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THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL MELTDOWN
THE ECONOMIC CRASH SO FAR : A LOOK AT THE REAL NUMBERS 
https://www.birchgold.com/news/the-economic-crash-so-far/?msid=94970&utm_source=icymi&utm_campaign=newsletter_111319&cmp=1&utm_medium=email
Brandon Smith


There are many problems when attempting to track a faltering economy. For one, the people in government generally do not want the public to know when the system is in decline because this looks bad for them. They prefer to rig statistical indicators as much as possible and hope that no one notices. When the crash occurs, they then claim that “no one saw it coming” and the disaster “came out of nowhere”, so how could they be to blame?

I have even heard it argued that political leaders, including the president, have a “duty” to lie about the state of the economy because once they admit to the decline they will cause a panic and perpetuate the crisis. This is stupidity. If an economic system is in disrepair and is built on a faulty foundation, then the problems should be identified and fixed immediately. The weak businesses should be culled, not bailed out. The wasteful government spending should be cut, not increased. The downturn should not be hidden and prolonged for years or decades. In most cases, this only makes the inevitable crash far worse and more damaging.

Another factor, which some people might call “conspiracy theory” – but it has been proven time and time again in history – is that the money elites have a tendency to engineer economic disasters while deliberately hiding the real statistics from the public. Why? Well, if the real data was widely disseminated, then a crash would not be much of a surprise and the populace could be prepared for it. I suspect the elites hide the data because they WANT the crash to be a surprise. The bigger the shock, the bigger the psychological effect on the masses. This fear and confusion allows them to make changes in the power structure of a nation or of the entire world that they would not be able to accomplish otherwise.

The most rigged statistics tend to be the least important overall in analysis, but this does not stop the mainstream media and investors from hyper focusing on them. How many times have you told friends and family about the collapse in manufacturing or the explosion in consumer and corporate debt, only to hear them say, “But the stock market is at all-time highs!” Yes, even though stock markets are a meaningless trailing indicator, even though GDP stats are a complete fallacy, and even though jobless numbers do not include tens of millions of people out of work, these are the stats that the average person takes mental note of when consuming their standard 15 minutes of news per day.

While the issue of rigged statistics makes analysis of a crash difficult, a willfully ignorant citizenry makes reporting on the real data almost impossible. It’s sad to say, but a large number of people do not want to hear about negative information. They want to believe that all is well, and will delude themselves with fantasies of blind optimism and endless summers. Like the tale of “The Ant And The Grasshopper”, they are grasshoppers and they see anyone who focuses on the negative as “chicken littles” and “doom mongers”. In their minds they have all the time in the world, until they freeze and starve when winter comes.

When I encounter people who actually believe the manipulated numbers or buy into the stock market farce or simply don’t want to accept that a crash could happen in their lifetime, I always ask them to consider these questions: [i]If the global economy is not on the verge of collapse, then why did central banks keep propping it up for the past ten years? And if central banks have been propping up the system, how much longer do you think they can do this? How much longer do you think they want to do it? What if one day they decide to let the entire house of cards tumble? What if such an event actually benefits them?

We’ve seen that a broken economy can be technically held together for a decade, but under the surface, the structure continues to rot. The bottom line is that even if the elites wanted to keep the system going for another ten years, and even if politicians continued to help them by pumping out false statistics, there is no way to hide the effects of crumbling fundamentals. We saw this during the crash of 2008, and now we’re seeing it again.

After nearly ten years of stimulus inflated the largest financial bubble in history (the Everything Bubble), the Federal Reserve and other central banks halted stimulus measures and tightened global liquidity. By the end of 2018, a new crash began, the implosion of the Everything Bubble had been triggered. All of this is still just an extension of the crash of 2008, which never really subsided; it was only slowed down through tens of trillions of dollars in central bank intervention. Now, the central banks have started an avalanche that cannot be stopped. But the fact of the matter is, they don’t really want to stop it.

Here are the indicators so far that prove a crash is happening in the U.S. while a majority of the public is oblivious:

GDP numbers are completely manipulated. Government spending of taxpayer dollars on a number of inflated programs, including continued spending on Obamacare, is added to GDP calculations. Without this fancy accounting, U.S. GDP growth would actually be negative, according to ShadowStats. But even with the juiced data, official GDP growth is still in decline, falling to 1.9% and well below the 3% growth we were supposed to see this year.

Official unemployment stats remain at all-time lows, which is commonly cited by the mainstream media, Donald Trump (he used to argue the opposite three years ago), and even the Federal Reserve in reference to the health and stability of the economy. What they do not mention much is the 95 million people not in the labor force and not counted because they have been unemployed for so long. When the media does mention this fact, they claim the number is “misleading”, that most of these people are students or retired, that the retirement age is decreasing and Baby Boomers are leaving the workforce sooner, and that the people who don’t have jobs are simply “not interested” in working. None of this is true.

The retirement age is increasing in the U.S., not decreasing, according the SS Administration. Current average retirement age is now 67, up from 65, almost the same as it was during the Great Depression. Baby Boomers are not retiring at rates similar to ten years ago, and are in fact attempting to stay in the workforce due to the poor economy. Many of them are trying to come OUT of retirement just to make ends meet.

The labor participation rate remains near record lows. Interestingly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) house survey that is used to determine if people “want a job” assumes that if you are near retirement age and do not have a job, you are simply not interested in a job, and they count you as “non-participating”. However, if you DO have a job and you are near retirement age, they count you as participating. It’s a rather convenient assumption on the government’s part to claim that just because an unemployed person is near retirement age, that means they “don’t want a job”.

While there is surely a small percentage of the 95 million people not counted in the labor force that do not want a job, if unemployment stats counted U-6 measurements as they used to, the unemployment rate would be closer to 20%.

Another problem is the quality of jobs being created. U.S. manufacturing jobs, as well as higher wage jobs, are in steep decline. They have been replaced with low paying jobs in the service sector.

Real wages in the U.S. have not kept up with inflation. The average worker is now losing money overall as prices rise beyond the pace of their incomes.

As more and more Millennials say they cannot afford to buy a home, rental prices have skyrocketed in the past several years. The home ownership rate plunged starting in 2006 and has not recovered since.

U.S. manufacturing has fallen to levels not seen since the crash of 2008. U.S. factory orders have slumped in 2019.

U.S. Services PMI continues to falter since spring of this year. Job growth is now slowing and over 8,500 retail stores have been closed down already in 2019. Web-based retail is not picking up the slack, as online sellers like Amazon are suffering from falling profits.

Corporate profits overall have tumbled this year and projected future profits have been drastically adjusted to the downside.

Corporate debt, consumer debt and national debt are all at historic highs. Corporate cash flow is so tight that Federal Reserve repo purchases continue to run into high demand. This debt signal is one we saw in 2007, just before the credit crisis.

U.S. trucking and railroad freight continue to log steep declines in traffic and goods. This tells us what we already know: Even though consumer spending has increased recently, this does not mean people are buying more stuff or have more disposable income. What is really happening is inflation, or stagflation. Cost of living is going up. Debt payments are going up. Consumers are spending more on the same amount of stuff, or less stuff, and have less expendable income. U.S. consumers are being bled dry.

All of these factors and more show an economy in recession or depression (depending on what historic standards you use). In the darker corners of the investment world, the great hope is that the central banks will return to pumping trillions into the banking sector ($16 trillion during the TARP bailout dwarfs the $250 billion the Fed has recently pumped out in their repo markets). They hope that this will free up even more credit. Meaning, they believe only more debt will save the system from suffering.

I say, time is up on the debt party. More stimulus will not stall the crash that is already happening, and the Fed does not appear poised to print anywhere near what it did during the credit crisis, at least not in time to change the trend. The can has been kicked for the last time. The grasshopper mentality will not save people from the clear reality. Only preparation and planning will.
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WHY AREN’T AMERICANS RISING UP LIKE WE ARE SEEING ACROSS THE PLANET ?

Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies

November 16, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -    

The waves of protests breaking out in country after country around the world beg the question: Why aren’t Americans rising up in peaceful protest like our neighbors? We live at the very heart of this neoliberal system that is force-feeding the systemic injustice and inequality of 19th-century laissez-faire capitalism to the people of the 21st century. So we are subject to many of the same abuses that have fueled mass protest movements in other countries, including high rents, stagnant wages, cradle-to-grave debt, ever-rising economic inequality, privatized health care, a shredded social safety net, abysmal public transportation, systemic political corruption and endless war.

We also have a corrupt, racist billionaire as president, who Congress may soon impeach, but where are the masses outside the White House, banging pots and pans to drive Trump out? Why aren’t people crashing the offices of their congresspeople, demanding that they represent the people or resign? If none of these conditions has so far provoked a new American revolution, what will it take to trigger one?

In the 1960s and 1970s, the senseless Vietnam War provoked a serious, well-organized antiwar movement. But today the U.S.’s endless wars just rage on in the background of our lives, as the U.S. and its allies kill and mutilate men, women and children in distant countries, day after day, year after year. Our history has also witnessed inspiring mass movements for civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights, but these movements are much tamer today.

The Occupy Movement in 2011 came closest to challenging the entire neoliberal system. It awakened a new generation to the reality of government of, by, and for the corrupt 1 percent, and built a powerful basis for solidarity among the marginalized 99 percent. But Occupy lost momentum because it failed to transition from a rallying point and a decentralized, democratic forum to a cohesive movement that could impact the existing power structure.

The climate movement is starting to mobilize a new generation, and groups like School Strike for the Climate and Extinction Rebellion take direct aim at this destructive economic system that prioritizes corporate growth and profits over the very survival of life on Earth. But while climate protests have shut down parts of London and other cities around the world, the scale of climate protests in the U.S. does not yet match the urgency of the crisis.

So why is the American public so passive?

Americans pour their energy and hopes into electoral campaigns. Election campaigns in most countries last only a few months, with strict limits on financing and advertising to try to ensure fair elections. But Americans pour millions of hours and billions of dollars into multi-year election campaigns run by an ever-growing sector of the commercial advertising industry, which even awarded Barack Obama its “Marketer of the Year” award for 2008. (The other finalists were not John McCain or the Republicans but Apple, Nike and Coors beer.)


When U.S. elections are finally over, thousands of exhausted volunteers sweep up the bunting and go home, believing their work is done. While electoral politics should be a vehicle for change, this neoliberal model of corporate “center-right” and “center-left” politics ensures that congresspeople and presidents of both parties are primarily accountable to the ruling 1 percent who “pay to play.”  Former President Jimmy Carter has bluntly described what Americans euphemistically call “campaign finance” as a system of legalized bribery. Transparency International (TI) ranks the U.S. 22nd on its political corruption index, identifying it as more corrupt than any other wealthy, developed country.

Without a mass movement continually pushing and prodding for real change and holding politicians accountable—for their policies as well as their words—our neoliberal rulers assume that they can safely ignore the concerns and interests of ordinary people as they make the critical decisions that shape the world we live in. As Frederick Douglass observed in 1857, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”

Millions of Americans have internalized the myth of the “American dream,” believing they have exceptional chances for social and economic mobility compared with their peers in other countries. If they aren’t successful, it must be their own fault—either they’re not smart enough or they don’t work hard enough.

The American Dream is not just elusive—it’s a complete fantasy. In reality, the U.S. has the greatest income inequality of any wealthy, developed country. Of the 39 developed countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), only South Africa and Costa Rica exceed the U.S.’s 18 percent poverty rate. The United States is an anomaly: a very wealthy country suffering from exceptional poverty. To make matters worse, children born into poor families in the U.S. are more likely to remain poor as adults than poor children in other wealthy countries. But the American dream ideology keeps people struggling and competing to improve their lives on a strictly individual basis, instead of demanding a fairer society and the health care, education and public services we all need and deserve.

