is not much there. The US did not raise tariffs as planned, but tarifsf still remain on two thirds of the sectors that had them, although some were halved. But numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts. In these and other sectors there is not much reduction of uncertainty regarding US-China trade, so not likely much increase in investment.

The main items in it besides no worsening of tariffs, China has made promises not to pressure US firms to turn over technology and also to increase imports from the US by $200 billion over the next two years, especially in energy and agriculture. So maybe US soybean farmers will no longer need the bailouts of billions of $ Trump has been providing to them. However, such promises have been made in the past.

As it is, I am watching commentators on Bloomberg, and about the most any of them are willing to say is that this "puts a floor" on the "deterioration" of US-China trade relations. That is far from some dramatic breakthrough, and most of the tariffs put on as part of the US-China trade war remain in place.

Barkley Rosser


spencer , January 16, 2020 3:49 pm

This looks like it may be a way to make it a status quo or back burner issue until after the election.

Of course Trump will always be able to blow it up if he decides that would be to his advantage.

Bert Schlitz , January 16, 2020 4:53 pm

I don't see how they "buy" 200 billion worth of goods. The Chinese economy is slowing and that is why purchases were flattening by 2014.

Its noise and circuses.

pgl , January 16, 2020 5:48 pm

Bert – I agree. Menzie Chinn over at Econbrowser has a lot of details on this noise and circus. Check it out!

[Jan 18, 2020] Numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts by Barkley Rosser

Jan 18, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

There has been much hype about the signing of Phase One (and probably only) US-China trade deal. However based on a front page story in today's Washington Post, there is not much there. The US did not raise tariffs as planned, but tarifsf still remain on two thirds of the sectors that had them, although some were halved. But numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts. In these and other sectors there is not much reduction of uncertainty regarding US-China trade, so not likely much increase in investment.

The main items in it besides no worsening of tariffs, China has made promises not to pressure US firms to turn over technology and also to increase imports from the US by $200 billion over the next two years, especially in energy and agriculture. So maybe US soybean farmers will no longer need the bailouts of billions of $ Trump has been providing to them. However, such promises have been made in the past.

As it is, I am watching commentators on Bloomberg, and about the most any of them are willing to say is that this "puts a floor" on the "deterioration" of US-China trade relations. That is far from some dramatic breakthrough, and most of the tariffs put on as part of the US-China trade war remain in place.


spencer , January 16, 2020 3:49 pm

This looks like it may be a way to make it a status quo or back burner issue until after the election.

Of course Trump will always be able to blow it up if he decides that would be to his advantage.

Bert Schlitz , January 16, 2020 4:53 pm

I don't see how they "buy" 200 billion worth of goods. The Chinese economy is slowing and that is why purchases were flattening by 2014.

Its noise and circuses.

pgl , January 16, 2020 5:48 pm

Bert – I agree. Menzie Chinn over at Econbrowser has a lot of details on this noise and circus. Check it out!

[Jan 16, 2020] Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration by Pepe Escobar

Jan 16, 2020 | www.asiatimes.com

Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration

Coming decade could see the US take on Russia, China and Iran over the New Silk Road connection

The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran's General Qasem Soleimani.

Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

Every game-changing act in geopolitics and geoeconomics in the coming decade will have to be analyzed in connection to this epic clash.

The Deep State and crucial sectors of the US ruling class are absolutely terrified that China is already outpacing the "indispensable nation" economically and that Russia has outpaced it militarily . The Pentagon officially designates the three Eurasian nodes as "threats."

Hybrid War techniques – carrying inbuilt 24/7 demonization – will proliferate with the aim of containing China's "threat," Russian "aggression" and Iran's "sponsorship of terrorism." The myth of the "free market" will continue to drown under the imposition of a barrage of illegal sanctions, euphemistically defined as new trade "rules."

Yet that will be hardly enough to derail the Russia-China strategic partnership. To unlock the deeper meaning of this partnership, we need to understand that Beijing defines it as rolling towards a "new era." That implies strategic long-term planning – with the key date being 2049, the centennial of New China.

The horizon for the multiple projects of the Belt and Road Initiative – as in the China-driven New Silk Roads – is indeed the 2040s, when Beijing expects to have fully woven a new, multipolar paradigm of sovereign nations/partners across Eurasia and beyond, all connected by an interlocking maze of belts and roads.

The Russian project – Greater Eurasia – somewhat mirrors Belt & Road and will be integrated with it. Belt & Road, the Eurasia Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank are all converging towards the same vision.

Realpolitik

So this "new era", as defined by the Chinese, relies heavily on close Russia-China coordination, in every sector. Made in China 2025 is encompassing a series of techno/scientific breakthroughs. At the same time, Russia has established itself as an unparalleled technological resource for weapons and systems that the Chinese still cannot match.

At the latest BRICS summit in Brasilia, President Xi Jinping told Vladimir Putin that "the current international situation with rising instability and uncertainty urge China and Russia to establish closer strategic coordination." Putin's response: "Under the current situation, the two sides should continue to maintain close strategic communication."

Russia is showing China how the West respects realpolitik power in any form, and Beijing is finally starting to use theirs. The result is that after five centuries of Western domination – which, incidentally, led to the decline of the Ancient Silk Roads – the Heartland is back, with a bang, asserting its preeminence.

On a personal note, my travels these past two years, from West Asia to Central Asia, and my conversations these past two months with analysts in Nur-Sultan, Moscow and Italy, have allowed me to get deeper into the intricacies of what sharp minds define as the Double Helix. We are all aware of the immense challenges ahead – while barely managing to track the stunning re-emergence of the Heartland in real-time.

In soft power terms, the sterling role of Russian diplomacy will become even more paramount – backed up by a Ministry of Defense led by Sergei Shoigu, a Tuvan from Siberia, and an intel arm that is capable of constructive dialogue with everybody: India/Pakistan, North/South Korea, Iran/Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan.

This apparatus does smooth (complex) geopolitical issues over in a manner that still eludes Beijing.

In parallel, virtually the whole Asia-Pacific – from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean – now takes into full consideration Russia-China as a counter-force to US naval and financial overreach.

Stakes in Southwest Asia

The targeted assassination of Soleimani, for all its long-term fallout, is just one move in the Southwest Asia chessboard. What's ultimately at stake is a macro geoeconomic prize: a land bridge from the Persian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Last summer, an Iran-Iraq-Syria trilateral established that "the goal of negotiations is to activate the Iranian-Iraqi-Syria load and transport corridor as part of a wider plan for reviving the Silk Road."

There could not be a more strategic connectivity corridor, capable of simultaneously interlinking with the International North-South Transportation Corridor; the Iran-Central Asia-China connection all the way to the Pacific; and projecting Latakia towards the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

What's on the horizon is, in fact, a sub-sect of Belt & Road in Southwest Asia. Iran is a key node of Belt & Road; China will be heavily involved in the rebuilding of Syria; and Beijing-Baghdad signed multiple deals and set up an Iraqi-Chinese Reconstruction Fund (income from 300,000 barrels of oil a day in exchange for Chinese credit for Chinese companies rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure).

A quick look at the map reveals the "secret" of the US refusing to pack up and leave Iraq, as demanded by the Iraqi Parliament and Prime Minister: to prevent the emergence of this corridor by any means necessary. Especially when we see that all the roads that China is building across Central Asia – I navigated many of them in November and December – ultimately link China with Iran.

The final objective: to unite Shanghai to the Eastern Mediterranean – overland, across the Heartland.

As much as Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea is an essential node of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and part of China's multi-pronged "escape from Malacca" strategy, India also courted Iran to match Gwadar via the port of Chabahar in the Gulf of Oman.

So as much as Beijing wants to connect the Arabian Sea with Xinjiang, via the economic corridor, India wants to connect with Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran.

Yet India's investments in Chabahar may come to nothing, with New Delhi still mulling whether to become an active part of the US "Indo-Pacific" strategy, which would imply dropping Tehran.

The Russia-China-Iran joint naval exercise in late December, starting exactly from Chabahar, was a timely wake-up for New Delhi. India simply cannot afford to ignore Iran and end up losing its key connectivity node, Chabahar.

The immutable fact: everyone needs and wants Iran connectivity. For obvious reasons, since the Persian empire, this is the privileged hub for all Central Asian trade routes.

On top of it, Iran for China is a matter of national security. China is heavily invested in Iran's energy industry. All bilateral trade will be settled in yuan or in a basket of currencies bypassing the US dollar.

US neocons, meanwhile, still dream of what the Cheney regime was aiming at in the past decade: regime change in Iran leading to the US dominating the Caspian Sea as a springboard to Central Asia, only one step away from Xinjiang and weaponization of anti-China sentiment. It could be seen as a New Silk Road in reverse to disrupt the Chinese vision.

Battle of the Ages

A new book, The Impact of China's Belt and Road Initiativ e , by Jeremy Garlick of the University of Economics in Prague, carries the merit of admitting that, "making sense" of Belt & Road "is extremely difficult."

This is an extremely serious attempt to theorize Belt & Road's immense complexity – especially considering China's flexible, syncretic approach to policymaking, quite bewildering for Westerners. To reach his goal, Garlick gets into Tang Shiping's social evolution paradigm, delves into neo-Gramscian hegemony, and dissects the concept of "offensive mercantilism" – all that as part of an effort in "complex eclecticism."

The contrast with the pedestrian Belt & Road demonization narrative emanating from US "analysts" is glaring. The book tackles in detail the multifaceted nature of Belt & Road's trans-regionalism as an evolving, organic process.

Imperial policymakers won't bother to understand how and why Belt & Road is setting a new global paradigm. The NATO summit in London last month offered a few pointers. NATO uncritically adopted three US priorities: even more aggressive policy towards Russia; containment of China (including military surveillance); and militarization of space – a spin-off from the 2002 Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.

So NATO will be drawn into the "Indo-Pacific" strategy – which means containment of China. And as NATO is the EU's weaponized arm, that implies the US interfering on how Europe does business with China – at every level.

Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2001 to 2005, cuts to the chase: "America exists today to make war. How else do we interpret 19 straight years of war and no end in sight? It's part of who we are. It's part of what the American Empire is. We are going to lie, cheat and steal, as Pompeo is doing right now, as Trump is doing right now, as Esper is doing right now and a host of other members of my political party, the Republicans, are doing right now. We are going to lie, cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That's the truth of it. And that's the agony of it."

Moscow, Beijing and Tehran are fully aware of the stakes. Diplomats and analysts are working on the trend, for the trio, to evolve a concerted effort to protect one another from all forms of hybrid war – sanctions included – launched against each of them.

For the US, this is indeed an existential battle – against the whole Eurasia integration process, the New Silk Roads, the Russia-China strategic partnership, those Russian hypersonic weapons mixed with supple diplomacy, the profound disgust and revolt against US policies all across the Global South, the nearly inevitable collapse of the US dollar. What's certain is that the Empire won't go quietly into the night. We should all be ready for the battle of the ages.

[Jan 16, 2020] A Trade Deal Meant to Heal Rifts Could Actually Make Them Worse

Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 16 2020 18:16 utc | 9

An extremely rare candid and somewhat precise piece of journalism by the NYT (albeit telling the story from the point of view of the Americans/capitalists):

A Trade Deal Meant to Heal Rifts Could Actually Make Them Worse

Here's an interesting paragraph:

What it does not do is tackle the root causes of the trade war. The deal leaves untouched Beijing's subsidies for homegrown industries and its firm control over crucial levers of its hard-charging economy . The deal also keeps in place most of Mr. Trump's tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods, a much heavier tax than Americans pay for products from practically anywhere else.

Solving those issues could take years.

Interesting to see what the Americans consider to be China's "root causes of the trade war". And we still have people who believe the war against China is not a war between capitalism and socialism, but between "freedom and tyranny". Pure middle class liberal dellusion of grandeur.

--//--

In the last open thread, in my first comment, I highlighted how fast the Western MSM gave up the idea the Labour Party should have its first female leader in order to prop up their guy, Keir Starmer (literally the only male still in the dispute right now). The reason, of course, is that his main rival - Rebecca Long-Bailey - is Corbyn's successor and, as such, has Momentum's (and, probably, of the unions) support.

Well, this didn't stop the typical Western hypocrisy from working. Yesterday, a wave of accusations of Bernie Sanders happened (again).

I have been stating here for some time now that the function of the middle class is to serve as the battering ram of the capitalists. They are the class tasked with fabricating the narratives and "theories" which all the society should believe and never question. They are what that 007 villain (Spectre) called "visionaires", or what the far-rightists in America call "the experts".

If that's true, then postmodernism is their ideological weapon of choice nowadays.

karlof1 , Jan 16 2020 18:37 utc | 10

doesn't matter in which order they're read, but Escobar's latest intersects with Alastair Crooke's to provide Big Picture perspective.

Towards his conclusion, Escobar cites retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2001 to 2005:

"We are going to lie, cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That's the truth of it. And that's the agony of it."

But nowhere in the citation does Wilkerson say that any of this effort's being done to defend the USA, whereas its beyond clear that Iran, China and Russia are all working to protect their nations and people. Rather, it appears as if "the profound disgust and revolt against US policies all across the Global South" is finally being adopted by a majority of the USA's polity as it becomes clear that all the lying, cheating and stealing is being done at the expense of the 99% for the 1%'s benefit.

As Crooke alludes, wagging the dog a la Clinton might save Trump from being convicted and removed by the Senate, but such a move will likely cost him the election, although much depends on how those controlling the D-Party behave in the face of Sanders winning the nomination via the primaries prior to the Convention.

[Jan 16, 2020] US-China Phase One Deal Signed What Is Inside and What to Expect Next

Trust was destroyed, but it looks like China folded...
Jan 16, 2020 | sputniknews.com

Under the text of the Phase One deal - which was released later in the day by the Office of the US Trade Representative - both sides agree that they can formally complain to each other if either feels the other side is not holding up its end of the bargain.

China Accepts Deal to Buy $200Bln in US Goods

First and foremost, the document obliges Beijing to purchase at least $200 billion worth of US goods over the next two years.

"During the two-year period from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, China shall ensure that purchases and imports into China from the United States of the manufactured goods, agricultural goods, energy products, and services identified in Annex 6.1 exceed the corresponding 2017 baseline amount by no less than $200 billion", the text of the agreement reads.

The agreement said China will ensure that it buys $32.9 billion worth of US manufactured goods this year and $44.8 billion in 2021; $12.5 billion in US agricultural goods this year and $19.5 billion in 2021; $18.5 billion in US energy products this year and $33.9 billion in 2021; and $12.8 billion in US services this year and $25.1 billion in 2021.

US, China Agree to Protect Patents, Fight Abuse of Trade Secrets

The United States and China agreed to protect patents, particularly in pharmaceuticals, and ban counterfeit products and the misappropriation of trade secrets.

"China shall permit pharmaceutical patent applicants to rely on supplemental data to satisfy relevant requirements for patentability, including sufficiency of disclosure and inventive step, during patent examination proceedings, patent review proceedings, and judicial proceedings", the text of the deal said. "The United States affirms that existing US measures afford treatment equivalent to that provided for in this Article".

Beijing and Washington also resolved to strengthen cooperation and coordination in combating piracy, including counterfeiting on e-commerce platforms, in the agreement.

On the protection of trade secrets, the United States said China will treat as "urgent" the use, or attempted use, of claimed trade secret information and provide its judicial authorities the authority to order a preliminary injunction based on case facts and circumstances. Washington pledged to do the same for China.

China to Boost US Energy Imports by $52 Bln

China also agreed to increase purchases of US energy products by $52 billion in the next two years.

The US energy products will be part of the total $200 billion worth of US goods that China will import through 2021, according to the agreement.

"For the category of energy products no less than $18.5 billion above the corresponding 2017 baseline amount is purchased and imported into China from the United States in calendar year 2020, and no less than $33.9 billion above the corresponding 2017 baseline amount is purchased and imported into China from the United States in calendar year 2021", the text of the deal said.

The agreement listed the US energy products that China will be buying as: crude oil, liquefied natural gas, refined petroleum and coal.

China is the world's largest buyer of oil and the United States is the largest producer of the commodity.

Oil prices, which hit five-week lows earlier on Wednesday, pared their losses after the energy deal was announced by the US and Chinese governments.

Avoiding Currency Manipulations

Under the Phase One deal China agrees to not engage in currency manipulation for the purpose of achieving trade advantages over the United States.

"The Parties shall refrain from competitive devaluations and not target exchange rates for competitive purposes, including through large-scale, persistent, one-sided intervention in exchange markets," the agreement states.

The United States and China will communicate regularly and consult on foreign exchange markets, activities and policies as well as consult with each other regarding the International Monetary Fund's assessment of the exchange rate of each country, the agreement states.

The agreement states that the United States and China should achieve and maintain a market-determined exchange rate regime.

The agreement comes after two years of wrangling and numerous halts in discussions, during which both sides piled hundreds of billions of dollars of tit-for-tat tariffs on each other.

Despite the signing of the accord, the Trump administration will maintain tariffs on $360 billion of Chinese goods in an attempt to hold Beijing accountable to the deal, US officials said. The Chinese government has also said it will decide later on the tariffs it has imposed on US imports, which last stood at $185 billion in value.

The US-China trade war sparked in January 2019, when the Trump administration announced duties on Chinese-made solar panels and washing machines. The Trump administration has since placed tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese products.

'Phase Two' Will End US-China Trade War?

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin commented earlier on Wednesday on the agreement and said that certain technology and cybersecurity issues would be resolved in the next chapter of the deal to end the trade dispute.

"I think a very significant amount of the technology issues are in Phase One. There are other certain areas of services away from financial services that will be in Phase Two. There are certain additional cybersecurity issues that will be in Phase Two [...] There still more issues to deal with and we'll address those", Mnuchin said, cited by CNBC.

Although the timing and details of Phase Two remain vague, Mnuchin ruled out Huawei being included, claiming that the Chinese tech giant is part of "the national security dialogue".

Trump claimed during a news conference on Wednesday that he does not foresee a Phase Three trade agreement with China, expecting to conclude the trade negotiations with Phase Two.

Buick Verano is assembled at General Motors' Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township © AP Photo / Carlos Osorio Fed Study Finds Trump's Trade Wars Backfired, Leading to Lost Jobs and Price Hikes Trump pointed out that his administration will begin Phase Two trade negotiations with China "shortly", without elaborating a timeline. US Vice President Mike Pence told Fox Business later in the day that the talks on the second phase were already underway.

"We've already begun discussions on a Phase 2 deal", Pence said, cited by Fox Business.

Trump said earlier that inking of the second phase of the deal may have to wait until after the 2020 presidential election to allow time to negotiate a better agreement.

Phase One and Phase Two could reportedly ease trade tensions between the two major economic powers but it would unlikely settle the dispute, The Washington Post reported.

According to the media outlet, the Trump administration is developing new export control regulations aimed at limiting flows of sophisticated technology to China, while US officials embarked on closely scrutinizing potential Chinese investments in the United States. Media reports of alleged new economic and technology levies against Beijing sparked speculation among analysts that Phase Three should not be excluded.

[Jan 11, 2020] Good Riddance to the WTO by Walden Bello

Dec 18, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Rich countries embraced trade multilateralism when it suited them, and now they're abandoning it. That may not be such a bad thing.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is on its last legs now that the Trump administration has blocked the appointment or reappointment of judges to the appeals court of its Dispute Settlement Mechanism -- which is the central pillar of the 24-year-old multilateral body.

Do I regret the demise of the World Trade Organization now that Trump is on a unilateral trade rampage? No. I always saw the WTO and unilateralism as two faces of U.S. power deployed against those countries seeking to remake the world trading order in a more equitable and just direction.

Multilateralism and unilateralism have, since the end of the Second World War, been alternative strategies for global hegemony preferred by competing factions of the U.S. ruling elite.

The Democrats preferred multilateralism because they felt it would both institutionalize the U.S.'s hegemonic status in the world trading order at the same time that it would make it more legitimate by obtaining the consent of its allies. Republicans, however, felt that the exercise of U.S. power should be as little constrained by global rules and institutions as possible.

These two views clashed head-on in 1948 during the debate over the ratification of the Havana Charter, which would have established the International Trade Organization (ITO). After having participated in the negotiations, the Democratic administration of President Truman did not submit it to the Senate for ratification, worried that the Republicans would successfully block it. The Republicans argued that ratifying the Havana Charter would be unconstitutional since no legal code could stand above the U.S. Constitution, and that a treaty governing trade would do precisely that.

Republicans and Democrats agreed to a compromise: the much weaker General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which had little checks on U.S. trade practices and did not bring under its ambit the global agricultural trade that U.S. corporations dominated. With trade making up only a small part of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) then, the U.S. was not worried about the absence of strong rules on global trade, and felt these would only harm the bottom line of its emerging transnational corporations.

Paradoxically, GATT allowed the rise of a number of formerly minor trading countries into major actors in global trade, which would not have been possible within an iron-clad free trade regime. These were mainly economies from East Asia like South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia that engaged in aggressive export policies while building up manufacturing industries protected by high tariffs and import quotas. At the same time, by the 1970s and 1980s, trade accounted for a greater part of U.S. GDP than in the late 1940s, and U.S. corporations wanted fewer restrictions on their penetration of foreign markets.

So Washington changed its mind in the 1980s, and both Republicans and Democrats agreed to push for a strengthened global trade regime.

The U.S. was confident that it would benefit mainly its corporations which it saw as the most competitive in the world. The European Union decided to join the bandwagon for a strengthened international trade regime mainly because, like Washington, it wanted to dump its massive agricultural surpluses on developing countries.

Leading industries in Europe, the U.S., and Japan -- like the automobile, information, and pharmaceutical industries -- also had a joint interest in preventing the emergence of new competitors from East and Southeast Asia by making the latter's liberal acquisition of complex technologies (dubbed "intellectual piracy") a violation of trade rules, or by preventing them from using trade restrictions to build up their industries.

The result was the World Trade Organization, which came into being in 1995. The WTO, from the perspective of U.S. interests, was a set of rules and institutions that would promote, consolidate, and legitimize structures of global trade ensuring the hegemony of US interests.

While free trade was the rhetoric of the WTO, the achievement of monopoly was actually the aim of the WTO's three most important agreements.

The Agreement on Agriculture (AOA) institutionalized the dumping of U.S. and European surpluses on developing countries by forcing the latter to end their import quotas and lower their tariffs. The Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPs) sought to institutionalize U.S. corporations' monopoly of high technology by outlawing reverse engineering and other methods used by developing countries to get universal access to knowledge. The Trade Related Investment Measures Agreement (TRIMs) sought to prevent countries from imitating Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia and using trade policy, like reducing imported inputs into finished goods in favor of local inputs, to build up industries that became significant competitors both in local and global markets.

Then, in 2003, with the heft provided by India, Brazil, and China (a WTO member since 2001), the developing countries in the WTO were able to prevent the U.S. and EU's attempt to dismantle government protection of small farmers. They foiled attempts to tighten the already very restrictive TRIPs Agreement, and prevented the joint U.S.-EU attempt to bring investment, government procurement, and competition policy under the ambit of the WTO.

