Tagged: ZeroHedge

EXPOSED: CIA drug connection shows how they support USD and manipulate foreign markets

(GLOBALINTELHUB.COM) – 6/26/2017 — Drugs have been a part of human society forever – however far back you go, humans have used drugs in one form or another; medicine, recreation, spirituality (Shamans of simple tribes often ate psychedelics).  In the world today there is an interesting schism between the puritan “America” and “Europe” about this issue – in Europe they consider drug addiction a health issue, and in places like Switzerland you can literally get strong narcotics like heroin from the Government.  In America it’s the opposite, there is an  exploding prison population for small non-violent offenses.  But as with many things in America there are lots of ironies and hypocrisies, America also has the highest per capita rate of users of legal pharmaceuticals ‘drugs’ – and is one of the only countries in the world where drug companies are allowed to advertise on TV (In Europe you won’t see commercials for Prozac, Viagra, or other questionably useful drugs).

As the CIA represents the main head of the octopus that controls America’s society on behalf of their Illuminati owners, it is only fitting that the CIA has its hand in the international drug trade.  It is also an interesting side note that since its early days the CIA has been interested in drugs for the use of interrogation, mind control, crowd control, and other purposes.  In fact there have been suggestions based on circumstantial evidence that the entire ‘hippie’ movement came straight out of a CIA drug lab vis a vis Tim Leary and other affiliated icons.

The inspiration of this article is the book and legend of Gary Webb, the book is Dark Alliance – a must read for any trader or investor.  Here’s a real blueprint how groups like the CIA manipulate markets.  While the story of Dark Alliance which was originally published in a small California regional newspaper the San Jose Mercury News.  The book is a great example of how to properly research a topic where its difficult to find information (in this case, because most of the CIA involvement was ‘secret’ and thus information was classified or destroyed, mostly).  In trading, information is also difficult to find – analysts can learn a great deal from reading this book and understanding how one investigative journalist broke open the biggest secret the CIA had in its closet of deep secrets:  The CIA was managing the international drug trade.  The book concludes with the impeccable logic of the agency and how they could be involved in such dastardly deeds.  When the topic was officially investigated it was discovered that the CIA had a secret legal agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) stating that through the CIAs business of spying, it was not their obligation to report illegal activities they witnessed to the DOJ (such as drug trafficking) as it may compromise their intelligence gathering.  And lo and behold, most of the CIAs international assets happened to be major drug kingpins like Manuel Noriega.  So based on this understanding, no employee of the CIA ever directly brought drugs into the USA, and likely never touched the operation directly.  It was CIAs job to provide logistic support, planes, pilots, operational instructions, airfields, needed gear, and most importantly – protection from prosecution in USA due to ‘national security.’  And there were side benefits to this operation.  They got to redirect funds from Central and South American cocaine to the fledgling contra revolution in Nicaragua which the US Congress didn’t want to continue funding.  They got to destroy the black community in South Central Los Angeles with the crack explosion (not only by health, but by using it as a tool to pass draconian laws).  They also could easily use the information on the drug trade to go after their enemies in Central America.  It seemed to be a win-win-win for USA.  And according to this secret agreement with DOJ it was all legal!

Before continuing, let’s un-muddy the waters about key points on this issue.  An investigation found that no CIA employee was found bringing illicit narcotics into USA.  That’s probably true.  In “Dark Alliance” there is no suggestion that the CIA itself was bringing drugs into the country.  The drug kingpins such as Norwin Meneses, Danilo Blandon, and others – were simply protected as ‘assets’ – the CIA not only looked the other way, they stopped other US Government investigators from uncovering anything substantial.  Several instances where the drug operations were discovered by DEA, FBI, and others – turned into a situation where they were instructed to cease the investigation and if they did not, the individual was targeted.

So how is all this connected to the markets?  The CIA is a fairly large organization, 20,000 employees working in the US and in practically every country in the world.  Their operations are vast, just to name a few not commonly known but public CIA operations, they are active angel and seed investors in Silicon Valley and have even created a budding DC based VC community that develops technology with primarily intelligence and military applications (such as face recognition).  The most absurd example of a CIA project was when they hired psychologist BF Skinner to train pigeons to aid in missile guidance systems:

One of the most seemingly preposterous military programs of all time occurred during WWII, when famed behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner was enlisted by the government to try and train pigeons for use in a missile guidance system. At the time, Skinner was known as one of the major practitioners of operant conditioning, a system that used reward and punishment as a means of controlling behavior. With these ideas in mind, Skinner placed a series of specially trained pigeons inside missiles. A camera on the front of the missile recorded its flight path, which was then projected on a screen for the pigeon to see. The birds were trained to recognize the missile’s intended target, and they would peck at the screen if it was drifting off course. This information was fed to the weapon’s flight controls, which would then be changed to reflect the new coordinates. Skinner was originally given $25,000 to get the project up and running, and he actually managed to make some minor progress with it. But government officials were never quite able to get past the obvious absurdity of the program, and it was eventually shut down.   .. and another one “Acoustic Kitty”

Most people wouldn’t think of the common house cat as being a potential master of espionage, but the CIA sure did. In the 1960s, American intelligence is said to have spent over $20 million on “Acoustic Kitty,” a top-secret project that used cats as recording devices. The project took a group of specially trained cats and surgically implanted microphones, antennae and batteries into their tails, and then set them loose near the Russian embassy. The idea was that an unassuming cat would be able to stride right up to groups of communist officials and listen in on their conversation, which it could then beam back to agents with its sophisticated radio equipment. The plan was eventually put into action, but the first cat sent into the field was supposedly run over by a taxi before it could make a recording, and operation ‘Acoustic Kitty” was abandoned shortly thereafter.

Why did we use this ridiculous example?  Because it is a known project, that the CIA was using Pigeons to guide missiles – it’s not so hard to believe they provided drug traffickers with the logistic and legal support needed to bring Cocaine into USA (and many other activities).  For more absurd CIA programs see this article.

But the primary role of the CIA, is that of intelligence gathering and analysis which puts them right in the middle of the information war – and the battlefield is the financial markets.  As we explain in our book Splitting Pennies Understanding Forex – the only thing that backs the US Dollar are bombs.  Basically, the US Military, and in this case the CIA primarily, protects the US Dollar globally.  If you look at any foreign CIA operation it’s all about one thing: money.  Cuba became an enemy only after the communist government nationalized US owned businesses there (effectively, seized).  You can literally overlay a global map of CIA activity which is negatively correlated with Coca Cola and McDonald’s sales (which are all denominated in US Dollars).  And by the way, that is the connection to the CIA and FX – wherever there’s a foreign market, there is the CIA.  They fight for market domination of the US Dollar (and the US corporations and culture that comes with it) no different than a major US corporation competes for market share.  But their ‘client’ is one single entity: The US Government (and US Citizens, but rich ones).  They are protecting capitalism at the front lines – fighting communism while making a few dollars along the way – what could be more American than that?  They use the same playbook as they’ve developed internally for most of their operations – thus, by understanding the Contra-Cocaine operation one can understand any operation.  They aren’t really so different.

