• Sprott Money
    05/06/2016 - 06:03
    The US, in its own decline, is showing this same self-destructive tendency. The worse things get, the greater the inclination of the citizenry to say, “Carry on, everything’s fine.”

Scam Complete: The US Government Takes A Page From Diocletian’s Book...

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Via Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

Early in the 4th century, Emperor Diocletian issued an infamous decree to control spiraling wages and prices in the rapidly deteriorating Roman Empire.

As part of his edict, Diocletian commanded that any merchant or customer caught violating the new price structures would be put to death.

This is an important lesson from history, and a trend that has been repeated numerous times. When nations are in terminal economic decline, governments will stop at nothing to keep the party going just a little bit longer.

I thought of Diocletian’s desperation a few days ago when I read about the recent sanctions imposed on US rating agency Egan-Jones. It’s a similar story–

For years, major rating agencies (S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch) have championed the outright fraud of our financial system by pinning pristine credit ratings on insolvent governments and their heavily inflated currencies.

In doing so, the rating agencies are effectively claiming that the greatest debtor that has ever existed in the history of the world is nearly ‘risk-free’.

Clearly this is a ridiculous assertion. With a debt level over 100% of GDP, the US is so broke that the government must borrow money just to pay interest on the money it’s already borrowed. They’ve lost over a trillion dollars a year since 2008, yet they still spend money on things like drones and body scanners. It’s crazy.

As with any good scam, the government must maintain public confidence.  The moment someone says ‘the Emperor has no clothes,’ that shallow, fragile confidence will come crashing down and expose the scam. Dissent must be vigorously and swiftly pursued.

So when S&P finally downgraded the US one notch in August 2011, the SEC and Justice Department announced that S&P was under investigation, just two weeks later.

Egan-Jones, a smaller rating agency, has been even more aggressive, downgrading the US credit rating three times in 18 months. And while the federal government may not have imposed Diocletian’s death penalty, they are just as willing to squash dissent.

In a country that churns out thousands of pages of new regulations each week, it’s easy to find a reason to go after someone. As you read this letter, in fact, you are probably in violation of at least a dozen regulatory offenses.

In the case of Egan-Jones, the SEC brought administrative action against the agency within two weeks of their second downgrade. And a few days ago, the case was settled.

I’m sure you have already guessed the ending: Egan-Jones is banned from for the next 18 months from rating US government debt. They’ve effectively been silenced from telling the truth.

The lesson here is obvious. Just as in Roman times, bankrupt nations today will stop at nothing to keep up the scam just a little bit longer.

Given that all this is happening at a time when Congress is voting to suspend the debt ceiling entirely, these actions are the clearest sign yet of just how desperate the government has become.

Could the warning signs be any more obvious?

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Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:23 | 3186566 Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

"from Caligula/Nero to Diocletian took almost 300 years.  Caligula is in office now.  We've got time"

 

Yeah FIVE years max then... kaboom!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:30 | 3186589 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

No, Obama will have everything fixed by his 5th term through Executive Order.

Long live the Imperium. All hail Darth Obama Sidious.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:13 | 3186848 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Next step is to get the term limit dropped and we are on our way.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:25 | 3186570 new game
new game's picture

think of the federal gov as a million armed squid with each arm sucking onto something to survive.

even if you started lopping of arms the fucking thing keeps coming at you...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:28 | 3186583 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Simon Black = Captain Obvious & the Brown Dirt Umbrella Drink...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:35 | 3186604 Segestan
Segestan's picture

article is propaganda. Emperor Diocletian... in fact brought back the court system , taken from a military dictatorship of generals, introduced a fair tax system and did leave in his death the guide line for Constantine to follow.

The law did require death for tax cheats in some cases.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:30 | 3186767 augustus caesar
augustus caesar's picture

He certainly did his best in what was a rather dismal situation all around. You have to have some sympathy at least for the first Emperor to voluntarily give up power in order to tend his gardens in retirement.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 06:11 | 3187470 Kiwi Pete
Kiwi Pete's picture

I've actually stayed in a small hotel built in the wall of his retirement palace in Split, Croatia. Very nice it must have been too.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:31 | 3186769 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Dost thou dare CHALLENGE the impeccable historical knowledge of Simon, The Black?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:29 | 3186764 Whiner
Whiner's picture

The Roman farmers, unable to compete with Egyptian wheat tribute shipments, sold themselves into slavery for three meals a day. The Emporer was so pissed he passed a law making it illegal for a citizen to sell himself this way. Party on for a few more days. Then the Visgoths and Huns just walked into a dilapidated Rome w goats rummaging around.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:32 | 3186774 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The goddamned BILLYGOATS sacked Rome!...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:26 | 3186984 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture

 Are definite predictions warning signs ? ?

