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Doug Casey on What the International Ruling Class Have Planned for You

Doug Casey on What the International Ruling Class Have Planned for You

International Ruling class

International Man: No matter the problem, the prescription of the Davos crowd is always more welfare, more warfare, more money printing, more taxes, and of course, more centralization of power into global institutions.

What’s your take?

Doug Casey: The people who attend Davos are all welfare statists. They’re not necessarily socialists, insofar as they don’t want to see government nationalize industries. Most understand how totally dysfunctional that is and that they don’t really benefit from it. Strict socialism, defined as State ownership of the means of production, is off the table. They prefer economic fascism, where a powerful State can funnel wealth to the corporations the elite own or control. They’re happy to throw some table scraps to the unwashed masses, of course. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is the best way to do that.

Again, they’re not socialists. They’re welfare statists. Completely opportunistic and absolutely unprincipled. Despicable people, actually. Few are entrepreneurial, independent thinkers or free-market oriented. Those types would be disruptive at Davos, and if they’re ever invited, it would be only once.

Other than celebrities, court intellectuals, and publicity-oriented multibillionaires, the attendees are almost all bureaucrats and politicians who thrive on stolen money. But it’s no longer easily visible briefcases full of cash. That’s quaint in today’s world. They steal indirectly, by making sure they benefit from state regulations, state favors, and the inflation of the currency.

Bribes are in the form of tax-deducible donations to charitable foundations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). That’s not only much safer, but the money is vastly bigger, and the way it’s rigged adds to their prestige. Both making and taking a bribe disguises the miscreants as philanthropists and do-gooders when they use an NGO as a funnel.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bridgewater Co-CIO: “The Boom-Bust Cycle Is Over”

Bridgewater Co-CIO: “The Boom-Bust Cycle Is Over”

Just in case anyone was worried that the smart money was quietly getting ready to stop dancing after Bridgewater’s Co-CIO Greg Jensen told the FT in an interview last week that it’s time to buy gold (which he sees rising to $2,000 because the Fed and other central banks would let inflation run hot for a while and “there will no longer be an attempt by any of the developed world’s major central banks to normalize interest rates”) ahead of the Fed cutting rates to zero and that “equities are frothy” as “most of the world is long equity markets”, today Bridgewater’s other Co-CIO came out with a controversial statement that appears to convey a polar opposite message to Jensen’s warning.

Bob Prince, who alongside Greg Jensen helps oversee the world’s biggest hedge fund at Bridgewater Associates as its other Co-CIO, said the boom-bust economic cycle is over.”

Speaking to Bloomberg TV in Davos, Prince suggested that the tightening of central banks all around the world “wasn’t intended to cause the downturn, wasn’t intended to cause what it did” – and yet that’s precisely what the shrinking of the Fed’s balance sheet did hence the record expansion over the past four months – and shockingly said that “the lessons were learned from that and I think it was really a marker that we’ve probably seen the end of the boom-bust cycle.”

Prince was referring not only to the boom-bust cycle created by central banks, which first ease then tighten, resulting in bubbles and eventually crashes, as described in “Every Fed Tightening Cycle Creates A Crisis“…

… but also to the broader cycle of economic expansion and contraction that repeats itself.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Green New Physics

Green New Physics

Johannes Vermeer The lacemaker 1669-71

You could probably say I’m sympathetic to the schoolchildren protesting against climate change, and I’m sympathetic to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her call for a Green New Deal. Young people are the future, and they deserve a voice about that future. At the same time, I’m also deeply skeptical about their understanding of the issues they talk about. 

In fact, I don’t see much understanding at all. I think that’s because they base their comprehension of the world they’ve been born into on information provided by the very people they’re now protesting against. Look kids, your education system sucks, it was designed by those destroying your planet, you need to shake it off and get something better.

But I know what you will do instead: you’re going to get the ‘proper’ education to get a nice-paying job, with a nice car (green, of course) and a nice house etc etc. In other words, you will, at least most of you, be the problem, not solve it. And no shift towards wind or solar will make one iota of difference in that. Want to improve the world? Improve the education system first.