Here’s a document that shows how the CIA has been supporting the US Dollar, regarding Gold markets (bear in mind, this document is dated 1970, one year before Nixon created the free floating FX regime we use today, which means the US Dollar was pegged to Gold).  CIA support of US Dollar and USD interests is implied; that’s at the core of what they do – it is their doctrine.  Intelligence gathering, is the tactical level and Communism, and other threats to the USD global hegemony are strategies.  And relatively speaking, they do a good job.  The USD has never been used so widely around the world, the US stock market has enjoyed a bull run never seen before in history.  All the crap in the news and investigations into their drug operations are really an irrelevant side issue – what the CIA was created for, they succeed.

Probably, let’s hope this is not the case, probably – there wasn’t a CIA plot to bring Cocaine into America and turn it into crack and flood the black community.  These were all convenient circumstances to achieve what they wanted operationally – fund a covert war and at the same time make a little money and use the issue to ruin their local enemies.  Central America has few natural resources to speak of without sophisticated mining and/or manufacturing operations to tap them; in other words, there isn’t any ‘oil’ to exploit, as in the middle east.  The one thing that is easy to grow and is more valuable than any other naturally growing substance, is Coca (when refined into Cocaine).  And as explained in the book, before it was realized that it could be turned into crack – Cocaine was the habit of the Elite themselves, due to price and the fact that you could literally continue working while you were high on the powder (such as Wall St. traders during the trading session).  So while it seems extreme, and the crack epidemic of Los Angeles is clearly a huge social problem – it isn’t really surprising that the CIA was involved in such profitable business.  Similar circumstantial evidence suggests that a similar operation was run in Afghanistan, a land where the Poppy plant grows wild.  George H.W. Bush’s CIA nickname was George “Poppy” Bush.  Like “Grandpappy” right?  In the book Gary Webb claims that Pablo Escobar had a photo of “Poppy” standing in front of a huge pile of cash and cocaine, but the photograph never surfaced and he was killed shortly after making this statement about the photograph (it may be another funny coincidence).

In conclusion – this book is a must read for any trader or investor: Dark Alliance.  Also it’s a must read for any lawyer – as this is a unique situation where you have a hidden hand protecting defendants in Federal cases with ‘national security’ – silencing witnesses (with gag orders) and other mechanisms not common in district courts.

To get a full picture of how the financial world REALLY works, check out Splitting Pennies.


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Bitcoin Buyer Beware

Entrepreneurs have a new trick to raise money quickly, and it all takes place online, free from the constraints of banks and regulators. As Axios reports, since the beginning of 2017, 65 startups have raised $522 million using initial coin offerings — trading a digital coin (essentially an investment in their company) for a digital currency, like Bitcoin or Ether.

One recent example, as NYT reports, saw Bay Area coders earn $35 million in less than 30 seconds during an online fund-raising event. They sold Basic Attention Tokens (BAT coin) which will grant buyers access to an innovative ad-free web browser the coders are intending to create, but have yet to launch.

And that's the catch: these investors are buying promises in the form of coins for a product or service that doesn't exist.

 

Similar to the Bay Area example, a group of entrepreneurs in Switzerland secured $100 million last week by selling a coin that will one day be used on Status, an online chat program that's still being developed.

 

Proponents argue that these initial coin offerings are "a financial innovation that empowers developers and gives early investors a chance to share in the profits of a successful new enterprise," NYT notes.

 

However, many say it potentially violates securities law and that this trading of digital currencies is ripe for hackers, from NYT: "Last year, the first blockbuster coin offering, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization, quickly raised more than $150 million. But the project blew up after a hacker manipulated the code and stole more than $50 million worth of digital currency."

By selling these coins for Bitcoin or Ether, "conventional banks and financial institutions are essentially shut out, allowing initial coin offerings to take place beyond the control of regulators," and that could lead to a whole host of issues for the entrepreneurs and investors alike.

So, it is no wonder that Fred Wilson's advice with regard ICOs is simple "buyer beware, do your homework, don't be greedy."

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AVC.com's Fred Wilson has a lot more to say

Whether you are buying in a private placement of securities as a venture capitalist or buying in an ICO as a crypto enthusiast, there are certain things that you need to be careful about. And right now, with all of the enthusiasm for crypto assets out there, I am very concerned that nobody is being careful about anything.

So here are some things to think about before placing your order on that next ICO:

  1. The amount raised matters, a lot. More money is not generally a good thing. I wrote a blog post about this a while back. In my experience, the startups that are careful and raise modest amounts of capital outperform the startups that raise crazy amounts of capital and are overly aggressive. I would look for capped ICOs and modest amounts of capital. Teams should raise enough money to do what they want to do but you can do a lot with $10mm and a tremendous amount with $50mm. Ethereum raised $18.5mm USD (in BTC) in their token offering and lost some of that due to a decline in BTC value. And look at what they have been able to accomplish with that funding.
  2. You should understand what the token that is being offered does and have some feel for how large of an opportunity that is. I remember friends buying hot Internet IPOs in the late 90s and I’d ask them why they were investing and they would say to me “I heard its a hot deal” and I would say “But what does the company do?” and they would say to me “I don’t know, but I know I’m going to make a lot of money.” That kind of investing is dumb. Be smart and understand what you are buying and why. And if you can’t hold the investment through to the point at which the token will have real utility and real value, you might want to think twice about buying it in the first place.
  3. Valuation matters. I know that many in startup land don’t really agree with this. There are VCs who want to be in the best deals and don’t really care what they have to pay to get into them. That might work as an investment strategy but it requires a lot of luck and market timing. If, instead, you focus on valuation when you make your investments and buy into investments at prices that make sense to you and have a model for why and how the investment will be worth 10x your entry price in 5+ years, you stand a much better chance at making solid returns. There are people in the crypto space who are building valuation models. You should follow them and understand their work. And you should try to apply that kind of thinking to your crypto investing.
  4. Avoid scams and things that feel like scams. Scams are not limited to the crypto sector. They exist in all forms of investing (and many other sectors too). As VCs we often get pitched an opportunity that has red flags all over it. You learn quickly to delete those emails and not return those calls. But an emerging sector, like crypto, where there is less regulation, scrutiny, due diligence, and knowledge, scams are going to be more common. There have already been a bunch of well publicized scams in the crypto sector and I would bet that one or more successfully funded ICOs that have already been done will turn out to have been a scam in some measure. There is a difference between a intentional scam and an accidental scam, but if you are the investor, you were scammed in both instances. Be on the lookout for scams and avoid them. The best red flag for a scam is lack of detail on the technology, how it will work, and a lack of credibility of the people behind the project. Do you homework on these investments and make sure the technology and the people are credible before you part with your money.
  5. Look for projects where the technology is well specified and is working in the wild. It is much easier as a VC to invest in companies where the product has been shipped and you can use it. I would venture to guess that more than 80% of USV’s investments over the years have been into companies where that was the case. You can use Bitcoin, you can use Ethereum, you can use Steem, you can use Zcash. These are fully functioning crypto assets that have been “shipped” and are widely used. That does not mean they will be successful, but it sure gives you more confidence that they might be successful. Investing on a white paper is way more risky than investing in a working technology that you can use yourself.
  6. Don’t be greedy. This goes for both buyers and sellers in the market. You might be able to make a killing right now. But I would suggest you resist that urge. Those who play this market right over the long term will do extremely well. But trying to make a killing overnight is always a bad idea. So for sellers that means raising reasonable amounts, not all you can get. And selling more into the market over time, as Vitalik suggests in this blog post:
    If we want to strike at the heart of this problem, how would we solve it? I would say the answer is simple: start moving to mechanisms other than single round sales. For the buyers, this means not putting all of your assets to work in one ICO, or even all of your assets into crypto. Markets can crash. You need diversification to manage risk, particularly in highly volatile markets.

