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Scandal: Albert Edwards Alleges Central Banks Were Complicit In Robbing The Middle Classes

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We apologize in advance for the NY Magazine-style headline, but this is a report that has to be read by all Senators who are preparing to reconfirm Bernanke for a second term. When voting for the Chairman, be aware that all of America will now look at you as the perpetrators who are encouraging the greatest inter and intra-generational theft to continue, and as prescribed by Newton 3rd law, sooner or later, an appropriate reaction will come from the very same middle class that you are seeking to doom into a state of perpetual penury and a declining standard of living.

America spoke in Massachusetts, and will speak again very soon if you do not send the appropriate signal that you have heard its anger - Do Not Reconfirm Bernanke.

You have been warned.

We present Albert Edwards' latest in its complete form as it must be read by all unabridged and without commentary. These are not the deranged ramblings of a fringe blogger - this is a chief strategist for a major international bank.

 


 

Theft! Were the US & UK central banks complicit in robbing the middle classes?

by Albert Edwards, Societe Generale

Mr Bernanke’s in-house Fed economists have found that the Fed wasn’t responsible for the boom which subsequently turned into the biggest bust since the 1930s. Are those the same Fed staffers whose research led Mr Bernanke to assert in Oct. 2005 that “there was no housing bubble to go bust”? The reasons for the US and the UK central banks inflating the bubble range from incompetence and negligence to just plain spinelessness. Let me propose an alternative thesis. Did the US and UK central banks collude with the politicians to ‘steal’ their nations’ income growth from the middle classes and hand it to the very rich?

Ben Bernanke?s recent speech at the American Economic Association made me feel sick. Like Alan Greenspan, he is still in denial. The pigmies that populate the political and monetary elites prefer to genuflect to the court of public opinion in a pathetic attempt to deflect blame from their own gross and unforgivable incompetence.

The US and UK have seen a huge rise in inequality over the last two decades, as growth in national income has been diverted almost exclusively to the top income earners (see chart below). The middle classes have seen median real incomes stagnate over that period and, as a consequence, corporate margins and profits have boomed.

Some recent reading has got me thinking as to whether the US and UK central banks were actively complicit in an aggressive re-distributive policy benefiting the very rich. Indeed, it has been amazing how little political backlash there has been against the stagnation of ordinary people?s earnings in the US and UK. Did central banks, in creating housing bubbles, help distract middle class attention from this re-distributive policy by allowing them to keep consuming via equity extraction? The emergence of extreme inequality might never otherwise have been tolerated by the electorate (see chart below). And now the bubbles have burst, along with central banks? credibility, what now?


After reading Ben Bernanke?s speech, once again denying culpability for the bubble, I really didn?t know whether to laugh or cry (remember that Ben Bernanke, like Tim Geithner, was a key member of the Greenspan Fed). I feel like Peter Finch in the film Network, sticking my head out of the window and shouting "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" Although criticism of the Fed (and the Bank of England) has now become louder and more widespread, I feel my longstanding derision for their actions during the so-called ?good years? puts me in a stronger position than some to offer further comment.

Opening my 2002-2005 file of old weeklies I did not have to go any further than the first paragraph of the top copy (end of December 2005). “As far as Alan Greenspan’s tenure at the Fed is concerned, we have spared few words of derision. We have made plain our views that the supposed US prosperity that has accompanied his tenure has been based on a grotesque mountain of debt. We have likened the economy to a Ponzi scheme which will ultimately collapse. He has allowed the funding of strong economic activity by mortgaging the US’s future against one bubble (equity) and then another (housing), which is now beginning to implode”. These are almost consensus thoughts now, but not then.

The pigmies that populate the political and monetary elites prefer to genuflect to the court of public opinion. Blaming the banks is simply a pathetic attempt to deflect the public fury from their own gross and unforgivable incompetence. We have stated before that banks are not the primary cause of the bust. Just as in Japan, a decade earlier, bank problems are a symptom of the bust. It is the monetary and regulatory authorities that are responsible for this mess. And it is not just obvious in retrospect. It was perfectly obvious from the beginning.

I was shocked by a recent survey of Wall Street and business economists, published in the Wall Street Journal (see Bernanke View Doubted 14 Jan? link). Asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the proposition ‘excessively easy Fed policy in the first half of the decade helped cause a bubble in house prices’, some 42, or 74% agreed with the proposition. So unbelievably there are still 12 economists surveyed who did not agree! Even more incredible, a majority of academic economists did not agree with the proposition. Maybe they have sympathy for a fellow academic or maybe they actually believe the preposterous proposition that the western central banks were not in control of the bubbles which were primarily due to tidal waves of surplus savings washing across from Asia.

John Taylor shows this to be nonsense. There was no global savings glut (see chart below)

John Taylor is well known for his famous ?Taylor Rule? for the appropriate level of interest rates and he has been very vocal in his criticism of Fed laxity in the aftermath of the Nasdaq crash in his paper ?The Financial Crisis and Policy Responses: An Empirical Analysis of What Went Wrong’, Nov. 2008 and elsewhere - link. His thesis is simple. Lax monetary policy caused the boom in housing upon which euphoric credit excesses were built. The subsequent bust was an inevitable mirror image of the boom. This simply would not have occurred had the Fed (and the Bank of England) acted earlier to tighten policy as shown in the Taylor?s counterfactual profiles (see charts below).

More recently, the San Francisco Fed published a paper this month showing that those countries which saw the steepest run-up in house prices over the last decade also saw the largest rise in household sector leverage (see charts below and link). Of course the causality runs both ways. Loose monetary policy generates higher borrowing which pushes up house prices. Subsequently this prompts other households to borrow against the rising value of their houses to finance consumption via net equity extraction.

Generally most commentators have fallen for the populist line that the banks are to blame. Very rarely does a leading commentator pin the blame where it deserves to be ? on the central banks. Hence, I was very interested to read the Financial Times Insight column on Tuesday from the deep-thinking columnist, John Plender (interestingly his title in the print edition was “Blame the central bankers more than the private bankers” was changed to “Remove the punchbowl before the party gets rowdy” in the web edition - link).

Plender?s point is classic Minsky. An unusually long period of economic stability, also known as The Great Moderation, engineered by Central Bank laxity inevitably created the conditions for the subsequent bust. “Central banks clearly bear much responsibility for past excessive credit expansion. The Fed’s gradualist and transparent approach to raising rates in middecade also ensured that bankers were never shocked into a recognition that unprecedented shrinkage of bank equity was phenomenally dangerous. Despite the popular perception that financial innovation caused so much of the damage in the crisis, the rise in bank leverage was a far more important factor”. His point that it takes guts to remove the punch-bowl when the party is in full swing is spot on. The Fed and the Bank of England were both gutless and spineless. Their love affair with The Great Moderation meant they simply were not prepared to tolerate a little more pain now to avoid a Minsky credit bust and massive unemployment later.

But what is the relationship, if any, between this extreme central bank laxity in the US and UK and these countries being at the forefront for the extraordinary rise in inequality over the last few decades (see cover chart)? And does it matter?

