Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Casino Capitalism: Neoliberalism in Western countries

"When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done" ~ John Maynard Keynes

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Neoliberalism

News Neoliberalism Recommended Links Neoliberalism 101: 12 best articles on neoliberalism Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy The Systemic Instability of Financial Institutions Regulatory Capture & Corruption of regulators
Secular Stagnation Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA USA-Russia Gas War Rational expectations scam Economism and abuse of economic theory in American politics Monetarism fiasco
GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Number racket Efficient Market Hypothesis Invisible Hand Hypothesys: The Theory of Self-regulation of the Markets Supply side Voodoo In Goldman Sachs we trust Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Twelve apostles of deregulation Clinton Summers Greenspan Rubin Helicopter Ben: Arsonist Turned into Firefighter Reagan
Chicago school of deification of market Free Market Fundamentalism Free Market Newspeak as opium for regulators The Idea of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium CDS -- weapons of mass financial destruction Phil Gramm Bush II
Zombie state of neoliberalism Insider Trading SEC corruption Fed corruption Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush Regime Wall Street Propaganda Machine American Exceptionalism
Redistribution of wealth up as the essence of neoliberalism Glass-Steagall repeal Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Fiat money, gold and petrodollar Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Buyout Kleptocrats Republican Economic Policy
Principal-agent problem Quiet coup Pecora commission History of Casino Capitalism Casino Capitalism Dictionary :-) Humor  Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult

Due to the size the introduction moved to Casino Capitalism: Neoliberalism in Western countries



NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008

[Jun 07, 2021] There s a new LGBTQ-focused ETF

Jun 06, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

Just in time for Pride Month, a new exchange traded fund aims to connect with LGBTQ investors. Two previous efforts failed to attract enough assets.

The fund, LGBTQ + ESG100 ETF LGBT, +0.91% , launched in late May, is a passively managed, large-cap index fund that holds the top 100 U.S. companies that most align with the LGBTQ community.

In 2019, two LGBTQ-focused ETFs were delisted: ALPS Workplace Equality Portfolio ETF and InsightShares LGBT Employment Equality ETFs. Like this new fund, both were mostly U.S. large-cap, passive index ETFs comprising companies that received high or perfect marks for workplace equality in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index , a benchmark for corporate LGBTQ policies.

The first ETF stuck around for five years, but the second barely made it two years, even though it was launched with much fanfare by UBS. Neither gained many assets.

Bobby Blair, CEO and founder of LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, which launched the fund with issuer ProcureAM, says community input on holdings makes this fund different.

LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings partners with Harris Poll to annually survey 150,000 self-identifying LGBTQ constituents across the U.S. for their views about a company's brand awareness, brand image, brand loyalty and how the firm supports the community. As noted in its prospectus , 25% of the index's weighting is derived from that survey data.

... the LGBTQ + ESG100 has an annual expense ratio of 0.75%.

[Jun 07, 2021] As bubbles peak, they combine objective signs of excess prices rising much faster than earnings can justify with subjective signs of mania, such as frenzied trading and excessive leveraging

Jun 06, 2021 | investornewsletter.net

As bubbles peak, they combine objective signs of excess" prices rising much faster than earnings can justify" with subjective signs of mania, such as frenzied trading and borrowing. To some the entire US stock market looks bubbly given its dizzying run-up, but earnings growth has also been extraordinarily strong through the pandemic. Beneath the surface, however, sectors of the market from green tech to cryptocurrency show tell-tale bubble signs.

My research on the 10 biggest bubbles of the past century, from the US stock market in 1929 to Chinese shares in 2015, shows that prices typically rise 100 per cent in the year before the peak, with much of the gain packed into the climactic last months. That finding is closely in line with bubble studies from academics at Harvard and others.

By those standards, there are at least five current bubblets. They include the cryptocurrency market for bitcoin and ethereum; clean energy stocks, including some of the biggest names in electric vehicles; small cap stocks, including many of the hottest pandemic stories; a basket of tech stocks that lack earnings, which is also chock-a-block with famous brands; and special purpose acquisition companies (Spacs) , which allow investors a new way to buy into private firms before they go public.

Each of these bubblets is captured in an index that rose in the last year by around 100 per cent, often much more, to a peak value between $500bn and $2.5tn. Day traders and other newbies rushed in, a common symptom of late stage market manias. Now these bubbles are faltering, as they so often do, in response to increases in long-term interest rates. What's next?

The historical bubbles in my study did suffer midcourse setbacks on the way up, but typically those corrections were around 25 per cent and never more than 35 per cent. Beyond that point" a 35 per cent drop" the bubbles in my sample became monophasic, or stuck on a one-way downhill path.

For the median case, the bottom was found 70 per cent below the peak, and came just over two years after the peak. Except for the index of small-cap pandemic stocks, the other four bubble candidates have all experienced drops of at least 35 per cent, but also of no more than 50 per cent (in the case of ethereum). In other words, they are not likely to resume inflating any time soon, and they are still far from the typical bottom.

There is one new factor that could upset this historical pattern. Despite the rise in long-term interest rates, there is plenty of liquidity sloshing around the markets, with central banks committed to easy money as never before. The risks though are skewed to the downside.

It is important to remember that a bubble is often a good idea gone too far. In the early 2000s, the conventional wisdom was that the dotcom bubble had fuelled mainly junk companies with business plans barely worth the napkins they were written on. Later, researchers found that, compared with other bubbles, those in the tech sector produce many start-ups that fail but also help launch major innovations. For every few dozen dotcom flame-outs, there was a giant survivor such as Google or Amazon that would go on to make the economy more productive.

[Jun 07, 2021] Tech giants and tax havens targeted by historic G7 deal by David Milliken and Kate Holton

Jun 05, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

LONDON (Reuters) -The United States, Britain and other large, rich nations reached a landmark deal on Saturday to squeeze more money out of multinational companies such as Amazon and Google and reduce their incentive to shift profits to low-tax offshore havens.

Hundreds of billions of dollars could flow into the coffers of governments left cash-strapped by the COVID-19 pandemic after the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies agreed to back a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15%.

Facebook said it expected it would have to pay more tax, in more countries, as a result of the deal, which comes after eight years of talks that gained fresh impetus in recent months after proposals from U.S. President Joe Biden's new administration.

"G7 finance ministers have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system to make it fit for the global digital age," British finance minister Rishi Sunak said after chairing a two-day meeting in London.

The meeting, hosted at an ornate 19th-century mansion near Buckingham Palace in central London, was the first time finance ministers have met face-to-face since the start of the pandemic.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the "significant, unprecedented commitment" would end what she called a race to the bottom on global taxation.

German finance minister Olaf Scholz said the deal was "bad news for tax havens around the world".

Yellen also saw the G7 meeting as marking a return to multilateralism under Biden and a contrast to the approach of U.S. President Donald Trump, who alienated many U.S. allies.

"What I've seen during my time at this G7 is deep collaboration and a desire to coordinate and address a much broader range of global problems," she said.

Ministers also agreed to move towards making companies declare their environmental impact in a more standard way so investors can decided more easily whether to fund them, a key goal for Britain.

... ... ...

Key details remain to be negotiated over the coming months. Saturday's agreement says only "the largest and most profitable multinational enterprises" would be affected.

European countries had been concerned that this could exclude Amazon - which has lower profit margins than most tech companies - but Yellen said she expected it would be included.

How tax revenues will be split is not finalised either, and any deal will also need to pass the U.S. Congress.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he would push for a higher minimum tax, calling 15% "a starting point".

Some campaign groups also condemned what they saw as a lack of ambition. "They are setting the bar so low that companies can just step over it," Oxfam's head of inequality policy, Max Lawson, said.

But Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe, whose country is potentially affected because of its 12.5% tax rate, said any global deal also needed to take account of smaller nations.

The G7 includes the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.


[Jun 07, 2021] Watchdog criticised over plans to combat dominance of big banks

Jun 07, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Nicholas Megaw in London Sun, June 6, 2021, 8:00 PM

The UK's competition regulator has been accused of "putting foxes in charge of the henhouse" after asking the banking industry's own lobby group to design a supervisory body to combat the dominance of big banks. Dozens of organisations including fintech start-ups, established tech groups like Experian and Equifax, consumer representatives and a cross-party group of MPs have raised concerns over the Competition and Markets Authority's plan to use proposals drawn up by UK Finance as the basis for a consultation on the future of so-called open banking rules. Open banking forces banks to share valuable customer data with other financial services providers, allowing smaller firms to make faster lending decisions or offer new services such as budgeting tools.

[Jun 07, 2021] Sidewalk Robots are Now Delivering Food in Miami

Notable quotes:
"... Florida Sun-Sentinel ..."
"... [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] ..."
"... the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries... ..."
Jun 07, 2021 | hardware.slashdot.org

18-inch tall robots on four wheels zipping across city sidewalks "stopped people in their tracks as they whipped out their camera phones," reports the Florida Sun-Sentinel .

"The bots' mission: To deliver restaurant meals cheaply and efficiently, another leap in the way food comes to our doors and our tables." The semiautonomous vehicles were engineered by Kiwibot, a company started in 2017 to game-change the food delivery landscape...

In May, Kiwibot sent a 10-robot fleet to Miami as part of a nationwide pilot program funded by the Knight Foundation. The program is driven to understand how residents and consumers will interact with this type of technology, especially as the trend of robot servers grows around the country.

And though Broward County is of interest to Kiwibot, Miami-Dade County officials jumped on board, agreeing to launch robots around neighborhoods such as Brickell, downtown Miami and several others, in the next couple of weeks...

"Our program is completely focused on the residents of Miami-Dade County and the way they interact with this new technology. Whether it's interacting directly or just sharing the space with the delivery bots,"

said Carlos Cruz-Casas, with the county's Department of Transportation...

Remote supervisors use real-time GPS tracking to monitor the robots. Four cameras are placed on the front, back and sides of the vehicle, which the supervisors can view on a computer screen. [A spokesperson says later in the article "there is always a remote and in-field team looking for the robot."] If crossing the street is necessary, the robot will need a person nearby to ensure there is no harm to cars or pedestrians. The plan is to allow deliveries up to a mile and a half away so robots can make it to their destinations in 30 minutes or less.

Earlier Kiwi tested its sidewalk-travelling robots around the University of California at Berkeley, where at least one of its robots burst into flames . But the Sun-Sentinel reports that "In about six months, at least 16 restaurants came on board making nearly 70,000 deliveries...

"Kiwibot now offers their robotic delivery services in other markets such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica by working with the Shopify app to connect businesses that want to employ their robots." But while delivery fees are normally $3, this new Knight Foundation grant "is making it possible for Miami-Dade County restaurants to sign on for free."

A video shows the reactions the sidewalk robots are getting from pedestrians on a sidewalk, a dog on a leash, and at least one potential restaurant customer looking forward to no longer having to tip human food-delivery workers.

... ... ...

[Jun 07, 2021] Forget Activism- Chronic Underperformance Is Big Oil's Biggest Problem

Jun 06, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Whereas climate change issues are the presumptive reasons behind the latest wave of investor revolts at the oil and gas giants, lurking beneath the surface is a growing sense of apprehension about Big Oil's strategy and failure to generate adequate returns for shareholders in recent decades.

The naked truth is that Exxon and its cohorts have severely underperformed the broader market over the last two decades in terms of total returns to shareholders, implying the sector's woes are long-term and strategic rather than short-term and cyclical.

Chronic underperformance

XOM

Source: CNN Money

Big Oil's underperformance relative to the market is clearly evident whether you are looking at 2-year, 5-year, 10-year, or even 20-year timespans.

For instance, since 2015, Exxon shares have returned a -2.5% compound annual loss based on share prices and dividends, a far cry from the average annual gain of +14.4% by the S&P 500 over the timeframe.

Over the past two decades, Exxon's compound annual return has clocked in at +4.2%, still considerably lower than the broad market benchmark's return of +7.1%.

... ... ...

Exxon is hardly alone, with none of its peers, including Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A), BP Inc. (NYSE:BP), and Total (NYSE:TOT) coming close to matching the returns by the broader share market over the past decade.

In fact, on an inflation-adjusted U.S. dollar basis, returns by Exxon, Shell, and BP have been negative over the past five years, a period which coincided with the biggest bull market in the history of the stock market.

The renewable energy conundrum

You cannot blame the oil majors for continuing to engage in a lot of hand-wringing at a time when investors are demanding they pump less oil and transition to cleaner energy.

For the oil majors, successfully transitioning to green energy companies is not going to be a walk in the park because these companies have to ride two horses.

That's the case because the majority are already battling dwindling cash flows which means they cannot afford to gamble with whatever little is left. Oil prices have been on a downtrend since 2014, a situation that has only worsened during the pandemic.

Oil and gas firms are still grappling with the best way to presently use dwindling cash flows; in effect, they are still weighing whether it's worthwhile to at least partially reinvent themselves as renewables businesses while also determining which low-carbon energy markets offer the most attractive future returns.

Most renewable ventures, like solar and wind projects, tend to churn out cash flows akin to annuities for several decades after initial up-front capital expenditure with generally low price risk as opposed to their current models with faster payback but high oil price risk. With the need to generate quick shareholder returns, some fossil fuel companies have actually been scaling back their clean energy investments.

Energy companies are also faced with another conundrum: Diminishing returns from their clean energy investments.

Related: ''We'll See $200 Oil": Russia & OPEC Ministers Blast IEA's Net Zero Plan

A paper published in Science Direct last August says that dramatic reductions in the cost of wind and solar have been leading to an even bigger reduction in revenue inflows leading to falling profits. This is particularly true for wind energy as later deployments of wind usually have lower market value than earlier ones due to wind energy revenue declining more rapidly than cost reductions. Solar is more resilient, with technological progress approximately balancing out the revenue degradation, which perhaps explains why solar stocks have gone ballistic.

Adding wind and solar to our grid tends to reduce electricity prices during peak generation times: Indeed, electricity prices in California can come down to zero during long sunny durations. This was not a problem for early deployments but is becoming a major concern as renewables increasingly play a bigger part in our electricity generation mix.

But, ultimately, Big Oil will have to take the plunge and engage in drastic internal restructuring and product cycle transitions even as activists like Engine No.1 promise to continue turning the screw. As Charlie Penner of Engine No.1 has told FT , the energy transition is happening faster than expected and has undermined Big Oil's assumptions about long-term demand for its oil.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

->


[Jun 07, 2021] Get Ready for $178 Billion of Selling Ahead of the Capital-Gains Tax Hike. These Are the Stocks Most at Risk. - MarketWatch

Jun 07, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

...Analysts at Goldman Sachs""in October""ran the numbers on the stock market impact of previous capital-gains tax hikes. While there is only a modest impact on the stock market as a whole, momentum stocks usually get socked before they are levied, they found. That makes sense""investors logically are more motivated to sell the stocks where they would save the most by avoiding higher capital-gains taxes.

The last time capital-gains taxes were hiked, in 2013, the wealthiest households sold 1% of their equity assets, the Goldman analysts found. According to the Federal Reserve's distributional financial account data , the top 1% held $17.79 trillion of equities and mutual funds in the fourth quarter of 2020""so a 1% selling of stocks this time would be $178 billion. (The most recent Internal Revenue Service breakdown, from 2018, found that millionaires accounted for just over 500,000 filers or about 0.4% of the total.)

[Jun 07, 2021] Don't get too optimistic about a stock market rally" they've been fizzling out

Jun 04, 2021 | futurewealthdaily.com
This post was originally published on this site

... ... ...

This quick jumping onto and off of the bullish and bearish bandwagons has become the new normal, as you can see from the table below.

... ... ...

As I argued three weeks ago, this sentiment pattern suggests that the market may remain in a fairly narrow range for the next several months. The contrarian bet is that the market will finally break out of that trading range whenever the market timers stubbornly hold onto their sentiment beliefs in the face of the market moving in the opposite direction. That is, be on the lookout for when the market timers remain bullish in the face of declines, or bearish in the wake of rallies. That will indicate that a bigger decline or rally is in store.

In the meantime, the market timers' behavior suggests both market rallies and declines will be subdued. That's good news to the extent you were worried that a major new bear market is about to begin, but bad news if you were hoping for a more sustained rally.

. .. ... ...

Mark Hulbert is a regular contributor to MarketWatch. His Hulbert Ratings tracks investment newsletters that pay a flat fee to be audited. He can be reached at mark@hulbertratings.com . Continue Reading

[Jun 06, 2021] Watch- A Vindicated Rand Paul Decimates Fauci Over Emails

If we take ZH commentariat opinions as a representative sample of the US conservatives opinion, Fauci days are now numbered. And not only because he over 80.
Jun 05, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Speaking to Laura Ingraham, Paul asserted that "The emails paint a disturbing picture, a disturbing picture of Dr. Fauci, from the very beginning, worrying that he had been funding gain-of-function research. He knows it to this day, but hasn't admitted it."

The Senator also urged that Fauci's involvement has not been adequately investigated because in the eyes of Democrats "he could do no wrong".

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400317216143380482&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Paul pointed out that Fauci was denying that there was even any funding for gain of function research at the Wuhan lab just a few weeks back, a claim which is totally contradicted by his own emails in which he discusses it.

"In his e-mail, within the topic line, he says "˜acquire of perform research.' He was admitting it to his non-public underlings seven to eight months in the past," Paul emphasised.

The Senator also pointed to the email from Dr. Peter Daszak , President of the EcoHealth Alliance, a group that directly funded the Wuhan lab gain of function research, thanking Fauci for not giving credence to the lab leak theory.

Ingraham asked Paul if Fauci could face felony culpability, to which the Senator replied "At the very least, there is ethical culpability," and Fauci should be fired from his government roles.

Earlier Paul had reacted to Amazon pulling Fauci's upcoming book from pre-sale:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400488919771369474&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

In softball interviews with MSNBC and CNN Thursday, Fauci dismissed the notion that his emails show any conflicts of interest, and claimed that it is in China's "best interest" to be honest about the pandemic origins, adding that the US should not act "accusatory" toward the communist state.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400417592624431105&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Fauci also said it is "far fetched that the Chinese deliberately engineered something so that they could kill themselves, as well as other people."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1400445767530078215&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmarkets%2Fwatch-vindicated-rand-paul-decimates-fauci-over-emails&sessionId=1c907408994e2f21116e1007779680c9a749f689&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

* * *


Dotard PRO 17 hours ago

Roger Stone was given 9 years for lying to Congress. Fauci should be on the same hook.

truth or go home 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Looks like Fauci is going the way of Gates, but he won't be arrested, because he is doing the bidding of the overlords.

What could he be arrested for? Let's see: Misappropriation of government funds, lying to a senator under oath, covering up a criminal operation, operating a conspiracy to deceive the people of the United States.

Seems like Rand is willing to nail Fauci to the wall, but he is not willing to go after the big kahuna - the entire hoax - the fake vaxxes, the fake lockdowns, the fake "cases", the fake death count, the elimination of flu...

Lucky Guesst 10 hours ago

Fauci is owned by big pharma. All the major news channels have at least one big pharma rat on the board. MSM continues to push the vaccines. They are all in bed together and need busted up if not taken out.

SummerSausage PREMIUM 15 hours ago

2012- Fauci says weaponized virus research may produce a pandemic but it would be worth it.

Jan 9, 2017 NIAD memo recommends lifting ban on funding weaponized virus research. Fauci controls the funds.

Jan 4, 2017 - CIA/FBI/DNC - under Obama's direction are told, essentially, to get Trump.

Obama is behind release of this virus, creating pandemic panic and lockdown to facilitate stealing the 2020 election.

OBAMA must be investigated.

play_arrow
CheapBastard 10 hours ago

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it."

~ Anonymous

serotonindumptruck 17 hours ago remove link

Call me a pessimist, but I predict no accountability, no malfeasance, no criminal charges will be filed against Fauci.

We've all witnessed similar criminal behavior being perpetrated by the wealthy elite which result in no consequences.

Why should this be any different?

(((They))) now know that (((they))) can lie to us with impunity, and get away with it.

alexcojones 16 hours ago

New Nuremberg Needed Now.

Fauci in the witness chair.

"So, Dr. Fauci, your decisions, your outright lies, led to thousands, perhaps millions of unnecessary deaths."

Kobe Beef 10 hours ago

Does the fluzilla exist?

It could be this thing...

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26552008/

Baric & Batwoman published their chimeric coronavirus with ACE2 receptor access in 2015. Funded by Fauci, of course.

Kevin 3 hours ago (Edited)

That document only shows that Gain Of Function research exists - not that the deaths, falsely attributed to covid are due to the product of that research.

What self-respecting, lab-created, killer virus, supposedly so deadly that it warrants the shutting down of the entire planet, is incapable of doing any more damage than the flu does every year?

In the case of the UK, and according to its own official figures, it hasn't even been able to do that compared to its history of seasonal flu.

See: https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/deceptive-construction-why-we-must-question-covid-19-mortality-statistics

So, 2020 was just a blip compared to the past and most of that blip in increased deaths was due to the insane policies imposed rather than any lab-created Fluzilla. If you subtract the deaths that occurred due to:

1. Kicking seniors out of hospital and dumping them into nursing homes where they died because they no longer got the treatment they needed but where they could infect the other, previously healthy residents.

2. The many tens of thousands of people who had life-saving surgeries and procedures cancelled.

3. The huge increase in suicides.

..... I doubt there would even be that blip.

If those historically, insignificant 2020 death figures are due to a lab-created, chimeric coronavirus then that's an epic fail of the scientists and an enormous waste of money for their education and the G.o.F. research.

However, it has conned enough idiots into believing that there was a Fluzilla in 2020 and got them to beg for jabs that might be how a lab created, chimeric coronavirus with ACE2 receptor access gets into their bodies and kills them.

The new con that it was a leaked GoF bio-weapon that caused the 2020 'pandemic' is just a lie upon a lie.

But it will persuade many of the gullible and fence-sitters to get jabbed because they will have accepted (subconsciously), that the Fluzilla must have existed last year and that the only way to combat such a bio-weapon is to jab themselves with poison. Ironically, that will create in their bodies what they fear most.

Befits 9 hours ago remove link

No, you are not thinking clearly. The Covid death numbers were clearly and horrifically inflated

1) The CDC changed how death certificates were recorded. Co-morbidities ( cancer, congestive heart failure, COPD for example) that co- morbidity was listed as cause of death in part one of the death certificate for 2 decades until the CDC changed death certificates. If that person had for example a flu At that time ( cough, stuffy nose etc) it might be listed as a contributing factor ( part 2 of death certificate) person died of co- morbidity but flu was a contributing factor. The CDC reversed these to make sure Covid was the cause of death- but truth was people died with Covid not from Covid.

2) 95% of Covid listed deaths actually died of co- morbidities- with Covid not from Covid. The CDC published that only 5% of " Covid " deaths had only Covid- the other 95% had on average 4 co- morbidities. In other words their cause of death was co- morbidity not Covid.

3) personal experience. I was a nurse. A close friend's brother had cancer for 7 years- in and out of remission. He was " diagnosed with Covid via PCR, almost no symptoms but for a slight cough and runny nose in March 2020. In April his cancer came back his liver shut down and he was dead by May 2020. He died from liver cancer but his death was recorded as Covid 19 simply because he had tested positive 60 days before on a Covid PCR test. This is the fraud the CDC perpetrated.

4) Hospitals received greatly enhanced financial renumeration if a patient was " diagnosed" with Covid. Compare hospital reimbursement ( Medicare) for a hospitalized Covid patient v influenza patient - similar symptoms- on or off respirator. Bottom line the medical system was financially rewarded for diagnosing " Covid" v influenza. Indeed the hospital did not even have to confirm a " Covid diagnosis with the fraudulent PCR test to diagnose Covid- just " symptom" based.

5) The PCR test can not diagnose any viral illness- simply by amplification cycles (30 plus) you can " find" Covid from a dead, partial RNA fragment. As Kary Mullis, Nobel prize inventor of PCR testing said PCR testing is NOT a diagnostic tool. Hospitals and docs, universities and public health departments, corporations, the CDC, FDA, used false PCR testing to financially enrich themselves while destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions inc careers of medical truth- tellers.

Fauci, the CDC, and the FDA knows all of this. Crimes v humanity trials must be undertaken v every medical person- from Big Pharma, CDC, FDA, Doctor, nurse, hospital administrator, public health official, corporate leader etc who used this Covid plandemic for personal benefit or whom through their actions harmed another.

SoDamnMad 17 hours ago

Watch Tucker Carlson's expose on "Why they lied for so long" At 3:29 he goes into Peter Danzak getting 27 "scientists" to write in the Lancet that the Covid virus didn't come from the Wuhan Lab but rather from nature (with the HIV spliced into the genome). But he also tells individuals at UNC NOT to sign the letter so that their gain-of-function research isn't tied into this. His e-mail goes to Ralph Baric, Antoinette Baric, as well as Andre Alison and Alexsei Chmura at EcoHealthAlliance who Fauci got the money to for funding GOF Chinese research.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32V-e7saq60

SummerSausage PREMIUM 15 hours ago

Fauci is 80. Why was he allowed to stay on so long?

He controls $32 billion in annual grants that all US scientists and researchers depend on.

There's a whole lot more corruption to explore.

CatInTheHat 8 hours ago remove link

This whole thing feels CONTRIVED

Why does this even matter anymore?

China is NOT the problem here and focusing on CHINA DISTRACTS from a few things here.

1 FORT DETRIK. A nefarious US BIOWEAPONS lab that Fraudci worked at for 20 years. FD also works in conjunction with DARPA

2. Whenever it's WAPO or Buzzfeed (FFS!) who breaks a story related to the Rona, I am convinced that the elite have called them up to DISTRACT the public from something more important. Maybe that Fort Detrik was the source of the virus transferred to China via the US MIC/CIA and the Wuhan military games in China in Nov of 2019. 2 weeks later the first cases showed up at Wuhan.

3. This VACCINE has now killed over 5000 people and since the rollout for children between 12-16, several hundred have now been hospitalized with MYOCARDITIS OR PERICARDITIS.. In Israel a study conducted as the vax rolled out in YOUNG MEN, it was revealed that one in 3,000 was suffering from MYOCARDITIS within 4 days of the jab.

MSM is now reporting on adolescents in several states hospitalized with INFLAMMATION. ... Which they blame on RONA. FUNNY how every one of those states have rolled out the jab for CHILDREN

WE are being massively LIED too.

Also, Biden's press secretary PSAKI LIED when she said, today, that 63% of the population has had the jab.

Wrong. Only 41% of the US population has had BOTH jabs. Anti gun Biden is now offering guns in exchange for a vax in Virginia. And anti marijuana Biden offering MJ in AZ for those who take the jab. Why the desperation?

For more perspective on the massive deaths piling up due to this jab, in 1976, when 50 people were killed after the Swine flu jab IT WAS PULLED FROM THE MARKET.

Many thousands who have not had the jab are reporting illness after being in close contact with those who are vaxxed.

Lots and lots to DISTRACT from

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

ableman28 10 hours ago

True story....one of my VC firms investments was approached by the defense department to create a wearable lapel style detector for chemical and biological weapons that would work in very low concentrations giving people time to put on their CBW gear. Our investee said sure, we'll take a crack at it, but where are we going to get all the biological and chemical agents to test it with. The DOD response was don't worry, we have everything you'll need. And they did.

The US bio weapons program was supposedly terminated by Nixon in 1969. And our official policy is that we don't research or stockpile such things. ********.

Armed Resistance 15 hours ago (Edited) remove link

This virus was engineered at Ft. Detrick. It's the same place that made the military-grade Anthrax the deep state sent to Tom Daschle and others in government post 9/11 to gin up more fear.

This was a Fauci-coordinated deep state bio weapon they released in Wuhan to kick off the scamdemic and the "great reset". Releasing it China gave some cover to the deep state and the people there are under total control of the state. The rest is just filler. Always about more control.....

BeePee 15 hours ago

The virus was not engineered at Ft. Detrick.

You are a CCP troll.

Sorry you have such a low pay grade job.

Armed Resistance 15 hours ago (Edited)

Anybody who Questions the deep state is a CCP troll? Look in the mirror. You're the one running cover for these satanists! You rack up downvotes like Jordan did points! ZH'ers can spot a troll a mile away son.

louie1 PREMIUM 14 hours ago (Edited)

The US way is to put the perpetrators in charge of the inuiry to control the outcome. Dulles, Zellick, Fauci

Mighty Turban of Gooch 11 hours ago

Our government is corrupt. As long as the Democrats and the MSM have Fauci's back, he has nothing to worry about no matter what he's done.

He's just a typical lying bureaucrat and lying to the public thru the media outlets, as we have seen countless times now by countless government 'officials', is not a crime. Lying under oath however is. But now days we see these guys get away with that too without consequence.

So don't hold your breath. There is absolutely nothing that can take these guys out. Even if they throw one of their own under the bus, the best you can ever hope for is a resignation as criminal charges would never happen.

dustinthewind 16 hours ago (Edited)

"The CDC Foundation operates independently from CDC as a private , nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the State of Georgia."

"Because CDC is a federal agency , all scientific findings resulting from CDC research are available to the public and open to the broader scientific community for review."

"The Board of Directors of the CDC Foundation today named Judith A. Monroe, MD, FAAFP, as the new president and CEO of the CDC Foundation . Monroe joins the CDC Foundation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), where she leads the agency's Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support."

Gates is the largest private donor of the CDC and WHO. Gates is part of the World Economic Forum who controls Fauci which using US taxpayers funds did gain of function studies first in the US and caught moved to China where it was intentionally leaked to blame the Chinese. John Kerry is also part of the WEF and is their man in Washington calling the war mongering narrative against both China and Russia. Gates funded Imperial College and Ferguson to write the code that was fake and used by many countries to justify lockdowns. Gates is the largest ag landowner and wants to ban meat. Who just got hacked and now it is blamed on Russia? Boris is destroying the UK and after a call from Gates gave 500 million pounds to vaccinate third world countries and lockdowns. Both fathers were tied to Rockefeller Institute. Rand, connect the dots!

" Fauci under Global Attack"

https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/world-news/corruption/fauci-under-global-attack/

Fauci is under attack globally and has shown himself to be unreliable and should be fired "" PERIOD! All the emails that have come out from an FOIA request are interesting, and it shows he has information that was credible concerning a leak from the lab in Wuhan. Let me make this PERFECTLY clear! This was NOT a DELIBERATE leak by the Chinese government. If China wanted to really hurt the West, the technology is there where a virus can be used as a delivery system, and as such, it can be designed to attack specific genetic sequences meaning that it could target just Italian, Greeks, English, Germans, or whoever.

COVID-19, based upon everything I see from our model and reliable sources, was created in a lab and was DELIBERATELY unleashed to further this Great Reset. I BELIEVE someone from this agenda bribed a lab technician to release it in the local community. China did NOT benefit from this pandemic. The only ones who benefitted were the World Economic Forum (WEF) consortium, which I know sold stocks and bonds ahead of the crash. They are also in league with the World Health Organization (WHO), and the head of the WHO is a politician and not even a doctor. That is like putting me in charge of surgery at a hospital. How can Tedros Adhanom be in such a position with no background in the subject matter? Tedros appears at the World Economic Forum and has participated in its agenda. The WHO should be compelled to turn over ALL emails and communication ASAP. My bet is they pull a Hillary"¦Oh sorry. They were hacked by Russians who destroyed everything.


The World Economic Forum is at the center of everything. When will someone investigate all of these connections right down to creating the slogan, Build Back Better? Of course, they will call this a conspiracy theory so they can avoid having to actually investigate anything. My point is simple: produce the evidence and prove this is just a conspiracy theory.

'John Kerry's Think Tank Calls for War With Russia Over Climate Change'

https://www.sgtreport.com/2020/12/john-kerrys-think-tank-calls-for-war-with-russia-over-climate-change/

" America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is."" John Kerry

Recently-appointed Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry has announced his intention of dealing with the pressing issue of global warming as a national security concern. "America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is," the 76-year-old former Secretary of State wrote. "I am proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis." Kerry is a founding member of the Washington think tank, the American Security Project (ASP) , whose board is a who's who of retired generals, admirals and senators.

For the ASP, the primary objectives were:

  1. A huge rebuilding of the United States' military bases,

  2. Countering China in the Pacific,

  3. Preparing for a war with Russia in the newly-melted Arctic.

The ASP recommends "prioritizing the measures that can protect readiness" of the military to strike at any time, also warning that rising sea levels will hurt the combat readiness of the Marine Expeditionary Force. Thus, a rebuilding of the U.S.' worldwide network of military bases is in order.

Nelbev 17 hours ago

... and what kind of kickbacks does Fauci get when he doles out $ millions in grant money?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK6gAbZdhDc

CatInTheHat 9 hours ago (Edited)

Fort Detrik a US BIOWEAPONS lab working in tandem with the Wuhan lab. The US is the leader in BIOWEAPONS research and has 100's of labs across the US and in other countries.

FRAUDCI having worked at FD for 20 years.

MommickedDingbatter 12 hours ago

Without Nuremberg trials 2.0, this is all meaningless.

Nycmia37 16 hours ago remove link

Follow the science, lol. Just ask yourself who controls the science?? Big drug pharmas, people is so stupid they believe in everything doctors tell them. The vast majority are on the field to get rich and enjoy from the big bonuses and trips they get paid in order to promote a drug. If they speak out they get called a conspiracy person. Nobody cant go against this mafia because they have the total control, media, politicians, government. We the people have to self educate about health and finance otherwise we will become zombies like the majority of people.

SoDamnMad 7 hours ago remove link

Here are the 27 starting with Peter Daszak who signed THE LANCET letter saying ," We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin. "

  1. Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
  2. Charles Calisher, Colorado State University
  3. Dennis Carroll, Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, Texas
  4. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland
  5. Ronald Corley, NEIDL Institute, Boston
  6. Christian Drosten, Charité "" Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  7. Luis Enjuanes, National Center of Biotechnology, Madrid
  8. Jeremy Farrar, The Wellcome Trust, London
  9. Hume Field, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
  10. Josie Golding, The Wellcome Trust, London
  11. Alexander Gorbalenya, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands
  12. Bart Haagmans, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  13. James Hughes, Emory University, Atlanta
  14. William Karesh, EcoHealth Alliance, New York
  15. Gerald Keusch, Boston University
  16. Sai Kit Lam, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  17. Juan Lubroth, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy
  18. John Mackenzie, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  19. Larry Madoff, Massachusetts Medical School
  20. Jonna Mazet, University of California at Davis
  21. Peter Palese, Icahn School of Medicine, New York
  22. Stanley Perlman, University of Iowa
  23. Leo Poon, The University of Hong Kong
  24. Bernard Roizman, University of Chicago
  25. Linda Saif, The Ohio State University
  26. Kanta Subbarao, The University of Melbourne, Australia
  27. Mike Turner, The Wellcome Trust, London
gaaasp 6 hours ago

Pangolins indeed.

Moribundus 12 hours ago remove link

Daszak is just cover up for Pentagon. In this case Daszak = Pentagon.

https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/peter-daszaks-ecohealth-alliance-has-hidden-almost-40-million-in-pentagon-funding/

DesertEagle 12 hours ago

Fauci is protected at the very highest levels of the oligarchy. So regardless of these revelations nothing serious will ever happen to him. At worst, he will step down and retire to his villa in the south of France. Then the controlled MSM will refuse to mention him again.

Clearing 17 hours ago

Gee, while you're at it, sue Fauci in his individual capacity. He doesn't get immunity for lying. See below:

In the United States, qualified immunity is a legal principle that grants government officials performing discretionary (optional) functions immunity from civil suits unless the plaintiff shows that the official violated "clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known". It is a form of sovereign immunity less strict than absolute immunity that is intended to protect officials who "make reasonable but mistaken judgments about open legal questions" extending to "all [officials] but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law " Qualified immunity applies only to government officials in civil litigation, and does not protect the government itself from suits arising from officials' actions.

DemandSider 3 hours ago (Edited)

"PCR is separate from that, it's just a process that's used to make a whole lot of something out of something. That's what it is. It doesn't tell you that you're sick and it doesn't tell you that the thing you ended up with really was going to hurt you or anything like that," Mullis said.

-Nobel Prize winning inventor of PCR being used as a "test" to perpetuate the scamdemic. Mr. "small government" Rand Paul is only making it worse.

Almachius 2 hours ago

Never mind Fauci. White Supremacists are the greatest threat to America.

Obiden said so.

And Obiden is an honourable man.

Fiscal Reality 14 hours ago

Fauci doesn't give a crap what happens. He got his book deal payoff. He's praying to get fired so he can cash in on his taxpayer funded pension and get a $10 million contract with CNN.

2types PREMIUM 13 hours ago

Amazon pulled his book from presale so says the article. Probably in his best interest to keep his mouth shut right now. Anything he says can and will be used against him. On second thought.... maybe that's why water carrier Bezos suspended sales?

[Jun 06, 2021] GOM is the major factor in the USA oil prodcution comeback , not "shale plays " that are supposedly should be the last hurrah of oil production in the USA

Notable quotes:
"... LTO drilling locations are diminishing faster and faster. Look for massive consolidation as E&P companies can only grow through M&A. ..."
"... The energy transition will be painful and longer than anticipated. Criminalization of an industry that embodies national security and that gives the "haves" a competitive advantage in favor of hopes and prayers is folly and irresponsible. ..."
"... A few years ago I heard Chinese venture capitalist speak at the Aspen Institute. He claimed that democracy is not a form of government but instead a religion. He gave the example that in Nigeria, the US is concerned about human rights while the Chinese could care less who dies in Nigeria as long as they can get the oil. He also stated that the Chinese only care about how they can feed, shelter, move, and run their economy and human rights are not remotely introduced into their paradigm. Something to think about. ..."
Jun 01, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 05/30/2021 at 1:40 pm

Ovi, great work as usual .My POV is that it is GOM that is the major factor in the comeback , not "shale plays " that are supposedly going to be the saviors of Industrial civilisation . Confirms my argument ( and of many others )that shale is all juiced out . Better to lower expectations from LTO for the future . REPLY OVI IGNORED HOLE IN HEAD IGNORED 05/30/2021 at 1:40 pm

Ovi, great work as usual .My POV is that it is GOM that is the major factor in the comeback , not "shale plays " that are supposedly going to be the saviors of Industrial civilisation . Confirms my argument ( and of many others )that shale is all juiced out . Better to lower expectations from LTO for the future . REPLY OVI IGNORED 05/30/2021 at 5:00 pm

Thanks HH

I know the general opinion seems to be that the shale plays are finished. Looking at the data that is in the post doesn't confirm, at this time, that shale is overblown. Let's look at the two states at the top of the post, Texas and NM and the onshore L48 first chart.

Looking at the Texas increase from January to March one gets 4,745 – 4,661 = 84 kb/d or 42 kb/d/mth.
Looking at NM from November to March, one gets 1,155 – 1,112 = 43 or 11 kb/d/mth.
The total being 53 kb/d/mth.

Looking at the total onshore L48 increase from January to March, one gets 8,861 – 8,814 = 47 or a net of 23.5 kb/d/mth. So within the onshore lower 48 there is 30 kb/d/mth of decline.

I would not bet much on my two month or four month analysis, but I think we will need to monitor what is happening in Texas and NM for another six months to get a better idea of what is happening in the Permian. The price of oil will be the determining/critical factor.

05/30/2021 at 5:00 pm

Thanks HH

I know the general opinion seems to be that the shale plays are finished. Looking at the data that is in the post doesn't confirm, at this time, that shale is overblown. Let's look at the two states at the top of the post, Texas and NM and the onshore L48 first chart.

The total being 53 kb/d/mth.

Looking at the total onshore L48 increase from January to March, one gets 8,861 – 8,814 = 47 or a net of 23.5 kb/d/mth. So within the onshore lower 48 there is 30 kb/d/mth of decline.

I would not bet much on my two month or four month analysis, but I think we will need to monitor what is happening in Texas and NM for another six months to get a better idea of what is happening in the Permian. The price of oil will be the determining/critical factor.

LTO SURVIVOR IGNORED 05/31/2021 at 12:39 am

LTO drilling locations are diminishing faster and faster. Look for massive consolidation as E&P companies can only grow through M&A. Many companies have drilling inventories of less than four years. The LTO revolution is over as we knew it and the number of E&P companies will shrink dramatically. There will be minimal growth and much less than 75kbd per month.

The energy transition will be painful and longer than anticipated. Criminalization of an industry that embodies national security and that gives the "haves" a competitive advantage in favor of hopes and prayers is folly and irresponsible.

China will bury us as they try to capture as much of the hydrocarbon as they can knowing that energy equals power.

A few years ago I heard Chinese venture capitalist speak at the Aspen Institute. He claimed that democracy is not a form of government but instead a religion. He gave the example that in Nigeria, the US is concerned about human rights while the Chinese could care less who dies in Nigeria as long as they can get the oil. He also stated that the Chinese only care about how they can feed, shelter, move, and run their economy and human rights are not remotely introduced into their paradigm. Something to think about.

[Jun 06, 2021] Are rising prices and inflation going to hurt your investments- Here's how to protect your nest egg-

Jun 02, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Investments in real estate, commodities and gold can help offset higher inflation, wealth manager say.

Real estate, for instance, can gain value amid inflation, while property owners can increase rent on tenants. Real estate investment trusts have also offered attractive returns in prior periods of rising inflation.

Commodities historically do well when the U.S. dollar is weak, and higher inflation tends to push the greenback lower.

"Inflation is inevitable, especially with the amount of money the government is spending," says Patrick Healey, founder and president of Caliber Financial Partners, a financial planning firm. "From a financial standpoint, you do need to have some hedges in your portfolio."

...Materials and energy companies stand to benefit from higher commodities prices, while higher interest rates tend to help financial stocks with higher profit margins.


[Jun 06, 2021] Yes, It's Still the Economy, Stupid by Karl Rove

An interesting question how stock market casino will volve. Will the Ponzi collase or will run for a couple more years.
Jun 02, 2021 | www.wsj.com

the OMB expects slower growth in the long run. It projects gross domestic product growth running slightly over 2% on average annually between fiscal 2022 and 2031, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office pegs growth at less than 2% on average over the same window. Either growth rate is anemic, making more "broadly shared prosperity" unlikely as well.

...

It may be that raising federal spending turns out to be a winning formula for Democrats in 2022. Then again, it may not. Especially since Mr. Biden would hike taxes high enough to eat up more GDP than in any 10-year period in American history, according to the American Action Forum's Gordon Gray. The spending binge would also increase the nation's public debt to 117% of GDP""greater than the previous record GDP percentage that Washington clocked in the year after World War II.

Recent polling suggests the Democrats' approach may not help them in the midterms.

... Democrats may be counting on Republicans to emphasize "culture war" issues rather than deliver a focused, principled attack on the president's orgy of spending and tax increases. This isn't to suggest issues like defunding the police, critical race theory and border security are unimportant. But in 2022, as in most years, the economy will likely be the real congressional battleground. The sooner Republicans recognize that, the better.

Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads and is author of "The Triumph of William McKinley" (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

M

Maria Stepanova

I don't believe policies matter any more. In 2020, democrats secured a permanent upper hand for themselves which is mail-in ballots.
Kenneth Johnson
WSJ headline---"Yes, It's Still The Economy, Stew ped"

If....by the summer of 2022....inflation is 4%+....we're in a recession....and unemployment is 6%+....the Democrats will lose the midterms....I hope.

If none of those things is true....they may 'dodge a bullet'.
Any other opinions?

Ron Hoelscher
They have lost the culture war and do not seem to realize it.

As far as spending, when an economy evolves to have very few people controlling the 90% of the economy then the governing party must resort to handouts to the 90% to stay in power.

I think the Romans called it "bread and circuses." Trump was the circus, now people want some bread.

