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
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[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] 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] 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." 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.


trilobytegames 3 days ago ,

As usual, I find your analysis and commentary honest and accurate. However, I do take exception to your pulling out these canards:
"Trump's contempt of Congress and attempt to get Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, to open an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for almost $400 million in U.S. military aid and allowing Zelensky to visit the White House are impeachable offenses"

Trump has certain executive privileges and him being guilty of contempt of Congress should be up to the Supreme Court to decide. Jonathan Turley in his testimony made that quite clear. Military aid was never mentioned in the phone call. Zelensky was unaware aid would be withheld. So if Trump were using the money as a means to induce Zelensky to do those favors, it was a totally botched one. To quote Dr. Strangelove, "The whole point of the doomsday machine is lost...if you keep it a secret!"

Nir Haramati 3 days ago • edited ,

New avenues for accountability and oversight became possible in Washington, D.C., in 2019, following the election of a new Democratic Party majority in the House (and the most diverse Congress ever) in the 2018 midterms. As a result, Democrats took hold of the subpoena power that rests in the House of Representatives, along with the power to set the agenda across congressional committees. As a result, 2019 has been full of important moments for congressional oversight of both the Trump administration and private business. Here are five of the most important moments in congressional oversight in 2019.

1. Betsy DeVos, Are You "Too Corrupt" or "Too Incompetent"? ...
2. Big Bank CEOs Are Stumped by Simple Budgets ...
3. Wells Fargo Announces Plan to Divest From Private Prisons in Congressional Testimony ...
4. Rep. Ilhan Omar vs. Elliott Abrams ...
5. Voting to Impeach the President ...

Congressional Oversight Claimed Important Victories in 2019. Here Are the Top 5

The only people who lie and obfuscate facts as much as Trump and his GOP cult are neo progressive demagogues and propaganda buffs like Chris 'regime-change-in-America' Hedges.

Kaptain Amerika 3 days ago • edited ,

Absolutely bush should have been impeached, convicted, removed and executed for war crimes and mass murder.

But because he wasn't doesn't mean that our orange Fuhrer shouldn't be.
He is the most dangerous authoritarian propagandist and threat to this country since Hitler.

Dr Hacksaw Kaptain Amerika 3 days ago • edited ,

"[Trump] is the most dangerous authoritarian propagandist and threat to this country since Hitler."

Correction, Kaptain: Since Obama.

rosemariejackowski Dr Hacksaw 3 days ago ,

THE MOST DANGEROUS IN HISTORY....
https://countercurrents.org...

Kaptain Amerika Dr Hacksaw 3 days ago ,

NObama was a horrible POTUS for the 99% and is THE reason why we have trump, but he didn't poison every aspect of the government and everything else like your orange Fuhrer is doing, which is the exact same tactic that Hitler used to create Nazi Germany.

Ron Ruggieri Dr Hacksaw 3 days ago ,

The generic Left is ignoring this aspect of the Trump impeachment circus . The whole farce IS political. Now Senator Lisa Murkowski wants her Republican Party to rise above politics ( and do the wrong thing ? ). In the past three years when did the Democrat Party ever rise above politics ? Politics USA is always CLASS politics, always IMPERIALIST , MILITARIST politics . All the " liberal " Democrats have been slobbering over the UN-ELECTED shadow government of the United States , the National Security Police State , slobbering over FBI, CIA bureaucrats , uniformed officials of the Pentagon War Crimes Machine . Join them ?

This Senator Lisa Murkowski -no surprise - is in good standing with the Israel Lobby collectively determined to nullify the 2016 presidential election . NEWS clip :

[ "There are about 6 million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it's quite small, but in terms of influence its quite big," Farage said. Farage seemed to question why Israel was not facing election-meddling accusations, saying Israeli groups "have a voice within American politics" but "I don't think anybody is suggesting that the Israeli government tried to affect the result of the American elections."]

Did not the Kafkaesque Trump impeachment hearings look and sound like Old Yiddish Theater soap opera ? How many working class Christian Americans have heartfelt moral and cultural ties to the Ukraine of all places, now celebrating its first Jewish friend of Zionist Apartheid Israel president ? Who in the USA authorized this character to wage a proxy war against post-communist Russia ? WE THE PEOPLE ?
Guess WHO is promoting the HATE RUSSIA, New McCarthyism ?

VallejoD 3 days ago ,

$748 billion in 2020 for the military death machine equals $23 MILLION A SECOND.

How many schools or hospitals could have been built, how many roads or bridges repaired, how many students educated with the money the MIC has squandered in the few seconds it has taken me to write this?

We are destroying our people from the inside out. This is treason.

[Jan 01, 2020] 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

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
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.


trilobytegames 3 days ago ,

As usual, I find your analysis and commentary honest and accurate. However, I do take exception to your pulling out these canards:
"Trump's contempt of Congress and attempt to get Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, to open an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, in exchange for almost $400 million in U.S. military aid and allowing Zelensky to visit the White House are impeachable offenses"

Trump has certain executive privileges and him being guilty of contempt of Congress should be up to the Supreme Court to decide. Jonathan Turley in his testimony made that quite clear. Military aid was never mentioned in the phone call. Zelensky was unaware aid would be withheld. So if Trump were using the money as a means to induce Zelensky to do those favors, it was a totally botched one. To quote Dr. Strangelove, "The whole point of the doomsday machine is lost...if you keep it a secret!"

Nir Haramati 3 days ago • edited ,

New avenues for accountability and oversight became possible in Washington, D.C., in 2019, following the election of a new Democratic Party majority in the House (and the most diverse Congress ever) in the 2018 midterms. As a result, Democrats took hold of the subpoena power that rests in the House of Representatives, along with the power to set the agenda across congressional committees. As a result, 2019 has been full of important moments for congressional oversight of both the Trump administration and private business. Here are five of the most important moments in congressional oversight in 2019.

1. Betsy DeVos, Are You "Too Corrupt" or "Too Incompetent"? ...
2. Big Bank CEOs Are Stumped by Simple Budgets ...
3. Wells Fargo Announces Plan to Divest From Private Prisons in Congressional Testimony ...
4. Rep. Ilhan Omar vs. Elliott Abrams ...
5. Voting to Impeach the President ...

Congressional Oversight Claimed Important Victories in 2019. Here Are the Top 5

The only people who lie and obfuscate facts as much as Trump and his GOP cult are neo progressive demagogues and propaganda buffs like Chris 'regime-change-in-America' Hedges.

Kaptain Amerika 3 days ago • edited ,

Absolutely bush should have been impeached, convicted, removed and executed for war crimes and mass murder.

But because he wasn't doesn't mean that our orange Fuhrer shouldn't be.
He is the most dangerous authoritarian propagandist and threat to this country since Hitler.

Dr Hacksaw Kaptain Amerika 3 days ago • edited ,

"[Trump] is the most dangerous authoritarian propagandist and threat to this country since Hitler."

Correction, Kaptain: Since Obama.

rosemariejackowski Dr Hacksaw 3 days ago ,

THE MOST DANGEROUS IN HISTORY....
https://countercurrents.org...

Kaptain Amerika Dr Hacksaw 3 days ago ,

NObama was a horrible POTUS for the 99% and is THE reason why we have trump, but he didn't poison every aspect of the government and everything else like your orange Fuhrer is doing, which is the exact same tactic that Hitler used to create Nazi Germany.

Ron Ruggieri Dr Hacksaw 3 days ago ,

The generic Left is ignoring this aspect of the Trump impeachment circus . The whole farce IS political. Now Senator Lisa Murkowski wants her Republican Party to rise above politics ( and do the wrong thing ? ). In the past three years when did the Democrat Party ever rise above politics ? Politics USA is always CLASS politics, always IMPERIALIST , MILITARIST politics . All the " liberal " Democrats have been slobbering over the UN-ELECTED shadow government of the United States , the National Security Police State , slobbering over FBI, CIA bureaucrats , uniformed officials of the Pentagon War Crimes Machine . Join them ?

This Senator Lisa Murkowski -no surprise - is in good standing with the Israel Lobby collectively determined to nullify the 2016 presidential election . NEWS clip :

[ "There are about 6 million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage it's quite small, but in terms of influence its quite big," Farage said. Farage seemed to question why Israel was not facing election-meddling accusations, saying Israeli groups "have a voice within American politics" but "I don't think anybody is suggesting that the Israeli government tried to affect the result of the American elections."]

Did not the Kafkaesque Trump impeachment hearings look and sound like Old Yiddish Theater soap opera ? How many working class Christian Americans have heartfelt moral and cultural ties to the Ukraine of all places, now celebrating its first Jewish friend of Zionist Apartheid Israel president ? Who in the USA authorized this character to wage a proxy war against post-communist Russia ? WE THE PEOPLE ?
Guess WHO is promoting the HATE RUSSIA, New McCarthyism ?

VallejoD 3 days ago ,

$748 billion in 2020 for the military death machine equals $23 MILLION A SECOND.

How many schools or hospitals could have been built, how many roads or bridges repaired, how many students educated with the money the MIC has squandered in the few seconds it has taken me to write this?

We are destroying our people from the inside out. This is treason.

[Jan 01, 2020] 'Predatory capitalism' is disproportionately Jewish.

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Amerimutt Golems says: December 19, 2019 at 1:04 pm GMT 200 Words @Lot

The article bounces back and forth between two completely different fields: private equity and distressed debt funds. The latter is completely defensible. A lot of bondholders, probably the majority, cannot hold distressed or defaulted debt. Insurance companies often can't by law. Bond mutual funds set out in their prospectuses they don't invest in anything rated lower than A, AA, or whatever. Even those allowed to hold distressed debt don't want the extra costs involved with doing so, such as carefully following bankruptcy proceedings and dealing with delayed and irregular payments.

The author is not a finance expert but he correctly spotlights flaws of so-called 'predatory capitalism' which is disproportionately Jewish.

Private equity is rife with vices like asset-stripping and looting e.g Eddie Lampert ('Jewishness' member) plus El Trumpo appointee Steven Mnuchin at Sears.

Vulture funds often load all sorts of costs, even frivolous ones, and extra interest charges on the original debt to maximize profit.

Some countries have the Duplum rule which limits the amount you are liable to a creditor when you default on a debt.

Sears accuses Eddie Lampert of looting the company
https://nypost.com/2019/04/18/sears-accuses-eddie-lampert-of-looting-the-company/

[Jan 01, 2020] When the vote finally took place a few days ago, a conclusive 69.5% of Samsung shareholders voted in favor of the Lee proposal, leaving Elliott licking its wounds and complaining about the "patriotic marketing" of those behind the merger.

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robjil , says: December 19, 2019 at 6:56 pm GMT

@Robjil ssociates, was overwhelmingly effective. Before a crucial shareholder vote on the Lee's planned merger, Samsung Securities CEO Yoon Yong-am said:

"We should score a victory by a big margin in the first battle, in order to take the upper hand in a looming war against Elliott, and keep other speculative hedge funds from taking short-term gains in the domestic market."

When the vote finally took place a few days ago, a conclusive 69.5% of Samsung shareholders voted in favor of the Lee proposal, leaving Elliott licking its wounds and complaining about the "patriotic marketing" of those behind the merger.

[Jan 01, 2020] Karl Marx analysis of vulture behaviour of Jewish financiers remains pretty sound

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

secondElijah , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 1:10 pm GMT

@J Adelman perpetual victim .everyone hates me without a reason. My sin is greater than I can bear (Cain) everyone who comes across me will kill me. I spend my time wandering the earth (boo ho). And despite slaying your brother you are accorded divine protection.

Jesus said (paraphrasing here) that if the unclean spirit is cast out of a man and is not replaced with something wholesome he takes "seven other spirits" into himself and becomes totally insane. You did this to yourself and you will realize that your problem is no longer with man but with God himself. Jacob the deceiver has wrestled all his life against his fellow man and triumphed but now he will confront God himself. Get ready to meet your Maker and see how far your excuses will get you with the Almighty.

J.W. , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@J Adelman nder. Jewish business behavior has a retarding effect on societies. It's prominent, large, rapacious and extremely selfish.

As long as Jews made their money then fuck everybody else.

Yes, it's unfair when innocent Jews suffer. When the actions of other members of it's DNA choose schemes and dishonorable ways to make money it's going to happen.

Stop acting like innocent victims all the time. This narcissistic stance might explain why Jews are hated seemingly everywhere. Relationships with narcissists are no fun and the means necessary to break free are often hurtful and unfortunate for everyone involved.

Hapalong Cassidy , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:44 pm GMT

No mention of Mitt Romney's vulture fund Bain Capital? The one that destroyed Toys R Us, among others?

BannedHipster , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 2:21 pm GMT

It's a simple ingroup/outgroup distinction.

Jews see themselves as the ingroup, and the "goyim" as the outgroup. Since Whites are the "outgroup" it's not just acceptable, but praiseworthy, to exploit them. To "beat" them at war.

The problem is that Whites wrongly do not see Jews as an outgroup – something that Jews themselves take great pains to discourage via their various front groups like the ADL.

There is no "technical" fix, there is no objective "system" that can change this dynamic. There is no "level playing field."

Whites need to ostracize Jews at all levels. Boycott, Divest and Sanction – not just their apartheid regime of Jew bigotry in Zionist-occupied Palestine, but at every level of society, business, civil institutions, etc.

Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
@Ghali

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.

Greed from all races is the problem.

BannedHipster , says: Website December 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm GMT
@Just passing through obs time and time again throughout their history, to the point bishops and priests would harbor Jews in the cathedrals and lock the doors before the peasants could arrest them.

Indeed, the infighting among Whites promoted by the likes of Jones is yet again another assist from Catholic powers to their partners, the Jews.

The popular "neo-reactionary/NRx" movement, started by the Ashkenazi Curtis Yarvin, is yet another "right-wing" fad that blames Calvinists for all the problems in the world. Jews are blameless, yet again another White ethnicity/religion is at fault.

No wonder Jews get away with what they do. Whites are too busy infighting over false history demonizing various rival cults.

Really No Shit , says: December 19, 2019 at 2:35 pm GMT

So, the "vultures" flew out to the West after devouring the Russian empire and now with the help of the likes of the homeboy or more like a two bit whore, Ben Sasse, they've descended on America and have started gutting it out.

Where will they fly next? White Christians don't want them and black/brown Muslims can't stand them but perhaps China is their next destination being that they have shipped most of the jobs out there and the whole lot of them are marrying "Chinese-American" women in droves for good measure.

In the coming battle of the titans, the one who's name can't be pronounced, viz. Yahweh, hopefully has better guns than Jehovah and Allah, for it sure is gonna need it when the latter two gang up on it maybe Buddha will give it a helping hand being that they're practically in-laws now!

Arnieus , says: December 19, 2019 at 2:37 pm GMT

Don't think the US will fair better than Puerto Rico when the fake money dries up and there is no way to keep paying the trillions in debt.

Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 2:48 pm GMT
@Father O'Hara ians and Chinese (South Asians) are the richest in both countries (except for Jews of course).

What I have found is that these two groups come from a debt-averse culture, their kids actually live with their parents until they have saved enough money for a house and other such things required to start a family.

Whites meanwhile are WAY to trusting of these faceless financial institutions, they get into debt very easily and thus become slaves, if you have kids, the first thing you should educate them about is finance and debt, don't throw them out to the dogs either, it's tragic to see some getting into debt and then having other problems like drugs and alcohol addictions.

Satan Became President , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:03 pm GMT

Wow what a confused mess. Here's a summary: Vulture capitalism is bad for no particular reason but only an evil anti-Semite (like you) would dare criticize capitalism.

Mulegino1 , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:14 pm GMT

I think the term "vulture capitalism" is calumnious to vultures, who, as carrion birds, perform a useful and purifying function in nature.

The Jews as a collective, i.e., the Jews who identify as such, concur in the death sentence of Christ handed down by their Sanhedrin and espouse the Talmudic mitzvah of killing the best of the gentiles (which naturally implies elevating the worst of the gentiles to power and prominence) are more to be likened to plague bearing rodents. Unlike vultures, rats feast on corruption and putrescence, spread disease and also kill the living.

We embrace the finance capitalist worldview at our peril. In its essence, it is nothing but the worship of money making and profiteering as the supreme aspiration of life, irregardless of its horrible effects on our compatriots and fellow humans. In doing so, we become Jews at heart.

There is nothing wrong with industry and the profit motive per se. Predatory finance contributes nothing to the well being of a nation and the needs of the physical economy- it is supremely toxic and corrosive of both. It must be expunged and its champions expropriated and exiled. People like the odious Peter Singer have no place in a moral world; they ought to be first expropriated, then exiled as far away from their host societies as possible.

Happy Tapir , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT

I was personally wounded by the anti gay rhetoric peppered across this article. I can't help making the association that Paul singer's son came out as gay and that this must be the source of the author's animus against him and the others. Shakespeare, who was also homosexual, described this state of mind as "a green eyed monster," i.e. jealousy. I'm mortified that other members of the commentariat have not taken issue with this. Maybe we would be more compassionate to the denizens of middle America if they allowed our most basic civil rights.

Bookish1 , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm GMT
@J Adelman

Oh those kind jews have always been for the working class? But there is a white working class and jews want them extinct from the face of the earth. Read 'Abolishing whiteness has never been more urgent.' By Mark Levine

Jimmy1969 , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:23 pm GMT
@Arnieus

China will then try to take us and Israel will make a deal with the winner.

jack daniels , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:25 pm GMT
@silviosilver ors to default was CAUSED BY the big Wall Street firms' irresponsible behavior.

Also, most people do tend to temper economic contracts with a degree of compassion. Gentile capitalism does not exist in a vacuum.

I recall reading about a young female environmentalist who was refusing to leave a venerable redwood tree that was scheduled to be cut down. The WASP businessman who owned the tree was extremely patient with the girl, tried to win her over, threw her food and drinks, and so on. The land with the tree was then sold to some Jewish firm. At that point the article left off. The tree was cut down with no further negotiation.

Desert Fox , says: December 19, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT

The greatest jewish vulture fund is the zionist privately owned feral reserve aka the FED , is creates money out of thin air and feeds this money to the otherwise bankrupt zionist banks and not just here in the ZUS but in Europe, and the BIS is the vulture fund of vulture funds owned by the zionists, the biggest scam in the history of the world.

By the way, Tucker Carlson said that 911 truthers were nuts, that says it all about him.

[Jan 01, 2020] Vulture corporatism = U.S. corporations consuming consumers.

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Rebel0007 , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:19 pm GMT

Vulture corporatism = U.S. corporations consuming consumers.

Anon [491] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:43 am GMT
@Colin Wright usual with Joyce (and not only Joyce of course). You take something that is human, talk of Jews, point to that something in Jews, and pretend, trusting that your readers will pretend the same, that it's a Jewish-specific something.
Because if you were to say: everyone does this, everywhere, but when Jews do it it's just on a larger scale, then you'd be shining light on the fact that what changes with Jews is just skills, and that they are intelligent enough to co-operate more than the others.
Like when Mac Donald speaks of Jewish self-deception.
I feel I am swimming in self-deception everytime I talk with people (more so with women), and they aren't Jewish. Do people do anything, but self-deceive?
So?
Richard B , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:34 pm GMT
@Anon

Bravo!

Hands down one of the best comments on Jewish Supremacy Inc.'s psychopathy, lack of accountablity and corresponding projection.

Of course, you thought you were doing something else.

Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:38 pm GMT
@Really No Shit

Jews are doing to White countries what Whites and Jews did to India, no honour amongst thieves, the ones with the higher verbal IQ wins.

Also it is important to note that the reason India came under the sway of Anglo-Zionist banking cartels so easily was because how divided it was, I reckon that is why they are promoting mass immigration. Import lots of different groups, then run lots of race-baiting stories to distract the plebs from their financial machinations.

This is why Jews are well represented in non-antisemitic White Nationalist organisations like Jared Taylor's AmRen, they are great at playing both sides.

Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@Adrian

And he funded the building of the Peace Palace ("Vredespaleis") in The Hague, presently the seat of the International Court of Justice, an institution not held in high esteem in the home country of the generous donor.

That wasn't his intent.

Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT
@Wally 't really engage in lofty ambitons to dominate the world and as such are intact at the moment and seem like they will remain that way for a long time, they are the true conservatives, WASPs have always had a Jewish streak within their corrupt souls and are now paying the price for engaging with a criminal race.

Why do you think Epstein has all these Gentiles in his pocket? You think do-gooding gentiles just randomly decided to get into bed with Epstein and Co.? How many East Asians and Eastern Euros do you see terrified of being outed as paedophiles.

Don't deceive yourselves, all debts are paid in the end, especially when the creditors are Jews.

aandrews , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm GMT

" it is truly remarkable that vulture funds like Singer's escaped major media attention prior to this ."

Not really. The Jew's grip is starting to slip now, though. More and more people are becoming aware that they are virulent parasites and always have been.

DaveE , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:08 pm GMT
@Mulegino1 l capitalism is the competition of ideas, innovation, efficient manufacturing and quality products made and produced by honest companies. That competition can, in theory at least, make people (and companies) "try harder". But only when a company's success is determined by the strength of its products, not by the "deals" it cuts with Jewish financial, advertising, "marketing" and swindling rackets, designed to line the pockets of the Jew while destroying honest competition by Gentiles who struggle to play fair and innovate.

Jewish vulture "capitalism" contributes NOTHING of value to any company or any culture. It never has and never will.

[Jan 01, 2020] Andrew Carnegie at least 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".

Jan 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

HammerJack , says: December 19, 2019 at 7:30 am GMT

@Colin Wright sity, 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.

Just passing through , says: December 19, 2019 at 8:56 am GMT
@anon 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

Adrian , says: December 19, 2019 at 11:35 am GMT
@HammerJack

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".

And he funded the building of the Peace Palace ("Vredespaleis") in The Hague, presently the seat of the International Court of Justice, an institution not held in high esteem in the home country of the generous donor.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gqF-NcRXdEs?feature=oembed

[Dec 29, 2019] The Collapse of Neoliberalism by Ganesh Sitaraman

Highly recommended!
This is a very valuable article 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."

... ... ...

[Sep 10, 2019] Neoliberal Capitalism at a Dead End by Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik

Highly recommended!
This is a Marxist critique of neoliberalism. Not necessary right but they his some relevant points.
Notable quotes:
"... The ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. ..."
"... The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. ..."
"... While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand. ..."
"... The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5 ..."
"... This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis. ..."
"... The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6 ..."
"... If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment. ..."
"... The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market ..."
"... In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people ..."
"... In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. ..."
"... The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support. ..."
"... The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism. ..."
"... And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more. ..."
"... Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it. ..."
Aug 25, 2019 | portside.org
Originally from: Monthly Review printer friendly
The ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop.

Harry Magdoff's The Age of Imperialism is a classic work that shows how postwar political decolonization does not negate the phenomenon of imperialism. The book has two distinct aspects. On the one hand, it follows in V. I. Lenin's footsteps in providing a comprehensive account of how capitalism at the time operated globally. On the other hand, it raises a question that is less frequently discussed in Marxist literature -- namely, the need for imperialism. Here, Magdoff not only highlighted the crucial importance, among other things, of the third world's raw materials for metropolitan capital, but also refuted the argument that the declining share of raw-material value in gross manufacturing output somehow reduced this importance, making the simple point that there can be no manufacturing at all without raw materials. 1

Magdoff's focus was on a period when imperialism was severely resisting economic decolonization in the third world, with newly independent third world countries taking control over their own resources. He highlighted the entire armory of weapons used by imperialism. But he was writing in a period that predated the onset of neoliberalism. Today, we not only have decades of neoliberalism behind us, but the neoliberal regime itself has reached a dead end. Contemporary imperialism has to be discussed within this setting.