I was reading some typically thought-provoking comments from Marc Faber in his Gloom, Boom and Doom report about current extremes of inequality. It reminded me that our own excellent US economists Steven Gallagher and Aneta Markowska had also written on this. To be sure, the rise in inequality has been staggering in the US in recent years (see charts below).

It is well worth visiting the website of Emmanuel Saez of the University of California who has written extensively on this subject and now has updated his charts up until the end of 2008 (data available in Excel Format ? link). The New York Times reported on the recently released Census Bureau data and showed not only that median income had declined over the last 10 years in real terms, but that this is the first full decade that real median household income has failed to rise in the US - link. What is also so interesting from Professor Saez?s cross-sectional research is how inequality has clearly risen fastest in the Anglosaxon, freemarket economies of the US and the UK (also note that France, with much higher levels of equality, saw much more subdued growth in household leverage).

Our US economists make the very interesting point (similar to Marc Faber) that peaks of income skewness ? 1929 and 2007 ? tell us there is something fundamentally unsustainable about excessively uneven income distribution. With a relatively low marginal propensity to consume among the rich, when they receive the vast bulk of income growth, as they have, then the country will face an under-consumption problem (see 9 September The Economic News ?- link. Marc Faber also cites John Hobson?s work on this same topic from the 1930s).

Hence, while governments preside over economic policies which make the very rich even richer, national consumption needs to be boosted in some way to avoid underconsumption ending in outright deflation. In addition, the middle classes also need to be thrown a sop to disguise the fact they are not benefiting at all from economic growth. This is where central banks have played their pernicious part.

I recalled seeing another article from John Plender on this topic back in April 2008. His explanation for why there had been so little backlash from the stagnation of ordinary people?s income at a time when the rich did so well was simple: ?"Rising asset prices, especially in the housing market, created a sense of increasing wealth regardless of income. Remortgaging homes over a long period of declining interest rates provided a convenient source of funds via equity withdrawal to finance increased consumption” link.

Now you might argue central banks had no alternative in the face of under-consumption. Or you might conclude there was a deliberate, unspoken collusion among policymakers to ?rob? the middle classes of their rightful share of income growth by throwing them illusionary spending power based on asset price inflation. We will never know.

But it is clear in my mind that ordinary working people would not have tolerated these extreme redistributive policies had not the UK and US central banks played their supporting role. Going forward, in the absence of a sustained housing boom, labour will fight back to take its proper (normal) share of the national cake, squeezing profits on a secular basis. For as Bill Gross pointed out back in PIMCO?s investment outlook ?Enough is Enough’ of August 1997, "?When the fruits of society’s labor become maldistributed, when the rich get richer and the middle and lower classes struggle to keep their heads above water as is clearly the case today, then the system ultimately breaks down.”- link. In Japan, low levels of inequality and inherent social cohesion prevented a social breakdown in this post-bubble debacle. With social inequality currently so very high in the US and the UK, it doesn?t take much to conclude that extreme inequality could strain the fabric of society far closer to breaking point.

 


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Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:16 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:06 | Link to Comment illyia
illyia's picture

Exactly.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:15 | Link to Comment Cursive
Cursive's picture

Has Albert Edwards seen/read "The Creature from Jekyll Island"?  It was a fix from the start.  If the Federal Reserve is owned by its Member Banks, what difference is there between a central banker and a private banker?  The problem is debt-money and it is foisted upon us by the bankers, all bankers.  We must repeal the Federal Reserve Act and end the issuance of debt-money.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 00:00 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

+$23,700,000,000,000.00 + 4,000,000,000,000.00 (2010) = +$27,700,000,000,000,00!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:18 | Link to Comment JuicyTheAnimal
JuicyTheAnimal's picture

If Bernokio is not reconfirmed I will stick my dick in the mash potatoes.  I think this is quite sporty of me knowing that the replacement will probably be just another seller of pig snot in a different colored tie. 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:15 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

+8

 

make sure to spread the sour cream

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 03:43 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 01/23/2010 - 07:40 | Link to Comment justme
justme's picture

I was thinking earlier that it would be at least lip service to accountability if Bernholio were given his walking papers. Then I thought, good Lord, the morons will put Larry Summers in there. Then I cast about for a spork to kill myself with.

 

At any rate, I'll stick with the rice, thanks.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:20 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

As more and more info comes out regarding the complicity of the Fed in this massive Ponzi, I must ask myself how the Fed has lost control of the information stream? Who is engaged in this intergalactic war against Helicopter Ben, Turbo Tax Timmy and company?

Be carful when reading information that confirms you point of view and feeds your belief system. I'm not saying the information is correct or incorrect. I saying ask yourself who benefits from these disclosures here and now.

Sometimes during information dumps, some deliberate dis-information is mixed in with the rest to give it credibility. This is why we must always apply the critical eye to everything we read, particularly info that pleases us and thus gets a free ride straight into the brain.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:34 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

"This is why we must always apply the critical eye to everything we read, particularly info that pleases us and thus gets a free ride straight into the brain."

+1111

Critical analysis and logically valid reasoning-- a peasants best friend. Or so my Russian friends who lived through the Soviet era tell me.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:33 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Prize winner:

 

Harvard Address: A World Split Apart

 

"We have placed too much hope in political and social reforms, only to find out that we were being deprived of our most precious possession: our spiritual life. In the East, it is destroyed by the dealings and machinations of the ruling party. In the West, commercial interests suffocate it. This is the real crisis. The split in the world is less terrible than the similarity of the disease plaguing its main sections."

 

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/solzhenitsyn/harvard1978.html

Warning to the West 

We have a Russian proverb: "Do not call a wolf to help you against the dogs." If dogs are attacking and tearing at you, fight against the dogs, but do not call a wolf for help. Because when the wolves come, they will destroy the dogs, but they will also tear you apart.

 

There is another Russian proverb: "The yes- man is your enemy, but your friend will argue with you."

 

http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles7/SolzhenitsynWarning.php


The Gulag Archipelago:

"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

 

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, polkers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you'd be cracking the skull of a cutthroat.

 

Or what about the Black Maria sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur – what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked. The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!

 

If... if... We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit. We submitted with pleasure! ........... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward."

 

http://www.lewrockwell.com/gaddy/gaddy53.html

 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:40 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

They had nothing left to lose.

The wisdom of the ages. The wisdom of 5 million years of human evolution. Summed up right there.

They had nothing left, but what do we have? Is there anything? Can you point to it, please?

Make me believe, cause me to see it. Lie to me, fake me, empty my skull and fill it with dreams for I want to see it!

You can't because there is nothing left. Even the lies are too little.

cougar

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:48 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Holy Shit.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:29 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

You forgot to turn off the sarcasm at the end of your post.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:47 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Here's a random list of some things we might have left: 42" plasma, nationwide 3G coverage, texting (or sexting), 40 hour workweeks, minimum wage for doing nothing, P/E ratios thru the roof, fractional (microscopic) reserves, cheap double mortgages, subsidized health care, dinner at Micky-D's.

