• Sprott Money
    05/05/2016 - 06:02
    Why is a Deutsche Bank mouthpiece suggesting “negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes”? The answer is to (supposedly) stimulate our economies.

Guest Post: Ghost Money

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Wed, 08/18/2010 - 18:56 | 529255 rosiescenario
rosiescenario's picture

Giving away my age....that reminds me of my parents' friends who papered a 1/2 bath with German bonds...those were issued of course prior to WWII...any resemblance to current ones is a mere coincidence...

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:06 | 529265 John McCloy
John McCloy's picture

Dylan Ratigan Reports: More money was spent investigating Blagojevich than investigating bankers.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31510813/#38760154

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:15 | 529286 william the bastard
william the bastard's picture

Although I'm not surprised, I'll bet he spent 109500 words to say what you did in 12.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:03 | 529425 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

And they cut short the investigation before the White House could get thoroughly ensnared in with Blago's crimes.   It cost so much cause they had to protect the Loser in Chief. Someone should investigate Fitz.  The government is not seriously going to investigate Wall Street, they are partners in crime.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:14 | 529523 masterinchancery
masterinchancery's picture

Operation coverup, and many in Chicago have figured it out.

Great piece on China and the T-bond!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:08 | 529266 CashCowEquity
CashCowEquity's picture

ghost money? i thought you said goat money...

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:18 | 529289 Mitchman
Mitchman's picture

Bravo!  It is long past time that someone pointed out that the Chinese political system will crack as its economy expands and wealth is distributed into the hands of its people.  People with money in their pockets are not going to attend the Party military shows and are going to want to choose their own laws.  Hear, hear!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:05 | 529429 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Totally agree.  Clear thinking and excellent writing.  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:22 | 529296 Apostate
Apostate's picture

This is a beautiful essay. It also probably violates Princeton's code of conduct by casting aspersions on non-Whites, but whatever. 

Much of what he says about the Chinese could also apply to America.

Revolution, bitchez?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:03 | 529352 mikla
mikla's picture

+1

This is a beautiful essay.

Yes, deep, and surprisingly refreshing.

Much of what he says about the Chinese could also apply to America.

Completely agree.  Of course, his point is that the US culture is *not* the Chinese culture -- the US will do the right thing after exhausting all other options.  In this case, it means US Federal default and a Constitutional crisis, before the people actually get their heads out of their butts.

However, he contrasts that to the land where, "The nail that sticks up shall be hammered down", where they lack the ability and precedent to re-invent their government, nation, and economy after a central collapse.  Both nations may collapse, but the US should do better post-collapse.

Still, the Chinese are not stupid.  We're only talking about China holding $1Tn or so of US bonds (accumulated over decades), from which they are deleveraging *now*.  Good call.  The US printed that much over a six-to-eight month period this year, and will print more than double that over a similar period next year.

China *is* screwed, because they were stupid to loan to the US, and the Chinese ruling party doesn't really care about its people (not that the US ruling class cares about its people either, but the US at least has a lot of imported Blu-Ray players).

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:14 | 529441 Apostate
Apostate's picture

 Both nations may collapse, but the US should do better post-collapse.

I agree.

However, he contrasts that to the land where, "The nail that sticks up shall be hammered down", where they lack the ability and precedent to re-invent their government, nation, and economy after a central collapse.  Both nations may collapse, but the US should do better post-collapse.

Yes, we have intellectual superiority. The nice thing is that intellectual superiority is non-reliant on population. No matter how many collectivist morons may enjoy positions of power right now - in the long run, those leeches will be removed. The US has many idiots in charge, but at least there is a legacy culture of individualism to build upon.

That is what matters most. Capital equipment is a function of the intellectual structure that supports it. Who the fuck cares if China has all that equipment? If the US changes its socio-political structure, that advantage will erode within months. 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:47 | 529498 mikla
mikla's picture

This also feeds into the "leapfrog" issue regarding technology and manufacturing.  Nobody "re-tools" the "Gen6" flat panel fabrication plants -- it's not worth it.  They just build a new one (different layout, different manufacturing process, different facilities requirements).  A plant goes in for $1Bn, runs for twelve-to-eighteen months, and then is destroyed (or abandoned).  Ditto Gen7, Gen8, Gen9, etc.