[Jun 03, 2021] Review: A Clockwork Orange by Trevor Lynch

The book is very weak. I agree that it was "dumb, distasteful, and highly overrated." Both the novel and the film romanticize sociopathic violence and as such as distasteful. The wantonness of the film is nauseating...
But the urban dysfunctional and corrupt hell which the described neoliberal societies in summer of 2020 with with social cohesion and morals falling so low that society can't even neither with banksters crimes, with the corruption of intelligence agencies, as well as the street gangs violence makes film like an early warning about the dangers of neoliberalism.
It might also interpreted as a parable of what might happen with countries which rely on violence international politics.
Notable quotes:
"... the movie's sugar coating of violence and vicious sexuality, its romanticized depiction of the protagonist, Alex, and the critical acclaim and popularity, which the movie achieved, actually demonstrated how thoroughly society was degenerating into the amoral dystopia which Burgess had envisioned in his novel. ..."
"... The problem is that Kubrick seems to take pleasure in creating the violence and rape scenes which throws the whole movie off. ..."
"... psychopath obviously on the way to find a comfy place for himself in the new society of total hypocrisy. Clockwork Orange describes to a large extent the GloboHomo society of today, but with pre-cyberpunk and pre-great replacement instruments and concepts. ..."
"... The hypocrisy is on the part of Kubrick who pretends to be criticizing degenerate morals while at the same time catering to them. ..."
"... Pornography that pretends to criticize pornography had a particularly odious run with Netflix pedo-perverse "Cuties" last year. ..."
"... Degeneracy among the chattering classes has been with us since the beginning of man. I can't speak for Burgess but I've seen enough of Kubrick's work to find him a somewhat insightful and self-aware pervert and weirdo at best. ..."
"... Alex is a psychopath that is unleashed by the elimination of traditional morality. This new society that embraces tolerance to the point of mindlessness becomes his playground. ..."
"... I suppose it is pretty tough these days to be a mass murderer on a global scale without Harvard or Yale on your resume. In the old days, Truman was able to drop 2 atomic bombs and firebomb Dresden with merely a degree from Spalding's Commercial College. ..."
"... One of the best sociopath roles. Maybe the most disturbing. Willams' best role. ..."
"... The tendency of sociopaths to flourish in our current system is an argument to change the system not an argument to compete to have better sociopaths in charge of our movement. ..."
"... Sociopaths need not flourish in every system. It really depends on the criteria for selection. One of the problems with empowering the masses is that it gives a role to people with average and below-average levels of discernment in choosing who rises to the top, and that virtually guarantees that sociopathic con artists will rise into positions of prominence. ..."
Apr 01, 2021 | www.unz.com

For years now, readers have been urging me to review Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971), which adapts Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel of the same name. I have resisted, because although A Clockwork Orange is often hailed as a classic, I thought it was dumb, distasteful, and highly overrated, so I didn't want to watch it again. Of course I had first watched it decades ago. But maybe I would see it differently if I gave it another chance. So I approached it with an open mind. But I was right the first time.

A Clockwork Orange is set in Great Britain in a not-too-distant future. Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his three buddies are violent hooligans who engage in rape, assault, robbery, and wanton destruction. The movie opens with an amphetamine-fueled crime spree. They beat up an old drunk, brawl with another gang, run people off the road while joy riding, then use a confidence trick ("There's been a terrible accident. Can I come in and use your phone?") to invade a couple's home, whereupon they beat the man, rape his wife, and trash the place. The whole sequence is deeply distasteful. Violent sociopaths like Alex and his friends should simply be killed.

Alex is high-handed and cruel to his buddies as well, using treachery and violence to assert dominance over them. This merely breeds resentment. One night they decide to rob a wealthy woman's house. The old accident trick does not work, so Alex breaks in. There is a struggle. She attacks him with a bust of Beethoven, so he kills her with a sculpture of a penis. Hearing sirens, he exits, whereupon his ex-friends clobber him with a bottle and leave him for the police.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Alex is imprisoned for murder. He seeks to ingratiate himself with the authorities by feigning Christian piety. (As a violent sociopath, he finds the Old Testament more to his liking.)

When a new Left-wing government comes into power, they want to free up prison space for political prisoners, so they introduce an experimental cure for his violent sociopathy: the Ludovico technique, which is basically a form of Pavlovian conditioning. Alex is the test subject. He is injected with a nausea-producing drug then forced to watch films of violence, including sexual violence. Eventually, he can't even think of violence without becoming violently ill. Pronounced cured, he is released into society.

Newly paroled, Alex bumps into the bum that he assaulted, who recognizes him and wants revenge. He calls together his fellow bums to beat Alex, whose Ludovico conditioning makes it impossible for him to fight back.

Ironic, huh?

Let that be a lesson to you.

When the mob of hobos is broken up by two cops, they turn out to be two of Alex's old gang, the very ones he humiliated. Eager to exact further revenge, they beat him mercilessly and abandon him in the countryside. Alex is helpless to resist.

Ironic, huh?

Let that be a lesson to you.

Alex wanders through the countryside until he takes refuge at the home of the very couple he and his gang brutalized. Ironic, huh? The husband was crippled by the beating. The wife has died and been replaced with a gigantic muscular dork named Julian. The husband figures out who Alex is and drugs him. Then he and some of his friends, who oppose the government that introduced the Ludovico technique, try to drive Alex to commit suicide, hoping to create a scandal that will embarrass the government. Alex throws himself from a window and is severely injured but does not die.

To contain the scandal, the Justice Minister throws the cripple in prison and tries to win Alex's favor by tending to his wounds. While unconscious, he is also given brain surgery to reverse the Ludovico technique. The happy ending is that Alex returns to being a violent sociopath, but this time he will enjoy the patronage and protection of the state. Thus the tale veers from pat moralism to pure cynicism in the end. Apparently, the book's final chapter was "redemptive," but this was omitted as being contrived -- as if that weren't true of the whole story.

But isn't this all redeemed by a "deep message" about human freedom? No, not really, because the moral psychology of A Clockwork Orange is remarkably crude.

The Ludovico technique is based on the observation that normal people have a distaste for violence and cruelty directed at the innocent. Then it simply ignores the fact that normal people don't necessarily have a distaste for violence, even cruelty, directed at bad people. It also reverses cause and effect, reasoning that since normal people feel distaste at violence, if they can create a mechanical association between violence and sickness, that will somehow make Alex a morally normal person, curing him of his violent sociopathy.

Of course, this whole theory completely ignores the element of empathy. Normal people feel disgust with violence and cruelty because they can empathize with the victims. Sociopaths lack empathy, and the Ludovico technique does not change that. Alex does not feel sick with empathy for victims, he just feels sick. And his physiological response makes no moral distinctions between violence meted out to the deserving and the undeserving. When he is attacked, he can't defend himself, because even violence in self-defense makes him sick.

Of course utter stupidity is no objection to most progressive social uplift schemes, so it doesn't exactly make such a "cure" for crime implausible.

Burgess's "deep" objection to the Ludovico technique is equally crude and dumb, but in a different way. The prison chaplain argues that the Ludovico technique is evil because it takes away Alex's freedom, which takes away his humanity. Alex, being a sociopath, takes pleasure in hurting innocent people. The Ludovico treatment teaches him to feel disgust at violence.

But if this is a dehumanizing assault on freedom, what are we to make of our own disgust with Alex's behavior? Is that also a dehumanizing form of unfreedom? Presumably so.

Does this mean that when Alex becomes a violent sociopath again his humanity has been restored? Presumably so.

Since Alex the sociopath can contemplate violence without any feelings of disgust, whereas normal people cannot, does this mean that Alex is both more free and more human than normally constituted people? If so, this is a pretty good example of a reductio ad absurdum .

The Ludovico technique and Burgess' alternative both depend on a pat dualism between body and mind, which leaves no place for what the ancients called virtues and the moderns called moral sentiments. For the ancients, virtue is rooted in habit. For moral sentiments theorists, our ability to perceive the good is caught up in feelings like empathy and disgust. But to the Ludovico technique, virtue is indistinguishable from Pavlovian conditioning, and moral sentiments are indistinguishable from a sour stomach. From the chaplain's point of view, the freedom of the mind is so separate from the body, habit, and feeling that a sociopath's lack of virtue or moral sentiment actually make him freer and thus more human than morally healthy people.

But isn't Kubrick's treatment of this material brilliant? No, not really. Kubrick's treatment of sex and violence veers between the pornographic and cartoonish. The entire movie is crude and cynical parody, with an ugly cast, grotesque costumes, hideous sets, and dreadful over-acting. The whole production reminded me of the comics of R. Crumb, who puts his prodigious talent to work churning out pornography, grotesquerie, and world-destroying cynicism. Crumb obviously hates America. He especially hates women. Likewise, the director of A Clockwork Orange obviously hates everything about Great Britain. He also takes particular pleasure in the mockery and degradation of women. Handling such material with technical skill does not redeem it. Indeed, by making it seductive, Kubrick actually it makes it worse.

A Clockwork Orange is violence-porn and porn-porn combined with a middle-brow, moralistic "message" and some classical music. But these function merely as an alibi, like the interviews in Playboy . A Clockwork Orange is obscene in the literal sense of the word: it should not be watched.


nsa , says: April 1, 2021 at 2:56 pm GMT • 6.0 days ago

The Burgess novel explored a simple question: is it good enough if someone does the right thing (abhors gratuitous violence and carnage) for the wrong reason (Pavlovian programming).

The novel incorporated a bastardized lexicon with a short unnecessary dictionary at the very end to help the reader along. As with his also futuristic Wanting Seed, Burgess's Clockwork is a satire of the absurd lefty politics of his day. The novel has aged well, as sixty years later the lefty politics of the day are even more absurd.

Jus' Sayin'... , says: April 1, 2021 at 3:36 pm GMT • 6.0 days ago

When Kubrick's movie version of "The Clockwork Orange" premiered, Burgess was asked what he thought of it. After a half century, I cannot recall Burgess's exact words but they were to the effect that the movie perfectly illustrated the points he had made in his novel.

Most naively interpreted this as an endorsement of the movie. However, Burgess was adept with words. I understood this to be a subtle barb. Burgess's words had an alternative implication, i.e. that the movie's sugar coating of violence and vicious sexuality, its romanticized depiction of the protagonist, Alex, and the critical acclaim and popularity, which the movie achieved, actually demonstrated how thoroughly society was degenerating into the amoral dystopia which Burgess had envisioned in his novel.

OTOH, my personal opinion is that despite the moral repugnance which the movie engendered for me it is, like all of Kubrick's movies, a cinematic masterpiece. It's an unfortunate fact that some art can be immoral and even hostile to truth yet still have aesthetic virtue.

John Johnson , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:45 pm GMT • 6.0 days ago

The problem is that Kubrick seems to take pleasure in creating the violence and rape scenes which throws the whole movie off.

It's like he can't decide if Alex should be his unique and wonderful self even if it means raping and killing people. The scene of him of setting his rank in the gang is a celebration of violence as an art form.

Kubrick clearly thought that Alex beating the woman with a giant d-k must have been great fun and anyone in the stodgy British chattering class probably had it coming anyways. There seems to be nothing wrong with cruising the British countryside for a bit of the ultraviolence as long as you have style and can show off your good taste by listening to Beethoven.

Are we supposed to pity Alex when the husband tries to kill him? Kubrick seems to think so but who could blame a husband that wants to avenge his wife? According to Kubrick he is really boring and went gay anyways.

The movie is a mess but still worth watching as a sort of shock to the senses. Some say the book is better which while true on a story level it's also a bit of chore since there is so much fictitious slang. My copy in fact had a compendium slang dictionary. So you spend half the time looking up all these words that the author made up. Fun.

What I don't get is why anyone would want you to review the movie. I would put it towards to top of the 70s rape and violence trash heap but that isn't saying much. If anything I have more respect for the blatantly violent biker flicks like Wild Angels because they at least aren't trying to pretend that they have some deep message about society.

It's one of those movies that would have much worse reviews if a famous director wasn't attached to it. Great acting by Malcom though and a shame he was surrounded by amateurs.

Macumazahn , says: April 1, 2021 at 4:50 pm GMT • 6.0 days ago
@Rahan

You should check out his The Wanting Seed .

John Johnson , says: April 1, 2021 at 5:25 pm GMT • 5.9 days ago
@Rahan psychopath obviously on the way to find a comfy place for himself in the new society of total hypocrisy. Clockwork Orange describes to a large extent the GloboHomo society of today, but with pre-cyberpunk and pre-great replacement instruments and concepts.

The hypocrisy is on the part of Kubrick who pretends to be criticizing degenerate morals while at the same time catering to them.

It would be like creating a movie about the degenerate nature of porn but the first 20 minutes is a gang bang. Oh but the main characters will later change and find complexity in their predicament. It's a social criticism of modern society you see.

Mr. Ed , says: April 1, 2021 at 5:53 pm GMT • 5.9 days ago

I agree with TL that the movie was long and dull. Have not read any of Burgess.

Trinity , says: April 1, 2021 at 5:58 pm GMT • 5.9 days ago

This had to be one of the dumbest movies that I ever TRIED to watch. Was underway on a ship and they played this movie for us to watch, got up and left after only maybe 15-20 minutes into the film. "Overrated" is too mild a word for it. GARBAGE FILM. Out of 5 stars I don't even give it half a star.

SafeNow , says: April 1, 2021 at 6:59 pm GMT • 5.9 days ago

Good review. I will add one positive point: It is relevant to current events. Roger Ebert pointed out that Kubrick is playing with the idea that in a world where the ruling pattern of thought is criminal insanity, one might as well be criminally insane. This turned out to be prescient, because the conversion to woke insanity has taken hold. I could give dozens of examples, but I will stay with the Beethoven theme of the movie. Beethoven has recently been proclaimed an "above average " composer, and a supremicist, worthy of cancellation. Oxford is now debating canceling musical notation if the world is crazy, might as well join them.

Rahan , says: April 2, 2021 at 3:41 am GMT • 5.5 days ago
@Mr. Ed is meaningless, the client of the police algorithm is a woman with testicles, which she had implanted just to enjoy the testosterone boost, but still identifies as a woman. Just like everyone, she only has virtual sex, because real sex is for degenerate fascist perverts known as "piggies". The moment a piggie man and a piggie woman start making out, the closest electronic gadgets start blasting feminist propaganda on how disgusting and humiliating it is for a woman to be banged by a man.

And of course, the new iPhuck 10 is a semi-AI sex toy for the upper middle classes, which randomly goes into various BDSM and fetish modes, in order to comply with diversity mandates.

R.G. Camara , says: April 2, 2021 at 4:10 am GMT • 5.5 days ago

One reading of the film is as a dark, slanted allegory for England's history as a conquering nation from 1066 to its eventual post-WW2 shrinking to be too afraid to fight or conquer anymore.

The droogs represent England, or English martial spirit. As the the film begins, they assault an old drunk hobo singing Molly Malone (representing Ireland), a group of similar ruffians (representing Scotland) who are about to rape a girl and jump off a stage (the Scottish Highlands, or perhaps just north of the English border generally) to fight the English, and, finally, successful assault against a cultured, peace-loving old man and his beautiful wife (representing either Wales or France). In all the assaults, the ruffians make no apologies, and, in fact, later, in sequence are seen walking around wearing various hats of other martial nations, showing the same conquering, harsh martial spirit has been alive in others.

All of this is brought to a halt when their schemes get them caught. The leader of the martial spirit is brainwashed to hate violence (English pols who apologize for creating an Empire and conquering and/or are now too milquetoast to fight, like Chamberlain), while his former fellow cohorts abuse him (internal civil strife), as does his former victims (victim culture).

But there is an upside(?). By bringing him so low, the conditioning is broken, and his old violent martial spirit returns.

Anyway, that was just my symbolic reading, ignoring the other readings I've had of the film.

Exile , says: April 2, 2021 at 4:20 am GMT • 5.5 days ago
@John Johnson

Pornography that pretends to criticize pornography had a particularly odious run with Netflix pedo-perverse "Cuties" last year.

Degeneracy among the chattering classes has been with us since the beginning of man. I can't speak for Burgess but I've seen enough of Kubrick's work to find him a somewhat insightful and self-aware pervert and weirdo at best.

Joe Paluka , says: April 2, 2021 at 9:20 am GMT • 5.3 days ago

I've always known this movie was trash and avoided it like the plague. What demented person's have been "urging" the author to review it? Do they need somebody else's approval before they watch it? I never understood these type of people who make degenerate movies like this and those by Quentin Terantino into movie classics. Who wants to watch more degeneracy when we already live in a degenerate society? Just turn on the news and get your thrills.

Malla , says: April 2, 2021 at 9:25 am GMT • 5.3 days ago

Yggdrasil has written an amazing review on this movie: https://web.archive.org/web/20051220045554/http://home.ddc.net/ygg/cwar/orange.htm

A must read. Tip: Download his entire website (whitenationalism.com ), ((they)) are trying to scrub it off the web it seems. BTW below : Inner party/ IP–> Chosenites

Some snippets

"The very aversion therapy that the inner party psychiatrist was administering to Alex late in the movie to curb his criminality, Kubrick was administering to his fellow tribesmen right from the opening scene, to curb their liberal universalist illusions.

The setting is in a future time in which the people speak a language which is a mixture of English and Russian. The protagonist, Alex, is a high school dropout born and raised in a public housing project. Alex is what you would call a tabula rasa – a blank slate – from a cultural standpoint. His parents have no culture at all, they are remarkably obedient and dull witted. Both parents work and both spend all their free time in front of the telly, being passively entertained.

Alex's parents are exactly what the inner party wishes us all to become.

They work, they consume, and they are passive and obedient, with no thoughts of their own.

They are new socialist man – interchangeable parts with no sense of their own group identity or uniqueness – no traditions, no culture, and no reactionary and troublesome notions to pass on to their children.

But their only son is another story altogether. He very much prefers active entertainment."

snip

"Differences in aesthetic preference and perception provoke and sharpen conflict rather than reduce it. Indeed, this idea that high art is a universal which can lead humans into a uniform brotherhood of man is absurd. Thus, Kubrick's message that high art is a differentiating mechanism – fraught with potential for conflict and competition – is broadly consistent with Professor Geoffrey Miller's thesis in The Mating Mind, that our brains evolved primarily as ornaments of fitness in the highly competitive sexual selection process.

Siamese twin to the Freudian attack is the Freudian promise, namely that peace and universal harmony can be attained through sexual liberation and "free love." – if only sex can be stripped of the competitive and aggressive baggage imposed by repressive society.

Alex's denoument occurs at another home invasion fraught with symbolic content. The home is occupied by a conspicuously IP looking woman (the cat lady) with her house decorated with a conspicuously IP collection of erotic art objects and paintings. When Alex enters, she becomes remarkably aggressive and assaultive, swinging a bust of Beethoven (his [European] art) as a weapon against him, as he grabs one of her large phallic sculptures (her [Jewish] art) and deploys it to defend himself.

As this sexual/artistic combat is danced out to the tune of Rossini's Thieving Magpie, Kubrick explodes the Freudian myth of peace and harmony through free sex so popular among his own tribesmen, ."

Jefferson Temple , says: April 2, 2021 at 1:09 pm GMT • 5.1 days ago

This is a pretty good assessment of Clockwork Orange. I think the movie could be used as a gauge of one's own growth. The first time I saw it I was in my late teens. It wasn't that impressive but I sat through it and took in its lessons. I have watched it maybe 3 times since then. The last time I watched it, somewhere in my mid-thirties, I didn't even want to finish it. I found it that distasteful. In a similar way as a movie called Vulgar that was released about 20 years ago.

Last year's Joker movie was much less stomach turning than either of those movies.

Z-man , says: April 2, 2021 at 1:11 pm GMT • 5.1 days ago

Yeah ditto to what you said Trevor Lynch.

I was around 15 when this movie came out and I never had a desire to see it because of its violence and homo/glitter rock make up of the protagonist/antagonist played by Malcolm McDowell.

I've seen some of it over the last 50 years and still agree with the article even though I find some of the scenes now humorously entertaining.

Now lets talk about Kubrick. He has made a number of great movies, Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, etc. but where would he be if not for Jewlywood? Yeah sure he started small but with hymie $ backing $. I put it to you that if he weren't a JOO (but also being a Jew, lol) he would have been jerking off to boy porn or otherwise in the Bronx until his death. (Wry grin)

John Johnson , says: April 2, 2021 at 4:27 pm GMT • 5.0 days ago

To sum up, a society that rejects morality and meaning in favor of utilitarianism (symbolized by the drab, horrible architecture), hedonism (the ready availability of drugs and the tasteless, obscene decoration), and situational expediency, builds itself a nightmare world, in which there is no beauty, subtlety, meaning, or decency. Its denizens are hopeless slaves to base instincts and the fads of the moment.

Does any of that seem to resonate with our current situation?

It doesn't matter if backdrop resonates with our current situation or appears prophetic.

The problem is that Kubrick pandering to the same moral degeneracy that he is also trying to criticize.

Alex is a psychopath that is unleashed by the elimination of traditional morality. This new society that embraces tolerance to the point of mindlessness becomes his playground.

Kubrick takes advantage of that same extreme tolerance by selling rape and violence. The first third of the movie depicts Alex as the protagonist even though he rapes and kills for his own pleasure. It's acknowledged that he has access to a normal life and rejects it on the basis of it being too conforming. How many movies lure the audience into celebrating a rapist as an individualist?

Later after the treatment fails we are supposed to identify with him as a victim of society. What about the people that he raped and murdered? Are they not victims? We are supposed to forget about that and view him as morally superior to the system that tried reprogramming him. Well this is exact same moral relativism that created the dystopia in the first place.

The truth is that Kubrick likes the world of Alex and would prefer living there over some stodgy traditional society. Sure you might get raped or murdered by an individualist but you were probably some faceless chattering class White that lacked taste and had it coming anyways.

gar manar nar , says: April 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm GMT • 4.8 days ago

Kubrick liked to shock people – he studied it, not just the photographic techniques, but also the psychology of inducing maximum fear and terror in his audience. He hoped this would make his films more memorable, and it obviously did, while arguably better films, such as

https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/la-belle-noiseuse-1991

are almost completely forgotten now. Watched about 1/2 hour of Orange on video before turning it off. Can't imagine why anyone would want to subject themselves to that on the big screen. 2001 is a masterpiece.

Turk 152 , says: April 2, 2021 at 9:33 pm GMT • 4.8 days ago
@Priss Factor

I suppose it is pretty tough these days to be a mass murderer on a global scale without Harvard or Yale on your resume. In the old days, Truman was able to drop 2 atomic bombs and firebomb Dresden with merely a degree from Spalding's Commercial College.

Priss Factor , says: Website April 4, 2021 at 5:20 pm GMT • 2.9 days ago

One of the best sociopath roles. Maybe the most disturbing. Willams' best role.

[Hide MORE]

True work of art. Tough nut to crack. Clearly influenced by ACO

Trevor Lynch , says: April 5, 2021 at 7:32 pm GMT • 1.8 days ago
@Steve Sailer the people most likely to think that:

1. One can turn a sociopath into a normal person by making him sick while showing him movies of sex and violence. In other words, there's no difference between empathy and/or good character and a sour stomach.

2. Freedom of choice is a necessary condition for morality and humanity (the old libertarian apology for moral laxness), which means that sociopaths are better moral agents and more human than gentlemen, who through habit and moral sentiment are less "free" to behave dishonorably.

3. A movie that decorates rape, wanton cruelty, cartoonish acting, and crude parody with little sprigs of middle-brow moralizing is redeemed by it.

Trevor Lynch , says: April 6, 2021 at 8:21 am GMT • 1.3 days ago
@dfordoom sociopathic tendencies.

The tendency of sociopaths to flourish in our current system is an argument to change the system not an argument to compete to have better sociopaths in charge of our movement.

Sociopaths need not flourish in every system. It really depends on the criteria for selection. One of the problems with empowering the masses is that it gives a role to people with average and below-average levels of discernment in choosing who rises to the top, and that virtually guarantees that sociopathic con artists will rise into positions of prominence.

The White Nationalist movement needs to weed out sociopathic types. Let the system have them.

Trevor Lynch , says: April 6, 2021 at 8:37 am GMT • 1.3 days ago
@Priss Factor to the rest of the gang betraying him and leaving him to the police. In short, he's a lousy leader, and his gang are lousy followers, because sociopaths lack fellow feeling, which makes it impossible for them to feel loyalty and solidarity and difficult for them to understand one another.

Hitler, by contrast, built a movement that grew into millions and inspired fanatical loyalty, in large part because he was highly empathetic: he cared about people, understood people, and made people feel visible and understood by him. I know words like "sociopath" or "madman" are thrown around constantly as insults, but they also mean things in the real world, and they don't fit Hitler.

Priss Factor , says: Website April 6, 2021 at 9:25 am GMT • 1.3 days ago

The problem for White Nationalism and the dissident right is these movements attract very low-quality sociopaths. If you look at very successful political movements (such as neoconservatism) you'll find that they attract sociopaths of much higher quality.

No, extreme Jews are supported by rich Jews, whereas 'extreme' whites are rejected by successful whites.

Most Neocons are silly people. But they got backing.

Even is 'extreme' whites were all high-quality, they would be rejected by moneyed whites because Jews control the gods.

beavertales , says: April 6, 2021 at 1:45 pm GMT • 1.1 days ago
@Oscar Peterson imagine a future with a wife and son. It's an abrupt change in 10 pages and Alex retains the self-pity that makes you wonder whether that could really happen."

This is the version I read, and it is vital to the story.

ACO was published in 1962, and was astonishingly prescient. The movie inspired 1970's punk attitudes and the enormous cultural impact which reverberates to this day. The Sex Pistols and 'Anarchy in the UK' were Alex' character for those who couldn't get enough of him.

Like the protagonist, we can all look at our younger selves and see a different person. Johnny Rotten, like a real life Alex, eventually got old, and now he waxes nostalgic for old England.

Turk 152 , says: April 6, 2021 at 3:40 pm GMT • 1.0 days ago
@Trevor Lynch

As long as it your socio-path, doing your dirty work, nobody cares about a sociopath. At one time 90% of the US supported the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq, but now you cant find anyone who will state they did and they were wrong. Kubrick is brilliant because he exposed our collective schizophrenia by letting us know how much we enjoy it.

Dr. Robert Morgan , says: April 6, 2021 at 4:16 pm GMT • 23.5 hours ago

Trevor Lynch: "Alex is part of a group of four, and when he starts acting the leader of the other three, he's brutal and high-handed, which leads immediately to the rest of the gang betraying him and leaving him to the police. In short, he's a lousy leader "

Hitler could be treacherous and brutal too. Alex miscalculated, whereas Hitler, in the night of the long knives, didn't miscalculate. The moral would seem to be that when you betray somebody, don't leave them alive so they can take revenge. Thus, you could say that Alex's mistake was that he wasn't sociopathic enough . But then, not everyone can be a Hitler.

Trevor Lynch: "I know words like "sociopath" or "madman" are thrown around constantly as insults, but they also mean things in the real world, and they don't fit Hitler. "

Their meaning is in their social significance. They mean "I don't like you", and mark someone as outgroup. But there is no objective definition of mental health, only various types of animal behavior. Either the behavior helps the animal survive, or it doesn't. Raised in brutality, one becomes brutal. Raised in a technological society, we get the kind of "normal" white people who celebrate their own racial destruction. In such an environment, "normality" is overrated. By feeding into this mentality, your review is counterproductive.

Trevor Lynch: "The tendency of sociopaths to flourish in our current system is an argument to change the system not an argument to compete to have better sociopaths in charge of our movement. "

Cast out all the wolves, and you are left with only sheep.

Trevor Lynch , says: April 6, 2021 at 7:57 pm GMT • 19.8 hours ago
@Dr. Robert Morgan

Cast out all the wolves, and you are left with only sheep.

There are wolves, sheep, and sheepdogs to protect the flock.

In a well-run society, the sheepdogs cull the wolves. Healthy people don't need sociopaths. They need us.

The story of the Rohm purge is not Hitler calculatingly betraying Rohm, but Rohm betraying Hitler, who hesitated to believe the worst of Rohm until it was almost too late.

[Jun 03, 2021] The Lab-Leak Theory: Investigating Fauci's COVID Can Of Worms

Abridged version. See the original for full version.
Notable quotes:
"... In October 2014, the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on new funding for gain-of-function research projects that could make influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses more virulent or transmissible. But a footnote to the statement announcing the moratorium carved out an exception for cases deemed "urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security." ..."
"... the review process shrouded in secrecy. "The names of reviewers are not released, and the details of the experiments to be considered are largely secret," said the Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Marc Lipsitch, whose advocacy against gain-of-function research helped prompt the moratorium. ..."
"... In May 2014, five months before the moratorium on gain-of-function research was announced, EcoHealth secured a NIAID grant of roughly $3.7 million, which it allocated in part to various entities engaged in collecting bat samples, building models, and performing gain-of-function experiments to see which animal viruses were able to jump to humans. The grant was not halted under the moratorium or the P3CO framework. ..."
"... Shi Zhengli herself listed U.S. government grant support of more than $1.2 million on her curriculum vitae: $665,000 from the NIH between 2014 and 2019; and $559,500 over the same period from USAID. At least some of those funds were routed through EcoHealth Alliance. ..."
"... EcoHealth Alliance's practice of divvying up large government grants into smaller sub-grants for individual labs and institutions gave it enormous sway within the field of virology. The sums at stake allow it to "purchase a lot of omertà" from the labs it supports, said Richard Ebright of Rutgers. ..."
"... now the spin doctors come around pointing the finger at china. Sure, china may have done the experimentation and research, but where did the funding, research resources, training, and direction come from? ..."
"... The US banned bioweapon development (in the US) and moved it to China with Fraudci in charge so that they could do human experiments and make lots of money on GMO "vaccines" And now the US is trying to spin the story and put the blame on China ..."
Jun 03, 2021 | ZeroHedge

As the NSC tracked these disparate clues, U.S. government virologists advising them flagged one study first submitted in April 2020. Eleven of its 23 coauthors worked for the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, the Chinese army's medical research institute. Using the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, the researchers had engineered mice with humanized lungs, then studied their susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2. As the NSC officials worked backward from the date of publication to establish a timeline for the study, it became clear that the mice had been engineered sometime in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic even started. The NSC officials were left wondering: Had the Chinese military been running viruses through humanized mouse models, to see which might be infectious to humans?

In October 2014, the Obama administration imposed a moratorium on new funding for gain-of-function research projects that could make influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses more virulent or transmissible. But a footnote to the statement announcing the moratorium carved out an exception for cases deemed "urgently necessary to protect the public health or national security."

In the first year of the Trump administration, the moratorium was lifted and replaced with a review system called the HHS P3CO Framework (for Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight). It put the onus for ensuring the safety of any such research on the federal department or agency funding it. This left the review process shrouded in secrecy. "The names of reviewers are not released, and the details of the experiments to be considered are largely secret," said the Harvard epidemiologist Dr. Marc Lipsitch, whose advocacy against gain-of-function research helped prompt the moratorium. (An NIH spokesperson told Vanity Fair that "information about individual unfunded applications is not public to preserve confidentiality and protect sensitive information, preliminary data, and intellectual property.")

Inside the NIH, which funded such research, the P3CO framework was largely met with shrugs and eye rolls, said a longtime agency official: "If you ban gain-of-function research, you ban all of virology." He added, "Ever since the moratorium, everyone's gone wink-wink and just done gain-of-function research anyway."

British-born Peter Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City–based nonprofit with the laudable goal of preventing the outbreak of emerging diseases by safeguarding ecosystems. In May 2014, five months before the moratorium on gain-of-function research was announced, EcoHealth secured a NIAID grant of roughly $3.7 million, which it allocated in part to various entities engaged in collecting bat samples, building models, and performing gain-of-function experiments to see which animal viruses were able to jump to humans. The grant was not halted under the moratorium or the P3CO framework.

By 2018, EcoHealth Alliance was pulling in up to $15 million a year in grant money from an array of federal agencies, including the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to 990 tax exemption forms it filed with the New York State Attorney General's Charities Bureau. Shi Zhengli herself listed U.S. government grant support of more than $1.2 million on her curriculum vitae: $665,000 from the NIH between 2014 and 2019; and $559,500 over the same period from USAID. At least some of those funds were routed through EcoHealth Alliance.

EcoHealth Alliance's practice of divvying up large government grants into smaller sub-grants for individual labs and institutions gave it enormous sway within the field of virology. The sums at stake allow it to "purchase a lot of omertà" from the labs it supports, said Richard Ebright of Rutgers. (In response to detailed questions, an EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson said on behalf of the organization and Daszak, "We have no comment.")

In July, the NIH attempted to backtrack. It reinstated the grant but suspended its research activities until EcoHealth Alliance fulfilled seven conditions, some of which went beyond the nonprofit's purview and seemed to stray into tinfoil-hat territory. They included: providing information on the "apparent disappearance" of a Wuhan Institute of Virology researcher, who was rumored on social media to be patient zero, and explaining diminished cell phone traffic and roadblocks around the WIV in October 2019.

Ebright likened Daszak's model of research -- bringing samples from a remote area to an urban one, then sequencing and growing viruses and attempting to genetically modify them to make them more virulent -- to "looking for a gas leak with a lighted match." Moreover, Ebright believed that Daszak's research had failed in its stated purpose of predicting and preventing pandemics through its global collaborations.

It soon emerged, based on emails obtained by a Freedom of Information group called U.S. Right to Know, that Daszak had not only signed but organized the influential Lancet statement, with the intention of concealing his role and creating the impression of scientific unanimity.

Under the subject line, "No need for you to sign the "Statement" Ralph!!," he wrote to two scientists, including UNC's Dr. Ralph Baric, who had collaborated with Shi Zhengli on the gain-of-function study that created a coronavirus capable of infecting human cells: "you, me and him should not sign this statement, so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn't work in a counterproductive way." Daszak added, "We'll then put it out in a way that doesn't link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice."

Baric agreed, writing back, "Otherwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact."

Baric did not sign the statement. In the end, Daszak did. At least six other signers had either worked at, or had been funded by, EcoHealth Alliance. The statement ended with a declaration of objectivity: "We declare no competing interests."

Daszak mobilized so quickly for a reason, said Jamie Metzl: "If zoonosis was the origin, it was a validation of his life work . But if the pandemic started as part of a lab leak, it had the potential to do to virology what Three Mile Island and Chernobyl did to nuclear science." It could mire the field indefinitely in moratoriums and funding restrictions.

In a CNN interview on March 26, Dr. Redfield, the former CDC director under Trump, made a candid admission: "I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped." Redfield added that he believed the release was an accident, not an intentional act. In his view, nothing that happened since his first calls with Dr. Gao changed a simple fact: The WIV needed to be ruled out as a source, and it hadn't been.

After the interview aired, death threats flooded his inbox. The vitriol came not just from strangers who thought he was being racially insensitive but also from prominent scientists, some of whom used to be his friends. One said he should just "wither and die."

Peter Daszak was getting death threats too, some from QAnon conspirators.

Inside the U.S. government, meanwhile, the lab-leak hypothesis had survived the transition from Trump to Biden. On April 15, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the House Intelligence Committee that two "plausible theories" were being weighed: a lab accident or natural emergence.

Even so, lab-leak talk was mostly confined to right-wing news outlets through April, gleefully flogged by Tucker Carlson and studiously avoided by most of the mainstream media. In Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee's Republican minority had launched its own inquiry, but there was little buy-in from Democrats and the NIH didn't provide responses to its lengthy list of demands for information.

The ground began to shift on May 2, when Nicholas Wade, a former New York Times science writer known in part for writing a controversial book about how genes shape the social behavior of different races, published a lengthy essay on Medium. In it, he analyzed the scientific clues both for and against a lab leak, and excoriated the media for its failure to report on the dueling hypotheses. Wade devoted a full section to the "furin cleavage site," a distinctive segment of SARS-CoV-2's genetic code that makes the virus more infectious by allowing it to efficiently enter human cells.

Within the scientific community, one thing leapt off the page. Wade quoted one of the world's most famous microbiologists, Dr. David Baltimore, saying that he believed the furin cleavage site "was the smoking gun for the origin of the virus." Baltimore, a Nobel Laureate and pioneer in molecular biology, was about as far from Steve Bannon and the conspiracy theorists as it was possible to get. His judgment, that the furin cleavage site raised the prospect of gene manipulation, had to be taken seriously.

Weedlord Bonerhitler, 1 hour ago

Gain of function research is weaponization. We are under attack by a biological weapon designed in a laboratory to kill people. We are, in effect, at war.

KickIce, 1 hour ago, (Edited)

With who, Washington DC? FWIW, that would be my pick.

ted41776, 1 hour ago

Yes, except "we" moved this "research" to china many years ago to speed up the weaponization of bioweapons. the original researchers came to the us from nazi Germany after WW2 (Project Paperclip). it wasn't moving fast enough here because of that whole experimenting on humans thing was looked down upon here in the US (at least in the past). so "we" hired china what "we" couldn't do domestically on "our" own.

And now the spin doctors come around pointing the finger at china. Sure, china may have done the experimentation and research, but where did the funding, research resources, training, and direction come from?

gregga777, 1 hour ago

Gain of function research is weaponization

It's also insane. Hey, look at what we did! We made smallpox* in our gene sequencing laboratory. Oops! It's release into the 'wild' was an unfortunate accident.

Anyone engaged in the research & development of making viruses or bacteria more lethal or the resurrection of presumably extinct pathogens (e.g., smallpox*) are International War Criminals. They should be arrested and placed on trial in a suitable jurisdiction. At the very least they should be barred forever from working in any kind of even remotely related laboratory research.

*The complete gene sequence of smallpox is apparently freely available over the Internet.

tion, PREMIUM, 51 minutes ago, (Edited)

This study https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/JVI.01085-07

is an example of GOF engineering that bat lady Shi Zhengli participated in, engineering chimeras of SARS and SARS like coronaviruses and splicing with HIV to make it more transmissible to humans.

Pax Romana, 1 hour ago

10 page article could have been condensed into one sentence: Fort Detrick -> Canadian Lab -> Wuhan -> Spooks -> Election Fraud -> Vax -> State Control

ted41776, 1 hour ago

The US banned bioweapon development (in the US) and moved it to China with Fraudci in charge so that they could do human experiments and make lots of money on GMO "vaccines" And now the US is trying to spin the story and put the blame on China

no, this covaids was MADE IN THE USA even if it was produced and manufactured in China under US funding, direction, and supervision

brian91145, 1 hour ago

100% right that is the truth that everyone will know very soon

ted41776, 1 hour ago, (Edited)

not sure if it will make any difference

911: US training and funding bin laden for over a decade? WMDs, they got WMDs! pools of molten metal caused by... kerosene (jet fuel)? building 7...

we gotta get that f||cker bin laden though

bammy arming cartels (fast and furious) and guns they got from him used to kill americans (including cops and border patrol)? crickets

there is no election fraud, after seeing them spend 4 years trying to overthrow a president who allegedly used fraud and russian collusion to get elected?

and on and on and on, the neverending 24/7 stream of lies and distortion

unfortunately, truth has become pretty worthless in this sick reality most people live in

konputa, 1 hour ago

Designed in the US, manufactured in China. We've known this since early 2020.

CheapBastard, 1 hour ago

(((Vanity Fair))) has the same editorial weight that Teen Vogue has.

Handful of Dust, 22 minutes ago

The Lab-Leak Theory- Investigating Fauci's COVID -Can Of Worms-

The article is meant to obfuscate the truth, not clarify it.

CheapBastard, 51 minutes ago, (Edited)

The author carefully avoids inconvenient but important truths including::

Fauci funded the Wuhan bioweapons lab thru NIH (proven by emails) Fauci lied repeatedly from day#1 about the characteristics and origin of the deadly virus (also proven by emails) the WHO lied repeatedly about the origin the involvement of Gates in this entire fiasco

S.Parker, · 1 hour ago

Fort Detrick, USA

Handful of Dust, · 4 minutes ago

· Bumbler-in-Chief Biden in the White House Backs 'Incredible' Dr. Anthony Fauci; Refuses Comment on Explosive Emails Exposing the Lies & Deceit

· https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/06/03/white-house-backs-incredible-dr-anthony-fauci-refuses-comment-on-explosive-emails/

LarryC, 1 hour ago

Its a book! Damn Tylers it will take me days to read. · The Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 states:

"Whoever knowingly develops, produces, stockpiles, transfers, acquires, retains, or possesses any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system for use as a weapon, or knowingly assists a foreign state or any organization to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both."

Weedlord Bonerhitler, 1 hour ago

Don't need a next leak. Just need time for the leaky vaccines to do their work. A vaccine that doesn't stop transmission and merely reduces symptoms, is not a vaccine, but an evolutionary pressure upon the virus.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marek's_disease

This is Marek's disease, found in chickens. A few decades ago, it was fairly benign, but then it was treated with a vaccine that merely reduced symptoms to a minimum without stopping the virus. Now, after evolving over a few decades while butting heads with that leaky vaccine, it's so deadly to chickens that any unvaccinated flocks tend to be wiped out by it, making vaccinating every chicken on Earth a necessity.

This is our future. They want people completely dependent on their vaccines to survive.

[Jun 03, 2021] Do Global Elites Use These 3 Giant Financial Companies To Control 88% Of S P 500-Listed Firms

Jun 03, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

There is no question that large corporations absolutely dominate our society today. They control what we eat, they control what we watch on television, they own most of the stores that we shop at, they provide the energy that our nation depends upon, and they make almost all of the products that we use. Tens of millions of Americans make a living by serving these colossal firms, and at this point some of the biggest corporations are larger than many small countries. But of course the corporations aren't the top of the food chain. They have owners, and there are 3 giant financial companies that the global elite use to control 88 percent of the corporations that are currently listed on the S&P 500.

According to Wikipedia , BlackRock had $8.67 trillion in assets under management as of January 2021

BlackRock, Inc. is an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City. Founded in 1988, initially as a risk management and fixed income institutional asset manager, BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with $8.67 trillion in assets under management as of January 2021.[citation needed][6] BlackRock operates globally with 70 offices in 30 countries and clients in 100 countries.[7]

Vanguard is nearly as big. According to Wikipedia , Vanguard had $6.2 trillion in assets under management as of January 2021

The Vanguard Group, Inc. is an American registered investment advisor based in Malvern, Pennsylvania with about $6.2 trillion in global assets under management, as of January 31, 2020.[5] It is the largest provider of mutual funds and the second-largest provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the world after BlackRock's iShares.[6] In addition to mutual funds and ETFs, Vanguard offers brokerage services, variable and fixed annuities, educational account services, financial planning, asset management, and trust services. Several mutual funds managed by Vanguard are ranked at the top of the list of US mutual funds by assets under management.[7]

... ... ...

Being the largest owner of a publicly traded company doesn't mean that you can do whatever you want, but it does give you enormous power.

For example, last month BlackRock and Vanguard were instrumental in installing two new members on ExxonMobil's board of directors

BlackRock and Vanguard were among the major shareholders whose votes helped to install two new members on ExxonMobil's board of directors, dealing the oil giant a major defeat in the election of board members at this year's annual (virtual) shareholders meeting.

The two fund giants, which together own approximately 14% of ExxonMobil shares, according to reports, supported portions of a dissident slate of board nominees brought by a Engine No. 1, an activist, purpose-driven investment firm that sees ExxonMobil's response to the global climate crisis as far too weak to help achieve net zero emissions by 2050, putting shareholder value at risk. Engine No. 1 put forth a slate of four nominees, all with experience in the oil and gas or renewable energy industry.

ExxonMobil did not want these new board members, but now they have been forced to take them.

y_arrow
Dragonlord 16 minutes ago (Edited)

If you add Fidelity and BNY Mellon , its even greater.

Rainman 19 minutes ago

It's a stronger and better republic since Glass-Steagall got flushed out 2 decades ago < snark maximo >

[Jun 01, 2021] Tesla is dying, and this is how it will end by Adam Kaslikowski

www.amazon.com
May 28, 2019

Tesla completely transformed the automotive landscape when it introduced the Roadster, pioneering the mass-market electric car and reinventing the car as we know . It sold the first widely-available EV, and it did it with a product that you could easily live with every day. The company has done more to further the electric game than anyone else and deserves total credit for making EVs a part of the discussion when it comes to the future of the automobile. Tesla has changed the world. It's also doomed.

The last mainstream automaker to be launched from scratch in the United States was Saturn, a heavily subsidized child of the GM family. Even with those deep pockets, it failed. History is littered with dead automotive brands. The list of deceased automakers is also replete with visionary leaders who pioneered new tech and aimed to dominate the luxury market.

The automobile game is tough. The dirty secret is that the big brands only make around 6% margin on every car they sell

This is all to say: we've been here before. Hudson, Tucker, DeLorean ( twice! ), Packard, and more. The stories here are all different in their specifics, with some succumbing to shady government dealing, others losing to price wars. While the immediate causes of their failures might be unique, the fact that they failed certainly is not.

The consumer automobile game is devilishly tough. The dirty secret of the car making world is that the big brands only make around 6% margin on every car they sell. That's a pathetic amount of profit when compared to other well-known brands like Nike, Apple, or Disney. Shoes, upscale electronics, and entertainment (as well as scores of other industries) all offer double the profit margins, faster production times, less regulation, and fewer unionized workforces. Building cars is dumb. Car companies make billions of dollars in profits because they sell so many cars, not because each car is so profitable. And therein lies the rub for Tesla.

Why Tesla is doomed

The only way to be successful at car manufacturing is to do it at a very large scale. You have to sell hundreds of thousands, if not millions of cars per year to be stable. In 2018, Tesla shifted a total of 245,240 cars . The Tesla Model 3 also became the best-selling luxury automobile in United States; last year was fantastic for Tesla. It also took the company to the very brink of imploding.

