Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Time to stop drooling about iCrap and worrying about Internet business models and pick up some books on Carpentry and Sheep Farming.

At least do yourself a favour and just consider for a moment – a moment – how you would get by if you could not withdraw money for a month or so and the Internet, for all practical purposes, was down for good.

Our great grandparents would be shocked to see how incapable we are to fend for ourselves in a time of unimaginable crisis.

Note to self: Don’t forget to buy a hand wound radio!

“The US economy is unsustainable” says Roubini

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Excellent review of the financial crises of the 80s…also suggests that the present crisis finds its roots there…

Lessons From The 80s: Nothing New Under The Sun

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A tasty excerpt from an illuminating analysis of


Peak Oil and Peak “Cheap Oil”  by Erik Townsend that I found at www.chrismartenson.com. A very credible argument that explains why oil might very well make it back to $200 a barrel but is not likely to go much higher as that is the price point where governments of oil producing nations are likely to begin nationalizing oil producing assets and controlling energy markets as a matter of national security…  It seems bad enough for oil… Haven’t seen anything yet about the coming water shortage crisis… And lets not forget that California is due to sink into the Pacific any day now… Do you believe now in the deadliness of the future?

The Excerpt:

Market force vs. Military force

One of the strongest arguments made by Peak Oil speculators is that prices will rise in large part because emerging economies (particularly China) are industrializing, radically growing their vehicle fleets, and generally likely to create enormous new demand for decades to come. On its face, this is a sound and well-reasoned argument and the fundamentals in those countries strongly support this conclusion. But this argument assumes that oil prices will continue to be set by a free-market supply and demand system. I think that a dangerous assumption.

I’m convinced that as Peak Cheap Oil arrives, a series of peak oil price shocks will cripple developed economies, including the United States. (more…)

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I must admit the whole European meltdown is happening much quicker than I, a staunch pessimist, would have thought.

I guess we can chalk it up to markets being incapable of waiting. All the articles that I read about the crisis were suggesting that the $45 billion euro bailout package by the IMF and the EMU would allow Greece to hold out for another year at best. Clearly the writing on the wall was so BIG and OBVIOUS that markets decided there was no better time than the present to get the default ball rolling.

Here’s a quote from Naked Capitalism that echos what I have been suggesting for some time. The financial crisis is just getting started:

“So the whole idea that the financial crisis was over is being called into doubt. Recall that the Great Depression nadir was the sovereign debt default phase. And the EU’s erratic responses (obvious hesitancy followed by finesses rather than decisive responses) is going to prove even more detrimental as the Club Med crisis grinds on.”

People are finally starting to pull their heads from the sand (and other dark places) to realize that the World is faced with a monstruous debt crisis, one that never should have been allowed to occur in the first place. It would seem that nothing was learned from The Great Depression. Our governments have been bamboozled by Global Finance. I think that the U.S. political elite deserves a particular concentration of scorn for its irresponsible leadership in these affairs. You can blame the greedy jerks on Wall Street all you want but the ultimate failure has been a political one. American politics, on both sides of the aisle, has allowed itself to be captured by the Military Industrial Complex and Big Finance. Let’s face it, they are one and the same. It is time for the countries of the world to start brushing up their emergency plans. Damage control is what the next 10 to 15 years has in store. I have a very hard time imagining how any kind of normalcy will return until this brewing shitstorm of international idiocy blows over.

I doubt that this Greek crisis is the begining of the end of humanity. After all, the only creature more resilient that people are cockroaches… Even rats wouldn’t survive very long without our staggering amount of waste to feed on. But I deeply feel that this crisis is the beginning of the end of the World as we know it. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Those of us who grew up in the 70s, the dawn of the truly modern age with its computers, television, better living through chemistry, lived in a completely different Universe than our grandparents and even more so than that of our great-grandparents. But to think that the pace at which “innovation” is driving people mad…right fucking mad…can continue without some form of global nervous breakdown is not only wishful thinking but criminally insane. I keep repeating the same point.. The World Wars of the 20th Century were in large part a result of the Enlightenment catching up with itself… The race for economic and intellectual superiority between nations was only understood to be achievalbe through mililtary means. This way of thinking was consistent with human history up to that point but civilzation was not prepared to deal with the genocidal character of mechanized warfare. (more…)

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The World is once again standing uncomfortably close to the edge of the abyss that was so narrowly avoided in 2008 when Lehman’s collapsed. If you don’t have vertigo..you are really not paying attention.

No one knows for sure what will happen when (and it is when) Greece defaults. Will Portugal, Spain and Ireland follow? What will happen to the U.S.?

There’s plenty of speculative reporting out there, just Google a bit and see what you find. Try search terms that include Financial Crisis, Greece, Fallout, United States

Look, I’m no financial expert.. but I have a nose for impending disaster.. My impression is that the people in charge of World affairs haven’t a clue, not even the slightest one, how the hell to get out of this mess, in large part because the leaders of the world are in hawk to financial interests. Oh wait’ we’ve seen this film before haven’t we? It was called the 20th Century.