Ditto with the steel industry and the automobile manufacturing industry, although the technology change has a longer cycle.  If I were to start a new car company today, I would *not* go to Detroit (for a lot of reasons), but most importantly I would make no effort to re-use a previously established plant (it's all wrong for layout and space utilization for what's needed these days).

So, many (most?) of these industries can re-locate the "next generation" in another nation, and relatively quickly.  In many cases the "new" location has a great many advantages over manufacturing in the "old" location, which is weighed down by previous generation baggage.  In some cases there is an advantage to workers fluent in the nuances of the industry and science, but people are mobile, and much of the time any expertise in technology two generations ago does not help much for the current generation (because the technology is different, so the problems are fundamentally different, so prior knowledge is often not helpful).

It will be a rocky road, but the US can re-invigorate its manufacturing sector if it got motivated (which it is currently NOT motivated).

As an aside, somebody seems unhappy with "unthinkable" talk in this thread and is junking.  ;-))

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:22 | 529617 Itsalie
Itsalie's picture

well summarized - TD should seriously think about sparing us reading such long essays when posters shere can summarise the message in 3 sentences.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 07:59 | 529886 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

This is a beautiful piece of propaganda. Little bit of truth, little bit of policy insertion and a lot of playing off your patriotic american first sensibilities. 

The assertion we are more "free" than the chinese is laughable. That democracy is superior to socialism- excuse me, what exactly is the difference? The tone of the leaderships voice? The willingness to make it sound as if they care?

Note the early insertion of reforming social security and medicare. A program deducted from your pay as a promise of future revenue. A program raided by congress and used to decrease the tax rate at the higher indexes since 1986. 

We may feel some sort of superiority when we are told we are better. That the chinese are barbarians at the gate we will repel with our great culture. Ask the romans how that worked out, when they found themselves surrounded on all sides and they could no longer play one against the other...

Finally, it assumes a us versus them confrontation. The reality? They are all on the same team. There is a reason the trilateral commission organized the world into three coordinated spheres of influence. The elites in each sphere to rule over the production of each in coordination through central banking. 

Never accept what your enemy gives you. 

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 09:36 | 530093 Tenma13
Tenma13's picture

Interesting additions. I generally agreed with the authors criticisms of CHina, but found him lacking on the closer to home ones. 

 Chomsky has written a great book called 'Manufacturing Consent' (also a film on google video that can be watched) that deals with is this a far far better way  than I every could, but the general idea is that in authoritarian states conformity and obedience are brought via men with guns. In western societies this failed, so the powers that be reverent to manufacturing consent via controlling peoples access to information, framing information in certain light, and ignoring other sources.

 

 'Cognitive dissonance' wrote an amazing series about self imposed control through conformity and sheepishly following the status quo which would be a worthy addition to the authors useful criticisms.

 

cheers

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:42 | 529328 thermroc
thermroc's picture

China as suicide machine, awesome, I love this article.

Train to hell versus the ponzi nations. Coming soon to rickety bridge near you.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:45 | 529333 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

We need some Spiritual Drawing Rights.

Thanks for the article!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 19:51 | 529340 Shameful
Shameful's picture

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Matthew 7:3

A lot of what he has to say is true but he is dead wrong about the West.  We are a corpse that doesn't know we are dead yet.  We are not much more free then the Chinese serfs, we just think we are free.  We also have a one party system, but our politicians wised up to dress it up as 2 opposing teams.  We are all part of the same compost heap.

Pray tell how about tossing the bad leaders out?  Seems like we are on a 20 year tear of electing total criminals with no end in sight.  At least they can still make things, like steel.  That will be important, because if anyone thinks the world will great our default with kind open arms, then I suggest you follow every Goldman recommendation.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:43 | 529397 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Exactly.

 

The full frontal farcism coming as the scum seek to hold on to their leashes at our backs will be a rude awakening to a lot of rubes on this site.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:12 | 529517 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Rubes?  On this site?  Why do you lower yourself to mingle with us rubes?  We bow to your intellectual superiority, and, I assume your stock trading prowess.  Get thee away from this rabble!