I have been a big booster of Bitcoin, blockchain, crypto tokens, and the like on this blog for the past six years. I am a big long term believer in this sector. USV is investing in this sector. We are investors in token funds and I believe we will start directly buying tokens soon. So we are bullish on crypto.

However, there are many things going on in the sector right now that are head shakers to us. We have been investing in startups and emerging tech sectors for over thirty years. We have seen this movie before . We know how it plays out and we know that all is not up and to the right forever.

When people are afraid, be greedy. And when people are greedy, be afraid. We are much closer to the latter scenario in crypto right now and while I am not afraid for my investments and USV’s investments in this sector, I am afraid for the sector and those who are being the most greedy right now. I am cautioning our portfolio companies to tread carefully and we are treading carefully. And I would advise all of you to do the same.


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“It’ll Be An Avalanche”: Hedge Fund CIO Sets The Day When The Next Crash Begins

While most asset managers have been growing increasingly skeptical and gloomy in recent weeks (despite a few ideological contrarian holdouts), joining the rising chorus of bank analysts including those of Citi, JPM, BofA and Goldman all urging clients to “go to cash”, none have dared to commit the cardinal sin of actually predicting when the next crash will take place.

On Sunday a prominent hedge fund manager, One River Asset Management’s CIO Eric Peters broke with that tradition and dared to “pin a tail on the donkey” of when the next market crash – one which he agrees with us will be driven by a collapse in the global credit impulse – will take place. His prediction: Valentine’s Day 2018.

Here is what Peters believes will happen over the next 8 months, a period which will begin with an increasingly tighter Fed and conclude with a market avalanche:

“The Fed hikes rates to lean against inflation,” said the CIO. “And they’ll reduce the balance sheet to dampen growing financial instability,” he continued. “They’ll signal less about rates and focus on balance sheet reduction in Sep.”

 

Inflation is softening as the gap between the real economy and financial asset prices is widening. “If they break the economy with rate hikes, everyone will blame the Fed.” They can’t afford that political risk.

 

“But no one understands the balance sheet, so if something breaks because they reduce it, they’ll get a free pass.” 

 

“The Fed has convinced itself that forward guidance was far more powerful than QE,” continued the same CIO.

 

“This allows them to argue that reversing QE without reversing forward guidance should be uneventful.” Like watching paint dry. “Balance sheet reduction will start slowly. And proceed for a few months without a noticeable impact,” he said. “The Fed will feel validated.” Like they’ve been right all along.

 

“But when the global credit impulse reverses, it’ll be a cascade, an avalanche. And I pin the tail on that donkey to be Valentine’s Day 2018.”

Of course, the global credit impulse is something that we have been exclusively warning about for the past 4 months

… but “apparently” it wasn’t until Citi’s report last week which explained it’s all that matters:

… that suddenly everyone admits to paying attention. We’ll take it.


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6 Injured After Car Hits Pedestrians Celebrating End Of Ramadan In Newcastle

A car has plowed into a gathering of people celebrating Eid prayers to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan near a Newcastle mosque, according to local media reports cited by Russia Today. Six people have been injured and a female driver has been arrested, police said. The crash occurred outside the Westgate Sports Centre, according to a Northumbria Police statement.


A 42-year-old woman has been arrested by following the Newcastle incident

Unlike a similar incident last week where a van driven by a 48-year-old man slammed into a crowd celebrating the last days of Ramadan outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, police say last night’s incident is not being treated as an act of terrorism.

“There has been an incident on Westgate Road, but we do not believe it is terror related. It is an accident as far as we can see,” a police spokesperson told the Chronicle.

According to CNN, police confirmed that a 42-year-old woman had been arrested and added that they were not pursuing anyone else. "It is not believed to be a terror incident," Northumbria police said in a statement.

"Police enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what happened."

The local police initially reported that five people had been injured, but later revised the number to six. Three of those injured were children, according to North East Ambulance Service.

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Asif Anwar, 29, told the Chronicle that there are two children among the injured.

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“The lady lost control of the car and hit some people. Two of them were kids,” he said. “It was chaos, everyone was panicking. People just don’t know what is going on these days. Terrorism is what everyone was thinking straight away.”

A separate witness told the Chronicle that two people were “very, very seriously injured.”

Another witness took to Twitter to explain that the collision apparently wasn’t intentional.

“What I just seen is scary, the car running over the people but not on purpose, she was trying to hold the brakes and hit the people,” he wrote.

 

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A bystander posted a video that shows the crowd's reaction to the incident.

 

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The incident follows a series of terror attacks in the UK in recent weeks, including a bombing at Manchester arena that left more than 20 dead, mostly young people who were attending a concert by American singer Ariana Grande. An attack on London Bridge left eight dead and 48 injured earlier this month.


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The Greater Depression

The Greater Depression

By

Cognitive Dissonance

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http://twoicefloes.com/

 

 

Once or twice a month Mrs. Cog and I pack up the car and head to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For us poor mountain folk, that’s the big city and the best destination when our need for certain items calls for visiting particular stores.

Each trip down from the mountain elicits at least one observation about recent changes to the Matrix. For example, Mrs. Cog noticed the big box stores appear to be reducing their selection significantly. Once it was brought to my attention, it was suddenly obvious they were narrowing their inventory to those items with high margins and quick turnover. Essentially they are abandoning the rest of the low margin consumer market to the likes of Amazon.com, Wallmart.com and so on.  

