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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 - 16:29 | 3186360 ACP
ACP's picture

Party on Ben!

Party onTim!


Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:39 | 3186377 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Banned?  Death?  They just fine the economists in Argentina for telling the truth about inflation.

Consumer prices rose 9.7% in May from a year ago, according to the national statistics agency, Indec. But virtually all economists say annual inflation surpasses 20%—one of the world's highest rates—angering government officials who dismiss inflation as a problem.


"They fine us for saying how much prices have risen," Mr. Ferreres, director of his eponymous firm, said. "They could seek criminal charges against all of us. We don't know how far they're willing to go."

Inflation is and always will be  the money printers' nemesis.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:40 | 3186396 ACP
ACP's picture

And take the guns away from everyone but law enforcement and government officials. Government officials?


Next thing you know, US government officials will have blue emergency lights just like all the corrupt Russian officials:

FUCK FEINSTEIN. FUCK THEM ALL. I've fucking had it.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:42 | 3186405 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:47 | 3186419 kralizec
kralizec's picture

I'll take revolution & civil war instead.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:06 | 3186464 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

All the world is a stage. Abracadabra!


$6 Trillion in Fake US Bonds Seized by Italian Police


Or this:


To top it off, spot Krugmanrand** prices are skyrocketing!


**Krugmanrand: A gold colored powder-coated round, composed of 3% tungsten and 97% compressed sawdust, bearing the slogan "In Diocletian We Trust" and "To Infinity & Beyond!" on one side, alongside "CTRL+P," and having the other side enscribed with "What, Me Worry?" alongside an engraved likeness of one Ben S. Bernanke (Shakey McShakester).

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:09 | 3186499 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

I went to the mall for lunch today, it was business as usual. Those people were blissfully unaware of the economic catastrophe facing them. It had the feeling of what it might have felt like right before the Little Boy atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Everything felt quasi-normal, next all hell breaks loose, and those that survived envied the dead.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:23 | 3186561 Miramanee
Miramanee's picture

@ NPE - I don't think that "economic catastrophe" is sufficiently accurate. I was thinking the other day about inflation. There's a scene in Ghostbusters when "Ray" takes out THREE mortgages on his house in order to fund the new enterprize. "Egon" reports that, the interest alone (at 17%) will amount to $95K over three years. $95K!!!! THAT'S CHICKEN FEED!!!! Nowadays a trip to the grocery store costs $100 and fills two bags. The crisis will not, in my opinion, come in the form of collapse; it will be a slow burn, followed by a global conflict manufactured as way to both distract and kill off those who would eventually turn on their overlords.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:42 | 3186631 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

That's what I was telling my friend at the mall. Exactly how are these people going to cope if the grid goes down, or the grocery stores are no longer stocked with food items, or fuel deliveries are cut off.

It was just somewhat strange that these folks haven't spent even one second thinking about what will happen in a collapse. I guess its easier to continue to delude yourself than allow reality to penetrate your fantasies that things will continue as always.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:52 | 3186669 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Paging WilliamBanzai... pick up white courtesy phone... need Photoshopped pic of Obama in a toga, STAT... 

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:50 | 3186799 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Everything is normal until it isn’t. 

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 22:09 | 3187143 trav777
trav777's picture

"rapidly declining Roman empire"??? the FOURTH fucking CENTURY?  It held on for decades, centuries even after that!

These idiots and I must have dramatically different understandings of the meaning of the word "rapid"

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:00 | 3187227 CPL
CPL's picture

There was a young lady named Bright,

Who could travel quite faster than light.

She went off one day,

In a relative way,

And came back the previous night.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:32 | 3187270 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

You're simply forgetting the mangnifying power of the exponential function. Comparing time frames of collapse in the Roman empire to the time frames of collapse to the American empire is comparing chalk and cheese. The warning signs are flashing neon red all over the ship. I would have once thought along similar lines to yourself but I am now reasonably convinced that the collapse will happen so instanteneously as to take our collective fucking breaths away. When individuals, companies, councils, municipalities, states and entire soverigns are levered multiple and many multiples of one, all concurrently, all relying at the same time on ultra low rates, I mean to say, all it takes is one lousy butterfly to flap its wings.  