The corporate media keeps Americans uninformed and docile. The U.S.’s corporate media system is also unique, both in its consolidated corporate ownership and in its limited news coverage, endlessly downsized newsrooms and narrow range of viewpoints. Its economics reporting reflects the interests of its corporate owners and advertisers; its domestic reporting and debate are strictly framed and limited by the prevailing rhetoric of Democratic and Republican leaders; its anemic foreign policy coverage is editorially dictated by the State Department and Pentagon.

This closed media system wraps the public in a cocoon of myths, euphemisms and propaganda to leave us exceptionally ignorant about our own country and the world we live in. Reporters Without Borders ranks the U.S. 48th out of 180 countries on its Press Freedom Index, once again making the U.S. an exceptional outlier among wealthy countries.

It’s true that people can search for their own truth on social media to counter the corporate babble, but social media is itself a distraction. People spend countless hours on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms venting their anger and frustration without getting up off the couch to actually do something—except perhaps sign a petition. “Clicktivism” will not change the world.

Add to this the endless distractions of Hollywood, video games, sports and consumerism, and the exhaustion that comes with working several jobs to make ends meet. The resulting political passivity of Americans is not some strange accident of American culture but the intended product of a mutually reinforcing web of economic, political and media systems that keep the American public confused, distracted and convinced of our own powerlessness.

The political docility of the American public does not mean that Americans are happy with the way things are, and the unique challenges this induced docility poses for American political activists and organizers surely cannot be more daunting than the life-threatening repression faced by activists in Chile, Haiti or Iraq.

So how can we liberate ourselves from our assigned roles as passive spectators and mindless cheerleaders for a venal ruling class that is laughing all the way to the bank and through the halls of power as it grabs ever more concentrated wealth and power at our expense?

Few expected a year ago that 2019 would be a year of global uprising against the neoliberal economic and political system that has dominated the world for 40 years. Few predicted new revolutions in Chile or Iraq or Algeria. But popular uprisings have a way of confounding conventional wisdom.

The catalysts for each of these uprisings have also been surprising. The protests in Chile began over an increase in subway fares. In Lebanon, the spark was a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other social media accounts. Hikes in fuel tax triggered the yellow vest protests in France, while the ending of fuel subsidies was a catalyst in both Ecuador and Sudan.

The common factor in all these movements is the outrage of ordinary people at systems and laws that reward corruption, oligarchy and plutocracy at the expense of their own quality of life. In each country, these catalysts were the final straws that broke the camel’s back, but once people were in the street, protests quickly turned into more general uprisings demanding the resignation of leaders and governments.

They have the guns but we have the numbers. State repression and violence have only fueled greater popular demands for more fundamental change, and millions of protesters in country after country have remained committed to non-violence and peaceful protest—in stark contrast to the rampant violence of the right-wing coup in Bolivia.

While these uprisings seem spontaneous, in every country where ordinary people have risen up in 2019, activists have been working for years to build the movements that eventually brought large numbers of people onto the streets and into the headlines. Erica Chenoweth’s research on the history of nonviolent protest movements found that whenever at least 3.5 percent of a population have taken to the streets to demand political change, governments have been unable to resist their demands. Here in the U.S., Transparency International found that the number of Americans who see “direct action,” including street protests, as the antidote to our corrupt political system has risen from 17 percent to 25 percent since Trump took office, far more than Chenoweth’s 3.5 percent. Only 28 percent still see simply “voting for a clean candidate” as the answer. So maybe we are just waiting for the right catalyst to strike a chord with the American public.

In fact, the work of progressive activists in the U.S. is already upsetting the neoliberal status quo. Without the movement-building work of thousands of Americans, Bernie Sanders would still be a little-known senator from Vermont, largely ignored by the corporate media and the Democratic Party. Sanders’ wildly successful first presidential campaign in 2016 pushed a new generation of American politicians to commit to real policy solutions to real problems instead of the vague promises and applause lines that serve as smokescreens for the corrupt agendas of neoliberal politicians like Trump and Biden.


We can’t predict exactly what catalyst will trigger a mass movement in the U.S. like the ones we are seeing overseas, but with more and more Americans, especially young people, demanding an alternative to a system that doesn’t serve their needs, the tinder for a revolutionary movement is everywhere. We just have to keep kicking up sparks until one catches fire.
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WATCH OUT FOR THE FORTHCOMING GLOBAL VISION 2000 EDITORIAL ON THE MISSING DIMENSION WHICH THE EXPERTS, GOVERNMENT AND MAINSTREAM MEDIA ARE NOT INFORMING YOU ABOUT. WE ARE NOT SURPRISED AS HOW CAN THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND. THE DEAF DUMB AND BLIND ARE NOT DEALING HOLISTICALLY WITH THIS CORONA VIRUS PANDEMIC. WE WILL NOTIFY YOU ABOUT HOW YOU CAN DEAL WITH AND OVERCOME THE PERFECT STORM CREATED BY THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND BANKRUPT DEBT BASED FINANCIAL USURIOUS CAPITALIST SYSTEM. IF PANIC OR FEAR IS NOT THE SOLUTION WHAT IS?




THE VIRUS, THE LOCK DOWN, OIL, THE USD & GETTING OFF THE GRID 






NOT JUST ECONOMIC COLLAPSE  
THIS IS THE COLLAPSE OF A CIVILISATION AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NWO



GREATER DEPRESSION IS UPON US, GOLD REMAINS STEADFAST AS REFUGE 
DOUG CASEY




THE WHITE SHOW BOYZ ARE DESTROYING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. THIS PANIC IS ALL A HOAX  
GERALD CELENTE




GLOBAL MARKET MELTDOWN IS ON ; IT’S SHEER HYSTERIA 
GERALD CELENTE




ECONOMIC FREEZE IS HERE , GET GOLD , SILVER IF YOU CAN AND GET READY 
JIM RICKARDS




‘THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE GREATEST FINANCIAL CRISIS IN US HISTORY’: PETER SCHIFF MAKES DIRE PREDICTIONS TO BOOM BUST  
https://www.rt.com/business/483006-great...us-history


After suffering the worst stock market crash since 1987, the US Federal Reserve has announced a $1.5 trillion injection to ease strained capital markets. It is the biggest action by the Fed since the 2008 financial crisis.

RT’s Boom Bust is joined by the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff to find out if the Fed’s actions are enough to stop the stock market bloodbath.

“The bull market is clearly over, just look at the numbers,” says the veteran stock broker.
“This is the beginning of the greatest financial crisis in US history,” Schiff says, adding “The financial crisis of US of 2008 will pale in comparison as with the severity of this recession. We are going to have a much greater recession than the one that we had in 2008.”



According to the expert, the difference is that “this one is actually going to have inflation; we are going to have rising consumer prices and a falling dollar which is going to make it so much worse than what we have experienced 10-12 years ago.”  Schiff explains that the coronavirus is just a pin while the debt bubble is the problem. The virus has not only pricked the stock market bubble and the crypto bubble, but it has also punctured the bond market bubble. “So, now we have to deal with the consequences of the disease that the Fed inflicted us with. And unfortunately the Fed’s cure for the coronavirus is going to be fatal for the economy.”  The strategist says that the fiscal stimulus is going to make the situation worse.  “The US is broke, there is no money to stimulate the economy, and all we can do is print money… The bond market is imploding because there is too much debt.”



THE GLOBAL ECONOMY WAS DEATHLY SICK BEFORE NOW, BUT COVID 19 WILL TAKE THE BLAME IF IT CRASHES 
Norman Lewis
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483353-coronavirus-economic-downturn-predictions


As economists begin to predict what the global economic effects of Covid-19 will be, the danger is we play up the economic damage of the virus while hiding the deep-rooted sources of our contemporary financial doldrums.
It is inevitable that economic forecasts of the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy are being revised daily, if not hourly. It is right that economic forecasters should be updating their predictions. But we all need to keep in mind that these revised forecasts are little more than guesswork – however sophisticated their computer modelling might be.


This is not prejudice against economists, the experts Michael Gove in particular referred to when he said during the Brexit referendum that the British people had had enough of them –referring specifically to their shaky prediction track record. Economic predictions and forecasting are notoriously difficult. It is the reason why leading economist JK Galbraith once quipped that the only function of economists was “to make astrology look respectable.”  We are going to see a proliferation of astrology in the days ahead. The biggest danger is going to be the battle to avoid economic alarmism.


The division of labour between health officials and economic experts is increasingly being blurred. Health officials are being asked about economic impacts, while economists are being called to make predictions about the impact of the disease. Health and economics are being conflated, which is confusing for all; what should be treated as a medical emergency is increasingly becoming a sphere for urgent government economic bailouts and politics aimed at alleviating the fall-out of lockdowns.

These confusions aside, predicting the economic costs of ill-health is very difficult. The Co-Operative Pharmacy reported in 2010, for example, that flu cost UK employers 7.6 million working days this year. It estimated that the cost to the economy was around £1.35 billion. But no-one even really knows the economic costs of these ‘normal’ diseases. Annual deaths precipitated by influenza are much higher than the deaths from coronavirus so far. According to Public Health England, in an average year about17,000 people in England die from flu complications, of which around four-fifths are over 65. But the numbers vary wildly from one year to the next. The relative effects on British gross domestic product (GDP) of a high flu death year compared to a low death year might keep economic modellers busy, but the actual effect gets lost in the longer-term influences and trends.
But there are things we know which should be at the forefront of our considerations. The world economy was already in deep ill-health before anyone had even heard of Covid-19. Losing sight of this means the remedies on offer might be good at stemming the symptoms of a problem, but they ignore the underlying cause, the real source of the malaise, which will remain untreated. This will be worse in the long run than any short-term dislocations we are forced to endure.




The world economy has been, if not on life-support, terminally ill for years. Global growth – and especially advanced-economy growth – this year was already dismal, and has been for many years. Forecasts for this year were already pretty downbeat before most people were aware of the word ‘coronavirus’. The illness is the result of years of diminishing business investment in new technologies and ways of operating, and the propping up by governments of companies that should have gone out of business. The end result? Almost stagnant productivity. People at work are no longer producing more in the same time. This is a significant break from the dominant pattern during the past two centuries of economic expansion. This waning in productivity growth – sinking to little more than flatlining in Britain – is what accounts for most people no longer benefiting from regular increases in living standards.

It is also what has led to the increased dependence on debt and financialisaton. The 2008 crash confirmed the fragility of economic systems that rely too much on borrowing and too little on creating new wealth. We are not in permanent recession, but we are stuck in a cycle of financial crises. Between the crashes, debt keeps things ticking along. The unstable dissonance between the financial and productive economies – reflected in the inflated stock markers – reveal that an adjustment was inevitable. The dramatic falls in global stock markets over the past two weeks were on the cards before the impact of Covid-19 panic set in.
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 TOTAL SYSTEM FAILURE WILL GIVE RISE TO NEW ECONOMY
Pepe Escobar

Covid-19 driven collapse of global supply chains, demand and mobility will painfully spawn next great tech-led economic models. Nobody, anywhere, could have predicted what we are now witnessing: in a matter of only a few weeks the accumulated collapse of global supply chains, aggregate demand, consumption, investment, exports, mobility.   Nobody is betting on an L-shaped recovery anymore – not to mention a V-shaped one. Any projection of global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 gets into falling-off-a-cliff territory.  /color] In industrialized economies, where roughly 70% of the workforce is in services, countless businesses in myriad industries will fail in a rolling financial collapse that will eclipse the Great Depression.   That spans the whole spectrum of possibly 47 million US workers soon to be laid off – with the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 32% – all the way to Oxfam’s warning that by the time the pandemic is over half of the world’s population of 7.8 billion people could be living in poverty.  According to the World Trade Organization’s most optimistic 2020 scenario – certainly to become outdated before the end of Spring – global trade would shrink by 13%.  A more realistic and gloomier WTO scenario sees global trade plunging by 32%.   