Following this, the U.S. abandoned the multilateral route. After the Fifth Ministerial of the WTO collapsed in Cancun in 2003, the Republican Bush administration's Special Trade Representative Robert Zoellick warned: "As the WTO members ponder the future, the U.S. will not wait: we will move towards free trade with can-do countries."

Over the next few years, the U.S. and the EU preferred to put their efforts into forging bilateral trade agreements or limited multilateral agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was the fallback position favored by the Obama administration. So Trump did not initiate the move back to unilateralism -- he merely brought to its climax, with his trade war with China, a swing back to unilateralism that had begun with the George W. Bush administration in 2003.

Indeed, Trump's blocking of judges to the WTO's appellate court is simply an extension of the policy of blocking the appointment or reappointment of judges practiced earlier by the supposedly multilateralist Obama administration. The most notorious trade act of the U.S. under Obama was its ouster in 2016 of Appellate Body Member Seung Wha Chang of South Korea on the grounds that it did not agree with the distinguished South Korean jurist's judgments in four trade disputes involving the U.S.

The result, the current global trading system, is a hodge-podge featuring a weakened WTO, failed trade agreements like the TPP, stalemated or slow-moving negotiations like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), developing country trade arrangements like Mercosur, bilateral treaties like the South Korea-U.S. free trade agreement, and non-institutionalized bilateral and unilateral initiatives.

This may, in fact, be the least undesirable of outcomes. For many developing countries, the era of the weak GATT regime from 1948 to 1995 was a dynamic era that left them a lot of development space owing to the lack of pressure for them to open up their agricultural and manufacturing sectors, weak trade dispute mechanisms, and the absence of anti-development pro-developed country regimes like TRIPs.

Instead of the chaos that neoliberal ideologues warn us against, current conditions might, in fact, be moving in the direction of a hybrid GATT-like system that would hold out a larger space for efforts at genuine sustainable development by the global South. Share this:

One of the principal actors in the Anti-Globalization Movement, FPIF commentator Walden Bello is the author of Deglobalization: Ideas for a New World Economy (Zed, 2000) and Revisiting and Reclaiming Deglobalization (Focus on the Global South, 2019). He can be contacted at waldenbello@yahoo.com . This article originally appeared in German in the German periodical Welt-Sichten, Nov 7, 2019

[Jan 11, 2020] Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

Notable quotes:
"... These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro December 19, 2019 at 6:23 am GMT 2,600 Words

Tucker could have done a number on Trump friend Schwarzman too.Mark my words you're gonna have another melt down now that all the people who lost their home and ended up in rentals stop paying their rent that is now 2 1/2 times what their mortgage was.
This is another fake bubble being securitized and sold off. Just like putting people into houses with ARMs who couldnt afford them when the rates went up, Scharzman will fill up his rentals to 99% occupancy with special deals to sell them to investors, when the special deal period runs out and the rent goes up people will move out looking for cheaper housing and the securities wont be worth shit.

Blackstone Group , CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman Buys Houses in Bulk to Profit from Mortgage Crisis

https://corpwatch.org/article/blackstone-group-buys-houses-bulk-profit-mortgage-crisis

You can hardly turn on the television or open a newspaper without hearing about the nation's impressive, much celebrated housing recovery. Home prices are rising! New construction has started! The crisis is over! Yet beneath the fanfare, a whole new get-rich-quick scheme is brewing.
Over the last year and a half, Wall Street hedge funds and private equity firms have quietly amassed an unprecedented rental empire, snapping up Queen Anne Victorians in Atlanta, brick-faced bungalows in Chicago, Spanish revivals in Phoenix. In total, these deep-pocketed investors have bought more than 200,000 cheap, mostly foreclosed houses in cities hardest hit by the economic meltdown.
Wall Street's foreclosure crisis, which began in late 2007 and forced more than 10 million people from their homes, has created a paradoxical problem. Millions of evicted Americans need a safe place to live, even as millions of vacant, bank-owned houses are blighting neighborhoods and spurring a rise in crime. Lucky for us, Wall Street has devised a solution: It's going to rent these foreclosed houses back to us. In the process, it's devised a new form of securitization that could cause this whole plan to blow up -- again.

Since the buying frenzy began, no company has picked up more houses than the Blackstone Group, a major private equity firm. Using a subsidiary company, Invitation Homes, Blackstone has grabbed houses at foreclosure auctions, through local brokers, and in bulk purchases directly from banks the same way a regular person might stock up on toilet paper from Costco.

In one move, it bought 1,400 houses in Atlanta in a single day. As of November, Blackstone had spent $7.5 billion to buy 40,000 mostly foreclosed houses across the country. That's a spending rate of $100 million a week since October 2012. It recently announced plans to take the business international, beginning in foreclosure-ravaged Spain.

Few outside the finance industry have heard of Blackstone. Yet today, it's the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the nation -- and of a whole lot of other things, too. It owns part or all of the Hilton Hotel chain, Southern Cross Healthcare, Houghton Mifflin publishing house, the Weather Channel, Sea World, the arts and crafts chain Michael's, Orangina, and dozens of other companies.

Blackstone manages more than $210 billion in assets, according to its 2012 Securities and Exchange Commission annual filing. It's also a public company with a list of institutional owners that reads like a who's who of companies recently implicated in lawsuits over the mortgage crisis, including Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and of course JP Morgan Chase, which just settled a lawsuit with the Department of Justice over its risky and often illegal mortgage practices, agreeing to pay an unprecedented $13 billion fine.

In other words, if Blackstone makes money by capitalizing on the housing crisis, all these other Wall Street banks -- generally regarded as the main culprits in creating the conditions that led to the foreclosure crisis in the first place -- make money too.

An All-Cash Goliath

In neighborhoods across the country, many residents didn't have to know what Blackstone was to realize that things were going seriously wrong.

Last year, Mark Alston, a real estate broker in Los Angeles, began noticing something strange happening. Home prices were rising. And they were rising fast -- up 20 percent between October 2012 and the same month this year. In a normal market, rising home prices would mean increased demand from homebuyers. But here was the unnerving thing: the homeownership rate was dropping, the first sign for Alston that the market was somehow out of whack.

The second sign was the buyers themselves.

"I went two years without selling to a black family, and that wasn't for lack of trying," says Alston, whose business is concentrated in inner-city neighborhoods where the majority of residents are African American and Hispanic. Instead, all his buyers -- every last one of them -- were besuited businessmen. And weirder yet, they were all paying in cash.

Between 2005 and 2009, the mortgage crisis, fueled by racially discriminatory lending practices, destroyed 53 percent of African American wealth and 66 percent of Hispanic wealth, figures that stagger the imagination. As a result, it's safe to say that few blacks or Hispanics today are buying homes outright, in cash. Blackstone, on the other hand, doesn't have a problem fronting the money, given its $3.6 billion credit line arranged by Deutsche Bank. This money has allowed it to outbid families who have to secure traditional financing. It's also paved the way for the company to purchase a lot of homes very quickly, shocking local markets and driving prices up in a way that pushes even more families out of the game.

"You can't compete with a company that's betting on speculative future value when they're playing with cash," says Alston. "It's almost like they planned this."

In hindsight, it's clear that the Great Recession fueled a terrific wealth and asset transfer away from ordinary Americans and to financial institutions. During that crisis, Americans lost trillions of dollars of household wealth when housing prices crashed, while banks seized about five million homes. But what's just beginning to emerge is how, as in the recession years, the recovery itself continues to drive the process of transferring wealth and power from the bottom to the top.

From 2009-2012, the top 1 percent of Americans captured 95 percent of income gains. Now, as the housing market rebounds, billions of dollars in recovered housing wealth are flowing straight to Wall Street instead of to families and communities. Since spring 2012, just at the time when Blackstone began buying foreclosed homes in bulk, an estimated $88 billion of housing wealth accumulation has gone straight to banks or institutional investors as a result of their residential property holdings, according to an analysis by TomDispatch. And it's a number that's likely to just keep growing.

"Institutional investors are siphoning the wealth and the ability for wealth accumulation out of underserved communities," says Henry Wade, founder of the Arizona Association of Real Estate Brokers.

But buying homes cheap and then waiting for them to appreciate in value isn't the only way Blackstone is making money on this deal. It wants your rental payment, too.

Securitizing Rentals

Wall Street's rental empire is entirely new. The single-family rental industry used to be the bailiwick of small-time mom-and-pop operations. But what makes this moment unprecedented is the financial alchemy that Blackstone added. In November, after many months of hype, Blackstone released history's first rated bond backed by securitized rental payments. And once investors tripped over themselves in a rush to get it, Blackstone's competitors announced that they, too, would develop similar securities as soon as possible.

Depending on whom you ask, the idea of bundling rental payments and selling them off to investors is either a natural evolution of the finance industry or a fire-breathing chimera.

"This is a new frontier," comments Ted Weinstein, a consultant in the real-estate-owned homes industry for 30 years. "It's something I never really would have dreamt of."

However, to anyone who went through the 2008 mortgage-backed-security crisis, this new territory will sound strangely familiar.

"It's just like a residential mortgage-backed security," said one hedge-fund investor whose company does business with Blackstone. When asked why the public should expect these securities to be safe, given the fact that risky mortgage-backed securities caused the 2008 collapse, he responded, "Trust me."

For Blackstone, at least, the logic is simple. The company wants money upfront to purchase more cheap, foreclosed homes before prices rise. So it's joined forces with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and Deutsche Bank to bundle the rental payments of 3,207 single-family houses and sell this bond to investors with mortgages on the underlying houses offered as collateral. This is, of course, just a test case for what could become a whole new industry of rental-backed securities.

Many major Wall Street banks are involved in the deal, according to a copy of the private pitch documents Blackstone sent to potential investors on October 31st, which was reviewed by TomDispatch. Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, and Credit Suisse are helping market the bond. Wells Fargo is the certificate administrator. Midland Loan Services, a subsidiary of PNC Bank, is the loan servicer. (By the way, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank are all members of another clique: the list of banks foreclosing on the most families in 2013.)

According to interviews with economists, industry insiders, and housing activists, people are more or less holding their collective breath, hoping that what looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck won't crash the economy the same way the last flock of ducks did.

"You kind of just hope they know what they're doing," says Dean Baker, an economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "That they have provisions for turnover and vacancies. But have they done that? Have they taken the appropriate care? I certainly wouldn't count on it." The cash flow analysis in the documents sent to investors assumes that 95 percent of these homes will be rented at all times, at an average monthly rent of $1,312. It's an occupancy rate that real estate professionals describe as ambitious.

There's one significant way, however, in which this kind of security differs from its mortgage-backed counterpart. When banks repossess mortgaged homes as collateral, there is at least the assumption (often incorrect due to botched or falsified paperwork from the banks) that the homeowner has, indeed, defaulted on her mortgage. In this case, however, if a single home-rental bond blows up, thousands of families could be evicted, whether or not they ever missed a single rental payment.

"We could well end up in that situation where you get a lot of people getting evicted not because the tenants have fallen behind but because the landlords have fallen behind," says Baker.

Bugs in Blackstone's Housing Dreams

Whether these new securities are safe may boil down to the simple question of whether Blackstone proves to be a good property manager. Decent management practices will ensure high occupancy rates, predictable turnover, and increased investor confidence. Bad management will create complaints, investigations, and vacancies, all of which will increase the likelihood that Blackstone won't have the cash flow to pay investors back.

If you ask CaDonna Porter, a tenant in one of Blackstone's Invitation Homes properties in a suburb outside Atlanta, property management is exactly the skill that Blackstone lacks. "If I could shorten my lease -- I signed a two-year lease -- I definitely would," says Porter.

The cockroaches and fat water bugs were the first problem in the Invitation Homes rental that she and her children moved into in September. Porter repeatedly filed online maintenance requests that were canceled without anyone coming to investigate the infestation. She called the company's repairs hotline. No one answered.

The second problem arrived in an email with the subject line marked "URGENT." Invitation Homes had failed to withdraw part of Porter's November payment from her bank account, prompting the company to demand that she deliver the remaining payment in person, via certified funds, by five p.m. the following day or incur "the additional legal fee of $200 and dispossessory," according to email correspondences reviewed by TomDispatch.

Porter took off from work to deliver the money order in person, only to receive an email saying that the payment had been rejected because it didn't include the $200 late fee and an additional $75 insufficient funds fee. What followed were a maddening string of emails that recall the fraught and often fraudulent interactions between homeowners and mortgage-servicing companies. Invitation Homes repeatedly threatened to file for eviction unless Porter paid various penalty fees. She repeatedly asked the company to simply accept her month's payment and leave her alone.

"I felt really harassed. I felt it was very unjust," says Porter. She ultimately wrote that she would seek legal counsel, which caused Invitation Homes to immediately agree to accept the payment as "a one-time courtesy."

Porter is still frustrated by the experience -- and by the continued presence of the cockroaches. ("I put in another request today about the bugs, which will probably be canceled again.")

A recent Huffington Post investigation and dozens of online reviews written by Invitation Homes tenants echo Porter's frustrations. Many said maintenance requests went unanswered, while others complained that their spiffed-up houses actually had underlying structural issues.

There's also at least one documented case of Blackstone moving into murkier legal territory. This fall, the Orlando, Florida, branch of Invitation Homes appeared to mail forged eviction notices to a homeowner named Francisco Molina, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Delivered in letter-sized manila envelopes, the fake notices claimed that an eviction had been filed against Molina in court, although the city confirmed otherwise. The kicker is that Invitation Homes didn't even have the right to evict Molina, legally or otherwise. Blackstone's purchase of the house had been reversed months earlier, but the company had lost track of that information.

The Great Recession of 2016?

These anecdotal stories about Invitation Homes being quick to evict tenants may prove to be the trend rather than the exception, given Blackstone's underlying business model. Securitizing rental payments creates an intense pressure on the company to ensure that the monthly checks keep flowing. For renters, that may mean you either pay on the first of the month every month, or you're out.

Although Blackstone has issued only one rental-payment security so far, it already seems to be putting this strict protocol into place. In Charlotte, North Carolina, for example, the company has filed eviction proceedings against a full 10 percent of its renters, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.

About 9 percent of Blackstone's properties, approximately 3,600 houses, are located in the Phoenix metro area. Most are in low- to middle-income neighborhoods.

Forty thousand homes add up to only a small percentage of the total national housing stock. Yet in the cities Blackstone has targeted most aggressively, the concentration of its properties is staggering. In Phoenix, Arizona, some neighborhoods have at least one, if not two or three, Blackstone-owned homes on just about every block.

This inundation has some concerned that the private equity giant, perhaps in conjunction with other institutional investors, will exercise undue influence over regional markets, pushing up rental prices because of a lack of competition. The biggest concern among many ordinary Americans, however, should be that, not too many years from now, this whole rental empire and its hot new class of securities might fail, sending the economy into an all-too-familiar tailspin.

"You're allowing Wall Street to control a significant sector of single-family housing," said Michael Donley, a resident of Chicago who has been investigating Blackstone's rapidly expanding presence in his neighborhood. "But is it sustainable?" he wondered. "It could all collapse in 2016, and you'll be worse off than in 2008."


Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:39 am GMT

This is not surprising that this has happened. All of the de-regulation on Wall Street, lobbied for by Wall Street has allowed this to transpire.

Congress does not even read the bills that they sign into law, let alone write them! Many are written by ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Realtor's assosiation, the Medical Industrial Complex, public employee unions, and various other special interest groups!

Why is it a pressing issue to actively promote homosexuality? What is the point? That is really strange! There is a difference between not actively discriminating and actively promoting!

Are they trying to worsen the AIDS epidemic or lower the birth rate? It does not make sense to be actively promoting and encouraging homosexuality.

sally , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:18 am GMT
@Colin Wright There are many venture capitalist that are not Jewish.. Venture Capitalist don't always advertise their wealth. Not everybody in Wall Street or the City of London is Jewish.

I think it is important to separate the Jews from the Zionist , many in that small group (Zionist) are Jewish and Christian but most Jews and most Christians are neither Venture Capitalist nor Zionist. Time after time I have asked my Jewish friends are you are Zionist, and most say they do not really know what Zionism is? Zionism hosts many races among its members; in the states, Christian Zionism is big, maybe bigger even than Jewish Zionism.. see Christian Zionism : The Tragedy and the Turning: the cause of our Conflicts (on DVD) by http://www.Whit.org. .

Zionism is an economic system. Zionism is a winner take all system of Economics . Zionism is like an adult version of the game called King of the Mountain. In such a game, no one is allowed to play unless they first have sufficient resources to be counted, and are then willing to and believe they are personally capable of defeating the then residing well armed king (Oligarch). IMO, all Jews everywhere, would be well advised to avoid being labelled a Zionist<=hence the reason ?

Zionism is not the same as Judaism, its not a race, its not a religion, its not even a culture, it is an economic system with virus like attributes.

mark green , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:23 am GMT
@Lot You are quibbling. You are prevaricating. You are obfuscating.

Joyce has assembled a powerful case against a known cast of financial parasites. This phenomena is hardly new. It brings to mind another financial scandal of a generation ago that was chronicled in James B. Stewart's book 'Den of Thieves'.

The mega-wealthy swindlers of that era were also all Jews: Boesky, Siegel, Levine, Milken, among others. Some twenty years later, another Wall Street Jew, Bernie Madoff, succeeds in pulling off the biggest fraud in US history. There's a pattern here.

Yet all you can do, Lot, is deflect, denigrate, and deny.

Joyce is giving us more actual names. These are the actual perps as well as institutions they hide behind. These ruthless predators collude with one another as they exploit the labor of millions of gentiles worldwide, then shower Jewish causes and philanthropies with their loot. Their tribal avarice is revolting. And insatiable.

Do you deny this phenomena?

Is it all just another 'anti-Semitic canard'?

You even claim [Joyce] is

"retarded and highly uninformed".

Retarded?

He's brilliant and persuasive.

Uninformed?

He's erudite and scholarly.

You, Lot, are demonstrating again devious tribal dishonesty. It's glaring, it's shameful, and it's obvious. This is a trait I've observed in virtually all of your writings. You invariably deflect and deny. But Jewish criminality is real.

Joyce aptly concludes:

[T]he prosperity and influence of Zionist globalism rests to an overwhelming degree on the predations of the most successful and ruthless Jewish financial parasites.

So true. So tragically true.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:28 am GMT
This is a Jewish conspiracy to make Jews look terrible. Congress should slam the breaks here. The de-regulation of the powerful combined with the over-regulation of the powerless is criminally wreckless. Kind of like the friends don't let friends drive drunk approach.

Congress slam the breaks, yeah right, that'll happen! Lol!

This won't end well.

HammerJack , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:30 am GMT
@Colin Wright Andrew Carnegie left behind institutions like Carnegie Hall, Carnegie-Mellon University, and over 2500 Free Libraries from coast to coast, in a time when very little was done to help what we now call the "underprivileged".

In fact, he gave away 90% of his massive fortune–about $75 Billion in current dollars. Funding, in the process, many charities, hospitals, museums, foundations and institutions of learning. He was a major benefactor of negro education.

He was a staunch anti-imperialist who believed America should concentrate its energies on peaceful endeavors rather than conquering and subduing far-off lands.

Although they are even more keen to put their names on things, today's robber barons leave behind mainly wreckage.

PetrOldSack , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
@anon "Crowing on a pile of dung", global in scope, local and exclusive to thier own.
Ghali , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:46 am GMT
Jews are destroying the world. Everywhere they go, they leave behind nations in ruins. Look at Europe, Africa and the Americas, Jews have left their ugly footprints. Corruption, prostitution, drugs and human trafficking are their trade.
Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:56 am GMT
@anon A combination of both I would say, although some would like to make it out that Anglo-Saxons were the epitome of honour, they too resorted to morallly abject tricks and swindles to acquire their wealth.

WASPs allowed Jews into their lands and both of them struck a sort of implicit contract to work together to loot the world, when the word had been sucked dry, the conflict between Jews and WASPs began and Hitler and the National Socialists were a last gasp attempt to save the WASP side from being beaten, in the end higher Jewish verbal IQ gave them the upper edge in the ability to trick people.

It is hard to feel sorry for WASPs, they struck a deal with the Jews centuries ago to work together and were backstabbed, what is happening to these Third World countries will now happen to WASP countries, it is poetic justice. Luckily the torch of civilisation will continue by way of East Asia and Eastern Europe, who were true conservatives in that all they wished was prosperity for their people in their own lands without any aggressive foreign policy moves.

Basically, WASPs thought that they could win in the end, but they were out Jew'd and now they are crying.

The one difference you will notice is that certain subsections of WASPs, notable the British, actually did build infrastructure in the countries they looted, this to me was borne out of a sense of guilt, so to be fair, WASPs were not as parasitic and ruthless as Jews.

But in the end, the more ruthless wins. To quote the Joker

You get what you fucking deserve

Sean , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:44 am GMT
@Lot Kyle Bass's fund is called 'Hayman', maybe because the MSM loathe the Bass family that fellow Texican Bass is not related to. They are not the only ones aware of the drawbacks of a name. Elliot is Singer's middle one.

The article bounces back and forth between two completely different fields: private equity and distressed debt funds

If someone owes you money and you cannot collect, you factor the account, (sell it on) and then people who are going to be a lot less pleasant about it will pay them a visit and have a 'talk' with them. While it is good to have a domestic bankruptcy regime in which innovation and entrepreneurship is encouraged– to the extent that people are not routinely gaming the system–I don't see why Argentina should benefit. Singer became notorious for what he did to Argentina after he bought their debt, and he is pretty upfront about not caring who objects. Puerto Rico is neither foreign or protected by Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code so it is a borderline case, which is probably why the people collecting that debt tried to hide who they were.

The way he took down Jonathan Bush and others led to Bloomberg dubbing Singer 'The World's Most Feared Investor'. Singer buys into companies where he sees the management as as failing to deliver maximum value to the shareholders, then applies pressure to raise the share price (in Bush's case extremely personal pressure) that often leads to the departure of the CEO and sale of the company. That immediate extra value for the shareholder Singer creates puts lots of working people out a job. Because of Singer and his imitators, CEO's are outsourcing and importing replacements for indigenous workers in those services that cannot be outsourced. All the while loath to foster innovation that could bring about long term growth, because that would interfere with squeezing out more and more shareholder value.

Singer is less like a vulture than a rogue elephant that is killing the breeding pair white rhinos on a game reserve, and they are going extinct. Well it's a good thing! Thanks to Singer et al (including Warren Buffett) Trump got elected. According to someone in jail with Epstein, he had an anecdote about Trump being asked by a French girl what 'white trash' was, and Trump replied 'It's me without the money'.

Trump is now essentially funded by three Jews -- Singer, Bernard Marcus, and Sheldon Adelson, together accounting for over $250 million in pro-Trump political money. In return, they want war with Iran.

All to the good. Iran won't leave Saudi Arabia (serious money) alone so Iran is going to have to be crushed as a threat to the Saud family like Saddam before it anyway. If the Jews think they are causing it, let 'em think so.

