The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Has Ben Bernanke Ben Yellen Lies.

By the end of the year 2002, mortgage refinancing had fueled a solid 20% of all US economic growth, and if one took a more granular look, on the East Coast or West, that amount is closer to 33%, ie, more than one third of economic growth, $12 Trillion since 2000.

That was more than a decade ago, showing an economy that had complete dependence on Fed largesse, irresponsibility and wholesale handover of the reins of the  economic system to private banks, ominously dubbed, "The Shadow Economy", even as those same banks, together with the Wall St. firms that were 'packaging' their shoddy mortgages, charging exorbitant fees, and marketing them to suckers around the world, were fined $1.2 billion, having deceived investors with biased research, yet never admitting any wrong doing
At that time it would cost $800 for a PC with a microporcessor speed of 1.8g, 250M of ram, 40-60 gigahertz including a 15' monitor, while the single-hulled Prestige lay leaking 120 tons of oil a day off the Spanish coast.

The New Year, this is 2003, started with Robert Prechter seeing utter devastation for stocks, as Eliot Wave international posted fractal patterns they determined were signalling horrific equity losses accompanied with steep drops in currencies, commodities and bonds.

This firm was developed on the theories of accountant Ralph Nelson Elliott, called Wave Theory, which posits that all events, whether psychological, physical, or technical repeat themselves. It seems that electrical has a lesson to illuminate the reasons this is true are that, DC current, if pushed hard enough long enough, develop increasing resistance, requiring that more and more power is required to move it further (so, at least in the current world, resistance is NOT futile, brute force having to be applied in larger and larger increments to receive smaller and smaller results: just  like QE). AC current however, being cyclical, allows the resistance to dissipate before it builds up, and is why we use AC for transporting current, transforming it to DC only at the POE (not Edgar Allen, Point Of Entry) to the device that runs on DC, such as computers.

In Prechter's cycles, of which there are ones of the Super variety, smaller trends are always just components of the overall cycle, the way anecdotal weather anomalies don't make a good basis for predicting climate change. He concludes, that there have been two Super-Cycle declines 1929-1932, and 1837-1841, when stocks fell four  years in a row. Even then, in 2003, he maintained that  the country was already in a deflationary depression that would gain momentum over the next 2 1/2 years.

And then, unknowingly predicting the Fed-engineered response of prodding banks to start including un-credit-worthy people to buy houses, Michael Berry said that when the popular mind embraces an investment other than stocks, the ensuing rush'll sweep aside everything in its wake, while Weekly Dig claimed that "Business greed is subverting the American way of life and hurting the image of American Capitalism and Democracy more effectively than the ploys of  foreign enemies." For it demonstrated what Gorbachev had realized, that without the Communist menace purportedly threatening to overtake their economies and deprive them of their vast privileges, Europe would find that its tastes and predilections lined up much more favorably with those of Russia than the US.

So, it was noticed by quite a few eminent people that, notably Reagan And Greenspan, by taking housing and fuel costs out of the CPI, and squeezing wages ever downward, changing income, to "household income", and pushing inflation into "assets" which then could safely be elevated to valuations having nothing to do with their underlying worth, but providing increasing revenues to a Local, via property taxes, and Central Government more and more hostage to the very military mindset it had set out to imbue the entire country with, because most of that revenue got spent on wars, military hardware, R&D for the internet and computers, which were all developed as taxpayer-funded investments, but for which the taxpayer is never thereby enriched. In fact, if you follow the impoverization of the American worker, it follows the same track as the implementation of the internet and computerization, and therefore, the monetization of every aspect of human existence.

What this should shed a light on for people that it doesn't is the fact that Capitalism, from its inception in the waning years of Elizabethan rule, was born of and was utterly dependent on exogenous energy inputs, at that time, in the form of Slavery. The artificial legalization of people as property under the law. It is a marauding monster that even one of its most ardent supporters, Schumpeter, called creative destruction. It destroys the environment of the lowest classes, those most dependent on eking a living out of their surroundings, its latest manifestation being the peasants of China and many other Asian and African countries, who have a decent, no TV (gasp), difficult, life, but they still manage. But in country after country, after The Capitalists take over, the very thin margin of existence is destroyed, despoiled, or stolen, leaving the rich high on the hog and the poor eating their offal. Which they would do, but now it's so filled with concentrated chemical pollution in the liver and kidneys of animals that now even that is awful.