What we are witnessing is not only a massive globalization short circuit: it’s a cerebral shock extended to three billion hyperconnected, simultaneously confined people. Their bodies may be blocked, but they are electromagnetic beings and their brains keep working – with possible, unforeseen political and other consequences.  Soon we will be facing three major, interlocking debates: the management (in many cases appalling) of the crisis; the search for future models; and the reconfiguration of the world-system.  This is just a first approach in what should be seen as a do-or-die cognitive competition.   Sound analyses of what could be the  coronavirus-pandemic-has-opened-the-curtains-on-the-worlds-next-economic-model are already popping up. 

As background, a really serious debunking of all (dying) neoliberalism development myths can be seen. Yes, a new economic model should be revolving around these axes: AI computing; automated manufacturing; solar and wind energy; high-speed 5G-driven data transfer; and nanotechnology.  China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are very well positioned for what’s ahead, as well as selected European latitudes. Plamen Tonchev, head of the Asia unit at the Institute of International Economic Relations in Athens, Greece, points to the possible reorganization – short term – of Belt and Road Initiative projects, privileging investment in energy, export of solar panels, 5G networks and the Health Silk Road. Covid-19 is like a particle accelerator, consolidating tendencies that were already developing. China had already demonstrated for the whole planet to see that economic development under a control system has nothing to do with Western liberal democracy. 


On the pandemic, China demonstrated – also for the whole planet to see – that containment of Covid-19 can be accomplished by imposing controls the West derided as “draconian” and “authoritarian,” coupled with a strategic scientific approach characerized by a profusion of test kits, protection equipment, ventilators and experimental treatments. This is already translating into incalculable soft power which will be exercised along the Health Silk Road. Trends seem to point to China as strategically reinforced all along the spectrum, especially in the Global South. China is playing go, weiqi. Stones will be taken from the geopolitical board.   

System failure welcomed? 
In contrast, Western banking and finance scenarios could not be gloomier. As a world-banking-system-cannot-weather-long-lockdown Britain-centric analysis argues, “It is not just Europe. Banks may not be strong enough to fulfill their new role as saviors in any part of the world, including the US, China and Japan. None of the major lending systems were ever stress-tested for an economic deep freeze lasting months.” So “the global financial system will crack under the strain,” with a by now quite possible “pandemic shutdown lasting more than three months” capable of causing  “economic and financial ‘system failure.’” As system failures go, nothing remotely approaches the possibility of a quadrillion dollar derivative implosion, a real nuclear issue. Capital One is number 11 on the list of the largest banks in the US by assets. They are already in deep trouble on their derivative exposures. New York sources say Capital One made a terrible trade, betting via derivatives that oil would not plunge to where it is now at 17-year lows. 

Mega-pressure is on all those Wall Street outfits that gave oil companies the equivalent of on all their oil production at prices above $50 a barrel. These puts have now come due – and the strain on the Wall Street houses and US banks will become unbearable. The anticipated Friday oil deal won’t alter anything: oil will stay around $20 per barrel, $25 max. This is just the beginning and is bound to get much worse. Imagine most of US industry being shut down. Corporations – like Boeing, for instance – are going to go bankrupt. Bank loans to those corporations will be wiped out. As those loans are wiped out, the banks are going to get into major trouble.

Derivative to the max
Wall Street, totally linked to the derivative markets, will feel the pressure of the collapsing American economy. The Fed bailout of Wall Street will start coming apart. Talk about a nuclear chain reaction.    In a nutshell: The Fed has lost control of the money supply in the US. Banks can now create unlimited credit from their base and that sets up the US for potential hyperinflation if the money supply grows non-stop and production collapses, as it is collapsing right now because the economy is in shutdown mode. If derivatives start to implode, the only solution for all major banks in the world will be immediate nationalization, much to the ire of the Goddess of the Market. Deutsche Bank, also in major trouble, has a 7 trillion euro derivatives exposure, twice the annual GDP of Germany.   No wonder New York business circles are absolutely terrified. They insist that if the US does not immediately go back to work, and if these possibly quadrillions of dollars of derivatives start to rapidly implode, the economic crises that will unfold will create a collapse of the magnitude of which has not been witnessed in history, with incalculable consequences.  Or perhaps this will be just the larger-than-life spark to start a new economy. 
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AGENDA PLANDEMIC - 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING
https://www.bitchute.com/video/ChdkHQlN6hdP



IS THE CORONA VIRUS THE END OF CAPITALISM AND THE REVIVAL OF SOCIALISM? 
RICHARD WOLFF  




CRISIS– IT’s HOW CAPITALISM WORKS 
RICHARD WOLFF




'THE GAME IS RIGGED'

RICHARD WOLFF 
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TOWARDS A NEW WORLD ORDER?
THE GLOBAL DEBT CRISIS AND THE PRIVITISATION OF THE STATE 
Has the Pandemic Been Used to Precipitate the World into a Spiral of Mass Unemployment, Bankruptcy and Despair?
Prof Michel Chossudovsky


There is a serious health crisis which must be duly resolved. And this is a number one priority.  But there is another important dimension which has to be addressed.  Millions of people have lost their jobs, and their lifelong savings. In developing countries, poverty and despair prevail.   

While the lockdown is presented to public opinion as  the sole means to resolving a global public health crisis,  its devastating economic and social impacts are casually ignored.  The unspoken truth is that the novel coronavirus provides a pretext to powerful financial interests and corrupt politicians to precipitate the entire World into a spiral of  mass unemployment, bankruptcy and extreme poverty.  This is the true picture of what is happening.  Poverty is Worldwide. While famines are erupting in Third World countries, closer to home,  In the richest country on earth, 

“millions of desperate Americans wait in long crowded lines for handouts”
“Miles-long lines formed at food banks and unemployment offices across the US over the past week”   

In India:

food is disappearing, ….  in shanty towns, too scared to go out, walking home or trapped in the street crackdowns.  In India there have been 106 coronavirus deaths as of today, to put things in perspective 3,000 Indian children starve to death each day” . From Mumbai to New York City. It’s the “Globalization of Poverty”. Production is at a standstill. Starvation in Asia and Africa. Famine in the U.S.  All countries are now Third World countries. It’s the “Thirdworldisation” of the so-called high income “developed countries”.  


And what is happening in Italy?

People are running out of food. Reports confirm that the Mafia rather than the government “is gaining local support by distributing free food to poor families in quarantine who have run out of cash”. (The Guardian)  This crisis combines fear and panic concerning the COVID-19 together with a sophisticated process of economic manipulation. Let us first examine the impacts pertaining to the developing countries.



Developing Countries. The IMF’s “Economic Medicine” and the Globalization of Poverty


Is the coronavirus crisis part of a broader macro-economic agenda?

First some historical background.  I spent more than ten years undertaking field research on the impacts of IMF-World Bank economic reforms in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Since the early 1980s, “strong economic medicine” was imposed on indebted developing countries under what was called the “structural adjustment program” (SAP). From 1992 to 1995, I undertook field research in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam and returned to Latin America to complete my study on Brazil. In all the countries I visited, including Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Morocco and The Philippines, I observed the same pattern of economic manipulation and political interference by the Washington-based institutions. In India, directly resulting from the IMF reforms, millions of people had been driven into starvation. In Vietnam – which constitutes among the world’s most prosperous rice producing economies – local-level famines had erupted resulting directly from the lifting of price controls and the deregulation of the grain market. (Preface to the Second Edition of the Globalization of Poverty, 2003)


The hegemony of the dollar was imposed. With mounting dollar denominated debt, eventually in most developing countries the entire national monetary system was “dollarized”.  Massive austerity measures were conducive to the collapse in real wages. Sweeping privatization programs were imposed. These deadly economic reforms -applied on behalf the creditors- invariably triggered economic collapse, poverty and mass unemployment. In Nigeria starting in the 1980s, the entire public health system had been dismantled. Public hospitals were driven into bankruptcy. The medical doctors with whom I spoke described the infamous structural adjustment program (SAP) with a touch of humor:  “we’ve been sapped by the SAP”, they said, our hospitals have literally been destroyed courtesy of the IMF-World Bank.


From Structural Adjustment to Global Adjustment

Today, the mechanism for triggering poverty and economic collapse is fundamentally different and increasingly sophisticated. The ongoing 2020 Economic Crisis is tied into the logic of the COVID-19 pandemic: No need for the IMF-World Bank to negotiate a structural adjustment loan with national governments.  What has occurred under the COVID-19 crisis is a “Global Adjustment” in the structure of the World economy. In one fell swoop this Global Adjustment (GA) triggers a Worldwide process of bankruptcy, unemployment, poverty and total despair.


How is it implemented? The lockdown is presented to national governments as the sole solution to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic. It becomes a political consensus, irrespective of the devastating economic and social consequences.


No need to reflect or analyze the likely impacts. Corrupt national governments are pressured to comply. The partial or complete closing down of a national economy is triggered through the enforcement of  so-called “WHO guidelines” pertaining to the lockdown, as well as to trade, immigration and transportation restrictions, etc. Powerful financial institutions and lobby groups including Wall Street, Big Pharma, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were involved in shaping the actions of the WHO pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown together with the curtailment of trade and air travel had set the stage. This closing down of national economies was undertaken Worldwide starting in the month of  March,  affecting simultaneously a large of number of countries in all major regions of the World.  It is unprecedented in World history.


Why did leaders in high office let it happen? The consequences were obvious.


This closing down operation affects production and supply lines of goods and services, investment activities, exports and imports, wholesale and retail trade, consumer spending, the closing down of schools, colleges and universities, research institutions, etc. In turn it leads almost immediately to mass unemployment, bankruptcies of small and medium sized enterprises, a collapse in purchasing power, widespread poverty and famine.


What is the underlying objective of this restructuring of the global economy?  What are the consequences? [i]Cui Bono? [/i]

  • A massive concentration of wealth and corporate capital,,

  • the destabilization of small and middle sized enterprises in all major areas of economic activity including the services economy, agriculture and manufacturing.

  • facilitates the subsequent corporate acquisition of bankrupt enterprises

  • It derogates the rights of workers. It destabilizes labor markets.

  • It creates mass unemployment

  • It compresses wages (and labor costs) in the so-called high income “developed countries” as well as in the impoverished developing countries.

  • It leads to an escalation of the external debt

  • It facilitates subsequent privatization
Needless to say this Global Adjustment (GA) operation is far more detrimental than the country-level IMF-WB structural adjustment program (SAP). It is neoliberalism to the nth degree. In one fell swoop (in the course of the last months) the COVID-19 crisis has contributed to impoverishing a large sector of the World population. And Guess who comes to the rescue? The IMF and the World Bank:


The IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has casually acknowledged that the World economy has come to a standstill, without addressing the causes of economic collapse. “The WHO is there to protect the Health of the People, The IMF is there to protect the health of the World economy” says Georgieva.   How does she intend to “protect the World economy”?   At the expense of the national economy?


What’s her “magic solution”?


 “We rely on $1 trillion in overall lending capacity.” (IMF M-D Georgieva, Press Conference in early March)   At first sight this appears to be “generous”, a lot money. But ultimately it’s what we might call “fictitious money”, what it means is: “We will lend you the money and with the money we lend you, you will pay us back”.(paraphrase).