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 01:35 | 3187380 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

I tend to agree. With massive wage cuts and layoffs happening every day, it's only a matter of time before we have people fighting over $10/hr jobs just to keep their home. When they can't, there's gonna be a LOT of really, really unhappy campers out there. The other black swan could be the US gov's forced nationalization of 401Ks. That alone could start a major civil war. Why? Because as soon as they did that, millions of people would be broke overnight. No last chance, no safety net, no hope until they reached 70 or whatever assinine age the fuckers in Congress said was legal.

 Possibly a reason they invested in a few rounds of hollow points, eh?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:38 | 3186784 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Ignorance has been a successful strategy thus far, so there's no sense abandoning it now.

Hell, I wasted a good part of my morning writing a rebuttal to the local newspaper editor's ignorance, as he wrote an article on the future growth of the city.

Not only do they not understand money, the idea of entropy's affect on complex systems is completely foreign to them.

It's like people understand that their wages aren't keeping up with inflation (and its ramifications), but then expect the entities that they fund to bail EVERYONE out.

Oh well, guess I'd better get back to work reviewing proposals for the software that will replace me.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:40 | 3186787 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Hope & Change

I think you really mean "still hoping for change"

Along the lines of "hope springs eternal!"

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:09 | 3186840 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Their still hoping to steal everything including your change.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:52 | 3186429 falak pema
falak pema's picture

sorry, this car has white ones! oops! 

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:50 | 3186430 falak pema
falak pema's picture

any car with blue lights gets special rates in the red light district; old rule from Diocletian Rome, price is fixed for those blue lights and its rock bottom! 

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 09:04 | 3187516 onthesquare
onthesquare's picture

Blue lights are for snow ploughs

Now there for snow jobs!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:16 | 3186849 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Thank you for the gun info, ACP!

A lunchtime "out & about" and a visit to a local sports store chain, had almost empty shelves for ammo.  Even common ammo like 9 mm.  Lots of Bolt-Action guns though. 

As many gun safety class teachers advocate:  Make sure YOU (a) oppose these Demo-Fascist ploticians, and (b) provide $$ support to local initiatives to fund legal fights in state legislatures.  The Demo-Fascists must be warned that they WILL be voted out.

And let's keep that "laser focus" on the real gun-debate:  This is a pre-emptive disarming of the populace (that might/will revolt) for what's to come, and not a safety issue.  The Neo-Feudal Lords want the people to have 'pitchforks' (bolt-action or low-capacity magazine guns) against their endless might.

And what a shame that a couple of the items on her X-Mass List were lost years ago, during the numerous trans-national and international moves we've made in the past 15 years.  Bummer.  Thieving, minimum-wage movers!  That ever happen to you?

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 01:58 | 3187395 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"The Demo-Fascists must be warned that they WILL be voted out."

Never gonna happen.

It's a game of Pong.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:17 | 3186974 Divine Wind
Divine Wind's picture

They have an inside source who says the REAL target is ammo. Soon you will see bills, EO's and other regulation put through that will jack the taxes up on every step of the supply chain (just as they have done with coal fired power plants) to drive the manufacturers out of business.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:53 | 3187026 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

I feel that you are right, Divine Wind:  we face a future of permanent ammo 'shortages'.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 21:48 | 3187077 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Then the Mexican cartels can ammo walk back for a profit.  Prohibition deja vu.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 09:50 | 3187543 petolo
petolo's picture

War on Ammunition and PMs ?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:42 | 3186401 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

She looks pretty excited about trying the dark meat, just saying...