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/trump-creates-a-new-nation/
When the Israelis occupy nearly all of the West Bank with Donald Trump's approval and start "relocating" the existing population, who will be around to speak up? No one, as by that time saying nay to Israel will be a full-fledged hate crime and you can go to jail for doing so

Loudspeaker goes off " All Anti–Zionist Jews to Times Square ".

silviosilver , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:48 am GMT
@Colin Wright No judeophile, but it's 90% demagogic horsehit.

God forbid anybody should ever have to pay back money they borrow! Why, that's utterly Jewish!

These so-called "vulture" funds didn't originate the debt. They simply purchased already existing debt at deeply discounted prices either because the debt was already in default or was at imminent risk of defaulting, which is why the debt sells at a heavy discount, since existing debt holders are often happy to sell cheap and get something rather than hold on and risk getting nothing.

What Joyce zeroes in on is these vulture funds' willingness to use all legal avenues to force debtors to make good on their debts, including seizing the collateral the debtors pledged when they borrowed the money. Joyce chooses to characterize this practice as "Jewish," implying that gentile creditors would instead be overcome with compassion and let the debtors off the hook and wear the loss themselves.

What Joyce regards as a defect of "vulture" funds, others might regard as an benefit. The size of these funds, their legal expertise, and their political connections mean that borrowers can more successfully be held to account. If I owned, say, Puerto Rican debt in my retirement account, the chances that I could make Puerto Rico honor its obligations are much slimmer.

None of this is to suggest that finance, as we today know it, is perfect and that it couldn't be reformed in any way to make its operation more conducive to nationalistic social values, only that anti-cap ideologues like Joyce weave lurid tales of malfeasance out of completely humdrum market economics (which is precisely the same market economics that Tucker Carlson learned about too, btw).

J Adelman , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
Mr. Joyce
Your obsession with us will prove to be your downfall.
Jewish people have always stood against tyranny against the working class, the poor and other people of color.
The phrases and catch words that you used to vilify Jews are in many cases pulled from the age old tropes used to demonize Jews for centuries and are anti-Semitic through and through. They can't be overlooked nor hidden by claims of legitimate political disagreements.
We know that it is not only the Jewish community that is at risk from unchecked antisemitism, but also other communities that white nationalists target.
I find it very offensive that people like you continue to demonize us for no reason.

I dare you to hold a debate with me on this so called "Jewish Influence".
I am not even hiding my name here.

[Jan 03, 2020] For corporate Democrats and their profuse media allies, the approach of disparaging and minimizing Bernie Sanders in 2019 didn't work. In 2020, the next step will be to trash him with a vast array of full-bore attacks

Dec 29, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

A central premise of conventional media wisdom has collapsed. On Thursday, both the New York Times and Politico published major articles reporting that Bernie Sanders really could win the Democratic presidential nomination. Such acknowledgments will add to the momentum of the Bernie 2020 campaign as the new year begins -- but they foreshadow a massive escalation of anti-Sanders misinformation and invective.

Throughout 2019, corporate media routinely asserted that the Sanders campaign had little chance of winning the nomination. As is so often the case, journalists were echoing each other more than paying attention to grassroots realities. But now, polling numbers and other indicators on the ground are finally sparking very different headlines from the media establishment.

From the Times : " Why Bernie Sanders Is Tough to Beat ." From Politico : " Democratic Insiders: Bernie Could Win the Nomination ."

Those stories, and others likely to follow in copycat news outlets, will heighten the energies of Sanders supporters and draw in many wavering voters. But the shift in media narratives about the Bernie campaign's chances will surely boost the decibels of alarm bells in elite circles where dousing the fires of progressive populism is a top priority.

For corporate Democrats and their profuse media allies, the approach of disparaging and minimizing Bernie Sanders in 2019 didn't work. In 2020, the next step will be to trash him with a vast array of full-bore attacks.

Along the way, the corporate media will occasionally give voice to some Sanders defenders and supporters. A few establishment Democrats will decide to make nice with him early in the year. But the overwhelming bulk of Sanders media coverage -- synced up with the likes of such prominent corporate flunkies as Rahm Emanuel and Neera Tanden as well as Wall Street Democrats accustomed to ruling the roost in the party -- will range from condescending to savage.

When the Bernie campaign wasn't being ignored by corporate media during 2019, innuendos and mud often flew in his direction. But we ain't seen nothing yet.

With so much at stake -- including the presidency and the top leadership of the Democratic Party -- no holds will be barred. For the forces of corporate greed and the military-industrial complex, it'll be all-out propaganda war on the Bernie campaign.

While reasons for pessimism are abundant, so are ample reasons to understand that a Sanders presidency is a real possibility . The last places we should look for political realism are corporate media outlets that distort options and encourage passivity.

Bernie is fond of quoting a statement from Nelson Mandela: "It always seems impossible until it is done."

From the grassroots, as 2020 gets underway, the solution should be clear: All left hands on deck.


Jan Goslinga 38 minutes ago ,

Elections aren't real. Democrats will nominate Joe Biden to lose the election. Trump will remain as fascist strongman and the dems will continue to blame his neoconservative policies on his white trash constituency.

Bernie serves a few important functions.
1. he keeps the radicals from leaving the plantation and going 3rd party.
2. his promotion of progressive policies will make Biden less popular and help him lose to Trump
3. Bernie and his "socialism" can then be blamed for losing the election to Trump

Maxwell Jan Goslinga 15 minutes ago ,

Unfortunately this comment will be buried in this monstrosity of a thread- now at over 300 comments with only about a third of them having a much relevance.

You might consider re-posting in reply to one of the foremost comments. Your simple realism will certainly not be well received during the campaign hallucinations.

I've often wondered how it is people could believe the elections could have any positive and lasting impact on their lives if they have been through a couple of cycles. Do they not also wonder how it is that these election (marketing) campaigns now stretch out for well over a year nowadays demanding everyone's political attention, energy and resources. To say it is a colossal waste does not quite capture the enormity of the mind job being to people.

Mensch59 Maxwell 8 minutes ago • edited ,

Your simple realism will certainly not be well received during the campaign hallucinations.

Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. You "realists" who are true believers that you have the Truth and have a calling to preach the Truth absolutely must stand against the unwashed masses who claim that your "reality" isn't even intersubjectively verifiable, much less dialectical & material [eta & historical ].

I quite enjoyed what SteelPirate/LaborSolidarity had to say about you attempting to gain a vanguard following by trolling lib-prog sites.

Mensch59 Jan Goslinga 21 minutes ago ,

Elections aren't real.

Never pay attention to anyone who claims what's "real" and what isn't. Politics certainly doesn't exist in the realm of an objective, concrete, physical, naturalistic, materialistic reality which is shared by a consensus of rational observers. At best, politics deals with intersubjectively verifiable social phenomena. Thus, politics is mostly idealistic in the belief that each mind generates its own reality.

This realization is the topic of intersubjective verifiability, as recounted, for example, by Max Born (1949, 1965) Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance , who points out that all knowledge, including natural or social science, is also subjective. p. 162: "Thus it dawned upon me that fundamentally everything is subjective, everything without exception. That was a shock."
newestbeginning 2 hours ago ,

Meanwhile the wealth of the world's top 500 grew 25% in 2019...

https://www.livemint.com/ne...

V4V 2 hours ago • edited ,

Noam Chomsky on Bernie Sanders's Chances of Success- "...the chances he can be elected are pretty small." (Waiting with bated breath for copious downvotes by those who hate the truth and hate reality).

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FEpXJvWSa4FQ%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DEpXJvWSa4FQ&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FEpXJvWSa4FQ%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

PGGreen V4V 2 hours ago • edited ,

Most of who support Sanders know that his presidency will involve an uphill battle. Chomsky is being realistic.

But there really is no better option for meaningful change working within the political system than supporting Sanders. it is also important to note that "Our Revolution" has energized many young activists, encouraging them to continue the fight. This goes beyond politics to social and economic issues. If Sanders leaves us with a movement, this may turn out to be more important than the presidency in the long run.

Keep working for effective moral and economic justice and democracy!

V4V PGGreen an hour ago ,

Well, I have said this several times, it's not the microscopic left that you need to convince, it's the majority of self-identifying Democrats not supporting Sanders that you need to convince. I am repelled by the Democratic Party, but there are millions who identify as Democrats and many are proud of it. You need to convince them, not us.

PGGreen V4V 21 minutes ago • edited ,

Yes, although I don't think that those who support a Leftist agenda--whether you actually call them Leftists or not--are quite so microscopic a group as you imply. But you don't need to convince me or most others here (probably) that Sanders isn't perfect, or that it will be difficult for him to be elected president. We already know; we simply consider him the best option within this context of voting.

Have you ever thought of turning your approach to systemic commentary (which is valid and interesting, BTW, I'm not discounting it) around and saying what candidates you support-- in this context being discussed of voting-- instead of which ones you don't? And then explaining why such support would be effective?

I would say that what is wrong with the world is more a fault of the economic and political system than of Sanders alone--who not only plays small part in causing what is wrong, but a significant part in trying to correct it. Yes, he works within the system. That is a given. It may be, as Chris Hedges thinks, that there is no hope working within the system. But Noam Chomsky's approach also bears serious consideration that even Hedges doesn't discount. Voting will only be a small part of what brings about change, but it may make some slight difference--if you can stomach it. And it only takes a small amount of time.

"In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."

I don't see much of an argument that Sanders will be no better as president than Trump (and if you think so, I'd like to hear you argue it). I suspect you find the compromise unpalatable. I can understand that. I, too, draw the line at a certain point. I couldn't vote for HRC.

Yes, Sanders isn't perfect. Chomsky also said another important thing: "We're all compromised." Everyone who is a citizen of the US is compromised, and bears some measure of responsibility for the military interventions undertaken by our government. Perhaps we should renounce our citizenship, refuse to pay taxes, etc. But most of us don't -- not even those of us committed to activist work in other ways -- significant ways -- to make things better.

So what are those ways, for you?

V4V PGGreen 6 minutes ago ,

But you don't need to convince me or most others here (probably) that Sanders isn't perfect

-for me it isn' that he's not perfect, it's that I think he sucks

"In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."

-funny, that's a favorite line of Democrats

I get that, but it doesn't negate that Sanders's chances are next to nil.

Your suggestion of me signaling whom I support would fall on deaf ears around here. I have said this many times- I will probably for the Green Party candidate or the Socialist Equality Party candidate. If only a Democrat and Republican appear on the ballot then I would refuse to vote even if I had to pay a fine. I am not in the habit of telling anyone whom to vote for unless asked.

Before a 3rd can succeed, the fantasy that the fix can come through the Democrats needs to be destroyed. Not to worry, in due time it will be obvious.

Mensch59 PGGreen 16 minutes ago ,

My guess/bet is that V4V believes that the truth "We're all compromised" doesn't apply to him.
He sees himself as a truth-knower and a truth-teller.
He won't commit to logical argumentation.
He'll preach the truth to you.

Patrick_Walker V4V 2 hours ago • edited ,

I saw this video long ago--and agreed with it. But though Sanders' chances are small, they're still vastly larger than the NONEXISTENT chances of success of the purist, "Born to Lose" left. Why not just admit that you've totally given up and simply like to spent your time bitching and criticizing those of us with some (albeit small) hope?

V4V Patrick_Walker an hour ago • edited ,

simply like to spent your time bitching and criticizing those of us with some (albeit small) hope?

-straw man

That isn't what I do because I couldn't care less whom Democrats support and vote for. Typically, I post some unpleasant truth about Sanders, like his lackluster polling numbers or his support for neoliberal warmongers and sit back and watch the ad hominems and downvotes roll in. I am not normally on the attack, I am usually on the receiving end.

I admit that I see this forum as a form of entertainment. I admit I have zero expectation that someone to my liking will be elected president and that the system is going to change anytime soon. Do I believe it possible? Yes, I believe it is possible, I just don't believe it possible using the corrupt, Democratic Party as a vehicle and that's where we differ.

And that the crux of our issue- you believe the Democratic Party can be used a vehicle to convert the CIA/Wall Street/War Inc. Democrats into the peoples' party, and I do not. If the needed changes are ever to arrive, it will be in spite of the Democrats not because of them. I hope you stick around because in due time I'll be telling you, "Told ya so."

acme V4V an hour ago ,

The problem with your position is that, unlike Sanders, you don't seem to understand that a third candidate party candidate hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of being president unless if s/he somehow gets more electoral votes that both the major parties combined. If not, it goes to the house, and in the current partisan atmosphere, would be decided for the candidate of the House majority.
The major parties have a death-grip on the presidency while the electoral college exists.

V4V acme an hour ago • edited ,

You don't seem to understand that Sanders has a snowball's chance in hell of being the Democratic Party candidate for many reasons including the DNC arguing in court it is a private corporation and can legally rig primary and the trusty superdelegates for Biden.

What I propose is a movement outside the Democratic Party in inside it. I believe any attempt to reform the Democratic Party is doomed to fail. All this whistling in the dark over Sanders is a distraction and a kicking the can down the road to the time you Democrats finally realize it isn't going to work. You obviously didn't learn it in 2016, and I would be surprised if you learn it once Sanders tanks and begins campaigning for Biden just like he did Clinton. I will promise this, I'll say, "I told ya so" in a matter of months. That's okay, play it again, Sam.

Zsuzsi Kruska 4 hours ago • edited ,

People believe they need others to tell them what to do and give them the illusion somebody cares about them and has their best interests at heart. That's an archetype in the brain that goes back to our baby/childhood when we were dependent on our caregivers for sustenance, comfort and life itself.That's where the original concept of needing "leaders" comes from. But, what happens is psyco/sociopaths see this weakness in humanity and force their way to the top, to herd and exploit the gullible sheeple for their own agendas and selfish interests. No matter who rises to the top, she/he got their through the same system that's been going on since tribes had their chief; chief's lieutenant and witch doctor/shaman. Those three keep the tribe in line with their own desires. Chief through brute force, his lieutenant through information and witch doctor through religion and "spiritual" services; and all three require tribute and fees from the rest of the tribe. So, you will see, regardless of who the next POTUS will be, that same structure, although more complex today, will repeat itself. New boss/old boss, same ol' same ol'. All power has to be returned to the people at the local level before Wash. starts WWIII. But, if that happens, at least we won't have to worry about global warming with a nuclear winter after the bombs drop.

[Jan 01, 2020] Financial oligarchy is a cancer and Jewish financial oligarchy is just the most abhorrent flavor of it

Notable quotes:
"... I don't even know what capitalism means anymore. It doesn't seem like it's an actual free market system. Seems like it is slavery for the little guy, and parasitism for the rich. Maybe we should ditch the word capitalism for usuryism. ..."
"... That scary thought has crossed my mind, too, Art. I've even started wondering if this whole impeachment circus is really part of an elaborate plot to guarantee Trump's re-election. I mean, would Pelosi's insane actions make the slightest sense otherwise? And everyone has noted how this is such a 'Jew coup,' haven't they? It all looks so suspicious ..."
"... It looks like it was Browder who killed Magnitsky, so that he can't spill the beans. And then in an act of ultimate chutzpah played the victim and promoted Magnitsky act. ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mulegino1 says: December 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm GMT 300 Words @J Adleman

You and other whites here are like the bad guys in every horror movie ever made, who gets shot five times, or stabbed ten, or blown up twice, and who will eventually pass -- even if it takes four sequels to make it happen -- but who in the meantime keeps coming back around, grabbing at our ankles as we walk by, we having been mistakenly convinced that you were finally dead this time. Fair enough, and have at it. But remember how this movie ends. Our ankles survive.
YOU DO NOT.

Talk about deflection. Any nation, empire, culture or civilization wherein the Jewish collective gains critical mass and ultimately absolute power turns into a real horror, not a movie. The Jews may be said to be the true prototype of the "bad guys in every horror movie", since they can only be gotten rid of by very rigorous means taken in the healthiest and most vigorous cultures and societies. Indeed, antisemitism itself is the healthy immunological reaction of a flourishing culture, and its lack thereof the pathology of a moribund one.

Woke Christians of European provenance have nothing to envy the Jew (the archetypal Jew) over. We realize that the true measure of success is not primarily monetary or the fulfillment of cheap ambitions, but a spiritual and cultural one. On the contrary, the Jewish hatred against Christian Europe and the civilization that it constructed is engendered out of sheer envy and malice, because Jewry understands that is would never be capable of constructing anything similar, and never has. In all of the arts, Jewry has produced nothing of note.

This is not to say that individual Jews have not made contributions to the arts and sciences, but they have done so only by participation in gentile culture, not qua Jews. Jewry only tears down and deconstructs; it is not creative in the sense of high art, and can thrive only in the swamp of gentile decadence and moral putrefaction. Whatever Jewry touches, it turns to merde.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT

@Anon specifically push them away from materialism and desire for money and power, even at the expense of others. That is the exact point of religion (self-improvement) btw, so the next question is – is the Jewish religion effective?

At which point, the Jewish ideology becomes the wolf in the hen house – because it fails to tame the human away from such materialistic desire (as it btw claims it does best).

Should the hens be allowed to point out what they see as a wolf? Yes.

That the supposed wolf then obfuscates and justifies their actions by pointing to others, mostly, betrays that it is, in fact, a wolf.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT

I have become totally disenchanted with the SEC. Stupid, Evil, Crazy! It would not surprise me if they are the ones that have been terrorizing me, with stupid, evil, crazy chants through appliances after illegallly implaced RFIDs, microchips, or sensors illegally implanted in my ears and nose that started after my first phone was hacked in 2017! Can't expect stupid people not to be stupid, evil people not to be evil, and crazy people not to be crazy! They were just born that way!

9/11 Inside job , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT
@J Adleman

brookings.edu :

"The US will become minority white in 2045 Census projects " :

"During that year [2045] whites will comprise 49.7 per cent of the population in contrast to 24.6 per cent for Hispanics , 13.1 per cent for Blacks , 7.9 per cent for Asians and 3.8 per cent for multi-racial populations " Are these projections good or bad for the "Jewish people " ?

Agent76 , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT

Jan 28, 2010 The Creature From Jekyll Island (by G. Edward Griffin)

A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lu_VqX6J93k?feature=oembed

Nov 22, 2013 Thomas DiLorenzo – The Revolution Of 1913

From the Tom Woods show Loyola economics professor Thomas DiLorenzo discusses three events from 1913 that greatly escalated the transmogrification of America from the founder's vision (limited government) to its current state (unlimited government).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Fj4HyL8pOy0?feature=oembed

Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT
@Onebornfree 001. It just as murderous as the first Zion century.

If we had a free press that calls out the Jewish Zion Mafia that in itself would solve the problem.

This Zion Mafia is destroying our planet faster than any Climate Change or any pollution.

Yet, we can not speak about it. It is anti-S to speak about what the Big Js do.

Onebornfree, the J mafia roams the world without being bound to any nation. A nation-less world would not stop their menace.

The best way to stop this world wide menace is free speech to talk about it. Usury control is the next step to end this menace to our planet.

More R1b, Less H1B , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Lot sons of Abraham name their businesses after themselves (I'm sure this will insincerely be attributed to some fear of native kulaks' repressed urge-to-pogrom, even in Finland or Japan.) The other is an observation made by an associate of a famous Austrian landscapist: even merely remarking on their origins causes these guys mental distress.

Here in the melting pot, the difference couldn't be any starker. You can make small talk with any flavor of goy based on it: that's a Polish name, isn't it? Yeah, how did you know! Try this one with Levy or Nussbaum down at The Smith Group or The Jones Foundation and watch them plotz.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm GMT

Jews have always weaponized usury. Long before Christianity, Jews operated the East/West mechanism on donkey caravan trade routes. Silver would drain from the West, and Gold would drain from the east, while Jewish caravaneers would take usury on exchange rate differences. This operated for thousands of years.

Haibaru donkey bones have been discovered outside of Sumer. The Aiparu/Haibaru (Hebrew) tribes were formed as merchants operating between city states. In those days, psychopaths and criminals would be excommunicated from civilized city states, and would take up with the wandering merchant tribe.

Why do you think the Jew is always interested in owing the money power? Why do you think the Jew perpetually stands outside the walls of the city state, plotting its destruction?

History tells us things, and we had better listen. That is – real history, not what you learned in (((public skool))). There are two ways to deal with the Jew: 1) Remove him from your country. 2) Limit him.

Limiting was done by Byzantium under Justinian. The Jew was limited FROM money counting/banking; limited from participation in government; limited from access to pervert young minds – especially as school teachers and professors.

It takes a King or Tsar who cares about his population, and is willing to eject or filter out toxins from the body politic. (((Democracy))) is a failed form of government, whereby monied Oligarchs control the polity by compromat and pulling strings.

You are not going to be able to vote your way out of the Jew problem.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Echoing words once supposedly used by Hermann Goering: whenever I here the word 'philanthropist' these days, I instinctively reach for my revolver!

Agent76 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:03 pm GMT

Jan 23, 2012 Why the Constitution Had to Be Destroyed | Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Archived from the live Mises tv broadcast, this lecture was presented by Tom DiLorenzo at the Mises Circle in Houston on 14 January 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wDyDxgJuaDY?feature=oembed

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:07 pm GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres edina. Ergo, Wahabbi Islam and the Takfiri's are doctrinaly correct, while Judaizer Christians (those that worship the old testament) are out of alignment and heretics.

Judaism is actually a new religion that came into being after 73 AD, when the verbal tradition (Caballa) became written down into Talmud.

Our Jewish friends have always been practicing usury, going back to since forever.

Our Jewish friends, I count as worse that Islamics. However two wrongs don't make a right. Islam badly needs reform or to be expunged. Talmudic Judaism is by far the worst religion on the planet, and its adherents must malfunction by definition.

Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:18 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job

Jewish bigwigs think that the world will be their oyster if there are less White Euros in the world.

Yet, Jewish Advisors have been at the top of white Euro nations for centuries as their oyster to pillage the planet.

Non-White Euro people may not be so welcoming to Jewish Advisors at the top telling to them to go to war or pillage their fellow non-White Euros.

I don't think that the big Jews at the top thought this out too much.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@Onebornfree You are missing something because you are unwilling to adapt and learn with new information. This makes you an ideologue.

Libertarianism IS A JEWISH CONSTRUCT.

There are no such things as free markets. Money's true nature is law, not gold. Money didn't come into being with barter and other nonsense lolbertarians believe.

Most of the luminaries that came up with "libertarian" economics are Jews, and it is a doctrine of deception. The idea is to confuse the goyim with thoughts and ideas that make them easy pickings.

A determined in-group of predators operating in unison, will take down an "individual" every-time.

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:30 pm GMT

Don't expect anything to improve with Jay Clayton as SEC Chair, and his wife and her father Gretchen Butler Clayton who was CEO of CSC and mysterious WMB Holdings which share the same address in addition to many Goldman Sachs divisions. Gretchen was employed by Goldman Sachs as an attorney from 1999-2017. Many companies affiliated with the Panama Papers share the same address as well.

Secrecy has expanded under Clayton.

https://wallstreetonparade.com/2018/01/wall-streets-top-cop-cant-shake-money-ties-to-mysterious-firm/

alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:34 pm GMT

Jewish people have treated me better than my own White Euro family.

