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Three Major Imbalances – Financial, Trust and Geopolitical

Three Major Imbalances – Financial, Trust and Geopolitical

But greed is a bottomless pit
And our freedom’s a joke
We’re just taking a piss
And the whole world must watch the sad comic display
If you’re still free start running away
Cause we’re coming for you!

– Conor Oberst, “Land Locked Blues”

It’s hard to believe 2020 is just around the corner. If the last ten years have taught us anything, it’s the extent to which a vicious and corrupt oligarchy will go to further extend and entrench their economic and societal interests. Although the myriad desperate actions undertaken by the ruling class this past decade have managed to sustain the current paradigm a bit longer, it has not come without cost and major long-term consequence. Gigantic imbalances across multiple areas have been created and worsened, and the resolution of these in the years ahead (2020-2025) will shape the future for decades to come. I want to discuss three of them today, the financial system imbalance, the trust imbalance and the geopolitical imbalance.

Recent posts have focused on how what really matters in a crisis is not the event itself, but the response to it. The financial crisis of ten years ago is particularly instructive, as the entire institutional response to a widespread financial industry crime spree was to focus on saving a failed system and then pretending nothing happened. The public was given no time or space to debate whether the system needed saving; or more specifically, which parts needed saving, which parts needed wholesale restructuring and which parts should’ve been thrown into the dustbin. Rather, unelected central bankers stepped in with trillions in order to prop up, empower and reward the very industry and individuals that created the crisis to begin with. There was no real public debate, central bankers just did whatever they wanted. It was a moment so brazen and disturbing it shook many of us, including myself, out of a lifetime of propaganda induced deception.

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

Mad World

MAD WORLD

And I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles it’s a very very
Mad world, mad world

Image result for the primal scream

The haunting Gary Jules version of the Tears for Fears’ Mad World speaks to me in these tumultuous mad times. It must speak to many others, as the music video has been viewed over 132 million times. The melancholy video is shot from the top of an urban school building in a decaying decrepit bleak neighborhood with school children creating various figures on the concrete pavement below. The camera pans slowly to Gary Jules singing on the rooftop and captures the concrete jungle of non-descript architecture, identical office towers, gray cookie cutter apartment complexes, and a world devoid of joy and vibrancy.

The song was influenced by Arthur Janov’s theories in his book The Primal Scream. The chorus above about his “dreams of dying were the best he ever had” is representative of letting go of this mad world and being free of the monotony and release from the insanity of this world. Our ego fools us into thinking the madness of this world is actually normal. Day after day we live lives of quiet desperation. Despite all evidence our world is spinning out of control and the madness of the crowds is visible in financial markets, housing markets, politics, social justice, and social media, the level of normalcy bias among the populace has reached astounding levels, as we desperately try to convince ourselves everything will be alright. But it won’t.

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

Cult Of War, Violence And Greed 

America is a unique class of humans from any perspective, with the recent school shootings it seems a reminder is needed that America is a country, and a culture, built on blood, violence, greed, and the most carnal instincts of the bottom of the Maslow pyramid.  First let’s start with a bit of history.

The “Founding Fathers” as they are called, actually there were many groups who came to America at the same time.  Finally they all sort of worked together.  Mostly we can categorize them as two groups:

  • Greedy Entrepreneurs (those who wanted to find riches in the new world) AND
  • Religious Zealots whose beliefs were SO NUTTY they were exiled from their home countries, or their way of life was banned there (I.e. Illuminati)

The poor class of ‘sick and weak’ workers really just wanted a job, they didn’t really form any institutions or influence the culture here – they just worked their ass off.  This silent working class still exists today, although it is less potent than 100 years ago.

The ‘Founding Fathers’ to be precise were a bunch of White European slaveowners that said all men are created equal.  The world didn’t take America serious until Truman maimed millions of Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so all this early history has never really been explored from this perspective aside from a few books on the topic.  America was a land of freaks and nuts and counterculture revolutionaries, witches, racists, and warriors.  The American Revolution was the first realization of this collective that all agreed that violence is the first answer to solve any problem.  Fuck the British, throw the tea in the river.  The sissies that didn’t buy this line escaped quietly North and started Canada.

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

The United States of Weinstein: Complicity, Greed and Corruption Is the Status Quo

The United States of Weinstein: Complicity, Greed and Corruption Is the Status Quo

If integrity means more than any of these baubles, then prepare to fail.
The theme this week is The Rot Within.

The sordid story of Harvey Weinstein is being presented as an aberration. It is not an aberration; it is merely a high-profile example of how the status quo functions in the USA, a.k.a. The United States of Weinstein, in which complicity, greed and corruption reign supreme in every sector and in every nook and cranny of power.

