ETC

Guest Post: Why The Fed's Buy-And-Hold (No Sales) Exit Is Not Feasible

In the past months and right after implementing Quantitative Easing Unlimited Edition, the Fed began surfacing the idea that an exit strategy is at the door. With the latest releases of weak activity data worldwide, the idea was put back in the closet. However, a few analysts have already discussed the implications of the smoothest of all exit strategies: An exit without asset sales; a buy & hold exit. We have no doubt that as soon as allowed, the idea will resurface again. Underlying all official discussions is the notion that an exit strategy is a “stock”, rather than a flow problem, that the Fed can make decisions independently of the fiscal situation of the US and that international coordination can be ignored. This is logically inconsistent as we address below...

Jeremy Grantham On The Fall Of Civilizations (And Our Last Best Hope)

In a slight digression from the usual pure market-based discussions of Jeremy Grantham's perspectives, the fund manager addresses what is potentially and even more critical factor for the markets. As he writes, we are in a race for our lives, as our global economy, reckless in its use of all resources and natural systems, shows many of the indicators of potential failure that brought down so many civilizations before ours. By sheer luck, though, ours has two features that might just save our bacon: declining fertility rates and progress in alternative energy. Our survival might well depend on doing everything we can to encourage their progress. Vested interests, though, defend the status quo effectively and the majority much prefers optimistic propaganda to uncomfortable truth and wishful thinking rather than tough action. It is likely to be a close race.

Guest Post: China 2.0 Is in Trouble

Despite the many differences between China and the U.S., their basic problems are remarkably similiar: an economy that increasingly serves a tiny Elite, and a political/financial system that is incapable of meaningful reform. Setting aside the latest bird flu outbreak and sagging indicators of growth, China 2.0 is in trouble (with 1.0 being the Communist era of 1949 -1977 and 2.0 being the modernization/globalization era of 1978 - 2013), for it remains overly reliant on unsustainable growth dynamics. Add it all up and you get a clear picture of a government and economy that is incapable of making the kind of structural reforms that are needed to make growth sustainable.

"The Battlefield Is The United States Of America"

When you’ve got a guy like Senator John McCain who says “The battlefield is the United States of America,” it tells you that almost nothing is safe in the Land of the Free. Whatever remains of civil liberties is going to feel the full brunt of the state’s boot heel.

Guest Post: The Way Forward

Even those at the top of the neofeudal debtocracy know our economy and political order need real reform. Behind closed doors, they will discuss this with others in the Power Elite and gloomily shake their heads. The usual reasons why real reform is impossible are duly trotted out: political stalemate/gridlock, the power of vested interests, etc. The real reasons are deeper than economics or politics.

Guest Post: Why Krugman and the Keynesians Are Lackeys for the Neofeudal Debtocracy

The heart and soul of the Keynesian Cargo Cult is the dogma that the cure for all economic ailments is more aggregate demand, i.e. consumption. The Keynesians' fanatic faith in boosting consumption would be merely childishly naive if it didn't directly support a parasitic neofeudal debt-serfdom. Sadly, Krugman and his fellow cultists' single-minded parroting of "aggregate demand" makes them well-paid lackeys and toadies for an extractive neofeudal-neocolonial debtocracy. If you set out to design a system that would implode with devastating consequences, it would be the Keynesian Cargo Cult's neofeudal financialization debtocracy. All the incentives favor increasing debt, misallocation of capital and mindless consumption, and all the disincentives weaken investments in productivity and the creative destruction of malinvestments and subsidies to favored cartels.

Guest Post: Physical Gold vs. Paper Gold: The Ultimate Disconnect

The paper price of gold crashed to $1,325 in the wake of this huge trade. It is now hovering around $1,400. Our first reaction is to suggest that this is only an aberration, and that the fundamentals of the depreciating value of paper currencies will eventually take the price of gold much higher, making it a buying opportunity. But what we can't predict is whether big players might again deliver short-term downturns to the market. The momentum in the futures market can make swings surprisingly larger than the fundamentals of currency valuation would suggest; but the fundamentals will drive the long-term market more than these short-term events. The fight between pricing from the physical market for bullion and that from the "paper market" of futures is showing signs of discrimination and disagreement, as the physical market is booming, while prices set by futures are seemingly pressured to go nowhere. In short, we think this is a strong buying opportunity.

