Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wall Street Loves the Iowa Winners

Even though the race between Clinton & Sanders arguably could be considered a tie, technically the multi-millionaire Clinton appears to have won.  Cruz, also a multi-millionaire, won on the Repub side.  [The Clintons, ~ $45 million total net worth; Cruz & his wife, ~ $3.5 million total net worth.]  SSDD.

Wall Street has contributed millions of dollars to both candidates.  Clinton has made more money giving speeches to Wall Street Banks than has husband Bill.  Cruz's wife works for Goldman Sachs.  SSDD.

Does all that prove anything?  No, but it is highly suggestive.  Each of those candidates is working hard to convince voters that he/she is a Populist.  The question arises:  why would Wall Street support a Populist candidate?  I can't think of one good reason.  In both 2008 & 2012, Wall Street gave more in campaign donations to Obama than to the Repub candidates.  Obama, the Corporatist who poses as a Populist.  Wall Street knows who's who...even today.  [I suppose one could argue that Wall Street conceivably could contribute to a Populist candidate in order to attempt to corrupt said candidate.  That was unnecessary in Obama's case; he already was a Corporatist.  His record proves that.]

It's too bad that the Corporate Media talking heads don't/won't ask all current candidates the following.
1.  Will you push for the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall in order to put a stop to Casino Capitalism in which Big Banks use our money with which to gamble?
2.  Will you push for the break-up of the monopolistic Big Banks?
3.  Will you push for stiff regulations concerning bizarre financial derivatives so that Wall Street gambling bets on them won't crash our economy as they did in 2008 and are doing now?  [Presently, massive oil derivatives are on the cusp of crashing the financial & economic systems again.  Never mind the derivatives on most all other commodities.  As a result, many (perhaps most) 401(k)s already have lost a few thousand dollars each.  SSDD.]
4.  Will you make a promise to NOT appoint Wall Streeters to Financial & Economic positions in your Administration?
5.  Will you promise to push for a full audit of the Fed Reserve?  [Wall Street pundits and the Fed itself often say that the Fed has been audited in the past...that's true, but it's always a restricted audit, never a full audit.  Trillions of dollars are unaccounted for.]

Too bad, indeed.  SSDD.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, January 29, 2016

What is Donald Trump?

Below is my response to a forwarded email I received from a dear friend.  That email discussed why Trump resonated with some "average" people.  Among many other things, it said that he was a big middle finger to the political and media Establishment.
Trump certainly is a big middle finger to the political & media Establishment...maybe.  The problem is that most so-called "Conservatives" think that the Establishment is "Liberal" or even "Socialist".  Maybe years ago, but not now.  Now it's Corporatist...and Donald Trump is a Corporatist...through & through.  Just because he appears to be a rebel doesn't mean he is one.  Just because he now resonates with some common folk, doesn't mean he has their best interests at heart.  Examine his corporate record and see how he has treated common people.  It's easy to talk the talk.

Misunderstandings by so-called "Conservatives"---
1.  In 2008, a CORPORATIST was elected Pres., not a Marxist.  His record proves that.  Leftist Think Tanks are against him, self-admitted Socialists are against him, and most high-level Democrats (IF they aren't Corporatists, too) are against him... because they see his Corporatism.  For crying out loud, it's in plain sight.
2.  Trump is not a Populist either, he's a millionaire/billionaire Oligarch.  He will do all he can to enrich the Super-Rich, not help common people.  He would be a worse Pres. than Bush and Obama combined.  Both of them, because of their Corporatism, ruined our economy.  Bill Clinton (another Corporatist) paved the way.
3.  It isn't only Repubs or Conservatives who are fed up.  Everyone is fed up...with CORPORATISM, which is Soft Fascism, which is Neoliberalism... which is the Establishment for years & years now... at the very least, since 1992...some would say, since 1980.  [Some would say, ever since the early 1970's... or even earlier than that.]
4.  The old political labels are nothing but Propaganda nowadays.  Those on the "Right", and many or most on the "Left", just don't get that.  I find it all astounding.
It's in plain sight.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Friday, January 22, 2016

Four Things You Need to Know About Neoliberalism

1.  It's not new and it's not liberal.

2.  It's sweeping over the entire world.

3.  It's a political and economic philosophy favoring the Rich & Powerful at the expense of the rest of us.      [Essentially, at its core, it's Crony Capitalism, AKA, Fascism.  Both FDR and Mussolini defined Fascism as the power of BIG Business married to the power of the almost perfect description of Neoliberalism.]

4.  Here in the USA, it is subscribed to by almost all high-level Republicans AND Democrats.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"An Economy for the 1%: How Privilege and Power...

in the Economy Drive Extreme Inequality and How This Can Be Stopped".  That's the title of a new Oxfam America report.  From the Report and as reported on Democracy Now, the 62 richest billionaires in the world (a majority of them in the USA) now are as wealthy as the poorest 3.6 billion people worldwide combined.  The inequality is due primarily to:  deregulation (i.e., Crony Capitalism), privatization (more Crony Capitalism), and offshore tax havens (even more Crony Capitalism).  [Those are key components of Neoliberalism...which is subscribed to by most Democrats and Republicans (at the highest levels) here in the USA.]