Scaling up production lines and capacity is the activity that is killing Tesla, but scaling up further is the only thing that can save it. The company is at the low point of a "production valley" where becoming capable of building 300,000 cars has made them wildly unprofitable, but the only way to get to profit is to build even more capacity to enable it to make 700,000 – 1,000,000 cars. Tesla could potentially have, or raise, the billions needed to do this. It could, that is, if the company could concentrate on doing one thing at a time.

Tesla's worst enemy is Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur has an affliction that many serial entrepreneurs have: Shiny Thing Syndrome. Mr. Musk loves to chase after new challenges and novel projects. Tesla is currently producing 3 different cars, wall chargers, charging stations, electric semi-trucks, photovoltaic roofs, and spearheading autonomous technology. Throw in the odd flamethrower , underground tunnels , and a new insurance product (not to mention Space X ), and you see a leader not focused on doing the hard work of pushing his company through a crisis of scale, but a man obsessed with moon-shots and new projects.

Scaling up production is the activity that is killing Tesla, but scaling up further is the only thing that can save it

It should be noted that Musk has never operated any business at this scale before. Running a nimble online service such as Paypal is a very different thing than running a multinational car manufacturer -- especially one that is exclusively pursuing new technologies. Quite frankly, Musk is not qualified to be CEO of Tesla any longer, and the mismatch of his skills to the company's needs could not be worse timed for Tesla.

In the next 12 months, practically all other major global auto manufacturers have plans to release their own electric cars. Tesla ate their lunch last year when it became the best-selling luxury car, but at that time, it was the only EV game in town. More worryingly, the most common Tesla owner complaints happen to be the areas that traditional car companies excel at: Fit and finish , service infrastructure , and execution on timelines. When Porsche announced its Taycan electric sedan , its #1 source of reservations was from current Tesla owners. This is a surefire sign that the Tesla customer base is eager to upgrade to something better.

China, the world's largest car market, and the savior of many global brands, cannot save Tesla. Indeed, the current trade war between the U.S. and China is hurting Tesla more than any other car company. The current price for a Tesla Model 3 in China is approximately $73,000, with roughly $30,000 of that price being the result of China's import tariffs. In January, Elon Musk broke ground on a Gigafactory in China, and the total investment in the project is expected to exceed $4 billion, according to Goldman Sachs . That is an amount of money Tesla, quite frankly, doesn't have to spend. After a disastrous first quarter 2019, the company quickly raised $2.35 billion in stock and debt. Even with this recent cash infusion, Musk told employees the company would be out of cash in 10 months if spending continued at current levels.

The end of Tesla

Tesla will not go bankrupt. It cannot go bankrupt. At the moment, the company is still well-placed to raise another funding round and could likely even do as many as three more funding events before investors stop lining up. Failure for Tesla won't happen tomorrow, but it is coming. More and more evangelists are changing their tunes as competition in EVs gets fiercer. Wall street is losing patience with broken promises and erratic CEO behavior. And the everyday consumer is finding more electric car options that tempt their dollar now that Tesla is not the only game in town. No, Tesla's end will not happen tomorrow, nor will it be a dramatic collapse.

Telsa is too valuable a brand to disappear in a cloud of Chapter 11 smoke. Again, history bears this out. The vast majority of automotive brands from years past were acquired or absorbed into larger brands, where some succeeded brilliantly (Dodge) and others slowly morphed into something unrecognizable (Hudson). Arguably, the Tesla brand is the most valuable piece of Tesla's balance sheet as other manufacturers have caught up with their hard technology (batteries, chargers), and are rapidly chasing down their soft technology ( Autopilot ). The Tesla brand is global in reach, and still viewed favorably overall by the public.

The endgame for Tesla is an acquisition. It is the way of the automotive jungle -- the circle of corporate life, as it were. The unknowable part at the moment is exactly who will acquire Tesla, as the list is quite long. Another car company is the reflexive bet, but Silicon Valley and Chinese auto manufacturers are all likely bidders as well. Apple already offered to buy Tesla back in 2013 for more than the company is worth at the time of this story. The field of suitors is wide open, and the eventual winner could well come as a surprise to the everyday public.

Regardless of who steps up to the plate, it will be very surprising if the transaction is labelled as an acquisition. No -- this will be a "merger" or "partnership" to protect egos and that all-important Tesla brand (again, the most valuable asset on their books). Any upcoming news of a partnership with a Toyota or a Mercedes should not be seen as a life preserver thrown out in good faith, but a wholesale pirate sacking of the company. Musk will quietly slip away to chase his shiny things, popping in for product launches and tweetstorms, but the adults will be put in charge and set a profitable course. What happens after that, no one can know.

Before the pitchforks come out, make no mistake: The world is a better place for Tesla having existed. Electric cars are no longer made out of old Porsche 914s by a guy in a shed. We are moving toward an electric future, all thanks to underdog Tesla. The world, and Americans especially, are enamored with an underdog story. But more often than not, the underdog loses. That's why they are underdogs. In the best of worlds, Tesla can influence Mercedes or a Chinese company from the inside to really nail electric cars and make them the most affordable option for consumers. I hope that comes to pass for all our sakes.

Tesla is dead. Long live Tesla.

[Jun 01, 2021] California's Controversial Math Overhaul Focuses on Equity; computer science is next

May 31, 2021 | news.slashdot.org

Money quote from comments: "When news of this proposed standard came out, I read the actual standard because I wanted to see if it really was that bad. Things were reported like, "Saying an answer is 'wrong' is racist. There is no right and wrong in math, just shades of truth." These kinds of things are worrisome. So I read a good chunk of the proposal, and I couldn't find anything like that. Instead, I found their point was that anyone has the capability of learning math, and so we should be teaching it to everyone. If people aren't learning it, then that's a problem with our teaching methods.

Not sure Google and Apple will be happy. Clearly programming languages are racists as almost all of them were created by white guys and they disproportionally punish poor coders...

A plan to reimagine math instruction for 6 million California students has become ensnared in equity and fairness issues -- with critics saying proposed guidelines will hold back gifted students and supporters saying it will, over time, give all kindergartners through 12th-graders a better chance to excel. From a report: The proposed new guidelines aim to accelerate achievement while making mathematical understanding more accessible and valuable to as many students as possible, including those shut out from high-level math in the past because they had been "tracked" in lower level classes. The guidelines call on educators generally to keep all students in the same courses until their junior year in high school, when they can choose advanced subjects, including calculus, statistics and other forms of data science.

Although still a draft, the Mathematics Framework achieved a milestone Wednesday, earning approval from the state's Instructional Quality Commission. The members of that body moved the framework along, approving numerous recommendations that a writing team is expected to incorporate. The commission told writers to remove a document that had become a point of contention for critics. It described its goals as calling out systemic racism in mathematics, while helping educators create more inclusive, successful classrooms. Critics said it needlessly injected race into the study of math. The state Board of Education is scheduled to have the final say in November.

2+2=5 if we say it is ( Score: 4 , Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:06PM ( #61440248 )

People learn at different rates. Lowest common denominator serves no one. Reply to This
Re:2+2=5 if we say it is ( Score: 2 ) by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:28PM ( #61440308 )

And War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

Report to Room 101 for remedial math. Reply to This Re:I can't believe this white supremacy ( Score: 5 , Informative) by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @03:41PM ( #61440352 ) Journal

When news of this proposed standard came out, I read the actual standard because I wanted to see if it really was that bad. Things were reported like, "Saying an answer is 'wrong' is racist. There is no right and wrong in math, just shades of truth." These kinds of things are worrisome.

So I read a good chunk of the proposal, and I couldn't find anything like that. Instead, I found their point was that anyone has the capability of learning math, and so we should be teaching it to everyone. If people aren't learning it, then that's a problem with our teaching methods.

I also found that instead of getting rid of calculus, they are suggesting that you learn calculus as a Junior or Senior in high school. This seems fine to me.

The only thing I wish they'd put more emphasis on is statistics, because if you don't understand statistics, the modern world is a very confusing place. Reply to This Parent Share Flag as Inappropriate Re:

Does the curriculum for grades 1-10 have the appropriate foundational education for kids in grades 11-12 to actually succeed in a calculus class? Because if not, then the notion that any significant portion of juniors and seniors will be able take a calculus class is just a fantasy. Re:

That is the goal, but I am not enough of an expert to know whether they reached their goal or not. Re:

Reading (mostly skimming) through chapter 8 (about grades 9-12), a couple things stick out:

First off, they define three different possible "pathways" for grades 9-10, which seems completely in opposition to goal of a "common ninth- and tenth- grade experience." It sounds like they envision that some high schools will only provide a single pathway while others will provide multiple ones -- but it seems incredibly obvious that that's going to put students on different tracks.

I did not dig into what was inclu In Australia, the course hasn't changed ...

in 40 years since I did it. (I have been helping my kids.)

Which is a problem, because the world has changed with the advent of computers.

So they work on quite difficult symbolic integrations. But absolutely nothing on numerical methods (and getting the rounding errors correct) which is far more useful in the modern world.

For non-specialist students, there is almost nothing on how to really build a spreadsheet model. That again is a far more useful skill than any calculus or more advanced algebra.

And then Re: I can't believe this white supremacy I doubt they could get AP Calculus to work. It's going to have to be an easier version of pre Calculus. Because of how they schedule the classes today, some kids take summer courses so that they can get the prerequisites in time. Keeping everyone at the same slow pace is painful for the stronger students. I'm wondering if they are having trouble finding teachers who are qualified to teach math. Kumon The ones whose parents can send them to Kumon or Russian Math after school, will have the capacity. Those who cant even if they were smart enough for the accelerated program under current system wont. With any law follow the money- see who will make money from this. Re:I can't believe this white supremacy ( Score: 4 , Insightful) by CrappySnackPlane ( 7852536 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @04:14PM ( #61440460 )

Which planet did you go to school on?

Here on Earth, here's how "everyone learns calculus in 11th grade" works:

The entire class has to stop and wait for the kids who are genuinely overwhelmed - be it because they're smart-but-poor-and-hungry or, you know, because they're just fucking dumb , both types exist, it doesn't matter - to catch up, because the teacher's job rests on whether 79% or 80% of their students score a passing grade on the statewide achiev^H^H^H^H^H^H (whoops, can't have achievements, that's ableist) "performance" tests. The teacher, being a rational creature who understands how to make sure their family's bread remains buttered, spends the bulk of their time helping along little Jethro and Barbie.

The bright kids are left bored out of their minds, and the "solution" presented by these absolute shitstains is to suggest the bright kids do after-school activities if they want to actually learn. Like, that's great for the 1% who genuinely love math the way some kids love music or acting or sports, but what about the 25% or so who are really gifted at math and would like to do more with it, but aren't so passionate about it that they want to give up more of their precious dwindling free time to pursue it? What about the 50% who aren't necessarily great at math but could certainly learn a lot more if the class wasn't being stopped every two minutes to re-re-remind little Goobclot that "x" was actually a number, not just a letter?

Look, I absolutely agree that it's bad to write kids off as dumb. But Harrison Bergeron is not included in the "Utopian Literature of the 20th Century" curriculum for a reason. There's a flipside, and none of these "one size fits all" proposals does anything to convince me that the proponents have actually seriously considered the other side of the coin. Reply to This Parent Share Flag Re:I can't believe this white supremacy ( Score: 2 ) by systemd-anonymousd ( 6652324 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @06:26PM ( #61440894 )

My local school district is removing all AP math courses because they believe a disparity in race in the students represents racism, and/or they just don't want to have to look at the situation. I know the precursors to this sort of racist policy when I see it, and documents that espouse a trifecta of equity, inclusivity, and diversity are fully intended to pull crabs back down into the boiling bucket. Re:final countdown ( Score: 2 ) by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday May 31, 2021 @05:31PM ( #61440734 )

Next step is mandatory lobotomies for smarter kids or something like it. Because they obviously violate the dumber ones by setting an example the dumber ones can never hope to reach. See also "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut. Reply to This Parent Share

[May 31, 2021] Yes inflation is transitionary. Thos only question is transitionary to what level?

Highly recommended!
As for whether this is "transitory," we may paraphrase J.M. Keynes: In the long run, everything is transitory.
May 31, 2021 | www.wsj.com
D

David Weisz

I accept the reality except that FED said this inflation is "transitory."

The Fed description is accurate... it's just whether the transition is to lower inflation or to runaway inflation.

Jim McCreary
The biggest single factor that will drive long-term inflation is the absence of downward price pressure from new Chinese market entrants. Cutthroat pricing from China is the ONLY reason the West has been able to get away with Money-Printing Gone Wild for the past 20 years without triggering runaway inflation.

There are no new Chinese entrants because the Chinese are now all in in the world economy. The existing Chinese competitors are seeing their costs go UP, not down, because they have fully employed the Chinese population, and have to pay up in order to get and keep workers.

So, without any more downward price pressure from China, this latest round of Money-Printing Gone Wild is showing up as price inflation, and will continue to do so.

Batten down the hatches! Stagflation and then runaway inflation are coming!

[May 30, 2021] A Critical Shift In The War For Oil by Tom Luongo

May 30, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats. 'n Guns blog,

Biden backed down on Nordstream 2 and, at The Davos Crowd's insistence, he will back down on the JCPOA.

Davos needs cheap energy into Europe. That's ultimately what the JCPOA was all about. The basic framework for the deal is still there. While the U.S. will kick and scream a bit about sanctions relief, Iran will be back into the oil market and make it possible for Europe to once again invest in oil/gas projects in Iran.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d'etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi's latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don't have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran's nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia, now that Nordstream 2 is nearly done, will not balk at this. In fact, they'll welcome it. It forms the basis for a broader, sustainable peace arrangement in the Middle East. What's lost is the Zionist program for Greater Israel and continued sowing dissent between exhausted participants.

But the big geopolitical win for Davos, they think, is that by returning Iran to the oil markets it will cut down on Russia's dominance there. That the only reason Russia is the price setter in oil today, as the producer of the marginal barrel, is because of Trump taking Iranian and Venezuelan oil off the market.

With these negotiations ongoing and likely to conclude soon I'm sure the thinking is that this will help save Iranian moderates in the upcoming elections. But with Iran's Guardian Council paving the way for Ebrahim Raeisi to win the election that is also very unlikely( H/T to Pepe Escobar's latest on this ) :

So Raeisi now seems to be nearly a done deal: a relatively faceless bureaucrat without the profile of an IRGC hardliner, well known for his anti-corruption fight and care about the poor and downtrodden. On foreign policy, the crucial fact is that he will arguably follow crucial IRGC dictates.

Raeisi is already spinning that he "negotiated quietly" to secure the qualification of more candidates, "to make the election scene more competitive and participatory". The problem is no candidate has the power to sway the opaque decisions of the 12-member Guardian Council, composed exclusively by clerics: only Ayatollah Khamenei.

I have no doubt that Iran is, as Escobar suggests, in post-JCPOA mode now and will walk away from Geneva without a deal if need be, but Davos will cut the deal it needs to bring the oil and gas into Europe while still blaming the U.S. for Iran's nuclear ambitions because they've gotten what they actually wanted, Netanyahu out of power.

Trump's assault on Iran did what Neocon belligerence always does, increase domestic sympathies for hardliners within the existing government. I told you his assassinating Gen. Qassem Soleimani was not only a mistake but a turning point in history , it sealed the alliance between Russia/China/Iran into a cohesive one which no amount of Euro-schmoozing will undo.

Seeing the tenor of these negotiations and the return of Obama to the White House, the Saudis saw the writing on the wall immediately and began peace talks with Iran in Baghdad put off for a year because of Trump's killing Soleimani.

The Saudis are fighting for their lives now as the Shia Crescent forms and China holds the House of Saud's future in its hands.

Syria will be restored to the Arab League and all that 'peace' work by Trump will be undone quickly. Because none of it was actually peaceful in its implementation. Netanyahu is gone, Israel just got defeated by Hamas and now the rest of the story can unfold, put on hold by four years of Jared Kushner's idiocy and U.S. neoconservatives feeding Trump bad information about the situation.

The Saker put together two lists in his latest article (linked above) which puts the entire situation into perspective:

The Goals:
  1. Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.

  2. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a "security zone" by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.

  3. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.

  4. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a "security zone," but this time in Lebanon.

  5. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon.

  6. Break up Syria along ethnic and religious lines.

  7. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

  8. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and force the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project.

  9. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert, and eventually attack Iran with a broad regional coalition of forces.

  10. Eliminate all centers of Shia power in the Middle-East.

The Outcomes:
  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally "plugging holes" in the Syrian frontlines and "extinguishing fires" on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.

  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)

  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.

  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

The net result is everyone in the region who were aggressors are now suing for peace. This is why I expect some kind of deal that returns Iran to the global economy. There's no way for Germany's shiny new trade deal with China to work without this.

Trump's hard line against Iran was always a mistake, even if Iran's nuclear ambitions are real. But with the Open Skies treaty now a dead letter the U.S. has real logistical problems in the region and they only multiply if Erdogan in Turkey finally chooses a side and gives up his Neo-Ottoman ambitions, now very likely.

But when it comes to economics, as always, Davos has this all backwards vis a vis oil. They still think they can use the JCPOA to drive a wedge between Iran and Russia over oil. They still think Putin only cares about oil and gas sales abroad. It's clear they don't listen to him because the policy never seems to change.

So, to Davos, if they bring 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day from Iran back online and oil prices drop, this forces Russia to back down militarily and diplomatically in Eastern Europe. With a free-floated ruble the Russians don't care now that they are mostly self-sufficient in food and raw material production.

None of that will come to pass. Putin is shifting the Russian economy away from oil and gas with an announced ambitious domestic spending plan ahead of this fall's State Duma elections. Lower or even stable prices will accelerate those plans as capital no longer finds its best return in that sector.

This carrot to Iran and stick to Russia approach of Brussels/Davos is childish and it will only get worse when the Greens come to power in Germany at the end of the year. Unless the German elections end in a stalemate which is unforeseen, the CDU will grand coalition as the junior partner to the Greens, just as Davos wants it.

Don't miss the significance of the policy bifurcation either when it comes to oil. The Biden administration is trying to make energy as expensive as possible in the U.S. -- no Keystone Pipeline, Whitmer trying to close down Enbridges's Line 5 from Canada into Michigan, etc. -- while Europe gets Nordstream 2 from Russia and new, cheap supplies from Iran.

This is what had Trump so hopping mad when he was President. This is part of why he hated the JCPOA. Israel and the EastMed pipeline was what should have been the U.S. policy in his mind.

Now, those dreams are dead and the sell out of the U.S. to Davos is in full swing. Seriously, Biden/Obama are going to continue on this path of undermining U.S. energy production until they are thrown out of office, either by the overwhelming shame of the election fraud lawsuits which recall Senators from Arizona, Georgia and Michigan, the mid-term elections which brings a more pro-Trump GOP to power or by military force. That last bit I put a very low probability on.

Bottom line, for now global oil prices have likely peaked no matter what drivel comes out of John Kerry's mouth.

The Brent/WTI spread will likely collapse and go negative for the first time in years as Iran's full oil production comes online over the next two years while U.S. production falls. We'll see rising oil prices in the U.S. while global supply rises, some of which China is getting at a steep discount from who? Iran.

Meanwhile Russia continues to hold the EU to account on everything while unmasking the not just the latest Bellingcat/MI6/State Dept. nonsense in Belarus surrounding the arrest of Roman Petrosovich, but also filling the void diplomatically left by a confused and incompetent U.S. policy in the Middle East.

If I'm the Bennett in Israel, the first phone call I make after taking office is to no one other than Putin, who now holds the reins over Iran, Hezbollah and a very battle-hardened and angry Syria who just re-elected Assad because he navigated the assault on the country with no lack of geopolitical skill.

Because it is clear that Biden/Obama, on behalf of Davos , have left Israel out to twist in the wind surrounded by those who wish it gone. We'll see if they get their wish. I think the win here is clear and the days of U.S. adventurism in the Middle East are numbered.

The oil wars aren't over, by any stretch of the imagination, but the outcome of the main battles have decisively shifted who determines what battles are fought next.

* * *

Join my Patreon if you like critical thinking.


wellwaddyaknow 2 hours ago (Edited)

About time that fcking Project for the New American Century(aka Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphates) got derailed .

Fcking useless neocon sh its gutted and bankrupted the U.S. for their fcked up ziosh it garbage.

Sheldon Adelson belongs in the Aus witz Mengele suite in hell. He was the biggest cheerleader for the last 20 years of this hell on earth that was created in the middle east.

Woodenman 2 hours ago remove link

Trump got it *** backwards , he should have defunded Israel and fast tracked Iran to be a nuclear power, Iran is an oil producer, what does Israel do for us?

Would I care that Israel cannot sleep at night knowing Iran has the bomb, not at all.

AGuy 37 minutes ago

" what does Israel do for us? "

Keeps the ME unstable so the US has the excuse to keep a lot of military resources in the ME, in the name of being the worlds policemen. Plus the US needs to protect the Petro dollar, but at this point I don't think that will matter soon considering the amount of money printing & spending the US is doing at the momement.

wellwaddyaknow 2 hours ago (Edited)

Soleimani was very good at destroying ISIS trash.

And which countries backed ISIS?

JR Wirth 2 hours ago

NeoCon tears as the world attempts to move on from deranged foreign policy. Will the US throw a fit and drag the world into war? Let's call Tel Aviv and find out.

Der Steppenwolf 2 hours ago remove link

Iran already sells huge amounts of oil to China and likely many others, there just isn't going to be a significant increase in Iranian oil hitting the market as a result of any deal. Moreover, this relatively small increase will occur over time. Even if Iran eventually increases production the 2.5-3 million bpd the author cites, world consumption in 2021 is forecast to increase about 6 million bpd over 2020. Considering these facts any changes in Iranian oil production should do little to affect the overall price.

lay_arrow
AGuy 42 minutes ago

" Iran has huge potential to increase production "

I doubt that very much. Iran has very old oil fields which have been producing since the 1920s. Global Oil production peaked in 2018 & is now in permanent decline. Iran could increase NatGas production, but Oil production is in permanent decline.

Apollo 32 minutes ago

God, I hope half of the above comes true. Bibi needs to be court martialed and Israel needs to go back into smaller and more peaceful version of itself (if that is even possible) . USA can just bugger off home, and try to deal with transgendered army, president's dementia and critical race theory nonsense first.

What the world needs is less wars, less central bankers screwing the game and less stealing of other people's natural resources. Instead it just more plain old hard work, honest trading and no bs diplomacy.

dead hobo 1 hour ago (Edited) remove link

Amazingly perfect analysis.

Israel will survive. I wish them well.

So many US wars are oil based. Lies abound to cover this up. Neocon Economics turns every war opportunity into a profit center. No Profit = No War potential. Whenever you see a Neocon pumping a war somewhere, you need to look for who will make scads of money from it.

Trump isn't an angel. He's the guy who destroyed Establishment Republicanism. That begat populism. I detested him working his book when he pumped QE and ZIRP. I considered it a temporary price to pay to remove Establishment Republicans from the world. Yes, the US also needed a good Front Door with a lock. He also did good there. Trump playing the Imperialism Game clumsily worked in the favor of Peaceful Coexistence. Probably by mistake. Ok by me if everyone else declares peace anyway.

The US economy can still outpower anyone even if it is forced to play fair.

This brings us to the Deep State. Who exactly are they?

Are they Neocons who want war profits by making it look like others are the war mongers? Are they anti-peace as long as it doesn't start a full blown war - providing a profit can be made from it by their oligarch bosses?

Or is the Deep State the Davos oriented oligarchs who wants the 99% to whistle while they work to support uncountable billions of dollars flowing into the asset piles of the 1%?

Why did the Deep State allow the BLM / Antifa / Democrat cabal take over? Are they stupid? Or did they think Covid-19 along with these freaks would work in their favor somehow?

Is the Deep State only common ordinary Imperialism? Is it only oil, and natural gas and who gets to control the markets? Ukraine has a lot of natural resources. Is that a coincidence?

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-are-the-major-natural-resources-of-ukraine.html

What is it about Peaceful Coexistence that makes them go crazy?

What does The Deep State really want?

AGuy 49 minutes ago

" The only difference will be the wars will be fought for lithium and other rare metals. "

Unlikely Oil will remain the King for causing wars. electricification of transportation is doomed to fail. First average Americans cannot afford EV. heck they are struggling with cheaper ICE vehicles. Auto loan duration have ballooned & most Americans are rolling over debt from their older vehicle when they buy a new one. Second the grid is struggling. Most of the older power plants are getting replaced by NatGas fired plants & at some point we are going to see NatGas prices shoot up. Much of the US grid was built in the 1930s & 1940s and will need trillions just to maintain it and replace equipment & power lines operating beyond their expected operating lifetime.

The US economy is slowly collapsing: Mountains of debt, demographics, dumbed down education, and worthless degrees for Millennials, failing infrastructure (ie I-40 bridge). We are on borrowed time.

AJAX-2 1 hour ago remove link

The fly in the ointment is that the banksters desperately need higher oil prices to prop up their derivative portfolios. As a result, they are at odds with the Davos Crowd and their desire for cheap/plentiful oil for Europe. We shall see who prevails.

AGuy 1 hour ago

" The fly in the ointment is that the banksters desperately need higher oil prices to prop up their derivative portfolios. "

Nope:

Higher oil prices leads to higher defaults, which is likely to trigger derivative losses. Banker shady deals come under congressional\agency scrutiny usually ending with billion dollar fines, and bad press. A lot of banks probably will get nationalized when the next banking crisis happens & all those bankers will lose out on the financial scams they play.

European Monarchist 46 minutes ago remove link

Currently:

  1. The Syrian state has survived, and its armed and security forces are now far more capable than they were before the war started (remember how they almost lost the war initially? The Syrians bounced back while learning some very hard lessons. By all reports, they improved tremendously, while at critical moments Iran and Hezbollah were literally "plugging holes" in the Syrian frontlines and "extinguishing fires" on local flashpoints. Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

  2. Not only is Syria stronger, but the Iranians and Hezbollah are all over the country now, which is driving the Israelis into a state of panic and rage.

  3. Lebanon is rock solid; even the latest Saudi attempt to kidnap Hariri is backfiring. (2021 update: in spite of the explosion in Beirut, Hezbollah is still in charge)

  4. Syria will remain unitary, and Kurdistan is not happening. Millions of displaced refugees are returning home.

  5. Israel and the US look like total idiots and, even worse, as losers with no credibility left.

The net result is everyone in the region who were aggressors are now suing for peace. This is why I expect some kind of deal that returns Iran to the global economy. There's no way for Germany's shiny new trade deal with China to work without this.

ut218 2 hours ago remove link

Solarcycle 25 had a bad start. By 2028 people will realize we are in a period of global cooling. oil prices will soar

Itinerant 18 minutes ago

There won't be major investments of European majors in Iran's oil industry.

  • For Iran, Western partners have proved too fickle
  • For Western corporations, the risk is too great for long term investment.

China will be reaping most of the investement opportunities.


2 play_arrow
Marrubio 1 hour ago

.... the NWO & Davos idiotards ,they have been trying since March for oil not to exceed the $ 70 barrier and they are not succeeding. Week after week they try to lower the price, frightening with the covid, the production of Iran or whatever, and the following week the oil rises again. The only thing left for them is mass slaughter ... but now people know that what is going to kill them is in the "vaccine". Of course they will be stupid enough to do it; if they have shown anything it is that they are profoundly idiots. They will not be successful in getting cheap oil, simply because PeakOil is running since 2018 and since then oil production decreases at 5% per year: -5% per year, I am telling to the NWO deep idiotards.

European Monarchist 55 minutes ago (Edited)

Interesting, but it remains to be seen where this is going, short term and long.

Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer going to be leading Israel, the probability of breakthrough is much much higher than last week. The Likudniks in Congress and the Senate just lost their raison d'etre. The loss of face for Israel in Bibi's latest attempt to bludgeon Gaza to retain power backfired completely.

U.S. policy towards Israel is shifting rapidly as the younger generations, Gen-X and Millennials, simply don't have the same allegiance to Israel that the Baby Boomers and Silent generations did. It is part of a geopolitical ethos which is outdated.

So, with some deal over Iran's nuclear capability in the near future, Europe will then get gas pipelines from Iran through Turkey as well as gain better access to the North South Transport Corridor which is now unofficially part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia, now that Nordstream 2 is nearly done, will not balk at this. In fact, they'll welcome it. It forms the basis for a broader, sustainable peace arrangement in the Middle East. What's lost is the Zionist program for Greater Israel and continued sowing dissent between exhausted participants.

play_arrow
Einstein101 55 minutes ago remove link

Now the Syrians are doing a very good job of liberating large chunks of their country, including every single city in Syria).

Really? Hell no! The Syrians and the mighty Russians and the Hezbollah for many months now are not able to overcome lowly terrorists militia in northern Syria's Idlib. Plus, the Israelis has been launching hundreds of airstrikes over Syria while the Russian made Syrian anti air defense can do nothing about it.

[May 30, 2021] Andrew Yang: The War on Normal People The Truth About America s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future

Looks like this guys somewhat understands the problems with neoliberalism, but still is captured by neoliberal ideology.
Notable quotes:
"... That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent. ..."
"... Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent. ..."
"... Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick. ..."
"... Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.amazon.com

The logic of the meritocracy is leading us to ruin, because we arc collectively primed to ignore the voices of the millions getting pushed into economic distress by the grinding wheels of automation and innovation. We figure they're complaining or suffering because they're losers.

We need to break free of this logic of the marketplace before it's too late.

[Neoliberalism] had decimated the economies and cultures of these regions and were set to do the same to many others.

In response, American lives and families are falling apart. Ram- pant financial stress is the new normal. We are in the third or fourth inning of the greatest economic shift in the history of mankind, and no one seems to be talking about it or doing anything in response.

The Great Displacement didn't arrive overnight. It has been building for decades as the economy and labor market changed in response to improving technology, financialization, changing corporate norms, and globalization. In the 1970s, when my parents worked at GE and Blue Cross Blue Shield in upstate New York, their companies provided generous pensions and expected them to stay for decades. Community banks were boring businesses that lent money to local companies for a modest return. Over 20 percent of workers were unionized. Some economic problems existed -- growth was uneven and infla- tion periodically high. But income inequality was low, jobs provided benefits, and Main Street businesses were the drivers of the economy. There were only three television networks, and in my house we watched them on a TV with an antenna that we fiddled with to make the picture clearer.

That all seems awfully quaint today. Pensions disappeared for private-sector employees years ago. Most community banks were gobbled up by one of the mega-banks in the 1990s -- today five banks control 50 percent of the commercial banking industry, which itself mushroomed to the point where finance enjoys about 25 percent of all corporate profits. Union membership fell by 50 percent.

Ninety-four percent of the jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were temp or contractor jobs without benefits; people working multiple gigs to make ends meet is increasingly the norm. Real wages have been flat or even declining. The chances that an American born in 1990 will earn more than their parents are down to 50 percent; for Americans born in 1940 the same figure was 92 percent.

Thanks to Milton Friedman, Jack Welch, and other corporate titans, the goals of large companies began to change in the 1970s and early 1980s. The notion they espoused -- that a company exists only to maximize its share price -- became gospel in business schools and boardrooms around the country. Companies were pushed to adopt shareholder value as their sole measuring stick.

Hostile takeovers, shareholder lawsuits, and later activist hedge funds served as prompts to ensure that managers were committed to profitability at all costs. On the flip side, CF.Os were granted stock options for the first time that wedded their individual gain to the company's share price. The ratio of CF.O to worker pay rose from 20 to 1 in 1965 to 271 to 1 in 2016. Benefits were streamlined and reduced and the relationship between company and employee weakened to become more transactional.

Simultaneously, the major banks grew and evolved as Depression-era regulations separating consumer lending and investment banking were abolished. Financial deregulation started under Ronald Reagan in 1980 and culminated in the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 under Bill Clinton that really set the banks loose. The securities industry grew 500 percent as a share of GDP between 1980 and the 2000s while ordinary bank deposits shrank from 70 percent to 50 percent. Financial products multiplied as even Main Street companies were driven to pursue financial engineering to manage their affairs. GE, my dad's old company and once a beacon of manufacturing, became the fifth biggest financial institution in the country by 2007.

Nolia Nessa , April 5, 2018

profound and urgent work of social criticism

It's hard to be in the year 2018 and not hear about the endless studies alarming the general public about coming labor automation. But what Yang provides in this book is two key things: automation has already been ravaging the country which has led to the great political polarization of today, and second, an actual vision into what happens when people lose jobs, and it definitely is a lightning strike of "oh crap"

I found this book relatively impressive and frightening. Yang, a former lawyer, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, writes showing with inarguable data that when companies automate work and use new software, communities die, drug use increases, suicide increases, and crime skyrockets. The new jobs created go to big cities, the surviving talent leaves, and the remaining people lose hope and descend into madness. (as a student of psychology, this is not surprising)

He starts by painting the picture of the average American and how fragile they are economically. He deconstructs the labor predictions and how technology is going to ravage it. He discusses the future of work. He explains what has happened in technology and why it's suddenly a huge threat. He shows what this means: economic inequality rises, the people have less power, the voice of democracy is diminished, no one owns stocks, people get poorer etc. He shows that talent is leaving small towns, money is concentrating to big cities faster. He shows what happens when those other cities die (bad things), and then how the people react when they have no income (really bad things). He shows how retraining doesn't work and college is failing us. We don't invest in vocational skills, and our youth is underemployed pushed into freelance work making minimal pay. He shows how no one trusts the institutions anymore.

Then he discusses solutions with a focus on Universal Basic Income. I was a skeptic of the idea until I read this book. You literally walk away with this burning desire to prevent a Mad Max esque civil war, and its hard to argue with him. We don't have much time and our bloated micromanaged welfare programs cannot sustain.

[May 30, 2021] Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian

The author is a very fuzzy way comes to the idea that neoliberalism is in essence a Trotskyism for the rich and that neoliberals want to use strong state to enforce the type of markets they want from above. That included free movement of capital goods and people across national borders. All this talk about "small government" is just a smoke screen for naive fools.
Similar to 1930th contemporary right-wing populism in Germany and Austria emerged from within neoliberalism, not in opposition to it. They essentially convert neoliberalism in "national liberalism": Yes to free trade by only on bilateral basis with a strict control of trade deficits. No to free migration, multilateralism
Notable quotes:
"... The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state. ..."
"... Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market. ..."
"... Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy. ..."
"... One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such. ..."
"... I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople. ..."
"... They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world. ..."
"... The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Rφpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place. ..."
"... The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 16, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0674979524
ISBN-13: 978-0674979529

From introduction

...The second explanation was that neoliberal globalization made a small number of people very rich, and it was in the interest of those people to promote a self-serving ideology using their substantial means by funding think tanks and academic departments, lobbying congress, fighting what the Heritage Foundation calls "the war of ideas." Neoliberalism, then, was a restoration of class power after the odd, anomalous interval of the mid-century welfare state.

There is truth to both of these explanations. Both presuppose a kind of materialist explanation of history with which I have no problem. In my book, though, I take another approach. What I found is that we could not understand the inner logic of something like the WTO without considering the whole history of the twentieth century. What I also discovered is that some of the members of the neoliberal movement from the 1930s onward, including Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises, did not use either of the explanations I just mentioned. They actually didn't say that economic growth excuses everything. One of the peculiar things about Hayek, in particular, is that he didn't believe in using aggregates like GDP -- the very measurements that we need to even say what growth is.

What I found is that neoliberalism as a philosophy is less a doctrine of economics than a doctrine of ordering -- of creating the institutions that provide for the reproduction of the totality [of financial elite control of the state]. At the core of the strain I describe is not the idea that we can quantify, count, price, buy and sell every last aspect of human existence. Actually, here it gets quite mystical. The Austrian and German School of neoliberals in particular believe in a kind of invisible world economy that cannot be captured in numbers and figures but always escapes human comprehension.

After all, if you can see something, you can plan it. Because of the very limits to our knowledge, we have to default to ironclad rules and not try to pursue something as radical as social justice, redistribution, or collective transformation. In a globalized world, we must give ourselves over to the forces of the market, or the whole thing will stop working.

So this is quite a different version of neoliberal thought than the one we usually have, premised on the abstract of individual liberty or the freedom to choose. Here one is free to choose but only within a limited range of options left after responding to the global forces of the market.

One of the core arguments of my book is that we can only understand the internal coherence of neoliberalism if we see it as a doctrine as concerned with the whole as the individual. Neoliberal globalism can be thought of in its own terms as a negative theology, contending that the world economy is sublime and ineffable with a small number of people having special insight and ability to craft institutions that will, as I put it, encase the sublime world economy.

To me, the metaphor of encasement makes much more sense than the usual idea of markets set free, liberated or unfettered. How can it be that in an era of proliferating third party arbitration courts, international investment law, trade treaties and regulation that we talk about "unfettered markets"? One of the big goals of my book is to show neoliberalism is one form of regulation among many rather than the big Other of regulation as such.

What I explore in Globalists is how we can think of the WTO as the latest in a long series of institutional fixes proposed for the problem of emergent nationalism and what neoliberals see as the confusion between sovereignty -- ruling a country -- and ownership -- owning the property within it.

I build here on the work of other historians and show how the demands in the United Nations by African, Asian, and Latin American nations for things like the Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources, i.e. the right to nationalize foreign-owned companies, often dismissed as merely rhetorical, were actually existentially frightening to global businesspeople.

They drafted neoliberal intellectuals to do things like craft agreements that gave foreign corporations more rights than domestic actors and tried to figure out how to lock in what I call the "human right of capital flight" into binding international codes. I show how we can see the development of the WTO as largely a response to the fear of a planned -- and equal -- planet that many saw in the aspirations of the decolonizing world.

Perhaps the lasting image of globalization that the book leaves is that world capitalism has produced a doubled world -- a world of imperium (the world of states) and a world of dominium (the world of property). The best way to understand neoliberal globalism as a project is that it sees its task as the never-ending maintenance of this division. The neoliberal insight of the 1930s was that the market would not take care of itself: what Wilhelm Rφpke called a market police was an ongoing need in a world where people, whether out of atavistic drives or admirable humanitarian motives, kept trying to make the earth a more equal and just place.

The culmination of these processes by the 1990s is a world economy that is less like a laissez-faire marketplace and more like a fortress, as ever more of the world's resources and ideas are regulated through transnational legal instruments. The book acts as a kind of field guide to these institutions and, in the process, hopefully recasts the 20th century that produced them.


Mark bennett 3.0 out of 5 stars One half of a decent book May 14, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This is a rather interesting look at the political and economic ideas of a circle of important economists, including Hayek and von Mises, over the course of the last century. He shows rather convincingly that conventional narratives concerning their idea are wrong. That they didn't believe in a weak state, didn't believe in the laissez-faire capitalism or believe in the power of the market. That they saw mass democracy as a threat to vested economic interests.

The core beliefs of these people was in a world where money, labor and products could flow across borders without any limit. Their vision was to remove these subjects (tariffs, immigration and controls on the movement of money) from the control of the democracy-based nation-state and instead vesting them in international organizations. International organizations which were by their nature undemocratic and beyond the influence of democracy. That rather than rejecting government power, what they rejected was national government power. They wanted weak national governments but at the same time strong undemocratic international organizations which would gain the powers taken from the state.

The other thing that characterized many of these people was a rather general rejection of economics. While some of them are (at least in theory) economists, they rejected the basic ideas of economic analysis and economic policy. The economy, to them, was a mystical thing beyond any human understanding or ability to influence in a positive way. Their only real belief was in "bigness". The larger the market for labor and goods, the more economically prosperous everyone would become. A unregulated "global" market with specialization across borders and free migration of labor being the ultimate system.

The author shows how, over a period extending from the 1920s to the 1990s, these ideas evolved from marginal academic ideas to being dominant ideas internationally. Ideas that are reflected today in the structure of the European Union, the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the policies of most national governments. These ideas, which the author calls "neoliberalism", have today become almost assumptions beyond challenge. And even more strangely, the dominating ideas of the political left in most of the west.

The author makes the point, though in a weak way, that the "fathers" of neoliberalism saw themselves as "restoring" a lost golden age. That golden age being (roughly) the age of the original industrial revolution (the second half of the 1800s). And to the extent that they have been successful they have done that. But at the same time, they have brought back all the political and economic questions of that era as well.

In reading it, I started to wonder about the differences between modern neoliberalism and the liberal political movement during the industrial revolution. I really began to wonder about the actual motives of "reform" liberals in that era. Were they genuinely interested in reforms during that era or were all the reforms just cynical politics designed to enhance business power at the expense of other vested interests. Was, in particular, the liberal interest in political reform and franchise expansion a genuine move toward political democracy or simply a temporary ploy to increase their political power. If one assumes that the true principles of classic liberalism were always free trade, free migration of labor and removing the power to governments to impact business, perhaps its collapse around the time of the first world war is easier to understand.

He also makes a good point about the EEC and the organizations that came before the EU. Those organizations were as much about protecting trade between Europe and former European colonial possessions as they were anything to do with trade within Europe.

To me at least, the analysis of the author was rather original. In particular, he did an excellent job of showing how the ideas of Hayek and von Mises have been distorted and misunderstood in the mainstream. He was able to show what their ideas were and how they relate to contemporary problems of government and democracy.

But there are some strong negatives in the book. The author offers up a complete virtue signaling chapter to prove how the neoliberals are racists. He brings up things, like the John Birch Society, that have nothing to do with the book. He unleashes a whole lot of venom directed at American conservatives and republicans mostly set against a 1960s backdrop. He does all this in a bad purpose: to claim that the Kennedy Administration was somehow a continuation of the new deal rather than a step toward neoliberalism. His blindness and modern political partisanship extended backward into history does substantial damage to his argument in the book. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on the political issues of South Africa which also adds nothing to the argument of the book. His whole chapter on racism is an elaborate strawman all held together by Ropke. He also spends a large amount of time grinding some sort of Ax with regard to the National Review and William F. Buckley.

He keeps resorting to the simple formula of finding something racist said or written by Ropke....and then inferring that anyone who quoted or had anything to do with Ropke shared his ideas and was also a racist. The whole point of the exercise seems to be to avoid any analysis of how the democratic party (and the political left) drifted over the decades from the politics of the New Deal to neoliberal Clintonism.

Then after that, he diverts further off the path by spending many pages on the greatness of the "global south", the G77 and the New International Economic Order (NIEO) promoted by the UN in the 1970s. And whatever many faults of neoliberalism, Quinn Slobodian ends up standing for a worse set of ideas: International Price controls, economic "reparations", nationalization, international trade subsidies and a five-year plan for the world (socialist style economic planning at a global level). In attaching himself to these particular ideas, he kills his own book. The premise of the book and his argument was very strong at first. But by around p. 220, its become a throwback political tract in favor of the garbage economic and political ideas of the so-called third world circa 1974 complete with 70's style extensive quotations from "Senegalese jurists"

Once the political agenda comes out, he just can't help himself. He opens the conclusion to the book taking another cheap shot for no clear reason at William F. Buckley. He spends alot of time on the Seattle anti-WTO protests from the 1990s. But he has NOTHING to say about BIll Clinton or Tony Blair or EU expansion or Obama or even the 2008 economic crisis for that matter. Inexplicably for a book written in 2018, the content of the book seems to end in the year 2000.

I'm giving it three stars for the first 150 pages which was decent work. The second half rates zero stars. Though it could have been far better if he had written his history of neoliberalism in the context of the counter-narrative of Keynesian economics and its decline. It would have been better yet if the author had the courage to talk about the transformation of the parties of the left and their complicity in the rise of neoliberalism. The author also tends to waste lots of pages repeating himself or worse telling you what he is going to say next. One would have expected a better standard of editing by the Harvard Press. Read less 69 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

Jesper Doepping 5.0 out of 5 stars A concise definition of neoliberalism and its historical influence November 14, 2018

Anybody interested in global trade, business, human rights or democracy today should read this book.

The book follow the Austrians from the beginning in the Habsburgischer empire to the beginning rebellion against the WTO. However, most importantly it follows the thinking and the thoughts behind the building of a global empire of capitalism with free trade, capital and rights. All the way to the new "human right" to trade. It narrows down what neoliberal thought really consist of and indirectly make a differentiation to the neoclassical economic tradition.

What I found most interesting is the turn from economics to law - and the conceptual distinctions between the genes, tradition, reason, which are translated into a quest for a rational and reason based protection of dominium (the rule of property) against the overreach of imperium (the rule of states/people). This distinction speaks directly to the issues that EU is currently facing.

