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Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy

There is no economics, only political economy, stupid

News Casino Capitalism Recommended Links Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Number racket Efficient Market Hypothesis Economism and abuse of economic theory in American politics
Supply Side or Trickle down economics Invisible Hand Hypothesys Twelve apostles of deregulation Monetarism fiasco Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Samuelson's bastard Keynesianism Greenspan as the Chairman of Financial Politburo
Libertarian Philosophy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Deep State
Free Market Fundamentalism Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Lawrence Summers Corruption of Regulators Glass-Steagall repeal Rational expectations scam Free Markets Newspeak
In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Mathiness GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Introduction to Lysenkoism Republican Economic Policy Think Tanks Enablers  Small government smoke screen
Hyman Minsky John Kenneth Galbraith  Bookshelf History of Casino Capitalism Casino Capitalism Dictionary :-) Humor Etc
Is it really necessary for every economist to be brain-dead apologist for the rich and powerful and predatory, in every damn breath?

Bruce Wilder in comments to Clash of Autonomy and Interdependence

Smith briskly takes a sledgehammer to any number of plaster saints cluttering up the edifice of modern economics:

"assumptions that are patently ridiculous: that individuals are rational and utility-maximizing (which has become such a slippery notion as to be meaningless), that buyers and sellers have perfect information, that there are no transaction costs, that capital flows freely"

And then...papers with cooked figures, economists oblivious to speculative factors driving oil prices, travesty versions of Keynes's ideas that airbrush out its most characteristic features in the name of mathematical tractability.

And then...any number of grand-sounding theoretical constructs: the Arrow-Debreu theorem, the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model, the Black-Scholes option model, Value at Risk, CAPM, the Gaussian copula, that only work under blatantly unrealistic assumptions that go by high falutin' names - equilibrium, ergodicity, and so on.

The outcome of this pseudo-scientific botching is an imposing corpus of pretentious quackery that somehow elevates unregulated "free markets" into the sole mechanism for distribution of the spoils of economic activity. We are supposed to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum indulgence of human greed results in maximum prosperity for all. That's unfair to alchemy: compared with the threadbare scientific underpinnings of this economic dogma, alchemy is a model of rigor.

How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism

How many others are being paid for punditry? Or has the culture of corruption spread so far that the question is, Who isn't?

PAUL KRUGMAN, NYT, December 19, 2005

"MIT and Wharton and University of Chicago created the financial engineering instruments which, like Samson and Delilah, blinded every CEO. They didn't realize the kind of leverage they were doing and they didn't understand when they were really creating a real profit or a fictitious one."

Paul Samuelson


Introduction

When you see this "neoclassical" gallery of expensive intellectual prostitutes (sorry, respectable priests of a dominant religion) that pretend to be professors of economics in various prominent universities, it is difficult not to say "It's political economy stupid". Those lackeys of ruling elite are just handing microphone bought by financial oligarchy.  Here is am Amazon.com review of  ECONned How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism eBook Yves Smith that  states this position well:

kievite:
Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy

There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.

Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.

Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.

The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.

The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.

The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Shiller story on p.9.

I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolshevics rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, abeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".

That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.

So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult, if you wish.

So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult, if you wish.

The cult which served as a Trojan horse for bankers to grab power and wealth by robbing fellow Americans. In a way this is a classic story of a parasite killing the host. The powers that be in academia put their imprimatur on economic ‘theory,’ select and indoctrinate its high priests to teach it, and with a host of media players grinding out arguments pro and con this and that, provide legitimacy sufficient for cover of bankers objectives. Which control the disposition and annuity streams of pension fund assets and related financial services. In his new documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson provides strong evidence of a systematic mass corruption of economic profession (Yahoo! Finance):

Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship between Wall Street, Washington and academia.

The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy advice that we get from academia.”

... ... ...

Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts of interest.”

The dismantling of economic schools that favor financial oligarchy interests over real research (and prosecuting academic criminals -- many prominent professors in Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and other prominent members of neo-classical economic church) require a new funding model. As neoliberalism itself, the neoclassical economy is very sticky. Chances for success of any reform in the current environment are slim to non existent.