In one such tax haven, the British Virgin Islands (population 24,000), there are 800,000 shell corporations associated with real corporations from around the world.  Anxious to get in on the action, there also are a total of fifty banks there.  Here in the USA for the last 20 years, politicians have talked about closing the loopholes in the Tax Code that allow tax havens.  In that timespan, there have been periods when both the Repubs and the Dems each have controlled Congress separately.  Nothing has been done.  Lobbyists.  More Crony Capitalism.  Democrats and Republicans both are to blame.

Some here would argue that the corporations need every break they can get, and that allows them to expand and create more jobs.  It's the old "Trickle Down Theory of Economics".  Unfortunately, nothing much is trickling down anymore.  The tax avoidance wealth is either being held offshore, or being used to close, dismantle, & ship factories out of the country, or buy/lease existing factories in another country, or raid companies here & the downsize them, or invest in bizarre financial derivatives, or in foreign currencies, or in foreign bonds, or in a number of other ventures that also create zero jobs in the USA.  So much for the Trickle Down argument.  Mega Corporations seem to rarely invest in their communities anymore (or even in the USA); instead, they move their operations to wherever the labor is the cheapest.  Apple Computer is a prime example:  they don't make even one of their products in this country...not one.  Remember that the next time you buy something from Apple.

Meanwhile, the Middle Class here shrinks, wages essentially are stagnant (& have been for 30 yrs), our manufacturing base rapidly is disappearing, jobs are becoming more & more inferior, employee benefits are shrinking, and the income of the Upper Crust has increased 700% in the last thirty years.  Plus because of the crashing economy, in 2016 alone many 401ks already have lost from $2,000 to $6,000.

While eight million jobs here evaporated after the 2008 Crisis, the Mega Banks grew by 37%, significantly increasing their profits.  At the same time, their Executives avoided prosecution for what was blatant FRAUD during the time leading up to the Crisis.  More Crony Capitalism.  Politicians know on which side their bread is buttered.  SSDD.

NeoFeudalism is well on its way to being here.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Most Dishonest Profession in the USA

I was going to title this piece, "The Sleaziest Profession..."; however, that might be a bit too harsh...but not by much.  Also, be aware that this is a generalization on my part.  There are usually exceptions to a general rule, but they rarely ever prove a generalization to be false.  What do you it that of a drug dealer?  Nope...a good contender for the title, but that's not it.  How about that of a Mega Bank CEO?  Another good contender, but that's not it either.

The most dishonest profession in the USA is that of a high-level, national politician and/or bureaucrat.  Those at the highest levels.  [I include high-level appointees in the term "bureaucrat".]  I came to my conclusion after keenly observing U.S. politics for well over half a century, and most recently, watching the documentaries Money for Nothing, Silenced, Secrets Politics and Torture, Losing Iraq, United States of Secrets, To Catch a Trader, The Untouchables, and many more.  [The 1st two currently are on Netflix (& probably elsewhere online); the remainder are available at the PBS Frontline website.]

Before I offer evidence for my assertion in the paragraph above (the 1st sentence), let's be clear:  the following people are/were not always dishonest, or even sleazy.  Had they been, it would have been too obvious.  Liars work much in the same way as does Propaganda:  there's always a small element of truth to be found.  That's what makes the person or the idea seem credible.  Finally, I could have made the list below several pages long, but there's really not much use in doing that.  Plus, I don't have the time to spare.

Evidence for the contention or assertion---
0.  J. Edgar Hoover
1.  Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, and Henry Kissinger
2.  Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke
3.  Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Madeleine Albright
4.  Robert Rubin and Larry Summers
5.  Dubya Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, John Yoo, Hank Paulson, Michael Hayden, Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, & others too numerous to mention
6.  Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Eric Holder, Susan Rice, Robert Gates, John Kerry, James Clapper, John Brennan, & others too numerous to mention
7.  Rahm Emanuel
8.  Donald Trump
9.  Ted Cruz
10.  Chuck Schumer
11.  Harry Reid
12.  Nancy Pelosi
13.  Jim Inhofe
14.  Tom Delay
15.  Jim Traficant
16.  James G. Watt (Secretary of the Interior under Reagan)

All the above is my opinion...and presently, all the high-ranking politicians that promulgate the anachronistic Repubs v. Dems paradigm in American politics should be included.  They essentially are all on the same Team...that of Neoliberalism.  We the People have been snookered by Edward Bernays style Propaganda into ignoring the real political paradigm in this country:  the Rich & Powerful versus the rest of us.

Be Well

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Biggest Bubble of Them All

Please read this piece completely before doing this--- open up a new window on your machine and find:  ...I know, it sounds boring; trust me, it's not.  This is not the old Debt Clock.  This one has many, many categories of both public and private debt...and other important factors.