 

The ultimate objective is to make the external (dollar denominated) debt go fly high.

The IMF is explicit. In one of its lending windows, the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, which applies to pandemics, generously,  “provides grants for debt relief to our poorest and most vulnerable members.”   Nonsensical statement: it is there to replenish the coffers of the creditors, the money is allocated to debt servicing.  “For low-income countries and for emerging middle-income countries we have … up to $50 billion that does not require a full-fledged IMF program.”


No conditions on how you spend the money. But this money increases the debt stock and requires reimbursement.  The countries are already in a straight-jacket. And the objective is that they comply with the demands of the creditors.  That’s the neoliberal solution applied at a global level: No real economic recovery, more poverty and unemployment Worldwide. The “solution” becomes the “cause”. It initiates a new process of indebtedness. It contributes to an escalation of the debt.


The more you lend, the more you squeeze the developing countries into political compliance. And ultimately that is the objective of the failing American Empire. The unspoken truth is that this one trillion dollars ++ of the Bretton Woods institutions is intended to drive up the external debt.


In recent developments, the G20 Finance ministers decided to “put on hold”,  the repayment of debt servicing obligations of the World’s poorest countries.  The cancellation of debt has not been envisaged. Quite the opposite. The strategy consists in building up the debt.


It is important that the governments of developing countries take a firm stance against the IMF-World Bank “rescue operation”. 


The Global Debt Crisis in the Developed Countries

An unprecedented fiscal crisis is unfolding at all levels of government. With high levels of unemployment, incoming tax revenues in developed countries are almost at a standstill.  In the course of the last 2 months, national governments have become increasingly indebted. In turn, Western governments as well as political parties are increasingly under the control of  the creditors, who ultimately call the shots. All levels of governments have been precipitated into a debt stranglehold. The debt cannot be repaid. In the US, the federal deficit “has increased by 26% to $984 billion for fiscal 2019, highest in 7 years”.  And that is just the beginning.


In Western countries, a colossal expansion of the public debt has occurred. It is being used to finance the “bailouts”, the “handouts” to corporations as well as “the social safety nets” to the unemployed. The logic of the bailouts is in some regards similar to that of the 2008 economic crisis, but on a much larger scale. Ironically, in 2008, US banks were both the creditors of the US federal government as well as the lucky recipients: the rescue operation was funded by the banks with a view to  “bailing out the banks”. Sounds contradictory?


The Privatization of the State

This crisis will  eventually precipitate the privatization of the state. Increasingly, national governments will be under the stranglehold of Big Money. Crippled by mounting debts, what is at stake is the eventual de facto privatization of the entire state structure, in different countries, at all levels of government, under the surveillance of powerful financial interests. The fiction of  “sovereign governments” serving the interests of the electors will nonetheless be maintained. The first level of government up for privatization will be the municipalities (many of which are already partially or fully privatized, e.g. Detroit in 2013). America’s billionaires will be enticed to buy up an entire city.


Several major cities are already on the verge of bankruptcy. (This is nothing new).

Is the city of Vancouver up for privatization?: “the mayor of Vancouver has already indicated that he feared the bankruptcy of his city.” (Le Devoir, April 15, 2020) In America’s largest cities, people are simply unable to pay their taxes: The debt of New York City for fiscal 2019 is a staggering $91.56 billion (FY 2019) an increase of 132% since FY 2000. In turn personal debts across America have skyrocketed.

“U.S. households collectively carry about $1 trillion in credit card debt”. No measures are being taken in the US to reduce the interest rates on credit card debt.


The New World Order?

The lockdown impoverishes both the developed and developing countries and literally destroys national economies.  It destabilizes the entire economic landscape. It undermines social institutions including schools and universities. It spearheads small and medium sized enterprises into bankruptcy.  What kind of World awaits us?  A diabolical “New World Order” in the making as suggested by Henry Kissinger? (WSJ Opinion, April 3, 2020):


“The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”

Recall Kissinger’s historic 1974 statement: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.” (1974 National Security Council Memorandum). The political implications are far-reaching.  What kind of government will we have in the wake of the crisis?

Concluding Remarks

There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the nature of this crisis.  Several progressive intellectuals are now saying that this crisis constitutues a defeat of neoliberalism. “It opens up a new beginning”.  Some people see it as a “potential turning point”, which opens up an opportunity to “build socialism” or “restore social democracy” in the wake of the lockdown.  The evidence amply confirms that neoliberalism has not been defeated. Quite the opposite.  Global capitalism has consolidated its clutch. Fear and panic prevail. The State is being privatized. The tendency is towards authoritarian forms of government. These are the issues which we must address. That historical opportunity to confront the power structures of global capitalism, –including the US-NATO military apparatus– remains to be firmly established in wake of the lockdown.
Reply
THE PUBLIC POLICE RACIAL LYNCHING OF GEORGE FLOYD HAS EXPOSED THE UGLY BRUTAL FACE AND REALITY  OF AMERICA. THE VOLCANIC ERUPTION OF PEACEFUL PROTEST HAS BEEN HIJACKED NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. BUT WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO BELIEVE THE MSM AS THERE IS CLEAR FOOTAGE OF POLICE PROVOCATION TO DEMONISE THE LEGITIMATE PEACEFUL PROTESTS WANTING JUSTICE AGAINST SYSTEMIC RACISM OF THIS DYING CAPITALIST SYSTEM. " I CAN'T BREATHE" THE LAST WORDS OF A BRUTALLY MURDERED AMERICAN HAS IGNITED THE PEOPLE   IN THE USA AND GLOBALLY.  AMERICA IS A DEBASED SICK BRUTAL SOCIETY RUN AS A RACIST DAJALLIC NWO SYSTEM. 


IS IT A SURPRISE THAT THE POLICE LYNCH MOB HAVE 
ONLY BEEN DISMISSED FROM THEIR POSTS BECAUSE OF 
THE POWER OF A PHONE AND SOCIAL MEDIA. BUT JUSTICE  WHAT JUSTICE IS THERE AS NO CRIMINAL CHARGES FOR MANSLAUGHTER HAVE BEEN BROUGHT FORWARD. THERE IS NOW REAL TIME CONCRETE VIDEO BASED EVIDENCE  AS I WRITE THAT FURTHER TO THE PROTESTS POLICE FORCES  ARE REACTING MADLY AND BADLY TO THE RECENT ARREST OF ALL 4 COPS. AS IF TO SAY TO THE PUBLIC WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY PROTESTS AGAINST OUR RIGHT TO KILL ON SIGHT ANYONE WE WISH TO DO SO. HOW ELSE CAN ANYBODY EXPLAIN POLICE VEHICLES SMASHING AGGRESSIVELY INTO PROTESTING MOBS. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ALL OF THESE POLICE NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT THEIR JOB IS NOT TO ACT AS PUBLIC  EXECUTIONERS BUT THAT THEY ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS PAID THEIR WAGES BY TAXPAYERS WHO  PROVIDE FOOD ON THEIR TABLES AND A ROOF OVER  THEIR HEADS. THEY NEED TO BE TOLD THAT THEY WILL BE ARRESTED AND JAILED FOR LIFE AND EVEN BETTER EXECUTED ON DEATH ROW IF THEY ARE ON VIDEO COMMITTING VIOLENCE ON ANY LAW ABIDING CITIZENS GOING ABOUT THEIR LAWFUL BUSINESS.

THESE POLICE AND MILITARY POLICE NEED THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW BEATING DOWN THEIR NECKS. ALSO AN URGENT PUBLIC CRIMINAL AUDIT IS REQUIRED ON THE  THOUSANDS OF POLICE OFFICERS WHO HAVE COMMITTED  MURDER BY SUFFOCATING OR SHOOTING INNOCENT CITIZENS. THERE NEEDS TO BE RETRIBUTIVE JUSTICE NOW. 


THE NEW SLOGAN SHOULD BE NOT NO JUSTICE NO PEACE BUT DEATH ROW FOR ROTTEN AND RACIST COPS.


THE FORCES FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE CAN NOT TOLERATE THIS AND MUST MAKE THE SYSTEM ACCOUNTABLE.  THE ONLY MOB VIOLENCE IN THE USA COMES FROM THE STATE AND  IT'S LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND ARMED FORCES WHO  OPERATE WITH ARROGANCE AND IMPUNITY. ALL THOSE FIGHTING FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE NEED TO DECLARE A WAR AGAINST RACISM AND IMPERIALISM IN THE USA.    

HOWEVER, CHANGE IN THE USA CAN ONLY TAKE PLACE WHEN THE RACIST IMPERIALIST US MILITARY INDUSTRIAL SECURITY INTELLIGENCE APPARATUS IS DISMANTLED AND ITS FOREIGN LEGIONS AND 1000 OVERSEAS BASES CLOSE DOWN. IT HAS BEEN OPERATING A HORRIFIC PHONEY, FRAUDULENT FFT   9/11 GLOBAL WAR OF TERROR SINCE  2001 SHEDDING RIVERS OF BLOOD OF INNOCENTS. THE USA THE UNITED STATES OF AGGRESSION IS A COUNTRY WHICH HAS GOT BLOOD ON IT'S HANDS INDEED IT IS A SOCIETY AND CIVILISATION BUILT UPON ETHNIC CLEANSING AND GENOCIDE.  TRUMP IS NOT  
FIT FOR ANY PUROSE. AT A TIME OF ANOTHER PHONEY PLANDEMIC AND LOCKDOWN HE HAS DECLARED MARTIAL LAW. THIS JOKER CALLS HIMSELF THE PRESIDENT OF LAW AND ORDER. MORE LIKE THE PRESIDENT FOR DISORDER, CHAOS AND ANARCHY. HE IS TREADING ON THE ROAD TO TYRANNY AND RUIN. TRUMP IS ACTING OUT THE  PATH OF HITLER AND IS DESTROYING HIS COUNTRY AND TAKING THE WORLD TO WW3. 

HE MUST BE STOPPED AND THIS DAJALLIC NWO MUST BE REPLACED. LET ME BE CLEAR ONLY THEN CAN WE ALL BREATHE FREELY. THIS SYSTEM CAN NOT BE REFORMED. THAT IS THE STARTING POINT FROM WHICH WE NEED TO BUILD UPON.  MORE ENLIGHTENMENT ON THIS WILL FOLLOW.   


TRUMP CREATES CHAOS BY USING THE MILITARY TO RESPOND TO RACIAL AND ECONOMIC INJUSTICE 
June 9, 2020

Nation contributor Sasha Abramsky thinks the wheels might be coming off, and discusses his articles "Where Does America Go From Here" and "Trump is Framing US Residents as Enemies to be Met by Force."

https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-cr...-injustice
[/url][url=https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-creates-chaos-military-respond-racial-economic-injustice]




MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD ROOTED IN THE AMERICAN SLAVE SYSTEM 
Gerald Horne
June 3 2020 
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/th...497955385?



COUNTER REVOLUTION OF 1776 

SLAVE RESISTANCE AND THE ORIGINS OF THE USA 
Gerald Horne




AMERICAN REVOLUTION WAGED FOR SLAVERY  

Professor Gerald Horne





THE EMPIRE FILES: NATIVE AMERICAN GENOCIDE 

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Reply
CITIES FACE CATASTROPHE; FINANCE A CANCER ON REAL ECONOMY 
Bill Black
https://theanalysis.news/interviews/bill...al-economy

Finance is being propped up with public money while states and cities face disaster. BIll Black joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news podcast

Transcript

Paul Jay
Welcome to theAnalysis.News podcast. I’m Paul Jay. As part of its management of the current economic crisis, the Federal Reserve will spend approximately 750 billion dollars to prop up the corporate bond market. It’s also buying junk bonds, exchange traded funds and even directly buying into the stock market.

