Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Credentials versus Competence: Economics Is Easy. Don't Let The Federal Reserve Tell You Otherwise
There is a Federal Reserve research report, if you want to call it that, that is floating around the internet. It is a sign of the complete incompetence of the cartel at the Federal Reserve. As we have written before, if you grant any entity monopoly access to anything, you are going to create an environment of purely ideological incompetence. We see that today in the ECB, the Federal Reserve, the United States federal government, the Chinese communist government, BP, the lobbyist community, Goldman Sachs and on and on.
The Federal Reserve so permeates the economics community that it is nearly impossible to find a single economist who disagrees with Federal Reserve policy. The Federal Reserve is literally the life blood for the economics community. It funds research, internships, employment and even makes breakfast every morning for every economist in the mainstream community. This dynamic creates a highly credentialed yet ideologically-driven and systemically incompetent economics community. That this credentialed yet incompetent Federal Reserve PhD has authored such a ridiculous article really is no surprise given the Federal Reserve has missed every single economic crisis since its creation. Even though they are indeed charged with managing our economy.
There is a lot of misinformation in the blogosphere but there are countless bloggers out there who have added substantial editorial and research to the discourse of economics. Much more so than the Federal Reserve. And much more so than any degreed economist I am aware of. I would argue the very best of these bloggers have absolutely no training in economics. And on this blog, we have talked about endless outcomes we anticipated well in advance of them happening. Some have yet to unfold but they will. And what have the legions of PhDs in economics at Harvard, Yale, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan or the Federal Reserve alerted our society to? Rather, the Federal Reserve has literally f#cked up everything they have touched since their inception. And they have more Ivy League economics PhDs than probably any institution on earth. The best incompetence money can buy.
This really boils down to one simple metric. That is Competence versus Credentials. When the United States dominated global commerce, it did so through competence, a dynamic outcome of meritocracy and market-based economics. After World War II, the United States achieved a position of financial hegemony by becoming the world's reserve currency. And starting in 1947, the first signs of that corruptive credentialed force took hold in our government and so began the slow demise of our economy and our competence. As we have said before, the American economy really peaked somewhere in the late 1970s or early 80s. Since that time we have never had a recession. Ever. We have only had financial crisis after financial crisis that has brought the country to the verge of collapse. And with this dynamic came economic slowdowns we have inaccurately called recessions. We wrote of this years ago when we said the financial crises will lead an economic slowdown and not the other way around. A dynamic that is completely lost in the economics community. All of these crises were caused by a corrupt, monopolistic Wall Street.
Who is more credentialed than Wall Street? MBAs and economists from the top universities in the country. All teaching the same purely ideological pablum. The credentials are without question. The competence? Well, there is no other organization around the world more incompetent than Wall Street, aided and abetted by monopoly access to capital. Wall Street has had a hand in every economic crisis we see and will see around the world today. Every single one. Of course, ignorantly and unwittingly aided and abetted by similarly incompetent bureaucracies around the globe. Obviously all with the help of a wonderfully credentialed federal government. Our politicians are endlessly credentialed yet incompetent bureaucrats - the world's greatest democracy backed by the world's greatest document of freedom, our Constitution, and staffed mainly with lawyers from our finest hallowed Ivy League institutions of learning. While almost everyone would laugh at these remarks, given we have called every single major crisis around the globe in advance of any blogger or mainstream media source or economist I am aware of, I think I can speak from a position of competence rather than credentials. There is a reason why many peoples across the globe have a high disdain for our government yet generally have a high regard for the American people. That is, as Pritchard remarks above, common folk be they doctors, teachers, construction workers or whatnot recognize the meddling of elitist idiots in their daily lives.
Competence versus credentials. Anyone of great competence can be taught almost any job in the economy and it could done without the need for any credentials. And they surely don't need a college education. (Although I clearly support education and its necessary role in society.) They don't need the credentials of some type of certification either. They simply need to be competent. Yet, One cannot necessarily take anyone who is credentialed and make them competent in any job in the economy. Or, more frankly, anyone and everyone who is credentialed is not competent. Nothing highlights this more than Wall Street and Washington politicians. Our economy is the most credentialed it has ever been yet it is collapsing. Credentialed is often part and parcel to cronyism, monopoly, corruption and incompetence. A meritocracy is driven by competence, and where necessary credentialed competence. The Federal Reserve is not a meritocracy. Neither is our federal government. Because they have lost any competition by mangling State's Rights and by being backed by the world's hegemonic financial instrument; the dollar.
When our economy has an ability to generally determine competence and those in society find their additive and constructive role, all of which should be valued, it thrives. But monopolies, oligopolies and bureaucratic structures that distort the flow of information and merit destroy economic vibrancy. The Federal Reserve is the worst offender of all of these dynamics. And while we are at it, so are bureaucratic structures such as the Vatican, corporate monopolies, organized professional structures such as those protecting incompetent doctors and lawyers. All part of the credentialed versus competent dynamic.
In closing, credentialed yet incompetent economists are the norm rather than the exception for the very reasons cited above. Most hare-brained economic theories come from those who are quite credentialed yet who live in ivory towers of academia shielded from the real world. Were any of these economists ever to actually have to compete in a meritocracy of the real economy and outside of their profession, their theories would be shredded like paper. The old maxim those who can't do, teach is more than accurate when applied to economics. Now I'm all for theories and facilitation of the creative mind but the Big Bang theory isn't going to blow up the economy if it is wrong. Economics taught in our universities should be kept to basic facts of what is incontrovertible and undeniable. Theory is best left to what can be determined to be a hard science. Economics is not a hard science but instead a social science. So if we leave theory on the shelf is there enough substance in economics to merit a four year degree or PhD? So, maybe in the spirit of competence, we should no longer offer economics degrees. Would the world be any less capable? Would doctors still be able to practice medicine? Engineers still able to solve the world's problems? Teachers still be able to teach reading and writing? What would we miss other than a credentialed yet incompetent community which has never anticipated any major economic crisis?
Isn't this but a microcosm of the general repudiation of supposed experts we see today? Elitists who claim higher knowledge that have completely blown up our economy over the last thirty years? Including politicians and Wall Street's self-appointed genius who want to run our economy yet can't seem to be able to tie their own shoes? The path of the Buddha is one of enlightenment (competence) not credentials. As society becomes more aware, we repudiate more of the elitist dogma and replace it with a greater confidence in our own ability. In fact, the only credentials that matter are those of competence. Are they not? And how does the Federal Reserve and the economics community fit into that equation given they have never seen a single economic or financial crisis coming? Economics is easy. Don't let the Federal Reserve tell you otherwise. We each practice economics daily by managing our own personal lives. And we do it better than any bureaucracy ever could.
Incompetent Financial Elite Remain EXTREMELY Bullish On China. Remember These Educated Idiots Missed Every Crisis (They Caused) Unfolding Before Us.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
The Infrequent Act Of Nobility In Washington - Senator Feingold Will Not Vote For Corrupt Financial Reform Bill Which Is Now DOA
Krugman is now writing (at the title link) that we are likely entering the third depression in American history. Well, the world is most definitely in the early throws of a massive depression but we've been talking about that for years. Well before there was any sign of trouble in the economy. And nothing Krugman or any other economist is currently recommending is going to change that. Krugman is substantially focused on the government backstopping the economy as many now call Keynesianism. Although I'm not an expert on historical perspectives of Keynes, I think I have seen enough to conclude Keynes wouldn't support a lot of what is being done in his name. But, of course, this can be said of many historical figures including Jefferson, Lincoln and others we have talked about on here. Frankly, I don't see any great political minds from American history who would support anything being done in Washington today. Even attempted acts of virtue, such as a health care overhaul or financial reform, are completely corrupted.