The dirty secret of America’s status quo is that power and wealth are both extremely concentrated, which means there are gatekeepers who must be bribed, sated or serviced if you want to claw your way up the wealth-power pyramid. Mr. Weinstein’s alleged conduct and payoffs of those he exploited is par for the course in the corridors of power in the USA.

As a gatekeeper in Hollywood, Mr. W. could make or break careers with absurd ease.

Gatekeepers are the key functionaries in a rentier economy in which the few at the top skim the wealth of the many. Want to play in the big leagues of Hollywood, Washington D.C., the Pentagon, or the various HQs of Global Corporate America? You have to pay the Gatekeepers what they demand.

It might be the casting couch or a slice of the profits, or a vote in committee, but the price of admission will always include complicity–silence about the crimes committed and the endemic corruption, and a sacrifice of moral standards. This is the minimal price of “success” in the elite circles of wealth and power in America.

If you doubt this, dig deep into any concentration of power in America and see what you find. Outsiders won’t find anyone willing to talk, of course; that’s how complicity works.

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

You are currently living through the dumbest monetary experimental end game in history (including Havenstein and Gono’s)

You are currently living through the dumbest monetary experimental end game in history (including Havenstein and Gono’s)

We have seen several explanations for the financial crisis and its lingering effects depressing our global economy in its aftermath. Some are plain stupid, such as greed for some reason suddenly overwhelmed people working within finance, as if people in finance were not greedy before 2007. Others try to explain it through “liberalisation” which is almost just as nonsensical as government regulators never liberalised anything, but rather allowed fraud, in polite company called fractional reserve banking, to grow unrestrained. Some point to excess savings in exporting countries as the culprit behind our misery. Excess saving forces less frugal countries reluctantly to run deficits, or so the argument goes.

While some theories are pure folly, others are partial right, but none seem to grasp the fundamental factor that pulled and keep pulling the world into such unsustainable constellations witnessed in global finance, trade and capital allocation.

Whenever we try to explain the reasons behind the crisis, such as the build-up in non-productive and counterproductive debt (see herehere and here for more details) people ask us why did this happened now, and not earlier? It is a fair question that we have thought about and believe have one simple answer. Bottom line, the world economy is running on a system with no natural correcting mechanisms.

As we are never tired of pointing out, the Soviet Union only had one recession, the one in 1989. The system was stable, until it was not. A system that does not correct internal imbalances grows just like a parasitic cancer, eventually killing its host. If unsustainable capital allocations are allowed to continue unchecked, the pool of real savings will at some point be depleted. At that point recession hits because the structure of production is too capital intensive relative to the level of real saving available.

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

World’s Climate Threatened by Greed and Militarism, Official Canada Remains Part of the Problem, Not Solution

World’s Climate Threatened by Greed and Militarism, Official Canada Remains Part of the Problem, Not Solution

shutterstock_80847415

A leading columnist in Canada’s Globe and Mail daily newspaper known in the past to voice concern about the global warming emergency has penned two columns recently in support of Alberta tar sands pipelines, including praising the efforts of the premier of Alberta to sell the construction of these project to an increasingly sceptical and wary public in Canada

Jeffrey Simpson has argued for years for a more rational capitalist approach to energy production in which some account would be made for the global warming emergency. He co-authored a book in 2007 with several climate scientists titled Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge.[1] But his columns in the January 14 and 15 editions of the Globe reveal him as just a born again shill for the Alberta tar sands industry.

Simpson begins his Jan 14 column (accessible online to Globesubscribers only) with, “Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, to her government’s great credit, has tried for the first time to outline a comprehensive and serious plan for the province to curb greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.”

Simpson is referring to Premier Notley’s fanfare announcement on November 22, 2015 purporting to be an energy “plan” with greenhouse gas reduction components. The “plan” includes a few piecemeal promises such as reducing coal-fired electricity production in Alberta over the next few decades (presently, the province generates 50 per cent of its electricity from coal). But the centrepiece of her “plan” is to green light an increase in tar sands production in the coming years by as much as 43 per cent, most of which would be sold in foreign markets. A plan to “curb greenhouse gas emissions”, indeed.

Edmonton writer Gordon Laxer explained in a commentary published in the Edmonton Journal on December 3:

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

The Odds Are Never In Your Favour

The Odds Are Never In Your Favour

The irony of the phrase “may the odds be ever in your favor” is not lost on the readers of the Hunger Games trilogy of novels or the film adaption. Despite the grimness of the story, over 65 million copies of the books have been sold. The total box office take so far has exceeded $1.4 billion for the four movies. The dystopian series tackles real issues like severe poverty, starvation, torture, oppression, betrayal and the brutality of war. It doesn’t fit into the standard film making success recipe of feel good fluff, politically correct storylines and happy endings. Each film in the series gets progressively darker, with the final episode permeating doom and gloom. The books and the movies capture the deepening crisis mood engulfing the world today. And they realistically portray the world as a place where there are no good guys in positions of power. The ruling class, in all cases, is driven by a voracious appetite for supremacy, wealth, and control.