Hm, you may be right.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:59 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

My list only has one item that is worth living for: the laughter of children.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:04 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

aw man, quit tryin' to deconstruct my cynicism. ;-P

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:30 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Cynically, you can get what I want at Mickey D's, too.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:37 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

that's more like it!

the party never stops at chuck e cheese's!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:18 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Timmy G

is Monetary P

by Chuck E Chee

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 10:09 | Link to Comment ro0t
ro0t's picture

In the words of Fat Mike from NoFX:

Don't think (Stay)
Drink your wine (Home)
Watch the fire burn (Be)
His problems not mine (Safe)
Just be that model citizen

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:26 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:26 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 01:16 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

@ cougar_w

A final word on "nothing left to lose":

The author of the quote lived in the camps for 11 years. Which is far above average considering the life expectancy of those that survived interrogation. The accounts in The Gulag Archipelago numb you very quickly if you can even continue reading - if it were not for the author's writing style you would assume the worst and put the historical account down forever.

The author was a primary witness of the infernal machine. The constantly gleaned Soviet society had only to act as one to demonstrate that they were willing to give it all in order to avoid the inhumane interrogations and camps one by one.

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwKS1jE2lmY

So I believe I share similar feelings. I have little hope for the majority of America. We no longer have a common bond to unite us.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 21:16 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 01/24/2010 - 12:44 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

great post, good stuff, thanks

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:42 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:18 | Link to Comment Heavy
Heavy's picture

Implying that either the info dump is intentional and part of a larger plan?  The info dump increases disdain of the financial system allowing change to the financial system, the change enacted is not going to reflect the disdain of the people, but rather their hope, as ascribed to them by the mainstream media, in reality most people won't know what has gone on until it's done, and their existancex will be under a new system of monetary rule, by some of the same rulers, to rule them all, and in the darkness...

Either that or similarly influential parts of the oversociety from other regions disagree with us, (read as conflicting with us) here in the good ole USA.  They could try to short circuit our system in order to gain relative prominance and influance for their own interests.  This seems more likely to be a case of influancing rather than a case of conflicting with the hope of destroying, others have more to gain by riding our changes than by fighting them? 

Who knows, I agree, t.hat the new Mainstream lines of truth may be less so than they are hoped to be.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:47 | Link to Comment B9K9
B9K9's picture

If there is any grain of truth in the notion of a controlling cabal dating all the way back to the Illuminati, then we are all mere pawns in a huge game of chess played out by those so bored with life that their only joy (if they even experience that emotion) is to fuck with other people just for fuck's sake.

Don't think they exist? How does a Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, et al rise above all others in their respective fields? Are there not financial super-predators so innately attuned to their chosen calling that they perform such feats with, dare I say it, artistic genius?

If so, then recent events are merely the trap being sprung to extract the last piece of wealth before the bottom drops out. The game has always been about monetary expansion - the day monetary expansion ceases, the modern global economy dies. So now, in quick succession, we get the election results in MA, leaked information about the Fed and other central banks, notice that Ben's confirmation hearings have been suspended, and new proposed rules regarding Wall St leverage and prop activities. What does it all mean? It means monetary CONTRACTION! What does that mean? It means DEFLATION!

So yes, question why these events & news releases are now taking place - cui bono - who benefits? The shit storm that is about to engulf us all will take all of our individual & collective resources and will power to over-come. Let us take a mutual vow to make sure that those that did this to us are never allowed to do so again. Don't let them benefit.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:39 | Link to Comment OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

"Don't let them benefit (?)

They already have. Too late. The next phase of the game is already in motion, and our team has only just arrived for practice!

If indeed there is a machiavellian plot afoot, then what use closing the hen house door after the fox has eaten all the chickens?

What is needed, nay required! Is an old fashioned 'fox' hunt, with no quarter given or expected.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:58 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Sadly, both comments appear correct in both form and substance.

Who was wondering what awaited us at the bottom of this rabbit hole? Well ... behold.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 02:13 | Link to Comment Assetman
Assetman's picture

Wow... I totally agree, cougar.  B9K9 is en fuego...

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:04 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:53 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:57 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:07 | Link to Comment Apocalypse Now
Apocalypse Now's picture

Yes, I wonder if in other democratic countries there is a move on to discredit their political leaders and central banks to lose credibility.

Then we will all be presented with a "savior" most likely in the form of some global entity that exists outside the laws of each country in the form of the IMF, World Bank, and BIS.

The constitution was designed by clever individuals to combat against future clever individuals seeking world domination.  Just remember it is Congress that is supposed to be responsible for coining money and that taxation without representation is not acceptable (if a global entity was to rule and enforce in each country).  The recent approval by Obama of Interpol jurisdiction could be the start of using Interpol as an international tax authority (like the IRS).  Laying the groundwork.

Problem, Response, Solution.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 06:17 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:10 | Link to Comment BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

As the Romans said, "Cui bono?"

I think in general that anyone touting "free lunches" or "new eras" or "risk-free returns" are the ones to watch for. Looking back in history, they seem to be the ones who cause the most trouble, if given the chance.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:12 | Link to Comment Seth Davis
Seth Davis's picture

Thankyou for raising the point of the importance for critical analysis and reasoning when consuming information. It seems all to simple for this mob mentality to develop  when there is information that caters to a predisposed view of the majority. The reasons and facts on why those 12 acadimic economist felt it was not the feds policies that caused this disturbing economic enviroment would be a welcomed addition to Zero Hedge and in my opionion add to the integrity of this "Scandal" accusation.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:37 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:48 | Link to Comment carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

+10

Suspend what you believe and trade what you observe.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:48 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:20 | Link to Comment Mark Beck
Mark Beck's picture

Debasement of the currency hurts everybody holding USDs, not just the middle class. Many would say corporate america, through outsourcing, has done as much harm to the middle class as monetary inflation.

If you don't hold USDs you will not pay for its debasement. Its that simple.

I would also like to stress that, if you do not pay tax, you will not pay for government debt. This has always been the case, and many influential people use a tax sheild of some sort to essentially have no taxible income. This is usually done through foundations or some other non-profit corporation controlled off-shore through a subsidiary, just ask Bill Gates, who now takes care of Warren Buffet's nest egg.

That being said, the actions of the Treasury and FED directly effect people who pay tax. The population that pays some amount of tax is probably the middle class, but the middle class does not pay the most tax. The people who pay the majority of tax are in the upper 10% of income. They are being hurt the most.

I am also a little suspecious of legislators trying to hold up the FED as a separate scape goat. When our president and legislators have done as much or more harm than the FED. They bash the FED, and then talk about raising the debt ceiling. They talk about the deficit, and then increase military spending. Hypocritces!

If it wasn't for the FED there would be know way for the legislators to spend money we don't have. The FED essentially funds all of the legislators pork projects.

No I am not defending the FED, but it is easy to FED bash and stall on reappointing Bernanke in an effort to mask irresponsible deficit spending. Every time I think the FED is our biggest problem the politicians enact some fiscal nonsense.

Without coordinated fiscal and monetary policy our currency is doomed. I would like to see a return to sound money, but this is not even remotely possible at this point.

I was a little dissapointed with the article, because no solutions were really offered. It was just more of the evil FED with stupid economists. So what's new.

What would be far more enlightning would be to present some viable solutions to the overall systemic problems with our Government which includes the FED.

Mark Beck

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 01:28 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 01:30 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 22:30 | Link to Comment Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

Blaming the banks is simply a pathetic attempt to deflect the public fury from their own gross and unforgivable incompetence.