Who’s managing all this for the Fed? BlackRock, of course, the massive asset manager to know more about the extent of BlackRock power and the tremendous concentration of ownership that’s taken place, read my article on the Analysis.news site titled, Three Investment Banks Control More Wealth than the GDP of China, and Threaten our Existence.

Bloomberg reports that BlackRock is managing three debt buying programs on behalf of the Federal Reserve. Purchases of agency commercial mortgage backed securities. And our guest, Bill Black, is going to tell us what that means. Newly issued corporate bonds and existing corporate debt and debt based exchange traded funds, and bills can have to tell us what that means. Bloomberg reports that BlackRock is also advising the Bank of Canada a and buying up commercial paper, the short term debt that companies use to fund day to day expenses.
Paul Jay

In whose interest is this bailout of the corporate and banking sector? Is this what’s needed to prevent the economy from free, falling into a deep depression? Will it work? What’s the alternative? And what about the role of BlackRock? Bloomberg quotes William Bird ?? professor who studies the fund industry. It’s impossible to think of BlackRock without thinking of them as a fourth branch of government. Bird Thistle says, Well, if that’s true, the merging of corporations and government is what Roosevelt said was the definition of fascism.

Now, joining us to break all this down is Bill Black. He’s an American lawyer, academic, former bank regulator. Black is a professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He studies white collar crime, public finance, regulation and financial crisis. And he’s the author of the book. The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.


So start with the basic strategy of buying up all this paper. Who does it serve? I mean, is this what’s necessary to stop this spiral into a much deeper depression? And was there an alternative to this?

Bill Black
OK, so that actually depends on a broader question that the prior piece you alluded to in your introduction discusses a little bit. What’s the concept of why we care about the financial sector? Financial sector is supposed to allocate capital efficiently. In other words, the places that need it to expand, to become more productive should be able to get funds, either from shareholders or from lenders. Right. And those lenders could be banks, but those lenders could also be people like us who might buy commercial paper, which is a short term kind of debt issued by corporations, typically very large corporations.



 Right? That’s what it’s supposed to do. In other words, it’s supposed to be a middle man. And the efficiency condition for a middle man is exactly the opposite of what the scholar you were quoting was talking about when he said it’s impossible not to think of Black Rock and its counterparts as a fourth branch of government. Efficiency condition is lean and mean. The financial sector should be relatively small. It’s just a conduit. Right. And we’re just matching who needs it with the folks who have surplus capital to invest or lend. 


Instead, again, as your prior piece says, profits total 25 percent of total corporate profits at this time are going to finance sector. Right. Which is supposed to begin a tiny little sector that’s just a middleman helping out the productive sector. Instead, you can see it’s become a massive sector. But here’s the really bad news. Twenty five percent is nothing. On the eve of the Great Depression and on the eve of the great financial crisis, this one industry that’s supposed to be lean and mean finance, didn’t earn, but it received 40 percent of total corporate profits in the United States. In other words, this beast that’s supposed to be lean, efficient and simply a helper to the dominant industries that actually, you know, make things and employ people has become a monster,that instead of increasing productivity. It acts like a parasite that is dramatically reducing productivity and productivity has been cut roughly in half. And in over a period like 50 years, that’s an enormous difference in people’s lives and such.

So that’s the first thing, the context. Finances become a monster that is actually eating capitalism instead of creating a more effective capitalist system. But the second thing is, on top of that, people have probably noticed, we’re getting these recurrent financial crises, and they’re getting vastly bigger. So the savings and loan debacle was one hundred and fifty billion dollar bailout. And that sounds like chicken feed, right, In the current era. And it didn’t cause any significant recession.

Then you get the Enron era frauds and they cause a seven trillion dollar loss in market capitalization. And over a thousand of the top firms have to restate their financial statements because they’re false. Right. So you have very widespread fraud. And then you get the great financial crisis. And over a thousand markets fail and the whole system is in freefall. So, again, financing was sold to us. And the new products that you were mentioning were sold? II mean propagandists type selling on the basis that they were going to make us much more productive and our system would be far, far safer. These financial crises would not happen. And exactly the opposite has occurred. So markets only work when people are actively trading. And if you think about it, which we usually don’t, if you decide to sell shares at two a.m. in some particular company, the chances that somebody wants to buy those shares at some intermediate price, are actually not terribly good. And so we have entities that we call market makers, and they buy when you want to sell, and they  “make a market.”So when prices go in freefall of financial assets, market makers get stuck with all these huge losses they buy. Right. They’re the only folks buying and they buy at, say, 50. And now the price is down to two. So they’re all bankrupt. And when they go bankrupt, the market fails. And when the market fails, then everything fails in a capitalist system, because what’s price if nobody is willing to buy? It’s undetermined or essentially close to zero, which means everybody else that holds that asset is in danger of going bankrupt as well, and they can’t get cash. And so they also have liquidity crises. And that’s why you get these bailouts, which are not of a failed institution necessarily, but of entire markets, because what we call liquidity, cash just disappears in these kinds of markets and then asset values go in freefall, and then all kinds of companies start failing. And then you get domino effects as one big entity’s failure like Lehman Brothers, caused, for example, a four hundred billion dollar run on the money market mutual funds in 2008 within 30 days.

Now, the biggest run in history before that was in the ballpark of six billion dollars to give you an idea of how massively greater these crises are getting. And so in light of the 2008 financial crisis and in light of the 2012 presidential election, there was no chance that Trump was not going to pull out all the stops because it doesn’t cost him anything to have a massive restoration of liquidity. And this is actually in jargon, in finance called the bazooka, right where the Fed takes out the bazooka and just shoots cash one round after another.

Right. And eventually, as you say, measured in the trillions of dollars into the system. And so the idea is to restore the market function so asset values don’t plummet. And then, of course, the theory is just to hold. We call it extend and pretend in the trade. You just hold on to the asset. And if you hold on long enough, asset values will eventually tend to come back. That might take you three years. It takes back take you five years.



Paul Jay
If the theory is, or more than the theory, what’s happening is they’re making sure that, one, the stock market doesn’t completely tank. And to these corporate, a lot of this corporate debt the corporations are sitting on. And by the way, a lot of it came from stock buybacks in the first place, which was to manipulate their stocks higher than than otherwise.

But the fact that they’re stopping the stock market from tanking and corporate debt from tanking, what does that actually got to do with the productive, real, what they call real economy? Because just because they keep the stock market going, what effect does that have on helping most of the people that are being affected by the crisis?

Bill Black
OK. So almost everything I said had implications for the stock market, but was not aimed at the stock market. Right. So this is aimed at the real economy. That cancer on the real economy at that point, its finance. So the next stage of it is that finance does something else terrible, and that is it serves as this form of alleged discipline. Right. So since this is as obscene as it is, the idea is the finance folks are the responsible ones.

You know, those stupid car makers and things like that. Right. So the adults are supposedly in finance. And what they have done instead, and this fits in with this incredibly perverse executive compensation system we have, is everything is shaped in terms of short run interests in stock price, and that affects the CEO bonuses. And that’s what, in particular, the Black Rocks of the world have been notorious for. We want this quarter’s earnings to be higher. Right.

So are you going to do things like risky research and development, where you have to spend literally tens of billions of dollars now, and then, maybe,  if you’re successful, 12 years from now, you’ll have much better products. You’ll have much better productivity, much better growth. You’ll have, you know, discovered drugs that help people and such— You’ll have developed ways to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and things like that. Well, no, right. You’re not going to do that. You’re going to do everything to avoid those kinds of productive expenses. Because nobody  cares about 12 years at Black Rock.. What’s going to happen 12 years from now? Worse than that. What happens if all the games you’re playing, which include lots of accounting fraud, don’t work enough? So now the price isn’t as high. The stock price isn’t as high as a CEO you would like because it wouldn’t maximize his bonus. Well, then it’s easy. You control the corporation. You use it to buy back stock. Well, if you buy back the stock, what all of the factors being held constant is going to happen to the stock price?  it’s going to go up. Right. So what? How are you going to do that? And then in the circumstances we’ve talked about, particularly if we’re in an environment, and we have been for an entire decade of extraordinarily low interest rates, then the hedge fund guys are going to tell you, you shouldn’t be borrowing tons of money. It’s really cheap. And by the way, we lend. Right. And then you will leverage we call it. So you’ll have enormous debt compared to equity. Well, your bonus is determined on return on equity. So if you get even a tiny profit, but you have extraordinary leverage, it looks like you’ve done a really great job in terms of return on equity, and you get a much bigger bonus. So what is a combination of these perverse incentives mean? We have corporations absolutely loaded to the max with debt at very low interest rates who are not making productive investments that are going to increase productivity and do things like deal 
with global climate change.

And the CEOs get enormous bonuses and slightly higher returns to the shareholders, and Black Rock gets a share of all of that. And when you get even a tiny bit more and you’ve got seven trillion dollars in assets under management like Black Rock does, that turns out to be hundreds of billions of dollars potentially, of which the CEO of Black Rock  gets an extraordinary amount. So the CEO Black Rock is the Uber. You know, we talk about how Jamie Diamond, you know, the head of the biggest bank in America, he makes 20 billion. But the CEOs of some of these hedge funds and private equity funds make hundreds of billions. Remember, I’m not using the word earn hundreds of billions of dollars in this context. And so they love this perverse combination that leaves our system always on a knife edge, where any, you know, it doesn’t matter what happens if you’re on a knife edge. Keeping  your balance is incredibly difficult. And so eventually something nasty comes. And then the next part is when you fall off a knife edge, then all kinds of things start happening, not just in finance, but you get a liquidity crisis in the “real economy,” the industrial firms and such. And they, because they’re so deeply in debt, are at risk of imminent failure absent some kind of bail out  like you’re seeing. 

Paul Jay
So the debt was created to a large extent from these stock buyback stock market manipulations. I heard on Bloomberg radio, one of the commentators was saying that the actual size of the corporate debt was almost the same as the amount of money that’s been spent on stock buybacks. But. the government’s now come in. They bought up a lot of this corporate debt to stop these companies in the industrial and productive sector falling off the knife-edge, as you said, but there’s no demands on them, whatsoever,  in terms of continuing to pay people salaries, to keep their workers working, even if they’re from home to keep paying them. They’re just going to emerge from all of this with less debt. But the people that work there are going to emerge in terrible predicament, many of whom will be in deep poverty.

Bill Black
Right. And that is a combination of both political parties. Now, the insanity of the current system is that Nancy Pelosi thinks that she’s a genius, and her supporters are acting like she’s a genius. But as you say, the Democrats did not use their leverage, which was very large effectively to make this thing a bail out of everybody. And so not only did they not achieve a bail out of poorer people, workers and such, they’ve actually left them in much worse circumstances where Trump has been using this as an excuse to roll back all kinds of regulations, to roll back even, you can’t even sue. They want to make it a system where they tell you you must go back to work even though the virus is epidemic in your meatpacking plant. And if you don’t go back to work, we’ll not only fire you, you’ll  be ineligible for any government aid. If you came and have a green card, we will prevent you from getting full citizenship. And if you do work, and if your employer is negligent and exposes you to the virus and you die, we will immunize the firm from any liability for its negligence. Or in this case, it goes beyond negligence to willful blindness. Willful blindness, good, bythe way, under the law, constitutes a criminal offense. So, you know, my phrase is, wouldn’t you love to be playing poker in this match if Nancy Pelosi is considered to be the top negotiator? You could just absolutely clean up in these circumstances. And the Democrats allowed themselves to be conned, allegedly, into believing that there’d be a third phase in which they would actually get something, for example, for state and local government.

