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Guest Post: The Federal Reserve And The Pathology of Power

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

The Federal Reserve and the Pathology of Power

The Federal Reserve is an example not just of run-of-the-mill hubris but of the far more profound Pathology of Power.

The rule of law has been supplanted in the U.S. by self-serving propaganda campaigns serving State and financial Elites: this is the Pathology of Power. The Federal Reserve is an instructive example because it is so blatant.

Despite the dearth of evidence that goosing the stock market actually generates a "wealth effect" which "trickles down" from the top 10% who own the vast majority of equities to the bottom 90%, the Fed has waged a ceaseless propaganda campaign claiming this policy goal is now essential for the nation's well-being.

As Ben Bernanke recently made clear: "Higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending (that) will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion."

No mention of its positive effect on Wall Street; cui bono (to whose benefit?) indeed. To better understand the pathology of power, we should turn first to Pathology Of Power by Norman Cousins, published in 1988.

Cousins was particularly concerned with the National Security State, a.k.a. the military-industrial complex, which at that point in U.S. history was engaged in a Cold War with the mighty Soviet Empire.

In a classic case of structural decay and destabilization (including failed coups), the Soviet Empire dissolved in December 1991. Nonetheless, Cousins' description of the pathology of power is an uncannily accurate account of the Fed and all the Central State fiefdoms.

    "Connected to the tendency of power to corrupt are yet other tendencies that emerge from the pages of the historians:

    1. The tendency of power to drive intelligence underground;
    2. The tendency of power to become a theology, admitting no other gods before it;
    3. The tendency of power to distort and damage the traditions and institutions it was designed to protect;
    4. The tendency of power to create a language of its own, making other forms of communication incoherent and irrelevant;
    5. The tendency of power to set the stage for its own use.

In broader terms, we might add: the tendency of power to manifest hubris, arrogance, bullying and the substitution of rule by Elites for rule of law.

Thus we have a Federal Reserve in which:

-- PhD economists declare that only PhD economists are qualified to critique Fed policy, even as the Fed's grandiose failures suggest that PhD economists are the least qualified citizens to set economic policy (see items 1 & 2).

-- A Fed that bullies domestic and international critics and attempts to impose its "save American Financial Elites at all costs" goals on the rest of the planet.

-- A Fed that claims transparency in its balance sheets and actions would undermine its actions, meanwhile its actions have undermined democracy and the Republic by remaining secret and unaccountable.

-- A Fed that is a private bank acting as the central bank for the Republic, pursuing policies and manipulations which are not accountable to the public's elected representatives.

-- A Fed which defends its failures and responds to criticism with evocations of magical thinking ("step aside, little people, we are the Fed..." see item 3)

-- A Fed which has overstepped its mandate, which is limited to "maintaining monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy's potential to increase production, so as to promote the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."

In other words, the Fed is supposed to manage the nation's supply of money and credit, not its economy or stock market. Yet that is precisely what the Fed is explicitly pursuing by goosing the stock market.

There are two fatal errors in this policy: one is a fundamental misunderstanding of capitalism, and the other is a misunderstanding of the stock market.

Capitalism operates on a "business cycle" in which expansion leads to increased credit, borrowing, investment and consumption, until credit-based speculation based on future growth extends beyond borrowers' ability to service debt. Investment become mal-investment, and the credit cycle reverses into contraction: credit shrinks as bad debt is written off and leveraged borrowers and lenders go bankrupt. Assets are written down and sold off for a fraction of their previous worth.

This squeezing out of excess credit and capacity sets up the solid foundation for the next cycle of expansion and investment.

After the deep 1981-82 recession, the Fed decided to revoke the painful part of the business cycle, and leave only the "happy part" of expanding credit, rising speculation and endless credit-fueled investment in new plant and buildings.

This is a catastrophic misunderstanding of Capitalism. Yet fully intoxicated with the pathology of power, the Fed has an institutional belief that it can revoke the business cycle by inflating serial assets bubbles.

This is hubris, ignorance and arrogance writ large.

The stock market is not a public-relations device, it is a transparent market where price is "found" and capital is raised. Yes, speculation is part of the game, but that is part of providing liquidity.