Guest Post: America: #1 In Fear, Stress, Anger, Divorce, Obesity, Anti-Depressants, Etc.

The United States is a deeply unhappy place.  We are a nation that is absolutely consumed by fear, stress, anger and depression.  It isn't just our economy that is falling apart - the very fabric of society is starting to come apart at the seams and it is because of what is happening to us on the inside. We are overwhelmed by anxiety, and much of the time the ways that we choose to deal with those emotions lead to some very self-destructive behaviors.  Americans have experienced a standard of living far beyond the wildest dreams of most societies throughout human history, and yet we are an absolutely miserable people.  Why is this?  Why is America #1 in so many negative categories? There is vast material wealth all around us.  So why can't we be happy?

Guest Post: The Global Status Quo Strategy: Do More Of What Has Failed Spectacularly

A key goal of propaganda is to mystify and obscure the Power Elites' real quandary and agenda. For example: we're just trying to help you out here, folks, by inflating another "wealth effect" bubble that will make you feel more prosperous. You're gonna love the warm fuzzy feeling of a return to the good times, even if you own zip-zero-nada in the way of productive assets. Or: we're raising your taxes and expropriating your money via inflation to stabilize the system that benefits you. (And yes, you may kneel and kiss Janet Yellen's ring.) The current level of mystification is truly extraordinary. But fortunately, we own a demystification device that scrubs out the mystification, leaving only stark, unforgiving reality. The global Status Quo--the U.S., the E.U., China, Japan, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain, et al.--has only one choice: do more of what has failed spectacularly.

Guest Post: The Decline Of Self-Employment and Small Business

The trajectory of self-employment from 1970 to the mid-2000s tracked general economic growth, which was weak in the 1970s but began a 30-year boom in the early 1980s. Things changed in the recession, as the self-employed ranks have lost 1.6 million from the peak in 2007. The number of self-employed has fallen to early 1980s levels. Small business is the incubator of employment. As it declines, so too do opportunities for first jobs, second chances and economic independence.

smartknowledgeu's picture

Let's get down to the facts of the recent banker gold & silver paper price smash and the lies about the banker gold & silver paper price smash being propagated by the mass media and banking shills like Paul Krugman so everyone can understand why this smash will blow up in the face of the very bankers that executed it at some point down the road. Retail individuals AND global institutions all around the world are finally beginning to understand that physical ownership of gold and silver is how to counter banker fraud & intervention into the gold and silver markets and this realization is going to produce massive blowback.

QBAMCO On Unreserved Credit Growth And Imperial Constraint

Due to decades of unreserved credit growth that temporarily boosted the appearance of sustainable economic growth and prosperity, rational economic behavior cannot produce real (inflation-adjusted) economic growth from current levels. The nominal sizes of advanced economies have grown far larger than the rational scope of production that would be needed to sustain them. This fundamental problem explains best the current state of affairs: malaise (i.e., bank system de-leveraging and economic stagnation) spreading through the means of production and the need for increasing policy intervention to stabilize goods, service and asset prices (by depressing the first three and inflating the last?). We live and work in a contrived meta-economy that can be managed through narrow channels in financial and state capitals. Given the overwhelming past misallocation of capital cited above, we think the most important realization for investors in the current environment is that price levels of goods, services and assets may be biased to rise but they are not sustainable in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. The crowd is ignoring the obvious, as all signs point towards the next currency reset.

Guest Post: A Radically Simple Life

Simplicity requires eliminating virtually everything we are "processed" to want and need for personhood, and accepting the intrinsic complexity of meaningful projects. There are two basic ways to reduce the stress described in yesterday's entry, The Silent Epidemic in a Broken, Deranged System: Stress: simplify one's life and take control of one's life. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but one does not necessarily lead to the other.

Guest Post: Are Earnings Expectations Realistic?

We all know that markets don’t always reflect the health of the economy. It is not unusual to experience stellar market returns in an otherwise mediocre economic backdrop – something that investors are currently experiencing. But future success in this investing climate is a greater challenge and requires a good hard look at how realistic earnings expectations are. The bottom line is that actual earnings growth will be substantially lower than what is currently built into stock prices. This view is contrary to current consensus expectations and could potentially serve as a major headwind for the market once investors begin to share it in coming months.