When we start asking who benefits, specifically from central bank actions, is it not the banks?

Perhaps this was not specifically your point, but it's what your point brought to my mind. 

The Fed is the banks, and I find it disengenuous for the author to separate the two so offhandedly. 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 22:40 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Crab Cake,

Thanks for the feedback. I had no point other than to warn people from making assumptions or worse, accepting at face value something simply because it feeds their world view and confirms what they wish to believe. That's the worst assumption to make.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 02:42 | Link to Comment Assetman
Assetman's picture

Very insightful comments, Crab Cake.

For some strange reason, during the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Uncle Ben made comments surrounding the passage of TARP that struck me as very intriguing.  And worth remembering for a later date.

At the time-- and I paraphrase-- Uncle Ben mentioned that we would be able to get through this crisis.  But he emphasized the it was very important that those in Congress maintain their "political will".  Obviously, this infers that at some point future decisions on saving the financial system would be very unpopular, and Congress would need to stay the course to head out of troubled waters.

Little did most of us realize at the time that Uncle Ben was orchestrating the foundation for the largest transference of wealth we have seen at our lifetimes-- with his own constituent member banks being the winner take all party-- and the rest of us set up as the ultimate losers. 

That wealth transference is still running full-bore today, under the watchful eye of a person hell bent on saving the financial system-- regardless of the collateral damage.  Saving the system is saving the Fed.  And saving the banks.  And the enourmous cost is being beared on all of us.  That same person is up for 4 more years of service. 

When Ben spoke of "politcal will", he essentially spoke of the risk of not being re-elected based on the priciple of saving the finanical system from peril.  The central question is, does it deserve to live after all the raping and pillaging pre- and post-crisis?  My vote is "NO".

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:03 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:16 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/27/2011 - 20:34 | Link to Comment web dizajn
web dizajn's picture

yeah and thats why they're pushing for taking back control over the information streams, and Internet in particular

web dizajn

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 00:43 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 08:42 | Link to Comment jd2iv987
jd2iv987's picture

+1000

best comment i have ever read on here.

spot on!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:25 | Link to Comment bugs_
bugs_'s picture

Fatality!

Only downside is that Senators can't read.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:27 | Link to Comment Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

Good article, nice read, but "Bubble Ben" is a shoe-in. They will rattle his cage, but ultimately the real owners of the USA will not allow their political puppets to divert from the perpetual bubble plan.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:35 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:37 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:26 | Link to Comment Orly
Orly's picture

No doubt that there was a collusive, illegal and immoral effort on the part of those with serious money to defraud and rip-off the middle class all over the world.

Hang 'em high!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:07 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:34 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:36 | Link to Comment SDRII
SDRII's picture

X

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:35 | Link to Comment SDRII
SDRII's picture

Yes it is called globalization. The left embraced it altruistically to lift the world out of poverty while the right embraced the vast margin potential it wrought. The consumption pallative was used to temper the masses but lets not treat the symptons. Economics is a political science.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:13 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:22 | Link to Comment BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Find the median standard of living in the world today (last time I checked, Poland was a good example of a country right about in the middle).

That is the future of every country in the future. For some, it will be the best thing that's ever happened to their country. For others, it will be among the worst things.

Oh, and there probably won't be "countries" either, but "adminstrative zones" of the one-world government.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:33 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:36 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 00:18 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

No. It's lost its representation.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:37 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:52 | Link to Comment Cindy_Dies_In_T...
Cindy_Dies_In_The_End's picture

Nope, neither Senator does. Call them many times anyway just to be annoying.

 

(We did get rid of Corzine, thats a start)

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:39 | Link to Comment Winisk
Winisk's picture

A spoonfull of sugar makes the medicine...er...poison go down.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:43 | Link to Comment zenon
zenon's picture

I would put the roots of increasing income inequality on the basic premise of current central banking practice: allow asset bubbles to occur but fight any wage gains as they lead to "inflation." If one associates asset price gains with the rich and wages with the poor, it is clear there is a bias in favor of the rich and against the poor. Any attempt to improve the wages is fought by decree while  the asset-rich can enjoy capital gains as these do not enter the CPI.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:29 | Link to Comment Leo Kolivakis
Leo Kolivakis's picture

zenon, very well stated. The poor & middle class get shafted both ways because they can't gamble on asset bubbles and their wages are being squeezed and kept at a minimum. If Marxists destroyed communisim, pseudo-capitalists are destroying capitalism. They readily accept corporate welfare but shun welfare assistance for the poor and disabled.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:38 | Link to Comment crosey
crosey's picture

Ditto.  The associated self-interest (of pseudo-capitalists) has become pathological, and the wealth-grab has become stunning to watch.  As your historical observations suggest, humanity cycles through this, prompting the question, "will their cyclical malfeasance eventually produce an irreparable condition or state for all?"

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:27 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

there was more than one big bang

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:11 | Link to Comment cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

[will their cyclical malfeasance eventually produce an irreparable condition or state for all?]

It's called a positive feedback into failure. You swing back and forth until you don't swing back.

DJ is probably right, though; we in the West have been down this road before. We don't know exactly what happened the last time so we call in The Dark Ages.

Go forward, but carefully.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:32 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

"They readily accept corporate welfare  but . . . " define this as the core value of our American identity: Helping "one another" in need and "standing on our own two feet" otherwise, twisting the spirit of the proposition so profoundly that it loses all semblence of a value per se, morphing into a perverse caricature of a value that only the "haves" who celebrate this vice can believe in. 

Hey, the poor have always known that they get poorer while the rich only get richer.  Problem is that the absolute stagnation of household income over the past 15 years has been no secret, folks--just an inconvenient and intensely unpopular thing to talk about.  Actually, it has traditionally evoked charges of "commie pinko"  from the financial community.  Trust me, I've been there.

Nice to see that when what went around comes back around, at least we're willing to learn. 

Perhaps. 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:47 | Link to Comment chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

You know, if it wasn't for the Fed's actions in 2008, I'd probably still be a less than interested sheep right now, at least where the banking system and finance is involved.  But it was their shameless actions, their unwillingness to take a loss and go down like men, that led directly to me having no moral compunction about defaulting on all my credit cards (screw you, big banks, I got my bailout too, mother fuckers), it cemented my sense that the US tax system is a fraud and tipped me over the edge to become a tax resistor, and set me off on my current trajectory into the gaping maw of the Leviathan as I repel every form of government tyranny from local to county to city to state to national in my pursuit of retribution for the years that I've been forced to toil away while they undermined everything that I've ever known to be good and right.

I fully expect Bernanke to be re-confirmed and I in fact welcome this.  The resultant blowback of such a brazenly idiotic move would be like a blast of warm air on a fine spring day, reminding us once again that another hot summer is on the way, and with rising temperatures comes rising intolerance for these soulless demons.

I am Chumbawamba.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:22 | Link to Comment boiow
boiow's picture

careful, as a man wiser than me once said. 'let the man that seeks revenge dig two graves'.

they have to reappoint ben bernanke ,because if they don't it means his critics are correct and the usa is royally screwed, officially.at least this way when the next leg down happens they can blame someone else again. 'gold bitches', (ive been dieing to type that for ages).