In constructing its Palace of Pathology, the Fed has extended its mandate to manipulating the stock market via injections of "free" cash, bidding up of futures contracts pre-market via proxies, and any number of other manipulative techniques.

By gaming the stock market as a tool in its propaganda campaign to convince the American public and the world at large that U.S. equities are the leading indicator of the U.S. economy, the Fed has eroded trust in the market as an open market.

I addressed this in The Loss of Trust and the Great Unraveling To Come (October 18, 2010).

The reason, of course, is not to create the "virtuous cycle" Bernanke mentioned, but to protect the financial Power Elites which have the most to lose should reality and/or democracy wrest power away from the Federal Reserve.

Ultimately, the Fed's Pathology of Power is like any other psychopathology: self-absorbed, unable to differentiate between an inner world in which the Fed is all-powerful and reality, and obsessed with retaining and extending its powers, regardless of the cost to others.

Like all other sociopaths, the Fed's policy makers are unable to accurately discern others' emotions and intentions, instead ascribing them whatever motivations fit the inner world in which an all-powerful Fed "knows best."

Thus Congressional oversight of the Fed--a necessity if the word Democracy has any meaning left in America--is "meddling with the Gods" that will bring the nation to ruin. This psychological bullying, braggadocio and supreme arrogance also typifies a dangerously unstable, aggressive and unpredictable sociopathology.

The Fed has the ability to create limitless Hubris along with unlimited credit. For more on the Fed's (and the entire financial sector's) sociopathology and grandiose failures of imagination and policy:

The Rot Within: Our Culture of Financial Fraud and the Anger of the Honest
(October 15, 2010)

The Normalization of Sociopathology in America
(October 16, 2010)

Are the Fed's Honchos Simpletons, Or Are They Just Taking Orders?
(November 1, 2010)

Dependency, The Fed and the Market
(November 8, 2010)

The Banality of (Financial) Evil
(November 9, 2010)

Fed's QE2 Misadventure Costs U.S. Households $4.6 trillion

(November 10, 2010)

Fraud and Complicity Are Now the Lifeblood of the Status Quo (Banality of Financial Evil, Part 2)
(November 12, 2010)



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Thu, 11/18/2010 - 11:55 | 737759 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

The Chinese just love the Fed's actions. They admire Ben's courage to stand up to their threats; DF21 missiles be damned! In fact, the Fed's mandate has changed yet again: It is now the primary objective to make every man woman and child in the USSA a wealthy citizen; every man has a castle.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 11:57 | 737761 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I continued to delight in seeing more and more articles and guest posts on ZH discussing the psychology and mental process that goes into markets in general and the insanity of the Ponzi. Only when we begin to understand the root cause of our problems can we find the internal courage needed to overcome them.

In medicine, pathology is the study and diagnosis of disease. The related scientific study of disease processes is called "general pathology". Medical pathology is divided into two main branches, anatomical pathology and clinical pathology. Medical pathologists work through examination of organs, tissues, bodily fluids, and whole bodies (autopsies).


The term "pathology" has a broader meaning in the sciences to refer to the study of disease, not specifically in the domain of biology. For example in psychology, the term "psychopathology", or simply "pathology," considers paths within its domain (mental, emotional and behavioral) to be forms of "illness" or "disease."

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:15 | 738046 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

YES! We must understand our moneky-minds. In my opinion, one of the most blatantly flawed concepts in economics is the notion that 'people act rationally'. This is false; people act emotionally. As a matter of fact, most of us aren't even acting out much of anything. Rather, they're reacting to whatever emotional stimuli is most pressing at the time. Just look at commercials. Commercials don't play to one's reason. They do cater to impulse and feeling.  

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:24 | 738071 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

mammals rule

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:46 | 738141 B9K9
B9K9's picture

I'm tired of pathology; I'm pleased to see that CHS and others are beginning to finally address the real meaning(s) behind the actions we see taking place on a daily basis. The bottom line is that the entire construct is one of an organized criminal take-down.

The tools are time-tested methods well known to generations dating back many, many millenia. The mechanics of money lending are incredibly simple - no one lends at a rate less than the organic underlying growth rate (otherwise bankers would lose money). Therefore, the nature of exponents DICTATES that compounding principle+interest will ALWAYS outrun the ability to service the debt.