Krugman is so blinded by his ideological views that the only way he sees out of this is more government. Even though our government has never reached this level of spending as a percentage of GDP. If Krugman would challenge his beliefs and actually think critically and creatively about what is going on, he would come to a different conclusion. But, as is the case with most people by the time they reach Krugman's age, they are unable to see the chess board clearly. Their creativity and ability to think outside of the box is polluted with too many lies of the mind. Paul Krugman clearly does not walk the path of the Buddha.
Indeed we are in the early phases of a global depression but Krugman doesn't have any of the answers as to how to get out of it. And just like the Great Depression, some countries will be affected much more substantially than others. Some will recover more quickly than others. Some will come close to complete collapse or will most likely collapse. We've laid our cards on the table as to who those countries are many times. As we have said countless times, the United States will lead the world out of this mess. But only when we rid ourselves of yesterday's thinkers. That most definitely includes Paul Krugman. Only then will be be able to embrace the transformative ideas and empowering democratic and uniquely American economics that will allow the economy to recover.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I don't have a handgun and will never own a handgun but I surely don't feel threatened if half of the city I live in wants to strap on a holster. Half of the city would never have that compunction so that statement is really irrelevant. The concerns that we are going to have shootouts at the O.K. Corral are really fear mongering by the state and bureaucrats who have endless ideas of how they can make our lives better by taking away our freedoms. For once, the rights of the people are protected over that of the bureaucrats and the state. Now if we could only get that same democratic perspective as it pertains to the economic rights of our citizens.
Shanghai Index: What's Next?
It would be hilarious to go back and repost commentary and perspective of mainstream politicians, Wall Street gurus, multi-national corporate CEOs and other bureaucrats over the last three years as it pertains to China. They have been bullish all along. Even though its economy has been heading down the toilet. While it would be hard to share all of my analysis without giving away some proprietary data points, I have shared a lot and have hammered mercilessly on this cooked pig since the inception of this blog. We called the collapse in commodities, the collapse in the Shanghai Index and many other timely remarks regarding China and globalization.
Now the Shanghai Index is sitting on the edge of a cliff. We passed a big Lucas turning point as the Shanghai Index turned south some time ago and are quickly closing in on a Fibonacci turning point in the next month or so as it pertains to Chinese markets. This at a time when the world's kings and queens met to decide the fate of billions of people a few days ago. Or so they think. It will be interesting to see what happens. Especially since our President is now out spouting that he expects the yuan to rise significantly. We already know our President has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to economics. Throw in his economics team of Goolsbee, Summers, Geithner and Romer and you have the best economic incompetence money can buy from our finest institutions of learning.
That the Shanghai Index hit an upward reactionary wave peak last summer from its initial collapse and has been trending down for a year is not a bullish sign. The Index is now sitting on a cliff and has seemingly no buyers to thrust it higher but appears to be biding time as it works off an oversold condition before the next wave down. In fact, there is no support at all at this level and I expect it is quite reasonable we will see the Shanghai Index retest its 2008 bear market low within the next two to three months. Remember, two of the outcomes we have discussed are a decline of 30-50% in China's GDP and a yuan driven substantially lower by fundamentals or revalued by the Chinese Communist Party when fundamentals reveal their true self. Then what will our President, his cast of incompetent economic advisers (central planners) and our Congress do? So far, across a wide multitude of issues, they have done a lot of proverbial hand waiving as they pronounce 'our enemies will talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion'. (The policy of both political parties to wait out the incompetence of the other as politicians practice the timeless art of foot-in-mouth politics.) Ultimately hand waiving and its consequential appearance of action with weak special-interest-driven reformless reform will have to be met with the unthinkable for a politician - Action. God forbid. What will the polls say?
Globalization is dead.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
If this is a topic that interests you, this is an excellent documentary. Mikhail Gorbachev, numerous former Soviet officials and "liquidators" as well as a top physicist assigned to this crisis are interviewed. Their remarks are very frank and very sobering.
A nuclear power plant crisis is not like an atomic bomb. Although this crisis almost ended with an atomic bomb-type explosion. Nuclear power plants have thousands of tons of radioactive material with a radioactive life of thousands of years. You'll likely be surprised to hear how close this crisis was to making much of the Soviet Union and Europe uninhabitable for a few hundred thousand years while possibly killing millions in the process. 500,000 Soviet citizens worked at this site and surrounding communities to contain the disaster during the first few months of this crisis. They literally sacrificed their lives to save the world.
Friday, June 25, 2010
In order for any political apparatus to maintain control, it must convince the general populous it is worthy and legitimate. President Obama is clearly becoming indistinguishable from the status quo across a wide array of topics. We already know the status quo has no true legitimacy. The only true legitimacy left is our Constitution, our political structures and a handful of politicians who realize they are indeed public servants and not our masters.
Lincoln's Derivatives Reform Defeated By Corrupt Congress And Bankster Lobbyists - Let's All Cheer Reformless Reform
All we are waiting on now is our President to declare his own peace in our time by hailing the victory of this reformless reform package. Neville Chamberlain holding up the agreement he signed in Munich that was used as toilet paper less than a year later. Will President Obama be in a similar situation less than a year later with a future crisis because he refused to demand real Wall Street reform?
As The Chernobyl Legacy Fades... A Look Back And A Question Society Must Answer: Is Nuclear Power A Solution To America's Energy Independence?
There will come a time when the people of this country will need to decide if a growing nuclear power base is in their best interests. There are obviously very extreme pluses and minuses. You might consider these pluses and minuses similar to the distributions we are seeing in the probability curve of markets and economics. In other words, the negative outcomes associated with nuclear power could be catastrophic death and decimation on a large scale. Yet the probabilities are low. Just like the nearly impossible global economic crisis we see today. Or so we are told.
As the anticipated Generation IV technology and other research initiatives become a reality in future decades, the pluses will increase substantially as the waste and toxicity of the waste will drop and safety is improved. But, none of the reactors considered today meet those design points. We do have a relatively recent intriguing solution in the market. A solution that many would have argued was impossible. Why? It was not a result of the "free" market but instead was developed in a government lab. My god it is socialism! Actually, publicly-funded research doesn't even remotely fit into the definition of socialism as any freshman economics student could tell you. Neither is Social Security or public health care. Socialism has a clear definition in economics as opposed to the histrionics of ideological idiots who have control of the microphone and whip people into a fury over lies and misinformation.
Nuclear power offers great promise but given the rapid pace of innovation in other areas, the cost/benefit analysis must improve considerably. Nuclear power's financial costs are severely underestimated and its potential human costs are beyond quantification. The end of life costs of dismantling a reactor and associated ecological impact are enormous. Dismantling a single reactor could take decades and untold billions of dollars according to OECD studies. Who pays for that? The private company who owns the reactor or do we privatize the gains and socialize the losses like the corporatocracy does with everything else?
