Racketeering

"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.

"Hillary Clinton Will Be Indicted, It's Inevitable" Says Susan Sarandon

"Nobody's even talking about this indictment. What happens with that?" Sarandon told MSNBC's Chris Jansing. "Besides the trust issue of catching her in so many lies..."
"Well, there has been no indictment," Jansing responded.
"No, but there's going to be. There's going to be. I mean, it's inevitable."

David Stockman: The Good, Bad & Ugly Of Donald Trump

At the end of the day, America is on a slippery slope toward failure because the Warfare State and the Welfare State are suffocating what was once a prosperous capitalism and a resilient free society lightly intruded upon by the machinery of state. But now both parties have become handmaidens of the state. Maybe The Donald’s startling but palpable momentum toward the White House will have one saving grace. His relentless campaign against the “politicians” and the Washington money rackets may end up knocking the hypocritical stuffings out of both parties.

Worse Than 1860?

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.

Global Markets Slide, US Futures Wipe Out Overnight Gains In Volatile Session

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.

What Bernie And The Donald Portend

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."

Pretend To The Bitter End

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.

There Are No Safe Spaces

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 End Of The Fed's Self-Deluding Feedback Loop Of False Information

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.