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:54 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Fear is the realization that you (still) have something (left) to lose. Chumbawamba has looked into the abyss and decided he no longer wants to be controlled by his fear.

Thus he no longer fears because he has let go of what was really controlling him. And it wasn't the Fed or the government, it was what those entities would/could/might do to him and his possessions.

Bravo!!!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:44 | Link to Comment sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Ditto, CD!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:32 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear - Frank Herbert. Chumbawamba is the middle finger in all of us. I respect his disrespect more than anything now.   

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 10:21 | Link to Comment Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Dune" by Frank Herbert works on so many levels and is one of my favorites. I drag out every few years and re-read it, including the sequels. What always amazes me is that I continue to learn from it, which shows that I am still growing and changing and ripe for still more learning. The never ending road of spiritual progress.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 11:05 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 01/23/2010 - 16:45 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

That explains why those with their noses stuck in books are complicit with the Supreme Court saying to Main Street, "FUCK YOU."

Fuck you, you cock sucking, gerber sloping piece of shit.  BTW, corporations already have guns and the policy of judicial exclusion to back their use.  I suppose you missed that because you are too fucking stupid to read.  Except of course, the two dimensional picture books where you find your dream date.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:37 | Link to Comment Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

The pieces are in motion.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:47 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The chumba is leading us to tax rebellion!  Starve the beast.

Those of us who are still a little chicken to default on our credit cards, not pay taxes (yet...), etc. can still go out and buy GOLD and any other favored metals.

Like some other commentator mentioned a week or so ago, go long on LEAD and Lead Delivery Systems too.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:46 | Link to Comment sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Just think, if the official story on 9/11/01 from the Cheney/Bush administration is true, how silly of those terrorists to attack the WTC.

They could have taken out a godzilla-load of American companies by taking out two small buildings in Bermuda and the Caymans (tax haven....tax haven....tax haven....).

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:01 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

+1

The visual effect, and its successful endgame, was much more important than actually reseting the world-as-we-know-it. Veritas, cui bono?

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:35 | Link to Comment crosey
crosey's picture

Hey Chumba!  Always great to read your subtle remarks.  What I'd really like to do is get a few beers in you, and see what you really think!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:46 | Link to Comment Biggvs
Biggvs's picture

Beer is not a bad idea. But let's really see what Chumba has to say after a few rounds of vodka mixed with this:

http://caffeineking101.blogspot.com/2009/04/sobe-no-fear-gold_08.html

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:42 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Chumba,

I like your posts. They challenge me. A big part of me wants to do some of the things you claim you are doing (we all post and claim identities that may and may not be who we are, that is part of the game here, yes?).

Have you read any Nietzsche? I ask because there is material there that I really like that I think at a deeper level hangs me up.

Living well means not living in the spirit of revenge. I am not talking about some alturistic "turn the other cheek" shit. If you are of a mindset you are turning the other cheek, you are still in a thought system where you are letting "them" define you, and define the fight. When you live in the spirit of revenge, you are still in the system, you are letting the terms of the system define you.

One form of breaking free would have us all getting off the grid, not paying taxes, and maybe running up cards and defaulting on them. But are you "free" if you are doing it to fight the system? Are you not captured, and engaged, by the revenge?

Nietzsche informs us that revenge is a form of clinging to the past. No matter how much revenge you get, you cannot change the past. In this light revenge becomes futile.

For Nietzsche a society of Ubermenches would not need rules because there would be no need to control emotionally healthy people who had the courage to live well. If you are emotionally secure in the first place, you don't need to hurt others. Only people who are trapped by the spirit of revenge, engaged with a past that cannot be changed, have a need to hurt others.

I think Nietzsche (who Freud stole from at will) had some great insights with this stuff.

To put this simpler, I want to cheat and lie and fuck them up too. I can even define it as not cheating and lying, I can call it war. I can call it using force of all varieties to set things right. But when I actually start to make the moves to do these things (I have put stuff on my card, then promptly paid it back [LOL]) I feel like I am bullshitting myself. I am just doing "wrong." It is not the world I want to build. And yet if I don't do something, it just goes on and on and I know I am part of it.

I aim these remarks at you in particular, but I'd love to hear from anyone regarding this. I know a lot of you out there have to be wrestling with this stuff too.

 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:11 | Link to Comment MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

"No matter how much revenge you get, you cannot change the past. In this light revenge becomes futile."

Very true. But what if the future can be changed by actions which deter the predation which is - either by design or by inevitable collateral consequence - impoverishing the middle class? The narrower the class and the smaller the group that benefits from wealth transfers from the middle class, the easier and less costly it is to impose change either by legal or extra-legal means.

Our political elites seem to think that they can "change the future" and bring civilization to billions of illiterate peasants half way around the World by bombing them from safe altitudes, while having infantry riflemen deliver lectures and lessons in good citizenship. I would argue that the smaller the predatory elite and the more isolated it is from the mass of ordinary citizens, then the easier it is to apply a deterrent, and the more effective that deterrent will be. Obviously, the laws will be written by the elite to protect itself, so administering that deterrent would be potentially very costly to the individuals involved if they fail.

And of course, this is precisely why you see the vast internal security state metastisizing around you. They could care less about a stray Nigerian or two who manage to get on a plane with a bomb in their pants. The real object of that security state is to protect a very tiny elite by tracking domestic dissidents who might take "change you can believe in" into their own hands.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:23 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:42 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

'Living well is the best revenge.'

I think that is a suggestion that it is possible to 'get revenge' without being consumed by vengeance.

I think the best I can personally do is to take care of myself & my family, and to aim to supplant our dependence on the problematic system with self-support. To remain aware of the developing situation, and to be in a position to take appropriate action if and when the time arises.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:43 | Link to Comment merehuman
merehuman's picture

Greed is not so good, fear is worse. Lets not let either predominate our MOMENT.

Many of us here in body, are in the future with our mind, and in the past with our emotions.

I succumbed to a severe need to know how deep the hole is.  Now i know and almost became obsessed wanting to know more.

Meanwhile i was losing my awareness of self and the balance one must keep to be in the world , but not of it.   There is a greater reality most will not discover during this lifetime because a disturbed heart and mind

creates further misery.

Greed, the desire for more by its very nature gives no peace to the moment and destroys love.

Love is the  true creative force. Love for my family caused me to work harder. Love of my plants stirs me to water them. So love gets work done too. But with a good feeling in the heart and not merely selfish.

I am aware these words may mean little to those of you who are practicing humans.

But we are so much more than the meat or the suit we wear . 

short religion, long truth, be here now and choose love over greed.

 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:30 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

If the public were to view Chummers post I would imagine most would be confused; definitely a few laughs - some in jest, others in acknowldgement.

Feed it to the typical TeeVee pundits and you have yourself a Molotov cocktail. CNN would have a story: Are Blogs Becoming Dangerous? 

Delusional? Vengeful? Misguided?