Some time ago I would have guessed nuclear power would play a large role in the intermediate future. Now, with the rapid pace of innovation in other areas coupled with the BP Gulf disaster, I am more dubious of this position. I surely don't believe it is a foregone conclusion we must have nuclear power to become energy independent because we clearly don't.
We live in a society where little public debate on the safety of nuclear power is undertaken for the benefit of educating citizens. We know the main benefit of nuclear power - it works. What generally isn't understood are the risks. Especially when taken in human form. So, today as Bloomberg has a story titled Chernobyl Legacy Fades.... let's look back twenty years ago at the largest nuclear accident in history, Chernobyl. As a point of reference, Chernobyl was one hundred times more radioactive than the atomic devastation of Hiroshima.
The first video below is of Pripyat, the city closest to the Chernobyl reactors, twenty years later. It remains a frightening reminder as an abandoned city. The entire city of 50,000 was evacuated in three hours. But, after the people had been exposed to massive radiation. People of Pripyat had to leave everything behind. It is still too radioactive today and remains a dead zone as do dozens of other towns surrounding Chernobyl.
The second video was created during the actual disaster. Somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 workers were required to deal with this disaster and clean up. Yet, even with their efforts, radiation was measured over all of Europe and even the eastern U.S. This was one accident. Just one. And, it had the potential to destroy a measurable number of earth's population without the deadly sacrifice of tens of thousands of Russians who were sent to entomb the reactor's core. Body after body was sacrificed to stem what would have been a catastrophe beyond imagination. These heroes saved humanity from a tragedy of proportions we can't even imagine. There are still consequences and costs associated with ongoing radiation sickness and disease, birth deformities and the like. 7,000,000 people supposedly needed treatment of some form according to the United Nations. Is that data accurate? Who knows. The the scope of the crisis was very real. Many around the world still don't understand the scope and severity of Chernobyl.
It only takes one mistake. A mistake near a major city could see millions of people permanently displaced and an entire region abandoned forever. Can you imagine how solar, wind, biofuels or even dirty coal might have such a devastating impact in the event of a mistake? Can you fly a plane into a wind farm? Would a devastating earthquake cause millions of deaths if affecting a solar facility? Could a human error kill millions of people in a coal-fired power plant?
Washington Politicians To The American People - There Is No More Money For Jobless Aid To Ameliorate The Mess Washington Created
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Barney Frank, Top Congressional House Stooge To Wall Street, Tries To Gut Blanche Lincoln's Derivatives Reform
The House effort to gut Lincoln's reform (led by chief stooge Barney Frank) is so extreme, said Greenberger, that enough progressives in the Senate would abandon the bill on a final vote and bring down reform altogether.
The Corporatocracy's Usury Against The American People: Our Health Care System Ranks Dead Last With Costs 200% Higher Than Comparable Nations
The great wealth transfer and risk-shifting schemes from banksters, insurance companies, oligopolies and a predatory government continues as Greatness Slips Away.
Change you can believe in.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Our leaders take an oath to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law. Instead they have dismantled both for political favor and prostitution of our government. For greed, power, envy, pride, arrogance and lust. The great Jezebel whore of corporate lobbyists, oligopolies and prostitutes (more commonly known as politicians). The government must be returned to We the People.
Market Internals Remain Extremely Weak
Earlier this year we highlighted my advance-decline data on the last rally heading into the ultimate stock market top in late April/early May. We noted that it was not confirming the price march to new highs. Yet, the exchange advance-decline data was making all time highs. Something many are now pointing to as a reason to remain bullish. The reality is the true advance-decline data wasn't anywhere close to making a new high. (The advance-decline data providing by the exchanges has become substantially aberrant as Frankenstein finance distorts market behavior.)
Again, let's look at the same data since this market started selling off. It is not confirming the recent enthusiasm that we are going to hold this pricing level. In fact, as of today we are close to making a new low while the market has attempted to rally higher over the past few weeks.
Additionally, many people are still using 90% upside or downside advance-decline days to point to the start of a new bull market or the end of a bear market. As we said ages ago, this data point has become completely irrelevant in today's market. We have had dozens of these days since the start of the 2008 collapse. In a market defined by so much leverage, program trading, free Federal Reserve money for speculators and derivatives, relying on this data is a recipe for disaster for long term investors and substantial trading losses for unsophisticated traders.
Unless something changes, we are simply watching the rhythms of the market play out before another dive rather than some protracted new rally. So much for the hyperinflationistas expecting some parabolic stock market blow off. We've been listening to this pablum for at least three years now. Now they have some Youtube video scaring uninformed Americans senseless. (The favorite tactic or terror used by hoods, goons and elitists in a fear-based society.) We wrote on here a list of necessary but not sufficient dynamics to create hyperinflation.
China Smacks Down Wall Street's Exuberance Regarding Currency Reform
Each month, more and more of the pieces to the puzzle fall into place. Just months ago, who would have ever thought our long talked about end of global finance would become a reality. It was preposterous just like all of our other preposterous notions that are coming to pass. But now here we are. We no longer have governments bailing out banksters or their crony corporate friends in any given country. We actually have governments bailing out other governments everywhere. This is a repudiation of individual rights, national sovereignty and the rule of law by corporatist politicians and the bankster henchmen. How long is that going to last? We have a global financial crisis the likes of which the world has never seen. Ever. What we are witnessing is all part of the "process" as we head towards rising nationalism, ever increasing volatility, China's demise, a repudiation of globalization and the end of global finance. All part of our many long term themes on here.
China clarified its yuan position and tells us that its policy isn't really going to change. All of the bond traders who blew out the long term yield on Monday were crushed on Tuesday. Common sense tells us China's remarks about yuan float were likely timed before the next G20 meetings to appease Washington's incessant babble with respect to China's policies. Policies that Washington clowns created with their secretive trade agreements. Yes, China's economy is really in the hands of Washington. They created it. They will likely put the final nails in its coffin. Once again, in some days the G20 will convene the most expensive mental jerk off in the world today where bureaucrats will again come away with nothing. That a few dozen people are going to save the world is reminiscent of the self-aggrandizing megalomania of feudal societies run by kings and queens. (Masters) Bureaucrats make nothing, produce nothing of value, don't enrich society's culture one iota, are not critical thinkers, don't understand economics, nor do they create any of their own capital. Their skills are in oratory and empty promises while living on the public's dole. The art of the con is the skill of the politician. And as we have written numerous times, the G20 meetings are indeed a con.
By the way, for those who incessantly babble about China holding the cards to the future of the United States are so off base it isn't even worth arguing about. Completely. Rule number one in economics is the Golden Rule - those who have the gold make the rules. And as we have said countless times via countless different perspectives over the years, the world's gold is not defined by how many tons of the shiny metal that are being acquired by China or by the political bozos in Washington or their completely incompetent masters on Wall Street or the equally incompetent ECB. The world's source of gold is the American people. Those who have the gold make the rules. All in due time.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Michael Steele On CNBC - This Is Hilarious
Michael Steele might be the biggest clown in American politics today. And that is saying something. Washington is defined by political bozos. (And so are many state capitals.)
If one ever questions the timelessness of political clowns, one only need to watch Michael Steele. Every single time this guy opens his mouth, bullshit is ejected at hyper speed. A garden of pure ideology.