Globalization and Economic Crisis

There are two reasons why the regime of neoliberal globalization has run into a dead end. The first is an ex ante tendency toward global overproduction; the second is that the only possible counter to this tendency within the regime is the formation of asset-price bubbles, which cannot be conjured up at will and whose collapse, if they do appear, plunges the economy back into crisis. In short, to use the words of British economic historian Samuel Berrick Saul, there are no "markets on tap" for contemporary metropolitan capitalism, such as had been provided by colonialism prior to the First World War and by state expenditure in the post-Second World War period of dirigisme . 2

The ex ante tendency toward overproduction arises because the vector of real wages across countries does not increase noticeably over time in the world economy, while the vector of labor productivities does, typically resulting in a rise in the share of surplus in world output. As Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy argued in Monopoly Capital , following the lead of Michał Kalecki and Josef Steindl, such a rise in the share of economic surplus, or a shift from wages to surplus, has the effect of reducing aggregate demand since the ratio of consumption to income is higher on average for wage earners than for those living off the surplus. 3 Therefore, assuming a given level of investment associated with any period, such a shift would tend to reduce consumption demand and hence aggregate demand, output, and capacity utilization. In turn, reduced capacity utilization would lower investment over time, further aggravating the demand-reducing effect arising from the consumption side.

While the rise in the vector of labor productivities across countries, a ubiquitous phenomenon under capitalism that also characterizes neoliberal capitalism, scarcely requires an explanation, why does the vector of real wages remain virtually stagnant in the world economy? The answer lies in the sui generis character of contemporary globalization that, for the first time in the history of capitalism, has led to a relocation of activity from the metropolis to third world countries in order to take advantage of the lower wages prevailing in the latter and meet global demand.

Historically, while labor has not been, and is still not, free to migrate from the third world to the metropolis, capital, though juridically free to move from the latter to the former, did not actually do so , except to sectors like mines and plantations, which only strengthened, rather than broke, the colonial pattern of the international division of labor. 4 This segmentation of the world economy meant that wages in the metropolis increased with labor productivity, unrestrained by the vast labor reserves of the third world, which themselves had been caused by the displacement of manufactures through the twin processes of deindustrialization (competition from metropolitan goods) and the drain of surplus (the siphoning off of a large part of the economic surplus, through taxes on peasants that are no longer spent on local artisan products but finance gratis primary commodity exports to the metropolis instead).

The current globalization broke with this. The movement of capital from the metropolis to the third world, especially to East, South, and Southeast Asia to relocate plants there and take advantage of their lower wages for meeting global demand, has led to a desegmentation of the world economy, subjecting metropolitan wages to the restraining effect exercised by the third world's labor reserves. Not surprisingly, as Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, the real-wage rate of an average male U.S. worker in 2011 was no higher -- indeed, it was marginally lower -- than it had been in 1968. 5

At the same time, such relocation of activities, despite causing impressive growth rates of gross domestic product (GDP) in many third world countries, does not lead to the exhaustion of the third world's labor reserves. This is because of another feature of contemporary globalization: the unleashing of a process of primitive accumulation of capital against petty producers, including peasant agriculturists in the third world, who had earlier been protected, to an extent, from the encroachment of big capital (both domestic and foreign) by the postcolonial dirigiste regimes in these countries. Under neoliberalism, such protection is withdrawn, causing an income squeeze on these producers and often their outright dispossession from their land, which is then used by big capital for its various so-called development projects. The increase in employment, even in countries with impressive GDP growth rates in the third world, falls way short of the natural growth of the workforce, let alone absorbing the additional job seekers coming from the ranks of displaced petty producers. The labor reserves therefore never get used up. Indeed, on the contrary, they are augmented further, because real wages continue to remain tied to a subsistence level, even as metropolitan wages too are restrained. The vector of real wages in the world economy as a whole therefore remains restrained.

Although contemporary globalization thus gives rise to an ex ante tendency toward overproduction, state expenditure that could provide a counter to this (and had provided a counter through military spending in the United States, according to Baran and Sweezy) can no longer do so under the current regime. Finance is usually opposed to direct state intervention through larger spending as a way of increasing employment. This opposition expresses itself through an opposition not just to larger taxes on capitalists, but also to a larger fiscal deficit for financing such spending. Obviously, if larger state spending is financed by taxes on workers, then it hardly adds to aggregate demand, for workers spend the bulk of their incomes anyway, so the state taking this income and spending it instead does not add any extra demand. Hence, larger state spending can increase employment only if it is financed either through a fiscal deficit or through taxes on capitalists who keep a part of their income unspent or saved. But these are precisely the two modes of financing state expenditure that finance capital opposes.

Its opposing larger taxes on capitalists is understandable, but why is it so opposed to a larger fiscal deficit? Even within a capitalist economy, there are no sound economic theoretical reasons that should preclude a fiscal deficit under all circumstances. The root of the opposition therefore lies in deeper social considerations: if the capitalist economic system becomes dependent on the state to promote employment directly , then this fact undermines the social legitimacy of capitalism. The need for the state to boost the animal spirits of the capitalists disappears and a perspective on the system that is epistemically exterior to it is provided to the people, making it possible for them to ask: If the state can do the job of providing employment, then why do we need the capitalists at all? It is an instinctive appreciation of this potential danger that underlies the opposition of capital, especially of finance, to any direct effort by the state to generate employment.

This ever-present opposition becomes decisive within a regime of globalization. As long as finance capital remains national -- that is, nation-based -- and the state is a nation-state, the latter can override this opposition under certain circumstances, such as in the post-Second World War period when capitalism was facing an existential crisis. But when finance capital is globalized, meaning, when it is free to move across country borders while the state remains a nation-state, its opposition to fiscal deficits becomes decisive. If the state does run large fiscal deficits against its wishes, then it would simply leave that country en masse , causing a financial crisis.

The state therefore capitulates to the demands of globalized finance capital and eschews direct fiscal intervention for increasing demand. It resorts to monetary policy instead since that operates through wealth holders' decisions, and hence does not undermine their social position. But, precisely for this reason, monetary policy is an ineffective instrument, as was evident in the United States in the aftermath of the 2007–09 crisis when even the pushing of interest rates down to zero scarcely revived activity. 6

It may be thought that this compulsion on the part of the state to accede to the demand of finance to eschew fiscal intervention for enlarging employment should not hold for the United States. Its currency being considered by the world's wealth holders to be "as good as gold" should make it immune to capital flight. But there is an additional factor operating in the case of the United States: that the demand generated by a bigger U.S. fiscal deficit would substantially leak abroad in a neoliberal setting, which would increase its external debt (since, unlike Britain in its heyday, it does not have access to any unrequited colonial transfers) for the sake of generating employment elsewhere. This fact deters any fiscal effort even in the United States to boost demand within a neoliberal setting. 7

Therefore, it follows that state spending cannot provide a counter to the ex ante tendency toward global overproduction within a regime of neoliberal globalization, which makes the world economy precariously dependent on occasional asset-price bubbles, primarily in the U.S. economy, for obtaining, at best, some temporary relief from the crisis. It is this fact that underlies the dead end that neoliberal capitalism has reached. Indeed, Donald Trump's resort to protectionism in the United States to alleviate unemployment is a clear recognition of the system having reached this cul-de-sac. The fact that the mightiest capitalist economy in the world has to move away from the rules of the neoliberal game in an attempt to alleviate its crisis of unemployment/underemployment -- while compensating capitalists adversely affected by this move through tax cuts, as well as carefully ensuring that no restraints are imposed on free cross-border financial flows -- shows that these rules are no longer viable in their pristine form.

Some Implications of This Dead End

There are at least four important implications of this dead end of neoliberalism. The first is that the world economy will now be afflicted by much higher levels of unemployment than it was in the last decade of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first, when the dot-com and the housing bubbles in the United States had, sequentially, a pronounced impact. It is true that the U.S. unemployment rate today appears to be at a historic low, but this is misleading: the labor-force participation rate in the United States today is lower than it was in 2008, which reflects the discouraged-worker effect . Adjusting for this lower participation, the U.S. unemployment rate is considerable -- around 8 percent. Indeed, Trump would not be imposing protection in the United States if unemployment was actually as low as 4 percent, which is the official figure. Elsewhere in the world, of course, unemployment post-2008 continues to be evidently higher than before. Indeed, the severity of the current problem of below-full-employment production in the U.S. economy is best illustrated by capacity utilization figures in manufacturing. The weakness of the U.S. recovery from the Great Recession is indicated by the fact that the current extended recovery represents the first decade in the entire post-Second World War period in which capacity utilization in manufacturing has never risen as high as 80 percent in a single quarter, with the resulting stagnation of investment. 8

If Trump's protectionism, which recalls the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1931 and amounts to a beggar-my-neighbor policy, does lead to a significant export of unemployment from the United States, then it will invite retaliation and trigger a trade war that will only worsen the crisis for the world economy as a whole by dampening global investment. Indeed, since the United States has been targeting China in particular, some retaliatory measures have already appeared. But if U.S. protectionism does not invite generalized retaliation, it would only be because the export of unemployment from the United States is insubstantial, keeping unemployment everywhere, including in the United States, as precarious as it is now. However we look at it, the world would henceforth face higher levels of unemployment.

There has been some discussion on how global value chains would be affected by Trump's protectionism. But the fact that global macroeconomics in the early twenty-first century will look altogether different compared to earlier has not been much discussed.

In light of the preceding discussion, one could say that if, instead of individual nation-states whose writ cannot possibly run against globalized finance capital, there was a global state or a set of major nation-states acting in unison to override the objections of globalized finance and provide a coordinated fiscal stimulus to the world economy, then perhaps there could be recovery. Such a coordinated fiscal stimulus was suggested by a group of German trade unionists, as well as by John Maynard Keynes during the Great Depression in the 1930s. 9 While it was turned down then, in the present context it has not even been discussed.

The second implication of this dead end is that the era of export-led growth is by and large over for third world economies. The slowing down of world economic growth, together with protectionism in the United States against successful third world exporters, which could even spread to other metropolitan economies, suggests that the strategy of relying on the world market to generate domestic growth has run out of steam. Third world economies, including the ones that have been very successful at exporting, would now have to rely much more on their home market.

Such a transition will not be easy; it will require promoting domestic peasant agriculture, defending petty production, moving toward cooperative forms of production, and ensuring greater equality in income distribution, all of which need major structural shifts. For smaller economies, it would also require their coming together with other economies to provide a minimum size to the domestic market. In short, the dead end of neoliberalism also means the need for a shift away from the so-called neoliberal development strategy that has held sway until now.

The third implication is the imminent engulfing of a whole range of third world economies in serious balance-of-payments difficulties. This is because, while their exports will be sluggish in the new situation, this very fact will also discourage financial inflows into their economies, whose easy availability had enabled them to maintain current account deficits on their balance of payments earlier. In such a situation, within the existing neoliberal paradigm, they would be forced to adopt austerity measures that would impose income deflation on their people, make the conditions of their people significantly worse, lead to a further handing over of their national assets and resources to international capital, and prevent precisely any possible transition to an alternative strategy of home market-based growth.

In other words, we shall now have an intensification of the imperialist stranglehold over third world economies, especially those pushed into unsustainable balance-of-payments deficits in the new situation. By imperialism , here we do not mean the imperialism of this or that major power, but the imperialism of international finance capital, with which even domestic big bourgeoisies are integrated, directed against their own working people.

The fourth implication is the worldwide upsurge of fascism. Neoliberal capitalism even before it reached a dead end, even in the period when it achieved reasonable growth and employment rates, had pushed the world into greater hunger and poverty. For instance, the world per-capita cereal output was 355 kilograms for 1980 (triennium average for 1979–81 divided by mid–triennium population) and fell to 343 in 2000, leveling at 344.9 in 2016 -- and a substantial amount of this last figure went into ethanol production. Clearly, in a period of growth of the world economy, per-capita cereal absorption should be expanding, especially since we are talking here not just of direct absorption but of direct and indirect absorption, the latter through processed foods and feed grains in animal products. The fact that there was an absolute decline in per-capita output, which no doubt caused a decline in per-capita absorption, suggests an absolute worsening in the nutritional level of a substantial segment of the world's population.

But this growing hunger and nutritional poverty did not immediately arouse any significant resistance, both because such resistance itself becomes more difficult under neoliberalism (since the very globalization of capital makes it an elusive target) and also because higher GDP growth rates provided a hope that distress might be overcome in the course of time. Peasants in distress, for instance, entertained the hope that their children would live better in the years to come if given a modicum of education and accepted their fate.

In short, the ideology of neoliberal capitalism was the promise of growth. But with neoliberal capitalism reaching a dead end, this promise disappears and so does this ideological prop. To sustain itself, neoliberal capitalism starts looking for some other ideological prop and finds fascism. This changes the discourse away from the material conditions of people's lives to the so-called threat to the nation, placing the blame for people's distress not on the failure of the system, but on ethnic, linguistic, and religious minority groups, the other that is portrayed as an enemy. It projects a so-called messiah whose sheer muscularity can somehow magically overcome all problems; it promotes a culture of unreason so that both the vilification of the other and the magical powers of the supposed leader can be placed beyond any intellectual questioning; it uses a combination of state repression and street-level vigilantism by fascist thugs to terrorize opponents; and it forges a close relationship with big business, or, in Kalecki's words, "a partnership of big business and fascist upstarts." 10

Fascist groups of one kind or another exist in all modern societies. They move center stage and even into power only on certain occasions when they get the backing of big business. And these occasions arise when three conditions are satisfied: when there is an economic crisis so the system cannot simply go on as before; when the usual liberal establishment is manifestly incapable of resolving the crisis; and when the left is not strong enough to provide an alternative to the people in order to move out of the conjuncture.

This last point may appear odd at first, since many see the big bourgeoisie's recourse to fascism as a counter to the growth of the left's strength in the context of a capitalist crisis. But when the left poses a serious threat, the response of the big bourgeoisie typically is to attempt to split it by offering concessions. It uses fascism to prop itself up only when the left is weakened. Walter Benjamin's remark that "behind every fascism there is a failed revolution" points in this direction.

Fascism Then and Now

Contemporary fascism, however, differs in crucial respects from its 1930s counterpart, which is why many are reluctant to call the current phenomenon a fascist upsurge. But historical parallels, if carefully drawn, can be useful. While in some aforementioned respects contemporary fascism does resemble the phenomenon of the 1930s, there are serious differences between the two that must also be noted.

First, we must note that while the current fascist upsurge has put fascist elements in power in many countries, there are no fascist states of the 1930s kind as of yet. Even if the fascist elements in power try to push the country toward a fascist state, it is not clear that they will succeed. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that fascists in power today cannot overcome the crisis of neoliberalism, since they accept the regime of globalization of finance. This includes Trump, despite his protectionism. In the 1930s, however, this was not the case. The horrors associated with the institution of a fascist state in the 1930s had been camouflaged to an extent by the ability of the fascists in power to overcome mass unemployment and end the Depression through larger military spending, financed by government borrowing. Contemporary fascism, by contrast, lacks the ability to overcome the opposition of international finance capital to fiscal activism on the part of the government to generate larger demand, output, and employment, even via military spending.

Such activism, as discussed earlier, required larger government spending financed either through taxes on capitalists or through a fiscal deficit. Finance capital was opposed to both of these measures and it being globalized made this opposition decisive . The decisiveness of this opposition remains even if the government happens to be one composed of fascist elements. Hence, contemporary fascism, straitjacketed by "fiscal rectitude," cannot possibly alleviate even temporarily the economic crises facing people and cannot provide any cover for a transition to a fascist state akin to the ones of the 1930s, which makes such a transition that much more unlikely.

Another difference is also related to the phenomenon of the globalization of finance. The 1930s were marked by what Lenin had earlier called "interimperialist rivalry." The military expenditures incurred by fascist governments, even though they pulled countries out of the Depression and unemployment, inevitably led to wars for "repartitioning an already partitioned world." Fascism was the progenitor of war and burned itself out through war at, needless to say, great cost to humankind.

Contemporary fascism, however, operates in a world where interimperialist rivalry is far more muted. Some have seen in this muting a vindication of Karl Kautsky's vision of an "ultraimperialism" as against Lenin's emphasis on the permanence of interimperialist rivalry, but this is wrong. Both Kautsky and Lenin were talking about a world where finance capital and the financial oligarchy were essentially national -- that is, German, French, or British. And while Kautsky talked about the possibility of truces among the rival oligarchies, Lenin saw such truces only as transient phenomena punctuating the ubiquity of rivalry.

In contrast, what we have today is not nation-based finance capitals, but international finance capital into whose corpus the finance capitals drawn from particular countries are integrated. This globalized finance capital does not want the world to be partitioned into economic territories of rival powers ; on the contrary, it wants the entire globe to be open to its own unrestricted movement. The muting of rivalry between major powers, therefore, is not because they prefer truce to war, or peaceful partitioning of the world to forcible repartitioning, but because the material conditions themselves have changed so that it is no longer a matter of such choices. The world has gone beyond both Lenin and Kautsky, as well as their debates.

Not only are we not going to have wars between major powers in this era of fascist upsurge (of course, as will be discussed, we shall have other wars), but, by the same token, this fascist upsurge will not burn out through any cataclysmic war. What we are likely to see is a lingering fascism of less murderous intensity , which, when in power, does not necessarily do away with all the forms of bourgeois democracy, does not necessarily physically annihilate the opposition, and may even allow itself to get voted out of power occasionally. But since its successor government, as long as it remains within the confines of the neoliberal strategy, will also be incapable of alleviating the crisis, the fascist elements are likely to return to power as well. And whether the fascist elements are in or out of power, they will remain a potent force working toward the fascification of the society and the polity, even while promoting corporate interests within a regime of globalization of finance, and hence permanently maintaining the "partnership between big business and fascist upstarts."

Put differently, since the contemporary fascist upsurge is not likely to burn itself out as the earlier one did, it has to be overcome by transcending the very conjuncture that produced it: neoliberal capitalism at a dead end. A class mobilization of working people around an alternative set of transitional demands that do not necessarily directly target neoliberal capitalism, but which are immanently unrealizable within the regime of neoliberal capitalism, can provide an initial way out of this conjuncture and lead to its eventual transcendence.

Such a class mobilization in the third world context would not mean making no truces with liberal bourgeois elements against the fascists. On the contrary, since the liberal bourgeois elements too are getting marginalized through a discourse of jingoistic nationalism typically manufactured by the fascists, they too would like to shift the discourse toward the material conditions of people's lives, no doubt claiming that an improvement in these conditions is possible within the neoliberal economic regime itself. Such a shift in discourse is in itself a major antifascist act . Experience will teach that the agenda advanced as part of this changed discourse is unrealizable under neoliberalism, providing the scope for dialectical intervention by the left to transcend neoliberal capitalism.

Imperialist Interventions

Even though fascism will have a lingering presence in this conjuncture of "neoliberalism at a dead end," with the backing of domestic corporate-financial interests that are themselves integrated into the corpus of international finance capital, the working people in the third world will increasingly demand better material conditions of life and thereby rupture the fascist discourse of jingoistic nationalism (that ironically in a third world context is not anti-imperialist).

In fact, neoliberalism reaching a dead end and having to rely on fascist elements revives meaningful political activity, which the heyday of neoliberalism had precluded, because most political formations then had been trapped within an identical neoliberal agenda that appeared promising. (Latin America had a somewhat different history because neoliberalism arrived in that continent through military dictatorships, not through its more or less tacit acceptance by most political formations.)

Such revived political activity will necessarily throw up challenges to neoliberal capitalism in particular countries. Imperialism, by which we mean the entire economic and political arrangement sustaining the hegemony of international finance capital, will deal with these challenges in at least four different ways.

The first is the so-called spontaneous method of capital flight. Any political formation that seeks to take the country out of the neoliberal regime will witness capital flight even before it has been elected to office, bringing the country to a financial crisis and thereby denting its electoral prospects. And if perchance it still gets elected, the outflow will only increase, even before it assumes office. The inevitable difficulties faced by the people may well make the government back down at that stage. The sheer difficulty of transition away from a neoliberal regime could be enough to bring even a government based on the support of workers and peasants to its knees, precisely to save them short-term distress or to avoid losing their support.

Even if capital controls are put in place, where there are current account deficits, financing such deficits would pose a problem, necessitating some trade controls. But this is where the second instrument of imperialism comes into play: the imposition of trade sanctions by the metropolitan states, which then cajole other countries to stop buying from the sanctioned country that is trying to break away from thralldom to globalized finance capital. Even if the latter would have otherwise succeeded in stabilizing its economy despite its attempt to break away, the imposition of sanctions becomes an additional blow.

The third weapon consists in carrying out so-called democratic or parliamentary coups of the sort that Latin America has been experiencing. Coups in the old days were effected through the local armed forces and necessarily meant the imposition of military dictatorships in lieu of civilian, democratically elected governments. Now, taking advantage of the disaffection generated within countries by the hardships caused by capital flight and imposed sanctions, imperialism promotes coups through fascist or fascist-sympathizing middle-class political elements in the name of restoring democracy, which is synonymous with the pursuit of neoliberalism.

And if all these measures fail, there is always the possibility of resorting to economic warfare (such as destroying Venezuela's electricity supply), and eventually to military warfare. Venezuela today provides a classic example of what imperialist intervention in a third world country is going to look like in the era of decline of neoliberal capitalism, when revolts are going to characterize such countries more and more.

Two aspects of such intervention are striking. One is the virtual unanimity among the metropolitan states, which only underscores the muting of interimperialist rivalry in the era of hegemony of global finance capital. The other is the extent of support that such intervention commands within metropolitan countries, from the right to even the liberal segments.

Despite this opposition, neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself. Interestingly, in the period after the First World War, when capitalism was on the verge of sinking into a crisis, the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of the Second World War. 11 Today, neoliberal capitalism does not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses that is building up against it.

Notes
  1. Harry Magdoff, The Age of Imperialism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1969).
  2. Samuel Berrick Saul, Studies in British Overseas Trade, 1870–1914 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1960).
  3. Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1966).
  4. One of the first authors to recognize this fact and its significance was Paul Baran in The Political Economy of Growth (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1957).
  5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, " Inequality is Holding Back the Recovery ," New York Times , January 19, 2013.
  6. For a discussion of how even the recent euphoria about U.S. growth is vanishing, see C. P. Chandrasekhar and Jayati Ghosh, " Vanishing Green Shoots and the Possibility of Another Crisis ," The Hindu Business Line , April 8, 2019.
  7. For the role of such colonial transfers in sustaining the British balance of payments and the long Victorian and Edwardian boom, see Utsa Patnaik, "Revisiting the 'Drain,' or Transfers from India to Britain in the Context of Global Diffusion of Capitalism," in Agrarian and Other Histories: Essays for Binay Bhushan Chaudhuri , ed. Shubhra Chakrabarti and Utsa Patnaik (Delhi: Tulika, 2017), 277-317.
  8. Federal Reserve Board of Saint Louis Economic Research, FRED, "Capacity Utilization: Manufacturing," February 2019 (updated March 27, 2019), http://fred.stlouisfed.org .
  9. This issue is discussed by Charles P. Kindleberger in The World in Depression, 1929–1939 , 40th anniversary ed. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2013).
  10. Michał Kalecki, " Political Aspects of Full Employment ," Political Quarterly (1943), available at mronline.org.
  11. Joseph Schumpeter had seen Keynes's The Economic Consequences of the Peace as essentially advocating such state intervention in the new situation. See his essay, "John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946)," in Ten Great Economists (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1952).