But when such things occur in an emerging economy (again, look at China, it is the 2'nd LARGEST economy on the globe, with a growth rate envied by much more calcified capitalist regimes, and basically pulled the world out of the tailspin into the economic abyss the so-called developed economies sent it into in 2008, yet somehow, it is still "emerging", that is because favorable trade status, with businesses overtly and shamelessly subsidized by the Central Government, could not, cannot, compete (or so it's maintained) with those in "emerged" countries), it is seen as necessary to bring them up to our standard, never facing the fact that a government that's duly  elected in a Democracy in a world of sovereign States has no business conducting policy for the benefit of citizens in other countries, to the detriment of those in its own. But that is exactly what the Central Bank and the Federal government, in the guise of Neo-liberalism, has been doing for decades.

Tidbit: The private automobile uses more resources in its construction than any other product on Earth. And it is at the center of all the OECD countries' economies, the one industry they watch as a measure of growth, the one to which free loans are freely given for a product they freely admit loses a third of its values as it drives, brand new, off the dealers' lots, lost slot machine guaranteed.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Business Cycle: Launder, Spin, Skim, Down the Drain. See Pee(on) You reset = Trickle down.

The New Economy: Dirty Trickles keep Peon Down.

Bill McBride at Calculated Risk:

From Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko:

The Post-Crash Rebound, Not Job Growth, Drove 2013 Price Gains in 2013, the housing markets with the biggest increases in asking prices were all rebounding from severe price drops in the housing bust.

Meanwhile at the Testosterone Pit, Wolf Richter writes:

 In the minutes of the December policy meeting, hidden in the middle of an interminable paragraph on page 8 of 25 pages of wooden and convoluted prose, the Fed issued a doozie of a warning. In its own abstruse manner, it admitted that its asset purchases had inflated asset prices to such levels that they’d become “financial vulnerabilities” that were starting to threaten “financial stability and the broader economy.”

Wolf Richter then asks, "Did the Fed finally read TP and other sites outside the MSM that have been hammering on these very issues for months, if not years?"

The answer to which, I'm sure both you and he know, is the refrain: "Nobody could have seen this coming."

As I blog along for nothing, as I was doing all through 2008, with no financial training or background, trying to alert folks to the level of outright fraud being embraced by the government and financial industries while everyone was focusing on Bernie Madoff (with all the money), the real criminals were laughing behind their hands, having installed the most venal, corrupt, and unabashedly criminal administration in the Whitehouse that has ever existed, the Fed was not only discouraging any legal action against fraudulent, Enron-style-schemes that were being perpetrated right in front of its eyes, they were actively encouraging them, studying them so as to adopt the same schemes for their own books once the economy had crumbled into the dust.

This demonstrates the danger of believing the Obama's nonsensical assertion in 2009 that we need to "look forward" and not at the past. To ignore not only the War Crimes of the Bush Regime, but the Financial imbroglio that was wrought by an out-of-control Fed, and a criminally negligent SEC is malfeasance because it totally negates the entire criminal justice system, as ALL crimes are judged in the present for activity undertaken in the past.

How the Testosterone Pit, or Naked Capitalism, or Zerohedge make money enough to keep on producing such bitingly accurate depictions of the state of economic affairs, I really have no idea. I'm completely amazed they're still doing this. The salaries for every Board member of the Fed, together with their large well-pensioned, Cadillac-benefited staff, however, is well paid for with your tax dollars to the tunes of millions and millions of dollars in salaries alone, yet dispenses trillions and trillions of dollars to prop up the asset prices of damaged collateral, while JP Morgan gets slapped on the wrist with what seems an enormous $2Billion fine, until you realize that the elevation of asset prices undertaken by the Fed, putting the solvency of the entire Nation at risk, yet for which the unemployed can look forward to nothing more than abandonment, has increased JP Morgans' assets back to nosebleed levels, which they can now use to payoff their fines before those same assets fall back to their actual abysmal valuations. Yet it is the highly-compensated economists at the Fed, as if to prove Upton Sinclair's maxim that, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it", who regularly blind themselves to the effects their oligarchical actions have on the Free Markets of the Capitalist economy that they are supposed to be protecting. For, if JPMorgan is guilty, then the Fed and The SEC are even more so, as its their JOB to identify such brazen schemes, especially once they've been notified of them.