Here is one apt quote from Zero Hedge discussion of Gonzalo Lira article On The Identity Of The False Religion Behind The Mask Of Economic Science zero hedge

"They analyze data for Christ sakes"

Just like Mishkin analyzed Iceland for $120k? a huge proportion in US [are] on Fed payroll, or beneficiaries of corporate thinktank cash; they are coverup lipstick and makeup; hacks for hire.

Like truth-trashing mortgage pushers, credit raters, CDO CDS market manipulators and bribe-fueled fraud enablers of all stripes -- they do it for the dough -- and because everybody else is doing it.

It's now a common understanding that "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, professors  of neoclassical economics from Chicago, Harvard and some other places are warmed by flow of money from financial services industries for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping financial oligarchy to destroy the country. This role of neo-classical economists as the fifth column of financial oligarchy is an interesting research topic. Just don't expect any grants for it ;-).

As Reinhold Niebuhr aptly noted in his classic Moral Man and Immoral Society
Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which they hold.

I would like to stress it again: they are not and never have been scientists: they are just high priests of dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the sect (and that means their own) benefits. Fifth column of financial oligarchy. All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: at some point state support became obvious as financial oligarchy gained significant share of government power (as Glass-Steagall repeal signified). It is just more subtle working via ostracism and flow of funding, without open repressions. See also Politicization of science and The Republican War on Science

Like Russia with Bolsheviks, the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the Chicago economic school that has dominated the field for approximately 50 years ( as minimum over 30 years). Actually the situation not unlike the situation with Lysenkoism is the USSR. It's pretty notable that the USA suffered 30 years of this farce, actually approximately the same amount of time the USSR scientific community suffered from Lysenkoism (1934-1965)

Rules of disclosure of sources of financing for economic research are non-existent


"Over the past 30 years, the economics profession—in economics departments, and in business, public policy, and law schools—has become so compromised by conflicts of interest that it now functions almost as a support group for financial services and other industries whose profits depend heavily on government policy.

The route to the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic problems that still plague us, runs straight through the economics discipline. And it's due not just to ideology; it's also about straightforward, old-fashioned money."

Peter Dormat noticed amazing similarity between medical researchers taking money from drug companies and economists. In case of medical researchers widespread corruption can at least be partially kept in check by rules of disclosure. Universities are being called out for their failure to disclose to public agencies the other, private grants researchers are pulling in. This is not perfect policing as the universities themselves get a cut of the proceeds, so that the conflict of interest exists but at least this is theirs too.

But there is no corresponding policy for economics. So for them there are not even rules to be broken. And this is not a bug, this is  feature.  In a sense corruption is officially institualized and expected in economics. Being a paid shill is the typical career of many professional economists. Some foundations require an acknowledgment in the published research they support, but that's all about “thank you”, not disclaimer about the level of influence of those who pay for the music exert on the selection of the tune. Any disclosure of other, privately-interested funding sources by economists is strictly voluntary, and in practice seldom occurs. Trade researchers can be funded by foreign governments or business associations and so on and so forth.

In this atmosphere pseudo-theories have currency and are attractive to economists who want to enrich themselves. That situation is rarely reflected in mainstream press. For example, there some superficial critiques of neo-classical economics as a new form of Lysenkoism (it enjoyed the support of the state) but MSM usually frame the meltdown of neo-classical economic theory something like "To all you corrupt jerks out there: shake off the old camouflage as it became too visible and find a new way misleading the masses...". At the same time it's a real shocker, what a bunch of toxic theories and ideologies starting from Reagan have done to the US economy.

That suggests that neo-economics such as Milton Friedman (and lower level patsies like Eugene Fama ) were just paid propagandists of a superficial, uninformed, and simplistic view of the world that was convenient to the ruling elite. While this is somewhat simplistic explanation, it's by-and-large true and that was one of the factors led the USA very close to the cliff... Most of their theories is not only just nonsense for any trained Ph.D level mathematician or computer scientist, they look like nonsense to any person with a college degree, who looks at them with a fresh, unprejudiced mind. There are several economic myths, popularized by well paid propagandists over the last thirty years, that are falling hard in the recent series of financial crises: the efficient market hypothesis, the inherent benefits of globalization from the natural equilibrium of national competitive advantages, and the infallibility of unfettered greed as a ideal method of managing and organizing human social behavior and maximizing national production.