[May 30, 2021] Mean Girl Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed by Lisa Duggan

Highly recommended!
See also her book: The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy by Lisa Duggan
Notable quotes:
"... From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world. The political climate Ayn Rand celebrated-the reign of brutal capitalism-intensified. Though Ayn Rand's popularity took off in the 1940s, her reputation took a dive during the 1960s and '70s. Then after her death in 1982, during the neoliberal administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, her star rose once more. (See chapter 4 for a full discussion of the rise of neoliberalism.) ..."
"... During the global economic crisis of 2008 it seemed that the neoliberal order might collapse. It lived on, however, in zombie form as discredited political policies and financial practices were restored. ..."
"... We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social, and cultural transition - but we don't yet know which way we're headed. The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelical Christians pull strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand. ..."
"... The current Trump administration is stuffed to the gills with Rand acolytes. Trump himself identifies with Fountainhead character Howard Roark; former secretary of state Rex Tillerson listed Adas Shrugged as his favorite book in a Scouting magazine feature; his replacement Mike Pompeo has been inspired by Rand since his youth. Ayn Rand's influence is ascendant across broad swaths of our dominant political culture - including among public figures who see her as a key to the Zeitgeist, without having read a worth of her writing.'' ..."
"... Rand biographer Jennifer Burns asserts simply that Ayn Rand's fiction is "the gateway drug" to right-wing politics in the United States - although her influence extends well beyond the right wing ..."
"... The resulting Randian sense of life might be called "optimistic cruelty." Optimistic cruelty is the sense of life for the age of greed. ..."
"... The Fountainhead and especially Atlas Shrugged fabricate history and romanticize violence and domination in ways that reflect, reshape, and reproduce narratives of European superiority' and American virtue. ..."
"... It is not an accident that the novels' fans, though gender mixed, are overwhelmingly white Americans of the professional, managerial, creative, and business classes." ..."
"... Does the pervasive cruelty of today's ruling classes shock you? Or, at least give you pause from time to time? Are you surprised by the fact that our elected leaders seem to despise people who struggle, people whose lives are not cushioned and shaped by inherited wealth, people who must work hard at many jobs in order to scrape by? If these or any of a number of other questions about the social proclivities of our contemporary ruling class detain you for just two seconds, this is the book for you. ..."
"... As Duggan makes clear, Rand's influence is not just that she offered a programmatic for unregulated capitalism, but that she offered an emotional template for "optimistic cruelty" that has extended far beyond its libertarian confines. Mean Girl is a fun, worthwhile read! ..."
"... Her work circulated endlessly in those circles of the Goldwater-ite right. I have changed over many years, and my own life experiences have led me to reject the casual cruelty and vicious supremacist bent of Rand's beliefs. ..."
"... In fact, though her views are deeply-seated, Rand is, at heart, a confidence artist, appealing only to narrow self-interest at the expense of the well-being of whole societies. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

From the Introduction

... ... ...

Mean Girls, which was based on interviews with high school girls conducted by Rosalind Wiseman for her 2002 book Queen Bees and War/tubes, reflects the emotional atmosphere of the age of the Plastics (as the most popular girls at Actional North Shore High are called), as well as the era of Wall Street's Gordon Gekko, whose motto is "Greed is Good."1 The culture of greed is the hallmark of the neoliberal era, the period beginning in the 1970s when the protections of the U.S. and European welfare states, and the autonomy of postcolonial states around the world, came under attack. Advocates of neoliberalism worked to reshape global capitalism by freeing transnational corporations from restrictive forms of state regulation, stripping away government efforts to redistribute wealth and provide public services, and emphasizing individual responsibility over social concern.

From the 1980s to 2008, neoliberal politics and policies succeeded in expanding inequality around the world. The political climate Ayn Rand celebrated-the reign of brutal capitalism-intensified. Though Ayn Rand's popularity took off in the 1940s, her reputation took a dive during the 1960s and '70s. Then after her death in 1982, during the neoliberal administrations of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in the United Kingdom, her star rose once more. (See chapter 4 for a full discussion of the rise of neoliberalism.)

During the global economic crisis of 2008 it seemed that the neoliberal order might collapse. It lived on, however, in zombie form as discredited political policies and financial practices were restored. But neoliberal capitalism has always been contested, and competing and conflicting political ideas and organizations proliferated and intensified after 2008 as well.

Protest politics blossomed on the left with Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in the United States, and with the Arab Spring, and other mobilizations around the world. Anti-neoliberal electoral efforts, like the Bernie Sanders campaign for the U.S. presidency, generated excitement as well.

But protest and organizing also expanded on the political right, with reactionary populist, racial nationalist, and protofascist gains in such countries as India, the Philippines, Russia, Hungary, and the United States rapidly proliferating. Between these far-right formations on the one side and persistent zombie neoliberalism on the other, operating sometimes at odds and sometimes in cahoots, the Season of Mean is truly upon us.

We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social, and cultural transition - but we don't yet know which way we're headed. The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelical Christians pull strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand.

Rand's ideas are not the key to her influence. Her writing does support the corrosive capitalism at the heart of neoliberalism, though few movers and shakers actually read any of her nonfiction. Her two blockbuster novels, 'The Fountainpen and Atlas Shrugged, are at the heart of her incalculable impact. Many politicians and government officials going back decades have cited Rand as a formative influence-particularly finance guru and former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, who was a member of Rand's inner circle, and Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president most identified with the national embrace of neoliberal policies.

Major figures in business and finance are or have been Rand fans: Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Peter Thiel (Paypal), Steve Jobs (Apple), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Mark Cuban (NBA), John Allison (BB&T Banking Corporation), Travis Kalanik (Uber), Jelf Bezos (Amazon), ad infinitum.

There are also large clusters of enthusiasts for Rand's novels in the entertainment industry, from the 1940s to the present-from Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, and Raquel Welch to Jerry Lewis, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Rob Lowe, Jim Carrey, Sandra Bullock, Sharon Stone, Ashley Judd, Eva Mendes, and many more.

The current Trump administration is stuffed to the gills with Rand acolytes. Trump himself identifies with Fountainhead character Howard Roark; former secretary of state Rex Tillerson listed Adas Shrugged as his favorite book in a Scouting magazine feature; his replacement Mike Pompeo has been inspired by Rand since his youth. Ayn Rand's influence is ascendant across broad swaths of our dominant political culture - including among public figures who see her as a key to the Zeitgeist, without having read a worth of her writing.''

But beyond the famous or powerful fans, the novels have had a wide popular impact as bestsellers since publication. Along with Rand's nonfiction, they form the core texts for a political/ philosophical movement: Objectivism. There are several U.S.- based Objectivist organizations and innumerable clubs, reading groups, and social circles. A 1991 survey by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club found that only the Bible had influenced readers more than Atlas Shrugged, while a 1998 Modern Library poll listed The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as the two most revered novels in English.

Atlas Shrugged in particular skyrocketed in popularity in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. The U.S. Tea Party movement, founded in 2009, featured numerous Ayn Rand-based signs and slogans, especially the opening line of Atlas Shrugged: "Who is John Galt?" Republican pundit David Frum claimed that the Tea Party was reinventing the GOP as "the party of Ayn Rand." During 2009 as well, sales of Atlas Shrugged tripled, and GQ_magazine called Rand the year's most influential author. A 2010 Zogby poll found that 29 percent of respondents had read Atlas Shrugged, and half of those readers said it had affected their political and ethical thinking.

In 2018, a business school teacher writing in Forbes magazine recommended repeat readings: "Recent events - the bizarro circus that is the 2016 election, the disintegration of Venezuela, and so on make me wonder if a lot of this could have been avoided bad we taken Atlas Shrugged's message to heart. It is a book that is worth re-reading every few years."3

Rand biographer Jennifer Burns asserts simply that Ayn Rand's fiction is "the gateway drug" to right-wing politics in the United States - although her influence extends well beyond the right wing.4

But how can the work of this one novelist (also an essayist, playwright, and philosopher), however influential, be a significant source of insight into the rise of a culture of greed? In a word: sex. Ayn Rand made acquisitive capitalists sexy. She launched thousands of teenage libidos into the world of reactionary politics on a wave of quivering excitement. This sexiness extends beyond romance to infuse the creative aspirations, inventiveness, and determination of her heroes with erotic energy, embedded in what Rand called her "sense of life." Analogous to what Raymond Williams has called a "structure of feeling," Rand's sense of life combines the libido-infused desire for heroic individual achievement with contempt for social inferiors and indifference to their plight.5

Lauren Berlant has called the structure of feeling, or emotional situation, of those who struggle for a good life under neoliberal conditions "cruel optimism"-the complex of feelings necessary to keep plugging away hopefully despite setbacks and losses.'' Rand's contrasting sense of life applies to those whose fantasies of success and domination include no doubt or guilt. The feelings of aspiration and glee that enliven Rand's novels combine with contempt for and indifference to others. The resulting Randian sense of life might be called "optimistic cruelty." Optimistic cruelty is the sense of life for the age of greed.

Ayn Rand's optimistic cruelty appeals broadly and deeply through its circulation of familiar narratives: the story of "civilizational" progress, die belief in American exceptionalism, and a commitment to capitalist freedom.

Her novels engage fantasies of European imperial domination conceived as technological and cultural advancement, rather than as violent conquest. America is imagined as a clean slate for pure capitalist freedom, with no indigenous people, no slaves, no exploited immigrants or workers in sight. The Fountainhead and especially Atlas Shrugged fabricate history and romanticize violence and domination in ways that reflect, reshape, and reproduce narratives of European superiority' and American virtue.

Their logic also depends on a hierarchy of value based on radicalized beauty and physical capacity - perceived ugliness or disability' are equated with pronounced worthlessness and incompetence.

Through the forms of romance and melodrama, Rand novels extrapolate the story of racial capitalism as a story of righteous passion and noble virtue. They retell The Birth of a Ntation through the lens of industrial capitalism (see chapter 2). They solicit positive identification with winners, with dominant historical forces. It is not an accident that the novels' fans, though gender mixed, are overwhelmingly white Americans of the professional, managerial, creative, and business classes."


aslan , June 1, 2019

devastating account of the ethos that shapes contemporary America

Ayn Rand is a singular influence on American political thought, and this book brilliantly unfolds how Rand gave voice to the ethos that shapes contemporary conservatism. Duggan -- whose equally insightful earlier book Twilight of Equality offered an analysis of neoliberalism and showed how it is both a distortion and continuation of classical liberalism -- here extends the analysis of American market mania by showing how an anti-welfare state ethos took root as a "structure of feeling" in American culture, elevating the individual over the collective and promoting a culture of inequality as itself a moral virtue.

Although reviled by the right-wing press (she should wear this as a badge of honor), Duggan is the most astute guide one could hope for through this devastating history of our recent past, and the book helps explain how we ended up where we are, where far-right, racist nationalism colludes (paradoxically) with libertarianism, an ideology of extreme individualism and (unlikely bed fellows, one might have thought) Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.

This short, accessible book is essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the contemporary United States.

Wreck2 , June 1, 2019
contemporary cruelty

Does the pervasive cruelty of today's ruling classes shock you? Or, at least give you pause from time to time? Are you surprised by the fact that our elected leaders seem to despise people who struggle, people whose lives are not cushioned and shaped by inherited wealth, people who must work hard at many jobs in order to scrape by? If these or any of a number of other questions about the social proclivities of our contemporary ruling class detain you for just two seconds, this is the book for you.

Writing with wit, rigor, and vigor, Lisa Duggan explains how Ayn Rand, the "mean girl," has captured the minds and snatched the bodies of so very many, and has rendered them immune to feelings of shared humanity with those whose fortunes are not as rosy as their own. An indispensable work, a short read that leaves a long memory.

kerwynk , June 2, 2019
Valuable and insightful commentary on Rand and Rand's influence on today's world

Mean Girl offers not only a biographical account of Rand (including the fact that she modeled one of her key heroes on a serial killer), but describes Rand's influence on neoliberal thinking more generally.

As Duggan makes clear, Rand's influence is not just that she offered a programmatic for unregulated capitalism, but that she offered an emotional template for "optimistic cruelty" that has extended far beyond its libertarian confines. Mean Girl is a fun, worthwhile read!

Sister, June 3, 2019

Superb poitical and cultural exploration of Rand's influence

Lisa Duggan's concise but substantive look at the political and cultural influence of Ayn Rand is stunning. I feel like I've been waiting most of a lifetime for a book that is as wonderfully readable as it is insightful. Many who write about Rand reduce her to a caricature hero or demon without taking her, and the history and choices that produced her seriously as a subject of cultural inquiry. I am one of those people who first encountered Rand's books - novels, but also some nonfiction and her play, "The Night of January 16th," in which audience members were selected as jurors – as a teenager.

Under the thrall of some right-wing locals, I was so drawn to Rand's larger-than-life themes, the crude polarization of "individualism" and "conformity," the admonition to selfishness as a moral virtue, her reductive dismissal of the public good as "collectivism."

Her work circulated endlessly in those circles of the Goldwater-ite right. I have changed over many years, and my own life experiences have led me to reject the casual cruelty and vicious supremacist bent of Rand's beliefs.

But over those many years, the coterie of Rand true believers has kept the faith and expanded. One of the things I value about Duggan's compelling account is her willingness to take seriously the far reach of Rand's indifference to human suffering even as she strips away the veneer that suggests Rand's beliefs were deep.

In fact, though her views are deeply-seated, Rand is, at heart, a confidence artist, appealing only to narrow self-interest at the expense of the well-being of whole societies.

I learned that the hard way, but I learned it. Now I am recommending Duggan's wise book to others who seek to understand today's cultural and political moment in the United States and the rise of an ethic of indifference to anybody but the already affluent. Duggan is comfortable with complexity; most Randian champions or detractors are not.

[May 30, 2021] How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope. ..."
"... Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is. ..."
"... This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better. ..."
Feb 19, 2019 | www.amazon.com
4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews Reviews

Jose I. Fuste, February 25, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive yet highly readable. A necessary and highly useful update.

I'm a professor at the University of California San Diego and I'm assigning this for a graduate class.

No other book out there has the level of breadth on the history of US imperialism that this work provides. Even though it packs 400 pages of text (which might seem like a turnoff for non-academic readers), "How to Hide an Empire" is highly readable given Immerwhar's skills as a writer. Also, its length is part of what makes it awesome because it gives it the right amount of detail and scope.

I could not disagree more with the person who gave this book one star. Take it from me: I've taught hundreds of college students who graduate among the best in their high school classes and they know close to nothing about the history of US settler colonialism, overseas imperialism, or US interventionism around the world. If you give University of California college students a quiz on where the US' overseas territories are, most who take it will fail (trust me, I've done it). And this is not their fault. Instead, it's a product of the US education system that fails to give students a nuanced and geographically comprehensive understanding of the oversized effect that their country has around our planet.

Alleging that US imperialism in its long evolution (which this book deciphers with poignancy) has had no bearing on the destinies of its once conquered populations is as fallacious as saying that the US is to blame for every single thing that happens in Native American communities, or in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc. Not everything that happens in these locations and among these populations is directly connected to US expansionism, but a great deal is.

A case in point is Puerto Rico's current fiscal and economic crisis. The island's political class share part of the blame for Puerto Rico's present rut. A lot of it is also due to unnatural (i.e. "natural" but human-exacerbated) disasters such as Hurricane Marνa. However, there is no denying that the evolution of Puerto Rico's territorial status has generated a host of adverse economic conditions that US states (including an island state such as Hawaii) do not have to contend with. An association with the US has undoubtedly raised the floor of material conditions in these places, but it has also imposed an unjust glass ceiling that most people around the US either do not know about or continue to ignore.

To add to those unfair economic limitations, there are political injustices regarding the lack of representation in Congress, and in the case of Am. Samoa, their lack of US citizenship. The fact that the populations in the overseas territories can't make up their mind about what status they prefer is: a) understandable given the way they have been mistreated by the US government, and b) irrelevant because what really matters is what Congress decides to do with the US' far-flung colonies, and there is no indication that Congress wants to either fully annex them or let them go because neither would be convenient to the 50 states and the political parties that run them. Instead, the status quo of modern colonial indeterminacy is what works best for the most potent political and economic groups in the US mainland. Would

This book is about much more than that though. It's also a history of how and why the United States got to control so much of what happens around the world without creating additional formal colonies like the "territories" that exist in this legal limbo. Part of its goal is to show how precisely how US imperialism has been made to be more cost-effective and also more invisible.

Read Immerwhar's book, and don't listen to the apologists of US imperialism which is still an active force that contradicts the US' professed values and that needs to be actively dismantled. Their attempts at discrediting this important reflect a denialism of the US' imperial realities that has endured throughout the history that this book summarizes.

"How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" is a great starting point for making the US public aware of the US' contradictions as an "empire of liberty" (a phrase once used by Thomas Jefferson to describe the US as it expanded westward beyond the original 13 colonies). It is also a necessary update to other books on this topic that are already out there, and it is likely to hold the reader's attention more given its crafty narrative prose and structure Read less 194 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse

David Robson, February 26, 2019
Why So Sensitive?

5.0 out of 5 stars Why So Sensitive?

This is exactly the kind of book that drives the "My country, right or wrong" crowd crazy. Yes, slavery and genocide and ghastly scientific experiments existed before Europeans colonized the Americas, but it's also fair and accurate to say that Europeans made those forms of destruction into a bloody artform. Nobody did mass slaughter better.

The author of this compelling book reveals a history unknown to many readers, and does so with first-hand accounts and deep historical analyses. You might ask why we can't put such things behind us. The simple answer: we've never fully grappled with these events before in an honest and open way. This book does the nation a service by peering behind the curtain and facing the sobering truth of how we came to be what we are.

Thomas W. Moloney, April 9, 2019
This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a stunning book, not to be missed.

This is a stunning book, not to be missed. If you finished Sapiens with the feeling your world view had greatly enlarged, you're likely to have the same experience of your view of the US from reading this engaging work. And like Sapiens, it's an entirely enjoyable read, full of delightful surprises, future dinner party gems.

The further you get into the book the more interesting and unexpected it becomes. You'll look at the US in ways you likely never considered before. This is not a 'political' book with an ax to grind or a single-party agenda. It's refreshingly insightful, beautifully written, fun to read.

This is a gift I'll give to many a good friend, I've just started with my wife. I rarely write reviews and have never met the author (now my only regret). 3 people found this helpful

P , May 17, 2019
Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

4.0 out of 5 stars Content is A+. Never gets boring/tedious; never lingers; well written. It is perfect. 10/10

This book is an absolutely powerhouse, a must-read, and should be a part of every student's curriculum in this God forsaken country.

Strictly speaking, this brilliant read is focused on America's relationship with Empire. But like with nearly everything America, one cannot discuss it without discussing race and injustice.

If you read this book, you will learn a lot of new things about subjects that you thought you knew everything about. You will have your eyes opened. You will be exposed to the dark underbelly of racism, corruption, greed and exploitation that undergird American ambition.

I don't know exactly what else to say other than to say you MUST READ THIS BOOK. This isn't a partisan statement -- it's not like Democrats are any better than Republicans in this book.

This is one of the best books I've ever read, and I am a voracious reader. The content is A+. It never gets boring. It never gets tedious. It never lingers on narratives. It's extremely well written. It is, in short, perfect. And as such, 10/10.

Sunny May 11, 2019
Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thoughtful discussion regarding the state of our union

I heard an interview of Daniel Immerwahr on NPR news / WDET radio regarding this book.

I'm am quite conservative and only listen to NPR news when it doesn't lean too far to the left.

However, the interview piqued my interest. I am so glad I purchased this ebook. What a phenomenal and informative read!!! WOW!! It's a "I never knew that" kind of read. Certainly not anything I was taught in school. This is thoughtful, well written and an easy read. Highly recommend!!

[May 30, 2021] The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy by Lisa Duggan

This is a very short book, almost an essay -- 136 pages. It was published in October 2004, four years before financial crisis of 2008, which put the first nail in the coffin of neoliberalism. It addresses the cultural politics of neo-liberalism ("the Great Deception")
Notable quotes:
"... By now, we've all heard about the shocking redistribution of wealth that's occurred during the last thirty years, and particularly during the last decade. But economic changes like this don't occur in a vacuum; they're always linked to politics. ..."
"... Ultimately, The Twilight of Equality? not only reveals how the highly successful rhetorical maneuvers of neoliberalism have functioned ..."
"... The titles of her four chapters--Downsizing Democracy, The Incredible Shrinking Public, Equality, Inc., Love AND Money--summarize her argument. ..."
"... Her target is neoliberalism, which she sees as a broadly controlling corporate agenda which seeks world domination, privatization of governmental decision-making, and marginalization of unions, low-income people, racial and sexual minorities while presenting to the public a benign and inclusive facade. ..."
"... Neo-liberalism seeks to upwardly distribute money, power, and status, she writes, while progressive movements seek to downwardly distribute money, power, and status. The unity of the downwardly distribution advocates should match the unity of the upwardly distribution advocates in order to be effective, she writes. ..."
"... "There is nothing stable or inevitable in the alliances supporting neoliberal agendas in the U.S. and globally," she writes. "The alliances linking neoliberal global economics, and conservative and right-wing domestic politics, and the culture wars are provisional--and fading...." ..."
"... For example, she discusses neoliberal attempts to be "multicultural," but points out that economic resources are constantly redistributed upward. Neoliberal politics, she argues, has only reinforced and increased the divide between economic and social political issues. ..."
"... Because neoliberal politicians wish to save neoliberalism by reforming it, she argues that proposing alternate visions and ideas have been blocked. ..."
Jun 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

By now, we've all heard about the shocking redistribution of wealth that's occurred during the last thirty years, and particularly during the last decade. But economic changes like this don't occur in a vacuum; they're always linked to politics.

The Twilight of Equality? searches out these links through an analysis of the politics of the 1990s, the decade when neoliberalism-free market economics-became gospel.

After a brilliant historical examination of how racial and gender inequities were woven into the very theoretical underpinnings of the neoliberal model of the state, Duggan shows how these inequities play out today. In a series of political case studies, Duggan reveals how neoliberal goals have been pursued, demonstrating that progressive arguments that separate identity politics and economic policy, cultural politics and affairs of state, can only fail.

Ultimately, The Twilight of Equality? not only reveals how the highly successful rhetorical maneuvers of neoliberalism have functioned but, more importantly, it shows a way to revitalize and unify progressive politics in the U.S. today.

Mona Cohen 5.0 out of 5 stars A Critique of Neoliberalism and the Divided Resistance to It July 3, 2006

Lisa Duggan is intensely interested in American politics, and has found political life in the United States to have been "such a wild ride, offering moments of of dizzying hope along with long stretches of political depression." She is grateful for "many ideas about political depression, and how to survive it," and she has written a excellent short book that helps make sense of many widely divergent political trends.

Her book is well-summarized by its concluding paragraph, which I am breaking up into additional paragraphs for greater clarity:

"Now at this moment of danger and opportunity, the progressive left is mobilizing against neoliberalism and possible new or continuing wars.

"These mobilizations might become sites for factional struggles over the disciplining of troops, in the name of unity at a time of crisis and necessity. But such efforts will fail; the troops will not be disciplined, and the disciplinarians will be left to their bitterness.

"Or, we might find ways of think, speaking, writing and acting that are engaged and curious about "other people's" struggles for social justice, that are respectfully affiliative and dialogic rather than pedagogical, that that look for the hopeful spots to expand upon, and that revel in the pleasure of political life.

"For it is pleasure AND collective caretaking, love AND the egalitarian circulation of money--allied to clear and hard-headed political analysis offered generously--that will create the space for a progressive politics that might both imagine and create...something worth living for."

The titles of her four chapters--Downsizing Democracy, The Incredible Shrinking Public, Equality, Inc., Love AND Money--summarize her argument.

She expected upon her high school graduation in 1972, she writes, that "active and expanding social movements seemed capable of ameliorating conditions of injustice and inequality, poverty, war and imperialism....I had no idea I was not perched at a great beginning, but rather at a denouement, as the possibilities for progressive social change encountered daunting historical setbacks beginning in 1972...."

Her target is neoliberalism, which she sees as a broadly controlling corporate agenda which seeks world domination, privatization of governmental decision-making, and marginalization of unions, low-income people, racial and sexual minorities while presenting to the public a benign and inclusive facade.

Neo-liberalism seeks to upwardly distribute money, power, and status, she writes, while progressive movements seek to downwardly distribute money, power, and status. The unity of the downwardly distribution advocates should match the unity of the upwardly distribution advocates in order to be effective, she writes.

Her belief is that all groups threatened by the neoliberal paradigm should unite against it, but such unity is threatened by endless differences of perspectives. By minutely analyzing many of the differences, and expanding understanding of diverse perspectives, she tries to remove them as obstacles towards people and organizations working together to achieve both unique and common aims.

This is good book for those interested in the history and current significance of numerous progressive ideological arguments. It is a good book for organizers of umbrella organizations and elected officials who work with diverse social movements. By articulating points of difference, the author depersonalizes them and aids in overcoming them.

Those who are interested in electoral strategies, however, will be disappointed. The interrelationship between neoliberalism as a governing ideology and neoliberalism as a political strategy is not discussed here. It is my view that greater and more focused and inclusive political organizing has the potential to win over a good number of the those who see support of neoliberalism's policy initiatives as a base-broadening tactic more than as a sacred cause.

"There is nothing stable or inevitable in the alliances supporting neoliberal agendas in the U.S. and globally," she writes. "The alliances linking neoliberal global economics, and conservative and right-wing domestic politics, and the culture wars are provisional--and fading...."

Reading this book adds to one's understanding of labels, and political and intellectual distinctions. It has too much jargon for my taste, but not so much as to be impenetrable. It is an excellent summarization and synthesis of the goals, ideologies, and histories of numerous social movements, both famous and obscure.

S. Baker 5.0 out of 5 stars Summary/Review of Twilight of Equality November 27, 2007

Duggan articulately connects social and economic issues to each other, arguing that neoliberal politics have divided the two when in actuality, they cannot be separated from one another.

In the introduction, Duggan argues that politics have become neoliberal - while politics operate under the guise of promoting social change or social stability, in reality, she argues, politicians have failed to make the connection between economic and social/cultural issues. She uses historical background to prove the claim that economic and social issues can be separated from each other is false.

For example, she discusses neoliberal attempts to be "multicultural," but points out that economic resources are constantly redistributed upward. Neoliberal politics, she argues, has only reinforced and increased the divide between economic and social political issues.

After the introduction, Duggan focuses on a specific topic in each chapter: downsizing democracy, the incredible shrinking public, equality, and love and money. In the first chapter (downsizing democracy), she argues that through violent imperial assertion in the Middle East, budget cuts in social services, and disillusionments in political divides, "capitalists could actually bring down capitalism" (p. 2).

Because neoliberal politicians wish to save neoliberalism by reforming it, she argues that proposing alternate visions and ideas have been blocked. Duggan provides historical background that help the reader connect early nineteenth century U.S. legislation (regarding voting rights and slavery) to perpetuated institutional prejudices.

[May 28, 2021] The US Is Not Ready For An All-Electric Future - ZeroHedge

May 20, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

The U.S. is woefully unprepared to handle "the electrification of everything," as Amy Myers Jaffe, a research professor at Tufts University's Fletcher School, describes the drive to electrify transportation and buildings and parts of industry in The Wall Street Journal .

Increased electrification in all sectors will need huge investments in the electric grid, in battery storage to back up renewable power generation, in charging points for EVs, and in technologies such as green hydrogen to help those technologies to reach maturity and cost efficiency enough to start replacing fossil fuels.

[May 28, 2021] The true equation is 'democracy' = government by world financiers."

May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 19 2021 22:26 utc | 34

"The true equation is 'democracy' = government by world financiers."
– J.R.R. Tolkien

"Welcome to an Orwellian Brave New World!

Orwell's (1984) words were prescient. Huxley (Brave New World) was a school teacher of Orwell's at Eton College. They both attended elite symposiums in the 1920s and 30s where all of this was discussed in complete seriousness sort of like early versions of Bilderberger meetings. So the accuracy of their books was no accident they actually KNEW what was being planned. Huxley just emphasized the more SOCIALIST elements while Orwell emphasized the more FASCIST elements they were both right, because both aspects were always part of the plan. It's obvious that the Rulers always intended to use both approaches as part of their CONTROL structure.

Looking at their personal lives and backgrounds, it appears that Orwell was trying to warn us. Huxley was much more of a British upper crust blue blood. He seemed to be in agreement with what the Rulers were planning, and along with his brother Julian he was actually helping them. They both knew what was coming.

Were they used as textbooks by the Rulers? It's just that the general public aren't as worried about controlling the masses as the Rulers' are."

"Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence -- those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you'd collapse."
– Aldous Huxley

Ouch, Huxley chops at the roots. This quote is profound. If you were to connect dots what do you see?

[May 28, 2021] Biden aministsration is building a coalition to challenge China. It wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention

May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 19 2021 21:16 utc | 26

@ Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

One can't blame everything on Israel. Yes, it is part of five eyes, more like SIX eyes.

Biden (JB) is building a coalition to challenge China. JB's administration wants to neutralize Russia. Nord Stream 2 is an element of contention and by making a concession JB is making Germany and Russia happy. Agree, that its completion will be a "huge geopolitical win for Putin". Let's see when Nord Stream 2 becomes fully operational. Time will tell.

Russia's main focus is De-Dollarization, stability in Russia and in its neighborhood.

China's announcement about Bitcoin led to it dropping by 30%. What will China, Russia, Turkey and Iran announcement about the U$A dollar do to its value and the market? When will China become the #1 ECONOMY?

THE MOST DANGEROUS DECADE: 2018-2028

Stonebird , May 19 2021 21:42 utc | 29

Old man of the sea | May 19 2021 20:46 utc | 22

The US is now the largest provider of LNG, so there is relatively little more financial advantage to be gained from a direct confrontation with Germany or Russia. Political maybe, but the dedollarisation is starting to take hold. (Aside; even Israel depends on the strength of the dollar to continue, like musical chairs, when the music stops there will be precious few chairs left ). The Gas/Oil lobbies in the US who are behind the sanctions may have some other trick up their sleeve, but the deflation of Zelensky in Ukraine, and the opening up of a steal-fest of Ukrainian assets might compensate.

***
Note that the West has closed Syrian Embassies so as to stop Syrians voting for Assad. They steal it's oil, and Syria is still next to Israel and doing relatively well in spite of tanker bombings, and missiles. It is also possible that, as you say, there is a price for non-interference in Israel itself.

[May 28, 2021] Ukraine has become a financial black hole for the West, and the USA is trying to get rid of it by throwing it to the EU's arms

May 23, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 23 2021 15:36 utc | 4

The The Hill piece linked in the week in review here confirms our suspicions Ukraine has become a financial black hole for the West, and the USA is trying to get rid of it by throwing it to the EU's arms:

Instead of expending diplomatic capital on a campaign to stop Nord Stream 2, the Biden administration should work with its European partners to prepare Ukraine to withstand the pipeline's completion. The deadline for action is 2024, when Kyiv's current gas contract and President Biden's term effectively end. By that time, Washington and Brussels should formulate and implement an economic package that, first and foremost, covers Ukraine's inevitable budget shortfall from the loss of transit fees to keep the Ukrainian state running. This package should, however, also invest in the country's sustainable growth. That would entail material and technical support for Kyiv's ongoing anti-corruption campaign, whose success is a prerequisite for attracting long-term investment. One idea worth considering is a loan to cover revenue shortfalls, whose repayment would be incrementally forgiven in exchange for concrete progress on reforms by Kyiv.

That won't happen. The easiest way you can infer that is that the USA and Germany don't even have the resources to invest in green energy in their own territories, let alone on third-parties' territories. Hell, the USA doesn't even have the resources to rebuild Puerto Rico.

This is not the 1950s. The American Empire's bottomless pocket is no more.

[May 28, 2021] Note To Greenwald - The 'Russian' Pipeline Is A Germany Need

May 23, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Caliman , May 20 2021 16:44 utc | 5

Glenn Greenwald writes that President Trump acted more hostile to Russia than President Biden does, even while the media claimed that Trump was 'a Russian agent'. It is probably a fair point to make but in his piece Greenwald himself falls for anti-Russian propaganda nonsense.

The problem starts with the headline:

Biden, Reversing Trump, Permits a Key Putin Goal: a New Russian Natural Gas Pipeline to Germany
That Trump was controlled by Putin and served his agenda was the opposite of reality. First Obama, and now Biden, have accommodated Moscow far more.

Greenwald seems to presume that it is the right or the job of a U.S. president to 'permit' pipelines between two foreign country? That is of course completely false. The U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners. Such interference is in fact illegal under international law. Biden, as well as Trump, should be criticized for even thinking about 'permitting' it.

On to Greenwald's main point:

When it came to actual vital Russian interests" as opposed to the symbolic gestures hyped by the liberal cable and op-ed page circus" Trump and his administration were confronting and undermining the Kremlin in ways Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had, to his credit, steadfastly refused to do.

Indeed, the foreign policy trait relentlessly attributed to Trump in support of the media's Cold War conspiracy theory" namely, an aversion to confronting Putin" was, in reality, an overarching and explicit belief of President Obama's foreign policy, not President Trump's.

Obama waged a massive undercover war to overthrow the Syrian government, an old Russian ally. He arranged a fascist coup in the Ukraine and he sent the anti-Russian academic Michael McFaul as ambassador to Russia where McFaul immediately started to prepare a color revolution against President Putin. It was the Obama administration which launched the 'Russiagate' campaign against Trump which further infested U.S. policies with anti-Russian sentiment.

Seen from the Russian side Obama certainly showed absolutely no 'aversion to confronting Putin'.

While Trump ripped up arms treaties with Russia and gave a few useless weapons to the Ukraine, making sure they would not reach the front lines, he otherwise took, thankfully, few other damaging steps.


bigger

Now on to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline of which Greenwald writes:

Cont. reading: Note To Greenwald - The 'Russian' Pipeline Is A Germany Need

Well, the fact that the pipeline has not been finished for years, despite being near completion, tells us that it's not actually true that the "pipeline would have been finished with or without US sanctions." Certainly, it seems that Trump's pressure did work to severely slow down if not completely stop the completion of the project and presumably Biden could have continued that pressure. Btw, didn't the front-running Green party head come out against the pipeline, showing that there's not unanimous support in Germany for its completion?

But more importantly, Greenwald's main point is that Trump's actions had nothing to do with the Russian Puppet narrative against him. That both Biden and previously Obama were less "anti-Russian" in practice and yet were thought to be "tough" on Russia, while Trump (providing lethal arms to Ukraine and stopping NS2) was a "puppet" ... narrative building by the Deep State. Greenwald's larger point is in fact accurate.


jared , May 20 2021 17:10 utc | 8

I think Greenwald was thrown off by what seems a sudden reversal and positive step by Biden administration.

Personally I think Biden Administration was stunned at almost having instigated WW3 within 100 days of taking office. They looked fairly like amateur idiots even to the unwashed such as myself. Then they realized that it would be difficult and given their evident ineptness they chose the well proven political tactic of taking the loss and making it a win. Voila they are genious - why didnt Trump think of that?

We in the US must accept that our government is craven incompetents and have to hope that they might accidentally do something good by virtue of being so incompetent.

Harry , May 20 2021 17:15 utc | 9

Greenwald makes an error but it is understandable. NS2 pipeline wont deliver enough gas to truly make a significant difference to Germany. Where it makes a difference is to Ukraine, which will struggle to steal as much gas from Russia as it has in the past. Gas transit rates will fall, and if Ukraine doesnt like it RF will still be able to supply Germany without Ukraine stealing gas which was meant for Germany.

But who will make good any shortfall in Ukraine's budget?

Roger , May 20 2021 17:51 utc | 13

The early closure of the Netherlands Groningen natural gas field, due to land subsidence, was a big hit to European energy security - especially with the move from coal/nuclear to natural gas. B is very right in stating that Europe desperately needs Russian gas to fill a yawning future hole between supply and demand. Russia is also developing their Arctic gas reserves, which can be provided as LNG to Europe (as well as Asia). Very bad for the Ukrainians, but they (or the US and the Nazis) picked their bed and can deal with the consequences.

The Russians opened the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China, and have agreements to start development on additional pipelines. China is rapidly expanding natural gas usage so no demand problem there.

Seems like the Biden administration took their "hardass" shot in the past months and it blew up in their face. Now they have to take a step back and play a bit better with their so-called allies. Probably won't last long, the US elite have extreme learning difficulties when it comes to the reality of their decline from the Unipolar moment.

karlof1 , May 20 2021 17:56 utc | 15

This is somewhat OT to the subject, but it's clear to me a greater understanding of the Russian POV is needed. Although the transcript is currently incomplete, this meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee provides an excellent insight into the Russian mind, and IMO this excerpt says a great deal:

"Regrettably, the ranks of the great generation of victors are thinning out. But this is only increasing our responsibility for preserving their legacy, especially now that we are witnessing increasingly frequent attempts to slander and distort history and to revise the role played by the Red Army in the routing of Nazism and the liberation of European nations from the Nazi plague.

"We understand the reasons for this, and attempts to hamper the development of this country, regardless of its name, be it the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union or Russia, were made in different times and historical epochs and under different political systems. These approaches and principles remain the same. There is one principle or rather, one reason for containing Russia: the stronger and more independent Russia becomes, the more consistently it defends its national interests, the greater the striving of foreign forces to weaken it, to discredit the values uniting our society and sometimes to slander and distort what people hold dear, the things that are instilled in the younger generations of Russians and which help them acquire a strong character and their own opinions .

"This is why all kinds of Russophobic individuals and unscrupulous politicians are trying to attack Russian history, to promote the ideas of revising the results of World War II and to exonerate Nazi criminals." [My Emphasis]

And the geopolitical dynamic has drastically shifted from Greater Europe to Greater Eurasia. Here are Putin's comments from yesterday :

"Very soon, we will be celebrating 20 years of our core bilateral document, the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation. Since the signing of this treaty, Russia and China have achieved great success in strengthening our multidimensional cooperation and mutual trust across all areas without exception: politics, international affairs, trade and the economy, cultural and humanitarian exchanges. It can be said that Russia-China relations have reached their highest level in history."

And those relations will certainly reach much greater heights regardless the nature of Russian-EU relations.

S , May 20 2021 18:36 utc | 20
@SoMuchToLearn #18:
I'm puzzled by b's arithmetic on the gas flow rates

Apart from Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, there are also old Soviet pipelines that go through Belarus and Ukraine, as well as the recently completed Turk Stream, part of which is used to export gas to Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia (and soon Hungary, Bosnia and Austria).

ZigZag , May 20 2021 18:38 utc | 21
@11
My two cents on that is that the old surface Power-structure of Germany has been crumbling rapidly for around the last decade. Merkel has left the christian conservative party in shambles and there's no one with enough gravitas around to fill the giant sized shoes she's left vacant, same thing with the social democrats who've been in a freefall from 35% to now barely 15% for the last 15 years. Environmentalism coated Neoliberalism seems to be the maxim of the hour in the leftists and centrists spheres, and almost everyone, but foremost the Green Party, is trying to ride that wave to the finish line. Don't expect peoples first policies, climate change will dominate the election, and we'll likely be wrapped up in more deindustrialization coupled with an ever more chaotic energy policy. If anything the average persons cost of living in terms of rent, energy, food and transportation will continue to rise, while jobs in traditional industry sectors will continue to fall off. I haven't heard a coherent plan on how the German economy is supposed to work like 10 years from now, and there likely is none, all I expect is more taxes and the possibility of plundering social security trust funds to address whatever critical infrastructure issue will face us next.

@14
Green-Party was about to oust the Conservatives in a major federal state election. People got really riled up by nuclear, especially since there already was an ongoing controversy around long term waste storage. It was one of Merkels signature opportunistic moves that aimed to size the moment in absence of long term planing. It didn't work btw, Greens still ousted them, but once you make a big move like that there's not going back without losing face, but it does seem like exiting nuclear proved to be a popular strategy with the electorate in the long run. I'm sure that are more complex/intricate theories around, but I can't speak on that

FMG , May 20 2021 18:56 utc | 26

Here in Brasil Greenwald is known as a CIA asset. Just ask Pepe Escobar.

Michael Crockett , May 20 2021 19:11 utc | 31

Thanks b. The Empire of the Deranged is in a steady downward slide. By its own hand, through financial engineering (stock buy back schemes fueled by bailout's of bankrupt corporations plus derivatives etc. etc.) Add to this, restrictions on the use of swift. The US devalues its own currency. Other countries are not so interested in purchasing US debt to offset rising US deficit. Include all of that with our foreign policymaking which angers even our allies like Germany, as you point out with NS2. The Leaders think they can snap their fingers and bring the world to heel. That ship sailed a long time ago. The multi-polar world is a reality that the paper tiger struggles with. To Glen Greenwald's Brazil, US influence evaporates should Lula get elected as the next President. The tiger is toothless Glen, no need to give it more authority than it has.

DougDiggler , May 20 2021 19:32 utc | 35

With the US pressuring Germany to end NS-2 in favor of importing much more expensive fracked US gas, we see that the US thinks there is nothing wrong with asking it's vassal states to cut their own throats (forego steps to retain their economic competitiveness) to please their patron. The idiocy of Cold War 2 is costing US allies a lot and seems inimical to the very idea of US allies even regarding their own national interests. One would hope this is leading to either a re-evaluation of these alliances or a revolt of the satraps.

Max , May 20 2021 19:40 utc | 37
thanks b... Agree that "the U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners." Every journalists needs to be making this key point.

Any geopolitical article that doesn't address the MONETARY arena is missing an important element and thereby incomplete. Greenwald's article is missing many key points and mistaken (&/or misleading) by taking U$A's political trickery angle. It is all about the POWER game that involves deceptions, like sending the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on a Red Cross mission to Russia or committing to not moving NATO forces towards Russia in 1991.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT
Vladimir Putin in his Munich (2007) speech announced Russia's pivot away from the Dollar Empire and unwillingness to be a vassal. The Dollar Empire challenged Russia through Georgia in 2008. Obama & Clinton fooled Russia through their reset announcement and got a go ahead to attack Libya. The relationship was calm in 2012. Obama fooled Medvedev by saying, "he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues," after reelection, in early 2012. However, Vladimir Putin was back in 2013 and the Dollar Empire realized it has been outplayed. It moved aggressively after the two outside Russian military bases in Syria and Ukraine. Russia captured Crimea in 2014, and Putin declared Russia's willingness to go to war in Syria (2015). The Imperial Council of the United States was surprised by Russia's move into Syria and wasn't ready for a war. In the meantime, China was developing strong. Here comes Trump in 2017. It seems like the Imperial Council and its Intelligence Community came with a new ploy to associate Trump with Russia, so they can bully China and bend it over on trade. China stood up to Empire's challenge and developed its independence plan! In the meantime Trump increased sanctions on Russia using the Congress as a pretext while strengthening Ukraine. The sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 brought halt to work in December 2019. Did Trump FOOL Putin/Russia by stating, "he will have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious issues," after reelection? The reasoning behind this question is that Russia didn't start work on the pipeline until the election was over in December 2020. One year wait to start work on the pipeline.

MISSING DIMENSIONS
Why isn't Greenwald speaking against the dollar monetary imperialism and enslavement? Very rarely one come across a journalist that shines light on reality and exposes truth. It seems like Empire's MSM and journalists are making a big deal of this minuscule Nord Stream 2 sanction waiving. Why? It is just propaganda and perception management to create distrust in the China-Russia relationship? No one is mentioning Russia's redlines or its ability to retaliate to additional sanctions. Andrei Martyanow gets it right!

Please analyze every geopolitical development from the MONETARY lens too. Russia as part of its De-Dollarization plan is offering energy deals in national currencies to win nations in Eurasia, including Japan. In which currency is the U$A offering its LNG ? US$? Also, it seems like Russia's transit payments to Ukraine are in the US$. In addition to providing an alternate route, the Nord Stream 2 increases Russia's leverage with Ukraine. Imagine if those transit payments were in Rubles to Ukraine, Russia's leverage will be immense.

China, Russia, Germany, Japan... (Non-$ Bloc) are standing up to dollar's monetary imperialism, and seeking more trade in their respective national currencies. The EU and Germany will pay for its energy in Euros and reduce threats to their economies. Why don't journalists address the monetary or currency dimensions?

RUSSIAN SUCCESSES?
Successfully completing the Nord Stream 2 and supplying gas to Europe in Euros will be a huge victory for Russia and Germany. It has yet to implement its agreements (Minsk, Astana, JCPOA...). All its conflicts are frozen and unresolved. Please share agreements that Russia has successfully delivered on in the 21st Century, particularly when the Dollar Empire is involved. Will the Empire surprise Russia by attacking on multiple fronts?