I see the post in question as a Nemesis to the status quo, and she is a remorseless goddess: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemesis_%28mythology%29

The status quo employs Total War against the human spirit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_war

Those still in possession of their soul will employ Total Resistance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Resistance_%28book%29

It is almost a joke now in the western world, in the 20th century, to use words like "good" and "evil." They have become almost old-fashioned concepts, but they are very real and genuine concepts. These are concepts from a sphere which is higher than us. And instead of getting involved in base, petty, shortsighted political calculations and games we have to recognize that the concentration of World Evil and the tremendous force of hatred is there and it's flowing from there throughout the world. And we have to stand up against it and not hasten to give to it, give to it, give to it, everything that it wants to swallow.

 

Today there are two major processes occurring in the world. One is the one which I have just described to you, which has been in progress more than 30 years. It is a process of shortsighted concessions; a process of giving up, and giving up and giving up and hoping that perhaps at some point the wolf will have eaten enough.

 

The second process is one which I consider the key to everything and which, I will say now, will bring all of us our future; under the cast-iron shell of communism - for 20 years in the Soviet Union and a shorter time in other Communist countries - there is occurring a liberation of the human spirit. New generations are growing up which are steadfast in their struggle with evil; which are not willing to accept unprincipled compromises; which prefer to lose everything - salary, conditions of existence and life itself - but are not willing to sacrifice conscience; not willing to make deals with evil.

 

- Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 00:36 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

“New generations are growing up which are steadfast in their struggle with evil; which are not willing to accept unprincipled compromises; which prefer to lose everything - salary, conditions of existence and life itself - but are not willing to sacrifice conscience.”

Yes!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 15:58 | Link to Comment Eric W
Eric W's picture

My methodology: pay in cash as much as possible, do not carry a balance on credit cards, have my checking account in a local bank, don't use a big-firm brokerage account, support States' Rights, act locally, support the belief in God, and learn as much as possible with an open mind. Barter would be great too, although it is supposed to be reported to the IRS.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:01 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:20 | Link to Comment BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Nietzsche also talked about the role of "active forgetting" in a healthy life (cf. Geneaology of Morals). As in "Let's kill all these mofos (they know who they are) and then agree to pretend it ever happened". Once the "mofos" are gone, who's to say it did happen? That would also be a perfectly Nietzschean response to the current situation.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:27 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

That's actually part of the Destroyers' modus operandi. Down the memory hole you go.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:48 | Link to Comment BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

No one has a monopoly on a specific technique, so, sure, there is overlap between what a good man will do to achieve his goals and what a bad man will do to achieve his. The more substantive difference lies in the state achieved after the goals are reached. Think of Cincinnatus being called out of retirement, kicking some ass and then going back to his farm to live out the rest of his life vs. any number of people who've promised reform and not delivered.

In the case of Nietzsche's recommendation of "active forgetting", the state achieved after the forgetting is akin to the man who'se just broken some eggs to make an omlette. Only, instead of the shitty situation which usually results from using the phrase, "If you want to make an omlette, you've gotta break some eggs", Nietzsche's man is actually enjoying an omlette, not a shit sandwich he pretends is an omlette.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:35 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

there is overlap between what a good man will do to achieve his goals and what a bad man will do to achieve his

Well in my book, just because Cincinnatus really just wanted to be a farmer doesn't make fighting off and killing the middle class any more moral - he had a grudge because they convicted his son in absentia.

vs. any number of people who've promised reform and not delivered.

These days, when someone promises change (reform), we automatically know that means bigger government, more paperwork, and bigger salaries for public officials. The American public has become lazy and would rather vote for the Yes-man than the straight-talker.

Nietzsche's man is actually enjoying an omlette

I think I follow you here, and I understand the potentially positive effect of actively focusing on glass-half-full thinking. But I feel that in the scope of human history it is just as important to remember the villain that allowed our hero to rise to the occasion. Who would the Founding Fathers be without King George III? And George wasn't that bad of a guy; he was just severely out of touch.

 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:56 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Who would the Founding Fathers be without King George III? And George wasn't that bad of a guy; he was just severely out of touch.

Also, it was just 'time'. The actors and actions were specific and have their place in the history books, but generally speaking 'something big' was going to happen sooner or later.

We're probably about to witness another 'something big', pretty soon. What will it be? Who will know it when it happens? What will we do?

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:25 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

I imagine ~95% of the American public will feel like their Port-a-Potty at the American Idol tryouts just got pushed over: pants down and "untouchable".

It'll be on the DVD extras. 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:32 | Link to Comment BS Inc.
BS Inc.'s picture

Well in my book, just because Cincinnatus really just wanted to be a farmer doesn't make fighting off and killing the middle class any more moral - he had a grudge because they convicted his son in absentia.

I think you may have misconstrued my use of Cincinnatus as an example. He had to hurt a lot of people to get his job done, but then when he was done, he put down his power and let society get back to normal. Net result: a lot of people got killed. Killing is normally a bad thing, but in this case it was good. Contrast that with the killing of a Hitler or Pol Pot. Your original point was that people looking to destroy also use "forgetting" as a weapon against those looking to build and my point was that as humans we are somewhat limited in our toolsets (e.g. to achieve their ends, both a Cincinnatus and a Pol Pot must kill), but that the goals toward which we use those ends can greatly vary.

In any case, my original point was that Nietzsche did not shy away from some of the potential practical implications of his philosophy, including the potential for mass murder, in order to remain untainted by the demon of revenge. He simply said that, if you're going to go down the revenge road, you need a way of "forgetting" you did so, in order to preserve your view of yourself as virtuous ('virtu', as he liked to call it).

A good historical example he uses is the way the Greeks learned much from the other peoples of the Mediterranean, yet completely "forgot" to acknowledge those learnings and pretended they discovered those things they actually borrowed.

Anyway.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 20:40 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 20:42 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

(oops)

+1

Sun, 01/24/2010 - 12:51 | Link to Comment moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

is this why neo-nazi types, who wish they could kill Jews today like Hitler did back then, are always the same ones denying the Holocaust occured...there is no logic, we hate Jews, we like the guy in history that hated Jews, but he didn't do anything bad to Jews, that's fiction...huh?

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:22 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:43 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

Thanks for your very interesting and thought provoking comment. 

One thing that occurs to me is that Nietzsche’s philosophy is similar to the Communist philosophy in that all their successes for mankind would depend upon individuals staying within their assigned roles.  The Communists promised prosperity with all its society members doing their designated parts.  Both Nietzsche and Communism separated mankind into two groups:  Nietzsche--master morality and slave morality, Communism--bourgeoisie and proletariat.  Surely civilization has proven that neither works. America, unlike Nietzsche or the Communists, believed in equal opportunity for all people, in free movement among all classes of people.

Unlike Nietzsche, I believe in a true morality expertly expressed in the equality and freedom laid down by the Declaration of Independence. To be moral in this current swamp of greed, special interests, theft, and war, we would be best served, IMO, not to take revenge but to pull together to clean this swamp down to the last water plant, and punish every single one of the guilty.  Then, I believe, morality requires us to serve our fellow man by reorienting our system of government to fulfill Tom Jefferson’s detailed hope for representative government.

The punishments, of course, are to establish justice. Without them, the long-suffering citizens of the United States will continue to be subjected to injustice, as well as the innocent villagers of Iraq, the families hit by drones in Pakistan, the Palestinians within their homeland, and the numberless peoples around the world looking up at F-16s crossing their horizons from the world’s largest superpower.