Utsa Patnaik is Professor Emerita at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her books include Peasant Class Differentiation (1987), The Long Transition (1999), and The Republic of Hunger and Other Essays (2007). Prabhat Patnaik is Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His books include Accumulation and Stability Under Capitalism (1997), The Value of Money(2009), and Re-envisioning Socialism(2011).

[Sep 09, 2019] What's the True Unemployment Rate in the US? by Jack Rasmus

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The real unemployment rate is probably somewhere between 10%-12%. ..."
"... The U-6 also includes what the labor dept. calls involuntary part time employed. It should include the voluntary part time as well, but doesn't (See, they're not actively looking for work even if unemployed). ..."
"... But even the involuntary part time is itself under-estimated. I believe the Labor Dept. counts only those involuntarily part time unemployed whose part time job is their primary job. It doesn't count those who have second and third involuntary part time jobs. That would raise the U-6 unemployment rate significantly. The labor Dept's estimate of the 'discouraged' and 'missing labor force' is grossly underestimated. ..."
"... The labor dept. also misses the 1-2 million workers who went on social security disability (SSDI) after 2008 because it provides better pay, for longer, than does unemployment insurance. That number rose dramatically after 2008 and hasn't come down much (although the government and courts are going after them). ..."
"... The way the government calculates unemployment is by means of 60,000 monthly household surveys but that phone survey method misses a lot of workers who are undocumented and others working in the underground economy in the inner cities (about 10-12% of the economy according to most economists and therefore potentially 10-12% of the reported labor force in size as well). ..."
"... The SSDI, undocumented, underground, underestimation of part timers, etc. are what I call the 'hidden unemployed'. And that brings the unemployed well above the 3.7%. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

The real unemployment rate is probably somewhere between 10%-12%. Here's why: the 3.7% is the U-3 rate, per the labor dept. But that's the rate only for full time employed. What the labor dept. calls the U-6 includes what it calls discouraged workers (those who haven't looked for work in the past 4 weeks). Then there's what's called the 'missing labor force'–i.e. those who haven't looked in the past year. They're not calculated in the 3.7% U-3 unemployment rate number either. Why? Because you have to be 'out of work and actively looking for work' to be counted as unemployed and therefore part of the 3.7% rate.

The U-6 also includes what the labor dept. calls involuntary part time employed. It should include the voluntary part time as well, but doesn't (See, they're not actively looking for work even if unemployed).

But even the involuntary part time is itself under-estimated. I believe the Labor Dept. counts only those involuntarily part time unemployed whose part time job is their primary job. It doesn't count those who have second and third involuntary part time jobs. That would raise the U-6 unemployment rate significantly. The labor Dept's estimate of the 'discouraged' and 'missing labor force' is grossly underestimated.

The labor dept. also misses the 1-2 million workers who went on social security disability (SSDI) after 2008 because it provides better pay, for longer, than does unemployment insurance. That number rose dramatically after 2008 and hasn't come down much (although the government and courts are going after them).

The way the government calculates unemployment is by means of 60,000 monthly household surveys but that phone survey method misses a lot of workers who are undocumented and others working in the underground economy in the inner cities (about 10-12% of the economy according to most economists and therefore potentially 10-12% of the reported labor force in size as well). The labor dept. just makes assumptions about that number (conservatively, I may add) and plugs in a number to be added to the unemployment totals. But it has no real idea of how many undocumented or underground economy workers are actually employed or unemployed since these workers do not participate in the labor dept. phone surveys, and who can blame them.

The SSDI, undocumented, underground, underestimation of part timers, etc. are what I call the 'hidden unemployed'. And that brings the unemployed well above the 3.7%.

Finally, there's the corroborating evidence about what's called the labor force participation rate. It has declined by roughly 5% since 2007. That's 6 to 9 million workers who should have entered the labor force but haven't. The labor force should be that much larger, but it isn't. Where have they gone? Did they just not enter the labor force? If not, they're likely a majority unemployed, or in the underground economy, or belong to the labor dept's 'missing labor force' which should be much greater than reported. The government has no adequate explanation why the participation rate has declined so dramatically. Or where have the workers gone. If they had entered the labor force they would have been counted. And their 6 to 9 million would result in an increase in the total labor force number and therefore raise the unemployment rate.

All these reasons–-i.e. only counting full timers in the official 3.7%; under-estimating the size of the part time workforce; under-estimating the size of the discouraged and so-called 'missing labor force'; using methodologies that don't capture the undocumented and underground unemployed accurately; not counting part of the SSI increase as unemployed; and reducing the total labor force because of the declining labor force participation-–together means the true unemployment rate is definitely over 10% and likely closer to 12%. And even that's a conservative estimate perhaps." Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jack Rasmus

Jack Rasmus is author of the recently published book, 'Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression', Clarity Press, August 2017. He blogs at jackrasmus.com and his twitter handle is @drjackrasmus. His website is http://kyklosproductions.com .

[Jul 29, 2019] Michael Hudson Trump s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember US Dollar Hegemony by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
Looks like the world order established after WWIII crumbed with the USSR and now it is again the law if jungles with the US as the biggest predator.
Notable quotes:
"... The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet. ..."
"... Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy ..."
"... A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest. ..."
"... For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness. ..."
"... Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II. ..."
"... Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards. ..."
"... Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." ..."
"... This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer. ..."
"... England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank." ..."
"... But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium. ..."
"... On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe ..."
"... The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945. ..."
"... By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands. ..."
"... It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either. ..."
"... But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid. ..."
"... It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. ..."
"... Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe. ..."
"... It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence. ..."
"... Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority. ..."
"... Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change. ..."
"... Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times. ..."
"... Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. ..."
"... To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles. ..."
"... Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually. ..."
"... So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change. ..."
"... Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. ..."
"... I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. ..."
"... If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing. ..."
"... In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3. ..."
"... Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble." ..."
"... He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas. ..."
"... The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run. ..."
"... Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners. ..."
"... Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap. ..."
"... On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect. ..."
"... Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o ..."
"... Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT. ..."
"... The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy. ..."
Feb 01, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected, thanks to the very same Neocons who gave the world the Iraq, Syria and the dirty wars in Latin America. Just as the Vietnam War drove the United States off gold by 1971, its sponsorship and funding of violent regime change wars against Venezuela and Syria – and threatening other countries with sanctions if they do not join this crusade – is now driving European and other nations to create their alternative financial institutions.

This break has been building for quite some time, and was bound to occur. But who would have thought that Donald Trump would become the catalytic agent? No left-wing party, no socialist, anarchist or foreign nationalist leader anywhere in the world could have achieved what he is doing to break up the American Empire. The Deep State is reacting with shock at how this right-wing real estate grifter has been able to drive other countries to defend themselves by dismantling the U.S.-centered world order. To rub it in, he is using Bush and Reagan-era Neocon arsonists, John Bolton and now Elliott Abrams, to fan the flames in Venezuela. It is almost like a black political comedy. The world of international diplomacy is being turned inside-out. A world where there is no longer even a pretense that we might adhere to international norms, let alone laws or treaties.

The Neocons who Trump has appointed are accomplishing what seemed unthinkable not long ago: Driving China and Russia together – the great nightmare of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski. They also are driving Germany and other European countries into the Eurasian orbit, the "Heartland" nightmare of Halford Mackinder a century ago.

The root cause is clear: After the crescendo of pretenses and deceptions over Iraq, Libya and Syria, along with our absolution of the lawless regime of Saudi Arabia, foreign political leaders are coming to recognize what world-wide public opinion polls reported even before the Iraq/Iran-Contra boys turned their attention to the world's largest oil reserves in Venezuela: The United States is now the greatest threat to peace on the planet.

Calling the U.S. coup being sponsored in Venezuela a defense of democracy reveals the Doublethink underlying U.S. foreign policy. It defines "democracy" to mean supporting U.S. foreign policy, pursuing neoliberal privatization of public infrastructure, dismantling government regulation and following the direction of U.S.-dominated global institutions, from the IMF and World Bank to NATO. For decades, the resulting foreign wars, domestic austerity programs and military interventions have brought more violence, not democracy.

In the Devil's Dictionary that U.S. diplomats are taught to use as their "Elements of Style" guidelines for Doublethink, a "democratic" country is one that follows U.S. leadership and opens its economy to U.S. investment, and IMF- and World Bank-sponsored privatization. The Ukraine is deemed democratic, along with Saudi Arabia, Israel and other countries that act as U.S. financial and military protectorates and are willing to treat America's enemies are theirs too.

A point had to come where this policy collided with the self-interest of other nations, finally breaking through the public relations rhetoric of empire. Other countries are proceeding to de-dollarize and replace what U.S. diplomacy calls "internationalism" (meaning U.S. nationalism imposed on the rest of the world) with their own national self-interest.

This trajectory could be seen 50 years ago (I described it in Super Imperialism [1972] and Global Fracture [1978].) It had to happen. But nobody thought that the end would come in quite the way that is happening. History has turned into comedy, or at least irony as its dialectical path unfolds.

For the past half-century, U.S. strategists, the State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) worried that opposition to U.S. financial imperialism would come from left-wing parties. It therefore spent enormous resources manipulating parties that called themselves socialist (Tony Blair's British Labour Party, France's Socialist Party, Germany's Social Democrats, etc.) to adopt neoliberal policies that were the diametric opposite to what social democracy meant a century ago. But U.S. political planners and Great Wurlitzer organists neglected the right wing, imagining that it would instinctively support U.S. thuggishness.

The reality is that right-wing parties want to get elected, and a populist nationalism is today's road to election victory in Europe and other countries just as it was for Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump's agenda may really be to break up the American Empire, using the old Uncle Sucker isolationist rhetoric of half a century ago. He certainly is going for the Empire's most vital organs. But it he a witting anti-American agent? He might as well be – but it would be a false mental leap to use "quo bono" to assume that he is a witting agent.

After all, if no U.S. contractor, supplier, labor union or bank will deal with him, would Vladimir Putin, China or Iran be any more naïve? Perhaps the problem had to erupt as a result of the inner dynamics of U.S.-sponsored globalism becoming impossible to impose when the result is financial austerity, waves of population flight from U.S.-sponsored wars, and most of all, U.S. refusal to adhere to the rules and international laws that it itself sponsored seventy years ago in the wake of World War II.

Dismantling International Law and Its Courts

Any international system of control requires the rule of law. It may be a morally lawless exercise of ruthless power imposing predatory exploitation, but it is still The Law. And it needs courts to apply it (backed by police power to enforce it and punish violators).

Here's the first legal contradiction in U.S. global diplomacy: The United States always has resisted letting any other country have any voice in U.S. domestic policies, law-making or diplomacy. That is what makes America "the exceptional nation." But for seventy years its diplomats have pretended that its superior judgment promoted a peaceful world (as the Roman Empire claimed to be), which let other countries share in prosperity and rising living standards.

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy. Without such power, the United States would not join any international organization. Yet at the same time, it depicted its nationalism as protecting globalization and internationalism. It was all a euphemism for what really was unilateral U.S. decision-making.

Inevitably, U.S. nationalism had to break up the mirage of One World internationalism, and with it any thought of an international court. Without veto power over the judges, the U.S. never accepted the authority of any court, in particular the United Nations' International Court in The Hague. Recently that court undertook an investigation into U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan, from its torture policies to bombing of civilian targets such as hospitals, weddings and infrastructure. "That investigation ultimately found 'a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity." [1]

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton erupted in fury, warning in September that: "The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," adding that the UN International Court must not be so bold as to investigate "Israel or other U.S. allies."

That prompted a senior judge, Christoph Flügge from Germany, to resign in protest. Indeed, Bolton told the court to keep out of any affairs involving the United States, promising to ban the Court's "judges and prosecutors from entering the United States." As Bolton spelled out the U.S. threat: "We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

What this meant, the German judge spelled out was that: "If these judges ever interfere in the domestic concerns of the U.S. or investigate an American citizen, [Bolton] said the American government would do all it could to ensure that these judges would no longer be allowed to travel to the United States – and that they would perhaps even be criminally prosecuted."

The original inspiration of the Court – to use the Nuremburg laws that were applied against German Nazis to bring similar prosecution against any country or officials found guilty of committing war crimes – had already fallen into disuse with the failure to indict the authors of the Chilean coup, Iran-Contra or the U.S. invasion of Iraq for war crimes.

Dismantling Dollar Hegemony from the IMF to SWIFT

Of all areas of global power politics today, international finance and foreign investment have become the key flashpoint. International monetary reserves were supposed to be the most sacrosanct, and international debt enforcement closely associated.

Central banks have long held their gold and other monetary reserves in the United States and London. Back in 1945 this seemed reasonable, because the New York Federal Reserve Bank (in whose basement foreign central bank gold was kept) was militarily safe, and because the London Gold Pool was the vehicle by which the U.S. Treasury kept the dollar "as good as gold" at $35 an ounce. Foreign reserves over and above gold were kept in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, to be bought and sold on the New York and London foreign-exchange markets to stabilize exchange rates. Most foreign loans to governments were denominated in U.S. dollars, so Wall Street banks were normally name as paying agents.

That was the case with Iran under the Shah, whom the United States had installed after sponsoring the 1953 coup against Mohammed Mosaddegh when he sought to nationalize Anglo-Iranian Oil (now British Petroleum) or at least tax it. After the Shah was overthrown, the Khomeini regime asked its paying agent, the Chase Manhattan bank, to use its deposits to pay its bondholders. At the direction of the U.S. Government Chase refused to do so. U.S. courts then declared Iran to be in default, and froze all its assets in the United States and anywhere else they were able.

This showed that international finance was an arm of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But that was a generation ago, and only recently did foreign countries begin to feel queasy about leaving their gold holdings in the United States, where they might be grabbed at will to punish any country that might act in ways that U.S. diplomacy found offensive. So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. U.S. officials pretended to feel shocked at the insult that it might do to a civilized Christian country what it had done to Iran, and Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

But then came Venezuela. Desperate to spend its gold reserves to provide imports for its economy devastated by U.S. sanctions – a crisis that U.S. diplomats blame on "socialism," not on U.S. political attempts to "make the economy scream" (as Nixon officials said of Chile under Salvador Allende) – Venezuela directed the Bank of England to transfer some of its $11 billion in gold held in its vaults and those of other central banks in December 2018. This was just like a bank depositor would expect a bank to pay a check that the depositor had written.

England refused to honor the official request, following the direction of Bolton and U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. As Bloomberg reported: "The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela's overseas assets to [Chicago Boy Juan] Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank."

Turkey seemed to be a likely destination, prompting Bolton and Pompeo to warn it to desist from helping Venezuela, threatening sanctions against it or any other country helping Venezuela cope with its economic crisis. As for the Bank of England and other European countries, the Bloomberg report concluded: "Central bank officials in Caracas have been ordered to no longer try contacting the Bank of England. These central bankers have been told that Bank of England staffers will not respond to them."

This led to rumors that Venezuela was selling 20 tons of gold via a Russian Boeing 777 – some $840 million. The money probably would have ended up paying Russian and Chinese bondholders as well as buying food to relieve the local famine. [4] Russia denied this report, but Reuters has confirmed is that Venezuela has sold 3 tons of a planned 29 tones of gold to the United Arab Emirates, with another 15 tones are to be shipped on Friday, February 1. [5] The U.S. Senate's Batista-Cuban hardliner Rubio accused this of being "theft," as if feeding the people to alleviate the U.S.-sponsored crisis was a crime against U.S. diplomatic leverage.

If there is any country that U.S. diplomats hate more than a recalcitrant Latin American country, it is Iran. President Trump's breaking of the 2015 nuclear agreements negotiated by European and Obama Administration diplomats has escalated to the point of threatening Germany and other European countries with punitive sanctions if they do not also break the agreements they have signed. Coming on top of U.S. opposition to German and other European importing of Russian gas, the U.S. threat finally prompted Europe to find a way to defend itself.

Imperial threats are no longer military. No country (including Russia or China) can mount a military invasion of another major country. Since the Vietnam Era, the only kind of war a democratically elected country can wage is atomic, or at least heavy bombing such as the United States has inflicted on Iraq, Libya and Syria. But now, cyber warfare has become a way of pulling out the connections of any economy. And the major cyber connections are financial money-transfer ones, headed by SWIFT, the acronym for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which is centered in Belgium.

Russia and China have already moved to create a shadow bank-transfer system in case the United States unplugs them from SWIFT. But now, European countries have come to realize that threats by Bolton and Pompeo may lead to heavy fines and asset grabs if they seek to continue trading with Iran as called for in the treaties they have negotiated.

On January 31 the dam broke with the announcement that Europe had created its own bypass payments system for use with Iran and other countries targeted by U.S. diplomats. Germany, France and even the U.S. poodle Britain joined to create INSTEX -- Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. The promise is that this will be used only for "humanitarian" aid to save Iran from a U.S.-sponsored Venezuela-type devastation. But in view of increasingly passionate U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream pipeline to carry Russian gas, this alternative bank clearing system will be ready and able to become operative if the United States tries to direct a sanctions attack on Europe.

I have just returned from Germany and seen a remarkable split between that nation's industrialists and their political leadership. For years, major companies have seen Russia as a natural market, a complementary economy needing to modernize its manufacturing and able to supply Europe with natural gas and other raw materials. America's New Cold War stance is trying to block this commercial complementarity. Warning Europe against "dependence" on low-price Russian gas, it has offered to sell high-priced LNG from the United States (via port facilities that do not yet exist in anywhere near the volume required). President Trump also is insisting that NATO members spend a full 2 percent of their GDP on arms – preferably bought from the United States, not from German or French merchants of death.

The U.S. overplaying its position is leading to the Mackinder-Kissinger-Brzezinski Eurasian nightmare that I mentioned above. In addition to driving Russia and China together, U.S. diplomacy is adding Europe to the heartland, independent of U.S. ability to bully into the state of dependency toward which American diplomacy has aimed to achieve since 1945.

The World Bank, for instance, traditionally has been headed by a U.S. Secretary of Defense. Its steady policy since its inception is to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export crops instead of giving priority to feeding themselves. That is why its loans are only in foreign currency, not in the domestic currency needed to provide price supports and agricultural extension services such as have made U.S. agriculture so productive. By following U.S. advice, countries have left themselves open to food blackmail – sanctions against providing them with grain and other food, in case they step out of line with U.S. diplomatic demands.

It is worthwhile to note that our global imposition of the mythical "efficiencies" of forcing Latin American countries to become plantations for export crops like coffee and bananas rather than growing their own wheat and corn has failed catastrophically to deliver better lives, especially for those living in Central America. The "spread" between the export crops and cheaper food imports from the U.S. that was supposed to materialize for countries following our playbook failed miserably – witness the caravans and refugees across Mexico. Of course, our backing of the most brutal military dictators and crime lords has not helped either.

Likewise, the IMF has been forced to admit that its basic guidelines were fictitious from the beginning. A central core has been to enforce payment of official inter-government debt by withholding IMF credit from countries under default. This rule was instituted at a time when most official inter-government debt was owed to the United States. But a few years ago Ukraine defaulted on $3 billion owed to Russia. The IMF said, in effect, that Ukraine and other countries did not have to pay Russia or any other country deemed to be acting too independently of the United States. The IMF has been extending credit to the bottomless it of Ukrainian corruption to encourage its anti-Russian policy rather than standing up for the principle that inter-government debts must be paid.

It is as if the IMF now operates out of a small room in the basement of the Pentagon in Washington. Europe has taken notice that its own international monetary trade and financial linkages are in danger of attracting U.S. anger. This became clear last autumn at the funeral for George H. W. Bush, when the EU's diplomat found himself downgraded to the end of the list to be called to his seat. He was told that the U.S. no longer considers the EU an entity in good standing. In December, "Mike Pompeo gave a speech on Europe in Brussels -- his first, and eagerly awaited -- in which he extolled the virtues of nationalism, criticised multilateralism and the EU, and said that "international bodies" which constrain national sovereignty "must be reformed or eliminated." [5]

Most of the above events have made the news in just one day, January 31, 2019. The conjunction of U.S. moves on so many fronts, against Venezuela, Iran and Europe (not to mention China and the trade threats and moves against Huawei also erupting today) looks like this will be a year of global fracture.

It is not all President Trump's doing, of course. We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Instead of applauding democracy when foreign countries do not elect a leader approved by U.S. diplomats (whether it is Allende or Maduro), they've let the mask fall and shown themselves to be the leading New Cold War imperialists. It's now out in the open. They would make Venezuela the new Pinochet-era Chile. Trump is not alone in supporting Saudi Arabia and its Wahabi terrorists acting, as Lyndon Johnson put it, "Bastards, but they're our bastards."

Where is the left in all this? That is the question with which I opened this article. How remarkable it is that it is only right-wing parties, Alternative for Deutschland (AFD), or Marine le Pen's French nationalists and those of other countries that are opposing NATO militarization and seeking to revive trade and economic links with the rest of Eurasia.

The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me. It took a colossal level of arrogance, short-sightedness and lawlessness to hasten its decline -- something that only crazed Neocons like John Bolton, Elliot Abrams and Mike Pompeo could deliver for Donald Trump.

Footnotes

[1] "It Can't be Fixed: Senior ICC Judge Quits in Protest of US, Turkish Meddling," January 31, 2019.

[2] Patricia Laya, Ethan Bronner and Tim Ross, "Maduro Stymied in Bid to Pull $1.2 Billion of Gold From U.K.," Bloomberg, January 25, 2019. Anticipating just such a double-cross, President Chavez acted already in 2011 to repatriate 160 tons of gold to Caracas from the United States and Europe.

[3] ibid

[4] Corina Pons, Mayela Armas, "Exclusive: Venezuela plans to fly central bank gold reserves to UAE – source," Reuters, January 31, 2019.

[5] Constanze Stelzenmüller, "America's policy on Europe takes a nationalist turn," Financial Times, January 31, 2019.

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is "and forgive them their debts": Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption from Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year< Jointly posted with Hudson's website


doug , February 1, 2019 at 8:03 am

We see the Democratic Party showing the same colors. Yes we do. no escape? that I see

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 9:43 am

Well, if the StormTrumpers can tear down all the levers and institutions of international US dollar strength, perhaps they can also tear down all the institutions of Corporate Globalonial Forced Free Trade. That itself may BE our escape . . . if there are enough millions of Americans who have turned their regionalocal zones of habitation into economically and politically armor-plated Transition Towns, Power-Down Zones, etc. People and places like that may be able to crawl up out of the rubble and grow and defend little zones of semi-subsistence survival-economics.

If enough millions of Americans have created enough such zones, they might be able to link up with eachother to offer hope of a movement to make America in general a semi-autarchik, semi-secluded and isolated National Survival Economy . . . . much smaller than today, perhaps likelier to survive the various coming ecosystemic crash-cramdowns, and no longer interested in leading or dominating a world that we would no longer have the power to lead or dominate.

We could put an end to American Exceptionalism. We could lay this burden down. We could become American Okayness Ordinarians. Make America an okay place for ordinary Americans to live in.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

I read somewhere that the Czarist Imperial Army had a saying . . . "Quantity has a Quality all its own".

... ... ...

Cal2 , February 1, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Drumlin,

If Populists, I assume that's what you mean by "Storm Troopers", offer me M4A and revitalized local economies, and deliver them, they have my support and more power to them.

That's why Trump was elected, his promises, not yet delivered, were closer to that then the Democrats' promises. If the Democrats promised those things and delivered, then they would have my support.

If the Democrats run a candidate, who has a no track record of delivering such things, we stay home on election day. Trump can have it, because it won't be any worse.