Janet Napolitano just recently asserted that a cyber-attack comparable to 9/11 is "imminent".

Fortunately, orchestrating a massive cyber-attack could prove technically difficult, even a false flag one ...

on second thought, scratch that last part.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:35 | 3187007 vamoose1
vamoose1's picture

   egan  jones  is   honest  ....   these   outrages   are   clustering     this   house  is  very   close   to   coming   down    ,,,,   bond  yields   stirring    they   dont   ring   a   bell ....   think  a   swift   kick  in  the  nuts   and   ciao   manhattan  

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:55 | 3187024 HoaX
HoaX's picture

Just testing how to post pictures:

 

 

Hrm, why does it show in the preview but not in the post I wonder. :[

Oh well, Nevermind this post. Cheers, Geithner.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 01:09 | 3187360 groundedkiwi
groundedkiwi's picture

Try again and disable rich text first.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:59 | 3187034 Kina
Kina's picture

People shouldn't really need the likes of Egan... to know the US economy is totally funcking basket case whose only future can be implosion.

 

But yes... for the TPTB and their chrony media....truth is treason in the land of lies.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 21:12 | 3187053 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

"Britain may refuse to produce RBS Libor documents, Canada argues"

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/25/us-libor-rbs-canada-idUSBRE90O...

 

"Britain cannot be relied on to force Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS.L) to give Canadian authorities documents on alleged interest rate rigging, because the British government is RBS's majority shareholder, Canada's Competition Bureau argued this month."

 

lol.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 22:17 | 3187153 Ludwig Van
Ludwig Van's picture

"I guess its easier to continue to delude yourself than allow reality to penetrate your fantasies that things will continue as always."

I lost my cherry to those fantasies in '97. I thought then I was late coming to the party, the 99th monkey. The Imminence of Collapse -- Greenspan had warned of irrational exuberance three years earlier -- was both enthralling and horrifying. On the (then-relevant) Kitco gold discussion board, I first heard the phrase "watching a train wreck in slow motion," we talked with Another (the original) for a season, in the mix of news and trading and economics and politics and shit. We were waiting for gold to move above $300. That would be the indicator that the distortion could no longer be contained. Five years.... Any day now. A guy called Farfel actually went insane online when Catastrophe failed to arrive for the twentieth time.

Any day now the whole shebang was coming down -- through LTCM, the Euro, Monicagete, Y2k, Dot.com, 9/11. The Imminence -- it dragged on forever. When gold finally did close for good above $300, it was orgiastic. Yes! Let's get this over with already! That was some dozen years ago.

"I guess its easier to continue to delude yourself than allow reality to penetrate your fantasies that things will continue as always."

I submit that perhaps it is *not* so easy to perpetuate self-delusion, that it takes a mighty effort to construct and maintain a mental and social circumstance dismissive of all we consider obvious. If so, the toll it takes I imagine looks a lot like what we have now: a society of people eluded of their prime, gutted, ruled by fear.

Or not. I don't know. I do wonder though that in our earnest to spot the destruction from a distance, eyes cast to the horizon, we've neglected something nearer, and that perhaps the destruction we dread, one we think we'd recognize, still lays ahead by our time schedule, and that along the way some other real damage has already been incurred.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 00:31 | 3187323 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

It sounds like farfel had a fall coming anyhow...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:09 | 3187239 mickeyman
mickeyman's picture

I think there are still lots of things that the gov't can do to keep the party going. Merchants who raise prices can be declared "economic terrorists" and their stock siezed and redistributed. Anyone complaining about taxes may face the same charge.

Everything in safe-deposit boxes can be siezed until with the owners can prove they own it to the satisfaction of the tax authorities.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:24 | 3187243 newengland
newengland's picture

The modern U.S. government is owned by the AshkeNAZI, descended from Genghis Khan, the hateful tribe who founded Zionism, and wage endless war abroad from their gunned up , profiteering and politically 'neutral' whore nation Switzerland...long after jews of the Tora and Christians made the U.S.A., the world's only honorable Constitution, for the people, by the people, of the people.