But what we stumbled upon as we hunted down a used book store near the heart of Winston-Salem was a bit surprising to say the least. It is common to find beggars and panhandlers working the stop light at busy intersections. Often they are soliciting the right hand turn lane or narrow island of grass separating the traffic flowing in opposite directions using the tool of their trade; a cardboard sign describing their particular plight in hand written black marker.

Two or three years ago the physical condition of the beggars clearly indicated distress, usually by way of their unkempt appearance and worldly possessions gathered on or around them as they solicited. These were ‘street’ people doing whatever they had to do in order to make it through another day. 

Sure, some were drug and alcohol dependent, others just trying to make a quick buck tugging on the heart strings of those passing by. And some were hard core street people making some money the only way they could considering they had no home, no transportation and no support system.

I’m not here to judge because at one point in my life I was that man on the corner begging for a meal and a night out of the cold. Long before finally turning my life around, I wallowed in the socioeconomic lowlands for a decade or more. I blame no one or thing but myself for my ordeal. But that doesn’t make my experience any more or less real. Nor does it invalidate what I am today, here and now. It is simply a part of the woven fabric that constitutes the whole me.

Over the last year or so the quality, if not also the quantity, of beggars has gone more upscale, with many of those on the side of the road appearing better dressed, washed and groomed. As well, their signage has morphed from a simple plea of “Please Help!” or “Homeless, Anything Will Help” to more involved explanations such as “Between Jobs, Need Some Help”, “Lost My Job, Then My Home” right down to the truly crestfallen “I Can’t Feed My Family. Please Help!”

In addition, the cast of characters has greatly expanded. It is somewhat common these days to find a man or woman holding a sign begging us to help their family. Off to their side on public display, usually ensconced under a shade tree or other such cover, is the actual family we presume needs our help.

That must have been one interesting family meeting.

While it’s one thing to scam the general public on your own, it’s another thing entirely to involve the spouse and children in the ruse in so obvious and blatant a manner. The ‘tell’ I look for to indicate sincerity is the level of obvious embarrassment etched on the faces of the children and spouse.

In fact, when I encountered one such situation a few months back, the look on the teen’s face instantly compelled me to roll down the window and pass out twenty bucks. She most definitely was not faking it and would rather have spent the day in hell than on that street corner. There was just no way she could hide her immense embarrassment and public humiliation.

Sadly what I saw was just another family on the express elevator down to poverty.

Mrs. Cog and I have assumed this change in the face of roadside solicitation was simply another indicator of the ongoing and escalating rape and pillage of the American middle class. Being the oldest of our union, I clearly remember a similar descent by members of society into monetary purgatory during the 70’s and early 80’s. Then again, the people motoring by back then were much more likely to help the fallen than people are today.

Our most recent encounter was simply more of the same. A Caucasian couple, presumably husband and wife, were working the side of the road. She was front and center while he was just off to the side in the shade looking forlorn and beaten. I don’t know which was more haunting, his face or hers. But I do remember seeing the same face staring back at me in black and white images from the Great Depression. The last Great Depression; not today’s Greater Depression.

You’ve seen those images. I know you have.

 

Face of the Fallen

Take a good look. Look at the eyes. See the body language. This is the face of the fallen.

 

She was clearly middle class, possibly even professional middle class, with freshly washed hair, presentable clean clothes and very light makeup. It was a breezy day and she was trying in vain to keep her long straight hair in place. Clearly her appearance mattered to her, her head held high as she unflinchingly faced the people she was soliciting. This wasn’t arrogance or false pride, but simple straight forward dignity on display.

Her sign said it all.

“We are both working, but not enough to pay bills. Please help.”

For just a moment, try putting yourself in their shoes. Can you imagine the conversation they must have had over dinner last night?

———–

The wife, looking tired and depressed, to her husband. “Honey, we need to talk.”

Silence.

“Honey, we need to talk…now.”

The husband, clearly irritated and angry, snaps back. “Yes, I know. What do you want to do?

Silence. Neither wants to be the first one to say it.

She finally tries the back way around. “Marcia at work says she knows a friend who did it last week and made more than a hundred dollars in a day.”

He shifts in his seat, but doesn’t respond. Encouraged, she pushes forward.

“She said be sure to bring food and plenty of water. And your dignity because it’s not your fault. (Pause) We’re good people, we’re working but we just don’t make enough money to pay all the bills.”

His head jerks up; he looks like he’s ready to cry. “I don’t want to do this. Isn’t there some other way we can try?

Silence.

She fights back her tears, then bites her lip until she can regain her composure. Why does she always have to be the strong one?

Reaching across the table to hold his hand, almost in a whisper she pleads, “I don’t know what else to do. We’re gonna lose the apartment if we don’t pay them some of the back rent. I need your help with this honey. I can’t do it alone.”

His shoulders drop, and with them all resistance. “OK. When!

Wasting no time, she lays out her plan. “We’re both off tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be ok. Marcia said that stop light near the book store is a good place to try. It’s nearby, so we can walk.”

Silence.

“Tomorrow’s Friday…payday. People will have money. (Pause) It’ll be OK.”

Silence.

“Come on, help me make the sign.”

…………

Sister daughter wife

This is my sister, my daughter, my wife, my 'self'.

 

This is the face of the fallen, of perfectly capable and productive people slowly squeezed out of the middle class through little to no fault of their own. While I don’t know the specific situation of our Jane and Joe, the trend is unmistakable. We’ve seen it germinate, then accelerate over the last few years.

What compels an entire family to stake out a busy street corner and beg strangers for help? Or induces a man and wife to take turns holding a cardboard sign by the side of the road, soliciting help from passersby? This isn’t exactly easy ‘work’ after all. Like I said, I’ve been there and know exactly what they are going through.

Many people avert their eyes and attempt not to see what is clearly evident to any who acknowledge the suffering on display. Some make a disapproving face, disgusted by what they see. A surprisingly large number flip them the bird or make some other obscene gesture. And a few will roll down the passenger side window and shout some degrading comment at the solicitor.

But every now and then someone stops and thrusts bills out the window, no time to talk or exchange much more than “God Bless You” because the light is now green and those waiting behind want to move along. Charity waits for no traffic light.

Then there are the very young children strapped into the back seat of passing cars and SUV’s. They don’t often see people standing on a street corner, at least not in places designed strictly for vehicle traffic with pedestrian traffic shunned and displaced.

These young children, innocent toddlers really, have no understanding what is unfolding before their eyes. Their life experience is narrow and mostly pleasant. In supermarkets and department stores, those who pass them smile or stop and engage in animated baby talk while conversing with the rents. So, unsurprisingly, several smile, giggle and wave at the human debris perched by the side of the road.