So now, as house prices rebound enough for the solvency of the Banks to be reconstituted on the backs of the very citizens the Banksters despise, the criminality they were guilty of is reenforced, and even congratulated, while in Russia, that supposedly corrupt State, credit fraud and fraud in entrepreneurial activities, brings convictions that include not only prison terms, but agreements to repay damages, while China executed a former general manager of a major Chinese securities trading corporation who was convicted of embezzling and misappropriating more than USD $14 million.

But in this Democracy such crimes are encouraged, the better at them you are, the more you show your contempt for the public and the deeper your disregard is for any restraint on your behavior, the more you are rewarded and the more luxurious your lifestyle becomes, and any who raises their voice against you are characterized as being merely resentful of your good fortune. If Al Capone lived today, he would simply have Eliot Ness fired, just as they had Eliot Spitz fired in March 2008 by arranging a federal entrapment and sting operation against him, for having the balls to call for an investigation of the shenanigans going on on Wall St, and, as an added bonus, they thereby took the focus away from the Fed's involvement in the collapse at Bear-Sterns just a week earlier.

So why this rant? Because the  quotes about the success of this recovery from the depression  (look it up, the real definition of the Great Recession, as they've dubbed it, is, in any real economic definition, a depression) we're in, read exactly the same, some of them almost word for word, as those written about the Bush economy after the Dot Com crash, while only a few, such as Doug Noland, at give even lip service to the non-sustainability of leveraging a recovery on the shadow banking defalcations that came to completely dominate and catastrophically undermine the economic life of the Nation. Then, with the same epistemological  pattern as a plague, infected the entire globe.

But because the Wolves of Wall Street control the Wusses in Washington, who care more about finagling their government jobs into higher paying private sector jobs (in the financial industry, of course, all other industries being subjected to the harsh rigors of piratization), instead of protecting its citizens against a recurrence of financial collapse, the Federal government itself is, once again, stoking the very conditions which will guarantee it happens again. That is why local police all over the country are being armed to the teeth with military-style weapons. For whereas, only myself and a few others were cognizant of the fact that a maelstrom of financial fraud had brought about the 2008 collapse, the next debacle won't find nearly as many people unaware of the true nature of the crimes, nor the people who've committed them, and they will have the banksters in mind when they and their children are being thrown out into the street yet again.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another Epiphany.

Austrian Austerity: The Force Be Against You.

Creditism, the new, well, relatively new, phenomenon where no major entity, even a bank, issues debt without it being guaranteed by the federal government, even as said purveyors of such guaranteed instruments remain the staunchest and loudest defenders of the Free markets, and Free Enterprise, the enterprise most assiduously defended being the cornucopia of graft and fraud perpetrated by government-protected swindlers, has much more in common with the Communism they supposedly reviled, than with any definition of Capitalism.

The reason for this is that the main reason that Capitalism has any claims to superior viability as an economic system is its feedback mechanism. If you build a Levittown, say, and nobody comes, the economic result is a big oops, mea culpa, "Won't try that again", response, becasue the losses are borne by those who invested of their own dollars. But if, as is the case lately, you build it, and they will come, because the Fed buys up the bad paper used to put up those dwellings, with buyers driving themselves there in cars they can't afford, which the car companies don't care, because they've lent them money with loans bundled and bought up by the Federal Reserve, to houses whose mortgages were issued by banks that don't care if those who took them out ever pay them back, as they were all bought up by the three Farcemen of the "Who cares what it Costs": Fanny, Freddy and the FHA, forcing all the risk down the collective (the one-time banks, now TBTF quasi-government Institutions, ie the new GSE's people have been just as easily fooled into thinking are private enterprises, just as they'd been fooled into believing that Fanny and Freddy and Sally and Ginnie were, eagerly embrace Collectivism) throat of taxpayers, while raking in huge bonuses for their so-called labor, the proceeds of which they then pay tax accountants more than they'd ever pay in taxes to hide offshore in tax havens.

This dynamic much more resembles the internal, supposedly infernal, functioning of the Communistic state of Russia, where "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us" prevailed for decades before Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher decided the world needed Soviet oil more than the Russians did.

