Mr. Krugman is halfway smart: he is an economist who understands some of the dangers of the Floating Currency. But he doesn’t go after ‘free trade’ or he would lose his perch at the NYT, I guess. But yesterday, he took off after the ‘Three Musketeers’: Greenspan, Rubin & Summers. This is because the dumb trio pretended to be too stupefied to foresee the very obvious housing and buy-up bubbles. In his editorial, Mr. Krugman mentions a very interesting Time Magazine article from 1999.
It is important for us to read this old article. It is full of information about the Asian Currency Crisis that tells us exactly why Greenspan, Rubin and Summers should all be kept far, far away from any monetary policy making positions and Greenspan, arrested for fraud and reckless endangerment of an economy.
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Krugman – Lest We Forget – NYTimes.com
Consider, in particular, what happened after the crisis of 1997-98. This crisis showed that the modern financial system, with its deregulated markets, highly leveraged players and global capital flows, was becoming dangerously fragile. But when the crisis abated, the order of the day was triumphalism, not soul-searching.
Time magazine famously named Mr. Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers “The Committee to Save the World” — the “Three Marketeers” who “prevented a global meltdown.” In effect, everyone declared a victory party over our pullback from the brink, while forgetting to ask how we got so close to the brink in the first place.
In fact, both the crisis of 1997-98 and the bursting of the dot-com bubble probably had the perverse effect of making both investors and public officials more, not less, complacent. Because neither crisis quite lived up to our worst fears, because neither brought about another Great Depression, investors came to believe that Mr. Greenspan had the magical power to solve all problems — and so, one suspects, did Mr. Greenspan himself, who opposed all proposals for prudential regulation of the financial system.
During the 1990’s, the US stock market rose over 18%. The only decade where this grew even better was the decade when the US recovered all the losses from the Great Crash of 1929. Stocks rose nearly 18% in the 1980’s and even more, the next decade. The Dot Com Crash hit the US in 2000: the NASDAQ began to collapse in March. The rest, right BEFORE 9/11, not after. Bush’s popularity was crashing after March, 2001. He wanted to boost it and the tax cuts were supposed to assure a crashing stock market.
The world was sliding into a bad recession back then. In Japan, all economic indicators, especially exports, were falling swiftly. The Bush mega-tax cuts poured money into the world economic systems. The consumer economy in the US took off again. After 9/11, Greenspan dropped interest rates far, far below the rate of inflation right when the US increased military spending to record levels.
Two things took off for the skies: the US trade deficit ballooned right as all our housing values ballooned. These were part of the outcome of the tax cutting coupled with military overspending and let us not forget the ‘free trade’ business which ground onwards, eliminating nearly all US trade protections.
I remember that time well. Bush pushed for emergency tax cuts to ‘save the economy.’ I was disgusted. Clinton and the GOP, due to hating each other and snarling up Washington, DC’s massive debt machine, balanced the budgets for the first time since President Kennedy. It was obvious, by 1999, the US was in the middle of a very disastrous and energetic inflow of foreign funds driving up stocks. iTulip.com was launched in 1999 during the Dot Com stock market madness.
iTulip is a great way to find information that seems to be obscured from the eyes of the Three Marketeers:
The Three Marketeers – TIME Feb. 15, 1999
It has meant some very difficult decisions. In some of the nations devastated by the crisis, there is a growing anti-U.S. backlash, and politicians such as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad complain that Rubin, Greenspan and Summers–and their henchmen at the International Monetary Fund–have turned nations like Malaysia and Russia into leper colonies by isolating them from global capital and making life hellish in order to protect U.S. growth. The three admit they’ve made hard choices–and they’ll even cop to some mistakes–but they still believe that a strong U.S. economy is the last, best hope for the world.
And awful as the Asian correction is, it was, in a sense, inevitable because those economies had trundled billions of dollars into useless real estate and industrial development. “In general,” said Summers, 44, as he sat in the Frankfurt airport last fall recovering from a hectic trip to Moscow, “we start with the idea that you can’t repeal the laws of economics. Even if they are inconvenient.” Over dinner recently someone congratulated Rubin on the booming U.S. economy and pointed out that one international magazine had been uniformly wrong in its predictions of a complete global collapse. The Secretary wasn’t biting: “Everything is probabilistic,” he said. The battle continues.
The Asian collapse of 1998-1999 was fixed in two very interesting ways: the nations that either went through the collapse or who anticipated runs on their own finances all began to amass gigantic FOREX reserves. Before the Asian Currency Crisis, virtually no one had FOREX reserves bigger than $80 billion. Afterwards, Asian and then, in the last three years, nearly all our trade partners ran up their FOREX reserves. In Asia, these grew from less than $80 billion to $2 trillion or more in size.
One thing that our brainless Three Marketeers should think about is exactly this: the sudden surge in FOREX reserves after a series of bubbles popped in Asia. After all, the Federal RESERVE is supposed to be the entity holding our dollars, eh? And instead of changing direction after Asia and then the world, changed direction, the US stubbornly kept the old reserve levels. We should had been buying and holding euros and yen. We didn’t. And so our trade deficit shot upwards to nearly a trillion in losses a year by 2007.