I don't give a damn about "social issues." Economics, health care and avoiding WWIII are what motivates my votes, and I think more and more people are going to vote the same way.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm

Good point about Populist versus StormTrumper. ( And by the way, I said StormTRUMper, not StormTROOper). I wasn't thinking of the Populists. I was thinking of the neo-etc. vandals and arsonists who want us to invade Venezuela, leave the JCPOA with Iran, etc. Those are the people who will finally drive the other-country governments into creating their own parallel payment systems, etc.

And the midpoint of those efforts will leave wreckage and rubble for us to crawl up out of. But we will have a chance to crawl up out of it.

My reason for voting for Trump was mainly to stop the Evil Clinton from getting elected and to reduce the chance of near immediate thermonuclear war with Russia and to save the Assad regime in Syria from Clintonian overthrow and replacement with an Islamic Emirate of Jihadistan.

Much of what will be attempted " in Trump's name" will be de-regulationism of all kinds delivered by the sorts of basic Republicans selected for the various agencies and departments by Pence and Moore and the Koch Brothers. I doubt the Populist Voters wanted the Koch-Pence agenda. But that was a risky tradeoff in return for keeping Clinton out of office.

The only Dems who would seek what you want are Sanders or maybe Gabbard or just barely Warren. The others would all be Clinton or Obama all over again.

Quanka , February 1, 2019 at 8:29 am

I couldn't really find any details about the new INSTEX system – have you got any good links to brush up on? I know they made an announcement yesterday but how long until the new payment system is operational?

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Here is a bit more info on it but Trump is already threatening Europe if they use it. That should cause them to respect him more:

https://www.dw.com/en/instex-europe-sets-up-transactions-channel-with-iran/a-47303580

LP , February 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

The NYT and other have coverage.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/world/europe/europe-trade-iran-nuclear-deal.amp.html

Louis Fyne , February 1, 2019 at 8:37 am

arguably wouldn't it be better if for USD hegemony to be dismantled? A strong USD hurts US exports, subsidizes American consumption (by making commodities cheaper in relative terms), makes international trade (aka a 8,000-mile+ supply chain) easier.

For the sake of the environment, you want less of all three. Though obviously I don't like the idea of expensive gasoline, natural gas or tube socks either.

Mel , February 1, 2019 at 9:18 am

It would be good for Americans, but the wrong kind of Americans. For the Americans that would populate the Global Executive Suite, a strong US$ means that the stipends they would pay would be worth more to the lackeys, and command more influence.

Dumping the industrial base really ruined things. America is now in a position where it can shout orders, and drop bombs, but doesn't have the capacity to do anything helpful. They have to give up being what Toynbee called a creative minority, and settle for being a dominant minority.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:43 am

Having watched the 2016 election closely from afar, I was left with the impression that many of the swing voters who cast their vote for Trump did so under the assumption that he would act as a catalyst for systemic change.

What this change would consist of, and how it would manifest, remained an open question. Would he pursue rapprochement with Russia and pull troops out of the Middle East as he claimed to want to do during his 2016 campaign, would he doggedly pursue corruption charges against Clinton and attempt to reform the FBI and CIA, or would he do both, neither, or something else entirely?

Now we know. He has ripped the already transparent mask of altruism off what is referred to as the U.S.-led liberal international order and revealed its true nature for all to see, and has managed to do it in spite of the liberal international establishment desperately trying to hold it in place in the hope of effecting a seamless post-Trump return to what they refer to as "norms". Interesting times.

James , February 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

Exactly. He hasn't exactly lived up to advanced billing so far in all respects, but I suspect there's great deal of skulduggery going on behind the scenes that has prevented that. Whether or not he ever had or has a coherent plan for the havoc he has wrought, he has certainly been the agent for change many of us hoped he would be, in stark contrast to the criminal duopoly parties who continue to oppose him, where the daily no news is always bad news all the same. To paraphrase the infamous Rummy, you don't go to war with the change agent and policies you wished you had, you go to war with the ones you have. That might be the best thing we can say about Trump after the historic dust of his administration finally settles.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Look on some bright sides. Here is just one bright side to look on. President Trump has delayed and denied the Clinton Plan to topple Assad just long enough that Russia has been able to help Assad preserve legitimate government in most of Syria and defeat the Clinton's-choice jihadis.

That is a positive good. Unless you are pro-jihadi.

integer , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Clinton wasn't going to "benefit the greater good" either, and a very strong argument, based on her past behavior, can be made that she represented the greater threat. Given that the choice was between her and Trump, I think voters made the right decision.

Stephen Gardner , February 1, 2019 at 9:02 am

Excellent article but I believe the expression is "cui bono": who benefits.

hemeantwell , February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am

Hudson's done us a service in pulling these threads together. I'd missed the threats against the ICC judges. One question: is it possible for INSTEX-like arrangements to function secretly? What is to be gained by announcing them publicly and drawing the expected attacks? Does that help sharpen conflicts, and to what end?

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

Maybe they're done in secret already – who knows? The point of doing it publicly is to make a foreign-policy impact, in this case withdrawing power from the US. It's a Declaration of Independence.

whine country , February 1, 2019 at 9:15 am

It certainly seems as though the 90 percent (plus) are an afterthought in this journey to who knows where? Like George C.Scott said while playing Patton, "The whole world at economic war and I'm not part of it. God will not let this happen." Looks like we're on the Brexit track (without the vote). The elite argue with themselves and we just sit and watch. It appears to me that the elite just do not have the ability to contemplate things beyond their own narrow self interest. We are all deplorables now.

a different chris , February 1, 2019 at 9:30 am

Unfortunately this

The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected

Is not supported by this (or really the rest of the article). The past tense here, for example, is unwarranted:

At the United Nations, U.S. diplomats insisted on veto power. At the World Bank and IMF they also made sure that their equity share was large enough to give them veto power over any loan or other policy.

And this

So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. Germany agreed to slow down the transfer.

Doesn't show Germany as breaking free at all, and worse it is followed by the pregnant

But then came Venezuela.

Yet we find out that Venezuela didn't managed to do what they wanted to do, the Europeans, the Turks, etc bent over yet again. Nothing to see here, actually.

So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 11:22 am

"So what I'm saying is he didn't make his point. I wish it were true. But a bit of grumbling and (a tiny amount of) foot-dragging by some pygmy leaders (Merkel) does not signal a global change."

I'm surprised more people aren't recognizing this. I read the article waiting in vain for some evidence of "the end of our monetary imperialism" besides some 'grumbling and foot dragging' as you aptly put it. There was some glimmer of a buried lede with INTEX, created to get around U.S. sanctions against Iran ─ hardly a 'dam-breaking'. Washington is on record as being annoyed.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , February 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Currency regime change can take decades, and small percentage differences are enormous because of the flows involved. USD as reserve for 61% of global sovereigns versus 64% 15 years ago is a massive move. World bond market flows are 10X the size of world stock market flows even though the price of the Dow and Facebook shares etc get all of the headlines.

And foreign exchange flows are 10-50X the flows of bond markets, they're currently on the order of $5 *trillion* per day. And since forex is almost completely unregulated it's quite difficult to get the data and spot reserve currency trends. Oh, and buy gold. It's the only currency that requires no counterparty and is no one's debt obligation.

orange cats , February 1, 2019 at 3:47 pm

That's not what Hudson claims in his swaggering final sentence:

"The end of our monetary imperialism, about which I first wrote in 1972 in Super Imperialism, stuns even an informed observer like me."

Which is risible as not only did he fail to show anything of the kind, his opening sentence stated a completely different reality: "The end of America's unchallenged global economic dominance has arrived sooner than expected" So if we hold him to his first declaration, his evidence is feeble, as I mentioned. As a scholar, his hyperbole is untrustworthy.

No, gold is pretty enough lying on the bosom of a lady-friend but that's about its only usefulness in the real world.

skippy , February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

Always bemusing that gold bugs never talk about gold being in a bubble . yet when it goes south of its purchase price speak in tongues about ev'bal forces.

timbers , February 1, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I don't agree, and do agree. The distinction is this:

If you fix a few of Hudson's errors, and take him as making the point that USD is losing it's hegemony, IMO he is basically correct.

Brian (another one they call) , February 1, 2019 at 9:56 am

thanks Mr. Hudson. One has to wonder what has happened when the government (for decades) has been shown to be morally and otherwise corrupt and self serving. It doesn't seem to bother anyone but the people, and precious few of them. Was it our financial and legal bankruptcy that sent us over the cliff?

Steven , February 1, 2019 at 10:23 am

Great stuff!

Indeed! It is to say the least encouraging to see Dr. Hudson return so forcefully to the theme of 'monetary imperialism'. I discovered his Super Imperialism while looking for an explanation for the pending 2003 US invasion of Iraq. If you haven't read it yet, move it to the top of your queue if you want to have any idea of how the world really works. You can find any number of articles on his web site that return periodically to the theme of monetary imperialism. I remember one in particular that described how the rest of the world was brought on board to help pay for its good old-fashioned military imperialism.

If it isn't clear to the rest of the world by now, it never will be. The US is incapable of changing on its own a corrupt status quo dominated by a coalition of its military industrial complex, Wall Street bankers and fossil fuels industries. As long as the world continues to chase the debt created on the keyboards of Wall Street banks and 'deficits don't matter' Washington neocons – as long as the world's 1% think they are getting 'richer' by adding more "debts that can't be repaid (and) won't be" to their portfolios, the global economy can never be put on a sustainable footing.

Until the US returns to the path of genuine wealth creation, it is past time for the rest of the world to go its own way with its banking and financial institutions.

Oh , February 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm

The use of the stick will only go so far. What's the USG going to do if they refuse?

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

In other words, after 2 World Wars that produced the current world order, it is still in a state of insanity with the same pretensions to superiority by the same people, to get number 3.

Yikes , February 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm

UK withholding Gold may start another Brexit? IE: funds/gold held by BOE for other countries in Africa, Asian, South America, and the "stans" with start to depart, slowly at first, perhaps for Switzerland?

Ian Perkins , February 1, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Where is the left in all this? Pretty much the same place as Michael Hudson, I'd say. Where is the US Democratic Party in all this? Quite a different question, and quite a different answer. So far as I can see, the Democrats for years have bombed, invaded and plundered other countries 'for their own good'. Republicans do it 'for the good of America', by which the ignoramuses mean the USA. If you're on the receiving end, it doesn't make much difference.

Michael A Gualario , February 1, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Agreed! South America intervention and regime change, Syria ( Trump is pulling out), Iraq, Middle East meddling, all predate Trump. Bush, Clinton and Obama have nothing to do with any of this.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 2:12 pm

" So last year, Germany finally got up the courage to ask that some of its gold be flown back to Germany. "

What proof is there that the gold is still there? Chances are it's notional. All Germany, Venezuela, or the others have is an IOU – and gold cannot be printed. Incidentally, this whole discussion means that gold is still money and the gold standard still exists.

Oregoncharles , February 1, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Wukchumni beat me to the suspicion that the gold isn't there.

The Rev Kev , February 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm

What makes you think that the gold in Fort Knox is still there? If I remember right, there was a Potemkin visit back in the 70s to assure everyone that the gold was still there but not since then. Wait, I tell a lie. There was another visit about two years ago but look who was involved in that visit-

https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/after-40-years-fort-knox-opens-vault-to-civilians/466441331

And I should mention that it was in the 90s that between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were manufactured in the US under Clinton. Since then gold-coated tungsten bars have turned up in places like Germany, China, Ethiopia, the UK, etc so who is to say if those gold bars in Fort Knox are gold all the way through either. More on this at -- http://viewzone2.com/fakegoldx.html

Summer , February 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm

A non-accountable standard. It's more obvious BS than what is going on now.

jochen , February 2, 2019 at 6:46 am

It wasn't last year that Germany brought back its Gold. It has been ongoing since 2013, after some political and popular pressure build up. They finished the transaction in 2017. According to an article in Handelblatt (but it was widely reported back then) they brought back pretty much everything they had in Paris (347t), left what they had in London (perhaps they should have done it in reverse) and took home another 300t from the NY Fed. That still leaves 1236t in NY. But half of their Gold (1710t) is now in Frankfurt. That is 50% of the Bundesbanks holdings.

They made a point in saying that every bar was checked and weighed and presented some bars in Frankfurt. I guess they didn't melt them for assaying, but I'd expect them to be smart enough to check the density.

Their reason to keep Gold in NY and London is to quickly buy USD in case of a crisis. That's pretty much a cold war plan, but that's what they do right now.

Regarding Michal Hudsons piece, I enjoyed reading through this one. He tends to write ridiculously long articles and in the last few years with less time and motivation at hand I've skipped most of his texts on NC as they just drag on.

When I'm truly fascinated I like well written, long articles but somehow he lost me at some point. But I noticed that some long original articles in US magazines, probably research for a long time by the journalist, can just drag on for ever as well I just tune out.

Susan the Other , February 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

This is making sense. I would guess that tearing up the old system is totally deliberate. It wasn't working so well for us because we had to practice too much social austerity, which we have tried to impose on the EU as well, just to stabilize "king dollar" – otherwise spread so thin it was a pending catastrophe.

Now we can get out from under being the reserve currency – the currency that maintains its value by financial manipulation and military bullying domestic deprivation. To replace this old power trip we are now going to mainline oil. The dollar will become a true petro dollar because we are going to commandeer every oil resource not already nailed down.

When we partnered with SA in Aramco and the then petro dollar the dollar was only backed by our military. If we start monopolizing oil, the actual commodity, the dollar will be an apex competitor currency without all the foreign military obligations which will allow greater competitive advantages.

No? I'm looking at PdVSA, PEMEX and the new "Energy Hub for the Eastern Mediterranean" and other places not yet made public. It looks like a power play to me, not a hapless goofball president at all.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 2:44 am

So sand people with sociological attachment to the OT is a compelling argument based on antiquarian preferences with authoritarian patriarchal tendencies for their non renewable resource . after I might add it was deemed a strategic concern after WWII .

Considering the broader geopolitical realities I would drain all the gold reserves to zero if it was on offer . here natives have some shiny beads for allowing us to resource extract we call this a good trade you maximize your utility as I do mine .

Hay its like not having to run C-corp compounds with western 60s – 70s esthetics and letting the locals play serf, blow back pay back, and now the installed local chiefs can own the risk and refocus the attention away from the real antagonists.

ChrisAtRU , February 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Indeed. Thanks so much for this. Maybe the RICS will get serious now – can no longer include Brazil with Bolsonaro. There needs to be an alternate system or systems in place, and to see US Imperialism so so blatantly and bluntly by Trump admin – "US gives Juan Guaido control over some Venezuelan assets" – should sound sirens on every continent and especially in the developing world. I too hope there will be fracture to the point of breakage. Countries of the world outside the US/EU/UK/Canada/Australia confraternity must now unite to provide a permanent framework outside the control of imperial interests. The be clear, this must not default to alternative forms of imperialism germinating by the likes of China.

mikef , February 1, 2019 at 6:07 pm

" such criticism can't begin to take in the full scope of the damage the Trump White House is inflicting on the system of global power Washington built and carefully maintained over those 70 years. Indeed, American leaders have been on top of the world for so long that they no longer remember how they got there.

Few among Washington's foreign policy elite seem to fully grasp the complex system that made U.S. global power what it now is, particularly its all-important geopolitical foundations. As Trump travels the globe, tweeting and trashing away, he's inadvertently showing us the essential structure of that power, the same way a devastating wildfire leaves the steel beams of a ruined building standing starkly above the smoking rubble."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176373/tomgram%3A_alfred_mccoy%2C_tweeting_while_rome_burns

Rajesh K , February 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm

I read something like this and I am like, some of these statements need to be qualified. Like: "Driving China and Russia together". Like where's the proof? Is Xi playing telephone games more often now with Putin? I look at those two and all I see are two egocentric people who might sometimes say the right things but in general do not like the share the spotlight. Let's say they get together to face America and for some reason the later gets "defeated", it's not as if they'll kumbaya together into the night.

This website often points out the difficulties in implementing new banking IT initiatives. Ok, so Europe has a new "payment system". Has it been tested thoroughly? I would expect a couple of weeks or even months of chaos if it's not been tested, and if it's thorough that probably just means that it's in use right i.e. all the kinks have been worked out. In that case the transition is already happening anyway. But then the next crisis arrives and then everyone would need their dollar swap lines again which probably needs to cleared through SWIFT or something.

Anyway, does this all mean that one day we'll wake up and a slice of bacon is 50 bucks as opposed to the usual 1 dollar?

Keith Newman , February 2, 2019 at 1:12 am

Driving Russia and China together is correct. I recall them signing a variety of economic and military agreement a few years ago. It was covered in the media. You should at least google an issue before making silly comments. You might start with the report of Russia and China signing 30 cooperation agreements three years ago. See https://www.rbth.com/international/2016/06/27/russia-china-sign-30-cooperation-agreements_606505 . There are lots and lots of others.

RBHoughton , February 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

He's draining the swamp in an unpredicted way, a swamp that's founded on the money interest. I don't care what NYT and WaPo have to say, they are not reporting events but promoting agendas.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 1:11 am

The financial elites are only concerned about shaping society as they see fit, side of self serving is just a historical foot note, Trumps past indicates a strong preference for even more of the same through authoritarian memes or have some missed the OT WH reference to dawg both choosing and then compelling him to run.

Whilst the far right factions fight over the rudder the only new game in town is AOC, Sanders, Warren, et al which Trumps supporters hate with Ideological purity.

/lasse , February 2, 2019 at 7:50 am

Highly doubt Trump is a "witting agent", most likely is that he is just as ignorant as he almost daily shows on twitter. On US role in global affairs he says the same today as he did as a media celebrity in the late 80s. Simplistic household "logics" on macroeconomics. If US have trade deficit it loses. Countries with surplus are the winners.

On a household level it fits, but there no "loser" household that in infinity can print money that the "winners" can accumulate in exchange for their resources and fruits of labor.

One wonder what are Trumps idea of US being a winner in trade (surplus)? I.e. sending away their resources and fruits of labor overseas in exchange for what? A pile of USD? That US in the first place created out of thin air. Or Chinese Yuan, Euros, Turkish liras? Also fiat-money. Or does he think US trade surplus should be paid in gold?

When the US political and economic hegemony will unravel it will come "unexpected". Trump for sure are undermining it with his megalomaniac ignorance. But not sure it's imminent.

Anyhow frightening, the US hegemony have its severe dark sides. But there is absolutely nothing better on the horizon, a crash will throw the world in turmoil for decades or even a century. A lot of bad forces will see their chance to elevate their influence. There will be fierce competition to fill the gap.

On could the insane economic model of EU/Germany being on top of global affairs, a horribly frightening thought. Misery and austerity for all globally, a permanent recession. Probably not much better with the Chinese on top. I'll take the USD hegemony any day compared to that prospect.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:26 am

Former US ambassador, Chas Freeman, gets to the nub of the problem. "The US preference for governance by elected and appointed officials, uncontaminated by experience in statecraft and diplomacy, or knowledge of geography, history and foreign affairs" https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_882041135&feature=iv&src_vid=Ge1ozuXN7iI&v=gkf2MQdqz-o

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:29 am

When the delusion takes hold, it is the beginning of the end.

The British Empire will last forever
The thousand year Reich
American exceptionalism

As soon as the bankers thought they thought they were "Master of the Universe" you knew 2008 was coming. The delusion had taken hold.

Sound of the Suburbs , February 2, 2019 at 10:45 am

Michael Hudson, in Super Imperialism, went into how the US could just create the money to run a large trade deficit with the rest of the world. It would get all these imports effectively for nothing, the US's exorbitant privilege. I tied this in with this graph from MMT.

This is the US (46.30 mins.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba8XdDqZ-Jg

The trade deficit required a large Government deficit to cover it and the US government could just create the money to cover it.

Then ideological neoliberals came in wanting balanced budgets and not realising the Government deficit covered the trade deficit.

The US has been destabilising its own economy by reducing the Government deficit. Bill Clinton didn't realize a Government surplus is an indicator a financial crisis is about to hit. The last US Government surplus occurred in 1927 – 1930, they go hand-in-hand with financial crises.

Richard Koo shows the graph central bankers use and it's the flow of funds within the economy, which sums to zero (32-34 mins.).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

The Government was running a surplus as the economy blew up in the early 1990s. It's the positive and negative, zero sum, nature of the monetary system. A big trade deficit needs a big Government deficit to cover it. A big trade deficit, with a balanced budget, drives the private sector into debt and blows up the economy.

skippy , February 2, 2019 at 5:28 pm

It should be remembered Bill Clinton's early meeting with Rubin, where in he was informed that wages and productivity had diverged – Rubin did not blink an eye.

[Jul 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Seeks to Cut Private Equity Down to Size

Highly recommended!
That bill alone makes Warren a viable candidate again, despite all her previous blunders. She is a courageous woman, that Warren. And she might wipe the floor with the completely subservant to Israel lobby Trump. Who betrayed his electorate in all major promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Not only would Warren's legislation prohibit some of the most destructive private equity activities, but it would end their ability to act as traditional asset managers, taking fees and incurring close to no risk if their investments go belly up. The bill takes the explicit and radical view that: ..."
"... Private funds should have a stake in the outcome of their investments, enjoying returns if those investments are successful but ab-1sorbing losses if those investments fail. ..."
"... Critics will say that Warren's bill has no chance of passing, which is currently true but misses the point. ..."
"... firms would share responsibility for the liabilities of companies under their control, including debt, legal judgments, and pension obligations to "better align the incentives of private equity firms and the companies they own." The bill, if enacted, would end the tax subsidy for excessive leverage and closes the carried interest loophole. ..."
"... The bill also seeks to ban dividends to investors for two years after a firm is acquired. Worker pay would be prioritized in the bankruptcy process, with guidelines intended to ensure affected employees are more likely to receive severance pay and pensions. It would also clarify gift cards are consumer deposits, ensuring their priority in bankruptcy proceedings. If enacted, private equity managers will be required to disclose fees, returns, and political expenditures. ..."
"... This is a bold set of proposals that targets abuses that hurt workers and investors. Most readers may not appreciate the significance of the two-year restriction on dividends. One return-goosing strategy that often leaves companies crippled or bankrupt in its wake is the "dividend recap" in which the acquired company takes on yet more debt for the purpose of paying a special dividend to its investors. Another strategy that Appelbaum and Batt have discussed at length is the "op co/prop co." Here the new owners take real estate owned by the company, sell it to a new entity with the former owner leasing it. The leases are typically set high so as to allow for the "prop co" to be sold at a richer price. This strategy is often a direct contributor to the death of businesses, since ones that own their real estate usually do so because they are in cyclical industries, and not having lease payments enables the to ride out bad times. The proceeds of sale of the real estate is usually dividended out to the investors, hence the dividend restriction would also pour cold water on this approach. ..."
"... However, there is precedent in private equity for recognizing joint and several liability of an investment fund for the obligations of its portfolio companies. In a case that winded its way through the federal courts until last year ( Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund ), the federal court held that Sun Capital Partners III was liable under ERISA, the federal pension law, for the unfunded pension obligations of Scott Brass, a portfolio company of that fund. The court's key finding was that Sun Capital played an active management role in Scott Brass and that its claim of passive investor status therefore should not be respected. ..."
"... Needless to say, private equity firms have worked hard to minimize their exposure to the Sun Capital decision, for example by avoiding purchasing companies with defined benefit pension plans. The Warren bill, however, is so broad in the sweep of liability it imposes that PE firms would be unlikely to be able to structure around it. It is hard to imagine the investors in private equity funds accepting liability for what could be enormous sums of unfunded pension liabilities ultimately flowing onto them. Either they would have to set up shell companies to fund their PE investments that could absorb the potential liability, or they would have to give up on the asset class. Either way, it would mean big changes to the industry and potentially a major contraction of it. ..."
"... I am surprised that Warren sought to make private equity funds responsible for the portfolio company debts by "joint and several liability". You can get to economically pretty much the same end by requiring the general partner and potentially also key employees to guarantee the debt and by preventing them from assigning or buying insurance to protect the guarantor from being liable. There is ample precedent for that for entrepreneurs. Small business corporate credit cards and nearly all small business loans require a personal guarantee. ..."
"... Warren's bill also has strong pro-investor provisions. It takes on the biggest feature of the ongoing investor scamming, which is the failure of PE managers to disclose to the investors all of the fees they receive from portfolio companies. The solution proposed by the bill to this problem is exceedingly straightforward, basically proclaiming, "Oh yeah, now you will have to disclose that." The bill also abolishes the ability of private equity managers to claim long term capital gains treatment on the 20 percent of fund profits that they receive, which is unrelated to the return on any capital that the private equity managers may happen to invest in a fund. ..."
"... We need a reparations movement for all those workers harmed by private equity. Seriously. ..."
"... It's so nice to see someone taking steps to protect the rights and compensation of the people actually doing the work at the companies and putting their interests first in case of bankruptcy. That those who worked hardest to make the company succeed were somehow the ones who took it in the shorts the worst has always struck me as a glaring inequity bordering on cruelty. ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Elizabeth Warren's Stop Wall Street Looting Act , which is co-sponsored by Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, seeks to fundamentally alter the way private equity firms operate. While the likely impetus for Warren's bill was the spate of private-equity-induced retail bankruptcies, with Toys 'R' Us particularly prominent, the bill addresses all the areas targeted by critics of private equity: how it hurts workers and investors and short-changes the tax man, thus burdening taxpayers generally.