But what happens under both Communism and Creditism, is that since all the decisions are made by elites and power brokers, and the results of those decisions then have to be lived with by the populace to whom they're inflicted upon, is that more and more of the productive capital of labor goes into buoying up destructive mechanisms that would otherwise collapse under the heavy weight of their unworkable dogma. Because, without feedback, that's all it is, dogma: "This is how it works, and so we will do everything extra-legal to see that it does, even though, in an otherwise honest world, it would fail." See the resemblance to Soviet era Communism? Every human "right" that was decided upon because it would make the Soviets look bad, such as the right to privacy, or to be free from unwarranted search and seizures, or torture, has been abrogated since their fall, indicating that they were simply useful as a bludgeoning tool, not from any real belief in their intrinsic value.

As a metaphor, perhaps, to the veracity of the claim that feedback is what drives natural processes, and in fact is vital for stability, it has come to Light in an article about the Arctic, depicting the true state of affairs in regard to climate changing anthropogenic global warming, suitably called,

"Global Warming and the Gulf Stream - Our Atmospheric Pollution Roadway to Subsea Arctic Methane-Induced Climatic Hell".

But the strange thing is is that he (Light) ends the article on a hopeful note, stating that, " In conjunction with the massive cut back in pollution emissions by the United States and Canada, the United States must set up a project through the Woods Hole and Rutgers universities to continuously monitor the Gulf Stream flow rate offshore the industrialized United States south of New Foundland at 55° the critical transport rate of 142 Sverdrups."

But to think that anything like this has the slightest possibility of happening is to display a subsea depth of naivete. For, being a scientist, Mr. Light deals in facts, such as the one he describes as he relates the feedback mechanism by which the clathrates on the floor of the Arctic have started to be released in an ever increasing quantities since 2007. This he understands very well, documents, and explains to his readers in highly readable, enlightening prose accompanied by colorful, animated charts.

What he doesn't seem to understand is that, just as most of the world, including the IPCC, underestimates the rate at which these feedback mechanisms have brought forward the date of catastrophic climate change to within our children's lifetime, so has the loss of feedback mechanism in all Capitalistic societies, by becoming non-capitalist, but instead, Creditalist, thereby dissolving the efficacy of Democratic institutions around the globe, leaving them bereft of any hope of stopping the US and Canada as they accelerate their mad spree of digging up and burning as quickly and completely as possible the last vestige of fossil fuel of whatever kind, in whatever form, no matter what the cost, and to hell with the consequences. This is the stated purpose and highly successful strategy of the Fossil fuel complex and their shills, such as Yergin's Cera, that center of fossil fools, and this runaway train has no hope of being derailed by anything as quixotic as saving the human race from extinction. God will, after all, send another Ark, loading the Noahs and their families on board, ie the Rich, who are obviously superior to us mere mortals, and saving them to start all over again, once the rest of us, who are really the problem, are out of the way.

It is easy to see how completely this paradigm has been accepted, especially by those who consider themselves to be extremely intelligent, by the way in which  the glib theory of space colonization is constantly being bandied about by them. For at its core, such a fantasy is the same as the Noah's Ark fable. And every bit as reliant on blind faith. How on earth, (well, on Mars, more accurately) do scientifically-inclined minds convince themselves that we can create a livable atmosphere on Mars when all we can do to the quite hospitable one on earth is to poison it to such a point that a mass extinction event on a scale of prehistoric proportions is all but inevitable?

As  Michael Greer points out, and is emphasized by Tom Murphy's "Do the Math" blog, with a wonderful analogy depicting the driver of a car who's attention is so fixed on keeping his eye on his destination on the far off horizon that he ignores the hazards on the road right in front of him, we have substituted the feedback mechanisms of Capitalism for the planned-society of Creditism whereby we decide what we need, (as we did with Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac), and continue supporting the structures we build to get us there regardless of whether or not they destroy the country in the process, simply because we believe in the goal (like health care for all, which has already collapsed into health INSURANCE for all, basically a green light to pillage, Hah!, like insurance companies needed one).