If witnessed as a third party disinterested observer, one can quickly surmise how far they have psychologically fallen by their reaction to these most basic displays of innocent humanity and abject cruelty. Those freshly minted to roadside petitioning will return the smile and even manage a small wave, their dignity and sense of self worth still mostly intact.

But the knife that cuts the deepest are the children just a few years older, after they have begun their social indoctrination and imperial conditioning via boob tube, video game, play ground and parental teachings. You know…the do as I say, not as I do parental teachings. Some of those kids can be downright nasty when they think the rents up front aren’t looking. Other kids don’t really care if they are.

The obscene and angry displays are at first shocking and humiliating, but then mostly ignored with stone faced resolve and resignation. Those further down the rabbit hole of despair and hopelessness have fully evolved their defensive shields and show little to no emotion regardless of what they see, hear or feel. It’s simply too exhausting to do otherwise.

Having been on both sides of the curb, when time permits I try to be observant of the scene in its entirety, of both the actors on stage and the actors in the audience. This is real life drama playing out on your street corner, regardless whether you are cognizant of it or not. One measure of a society is how well, or poorly, it treats its weakest members. It doesn’t get any more real than this.

In the most general of ways I fully understand the anger on both sides of the political aisle. I was born poor and, through drug and alcohol addiction, plumbed the depths of poverty and despair as a young adult. I pulled myself out of the abyss by my bootstraps, by sheer will and determination…or to be more accurate and honest, desperation. While I presently have little in the way of wealth and material goods compared to many in America, I regained my dignity and self-worth through hard work and perseverance.

So I fully understand how one quickly disappears into the shadows when one is poor in America, detritus quickly discarded and forgotten. I get it. But America is no longer that land of opportunity so widely advertised via various glowing screens, for we now have a permanent underclass deeply embedded within the socioeconomic system.

And their numbers are rapidly increasing.

The Rich

Not everyone suffered during the Great(er) Depression.

 

The rich keep on getting richer while the poor remain poor. Since the (global) financial apparatus is now maintained via various emergency life support measures, meaning those nearest the cash register gain the most, the financial looting will continue until morale improves or the body politic collapses. Or at least until the wide swath of middle class is finished being strip mined and enslaved.

Can you say ‘disappearing pension’ and ‘bailed in’?

What we are witnessing is better described as a crumble than a collapse. Only now they aren’t even bothering to dig out the bodies before bulldozing over the entire bloody mess. Those still breathing, walking wounded really, are the ones found panhandling on the side of the road, plumb out of luck and with rapidly dwindling options.

Mrs. Cog once observed while surveying the human wreckage that it’s a recession when it happens to someone else, a depression when it crashes into you or me. If I have no eyes to see and no compassion to feel, does that middle class panhandler camped on the corner really exist? The Matrix would have you believe not.

The cognitive conundrum is simple; the official numbers tell us one thing while our lying eyes another. Those running the show helpfully inform us all is well, the recovery nearly complete and consumer nirvana just around the corner. Just a few more Federal Reserve cash machine refills and flushes and all will be as right as rain.

Here’s an ugly truth, one that has ALWAYS been self evident for all to view with the courage to see. The intent of government statistics is not to tell you or me the truth, but to allow us to remain comfortable with the public lie. And while liberal and conservative alike bemoan the state of the state, hypocrisy reigns; don’t you dare touch my piece of the public pie.

Just because one slice comes from gainful employment via defense contracts or Wall Street alchemy while another is served a la mode via various liberal educational institutions or Silicon Valley magic means nothing. The real world definition of public hypocrisy is complaining about the quantity and quality while still firmly attached to the rapidly diminishing teat. Or in this case, Uncle Sam’s wealth redistribution and Ponzi enabling purse strings.

Make mine to go and hurry it up.

Anyone who sincerely thinks the root cause of all our problems lay way over there, on the other side of the divide, really should consider cutting back on the ideological bong hits. I strongly suggest it’s time to just say no, then attempt to clear our severely befuddled heads.

Whatever our globally heralded ‘constitutional’ political system might once have been, it clearly no longer is. It’s regressed to the point where it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Confirmation of our decline springs from study after global study showing America’s solid hold on the lower middle of world rankings…and sinking fast.

Which is precisely why the USS Titanic, just like all Titanic’s in the past, will continue sailing straight forward until it wrecks on the rocks in plain sight. We all know the only class with reserved lifeboats is first class and above.

Anyone who still thinks a corrupt and hopelessly dysfunctional political system can be ‘fixed’ by changing a few figure heads at the top desperately wants, no needs, to believe this public fiction above all else. Thus the canned statistics continue to be pumped out.

“See, if we just tweak a little here and remove that over there, things are sure to get better.”

Mother and Child

Don't avert your eyes. This is the face of exhaustion and hopelessness.

 

The fiat spice flow is all that counts. And everyone at every level, including those dwelling at the bottom, intuitively knows this. If a dysfunctional system remains severely dysfunctional even though everyone claims they prefer otherwise, someone is lying somewhere. What is actually going on is everyone is lying, to themselves and to each other. And deep down everyone knows it.

This is the big lie.

Those who wish to manage us know one amazingly simple fact. If everyone is lying and no one wishes the lie to be exposed for fear they will miss out when the truth is told, then perpetuating, twisting and manipulating the lie is the path to total control. Massage the narrative and you control those enthralled and dependent upon the narrative.

The key to a really good lie is to mix in some truth. When we speak ‘truth’ to others, especially unspoken ‘truth’, it helps smooth over the lingering lies that remain tightly bound to what we identify as our ‘self’. This is how we intellectually support our own glaring hypocrisy.

Ramp up the moral certainty and righteous indignation and we’re off to the races, all doubt and introspection abandoned on the side of the beggar’s road in our quest to save the world from ourselves. Of course, since we are righteous and morally correct, we can never admit this to our self, let alone to anyone else. This deeply embedded and desperately hidden cognitive dissonance is the root of all the suffering we create and the source of our everlasting insanity.

Despite what liberals, conservatives, libertarians, socialists and communists say, this isn’t about saving the world. On a personal level, the only level that counts, this is about personal redemption from our big lie. And by hook or by crock we shall be redeemed.

Unfortunately there is no redemption, only absolution. And the absolution must come from within, from our own hand and only after a brutally honest self examination, then an inner cleansing is complete. Since this is precisely the route we do not wish to pursue, the inner tension continues to increase exponentially.

Once we crest the peak and start our descent, we cannot hold on tight enough nor do we have the courage to let go and change course. Therefore we drive our own ship of state directly onto the rocky shoals. The nation simply follows the individual in the same manner the body follows the direction of the head.