The Logic of U$A Foreign Policy

bjd , May 20 2021 19:44 utc | 38
Very worthwhile opinion, the debate between you and Greenwald sharpens the mind on this issue.
Alpi , May 20 2021 19:47 utc | 39
To say that there is a shift in US geopolitical policies, is an understatement. In short, IMO, Biden is going back to Obama's plan and his pivot to Asia. Therefore, it is China, China, China. Nothing else matters that much right now.

1. Nordstream 2 settled"¦..check
2. Germany and Europeans happy"¦..check
3. Settling ME problems with going back to JCPOA, promoting KSA and Iran peace, pulling out of Afghanistan (not ME)"¦..check
4. Putting Israel in its place (via a shift in media coverage and taking away support slowly and congress expressions of outrage) "¦..check
5. Abstention form UN resolution punishing Israel"¦"¦.coming up
6. Taking Europeans to the South East China confrontation"¦..coming up
7. Prying away Iran and Russia away from China"¦"¦wishful thinking, hopefully.
8. Ousting Netanyahoo"¦"¦coming up

Although, Biden is a zionist, Netanyahu and his antics are not convenient at this time and Israel takes a back seat to grand chessboard strategy.

Greenwald's and b's commentaries are a bit of a sideshow, in my opinion. Best concentrate on the outcome and the bigger picture instead of this he said she said.

Passer by , May 20 2021 19:53 utc | 42
What happened this year is that the winter was cold, gas storage in Europe was nearly depleted, and Europe needed huge amounts of russian gas.

The other problem is that LNG is more expensive in Asia, causing LNG producers and shippers to prefer the asian market.

There are many more issues as well - such as the hit on US producers by the Covid crisis, Germany moving the carbon goal posts from 2050 to 2045, green energy problems this winter in Germany, explosions on pipelines in Ukraine, and so on.

It is also true that Russia is readying Power of Siberia 2 and 3 pipelines to China, as well as actively developing its own LNG exports.

Skiffer , May 20 2021 20:06 utc | 43
In response to SoMuchToLearn@18,

The disputed claim by Greenwald is that, "Nord Stream 2... is designed to double Russian sales capacity to an EU addicted to cheap Russian natural gas, producing massive revenue for the Russian economy and giving Moscow greater leverage when dealing with its European neighbors." This is very different from the statement that NS2 together with NS1 is twice the capacity of NS1 on its own.

There are several, to my mind, wrongful assumptions in Greenwald's claim.

The first, that the EU wants to increase its purchases of Russian gas, but is prevented from doing so solely due to the lack of infrastructure which, presumably, is operating at full capacity. From this assumption, it then follows that Russia is expecting massive revenues from an increase in transit capacity, since customers are already standing by. Finally, as a result of supplying significantly more gas to Europe and earning substantially more money from it, Moscow can be expected to take advantage of its position as an energy supplier to pressure Europe over political matters.

While it's true that European gas-needs are growing, it's more of a long-term projected development and not some energy crisis straining the current configuration. A more topical and urgent crisis is the situation in Ukraine and the state of disrepair of the gas transit infrastructure in that country, which not long ago accounted for 80% of Russian gas supplied to Europe. IIRC, official estimates gave these pipelines a few short years before becoming unusable without major repair efforts -- something like 5 years -- and coupled with the state of the country itself, it's not impossible that the pipelines outlive the state.

If we, for the sake of argument, assume that Ukraine and/or the gas infrastructure on that territory ceases to function tomorrow, halting all gas transits to Europe in the blink of an eye, which isn't as far-fetched as you might think, the result would be an energy crisis. Already, this crisis would not be of catastrophic proportions as it would have been a mere decade ago, due to alternative transit routes established to lessen reliance on Ukrainian pipelines. NS2 is designed to eliminate reliance on Ukrainian pipelines completely, if one disregards various political commitments made by Russia on Europe's behalf to retain part of its gas export through Ukraine, which I'm sure would fall to the wayside the moment European capitals started going dark. Of course, cutting off transit states also has the added benefit of making the gas cheaper and thus the contract becomes more lucrative, but that's more of a bonus.

If we, for the sake of argument, assume that all the pipelines to Europe are working at full capacity, and Europe desperately needs more gas -- say, 25 years from now when no new green alternatives have presented themselves and no new pipelines have been built because the war of sanctions continues -- there's always LNG, which Russia can supply at a competitive price, and the port infrastructure for that is already available, provided the EU is willing to resolve its energy problems collectively.

From this it follows that, no, Russia isn't expecting massive revenues to come flooding in at the completion of NS2. They're presumably expecting massive revenues from new energy projects in Asia, but they're at worst expecting to retain the current revenue in the European market, and at best see it grow in connection with European economy. Certainly, they wouldn't like to lose the European market, especially due to unpredictable incidents abroad that are outside of their control, but Europe is arguably much more vulnerable and has more to lose from such an eventuality.

Lastly, since we are no longer expecting an immediate increase in European reliance on Russian energy following NS2, how does it translate to Russian leverage over European politics? Russia is already Europe's main supplier of, not only gas, but crude oil which accounts for 2/3 of Europe's energy supply (gas is 24%). If Russia wants to leverage its position as the main energy supplier to Europe, it does not need NS2 to do so, and shutting down NS2 will not prevent it from doing so.

Passer by , May 20 2021 20:10 utc | 44
Posted by: Roger | May 20 2021 17:51 utc | 13

>>The early closure of the Netherlands Groningen natural gas field, due to land subsidence, was a big hit to European energy security

Yes, this too.

Posted by: Dutch | May 20 2021 19:51 utc | 41

>>The impressive year-on-year surge, to nearly 53 billion cubic meters, is reportedly due to the cold (in European terms) winter season.

Exactly.

[May 28, 2021] Understanding Volatility Measurements

May 15, 2021 | www.investopedia.com

Understanding Volatility Measurements

By JAMES CHEN Updated Mar 12, 2020 TABLE OF CONTENTS

When considering a fund's volatility, an investor may find it difficult to decide which fund will provide the optimal risk-reward combination. Many websites provide various volatility measures for mutual funds free of charge; however, it can be hard to know not only what the figures mean but also how to analyze them.

https://637ee757112ba46fe0c09f00b0574098.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Furthermore, the relationship between these figures is not always obvious. Read on to learn about the four most common volatility measures and how they are applied in the type of risk analysis based on modern portfolio theory.

me title=

KEY TAKEAWAYS Optimal Portfolio Theory and Mutual Funds

One examination of the relationship between portfolio returns and risk is the efficient frontier , a curve that is a part of the modern portfolio theory. The curve forms from a graph plotting return and risk indicated by volatility, which is represented by the standard deviation . According to the modern portfolio theory, funds lying on the curve are yielding the maximum return possible, given the amount of volatility.

me title=

As standard deviation increases, so does the return. Once expected returns of a portfolio reach a certain level, an investor must take on a large amount of volatility for a small increase in return. Obviously, portfolios with a risk/return relationship plotted far below the curve are not optimal since the investor is taking on a large amount of instability for a small return. To determine if the proposed fund has an optimal return for the amount of volatility acquired, an investor needs to do an analysis of the fund's standard deviation.

Modern portfolio theory and volatility are not the only means investors use to analyze the risk caused by many different factors in the market. And things like risk tolerance and investment strategy affect how an investor views his or her exposure to risk. Here are four other measures.

https://637ee757112ba46fe0c09f00b0574098.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html 1. Standard Deviation

As with many statistical measures, the calculation for standard deviation can be intimidating, but because the number is extremely useful for those who know how to use it, there are many free mutual fund screening services that provide the standard deviations of funds.

https://637ee757112ba46fe0c09f00b0574098.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The standard deviation essentially reports a fund's volatility, which indicates the tendency of the returns to rise or fall drastically in a short period of time. A volatile security is also considered a higher risk because its performance may change quickly in either direction at any moment. The standard deviation of a fund measures this risk by measuring the degree to which the fund fluctuates in relation to its mean return .

A fund with a consistent four-year return of 3%, for example, would have a mean, or average, of 3%. The standard deviation for this fund would then be zero because the fund's return in any given year does not differ from its four-year mean of 3%. On the other hand, a fund that in each of the last four years returned -5%, 17%, 2%, and 30% would have a mean return of 11%. This fund would also exhibit a high standard deviation because each year, the return of the fund differs from the mean return. This fund is, therefore, riskier because it fluctuates widely between negative and positive returns within a short period.

Remember, because volatility is only one indicator of the risk affecting a security, a stable past performance of a fund is not necessarily a guarantee of future stability. Since unforeseen market factors can influence the volatility, a fund with a standard deviation close or equal to zero this year may behave differently the following year.

To determine how well a fund is maximizing the return received for its volatility, you can compare the fund to another with a similar investment strategy and similar returns. The fund with the lower standard deviation would be more optimal because it is maximizing the return received for the amount of risk acquired. Consider the following graph:

With the S&P 500 Fund B, the investor would be acquiring a larger amount of volatility risk than necessary to achieve the same returns as Fund A. Fund A would provide the investor with the optimal risk/return relationship.

2. Beta

While standard deviation determines the volatility of a fund according to the disparity of its returns over a period of time, beta , another useful statistical measure, compares the volatility (or risk) of a fund to its index or benchmark . A fund with a beta very close to one means the fund's performance closely matches the index or benchmark. A beta greater than one indicates greater volatility than the overall market, and a beta less than one indicates less volatility than the benchmark.

If, for example, a fund has a beta of 1.05 in relation to the S&P 500, the fund has been moving 5% more than the index. Therefore, if the S&P 500 increased by 15%, the fund would be expected to increase by 15.75%. On the other hand, a fund with a beta of 2.4 would be expected to move 2.4 times more than its corresponding index. So if the S&P 500 moved 10%, the fund would be expected to rise 24%, and if the S&P 500 declined 10%, the fund would be expected to lose 24%.

Investors expecting the market to be bullish may choose funds exhibiting high betas, which increase investors' chances of beating the market. If an investor expects the market to be bearish in the near future, the funds with betas less than one are a good choice because they would be expected to decline less in value than the index. For example, if a fund had a beta of 0.5, and the S&P 500 declined by 6%, the fund would be expected to decline only 3%.

Beta by itself is limited and can be skewed due to factors other than the market risk affecting the fund's volatility.

3. R-Squared

The R-squared of a fund shows investors if the beta of a mutual fund is measured against an appropriate benchmark. Measuring the correlation of a fund's movements to that of an index , R-squared describes the level of association between the fund's volatility and market risk, or, more specifically, the degree to which a fund's volatility is a result of the day-to-day fluctuations experienced by the overall market.

R-squared values range between 0 and 100, where 0 represents the least correlation, and 100 represents full correlation. If a fund's beta has an R-squared value close to 100, the beta of the fund should be trusted. On the other hand, an R-squared value close to 0 indicates the beta is not particularly useful because the fund is being compared against an inappropriate benchmark.

If, for example, a bond fund was judged against the S&P 500, the R-squared value would be very low. A bond index such as the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index would be a much more appropriate benchmark for a bond fund so that the resulting R-squared value would be higher. Obviously, the risks apparent in the stock market are different than those associated with the bond market . Therefore, if the beta for a bond were calculated using a stock index, the beta would not be trustworthy.

An inappropriate benchmark will skew more than just beta. Alpha is calculated using beta, so if the R-squared value of a fund is low, it is also wise not to trust the figure given for alpha. We'll go through an example in the next section.

4. Alpha

Up to this point, we have learned how to examine figures measuring risk posed by volatility, but how do we measure the extra return rewarded to you for taking on the risk posed by factors other than market volatility? Enter alpha, which measures how much if any of this extra risk helped the fund outperform its corresponding benchmark. Using beta, alpha's computation compares the fund's performance to that of the benchmark's risk-adjusted returns and establishes if the fund outperformed the market, given the same amount of risk.

For example, if a fund has an alpha of one, it means that the fund outperformed the benchmark by 1%. Negative alphas are bad in that they indicate the fund underperformed for the amount of extra, fund-specific risk the fund's investors undertook.

The Bottom Line

This explanation of these four statistical measures provides you with the basic knowledge for using them to apply the premise of the optimal portfolio theory, which uses volatility to establish risk and offers a guideline for determining how much of a fund's volatility carries a higher potential for return. These figures can be difficult to understand, so if you use them, it is important to know what they mean.

These calculations only work within one type of risk analysis . If you are deciding on buying mutual funds, it is important to be aware of factors other than volatility that affect and indicate the risk posed by mutual funds.

SPONSORED Maximize Rental Income. Guaranteed. Looking for better property management? Mynd was founded by real estate investors who are committed to helping owners stress less and earn more. Our results-focused local teams have a national repair network and advanced leasing tools at their fingertips. Active in 21 markets and growing, Mynd offers single and multi-family property management starting at only $69/mo. Damage and income guarantees available for up to $15,000. Learn more about Mynd. Get a free consultation now.

[May 28, 2021] More signs that the fast recovery in the US economy is not quite so fast.

May 17, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 16 2021 22:27 utc | 76

It's also starting to hurt the American economy:

More signs that the fast recovery in the US economy is not quite so fast.

Industrial production rose 0.7% in April over the previous month, less than expected, partly because manufacturing output growth slowed as auto companies struggled to get parts for new cars.
While industrial production was up 16.5 percent from its level in April 2020 (the trough of the pandemic), it was still 2.7 percent below its pre-pandemic (February 2020) level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector rose to 74.9 percent, but some 4.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average.
Retail sales also stalled in April and, excluding food and fuel, sales fell 1.5%.

Taiwan is now becoming an obstacle to the American Empire's own imperial agenda.

For now, the solution being found is to force Samsung (South Korea) to build a chip factory in the USA. But South Korea can only pay for others' sins up to a point. There will come a time the USA will have to choose which one to lose: the entire Korean Peninsula or Taiwan. My bet is they'll throw Taiwan under the bus long before South Korea even starts to crack.

[May 28, 2021] Liz Cheney Faces Chopping Block As GOP Braces For Chaotic Week

It is always good when neocons are demoted. Warmongering neocon pigs should be removed.
May 09, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

"She's done as a member of leadership. I don't understand what she's doing," one former House GOP lawmaker told The Hill of Cheney's ongoing attacks on former President Trump. " It's like political self-immolation. You can't cancel Trump from the Republican Party; all she's done is cancel herself. "

Cheney has repeatedly attacked Trump for 'inciting' the Jan. 6 'insurrection' despite telling supporters to protest peacefully and then go home following the breach of the Capitol.

GOP leaders hope that purging Cheney from the leadership ranks will move Republicans beyond their civil war over Trump" one that's raged publicly since the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol" and allow the party to unite behind a midterm campaign message that President Biden and the Democrats are too liberal for the country. - The Hill

"There are still a few members that are talking about things that happened in the past, not really focused on what we need to do to move forward and win the majority back next year," according to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the minority whip. "We're going to have to be unified if we defeat the socialist agenda you're seeing in Washington."

A victory by Stefanik would mark a symbolic shift back towards Trump by leading Republicans - as the former president remains highly engaged this election cycle and has threatened to politically obliterate any remaining GOP opposition.

"By ousting her, what we're saying is: We are repudiating your repudiation of the Trump policies and the Trump agenda and her attacks on the president," according to Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), adding " President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. And when she's out there attacking him, she's attacking the leader of the Republican Party ."

Cheney has already survived one challenge to her leadership post, in February, after she infuriated conservatives by voting to impeach Trump for inciting the Capitol rampage on Jan. 6. With the backing of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), she easily kept her seat as conference chair, 145 to 61 by secret ballot.

With McCarthy and Scalise fed up with Cheney and now backing Stefanik, the 36-year-old New Yorker is expected to prevail in Wednesday's contest" a would-be victory for leaders who have failed to unite the conference behind a post-Trump strategy in the early months of the Biden administration. - The Hill

... ... ...

Cheney isn't the only House Republican facing backlash for taking on Trump. Earlier in the week, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of seven Republican senators who voted this year to convict Trump, was booed and called a traitor at the Utah GOP state convention, where he narrowly beat back an effort to censure him.

On Friday, the Ohio Republican Party Central Committee voted to censure Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Cheney and the eight other House Republicans who backed Trump's impeachment in January. The Ohio GOP also formally called for Gonzalez's resignation.

... ... ...


Catullus 51 minutes ago

I don't care if Trump runs again just as long as these gross establishment Republicans are thrown out on their asses

JoeyChernenko PREMIUM 39 minutes ago (Edited)

Romney is a real traitorous worm. Did you hear him say Biden is a good man with good intentions when the Utah crowd was booing his worthless hide? And we need to make sure the Bush dynasty remains out of power.

Anath 51 minutes ago remove link

the cheney family is pure evil. that is all.

chinese.sniffles 52 minutes ago

Why Would Wyoming choose Chenney, after all that evil that **** brought upon America. If there was no ****, Obama would never get elected.

chunga 47 minutes ago remove link

Cynics suspect primaries are also rigged.

Basecamp3 PREMIUM 50 minutes ago

Comstock is a traitor that never read the Navarro Report which goes into detail of how the election was stolen. Also, ousting Cheney has zero risk. She is stupid, weak, and her own constituents hate her.

overbet 50 minutes ago

which has caused some GOP leaders to fear alienating female Republican voters, particularly educated suburbanites who will be key votes in the 2022 elections.

The female republicans I know are smarter than that. All of them

Grave Dancer 22 38 minutes ago remove link

Liz's sociopath dad **** got hundreds of thousands killed based on a total fraud lie of a war. And Liz has a problem with Trump because he tweets some unfiltered stuff once in a while? Freaking kidding me? ay_arrow

GhostOLaz 37 minutes ago

Don't blame Liz, she has a legacy of treason to protect, Daddy removed the only secular anti Communist govt in the middle East which protected Christains and religious minorities...

gaaasp 20 minutes ago (Edited)

Women could wear pants and not be burkahed up in Syria and Libya and Iraq before Bush/Clinton/Obama/Trump sent troops.

chunga 49 minutes ago

I don't want to give up on the process but the GOP has a lot of work to do.

nmewn 39 minutes ago

The thing about "us" is, when we find them we jettison them. Cantor was another one. She voted to impeach an outgoing President who's trial she knew would be held AFTER he was out of office and again just an average American citizen holding no federal office at all.

She is either incompetent, stupid (or both) or a cancer the GOP can live with excised from the body.

Make_Mine_A_Double 40 minutes ago

Peggy Noonan really came out the closet in this weekend's WSJ with editorial of Liz Chaney against the House of Cowards.

They are 2 of the same. We've had these demsheviks in the ranks for decades. Noonan takes it in the anoose at dem cocktail parties and is Team Mascot for the RINOs.

Tucker finally exposed that filth Luntz. McCathry is actually living with him in one of his apartments - I assume it's not platonic in nature.

This is why Trump could never even the bottom of the swamp....g.d. RINOs need to purged with the extreme prejudice.

the Mysterians 40 minutes ago

War pig.

in deditionem acceptos 48 minutes ago

Liz will survive the vote. Too much graff from the MIC to get her out. McCarthey could of got her out in Feb if he wanted. Wonder what honey pot he's dipping into?

A Girl In Flyover Country 43 minutes ago

She won't survive the Wyoming voters, though.

Cogito_ergosum 52 minutes ago (Edited)

She is protecting her dad who was part of the inside gang that carried out the... demolition of the twin towers on 911...

Flying Monkees 37 minutes ago (Edited)

BS. The tribe's fingerprints were all over 9/11 as documented in extensive detail by Christopher Bollyn.

JoeyChernenko PREMIUM 53 minutes ago

Don't any of these evil families ever just fade into oblivion? Bush, Cheney, Clinton, Obama, etc.

beavertails 50 minutes ago

Extending and pretending there are choices when there aren't any. The MIC got this. The "Prez" is just show to sell ads and steal, I mean raise fiat from the gullible.

[May 28, 2021] Into The Swarm #2: The Greatest Trick Wall Street Ever Pulled

May 22, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Submitted by Romain of The Swarm Blog ,

Down The Market Hole

The French version of Michael Lewis' book The Big Short is intitled Le casse du siècle , which literally means the "heist of the century." This idea is interesting, as going short can be regarded as finding the weak points of the financial system and hacking into it.

However, that game is not easy.

Firstly, because "there is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path," as Morpheus said to Neo. Indeed, even if many people seem to understand problems and to see the answers, most of them will never dare to act. It is true for investors aware of heavy speculation on capital markets, but also for so-called political leaders noting that the trajectory of public debt is unsustainable. Many know what is going wrong, but how many of them will try to do something about it?

The second difficulty is that the greatest trick Wall Street ever pulled was convincing the world that an asset would never go down. Which means that even if one is willing to take a stand against the financial system, there is still a high probability that he or she will ake the wrong bet because of that misperception of risk.

There are a lot of things that can be learnt from past crises, and especially from the events of 2007-2008. Today, most people in finance (apart from TikTok investors?) know that investors like Dr Michael Burry or Steve Eisman made huge profits thanks to credit default swaps on mortgage-backed securities or on collateralized debt obligations. But does it mean that such a trade could easily be replicated?

The answer is "no" as going short on housing securitized debt before 2007 required to agree to keep paying a premium while waiting for an event that never happened before. In fact, everyone laughed at CDS buyers, as betting against the US residential market was seen as the stupidest thing ever. In other words, it is not something that the average Joe would do, and people should bear in mind that Burry even had to prevent Scion Capital's investors from taking their money back as his scenario was regarded as pure madness.

The second problem was that investors willing to short the housing bubble had to properly identify the source of hidden risks in the system. This problem could be summarized by what I call "the Hubler paradox" (see The Great Wall and the Big Short ).

Howie Hubler was a trader at Morgan Stanley, famous for making the second largest trading loss in history. And it was all the more ironical as his analysis on RMBS securities was 90% right. As he realized that many households would default on their mortgage everywhere in the country, he decided to short risky BB tranches of CDOs while buying AAA tranches which were supposed to be "risk-free."

The problem is that financial crises occur because risk was underestimated. Said differently, they occur because of excessive concentration on assets bearing hidden risks. That is what happened with AAA securities of RMBS or CDOs. The fact that many people suddenly realized that those tranches were riskier than previously thought put the whole system in a corner, with too many persons willing the leave the room at the same time using a small exit door. The outcome was a massive spike of credit default swaps.

Meanwhile, part of the risk of BB tranches was already priced in. That does not mean that their valuation did not drop after 2007, but the overall impact was less severe than for so-called AAA securities.

Note that the mortgage delinquency rate peak was around 10% in 2009, meaning that most loans were not affected by payment issues. Somehow the crisis may have never happened if upper tranches had been rated AA instead of AAA.

How can we explain such a collective failure? We do know the answer thanks to decades of academic research: herding behavior and positive feedback loops leading to severe imbalances on capital markets, such as over concentration and increasing short volatility positions.

To summarize, opportunistic players had better focus on hidden sources of risks rather than obvious sources of risks. Betting against obvious sources of risks can be profitable, but assets embedding hidden sources of risks offer the best risk-to-return profile (i.e. the most convex behavior).

Red Queens Narratives

A simple look at social media shows you that today almost everyone is able to identify sources of risk in the system. And some people are even willing to bet against things like Tesla, Peloton, ARK, bitcoin, dogecoin or whatsoever. Those are probably smart moves. But they are also obvious sources of risk. They are at best the BB tranches of current capital markets. So, what is the equivalent of AAA tranches?

I already answered that question in a previous post (see To Be Passive Is to Let Others Decide for You ). Today, I believe that the biggest risk is the excessive concentration on US equities, and especially on exchange-traded funds tracking large cap indices.

For the past years, most fund managers have increased their exposure to the S&P 500 or to the Nasdaq, mainly by being overweight on mega caps like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet or Facebook. Worse, many participants have gone passive, buying tons of shares of large cap ETFs such as SPY or QQQ.

In 2021, Apple or Amazon are regarded as risk-free names. Indeed, everyone knows that those companies are unlikely to go bankrupt anytime soon. And since everyone loves them, then what could possibly go wrong? Well, that is precisely what the story of securitized debt obligations taught us. Once again, "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

During the mid-2000's, most households did not default on their mortgage. However, some defaults occur and one of the biggest crises ever occurred because most investors thought that AAA tranches were risk-free.

Even if FAANGs are unlikely to fail, misperception of risk is tricky and dangerous. Valuations are so stretched that there is no margin safety in case of serious bad news. Besides, what will happen if everyone suddenly realizes that the time has come to reduce the exposure to US mega caps? Will the market be able to absorb selling flows from ETFs and active fund whatever their size?

Of course, people will answer that such a scenario is highly unlikely. That there will always be a bid if people start to sell. To address that objection, I have already mentioned that interesting Twitter thread on the absence of liquidity in the market when people start to panic (see @FadingRallies ).

However, anyone willing to short SPY or QQQ must be ready to pay premium and/or to face margin calls as long as it takes before something ugly occurs. And yes, it may seem crazy. But somehow, such trade could be worth it.

Betting on a 25% drop of Apple's shares before July 16th would cost you a premium of 0.25% of the share price. Meanwhile, the same bet on Tesla would cost 1.58% of the share price. Despite that difference, most people would prefer to go short on Tesla rather than on Apple. Probably, because there are obviously more fundamental reasons to bet against Tesla. And perhaps also because investment professionals are fed up with Elon Musk while being indifferent to Tim Cook. But we must never forget that "it's not personal, it's strictly business." What is more, obvious risks lead to more expensive protections, and thus less convexity (i.e. suboptimal strategies).

This entire post is not an investment recommendation. But it is interesting to bear in mind that most people naturally underestimate the occurrence of extreme events. From a statistical perspective, participants believe in Gaussian distributions, while asset prices are distributed following power-tailed functions. The subprime crisis was an event that was supposed to happen once in the universe lifetime according to securitization specialists, while it only took a few years before the whole thing blew up.

Therefore, everyone is free to believe that US large caps will never crash. After all, this is what it takes for a new "heist of the century," or at least of the past fifteen years. Once you realize that, it will probably be too late to act.

Remember what Verbal Kint added about the devil at the end of The Usual Suspects ?

"And like that"¦ He's gone."

[May 28, 2021] Despite Initial Claims Drop, Almost 16 Million Americans Remain On Government Dole

For April 2021 the official Current Unadjusted U-6 unemployment rate was 9.9% down from 10.9% in March, and 11.6% in February, January was 12.0%. It was also 11.6% October "" December 2020. But It was 18.3% in June, 20.7% in May, and 22.4% in April. It is still well above the 8.9% of March 2020 when unemployment rates started jumping drastically due to massive shutdowns due to the Coronavirus.
May 27, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Initial Jobless Claims tumbled (positively) to their lowest since the pandemic lockdowns began, adding just 406k Americans last week (well below the 425k expected). This is still double the pre-pandemic norms

y_arrow 1
Truthtellers 11 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Companies laid off an additional 400K people last week and they actually think we are dumb enough to believe there is a labor shortage? That line of crap is obviously just a ploy to get employee's to accept lower salaries.

I'll believe there is a labor shortage after 16 million jobs have been added and the weekly initial claims number is zero.

Until then, I guess if you have a "labor shortage" you better get that pay up.

AJAX-2 13 hours ago (Edited)

Another 400K+ applying for 1st time unemployment benefits and yet they piss on my leg, tell me it's raining, while proclaiming there is a labor shortage. Bu!!****.

PerilouseTimes 9 hours ago

Close to a million people a week were signing up for unemployment for a year and unemployment has been extended. Wouldn't that mean at least 40 million Americans are on unemployment not to mention all the people on welfare and disability? I think the number is closer to 100 million Americans on the government dole and that doesn't count all the worthless government jobs out there.

Normal 12 hours ago remove link

I'm on unemployment except California seems to have quit paying people on unemployment. I tried every-which-way to contact them but there is no way in hell to get through to a live person. I went and typed in how to speak with a real person at the EDD, and hundreds of people have posted that they haven't been paid in 12 weeks. I spoke with their Cal-Jobs representative and she said that many people haven't been paid since March of last year. I think they are forcing the so-called unemployed to their Cal-Jobs site by not paying them.

ay_arrow
NEOSERF 13 hours ago

Worst month during the GFC appears to be about 650K...we are only 50% below that....with 21 states preparing to end the extension, things will be fantastic in these numbers shortly if not the real world...waiting for all the cold/flu season coughing and cold weather in November...

[May 28, 2021] DoJ Launches Criminal Investigation Into Archegos Blowup - ZeroHedge

May 27, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Archegos' prime brokers initially attempted to try and avoid a market panic by coordinating their sales of the massive blocks of shares their had accumulated on behalf of Archegos via a complicated series of swap arrangements. But when Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley broke ranks and opted to be the first out the door, Credit Suisse, which had the biggest exposure to Archegos, was ultimately left with more than half of the $10 billion+ in losses that banks were stuck with (while Hwang reportedly lost his entire 11-figure fortune).

Right now, it's not exactly clear what laws prosecutors suspect Archegos and the prime brokers of breaking.

While authorities haven't accused Archegos or its banks of breaking any laws in their dealings, the episode has drawn public criticism from regulators, as well as some inquiries behind the scenes from watchdogs around the world. The implosion shows Wall Street has grown too complacent about potential threats building up in the economy, Michael Hsu, the new acting chief of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, said last week.

But the DoJ isn't the only agency poking around: Investigations are ongoing across the globe.

The Securities and Exchange Commission launched a preliminary investigation into Hwang in March, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. The agency has since explored how to increase transparency for the types of derivative bets that sank the firm.

And in the U.K., the Prudential Regulation Authority has been asking firms including Credit Suisse, Nomura and UBS Group AG to hand over information related to their lending to Archegos, people familiar with the matter have said.

While investigators will undoubtedly focus on what happened, some believe that the real concerns lie in current vulnerabilities in the world of equity finance. The team at Risky Finance recently calculated that some $3 trillion in hidden Archegos-style exposure is out there in the market, just waiting to explode if stocks sell off.

...

It should serve as a warning. 14 years ago, obscure corners of banking businesses became hotbeds of regulatory arbitrage, speculation and leverage. The contagion of US subprime brought the financial system to its knees. Now, after years of low or negative interest rates, equity finance may have become a similar hotbed.


[May 28, 2021] Electricity usage in the USA will take " until 2022 to get back to 2019 levels': Duke Energy CEO

Highly recommended!
That means there there was no industrial recovery at all: stagnation continues unabated. Claims that the the U.S. economy surges in this sense are fraudulent.
But the fact is that stock market casino is now is completely detached from real economy and lives with its own life and dynamics. Of cource, this will not end well, but nobody knows when the bubble will burst or will be deflated by FED.
Apr 30, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to disccuss the pandemic's long-term impact on the energy industry.

Duke observed 10-15% deline in some months of 2020 and 3% for 2020 as a whole.

[May 28, 2021] American Lysenkism in academis: These lowlife parasites sit on their asses and talk shi*. They produce nothing and make a living by spreading nonsense.

May 23, 2021 | www.unz.com

Priss Factor , says: Website May 21, 2021 at 4:44 am GMT • 2.9 days ago

I can understand the frustrations and rage of certain folks.

If you're a worker on an oil rig, a truck driver, a policeman, or some such jobs, there's bound to be moments when you're angry as hell. So, even though such people say crazy things once a while, I can understand where they're coming from. They need to blow off steam.

But the professor class? These lowlife parasites sit on their asses and talk shi*. They produce nothing and make a living by spreading nonsense. And yet, they act like they are soooooooooo angry with the way of the world. If they really care about the world, why hide in their academic enclaves?
Academia needs a cultural revolution, a real kind, not the bogus 'woke' kind made up of teachers' pets.

[May 28, 2021] The danger of blocking North Stream Ii is that Russia can start delivering LNG to Western and Northern Europe at much more competitive prices than the American LNG, through the Arctic route

May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 20 2021 0:15 utc | 49

@ Posted by: ptb | May 19 2021 23:58 utc | 45

It's Izvestia and it was in Russian, that's why I'm not able to recover it. It was also machine translated, so I may well have gotten the wrong message.

But yeah, from what I understood, the spirit of the article was that it was just a matter of time before Russia start to deliver LNG to Western and Northern Europe at much more competitive prices than the American LNG, through the Arctic route (investment in icebreakers, gas pipelines, oil pipelines, nuclear reactors etc. etc.).

[May 28, 2021] Warren Tears Into Fed on Credit Suisse Oversight Before Archegos

May 26, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

(Bloomberg) -- Senator Elizabeth Warren ripped the Federal Reserve for its oversight of Credit Suisse Group AG in the run-up to Archegos Capital Management's implosion, arguing the regulator badly blundered when it freed the bank from heightened monitoring.

Warren pointed out at a Tuesday Senate hearing that the Fed knew Credit Suisse had problems estimating its potential trading losses because the agency had flagged the Swiss bank over that issue in its 2019 stress tests. She questioned why Credit Suisse, under the watch of Fed Vice Chairman for Supervision Randal Quarles, was among foreign banks released last year from oversight by the Large Institution Supervision Coordinating Committee, which keeps tabs on lenders that pose the greatest risk to the U.S. financial system.

"So you now agree that you made the wrong decision to weaken supervision?" the Massachusetts Democrat asked Quarles, who was testifying before the Senate Banking Committee.

"We did not weaken supervision," he responded, saying the shrinking U.S. footprint of Credit Suisse and other foreign banks prompted the Fed's decision. Quarles further argued that the billions of dollars in losses that Credit Suisse suffered in relation to Archegos -- trader Bill Hwang's family office -- weren't a result of faulty Fed oversight.

"The losses you are referring to didn't occur in the United States," he said.

Warren scoffed at the idea that missteps involving overseas lenders don't lead to U.S. consequences. She reminded Quarles his term as vice chairman ends in five months, and said, "our financial system will be safer when you are gone."

[May 28, 2021] US jobs numbers " so bad' media thought it was an " error'

May 14, 2021 | www.youtube.com

David James , 3 days ago

The MSM always covers for Sleepy Joe! This is the bull sh-t we have to put up with here in the USA now. It is very sad our News outlets are unable and unwilling to tell the truth and be journalists like you are here! Thank you Sky News Australia for telling it real!


Noodle Hat
, 2 days ago

We're going to have Jimmy Carter 1970's stagflation.


dewwed1965
, 5 days ago

I'm a trucker in Nebraska. I went to Wendy's they were closed, no staff. Went to Taco Bell they were closed to restock because only 2 people showed up to work


Tenderfoot Prepper
, 4 days ago

"Google's algorithms might be covering for Sleepy Joe." GEE, YA THINK???

[May 28, 2021] How The USA vest from new Deal Capitalism to Tecno-feudalism

May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , May 20 2021 0:32 utc | 52

Below is a link to the latest posting by Ellen Brown at her Web of Debt blog

How America Went From Mom-and-Pop Capitalism to Techno-Feudalism

She does a good job of historical summary and providing options for effecting change that go beyond my one note drum of ending the global private finance jackboot. She quotes lots of folks and it is a good read. My only problem with lots of solutions is that they leave the inherently flawed structure intact....private finance....

I posit to start with making finance a public utility and the rest will flow from that structural change.

vk , May 20 2021 1:37 utc | 59

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | May 20 2021 0:32 utc | 52

From the article you linked:

The sort of capitalism on which the United States was originally built has been called mom-and-pop capitalism. Families owned their own farms and small shops and competed with each other on a more or less level playing field. It was a form of capitalism that broke free of the feudalistic model and reflected the groundbreaking values set forth in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights: that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including the rights to free speech, a free press, to worship and assemble; and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process.

That is a very distorted, romanticized view of colonial and pre-War of Secession America.

During colonial times, immigrants mostly arrived as de facto serfs in the northern colonies, while the south had the plantation system we all know about.

This "mom-and-pop capitalism" of the "small farms and small shops" were actually feudalism with extra steps: remember they were essentially concessions of the Crown to a privateer. This privateer made pre-arranged contracts with people in the UK, on diverse levels, depending on how much you paid him: the richer already arrived on American soil with his piece of land guaranteed, and was essentially your "small farm" owner. There was no "religious persecution", or "land of opportunity": it was all accorded in London before he even set sail.

However, those were the minority: the majority were vagrants and convicts who were sent to the colonies against their will; once they arrived, they had to work for one of those farm owners. The contracts varied according to the colony, but they were invariably draconian; they were very long and prohibited from leaving the farm/piece of land. It was servitude in the strict feudal sense of the word, and it relied heavily on child labor (many convicts in 16th-17th Century UK were children).

So, what Ellen Brown calls "Mom-and-Pop Capitalism" was essentially feudalism with extra steps. Just to give you a glimpse from Nancy Isenberg's "White Trash":

The colonists were a mixed lot. On the bottom of the heap were men and women of the poor and criminal classes. Among these unheroic transplants were roguish highwaymen, mean vagrants, Irish rebels, known whores, and an assortment of convicts shipped to the colonies for grand larceny or other property crimes, as a reprieve of sorts, to escape the gallows. Not much better were those who filled the ranks of indentured servants, who ranged in class position from lowly street urchins to former artisans burdened with overwhelming debts. They had taken a chance in the colonies, having been impressed into service and then choosing exile over possible incarceration within the walls of an overcrowded, disease-ridden English prison. Labor shortages led some ship captains and agents to round up children from the streets of London and other towns to sell to planters across the ocean -- this was known as "spiriting." Young children were shipped off for petty crimes. One such case is that of Elizabeth "Little Bess" Armstrong, sent to Virginia for stealing two spoons. Large numbers of poor adults and fatherless boys gave up their freedom, selling themselves into indentured servitude, whereby their passage was paid in return for contracting to anywhere from four to nine years of labor. Their contracts might be sold, and often were, upon their arrival. Unable to marry or choose another master, they could be punished or whipped at will. Owing to the harsh working conditions they had to endure, one critic compared their lot to "Egyptian bondage."

Discharged soldiers, also of the lower classes, were shipped off to the colonies. For a variety of reasons, single men and women, and families of the lower gentry, and those of artisan or yeoman classes joined the mass migratory swarm. Some left their homes to evade debts that might well have landed them in prison; others (a fair number coming from Germany and France) viewed the colonies as an asylum from persecution for their religious faith; just as often, resettlement was their escape from economic restrictions imposed upon their trades. Still others ventured to America to leave tarnished reputations and economic failures behind.

Each owner adapted the situation to their taste and the immediate necessity. Some concrete examples:

Pennsylvania's class structure had some unusual quirks. At the top were the proprietors, members of William Penn's family, who owned vast tracts of land and collected quitrents. Next came the wealthy Quaker landowners and merchants, bound together by family and religious ties. In the eighteenth century, the Society of Friends disowned any member who married outside the sect, which inflicted real economic hardship by depriving the expelled of important commercial resources, loans, and land sales.

For Carolina:

Class structure preoccupied Locke the constitutionalist. He endowed the nobility of the New World with such unusual titles as landgraves and caciques. The first of these was derived from the German word for prince; the latter was Spanish for an American Indian chieftain. Both described a hereditary peerage separate from the English system, and an imperial shadow elite whose power rested in colonial estates or through commercial trade. A court of heraldry was added to this strange brew: in overseeing marriages and maintaining pedigree, it provided further evidence of the intention to fix (and police) class identity. Pretentious institutions such as these hardly suited the swampy backwater of Carolina, but in the desire to impose order on an unsettled land, every detail mattered -- down to assigning overblown names to ambitious men in the most rustic outpost of the British Empire.6

Yet even the faux nobility was not as strange as another feature of the Locke-endorsed Constitutions. That dubious honor belongs to the nobility and manor lord's unique servant class, ranked above slaves but below freemen. These were the "Leet-men," who were encouraged to marry and have children but were tied to the land and to their lord. They could be leased and hired out to others, but they could not leave their lord's service. Theirs, too, was a hereditary station: "All the children of Leet-men shall be Leet-men, so to all generations," the Constitutions stated. The heirs of estates inherited not just land, buildings, and belongings, but the hapless Leet-men as well.

More than some anachronistic remnant of the feudal age, Leet-men represented Locke's awkward solution to rural poverty. Locke did not call them villains, though they possessed many of the attributes of serfs. He instead chose the word "Leet-men," which in England at this time meant something very different: unemployed men entitled to poor relief. Locke, like many successful Britons, felt contempt for the vagrant poor in England. He disparaged them for their "idle and loose way of breeding up," and their lack of morality and industry. There were poor families already in Carolina, as Locke knew, who stood in the way of the colony's growth and collective wealth. In other words, Locke's Leet-men would not be charity cases, pitied or despised, but a permanent and potentially productive peasant class -- yet definitely an underclass.

As a curiosity: here's how the original American lords regarded the average Russian:

A Massachusetts orator put it simply: "I am a freeman, and the son of a freeman, born and reared on free soil." Poor southern whites were born in slave states, reared on unfree soil, and, according to a growing number of public commentators, they suffered from a degenerate pedigree. They did not act like freemen. In Helper's view, their ignorance and docility had made them worse than Russian serfs , when they compliantly voted the "slaveocrats" into office time and again.

That's the beloved Russian Empire those "evil Bolsheviks" destroyed, according to the widows of the Tsar and Orthodox fanatics that infest today's Russian Federation. But of course, serfs had it good in the Empire; it was all about those French-speaking aristocrats in those beautiful halls from Tolstoy's fairy tales.

[May 28, 2021] No More Easy Money for speculators? It's too early to tell

May beyes, but may there is will the Last Hurrah move up...
Even if the S&P 500 stays flat for the rest of 2021, this year would mark its third consecutive year of double-digit gains. The index has only one such three-year period since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
May 26, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

This week, LPL Research analyst Jeff Buchbinder said investors should expect stock market gains to slow significantly in the second half of 2021 as inflationary pressures and rising interest rates weigh on investor sentiment.

[May 28, 2021] EU Parliament report says regime change needed in Russia, recommends Brussels launch propaganda TV channel to help it happen

Notable quotes:
"... A draft report published online by the assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs caused consternation in Russian media on Monday, after statements came to light that argued the bloc "should establish with the US a transatlantic alliance to defend democracy globally" and "deter Russia" from supposed aggression in Eastern Europe. ..."
May 20, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Very aggressive stuff from the EU:

EU Parliament report says regime change needed in Russia, recommends Brussels launch propaganda TV channel to help it happen

A draft report published online by the assembly's Committee on Foreign Affairs caused consternation in Russian media on Monday, after statements came to light that argued the bloc "should establish with the US a transatlantic alliance to defend democracy globally" and "deter Russia" from supposed aggression in Eastern Europe.

As part of its "vision" for future ties with Moscow, the paper concludes that the EU should put forward a number of incentives designed to persuade Russians that a turn to the West would be beneficial, including visa liberalization and "free trade investment."

[...]

At the same time, the committee puts forward a number of extreme steps that it says the bloc should take. It insists that Brussels "must be prepared not to recognize the parliament of Russia and to ask for Russia's suspension from international organizations with parliamentary assemblies if the 2021 parliamentary elections in Russia are recognized as fraudulent."

The success or failure of this operation will depend entirely on the Russian people. Will it fall for the Western European honey trap once again?

After Putin is gone, bets are off. Also, the EU continues to suffer from refugee waves from Syria and Libya, and its economy continues to deteriorate (recession confirmed for Q1 2021). The whole system is so exhausted that they don't talk about even of the absorption of Moldova anymore (the Moldovan president had to bring that up to the Kremlin; good they remembered them).

--//--

US waives sanctions against Nord Stream company and CEO as Blinken & Lavrov meet in Iceland

This looks like Biden had some surge of sanity, but it's not: I read an article on Izvestia some days ago and it seems Russia won the war for the Arctic and has expelled the USA from that sea. That, combined with the fact that Russia has been ramping up investment on the sector, results in the fact that, soon enough, Russia will also have the infrastructure to deliver cheaper LNG by ship to Europe, too.

That means the USA has given up on the NordStream II in order to hurt the Russian LNG investments. Yes, people, that's the insanity of the situation: the USG is completely lost. It still has its ace in the hole, though: the Green Party is set to win the next German general elections, and they're rabid Atlanticists. Like, this would cost Germany dearly and they wouldn't last two years in government, but at least Russian gas to Europe through a non-Ukrainian route would be stopped.

Speaking of the Ukraine, this whole situation makes us reflect: it is patent at this point in time that the EU is a subsidiary of NATO - it expands eastwards after those countries become NATO members. They're the "socioeconomic" version of NATO. This has created a huge problem for the EU, though, because the Ukraine is a massive financial black hole to the American economy (through the IMF) and the USA is pressuring the EU to make it a member quick, so that this black hole goes to European (i.e. German) hands. The thing is Germany obviously doesn't want that, because it needs the Euro to keep at where it is or stronger (you can only enter the EU by entering the EZ nowadays). The Ukraine is salivating to become an EZ member - that's the whole point of the Maidan coup in the first place - so Ukraine entering the EU without entering the EZ is out of the table. The EU must've told the USA that no, the Ukraine must first become a NATO member, then they'll make it an EZ-EU member. The Ukraine is the proverbial hot potato.