And, of course, the Black Rocks of the world dislike, hate, effective government. And so the fact that the public sector is being harmed, the fact that workers’ rights are being trashed, the fact that they’re using this as an excuse to rollback all kinds of environmental protections, this is just all more perfect from Black Rock’s perspective and from the elite shareholders perspectives. So they’re happy as clams. That’s perfectly understandable. What’s insane is that Democrats think, aha, we did a great job because the bill that the Republicans proposed was much worse, which is true. And the one that they killed was a negative two hundred. The one they signed was only a negative 150.

Paul Jay
In Canada and in Europe, my understanding is most of the bailouts had were for wages. In other words, if companies would keep paying the workers on their payroll, the government would subsidize, in some cases, up to 70, 80 percent of the salary. The theory, if I understand correctly, is it makes one, supports people and they don’t get into desperate straits. And two, it’s a lot easier to get people back to work again. Why wasn’t that done in the United States?

Bill Black
Because it would have been good. Right. So this is the obvious answer. This is an answer being used in, “the developed world,”  through much of the developed world. This is something that Paul Krugman, of all people, has repeatedly editorialized op-ed, right, saying, why aren’t we doing it this way? And this is a president who the Democrats just impeached for corruption. What did they think he was going to do if they handed him hundreds of billions of dollars and his fed trillions of dollars? Obviously, Trump is going to help his cronies and harm his political opponents. Everybody in the world knew that was going to happen. So it was critical not to give the money in a way that Trump could distribute it as opposed to a way that would actually go to protect the workers. And the Democrats that should have been their absolute beginning position. There will be zero bill that goes through that doesn’t do it the right way.

Paul Jay
What else would be the right way? If let’s, for the sake of argument, say Biden’s going to win this election, certainly based on polling at the moment, it looks like he will. What should that new government do? I mean, Biden claims he wants to be the most progressive government since Roosevelt. A lot of people are pretty dubious about that, given Biden’s history. But for the sake of argument, let’s say he is open to hearing ideas that would make it the most progressive government since Roosevelt. What what what should he do? 

Bill Black
So first a brief reality check. Right. The Obama administration attempted to get Larry Fink, the CEO of this firm we’ve been talking about, this massive private equity fund, to be his Secretary of the Treasury.

Paul Jay
Actually, I think was Hillary was going to have—-

Bill Black
No Obama.  He was trying to get him to be coming after Geithner. But yes, Hillary also did. Right. So and, you know, Biden. And one of his first acts was hiring Obama’s last economic adviser to be a key adviser.  So I’m more than dubious about—- 

Paul Jay
So, I’ll ask the question a different way. What demands should people make of a Biden government to handle this quite differently?

Bill Black
OK. So a Biden government will not have to continue any of these existing bailouts. They stink, and it will depend on where the economy is. When January, late January rolls around of next year and a Biden presidency begins. What it should do is immediately prepare a package to deal with state and local governments. So here’s the absolute critical thing that a Biden administration needs to get across,  now. States and localities are different than the federal government. The federal government has a sovereign currency. It’s not going to default. It borrows only in its own currency. And you have seen that it can borrow incredible amounts of money without raising interest rates in the current circumstances or inflation. Right. So the states and localities can’t do that. They are subject to hard budget constraints. They’re real economic ones. But also, they have state laws and in many cases, constitutional restrictions. And so there is a complete disastrous crisis coming for state and local government. And let me mention also Puerto Rico. Right. Puerto Rico desperately needs to be included in this package as well. There needs to be a huge transfer measured in the many hundreds of billions and I’d more likely say several trillion dollars to the state and local governments and Puerto Rico. Right. And that should not be going through private folks at all. And that’s a good government. But B, this was actually a proposal by Obama. We’re not in the scale I’m talking about. But his original proposal for the bailout had a general revenue sharing. In other words, the feds weren’t going to dictate how the states used it. Transfer from the federal government to state government, and the never to be sufficiently damned Blue Dog Democrats got together with the Republicans to kill that, which was a brilliant idea. ]

Paul Jay
It was 2008. 

Bill Black
Yes, this is 2008. And Obama caved on it without making it a political fight. And so they never paid. The conservatives never paid a political cost for fighting it. And I bet fewer than one person in a thousand knows that this even happened anymore. Right. So make this a huge cause celebre and stick it to Republicans in terms of what they claim to be their philosophy, which is, you know, as much as possible done through state and local government being willing to use broad revenue sharing. Right. Then take the fact that many states will not have priorities that Democrats would particularly love with that spending. Right. But also cover minimum needs like Medicare expansion and such with targeted funding for those states and localities. And as I say, make absolutely sure that you include Puerto Rico in all of this. That’s the first thing.

Paul Jay
And that’s just to put a to make just to make it concrete for people, they’re already talking about, if this isn’t done, what you’re saying, many cities may be cutting their firefighters and police force by 50 percent, losing half their teachers, losing people who clean streets. I mean, all the most immediate services that people rely on and unbelievable kinds of cuts people can imagine.

Bill Black
Now we are set for a catastrophe. And remember the Republicans want government to fail. They will be delighted if the government fails. Remember, when the government gets into situations like this, it’s not going to be done brilliantly. They’re going to hack out, you know, and do early out to get rid of their most experienced employees. And remember, the state and local level is where we get the overwhelming bulk of our education at all levels of education. It’s where we get our health systems overwhelmingly. It’s where you get the police systems as well, the local roads in many cases.

Paul Jay
What’s going to happen to the elections? I mean, they can’t allow this to tank so much before November because, you know, while the big cities are going to feel it, I guess worse, everywhere is going to feel these kinds of cuts.

Bill Black
Trump is dumb enough that he doesn’t get that, and that he is so Pollyannish that he is going to claim if there are any problems. It’s because the Democrats kept the economy closed. And that is say, look, look, that’s a  problem caused by Democrats. Another part of the agenda that is essential for the Democrats, of course, is to emphasize the primary victims of this crisis, which are enormously, disproportionately people of color, but also immigrants. If you look to the meat packing plants, yes blacks and Latinos. But at the typical one of these plants, the number of foreign languages spoken is in the 15 to 30 range. So protection for people who are, have come to this country is going to be absolutely critical as well. Unions need to be high on the agenda because, I would say with my criminologist and corruption expertise hats on, this is the most corrupt administration in the history of the United States. And it isn’t even close. And for all the things we know, there are, for each of those incidents, thousands that we don’t know, particularly with this complete assault by Trump on the inspector generals. And by the way, the folks that led the assault on inspector generals. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about this, historically. That was Bill Clinton and Al Gore who demonized the inspector generals in reinventing government. And so they’re the ones who sowed the seeds that have turned into this obscene attack on inspector generals and pro corruption.

Well, you cannot blow the whistle in America because virtually all employment is, what in the law is called at will, which means they can fire any of us at any time with no cause. Right. And there are few exceptions, sometimes in the public sector, but overwhelmingly where there are unions. And that’s what you need to be able to get whistleblowers because otherwise they retaliate. And by the way, Bill Barr is infamous in addition to all the other things he’s infamous for. If you really know his record, he wanted to destroy the False Claims Act that allows whistleblowers, encourages whistleblowers to come forward. Right. That has been an obsession of his for decades. So this hegemony of views against whistleblowers, against inspector generals has to be rooted out of both of these parties. And I think politically, if the Democrats win, that’s going to, you’re going to have one of those small windows in time when you can do it, and then it will feed on itself because if you get the whistleblowers to come forward, their stories will discredit, not only the Trump folks, but all kinds of other folks, including the media, who have allowed these abuses to take place.

Paul Jay
Is there anything states can do at the state level? Because they’re certainly far more relatively speaking anyway, progressive governments in some of the states than we’re likely to see federally. What can they do? 

Bill Black
Well, unfortunately, the law, as you said, I teach public finance and some both the law and economics of this, it’s very bad because the law in America is that the cities are creatures of the states, and therefore, the states can say pretty much do anything they want.And that’s why you see this complete asymmetry, deliberate asymmetry by Republicans. Whenever it’s a question of the city’s might be doing progressive things, they banned it. And you’ve seen this, for example, in the back to work orders. Whenever there’s a Republican governor who, you know, is a Trump supporter, they banned the cities from having safe policies. But if it’s a policy in which the cities can be, you know, go after minorities, oh, then suddenly they allow those policies. So as long as the governor is a Trump type, the cities can’t succeed.

Paul Jay
But what if we’re talking New York or California? What could they do? I’m talking economically. Like, for example, could New York and/or California establish publicly owned banks at a scale where they could fund, in a sense, create kind of their own currency through creating public banking.

Bill Black
We could create our own currency, but that doesn’t solve the problem of the budget deficit. And in many states, that would run afoul of state constitutions and statutory laws and such. So, no, on the public finance side, yes, there are things we can do at the margin and we should. We need emergency groups, working groups in all of these places thinking how you do that on the margin. By the way. Again, having lived in Silicon Valley for 20 years, the failure of the wealthy, high tech CEOs to step forward in all of this, to help the states and localities fiscally is absolutely shameful and absolutely demonstrative of where,  what their real views are. So, you know, they talk nice, nice about these things, but they have not stood up.

Paul Jay
I guess we go back into imaginary thinking again.

Bill Black
Public banks don’t fix this kind of problem.

Paul Jay
What about at the national level when these financial institutions are so dependent now on public money for their survival? Should some of them be nationalized and break some of the both economic and political power of that sector?

Bill Black
OK. So we shouldn’t use that word nationalize. 

Paul Jay
I mean, buy control. 

Bill Black
Right. So what? You should not have the ability to have an institution that, if it fails, will cause a financial global financial crisis. That’s insane. Right. You should diversify them. Right. And so we can’t even get the language, right. At the federal level these are called systemically important financial institutions. SIFI’s right. What they are, by their own logic, is systemically dangerous institutions. So the first thing is to start calling them what they really are. The second thing, which will require complete new legislation, because, again, the Democrats completely wasted the crisis in terms of effective financial regulation. Right. Dodd-Frank has individual provisions that make sense, but it had no strategic vision. It refused to do anything equivalent to Roosevelt. It was just immense lost opportunity. So maybe if there’s still this crisis lingering in January and if Biden, if he were really progressive, you could actually do something. But you’re right. You would start with getting rid. You give them five years to shrink to a level where they no longer impose a systemic risk. And by systemic risk, we mean when they fail, they are likely to cause a global financial crisis. It is insane to allow institutions that large, if a single failure will cause a global financial crisis. We have to think that way.

Paul Jay
But haven’t we seen in the past when they can telecom you see these breakup’s that in a matter of some years, not that long, they get back together, you wind up getting the same kind of monopolization and concentration, and the  political power they have facilitates that. Right.

Bill Black
This is why I hate war analogies, even though I use them periodically. There’s no such thing as a decisive victory against corporate power. Every generation has to fight this.

Paul Jay
But doesn’t that then argue for, one,doing what you’re saying and creating systems of public ownership? Could be diversified is the key word. I mean, it could be, you know, various states get together. It could be a combination of federal and state, but create a banking system that’s not all dependent on these guys. Like if they want to speculate, they don’t get rescued. And then if the speculation leads to going down the toilet, so be it.

Okay. But I will tell you how many presidents are going to stand by and let the system go down the toilet and destroy any chance they have of re-election.

Paul Jay
You wouldn’t let the system go down the toilet. You would let individual banks go down the toilet once you’ve built a public system that can take their place. .