Wasn't Egan Jones recently gagged?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:20 | 3186554 centerline
centerline's picture

Not inflation in general.  Too much or too little is the nemesis.  I know - splitting hairs.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:22 | 3187258 BringOnTheAsteroid
BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Off topic - Hedgeless can you tell me how to insert a picture into a post. I have a picture that must be shared with the ZeroHede community . . . . . MUST BE SHARED.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 06:09 | 3187469 Hobie
Hobie's picture



Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:52 | 3187289 Eahudimac
Eahudimac's picture

I'd do her.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:28 | 3186361 ReeferMac
ReeferMac's picture

Well said Mr. Black.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:39 | 3186786 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

So well said, I actually forgot it was Simon!

He must've forgot his "find a better government" pitch in his haste.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:29 | 3186365 Bon Hagar
Bon Hagar's picture

Nothin' to see here folks...move along.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:41 | 3186394 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Those who denounce the coin of the realm are enemies of the state. So if you know what's good for you then turn your head, avert your eyes and keep walking or you too will be considered persona non grata.

There will come a point when dissent of any sort will not be tolerated.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 21:50 | 3187108 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Will come? Try keeping up with current events.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:30 | 3186367 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

The spice must flow!

BTW, I've just come up with a plan to screw with the banks...

Step 1 : print a list of foreclosed homes in your area.

Step 2 : Add this to it :

    Adverse possession is a principle of real estate law that gives anyone who possesses the land of another for an extended period of time in an 'actual, open, hostile and continuous' manner the right to claim legal title to that land.

    The exact elements of an adverse possession claim may be different in each state. In Florida, the law prescribes continuous possession of at least seven years. In New Jersey, a squatter must be in possession of the property for 30 years, while in New York it's 10 years.

    In some states, the trespasser must have paid taxes on the property during this time period. Other states don’t require payment of property taxes, but will apply a shorter time requirement for occupying the land if the trespasser has paid taxes.

Step 3 : Print a lot of these.
Step 4 : Go to several homeless shelters, distribute.
Step 5 : Laugh your butt off!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:59 | 3186469 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

We own nothing ... we only rent land from the state.

... stop paying your property tax ... you'll be evicted by the state.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:13 | 3186519 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Totally agree... but :

Other states don’t require payment of property taxes, but will apply a shorter time requirement for occupying the land if the trespasser has paid taxes.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 18:53 | 3188255 Chump
Chump's picture

That's in reference to establishing color of title, and doesn't require paying taxes unless the State statute specifically calls for it.  You could just record a deed or a plat at the Register of Deeds claiming the property is your own, 30-50 bucks on average for either one.  It would get thrown out in an instant if challenged, but if it's not challenged then you've established color of title.  This then shrinks the statutory period for claiming adverse possession, sometimes drastically (e.g. 20 years without versus 7 years with).

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 22:36 | 3187193 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

Many are not paying their property taxes already:


Many longtime East Austinites have sold homes or are delinquent on taxes, report finds


"...close to 1 in 3 of remaining homeowners are delinquent on their property taxes, according to a new study...."

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:26 | 3186576 Room 101
Room 101's picture

Adverse possession is the poor man's TARP.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 11:12 | 3187620 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

California it's 5 years, and you HAVE to pay the taxes.

But there's a lot of tax delinquent auctions coming up, too...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:31 | 3186370 reader2010
reader2010's picture

I come, I See, I Scam.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:54 | 3186403 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Veni, vidi, tacuit.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:33 | 3186374 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

WW III... check!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:33 | 3186379 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"When nations are in terminal economic decline, governments will stop at nothing to keep the party going just a little bit longer."

Whether because of complacency, fear, denial or just a lack of imagination, most of us simply fail to grasp how much worse it can and will become nor what draconian steps the government will take to remain in power.

Trust me on this one, there will be no failure of imagination on the government's part.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:15 | 3186522 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

And, when the imagination runs out of ideas, they'll resort to good ole fashioned violence.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:24 | 3186568 centerline
centerline's picture

Not sure what scares me more... the truth that you are mentioning here or outright chaos (mad max scenerio).