I would suggest that and economic theory has a strong political-economic dimension. The cult of markets, ideological subservience and manipulation, etc. certainly are part of neo-classical economics that was influenced by underling political agenda this pseudo-theory promotes. As pdavidsonutk wrote: July 16, 2009 16:14

Keynes noted that "classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight --as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions. Yet in truth there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. SOMETHING SIMILAR IS REQUIRED IN ECONOMICS TODAY. " [Emphasis added]

As I pointed out in my 2007 book JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (Mentioned in this ECONOMIST article as a biography "of the master") Keynes threw over three classical axioms: (1) the neutral money axiom (2) the gross substitution axiom, and (3) the ergodic axiom.

The latter is most important for understanding why modern macroeconomics is dwelling in an Euclidean economics world rather than the non-Euclidean economics Keynes set forth.

The Ergodic axiom asserts that the future is merely the statistical shadow of the past so that if one develops a probability distribution using historical data, the same probability distribution will govern all future events till the end of time!! Thus in this Euclidean economics there is no uncertainty about the future only probabilistic risk that can reduce the future to actuarial certainty! In such a world rational people and firms know (with actuarial certainty) their intertemporal budget constrains and optimize -- so that there can never be an loan defaults, insolvencies, or bankruptcies.

Keynes argued that important economic decisions involved nonergodic processes, so that the future could NOT be forecasted on the basis of past statistical probability results -- and therefore certain human institutions had to be develop0ed as part of the law of contracts to permit people to make crucial decisions regarding a future that they "knew" they could not know and still sleep at night. When the future seems very uncertain, then rational people in a nonergodic world would decide not to make any decisions to commit their real resources -- but instead save via liquid assets so they could make decisions another day when the future seemed to them less uncertain.

All this is developed and the policy implications derived in my JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (2007) book. Furthermore this nonergodic model is applied to the current financial and economic crisis and its solution in my 2009 book THE KEYNES SOLUTION: THE PATH TO GLOBAL PROSPERITY (Palgrave/Macmillan) where I tell the reader what Keynes would have written regarding today's domestic crisis in each nation and its international aspects.

Paul Davidson ghaliban wrote:

July 16, 2009 15:34

I think you could have written a shorter article to make your point about the dismal state of economics theory and practice, and saved space to think more imaginatively about ways to reform.

A bit like biology, economics must become econology - a study of real economic systems. It must give up its physics-envy. This on its own will lead its practitioners closer to the truth.

Like biological systems, economic systems are complex, and often exhibit emergent properties that cannot be predicted from the analysis of component parts. The best way to deal with this is (as in biology) to start with the basic organizational unit of analysis - the individual, and then study how the individual makes economic decisions in larger and larger groups (family/community), and how groups take economic decisions within larger and larger forms of economic organization. From this, econologists should determine whether there are any enduring patterns in how aggregate economic decisions are taken. If there are no easily discernable patterns, and aggregate decisions cannot be predicted from a knowledge of individual decision-making preferences, then the theory must rely (as it does in biology) on computer simulations with the economy replicated in as much detail as possible to limit the scope for modeling error. This path will illuminate the "physiology" of different economies.

A second area of development must look into "anatomy" - the connections between actors within the financial system, the connections between economic actors within the real economy, and the connections between the real and financial economies. What are the precise links demand and supply links between these groups, and how does money really flow through the economic system? A finer knowledge of economic anatomy will make it easier to produce better computer simulations of the economy, which will make it a bit easier to study economic physiology.

"Markets uber alles" or more correctly "Financial oligarchy uber alles"

In her interview What Exactly Is Neoliberalism  Wendy Brown advanced some Professor Wolin ideas to a new level and provide explanation why "neoclassical crooks" like Professor  Frederic Mishkin (of Financial Stability in Iceland fame) still rule the economics departments of the USA. They are instrumental in giving legitimacy to the neoliberal rule favoured by the financial oligarchy:

"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized" and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices. Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future value. ..."

"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital) and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."

"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule, not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility. ..."

"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West; and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities, especially labor. ..."

"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social, cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces, schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks, objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill it with "best practices." ..."

"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital, corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for public deliberation and persuasion. ..."

"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today. Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."