... ... ...

[Jul 12, 2019] Nine Consequences of the Upcoming US-China Trade War by Renaud Anjoran

Highly recommended!
This author really knows what he is talking about
Notable quotes:
"... When tariffs went up from 0 to 10% on some product categories last year, many suppliers agreed to absorb half that amount (5%) in exchange for larger orders. The logic was as follows: higher orders lead to better deals with component suppliers and to higher production efficiencies, which means lower costs. ..."
"... Do you ship American wood for processing in China and re-exporting to the US? You might have issues getting that material into China as smoothly as before. And then, the US Customs office might give you a hard time when you bring the goods in, too! ..."
"... Who knows what non-monetary barriers the Chinese will erect. One can count on their creativity ..."
"... Several US companies asked our company to look for assembly plants in Vietnam and, in those cases where we found some options, they were much more expensive than China. There is a reason why China's share of hard goods production in Asia has kept growing in recent years -- competition is often non-existent. ..."
"... Now, with China's products suddenly much more expensive, what are these competing countries going to do? Won't they take advantage of it and push wages further up, at least for the export manufacturing sector? ..."
"... Mexico should be the clear winner of this trade war. They are next to the US, their labor cost is comparable to that of China, and many American companies have long had extensive operations there. ..."
May 09, 2019 | qualityinspection.org

https://qualityinspection.org/9-consequences-us-china-trade-war/

Based on all the articles I have read about the current geopolitical situation, I am not optimistic about the affect of the US-China trade war on American importers. Dan Harris, who wrote " the US-China Cold War start now, " announced that a "mega-storm" might be coming, and he may be right.

Now, if things turn out as bad as predicted, and if tariffs apply on more goods imported from China to the US -- and at higher rates -- what does it mean for US importers?

What will the damage from the US-China trade war look like?

These are my thoughts about who or what is going to be hit hard by the ongoing 'trade war:'

1. Small importers will be hit much harder than larger ones

If you work with very large Chinese manufacturers, many of them have already started to set up operations outside of mainland China, for the simple reason that most of their customers have been pushing for that.

They are in Vietnam, Malaysia, etc. And this is true in most industries -- from apparel to electronics.

Do they still have to import most of their components from China? It depends on their footprints. As I wrote before :

You set up a mammoth plant and you don't want your high-value component suppliers to be more than 1 hour away from you, for just-in-time inventory replenishment? They can be requested to set up a new manufacturing facility next to you.

2. A higher total cost of goods purchased from China

This one is obvious. If you have orders already in production, they will cost you more than expected.

The RMB might slide quite a bit, and that might alleviate the total cost. I hope you have followed my advice and started paying your suppliers in RMB , to benefit from it automatically.

Beijing might also give other forms of subsidies to their exporters. They might be quite visible (e.g. a higher VAT rebate) or totally 'under the table'.

3. Difficult negotiations with Chinese suppliers

Can you say the tariffs are Beijing's fault, and so your suppliers should absorb the tariffs? That's not going to work.

When tariffs went up from 0 to 10% on some product categories last year, many suppliers agreed to absorb half that amount (5%) in exchange for larger orders. The logic was as follows: higher orders lead to better deals with component suppliers and to higher production efficiencies, which means lower costs.

When tariffs go from 10% to 35%, what else can US buyers give their counter-parties? Payments in advance? Lower quality standards? I don't believe that.

4. Difficulties at several levels in the supply chain

Do you ship American wood for processing in China and re-exporting to the US? You might have issues getting that material into China as smoothly as before. And then, the US Customs office might give you a hard time when you bring the goods in, too!

Who knows what non-monetary barriers the Chinese will erect. One can count on their creativity

5. Short-term non-elasticity of alternative sources

There are a finite number of Vietnamese export-ready manufacturers that can make your orders. And, chances are, their capacity is already full. If you haven't prepared this move for months (or years), other US companies have. The early bird gets the worm

Same thing with Thailand, Indonesia, India, and so on, with the exception of apparel and (maybe) footwear.

Several US companies asked our company to look for assembly plants in Vietnam and, in those cases where we found some options, they were much more expensive than China. There is a reason why China's share of hard goods production in Asia has kept growing in recent years -- competition is often non-existent.

6. Faster cost increases in other low-cost Asian countries

As I wrote before, since China announced their 5-year plan to increase wages, other Asian countries adopted similar plans . That's how we got to this upward trend across the board:

Minimum wage comparison

Now, with China's products suddenly much more expensive, what are these competing countries going to do? Won't they take advantage of it and push wages further up, at least for the export manufacturing sector?

There could be some 'silver linings' due to the trade war

It is not all bad news though. We may see these benefits caused by China and the USA slugging it out too:

7. Many opportunities for Mexico

Mexico should be the clear winner of this trade war. They are next to the US, their labor cost is comparable to that of China, and many American companies have long had extensive operations there.

8. Rapid consolidation in the Chinese manufacturing sector

The fittest will survive. Many uncompetitive manufacturers and traders will fold. Consolidation will accelerate. I often look at what happened in Japan and South Korea . Each of these countries developed very fast and, when the going got tough, the export manufacturing sector got devastated. Only the most competitive survived.

9. Relaxed enforcement of anti-pollution regulations in China?

I'd bet that, if the tariffs hit hard, far fewer operations will get closed for environmental reasons. Preserving employment and social peace will prevail.

[Jul 05, 2019] Globalisation- the rise and fall of an idea that swept the world - World news by Nikil Saval

Highly recommended!
Globalization was simply the politically correct term for neocolonialism.
Jul 14, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

... ... ...

Over the last two years, a different, in some ways unrecognizable Larry Summers has been appearing in newspaper editorial pages. More circumspect in tone, this humbler Summers has been arguing that economic opportunities in the developing world are slowing, and that the already rich economies are finding it hard to get out of the crisis. Barring some kind of breakthrough, Summers says, an era of slow growth is here to stay.

In Summers's recent writings, this sombre conclusion has often been paired with a surprising political goal: advocating for a "responsible nationalism". Now he argues that politicians must recognise that "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good".

One curious thing about the pro-globalisation consensus of the 1990s and 2000s, and its collapse in recent years, is how closely the cycle resembles a previous era. Pursuing free trade has always produced displacement and inequality – and political chaos, populism and retrenchment to go with it. Every time the social consequences of free trade are overlooked, political backlash follows. But free trade is only one of many forms that economic integration can take. History seems to suggest, however, that it might be the most destabilising one.

... ... ...

The international systems that chastened figures such as Keynes helped produce in the next few years – especially the Bretton Woods agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt) – set the terms under which the new wave of globalisation would take place.

The key to the system's viability, in Rodrik's view, was its flexibility – something absent from contemporary globalisation, with its one-size-fits-all model of capitalism. Bretton Woods stabilised exchange rates by pegging the dollar loosely to gold, and other currencies to the dollar. Gatt consisted of rules governing free trade – negotiated by participating countries in a series of multinational "rounds" – that left many areas of the world economy, such as agriculture, untouched or unaddressed. "Gatt's purpose was never to maximise free trade," Rodrik writes. "It was to achieve the maximum amount of trade compatible with different nations doing their own thing. In that respect, the institution proved spectacularly successful."

Partly because Gatt was not always dogmatic about free trade, it allowed most countries to figure out their own economic objectives, within a somewhat international ambit. When nations contravened the agreement's terms on specific areas of national interest, they found that it "contained loopholes wide enough for an elephant to pass", in Rodrik's words. If a nation wanted to protect its steel industry, for example, it could claim "injury" under the rules of Gatt and raise tariffs to discourage steel imports: "an abomination from the standpoint of free trade". These were useful for countries that were recovering from the war and needed to build up their own industries via tariffs – duties imposed on particular imports. Meanwhile, from 1948 to 1990, world trade grew at an annual average of nearly 7% – faster than the post-communist years, which we think of as the high point of globalisation. "If there was a golden era of globalisation," Rodrik has written, "this was it."

Gatt, however, failed to cover many of the countries in the developing world. These countries eventually created their own system, the United Nations conference on trade and development (UNCTAD). Under this rubric, many countries – especially in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia – adopted a policy of protecting homegrown industries by replacing imports with domestically produced goods. It worked poorly in some places – India and Argentina, for example, where the trade barriers were too high, resulting in factories that cost more to set up than the value of the goods they produced – but remarkably well in others, such as east Asia, much of Latin America and parts of sub-Saharan Africa, where homegrown industries did spring up. Though many later economists and commentators would dismiss the achievements of this model, it theoretically fit Larry Summers's recent rubric on globalisation: "the basic responsibility of government is to maximise the welfare of citizens, not to pursue some abstract concept of the global good."

The critical turning point – away from this system of trade balanced against national protections – came in the 1980s. Flagging growth and high inflation in the west, along with growing competition from Japan, opened the way for a political transformation. The elections of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were seminal, putting free-market radicals in charge of two of the world's five biggest economies and ushering in an era of "hyperglobalisation". In the new political climate, economies with large public sectors and strong governments within the global capitalist system were no longer seen as aids to the system's functioning, but impediments to it.

Not only did these ideologies take hold in the US and the UK; they seized international institutions as well. Gatt renamed itself as the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the new rules the body negotiated began to cut more deeply into national policies. Its international trade rules sometimes undermined national legislation. The WTO's appellate court intervened relentlessly in member nations' tax, environmental and regulatory policies, including those of the United States: the US's fuel emissions standards were judged to discriminate against imported gasoline, and its ban on imported shrimp caught without turtle-excluding devices was overturned. If national health and safety regulations were stricter than WTO rules necessitated, they could only remain in place if they were shown to have "scientific justification".

The purest version of hyperglobalisation was tried out in Latin America in the 1980s. Known as the "Washington consensus", this model usually involved loans from the IMF that were contingent on those countries lowering trade barriers and privatising many of their nationally held industries. Well into the 1990s, economists were proclaiming the indisputable benefits of openness. In an influential 1995 paper, Jeffrey Sachs and Andrew Warner wrote: "We find no cases to support the frequent worry that a country might open and yet fail to grow."

But the Washington consensus was bad for business: most countries did worse than before. Growth faltered, and citizens across Latin America revolted against attempted privatisations of water and gas. In Argentina, which followed the Washington consensus to the letter, a grave crisis resulted in 2002 , precipitating an economic collapse and massive street protests that forced out the government that had pursued privatising reforms. Argentina's revolt presaged a left-populist upsurge across the continent: from 1999 to 2007, leftwing leaders and parties took power in Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, all of them campaigning against the Washington consensus on globalisation. These revolts were a preview of the backlash of today.


Rodrik – perhaps the contemporary economist whose views have been most amply vindicated by recent events – was himself a beneficiary of protectionism in Turkey. His father's ballpoint pen company was sheltered under tariffs, and achieved enough success to allow Rodrik to attend Harvard in the 1970s as an undergraduate. This personal understanding of the mixed nature of economic success may be one of the reasons why his work runs against the broad consensus of mainstream economics writing on globalisation.

"I never felt that my ideas were out of the mainstream," Rodrik told me recently. Instead, it was that the mainstream had lost touch with the diversity of opinions and methods that already existed within economics. "The economics profession is strange in that the more you move away from the seminar room to the public domain, the more the nuances get lost, especially on issues of trade." He lamented the fact that while, in the classroom, the models of trade discuss losers and winners, and, as a result, the necessity of policies of redistribution, in practice, an "arrogance and hubris" had led many economists to ignore these implications. "Rather than speaking truth to power, so to speak, many economists became cheerleaders for globalisation."

In his 2011 book The Globalization Paradox , Rodrik concluded that "we cannot simultaneously pursue democracy, national determination, and economic globalisation." The results of the 2016 elections and referendums provide ample testimony of the justness of the thesis, with millions voting to push back, for better or for worse, against the campaigns and institutions that promised more globalisation. "I'm not at all surprised by the backlash," Rodrik told me. "Really, nobody should have been surprised."

But what, in any case, would "more globalisation" look like? For the same economists and writers who have started to rethink their commitments to greater integration, it doesn't mean quite what it did in the early 2000s. It's not only the discourse that's changed: globalisation itself has changed, developing into a more chaotic and unequal system than many economists predicted. The benefits of globalisation have been largely concentrated in a handful of Asian countries. And even in those countries, the good times may be running out.

Statistics from Global Inequality , a 2016 book by the development economist Branko Milanović, indicate that in relative terms the greatest benefits of globalisation have accrued to a rising "emerging middle class", based preponderantly in China. But the cons are there, too: in absolute terms, the largest gains have gone to what is commonly called "the 1%" – half of whom are based in the US. Economist Richard Baldwin has shown in his recent book, The Great Convergence, that nearly all of the gains from globalisation have been concentrated in six countries.

Barring some political catastrophe, in which rightwing populism continued to gain, and in which globalisation would be the least of our problems – Wolf admitted that he was "not at all sure" that this could be ruled out – globalisation was always going to slow; in fact, it already has. One reason, says Wolf, was that "a very, very large proportion of the gains from globalisation – by no means all – have been exploited. We have a more open world economy to trade than we've ever had before." Citing The Great Convergence, Wolf noted that supply chains have already expanded, and that future developments, such as automation and the use of robots, looked to undermine the promise of a growing industrial workforce. Today, the political priorities were less about trade and more about the challenge of retraining workers , as technology renders old jobs obsolete and transforms the world of work.

Rodrik, too, believes that globalisation, whether reduced or increased, is unlikely to produce the kind of economic effects it once did. For him, this slowdown has something to do with what he calls "premature deindustrialisation". In the past, the simplest model of globalisation suggested that rich countries would gradually become "service economies", while emerging economies picked up the industrial burden. Yet recent statistics show the world as a whole is deindustrialising. Countries that one would have expected to have more industrial potential are going through the stages of automation more quickly than previously developed countries did, and thereby failing to develop the broad industrial workforce seen as a key to shared prosperity.

For both Rodrik and Wolf, the political reaction to globalisation bore possibilities of deep uncertainty. "I really have found it very difficult to decide whether what we're living through is a blip, or a fundamental and profound transformation of the world – at least as significant as the one that brought about the first world war and the Russian revolution," Wolf told me. He cited his agreement with economists such as Summers that shifting away from the earlier emphasis on globalisation had now become a political priority; that to pursue still greater liberalisation was like showing "a red rag to a bull" in terms of what it might do to the already compromised political stability of the western world.

Rodrik pointed to a belated emphasis, both among political figures and economists, on the necessity of compensating those displaced by globalisation with retraining and more robust welfare states. But pro-free-traders had a history of cutting compensation: Bill Clinton passed Nafta, but failed to expand safety nets. "The issue is that the people are rightly not trusting the centrists who are now promising compensation," Rodrik said. "One reason that Hillary Clinton didn't get any traction with those people is that she didn't have any credibility."

Rodrik felt that economics commentary failed to register the gravity of the situation: that there were increasingly few avenues for global growth, and that much of the damage done by globalisation – economic and political – is irreversible. "There is a sense that we're at a turning point," he said. "There's a lot more thinking about what can be done. There's a renewed emphasis on compensation – which, you know, I think has come rather late."

[Jun 09, 2019] The looming 100-year US-China conflict by Martin Wolf

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies. ..."
"... An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened. ..."
"... The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order. ..."
Jun 04, 2019 | archive.fo
The disappearance of the Soviet Union left a big hole. The "war on terror" was an inadequate replacement. But China ticks all boxes. For the US, it can be the ideological, military and economic enemy many need. Here at last is a worthwhile opponent. That was the main conclusion I drew from this year's Bilderberg meetings.

Across-the-board rivalry with China is becoming an organising principle of US economic, foreign and security policies.

Whether it is Donald Trump's organizing principle is less important. The US president has the gut instincts of a nationalist and protectionist. Others provide both framework and details. The aim is US domination. The means is control over China, or separation from China.

Anybody who believes a rules-based multilateral order, our globalised economy, or even harmonious international relations, are likely to survive this conflict is deluded. The astonishing white paper on the trade conflict , published on Sunday by China, is proof. The -- to me, depressing -- fact is that on many points Chinese positions are right.

The US focus on bilateral imbalances is economically illiterate. The view that theft of intellectual property has caused huge damage to the US is questionable . The proposition that China has grossly violated its commitments under its 2001 accession agreement to the World Trade Organization is hugely exaggerated.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

Accusing China of cheating is hypocritical when almost all trade policy actions taken by the Trump administration are in breach of WTO rules, a fact implicitly conceded by its determination to destroy the dispute settlement system .

The US negotiating position vis-à-vis China is that "might makes right". This is particularly true of insisting that the Chinese accept the US role as judge, jury and executioner of the agreement .

A dispute over the terms of market opening or protection of intellectual property might be settled with careful negotiation. Such a settlement might even help China, since it would lighten the heavy hand of the state and promote market-oriented reform.

But the issues are now too vexed for such a resolution. This is partly because of the bitter breakdown in negotiation. It is still more because the US debate is increasingly over whether integration with China's state-led economy is desirable. The fear over Huawei focuses on national security and technological autonomy.

[Neo]liberal commerce is increasingly seen as "trading with the enemy".

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A framing of relations with China as one of zero-sum conflict is emerging. Recent remarks by Kiron Skinner, the US state department's policy planning director (a job once held by cold war strategist George Kennan) are revealing. Rivalry with Beijing, she suggested at a forum organised by New America , is "a fight with a really different civilisation and a different ideology, and the United States hasn't had that before".

She added that this would be "the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian". The war with Japan is forgotten.

But the big point is her framing of this as a civilizational and racial war and so as an insoluble conflict. This cannot be accidental. She is also still in her job. Others present the conflict as one over ideology and power.

Those emphasising the former point to President Xi Jinping's Marxist rhetoric and the reinforced role of the Communist party . Those emphasising the latter point to China's rising economic might. Both perspectives suggest perpetual conflict.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This is the most important geopolitical development of our era. Not least, it will increasingly force everybody else to take sides or fight hard for neutrality. But it is not only important. It is dangerous. It risks turning a manageable, albeit vexed, relationship into all-embracing conflict, for no good reason. China's ideology is not a threat to liberal democracy in the way the Soviet Union's was. Rightwing demagogues are far more dangerous.

An effort to halt China's economic and technological rise is almost certain to fail. Worse, it will foment deep hostility in the Chinese people. In the long run, the demands of an increasingly prosperous and well-educated people for control over their lives might still win out. But that is far less likely if China's natural rise is threatened.

Moreover, the rise of China is not an important cause of western malaise. That reflects far more the indifference and incompetence of domestic elites. What is seen as theft of intellectual property reflects, in large part, the inevitable attempt of a rising economy to master the technologies of the day. Above all, an attempt to preserve the domination of 4 per cent of humanity over the rest is illegitimate.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

This certainly does not mean accepting everything China does or says. On the contrary, the best way for the west to deal with China is to insist on the abiding values of freedom, democracy, rules-based multilateralism and global co-operation. These ideas made many around the globe supporters of the US in the past.

They still captivate many Chinese people today. It is quite possible to uphold these ideas, indeed insist upon them far more strongly, while co-operating with a rising China where that is essential, as over protecting the natural environment, commerce and peace.

Martin Wolf chart on US/China

A blend of competition with co-operation is the right way forward. Such an approach to managing China's rise must include co-operating closely with like-minded allies and treating China with respect.

The tragedy in what is now happening is that the administration is simultaneously launching a conflict between the two powers, attacking its allies and destroying the institutions of the postwar US-led order.

Today's attack on China is the wrong war, fought in the wrong way, on the wrong terrain. Alas, this is where we now are.

martin.wolf@ft.com

[May 19, 2019] Some Shocking Facts on the Concentration of Ownership of the US Economy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction. ..."
"... In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). ..."
"... In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies. ..."
"... A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2). ..."
"... Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4). ..."
May 19, 2019 | russia-insider.com

A close-knit oligarchy controls all major corporations. Monopolization of ownership in US economy fast approaching Soviet levels

Starting with Ronald Reagan's presidency, the US government willingly decided to ignore the anti-trust laws so that corporations would have free rein to set up monopolies. With each successive president the monopolistic concentration of business and shareholding in America has grown precipitously eventually to reach the monstrous levels of the present day.

Today's level of monopolistic concentration is of such unprecedented levels that we may without hesitation designate the US economy as a giant oligopoly. From economic power follows political power, therefore the economic oligopoly translates into a political oligarchy. (It seems, though, that the transformation has rather gone the other way around, a ferocious set of oligarchs have consolidated their economic and political power beginning from the turn of the twentieth century). The conclusion that the US is an oligarchy finds support in a 2014 by a Princeton University study.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has not seen these levels of concentration of ownership. The Soviet Union did not die because of apparent ideological reasons but due to economic bankruptcy caused by its uncompetitive monopolistic economy. Our verdict is that the US is heading in the same direction.

In a later report, we will demonstrate how all sectors of the US economy have fallen prey to monopolization and how the corporate oligopoly has been set up across the country. This post essentially serves as an appendix to that future report by providing the shocking details of the concentration of corporate ownership.

Apart from illustrating the monopolization at the level of shareholding of the major investors and corporations, we will in a follow-up post take a somewhat closer look at one particularly fatal aspect of this phenomenon, namely the consolidation of media (posted simultaneously with the present one) in the hands of absurdly few oligarch corporations. In there, we will discuss the monopolies of the tech giants and their ownership concentration together with the traditional media because they rightfully belong to the same category directly restricting speech and the distribution of opinions in society.

In a future instalment of this report, we will show that the oligarchization of America – the placing it under the rule of the One Percent (or perhaps more accurately the 0.1%, if not 0.01%) - has been a deliberate ideologically driven long-term project to establish absolute economic power over the US and its political system and further extend that to involve an absolute global hegemony (the latter project thankfully thwarted by China and Russia). To achieve these goals, it has been crucial for the oligarchs to control and direct the narrative on economy and war, on all public discourse on social affairs. By seizing the media, the oligarchs have created a monstrous propaganda machine, which controls the opinions of the majority of the US population.