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:17 | 3186742 CH1
CH1's picture

With outright choas, at least things are clear. Now, Joe Average lives in a hypnotic fog.

And, in real life, any Mad Max scenarios would be either short-lived or limited to very remote places.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:44 | 3186791 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

With the worst possible outcome being that a new government could form. LOL

As always, chaos is not anarchy, as anarchy is living in peace with others, while chaos is usually cover for someone else's proxy war.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 01:55 | 3187394 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"With outright choas, at least things are clear."

In the sense that "shit has gotten very real and it can no longer be denied", yes. In the sense of "what is happening and why", not so much. It is this latter sense which is involved in forming an understanding which might allow one to not repeat past mistakes when the chaos ends.

After each revolution, we find that the population is only too happy to be done with the awful business --- even if they have no reason to believe they will not be worse off than before. In situations which otherwise may have produced a revolution, an insufficient portion of the population could be bothered to get off their asses, which avoided the revolution and produced essentially the same result - no change.

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 06:44 | 3187475 Andre
Andre's picture

What happens when you get both?

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 06:42 | 3187474 Andre
Andre's picture

Almost but not quite true.

The one thing they cannot imagine is how badly their plans can backfire on them.

Blowback is a bitch.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:34 | 3186380 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

How many lies does it take to prop up a ponzi empire?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:59 | 3186467 Dealer
Dealer's picture

Truth is treason in the empire of lies.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:13 | 3186516 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

. . . or how many ponzi schemes does it take to prop up a lie?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:45 | 3186792 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Over what period of time?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:35 | 3186382 Mercury
Mercury's picture

How much longer until all pension funds and IRAs are required to own US debt "for their own safety and protection"??

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:37 | 3186716 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

401k facts yo can "take to the bank":

1. If you make a withdrawal from your "401k Fiat Account" -- whose Fiat-drive is "taking you nowhere", but off the cliff perhaps (as seen on TV) -- you have to declare it as "Income" and will be taxed on it.

2. If you take out as much as 50% of your (employee) contribution of your 401k as a LOAN -- you are 'loaning' yourself! -- then it is tax-free.  And you have to repay it of some long period, at an interest rate that you like.  This way, you are assured of a higher return than from "Wand Strasse" (German).

If you were then, say, to 'invest' your 401k Fiat account into some real-wealth assets, then you've mitigated risk from TPTB.  Investments like PM's, Productive Land.   Where the latter pays real-wealth "dividends", not fiat dividends, that you either 'spend' (consume) or exchange-in-kind (barter, gift).

The only advice so far in this blog-chain, that you can actually CAPITALIZE on.  You're welcome, bitchez!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:48 | 3186798 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I borrow against mine for up to six years at 2 pts above prime. The only problem with this is that I don't like putting more money into the system that will be worthless later, so it's imperative to use the loans wisely.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 22:53 | 3187218 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

One of the earliest fears about tax-favored savings accounts like IRAs and 401(k) plans was that when this pool of savings grew large enough Congress would not be able to resist tapping it to help solve the nation’s debt problems. We’re about to find out if those fears—persistent for decades—have been justified.

Read more:
Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:34 | 3186383 HoaX
HoaX's picture

Dont forget the fact these beautiful totally not Wall-Street owned and of course completely unbiased rating agencies that slapped AAA+ investment grades on wonderful companies like Lehmans, Bear Stearns, Fanny n Freddy, MFGlobal, etc. etc. etc. had no qualms slamming European sovereigns with trash ratings right before they were to issue another bond sale.

When is that UK downgrade coming or is the City still too important to protect?

