Thomas Frank: What Happened To the ‘Party of the People’

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Posted on 18th May 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Via Jesse

“Inequality is a euphemism, a kind of shorthand, for all of the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious, year on year, for the last three decades. And also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious in that same time.

This word inequality. It’s visible in the ever rising costs of healthcare and college, in the coronation of Wall Street, and the slow blighting of wherever it is that you happen to live. And you catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick, or you read about the lobbying industry that drives Washington DC, or the new political requirement, the new constitutional requirement that every presidential candidate has to be a billionaire’s favorite, or a billionaire themselves.

Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street from you loses his house. Inequality is the reason that some people find such incredible significance in the ceiling height of an entrance foyer, or the hop content of a beer, while other people will never believe in anything again.”

Thomas Frank

Change is coming. It must come, because the status quo is unsustainable, and has been so for some time.

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And Into the Heart of the Matter

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Posted on 9th April 2016 by Administrator in Economy

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Update from Jesse

Postscript at 6:30 PM: Out of surgery and in Recovery. I am waiting to see her. She will be on the way to the Intensive Care for the weekend.

Surgery in a few hours (2 PM start)

As you probably know by now in your own lives, when a real crisis comes you hurry about, getting information, making the financial and practical arrangements, dealing with the most pressing matters as they come, correcting the little mistakes that cause problems later, comforting and reassuring those who need it, informing those who are in confusion, and doing what you feel that must be done, finding the limits of your ability and then repeatedly pushing them into resistance and the unknown. And this is how our talents become skills.

And then at last, when what can be done is done, you retire to a quiet place, and perhaps a tear or two as there is no shame in this, since after all we are wholly human, and then say ‘thy will be done.’

We do this all the time. This is what it means to be an adult, to be fully human. But it seems that only at certain times do we become aware of it, more acutely conscious of our roles in life as father and mother, husband and wife, loving child and capable professional, friends and lovers.

Always there are the angels, the unexpected people you encounter who have great hearts and helping kindness. And even in our distress, there are encounters when we too can help and comfort someone else in a similar situation. You see them in the waiting rooms, with their mothers and spouses and friends, and you in turn provide some relief and comfort for them. Suffering is a great humanizer and leveler. There is a fraternity of those who come to understand this; they see it in each other’s eyes.

This is when we are most truly human, fully aware of our dependency and vulnerability and our true place in things, of who we really are: sinners, but attempting great things, moving forward in fear and trembling, as best as our lights may lead us.

Have a pleasant weekend.


PRAYERS NEEDED

24 comments

Posted on 8th April 2016 by Administrator in Economy

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No need to have this post delve into the existence of God. If you are inclined toward prayer, please say them for Jesse’s wife.

It’s Always Something – No Updates Until Monday.

by Jesse

There will be no updates tonight or tomorrow.

My wife is having emergency surgery tomorrow. Since this condition was detected before any symptoms or damage from the swelling in her brain from a tumor had occurred we are glad for this, although today was distressing and unexpected, a bit of a shock really. A CAT scan detected this yesterday, and an MRI confirmed it today.

This is unusual for the type of colorectal cancer that she has. Typically it reoccurs in the abdomen, which it has done twice now in roughly the same place in the lungs. There were no other traces of it anywhere else. A biopsy will confirm whether this is the same thing or not.

She will be in intensive care until Sunday most likely. I will not be responding to individual emails very often.

Please remember us in your prayers, as we remember you.


MOTHER, SHOULD I TRUST THE GOVERNMENT? (Oldie but Goodie)

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Posted on 12th March 2016 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Originally Published in June 2013

 

Mother, do you think they’ll drop the bomb?
Mother, do you think they’ll like this song?
Mother, do you think they’ll try to break my balls?
Ooh ah,
Mother, should I build the wall?

Mother, should I run for president?
Mother, should I trust the government?
Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
Ooh ah,
Is it just a waste of time?