Those leashes (sic) feel great on my back.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:21 | 529533 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

RockyRacoon

 

Mayor-"people what do you think we need to do?'
*silence*
Gerald Broflovski-"uhh...well, we need to find a way to close our town off from unwanted strangers!"
Sheila Broflovski-"Yes! We need a barrier to protect our kids."
*whole town-"rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble"
Randy Marsh-"Wait thats it! A wall! We could build a huge city wall all around south park so that we have complete control over who comes in."
Tweed's dad-" that's not a bad idea."
Sheila-"but who could we get to build it?"
*silence*
Mayor-"And so we want you to design and build a great wall all around the city."
City Wok's chinese Owner-"I don't build wall. I just order up at shity wok"
Gerald-"we just think that you're the best person to put up a wall. We're sure you've got it in your blood."
Chinese owner-"Ohh I get it! Just because I chinese, you think I build a wall! Damn Bush! I'm not sterytype ok!?!Just because I chinese doesn't mean I go around building wall! I'm just a normal person like all you! I eata rice anda drive reary slow just like the rest of you! I'm not a streytype!"
Sharon Marsh-"please Mr. Twong Lu Kim!
Randy-"Your ancestor put up a great wall that kept mongolians out for thousands of years. We know you can do it for us."
*silence*
Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:03 | 529351 zaknick
zaknick's picture

"will make it impossible for us to play our current role of guardian of the world’s security."

 

 

LMAO   Guardian of world security? You have got to be kidding.  How about world insecurity?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:26 | 529373 zaknick
zaknick's picture

fuck the bible thumping, flag waving ignoramus who junked me; you deserve everything that's coming to you and your loved ones for being such an ignorant, useless human being.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:13 | 529524 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

You realize, of course, that you replied to your own post.  Are we to assume that is actually you who is the "ignorant, useless human being"?

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 03:15 | 529769 nuinut
nuinut's picture

Good call zaknick. That was one of several dubious quotes I flagged in that "beautiful essay".

The writer obviously has an addiction to the "holier than thou" flavored kool-aid.

How about:

 

we’re already rapidly approaching a level of debt that is unsustainable.

Really? How long ago was this written?

Many of the commenters earlier clearly reveal their attitude of American superiority.

No such thing as indoctrination in American schools, eh?

 

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 08:34 | 529928 Apostate
Apostate's picture

Well, how much can you nitpick?

Normally, going to Princeton subtracts at least 50 points from your IQ. It's nice to see that at least some of them are vaguely oriented to reality.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 09:41 | 530109 Tenma13
Tenma13's picture

Well spotted.

 

ROFL, WTF does he think is happening in Iraq/Afghanistan???? Is that his definition of security?

 

More like instigators of Chaos!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:05 | 529354 jpk
jpk's picture

Great essay.  You've boiled down the folly of our economy in the USA (debt being generated to pay off debt over and over again, creating bigger and bigger crushing mountains of debt for US citizens).  And also our single greatest escape, our ability to reclaim our liberty.  Just wish we were further down the path of recognizing that liberty and personal property was the way out. Instead we're still stuck in the illusion that a central government will solve the problem and that collectivism will make everything OK (when in reality it will take us all down together).

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:36 | 529385 mikla
mikla's picture

Just wish we were further down the path of recognizing that liberty and personal property was the way out.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:25 | 529622 Itsalie
Itsalie's picture

This is even better, a picture summarizes a few thousand words from Princeton's half-blind elites.

 

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:51 | 529370 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Bla bla effing bla. This guy is full of it.  "We'll throw out our leaders and recover". Ha! I'd like to see that. The Shadow Govt has been in power (whether demoscum or rethugs) for a very long time in this country. They have murdered many people (Larry McDonald, Sonny Bono, Gary Webb, US Special Forces colonels Edward P Cutolo, Bayard, Rowe, Baker, ex-mil intel Steve Kangas, Danny Cassolaro etc etc) who sought to expose them. This moron sits in cushy Princeton and proclaims the "beauty" of American democracy; if he only knew the dirty, drug dealing, ethnic cleansing, genocidal underbelly of the real PTB in this country. Get ready for full frontal farcism coming to a town near you shortly as the ball of corruption and greed unravels mofos while I mine my gold in free regions of the world where the "govt" doesn't run every effing aspect of life!!

 

Jingoism passing as "intellectual thought"; how pathetic.