All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. --Edmund Burke 1729-1797.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:55 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

+1

Yes, fantastic!

There is a difference between revenge, which satisfies an immoral desire, vis-à-vis the removal of immoral actors. The higher, natural law, above the imperfect laws of the land, requires the action of moral men committed to the protection of innocence. Moral action is easily defined as any action that limits or prohibits the immoral, evil action.

One must take the higher, more lonely road to be considered moral.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:45 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

What insightful truth, Water Wings! Truly worthy of quotation.

It’s a rather significant thing for a small group of extremely rich men to control the currency of a nation.  It’s another for them to use that power for their own benefit.  It’s even worse to use it to the detriment of the entire world.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 05:34 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 14:11 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

The moral man will never initiate force against nor deceive another.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:21 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 00:59 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

It’s called crony capitalism by some; I call it tyranny. Either way, it has been institutionalized in the USA by the Fed and Treasury and the Congress as public policy, all three complicit in the frauds being perpetrated by the banks on the public purse and the public perception.

As we uselessly occupy ourselves assigning blame for America’s economic crisis and misnomer it “capitalism,” bankers with their fingers in all the international pies continue to rake in mind-boggling profits from their private monopolization of America’s money supply.

As we sit contemplating our definitions, the bankers, and corporations that have grown up around them, are cutting themselves larger and larger shares of America’s economic pie while propagandizing us to be grateful for the crumbs under the table.  If we object, they castigate us for “greed.”

Is it so hard for John Q to comprehend that the Fed and its government accomplices are using his hard earned shekels to make fortunes from the wreckage they created? Bail out!  Bail out whom--the deregulated foxes committing economic carnage behind the locked doors of the hen house?

Are Americans soon to wake up to find themselves homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered because, as Thomas Jefferson warned, “we allowed the private banks, first by inflation and then by deflation, to deprive the People of all their Property?”

On January 20, 2010, in the state of Massachusetts, John Q said No!

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:57 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

Edmund Burke. How wonderful to read this long-forgotten quote of over 200 years ago. By now, it's probably banned from most US  history textbooks. Thanks.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 17:48 | Link to Comment sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Have you ever noticed how similar Nietzsche and Robert A. Heinlein were?  Similar health histories as well.

Just asking.....

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 01:56 | Link to Comment JR
JR's picture

I had not. Thank you for his treasure trove of quotes. 

It appears Heinlein had more faith in science fiction than Christianity but poor Nietzsche, with his strict Christian upbringing, carried his anti-Christian “God-is-dead” attacks to the extremity all of his life, a life that ended in insanity. And in that “God is dead” and His traditional values had "lost their power" in the lives of individuals,  Neitzsche saw the necessity for the emergence of the Übermensch, the Superman or overman, who was to replace God.  Interesting that Nietzsche had an appeal not only for Zionists thinkers at the turn of the century, but also for Hitler, Mussolini and others espousing National Socialism.

Of the many priceless quotes from Heinlein, I note:

A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.

Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss.

Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.

And from Nietzsche:

"I teach you the Superman. Man is something that should be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?”  Interesting.  And, now, Nietzsche (Superman?) is dead…

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:12 | Link to Comment SimpleSimon
SimpleSimon's picture

Rebelling against the system isn't revenge?  The founding fathers weren't taking revenge against the British, just rebelling against them by refusing to work to their system.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 21:14 | Link to Comment Winisk
Winisk's picture

MsCreant,

I enjoy your commentary and your personal touch. 

I sort of look at y(our) dilemma like the death throes of a relationship.  The trust has been broken.  We're exhausted from trying to save something the other party has no interest in saving.  Instead they leverage all that we cherish against us.  It's become a cold unfeeling toxic atmosphere as they flaunt their power over us.  Revenge would be sweet.  But alas, it takes so much energy to feel that way.  It drains us.  We start to lose ourselves, becoming something we don't want to be.  They on the other hand get off on this, being the sick fucks that they are.  The only sane thing to do is disengage.  This doesn't mean forgiveness, turning the other cheek, surrendering, etc..  It means that we will no longer allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, or used to puff up their false powerful image they have manufactured for themselves.  Forceful, unemotional disengagement works for me.  We all come at this from different angles so there is no single course of action.  I have two young girls so I'm focused on what's best for them.  Be true to yourself and follow your own path.   

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 22:12 | Link to Comment THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yes I want revenge,  Treacherous men and their willing idiots have fed the public the false promise of fiat money.

My country has reached a cultural and spiritual low ,our landscape has become despoiled by tokens of peoples vanity and stupidity, yes I want revenge

and yet where are these masters of the universe - in the stocks to face rightful punishment , no they are safe within their ivory tower protected by a wall of fiat currency

Is it wrong to have these thoughts - I think we went past right and wrong a long time ago

Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.

 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 23:23 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Fri, 01/22/2010 - 00:48 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Funny you should mention Nietzshche. He was a pluto in cancer individual. Which means he was subject to emotional flooding. It's a process people go through where they are flooded with emtional signals so they can focus intently on them and mine the stream for information. It often results in the person zoning out or going into various catatonic states. As he described them emotions are like fossils looked upon by anthropologists. Or something along those lines. My mother was also a 4th house pluto individual and I have seen her go through the process.

Everything you just said was bullshit. Because you see that's pretty much all the comes from heaven. Bullshit. One of my spirit animals is the rat. And that is part of me. It's the skiddish completely unpredictable part of me. I'm not talking a little unpredictable. I'm talking completely totally utterly unpredictable. And I love doing I ching readings and connecting to "them" from time to time. One of their favorite pasttimes is trying to damge my self esteem so when I have them completely cornered no logical pathway out. No way to fight back just utterly back against the wall hand around the throat type of attack I get the rat portion of the Iching. It is said the rat can climb any tree but can't fly. It is said the rat can swim but cannot cross the river. It is said blah blah blah. You see the rat is my connection to uranus and aquarius. My wild haired crazy methodology. My ability to break up repeating patterns turn them into something different. But it's just funny as hell to me to think of the things said and It may be limitations of the divination relics left here. But I'm across the big river. Right in front of their face and all the can do is chant about how I'm not there.

So don't feel too bad about denial or inability to find the right path or do the right thing in complex situations. It's a failing your masters have as well. They run simulation after simulation on me trying to predict me, manipulation procedure after manipulation procedure and it must be frustrating for them to think that it can all so easily be refocused and rechanneled.

But ya. What you're discovering is that when you want to fight and are most ready for a conflict they don't seem to want to fight. When you are a bit unsure and don't really know where a path leads to then they will likely get more aggressive with you. But it's easy for me. I can see more of the variables. See more of the wrongs linked together cut off pathways of attack just by being two steps ahead of the spider. Because make no mistake I am spider too. I can knit disparate things that you don't think are connected at all together into huge webs of understanding which makes human life miserable for me. I'm so used to thinking and communicating in huge thought balls that when i first got here and started kicking up my brain I'd get vapor locked because I would think of all the things this person had to understand for the final thought to have any meaning.