 


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Old News ;-)

I find an attempt to elevate academic finance and economics to sciences by using the word "scientism" to be bizarre. Finance models like CAPM, Black-Scholes and VAR all rest on assumptions that are demonstrably false, such as rational investors and continuous markets.

May 11, 2012 at 1-40 pm

[Oct 21, 2018] Trump To Pull U.S. Out Of 1987 Nuclear Weapons Treaty With Russia

Oct 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"We're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement," Trump said Saturday after a campaign rally in Elko, Nevada. "We're going to terminate the agreement." As Russia continues to outmaneuver the US by developing new ballistic missiles like the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, as well as hypersonic weapons capable of carrying a nuclear payload, President Trump said Saturday that he plans to abandon a 1987 arms-control treaty that has (on paper, at least) prohibited the US and Russia from deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles as Russia has continued to "repeatedly violate" its terms according to the president, the Associated Press reports.

"We're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement," Trump said Saturday after a campaign rally in Elko, Nevada. "We're going to terminate the agreement."

In a report that undoubtedly further complicated John Bolton's weekend trip to Moscow, the Guardian revealed on Friday that the national security advisor - in what some described as an overreach of the position's typical role - had been pushing Trump to abandon the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The announcement comes after the U.S. had been warning Russia it could resort to strong countermeasures unless Moscow complies with international commitments to arms reduction under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a pact struck in the 1980s.

When first signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev following their historic 1986 meeting, the INF was touted as an important deescalation of tensions between the two superpowers. But it has since become a flashpoint in the increasingly strained relationship between the US and Russia, as both sides have accused the other of violating its terms.

But for the US, Russia is only part of the problem.

The New York Times reported that the pact has limited the US from deploying weapons to counter the burgeoning military threat posed by China in the Western Pacific, where the country has ignored claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea and transformed reefs into military bases. And since China was never a party to the treaty, Beijing can hardly cry foul when the US decides to withdrawal, especially because Russia is already openly using the treaty as toilet paper.

Speaking at a rally in Elko Nevada, President Trump accused Russia of violating the agreement and said he didn't want to leave the US in a position where Russia would be free to "go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to."

"Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years," Trump said after a rally in Elko, Nevada. "And we're not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and go out and do weapons and we're not allowed to."

Therefore, unless both Russia and China - which isn't a party to the pact - agree to not develop these weapons, the US would be remiss to continue abiding by the terms of the agreement.

"We'll have to develop those weapons, unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let's really get smart and let's none of us develop those weapons, but if Russia's doing it and if China's doing it, and we're adhering to the agreement, that's unacceptable," he said.

While the decision to abandon this treaty - which doesn't bode well for negotiations to extend the New START treaty after it expires in 2021 - carries serious weight, many Americans and Russians, having never lived through a war, might remain ignorant to the potential consequences, as one analyst opined.

"We are slowly slipping back to the situation of cold war as it was at the end of the Soviet Union, with quite similar consequences, but now it could be worse because (Russian President Vladimir) Putin belongs to a generation that had no war under its belt," said Dmitry Oreshkin, an independent Russian political analyst. "These people aren't as much fearful of a war as people of Brezhnev's epoch. They think if they threaten the West properly, it gets scared."

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to try and get in front of the US's decision to leave this week when he declared that Russia would abide by a policy of nonaggression regarding its nuclear arsenal, agreeing only to use its nuclear weapons if it is attacked first.

Although some inside the Pentagon are reportedly wary of abandoning the treaty, Putin's word is hardly enough to reassure uberhawks like Bolton because the fact remains that if Russia did decide to use any of the array of nuclear arms that it is currently developing, there would be nothing stopping it. And with the US already behind in its push to manufacture advanced weapons like hypersonic missiles, any obstacles to deploying these types of weapons will only serve to weaken the US and strengthen its geopolitical adversaries.

Watch President Trump's remarks from the rally below:


DingleBarryObummer , 11 minutes ago link

(((orange man))) bad

blind_understanding , 22 minutes ago link

That makes 2 major international treaties Trump has welshed on, so far.

1) Iran nuke deal

2) Russia nuke deal

And he always blames the other side, with some unprovable allegation, to cover his ***.