Greenspan, Rubin and Summers were supposed to be MONETARISTS. This means, the manipulate the CURRENCY. To do this, they use tools and one of these is the FOREX reserves! Duh! Why on earth don’t they understand this simple story?
According to Krugman, the semi-sane economist, these nutty guys claim they have no idea what went wrong here. They couldn’t see bubbles forming. This, of course, is a lie. At the point where Krugman talks about this pretense of ignorance, he should have gone off to see why this is so. Why do our leaders always profess stupidity when messes they made are obvious to anyone?
HAHAHA. They are a bunch of very naughty little boys, aren’t they? They don’t want anyone to know their dirty deeds. So, once they drop the cookie jar, they hold up their hands and yell, ‘I didn’t touch it!’
I still remember the Asian crisis. Note how the article from back then, clearly states that this was due to too much real estate and useless factories being built. And the value of all existing systems suddenly shooting upwards as FOREIGN money flowed suddenly into Asian lands!
OK: here is where it gets most interesting. WHOSE MONEY WAS FLOWING INTO ASIA???? Ah! This is the key. We know how these bubbles form. Someone is very reckless with lending money to someone else. That someone else takes these stupid sub-1% loans and dumps them all over everything on this planet, seeking someone to be trapped into paying interest rates forever and ever.
And what bank dropped their interest rates to nearly zero in 1996? This, incidentally, is when the bubbles began to suddenly form and grow rapidly, in Asia, in South America. Well, I look around and I spot someone who is probably the guilty party: the Bank of Japan!
The carry trade began in 1996. By 1998, it was a roaring business in Asia. This tsunami of easy credit pouring out of the Bank of Japan was carried offshore. It was Japan’s greatest export product! On top of this, Japanese exporters and Japanese savers needed to park money offshore and have it earn a higher interest rate since rates in Japan were at 0%. So a flood of savings and profits from the world’s #2 economy flooded all of Asia and sluggishly flowed over South America. And the US itself. Housing values in these places began to balloon nearly instantly.
Ecuador would find challenging its foreign debt in U.S. courts difficult because the country signed away its legal rights in bond agreements over a 20-year period, a debt auditor said.
Halting debt payments without the support of a court decision would be a “catastrophe” for the nation, Alejandro Olmos, a member of a committee appointed by President Rafael Correa to review the debt, said in an interview after a speech today in Quito. Bondholders could seize Ecuador’s assets, including those of state-owned oil company PetroEcuador, he said.
“If he doesn’t pay, it will be because he has sufficient legal backing to do so,” said Olmos, an Argentine who previously investigated his home country’s foreign debt. “If no possibility exists for a legal contest, he unfortunately will have to accept that and he will have to pay.”
Ecuador on Nov. 15 didn’t make a scheduled bond payment, invoking a 30-day grace period even though it has the money to meet the obligation.
The price for the 2012 bond fell to as low as 14 cents on the dollar on Nov. 14 after the government’s most recent threats to default on about $4 billion in debt. The bond recovered to about 26 cents on the dollar last week.
Why is that? HAHAHA. Mortgages are for 30 years! Guaranteed income for life. The Time Magazine 1999 article left this dynamic out. Indeed, no one in the media mentioned the words ‘Japanese carry trade’ back then. It was a devil of a time for me to figure this out during the last decade. A real educational experience.
The initial downturn didn’t surprise the Fed or the Treasury too much. For the better part of two years, Greenspan and Rubin had been quietly fretting about the narrowing “spread”–the difference in interest rates–between U.S. bonds and emerging-market bonds. By 1996 banks were lending money to countries such as Malaysia at interest rates just a few percentage points above what the U.S. Treasuries commanded. The implication: Malaysia was not a much riskier bet than the U.S. This was nonsense, and the committee knew some correction was in order.
But the speed of the collapse, when it came, was breathtaking, and proof that world markets had entered a new and much more volatile phase. Summers has a favorite analogy: “Global capital markets pose the same kinds of problems that jet planes do. They are faster, more comfortable, and they get you where you are going better. But the crashes are much more spectacular.”
Summers and Rubin didn’t run the Bush train off the tracks. But Greenspan obviously was the main driver in this present crash. But Summers and Rubins are meddlers who were VERY active in dealing with the previous Bank of Japan-engineered crashes. Since they ran around the world, ‘fixing’ things, they bear a lot of responsibility for the present mess. Because they didn’t fix what was really wrong. Instead, we are all striving now to ape the Bank of Japan!
Namely, all the INDUSTRIAL NATIONS are dropping interest rates to 0%, fast. And all the COMMODITY nations are raising interest rates! Isn’t that rather queer? Especially since the US market is rather a big more a commodity exporter compared to Japan or England, just for example.