Pink Floyd – Mother

The lyrics to Mother had both a literal and figurative meaning for Roger Waters. He was literally describing his overprotective single mother (his father was killed in World War II) building walls to protect him from the outside world. The figurative meaning is Big Mother sending its boys off to war and using fear to control and manipulate the masses. At the time he wrote this song in 1979, the Soviet Union was thought to be at its peak of power and the Berlin Wall represented a boundary between good and evil. Nuclear war was still a looming fear. Waters has always had a dim view of totalitarian states and institutions (English schools). Having seen his Wall Tour performance this past summer at Citizens Bank Park with a diverse crowd of 40,000, ranging in age from senior citizens to teenagers, it seems this song has gained new meaning. He sang a duet with himself from 1980 projected on the Wall and when he sang the lyric, “Mother, should I trust the government?” the entire stadium responded in unison – NO!!! This revealed a truth that is not permitted to be discussed by the corporate mainstream media acting as a mouthpiece for the ruling class. A growing legion of citizens in this country does not trust the government. This is very perceptive on their part.

In part one of this two part series – Hey You – I examined how an invisible government of wealthy, power hungry men have utilized the propaganda techniques of Edward Bernays and lured the American people into a narcissistic, techno-gadget, debt based servitude. Over the last one hundred years they have created a totalitarian state built upon egotism, material goods, and fulfilling our desires through Wall Street peddled debt and mass consumerism. It has been an incredibly effective form of control that has convinced the masses to love their servitude. The ruling oligarchs correctly chose the painless, amusement saturated, soft totalitarianism of Huxley’s Brave New World over the fearful, pain inflicting, surveillance state, house of horrors detailed in Orwell’s 1984.

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They Thought They Were Free

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Posted on 11th March 2016 by Administrator in Economy

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Via Jesse

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?—Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences; in Germany, outside the great cities, perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in your own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or ‘You’re an alarmist.’

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise, the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally, people who have always thought as you have.

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SHOULD YOU BELIEVE THE VAMPIRE SQUID?

17 comments

Posted on 17th February 2016 by Administrator in Economy

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I find it fascinating the mainstream corporate media and Wall Street shysters spend SO MUCH time talking down gold and spending an inordinate amount of electronic ink trying to convince the masses that only nutjobs would buy it. I believe less than 2% of people have gold in their investment portfolio, so why the endless articles bashing it?

Newsletter hawkers like Martin Armstrong take every opportunity to shit on gold as an investment. I wonder if he was shitting on it from 2001 through 2011? We don’t know, because he was in prison for investment fraud during most of that time. Fatass Barry Ritholtz is in the same boat. He’s nothing but a failed lawyer pretending to be an investment guru. He’s gleeful when gold falls. It’s because he completely missed a 10 year bull market.

The suppression of gold prices through the paper market since 2011 by the Fed and their Wall Street bank co-conspirators has thus far been successful, but it is fraying at the edges as China continues to accumulate physical gold and pushing the ponzi scheme towards its inevitable conclusion. Soaring gold prices tells the masses central bankers are a fraud, that’s why they are desperate to keep the price capped.

With zero and negative interest rates throughout the world, gold should be skyrocketing. It is showing signs of calling the central banker bluff. Jesse’s comments below should be heeded. The stock market dead cat bounce and the holiday manipulation of gold down $30 will fail. If there is a lesson from the Big Short, do the opposite of what Goldman says to do.


Chart of the Day

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Goldman Says Have No Fear and Buy Our Paper

 

Goldman analyst Jeffrey Currie came out this morning with a ‘sell gold’ recommendation for Ma and Pa Muppet.

I was fortunate enough to hear his explanation for this in his own words on Bloomberg TV, which had touted his gold call about every fifteen minutes all day.

The net summary of Mr. Currie’s forecast is that Goldman’s economists think that there ought to be no fear in the financial paper markets, since there is an historically low chance of a recession, less than fifteen percent, and he sees no real possibility of negative interest rates.