Climate change is just one of an entire array of problems the world faces, and in the same way the use of fossil fuels is just one of many causes of these problems. And focusing on only one aspect of a much broader challenge simply doesn’t appear to be a wise approach, if only because you risk exacerbating some problems while trying to fix others. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Collapse Is Already Here

Collapse Is Already Here

It’s a process, not an event.

Many people are expecting some degree of approaching collapse — be it economic, environmental and/or societal — thinking that they’ll recognize the danger signs in time. 

As if it will be completely obvious, like a Hollywood blockbuster. Complete with clear warnings from scientists, politicians and the media.  And everyone can then get busy either panicking or becoming the plucky heroes. 

That’s not how collapse works.

Collapse is a process, not an event.

And it’s already underway, all around us. 

Collapse is already here.

However, unlike Hollywood’s vision, the early stages of collapse cause people to cling even tighter to the status quo. Instead of panic in the streets, we simply see more of the same — as those in power do all they can to remain so, while the majority of the public attempts to ignore the growing problems for as long as it possibly can.

For both the elite and the majority, their entire world view and their personal sense of self depends on things not crumbling all around them, so they remain willfully blind to any evidence to the contrary.

When faced with the predicaments we warn about here at PeakProsperity.com, getting an early start on prudently shifting your own personal situation is of vital strategic and tactical importance. Tens of thousands of our readers already have taken wise steps in their lives to position themselves resiliently.

But most of the majority won’t get started until it’s entirely too late to make any difference at all. Which is sad but perhaps unavoidable, given human nature.

If everybody around you is saying “Everything is awesome!”, it can take a long time to determine for yourself that things in fact aren’t:

Real collapse happens slowly, and often without any sort of acknowledgement by the so-called political and economic elites until its abrupt terminal end.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lessons From Davos: Everything Can Come Crashing Down… And A Total Rejection Of Any Policy Alternatives

Lessons From Davos: Everything Can Come Crashing Down… And A Total Rejection Of Any Policy Alternatives

As Davos wraps up today, what have we got so far so far from the cockpit of globalisation? Warnings of rising nationalism. Fears of recession. Worries that everything could come tumbling down again. And a total rejection of any policy alternatives regardless. It’s as if the Captain of the Titanic admits to the passengers early into the journey that the ship is sinkable, and indeed they will all drown horribly when it goes down, but then reassures everybody he’s sticking to the same route towards the iceberg anyway. Before flying home in his private jet.

Exhibit A: SO ROSS. Billionaire US Commerce Secretary Ross coming across on TV as a “let them eat cake” kind of guy, when wondering why US government workers without pay don’t just go to a loan-shark to get them through the never-ending shut-down. It was a double-whammy from Ross: he also said the US and China are “miles and miles” away from an agreement on trade, meaning March madness looms, before being prodded to stay on message that it’s all good, even if the real issues over Chinese reforms are where this particular ship is likely to sink.

Exhibit B: SOROS. Emmanuel Goldstein George Soros boldly stating China’s Xi Jinping is: “the most dangerous opponent of those who believe in the concept of open society…Authoritarian regimes are proliferating all over the world and if they succeed, they will become totalitarian….I’ve been concentrating on China, but open societies have many more enemies, Putin’s Russia foremost among them….The first step is to recognize the danger…But now comes the difficult part…The reality is that we are in a Cold War that threatens to turn into a hot one.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“There Are Going To Be Shocks” – Barclays CEO Warns Another Financial Crisis Is Likely

“There Are Going To Be Shocks” – Barclays CEO Warns Another Financial Crisis Is Likely

Barclays CEO Jes Staley took a few days off from his battle to save Europe’s last functional global investment bank to travel to Davos this week, where he participated in a handful of interviews with Bloomberg and CNBC, and offered an interesting – if slightly self-serving – prediction about whether the unprecedented levels of debt rattling around the global financial system will result in another crisis like what happened ten years ago.

Staley

While he believes another great financial crisis is more or less inevitable, Staley insisted that, this time around, his industry wouldn’t be the cause. In fact, it might just be a buffer against the worst of the fallout. Because global banks have shrunk their balance sheets since the crisis (largely at the behest of regulators), they could end up shielding the global economy when credit markets – which have been fueled in part by non-bank lenders (i.e. shadow banks) – seize up.