Jews are tribal, gee what a surprise after 1000's of years of people trying to wipe them out . and so their charity is within the tribe, but there is no charity within the tribe among Whites.

Jews, along with Asians and at least some Africans, believe in not just climbing the ladder, but in actually helping others – at least family – up it also. Whites believe in climbing the ladder and then pulling it up after them.

I was explaining to a friend recently: My (relative) has proven that if I showed up at their door, starving, they'd not give me a cheese sandwich, while in my experience, strangers have been overall a fairly kind lot and a stranger, 50/50, might. Therefore, while I find the idea of robbing or burning down the house of a stranger abhorrent, I don't mind the idea so much when it involves a person who's proven to be cold and evil.

For more on this, see the book Angela's Ashes. The Irish family could have stayed in New York where they were being befriended by a Jewish family. There was a ray of hope. The Irish kids, at least, would have been fed, steered into decent schooling, etc. But foolishly they went back to Ireland, to be treated like utter dogshit by their fellow White family and "people".

Most of the predation going on in the US and worldwide is being done by WASPS who are using Jews as a convenient scapegoat.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:36 pm GMT
@tono bungay

Feel free to offer us some counter-examples, tono. How many such funds to you know of that aren't disproportionately Jewish? We're all ears!

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:01 pm GMT

Finally! An intelligent criticism of Trump for a change. So tired of the brainless Democrat/MSM impeachment circus. They make me feel like a reflexive MAGAtard just for defending the constitution, logic, etc., from their never-ending stream of inanities. Meanwhile, the real problem with Trump is not that he's Hitler; it's that he's not Hitler enough!

I am also so tired of Zionist-loving cucks bleeting on about the evils of the CRA without ever considering the role played by the (((profiteers))) who lobbied such policies into law in the first place. Realize that what Paul Singer does for a living used to be illegal in this country up until recently. That's right: US bankruptcy law used to forbid investors from buying up debt second-hand at a discount and then trying to reclaim the entire face value from the debtor. But I see all kinds of people even on this thread blaming the victim instead -- 'Damn goyishe deadbeats!' Whatever

What Singer and the other Jewish vultures engage in is not productive, and isn't even any recognisable form of work or business. It is greed-motivated parasitism carried out on a perversely extravagant and highly nepotistic scale. In truth, it is Singer and his co-ethnics who believe that money can be printed on the backs of productive workers, and who ultimately believe they have a right to be "showered by free stuff promised by politicians."

Nuff said?

renfro , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:16 pm GMT
@anon maintain your honor, and manners and still succeed. Jews take the easy low road of deception and cheating. WASP take the higher road of harder work and ethical business practice.

WALL STREET'S LAST GENTLEMAN, Richard Jenrette

https://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/18/business/wall-street-s-last-gentleman-richard-jenrette-forging-the-equitable-connection.html

[MORE]
the grand wazoo , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:19 pm GMT

"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I" care not who makes its laws"

That is what Mayer Amschel Rothchild said in the 1750s. Now, is it a stretch of my imagination to believe the Central Banks of the West, all Jewish controlled, would unfairly favor their 'own' when issuing or disbursing the money they are permitted to create.

We are not allowed to audit the Federal Reserve, so we know not what they do with it beyond what they tell us. In 2016 it was discovered that between the year 1999 and 2016 well over $23 trillions had been stolen from just 2 departments of our government, the DoD and HUD. (Someone should look at NASA). Is it possible the seed money, for not only Venture capitalists schemes but also buying governments and law makers, has been diverted, shoveled out of the back door of these corrupt central banks and into the hands of their fellow jews?
Anyway, the more exposure articles like this get the closer we get to ending their reign.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:28 pm GMT
@Mefobills he pressure will only be towards violence – for any nation or faith!

Judaism has monopolized for millennia though, and still acts as a victim. Different kettle of fish.

Also, you can debate the positives and negatives of Islam with a Muslim (not as a rabid ignoramus of course – you must be polite, and have learnt something, as well as be open to learning more). Almost every debate with a Jew about Judaism has started with, continued with, and ended with name calling for me however.

Judaism fails as a religion because it does not encourage the practitioner to look at themselves when confronted with error, Islam still does imo.

Colin Wright , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT

So I scanned through the posts quickly -- probably too quickly.

How many specific, gentile vulture capitalists currently prominent in the field have been named so far?

When you list them, please respond to my post so that I will be notified.

anarchyst , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Your statement: "Jews actually collaborated extensively in the imposition of tyranny on the working class in Eastern Europe from 1917 to 1991" not only applies to Europe, but the united States of America as well.

Mark Hunter , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT

1. Re Sidney, Nebraska: Maybe I'm missing something but wasn't it Cabela's owners, for example co-founder and chairman Jim Cabela, who sold Cabela, not Elliot Management (Singer et al)? I gather Elliot Management owned only 11% of the company. Was that enough to force them to sell?

2. The article confuses honest straightforward loans with tax farming and government corruption. Loans can be very useful, e.g. for a car to get to a job, or for a house so you build up equity instead of paying rent.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT
@BannedHipster

According to the Talmud, we goyim are not the descendants of Adam and Eve, like the Jews. No, we are the bastard progeny of Adam's first wife, Lilleth, who eloped with the demon Samael. So we goyim are really all half-demons and therefore we are an abomination in the sight of Jew-hova, and we get what we deserve at the hands of his 'chosen people'.

All clear now?

.

Art , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:03 pm GMT
@Colin Wright to get carried away with this. Figures such as Andrew Carnegie, while impeccably gentile, were hardly paragons of scrupulous ethics and disinterested virtue.

Andrew Carnegie built something that made life better for people. Making steel is a beneficial thing.

These evil vulture Jews build nothing – they make people poorer. They suck the wealth out of people who have little. They know 100% what they are doing.

Jesus expressed anger against the money changers on the temple steps.

It is OK for you to have natural human feelings and be angry at these Jew bastards.

Do No Harm

Art , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm GMT

Major Kudos to these three heroes – Ron Unz, Tucker Carlson, and Andrew Joyce – for this article and discussion.

tomo , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:16 pm GMT
@anon ith him on this trip. It was an awful experience – consistent with all the books I read on psychopaths and also that book Jewish History, Jewish Religion, the weight of 3000 years

Another very wealthy American mother of a friend asked her South African friends (also jews) to help her book trips in South Africa (and they of course recommended only their Jewish friends) – it's their son who told me this.
So a lot of backstabbing, cultural nepotism and actively (but in a hidden way as most psychopaths like to do) they do at wakening and isolating their host. That's their only advantage – not intelligence (at least in my experience )

Old and grumpy , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:22 pm GMT
@DaveE

I don't even know what capitalism means anymore. It doesn't seem like it's an actual free market system. Seems like it is slavery for the little guy, and parasitism for the rich. Maybe we should ditch the word capitalism for usuryism.

the grand wazoo , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Realist

No, not stupid whites, they're not to blame. It's the greedy corrupt politician: white, black, or white jew, who are to blame.

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:31 pm GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres o – including offensive war. I used the term political authority on purpose, because Islam is more than just a religion, it is a political-theocratic construct that is all-encompassing.

There may not be a specific verse allowing aggressive violence, but there is something going on based on the data. (I admit to being a lay-man and not an expert on minutia of Islam. I don't want to go there based on what I already know to be true.)

In Christianity, if there are calls for aggressive violence it is OUT OF ALIGNMENT because of super-session. Christian adherents who do this are Judaizers, and have to use the old testament for justification.

annamaria , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:43 pm GMT
@Ghali

'Everywhere they go, they leave behind nations in ruins. "

-- They always find the willing local collaborators ready to make a big profit. Who can forget Dick Cheney, the Enemy of Humanity? The same kind of unrestricted criminality and amorality lives on in Tony Blair the Pious.

The fact that this Catholic weasel and major criminal Tony Blair is still not excommunicated tells all we need to know about the Vatican.

Assange is rotting in a prison, while Tony Blair and Ghislaine Maxwell are roaming free. The Jewish connections pay off.

Anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:59 pm GMT
@J Adelman s as "strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine," the Democratic senators declared, "We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump," before demanding Lutsenko "reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation

And yet Trump pulls the Jews ever closer. A ruling race of ubermenschen now.

'No reason'.

Can you imagine what American Blacks and savage Hispanics let alone whites are going to do if the US economy craters like the Russian economy, and everything is transferred to the banks?

DaveE , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm GMT
@Old and grumpy

Yeah . fine idea. I've always maintained there are two uses of the word "capitalism" industrial capitalism or competition of ideas vs. financial capitalism, the Darwinian struggle for the most ruthless bankster to rig the "markets" most efficiently.

Whether we give it new terminology I don't care much . but I sure wish people would understand the difference, one way of another !

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:05 pm GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit as extended, and had aunts and uncles and cousins, who lived in the general area for centuries, then there would be a network to fall back on.

See slaughter of the cities by Jones:

And yes, the FIRE sector and impetus behind the destruction of your extended family was JEWISH. The breakdown of neighborhoods and ethnics was on purpose.

The Jew is anti-logos, and whatever he touches he destroys. (There are exceptions of course – but these people no longer possess a negative Jewish spirit.)

Sorry your family was destroyed. When whites become un-moored they don't know how to act.

Father O'Hara , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:06 pm GMT
@J Adleman

Quite bizarre post. First,he makes a half ass defense of Jew character.(Weinstein, Epstein don't represent jews! Well, they kind of do. Any jew who is called to accounts for his crimes automatically does not represent jews! )

Antares , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:06 pm GMT
@Anon

if you think it's wrong to buy or try to collect on defaulted debt, what is the alternative set of laws and behavior you are recommending? If debts can simply be repudiated at will, capitalism cannot function.

Capitalism includes money. You can't separate the risks in lending from other risks. Bad investors should be punished and good investors rewarded. Resources should be well allocated. Otherwise it's not capitalism.

Happy Tapir , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT
@Rebel0007

I looked at his book on amazon. Do you believe all that stuff? Are these people with psychoses or delusional disorders?

Anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm GMT

https://www.trunews.com/stream/jew-coup-seditious-jews-orchestrating-trump-impeachment-lynching

These insane Boomers seem to think that there is a Jewish coup underway to remove Trump because of all the things that Jews are saying in Jewish publications and every single person involved being Jewish and stuff.

Adrian , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:20 pm GMT
@Germanicus About the Carnegie donated "Peace Palace" in The Hague, presently the seat of the In ternational Court of Justice:

Germanicus claims:

They are a function of Empire in Hague, who protect empire criminals, and assume a non existent legitimacy and jurisdiction as a private entity to take down empire opponents.

Such as this ruling for instance:

Guardian 3 Oct.2018:

International court of justice orders US to lift new Iran sanctions

Mike Pompeo indicates US will ignore ruling, after judges in The Hague find unanimously in favor of Iran

Informed Reader , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:21 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Colin Wright: Tel Aviv University's Medical School is called the "Sackler Faculty of Medicine." Does that help answer your question?

annamaria , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:24 pm GMT
@silviosilver

"What Joyce regards as a defect of "vulture" funds, others might regard as an benefit. "

-- Of course. I hope you did not miss the fact that the Jewish vulture funds -- ruthless, unethical, and leaching on goyim -- contribute to the Jewish Holocaust Museum.

Is not it touching that the same bloody destroyers of nations demand from the same nations a very special reverence -- out of ethical considerations, of course -- towards the Jewish victims of WWII? But only Jewish victims.

All others were not victims but casualties. See Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. See the unlimited hatred of ziocons towards Russia.

utu , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:25 pm GMT
@Anonymous

" but maybe a few leftist thinkers would receive a much needed electric shock if they were to see the JQ framed in marxist terms " – I would not count on the effect of the electric shock on the leftist thinkers. The role of Jewish Bolsheviks in the Cheka, NKVD, GULAGs, genocides by famine has been known from the very beginning and yet it left no impact on the leftist thinkers.

Anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:33 pm GMT

Browder's case is really interesting. http://www.ihr.org /jhr/v17/v17n6p13_Michaels.html

"According to Harvard University scholar Graham Allison, who is also a former US assistant Secretary of Defense, ordinary Russians have experienced, on average, a 75 percent plunge in living standards since 1991 -- almost twice the decline in Americans' income during the Great Depression of the 1930s. But in the midst of this widespread economic misery, a small minority has grown fabulously wealthy since the end of the Soviet era."

"Although Jews make up no more than three or four percent of Russia's population, they wield enormous economic and political power in that vast and troubled country. "At least half of the powerful 'oligarchs' who control a significant percentage of the economy are Jewish," the Los Angeles Times has cautiously noted. (See also: D. Michaels, "Capitalism in the New Russia," May-June 1997 Journal, pp. 21-27.)"

It's interesting how the appeal of Eduard Topol to Jews in Russia is now starting to echo Jewish calls in the United States for Jews to stop the path they are currently on.

Here is the complete text of Topol's extraordinary "Open Letter to Berezovksy, Gusinsky, Smolensky, Khodorkovsky and other Oligarchs," translated for the Journal by Daniel Michaels from the text published in the respected Moscow paper Argumenty i Fakty ("Arguments and Facts"), No. 38, September 1998:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-21/guardians-magnitsky-myth-will-real-bill-browder-please-step-forward

Magnitsky and Bill Browder is also really interesting.

It turns out that a large measure of the Russiagate story arose because Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who traveled to America to challenge Browder's account, arranged a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign advisers in June 2016 to present this other side of the story.

Apparently that's collusion.

But this isn't collusion.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/08/left-red-scare-democrats-suddenly-hate-russia/

Remember when Obama literally said he would sell out US defence interests to the Russians on a hot mic?

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/10/corrupt_senators_took_ukraine_cash.html

Then we had Democrats actually literally word for word doing what they accuse Trump of doing in Ukraine.

"It got almost no attention, but in May [2018], CNN reported that Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote a letter to Ukraine's prosecutor general, Yuriy Lutsenko, expressing concern at the closing of four investigations they said were critical to the Mueller probe. In the letter, they implied that their support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine was at stake. Describing themselves as "strong advocates for a robust and close relationship with Ukraine," the Democratic senators declared, "We have supported [the] capacity-building process and are disappointed that some in Kyiv appear to have cast aside these [democratic] principles to avoid the ire of President Trump," before demanding Lutsenko "reverse course and halt any efforts to impede cooperation with this important investigation."

What's the first rule of Communist and Satanist Saul Alinsky? Always accuse your opponents of what you are doing.

Imagine having a Grandfather as the literal Chairman of the American Communist Party, and all the amazing lessons you would learn about political maneuvering and ideology.

And it's amazing.

Browder's story is that Russian officials stole his companies seals and then fraudulently formulated a tax avoidance scheme with a complete paper trail that they fabricated against him in totem. Precisely matching the amount of money he was trying to remove from their country, like those other Jewish Oligarchs who imposed conditions that were multiples worse then even the American depression.

When under oath it turns out that Magnitsky wasn't even a lawyer at all, and didn't go to law school. Why did the media owned by Mormons of course keep saying that Magnitsky was Browder's lawyer?

Why did the Russians fraudulently fabricate a paper-trail for another Jewish Oligarch to steal money out of Russia? Just like they colluded with Trump when a Russian lawyer sought to explain what happened. Because that totally happened.

Maybe the problem isn't Capitalism. Maybe, when even the ur-Shabbos goys at National Review are shaking their head and washing their hands like Pilate, maybe it's a different problem.

Yet Trump holds these people ever close to his beating heart.

And then there are all these connections to Jeffrey Epstein that are like an explosion linking all these people.

Poor old Russia. Even Putin isn't worse then what came before.

renfro , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm GMT
@Anonymous

t class is not tied to any territory has been observable since 1960.

I don't have time now to look up how many of 199 directors are Jews . but I know enough of the economic history of various countries to know that Jews were the first business and finance globe trotters,,,,.from Spain to Amsterdam, France to Africa , etc.etc. Jew were first hired as reps and facilitators by the gentile business owners especially because of their breather tribal contacts in many countries ..that was their stepping stone to becoming transnational capitalist themselves.

Understanding our global capitalist ruling elite and who they are is not rocket science

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT

Yet more evidence is piling up that Donald J Trump is the Great Betrayer. A man who had the biggest mandate in post war history to clean up the Swamp that is D.C., reform Immigration to save America and reform the economy for American workers. He has squandered all of it while pandering to Jews.

When the Donald is revealed as the Great Betrayer where will Jews run? Yes, they have several back up plans. Patagonia, Ukraine and Israel.

Imagine that. They have their own country and 2 back up plans. It is really tough being a hated, oppressed minority.

JUSA , says: December 19, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Lot

being much more cautious in their borrowing since the borrowing cost is so high.

Instead, this current arrangement basically uses bond funds to put up a false front, telling a debtor they can borrow at 2% when the real rate should be at 20% given the known risks, then the debtor goes crazy borrowing because it's so cheap to borrow, and when they can't pay back, the bond gets sold to the vultures who come collecting at 20% or they seize assets.

This is no different than the subprime mortgage crap, except now that is regulated so they go after sovereign debt and corporate debt instead. These vultures need to go die period.

bike-anarkist , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:16 pm GMT
@Jimmy1969

This is a great, concise overview of Canadian media influence by the "silent" Jewish overlords via Golden Tree.

I tried copy/paste of your comment on CBC, but it did NOT last 2minutes before being suspended!!

I am sorry to have used your comment without your permission, but I am going to "misspell" some words to defeat the algorithm to get your message across.

Anon [112] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm GMT
@Lot e, and these golfy-sounding names (Elliot, Monarch, GoldTree, OakTree, Canyon, Tilden Park) fit the perception. We whites receive the society's hate for the wealth disparities created by high finance.

4. No, it is not difficult to do finance differently. Every other investor has higher patience for poor countries in Central America and Africa, and they all look at Elliot with confused scorn.

And, things would probably run fine without hyper-aggressive multi-billionaires in pushing the courts to f- over those who default on debts they owe to the maximum degree. Japan and Norway do quite fine with businesses that are run by gentle and humble goys who feel ashamed at the thought of getting "too rich."

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm GMT
@J Adleman

You will be thrown out.
You will have to choose between Israel, Ukraine and Patagonia. No one else will take you.
You have destroyed our politics, media and economy.
You are not respected.
You buy compliance with money.
You have bankrupted the U.S. dollar with debt pursuing Israel's enemies.

You should pack.
Real Soon.
Good Riddance.

Anon [112] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 10:31 pm GMT
@Just passing through

I accept the guilt for what whites have done in the past.

But whites have become incredibly generous and gentle with the Other. We have turned in the opposite direction, we are not the same.

Great Britain gave up many of its colonies with no fight. Kenya was given up before there was even an anti-colonial movement in Kenya!

We whites are fair-players, and we respect the right of other peoples to self-determination. We haven't in the past, but we have learned.

thotmonger , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT

Ben Franklin and the American revolution was almost put in a similar pinch by the Amsterdam banker Jean DeNeufville. In a letter to John Adams, 14 December 1781*, Franklin explained that DeNeufville wanted as security for a loan "all the lands, cities, territories, and possessions of the said Thirteen States, which they may have or possess at present, and which they may have or possess in the future, with all their income, revenue, and produce, until the entire payment of this loan and the interests due thereon."

Franklin considered that "extravagant" but Newhouse rejoined, "this was usual in all loans and that the money could not otherwise be obtained". Franklin retold in this lengthy letter, "Besides this, I was led to understand that it would be very agreeable to these gentlemen if, in acknowledgment of their zeal for our cause and great services in procuring this loan, they would be made by some law of Congress the general consignee of America, to receive and sell upon commission, by themselves and correspondents in the different ports and nations, all the produce of America that should be sent by our merchants to Europe."

Talk about shooting the moon

While Wikipedia says DeNeufville was Mennonite, Franklin concluded with this colorful -- and bitter -- remark , "By this time, I fancy, your Excellency is satisfied that I was wrong in supposing John de Neufville as much a Jew as any in Jerusalem, since Jacob was not content with any per cents, but took the whole of his brother Esau's birthright, and his posterity did the same by the Canaanites, and cut their throats into the bargain; which, in my conscience, I do not think Mr. John de Neufville has the least inclination to do by us while he can get any thing by our being alive. I am, with the greatest esteem, etc., ✪ B. Franklin."

Perhaps it was just an expression based on an earlier stereotype?

*Bigelow, 1904. The Works of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 9 Letters and Misc. Writings

Mefobills , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT
@steinbergfeldwitzcohen o to Uganda and Ugandans were willing, but NO Zion had to have Palestine, and they got it through war, deception, and murder. It was funded by usury, as stolen purchasing power from the Goyim.

The fake country of Israel, is not the biblical Israel, and it came into being by maneuverings of satanic men determined to get their way no matter what, and is supported by continuous deception. Even today's Hebrew is resurrected from a dead language, and is fake. Many fake Jews (who have no blood lineage to Abraham), a fake country, and fake language. These fakers, usurers, and thieves do indeed have their eyes set on Patagonia, what they call the practical country.

Anonymous [147] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:08 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat feel this makes me weird.

I've been to TOO. However I can't bring myself to start commenting on a white nationalist website. I will admit I am unable to articulate this discomfort presently.

As to your point about Marx – I actually forgot about his work on the JQ. The Saker, who is a columnist on this site, referenced Marx's essay on the JQ some time ago. I must have not read the whole thing or I'd have remembered it. I didn't know that Marxism originated with anti-Semitism, but that is fascinating. I have encountered some Marxists in my time and they focus exclusively (predictably) on the cis-white-male patriarchy, or whatever occupies their brainwashed minds after an Introduction to Gender Studies class.

Johan , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:15 pm GMT
@Anon repudiated at will, capitalism cannot function."

Is this children's capitalist theory class time? throwing around some simple slogans for a susceptible congregation of future believers?

Should be quite obvious that people, groups of people, if not whole nations , can be forced and or seduced into depths by means of certain practices. There are a thousand ways of such trickery and thievery, these are not in the theory books though. In these books things all match and work out wonderfully rationally

Then capitalism cannot function? Unfortunately it has become already dysfunctional, if not a big rotten cancer.

secondElijah , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:18 pm GMT
@J Adleman Ezekiel 21:25 25 'Now to you, O profane, wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose iniquity shall end
Jeremiah 5:9 Shall I not punish them for these things?" says the LORD. "And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?

As Jesus said which of the prophets have you not killed or persecuted? The truth hurts. As for me I do not hate Jews ..I feel terribly sad for a people that are capable of greatness and squandered the gifts given to them by God. Are you a holy nation? Don't make me laugh. Repent. Your time is coming. No more running and hiding. Deception will no longer save you only acceptance of the Messiah.

tomo , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:28 pm GMT
@Father O'Hara

he can't be bargained with,he can't reasoned with,he doesn't feel pity,remorse,or fear " In other words – a 'culture' as a PSYCHOPATH it's a well-oiled psychopath support group

Clutch these pearls, sqrt, sqrt, sqrt , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:36 pm GMT

Hey! Don't mention anything a Jew ever did, especially usury, or else the entire cult will go up in a holocaustal mushroom cloud of emo nasal whining. In Judaism you've got a fanatical sect that systematically selects and brainwashes its members to inculcate extreme values of two Big Five personality axes: high neuroticism and low intellect (where intellect means open-mindedness.) Note the existential crisis triggered by a straightforward lecture from The Society for the Study of Unbelievably Obvious Shit.