Japan’s Ashiya city has been home to the nation’s industrial titans since samurai ruled the land more than a century ago. Now it’s a feeding ground for hedge funds tapping the wealth of new multi-millionaires like Kunihisa Sagami….Overseas hedge funds including Winton Capital Management Ltd. and MKP Capital Management LLC are angling for that wealth to replenish capital after the credit crisis triggered the worst losses on record in their $1.6 trillion industry. And investors like Sagami are biting.
“I’m in the middle of shifting my cash holdings to hedge funds,” Sagami, 48, said in an Oct. 14 interview at his Hisashi Kobayashi-designed house on a 3,300 square-meter (0.8 acre) lot. “This is the beginning of the biggest bargain sale.” He confirmed last week he is still investing in the funds….Department Chief Hiromitsu Nakagawa said he offers mutual funds that include hedge funds to individuals with more than 500 million yen in financial assets. He said many clients want to diversify portfolios that are mostly made up of inherited properties and securities.
Whenever an economic system develops whereby a large upper class simply sits back and collects wealth via inheritance and clipping coupons, we get long, long depressions. Japan is in the grip of this epic depression and like Victorian England, the upper classed don’t mind this one bit. Indeed, they work very hard to prevent it from ending. The benefits of seeing their holdings grow steadily while the prices fall at home is a lot of fun.
On the other hand, it kills economies. The dead hand of debt accumulation eventually grinds commerce to a halt. In Japan, this is deliberate. The ruling LDP is made up of these sorts of people who want money to flow steadily into their laps. They do NOT want a consumer surge that might encourage imports. Once a country has an ‘inheritor class’ in charge of things, it is all downhill. This is why we had such high inheritance taxes here. It was a sociological experiment at trying to prevent depressions due to a nation being run by people who inherit their wealth.
It is now set at 0%. The rich can happily accumulate wealth without working, for infinite lengths of time. It is also part of our budget crisis. Money is no longer flowing in like it used to. I remember when the inheritance tax was first reduced: it was to save ‘the family farm.’ Instead, ‘family farms’ are dying as they are turned into vast estates that are worked by foreign stoop-labor of mostly illegal aliens from the South.
Since the repeal of the inheritance tax, nearly all the small family farms in my community have vanished. Now, mega-rich people like the McCain family can hand off their wealth intact to their children. Couple this with the drop in the number of babies produced by these rich families and we get an accumulation of wealth that is very dangerous. If rich families marry each other and then have one or at most, two children, this ‘old wealth’ will accumulate into fewer and fewer hands! This is bad. Very bad. Nowhere on earth do democracies thrive when there is this sort of passive wealth accumulation at work.
The three men trying to cope with these mid-ether collisions of dollars and expectations are an unlikely team. Greenspan, the data-loving analyst with government roots sunk back into the financial and moral chaos of the Nixon Administration, and a shaman-like power over global markets. Rubin, the Goldman Sachs wonder boy who ran the firm’s complex and dangerous arbitrage operations and then led it to rocket-ship international growth. And Summers, the Harvard-trained academic who is invariably called the Kissinger of economics: a total pragmatist whose ambition sometimes grates but whose intellect never fails to dazzle.
What holds them together is a passion for thinking and an inextinguishable curiosity about a new economic order that is unfolding before them like an Alice in Wonderland world. The sheer fascination of inventing a 21st century financial system motivates them more than the usual Washington drugs of power and money. In the past six years the three men have merged into a kind of brotherhood, with an easy rapport.
All Goldman Sachs people should be permanently banned from working in the government. Especially the Treasury or the Federal Reserve. Ditto, JP Morgan. These clowns have, as the article in 1999 points out, invented this financial system! And it truly is an ‘Alice In Wonderland’ world: the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as well as the Queen of Heart’s court. These guys eat a meal and then move down the endless table, leaving us, Alice, to eat off of their dirty plates.
When she suggests they ALL move forwards to clean dishes, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare regard her as insane. The criminal brotherhood of these three guys has prepared a global feast where 90% of humanity gets to eat the crumbs off of their dirty dishes! While they dine on clean dishes. I will note here that there are many ‘widdershin’ aspects to both ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ stories.
Greenspan, Rubin and Summers are ‘magicians’ who are also either gnomes or worse, economics professors 🙂 I have cartooned many times, showing these guys at work. They know that they are making magic money. They know where a lot of the magic money is coming from. They understand all this. AND LOVE IT. This is why none of them ever educate us about the Japanese carry trade, the dangers of long, long depressions caused by people inheriting wealth, the need to tax the rich heavily so they don’t overload all systems towards coupon-clipping. Namely, living off of debt payments generated by industry and the working classes. They love that evil whore, Ayn Rand.
The three men have a mania for analysis that has bred a rigorous, unique intellectual honesty…. This pragmatism is a faith that recalls nothing so much as the objectivist philosophy of the novelist and social critic Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged), which Greenspan has studied intently. During long nights at Rand’s apartment and through her articles and letters, Greenspan found in objectivism a sense that markets are an expression of the deepest truths about human nature and that, as a result, they will ultimately be correct….they all agree that trying to defy global market forces is in the end futile….In the same way that the threat of mutually assured destruction helped Kissinger replace Washington ideology with Realpolitik, the shadow of a massive economic meltdown has helped the committee sell a market-driven policy that could be labeled Realeconomik.