“This time, there’s a chance the banks will be the buffer, as opposed to the cause” of the crisis, Staley, who has been the British bank’s chief executive officer since 2015, said in a Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Echoing a warning that has been featured in these pages more than once (and as recently as last week when we wrote that “An Unexpected Development Could Crush The Leveraged Loan Market”), Staley cited the flow of credit into collateralized loan obligations as a sign of the growing risks in the credit market, and pointed to the freeze-up in high-yield issuance in December as an indication of what a future “credit shock” could look like.

But destabilizing credit risks aren’t confined to corporate balance sheets. The growing sovereign debt burden could also become a problem.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s A Reunion For People Who Broke The World”: Author Explains Why Davos Should Be Cancelled

Paris is burning, a large chunk of the US federal government is shut down and Britain is careening toward a delay of Article 50 – or possibly a second referendum – as the Brexit process descends into chaos, calls for the World Economic Forum to cancel its annual conference in Davos, a notorious rendezvous for the world’s financial and political elite, are growing louder. Particularly after Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and now Theresa May have all decided to skip the conference this year to attend to their respective crises.

While these demands from a frustrated public might seem baffling to the global elites who see Davos as an opportunity for less-fortunate emerging economies to “pitch” themselves in an effort to attract more FDI, one former New York Times columnist and the author of a new book that explores the causes of the surge in populism sweeping the Western world offered a surprisingly articulate and trenchant explanation for why people across the west are “mad as hell”, and, furthermore, what role the average Davos attendee played in bringing our society to this point.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Anand Giridharadas placed the blame on plutocrats like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for helping to “break the world” with ruthless corporate agendas that helped monopolize political power in the hands of the elite…leaving the rest of the population with deep-seated feelings of frustration as the usual avenues of social mobility have been closed, and people feel more powerless to change their future.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The founder of the World Economic Forum shares what he sees as the biggest threat to the global economy

The founder of the World Economic Forum shares what he sees as the biggest threat to the global economy

  • Economist Klaus Schwab is the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum which will be holding it’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 22-25, 2019.
  • Schwab explains the theme of this year’s meeting, “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
  • When asked if we were currently in a trend of deglobalization he said no, “we have to make a differentiation between globalization, which is a fact, and globalism.”
  • He says the biggest threat to economic stability is the imbalances in the world.
  • Schwab says he believes trade imbalances are a problem. He is not an unconditional advocate for free trade, which he says is great but only if there is equality.

Sara Silverstein: This year’s theme for 2019 for the meeting is Globalization 4.0 and shaping the architecture of the Next Wave of Globalization which is the industrial revolution, the fourth industrial revolution, which you’ve literally wrote a book on. Can you tell me what makes up the fourth industrial revolution?

Klaus Schwab: We are living in a time of multiple technological innovations. I just mentioned artificial intelligence, blockchain, you could add and add, and all those technologies together will fundamentally transform the world, not just business models but economies, society, politics and so on. So when we speak about globalization 4.0, we want to address the global architecture which is needed in this new context of the fourth industrial revolution.

Silverstein: And what was the issue with the last wave of globalization?

Schwab: We see it already now so so many issues like inequality, trade wars, and I could go on and on. The danger is that we deal with those issues, we address those issues with patchwork policies.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Political Nightmares Multiply for Europe Ahead of Davos

Political Nightmares Multiply for Europe Ahead of Davos

Europe’s dreams of integration are slipping away as the people wake up from the nightmare erected for them.

As we approach Act IX of the Yellow Vest protests in France and the threats of creating bank runs we get the news that both Presidents Trump and Macron will not be attending the convocation of globalists known as the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Trump’s not attending because it’s clear he’s no longer a member of The Davos Crowd and Macron isn’t because any public appearance by him will double the number of people donning high visibility safety gear and taking to the streets.

It almost feels like we’ve reached Peak Davos, with these announcements. But, clearly neither of these men are invited because in the minds of The Davos Crowd they no longer figure in their long-term plans.

Macron not attending is also a sign his government will be sacrificed on the altar of the Yellow Vests in the near future.

The Yellow Vest protests will have to be dealt with in a substantive manner that goes far beyond a few temporary injunctions against higher taxes. They are now vandalizing another symbol of middle class oppression in France, speed cameras.