 

Junk away, unimaginative and captive slaves !!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:06 | 529431 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Tea Party, bitchez!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:57 | 529586 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

The neo-cons are trying to claim the Tea Party, why the fuck don't we just support the god damn Libertarian Party.  It's already national!!!!!!!!!!

 

http://www.lp.org/

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:11 | 529603 ATTILA THE WIMP
ATTILA THE WIMP's picture

The Tea Party has been hijacked by neocons.

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 07:03 | 529864 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

"while I mine my gold in free regions of the world where the "govt" doesn't run every effing aspect of life"

Where would this place you speak of be?  If America is not free enough for you then will have to leave the planet.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:28 | 529379 nevadan
nevadan's picture

"...They don’t really seem to understand what modernity is, or what it requires, or how it is connected to freedom. That’s a significant weakness, because it means that they haven’t actually bothered to inquire very deeply at all into the thing that’s most material to their country’s ultimate fate."

"...You will never make it to the point of being a serious rival for America this way. You are trying to compete with a formidable opponent with one hand tied behind your back, merely because your leaders don’t trust you to make your own decisions about where to strike."

The last act of a government under threat is to protect itself.  When the inevitable crisis comes rest assured that China has one trump card that we have given them.  They have the ability, at their discretion, to collapse the dollar.  Our debt is our vunerability and our ultimate unraveling.  To think that China can not be a threat to the US economically because they won't have the freedom of the population that drives innovation and a competitve economy does not mean that we can't be brought to our knees.  It may be true that they won't rise to our level but that is not to say that we can't be brought down to theirs.


Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:48 | 529387 zaknick
zaknick's picture

"Our debt is our vunerability and our ultimate unraveling"

 

 The debt is a symptom, the vulnerability of the US and the reason why the economy is not recovering is the fascist gutting of the productive economy that made America great. It's been going on almost 40 years and the gig is up!

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:48 | 529499 stollcri
stollcri's picture

Maybe you could throw out some sources. I know that I hate those guys that throw out a link after every third word, but it is helpful when used sparingly. Seriously, you have made some interesting comments. For example, you just said almost 40 years and I may have included LBJ, maybe Kennedy, possibly Ike, and probably Truman. Some people would probably say that most of our nations history has been defined by authoritarian right-wing policies. Maybe you were just talking about the debt.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:23 | 529540 zaknick
zaknick's picture

Here:

 

http://www.scribd.com/full/23098198?access_key=key-gfuw42onruwfrrhw413

 

Keep this in mind as well: the "war on drugs" is the fascists' respponse to the "war on poverty". Kangas doesn't go there fearing assassination, hoping his dissent, however sharp, might be protected Constitutional prerrogative but it's all a part of it as well as the credit economy.  I mean seriously, look at the stats; follow the growth of the "financial system" and you'll see it tracks closely with the decline of the middle clas (wages have actually declined since 1975) and America's productive economy.

 

Here's that asswipe B@sh in the sixties:

 

 

Population Task Force

Among Bush's most important contributions to the neo-Malthusian cause while
in Congress was his role in the Republican Task Force on Earth Resources
and Population. The task force, which Bush helped found and then chaired,
churned out a steady stream of propaganda claiming that the world was
already seriously overpopulated; that there was a fixed limit to natural
resources and that this limit was rapidly being reached; and that the
environment and natural species were being sacrificed to human progress.
Bush's task force sought to accredit the idea that the human race was being
"down bred," or reduced in genetic qualities by the population growth among
blacks and other non-white and hence allegedly inferior races at a time
when the Anglo-Saxons were hardly able to prevent their numbers from
shrinking.
Comprised of over 20 Republican Congressmen, Bush's Task Force was a kind
of Malthusian vanguard organization which heard testimony from assorted
"race scientists," sponsored legislation and otherwise propagandized the
zero-growth outlook. In its 50-odd hearings during these years, the task
force provided a public forum to nearly every well-known zero-growth
fanatic, from Paul Ehrlich, founder of Zero Population Growth (ZPG), to
race scientist William Shockley, to the key zero-growth advocates infesting
the federal bureaucracy.
Giving a prestigious congressional platform to a discredited racist
charlatan like William Shockley in the year after the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King, points up the arrogance of Bush's commitment to
eugenics. Shockley, like his co-thinker Arthur Jensen, had caused a furor
during the 1960s by advancing his thesis, already repeatedly disproven,
that blacks were genetically inferior to whites in cognitive faculties and
intelligence. In the same year in which Bush invited him to appear before
the GOP task force, Shockley had written: "Our nobly intended welfare
programs may be encouraging dysgenics -- retrogressive evolution through
disproportionate reproduction of the genetically disadvantaged.... We fear
that 'fatuous beliefs' in the power of welfare money, unaided by eugenic
foresight, may contribute to a decline of human quality for all segments of
society."