I mean, this is an iron-clad rule on the same level as men will pay for/fight over pussy, opium/nicotine/meth have chemical effects that induce physical addiction, and men are born, mature & die. QED

Once one understands that the People have been subject to grand experiment that has paid off literally $trillions in dividends to the masters who engineered the game, then the point isn't really to rationalize and/or attempt to explain their actions, but to play out end-game scenarios.

Ultimately, it's a binary rather than analog affect. That is, they either win or lose. So, how do they win? They win if the system can find another growth avenue in which to cover up past crimes aka bubbles. They lose if the system can no longer expand.

If you think there are potential growth avenues, then play the leverage long game. If not, then it might behoove one to think about what happens when the system is no longer functioning, rather than worry/wonder/analyze about how/why we got here in the first place.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:09 | 738975 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

I think this time they've done it.  We're toast.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 11:57 | 737762 Oso
Oso's picture

Did anyone see the Secretary of Labor on today claiming "each $1 in Unemployment Insurance generates $2 in economic activity" ?  The dilusions are everywhere.  HAHAHAHAHA

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:06 | 737769 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"For each year that I grow older, I become twice as attractive to the opposite sex half my age."

Hey, this is actually fun. Anyone else wish to try?

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:07 | 737800 Kat
Kat's picture

Fed math. Gotta love it.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:12 | 737811 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Fed meth. Gotta love it."

Fixed it for you. :>)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:12 | 738039 Kat
Kat's picture

LOL!  Thanks!

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:25 | 738074 Ripped Chunk
Ripped Chunk's picture

That's what I thought CD.

Fed are like meth heads. Outsiders see the disintegration clearly but when they look in the mirror they see brilliance.


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:14 | 737817 piceridu
piceridu's picture

let me give it a whirl:

1 oz = 2 ozs

4 inches = 8 inches

A's = DD's

I kinda like this world.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:20 | 737838 nevadan
nevadan's picture

This from the WSJ article in the Frontrunning post......

Skyrocketing prices in the agricultural futures markets won't translate into as big a bump in food costs for consumers, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.

"I'm not sure that commodity prices necessarily translate directly and proportionately into food costs," Mr. Vilsack said in an interview, adding, "They go up and down all the time."

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:47 | 737945 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Let's not forget just how ingrained untruths can become. The author uses one of my favorites: The business cycle. 

The business cycle is a result of Keynsian and other economics that employ the use of leverage. It is leverage and the expansion of credit that causes malinvestment and the inevitable cycle of clearance. 

Credit based on sound money does not create inflation. There will still be malinvestment, because entrepreneurs will continue to make bad choices, but that will not create inflation- thus the business cycle remains essentially unchanged. In fact, deflation, as a result of innovation and productivity increases will keep prices stable. 

This is why the Austrians are silenced- they are Michael's sword in the heart of every banker's demon.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:00 | 738191 B9K9
B9K9's picture

Any theory, economic or otherwise, that assumes a system comprised of checks & balances will not be quickly compromised, is an utter waste of time.

I've read enough of your posts (and have applauded many of them) to realize that you know this. A slight slip back to wishful thinking is normal, so this is just a friendly reminder.

Darwin was right in so many ways. Nature isn't a beautiful, peaceful environment, but a desperate fight for survival, with all/any tools available treated as fair game.

While 99.99% of the population many have a "live & let live" philosophy, there are significant numbers of others who see idiot sheep peacefully grazing just begging to be slaughtered.

It doesn't matter what system is in place, means & ways of corrupting it to further advance the objectives of certain parties are abso-fucking-lutely guaranteed.

Bag the philosophy and focus on results. They are out to literally take you down, lion vs zebra style. How are you gonna survive? That's the question.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:26 | 738280 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

We both talk philosophically, for that is the language of persuasion. Just as I never worry about you and many others here who have made the necessary mental adjustments, you can rest assured- I have created a complete backup structure for as many scenarios as I can foresee. 