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/295595/pride-and-prejudice-at-fieldston

Of course Israel is holocausting the Palestinians. This is what happens when the founding myth of a nation is, We wiped em all out and then they wiped us almost all out so now we gotta wipe em all out etc., etc., etc.

Fuck Israel. Fuck the Jewish State.

tomo , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:41 pm GMT
@J.W. en a narcissist and a psychopath is that the former need people to like them whereas psychopaths genuinely could not care less (although they learn early that acting as if they do can be very helpful , as can always trying to elicit sympathy etc).
As I noticed while reading a few books on psychopathy (I was inspired to after reading Steve Job's biography) – their whole 'culture' is structured as a (collective ) PSYCHOPATH.
It seems that (collectively) they cannot care about others even if they wanted to. Due to their sickness

I am not saying they are all that way – but overall their 'culture' seems to be that way

Skeptikal , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:56 pm GMT

@Colin Wright

The Sacklers occupy a hoity-toity rung in the philanthropy universe, as they have given enough $$$ to Harvard for H to paste their name on its museum housing I believe its whole Asian art collection.

Students have now protested Harvard's high-profile gift of probity and cultural status to the Sacklers via, literally, an "Aushangerschild" on a major university museum. Harvard protests back: Jeez, if we don't take the Sacklers' dough we might be obliged to stop taking the dough from Exxon, etc.

tomo , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:04 am GMT
@Anon ou are right that loans should be repaid – it is immoral to allow a well connected mafia to change all the laws and remove protections while pushing up prices of everything because it suits the lender (who has a licence to print).
They basically lend money that does not exist and get interest for that. So the more sheeple are tricked into borrowing the better for them, but the worse for everyone else
They should not be allowed to bribe politicians to remove all the protection that was there since 1920s I think.
It's a marriage from hell: easy to bribe Anglosheep meets the masters of predatory bribing who own the printing press
lavoisier , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 12:22 am GMT
@anon

That stupid cuck Trump just got impeached by the House. Thats a good lesson to everybody how much good Jew-ass kissing does for you .you get stabbed in the back anyway lol

Couldn't have happened to a more deserving and treacherous scumbag!

But he should have been impeached for his treachery to the constitution and to the American people for his slavish devotion to all things Jewish!

PCA , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:24 am GMT
@mark green

The singular is PHENOMENON for God's sake. Phenomena is plural.

Have Americans always been this illiterate?

BannedHipster , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 12:26 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat

True, but irrelevant. The Jews that matter don't read the Talmud or believe in "Adam and Eve."

It's 2020. The Jewish religion is "The Holocaust" and we're all "Nazis."

Frankly, it's these traditional religious notions of "anti-semitism" that get in the way of understanding what is, at the core, an ethnic issue. It's Sheldon Adelson, the Zionist entity in Palestine, and the ADL that are the problem, not some looney-tunes rabbi living in Brooklyn.

Daniel Rich , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:31 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat

But I see all kinds of people even on this thread blaming the victim instead -- 'Damn goyishe deadbeats!' Whatever

The number of families who're unable to pay an $500 emergency bill is staggering as is the number of families being 1 paycheck away from bankruptcy.

Yes, some people are totally irresponsible and burn through their money faster than it can be printed, but not all 55,000,000 of 'em.

Rafael Martorell , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:47 am GMT

The other side of the explanation is the lacking of reaction of the victim, the american people. The least that the people that loot the world trough and with the USA power should do, is ,at least ,let us,the american people, a free ride.

Milesglorious , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:50 am GMT
@anarchyst

And when it comes, vae victis.

Frank Frivilous , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT

Well, DynCorp has a particularly insidious reputation beyond your run of the mill Usury.

https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/wikileaks-reveals-american-contractors-involvement-in-afghan-pedophile-ring/

Not illegal in the Talmud either but most certainly illegal in all of the countries that DynCorp was caught profiting from this type of business. For some reason they never seem to suffer for their exposure suggesting that they may be wielding the same influence that Epstein had over our elected officials.

Rafael Martorell , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:59 am GMT

We dont have to get back to the Singer of this world but to our own politicians ,that allowed them to do this to us,and to the world.In this kind of abusive realtionship the 2 sides are to blame.

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:14 am GMT
@Just passing through h and then moved over to the West with their newfound gains, buying up properties, forcing prices up for the natives. The western corporations not only wanted cheap products to export back to the U.S., but they were also developing a whole new market – Chinese consumers who would buy their products as well. Double plus good!

And once in the West, the Chinese and the Indians stick to their groups. They hire their own, promote their own, do business together. A lot of corruption, money laundering, cheating, taking advantage of and bending laws. Rule of law? Code of ethics? Morals? Do unto others? They never learned it. Opportunistic dual citizens.

Isthatright , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:23 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Tucker is smart. He never uses the J word. Great article.

Fayez chergui , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:31 am GMT

The only path to understand the spirit of jews to money is to read the Old Testament : clear and sharp.

lavoisier , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
@utu

I would not count on the effect of the electric shock on the leftist thinkers. The role of Jewish Bolsheviks in the Cheka, NKVD, GULAGs, genocides by famine has been known from the very beginning and yet it left no impact on the leftist thinkers.

It unfortunately has not had much of an effect on a lot of people in the West, who remain ignorant or in denial of the role played by Jewish Bolsheviks in historic mass murders and totalitarian repression.

Waiting for the Hollywood movie to tell the story.

Rebel0007 , says: December 20, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT

[Too much totally off-topic crackpottery. Stop this or most of your future comments may get trashed.]

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:02 am GMT
@utu

This is why you need to start with Zarlinga, as there is no BS to lead you astray. Hudson tends to drill the bulls-eye too. There is so much deception in the field of money and economy, that it is easy to get caught up in false narratives, like one-born free libertarianism. Usury flows fund the deception, even to the point of leaving out critical passages in translations, such as in Aristotle's works. Or, important works are bought up and burned.

Michael Hudson is the leading economist resurrecting Classical Economics. Reading all of Hudson and Zarlinga will take some time and effort, but it is good to take a first step.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:10 am GMT
@Anon According to Wikipedia : " The armed rebellion of the Mau Mau was the culminating response to Colonial rule . Although there had been previous instances of violent resistance to colonialism , the Mau Mau revolt was the most prolonged and violent anti-colonial warfare in the British Colonial colony. From the start the land was the primary British interest in Kenya ."
Just as the Kenyans suffered the consequences of British colonialism , the "Palestinians will suffer
the consequences of Zionist colonialism until Israel's original sin is boldly confronted and justly remedied " foreignpolicyjournal.com
Realist , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:17 am GMT
@the grand wazoo

No, not stupid whites, they're not to blame. It's the greedy corrupt politician: white, black, or white jew, who are to blame.

Who votes these greedy corrupt politicians into office? Hint: It is Whites who are the majority.

Citizen of a Silly Country , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:20 am GMT
@anon

distinction of Jewish investors versus gentile investors – on average, of course – is their use of bribery to get the force of government behind them. Rather than taking a bet about some group being able to pay back some bonds and letting the chips fall where they may, Jews start bribing or influencing politicians to force that group to pay back the bonds.

Buy some bonds, charge outrageous fees, bribe officials in some form or other, get govt to force the payment of bonds and outrageous fees. Rinse and repeat. Jews have been doing this in some form aor another for 1500 years. It's why the peasants get a tad angry at both the Jews and their bribed politicians/nobility.

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:22 am GMT
@lavoisier

money. Dear me, wait until that comes out.

Trump is in league with the Jews? Yeah, who isn't? Obama's lips are still sore from kissing Jewish Wall Street bankers' asses (notice that none of them went to jail). Same with the Clinton's.

You can get politicians to pass all sorts of laws in your favor if you've got enough dirt on them. After all, your side owns the media, Hollywood, academia, the courts, the banks.

If dirt doesn't work, you can always threaten to impeach them in order to get what you want.

But Trump is also revealing every last dirty one of them (accidentally or on purpose). People see them now.

Robert Dolan , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:37 am GMT

...Trump sucks. All decent people should stand up and fight against these scumbags.

They can't play whack a mole with all of us.

Colin Wright , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 2:49 am GMT
@Informed Reader

'Colin Wright: Tel Aviv University's Medical School is called the "Sackler Faculty of Medicine." Does that help answer your question?'

That sort of thing is what led me to ask the question.

tomo , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:50 am GMT
@Father O'Hara

I now use therm 'Weinsteined' to mean 'raped' (by jewish banksters, investors etc)

Also Jewish , says: December 20, 2019 at 2:52 am GMT
@J Adelman

J Adelman comes out swinging. He's such a tough guy. But does he make sense? Does he care if he makes sense? The writer is talking about those Jews who are vulture capitalists. He's not talking about every Jew. Isn't it a little odd that nearly all of these funds are run by Jews? Can your corrupt mind accept that fact and address the question? Or are you going to bore us with your religion and by that I mean your obsession with anti-semitism, which is your religion.

tomo , says: December 20, 2019 at 3:00 am GMT
@bike-anarkist

I posted the same comment on the Facebook a few hours ago and it's still there

Colin Wright , says: Website December 20, 2019 at 3:04 am GMT
@Art

'Hmm -- The day after Trump in inaugurated for his second term -- will Iran be in his crosshairs? We need to think very seriously about that!

My guess is Iran is in the crosshairs. Trump probably promised he'd start the war as soon as he was elected the first time -- but he putzed around, and now it's almost 2020. Adelson et al are pissed -- but Trump's got a point. If he starts the war now the unknown Democrat will win -- and do you trust their word instead? They just gotta trust Trump. Let him get reelected -- then he'll come through.

This is one of those cases where I'll be happy to be proved wrong -- but such is my suspicion.

mark green , says: December 20, 2019 at 3:23 am GMT
@PCA

Stop splitting hairs. Is this the best you can do? Are you one of Lot's cronies? I don't normally address petty matters of this kind but Joyce is describing a multitude of sins and misconduct orchestrated by various Jewish financiers around the globe. It is not merely one phenomenon; thus, 'phenomena' fits. Go troll someone else.

redmudhooch , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:13 am GMT

Typical Jew baiting article. Mitt Romney isn't a "Jew" Ashish Masih isn't. Many more examples of gentiles taking advantage of their brothers. May as well consider the Walton family of Wal-Mart to be vultures as well since they benefit the most from this system, they're so called Christians, not Jews.

The problem is capitalism. Author seems to suggest that a moral economic system has been corrupted. The system was designed in an era of widespread slavery folks. Its an immoral system that requires theft, slavery, war, immigration, all the things you hate, to survive. The system is working exactly as it is designed to work. Exploit workers, the environment and resources, shift all the profits from workers to the owners of capital, period. Welcome to the late stage, it eats and destroys itself

From the days of the colonists slaughtering the Injuns and stealing their land. The days of importing African slaves, and indentured servants. The days of child labor and factory owners hiring Pinkertons to gun down workers who protested shitty wages and working conditions. The good ol days of the gilded age. Now the age of offshoring to China or some other lower wage nation. Overthrowing leaders not willing to let their resources and people be plundered and enslaved, driving refugees to our borders fleeing violence and poverty. Importing H1B workers to drive down wages. It was always a corrupt system of exploitation/theft/slavery. This is nothing new and doesn't require "Jews" to be immoral.

And all these so called "Christians" like Pastor Pence approve. Usury and capitalism run amok. I'm sure Jesus is smiling down on all these Bible toting demons who allow their fellow man to be exploited by the parasites. Sad!

Good for Tucker. He has his moments I'd watch his show if he wasn't a partisan hack. But that will never happen working for Fox or any other corporate media.

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:31 am GMT
@Anon

You've read "Red Notice", but that is only Browder's side. To get the other side, read these articles from Consortium News:

https://consortiumnews.com/tag/william-browder/

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 6:18 am GMT
@Colin Wright , maybe you're just assassinated.

Trump loves his daughter and she is married to a Jew. If they're not getting their way, I could see them telling Trump: "Sad what happened at the Pittsburgh synagogue, isn't it? Sure hope nothing like that happens to your daughter."

I don't envy Trump. He not only is up against the Democrats, but he is also fighting the globalist neocons in his own party. Both parties want open borders and more war, something Trump does not believe in. As far as I can see, he's throwing them bones in order to shut them up. If he gets elected again, which I think he will, we might see a different Trump. Who knows.

ivan , says: December 20, 2019 at 9:38 am GMT

Rather amusing to read our resident Jewish apologists carrying on about the absolute sanctity of the necessity of collecting debts to the functioning of the capitalistic system. These nations and corporate entities that are now in thrall of the Wall Street Jews , were herded into debt by that other faction of the capitalist system, the dealers in easy money. Snookering the rubes into lifelong debt, telling them that money is on the tap, promoting unsustainable spending habits and then let the guillotine come down, for the vultures to feed on. They are two sides of the same coin.

Its damned funny that the rich Jews nowadays are absolutely addicted to usury, rentier activities, and debt collection, when the Bible itself condemns such activities. But they are our elder brothers in faith according to some.

PaddyWhack , says: December 20, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Carnegie was a Protestant. The Protestant cancer serves it's Jewish masters. Read 'The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit' by E. Michael Jones. There is definitely a revolutionary nature to the international Jew just as there is to their Protestant dupes. Jewish nature is to subvert the natural order and the west was built by the guidance of LOGOS. The Catholic Faith created by God guided the creation of the west. These Jewish exploits are a result of the Wests rejection of its nature and its enslavement

Calvin Simms , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:12 am GMT

Amazing article from the ever insightful Andrew Joyce. The usual apologists are sputtering to try to mitigate the damage, but the game is almost up.

anno nimus , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT

1. rich or poor, creditor or debtor, in the final analysis, ultimately, all will become equal in the grave. the filthy rich might decide to lay their corpses in coffins made of gold, but it will be in vain. the sorrows and the joys of this fleeting world shall quickly pass like the shadow.
2. talmudics feel the need to accumulate money in order to have sense of security since they were stateless for two millennia. paradoxically, amount of wealth is indirectly proportional to a sense of security, provoking backlash from aggrieved host people.
3. establishment of State of Israel did not reduce the need for the accumulation but has only heightened it since now talmudics feel the need to support it so that she could maintain military superiority over neighbouring threats.
4. as long as Palestinians are not free and Israel does not make peace, talmudics will continue to meddle in American politics. if you don't want to save the Palestinians for the sake of humanity and truth or justice, at least you should do it for your own sake.
5. loan sharking, vulture whatever, etc., is the ugliness of big capitalism with capital C, what is beyond sickening is the promotion of sodomy. if one becomes poor or homeless, it's a pity. to go against nature is an abomination.
6. by using such words as "homosexual" you have accepted the paradigm of the social engineers and corruptors, and are therefore collaborating with them. words have consequences since that is how we convey ideas unless you own Hollywood and can produce your own moving pictures too.
7. talmudics is a better word than as a great American scholar says, since people who promote sodomy are absolutely opposed to the Torah (O.T.). those who still struggle to follow it couldn't care less what happens to benighted goyim, only becoming reinforced in pride of their own purity as opposed to disgraced nations. thus, practically, they too are talmudics, alien to the spirit of the ancient holy fathers and prophets of Israel. the word "Orthodox" has been stolen and now has lost all meaning or it means the exact opposite of what it originally meant.
8. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5

Wizard of Oz , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Well there's nothing wrong in principle about specialists in valuing distressed debt and managing it nuying such debt and using the previously established mechanisms for getting value out of their investment. So the problem is how they go about enforcing their rights and the lack of regulation to mitigate hardship in hard cases.

Still it is notable that it should, overwhelmingly be a Jewish business and such a powerful medium for enriching Jewish causes and communities at the expense of poor Americans.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 20, 2019 at 11:30 am GMT
@Colin Wright

George Bush needed Tony Blair's support to attack Iraq , Donald Trump now has the support of Boris Johnson to attack Iran : "Boris Johnson refuses to rule out military intervention on Iran ." metro.co.uk

It is said that the "deep state " removed Theresa May from office as she was "too soft" on Iran . As you suggest the attack will not happen until Trump's second term unless, in the meantime , there is a false flag attack like 9/11 which can be blamed on the Iranians .

Realist , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:07 pm GMT
@eah

While Whites theoretically still have the numbers to affect/determine the outcome of elections, a majority of Whites usually stay home because they are tired of the 'evil of two lessers' choice they are offered -- even voting for Trump got them little/nothing.

I said nothing of an electoral solution to America's problems the problems will not be solved that way.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
@Art

That scary thought has crossed my mind, too, Art. I've even started wondering if this whole impeachment circus is really part of an elaborate plot to guarantee Trump's re-election. I mean, would Pelosi's insane actions make the slightest sense otherwise? And everyone has noted how this is such a 'Jew coup,' haven't they? It all looks so suspicious

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT
@Mefobills

What our Jewish friends have done to Argentina, through maneuvering the elections, killing dissidents, and marking territory, is a cautionary tale to anybody woke enough to see with their own eyes.

Yup. And don't forget that ongoing Zionist psy-op known as the AMIA bombing: https://thesaker.is/hezbollah-didnt-do-argentine-bombing-updated/

Thomasina , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@geokat62

"'I'm HARDCORE Zionist and so is president Trump!' – Roger Stone"

If Trump was hardcore Zionist, they wouldn't have been going after him since the day he announced he would run for President.

No, they see him as an absolute threat to their existence.

As they twist to fight him, they are all exposing themselves.

Ilya G Poimandres , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Mefobills mo.. maybe other than when 100% of the Ummah agree on something, I read that could remove a surah of the Quran, like a voice of God. That rhymes nicely imo.

Of course how to judge which ruling to use? I agree, it brings in a casuistry into the faith that generally helps to confuse.. I don't know much about it though yet.

I think Islam preaches a decent message, but the average practitioner is open to misinterpret it quite a bit. This is a failing of the teaching.. but I think Mohammed's message was corrupted like Christ's message pretty much straight after his death. Gospel of Thomas and Tolstoy's rewrites all the way for something closer imo.

Desert Fox , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm GMT
@Thomasina

Trump is a hardcore zionist and the impeachment is another zionist scam to divide the American people, read The Protocols of Zion.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT
@sally n in iniquity, and that is where your eye should gaze, not necessarily at the FED or any central bank.

The debt money system and finance capitalism is state sponsored usury, and is a Jewish construct.

Vulture capitalism is simply vultures buying up or creating distressed assets and then changing the law, or using force to then collect face value of the debt instrument or other so called asset. Vultures will use hook or crook to force down what they are buying, and hook or crook to force up what they are selling. God's special people can do this because when they look in the mirror, they are god, and are sanctioned to do so.

Trinity , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm GMT

Maybe the vulture should replace the bald eagle as America's favorite bird since our dear shabbos goy President Trump and cohorts are undermining the First Amendment and trying to make it a crime to criticize Jews and/or Israel. Oh and don't think I am promoting the other Zionist and their shabbos goy on the demshevik side. The Jew CONTROLS both sides and "our" two party system has become Jew vs. Jew, not republican vs. democrat. Lenin said that the best way to control the opposition was to lead it and (((they))) are at it AGAIN.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres zies, who twist scripture. Judaism, especially Talmudic Judaism is Kabala and utterances of the sages, and it morphs and changes over time. For example, after Sabatai Sevi, the Kol-Neidre was weaponized, and this construct is used by today's Zionists to wreak havoc. Before Sabatai, there was Hillel, who weaponized usury.

Yes, I agree about Christianity changing quite a bit. In the first 300 years it was much different than today, especially after the Arien controversy was settled by Constantine's maneuvering of Bishops at council of Nicea. For example, before; reincarnation was part of Christian doctrine, and after; reincarnation was excluded.

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:31 pm GMT
@utu Great clip! I always loved Fry & Laurie.

I have long maintained that libertarianism/capitalism is really like a kind of Calvinism for atheists. Calvinists used to assume that, since whatever happened was God's will and God's will was invariable good, then whatever happened was good. Likewise, many modern cucks seem to have just substituted The Market for God. Morally speaking, it all lets man off the hook for anything that results–especially when those men happen to be Jewish financiers!

No, boys and girls, The Market is not inherently good. It requires that a moral system be superimposed on top of it in order to make it moral.

likbez , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm GMT
@Anon k of this MI6 asset (and potential killer) who tried to fleece Russia, you probably can benefit from watching a movie by Nekrasov about him. See references in:

http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Fighting_russophobia/Propaganda_as_creation_of_artificial_reality/Browder/index.shtml

It looks like it was Browder who killed Magnitsky, so that he can't spill the beans. And then in an act of ultimate chutzpah played the victim and promoted Magnitsky act.

Anonymouse , says: December 20, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

There is no defending these jewish malefactors. It has been pointed out that immorality is a disposition to be found in every ethnicity. The problem is that the jews with that disposition are more clever than folks from other ethnicities with the same dispostion. Being more clever, they are outstandinly better at depradation. I don't see how and why the recognition of the existence of evil jews justifies the author's hatred of jews as a whole.

Brundlefly , says: December 20, 2019 at 6:04 pm GMT
@Colin Wright

Colin, I'm going to assume this is a rhetorical question, as there is not one example that would cause you to suspect there is really any doubt about the types of organizations that the Sacklers are donating their ill-gotten wealth to.

annamaria , says: December 20, 2019 at 6:27 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat ocities, including the murder of civilians, predominantly Jews and Poles under the Nazi German administration. The term Banderites was also used by the Bandera followers themselves, and by others during the Holocaust, and the massacres of Poles and Jews in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia by OUN-UPA in 1943–1944.

The zionists have been asking hard for a backlash: https://katehon.com/article/riding-tiger-zionism-israel-and-far-right

[MORE]

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm GMT

@Digital Samizdat and infest England, is not well understood by the average Goy.

Our modern world is a direct line back to this big-bang event. Christian Zionism goes back much further in time than to just Cyrus Scofield and Darby. Our Jewish friends in Amsterdam were even publishing bibles at great expense, to then push the narrative that the "people of god and old testament" deserve to return to England.

(The usurers had been previously kicked out of England by King Edward in 1290. The usurers had been plying their game, and "putting house to house" to where English citizens were being dispossessed from their own lands.)

Sound familiar?

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Anonymouse y Jewish as were the Bolsheviks of a hundred years ago, and they have greatly benefited from the political immunity provided by this totally bizarre inversion of historical reality. Partly as a consequence of their media-fabricated victimhood status, they have managed to seize control over much of our political system, especially our foreign policy, and have spent the last few years doing their utmost to foment an absolutely insane war with nuclear-armed Russia. If they do manage to achieve that unfortunate goal, they will surely outdo the very impressive human body-count racked up by their ethnic ancestors, perhaps even by an order-of-magnitude or more.
ANZ , says: December 20, 2019 at 9:34 pm GMT
@Mefobills ted into being seen as the greatest victims, a transformation so seemingly implausible that future generations will surely be left gasping in awe.