Try walking in a straight line while your head is turned all the way to one side or the other. It simply can’t be done. Inevitably you change course. On the flip side, try walking to the left or right while keeping your head fixed on a point on the horizon.

Neither you nor I can personally save those people begging on the side of the road. The socioeconomic system is failing because we are failing morally, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, as individuals, as a community and as a nation.

I needed to hit rock bottom before I became willing to do what really needed to be done, to look directly in the mirror and conduct a fearless moral inventory. Only then could I start to change everything connected to my own big lie so the healing could begin. We as individuals and as a nation need to follow the same prescription.

But ‘We the Nation’ are not willing to do this just yet. This is because we as individuals must take the first step forward, to admit we have no choice but to stand on the busy street corner and beg complete strangers for help. A little humble pie does wonders for a tormented soul.

I’ve been there before and I stand ready, willing and able to be there again.

What about you?

 

06/24/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

 

The American Way is now, at best, mediocre.

American Way


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Trump Accuses Hillary Of “Colluding” With Democrats “To Beat Crazy Bernie Sanders”

It is Sunday morning, and Trump celebrated the start of the new week with a tweet at exactly 8 am EDT in which the president lashed out against both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party, accusing them of colluding to “beat Crazy Bernie Sanders.” 

“Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!” Trump said.

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Trump is referring to the disclosures that emerged last summer when it was revealed by email leaks from hacker Guccifer 2.0 that the DNC had colluded with the Clinton campaign to prevent Bernie from winning the Democratic primary.

It’s not the first time Trump has accused the Democrats of cheating Sanders out of the nomination, although today’s tweet comes amid probes ongoing probes into Russian meddling into the presidential election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

In an interview airing Sunday on Fox and Friends Weekend, Trump blasted Barack Obama over Russia’s interference, accusing Obama of doing “nothing” before the election.

“Well I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it. But nobody wants to talk about that,” Trump said in an interview airing in full Sunday on “Fox and Friends Weekend.”

“The CIA gave him information on Russia a long time before they even — before the election. And I hardly see it. It’s an amazing thing,” Trump continued. “In other words, the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it.  But you don’t read that. It’s quite sad,” Trump said.

On Saturday evening, Trump mused some more on this topic when he tweeted that “Obama Administration official said they “choked” when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”

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Sensing a shift in sentiment – as reported yesterday, angry grassroots Democrats are increasingly turning on leaders such as Obama, Pelosi, Schumer with demands that they “talk less about Russia” and focus on core economic issues instead. Needless to say, nothing could make Trump happier than to put the Russian scandal in the past, especially if he can do it while redirecting attention to his arch-nemesis, Hillary Clinton.

As for Bernie Sanders, we doubt he will care much about what Trump has to say. As reported yesterday, the Vermont senator and his wife, who are now under investigation for bank fraud, have far bigger problems on their heads than a Trump tweet.


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BIS Lists The Four Biggest Threats Facing The Global Economy

After years of fire and brimstone sermons, also known as the Bank of International Settlements’ annual reports delivered with doom and gloomy aplomb by Jaime Caruana, who year after year warned about the adverse side-effects of central bank intervention, today the BIS released its most upbeat reports in years, in which it praised the recent rebound in global growth and predicted that GDP may soon revert to long-term average levels after the sharp improvement in sentiment over the past year.

Or maybe not, because even as talk of a “global coordinated rebound” continues, it has once again rolled over, with the US economy barely growing above stall speed, while the BIS explicitly notes that “despite the best near-term prospects for a long time, paradoxes and tensions abound” among these are the VIX…

Financial market volatility has plummeted even as indicators of policy uncertainty have surged.

… and the record disconnect between equities and bonds.

Stock markets have been buoyant, but bond yields have not risen commensurately.

Meanwhile, optimism – at least as measured by various sentiment surveys such as the PMI and consumer confidence, is the highest since the financial crisis even as globalization, “a powerful engine of world growth, has slowed and come under a protectionist threat.”

While praising the recent economic rebound, the BIS notes that the main theme of this year’s Annual Report is the “sustainability” of the current expansion, specifically “What are the medium-term risks? What should policy do about them? And, can we take advantage of the opportunities that a stronger economy offers?”

Of particular focus are the following four main risks (aside from geopolitical) listed by the BIS  that could undermine the sustainability of the upswing.

  1. First, a significant rise in inflation could choke the expansion by forcing central banks to tighten policy more than expected. This typical postwar scenario moved into focus last year, even in the absence of any evidence of a resurgence of inflation.
  2. Second, and less appreciated, serious financial stress could materialise as financial cycles mature if their contraction phase were to turn into a more serious bust. This is what happened most spectacularly with the Great Financial Crisis (GFC).
  3. Third, short of serious financial stress, consumption might weaken under the weight of debt, and investment might fail to take over as the main growth engine. There is evidence that consumption-led growth is less durable, not least because it fails to generate sufficient increases in productive capital.
  4. Fourth, a rise in protectionism could challenge the open global economic order. History shows that trade tensions can sap the global economy’s strength

Conveniently, just yesterday we reported that as Goldman noted on Friday. virtually every post-WWII recession was caused by the Fed’s reaction to a spike in inflation (usually in the commodity sector), which itself may have been prompted by aggressively easy monetary conditions by central banks during the prior cycle. Separately, Citi discussed just how late stage the current cycle, showing that according to pair-wise correlations, a recession may be imminent.

As for the BIS, this is how it summarizes the overarching threats:

[P]olicy tightening to contain an inflation spurt could trigger, or amplify, a financial bust in the more vulnerable countries. This would be especially true if higher policy rates coincided with a snapback in bond yields and US dollar appreciation: the strong post-crisis expansion of dollar-denominated debt has raised vulnerabilities, particularly in some emerging market  economies (EMEs).

On the topic of surging rates, one has to keep in mind the amount of dollar-denominated EM credit: from 2009 to end-2016, US dollar credit to non-banks located outside the United States – a bellwether BIS indicator of global liquidity – soared by around 50% to some $10.5 trillion; for those in EMEs alone, it more than doubled, to $3.6 trillion.

But an even greater problem than an “inflationary spurt” facing the Fed, is the record global debt overhang: should Yellen et al hike rates too fast, the debt pyramid could implode under its own weight as debt service costs explode.

An overarching issue is the global economy’s sensitivity to higher interest rates given the continued accumulation of debt in relation to GDP, complicating the policy normalisation process (Graph I.1). As another example, a withdrawal into trade protectionism could spark financial strains and make higher inflation more likely. And the emergence of systemic financial strains yet again, or simply much slower growth, could heighten the protectionist threat beyond critical levels.