Joe A , 28 minutes ago link

The cold war was fought by people who lived through the horrors of WWII. Both sides managed to control their respective neocons. That generation is no longer in power and people that think a first strike and a winnable nuclear war are possible are in control on both sides. Yes, we have two tribes.

pinkfloyd , 2 hours ago link

When I hear of democrats calling trump negative things, like racist or whatever...I just laugh at their ignorant fat asses..

But here on ZH, people actually make good points on both sides of trump being trojan horse for deep state, or trump fighting the deep state..

I personally do not see evidence enough to draw a conclusion, but I am hoping he is not deep state...in any case, its been watching the left squirm, MSM going downhill in temper tantrums, comey and others fired.. There is no proof that there is a supreme being or "God" that created the earth. I just believe it because I believe in His son...Maybe I will trust trump actually puts hillary in jail..I mean coe on guys, as you notice, I am careful about my decisions, but the crimes hillary has commited, and the evidence to back it up, is beyond a shadow of a doubt, and everyone here knows it...she needs to be in ******* gitmo

gatorengineer , 2 hours ago link

There is NO question right now that Trump is Deepstate. The only question is was he ever not deep state NeoCon.

curbjob , 3 hours ago link

It's the debt that will become radioactive.

With the US spending over 50% of the budget on defense, it won't take much longer for its infrastructure to collapse under the weight of neglect.

dirty fingernails , 2 hours ago link

McConnell just called to cut SS and Medicaid to balance the budget right after giving the Pentagram a raise.

rwe2late , 3 hours ago link

" unless Russia comes to us and China comes to us and they all come to us and say let's really get smart and let's none of us develop those weapons "

Does anybody believe Trump's offer is real?

Like the USA and Israel are going to give up their nuclear weapons and missiles?

Yeah, give up weaponizing space and the missile (first-strike) encirclement of Russia.

The MIC would not even allow the denuclearization of the Korean penisula, nor withdrawal from any of the invaded/occupied nations. The MIC wants to sell to the Saudis, re-arm Japan, and have Kiev join NATO.

Who can believe the MIC-owned Congress will ratify any disarmament treaties?

Will any Israeli-first president ever back a denuclearized Israel?

Karmageddon , 3 hours ago link

Treaty or not MAD is still in effect... hopefully this will steady the hand of the neocon scum who have hijacked the US government, but with the current crop of demons in the state department who knows?

MalteseFalcon , 4 hours ago link

So we had the end of the cold war and the end of the nuclear threat.

Now after 28 years of failed empire building we're back here again.

**** that.

Thordoom , 2 hours ago link

You can expect that Kaliningrad is going to be armed with all kinds of nuclear candies ready to blow Europe up as soo as they see the strike is coming. How is that goign to help Poland or Europe for that matter? I have no idea.

You can also expect that the Russian's Subs and Poseidon are going to be around US shores constantly ready for unleash Nuclear tsunamis with cobalt 60 in them.

The Chines are going to build military and naval base in Venezuela for sure with nukes and we could also see much more to come.

Like we didn't have a Spanish fighter jet missile accidently launched near Russian border just a couple of days ago.

Like we didn't see US Navy accidents crashing into tankers.

We do not really have a ******* adults running NATO nowadays. Its all tranny shitshow with no nerves of steal and thinking.

If you thought the old Cold War hawks back there who wanted to nuke Soviet Union and unleash Operation Northwood just to have a war were crazy than think how stupid and out of touch with reality this twats are.

That we haven't seen WW3 yet is becasue of Russians restrain but once you push it too far and they increasingly are pushing it too far, then they will murder our asses like beasts. Just look at what the pilot who got shot down last time did. He rather blew himself up with grenade killing as much terrorist as possible after he ran out of ammo than being captured.

That is who we are dealing here with ladies & gentleman.

Do we really needs this ? Do we want this?

herbivore , 3 hours ago link

Is Trump even aware that the U.S. broke its "iron-clad guarantees" that NATO would not expand "one inch eastward?" If I lived in Russia, I would look nervously at the increasing military hardware near my border !