Take note of the following---

1.  Scroll down to the second to the last line of numbers.  Notice what "Corporation Assets" are doing as compared to "Household Assets".  You have to look carefully and take your time.  Don't focus only on the last digits in the trillions of dollars number; also watch the middle three digits until they change.  Supposedly, this is all in real time.

2.  Go up one line and find "US Debt Held by Foreign Countries"...decreasing relatively rapidly.  They are dumping US dollars.  According to Ron Kirby of Kirby Analytics, the total number of dollars dumped in the last 8-9 months is just a bit shy of one trillion.  Who is "buying" the debt?...probably the Fed Reserve.  That's more monetizing of our debt, which is unsustainable.

3.  Go up two more lines of numbers to "Money Creation" and all the way to the right find "Currency and Credit Derivatives 2016".  Last I looked, the total was well over $478 TRILLION.  That's many, many times more than the entire world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Derivatives are a type of gambling bet.  Given the numbers, all losses could not possibly be covered...which is what happened in 2008.  That's why things like the Bespoke Tranche Opportunity not only are ridiculous, but harmful/dangerous as well.  Furthermore, they drain money from what could have been investments in means of production...the expansion of factories, or new businesses.

For info on the Debt Clock, scroll all the way down and click on "About" over toward the right side.
On a different note, there's a MUST-SEE documentary on Netflix (and probably elsewhere online):  "Money for Nothing".  It's a partial history of the Fed Reserve, showing how that institution---along with the Administrations of LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, both the Bush men, and Obama---have contributed mightily to the economic ruination of the USA.  Yes, they all did some bit of good for extremely brief times, but overall their policies and actions have brought us economic disaster... unless you're Super-Rich.  If you don't agree, watch the film.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Economic Crash Already Has Started

Carefully consider the following:
1.  Wall Street just had its worst opening week in history.
2.  China's Bubble is rapidly deflating.  China is the world's second largest economy.
3.  The U.S. (and most of Europe) currently is experiencing deflation, which will be followed (most likely) by inflation.  The real estate market, the housing rental market, and grocery prices still are inflated...but as the Collapse intensifies, they too will deflate.  Stocks and bonds are on the cusp of bursting completely.
4.  The Corporate Media, which usually have no more than half a sentence if the news about the Stock Market is negative, couldn't ignore number 1. above.  They attempted to smooth it over by stating, in essence, "Nothing to worry's only volatility in the Market.".  Several analysts don't think so.
5.  Let's not forget the Stock plunge on August 24, 2015.  Only half of the historic 1,000-point drop was recovered by day's end.
6.  Our Stock Market is rigged to favor the high-frequency traders who use computer algorithms that make trades in milliseconds.
7.  Financialization has converted our economy largely into one of nonproduction.
8.  The Corporate Media are touting the December jobs report as evidence our economy is strengthening...December, the month of temporary Christmas employment. 
9.  Wages basically still are stagnated.
10.  Crude oil prices continue to deflate.
11.  European Stocks had their worst week since August, 2011.
12.  Our Fed Gov't has been waging a Currency War against China for awhile now; China is retaliating (most likely) with Cyber attack reconnaissance.  It's the belief of some analysts that they are gearing up for a major Cyber attack on our financial system, perhaps even our utilities (such as power & water systems).  I think the probability of that is very high.  Nothing is secure regarding computers, the internet, etc.  Even the Pentagon has been hacked.
13.  The Fed Reserve finally realizes that it can't artificially control any of this.  Its recent rate hike and any future ones are nothing more than an attempt at face-saving.  They are out of ammo.  This whole thing is a worldwide event.  To believe that the Fed Reserve somehow can manage this is to be deluded.  All they are doing now is bursting the U.S. Asset Bubble.  A few people will make a ton of money.

All the above does not mean things will go bust tomorrow, or the day after, or next week.  The Crash will continue to build until, at some point, the economy will be pushed over the precipice by an event or a relatively quick series of events.  I'm afraid that the analysts who predict 2016 as the year of the Collapse are least, the probability of that is extremely high...extremely high.

Don't despair--- the Powers-That-Be will prop up the System once again.  IF the Collapse ultimately is not as large as the Great Depression, the time to get things up & running again may be relatively short--- a week, or two weeks, or a month, or two months, or???  Nobody knows for certain.  Nobody. 

Be prepared.  Stock up on household commodities now.  There still will be goods around in warehouses when the Crash reaches its peak, but 
distribution essentially will cease because credit will dry up.  At the wholesale level, businesses run on credit, not cash.  Banks will restrict access to cash anyway for both business people and order to prevent bank runs.  Some banks already have changed their Bank-Customer Agreement to reflect the BAIL-IN, which means in a Crisis they are allowed to confiscate your deposits.  Obama and the rest of the G-20 leaders signed that into existence.  Get out of Mega Banks NOW.  The FDIC Fund is a pittance compared to the amount of $$$ on'll be lucky to get a penny on $100.

Once again, the Rigged System is designed to protect banks and the Oligarchy, not consumers and the economy.  And so it goes.

p.s.  The ten-year Great Depression (of the 1930's) was not recognized and/or named as such until halfway through it.

Not only my opinion.  Be Well