All of the governments of Europe are broke. And the speed camera is simply another in a long line of instances of them trying to squeeze blood from the now impoverished and shrinking middle class.

The symbology of them smashing speed cameras and demanding their money from the banks cannot be clearer. When you take everything from someone, when he has nothing left to lose, he becomes free.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Don’t Worry, It’s Only a “Pre-Bubble”

Ray Dalio, who embarrassed himself saying “You’re Going to Feel Pretty Stupid Holding Cash” offers more silliness.

Ray Galio, the head of the world’s largest hedge fund says U.S. in a ‘Pre-Bubble Phase’ with a 70% Chance of Recession.

I think we are in a pre-bubble stage that could go into a bubble stage,” the hedge-fund manager said during a Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics on Wednesday.

Dalio’s recession comments echo remarks he has made over in a LinkedIn post, where he wrote that “the risks of a recession in the next 18-24 months are rising.”

“Stupid to Hold Cash”

Despite his recession call, Dalio is the same person who told the crowd at Davos, ‘If You’re Holding Cash, You’re Going to Feel Pretty Stupid’.

Dalio is also a believer in the sideline cash theory and that we may see a “Minor Correction“.

In a LinkedIn article following the VIX-related plunge, Dalio said We’ve Just Had a Taste of What the Tightening Will Be Like.

The headline sounds bearish, but the message sure isn’t, as the key paragraph explains.

“Still, these big declines are just minor corrections in the scope of things, there is a lot of cash on the side to buy on the break, and what comes next will be most important.”

Inundated With Cash

In the CNBC interview, Dalio also spoke of sideline cash.

There is a lot of cash on the sidelines. I don’t mean just investor cash. I think banks have a lot of cash. Corporations have a lot of cash. So we are going to be inundated with cash.

Sideline Cash Rebuttal

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Kofi Annan Echoes Soros Scaremongery: “Social Media Threatens Democracy”

Just a few short weeks after billionaire George Soros spoke in Davos, demanding that the European Union regulate social media because voters’ minds are being controlled and “manipulated,” none other than former secretary-general of the United Nations and Nobel Peace laureate, Kofi Annan, has issued an op-ed very much in support of Soros’ free-speech suppression ideas… with very similar phrasing… and using the same double-speak ‘war is peace, ignorance is strength’ narrative to demand the regulation of social media.

In his Davos speech (above), Soros claimed the reach of social media firms made them a “public menace” while arguing they had led people to vote against globalist causes, including electing President Trump (all his ramblings about “open societies” aside)…

“They deceive their users by manipulating their attention, targeting them to their own economic interests and (…) depending on their services (…)

The platforms are similar to gambling companies (…) and force people to renounce their freedom (…). …), to renounce what John Stuart Mill called the freedom of thought “

And now, via Project Syndicate, Kofi Annan echoes the same sentiment…

How IT Threatens Democracy

Social media could be just the start of a slippery slope leading to an Orwellian world controlled by Big Data Brother, accelerated by convergence with the sensors in our devices and rapid advances in artificial intelligence. Some authoritarian regimes are already marshaling these developments to exercise control on an unprecedented scale.

The Internet and social media were once hailed for creating new opportunities to spread democracy and freedom. And Twitter, Facebook, and other social media did indeed play a key role in popular uprisings in Iran in 2009, in the Arab world in 2011, and in Ukraine in 2013-2014. Back then, the tweet did at times seem mightier than the sword.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“There’s Anger Building Out There” – One Man’s Message To Davos Elites

One man went to Davos and dared to say what Pepe Escobar thought no one would – that “it’s the inequality, stupid.”

Amid all the back-slapping exuberance of record high global stock markets and record high global net worth, John McDonnell, the U.K. opposition Labour Party’s spokesman on finance, came to the World Economic Forum in Davos with an uncomfortable message for the global elite

“I just warn the Davos establishment: There’s an anger building out there that you need to recognize and deal with,”

As Bloomberg reports, most delegates in Davos have adopted an upbeat tone this week — reflected in the optimism of top bankers at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG who told Bloomberg they see a continuation in a global boom in dealmaking.