[Oct 21, 2018] The "original" so-called intelligence report was a load of BS

It is now clear the FBI interferes in the US election and in the most recent Presidential election even tried to become the kingmaker.
Oct 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BakedBeans , 9 hours ago link

The "original" so-called intelligence report was a load of BS, I read it, I'm a computer engineer of over 30 years experience. My opinion is that it was pure BS, "filler" posing as a report, no evidence presented. Nothingburger. People then seized on it, waved it in the air, and said, "Here's the proof!". That's a common tactic that's been used over, and over. Here's the NY Times "correction". Note, after the correction, Hillary continued to spout the nonsense that 17 agencies all agreed. It was ONLY the FBI, CIA Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Dan Coats), and the NSA.

The puzzling part is this - since the "blame Russia" story is fake, why does the US continue to harass and provoke Russia, via Nato, Bolton, Haley? Who's in charge??

Correction: June 29, 2017

A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump's deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year's presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.

Count Cherep , 9 minutes ago link

Who's in charge?

The " Best Government Money Can Buy"

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/10/04/best-government-money-can-buy.html

Longfisher , 9 hours ago link

I believe Muller is going for criminal conspiracy and interference with an investigation charges, instead of collusion with Russia.

Thordoom , 9 hours ago link

But what if comes out that they didn't break any law ? They can ask for reparations of lost money because of sanction and then every sanctioned entity and individual in Russia can ask for reparations because of bogus charges.

bh2 , 10 hours ago link

It seems likely the overwhelming record of the Mueller "probe" into "interference in US elections" will be pretended prosecution of acts which never occurred or which violate no statutory laws.

In other words, it's been a political stunt with no lawful foundation from the very beginning.

Had they bothered to look into FBI and DNC/Hillary efforts to deceptively manipulate public perception with false accusations, they would have found ample evidence of criminal conduct.

So they didn't.

WTFUD , 9 hours ago link

Exactamundo , Mueller's core aim is to Deflect attention from the Real Criminals. He don' need no steenkin' evidence when pointing the finger.

Who's picking up his and his team's TAB?

Wahooo , 10 hours ago link

The Deep State sure hates Russia. What a bunch of cold war holdovers, should have been riffed decades ago.

glenlloyd , 5 hours ago link

I been waiting for some news on this one. I had heard a while back that Mueller tried to deny the Russian company the ability to contest the charges with that weak *** "they haven't been served properly" excuse only to have it rejected by the judge.

I hope this deflates on Mueller and leaves him open to charges by the others who he alleges conspired to meddle in US elections.

FFS the US meddles in EVERYONE's elections they now kicking and screaming cuz someone might have setup a troll farm or dispensed some info on Hillary that might not have been true (can it be?)

This will play out badly for the Mueller team, the judge already hates them and is disgusted by their tactics.

Count Cherep , 1 hour ago link

I am thoroughly disgusted with this charade.

There are so many important matters which need to be addressed, yet parasites like Mueller can waste millions of dollars on nonsense.

"Robert Mueller -- FBI director on 9-11; under his "leadership" FBI field agents' warnings of an imminent attack were stifled"

http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2014/01/those-still-alive-and-well.html

[Oct 21, 2018] What this accusation boils down to is saying that the Russian firm's deception is "proof" that they thought they were violating US law, and that this intention to break a non-existent law constitutes a framework under which they can be convicted of breaking a non-existent law. The crazy never stops.

Oct 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Old Poor Richard , 1 hour ago link

"Made up a crime to fit the facts they have" is a normal mode of operation for federal prosecutors. Hopefully the judge throws out all charges, but unlikely to have a broader impact on non-stop fabrications by US attorneys.

What this accusation boils down to is saying that the Russian firm's deception is "proof" that they thought they were violating US law, and that this intention to break a non-existent law constitutes a framework under which they can be convicted of breaking a non-existent law. The crazy never stops. Mueller and his minions should be disbarred.

Reaper , 2 hours ago link

Neo-American Law Rules: You're guilty of intent to commit the crime, rather than committing the crime.

KJWqonfo7 , 42 minutes ago link

It's called a thought crime, it's been around liberal circuits for years.

SirBarksAlot , 3 hours ago link

Wouldn't this set a dangerous precedent, if the judge ruled in favor of the government?

How many people have websites under fake names?

I guess they couldn't prove that they affected the outcome of the election, so they went for conspiracy instead.

DjangoCat , 1 hour ago link

Why is there any requirement to identify oneself beyond an alias, unless there are obligations of debt involved. Even there, the LLC places a barrier between an individual and the creditor.