Still, I will always harbor hope, for I am a bit of an optimist, that enough people- properly educated- could take this sucker down. Then, replace it with absolutely nothing but the protection of private property. A silly dream, an anarcho capitalist dream, but life has little flavor when it lacks the seasoning from dreams.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:24 | 738740 Marla And Me
Marla And Me's picture

Hey B9,

You are one of the few commenters whose comments are still worth reading regularly.  As such, I usually cut through the noise by tracking your posts directly from your user page, but now the website is giving me the "access denied" page, when it worked just this morning.  What gives?  Did you make a special request to go ghost to Tyler et al.?

Edit - I just realized that this is happening for every commenter.  Tyler, why the change to the website?  Getting too many hits from Langley?

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:15 | 738231 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture

Absolutely right, Sean, except that in a truly sound-money economy, innovation and productivity increases would increase purchasing power, thus driving prices down, and relentlessly so.  Which is to say that what is bad in a credit-money economy is good in a sound-money economy.  Hence the inherent conflict of the former with the best interests of the people, while the latter is fully commensurate with those interests.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:28 | 738291 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Yep and a hearty "the state can kiss my ass" back at you.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:42 | 737916 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I can make a rock so heavy I can't lift it

this strategy has none

I've given a lot of thought into the fact that I'm not introspective

Let me boast about my humility &

 I do a devil of a job with God's work

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:11 | 738981 8pence
8pence's picture

The Fed said the latest QE could add 1 million jobs. Lets add it up, $600 billion will produce 1 million jobs. That's $600,000 for each job. I have an idea that would save them tons of money, just pay me $100,000 a year to not work. They pay farmers not to plant wheat, so why not? The Fed could produce 6 million non-jobs. It makes more sense to me than ineffective stimulus. What a circus of follies. Bubble Ben has had too much to drink from well of illusory ominpotence again.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:05 | 737788 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Some things are so stupid, they could only be said by an intellectual.

                                            Calvin Trillin

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:06 | 737798 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Sounds like Crackhead'o'nomics to me, lets put Ashy Larry in as FED chief next.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:16 | 737825 jus_lite_reading
jus_lite_reading's picture

Yes, it creates $2 in economic activity in China, India, Brazil, Pakistan etc etc etc, anywhere BUT the US. We on the other hand have $1 less dollar to spend HERE!


Their syntax is correct- the fact that it remains a deception is the problem.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:19 | 737837 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

For every bottle of wine I drink, two more majically appear in my cellar.  Wow.  Love this new religion.  Thanks Oso.  Do we have a tax exempt number yet?

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:29 | 737868 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Just a reminder....

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

-Joseph Goebbels


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:39 | 737911 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

This quote should be repeated on a daily basis here and anywhere else you and I post. It also explains why The National Security State must and will grow stronger and more vicious.

Anyone hoping this will get better on it's own doesn't understand how long and devastating to slide to hell can be.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:24 | 738268 Dick Buttkiss
Dick Buttkiss's picture
Free Radical referred to the "Big Lie" in his own hit piece on the pathology of power:
Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:00 | 738899 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

I am right there with you on this CD and I would like to share my thoughts on this later, but right now I am creating and producing so myself and my family can have a future. Just a quick note: depending on the level of mind programing sometimes it is almost impossible to deprogram certain pathologies. I am fascinated by this subject and I am very disturbed by what I see happening here in America. More on this later.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:18 | 738735 Hugh_Jorgan
Hugh_Jorgan's picture

Coincidence then, that Goebbels wrote in his diary that the Nazis learned propaganda from Bernays who served in the cabinet of Woodrow Wilson, the President that gave us the Fed? That was the beginning of that whole Progressive era thing, hmm...

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:42 | 739044 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture


I am not an expert on Goebbels pathologies, however he was dead on accurate on his statement.

His words on this piece of truth are succinct cutting through all the spin to the contrary. Perfectly thought out.

Fri, 11/19/2010 - 04:09 | 740512 Hugh_Jorgan
Hugh_Jorgan's picture

I do not dispute the truth in his statement, not at all. I only wished to point out that these insideous, evil strategies were originally perfected by Americans. Goebbels and Hitler's policies are accepted benchmarks for disatrous ideology and abhorrent atrocity, yet these very same strategies and techniques for propaganda are in resurgence, here once again. All Americans should be outraged, but sadly few know and care enough about the truth to speak out right now...