All of that coupled with the hard economic fact that, without the Russian gas transit exclusivity, you can't leverage Ukraine's debt, because, after Maidan, all of the public goods and infrastructure were privatized to American capitalists. That means we have the absurd situation where Germany has to give up cheaper gas for itself (which would be essential for its economic recovery) in order to make the Ukraine happy so that it enters the EU, so that it becomes a financial black hole... to the German economy! Germany has to pay the Ukraine for the privilege of having to pay it even more, for eternity.

The price of nation-building has become more and more expensive to the capitalist world. Turns out those Third World shitholes have learned something after all those decades.

--//--

Well, well, well... how the tables have turned:

Iron Curtain reversed? EU agrees to open up to foreign tourists fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but NOT to those who've had Russia's Sputnik V jab

Taiwan is also suffering from a significant brain drain to the Mainland. They're trying to solve the problem by demonizing those people by calling them "traitors".

Interesting times.

--//--

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda.

Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

[May 28, 2021] More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

May 11, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

More Hacks, More Baseless Accusations Against Russia

In January police in various countries took down the Emotet bot-network that was at that time the basic platform for some 25% of all cybercrimes.

Based on hearsay Wikipedia and other had falsely attributed Emotet to Russian actors. The real people behind it were actually Ukrainians :

The operating center of Emotet was found in the Ukraine. Today the Ukrainian national police took control of it during a raid (video). The police found dozens of computers, some hundred hard drives, about 50 kilogram of gold bars (current price ~$60,000/kg) and large amounts of money in multiple currencies.

bigger

Emotet had nothing to do with Russia.

Now the U.S. is accusing Russia of somehow having part in another cybercrime :

President Joe Biden said Monday that a Russia-based group was behind the ransomware attack that forced the shutdown of the largest oil pipeline in the eastern United States.

The FBI identified the group behind the hack of Colonial Pipeline as DarkSide, a shadowy operation that surfaced last year and attempts to lock up corporate computer systems and force companies to pay to unfreeze them.

"So far there is no evidence ... from our intelligence people that Russia is involved, although there is evidence that actors, ransomware is in Russia," Biden told reporters.

"They have some responsibility to deal with this," he said.

Three days after being forced to halt operations, Colonial said Monday it was moving toward a partial reopening of its 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of pipeline" the largest fuel network between Texas and New York.

Biden however is badly informed. There is no evidence that DarkSide has anything to do with Russia. It is, like Emotet, a commercial 'ransomware-as-a-service' criminal entity that wants to make money and does not care about geopolitics.

Yes, a version of the DarkNet software does exclude itself from running on system with specific language settings :

The DarkSide malware is even built to conduct language checks on targets and to shut down if it detects Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Georgian, Kazakh, Turkmen, Romanian, and other languages ...

That is a quite long list of east European languages and Russian is only one of it. Why the authors of DarkNet do not want their software to run on machines with those language settings is unknown. But why would a Russian actor protect machines with Ukrainian or Romanian language settings? Both countries are hostile towards Russia. To claim that this somehow points to Russian actors is therefore baseless.

Russia strongly rejected Biden's accusation:

The Kremlin has once again pointed out the importance of cooperation between Moscow and Washington in tackling cyberthreats amid a cyber-attack on Colonial Pipeline, a US company. "Russia has nothing to do with these hacker attacks, nor with the previous hacker attacks," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Preskov assured reporters on Tuesday.

"We categorically reject any accusation against us, and we can only regret that the US is refusing to cooperate with us in any way to counter cyber-threats. We believe that such cooperation - both international and bilateral - could indeed contribute to the common struggle against this scourge [known as] cyber-crime," Peskov said.

The U.S. seems notoriously bad at attributing computer hacks. It claims that the recent SolarWinds attack which intruded several government branches was also done by Russia. But that attack required deep insider knowledge and access to SolarWinds' computers and processes :

The recently discovered deep intrusion into U.S. companies and government networks used a manipulated version of the SolarWinds Orion network management software. The Washington borg immediately attributed the hack to Russia. Then President Trump attributed it to China. But none of those claims were backed up by facts or known evidence.

The hack was extremely complex, well managed and resourced, and likely required insider knowledge. To this IT professional it 'felt' neither Russian nor Chinese. It is far more likely, as Whitney Webb finds, that Israel was behind it .

Indeed - the programmers of an Israeli company, recently bought up by SolarWinds, had all the necessary access for such a hack. However the U.S. sanctioned Russia over the SolarWinds hack without providing any evidence of its involvement.

If the U.S. continues to blame Russia without any evidence for each and every hack there may come a time when Russia stops caring and really starts to hack into or destroy important U.S. systems. The U.S. should fear that day.

Posted by b on May 11, 2021 at 17:31 UTC | Permalink


David G Horsman , May 11 2021 17:48 utc | 1

Thanks b. I don't think Russia is going to escalate destructive attacks any time soon. There's no upside.
They might even be reluctant to reveal their capabilities in the Ukraine.
For the moment, mockery is the best remedy while they up their game.
psychohistorian , May 11 2021 17:56 utc | 2
@ b who ended with
"
If the U.S. continues to blame Russia without any evidence for each and every hack there may come a time when Russia stops caring and really starts to hack into or destroy important U.S. systems.
"

How can you write such assertions that vary from the approach that both Russia and China are taking?....strong defense but no offense.

Now if empire tried to hack into a Russian or Chinese system/network then appropriate takedowns of malicious systems/networks would seem logical....and I expect they know how...but will not do it on the basis of another avenue of empire lies and deceit.

anon48 , May 11 2021 18:20 utc | 3
You should have titled the post "Killing Two Birds With One Stone".
This pipeline is huge, running from Texas through the Southeast and all the way up to New England. It's condition is beyond awful with multiple leaks along the route some of which lose more than a million gallons per month and much more than can be determined since some of the gasoline / jet fuel went into the aquifers. These faults have been well known for decades and although some of the areas are heavily populated no remediation was done. The local outcry recently caught the attention of the press when kids reported a gasoline smell along the pipeline route to the police. The locals demanded the pipeline be closed for repairs and sought answers from state officials and Federal authorities as to why this situation was allowed. To blame the Russians for the closure of the pipeline which results in a surge in prices and limited availability of gas for the summer is an absolute stroke of genius.
https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/local/ncdeq-colonial-pipeline-spill-huntersville/275-70e16fb6-c945-4634-b933-3975d0573f2e
Ike , May 11 2021 18:27 utc | 4
Great article. Russia must be getting so pissed off with the idiots in Washington.The uninformed and easily manipulated Western people surely get the governments they deserve.
Paul Craig Roberts highlights this with another bit of truth telling from Tucker Carlson
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/05/11/the-proof-is-in-tony-fauci-is-responsible-for-the-creation-of-the-covid-19-virus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_proof_is_in_tony_fauci_is_responsible_for_the_creation_of_the_covid_19_virus&utm_term=2021-05-11
DG , May 11 2021 18:43 utc | 5
@all

I need to ask this: What do you think about the vaccination of children?

...

Josh , May 11 2021 18:44 utc | 6
It is odd that certain elements of the us intelligence community, along with negative factions within the us political establishment, continue to absolutely refuse to enter into verifiable and mutually binding international agreements on cyber security with exactly the nation states that they accuse (without evidence) of malicious activity in the same sphere, while at the same time operating in this field in an openly declared hostile manner under the secrecy deemed necessary for 'national security'.

[May 28, 2021] Was the Colonial Pipeline Co. ransomware attack a false flag operation ?

Probably it was not a false flag. First of all the state of IT security at Colonial Pipeline was so dismal that it was strange that this did not happened before. And there might be some truth that they try to exploit this hack to thier advantage as maintenance of the pipeline is also is dismal shape.
Notable quotes:
"... "As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone. ..."
"... I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens! ..."
"... an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/ ..."
"... Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.' ..."
"... 'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.' ..."
May 19, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blackhat , May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

The Colonial Pipeline Co.,ransomware attack was a false flag. They wanted to blame Russian hackers so they could derail Nordstream II

It is common knowledge that the only real hackers that are able of such sabotage is CIA and Israeli. It's the same attack types they do to Iranian infrastructure on a regular basis.

The Russians are not that stupid to do something they know will be blamed on them and is of no political use to them. And could derail Nordstream2.

As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went. CEO is ultra corrupt. They never ever invested in their infrastructure so when it went down they came up with a profitable excuse. Just look at their financials/balance sheet over the years. No real investment in updating and maintaining infrastructure. Great false flag. Corruption and profiteering.


MarkU , May 19 2021 19:04 utc | 7

@ Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

"As for the money-nobody really knows where it really went." If you are right about the perpetrators, my guess would be that it went into the black-ops fund, two birds one stone.

james , May 19 2021 19:08 utc | 9

@ 6 blackhat..

I have become so used to false flags, I am going to be shocked when a real intrusion happens!

abee , May 19 2021 19:21 utc | 10

@ blackhat 6

an in depth article researching solarwinds hack - looks like it was Israel, not a great leap to see that colonial was a false flag https://unlimitedhangout.com/2021/01/investigative-reports/another-mega-group-spy-scandal-samanage-sabotage-and-the-solarwinds-hack/

vinnieoh , May 19 2021 20:05 utc | 15

Blackhat | May 19 2021 18:51 utc | 6

I'm not familiar with your handle - hello. IMO, it would be counterproductive for Russia to initiate such a hack. What really affects and debilitates US oil and gas interests is low prices, both at the pump and on the stock exchange. The hack helped jack up prices (which were already being jacked-up despite demand still lagging behind supply) which only HELPS those energy interests. It has long been known, the math isn't complicated, what level crude must trade at for US domestic oil & gas operations to be profitable. Remember that just as the pandemic was emerging Russia and Saudi Arabia once again sent the global crude market into the depths of despair.

I do agree the hack can be interpreted in light of the desperation of US energy interests to try to kill NS2. I have not yet read the recent articles discussing Biden's recent moves in that regard. If these moves are a recognition that US LNG to Europe (and elsewhere) are diametrically opposed to climate responsibility, I'd welcome those moves. As is usually the case though, environmental responsibility is probably the least likely reason.

vk , May 19 2021 22:31 utc | 35

Colonial Pipeline CEO confirms paying $4.4 million ransom to hackers, says he did it for America

This is USSR-of-the-1980s level of propaganda. Either way, give that man a statue in D.C.!

P.S.: this is the quotation of what the CEO really said, so you don't accusing me of just reading the headline:

"[it was very hard, difficult to me etc. etc.] But it was the right thing to do for the country," Blount, who leads the company since 2017, added.

--//--

No shit, Sherlock:

Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine hasn't been approved by EU due to political pressure from top officials – Moscow's spy chief

Paul , May 19 2021 23:42 utc | 42

Posted By Oldhippy @28

Thanks for your comment.

Regarding the ownership of Colonial Pipeline: 'IFM Investors, which is owned by 27 Australian union- and employer-backed industry superannuation funds, owns a 16 per cent stake in Colonial Pipeline, which the infrastructure manager bought in 2007 for $US651 million.'

also

'The privately held Colonial Pipeline is valued at about $US8 billion, based upon the most recent sale of a 10 per cent stake to a unit of Royal Dutch Shell in 2019.'

see Australian Financial Review 6 days ago.

Koch may well own another multi million $ stake.

[May 28, 2021] Redditors Aim to 'Free Science' From For-Profit Publishers

May 25, 2021 | yro.slashdot.org

A group of Redditors came together in a bid to archive over 85 million scientific papers from the website Sci-Hub and make an open-source library that cannot be taken down. Interesting Engineering reports:

Over the last decade or so, Sci-Hub, often referred to as "The Pirate Bay of Science," has been giving free access to a huge database of scientific papers that would otherwise be locked behind a paywall.

Unsurprisingly, the website has been the target of multiple lawsuits, as well as an investigation from the United States Department of Justice. The site's Twitter account was also recently suspended under Twitter's counterfeit policy, and its founder, Alexandra Elbakyan, reported that the FBI gained access to her Apple accounts .

Now, Redditors from a subreddit called DataHoarder, which is aimed at archiving knowledge in the digital space, have come together to try to save the numerous papers available on the website. In a post on May 13 , the moderators of r/DataHoarder, stated that "it's time we sent Elsevier and the USDOJ a clearer message about the fate of Sci-Hub and open science.

We are the library, we do not get silenced, we do not shut down our computers, and we are many." This will be no easy task. Sci-Hub is home to over 85 million papers, totaling a staggering 77TB of data . The group of Redditors is currently recruiting for its archiving efforts and its stated goal is to have approximately 8,500 individuals torrenting the papers in order to download the entire library. Once that task is complete, the Redditors aim to release all of the downloaded data via a new "uncensorable" open-source website.

[May 28, 2021] Cheating at School Is Easier Than Ever and It s Rampant

Notable quotes:
"... "Consider hiring me to do your assignment," reads a bid from one auction site. "I work fast, pay close attention to the instructions, and deliver a plagiarism-free paper." ..."
"... ... For the final exam, Mr. Johnson, a course coordinator, said he used a computer program that generated a unique set of questions for each student. Those questions quickly showed up on a for-profit homework website that helped him to identify who posted them. ..."
"... About 200 students were caught cheating -- one-fourth of the class. Overall, cases of academic dishonesty more than doubled in the 2019-20 academic year at NC State, with the biggest uptick as students made the transition to online learning, according to the school. ..."
"... Surprised that the use of apps like Photomath and mathway weren't mentioned. Students can just take a photo of a math problem, specify the directions and copy the steps. ..."
"... I've taugh at the high school and college level. I recently taught engineering at a NC high school. Within a couple months of Zoom teaching, I realized that cheating was rampant. I had numerous blatant examples of straight copy-and-paste cheating. ..."
"... The colleges have been cheating students for decades selling worthless programs and false information to students at exorbitant rates. So who is surprised that the students learned to cheat themselves. ..."
"... What the article needs to cover is the enormous amount of cheating done on SATs, GREs, LSATs, etc. to get into prestigious universities -- especially by prospective students who'll be here on an F1 visa. ..."
"... Such cheating is legendary among some cultures but the PC crowd won't want to hear about that, will they. We need their electronics and their widgets and such best not to rock that boat. P ..."
May 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

A year of remote learning has spurred an eruption of cheating among students, from grade school to college. With many students isolated at home over the past year""and with a mass of online services at their disposal""academic dishonesty has never been so easy.

Websites that allow students to submit questions for expert answers have gained millions of new users over the past year. A newer breed of site allows students to put up their own classwork for auction.

"Consider hiring me to do your assignment," reads a bid from one auction site. "I work fast, pay close attention to the instructions, and deliver a plagiarism-free paper."

... For the final exam, Mr. Johnson, a course coordinator, said he used a computer program that generated a unique set of questions for each student. Those questions quickly showed up on a for-profit homework website that helped him to identify who posted them.

About 200 students were caught cheating""one-fourth of the class. Overall, cases of academic dishonesty more than doubled in the 2019-20 academic year at NC State, with the biggest uptick as students made the transition to online learning, according to the school.

Texas A&M University had a 50% increase in cheating allegations in the fall from a year earlier, with one incident involving 193 students self-reporting academic misconduct to receive lighter punishment after faculty members caught on, a university official said. The University of Pennsylvania saw cheating case investigations grow 71% in the 2019-20 academic year, school data shows.

Dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were caught cheating on an online calculus exam last year, sharing answers with each other from home. The school said in April it was ending a policy that protected cadets who admitted honor code violations from being kicked out.

... ... ...

In February, auction website homeworkforyou.com featured one student post looking for someone willing to do weekly school assignments, exams and a project for a business class at York College in Queens, N.Y., over a two-month span. The winning bidder would also need to pose as the student and respond to classmates in a group assignment. The student specified that an "A" was the desired outcome, and that the "willing to pay" fee was $465.

By the next day, 29 bids had come in. The average was $479.41.

... Other popular websites that students use to get help""by submitting a question for an expert to quickly answer, or by searching a database of previous answers""include Chegg and Brainly, which said they have seen a big increase in users during the pandemic.

Mr. Piwnik said world-wide users grew to 350 million monthly in 2020, from about 200 million in 2019. The basic service is free, while a $24 annual subscription is ad-free and gives access to premium features.

Chegg, a publicly held company based in Santa Clara, Calif., prides itself on a willingness to help institutions determine the identities of those who cheat. It allows educators to report copyright information found on the site. The company saw total net revenue of $644.3 million in 2020, a 57% increase year over year. Subscribers hit a record 6.6 million, up 67%.


Cheating at School Is Easier Than Ever""and It's Rampant - WSJ

A year of remote learning has spurred an eruption of cheating among students, from grade school to college. With many students isolated at home over the past year and with a mass of online services at their disposal academic dishonesty has never been so easy.

Websites that allow students to submit questions for expert answers have gained millions of new users over the past year. A newer breed of site allows students to put up their own classwork for auction.

"Consider hiring me to do your assignment," reads a bid from one auction site. "I work fast, pay close attention to the instructions, and deliver a plagiarism-free paper."

... For the final exam, Mr. Johnson, a course coordinator, said he used a computer program that generated a unique set of questions for each student. Those questions quickly showed up on a for-profit homework website that helped him to identify who posted them.

About 200 students were caught cheating -- one-fourth of the class. Overall, cases of academic dishonesty more than doubled in the 2019-20 academic year at NC State, with the biggest uptick as students made the transition to online learning, according to the school.

Texas A&M University had a 50% increase in cheating allegations in the fall from a year earlier, with one incident involving 193 students self-reporting academic misconduct to receive lighter punishment after faculty members caught on, a university official said. The University of Pennsylvania saw cheating case investigations grow 71% in the 2019-20 academic year, school data shows.

Dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point were caught cheating on an online calculus exam last year, sharing answers with each other from home. The school said in April it was ending a policy that protected cadets who admitted honor code violations from being kicked out.

... ... ...

In February, auction website homeworkforyou.com featured one student post looking for someone willing to do weekly school assignments, exams and a project for a business class at York College in Queens, N.Y., over a two-month span. The winning bidder would also need to pose as the student and respond to classmates in a group assignment. The student specified that an "A" was the desired outcome, and that the "willing to pay" fee was $465.

By the next day, 29 bids had come in. The average was $479.41.

... Other popular websites that students use to get help "by submitting a question for an expert to quickly answer, or by searching a database of previous answers" include Chegg and Brainly, which said they have seen a big increase in users during the pandemic.

Mr. Piwnik said world-wide users grew to 350 million monthly in 2020, from about 200 million in 2019. The basic service is free, while a $24 annual subscription is ad-free and gives access to premium features.

Chegg, a publicly held company based in Santa Clara, Calif., prides itself on a willingness to help institutions determine the identities of those who cheat. It allows educators to report copyright information found on the site. The company saw total net revenue of $644.3 million in 2020, a 57% increase year over year. Subscribers hit a record 6.6 million, up 67%.

C C Cook SUBSCRIBER 13 minutes ago
Colleges administrators and professors ban speakers with opinions that differ from their narratives, pull books they don't like and can claim to be 'racist', and hire based solely on ethnic background.

But. the are SHOCKED when student cheat the system.

S 18 minutes ago

Surprised that the use of apps like Photomath and mathway weren't mentioned. Students can just take a photo of a math problem, specify the directions and copy the steps.

Unfortunately for the students, the apps will solve problems in peculiar ways that stand out to the teacher. I've never had so many students cheat of quizzes or tests. With most of them fully virtual even still, or home often because of hybrid, it's almost impossible to get fairly produced student work. E

SUBSCRIBER 40 minutes ago

Lazy, lazy test makers. Write new questions (and please check them through a simple search first to make sure the answer isn't readily available), timed testing, and assume the test takers all have full access to the internet. Stop assuming the test taking conditions haven't changed. They have.

SUBSCRIBER 44 minutes ago

Back in the 1980's when I went to College there was a big uproar over Cliff Notes. Students copying word for word... But it was known you could buy test questions, hire note takers for class, buy essays. The Frat boys had a well developed system! J

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago (Edited)

The cheating isn't limited to students.

Look at how our Congressional representatives behave in office!

Look at how career bureaucrats behave!

is it any wonder that cheating is so rampant? honesty and integrity are for suckers.

why worry about your conscience? there is no Deity, there is no higher moral law. All ethics are relative. As long as I get ahead, what's the big deal?

There's no afterlife anyway, so what do I have to worry about? G

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

Maybe they're studying to be our future national-level political leaders. G

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

Call me old-fashioned, naive or worse but I always saw homework or studying for an exam as the mental counterpart to physical exercise.

Sure, you can cheat.

But you cheat yourself in the long term when you don't develop the intellectual "muscles" that you need to compete and succeed in adult life.

And you or your parents paid good money to get that degree and you bypassed four or more years of earning potential by attending school.

Sounds like a pretty poor tradeoff to me. B

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago (Edited)

I've taugh at the high school and college level. I recently taught engineering at a NC high school. Within a couple months of Zoom teaching, I realized that cheating was rampant. I had numerous blatant examples of straight copy-and-paste cheating.

I confronted each student and most of them either played dumb, or denied it. I separately showed them each the website and documents they stole from and told them this was their one and only freebie. A few parents confronted me but after showing them the evidence they either dropped it or confronted their own child. A few parents thanked me for holding their kid accountable, but most just complained or dropped it altogether.

After a couple more months of it continuing, and not getting enough support from the administrators, I quit, without yet having secured a new job. I'll say this, it's worse than you think, and your child likely does it too, or knows of those who do. It's become acceptable to them bc of pressure to get into college. M

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

It is not new. Twenty-five years ago, my wife, a ranked academic, was given a paper supposedly written by one of her students. She recognized it because she typed it after I wrote it ten years before.

When she confronted the student he admitted to buying it from a paper mill. Apparently the prof I wrote it for sold his "collection" on retirement. Sadly, even then, the student got little more than a slap on the wrist once outed.

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

The colleges have been cheating students for decades selling worthless programs and false information to students at exorbitant rates. So who is surprised that the students learned to cheat themselves. M

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

This is just a manifestation of the bankruptcy of our education system. Let's face it, for most students from kindergarteners to PhD post grads, it is not about gaining knowledge, learning how to think or even mastering skills. It is about checking blocks to build a resume. What does a diploma really mean? A checked block.

The system has known and participated in this for decades. What does it really matter how that block got checked?

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

What the article needs to cover is the enormous amount of cheating done on SATs, GREs, LSATs, etc. to get into prestigious universities -- especially by prospective students who'll be here on an F1 visa.

Such cheating is legendary among some cultures but the PC crowd won't want to hear about that, will they. We need their electronics and their widgets and such best not to rock that boat. P

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

I'm a lecturer at a Canadian university and am quite troubled by the use of textbook publisher's test banks in exam prep. Students easily find the keys on line. Some students have stopped attending class. They know what will be on the exam. Of course they learn nothing. Admin, faculty and students love the easy inflated grades. Academic wheels turn but there is no learning. It's not a student problem, it's a bone lazy faculty problem. I write my own exams but many refuse. E

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

Wonderful. Just what I want. Doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, urban planners, nurses, mechanics, dentists, and other professionals who need to cheat to graduate.

SUBSCRIBER 1 hour ago

Hey you forgot another sizable group that will provide US with 'professionals' of questionable quality the AA crowd that gets placed into universities based upon what?

[May 28, 2021] Dedollarization is a serious threat to the US neoliberal empire

May 23, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 23 2021 15:45 utc | 7

How can one ignore all the noise in the media to focus on the crux of the situation, implications, and the future outcomes?

One can only understand the impact of events better and envision the future by exploring plausible scenarios and identifying signals which over time will enable one to size up the probabilities of outcomes.

INTERNATIONAL -- MONETARY IMPERIALISM

Geopolitical relationships are frosty & flammable. All the narratives can be summed up into a few SCENARIOS:

The probabilities of these scenarios will be defined by the following SIGNALS:

Any new scenarios & signals? What probabilities would one assign to various scenarios? What will be the construct of scenarios and signals at the national level?

The Dollar Empire likes to initiate a conflict during Olympics when they are held in its adversaries:

  1. 2008, Georgia conflict
  2. 2014, Ukraine conflict
  3. 2022, ?

[May 28, 2021] The Fed Is Playing With Fire, by Christian Broda and Stanley Druckenmiller

Notable quotes:
"... With its narrow focus on inflation expectations, the Fed seems to be fighting the last battle. Just because the Fed hasn't faced big trade-offs in recent decades doesn't mean trade-offs aren't coming or that they no longer exist. ..."
"... The long-term risks from asset bubbles and fiscal dominance dwarf the short-term risk of putting the brakes on a booming economy in 2022. ..."
May 11, 2021 | www.wsj.com

Clinging to an emergency policy after the emergency has passed, Chairman Powell courts asset bubbles.

...With its narrow focus on inflation expectations, the Fed seems to be fighting the last battle. Just because the Fed hasn't faced big trade-offs in recent decades doesn't mean trade-offs aren't coming or that they no longer exist.

Chairman Jerome Powell needs to recognize the likelihood of future political pressures on the Fed and stop enabling fiscal and market excesses.

The long-term risks from asset bubbles and fiscal dominance dwarf the short-term risk of putting the brakes on a booming economy in 2022.

Mr. Broda is a partner at Duquesne Family Office LLC, where Mr. Druckenmiller is chairman and CEO.

[May 26, 2021] U.S. stocks are demonstrating most of the characteristics of a bubble, but don't sell yet, says strategist

Of course, you need to wait until all banks and hedge managers sell ;-)
May 26, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Steve Goldstein

U.S. stocks are looking bubbly but it isn't time to sell, argues this fund manager's strategist.

[May 26, 2021] U.S. stocks are demonstrating most of the characteristics of a bubble, but don't sell yet, says strategist

May 26, 2021 | www.marketwatch.com

... .,. ,,,

Stefan Hofrichter, head of global economics and strategy at German fund management giant Allianz Global Investors, put together a 10-point checklist for bubbles that he says was inspired by Charles Kindleberger, the author of the 1978 classic, "Manias, Panics, and Crashes." In the table below, you can see what that list is, as well as the color-coded rating he assigned to them.

At the end of April, the S&P 500 SPX, 0.20% traded at a cyclically adjusted price-earnings ratio of 37, a level not seen since the dot-com bubble of 1998, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, 0.59% was at an even more-staggering 55. (European, Japanese and Asian equities, by contrast, are trading at or below their long-term valuation multiples.) And he doesn't agree that the valuations are justified by low bond yields. "Low real yields have historically typically implied rather low multiples, since low yields point to a slow-growth environment and a higher risk of recession," says Hofrichter. "Monetary policy over the decades has lifted investors' risk appetite to extremes, powering the run-up in equities," he says.

Also on the bubble list is that multiple asset classes are overvalued, noting that the term premium for longer-dated sovereign bonds remains around 100 basis points below the long-term average. Another sign of bubbles is that they tend to occur alongside the perception of a new era, which clearly is the case now with artificial intelligence. Ultra-easy monetary policy, the advent of new financial instruments like special-purpose acquisition companies and cryptocurrencies, and what he calls "overtrading" -- exponential price movements and signs of above-average risk taking -- also are illustrative of bubbles.

So with all these bubble signs, isn't it a time to sell? "History has shown that bubbles only burst once central banks start to hike rates or take other steps to rein in their 'easy money' policies." Until the Fed starts tapering its bond purchases, "we think there is a reasonable chance that U.S. equities will continue bubbling up further. As a result, we stay nervously 'risk on' for now, gravitating towards risk assets. And we have a bias for value stocks, which are trading at a multidecade discount to growth stocks," he says.

Subtle shift at the Fed

NOW PLAYING: Bracing for a Rollercoaster Summer

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.461.0_en.html#goog_1142166022

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.461.0_en.html#goog_1451969248

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.461.0_en.html#goog_37630317 Visit our Video Center

Tim Duy, chief U.S. economist at SGH Macro Advisors, analyzed the wave of comments from Federal Reserve officials, including Vice Chair Richard Clarida. "Notice how slowly the Fed is moving in the tapering direction, mixing in talking about tapering with policy still being in a good place and not seeing substantial progress 'just yet.' This is by design. It's enough that if you are watching for it and you know what to look for, you see the subtle shift but not enough to be any kind of game-changer," he said. Duy expects the formal pivot toward tapering to be announced at the Jackson Hole, Wyo. conference in August, with the actual reductions starting in the first quarter of 2022, or possibly the final quarter of 2021.

Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles has two speeches, the first on insurance regulation and the second on the economic outlook.

The chief executives of Wall Street banks -- including Bank of America BAC, 0.37% , Goldman Sachs GS, 1.01% and JPMorgan Chase JPM, 0.35% -- will testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee on the topic of oversight.

Read : Big bank CEOs to be grilled on diversity and woke capitalism.

What the News Means for You and Your Money Understand how today's business practices, market dynamics, tax policies and more impact you with real-time news and analysis from MarketWatch. SUBSCRIBE NOW: 50% OFF 1 YEAR MarketWatch on Multiple devices

Amazon AMZN, 0.48% struck a deal to buy studio MGM for $8.45 billion, with Amazon saying the purchase rationale was the "treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine."

Dick's Sporting Goods DKS, 14.98% jumped 8% after hiking its earnings outlook. Zscaler ZS, 12.18% rose 11%, after the cybersecurity company's quarterly results and higher full-year outlook breezed past Wall Street expectations. Retailer Nordstrom JWN, -5.54% fell 5%, after reporting a wider loss than forecast.

After the close, graphics chip maker Nvidia NVDA, 0.24% , database software maker Snowflake SNOW, 2.21% and identity management company Okta OKTA, 1.07% release their latest numbers.

Bitcoin reclaims $40,000 level

U.S. stock futures ES00, 0.16% NQ00, 0.30% rose, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury TMUBMUSD10Y, 1.578% at 1.56%.

Bitcoin BTCUSD, 3.15% , the volatile cryptocurrency, rose over 7% to reclaim the $40,000 level.

Random reads

How parking requirements ruin cities.

A new reality-television series will offer the chance to become an astronaut .

Need to Know starts early and is updated until the opening bell, but sign up here to get it delivered once to your email box. The emailed version will be sent out at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern.

Want more for the day ahead? Sign up for The Barron's Daily , a morning briefing for investors, including exclusive commentary from Barron's and MarketWatch writers.

Read full story
Read Next Inflation 'surprises' are 'almost off the chart' as data runs hotter than expected

Federal Reserve officials seem to be having some success in calming investor fears over inflation --- a chart from Deutsche Bank illustrates why that was a tall task. More On MarketWatch

About the Author Steve Goldstein

Steven Goldstein is based in London and responsible for MarketWatch's coverage of financial markets in Europe, with a particular focus on global macro and commodities. Previously, he was Washington bureau chief, directing MarketWatch's economic, political and regulatory coverage. Follow Steve on Twitter: @MKTWgoldstein.

[May 24, 2021] Avoiding losses is more important than taking a lot of risk in overvalued markets to eek out the last few points of return

May 24, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Robert Armstrong Sun, May 23, 2021, 8:00 PM JPM PRK 0.00%

Grantham thinks we are in a big, multi-asset market bubble and there is going to be a monstrous crash. Grantham lays out his overvaluation argument in a video I made with him in February. There are two issues I wish I had pushed him harder on then: the difficulty of getting out of the market without missing years of gains, and why, if he has mastered the art of identifying and dodging bubbles, the equity funds at GMO (the asset manager he founded more than 40 years ago, where he still serves as a strategist) have not beaten their benchmarks convincingly. Zola.22 A popover with more user information 34 MINUTES AGO if you try to time the market, you must be skillful or lucky at least two times -- when you exit, and when you re-enter. The risk of missing out on the early bull runs is also very great, so that you might miss out on the best part of the gains.

As for me, I am sticking with my game plan, which has two guiding principles: (1) "it is better to buy a wonderful company at fair prices, than a fair company at wonderful prices" (Buffet); and (2) invest in stocks only what will not cost you sleep at nights during times of market turbulence, but keep that much invested at all times (the Economist). A popover with more user information 42 MINUTES AGO Wasn't the whole point of QE to (1) increase bank reserves, thereby encouraging banks to make loans; and (2) reduce interest rates, thereby encouraging borrowers to take loans to fund profitable investments and private consumption?

Before the pandemic, isn't it true that banks that received QE reserves largely did not use them to support increased lending? If so, pre-pandemic QE would have meant the following outcomes: banks' balance sheets remained almost the same (they swapped securities for reserves); central banks had larger balance sheets (they have acquired more assets and issued more bank reserves); and no one else became any the richer or poorer. What effects did this scenario have?

In this round of QE, however, I understand that US banks have made additional loans because of their QE reserves, and also the Fed has purchased securities from non-bank sellers. That must mean that the Fed has a larger balance sheet (more securities, more bank reserves issued, and less funds because of purchases from non-bank sellers); banks have larger balance sheets (more reserves, more loans owed to them, and more deposits owed to depositors); their borrowers have loans that they can use to invest or consume and corresponding obligations; and non-bank sellers have bank deposits that they can use to invest. This round of QE has thus increased M2 (more deposits owed or used by non-bank sellers and borrowers) and bank debt owed by borrowers. A popover with more user information 2 HOURS AGO (Edited) Grantham's claim that you could have pulled out of the market in 1928 is very misleading. To make money you would have had to remain in cash for a DECADE. Many folks lost their shirt by 'correctly' anticipating the initial crash, but then jumped back into a bear market that went even further south.

(From JK Galbraith's history of the 1929 crash, which is an astonishingly entertaining read and perhaps highly timely) A popover with more user information 4 HOURS AGO (Edited) QE is a market-distorting mechanism, used by Central Banks to "manage" interest rates (straightforward) and Money Supply (harder).

Managing Money Supply is difficult because of the number of variables that impact how much new money is created when the Central Bank buys govt. debt securities and issues reserves in exchange.

If the govt. debt securities are purchased from a lending bank, creating more reserves that can be used to make loans, the crucial question is whether the bank will actually increase its credit portfolio, or whether it is more concerned about maintaining its reserve ratio? If it does increase lending, then which sectors of the economy will it lend to - consumer, manufacturing, technology, real estate or financial (i.e. hedge funds)? Is there demand for new loans? The limitations on QE through lending banks were laid bare in the 2010 - 2016 timeframe, when European banks were more focused on repairing their balance sheets and reserve ratios, than extending new credit.

By contrast, when a Central Bank purchases govt. debt securities from a non-bank holder, there is a dual-impact that causes the substitution of govt. securities in favor of other asset classes. First, the reduction in yields makes other asset classes more attractive and second, the shrinking pool of govt. debt securities forces re-allocation of capital into other asset classes. Which of these two variables has a greater impact is hard to say, as it depends on the asset re-allocation decisions of tens of thousands of portfolio managers, working within the framework of investment parameters for hundreds of thousands of investment funds.

Ultimately, the asset re-alloction away from govt. debt securities will inflate the value of asset classes all the way down the risk spectrum, creating a bubble of value inflation in each successive risk-asset class until a new equilibrium is established. This triggers the so-called "wealth effect", where investors borrow against, or liquidate, unexpected investment gains, creating an increase in aggregate demand.

QE's impact on Money Supply is (relatively) easy to understand, but devilishly hard to quantify. A popover with more user information 5 HOURS AGO Risk adjusted returns. How many individuals are invested in bonds? Not very many because there is essentially no return. This means there is a very high concentration in the riskiest assets.
Also Mr. Armstrong individual investors have finite lives. If I am 70 and we experience a market that has no return for 12 years (1999-2011) and there is a 20-40% drawdown within that and I do not have any surplus income to reinvest in the market as it goes down should I just always stay 100% invested. Money managers have to take all of this into consideration and determine their allocations accordingly. Arm chair quarterbacking is quite easy. A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Joeyjoejoe A popover with more user information 4 HOURS AGO (Edited) In reply to Opinionated You are wrong on bonds. Bonds have been great risk adjusted payers.

If you bought 30yr treasuries in 2000, you made almost 8% per annum for 2 decades with zero risk.

Not bad. The S&P would only be slightly better.
A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report ALOM A popover with more user information 4 HOURS AGO In reply to Joeyjoejoe The riskless return on 30 years bought in 2000 is 6,5 %, not 8 %.
Recommend Reply Share
A popover with more user information 5 HOURS AGO The nature of the goal you are pursuing is critical to how you assess Grantham's arguments. If your goal is to beat the performance of a benchmark index over a give period of time, then you very likely reject them.

However, if you seek to achieve long-term accumulation or (even more so), decumulation goals, then you are likely to agree with Grantham's fundamental point that avoiding losses is more important than taking a lot of risk in overvalued markets to eek out the last few points of return.

The math is clear: You start with 100. The market loses 25%, and you are at 75. To return to 100 you need a return of 33%. dingo-x A popover with more user information 5 HOURS AGO I like the article and it makes sense. Problem is that you could find someone with Jeremy's view (but not commanding the same respect, I agree) each year for the past 10 years. I know people who have yet to enter the market since 2009 and have yet to buy a house, waiting for the dip. And they kind of missed the dip last year with equities and it didn't quite amount to a dip with house prices. A popover with more user information 5 HOURS AGO Someone correct me if I'm wrong but

QE = money printing. Shouldn't take fancy empirical studies or mathematical models to figure out that money printing depresses the value of cash and inflates the value of assets relative to cash.

I'm also very skeptical of the claim that QE puts too much money in "public" hands. What is meant by the public? Sure, there were government handouts and unemployment benefits, that I would consider public. But there were also equally if not larger massive government bailouts to large multinational corporations and legislative pork to bureaucratic government entities. I don't really consider those "public". Recommend 1 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Kaze iron big drum A popover with more user information 6 HOURS AGO So in other words, QE does cause inflation, but because the money only lands in the hands of the rich, it is just assets the rich hold that have seen inflation?
Recommend 4 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Student of ideas A popover with more user information 6 HOURS AGO On QE it matters whether the bonds are purchased from banks or from non banks. If they were on the balance sheet of JPM and are not replaced then there is no effect on broad money measures like M2. JPM has simply exchanged a long maturity asset (bonds) for a short maturity asset (reserves at the Fed). Both are government liabilities. If Pimco sells bonds to the Fed it gets a new deposit at JPM which JPM balances by making a new reserve at the Fed. M2 is the sum of cash and bank deposits so it has risen. Monetarist theory suggests that Pimco may use that deposit to buy something else, driving up asset prices. In the first case JPM may not do anything else. Recommend 3 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Anders K A popover with more user information 6 HOURS AGO QE certainly leads to a "hot potato" effect, but you can't just talk about "the public". QE cash ends up with asset managers, but not households. So the inflation it leads to is with financial asset prices, not goods and services. The BoE has written papers in the past about the linkage of the former to the latter (a "wealth effect") but I think they've retreated from that now.
Recommend 3 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report up_trader A popover with more user information 6 HOURS AGO In reply to Anders K The majority of money at Asset Managers belongs eventually to households though. Either the PM at the AM will have to rebalance the portfolio - by buying more other bonds (bidding up th prices) or the client can withdraw some cash and spend it on goods. A popover with more user information 7 HOURS AGO (Edited) Over the past 15 months thought I was a financial genius, until I realized that everything has gone up. I guess its better to be lucky rather than smart.

On the other hand I am worried. Common sense tells me that the higher the market goes, the bigger the eventual crash that will be. But there appears to be a disconnect between Fed (and other Central Banks) outlook and the high levels of both the real estate and stock markets.

In that respect I agree with Larry Summers. There is too much money sloshing around in the system and the Fed and other Central Banks should tap the breaks. You only need to look at the ridiculous prices that Real Estate and Stocks have achieved to realize that the market is telegraphing two possible scenarios: either the economy is going to grow at an an astounding rate going forward, or there's a good possibility that inflation will be a big problem in the not to distant future.

I don't know which will happen (I suspect the latter) but sooner or later the market is going to turn from euphoria to hysteria.
Recommend 2 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report James Peach A popover with more user information 4 HOURS AGO In reply to ldkt You forgot one other possibility; that the market is pricing in low inflation, secular stagnation, and persistently low discount rates. The reason why the CAPE index is high relative to "historic averages" does not need to be to do with euphoria, hysteria or bubbles and could instead be everything to do with fundamentals. These fundamentals may turn out to be wrong, but I think it would be wrong to call this a bubble even in retrospect.
Recommend 4 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Mr Pensive A popover with more user information 1 HOUR AGO In reply to James Peach Maybe "the market" doesn't folollow an economic logic but individual investors just rely on gut feeling?
Retail investors just join the party,thinking stocks can only go up. Most asset managers I talk to just tell me that debt is so high that CBs cannot raise policy rates ever again. Should long-term rates (=market rates) rise regardless, then CBs would control the yield curve. With interest rates on bonds thus capped at negative real rates,equities markets might never fall again.

Sure consumer inflation might rise at some point, possibly even to compensate for the vagaries of the printing press. But the not so independent central bankers may still prefer letting inflation rip over bringing about a colossal recession.

Maybe that's why asset prices will keep rising. Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Moneybags A popover with more user information 7 HOURS AGO The market is in a funny place as long as dividends are exceeding bond yields (before buybacks) That said, owning real assets in a time of excessive money printing and rising inflation is a better place than following a purist's inclination to sell up and own cash.
The whole talk about bubbles should be addressed to the Fed in the first instance. Recommend 1 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report timlshort A popover with more user information 7 HOURS AGO On QE, isn't it the case that Pimco's clients only have cash to the extent that the Treasuries were purchased from Pimco and not from the Fed? And wouldn't that not be the case as much if there had been significant new issuance from the Fed? And has there not in fact been such significant new issuance?

I thought the whole point of QE is that it is "sterilised" in this way so as not to spike CPI. Which would certainly appear to have worked. Which then leads on to: if the above is the correct explanation of QE, why has CPI been flat on its back until v recently? Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report duvinrouge A popover with more user information 7 HOURS AGO The difficulty in identify bubbles is because economists today make no distinction between values & prices.

The classical economists like Ricardo had a labour theory of value to explain prices.
Individual commodities were assumed to have a natural price based upon their actual labour time, direct & indirect, that went into their production. Market prices driven by supply & demand oscillated around these natural prices.
But Ricardo accepted Say's Law & rejected the general glut theory supported by the likes of Malthus, who greatly influenced Keynes.
For Ricardo there could only be over & under production at commodity/industry level.
The general glut theorists understood that the circulation of capital could be disrupted; that supply did not automatically create its own demand.
Ricardo understood there were problems with his labour theory of value though.
It meant that there couldn't be an exchange of equivalents for profits to be made; workers must be paid less than the value they created (hence the Ricardian socialist school).
It also couldn't explain why the price of fine wine aged in oak would sell at a higher price than wine that hadn't been matured.

The LTV had to be corrected or rejected.
The neo-classicals embraced marginalism & prices are supposedly explained by prices.
Problem is there's no way to identify bubbles.

Rather awkwardly for the capitalists Marx solved the problem with the classical LTV.
He explained that as well as commodities having labour values based upon their concrete labour time, the tendency for the rate of profit to equalise gives commodities 'prices of production'.
That only in aggregate do market prices equal aggregate prices of production which equal their labour value equivalents, & that this is only across the business cycle.
It will only be by chance that a commodity sells for its labour value equivalent, supply & demand market prices will oscillate around their 'prices of production'.
They go to market to see how much of society's finite labour time they can claim.
None of this explains asset price bubbles though, but it provides the foundation.

By accepting the role of the market in forming 'natural prices' that are not tied to an individual commodity's labour time, we can see that a credit system, by separating the act of purchase from paying, permits leverage, & so aggregate market prices inflating above their value equivalent.
A credit/debt fuelled asset price bubble.

Historically the credit system could only leverage so far as the value of the national currency was tied to a fixed weight of gold (which takes a set amount of labour time to produce).
Too much token or credit money resulted in gold flight.
Central banks had to intervene to maintain the value of their money, & so pop the bubbles.

Since 1971 they haven't had to do this.
Rather they have been complicit in their creation & now do all they can to stop them deflating.
In otherwords, they continue to push market prices above their values.
The big question is how long they can deny the law of value?
Recommend 4 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report plutus A popover with more user information 3 HOURS AGO In reply to duvinrouge It's plagiarism if you don't cite your source: The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy
Book by Mariana Mazzucato
Recommend 1 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Trutheludes A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO (Edited) On Jeremy Grantham

Often successful genius is a flash in the pan.

Intelligence is a function of times; times pass, and it joins mediocrity. Jeremy Grantham has had his day and should call it a day.

Success is random but passes on as planned intelligence. Spectacular failures too happen in spite of intelligent planning – funds run by Nobel Laureates failed, for example.

In fact, most great men in history were geniuses and failed eventually.

Truth is, myriad forces at work are just too formidable for human intelligence to comprehend and control.

Remain humble and aim small. You will be successful. Buy index ETFs, don't quit; markets might fall but will rise again. And when you will look back years later, you will see a rising trajectory, albeit broken at several places.

