The last time the major political parties disintegrated, back in the 1850s, the nation had to go through a bloody convulsion to reconstitute itself. The festering issue of slavery so dominated politics that nothing else is remembered about the dynamics of the period. Today, the festering issue is corruption and racketeering, but none of the candidates uses those precise terms to describe what has happened to us. Nobody knows where the shit show of 2016 is leading. The uncertainty around it is helping to sink what remains of the old economy, and one can easily discern a very dangerous set of feedbacks creeping into place.
European shares tumbled, wiping out gains from a two-day rally, Asian stocks slid and the cost of insuring corporate debt rose as investor concern over global growth prospects resurfaced. U.S. equity-index futures pared gains of as much as 0.9 percent. Government bonds rose, with yields falling to records in Japan and China amid anxiety over the world economy. U.S. crude prices stabilized after dropping below $30 a barrel on Tuesday to touch the lowest since 2003 as Iran moved closer to boosting exports.
Three weeks out from the Iowa caucuses, and clarity emerges. Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, is in trouble. But if a cloud is forming over the Clinton campaign, the sun continues to shine on The Donald. What does the surge for socialist Sanders and the Republican base’s backing of the outsiders Trump and Cruz and collective recoil from the Republican establishment candidates tell us? As Dylan sang, "The times they are a changing."
There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.
After East Chicago re-elected an accused drug dealer and murderer as councilman, we thought the bar had dropped as low as it gets for the ignorance of an electorate. But, no! Bridgeport, Connecticut residents just took the proverbial biscuit by re-electing Mayor Joseph P. Ganim - who during his last 'reign' was convicted of 16 felonies including racketeering, extortion, and bribery.
We're not persuaded that world opinion will ever “make sense” of the Paris attacks. The non-linear rules the day. One thing seems assured: hard-line governments are coming soon. Politically, the West had boundary problems that go way beyond the question of national borders to the core psychology of modern liberalism. When is enough of anything enough? And then, what are you really willing to do about it? The answer lately among the Western societies is to do little and do it slowly. The behavior of college administrators and faculties in the USA these days is emblematic of this cowardly dithering.
The world is bankrupt after thirty years of borrowing from the future to throw a party in the present, and the authorities can’t acknowledge that. But they can provide the conditions for disguising it, especially in the statistical hall of mirrors that once-upon-a-time produced meaningful signals for the movement of capital. The Dow, the S&P, and the NASDAQ are the only signaling mechanisms that the legacy media pays attention to, and the politicos take their cues from them, in a feedback loop of false information that begets more delusional positive psychology in those same markets.
Sometimes societies just go batshit crazy.
The rise and persistence of Trump raises a more pertinent question: why are all the other candidates such obvious shills for the implacable engine of grift that is destroying the Republic? Why has nobody with the possible exception of Bernie Sanders, called bullshit on the basic operations of the machine? Why have no other persons of real stature stepped forward to challenge the suicidal dynamic of the age? I’m with those who think that the 2016 election campaign is going to be a wild spectacle beyond the current imaginings of news media. I’m serenely convinced that, among other things, the banking system is going to implode so hard and fast well before the nominating conventions that the nation will be in a state of near chaos. What’s out there now is just a tired dumb-show replaying the shopworn themes of an era that is about to slam to a close.
In this moment of history there is an astounding lack of seriousness among people who pretend to be political heavyweights. No one so far has nailed a proper bill of grievances to the White House gate. A broad roster of dire issues facing this society ought to be self-evident. But since they are absent so far in the public discussion, here is our list of matters that serious candidates should dare to talk about (all things that a sitting president could take action on)...
Earlier today, it was Putin's turn to troll not only the DOJ, but also Barack Obama who is currently in Ethiopia as part of his African tour when in an interview aired by Swiss broadcaster RTS on Monday Putin said that Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel Prize for his stewardship of soccer’s governing body. “I think people like Mr Blatter or the heads of big international sporting federations, or the Olympic Games, deserve special recognition. If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel Prize, it’s those people.”
In the natural course of things, structural reform can occur, but that natural course entails some degree of disorder and loss.
"The net effect of all that will be the disappearance of nominal wealth — it crosses an event horizon into a black hole never to be seen again. The continent discovers it is a lot poorer than it thought. Fifty years of financial engineering comes to the grief it deserves for promoting the idea that it’s possible to get something for nothing."
Awkward: Day After EPA Finds Fracking Does Not Pollute Water, Top Oil Regulator Resigns Over Water ContaminationSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/06/2015 16:10 -0500
Put this one in the awkward file: just hours after the EPA released yet another massive study (literally, at just under 1000 pages) which found no evidence that fracking led to widespread pollution of drinking water (an outcome welcome by the oil industry and its backers and criticized by environmental groups), the director of the California Department of Conservation, which oversees the agency that regulates the state's oil and gas industry, resigned as the culmination of a scandal over the contamination of California's water supply by fracking wastewater dumping.