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What Are Sanders and Obama Going To Discuss

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Posted on 27th January 2016 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Jesse
Apparently President Obama and Senator Sanders are going to have an ‘informal one-on-one meeting with no agenda’ and no press today.

This presidential election has really framed up as an attempt at a popular revolt against a Big Money political establishment. And it is fascinating to watch.

Although the mainstream media keeps feigning astonishment, the broader public is clearly seeking two non-establishment candidate who, for better or worse, they think cannot be bought off by Big Money and the revolving door.

This meeting is an informal one with no set agenda.

Perhaps Obama will share the insight he allegedly had early in his Presidency about reformers as recounted by the ex-CIA whistleblower Ray McGovern.

“He’s afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for? Obama turned sharply and said, “Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?” That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote.”

Ray McGovern

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

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Posted on 11th January 2016 by Administrator in Economy

“THE BANKS MUST BE RESTRAINED, AND THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM REFORMED, WITH BALANCE RESTORED TO THE ECONOMY, BEFORE THERE CAN BE ANY SUSTAINABLE RECOVERY.”

Jesse


American Exceptionalism: Endless War, Parasitic Financialisation, Wage Stagnation, and Oligarchy

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Posted on 10th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Jesse

“The financial system itself continues to exhibit dangerous and erratic behavior; the stock market is rigged and Wall Street is a parasitic wealth transfer operation; commodity prices plummet; junk bond defaults double; derivative exposures remain in the dark; community banks are gobbled up; and the holdings of the mega Wall Street banks become ever more concentrated, with just six banks now controlling over 90% of derivatives and 40% of deposits.”

Wall Street On Parade

There will be the usual movement to ‘blame the victims’ in this, the ‘gullible’ American people who do not wish to face the facts.  This is how it always goes, and it works because it is easy to despise the other guy, or just hate ‘the other.’

Most people are busy and working hard to make ends meet. They obtain their view of things from ‘the news media’ for the most part.

When was the last time you saw any rational discussion of any of these charts in a newspaper or on television news program?

And if the ever did present such a chart, it would be to show it and then have a ‘strategist’ from the Democratics and a ‘strategist’ from the Republicans argue about it, relying heavily on spin, emotion, and rhetoric, perhaps backed up with some ‘paid for’ studies funded by oligarchs and their think tanks.

The American people are being fed a steady stream of lies and half-truths from a captive media, and for the most part the privileged achievers keep silent to protect their own interests, to ‘go along to get along.’  They rationalize this by burying themselves in the details of their own professions.

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Silk Road Gold Demand Taking All New Mine Production and More

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Posted on 5th December 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Jesse

Nick Laird of goldchartsrus.com has provided the latest statistics on the consumption of gold by the ‘Silk Road’ countries.

The monthly demand from these nations as shown below has grown five-fold compared what it was prior to 2008.

In the latest month their total consumption, that is private purchasing and additional to official reserves, was 365 tonnes.

Nick has estimated global production as averaging about 260 tonnes per month.

This represents a shortfall of about 105 tonnes per month to be drawn from existing supplies.

So this is one reason why we have been seeing the existing stocks of gold around the world drawn down to cover the steadily growing demand from these countries.  And as you may recall, the central banks of the world became net buyers of gold around 2008.

Comex has little available stocks in its domestic warehouses compared to this demand, All of the gold in all the warehouses, whether it is for sale or not, if taken and liquidated is just over 200 tonnes as is shown on the report below.

London is a more substantial source of bullion, but is running down it’s supply as we have seen in the ‘gold float’ analysis also included below.

Interestingly enough, the year over year drawdown in the London free float is about 100 tonnes per month.

There is also supply in ETFs and Trusts.  This too has been drawn down steadily, particularly since 2013.

These are not precise figures, but estimates gleaning from public sources.  I suspect the supply numbers are ‘generous’ with regard to the free float and the unemcumbered nature of gold through multiple claims and leasing, but that is conjecture.