So by building these structures, and then, as George Bush did, not Obama as many in the Republican party claim, virtually Nationalizing them, and then deceptively calling it something else, we have taken the largest part of our economic system, home-building and the myriad industries it supports, under the umbrella of Creditism, which I'm trying to say, is nothing more than, like insurance, a form of Collectivism with the difference being that, whereas all the burdens are shared by the so-called collective, or commonwealth, as it was once referred to as, all the benefits of it flow to a smaller and smaller group of elites, The Supra-Class, even as its rigidity makes it unresponsive to tinkering, since, far from the resiliency of the economy of which both George Bush and Ben Bernanke had boasted in August of 2008 before it collapsed around our ears, it becomes more and more calcified, because real resources are thrown away to accomplish goals that have become, like the space shuttle program, untenable.

Not surprisingly, I suppose, is the resemblance of this phenomenon to the growth of credit for all from credit to those who earn it through past behavior. For every obstacle in existence which we try to build ways around, and successfully do so, we always have ot make some kind of a Faustian bargain, the dark side of which we hide from view. In the case of credit, it is the fact that everyone using the monetary system must pay for the credit deadbeats in a way that they didn't before the credit free-for-all.

In days of yore, such as the early days of the Reagan administration, if you wanted a credit card, you had to first establish credit. The way to do this, for  many people, was via store credit cards, such as Macy's, or, the gold standard of the day: a Sears credit Card. After that it was easier to get a bank credit card, one that was tied back to the bank at which you received it, such as the BancAmericard from BofA. What Visa and MasterCard accomplished was the separation of the card from any specific financial institution, such that now the merchant merely had to check to see if the card was OK to relieve themselves of the onus of having extended credit to a deadbeat, the credit losses, and the responsibility to cover them, now being the purview of the credit card companies, as long as the merchant followed their rules when accepting their card from someone as payment for merchandise. So now, it has morphed into the situation where, in order to extend credit to less and less creditworthy individuals, the interest rate on purchases not paid in full the month in which the expense was incurred have climbed to nosebleed levels, even though you may have a credit score in the 800's.

What this does, by formulizing the process, is it takes the decision-making out of the hands of middle managers, making the CEO and other executives able to claim all the glory, power, and money, if the firm does well, but, as we've seen, still able to, by purchasing Credit Default Swaps against the very firm they work for (because of course, they're above the very concept of "working for" someone, they Own it, until, of course, they run it into the ground, at which point, they had no idea, a la Corzine, or Schilling, or Kenneth Lay, or any CEO once they're caught, of what was going on right under their noses), still grab their last bonus and golden parachute on the way out the door, even as it falls off its hinges as it's slammed behind them. Then the new CEO will come in and fire workers by the thousands, while castigating them for staying loyal to one company for thirty years. I wish more workers would remember this: your loyalty is not repaid in kind. 

But whatever you call it Capitalism Communism Collectivism Creditism the economic system was created to serve us not subjugate us, wasn't it? All of a sudden I'm not so sure it was, and that perspective sure explains a lot, but, what it doesn't do, is suggest a way forward, because the glib "Revolution Now!" I hear from people who have accepted the fact that the economic system, of course, was designed to subjugate, is not the path of wisdom, or so it seems to me. Instead, we need to consider methods of reconstituting an economic system that answers our real needs without stoking stupid unnecessary, self-defeating ones. THAT we can do quite well enough on our own, thank you very much. And I think the answer lies in taking control of the currency, each Federal note is a vote, so where is the ballot box and who's doing the counting?

delightfully well-written elegy

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2014: List of Top Ten Deceptions.

Fire in the Holed.

The contradictions between what we say and what is meant keep sprouting like mushrooms on a forest floor.

The word "Free", whether it's free will or free insurance, as in FDIC, is always used to deceive, as nothing, not only in the world, but in the universe, comes without a cost. Free in the sense of, 'to rid of', as I freed my cat from fleas, is a useful term, but free health care, free Higher education, free dumb, are all used by manipulative persons or organisations to mute objections to whatever they wish to impose on others by advertising it as "free" when in fact it's not. As you well know, nothing is. That free health care is paid for by someone else, and is only called free to hide its true costs from those who want others to pay for it, is quite obvious. That is why, when offered as a benefit to employees it's true costs are hidden, it's tax-exempt status never mentioned.