Fri, 11/19/2010 - 10:35 | 740816 G-R-U-N-T
G-R-U-N-T's picture

Indeed, I agree! That's why I post the quote from time to time, but few respond.


Fri, 11/19/2010 - 15:25 | 741841 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.!


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 11:57 | 737767 JimboJammer
JimboJammer's picture

The  Fed  is  a  Special  Intrest  Group...

The  Senate  Must  be  Bigger  than  the  Fed..

Banks  must   not  be  tied  to  Government

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 11:58 | 737768 Nat Turner
Nat Turner's picture

When Americans wake up I hope to be in Jamaica.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:07 | 737801 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Right.  Things will go swimmingly well in Jamaica.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:01 | 737777 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Great post.  Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but the details are always worth study.  The odd thing is that for decades, serious people argued in favor of "independence" for the fed.  That simply shields them from accountability.

None dare call it treason, except a few of us here on ZH.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:03 | 737784 Traianus Augustus
Traianus Augustus's picture

To know all this and still have no accountability is the greatest tragedy of our time.  The brainwashing of the american people and their willful disregard for their own freedoms is devastating IMO. 

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:12 | 737813 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

At this point its just a show to watch. Personally Im tired of doing videos laying out for people whats really going on. Fuck it, they dont care.
Theres tons of proof positive 9-11's govt official story is a complete fabrication, and it makes no difference, nothing is done about it and no one really cares.
Its now mainstream on 60 Minutes and Discovery Channel showing how the FED and govt are totaly corrupt and puropsely bankrupting the country. Everyone just goes about their business, less wealthy each day but no one really cares.
So screw it, just buy a few years worth of food and self defense items and sit back and watch the show...when it does finally implode it will be a spectacular show.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:51 | 737968 samsara
samsara's picture

 Everyone just goes about their business,

Sheep Dog, 

Read this one.  It's clinical about Americans.

The Limits of Incompetence

It's why we don't call "Bullshit" on anything.

Your(and mine and many others) thinking is different than most.  Critical thinking and calling bullshit on 911 etc. 

 It's also why this happened.  Read the above, and then this one makes sense.

Chinese Students Laugh At Tim Geithner

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:51 | 737970 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

The problem is this: once they fashion 320 million sets of chains, they will be damned and determined to use them- even if you refuse a pair. Of course, I will be sitting in a place hoping to stop delivery,see you there.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:05 | 737789 Kat
Kat's picture

The U.S. is a Banana Republic.  It's just going to take a few years to destroy what it took hundreds of years to create in this country.

This year, the population made its displeasure known politely via tea parties.  If this bullshit doesn't stop, I think the streets will run red with the blood of politicians and bureacrats.  I don't think Americans have that fatalistic culture of Europeans.

Tyler, this is why I think you're mistaken in harping on about dark pools and HFT.  Both are a natural result of the SEC's creation of a completely unnatural, Frankenstein market structure.  Thanks to the SEC's and the Fed's central planning, what we have can in no way be described as a "market" in any meaningful way.  We have fascist control where the government creates outcomes with a kicker of hideous externalities (unintended consequences) that are routinely blamed on the non-existent free market.  THAT'S what we have to keep whacking at.  The externalities of HFT and dark pools will NEVER be dealt with as long as we have this hot mess the regulators created. 

Oh, and I literally just got off a conference call with regulators.  Their response to the ill effects of rulemaking on the market?  "We don't care".  They are owned by the too big to fails and will exist as long as they do.  Why would they care?


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:06 | 737793 tickhound
tickhound's picture

As the ponzi becomes visible and the truth about the Fed goes viral... It only seems to move Americans quickly through the 3 stages of truth...

1st they ridiculed me, then they violently opposed me, now they accept it as self-evident...

Now back to Ice Road Truckers.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:11 | 737805 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Now back to Ice Road Truckers.

Lisa Kelly is so much easier on the eyes than asshole Rick. Whoops, was that my out loud voice?

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:17 | 737827 tickhound
tickhound's picture

Hear ya and on a related note... We'll know the shtf when the UFC and lingerie football find a way to merge. 