Charted, global debt has continued to climb to new all time highs…

While predictably rates and yields have declined to never before seen levels:

And yet, despite these great, latent risks, mostly due to high debt levels, low productivity growth and dwindling policy firepower, according to Reuters the BIS said central banks should take advantage of the improving economic outlook and its surprisingly negligible effect on inflation to accelerate the “great unwinding” of quantitative easing programs and record low interest rates. Of course, if the “improving conditions” are a result of central bank policies, this intervention will be very brief.

New technologies and working practices are likely to be playing a roll in suppressing inflation, it said, though normal impulses should kick in if unemployment continues to drop. “Since we are now emerging from a very long period of very accommodative monetary policy, whatever we do, we will have to do it in a very careful way,” BIS’s head of research, Hyun Song Shin, told Reuters.

Shin, one of the more rational voices within the BIS, said that “if we leave it too late, it is going to be much more difficult to accomplish that unwinding. Even if there are some short-term bumps in the road it would be much more advisable to stay the course and begin that process of normalization.

It may be too late: as Citi’s Matt King warned, the moment normalization officially begins – and is no longer just a bluff – markets will flounder. Which is why Shin added that it will be “very difficult, if not impossible” to remove all the central bank “bumps.”

Ironically, the biggest question in the report was one that was not explicitly stated: how long can the Fed tighten before the next recessions sends rates crashing back to zero if not negative, and unleashes even more QE. or as Reuters puts it, the BIS report added that the lack of clarity over inflation also makes it far harder to judge how far rates could go up before they start coming down again.

“In practice, therefore, central banks have little alternative but to move without a firm end-point in mind,” the report said, another way of saying they are flying blind.

Finally, the report discussed the growing threat of protectionism, perhaps the most dangerous of the four main risks it identified. In a sidebar to the main report, the BIS said estimated that if 10% tariffs were put on imports from Mexico or China, U.S. labor costs would have to drop by about 6% to compensate for the higher costs of “imported inputs.” Translated: crashing wages, and political upheaval once globalization goes into reverse in earnest.

the BIS simulation “reveals a comparatively large sensitivity of US production costs to tariffs on imports from Mexico or China. To put the resulting cost shocks in context, the centre panel of Graph III.B displays the reduction in US wages that would be required to fully compensate for the increasing costs of imported inputs. For example, such tariffs would lead to a 0.86% cost increase in the US transportation industry. To fully offset this increase, US labour costs would have to decrease by around 6%, satisfying 0.86% – 6% * 0.14 ? 0, where 0.14 is the labour cost share in the US transportation equipment industry.”

For some of the largest emerging markets there were also concerns about dollar debt and protracted credit expansion, often alongside rising property prices, storing up risks. Low interest rates, though, have generally kept debt-service ratios below critical thresholds.

“The policy challenge is to take advantage of the current tailwinds to put the expansion on a sounder footing,” said Claudio Borio, head of the BIS monetary and economic department. “First and foremost, that requires building resilience, domestically and globally.”

One piece of advice: record high stock prices and record low volatility as a result of what Citi called “forced buying”, which is also known as “buying without conviction”…

… is exactly the wrong way to go about “building resilience.”

Source BIS


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BIS Lists The Four Biggest Threats Facing The Global Economy

After years of fire and brimstone sermons, also known as the Bank of International Settlements’ annual reports delivered with doom and gloomy aplomb by Jaime Caruana, who year after year warned about the adverse side-effects of central bank intervention, today the BIS released its most upbeat reports in years, in which it praised the recent rebound in global growth and predicted that GDP may soon revert to long-term average levels after the sharp improvement in sentiment over the past year.

Or maybe not, because even as talk of a “global coordinated rebound” continues, it has once again rolled over, with the US economy barely growing above stall speed, while the BIS explicitly notes that “despite the best near-term prospects for a long time, paradoxes and tensions abound” among these are the VIX…

Financial market volatility has plummeted even as indicators of policy uncertainty have surged.

… and the record disconnect between equities and bonds.

Stock markets have been buoyant, but bond yields have not risen commensurately.

Meanwhile, optimism – at least as measured by various sentiment surveys such as the PMI and consumer confidence, is the highest since the financial crisis even as globalization, “a powerful engine of world growth, has slowed and come under a protectionist threat.”

While praising the recent economic rebound, the BIS notes that the main theme of this year’s Annual Report is the “sustainability” of the current expansion, specifically “What are the medium-term risks? What should policy do about them? And, can we take advantage of the opportunities that a stronger economy offers?”

Of particular focus are the following four main risks (aside from geopolitical) listed by the BIS  that could undermine the sustainability of the upswing.

  1. First, a significant rise in inflation could choke the expansion by forcing central banks to tighten policy more than expected. This typical postwar scenario moved into focus last year, even in the absence of any evidence of a resurgence of inflation.
  2. Second, and less appreciated, serious financial stress could materialise as financial cycles mature if their contraction phase were to turn into a more serious bust. This is what happened most spectacularly with the Great Financial Crisis (GFC).
  3. Third, short of serious financial stress, consumption might weaken under the weight of debt, and investment might fail to take over as the main growth engine. There is evidence that consumption-led growth is less durable, not least because it fails to generate sufficient increases in productive capital.
  4. Fourth, a rise in protectionism could challenge the open global economic order. History shows that trade tensions can sap the global economy’s strength

Conveniently, just yesterday we reported that as Goldman noted on Friday. virtually every post-WWII recession was caused by the Fed’s reaction to a spike in inflation (usually in the commodity sector), which itself may have been prompted by aggressively easy monetary conditions by central banks during the prior cycle. Separately, Citi discussed just how late stage the current cycle, showing that according to pair-wise correlations, a recession may be imminent.

As for the BIS, this is how it summarizes the overarching threats:

[P]olicy tightening to contain an inflation spurt could trigger, or amplify, a financial bust in the more vulnerable countries. This would be especially true if higher policy rates coincided with a snapback in bond yields and US dollar appreciation: the strong post-crisis expansion of dollar-denominated debt has raised vulnerabilities, particularly in some emerging market  economies (EMEs).

On the topic of surging rates, one has to keep in mind the amount of dollar-denominated EM credit: from 2009 to end-2016, US dollar credit to non-banks located outside the United States – a bellwether BIS indicator of global liquidity – soared by around 50% to some $10.5 trillion; for those in EMEs alone, it more than doubled, to $3.6 trillion.

But an even greater problem than an “inflationary spurt” facing the Fed, is the record global debt overhang: should Yellen et al hike rates too fast, the debt pyramid could implode under its own weight as debt service costs explode.

An overarching issue is the global economy’s sensitivity to higher interest rates given the continued accumulation of debt in relation to GDP, complicating the policy normalisation process (Graph I.1). As another example, a withdrawal into trade protectionism could spark financial strains and make higher inflation more likely. And the emergence of systemic financial strains yet again, or simply much slower growth, could heighten the protectionist threat beyond critical levels.