.

On QE

"In Pimco's clients' balance sheet, a deposit of $100 is substituted for the Treasuries -- with which they can buy riskier assets."

But was not that $100 already there, with which they bought Treasuries in the first place? They bought Treasuries and then sold them; they paid $100 and got them back. Where is the new money – except for small buying/selling profit?

So, I am sorry QE does not add to money with the public. Fed has only bought Treasuries in a circuitous way and monetized the government deficits by proxy.

Fed buying Treasuries lowers the rates, which might not happen because investors would demand higher yields. Fed's acceptance of paltry yields pushes the interest rates down.


Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Trutheludes A popover with more user information 7 HOURS AGO In reply to Trutheludes PS. By the way Robert, I read reviews of Mandelbrot's The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward. It is a very formidable and humbling book. It is on my buy list. Thanks for recommending it.
Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report James Peach A popover with more user information 4 HOURS AGO In reply to Trutheludes A bank making a profit does not lead to new money, except where it distributes retained earnings to shareholders in the form of new deposits.

On your point about QE, I think you're right, the new deposits were already created when the bank bought the treasuries, which predates the FED's QE operation. But the second question is: would the bank have purchased these USTs if it did not anticipate a QE operation. If the answer to that question is no, then you can make a reasonable argument that the QE operation did lead to an increase in broad money/M2.
Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Enter the Winter A popover with more user information 3 HOURS AGO In reply to James Peach Without clear specification of counterfactuals, none of this talk about whether a particular operation "does" or "does not" "create money" means anything to me at all. Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report high rate tax payer A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO selling out and then repurchasing also has transactional costs which are not insignificant once you count in capital gains tax on the gains. Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Danmalin A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO What is the purpose of QE?
According to the ECB website it is 'to put downward pressure on the term structure of interest rates'.
The BoE website states that 'the aim of QE is simple: by creating this 'new' money, we aim to boost spending and investment in the economy'.
Recommend 6 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report FKN A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO There is almost no industry with as much transparency on performance and comparability than asset management. There is also no industry with as much evidence of LACK of skill in delivering performance that exceeds benchmarks:

https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/en/documents/spiva/spiva-us-year-end-2020.pdf

Yet the industry thrives and practitioners make vast fortunes in the process of destroying value.

GMO is a case in point. The performance on the US equity factsheet that you highlight shows that the portfolio has underperformed 9 out of the last 10 years.

The benchmark free allocation fund that you highlight has returned 4.2% (!) per year over the last years and is basically a macro hedge fund with 17% in equity long/short strategies, 43% in "alternative" strategies and its largest position is 20% EM; i.e. it is not representative of an asset allocation fund at all. Their Global Asset Allocation Strategy has underperformed 9 out of the last years with the only annual period of outperformance being in 2011.

Yet year in, year out Jeremy Grantham and many like him, get to expound their views as if they are gurus to be listened to and emulated and cash their multi-million dollar paychecks.

Every investor should thank their lucky stars for John Bogle and Vanguard for changing the whole nature of the business by not only educating and offering investors the passive alternative but in the process lowering active fees across the industry.

I think journalists who give active managers, selling unrealisable dreams, the forum, do their readers a huge disservice.
Recommend 3 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report French canard A popover with more user information 5 HOURS AGO In reply to FKN Maybe the real treasure was the fees they collected on the way.
Recommend 2 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report A thought... A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO Dr Lacy Hunt is ex deputy chair of the Texas Fed and an expert on Federal Reserve policy. He has written extensively on the difference between QE and "true MMT" ( which is effectively helicopter money) which in turn requires making Fed reserves legal tender and that in turn requires a change to the Fed Reserve Act.

His argument, explained in detail midway through the Q1 2020 quarterly report, appears to conflict with the "QE puts money in the public's pockets " argument the FT appears to be making?

I would welcome your comment on Hunt's line of reasoning? Clearly M2 has indeed increased dramatically but has been offset by falling velocity.

https://hoisington.com/pdf/HIM2021Q1NP.pdf
Recommend 2 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Occam A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO (Edited)


It isn't, however, difficult to identify a badly overpriced market. It is extremely easy in retrospect and it is easy in real time. If you graph them, they look like Himalayan peaks coming out of the plateau.
if I look at the first chart I see an unmistakable himalayan peak emerging in 2014. Yet selling out in 2014 and sitting at the sidelines for now 7 years and counting wasn't the best move. Case in point: it's not that easy to time the market.
Recommend 3 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Danmalin A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO RE QE: shocking, in a way, that it is unclear how a policy avidly pursued by the major Central Banks actually works, or indeed is supposed to work. It is not sold as a policy designed to bid up existing assets but Central Banks can't determine what assets the private sector chooses to buy. or force them to invest in the creation of new assets.
On the Money supply it is more useful to look at the asset side of the Balance sheet. In the EA we can see that most of the growth in bank assets is via the purchase of Government bonds,while the growth in spending to the private sector has been modest and is slowing. So QE is not monetary financing but pretty close to it as its main function is to help reduce the cost of servicing Govt debt.
Recommend 1 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Datcreamcheese A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO (Edited) Reflecting on the prior two cycles for what's to come is a losing strategy (especially mean reversion). Study the 1950s and the Bretton Woods Accord - shifting monetary policy frameworks will break down a lot of correlations from the prior cycles.

As for QE: the treasury is auctioning debt almost daily..bid to cover ratios on 42-week bills consistently exceed 3. The Fed is literally buying treasury securities at their theoretical peak. This isn't QE anymore - this is debt monetization. Treasury is using these funds to pump the "lower end" of the income distribution in the form of direct deposits, enhanced unemployment and tax breaks.

Is this inflationary? Not yet. Household savings are incredibly high. The supply side is the problem. But what did anyone expect to happen when decoupling from China?

What happens to the DXY when the FED stops its asset purchases? Historically - higher yields equals higher dollar. Will this hold given the extraordinary debasement? Recommend 2 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Candidate A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO QE was intended to work bottom down from Central Banks, Banks, Corporations and finally end up in consumer's hands.

If central banks bought bonds from commercial banks, funds available for lending increased for the latter.

Now, commercial banks lent to corporations with the intention to increase capital spending in an easy financial conditions environment.

Subsequently corporations drove the funds to buybacks and dividends therefore inflating stock prices.
Recommend 1 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report JM2845 A popover with more user information 9 HOURS AGO If you're going to use this logic to promote sloshiness, you need to consider what happens when the treasury issues bills or bonds. A second after JPM sells treasuries to the Fed, 2 seconds after it bought them from Pimco, it buys $100 worth of treasury bills issued by the US treasury. If you apply this framework, you should look at all operations that change banking sector liquidity, not just the parts that suit your argument. Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report ArioMike A popover with more user information 9 HOURS AGO Delighted you keep talking to Jeremy, Robert.

I don't like whiskey (or whisky), and my bed is one I cannot hide under. But over December and January in my largest retirement fund, where I have SAA discretion (I view it as strategic risk allocation, rather than asset) I sold lots of equity and am now over 50% cash and linkers. It can be done.

I have never done/supported TAA over my investment career, and view my decision as an asset owner one, not an investment manager one.

Which leads me to offer an answer to the two issues you wish you had pressed him on. It has historically been good practice for asset owner clients to mandate close to zero cash in a mandate. Most managers are rubbish at market timing (see my TAA comment above), and it is foolish to give them rope to hang the client's portfolio with. And it is hard for asset owners to have the skills (and organisational flexibility) to tilt towards (say) value when they think "value risk" vs "growth risk" is underpriced.

Very few investment managers are incented to make the big calls we are talking about. The asset owners with the necessary time horizon are the only ones who can do it. (Or they need to identify the skill of the few JGs that exist and appoint them for long enough to harvest the fruits of those skills). And in fact these guys are not investment managers (who manage portfolios), rather they are strategic risk managers.

Happy to elaborate offline, Robert. Quite a few of your FT colleagues know who I am...

PS The world is in a BNPL Ponzi scheme, debt is the politician's friend, and there are few guardrails there. Central banks are probably fighting the last war (inflation), and not rearming to prevent the next one (correlated, big, risk crystallizations). Think Archegos and friends...The best global Risk Mitigation effort is the Paris Agreement, and implementation there is not exactly in high gear. Recommend 4 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Marc A popover with more user information 9 HOURS AGO In reply to ArioMike I tend to agree with Jeremy as well but my move has been more along the lines of 15% cash and "safe" stocks. So, for example, I would be curious to know why you wouldn't think that a name say like Nestle, which gives you a 2.5% dividend yield in a country with negative rates wouldn't"t be more appealing than holding cash? Even during the GFC, when it had a run of 50% in the previous 2 years to its peak, it only went down c20% and was back near its previous peak within 2 years. It also feels like this time around, with no visibility on yields anywhere already being programmed into the medium term, a turn to these kind of value stocks with sustainable dividends will be more immediate and that these types of stocks may suffer even less than after the GFC.
Recommend 2 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Incedo A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO In reply to Marc I have a similar strategy, in that I have created a cash pool which is sufficiently large to cover my outgoings over the next 5 years, though I am reluctant to invest in a single dividend yielding stock. Warren Buffet provides a strong rationale for why an index is preferable to single stocks ( https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/22/warren-buffett-most-people-shouldnt-pick-single-stocks.html ).
Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report memento_mori A popover with more user information 4 HOURS AGO In reply to Incedo Why does Buffet himself holds individual stocks rather than indexes ? Recommend 2 Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report READ MORE OF THIS CONVERSATION > F2020 A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO In reply to ArioMike You are prudent and of course also technically correct. Also, agree it is a giant ponzi scheme.

However, curious to know your thoughts as to why you believe the Fed would allow the S&P to fall by a large margin (say >20%), triggering contagions?
Recommend Reply Share A dialog showing a permalink to the comment Report Reading Panda A popover with more user information 8 HOURS AGO In reply to ArioMike I have found much comfort in your comment as I thought that I am so dumb for holding 70% in cash, no literally, cash. And the point about getting "shot", well, I made an email and told them I will underperform but their capital is safe. Recommend Reply Share

[May 24, 2021] Taibbi- Con Of The Week - Greensill Capital

May 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

pndr4495 2 days ago (Edited)

Doyle Lonnegan to Johnny "Hooker" Kelly in the movie The Sting: "Your boss is quite the card player Mr. Kelly. How does he do it?"

Kelly to Lonnegan: "He cheats."

philipat 2 days ago

It's appropriate that the entirely useless ex-PM Cameron got taken by this guy and tried to use his influence to access free money for him from The Treasury as an "advisor"..He didn't get any.

Cameron couldn't even do corruption properly!!

[May 24, 2021] -The Fed Has Lost Control- - John Williams Warns Of Hyperinflation In 2022

May 24, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

messystateofaffairs 48 minutes ago

The Fed never had control, just s bunch of shysters running a long term hybrid ponzi scheme.

Lordflin 54 minutes ago (Edited)

The Fed is losing control...

I suppose that is true... as the function has been to drain the people's wealth into the coffers of the few...

The Real Satoshi 29 minutes ago remove link

Sad that Greg Hunter got kicked off youtube.

gregga777 12 minutes ago (Edited)

He is in great company, though. Anyone who offends the Marxist narratives (Politically Correct, Multicultural, Affirmative Action, Diversity, Feminist, LGBTQQ, etc.) gets kicked off YouTube.

pmc 36 minutes ago (Edited) remove link

...As Kissinger said "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer."

https://thenewamerican.com/kissinger-the-illegal-we-do-immediately-the-unconstitutional-takes-a-little-longer/

[May 20, 2021] These energy stocks are expected by Wall Street to rise up to 37% over the next year

May 20, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

A growing economy has helped lift oil prices 31% this year.

Jesse Felder was cited in MarketWatch's Call of the Day for his opinion that energy is the neglected sector of the stock market even though it has been outperforming other sectors since last fall. (You can read Felder's entire posting here .)

He pointed out that energy stocks make up a smaller percentage of the S&P 500 SPX, 1.31% than they did 20 years ago. Looking at numbers provided by FactSet, it appears Felder expressed this phenomenon mildly. As of the close on May 19, the S&P 500 energy sector made up 2.85% of the index's market capitalization, down from 6.95% 20 years earlier.

The collapse in crude oil prices from the summer of 2014 through February 2016 was enough to push some energy companies out of the S&P 500 -- their market values had declined too much to remain in the benchmark large-cap index. And the worst point of the COVID-19 crisis for financial markets even led to forward-month oil futures contracts falling below zero in April 2020. (The price of West Texas crude oil per continuous forward contract CL00, -1.93% was up 31% for 2021 to $63.35 on May 19, according to FactSet.)

The S&P 500 now includes only 23 energy stocks. Our look at the sector will be broadened to the 63 energy companies in the S&P Composite 1500 Index SP1500, 1.19% , which is made up of the S&P 500, the S&P 400 Mid Cap Index MID, 0.52% and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index SML, 0.25% .

Here's how the 11 sectors of the S&P 1500 have performed this year through May 19 and also since the end of 2019 and since the end of 2015:

S&P COMPOSITE 1500 SECTOR PRICE CHANGE - 2021 PRICE CHANGE FROM END OF 2019 PRICE CHANGE FROM END OF 2015
Energy 37.3% -13.9% -15.5%
Financials 25.6% 20.1% 89.6%
Materials 20.1% 40.5% 101.4%
Industrials 15.7% 26.9% 92.4%
Real Estate 14.0% 5.5% 31.8%
Communication Services 11.6% 36.0% 64.5%
Health Care 8.1% 21.7% 76.5%
Consumer Discretionary 5.6% 39.1% 116.6%
Consumer Staples 4.4% 12.7% 40.6%
Utilities 4.2% -0.2% 50.5%
Information Technology 2.9% 45.8% 222.8%
S&P Composite 1500 10.2% 27.6% 100.7%

[May 18, 2021] Us elite factions is a nuanced and complex structure, not monolithic.

May 18, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Max , May 17 2021 19:15 utc | 37

Trump represented a FACTION of the establishment. Which one? He did their bidding and in the process alienated other factions. The other factions worked together to get him replaced. There are factions within neocons, neoliberals and establishment. It is a nuanced and complex structure, not monolithic. It is misleading to state, "he publicly broke away from the American oligarchy's class interests".

Trump's biggest MISTAKE was that he didn't build a good sounding board of advisors. He surrounded himself with his family members and believed his orders will be implemented like a corporate president. Jared Kushner is a Bilderberg. So Trump was connected to the global syndicate and part of the swamp.

The unipolar order ended in 2014/15 and the multipolar order is establishing. The U$A or NATO can't launch a foreign war like they did in Libya. Russia and China have warned the Financial Empire and defined the redlines. This is the reason behind Trump not launching a new major foreign war. Will Biden launch a new war? However, Trump did launch hybrid wars in Venezuela, Bolivia, Belarus,... Trump didn't break from FOREIGN adventures.

During Trump's term:
– How many bombs were dropped?
– How much new DEBT was created?
– How much did the money supply increase by?
– What happened to the trade deficit?

[May 18, 2021] U.S. Bank Stocks Shine as Investors Bet on an Economic Recovery - WSJ

May 18, 2021 | www.wsj.com

P

U.S. Bank Stocks Shine as Investors Bet on an Economic Recovery - WSJ

P Paul Korna
The account of the 3 months of the Biden team is this: bad employment numbers, retail spending flattening, inflation galloping in many sectors, a border crisis, rockets and explosions in the Middle East, and, above all else, a week of shocking gas shortages all over the Eastern seaboard. So really, this poor performance can only be better. But could it have been worse? hardly. They bungled everything they touched, and did not touch that needs to be addressed. Namely, lockdowns, masks, distancing: scores of published scientific studies informs that these are completely futile. They should be lifted. And the Fauci-CDC-SAGE (UK) - official pro-pseudoscience cabal should be fired everywhere. Real science and undistorted statistics should inform people, so they understands that they were duped for a year by the media controlled by Democrats-liberals. Even the WSJ infects people with numerous, ill-written articles on Covid, which is a shame from this medium.

[May 18, 2021] Making predictions is tough, especially when making them about the future of stock market

May 18, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ay_arrow


Jimmie McGill 2 hours ago

The market is getting wobbly. The high flyers (Tesla, Bitcoin, Lumber) are down Bigly, the VIX is increasing, Tech is weak, commoditires are showing signs of weakness while PMs are showing strength. Every day that exit door looks a little smaller.

Silenus 2 hours ago (Edited)

The stock markets have kept reaching all time highs even though economic activity is well below where it was in 2019. There is large-scale unemployment, supply chain problems, worker unrest etc. In other words, there is no reason that stock markets should be at all time highs.

The only reason for these valuations is hopium combined with easy money policy, i.e. speculation.

A crash is definitely possible, and if not a crash, then long-term, grinding stagnation.

Weihan 2 hours ago remove link

Optimism, pessimism, schmepticism. WHO CARES?! None of this matters because there are NO markets! There is only central bank manipulation and corruption. Whatever outcome they want, they will get.

Rentier88 2 hours ago (Edited)

"Peak Wall Street Optimism Is Now Behind Us: It's All Downhill From Here"

Never underestimate all the stupid people who speculate (since it isn't investing) these days, robinhood fools come to mind.

CthulhuNoLivesMatter 4 hours ago (Edited) remove link

You are supposed to invest in things you understand and have confidence in.

Where should I invest my money according to the ZH posters?

drjd 4 hours ago

Yourself.

CthulhuNoLivesMatter 3 hours ago

I'm working on myself right now. Doing intermittent fasting. Also been doing some self work involving applying stoic philosophy to my life.

only person i can control is me

[May 18, 2021] Why the bull market in stocks won't be over until these 3 S P 500 sectors sing

A few more month can be just two or three...
May 18, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com
Mark Hulbert Tue, May 18, 2021, 11:46 AM EDT

If anything, the relative performance of the U.S. stock market's various style and sectors suggests the bull market will stay alive and well for at least a few more months. This cheery forecast is at odds with the widespread opinion that value stocks' relative strength is an early warning signal of market weakness.

[May 18, 2021] Former WaMu CEO sees a housing bubble forming because the Fed is 'hooked' on low interest rates

May 18, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

'Everybody wants to have asset prices forever going up and the cost of financing to be next to nothing,' Kerry Killinger says.

Like many other banks, Washington Mutual rode the wave of low-interest rates to grow its mortgage business during the housing boom of the early 2000s. During Kerry Killinger's time as CEO, WaMu grew to have more than $300 billion in assets.

But when the subprime bubble burst, the bank's fortunes quickly turned. In September 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, Killinger was forced out by the company's board, and ultimately the bank was seized by federal regulators. It still stands as the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

In their new book, "Nothing Is Too Big to Fail: How the Last Financial Crisis Informs Today," Kerry Killinger and his wife Linda, who previously served as the vice chair of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, explore WaMu's failure, the government's response to the last crisis and where there is growing risk in today's econom

... In the book, the Killingers raise concerns about asset bubbles they believe are forming in a wide range of asset classes, including stocks, art and luxury items -- and housing. MarketWatch spoke with Kerry and Linda Killinger about the book, the Federal Reserve and how to avoid another global financial crisis like the 2008 meltdown.

...

Linda Killinger: I wanted to write a book about this because it was such an unusual, crazy experience. Back in the '80s I was a partner in an international accounting firm, and the regulators would call me in to do plans for banks that were failing in that time. I noticed that the regulators would do everything they could to help a bank get liquidity, or to help save a bank that had not been consumed in crime or problems. But in this crisis of 2008, it just seemed like nobody wanted to help community banks. In fact, they just did the opposite. They really went after them. I thought it was important to write about the difference and how important it is to help community banks in a crisis like this.

Kerry Killinger: My focus was more on public policy -- about being sure we learned all the lessons we possibly can. I've become very concerned that some of the policies currently being adopted by the Federal Reserve and the regulators in government may be leading us to a new financial crisis.

'Some of the policies currently being adopted by the Federal Reserve and the regulators in government may be leading us to a new financial crisis.'

-- Kerry Killinger

MW : In your book, you explain that you see another bubble forming in residential real-estate -- just one of the many asset bubbles you warn about. What do you believe caused the last housing bubble that led to the Great Recession and how does it compare to what's going on now?

What the News Means for You and Your Money Understand how today's business practices, market dynamics, tax policies and more impact you with real-time news and analysis from MarketWatch. SUBSCRIBE NOW: 50% OFF 1 YEAR

Kerry Killinger: We've lived through a lot of housing cycles in our careers, and including the big bubble that that was created in the early 2000s. The housing bubble was primarily caused in the early 2000s by the Fed keeping the fed funds rate below the rate of inflation for several years. They did that in 2000 through 2003, and that lowered mortgage payments so low and led to housing prices increasing because housing affordability was good with very low mortgage payments. That caused housing prices to rise much more quickly than the rate of inflation.

From 2000 to 2006 nationally housing prices rose about 83%. Over that same period, the rate of inflation was up about 20%. So a huge increase faster than the rate of inflation, and over the long run, housing prices ought to rise at about the rate of inflation, which was about 2% a year or so. Clearly it was a speculative period where prices were rising too quickly, and speculators and investors increasingly jumped on board.

To help fuel it, underwriting standards were reduced by Fannie and Freddie, the FHA, VA, Wall Street, bank portfolio lenders, and all that. Then on top of that we had this growth of subprime lending. Keeping rates so low for so long was the most important driving force in my opinion.

[Today] the similarities are that the Fed has pursued this policy of ultra-low interest rates with the fed funds rates. Increasingly, the Fed is keeping mortgage rates at an artificially low level for 30-year fixed rates by purchasing assets in their own portfolio, including mortgage-backed securities and an increasing array of guarantees that the Fed has done as part of its policies to fight an economic downturn.

Those actions have led to what I'm calling ultra-low mortgage payments, and that naturally led to a surge in housing prices. Since 2015 housing prices nationally were up about 36% -- more than three times the rate of inflation over that period.

Another similarity is we're seeing speculators and investors jumping in. This go-around it's large entities wanting to buy tracts of homes to use as rental housing. So the non-owner-occupied part of the market, which is the investor side, has gone up from 31.9% to 34.4% in the past year. We're getting a repeat of speculation coming in at this stage with investors coming in in a major way.

Now, subprime lending is not the same factor it was the last go-around fortunately, but we do know that there's an increasing amount of subprime lending going on by the FHA, VA and some of the government enterprises. On the good news side, I think underwriting standards have remained better, much better, than they were in the last go-around. But my caution is underwriting standards are all based on housing prices that are, I believe, inflated because of these ultra-low-interest mortgage rates.

MW: You wrote about how, in your view, the Fed's response last time around exacerbated the financial crisis. And just now, you spoke about how the Fed is contributing to the rise in home prices. So what role do you think the Fed should play in addressing the bubble that you argue is forming now?

Kerry Killinger: This go around I think the Fed has learned that it needs to provide plenty of liquidity to keep from having a crisis. My concern is I think the Fed has gotten hooked on these expansive policies of ultra-low interest rates, asset guarantees, asset purchases and flooding the system with liquidity for a long period of time. And those policies are very appropriate for helping get an economy out of a recession in order to get things stabilized, but their use over extended periods of time always leads to an escalation in inflation and the creation of asset bubbles.

'The Fed has gotten hooked on these expansive policies of ultra-low interest rates, asset guarantees, asset purchases and flooding the system with liquidity for a long period of time.'

-- Kerry Killinger

They are caught in a conundrum now. The policies that were appropriate to help get us beyond COVID-19 -- the longer they keep using those same policies, I think they just keep inflating these bubbles. And it will be very difficult to manage them down in an orderly manner. All assets go through these kinds of ups and downs -- the key is how do we manage them in a way that doesn't cause immediate implosion, like they did in 2008? The longer they allow these bubbles to keep growing, the bigger challenge they're going to have at some point in the future.

MW: You're both strong proponents of community banks and have argued that they should play an important role in the mortgage industry. But following the Great Recession, many banks have reduced or eliminated their mortgage businesses, citing the steep cost of regulation, and non-bank mortgage companies have risen up to fill that void. Should the federal government make it easier for community banks to lend mortgages, and how should it go about doing so?

Linda Killinger: Well, it depends. I think, if it looks like a bank, it smells like a bank and does mortgages like a bank, it should be regulated like a bank. Unless there's some incredible service that they provide that banks don't provide -- otherwise, they're doing the same thing as community banks but they're not being regulated.

The problem with that is things are going pretty well right now because they're selling mostly to Fannie and Freddie. Fannie and Freddie's guidelines are pretty good right now, but at any point in time [non-banks] could couple up with unregulated hedge funds or other entities from Wall Street and start securitizing loans themselves, lowering standards and trying to attract more people.

Especially if the Congress and the new president want to have more affordable housing, it depends on what they do when they want to push for more. There needs to be more affordable housing, but it shouldn't be handled in the way that it was last time. Last time they had Fannie Mae in the 90s saying well 33% of your loan should be [low- and middle-income (LMI)] loans, and by 2008 it was 60% should be LMI. So there's a tremendous pressure on Fannie and Freddie from Congress and the other regulators to really crank out more LMI lending. We really have to be careful about how we do that in the future. Community banks should be involved because they know how to do it right.

MW: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, federal lawmakers and regulators were quick to roll out forbearance options to homeowners who suddenly lost income as a result of the economic shock. A year later, many homeowners are still not making their monthly mortgage payments and are in forbearance. With the foreclosure moratorium still in place, homeowners aren't yet at risk of losing their homes, but that possibility lingers. What should we be doing right now to stave off another foreclosure crisis?

Linda Killinger: During the crisis in 2007, when it started to collapse, Kerry put together a $3 billion fund [at WaMu] to help subprime borrowers stay in their homes. He lowered the payments, and he lowered the amount that was owed, so it was manageable and they could stay in their home. I think that's a responsibility of banks to do that. It's going to be hard when the forbearance goes away -- unless banks and organizations are willing to really write down the principal or lower the payments just to help people a little bit more.

Kerry Killinger: Over the long run you are far better off to do everything you can to keep somebody in a home, if they can possibly afford it. And the last route you want to have to go through is foreclosure, because the costs are painful for everybody involved. We always used to try to do anything possible to keep people into the homes as long as we possibly can, and I think that is a very positive thing what the government and everyone did when COVID hit. Some of those solutions are very appropriate for the short term when you've got a crisis going on, but I think over time they need to be brought back to a more normal environment in which you will always have a small percentage of homes that will have to go through foreclosure. They were just the wrong home for the wrong people at the wrong time.

People don't even think about that anymore, but home prices will fall again in some markets for some reason. Given the rapid escalation we have seen in the last five years, especially in the last 12 months, these are unsustainable price increases that will be subject to some kind of correction when interest rates start to return to more normal levels. Probably one of the more controversial things I'll say here is if you assume that we're going to have about a 2% inflation rate and a GDP growing over the long term at about 2% to 2.5%, then mortgage interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages should be more in the 4.5% to 5% range.

MW: Do you think consumers are willing to stomach mortgage rates at that level, after so many years in which mortgage rates have remained so low?

Kerry Killinger: Look, all of us want to have the good times roll. Everybody wants to have asset prices forever going up and the cost of financing to be next to nothing. That's something that a lot of people wish for. We're just putting the warnings out that seldom do things go up forever. Right now you have borrowing costs substantially below the rate of inflation and way below historic norms, and that's unlikely to last forever.

I don't know if it's a matter of whether the consumers like it or not, but equilibrium would be closer to 4.5% to 5% on long-term mortgages. I just put out there that if that happens, for whatever reason, the affordability of housing will become much more stressed and mortgage payments will grow. That will have a tendency to put downward pressure on home prices. I don't think we're likely to repeat the problems that hit in 2008 because I think the Fed is smart enough now not to pull liquidity to a point that causes a downward spiral. But you could certainly see a period over several years of some downward pressure on prices as affordability becomes more difficult because of rising monthly mortgage payments.

'Right now you have borrowing costs substantially below the rate of inflation and way below historic norms, and that's unlikely to last forever.'

-- Kerry Killinger

MW: What else about the market and the economy right now is a source of concern to you?

Kerry Killinger: I do think that the economy is both stabilized and now back into a strong growth mode, and I think we're going to see very strong economic activity for the balance of this year and into next year. Inflation is picking up and will be higher than what many think at this point. Businesses are telling me that they are having more price increases today than they have had in the last decade. So I think the concern about inflation is real.

And these growing asset bubbles just continue to escalate to the point to where the assets are selling well above reasonable estimates of intrinsic value. That always presents a certain amount of risk. And finally, we're seeing more and more speculative products and speculators in the market -- not necessarily just in housing.

Look at certain parts of the stock market DJIA, -0.36% SPX, -0.40% . Look at bitcoin BTCUSD, -4.31% . Look at SPACs. Look at NFTs. I can just go through a litany of assets that have risen in price very, very dramatically. Whenever you have a combination of rapidly rising price and increasing speculative activity, you have to raise the red flags. Are bubbles being created here?

Linda Killinger: Yes, and are pension plans buying some of those bubble products?

Kerry Killinger: A fair bit of that build-up of buyers for those single-family homes are pension plans doing it directly to have that asset category. Because with the Fed keeping interest rates artificially low, they can't afford to put into riskless assets like Treasury securities. They have to keep searching out yields. One of them is increasingly into residential real estate.

[May 15, 2021] Which organization OPEC or IEA has the most credibility?

May 15, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

RON PATTERSON IGNORED 05/14/2021 at 7:23 am

The OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report said the world oil supply fell by 150,000 barrels per day in April.

World oil supply
Preliminary data indicates that global liquids production in April decreased by 0.15 mb/d to average
93.06 mb/d compared with the previous month, and was lower by 6.45 mb/d y-o-y.

While the IEA Oil Market Report – May 2021 sais the world oil supply rose by 330,000 barrels per day.

World oil supply rose 330 kb/d to 93.4 mb/d in April and will increase further in May as the OPEC+ alliance continues to ease output cuts. Based on the current agreement, global oil production is set to grow by 3.8 mb/d from April to December. For 2021 as a whole, world oil production expands by 1.4 mb/d year-on-year versus a collapse of 6.6 mb/d in 2020. Canada leads non-OPEC+ with growth of 340 kb/d while the US is set to contract by a further 160 kb/d.

That's a difference of just under half a million barrels per day, (480,000 bpd). That's a huge difference. Which one should we believe? Which organization has the most credibility?

[May 13, 2021] Investors Double Down on Stocks, Pushing Margin Debt to Record

This was in December 2020 but the same was true in March of 2020. Now chicken might come to roost
Dec 29, 2020 | www.wsj.com

Investors Double Down on Stocks, Pushing Margin Debt to Record : Chasing bigger gains, some have exposed themselves to potentially devastating losses through riskier plays, such as concentrated positions and trading options.

[May 12, 2021] Stock market and the issue of finite resources

May 12, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul , May 12 2021 22:35 utc | 67

In my youth I worked as a very junior financial reporter and I have a continuing interest. While markets are crashing around the world there is a commodities boom, particularly in copper and critical minerals needed for green energy like cobalt, manganese, tin and rare earths.

China was an exporter but is now the worlds biggest importer. These resources are actually finite.

https://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/commodity-boom-adds-to-confusion-about-the-outlook-for-inflation-20210512-p57r6v.html

The markets are agog at the price of iron ore. While the US wastes trillions of borrowed money and blood in the desert sands of the Middle East on behalf of the bandit state, China builds and produces goods for export.

The US has lost the trade war, but no one ever wins a trade war. It's the last man standing. Uncle Shmuel is looking punch drunk. While the tribal cabal running the US is drunk with power.

Because the US has gone bankrupt and owes China the national debt the elite cabal seem hell bent on war with China as an exit to the financial quagmire they have created.

[May 12, 2021] The Energy Crisis That No One Is Talking About - OilPrice.com

May 12, 2021 | oilprice.com

GAIL TVERBERG

Gail Tverberg is a writer and speaker about energy issues. She is especially known for her work with financial issues associated with peak oil. Prior

More Info SHARE Facebook Twitter Linkedin Reddit PREMIUM CONTENT Russia Withdraws Troops From The Ukrainian Border Why The Outlook For Oil Prices Shifted This Week Fighting Continues In Yemen Amid Secret Ceasefire Talks U.S. Natural Gas Production Poised To Soar By Gail Tverberg - May 06, 2021, 5:00 PM CDT Trade Oil Futures Now

We live in a world of half-truth where words are very carefully chosen. Companies hire public relations firms to give just the right "spin" to what they are saying. CEO make statements that suggest that everything is going well. Newspapers would like their advertisers to be happy. Still is at the limit of Moore's law and fither shriking of dier is impossible due to physical limits. One of the key challenges of CPU engineering is the design of transistors gates. As device dimension shrinks, controlling the current flow in the thin channel becomes more difficult. So callled 8mn process (not that this is a marketing not technological term) is possible and now used in production, 5mn is problematic but used for example by Apple in A14 CPU ( iPhone 12) / According to some sources, the A14 processor has the transistor density of 134 million transistors per mm2. 3mn is probably the current technological limit (TSMC is on track for production first 3 nm chips at the end of 2022 Anton Shilov, Anandtech April 26, 2021 ). It is unclear, if 2mn process will be technologically viable or not. So the only way for CPU manufactures to increase the processing power of CPUs is to increase the number of cores.

I We live in a finite world; we are rapidly approaching limits of many kinds. Which creates problem, in some ways, somewhat similar to the world of the 1920s.

[May 12, 2021] The Most Hyped Corners Of The Stock Market Come Unglued - ZeroHedge

May 12, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Wolf Richter via WolfStreet.com,

Once upon a time last year, there was the EV startup hype-boom that found its way to the SPAC hype-boom, and the two combined and generated miraculously swift and spectacular results; and their collapse has been equally swift and spectacular.

And they're joined by the IPO hype-boom stocks, including the spectacularly hyped highflyers that got shot down, such as Zoom (-49% from peak), Coinbase (-29%), or Airbnb (-35%), and they're in turn joined by the ARK Innovation ETF (-34%). This whole thing has come unglued.

The EV SPAC boom-and-bust is reflected in the WOLF STREET EV SPAC Index, which has collapsed by 57% since its peak on February 17. The index tracks seven EV-related companies that have gone public via a merger with a SPAC: Nikola, QuantumScape (batteries for EVs), Canoo, Lordstown Motors, Romeo Power (batteries for EVs), XL Fleet (EV drive systems for fleets), and Lucid Motors. Since February 17, these seven stocks combined have shed $35 billion in value, which they should have never had in the first place. Easy come, easy go, except when it's your money (data via YCharts ):

[May 12, 2021] Cathie Wood's ARK Wasn't Built for a Flood - WSJ

May 12, 2021 | www.wsj.com

...Ms. Wood's "disruptive innovation" jargon may be somewhat novel. What her investors are experiencing isn't. Fund managers like Gerald Tsai in the 1960s who rode Polaroid and Xerox to stardom or various dot-com visionaries in the late 1990s wound up doing poorly for clients who discovered them after they became hotshots. The culprit is unrealistic expectations and reversion to the mean for the bubbly sectors that got them there. Analyst Meb Faber points out that not one of the five Morningstar "fund managers of the decade" through 2010 even managed to beat the market in the next 10 years. The best of the bunch, Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme Fund, became the worst.

Star managers can be dangerous to your wealth.

Write to Spencer Jakab at spencer.jakab@wsj.com

[May 11, 2021] 11 Plunging Stocks Are Badly Burning Cathie Wood's ARK Invest

May 11, 2021 | finance.yahoo.com

Cathie Wood's ARK Invest is still red-hot, but now in the opposite way: It's getting burned by many collapsing stocks including some in the S&P 500.

[May 11, 2021] Sen. Paul Shreds Fauci Over 'Gain-Of-Function' Funding

May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Paul alleged that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had used a middle-man to funnel money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology via EcoHealth Alliance - which worked with the lab on bat coronavirus projects.

Paul specifically referenced so-called "gain-of-function" research which in this case has been focused on how to make animal viruses more transmissible to humans - specifically bat coronaviruses .

"Government scientists like yourself who favor gain of function research," Paul began...

...only to have Fauci interject "I don't favor gain of function research in China," adding "You are saying things that are not correct."

Paul pushed back - continuing:

"[Those who favor gain of function] say that COVID-19 mutations were random and not designed by man."

"I do not have any accounting of what the Chinese may have done," Fauci shot back, adding that he's in favor of further investigation, but that the NIH had nothing to do with the origins of COVID-19.

"We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," he added.

"No matter how many times you say it, it didn't happen."

More from Sen. Paul via Twitter:


Senator Rand Paul @RandPaul · May 11, 2021 Dr Fauci dissembled or tried to hide his long time support for 'gain-of-function' research which creates super-viruses that jump from animals to humans.

ohm 4 hours ago (Edited) remove link

You can't sit on your thumbs and run year long investigations and background checks while thousands are dying .

But that's just the point, thousands were not dying . Instead of seeking out opposing viewpoints, he relied on the bogus Ferguson model that predicted 2 million deaths presented by Fauci and Birx. Plenty of qualified opposing voices were out there - John Ionnides of Stanford for instance. Trump needs to own up to his mistakes and vow not to repeat them.

nodhannum 3 hours ago

How many renminbi do they pay you comrade...as in be "han" or be gone. I've been to a number of seminars given by Fauci back in his HIV days but he is a lying sob now. It's getting hard for the fellow to cover hisw *** now even with the Maserati marxists in power here.

Plus Size Model 1 hour ago

https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/nih-lifts-funding-pause-gain-function-research

smallblockchevy350 3 hours ago

Rand 2024. I wanted Rand over Trump in 2016 too, but the MSM memed Trump into being the GOP candidate somehow.

replaceme 5 hours ago

So now fauci is on record lying about it, nice.

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 5 hours ago

Yeah. Classic psychopath. He can't help himself at this point.

win95o PREMIUM 5 hours ago remove link

Why would Fauci say the following in 2017:

"There will be a surprise outbreak"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=puqaaeLnEww

YesitsTrue98 4 hours ago

"We are not prepared for a pandemic," Biden tweeted on Oct. 25, 2019, saying the country needs leadership that "mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores."

this_circus_is_no_fun 4 hours ago

At first Fauxi denied the allegation. Then, after Paul cornered him with facts, Fauxi said something like "this is why we did that". So, he admitted that he did what he was denying just a few seconds before . He is literally incapable of telling the truth. I guess he's not called Fauxi for nothing.

adonisdemilo 5 hours ago

Fauci has known from day one what's going on and going wrong. He's up to his neck in it and taking a good look at his body language under questions from Rand Paul, HE'S CONTINUING TO LIE.

chinese.sniffles 5 hours ago

Dr. Fauci:

Have you or your team send or granted permission for work projects to Wuhan or China?

What were those projects?

Why did you send them?

Why did you not do these projects in the USA?

Were any of these projects illegal in the USA?

etc. simple line of questioning, let him perjure himself.

thezone 5 hours ago

Fauci (the politician) knew to not write a check out to the lab directly. It was great to hear Dr Paul bring up EcoHealth. A shell company to facilitate.

surfer4444 5 hours ago

Exactly, blame it on the sub contractor....an old game and the elite are using it well

radical-extremist 5 hours ago remove link

Fauci knows full well the story in the Democrat State News media will be about how he was ATTACKED by Rand Paul, and not about him lying under oath about funding the Wuhan Lab.

chiquita 5 hours ago

This information has been out for a while if you follow War Room, Steve Hilton, and some other sources. Peter Navarro has been hammering at Fauci relentlessly for the last few months and now the MSM is going after Navarro, trying to discredit him. Gee, I wonder why when it looks like the truth about Fauci is falling apart.

What a mess_man 4 hours ago (Edited)

Tucker blew this wide open last night. Of course lots of us here knew all this many months ago. Fauci is lying through his teeth here, and both he and Daszak are deep in the Chicom's pockets. As Tucker said, in a functioning world there would be a criminal investigation. Instead Biden and Co. kiss his *ss and make him our foremost authority on Covid and vaccines. Clown world for sure.

Meatballs 3 hours ago (Edited)

Actually, Saagar beat Tucker to the punch. Either way, the unraveling has begun.

https://youtu.be/6Pk0wLN5uuU

vic and blood PREMIUM 2 hours ago remove link

Don't let the bioweapon profiteer, Daszak, off the hook.

Both greedy psychopaths should hang for their crimes against humanity.

Furthermore, we have no business sharing infectious disease technology with China, even if they could run a lab properly.

Itinerant 4 hours ago

This story is about 14 months old, though not for the MSM.

Actual documentation of the grants from the NIH via the Eco Alliance have been circulating in the public domain for all that time. In it they exactly describe the gain-of-function research that is being outsourced to China, the viruses involved, the methods, the type of experiments, and the aims of the research ... exactly and technically.

There is no room for caveats, or 'allege' or interpretation or anything like that.
The evidence is rock hard and crystal clear.

toady 4 hours ago

Yet there are no prosecutions.

dogbert8 5 hours ago remove link

Finally, the unmasking (pun intended) of Fauci has started.

bsdetector 5 hours ago

Just listened to the questions and answers. Fauci qualifies his answers with information that was not sought in the questions. His answers change the character of his denials... "we did not fund GOF research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

OK Dr. Fauci, please identify the viruses that you did fund for GOF research at the Institute.

Jack Mayorhaufer 5 hours ago

master gaslighters once they reach certain status and paygrade on the Hill

novictim 2 hours ago remove link

"I don't know how many times I can say it? We did not fund gain of function research to be done in the Wuhan Institute of Virology ...(under his breath) because we funded Eco Health Alliance/Peter Daszak which granted the research funding to do gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

CleeTorres 2 hours ago

A simple internet search shows Fauci is lying about funding for this research. But he knows the media won't do their jobs.

Onthebeach6 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Let me assist Dr Fauci with the truth.

Why US outsourced bat virus research to Wuhan

Dr Christina Lin

April 2020

"A U.S. NIH-funded $3.7 million project was approved by Trump's Covid-19 advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci in 2015, after the Obama White House imposed a ban on 'monster-germ' research. In October 2014, the federal government declared a moratorium on gain-of-function research to weaponize viruses related to influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). As a result, the research was outsourced to China's Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is currently at the center of scrutiny for the Covid-19 pandemic."

https://www.ispsw.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/689_Lin.pdf

boyplunger7777 4 hours ago remove link

Fauci looks very nervous . Perhaps why he has been so adamant about constantly moving the goalposts? If you were guilty of something wouldn't you keep changing the focus and appear to be very helpful and concerned?

Max21c 3 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Which people in & around the National Security Council, CIA, and Pentagon are involved in this attempt to gain access, penetrate and spy on the PLA Biological Weapons/Warfare programs via funding mechanisms route? Which people had contact with this institute and programs and what if anything did the spy games produce?

When are they in Washington going to establish civilian rule over the US military and CIA and National Security Council?

When are they going to knock off these silly spy games and spy world operations off and stop this nonsense which produces zero positive results?

What did the gangsters on the Intelligence/Spy Committees in Congress know? What did the gangsters atop the Pentagon, CIA, National Security Council know?

Which Washingtonian assholes are going to go to prison for this boomerang disaster?

How many other groups similar to "EcoHealth Alliance" operate as part of the US/UK intelligence "community" and what other stupid stuff are the idiots mixed up in?

TheRapture 3 hours ago remove link

There is a great deal of evidence (NIH, State Dept grants to offshore USA bioweapons research, Bat Lady was the protege of Dr. Ralph Baric at UNC who has been doing coronavirus bioweapon research for more then twenty years, initial and simultaneous infections in Wuhan at different locations suggesting an intentional release, etc., etc., etc.) And of course, Trump had motive, opportunity and means to stage a false flag to destroy China's economy and damage China's political relations with other countries.

It is likely the USA, no doubt using a CIA proxy, released SARS-CoV-2 in simultaneously in multiple locations in Wuhan. The evidence is substantial. But most Americans can't bring themselves to stare down that particular rabbit hole.

WorkingClassMan 3 hours ago

I'd rather an honest CCP commie ruling the roost than those traitors anyway.

"If I had but one bullet and were faced by both an enemy and a traitor, I would let the traitor have it."
― Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, For My Legionaries

sarret PREMIUM 3 hours ago

Fauci is such a liar, pulling school kid mentality out of a hat to answer serious questions. Likely in his mind he knows it all to be true but since the correct name is 中国科学院武汉病毒研究所 then unless you say that name, or the exact name of the exact subsidiary that was funding or was being funded, then it is not correct and therefore he can answer the question incorrectly without calling himself a liar internally and without saying what the error was in the question that led him to be able to this.

In all respects he just disregards the spirit of the question when he knows full well that he is in the wrong, but denies it every single time based on some concocted fabrication in his mind that the question is not precise enough to nail him to the cross.

Completely disingenuous, can't trust a word he says.