Ayn Rand is like any number of demons in the Cave of Wealth and Death. She knew that there is a connection between sex and money. She exploited this information. Note here that this toxic trio viewed the collapse of the Japanese-carry-trade flood of lending to Asia is a motivation to INCREASE danger by pursuing a MARKET-DRIVEN policy. Misnamed as ‘Realeconomik’.
How about ‘Realcrash’? For this was obvious by 1999: flooding any nation with lots of easy lending leads to bubbles and terrible crashes. So why did the US immediately volunteer to be the new destination of all this Japanese carry trade loot? It was obvious, back then, this was a very bad thing!
And if the ‘markets’ are correct, then why interfere with them? The markets are obviously screaming, ‘This was a BAD BUBBLE! RUN AWAY!’ And off, we go, seeking shelter in gold or bonds, classic depression items. Instead, everyone is struggling to restart this goofy lending business that failed so abruptly in 2007.
The IMF has taken particular heat because even as these nations suffer, the U.S. and Europe continue to grow. The committee believes that the IMF remains a key international tool, especially as it works to clean up the abuses that led to the current mess and makes it easier for investors to get back into those developing markets.
That means trying to reduce volatility where possible. Many countries are at the mercy of international lenders who can decide, if they feel nervous, to jerk billions of dollars from country to country. This would be like having your bank pull your mortgage because your banker heard you’d had a bad day. The solution to the problem, the men believe, is more honesty on the part of borrowers–so banks know what they are getting into–and more caution on the part of banks. While some economic thinkers–notably Soros and Malaysia’s Mahathir–have lobbied for more dramatic controls, Rubin warns that simply locking capital in place can often become a substitute for much needed reform, delaying an inevitable correction. As for the impact of speculators, who have been torched by politicians around the world, Rubin says they are a part of the crisis but a much less important factor than the real economic problems of the countries they hit.
No nation has more economic problems than the US. No nation is running so huge a deficit in government spending, so huge a trade deficit. These two things doom our nation to destruction. Yet, no one is trying to stop either. Only after inflation of necessities sucked dry, nearly everyone’s bank accounts in the US, has the spending on imports slowed down.
Capital being ‘locked in place’ is not the problem nor the solution. Preventing floods of easy lending: that is the problem. The IMF forbade countries undergoing collapse to spend on social services or increase public debt. Yet, as the US spends to infinity, probably doubling our government debt obligations in ONE YEAR! Well…the IMF is silent, of course. All the smaller nations who were hammered by the US officials in the IMF in the past are steamed that the US gets a free ride.
But international powers like China and Russia are quite happy about letting the US continue to build up debts! They want us to go bankrupt. This is called ‘revenge.’ And is best eaten cold. And the leaders of Russia and China can be quite cold-blooded.
Note also, in the old Times article, the writers mention that banks should be more cautious. And borrowers shouldn’t lie about their incomes! HAHAHA. Both did the opposite here in the US when the flood of Japanese carry trade lending hit our own shores! Money was ladled out like there was no tomorrow. And when tomorrow came, everyone began to default. Fast.
To operate effectively in this new world, Rubin has remade the Treasury into an organization that is “more like an investment bank,” says Tim Geithner, the 37-year-old Under Secretary for International Affairs….And fresh thinking has been crucial in the new economic order. One legacy of 1998 has been the destruction of some of academe’s and Wall Street’s most cherished models of the world. More data and faster markets, says Greenspan, mean more opportunities to make money.
They also mean more chances to lose your shirt, something he calls “the increased productivity of mistakes.” Computers make it possible to push a button and destroy a billion dollars of wealth. The chairman was warning about the problem long before Long-Term Capital Management vaporized $4 billion, but that debacle silenced any skeptics of the new risks.
All our investment banks are bankrupt. They all changed their names to ‘regular banks’ and are struggling to recapitalize themselves AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. They can’t attract wealth anymore. They are negative wealth machines due to the Derivatives Beast eating anything they park inside their banks. Instead of giving up and having all our systems nationalized, we are trying to use future taxes to recapitalize these stupid banks that are bankrupt.
The Treasury has no money. Our government has run in the red nearly my entire life! How can a Treasury be an ‘investment bank’ if all it has is epic red ink? It is a NEGATIVE system. All such systems eat capital, not create capital. Right now, everyone wants treasuries only because we are in a NEGATIVE FLOW situation thanks to the investment bankers! Selling our debts, cheap, isn’t productive. It still increases our net out-flow. It still destroys, not makes, our nation. Here is the latest news about US Treasuries:
Treasuries posted their biggest monthly gain since Ronald Reagan was in the White House, as President-elect Barack Obama said the U.S. faces a “time of great trial” and the economy shrinks.