We use the words 'monopoly,' 'monopolies,' and 'monopolization' in a broad sense and subsume under these concepts all kinds of market dominance be it by one company or two or a small number of companies, that is, oligopolies. At the end of the analysis, it is not of great importance how many corporations share in the market dominance, rather what counts is the death of competition and the position enabling market abuse, either through absolute dominance, collusion, or by a de facto extinction of normal market competition. Therefore we use the term 'monopolization' to describe the process of reaching a critical level of non-competition on a market. Correspondingly, we may denote 'monopoly companies' two corporations of a duopoly or several of an oligopoly.

Horizontal shareholding – the cementation of the oligarchy

One especially perfidious aspect of this concentration of ownership is that the same few institutional investors have acquired undisputable control of the leading corporations in practically all the most important sectors of industry. The situation when one or several investors own controlling or significant shares of the top corporations in a given industry (business sector) is referred to as horizontal shareholding . (*1). In present-day United States a few major investors – equity funds or private capital - are as a rule cross-owned by each other, forming investor oligopolies, which in turn own the business oligopolies.

A study has shown that among a sample of the 1,500 largest US firms (S&P 1500), the probability of one major shareholder holding significant shares in two competing firms had jumped to 90% in 2014, while having been just 16% in 1999. (*2).

Institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and JP Morgan, now own 80% of all stock in S&P 500 listed companies. The Big Three investors - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – alone constitute the largest shareholder in 88% of S&P 500 firms, which roughly correspond to America's 500 largest corporations. (*3). Both BlackRock and Vanguard are among the top five shareholders of almost 70% of America's largest 2,000 publicly traded corporations. (*4).

Blackrock had as of 2016 $6.2 trillion worth of assets under management, Vanguard $5.1 trillion, whereas State Street has dropped to a distant third with only $1 trillion in assets. This compares with a total market capitalization of US stocks according to Russell 3000 of $30 trillion at end of 2017 (From 2016 to 2017, the Big Three has of course also put on assets).Blackrock and Vanguard would then alone own more than one-third of all US publicly listed shares.

From an expanded sample that includes the 3,000 largest publicly listed corporations (Russell 3000 index), institutions owned (2016) about 78% of the equity .

The speed of concentration the US economy in the hands of institutions has been incredible. Still back in 1950s, their share of the equity was 10%, by 1980 it was 30% after which the concentration has rapidly grown to the present day approximately 80%. (*5). Another study puts the present (2016) stock market capitalization held by institutional investors at 70%. (*6). (The slight difference can possibly be explained by variations in the samples of companies included).

As a result of taking into account the common ownership at investor level, it emerges that the US economy is yet much more monopolized than it was previously thought when the focus had been on the operational business corporation alone detached from their owners. (*7).

The Oligarch owners assert their control

Apologists for monopolies have argued that the institutional investors who manage passive capital are passive in their own conduct as shareholders as well. (*8). Even if that would be true it would come with vastly detrimental consequences for the economy as that would mean that in effect there would be no shareholder control at all and the corporate executives would manage the companies exclusively with their own short-term benefits in mind, inevitably leading to corruption and the loss of the common benefits businesses on a normally functioning competitive market would bring.

In fact, there seems to have been a period in the US economy – before the rapid monopolization of the last decade -when such passive investors had relinquished control to the executives. (*9). But with the emergence of the Big Three investors and the astonishing concentration of ownership that does not seem to hold water any longer. (*10). In fact, there need not be any speculation about the matter as the monopolist owners are quite candid about their ways. For example, BlackRock's CEO Larry Fink sends out an annual guiding letter to his subject, practically to all the largest firms of the US and increasingly also Europe and the rest of the West. In his pastoral, the CEO shares his view of the global conditions affecting business prospects and calls for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

The investor will eventually review the management's strategic plans for compliance with the guidelines. Effectively, the BlackRock CEO has in this way assumed the role of a giant central planner, rather like the Gosplan, the central planning agency of the Soviet command economy.

The 2019 letter (referenced above) contains this striking passage, which should quell all doubts about the extent to which BlackRock exercises its powers:

"As we seek to build long-term value for our clients through engagement, our aim is not to micromanage a company's operations. Instead, our primary focus is to ensure board accountability for creating long-term value. However, a long-term approach should not be confused with an infinitely patient one. When BlackRock does not see progress despite ongoing engagement, or companies are insufficiently responsive to our efforts to protect our clients' long-term economic interests, we do not hesitate to exercise our right to vote against incumbent directors or misaligned executive compensation."

Considering the striking facts rendered above, we should bear in mind that the establishment of this virtually absolute oligarch ownership over all the largest corporations of the United States is a relatively new phenomenon. We should therefore expect that the centralized control and centralized planning will rapidly grow in extent as the power is asserted and methods are refined.

Most of the capital of those institutional investors consists of so-called passive capital, that is, such cases of investments where the investor has no intention of trying to achieve any kind of control of the companies it invests in, the only motivation being to achieve as high as possible a yield. In the overwhelming majority of the cases the funds flow into the major institutional investors, which invest the money at their will in any corporations. The original investors do not retain any control of the institutional investors, and do not expect it either. Technically the institutional investors like BlackRock and Vanguard act as fiduciary asset managers. But here's the rub, while the people who commit their assets to the funds may be considered as passive investors, the institutional investors who employ those funds are most certainly not.

Cross-ownership of oligarch corporations

To make matters yet worse, it must be kept in mind that the oligopolistic investors in turn are frequently cross-owned by each other. (*11). In fact, there is no transparent way of discovering who in fact controls the major institutional investors.

One of the major institutional investors, Vanguard is ghost owned insofar as it does not have any owners at all in the traditional sense of the concept. The company claims that it is owned by the multiple funds that it has itself set up and which it manages. This is how the company puts it on their home page : "At Vanguard, there are no outside owners, and therefore, no conflicting loyalties. The company is owned by its funds, which in turn are owned by their shareholders -- including you, if you're a Vanguard fund investor." At the end of the analysis, it would then seem that Vanguard is owned by Vanguard itself, certainly nobody should swallow the charade that those funds stuffed with passive investor money would exercise any ownership control over the superstructure Vanguard. We therefore assume that there is some group of people (other than the company directors) that have retained the actual control of Vanguard behind the scenes (perhaps through one or a few of the funds). In fact, we believe that all three (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard) are tightly controlled by a group of US oligarchs (or more widely transatlantic oligarchs), who prefer not to brandish their power. It is beyond the scope of this study and our means to investigate this hypothesis, but whatever, it is bad enough that as a proven fact these three investor corporations wield this control over most of the American economy. We also know that the three act in concert wherever they hold shares. (*12).

Now, let's see who are the formal owners of these institutional investors

In considering these ownership charts, please, bear in mind that we have not consistently examined to what degree the real control of one or another company has been arranged through a scheme of issuing different classes of shares, where a special class of shares give vastly more voting rights than the ordinary shares. One source asserts that 355 of the companies in the Russell index consisting of the 3000 largest corporations employ such a dual voting-class structure, or 11.8% of all major corporations.

We have mostly relied on www.stockzoa.com for the shareholder data. However, this and other sources tend to list only the so-called institutional investors while omitting corporate insiders and other individuals. (We have no idea why such strange practice is employed

[May 14, 2019] Trump desperately needs a trade deal with China as he gears up for his re-election bid in 2020.

Highly recommended!
It has become a cliché to quote William Butler Yeats’s poem “The Second Coming,” written almost 100 years ago in the aftermath of World War I. But no one has said it better: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world . . . And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”
Donald Trump's decision to raise duties on Chinese goods from ten to 25 percent of additional $200 billion of China exports came into force. It is unclear how this will work and how much the US consumers will pay. Probably half of this raise so from 5% to 10% which might be not very noticeable outside such items as shoes and clothing. The cost of Chinese's shoes already is quite high -- plastic regular $60-30 with discounts on holiday. Leather -- $100-$50 and almost no discounts.
Trump uses his favorite "bully in the schoolyard" style, a typical the American foreign policy tactic to direct, lawless pressure. First, they accuse partners of violations, to introduce restrictions on this basis (and at the same time to plunge world markets into panic), and then to agree on the resumption of negotiations. But the previous decisions about tariffs were left, of course, in force.
May 14, 2019 | www.asiatimes.com
His gambit to conclude a deal with North Korea collapsed in failure in Hanoi in February, and it is a huge blow to his self-styled image of a master dealmaker. Trump also faces a flurry of congressional subpoenas at home from Democrats who now control the House of Representatives. Hence with mounting legal and political troubles, Trump is cornered and desperately needs a conclusion to the prolonged trade war with China, which has netted zero benefits for him.

The prospect of a trade deal with China remains as elusive as ever, despite Trump's increased tariffs to pressure China to come to the negotiating table with the list of concession that he wants. It is highly unlikely that China will grant Trump the concessions he wants. China remembers clearly the deal that Tokyo concluded with Washington in the 1990s that caused Japan to slip into economic stagnation for many years. That period has now been dubbed Japan's "lost decade."

China is not dumb and it will not concede to Trump.

Worse still, the move to increase tariffs took place while Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He was in Washington to negotiate with the Trump administration.

It is a blunder by Trump and will be perceived by the Chinese as a cheap shot against President Xi Jinping. The tariffs hike came despite Xi's "beautiful letter" to Trump, and it is a massive loss of face for the Chinese leader to see his group of officials return home from Washington with no deal to conclude the trade war.

Xi could not afford to look weak in front of his people and he knows that millions of Chinese netizens access information about the outside world by using virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the Great Firewall. Many ordinary Chinese know about the trade war's latest developments and should any deal with Trump infringe on China's core interests, it will be political suicide for Xi.

One of the main reasons the US-China trade talks broke down was that Washington's demands were unpalatable to China. Some of the demands from the US, such as an end to government support for state companies in specific industries and a streamlined approval process for genetically engineered US crops, are a direct challenge to the Communist Party of China's control of the economy.

Since Xi took office, he has extended the party's reach into every corner of Chinese society, and every businessman in China who aspires to reach the top of the hierarchy knows that they must receive the blessing of the party. It is not surprising that even Jack Ma, who is one of China's most internationally recognizable figures, has been revealed to be a member of the CPC after years of denial.

Hence in the face of renewed pressure from Trump, Xi and the Chinese government have reached the conclusion that it is better to bear the consequences of increased tariffs than to concede to US demands.

Xi is in for the long haul and can well afford to ride out the storm. And based on Trump's past negotiations such as his failed bid to pressure House Democrats to fund his wall on the Mexican border, which led to the longest government shutdown in US history, Xi knows that the chances are good that Trump will blink first.

[May 11, 2019] Has Privatization Benefitted the Public? by Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Highly recommended!
Looks like pendulum start swinging against privatization...
Notable quotes:
"... As corporate profits are the private sector's yardstick of success, privatized monopolies are likely to abuse their market power to maximize rents for themselves. Thus, privatization tends to burden the public, e.g., if charges are raised. ..."
"... In most cases, privatization has not closed the governments' fiscal deficits, and may even worsen budgetary problems. Privatization may worsen the fiscal situation due to loss of revenue from privatized SOEs, or tax evasion by the new privatized entity. ..."
"... In most cases, profitable SOEs were privatized as prospective private owners are driven to maximize profits. Fiscal deficits have often been exacerbated as new private owners use creative accounting to avoid tax, secure tax credits and subsidies, and maximize retained earnings. ..."
"... As a rule of thumb, I'd say that any privatisations that require the introduction of convoluted pseudo-market structures or vast new regulatory bureaucracies or which derive most of their ongoing income from the public sector are likely to be contrary to the long-term public interest. In the UK, unfortunately, all these ships sailed a long time ago ..."
"... Chicago is the proving grounds for thirty or so years of the Democrats' surrender to neoliberalism and austerity politics. Let us not forget, brethren and sistren, that Rahm is the Spawn of Bill + Hill as well as dear friend and advisor of Obama. So there is the work of Daley to undo and the work of the Clintonians to undo. It will take more than one term for Lightfoot. ..."
"... Privatization, at any cost, is no longer a choice. We have abused the pension system and now the public must pay for private companies to provide the most basic services. ..."
"... I keep thinking that perhaps an Act could or should be introduced here in UK (same for the States, i suppose), which should ensure that all politicians that enable any type of privatisation of public resources or PFI arrangement (yes that old chesnut), should be made personally responsible for the results therof. ..."
"... And any losses to the public accidentally or "accidentally" occasioned by such commandeering over public resources, to be treated like deliberate misappropriation by the said public officials. With the financial and custodial penalties as may be appropriate. ..."
"... lots of private services that are suspiciously similar to public utilities in terms of natural monopoly, such as cable TV, internet and even railroads. Maybe these should be nationalized and treated more like public services. It can work when they're adequately funded and oversight accountability has teeth; major airports are a good example. ..."
"... Plus the state giveaways includes tens of millions of dollars each year in corporate tax credits in the name of job creation. A report by the nonprofit " Good Jobs First " revealed that over 300 Illinois companies are keeping the state taxes paid by their employees. EDGE- the Economic Development in a Growing Economy is a corporate freebie tax credit, which is partly from the state personal income taxes paid by workers. That's right, the biggest welfare queens are the corporations collecting and keep their employees state income tax payments. ..."
"... Can it get worse? According to the Chicago Trib , "The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), for example, with billions of untaxed contracts worth well over a quadrillion dollars, and whose profit margin in recent years is higher than any of the top 100 companies in the nation, had the hubris to demand an $85 million per year tax break. They got it." The money is there to secure the pensions and budget but has been diverted to the corporate welfare queens for honoring us mere serfs with their presence in the humble fiefdom of Illinois. ..."
"... Michael Hudson, to his immense credit, explains the pernicious effects of privatization of common goods repeatedly throughout his work, and demonstrates that it has been with us at least as long as the ancient practice of land alienation and rural usury. ..."
Apr 07, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on April 7, 2019 by Jerri-Lynn Scofield Jerri-Lynn here. Another succinct post by Jomo Kwame Sundaram that makes clear the "benefits" of privatization are not evenly distributed, and in fact, typically, "many are even worse off" when the government chooses to transfer ownership of the family silver.

Note that SOE is the acronym for state owned enterprise.

For those interested in the topic, see also another short post by the same author from last September, debunking other arguments to promote the privatization fairy, Revisiting Privatization's Claims .

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram, former UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development. Originally published at Inter Press Service

In most cases of privatization, some outcomes benefit some, which serves to legitimize the change. Nevertheless, overall net welfare improvements are the exception, not the rule.

Never is everyone better off. Rather, some are better off, while others are not, and typically, many are even worse off. The partial gains are typically high, or even negated by overall costs, which may be diffuse, and less directly felt by losers.

Privatized Monopoly Powers

Since many SOEs are public monopolies, privatization has typically transformed them into private monopolies. In turn, abuse of such market monopoly power enables more rents and corporate profits.

As corporate profits are the private sector's yardstick of success, privatized monopolies are likely to abuse their market power to maximize rents for themselves. Thus, privatization tends to burden the public, e.g., if charges are raised.

In most cases, privatization has not closed the governments' fiscal deficits, and may even worsen budgetary problems. Privatization may worsen the fiscal situation due to loss of revenue from privatized SOEs, or tax evasion by the new privatized entity.

Options for cross-subsidization, e.g., to broaden coverage are reduced as the government is usually left with unprofitable activities while the potentially profitable is acquired by the private sector. Thus, governments are often forced to cut essential public services.

In most cases, profitable SOEs were privatized as prospective private owners are driven to maximize profits. Fiscal deficits have often been exacerbated as new private owners use creative accounting to avoid tax, secure tax credits and subsidies, and maximize retained earnings.

Meanwhile, governments lose vital revenue sources due to privatization if SOEs are profitable, and are often obliged to subsidize privatized monopolies to ensure the poor and underserved still have access to the privatized utilities or services.

Privatization Burdens Many

Privatization burdens the public when charges or fees are not reduced, or when the services provided are significantly reduced. Thus, privatization often burdens the public in different ways, depending on how market power is exercised or abused.

Often, instead of trying to provide a public good to all, many are excluded because it is not considered commercially viable or economic to serve them. Consequently, privatization may worsen overall enterprise performance. 'Value for money' may go down despite ostensible improvements used to justify higher user charges.

SOEs are widely presumed to be more likely to be inefficient. The most profitable and potentially profitable are typically the first and most likely to be privatized. This leaves the rest of the public sector even less profitable, and thus considered more inefficient, in turn justifying further privatizations.

Efficiency Elusive

It is often argued that privatization is needed as the government is inherently inefficient and does not know how to run enterprises well. Incredibly, the government is expected to subsidize privatized SOEs, which are presumed to be more efficient, in order to fulfil its obligations to the citizenry.

Such obligations may not involve direct payments or transfers, but rather, lucrative concessions to the privatized SOE. Thus, they may well make far more from these additional concessions than the actual cost of fulfilling government obligations.

Thus, privatization of profitable enterprises or segments not only perpetuates exclusion of the deserving, but also worsens overall public sector performance now encumbered with remaining unprofitable obligations.

One consequence is poorer public sector performance, contributing to what appears to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. To make matters worse, the public sector is then stuck with financing the unprofitable, thus seemingly supporting to the privatization prophecy.

Benefits Accrue to Relatively Few

Privatization typically enriches the politically connected few who secure lucrative rents by sacrificing the national or public interest for private profit, even when privatization may not seem to benefit them.

Privatization in many developing and transition economies has primarily enriched these few as the public interest is sacrificed to such powerful private business interests. This has, in turn, exacerbated corruption, patronage and other related problems.

For example, following Russian voucher privatization and other Western recommended reforms, for which there was a limited domestic constituency then, within three years (1992-1994), the Russian economy had collapsed by half, and adult male life expectancy fell by six years. It was the greatest such recorded catastrophe in the last six millennia of recorded human history.

Soon, a couple of dozen young Russian oligarchs had taken over the commanding heights of the Russian economy; many then monetized their gains and invested abroad, migrating to follow their new wealth. Much of this was celebrated by the Western media as economic progress.


diptherio , April 7, 2019 at 9:11 am

SOE must stand for "state owned enterprise."

caloba , April 7, 2019 at 10:45 am

As a rule of thumb, I'd say that any privatisations that require the introduction of convoluted pseudo-market structures or vast new regulatory bureaucracies or which derive most of their ongoing income from the public sector are likely to be contrary to the long-term public interest. In the UK, unfortunately, all these ships sailed a long time ago

DJG , April 7, 2019 at 11:15 am

After the recent Chicago municipal elections, I wrote up some notes on the reasons for the discontent. This article by Sundaram explains exactly how these schemes work. Further, you can apply his criteria of subsidies for the rich, skimming, and disinheriting the middle class and poor to all of the following instances in Chicago.

If I may–some for instances of how Sundaram's observations turn up in U.S. cities:

Chicago is the proving grounds for thirty or so years of the Democrats' surrender to neoliberalism and austerity politics. Let us not forget, brethren and sistren, that Rahm is the Spawn of Bill + Hill as well as dear friend and advisor of Obama. So there is the work of Daley to undo and the work of the Clintonians to undo. It will take more than one term for Lightfoot.

Consider:
–Parking meters and enforcement have been privatized, starving the city of funds and, more importantly, of its police power.
–Taxes have been privatized in TIFs, where money goes and is never heard from again.
–There have been attempts to privatize the park system in the form of the Lucas museum and the current Obama Theme Park imbroglio, involving some fifty acres of park land.
–The school system has been looted and privatized. The Democrats are big fans of charter schools (right, "Beto"), seeing them as ways to skim money off the middle class and the poor.
–Fare collection on public transit has been privatized using a system so deliberately rudimentary and so deliberately corrupt that it cannot tell you at point of service how much you have paid as fare.
–Boeing was enticed to Chicago with tax breaks. Yes, that Boeing, the one that now deliberately puts bad software in your airplane.
–Property tax assessment has been an opaque system and source of skimming for lawyers.
–Zoning: Eddie Burke, pond scum, is just the top layer of pollution.
–And as we have made our descent, all of these economic dogmata have been enforced by petty harassment of the citizenry (endless tickets) and an ever-brutal police force.

And yet: The current Republican Party also supports all of these policies, so let's not pretend that a bunch of Mitch McConnell lookalikes are headed to Chicago to reform it.

California is no better , April 7, 2019 at 5:16 pm

Providing professional services i.e. architecture, engineering, etc. for a public entity, local or federal, does not yield unreasonable profits. Typically, the public agencies have their own staff to monitor and cost control a project. The professional services provided to private developers yields far more profit- oftentimes twice the profits associated with public agency work. Most professional services companies will transition their work to the public agencies during a recession.

At any rate, especially in Illinois, privatizing the work to avoid pension liabilities is no longer a choice. Michael Madigan pension promises will require the public to maintain a public service budget with no staff to fill potholes. Essentially, these are the no work jobs made popular by the Soprano crew twenty years ago.

Discussion of the downside of the privatization of public services is merely an oscillation from discussing the weather, the Bears or any other kitchen table discussion – nothing more than pleasant small talk to pass the time.

Privatization, at any cost, is no longer a choice. We have abused the pension system and now the public must pay for private companies to provide the most basic services.

stan6565 , April 7, 2019 at 6:36 pm

The question is, what can one do to help arrest this wholesale theft of public resources and their expropriation into the hands of well connected. " Public", as in, it is the working public over the last 100 or 200 years that created (or paid for), the electricity grid, or public schools, or entire armed or police forces

I keep thinking that perhaps an Act could or should be introduced here in UK (same for the States, i suppose), which should ensure that all politicians that enable any type of privatisation of public resources or PFI arrangement (yes that old chesnut), should be made personally responsible for the results therof.

And any losses to the public accidentally or "accidentally" occasioned by such commandeering over public resources, to be treated like deliberate misappropriation by the said public officials. With the financial and custodial penalties as may be appropriate.

Anybody out there with similar thoughts or should i really try harder and give up on drugs?

Tyronius Maximus , April 8, 2019 at 4:13 pm

I vociferously disagree with the assertion that the wrecking of pension funding in the past is the reason we are forced to leave privatization schemes in place today.

In a similar vein, the are lots of private services that are suspiciously similar to public utilities in terms of natural monopoly, such as cable TV, internet and even railroads. Maybe these should be nationalized and treated more like public services. It can work when they're adequately funded and oversight accountability has teeth; major airports are a good example.

rps , April 8, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Let's not forget the privatization of the Chicago Skyway , not once but twice.

Plus the state giveaways includes tens of millions of dollars each year in corporate tax credits in the name of job creation. A report by the nonprofit " Good Jobs First " revealed that over 300 Illinois companies are keeping the state taxes paid by their employees. EDGE- the Economic Development in a Growing Economy is a corporate freebie tax credit, which is partly from the state personal income taxes paid by workers. That's right, the biggest welfare queens are the corporations collecting and keep their employees state income tax payments.

Can it get worse? According to the Chicago Trib , "The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), for example, with billions of untaxed contracts worth well over a quadrillion dollars, and whose profit margin in recent years is higher than any of the top 100 companies in the nation, had the hubris to demand an $85 million per year tax break. They got it." The money is there to secure the pensions and budget but has been diverted to the corporate welfare queens for honoring us mere serfs with their presence in the humble fiefdom of Illinois.

Paging Mike Madigan- The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy lists Illinois as one of the "Terrible Ten" most tax-regressive states, imposing a much higher rate on poor residents for sales and excise taxes, property taxes and income taxes. Al Capone would be proud of him.

eg , April 7, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Michael Hudson, to his immense credit, explains the pernicious effects of privatization of common goods repeatedly throughout his work, and demonstrates that it has been with us at least as long as the ancient practice of land alienation and rural usury.