Fish Gone Bad 4 hours ago

Lawyer speak:

We have not funded gain of function research on this virus

They funded all kinds of gain of function on all kinds of permutations of the virus, just not THIS virus.

radical-extremist 5 hours ago remove link

Fauci is also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of men in San Francisco by covering up Bath Houses as the origin of the spread of AIDS...for Mayor Diane Feinstein's political career. No one dares talk about this today.

the Mysterians 5 hours ago

"I did not have sex with that woman!"

Flying Monkees 5 hours ago (Edited)

What could possibly be the reason for gain-of-function research if not bio-warfare?

These evil, irresponsible, arrogant a-holes need to pay.

Posa 5 hours ago

The Eco-Alliance grant from Fauci's NIAID states

We will use S [ie the Spike Protein that makes the SC-2 virus highly infectious] protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.

That has been interpreted as a commitment to Gain of Function research on the Spike Protein which is the key to turning SARS into a virulently transmissible pathogen.

surfer4444 5 hours ago remove link

Exactly...im just baffled how this PoS can blatantly lie to a Senate committee and get away with it...there is zero accountability in our government...end times

Posa 5 hours ago

Fauci can lie because his audience is a convention of lazy, cowardly , illiterate dunces. If Rand Paul were serious he would have had the damn grant in front of him and read the same quotes as I provided in this post. PAul would have held these hearings last year when his Party controlled the Senate.

Posa 4 hours ago

NOTE: This post was censored by The Hill. Typical free speech in America.

George Bayou 5 hours ago

"11 labs in the US create these super-viruses in the US and one of them collaborated with Wuhan Virology Inst -- Fauci has supported NIH funds for all these labs!"

Why is this a-hole still working?

notfeelinthebern 4 hours ago (Edited)

Yap, yap,. yap. Another dog and pony show and the show is painfully old. They parade personage after personage before congress and ask lots of questions. The swamp rats in the hot seat lie by omission and with sleight of hand answers and when done with the act walk away with smug faces....The show must go on.

George Bayou 5 hours ago

Here's an interesting article on Dr. Baric and what he was doing, mutating virus using serial passaging so that the virus are able to infect a completely different species:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/coronavirus-lab-escape-theory.html

Take, for instance, this paper from 1995: "High Recombination and Mutation Rates in Mouse Hepatitis Viruses Suggest That Coronaviruses May Be Potentially Important Emerging Viruses." It was written by Dr. Ralph Baric and his bench scientist, Boyd Yount, at the University of North Carolina. Baric, a gravelly voiced former swim champion, described in this early paper how his lab was able to train a coronavirus, MHV, which causes hepatitis in mice, to jump species, so that it could reliably infect BHK (baby-hamster kidney) cell cultures. They did it using serial passaging: repeatedly dosing a mixed solution of mouse cells and hamster cells with mouse-hepatitis virus, while each time decreasing the number of mouse cells and upping the concentration of hamster cells. At first, predictably, the mouse-hepatitis virus couldn't do much with the hamster cells, which were left almost free of infection, floating in their world of fetal-calf serum. But by the end of the experiment, after dozens of passages through cell cultures, the virus had mutated: It had mastered the trick of parasitizing an unfamiliar rodent. A scourge of mice was transformed into a scourge of hamsters. And there was more: "It is clear that MHV can rapidly alter its species specificity and infect rats and primates," Baric said. "The resulting virus variants are associated with demyelinating diseases in these alternative species." (A demyelinating disease is a disease that damages nerve sheaths.) With steady prodding from laboratory science, along with some rhetorical exaggeration, a lowly mouse ailment was morphed into an emergent threat that might potentially cause nerve damage in primates.

GeneKelly 5 hours ago remove link

"We have not funded gain of function research on this virus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology,"

Sociopaths can lie without registering on a detector by simply defining terms differently in their cerebral cortex and then answering -- from their perspective truthfully -- "no" because the question doesn't match their internal definition.

So Fauci wasn't funding "gain of function". He was actually funding "increasing the virulence of pathogens" or "enhancing the pathogens' ability to infect different species".

Rand and others will have to ask the question a hundred ways to force Fauci to spill the beans.

DeeDeeTwo 1 hour ago remove link

Tucker finally called Fauci a "criminal" at least twice and said, "In any functioning society Fauci would be investigated."

Txjac 5 hours ago

Fauci also owns the patents on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines

Everybody All American 5 hours ago remove link

How is it that only one Congressman dare questions Dr. Fauci? One tough questioner. These cowards all need to hang for the crimes they are allowing. If they think we are just going to sit back and watch this man for much longer lead us they are sadly mistaken.

Downhill from here 5 hours ago

Being an MD, Paul has some credibility on the topic. At least educationally and by training, Fauci and Paul are peers.. More than likely other R's are letting him take point.

replaceme 5 hours ago (Edited)

I forgot, that's the same dr daszak that sent the letter to the lancet saying that covid didn't come from Wuhan, and that he had no reason to falsely say this. THAT Dr daszak. Got it.

Wilde1 2 hours ago remove link

https://vaccineimpact.com/2020/anthony-fauci-40-years-of-lies-from-azt-to-remdesivir/

Totally_Disillusioned 2 hours ago (Edited)

"We [NIH/Fauci] did not fund gain of function research to be done in Wuhan." What the weasel didn't say is that the NIH did in deed fund Dr Baric who was working in collaboration with Wuhan with gain of function experiments on the SARS virus. Baric worked with Ft Dettrick and Univ NC researchers who in turn were collaborating with Canada and Wuhan.

Fauci can parse words but he's a traitor and ought to be held responsible along with all others involved with this.

scraping_by 5 hours ago (Edited) remove link

One amendment to the story --

Carlson was quoting a story by Nicholas Wade, former science editor to the NYT. Published in Medium. So it's not just a talking head repeating newsroom copy, as in CNN.

zorrosgato 14 minutes ago remove link

Fauci is part of a flawed system and don't be fooled in believing he is part of any solution. His endorsing of impractical mask mandates along with mandatory vaccinations of the population, using unproven genetically engineered drugs is proof enough.

https://medium.com/swlh/mrna-therapy-a-new-form-of-gene-medicine-5d859dadd1e

Looking4 6 hours ago

wonder which university in North Carolina could possibly be involved in this ???? :) to be sure they would not have a "bat lab"...would they?

[May 11, 2021] Neoliberalism taken to the limit

May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

ay_arrow

Make_Mine_A_Double 6 hours ago (Edited)

But China can do our bio-chemical warfare research cheaper than we can - it only makes sense to use the theory of 'comparative advantage'.

I think outsourcing our bio-chemical weapons program to our existential enemy is really brilliant and saves the taxpayers money...

replaceme 6 hours ago

Did the NIH give that work special oversight, eg no oversight? Yes, yes they did...

[May 11, 2021] January Non-OPEC Oil Production Climbs Again

May 11, 2021 | peakoilbarrel.com

HHH IGNORED 05/09/2021 at 9:35 am

Yields on the US 10 year formed a bullish hammer within consolidation on Friday. Suggests that yields are headed to 2% or above. It suggests that the move higher is now. Higher yields will lead to stronger dollar. Might be the beginning of where price inflation becomes a drag on economy as yields rise on debt. And as long as price inflation continues yields will rise.

Might put a cap on oil price in near future. Maybe we get another $5-$15 rise in oil price before credit blows up due to rise in yields.

As the cost of credit rises due to price inflation. If you borrowed money at rock bottom interest rates and you now have to rollover debt at a higher interest rate that is a problem for corporate USA.

Anyone that doesn't believe that there will be a huge price to pay for the policy response of Covid-19 is kidding themselves.

Even just on a relative basis. When you expand monetary and fiscal policy by that much in one year. Things tighten on a relative basis as what comes next in the years after is less support.

[May 11, 2021] If Everyone Sees It, Is It Still A Bubble

May 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

"If everyone sees it, is it still a bubble?" That was a great question I got over the weekend. As a "contrarian" investor, it is usually when "everyone" is talking about an event; it doesn't happen.

As Mark Hulbert noted recently , "everyone" is worrying about a "bubble" in the stock market. To wit:

"To appreciate how widespread current concern about a bubble is, consider the accompanying chart of data from Google Trends. It plots the relative frequency of Google searches based on the term 'stock market bubble.' Notice that this frequency has recently jumped to a far-higher level than at any other point over the last five years."

What Is A Bubble?

"My confidence is rising quite rapidly that this is, in fact, becoming the fourth 'real McCoy' bubble of my investment career. The great bubbles can go on a long time and inflict a lot of pain, but at least I think we know now that we're in one." – Jeremy Grantham

What is the definition of a bubble? According to Investopedia:

"A bubble is a market cycle that is characterized by the rapid escalation of market value, particularly in the price of assets. Typically, what creates a bubble is a surge in asset prices driven by exuberant market behavior. During a bubble, assets typically trade at a price that greatly exceeds the asset's intrinsic value. Rather, the price does not align with the fundamentals of the asset. "

This definition is suitable for our discussion; there are three components of a "bubble." The first two, price and valuation, are readily dismissed during the inflation phase. Jeremy Grantham once produced the following chart of 40-years of price bubbles in the markets. During the inflation phase, each was readily dismissed under the guise "this time is different."

We are interested in the "third" component of "bubbles," which is investor psychology.

A Bubble In Psychology

As Howard Marks previously noted:

"It's the swings of psychology that get people into the biggest trouble. Especially since investors' emotions invariably swing in the wrong direction at the wrong time. When things are going well people become greedy and enthusiastic. When times are troubled, people become fearful and reticent. That's just the wrong thing to do. It's important to control fear and greed."

Currently, it's difficult for investors to become any more enthusiastic about market returns. ( The RIAPro Fear/Greed Index compiles measures of equity allocation and market sentiment. The index level is not a component of the measure that runs from 0 to 100. The current reading is 99.9, which is a historical record.)

Such is an interesting juxtaposition. On the one hand, there is a rising recognition of a "bubble," but investors are unwilling to reduce "equity risk" for "fear of missing out or F.O.M.O." Such was a point noted explicitly by Mark:

"Rather than responding by taking some chips off the table, however, many began freely admitting a bubble formed. They no longer tried to justify higher prices on fundamentals. Rather, they justified it instead in terms of the market's momentum. Prices should keep going up as FOMO seduces more investors to jump on the bandwagon."

In other words, investors have fully adopted the "Greater Fool Theory."

Okay, Boomer!

I know. The discussion of "valuations" is an old-fashioned idea relegated to investors of an older era. Such was evident in the pushback on Charlie Munger's comments about Bitcoin recently:

" While Munger has never been a bitcoin advocate, his dislike crystalized into something close to hatred. Looking back over the past 52 weeks, the reason for Munger's anger becomes apparent with Berkshire rising only 50.5% against bitcoin's more than 500% gain." – Coindesk

In 1999, when Buffett spoke out against "Dot.com" stocks, he got dismissed with a similar ire of "investing with Warren Buffett is like driving 'Dad's old Pontiac.'"

Today, young investors are not interested in the "pearls of wisdom" from experienced investors. Today, they are "out of touch," with the market's "new reality."

"The big benefit of TikTok is it allows users to dole out and obtain information in short, easily digestible video bites, also called TikToks. And that can make unfamiliar, complex topics, such as personal finance and investing, more palatable to a younger audience.

That advice runs the gamut, from general information about home buying or retirement savings to specific stock picks and investment ideas. Rob Shields, a 22-year-old, self-taught options trader who has more than 163,000 followers on TikTok, posts TikToks under the username stock_genius on topics such as popular stocks to watch, how to find good stocks, and basic trading strategies." – WSJ:

Of course, the problem with information doled out by 22-year olds is they were 10-year olds during the last "bear market." Given the lack of experience of investing during such a market, as opposed to Warren Buffett who has survived several, is the eventual destruction of capital.

Plenty Of Analogies

"There is no shortage of current analogies, of course. Take Dogecoin, created as a joke with no fundamental value. As a recent Wall Street Journal article outlined , the Dogecoin 'serves no purpose and, unlike Bitcoin, faces no limit on the number of coins that exist.'

Yet investors flock to it, for no other apparent reason than its sharp rise. Billy Markus, the co-creator of dogecoin, said to the Wall Street Journal, 'This is absurd. I haven't seen anything like it. It's one of those things that once it starts going up, it might keep going up.'" – Mark Hulbert

That exuberance shows up with professionals as well. As of the end of April, the National Association Of Investment Managers asset allocation was 103%.

As Dana Lyons noted previously:

" Regardless of the investment acumen of any group (we think it is very high among NAAIM members), once the collective investment opinion or posture becomes too one-sided, it can be an indication that some market action may be necessary to correct such consensus. "

Give Me More

Of course, margin debt, which is the epitome of " speculative appetite," soared in recent months.

As stated, "bubbles are about psychology," which the annual rate of change of leverage shows.

Another form of leverage that doesn't show up in margin debt is ETF's structured to multiply market returns. These funds have seen record inflows in recent months.

With margin debt reaching levels not seen since the peak of the last cyclical bull market cycle, it should raise some concerns about sustainability. It is NOT the level of leverage that is the problem as leverage increases buying power as markets are rising. The unwinding of this leverage is critically dangerous in the market as the acceleration of "margin calls" leads to a vicious downward spiral.

Importantly, this chart does not mean that a massive market correction is imminent. I t does suggest that leverage, and speculative risk-taking, are likely much further advanced than currently recognized.

Pushing Extremes

Prices are ultimately affected by physics. Moving averages, trend lines, etc., all exert a gravitational pull on prices in both the short and long term. Like a rubber band, when prices get stretched too far in one direction, they have always eventually "reverted to the mean" in the most brutal of manners.

The chart below shows the long-term chart of the S&P 500 broken down by several measures: 2 and 3-standard deviations, valuations, relative strength, and deviations from the 3-year moving average. It is worth noting that both standard deviations and distance from the 3-year moving average are at a record.

During the last 120-years, overvaluation and extreme deviations NEVER got resolved by markets going sideways.

The only missing ingredient for such a correction currently is simply a catalyst to put "fear" into an overly complacent marketplace. Anything from economic disruption, a credit-related crisis, or an unexpected exogenous shock could start the "panic for the exits."

Conclusion

There is more than adequate evidence a "bubble" exists in markets once again. However, as Mark noted in his commentary:

'I have no idea whether the stock market is actually forming a bubble that's about to break. But I do know that many bulls are fooling themselves when they think a bubble can't happen when there is such widespread concern. In fact, one of the distinguishing characteristics of a bubble is just that."

However, he concludes with the most important statement:

"It's important for all of us to be aware of this bubble psychology, but especially if you're a retiree or a near-retiree. That's because, in that case, your investment horizon is far shorter than for those who are younger. Therefore, you are less able to recover from the deflation of a market bubble."

Read that statement again.

Millennials are quick to dismiss the "Boomers" in the financial markets today for "not getting it."

No, we get it. We have just been around long enough to know how these things eventually end.

[May 10, 2021] How many times can a declared "expert" be wrong before they are not an expert anymore!

Notable quotes:
"... Ask an economist. Wrong more than 50% of the time and still fully employed. When was the last time an economist got fired for being wrong? ..."
Apr 15, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com
lwilland1012 1 hour ago

How many times can a declared "expert" be wrong before they are not an expert anymore!

INTJ Economist 1 hour ago

Ask an economist. Wrong more than 50% of the time and still fully employed. When was the last time an economist got fired for being wrong?

[May 10, 2021] Expecting crash "really soon" and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

May 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jörgen Hassler , May 5 2021 16:19 utc | 40

"Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned [...]. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their worry. They may worry more than seems warranted about actual events or may expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern."

Seems like the perfect profile for an [CIA] operative. ;)

[May 09, 2021] As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them

Notable quotes:
"... As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity – handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments ..."
May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , May 5 2021 19:47 utc | 85

Below is a repeat of a Glenn Diesen quote from karlof1 comment # 57

"
"As the world has become more complex, people have relied more and more on stereotypes and simplifications to help them interpret and filter events around them. Propaganda manipulates this desire for simplicity – handing people easy answers rather than winning them over with rational arguments. Society then rallies around these stereotypes and squashes dissents with 'herd mentality', an irrational set of psychological behaviors where individuals are swept along with a group, overriding their own rational assessments."
"

Think about the vaccine situation and what just happened to the medical profession in the West....they got railroaded into agreeing that there was not an off the shelf "ivermectin" to the virus and guaranteed future income to Big Pharma is more important.

Hey docs!!! Do no harm! Your complicity in this war crime against humanity is noted. What are the responsible and humanistic actions to take now and why does the public not see evidence that you are organizing to do them?

karlof1 , May 5 2021 19:50 utc | 86

Until the reality of the CIA--to undermine peaceful relations and promote wars required for Military Keynesianism--is taught in grade school, it will always find recruits. As with the FBI, government sponsored propaganda was and remains required to manufacture the reasons for their existence. Nations that promote an equitable polity have no need for a secret police force, but do need some force to counter attempts from the outside to foment destabilization. For example, today's Russia is freer than at any previous time in its history as only extremist ideologies are banned while Communism--still deemed extremist by the West--is relegated to a normal ideology with status as a normative political party. Indeed, I'd argue that Russia remains the only genuine Liberal Western nation, which is a reality Russophobes are unable to accept or even contemplate. The same also applies to the concept of Communism thanks to the unwillingness to even attempt to understand Marx. And as Western thought gets subsumed by Wokeness, the ideological divide between Neoliberal nations and all others will continue to grow.

[May 09, 2021] CPI Is A Lie! We can't trust CPI to tell us the truth about inflation by Peter Schiff

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CPI is calculated by analyzing the price of a "basket of goods." The makeup of that basket has a big impact on the final CPI number. According to WolfStreet , 10.9% of the CPI is based on durable goods (computers, automobiles, appliances, etc.). Nondurable goods (primarily food and energy) make up 26.6% of CPI. Services account for the remaining 62.5% of the basket. This includes rent, healthcare, cellphone service etc.) ..."
"... The things the government includes and excludes from the basket can make a profound difference in that final CPI number. Back in 1998, the government significantly revised the CPI metrics. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admitted the changes were "sweeping." ..."
"... In 1998, the BLS followed the recommendations of the Boskin Commission. It was appointed by the Senate in 1995. Initially called the "Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index," its job was to study possible bias in the computation of the CPI. Unsurprisingly, it determined that the index overstated inflation " by about 1.1% per year in 1996 and about 1.3% prior to 1996. The 1998 changes to CPI were meant to address this "issue." ..."
"... As Peter pointed out, there is a lot of geometric weighting, substitution and hedonics built into the calculation. The government can basically create an index that outputs whatever it wants. ..."
"... Peter said there is a bit of irony in government officials and central bankers constantly complaining about "not enough inflation." ..."
"... They're the ones that are cooking the books to pretend that inflation is lower than it really is. Because what they're really trying to do is get the go-ahead to produce more inflation, which is printing money." ..."
"... And there are other things that hide inflation. For instance, shrinking packaging so there is less product sold at the same price, or substituting lower quality ingredients, or requiring consumers to assemble items themselves. ..."
"... They find different ways to lower the quality and not increase the price, and I'm sure that the government is not picking up on any of that. If the quality improves, yeah, yeah, they calculate that. But they probably ignore all the circumstances where the quality is diminished." ..."
"... The bottom line is we can't trust CPI to tell us the truth about inflation. ..."
May 04, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Via SchiffGold.com,

We've been talking a lot about the specter of inflation. Despite the Fed's assurances not to worry because any price increases we're seeing are transitory, some people are indeed worried. A former JP Morgan managing director warned about inflation and echoed Peter Schiff's view that the central bank is powerless to fight it.

And we're seeing rising prices all over the place, from the grocery store to the gas station. Even the government numbers flash warning signs . But as Peter Schiff explains in this clip from an interview with Jay Martin, it's probably even worse than we realize because the government cooks the numbers when it calculates CPI.

The monthly rises in CPI through the first quarter show an upward trend. The CPI in January was up 0.3%. It was up 0.4% in February. And now it's up 0.6% in March. That totals a 1.013% increase in Q1 alone. The question is does this really reflect the truth about inflation? Peter doesn't think it does.

The government always makes changes to their methods of measuring things, whether it's GDP, or inflation, or unemployment. And they always tweak the numbers to produce a better result as a report card. "

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lnPrsBzIZsw

Imagine if students in a school had the ability to change the metrics by which they were graded or the methodology the teacher used to calculate their grades.

Would it surprise anybody that all of a sudden they started getting more As and Bs and fewer Cs and Ds? The government always wants to make the good stuff better, like economic growth, and the bad stuff better, like unemployment or inflation. So, they want to find ways to make those numbers little and the good numbers big."

The CPI is calculated by analyzing the price of a "basket of goods." The makeup of that basket has a big impact on the final CPI number. According to WolfStreet , 10.9% of the CPI is based on durable goods (computers, automobiles, appliances, etc.). Nondurable goods (primarily food and energy) make up 26.6% of CPI. Services account for the remaining 62.5% of the basket. This includes rent, healthcare, cellphone service etc.)

The things the government includes and excludes from the basket can make a profound difference in that final CPI number. Back in 1998, the government significantly revised the CPI metrics. Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) admitted the changes were "sweeping."

According to the BLS, periodic changes to the CPI calculation are necessary because "consumers change their preferences or new products and services emerge. During these occasions, the Bureau reexamines the CPI item structure, which is the classification scheme of the CPI market basket. The item structure is a central feature of the CPI program and many CPI processes depend on it."

In 1998, the BLS followed the recommendations of the Boskin Commission. It was appointed by the Senate in 1995. Initially called the "Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index," its job was to study possible bias in the computation of the CPI. Unsurprisingly, it determined that the index overstated inflation " by about 1.1% per year in 1996 and about 1.3% prior to 1996. The 1998 changes to CPI were meant to address this "issue."

As Peter pointed out, there is a lot of geometric weighting, substitution and hedonics built into the calculation. The government can basically create an index that outputs whatever it wants.

I think this period of "˜Oh wow! We have low inflation!' It's not a coincidence that it followed this major revision into how we calculate it."

Peter said there is a bit of irony in government officials and central bankers constantly complaining about "not enough inflation."

They're the ones that are cooking the books to pretend that inflation is lower than it really is. Because what they're really trying to do is get the go-ahead to produce more inflation, which is printing money."

Peter said the CPI will never reveal the true extent of rising prices.

And there are other things that hide inflation. For instance, shrinking packaging so there is less product sold at the same price, or substituting lower quality ingredients, or requiring consumers to assemble items themselves.

They find different ways to lower the quality and not increase the price, and I'm sure that the government is not picking up on any of that. If the quality improves, yeah, yeah, they calculate that. But they probably ignore all the circumstances where the quality is diminished."

The bottom line is we can't trust CPI to tell us the truth about inflation.

[May 09, 2021] Fed Shamelessly Gives Warnings of Vague and Ominous Risks While Saying Don t Expect Us to Do Anything About It

May 09, 2021 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Fed Shamelessly Gives Warnings of Vague and Ominous Risks While Saying Don’t Expect Us to Do Anything About It Posted on May 7, 2021 by Yves Smith

If anyone in the Congressional committees that oversee the Fed had an operating brain cell, they should flay the Fed for its indefensible posture of ignorance and powerlessness. I have to confess to being too annoyed to read the underlying document, its semi-annual report on financial stability and am so instead relying on what I take to be a fair-minded recap in the Financial Times, Fed warns of hidden leverage lurking in financial system .

What I find most disturbing is the rank dishonesty of the Fed, in what looks to be deliberate mischaracterization of the Archegos implosion, made worse by the central bank’s “And how can you expect us to know what’s going on?†anticipatory blame avoidance. To put this another way, the Fed is trying to pre-sell a “whocoulddanode?†defense when that sort of guilty faced, foot-shuffling act is unacceptable after the Fed was caught out being way behind the curve in the runup to the global financial crisis.

Archegos was not a systematic event. Not even close. One hedge fund with so few investors that it ran on a “friends and family†basis (tarted up as “family officeâ€) blew up. It did not bring down any other players. It did briefly roil markets in the stocks Archegos held. Banks collectively lost a bout $10 billion . By comparison, Paribas paid $8.9 billion in economic sanctions fines to the Department of Justice in 2014, which in current dollar terms is $10.0 billion. No one suggested the Paribas fine was systemic or even a health-threatening blow.

The troubling issue was how did this one hedge fund get to be so leveraged? Here is where the Fed misdirects Congress and the general public:

The US Federal Reserve has warned that existing measures of hedge fund leverage “may not be capturing important risksâ€, pointing to the collapse of Archegos Capital as an example of hidden vulnerabilities in the global financial system….

Hwang’s high-wire act was hard to monitor because family offices face limited disclosure requirements and because he used derivatives known as equity total return swaps. These instruments enabled Archegos to profit from rises in individual stocks with payments equal to only a fraction of the size of the underlying positions.

First, the hand-wringing about Archegos being a hedge fund able to do sneaky things in dark alleys is all wet. Do you seriously think regulators have all that much visibility into the much bigger (but also known to be tightly run) Citadel? How about the personal portfolios of very large investors? And what about multinational corporations that run their Treasury operations as profit centers, or Apple, which runs an internal hedge fund out of Nevada?

In other words, if the Fed thinks the problem is particular player, “hedge funds†is far too narrow a frame. “Leveraged financial speculators†is closer to the mark.

And they are secretive about their holdings. Any large trader will spread his business among multiple execution firms because the firms can and will trade against him if they know his positions.

Second, the problem is not the opaqueness of the hedge fund’s activity, even though if you read the Financial Times’ account, you would think that that is the the Fed’s big worry. It’s the ability to achieve high levels of leverage. And that’s the fault of the regulatory regime.

In passing, in the section excerpted above, the report mentions total return swaps. A short definition from Wikipedia:

Hedge funds use Total Return Swaps to obtain leverage on the Reference Assets: they can receive the return of the asset, typically from a bank (which has a funding cost advantage), without having to put out the cash to buy the Asset. They usually post a smaller amount of collateral upfront, thus obtaining leverage.

Due to the hour and the state of Google, I can’t find data on the size of the total return swap market, but at the time Archegos blow, it was under $300 billion, which means too small to wreck the financial system (well, unless perhaps they blew up Deutsche Bank).

Perhaps more important, regulators had decided they didn’t like them but from what I can infer, have also been slow to shut down the market. That’s a mistake since it’s clear the purpose of total returns swaps is pure speculation, and any additional price discovery benefit is too marginal to allow the use of so much leverage.

More generally, the Fed and financial regulators seem unwilling to do two essential things. The first is to say “no†to certain activities. Andrew Haldane, in a paper I have mentioned repeatedly, explained that the only answer to the level of societal harm posed by financial crises is prohibition, as in not allowing certain activities. From his seminal speech, The $100 Billion Question, cited in a 2010 post :

More support comes from Andrew Haldane of the Bank of England, who in a March 2010 paper compared the banking industry to the auto industry, in that they both produced pollutants: for cars, exhaust fumes; for bank, systemic risk. While economists were claiming that the losses to the US government on various rescues would be $100 billion (ahem, must have left out Freddie and Fannie in that tally), it ignores the broader costs (unemployment, business failures, reduced government services, particularly at the state and municipal level). His calculation of the world wide costs:

….these losses are multiples of the static costs, lying anywhere between one and five times annual GDP. Put in money terms, that is an output loss equivalent to between $60 trillion and $200 trillion for the world economy and between £1.8 trillion and £7.4 trillion for the UK. As Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman observed, to call these numbers “astronomical†would be to do astronomy a disservice: there are only hundreds of billions of stars in the galaxy. “Economical†might be a better description.

It is clear that banks would not have deep enough pockets to foot this bill. Assuming that a crisis occurs every 20 years, the systemic levy needed to recoup these crisis costs would be in excess of $1.5 trillion per year. The total market capitalisation of the largest global banks is currently only around $1.2 trillion. Fully internalising the output costs of financial crises would risk putting banks on the same trajectory as the dinosaurs, with the levy playing the role of the meteorite.

Yves here. So a banking industry that creates global crises is negative value added from a societal standpoint. It is purely extractive. Even though we have described its activities as looting (as in paying themselves so much that they bankrupt the business), the wider consequences are vastly worse than in textbook looting.

Back to the current post. The original sin of the Fed, at least with respect to crises in the modern era, is the decision by Alan Greenspan to do nothing about derivatives. I recall in the mid 1900s gasping out loud when I read that he intended to take a “let a thousand flowers bloom†approach. By then, I had had one of the top derivatives firms as a client and had an appreciation as to how dangerous they could be.

There is a role for derivatives in highly liquid markets for hedging. Banks generally have the underlying volumes of cash transactions to manage FX futures and options on an OTC basis. But all things being equal, it’s preferable to have a central exchange (more stable market structure) or else highly distributed position-taking. Anything in the middle is more prone to meltdowns.

But an even bigger issue is aside from well-established categories of pretty simple derivatives, there’s no justification for allowing financial intermediaries to offer much in the way of OTC derivatives. The overwhelming uses of high margin OTC derivatives are for accounting gimmickry, tax avoidance, or achieving high levels of leverage on the cheap (which means having the bank or lender as bagholder). None of these are positive from a societal standpoint.

So all of the Fed’s mealy-mouthing about hidden leverage is utter rubbish. Yes, asset valuations are strained due to super cheap money and too much speculative froth. But as we saw in the collapse of the monster dot-com bubble, the mere collapse of speculative bubbles, even really big ones, does not do systemic damage (although they can set off recessions as the speculators lick their wounds and the folks with bezzle-based revenues take hits). What does systemic damage is high levels of leverage, particularly leverage on leverage, which was what turned the housing crash from an S&L crisis x 1.5X level event to a global financial crisis.

For the Fed at this juncture to profess to be so stupid about the fundamental problem as cover for their unwillingness to take on Big Finance is depressing, although in another way, not exactly surprising.


Tony , May 7, 2021 at 7:55 am

I see your point but on the opaqueness of hedge funds, there has been quite some progress since 2007.
Private Funds have to report info to the SEC which is then aggregated and published on their website:
https://www.sec.gov/divisions/investment/private-funds-statistics.shtml

The problem with Archegos was that (i) it was not registered as Private Fund and hence did not have to report data to the SEC and (ii) rules around TRS have not been finalized. For example, it is unclear to me if TRS have to be reported to swap repositories (supervised by CFTC/SEC) or not at the current juncture. If TRSs were to be reported then a supervisor could have seen that by analyzing the data.

Yves Smith , May 7, 2021 at 8:23 am

While I appreciate your point, a Form ADV is filed only annually and a Form PF, quarterly. The Form ADV deadline for filing the Dec 31 report is March 31. Forms PF are due within 60 days of the quarter end. Then the SEC has to compile the data.

This is too far in arrears to be useful in identifying regulatory risks.

It would also not capture a risk the SEC might legitimately be concerned about, which is size of position relative to typical trading volumes. That is what brought down LTCM and later Amaranth Capital. LTCM took a monster position in of all things interest rate swaps, a classic “short volâ€. But then the swap spreads widened and some traders figured out there was a whale in trouble and sold into the short, increasing LTCM’s distress.

The SEC is in the liquid markets business. I doubt it has any basis for judging liquidity risk in OTC markets. So even if it had the info on an LTCM-type situation, it would be very unlikely to recognize it, even assuming it was timely (60 days in arrears might as well be a year stale from a trading risk perspective).

Harry , May 7, 2021 at 10:09 am

“But an even bigger issue is aside from well-established categories of pretty simple derivatives, there’s no justification for allowing financial intermediaries to offer much in the way of OTC derivatives. The overwhelming uses of high margin OTC derivatives are for accounting gimmickry, tax avoidance, or achieving high levels of leverage on the cheap (which means having the bank or lender as bagholder). None of these are positive from a societal standpoint.â€

TRS is for regulatory arbitrage or leverage. Margins on TRS are tiny. Its a loss leader of a product, designed to keep you in the frame for higher value deals. It does have the advantage that you might see when “a whale†is exiting a big position, but clearly thats not foolproof, eh CS?

dummy , May 7, 2021 at 12:09 pm

We are witnessing the slow moral bankruptcy of the nation.
I have no doubt that the Fed corruption of money will be identified as the main culprit by future historians.
How did the Fed manage to become such a powerful monster in our society?

tegnost , May 7, 2021 at 2:55 pm

By the systematic unraveling of sensible and necessary regulations?

Anonymous , May 7, 2021 at 3:10 pm

Look no further than the Congress.

If they can impeach a President in one week, they could impeach the entire FOMC before lunch (i.e., pass a veto-proof law to abolish it or redefine so-called mandate)

But, why would they? They are all multi-millionaires and direct beneficiaries of the monetary policy.

Sound of the Suburbs , May 7, 2021 at 12:25 pm

How do banks really work?
Our knowledge of banking has been going backwards since 1856.
Credit creation theory -> fractional reserve theory -> financial intermediation theory
“A lost century in economics: Three theories of banking and the conclusive evidence†Richard A. Werner
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057521915001477

Nearly all today’s policymakers think banks are financial intermediaries.
The financial system looks a lot safer than it is when you think banks are financial intermediaries.

Bankers get to create money out of nothing, through bank loans, and get to charge interest on it.
https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf
What could possibly go wrong?
Bankers do need to ensure this money gets paid back, and this is where they get into serious trouble.
Banking requires prudent lending.

Credit Suisse pumped loads of money into Archegos, but they couldn’t get it back again and the loss crystallised.
Banks can pump out a lot of loans in the good times as the money comes out of nothing.
When the bad times come, the losses crystallise in the system.

Why did the US financial system to collapse in 1929?
If someone can’t repay a loan, they need to repossess that asset and sell it to recoup that money. If they use bank loans to inflate asset prices they get into a world of trouble when those asset prices collapse.
As the real estate and stock market collapsed the banks became insolvent as their assets didn’t cover their liabilities.
They could no longer repossess and sell those assets to cover the outstanding loans and they do need to get most of the money they lend out back again to balance their books.
The banks become insolvent and collapsed, along with the US economy.

When banks have been lending to inflate asset prices the financial system is in a precarious state and can easily collapse.

What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in Japan in 1991?
Japanese real estate.
They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.
They killed growth for the next 30 years by leaving the debt in place.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTyJzmiHGk

What was the ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices that collapsed in 2008?
“It’s nearly $14 trillion pyramid of super leveraged toxic assets was built on the back of $1.4 trillion of US sub-prime loans, and dispersed throughout the world†All the Presidents Bankers, Nomi Prins.
They avoided a Great Depression by saving the banks.
They left Western economies struggling by leaving the debt in place, just like Japan.
It’s not as bad as Japan as we didn’t let asset prices crash in the West, but it is this problem has made our economies so sluggish since 2008.

The last lamb to the slaughter, India
They had created a ponzi scheme of inflated asset prices in real estate, but it collapsed.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/indias-ghost-towns-saddle-middle-class-with-debtand-broken-dreams-11579189678
Now they need to recapitalize their banks.
Their financial system is in a bad way, recovery isn’t going to be easy.

Sound of the Suburbs , May 7, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Shadow Banks

“The Great Crash 1929†John Kenneth Galbraith
“By early 1929, loans from these non-banking sources were approximately equal to those from the banks. Later they became much greater. The Federal Reserve Authorities took it for granted that they had no influence over these fundsâ€
He’s talking about “shadow bankingâ€.
They couldn’t control the lending from shadow banks in the 1920s either.

Japan ventured into shadow banking in the 1980s.
Jusen were nonbank institutions formed in the 1970s by consortia of banks to make household mortgages since banks had mortgage limitations. The shadow banks were just an intermediary put in place to get around regulations.

This is how shadow banks pose a threat to the financial system.
They are just intermediaries put in place to get around regulations.
The banks need to get the money they loan out back again, and whether they use shadow banks as an intermediary or not, doesn’t make a lot of difference.
The dangers are the same.

Sound of the Suburbs , May 7, 2021 at 2:52 pm

I just remembered something else from “The Great Crash 1929†John Kenneth Galbraith

They thought leverage was great before 1929; they saw what happened when it worked in reverse after 1929.
Leverage acts like a multiplier.
It multiplies profits on the way up.
It multiplies losses on the way down.

JBird4049 , May 7, 2021 at 5:29 pm

“ Our knowledge of banking has been going backwards since 1856.â€

Well, yeah, or is it being driven in reverse gear? Just asking.

I mean Ricardo, Mills, Marx, Minsky, Keynes and many others all seem to understand banking in particular, and economics in general, very well, but they have gone into the memory hole alone with large portions of Adam Smith’s mangled, Bowdlerized, expurgated work.

Taking introductory courses in economics is like studying fantasy. Not because of the lies as such as all the blasted omissions that have been created since the early twentieth century.

John Emerson , May 7, 2021 at 2:40 pm

Veblen spoke pretty clearly about the parasitical, predatory nature of finance.

Phichibe , May 7, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Yves, pieces like this are one of the reasons I come to NC daily. I want to post a longer response on this subject of deliberate opacity as I have been mulling this over for nearly 20 years â€" since Enron’s SPE abuse and then Lehman’s Repo 105 fraud. But for now I’ll content myself with a big thank you and a hearty vote for more of your stringent analysis and (a)stringent prose. I hope your health issues permit your writing and tormenting the Davos/FIRE set of neoliberal Vandals who’ve destroyed our stability while enriching themselves as never before.

Best,

P

Sue inSoCal , May 7, 2021 at 4:42 pm

Hear hear. I agree heartily with P, above. Enron comes to mind regularly these days. Seems like we’ve seen this untethered derivatives movie before, too, and it’s a horror show. Yves, I feel like a dufus when it comes to global and national economics, but I certainly learn it here. (Which why I love this site.)
Thank you.

plunk , May 7, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Banking requires prudent lending. SoS

Borrowing short to lend long is inherently risky and government should in no way privilege or bear that risk.

Yet government does so since we have only a SINGLE payment system (besides mere physical currency, coins and paper CB or Treasury Notes) that must work through private banks or not at all. So the banks hold the economy hostage.

We could fix that by providing an ADDITIONAL, inherently risk-free payment system via debit accounts for all at the Central Bank (or Treasury) and by abolishing all other privileges, explicit and implicit, for private depository institutions.

Then whether the banks were “prudent†or not would be irrelevant to the general welfare.

The alternative to genuine reform is merely to kick-the-can down the road a bit further via regulation and/or even more privileges for private banks to make them more stable â€" as if systematic injustice should or even can be truly stable.

Neohnomad , May 7, 2021 at 3:20 pm

“The Fed and financial regulators seem unwilling to do two essential things. The first is to say “no†to certain activities.†paragraphs go on to support this point.

I need to apologize for my lack of reading comprehension but I’m not understanding what the second thing (that the regulators are unwilling to do) is?

Is it about the OTC derivatives or tamping down on leverage in general?

Tinky , May 7, 2021 at 4:07 pm

And it never gets old:

FRONTLINE: The Warning

Brooksley Born warns of the dangers of opaque derivative markets; Greenspan and Summers, et al, crush her, and pave the way to further crises.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1302794657​

1 Kings , May 7, 2021 at 6:22 pm

And crimes..

nothing but the truth , May 7, 2021 at 5:52 pm

chutzpah.

they’re the ones forcing grandma into speculative markets by squeezing returns.

djrichard , May 7, 2021 at 8:54 pm

New markets for debt must be found. And if that means fraud (or too much risk) so be it. Usually, the Federal Reserve waits for the muppets to show up en masse before taking the punch bowl away. Problem is, the muppets have been gun shy since they got burned back in the Global financial crisis. So what’s a poor Federal Reserve to do but to keep the party going?

djrichard , May 7, 2021 at 9:00 pm

By the way, that’s why I think there’s all the gnashing of teeth over the risk of inflation. It’s not because the talking heads are worried about the consequences to main street. It’s because they’re worried it will bring the party to an end after all the muppets start becoming playahs again.

[May 08, 2021] In 1999, the Wall Street Journal had 286 articles on bubbles. Here are a few of the titles

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

J John Smith

Not only is this not true, the evidence shows that bubbles are called in advance. In 1999, the Wall Street Journal had 286 articles on bubbles. Here are a few of the titles,

And on, and on, etc., etc.

[May 08, 2021] Dogecoin is now valued at more than Ford

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

R Robert A

Dogecoin is now valued at more than Ford.
Economics?
Lunacy is more like it.
This is just more proof that the dollars are becoming more worthless.
Whistling past the graveyard.

[May 08, 2021] There is no alternative to the thrust-lifting energy jet fuel provides

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

There is no alternative to the thrust-lifting energy jet fuel provides Carlos Lumpuy

⏤But Yellen said yesterday:
"I don't think there is going to be an inflationary problem.
Biden has proposed further substantial spending packages we would love to be enacted into law."

There is no alternative to the thrust-lifting energy jet fuel provides.
Daily demand is about 6 million barrels a day, a third in the USA.
Price rise is nearing a third in just the last three months.
There is no stopping an airline's largest revenue, the cargo jet planes carry; passengers above are incidental.

[May 08, 2021] he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. Like thumb_up 3 Reply Share link Report D


he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago

Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.
he cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters. SUBSCRIBER 3 hours ago
Some of this, especially the cryptocurrency talk, reminds me of the 1990s: We don't have profits, probably never will, but we have clicks. And that's what matters.

[May 08, 2021] It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with

May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com

inflation is here. Lumber is up 450% in a year. Other components are also up. Inflation metrics will eventually recognize reality.

J

It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with

inflation is here. Lumber is up 450% in a year. Other components are also up. Inflation metrics will eventually recognize reality.

J J Seders
"It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with." Will Rogers, circa 1930. How easily we all forget. V
It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with

inflation is here. Lumber is up 450% in a year. Other components are also up. Inflation metrics will eventually recognize reality.

J J Seders
"It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with." Will Rogers, circa 1930. How easily we all forget. V
It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with

inflation is here. Lumber is up 450% in a year. Other components are also up. Inflation metrics will eventually recognize reality.

J J Seders
"It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with." Will Rogers, circa 1930. How easily we all forget. V
It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with

inflation is here. Lumber is up 450% in a year. Other components are also up. Inflation metrics will eventually recognize reality.

J J Seders
"It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with." Will Rogers, circa 1930. How easily we all forget. V
It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with

inflation is here. Lumber is up 450% in a year. Other components are also up. Inflation metrics will eventually recognize reality.

J J Seders
"It's not the return on my money I'm concerned with, it's the return of my money that I'm concerned with." Will Rogers, circa 1930. How easily we all forget. V

[May 08, 2021] What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money by Greg Ip

Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 08, 2021 | www.wsj.com
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C


What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip

Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus led by the Federal Reserve is fueling a new investor euphoria. Is this a new bubble? And when could it burst?

To veterans of financial bubbles, there is plenty familiar about the present. Stock valuations are their richest since the dot-com bubble in 2000. Home prices are back to their pre-financial crisis peak. Risky companies can borrow at the lowest rates on record. Individual investors are pouring money into green energy and cryptocurrency.

This boom has some legitimate explanations, from the advances in digital commerce to fiscally greased growth that will likely be the strongest since 1983. . ..

the Federal Reserve.... is buying hundreds of billions of dollars of bonds. As a result, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is well below inflation -- that is, real yields are deeply negative -- for only the second time in 40 years.

....Harvard University economist Jeremy Stein... "while I don't think we're headed for sustained high inflation it's completely possible we'll have several quarters of hot readings on inflation."

Since stocks' valuations are only justified if interest rates stay extremely low, how do they reprice if the Fed has to tighten monetary policy to combat inflation and bond yields rise one to 1.5 percentage points, he asked. " You could get a serious correction in asset prices." C Cam Dipalo

I was reading a book from the late 1800 early 1900s, "Unforeseen Tendencies of Democracy". Describing the election / selection process of political leadership in America (more than one hundred years ago), I was struck by "the certitude of the salary [provided by office] to the great multitude who in every country either fail in life, or shrink from the conflicts which the competitive system makes necessary, is very attractive; it soon converted the civil service into what has been called "spoils"; that is, booty won by victories at the polls". Roll forward one hundred years and we can only be in a worse spot: bigger, more complex problems are being addressed by even less qualified individuals. The result is that when I go to the grocery store now, I am paying 1.5x what I used to pay 2 years ago. And that is the only inflation measure I trust.
What Happens to Stocks and Cryptocurrencies When the Fed Stops Raining Money By Greg Ip
Everybody is afiad to say that this is another dot-com bubble which will eventually birst. Because after it burst there will be a lot of blood on the floor.
But the current situation can be defined as a crazy financial mania with cryptocurrencies as the poster child of this mania. "The S&P 500 stock index now trades at about 22 times the coming year's profits, according to FactSet, a level only exceeded at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000."
And the shadlow of "Long-Term Capital Management" is all over Wall Street.
May 8, 2021
An