The advance drove yields on 10- and 30-year U.S. securities to record lows today after reports this week showed durable- goods orders fell more than twice as fast as forecast, consumer spending dropped the most since 2001 and the economy shrank in the third quarter more than first estimated. Traders bet the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark interest rate by at least a half-percentage point on Dec. 16 to limit the slump.
The problem, the men say, is that the markets are encumbered by all kinds of imperfections. Even tiny flaws create problems. A Thai banker who breaks the rules by passing $100,000 to his brother-in-law puts the whole system at risk.
To help resolve the riddle of imperfect markets, the committee has spent six years working on an experiment. It’s called the U.S. economy. The current boom is as much a part of the committee’s legacy as is its battle to stem global turmoil. It was Rubin–via the 1993 deficit-reduction plan–who navigated the Clinton Administration into budgetary agreements that helped create the first surplus in 29 years. This fiscal responsibility helped lower interest rates, which kicked off a surge in business spending. Greenspan, who dovetailed his own monetary policy with those goals, let the economy build up its present head of steam. The men don’t get all the credit for the boom–they’re the first to say all they did was let the markets work–but on both Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, they get the bulk of it.
The flood of corruption that flows through the Washington, DC sewer is far worse than some Thai banker giving his goofy brother some loot. I have pointed out in the past, the ‘imperfections’ are exactly where wealth is created. The investment bankers, hedge fund geniuses and other people restlessly roam about, seeking loopholes, creating loopholes via bribing politicians, they seek imperfections and hammer away at them, turning them into mega-abuse opportunities for free funny money.
Another lie here: constricting US spending does NOT cause lower interest rates! When we were overspending merrily by 2001, Greenspan dropped rates due to 9/11. Then kept them at a ridiculous 1% as energy costs soared. As the budget deficit grew, rates remained low.
Then, in a hurry, Bernanke tried to raise them again. Only to panic and drop them BELOW 1%, heading to 0% by December.
The Race to Zero Interest Rates – Seeking Alpha
When a central bank runs out of room to cut interest rates, it resorts to Quantitative Easing. This term was coined by the Bank of Japan in 2001 when interest rates were already at zero and the central bank stopped targeting the overnight call rate and turned to targeting a current account level. Their goal was to flood the Japanese financial system with liquidity by buying trillions of yen of financial securities including asset-backed instruments and equities.It can be argued that the US has already engaged in Quantitative Easing as the government has recently announced plans to spend $800 billion to unfreeze the consumer and mortgage market.
They have agreed to buy mortgage backed securities backed by government sponsored entities and could accelerate that if interest rates hit zero. Excess reserves have also increased significantly, driving the effective fed funds rate well below 0.5 percent. This would have been one of the desired outcomes of quantitative easing. Last week, Fed vice chairman Donald Kohn said quantitative easing measures were under review at the central bank as normal contingency planning.
The goal would be to encourage banks to lend more aggressively by coming in as a buyer at specified rates. Even though quantitative easing drove Japan into deflation, it was the key to turning around the economy and this is a risk that the US central bank may have to take.
I have pointed out in the past that the US cannot do what Japan has done: run eternal depressions that benefit mostly the coupon-clipping inheritors of wealth. We cannot imitate Japan’s 0% system because we run a trade deficit. We import far too much energy products to run a Fortress Japan situation. This is due to Japan restricting the use of energy going to workers and the poor.
This is why Japanese workers must toil in colder or hotter offices, for example. And live in homes that are uncomfortable. The US loves climate systems even though we need to import fuel to run our delightful McMansion energy systems. And of course, how can the US be doing ‘quantative easing’ when the stated result is supposed to be no depression but a light form of inflation?
Either this will boomerang badly and become mega-inflation or it will do what it did to Japan: kill the lower classes off. Guess which system the very rich who have children, want?
Of course! The Japanese system whereby they can clip coupons and marry each other and concentrate wealth more and more in the hands of fewer and fewer people.
FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT firstname.lastname@example.org
40 responses to “THREE STUPID GENIUSES: GREENSPAN, RUBIN and SUMMERS”
Of all your trenchant, insightful posts, this ranks as one of the best. Context and historical perspective, in such short supply in msn, you lavish abundantly-thanks! I usually assume everyone at TAE reads you, to, but I’m going to be sure to link to this over there. I’m so grateful for your work!
“Bush’s popularity was crashing after March, 2000. ”
Bush’s many faults do not include holding the presidency in 2000.
He took office in Jan. of 2001
It wouldn’t surprise me if most everyone here also reads Chris Floyd, another insightful “truth-teller”-but if not, his post on 11/20 is a must-read:
Yikes. I meant 2001. On the other hand, it DID tank in 2000. McCain almost bested him. This was when I was part of the ‘Bush AWOL’ team and we were hammering him to release his military records!
Sorry about that.
By the way, G, I really do appreciate it when people point out my own stupid mistakes. Heh. Too bad, others won’t do this…..!
Here´s one of the best articles I´ve read about this crisis so far. Well written and easy to understand.