One of the greatest gifts every human has is the gift of asking questions and of listening. Politicians are generally incapable of asking questions or listening but are simply waiting on their moment in the sun where they can deliver their speech about the future broken promises they are going to deliver. In that vein, Michael Steele doesn't seem to have any sense of when to shut the hell up. For his own benefit. Or, as the timeless maxim goes, he who speaks last loses. Instead, in politics the maxim is he who speaks last fares well. Or so they think. At around 7:30 minutes of this video things get really interesting. (After Steele remarked about how great job growth was under Bush.) Closing in on nine minutes through the end of the video, it becomes absolutely hilarious as Mark Haines buries him. I guess all we need to do is elect Michael Steele and all of our problems will be solved. How many times have we heard that one?
Why We Need Labels On Monsanto's Genetically-Modified Foods. The Bigger Question Is Why We Don't Have It Already. The Answer Is Corruption.
Americans Are Onto The Con Job Congress Calls Wall Street Reform. More Importantly They Are Onto The Con Congress Calls Representative Government.
The con is over. Now we either see our government reform itself to that of public servants who work on behalf of the common good or we elect people who will. Everything else is just filler. It's all just a matter of time.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Comments Re China's Rhetoric Of Yuan Exchange Rate Reform
And the remarks coming out of Wall Street as it pertains to this statement are generally preposterous and show how deluded the financial morons are.
Tavakoli is probably the best informed person in the United States who is willing to speak out on the details behind the countless scams and schemes on Wall Street and our banking system. That is, if we can actually call it a banking system. Wall Street has zero purpose to a functioning democracy. Zero. Tavakoli is a well-informed insider who knows Wall Street's endless games of bilking society and how they get away with it.
It's been a while since I have been to her web site but there are two relatively recent articles that are relevant to this blog. One is the gold article in the title link. (Ironically, her remarks are very similar to ours. Soros finally came out some time ago and made similar remarks to our long-time position on gold as well.) The demand for gold is driven by a speculative mania that gold is going save us from our corrupt financial system when the major speculators in gold are our corrupt financial system? Umm??? The small investors who are loading up on physical gold are very likely to get their butts handed to them as this gold Ponzi scheme runs its course.
The second is her article titled Wall Street's Advice to Joran van der Sloot (The alleged serial killer.) In this article she dispells the myth perpetuated by what are generally fascist Washington politicians pretending to be Republicans - that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the cause of this crisis. And that a bunch of really stupid Americans who are too stupid to ever own a home and too stupid to pay their mortgage swindled massive monopoly corporations loaded with money, attorneys and unintelligible contracts. If one understands the timeline and the fraud of Wall Street lobbyists and the housing mess, one realizes Fannie and Freddie's messes were primarily the result of Wall Street's crooked schemes and ultimately dumping their trash on the public with their countless risk-shifting schemes. Freddie and Fannie are surely a mess but much of it is ex post facto. All of it is because of smarmy politicians from both parties.
S&P 500 Update: The Return Of Volatility
A couple of weeks ago we looked at resistance bands for the S&P 100 and said we were at very strong levels of support in this pricing area but that I expected pricing to ultimately break down. Changes in trend always exhibit substantial volatility so it wouldn't be surprising to see another rally attempt at the highs of late April and early May. That said, 1150 on the S&P 500 is very substantial upside resistance. A price point that was substantial support on the way down yet the market sliced through 1150 like a hot knife through butter during its collapse.
If anyone questions whether we were in a period of low volatility to be followed by a return to volatility, our consistent premise on here, one only needs to witness global finance imploding before our very eyes. Bonds are cracking around the globe. Equity markets have once again become wild. Industrial metals are schizophrenic and gold and silver have bounced back and forth with very substantial moves. The back end of the storm is starting to reveal its violence.
Ultimately, markets have rhythms and patterns that, while often unreliable, do in fact repeat themselves. One can argue as to why, but as shown on the S&P 500 chart above, the red price band has provided substantial difficulty for twelve years. Once again, we are in the soup. Three prior attempts to break this level to the upside were repelled, and in fact, on the two occasions that the market broke through this level for some period of time, it took enormous growth in the money supply to shove us through. Today, that dynamic does not exist. There is no internet bubble fraud or housing bubble fraud or globalization fraud working in Wall Street's favor. But we do see massive fraud involving risk-shifting of global finance's massive mess onto the backs of societies.
Recently, people in the finance community seem to be debating whether stocks or bonds are the best investment. And their basic disagreement is around inflation or deflation or some 'ation'. I believe this is clearly a false argument of irrelevance. In fact, I believe this false argument is primarily driven by the motive of personal profit within the financial community, as is most any remarks. If cash is king, then how are Wall Street professionals ever going to rationalize charging a client 2-5% of their assets annually (or more) to be in an investment that pays next to nothing in investable terms. Yet without the usury of Wall Street's money managers, cash is gaining value at a double digit annual rate against many asset classes. And, I clearly expect that to continue and expand without a change in policy. ie. We've been bearish on anything that is tied to Wall Street since starting this blog.
If the bulls are going to be rewarded, and there are many who believe since individuals are piling into bonds that stocks are the place to be, they have a lot of pushing to do to get past this price band and to break free of its pull. Mind you, to be bearish on bonds and bullish on stocks because of what the small investor is doing, or hope that central banks can or will re-ignite inflation is really quite a stretch at this point. Wall Street has created all of these messes. Betting with Wall Street or the status quo is now the fool's game. In other words, you can take traditional sentiment perspectives as being contrarian and fuggetaboutit.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Just as in Enron, Washington is trying to shield BP from liability. As an example, apparently White House politicians might have substantially adjusted .... downward .... government scientist estimates on the flow rate of the spill during the first weeks of the crisis. This could very well have been an attempt to act on BP's behalf to limit damages under the Clean Water Act. Why else would politicians possibly tamper with scientific estimates? I'm glad to see our Washington politicians have been boning up on the science of fluid dynamics and are better informed than its own scientists. This was a favorite ploy of the Bush White House as it tried to dumb down climate data coming from a NASA scientist. Our public servants, including its scientists, are often caught in the manipulative crosswinds of smarmy politicians who have an agenda that has little to do with truth.
Ultimately many politicians would sell their country into prostitution if it would gain them something. Enron was sacrificed because its trail of fraud led right to Wall Street and Washington. So, eventually the company was thrown under the bus as politicians sought to distance themselves from the massive fraud that unraveling in the public view at Enron. Don't be surprised to see the same dynamics develop with BP as more and more information leaks out. BP, unlike Enron, is a legitimate company whose scientific and human assets in the energy business are a jewel but if negligence is uncovered, and it is hard to deny it exists with heretofore released documents and statements, and it is tracked back to Washington politicians who dismantled regulations for political favors, all bets are off. Especially, if this oil leak is not eventually contained.
In other words, I believe BP is in very, very serious trouble. Too big to fail is not just a financial problem. In fact, a point missed in the banking mess is that too big to fail banks are primarily too big because monopoly multi-national corporations need too big to fail banks to service them. All because our government did not and will not enforce the Sherman Act and our anti-trust regulations. The rule of law means nothing to politicians across a wide array of topics when it means they have a chance to sell their country into prostitution.