An Ambiguous, Confusing, Dangerous World

The world is a morally ambiguous place where those in power and those seeking power utilize the influence of media propaganda and PR campaigns built around “heroes” and “icons” to psychologically control the masses, while enriching themselves and their crony capitalist sponsors. Endless war against the latest “bad guys” further enriches the arms dealers and their political lackeys who joyfully use faux patriotism and nationalistic fervor to insist upon more boots on the ground, drones in the air, bombs dropped, and missiles launched.

War is good for business and keeps the masses distracted, while the Wall Street financiers harvest the wealth of the citizens.

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

Democracy Sold Out to Greed

Democracy Sold Out to Greed

While the “free Western media” cheers, the Western “democratic” governments sell out the peoples of the Western world to corporate tyranny


John Massaria has turned my interview with Julian Charles into a video.

The video helps me to bring home that “Western democracy” is a sham, a total lie.

Every Western government and Washington’s Asian vassal states are totally under the control of private corporations and private interest groups. The corporations govern, and they are in the process of institutionalizing their governance with the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Partnerships. The purpose of these “partnerships” is to make global corporations higher than the laws of the “sovereign” countries in which they do business.

Anything, whether law, rule, regulation, or moral principle that interferes with corporate profits is outlawed as “a resraint on trade.”

Western civilization is over and done with. Nothing remains except historical achievements that are no longer understood or appreciated.

Hawking: Greedy capitalists may pocket wealth as robots replace human workers

Hawking: Greedy capitalists may pocket wealth as robots replace human workers

The scientist was commenting on so-called technological unemployment, a trend of automatization taking over the jobs that previously required humans. According to some estimates, in a matter of decades robots may become better and cheaper than humans in most tasks and make most of the human workforce unemployable.

Hawkins believes that in such a scenario we should expect not prosperity but drastic economic inequality in the future.

“If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed,” he said in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session Thursday.

“Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.”

Hawkins’ previous predictions of emerging threats dealt with automatic weapons controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) and the potential dangers of actively searching for alien life.

READ MORE: US & Israel inequality champions of developed world – OECD

Economic inequality is a problem growing worse in developed countries. According to the OECD, the situation is worse than 30 years now, with the US and Israel performing worst.

The Worst Part Is Central Bankers Know Exactly What They Are Doing

The Worst Part Is Central Bankers Know Exactly What They Are Doing

The best position for a tyrant or tyrants to be in, at least while consolidating power, is tyranny by proxy. That is to say, the most dangerous tyrants are those the people do not recognize: the tyrants who hide behind scarecrows and puppets and faceless organizations. The worst position for the common citizen to be in is a false sense of security and understanding, operating on the assumption that tyrants do not exist or that potential tyrants are really just greedy fools acting independently from one another.

Sadly, there are a great many people today who hold naïve notions that our sociopolitical dynamic is driven by random chaos, greed and fear. I’m sorry to say that this is simply not so, and anyone who believes such nonsense is doomed to be victimized by the tides of history over and over again.

There is nothing random or coincidental about our political systems or economic structures. There are no isolated tyrants and high-level criminals functioning solely on greed and ignorance. And while there is certainly chaos, this chaos is invariably engineered, not accidental. These crisis events are created by people who often refer to themselves as “globalists” or “internationalists,” and their goals are rather obvious and sometimes openly admitted: at the top of their list is the complete centralization of government and economic power that is then ACCEPTED by the people as preferable. They hope to attain this goal primarily through the exploitation of puppet politicians around the world as well as the use of pervasive banking institutions as weapons of mass fiscal destruction.

Their strategic history is awash in wars and financial disasters, and not because they are incompetent. They are evil, not stupid.

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

US fall from virtuous republic to tragic-comic empire described perfectly by Roman historians

US fall from virtuous republic to tragic-comic empire described perfectly by Roman historians

The ancient Greek historian, Polybius, celebrated the Roman republic of ~ 150 BC under its constitution with balance of powers among the Senate, two elected consuls, and the general citizens:

“Such being the power that each part has of hampering the others or co-operating with them, their union is adequate to all emergencies, so that it is impossible to find a better political system than this.”  – The Histories, Book VI, Section V: On the Roman Constitution at its Prime

Americans and people around the world were equally proud of the United States Constitution as “impossible to find a better political system than this.”