And then silencing the only truly independent agency, sickening doesn´t even come close to cutting it.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:37 | 3186388 TheEmperor
TheEmperor's picture

"The rebels are alerted to our presence"

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:37 | 3186389 SmoothCoolSmoke
SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Obivously Mr. Black, you cannot see the SCOREBOARD from you seat.  Let me help you: SP 1502.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:00 | 3186474 Imminent Crucible
Imminent Crucible's picture

Obliviously Mr. Smoke, you didn't notice that the score is kept in constantly debasing currency units. So the SPX is almost back to where it was six years ago, right before it fell to 666. Six years of ZERO NOMINAL GAINS, and a LOSS of 11% in CPI-adjusted terms.

Something tells me you didn't buy gold in 2007, when it was $1000 an ounce cheaper.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:13 | 3186845 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Which was right back where it was in 2000. So, make that 12 years.

I just looked at the S&P chart for the first time in a while. 2013 seems to be the official year of the full-retard.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:50 | 3187021 espirit
espirit's picture

Somehow, "full-retard" is just not descriptive enough.  We need a new catch phrase for this next degeneration.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 22:48 | 3187209 AetosAeros
AetosAeros's picture

How about 'Shoulder Stop'?  


ex.- 'His head would go further up his ass if he wasn't at the shoulder stop point.'

ex.- 'Selling his gold to get the cash for a downpayment on that second house with a ARM must have been a shoulder stop moment.'

ex.- 'He's so full of shit that the only thing keeping us from drowning is his shoulder's have stopped the flow.'


Hope that helps to describe this generation of sheeple who are really putting their shoulder's into it!

Sat, 01/26/2013 - 20:03 | 3188365 Absinthe Minded
Absinthe Minded's picture

Yeah, and it only took about $3 trillion in back door bailouts and artificial levitation by the exchange stabilization fund to get us there. I hope you're heavily invested in equities, so we all get a laugh when they go KABOOM!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:36 | 3186390 AldoHux_IV
AldoHux_IV's picture

As you read this letter, in fact, you are probably in violation of at least a dozen regulatory offenses.

so funny if not for the fact so true-- when are they going to make it a punishable by 30yrs in prison for not buying /es futures?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:38 | 3186391 duo
duo's picture

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

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:52 | 3186437 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

i think you're wrong brother.  The internet has changed it all, now comms flow faster, so time itself flows faster.  Our collapse won't take a 1000 years like Rome's rise and fall, not even near it...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:34 | 3186562 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Obama is nothing compared to Caligula. When Caligula came to power the treasury and the privy purse were full of gold. After four year of frivolous spending and an empty treasury Caligual was murdered by his own Preatorian Guard. Caligula started running out of coin early in his reign and started murdering Roman Senators and the heads of wealthy family's, all to acquire their accumulated wealth. Those that were murdered were required to state in their wills that their wealth should be turned over to Caligual and the state before they were killed off. All of this was done to keep the party going.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:19 | 3186865 BlueCheeseBandit
BlueCheeseBandit's picture

FDR was Caligula. And we're able to speed things up with our modern tech.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 21:19 | 3187063 flapdoodle
flapdoodle's picture

Slick Willie is a better match...

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 20:24 | 3186987 vamoose1
vamoose1's picture

   respectfully    but     je   le    doute sir

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:37 | 3186392 Dixie Rect
Dixie Rect's picture

Bring forth the pukeatoriums

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 21:06 | 3187046 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

Good idea..........I micro-vomit everytime I see Bronco.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:38 | 3186393 orangedrinkandchips
orangedrinkandchips's picture

NAZI party

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:40 | 3186397 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

So many paper fucking promises, so little collateral and assets of real value.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:17 | 3186532 XitSam
XitSam's picture

It will get really interesting when they spend so fast they can't keep track of how much has been spent.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 21:07 | 3187049 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture


Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:44 | 3186646 madcows
madcows's picture

Can I bring my Federal Reserve Promisory Notes to the Federal Reserve and ask it for some of it's gold in trade?  yeah, I thought not.  Full Faith and Credit, my ass.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:43 | 3186407 falak pema
falak pema's picture

absolutism, is the last step to social collapse; you can't ossify a society further than that.