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:47 | 737947 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture



Nirvana for the powers that be.......a pacified public.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:13 | 738043 tickhound
tickhound's picture

case and point... tickhound <===== sufficiently distracted by your links

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:18 | 738247 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I admire the integrity you display by calling a stroke (pun intended) on yourself. :>)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:37 | 738113 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

My fiancee had an idea for an all women's MMA/wrestling league. I can't imagine why there isn't such a thing already. Probably the FCC and  their fear of wardrobe malfunction.



BTW, the FCC has outlived it's usefulness. FUCK THE MUTHAFUCKING FCC!


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:09 | 738972 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture



Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:17 | 737830 buzzsaw99
Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:29 | 737873 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Border sign on the Alaska Highway, heading south-



      Soon, you will be ugly again;)

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:29 | 739057 akak
akak's picture

As a long-time Alaskan, I can confidently tell you that the use of the word "again" in that sign is wholly redundant.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:47 | 738846 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Lisa is still a wimp on those mountain roads, however.  She freezes in a pinch.  Not a good sign.   Even the most courageous of us will lose ability when the environment is right.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:13 | 737804 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

The comparisons to the Soviets is spot on.  We are truly in a command economy now.   They will make you or break you.  By hook or by crook bureaucrats will run you into the ground.   

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:47 | 737952 Voluptuarius Catus
Voluptuarius Catus's picture

The Soviets felt that socialism was misunderstood too, which is true. Let's get rid of ideology completely and recognise the same things under different names for what they are...

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:16 | 738048 Kat
Kat's picture

Spot on!  Couldn't agree more with you and the commentor to which you're replying.

I only have one nit to pick - the Soviets did not think socialism was misunderstood but rather undermined by evil capitalists, but like our current leadership they did call anyone who didn't agree with them on the superiority of socialism was either retarded or crazy.  I'm from the Soviet Union, so this is very familiar to immigrants old enough to remember those days.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:13 | 737815 flaunt
flaunt's picture

"a virtuous circle" aka "circle jerk"

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:25 | 737855 tpberg7
tpberg7's picture

A clusterfuck?

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:15 | 737819 the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

As we've read in other guest posts here: "Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin."

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:17 | 737832 trav7777
trav7777's picture

It's not the Fed, it's the government.

The mandate to goose the stock market comes from the government via the Fed.  These are a fused entity now

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:25 | 737856 the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

Yeah, I guess the don't call it the FEDeral Government for nothing.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:21 | 737845 breezer1
breezer1's picture

the bank (fed) is america. all hail the fed. feed the fed and die for the fed. never get fed up or they will come and get you, or your funds.

pass the chicken and wheres the remote?

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:31 | 737875 bankonzhongguo
bankonzhongguo's picture

In my prior posts, I spoke about working with the Fed as a simple commercial banker.  I sat in meetings with the SF Fed prez and staff as they handed BOC's ass on a platter per Basel II, only to have the Fed later go medieval with the OCC in tow in the name of capital requirements and asset quality - those humiliating meetings are not lost on the Chinese now.  Walking around the LA branch of the SF Fed you will admire their million dollar private art collection that they purchased from a museum to adorn their walls.  At a Y2K meeting, yea I'm old, they had some Fed sales rep stand up and ask bankers in the room if they were withdrawing money from their bank accounts over Y2K.  A few hands went up, wherein the Fed rep walked around and publicly humiliated those that thought about planning ahead in case of; 'What if?'  It was like TSA airport molestation - just keep the little bankers in line - perception is reality and 'We are in control.'

The Fed had a role as a bank's bank - to settle accounts, ACH, discount window for "emergencies.'  Now its a Frankenstein Monster - a patchwork of feudal Yes Men and fake intellectuals behind the curtain - all churning to make it to FRBNY; POMO, plunge protection, GM, QE^10, max employment, TBTF special compliance protection, "consumer protection cut-outs," etc.  Where does it end?  It doesn't.  Wait until the Fed begin working with the IRS to collect your daily VAT real time.  The Fed is just the political charade of the big banks running the Republic.  Your unborn children to be taxed to payoff the bonds ordered by the Fed to finance banker bailouts, their bonuses and the systemic mortgage fraud thereto.  Its an age old event repeated since Jesus and the Moneychangers and before.  At some point the tables must be upset and a balance returned to the hearts and minds of Citizens - away from Corporate power and their Fed lackeys.  