But as McDonnell warns, there’s an “avalanche of discontent” out there among the masses.

But in the Swiss resort, “there’s almost a sense of euphoria, it is extraordinary, and I think there’s a sense of complacency.”

McDonnell’s warning carries weight because he would be chancellor of the exchequer if Labour came to power — something investors are preparing for.

“Out there, beyond the Davos compound, many people — we saw it in the Oxfam report — feel the markets have been rigged against them, not for them,” McDonnell said.

“When they’re told we’re coming out of that recession, growth is returning and they don’t feel they’re participating in the benefits of that growth, that’s when people become really alienated and angry.”

Bloomberg reports that McDonnell then laid out a recipe for regaining the trust of the masses, including:

  • Paying workers a “real living wage” and allowing them to share in the profits of the companies they work for.
  • Recognizing trade unions and appointing workers to company boards.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Antidote to Optimism

The Antidote to Optimism

It is always brightest before they turn the lights out.

You can quote us on that, Dear Reader.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get better… guess what?

They don’t. They go dark as a dungeon.

Antidote to Optimism

Our task today is to show that however wonderful things may appear in today’s markets and economy, they may not be all that great.

We put our backs into this grim work neither for love nor for money, but simply out of a sense of stern duty.

If not us, who? If not now, when?

Someone must put forward an antidote to the optimism now raging through markets around the world.

Someone must make the case for cynicism, suspicion, and mockery.

Someone must take the other side of the trade.

And so… the work, like shucking oysters on a cold day, falls to us. We open them up… hoping to find a pearl.

Donald Trump, Davos ManInstead, we find claptrap.

“The elite gathering at Davos [including Donald Trump],” begins a Financial Timesarticle, “takes place against a backdrop of improving economic activity across the world.”

The IMF says it is the “broadest synchronized global growth upswing since 2010.”

The FT goes on to tell us that the world economy is supposed to grow a healthy 3.9% “this year and next” thanks, at least in part, to the sweeping tax reform measure just implemented in the U.S.

Well, well, well. Gosh, it looks as though we were wrong about everything. You can predict the future after all.

As for the tax cut, we didn’t believe that the tax measure would have any positive consequences other than giving us more money.

What economic benefit could be reaped by taking money from one pocket and putting it in another?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

When it comes to Davos, it’s inequality, stupid

When it comes to Davos, it’s inequality, stupid

This is what ‘the great and the good’ in the business world will not be discussing during the annual talk-fest at the Swiss luxury resort

The curtain has gone up on the annual World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. Photo: Reuters / Denis Balibouse

The curtain has gone up on the annual World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. Photo: Reuters / Denis Balibouse

Macron’s pledge to wipe out coal is just as meaningless as Trump’s plan to revive it

In a speech at the 2018 World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to “make France a model in the fight against climate change” and promised to shut all coal-fired power plants by 2021 – two years earlier than the timetable put forward by his predecessor.

While Macron’s move is mainly symbolic since France only generates about 2.2 percent of its power from coal, it signals his government is actively trying to wean itself off fossil fuels in sharp contrast to the current policy of his U.S. counterpart. “We have finally ended the war on coal,” pretty much sums up American policy these days, as President Donald Trump declared in a recent speech.

Behind the headlines and clear policy contrasts, however, lies an important point: The U.S. is likely to become coal plant free anyway, with or without presidential support. The reason is economics, which, as always, trumps the words of a politician – even if it can take longer.

The US and coal

In the U.S., the Energy Information Administration has been charged, since the energy crises of the 1970s, with providing an unbiased view of the types of energy used to power the U.S. economy.

Its data show that in 2006 about 10 percent of all electric power plants – 616 – ran on coal. By 2016, the latest year for which data are available, that figure dropped to just 4 percent, or 381 coal-fired power plants. That compares with 1,801 natural gas plants and 3,624 “other renewables” such as wind, up from 1,659 and 843 in 2006, respectively.

In other words, slightly more than 20 coal plants are shutting down each year on average. If the trend continues at the same rate, then most coal-fired power plants will be closed in the U.S. within 18 years, or around 2035. A few will likely remain, since utilities close the oldest, least efficient plants first, but the trend is clear.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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