Aided by no small part by chutzpah. The uncanny ability to ability to call black white and to call good evil. With no cultural love of truth to anchor them in reality. Thus detached, they are free to invent an alternate reality. I wonder if they do not suffer from cognitive dissonance. They seem genetically protected from it.

They are actually self-deluded and want to infect the rest of us with their visions of victimhood.

Long live the internet

alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT

@Mefobills

Not saying fellow Whites haven't helped me out, but Jews have, out of proportion to their numbers in the population by far.

I'm not sure how tons of Nobel prizes, advances in medicine, etc are "destroying everything they touch".

There was nothing done to my family to make them cold, short-sighted, selfish bastards. That's just White culture for ya.

eah , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:21 pm GMT
@Realist ; votes these greedy corrupt politicians into office? Hint: It is Whites who are the majority.

My first comment to you was #256 -- again "for the record": I did not give enough of a damn about you or your idiotic statement ("Stupid Whites are responsible for allowing this to happen") to comment/reply to you before you mentioned voting .

"LOL"

And I don't appreciate it when people attribute specific words, views, or thoughts to me that I did not express -- make a note of it, asshole.

You fucking prick.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
@Thomasina ich changed the meaning of the Statue.

Descendants of this immigration wave are the liberal jews pushing the jew coup against Trump. This is why they are from Ukraine (former pale of settlement area) or Russian haters.

To my mind, Trump is a Christian Zionist and has naturally allied with Bibi and the Zionist religious factions, such as Chabbad/Likkud.

Since U.S. has been fully infiltrated, then having Mossad and its agents on your side, is a strategy to keep from being suicided by the deep state, like JFK.

I'm willing to give Trump some lee-way, given the circumstances of our current reality.

Mefobills , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:40 pm GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit n pale of the settlement, or in Polish Shtetls, they created nothing of import.

Only when operating within the confines of Western Christian culture, or forced into western education by the Tsars, did Jews break free to be productive. And even then that production came at high cost to the host societies.

In other words, a good argument can be made, that if Jews had never infiltrated into Western Civilization, then said Westerners would have been much better off.

Sorry if real history is butt-hurting.

Today's Iran is another model on how to deal with the Jew problem. Jews are limited there in the same way as was done in Byzantium.

Druid , says: December 20, 2019 at 10:52 pm GMT
@sally

Your Jewish friends are, as they're wont to be, Zionist talmudists liars!!

Digital Samizdat , says: December 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
@Colin Wright ow" href="https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/18/impeachment-what-lies-beneath/">over at CounterPunch

So here's my entirely speculative tea-leaf reading: If there's a hidden agenda behind the urgency to remove Trump, one that might actually garner the votes of Republican Senators, it is to replace him with a president who will be a more reliable and effective leader for a military attack on Iran that Israel wants to initiate before next November. Spring is the cruelest season for launching wars.

His story is that the Israelis consider Pence to be more reliable. Who knows

Art , says: December 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm GMT
@Digital Samizdat Pelosi is a figurehead controlled by AIPAC.

The most important committee chairmanships to Israeli interests, are all held by Jews.

Nita Lowey – Appropriations Committee
Adam Schiff – Intelligence Committee
Jerrold Nadler – Judiciary Committee
Eliot Engel – Foreign Affairs Committee

This ploy of holding back the impeachment documents sounds like something crazy Schiff would do.

I think that there is something mentally and culturally wrong with that guy – he has zero regard for truthfulness.

Pelosi has trashed her legacy. That's what happens when you get close to the Jews.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:28 am GMT
@ANZ 11/13/the-psychopathology-of-being-jewish-and-getting-away-with-it/"> https://vidrebel.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/the-psychopathology-of-being-jewish-and-getting-away-with-it/

No wonder that the majority of Jews do not want to live in the Jewish State. too many Jews there.
They are quetching about antisemitism while attacking the western civilization -- from the assault on the First Amendment to the cheerleading for more wars for Israel in the Middle East.

No one keeps the Jews from joining their brethren in Israel. There is no need to sing "Next year in Jerusalem." Enough already. Just go there -- and stay there.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:49 am GMT
@alex in San Jose AKA digital Detroit o humanity, the Jewish style.
Buddy , says: December 21, 2019 at 2:34 am GMT
@Mefobills ons that distract us from seeing the top of the pyramid. However, it would appear that Marx finally gets to finance in Volume Three of Capital. I could read the whole thing myself, but I would rather simply ask you what you think. How do you reconcile Marx the Illuminati Jewish agent with Marx the perspicacious critic of capitalism? Where were his real loyalties? Did he stick the dynamite at the end of his magnum opus instead of at the beginning in order to hide it from his finance masters, whom he knew would never actually read that far? Was he attempting to assuage a guilty conscience by sneaking the truth into a footnote?
ANZ , says: December 21, 2019 at 3:31 am GMT
@annamaria are quetching about antisemitism while attacking the western civilization -- from the assault on the First Amendment to the cheerleading for more wars for Israel in the Middle East.

The complete lack of shame it takes to act like this is amazing to me. Also the hubris it would take. Though if you see yourself as a chosenite, those behaviors fit.

Apparently if you hang around then long enough, the behavior is contagious. Biden's shady Ukrainian dealings, which are 100% real are being denied and instead projected onto Trump. It's infecting our politics. The shabbos goy are emulating their masters.

Colin Wright , says: Website December 21, 2019 at 3:49 am GMT

@sally

'before I do, you must define venture capital.'

Vulture capital, actually. How many gentiles you can name in that category?

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 21, 2019 at 4:48 am GMT
@redmudhooch ts since the cave but that is not capitalism. Capitalism is Usury – profit for the sake of profit independent of usefulness, welfare, community, lifestyle.
.
And as was argued by the great German economist/sociologist Werner Sombart, Capitalism was really invented by Jews However as E Michael Jones has argued, Protestantism – particularly Anglo Calvinism- was a backsliding of Christianity into Jewish materialism – the spiritual basis for capitalism. So everything seemingly goes around and around. Capitalism cannot be blamed solely on the Jews but Jews can never be abstracted from the evils of capitalism. We have to keep both balls in the air
Daniel Rich , says: December 21, 2019 at 4:51 am GMT
@Buddy

Grab a small piece of paper. Add some fancy, symbolic stuff to it, like a fire-breathing dragon, with big, burning eyes, named ' Nimajneb , the faerie overlord, that hovers over an upside-down pyramid. Oh, and you'll need a number, let's say, '100.' Done. Print it out. Walk to the nearest person, say, "I've got here a $100 bill," and see what happens

Yet, the FED can take the same little piece of paper, sprinkle some magic dust on it, et voilà, you've got your $100 greenback [aka IOU $100 banknote].

Money makes the world go round?

Spin out of control into a state of utter madness, I'd say.

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 21, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT
@redmudhooch

Interesting argument. Please see my comment -# 313

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 5:26 am GMT
@Buddy can read through economic history or texts and spot the lies and fakery. So where does that leave the average layman to turn and not be hoaxed?

Sorry it is so hard out there to navigate. I commend you for trying. I'm feeling pressure to write a book, because even Hudson does not initiate people from level zero up to someone advanced enough to resist the hoaxers.

Richard Werner is pretty good, but you have to navigate around his favoritism of private banking. Money is law.. and he doesn't want to acknowledge that. This is what you run into, and the only way is for you to navigate as best you can and see if things ring true.

Miggle , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:16 am GMT
@Art

This ploy of holding back the impeachment documents sounds like something crazy Schiff would do.

I think that there is something mentally and culturally wrong with that guy – he has zero regard for truthfulness.

Wrong? Zero regard for truthfulness is mentally and culturally right for Schiffty. Very Jewish. The right way, if one is Jewish.

Nonny Mouse , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:27 am GMT
@anno nimus

I think Talmud means Pentateuch, not O.T.

Nonny Mouse , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:35 am GMT
@Nonny Mouse

Sorry, I meat Torah, not Talmud. You called the Torah the O.T. It's only the first few books of the O.T., I think.

Anon [388] Disclaimer , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
@Achilles Wannabe moral framework informing their behaviour.

Real science has been suppressed and removed from the public sphere. Or it's been perverted for mass surveillance and social command and control and dual systems.

I fully believe that execrable demons like Soros never die because they're getting baby blood from orphans passed through some heinous engine into their vile bodies.

Meanwhile, we're forced to deal with nonsense like anthropogenic climate change, string theory, dark matter and other Jewry the sole purpose of which is to centralise power over mind and body in the hand of Jews and Masons.

The Capitalist Jew is the Science Jew.

The answer to both is the same.

Robjil , says: December 21, 2019 at 12:02 pm GMT

Poland created Askenazis by inviting them in 1025. They grew from 25,000 to the millions we have today all over the world.

Yet, now the Ashkenazi tribe wants to stick it to Poland for creating them.

https://russia-insider.com/en/polands-ruling-elite-want-hand-over-30-residential-property-holocaust-survivors/ri27962

The Zionist racial bigotry behind S447 was foreshadowed by Israel Singer of the World Jewish Congress in 1996:

"More than 3 million Jews died in Poland and Poles will not be the heirs of Polish Jews. We will never allow it. We will harass them until Poland is ice covered again. If Poland fails to satisfy Jewish demands, it will be publicly humiliated and attacked internationally . – secretary general of the World Jewish Congress"

Notice the guy's last name – Singer. This is another form of Jewish mafia vulture capitalism, using any means to hurt the masses.

What is S447?

Section 3 of Act 447, the provision for heirless property, is the part that reveals the law's intent. Under existing laws, heirless property becomes the property of the state. After WW2 there was a lot of property without owners (whether owned by Poles or Jews), and it has been sold ever since. This law has the potential to cause national havoc, as the vast majority of Poles own their own homes. Even in the relatively cosmopolitan capital of Warsaw, 79% of city-dwellers own their homes and apartments.

Under S447, any Polish-Jew or descendent of said Polish Jew can lay claim to property to property deemed heirless and sold after the war, thus all land that can be claimed to have been owned by Jews before 1939 will be transferred to the global Jewish diaspora. If this law is put into practice, approximately 30% of Warsaw homeowners will be forced to pay "rent" to random Jews claiming to be Holocaust survivors or their descendants in New York City and Tel Aviv.

How would this "law" work in Poland?

Under S447, any Polish-Jew or descendent of said Polish Jew can lay claim to property to property deemed heirless and sold after the war, thus all land that can be claimed to have been owned by Jews before 1939 will be transferred to the global Jewish diaspora. If this law is put into practice, approximately 30% of Warsaw homeowners will be forced to pay "rent" to random Jews claiming to be Holocaust survivors or their descendants in New York City and Tel Aviv.

Trump was "impeached" for not giving arms freely to ZUS controlled Ukraine. The arms have been used to shell and kill civilians in East Ukraine. Yet, Trump should be impeached for pushing this Jewish Mafia vulture like capitalism on Poland.

Pressure from the US government is only reason this law is even being considered. While Donald Trump appeals to the West and Polish patriotism in his speeches, his government's actions say something radically different. Last February, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded the Polish state pass this law. Last August, the American congress urged more pressure on the Polish state to get S447 through.

George , says: December 21, 2019 at 12:39 pm GMT

"Tucker Carlson's recent attack on the activities of Paul Singer's vulture fund"

Yup, the bricks and mortar outdoor gear shops, Cabela's + Bass Pro need 2 HQs. Nebraska could have stopped it but instead chose farm subsidies, forever war, and pensions for government workers. To have that much spending excess in the government spending you need high efficiency from the civilian sector.

The reaction in Nebraska seems to be a big yawn. My guess is Cabela was constantly trying to reduce their state and local taxes, at some point keeping the low wage retail jobs while dumping the high wage HQ jobs made sense, short term, so they sold Sidney NB down the river.

Candidate targets Sasse on Sidney response, other issues

"Nobody tried anything," was the compaint(sic) Innis heard on his visits to the struggling community.

https://www.mccookgazette.com/story/2656650.html

REI is probably safe as it is a Consumers' co-operative.

mcohen , says: December 21, 2019 at 12:40 pm GMT

Mefo says

"Forces jews into honorable laboring professions"

That is funny.I feel a laugh coming on.

Well mefo let me tell you a funny story.This guy i know made some nasty comments about jews and not long after he got cancer.His doctor,a jewish cancer specialist put him back on his feet.
Know what the funny part is.He still makes the same comments.

From an article in the jew york times

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/health/exhibition-traces-the-emergence-of-jews-as-medical-innovators.html

Few escaped the pervasive prejudice, however. In the early 1900s, Dr. Paul Ehrlich, a German Jew who discovered a treatment for syphilis and is considered the father of chemotherapy, popularized the term "magic bullet" to describe a medical compound that would "aim exclusively at the dangerous intruding parasites" yet not "touch the organism itself."

But though Dr. Ehrlich was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1908, he was not made a full professor at a university until 1914, a year before he died. (That posting was at the University of Frankfurt, in the year of its founding.) In the 1930s, as the Nazis came to power, his name was removed from textbooks and taken off Frankfurt's street signs. Paul-Ehrlich-Strasse regained its name only after World War II.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
@ANZ of bankers and religious fanatics or a land-based theocratic toy-state of Israel.

It is the spirit of parasitism that is "infectious" and works against patriotism. Hense the local profiteers, from Rumsfeld to McCain, Biden, Brennan, Pelosi, Rubio and the likes who have been hastening the demise of the US for the immediate monetary compensation tied to the allegiance to the Jewish cause. The zionized NYT and the presstituting stink tanks the Atlantic Council (affiliated with the openly subversive Integrity Initiative), American Enterprise Institute and such have been working openly against the US interests and for ziocon interests.

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:43 pm GMT
@Mefobills

"Herzyl admired the Germans of the day, and wanted Jews to be like the German's he so admired. Herzyl thought that if Jews had their own country of Zion, they would settle down and become normal people."

-- The dream was an illusion. When the meme "is it good for the Jew?" beats all and any moral principles, then the world gets a nation of thieves and murderers quetching non-stop about their eternal victimhood. Pathetic.

http://www.thehypertexts.com/Israeli%20Prime%20Ministers%20Terrorists%20Nakba.htm

annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT

http://www.thehypertexts.com/Israeli%20Prime%20Ministers%20Terrorists%20Nakba.htm

[MORE]
annamaria , says: December 21, 2019 at 5:25 pm GMT
@mcohen spot.com/2012/10/czech-activists-accused-madeleine.html#more

From the position of the USA Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright pushed for the bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, when NATO planes bombed without a UN mandate. She also supported the jihad in Bosnia during 1992-1995, and the manipulation of the facts about Srebrenica, but also personally earned from the privatization of Kosovo Telecommunications. She should, therefore, bear the consequences of her political decisions and acknowledge responsibility for the bloodshed, in which thousands of civilians were killed.

FvS , says: December 21, 2019 at 6:44 pm GMT
@lavoisier

But in fairness, the Koch brothers are no damn good for the nation either.

No, they are (were) not. However, they also got a lot of negative media attention while these Jewish vulture capitalists have mostly been given a pass. Also, whites are about 55% of the population while Jews are about 2%.

Mr. Anon , says: December 21, 2019 at 7:32 pm GMT
@silviosilver er because the debt was already in default or was at imminent risk of defaulting, which is why the debt sells at a heavy discount, since existing debt holders are often happy to sell cheap and get something rather than hold on and risk getting nothing.

If A enters into a contract with B to borrow money, and then fails to be pay it back to B, why should C be able to come in and buy the debt from B and expect to be paid back? A entered into a contract with B, not C. And why should C expect to be able to employ the machinery of state coercion to force A to honor a contract that A didn't even make with C in the first place? Mr. Anon , says: December 21, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT

@Colin Wright

It's important not to get carried away with this.

I agree. Mitt Romney was also a financial hustler. The over-representation is real, but not exclusive.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian ters sent representatives to a small central government. This form of government was usurped in 1913, by the "money powers," and these money powers use elections as a veneer to sanction their behind the scenes rule.

Here is another quote from the Ivan the Terrible article, which sums things up:

n 1601, just a few years after Ivan's death, Russia was starving, leaderless and under attack. Again, under elite rule, with no ruling monarch, Russia was plunged into years of war and violence. Fighting oligarchy has been the traditional job of any monarch and is the ultimate purpose of government.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT
@Robjil olves to the "were so smart" and look at the medical advances, nobel prizes, etc. we've contributed.

Conveniently left out of account, is that these advances would have been done anyway in their absence. The goyim do possess the intelligence and fortitude to solider on without jews in our midst, and in-fact, when jews are absent from our civilizations, advancement accelerates.

The best thing for a jew to do is turn his back on the tribe, and re-join humanity.

To any Jew reading this . walk away from the tribe. Man-up and get some intestinal fortitude, leave the parasite method behind you, and join humanity.

niceland , says: December 21, 2019 at 8:11 pm GMT
@Mefobills

I'm feeling pressure to write a book, because even Hudson does not initiate people from level zero up to someone advanced enough to resist the hoaxers.

Have you considered writing articles? Series of articles could later on become raw material for a book. Perhaps easier path to take and could perhaps provide useful feedback along the way.

It sure looks like you could write far more informative and interesting articles than many writers here on Unz because of your broad perspective. The big picture is always more interesting and I agree with you about the importance of the subject.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 8:27 pm GMT
@Mr. Anon d by these degenerate types of people in order to take illicit gains.

In the U.S., (I'm an American), these usury flows funnel into the press – to where the press becomes owned, so that these Oligarchic interests can continue to take rents and unearned income through their various schemes.

I might add, our intelligent UNZ readers, have noticed that the U.S. mainstream press is predominantly Jewish owned. Intelligent people notice patterns are some of us are unwilling to look away. No amount of deception through the mainstream press can reduce the revulsion moral people instinctively feel when watching vultures operate.

ThreeCranes , says: December 21, 2019 at 9:37 pm GMT
@Bookish1 ing whiteness has never been more urgent.' By Mark Levine"

When challenged for apparently encouraging genocide, Levine and his cronies answer that "whiteness", as they are employing the term, is merely an accidental property as opposed to an essential quality. So stripping an organism of its whiteness will not diminish it to any significant degree, does not threaten its very existence, merely prunes it into a more acceptable shape.

And yet when some poor misguided soul has the temerity to put up a sign saying "It's Okay To Be White", the Mark Levines of the world have a cow. Suddenly, "white" is not a mere accidental quality at all.

mark green , says: December 21, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT
@FvS

The Koch Brothers (what's left of them; one died recently) are industrialists. They build things people want. They are innovators. Yes, the Koch Brothers are filthy rich but they employ tens of thousands of people in the US alone.

Most importantly, the Koch Bros. are not parasitic, money-skimming extractors or wealth like the vulture capitalists described by Joyce.

Buddy , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:50 pm GMT
@Mefobills s and schemes. The advantage of their technique is that it does not leave a positive trace but a negative trace. It is much more difficult to notice absence than presence. You can't see all the money that is constantly being vacuumed out of the economy. It doesn't leave a visible hole. And since none of us has ever witnessed firsthand what a rent-free economy might actually look like (since they are not allowed to exist), we internalize the belief that such an economy goes against natural law, when in fact the contrary is true.

Is there any way for you to link to more of your writing without giving away your identity?

mcohen , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:52 pm GMT
@mcohen class="comment-text">

Mefo

Lol

Ah so you're a team.interesting.protecting the ween.

How about this paul ehrlich.next generation

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_R._Ehrlich

Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932) is an American biologist, best known for his warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources.[2][3] He is the Bing Professor of Population Studies of the Department of Biology of Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology.

Mefobills , says: December 21, 2019 at 11:52 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian

Straw man argument. I am not for democracy or human rights. Apparently you don't want to let go of your false worldview.

mcohen , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:01 am GMT
@mark green dding.Stop posting on unz,its for adults only.

http://www.newyorker.com
A Whistle-Blower Accuses the Kochs of "Poisoning" an Arkansas Town

http://www.rollingstone.com
Web results
David Koch Built a Toxic Empire -- with Human Consequences

https://m.huffpost.com › entry
Koch Brothers' Toxic Legacy Detailed In New Report | HuffPost

Reid right on claiming Kochs produce more pollution than oil giants

Wally , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:11 am GMT
@Achilles Wannabe

Don't like a product or service that a "capitalist" makes or offers?

Fine & dandy, don't buy it, don't pay for it.

It's called choice .

There is no choice under your preferred Communism, as we have seen repeatedly.

Daniel Rich , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:19 am GMT
@Robjil

Under S447, any Polish-Jew or descendent of said Polish Jew can lay claim to property to property deemed heirless and sold after the war, thus all land that can be claimed to have been owned by Jews before 1939 will be transferred to the global Jewish diaspora.

Let's make a variant of the Polish S447 applicable to Palestinians and find out how much the illegal occupiers of Palestine like to see 'justice.'

Dingo jay b , says: Website December 22, 2019 at 12:20 am GMT

To be brief :Wasn't. Singer originally behind the dossier on Trump?

Mefobills , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:42 am GMT
@mcohen eir factories full of low IQ but compliant workers. 3) The finance banking class who want new debts to pay off old debts. New Debtors help fund a new debt cycle. 4) New people through population replacement, destroy the history and cohesion of the host country. By de-racinating and destroying the host people, then Plutocrats can continue with their thefts unchallenged.

The debt money cycle is something like a pyramid, where it sucks upward toward plutocracy. Plutocrats and Oligarchs then emit hypnosis and propaganda through the owned press to maintain their status. The funnel, or bottom of the pyramid wants new debts and new debtors.

anon [415] Disclaimer , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:46 am GMT
@Father O'Hara

how do entities like Puerto Rico get so far in debt in the first place? so many problems because of what appeared to be incompetent and comatose government.

Yes, ultimately the blame must lie with the voters: they picked douche, when they should have picked turd.

Robjil , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:55 am GMT
@Daniel Rich l, Germany and Russia were both strangled. The US's turn is now. The US wants to strangle Poland too with this s447 law. Trump should have been impeached for pushing this law on Poland.

Pressure from the US government is only reason this law is even being considered. While Donald Trump appeals to the West and Polish patriotism in his speeches, his government's actions say something radically different. Last February, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded the Polish state pass this law. Last August, the American congress urged more pressure on the Polish state to get S447 through.

anon [415] Disclaimer , says: December 22, 2019 at 12:58 am GMT
@Svevlad uple of centuries, nearly took Europe too, and were a serious thorn in everyone's side for a thousand years

In other words, they did much better than the Jews over the same period

Ball-breaking is a viable strategy, apparently

I think that all afroasiatic-speaking populations are like this, if they were to gain in intelligence the world would get weird real fast

Nah, no danger: it's just first-mover advantage, which, by definition, can belong only to one entity

Things went a little differently two thousand years ago, people like Joyce could just as easily have been writing about Kurds or Alawites or whatever

Mefobills , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:03 am GMT

Buddy,

The real eureka moment for me came when I finally understood that money and debt were created at the same time on opposite sides of the ledger. Only the two columns are not equal. One column grows through magic while the other does not. Once the sorcery has been wrought, the creditors can simply sit back and wait as the mechanism eventually transfers all the wealth in the world to them.