During hearings on the Social Security amendments, Bush and witness
Alan Guttmacher had the following colloquy: Bush: Is there any
[opposition to Planned Parenthood] from any other organizations or
groups, civil rights groups?
Guttmacher: We do have problems. We are in a sensitive area in
regard particularly to the Negro. There are some elements in the
Negro group that feel we are trying to keep down the numbers. We are
very sensitive to this. We have a community relations department
headed by a most capable Negro social worker to try to handle that
part of the problem. This does, of course, cause us a good bit of
concern.
Bush: I appreciate that. For the record, I would like to say I am
1,000 percent in accord with the goals of your organization. I
think perhaps more than any other type of organization you can do
more in the field of poverty and mental health and everything else
than any other group that I can think of. I commend you.

 

 

Which is why domestically these are the results of his, and the
other wealthy fascist interests at the CIA's, "drug war":

http://www.leap.cc/cms/index.php?name=Web_Links&l_op=visit&lid=152

 

Feel free to go through the rest of my docs on scribd.com/zaknick and you'll get a fuller pic.

 

Here's another sample:

 

http://www.scribd.com/full/30472378?access_key=key-xmq64yi58a7tbg8hev7

 

 

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 01:04 | 529721 What_Me_Worry
What_Me_Worry's picture

Really?  Destroy the dollar?  They would be doing the US citizen a grand favor.  The longer the dollar stays in power, the worse off the vast majority of us will be.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:42 | 529396 uno
uno's picture

Ghost money is a funny thing.  In Buddhism your supposed to detach yourself from material things - the cause of all suffering.  Then they use ghost money to send money to their ancestors in their next lives, of course that will cause more suffering, attachment.  

In China on the day of the dead (when they go to the cemetery to pray for their ancestors) they will burn paper mache cars, paper mache houses whatever to send it to them.  Guess they can use US dollars now. 

 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:11 | 529435 Treeplanter
Treeplanter's picture

Buddhism exists along side all kinds of folk traditions in Asia.  In Guatemala the Catholic saints also have the names of Mayan gods.  

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 22:24 | 529538 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Treeplanter

The Old religions hid in the new.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:17 | 529608 ATTILA THE WIMP
ATTILA THE WIMP's picture

The Truth About Religion 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjGkRFFBdA

Thu, 08/19/2010 - 04:06 | 529800 nuinut
nuinut's picture

link don't work

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:43 | 529398 DollarMenu
DollarMenu's picture

Arrogant attitude; pride rides high before a fall?

This writer overlooks a lot of what has been lost in the west with

regard to choosing leaders, rights of speech and assembly.

Still, it will resonate with those who love a smackdown.

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 23:33 | 529406 DavidPierre
DavidPierre's picture

You need to be very careful as to what you see in the media. Much of it is dead wrong ..."corporate America is sitting on $ Trillions" ... is in much better shape today.

Cash...maybe but look at the debit side of the ledger ... see where the credit side is massively offset.

"Bank are now healthy, stocks are cheap, bonds are a good value and Gold is a bubble"... BULLSHIT...!

Do your digging and use common sense because these outlets will kill you  quicker financially than you can speed-dial your broker...with less conscience than your useless broker ... (if this is possible)!

The moron on CNBC may have misspoken when he said he could see Gold down 30-40% in a week like in 1981... maybe he meant "Dollars"? we have lived through gold down that much many times already.

The bottom line... even though many Gold bulls feel beaten up like red headed step children, Gold and the mining shares have been THE Best asset class since 2000.

The purchasing power saved and gained through precious metal ownership has been "precious" and the best is yet to come.

Wall St. uses the disclaimer "past performance ... future performance... blah blah blah.

Gold bulls have been correct but more importantly for THE RIGHT REASONS!