Bill Black
Yes, but as long as you keep the institutions from being so large that a single failure will bring down the global financial system in a crisis, you are achieving that. Now, do I agree that there is a role for public banks? Absolutely. And you hit it exactly right. You need diversification. If you simply have a huge public bank, you have all the same problems. Plus the party in power wants to use it to, you know, help its re-election prospects. So there’s a very bad history of that. However, there’s a very good history of postal banks. The U.S. had a postal bank. The Nordic countries still have postal banks. Japan had a postal bank until the good old United States helped insist that they get rid of it. So what you want is a plain vanilla, easily available public institution that isn’t trying to rip you off. That will take your money, give you some interest and, you know, like act sort of like a credit union type of thing in terms of very low risk procedures. That makes enormous sense to do all of those things then. While I’ve mentioned it, saving the U.S. post office should be an immense part of the Democratic package. After all, the Republicans have deliberately sought to destroy it with specialized rules on pensions that no other company in the world has to follow that are designed to weaken it. Now, putting this crony who knows nothing about postal service, but is a Trump loyalist in to go after Bezos and Amazon and such in order to get back at The Washington Post. So, yes, there is a broad range of things that need to be imminently on the agenda. And Biden should have task forces, not only talking about all of these things, but they should be surrogates out, saying we’re going to do this and pick real spokespersons who can give a lively and informative talk, who aren’t in the same, wherever, basement Biden hangs out, that type of thing that should be filling the airways with good ideas. I don’t  see that much.

Paul Jay
No, I don’t see it hardly at all. 

Bill Black
Well, the Brits think we are capable of irony in America. We find that ironic.


Paul Jay
The catastrophe that you’re describing in the states and the cities, it’s going to, it’s happening very soon. It’s going to unfold in few. 


Bill Black
Oh no. It’s starting. There are places already laying off cumulatively tens of thousands of nurses. You know, so we’re, with one hand we. And I’m making this deliberately. You know, you can’t have a one handed clap. You know, we were clapping for the nurses. And then on the other hand, we’re saying thank you for your service, but we can’t pay for you anymore.

Paul Jay
So Biden comes to office with the states and cities collapsing, the global economy is going to sink deeper into depression, especially in the developing world. It’s beyond belief what’s going to be happening there, both in terms of the Covid crisis, which is getting worse and worse in Africa and India and Latin America. .

Bill Black
Yeah, that was actually my next point of what we have to do internationally. So it is  going to be particularly insane if we take you know, we have a lot of, unfortunately, the best expertise in the form of direct experience of health care personnel dealing with the most acute forms of Covid 19. We should be sending teams throughout the world, rather than firing people. This is an opportunity to do good for the world and to demonstrate a complete hundred and eighty degree turn from the malevolence and the hate and the, you know, just xenophobic nature of the Trump administration. So Bidens should be planning that.

Paul Jay
All right. Thanks for joining us, Bill. 

Bill Black
Thank you. 

Paul Jay
And thank you for joining us on theAnalysis podcast.

 
Reply
THE “GREAT ECONOMIC RESET”
24, June 2020
https://www.outersite.org/the-great-economic-reset
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Friday’s post asked: Who’s New World Order?

Catherine Austin Fitts – We are Watching the Mother of All Debt Entrapments

Investment advisor and former Assistant Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts says the Covid-19 crisis is really more of a so-called “Plandemic.” Fitts says, “What we are seeing is a reengineering of the global financial system on the just-do-it method. We saw a lot of smart money get out of the market at the top in January and February. Then, we saw a push to use police powers in the healthcare system to shut down a huge part of the independent economy globally. So, small business and small farms shut down across the board throwing the emerging markets and many small businesses into debt traps. So, we are watching the mother of all debt entrapments going on globally, and that means we are in for a radical reengineering. That’s what we are seeing in the U.S.”


On 19th March 2020, we laid out the [url=https://www.outersite.org/global-system-reset/]Global System Reset which has now, three months later, been publicly announced.


Globalists Reveal That The “Great Economic Reset” Is Coming In 2021

Many alternative economists often wrongly attribute the Fed’s habit of making things worse to “hubris” or “ignorance”. They think the Fed actually wants to save the financial system or “protect the golden goose”, but this is not reality. The truth is, the Fed is not a bumbling maintenance man, the Fed is a saboteur, a suicide bomber that is willing to destroy even itself as an institution in order to explode the US economy and clear the path for a new globally centralized one world system. Hence, the “Global Reset”.


Both Catherine and Brandon suggest we need to “fight back”. All revolutions and wars are fomented and fuelled by money power.

 
‘The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.’  –  Sun Tzu


We are the source of power for this system and our compliance fuels the machinery of our own enslavement and destruction. If we remove consent, that power evaporates. The biggest obstacles to our having the courage to challenge criminal authority are fear and ignorance. Once we have a critical mass of people who share an understanding of reality, ie. once their perceptions match reality, the world will change and the Age of Plunder will end.

Open source, self-organising co-creative learning is the way out of this mess and more people are engaging with powerful, alternative narratives which converge on reality. In other words, these alternative narratives are underpinned by copious evidence unlike the fairy tales promoted in the main stream.

Knowledge eradicates fear and the biggest shared fear among many is the “coronavirus” but when we know it’s a scam, fear evaporates and this knowledge empowers.


Advice for Anyone Not Wanting to be Stuffed

International best-selling author, Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA, uses amazing multi media tools to help examine one of the most divisive issues in medicine today.


Don’t wear a mask and don’t accept being tested for “coronavirus” because the tests are unreliable and reinforce compliance. If you agree to be tested, you are complicit with the lies and a pushover candidate for mandatory vaccination from which there is no return.



MEET BLACKROCK THE NEW GREAT VAMPIRE SQUID 
Ellen Brown
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/24/...pire-squid


LAST AMERICAN VAGABOND  EXPOUNDS ON MY BLACKROCK ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW 
https://ellenbrown.com/2020/07/18/last-american-vagabond-expounds-on-my-blackrock-article-and-interview




To most people, if they are familiar with it at all, BlackRock is an asset manager that helps pension funds and retirees manage their savings through “passive” investments that track the stock market. But working behind the scenes, it is much more than that. BlackRock has been called “the most powerful institution in the financial system,” “the most powerful company in the world” and the “secret power.” It is the world’s largest asset manager and “shadow bank,” larger than the world’s largest bank (which is in China), with over $7 trillion in assets under direct management  and another $20 trillion managed through its Aladdin risk-monitoring software. BlackRock has also been called “the fourth branch of government” and “almost a shadow government”, but no part of it actually belongs to the government. Despite its size and global power, BlackRock is not even regulated as a “Systemically Important Financial Institution” under the Dodd-Frank Act, thanks to pressure from its CEO Larry Fink, who has long had “cozy” relationshipswith government officials.


BlackRock’s strategic importance and political weight were evident when four BlackRock executives, led by former Swiss National Bank head Philipp Hildebrand, presented a proposal at the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in August 2019 for an economic reset that was actually put into effect in March 2020. Acknowledging that central bankers were running out of ammunition for controlling the money supply and the economy, the BlackRock group argued that it was time for the central bank to abandon its long-vaunted independence and join monetary policy (the usual province of the central bank) with fiscal policy (the usual province of the legislature). They proposed that the central bank maintain a “Standing Emergency Fiscal Facility” that would be activated when interest rate manipulation was no longer working to avoid deflation. The Facility would be deployed by an “independent expert” appointed by the central bank.



The COVID-19 crisis presented the perfect opportunity to execute this proposal in the US, with BlackRock itself appointed to administer it. In March 2020, it was awarded a no-bid contract under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to deploy a $454 billion slush fund established by the Treasury in partnership with the Federal Reserve. This fund in turn could be leveraged to provide over $4 trillion in Federal Reserve credit. While the public was distracted with protests, riots and lockdowns, BlackRock suddenly emerged from the shadows to become the “fourth branch of government,” managing the controls to the central bank’s print-on-demand fiat money. How did that happen and what are the implications?


Rising from the Shadows

BlackRock was founded in 1988 in partnership with the Blackstone Group, a multinational private equity management firm that would become notorious after the 2008-09 banking crisis for snatching up foreclosed homes at firesale prices and renting them at inflated prices. BlackRock first grew its balance sheet in the 1990s and 2000s by promoting the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that brought down the economy in 2008. Knowing the MBS business from the inside, it was then put in charge of the Federal Reserve’s “Maiden Lane” facilities. Called “special purpose vehicles,” these were used to buy “toxic” assets (largely unmarketable MBS) from Bear Stearns and American Insurance Group (AIG), something the Fed was not legally allowed to do itself.



BlackRock really made its fortunes, however, in “exchange traded funds” (ETFs). It gained trillions in investable assets after it acquired the iShares series of ETFs in a takeover of Barclays Global Investors in 2009. By 2020, the wildly successful iShares series included over 800 funds and $1.9 trillion in assets under management.



Exchange traded funds are bought and sold like shares but operate as index-tracking funds, passively following specific indices such as the S&P 500, the benchmark index of America’s largest corporations and the index in which most people invest. Today the fast-growing ETF sector controls nearly half of all investments in US stocks, and it is highly concentrated. The sector is dominated by just three giant American asset managers – BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, the “Big Three” – with BlackRock the clear global leader. By 2017, the Big Three together had become the largest shareholder in almost 90% of S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Coca-Cola. BlackRock also owns major interests in nearly every mega-bank and in major media.



In March 2020, based on its expertise with the Maiden Lane facilities and its sophisticated Aladdin risk-monitoring software, BlackRock got the job of dispensing Federal Reserve funds through eleven “special purpose vehicles” authorized under the CARES Act. Like the Maiden Lane facilities, these vehicles were designed to allow the Fed, which is legally limited to purchasing safe federally-guaranteed assets, to finance the purchase of riskier assets in the market.


Blackrock Bails Itself Out

The national lockdown left states, cities and local businesses in desperate need of federal government aid. But according to David Dayen in The American Prospect, as of May 30 (the Fed’s last monthly report), the only purchases made under the Fed’s new BlackRock-administered SPVs were ETFs, mainly owned by BlackRock itself. Between May 14 and May 20, about $1.58 billion in ETFs were bought through the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), of which $746 million or about 47% came from BlackRock ETFs. The Fed continued to buy more ETFs after May 20, and investors piled in behind, resulting in huge inflows into BlackRock’s corporate bond ETFs.



In fact, these ETFs needed a bailout; and BlackRock used its very favorable position with the government to get one. The complicated mechanisms and risks underlying ETFs are explained in an April 3 article by business law professor Ryan Clements, who begins his post:



Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are at the heart of the COVID-19 financial crisis. Over forty percent of the trading volume during the mid-March selloff was in ETFs ….



The ETFs were trading well below the value of their underlying bonds, which were dropping like a rock. Some ETFs were failing altogether. The problem was something critics had long warned of: while ETFs are very liquid, trading on demand like stocks, the assets that make up their portfolios are not. When the market drops and investors flee, the ETFs can have trouble coming up with the funds to settle up without trading at a deep discount; and that is what was happening in March.



According to a May 3 article in The National, “The sector was ultimately saved by the US Federal Reserve’s pledge on March 23 to buy investment-grade credit and certain ETFs. This provided the liquidity needed to rescue bonds that had been floundering in a market with no buyers.”



Prof. Clements states that if the Fed had not stepped in, “a ‘doom loop’ could have materialized where continued selling pressure in the ETF market exacerbated a fire-sale in the underlying [bonds], and again vice-versa, in a procyclical pile-on with devastating consequences.” 