That is pretty good. Economics and most equations do not codify time. The equal sign cannot comprehend time, so most of the math used in economics textbooks is telling lies.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, the bad guys put their thumb on the scale and call things equal. They do this with swaps of unlike kinds. For example, you can build up housing prices with bubble economics, then collapse the economy by preventing new loans, or doing call-in loans. That then forces prices downward. The bankster/vulture class then forces a swap of the asset to collapse (cancel) the debt instrument. In this case, the house is transferred to creditor to erase debts. The house transfers to collapse a money contract, which is a swap of unlike kinds. Vultures do the same thing, they don't necessarily want money in exchange for the debt instrument they have bought.

With regards to double entry hypothecation – at the first instance of time, when debt instrument is signed ONLY THEN IS IT A MIRROR. The credit created and the debt claims are 1:1 only at the instant (minus fees). Later in time, the debt claims grow while the credit created does not. This is why debt claims destroy the natural world, as people rape the world converting forests to board feet of lumber, to then make a price, to then fetch money.

In the first cycles of a loan it is ALL USURY. Worse it is seignorage. Seignorage is greater purchasing power now, whereas the money is worth less later.

In the first cycles of the loan, the bank credit that you pay back, virtually none of it goes to paying off principle. The credit decrements the asset side of your ledger (your savings go down) and then point at the banker, to increase the asset side of his ledger. In the first cycles of the loan, your liability column (principle on the loan) goes down only slightly or not at all.

This is pure usury, plain and simple. There is little to risk the loan emitter either, as a house is fungible and can be grabbed by law. If a real asset is attached to the double entry ledger, it is to lower risk to the creditor (banker), not the debtor. A double entry ledger can lie, or tell the truth. It would tell the truth if we used fees in this case and didn't hypothecate new credit. But, then again, as you mention most people are locked into a hypnotic trance.

The proper way to do things is with sovereign money, not private corporate bank money at usury.

http://www.sovereignmoney.eu

Whenever a nations people demand their sovereignty, they are attacked by the usual suspects. A lot of people don't want to admit that both world wars were started by the finance class, with Jews as leading agents, to then demonize Germany.

Germany had the temerity under the Kaiser to run an Industrial Capitalist Mixed Economy using its own sovereign credit, and then Hitler resurrected this system in 1933.

Mefobills , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:36 am GMT
@mcohen

How about this paul ehrlich.next generation

Oh, sorry a different Paul Ehrlich.

You are only making my point. If a jew is in an honorable profession, he can be of benefit to the host society.

Maybe Jews should also be limited from the press too, so they may not have a malign influence on easily duped goyim minds.

But then, I don't want to lose the brave and honorable Jews like Ron Unz who are for the truth of things, even if it is damaging to their co-ethnics.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:40 am GMT

renegadetribune.com ; "US Court sentences Israeli CEO to 22 years for scamming Americans , media ignore it ":

"The company specifically targeted the elderly and the vulnerable , one of over 100 companies perpetrating a scam called binary options Israel permitted the scam to go on for a decade "

Will Trump pardon him before he leaves office ? The Jerusalem Post : " Trump pardons Israeli drug smuggler" after serving just 4 years of a 20 year sentence .

Bookish1 , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT
@Thomasina

To get it straight: Trump is playing their game but not totally. He isn't invading Iran so the globalists aren't getting everything that they want.

Bookish1 , says: December 22, 2019 at 1:51 am GMT
@Digital Samizdat

Maybe the dems want Trump in because they see a world war coming and the Republicans in for that.

Hibernian , says: December 22, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT
@Mr. Anon

Contracts often have provisions for successors and assignees. The real question is whether the weaker party was sufficiently strong to know what they were signing and have a good chance of being able to carry out their side of the bargain. Many sovereign buyers are about as good risk as an unemployed man who wants to buy a car on credit.

Lot , says: December 22, 2019 at 3:11 am GMT
@silviosilver

I agree this is a real problem, but no need to exaggerate. It isn't 99%. Outside of the USA, it is probably well under half.

Desert Fox , says: December 22, 2019 at 3:28 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job

Trump will do anything his zionist masters tell him to do, I am sure they have enough videos of Trump to last a lifetime.

KA , says: December 22, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
@Just passing through countries have been looted, the Jews have turned on the Whites and the latter are now crying that their criminal comrades have now betrayed them."

It's called comeuppance.

But IQ doesn't explain fully but the readiness to believe the west . Congo is particularly a sad case. It has been fighting a war for last 60 years .

As far as Belgium is concerned, that nations should be swamped to the brim with Congolese making it burst at the seams .

Who cares if some moronic Trump supporters get all shook up in Battle Creek . Who gives a toss ?

Trump is a fraud , a huckster a corrupt filthy white thrash

mcohen , says: December 22, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
@geokat62 iven the environmental damage said industries have caused. The vulture capitalists recover debt from failed states. A worthy cause indeed, especially for investors.

mark green says:
December 21, 2019 at 9:53 pm GMT • 100 Words

@FvS
The Koch Brothers (what's left of them; one died recently) are industrialists. They build things people want. They are innovators. Yes, the Koch Brothers are filthy rich but they employ tens of thousands of people in the US alone.

Most importantly, the Koch Bros. are not parasitic, money-skimming extractors or wealth like the vulture capitalists described by Joyce.

hotrod31 , says: December 22, 2019 at 8:03 am GMT
@Colin Wright

Should one suspect that your last question is, rhetorical? Quite, i'm sure.

geokat62 , says: December 22, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT
@mcohen ly able to secure large amounts of debt at very favourable interest rates. But this very soon changed. The vultures at GS, after peering into the Greece's true financial records, knew how vulnerable Greek finances were and were betting heavily against Greek sovereign debt by shorting it. This soon drove borrowing rates sky high which made it nearly impossible for the Greek govt to roll over their short term debt obligations.

So, thanks to the vulture capitalists at GS, a large percentage of the Greek population has been suffering and will continue to suffer under the austerity policies that were introduced in the wake of the financial crises.

ANZ , says: December 22, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT
@annamaria d us out from the classic American tradition into the modern Zionist vision. These turncoats are a uniquely despicable lot since they come with smiles and handshakes to kill the soul of our nation.

If history serves as a guide, it will take a government led by s strongman to right this ship. Democracy has proven too easily corruptible by a private banking cartel that can print its way to dominance. This cartel will select, groom, install and maintain their double agents into our political, economic and cultural spheres.

Here is the most plain lesson I can take from this: don't allow privatized money as the national currency.

Thales the Milesian , says: December 22, 2019 at 6:20 pm GMT
@Mefobills

I know you are not. Go and tell that to the World. Stop preaching democracy, and other crap.

Mr. Singer will prosper as this is the will of the American people and you can do nothing to change that.

Thales the Milesian , says: December 22, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Thales the Milesian

By the way Mefobills people like you are the problem. Sitting on your butt, doing nothing and whining.

mcohen , says: December 22, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT
@geokat62

Geo you cannot bullshit me.i am teflonika. Retitrement age was 55 but now it is 67.

Great people.Failed state."They"stole his money.lol http://www.ekathimerini.com/218552/article/ekathimerini/community/they-stole-my-money-greek-dreams-of-retirement-turn-sour

Robjil , says: December 22, 2019 at 8:57 pm GMT
@mcohen oycott abroad. It did this by using a barter system: equipment and commodities were exchanged directly with other countries, circumventing the international banks. This system of direct exchange occurred without debt and without trade deficits. Germany's economic experiment, like Lincoln's, was short-lived; but it left some lasting monuments to its success, including the famous Autobahn, the world's first extensive superhighway.1

Greece or any nation need not be in "debt". It is a game, a game of money printed out of thin air. All Greece has to do, is give up the debt game. Barter game is a better game.

MrFoSquare , says: December 22, 2019 at 10:42 pm GMT

@Buddy three.

Roger Elletson, in his excellent book "Money: A Medium of Power"(Amazon), defines the purpose of usury: "Under the current monetary regime, the effect, and indeed the purpose, of usury is to create compounding (think 'little by little') monetary claims from usurers against the productive output and underlying assets of nations."

In his unpublished manuscript, "The Triumph of Western Civilization," Elletson says: "What Parapometrics© now reveals, however, is that usury is the ultimate expression of parasitic (or mammonic) monetary law; it is the life principle of satanic power and human parasitism."

Mefobills , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:13 am GMT
@Robjil n proportion to the economies needs, as is what happened in Germany. Hitler laughed at the gold-men, and considered gold money as a tool used by the Jews in their "international capital game."

Purchasing power was put into the German economy using Oeffa and Mefo bills. When the bills were discounted (redeemed) at a bank, said bank turned around and presented the bills to the Central Bank (Reichsbank). Reichsbank then created new Reichsmarks to pay off the Bills. In this way millions of marks of new credit flooded into the German economy. By 1938 the tax roles in Germany had almost tripled, and it was not due to Gold or "international credit."

NoseytheDuke , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:16 am GMT
@Thales the Milesian

All that you and I really know about Mefobills is that information about the nature of money and economics is being freely given and appears to be much appreciated according to other commenters. We don't know anything about what other activities Mefobills is engaged in so your comment is nonsense thinly disguised as petty insults.

Robjil , says: December 23, 2019 at 2:00 am GMT
@Mefobills ding began.5

In Billions for the Bankers, Debts for the People (1984), Sheldon Emry commented:

Germany issued debt-free and interest-free money from 1935 and on, accounting for its startling rise from the depression to a world power in 5 years. Germany financed its entire government and war operation from 1935 to 1945 without gold and without debt, and it took the whole Capitalist and Communist world to destroy the German power over Europe and bring Europe back under the heel of the Bankers. Such history of money does not even appear in the textbooks of public (government) schools today.

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 2:47 am GMT
@Colin Wright

The underdog in Israel are Palestinians. The Chosen, in Israel and elsewhere, treat them like vermin. The Israeli chosen are the most color-conscious and racist people in the Western world.

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 2:54 am GMT
@mcohen

What benefit did the vulture capitalists give to the Greek people that they must now pay for with austerity?

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 23, 2019 at 3:21 am GMT
@Just passing through

I would say WASP's and Jews savaged Germany in WW2. Perhaps then the Jews turned on the WASPS. But WASP's are a curious bunch. They seem to have absolutely no loyalty to their own people. Look at what they have done to the English white working class. WASP's also are very enamored of Jews. If anything their loyalty sees to be to the Jews and not their own

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 23, 2019 at 3:46 am GMT

"we should ditch the word capitalism for usuryism."

Best idea I've heard in awhile. Likewise change Economics Departments to Usury Departments – at least in the Anglo=Judeo Sphere

ivan , says: December 23, 2019 at 3:48 am GMT
@Nonny Mouse

That may be the case in the Exodus dramas but the idea of 'who is thy brother' was already made clear earlier in Genesis – the story of Abel and Cain. The later Jews and the Christians merely rediscovered what was the original plan : that is, that all mankind share one brotherhood under one God.

mcohen , says: December 23, 2019 at 4:43 am GMT
@MrFoSquare

Mr 4

Aah so more bullshit. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loans_and_interest_in_Judaism

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 7:44 am GMT
@mcohen

So the Greek debt was caused by the purchase of too many weapons to defend against other countries like Turkey in NATO, an American-led organization that promises to provide security to all its member states? So the populace of a treaty-bound ally should suffer US-enforced austerity to have weapons so that vulture capitalists can enjoy large profits which they largely funnel to Jewish causes while the Jewish state never is expected to suffer austerity for weapons?

Buddy , says: December 23, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
@MrFoSquare . The texts are diabolically equivocal and ingeniously interlocking. The exoteric interpretation is innocent (Torah) and full of plausible deniability, the esoteric interpretation is malevolent (Talmud), and the ultra-esoteric interpretation (Kabbalah) is Satanic. At the very bottom you have the ultimate esoteric language of gematria. The good news is that it is easy to see through the necromancy once you understand how money magic functions. But this is only possible if we refuse the temptation of greed. We have not done a very good job of resisting greed, and those of us who succumb to this temptation deserve to be swindled.
Just passing through , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@Achilles Wannabe re to be Jewish, people like Joyce would be on the case saying it was all da jooz, but he isn't very keen to blame WASPs for the black-on-white violence in American public schools, makes ya wonder.

WASP's also are very enamored of Jews. If anything their loyalty sees to be to the Jews and not their own

Jews have always been present in the elite, WASPs identify with Jews because they identfy with the elite. I am quite sure even to this day, WASPs and Jews are working together, it is just that the lower rungs of White society are being overwhelmed first and it seems unlikely that these North-Eastern WASPs will feel the pain any time soon.

Hibernian , says: December 23, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT
@Achilles Wannabe

New England Neo-Calvinists never saw Southern and Border Anglo-Celts as brothers. Not at all. Thus the Civil War. As for their closer kin, poorer Mayflower, etc., descendants, they mixed in with Germans, Scandinavians, and, horror of horrors, the Irish, as they moved West. Bing Crosby was a Mayflower descendant.

George F. Held , says: Website December 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT
@Truth3

Trump is a bad president for the reasons you cite, but neither Pence nor any demorat would be better. So let him be

silviosilver , says: December 23, 2019 at 8:31 pm GMT
@eah conclusions?

Joyce's conclusions -- that any of this behavior is uniquely "Jewish" -- are absurd. The facts he cites refer to no more than simply the standard operations of the market economy.

Some people just loath the very concept of credit and finance, so they reflexively praise any "analysis" which they believe justifies their anger.

Others are casting about for somebody or something to blame for their own incompetence -- the poor, downtrodden debtor "victims" -- and they too are happy to have their failings explained away.

On the substantive issues, this essay is just hot air.

silviosilver , says: December 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm GMT

@jack daniels e financial system by allowing widespread bank failures. But the banking executives whose criminal incompetence and, in some cases, corruption led to the crisis should definitely have been jailed, or at least permanently barred from ever working in the industry again. (Liberal egalitarianism shouldn't so lightly get off the hook either. After all, it is lunatic egalitarians who insisted that blacks and hispanics are just as good credit risks as whites, and who demanded that banks extend loans even to obvious deadbeats.)

This is an infinitely more important issue than bellyaching about "vulture" funds and trying to portray them as uniquely Jewish.

silviosilver , says: December 23, 2019 at 8:46 pm GMT
@Wyatt what they owe – in other words, to just give their money away?

And if there's a predilection among jewish men to engage in predatory lending and collecting tactics that is disproportionate to their of the population, there's something about their genes or their culture that shapes them to be this way.

Okay, but so what? Given that there's nothing immoral – and much that is beneficial – about lending and borrowing, why should this be any more of an issue than that west Africans genes help them excel at sportsball or east Asians genes at math and engineering?

Caruthers , says: December 23, 2019 at 9:38 pm GMT
@Just passing through

Jewish elites are infinitely more tribal and ethnocentric than WASP elites, which is demonstrated by their charitable giving, which is far more narrowly focused on specifically Jewish causes than that of WASP elites is focused on specifically WASP causes.

Given their small numbers, Jewish elites usually must make tactical alliances with Gentile elites; but when their ethnic interests conflict with general elite interests (e.g., Marxist class conflicts), the former will almost always prevail. Hence, any WASP "loyalty" to Jews as a group is foolish.

Farrakhan.DDuke.AliceWalker.AllAgree , says: December 23, 2019 at 10:35 pm GMT
@Mefobills this month's Executive Order Jews extracted from Trump declaring Jews to be a distinct race/nationality.

Usury is a power relation, where you steal from others because you can. Laws are changed to enable the thefts.

The people of Euro lineage, i.e., the descendants of Christendom, usually don't steal even when they easily could because they are naturally indifferent as to materialism, their complimentary instinctive drives being 1) for adventure in overcoming challenges while staying within the bounds of ethical self-restraint; and 2) intellectual curiosity to learn what's out there and how to harmoniously survive and coexist with realities discovered.

renfro , says: December 24, 2019 at 1:52 am GMT
@silviosilver ws: An Overview – Jstor
https://www.jstor.org/stable/42909635
by M Amir – ‎1971 – ‎Cited by 3 – ‎Related articles

"The Jewish crime rate tends to be higher than that of non-Jews and other religious groups for white-collar offenses, that is, commercial or commercial finance.

*Also where special laws have been enacted for religious groups the crime rate among Jews tended to be even higher.
*Jews are found to be significantly over-represented in both fraudulent and genuine bankruptcies (almost ten times the rate of non-Jews)."

silviosilver , says: December 24, 2019 at 2:33 am GMT
@annamaria t's not news to me that hyperethnocentric Jewish financiers help fund hyperethnocentric Jewish organizations.

Ultimately, though, that funding is a consequence of Jewish participation in the economy. So if that in itself is wrong, then this essay is not so much a criticism of Jewish behavior, but crosses over into a criticism of Jewish existence – how are you supposed to live if you're barred from economic participation? – which to me is a different kettle of fish altogether. As much as I hate the term, that's something even I would call anti-semitic (note the absence of sneer quotes, which for me are practically mandatory).

silviosilver , says: December 24, 2019 at 2:45 am GMT
@Mr. Anon er appetite for risk. See, sometimes I don't know that I'm not going to be repaid; it's just that I now assess the prospects of being repaid as failing to meet some risk criterion I have. Other people's risk assessments differ from mine, which creates a market for existing debt.

Sometimes the market highly irrationally prices financial assets – most evident (in hindsight) at market peaks and troughs – so there are certainly some good opportunities in distressed debt. I just don't see that "vulture" funds which scan the market looking for distressed debt are doing anything fundamentally different to any other buyers of debt.

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 24, 2019 at 4:59 am GMT
@Hibernian ch and Germans from NY and the middle colonies like the Rockefellers Roosevelt's. Basically they are individualized deracinated people who are not even brothers to each other. They worship mammon – money and power. Jews are of course anything but deracinated. They are however the world's leading usurers so the WASP with his Protestant Ethic – usury sanctified – is bawled over by them – not just financially but psychologically. They have handed the Jews their universities, their cultural institutions. They are a people who gave themselves up to a people for whom there is no one but themselves. The rest of us are just along for the ride – treacherous as it is
Hibernian , says: December 24, 2019 at 5:13 am GMT
@silviosilver

I'd be very surprised if the last sentence of the above excerpt was true. Also it's a no brainer that US courts are more favorable to foreigners than third world courts are.

Mr. Anon , says: December 24, 2019 at 5:44 am GMT
@silviosilver

A bond is a financial asset, and like other financial assets it can be bought and sold virtually at will.

Yes, but a bond is also an agreement between two parties to lend money and to pay it back.

Mr. Anon , says: December 24, 2019 at 5:56 am GMT
@silviosilver ought legal recourse to exact repayment?

No, but they shouldn't necessarily expect to get it. They took the risk in lending to a bad credit-risk. At least they provided something of value – the money. Singer's fund provides nothing of value. They're just parasites.

Should they simply be forced to "lend" to people who are completely unwilling to pay what they owe – in other words, to just give their money away?

Nobody forced them to lend anything. They did it of their own accord. They didn't have to make the loans. They could have done something else with the money.

Elsztain and Mindlin, both Top Jews, now control Argentina.

Elsztain and Mindlin's close connections to a merging network of some of the most powerful globalists in the world today suggest their role to be one of sniffing out the opportunities and laying the groundwork for hostile take-over of resources and infrastructure by these elite scavengers who prey upon target nations, protected from view by the likes of Elsztain and Mindlin, who are little more than mafia outreach agents."

Robjil , says: December 24, 2019 at 12:12 pm GMT
@silviosilver nterest in relations with Israel comes as a number of Central and South American countries, notably Brazil, have adopted increasingly pro-Israel positions in line with policies of US President Donald Trump.

Guatemala opened a new embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds in occupied Palestine shortly after the US formally transferred its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city in May 2018, which prompted worldwide condemnation and anger among Palestinians.

In August, Honduras also recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the the so-called capital of Israel and announced that it sought to open a diplomatic office there.

Caruthers , says: December 24, 2019 at 9:06 pm GMT
@mcohen callously don't care about the suffering they cause, or sadistically delight in it. The more distressed mortgages they can find at a discount, the more homes they can seize, the more non-co-ethnics they can render homeless, the happier they are. Like Gordon Gekko, and unlike bankers who lend money for production of goods, they don't produce anything -- -they simply parasitize the lending and borrowing of the productive economy.
If they are an asset to society, if their activities are a boon to society, let them practice those activities exclusively in Israel and among their own coethnics elsewhere, and contravene Talmudic injunctions.
mcohen , says: December 24, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Caruthers

"Co ethnics" lol

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-bonds-vultures-insight/chinas-fledgling-junk-bond-market-spawns-new-breed-of-vulture-funds-idUSKCN1QH32O

Just a matter of time before the arrive in your neighborhood.They love pork in a barrel

Talmudic indeed.Take your vanilla flavoured anti semitism and piss off.

Robjil , says: December 24, 2019 at 11:29 pm GMT
@mcohen

That is companies in China fighting with each other. It is vulture funds on a small scale.

It not hurting or attacking struggling nations on a grand scale such as Paul Singer and his ilk does.

renfro , says: December 25, 2019 at 4:19 am GMT
@silviosilver

Okay, but so what? Given that there's nothing immoral – and much that is beneficial – about lending and borrowing, why should this be any more of an issue than that west Africans genes

You don't get the difference between the Jewish white collar crime and Africans being good at sports ball?
That comparison doesnt make sense.

annamaria , says: December 25, 2019 at 2:36 pm GMT
@silviosilver history of Jews in Russia during the Bolshevik revolution? The kettle and fish fit right: Mr. Snger has been financing the Holo-museums while destroying the lives of the millions in South America. Pushing the ball-point (!) written story of Anne Frank upon American kids while immiserating hundreds of thousands of Argentian kids is morally ugly. Ugly.

As for antisemitism, the involvement of US leading zionists, and the Jewish State itself, in supporting Ukrainian banderites (self-proclaimed neo-nazi) has buried the canard of antisemitism forever. There is no hope for the moral recovery of your Holobiz Museums and "eternal victimhood" memes.

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 26, 2019 at 2:15 am GMT
@annamaria

Actually we get the Jewish version of the history of Jews in Germany as we get the Jewish version of our own history – founding to Trump. It is breathtaking how Jews, Semophiles and people who are intimidated by Jews and Semophiles have created how we understand ourselves. This has been going on since Dec 7, 1941. There is almost no one left who remembers when stand up Euro Gentiles wrote history

eah , says: December 26, 2019 at 12:55 pm GMT
@annamaria in a speech he gave at Brown in 1966, George Lincoln Rockwell addressed the role of Jews in the Russian Revolution -- you can listen to the speech here –> Brown link -- he covers similar material in a 1967 speech at UCLA –> UCLA link .
Malla , says: December 26, 2019 at 5:22 pm GMT

One must take lessons from the great ruler Frederick the Great of Prussia about how to deal with Jewish scams. You see, Jewish scams have a long history. And most of these Jewish scamsters donate a lot of money to Jewish organisations.