Owning Gold, Silver and mining shares was not a "lucky guess", it was a position building mission for the completely insane reason that the U.S. was in the process of over leveraging, over issuing Dollars and would ultimately DEFAULT!

This is happening!  As crazy as it seems.

It was not luck...it was pure common sense that in today's world is almost as precious and rare as Gold and Silver!

Gold is the exact inverse of a bubble. Reality is the physical is so under owned because of the paper substitutes that have allowed so many to sleep. so well for so long, will not perform.

The TPTB's grand plan of "diverting" demand into empty paper bags to conserve supply will come back to haunt them because word is spreading fast that paper Gold is no better than lead spray painted yellow.

...............................................................................

MARTIN ARMSTRONG

His missive from "The Belly of the Beast"

http://jsmineset.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Deflation-to-Be-or-Not-to-Be-08-05-2010.pdf

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 20:52 | 529410 Helix6
Helix6's picture

This piece is so stupefyingly wide of the mark that I'm a little concerned about what it says about Ivy-League standards.

"The apparent plan, in both Europe and the US, has been to recapitalize the banking system through the ‘carry’ trade, by encouraging banks to borrow short (partly from government) and lend long (largely to government.) Thus, the banks were to be recapitalized by the difference between the rate at which the government lent and the rate at which government borrowed. The government, however, was somehow supposed to not go broke in the process, though it certainly sounds like a bad deal to a naïve ear. (Of course, they are going broke…)
..."

Well, yeah, but you're treating the government and the banks as if they were separate.  As someone of your background surely must know everything is connected.  Especially everything between the Fed, the US Treasury, and the Banks.  But the fact of the matter is, the Banks can belly up to the discount window for their 0% "loans", which they can then use to buy 10y treasuries and pocket a handy 3% or so risk-free profit.  So it's not like the gubmint has a gun to their heads.  It's all a nice, slick game in which bankers pocket their 3%, the government buys more predator drones to drop on Afghan villages, and US taxpayers are on the hook for the full balance.  The Fed chips in as well, acting as the buyer of last resort at treasury auctions.  It "buys" the treasuries by creating a line item in a ledger and voila, it's "money".

So let's put this neat little scenario in the context of al the blather about Social Security and other benefit programs. 

"... a comprehensive reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the only thing that could save the US from eventually defaulting on our obligations, is on absolutely nobody’s political agenda..."

Au contraire, the "entitlements" drumbeat is sounded every day all day.  Nothing is actually done about it at the moment because the programs pay for themselves and a lot of other things besides, like the interest on all that Federal debt held by financial institutions.  But make no mistake, the ultimate goal of the banks that you evidently admire is to strip the social security and medicare benefits accrued by American workers into their own pockets. 

How will they do this?  They're doing it right now!  3% at a time.  Eventually, the government will find itself unable to pay the benefits, mainly due to the interest it is paying on its massive debt, not to mention the billions of dollars that it wastes every week on foreign military adventures.  When the Social Security and Medicare benefits are cut, it's mission accomplished -- The bankers got the money and the workers got screwed.  I take it from this article that you think this is the preferred outcome.

Somehow, I notice that Social Security and Medicare make it onto your slate of financially irresponsible programs, while the government paying bankers for the privilege of using its own money and throwing the money down bottomless ratholes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 130 other countries around the world don't make it to your list.

I could go on, but you either get the drift by now or you intend to never get it. 

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:28 | 529468 Apostate
Apostate's picture

I'm not sure how you've "refudiated" the original article.

Nothing is actually done about it at the moment because the programs pay for themselves and a lot of other things besides, like the interest on all that Federal debt held by financial institutions

OK

Somehow, I notice that Social Security and Medicare make it onto your slate of financially irresponsible programs, while the government paying bankers for the privilege of using its own money and throwing the money down bottomless ratholes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and 130 other countries around the world don't make it to your list.

That's implicit in the essay.

Can we at least give this Princeton post-doc credit for not going "full retard..."?

Wed, 08/18/2010 - 21:38 | 529485 Helix6
Helix6's picture

OK, I'll cut him some slack.  And I should be more understanding of his point of view.  He is, after all, an investment fund manager, so I should hardly be surprised that he espouses the elite viewpoint. 

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