Serve. When I was an altar boy, I used to perform a function called serving Mass. So when people use the phrase, "To serve your country" or for their years of "service" to the country, I always do a double-take, because well, no they didn't, they got PAID, if they hadn't, they wouldn't have served for a day. They were serving the needs of themselves, it being a last resort, because they couldn't find a job in the so-called private sector, they exposed their private sector as privates in the War Sector of the government. This serves their families more than their country.

Earning. The Pope: "Personal dignity comes from working, from earning your bread." This from someone who's never had a job in his life.

The term Private Sector, itself, is of course,  another one of the huge deceptions. There is no such thing in a Nation State as a Private Sector, at least not in the sense that it is defined in the Mainstream media. For it always and everywhere depends on the public sector, not only for security, of both its financial transactions and physical plant, but for the education of its workforce, the highway system upon which its goods, whether electronic or physical, travel over, but also for the fuel to run the enterprise, and the politicians to ease their way over the backs of existing businesses to successful implementation of their plans. For this one need think only  of an Amazon. A company that built their entire business, with a bozo Bezo, using a infrastructure built entirely with tax-payer dollars, and with an exemption from taxation not shared by any of its land-based competitors. Without this deceptive confiscation of government largesse, this Private Company would have gone up in flames with the rest of the Dot-com scalawags in the 2000 crash. Instead it has gone on to virtually destroy used bookkstores across the country, stores that flourished in all our cities, both as repositories for used books, so, keeping them from landfills, and thereby, albeit inadvertently, serving as a form of Carbon Sequestration, as well as a meeting place for the less well-heeled but intellectually curious.

The so-called Private Sector, is merely an accounting trick, putting the responsibility for an enterprise onto the shoulders of people willing to assume responsibility and accountability for an endeavor. It is, and always has been, an operation that exists by government allowance, and pays taxes on its profits as a means of demonstrating its viability and proof that its services are in demand, even if much of that demand comes directly from the government. This paradigm has shifted such that now, in a way to make any Communist Country proud, (the Republican Party isn't called the Red Party for nothing) by using accounting tricks and bribery of government officials, Corporations spend far more of what used to be tax dollars flowing into various governments' coffers,  to payoff politicians who ensure that those dollars flow directly into their pockets, as well as those of highly compensated lobbyists and Company shareholders, where they are taxed at less than half the rate they would be if they went to wage earners, whose earnings are taxed at twice the rate as those so-called investors.

Security. This is another word purposelessly debased and manipulated whose meaning has been corrupted so thoroughly that it now means little more than blackmail. Right now, as I sit here and type a few words into this little pane on my monitor, the hard drive on my computer is chugging away. What is it doing, why can't I monitor it to see what programs are churning it and tell if there's an entity online marauding through my files? I could see this and set up monitoring targets to ensure the inviolability of my data. Instead, Nortoon, using the word 'free', to deceive me into thinking I can get something for nothing, when it merely reduces the cost of their product for first time users, and, of course, driving up costs for those already using their product, blackmails me in to paying them to 'protect' me, which, of course, they only do marginally, yet should someone get through their defenses, they do like all Defense Departments do, simply shrug their shoulders and promise to try to do better, and then raise their price. You would do well to remember that financial instruments, which are now completely speculative in nature (as they are leveraged to an ever increasing percent on instruments based on highly questionable debt) are still, despite their high-risk nature, referred to as "Securities".

Currency. The state of currency is in such flux that I won't even pretend to know what it is anymore. It is indeed a facilitator of transactions, but it is not a storage of value. Whereas before the Fed used to hide what it did to inflate the currency, the burden of unpayable debt is now so huge and is growing so much faster than the economy, meaning that the amount of it that is actually going to be paid back keeps getting smaller the larger the overall debt gets, (take as an example, the trillion dollars in student debt extended to Collegiates, a huge percentage of whom will never get the jobs for which they are amassing the debt to obtain), yet it is used more and more by speculators as though it were cash, that now the Fed unabashedly admits that it is manipulating the currency by actively stoking inflation, which debases it such that none of the debts issued by the banks that it rescued, will ever get the return on investment  needed to keep them solvent.