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:55 | 737988 Sean7k
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Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:09 | 738213 DaveyJones
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Thu, 11/18/2010 - 12:42 | 737918 RecoveringDebtJunkie
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Great article. Most Americans probably still think the Fed is just another government agency among hundreds of others...

CHS points out its corrupt, pathogical policies, but that's just the icing on an extremely rotten cake. The Fed is most likely unconstitutional and, even if it can be constitutionally justified, an utterly undemocratic institution. The fact that we have lived with it for a century reflects more on our pathology, and what we have expected from this country we call home. Democracy, freedom, rule of law... all just convenient talking points.

Plutocracy Now!


Tue, 11/23/2010 - 14:20 | 737980 NewWaveSlave
NewWaveSlave's picture

Welcome to the United States of Oligarchy.  We are no longer a democracy, but we have become a slavocracy.  Trav7777 is spot on by saying the Fed and the Gov't have become one.  We need to expose the fraud not only with the battle cry of Max Keiser "crash JP Morgan buy silver", but we need to expose the fraudulent banking system and the Fed as a whole. 

This is one approach: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out: Break the Banks (I'm not trying to pimp my site, but it fits perfectly with this topic.)  Rock on.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:00 | 738011 docj
docj's picture

Why do I get the feeling I've seen how this all ends already...

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:13 | 738040 sschu
sschu's picture

At the root of most great evils in the world is the view that men can replace God.  Hitler, Stalin, communism, darwinism, nationalism, progressivism, etc all are based upon the idea that man (often one man, but not always) can play God.  Deification of emperors and divine right of kings are great examples of this idea.

Of course this never works and the human suffering is catastrophic. 

The common man realizes this and cannot understand why someone else would think this way.  So the masses go along, for a while at least, blinding believing that no one is crazy enough to believe they are God.  When a group, idea or person comes along and starts to play God, they often can thrive because the people believe no one could be this foolish.  Plus the sales pitch to the masses is very alluring, riches beyond belief for everyone being a classic rationalization.  

History and common sense have proven this God complex to be both wrong and disastrous.  One often wonders why a Hitler could come to power, just a classic and recent occurrence.  The Fed (and those behind it), is another example of what this author talks about, playing God always gets a lot of people killed.



Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:24 | 738069 Don Levit
Don Levit's picture


You nailed it.

Maybe that's why we have "In God We Trust" printed on our money, as an important reminder.

The concentration of wealth is very dangerous, if we count on consumers to produce 70% of our GDP.

Don Levit

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:48 | 738146 sschu
sschu's picture

It seems the author presents a decent framework from which to derive a worldview.  Power, the ultimate elixir, is a dangerous motivation for man. 

While I take a Biblical perspective, Lord of the Rings also looks at it in a similar manner - "above all else men desire power".

The story is the same over and over, the characters change of course.  Funny (not really) how it always seems to end up the same.


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 13:56 | 738177 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.


Thu, 11/18/2010 - 14:17 | 738239 tired1
tired1's picture

Been looking into: Islamisc finance in the search on non-private central banks and came upon some interesting insights. FYI:

...Wherever you live in the 'developed' world, look at your country's monetary statistics. You will see a steady expansion of total debt (private plus public) accompanied by expansion of money supply to a similar degree. More telling is the fact that total debt is in almost all cases showing substantial growth as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product. So despite decades of hard work, using ever more productive technology, the people are more in debt than they have ever been. Net, they own less of the wealth in their possession than they have ever done. Does this make any sense to you? Only when we understand that modern money is manufactured mostly by the banks for the sake of profit, can we understand the modern economy. Then it will all make sense. ...

Some of our scholars have yet to recognise the monster for what it is. They think of the banking system as a necessary part of economic activity. They do not connect the deaths of millions of children in Africa every year with the burden of debt repayments to the banks (the United Nations Development Programme's annual Human Development Reports 1997 - 1999 do show this connection). We need a payment transmission system, a safekeeping service, and investment advisory services. To all these things, yes. To money creation for the sake of profit, no.