Natural monopolies ought to be nationalised, full stop.

Grizziz , April 7, 2019 at 12:39 pm

I support public ownership of natural monopolies, however it would be helpful if these pieces contained data, case studies or footnoted entries providing some empirical evidence of the author's thesis.

Thuto , April 7, 2019 at 1:00 pm

This article comes at a time when the clarion call for privatizing Eskom, SA's electricity utility, is hitting deafening levels. To the private sector, efficiency = maximizing profits by making the "bloated" enterprise lean (aka cutting the workforce) and quite literally mean (aka cutting services to "unprofitable" segments of the market, iow, the poor and vulnerable). When profits soar because the holy grail of efficiency is achieved, the mainstream business press brings out the champagne and toasts this "success" as proof that the previously "moribund" (they always exaggerate the state of things) monopolistic monolith has been given a new lease on life by privatizing it and the template is set for rescuing other "ailing" SOEs.

The drawbacks are never laid out as cleary as they are in this article and the plight of those worst affected, whether laid-off workers or those whose services have been cut, never makes it into the headlines.

PhilB , April 7, 2019 at 2:53 pm

And then there is prison privatization where the burden of operation and maintaining the institution should clearly be on the public so as to be constant reminder of the burden, among others reasons. The motivations by private prison operators to reduce services and costs out of site of the pesky prying eyes of the public are manifold.

RepubAnon , April 7, 2019 at 7:54 pm

Privatization is a great way to avoid having user fees wasted by providing services, and instead put to better use funding the re-election campaigns of politicians supporting privatization. Plus, it provides much-needed consulting fees for former politicians as well as job-creating 7-figure salaries for the CEOs,

(/snark, if you couldn't tell)

On a side note, the Dilbert comic strip is written about private industry ,

Iapetus , April 7, 2019 at 3:39 pm

There was a rudimentary plan put forward last June that recommended some pretty substantial privatizations of U.S. government assets and services which include:

-Privatizing the US Post Office ( through an Initial Public Offering or outright sale to a private entity ).
-Sell off U.S. government owned electricity transmission lines ( U.S. government owns 14% of this nations power transmission lines through TVA, Southwestern Power Administration, Western Area Power Administration, and Bonneville Power Administration ).
-Spin-off the Federal Aviation Administrations air traffic control operations into a private nonprofit entity.
-Spin-off the Department of Transportations operations of the Saint Lawrence Seaways Locks and Channels into a private non-profit entity.
-End the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then regulate a new system of private guarantors for their MBS securities.

Not sure if these are still being considered.

Tom Stone , April 7, 2019 at 3:54 pm

There's no way I could ask that question with a straight face.

Jack Parsons , April 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm

At heart, the problem with privatization is that marketing to a government-employed purchaser or "purchase influencer" is ridiculously cheap, due to their poor accountability strictures.

This is abetted by the Katamari Damacy process (self-accretionary tendency) of money and power.

https://youtu.be/-U_Tccwyh70?t=139

The Rev Kev , April 7, 2019 at 7:50 pm

In Oz the electricity grids were privatized as they would be cheaper that way – or so people were told. Instead, the cost of electricity has risen sharply over the years to the point that it is effecting elections on both the State and Federal level as the price hikes are so controversial. A problem is that those companies have to pay back the loans used to buy the public electricity grids and as well, the senior management award themselves sky-high wages because they are totally worth it. These are factors that were never present when it was publicly owned. And just to put the boot in, those very same companies have been 'gold-plating' the electricity grid for their gain-

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/australian-gold-plated-power-grid/8721566

Meanwhile, whatever money the governments made selling their electricity companies has been long spent on white elephants or buying themselves re-elections by giving out goodies to voters.

Procopius , April 7, 2019 at 8:54 pm

buying themselves re-elections by giving out goodies to voters.

I don't reside in the states, so I don't see much of the detail of daily life. What are these "goodies" of which you speak? In what I am able to read on the internet, people aren't being given goodies any more. At least the old-time politicians handed out jobs, and turkeys at Christmas. The current crop do hand out jobs to their kids and immediate family, but not so much to anyone else.

John Rose , April 8, 2019 at 10:05 am

The county "poorhouse" in Lebanon County, PA over the years evolved into a bare-bones but very well run nursing home with caring, long-term staff. The Republican county commissioners, however, year after year, avoided raising taxes by underfunding the retirement plan for the employees. Then, "suddenly" there was a crisis because the underfunding had become legally untenable.
The solution was to sell the operation to a for-profit operator to fund the pansion plan shortfall at the minimal level required legally. In the next contract, the new owner cut health care and other benefits. The wages had always been minimal and he was free of the old pension plan requirements.
The employees went on strike for many months, the owner brought in replacements from companies that specialize in that service, until the employees had to cave in.
I had been counting on that facility when my sister was diagnosed with Alzheimers. I have family that is able to step in so she is provided for. Many others in the county are not so fortunate. Here are some staff comments: https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Cedar-Haven-Healthcare-Center/reviews?fcountry=ALL

Stratos , April 8, 2019 at 12:36 pm

" instead of trying to provide a public good to all, many [ordinary working people] are excluded because it is not considered commercially viable or economic to serve them."

There are also social and class dimensions to the exclusion. Private Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the USA have made the "not commercially viable or economic to serve them" argument for decades when pressed about their refusal to wire the entire country. Their "business model" leaves millions without reliable broadband service in a variety of settings, from rural areas and small towns to inner cities and low income suburbs. In many cases, citizens in those areas have no access to broadband at all.

When small towns and counties in the US have taken the initiative to wire their localities, the ISPs have bribed state legislatures to pass laws prohibiting public broadband throughout the rest of the state. Talk about subversion of democracy! Insult to injury: the ISPs who wailed about "unfair competition" to state legislators then refuse to wire areas throughout the rest of the state.

Meanwhile, less affluent countries like Korea and Romania have lightning fast fiber optic broadband universally available at affordable prices.
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/jp5aa3/why-romanias-internet-is-so-much-faster-than-americas

Lack of universal and affordable broadband has two major effects:

➤ Local governments are shut out of economic opportunities because they lack connectivity. They are unable to shepherd business startups and existing businesses that need broadband to thrive. People move away. Businesses relocate or downsize. Local economies are left with erroding tax bases and boarded up downtowns.

➤ Children and young people in "broadband deserts" cannot tap into the many sources of learning that exist on the web. In particular, they don't have the opportunity to learn anything about frontend or backend web development applications such as, html, php, Ruby on Rails, Photoshop or Indesign.

That is one reason the US tech industry lacks workers from different backgrounds. Most tech workers grew up in areas the ISPs considered "commercially viable". In addition, many tech workers are self taught to some degree, even those with computer science degrees. It is difficult to be self taught if you lack access to the most basic resources and tools.

[Mar 31, 2019] Because of the immediate arrival of the Russia collusion theory, neither MSM honchos nor any US politician ever had to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[Mar 29, 2019] Trumps billionaire coup détat: Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history. It's not only the fact that his administration has been literally taken over by Goldman Sachs, the top vampire-bank of the Wall Street mafia. ..."
"... The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration. ..."
"... Paul Singer whose nickname is "the vulture", he didn't get that nickname because he is a sweet an honest businessman. This is the guy who closed the Delphi auto plants in Ohio and sent them to China and also to Monterrey-Mexico. Donald Trump as a candidate, excoriated the billionaires who sent Delphi auto parts company down to Mexico ..."
"... Paul Singer has two concerns: one of them is that we eliminate the banking regulations known as Dodd–Frank. He is called 'the vulture' cause he eats companies that died. He has invested heavily in banks that died. He makes his billions from government bail-outs, he has never made a product in his life, it's all money and billions made from your money, out of the US treasury ..."
"... The Mercers are the real big money behind Donald Trump. When Trump was in trouble in the general election he was out of money and he was out of ideas and he was losing. It was the Mercers, Robert, who is the principal at the Renaissance Technologies, basically investment banking sharks, that's all they are. They are market gamblers and banking sharks, and that's how he made his billions, he hasn't created a single job as Donald Trump himself like to mention. ..."
"... Both the vulture and the Mercers, they don't pay the same taxes as the rest. They don't pay regular income taxes. They have a special billionaires loophole called 'carried interest'. ..."
"... They were two candidates who said that they would close that loophole: one was Bernie Sanders and the other, believe it or not, was Donald Trump, it was part of his populist movie, he said ' These Wall Street sharks, they don't build anything, they don't create a single job, when they lose we pay, when they win, they get a tax-break called carried interest. I will close that loophole. ' Has he said a word about that loophole? It passed away. ..."
Mar 22, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Donald Trump is about to break the record of withdrawing his promises faster than any other US president in history. It's not only the fact that his administration has been literally taken over by Goldman Sachs, the top vampire-bank of the Wall Street mafia.

Recently, Trump announced another big alliance with the vulture billionaire, Paul Singer, who, initially, was supposedly against him. It looks like the Trump big show continues.

The 'anti-establishment Trump' joke has already collapsed and the US middle class is about be eliminated by the syndicate of the united billionaires under Trump administration.

As Greg Palast told to Thom Hartmann:

Paul Singer whose nickname is "the vulture", he didn't get that nickname because he is a sweet an honest businessman. This is the guy who closed the Delphi auto plants in Ohio and sent them to China and also to Monterrey-Mexico. Donald Trump as a candidate, excoriated the billionaires who sent Delphi auto parts company down to Mexico.

Paul Singer has two concerns: one of them is that we eliminate the banking regulations known as Dodd–Frank. He is called 'the vulture' cause he eats companies that died. He has invested heavily in banks that died. He makes his billions from government bail-outs, he has never made a product in his life, it's all money and billions made from your money, out of the US treasury.

He is against what Obama created, which is a system under Dodd–Frank, called 'living wills', where if a bank starts going bankrupt, they don't call the US treasury for bail-out. These banks go out of business and they are broken up so we don't have to pay for the bail-out. Singer wants to restore the system of bailouts because that's where he makes his money.

The Mercers are the real big money behind Donald Trump. When Trump was in trouble in the general election he was out of money and he was out of ideas and he was losing. It was the Mercers, Robert, who is the principal at the Renaissance Technologies, basically investment banking sharks, that's all they are. They are market gamblers and banking sharks, and that's how he made his billions, he hasn't created a single job as Donald Trump himself like to mention.

Both the vulture and the Mercers, they don't pay the same taxes as the rest. They don't pay regular income taxes. They have a special billionaires loophole called 'carried interest'.

They were two candidates who said that they would close that loophole: one was Bernie Sanders and the other, believe it or not, was Donald Trump, it was part of his populist movie, he said ' These Wall Street sharks, they don't build anything, they don't create a single job, when they lose we pay, when they win, they get a tax-break called carried interest. I will close that loophole. ' Has he said a word about that loophole? It passed away.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/z-q5R4k_3rE

Take a taste of Paul Singer from Wikipedia :

His political activities include funding the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and he has written against raising taxes for the 1% and aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act. Singer is active in Republican Party politics and collectively, Singer and others affiliated with Elliott Management are "the top source of contributions" to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

A number of sources have branded him a "vulture capitalist", largely on account of his role at EMC, which has been called a vulture fund. Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, ]- through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. Singer's business model of purchasing distressed debt from companies and sovereign states and pursuing full payment through the courts has led to criticism, while Singer and EMC defend their model as "a fight against charlatans who refuse to play by the market's rules."

In 1996, Elliott bought defaulted Peruvian debt for $11.4 million. Elliott won a $58 million judgment when the ruling was overturned in 2000, and Peru had to repay the sum in full under the pari passu rule. When former president of Peru Alberto Fujimori was attempting to flee the country due to facing legal proceedings over human rights abuses and corruption, Singer ordered the confiscation of his jet and offered to let him leave the country in exchange for the $58 million payment from the treasury, an offer which Fujimori accepted. A subsequent 2002 investigation by the Government of Peru into the incident and subsequent congressional report, uncovered instances of corruption since Elliott was not legally authorized to purchase the Peruvian debt from Swiss Bank Corporation without the prior approval of the Peruvian government, and thus the purchase had occurred in breach of contract. At the same time, Elliott's representative, Jaime Pinto, had been formerly employed by the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance and had contact with senior officials. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Peruvian government paid Elliott $56 million to settle the case.

After Argentina defaulted on its debt in 2002, the Elliott-owned company NML Capital Limited refused to accept the Argentine offer to pay less than 30 cents per dollar of debt. With a face value of $630 million, the bonds were reportedly bought by NML for $48 million, with Elliott assessing the bonds as worth $2.3 billion with accrued interest. Elliott sued Argentina for the debt's value, and the lower UK courts found that Argentina had state immunity. Elliott successfully appealed the case to the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that Elliott had the right to attempt to seize Argentine property in the United Kingdom. Alternatively, before 2011, US courts ruled against allowing creditors to seize Argentine state assets in the United States. On October 2, 2012 Singer arranged for a Ghanaian Court order to detain the Argentine naval training vessel ARA Libertad in a Ghanaian port, with the vessel to be used as collateral in an effort to force Argentina to pay the debt. Refusing to pay, Argentina shortly thereafter regained control of the ship after its seizure was deemed illegal by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Alleging the incident lost Tema Harbour $7.6 million in lost revenue and unpaid docking fees, Ghana in 2012 was reportedly considering legal action against NML for the amount.

His firm... is so influential that fear of its tactics helped shape the current 2012 Greek debt restructuring." Elliott was termed by The Independent as "a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts", and in 1996, Singer began using the strategy of purchasing sovereign debt from nations in or near default-such as Argentina, Peru-through his NML Capital Limited and Congo-Brazzaville through Kensington International Inc. In 2004, then first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund Anne Osborn Krueger denounced the strategy, alleging that it has "undermined the entire structure of sovereign finance."

we wrote that " Trump's rhetoric is concentrated around a racist delirium. He avoids to take direct position on social matters, issues about inequality, etc. Of course he does, he is a billionaire! Trump will follow the pro-establishment agenda of protecting Wall Street and big businesses. And here is the fundamental difference with Bernie Sanders. Bernie says no more war and he means it. He says more taxes for the super-rich and he means it. Free healthcare and education for all the Americans, and he means it. In case that Bernie manage to beat Hillary, the establishment will definitely turn to Trump who will be supported by all means until the US presidency. "

Yet, we would never expect that Trump would verify us, that fast.

[Feb 26, 2019] THE CRISIS OF NEOLIBERALISM by Julie A. Wilson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism. ..."
"... Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. ..."
"... Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy. ..."
"... In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism. ..."
"... We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism. ..."
"... While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."' ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Quote from the book is courtesy of Amazon preview of the book Neoliberalism (Key Ideas in Media & Cultural Studies)

In Chapter 1, we traced the rise of our neoliberal conjuncture back to the crisis of liberalism during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, culminating in the Great Depression. During this period, huge transformations in capitalism proved impossible to manage with classical laissez-faire approaches. Out of this crisis, two movements emerged, both of which would eventually shape the course of the twentieth century and beyond. The first, and the one that became dominant in the aftermath of the crisis, was the conjuncture of embedded liberalism. The crisis indicated that capitalism wrecked too much damage on the lives of ordinary citizens. People (white workers and families, especially) warranted social protection from the volatilities and brutalities of capitalism. The state's public function was expanded to include the provision of a more substantive social safety net, a web of protections for people and a web of constraints on markets. The second response was the invention of neoliberalism. Deeply skeptical of the common-good principles that undergirded the emerging social welfare state, neoliberals began organizing on the ground to develop a "new" liberal govemmentality, one rooted less in laissez-faire principles and more in the generalization of competition and enterprise. They worked to envision a new society premised on a new social ontology, that is, on new truths about the state, the market, and human beings. Crucially, neoliberals also began building infrastructures and institutions for disseminating their new' knowledges and theories (i.e., the Neoliberal Thought Collective), as well as organizing politically to build mass support for new policies (i.e., working to unite anti-communists, Christian conservatives, and free marketers in common cause against the welfare state). When cracks in embedded liberalism began to surface -- which is bound to happen with any moving political equilibrium -- neoliberals were there with new stories and solutions, ready to make the world anew.

We are currently living through the crisis of neoliberalism. As I write this book, Donald Trump has recently secured the U.S. presidency, prevailing in the national election over his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Throughout the election, I couldn't help but think back to the crisis of liberalism and the two responses that emerged. Similarly, after the Great Recession of 2008, we've saw two responses emerge to challenge our unworkable status quo, which dispossesses so many people of vital resources for individual and collective life. On the one hand, we witnessed the rise of Occupy Wall Street. While many continue to critique the movement for its lack of leadership and a coherent political vision, Occupy was connected to burgeoning movements across the globe, and our current political horizons have been undoubtedly shaped by the movement's success at repositioning class and economic inequality within our political horizon. On the other hand, we saw' the rise of the Tea Party, a right-wing response to the crisis. While the Tea Party was critical of status-quo neoliberalism -- especially its cosmopolitanism and embrace of globalization and diversity, which was perfectly embodied by Obama's election and presidency -- it was not exactly anti-neoliberal. Rather, it was anti-left neoliberalism-, it represented a more authoritarian, right [wing] version of neoliberalism.

Within the context of the 2016 election, Clinton embodied the neoliberal center that could no longer hold. Inequality. Suffering. Collapsing infrastructures. Perpetual war. Anger. Disaffected consent. There were just too many fissures and fault lines in the glossy, cosmopolitan world of left neoliberalism and marketized equality. Indeed, while Clinton ran on status-quo stories of good governance and neoliberal feminism, confident that demographics and diversity would be enough to win the election, Trump effectively tapped into the unfolding conjunctural crisis by exacerbating the cracks in the system of marketized equality, channeling political anger into his celebrity brand that had been built on saying "f*** you" to the culture of left neoliberalism (corporate diversity, political correctness, etc.) In fact, much like Clinton's challenger in the Democratic primary, Benie Sanders, Trump was a crisis candidate.

Both Sanders and Trump were embedded in the emerging left and right responses to neoliberalism's crisis. Specifically, Sanders' energetic campaign -- which was undoubtedly enabled by the rise of the Occupy movement -- proposed a decidedly more "commongood" path. Higher wages for working people. Taxes on the rich, specifically the captains of the creditocracy.

Universal health care. Free higher education. Fair trade. The repeal of Citizens United. Trump offered a different response to the crisis. Like Sanders, he railed against global trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, Trump's victory was fueled by right neoliberalism's culture of cruelty. While Sanders tapped into and mobilized desires for a more egalitarian and democratic future, Trump's promise was nostalgic, making America "great again" -- putting the nation back on "top of the world," and implying a time when women were "in their place" as male property, and minorities and immigrants were controlled by the state.

Thus, what distinguished Trump's campaign from more traditional Republican campaigns was that it actively and explicitly pitted one group's equality (white men) against everyone else's (immigrants, women, Muslims, minorities, etc.). As Catherine Rottenberg suggests, Trump offered voters a choice between a multiracial society (where folks are increasingly disadvantaged and dispossessed) and white supremacy (where white people would be back on top). However, "[w]hat he neglected to state," Rottenberg writes,

is that neoliberalism flourishes in societies where the playing field is already stacked against various segments of society, and that it needs only a relatively small select group of capital-enhancing subjects, while everyone else is ultimately dispensable. 1

In other words, Trump supporters may not have explicitly voted for neoliberalism, but that's what they got. In fact, as Rottenberg argues, they got a version of right neoliberalism "on steroids" -- a mix of blatant plutocracy and authoritarianism that has many concerned about the rise of U.S. fascism.

We can't know what would have happened had Sanders run against Trump, but we can think seriously about Trump, right and left neoliberalism, and the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. In other words, we can think about where and how we go from here. As I suggested in the previous chapter, if we want to construct a new world, we are going to have to abandon the entangled politics of both right and left neoliberalism; we have to reject the hegemonic frontiers of both disposability and marketized equality. After all, as political philosopher Nancy Fraser argues, what was rejected in the election of 2016 was progressive, left neoliberalism.

While the rise of hyper-right neoliberalism is certainly nothing to celebrate, it does present an opportunity for breaking with neoliberal hegemony. We have to proceed, as Gary Younge reminds us, with the realization that people "have not rejected the chance of a better world. They have not yet been offered one."'

Mark Fisher, the author of Capitalist Realism, put it this way:

The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.4

I think that, for the first time in the history of U.S. capitalism, the vast majority of people might sense the lie of liberal, capitalist democracy. They feel anxious, unfree, disaffected. Fantasies of the good life have been shattered beyond repair for most people. Trump and this hopefully brief triumph of right neoliberalism will soon lay this bare for everyone to see. Now, with Trump, it is absolutely clear: the rich rule the world; we are all disposable; this is no democracy. The question becomes: How will we show up for history? Will there be new stories, ideas, visions, and fantasies to attach to? How can we productively and meaningful intervene in the crisis of neoliberalism? How can we "tear a hole in the grey curtain" and open up better worlds? How can we put what we've learned to use and begin to imagine and build a world beyond living in competition? I hope our critical journey through the neoliberal conjuncture has enabled you to begin to answer these questions.

More specifically, in recent decades, especially since the end of the Cold War, our common-good sensibilities have been channeled into neoliberal platforms for social change and privatized action, funneling our political energies into brand culture and marketized struggles for equality (e.g., charter schools, NGOs and non-profits, neoliberal antiracism and feminism). As a result, despite our collective anger and disaffected consent, we find ourselves stuck in capitalist realism with no real alternative. Like the neoliberal care of the self, we are trapped in a privatized mode of politics that relies on cruel optimism; we are attached, it seems, to politics that inspire and motivate us to action, while keeping us living in competition.

To disrupt the game, we need to construct common political horizons against neoliberal hegemony. We need to use our common stories and common reason to build common movements against precarity -- for within neoliberalism, precarity is what ultimately has the potential to thread all of our lives together. Put differently, the ultimate fault line in the neoliberal conjiuicture is the way it subjects us all to precarity and the biopolitics of disposability, thereby creating conditions of possibility for new coalitions across race, gender, citizenship, sexuality, and class. Recognizing this potential for coalition in the face of precarization is the most pressing task facing those who are yearning for a new world. The question is: How do we get there? How do we realize these coalitional potentialities and materialize common horizons?

HOW WE GET THERE

Ultimately, mapping the neoliberal conjuncture through everyday life in enterprise culture has not only provided some direction in terms of what we need; it has also cultivated concrete and practical intellectual resources for political interv ention and social interconnection -- a critical toolbox for living in common. More specifically, this book has sought to provide resources for thinking and acting against the four Ds: resources for engaging in counter-conduct, modes of living that refuse, on one hand, to conduct one's life according to the norm of enterprise, and on the other, to relate to others through the norm of competition. Indeed, we need new ways of relating, interacting, and living as friends, lovers, workers, vulnerable bodies, and democratic people if we are to write new stories, invent new govemmentalities, and build coalitions for new worlds.

Against Disimagination: Educated Hope and Affirmative Speculation

We need to stop turning inward, retreating into ourselves, and taking personal responsibility for our lives (a task which is ultimately impossible). Enough with the disimagination machine! Let's start looking outward, not inward -- to the broader structures that undergird our lives. Of course, we need to take care of ourselves; we must survive. But I firmly believe that we can do this in ways both big and small, that transform neoliberal culture and its status-quo stories.

Here's the thing I tell my students all the time. You cannot escape neoliberalism. It is the air we breathe, the water in which we swim. No job, practice of social activism, program of self-care, or relationship will be totally free from neoliberal impingements and logics. There is no pure "outside" to get to or work from -- that's just the nature of the neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power. But let's not forget that neoliberalism's totalizing cultural power is also a source of weakness. Potential for resistance is everywhere, scattered throughout our everyday lives in enterprise culture. Our critical toolbox can help us identify these potentialities and navigate and engage our conjuncture in ways that tear open up those new worlds we desire.

