Pass The Salt; Pass The Government

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

How many European nations does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Twenty-seven. One from Brussels to identify that the object in question is, in fact, a light bulb. Someone from Northern Europe to hold the bulb. A group from Southern Europe to turn the guy holding the bulb around and around until the thing is screwed in. A person from Germany or France to flick the switch and then the rest of the group, after tea, strudel and champagne to stand in front of the microphones and laud the effort.
In the recent summit, however, they couldn’t even identify the light bulb. Since the European countries could not agree on almost anything they performed their usual trick once again. We will have a supervisor of banks in some fashion, at some time in the future, under someone’s direction that will supervise some amount of banks. More tea, more strudel, more champagne and at what time am I scheduled at the microphone?
Nothing is as foolproof as sufficiently engineered promises of future results.
Did the European summit deal with the Cyprus issue; no. Did they provide an answer for Greece or Spain; certainly not. Was anything of value accomplished at the European summit past platitudes and congratulatory speeches that they had come up with a few lofty notions of someone doing something with the European banks; decidedly a negative answer. More fluff, more stuff and more “pass the risotto if you please.”
In the meantime the markets, all of the markets, are living off of intervention. The world’s central banks provide capital and we all have to put the stuff somewhere. Euroloans by the ECB, the printing of money by the Fed and the Bank of England and “the spice must flow.” This is a rather famous comment in Frank Herbert’s wonderful novel, “Dune.” In this science fiction book intergalactic commerce could only happen if the navigators imbibed spice so that they could steer their ships from one galaxy to the next. No spice; no commerce.
In our present circumstances the normal course of some type of fiscal responsibility provided by governments had significantly diminished and virtually faded away.
No one in America or Europe wants to own up to the very serious problems facing both continents and so the central banks are acting not only as lenders of last resort but decision makers of last resort. This has been in play continuously since the American Financial Crisis starting in 2008. We live in a dream state where no one wants to decide anything and so the central banks not only provide liquidity but they have taken over as the government by fiat. Ben Bernanke and Mario Draghi, elected by no one, are effectively in control of the purse strings of the western world. From here you get to two scary questions; “what happens when all of this stops” and then “what happens if it never stops?”
“They did nothing, absolutely nothing and it was everything that they thought it would be.”
                               -The Wizard
While almost no one recognizes it; we have not only “passed the buck” but we have passed the government. The famous sign that once resided on Harry Truman’s desk, “The Buck Stops Here” has now been moved to Ben Bernanke’s office. We have dysfunctional governments now in both America and Europe and the central banks are now in control because there is no one left. This is a dangerous state of affairs in my opinion and the consequences are mystifying.
Pass the salt, pass the government and no I did not ask for the check.

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francis_sawyer's picture

27 [very dimly lit] bulbs just to screw in one... FORWARD SOVIET!

prains's picture


didn't you know the rules are simple


if you smelt you dealt it

knukles's picture

The day the knobble prize was awarded to those jokers, starving their own populace for the sake of ego driven identification with a failed product, I'd suggested that the shits were going to go full cage fight to see who gets to receive the prize.

Seen the news?
Like selfish petulant children.

Principles before Personalities, My Ass

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How many is jewish to screw light bulb?

All of jewish - is global conspiracy, no!?

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How many is American worker is screw light bulb?

None, is outsource to Chinese worker.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How many is Greece screw Light Bulb?

None, is wait for ECB and IMF.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How is California for screw light bulb?

Three, two is screw and is one voyeur for watch.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

In Hollywood is can be many more, both screw and watch.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How many is Russian for screw incandescent bulb?

One is screw but is many form long line to buy bulb.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

How many is International Banking Cartel is screw incandescent bulb?

Originally one, but for re-hypothecation, many now is screwing. When is done, is everyone screwed.

Freegolder's picture

'No one in America or Europe wants to own up to the very serious problems facing both continents and so the central banks are acting not only as lenders of last resort but decision makers of last resort.'


The above (from the article) shows how much the writer is blinded to reality. The Eurozone is fully aware of its problems and is facing up to them right now....just look at the economies of Greece/Spain/Portugal. They are taking their medicine, govts are cutting deep.

This is so different from America, where the problems are being essentially ignored.

I wonder why Mr Grant, and the majority of comments here on ZH (and articles) seem to fail to grasp this very obvious fact?

Bias? A hidden agenda (most writers are Yanks?).

In the final reckoning it'll be dollar collapse, not Euro collapse. Then you will all see the differences.

pods's picture

Oh yeah, Europe is sure as hell facing their problems, for every problem, another rumor to solve it.