Money does indeed make the world go round and when it is destroyed through wanton acts of ignorance, the world stops for a moment and then errupts into Anarchy until new monopolies of force carve out equilibrium between nations. To quote Pete Townsend…”Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss.”

Whatever the mechanism, there are way too many people on the planet. It gets a bit of lip service now and again but the issue at stake not just a matter of Maltusian resource management. It is information management. Humanity is overloading from too many people striving for the same thing.. Wealth and Power.. it’s a story as old as the Bible. These conflagrations errupt from the most unexpected direction just when things seem to be getting under control.

If people could be more excellent to each other, all of this crap could probably be avoided. But then I guess life would be boring.

Go Habs Go!

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Read how America has become a Banana Republic With No Bananas.

I’ve been wondering for months how come Americans are not marching in the streets with pitchforks and torches, ready to burn down Wall Street.. Apparently that time has come…minus the pitchforks and torches..for now…

After reading “The Sickening Abuse Of Power At The Heart Of Wall Street” from Simon Johnson, chief economist at the IMF from 2007 to 2008,  it is no stretch of the imagination to presume that more protests will follow… It will make the Tea Party seem like small potatoes… America might finally be awakening from its Reaganomics Bushite Induced Coma… but is it too late?

Things I read this weekend  are making it look like the S.E.C. suit against Goldman is the tipping point, the Avalanche control mortar that has set off the entire ridge. Things are moving fast. For weeks there’s been tons of speculation on whether or not the U.S. Senate was going to get bogged down into the same fillibuster blackmail scenario that dragged the Health Bill through lawmaking hell… And then with the flip of an S.E.C. switch, overnight,  it became apparent to the G.O.P. that there was no way they could possibly get away with siding with the banking industry.  So now it seems that a financial regulation bill is on its way and it might even include a break-up the banks amendment.

What is clear is that the Oligarchy is scared.  If Goldman loses it’s legitimacy there is no telling what might happen to it.  Is it really too big to fail?  Or has it become too big to be allowed to exist?

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This is a very compelling, and wordy, commentary at http://www.Zero Hedge.com on how complex systems, in their lead up to catastrophic collapse, behave much like Avalanches.   To contain the devastating release of energy contained in a snow ridge, avalanche control experts launch mortars into areas they measure to be unstable, before they become a bigger threat.  Yet despite their best efforts, not all catastrophes can be avoided as the tipping point of Avalanches is still not completely measurable and controlling them still involves a lot intuition and experience.   Likewise, this commentary speculates that the Lords of Finance are scarred senseless by populist backlash at the Banking industry and are thus themselves launching the mortar of an SEC case against Goldman Sachs to purportedly avoid the entire Ridge of public opinion to be released upon them.  The problem is that with avalanches catastrophic collapses occur despite the ski patrol’s best efforts since the science of what triggers these collapses is still not completely understood.   The trigger, or tipping point can occur in random, innocuous areas of the physical network that keep the mass intact.   The article explains better than I do.

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Naked Captilalism is another great finance/economics blog oft cited by The Baseline Scenario. These blogs are the Woodward and Bernstein of the Financial Crisis.

NC is by far much more dense than Baseline Scenario when it comes to the details but one generally gets the point:

Things are rotten in the United States of America.

The following begins the post “Rahm Emanuel and Magnetar Capital: The Definition of Compromised”


1) A neutron star with an intense magnetic field, capable of emitting toxic radiation across galaxies
2) A hedge fund, the single market player most responsible for the severity of the 2008 financial crisis, through the toxic instruments it created

Rahm Emanuel

1) White House Chief of Staff
2) Politician selected by Magnetar’s CEO to be sole recipient of his political donations, 2006-2008

Surf the blog…Get upset!

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The following is a somewhat lengthy comment I submitted to a post on The Baseline Scenario

The Western World is facing a moral crisis of Biblical proportions.. What were the Ten Commandments if not moral regulations for the people that had lost all sense of human dignity? The sad truth about Humans is that free riding is a deeply set behaviour.. We, for the most part, have a hard time turning away from temptation, taking the easy way to riches and power, especially when the chances of getting caught seem to most casual participants in any given scheme as being remote.

I find it quite ironic that the very behaviour that well-healed interests fear from having a “socialist” or “welfare” state – where the lazy and the opportunitic feed on the bounty created by the educated, cultured and powerful – has been flipped on its head. (more…)

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After reading how Magnetar, the hedge fund, was able to engineer bets against its own fraudulent financial products and win, one can’t help but feel discouraged.

Gambling has been universally feared as one of man’s most dangerous and ignoble predilictions since the dawn of recorded history. I am not a religious man yet if I were, gambling and the usury that feeds it would be the Devil incarnate.

Wall Street, of course,seems to think that gambling should instead continue to be the cornerstone of U.S. finance and banking. (more…)

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