In other words, our critical perspective can help us move through the world with what Henry Giroux calls educated hope. Educated hope means holding in tension the material realities of power and the contingency of history. This orientation of educated hope knows very well what we're up against. However, in the face of seemingly totalizing power, it also knows that neoliberalism can never become total because the future is open. Educated hope is what allows us to see the fault lines, fissures, and potentialities of the present and emboldens us to think and work from that sliver of social space where we do have political agency and freedom to construct a new world. Educated hope is what undoes the power of capitalist realism. It enables affirmative speculation (such as discussed in Chapter 5), which does not try to hold the future to neoliberal horizons (that's cruel optimism!), but instead to affirm our commonalities and the potentialities for the new worlds they signal. Affirmative speculation demands a different sort of risk calculation and management. It senses how little we have to lose and how much we have to gain from knocking the hustle of our lives.

Against De-democratization: Organizing and Collective Coverning

We can think of educated hope and affirmative speculation as practices of what Wendy Brown calls "bare democracy" -- the basic idea that ordinary' people like you and me should govern our lives in common, that we should critique and try to change our world, especially the exploitative and oppressive structures of power that maintain social hierarchies and diminish lives. Neoliberal culture works to stomp out capacities for bare democracy by transforming democratic desires and feelings into meritocratic desires and feelings. In neoliberal culture, utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective utopian sensibilities are directed away from the promise of collective governing to competing for equality.

We have to get back that democractic feeling! As Jeremy Gilbert taught us, disaffected consent is a post-democratic orientation. We don't like our world, but we don't think we can do anything about it. So, how do we get back that democratic feeling? How do we transform our disaffected consent into something new? As I suggested in the last chapter, we organize. Organizing is simply about people coming together around a common horizon and working collectively to materialize it. In this way, organizing is based on the idea of radical democracy, not liberal democracy. While the latter is based on formal and abstract rights guaranteed by the state, radical democracy insists that people should directly make the decisions that impact their lives, security, and well-being. Radical democracy is a practice of collective governing: it is about us hashing out, together in communities, what matters, and working in common to build a world based on these new sensibilities.

The work of organizing is messy, often unsatisfying, and sometimes even scary. Organizing based on affirmative speculation and coalition-building, furthermore, will have to be experimental and uncertain. As Lauren Berlant suggests, it means "embracing the discomfort of affective experience in a truly open social life that no

one has ever experienced." Organizing through and for the common "requires more adaptable infrastructures. Keep forcing the existing infrastructures to do what they don't know how to do. Make new ways to be local together, where local doesn't require a physical neighborhood." 5 What Berlant is saying is that the work of bare democracy requires unlearning, and detaching from, our current stories and infrastructures in order to see and make things work differently. Organizing for a new world is not easy -- and there are no guarantees -- but it is the only way out of capitalist realism.

Against Disposability: Radical Equality

Getting back democratic feeling will at once require and help us lo move beyond the biopolitics of disposability and entrenched systems of inequality. On one hand, organizing will never be enough if it is not animated by bare democracy, a sensibility that each of us is equally important when it comes to the project of determining our lives in common. Our bodies, our hurts, our dreams, and our desires matter regardless of our race, gender, sexuality, or citizenship, and regardless of how r much capital (economic, social, or cultural) we have. Simply put, in a radical democracy, no one is disposable. This bare-democratic sense of equality must be foundational to organizing and coalition-building. Otherwise, we will always and inevitably fall back into a world of inequality.

On the other hand, organizing and collective governing will deepen and enhance our sensibilities and capacities for radical equality. In this context, the kind of self-enclosed individualism that empowers and underwrites the biopolitics of disposability melts away, as we realize the interconnectedness of our lives and just how amazing it feels to

fail, we affirm our capacities for freedom, political intervention, social interconnection, and collective social doing.

Against Dispossession: Shared Security and Common Wealth

Thinking and acting against the biopolitics of disposability goes hand-in-hand with thinking and acting against dispossession. Ultimately, when we really understand and feel ourselves in relationships of interconnection with others, we want for them as we want for ourselves. Our lives and sensibilities of what is good and just are rooted in radical equality, not possessive or self-appreciating individualism. Because we desire social security and protection, we also know others desire and deserve the same.

However, to really think and act against dispossession means not only advocating for shared security and social protection, but also for a new society that is built on the egalitarian production and distribution of social wealth that we all produce. In this sense, we can take Marx's critique of capitalism -- that wealth is produced collectively but appropriated individually -- to heart. Capitalism was built on the idea that one class -- the owners of the means of production -- could exploit and profit from the collective labors of everyone else (those who do not own and thus have to work), albeit in very different ways depending on race, gender, or citizenship. This meant that, for workers of all stripes, their lives existed not for themselves, but for others (the appropriating class), and that regardless of what we own as consumers, we are not really free or equal in that bare-democratic sense of the word.

If we want to be really free, we need to construct new material and affective social infrastructures for our common wealth. In these new infrastructures, wealth must not be reduced to economic value; it must be rooted in social value. Here, the production of wealth does not exist as a separate sphere from the reproduction of our lives. In other words, new infrastructures, based on the idea of common wealth, will not be set up to exploit our labor, dispossess our communities, or to divide our lives. Rather, they will work to provide collective social resources and care so that we may all be free to pursue happiness, create beautiful and/or useful things, and to realize our potential within a social world of living in common. Crucially, to create the conditions for these new, democratic forms of freedom rooted in radical equality, we need to find ways to refuse and exit the financial networks of Empire and the dispossessions of creditocracy, building new systems that invite everyone to participate in the ongoing production of new worlds and the sharing of the wealth that we produce in common.

It's not up to me to tell you exactly where to look, but I assure you that potentialities for these new worlds are everywhere around you.

[Feb 05, 2019] The bottom line is that this preoccupation with the 'headline number' for the current month as a single datapoint that is promoted by Wall Street and the Government for official economic data is a nasty neoliberal propaganda trick. You need to analise the whole time serioes to get an objective picture

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And as for the median wage and income -- it is still too weak to sustain an economic recovery. ..."
Feb 05, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

The bottom line is that this preoccupation with the 'headline number' for the current month as a single datapoint that is promoted by Wall Street and the Government for official economic data is misleading.

The effective method of considering a heavily adjusted and revised data series like this is with a trend analysis of at least seven to twelve observations, and more if you can get them.

But, that makes for a much less interesting and convenient narrative.

And as for the median wage and income -- it is still too weak to sustain an economic recovery.

Stocks were a bit weak today, despite all this fabulous economic data, having exhausted the sugar rush that was spoonfed to them by their friendly neighborhood Federal Reserve.

[Feb 03, 2019] Neoliberalism and Christianity

Highly recommended!
Money quote: " neoliberalism is the fight of finance to subdue society at large, and to make the bankers and creditors today in the position that the landlords were under feudalism."
Notable quotes:
"... ... if you take the Bible literally, it's the fight in almost all of the early books of the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible, all about the fight over indebtedness and debt cancellation. ..."
"... neoliberalism is the fight of finance to subdue society at large,and to make the bankers and creditors today in the position that the landlords were under feudalism. ..."
"... They call themselves free marketers, but they realize that you cannot have neoliberalism unless you're willing to murder and assassinate everyone who promotes an alternative ..."
"... Just so long as you remember that most of the strongest and most moving condemnations of greed and money in the ancient and (today) western world are also Jewish--i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, the Gospels, Letter of James, etc. ..."
"... The history of Jewish banking after the fall or Rome is inextricable from cultural anti-judaism of Christian west and east and de facto marginalization/ghettoization of Jews from most aspects of social life. The Jewish lending of money on interest to gentiles was both necessary for early mercantilist trade and yet usury was prohibited by the church. So Jewish money lenders were essential to and yet ostracized within European economies for centuries. ..."
"... Now Christianity has itself long given up on the tradition teaching against usury of course. ..."
"... In John, for instance most of the references to what in English is translated as "the Jews" are in Greek clearly references to "the Judaeans"--and especially to the ruling elite among the southern tribe in bed with the Romans. ..."
May 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 1, 2018 2:27:06 PM | 13

Just finished reading the fascinating Michael Hudson interview I linked to on previous thread; but since we're discussing Jews and their religion in a tangential manner, I think it appropriate to post here since the history Hudson explains is 100% key to the ongoing pain us humans feel and inflict. My apologies in advance, but it will take this long excerpt to explain what I mean:

"Tribes: When does the concept of a general debt cancellation disappear historically?

"Michael: I guess in about the second or third century AD it was downplayed in the Bible. After Jesus died, you had, first of all, St Paul taking over, and basically Christianity was created by one of the most evil men in history, the anti-Semite Cyril of Alexandria. He gained power by murdering his rivals, the Nestorians, by convening a congress of bishops and killing his enemies. Cyril was really the Stalin figure of Christianity, killing everybody who was an enemy, organizing pogroms against the Jews in Alexandria where he ruled.

"It was Cyril that really introduced into Christianity the idea of the Trinity. That's what the whole fight was about in the third and fourth centuries AD. Was Jesus a human, was he a god? And essentially you had the Isis-Osiris figure from Egypt, put into Christianity. The Christians were still trying to drive the Jews out of Christianity. And Cyril knew the one thing the Jewish population was not going to accept would be the Isis figure and the Mariolatry that the church became. And as soon as the Christian church became the establishment rulership church, the last thing it wanted in the West was debt cancellation.

"You had a continuation of the original Christianity in the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Orthodox Church, all the way through Byzantium. And in my book And Forgive Them Their Debts, the last two chapters are on the Byzantine echo of the original debt cancellations, where one ruler after another would cancel the debts. And they gave very explicit reason for it: if we don't cancel the debts, we're not going to be able to field an army, we're not going to be able to collect taxes, because the oligarchy is going to take over. They were very explicit, with references to the Bible, references to the jubilee year. So you had Christianity survive in the Byzantine Empire. But in the West it ended in Margaret Thatcher. And Father Coughlin.

"Tribes: He was the '30s figure here in the States.

"Michael: Yes: anti-Semite, right-wing, pro-war, anti-labor. So the irony is that you have the people who call themselves fundamentalist Christians being against everything that Jesus was fighting for, and everything that original Christianity was all about."

Hudson says debt forgiveness was one of the central tenets of Judaism: " ... if you take the Bible literally, it's the fight in almost all of the early books of the Old Testament, the Jewish Bible, all about the fight over indebtedness and debt cancellation. "

Looks like I'll be purchasing Hudson's book as he's essentially unveiling a whole new, potentially revolutionary, historical interpretation.

psychohistorian , May 1, 2018 3:31:50 PM | 26
@ karlof1 with the Michale Hudson link....thanks!!

Here is the quote that I really like from that interview
"
Michael: No. You asked what is the fight about? The fight is whether the state will be taken over, essentially to be an extension of Wall Street if you do not have government planning. Every economy is planned. Ever since the Neolithic (era), you've had to have (a form of) planning. If you don't have a public authority doing the planning, then the financial authority becomes the planners. So globalism is in the financial interest –Wall Street and the City of London, doing the planning, not governments. They will do the planning in their own interest. So neoliberalism is the fight of finance to subdue society at large,and to make the bankers and creditors today in the position that the landlords were under feudalism.
"

karlof1, please email me as I would like to read the book as well and maybe we can share a copy.

And yes, it is relevant to Netanyahoo and his ongoing passel of lies because humanity has been told and been living these lives for centuries...it is time to stop this shit and grow up/evolve

james , May 1, 2018 10:30:01 PM | 96
@13 / 78 karlof1... thanks very much for the links to michael hudson, alastair crooke and the bruno maraces articles...

they were all good for different reasons, but although hudson is being criticized for glossing over some of his talking points, i think the main thrust of his article is very worthwhile for others to read! the quote to end his article is quite good "The question is, who do you want to run the economy? The 1% and the financial sector, or the 99% through politics? The fight has to be in the political sphere, because there's no other sphere that the financial interests cannot crush you on."

it seems to me that the usa has worked hard to bad mouth or get rid of government and the concept of government being involved in anything.. of course everything has to be run by a 'private corp' - ie corporations must run everything.. they call them oligarchs when talking about russia, lol - but they are corporations when they are in the usa.. slight rant..

another quote i especially liked from hudson.. " They call themselves free marketers, but they realize that you cannot have neoliberalism unless you're willing to murder and assassinate everyone who promotes an alternative ." that sounds about right...

@ 84 juliania.. aside from your comments on hudsons characterization of st paul "the anti-Semite Cyril of Alexandria" further down hudson basically does the same with father coughlin - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Coughlin.. he gets the anti-semite tag as well.. i don't know much about either characters, so it's mostly greek to me, but i do find some of hudsons views especially appealing - debt forgiveness being central to the whole article as i read it...

it is interesting my own view on how money is so central to the world and how often times I am incapable of avoiding the observation of the disproportionate number of Jewish people in banking.. I guess that makes me anti-semite too, but i don't think of myself that way.. I think the obsession with money is killing the planet.. I don't care who is responsible for keeping it going, it is killing us...

WJ | May 1, 2018 10:48:58 PM | 100

James @96,

Just so long as you remember that most of the strongest and most moving condemnations of greed and money in the ancient and (today) western world are also Jewish--i.e. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, the Gospels, Letter of James, etc.

The history of Jewish banking after the fall or Rome is inextricable from cultural anti-judaism of Christian west and east and de facto marginalization/ghettoization of Jews from most aspects of social life. The Jewish lending of money on interest to gentiles was both necessary for early mercantilist trade and yet usury was prohibited by the church. So Jewish money lenders were essential to and yet ostracized within European economies for centuries.

Now Christianity has itself long given up on the tradition teaching against usury of course.

WJ , May 1, 2018 8:23:40 PM | 88
Juliana @84,

I too greatly admire the work of Hudson but he consistently errs and oversimplifies whenever discussing the beliefs of and the development of beliefs among preNicene followers of the way (as Acts puts is) or Christians (as they came to be known in Antioch within roughly eight or nine decades after Jesus' death.) Palestinian Judaism in the time of Jesus was much more variegated than scholars even twenty years ago had recognized. The gradual reception and interpretation of the Dead Sea Scrolls in tandem with renewed research into Phili of Alexandria, the Essenes, the so-called Sons of Zadok, contemporary Galilean zealot movements styles after the earlier Maccabean resistance, the apocalyptism of post exilic texts like Daniel and (presumably) parts of Enoch--all paint a picture of a highly diverse group of alternatives to the state-Church once known as Second Temple Judaism that has been mistaken as undisputed Jewish "orthodoxy" since the advent of historical criticism.

The Gospel of John, for example, which dates from betweeen 80-120 and is the record of a much earlier oral tradition, is already explicitly binitarian, and possibly already trinitarian depending on how one understands the relationship between the Spirit or Advocate and the Son. (Most ante-Nicene Christians understood the Spirit to be *Christ's* own spirit in distributed form, and they did so by appeal to a well-developed but still largely under recognized strand in Jewish angelology.)

The "theological" development of Christianity occurred much sooner that it has been thought because it emerged from an already highly theologized strand or strands of Jewish teaching that, like Christianity itself, privileged the Abrahamic covenant over the Mosaic Law, the testament of grace over that of works, and the universal scope of revelation and salvation as opposed to any political or ethnic reading of the "Kingdom."

None of these groups were part of the ruling class of Judaean priests and levites and their hangers on the Pharisees.

In John, for instance most of the references to what in English is translated as "the Jews" are in Greek clearly references to "the Judaeans"--and especially to the ruling elite among the southern tribe in bed with the Romans.

So the anti-Judaism/Semiti of John's Gispel largely rests on a mistranslation. In any event, everything is much more complex than Hudson makes it out to be. Christian economic radicalism is alive and well in the thought of Gregory of Nysa and Basil the Great, who also happened to be Cappadocian fathers highly influential in the development of "orthodox" Trinitarianism in the fourth century.

I still think that Hudson's big picture critique of the direction later Christianity took is helpful and necessary, but this doesn't change the fact that he simplifies the origins, development, and arguably devolution of this movement whenever he tries to get specific. It is a worthwhile danger given the quality of his work in historical economics, but still one has to be aware of.

[Jan 29, 2019] The Religious Fanaticism of Silicon Valley Elites by Paul Ingrassia

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As our society rushes toward technological ataraxia , it may do us some good to ponder the costs of what has become Silicon Valley's new religious covenant. For the enlightened technocrat and the venture capitalist, God is long dead and buried, democracy sundered, the American dream lost. These beliefs they keep hush-hushed, out of earshot of their consumer base. Best not to run afoul of the millions of middle-class Americans who have developed slavish devotions to their smartphones and tablets and Echo Dots, pouring billions into the coffers of the ballooning technocracy. ..."
"... The problem with Silicon Valley elites is a bit simpler than that. They are all very smart, but their knowledge is limited. They know everything about electronics, computers, and coding, but know little of history, philosophy, or the human condition. Hence they see everything as an engineering problem, something with an optimal, measurable solution. ..."
"... As Tucker Carlson is realizing, Artificial Intelligence eliminating around 55% of all jobs (as the Future of Employment study found) so that wealthy people can have more disposable income to demand other services also provided by robots is madness. This is religious devotion either to defacto anarcho-capitalism, transhumanism, or both. ..."
"... @TheSnark -- valid observation: The Silicon Valley elites " know everything about electronics, computers, and coding, but know little of history, philosophy, or the human condition." Religion is not an engineering issue. Knowing a little about history, philosophy, human condition would help them to understand that humans need something for their soul. And the human soul is not described by boolean "1"s or "0"s ..."
"... Zuckerberg's comment about the Roman Empire is bizzare.to say the least. Augustus didn't create "200 years of peace". The Roman Empire was constantly conquering its neighbors. And of the first 5 Roman Emperors, Augustus was the only one who defintly died of natural causes ..."
"... This time period was an extremely violent time period. The fact that Zuckerberg doesn't realize this, indicates to me that while he is smart at creating a business, he is basically a pseudo-intellectual ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

They've rejected God and tradition in favor of an egoistic radicalism that sees their fellow man as expendable.

As our society rushes toward technological ataraxia , it may do us some good to ponder the costs of what has become Silicon Valley's new religious covenant. For the enlightened technocrat and the venture capitalist, God is long dead and buried, democracy sundered, the American dream lost. These beliefs they keep hush-hushed, out of earshot of their consumer base. Best not to run afoul of the millions of middle-class Americans who have developed slavish devotions to their smartphones and tablets and Echo Dots, pouring billions into the coffers of the ballooning technocracy.

While Silicon Valley types delay giving their own children screens, knowing full well their deleterious effects on cognitive and social development (not to mention their addictive qualities), they hardly bat an eye when handing these gadgets to our middle class. Some of our Silicon oligarchs have gone so far as to call these products "demonic," yet on they go ushering them into schools, ruthlessly agnostic as to whatever reckoning this might have for future generations.

As they do this, their political views seem to become more radical by the day. They as a class represent the junction of meritocracy and the soft nihilism that has infiltrated almost every major institution in contemporary society. By day they inveigh against guns and walls and inequality; by night they decamp into multimillion-dollar bunkers, safeguarded against the rest of the world, shamelessly indifferent to their blatant hypocrisy. This cognitive dissonance results in a plundering worldview, one whose consequences are not yet fully understood but are certainly catastrophic. Its early casualties already include some of the most fundamental elements of American civil society: privacy, freedom of thought, even truth itself.

​Hence a recent New York Times profile of Silicon Valley's anointed guru, Yuval Harari. Harari is an Israeli futurist-philosopher whose apocalyptic forecasts, made in books like Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow , have tantalized some of the biggest names on the political and business scenes, including Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. The Times portrays Harari as gloomy about the modern world and especially its embrace of technology:

Part of the reason might be that Silicon Valley, at a certain level, is not optimistic on the future of democracy. The more of a mess Washington becomes, the more interested the tech world is in creating something else, and it might not look like elected representation. Rank-and-file coders have long been wary of regulation and curious about alternative forms of government. A separatist streak runs through the place: Venture capitalists periodically call for California to secede or shatter, or for the creation of corporate nation-states. And this summer, Mark Zuckerberg, who has recommended Mr. Harari to his book club, acknowledged a fixation with the autocrat Caesar Augustus. "Basically," Mr. Zuckerberg told The New Yorker, "through a really harsh approach, he established 200 years of world peace."

Harari understands that liberal democracy is in peril, and he's taken it upon himself to act as a foil to the anxieties of the elite class. In return, they regale him with lavish dinner parties and treat him like their maharishi. Yet from reading the article, one gets the impression that, at least in Harari's view, this is but a facade, or what psychologists call "reaction formation." In other words, by paying lip service to Harari, who is skeptical of their designs, our elites hope to spare themselves from incurring any moral responsibility for the costs of their social engineering. And "social engineering" is not a farfetched term to use. A portion of the Times article interrogates the premise of Aldous Huxley's dystopian 1932 novel Brave New World , which tells the story of a totalitarian regime that has anesthetized a docile underclass into blind submission:

As we boarded the black gull-wing Tesla Mr. Harari had rented for his visit, he brought up Aldous Huxley. Generations have been horrified by his novel "Brave New World," which depicts a regime of emotion control and painless consumption. Readers who encounter the book today, Mr. Harari said, often think it sounds great. "Everything is so nice, and in that way it is an intellectually disturbing book because you're really hard-pressed to explain what's wrong with it," he said. "And you do get today a vision coming out of some people in Silicon Valley which goes in that direction."

Here, Harari divulges with brutal frankness the indisputable link between private atheism and political thought. Lacking an immutable ontology, man is left in the desert, unmoored from anything to keep his insatiable passions in check. His pride entices him into playing the role of God.

Big Government Isn't the Way to Fix Big Tech The Tech Giants Must Be Stopped

At one point in the article, Harari wonders why we should even maintain a low-skilled "useless" class, whose work is doomed to disappear over the next several decades, replaced by artificial intelligence. "You're totally expendable," Harari tells his audience. This is why, the Times says, the Silicon elites recommend social engineering solutions like universal income to try and mitigate the more unpleasant effects of that "useless" class. They seem unaware (or at least they're incapable of admitting) that human nature is imperfect, sinful, and can never be perfected from on high. Since many of the Silicon breed reject the possibility of a timeless, intelligent metaphysics (to say nothing of Christianity), such truisms about our natures go over their heads. Metaphysics aside, the fact that our elites are even thinking this way to begin with -- that technology may render an entire underclass "expendable" -- is in itself cause for concern. (As Keynes once quipped, "In the long run we are all dead.")

Harari seems to have a vendetta against traditions -- which can be extrapolated to the tradition of Western civilization writ large -- for long considering homosexuality aberrant. He is quoted as saying, "If society got this thing wrong, who guarantees it didn't get everything else wrong as well?" Thus do the Silicon elites have the audacity to shirk their entire Western birthright, handed down to them across generations, in the name of creating a utopia oriented around a modern, hyper-individualistic view of man.

When man abandons God, he begins to channel his religious desire, more devouring than even his sexual instinct, into other worldly outlets. Thus has modern liberalism evolved from a political school of thought into an out-and-out ecclesiology, one that perverts elements of Christian dogma into technocratic channels. (Of course, one can debate whether this was liberalism's intent in the first place.) Our elites have crafted for themselves a new religion. Humility to them is nothing more than a vice.

The reason the elites are entertaining alternatives to democracy is because they know that so long as we adhere to constitutional government -- our Ame