I'm not saying you can't learn things here. I'm just saying your going to have to build a damn between the bullcrap that comes into your thought well and sort it into it's conflicted fused hypocritical paradoxical components. So I'll give you a clue. When you are most afraid from picking a fight it's not your fear. It's them flooding you with thier own fear because you are picking a fight with them and standing up to them. Know thyself. Which is kind of a bitch when I'm trying to go to sleep and some 'visitor' energy comes and starts flooding me with fear and I wake back up and ask what are YOU afraid of. Cause they then go running off all huffy cause that shit didn't work.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 11:10 | Link to Comment Mr Shush
Mr Shush's picture

So . . . it's all Xenu's fault?

No more drugs for that man.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 01:13 | Link to Comment Clinteastwood
Clinteastwood's picture

MsCreant

 

But when I actually start to make the moves to do these things (I have put stuff on my card, then promptly paid it back [LOL]) I feel like I am bullshitting myself. I am just doing "wrong." It is not the world I want to build. And yet if I don't do something, it just goes on and on and I know I am part of it.

 

You are not part of it, and you are not bs-ing yourself.  You're just finding out that the only thing that keeps you from going over to the dark side is the kind of person you are. Solzenitsyn would be proud of you.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 15:39 | Link to Comment MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Thanks to everyone who commented on this part of the Chumba/Revenge thread. There was a lot of great thinking and commenting here, some of it pragmatic, some of it philosophical, and some of it downright right brain artsy intuitive. Nothing left out, everything engaged. I saw facets I connected with in every post, things I had whispered to myself here and there but did not grab and cogitate on. This subject got teased out very thoroughly. What this graphically illustrated for me is that it takes us all to get it done.

The Nietzsche question/issue is that morality itself is a form of slavery. "God is dead" because God/religion is no longer the organizing principle which sorts out how a group of people will live together. You are only left with yourself to determine right from wrong. Looking to "morality" is a show of bad faith. Others have come along (Foucault, and others) and have declared "Man is dead" in the same fashion Nietzsche declared "God is dead." This alludes to the idea that man does not have the free will s/he thinks s/he has because, always, there is society/socialization/acculturation. Nothing under the sun is new, just merely a redo of an old structure. But that does not mean we cannot look at these structures critically. But it has to be understood that the criticism itself is framed by the terms of the culture, that there is no real escape.

Bankers are ancient and have always been with us. Bankers don't exist. Politics are ancient. Politics don't exist.

I guess I wonder, if we can move along a progression, "god is dead" (religion no longer structures reality), "man is dead" (we admit that individuals always make decisions informed by the options that society makes available), then is society (not humanity) the next thing that needs to "die?" And if so, does that mean constructs like politics and economy?

So a brain can cough up all that, maybe you can see why I question my resistance, and my resistance to resistance!

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 16:11 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

You are only left with yourself to determine right from wrong.

You really need to read Locke's Second Treatise of Government, Chapter 2, "Of the State of Nature".

To understand political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider, what state all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.

A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty.

But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's pleasure: and being furnished with like faculties, sharing all in one community of nature, there cannot be supposed any such subordination among us, that may authorize us to destroy one another, as if we were made for one another's uses, as the inferior ranks of creatures are for our's. Every one, as he is bound to preserve himself, and not to quit his station wilfully, so by the like reason, when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not, unless it be to do justice on an offender, take away, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb, or goods of another.

 

Many later philosophers extracted "the almighty" from the equation and quickly developed modern philosophies that all seem to wind up in the same place: people are cattle to be ruthlessly used for one's own ends.  I don't personally understand why the simple removal of an all-powerful being from the mind of man results in this destructive nihilism, but it certainly seems to.  A small-l libertarian like myself has no problem understanding the simple beauty of Locke's development above.

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 21:43 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture
Vive la résistance!
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:39 | Link to Comment Bob
Bob's picture

A tour de force

You are Chumbawamba--and you are not alone. 

Summer draws nearer for us all. 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:54 | Link to Comment Jefferson
Jefferson's picture

This analysis while interesting fails to get at the final destination of the journey into debt oblivion upon which our central bankers have embarked.

Governments, businesses and households are being systematically rendered insolvent and forced to borrow against inflated asset values in order to service debt obligations on ponzi units of finance.  Simultaneous universal default is the ultimate objective of this exercise in apparent central banking insanity. There is a method to the madness.

The globalists have already made clear they plan to transition the world economy into an international monetary regime with SDRs as the core currency administered by the BIS/IMF/FSB cabal. Only by bankrupting everybody can the owners of the central banks force nations states to hand over their sovereignty to international global governance aka tyranny.

Populism is the best tool the globalists have to destroy whatever resistance they might otherwise face from the pseudo rich.

 

 

 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:19 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:36 | Link to Comment WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

-1

Weak, and typical.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:09 | Link to Comment AtTheMurph
AtTheMurph's picture

Yeah, you'd need something as corrupt and international as the UN's IPCC to pull something like that off.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:34 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:08 | Link to Comment MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

" I suppose you have, you know, actual evidence of this scheme. . . "

Yes, the enrichment of the small financial elite is an accomplished fact and supplies the motive. The weapon - the private equity buy outs that threatened every corporation that refused to lay off American workers and transfer those jobs overseas is also an accomplished fact.

The disappearance of those middle class jobs is also an accomplished fact.

In the law people are presumed to intend the ordinary and necessary consequences of their actions. Thus the destruction of the middle class was intentional.

There was no conspiracy. The crime was committed right out in the open where everyone could see.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 18:56 | Link to Comment boiow
boiow's picture

'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely' and 'birds of a feather flock together'. sums it up.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 21:10 | Link to Comment boiow
boiow's picture

if you are not aware that a group of individuals are pulling the strings to instate a one world government. then you hav'nt been paying attention. imho.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:24 | Link to Comment Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

I am wondering if China is being led to believe that the RMB will be the next reserve currency?

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 14:15 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:48 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

Gubmint masters don't give a rat's ass about social inequalities. They are consumed with devising the next scheme that will blow the next bubble.......post-equities crash, that is. The elusive and often delusional specter of prosperity for the masses must be hidden away somewhere.

The Cap 'n Tax scheme has lost legs due to the recent electoral outrage.

Somewhere there is an obscure asset class that can be puffed up and blown up. 

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 19:20 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

....brilliant, Rusty. Some funny shit.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:46 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 12:52 | Link to Comment Don Smith
Don Smith's picture

Aw, Tyler, give yourself some credit.  You are neither deranged nor in the fringe. Well, usually.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:02 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 13:04 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:02 | Link to Comment BigBagHolder
BigBagHolder's picture

Bankers!?  What we should really destory is the criminal enterprise called capitalism!

Its doomed to fail.  Its a grand conspiracy.  It steals from all of us!

(Thats what most of you sound like.  Tyler = Lenin c. 1910?)

Here's the alternative -- the system works pretty well.  It has some tough periods.  It always needs to evolve in progressive ways especially as to equality, freedom, and smart regulation.

Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:42 | Link to Comment faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

I think you will find that most of the doomsayers do not call this criminal enterprise 'capitalism'. It sounds like you need to read up just a little on the history of our economy.

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