|Sick Decrees of Segregation|
I subscribe to a number of financial newsletters. Not that I use them for investment advice, most of them are either pump-n-dump cheerleaders, trade pushers, options charlatans, or snake-oil salesmen, but they all write about the financial sphere, and, pre-2008, were the only source of unorthodox economic thinking, much of it wrong, as it turned out, but most of it at least questioning the grim situation we were in that was being instead hailed as a Great Moderation, a Goldilocks Economy, or a "DOW to 36,000", road-to-riches, that the greater part of my countrymen were unquestioningly buying into.
Some of these pundits were just blazingly wrong. For example, Peter Schiff, who contended, and in fact still contends, last I heard, that hyperinflation is going to blaze through the economies of the world, leaving all of our savings in a pile of ash. He may be right ... eventually, but in more than a decade, he's been playing the same tune, so why listen, having read his opinion of 12 years ago, no update necessary, as he's selling the same set of silverware. The same thing goes for what were referred to as the Gold Bugs, James Turk and his acolytes who swore that gold would be selling for $1500/ounce soon (usually meaning, like next week, so divest from paper wealth and buy gold Now!). It just took ten years for it to finally do so, and then go as high as $1900 before settling, permanently it seems, at its current valuation. Which doesn't keep some of its more fervent disciples from insisting it's on its way to $3000 any day now, since it is only via Goldman Sachs and the Fed's manipulation that it isn't that high already.
But many of the newsletters were less prognostication mills than cogitation mills, like Comstock, Best Minds (a Texan runs this one, so I run the other way, but his essays are very good), Eliot Wave, Maudlin Economics, Rude Awakening, and Agora Financial, as well as financial blogs such as Doug Noland's CBB (Credit Bubble Bulletin), Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism, Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis, Zerohedge, Wolf Richter's Wolf Street (formerly the Testosterone Pit) and Ilargi's Automatic Earth, with The Oil Drum, Resilience, and lately, Seemorerocks, offering more rounded news . Now, why I bring this up is that the apocryphal title of my blog, which I've never seen, even in those dark days before the 2008 crash when most of the sites listed above, that were extant then, had far better economic analysis than on any MSM outlet, or governmental (as in, it did little to govern, and its plaudits were mental) body, any reference to the Dollar as toast, never mind that it's the government's own machinations that are toasting it.
This, just recently, has changed dramatically. It is almost now a meme that the cashless society, the government's ruse to trap all the cash, or assets, in accounts where they are illiquid, is now a major theme, as in this Elliotwave International article, "The War on Cash", from their newest Club EWI report.
From the April Elliott Wave Theorist:
"Apologists for governments, central banks and the bankers of the world are not content with the current situation in which people have a refuge. They want to make sure their confiscatory policies ensnare everyone. They do not want anyone to escape the trap, especially the most financially prudent and responsible people, i.e. savers.
Setting up a system in which bankers can keep all the profits on their good trades while tapping taxpayers to bail them out of all their bad trades is not enough for them. They want more. They want you locked into their system so they can steal value from your bank account without going through the tiring and politically sensitive medium of government bail-outs. They want to ensure that you have no possible route of escape.
How will they do it? By outlawing cash."
They then exhort you to log in to read 'Cash is King -- And Authoritarians Want Him Dead'.
Notice that those authoritarians to which they refer are "governments", and since the reserve currency is the US dollar, that would include the US government, thus, what they are talking about, at least partially, is the USA's War Against The Dollar! Wow! After eight years I'm topical. And for the reason I chose to name it that, although, to tell the truth, it was partially because I felt that the USAsians are so in love with War, anything with "war" in its title would get more 'hits', which it has done, but, as a googling of the name, "USA's War Against The Dollar", suggests, works even better in Russia, ever since the imposition of the US sanctions, and lately in Ukraine, because of the bellicose attitude of Washington toward that unfortunately-located piece of geography.
The chief benefit of QE was the cheapening of the dollar to its lowest level in the postwar era. For it was for the benefit of not exports, which did give jobs a temporary boost, but mainly for the benefit of developing economies, to keep them using the dollar as a medium of exchange, but this puts a burden on the US economy, for which the dollar, although it's hard to remember sometimes, is also used as it's currency. Now the whole concept of QE brings me back to my last post, in which I show that, economics, if it's to be taken seriously as a science, which all economists insist it should be (taken seriously and taken as a science, both ideas which no one does better to undermine than the prognostications of those self-same economists), which therefore means it can't simply ignore the most basic of scientific principles, ie the laws of thermodynamics. In the last post, it was the 2'nd law of thermodynamics that I discussed money's relationship to, but in terms of QE, it is the first law of Thermodynamics which I wish to address. Namely, that neither matter nor energy can either be created or destroyed. Now, if one doesn't believe that money equates with energy, then one must then concede that it is matter, because everything in the universe is one or the other, unless one's living in a vacuum or believes that money is either dark matter or dark energy, in which case, however, you're still stuck with the slight problem that, dark or not, it is still either matter or energy.