“Markets placed great faith in the volume of money available to support asset prices and assist in alleviating shortages of liquidity. The perceived abundance of liquidity was, in reality, merely an illusion created by high levels of debt and leverage as well as the structure of global capital flows. As the financial system de-leverages, it is becoming clear, unsurprisingly, that available capital is more limited than previously estimated. “
Okay. I went over and saw this Chis Floyd’s stuff. Does this guy really know, or really care what he is talking about? His readers certainly sound like babes in the woods. I had to ask myself “Is this really the best we can do?”
There are a few concrete things you can do. First of, recognize that sites like Daily Kos, Wikipedia, and Google are absolutely nothing more than extensions of the vast mass media plantation that owns the American soul, and begin to step away from those things. The internet media plantation like its TV neighbor, is built upon a Contrived Consensus. We (most of us) allow Google to tell us who is most “popular” on the internets. So we end up with things like the Wikipedia Plantation. Whenever I have to quote anything from the Wikipedia Media Plantation, it is preceded by something like “( ¿ )”. Why are the big plantation blogs so popular? Well, Google puts them at the top, so they get more “hits”. They control everything. If you must allow yourself to be manipulated by the Google Plantationeers, there are ways to do it without giving them more ad money. For example:
Above all, never enslave yourself to the Wikipedia Plantation! Why work for nothing to build your own prison?
Perhaps try this:
Or help find other alternatives!
How will Wikipedia fare during the depression?
Goofy Poem for (of) the day….entilted
“tre’ stupido dukes”
The dukes played their flutes…
The fools followed along…
The dukes had plenty a-loot….
The goofs didn’t give a toot…
The goofs knew…they knew….
The fools are waking up….slowly but surely….
The fools won’t get fooled again —
By the dukes.
And the dukes will soon
Be heading for the hills.
Bubba don’t play no games.
Bubba don’t like the dukes!
Neither do I.
Sounds like the pied piper, Ken.
Maybe so, but we all sing our own toon don’t we?
Personally, I’m tired of the “demented music” coming out of the made-up city of DC.
If the so-called “elite” think this is a country of bumbling peasants, they have got another thing coming. Maybe they should just re-instate the estate taxes for their own sake. That’d be my advice, but what do a know, I’m just a bumbling peasant.
Thanks for the investigative journalism – it’s rare and refreshing! You tie some great points together that make things easier to understand.
Please clear up one point that confuses me, you said: “Instead of giving up and having all our systems nationalized, we are trying to use future taxes to recapitalize these stupid banks that are bankrupt.”
You didn’t mention the other alternative – to simply let them file bankruptcy. Do you really think these rotten (insolvent) entities should be nationalized?
My preference is let them restructure under bankruptcy, and if the assets ultimately need liquidated, so be it. Yes that hurts for awhile, but then it’s over.
In your article you definitely supply a smoking gun, my opinion is that while the three amigos may have held the gun, they were dispatched by the international banking bastards who want the US to fail – big time. I guess I’m saying these guys are soldiers and hit-men and not dons.
Here’s a picture of me at the END the FED rally in Pittsburgh:
Please, no wise cracks…like the moron at the Daily Paul who said I wasn’t protesting, I was simply leaving my office!
Glad to hear you are still kicking Ken! I just found something rather unusual about how I have things set up here at chaos central. Your poems are wonderful, always welcome. I used to write some. Mine always had odd Steven King tones. It must be something about me.
But hells-bells and heavens-bells for all I care, just to belabor this a bit more, I choose to be a peasant. I was born a peasant and I like it. The simple things are where its at. They are the most “complex”.
Personally I appreciate Wiki, but I don’t know the subtleties – I just like the information. Still, I do my due diligence. We all should. Of course, many should be and should have been behind bars for a long time now (including the “non-Speaker” Pelosi), but the fools were listening to the easy-going music that seemed like it would never end. Even a flute player has to take a breath. If anything its the “grown-ups” who are the hypnotized sleepwalkers – the younger generation knows better, and they also know that time is of the essence.
Blues – thank-you for what you say.
Poetry is really a great way of expressing things that can be difficult to communicate using “conventional language”.
Great links and comments as usual – good gravy and sides to Elaine’s always succulent main entry.
Peter – great link to Chris Floyd’s site. A very worthwhile read.
JT – Thanks for another great link
blues – Very good stuff about google/wiki – and even more important, links to do something about it!
and id like to see them play magic the gathering
try blue now thats real controlz
vote your paycheck
I really don’t know how much of the U.S. productive system infrastructure remains intact. We probably have no way of knowing with adequate certainty. I have always (since maybe a year ago, at least) that it be seized by eminent domain before any more gets sold down the Mississippi River. What to do with it once it’s seized? I’m not sure. Maybe give it to it’s local communities?
The one positive thing about having trashed these systems is that we now have an opportunity to rebuild them to be much more energy efficient, non-polluting, and humane. (If the communities they were located in owned them, they would be motivated to rebuild them this way, without sabotage by absentee owners.) Where to get the money? I don’t know.
