Ken Rogoff’s Government Debt Default Plan

Ken Rogoff is by all accounts a brilliant man. The Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist is a chess grandmaster. His thesis committee included current Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer. But like many survivors of Ivy League hoop jumping, the poor fellow appears to have emerged punch drunk. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from Rogoff’s new book, The Curse of Cash , which, in effect, proposes a ban on paper currency.

The Signs Of Desperation In A "Twilight Zone Of Ignorance"

Idiocy and mendacity are a bad combo in the affairs of nations, especially in elections. The present case in the USA displays both qualities to near-perfection: on one side, a boorish pseudo-savior in zero command of ideas; on the other side, a wannabe racketeer-in-chief in full command of her instinctive deceit. Trump offers incoherent rhetoric in opposition to the current dismal order of things; Clinton offers empty, pandering rhetoric in defense of that order. Both represent an epic national drive toward political suicide.

Harvard Professor Demands Ban On $20, $50, $100 Bills

Six months since Larry Summers first suggested "it;'s time to kill the $100 bill," and three months after The ECB actually killed the €500 Note, another Harvard 'scholar' is reinvigorating the war on cash. Amid claims that paper money fuels corruption, terrorism, tax evasion, and illegal immigration, Ken Rogoff (ironically of "It's Different This Time" infamy) says the US should get rid of the $100 bill (and $50s and $20s) proposing, in his words, "a 'less-cash' society, not a cashless one, at least for the foreseeable future."

Kunstler Rages "Racketeering Is Ruining Us"

"It's a classic quandary: that oil priced at over $75 a barrel in today's dollars tends to crush economies, and oil priced under $75 a barrel in today's dollars tends to crush oil companies. There is no real sweet spot between those two places. We're ratcheting between them and each one of them entails a lot of destruction."

The Good, The Bad, & The Great Of Donald Trump's Candidacy

"Donald Trump’s overwhelming virtue is that he is not Hillary Clinton and does not carry a bulging 30-year old bag of bad ideas. Hillary’s ideas—–and those of the establishment for which she shills——about how to fix the coming economic and foreign policy crises, in fact, are so unequivocally and irremediably bad that it is not possible that there is anything worse."

The Odious Versus The Tedious

For my money, the Ruskies should get the Nobel Peace Prize if they were behind the email release. What higher service to democracy than to expose the anti-democratic workings of the party that affects to call itself Democratic?

A Former NYMEX Trader Explains "The Mechanics Of Silver Manipulation"

What follows is how JPM manipulated the silver markets by selling the Silver contango during illiquid hours, then used their deep pockets to push settlements, then waited until margin calls made the large locals puke their positions. JPM in effect stretched the relationship between forward rates and futures spreads until they made no sense anymore. Not unlike a company trading at 50x earnings. It cannot last long. But it only has to last long enough until the guy with the position opposite you has to liquidate.

"Death To All Zombies!"

When things fall apart in stressed complex systems, they tend to fall apart fast. It’s called phase change. Too many things in 21st century life have depended on sheer trust that the people-in-charge know what they are doing. That trust has subsisted on the doling out of money-from-nothing: debt, reckless bond issuance. TARP, QEs, bailouts, bail-ins, Operation Twists, Ponzi schemes… the whole sad-ass armamentarium of banking necromancy. The politicians let it get out of hand. Things that can’t go on don’t, and now they won’t.

A Perfect Recipe For Mayhem

At a most troubled moment in history, both major political parties appear set to nominate time-bomb candidates for president with a fair percentage chance of blowing up their own campaigns and the parties themselves. Remember, too, the Black Lives Matter movement and its affiliates promised months ago to bring a disruptive presence to both conventions. Imagine how they will get on with thousands of outraged Trumpsters moiling in the streets. Add a dash of Mexican hot sauce to this farrago and you’ve got a perfect recipe for mayhem.

Nausea Rising

The people of the United States have real grievances with the way this country is being run but, considering that the 2016 election looks like a Dark Age puppet show, we forget this spectacle is serious. Rather large matters are at stake, such as the continuity of governance, the legitimacy of the two major political parties, the credibility of our financial arrangements, perhaps even the durability of the nation as a united polity.