Free Market. Although much of what has been written above should be a clue, the term Free Market has no value whatsoever in a Centrally controlled economy. Those business that the Fed wishes to remain viable, even as they produce products, not only that aren't good for either the economy or us, but are poisonously destructive to both, will remain viable, while those that don't meet the Fed's criteria simply won't. A good example of this is the Cigarette, or more generally, the tobacco, industry. Most people have no conception of how much this industry, growing a poisonous and addictive weed and using deceptive advertising mostly aimed at children so as to get them addicted at a very young age, as the older a person is when she gets addicted to tobacco, the easier it is for them to break that addiction, receives from both the Federal government  in direct subsidies and tax breaks, and the States. These companies are also given easy access to foreign markets (Like China) whose government is interested in seeing as many of its people die before they reach an age when they will become a burden to their bad Centrally planned economies (ie they have no money to sustain them so let the Westerners induce them to kill themselves).

Savings. As has been apparent for some time now, perhaps ever since the likes of Krugman, who concieves himself, however erroneously, as the conscience of a liberal, castigated the middle class in 2008 for their "Paradox of Thrift" and made it clear that they were a problem if they weren't out spending more than they earned,  savings is not what it use to be. This is primarily a factor of the economy of graft, extortion and fraud that a Free-for-all Enterprise System has been molded into, such that banks no longer need depositors to enhance their profitability, but need larger and larger loan portfolios. As Europe once again is under the microscope of IMF assessment, it has again been proposed that, since the mountain of debt is so huge, either 10% of their customers' saving will be confiscated or the balance that is in savings will not only not result in earnings, but will instead suffer negative interest rates, or worse, both of theses penalties to savings will be imposed.

Economic growth = environmental degradation and despoliation.

Capitalism = War and arms sales by the merchants of death grows to such an extent they push out other forms of constructive manufacturing and result in the annihilation of vast swaths of the burgeoning population. Competitive consumerism means that the populations of the world's nations, having had their savings confiscated, and therefore unable to sustain any viable economic function other than that of amassing more and more debt until they are unable to sustain it, in that the debt amassed is not assumed with any conception of how it will be paid, and therefore is not for construction of enterprises to provide the means to pay the debt, along with its attendant interest rate, off, but only with the thought of consuming vast quantities, conehead-style, of more and more deleterious products, making the entire atmosphere of the globe uninhabitable.

 Since it's easier to look at faults of other people than  our own, let's look at that country where more than 1.3 billion people reside, yet, having moved people from the rural environment where they could at least scratch out a meager, hardscrabble existence, they have been moved by the millions into cities where they have to live underground, as their pathetic wages don't provide them with enough to even rent one of the luxury high rises they live under. Because the debt amassed to build these structures and electrify and maintain them is such that only the rich can afford the rents thereby made necessary. However, the first thing a rich Chinese wants to do is move to China USA, otherwise known as San Francisco, Ca., leaving entire towns empty of inhabitants. In the meantime, the rural area they left has had its soil and biota so debauched by pollution of all sorts that they are now not only uninhabitable, but incapable of growing food. I don't mean to pick on China, either, it's just that they are reported on so often that I am more acquainted with their situation than, say, Thailand's, and the data is, in fact, even more frightening in other countries.

It is in this poisonous atmosphere that we approach the auspicious date of August 2014 as though it were just another number. The world never recovered from the financial panic of 1907, anymore than it did from the stock market crash of 1929 that led to the Great Depression until an all-consuming World War stopped the Rich from eating every one else alive, as they were doing in both cases before those conflagrations began. Neither has it recovered from the financial panic, credit crunch, and debt-defaults of 2007, which we also approached as though it were just another number, nor, despite the spectacular failure of all the apologists for Capitalism's sins of the past that the post WW2 consensus, destroyed by Ronald Reagan, papered over and said wouldn't be repeated, have we evolved one jot from where we were a century ago. All that has grown is the destructive power of our weapons, our belief in our right to deploy them against anyone obstructing our will, and the insistence that we are above nature. But as the world, and especially the OECD countries, becomes more and more difficult to live in, and as privileges are seen as entitlements and luxuries are confused with necessities, the inevitability of this unipolar world, bestraddled by one hegemonic Superpower ruling an Empire while it pretends it's a Democracy, insisting on its right to garnish more and more of the dwindling output only made possible by the festering wound called ecological devastation, the prospect of an all-consuming holocaust looms larger and larger, while all we do in response is click the remote to try and change the channel. But Reality isn't reality TV. It doesn't simply disappear just because we don' t like what's on next.