So here’s my deal: The energy crisis is a GIGANTIC CRISIS!!! It will not go away ever! We need a huge meeting about this GIGANTIC CRISIS, and should have held one years ago. Only one little problem: our “experts” are nothing more than a troop of stupid clowns.
Paul Krugman? I was complaining that he was not quite getting to the point (I was myself unsure what the point was myself, but it was clear something was missing) over at Truthout years ago. I don’t even bother with Truthout anymore. They virtually did not cover the $700 billion fat-cat giveaway; they literally did not cover the Kucinich Impeachment Motion. Hell with them.
Yeah, I think it would be most advisable to end the Fed. But somehow, that almost seems to be a mere distraction from the GIGANTIC ENERGY CRISIS TSUNAMI that is now just off-shore.
Aint it obvious that local communities “ultimately” need to take care of themselves.
As for energy – how about this. A Large but cheap-ass plastic Fresnel Lens is used to “catch” a broad swath of sunlight, that is concentrated using a funnel (lined with reflective material) onto a solar absorbtion device (solar-cell or other device “desiring” concentrated sunlight). This is simple and appropriate plus easy and cheap and can be done just about anywhere that the sun shines.
Create your own local energy supply and then you are half-way there. “Banks” to help assure reliable supply of energy locally could be next. These banks would be “balanced” by definition and would recognize from the get-go the value of prudence. Either that or they would be replaced by better banks. Local landfills and local wastewater treatment could be next.
None of this is complicated its the will that is lacking. The will and to be most frank the “suffering”. In the US of A it has been too easy for too long, but now we must do what always has to be done when there is a false sense of “eliteness” – pay the piper. Reap what you sow. Call it what you want, but our debts are due. Don’t you think? BUT, the international community should not forget all of what the US of A has done. As much suffering as there has admittedly been, the US of A has also “come to the rescue” of many and this is important.
The value of the US military is undeniable, but if they are going to be used offensively then the value will be sponged away. On the other hand, if our navy for instance is used for defensive purposes then said navy can help assure balanced trade for those critical items best traded globally.
1 last thing…
For things that “need” to be traded globally fair recompense must be provided for security. That doesn’t seem to be happening now.
If push comes to shove, why not CLOSE the borders and learn how to take care of ourselves before we try to trade with others.
Adam Smith had most of this shit down a long time ago.
OK – 2nd Poem of the day just mainly to annoy those upon whose nerves I get……..
Could be so defensive.
Has been offensive, but why
keep doing what you been doing.
Didn’t work before
Won’t work again.
But if the submarine
Well then it might just
make a bunch of pirates….
A bit more reflective…..
But, i suppose, pirates will be pirates…
Yeah, all that stuff could work, more or less, Ken.
In the end, it will turn out that all of the “superpower” philosophy was in utter vain. Navies will probably be useless against other technologically advanced nations. Air forces and missiles are nearly pointless if everyone else has them. As I see things, we have utterly squandered what was, until about 1960 — 1975, a stupendous oil-based Ace in the Hole card.
Squandered. A penny save is a penny earned. We shall be known as the the great squanderers of history. They will never forget us. I did notice that New York and Rome had something in common 30 years ago.
Did I mention that this is an emergency?
Of course its an emergency. There are always emergencies. The wolfs are circling. Plus, this should be obvious, the time of the new romans is coming to an end.
The good thing in the us of a is we already have so much infrastructure. Much more than most and proabably more than we deserve, but we ought remember that most of our ancestors were running away from something……
There are so many solutions out there. Local solutions are the easiest to implement and they will happen by themselves – creatively. Call it creative capitalism if you want, as long as things are balanced, then everything will be OK. Balance is on the way – this is undeniable.
The “balance” may or may not include “us”, but it is on the way. If we can “figure out” how we “fit in”, then we can become Mutual. Kroptokin (sorry if mispelled) knew what he was talking about and I think Darwin would have concurred ultimately.
3rd Poem of the day cause I can just now…..
Lets just all screw this nonsense.
What would you do if suddenly your electricity was cut off. For a long time.
Who would you talk to?
Who would you interact with?
What if we knew nothing about what was going on —around the other side of the world?
What would you think about?
Who would you love?
Would you touch – touch the wood?
Feffef wants to know.
The three in the triangle will always
Be beaten by the square…
The square is simple.
The square is humble.
But the square knows the root…
The root of time….
It starts with time…
And Tim likes it this way…
10 does do
10 and its funky square root reciprocal….
end of poem
You will be happy to know…thats all I’ve got.
Elaine – Never mind my earlier question about nationalizing these entities – I forgot you were a self avowed socialist.
drkrbyluf – if you don’t mind me asking….
how do U define socialism?
If you are using the “new” definitions you are behind the times…..I gave my definition a long time ago….Websters something from 78 or around that time.
If you use “words” to defame others you are on a losing course. Ideas are where its at and the ideas that resonate are soon to become evident.
Don’t you think? Rewind-Select.