I post with a pseudonym. My pseudonymous identity bears responsibility for its own reputation.

Algo Rhythm , 4 hours ago link

All of the clandestine branches of the Administrative State suck and need to be ended.

pparalegal , 4 hours ago link

ELECTION MEDDLING (as defined by Mueller and Kravis): every VPN blogger and/or user with more than one GMail account.

But NOT multi-million dollar foreign "contributions" to the Clinton Foundation. That have dried up since November of 2016. Oh no, nothing meddling about over there.

Scipio Africanuz , 5 hours ago link

By participation, do they mean like polls that consistently show the USA as the greatest impediment to global peace and tranquility? Or the numerous opinion sharers that the US government is depraved? Or like the kind of participation of Victoria "**** the EU" Nuland? Or like the Western sponsored Jihadi headchoppers hired to interfere in Syrian elections? Or like the US military fueled aggression against Yemeni sovereignty? Or like the US/Clinton sponsored destabilization of Libyan democracy? Or like the Obama/US sponsored destabilization of Egypt? Or like the US/Western sponsored failed coup in Turkey?

Or most crucially, the US/neoconservative never ending direct interference in internal Russian affairs?

These need to be clarified so folks can understand what meddling/interference/intervention means. It's not enough to point fingers, when worse activities have been, are being carried out by the pointers. Any society that abandons basic ethics, is one destined for the scrap heap of history.

Americans have forgotten what it means to be Americans, and this desperate gambit by the DOJ highlights viscerally, that the American system of government, one based on ethical values, is no more! It demonstrates the fragility of the system.

God alone knows if salvage is possible now, the USA has in the blink of an eye, become the erstwhile USSR, overly sensitive to the unworkability of its sociopolitical system. It is the end game of unsustainable imperium.

Live and learn folks, live and learn!...

hooligan2009 , 5 hours ago link

the law is straightforward.

a crime is committed. you define the crime, outline the harm and damage and seek out those that have perpetrated the crime.

you disclose your evidence, the accused is allowed to present an alibi.

a jury works out if the accused is guilty. a judge determines a sentence if guilt for a crime is proven.. based on evidence and argument.

in this case, no crime has been committed, no evidence of a crime has been presented and no trial can move forward.

those fabricating evidence and a crime are guilty of that.

**** or get off the pot!

PeterLong , 6 hours ago link

"Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. - Bloomberg " I didn't know Prof. Irwin Corey worked for the US Attorney's office. By this explanation whether you break a law or not you can be guilty of precluding these agencies from determining that you did not break a law, even if whatever you did to prevent such determination was not illegal.

TGF Texas , 6 hours ago link

I hate to be cynical, but...

didn't the Judge in Manaforts trial do something similar when he called out the Mueller team on their motivation's for bringing Manafort up on old charges the DOJ had previously declined to prosecute him on?

Joshua2415 , 2 hours ago link

The difference is that Manafort actually did break a genuine law.

Moribundus , 7 hours ago link

Amerika is 180 degree turn from my logic. Mueler presented fake evidence and fabricated Lockerbie trial. He was working with Steele.

So this is great guy to head FBI and bull sheet Russia medling. In normal country, guy like Mueler is so discredired that can be hapi to have county investigator job, not government job

G-R-U-N-T , 8 hours ago link

LOL, Mueller's investigation is fucked. Indeed, they are going to have to bring forth the evidence via discovery.

It will come to light they manufactured a crime without the evidence. Also, if they don't drop the case they're running the risk of exposing even more crimes they committed.

This is where the American people should rise up and repeal prosecutorial immunity and make the real criminal's pay the price for manufacturing crime's! Care to speculate how many prosecutor's wouldn't even touch a potential criminal with doubt of innocence, if indeed prosecutors were held accountable for their own crimes???

Like I've said, people have NO idea how raunchy and corrupt this manufactured Mueller investigation is, once the unredacted FISA warrant and 302's are released, the people will realize both the seditious and traitorous behavior that went on in the ObamaSpy ring to frame Trump!