Kill corporate personhood. It is a source of massive fraud, corruption, distortion of the rule of law and the destruction of democracy. Free markets created Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, BP, Monsanto, Cargill and other destructive prison cells for the American economy. Free markets is a mythology where those with the deepest pockets write the law, win the game and take all of the spoils regardless of the consequences. Free markets is a mythology where the last man standing wins the neoliberal race to the bottom of the economic barrel and We the People suffer.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Congressional Representative Barton From Texas: A Stooge For Monopoly Businesses?
The Congressman is right. We do have a rule of law. And BP will get its day in court. But, under prior agreements set forth in the 1990s, BP is legally liable. Now. And, this company, whether it is a legitimate accident or a case of criminal negligence, (to be determined by the rule of law), BP has a responsibility to society and to its dead employees. Even if that responsibility is one of morality. (Which it isn't.) What would prompt such stupidity? Well, I wonder how much money a Congressperson from Texas has received from oil companies during his career? How many special favors? I'm sure some enterprising persons are going to let us know in coming weeks given the hoof in mouth disease of Congressman Barton.
40 Million Americans On Food Stamps And Obama Administration Spends $1.2 Billion On Walking Initiatives
Banksters Get Bailouts From American Citizens. Then Use Bailouts To Sue American Citizens Who Didn't Get Bailouts. Nationalize Mortgages Now.
I have a friend who is likely to end up in foreclosure unless his economic fortunes miraculously turn around. But his business has been decimated by Wall Street's con. I know from his experience that our government has no plan to help homeowners or ameliorate the fraud that has turned so many innocent parties, including many community and regional banks, upside down. Their primary mode of operation is to enable the continuation of the con. Does our government have a specific plan for anything other than taking more and more money from Wall Street and mega corporation lobbyists to perpetuate a Humpty-Dumpty economy?
There are countless solutions to help ameliorate the housing crisis. Or, for that matter the commercial mortgage crisis. Instead government bailed out their corporate masters on Wall Street. The government could nationalize, either temporarily or permanently, the banking system and write off all bad real estate loans. It would be a journal entry. It doesn't require printing any money nor would it result in inflation. Or, the government could nationalize only mortgages or bad mortgages. And adjust any loan that was more than ten percent below market value so that the loan approximated the property's market value. And write off the delta. If housing prices dropped again, they could have a second or third round of write-offs. Or, if you really want a democratic solution, add in making all home loans at zero interest. Forever. Including future loans. With a public banking system, why would you charge interest on a home? Is not the American dream that of property rights? Our government should enable those rights as the will of the people. How much in interest payments would this free up for annual investment in our economy? A trillion dollars? More? Mortgages could also have flexible terms so that when someone loses their job, their mortgage temporarily is suspended or has flexible terms to help ameliorate the situation. (An idea from the brilliant economist Robert Schiller.) Finally, re-instate the millions of homeowners who have lost their home to reduce the population of 19 million empty homes that now exist under the same framework. People are so beholden to the status quo and inside the box thinking that they don't realize what a democratic and public banking is capable of.
Some people will call any such efforts socialist or communist or other idiotic and mindless terms perpetuated by people who really have no clue what they are talking about. Or really care nothing about democracy but instead are driven by ego or brainwashed ideology. As I wrote on here a long time ago, Thomas Jefferson wanted the government to give everyone their own property. (That's an option as well.) Jefferson was leery of private banking and incorporated interests as entities that threatened the sovereignty of the people. Corporations are necessary and beneficial to our economy but they must be regulated in such a way that they exist for the betterment of democracy, not to dismantle democracy and society. Instead, just as our government endorsed the criminal, unconstitutional, treasonous and often murderous act of slavery for the first century of its existence, it now supports the criminal and unconstitutional act of economic slavery to the benefit of its corporate masters and elitist crooks. The outcome is no different. The rule of law has been subverted to protect the morally reprehensible, if not criminal and treasonous, status quo. There's so much misinformation and bulloney out there. Much of it perpetuated by the status quo and believed by ideologically-driven thoughtless automatons.
By the way, if the government would have nationalized the mortgage business in the first place, even if it was through a HOLC-type program that we wrote constructively of on here but was rejected by our government's corporate masters, we wouldn't have a massive future tax burden we inherited by bailing out the banksters. We never would have had to bail them out in the first place. Instead of helping We the People, our corporate masters used our government to steal from us and line their pockets with our money.
Washington hasn't done anything to help homeowners. Instead it is watching them be kicked to the curb at record rates because our federal government is not doing the will of We the People but instead is corrupted by special interests and a private banking system.
It's apparent Washington is playing Whac-A-Mole with everything and have been for decades. All in the name of raising political money, greed, self-interest and special favors.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Endless Entertaining Stupidity: BP's Chairman, "We Care About The Small People.". The Fundamental Question Is Do The Small People Care About BP
I'm endlessly amazed at the hoof in mouth disease of politicians and corporate bureaucrats. Where does the statement "small people" come from? How hard is it to say we care about the people who live near the Gulf?
As I scan the news today it appears more and more information is coming out regarding the culture of corruption and/or negligence within BP. That's really ashame. BP employs a substantial number of Americans who are hard-working and add value to our economy through research, engineering, energy & chemicals production, etc. For those trying to spin this into some type of anti-British sentiment, BP is really more of an American company than a British company because of its purchases of Atlantic Richfield, Amoco and Standard Oil. And I would suppose more Americans work for the firm than any other nationality. Of course, if our government would have enforced monopoly laws in the United States and we had a market based on competition rather than massive corporations, the United States government never would have allowed any of those purchases in the first place. But, behind those purchases is not only the dismantling of the rule of law but the fraud of our financial system printing money out of thin air to fuel the fraudulent mergers and acquisitions game that has played such an enormous role in decimating our economy while lining Wall Street pockets in the process.
As investigations start into what went wrong, I fully expect BP to become substantially less cooperative than the happy-talk we saw today. In fact, I suspect its management realizes the potential for charges of criminal negligence and by conclusion charges of negligent homicide amongst a host of other lawsuits. I'm sure our lobbyist-infested politicians would rather sweep this under the rug like they are doing with the potentially negligent coal mining deaths earlier this year but this issue has become too large for politicians to sweep away. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see people headed to prison by the time this is all said and done. This is beginning to look a lot like Enron from some angles. I'm not saying that will happen but I wouldn't be surprised.
So, the question really isn't if BP cares about the small people, but if the small people care about BP more than economic, civil and criminal restitution from what appears to be a negligent corporate culture.
BP Agrees To $20 Billion Gulf Fund. Is This A Downpayment? If Not, Society Will Pay Many Times That Amount Over Coming Years.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Democratic Capitalism Is Suffering From Deception, Delusion And Major Abuse By Political Bozos Including Our President And His Cabinet Of Clowns.
For all of the ideologues, there's plenty of room in there for even more incompetent Republicans such as little man Bush and Reagan. Reagan is arguably the father of the modern art of incompetency of Bozo politicians. Bush is arguably the worst President in our history. Pretty much running neck and neck with Bill Clinton for that honor.
The Corruption That Is Financial Reform - 115 Lobbyists Working On Reform Used To Work For Congress.
Monday, June 14, 2010
BP Needs A Lesson In Constitutional Government And The Rule Of Law. As Do its Nazi Brown Shirt Private Security Stooges.
When I first saw this video, it reminded me of Nazi Brown Shirts. Hitler's Private security stooges used to intimidate the public and subvert the rule of law. This is a microcosm of the breakdown of the rule of law in this country. And that breakdown is typically because of subversive, corrupt bribery of public officials by anyone with the wallets deep enough to do it. That includes BP.