About 100 years after Polybius’ account, Rome’s republic had descended into oligarchic competition for power. Contemporary to Julius Caesar, the Roman historian and government insider Sallust blasted the decline of virtue in government:

“To those who had easily endured toils, dangers, and doubtful and difficult circumstances, ease and wealth, the objects of desire to others, became a burden and a trouble. At first the love of money, and then that of power, began to prevail, and these became, as it were, the sources of every evil. For avarice subverted honesty, integrity, and other honorable principles, and, in their stead, inculcated pride, inhumanity, contempt of religion, and general venality. Ambition prompted many to become deceitful; to keep one thing concealed in the breast, and another ready on the tongue; to estimate friendships and enmities, not by their worth, but according to interest; and to carry rather a specious countenance than an honest heart. These vices at first advanced but slowly, and were sometimes restrained by correction; but afterwards, when their infection had spread like a pestilence, the state was entirely changed, and the government, from being the most equitable and praiseworthy, became rapacious and insupportable.” – Conspiracy of Catiline, The Argument

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

 

 

Our Financial Future: Infinite Greed Meets a Funny Thing Called Karma

Our Financial Future: Infinite Greed Meets a Funny Thing Called Karma

All those angered by the mere question of the viability of this predatory pillaging in the name of capitalism are incapable of even admitting this cultural crisis exists.

Somewhere along the line, we lost the ability to distinguish between earning a profit and maximizing private gain by any means, i.e. Infinite Greed. If you insist on making this distinction now, you anger a lot of people, as it blows the capitalist cover of Infinite Greed.

If you make the distinction between earning a profit and maximizing private gain by any means, then you realize the status quo is neither sustainable nor good: it is unsustainable and evil. This angers everyone who has rationalized their investment in (and defense of) an evil system, because, well, it’s hard to feel all warm and fuzzy about your choices if the phony facade falls and the evil of the system you’ve defended is starkly revealed.The distinction between earning a profit and maximizing private gain by any means angers not just the few benefiting from the useful delusion that Infinite Greed is simply profit on overdrive; it seems to anger everyone who believes the Status Quo of burning mountains of coal to power towel warmers, sitting in traffic burning petrol two hours a day and central banks enriching the already wealthy is not just sustainable but gol-darned good.

Every enterprise must earn a profit to survive. A worker-owned collective must earn a profit, as it needs money to reinvest in the business and reward those who have invested their capital (human, social, financial, intellectual, etc.) in the enterprise.

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

 

 

Resource Insights: Greed explained: J. Paul Getty, Aristotle and the Maximum Power Principle

Resource Insights: Greed explained: J. Paul Getty, Aristotle and the Maximum Power Principle.

Greed explained: J. Paul Getty, Aristotle and the Maximum Power Principle

Regular readers know I often write about energy, and while this piece may not at first blush seem like an energy story, you’ll soon see that the quest for an ample supply of energy is, in fact, at the heart of human greed.

Greed is often said to be a central cause of our ecological and social ills. It motivates excessive and injurious exploitation of the planet and thus threatens the existence of many species including humans themselves. It leads to excessive economic inequality and the social ills presumed to be associated with that inequality. And, of course, greed is regarded as not just bad for the biosphere or society; it’s bad for the soul and therefore earns a place on the list of the seven deadly sins.

Many people are convinced that greed is learned and therefore can be unlearned or not taught in the first place. Others believe that greed is simply an inherent evil in humans, part of the human condition.

Someone once asked oil tycoon J. Paul Getty how much money is enough. He replied, “A little bit more.” The fictional financier Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s film “Wall Street”–who is best known for the phrase “greed is good”–gives a different answer: “It’s not a question of enough, pal. It’s a zero-sum game – somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn’t lost or made, it’s simply transferred – from one perception to another.” Finally, I offer the words of Noah Cross, a character played by John Huston in the film “Chinatown.” Cross is asked what else such an enormously wealthy man as himself could possibly want, and he replies: “The future.”

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

Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds | Reuters

Banking culture breeds dishonesty, scientific study finds | Reuters.

(Reuters) – – A banking culture that implicitly puts financial gain above all else fuels greed and dishonesty and makes bankers more likely to cheat, according to the findings of a scientific study.

Researchers in Switzerland studied bank workers and other professionals in experiments in which they won more money if they cheated, and found that bankers were more dishonest when they were made particularly aware of their professional role.

When bank employees were primed to think less about their profession and more about normal life, however, they were less inclined to dishonesty.

“Many scandals… have plagued the financial industry in the last decade,” Ernst Fehr, a researcher at the University of Zurich who co-led the study, told reporters in a telephone briefing. “These scandals raise the question whether the business culture in the banking industry is favoring, or at least tolerating, fraudulent or unethical behaviors.”

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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