Charted, global debt has continued to climb to new all time highs…

While predictably rates and yields have declined to never before seen levels:

And yet, despite these great, latent risks, mostly due to high debt levels, low productivity growth and dwindling policy firepower, according to Reuters the BIS said central banks should take advantage of the improving economic outlook and its surprisingly negligible effect on inflation to accelerate the “great unwinding” of quantitative easing programs and record low interest rates. Of course, if the “improving conditions” are a result of central bank policies, this intervention will be very brief.

New technologies and working practices are likely to be playing a roll in suppressing inflation, it said, though normal impulses should kick in if unemployment continues to drop. “Since we are now emerging from a very long period of very accommodative monetary policy, whatever we do, we will have to do it in a very careful way,” BIS’s head of research, Hyun Song Shin, told Reuters.

Shin, one of the more rational voices within the BIS, said that “if we leave it too late, it is going to be much more difficult to accomplish that unwinding. Even if there are some short-term bumps in the road it would be much more advisable to stay the course and begin that process of normalization.

It may be too late: as Citi’s Matt King warned, the moment normalization officially begins – and is no longer just a bluff – markets will flounder. Which is why Shin added that it will be “very difficult, if not impossible” to remove all the central bank “bumps.”

Ironically, the biggest question in the report was one that was not explicitly stated: how long can the Fed tighten before the next recessions sends rates crashing back to zero if not negative, and unleashes even more QE. or as Reuters puts it, the BIS report added that the lack of clarity over inflation also makes it far harder to judge how far rates could go up before they start coming down again.

“In practice, therefore, central banks have little alternative but to move without a firm end-point in mind,” the report said, another way of saying they are flying blind.

Finally, the report discussed the growing threat of protectionism, perhaps the most dangerous of the four main risks it identified. In a sidebar to the main report, the BIS said estimated that if 10% tariffs were put on imports from Mexico or China, U.S. labor costs would have to drop by about 6% to compensate for the higher costs of “imported inputs.” Translated: crashing wages, and political upheaval once globalization goes into reverse in earnest.

the BIS simulation “reveals a comparatively large sensitivity of US production costs to tariffs on imports from Mexico or China. To put the resulting cost shocks in context, the centre panel of Graph III.B displays the reduction in US wages that would be required to fully compensate for the increasing costs of imported inputs. For example, such tariffs would lead to a 0.86% cost increase in the US transportation industry. To fully offset this increase, US labour costs would have to decrease by around 6%, satisfying 0.86% – 6% * 0.14 ? 0, where 0.14 is the labour cost share in the US transportation equipment industry.”

For some of the largest emerging markets there were also concerns about dollar debt and protracted credit expansion, often alongside rising property prices, storing up risks. Low interest rates, though, have generally kept debt-service ratios below critical thresholds.

“The policy challenge is to take advantage of the current tailwinds to put the expansion on a sounder footing,” said Claudio Borio, head of the BIS monetary and economic department. “First and foremost, that requires building resilience, domestically and globally.”

One piece of advice: record high stock prices and record low volatility as a result of what Citi called “forced buying”, which is also known as “buying without conviction”…

… is exactly the wrong way to go about “building resilience.”

Source BIS


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Paul Craig Roberts Warns “The World Is Going Down With Trump”

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

On June 21 the editorial board of the Washington Post, long a propaganda instrument believed to be in cahoots with the CIA and the deep state, called for more sanctions and more pressure on Russia.

One second’s thought is sufficient to realize how bad this advice is. The orchestrated demonization of Russia and its president began in the late summer of 2013 when the British Parliament and Russian diplomacy blocked the neoconned Obama regime’s planned invasion of Syria. An example had to be made of Russia before other countries began standing up to Washington. While the Russians were focused on the Sochi Olympic Games, Washington staged a coup in Ukraine, replacing the elected democratic government with a gang of Banderite neo-nazi thugs whose forebears fought for Hitler in World War II. Washington claimed it had brought democracy to Ukraine by putting neo-nazi thugs in control of the government.

Washington’s thugs immediately began violent attacks on the Russian population in Ukraine. Soviet war memorials were destroyed. The Russian language was declared banned from official use. Instantly, separatist movements began in the Russian parts of Ukraine that had been administratively attached to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Crimea, a Russian province since the 1700s, voted overwhelmingly to seperate from Ukraine and requested to be reunited with Russia. The same occurred in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

These independent actions were misrepresented by Washington and the presstitutes who whore for Washington as a “Russian invasion.” Despite all facts to the contrary, this misrepresentation continues today. In US foreign policy, facts are not part of the analysis.

The most important fact that is overlooked by the Washington Post and the Russophobic members of the US government is that it is an act of insanity to call for more punishment and more pressure on a country with a powerful military and strategic nuclear capability whose military high command and government have already concluded that Washington is preparing a surprise nuclear attack.

Are the Washington Post editors trying to bring on nuclear armageddon? If there was any intelligence present in the Washington Post, the newspaper would be urging that President Trump immediately call President Putin with reassurances and arrange the necessary meetings to defuse the situation. Instead the utterly stupid editors urge actions that can only raise the level of tension. It should be obvious even to the Washington Post morons that Russia is not going to sit there, shaking in its boots, and wait for Washington’s attack. Putin has issued many warnings about the West’s rising threat to Russian security. He has said that Russia “will never again fight a war on its own territory.” He has said that the lesson he has learned is that “if a fight is unavoidable, strike first.” He has also said that the fact that no one hears his warnings makes the situation even more dangerous.

What explains the deafness of the West? The answer is arrogance and hubris.

As the presstitute media is incapable of reason, I will do their job for them. I call for an immediate face-to-face meeting between Trump and Putin at Reykjavik. Cold War II, begun by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, must be ended now.

So, where is President Trump? Why is the President of the United States unable to rise to the challenge? Why isn’t he the man Ronald Reagan was? Is it, as David Stockman says, that Trump is incapable of anything except tweeting?

Why hasn’t President Trump long ago ordered all intercepts of Russian chatter gathered, declassified, and made public? Why hasn’t Trump launched a criminal prosecution against John Brennan, Susan Rice, Comey, and the rest of the hit squad that is trying to destroy him?

Why has Trump disarmed himself with an administration chosen by Russiaphobes and Israel?

As David Stockman writes, Trump “is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/mainstream media prosecution” and “has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive” against those working to destroy him. But there is no Trump offensive, “because the man is clueless about what he is doing in the White House and is being advised by a cacophonous coterie of amateurs and nincompoops. So he has no action plan except to impulsively reach for his Twitter account.”

Our president twitters while he and Earth itself are pushed toward destruction.


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