[Oct 19, 2018] Federal Judge "Shocked" To Find Obama State Dept Lied To Protect Hillary From Email Server Lawsuits

Oct 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/18/2018 - 12:50 1.3K SHARES

The noose appears to be tightening further around the law-less behaviors of the Obama administration in their frantic efforts to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from lawsuits seeking information about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server and her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

As Fox News reports , the transparency group Judicial Watch initially sued the State Department in 2014, seeking information about the response to the Benghazi attack after the government didn't respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Other parallel lawsuits by Judicial Watch are probing issues like Clinton's server , whose existence was revealed during the course of the litigation.

The State Department had immediately moved to dismiss Judicial Watch's first lawsuit, but U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth (who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan) denied the request to dismiss the lawsuit at the time, and on Friday, he said he was happy he did, charging that State Department officials had intentionally misled him because other key documents, including those on Clinton's email server, had not in fact been produced.

"It was clear to me that at the time that I ruled initially, that false statements were made to me by career State Department officials , and it became more clear through discovery that the information that I was provided was clearly false regarding the adequacy of the search and this – what we now know turned out to be the Secretary's email system."

"I don't know the details of what kind of IG inquiry there was into why these career officials at the State Department would have filed false affidavits with me. I don't know the details of why the Justice Department lawyers did not know false affidavits were being filed with me, but I was very relieved that I did not accept them and that I allowed limited discovery into what had happened."

In a somewhat stunningly frank exchange with Justice Department lawyer Robert Prince, the judge pressed the issue, accusing Prince of using "doublespeak" and "playing the same word games [Clinton] played."

That "was not true," the judge said, referring to the State Department's assurances in a sworn declaration that it had searched all relevant documents.

"It was a lie."

Additionally, Fox notes that Judge Lamberth said he was "shocked" and "dumbfounded" when he learned that FBI had granted immunity to former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills during its investigation into the use of Clinton's server, according to a court transcript of his remarks.

"I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in -- by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case."

On Friday, Lamberth said he did not know Mills had been granted immunity until he "read the IG report and learned that and that she had accompanied [Clinton] to her interview."

We give the last word to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who was present at the hearing, as he pushed the White House for answers.

"President Trump should ask why his State Department is still refusing to answer basic questions about the Clinton email scandal," Fitton said.

"Hillary Clinton's and the State Department's email cover up abused the FOIA, the courts, and the American people's right to know."

Perhaps the deep state remains in control behind the scenes after all (consider the recent back-pedal on declassifying the Russian probe documents)?

* * *

Full Transcript below:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/391077030/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-O8V0IxDTOqEo9NdWFaI9

Politics Law Crime

[Oct 19, 2018] Profanity-Laced Shouting Match Erupts Between Kelly, Bolton Outside Oval Office

Oct 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"Profanity-Laced" Shouting Match Erupts Between Kelly, Bolton Outside Oval Office

by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:33 41 SHARES

The White House is back to its old, chaotic ways.

Citing "three people familiar", Bloomberg reports that on Thursday, around the time when the Trump administration was contemplating next steps in the Saudi Arabia fiasco, Trump's chief of staff, John Kelly, and his national security adviser, John Bolton, engaged in a "profanity-laced" shouting match outside the Oval Office.

The shouting match was so intense that other White House aides worried one of the two men might immediately resign. Neither is resigning, the people said.

While one possible reason for the argument is which of the two admin officials was more excited to start war in [Insert Country X], Bloomberg said that it wasn't immediately clear what Trump's chief of staff and national security adviser were arguing about. However, the clash was the latest indication that tensions are again resurfacing in the White House 19 days before midterm elections.

It's not clear if Trump heard the argument. "but the people said he is aware of it."

Tags Politics

[Oct 18, 2018] Treasury Official Arrested, Charged With Leaking Confidential Info On Ex-Trump Advisers; BuzzFeed Implicated

Oct 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Treasury Official Arrested, Charged With Leaking Confidential Info On Ex-Trump Advisers; BuzzFeed Implicated

by Tyler Durden Wed, 10/17/2018 - 16:22 1.3K SHARES

In the latest indication of the Trump administration's efforts to root out alleged leakers, a senior Treasury Department official working in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN), Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, has been charged with leaking confidential financial reports to the media concerning former Trump campaign advisers Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, according to The Hill .

Prosecutors say that Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards , a senior adviser to FinCEN, photographed what are called suspicious activity reports, or SARs, and other sensitive government files and sent them to an unnamed reporter, in violation of U.S. law. -