Why aren't these reporters demanding that these bullies tell them by what legal authority or what legal code they are operating under that gives them authority over an American citizen's constitutional rights? I'm about ready to pick up a microphone and a camera and go down there and do it myself. And ask a constitutional attorney from the local college law school to go with me.
It's time we kick all of these assholes out of office this fall and replace them with people who will abide by the rule of law and work as public servants for the ultimate authority in this country. That being the Constitution and We the People.
Our Bozo Treasury Secretary Says China's Yuan Policy Hurts Global Recovery. Wants Dollar To Collapse To Pull Investment Into The United States.
We have been writing for years that currency appreciation by China isn't going to fix anything. (Although political bozos buy this neoliberal bulloney.) This hammering on China to basically allow the dollar to collapse is part of the neoliberal economy policy embraced by the United States starting with the Reagan administration (bozos) and continued all of the way through to the current clowns in the White House (more bozos). It's a race to the bottom of the barrel.
Those who can dumb down their currency enough supposedly win the economic game. Now you tell me, what kind of second grade math do these neoliberal political bozos summon up when they talk of such stupidity? Since when is dumbing down anything the key to success? That is, unless you are politician where dumbing down is a way of life. When was the last time that you wanted your investments or money to be worth less and less comparative to the rest of the world in some hopes it would eventually make you richer? This is the exact same dynamic that led to the Great Depression. The exact same. This is what happens when the American people allow political bozos to sell off our government to the highest bidder. Democracy fails and along with it the economy fails. When did politicians ever understand anything other than how to raise money for their own re-election or sell off our government for favor? Even President Obama, as smart as he supposedly is, and I am sure he is smart by some measurements, knows less than than most of the people reading this blog as it pertains to economics. (My point isn't to question anyone's intelligence but to make a point about putting unqualified political bozos in control of our economic livelihood.) And we believe these bozos are going to "save" our economy or turn it around? Are you kidding me? The only way our economy will turn around is when the political bozos and their corporate masters get off of our backs and allow the American people to turn it around. All in due time.
Geither, Summers, Bernanke, Romer, Goolsbee - everyone in the government assigned to major economics posts are economically illiterate as it pertains to engineering an economic turnaround. And our President is relying on these bozos for economic advice. Not only is China never going to listen to love poems written to them by American politicians but the market is also beating these bozos senseless; the political economics team wants the dollar to drop and the little greenback ain't listening. As well it shouldn't listen. Neither should We the People because they have no idea what they are doing.
A timeless maxim: Our politicians have been and always will be bozos. Well, give or take a few true leaders every now and again or some significantly small number of Congresspeople who actually are idealistic and wish to serve the public good.
So, starting with this timeless and universal truth, the American people need an economic model which takes substantial amounts of economic decisions out of the hands of the political bozos and puts it into the hands of the American people. You know, similar to how the Constitution does with our individual freedoms granted by our Creator or by nature or whatever you wish to believe. And how would that ever happen? Well, I am glad you asked. That would be via an economic constitution which cannot be tampered with by political bozos. Just like our individual liberties cannot be tampered with because it is protected by a written Constitution and the associated written rule of law. More on how an democratic economic constitution might work in the future. But in the mean time, do you really want Bozo the clown deciding your economic fate? Because he most certainly is. Wouldn't you feel much more confident of your economic freedom if it was protected under a democratic rule of law similar to your individual liberties? And no politician or any of their corporate masters could take it away from you because it was in black and white just like our Constitution?
But then if we had a democratic economic constitution that limited political meddling, what would our altruistic, self-sacrificing politicians (all of whom are sure to tell you how God is the very reason for their existence) do with all of their newly-acquired free time? Exactly the point. Well, I suppose they could do what Bozo does best. They could juggle balls, do magic tricks and make us laugh at their endless foolishness. Sort of like they do today but on more of a full time basis.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Three BP Workers Use Paper Towels To Clean Up Five Miles Of Contaminated Gulf Beaches
Friday, June 11, 2010
A Few Timely Remarks About Gold, Silver And The Gold Mining Index
Additionally, the HUI (gold mining index) and silver haven't risen at all since before the 2008 collapse. But the most hated asset amongst most gold bulls (and one of my favorite investments), the dollar, has risen quite nicely. When the financial savants were talking about gold's rise being tied to a declining dollar, we said the dollar and gold could eventually rise in unison, and if that happened, the world was going to be a very unpleasant place. And, that is indeed what is happening. Unpleasant? . We haven't seen anything yet.
Gold's shine is about Wall Street's liquification of the shiny metal more than anything else. In other words, in a certain sense gold is no different than a credit default swap or a mortgage backed security or crude oil; financial demand for gold has increased thousands upon thousands of percentage points over this cycle as Wall Street creates more and more leveraged vehicles for gold gamblers in the form of options, futures options, gold mini futures contracts, gold ETFs and on and on. While some central banks are adding to their gold supply ( central banks that have already been proven to be perfectly and completely incompetent including China, Russia and the Middle East oil fiefdoms, yet are somehow cited by gold bulls as constructive reasons to own gold. Certainly gold bulls are not in the company of genius.), the financial demand for gold is not sustainable as we have discussed before. As an example, we remarked that these countries could become net sellers of gold when their economies unwind, something I fully expect is a high probability.
Gold is at $1,200 an ounce because the Federal Reserve bailed out the gold speculators. It's that simple. Gold remains a bubble. But that's not a new position on here. As we highlighted before and after gold's 2008 crash, we already know what gold is going to do if we have future liquidity shocks or unwindings; gold imploded during the last liquidity crisis and unwinding in 2008. Recently, as an example, Congress is warring with the IMF to block more dollar funding for sovereign bailouts. And subsequent to that, the IMF is pushing global austerity measures. These are nightmarish developments for the global economy and very bearish for gold. More bearish developments yet to come.
Effectively, what we see is a mini cornering of the gold and silver markets by financial speculators using countless leveraged instruments. All courtesy of the Federal Reserve and free taxpayer money. (About four years ago we wrote on here the Fed wasn't fighting inflation, it was fighting financial speculators. There is no inflation. There is only financial speculation.) The Federal Reserve, the savior of gold bulls, is the very organization these speculators seek to protect themselves from. How ironic eh? It's a little like labeling someone a robber but then freely taking money from them. There's a lot of circular logic in the gold market. Another example is that speculators are constantly squawking that banks and central banks are shorting gold or selling gold into rallies to push down the price. And if that is true, then so what? Gold speculators are often taking free money from the Federal Reserve to leverage up in an attempt to drive the price of gold higher. And regardless of whether they are taking free money from the Federal Reserve, they are distorting the price of gold with all of the leverage instruments Wall Street has created. It's all a game of great hypocrisy.
Gold is not a store of value. Gold is not money. And the dollar cannot be devalued against gold as was the case in the 1930s. (Some mentally-challenged financial "guru" has been arguing that devaluing the dollar against gold is the Fed's secret weapon. WTF? Do you live on planet earth?) If you believe the dollar is going to zero, I have news for you. The government makes the rules and unless you foresee the end of civilization and the United States, you are fantasizing about a reality that doesn't extend beyond your frontal lobe. ie, You suffer from dementia. Gold bugs have fifty reasons why the shiny metal is at $1,200. Their reasons change like the direction of the wind. That should be scary in itself. Gold is going higher for one reason. Unsustainable financial demand. The trading genius may be in an out of gold at the right time to make a profit but most people aren't traders. That includes most professionals.