Europe is just a bit ahead of the US.  Soon austerity will come ashore here and allow the banks to repossess property through default.

Europe merely backstopped their banks at the expense of the people.  Not really any groundbreaking initiative there.



GetZeeGold's picture



Going Galt so hard......I'm already gone.

Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

this time china & russia get to win

Jim in MN's picture



US Out of Eurasia!


Is that winning or losing?

Doubleguns's picture

When we run out of ink all hell will break loose.

Jim in MN's picture

Pretty sure you can print money with blood.  We'll see.

LawsofPhysics's picture

why do you need to "print" anything in a digital world? - FAIL.

Jim in MN's picture

Have a drink, man.  A virtual one if that makes you more mellow.

insanelysane's picture

The governments are dysfunctional because half of the people believe in gravity (Austrian school) and the other half that believe in Socialism (Keynes).  The central bankers are currently controlled by the Socialists in Europe and by the Socialist Light US.  The repubs don't have the balls to pull the plug on QE infinity.

emersonreturn's picture

i'm not certain it matters any longer which collie herds the sheep, Keynes or Austrian,  the bankers rule and haven't a moral concern other than their own wealth and supreme dominance.

Nels's picture

You underestimate the amout of stupidity in the universe.  Very few folks believe in gravity (Austrian School), and certainly no Republicans do who matter (i.e. those in control of the Republican Party).

Inthemix96's picture

Well I for one wish some fucker would turn out the lights.


Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Pass the salt, pass the government and no I did not ask for the check."

But you and I my friend will still wind up paying it.

<And if we somehow avoid it our children will pay it ten times over.>

Manthong's picture

I think the kids are going to run away from home.

toady's picture

Pay? Bwahaha!

Nobody's gonna pay the unplayable!

Now, pay with their lives... highly probable!

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

A pound of flesh will be taken one way or another. I do not expect those who perpetuated this mess to suffer greatly. Those who enabled it (that would be "we") will be left several pounds lighter.

Jim in MN's picture




Do what you wanna

Do what you will

Just don't mess up your neighbor's thrill

And when you pay the bill

Kindly leave a little tip

And help the next poor sucker on his one-way trip


--Frank Zappa, 'The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing'

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Only a few brave slaves overcome their own slave mentality and save themselves.

Even then very often they just trade places and become the new master.

Jim in MN's picture

If not master and not slave, what then? 

Is there still space for a society of free men and women?  Is the individual doomed to be an atomized cipher, alone in the crowd of slaves?

Personally I think there is a lot more freedom and awareness lacing through society, like the marbling of tasty beef, than one might think faced with the 'zombie wall' of TV or a superficial look at a mall.

But I have never been able to decide whether I am a cynical optimist or an optimistic cynic, so....

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"If not master and not slave, what then?"

Shrug? Who IS John Galt?

Even in Ayn Rand's fictional world John Galt needed vastly superior technology in order to shield himself from the growing insanity of a world gone mad. Unless you or I have access to Zero Point Energy there isn't much we can do but ride it out, then pick up the pieces and try again.


toady's picture

Is that salt for rubbing into the wound?

knukles's picture

Don't forget the lemon juice


(where are those bamboo shoots for the fingernails?)

Diesel Seven's picture

I hope one of the Europeans checked to make sure the bulb was a compact fluorescent.

PontifexMaximus's picture

that's exactly how it is. and it is good that it is like that. because that's the reason what makes market move higher. draghi has already solved everything for the next 3 years, so we do not need the politicians, they are just staffage and a goody for the plebs and the mass media. be happy!

Lost Wages's picture

Apparently the United States is going to allow everything to self-destruct two weeks before the election. It's a surprising tactic, but it just might work.

Jim in MN's picture

It only takes the French, they'll screw in anything.

falak pema's picture

How many American nations does it take to screw up the world?

Just one! Mike Grant the pied piper of Anglo baloney land.

When you honestly address the crap heap of private banksta debt, all concocted in WS/CIty land that has polluted the global fiat thread, continues to do so now, creating the public havoc that it imposes on crony led world that privatises huge swathes of it like it was God's Will, then we'll see if you are sincere, in understanding global cause and effect. 

OutLookingIn's picture


Do you have any 'Grey Poupon?"

Qualitative Tightening's picture

Tyler, you forgot to mention the part at the end when the European nations are awarded a nobel peace prize for their excellence in changing the lightbulb with only a small amount of conflicts arising from the situation...