Constantine invented a formula to stop the rot then : he moved the capital away from old Rome; fresh air, new beginnings and then gave the empire a new spiritual code. Awesome tactics that delayed ROme's fall by another century; and made Constantinople its continuator.

What will DC do? Make Anchorage new DC?

Invent a new religion called american socialism gone evangenical, to reconcile tea party to coffee drinkers and teamster unions? 

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 19:54 | 3186930 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

The US has been absolutist for the past century. That word does not mean what you think it means.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:43 | 3186408 paulbain
paulbain's picture





Tyler Durden,

      Please stop posting columns written by Simon Black, who is a dolt.





Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:38 | 3186442 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

How is one supposed to know? Posts that are outside blogs usually have the heading Guest post.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:27 | 3186575 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Take responsibility for your own actions and stop reading columns written by Simon Black and posted on the ZH website by the owner Tyler Durden.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:30 | 3186768 LostAtSea
LostAtSea's picture

I liked the article

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:46 | 3186415 Jason T
Jason T's picture

The disintegration continued, and there seemed no power great enough to stop it. The treasury was empty, agriculture prostrate, industry demoralized, trade stagnant, and the only commercial activity was a maddened, consuming, parasitic speculation. In A.D. 301 Diocletian issued his famous price fix- ing decree as the last measure of a desperate sovereign.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:47 | 3186418 Squid Vicious
Squid Vicious's picture

did someone, i mean something, just unload 9 million SPY's ? or am I seeing things again?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:53 | 3186439 rguptatx
rguptatx's picture

it was 7 million, not 9!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 16:53 | 3186441 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Saw the County Sheriffs writing speeding tix on I-10 in Inland Emprie on Tuesday... Saw County Sheriffs writing near the San Onofre Checkpoint on Thursday... Soon, meter maids will be using souped up scooters to write on I-5. hahahha.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:35 | 3186605 Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

Is San Bernardino still broke?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:08 | 3186485 virgilcaine
virgilcaine's picture

Land of the Fee, Home of the lame.

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:19 | 3186542 new game
new game's picture

666 > 1500= hope and change

all is well

buy signal for next leg up

slv phys monkey hammered

gold phys tampped down

see i told you - it really is a relic of the past.

what more can be done to get thru to you?

got til 4/15 to fill that ira for future consfication

all for the good of the majority

come, be a collectivist-we are all in this together

like a village for hope and change

coming to your front door, soon

"any black guns in this house?"

we are with the special task force by executive order to make your city safer...

any gold or silver?

the patriot act deems that ownership is a violation of the monetary control act by executive order.

come with us; homeland security deems your rights revolked, by executive order.

calling private ryan; save me!!!

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 17:21 | 3186552 JR
JR's picture

The parallels between Rome and the U.S. include the tragic transition from Rome's republican form of government to empire and tyranny.

The Roman Republic fell when more and more senators were bribed and compromised and, eventually, as in the case of Augustus, were replaced with senators who would provide favorable support.

This general erosion of honest senators was a key factor in the fall.  Augustus made the biggest use of this factor by increasing the number of senators to cut their individual power, and to rid himself of those senators that would get in his way.

At the peak of Rome’s power, the republic already had been destroyed and Rome was to be in steady decline from then on.

America, likewise, started out as a republic, but eventually her public officials, too, became compromised, specifically in 1913 to the point that they turned her constitution over to private men. That’s exactly what happened to the Roman republic; it eventually turned its power over to generals. The greatest example was when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon to actually fight other Romans in a civil war. But by then the republic was dead.

Edward Gibbon identifies part of this transition and its parallel to America today as the Empire of Rome began its decline, at the beginning of empire:

“It was scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent cause of decay and corruption. This long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of the empire.  The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated….” – Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 22:55 | 3187221 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Let`s not forget that the Roman Empire morphed into a multicultural experiment and it ended like all others before and after.

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"


"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."



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,, 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 egoist
egoist'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" - - RIP Matt Simmons too

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