Gold bugs are often right to be concerned about fundamentals and as we have noted many times on here, I respect the action of the shiny metal. But how many gold bulls are going to tell you the Federal Reserve has bailed out the gold speculators (and silver) and that has propped up the gold market? (They have also bailed out other central banks and that has allowed China, Russia and the Middle East fiefdoms to continue buying gold....for now. All good things come to an end.) Otherwise, gold, silver and mining stocks would have kept imploding like every other asset. And that includes equities that would have kept imploding. That doesn't fit into the general conspiracy or notion of most in the gold market so you'll probably never read anything from a gold bull of any sort. The Federal Reserve is most often the enemy of the gold bull and to believe they are benefiting from bailouts isn't consistent with a world where gold is supposed to protect one from the Federal Reserve. If you think the Federal Reserve is going to keep giving away more and more free money to financial speculators to fuel their gambling habit while the economy suffers, then you should own gold. That's not a wise bet.
My bearish remarks about gold a few weeks ago weren't just for grins and giggles. HUI demand is waning and global liquidity is once again trading at a premium. The HUI and silver are looking mighty toppy as fundamentals start to shift again. That they have been unable to break past the 2008 peak is looking mighty disconcerting at this point in time. Does gold have further to run? It's all about demand. But if the economy is getting ready to take another leg down, we saw what happened the last time. Gold, silver and the HUI imploded. I guess we are about to find out.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Protect Yourself From Your Own "Shitty Deal" And Sign Up For Free Updates From The Environmental Working Group
Just as I generally try to keep poison out of my brain by not listening to politicians, Wall Street and the mainstream media, I'm generally not big on sticking things in my mouth or in my person that might cause cancer or other serious illnesses. That includes genetically-modified foods, highly processed foods, home cleaning chemicals, highly processed soaps, aluminum-based anti-perspirants, pesticide-ridden food, etc.
I believe the EWG works almost exclusively off of donations and provides tremendous information on foods and products that are potentially toxic or harmful. This week they are focusing on the ingredients in sunscreen which are more than likely more dangerous than the sun they are trying to protect us against.
To become aware is to become educated. To become educated is to become empowered. To become empowered is to become self-determined. To become self-determined is to force change. Knowledge is power. And that is the reason why the status quo wants everything to be opaque. Secret political meetings. Lobbyists operating with no transparency. Unlabeled genetically-modified foods. Bundled mortgage-backed securities. Completely confusing credit card contracts. A private banking and monetary system. Confusing cap and trade schemes. Complex and fraudulent financial products sold to our schools and pension accounts. And on and on and on. The status quo knows transparency is necessary for an educated and self-determined society. And that an educated and self-determined society cannot be bamboozled for it will then be a free society. Just ask communist China or Goldman Sachs. Opacity is the objective to keep us uninformed while they pillage our society.
I would highly recommend you take a look at EWG and get on their free email list.
Looks like Goldman and China's communist party have more in common than embracing the same neofeudal economics. They both are good at selling people shitty deals.
As part of our China thesis, we have been writing for years that China's collapse will ultimately lead to great potential for civil war and unrest. Possibly even laying blame for its problems on the United States or externalizing its unrest in order to maintain control - a timeless trick of the fraudulent. It's good to see the brave people of China are willing to stick it to the commies.
(You need a password for this article but you should get one. It's free and the Financial Times offers up great reading for free.)
By the way, I wouldn't be surprised to see the market end in negative territory today even though it opened up 200 Dow points. There is zero demand beyond the futures pop this morning. More shitty deals courtesy of the status quo.
The President's Empty Rhetoric About Financial Reform Is Replaced By "Dick Cheney-type" Secret Lobbyist Meetings Excluding The Media
I would like to participate in this meeting. I believe I have at least as many viable ideas to create a stable financial system as the retards on Wall Street who were caught completely off guard by their own stupidity. In fact, I have some very unique ideas that I haven't seen discussed and I am sure I am far from alone. And since Wall Street doesn't seem to have any ideas, why don't you invite me? In fact, Mr. President, you work for all of the American people. You should invite all of us to participate in your secret meetings. Let's see how much your agenda embraces democracy and the public interest. If you have nothing to hide and truly have our best interests at heart, why don't you invite all of the lobbyists you want and broadcast the meeting live on C-SPAN so we can all participate in the democratic process? Better yet, why don't you ask for an hour from the major television channels at, say, 8pm on a Saturday night so we are all guaranteed time to participate? I think real financial reform is important enough to invite every American during a time they are most likely available. I think we would like to hear what is going on in all of those secret meetings in Washington. You know, the ones that end up selling out We the People for Washington's corporate masters.
Would someone like to tell me the difference between Obama's countless secret meetings with drug companies, health insurance monopolies and financial lobbyists and Cheney's secret meetings with energy companies? So much for change you can believe in. More like more of the same old Dick. Cheney, that is.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
The Disposable Serviceperson In The Disposable Society - Brain Injuries Remain Undiagnosed In Countless Soldiers
Bankrupt Chinese Dairy Headquartered In The Cayman Islands And Partially-Owned By Goldman Sachs And Morgan Stanley Overrun By Angry Workers. WTF???
Now why would American taxpayer supported firms be invested in corporations headquartered in the Cayman Islands? Why not in China or America? China being the location of the investment and the United States being the headquarters of the financial firms.
It would be nice to see some transparency into this and likely countless other similar investments by American financial firms. But, wait a minute. The Cayman Islands doesn't require financial institutions to list their investors. Remember our discussions of unregulated capital and organized crime's assets infiltrating our financial system? Even the gentleman who "outed" Madoff remarked of how much Russian mafia money was likely involved in the Madoff scam as he testified before Congress. I have absolutely no reason to believe any such improprieties are involved but maybe Wall Street firms would like to pro-actively air their entire portfolio of investments and their investors on behalf of American citizens since our tax dollars are in fact keeping them afloat. Isn't that the way a democracy is supposed to work? We the People are in fact the masters of our government and its investments?
Looks like there is some potential for more of God's work at play here.
Story in Post Title Link
Scientists Zero In On Gulf Spill Flow Rate - 4+ Million Gallons Per Day. A New Exxon Valdez Every Three Days. 2,000% Greater Than BP Propaganda.
Coming To A Home Near You - China's Death Vans
How great would it be to have this crew come knocking on your door?
New York Magazine's Look At A Wall Street Sociopath: Bernie Madoff
What else can you say? Madoff is most certainly a predatory sociopath. Remember, Madoff at one time was the chairman of Nasdaq. How many other chairmen and executives on Wall Street parallel Madoff? I would guess plenty. Wall Street is like a drug for dysfunctional personalities - sociopathic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, etc. I might even surmise a few of these former Wall Street clowns who have become media darlings could easily fit this profile. Nothing like being paid to be a psycho.
Monday, June 07, 2010
This has to one of the most foolish mistakes in recent years. Just as China is imploding and nationalism is on the rise, the status quo makes a foolish move at the peak. Jaguar's new owners are going to take a bath.