Every once in a while you come up with the exact, precise description needed to allow people to paint an accurate mental picture so as to understand an issue more fully. These ideas totally escape the attention of the MSM and most Americans, nor do they have the ability to use words as you do to ‘paint the picture’. The following little snippet I cut from the above article is something that should be on every newspaper’s front page, on the radio, TV….even on ‘cereal boxes’ so it is ‘in the face’ of us constantly…..it is that important, and it has been ignored for 45 years….we are now paying the price for our slovenliness and inattention….the rest of the ‘bill’ will arrive in the near future, and it’s a helluva lot bigger than we ever dreamed…..our children and theirs will hate these two previous generations as they peer through the gates of their prison….the prison we built for them.
[snip, Elaine’s words]
“This, in turn, is very expensive. Most of the money raised by politicians to pay the TV stations is an open door to fraud. Foreign nations seeking to control our political process use this desire for money to corrupt our political elections and to overrule our own control of our own politicians. When media owners join forces with entities like AIPAC, we get a foreign policy that is hijacked by alien countries.
This is why all the surviving politicians in the winnowing process loudly proclaimed fealty to Israel”.
For all of us who read Elaine’s blog, allow me to say, we are fortunate to have this dear, wild woman who is a ‘braveheart’, intellectually, physically and I imagine….spiritually. She strips away the bullshit and has the courage to put the words in place to call things by the right name, thereby, defining the terms…and as a wise, wise man once told me; “The terms are everything”. We in America [& Europe to a degree], have allowed those opposed to the notion of individual sovereignty to steal our language, thereby giving them the ability to define the ‘terms’. Thanks Elaine, for exposing some of their methods….we all know the results of our stupidity.
I also might add, at the consternation of Elaine and most here that many, many years ago the best and brightest minds in the country were relegated to obscurity as they wrote and wrote and spoke and spoke to empty heads and agenda driven wave riders, warning that the path they were on would lead to a trail of tears, they spoke of what I just wrote about and Elaine’s description of it….the TERMS. The men and women who tried to warn us were ignored then and are seldom quoted now, the reason for that is, they are and were true conservatives….the old time conservatives, who studied history on a broad scale, who knew that if one knew only ‘his side’ of the story he didn’t know it very well. The old adage of, if you follow truth for the sake of truth, you’ll find the first thing it runs over is ‘your own toes’. That is the mark of a truly educated person….one who follows truth ‘disinterestedly’. If ‘truth’ runs you into a brier patch you are obligated to follow it. Elaine has been relegated to obscurity because she tries to tell ‘both’ sides of the story….all of her opposition wants only ‘their side’ told…and sadly…enforced. A ‘brier patch’ would terrify all ‘momma’s boys’ who are intellectually corrupt to the core and wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell if they had to debate or contest Elaine and her talents in a fair fight. Keep kicking their guts out girl!
The sad, sad thing is, both conservatives and liberals as well as revolutionaries all have something important to share. The people who are ‘pragmatic’ tend to be robbers and thieves.
You have to have some sort of ideals, some sort of standards! Rubin is under attack now that Krugman has throw the first shot in the Mainstream Media. Rubin is a total disaster, he should be ARRESTED for his mishandling of Citigroup.
More about that tomorrow.
I have an idea; put all these banking gnomes in our government in front of Walmarts and announce a one hour sale. Then let the mob trample them to death.
We have actually done our homework. In case you didn’t know. Actually, we know you did.
I think you are from the Alex Jones universe. That’s a good place to be from. We love Alex too.
We are “complicated” — probably not stupid. Like we give a shit. We don’t. But we can be friends. Why not? Any port in this storm.
Besides, we are pretty decent, at the end of the day. We are far from careless. Like, we post this stuff, and we know they might kill us. We are not dumb asses. We know the costs.
Rubin admits he KNOWS NOTHING. He is STUPID!!!! HAHAHAHA. And still wants to run the Treasury…..
hardrock I totaly agree with your tribute to Elaine and what you said about the older conservatives looking at both sides. Also the old liberals were great they really looked after their working class constituents and didn’t buy into any tory crap. They also new their history.
I’m actually reading history philosophy and economics at the moment in order to educate my self about the current situation. I strongly urge others to do the same.
Its an interesting journey with a lot of surprises.
I believe its important that everybody say what they really think and engage in political discussion. I feel that we have spent so much time in a political vacuum and have been dumbed down by our complicit media.
So even though I think this is a great blog I’ll still comment about things I don’t agree with and get my ears boxed in return.
“I have an idea; put all these banking gnomes in our government in front of Walmarts and announce a one hour sale. Then let the mob trample them to death.”
NOW YOU ARE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE!!!
This is the only kind of solution that will work.
Must put the fear of GOD…no fear of painful DEATH…into these elites!!!
Heh, so true, Bubba.
Igneous, we don’t box ears, we box ourselves into corners here!
The 3 stooges.
Not funny though.
And now, 9 years later? When is collapse?
GREENSPAN, RUBIN and SUMMERS–Jews.