The U.S. government has been a plaything of the hateful warmongering fiat moneychanger  whores AshkeNAZI since 1913. They are freaks who shout anti-semite, although they are not true jews of the Tora or the middle east. They are the AshkeNAZI, a war tribe of Russian Jews, gang bangers, central banksters who pollute the world.

The CIA and its MK Ultra program which drugs and programs mass killers is a continuation of the AshkeNAZI attempt to take over Germany and Europe. After WWII, the CIA brought those AshekeNAZI to the USA, although the dimwit political pets and psycho killers were allowed to escape to South America.

The AshkeNAZI Russian mob own CONgress, and Israel. They hate honest hardworking jews, and hate Christians even more so.

The genocidal Red Terror in Russia: mostly committed by AshkeNAZI jews.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 01:22 | 3187372 Gold Dog
Gold Dog's picture

Escanaba Jews? WTF?

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 05:16 | 3187457 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

CICERO (Marcus Tullius Cicero). First century B.C. Roman stateman, writer. 

"Softly! Softly! I want none but the judges to hear me. The Predators have already gotten me into a fine mess, as they have many other gentleman. I have no desire to furnish further grist for their mills." (Oration in Defense of Flaccus)

Cicero was serving as defense counsel at the trial of Flaccus, a Roman official who interfered with Predatorish gold shipments to their international headquarters (then, as now) in Jerusalem. Cicero himself certainly was not a nobody, and for one of this stature to have to "speak softly" shows that he was in the presence of a dangerously powerful sphere of influence.

and on another occasion Cicero wrote:

"The Predators belong to a dark and repulsive force. One knows how numerous this clique is, how they stick together and what power they exercise through their unions. They are a nation of rascals and deceivers."

SENECA (Lucius Annaeus Seneca). First century Roman philosopher. 

"The customs of that most criminal nation have gained such strength that they have now been received in all lands. The conquered have given laws to the conquerors." (De Superstitione)

DIO CASSIUS. Second century Roman historian. Describing the savage Predatorish uprising against the Roman empire that has been acknowledged as the turning point downward in the course of that great state-form:

"The Predators were destroying both Greeks and Romans. They ate the flesh of their victims, made belts for themselves out of their entrails, and daubed themselves with their blood... In all, 220,000 men perished in Cyrene and 240,000 in Cyprus, and for this reason no Predator may set foot in Cyprus today." (Roman History)

DIODORUS SICULUS. First century Greek historian.Observed that Predators treated other people as enemies and inferiors.

"Usury" is the practice of lending money at excessive interest rates. This has for centuries caused great misery and poverty for Gentiles. It has brought strong condemnation of the Predators

WASHINGTON, GEORGE, in Maxims of George Washington by A. A. Appleton & Co.

"They (the Predators) work more effectively against us, than the enemy's armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in... It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America."

This prophecy, by Benjamin Franklin, was made in a "CHIT CHAT AROUND THE TABLE DURING INTERMISSION," at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787. This statement was recorded in the dairy of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a delegate from South Carolina.

"I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. The menace, gentlemen, is the Predators.
In whatever country Predators have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded, by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within the state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.
For over 1,700 years, the Predators have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race.
If you do not exclude them from these United States, in their Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives our substance and jeopardized our liberty.
If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude Predators for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.
Predators, gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will nor how many generations they are away from Asia, they will never be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to an American's, and will not even thou they live among us ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. Predators are Asiatics, are a menace to this country if permitted entrance, and should be excluded by this Constitutional Convention.

 

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 07:38 | 3187486 User 3461
User 3461's picture
Sat, 01/26/2013 - 14:41 | 3187908 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

No doubt there are a few 'true believers' in the mix but the real profiteers know the score and use the 'useful idiots' zeal to cover their crimes.

I'm sure the Popes weren't quite as enthusiastic as the Inquisitors about the possibilities of saving souls as they were about using terror to cement power over the population.

Crushing dissent isn't the same as abject loyalty, but it's a close second, and that's what really counts in the final end game.

Bleat or get beat...all the same to them.

It's the unintended consequences of hubris is where things can become unravelled for them.

History is nothing more than a series of forseeable events that were unseen at the time of their making.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 14:02 | 3187858 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

Simon Black is probably on the list of "soon to commit accidental suicide"


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 04:28 | 3190690 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

silly bathroom "accidents" - http://youtu.be/v1_yL9dZ8uk - RIP Matt Simmons too

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