He observes:

There’s an unsettling form of market alchemy that takes place when illiquid, over-the-counter bonds are transformed into instantly liquid ETFs. ETF “liquidity transformation” is now being supported by the government, just like liquidity transformation in mortgage backed securities and shadow banking was supported in 2008.


Working for Whom?
BlackRock got a bailout with no debate in Congress, no “penalty” interest rate of the sort imposed on states and cities borrowing in the Fed’s Municipal Liquidity Facility, no complicated paperwork or waiting in line for scarce Small Business Administration loans, no strings attached. It just quietly bailed itself out.
It might be argued that this bailout was good and necessary, since the market was saved from a disastrous “doom loop,” and so were the pension funds and the savings of millions of investors. Although BlackRock has a controlling interest in all the major corporations in the S&P 500, it professes not to “own” the funds. It just acts as a kind of “custodian” for its investors — or so it claims. But BlackRock and the other Big 3 ETFs vote the corporations’ shares; so from the point of view of management, they are the owners. And as observed in a 2017 article from the University of Amsterdam titled “These Three Firms Own Corporate America,” they vote 90% of the time in favor of management. That means they tend to vote against shareholder initiatives, against labor, and against the public interest. BlackRock is not actually working for us, although we the American people have now become its largest client base.



In a 2018 review titled “Blackrock – The Company That Owns the World”, a multinational research group called Investigate Europe concluded that BlackRock “undermines competition through owning shares in competing companies, blurs boundaries between private capital and government affairs by working closely with regulators, and advocates for privatization of pension schemes in order to channel savings capital into its own funds.”



Daniela Gabor, Professor of Macroeconomics at the University of Western England in Bristol, concluded after following a number of regulatory debates in Brussels that it was no longer the banks that wielded the financial power; it was the asset managers. 



She said:

We are often told that a manager is there to invest our money for our old age. But it’s much more than that. In my opinion, BlackRock reflects the renunciation of the welfare state. Its rise in power goes hand-in-hand with ongoing structural changes; in finance, but also in the nature of the social contract that unites the citizen and the state.


That these structural changes are planned and deliberate is evident in BlackRock’s August 2019 white paper laying out an economic reset that has now been implemented with BlackRock at the helm. Public policy is made today in ways that favor the stock market, which is considered the barometer of the economy, although it has little to do with the strength of the real, productive economy. Giant pension and other investment funds largely control the stock market, and the asset managers control the funds. That effectively puts BlackRock, the largest and most influential asset manager, in the driver’s seat in controlling the economy.



As Peter Ewart notes in a May 14 article on BlackRock titled “Foxes in the Henhouse,” today the economic system “is not classical capitalism but rather state monopoly capitalism, where giant enterprises are regularly backstopped with public funds and the boundaries between the state and the financial oligarchy are virtually non-existent.”


If the corporate oligarchs are too big and strategically important to be broken up under the antitrust laws, rather than bailing them out they should be nationalized and put directly into the service of the public. At the very least, BlackRock should be regulated as a too-big-to-fail Systemically Important Financial Institution. Better yet would be to regulate it as a public utility. No private, unelected entity should have the power over the economy that BlackRock has, without a legally enforceable fiduciary duty to wield it in the public interest.
Reply
THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME
https://goldswitzerland.com/the-world-will-never-be-the-same

In this interview Egon von Greyerz explains to Paul Eberhart of SilverDoctors that the combination of the Coronavirus and the coming economic depression will change the world forever. We are now going towards a hyperinflationary depression that will eventually lead to a deflationary depression



The next couple of years will not be a pretty picture and many people will suffer. It has been too easy with governments and central banks printing money that has given an illusory high standard of living. But the world will now discover that printed money has no value and that you can’t solve a debt problem with more debt. Although times will be hard, there are always opportunities for people who are willing to work hard. As long as you don’t depend on worthless printed money and bankrupt governments. 

Egon’s message has been consistent for 20 years. The risks in the world are unprecedented due to the massive debt and asset bubbles and wealth preservation in the form of physical gold and silver is essential. Gold and silver are dramatically undervalued and very soon it will be impossible to buy precious metals at these prices. 

Other areas covered by Egon and Paul:
  • Every single hyperinflationary event in history came as a result of the debasement of currency

  • Disconnect between paper market vs physical market in oil and gold

  • Why you shouldn’t buy gold ETFs

  • How does real estate compare to gold and silver?

FINANCIAL SYSTEM – A HUBRISTIC SWINDLE

July 23, 2020

Egon von Greyerz
Zeus punished the hubristic King Sisyphus to roll a huge boulder up a very steep hill in Hades. Before Sisyphus reached the top, the stone rolled down and he had to start all over again.

Hubris is serious sin that seldom goes unpunished. The arrogance and uber-confidence which TPTB (the powers that be) have displayed in leading the world to ruin will clearly be severely punished. But sadly the punishment will affect the whole world and not just the Elite that caused it.

BANKERS AND GOVERNMENTS HAVE INFLICTED INCREDIBLE DAMAGE
It could be argued that blaming one group for the coming global collapse might be unfair. The world economy has always oscillated between boom and bust and is thus a natural phenomenon like the seasons. But the main difference this time is the incredible damage that governments, central bankers and bankers have inflicted on the world.

In 2006 when the Great Financial Crisis started, US Federal debt was $8.5 trillion and today it is $26.5t. In 14 years debt has more than trebled. GDP in 2006 was $14t and is now $21.5t. So debt to GDP has gone from 60% to 123%.

This is what is called running on empty. US debt creation has nothing to do with investing in productive assets. With the debt to GDP ratio doubling in 14 years it is clear evidence that all the printed money is not going into the real economy but is supporting a bankrupt financial system which has kept the money to prop up their own insolvent balance sheets and to remunerate the top executives with fantasy money.

PRINTED MONEY TO FATTEN CORPORATE EXECUTIVES
The printed money has also gone to inefficient mega-corporations which have leveraged their balance sheets with total borrowings going from $3t in 2006 to $7t today. During the same period, US companies have spent in excess of $6t in share buybacks. So instead of investing in the business, companies have borrowed money in order to buy back their own shares with the purpose of inflating the share price and executive remuneration in options and stocks.

This is hubris of the highest degree. Ignore investing to grow the business. Instead leverage the company to the hilt to inflate the share price and compensation for the top echelon. Will this corporate arrogance go unpunished? The executives will hardly roll a big boulder up a hill in Hades but when the US and global economy collapses and social unrest spreads, the have-nots are not going to treat the haves kindly.


GLOBAL SAND CASTLE BUILT ON MMT
As I have stated many times, it is absolutely guaranteed that the global sand castle resting on worthless debt will crumble. Timing is always tricky and central banks have performed the most outstanding act of wizardry since 2006.

By increasing global debt from $125t in 2006 to $270t today, they have drowned the world in so much worthless money that virtually nobody has understood that it is all fake money and fake wealth that has been created.

Actually, nobody understands it, not even Nobel prize winners who believe that MMT or Modern Money Theory is the solution to everything. You wonder how anybody can believe that creating money out of thin air can actually create wealth. But since so many have benefitted why worry. The Elite has become mega wealthy (measured in fake money) and the masses have a perceived improvement in living standards with more gadgets like cars or iPhones. What few realise is that it all comes from debt. Either increased personal debt or more government borrowing.

BIGGEST SWINDLE IN HISTORY
You can fool most of the people for quite a long time and sadly the world will only realise that all of this was only possible due to the biggest swindle in history. Charles Ponzi or Bernerd Madoff was kindergarten stuff compared to this mega-fraud.

And soon the chickens will come home to roost. Timing is always tricky. It could all happen very quickly as my good friend Alasdair Macleod has described in many excellent articles on KWN. Or it could take 1-2 years longer. Alasdair foresees a bank and currency collapse before the end of 2020. He is not a sensational man but rather a conservative Englishman who has a deep knowledge of both currency and economic matters. Above all he understands history. There we are in full agreement. The majority of economists and bankers think it is different today because they are alive. But they will soon be proven wrong again.

FINAL CURRENCY COLLAPSE COMING NEXT
Whether we go back to for example the Roman Empire in the 3rd century or John Law around 1720, we can see how history repeats itself over and over. Virtually all economic collapses involve a total debasement of the currency. We are now in the very final innings of a global currency collapse. All major currencies are down 97-99% in real purchasing power (gold) since 1971. August 15, 1971 was a significant date for the currency system. That was the day when Nixon pulled the rug of the dollar and thus all currencies since they were tied to the dollar.

With gold no longer backing the currency system and irresponsible governments issuing unlimited amount of debt, this was the beginning of the end of the current currency system. The second leg of the currency race to the bottom started in the early 2000s and since then all currencies are down around 80-85%.

GOLD WILL NOT LOOK BACK
Gold made a temporary peak in 2011 and resumed the uptrend in 2016. The massive amounts of money that have been printed since 2006, and accelerating now in 2020, have not yet been reflected properly in the gold price. But this is what is coming next.

Prospects for a currency collapse have never been greater for the West. This means that the prospects for gold are absolutely outstanding.

NO PHYSICAL TO BACK UP PAPER GOLD
But there are more factors that affect the gold price. There is a massive shortage of physical gold in the futures markets and LBMA system. As gold goes up and the holders of gold ask for physical delivery, there will be no gold available to settle the paper claims. There are only two potential outcomes. A default of the LBMA system which would also mean a total bank collapse. They will attempt to settle the claims in paper money but that will also lead to defaults eventually.

It is of course possible that central banks print trillions of dollars to save the banks so that they can buy the gold. The problem is that there is no gold available at current prices but only at multiples of the current price. And the more money central banks print, the less it will be worth and the more the gold will cost. So a real Sisyphean task that is guaranteed to fail.

INSTITUTIONAL GOLD BUYING
Another important factor is that only 0.5% of world financial assets are in physical gold. As inflation goes up and the bubble assets like stocks, bonds and property collapse, private and institutional investors all want to own gold. Institutions will need gold to protect against inflation and risk. Let’s say that an institution wants to buy around $120m worth of gold and that multiplied a few hundred times for all the institutional demand. Instead of getting 2 tonnes at $1,900 per ounce they will get 200 kilos at $19,000 per ounce. So they have got their $100b of gold but at a price 10x higher. As production can’t be increased, higher demand can only be satisfied by a higher price.

There is of course a total of 170,000 tonnes of gold in the world, including 50% in jewellery and 35,000 tonnes in central bank gold. But only a minuscule percentage of this gold will be available at current prices. Bigger quantities will cost multiples of today’s price. Annual production of gold and scrap gold is all absorbed every year and we have reached peak gold.

Currently Swiss refiners are seeing low demand but this is only the lull after a very hectic period and before the next big move down in stocks and up in the metals.


FOUR FACTORS TO DRIVE THE GOLD PRICE


To summarise, the gold price will be fuelled by four incredibly strong factors:
  • Major debasement of currencies due to money printing

  • Substantial shortages of gold in LBMA and Futures markets

  • Major new private and institutional gold investors entering the market

  • Only smaller quantities of gold available at current prices

Silver is likely to move 3x as fast as gold but remember that it is very volatile and the corrections will be vicious. If you want to sleep well at night, own only gold. Still with the gold/silver ratio historically high at 93, an allocation of 75% physical gold and 25% in silver, is what we advise our clients currently.

Bigger quantities of precious metals should preferably be stored outside your country of residence and outside the financial system. It is very risky to store wealth preservation assets in a bankrupt banking system whether in the bank’s general vault or in safe deposit boxes.

Gold and silver are in the acceleration phase. The trend will be strongly up but with the normal corrections. The time when you can buy gold below $2,000 and silver below $25 is very limited.
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