So when the Bernanke creates billions in cash reserves and uses those funds to buy up more fraudulently package mortgages and more Treasuries, he is allocating huge stores of energy to the purpose of propping up the teetering housing market and allowing the National debt to soar to such stratospheric levels that the richest corporate "Citizen", the one with the most ability to help pay down that debt, or even keep it from climbing so high in the first place, Apple computer, pays nothing toward it, in fact, contrarily, uses its easy moneyness policies to borrow on the cheap and buy back its own stock, thereby buttressing its price to unsustainable levels and siphoning wealth to the accounts of its Chief Executives in a form that remains beyond the reach of the IRS, as it is in Capital gains, and not earnings. In normal times, those execs would be risking that the capital gains would evaporate in a stock selloff, but in what is the new normal, they have a patsy in the form of the Federal Reserve, that will make sure that such an event doesn't occur.
So what we have evolved, isn't just a simple "QE" as it's euphemistically called. The 'easing' in that acronym refers to how easy it now is for the Fed to use the earnings of the taxpaying public to enable Apple exec's to use public funds to pad their own pockets, load up on pilfered goods, and sing Hallelujah's to the wonders of the Free Market place and Capitalism, even as they erode its very foundations, because Capitalism's strength comes, more than anything, from its power as an accounting system. Just as your electric bill is based on your usage, your meter providing a record of such to both you and the utility that provides the juice, Capitalism's accounting system does, well, more accurately, did, the same, as best as can be done: provided accounting of who got what and who paid for it, how it was used, and how it's going to be used. That has all but been destroyed on the national level, with economists, the best-paid and best-positioned ones in the so-called service of the nation, being the ones who're swinging the wrecking ball with complete abandon, using such obfuscating terms as "Quantitative Easing" as the crane to swing it from.
It is this very concept of accountability that, as we're seeing played out now in the City of Baltimore, that explains the reason for taking such underhanded methods of allocating huge energy resources to a select part of the economy, thereby starving other sectors. Because when the inevitable blowup occurs, no one knows that the blames lies at the financial gerrymandering taking place at the heart of the economic system and instead lash out at the 'thugs and criminals' in the streets who feel that they have, now that their lives have been utterly destroyed and their hopes completely crushed, no other recourse.
In the title of this post, the Mimi Rogers film I am referring to is called "The Rapture" in which a mother takes her daughter out in to the desert and murders her, in order that she, the daughter, might go, innocent that she is, straight to heaven. She plans to make it a murder/suicide pact, although the pact, much like the TPP and its doppelganger, the TTIP, is reached without the consent of her intended victim and supposed partner in the contract. When she puts the gun to her own head, however, having already dispatched with her daughter, she realizes that, far from joining her little girl in blissful celestial reunion, she will, suicide being a heinous crime (somehow the murder isn't, which, had she been Catholic, she could confess and be absolved, so then the dilemma about suicide, but she isn't so how is the murder of her own offspring not a one-way ticket to everlasting torment? Anyway ...). And it is this strange twisted logic that we have been living with for some time now, wherein we have to terrorize people to fight a War on Terror, we have to wage War to keep the peace, impoverish entire countries to get them on their feet again, refer to the world as a "Global Village" yet rain down depleted uranium bombs and send shock troops in to destroy the entire livelihoods of our fellow villagers on little more than a whim, and, as spoken by none other than that Avatar of privilege and excess in the name of Freedom and Demockracy, GW Bush, "Abandon free-market principles (for the rest of society) to save the free market system (for my own hand-picked cronies and stooges)."
But even after having confessed that the system as it stood was/is a chimera, a government/corporate prop, used to browbeat the masses into accepting the blame for the constrained circumstances inflicted on them by a well-heeled Plutocracy that's riddled with corruption that was directly responsible for a failure so fundamental to it that only an enormous government raid on the assets of the public, euphemistically referred to as a "bailout", could hope to keep us all from utter ruin, no one has done anything to change a damn thing. And only a very few have even suggested we need do anything in the least to change a damn thing, except to make it, via the two treaties cited above, more prone to failure, less answerable to anyone, and less accountable for the suffering it continues to inflict.
All this brought about by that same Rapture attitude the Mimi character epitomised, wherein you, who professes no belief in the next life, suffer, while I, the supposed Christian, who supposedly believes in said afterlife, set up a system to destroy you and rob you of all your worldly goods, because, Jesus, goddamn it, would want it that way. Mimi, naturally was jailed for her crime, but there's no one to jail the criminals running the country now, there's not even any statutes under which to charge them as they buy the Congressmen who make the laws, own the officers who enforce the laws, and control the judges who interpret them so as to fit their nefarious purposes and leave you voiceless. Unless, that is, you comply with their wishes, and shoutdown those who finally do rise up against the Corpocracy's utter lawlessness with a violent lawlessness of their own. Then, as reward for your submissiveness and involvement in your own destruction, you will be rewarded by being left alone in your trailer, or your cellar, or the back seat of your auto, which has lately become your bedroom, so that they can continue to pile their hoards on high and curse those hordes down below.