But no wonder the Indian government is so anxious to persuade their people to turn their gold into synthetic paper gold, and allow it to be hypothecated.  And no wonder that the Fed told the German government that their gold was temporarily inconvenienced until 2019.  And no wonder Venezuela is being leaned on so heavily to give back the gold that it so recently repatriated so it may be sold.

I wonder what it would take to increase mine production and bring more gold in as scrap and private sales to meet this growing demand.  Higher prices perhaps?

And if so, then perhaps knocking the price down so aggressively, crippling the precious metals mining industry, is not a fruitful idea for the longer term.

Given the current rate of growth in demand and the current state of supply, next year could be interesting.  Still, I never like to underestimate the ‘resourcefulness’ of the central banks, especially when they are operating in relative secrecy.

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THE FED IN DECEMBER

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Posted on 15th November 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Via Jesse


T’was the Witch of November Come Stealin’

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Posted on 11th November 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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 Guest Post by Jesse

 

When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck
Sayin’  Fellas, it’s too rough to feed ya
At seven PM a main hatchway caved in
He said, Fellas, it’s been good to know ya
The captain wired in he had water comin’ in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

I have included the two stock index cash market charts with technicals.

There is a potential ‘island top’ forming on the NDX, and the SP 500 looks like it might be testing the 200 DMA.

Bottom line is if stocks start rolling over with some real selling, and not this tissue thin HFT shell game that has taken the place of actual price discovery, then we could be in for a very rough ride.

Let’s see how much more the Fed is willing to spend to support their latest paper asset bubble. And let’s see if they can raise rates fast enough to have enough room to lower them again in response to another crisis which they have themselves would most likely have caused.

Today is the 40th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald during a fierce November storm on Lake Superior.

No Real Chance of Another Financial Crisis – ‘Silly’

8 comments

Posted on 31st October 2015 by Administrator in Economy

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Guest Post by Jesse

I like Dean Baker quite well, and often link to his columns. On most things we are pretty much on the same page.

And to his credit he was one of the few ‘mainstream’ economists to actually see the housing bubble developing, and call it out. Some may claim to have done so, and can even cite a sentence or two where they may have mentioned it, like Paul Krugman for example. But very few spoke about doing something about it while it was in progress.  The Fed was aware according to their own minutes, and ignored it.

The difficulty we have in the economics profession, I fear, is a great deal of herd instinct and concern about what others may say. And when the Fed runs their policy pennants up the flagpole, only someone truly secure in their thinking, or forsworn to some strong ideological interpretation of reality or bias if we are truly honest, dare not salute it.

Am I such a person? Do I actually see a fragile financial system that is still corrupt and highly levered, grossly mispricing risks? Or am I just seeing things the way in which I wish to see them?

That difficulty arises because economics is no science. It involves judgement and principles, and weighs the facts far too heavily based upon ‘reputation’ and ‘status.’ And of course I have none of those and wish none.

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Do Not Look at These Charts Showing Registered ‘Deliverable’ Gold Bullion In New York

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Posted on 4th October 2015 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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 Guest Post by Jesse

 

“The sense of responsibility in the financial community for the community as a whole is not small. It is nearly nil.”

John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash of 1929

Here are a few charts that show the rather striking decline in ‘registered’ gold, that is gold available for those standing for delivery, in the Comex warehouses.

‘Standing’ by the way means standing around and waiting for someone to choose to fulfill your request for your contract to be fulfilled with actual bullion before the cut off date.

You can see from the first chart that the likelihood of someone actually standing for delivery and receiving bullion has never been less at The Bucket Shop.  Real metal is unfashionable amongst our financial sophisticates.

As for delivery and withdrawal of bullion, it is getting stronger and stronger in the East.  Second chart.  What can one say at such embarrassing behaviour?  What a bunch of rubes!