By the way, those who compare China to the rise of Japan are fools. Japan's indigenous culture is substantially steeped in the timeless honor of Bushido; a unifying social code that permeates business and social contracts. China's communist culture is steeped in endless fraud. Their unifying social code is terror. China can, by definition, in its current form be nothing more than it is today. China is a fear-based society. It is a society based in terror. Fear-based societies are endlessly fraudulent as history teaches us. The peoples of China need to throw off the leviathan that is the communist elite to return to a society of moral clarity. Then China will successfully build Jaguars. Or, for that matter, whatever they want.
In closing, the United States used to have a unifying social code. Some people would say it was our Judeo-Christian values. As a country of immigrants from every corner of the earth with unlimited religious beliefs, I would beg to differ. I believe our unifying social code was called the rule of law. And society honored it because they understood the sacrifices necessary to maintain something so special defined by being an American. Today, most Americans still abide by this honor and integrity, which is why Wall Street's approval rating is less than ten percent and Congress is little better. It will be the American people who will save our country and our rule of law in spite of the crooked sonsabitches who are hell bent on dismantling it. And that is how it should be because it was the American people who made our country great in the first place.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Humanity Cavalierly Creates Artifical Life. Our Government And The Voice Of Reason (Concerns Of Risk) Are No Where To Be Found.
We have seen countless crises of "invention" throughout the industrial age. And we never seem to admit to the crises until disaster has struck. Thalidomide, lead, pesticides, semiconductor chemicals, mercury, PCBs, Wall Street finance, BP's spill, Chernobyl, Bhopal, strip mining and on and on. All of industrial China and most emerging markets have become disasters as companies strip countries (without a well-developed rule of law) of their resources and spew toxic poisons into the environment at a staggering pace. These are but examples. The list is literally endless and still growing. Most of these disasters were the result of some corporation or group of people who were more concerned about profits and less concerned about proper risk protocols or any harmful risks to society. In fact, cover-up after cover-up attempted to (and still does) hide many crises. Relying on this ex post facto method of dealing with our mistakes when it come to tampering with the forces of life will ultimately lead to some unimaginable disaster.
Many of these biology firms and their founders have a history of pushing the envelope with what appears to me to be insufficient regard for risk - sort of a Goldman Sachs of biology businesses.
Society hasn't even debated the topic of artificial life and here we are creating it. Therefore, we clearly have no regulatory structure and no ethical or scientific standards to ensure research is handled with rigorous methodologies and procedures to keep us from killing ourselves. Biology research has the constructive potential to transform the treatment of diseases, to invent new energy sources and much more. But well beyond any benefits is its ability to completely obliterate humanity and life. In other words, the risks are so enormous they literally cannot be quantified. The risks far outweigh any reward. And for that we should have extremely well-developed bioethics and risk controls.
We treat the forces of the universe as cavalierly as we treat everything else. Which, by the way, is why humanity goes from self-induced crisis to self-induced crisis. We create our own hell. Literally. We don't need some invisible boogeyman to do it for us. And now that we are playing with the unknown awesome forces of the universe instead of toying with muskets and cannonballs, we can almost be assured our future crises will rise exponentially in scope. That is, unless we achieve some level of awareness before we create the credit default swaps of biology and open Pandora's box. Because once we have meddled with the creation of life, the universe won't likely be so kind as to close the box back up voluntarily. And humanity can't be expected to control what we clearly don't understand. Just a handful of hundreds of years ago, Pandora's box opened and unleashed something we didn't understand and nearly half of all life in Europe was vanquished in the blink of an eye. There are many examples of the forces of the universe causing great chaos. And with the population density of today, countless forces of the universe are already stacked in favor of some future disaster. Any uncontrollable mistake will spread like wildfire with six billion people on the planet. It's simply a matter of time and circumstance. We don't need to be waving a lit match near a sea of gasoline by engaging in what we don't understand with little or no regard for risk. We don't need to let the same mess that happened on Wall Street happen with biological research. But it appears without change that we will.
This is more free-market cavalier cowboy bullshit - government should stay out of everything. Free market pinheads say the market will regulate itself. Come back and tell me that when a few billion people are dead. Or Wall Street blows up the world. Or BP creates the largest man-made disaster in decades. Ever notice these free market types aren't very good at math? How many mathematicians have you ever heard describe our economy as free market or self-regulating as libertarians (mostly anarchists who really aren't libertarians) and neoliberal idiots do today?
A market-based economy, not to be confused with a free market, is desirable only because it is proven way to achieve a meritocracy and self-determination in a democracy. Not so we can buy a television from Wal-mart made by someone paid ten cents a day in a slave labor camp or so companies can plunder economies who have no well-developed rule of law. We live in a democracy not a capitalism. Our economic model should support democratic principles not that we should fit our social principles to embrace our economic model as the case today. And that is exactly what is going on. The goals of our economic model should be consistent with the goals of our democracy. Instead our fearless and corrupt leaders and the corporatist masters of the universe have adopted social and political values where those most willing to trample the rights of their fellow man are able to dominate others at the expense of virtue or the betterment of society or of democratic principles. Our democracy is imploding.
In a free society, government is the concerned voice of the people. The earth is a very complex system that we clearly do not understand at any level beyond a thin veneer of crude knowledge. Life has developed over millions of years. It has developed this way not randomly but for a reason. Selections were made. Life has a reason. Einstein told us God didn't play dice or that the concept of randomness is inconsistent with science. (Einstein was most surely right regardless of the current theories of quantum mechanics highlighted in the last link.) For me, randomness is simply a way of stating that the world is without meaning and, by conclusion, so is science, so is metaphysics and so is the thirst for knowledge. I believe a more plausible reality is that our view of randomness is simply a manifestation of humanity's lack of knowledge. We use randomness to explain what we clearly have no answers to or do not understand rather than it providing some universal truth.
For whatever reason the universe and, specifically for this post, life on earth, develops the way it does, in a state of homeostatis or balance that could easily be disrupted with the introduction of a man-made life form. One small change in the system could set off a complex chain reaction. There is absolutely no scientific method available to mankind to determine the impact of any man-made life form on our planet. The unintended consequences of such cavalier arrogance is no different than we see in financial markets today. Or in the self-regulatory neoliberal bullshit in our food, drug, energy exploration and other regulatory agencies. How's that working out for you? But rather than destroying our economy as Wall Street has, such arrogance could destroy human life. One might consider tampering with biology without reasoned debate and proper concern for risk to be far greater than any threat that nuclear war ever was.
The power of life in the universe is an awesome power. We know nearly nothing of its workings and existence. I do not share the celebratory nature of this announcement without any regulatory, ethical or procedural oversight. How can anyone who is even remotely informed of its possible unintended consequences be excited? There has been no concern or standards developed to contain our feeble understanding of these forces. And that will manifest itself at some point.
Where is our government on this issue? More self-regulation served up on a platter of bullshit. Our economy is failing because our democracy is failing. Our democracy is failing because our government is failing. Our government is failing because it has no moral clarity. It has no moral clarify because our government has allowed elitists to hijack rule of law for the benefit of personal fraud. And that is the very reason why research into man-made life is achievable without any risk controls or protocols. Why Wall Street fraud is rampant. Why BP was able to drill 5,000 feet below the ocean with no idea of how to deal with a potential crisis. And on and on and on.
Welcome to the world of the surreal.