Well Frederick the Great came up with a novel and effective solution to all this. He just charged the official Jewish organisations the amount in money in loss to Prussian society due to such scams. Guess What? The Jewish scams stopped. Totally stopped.

"Oy Vey" screamed the Jews, "All the money ended up in the hands of the cursed goyim and all our efforts and hard work in scamming went to waste. "

Makes me wonder if Democracy is really a better form of government than Monarchy.

Caruthers , says: December 27, 2019 at 1:40 am GMT
@mcohen

Joyce's article contends that the victims of these Jewish vulture capitalists are overwhelmingly goyim, while the ultimate benefactors (through their charitable donations) are Jews. You never dispute, let alone refute, this contention. However, you do contend that these vulture capitalists somehow benefit society as a whole (through some sort of economic "discipline" or whatever), but resent the suggestion that they confine this beneficial discipline (like they confine their charitable donations) to Jews, a suggestion you call "antisemitic".

Achilles Wannabe , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:43 am GMT
@Skeptikal

Yeah, that is it. In college I knew a Brahmin intimately. I was struck by the contrast between her quiet classic WASP disdain towards ordinary white conventionality and her near awe of what I thought of as Jewish vulgarity -chutzpah.

There was something ersatz Semitic in the original New England Puritanism = a sort of Jewish 1.0. Now the WASP's think the Jews are better at their game than they are. They are right of course. The question is should anyone be playing that game.

Platypus jr , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm GMT
@sally

Zionism is a political ideology, not an economic system.

silviosilver , says: December 29, 2019 at 3:08 pm GMT
@annamaria

There is no hope for the moral recovery of your Holobiz Museums and "eternal victimhood" memes.

Well, I'm not one of (((them))), so I actually hope you're proven right about this.

silviosilver , says: December 29, 2019 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Mr. Anon

Singer's fund provides nothing of value. They're just parasites.

We were talking about the nature of bonds. The fact bond/debt can be bought and sold does provide value – it makes it more likely that the credit which business need to expand and to hire workers will be provided, and provided at a lower interest rate. So the existence of the Singers of the world, troubling as it might be to you or me (in my case, given what he does with his money), is best regarded as providing indirect value – in the sense that they make our credit system possible.

eah , says: December 30, 2019 at 12:53 am GMT
@silviosilver thin air, then loaned out at interest and/or against real assets as collateral, and/or perhaps traded by 'vultures' -- or the part of the "credit system" that burdens millions of young adults with debt in the form of student loans, which ultimately is also money created out of nothing and loaned to them.

Within a few years, interest on the national debt will be the second largest federal expenditure, i.e. even greater than defense spending -- always left unexplained is why the US, a sovereign entity with the authority to issue currency, has to borrow money to run a deficit.

Yes, what a great "credit system".

Hibernian , says: December 30, 2019 at 3:28 am GMT
@eah

Fractional reserve banking (unstable and exploitative) and assignment of debt to assignees/purchasers (provided the borrower has agreed to a covenant allowing this) are two separate issues. It is possible to have either one without the other. The idea that you're released from your debt if your lender dies or moves to a far off city or gets worn out trying to collect or whatever is a notion worthy of a junior high school juvenile delinquent. Also if national sovereignty means the right to welsh on debts, then no one in his right mind will lend to a sovereign nation and then they cannot get credit.

eah , says: December 30, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
@Hibernian

(of course this will have consequences too; living beyond one's means indefinitely always does eventually).

Student loan debt is massively detrimental to affordable family formation -- I also see it as immoral to burden young people in this way.

Multi-generational national indebtedness is profoundly immoral -- it's a disgrace that there is little to no recognition of this, or outrage about what is going on.

silviosilver , says: December 30, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT
@eah edit system" that burdens millions of young adults with debt in the form of student loans, which ultimately is also money created out of nothing and loaned to them.

That's much more a consequence of the prevailing American attitude towards higher education – that individuals should pay for it rather than the state – than it is the monetary system.

If fractional reserve banking is nothing more than "creating money out of nothing," then don't you ever ask yourself how it is that a bank could find itself in financial trouble? Why doesn't it just create some more money out of thin air and put itself back in the black?

Hibernian , says: December 30, 2019 at 12:58 pm GMT

@eah ts, although for individuals some are protected, or a repayment plan (for individuals) or a reorganization plan (for corporations.) It requires the payment of often large legal fees. It's not equivalent to walking away (although sometimes it looks like close to the same thing) or having the debt forgiven based on political pressure, and it doesn't have anything to do with whether any of the creditors are assignees who bought the paper, or not.

Printing press finance just means that government, instead of private interests, defrauds the people. Edison was a great inventor but hardly a sophisticated economic and /or political thinker.

Hibernian , says: December 30, 2019 at 1:09 pm GMT
@eah out better than others. If paying $0.10 on the dollar automatically made you rich, the world would have a lot more billionaires than it does now. The rate would quickly be bid up to $0.95 on the dollar in no time flat. Also, legal fees and other collection costs (towing away or storing ships, etc.) need to be taken into account.

I suspect that Mr. Singer may use his political influence to get the US, and likely some other governments, to aid in the collections. That is an issue in itself. That is where the ethical issue lies. As another poster mentioned, the way he uses his money (his idea of the good of society) is also an issue.

Hibernian , says: December 30, 2019 at 1:21 pm GMT
@silviosilver

The answer to your last sentence is that the government places limits through reserve requirements. If this were not so a run on the bank could end the charade. Sometimes these runs still happen and the FDIC steps in. Unlike the government, the bank has to redeem its paper (checks and passbooks) on demand. The government has not done this for private parties since 1933, or for foreign governments since 1971. It can and does tell you to just continue circulating the paper, which creditors are required to accept, no matter how watered down it is.

eah , says: December 30, 2019 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Hibernian it has full authority to do, instead of selling debt , taxpayers, including future generations of taxpayers, are nor burdened with interest payments, nor with repayment of principal .

Edison was a great inventor but hardly a sophisticated economic and /or political thinker.

Sure bud, whatever you say -- the essential question here is, was he correct in his statement re debt issuance and who benefits from it, also its disadvantages, vs dollar issuance? -- the answer is yes, he clearly was: it makes no sense for a government to sell debt when it can just spend money .

eah , says: December 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm GMT
@silviosilver uch more a consequence of the prevailing American attitude towards higher education – that individuals should pay for it rather than the state – than it is the monetary system.

Sure, right -- BOOM!, suddenly the "the prevailing American attitude towards higher education", also young people, just changed, and within a generation or so, it was decided to exploit the hell out of them and burden them with huge amounts of debt .

"LOL" -- you are naive.

Regardless of the etiology, student debt is immoral and something must be done about it.

Hibernian , says: December 30, 2019 at 5:39 pm GMT

Bankruptcy law, like other laws, limits the discretion of judges. Sure, in practice, this is aspirational. As is the notion that some judges deviations from the law are motivated by fairness.

"LOL" -- yeah, "what's the difference?" -- at least in the case of a government spending money into existence, which it has full authority to do, instead of selling debt, taxpayers, including future generations of taxpayers, are nor burdened with interest payments, nor with repayment of principal.

A super iconoclast vis a vis businessmen, especially if they're Jewish, but a true believer that Government is the same thing as The People, or at least represents them perfectly or almost perfectly.

it makes no sense for a government to sell debt when it can just spend money.

And it makes no sense to work, save, be frugal, borrow only as necessary, and pay back what you borrow, when you can write bad checks oh wait Government is Divinely Anointed! It is of the People, by the People, and for the People!

Which one of us is being obtuse? I'll leave it as an exercise for the student.

Ginger Bread Man , says: December 30, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT

So, can anyone tell my why Jewish people would want to fund homosexual causes? What benefit does it give them? I'm just beginning to understand the mass migration thing, but still neither of these seem explicitly Jewish. Doesn't the Torah ban homosexuality? Just wondering

Barb Weir , says: December 31, 2019 at 1:52 am GMT

@HammerJack flak," said Standiford.

Carnegie was born in 1836 in Dunfermline, Fife. His father was a handloom weaver and an active Chartist who marched for the rights of the working man. So when Andrew went to sleep every night knowing he had starved, beaten and killed his factory workers, he spent his $$$$ trying to assuage his conscience.
Andrew is not a hero, hero's don't kill their employees by starvation and shooting!

Despicable man, trying to pave his way to Heaven.

Similar to Mr. Bloomberg who states that his path to heaven is assured by his good works.

Gag me with a Gomulka please.

Barb Weir , says: December 31, 2019 at 1:58 am GMT
@Anon " said Standiford.

Carnegie was born in 1836 in Dunfermline, Fife. His father was a handloom weaver and an active Chartist who marched for the rights of the working man. So when Andrew went to sleep every night knowing he had starved, beaten and killed his factory workers, he spent his $$$$ trying to assuage his conscience.
Andrew is not a hero, hero's don't kill their employees by starvation and shooting!

Despicable man, trying to pave his way to Heaven.

Similar to Mr. Bloomberg who states that his path to heaven is assured by his good works.

Gag me with a Gomulka please.

Ginger bread man , says: December 31, 2019 at 2:57 am GMT
@geokat62

Interesting, where does it mention homosexuality?

geokat62 , says: December 31, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT
@Ginger bread man

This was the Frankfurt School's great insight. The best way to undermine a sense of nationalism is to divide the people through the promotion of identity politics, including LGBTQ.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-12/birth-cultural-marxism-how-frankfurt-school-changed-america

eah , says: December 31, 2019 at 6:43 pm GMT

Some of what Paul Singer does with his money: create front organizations to recruit Christians in the effort to make the Middle East safe for Israel, and the world safe for Jews:

tweet

This guy is competing for world's top butt goy. Unfortunately there is a lot of competition. The author, Robert Nicholson, is President of Philos Project, a pro-Zionist "Christian" organization that is funded by Paul Singer.

The above tweet refers to this piece in the NY Post by Robert Nicholson, director of the 'Philos Project':

American Christians should lead the fight against anti-Semitism

An interesting blog post from a few years ago (2015) re the sudden appearance of the 'Philos Project' -- even today it is difficult to find info (eg financial) on this organization:

The Jewish Billionaire Behind A New Christian Anti-Iran Group

[Jan 01, 2020] FDA Failed to Police Opioids Makers, Thus Fueling Opioids Crisis

Jan 01, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FDA Failed to Police Opioids Makers, Thus Fueling Opioids Crisis Posted on January 1, 2020 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.

I had hoped to welcome 2020 with a optimistic post.

Alas, the current news cycle has thrown up little cause for optimism.

Instead, what has caught my eye today: 2019 closes with release of a new study showing the FDA's failure to police opioids manufacturers fueled the opioids crisis.

This is yet another example of a familiar theme: inadequate regulation kills people: e.g. think Boeing. Or, on a longer term, less immediate scale, consider the failure of the Environmental Protection Agency, in so many realms, including the failure to curb emissions so as to slow the pace of climate change.

In the opioids case, we're talking about thousands and thousands of people.

On Monday, Jama Internal Medicine published research concerning the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) program to reduce opioids abuse. The FDA launched its risk evaluation and mitigation strategy – REMS – in 2012. Researchers examined nearly 10,000 documents, released in response to a Freedom of Information ACT (FOA) request, to generate the conclusions published by JAMA.

As the Gray Lady tells the story in As Tens of Thousands Died, F.D.A. Failed to Police Opioids :

In 2011, the F.D.A. began asking the makers of OxyContin and other addictive long-acting opioids to pay for safety training for more than half the physicians prescribing the drugs, and to track the effectiveness of the training and other measures in reducing addiction, overdoses and deaths.

But the F.D.A. was never able to determine whether the program worked, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found in a new review, because the manufacturers did not gather the right kind of data. Although the agency's approval of OxyContin in 1995 has long come under fire, its efforts to ensure the safe use of opioids since then have not been scrutinized nearly as much.

The documents show that even when deficiencies in these efforts became obvious through the F.D.A.'s own review process, the agency never insisted on improvements to the program, [called a REMS]. . .

The FDA's regulatory failure had serious public health consequences, according to critics of US opioids policy, as reported by the NYT:

Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of opioid policy research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis, said the safety program was a missed opportunity. He is a leader of a group of physicians who had encouraged the F.D.A. to adopt stronger controls, and a frequent critic of the government's response to the epidemic.

Dr. Kolodny, who was not involved in the study, called the program "a really good example of the way F.D.A. has failed to regulate opioid manufacturers. If F.D.A. had really been doing its job properly, I don't believe we'd have an opioid crisis today."

Now, as readers frequently emphasize in comments: pain management is a considerable problem – one I am all too well aware of, as I watched my father succumb to cancer. He ultimately passed away at my parents' home.

That being said, as CNN tells the story in The FDA can't prove its opioid strategy actually worked, study says :

Although these drugs "can be clinically useful among appropriately selected patients, they have also been widely oversupplied, are commonly used nonmedically, and account for a disproportionate number of fatal overdoses," the authors write.

The FDA was unable, more than 5 years after it had instituted its study of the opioids program's effectiveness, to determine whether it had met its objectives, and this may have been because prior assessments were not objective, according to CNN:

Prior analyses had largely been funded by drug companies, and a 2016 FDA advisory committee "noted methodological concerns regarding these studies," according to the authors. An inspector general report also concluded in 2013 that the agency "lacks comprehensive data to determine whether risk evaluation and mitigation strategies improve drug safety."

In addition to failing to evaluate the effective of the limited steps it had taken, the FDA neglected to take more aggressive steps that were within the ambit of its regulatory authority. According to CNN:

"FDA has tools that could mitigate opioid risks more effectively if the agency would be more assertive in using its power to control opioid prescribing, manufacturing, and distribution," said retired FDA senior executive William K. Hubbard in an editorial that accompanied the study. "Instead of bold, effective action, the FDA has implemented the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy programs that do not even meet the limited criteria set out by the FDA."

One measure the FDA could have taken, according to Hubbard: putting restrictions on opioid distribution.

"Restricting opioid distribution would be a major decision for the FDA, but it is also likely to be the most effective policy for reducing the harm of opioids," said Hubbard, who spent more than three decades at the agency and oversaw initiatives in areas such as regulation, policy and economic evaluation.

The Trump administration has made cleaning up the opioids crisis – which it inherited – a policy priority. To little seeming effect so far. although to be fair, this is not a simple problem to solve. And litigation to apportion various costs of the damages various prescription drugmakers, distributors, and doctors caused it far from over – despite some settlements, and judgements (see Federal Prosecutors Initiate Criminal Probe of Six Opioid Manufacturers and Distributors ; Four Companies Settle Just Before Bellwether Opioids Trial Was to Begin Today in Ohio ; Purdue Files for Bankruptcy, Agrees to Settle Some Pending Opioids Litigation: Sacklers on Hook for Billions? and Judge Issues $572 Million Verdict Against J & J in Oklahoma Opioids Trial: Settlements to Follow? )

Perhaps the Johns Hopkins study will spark moves to reform the broken FDA, so that it can once again serve as an effective regulator. This could perhaps be something we can look forward to achieving in 2020 (although I won't hold my breath).

Or, perhaps if enacting comprehensive reform is too overwhelming, especially with a divided government, as a starting point: can we agree to stop allowing self-interested industries to finance studies meant to assess the effectiveness of programs to regulate that very same industry? Please?

This is a concern in so many areas, with such self-interested considerations shaping not only regulation, but distorting academic research (see Virginia Supreme Court Upholds Ruling that George Mason University Foundation Is Not Subject to State FOIA Statute, Leaving Koch Funding Details Undisclosed ).

What madness!

[Jan 01, 2020] Bernie Could Win the Nomination

Notable quotes:
"... For corporate Democrats and their profuse media allies, the approach of disparaging and minimizing Bernie Sanders in 2019 didn't work. In 2020, the next step will be to trash him with a vast array of full-bore attacks. ..."
"... When the Bernie campaign wasn't being ignored by corporate media during 2019, innuendos and mud often flew in his direction. But we ain't seen nothing yet. ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

A central premise of conventional media wisdom has collapsed. On Thursday, both the New York Times and Politico published major articles reporting that Bernie Sanders really could win the Democratic presidential nomination. Such acknowledgments will add to the momentum of the Bernie 2020 campaign as the new year begins -- but they foreshadow a massive escalation of anti-Sanders misinformation and invective.

Throughout 2019, corporate media routinely asserted that the Sanders campaign had little chance of winning the nomination. As is so often the case, journalists were echoing each other more than paying attention to grassroots realities. But now, polling numbers and other indicators on the ground are finally sparking very different headlines from the media establishment.

From the Times : " Why Bernie Sanders Is Tough to Beat ." From Politico : " Democratic Insiders: Bernie Could Win the Nomination ."

Those stories, and others likely to follow in copycat news outlets, will heighten the energies of Sanders supporters and draw in many wavering voters. But the shift in media narratives about the Bernie campaign's chances will surely boost the decibels of alarm bells in elite circles where dousing the fires of progressive populism is a top priority.

For corporate Democrats and their profuse media allies, the approach of disparaging and minimizing Bernie Sanders in 2019 didn't work. In 2020, the next step will be to trash him with a vast array of full-bore attacks.

Along the way, the corporate media will occasionally give voice to some Sanders defenders and supporters. A few establishment Democrats will decide to make nice with him early in the year. But the overwhelming bulk of Sanders media coverage -- synced up with the likes of such prominent corporate flunkies as Rahm Emanuel and Neera Tanden as well as Wall Street Democrats accustomed to ruling the roost in the party -- will range from condescending to savage.

When the Bernie campaign wasn't being ignored by corporate media during 2019, innuendos and mud often flew in his direction. But we ain't seen nothing yet.

With so much at stake -- including the presidency and the top leadership of the Democratic Party -- no holds will be barred. For the forces of corporate greed and the military-industrial complex, it'll be all-out propaganda war on the Bernie campaign.

While reasons for pessimism are abundant, so are ample reasons to understand that a Sanders presidency is a real possibility . The last places we should look for political realism are corporate media outlets that distort options and encourage passivity.

Bernie is fond of quoting a statement from Nelson Mandela: "It always seems impossible until it is done."

From the grassroots, as 2020 gets underway, the solution should be clear: All left hands on deck.


Jan Goslinga 38 minutes ago ,

Elections aren't real. Democrats will nominate Joe Biden to lose the election. Trump will remain as fascist strongman and the dems will continue to blame his neoconservative policies on his white trash constituency.

Bernie serves a few important functions.
1. he keeps the radicals from leaving the plantation and going 3rd party.
2. his promotion of progressive policies will make Biden less popular and help him lose to Trump
3. Bernie and his "socialism" can then be blamed for losing the election to Trump

Maxwell Jan Goslinga 15 minutes ago ,

Unfortunately this comment will be buried in this monstrosity of a thread- now at over 300 comments with only about a third of them having a much relevance.

You might consider re-posting in reply to one of the foremost comments. Your simple realism will certainly not be well received during the campaign hallucinations.

I've often wondered how it is people could believe the elections could have any positive and lasting impact on their lives if they have been through a couple of cycles. Do they not also wonder how it is that these election (marketing) campaigns now stretch out for well over a year nowadays demanding everyone's political attention, energy and resources. To say it is a colossal waste does not quite capture the enormity of the mind job being to people.

Mensch59 Maxwell 8 minutes ago • edited ,

Your simple realism will certainly not be well received during the campaign hallucinations.

Yeah, yeah, sure, sure. You "realists" who are true believers that you have the Truth and have a calling to preach the Truth absolutely must stand against the unwashed masses who claim that your "reality" isn't even intersubjectively verifiable, much less dialectical & material [eta & historical ].

I quite enjoyed what SteelPirate/LaborSolidarity had to say about you attempting to gain a vanguard following by trolling lib-prog sites.

Mensch59 Jan Goslinga 21 minutes ago ,

Elections aren't real.

Never pay attention to anyone who claims what's "real" and what isn't. Politics certainly doesn't exist in the realm of an objective, concrete, physical, naturalistic, materialistic reality which is shared by a consensus of rational observers. At best, politics deals with intersubjectively verifiable social phenomena. Thus, politics is mostly idealistic in the belief that each mind generates its own reality.

This realization is the topic of intersubjective verifiability, as recounted, for example, by Max Born (1949, 1965) Natural Philosophy of Cause and Chance , who points out that all knowledge, including natural or social science, is also subjective. p. 162: "Thus it dawned upon me that fundamentally everything is subjective, everything without exception. That was a shock."
newestbeginning 2 hours ago ,

Meanwhile the wealth of the world's top 500 grew 25% in 2019...

https://www.livemint.com/ne...

V4V 2 hours ago • edited ,

Noam Chomsky on Bernie Sanders's Chances of Success- "...the chances he can be elected are pretty small." (Waiting with bated breath for copious downvotes by those who hate the truth and hate reality).

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FEpXJvWSa4FQ%3Ffeature%3Doembed&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DEpXJvWSa4FQ&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FEpXJvWSa4FQ%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

PGGreen V4V 2 hours ago • edited ,

Most of who support Sanders know that his presidency will involve an uphill battle. Chomsky is being realistic.

But there really is no better option for meaningful change working within the political system than supporting Sanders. it is also important to note that "Our Revolution" has energized many young activists, encouraging them to continue the fight. This goes beyond politics to social and economic issues. If Sanders leaves us with a movement, this may turn out to be more important than the presidency in the long run.

Keep working for effective moral and economic justice and democracy!

V4V PGGreen an hour ago ,

Well, I have said this several times, it's not the microscopic left that you need to convince, it's the majority of self-identifying Democrats not supporting Sanders that you need to convince. I am repelled by the Democratic Party, but there are millions who identify as Democrats and many are proud of it. You need to convince them, not us.

PGGreen V4V 21 minutes ago • edited ,

Yes, although I don't think that those who support a Leftist agenda--whether you actually call them Leftists or not--are quite so microscopic a group as you imply. But you don't need to convince me or most others here (probably) that Sanders isn't perfect, or that it will be difficult for him to be elected president. We already know; we simply consider him the best option within this context of voting.

Have you ever thought of turning your approach to systemic commentary (which is valid and interesting, BTW, I'm not discounting it) around and saying what candidates you support-- in this context being discussed of voting-- instead of which ones you don't? And then explaining why such support would be effective?

I would say that what is wrong with the world is more a fault of the economic and political system than of Sanders alone--who not only plays small part in causing what is wrong, but a significant part in trying to correct it. Yes, he works within the system. That is a given. It may be, as Chris Hedges thinks, that there is no hope working within the system. But Noam Chomsky's approach also bears serious consideration that even Hedges doesn't discount. Voting will only be a small part of what brings about change, but it may make some slight difference--if you can stomach it. And it only takes a small amount of time.

"In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes."

I don't see much of an argument that Sanders will be no better as president than Trump (and if you think so, I'd like to hear you argue it). I suspect you find the compromise unpalatable. I can understand that. I, too, draw the line at a certain point. I couldn't vote for HRC.

Yes, Sanders isn't perfect. Chomsky also said another important thing: "We're all compromised."