Which politician will be brave enough to challenge the wealthy bankers and their friends in the leveraged corporate boardroom? The prize awaiting a successful challenge will be huge. Such a nation will be a light for the world to follow. Imagine no more debt. Imagine all those bankers being released from their unproductive industry (the largest by value on the London Stock exchange) to do something useful instead. Imagine a world free of dominance by a few huge firms, huge and dominant because they have been leveraged with the bankers created money. Imagine what we once had before all of this. A world of small businesses, a world of variety, of individual responsibilities and co-operating communities.

Failure to defeat the monster means a never ending necessity for growth. A world awash in the dust of riba, ruled by the 'Money Power', paying perpetual interest on an unrepayable debt.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 15:28 | 738515 TDoS
TDoS's picture

I really like C.H. Smith, but I think he is a little mystified by capitalism.  He assumes it exists for the benevolent benefit of all.  This is as false as a grade school impression of democracy.

Capitalism is a method by which the living are converted to the dead for a profit.  Profit is king, not social justice, not environmental concerns, not the welfare of all participants. Capitalism puts a price on everyone's head, and then tries to steal that head for pennies on the dollar.

This is why I gave up on the libertarians and free market proponents and all the other slightly smarter than the rest adults who still believe in fair play.  As long as some people are the rulers and the rest the "to be ruled," nothing will be fair, nothing will be honest, and nothing will stand in the way of enriching those who sit atop the pyramid.


Fri, 11/19/2010 - 04:44 | 740524 Hugh_Jorgan
Hugh_Jorgan's picture

The key here is to understand that there is no perfect system of economics. Only the best system that Man's experience has given us, Capitalism. Man was meant to work and achieve by his merits, this is the root of our American exceptionalism. We are never better than when we are busting our asses, and never worse than when we are getting freebies and hand-outs.

Every time that man tries to level the playing field with ill-fated ideas like Social Justice (noble name with a terrible track record), we are attempting to play God's role, which history shows we suck at. Handing over our wealth and responsibility to the government leads to a perilous concentration of power that inevitably places freedom's head on the chopping block.

Purponents of Socialism love the idea of giving "their guy" ultimate power to implement massive programs and ideas that benefit them, or someone they deem "deserving". Unfortunately, you cannot be assured that you will have your benevolent dictator at the helm forever. During inevitable tough times, "Hitler" always appears to save you by leveraging all that centralized control to his ends. I like Churchill's words: "The chief vice of Captialism is unequal distribution of blessings, the chief benefit of Socialism is equal distribution of misery".

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 16:18 | 738731 Hugh_Jorgan
Hugh_Jorgan's picture

Bravo on posting this Tyler.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 17:21 | 739037 malek
malek's picture

Charles H. Smith writes: "This is a catastrophic misunderstanding of Capitalism."

I respectfully disagree. We have exactly one general problem, by far not limited to just Capitalism: lack of accountability.

And we have a great nonpartisan consensus that this should remain like that!
The do-gooders prefer non-accountability as otherwise they would need to adjust or even give up on some of their wishful thinking attempts in real life. Similar for the bible-thumpers who would need to make concessions to their clean-room conceived moral concepts. And even the moderates, especially the well established ones, quickly find reasons to completely ignore hard reality as long as possible.

How long can they keep it up? Until almost all reserves, savings, and easily available resources are wasted... then the fun begins.

Thu, 11/18/2010 - 20:03 | 739192 Star Hawk
Star Hawk's picture

Old man wanna be rich

Rich man wanna be king

And the king aint satisfied

Til he rules every thing



Old, rich fucks....

why don't they just fucking DIE already?  They live.

Hasn't enough old viagra man cum been spewed?

Do they bbq AND fuck babies?  They do don't they.

They are unholy chimeras of reptile, amoeba and crack addict.

They are patho-logically ugly and horrible and can only

hide from themselves by CONTROL of everything they can (except themselves, of course).


Ok, i feel better now.


Truth is beauty and beauty truth and all else is a crock of shit.

Fri, 11/26/2010 - 23:37 | 756875 ownself
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